By Leenjiso Horo
The years 1950s-1980s were the birth of the greatest Oromo generation. It was and still is the greatest generation as those generations that established Gadaa system and as the generation that fought in the defense of Oromiyaa against the Abyssinian colonialist that was aided by the European powers of the time, among which were Great Britain, Czarist Russia, Swiss, Italy, French, including Khedive Ismail of Egypt and et cetera. The major factors that helped the Abyssinians in the conquest of Oromiyaa were summarized by Earl Lytton in his book the Stolen Desert as follow:
“Menelik seems to have operated with French technicians, French map makers, French advice on the management of a standing army, and more French advice as to holding captured province with permanent garrisons of conscripted colonial troops. The French also armed his troops with firearms and did much else to organize his campaigns. The Galla (Oromo) were thus conquered by Habasha for the first time in recorded history. Without massive European help the Galla (Oromo) would not have been conquered at all.”
The second factor, probably the most important one, that helped Abyssinians in the conquest of Oromiyaa, in addition to the above mentioned was the decline of Gadaa System and with it, the weakening of central national leadership-the national Office of Abbaa Bokkuu/president and national Chaffee/parliament that oversee the security of the nation and that mobilize the nation and the army to defend the country in a case of outside threat. With the weakening of national leadership, the periodic change of Gadaa leadership in every eight years at every level was interrupted. As a consequence, regional Abbaa Duulaas stayed in power longer than a periodic term limit of eight years. In the process, some of them became wealthy and powerful personalities and used wealth to raise their own army and used army to control more land. Then through time, they gained political influence over the people in their region. Finally, using wealth, military power, and political influence, some of the Abbaa Gadaas usurped the power of Gadaa office and declared themselves king in their respective region. With this, many kingdoms appeared for the first time in the history of the Oromo people and the elective office of Gadaa officials became hereditary succession of the Kings’ and Queens’ families. With this, the Oromo people lost the right to elect their leaders. Hence, the establishment of kingdoms put to an end the government of people by the people for people and from the people. Not only this, some of these kingdoms became rivalries. Despite this, still others in other parts of Oromiyaa remained Abbaa Duulaas. However, each of them was not strong enough to defend itself. Because of this, each of them was defeated separately one by one; region by region by the colonizing army of Menelik II of Abyssinia.
The third factor that helped, encouraged, enabled, and facilitated the condition for the conquest of Oromiyaa was the collaboration of some Oromo leaders with king Menelik of Abyssinia- the sworn enemy of our people and country. The collaborators always give aid and comfort, guidance, and inspiration to the enemy for the conquest of their own country. Furthermore, cooperation with an enemy occupation force in one’s country weakens the nation and exposes it to the enemy. It must be clear, therefore, doing business of any form or shape or association with an enemy of one’s people is a betrayal of one’s country, of one’s people, and a betrayal of a cause and a trust of one’s people. In the conquest of Oromiyaa, it was those Oromo nationals who collaborated and cooperated with Menelik that weakened the Oromo nation and so became a vehicle for the conquest.
From the foregoing, it is clear, the Oromo people were conquered by the combined forces of Europeans and the Abyssinian and the decline of Gadaa political system and with it, the absence of collective national leadership and finally the collaboration and cooperation of some Oromo political leaders with the enemy. The Europeans provided superior modern firepower as well as military strategists and political advisors to King Menelik II had played a major part in the conquest. It was a war of many nations conducted against one nation-the Oromo nation. The heroic Oromo national figures among many who fought against Abyssinian colonial war of conquest that was aided with Europeans powers of the time were: Roobaa Bultum, Leenjisoo Diigaa, and Suufaa Kusoo in Arsii; Tufaa Munaa in Tuulamaa (Central Oromiyaa); Abishee Garbaa and Mootii Jotee Tulluu in Wallaggaa; Bal’aa Buubaa, Baker Waaree, Ibroo Shaxaa, Yaayyaa Alii Siree, Mul’ataa Mudee, and Emir Abdullahi Hussein, (Harari)in Harargee; Shaykh Tolaa in Wolloo, and et cetera. With the conquest, the colonizer denied the Oromo people national leadership. It not only denied national leadership but also regional and local leadership. Hence, the Oromo nation had been with out national leadership for over a century. This was ended with the establishment of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in 1973.
The birth of the greatest Oromo generation of leadership
The 1950s-1980s were the birth of the greatest Oromo new generation of leadership. For the first time since the colonization, the 1950s-1980s generation collectively took an unparalleled national commitment together to struggle for independence of Oromiyaa. In this commitment, this greatest generation declared in its political Program that it shall fight unto death without fear of peril. Its Political program is not abstract and vague but it is concrete and a well-defined program. With this, it established a political organization-the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the organization with clear vision, goal, objective, strategy, tactics and mass participation. The OLF is a Pan-Oromo political organization. Its political program says the goal of struggle is the liberation of Oromiyaa and the establishment of Democratic Republic of Oromiyaa. For this, the greatest generation promised to its people to fight in the fields, in the streets, in the mountains, on the hills, in the valleys and villages of Oromiyaa. It promised the Oromo nation that it shall never surrender the struggle for the establishment of sovereign independent state of Oromiyaa. Indeed, it was and still is a generation united by firmness of mind and common purpose-independence of Oromiyaa and by common values: great heart, courage, patriotism, duty, country, responsibility, and honor, sacrifice, and commitment. It was and still is a generation of shared vision and action. The men and women of this greatest Oromo generation united, organized, and raised consciousness of their people that had been divided by the colonial authorities for over a century. They have done these not for fame, glory, or recognition but for the love of their people and country. They were and still are nationalists of great heart, determination and courage. They laid out a clear mission statement to lead on the nation to independence and firmly adhered to it without vacillation.
In this national liberation struggle of ours, thousands of this greatest generation’s members had sacrificed their lives and thousands more are languishing in the Ethiopian Empire’s concentration camps and still more thousands are fighting in terrain and valleys of Oromiyaa. These sacrifices were and are not for federalization of Ethiopia, nor for democratization of it, but for the liberation of Oromiyaa and for the establishment of national political power in it. Having established national political power, then it is up to the Oromo people alone as it is stated in the OLF Political program to decide, as a free and independent people, whether to re-join other nations and nationalities in some form of arrangement to live together or to opt to live independently as free, independent sovereign state of Oromiyaa living side by side with their neighbors in peace, harmony, brotherhood and sisterhood.
Hence, it is clear that these men and women shared and worked toward a common purpose-independence of Oromiyaa. In this struggle they stood as one. They spoke as one. They clenched their fists as one declaring “bilisummaa, freedom.” They sung the Oromo songs, “Alaabaa Oromoo olqabaa kaasaa,” “Alaabaa Oromiyaa ibsituu dukkanaa,” and “Alaabaa Oromiyaa alaabaa biyya tiyyaa” together as one, in one voice. It is a generation that lightened the darkness and opened up the bright future. It is because of this greatest Oromo generation, today the light of freedom is shining brightly over Oromiyaa. This struggle began without money; without arms; without friends, without ammunitions; and this was the situation when the contest began.
It was and still is the best and brightest Oromo generation. The members of this generation have carried and still carrying the torch of light in their hearts. They were and still are greatest men and women who stood and still standing tall in the face of adversity and difficulty. They are nationalists of courage in doing what is right regardless of the circumstances. In the struggle, they said what they meant and meant what they said. Here, what this generation had and still has in common been and is a simple truth that there has been and still is a complete harmony of its thought, its word and its action. These means its thought is in correspondance with what it says and does. It is a generation that has spoken and still speaks in no uncertain language or phrase about the need for independence. It is a generation that has refused to change its political position as rapid wind continues changing its directions. Because, in this generation there were and still are greatest men and women who utilized/utilize reason and logic to enable them to view situation they faced/face objectively and thus responded to them in a rational way. The names of the heroic members of this greatest Oromo generation among the thousands that passed away and martyred are the following: General Waaqoo Guutuu, General Taddassaa Birruu, Elemoo Qilxuu, Muhee Abdoo, Haji Roobalee Turee, Gazaahenyi Kassahun, Kebedee Demisee, Yegazuu Waqee, Haaji Adam Saaddoo, Haaji Adam Jilo, Mammoo Mezamir, Dr. Haile Fidaa, Baaroo Tumsaa, Abdulahi Yusuf, Sheek Bakri Saphalo, Qees Guddinna Tumsaa, Magarsaa Barii(C), Saanyaa Argoo, Col. Alamuu Qixeessaa, Ahmed Bunaa(nom de guerre Goota Bobbaasi), Col. Hailuu Raggaasaa, Jaarraa Abbaa Gadaa, Guutamaa Hawas, Mul’isi Abbaa Gadaa, Nadhii Gammadaa, Hayle Maariyam Gammadaa, Laggasee Wagii, Sisaay Ibsaa, Dr. Sheekh Mohammad Rashaad Abdullee, Sheekh Muusaa Baatii, and et cetera.
The Oromo females in the Oromo liberation army
The Oromo Women of the greatest Oromo generation in revolutionary Oromiyaa have been playing a significant role in national liberation struggle. Since the occupation of Oromiyaa, the Oromo women have been resisting the occupying forces. Specially, with the establishment of the Oromo Liberation Front the Oromo women have become very active. Some of them joined the Oromo Liberation Front(OLF), many remained passionate supporters. Those females who joined the front underwent extensive training in arms and instructions in weapon and combat techniques from their peers. Then they were enlisted in the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) as guerrilla fighters to fight to drive out Abyssinian colonialist. Ever since the establishment of the OLF, they have been playing a key role in it both as leaders, as political cadres, as commandos, as security officers, as guerrilla fighters and commanders, as nurses, and as artists in the Oromo Liberation Army. Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) is the armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) fighting against the Ethiopian/Abyssinian colonial occupation. After the training, these women picked up guns and went to the mountains and hills of Oromiyaa to fight the enemy. They engaged in gun fighting including hand-to-hand combat with the colonial army. These were and still are the patriotic women who nursed the infancy of freedom. Indeed, these Oromo women rose up to smash the shackles of Abyssinian colonialism that bound the nation for so long in humiliation. This marked the beginning of the arrival of the new generation of the Oromo women freedom fighters. Here are the names of a few nationalist Oromo women commanders and fighters in the Oromo Liberation Army:
1. Saartuu Yusouf
2. Ibsituu Magarsaa
3. Oromiyaa Mohammad
4. Aayyaantuu Daagaa
5. Dursituu Boranaa
6. Kuulanii Boruu
7. Iftuu Hundee (Na’imaa Sheika)
8. Daraartuu Roobaa (Faxumaa Sh. Jamal)
9. Obsituu Obsaa (Zubeyda Abdulee)
10. Kuuloo Jaalataa
11. Iftuu Mohammed
12. Ayyaantuu Boruu (Faxumaa Muftii)
13. Siranee Obsaa
14. Leeliftuu Leelisaa
15. Iftuu Yaadataa
16. Handaartuu Ibsaa
17. Hawwii Asafaa
18. Jibbanii Dhuunfaa
19. Juukii Bareentoo (a member of Central Committee)
20. Arbii Miilii
21. Asili Oromoo
22. Aradoolaa Abdallaa
23. Kadijjaa Abdullee (nom de guerre Ragaatuu Robaa)
24. Caaltuu Sabaa
25. Waarituu Dhaabaa
26. Lalisee Nadhii
27. Kuuloo Caalaa
28. Murattuu Dalloo
29. Burqituu Waabee
30. Qananii Halloo
32. Daran Mohammad
33. Obsee Ayyaana.
34. Gammachiiftuu Urfo
35. Falamtuu Bulee
36. Boontuu Abdii
37. Boharsituu Obsaa
38. Taliilee Bareentoo, and et cetera.
Saartuu Yusouf was the first female who joined OLA in 1976 and was the first female combatant killed while fighting the enemy in 1977. Juukii Bareentoo was a highly admired freedom fighter. Both Saartuu and Juukii were martyred in the fighting for freedom of their people. Juukii was martyred in 1984. These revolutionary nationalist women fought with courage, self-sacrifice and with exceptional bravery for nothing less than the independence of Oromiyaa. Among the above names, some were martyred and others are still alive and in the struggle.
The Oromo women were and still are freedom fighters of Oromiyaa; the warriors for independence. They are fearless ferocious fighters both in political and armed struggle. As guerrilla fighters, they have undertaken military operation, attacking military installations, police outposts, killing the enemies and capturing arms and ammunitions. In these ways, the heroic Oromo women have shattered a common misconception at a point of time which led many to believe that freedom fighters just had to be males and females only belongs to kitchen. Freedom fighter is a freedom fighter regardless of gender; soldier is a soldier regardless of gender; Politician is a politician regardless of gender, artist is an artist regardless of gender and etc. The Oromo women have been and are in all these fields and more. The courage, the determination, the commitment and self-confidence of these Oromo women freedom fighters in combat are awakening the patriotic spirit of the Oromo men and women today. The nation has to tap into this section of the society. These Oromo women fighters stand distinguished in the light of their heroism, courage, and bravery. For their heroism, courage, bravery, and commitment they have been and are admired, respected, honored and crowned by their peers and the Oromo nation with the undying fame and glory.
The need for women revolutionary armed wing within OLA
Now, it is time for the Oromo nationalists to establish a Women guerrilla wing or unit in the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) that involves in the political and armed struggle and at the same time involves in the awakening of Oromo women’s revolutionary political consciousness. In our national struggle, we need Oromo females in the political Bureau and in Central Committee. In military wing, it is vitally important to put females too as commanders of divisions where most decisions are made. All successful liberation movements known in history had done this and all failed ones had not done this. It is easier for women to politicize, mobilize, recruit, and organize women. The establishment of such women fighting force will change for ever for the first time in the history of Oromo national struggle ushering a new era of women’s full participation in the war of national liberation and in political and military decision making in the affairs of the nation. We have to bring about this change in our struggle. Half of the cross-section of our society is women and half is men. Liberation can only be successful when both cross-section of the society fully participate in the struggle for national liberation. For this, it is time to make both to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in arms fighting in this historical war of nation liberation against the colonialist occupation army.
Of course, not all female supporters of Oromo independence are guerrilla fighters. The Oromo women heroines in the liberation struggle include those women who have been and still are supporting freedom fighters with food, shelter, funds; who nursed the wounded, the sick, and hid weapons, provide information about the enemies, and those who have willingly given their sons and daughters to fight in the war of national liberation. This includes those who participate in demonstrations, rallies and in political work. From the very beginning the Oromo women supported the struggle. Because of this, many women risked imprisonment, torture, and death. These women are the mothers of freedom fighters. Oromo women are strong in gathering intelligence and information, in recruitments, and in harassment of collaborators and in making funny of Loyalists of the empire (as the Oromo nationals in Calgary, Canada and Columbus, Ohio in USA exposed the ODF-the collaborator, exemplifies), and much better in moral boosting and encouragement for the freedom fighters. History has shown time and again that patriotic women always subject cowards, passive spectators, and the enemy collaborators to public humiliation than men.
In general, the 1950s-1980s were and are heroic men and heroic women who single-mindedly resolved to fight to liberate Oromiyaa or to die. In this struggle, many died and many are still alive. Since the beginning of colonization, Oromo nationals have been struggling selflessly and gloriously, banishing all ignoble thoughts and ideas of betraying their country, their people, their comrades, and their Kayyoo/objective of the struggle from their minds. For these, all eyes in Oromiyaa have been and still are turned to them. On them depends the voyage and direction of the voyage and the defeat of TPLF colonist barbarian. For these, the names of these heroic men and women will remain honored for the generations to come as the freedom fighters for the independence of Oromiyaa.
The Struggle, the sacrifice, and national identity
By now, we should be familiar with the three historic events that took place sometimes in 1966 and in 1980. The two events were in 1966 and one was in 1980. The first two meetings were the Maccaa-Tulamaa Association (MTA) public gathering in the towns of Itayyaa and in Dheeraa, both in Arsii in 1966. The Itayyaa mass gathering was on May 15, 1966. It was organized by Ahmad Buna (nom de guerre Goota Bobbaas as a member of the OLF leadership and as fighter in the OLA), a member of MTA and one of the founding members and leaders of the OLF. The attendance was estimated to be over hundred thousand peasants from across the region. The keynote speakers at the gathering was Haji Robalee Turee, one of leaders of MTA, a well versed and a leading oral historian, a gifted orator, a great patriotic Oromo nationalist, and visionary. It has been said that Haji Robalee Turee had made a historical speech, a speech reminding the public about the King Menelik II’s genocidal conquest of Hararge and his committed mass extermination known as Calii Calanqoo at Calanqoo and the conquest of Arsii by reminding about the mutilation of breasts of women and the right hands of men and children at Aannoolee, and the mass extermination committed at Azule where a mountain of piled up bones are still found today and the Abyssinian use of smallpox as a biological warfare to annihilate the population of Arsii. The use of smallpox against the people severely weakened the Arsii population. It was said that Haji Robalee told the public at the gathering that after the people were weakened by the spread of smallpox through the population, the Abyssinian conquerors led by king Menelik II took advantage of the condition and went on a killing spree of the population without even sparing women, children, and old. It was Abyssinian war of genocide against the people of the region. Coupled with these were the looting and destruction of property, rape, and murder. In this new attack, crops were destroyed, and hundreds of thousand of herds of livestock were looted and driven off back to Abyssinia. Hereafter, colonial military administration was imposed upon the remaining population and the land. With this, Arsii Oromo lost their independence and humiliated as all Oromo in all regions of Oromiyaa. Upon the surrender of Arsii, the Abyssinian conquers implemented a scorched to earth policy- a punitive destruction of socio-political, economic, cultural and military structure of the Gada System so as to breakdown the will of the people from rising again to fight as well as to disrupt and destroy the normal life of the population. On the sight of Galma Abbaa Gadaas, the garrison towns were built so as to erase the memory of that institution from the minds of the colonized people. After the conquest, the Oromo Arsii was legally barred from owning a piece of land and so they were turned into “gabar”/tenant. With this the Abyssinian conquerors erected or established master-serf relationship in Arsii. Hence, the colonial conquest opened the door to the darkest chapter in the history of Arsii and the rest of Oromo in which the Oromo nation still today found itself.
It was said that Haji Robalee Turee told the public that it was the lack of unity of the Oromo leaders of the time that gave the opportunity for the Abyssinians in the conquering of Oromiyaa. It was said that Haji Robalee Turee in that gathering called upon all Oromo to unite in order to drive away the colonialists so as to recover their lost independence. Among lines of his speech that stands out to-date is the line that is often quoted that reads, “Streams join together to form a river, people also join together to be a nation to become a country.” This is a daring and profound political statement of the time. As it is clear, this was a call for unity and struggle for the liberation of the nation and establishment of independent country- Oromiyaa. This statement was made at a dark time when it was a crime and punishable by death to speak about Oromo unity and forming of their own country. Indeed, Haji Robalee Turee was a revolutionary patriot of the time. He was a daring figure and passionate Oromo nationalist. Even today after forty eight years of Haji Robalee Turee’s call for unity and struggle for independence, we are still calling for the same unity to liberate the nation and establish independent country-Oromiyaa. It is time now to practically implement this unity. The responsibility for it is still solely rests on the shoulders of the greatest Oromo generation that started the national liberation struggle for independence, in the first place. This greatest generation is the pillar of the struggle for independence of Oromiyaa. It should be an iron pillar. If this greatest generation fails to firmly and strongly unite, the struggle will fail to achieve its objective and the life of colonial occupation will be extended.
The second meeting was in the town of Dheera. The Dheera public gathering was on October 15, 1966. It was a very significant one and a turning point and it set a milepost for future Oromo national liberation struggle. It has been said tens of thousands Oromo nationals of different religious faiths from across different regions of Oromiyaa were converged at Dheera, despite the regime’s erected barriers to stop the gathering. At this mass gathering, the keynote speaker was General Taddasaa Birruu. The General was said to have made an emotionally arousing speech on various topics including education, health, roads, communication, poverty, landholding system, exploitation, unity, the right of the people, self-reliance and et cetera. As it has been said, the General specially spoke extensively at length on the unity and self-reliance. It has also been said that the General told the public that all of them are Oromo and that what runs through their veins is the Oromo blood; that they breathe the air of their county; that they walk on their land and that they till their land but they do not control it. It was said the General went on saying that you do not take home the fruits of your labor. Note, this speech was made during the time when the Oromo peasants were legally obligated to transfer 75% of what they produce to the absentee colonial landlords who lived in the cities. It was said that the General cautioned the public that if the condition continues indefinitely, a time may come when one may not even be able to find a burial place. In that public gathering, the General called upon the Oromo people to rise up, stand up and stand together as one people in order to recover and control their own land and their own destiny.
Furthermore, it has also been said that the General went on reminding the people that they pay land tax but no roads; that they pay health tax but no clinics and hospitals; and that they pay education tax but no schools for their children and et cetera. Having discussed all these, it has been said the General finally disclosed the political objective of the Association to be the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Oromo people.
Note this speech was made during the turbulent time in the Rift Valley. It was a serious conflict between the regime and the people in the region. It was a time when rich individuals were grabbing land in the Rift Valley region as the demand for haricot beans or “boloqqee” in the world market soared because of its shortage and the consequence of worldwide surge in its price. The Rift Valley is well-known for its high yielding of haricot beans or Navy beans. Haricot beans are rich in protein, folic acid, iron, B complex, magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and it controls blood-sugar disorder; potassium is good in lowering blood pressure and etc. For these, haricot beans have high demand globally. In order to reap the benefit of high price, the Abyssinian colonial regime told millions of the people living in Rift Valley to leave the region and go to Bale in order to use this region for farming of haricot beans with a modern means of farming. It was actually a time when tractors invaded the region. The land was given to rich Nafxanyas and to their children who graduated from Haramaya University and from American and European Universities with degree in Agriculture. The Development Bank was instructed to finance those who want to invest in the farming of haricot beans. The farming of haricot beans was a lucrative business of the time. At the time, Ras Mesfin Sileshi was ‘Enderasse’ of Shawa Province/Governor General of Shawa Province, representing the Emperor to which Rift Valley “belonged.” To appeal about the eviction of the population from their land the elders were chosen from the region and sent to Finfinnee/Addis Ababa to appeal to Mesfin Sileshi to reverse the eviction. The elders were followed with thousands of peasants to Finfinnee. It has been said that having heard their appeal, “Ras Mesfin Sileshi, pulled a pencil out of his pocket. Pointed it to the elders and angrily spoke. This pencil is mine; it belongs to me; I can keep it, if I want to. I can throw it away, if I want to; I can sell it, if I want to. I can give it to you, if I want to. But, you do not have right to complain about what belongs to me. Similarly, the land belongs to the government. If government asks you to leave you must leave; if government allows you to stay, you stay. Government can do whatever it wants to do with its land.” Having heard the negative response to their appeal, one of the elders was said to have asked Ras Mesfin Sileshi this: “Sir, we understand as you said this pencil is yours now, but before it became yours to whom did it belong? And in what way it came to your possession? You said the land belongs to government but before the government owned it who owned it? And how the government got it?”(Translation into English is mine. The interpreter of the languages for Ras Mesfin Sileshi in Amharic and for the Oromo elders in Oromiffaa in that encounter was Pastor Gebremichael Falama; now lives in USA). It was said that Ras Mesfin was irritated with these lines of questions and called in security and those elders were dragged out, beaten, handcuffed, and thrown into jail. Those thousands who were waiting outside of Mesfin Sileshi’s office to hear the result of their appeal were also beaten, broken up and driven off by police and the security forces. The confrontation between the regime and the people, however, continued. People refused to leave. While the confrontation was going on, the 1974 came about and the Haile Sillassie regime and his government were overthrown. It was at this time those elders released from jail after many years in jail.
Again to be recalled, this was a time where the roaring of guns from Balee Mountains and hills by General Waqoo Guutuu were shocking the empire rulers; and the Arfan Qal’oo movement in Hararghe was on the surge, and Obbo. Ibsaa Guutama’s article, “Who is Ethiopian?” came out questioning the very foundation and the existence of the Ethiopian empire and Ethiopiawinet putting the colonial authorities on notice that the Oromo people are not Ethiopians and that Ethiopia is a prison-house of nations and nationalities were forced into it. It was Obbo Ibsaa Guutama’s article that influenced the students at Haile Silessie I University to understand the nature of Ethiopia and its creation and particularly influenced Wallelign Mekonnen to write “On the Question of nationalities in Ethiopia,” arguing that “Ethiopia is not one nation.” These were followed by the Oromo students’ article, “The Oromo: Voice against Tyranny.” All these contributed to the political views of the time and the establishment of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
After the public meeting, it has been told that it was a lunch time. For the lunch bulls were slaughtered by elders who follow Moslem religious faith. The General was well aware that in Ethiopian empire, Christians do not eat meat of animal if slaughtered by Moslems and vice versa. With this knowledge, it was said General Taddasaa Birruu to have told the public before the lunch was served, “I know some of us are Muslim; some of us are Christian, and some of us may follow different religions, however, all of us are Oromo; we were neither born as Christian nor as Muslim but we were born first as Oromo. After the remark, it has been said that General Taddassaa had to say this, “Let us eat; it is slaughtered by Oromo as a sign of respect for their guests. This is the Oromo culture.” It has been said that every body agreed with this concept; then all ate. What came out of this was the re-affirmation and the re-ascertainment of the collective Oromo national identity, “We are Oromo, First.” In another word, each said in his/her mind, soul, and heart, “I am Oromo, First” rather than religious identification or identification with imposed artificial colonial identity: Ethiopian.
Having heard what had happened in Dheera, Emperor Haile Sellassie I and his government were enraged, shocked and panicked and in the panic the Emperor and his government took a drastic punitive action against the leaders, the members of the Association and the Association itself. Some members were sentenced to death by public hanging (e.g. Captain Mamo Mezimir); others were sentenced to serve short to long term in prison (e.g. Col Alemuu Qixeessaa, Haile Mariam Gammadaa etc); and still some were sentenced to life in prison (e.g. G/ Taddasaa Birruu). The Association was then banned or outlawed. Despite these, this Oromo greatest generation never abandoned the kaayyoo/objective they started with. The statement of General Taddasaa Birruu set the stage for the establishment of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
The courage and martyrdom on Aril 15, 1980
April 15, 1980 was the martyrs’ Day, popularly known as Guyyaa Gootootaa Oromoo. Again the martyrdom of the whole leadership of the OLF on Aril 15, 1980 was another milepost in cementing the Oromo national identity with their blood. They follow different religious beliefs: some were Christians, some were Muslims, and some were Waqeffta, all came from different regions of Oromiyaa. What they had in common was being an Oromo. They had Oromummaa in their bones, in their soul, in their blood and in their veins. While they were on a diplomatic mission to Somalia, they ended up in the area controlled by the anti-Oromo Western Somali Liberation Front (WSLF). The WSLF approached these Oromo Liberation Front leaders, first as friends then turned a vicious enemy and rounded them up. It inquired of them as to their identity. These leaders told it that they are Oromo and members of Oromo Liberation Front on a diplomatic mission to Somalia. Then it inquired of their religious beliefs as to which of them are Muslim and which of them are Christian. It asked Muslims to stand on one side and Christians and the rest on the other. These leaders refused to do so. The purpose of the question was to identify Muslims from other religion believers so as to kill non Muslims. The intention of WSLF was very clear to this Oromo leadership. This was the choice the nationalist Oromo leaders were faced. Knowing the consequence, they all rejected such an offer of WSLF and stood together unanimously declaring that they are neither Muslims nor Christians; that they are Oromo; that they are Oromo freedom fighters; and that they are members of the Oromo Liberation Front(OLF). They choose Oromo as their first and foremost identity. The Oromo followers of Muslim faith knew very well that if they identify themselves as Muslims, they would be spared from death by their captors, but, they chose to face the fate of death together with their fellow comrades of another religious faith rather than betray them, the struggle, the goal of the struggle, and the national identity. Again, all of them could have told their captors that they are Muslims, but this choice is the betrayal of their national identity-the Oromo identity. Hence, they cheerfully chose death over betraying their national identity, the struggle, and the Oromo nations. They struggled together and so they died together. Above everything else, these nationalists set a shining example of faithful devotion to the oneness of Oromo and to Oromoness or Oromummaa. By so doing, they chose their unity unto death by choosing death over betraying their national identity and by choosing death over division on religious ground. And they were murdered and buried in one grave. This is the first time in the history of national liberation movements that a leadership of a Liberation Front was killed and buried together in one grave. It was in this way the whole leadership of the OLF were martyred. In their death and in their blood they cemented the Oromo unity. In their rejection of WSLF’s offer, these leaders again re-affirmed and re-asserted their national identity by declaring: “We are Oromo, First” and accepted the consequence for it. Their names are as follow: Magarsaa Barii,(nom de guerre Bariisoo Waabii, General Secretary of the OLF) Demisee Tacaanee (nom de guerre Gadaa Gammadaa), Abboomaa Mitikkuu (nom de guerre Abbaa Xiiqii), Yiggazuu Bantii (nom de guerre Doorii Barii), Falmataa Gadaa(aka Umar, Caccabsaa); Fafamaa Doyyoo; Irra’anaa Qacalee; Dhaddachaa Mul’ata; Dhaddachaa Boruu; and Marii Galan. Here, one must understand that we do not know the names of tens of thousands of the Oromo farmers, peasants, and their sons and daughters who fought and perished in this national liberation struggle and the names of those tens of thousands that had perished in the Dergue’s notorious torture Chambers. And of course, we do not still know the names of hundreds of thousands of Oromo nationals who have already been perished in the Tigrayan regime’s notorious torturing concentration camps. The TPLF’s arrest, torture, mass murder, extermination and the eviction of the Oromo from their land are still continuing.
Here are also some of the living members of the greatest Oromo generation who have been in the struggle for a long time without despair, without vacillation, and without betraying the struggle as wind changes its direction. These nationalists have never staggered and never shaken from the political position that they held as pressure mounted on them both from internal and external actors to persuade them to abandon the struggle for independence of Oromiyaa. These are nationalists of iron will, great strength, firmness of mind and determination to carry on national liberation struggle. Their names among the thousands are: Oromiyaa Mohammad, Aslii Oromoo (aka Aslii Mohammad), Arfaasee Gammadaa, Galaasaa Dilboo(the former General Secretary of OLF), Ibsaa Guutamaa (expanded Qubee throughout Oromiyaa), Damisee K. Sardaa, Mulugetaa Moosisaa, Abiyyuu Galataa, Dhugaasaa Bakakkoo(Commander of OLA for years), Dr. Mekuria Bulcha, Abduljalil Abdalla, Dotii Turaa, Tarfaa Dibaabaa, Lubee Birruu, Kadir Said, and et cetera. These men and women are among many thousands freedom fighters who have been in this struggle since the beginning of this national liberation struggle. Their services to the Oromo nation and their struggle range from engaging in armed struggle to jail serving time in torture chambers of Dergue as prisoners of conscience and to informing and educating international communities about the Oromo nation and their struggle for independence among whom Dr. Mekuria Bulcha singularly stands out. In this Oromo national liberation struggle for independence, Dr. Mekuria Bulcha is the only person traversing the continents advocating for the cause of his country and his people in the like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam. I hope the other Oromo intellectuals will follow suit and go beyond paper presentations at OSA conferences to a direct and active participation by taking an active advocacy role for independence of Oromiyaa.
As it is clear, the Oromo nationalists’ dedication to the struggle for the independence of Oromiyaa have already nurtured and inspired new generation of freedom fighters- the Qubee generation. Today, the Qubee generation — audacious, fearless and full of energy and love for struggle for independence of Oromiyaa — are in the forefront. Indeed, it is the men and women of the greatest Oromo generation that gave voice to the Oromo people and put Oromiyaa on the map, created Qubee, united the nation, raised high the banner of independence, and the Oromo national consciousness to be proud of being Oromo. It is a generation that has already won the war of political propaganda against the Oromo Loyalists of the Abyssinian empire and their foreign sponsors. Hence, because of this generation’s sacrifice and its collective strength the struggle has now passed a milestone on the road to independence. Indeed, it is a generation of lofty achievement. These are what make this generation to stand out as the greatest Oromo generation since colonization of Oromiyaa. In order to carryout this national liberation struggle to its final conclusion requires a politically conscious and a highly motivated new generation of fighting force and population.
It must be understood, however, some members of the generation have failed to measure up to the greatness. They regressed and fallout or dropped out from the struggle. In the beginning, these individuals joined the liberation struggle as nationalists preaching about independence of Oromiyaa and in the end they turned into political crooks preaching federalization of the Empire state of Ethiopia. They have become a shame to the nation. The former members of Oromo Dialogue Forum and the now the new constellation of ideologically and politically in the Abyssinian camp and singing “Ethiopian empire federalization” song namely the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) has been and are those who have failed to measure up to the greatness of that generation. They abandoned the struggle, the struggle they initially joined. Having said this, however, I have no desire or intention to bury their positive contribution that they might have made in this struggle. The ODF has been crisscrossing American, Canadian, and European cities preaching about peace in Ethiopia and Horn of Africa, but it failed to understand that we have been fighting for independence for more than forty years against the colonialist of our country. The struggle for independence of Oromiyaa is a struggle for peace and dignity of the people and of course we cherish peace, peace in Horn of Africa, peace in Africa, and the world over, peace with dignity and independence but we will never surrender our struggle for independence to purchase peace with any external or internal force or power. This is a principle upon which the greatest Oromo generation started armed struggle for independence against the colonizer fifty years ago and have sacrificed their lives for it. The recent declaration of “I am Oromo, First” by Ob. Jawar Mohammad to Femi OKe’s question “Are you Oromo, first or Ethiopian first” on Al Jazeera Stream is an oath by new Qubee generation to continue the struggle for independence that commenced by the greatest Oromo generation. Hence, no a betrayal from our ranks can force us to surrender after so long struggle and so much sacrifice of men, women and children for the independence of their country.
It is important to use a parable to understand the problem the Oromo struggle is going through today. Consider an analogy of a moving train. In its journey, a train moves on until its final destination. At every station on the journey, one gets on it and another one gets off it, the train, however, continues on until it reaches its destination. This is true with a national liberation struggle. It is for this, a national liberation struggle resembles a moving train and so as a train it also keeps on moving. National liberation struggle is a protracted struggle. It goes on a long journey. On its journey, it does not have a quick fix. There is no a shortcut; no easy way out; it takes a long, difficult and tiresome journey to get to its destination. As a result, some individuals get tired of it and quit the journey. Hence, there are quitters who quite the struggle because they feel tired to fight on and so choose to surrender. However, the determined and resolute ones continue the journey to its destination. Again, there are also new ones who get on the train. The struggle, however, continues on until its final destination. This problem should not be a surprise to Oromo nationalists because the Oromo national liberation struggle is facing the same problem those national liberation struggles faced before.
The empire Loyalists attack on the greatest Oromo generation
We need to understanding the genesis of attack. First, the attack begins with the attack on the Kaayyoo of the generation. Then, collaboration with the enemy against the Kaayyoo followed. Here, one needs to understand that to collaborate with the enemy is not new. Collaboration with the enemy was here yesterday; it is here today; and it will be here tomorrow. It has been around throughout history. Beginning with the colonization of the south, Oromiyaa included, the Abyssinian colonial rulers promoted a policy of rapid Abyssinianization of the children of the colonized peoples. First, Finfinnee was renamed Addis Ababa to be the Abyssinianization city of the empire. It has been made the epicenter of political power of the empire from where the Abyssinian empire state’s political elites have been exercising their power outward. With this, attacks on the Oromo people and their very conception of themselves (Oromummaa-Oromoness) was started and still going on. Abyssinians despised Oromummaa and scoffed at it. This was followed with the attack on their culture, their language, their religion, and their institutions. Attempt to replace Oromummaa by Abyssinianization/Ethiopianization or Itoophiyaawinnati has been undertaken at every level over years in schools, courts, bureaucracy, mass media, music, sports, and etc. It was in this way; some Oromo children were melted into Abyssinian political culture and became propagators of its politics of empire federalization. Such Oromo individuals and groups have been casting and re-casting themselves as “Oromo-Ethiopians” to fit the Abyssinian political ethos. Hence these individuals or groups have become “Ethiopians” in the Oromo mask. The Abyssinians call such individuals by various names such as “Xiruu Oromo/good Oromo,” “temaanyi Oromo/faithful Oromo,” and “yeselaxanee Oromo/civilized Oromo,” and recently even went to the extent of calling them “yeEthiopia Mandela/Mandela of Ethiopia” and et cetera.
The Abyssinian colonial empire raised such children of colonized people on a staple political diet, a political diet that has become dangerous to the Oromo struggle. The diet anaesthetized them and made them dormant, obedient, loyal, Ethiopian law observers, and yes men and women to
any question put to them by Abyssinians or external forces. It was for these reasons they lost negotiations at London Conference. Today, it is these groups or individuals who are fiercely fighting with all their resources for “Ethiopian citizenship” and its “citizenship rights” and it is these groups that have been clinging tenaciously to the political position of Ethiopian empire federalization. Recently, a representative of Abyssinianized Oromo groups the ODF has started a political campaign with violence hitherto unknown in the Oromo society. This is exemplified by the ODF’s violence against the Oromo nationalists in Calgary, Canada (August 31, 2013).The question is why it took this line. The reason is simple; it inherited from the Abyssinian culture. Violence and intimidation are the Abyssinian way. With a few exceptions, the majority of its members are the former Dergue cadres and functionaries.
Choosing sides: Patriots, Loyalists and Neutralists
Throughout history to date, history has been witnessing three camps of nationals in every national liberation struggle or in every revolutionary war against colonial empire. These are the camps of Patriots, of Loyalists and of the neutralists. Since the waging of the wars of national liberation struggle, the Oromo people have seen these three camps of Oromo nationals: Ethiopian Loyalists, neutralists, and the Oromo patriotic nationalists. The questions then are who are the Loyalists? Who are neutralists? And who are patriots?
Here the issue is based on whether to support the War of national liberation for Independence of Oromiyaa or remain loyal to the empire or remain neutral. Some Oromo nationals could not decide which side to choose and remained neutrals as the war of national liberation continues; as genocide is committed on their people and as their country is mutilated by the enemy. These are called neutralists. Such nationals stand aloof from their people’s struggle; they stand on the sidelines looking on silently as the enemy annihilates their people; they are silent observers; a cold blooded ones. Neutralists always wait for a winner of a contest to ally with. The neutralists accommodate the stronger or whom they perceive to be a stronger. There are many such Oromo individuals in the Diaspora. But you must be warned that your neutrality or your silence will not protect you when you are asked by the Oromo people as to what you did to help them in the time of their trails and tribulations. Neutrality or silence cannot be an answer.
Martin Niemoller, a German Protestant pastor, described the danger of neutrality or silence during the Nazi’s extermination of communists, socialists, labor unions, the Jews, the hippies and etc in Europe in this terms:
“In Germany first they [Nazis] came for the communists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for Catholics, and I did not speak out, because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
The moral of the story must be clear. Its lesson is simple. It entails as a citizen of a nation, nationals have individual and collective responsibility. If something wrong is done, the nationals must speak out as individual and as a collective. If not individually and collectively the nationals are responsible for the wrong and be held accountable for it the same as the one who did wrong. Here to make it clear, since coming to powers the Ethiopian colonial regime of TPLF/EPDM has been and is committing atrocious crimes against the Oromo people and their country. It has been and still is arresting, torturing, killing, committing mass murder and evicting the Oromo people from their land and selling and leasing their land in the global market to the global and local land grabbers. If you do not fight out these or if you keep silence or make business with this regime you are aiding and abetting the enemy through your silence or through doing business with it for selfish gain. Everyone must understand clearly that to be neutral, to be passive is to collaborate with what is going on. For these, you are equally responsible for the crime. You will be held responsible for your action; the action through your silence or doing business with the enemy. You can never escape from such crime.
Most Oromo nationals, however, have chosen sides. Those who support the independence of Oromiyaa from Ethiopia are known as Patriots; nationalists. These include the broad masses of the Oromo people, the freedom fighters, the supporters, and the sympathizers of the struggle for independence. The patriots fight a people’s war; a people’s war (PW) is a protracted war of liberation. OLF is such an organization of patriotic forces. It is for this, the OLF is indistinguishable form the Oromo people.
Those who choose to support empire “federalization,” or its “democratization” are known as Loyalists of the empire. Hence, Loyalists are those who collaborate with empire to maintain it. The Ethiopian empire has produced many Loyalists, and bystanders through promotion of Ethiopia as the “opium of a colonized people,” a drug to prevent them from national political awareness as the Oromo nationalists and the Oromo people are in the national liberation struggle. In this way, Ethiopian Loyalists have been anesthetized to colonial injustices and so they became collaborators. It is these collaborators who have been subverting Oromo national liberation struggle by prioritizing profit or self-interest over patriotism. Such categories of groups have fallen into a state of insensibility to the worsening condition imposed upon Oromiyaa and its people by the TPLF.
As noted in the above paragraph, those who oppose independence of Oromiyaa from Ethiopia are known as Empire Loyalists. Some Loyalists actively and openly collaborate with the enemy; they advocate for the political position of the Ethiopian empire elites. They have been and are the reformists of the empire. They make alliance with the strategic enemy of their country and people. Such Loyalists are represented by the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF). Most Loyalists who oppose the independence of Oromiyaa have a close business or political ties to Ethiopia and friendship or association with Ethiopian elites. There is a high concentration of Loyalists in Diaspora. These loyalists stand idly by, silently approving and loudly applauding the TPLF policy as it mows down their people. These are extreme loyalists with no soul, no inner convictions, no moral and ethical code to follow. Such individuals have already been wormed their way inside the social, political, community, sport and civic, and other Oromo organizations to plague practice of passivity and spectatorship within the members so as not to support the struggle for independence of Oromiyaa. Besides these category of Loyalists, however, many Loyalists agree with the Oromo patriots that Ethiopia is a colonial empire, that the Oromo people have suffered and still suffering at the hands of the Abyssinian/Ethiopian colonial rulers but these Loyalist collaborators hope, wish, and believe that a peaceful reconciliation with Ethiopian government is possible through “federalization,” “democratization,” and “citizenship, and citizenship rights.”
Furthermore, there are also some empires Loyalists those who secretly infiltrate the nationalist camps. Their purpose is to work from within the organizations to sow seeds of discord and confusion to create vacillation and then division within the rank of nationalists. To reach this goal, they have been pursuing a policy of neutralization of nationals. Such groups have sword in their hands to divide nationalists; their swords are confusion and clumsy ideas. The Loyalists who are embedded in organizations are the army of the empire and are the most dangerous ones. All in all, the Ethiopian empire Loyalists’ political position is incompatible with the political position of the Oromo patriots and the Oromo people- the independence of Oromiyaa. It must be clear that colonialism is and remains irreconcilable with independence.
Throughout history of national struggle, we also found some nationals with pacifist inclinations. Such nationals seem to favor “political solution” to the colonial question which means to get liberty and justice to the colonial question through “peaceful negotiation.” In this case, the OLF has already tried it time and again without success. The question is this: what one has to negotiate for when an intruder is in one’s house and lay a claim on it that that house belongs to him or her? This is the question between Oromo and Abyssinian colonial authority. The logic is simple that one has to abandon the house voluntarily since the two cannot be masters of the same house at the same time or one has to eliminate the other by force. Over a century ago, an intruder entered our house and claimed ownership of it eliminating or subduing us by force. The intruder became a mater; we became tenants. Still we are tenants but now we are laying a re-claim of ownership as a master of the house; metaphorically speaking, the house is Oromiyaa. Now two masters are claiming the ownership of the same house. The one is the intruder who broke into the house and the other is the real original master who built the house. Here, both masters cannot exist side by side; one has to eliminate the other. This takes only force. This is what the struggle between the colonizer and the colonized means. I believe we must come to understanding that it is a naive dream, a pious wish and utterly futile to expect peace, liberty and justice, equality, freedom and independence through a peaceful means in a world where might is right. Ethiopia is such an empire where might is right. For this, we need to establish a mighty and superior force to drive out the intruder. It was with this understanding; the greatest Oromo generation established the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). Now, it is time to strength it by transforming it into a mighty and superior force.
In view of the foregoing, it is wrong to assume that all those who belong to the same nations, share same national origin, a common language, a common history, common customs and traditions, common culture, and within a defined territory of their own have the same sense of national identity and even more, the desire for independence after having lived under alien rule or empire for so long. Some nationals develop dual identity or multiple identities. One identity is their nation identity and the other is the identity of the colonizer or dominant or powerful nation that conquered and colonized their country and dominated their nation’s political, ideological, economic, and social life. Such nationals oftentimes identify themselves more closely with the dominant nation’s identity. This reminds us what Dr. Kofi Busia of Ghana, a person who was instrumental in overthrowing Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his government, has to say in his interview with Richard Wright before Ghana was granted independence, “I was British, a Westerner, and am educated in the West.” At another time, he told the London Times, “Oxford has made me what I am today.” These mean Dr. Busia’s identity was more British than the Ghanaians. His identity was shaped by British Empire and its institutions. Dr. Kofi Busia was a leader of National Liberation Movement (NLM) during Ghanaians struggle for independence. He and NLM pleaded with British Colonial Government to deny granting independence to Ghana arguing that Ghana was not ready for independence since, in his view, Ghanaians were not matured for “Parliamentary democracy.” Here is what Dr. Busia told the British Colonial Authorities: “We will need you in the Gold Coast [now Ghana]….Your experiment there is not complete. Sometimes I wonder why you seem such in a hurry to wash your hands off us.” This plea was against Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s and his Convention Peoples Party’s (CPP) and the Ghanaian people demand, “independence now.”
Today, ODF and its leaders are running the same political campaign as Dr. Kofi Busia and his NLM. ODF and its leaders have been going on Ethiopian media outlets such as ESAT and etc telling the same stories as Kofi Busia and his NLM told The London Times and others. The wordings may differ but the core messages are the same -denying independence. Calling for “federalization,” or “democratization,” of the empire or calling for “citizenship rights” in the Ethiopian empire, including colonial Oromiyaa in it is simply a call for denying independence to Oromiyaa.
The reason given varies for having a dominant nation’s identity. Among these, one is psychological inferiorization of children at their young age. The culture and political teaching of a domineering nation imposes stigmatized identity through teaching and association on a certain group within a colonized nation. The stigmatized individuals adopt the identity of the dominant nation as a way of escaping inferiority complex. The others reasons are a result of long-time living together, friendship, association, acculturation, assimilation, conversion, to colonizer’s way of life, values, attitude and behavior, interests and class solidarity. And still another reason is a sheer opportunistic narrow selfish political and financial interest. These make one to work against the interest of one’s own people on the behalf of the dominant nation. In a time of war of national liberation against colonial occupation, the colonized people can ill afford leaders with myopic points of view: empire federalization. Hence, in the eyes of the Oromo people, such individuals and leaders who undermine Oromo unity and their struggle for independence in favor of empire federalization are guilty of an intolerable blasphemy.
In the national liberation struggle, what is needed is a militant and forward-looking leadership that leads the nation to liberation; a leadership with a sufficient political will and commitment to take a swift action. It is the nationals who create leadership, nurture, and support it. For this, nationals need to study their own members with a view to choose capable, committed, competent, and dependable ones into leadership positions to keep the struggle going, as well as the need to conscientize the members. For this, it is vitally important that organizations need to recruit the best and brightest nationals into the membership not the robots.
All in all, beginning with the occupation of Oromiyaa and ever since there have been Oromo elements within Oromo society that turned out collaborators with the colonizers. As the Oromo people continue their resistance against occupation the collaborators too intensified their collaborations. Collaboration began with Gobana Daacce, and his associates then followed with the formation of balabbats -the middlemen between Nafxanyaas and the Oromo people. These middlemen were the local Oromo landlords. The Oromo lands were owned by the colonialist Nafxanyaas and the Oromo landlords. With the demise of balabbat system OPDO was established in 1989 and replaced the Balabbat system. The OPDO’s usefulness for the empire is now over and finally it is on its death throe. Not only the OPDO but also other Oromo organizations that joined the colonial government to maintain the empire are now swallowed by varies Abyssinian political organizations. ODF is a new project of the late PM Meles Zenawi in coordination with some Oromo elements within the Oromo nationals and it is sponsored and financed by various foreign governments. The TPLF barbarism towards the Oromo people ,using its puppet the OPDO, has reached its zenith with a widespread of arrests, gruesome torture, killings, drumbeating trails, death sentences, forced population expulsion from their lands and selling and leasing of those lands to the international multi-national land grabbers. Now with near death of OPDO, the Abyssinians are in the process of replace it in their attempt to maintain and control the empire through the other Loyalist organization, the ODF as their new puppet. On the other hand, the patriotic nationalists continued fighting along their people for the independence of Oromiyaa ever since the occupation, while the capitulationists are campaigning to maintain the occupation of Oromiyaa. If you look at the Oromo history ever since their occupation, you can see that the nationalists always fight for the independence of Oromiyaa while the collaborators always welcome the conquerors. They always submit to the alien occupiers. They not only submit to the conquerors but also always please the conquerors very well by their services, obedience, loyalty and faithfulness. The collaborators never resist conquerors, like the nationalists and patriots. ODF is such a collaborator organization. It wants the Oromo people to submit to the Abyssinian colonial power, the alien occupier of our country. As we have recently seen as the Oromo patriots rejected and opposed the collaborators’ idea on submission to Ethiopia/Abyssinia at a forum of ODF on August 31, 2013 in Calgary, Canada, the ODF hired squad of hit men to attack Oromo patriots to please its Abyssinian masters. Its hired hit men physically attacked Oromo patriots. These hired hit-men specifically targeted the Oromo patriotic nationalist women for attack, among whom is Oromiyaa Mohammad, to physically hurt them. The ODF has targeted the greatest Oromo generation for attack. It is clear that the greatest Oromo generation is under attack by the collaborators of the colonizers and the Loyalists of Ethiopian Empire since the colonization of Oromiyaa and it is still continuing.
Before and since it was established, ODF has been preaching about federalization of the empire and participating in elections, amending constitution and to make a colonized people a citizenry of the empire. Through time, its opportunistic manipulators members have learned to mask themselves by such words and phrases as self-determination and equality. All these mean submitting to the occupier, which is an absolute reflection of Abyssinian political tricks and its foreign sponsors.
In the end, despite the attack on it, the greatest Oromo generation has set the stage in motion for the national liberation and the road to independence through their sacrifice. In their sacrifice, many achievements have already been made. The remaining are the total liberation of Oromiyaa, the raising of the national flag in the United Nations as a member of international community, and the playing of the Oromo national anthem in Finfinnee and across Oromiyaa. To achieve these, it is time for the Oromo nationalists to unite and go forward together with united strength, hand-in-hand and shoulder-to-shoulder. At the same time, it is time for the Oromo scholars both individually and collectively to actively promote the struggle for independence of Oromiyaa, participate and passionately support the Oromo people and their nationalists struggle with all necessary means in their struggle to restore the nation identity, dignity and self-determination.
Finally, I would leave you with the famous words of the late Dr. Sheekh Mohammad Rashaad Abdullee, an Oromo passionate nationalist, a patriot and a member of the greatest Oromo generation. Dr. Rashaad Abdullee summed up the goal of the Oromo national liberation struggle and the birth-right of the Oromo people in these words:
Aangoo hin gaafannee abbaa biyyummaatii,
Kabajjaa mulqamne mirga namummaatii!
Oromiyaa Shall BE Free!