Oromia Today

Independent Voice of Oromia

Warnings over 'Africa's Yugoslavia' as Ethiopia coup attempt heightens risk of violent Balkan-style split

By Adrian Blomfield, AFRICA CORRESPONDENT
30 JUNE 2019 • 7:00AM
SOURCE: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/30/warnings-africas-yugoslavia-ethiopia-coup-attempt-heightens/

The meeting was meant to have been top-secret. The men gathered inside the room were the most powerful in northern Ethiopia’s Amhara region.

The agenda before them was incendiary: the removal of Asamnew Tsige, the regional security chief whose shadowy ambitions had chilled the Ethiopia establishment.

But somehow Mr Asamnew had got wind of what was afoot.

Unknown to the participants, a convoy of his loyalists, armed and dressed in unfamiliar camouflage, was advancing towards them along the palm-lined avenues of Bahir Dar, Amhara’s capital.

Moments after they entered Amhara’s regional headquarters, the meeting room would be splattered in blood and gore. The region’s president and his chief aide lay dead.

Survivors emerging from under tables ripped curtains off their hooks in a vain attempt to staunch the wounds of Amhara’s dying attorney-general. Events were only just getting underway.

Elsewhere in Bahir Dar, Asamnew loyalists reportedly attempted to storm the city’s police headquarters and state media building.

Hours later came more killings, the most startling of them all, as Ethiopia’s powerful army chief, Seare Mekonnen, and a visiting retired general were shot dead while they ate their dinner in the country’s capital Addis Ababa, 300 miles to the south. [More]

Lutheran Saints #4: Onesimos Nesib and Aster Ganno

June 12, 2019

By Sarah Hinlicky Wilson

Source: https://www.sarahhinlickywilson.com/blog/2019/6/12/lutheran-saints-4-onesimos-nesib-and-aster-ganno?fbclid=IwAR3_N5X6tuT2YqO4Tmo_u4zsQt_7UH5ahGV5IyvWHNLbJcds76MCq-Hqsow

If you attend a Lutheran church you may have noticed occasionally the unfamiliar name “Onesimos Nesib” among the commemorations of saints. Here’s his story—one that can’t be told without that of his friend and coworker, Aster Ganno. Go to an Ethiopian church in the U.S. today and you’re pretty well guaranteed to find Sunday School rooms dedicated to both of them, and maybe one to Gudina Tumsaas well.

Proposed date of commemoration: June 21. [More]

Evidence: Menelik’s Genocide against Oromo and other nations

By Falmataa Oromo First Published on Oromia Times 4 Jan 2014

Source: https://oromiatimes.org/2014/01/04/evidence-meneliks-genocide-against-oromo-and-other-nations/

Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn (1990: 24) wrote that ‘No fewer than 80 percent of the Herero and 50 percent of the Nama had… fallen victim to colonial rule’. They indicated that the Herero and Nama were exterminated for opposing German colonial rule. They added that ‘the staggering human cost of German colonial rule in South-West Africa’ was accompanied by plunder. The sources suggest that more than 90 percent of the Maji or Dizi, about 80 percent of the Gimira, between third thirds and three quarter of the Kaficho and about half of the Oromo population had lost their lives as the consequence of the conquest and colonisation The small kingdom of Walaita also lost a large proportion of its inhabitants. An Abyssinian expedition in 1894 slaughtered about 119,000 men, women and children (Prouty, 1986:115) in less than two weeks. [More]

OROMO NATIONALISM, AND THE CONTINUOUS MULTI­FACETED ATTACK ON THE OROMO CULTURAL, CIVIC AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS

By Professor Mohammed Hassen April 25, 2019
Georgia State University

The attack on Oromo political, cultural institutions and national identity began with the conquest and incorporation of the Oromo into the Ethiopian empire created by Emperor Menelik II (1889-1913). Following their conquest, the Oromo institutions of self-government were destroyed, their leadership liquidated or co-opted, their territory divided, their social cohesion disrupted, their cultural institutions destroyed, their property plundered, their traditional religion interfered with, their population decimated through a combination of factors including brutal warfare and natural calamities which accompanied that warfare.4 [More]

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]

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 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]

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]