The purpose of this piece is to bring into the open a lurking question that is often avoided as a taboo by Oromians to maintain internal harmony. That question relates to the divisive and self-defeating agenda propagated by Ethiopian nationalists of Oromo descent. The article focuses on elites who have betrayed the Oromo movement in the name of a community. The idea of ‘Ethiopian nationalists of Oromo origin’ is no fiction. They exist and they are taking a toll on our just movement and cause. Even more than Amharas and Tigires do, the primary concern of this enclave is to maintain one Ethiopia at the cost of belittling and even destroying the long-standing Oromo question for self-determination up to independence. The group masquerades in dubious and faddy ideas of Ethiopianism, Horn of Africanism and internationalism, but they do frequently throw in “Oromo” as a way of adding flavor to their hidden beliefs in Ethiopia. They act like ‘House Negros’, those slaves on American plantations who were more concerned for the needs and well-beings of their owners than were the owners themselves.

Debate About Ethiopia’s Future: Whose Fault?

To be specific, this response was provoked by the Ethiopianist agenda promoted by Opride.com under the title, “Oromo hold the stump key to Ethiopia’s future.” This is the title under which the Opride Editor introduces his Ethiopianist belief by masking it as “roundup of opinions” from so-called experts and officials on current issues in Ethiopia. The “debate” aims at prescribing “the role Oromo should play in Ethiopia’s politics,” as a means of promoting the territorial, linguistic and cultural integrity of the Ethiopian state. The debate is part of a growing and embarrassing posturing by some elites from within.

The underlying assumptions in the title as well as in the phrase about the role is this: ‘Oromos are being massively persecuted because they have played no role in Ethiopia and the refusal to play that role has resulted in massive killings, incarcerations and abuses.’ In fact, the Editor’s clearly on a mission to give Ethiopia a “future” by using the Oromo people as a raw material toward achieving that goal. It is also implied in the Editor’s assertion that the cause of massive Oromo suffering in Ethiopia are Oromos themselves who have refused to change their behavior–does this sound like Oromo Dialogue Forum and Jijjiirma rhetoric? Right. It does and it is.

Indeed, the blogger was explicit in stating that Oromo political behavior is the only suspect in causing Oromo suffering when he wrote: “How would/should the Oromo behave differently this time than it did during the last two decades?” This question is the same outdated question asked by died-hard and racist Abyssinian nationalists. The Editor thus excels the Habesha at advocating for their “Ethiopia” more than they do. He does this by implicitly finding Oromos at fault for the killings, murders, jailing, and evictions they suffer in thousands, millions. He appears to mean the Oromo have self-inflicted genocide on themselves, even when the identity of soldiers who shoot at them are in fact Abyssinian soldiers or co-opted Ethiopian nationalists gun-carriers, nafaxnyaa-collaborators. Some pro-Turkey writers also blamed the victims for genocide.

If you read the introduction to the debate closely, you will observe that not only is Opride.com’s priority the Ethiopian cause over the Oromian one, but also that it is highly dismissive of the Oromo National Movement in general. It blames the failures of peaceful and armed Oromo opposition on Oromos themselves. It is inwardly focused to deliberately divide the Oromo to efface the agency of Abyssinian colonialism from the equation. The blogger writes,

So far, attempts of the Oromo to wrest the reins of power away from the Tigreans who assumed it on account of their military superiority, from within the ruling party through the OPDO, using the political system through the efforts of Marara’s ONC and Bulcha’s OFDM in the ballot box, and from without through OLF with arms and subversion, have all come to naught. As a consequence, the great potentials of the Oromo have remained what it has always been: just a potential.

What is fascinating here is not really the writer’s declaration that the ‘Oromo struggle achieved nothing and will achieve nothing unless it is subservient to Ethiopian nationalism’ as some kind of marginal appendix for a bigger goal of keeping Ethiopia’s future secure, but the extra-textual beliefs that are behind such statements.

Sources of Anti-Oromia Beliefs: Perils of Uniting with Menelik’s Ras Darghe

Enough with the textual analysis. Now let’s examine where such strong beliefs in Ethiopian nationalism of purportedly Oromo origin come from. What informs the worldview of the author?: Ethiopian nationalism? Godina (zonal-clan) identification with disgruntled and expelled ex-members and leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front? Or is it the editor’s own passionate hatred towards seeing a free, self-ruling or independent Oromia? Is the blogger alone in holding this kind of anti-Oromian sentiment, but pro-Ethiopian belief?

Based on close observations of other agenda promoted on Opride.com over the years, and based on hearing the informal conversations of the Editor in the past, his position on Oromo politics and Oromo national movement becomes crystal clear. The writer/blogger is a staunch believer in anti-OLF and anti-Oromianism. In a private conversation with a respected Faranjii struggling for the Oromo, the same editor voiced a shocking opinion that ‘the OLF must be destroyed and Oromos must start from the scratch.” This belief is a part of larger belief system Opride.com shares with Kamal Galchu’s group, and some friends of his that I would not like to name here. The blogger and his associates strongly believe in following leaders blindly even when those leaders are wrong as long as they share some clan or Godina identity. This arises from a culture of a very localized tightly knit group.

If you look at the list of the so-called experts and officials, you will see that they are the ones closest in region and belief to the promoter of the “debate” with one odd exception. Two of these were leaders of Kamal Glachu’s Jijjiirama and an Oromo Dialogue Forum’s representative who admittedly are in-bred Ethiopian nationalists. They are already infected with Ethiopian nationalism and a house-negro mentality. They humiliate many brave Oromo heroes from Arsi who confronted and fought Menelik’s army at Annolee (arma-muraa aannolee), where they chopped off the breasts of Oromo women and girls. What Oromo man or woman in his/her right mind betrays the Oromo cause and enters into alliance with Ethiopianists who chopped off the breasts of women and young girls, and amputated men’s limbs in a genocidal violence of epic proportion?

It is wrong to teach Oromo to give up the culture of resistance and adopt submission to the same forces who have butchered them. These individuals must be exorcised by the majority of their own constituency even before they bring more shame on the Arsi and the larger Oromo public and tarnish their images as collaborators with the enemy both at home and in the diaspora.

This is the debate we need to have. It must be crystal clear the purpose here is to hold no hatred toward any Oromian tribes, including Arsi. What one is saying is individuals who claim this identity and push Ethiopianism should not be let to succeed by the larger group. They should be helped and be brought to their minds so they have a clear stance with the cause of their people.

Oromo-Ethiopianists running around trying to reach out to hateful Abyssinian are making fools of themselves. In recent years (since the Jijjiirma splinter of 2008), we have seen several Oromo groups and individuals making overtures to Abyssinian movements and even joining them. But, why don’t we see Abyssinians trying to reach out to Oromos? What some who claim Oromo origin are doing are simple acts of the declaration inferiority and defeat on themselves. We know even those inbred Ethiopian nationalists who joined Ginbot 7 are being treated with contempt–just like they were supposed to. How can a human being withstand such a humiliation and still fail to learn from it?

I don’t understand. Do you?

Thanks to collaborators like Junedin Saddo and other affiliated elites, stories are already being heard that A-collaborators are denying young Oromo graduates employment opportunities based on region. One of the questions regional government officials ask students is, “BA qabdaa?” It sounds like the interviewer is asking “do you have a bachelor’s degree,” but the the acronym is secretly coined by insiders and it means “are you from Bale and Arsi?” Poor job-seekers from other regions of Oromia who don’t understand the real question answer, “Eyyeen, BA qaba,” or “I do have a BA”, referring to degrees, but they realize what that is after leaving unemployed. This is a form of internal racism. This is not to mention that some also shuttle around Oromia harassing and taking people to jail. It is primarily the responsibility of the the BA in-group to avert this opportunistic disasters before it even becomes more deeply rooted.

Oromo as Scapegoat for Seeking Redemption for Ethiopia

Somehow, the most implicit assumption is: ‘if abuses do not not happen to my clan as much, Oromia’s suffering is not my problem. I don’t have a problem with an Ethiopia that is privileging me and funding my extravagant lifestyle and calls me “the rising Oromo middle class.” Of course, I am more like my masters than everyday Oromo. So who cares?’ This is a dangerous and explosive phenomenon of divide and conquer for which some among us have already fallen. To address this issue head on, people must rationally follow thoughts and ideas over ill-intentioned men from their regions or religions.

Below are some of the excuses individuals similar to the Opride Editor give to justify their conviction in Ethiopian nationalism:

– Oromo is a large and diverse community your perspective is one [way of talking down to people]
-Isolationism is not an Oromo way of life
-I don’t hesitate to criticize Ethiopia’s wrong ways. But I believe the country [Ethiopia] can be redeemed
-South Sudan is fundamentally different {from Oromia’s cause}. The jury is still out on Eritrea. Oromiya is destined for greater things [meaning it will remain part of Ethiopia]
-All small nations in the south are anxious about Oromo’s political intentions and our politicians are not reaching out [therefore, we should give up our quest freedom]
-I find it unfortunate that the prospect of Oromos staking a claim in Ethiopia as opposed to breaking away is repulsive

The above list is of beliefs is from several different like-minded and like-regioned Ethiopian nationalists of Oromo origin. The beliefs were collected from social media interactions. These are ideas from seemingly relatively better lettered people. In reality, the beliefs show how unlearned lettered persons can also be. They joke about the blood Oromo shed, and the pains of oppression millions are going through everyday. All the textual and extra textual evidence cited so far point to a fundamentally disturbing tendency in a small segment of elites from a particular community. Perhaps, this calls for some reconnaissance and moments of reflection for the Editor and like-minded groups in order to rethink their approach in the best interest of the Oromo national struggle for the liberation of Oromia.

What Good Will It Be?

No one can impose on Oromo a subservient role in Ethiopia’s future by asking them to give up their just cause for liberation. Oromo have the right to hold a referendum without duress to decide their destiny. That will happen only when we are victorious in winning the war imposed upon us against our will. It won’t happen by making foolish overtures to those who kill us.

My religion is Oromia and the freedom of the Oromo people, but even scriptures teach how uselessness is gaining the whole world, but losing oneself. The Bible asks: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Regardless of your religion, if you think about this, you find out many Oromos have unfortunately and disgracefully lost their souls and themselves in an attempt to gain their own prominence at the expense of their people’s demise. They minimize their people’s causes as “narrow” by openly claiming that they are for Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa and international frontier warriors. Unfathomable crazy world people live in to please others, isn’t it?

It does not take a genius to figure out that seeking a solution for Oromo in alliance with the same anti-Oromo forces that want to destroy them is doomed to fail. The peril is so great. For Opride Editor to ignore Oromians who are suffering because of who they are in terms of nationality, religion and the resources they sit on is nothing less than endorsing and promoting genocide, Ethiopian nationalism cast as “Oromos hold the stump key for Ethiopia’s future.” Why does Ethiopia future matter to Oromo over their own destiny aft all?

In fact, the assertion that Oromos “hold a stump key” is not only a waste of an English expression, but it is also a false and empty statement. “Stump” is main part of something [Oromo call this hundee]. To the contrary, Oromo hold no key to Ethiopia’s future as they don’t have political, economic and military powers–it takes a real struggle to regain these. The Abyssinians who have really held ‘the stump key to Ethiopia’s future’ utilized that opportunity only to serve their own co-ethnics. They still hold it. The goal of Oromo national struggle is not maintain colonialism or Ethiopia, but to dismantle (to make Abyssinians drop the stump key to Oromia) in all its manifestations, including the current structure that the Opride blogger has wanted to preserve. How can you try to preserve a fundamentally infected system? In cases of cancer affecting a particular part of the body, physicians amputate the infected part in order to prevent the cancer from spreading to the rest of healthy body.

What else can be more insulting to Oromo than inviting the anti-Oromo Ethiopianist expatriate scholar, Donald Levine whose capacity for learning new tricks is turned off by hate. The following anti-Oromo comment by Levine sits well with the Opride Editor and other fifth columnists:

Oromo groups invited themselves into vast areas–from Harar to Gojjam, from Hadiyya to Tigray–in many cases, no less aggressively than Amhara and Tigreans were to do against Oromo and many other ethnicities during the reign of Emperor Menelik. Once settled in those areas, many of them affiliated with the Ethiopian center. They helped Sarsa Dengel combat the Turkish invaders in the late 16th C.
To serve whatever external interests, Levine is concerned in keeping Ethiopia intact. He does not seem to care if Oromo are wiped off the face of the earth although he pretends to. If you look at the statement quoted above, you see Levine does not have any source substantiating the Oromo aggression against northerners. He fabricated this deeply hateful statement as a strong denial of centuries of genocidal campaigns against the Oromo people. What is more disturbing is that Levine scapegoats and implicates Oromos in a fictitious violence made in his head. His purpose here is to delegitimize the goal of the Oromo national liberation movement for independence and self-determination. What can one expect from an anti-Oromo author who wrote two books after a decade of living with Menzes. In the books not worthy to mention here, he uses the “G-word” to refer to Oromo as recently as 2000. Levine is more Menze than a Menze Amahara and he has always argued how important and superior their civilization are compared to those of the Oromo. Expectedly, Levine will only intervene in ways that serve the interests of the Abyssinian center the most.

Opride.com Editor’s intentions are most questionable because he left out the best known Oromo scholars who have published more on Oromia and the Horn per capita than any of the so-called “debate” guests and experts–his buddies! One could observe how this editor has been negative about Oromo scholarship as well, including thrashing our achievements so far. He thrashes both scholarly and struggle achievements.

The Debate Does Not Hold Water

Several Oromo scholars have indeed refuted many of the arguments against Oromia’s Independence as a natural right and viable option for the Oromo people. Expat and homegrown Oromo-Ethiopianists don’t like putting independence as an option on the table for the Oromo nation. They fix debates and issues in terms of personal considerations that have nothing to do with the Oromo people. I won’t go into the details of other options Oromos have here. I will just leave you with a strong case that Mekuria Bulcha makes for Oromo Self-Government. Bulcha’s case is completely contrary to the Opride Editor’s and his (editor) associates’ relegation of the Oromo question to secondary (subservient) role to the Abyssinian center.

Finally, it is clear that some in-bred Ethiopian nationalists (fifth columnists) are primarily interested in the future of Ethiopia. They don’t seem to care if Oromia is wiped off the map along with 50 million Oromos. If they seem to be pushing for the Oromo cause, they often do that for their own opportunistic reasons–financial or divisive purposes. Oromos are well advised not to listen to these people; they must be held accountable and made socially outcast. Doing this is easy if you believe in the future of Oromia than the future of Ethiopia that kills, tortures, rapes and humiliates Oromians.

The debate we should have right now is not how to keep Ethiopia together when our people are bleeding and mourning in their tens of thousands. The right question: how can we free them? In fact, the right debate should be on examining the dangers of in-bred Ethiopian nationalism on our struggle to free our people.



Unity of Oromo Struggle is a priority The Oromo want dignity, self-expression, and self-governance. The Oromo want their voices to be heard. The Oromo want sovereignty They want to live together at peace with their neighbors, who themselves also live in freedom exercising their own sovereignty.The struggle for independence will continue until the Oromo question gets proper and just response. A well organized liberation struggle and the spirit of Oromummaa will save the nation’s unity and identity from later day detractors. Long Live Free Oromiyaa!!Down with Colonial forces and their lackeys!!

Posted on 28/11/2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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