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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Rule by Indaraasee for how long?

By Ibsaa Guutama

4 November 2017

Oromiyaa has been ruled by colonial agents sent from Finfinnee since its occupation. The Oromo people had been struggling to end this situation for over a century. An agent of the colonizer called OPDO was created in 1991 with Oromo label to counter the only political organization Oromo had, the OLF. Its main mission was to camouflage and let the new colonizer, Wayyaanee penetrate Oromiyaa bypassing the OLF. Now after twenty five years, at a time Oromo protest movement has reached the climax, OPDO is coming out with another camouflaging technique to continue control of Oromiyaa for advantage of the TPLF/EPRDF. Such sinister move should always be noted. Its nemesis OLF will always be there physically or in spirit haunting it. It is incumbent on nationalists to notify the people about an impending danger, when situations present reasonable doubt of affecting Oromo struggle. Oromo members of OPDO cannot shape the organization that shaped them to fit to Oromo cause. Whatever they say otherwise is but a lie. Get off the way, let independent people shape their destiny. [More]

Moving Beyond the Trauma of October 2, 2016 Irreecha Massacre - Part III

A Pledge to Struggle for Oromo National Sovereignty
By Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor
30 September 2017

In Part II of this article I have described the trauma and anger caused by the October 2, 2016 massacre and discussed the manner with which the Oromo society has responded to the situation. In this third part of the article, I will explore the role which the Irreecha massacre has played in Oromo mobilization for national sovereignty, and resistance against the TPLF regime. In addition, I will provide a brief discussion of the consequences of the State of Emergency declared by the TPLF regime on October 9, 2016 and the role of the so-called Somali Liyu Police (Special Force) as agents of state terrorism against the Oromo.[1] [More]

Moving Beyond the Trauma of October 2, 2016 Irreecha Massacre - Part II

28 September 2017

The Oromo Resolve to Fight the Trauma of State Terrorism

By Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor

Although the Oromo have been exposed to series of violent acts perpetrated against them by the Ethiopian security during the past twenty-six years, the Irreecha massacre of October 2, 2016 stands out as one of the most traumatic events. It was an act that had affected the largest number of Oromos in one place and day. The incident shocked and infuriated millions of Oromos irrespective where they were at that moment. Reports from those who participated in the festival through FaceBook and video footages which were transmitted on the occasion show that the 2016 Irreecha parade started with the mood of festivity that characterized the event as in the past. The mood, however, suddenly turned ugly when the regime used the festival for its political agenda and provoked the participants to protest. The subsequent onslaught by security forces transformed the festive mood of millions of men, women, and children into terror and helplessness (four million, according to the regime itself). As one journalist and survivor put it, “The scene was horrific and unbearable. Many who saw the belongings of their loved ones being scattered on the field were crying and running towards the ditch.” As blankets of teargas cloud covered parts of the festival grounds, participants ran in different directions and thousands of them were pushed into the bush where, hidden from their sight a netherworld, which like the Biblical Hades[1] had opened its mouth wide, was waiting to swallow them. The journalist mentioned above wrote, “By the time I reached at the ditches, hundreds have already lost their lives and many more were still trapped in the ditches, covered up by the soil.” All of a sudden the sacred thanksgiving site around Lake Arsadee was transformed into a valley of death. [More]

Moving Beyond the Trauma of October 2, 2016 Irreecha Massacre - Part I

25 September 2017


October 2 Will Signify State Terrorism Against the Oromo in Ethiopia 

By Mekuria Bulcha, Professor

In Oromo history 2016 was one of the darkest years. Sequences of traumatic events followed each other from day to day, week to week and month to month as the Oromo uprising which had started in Ginchi in November 2015 spread across Oromia like wildfire and persisted vigorously as the number of participants in the numerous demonstrations swelled into millions. Although the protests were mostly peaceful, the first eight months of 2016 witnessed the massacre of hundreds of Oromo youth. Parents witnessed as their children were gunned down by the special forces of the regime called the Agazi, in their homes. Pregnant mothers and elderly Oromos above the age 70 and children under the age of 10 were among the victims. The impunity with which the Ethiopian regime is [was] treating the Oromo people was made clear by the brutal crackdown when hundreds of the Oromos were killed at the Irreecha festival on October 2, 2016, near Bishoftu. [More]

The ‘Nine Lives’ of Oromo Literacy - Qubee and the Birth of a Generation - Part II

Defying a Tradition that Demonizes Our Identity, Our Language and Alphabet

18 September 2017 

By Mekuria Bulcha, Professor

In this second part of the article, I will briefly describe the resurrection of Oromo literacy in Oromia in the early 1990s and the opposition and skepticism with which the Latin alphabet, qubee, used in Oromo literacy, was met from the Orthodox clergy and the Habesha elite. After briefly introducing the radical changes brought about by the Oromo adoption of the qubee alphabet and the implementation of the use of Afaan Oromo, I will explore the anti-qubee and Afaan Oromoo feelings which were reactivated after the Oromo uprising in November 2015. It is important to note that, although the use the qubee alphabet in Oromo literacy was adopted by the Oromo people in 1991, there are groups who still today, in 2017, are opposing the Oromo right to write their language in an alphabet of their choice. Most Oromos dismiss the opposition of these groups as nonsensical and unworthy of attention.[1] However, ignoring it is not an option. There are a couple of reasons which, in my view, make countering the anti-qubee discourse a necessity. To begin with, any discourse that downplays a people’s right to develop and use their language violates human rights, and should be countered. Secondly, a discourse that distorts and demonizes the adoption of the qubee alphabet as a reflection of Oromo hate against the Ge’ez alphabet or fidel and Amhara culture, as many of the opponents’ comments are saying, is a sinister distortion intended to plant mistrust between the Oromo people and their neighbors. Such a discourse should be exposed and countered before it would cause serious conflicts and damages. It is said ‘Tell your story, otherwise someone else will tell it differently.’ Taking that advice into account, I will try, in this and a forthcoming third part of this article, to answer the questions, “Why are they opposing the qubee after more than two decades of silence? Why are the Oromo singled out for an attack while there are many other Cushitic-speaking peoples who have also adopted the Latin alphabet? Who are the authors of the articles and commentaries that oppose the qubee alphabet? In addition, the article will examine the ideology that underpins the opposition against the Oromo language in general, and use of the qubee in particular. Before proceeding to that, a brief overview of the spontaneous reception of the qubee alphabet by the Oromo nation and the opposition and skepticism of the Abyssinian clergy elite in the early 1990s is in order. [More]

The ‘Nine Lives’ of Oromo Literacy:  Qubee and the Birth of a Generation

Part I

By Mekuria Bulcha, Professor
15 July 2017

The qubee [the Oromo alphabet], in providing an instrumental means to modern communication, has itself become highly symbolic of the legitimacy and authority of Oromo in the modern learning environment. Juxtaposed with the odaa tree [it], is a resonant symbol of the Oromo polity asserting the unity of all Oromo. It is a printed alphabet that is as much a celebration of Oromo cultures, traditions, and identities, and an assertion of their place in the world of modern literacy and learning (L. Towers 2009)[1] [More]

Oromo shall defend the gains they so far registered with their sweat and blood

By Ibsaa Guutama
25 June 2017
Qubee is Oromo national treasure and pride. It belongs to no group in particular except the Oromo nation. It costed so many lives and involve so many to reach here. Therefore let us make a call to Oromo of all walks of life, from independent or dependent camps, to take stand never to allow others to dictate on the Oromo nation the term of use. If you are calling yourself Oromo, Qubee is your identity that locks you with all the tribes of Bariinto and Boorana. [More]