Oduu Haaraya

Unsolicited Proposition to the Oromo Diasporas Political Organizations:


Re-invent Yourselves!

By: Diida Borbor

March 17, 2016

As you know and feel, in Oromia, the glaring disparity, in terms of economic, social and

political entitlements, between Oromo on one hand and colonial settlers, economic

migrants and environmental refugee drifters on the other hand, is getting increasingly

difficult to stomach to the younger Oromo generation. While the children of settlers

advance within the bureaucracy, business and political domain, Oromo graduates are

deprived of such opportunities. Sadly, Oromo, in their own God given land, are

becoming outcastes and are more and more relegated to the status of 4th or 5th class


Inevitably, there is a limit for everything and Oromo had enough and the history is

unfolding in front of our eyes – the gallantry of Oromo youth on hand and the savagery

of the TPLF on the other hand.

So, ever since the now 130 days old Oromo resistance irrupted and the barbaric and

racist tyrannical regime unleashed indescribable brutality against our people, Oromo

hoped that the Oromo diaspora political organizations would rescue them from the

savagery visited upon them. As the salvation never materialized, some of us are now

asking ourselves a burning question as to what the diaspora political organizations must

do to be relevant. In this context, the current Oromo national uprising started by

students and more and more joined by the masses has proved two points:

• First, the barbarity, brutality and savagery of the medieval proportion carried out

by TPLF kleptocratic thugs against unarmed Oromo protestors have been made

abundantly clear for the world to see – “the emperor has no cloth”. As a matter of

fact, from the inception we have known that the TPLF rebels turned out that they

were not freedom lovers at all; they were extremist thugs and violent criminals

with entrenched clientelism. As a result of such cronyism and racist nature of the

TPLF, there is not even a faint of glimmer of peaceful resolution in Ethiopia in the

distant future.

• Second, despite trumped up narratives of certain organizations, the Oromo

armed resistance is missing in action. Correspondingly, in terms of armed

struggle, the current ongoing uprising has showed that the “emperor has no

cloth”. As a result, our people are as defenceless as a lamb before the wolf.

Hence, no amount of damage control can hide this fact and trying to explain the

obvious by saying “… tooftaa ofi qabaa”, fools no one.

Some of us used to believe that qabsoo can be directed via remote control. However,

the 2015 Oromo uprising has proved that was a farce. Why? Because, qabsoo belongs

to the masses and the masses have taken the matter in their own hands. And, everyone

asks: where are the so-called qabasaawaa? Why do they bark and never bite? For

those who have eyes to see, the masses have shown that “emperor has no cloth”. So,

what are the choices left for diaspora political organizations? How can they find their

mojo and come up with leadership and organizational enablers to be relevant, once

again, in the Oromo national struggle? Although, given their account over the years I’m

somewhat misanthropic, I would like to give them a chance and accordingly take the

liberty of proposing the following 12 pointers for their considerations:

• First: carryout organization audit – about the health of your organizations – in

terms of leadership, organizational capacities and capabilities – be honest with

your members and the Oromo general public. Brutal honesty is demanded.

This is very important because the truth will set you free and help you understand

your current situation and prepare you for a vetting process to arrive at realistic

ways to contribute to the advancement of the Oromo national struggle.

One must know by now that Oromo are not going to be duped or taken in by

press releases, trumped up narratives and waving banners at someone’s events

and then posting it on YouTube with the intention of bamboozling the

unsuspecting viewers that they were the organizers of the event(s). This qurcii

syndrome has to end. As you know qurciis get married at someone’s wedding.

• Second: accept the fact that you’re diaspora organizations. So, accepting this

reality can afford you abundant opportunity to do what is possible and practical –

playing a positive supportive role of your Oromo compatriots back home. It’s

never too late.

• Third, admit the fact that real qabsoo is in Oromia, not in diaspora. This is

also very important and realizing this basic fact will help you reorient your frame

of mind and prepare you to play a positive supporting role of your compatriots

back home, instead of playacting and fantasizing about qabsoo in all the wrong


• Fourth: concede the fact that the masses are the one leading the now 130

days old Oromo national resistance. “Nutti duuban jira” and “Nutti jaare” is not

going to fool anyone. Not a day passes before some uninformed trying to

convince us that actually that is the case.

• Fifth: acknowledge the fact that one cannot play leadership role via “remote

control” and absentee leadership has no place in national liberation struggle.

For a national liberation struggle to succeed, the leadership must take roots –

embedded – in the country, and moreover it cannot be directed via remote


• Six: don’t try to highjack qeerro’s leadership by trying to infiltrate or by

creating a parallel group to hoodwink Oromo in general and Qeerro in particular.

The introduction of certain banner at recent protests in Oromia and the so called

Qeerro support group in diaspora are some of the sinister moves on the part

those who try to highjack the movement. As things stand today, the diaspora

political organizations don’t have a good track record and even if they succeed in

high-jacking the movement, all they can do is bring it down to their own level –

impotent, exhausted, stunted, disorganized, conflicted, superficial, unreceptive

and inept. So, do the right thing.

• Seven: associate with the right people – if the old guards want to be relevant

once again in the Oromo national struggle, it must stop appealing to the worst in

us and instead make genuine efforts to appeal to the best in us. For the past 25

years, the diaspora political organizations have been doing the same thing over

and over and over again and yet expecting different result. The result speaks for

itself. The main reason for this is that they chose to surround themselves with

uninformed, incompetent, inexperienced, no-do-gooders and all mouth and no

brain masquerading as Oromo representatives-cum-qabsaawaas and causing

havoc within community organizations. If this is not a lack of saafuu, tell me what


The old saying, “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are” also

holds true for leadership. Leaders are judged by their followers. Both must have

leadership skills, abilities, commitment, emotional intelligence, competencies and

experience needed to meet organizational challenges. Specifically, they must


o Good character, reputable, honest and trustworthy.

o Ability to build and maintain relationships – adequate people skills.

o Knowledge and experience.

Therefore, those who speak in the name of Oromo must be reputable, respected

and qualified individuals. There is no room for drunkards, drug pushers, habitual

liars, social misfits and disreputable individuals. Such personalities only bring

shame and disgrace to the organization and to Oromo. Oromo deserve better.

• Eight: stop cannibalizing each other – it is time to move on – past petty division

and past gridlock – as the cost of not doing is steep. Even if you don’t want to

cooperate with each other, then avoid sabotaging and cannibalizing one another

and instead direct your energy solely on defeating the enemy.

• Nine: stop the messiah syndrome that professes only your organization is the

only way to bilisummaa. There are so many complementary roles different

organizations can play.

• Ten: stop behaving like travel agents – the role of leadership is not like that of

travel agents – sending people to places they have never visited themselves. The

role of leadership is similar to that of tour guides – taking people to places that

they themselves have visited before – by leading and taking charge.

• Eleven: re-invent yourselves so that you can be relevant to the Oromo national

struggle once again. In this regard, you could engage in advocacy work similar to

but not limited to what OMN, OSA, Oromo communities, etc. are doing – playing

a supportive role of their Oromo compatriots back home. Such vicious circle is

not easy to break. It can be done and so need to look back on the wasted years.

However, our work is cut out for us.

• Twelve: pass on the torch, formally, to the new generation. The old guards,

(individually or collectively) after further reflecting and vetting, must be duty-
bound to:

o accept the fact that over the years they have done what they could;

o acknowledge that the time for generational change is long overdue; and

o agree to officially pass on the torch to the hashtag generation.

This way, the old guards can get out of the way and afford the new generation

the opportunity to organize itself the way it see it fit to further advance the Oromo

national struggle. After all, the future and Oromia belong to the new generation.

Thus, the hashtag generation must go to Baalee and re-launch the struggle

rather than waiting for the old leencha that fled via Boolee to go back and finish

the job for it.

Finally, the Diasporas must hold /bring these organizations to account whenever they

deceive their compatriots back home. No more deceits such as: “leenchii bosonaa …

dhufaa jira”, “nutti duuban jira”, etc. be tolerated and no more looking the other way.

Therefore, the Diasporas have a solemn responsibility to speak truth to the “powers” so

that our compatriots back home are not duped. It’s the right thing to do; and it’s in our

collective interest do so.

Oromia Shall be Free!

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