April 27, 2010

Consensus on Ethiopian Unity, But Referendum On Oromian Unity? (Fayyis Oromia)

Consensus on Ethiopian Unity, But Referendum On Oromian Unity?

What a double standard and absurdity in the Habesha political camp? Let alone the reactionary unitarists like AEUP and the conservative hegemonists like TPLF, even “the modern, liberals and moderates” like UDJ and G-7 are not free from such double standard, just as their friends/masters in the Western world are not free from all sorts of double standards. Here are few of the double standards, I did observe, being practiced by Habesha elites:

- “Amarigna as the federal working language is indisputable whereas Afaan Oromo needs public verdict”;

- “Ethiopian unity is unconditional (needs only consensus of elites) whereas Oromian unity (one Oromia in a killil-federation of Ethiopia) needs referendum”;

- “Ethiopiawinet or Ethiopian nationalism which is actually the mask for Amharanet/Habeshanet or for Amhara nationalism/Abyssinian nationalism is the ‘holy nationalism’ whereas Oromummaa or Oromo nationalism is the ‘evil Gosenyinet or evil clanism’”

I now write this short essay based on the recent assertion of UDJ leaders who have told us not to make any compromise on Ethiopian unity, but want to go for the public’s verdict to decide on the legitimacy of Oromian unity, which is at least partially secured currently by the killil-federation (even though it is fake) in the Ethiopian context, if not yet by the complete independence of Oromia from the subjugating empire. I also heard one interview given by Mr. Andargachew Tsige, who still insisted on the acceptance of Ethiopian unity as the unconditional precondition to make an alliance with other opposition forces, such as the OLF.

No question that media outlets of AEUP and the likes lament about gosenyinet (clanism) when they want to talk about national movements like the Oromo national liberation movement. It is also not surprising to observe that some Oromo individuals, who are the descendants of privileged Oromo individuals during the monarchy and the military dictatorship like Dr. Zergabachew Asfaw Gammachu (the son of Bako/Ambo Wereda/Awuraja-gezhi, i.e. the son of the district/regional governor during the monarchy), are now rallying behind the reactionary unitarist forces like AEPO of the late Prof. Asrat.

We do see that there are, nowadays, three groups crying for unconditional Ethiopian unity, but disregard the importance of Oromian unity and autonomy. The ruling Tigrean hegemonists just talk the talk even though their main interest is only maintaining their lucrative power in Finfinne palace. The obsolete faara (old style) unitarists cry foul against killil-federation explicitly, discrediting it as “ye gosaa politika/clan politics.” The cunning araada (street smart) unitarists in G-7 and UDJ talk about unconditional Ethiopian unity as well as they try to act against Oromian unity by preaching about the buzz concepts like democracy, human rights, individual freedom, justice, development, peace, good governance, etc., but by opposing the killil-federation, which is the minimal guarantee for Oromian unity.

Anyways, be it the araada way or faara way, it is about saving the empire. The faara’s try it with old methods like talking what Debteraa Bahirey and Aleqaa Taye wrote regarding Ethiopian history. The araada’s use totally other methods. For instance, to reduce the danger coming from the Oromo, they use the following theories as postmodern approaches, which would be applied to fight against Oromo’s right to self-determination and to save the empire from disintegration:

- “all Ethiopians, including Tigrayans, are Oromo so Oromo liberation is not necessary” – the approach of some “modern Habesha historians”;

- “Oromo, as a majority, can rule Ethiopia, so let’s fight for democracy together – no need of liberation movement” – an approach of the modern Abesha movements, which try to instrumentalize Adde Birtukan Midhagsa;

- “everybody in Ethiopia is blended with Oromo; so Ethiopia is Oromia, and the Ethiopian empire is in reality an Oromo empire” – Aite Siye’s approach belongs here;

- “let’s focus on the development of Oromia; our people need more food rather than freedom” – Weyane’s/OPDO’s approach to divert attention of Oromo from the struggle for liberation and to pacify Oromo;

- “Oromo need unconditional independence, but OLF is the first enemy who abandoned this goal; so first focus on bashing, cursing, demonizing, discrediting and vilifying OLF” – Weyane cadres camouflaged as the radical pro-Oromo independence use this method.

The recent araada move is what we have observed in the new alliance Medrek, where the participating elites had a consensus to keep Ethiopian unity unconditionally, but agreed to have public referendum to decide on Oromian unity (killil-federation) vs. Oromian division (xeqilaigizat-federation). The cunning Habesha politicians in UDJ could “convince” the good-hearted yewah (harmless) Oromo politicians to accept this move. This move made me ask: is there any Amhara politician, disregarding the Weyane slaves in ANDM, who is really ready to accept and respect the right of Oromia for autonomy and unity? Yes, it is clear that Tigrean elites at least talk this talk even though they don’t walk the talk, i.e. they do respect this right of Oromia, at least partially and verbally.

Why are Ethiopianist elites, the majority being Amhara elites, as such die-hard opponents of Oromian unity and autonomy? Of course, it has got historical reason, which I don’t want to narrate here. I leave history for historians. In short, they seem to still fight the war of their forefathers against Oromo. Here, it is necessary to mention the struggle, which the Oromo people had fought against the Amhara ruling class (the old nefxenyas) for more than one century, and the failures Oromo experienced in the struggle to achieve their goal of Oromo liberation, specially because of the assistance given by the Western regimes to their Abyssinian servants. The following are a few of the assistance given as examples:

- the old nefxenyas could colonize Oromia, despite the heroic resistance of the Oromo people, by the help of the European colonialists at the end of the nineteenth century;

- the sporadic Oromo uprisings, such as that of Raya and Bale, were suppressed by the diplomatic and military help of the West;

- the demand of Oromo nationalists to establish Oromian confederation after the Second World War has been rejected by the Western allies, and they restored the monarchy to rule over Oromia further;

- the Oromo movement for self-determination, being led by Dr. Haile Fida of MEISON, was crashed by the help of the Soviets in 1977;

- the high motivation of the Oromo people for liberation in 1992, being led by OLF, was sabotaged, and the OLF army was encamped and destroyed with the very help of the West and the EPLF given to the neo-nefxenya, Weyane;

- the coming back of the Oromo national movement via AFD to take the responsibility in the empire and to determine the Oromo people’s fate, again being led by OLF, including the defection of Oromo Generals to support this move was again crashed by using the “invasion of Somalia” with the help of Americans in 2007;

- the current attempt of the Habesha elites and their Western helpers again to isolate Oromo nationalists from taking part in discussions and deliberation concerning the empire, against which Oromo nationalists protested in the last few weeks, is again symptomatic of the trend described above.

It is interesting to observe that Abyssinian elites (Amharas, Tegarus and Eritreans) do quarrel only on the position of a possible political domination in the region, but agree on making Oromia unconditionally be part and parcel of the empire without a consensus and consultation with Oromo elites. They all cry about unconditional Ethiopian unity, ignoring or disregarding the importance of Oromian unity and autonomy for the peace and stability of the region. They try to talk about the problems in the Ethiopian empire and the Horn, but forget that the central part of the problem is the colonization of Oromia and the core of the solution is the liberation of Oromia. How long will these Habesha elites and their Western helpers fool themselves?

The Oromo people have survived the invasions and imperialistic domination in the last many centuries, the colonization by Abyssinians being only part of these invasions. Oromo has resisted all cultural, economic and political subjugation. The territory occupied by the Oromo people seems to have been squeezed to the present status from all sides, specially from the north and the east. Leaving again history for historians, the current national area of Oromo aka Oromia unquestionably deserves its own autonomy and unity. All areas where the Oromo people live are continuous areas as depicted by the hitherto maps of Oromia from the north, Raya, to the south, Lamu, and from the west, Assosa, to the east Jijjiga.

Just as Habesha elites cry for Ethiopian unity, Oromo elites try to establish and keep Oromian unity (unity of Oromo national areas from north to south, and from west to east). The Oromo people are not necessarily against Ethiopian unity as the unitarist and the hegemonist Habeshas try to paint, but they are surely for Oromian unity. The question to Habesha elites is that can they learn to accept and respect this Oromian unity, just as they wish that the Oromo people do accept and respect Ethiopian unity? This is the crucial issue, where specially Amhara elites should check their position. At the time they start to learn this and come to terms, it is really not hard to make a necessary alliance with Oromo nationalists against the fascist Weyane regime. At the moment, unfortunately, the unitarist Amhara/Ethiopianist elites are an obstacle for such constructive alliance.

Now, it seems that Weyane is still enjoying the God-given lottery, i.e. the historical face-off between the Oromo and the Amhara elites as a “unique historical advantage for the TPLF” to perpetuate its rule. The far-sighted Oromo freedom fighters in OLF and the few reasonable Amhara democrats of CUD did forge AFD in the year 2006, which Meles Zenawi mocked as a marriage between “fire and straw” (isat ina ciid). Was he right? Again, the attempt of forging alliance by some moderate politicians from both Amhara and Oromo sides as well as from other nations in a form of MEDREK has not yet got the required optimal compromise solution. These elites in Medrek should have come to the consensus to forge and keep Oromian unity in the Ethiopian context unconditionally, just as they come to agreement to keep Ethiopian unity by any means. Unfortunately, AFD failed because of the withdrawal of both CUD and EPPF; similarly, Medrek seems to be in danger of disintegration for the rejection of UDJ to accept the right of Oromian unity and autonomy unconditionally.

At the time when Amhara/Ethiopianist elites in the parties like AEUP, EPRP, G-7 and UDJ start to accept and respect this Oromian unity unconditionally, I am sure it will not be hard for Oromo nationalists also to sing Ethiopian union for common benefit. When Oromian unity and autonomy are unconditionally accepted by all stakeholders in the region, including the power players of the globe, the Oromo people are the last to be disadvantaged in a union, be it in the name of Ethiopia or the Horn. But trying to by-pass Oromo’s national interest with the pretext of talking about only Ethiopia or the Horn, as it was done in the last “conference on Ethiopia and on the Horn,” is simply not a solution for that cursed and troubled region.

The best way to be seen as a solution is, Finfinne being the political center of Africa, to fight for Oromian unity unconditionally as a nucleus for Ethiopian/Horn unity and for African unity. When Habesha elites, in particular, and other stakeholders, in general, agree to move in this direction, Oromo elites will have no problem to forge any sort of alliance and to cooperate in any political move to stabilize the region. The araada’s like G-7 should accept the unconditional Oromian unity as one of the precondition, in addition to their unconditional Ethiopian unity and democracy, which they do always preach to us, in order to forge an efficient alliance with Oromo liberation forces like OLF. The other parties like UDJ should also learn to have a consensus on unconditional Oromian unity instead of crying for the referendum they have started to talk about. It is simply unfair to insist on consensus for unconditional Ethiopian unity, but demand referendum on Oromian unity, which can simply be taken as Ethiopian unity at the expense of Oromian unity (an attempt to dismantle Oromia per referendum).

It is clear that any attempt of Amhara/Ethiopianist forces and Oromo/Oromianist forces to find a common ground is the move which the fascist Weyane regime want to avoid by any means. So, it already dispatched its cadres to sow a discord among both Ethiopianists and Oromianists, specially at the following three levels:

- at the level of Ethiopianist forces vs Oromianist forces. Here, the cadres are doing their job in Paltalks and forums being camouflaged either as reactionary unitarist Amharas to curse Oromo forces as “gosenyas/clanists,” “separatists,” “narrow nationalists,” “dangerous for Ethiopian unity,” etc. or camouflaged as radical/revolutionary Oromo to blame Ethiopianist forces as “chauvinists,” “colonialists,” “anti-nationalities,” “dangerous for Oromian autonomy and unity,” etc. Yes, of course, there are still differences between the two forces as I tried to elaborate above, and Weyane cadres just pouring benzine onto it.

- at the level of only Ethiopianist forces, being camouflaged as supporters of AEUP to curse UDJ and vice versa; as supporters of G-7 to blame AEUP and vice versa; as supporters of G-7 to curse Medrek and vice versa; as supporters of Mesfin’s UDJ against Gizachew’s UDJ vice versa; as EPRP to accuse all others and vice versa, etc.

- at the level of only Oromianist forces, being camouflaged as supporters of different Oromo regional, political and religious groups to curse each other. Here, we did a great job in the last few years to expose such Weyane cadres so that, nowadays, we do hear and read not so much controversies as before. Oromianist forces simply started to move towards tokkummaa of oromummaa for bilisummaa (unity of Oromo nationalists for liberation).

The best anti-dote against this satanic action of fascist Weyanes and that of their cadres is that Ethiopianist (”multinational/hibre-biher“) forces learn to tolerate each other and forge unity for common purpose of their main issue (keeping Ethiopian unity) and that Oromianist forces continue with the tokkummaa of orommummaa for bilisummaa, which they have already started to forge. Of course, the move of UDJ and G-7 in trying to unite the first (i.e. Ethiopianist camp), and the role of OLF and ULFO in attempting to lead the second (i.e. Oromianist camp) are encouraging.

Then, last but not least, both Amhara/Ethiopianist “multinational” forces and Oromo/Oromianist national forces should learn to struggle together to achieve both Ethiopian/Horn unity and Oromian unity for the sake of their own economical common benefit and for the stability of the region/Horn. I hope the “multinational” forces like G-7 and the national forces like OLF take this as a common ground which can help them forge a necessary TIBIBIR (alliance) against the fascist Weyane to struggle in unison to build a common home in the Horn, where both Oromian unity and Ethiopian/Horn unity can be fostered and respected. The steps taken in forming both AFD and Medrek were good and now better form of Tibibir, which will be dedicated in promoting both Oromian unity and Ethiopian unity, must emerge!


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