Oduu Haaraya

The need for Oromo nationalists’ unity to end Tigrayan genocide of Oromo people

 

By Leenjiso Horo

March 2016

The Oromo people have united more than ever before from width and breath of Oromiyaa to end

the colonial occupation in order to restore their full national sovereignty and independence. In

unity, the Oromo people have raised their flag over Oromiyaa. This is done with so much

sacrifice in the lives of their youths, children, men and women- aged and young. The objective

of this struggle is to establish free, sovereign, independent Democratic Republic of Oromiyaa.

Our call is for: Unity! Unity!

leenjisoo

Our unity is power!

The united Oromo people will never be defeated!

Going forward by looking back: the rise of the Oromo people in unity

Today, the Oromo people have united more than ever before bypassing the divided Oromo

political organizations. What is unequivocally clear is that our people have shown what the unity

is to those who have failed to understand the national unity and its importance. They have united

from east to west; from south to north and the center. The cities, towns, villages and the

countryside across Oromiyaa are all united into a single whole, as one nation; as one people

against the enemy. The fact is, the world is forced to see this upsurge of our people against the

Tigrayan fascist regime in central, southern, northern, eastern and western regions of Oromiyaa

rising like tsunami, like a mighty storm, like a hurricane that no power on earth, how great it is

can stop it. Indeed, in unity our people are trembling the enemy from its foundation.

History has shown time and again that no enemy has ever defeated the united Oromo people in

any battlefield and has never been. It is only the Oromo people that can defeat themselves by

being not uniting. But the Oromo people have never failed to unite. Looking back in history,

Menelik II of Abyssinia did not defeat Oromo. But, it was the Oromo leadership that defeated

itself by failing to unite to fight together. Hence, Oromiyaa has been occupied because of the

Oromo political leaders’ disunity. Again, TPLF has never defeated the Oromo people. It was

the Oromo political leadership that defeated itself by its failure to unite and fight the enemy.

Throughout the history of their occupation up-to-date, the Oromo people as a collective people

have never failed to unite and never accepted or recognized or legitimized Ethiopian authorities

over Oromiyaa. The Oromo people regard all the successive Abyssinian authorities as illegal

and illegitimate colonial administrations. Hence since occupation to-date, it was the Oromo

leadership that accepted the authority and legitimacy of Ethiopian colonial rulers. It is the

Oromo leadership that failed the Oromo people.

Furthermore, since occupation to-date, the Oromo political leadership has continued seeking

alliance with outside powers. It looks to external forces, to alien, for any problem, instead of

looking to their own people. The plain truth is, the leadership tend to listen to outside powers

rather than the Oromo people. This is still going on. When the external powers tell them to lay

down arms, they lay down. When they are told to abandon armed struggle, they abandon. When

they are told to encamp the liberation army, they encamp. These are facts. The encampment of

the OLA in 1992, the formation of AFD in 2006 and now the formation of PAFD in 2015 are all

the examples and results of looking for and listening to the external powers rather than to the

Oromo people. They are still repeating this vicious circle that began a century ago. In truth, we

can never get away from the question of why the Oromo political leadership since the last quarter of 19th

century to-date tends to listen to outside forces rather than listening to their own people. The reason is

simple, if one follows the pattern. The Oromo political leadership stands at crossroads between

outside powers and the Oromo people. The external powers have tremendous influence over this

leadership more than the Oromo nationalists and the Oromo people. This has become the major

obstacle, especially at this junction of national liberation struggle. Because of this, today there is

no an independent national leadership to lead this struggle of ours. Worshipping external powers

is not a character of national leadership.

Having tired of this incompetence of the leadership, now the Oromo people have taken their

destiny on their hands. They have taken the leadership of this struggle. So, the struggle goes on.

Now, the leadership has to decide whether it is willing to walk by their people the long, difficult

and hard road to freedom and independence or remain tied to external powers through the

umbilical cord of sugar-coated negotiation or “Transitional government of Ethiopia” which are

euphuism to maintain the territorial integrity of Ethiopia. The real problem is this, the Oromo

nationalists and the Oromo people, have failed to remove such leadership from the position of

leadership. That is, we have failed to learn lessons of history. To put in the Russian historian

Vasily Kyluchesky words: “History teaches nothing; it only punishes for not learning its

lessons.” Indeed, what is clear is that we have completely failed to learn lesson of history. And

for this, history is punishing us. The time is long overdue to learn our lessons of history. It is

time to listen to the Oromo people instead of external powers. Now, our people are risen to the

occasion to fight the enemy in order to restore their lost sovereignty and independence. It is time

for the Oromo political organizations to unite and join their people in the battlefield for the

national liberation and independence. Right persons must be elected to a right positon. As it is

clear by now, the election of Dawud Ibsa in 1999 to lead the OLF and the Oromo struggle was a

mistake of epic proportions and will undoubtedly be viewed as one of the biggest political

mistakes in the history of Oromiyaa. His leadership is a total failure. He created a personality

cult around himself through his worshippers in the organization in diaspora. This cult has

become through the course of time a whole series of serious and grave perversions of the

principles of the organization, of the objective of struggle, of democracy, of struggle and of

legality. Every aspects of these have been violated. Because of the cult of this individual, the

grave harm has been caused by the violation of collective leadership of the OLF. Consequently,

he has been using the disgraceful methods of leadership. Hence, his leadership completely failed

the OLF as an organization, as evidenced by renouncement of armed struggle in 2001 (Agenda

for Peace), by the formation of then AFD in 2006 and now PAFD in 2015; by abandonment of

the objective of the OLF; by engineering the splits after splits of the OLF; by burning down the

bridge of reconciliation and unification that was built in Berlin Agreement in June 2014, by his

absence from the country, from the Oromo Liberation Army, and from the struggle since he

assumed the position of chairmanship of the OLF and by his leadership’s unresponsiveness to the

ravage and destruction of Oromiyaa and its people by the Tigran fascist rime.

Now, it is time for the Oromo patriotic forces, nationalists, and revolutionaries to unite

unconditionally to stand with their people and fight along with them to restore independence and

sovereignty, end the legacy of colonial occupation and colonial military presence, and build a

unified democratic revolutionary national leadership. In this unity, we have only one mission:

Independence of Oromiyaa. It is a monolithic objective goal that our people have been pursuing

for over a century. Oromiyaa being a colonized country, this objective goal is incontrovertible,

indisputable, and inviolable. The Oromo patriotic forces and the nationalists need to join the

struggle at this historic juncture which our people are going through as a unifying national force,

expressing their higher national interests, national desire and embodying in practice national

unity for national sovereignty and independence.

Our forms of struggle: Nonviolence unarmed struggle and armed struggle

In our struggle we have two forms of struggles. One is non-violence unarmed struggle. This is a

legal and peaceful forms of struggle in claiming for liberation from colonial and foreign

domination. Another form of struggle is armed struggle. This is a right to use force in the

struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination. In the war of national liberation

struggle both nonviolence resistance and armed struggle can go on simultaneously. One does not

contradict the other. For over a century, the world has been told to believe that the Oromo do not

exist except Ethiopians. Now, the Oromo people in turn unanimously telling the same world:

Listen! We do exist. We are the Oromo in the Horn of Africa. Our country is Oromiyaa.

Ethiopia is an empire under which Oromiyaa is administered today. We are the majority in the

Horn of Africa; the second largest population in sub-Sahara Africa. It is us, the Oromo, who are

arrested, tortured, killed, maimed, disappeared, and evicted from our land, from our homes by

the successive Ethiopian empire rulers. Here what is clear is that the Oromo are telling the world

both through non-violent unarmed liberation resistance and armed liberation struggle. As a

result, the world communities are now beginning to listen to Oromo.

The problem has been raised by the Oromo pro Ethiopian empire democratization or pro

establishment of “Transitional government of empire of Ethiopia.” This group say independence

through “democratization” of Ethiopian empire. This is a false claim. Empire has never be

democratized nor federalized nor has transitional government ever formed with the creators of an

empire. This group argues in the era of globalization armed struggle is made obsolete and

internationally has no acceptance. This is again a false claim. What is true is that armed struggle

for liberation is also internationally recognized legal form of struggle for the people’s under

foreign occupation. Here is a quote from United Nations General Assembly Resolution

A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978:

UN “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples’ for independence, territorial integrity,

national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all

available means, particularly armed struggle;”

Again, the General Assembly Resolution A/RES/3246 (XXIX) of 29 November 1974 also states

as:

UN “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation form colonial and foreign

domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle “

Mahatma Gandhi, the symbol of nonviolent struggle and a person who led India to independence

through non-violent struggle supported an armed struggle in the absence of favorable condition.

Here his words: “I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and

violence, I would advise violence. … I would rather have India resort to arms in order to

defend her honour than that she would, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a

helpless witness to her own dishonour” (emphasis added).

Again, Gandhi had to say this in regard to submission to enemy:

“Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the

defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter

[submission] befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and

varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the

right” (Emphasis added).

Hence, armed struggle from non-violent standpoint and from the international community point

of view is legal and supported. It is, therefore, clear armed struggle is permissible and legal form

of struggle supported by both non-violent groups and international community. Hence, it is time

to join either non-violent unarmed national liberation struggle or the armed national liberation

struggle. Take responsibility to join either of them instead of screaming in vain about

establishing “transitional government of Ethiopia.”

In front of our own eyes, our country is seized, raped and lands are taken in the name just

development, which gave no recognition to our people but recognition only to the right of might.

Under this condition, our people are put under the atrocious sufferings, being persecuted for

political convictions and evicted from their lands and exposed to poverty, hunger and starvation.

Hence, under this irredeemably evil and demonic fascist regime our people life is made worse

than death itself. Who will ever forget the shootings which killed so many of Oromo youths,

children, elderly, men and women? Who will ever forget the slaughter of unborn in the wombs

of their mothers with the mothers? Who will ever forget the concentration camps into which are

mercilessly thrown hundreds of thousands Oromo nationals who rejected and no longer wished

to submit to the Tigrayan fascist regime of injustice, dehumanization, oppression and

exploitation used as a tool of its domination? Who will ever forget the eviction of over two

million Oromo people from their own lands so as to distribute their lands among the Tigrayan

new settlers and other aliens? The fact is, this Tigrayan fascist regime is conducting a twin wars:

a war of robbery and a war of genocide-the secret wars against Oromiyaa and the Oromo people.

Hence, under this fascist regime Oromiyaa is in danger as a country so Oromo are in danger as a

people. We must stop these wars. We can only stop them in unity. It is only the Oromo

nationalists’ unity to stop this twin wars of robbery and genocide. This unity is also the key to

the success of the Oromo struggle for liberation. Here, Stewart Parnell’s call to the Irish

nationalists in 1879 for their unity is still valid and applicable to the Oromo nationalists. His

words read: “It is no use relying on the external power….You must only rely upon your own

determination….Help yourselves by standing together…strengthen those amongst

yourselves who are weak…, band yourselves together, organize yourselves…fight and you

must win.” Hence, the Oromo struggle needs the unity of Oromo patriotic, nationalists, and

revolutionary forces to intensify armed struggle to liberate Oromiyaa. In this case, Napoleon

Bonaparte has to say this: ‘That which has been overthrown by force can be re-established

only by force.” Again in this respect, the internationally well respected and highly admired

freedom fighter, Che Guevara has to say this: “I believe in the armed struggle as the only

solution for the people who fight to free themselves.” History has proven this to be true.

Again what is true is this: the Oromiyaa sovereignty and independence has been overthrown by

force. For this, these overthrown sovereignty and independence can only be restored to

Oromiyaa by force, by armed struggle.

Alliance formation with non-Oromo political organizations

Alliance formation involves organizations that have similar interests; similar or shared beliefs.

That is, it is the organizations which share common beliefs or goals that form alliances.

Historically alliances are formed in reaction to a foreign threat, increasingly, nations and

organizations use alliances as proactive tools to overcome the threats against them.

The formation of PAFD contradicts this criterion. The goal of the OLF is not to establish

“Transitional government of Ethiopia” with a fascist regime that is committing genocide against

the Oromo people. PAFD’s political interest and goal is to form “Transitional government of

Ethiopia with the blood-soaked Tigrayan genocidal regime. This regime has been and is taking

the ruthless genocidal onslaught of open and hidden violence on the Oromo people. In so doing,

it has soaked Oromiyaa in the blood of the Oromo people. Hence, the Oromo people and the

OLF do not have a shared beliefs with PAFD as with AFD before it. Hence, it is time to forget

about AFD and PAFD. This is unprincipled alliance and it must be dissolved or withdrawn

from. We do not see any nationality or nation in the Ethiopian empire that firmly,

unconditionally and openly standing with the Oromo people as the Oromo are under genocide

and as Oromo youths, children, men and women and as Oromo women with babies at their arms

have been murdered and as the unborn children in their mothers wombs with their mothers have

been slaughtered. Here what is clear is, while the Oromo people are facing this danger, we do

not see nations and nationalities in the Ethiopian empire standing should-to-should in mourning,

sympathy, solidarity, and friendship with the Oromo people carrying placards in the streets

echoing: “We Are All Oromo,” ”We Are All Oromians,” and “This is a genocide on all of us.”

We do not see such a solidarity. There is no organized or spontaneous opposition to this

genocide against the Oromo people from nations and nationalities in the Ethiopian empire.

Instead of showing solidarity with the Oromo people, they called upon the genocidist fascist

regime to “establish Transitional government of Ethiopia.” It is not long ago, to forget the

attacks on Paris and New York. When Paris was attack on November 13, 2015, the whole world

communities stood in solidarity with the people of France saying “We are all French!, We are

Parisians!”, “This is an attack on all of us!” Again in September 11, 2001, when New York was

attacked, the world communities stood with America people echoing “We all are Americans!”,

“We all are New Yorkers!”, “This is an attack on all of us!” But in the case of Oromo genocide

by the Tigrayan fascist regime, let alone the world communities at large but even those nations

and nationalities who live side by side with Oromo people, sharing the Oromo resources

including living in Oromiyaa among the Oromo people did not show such solidarity. The sad

thing is all of them called upon the fascist rime that has been committing genocide on the Oromo

people to form “Transitional government of Ethiopia” with. The saddest of all sad is, there are

some Oromo political leaders who have joined in calling upon the genocidist regime that is

committing genocide on their people to establish “Transitional government of Ethiopia” with.

The inconvenient truth is this: to call upon the fascist regime that has been committing genocide

against the Oromo people to establish “Transitional government of Ethiopia” with is to give

approval of its genocide. This regime has been razing hundreds of thousands of Oromo villages

to the ground and with that millions of our people have been slaughtered. Hundreds of

thousands have been falling to ground likes leaves from trees from the bullets of this fascist

regime. Hundreds of thousands have been disappeared; more hundreds of thousands have been

tortured and still under torture daily in the regimes’ concentration camps across the empire.

What is clear is, since it seized power in the empire in 1991, this fascist regime has been

shedding the blood of Oromo men, women and children turning into the rivers of blood in which

it has been swimming and bathing. For this regime, the blood-shedding of the Oromo men,

women and children is free. Despite all these, the organization PAFD and its founder Dawud

Ibsa have called upon this fascist regime to form “Transitional government of Ethiopia” with.

The intention and purpose of this is tantamount to aiding and comforting the fascist regime. In

legal terms, such undertaking is a treason. Such is a crime against humanity; and hence a crime

against the Oromo people. This action shows that for the PAFD the lives and the blood of the

Oromo youths, children, men and women do not matter.

Let me make it clear in regard to alliance. The OLF does not oppose alliance as such. It has a

long fraternal relationships with the colonized nations and nationalities. So, in principle the OLF

supports forming alliance with them. At the same time, it believes that alliance must grow out of

struggle. With this, it supports a voluntary and honest alliance of the peoples of the empire that

have similar political objective with the Oromo people but not for establishing “Transitional

government of Ethiopia.” The saddest and standing fact is this, PAFD called upon the genocidist

regime to form “Transitional government of Ethiopia” with. Hence, there is no utility for the

OLF to be a members of PAFD. The question is as to what is the moral story of forming alliance

with the organizations whose political interest is to establish “Transitional government of

empire” which contradicts the objective of the Oromo struggle. This is clearly not in interest of

the Oromo people and of the OLF. Hence, such a call for the formation of “Transitional

government of Ethiopia” is incompatible and in contradiction with the political objective of the

OLF. On the contrary to the PAFD’s political positon, here is what the OLF political program

has to say in Oromo language (Oromiffaa):

V. Sagantaa Qabsoo (A. Akeeka Siyaasaa): Hundeen akeeka qabsoo kanaa mirga hiree

murteeffannaa ummata Oromoo argamsiisuuf sirna Impaayera Itoophiyaa diiguudhaan,

Oromiyaa kolonii, hacuuccaa fi saaminsa jelaa bilisa baasuun mootummaa walaba

Oromiyaa dhaabee iggitii itti godhuu dha. Kunis kan mirkanaawu mirga qabutti dhimma

bahee ummatni Oromoo mootummaa walaba isaa labsachuu yookaan ummatoota biraa

wajjin tokkummaa politiikaa haaraa ijaarrachuuf murtii kennatuun ta’a (Political

Program of 1998, V. Sagantaa Qabsoo, A. Akeeka Siyaasaa).

Roughly translated as: The fundamental objective of this struggle is the realization of the right of

national self-determination for the Oromo people by dismantling the Ethiopian empire system,

by liberating Oromiyaa from colonization, oppression, and exploitation and by establishing and

guarantying the independent state of Oromiyaa. This can only be realized when the Oromo

nation uses its right in declaring its own independent government of Oromiyaa, or decide to

establish a new political unity with other nations (translation mine).

In the end, it is time for the Oromo patriotic forces, nationalists and revolutionaries to

immediately unite to dismantle the genocidal fascist Tigrayan colonialist regime. Without doubt,

the united forces of the Oromo nationals can defeat and eliminate this predatory, murderous and

barbarous fascist TPLF from Oromiyaa without outside help. Today, as it is clear to all, the

Tigrayan fascist regime is threatening the very existence of Oromo as a nation and Oromiyaa as

an integral country. In order to avert this, it is time for the Oromo political organizations to

urgently and immediately unite to save their people from annihilation and their country from

disintegration. It is no secret that the Oromo have no friends. They have no body on their side

except themselves. For this, in this war of national liberation struggle of ours, we have to rely

mainly on our own efforts. Our struggle is based on self-reliance- reliance on our own efforts,

on our own human and natural resources, on the creative power of the Oromo nationalists,

patriotic forces, and revolutionaries and of the entire Oromo nation. The Oromo people are a

great, patriotic, and heroic people. They do not pin their hopes on the lackeys of the colonial

regime for liberation and independence. Therefore, the time has come to recognize the false

prophets of federalization of empire- those leaders of disunity, rattle shaking, and the political

unfit leaders with split tongues. Empire federalization or empire democratization or establishing

“Transitional government of Ethiopia” are not the solution to the Oromo problem. In fact, they

are new schemes in which unsuspecting victims are influenced to accept as a solution. Primarily,

these schemes are ideologies directly aimed at the neutralization, disruption, misdirection and/or

division of the Oromo nationalists, revolutionaries, patriotic forces and the Oromo people in

order to maintain Ethiopian empire. Those Oromo nationals who have been misled to walk on

these dishonorable footsteps of those preachers of empire federalization or empire

democratization or establishing “Transitional government of Ethiopia” or with whatever their

mask is labeled with, should reject to walk on these roads. For to walk on such dishonorable

footsteps of those preachers would be to dishonor the memories of fallen Oromo heroes and

heroines in this war of national liberation struggle.

On the contrary, the solution to our problem comes only from our unity; from our political and

military strength; from our fight in unison. Hence in our unity, we honor the glorious history of

our freedom fighters that had fallen in this war of national liberation struggle. Today because of

them, we stand tall and proud. The Oromo people are united in the remembrance of those heroes

and heroines who fought with determination, grace, faithful, diligence, courage and bravery to

liberate Oromiyaa. In unity, our people are displaying their inherently unstoppable great power.

Unity is the soul and strength of Oromiyaa. It is, therefore, time for all Oromo nationals to

follow the suit. At the same time, it is also important for those Oromo nationals who have been

holding to the rope of the Ethiopian empire- “Transitional government of Ethiopia, to abandon it

and join the Oromo nation in unity for total independence of Oromiyaa.” Here, unity must be

based on clear objective, clear goal, and clear mission. That is, unity must be based on total

liberation and independence of Oromiyaa.

All in all, the focus of this article is on unity and leadership. The Oromo people are united from

corner to corner of Oromiyaa to break down the wall of colonial occupation together. Urban,

cites, towns, villages and countryside are all united against the genocidal fascist Tigrayan

regime. Oromo of all ages and sexes are united. In unity, they are making the enemy to shiver

and lose hope of controlling and raping Oromiyaa. Here what is clear is this: the fall and

disintegration of Tigrayan fascist regime is very imminent. The ground beneath its feet is

sinking; and sinking fast. And this fascist regime is now trembling and sinking with it. It can

collapse suddenly anytime. It is time to make fast its fall and disintegration. With these, its twin

wars of robbery and genocide will come to an end. For this, there is a need for national

leadership on the part of Oromo. But, the Oromo nationalists are not united and they do not

seem to be ready yet. As a result, there is no national leadership on the ground in Oromiyaa to

lead this national liberation struggle. Having this in mind, the Oromo people at home as well as

the Oromo nationals in the diaspora are asking question as to what will happen in Oromiyaa if

this fascist regime collapses overnight, in the absence of clear Oromo national leadership to

immediately takeover and lead the nation. Hence, the issue of leadership is very crucial and is in

the minds of the Oromo people. This is a great concern. What is clear is, the Oromo people and

nationalists do not have confidence in the current leadership based in diaspora. This is a

universal agreement among Oromo nationals. Everybody agrees that the current diaspora based

leadership must go and go now. It must give up leadership. Leadership must be based in the

country. For this, the diaspora based leadership must be replaced immediately without taking

time by the new generation of leadership based in Oromiyaa-leadership tested in the fire of

struggle.

Oromiyaa Shall Be Free!

About bilisummaa

Yaa rabbii ilmaan Oromoo haqa garsiisi warra haqa isaa ka dhabe karaa haqaatii fii gootummaan ifirratti falmatee deeffatu godhi!! Baha, Dhiha, Kaabaa fii kibbatti sagalee keenya tokko nuuf taasisi yaa waaqa!!

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