Is Oromo-Amhara solidarity a myth or reality?

By J. Ebisa

 

amhara_oromo

Introduction

The recently discussed Amhara-Oromo solidarity, by some, does not mean that Amhara and Oromo have the same historical memories, experience, and aspirations. It is true that both the Amhara and Oromo are now marginalized and oppressed by Kleptorcatic gangs which mix Stanlism, plutocracy and neo-liberal developmentalism as a method of governance. The Oromo and Amhara have a shared interest to get rid of this intolerable regime. Then, what is next? Some Amhara would like to get back to power where they left off as ruling national elite whereas the Oromo aim to end the Amhara-Tigre rule domination once and all. Thus, one of the problems with this solidarity is that a hidden dream of the Amhara elite to put the clock back in the event the current regime ends and roll back political reforms by manipulating the transitional period and restore status quo ante which the Oromo nation already rejected and buried (http://www.ayyaantuu.net/beyond-the-bushoftu-massacre-the-war-on-orommuma-and-oromo-unity/)

As discussed in above quoted piece, over the last few weeks, there has been conversation about protests and resistances among two biggest national groups and largest federal regions, Oromo and Amhara. The widespread uprisings and resistances throughout Oromia and the appearance of protests in Bahir Dar and Gondar and the consequent violent repressions look like a wild fire. To this, one should add the less discussed cases, the Konso and the Afar protests. In some diaspora communities, we see some joint demonstrations between Oromo and Amhara activists to condemn the Tigrean Kleptocratic ethnocracy. Amhara-Oromo solidarity or “unity”, at very least a tactical alliance, is considered as a major threat even a nightmare for the ruling junta whose ethnonational base is about 6% in a country of 100 million inhabitants. It is not difficult to imagine a huge challenge of this minority government to face a colossus (representing more than 60% of the population together plus other groups who are likely to join them) which controls also a large chunk of the national economy.

I would argue that solidarity and unity is mechanical and superficial, not organic and genuine. It is true that both Oromo and Amhara are feel disrespected and marginalized, excluded and have common interest to change this regime by all means, in an ideal world by peaceful means. Generally, it is not uncommon to see alliances to achieve some goals; people, nations, groups and parties with different political ideologies and aspirations can create alliances or coalitions around the common denominator by putting aside their differences to face a common threat. For example, Western democracies, US in particular, created the Great Alliance with the Soviet Union to defeat Nazism despite the deep ideological and political gulf between communism and capitalism. That alliance was not natural but tactical and helped to defeat Nazism. After the end of WWII, both returned to their hostile stances which led to the cold war (1945-1990), an ideological and political and military conflict between East and West.

In fact, one can mention numerous examples from the annals of history the extent to which groups and nations formed alliances to deal with the greatest evils despite their differences. As common adage goes in politics, friendship and alliances may be temporary but interest is permanent. What does Amhara interests have to do with the Oromo interests? Are they compatible? Do they converge beyond the regime change which both despise and consider as illegitimate and criminal? Do they have common memory, experience and understanding of the past? What about future agenda and political journey they envisage both in short and long term?

The Weight of History and Memory

In the following paragraphs, I will try to answer the above questions in order to capture the crux of the argument. The country we now call Ethiopia was carved to its current shape since the first of the half 19th century and has been exclusively ruled by the Abyssinians, the Amhara and Tigreans. The Amhara were the master of the land sine 1840s, when the conquest of the Tulama was completed by Sahle Selassie until 1991, roughly for 150 years. The Tigreans /Woyane have replaced them as the ruling group and have been in charge for 25 years now.

However, for the majority Oromo and other southern people, Amhara rule began in earnest with Menelik who created the empire under/around the Amhara power, culture, economic and political dominations. Initially, the Amhara expanded as feudal colonialists and then used the modernization and revolutionary process to their advantage to consolidate their hegemony and influence through the process of social change. In the meantime, the Oromo became colonial subjects (Gabbar, second class citizen for extended period of time (the vicious cycle of sub-ordination and humiliation and marginalization which continue unabated under the current regime) despite the numerous reforms and even a major revolution in 1974.

The grievances against the Amhara controlled state was so deep that the Woyane rallied the Oromo, in an open rebellion, for a new departure. They pretended that they would create a system which will correct injustices of the past, bring equality, mutual respect and democracy to the country. In reality, the hidden plan was to create a Tigrean Kleptocratic government under the tautology of federalism. Their predecessors, the Amhara owned the Ethiopian state and used it to their own advantage. Despite their apparent differences due to the change in international and national circumstances, the Woyane learned a lot from the Amhara rule – controlling the state and using it to their interests. For instance, both grabbed Oromo lands and resources and thieved in a relatively short period of time. The Oromo elders remember with some irony how Woyane and Naftagna came to Oromia as penny less and emerged as propertied wealthy elite in a record time as the expense of labour, land and resource of marginalized people.

With respect to the methods of rule, both have the same strategy despite changes in times and circumstances. The Amhara, being a minority to effectively rule such a large empire where they lack knowledge of local culture and language, created the balabbat system in the conquered lands which ensured Abyssinian authority at the local levels (Local channels of communication). The fate of the Balabbats was sealed with the fall of Haile Selassie and went to the bin of history. For its parts, the Woyane, a small group with no capacity to govern the country on their own, badly needed collaborators and fabricated their local agents, messengers, to impose their domination. They created OPDO to replace the old version of the balabbat system in order to control the Oromo population.  But, OPDO agents are artificial creature easily disposable compared to the balabbats whose power was embedded in local communities.

As often been the case in the Ethiopian traditions, the Tigreans have accused the Amhara of misruling the empire and oppressing and exploiting the nations and nationalities composing the polity. This was not invented myth but largely shared by all people who were conquered and incorporated into the country. Now, the Amhara have their own arguments to accuse the TPLF as ethnocratic, exploitive, oppressive and divisive regime. In the process, they forget and openly deny or minimize the damage of their governance system spanning 100 years.  Above all, it is an irony that the Amhara are blaming their cousins, Tigreans, for lack of democracy, lack of respect for human rights and lack of inclusive government as if they presided over regimes which ruled differently.  The fact of the matter is that the Woyane system is a continuation or a replica of Abyssinian political culture based on factionalism, manipulation and repression, not something invented in the 1990s but adapted to the changing national and global realities to justify their policies.

From Oromo perspective, the Tigreans and Amhara are the two faces of the same coin; they are imperial people.  It is difficult to choose between plague and cholera! The Amhara owned the state under all successive regimes and the Tigreans, despite many promises, and changes in political orientations, constitution, the federal structure, rule with an iron fist. They have one thing in mind: to replace the Amhara as the dominant group, and exercise exclusive power in accordance with Abyssinian well-known political system: a zero sum game and the winner takes all paradigm. It looks as if they are saying “we won power by force, and will keep until were are forced out by the same means.”

The Oromo collectively and unanimously reject and abhor imperial rule no matter the ideological cover of the system.  Here, I have no time and space to compare and contrast what Amhara and Tigrean rule look like. Future researchers may come up with interesting insights and conclusion on methods and impacts of their governance on the southern people. The Ethiopian revolution of 1974 and the TPLF takeover 1990s provided ample opportunities to address Oromo historical grievances by the owners of the Ethiopia state. Unfortunately, little has changed and we still talk of Oromo uprising and revolts for their rights.  The 40 million or so Oromo are saying enough is enough of Amhara-Tigrean rule.

Oromo aspirations and the Centrality of Collective Rights

Historically, the Oromo were not imperial people, and they do not want to be one now. They did not have an organized ideology and system of exploitation to impose on any one. The key issue and demand is, and has always been, to restore their violated dignity to be self-governing and free people under the political system of their choosing including the Gadaa system. Gadaa is one the brilliant accomplishments in their long history and constitutes one of the original contributions of the African people have to offer to world civilization and system of governance. The Oromo are proud to learn that their ancestors were ruled by democratically elected leaders until they fell under ruthless feudal colonialism. They are thrilled to show that their ancestors had the concept of human rights and natural rights before John Locke popularized them in his Two Treaties of Government in 1689. Moreover, the Oromo put in place a democratic system of governance well before European enlightenment, between 17th and 18th century, known as political and philosophical movement for liberty, equality and fraternity, which became slogans of the French Revolution, even global slogans.

The Oromo Gadaa leaders had been implementing, since immemorial times, the concept of fraternity, equality and liberty which were enshrined in the Gadaa laws. They did not wait for Jean Jacques Rousseau to hear that “all men are born free and equal”. They did not borrow his concept of General Will and common good which was already carefully crafted in the Gadaa system. This is true for the rule of law, term limit for elected officers and the checks and balance system that ensures both individual and collective rights. The sad story in all this is that, Oromo’s civilizational model /system was destroyed and replaced by a feudal autocracy of Menelik. In so doing, he reduced a free and egalitarian society into slaves, helpless serfs, and colonial subjects. The Oromo are now out to restore aspects of what was taken from them in order to live in freedom and dignity.

One of the major problems and obstacles for Oromo -Amhara solidarity is, and has always been, their scholars, politicians, and activists have not yet to come to terms about the existence of Oromo, Oromia and Orommumaa which they tend to dismiss as the invention of the Woyane.  They have mobilized an army of scholars, activists and even priests to discredit and undermine Oromo identity and as they did for centuries. As I wrote in another piece:

Some Naftagna, pseudo historians or their coolies are mobilized to argue that Oromo /Oromia was created by Tigreans in 1991. When they lost the war to deny Oromo nationhood or Oromia, they kept the fight by opposing and protesting against the Qubee, the use of Oromo alphabet to write Oromiffaa. Additionally, they denied or continue to minimize Oromo proven historical grievances against the Ethiopian state. Their priests went up to excommunicating its members who preached in Oromo language. At one point they allegedly refused church service for the dead members for using Qubee.

All this -both their official and unofficial dream and endeavor to undo Oromummaa they rallying cry “Kelil” which they dismiss as Bantustan, Apartheid segregated villages in South Africa, not a coherent socio-cultural reality. This is offensive and insulting. They hate any change to the status quo, unitary and centralist and assimilationist state. For the Oromo, the question is not whether the federal model acceptable but its superficial nature just created to enable the Tigrean to control and exploit Oromo sources.

The Amhara give the impression their desire rollback all important reforms since 1990s including the federal model should they get they opportunity. For the Oromo regardless of different ideological orientations, which could be divided into minimal land maximal nationalists, Orommumaa and Oromia remain the basis for any future political arrangements. This clearly suggests that the Oromo cherish collective rights, which does not mean the negation of individual rights as all rights inter-dependent and inter-related as explicitly stipulated in the UN Declaration: “All human rights and fundamental freedoms are indivisible and interdependent; equal attention and urgent consideration should be given to the implementation, promotion and protection of civil and political, and economic, social and cultural tights”

This clearly stipulates that no hierarchy in category of human rights – human need civil /political rights, social and economic rights as well as group/collective rights are necessary for the life of dignity. However, oppressed and colonized people do feel, rightly, that individual rights cannot guarantee their freedoms, protection against the power of the state or dominant groups. In other words, in poly-ethnic empire based on conquest, and power disparity/inequality, individual rights cannot appropriately and fairly address the national question and deeply-seated grievances. Historically, Individual rights claim is related to the people that have power, propertied class and a privileged category where group rights/collective right are claimed by the oppressed people. In Ethiopia, those who sing the hymn of Individual rights are former power holders, and all those who think that they have somethings to loose when disempowered are empowered through collective rights. It is not that collective rights take anything away from them but they lose the power and opportunity to infringe upon others’ rights, who will be self-governing and the master of their destiny.

In other words, regardless of their numbers, the Oromo constitute an oppressed nation under Abyssinian and empire rulers. There is nothing less than full-fledged autonomy which guarantees self-government status where they could share sovereignty, on some domains, with other nations and nationalities at the federal level. So, the future talk and political arrangements should start from where are now, not where we were before 1974 or 1991. Oromo cultural unity and geographical unity is not subject to negotiation.

For so long, the Amhara ruling political and intellectual elites tried to disguise their own Amhara identity under “Ethiopian identity” they called themselves Ethiopians, not Amhara, until very recently. Yet, they promoted their own sense of identity and history by wrapping in Ethiopian flag. Interestingly enough, the Tigreans say that old Ethiopian flag is the symbol of Amhara domination. For their part, the Amhara reject the current TPLF Flag as a symbol of Woyane domination. In the meantime, the Oromo feel the Ethiopian flag, both Tigrean and Amhara version, is the symbol of imperial power, not the symbol of freedom and dignity taken from them.

In fact, this is more than a dog fight on a piece of cloth but the sign of polarized and fragmented body politics and competing view of national identity and the conquest aspirations. It is in this context, the young Amhara activists have claimed officially Amharaness before Ethiopian identity. It is a slap in the face of older generations of Amhara like Prof. Mesfin who he denied all his life the existence of Amhara identity as a way of negating the identity of oppressed peoples. That appeared logical then. If you elevate Amhara identity to national identity and promote it as such, why do you reduce what is national to ethnic? Not anymore. The Amhara have realized that they are one of the constituent groups, not the group defining or imposing the terms of Ethiopianism on others. Here, it is important to stress that there is no problem with being Amhara, Amhara culture and values, religion, way of life. What Oromo rejected and resented for long is the imposition of this culture at the expense of their own.

Concluding Remarks

The Amhara -Oromo solidarity is possible in so far it promotes common interest and mutual respect, not as a means of controlling the future agenda for self-interest and coming through the back door. Historically, the Oromo resistance and protests were targeted against the Amhara, the rulers of the empire. When they lost and replace by the Woyane regime, the Amhara are opposed to many concessions made particularly in the 1990s to the Oromo people. The Oromo do not see many reasons to form an alliance which centralist elites whose political thoughts and political agenda are stuck in the distance past. Many Amhara based political organizations and even civic group are allergic to the issue of identity and collective rights, disguising themselves by Lockean individual liberalism which they think is the best way to restore Amhara influence/power. All the reference to Locke and Kantian cosmopolitanism to deny Oromo collective rights and their right to self-determination is an exercise in futility.

Oromo political organization and groups (OLF the General Kemal Gelchu group and recently ODF) which reached agreements with Amhara based organizations were not only criticized by the fact that they deny Oromo collective rights but also could not delivery any results. This rapprochement was with revulsion and contempt by the majority Oromo. These agreements and alliances all failed miserably. Where is the agreement between General Kemal Gelchu and Ginbot? What is the significance of ODF and Ginbot agreement? They are miles behind the movement of history. Both Amhara and Oromo activists do believe these coalitions are artificial  and do not reflect the fundamental aspirations of their constituencies.

To come back at the issue of Oromo-solidarity, the question is: solidarity for what? To change the current government only? What kind of government and political system do we want? Here starts the thorny issue. The Amhara solidarity with is belated. They were debating for months whether or not supporting Oromo protest is an opportunity or risk. Some argued in favor of support that if the Oromo protesters carry Ethiopian flag and promote Ethiopian identity or no support if the movement consolidate Orommumaa and weakness what they call national identity. So, it is a conditional support and half-hearted, superficial and opportunist. This is perfectly understandable as everyone looks for its own interests. The Amhara protest was triggered not because of planned solidarity with the Oromo but due to territorial conflict in Wolqait which the Woyane annexed to Tigrai.

They now want to use this “solidarity” tautology to have some influence on Oromo transitional charter. In fact, the nature of Oromo charter is the talk of the week on the news outlets both in Amharic and English as if what Oromo do is their business. Some started attacking the tenor of Oromo Charter without knowing what is in it. This shows two things; 1) outmoded paternalism and imperial nostalgia. They still seem think that what is good for the Oromo and for everyone in the country. 2) what is funny is that no one interested in their transitional charter, which is based on Amhara agenda.

In the light of the above analysis, there is a need for the Oromo activists consult with their base about the possible national transitional charter. TPLF imposed its political agenda on OLF and weak ethnic/regional based parties. The Oromo have learned from this experience and will come up with coherent charter which responds to Oromo aspiration and interest of other groups. Obviously, other groups can come with their own vision to solve the country’s political and economic problems. Everything is on the table except Oromo’s collective rights where the tenor and contour of the issue will be discussed.

Before we talk of Amhara-Oromo solidarity, there has to be a robust inter-Oromo dialogue, solidarity and unity more than ever before. The Oromo Charter should be inclusive given the importance of the issue for this generation and even for generations to come. It is imperative to reach out to different social groups and organizations in the nation of 40 million people. No one should be left out including senior leaders, veterans of Oromo Liberation Organizations, young activists, scholars, the Qubee generations in the forefront of the struggle, and Oromo elders, religion leaders, representatives of civic and community organizations and all stakeholders to get their input which is likely to make the charter an embodiment of Oromo interest, and a road map. I trust that the organizers/convers of the meeting take into account this seriously to claim that the charter would reflect the Oromo voice and sensibilities. At this juncture, one is reminded that, in Oromo culture, important decisions are reached through consensus, not imposed by autocrats.

 

28 Responses to Is Oromo-Amhara solidarity a myth or reality?

  1. workineh October 16, 2016 at 1:15 am #

    I really loved this excellent article; thus, I just want to add a few on this highlighted statement by the author :”Oromo cultural unity and geographical unity is not subject to negotiation.” This is absolutely true;but, we have to include self governance as well. Whether Oromia declare it’s freedom as a nation or as an Oromia state of Ethiopia, we will never allow anyone to mess up with our people’s freedom and natural resources. Only the Oromos will take care of the Oromia territories as well as all issues including policing, state/national gurds that no nation ever thinks to defeat, best education system that will accelerate the emergence of our talented generation to the world standard etc, are all not negotiable.

  2. Abdirkadir October 16, 2016 at 1:23 am #

    this. is not the matter of solidarity.
    people generate. this ideas are looking for different values no one knows.
    both Amhara and oromo and all people in Ethiopia have the same problem s.
    this is the matter of humanity.
    God created human free.
    but we try to become setan to Rohrabacher..
    this must stop.
    save life people can bring solution for any problem.
    we do want to ignite fire in between peaceful people asking their right to live as human beings.

  3. StarAction October 16, 2016 at 2:12 am #

    Three options:

    1) “No one should be left out including senior leaders, veterans of Oromo Liberation Organizations, young activists, scholars, the Qubee generations in the forefront of the struggle, and Oromo elders, religion leaders, representatives of civic and community organizations and all stakeholders to get their input which is likely to make the charter an embodiment of Oromo interest, and a road map.”

    2) First, Unit to dismiss TPLF and, then each nation design their own charter.

    3) Unite together to dismiss TPLF and stay apart for 1 year, then all start to discuss charter.

  4. Abba Gole October 16, 2016 at 5:39 am #

    Really a thoroughly thought fact based article. It gives the true history.
    Must read by all Oromos, specially those allied with Woyanes.

    Thanks for the author!

  5. waqjiraa Gudataa October 16, 2016 at 6:08 am #

    Galatooma Obbo Ebisa for such timely articulated article which analysis the truth and exposes the myth of the so-called OROMO-AHMARA Solidarity. Solidarity in common sense a mutual benefit for the concerned group as you put correctly such as between US and Russia up to today based on respect despite their political differences , BUT such genuine vision Never come from our Ahmara friends unless they impose their own agenda- to Re-store their Supremacy over others by cover of Unity or death even by going further they try to design what clothes Non-Amhara should dresses. Funny enough!!

    I wish if Oromo and Ahmara could have a strategically based alliance in a way Franco-Germany vision, but this is only a dream knowing the ahmaru betrayal’s culture. As political solidarity is a very complex, Oromo and Ahmara never had it. When Oromo Spring de facto started two years ago, the Ahmaras were watching silently and their recent uprising was the result of Oromo uprising which broke their fear and hence till Now the well defined Solidarity Not yet seen.
    . Therefore, the Oromo Nation, always ready for a meaningful solidarity, the timely issue is urgently to build up our resistance forces: Internal unity and the Oromiyaan defending Forces during the coming Oromo Charter. Today, millions of Oromos from in and out are ready for any sacrifices for our destiny than ever, the Bishoftu massacre fueling up the Oromo anger and no more ever outsiders can rule Oromiyaa, says Dr. Wariyoo an Oromo- Kenyan lawmaker who supports his nation in Oromiyaa.
    Galatooma!
    . from Nairobi

  6. Tola Biru October 16, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    The so-called charter is doomed to failure from its inception because the convention to develop this charter is called by self-appointed opportunists who think that they can set a national agenda for the Oromo and impose it on the ignorant leaders and masses. The people who claim that they are organizing the convention have no credibility and they are confusing Ethiopianism with Oromummaa. Their understanding of Oromummaa is shallow because they accept the agenda that is defined for the Oromo by the Amhara elites. These emergent opportunist leaders or “savers” of the Oromo think that they know about the Oromo cause than the actual leaders of the Oromo national movement. They have started to claim on the Amhara media that they are genuine representatives of the Oromo nation, and assert that the Oromo have abandoned their demand for national self-determination. These individuals are potential collaborators of the corrupt Amhara elites who wish to recolonize Oromia and the Oromo people by destroying Oromo nationalism. My call for genuine Oromo nationalists is to intensify the struggle for national self-determination, statehood and sovereignty. The leadership of the Oromo movement is the qeerroo activist networks in Oromia, and they should be carefully from political vultures from the diaspora.

  7. The stormchaser October 16, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Amhara and Tigrayans are basically the same , I would even include those Eriteans habesha aswell, one thing we’ve learned from the habesha people through their history and their actions is that they are arrogant people who are only interested in themselves, they have nothing to show other than war, poverty, drought, destruction etc.

    Sometimes I truly wonder if the Habesha people didn’t inhabited in horn of african, I kno for sure the horn of African would’ve been the most peaceful and prosperity region in African.

    Oromos, Somalis, Afars, Aderi, Sidama are peace and loving people while the Amharas and the two evil Tigrayans from North and north eastern Eritrea are terrorists scums.

    One day I pray to see the Oromos people ruling Ethiopia and Somalis ruling the greater Somaliweyn that would be the day when god has finally listened to the oppressed people in the horn of african.

  8. Oromian bateleur October 16, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Stormchaser

    You sound either like TPLF or the abgal Siad Bare.

    • The stormchaser October 16, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

      @Oromian bateleur

      What makes you think I am a pro TPLF?

      • Oromian bateleur October 17, 2016 at 5:33 am #

        First, Oromos are not seeing Amharas and Tigres as evil as you put it. We know them as human beings, except their ruling classes who are practicing the deed of evils. This is typical Somali rulers outlook of looking at their rivals or TPLF’s sugar-coated playing its failed politics.

        Second, Oromos are not dreaming to rule Ethiopai, Oromos are fighting and dying to gain back their robbed freedom, right and home land.

        Third, Somalis can rule the great Somalia which you said. We don’t mind that. But, don’t mess in Oromos affair to advice us what we must do and not do. Although, we are under the same yoke of subjugation, we have difference history of subjugation by Habeshas. This is typical Somalis rulers characters of dreaming of green land of Oromia.

        • The stormchaser October 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

          @Oromian bateleur

          My friend I support the Oromos regardless what their choices are but as long as they dnt become the new Amharas or Tigrayans to oppresse the Ethiopian Somalis.

          Also after the TPLF is kicked out from Finfinne (trust me they will) I want to see Finfinne and Mogadishu to start negotiation on the full transfer of the Ogaden region to Somalia and maybe even swap some lands for Oromos to gain full access to Somali ports free of charge.

          The future is bright for Oromos and Somalis, today we are both suffering but tomorrow we will be the kings.

  9. Mosisa October 16, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Ob./Ad. J. Ebisa

    Thank you for your piece. It’s an interesting read.

    I agree with your description of the historical and current relationship that exists between Oromo and the Habeshas.

    Among the issues you raised, I went to comment only on two points: 1. “Oromo transitional charter”. 2. You ambition for our nation (Oromia & Oromians).

    1. On Oromo transitional charter:

    I agree with the idea that Oromians speak in one voice and work for one goal. That would be an ideal situation for all of us. We don’t want an anarchic situation where the wish/goal of Oromos are spoken and interpreted in freelance and franchised fashion depending on who is speaker on a given issue. That is a recipe for catastrophe. So it’s a noble idea to endeavour to harmonize the voice of all Oromos.

    However, my problem lays with the mechanism or a setup, by which this synchronisation of all voice is to be achieve. From what we hear, prominent Oromo activists are trying to establish the charter via international Oromo lawyer association members. After the lawyers drafted the charter Oromo political organisation and other civic organisation discuss on it and decide.

    The question is who are these lawyers who are tasked with this solemn job? Where do they political stand in terms of seeking Oromians sovereignty VS sustaining the status quo the empire. From what we observe, most of these lawyers are from mixed heritage (one parent non-Oromo) individuals who are late arrivals at the Oromo national struggle. Besides being late comers to the cause and lacking the prerequisite political skills, from all their utterances they are committed Ethiopians.

    Therefore, the charter designer from inception have prejudiced against Orommumaa. They are biased towards ethiopianism/Ethiopiawinet. Hence the designers of the charter are unaccepted to independent minded Oromians. Look at those lawyers such as Dr. Arrarsa, Dr. Berhanemesike Segni, etc, dedicated Ethiopianists.

    This is a concern for all serious and notable Oromos. E.g. read the article of the great Ob Ibsa Gutama which he wrote entitled, “That Fateful Day, October 18, 1986” on ayyantuu on 14/10/2016. Just read what this great Oromian says.

    Hence, my worry is that the charter would be a Trojan horse that hijacks the Oromo wish and ambition keep locked in Ethiopian Empire, i.e the wishes of our people is limited to operating only under the umbrella of Ethiopiawinet, which is anathema to most Oromians. How can we be so sure this isn’t TPLF skulduggery? Or Ethiopiawinet trickery?

    2. You ambition for Our nation:

    You said “The 40 million or so Oromo are saying enough is enough of Amhara-Tigrean rule.”. Then you add, about solidarity with Amharas, “There is nothing less than full-fledged autonomy which guarantees self-government status where they could share sovereignty…. Oromo cultural unity and geographical unity is not subject to negotiation.”

    You ambition for our nation, i.e. the red-line you wouldn’t cross is weak and timid. In my view, if this charter is going to be accepted the absolute-minimum & irreducible demand we ask is “self-determination”. Nothing less will do. Once we arrive at a place where it’s guaranteed that Oromians have sovereign decision making power then we can talk about referendum campaign. In this campaign, I will campaign for sovereignty of Oromia as an independent country which is one member of UN.

    All of us need to listen to the foot soldiers, people on the ground, in Oromia. Listen to their demand, slogans, their chants, their songs, looked at their flag and the signs they show us.

    If you think what you wrote and what I’m saying is the same thing but expressed in different form, my apologies.

    • Whitestar October 17, 2016 at 10:02 am #

      Bro
      I’m some times surprised by the oromo attitude of grudge and suspicion towards Somalis and somaliweyn concept we believe in. You have shown same kind of hostility to both Amhara and Somalis even though we have not caused as much pain and suffering as they have caused to you. As you said we have a right to rule somaliweyn but at the same time you mention that we can’t have green oromo. That is old Amhara propaganda to rule us all to scare the oromo into submission. As far as Siad Bare is concerned many oromo saw him as danger to oromo national interest but they are forgetting that somalia was very young nation back that is struggling with nation building while abbysinans were undermining our nation building and our sovereignty. Before the time Siad barre come to power the habasha started two wars to distabilise us and Siad Barre took the decision to build strong army to defend our nationhood and the war of 1977 we made very good gains only to be undermined by oromo who saw us as a threat so the oromo basically saved the Amhara ass and Siad Barre decided to support tplf and Eritrea because that is the Somali interest. So oromo are once again at cross roads they can save the habasha empire or go their own way but blaming the Somalis for their predicament and holding a grudge towards us for looking after our own interest first is unfair.

  10. waqjiraa Gudataa October 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    @ Tola Biru,
    Galatooma for your deep understanding on the so-called “Oromo Charter” which will take place soon. Frankly speaking, as many Oromos, I was not happy when the news came out by the question of why today and who are they?. At the same time Ginbot7 with its OPDO style -ODF preparing a Roadmap Transitional Government de facto back to Ahmara regime, for that matter I personally took the Charter as a fighting back and strengthening our unity. But as Qeerroo too this week warned against the so-called charter, without Qeerroo and the father of the movement-true OLF the charter will remain empty and dies soon on footstep of the already dead ODF. As the true power makers are Qeerroo and OLF supported by the Oromo nation, true Bilisummaa only comes by the home based Oromo mass.

  11. Sorsa October 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    Before I comment on oromo-amhara unity let’s look back at diaspora Oromo’s recent past first.

    Although grass root oromos were never divided, until 2013 diaspora oromos were divided along regions, religions, clans and subclans wallega, Arsi, shawa, etc, thanks to our intoxicated diaspora leaders.
    In 2013 someone was asked whether he was Oromo or Ethiopian first. When he said he is oromo first no oromo was surprised, but when he automatically came under fire from amhara elite (it not amhara masses) for saying this, the backfire from all then divided diaspora oromos became the engine of recent Oromo unity in the diaspora and is doing well so far.

    Are the then divided oromo elite completely united? Still some way to go. Does their division have implication for oromos back home? Very little.

    Now let us look at Oromo-Amhara grass root. The grass root was never divided. These people have been living side by side, some times as families for hundreds of years. Therefore, I can say there is real unity among the people. However, until the issue of Welkait surfaced most Amharas generally ignored the call for unity against Tigrean terror on our people. Oromos kept fighting wayanes alone for almost 2 years wondering why the Amhara were silent. This is perhaps due to wayanes propaganda machine which labels oromos grievances as “separatism”.

    However, just as there is division between diaspora oromo elite, the diaspora Oromo and Amhara elite poisoned by decades of war of words can not reconcile themselves easily with reality on the ground and some of them still want to drag the new generation back to the old days. Will they succeed? No way.

    The elite on both camps seem to be too disconnected from the reality on the ground where grass roots from both nations are already fighting the enemy together. As long as the Amharas and Oromos are chasing wayanes in their respective territories they see themselves as allies. Oromos need not go to Welkait to fight wayane, nor do Goderes need go to Ambo to do the same, although nothing is wrong if we have the capacity to do that.The main thing is hitting the enemy simultaneously, throughout the country. This connects not only oromo with amharas but with all victims of wayane currently fighting for freedom.

    Common agendas of Amhara, Oromo: I would say there are plenty!

    In the short term, we all like to dismantle fascism form Ethiopia in the shortest possible time and introduce genuine democracy and peace.

    After all, together we founded the country now called Ethiopia. We lived as neighbors for generations and there were times when we had conflicts and times when we had peace. We fought multiple and bitter wars against external enemies and scored glorious victories in all and so defended the nation to date!

    There is no war which Ethiopia fought in which Oromo soldiers did not make the majority. So, Ethiopia’s history is basically Oromo history! Was this recognized by Amhara elite? Very little.

    Although in the short term independence of Oromia might bring to the oromos the immediate relief from Tigrean barbarism, in the long term I would strongly recommend that both Oromo and Amhara MUST REMAIN IN ONE COUNTRY CALLED ETHIOPIA. Why?

    My reason is not because of our historic or family ties which many supporters of Ethiopian unity cite, but rather because we must ensure the food and power security of future generations. This can not be achieved without maximum use of the Abay river. This river needs to be defended from external forces. Nether an independent Oromia nor Ethiopia without Oromia can do this.

    Leaders of the two nations must approach each other with this broader picture in mind and reduce or eliminate all possibility of perceived or real frictions in the greater interest of their children. Once agreed on this fundamental issue every thing else becomes technical.

    In this regard I would say that a fully autonomous Oromia, amhara, and other states are all in order. All Ethiopians should be able to live wherever they like in the country, if the land is free or if they don’t conflict with the locals.

    Of paramount interest from Oromo perspective is the issue compensation for 25 years of war crimes committed by the Tigrean regime against nearly all nations except Tigreans. We can not claim to be fighting for freedom and leave even one innocent victim’s life unaccounted for after we gain freedom.

    Therefore, a committee must be set up consisting representatives of all victim nations which sorts out how Tigray might be able to pay for the millions of innocent Ethiopian lives lost by TPLF.

    We must remember that Germany and Japan are is still paying for victims of the past regimes while Italy also paid war reparations for Ethiopia. But Tigray is neither Germany Italy, nor Japan. We can not revenge our casualties by killing Tigreans because they have already killed more Ethiopians than their own population.

    Therefore, although it is up to the committee to decide the precise mechanism, in practice Tigray can only pay compensation in by surrendering territorial control in their province to the major victims of genocide: Amhara, Oromia and Eritrea. Asmara might be happy to swap some territory in Tigray with Assab so that we have direct access to the sea.

    In my opinion, this arrangement should ensure a genuine long-term stability in the horn and Oromo-amhara unity is not a myth.

  12. StarAction October 16, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    @Sorsa

    You are TPLF!

    • Tuli October 17, 2016 at 5:25 am #

      @Sorsa

      You are just amazing!! There are millions like you who prefer to be silent. These are the people who uphold the truth without personal prejudice. If we all tell the truth without exaggerating minor hiccups, we will minimize our sacrifice & achieve victory in short time. However if we spend a great deal of time splitting hair, woyane is no fool it will reorganize & get back to us with vengeance.

      It’s not a rocket science not to see this unless of course we are against those who are scarified their lives. So let’s stop all this nonsense & focus to remove the parasites.

  13. Ahmedsomali October 16, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

    Hi. Thanks for your articles and comments. I am somali citizen born and brought up under ethiopi occupation. There is somali proverb says:stollen camel can not give you clean one or none stollen camels. In other other words we have toagree one thing. Can we correct historical mistakes and accept to live in peace as sovereign estates for somalis and orromo and amhara and other nations. There is no need to claim as ethiopian while there is no people apart of ahmara who claim ethiopians. Hundred years of occupation did not help to any nations. Killing each other is not reasonable solution.

  14. Tuli October 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    To me this is what I hear from TPLF everyday. This chap is disguising himself as Oromo by trying to kill the mushrooming solidarity between Oromo & Amhara. None of what is said is enlightening. We will see a lot more attempts from TPLF. We should be vigilant & we shouldn’t give attention to such garbage

  15. kurraauee October 16, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    Thank You Sorsa! you nailed it.

    I think all of you who are net warriors are under estimating the ties the oromo and amhara have at grass root level. An estimated 10 million people are mixed oromo amhara including me … this is not something that any one can contend to ignore and no matter how you slice it the people of that region will not be separated as they have been through bad and good times when being used by various rulers to promote their grip on power .. the oromo rulers of the 15th century did it to the Amharas without benefiting the oromos the amhara rulers of the late 19th century did it to the oromos without benefiting the amhara. Note during this turbulence time both live in peace side by sidefor centuries. I really do not understand this Egypt mercenaries talk of separate oromo and so on ….. your charter and dream while sleeping with Egypt whose main motto is not you but to secure a lasting unchallenged access to nile … please wake up and smell the struggle at grass root level and bow to the will of the people ..

  16. Whitestar October 16, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    Thank you for speaking the Truth. The intentions of the Amhara are well known and they don’t realise the world has changed but they are still dreaming about old days, as long as minority is still dreaming of controlling the majority there is no hope of peaceful coexistence among people of whole east Africa.

  17. The stormchaser October 16, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    All the Oromos brothers and sisters

    This half breed Amhara/Oromo scum said in nazret website a racist Amhara website.

    This is his statement

    Sodo
    October 14, 2016 at 8:34 PM
    People, don’t slap yourselves in the face. When the Tgres disappear into oblivion, we the real Ethiopians will make sure scum sucking maggots like mainly the OLF , will be shown where to sit . The OLF collaborated with the Tgres and cleansed, killed and humiliated Ethiopians and Ethiopia.
    One thing people are forgetting is that the number of Oromos is hypocritically inflated. They are bellow 20 million. Well , there are a hundred million real Ethiopians, minus the non Ethiopian Tgres. The OLF accompanying Tgres from north towards the south committed atrocities against Ethiopians. Even now , when Ethiopians both abroad and at home flying the real Ethiopian flag , the stupid Oromos are intimidating the real Ethiopians by waving a wishful flag of ” oromia”. By the way Jewar Mohammed isn’t even an Oromo. He is an Arab, the traditional enemy of mother Ethiopia. Given a chance , moslem Oromos will wipe non moslem Ethiopians from the face of Ethiopia. Ethiopians, think about it.

    Here is the link

    http://www.nazret.com/2016/10/13/ethiopia-faces-imminent-danger/

  18. The stormchaser October 16, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

    Sorsa says he’s half Oromo but his denying the existence of the Oromo people incuding his own mother who happens to be Oromo and whats worrying is the way he was badmouthing the OLF, doesn’t he (Sorsa) kno OLF is Oromo and Oromo is OLF? OLF represents the oromos people its simple as that, and if anyone is against OLF and is also against the wellbeing of the Oromo nation.

    • Sorsa October 19, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

      @ Stormchaser,

      You are intoxicated yourself with khat when you wrote the above comment. Sorsa and Sodo @nazret.com who claims to be Urage but a die-hard fascist are always on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

      FYI nazret.com is not Amhara website. Unlike bad websites like gadaa.com anyone can post his mind freely, and instantly there. That’s why I can not call nazret an amhara website. They never censored, blocked or delayed my posts. They leave it to the reader to mine the right information they need and who is for what and against what. This is exactly what I want a trusted website to be.

      • The stormchaser October 20, 2016 at 10:20 am #

        @Sorsa

        Alrite I apologise my bad, it’s was actually Sodo who wrote that comment.

  19. Oromian bateleur October 17, 2016 at 4:07 am #

    Dear Oromos, please don’t waste the time by arguing about the already dead Amhara’s old and handful chauvinists. The old guards of Amhara ruling class are still yelling about degrading the Oromo society, and especially the OLF, Oromia and its flag. Surprisingly, all these old guards who are advocating for superiority of the old system are born, educated and grown up out side the real Amhara region, namely in southern part of Ethiopia, and particularly in Oromia region. Contrary to these old guards, the real Amhara people in their home land Gojjam, Gonder and Wollo, especially, the young generation under 35 years, know Oromia as Oromos region with its own flag, while the old guards are shedding the dried out corcodile tears.

    Old Ethiopia ? Yes Oromos including others Cushitic, Nilotic and Omotic peoples are the true Ethiopians. Ethiopia does not mean Amhara, Tigre or Eritrea the Abyssinians. 500 BC, the first Greek historian in human history, Herodotus named in his history book the black peoples starting from Egypt to Indian Ocean as “Aethiopia” which means burned face in old Greek.

    New Ethiopia, which come to replace Abyssinia, the small kingdom in northern part of today’ Ethiopia around 1945 by League of Nations ? Yes the new country Ethiopia is founded on Oromo central nerve system Finfinnee. Actually many Oromos fought and died for this country called Ethiopia. But, outwitted by elite Abyssinians in gaining freedom and equality for their people Oromos. While brave country loving Oromos were fighting external enemies like Italy, Sudanese Mahadist Darbushes, invading Somalians, the shrewd Amhara ruling class had played a great roll in fighting Oromos or playing roll to let Oromos fight one another within the country.

    Unity and living together ? Yes, it is possible only, only if they respect me in my home land. But, if they continue with their dream of saying “mine is belongs to me, yours is belongs to us”, we say by gone is gone and start to deceide for our destiny.

    Any way, I am sure that all Ethiopian peoples must not pay attention to the handful insane groups of old guards. It is better to consolidate relations with those dynamic minded young generation of all different peoples in that country.

    Those who deny OLF, Oromia and its flag are in general denying the existance of Oromo society. And they must be kept in check before they will be another TPLF of Amhara.

  20. kurraauee October 17, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    @The stormchaser

    if Sorsa has put those bad mouth wordings on the site u mentioned .. it is not right …. even if he is not the one whoever put that is definitely extreme emotional marionette who i think will make no difference to the outcome just ignore him. But to a certain extent there is some doubt thrown on the population size of Oromos …. this in my humble opinion might not change the fact on the ground but the action and decision taken by Melese himself at that time is something that might officially come out when things get better. But as a statistician working for the last census in the country .. tplf as well as OPDO were pushing to undermine the population size of Amhara who at that time were stripped of all power and its puppet ANDM was dominated by the tplf people. Then we were specifically told to count all mixed Amhara/Oromos as Oromos. There was three options that our coordinator with the consultants from US proposed. 1: to only count mixed Oromo Amharas based only on their father identity, 2: to give them the option for those over 18 to decide which ethnicity to belong to and those less than 18 to be decided by their parents finally 3:to count them as either Oromo or Amahara depending on which Kilil they live . Note that the estimated population size of Amhara/oromo mixed people was colossal and is about 10 million. This not only will have a crucial impact on the population size of the two main ethnicity groups but also has impact on budget allocation and number of MPS that the kilil can elect to the Parliament. Well as I said all is ruled out to make a fare count and with a single letter the census coordinator was told to count all mixed Amhara/oromos as Oromos. this note that is despite the fact that some chose to be Amhara others as oromos on the form. We were told to count all mixed Amhara/Oromo mixed people as Oromo if the mixed ethnicity box is ticked. In fact I remember that after this decision all Amahara and other ethnicity mixed people to be counted as not Amhara but others. Well then I was not surprised because all what has been done by tplf, earlier on OLF and OPDO is to use any opportunity to undermine the interest of Amharas including killing them …… finally there is a missing 2.5 million Amharas from the census that does not tie up with the rate of growth which was even at conservative estimate of 1.6 annually does not seem to tally the expected population size of Amhara …. this after a number of pressure from ANDM members finally the melese regime decided to investigate which at the end they brought in world re-known expert on this from USA Harvard University… but as is well known the debate in the parliament the gov’t put it to unknown reason for the disappearance of 2.5 Amharas … funny enough the issue was not raised by Amharas but it was raised by the Somalie delegate as the issue also has implication on Somalie region as well as their number was also cooked to reduce their numbers … I am not sure in this case if it is due to implementation related issue or a sinister conspiracy as is teh case against the Amharas by Tigrians …. anyway I raised this just to let you know the last census does not really reflect the true population size of the ethnic groups …. please listen to the parliament discussion on this …. here http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3dyiqs_2-5-million-amharas-missing-confirmed-in-parliament-part-1_news

    So in a nutshell the last census was more of politics rather than statistical result that reflects the true size of the population … and note that the extreme Amharas are based on this that they claim about 2.5 million Amharas were killed by this government in collaboration with OLF ….. To me this does not matter because it is not an issue between the brotherly people of Amhara and Oromo who lived together for thousands of years and will continue to live … I really do not mind who is the largest ethnic what I am more concerned is do not fan separation between the two people as history shows they have been through think and thin and they will never grow apart even if temporarily there might be a blip in their relation …. I urge those interested in this issue to listen from the horses mouth about the issue from the above link….. in particular pay attention to the presentation made by the statistical officer in which she said that the number is reduced systematically across all areas in the amhara kilil .. what she failed to give is to provide a convincing reason for the missing 2.5 million people … and if you count the missing 2.5 million plus all mixed Amharas were given the chance to choose their ethnicity the number might be different …. but once again this is not an issue and should not be going forward .. we will know the true size of the population by ethnicity in the future and we will make sure that the census will be used as a tool for economic development rather than for revenge and political game against one ethnic group with another as we all are one people no matter how we decide to be governed and live in peace together for the benefit of all people.

  21. Mimmi October 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    Oromo-Amhara solidarity must necessarily mean that a win-win mutual cooperation may transform the current SHAMEFUL AND UNSUSTAINABLE tyrannical sole domination of the 6% tplf holding over 94% of the entire Ethiopian power simply due to its ability on playing with the emotions and antipathies of the past Oromo-Amhara mistrusts.

    This SHOULD NOT MEAN THAT Oromos need to go to the Amhara camp for being manipulated and again dominated just like some old regime propagandist who are wishing and missing their forefathers unjust imperial UNSUSTAINABLE greatness bragging about the mythical defects of ethnicity while barking about the imperial greatness of Ethiopiawinet that use be mythical chicken constantly laying the magical golden eggs. But with mutual respect for each other’s mutual win-win interests they can make Ethiopia and all of its people GREAT AGAIN.

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