Unity of Oromo Forces Led by Dr. Abiy can Make Difference in All Five Layers of Oromia
How nice to hear and read that all Oromo forces are coming together to tackle the current problem in Oromia. We fought for, advocated and wrote about such unity of Oromo forces in the last many years and now we are seeing the fruit. Thanks to Waaqa, the Oromo are already in control of Tullu Daalati's palace after about 150 years of struggle. Now, we have to be in charge of Finfinne, as the heart and brain of Oromo nation, despite all the cry from anti-Oromo forces. Then, it is up to the Oromo to consider all the following five layers of Oromia as our home:
Oromia (Gadaa Oromia) as the 1st layer of our home, where we can consolidate Oromo's Gadaa principle and flourish Aadaa Oromo and Afaan Oromo.
Ethiopia (Great Oromia), as the 2nd layer to live with the Oromo, who lost their identity and became Habesha, Somali, Harari, Gurage....etc as well as with other Cushites in the country.
The Horn (Greater Oromia) as the 3rd layer to integrate all Oromo in the region (from southern part of Egypt to northern part of Tanzania).
Africa (Greatest Oromia) as the 4th layer to promote unity of the continent as common home of all the black Hametics in which the Oromo can play centeral role, because Finfinne is the political center and head of Africa.
The World (Global Oromia) as the 5th layer recognizing the whole world as our home, in which global Oromummaa as source of Gadaa principle of democracy will be the future.
Few years ago, one conference prepared by Oromo Americans in Minessota has initiated a very good discussion among different parts of Oromo community, including those who support ethio-federalism, those serving TPLF fascist fake-federalists and those promoting genuine ethno-federalism. It was crystal clear that these Oromo groups can decide on future situation in Ethiopia like answering the question, who should take power from the fascist TPLF in the coming eventuality: ethio-federalists or ethno-federalists?
Thanks to the struggle of Oromo people, every political group in the country nowadays claims to be a federalist. They no more brag and preach about unitary Ethiopia or about Abbay Tigray. The unitarists who untiredly talk about Ethiopia could now know that, without the rhetoric of federation, they can win no single vote of the Oromo. The hegemonist TPLF changed their program of Abbay Tigrai just as they had come to Oromia and now Tigrai elites are conscious that surviving without the resource of Oromia is very difficult for Tigrai.
But now, it seems their power base is over. The next question seems to be: who will take power in the coming eventuality of democratization process led by Dr. Abiy? The ethio-federalists or ethno-federalists? Time will show us which one of them will succeed. The best remedy would have been the possible conversion of unitarists from their present position of supporting ethio-federation to position of supporting ethno-federation as common denominator. That means recognizing the right of Oromia to exist and the right of Oromo nation to self-determination, instead of still trying to dismantle Oromia with the pretext of struggling for geography-based federalism.
Then, the democratic forces in the union, would have only one strong force against potential dictators instead of being divided into two opposition camps (ethio-federalists and ethno-federalists). Well, the die-hard unitarsts bragged about their unitary position during the “election”2005. At the time of 2010 “election”, they advocated their “new form” of federation. In 2015, they started to talk about possible referendum on the two rypes of federations. But, surely in the next election of 2020, they will be part and parcel of ethno-federation. We have observed that they are learning slowly, but surely. Looking at the political organizations in Ethiopia, the current political camps, in which Oromo elites are participating include:
- Ethio-federalist parties like Semayawi and, EPRP (*note that the position of AG7 is ambiguous*).
- Ethno-federalist parties like ODF and OFC (* the liberation fronts like OLF, ONLF and SLF as well as the ambiguous AG7 do seem to endorse this camp*).
- Fascist fake-federalists of the TPLF.
No question that the fascists are dying natural death. The only question to be answered is: who will take over during the election 2020? The ethio-federalists or the ethno-federalists? Or will the fascist fake federalists revive and survive further by playing the “divide and rule” game using ethio-federalists vs. ethno-federalists? The best solution would have been that ethio-federalists give up their view and join ethno-federalists by accepting and respecting the God-given right of the Oromo to have Oromia's autonomy in Ethiopian context and by acknowledging the same right to other nations and nationalities of the union, so that we can have only one very strong ethno-federalist camp against the fascists. Unfortunately, the prominent leader of ethio-federalists opposed to join Medrek and signed the Code of Conduct during the 2010 "election" with the contemporary leader of the fascists, and with that he gave TPLF the chance not to lose power. Would history repeat itself and both dictatorial unitarists of the Amhara and hegemonists of the Tegaru cooperate against Oromo democratic unionist forces?
That is why, specially the Oromo rallying behind the ethio-federalists and working with the fascists should decide now which way to go. They better ask themselves: what is next for their own people (the Oromo), just like Oromos in Minnesota did. The politically conscious nationalist Oromo seems to have decided that the next step for the Oromo must be the securing of true ethno-federation. They started to say: let us talk and walk now ethno-federation. The time (the phase of liberation journey) is in reality time to struggle for true federation.
The question asked to be solved in the panel discussion of Minnesota was “what is next for Oromo people?”, and the answer suggested was mostly, “the next is a move to true federation (true Oromia's autonomy). That means the next measure to be taken for our people is to engage our coordinated words and works to promote our move towards the next step of our liberation journey, i.e. move to a true ethnic federation and then ask again “what is next for our people?”. This question will be asked further till Oromo people decide per referendum (self-determination) and declare that “we have achieved our objective.” Without such determination of our public regarding our destination, the simple assertion of individuals or organizations that “we have already achieved our objective” does not work.
According to the hitherto discussion, in short, “regional union of free peoples after national independence of Oromia and other nations” can be a common lasting goal of the liberation journey, not only for Oromo nationalists, but for all nations in the Horn of Africa, including the genuine Amhara and Tegaru nationalists (of course, excluding the imperialist Abyssinian hegemonists like the TPLF). It will be nice if all of them can agree on this, giving up one of the following four goals they seem to pursue, respectively, as their goal. For instance:
- Amhara federalists’ goal of a unitary country now modified to be a “new form” of federation (geography-based federation),
- Tegaru hegemonists’ goal of coming backtopower and maintain the fake-federation,
- Oromo federalists’ overt goal of only Oromia's autonomy, disregarding the further move to Oromian independence, and
- Oromo liberation fronts’ goal of only isolated Oromia's independence, without taking into consideration the possible further move to a union of free peoples, so that we can live in all the above mentioned five layers of Oromia.
Actually, the best and the beneficial common end can be voluntary union of free peoples, i.e regional union after national freedom based on self-determination of the partaking nations of the region. Even though self-determination is general goal for the nations concerned, political organizations struggling for the right of their nations must be able to formulate a concrete objective they think should be the outcome of self-determination. To make it clear, I do want to try to describe here, that the concepts liberation, sovereignty and self-determination can not serve as a concrete outcome of national self-determination for the Oromo political parties.
I think the whole “confusion” about our goal is firstly for we could not differentiate the general Oromo goal from the specific aim of the respective parties, which they set and advocate to be the best outcome of the self-determination. Also, the “confusion” is because of the fact that the following concepts were used without defining them operationally as goal of Oromo political organizations at different times by different groups:
- Abbaabiyyummaa (self-rule): which is not per se a concrete goal to be used by political groups for we can claim to be abbaabiyyaa in all the three possible outcomes of our self-determination, that means abbaabiyyaa in form of only Oromia's autonomy or in form of only Oromia's independence or in from of union of free peoples.
- Bilisummaa (freedom): which is the common denominator for all our liberation parties who struggled against the TPLF. So we can also claim to have bilisummaa in all the above three outcomes of self-determination (Oromia's autonomy, Oromia's independence or union of free peoples), that means it also cannot be a concrete goal to be advocated by our specific parties, so that the public decides for/against it in a referendum. Actually, it is the virtue, which all political organizations want to achieve before we do have a chance to exercise referendum.
- Hiree-murteefannaa (self-determination): which is obviously the general goal of Oromo people, but it can not serve as a concrete goal of specific Oromia's political party for it includes all the hitherto mentioned three terms (the short-term Oromia's autonomy, the middle-term Oromia's independence and the long-term union of free peoples) as a possible outcomes. It seems here is the “ambiguity” of some Oromo nationalists, if their rhetoric about this unspecific kaayyoo is not only tactical.
- Walabummaa (independence): this is one of the concepts which can be taken as a concrete goal of the political parties for it is one of the concrete three outcomes of the Oromo self-determination, which can be advocated by the groups supporting it, regardless of the position of the Oromo majority which will be determined during the required referendum. It seems this is the reason why those who do advocate this “Kaayyoo-ganama” usually sound to be arrogant and self-righteous, whenever they talk that they are the “only ones on the right track.”
- Walfaanummaa (union): which simply means union of free peoples, which is now endorsed by almost all Oromo organiozations, eventhough they have different approach and priority setting. In Oromo's unique case, such union is the best choice and the chance of self-determination in the form of referendum must be given for others far away from political center - Finfinne.
Simply put, Oromo people’s kaayyoo, in general, can include all the above mentioned five concepts, but Oromo political parties should be as clear and concrete as possible, when they tell us their desired goal or when they advocate the type of outcome of the proces for the Oromo people.
If the three concepts (bilisummaa, abbaabiyyummaa and hire-murteffannaa) are unspecific to serve as kaayyoo of Oromo liberation organizations, then only two concepts (walabummaa biyyaa and walfaanummaa sabootaa) are good to be concrete and to be used by the organizations. As a conclusion, from all the discussions done till now, we can say that Oromo nationalists serving geo-federalists and ethno-fascists should give up their irrationality and start to struggle for Oromia's autonomy in the context of Ethiopian union). That means, they should now start to support the federalists in ODF, ODP, OFC and OLF . But to win against the vocal unitarists and hegemonists, these four Oromo unionists must come up with one voice to Oromo people in particular and Ethiopian nations in general. Other Oromo federalists, who do try to rally behind the mini-organizations registered for the “election” like the ONC should also reconsider their stand, converge the vote of all Oromo people to one direction and elect in the coming eventuality the competent one strong Oromo party as the merging of all Oromo forces, instead of dispersing Oromo vote in futility.
Last but not least, we could see during the last discussions and after the Oromo Americans conference that there is no any significant ideological difference of goal among the different Oromo forces, which can hinder them not to forge unity and not to work together. They only need to be ruled by the Oromo tradition of ilaa fi ilaame and discuss on the way forward for the Oromo people. Then, the cooperation and coordination of the Oromo federalist movement with the Oromian independence movement is the optimal condition to determine our fate in the next step of our journey and to plan a further move to the end. If united and empowered in such sense, the Oromo can make a difference not only in Ethiopian union, but even in the whole Horn and in the continent. So let’s foster unity of purpose and move together forward! Being led by the charismatic and visionary leaders like Dr. Abiy, we can make the five layers of Oromia our future convenient home! The forum of all Oromo orgs suggested today by our leaders and scholars is encouraging!
Ethiopian News, Current Affairs and Opinion Forum
1 post • Page 1 of 1