Oromia: Abiy’s War of Attrition and the Oromo National Struggle
By: Itana Gammada, June 29, 2021
A people under colonial occupation have a maximum of two choices, either stand up and fight for their freedom and dignity or accept humiliation, subjugation, victimization and perpetual slavery. Throughout human history, colonialism has never been an option. Rather, oppressed people worldwide make the necessary sacrifices to achieve their national objective and fulfill their destiny. It is important to bear in mind that the colonized and repressed people do not remain here for perceived beliefs or temporary economic, piecemeal material gains, but for a fundamental national freedom. They stand for justice, democracy, and human dignity that guarantees their future existence in peace and progress.
For these fundamental reasons, people who have fallen under colonial occupation or slavery will fight against any colonial hegemony. For the last one hundred fifty years, the Oromo people have been subjected to state terrorism, violent atrocities, physical destruction, humiliation, plundering of their resources and mass uprooting under the successive Abyssinian (Ethiopian) regimes.
Since the late 19th century, the Oromo have been locked up in a fight against the Ethiopian colonialists, whose main tenet is to expropriate their land and brutally suppress them, while exploiting their resources at will. Despite the colonialists’ attempts to stifle their national struggle, the Oromos have never accepted Abyssinian colonial entities (Nefxanyaas) in their territory. Rather, they have put up stiff resistance throughout the entire occupation period and continue to do so to-date. Despite their many years of struggle, they have been unable to end the Abyssinian colonial domination in Oromia mainly for two reasons:
For one, as history has shown, occupying or colonial forces cannot penetrate and subdue any nation, regardless of their military might, economic power, or sophisticated security network, without the collaboration of internal betrayers to support and guide them. In order to bring about the occupation of the Oromo nation, the Abyssinian colonialists from Emperor Menelik, II to Meles Zenawi effectively utilized treasonous Oromo collaborators.
Reason two: Emperor Menelik did not single-handedly colonize Oromia and the South. The successive Abyssinian colonial regimes obtained high-tech weapons, in addition to economic, political and military support from European and US allies. The Oromos had no such support, so these global colonial powers have always maintained a vested interest to support the occupying regimes and have been changing the battlefields in favor of Ethiopian regimes, even starting from the rule of Emperor Tewodros, II up until the current Prime Minister of EPRDF/Ethiopia Prosperity Party (EPP), Abiy Ahmed.
Even though Oromos had a history of national betrayal from Gobanaa Daacee to the present ones, it has never been imagined to be of this magnitude, to the extent of forming such huge chains of collaborators to present day.
So, when the TPLF were preparing to take over the empire, there was a necessity to quickly create a trojan horse; the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) to use as the primary tool in their greatest scheme – occupation and eradication of Oromo people. The OPDO, who are most corrupt, devoid of nationalism and national allegiance, allowed themselves to be used as tools to facilitate the TPLF/EPRDF genocide programs: mass murder, mass uprooting, land grabs, resource theft, and varying forms of terror and torture. They were serving the regime as a channel by which the tyrannical EPRDF could dig their claws deep into the Oromo nation’s arteries, and suck dry its wealth, ruining the lives of Oromo masses.
As history has shown us time and time again, the enemy within is more dangerous than the perceived outside enemy itself, and our people did not fully grasp that concept. In reality, without OPDO’s help, the TPLF/EPRDF could have never stepped one foot on Oromo soil.
The story of the Oromo people’s national struggle against colonial Abyssinians has been written with the blood, sweat and tears- lives even, of the heroes and heroines at the various battle fields and liberation war fronts. From the very first colonial incursion into Oromo territory to the present time, Oromos have defended the fatherland with bravery to achieve the desired national objective.
Panicked by the demise of the TPLF and the success of the Oromo revolution under the tainted leadership of the EPRDF party, they began to conspire to calm the struggling Oromo youth in order to subvert the revolution. Through tricks, deceit, and maneuvering within the party, the EPRDF decided to bring forward a seemingly Oromo face, the so called “Team Lemma.” They selected from the OPDO party to fill in this group and thereafter, they constructed an illusion of change within the party system to protect and restore the existing criminal regime. Abiy was easily able to walk into the vacuum to become prime minister, because even though the revolution was a successful one, there was no well-organized political leadership for the emerging popular revolution at that time. Convinced by President Lama’s inspiring nationalistic public speeches and trusting Team Lama, the Oromo people had supported Abiy Ahmed believing that he was one of them with the hope that he would deliver the necessary solutions for their national cause.
But, as soon as the party consolidated its power, the neo-Nafxanyaa colonialists administration led by Abiy Ahmed, has began to undermine Oromo nationalism, history, culture, languages through a defamation campaign while praising and glorifying the Ethiopian emperors and dictators who have committed genocide on Oromo people and other Southern peoples in the empire, propagating the Abyssinian supremacy. The prime minister is now making every effort to take us back to the Nazi-style imperial rule of Menelik II, a cruel, barbaric and deadly era. The wholesale of the ongoing wars in Oromia – glorification of emperors, dictators, the attempt to clone the ghosts of Menelik and Haile Selassie, campaigns to distort Oromo history, culture, language, educational genocide, mass uprootings, and the dismissal of Lemma Megersa from the Oromia state presidency — are all designed to stop Oromia from being a sovereign nation.
Having hijacked the victories of Oromo youth, Abiy Ahmed, the neo-nafxanyaa leader is now set about to destroy Oromia and eliminate the Oromos.
To abort the victories that came by the blood, bones, and heavy sacrifices of the heroic Oromo youth and patriotic nationalists, now the children of invaders (Nafxanyaa) and their puppet clientele are now unleashing terror, torture, mass murders, targeted assassinations, stifling civil movements, imposing command posts throughout Oromia— virtually putting the nation under siege. This ongoing genocide shows that Abiy is even more determined to fulfill the Abyssinian dream of destroying Oromia and to eradicate the Oromos in order to restore and eternalize a single state of Ethiopia, while erasing all nations and their identities within the empire,
So once again, facism, the reign of terror and carnage is on the rise as the dimensions of the total destruction, targeted assassinations, mass killings, and atrocities are expanded throughout Oromia. Once again, the Oromo youth, activities, nationalists, and political leaders are re-filling the notorious concentration camps in Oromia from which they once had almost emptied when the TPLF was ejected by a Qeerro-led revolution.
In Wallagaa, there has been unspeakable destruction, terror, total blackouts of the internet, and all means of communication networks are non-existent. The federal army, federal police, and “special forces” are deployed, conducting mass murder, to completely destroy everything, in the region including aerial bombardment, burning crops, homes, schools, coffee plantations, and other life-sustaining resources in an attempt to wipe out the remaining traces of resistance from the region.
The Oromo people understand very well what has been happening to them for the last 150 years by the successive colonialist regimes. All of the colonial conspiracies, maneuvers, twists, and turns are made to subvert the Oromo national struggle but it should not take over our attention from pursuing our national objective – fighting for national self-determination.
The historic mass uprising in Oromia five years ago has provoked unprecedented courage and determination by the Oromo youth who were the most successful in the history of the Oromo people’s struggle, which became extremely inspiring for the nations and nationalities within the empire.
Such mass uprising is not new in the Oromo freedom struggle. This was particularly the case, when the highly organized Raayyaa, Walloo Oromoo nationalists, emerged and put up an armed resistance against Emperor Haile Selassie for the objective to liberate the Raayyaa nation.
Several books containing documented reports which reveal that in the 1940s, the Raya people made innumerable sacrifices in their anti-colonial national liberation struggles. In the book, The Raya People’s National Identity Question and The Government Response, Alemu K. Reta and Sisay M. Addisu wrote about this brutal war and the bravery of the Rayan shown in battle. Having already suffered under successive Abyssinian emperors’ wars of occupation and repression, Rayans had to put up a serious armed resistance against Emperor Haile Selassie’s regime in 1941, which lasted for three full years.
During this period, the Oromos in Walloo fought the two big armies of Great Britain and imperial Ethiopia which is only comparable to that of the Algerian War of Independence from colonialism in Africa. They fought with steel-like unity and determination and were able to take the entire Raya region under their control. With well-coordinated Ethio-British ground forces led by Lt. Col. G. Johnson and General Abebe Aragai having carried out ground war operations on one side and bombing Rayan positions on the other, Rayans faced two great armies and fought a brutal war.
Finally, the uprising came to an end as Rayans were overpowered and subdued in December 1943. But this time around, the Raayyaans rose up again to defend their national rights along with struggling Oromo people for the final victory.
Ethiopia is an empire built by military overwhelming, invasion, and systematic coercion, under which many nations and nationalities are suffering unbearable repressions. There has never been any historical evidence of a colonial regime reversing itself or reforming its character, and willingly relinquishing its power to realize freedom and democracy for its oppressed. This makes the notion of “peaceful struggle” a big joke (balduu dha) or self-deception. The only solution to get rid of colonialism or imperialism is to uproot the traces of colonial domination or total decolonization of the empire.
People must understand that freedom and democracy can never be achieved by joining the occupying enemy and expecting unrealistic outcomes. This stems from the chronic ignorance that is the nature of colonialism and considering the notion of “Ethiopian democratization” is counterintuitive and this case, detrimental to the cause. Ethiopianism does not lead to a flat unitary state by forced integration only with the wishes and conspiracy of EPDRF/PP or “medemer”, who wants the Oromo people, and other nations and nationalities to abandon their history, culture, heritage, and national identity and to accept only Ethiopianism indefinitely. This will never be accepted by the conscious, determined, and freedom-seeking people in general and the Qubee generation in particular.
The ongoing genocidal wars in Oromia is a well-planned act of genocide with an aim to destroy Oromia and to eradicate the Oromo society for the purpose of opening up the living territory for the Nefxanyaas and their clients (Oro-Mara), the most dangerous elements, composed of Amhara expansionists and Amhara-nized Oromos who are pursuing the Nefxanyaa ideology.
The Neo-Nefxanyaa and collaborationists have cold-blooded viciousness against Oromos and are determined to annihilate Oromia and destroy Oromummaa from existence.
The cold-blooded murder of Hacaalu Hundeesaa on June 29, 2020, the greatest nationalist and icon of the Oromoo national struggle shows the height of Neo-Nefxanyaa fascism and cruelty led by Abiy Ahmed. Hacaalu was murdered because of his uncompromising position on Oromo freedom and his devotion to fight for the interests and culture of the Oromo people and nation. More importantly, he was assassinated for bravely and openly speaking about the ruthless and butcher-king, Menelik II, who was mutilating the hands of Oromo men and breasts of Oromo women. Hacaalu’s murder has left the Oromo society with unhealable wounds and pain forever.
Unspeakable atrocities are being waged in Oromia, particularly in Wallagaa, Guji and Boranaa are conducting acts of genocide. Oromos in these regions are singled out for a severe punishment and are under siege with imposed state of emergency coupled with all communication networks restricted or shut down altogether. Consequently, people are suffering under unbearable conditions as they are forced to live in isolation from the rest of the world: mass starvation and abject poverty in Oromia have already claimed the lives of millions and there remains incalculable damages to Oromo society and beyond.
This is especially shocking for Oromia, the land that used to be called the breadbasket of the Horn of Africa and enjoyed an abundance of almost every resource. The open genocide war in Wallagaa, Guji, and Boranaa is for no reason other than they refused and continue to refuse to accept the rule and supremacy of the Abyssinian, which is bent on destroying the Oromo nation.
In essence, this war is undoubtedly a revenge war in retaliation to the great victory won by Oromo youth, dismantling the EPRDF regime. The precious lives of millions of our youth and nationalists are being lost in the ongoing Abiy’s war of extermination.
In such a catastrophic situation, there is an urgent call to every nation and nationality to make a collective readiness plan for all of the occupied and suffering people in this empire to be united and fight in order to put a stop to the facsist genocidal programs. Freedom, independence, and dignity can be achieved only when the people decide to overcome personal or group agenda and work together under a common interest and principle. The Oromo have every right and power to use any means necessary to defend the fatherland and protect their national interests from the enemy’s onslaught. It is time to pay the necessary price and be united, to rise up and fight to make the Oromo nation a reality once more. The big question is, if the Oromos who are under occupation, do not decide to unite and fight for their very survival and dignity, who else will? At this time, indifference to the Oromo cause is not only a betrayal, but is suicidal in itself. On the part of Oromo political organizations, failure to form a united front is yet another missed opportunity. Instead of focusing on participating in the coming meaningless “Ethiopian Elections”, the priority should be given to defending the inalienable rights of the Oromos to national self-determination. Especially since this is a contradiction to the principle (“kaayyo”) of national freedom and independence for which the Oromo Liberation Front was born. The Oromo people’s freedom is neither negotiable nor something to be compromised.
The hopeful and dedicated Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) is engaged in a fierce fighting for the total liberation of our nation against a century-plus old, demonic, neo-Nefanyaa colonialists. As victory is getting closer, OLA is now intensifying the national liberation struggle to fulfill the Oromo national aspiration.
During World War II, the allied armies of the United States, the East and West, had the will and power to stop the Nazi war of extermination and were able to stop itand saved the nations and people of Europe from the total ruin. Today, the same global power are well-aware of the genocide, destructions, carnage, and atrocities Abiy Ahmed is committing throughout the Ethiopian empire. They also see that what Abiy Ahmed is doing in the Horn of Africa is similar to that of Hitler in Europe. Now, unfortunately, they have no desire to stop the criminal regime because of the empire’s strategic location for political, economic, and security purposes regardless of the regime’s vicious and facsist actions.
Without a strong and determined political leadership that is committed to the mission, it would be difficult to accomplish the objective of national struggle – freedom and independence. Therefore, it is not an option or something to contemplate about: it is a must to have one.
The Oromo revolution has already transformed into a popular people’s struggle, which is a turning point in the history of the Oromo national struggle, thanks to the courage and determination of Oromo youth who resolutely stood up against the murderous TPLF/EPRDF regime. But, the conspiracy to subvert such a historic victory is very well underway by the cold-blooded, vicious Abyssinian neo-colonialists and their tools, who are conspiring day and night to sabotage the revolution. In the nature of war that the Oromo people are now in, unity and determination are the only decisive weapons that are available to them to stop the genocidal programs and the criminal acts of the regime and its internal collaborators. So, nations and nationalities in the empire should understand that with this they are on their own to fight the fight in order to free themselves.
The total liberation of our land and the unity of our people is the only solution to the genocidal program of our enemies. For the Oromos, it is not a choice but a requirement to stand up as a people to halt the ongoing war of extermination in the Ethiopian empire. The choice is to either continue enduring the suffering, humiliation, killings, uprooting, deprivation, and eventual total extermination of their people or to hold on to the principles of freedom and independence until the goal is reached. Only a peoples’ determination and persistent resistance against the enemy can bring a true and lasting freedom, independence, dignity and real democracy.
Unity is power! Victory to the Oromo people!1