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Oromia Today

Independent Voice of Oromia

Oromiyaa: The country at the crossroads of history

By Leenjiso Horo 

December, 2020 

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots. 

 Marcus Garvey 

This article is a general summary of the conquest, resistance,  and failures, betrayals, and hopes for the future. Along with  these, it also points out the lack of political homogeneity among Oromo political leadership, and activists about the Oromo  political question and the goal of struggle. For the last 150  years, Oromo history is filled with betrayal, traitors,  turncoats, and backstabbers. Because of this, Oromiyaa today  found itself at the crossroads of history. As a consequence of  this inhomogeneity, many keep on asking the question as to which  way Oromiyaa. This articles points out the direction for this  question. 

The first question one may ask is as to how the Oromo democratic  republic under the Gada system ended up in failure. One needs  to understand the causes of this failure to understand today’s  repeating failure and to prevent future ones. That failure of a  century and a half ago still keep on repeating itself today.  Here I am not discussing it but only pointing it out. Since the  late 18th century, the Oromo people have been facing the failure  of leadership that began with the split of the egalitarian  democratic-republican Gada system. The country was divided into  half: kingdom regions and Gada republican regions. With this  division, the Oromo nation became weak. It is this weakness that  became an opportunity for Abyssinian kings to undertake a war of  invasions, conquest, occupation, and colonization of Oromo  kingdom regions. The sad history of the time was that no Oromo  kingdom ever united to fight against the Abyssinian war of  conquest. Instead of unity, all submitted to Menelik one by one.  Securing this, Menelik undertook the cruelest and vicious wars  of conquest, occupation, and colonization on the other regions  under the Gada system of governance. Having failed to learn this  history, in 1991 and 2018, all Oromo political organizations  individually rushed to join Menelik II created the then Naftegna  regime, and the now neo-Naftegna settler-colonizer and its  puppet neo-Gobanas regime.

The Oromo political leaderships of today have failed what Robaa  Butta had told his French visitor Du Bourg de Bozas a century  and a half ago after having defeated by Menelik. Here are his  words: “Our hour has not come, but it will come. Perhaps our  children will see the departure of the oppressor.” During the  same period, Mooti Jotee Tulluu told Gobana Daaccee in protest  as Gobana demanded his submission to Menelik in these terms:  “Yaa, Gobana, Kun si’ii miti; yeroo dha. Yeroon keenaas hin  dhufa” It means, Oh, Gobana, this is not you; it is time. Our  time will come too. Here, what one has to understand from the  statements is that Menelik's Oromo defeat was a physical defeat,  conditioned by the relationship of force but not by the will of  Oromo people to fight. The Oromo people have never given up the  will to fight. Not so long ago, General Waaqoo Guutuu the  leader of Baalee armed resistance movement against the  Abyssinian settler colonialism, its domination, and exploitation  stated the same line of message in these terms: “Garbummaa  hiddaan buqqifna, dadhabnu ilmaan itti guddifna.” Roughly  translated, it means we uproot or root out colonialism. If we  fail, we raise children to root it out. It was a statement made  during the dark days. It is the testimony that the Oromo people  had never renounced or given up the possibility of continuing  the struggle for their independence, freedom, and justice and  never consented to the Abyssinian imperial colonial rule. 

As the statements further suggest, the war for repulsing the  enemy is not over; it is merely suspended or put off until some  necessary conditions are satisfied. Here conditions to be  satisfied are the establishment of national political leadership  that has patience, determination, and commitment to liberating  Oromiyaa, a national organization, popular national  consciousness, nationalism, national unity, and a coherent  military and political strategy for conducting the struggle for  national liberation. It is only with the fulfillment of these  conditions that mobilizing the resources of the entire Oromo  nation for liberation is possible. Here, we need to remind  ourselves what Chairman of Front for Independent Democratic Oromiyaa (FIDO) Chairman Jaara Abbaa Gadaa has to say. Here are  his words: “Biyya teenya kan diinaaf kenne Oromoo dha, nuy  Oromoota, tokkummaa dhabuu keenyaan.” Roughly translated, it is  the Oromo, it is us, the Oromo organizations who gave our  country to the enemy because of our failure to unite or because  of our lack of unity. This statement stands true today as it was  a century and a half ago and since then.

From the above statements, what we have to learn is that the  Oromo people did not consent to be part of the Ethiopian empire.  The fact for this is the Oromo struggle continued from the date  of occupation to this very date. For instance, The 1928-1930  Rayya Azabo resistance, the 1936 Western Oromo Confederation,  the Arsi expulsion of settler Naftegnas from Arsi land, during  the Italian occupation of the Ethiopian empire, and their revolt  against the return of Haile Selassie from exile in 1941; the  Bale armed resistance movement, Afran Qallo movement, the 1964  to 1970 the formation of Maccaa-Tuulamaa Pan-Oromo Association  in 1965, The Latin alphabet based Qubee Afaan Oromoo came into  being in the mid-1960s and the early 1970s with a phonetic study  of the Oromo language made by Haile Fida, a brilliant Oromo  scholar, revolutionary, and nationalist. Out of this study came  the Oromo Language grammar book Hirmaata dubbii Afaan Oromoo in  1973 with Qubee and Oromo language grammatical rules. It was a  groundbreaking scholarly work contributing to the struggle for  the independence of Oromiyaa, and it ushered the beginning of  the disintegration of the imperial Ethiopian colonial empire of  Menelik II and the death of its Amharic Geez script/Fidal used  for Semitic language in Oromiyaa. Qubee brought the irreversible  and irreconcilable conflict between Ethiopia and Oromiyaa. It  made a geographical divide between Ethiopia and Oromiyaa,  political divide between Abyssinians and Oromo. Qubee alphabet,  as we know it today, would not have been existing without the  revolutionary work of Dr. Haile Fida, its adaptation by the OLF  in 1974 and without Obbo Ibsaa Guutama becoming Minister of  education during the short-lived Transitional Government in 1991  to implement it. 

The 1973 political program of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)  had called for the total liberation of the entire Oromo nation  from Ethiopian/Abyssinian imperial colonialism, domination,  oppression, exploitation, and for the establishment of an  independent Democratic Republic of Oromia. The political  program of 1973 as amended in 1976 reads as: 

The fundamental objective of the struggle is the realization of  national self-determination for the Oromo people and their  liberation from oppression and exploitation in all forms. This  can be only realized through the successful consummation of the  new democratic revolution by waging the anti-feudal, anti colonial, and anti-imperialist struggle and by the establishment  of the peoples’ democratic republic of Oromia (The OLF political  program of 1976). 

The 1976 political program amended in 1998 reads as follows in  Oromo language/Oromiffaa:

Hundeen akeeka qabsoo kanaa mirga hiree murteeffannaa ummata  Oromoo argamsiisuuf sirna Impaayera Itoophiyaa diiguudhaan,  Oromia kolonii, hacuuccaa fi saaminsa jelaa bilisa baasuun  mootummaa walaba Oromia dhaabee iggitii itti godhuu dha. Kunis  kan mirkanaawu mirga qabutti dhimma bahee ummatni Oromoo  mootummaa walaba isaa labsachuu yookaan ummatoota biraa wajjin  tokkummaa politiikaa haaraa ijaarrachuuf murtii kennatuun ta'a  (Political Program of 1998, V. Sagantaa Qabsoo, A. Akeeka  Siyaasaa). 

Roughly translated as: The fundamental objective of this  struggle is the realization of the right of national self determination for the Oromo people by dismantling the Imperial  Ethiopian system, by liberating Oromiyaa from the colony,  oppression, and exploitation and establishing and guaranteeing, authenticating the independent state of Oromiyaa. These can only  be realized, when the Oromo nation uses its own right in  declaring its independent government of Oromiyaa or decide to  setup a new political unity with other nations and nationalities  (author's translation). 

Furthermore, the 2014 to 2018, Oromo youth uprising was part of  the historic Oromo resistance and uprisings.  

With the conquest, Oromiyaa entered the era of darkness. It is  now over a century and a half since the conquest and  colonization of Oromiyaa. Immediately with the successful  occupation of Oromiyaa, Abyssinian settler-colonial society had  achieved its goal of destroying the existing Oromo political and  religious leaderships, creating a leadership vacuum and since  then has been continuing in aborting the rise of new ones. The  primary motive of Abyssinians in this colonization has been for  the extermination of the Oromo people and access to Oromo  territory and its resources, and to establish settler-colonial  institutions and structures to control the conquered territory  and its resources. For this, its aim was/is and has been first  to destroy the legitimate leadership and then to abort the rise  of a new one, and since continuously creating a leadership  vacuum. The settler colonizer has been attacking the Oromo  cultures, knowledge systems, and ways of life have been  ridiculed, demonized, declared inferior, and irrational to be  eliminated. Not only these but also the structural violence of  Abyssinian settler colonialism continued to dominate the Oromo  nation, destroying their political and civic institutions,  religion and religious institutions, shrines, and cemeteries,  and etcetera. Following these, it has been imposing to this date  its colonial culture, language, and history on the Oromo people.  It marginalized the Oromo majority in their homeland, replaced them by Abyssinian settlers who sought the elimination of Oromo  and their connections to their land and history. One needs to  understand that settler colonialism is a structure imposed on  the colonized native population through domination, subjugation,  and exploitation. Its objective is primarily the acquisition of  territory and resources by the extermination of the Oromo population through political, biological, and military warfare. 

The Amhara kings military campaigns against Arsi (1827 to 1900) 

The first war of Arsi conquest began by Negus Sehle Selassie  of Shewa (reigned 1813 -1847). He assigned this war of  conquest to his son, Ras Darghe. Upon his death, Haile  Melekot, his other son, became the Nugus of Shewa from 1847 to  1855. The war of conquest continued with Nugus Haile Melekot  and his brother Ras Darghe. Upon the death of the king Haile  Melekot, his son Menelik became Nugus of Shewa and continued  the war of conquest. It was Menelik who was able to defeat  Arsi at the end of 1886. Besides this, the Arsi resistance  continued until 1900. According to Prof. Abbas H. Gnamo,  “First, the responsibility of conquering of the Arsi was given  to Ras Darghe (1827-1900), Menelik's uncle.” (Conquest and  Resistance in the Ethiopian Empire, 1880-1974, Boston: Brill,  2014, p. 151). That is a campaign of conquest of Arsi began by  King Sahle Selassie of Shawa from 1813 to 1847. Following him,  his son King Haile Melekot of Shewa, the father of Menelik II,  fought Arsi from 1847 until his death. Prof. Abba H. Gnamo  has to write: 

“According to Atsma Giyorgis, the first king to organize an  expedition against Arsi was Haile Melekot” citing Bairu Tafla  the authority of Atsma Giyorgis and His work, P.543; ‘In the  fourth year of his reign, he [Haile Malakot] led an expedition  to Arsi. They [the Arsi] fought him hard and repelled him. He  could neither kill nor take booty but saved himself” (ibid, p.  140). 

During his time of reign, Haile Melekot led numerous military  campaigns against Arsi. However, every military campaign he  conducted to conquer Arsi doomed in defeat. Finally, the war  of conquest of Arsi left to his son, Emperor Menelik II. At  this time, Menelik chose to divide and conquer strategy. For  this, he fought Tuulama, first. In that war of conquest of  Tuulama, Menelik resorted to the physical extermination of  men, women, and children, then to the displacement,  termination, forced dispossession of the land from them, and  to the relocation of the population. Having accomplished these, then he erected Abyssinian settler-colonial society and  colonial state on the Tuulama land. He defeated Tuulama with  the help of Gobana Daacee, the traitor. Having defeated  Tuulama, then, Menelik went on to the southwest and west  Oromiyaa. Gobana Daacee was instrumental in the conquest of  these areas, negotiating with the Gibe and Wallaga Kingdoms  terms of submitting to Menelik except for Abba Jifar, who voluntarily surrendered on his own. Abba Jifar was the only king who negotiated with Menelik for peaceful submission without resistance, and for this, he was granted full local  autonomy and left on the throne as king of Jimma. It was only  after his death in 1932 his kingdom was incorporated into the  Ethiopian empire as a province. On the other hand, other Oromo  kings reluctantly submitted through Gobana Daaccee for two  reasons: firs he is an Oromo and second he had overwhelming  military superior power of 30,000 to which each cannot  withstand. Those kings who submitted through Gobana, Menelik  degraded their position of King to “Dejazmatch, commander of  the gate. For instance, Mootii Jotee Tulluu and Mootii Kumsa  Moroda were demote to Dejazmatch. 

Ever since the war of conquest, every Abyssinian colonial  rulers including Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party (PP) continues with the Machiavellian principle of divide and conquer policy against the Oromo people. That is, neo-Naftegnas clearly  understand that the only way to maintain Oromiyaa under the  Abyssinian colonial grip is through the implementation of the  policy of divide and conquer the Oromo people. Here is what  the German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler has to say as he occupied  France: “Our strategy is to destroy the enemy from within, to conquer him through himself.” Moreover, in Germany, the Nazis  massacred the Jews in mass using the Jews themselves. Here is  what the Nazi's words: "We ... are your destroyers... we can  destroy not only your bodies but also your souls... It must be  the Jews who put the Jews into the ovens; it must be shown  that the Jews... bow to any and all humiliation, even to  destroying themselves"(Primo Levi, 1986, The Drowned and the  Saved, New York: Vintage International P.52).These statements  stand true as to what the neo-Naftegnas have been doing in  Oromiyaa to the Oromo people. For the neo-Naftegnas to annihilate the Oromo people, control Oromiyaa and its  resources both above and below the ground, they have to  destroy Oromo from within, to conquer Oromo through Oromo themselves. As stated above, Gobana Daacce and his Oromo  cohorts were used by Menelik to divide and conquer Oromo. With  conquest to rule Oromiyaa, the neo-Naftegna settler colonizers  created Balabbats, the colonial agents for ever Oromo 

Gosa/clans, to destroy Oromo from within. The primary  functions of Balabbat were: to collect taxes, to pass orders  from the colonial rulers to the indigenous population, to  maintain order in their respective rural communities, to take  individuals who are wanted by the colonial authorities to  court, and to collect bribes for the Nafxanya rulers. The balabbat system was dismantled by the revolution of 1974.  However, in 1989 TPLF created OPDO, new colonial agent to be  at its service. It was the cruelest and vicious organization  in destroying Oromo from within on behalf of the TPLF.  Following this in 1994, TPLF made the neo-Gobanists, the OPDO a regional "government" of Oromiyaa to exterminate the Oromo  people from within to conquer Oromo through themselves. At  the overthrow of TPLF by the Oromo youths mass resistance, the  OPDO-the colonial agent, pretended as if it was acting behind  the overthrow of its own master, its creator. That is, of  course, false. The sad story is that the Oromo people and  their nationals in the diaspora rallied in support of OPDO,  even though it was the one that had been instrumental in  brutalizing, torturing, in the killings, and in the  disappearances of hundreds of thousands of Oromo nationals to  this date whose whereabouts are yet unknown. Its leader,  Colonel Abiy Ahmed was adorned, glorified, feted, and showered  with banquets of flowers. 

The principle of divide and conquer Oromo did not stop with the  above mentioned destroying Oromo from within policy. The Agenda  for Peace, the democratization, and the federalization of the  Ethiopian empire are others. It is designed to weaken, obstruct  and defeat the Oromo national liberation struggle for  independence. Since these politics appeared on the Oromo  political scene, the Oromo political organization politically  and organizationally fractured, fragmented, and in 2018 all went  back to Oromiyaa individually without uniting. The PP is using  them to its advantage to destroy or neutralize and paralyze the  Oromo political organizations and the Oromo people from within.  Now in the year 2020, in Oromiyaa, a new political trick, a  “Transitional Government of Oromiyaa” in the Ethiopian colonial  empire, brought into being. Its purpose is to throw the Oromo  people into confusion to divide, appease, neutralize, paralyze,  and dismantle the Oromo people from within and to weaken the  Oromo struggle for liberation in support of maintaining the Ethiopian empire. No in history, a transitional government has  ever established in a colonial empire. Furthermore, just  recently this year, in 2020, both Wayyanee and PP have created 

Oromo neo-quislings, the turncoats, and sellouts in the diaspora  in their respective images. Wayne created Ethio multinational  Federalists Support Force (EMFSF) while PP created a very  vicious organization by the name of Ethiopia Shall Continue  (ESC) in the diaspora. Ironically, as they stated their  political position, the missions of EMFSF and ESC are to  maintain the Ethiopian empire that Menelik created. The groups  took this position with full knowledge that Menelik created this  empire by killing Oromo men, women, children, and by mutilating  men's hands and women's breasts and ripping open the bodies of  pregnant with swords slaughtering the unborn. Not only these,  but he also reduced the Oromo population by half through  extermination. Again, they have full knowledge of the genocidal  crimes and crimes against humanity that the TPLF committed  against the Oromo people for 27 years and the same crimes the PP  is now committing. Despite all these, they are committed to  maintaining the Ethiopian colonial empire. Along with this,  their other mission is to politically destroy the Oromo unity,  their aspiration for liberation, the Oromo nationalists, and the  Oromo struggle from within Oromo. All in all, their mission is  to destroy the Oromo people from within Oromo. The toxic  individuals are supporting the use of brute force that has been  and still is remains a primary function of the Ethiopian  empire's colonial policy under PP in Oromiyaa against the Oromo  people. Simply put, they are a conspiratorial groups organized to sabotage the Oromo unity and their national liberation  struggle for independence of Oromiyaa. These Neo-Gobanas'  organizations, in alliance with neo-Nafxayas, want the people to  sit with folded hands and reconcile themselves to the oppressive  position of Abyssinian settler colonialists. In rejection of  this deadly poisonous political campaign of these organizations  against Oromiyaa and its people, the people have to rise in  unity and fight, arms in hands, to assert their right to a free  existence. However, here today, as always, the Abyssinian settler  colonialists and their neo-Gobana apologists have been trying to  resist the irresistible onward march of the Oromo struggle for  national independence and their national self-determination.  They are blind to see that the Oromo question is a colonial  question. Because of their blindness, they are seeking to  reverse what is irreversible, the Oromo people's struggle for  independence. The main goal of such groups is to harm the Oromo  struggle from within in support of external enemy.

The fact is the Oromo people very well know their external  enemy. The goal and intention of the external enemy, the settler  colonizer, is well known to them. It is to crush the Oromo  struggle. But what is unknown and unrecognized to the Oromo  people is the mortal dangers of the internal enemy, the enemy  from within. The enemy from within is deadly to a nation than  the well-known and recognized external enemy. It was in this  regard, the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero (0106-0043  BC) famously wrote: 

A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it  cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is  less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.  But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his  sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very  halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a  traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he  wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness  that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a  nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine  the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it  can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. 

It was in this way Tuulama was defeated. Without Oromo galtuus  and gantuus in the like of Ras Gobana Daaccee, it was impossible to defeat Tuulama. With the complete defeat of the  Tuulama and the peaceful submission of kingdoms in southwest  and west Oromiyaa, Menelik get access to human, material, and  financial resources for the next wave of war of conquest. With  these, his next target of colonial warfare was towards the  Arsi. His first expedition to Arsi was in 1865. Of course, the conquering of the Arsi was not an easy task for him. It took  him years. He finally defeated Arsii in 1886, after  uninterrupted campaigns for 21 years. Even after 1886, it took  him continuous raids for 14 years, killing, burning villages,  and looting, pillaging, and mutilating bodies. In R. H. Kofi  Darkwah's words: “….Of all the campaign, which Menelik  conducted before he became emperor in 1889, perhaps the most  sustained and the bloodiest were those against the Arsi” (  Shewa, Menelik and the Ethiopian Empire 1813-1889. London:  Bulter and Tanner Ltd, 1975, P. 103). Menelik’s military  campaigns were also met humiliating and shattering defeats  after defeats. Many times, his military campaigns were forced  to retreat in defeat and humiliation. Every time Menelik came  to Arsi, he lost every battle until the end of 1886. Regarding this, Prof. Abbas H. Gnamo wrote: “At the height of the war  against Arsi, Menelik’s forces were overwhelmed by Arsi warriors. He [Menelik] complained in one of his letters to  Umberto [I of Italy] saying ‘We cannot fight horse against  horse, spear against spear’ and urged him [Umberto] to send the  promised Italian weapons rapidly” (Abbas H. Gnamo, op.cit., P.  144). Menelik defeated Arsi with the firearms he received from King Umberto I of Italy in exchange for the sale of Eritrea. It  was on September 6, 1886, that he succeeded in defeating Arsi for the first time in their history. It was the use of smallpox  as the biological warfare in addition to European provided military firepower that helped him in defeating Arsi. In this  regard, Bahru Zewde has to write this:  

Menelik’s access to firearms from Europeans, the resources of  the previously incorporated territories were also pivotal in  strengthening Menelik's military and economic might. Apart from  this, the incorporation and the assimilation of the Oromo  elites on the one hand and the collaboration of Oromo  individuals on the other were instrumental for the success of  negus Menelik in Arsi (A History of Modern Ethiopia 1855-1991,  Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University Press, 2000, PP. 62-63). 

This statement still stands true today as a century and a half  years ago. Since the conquest of Oromiyaa to this very date,  the Ethiopian empire colonial rulers have been using the Oromo  traitors, the betrayals of their country and people, the  quislings, and the Oromiyaa resources in fighting against the  Oromo people to maintain Oromiyaa in the Ethiopian colonial  empire state. Today more than ever before, there are more  assimilated Oromo elites, other colonial accommodators, and  numerous Oromo individual collaborators with Habesha, fighting  against the Oromo national liberation struggle for independence  of Oromiyaa. These Oromo have been fighting along with the  settler-colonizers to maintain the Ethiopian empire, the empire  Gobana Daacee helped to build. After years of resistance,  bloody and brutal wars against Menelik’s wars of conquest,  finally, for the first time in history, Arsi lost both the  battle and war. With this, in 1886, Menelik called upon Arsi to  make peace. Aannole was a historical place chosen for this  occasion. It was a place whereby Arsi transfer power from one  Gadaa rule to the other under the Gadaa System. The year 1886  was the year of transfer of power from the Roobalee  administration to the Birmajii administration under their Gadaa  system. Knowing this and the history of this place, Menelik  pretended to make this place a place of peacemaking. For this,  thousands of unarmed men and women taking children with them flooded Aannole. It was here, for the first time, Menelik got  the opportunity to humiliate Arsi in resorting to the  mutilation of the right hands of men and the right breasts of  women, known as Harkaa fi Harma mural Aannole, against an  unarmed people. In this war of resistance against the  Abyssinian colonial conquest, Arsi did not lose only their  independence, freedom, liberty, and land, but also lost  millions of people in extermination and the living ones lost  part of their bodies - men their hands, women their breasts.  Some of those whose hands and breasts cut off lived even to the  year 1950s and early 1960s. Arsi Oromo remember Menelik for his  crude and vicious crimes of cruelty and brutality not only for  killing men, women, and children, not only for the mutilation  of breasts of women and the hands of men but also for his most  infamously ripping open the bodies of the pregnant women and  slaughtering the unborn and the newly-born ones. The question  is: Who will ever forget the extermination of the Oromo  population and its youths, children, elderly, men, and women by  Menelik and the successive Abyssinian colonial regimes? Who  will ever forget the ripping open of wombs of pregnant women  and the slaughtering of the unborn? Such cruelties and  brutalities are unparalleled in human history. These Menelik's  crimes of genocide and crimes against their humanity are the  wounds in the Arsi hearts, minds, and bodies that remain  unhealed forever, never forgotten, and will continue to live in  the collective memory of the Arsi forever for generation after  generations yet to come. Despite all these crimes, the PM of  the Ethiopian empire, Abiy Ahmed, built a memorial park at the  Grand Place for Menelik to glorify him, to adorn him, and at  the same time to kill the current Oromo youths and the future  Oromo generations to come. 

Regarding this, Prof. Abbas H. Gnamo has to write this: Anole seemed to have been chosen to avenge Shoan losses and to  teach a lesson to the Arsi who still resisted after their  shattering defeat at Azule on September 6, 1886, the Arsi strong men and women were assembled under the pretext of  concluding peace. All the men and women present, whose exact  number was unknown, perhaps more than a thousand people were  mutilated; their right hands and right breasts were cut off. As  a further form of humiliation, fear, and terror the mutilated  breasts and hands were tied around the neck of the victims who  were then sent back home. (Abbas H. Gnamo, op.cit. PP: 157- 158). 

After defeating Arsi at Azule, Ras Darghe wanted to camp in  Arsi. However, his general advised him against as M.de Salviac  recounted in these terms:

If you camp here, you are lost. The Arsi are like the  grasshoppers; you could cover the ground with their corpses; you  cannot exterminate them. They will come back, they will find you  harassed and without munitions, and they will tear you to pieces (Martial De Salviac, p.352, An ancient People Great African  Nation: the Oromo, Paris, 1901) translated by Ayalew Kannno, in,  2005. 

The Arsi resistance and the Menelik’s campaign to exterminate  Arsi did not stop with Aannole. He continued with the killings,  bloodshed, dismembering of bodies, ripping open bodies of  pregnant women, slaughtering their unborn and mutilating hands  and breasts, and collecting booty until 1900. It has been said,  at every campaign mutilation of hands and breasts of over 400  men and women, in addition to collecting booty were committed. Despite these, Arsi never stopped resistance to Amhara conquest.  Throughout the wars of resistance, Arsi had many battle slogans.  Here, Martial.de Salviac quote one of the slogans: “The Arsi dies, but does not at all back out” (An Ancient People Great  African Nation: The Oromo, 1901, p. 352) translated by Ayalew  Kanno in 2005. Again E. Cerulli reported Arsi slogan in The  Folk Literature of the Galla, 1922, p. 88: “May we die, if we  fear Darghe!” (Abbas H. Gnamo, op.cit. P.145). Furthermore,  there were many slogans the Arsi orally had been passing on to  their children for a century. Here are among the types of war  slogans Arsii had been passing orally on to all Arsi successive  generations by their fathers, and grandfathers, and local elders  in Arsi. "Arsiin biyyaa ofiitii fi kabajjaa ofiitiif lolaa  du'a!" It means, Arsi fight and die for their country and their  dignity, and “Arsiin lola’a du'a malee horoma harka hin  keennatu!" Meaning Arsi die fighting, never surrender.  “Diinaaf jilbiifatuu mannaa lolataa du’uu wayya!” Means better  to die fighting than to kneel to the enemy, are among many  slogans. These and more are the types of war slogans that had  been passing on to all Arsii successive generations by their  fathers and grandfathers, and local oral historians, and local  elders in Arsii. In the war with Arsi, Martial De Salviac wrote: “The Abyssinian army sustained cruel losses. Nowhere did they  [Abyssinians] sustain such an enormous disaster as in the tribe  of the ‘terrible and innumerable’ Arsi. This tribe by itself  alone, was able to raise more than hundred thousand warriors and  crushed without difficulty all enemy forces.”(M.de Salviac, op.  cit., 352).

At Aannolee, Menelik cut off the right hands of men and the  right breasts of women. Such a crime, cruelty, and viciousness  had never been committed before in history. And so, the cutting  of hands of men and breasts of women is unparalleled in  history. The Abyssinians are the first in committing such  inhumanity in the history of humanity. The Ethiopian empire's  settler-colonialists PM Abiy Ahmed's erecting of the memorial  statue and "memorial Park" for Menelik II is the endorsing of  the crimes of Menelik. This memorial park is an insult to the  countless bodies Menelik annihilated, and it is a demonstration  beyond all doubt that another monster is here to replace  Menelik. Hence, it is clear that PM Abiy Ahmed becomes the  inheritor of Menelik's legacy of crimes as his own. His action  registers him in the same historic context with Menelik II. 

Furthermore, in the defense against Menelik of Abyssinian from  1882 to 1886, in Arsi, every able man and woman took part.  Regarding this, Abbas H. Gnamo cited P. Antonelli: “In Chilalo  and Albasso Arsi women took an active part in the resistance struggle in May 1886, when the war arrived its climax.”  Moreover, Gnamo has also to write: “[Arsi] Women who were not  expected to engage in the war, the traditional preserve of  men, joined the resistance when the war reached its highest  point in 1886.”(Abbas H. Gnamo, op.cit. 147). Menelik felt  humiliated, seeing women fighting shoulder to shoulder with  men. It is because of this, Menelik not only cut off the  breasts of women but also ripped open the bodies of the  pregnant women and slaughtered the unborn and murdered the  newly-born ones. 

With the conquest of Arsi, Menelik went on to Harar in 1887. As  he did in Arsi and elsewhere in Oromiyaa, here too millions of  people were exterminated. In 1889, following the defeat of  Oromo at the Battle of Chalanqo/Calanqoo in 1887, Oromiyaa is  fully incorporated into Abyssinia constituting what is known  today Ethiopia. That is the making of the map of the empire of  Ethiopia was completed, Menelik became emperor, and Finfinnee’s  name changed to Addis Ababa and made the capital city of the  empire. And the Abyssinian immigrants flooded Oromiyaa for land  and resources, Amharic language imposed on the colonized peoples  and it became the lingua franca of Menelik’s empire. Oromo  political and religious institutions were made illegal, and this  was the beginning of settler colonialism in Oromiyaa. Garrison  camps were built everywhere in Oromiyaa. With the colonization  of Oromiyaa, Abyssinian successive colonialist regimes, imposed  settler-colonial cultural, unjust economic, political, judicial, and feudal social structure on the Oromo people. The people were  peripheralized on their own country excluding from politics and  economics. 

With the military occupation of Arsi, Menelik turned to the  affairs of administering the conquered Arsi land through his  military leaders. First, he confiscated the lands from Arsi and  gave them to his soldiers who fought Arsi. Following this,  Menelik and his successors, especially Haile Selassie,  encouraged Abyssinians to move to the conquered Arsi land for  land ownership and other benefits. Here, hundreds of thousands  of Abyssinians flocked to Arsi for settlement. The settlement  was a colonial land policy. The settlers were armed and given  lands and legal protections. The protection included, among  others, the Abyssinians serving in Arsi as governors, judges,  prosecutors, lawyers, police officers, guards, office workers,  tax collectors, and et cetera from 1886 to 1974 and performed  many other oppressive and aggressive functions against Arsi Oromo. Besides this, the resistance of Arsi continued until 1900 and even to 1970s. With the Italian invasion of the empire, the  Arsi Oromo expelled all Amhara settlers from Arsi. At this  junction of history, Arsi was temporarily relieved from the  Abyssinian colonial crocodile grip. With the return of Emperor  Haile Selassie from exile in 1941, Arsi opposed his return, and  the war against his return resumed. With overwhelming military  power, he subdued Arsi resistance once again. 

With Haile Selassie’s return neo-Naftegnas boasted to humiliate  Arsi Oromo in these words: 

Mataa amaamaa maree, 

Dugda kombortaa baree, 

Miila gambeellii baree, 

Maal taata yaa Arusii amma Janhoy galee. 

In Amharic, Janhoy means His Majesty. Again, resistance  restarted in 1967 in west Arsi just a few years before 1974  revolutions. Before a full-scale resistance takes place, the  military overthrew the emperor. Since colonization, Arsi Oromo  had been punished by the Ethiopian empire settler colonizers for  their consistently fighting against them. They denied access  to education and healthcare services. They were not allowed to  join the army, police, security, even guards and cooks, and any  position in the empire until the late 1970s. For the Amhara,  Arsi Oromo were, are, and have been the most suspected, feared, and hated the Oromo population. The Amhara express this  suspicion, fear, and deep hatred of all Oromo in these terms, among many others: “Gallan maaman qabiro naw.” Meaning, to trust  Galla is after having buried them. “Gallanaa sagara iyyaadaree  higamal.” Meaning Gala and stool stinks as they stay longer.  They mean by this, an Oromo even if they befriended with Amhara, they would never give up fighting for their land and their  rights. “Galla Sawu naw inde?” It roughly means is Galla a human  being? Galla is a derogatory name the Amharas use for Oromo.  Since Arsi fell under occupation in 1886, it was a few years  before the 1974 revolution Kagnazmatch Bekele Ogato, an  assimilated, Christianized Oromo, and a stooge of the Haile  Selassie's successive Enderases in Arsi, a Balabbat of  Xijo/Tijo, was appointed to be governor of an Awraja. Still,  after a century and a half, Arsi have not forgotten and will  never forget the crimes, the cruelty, and the viciousness of  their conqueror Menelik II and crimes of the successive  Abyssinian colonial regimes of the Ethiopian empire against  them. These crimes, cruelties, and viciousness committed against  them are in the collective memory of all past, present, and  future generations. 

Since the colonization of Oromiyaa a century and a half to this  very date, the Oromo people have been unable to afford adequate,  appropriate support to live ordinary and valued lives in  Oromiyaa. Because of this, our people have lost a typical value  of life best meets the needs of everyone in Oromiyaa. And, this  has followed by poverty, neglect, discrimination, exploitation,  and oppression. That is, with the occupation of Oromiyaa, the  colonialist force denied our people the right to their land.  The land is necessary for life. To deny this right of ownership  and access to it is a denial of life, property, liberty, and  pursuit of happiness. 

It is to this effect, the American Declaration of Independence  of 1776 states the following: 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are  created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with  certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty,  and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights,  governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers  from the consent of the governed. 

The fact is, since the conquest of Oromiyaa to date, the  successive Abyssinian settler-colonial institutional practices  have been and still are implementing a policy of physical  extermination, displacement, termination, relocation, erasure of  culture, language, and identity. And it has been following a  policy of effectively repressing, co-opting, and assimilating.  Assimilation has been a poisonous means that every settler  colonizer used throughout history against the colonized people.

Here, one needs to understand the distinction between  colonization and assimilation. Colonization is the settlement of  the members of the colonizer on the land of the conquered  people. On the other, assimilation is the colonization of the  mind, soul, and psyche of the individual members of the  colonized people, in the spirit of the colonizer’s worldview,  its narrative of history, culture, language, psychological  makeup, and political outlook, among others. Colonizers  assimilate individual members of a colonized people for the  simple reasons that assimilation robs individuals of their  history, of their sense of belonging to their nation in the real  sense, of their sense of firmly standing for the goal of their  nation. Furthermore, it robs their self-esteem, and so such  persons remain emotionally attached to the system of the  colonizer. The assimilators work against the interest of their  people on behalf of the adversary of their people. They harm  their people and their interests. As we have been observing,  assimilation has been well alive among many of Oromo elites and  political leaders as it was among Jews and Native Indian  Americans a century ago. 

America's settler colonizers had scripted the phrase in  Americanization of Native American Indians in these words, "that  all the Indians there in the race should be dead. Kill the  Indian in him and save the man." The Abyssinian settler  colonizer followed this script in the Ethiopianization of Oromo.  To this effect, neo-gobanas are the victims of the settler  colonizers' policy of Ethiopianization. Throughout its  occupation of Oromiyaa, the colonial settlers have been killing  all Oromo there in the Oromo through assimilation. Kill the  Oromo in a person and save the person has been their goal.  Today, it is those Oromo nationals whose Oromoness/Oromummaa killed in them. Their sense of the distinctiveness of the  identity of Oromo is neutralized and stripped off; Oromo  tradition, cultural ethos, belief, psychological makeup, values,  and commitment to Oromo political and ideological unity,  commitment to the struggle for the independence of Oromiyaa, and  interests, were killed in them. It is these groups that have  been exterminating, dividing, persecuting, and jailing our  people across Oromiyaa on behalf of settler colonizer. Such  persons speak the Oromo language but have resentment towards the  Oromo people and their struggle for liberation because there is  no Oromo and Oromoness/Oromummaa in such persons. By birth,  they are Oromo, but deep in their heart, in their soul, and their political outlook, worldview, and beliefs, they are  Amhara/Abyssinians. They are and were Oromo nationals who  accepted Amhara's narrative of history that Amhara is at the  center core, with one country, one people, one language, one  culture, one religion, and with Amhara identity. These are the  neo-gobanists. Hence, for these reasons, assimilated persons by  their very nature stand against the interests of their people.  Such persons, rather than fostering Oromo unity, cohesion,  cooperation, solidarity, and the objective of their people, they  undermine all of them. These are things Oromo traitors have  been doing to the Oromo people since the colonization of  Oromiyaa to this very day. Hence, the assimilated persons or  neo-gobanists appropriate and imitate Abyssinian narratives of  history, politics, and culture, where such behavioral action is  more evident in their upward mobile and acquiring wealth, and  various rewards. The fact is justice and morality in the neo gobanists have been destroyed and replaced with the worst type  of collaboration with the enemy, betrayal, and abandonment of  humanity and one’s country, political goal, and people. They  talk about Oromiyaa and about the crimes the Abyssinians  committed against the Oromo people but they never say Oromiyaa  is a colonized country. Instead, they preach about maintaining  the Ethiopian empire through “multi-national federation,”  democracy, “Transitional Government of Oromiyaa” in the  Ethiopian empire, “fair and free elections,” peace and harmony,  equality in the colonial empire. They resort to these mantras  because, in their view, Oromiyaa is an integral part of  Ethiopia. The reason for this is, Assimilators are in tension  and conflict individually within oneself. They put their one leg  on the Oromo side and the other on the colonialist or empire  side. This means they live a split existence. 

The new rise of Oromo new leadership 

The rise and growth of new leadership and nationalism began in  the 1960s and 1970s with Bale resistance movement, Maccaa  Tuulamaa Association, Afran Qallo, and then with the  establishment of the Oromo Liberation Front. This condition gave  rise to nationalist civic and political organizations. Following  this, in urban and rural areas, resistance began. The struggle  was and has been values-driven, with principle, vision, and  purpose. What mattered the most was the nationalists with lived  experience of the colonial system organized and led these  organizations. With the formation of the OLF, for the first  time, the political program of struggle came into being. Its activities were concerned with the purpose and direction to  take. The decisions made were consistent with Oromo values,  vision, and aspirations. They were motivated by what is to be  best for the dignity and inalienable rights of the Oromo people,  the right of Oromo nation to self-determination. This struggle  addressed the real needs of the Oromo people for liberation from  colonial occupation. 

The leaderships of these organizations have passion, vision,  leadership quality, and a deep understanding of the issues which  affected our people and our country with colonial occupation and  its consequences. The organizations were here for our people who  have been and are at risk of extermination, discrimination, and  exploitation. These leaderships knew from their own lived  experience that the Oromo people were and as to this very day  have been isolated, dehumanized, and marginalized. 

For this, the Oromo struggle begun with the purpose of  dismantling Ethiopian empire colonialism, its structures, its  institutions, and its practices to break down the walls of  colonial occupation, exploitation, expropriation, dehumanization, and oppression from Oromiyaa. Here, the clear objective of the Oromo national liberation struggle is and has  been for the restoration of Oromo territory and the usurped and  lost national sovereignty. 

The Oromo nationalists conduct the struggle within the UN recognized framework. This means the struggle is based on a  strong foundation which includes clearly stated values, vision,  definition, and principles of the struggle of the colonized  nation. It follows the commitment to the purposes and principles  contained in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514  (1960) as it is stated: “All peoples have the right to self determination; by virtue of that right they may freely determine  their political status and freely pursue their economic, social  and cultural development.” 

Montevideo Convention (1933) on the Rights and Duties of States a sate as a person of international law should possess the  following qualifications: 

(1) A permanent population; 

(2) A defined territory; 

(3) Government; 

(4) Capacity to enter into relations with other states; (5) Natural resources adequate to ensure its economic and  political independence.

The Oromo meets these sufficient conditions of being a sovereign  state under international law. Hence, the international  community has no option but to recognize the Oromo struggle for  independence to establish the Democratic Republic of Oromiyaa  should the Oromo people declare it. 

Our struggle takes a combination of armed resistance and  peaceful mass resistance. In this struggle, if the colonial  regime chooses a peaceful means of resolving the conflict, we  will also do it in kind. On the contrary, if it resorts to  violence, we will take up arms against it. Peacefully, among  other things, include, freely speaking, writing, organizing,  rallying, and free movement and free access to mass media and  resources to implement the right of national self-determination.  This right of self-determination is, truly and honestly believed  to be the best way for the colonized and oppressed nations and  nationalities to exercise their inalienable right, the right to  determine their destiny and seek justice for their cause through  a referendum. "Self-determination of nations," Karl Marx wrote,”  means the political separation of these nations from alien national bodies and the formation of an independent national  state." 

The principles of the Oromo national liberation struggle are: 1. Always to be loyal to and stands up for the people; 2. Secularism; 

  1. Egalitarianism; 
  2. Popular sovereignty; 
  3. Avoidance of unprincipled alliance; 
  4. Establishment of centralized command structure to coordinate  activities; 
  5. Centralized united leadership; 
  6. Popular national consciousness and Nationalism; and  9. Unity of purpose, mission, and goal. 

Based on these nationalists promote strongly, passionately, and  wisely the cause of their people who have been under the yoke of  colonial occupation, domination, and exploitation. They advocate  for social, political, and economic change in the lives of their  people. Their struggle were driven by systems and people focus. 

The nationalists conduct their action in a way that is mindful  not to add to the discrimination, abuse, neglect, exploitation  and oppression experienced by their people whose lives have  become marginalized through institutionalized thinking and  practices. They have gone beyond human rights and take what is  honestly and truly believed to be best, as well as what the Oromo people need to look like, into account before taking  action. 

These nationalists were and are socially and politically active  on the human rights issues and the issues of deinstitutionalization and valued lives for people with lived  experience of deprived of their resources. The nationalists  promote this aspect of advocacy action through all its  activities. We are stronger when we unite and work together. We  are weaker when drifting away, disunited, and work alone. The  OLF strives to network well- in solidarity with our nationals  and our nationalist allies of other nations and nationalities  with political and social justice movements with whom it shares  values, vision, and understanding of the national cause of each  other's respective peoples. Through all its decisions and  activities, the OLF promotes, advocates, and defends, and  celebrate or value diversity, tolerance, acceptance, compassion,  justice, fairness, equality, and respect for the human dignity  of all, in Oromia. 

John Adams’ speech in support of declaration of independence  from Britain stated:  

Before God, I believe the hour has come. My judgment approves  this measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and  all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready  here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that live or  die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my  living sentiment, and by the blessing of God, it shall be my  dying sentiment, Independence, now, and INDEPENDENCE FOREVER.” 

This statement equally speaks for the Oromo heroes and heroines  who had sacrificed their precious lives in this Oromo liberation  struggle for the independence of Oromiyaa from the settler colonial empire state of Ethiopia. The phrase "independence  now, and independence forever" is and has been the Oromo  nationalists' motto of struggle since the resistance to colonial  occupation began till now. And so, we the living must also take  oath in the motto of Independence of Oromiyaa now, and  Independence of Oromiyaa forever. Struggle for national  liberation is a zero-sum contest. It means there is no  negotiation on the independence of Oromiyaa. 

As it is stated in the preceding paragraphs, from the date of conquest, occupation and colonization to 1991 the structural violence of Abyssinian settler colonial crimes continued with the domination, demonization and, dehumanization of the Oromo  nation. This condition has subsided between 1991 until 2018. 

Since Abiy Ahmed became the Prime Minister of the colonial  empire, the Oromo people are once again subjected to structural  and physical violent forms of repression, elimination, as well  as dispossession, land appropriation in the pursuit of bringing  back the “former great Ethiopia” of Menelik II. He erected  statues for Menelik II and Haile Selassie in the residence of  the prime Minister. Under the Prosperity Party (PP) the pace,  scale, and intensity of campaign of elimination of the Oromo  political leaderships, political and civic organizations have  surpassed that of all past Ethiopian empire colonial rulers.  That is, under PM Colonel Abiy Ahmed’s colonial administration,  the Abyssinian settler-colonial violence has against the Oromo  political leadership, political organizations, and the Oromo  people has increased many times fold. Following his  predecessors, his policy is to destroy, to liquidate, to  neutralize or paralyze the Oromo political, civic, and business  leadership so as to create political leadership vacuum in  Oromiyaa. To effectuate this, the Prosperity Party adopted the  Oromiyanization of the war created by the TPLF/EPRDF as its  policy. It means fighting Oromo with Oromo. The purpose is to  create conflicts and tensions within and among the Oromo people.  The Oromiyanization of war is PP's war against Oromiyaa and its  people, using Oromo resources and the assimilated Oromo  nationals whose consciousness of being Oromo killed in them and  used against their country, their people, their nationalists'  organizations, and their struggle. Oromiyanization of war means  using Oromo nationals to spy on the Oromo, to diaspora based  Oromo nationals to politically fight against the cause of the  Oromo people; to hunt Oromo nationalists down, to round them up,  to disarm them, and to detain, to arrest, jail, torture, and to  kill them on behalf of their masters, the Abyssinian settler  colonizers. To achieve these and other goals, Spies, the death  squad, special force, and Command Post have been created and are  roaming across Oromiyaa. Moreover, in attempting to neutralize  and paralyze the activities of local Oromo youth protesters and  activists across Oromiyaa, the regime of Colonel Abiy Ahmed has  authorized a covert payment of 30,000 Birr to each secretly  created spy youths to service as informants. In addition to  these, today, more than ever before, many hodgepodges of petty  Oromo activists are organized in the diaspora to politically  fight against the Oromo struggle for independence in support of  the colonial regime of PM Abiy Ahmed.

Here what has to be understood is that throughout the occupation  of Oromiyaa to date, persecution and violence against the Oromo  people have been not only legitimized by the successive colonial  governmental acts and decrees but also encouraged at Amhara  civilian level. Since 2018, the tide of anti-Oromo hysteria in  the Ethiopian empire within neo-Naftegnas has reached its climax  seeing the weakness in the Oromo political organizations and  their fragmentation and hoping to reverse the Oromo question for  independence through shouting and bravado. This neo-Naftegnas  anti-Oromo hysteria encouraged the Abyssinians to undertake the  Oromiyaa-wide pogrom of violence, destruction, and round-ups of  the Oromo nationals along with colonial government-organized  reprisal for assassination and kidnapping implemented throughout  Oromiyaa. Indeed, since 2018, Oromiyaa has been made a war zone  more than ever before. Hence, there is a dark cloud hovering  over our country under the Prosperity Party (PP) regime of PM  colonel Abiy Ahmed. 

Oromiyaa at crossroads 

The question is: What made Oromiyaa stack at the crossroads? Is  it because of colonizer or because of the Oromo leadership? The  answer this question is simply not because of the colonizers, but because of the Oromo political leadership. 

From the above, it is easy to recognize that Oromiyaa is a  country at the crossroads of history in the struggle looking at  signs as to which road should it go: the independence road or  the federalist road. It began in 1999 with the fleeing of  leadership from the Oromiyaa to exile to Eritrea. The fled to exile itself leadership brought “Agenda for Peace in the year  2000 to be a loyal party for competing in fair and free  election. The core elements of "Agenda for Peace" that Shanee  accepted and agreed to implement are: the acceptance of  Ethiopian constitution, the territorial integrity of Ethiopian  Empire, the renunciation of armed struggle, the demobilization  and disarming of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). Agenda for  peace was a promotion of renouncing armed struggle as a method  of struggle for liberation in order to participate in the  Ethiopian elections. It was over this, after a long debate, the  OLF split in 2001 into two political camps: the Oromiyaa  Independence camp and the Ethiopia democratization camp. It was  the beginning of the war against the political objective of the  Oromo liberation struggle. The objective: the independence of  Oromiyaa. Following this, in 2002, Shanee launched armed attack  on OLA in the Southern Command to forcefully disarm it in order to implement a part of "Agenda for Peace" as it promised to  Meles Zenawi. Having milked all concession, Meles asked Shanee  to go on Ethiopian TV and Radio to apologize in the sincere  expression of remorse to his regime, government, and the people  of Ethiopia for any action it had taken against or anything it  had said or done against his government. In addition to this,  Menes Zenawi told ABO-Shanee to unconditionally admit that the  leadership of OLF committed offenses against the Transitional  Government of Ethiopia. And that this leadership of OLF has no  defense, justification, or excuse for behavior that has wronged  the Transitional government of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian  people. Furthermore, Meles told ABO-Shanee that even after its  return, his government would not guarantee its leaderships and  members from any lawsuit that may be brought against them by any citizen of the empire. With this, having achieved his intended  goals, Meles Zenawi threw ABO-Shanee under the bus. ABO-Shanee  was humiliated.  

In humiliation, Shanee made another political shuttle, a new  political journey. This time, it turned to Kinijjit, also known  as Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD), a monarchist  Abyssinian political organization, and to Ethiopian Peoples'  Patriotic Front (EPPF). Then, the Ethiopia democratization camp/ABO-Shanee followed with the repeal and replacement of the  OLF Political program of 1998 with the political program of 2004  in 2004 at Bergen Conference, in Norway to attract CUD and EPPF  to its side. Then, following this, another danger of the OLF Shanee begun with the formation of Alliance for Freedom and  Democracy (AFD), on May 22, 2006, with the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and the Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front  (EPPF), the Abyssinian organizations that the Oromo people have  irreconcilable interests with; no shared beliefs and no common  goal with the Oromo people. The alliance was based on the need  for the democratization of the Ethiopian empire. Immediately  with the formation of the AFD, Shanee ABO, with the support of  CUD and EPPF, and Eritrea filed a lawsuit against Qaama Cehumsa  of the OLF on July 19, 2007, at the Fourth Judicial District of  the State of Minnesota against Qaama Cehumsa of OLF (TA-OLF)  over the use of the name of OLF, its logo, and its flag. The  lawsuit alleged that the name OLF is Shanee of OLF’s trademark,  ABO is a business entity. And so, it argued that TA-OLF in using  the name OLF, its logo, and its flag violated the “Uniform  Deceptive Trade Practices Act,” and interfered with the  “Prospective economic advantage” of ABO-Shanee. After hearing  the case, the court dismissed the case, and so TA-OLF won at the  court. Shanee ABO lost the case in a shameful and humiliating  way.

In 2014, after years of negotiation, TA of ABO influenced Shanee  of ABO to sign for unity in Berlin, Germany, with the condition  that the OLF National Congress will be held within six months or  a year to elect new leadership. Shanee of ABO agreed and signed, however, it reneged on this in a month after it signed the  agreement. The unity collapsed. After this, in 20015 it formed  PAFD with non-Oromo organizations. Again, in 2018, ABO-TA called  upon ABO-Shanee for unity before going back. It rejected and  rushed back home. Now, in 2020 ABO-Shanee itself split. With its  split, it opted for the establishment of the "Transitional  Government of Oromiyaa," instead of for unity and independence  of Oromiyaa. Oromiyaa is under colonial occupation. It is  wrong to call for establishing a transitional government of  Oromiyaa while still, Oromiyaa is under colonial occupation. The  purpose of the transitional government is to divide the Oromo  people. Hence, such a call must be rejected by all those who  aspire for the independence of Oromiyaa. It is time to call for  unity of nationalists, Oromo political organizations, and the  Oromo nation on the objective goal of the Oromo struggle for  total independence of Oromiyaa. Establishing “Transitional  Government of Oromiyaa” while Oromiyaa is under colonial  occupation is a pseudo-Transitional Oromiyaa government. Its  purpose is none other than only to serve the colonial empire. It  is of no use for the Oromo people and the struggle for the  independence of Oromiyaa. From the above, it is clear that the  difference and confrontation between the Oromiyaa independence  camp, on the one hand, and the Ethiopian federalization camp, on  the other, put Oromiyaa at the crossroads of history. Here, it  is clear even though the OLF has grass-root followers, its  political elites and members could not agree on a definite,  consistent political position and goal. Their political  vagueness, vacillation, and disunity have been typical to this  very date. It is this confrontation that weakened the national  struggle and brought internal fragmentation that is similar to  the fragmentation and decline of the 19th century that  encouraged Gobana Daaccee to collaborate with Menelik II and  became his instrument of conquest, occupation, and colonization  of Oromiyaa. Today’s condition is similar to that of the 19th  century. The nationalists are fragmented, divided, and weakened,  and consequently, the Oromo liberation struggle became weaker,  and with this, the Oromo national liberation struggle has  entered into a state of stagnation. By being divided ourselves,  we have become our own worst enemy. And these put Oromiyaa at  the crossroads. Hence, Oromiyaa at the crossroads of empire  federalism and Oromiyaa independence. So, there are two-lines of  struggle within Oromo political organizations. The difference  between the two is irreversibly in contradiction and so irreconcilable. The Oromo nationalists and revolutionaries  choose a multidimensional national liberation struggle that  involves armed, political, and diplomatic, peaceful mass  resistance, economic boycotts, refusing to pay taxes, and more. Hence, multidimensional struggle, including armed struggle, is  the Only Viable Form of Struggle to be undertaken by the peoples  under colonial occupation to win their freedom and independence. 

The independence road leads to the liberation of Oromiyaa from  the colonial Ethiopian empire occupation to the establishment of  the Independent Democratic Republic of Oromiyaa. On the  contrary, the federalist road leads to retaining the Ethiopian  colonial empire in the name of federalism and democracy.  Throughout history, empires have come and gone. And, no empire  has ever been federalized or democratized along with a country  that established an empire. Hence, Ethiopia being an empire, can  neither be federalized nor be democratized. The fact is, Empire  federalization is a suffocating, oppressing, cruel, and  sterilizing workshop for centuries of tyranny. 

On the contrary, the federalist roaders reject the method of  nationalists' struggles and choose a nonviolent form, pretending  to follow the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi's example. At the same  time, these federalist roaders reject Mahatma Gandhi's advocacy  itself. Mahatma Gandhi struggled for the independence of India  through non-violence. In this non-violence, he established Quit  India Movement against the British Colonial Empire. This Quit  India Movement forced the British colonialists to leave India.  Mahatma Gandhi also supported and advocated for the armed  struggle of the colonized people for liberation. As it is well  known, Mahatma Gandhi is known as the symbol of the nonviolent  that led India to independence through nonviolent struggle. He,  however, supported armed struggle against colonial occupation in  the absence of a favorable condition. Here are his words: "I do  believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and  violence, I would advise violence. ….. I would rather have India  resort to arms to defend her honour than that she would, in a  cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her  dishonour." 

In the Ethiopian empire, there is no favorable condition to  resolve the colonial question and has never been. Hence,  choosing a nonviolent form of struggle is cowardice. Under such  conditions, choosing nonviolence is a willingly and cowardly  encouraging the Oromo people to remain a helpless witness to  their dishonor, to be under the colonial humiliation, and to stay under colonial conquest in the name of federalism. The only  option the Oromo people and its nationalists have is a road of  independence, liberating Oromiyaa from the Ethiopian colonial  empire. Standing at a crossroads is confusion itself. At the  same time, choosing the wrong road will affect Oromo’s future  significantly and irrevocably. Choosing federalist road is to  reverse the course of the Oromo struggle for liberation. In the Ethiopian empire, there is no favorable condition to  resolve the colonial question, and never has been. Hence,  choosing a nonviolent form of struggle is cowardice. Under such  conditions, choosing nonviolence is a willingly and cowardly  encouraging the Oromo people to remain a helpless witness to  their dishonor, to be under colonial humiliation, and to stay  under colonial conquest in the name of federalism. The only  option the Oromo people and its nationalists have is a road of  independence, liberating Oromiyaa from the Ethiopian colonial  empire. Standing at a crossroads is confusion itself. At the  same time, choosing the wrong road will affect Oromo’s future  significantly and irrevocably. Choosing the federalist road is  to reverse the course of the Oromo struggle for liberation. 

Now, to answer the question of the choices, one has to ask what  the Oromo question is and has been. The Oromo question is and  has been a colonial question. Oromiyaa is a colonized country  for the last century and a half to this very date. Ethiopia is  an empire created by Abyssinia. Oromo struggle is a national  liberation struggle for justice against injustice. In the  struggle for national liberation, Liberation Fronts organize on  the principle of the right of a nation to self-determination.  And so, the Oromo national liberation struggle. The Oromo  struggle is and has been a liberation struggle against Colonial  occupation, domination, oppression, subjection and exploitation,  and its unjust and evil system. Above all, a nation under  colonial occupation has no alternative other than to fight for  its freedom and liberation. The Oromo's fight is a fight for the  independence of Oromiyaa and the survival of the Oromo as a  nation, as a people, as a community, and as individuals. It is a  struggle for peace, justice, and stability for themselves, for  the region, and the world. Here, the Oromo struggle does not  target specific people, nations, nationalities, communities,  persons, or a person. Its target is the system of Abyssinian  imperial colonial occupation -the Ethiopian colonial empire, and  its instruments of the war-the army, the police force, security  apparatus, bureaucracy, its webs of spies, and the death squad.  These have to be fought out. It is for these reasons that the  Oromo people have been and are fighting since their occupation a  century and a half ago. It is a struggle for just cause.

In concurrence with this just cause, the UN General Assembly  Resolution 2649 (XXV) Article (1) states that it: “Affirms the legitimacy of the struggle of people under colonial  and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right  of self-determination to restore to themselves that right by any  means at their disposal,” and also in Resolution 3070 (XXVIII)  Article (2) states GA [General Assembly] “Also affirms the legitimacy of the peoples ‘struggle for liberation from  colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all  available means, including armed struggle.” 

The Inconvenient Truth Then and Now: The failures and  betrayals in the struggle for independence 

The failures of the leadership in the Oromo struggle: Since the last a century and a half, the Oromo people have lost opportunities for independence. There were four opportunities  arouse for the Oromo political leadership to unite against their  enemy. But all opportunities were lost because of the failures  of the leadership. The failures to unite are the dark side of  the Oromo struggle. The failures are because of the lack of a  homogeneity of political thought among Oromo political activists  and political leadership as to the Oromo question. 

The first opportunity to unite against Menelik of Abyssinia was  lost as he was advancing to conquer Oromiyaa. The second  opportunity arrived and lost was during 1935-9141. The third and  fourth opportunities successively again arrived in 1991 and 2018. All were lost because of the Oromo political leadership failure to unite.  

In this struggle, the Oromo people had both Opportunities and  Obstacles. The first opportunity lost was failure to unite against Menelik’s conquest. First Tuulama Oromo political  leadership failed to unite against Menelik, instead one allied  with Menelik to fight one Gosa against the other. Because of  these, Menelik was able to conquer Tuulama Oromo one by one.  This open the door for Menelik to other regions. The second opportunity came to the Oromo political leadership to unite was  during 1935-1941 when the Ethiopian empire was dissolved because  of the occupation of the Ethiopian empire by Italian. During  this time, Tuulama leadership supported Ethiopian empire rulers  in fighting Italians. Maccaa Oromo formed, in 1936, Western  Oromo Confederation and at the same time Arsi expelled all  Amhara settlers from their territory. The dark side of this period was the Oromo political leadership had failed to come  together to unite and declare independence from the Ethiopian  empire. The third chance was in 1991, when the colonial  government of the Ethiopian empire collapsed. This situation  provided an opportunity for the Oromo political leadership of  Oromiyaa to unite and declare independence, or at least take  control Oromiyaa. However, because of political leadership of  the Oromo political organizations failed to form a unified  organization against the TPLF, TPLF had the opportunity to enter  Finfinnee with its combat effectiveness. Allowing the TPLF to  enter Finfinnee and control Oromiyaa was the Oromo political  leaderships' tragic failure of monumental proportion in the  modern time Oromo history. Furthermore, trusting of the TPLF  and the encampment of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) by the OLF  political leadership at the height of the conflict with the TPLF was another tragic failure, a one-way suicide trip to  annihilation. Here, the political leadership of the Oromo people  once again failed to unite and therefore lost an opportunity to  control Oromiyaa. At the time, there were five Oromo political  organizations. All became rivalries to each other. The TPLF, got  opportunity to control Oromiyaa and expelled all Oromo political  organizations and their political leaderships to Finfinnee. The  fourth opportunity arose once again in 2018 with the collapse of  the TPLF. This time too there were five Oromo political  organizations and their leaderships failed again to unite to  declare independence. The TPLF’s puppet, the OPDO took over the  empire along with neo-Nafxanyas. Explaining such conditions,  Karl Marx wrote: “History repeat itself, first as tragedy,  second as farce.” This is true with the Oromo political  leadership. It was tragedy failing to unite at the dissolution  of the empire in 1935 -9141 but in 1991 and 2018 failures were  farce. This a testimony to what has been happening to the Oromo  since their colonization to this very date. In this regard,  paraphrasing George Santayana, Winston Churchill has to say  this: ‘Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of history are  condemned to repeat it.’ Again this is true with the Oromo  political leadership. Furthermore, Vasily Klyuchevsky, a Russian  historian, has to say this: "History teaches us nothing, but only punishes us for not learning its lessons." Here, what is  clear is that the Oromo political leadership for a century and a  half to date failed to learn from the mistakes of history, and  consequently, the cycle is continually repeating itself. 

As is well known, during the long Abyssinian war of conquest of  Oromiyaa, Oromo faced two choices: submit or fight. They fail to  unite to fight. While some Oromo regions accepted to submit,  Arsi Oromo and Harar Oromo rejected to submit. Their choice was to fight, to hit back the enemy by all means within their power  in defense of their country, their dignity, their future and  their freedom and independence. In this war of resistance, in  Harar and in Arsi, in both places people fought in unity, with  determination, and as a unitary entity not as isolated ones.  Their leadership neither submitted nor ran away, or went into  exile. In this war, Arsi fought four kings of Abyssinia from  1827 to 1941- Sahle Selassie, Haile Melekot, Menelik, and Haile  Selassie. The formation of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF in  1973, brought this unity as a unitary entity back to the Oromo  people as a whole. The OLF’s leadership choice of death over  living at Shinnigga, in Ogden, desert, on May 15, 1980, for  unity and political goal of the Oromo people by rejecting the  Somali military demand of them to be identified themselves as  Moslem or Christian reaffirmed the Oromo oneness, their unity,  and their goal of struggle for independence of Oromiyaa. The  group that came to leadership in 1999 has failed to learn from  both unity and commitment to the struggle. Instead, it  fragmented the OLF and its members to this very date. Moreover,  allowing the TPLF to enter Finfinnee in 1991 was the collective  failure of all Oromo political leadership. 

The gantuu/betrayal of the Oromo struggle for  independence 

Prof. Hamdessa Tuso described the meaning of gantuu as a  metaphor. He wrote:  

Gantuu is metaphor that the Oromos use in identifying those who  betray the cause they are expected to defend. ….a gantuu is a  character that runs away from an expected role – he has the  intention of harming the original cause, which is he is expected  to defend. The equivalent term that accurately describes the  social phenomenon of gantuu is quisling (The Social Construction  of the Oromo Galtuus in the Ethiopian Empire: Past and Present,  2020, P. 26). 

Simply put, gantuu means betrayal, traitor, sellout, or turncoat. Throughout recorded human history, treachery and  betrayals have been amongst the worst offenses people could  commit against their country and nation. Such persons are self serving traitors and collaborators with the enemy of their  country and nation. Here, it is clear that gantuu violates trust and loyalty. It is disloyalty to the people’s cause, a  breach of trust to hurt the cause, hopes, and expectations of  the people. History has shown time and again that there have  been betrayers and betrayed. Among history's most infamous 

Betrayers/gantuus from the days of biblical times to the present day here are a few names: Judas Iscariot of Israelite who  betrayed Jesus, Benedict Arnold of the U.S., Marshal Petain of  France, Vidkun Quisling of Norway, and Gobana Daaccee of  Oromiyaa. And in today's Oromiyaa, the OPDO is the most  notorious and treacherous organization that collaborated with  TPLF for 27 years in exterminating millions of the Oromo people  and responsible for the disappearance of hundreds of thousands  of Oromo nationals and now in alliance with neo-Nafxanyas in the  name of PP, both of which are the enemy of Oromiyaa, the Oromo  people and their liberation struggle, et cetera. In Oromiyaa,  their names are synonymous with betrayal/gantuu and the  notorious collaborators with the enemy of the Oromo people and  their cause. 

Prof. Hamdesa Tuso put “galtuus” as “the political behavior of  those Oromos who betray their own people to gain some  political/material benefits in the Ethiopian Empire” (Tuso,  Ibid, P. 1). They are and were political parasite/maxxannee of  the successive Ethiopian empire colonial rulers. Further, he  distinguished the tradition galtuus from the contemporary ones  represented by OPDO and now PP in these terms: The nature of  more recent Oromo galtuus is different than the case of Ras  Gobana. The more recent galtuus are, generally, more educated  and better informed regarding the contemporary world system.  They are groomed through modern educational system, which is  anchored on the Habesha cultural worldview” (Tuso, Ibid, P. 28). 

Without going into details, in my view, both Ras Gobana Daaccee,  his associates, and OPDO, the now PP are not only galtuus but  also gantuus. Both are the embodiment of these two characters.  And both groups were organized by the Oromo enemies. Here,  Gobana Daacce and his associates were organized by Amhara  political leadership while the OPDO was organized by the Tigran  political leadership, TPLF. Both betrayed the Oromo people and  their cause to join their enemies. In this sense, both are the  Abyssinian Empire political parasite in the betrayers of the  Oromo people. Now, the then OPDO and the now PP as galtuu and  gantuu has three jobs that it has been accomplishing. As a  colonial puppet agent, its one job is killing, slaughtering,  imprisoning, torturing, and maiming Oromo nationals and  committing genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against  humanity against the Oromo people on behalf of its successive  Abyssinian colonial masters. Its second purpose it to remove  psychology of liberation and establishment of free, sovereign,  independent people’s democratic republic of Oromiyaa from the minds of Oromo people. And its other job is and has been living  off Oromo people, enriching itself, robbing and embezzlements of Oromiyaa and its people while giving back nothing in return. The  hard fact is that our people have been the victims of this  political parasites-the human leeches of yesterday's OPDO and  today's PP. 

Along with this, the question may be raised as to how is it  possible for Abyssinia a poor and small country with a small  population, to invade, conquer and colonize Oromiyaa- the  largest, richest, and most populous country in the region- and  still maintained it. The answer is found in gantuu, Gobana Daaccee and his associates. 

Using this definition of gantuu not galtuu, here below, I will identify betrayal in the Oromo struggle led by Dawud Ibsa. The  Oromo people expect their political leadership to unite to  defend Oromiyaa, its people, and their cause. From this point of  view, one can describe that Dawud Ibsa’s leadership in the OLF  is and has been a history of failure and betrayal. Here below  are the work of betrayals/gantuus: 

The first person to abandon his people’s expectation of  defending his people and the county was Gobana Daaccee, and the  second is OPDO. Both allied with the enemy in fighting against  their people and their country in enabling the enemy to conquer  and colonize their country. In the first case, Gobana helped in  the conquest of his own country and the second case, OPDO has  been helping to maintain its conquered country under the  colonialist rule. 

In addition to the above, One can describe Dawud Ibsa's leadership as a history of failure and betrayal. What makes his  leadership betrayals from the standpoint of the Oromo people’s expectation are the follow. The purpose his leadership and other Oromo political elites' betrayal of the Oromo cause is to remove  the psychology of establishing a free, sovereign, independent  democratic republic of Oromiyaa from the mind of the Oromo  people in favor of Ethiopian empire democratization and  multinational federation to maintain the empire Menelik created. In order to achieve these, he and his leadership undertook the  following actions: 

First: Since their colonization, the Oromo people have been  fighting for independence. Until all that Dawud Ibsa did in  1999, Oromo’s political leaders did not give up their  combatants, their country and their people and go into exile to  hostile countries. People expect their political leadership to be among them both in bad and good times in their country and  fight for liberation. Leaving for exile by abandoning one’s  freedom fighters, the country, and the people is a  betrayal/gantuu of the cause. 

Second: The “Agenda for Peace of 2000 was agenda of guntuus.  This “Agenda for peace” called for disarming of the OLA in favor  of free and fair election in Ethiopian empire. It stated the  need for the democratization of the Ethiopian empire in the  interest of globalization. It was agenda of a promotion of renouncing armed struggle as a method of struggle for liberation  in order to participate in the Ethiopian elections. It started a  war against the political goals of the Oromo liberation  struggle- the independence of Oromiyaa. 

Third: At the Bergen Conference in Norway in 2004, the 1998 political program of the OLF was abolished, repealed, and  replaced. Bergen Conference, in Norway, was gantummaa. 

Fourth: the formation of Alliance for Freedom and Democracy  (AFD), on May 22, 2006, with the Coalition for Unity and  Democracy (CUD) and the Ethiopian People’s Patriotic Front  (EPPF), the Abyssinian organizations that the Oromo people have  irreconcilable interests with; no shared beliefs, no shared  values, and no common goal with the Oromo people. It was the  alliance with the enemy of the Oromo people and their political  objective. Obviously, aligning with the enemies of the people is  a gantumma. It constitutes giving aid and comfort to the  enemies. 

Fifth: With the formation of the AFD, ABO Shanee, with the  support of CUD and EPPF, and Eritrea filed a lawsuit on July 19,  2007, at the Fourth Judicial District Court of the State of  Minnesota against Qaama Cehumsa of OLF (TA-OLF) over the use of  the name of OLF, its logo, and its flag. The lawsuit alleged  that the name OLF is OLF-Shanee's trademark, ABO is a business  entity. And so, it argued that TA-OLF in using the name OLF, its  logo, and its flag “violated the Uniform Deceptive Trade  Practices Act” and interfered with the “Prospective economic  advantage” of ABO-Shanee. It was the work of quislings. OLF is  not a business entity, but it is a liberation front. Accordingly, the Court ruled in favor of OLF-TA and dismissed  the lawsuit as frivolous and baseless. 

Six: People expect their political leadership as a unifier, not  a divider. The OLF leadership under Dawud Ibsa divided the OLF, its leadership, its members by introducing a political position  that is hostile to and in contradiction to the Oromo cause, and  their struggle. Since 2001 to date, uninterrupted attacks have  been launched by ABO-Shanee against the Oromo struggle for  national liberation from colonial occupation, against their  common dreams of freedom, dignity, justice, and peace, and their  unity, and against prioritizing collective interests over  individual interests. These attacks have been in the name of the  Agenda for peace, federation, democratization of Ethiopian  empire, and today in the name of the Transitional Government of  Oromiyaa in the Ethiopian colonial empire to maintain this  colonial empire. Hence, his leadership is an epitome of national  betrayal/gantuu-the cause of the Oromo people for national  liberation struggle. 

Seventh: The exotic name Transitional Government of Oromiyaa in  the Ethiopian empire is the gantuu's agenda. It is a negation of  the Oromo aspiration for the establishment of a free, sovereign,  independent people’s democratic republic of Oromiyaa. Never in  the history of an empire or colonial empire had that a colonized  people have ever established a transitional government while  still under the colonial rule. This so-called transitional  government of Oromiyaa is simply a recycling of the former  Agenda for Peace of 2000 to throw confusion and doubt among the  uninformed and innocent Oromo nationals as to the cause of Oromo  national struggle. 

What must be understood from this is that since 1999 until now,  Dawud Ibsa and his associates have failed to understand the  impossibility of democratizing a collapsed or collapsing empire.  No empire in history has ever achieved democratization or  federalization. In regard to this, Professor Hamdessa Tuso  wrote: 

I will argue that the dream of democratizing Ethiopia must come  to the end – democratizing a collapsing empire is an impossible  mission. I will further argue that all Oromos have to confront  the cruel reality that the Habesha ideology of dominance is  insurmountable within the imperial system. It is very clear that  the efforts to democratize Ethiopia since the 1960s has failed  miserably (Tuso, op. cit., p.54). 

Abyssinian Settler-colonizers have been greatly assisted by the  disunity and fragmentations of the Oromo political  organizations, political leadership, elites, and activists. All failed to learn that Oromo in unity is strong and withstand the  enemy by force. They failed to learn from the Arsi’s fight in  unity against the successive Abyssinian kings-Sahle Selassie,  Haile Melekot, Menelik, and Haile Selassie. It was only Menelik  who was finally able to conquer Arsi. The conquest was helped  with the massive fighting force that he was able to conscript into his army from the conquered Oromo regions and Oromo  resources he was able to amass from these regions. In addition  to these, he also used smallpox as a biological warfare,  military firepower and political and military advisors he  received from the European powers. Not only this, Dawud Ibsa  and his cliques failed to learn from the unity displayed by the  Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) leadership under Magarsaa Barii at  Shinniga. They chose to die rather than betray each other, the  organization, the people, and the cause of the struggle. 

The way forward 

The question now is as to what are the lessons-to-be-learned  from the successes, the failures, and the betrayals. We have  seen the Abyssinian conquest and its cruelty against the Oromo  people and the weaknesses within the Oromo political leadership  that led to the conquest of Oromiyaa by the Abyssinian  colonialism. And we have seen what had happened to the Oromo  people under colonialism. We also show the rise of the new  generation of Oromo political leadership in the 1960s and 1970s.  This leadership laid out a strong basis for the activities  concerning the purpose, objective, goal, and direction of the  Oromo struggle, the colonial question. The decisions made were  consistent with Oromo values, vision, and aspirations. It was a  generation motivated by what is to be the best for the dignity  and inherently inalienable rights of the Oromo people to self determination. Hence, this struggle addressed the real needs of  the Oromo people for liberation from colonial occupation and to  establish the independent democratic republic of Oromiyaa. 

Without understanding the Oromo history of past greatness, then  their split into kingdoms and Gada regions followed with the  history of colonial subjugation, domination, exploitation,  subordination, dispossession of lands and resources, and without  knowing the successive Oromo struggles against the colonial  occupation, we may never know who we are and what for the Oromo  struggle is and has been. We owe it to ourselves to learn about  the truth. To do this, first we must recognize the past and the  present failures and betrayals/gantummaa. We must recognize the  failure of Oromo leadership to unite during the war of colonial conquest. And also need to recognize failures to unite during  the dissolution of the empire 1935-1941 and its collapse in  1991, and again now in 2018. The failure of the leadership to  exile itself in 1999; we must recognize the failure of bringing  “Agenda for Peace,” the Agenda for the democratization of the  Ethiopian empire of 2000 that split the OLF and the repeal and  replace of the OLF Political program of 1998 in 2004. Then,  following these, the danger of the OLF-Shanee Formation of  “Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD)”, on 22 May 2006, with  the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and the Ethiopian  People’s Patriotic Front (EPPF), the Abyssinian organizations  that the Oromo people have irreconcilable interests with; no  shared beliefs and no common goal with the Oromo people. With  this "Agenda for peace," the high hopes of the 1970s for the  liberation of Oromiyaa began fading. Even though the OLF has  grass-root followers, its political elites and members could not  agree on a definite, consistent political position. Here,  elites' political vagueness, vacillation, and disunity have been  typical to this date. 

The Oromo struggle should take a multidimensional form of  struggles-armed struggle, political struggle, diplomacy,  economic boycotts, refusing to pay taxes, roadblocks, peaceful  demonstrations and so forth etc. These must be used uniformly  throughout Oromiyaa. Through their struggle, the Oromo heroes  and heroines had made significant achievements against the  Ethiopian colonial empire, as indicated in the previous  paragraphs. Today, these achievements stand on the great  foundation of the historical records of untold grief, pain,  dedication, bravery, courage, and sacrifice of millions of Oromo  masses and the revolutionary freedom fighters. These  achievements were at the cost of blood, shed by thousands of  best sons and daughters of the Oromo people. These heroes and  heroines are the greatest and immortal martyrs of the Oromo  generation in the Oromo national liberation struggle for  independence. 

Today's Oromo generation of the 21st century, the Qubee  generation, has to follow the example of their predecessors-the  1960s and 1970s generation. Those generation took up arms  against the colonizer. Armed struggle is much as relevant now as  it was then, and even more so. Here it is required of this Qubee  generation the establishment of national political leadership  that is committed to the total independence of Oromiyaa, not to  the federalization nor the democratization of the colonial empire, and to unite in strong national liberation organization,  and uphold the unity of members, the unity of objective and the  goal of the struggle. 

It further needs to engage in multidimensional forms of  struggles, including a coherent military and political strategy  for conducting the armed struggle for national liberation.  Hence, the conscious unity of our people and nationalists are  the key to this national liberation struggle for independence.  It is now time to abandon the federalist road and take the  independence road. Today, millions of Oromo have schooled and  had a chance of achieving the goal of uprooting the system of  the Ethiopian empire settler colonialism. However, it failed to  follow its predecessors. Instead of taking up arms in the like  of its predecessors, it chose to face the enemy crossing empty  hands. In history, no country has ever been liberated through  peaceful demonstrations of crossing hands. As stated above, the  called for “Transitional Government of Oromiyaa” in the  Ethiopian colonial empire is the political agenda of reformist,  pacifist, renegades, and capitulationist Oromo nationals. It is  a Trojan horse whereby those who want to undermine the Oromo  struggle are waiting to attack the Oromo unity, the Oromo  people, and Oromo nationalists from within. 

Today's calling for the Transitional Government of Oromiyaa in  the genocidal Ethiopian colonial empire is a resurrection or  recycling of the former Agenda for peace of 2000 that split the  OLF in 2001. Moreover, the call for the Transitional government  of Oromiyaa in Ethiopian colonial empire, the federalization of  the Ethiopian empire, democracy, fair and free election, harmony  and equality in the Ethiopian colonial empire clothing oneself  with the OLF name is a sellout of the struggle for independence  of Oromiyaa for which so many heroes and heroines sacrificed  their precious lives for generations. Hence, to call for such a  government while still, Oromiyaa is under Abyssinian colonial  occupation is the betrayal of the objective of the Oromo  struggle and the betrayal of the Oromo heroes and heroines, the  gallant sons and daughters of the Oromo people who had  sacrificed and still sacrificing their precious lives for the  independence of Oromiyaa. The purpose of this so-called  government is to divide, neutralize, and undermine the unity of  the Oromo people and their nationalists and to obstruct, weaken  and defeat the national liberation struggle. They serve as propaganda and disinformation tool of the empire organized to  confuse the people. It is a dangerous political trap laid out in  the way. The federalism and democratization of the Ethiopian  empire and the Transitional Government of Oromiyaa in the  Ethiopian empire are all political tricks to confuse the Oromo public. These are the political scheme of Federalist roaders of  the Ethiopian colonial empire. Such schemes must be rejected by  all. Here, we should critically re-examine and review the OLF’s political programs of 1976 and 1998 with respect to the declared  aims and goals of the liberation struggle, the understanding  these programs represented, the mindsets, values, norms, and the  expectations of the Oromo people who supported such struggles  for liberation. 

For a century and a half to this date, the Oromo people have  been fighting against Abyssinian settler-colonial occupation to  restore their lost liberty, justice, freedom, and independence.  These are the Oromo's inherent, inalienable, and imprescriptible  rights: the rights to be the masters of their country. This  right is non-negotiable. For this, the Oromo’s will and  determination to fight have been and are at the core of  defeating the enemy. To this end, we need unity, and leadership  with determination and commitment, a strong political  organization, an invincible military might that fights  efficiently and effectively in order to break the enemy’s will  and cripple its capacity to fight. To do this, first, the  national liberation front, through direct political and military  actions, must control the will, perception, and understanding of  the enemy’s support base. The control of these will make the  enemy impotent to act or react as the national liberation front  pushes forward. This means, taking initiative away from the  enemy. In the end, the enemy surrenders to the forces of  national liberation. This is the only way to go in the national  liberation struggle. We must understand that denunciation and  condemnation of PP, though important, by themselves, are not  enough. We must fight it. We as a people must embrace the armed struggle. We must defeat the enemy in open and tenacious combat.  For this, now is the time to be united, organized, armed, and  fight. Finally, the sacred goal of the Oromo people is and  always has been the establishment of the People’s Democratic  Republic of Oromiyaa which is a sovereign independent state. We  have to fight for it. It is time to remind ourselves and adopt  the words of revolutionary scholar Dr. Haile Fida: “the  conscious, organized, and armed people win.” To this effect, now  the time is right. It is our time to fight. For this, it is time  to rise up, to stand up together, to organize, unite, arm  ourselves, and wage a war of national liberation struggle  against the colonial occupation of Oromiyaa- our land, our  country. 

Now, more than ever before, it is time for unity. In unity, we  must follow the glorious history of our freedom fighters who had  fought and fallen in this war of Oromo national liberation struggle. Today, because of them, our people stand tall and  proud. This Qubee generation must follow their example. Those Oromo heroes and heroines of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s fought  with determination, grace, faithful, diligence, courage, and  bravery for the liberation of Oromiyaa. They had a clear vision,  mission, and goal for the independence of Oromiyaa. The  nationalists of the Qubee generation have to unite on a clear  mission and with a clear goal in this national liberation  struggle for the liberation of Oromiyaa from the Ethiopian  colonial empire. It is time to reject the revisionists call for  a “Transitional government of Oromiyaa” in the Ethiopian  colonial empire if one wants to fight for the independence of  Oromiyaa. In this struggle, if the Oromo people, unite no one  can stop them from achieving their goal. If all Oromo  nationalists united under one objective goal, Oromiyaa should  not be standing at the crossroads of history. It is time to  abandon crossroads and take the independence road. It is time to  move from protest to challenge. It is possible in unity. Let us  integrate our struggle, our vision, and unite on a common goal.  We are stronger together in unity. Therein lies victory. 

Glory to the Fallen Oromo Heroes and Heroines!

Oromiyaa Shall be Free!


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