Consensus For Ethiopian Unity, But Referendum On Oromian Unity? (Fayyis Oromia)
What a double standard in Habesha political camp? Leave 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:
- "Amharinya as 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 an "evil Gosenyinet or evil clanism";
I now write this short essay based on the recent assertion of UDJ leaders that they told us not to make any compromise on Ethiopian unity, but want to go for public verdict to decide on the legitimacy of Oromian unity, which is at least partially secured by the killil-federation (even though it is fake) in Ethiopian context, if not yet by the complete independence of Oromia from the subjugating empire. I also heared one interview given by Andargachew Tsige, who still insists on the acceptance of Ethiopian unity as unconditional precondition to make an alliance with other opposition forces such as OLF.
No question that still the 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 decendants of the 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 son of district/regional governor during the monarchy) are now rallying behind the reactionary unitarist forces like AEPO of 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 explicitely, discrediting it as "ye gosaa politika/politics of clan". The cunning araada (street smart) unitarists in G-7 and UDJ talk about unconditional Ethiopioan unity as well as they try to act against Oromian unity by preaching about the buzz concepts like democracy, human right, 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 araada way or faara way, it is about saving the empire. The faaraas try it with old methods like talking what debteraa Bahirey and aleqaa Taye wrote regarding Ethiopian history. The araadas use totally other methods. For instance to reduce the danger coming from Oromo, they use the following theories as postmodern approachs, 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 Ethiopian empire is in reality Oromo empire" - Aite Siye's approach belongs here;
- "let's focus on 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 villifying OLF" - Weyane cadres camouflaged as the radical pro Oromo independence use this method.
The recent araada move is what we 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 to ask: is there any Amhara politician, disregarding the Weyane slaves in ANDM, who really is ready to accept and respect the right of Oromia for autonomy and unity? Yes it is clear that Tigrean elites at least talk, even though they don't walk, 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 against 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 just to mention few of the assistances given as examples:
- old nefxenyas could colonize Oromia, despite the heroic resistance of 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 Oromo people for liberation, being led by OLF, in 1992 was saboutaged 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 Oromo national movement via AFD to take the responsibility in the empire and to determine Oromo people's fate, again lead 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 currrent attempt of the Habesha elites and their Western helpers again to isolate Oromo nationalists from taking part in discussions and delibarations 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 quarell 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 centeral part of the problem is the colonization of Oromia as well as that the core of the solution is the liberation of Oromia. How long will these Habesha elites and their Western helpers fool themselves?
Orom people have survived the invasions and imperialistic dominations in the last many centuries, the colonization by Abyssinians being only part of this invasions. Oromo tried to resist all cultural, economic and political subjugations. The territory occupied by 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 Oromo people live are continous 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). Oromo people are not necessarilly 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 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 neccessary 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 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 Ethiopian context unconditionally, just as they came to agreement in keeping Ethiopian unity by any means. Unfortunately AFD failed because of the withdrawal of both CUD and EPPF as well as 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 is unconditionally accepted by all stakeholders in the region including the power players of the globe, 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 stablize the region. The araadas 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 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 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 the Ethiopianists and the 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 camoufalged either as a reactionary unitarist Amharas and curse Oromo forses as "goosenyas/clanists", "separatists", "narrow nationalists", "dangerous for Ethiopian unity", etc or camouflaged as radical/revolutionary Oromo and blame Ethiopianist forces as "chauvinists", "colonialisis", "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 pour benzin to it.
- at the level of only Ethiopianist forces, being camopuflaged as supporters of AEUP to curse UDJ vice versa, as supporters of G-7 blaming AEUP vice versa; as supporters of G-7 cursing Medrek vice versa; as supporters of Mesfin's UDJ against Gizachew's UDJ vice versa; as EPRP accusing all others vice versa, etc
- at the level of only Oromianist forces, being camouflaged as supporters of different Oromo regional, political and religious groups cursing each other. Here we did a great job in the last few years to expose such Weyan 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 already started to forge. Of course the move of UDJ and G-7 in trying to unite the first and the role of OLF and ULFO in attempting to lead the second is encouraging.
Then, last but not least, both Amhara/Ethiopianist "multi-national" 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 "multi-national" forces like G-7 and the national forces like OLF take this as a common ground which can help them to forge a necessary TIBIBIR (alliance) against the fascist Weyane to struggle in unison to build a common home at 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!