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.
Now is that time to below the whistle; a time, when people are pushed into euphoria with empty promises. Oromummaa as liberation ideology has forces for and against it. The clash between the two forces has helped Oromummaa to come gaining the upper hand so far. But forces of reaction are conspiring to thwart the advancement of Oromummaa. That is what people need to be aware of at this time when false prophets turn out from different directions. There was no time in the history of Oromo liberation history when so many nationals openly joined enemy camp in such rush of opportunism abandoning the so far guiding national kaayyoo as the year 2017. What they are doing, they think is what the wealthy of the world smiles for, not what could end the miserable life and humiliation of their nation. They want fast return, not lasting joy that a protracted struggle could offer their people. They know no shame for they have no conscience. The organization they rally for is a captive that had been assigned to kill as many Oromo as they could and it did. A day will come when they curse the day they joined it. Everyone has history to hide; but not a proud history in the eyes of their nation. Goobana has more reasons for what he did than the present horde.
Theoretically Ethiopian colonial political arena is divided into ruling party and loyal opposition parties. Presently it seems that the party in power is taking Oromo nationalism as a cover and pausing as both, party in power and opposition, to pass to the next phase. This move raises some doubts that necessitated bringing it to Oromo public attention. In particular, the part that sprung as opposition, OPDO has already assumed as the only center for Oromiyaa “Development and Renewal Revolution”. Oromo Revolution has only one center, the people and one objective, the liberation of Oromiyaa. Renewal of Oromiyaa will not come from EPRDF or its segment. OPDO and sympathizers are warning that any protest that is not conducted in the way they wanted will be catastrophic. Is that not assuming too much? Do they think because a good looking young Oromo demagogue Oromo will give up their struggle? That means they will act in the same way as 2016 if protest continues. That means they will continue trampling over the constitutional right of assembly. They are telling us that they changed the slogan not the policy of domination.
To foresee what is going to happen after next protest demonstration one has to be an insider to the deliberation that decided the next colonial move against people’s protest. The people came out in thousands as usual not heeding the warning. It proved the warning right and the method used to counter it was strange; agent provocateurs sent by the mother organization TPLF/EPRDF were planted to set the protesters one against the other on nationality basis. Setting nationalities against each other is not new on regional basis but to use it in peaceful demonstrations is a new trend. Now advice of elders and the Abbaa Gadaas is being hammered as if they are centers of Oromo revolution. The Oromo revolution is not under any one but the united Oromo youth that follows its own plans. Elders and Abbaa Gadaas role for now are social. It is presumed that they give advice to all groups that approach them without distinction. If it is not ready to day, tomorrow it will be political organization that coordinates people’s efforts and deploy heroes for the struggle, not enemy agent or self-help organizations. Revolution does not run by peace council. Elderlies (councilors) are wanted to share their experience of national resistance with the young not to freeze the revolution. All Gadaa has a role to play and there is no overlapping duty.
Strangely this new PDO movement did not blame other organizations and condemned for the massacre as was customary for EPRDF. It also did not blame any for terrorism. That seems a new tactic to blend in and get acceptance as Oromo nationalist and get control of the movement. PDO, as assigned opposition to its own coalition partner the EPRDF is serving its purpose well. Oromo activists are cajoled to abandon the liberation kaayyoo to follow the toothless OPDO as “Renewal” leader. And Oromo as a force are ridiculed by exposing bullet less Kalashnikovs of Oromiyaa police. Oromiyaa police were ordered to clear barricades laid down by protesters as told. This proved that only independent movement of the people can guarantee change to the status quo. It has more cost than submitting to the oppressor but no people in the world had attained freedom without heavy sacrifices.
The criminal that massacred peaceful people and disturbed peace, TPLF/EPRDF is not condemned by the PDO and companions. Instead groups opposed to the PDO are criticized for calling peaceful demonstrations which it forbade. It was a demonstration against them, enemies of Oromo liberation. As long as their ego is not satisfied they do not care discrediting the lives lost exercising their human rights. Innocent lives are cut short by their guardian angel the TPLF/EPRDF. No miraculous discoveries of weapons and OLF flag in individual homes and pockets can distance them from the crime of massacre that occurred in the last demonstration. Those that lost their lives because of EPRDF machination are Oromian heroes and heroines that passed struggling for liberation of their country. Let their remains rest in peace. They must know that whatever they do to the people clandestinely and openly will certainly boomerang to destroy them.
For Oromo youth to organize peaceful demonstrations, to block the roads, to refuse work, to refuse all cooperation and refuse to be governed, to expose provocateurs etc. is their birth right and national duty. For this they are not obliged to consult with anyone except with those with similar objective. The catching of Tigrean agents with “unwanted flag” and few weapons seems pro PDO propaganda piece but a make believe drama. The Oromo nation never condones harm done on any human being. There are those that want to show Oromo as cruel and provoke this great people whose rage can destroy a country. It is essential to remain cool as usual and be cautious not to be incited by such people. Whatever power we have will be used to chase away only the armed aggressor that has stripped off or trying to strip off our rights.
For now OPDO/EPRDF wants third parties to take the struggle to seem as internal within EPRDF rather than external. For simpletons, the lost sheep is disentangling from alien formation and working its way home. Behind this movement, there are many undeclared missions other than the declared intention of uniting Oromo with different outlooks. Two outlooks are clear. One is the independent and the other is the dependent. OPDO is the dependent. In form it seems formidable member of EPRDF. It is member of executive body of ruling party and it has also majority seats in parliament. Legally it has no less if not more responsibility and accountability than any ruling group in the empire. In fact it is no more than TPLF messenger boy. The independent is Oromo youth led only by own conscience and revolutionary spirit.
That said it will be ridiculous to consider OPDO as Oromo organization except for its name. They have to know that no self-respecting Oromo will accept continuation of colonial/EPRDF rule. Whether Badhaasaa, Asbixee, Xoonaa or Hagos leads EPRDF it is not their concern. Those that advocate cooperation with OPDO are indirectly pushing for cooperation with TPLF. There is nothing that makes one not to believe that measures recently taken by the regime against the people were not coordinated with OPDO. That being as it may, objective of Oromo struggle is to dismantle the system that TPLF leads and free Oromiyaa from alien rule. All the people imprisoned under the empire also deserve to be free. To get chance, be it for self-determination or to overcome problems that could be created by power vacuum they may be required to agree on a transitional arrangement.
It is obvious that trust needs to be built between Oromo and the international community. But that needs a process to show credibility and capability and should not be an excuse to continue supporting the known devil resulting in supporting colonialism. After such a long struggle and huge sacrifices if Oromiyaa is cheated again, history will never forgive those that caused it. OPDO didn’t ask the people forgiveness for its role in Harsadee Irreecha massacre or in emergency proclamation that was made into law by OPDO majority parliament. It is clear that they had hand in them all. But they told the world that the massacre was accidental. Those same persons now try to tell about plight of the Oromo people and the abuse they endured; as if they are waking up from deep sleep of 25 years. Can we believe all they are declaring with honey flowing words? They are also debasing the sacred offices of Abbaa Gadaas by involving them in their cursed mission of recolonizing Oromiyaa. That has to stop. Gadaa office is not appendage of colonial office.
Oromo are not at their best now concerning organization. But still they have hope to rebound. Therefore rather than appearing politically naive by trying to expose each other’s weaknesses in public it would be wise if believers in Oromo liberation communicate their observation in private. That is a message for those that stand for liberation of Oromiyaa. Oromo struggle will not stop because organizations have glitches. Organizations have also to be transparent and truthful about their mishaps until they are able to pull out of it. Remember that you are heirs to Gadaa tradition where public service is more honorable than personal glory. Above all revolutionaries will not despair when all odds are against them but remain loyal to their objectives and never rest until they reach their goal of freedom and independence.
Mallas died before he witnessed OLF that he said does not exist covering the whole country. OLF he told about was that he annihilated through military campaign but could not erase. He did not consider the one in the hearts of Oromo youth. One who wishes OLF not to exist at a time when the whole people had become OLF is only the silly. To look up Oromoo flag “Mogge Lamaan Diimtuu” alone could help one understand much. To fly that is to keep wishes and desires of Oromummaa and freedom from extinguishing. It was why millions fall embracing it not because they were cajoled by any one. To denigrate that is to poke ones finger into Oromo wound. Without considering how much we nauseate to talk of others’ bitterness is preposterous. Be careful for it is said “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”.
In 2015 and 2016 as indicated above, same organization was party to the massacre of Oromo elderlies and children. Now in less than one year it expects us to forget all the dirty works by starting dancing in praise of the people in a manner that seems voodoo dance in trance, haunted by spirits. Those who had similar outlook with them or are working on that started dancing with fit in the same manner. Some repeated for OPDO Mi’eesson’s motto of “critical support” for the Darg. When are these people going to learn from their past? It forces one to conclude that they might be under spell or they may not know “safuu” (ethical considerations) at all. It seems they are visualizing when Oromoo liberation kaayyoo is put in tight genie bottle; with the chance of stealing it to threaten others with. No one may have problem with issue raised by the self-declared “Renewal” leaders. But before formally cutting relation with their rear, how can one believe and claim them as one’s own? A revolutionary is not in haste to things doubtful; could those in haste have something to save before the fall of TPLF? It is good to remember the saying “Fetus lost its life hurrying to get born fast”.
Their matter can be viewed in two ways. One is as we mentioned earlier the present OPDO movement is a tactic designed by EPRDF to destruct Oromo masses. Because, Oromo youth in there are properly tamed and follow instruction with the highest discipline, they are able to hide their real personality. The second one is let us say, that those youth are starting to rebel for they could no more bear the contempt and humiliation imposed on them just likes their people. If that is so, it means they are taking a suicidal decision sitting in enemy chamber without enough preparation. So they are bound to fall. As it is said, “The husband of a jenny cannot rescue her from a hyena”, Oromiyaa police itself being target of Agaazii reprimand could not help when ten children were killed by them in Ambo. In both ways they are of no use for the Oromo. To be useful we say to them, come to your country abandoning Tigray or stop fooling those Oromo that depend on their emotions rather than their mind.
New leaders of OPDO are jarring peoples ears with slogan of “Development and Renewal Revolution”. For Oromo viable development could be achieved only if one is master over ones land. Before their much told about revolution they have to take land away from government and return it to the true owners, the people. We can talk about all other things after the land question is settled. Because the root of hullabaloo of sovereignty and development is not visible it is better to see their slogans critically. Otherwise the revolution of over fifty years that millions of lives and property are sacrificed for can suddenly be cut short of its journey without result. Many people take OPDO as a bee hive in which the workers are Oromo and the queen is Tigree. If a leader is born for Oromo in there, two leaders cannot live in the same hive. They either kill each other or one has to migrate. Do you say the Oromo galtuu can overcome the Tigree that has sharpened his teeth? Believing is personal.
Revolution that Oromo nationalists are carrying out is from below upward not what the enemy imposes from top downwards. Leaving other things aside, members of opposition parties who are Oromo and who did not brag more than them are in prison. Until these ones get dependable position or chased out of office they are not going to come out. They had never been in power to harm anyone as organization like PDOs did and do not deserve to be chained and dragged in public. In the reverse, organization that had been abusing human rights is getting ululation and accolades. The interest of those that planned the “new” movement is to control Oromiyaa in any possible way not concern for freedom and justice for the Oromo. Those that joined Oromo struggle knew the impending death, imprisonment and agony. For this reason the ones trying to frighten them may be those that do not know history of the struggle. Oromo are great people; they have endured several commotions far greater than the present one. If they have to keep their name, they will overcome this one too. As long as there are generations that are proud of Oromummaa quislings will not make aliens inherit Oromiyaa.
The stand and moral values of those involved in Oromo liberation movement are not the same with empire lovers. They do not waver with every seeming opportunity. Oromummaa is their priority in all weathers. For them the force that is occupying Oromiyaa is their enemy not partner with whom to bring about change; human right is sacred; their struggle is that Oromo regain the lost land and sovereignty, resources, rights, honor, dignity, and freedom. This does not depend on enemy tolerance. They believe that the solution is only to fire up the struggle already in motion to free Oromiyaa from alien occupation. The struggle is for decolonization of Oromiyaa not to comfortably live as colonized. They are only those that agree on this that can understand each other on question of liberation.
Strategy that do not have defect for a nationalist is already drawn and requires from the Oromo to change tactics if necessary and apply it, not revising in conformity with enemies’ interest. One may compromise with a negotiator in so many things but not the liberation of Oromiyaa. Since its foundation, the empire of Ethiopia governed its colonies by agents sent from Finfinnee. Minilik’s used to have agents like Goobana Daaccee. Haile Sillasee’s agents were called “Indaraasee”. Darg had Darg representatives and Party Secretaries. To represent it Wayyaanee formed parties with suffix “PDO” in the name of all colonies. It also dismantled existing state structure and founded one based on nationalities. “Indaraasee” PDO of EPRDF in Oromiyaa is OPDO. They all are based on the same basic model.
Unless it rebelled, OPDO had taken oath to abide by disciplinary code of EPRDF. It even could not practice responsibility given it by the constitution over the state it is supposed to rule. Starting from olden days those that administer regions were not accountable to the people under them. It is the same even now. Therefore colonies are ruled by agents (Indaraasee) sent from Finfinnee from Minilik till the present. The military and security establishments are also under Finfinnee. There is also no state police that central government has no say in its recruitment and training. EPRDF is the colonial mask that hides the rein underneath. Abdii Iley’s invasion was planned by EPRDF, which OPDO is a member to. It is because of that, that it came up to Awwadaayi and murdered people; hundreds of Oromo were killed in Jijjigaa and no one raised it. Misconceiving the bond between OPDO and TPLF sympathizers of OPDO condemn TPLF for all wrongs done against the Oromo. OPDO has never condemned TPLF’s deeds as organization or as individual members. It has no animosity with it. It also does not want to be “Frankenstein Monster” that turned against own creator.
If one is not fooling oneself OPDO is inseparable from TPLF from the way it was created and lived. It started with captive Darg soldiers. In training and assimilating those into their system EPLF and TPLF had subjected them to excruciating process of political socialization that created a capture bond syndrome between them. Only few of the first assimilado are now left. Though the younger ones may have not suffered physical torture they were also subjected to menticide by institutions created for the purpose. The aim of liberation fronts is to free nationals from mental and physical servitude. Therefore we are not condemning the enslaved individuals but we demand destruction of OPDO the institution.
Now OPDO members have started pro people talks. Had they not been tactics devised by TPLF/EPRDF, involvement of federal forces in Oromiyaa could have raised havoc on the part of OPDO leaders. But they all are members of the same theatrical troop each acting his part. The role of OPDO is wooing the Oromo away from their protest by siding them against aliens. It is calling them for campaign of renewal and development. Wayyaanee’s part is to plan how to destroy protests, which is leaked by OPDO forewarning protesters. Measures taken by TPLF/EPRDF force, is to make people to have confidence in OPDO for its prophecy of violent repression against protest is fulfilled. The whole scenario of nationality clashes were set up by EPRDF. Then PDO camp started to echo “didn’t I tell you?” That was a new policy of containment of public protest, which they failed through sheer force. Peaceful and armed protests are the only tools for the oppressed and colonized. Therefore it will not stop whether they change tactics or not. There are many that swallow raw whatever is given and tremble by signs of change. They comply with everything without assuring its viability.
TPLF which was founded by those revolutionary youth of the 60s have turned into criminal organization. It is wanted by many criminal hunters. It can feel safe only as long as it controls the gun and it’s Gestapo like security organization. To maintain the status quo it will have no mercy for the peoples or individuals that question legitimacy of its power. Already maintaining its supremacy is costing it dear. People are refusing to pay taxes. International tax payers’ money that has bought it life so far cannot go on forever. Guns are carried by human beings who have conscience though trained to hide them. Now more orders to kill are enough to trigger them to act human. Signs we saw on the last two regimes preceding it that signaled their fall are already appearing this time. Solution for wobbling tooth is only pulling it out. Wayyaanee is going to crumble suddenly strangled in its on misdeeds. Because of that many last hour patriots could sprout. Are those rallying for “Renewal OPDO” among those? Let the onlooker judge.
Immediate enemy of Oromo is the force that rules the empire, TPLF/EPRDF. OPDO shall become one among Oromoo political organizations when it officially declares “Those are also my enemies”. Otherwise it remains enemy minion with the assignment of distracting Oromo from their kaayyoo with every opportunity it gets. Abdii Iley is a member and messenger of TPLF/EPRDF to fulfill Siad Barre’s visions of annexing Oromo territory. This concurs with TPLF security interest. Oromo nation does not tolerate a neighboring state be it Ogden or others to expand into Oromiyaa as much as it does not tolerate the colonial status quo to continue. This it has demonstrated even with its nascent organization in the 1970s. OPDO members if any that show concern for their people have to give their support not living in the structure the enemy formed with its snares but by leaving TPLF/EPRDF and joining the people they were born from and who are now engaged in defense of their county. Unless the old empire is dismantled it is not possible to build, renew and developed Oromiyaa. In an era when consciousness and information was at lower level in youth life, those better among them rose and rolled the wheel of liberation movement. Today qubee generation more awakened; more knowledgeable and nationalist, ready to face challenges is taking responsibility for the next phase of the struggle. This is something that fills one with pride and joy. Even today there could be evil wishers and reactionaries that are trying to sabotage successful end of national kaayyoo. But one that has commitment to the kaayyoo and has strong organization will not be unable to remove obstacles one encounters. Commitment and strong organization are indispensable. Get organized! Let rule by “Indaraasee” end”! Let nagaa and araaraa reign! Oromiyaa shall be free!
Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!