I decided to re-write this letter, which is directed to you, our leaders, after following the hitherto effort of different Oromo nationalists to help you come together and forge unity of purpose for more than one decade, and after exhausting my own attempts in trying to help Oromo liberation forces come together to build a stronger united force in order to defend and liberate the Oromo people. I know you are also doing your best to fulfill this demand of the Oromo people according to your ability and possibility. I just would like to say thank you for your efforts. But our current situation is making almost all Oromo in every walk of life more restless. We, as a nation, seem to be in a more desperate situation now. That is why I wanted to re-write to you this open letter. I hope you get this message and give few minutes from your precious time to read.
It is unnecessary to tell you about the subjugation history of Oromo and the sufferings we all went through in the last about 150 years. I also don’t dare to narrate the attempts our heroes in history, including you, have done up to now to bring the lasting solution for our national issue. Thanks to the martyrs and to those heroes, who are still alive – including you the leaders, for the victories we have achieved till now. Trying to describe the status quo of Oromo for you also should be considered as an insult to your intellect, so I do refrain from doing that. I want to concentrate on only one issue, which most part of our conscious society including me, were demanding for the last many years: demanding tokkummaa of oromummaa for bilisummaa.
It is not hidden from you that our national subjugation and enslavement under Abyssinian elites started because of the division our ancestors had had by abandoning their unity under Gadaa democracy and because of their taking up other forms of administration like monarchy, and for some of them being feudal lords rivaling with each other. After conquering Oromia successfully by using the divide and conquer method, Abyssinian elites could maintain their domination and rule over Oromo further again by using the divide and rule mechanism. Also today, the currently ruling Abyssinian elites, the Tigrean hegemonists, are using the same method. They are doing it by using their Afaan Oromo speaking and Afaan Oromo writing cadres in cyber forums and paltalks. Even practically, in the real world of Oromo communities, they try to saw a discord again by using their cadres who are infiltrating the community being camouflaged as Oromo nationalists. They do apply all means of schisms like the differences in region, in clan (gosa), differences between political parties, generation difference, the schism of leaders vs. followers in specific Oromo organizations and the differences in religion.
Specially important is how they are trying to exploit the “difference of kaayyoo between different groups of our liberation forces.” It is really interesting to observe how they always repeatedly talk and write that Oromo liberators “do have two irreconcilable kayyoo’s: Ethiopian democratization vs. Oromian decolonization (liberation).” This manipulation by our known foes is not the disturbing part. More worrisome is when we do hear and read some individuals from you, the leaders of our liberation fronts, talking the same way and trying to fight your fellow Oromo liberators in other factions/groups of our liberation forces, instead of concentrating on our tormenting enemy.
The Oromo people have demanded unity of purpose among Oromo liberation forces to achieve bilisummaa of Oromia and Oromo efficiently in different forms: using essays, poems, articles, songs, dramas, direct persuasion and using practical helps given to the factions/groups. I have tried to contribute my part in my hitherto articles, essays and opinions, which are already published on different Oromo websites. The essence of my writings was to show that there is no irreconcilable difference of kaayyoo among Oromo liberation forces per se and that tokkummaa of the liberators is very mandatory for our success in the struggle against slavery and tyranny. Regarding the importance of tokkummaa of our liberators, I once wrote as follows:
“We are a big nation with about 40 million population, but we are still colonized. One of the many factors, which hindered us from success till now, is the fragmentation of our political organizations. We do now have several mini-liberation fronts roaring like baby lions against one big Woyane. The well experienced Woyane is laughing at our mini-lions for we are not dangerous to it. It even pretends to take one or two of the mini-lions seriously and try to negotiate with us. But our baby lions can not gain in the negotiation since Woyane doesn’t take us seriously. In order to gain in negotiation, our mini-lions, i.e. our fragmented liberation fronts, need to be strong enough in the battle field. That is why all our mini liberation fronts have to possibly come under one structure and build one strong Liberation Front. No one in life fears 100 baby lions, but everyone is scared of the confronting one strong adult lion.”
Thanks to Waaqa/Rabbii for the fact that some of our mini-lions came together. The others are on a process to re-unify. We, the supporters of tokkummaa, are eagerly awaiting for this to happen and then pave a way for the possible further unification, so that we will have the desired strong adult lion. Such a strong adult lion will be, not only feared at the battle field against our enemies, but also it will be respected in the diplomatic field by the power players of the world, which do tend to despise the weak and respect the powerful. The whole essence of the world politics is power, so we, as a nation, need to have one powerful organization; of course, my preference is to build one powerful Liberation Front.
We know that our foes are still doing their best to hinder this creation of the strong adult lion and, unfortunately, some dissenting, misguided and disgruntled Oromo and Oromo friends are supporting this move of our foes knowingly or unknowingly. The worst instrument, which our foes are still trying to use is the propagation of the apparent “difference of kaayyoo” among our mini-liberation fronts. I have tried to explain in my articles to the extent of “philosophizing and theoritizing it” that there is no irreconcilable difference of kaayyoo among factions/groups in the Oromo liberation movement. I think it is not necessary to repeat it here, but I would like to recommend you to read one of the articles I wrote in order to help in solving the conflict among our Oromo liberation groups, which was written under the title, “Oromo: To Unlock The Gridlock, Take Independence As The Core-Kaayyoo“, and was published for example under, http://gadaa.com/oduu/?p=2523
The message of the article is, in short, that we, as a nation, do have only ONE kaayyoo-Oromo with three possible outcomes, which can be achieved one after another based on the desire and the future decision of the Oromo public per referendum. The two metaphors I used in the article are just to depict my attempt of clarification figuratively. I think the common ground for all of the factions/groups is to lead us from the status quo of garbummaa, to “the holy land” of bilisummaa, be it by acting as a “legal” opposition, i.e. per ballot or by acting as the “illegal” rebels, the way which is chosen by all the mini-liberation fronts, which are trying to liberate us per bullet. I don’t see any reason why all the “legal” opposition groups can’t unite and all rebels can’t come together as far as the kaayyoo (bilisummaa) is concerned. But, I and some other Oromo nationals are now almost coming to the conclusion that the rhetoric made by some of you, our leaders, i.e. saying “we do have difference of kaayyoo” is a cover up for the other possible reasons behind your division, such as the division based on garaa and karaa. Also regarding this, I once wrote as follows:
“I just recommend all Oromo organizations to try to work together. It is encouraging that the “legal” opposition is consolidating under one alliance. I hope our mini-lions also will come together and foster one strong adult lion. You do accuse each other as if you have different kaayyoo. But, when we look at you and your programs, you do have no major difference in kaayyoo. Your common kaayyoo is clear, i.e. an imperative bilisummaa saba Oromo and an optional walabummaa biyya Oromo, even though some of you talk about hiree-murteffanna per referendum which also can lead us to the same result. I think, where you do differ is only in garaa and karaa. We can understand the difference in garaa in double sense. One is because of the emotional disagreement between some of you Oromo politicians (antipathy to each other). The other is, of course, some of you Oromo politicians are seeming to put self-interest higher than Oromo people’s interest. I hope in due time, such of you politicians will learn to control your garaa and work together for the sake of Oromo people’s kaayyoo. The difference regarding karaa is actually complementary rather than contradictory. You only need to accept and respect the karaa chosen by each of you. Just as an example, the “illegal” karaa of armed struggle and the “legal” karaa of non-violent struggle are complementary, not contradictory.”
Then, can I conclude that there is no irreconcilable difference of kaayyoo among you, even though we still hear and read that you are still fighting on the “difference, i.e. walabummaa vs gamtummaa (independence vs. union)”? I just say it is pity that you people are fighting on this, which is now a “non-issue” from my perspective. The decision on these two actually can take place per public verdict after achieving our bilisummaa (the common denominator for both the pro-independence and the pro-union forces). Please do us a favor and try to study all the articles written on this topic by different Oromo nationals, including me. I just say none of you can convince Oromo that your problem is based on the difference of kaayyoo. Come on! If we get rid of garbummaa by any means possible and get our bilisummaa saba Oromo, why can’t we be the owner of our hiree-murteefanna or abbaa-biyummaa or our walabummaa Oromia if we want? No one can hinder the liberated people (people with bilisummaa) from demanding and getting these known nations’ rights.
So, please don’t try to tell us that you do have a difference of kaayyoo, but I do guess that you do have difference of garaa and also you may have difference of karaa. I think if you are not in a position to re-unify, as we, the Oromo mass, do wish, because of your difference in karaa, you can at least accept and respect each other, and move on your chosen respective karaa to lead us effectively to bilisummaa by cooperating and coordinating your struggle where it is necessary. Difference of karaa can be an obstacle for re-unification and merger, but it can not hinder you from working together. What we, the grassroots, need is that you clearly tell us that you do have this difference, so that we do support the faction/group of our choice.
If you do have no difference of kaayyoo and no difference of karaa, but the difference of garaa in both senses as I described it above, you just need a sort of help to deal with such problem of garaa. Is it emotional problem, for instance, the lack of trusting each other? Then, that is really serious issue. You either need to work on trust building or you just go your chosen different ways. Without trust, it is difficult to work together in one organization. Here also we, the grassroots, need to know where the mistrust is, so that we can understand you and help you on your different routes. Is it the problem of giving self-interest a priority to the national interest of Oromo? I must say such a person who pursues only his own personal interest, disregarding the collective interest of our nation, is not fit for the leadership, and such leader must be exposed and dismissed from the position. But all the necessary caution must be taken before designating someone in the leadership position as such. We know that everyone is innocent till proven guilty. Evidences must be there to judge someone as such and before taking any measure of exposing him/her.
Dear leaders, I hope you now got where my concern is. We, the Oromo people, are at the very critical situation now. We are desperately in need of an effective liberation organization and efficient leadership. Why are we such passive and inactive amidst the worst circumstances we are currently facing? I personally don’t belong to those who blame, accuse and curse only our leaders for our disunity and for the possible calamity we have experienced till now. I do consider that both our hitherto failures and successes are attributable to both of us (to you leaders and to us followers). I want to call up on you the leaders to be yet more active and then activate us the Oromo mass for the necessary bitter struggle for our bilisummaa. The hitherto “ilaa fi ilaamee” you have had must now come to the end, so that we start to act in unison. We did encourage you to have such discussion, we said: “coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success.” I am sure that you came together and kept together for the sake of promoting our liberation struggle. Now, you, as the leaders, and we, as the followers and as the supporting mass, should start to work together efficiently. Come out with the possible good news of tokkummaa and tell us the way forward. We are waiting for you curiously.
I personally encourage you to forge the necessary merger of all factions to have only one Oromo rebel organization with strong diplomatic and military power, then you can build an essential coalition with the liberation forces of other oppressed nations in the empire, and even further you can be in a position to foster a beneficial alliance with the democratic and freedom forces dominated by Habesha elites in order to get rid of the present worst evil of the Horn, the fascist regime. I hope a sort of discord, schism and division, which can be similar to what we had had till now will not happen now. You people are not chimpanzee politicians, who always are direct and say a spade is a spade, but you are the sophisticated human thinkers who can differentiate the three terms of our kaayyoo-Oromo, that means you can differentiate the tactical kaayyoo (Oromian autonomy in the Ethiopian context) from the CORE-Kayyoo (Oromian independence in the form of a republic) and from the strategical Kaayyoo (a union of independent nations in the Horn). Correct timing based on the political situations around us is very important to know the appropriate measure to be taken and to know when it can be important to stress or emphasize one of the three terms of the only one kaayyoo-Oromo accordingly.
Last but not least, I hope that you will come out victoriously by solving the “difference you had regarding the kaayyoo, garaa and karaa,” by deciding to re-unify the factions. Your victory of re-unification will be the base for the actual desperately needed tokkummaa of oromummaa for bilisummaa. It will make us the grassroots also to overcome the hitherto discords and schisms sowed among us by our foes and by our misguided friends. Together we will win, separated we will fall deeper. Come together and lead us in both the opposition way and the rebel way being smart enough to cooperate and coordinate these two ways of Oromo national move towards bilisummaa. You, as leaders, and we, as followers, are at the historical crossroad either to be united and come out with victory or to be further divided and repeat the same history which has led us to garbummaa. Our fate is on only our hands. We need to be dynamic freedom fighters, not passive victims. Lead us and let us fight against our tormentors. Besides all your efforts, let Waaqa/Rabbii bless you and let HIM help the nation you are now trying to lead.