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The Baale Resistance Movement

Date

Event

1963
Independent of the outside group, armed struggle started in Baale in 1963.  Like almost all of its predecessors, the issue that triggered the Baale armed uprising was conflict on land use.  Waaqo Guutu and about 40 others revolted against the government order to sent back Oromo who moved to Sidamo from Baale during that period.  With the assistance of Somalis who were treated in similar manner, Waaqo Guutu's force moved to Dallo, the birthplace of Waaqo, and joined old friends like Aliyyi Chirri, who had already revolted and were in the Madda Walaabu forest.  The first time the join Waaqo/Chirri guerilla force encountered the enemy was at Malkaa Arganno, where they tasted their fist victory.  From there, they advanced to the towns of Oborso and Bidere and liberated them.
1964 The Waaqo/Chirri rebellion spread like forest fire through Dallo, Waabee and other provinces.  More leaders with hundreds of followers went to Somalia and received assistance.  They used classical guerrilla tactics operating out of bases in the dense forests and mountains of Baale.  The guerrillas made constant raids on the colonial force and army outposts and roads to make it difficult for the army to move or to receive supplies.  Some of the prominent leaders in the Baale uprising were Waaqo Guutu, Waaqo Luugo, Aliyyi Chirri, Abbaa Washa and Hajji Yisihaq.
1965 The top leaders of the Macha-Tuullama Welfare Association (MTWA) and the Baale rebellion met secretly and discussed how best to coordinate their activities.  The man who was instrumental in bringing the two movements together was Ahmad Buna, a school teacher, a long time member of the MTWA and one of the founders of the Oromo Liberation Front in 1974.
1966 The Ethiopian government attacked guerrilla positions in El-Karre province with airplanes.  This was effective only due to the topography of the land, which was mostly flat and bare.  The bombing of villages over all the regions was intensified with some effect, creating fear and horror among the population who were not used to this type of warfare.
1967 Using air cover, the Ethiopian army launched an all-out offensive in Dallo and Gannale to defeat the Baale rebellion.  After some of the ferocious fighting, the army captured the towns of Hawo and Buluq in Dallo.  But it was a temporary defeat to the guerrillas since they recaptured these places after a few weeks and the government offensive ended as a total failure.  At this juncture, the Ethiopian government became desperate, and once again it turned to its patrons for help to rescue the Empire.  The British sent over 400 British army engineers to build bridges and roads.  One of the bridges that was of tremendous strategic importance was built over the Gannaale river.  The American Air Force experts were brought in to improve the fire power of the Ethiopian Air Force jet fighters for more accurate air strikes.  Several Israeli counter-insurgency and explosive experts were brought in to advise and guide the army.  In spite of all these efforts, the guerrillas were able to repulse the enemy and continue to expand their area activity.
1970 The leaders and the majority of the rank and file of the Baale rebellion laid down their arms after the Ethiopian government used Oromo generals like Jaagamaa Keello to get the sympathy and confidence of the movement leaders. As the leader of the movement, he had the title of General.