Oromo: Our cause is just but demands perseverance and more of it from us!
By Abbaa Ormaa
If we really want FREEDOM, we have to be not only the summer and sunshine soldiers, but also the winter soldiers. In fact we need more of winter SOLDIERS!
The Oromo people have been subjected to mass atrocities and slavery in the hands of Abyssinian and subsequent modern day Ethiopian warlords from the North of Oromia for a little over a century. Once the Abyssinian warlords reached Oromo country, they called the Oromo names, degraded their culture, degraded their language, and humiliated them in their own home. They called their annexation “integration” to mask its true name, COLONIZATION. Abyssinians brought corrosive anti-democratic culture with them and corrupted few Oromos here and there. The Oromo people are here today only because of Oromo values rooted in the time tested Gadaa, the oldest democratic institution. It worth mentioning that Abyssinians adopted the name “Ethiopia” as official name around 1920 to mud the water and confuse the willing by creating the false narrative of make–believe history of 3000 years.
To this day, the Oromo people and Oromia are under occupation, this time by the minority Tigray-elites. The minority Tigray-led regime is using terrorism and fake development as cover to continue their mass atrocities against the Oromo people. Following the heroic and historic uprising, the qeerro/qarree-led Oromo protest movement in Oromia, that rocked the regime from its foundation, the Tigray elites trained and enlisted the Somali Liyu police to mass murder Oromos and terrorize Oromo villages.
Unfortunately, in the face of all these, the diaspora Oromo has become emotionally reactive. We react to bad news with vigor and urgency while the story is fresh. Every time the regime commits heinous crimes against the Oromo people, we protest, decry, and then go back to business as usual while our adversaries plan for their next target. A good example is what happened following the Ireecha-massacre of 2016, one would have thought ok this should be it. But unfortunately, it came and passed as if nothing happened leaving thousands dead, tens of thousands jailed. Our outrage did not last. Mourning and protesting is a necessary thing but not going to change the behavior of a genocidal regime. Killing and intimidations are their weapons.
Helping our fellow mourners, prisoners, and exiles is a norm for a society but not sufficient to address the root causes of the endless killings and injustices. As we continue to help victims of Tigray-elites atrocities, we should also be asking the question FOR HOW LONG WE MOURN OUR DEADS, IMPRISONED, EXILED, AND PUSHED ASIDE IN OUR OWN HOME? Eventually one has to give way. The Tigray-elites made it clear that the choice is binary, either we submit to them or wiped out altogether, or we take back our country and free our people. I am afraid that the way we are, we are not up to the challenge unless we figure it before it is too late.
If we don’t grow up as people, get our acts together and figure out how to end these nonstop mass atrocities against our people, we will soon be referred as the people who once lived in the horn of Africa.
If we are true to our aspiration, we must do the hard work of organizing and pulling together our limited resources to confront this regime and other foes. We must figure out a way to marshal our minds, hearts, and resources to get rid of this oppressive regime and the conditions that made it possible for crooks and thugs to control the levers of power and abuse us all together. Until we do that, we will be in the same predicament year after year crying and mourning.
If we are to change the fate of our people, we must evaluate and reevaluate our weaknesses as people first and for most. Our political and civic organizations are reflections of us, the people. The weaker we are, the weaker they are. In searching for this unity, let us insist on accountability from our political and civic organizations. Whenever we give money to groups and organizations in the name of Oromo, let us make sure that the money we give is used to unite us not to divide us. We must make sure that our support that is not used to feed oversized egos of individuals turning them into a cult than a rational leader.
I am pleased to have learned that the much anticipated Global Gumii Oromia (GGO) is finally to be materialized. GGO’s ambition to bring all Oromos around a table “to critically understand and confront our ideological, leadership and organizational shortcomings and to develop central organizing ideas and strategic plans at the grassroots level for our national movement” is a noble goal and the people behind it deserve our appreciations. This is a great start. But it is up to each and every Oromo to play our part in materializing our people’s aspiration for equality, justice, and freedom by encouraging and becoming stake holders in Oromo organizations that stand for our common vision and that understands the roll of the diaspora is a supportive role. The ultimate deciders are the people on the ground in Oromia.
GGO is a work in progress and it takes all of us to create this forum where we sit together around a table and do what our forefathers did, address our differences, strengthen our unity, mend fences, and defend our country, protect our elders, women, and children. I wish GGO success and I will be there to do my part! Our cause is just, too big, and too important to be left to few.
Yes, there are lots of chaffs in the name of Oromo running around but it is up to us, the Oromo people, to separate the wheat from the chaffs and huddle around the wheat to take on the tyrants.