One article titled, “The Dreadful Mess of Negation of Negation in Oromo Politics: When Will It End?” was published few years ago here: ( http://gadaa.com/oduu/2494/
same opinion again and again for the problem is not yet resolved. It is like prescribing the same medication sgain and again for certain chronic disease. I now try here to summarize my idea in short and show what the common goal can be for the different Oromo ideological factions. Whoever is interested in my hitherto thoughts in detail, visit: https://unionoromia.wordpress.
To the Article
I read the article mentioned above and could comprehend that the “thesis” of Oromo struggle was presented as “only an independent Oromo state” to be the original objective. This thesis is in contrast to my hitherto opinions regarding the Oromo’s goal; i.e ‘Oromian union of free nations’, which I do consider as the current synthesis of the Oromo liberation movement. It is not bad that the article stressed the necessity of forging an independent democratic republic of Oromo state. Actually OLF’s aim was from the very beginning an inclusive ‘independence and union’ unlike TPLF’s objective of ‘federation or separation’. This goal of the OLF can be summarized as ‘a union of free nations’, which is almost the same to ‘multinational union’ or ‘self-rule and shared-rule’. OLF’s approach is optimal to the majority nation at the center of the state (to the Oromo nation), whereas that of the TPLF is good for the minority
nation at the periphery.
Actually such minority nations at the periphery are the ones, who need to excercise their right to slef-determination in order to either federate with or separate from the Oromo regional state. For the Oromo nation, freedom is automatically the same to independence, because it simply means a directly taking over of the centeral government; unlike the liberation of Eritrea or the eventual future separation of Tigrai. What the Oromo liberators need to do after occupation of Tulluu Daalatti palace should be just change the name Ethiopia to Oromia, if necessary. Even if we continue calling the union as Ethiopia, it will be de facto Oromia, as long as freedom and democracy are rule of the game and Afaan Oromo will be a working language of the union. Then, the Oromo of Finfinne are the nation who will give right to self-determination including and up to independence for these minority nations at the periphery; that means the Oromo will not be the one who are
going to demand this right from Bahirdar of Amhara or from Maqale of Tigrai.
NB: Oromia = formerly Ethiopia as defined here – http://finfinnetribune.com/
The problem I see in assertion of the article is that the author thinks with “parallel framework” on the contrary to my “series framework” thinking. Parallel and series here are the metaphors based on the two kinds of electrical circuits (parallel and series circuits). He is a classical example of those who have the hitherto “parallel way” of thinking regarding the arrangement of the three terms of the Oromo’s objective (autonomy, independence & union), the way of thinking which is applied by many members of Oromo polity, including those who produce conflicts where there is actually no conflict. That is why the author ends up accusing and blaming Oromo nationalists, who do emphasize the other two terms of the Oromo goal different from the independence term. According to his “parallel framework,” the following three terms of one Oromo objective are in an irreconcilable conflict, because he and his likes think that the three terms lead us
from the status quo to three different directions:
– plan to forge the true Oromo state’s autonomy in a federated democratic Oromia; that means regional state being dominated by a multinational federal government,
– original objective to establish an independent Gadaa republic of Oromo state, i.e Oromo state free from any non-Oromo centeral government,
– vision to achieve self-determination of the Oromo people with final objective of fostering ‘Oromian union of free nations’: be it in a form of smaller Oromia (excluding Abyssinia), in a form of the existing current Oromia, i.e. including all free nations in the country, or in a form of greater Oromia, including even the neighboring nations in the Horn such as Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia.
If we think in “parallel framework” like the author, we just end up thinking as if these three terms of the objective are exclusive to each other so that the conflict between the groups fighting for these terms of the objective, respectively, is already programmed. Nowadays, there are two groups of people in Oromia, who do want to convince and influence us to think in this “parallel framework.” Some do it unknowingly, like the author seems to be, and the others act intentionally to exploit this “conflicting situation” in order to sow a discord among the three groups of Oromo nationalists. Especially, it is good to know Woyane cadres’ loving this frame of thinking for they grasp how effective it is to divide Oromo nationalists.
I believe that the antithesis to the nonconstructive frame of thinking revealed in the article is my “series framework.” According to mine, the above three terms of the objective are not contradictory, but complementary, to each other. Even though unitarist Oromians’ objective does not include the right of Oromo region to exist as an independent country at all, the merits like justice, democracy and freedom, for which members of unitarist Oromian parties do struggle, are not against our national liberation movement. It seems that is why the parties, in which most of the unitarist Oromians are organized, are now tolerated by many Oromo nationals. Coming to the three important goals, which the author tries to present as if they are the thesis, anti-thesis and the synthesis to each other, they are which I put in a series circuit for they are three terms of one Oromo’s objective and need to be achieved one after another. I think autonomy is our
short-term goal, independence being middle term and union to be considered as the long-term aim. I believe all these three terms of one Oromo objective should be supported by most of Oromians.
To the Poll
Gadaa.com’s poll project in relation to the article seemed to be misleading. The question raised was, “What is the Oromo Cause for You?” and, of course, asking that is not bad. Nevertheless, the alternative answers given there as listed below are not actually exclusive options, among which we should choose. They are complementary options, which we can have at different situations and which we do support at different steps of our liberation journey. The alternatives given as the answer in the poll were:
– liberating Oromo region and form an ‘Oromian union of free nations’.
– liberating Oromo region in the form of an independent sovereign country (republic of Oromo state).
– establishing the self-rule of Oromo state in a democratically federated whole Oromia with strong multinational centeral government.
– winning the class struggle first and foremost, and last.
Gadaa.com would have asked better, for instance, if the question were like: “What Should Be the Final Objective” of the Oromo people for you? Then, we can know how many people really want to have as their final goal “only winning class struggle,” or “only self-rule of Oromo region” or “only republic of Oromo state,” instead of pushing step by step towards “union of free nations in Oromia,” which surely will be the end-goal of all citizens and he nations in this globalized world, where we do see even the whole of Africa trying to come together to forge an African federation.
According to the article and according to the diagram added from Gadaa.com, the thesis of the Oromo national liberation movement is independence, the antithesis is autonomy (federation) and the synthesis is self-determination (referendum). But, we could ask: where is the contradiction among these three concepts? The Oromo national liberation movement is a striving for self-determination to decide on our own future destiny. All nations can together fight to achieve national liberty and be in a position to exercise their right for referendum, after which we can vote on the issue: ‘free Oromo state within Oromian union’ vs ‘free Oromo state without Oromian union’ (this union being either that of only oppressed nations excluding Abyssinia, or inclusive of the only nations in the present Oromian geography, or including all nations in the Horn of Africa). Autonomy can be a mid-goal leading us to an independence; why do then the author and his likes try
to create a conflict among Oromo nationalists, where actually there is no viable conflict?
According to the result of the poll in Gadaa.com, the objective of “only winning class struggle” is not the option for the Oromo people and the aim of “only self-rule in a federation” seems to be a transitional solution, but can not be a preferred part of the referendum. The “referendum” would be expected between the two concepts: the goal of “free Oromo state without a necessary union” and “free Oromo state within Oromian union of nations.” It seemed to be a nice referendum, but is now good timing to argue on this two possible final goals? Is such untimely quarrel not what our enemies want, instead of fighting together against our enemy for our common national liberty, first to come to the position of making referendum, then to leave the decision for the stakeholder nations and try to live according to the result of the public verdict? Actually the Oromo just need to take over power in Tulluu Daalatti and the other nations have to go
for referendum and decide on the alternatives of living in union with the Oromo or choose their own independence from Oromo state. I personally do accept and respect the position of the author to pursue and realize the “Gadaa republic of Oromo state without any possible union”. But Oromian unionists do have also God-given right to advocate for a “free Oromo state within Oromian union of free nations.” To see which of the two would be our final destination, let’s leave the decision for the public at large of all concerned nations.
To the Synthesis
The very interesting message from the diagram of Gadaa.com is an attempt to show that Ethiopian nationalism = Oromian nationalism in the “synthesis” part of the diagram. Was this right/wrong? Or was it conditional? For Oromo nationalists, who are fighting for the “only isolated independence of Oromo region,” it is principally wrong. For those who do have autonomy as their final goal, it is absolutely right. For the Oromian unionists, I am sure it is only conditionally false/right; it can be right, if the unitarists can accept and respect Oromo nationalism and the union will be named as Oromia. After all, Oromo nationalism is a national issue, whereas Oromian nationalism is a regional issue. If it is in this sense of the unionists, then Oromian nationalism is not in contradiction with Ethiopian nationalism. We need to differentiate the Ethiopian nationalism according to the unitarist Habesha elites from this form of Oromian unionists’ version of
Ethiopian nationalism = Oromian nationalism. In this case, future citizens of the country will be Oromians; i.e Ethiopian Nationalism (thesis) + Oromo Nationalism (anti-thesis) = Oromian Nationalism (synthesis).
Another illustration was an attempt to show as if the democratization of Oromia = liberation of Oromo region. Is this possible? It is possible only if we take democratization of Oromia as a means to the liberation of Oromo region. Whether this means will be effective to lead us to the required end or not is another question. We can raise similar question regarding armed struggle, whether it is more effective than the democratization (non-violent) way to come to our goal. Otherwise, democratization of Oromia as a goal, disregarding liberation of Oromo region, the same view to that of the unitarist Oromians is not what Oromo nationalists should accept. Oromian unionists look at democratization of Oromia as a possible good tool to help us move to our objective. Furthermore, it is really good to differentiate and try to understand the position of the unitatrist Oromians, federalist Oromians, pro-independence Oromians and that of unionist Oromians. But for
God’s sake, where is the contradiction and why should there be an animosity among them, as far as they accept and respect the future public verdict of the Oromo people at large, when we get a chance to vote on their different options or on their different goals? The question we need to answer is, how should we approach and manage the parties? Here is my suggestion, taking the present Oromian political spectrum into consideration; let’s:
– cooperate with, but always check the unitarists as long as they fight against the existing sytem of domination.
– fight unconditionally against the hegemonist TPLF in unison.
– accept and support the federalists to move one step forward in our liberation journey; we know that Oromo nationalists did opt to take this term of the objective as their own goal based on the current objective reality in Oromia.
– respect and take the objective of the pro-independence fronts as a core-objective to move two steps forward.
– look at the unionists as farsighted, who are ready to move beyond only achieving national Oromo state’s independence up to a regional Oromian union of free nations for a common benefit.
I do hope that we will come slowly, but surely, to the position of clarity as far as the Oromo’s cause, aim or question is concerned. The metaphor I brought here, putting the different terms of Oromo’s objective in a form of either “parallel circuit” or “series circuit” can make immense difference in our way of thinking and may make big effect on our contribution to the Oromo national liberation movement. Putting the three terms of the goal (autonomy, independence and union) in a “parallel circuit” makes the three terms of the objective to be seen as if they are very contradictory destinations from which we must choose one. Arranging them in a “series circuit” as if we can achieve them one after another (first achieve the autonomy, then an independence and then further a union), makes it clear, so we can see that there is no conflict among the three terms of the only one objective. I hope in due time, all of the concerned Oromo
nationalists will start to think in this form of “series framework” instead of thinking in “parallel framework”. For further clarity, I would like to put my own version of thesis, antithesis and synthesis of the hitherto effective political concepts as follows:
– thesis (original objective): unconditional and exclusive independent republic of Oromo state
– antithesis: unconditional and only unitary Oromia (unitarist Oromians’ position)
– synthesis: Oromo’s objective with its three terms (short-term is autonomy, middle-term being independence, and long-term can be a union of free nations)
Now, it will be the good time for all Oromo nationalists to agree on accepting the above mentioned synthesis part of our national liberation movement as our common ground, rather than opting to the possibility of rallying only behind the original objective and to continuously confuse the Oromo mass. Otherwise, the poll in Gadaa.com is designed based on thinking with “parallel framework” so that we are obliged to choose between the autonomy, independence and the union of free nations as the only Oromo cause. Actually, most of the Oromo nationalists seem to support all the three terms of the objective as our short-term, middle-term and long-term goals, respectively, when we do think in a “series framework.” It is not bad to observe in the poll that the majority of the voters concentrated on and voted for the “independent republic of Oromo state” as a preferable Oromo cause, which I also do think is the core and the very secure form of our
sovereignty. We know that autonomy is only the temporary solution and, of course, a union of free nations will happen only after the securing of our independence, when we give our verdict based on our free will to achieve a better benefit in the future, that is why such a union is a long-term project. The only bad thing is, when we start to look at these three terms of our objective as if they are contradictory to each other, which is actually the way of thinking we do observe in the article mentioned. Otherwise, it is good to know and to keep in mind that nowadays there are four groups of Oromo politicians:
– unitarist Oromians, who do still support the project of one Oromia, disregarding the existence of an autonomous Oromo region as a country.
– federailst Oromians, who do have an autonomous Oromo region in a federal democratic Oromia with strong multinational centeral government as their goal of struggle.
– pro-independence Oromians, who do struggle for the core-objective, an independent republic of Oromo state, as their final goal.
– unionist Oromians, who do struggle for a union of free nations in the region as their lasting goal.
Here come the two questions yet to be answered: are there really many Oromo, who want to limit the only one Oromo’s objective to the “only unitary Oromia”, to the “only federal Oromia” or to the “only independent Oromo state”? Are really the above mentioned unitarist Oromos, federalist Oromos and liberator Oromos against the noble cause of the unionists? Last but not least, the picture of the cars in gridlock (the Oromo national liberation movement in a self-imposed gridlock) shown on the front page of Gadaa.com was very wonderful picture. It described well the chaotic situation of our real and current political movement. It helped me feel and be really surprised by thinking how passive we are at least not to discuss the issue intensively and get out of the gridlock. May Waaqa help us at least to talk and write, even if we do lack a sort of stamina to act and behave in promoting the Oromo liberation movement. Finally, I would like to say
that Oromo’s objective is, in short: only one goal with three terms, i.e a short-term to achieve autonomy — a mid-term to forge independence (the core-objective) — and a long-term to foster a union of free nations. Autonomy is only the mid-goal to the core-objective; union is the post-core-objective arrangement for the sake of a possible mutual benefit, based on the future free will of nations. A big nation like the Oromo can only benefit from such a union. We need to have no illusion and no confusion on the only one Oromo’s objective with three terms to be realized one after another. In short, the synthesis of the different goals among our nationals is ‘Oromian union of free nations’, which can be boldly told to both internal Oromian community and international community. I believe, hope and love to see that we will be out of the self-imposed-gridlock in such new approach. May Waaqa bless and help us!