Oromia Today

Independent Voice of Oromia

Oromo never desired others land passing over their own country

By Ibsaa Guutama   10 April 2019
OLF is the first-born Oromo political organization. It was founded to free Oromiyaa from Ethiopian colonialism and establish independent Democratic Republic Oromiyaa. Since then, as Oromo struggle advanced with strength much change has taken place in the empire. Today except for colonial mentality colonial relations are no more what they were at the beginning. But Ethiopian government with its symbols and insignia's that reminds more than hundred years of subjugation is still in power. The jarring cacophony of the past is still practiced by those that have nostalgia for Nafxanyaa days. [More]

Ethiopia's transition to democracy has hit a rough patch. It needs support from abroad

Source: LATIMES.COM
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-horne-ethiopia-abiy-ahmed-democracy-20190408-story.html

By FELIX HORNE APRIL 8, 2019

But the progress has created new challenges. Ethiopia’s rapid transition away from authoritarianism unleashed waves of dissatisfaction and frustration that had been crushed by the ruling party for decades. If Abiy (Ethiopians are generally referred to by their first names) can’t maintain law and order and come up with a plan to address the causes of that anger without repressive measures, his country’s considerable gains will be threatened. [More]

OROMO CONSENSUS: UNITY MAKES STRENGTH

8 April 2019
By Leenjiso Horo*
However, the Oromo people never gave up the struggle to put their house in order. Since colonization, they struggled in various parts of Oromiyaa. Among the many to be recalled are: the establishment of Western Oromiyaa Federation and its application for recognition to the League of Nations through the British, the Raya-Azabo resistance, the Macca-Tuulama Self-Help Association, and the Baale resistance movement- these were among the many resistance movements. These resistances gave birth to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the pan-Oromo political organization, in 1973. This was the first rise of the Oromo people from their fall of the late 19th century. The Oromo people rallied around the OLF and made their clear determination to rid Oromiyaa of Ethiopian colonialism, and to build a proud, dignified, free, independent, and sovereign Oromo nation and state. This is the Oromo consensus. With this, the Oromo struggle marched forward. [More]

No Change Unless Old Ethiopia Mentality is Changed

8 April 2019
By Ibsaa Guutama
History of Itophiyaa of the past 150 years we are frequently lectured by Ethiopianist politicians and clerics do not include Oromo; if assumed to including it is misconstrued. Colonizer and colonized have different histories, though taking place at the same time. One is of defeat, shame, enslavement and suffering; the other is of victories, pride, slave driving and happiness. Telling both situations will make it true history and help us to alleviate one and correct the other rather than falsely telling sharing the glories of togetherness in building Ethiopia over and over. The Oromo say, “Fooling the wise is seeking hatred”. [More]

Oromo elites are shunning initial Kaayyoo of the nation as articulated by OLF without replacing it with any viable alternative

By Ibsaa Guutama

23 March 2019

Oromo elites are shunning initial Kaayyoo of the nation as articulated by OLF without replacing it with any viable alternative. This raises a question if they are accepting that Oromo were and will be self-reliant independent nation? So far it is only struggle under that kaayyoo, that could enable them to reach the level from where they could hit their goal. Without reaching that level it will be difficult for nation and country to get attention and respect for one’s rights and interest. It is because of that initial kaayyoo that the enemy is campaigning against OLF even without doing anything and continuously keep on cursing any Oromo alleging for being OLF. [More]

Barara is not Addis Ababa

By Guluma Gemeda PhD
University of Michigan-Flint
25.11.2018
Recently, unpublished, 49-page document entitled: ‘Addis Ababa is Barara, and Barara is Addis Ababa’ has circulated on the internet. The name of the author(s) is not indicated but an organization called Amhara Professionals Union (Amba) claims to have sponsored it. The purpose of this document, as indicated in its introduction, is to counter a draft law prepared by the Ethiopian Council of Ministers’ regarding the special interests of the Oromia regional state in Addis Ababa (Finfinne). Although these rights are guaranteed in the 1995 Ethiopian constitution, the paper rejects them because Addis Ababa/Finfinnee is historically not an Oromo land. It argues that Addis Ababa was founded not even by Emperor Menilek II in 1887, but it was built as Barara by King Dawit (r. 1380-1412) in the fourteenth century.[1] However, this town was destroyed during the wars of Ahmad (Gragn) ibn Ibrahim in the 1530s. [More]

A Response to Dr Zelalem Atlee’s attack on the Oromo

A Response to Dr Zelalem Atlee’s attack on the Oromo:

(http://abbaymedia.info/oromo-fundamentalism-the-septic-abortion-of-ethnic-politics-zelalem-attlee-md-mhcm-drph/)

By Imiru Itana

16/11/2018

I wrote this article in response to Dr. Zelalem Atlee's statement posted on AbayMedia on 28 September 2018 as linked above. It is appalling to read the jargon written by a person who is a Medical and Philosophy doctorate holder as posted on AbayMedia but who has exposed himself as no better than an empty vessel. It is such types of pseudo-Ethiopianists who claim to have achieved the highest educational status in the society but never recognize the prevailing fundamental problems of the peoples of Ethiopia. Dr. Zelalem and his likes want to carry forward the chronic problems that were created by their forefathers as if they are good heritage. [More]

Article 39: Oromo Nationalism, Abyssinian Exceptionalism & Expectations Raised by Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Premiership (Part II continued)

Article 39: Oromo Nationalism, Abyssinian Exceptionalism & Expectations Raised by Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Premiership (Part II continued)

Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor

25 July 2018

It is important to note here that the Oromo have never opposed the Abyssinian elites’ interest in preserving their own heritage. What they have always sought has been the acknowledgment that their political history is different from the Abyssinians’ autocratic heritage. They want the end of the Abyssinian elites’ interference in Oromo affairs and the preservation of the Oromo language, culture, and heritage. Article 39(2) states that “Every Nation, Nationality, and People in Ethiopia has the right to speak, write, and develop its own language; it also guarantees the right to express, develop, and promote its own culture and preserve its history.” Those who want to annul Article 39 want to deny the Oromo and other peoples these rights altogether and revert to the pre-1974 imperial system. That is tantamount to the declaration of a war. [More]

Article 39, Oromo Nationalism, Abyssinian Exceptionalism & Expectations Raised by Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Premiership (Part II)

Article 39, Oromo Nationalism, Abyssinian Exceptionalism & Expectations Raised by Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Premiership (Part II)

Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor

10 July 2018

In this part of the article, I will first explore the reasons that gave the myth prominence in the anti-Article 39 discourse of the Habeshaelite. Secondly, I will define the myth, and contextualize the contradictions of its assumptions with the actual history of the modern Ethiopian empire state as well as with the fundamental human rights coded as Article 39. Finally, I will assess briefly the Habeshaelite’s understanding of Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s concept of “meddemer” (“added-ness”) vis-à-vis Article 39. I will argue that, for the present Ethiopian regime, the only means to solve the present crisis is not the rejection but an unreserved implementation of Article 39 and acknowledgment of the injustices committed by the Abyssinian ruling elite in the making of the current Ethiopian state. [More]

Article 39, Oromo Nationalism, Abyssinian Exceptionalism & Expectations Raised by Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Premiership: Part I

Article 39, Oromo Nationalism, Abyssinian Exceptionalism & Expectations Raised by Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Premiership

Part I

Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor

8 July 2018

Ethiopia is in the middle of one of the many crises it had faced since its creation as an empire at the end of the nineteenth century. During the last four years, its inhabitants have been demanding persistently fundamental changes. But, the changes sought by different groups are different, and in some cases contradictory. Most significantly, the change for which the Oromo struggle and the change the Habesha (Abyssinian) elite seek are basically different. The fundamental rights which the Oromo have been demanding are universal and were endorsed by the 1991 Transitional Charter (TC). The national liberation fronts that, including the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), defeated the military regime and established the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE), accepted the Charter as a last resort to avoid a chaotic disintegration of Ethiopia and create conditions for an orderly transition to a future which will be determined by the people themselves. A period of transition of two years was designed as a gateway to a more promising future (TC, Article 2).[1] However, the envisaged transition to a democratic future was derailed by the EPRDF regime soon after the Charter was signed and OLF was pushed out of the transitional government. The contents of Article 2 of the Transitional Charter were included as Article 39 of the EPRDF Constitution of 1995. However, the Ethiopian peoples have not been allowed to exercise most of the rights the Article endorses. The contents of the Article: [More]

RESPONSE OF THE OROMO LIBERATION FRONT TO PM ABIY’S CALL

Source:www.oromoliberationfront.net

25 June 2018
RESPONSE OF THE OROMO LIBERATION FRONT TO PM ABIY’S CALL

Our struggle is to secure our people’s inalienable right to national self-determination. Here, our first task is to end occupation, oppression, and exploitation of our nation and homeland. Having accomplished that, the second task is to persuade our people to establish their own legitimate government. It is this government of the people that can negotiate on behalf of our people as to whether to establish a political unity with other nations and nationalities or go their own way to establish their own independent state of Democratic Republic of Oromia. The choice will be decided by the people themselves. [More]

The History and Politics of the Qubee Alphabet

The History and Politics of the Qubee Alphabet 
Guluma Gemeda Professor, PhD
1 July 2018

Although it is widely utilized only for a generation, qubee has a long history and a remarkable success. It was first used in the early 1840s to translate sections of the Bible into Afaan Oromo and to write its grammar.[2] But the project was discontinued after King Menilek annexed the Oromo territories in the west, south, and southeast in the 1880s. Although some European scholars wrote some texts in Afaan Oromo and published dictionaries using the Latin alphabet, no major work was completed at home between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After long interruption, the search for an appropriate alphabet started by Oromo students in Europe in 1968.[3]After foundational works were completed, the Oromo students’ study group adopted qubee in 1972. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Oromo Liberation Front started to use qubee for communication and literacy work at its base and among Oromo refugees in neighboring counties. This led to the decision by Oromo scholars and politicians to officially adopt the use of qubee in 1991. Since 1991, qubee is used in schools in Oromia and by Oromo communities in diaspora. The current development of Afaan Oromo literature is the result of the search for a suitable alphabet the language. [More]

Walelign Mekonnen, the Question of Nationalities and Ethiopia’s Persistent Crisis

Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor
9 June 2018

This article critiques the description of the source of the current Ethiopian crisis and the approaches suggested for its solution. While there is consensus concerning the magnitude of the crisis, its suggested source and solution are controversial. Commentators who have been writing or speaking about the crisis see the Ethiopian Student Movement (ESM)of the 1960s and 1970sas the original instigators of the current political crisis of the Ethiopian state. The ESM is blamed of importing a foreign ideology that has divided the Ethiopian peoples into ‘tribes’. The late student leader Walelign Mekonnen is blamed as the main culprit. His article on the “Question of Nationalities” from 1969 is considered as the root of the crisis. In this article, I will argue that the purpose of Walelign’s thesis was not to sow seeds for Ethiopia’s disintegration, as suggested by those who demonize his name, but to solve existing problems and promote justice. Justice was to be done only through the recognition of the rights of each and every people in the empire. Walelign prioritized human and peoples’ rights over the territorial integrity of the Ethiopian state. The purpose of taking up the issue is not only to defend Walelign but to underline the relevance of his honest suggestions even today. He did not invent problems but described the existing reality on the ground. The concepts he used were and still are relevant and reflect the imperial nature and the structure of the Ethiopian state. The problem he described and the solution he suggested are pertinent today as they were in 1969. My firm belief is that demonizing Walelign and those who speak the truth cannot solve a serious problem rooted in the making of the Ethiopian empire state. The acknowledgement of the true history of its creation is the first step in the right direction to solve the problem. That was what was suggested by Walelign fifty years ago. [More]

Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Speeches, Menilek II and the Problem of National Integration in Ethiopia

Professor Guluma Gemeda
16 May 2018 
Thus, seen from vantage point of the conquered peoples, Menilek’s image shifts from emmiye (a term of endearment) to a ruthless conqueror. The emerging scholarship from the south, such as the Oromo Studies, has challenged the one-sided, positive assessment of Menilek’s era by highlighting the violence and the costs of empire building. These studies show the dark side of Menilek’s reign and shed some light on the neglected aspects of Ethiopian history. [More]

TPLF’s genocidal policies and practices to reduce the Oromo nation to a minority

By Leenjiso Horo
April 15, 2018
The 19th-century Russian historian Vasily Klyuchevsky famously wrote: “History doesn’t teach anything, but greatly punishes one for not learning its lessons.” This quotation reminds us, our failure to learn lessons of our tragic history of a century ago, the tragic history that made Oromo people the victim of Abyssinia, ending in the conquest of Oromiyaa and putting the nation in disgrace and humiliation in which we found ourselves today. This article highlights lessons of past and present the tragic history of genocide to be learned and indicates a way forward. [More]

U.S. House of Representatives passes a far-reaching resolution: Will the TPLF regime care to listen?

Source: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-resolution/128/text
H. Res. 128
In the House of Representatives, U.S., April 10, 2018

Whereas the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has been an important partner of the United States and a regional leader in promoting economic growth, global health, and peace and security;

Whereas Ethiopia has helped advance the national interests of the United States and regional partners, including through contributions to international peacekeeping, combating radical Islamist extremism and other forms of terrorism, and regional cooperation through the African Union;

Whereas Ethiopia has made great strides in addressing significant challenges in global health, child survival, and food security;

Whereas Ethiopia’s transition from authoritarian rule to participatory democracy has not kept pace with other reforms;

Whereas the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) claimed to win 99.6 percent of the vote in elections that were deemed neither free nor fair in 2010 and all 546 parliamentary seats in 2015, thereby further consolidating the EPRDF’s single-party rule;

Whereas the Charities and Societies Proclamation and Anti- Terrorism Proclamation, both enacted in 2009, have accelerated the contraction of democratic space, severely limited the practice of fundamental human rights, enabled abuses by security forces, and impeded efforts to promote accountability for such abuses in Ethiopia;

Whereas government forces launched a violent crackdown on protests by ethnic Oromo and Amhara over their perceived marginalization in 2015, resulting in hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of arrests;

Whereas the Government of Ethiopia has recently released hundreds of political prisoners, but has continued to periodically detain government critics and opposition figures;

Whereas the Government of Ethiopia has periodically imposed a state of emergency that even further restricts freedoms of assembly, association, and expression, including through blockage of mobile internet access and social media communication;

Whereas the 2017 Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Ethiopia cited serious human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, killings, and torture committed by security forces, restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of association, politically motivated trials, harassment, and intimidation of opposition members and journalists; and

Whereas these persistent human right abuses, including state-sponsored violence against civilians in the Oromia, Amhara, and Somali regions of Ethiopia, as well as the abuse of laws to stifle journalistic freedoms, stand in direct contrast to democratic principles, violate the Constitution of Ethiopia, and undermine Ethiopia’s position as a regional leader for economic growth, peace, and security: Now, therefore, be it [More]