January 24, 2010

Oromo: from Self-Deception via Self-Adminstration to Self-Determination (Fayyis Oromia)

Oromo: from Self-Deception via Self-Adminstration to Self-Determination

Fayyis Oromia

Few days back, one “breaking news” from Oromia came out telling the world that the beginning of 2010 is “the end for the armed struggle of the Oromo liberation movement, i.e. the OLF is almost dead.” Is this fact or fancy? Are the news makers deceiving themselves or are they devoid of the sense for reality? Did the consumers of the news fall into the trap of buying the reason for the merrymaking in the Weyane camp in the last few days? Here, I do try to show how almost all stakeholders are living in self-deception as far as the Oromo liberation movement is concerned. I think the following groups do live under such self-made “reality” about Oromo, Oromia and the Oromo liberation struggle:

- the international power players and the interested governments, such as the UK and USA, do think that they can maintain the peace and stability they want to have in the Horn of Africa by neglecting, ignoring and suppressing the Oromo liberation movement and by simply supporting the occupation force of Weyane. For this definitely will not serve their strategical interest, they seem to live under self-deception.

- the unitarist forces of the empire, which still dream to reverse the liberation move of the Oromo people towards self-determination by simply talking about the unconditional Ethiopian unity and which are still trying to dismantle the present symbolical Oromia, do also live under self-deception; and they continue to preach as if the Oromo people are interested not for national independence, but only for the individual freedom in the unitary country called Ethiopia, which they seem to romanticize.

- the hegemonist leaders of the ruling party, who are almost blind to see their near and far futurity because of the arrogance they developed based on the “military success” they had against Derg and thereafter. They are living under the self-deceptive fancy of ruling over Oromia and other national areas in the empire forever without taking into consideration the negative consequence of their present action on the fate of their future generation.

- the collaborating Oromo individuals as a part of the ruling party, who do tell us that they have already liberated the Oromo people and preach to us that now we are successfully on the way of developing economically, are living under the self-deception par excellence.

- those who are democratic federalists out of conviction and who tell us that Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian context is the end-goal of the Oromo liberation movement do live under self-deception, considering it as fact that “the Oromo people will never demand more than this federal arrangement.”

- some of the liberation fronts, which want to limit the goal of our liberation movement to the achieving of only the isolated & independent republic of Oromia, also seem to live under self-deception, and they want to convince us that the further integration of independent Oromia with its neighboring nations in whatever form “is not in our interest.”

- of course, the special group of people, who do want to live under self-deception are those Oromo individuals or groups who gave up the armed struggle and joined the ruling party. Some of them told us that “the Oromo question under the current regime is already satisfactorily answered.” The currently surrendered group under self-deception told the world that “the OLF is no more an effective freedom fighter on which Oromo people can further count.” This is the worst self-deception of all. As long as Oromia is under occupation force, OLF will stay not only alive, but continue to develop as a major force in the region. The only effective way of killing OLF is the liberation of Oromia so that the Oromo people will have no necessity to foster and support such liberation front. Otherwise, OLF has got a potential 40-million freedom fighters, including those Oromo individuals in the ruling party, whom it can mobilize whenever it needs.

The self-deception of these all stakeholders is specially regarding the fact on the ground that Oromo nationalism is growing slowly, but surely similar to a gradual rise of a sea level to slowly flow over their heads. They will just be surprised in due time how overwhelming this movement is to uncover their denial. The Oromo liberation movement is also like a slowly heating water to its boiling point. The foes of the movement will just experience that they are like frogs in such a slowly heating water. They enjoy the warmth till they will get overwhelmed in due time in the slowly boiling water.

The other very important reality on the ground, which should be accepted by all stakeholders, is that the Oromo liberation journey from this status quo of self-deception will continue by any means through achieving a self-administration envisioned by some federalist movements towards the self-determination of the nation as planned by our liberation fronts. All the above mentioned stakeholders need to perceive this reality and act accordingly for the sake of their own respective long term interest. They need to consider the inevitable Oromo liberation movement in the equation of their political calculus. Specially, the oppressed mass of both Amhara and Tegaru nations should take this into consideration and fight for the self-determination of their respective people to free from Weyane tyranny in parallel and/or in alliance with the liberation struggle of Oromo and that of other oppressed nations in the empire/region.

But my call to the factions of OLF and the different fronts of the Oromo liberation movement is again to unite or to merge. The Oromo people now has almost come to the conclusion that there is no difference of Kaayyoo (goal) between them. We, as a nation, do have only one Kaayyoo with three terms to be met through three different Karaa’s (ways): through the way of the Oromo rebel fronts, via the way of the opposition movements and/or through the way of the Oromo ruling party. Despite all the hitherto sufferings and failures, the Oromo people will push in our fight for freedom forward. I don’t think that we need a “paradigm shift” as some people try to suggest to us, but we need only a deep comprehension about the complementarity (no contradiction) of the different terms of our Kaayyoo, which each of our liberation organizations seems to follow. There is no conflict of Kaayyoo, but there is only ONE Oromo-Kaayyoo, which can be divided into the following three terms:

- the I-Kaayyoo (Immediate or short term Kaayyoo), i.e Oromian autonomy (true federation)

- the M-Kaayyoo (Middle term Kaayyoo), i.e Oromian independence without a union, and

- the E-Kaayyoo (End or long term Kaayyoo), i.e Oromian independence with a union of independent nations, including or excluding Abyssinia.

Some people are talking about only the I-Kaayyoo and they want us to make it be the E-Kaayyoo. They present it as if OLF is against the I-Kaayyoo. Such opinions are sometimes from the Weyane cadres, who are intentionally trying to create the conflict among Oromo liberation fighters, even though there is no conflict of Kaayyoo between them. Let the people in such pro-I-Kaayyoo group bring us to a genuine federation with the democratization in Ethiopia, if it really can happen. No Oromo with sound mind opposes this move. The same attempt of confusion is true for those who do try to create a conflict between I-Kaayyoo and M-Kaayyoo as well as between M-Kaayyoo and E-Kaayyoo. I am sure they all now know how every Oromo is nowadays determined to forge Tokkummaa for Bilisummaa (unity for liberty) to march together to achieve the above mentioned short, middle and long term goals – one after another.

We all first will achieve the true kilil-federation, where Oromian autonomy will be respected within the Ethiopian context. Then, only Oromo people will decide if we will be satisfied by achieving only this I-Kaayyoo or whether we will move further to the M-Kaayyoo, i.e. struggle for Oromian independence. Then again, it will be the role of only Oromo people to decide, if we will be satisfied by arriving at the middle Kaayyoo or whether we will move further to the E-Kaayyoo, i.e. to foster the union of independent nations, which may include only the hitherto oppressed nations of the empire or may include also the two Habesha nations (which till now fought against the right of oppressed nations to self-determination) or which may include all nations in the Horn. Anyways, the Oromo liberation journey is from the status quo of slavery under Weyane subjugation — through federation to secure Oromian autonomy — and through liberation in a form of Oromian independence — to the union of nations with bilisummaa Oromo (Oromo people’s freedom) and walabummaa Oromia (Oromoland’s sovereignity). In short, our Kaayyoo is, in entirety, the walfaanummaa (union) of nations with bilisummaa and walabummaa.

Specially, it is good for the consolidation of our liberation struggle to have such guideline with the union of independent nations as a common END, instead of talking about only bilisummaa Oromo and walabummaa Oromia. The advantage is that it sends good message to the Oromo liberation groups to cooperate and coordinate their move as well as it tackles the opposition from the other groups, which do have fear from the Oromo liberation movement:

- to all Oromo nationalists rallying behind different liberation movements, even to those supporting OPDO, it gives the very clear direction and guideline of moving: from the status quo kept by OPDO – first to the goal of OFC – then to the goal of OLF – at last to the goal of the AFD-like unionist, so that there is/will be no point of conflict and area of contradiction among them.

- to the Ethiopianist Oromo individuals who do oppose the Oromo liberation movement just for having “love to the united Ethiopia,” it persuades them to be obliged to choose between a unitary Ethiopia and an Ethiopian/regional union. Of course, they cannot have moral ground to prefer unitary region to regional union.

- to the other oppressed nations in the empire, which feel insecure by the rhetoric of establishing only the independent republic of Oromia, it gives them the moral and the chance to be on our side. They will feel to be part of the future union of the future free and sovereign nations in the region. It encourages them to rally on the side of Oromo freedom fighters.

- to some of the rational and democratic Habeshas who at least can see the legitimacy of our liberation struggle, but oppose it for having fear to be limited only in Abyssinia, it helps them to understand that the future union of free nations means also a custom union, a common market and a political union of all nations in the empire/region, which allows free movement of capital, goods, labour, person and service with the right for all citizens to settle in any place in the union. These group can rally beside Oromo freedom fighters, instead of crying only about the unitary empire. It is clear our main enemies (the die-hard unitarists and hegemonists, who do fight us unconditionally to bring back the unitary empire or to maintain their hegemony in the present empire), do every thing possible to hinder our forward move.

- to other sovereign nations in the Horn, like Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia, it sends the message of inclusiveness, so that they will not have irrational fear from being disadvantaged and dominated by the biggest nation of the Horn (the Oromo) in the future.

- to the international community and the superpowers which do have a big interest to keep the integrity of the empire/region, it sends one alternative way of doing it, instead of only unconditionally supporting the oppressive, dominant and undemocratic unitarists or hegemonists.

In general, the opinion of having a union of independent nations as an end-goal is constructive and helpful to promote our struggle for national liberation as well as to foster the future regional integration, both of which need to be stressed and done one after another or side by side.. Despite the obstacles, the setbacks and the hitherto failures, take it only 1 year, about 10 years or as long as 100 years, Oromia shall be free, and a necessary stable ground for the future union of independent nations in the region will be established. We, Oromo, should have no illusion: we like it or not, now we are under occupation. No rhetoric can undo this fact; we need to struggle for our freedom. Time will come when the next generation of our current oppressors will ask the Oromo nation for forgiveness for the crime their ancestors did till now and are doing today.

We also need to stop the blame game sometimes directed against only the leaders of our liberation movement for the unsuccess we had in our struggle. Just as we do share the glory whenever they lead us to success, we should also be ready to share the pain when we (they) fail. It is enough that the Weyane cadres do the blaming and the accusation, in order to discourage them, 24 hours and 7 days per week in the cyber world. Let us Oromo nationalists concentrate on the constructive criticism, i.e. by showing the alternative and the corrective way forward. Leading the Oromo liberation is very very difficult because of many factors attributable to us – the Oromo people, to our foe Abyssinian rulers and to their allies (administrations of the neighboring nations and that of the Western nations). Here I am not saying that our leaders are free from mistakes, but I just suggest that we need to address their “weaknesses” in appropriate manner, at a right place and time. Of course, we need to learn also to give them a due respect for leading us until now under the dire circumstances to the victories we already achieved.

To have more success and victory in our future move, we should try to break the hitherto vicious cycle, which may contribute to the downward spiral leading us to the strategical failure and we need to build the necessary virtuous cycle, which can promote our struggle towards success. Examples for the vicious factors are the division based on region, party and religion; passivity and inaction; as well as the negative aspects of our sub-cultures and religions, which are deviating our attention away from our liberation struggle. Because of such vicious factors, we all have paid and are still paying the price directly and/or indirectly. Some of the necessary virtues we need are, such as readiness to be led by Oromummaa and by the will of serving our national interest; a willingness to dedicate our talent, money and time for the struggle; more orientation towards and emphasis on practice, action and pragmatism in contrast to the ideologies and the theories we usually like to talk and write; last but not least, we need a necessary patience and perseverance in the long lasting journey towards our End-Kaayyoo.

We also do not forget the fact that nations like England were under occupation of the roman empire for many hundred years and nations like Israel used to had lost their existence as a nation also for many hundred years. The fact that Oromia is now under occupation for the last about 150 years is not exceptional. But it is an oxymoron and a self-deception of the black community, in particular, and the international community, in general, to consider Ethiopia as a “never colonized country in Africa”; and it is a paradox to accept Finfinne as “free capital city of Africa”, whereas the fact is that one of the biggest African nations, Oromia, and its capital city, Finfinnee, are under occupation of the only African partaker of the European colonizers’ scramble for Africa in the end of the 19th century, i.e Oromia and its capital city Finfinne are still under the occupation of Abyssinia. I hope in due time all the stakeholders, who are still living with the above all mentioned self-deception and denial will wake up and smell the coffee. Even if they don’t wake up, despite the discouraging stands of all the stakeholders, the different parts of the Oromo nation will slowly, but surely come together and move forward together from the present OPDO’s political position of Oromo self-deception — via OFC’s position of Oromo self-administration — to OLF’s position of Oromo self-determination.


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