May 25, 2023
What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pike, a well-known American author, poet and jurist
Galaasaa Dilboo Leenjisoo Diigaa
Damisee K. Sardaa Zarihuun Wadaajoo
Seenaan gootootaa Yoomiyyuu bara baraan jiraatu onnee dhalootaa dhaloota dhufu hundaa keessa jiraata.
Dammituu Gabbitaa ‘Barana Hin Baatu’ New Oromoo music Video 2018 – YouTube
These are the Oromo heroes who had been the staunchest foes of the Abyssinian imperial colonial occupation of Oromia. They fought against it. Throughout their lives, they had been fighting with selflessness, courage, and heroism and willingly sacrificing themselves, risking their lives for the cause of their country, Oromia, and the Oromo people against the Abyssinian fundamentalist, fanatics, extremists, and zealot settler colonial oppressive occupation, successive regimes, in Oromia. And that they are the Oromo patriots and the immortal hero of the Oromo people.
Here are great Oromo nationalists who loved nothing more than the liberation of Oromia and its people. They stood up firmly and fought for the rights of the Oromo people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination. They are among the greatest Oromo revolutionary nationalist Freedom Fighters of Oromia. They fought against all odds and never gave up fighting for their people until death took them away while in the struggle.
Leenjiso Diigaa is a historical heroic figure who fought against the Abyssinian wars of conquest of Oromia, specifically in Arsii, led by Menelik in the 1880s. He humiliated Menelik of Abyssinia numerous times in the military engagement. Leenjiso was a leader with vision and values. In the fight against expansionist colonialist king Menelik II of Abyssinia into Arsiiland, he got everyone in Arsii united with a common purpose and a common cause, the defense of Arsiiland. It has been said that Leenjiso was the greatest military strategist of the time. He was a determined and ferocious fighter and leader who fought against the Abyssinian colonialist war for the colonization of Oromia. He fought in defense of his country, Oromia, Arsii region. He fought on horseback with a spear and shield against Menelik who was armed with the modern European weapons. At one military engagement, he chased Menelik and his army as far as Mojo, in Tuulamaa, fifty seven kilometers from Finfinnee. He was a specially gifted and capable political and military leader.
Leenjiso Diigaa is the most loved, adored, and admired military leader who unflinchingly fought against Abyssinia in Arsii. For his heroism, it is common for Arsii Oromo elders to bless their children, saying, may God give you Leenjisoo’s Heart, Leenjisoo’s mind, Leenjisoo’s Hands, Leenjisoo’s strength, Leenjisoo’s Eyes, and Leenjisoo’s Ears, Leenjisoo’s wisdom, Leenjisoo’s knowledge, and Leenjisoo’s love of his country. In Arsii, his name and deeds have been instilled in every generation to carry on. He left for all the generations to come the legacy of determination, commitment, bravery, courage, and principled political and military leadership. For the Oromo people as a whole, especially for the Arsii Oromo, Leenjiso Diigaa has remained the symbol of heroism and bravery ever since the beginning of the Oromo resistance against the Abyssinian war of conquest of Oromia a century and a half ago to the present the Oromo national liberation struggles for the independence of Oromia. Ironically, Abiy Ahmed erected Statue for the Menelik fascist exterminator of five million Oromo but not for Leenjiso Diigaa, the great fighter who fought Menelik Haile Melekot, King of Abyssinia.
Galaasaa Dilboo is the spirit of the Oromo national liberation struggle for independence. He had been fighting for the independence of Oromia, for justice, freedom, liberty, and dignity of his people living in villages and valleys, in plains, the hills, and mountains of Oromia living among his people for twenty-two years. He has been a man of multi-capabilities. He is a freedom fighter, a politico-military leader, and a wise man. He is a man of futuristic ideas and present actions. He is a visionary leader. Under his leadership, OLF had been organized on and maintained principles, objectives, goals, values, visions, and beliefs as all his predecessors had done. Galaasaa Dilboo is a patriotic and revolutionary nationalist. He is a man of principle and never changes as political winds and hurricanes change.
After the death of the whole leadership of the OLF at Shinnigga on April 15, 1980, he was elected as a genius leader to save the OLF; indeed, he rescued the OLF and the struggle for liberation from disintegration at this critical time. Under his leadership and other nationalists, Oromia was re-born, the Oromiffaa language became a working language, and the Qubee Oromoo alphabet came into being.
Damisee K. Sarda has been a man of the highest moral character and compassion and among the most trusted leaders in the Oromo national liberation struggle. Throughout his entire life of struggle for the independence of Oromia and [for] the freedom and dignity of his Oromo people, he demonstrated a noble and incorruptible character and has been an exceptional leader in the fight. He was jailed and tortured in prison cells of the Derge Military regime of the Ethiopian empire for eleven and half years until 1991. He is physically the victim of the Ethiopian empire’s savage force, violence, brutality, cruelty, and sadism. He had never compromised on the goal, the objective, and the principle of the Oromo struggle for independence. Immediately after he was set free from prison, he rejoined the national liberation struggle and had been fighting for the liberation of Oromia until his last breath; until death took him away this year from the liberation struggle of his people.
Whenever the issues of negotiations arise, Damisee always says the ABO has a political program to fight for the inalienable right of self-determination of the Oromo people from alien power, free from foreign pressure and influence not to participate in the political system of the empire under foreign pressure.
Zarihun WadaaJoo is a great nationalist musical artist. He is one of the iconic figures of resistance in the Oromo struggle. He embodies the political consciousness of the Oromo people; he is the embodiment of the Oromo unity. He always stands and advocates for the unity of the Oromo people in the struggle and the liberation of Oromia. Through his musical art, he aspires for political and ideological resurrection and rebellion against the occupation. He used his musical art to denounce institutionalized Amhara and Tigriyan colonial rules, administration, brutality, oppression, and the victimization of the Oromo people. Through music, he called upon the Oromo nationals for resistance and affirmation of the national identity of the Oromo people. Zarihun Wadaajoo is the Bob Marley of Oromia. One can recall Bob Marley’s artistic music “Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right, don’t Give Up the Fight, never give up the Fight,” encouraging people to take a stand and fight against colonialism and injustice. Indeed, Zarihun as a musical artist has been using music to arise people to fight colonialism and injustice like Bob Marley. For his patriotic nationalist stand against the TPLF rule, the TPLF jailed and tortured him; by torturing him, the TPLF damaged his kidney and other parts of his body, which eventually became the cause of his death. Music is the most powerful voice for struggle, and so is the Oromo people and their national liberation struggle.
Now let us consider the question of Negotiation with Abyssinia. The Oromo negotiation with Abyssinia began in the 19th century, a century and a half ago, by the Oromo kingdoms with Menelik of Abyssinia. That negotiation resulted in the colonization of Oromia. It was a failed negotiation, a negotiation that humiliated the Oromo people. In 1991, at the London Peace Conference, OLF entered into negotiations with the TPLF and EPLF under the auspices of US. The London Peace Conference negotiation failed to meet the Oromo goal, for which the struggle has been waged since the colonization of Oromia. Again, in 1992, OLF and TPLF negotiated on the encampment of the OLA, once more under the patronage of the US government. It also ended with thirty thousand OLA combatants’ annihilation by the TPLF. Not only these, but also in November 2021, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) established an alliance with the TPLF government by establishing The United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces (UFEFCF). The UFEFCF miserably failed before even taking place. And yet, another negotiation with the Ethiopian colonial regime took place last month in Tanzania. Both met for the first time and for the second time, both have yet to meet again. This negotiation would be an ignominious defeat and a cataclysmic failure in the political negotiation again if OLA agreed with the Ethiopian imperial colonial government to surrender the fight. The regime’s purpose of negotiation is to break down or to obstruct Oromo national unity by offering the group a leeway to give up the struggle for independence and Oromo national unity. Ever since the 19th-century negotiation with Abyssinia, the Oromo elites have been recycling the failed negotiations we have been experiencing. It is the repeat of history all over again. The question we have now to address is why in the twenty-first century, we are still repeating failed political practices of our past that began with the Kingdoms of Oromo that made the Oromo people feel very ashamed of it ever since.
Another question that needs consideration is right to self-determination. OPDO says that the Oromo people have already achieved the right to self-determination, OLA claims it struggles for the right of self-determination of the Oromo people, and everybody proposes self-determination as a solution to the Oromo problem with the Ethiopian empire. But nobody says what the right to self-determination entails. It is a vague and a confusing phrase for many, and for the pan-Ethiopianist Oromo, it is a way to confuse and mislead the uninformed ones. The phrase right to self-determination has two different meanings. One is internal self-determination for national oppression, and the other is external self-determination for colonized people.
Internal self-determination refers to the freedom of peoples within states to realize a democratic form of governance. It is the right of oppressed people to govern themselves within the states and without outside interference. On the other, external self-determination says the right to self-determination is a right of people to independence from colonial rule; it is the right to create their independent sovereign from foreign occupation and a right to a sovereign and independent state. The question now is which form of self-determination did OLA at the Tanzania negotiation table propose to the colonial regime of the Ethiopian empire?
Certainly, proposing self-determination as a solution to the Oromo problem alone is not enough. To do so, it is simply tantamount to hiding behind the mask of self-determination because the distinction between the two forms of right to self-determination should be made clear when proposing a solution to the Oromo cause. The Oromo question is a colonial question; hence at the negotiation table, it has to be the point of negotiation, as such.
The third question is whether a negotiation from a weakness can be successful. The living fact shows that no negotiation has ever been successful from the state of lacking strength. Negotiation is successful only from strength. In the absence of this, however, any negotiation with the colonial empire state is as futile as with Dawud Ibsa and his cohorts’ long-known failed negotiation with the enemy of the Oromo people and their struggle for independence, the rulers of the empire, and its alliances. Hence, any clique negotiation without the support of the Oromo nationalists and the Oromo people, as we have seen for years, will fail. And so this too will be by surrendering to the Ethiopian empire in the name of “true federalism and transitional government.”
Finally, the Oromo nation has lost thousands of freedom fighters and leaders in this struggle. The Oromo freedom fighters and the Ethiopian Empire colonial occupation forces throughout the occupation of Oromia have been engaging in direct military fighting. Here, what one has to recognize is that all the freedom fighters throughout the history of colonization fought for the liberation of their countries and rose not only against the colonial occupation but also against their local stooges and collaborators who subvert the national unity fighting against their people in alliance with the colonizers as well as neutral onlookers, so should the Oromo freedom fighters. The stooges and collaborators with the enemy are a disease to the national unity and the struggle for the right of self-determination of the peoples throughout history; one should not be blind to their monstrosity or lack sympathy for their victims. As it is often said, unless we hate what we are not, we cannot love what we are. So unless we hate the federalization of the Ethiopian colonial empire, we cannot love the struggle for the independence of Oromia.
Furthermore, No liberation fighter has ever liberated a country while embracing the stooges and collaborators of the colonialist regime and colonial occupation. Such has been the problem within the Oromo struggle for independence of Oromia. The Oromo nationalists and people, to liberate Oromia, need to overcome the politics of stooges and collaborators and uphold the five pillars of struggle. First national unity, which means oneness in the goal and objective. Second, clear objectives, clear goals, and a clear mission. Third, abandon unprincipled alliance; fourth, national leadership accepted and respected by the whole Oromo people and fifth, strengthen both in quality and quantity of the Oromo Liberation Army. In closing, with Dr. Haile Fida’s words, the conscious, organized, armed, and struggling people will always win. These were the roads taken by the uncompromising Oromo freedom fighters, the great Oromo patriotic generation since the colonization of Oromo.
Glory to the fallen Oromo Patriotic freedom fighters of Oromia!
Oromiyaa Shall be free!