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Should the Oromo National Liberation Struggle Be Nonviolent or Armed?

Posted: Fulbaana/September 9, 2012 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com | Comments (31)

By Leenjiso Horo* | August 2012

Introductory Remark:
Recently, the Oromo splinter group from Shanee Gumii-OLF, a group known as the “Oromo Group 7,” which removed itself from the Oromo national liberation struggle to join Ginbot-7 in order to establish the “New Federal Republic of Ehtiopia,” announced a political program of a nonviolent struggle as a substitute for an armed struggle. In the following sections, attempts are made to make distinctions between a nonviolent struggle and an armed struggle. Whether conditions conducive for a nonviolent form of struggle in the Ethiopian empire exist or not are explored. From the outset, however, it can be stated that a nonviolent struggle cannot succeed against a vicious and cruel enemy that is armed to the teeth, and is ready, willing, and able to freely exercise violence against the people. The TPLF is such a regime. This is very clear. Hence, it is impossible to take on a nonviolent form of struggle against the TPLF regime, a violent extremist regime that has turned the institutions of the empire: the army, the police, the state security, the judiciary, the private and civil institutions – against the population. In this case, I would argue that only an armed struggle is a viable option.

Nonviolence as a form of struggle
In order to wage a nonviolent struggle, first and foremost, the cause must be a just one. And nonviolence as a method of struggle aims to establish a moral superiority of the protesters over the oppressive regime, and superiority of the issue, for which they advocate, over the regime’s policy. In the nonviolent struggle, the important instrument to be utilized is civil disobedience, noncooperation, non-collaboration with the regime. For this, the way to go is breaking unjust laws openly and nonviolently. Along with this, a nonviolent struggle demands from its leaders a commitment to the cause and willingness to die if it comes to this point. In a nonviolent struggle, readiness to face police abuses and arrests, and patience to sit indefinitely in jail come with territory. In addition, a support of large mass of people is crucial for an effective nonviolent struggle. That is, a large number of dedicated followers are essential for success. In order to wear down the regime, the key to a nonviolent struggle is to have persistence, patience, and dedication of millions of protesters across the country. In this condition, no regime can afford to keep hundreds of thousands of protesters in jail. Along with this, it requires economic boycotts of businesses, strikes, and refusal to pay taxes. The regime imprisons protesters, but long prison terms handed out to the protesters result in a paralyzing effect that cripples the economy of the regime in power.

It must be clear, however, that a nonviolent resistance only works under favorable conditions. If the condition is favorable, a nonviolent struggle is a powerful force. In the following examples, the successes of past nonviolent struggles were results of specific favorable conditions, and commitment to the goals and persistence on the part of leaders and followers. The failures could be attributed to the absence of such favorable conditions, and absence of commitment to goals and persistence. Mahatma Gandhi successfully utilized a nonviolent resistance against the British colonial rule of India during the Indian struggle for independence under favorable conditions. And, so did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights movement. Except for the two aforementioned widely known accomplishments, nonviolent struggles were not always successful. History bears witness that a nonviolent struggle does not work in every situation. For instance, nonviolent movements in Burma in 1988, at Tiananmen Square in China in 1989, in Ethiopia in 2005, and in Iran in 2009 led to massive violent crackdowns by the respective governments, and they were followed by horrific political repression and persecutions. In addition, it is important to remember the violent massacre of students in a nonviolent demonstration by the Ethiopian imperial regime in 1969, and the violent political repression known as the Red Terror of the military regime in 1977 to 1978, and the violent massacre of innocent, unarmed men, women, and children in nonviolent peaceful demonstrations in town of Watar in Hararge in 1992, in Gambella in 2003, and in Sidama at Loqee in 2009 by the Meles Zenawi regime of Ethiopia.

Following is a partial list of favorable conditions under which a nonviolent method of struggle may be utilized and may have a chance to succeed:

Gadaa.comThe state in which the struggle is waged should be democratic, and the society should have democratic culture and tradition;
Gadaa.comA common goal that the nonviolent resisters would like to achieve;
Gadaa.comExistence of a large middle-class;
Gadaa.comA high percentage of educated citizenry as a total of the population;
Gadaa.comHigh percent of urbanization;
Gadaa.comExistence of free press, freedom of speech and other civil liberties;
Gadaa.comFree media and unfettered access to global internet; and
Gadaa.comFreedom of association and assembly.

These conditions do not exist in the Ethiopian empire. Hence, it is impossible to enter into contest with the brutal regime in the form of a nonviolent resistance.

First and foremost, the Ethiopian empire state is controlled by a one-man and a one-party regime. TPLF, in and by itself is a party, a regime, a government, a defense and a police force, a security apparatus, a prosecutor, and a judiciary and a legislative, all in one. At the same time, it is a violently repressive dictatorial regime. Being such a regime, it does not tolerate any form of independent political or non-political dissent. It has abolished free press, free media, and freedom of speech and assembly. It jams radios and blocks access to the global internet. Along with these, it censors media, detains journalists, and criminalizes freedom of association and assembly. It treats as a crime all free information and free debate of ideas, unless the information and ideas are in its favor. So, a person can face life imprisonment or death for the views he/she has, expresses or the words he/she speaks or writes.

Furthermore, the Ethiopian empire is a colonial empire, which conquered, annexed, and colonized many nations and nationalities. For these reasons, it is oftentimes referred to as a prison-house of nations and nationalities. The colonized peoples’ aspirations are to exit from the empire to their freedom and liberation, while the colonizing people want to hold the empire together. And hence, there is no common goal to be pursued together. In addition to this, Ethiopia does not have strong institutions of civil society to inform, educate, mobilize, and organize the population. For all these, a nonviolent form of struggle has no base as a method of struggle in Ethiopia even to begin.

In addition to what has been said, for a nonviolent form of struggle to be successful, there should be a large middle-class, high percent of literacy in the population, and urbanization. In the Ethiopian empire, of the population of 90 million, only 17% is urbanized and 83% is rural. In what is now known as the “Arab Spring” countries, the degree of urbanization of the population is very high in comparison to the Ethiopian empire. For instance, the urban population in Tunisia is 67% of the total population; in Egypt 43.4%; in Libya 78%; in Syria 56%. From the point of view of the urban population alone, there is no room for a nonviolent form of struggle in Ethiopian. Again, Arabs are united for a common goal to overthrow the dictators. In the Ethiopian empire, there is no common goal between the colonized people, who want to exit from the colonial system, and the colonizing people, who want to maintain their colonies. Again, among other things, there should also be a democratic culture and tradition of the colonizer society. This means the members of the colonizer nation have to support the struggle of the colonized people. Once again, all these are absent in Ethiopia proper. In the absence of these conditions, the dream for a nonviolent form of struggle against a police state and a militarized empire is futile and tantamount to committing suicide. Hence, in the Ethiopian empire, only an armed struggle is appropriate and a viable form of struggle. Even Mahatma Gandhi, a person who brought India’s independence through a nonviolent struggle supported an armed struggle in the absence of favorable condition. Here are his words:

I do believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. … I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she would, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour.

Further, Gandhi had to say this in regard to submission to enemy:
“Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter [submission] befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right.”

Moreover, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a prominent leader of a nonviolent movement in the United States of America, also supported the armed liberation struggles in Africa and Asia. Here are his words: “These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression … The shirtless and barefoot people of the world are rising up as ever before … We, in the West, must support these revolutions.”

Now, this introduces us to the recent announcement of a nonviolent form of struggle by a group of Oromo that split from Shanee Gumii-OLF in order to join Ginbot-7. A year ago, this group was marching alongside Oromo. Today, it is marching with Abyssinians against Oromo and their struggle. Its declaration of non-violent struggle reads: “It is high time for us to follow the inspirations and learn from the experiences of successful non-violent transformations, and use them as a catalyst to do away with injustice that is rampant over Ethiopia.”

Well, this group seems to have forgotten that the Oromo people, since their conquest, have tried time and again to peacefully resolve the conflict between the Oromiya and Ethiopia. Looking back from 1997 to 1960s, we may put to rest this argument of peaceful nonviolence struggle, for all time. In 1960s Macca-Tuulama Self-Help Association, a non-profit and nonviolent organization was established to assist the neglected Oromo population in developmental, social, economic, health, and educational services, and to educate them in political awareness. However, the Ethiopian regime banned the Association simply because it wanted to deny these services to the Oromo people. Again, the participation of the Oromo political organizations in the Transitional Charter in 1991 was nonviolent in nature and in scope. The purpose was to peacefully resolve the long-standing political conflict between Oromiya and Ethiopia. The Abyssinians, however, turned their back on the peaceful resolution of the conflict and resorted to violence. Furthermore, it is to be remembered that the 1993 Paris Peace Conference, the 1994 Peace Talks Initiative by the former U.S. President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta, the 1995 Peace Talks under the auspices of a U.S. Congressional Task Force on Ethiopia headed by Congressman Harry Johnson in Washington, DC, and the 1997 Peace Talks in Germany sponsored by NGOs were all for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. They all failed because the Meles Zenawi regime rejected them all. It is, therefore, clear that the road to a peaceful conflict resolution in the empire is blocked, and has become ineffective and worthless. Despite all these facts, still there are Oromo nationals who are calling for a nonviolent means of struggle.

Evidently, the group seems to have forgotten all these peaceful nonviolent attempts. Instead, it stuck to vaguely learned ideas from Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As it is pointed out above, Gandhi used resistance against colonial rule through massive civil disobedience, and Dr. King also used peaceful means against racial segregation in the American experience. In both cases, conditions were favorable for nonviolent movements. In the case of India, the British public opinion supported the independence of India. In the United States, in the civil rights case, the majority of the American public, not only supported the Civil Rights Movement, but also joined it in the protests in millions.

On the contrary, in the Ethiopian empire, neither the Abyssinian people nor the Abyssinian political elites, and nor their political organizations support the independence of Oromiya. Let alone to support its independence, they have been fighting even the principle of the right of nations to self-determination with force and ferocity. They denounce whoever speaks of freedom as narrow nationalists (“tabaab bihirtanya”), and repudiate the political principle of the right of nations to self-determination as an instrument for dismembering the Ethiopian empire state. Without the recognition of the right of nations and nationalities to self-determination, the Abyssinian elites have failed to see any meaningful resolution which would be the only way they live with Oromo and others in peace and democracy. The Abyssinian people, their political elites and their Oromo agents and lackeys fail to understand that democratization of Ethiopia and the formation of Republic of Ethiopia can only be established, first and foremost, with the dismantling of the Ethiopian empire and with the formation of free, independent, sovereign states out of the ashes of the empire. It is the free, independent, and sovereign states that can establish a democratic and republican form of state in accordance with a freely expressed will of the independent peoples of respective states, including the Abyssinians. This is what the political program of the OLF calls a voluntary new arrangement. It is only sovereign, free and independent states that can unite on a voluntary and democratic basis if they wish to live together. The denunciations of nationalists as “narrow nationalists” may be emotionally satisfying to them, but it does not help them to maintain the colonial empire. That is, they oppose the right of the Oromo people to determine their own destiny, to freely decide who they are, and who and what they wish to be. But, the Oromo struggle can be truly expressed in the words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence of 1776 which reads:

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

It is the colonial political system that binds the Oromo people with the Ethiopian empire state. Our struggle is to dissolve the colonial political order that connect the colonizer with the colonized people. It is inherently the right of colonized people to disconnect the treads of the colonial relationship. This is the struggle for justice, peace, freedom and democracy against the Abyssinian corrosive colonial political order. It is a struggle for the complete independence of Oromiya. The Abyssinian political elites, however, see this as a “doom and gloom,” and as a crushing of their dream to hold their empire together.

Amhara political elites’ new campaign against the OLF and the Oromo people
Recently, the Amhara political elites, in coordination with Tigrayan regime, have launched their heinous political attacks against the OLF and the Oromo nation. TPLF’s terrorist regime has already listed the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) as a “terrorist” organization. The whole Oromo people are now categorized as terrorists in their country, on their soil by a terrorist regime that crossed the border into our country. Now, it is joined by the Amhara political elites with new campaign slogans. The recently circulating videos on the Internet are calling for and advocating for the repeat of Menelik II’s genocide on the Oromo people as at Aannolee, Calanqoo and other places in Oromiya. The lyric poem, put on the Website of Tensa’e Ethiopia in December 2011 by an Abyssinian lyricist, agitates for the extermination, annihilations and persecution of the Oromo people. The lyricist chants her/his lyric in Amharic in these words: “Yala engna maan alle le agar guday; ennigabalen eyyeshallalni zerafi qorraaxu Galla Geday.” This roughly means: Without us, who is there for the affairs of the country; we will go home with great happiness, proudly boasting and chanting the brave determined Galla killers. Galla is a derogatory name the Abyssinian elites use to insult or disparage the Oromo people. In the lyrics, the Abyssinians express the inner deep hatred they have for the Oromo people. It is an agitation of political campaign of genocide. This is the tip of the iceberg, but suffice to call to mind the genocide Abyssinians perpetrated against the Oromo during their conquest and colonization of the Oromo land. They slaughtered over five million Oromos; they mutilated Oromo children’s hands, Oromo women’s breasts and gouged out the eyes of thousands of men, women and children of Oromiya. Then, they ensured the obliteration of freedom, liberty, independence, and subjection and colonization of the remaining population.

In following this up, now they have a launched malicious propaganda campaign against the OLF, which they want to eliminate, calling it a “genocidal hate group.” They manufactured a false propaganda of a “Looming OLF Genocide.” Such is in the Abyssinian political culture to fantasize and make up stories in order to destroy our organization, and with it, our people. This is not new to the Oromo people. It has been with us since the conquest and colonization of Oromiya. Such crimes against the Oromo people have been ceaselessly reverberating over a century and still continuing. This campaign is a re-echoing of its old method in preparation for the next wave of genocide against the Oromo people. In this case, the Abyssinian elites are in the mode of preparing political atmosphere for new crimes and acts of genocide. This is a method that the successive Abyssinian rulers have been using to “legally” murder Oromo peasants in the rural areas, and professionals, students and workers in the cities and towns. It is based on the same made up stories that today concentration camps are filled with Oromo nationals: young and old. It is under such lies and made up stories that hundreds of thousands of Oromo nationals across Oromiya are arrested, tortured and sent to jails, and of these, some are sentenced to life imprisonment, and others sentenced to death. The same method was used in the public hanging of Captain Mamo Mezemir, an Oromo nationalist, by Emperor Hiale Selassie’s regime producing a false witness against him, and the poisoning of Haile Mariam Gammada in the prison, and so many before and after that. Again, lest we forget the assassination of General Taddassa Birru; and the murder of Dr. Haile Fida, the founder of Qubee – the Oromo Latin alphabet and an Oromo nationalist, in the prison cell by the Dergue regime; the assassination of Abdullahi Yusuf, an Oromo nationalist, and many more Oromo peasants, workers, intellectuals, and students. Today, under TPLF, it is worse. TPLF is waging a total war; a war of destruction and annihilation of the Oromo population in the style of Menelik II, but far bypassed. Since its accession to power, it has been striking terror throughout the occupied Oromiya. Ever since, it has been terrorizing our people, burning down their crops and slaughtering their livestock, and razing their villages to the ground. Indeed, we are watching its ugly assault upon our people and country. History lives with us. It reminds us the genocide and the atrocities committed against our people.

Moreover, among their outrageous propaganda is a statement that declares, “Oromo children are being brainwashed to have an annihilation of Amharas as their greatest desire.” Their shameless propaganda goes on to say, this is “Recorded from the Oromo Genocidal Forum of Feb. 2012.” And they collectively ascribed to “We are providing advance warning of potentially genocidal conflict instigated by the OLF leadership.” The question should be asked, why the Amhara elites choose to go this road or choose to engage in such false, fabricated and heinous campaign against the OLF? Why shed false tears? If one thinks about it, the answer is obvious. The reason is the OLF is the first political organization that appeared on the political stage with a clear political agenda for the Oromo nation. Hence, one can say, it is the first political institution since the colonization of Oromiya a century ago.

Abyssinian political elites have learned from their European patronages, sponsors and advisors that to control the colonized nation, first and foremost, that nation’s basic foundations of life have to be attacked and destroyed in part, or in whole. The basic foundation of a nation includes, among others, its leadership, its political and social institutions, its intellectual history, its culture, its language, its religion, its economic life, national character, national feelings, national spirit, liberty and freedom, and dignity. All colonizers throughout history, without exception, attacked and dismantled the colonized nations’ leadership, political and social institutions, their religions, and etc. Such attacks have been what the successive Abyssinian colonialist regimes have done and still doing to the Oromo nation. They dismantled the Oromo national leadership, political and social institutions, the Oormo religion, among others. The purpose was, and still is, to deprive the Oromo nation a national leadership. Without national leadership, to undertake a war of national liberation struggle is impossible. The Abyssinian elites understood this well. It is for this reason that successive Ethiopian empire rulers systematically deprived the Oromo people from developing or having their own national leadership and that the Oromo people lived over a century without a national leadership. For the first time, the OLF filled this vacuum, and Abyssinian political elites felt threatened. It is because of this, these elites now started a new campaign with fabricated dramas full of fictions and complete lies against the Oromo nation all over again. This time, their target is to destroy the OLF. It is a campaign of depriving the Oromo people leadership.

The Amhara political elites are not only antagonistic to the OLF, but also antagonistic to the political principle of the right of nations to self-determination. However, they have forgotten that history has shown time and again that self-determination breaks up colonial states and empires resulting in free, sovereign and independent states. For instance, the British Empire, the Ottoman empire, the Russian empire, the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire and etc. were all dismantled by struggle of the conquered and occupied peoples. This means self-determination is a politics of negation and affirmation at the same time. That is, it dismantles colonial occupation, which is a negation of colonial empires, and re-establishes independent state of a colonized territory, which is an affirmation of an independent state. The Ethiopian empire state is not immune to this political process. The amount of hatred, denunciations, and maliciously false accusation that run: “OLF is a genocidal hate group” neither help their cause nor change this fact. Hence, this is a clear evidence that there is a great gulf between the Oromo people and Abyssinian political elites. Because of this, there is absolutely no basis for cooperation between the two.

Moreover, Gandhi and King led the nonviolent resistance, not from the exile, but by being physically inside the country leading the nonviolent protesters. The call for nonviolence from an exile group known as the “Jijjiirama group,” also referred to as Group-7, without being in the country for that group’s leadership to lead it, is absurd. One needs to set an example by being in the country and start a nonviolent struggle. It is important to establish one’s credibility by living the example.

Armed Struggle as the Only Viable Form of Struggle
History of national liberation struggle is the struggle of establishment of justice against injustice. It is a history of struggle for freedom against colonialism and colonial subjugation. Most importantly, a nation under colonial occupation has no alternative other than to fight for its freedom and liberation. Such a fight is a fight for survival as a nation, as a people, as a community and as individuals. It is a struggle for peace, justice, and stability for ourselves, for the region, and for the world. Here, it must be clear to all that the Oromo struggle does not target specific people, nations, nationalities, communities, persons, or a person. Its target is the system of colonial occupation and its instruments of war: the army, the police, security apparatus, bureaucracy, its webs of spies, and the death squad. Colonial occupation is unjust; alien rule is unjust; it is evil. It has to be fought out. It is for this reason that the Oromo people have been and are fighting since their occupation. In concurrence with this just cause, the UN General Assembly Resolution 2649 (XXV) Article (1) states that it: “Affirms the legitimacy of the struggle of people under colonial and alien domination recognized as being entitled to the right of self-determination to restore to themselves that right by any means at their disposal,” and also in Resolution 3070 (XXVIII) Article (2) states GA [General Assembly] “Also affirms the legitimacy of the peoples’ struggle for liberation from colonial and foreign domination and alien subjugation by all available means, including armed struggle.”

Another example of such support is a resolution adopted in 1964 by the Conference of Jurists of Afro-Asian Countries in Conakry which states that: “… all struggles undertaken by the peoples for the national independence or for the restitution of the territories or occupied parts thereof, including armed struggle, are entirely legal.”

Similarly, the Conference of Non-Aligned States in 1964 in Cairo recognized the resort to arms by colonized peoples against colonial occupation. It was stated that: “The process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible. Colonized peoples may legitimately resort to arms to secure the full exercise of their right to self-determination and independence if Colonial Powers persist in opposing their natural aspirations.”

In this struggle, the legitimate aspiration of the Oromo people is for freedom, liberty and to achieve their fundamental right, the right to national self-determination. The right to national self-determination of a colonial people simply means the right to national independence. It is a political self-determination, state independence and the formation of a national state. To this end, the Oromo people have inherently an inalienable right; a natural right, a right to fight to defend themselves. Our struggle is a defensive one. It is a struggle for independence from the Abyssinian colonial occupation. Being a colonized people, it is our right to fight; it is our duty to dismantle the colonial occupation.

In order to hinder this, the TPLF regime has been engaged in aggression against the Oromo people to suppress their legitimate aspiration, their right to independence. In its aggression against this right, TPLF has been and is wantonly killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Oromo nationals. Hundreds of thousands have disappeared in its custody, and many more thousands women have been raped. Thousands of more men, women, elders, and youths have been arrested, tortured, maimed and handicapped. Moreover, hundreds of thousands more nationals have been crossing the borders into exile and in search of safety to escape from the TPLF’s atrocities. Hundreds of thousands of Oromo men and women with their children are stranded in Yemen, Kenya, Somaliland, Djibouti, and the Sudan. They are in dreadful situation. The Tigrian colonialist minority junta in power has close ties with the authorities of the countries in the area, and because of this, these authorities have failed to protect the refugees. Consequently, the Oromo refugees in Yemen, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and the Sudan are deprived of their human rights and subjected to violence, intimidation, abuse, and harassment by the authorities of these respective countries in coalescence with TPLF regime. In this case, unparalleled crimes are committed against Oromo refugees. Particularly in Yemen, the Oromo refugees are deprived of water, food, sanitation, and shelter. They are thrown out into the deadly heat wave. As a result, pregnant women, children, infants, elders, and the sick and the weak are dying of dehydration. The sick ones are deprived of medical attention and treatments. The physically able men and women are put in the jails. Under these conditions, in Yemen, the Oromo refugees are in a frightening situation fraught with extreme danger. Yemen has become the most insecure and outright danger to the Oromo refugees. The Oromo refugees have lost minimum physical safety, security, and human rights protection. And millions are internally displaced. Oromo youths have been and are expelled from elementary and high schools, colleges, and universities. There are endless flagrant violations of basic human rights under this violent regime of TPLF. It is a bloody, tyrannical regime that has been drowning thousands of innocent nationals in rivers of blood. Conspicuously, Oromiya is drenched in blood, and so our people have faced the most cruel, inhumane, and vicious enemy they have never seen before.

In the shadow of state security, political dissidents, journalists, teachers, students, professionals, intellectuals, civil society leaders, artists, and musicians are falsely accused as subversives, and brutally repressed and dragged into jails, tortured, and murdered. And it has been and is mercilessly slaying innocent peasants in the rural areas in the empire. It is a regime that has built more prisons in the empire than any of its predecessors in history. Not only this, it is the first regime in the history of the Ethiopian empire that has built secret prison cells all over the country – where prisoners are secretly taken, and tortured and killed. In this way, many have simply vanished. Indeed, this regime has fettered public voices and opinions in fear: fear of going to jail, fear of being tortured, fear of being killed, fear of being kidnapped from their work places, from their farms, from the market, and from the streets, and fear of the Federal and local police knocking on their doors. In this way, the voice of the people is silenced. And it is now very dangerous to utter even a word to criticize its rules and its policies. Expressing the cruelty of such a regime, the U.S. Supreme Justice Hugo L. Black has to say this:

“Since the beginning of history there have been governments that have engaged in practices against the people so bad, so cruel, so unjust and so destructive of the individual dignity of men and women that the right of ‘revolution’ was all the people had left to free themselves … I venture the suggestion that there are countless multitudes in this country, and all over the world, who would join [the] belief in the right of the people to resist by force tyrannical governments like those.”

It is because of such successive abusive Ethiopian regimes that the Oromo people raised arms to defend themselves. This defensive struggle continues until the colonial occupation of Oromiya ends. In our struggle, we use every means available to us to fight the enemy until our goal is attained. To hold the empire together, the regime has been using a military means. As all colonized peoples before us defended themselves, we too are defending ourselves and our country against the Abyssinian colonial occupation. Since the conquest, we have been facing unparalleled subjugation, political and economic exploitation, dehumanization, and mass extermination. Of all Abyssinian colonial regimes, the TPLF occupying regime is the most cruel, the most violent and barbaric savage regime than all its predecessors. Hence, by any objective standard, this regime has tortured, killed, displaced, terrorized, and robbed the population of the empire than any of its predecessors since the formation of the empire. So, our people have been facing such a regime since 1991. It is the cruelest regime ever to appear in the history of the Ethiopian colonial empire. Consequently, we are left with no choice other than to militarily resist this conquering, occupying, colonizing , and exploiting regime. Ours is a defensive war; it is a reaction to the colonial occupation. To this end, to defend ourselves from being annihilated, we have taken up arms and engaged in a war of national liberation. This war of national liberation is a political, diplomatic, and armed struggle being waged by the Oromo people and their nationalists against the colonial occupation to regain our legitimate right of self-determination/independence.

Furthermore, TPLF regime has impoverished our people, and it is devastating Oromiya, its land, its soils, and its natural wonders. It has poisoned, and lay waste our lakes, rivers, forests, and wildlife. It is robbing us of our farmlands, our mines, our forests, our coffee, and our raw materials. It has engaged in a massive exploitation of natural wealth and resources of the occupied lands. It has engaged in a full-fledged ‘marketization’ of Oromiya and mutilation of Oromoland. Land sale and lease to the global commercial land-grabbers to benefit itself and its cronies is at its height by forcing out communities from their villages and farmers from their farmlands. It is and has been using the instruments of the state machinery in enriching itself and its Oromo collaborators, its cronies, and other associates, while at the same time, it ditched and plunged the whole population into abject poverty and exposed to starvation and famine. In the empire, today hunger has grown fast in rural villages, in the cities, and in towns as the Tigrean elites enrich themselves at the expense of Oromos and other nations and nationalities in the empire. It has monopolized the import and export of trade and local factories and industries. And, it is stealthily siphoning billions of dollars from the empire state treasury to its foreign bank accounts and financial centers. To this effect, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) has reported this: “Ethiopia , which has a per-capita GDP of just US$365, lost US$11.7 billion to illicit financial outflows between 2000 and 2009. More worrying is that the study shows Ethiopia’s losses due to illicit capital flows are on the rise …”

In this way, it has resorted to the robbery of the treasury of the empire. In the empire’s history, no regimes or rulers have ever engaged in such a colossal robbery and thievery of the wealth of the peoples in the empire. Oromiya is the land of plenty, and yet its people are reduced by the colonial regime to poverty and suffering. Oromiya’s coffee alone constitutes 65% of the empire’s foreign exchange earnings. And yet, nothing goes back to Oromiya for the benefit of its people. Our people are deprived of their own means of subsistence: land, the natural wealth and the resources. In this way, TPLF’s regime has reduced our people to the state of extreme poverty. This regime is an embodiment of violence and greed. Since its occupation of the political space in the empire, it has been undertaking waves of political violence and murder in Oromiya. This is a regime that lies to people, cheats them, and steals from them. It surrendered the control of our natural resources over to foreign countries and to global multinational commercial land grabbers without ensuring the Oromo are the primary beneficiary.

It is worthwhile to remind oneself Prince Milan Obrenovich of Serbia’s statement of declaration of war of independence against the Ottoman empire in this term, “Nations cannot attain true freedom until they have purchased it by their own exertions, and, if necessary, by their blood.” This statement was true then, and it is true now. It was true for Serbia then in their fight against the Ottoman empire, and it is true now for the Oromo people in their fight against the Ethiopian colonial empire. Ours is a noble struggle against colonialism, opportunism, revisionism, and capitulationism for the triumph of peace, freedom, liberty, national political independence, national sovereignty and democracy. It is, therefore, clear that the Oromo people have no other option, but to fight, the fight which will end the colonial occupation. For this, it must be crystal clear to all that the independence of Oromiya can only be realized on battlefields in Oromiya. Our struggle may be long, but the outcome is certain.

From all the foregoing, it is clear that there are no conducive conditions for a nonviolent form of struggle against a vicious and cruel regime that is armed to the teeth and is ready, willing, and able to freely exercise its violence against the people without limit or restraint. The TPLF is such a regime. Violence is in its nature and character. As described above, its violence is, not only against humans, but also against nature itself. Its policy is a policy of arbitrary arrest, kidnap, jail, torture, maim, kill and burn. As such, it does not understand a nonviolent form of struggle other than force. It only understands the language of force and action. Peaceful means of conflict resolution between Oromiya and Ethiopia is already exhausted. For this reason, the armed struggle is the only viable form of struggle to liberate the colonized peoples from such a violent colonial regime. Hence, nationalists must be conscious, united, organized, and armed with all possible available means as well as with correct political line of liberation. Along with this, the Oromo national liberation organization needs one leadership, one military plan and command, and one political line – the total independence of Oromiya. These should be based on organizational vision, organizational goal/kaayyoo, and organizational power. Without vision, hopes fade away; that is, hopes of swift victory over the enemy fades. With the fades of hopes, attitudes of nationals shift from opposing the enemy to collaborating with it. This gives rise to political revisionism. As hopes fade away and attitudes shift, organizational focus changes and organizational goal is abandoned. The abandonment of organizational goal weakens the organization. As an organization is weakened, split begins. The split gives the opportunity to opportunists and capitulationists to invade the organization. It is this that has given rise to the political line of revisionists, reformists, and of nonviolence.

The recent formation of Oromo counter-revolutionary group in the name of the “Oromo Dialogue Forum/Waltajjii Marii Oromoo” is a revisionist movement. It is organized as a counterweight to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Its purpose is to re-define and reverse the goal of the Political Program of the OLF and the Oromo struggle. And it has done that. Now, it is holding meetings by crisscrossing the continents from Europe, North America to Africa seeking public acceptance, recognition and endorsement for its revisionist political line in the name of dialogue/marii. Revisionism is a policy of acceptance of the political line of the conqueror of one’s territory. It is to remove the liberation struggle from its proper context and focus one’s attention toward the ‘democratization of empire,’ the ‘nonviolent’ form of struggle and etc. For instance, on Oromo question, the ‘Oromo Dialogue Forum’ and B/G Kemal Gelchu’s group (aka Oromo Group 7) have proven themselves to be accommodationists of the political policy of Abyssinians, and hence they are apologists for the Ethiopian empire regime and its institutions. And these revisionist movements are collectively known as the “Oromo Dialogue Forum/Waltajjii Marii Oromoo.” A revisionist movement gives birth to a capitulationist movement. Its political outlook is born out of absence of vision, lack of focus, lack of commitment, resolve and determination to carry out the national liberation struggle. Its purpose of formation is to undercut the struggle for the independence of Oromiya, and to reduce the OLF into a mere appendage of the colonial regime. Before its appearance as “Jijjiirama,” it was an organization – an organization within an organization. Here, like a spider sitting in the middle of its web, the representatives of the Jijjiirama group, the now “Oromo Dialogue Forum,” had been sitting in the middle of their webs scheming divisive political lines to split the members of the OLF on regional, local and village levels, in order to advance the political line of democratization of Ethiopian empire.

As every Oromo may know by now, the First Secretary General of OLF, the Deputy S/G, the Head of Foreign Representatives, the Spokespersons, and the Heads of Foreign Mission and others known personalities who held high posts in the organization during 1991 and, thereafter, all have abandoned the Oromo national liberation struggle for independence in favor of resuscitating the dying empire by democratizing it. In the history of national liberation struggle so far known, no top leadership of liberation front ever deserted in mass their organization, national Kaayyoo, and the cause of their people in order to reconcile with the enemy of their country as those who established the ‘Oromo Dialogue Forum/Waltajjii Marii Oromoo.’ Again, in the history of the national liberation struggle, no respected national organization (other than “Oromo Dialogue Forum”) has ever offered condolences, compassion, and sympathy to the family and relatives of a passed away fascist, a fascist who committed crimes against humanity and slaughtered innocent men, women, and children. The late Meles Zenawi was a man who turned Oromiya into a death camp, whereby Oromo nationals: men, women, and children have been slaughtered. The scale of crimes of genocide committed by his regime on the Oromo and other peoples are unparalleled in the history of the Ethiopian empire. To issue condolence at the passing away of such a person is politically ill-conceived, illogical, and irrational; ethically misguided, villainy, and repulsive, as it is morally wrong and improper. In short, the statement of condolence means a compromise of one’s political, moral, and ethical foundations. The group’s infamous statement of condolences reads as, “We, members of the Oromo Dialogue Forum (ODF), would like to extend our condolences to the family and relatives of the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi.” Such is the first known case in the history of national liberation struggles. This is statement of an absolute disgrace. It symbolizes a break of faith in the national liberation struggle. It is intended to belittle our people and nationalists. I wonder as to what this group would tell those Oromo nationals whom Meles Zenawi and his regime tortured and murdered, those nationals who are not with us today. What this group would tell those nationals who have been languishing in the prison cells and in various concentration camps that Meles Zenawi built? Its statement of condolence is tantamount to endorsing of what the illegal, illegitimate, and criminal head of the colonial regime, PM Meles Zenawi, had done. This is a betrayal. It is a betrayal of those Oromo nationalists, those nationalists who fought, those who are still fighting, and those who have died fighting for the liberation of Oromiya. Ask yourself the questions as to: should the Jewish nationals extend expression of condolences to the family and relatives of Hitler, a man who exterminated six million Jews? Again, should the Oromo nationals and people extend condolence to the family and relatives of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, a man who annihilated over five million Oromo or for that matter to the family and relatives of Gobana Daaccee, a man who was instrumental in the annihilation of his own people and colonization of his own country? Certainly not. Neither the Jewish people nor the Oromo people extended condolences to the slaughters of their respective populations. The Jewish people, the Jewish state, and Jewish organizations are still condemning Hitler for the crimes against humanity and genocide. The Oromo people and their organizations too have been and still are condemning Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia for the crimes of genocide he committed on the Oromo people. Here a question can be asked as to why the members of the “Oromo Dialogue Forum/Waltajjii Marii Oromoo” choose to extend their condolences at the death of PM Meles Zenawi, the murderer of our people, the despoiler of our country and a man who committed crimes against humanity. This is ahistorical. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of human society.

As Oromo nationals, what will outrage you, if you are not outraged by this? You should be outraged. This is the core of the question. It is these groups that formed Jijjiirama. As later Jijjirama faced endless factions, splits, and eventual death, it is re-named as the ‘Oromo Dialogue Forum.’ Suffice to say, these individuals used the positions entrusted to them to undermine the health of the organization, the struggle, the cause, and the unity of the members. The OLF trusted and employed such individuals in so high posts to advance its political goal/Kaayyoo. Its Kaayyoo being the Oromo national independence, restoration of Oromiya state, sovereignty, and democracy. But these individuals have failed to honor and to uphold the trust and responsibilities placed upon them. Instead, they became disloyal and betrayed the organization, its vision, and its political goal. It is from these posts that these individuals have become the chief architects and propagandists of the capitulation movements, of which the ‘Oromo Dialogue Forum’ is its central pillar. The ‘Oromo Dialogue Forum’ has become the epicenter of the political ideology of the revisionist movement in today’s Oromo national liberation struggle. Having re-named Jijjiirama as the “Oromo Dialogue Form,” the group is now busy weaving a new web of intrigues and disinformation to create more confusion to mislead Oromo nationals in order to undermine the Oromo resistance against Abyssinian colonialism. Such an attempt to undermine the Oromo national liberation struggle is politically ill-conceived, ethically misguided, as it is morally repellent. It is time for the Oromo people and nationalists to defang, sterilize, and expurgate revisionist movement’s ideology and political propaganda of “empire democratization.”

Moreover, the ‘Forum’ is composed of heterogeneous elements with divergent political aims and interests whose aims and interests are contrary to the Oromo national aims, goals and interests. Some of its members are pro TPLF, some are pro xenophobic right-wing Amhara, some are pro neo-liberal-wing of Amhara, others are simply lovers of the name Ethiopia, and still others are just ego ridden individuals. Simply said, it is important to note that this capitulationist movement is composed of former members and cadre of the Dergue regime. And they played a very important role for the Dergue Military regime serving as the intellectuals and political cadres. With the fall of the military regime/Dergue, some of its members joined OPDO, as foot soldiers of colonial occupation. Being members of the OPDO, they served the colonial occupation very well. Some of them were trained by the TPLF to infiltrate the OLF, and others were trained and sent across the borders and overseas. These groups claimed being “refugees.” “Refugee” status was used as a veil to disguise their political identities so as to infiltrate Oromo organizations, communities, and et cetera. It is these groups that infiltrated the OLF and Oromo mass organizations in the diaspora. It is this group that formed the “Jijjiirama” and now the ‘Forum.’ Now, the remaining of these individuals, who had been embedded within the ABO-Shanee, have recently started swinging over to the “Oromo Dialogue Forum.” It is a gigantic political mistake and fraud, and a moral failure to believe that this group is genuine group and so represents Oromo interests. Each group is in alliance with the various elements of representatives of the dying empire. Each group wants to dismantle the OLF as a liberation front. Each has been advancing its own political agendas. Each has been advocating for the unity of the empire, the democratization of the empire, which is impossible, and federalization of colonial territories with the colonizer country rather than joining the Oromo national struggle for independence. In the end, with the struggle of the Oromo people and their nationalists against it, this revisionist movement will fall like rubble, torn apart, razed, carted away and thrown into the dustbin of history.

Warning against forming an alliance or a unity with an enemy, the Oromos caution us in this term: “Bishaan darbuu gaye nama hinnyaatin.” Roughly translated in English as, a man should not be drown by a flood of water or by a body of moving water that is about to pass. The meaning of the phrase is, be careful of the final moment of a passing of a dangerous thing. Because, it takes one away along with itself. Ethiopia is a dangerous empire, an empire in the process of about to pass or about to cease to exist. This means whoever makes alliance with the forces of empire holders in the name of its “democratization” will eventually go down with the empire into the dustbin of history. History will condemn such persons. As you probably already know, among the most notorious traitors condemned by history for their collaboration or alliance with the enemy of their respective countries and peoples were Gobana Daccee of Oromiya, Vidkun Quisling of Norway, Philippe Petain of France, Benedict Arnold of America, and Wang Jingwei of China, among others. In the eyes of the world and of their respective peoples, all were traitors and still considered as such. All of them collaborated with the colonizers, invaders, and occupiers of their respective countries. All of them aided and abetted the enemy in the occupation of their respective countries, and in the slaughter of millions of their fellow countrymen, women, and children. For this, all of them have been and still are condemned as the enemy of freedom, justice and independence by history and by their respective peoples. This is a lesson to be learned by those Oromo nationals who are courting Abyssinian political elites, their organizations, and their colonial regime in order to form a political partnership against the struggle for independence of Oromiya.

Never in the history of national liberation struggles has there ever been any advocacy for a coalition or an alliance, or a unity between a colonized and a colonizing empire for the purpose of democratizing the later. That is before the “Oromo Group 7” and the “Oromo Dialogue Forum.” Oromo Dialogue Forum’s political goal is to create conditions for the Oromo people to permanently fall into the clutches of a new Tigran colonialist regime, the TPLF. Its members have long ago infiltrated the OLF, the other Oromo political organizations, the Oromo communities, including cyber-spaces, among others. It is a revisionist group that revised, re-interpreted, and distorted the OLF political program, the meaning of the right of self-determination, the meaning of liberation, the meaning of national liberation struggle, and hence, of the Oromo struggle for independence. Quite for sometime, its members have been falsely preaching the purpose of the Oromo struggle as, not for political independence, but as a struggle to improve the Oromo people’s cultural, political, social, and economic rights within the existing Ethiopian colonial empire. Through such revision and distortion of the goal of Oromo struggle, the group has been able to influence certain section of Oromo nationals in the Diaspora. But most of its convertees do not understand the meanings that the revisionist movement attached to the Oromo political goal. These convertees lack to understand the genesis of the cause of the Oromo struggle as well as the purpose and the meaning of the Oromo struggle. And so they misappropriated the meanings and become tools in spreading this disinformation as constructed by the capitulationst movement. For example, Jijjiirama, long before its split from ABO-Shanee, and since it re-named itself as the “Oromo Dialogue Forum,” has been preaching “nonviolence,” “negotiation,” and “democratization of Ethiopia,” and now “democratization of the Horn of Africa,” instead of joining the political, diplomatic, and armed struggle of its people for liberation. In conjunction to these, now it is looking for sponsorship to sponsor it in order to reconcile it with the Abyssinian regime and with other Abyssinian political elements. In this way, it is playing a chess game for a political power sharing with the colonial regime of the empire. As always, it has kept on begging for “inclusiveness” in the governance of the empire. For this, it presented the Oromo people as Ethiopians and as Ethiopian nationality. Hence, in its condolence statement it has failed to mention the name Oromo nation. Again, along with this, the “Oromo Dialogue Forum” has failed to or purposefully avoided to speak to and of the collective and individual sufferings of the Oromo people under Meles Zenawi’s illegal, illegitimate, and criminal regime. This is a political campaign of “Ethiopianization” of the peoples in the Ethiopian empire. For this, it has set itself in opposition to the core meaning of the idea of what the Oromo nationalists are fighting for – independence of Oromiya. Now, more than ever before, it is crystal clear that there are two groups in the Oromo national liberation struggle. Hence, it is easy to tell which group represents Abyssinian colonialist and its interests, and which one represents the Oromo people and their interests.

On one side stands the OLF, representing the interests and aspiration of the Oromo nation for the independence of Oromiya. On the other side stands the ‘Oromo Dialogue Forum’ and the ‘Oromo Group 7’ – collaborating with the Abyssinian colonialists to maintain the Ethiopian colonial Empire, and for its “democratization” and “federalization.” The “Oromo Dialogue Forum” even went further in preaching its interest to be the “democratization of the Horn of Africa.” Better put, the ‘Oromo Dialogue Forum’ and the ‘Oromo Group 7’ have become “Trojan horses” in the Oromo nationalist camp. It is these “Trojan horses” that have weakened nationalists. This weakness of nationalists encouraged and gave TPLF’s regime a free hand to kill the Oromo people, a free hand to robe their wealth, and a free hand to lease and sell their lands. Indeed, because of the revisionists, the enemy has got an opportunity to control Oromiya, the land of our birth, and the ground of our common belongings. It is time to abandon the politics of revisionism, reformism, and pacifism. Hence, the current political gospel of peaceful road to change TPLF’s violent regime with nonviolent means, is simply a dream, a utopia. It would simply mean sinking into extreme opportunism, revisionism, and renouncing armed national liberation struggle. It is a politics of appeasement. Pacifism is enemy appeasement. The pacifists show contempt for the call of an armed resistance against the colonial occupation. Pacifists always stick within the discourse of nonviolence or peaceful means of resolving colonial political conflict. It is wrong to appease the enemy that commits injustice on the people and on the country. It is wrong to appease a cruel colonialist regime. The Oromo struggle is not for the appeasement of the colonial regime. Its purpose is to dismantle the colonial regime, and with it, to break or to unchain the chains that for over a century have fettered our people to the injustices.

Here, one has to recall the injustices and crimes committed against the Oromo people beginning with the conquest. That is, one has to recall the massive extermination and mutilation of limbs of men, women, and children of the Oromo people in the 1880s. For instance, in the conquest of Arsii, King Menelik II of Abyssinia, in addition to his superior military firepower, extensively used smallpox as a biological warfare agent against Arsii Oromo. It was said that more than military firepower, it was the use of smallpox, as a biological warfare agent, that devastated the Arsii Oromo population. The introduction of smallpox as a biological warfare agent was an unknown type of warfare to the people. It was said that it killed the population like flies. With the introduction of smallpox, as instrument of war or as instrument of conquest, King Menelik II of Abyssinia decimated the Arsii Oromo population almost to the point of near extinction. The memory of the method of conquest, the destruction, and the crime that accompanied it, and the appearance, the behavior and the nature of the conqueror, King Menelik II of Abyssinia and his collaborationist Oromo group in that conquest, are still fresh in the minds and bones of the people in the region. This is a living history. This history of war has been passed down by words of mouth from every family to their children, from elders and oral historians to generations after generations: that the Arsii Oromo population fell in masses to their death like dead leaves from trees. It was under this condition, the then Abbaa Duulaa Roba Bultum of Arsii Oromo region temporarily suspended his resistance against Menelik II in order to save his people from annihilation, and to buy time to regroup, to reorganize, and to rearm his fighting force so as to re-start the war of resistance. In this case, his often quoted statement reads, in part: “We have to count upon ourselves … The hour has not come, but it will come; perhaps, our children will see the departure of the oppressor.” Now, the hour has come. Now, this is our moment; this is our time and so this is the hour to unite, to organize, to arm ourselves and to fight, to repossess the freedom, justice, liberty, dignity, and the independence that our people have lost a century ago. We owe this to our people, to our country, to ourselves, to this generation and to the next generation yet unborn.

On the whole, as it is noted in the preceding pages, in the Ethiopian empire state, there is no basis for a conflict resolution through nonviolent means. In this regard, Mahatma Gandhi, the proponent of nonviolence, has to says this: “To take the name of non-violence when there is a sword in your heart is not only hypocritical and dishonest but cowardly.” Hence, for a colonized people to take colonial sword out of their hearts is not through nonviolence, but through political and armed struggle. Simply put, the only road to the liberation of Oromiya and an end to colonial occupation, exploitation, and oppression of the Oromo people is by an armed liberation struggle. This is a clear option. For this, an armed struggle remains the only viable option in the struggle for independence. Hence, in the national liberation struggle you do not ask for independence, you demand it; you grab and take it; you capture it; you do not beg for it, you seize it. For this, the use of force against enemy’s force is the only way out.

Oromiya Shall Be Free!

* Leenjiso Horo can be reached at tguyyoo@yahoo.com


Gadaa.com delivers information on Oromia and the Horn of African region: top news stories and analyses, politics, and culture, arts & entertainment, and more.



  1. Salphina

    Sep 9, 12 at 6:44 pm

    This is irrelevant question. Don’t try to mix things

  2. Matt PF

    Sep 9, 12 at 9:45 pm

    You are making the case for armed struggle against the Ehtiopian Federal Government with carefully chosen words. But you rhetorical style steals from the strength of the argument you are making. Calling Ethiopia an empire after two socialist dictators have had control is very weak, for two reasons I can think of. First, it may just show a real lack of immagination, which is not good if you are trying to show leadership with this article. Two, you are alluding to a fear of Amharas trying to take over Ethiopia again, which shows weakenss.

    Saying that the population just is not smart enough, courageous enough, and economically endowed enough for non-violence maybe true. But what you are igmoring is the qualities of willingness and courage to take on a struggle unitl you are ready to make the case ffor an armed struggle. Gandhi does not make the case for voilence before the cause of nonviolence has been exhausted. In the case if Oromia and the rest of Ethiopia non-violence has been tested but not exhausted.

    You can make a long eloquoent missive about the intellectual virtues of violent struggle but it will not change the hearts of most Ethiopians who do not violence is the answer. What they are looking for is a non-violent leader to have the courage and heart and intellect to lead to change through non-violence.

  3. obsaa

    Sep 9, 12 at 10:26 pm

    Dear Lenjisaa Horo

    Thank u very much ;I learned a lot form your article. As U clearly indicated nonviolent struggle alone is not viable to topple TPLF regim. Armed struggle or a mixture of both is the only way forward. We have to get united and intensify our armed struggle than wasting our time discussing on armed v nonviolent, independence or democracy, shanee or QC, etc.

  4. Dav

    Sep 9, 12 at 10:26 pm

    Are you still talking about the strategy of your struggle after 40 years?are you still talking about separation while buried?it is only the name olf that exist,but physically not.to tell you the truth no one humilate the oromo people except olf.olf is the oldest but the laziest foolish group,that never go with the existing situation of the country and the world!shame for you!

  5. Dhugaa Dhugi

    Sep 9, 12 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks a lot Obbo Leenjiso,
    The only option We (Oromoo) have to over come the colonial system in Ethiopia empayer is braking the YOKE.
    ” the only road to the liberation of Oromiya and an end to colonial occupation, exploitation, and oppression of the Oromo people is by an armed liberation struggle. This is a clear option. For this, an armed struggle remains the only viable option in the struggle for independence. Hence, in the national liberation struggle you do not ask for independence, you demand it; you grab and take it; you capture it; you do not beg for it, you seize it. For this, the use of force against enemy’s force is the only way out.”

  6. Bilisummaa or Death

    Sep 9, 12 at 10:52 pm

    Obbo Leenjiso Horo, our Oromo Patrick Henry, thank you for the eloquent case for Oromia’s emancipation by all means necessary from colonization. Patrick Henry of Virginia in 1775 made a speech making the case for the armed freedom fighting against the British colonization. A year later, the United States was born after armed struggle led by George Washington. Freedom still shines from that courageous speech of Patrick Henry.



  7. Where is the evidence

    Sep 10, 12 at 12:37 am

    An old tactic, of trying to spread hate as a means of bringing people to action will not work in Ethiopia or against the regime, simply because the situation calls for a different method. As an outsider looking in, all I see is frustration and an pathetic attempt to keep Oromos committed, motivated at all cost using rage and hate as weapon. Independence of Oromoia is unrealistic at this stage but you can help oromia, just as the Tigrean diaspora collect money every year and send it back to Tigray to help with development of their state.

  8. Oromiyaan

    Sep 10, 12 at 2:55 am

    this question was answered about 4 decades ago when OLF was formed. most of its founders themselves did not think about armed resistance nor did they think about “independent” oromia. most oromo people don’t even care because our families there are trying to meet their daily economic needs, not waste time on useless politics.

  9. Galtuu

    Sep 10, 12 at 3:34 am

    Both Obboo leenjiso! freedom is not free and as a civilized world community we must pursue both. it is a good article though

  10. Mortar

    Sep 10, 12 at 4:39 am

    It seems more and more neftegnas have started to visit Oromo websites such as this one. The comments given by some individuals in this palltalk (eg. salphina, mett, where is the evidence) cannot come from an oromo [even from a member of OPDO]. It can come only from a neftegna. This is an indication of how much they are frustrated by the struggle of the oromo people led by OLF(s). This boosts us;keep on fighting neftegnas until Oromia is get liberated.
    Victory for the oromo people!

    Oromia shall be free;any thing less we donot agree!
    Qabsaa’oon ittifufa;gabrummaan in kufa!
    Gadaan gadaa bilisummaa!

  11. Dubbataa Dhugaa

    Sep 10, 12 at 10:19 am

    Thank you so much Obbo Leenjisoo Horoo, a true Oromo Nationalist.

    “…Without vision, hopes fade away; that is, hopes of swift victory over the enemy fades. With the fades of hopes, attitudes of nationals shift from opposing the enemy to collaborating with it. This gives rise to political revisionism. As hopes fade away and attitudes shift, organizational focus changes and organizational goal is abandoned. The abandonment of organizational goal weakens the organization. As an organization is weakened, split begins. The split gives the opportunity to opportunists and capitulationists to invade the organization. It is this that has given rise to the political line of revisionists, reformists, and of nonviolence.”

    This has been a never ending story in the camp of Oromo national liberation struggle. The question to be raised here is: How long will it continue in such a way?

    Now, more than ever before, it is crystal clear that there are two groups in the Oromo national liberation struggle. Hence, it is easy to tell which group represents Abyssinian colonialist and its interests, and which one represents the Oromo people and their interests.

    Yes, it is crystal clear that Group 7 and ODF (WMO) both belong to one group – the group of empire democratization and federalization. It is now the right time for the other group who represents the Oromo people and their interest to form a unity or alliance to bring the true kaayyoo of QBO to its desired goal, which is a formation of independent “Gadaa Republic of Oromia (GRO)”

    “…Our struggle may be long, but the outcome is certain…”

    Thank you once again Obbo Leenjisoo for this nice analysis.

  12. Mortar

    Sep 10, 12 at 11:06 am

    @Dav, Oromiyaan, Salphina, where is evidence and other Woyanes

    The oromo people knows very well what OLF was and is. Be it strong or weak we still support it as long as there is no oromo political organization better than it. We donot want outsiders like you to lecture us about the history of the 40 years OLF struggle. Go away from this site and enjoy your Woyane sites .

  13. Dubbataa Dhugaa

    Sep 10, 12 at 2:06 pm

    Both the so called Kamaal Galchuu OLF (aka Group 7) and WMO (ODF) have the same objective. They both belong to the same group i.e. empire democratization. Both are from the Jijjiiramaa Group. They also have common means of struggle “non – violent struggle” The differences are only in the makeup. Let us see the differences:

    1) Kamaal Galchuu OLF has already declared change of OLF program and is now working with Habeshaa organizations like Ginbot 7. ODF is not yet an organization, at least not officially.

    2) Kamaal’s OLF (Group 7) makes propaganda against other Oromo groups particularly against SG ABO. ODF Representatives say we do not make any propaganda against others even if they make against us.

    3) Even though they changed the program of OLF, Kamaal’s group still call themselves OLF. ODF coordinator seem not to be members of OLF anymore or they do not call themselves OLF

    4) Kamaal’s group seems to limit its end goal, i.e. Federal Democratic Republic of (Empire) Ethiopia. ODF wants democratization of the Horn. “Yemi lebes yelat, mekenaneb amarat”

    5) The leader of Group 7, Kamaal Galchuu is sitting in Asmara and work by remote control. ODF leaders are scattered over Europe and America and they at least have the freedom to travel where they want

  14. Hammayya

    Sep 11, 12 at 7:01 am

    Very good article indeed! Mainstream enemy has no choice, they have their own doomed right to object the true logic of and demand for Independence of the great nation Oromos. Although , we are witnessing what our own so called liberation pioneers are up to these days after being failed to stand by own words , OROMIA SHALL BE FREE by the determined true freedom loving generation s not by cowards.

    Many thanks for your detailed and educative article bro!

  15. Bareentuu Borenaa

    Sep 11, 12 at 8:51 am

    First of all I would like to say thank you very much for your usual wriitten contribution to oromo strggle for independece! Go go— and don’t listen to some of the comments given from abyssinians as oromos- they cry from the very beggining of the formation of the so called ethipia-we oromo known they have nothing to to with the fate oromia and oromo people.They have no shame-and they ddnt wake up-still talking about old fasioned ideology in 50s and 60s! we are in 21st century- no body can fool as no more- no body can rule as no more( did they ever listen to EEBBISA ADDUNYAA saying “nuti hin bitamnu alagaa dhaanii; nuti oromoo /ABO dha haa nu beekanii: lamuu arrabaan nu hin gowwomsanii”)?The ddnt know histry, that is their problem thus why they are dooming history.



    Accordingly, answer to your tiltle”Should the Oromo National Liberation Struggle Be Nonviolent or Armed? is absolutly SHOULD BE ARMED AND PEACEFUL ALLIANCE ONLY FOR THE INDEPENDENT OROMIA THAT OROMO PEOPLE IS LOOKING FOR!!!

  16. Gammachis

    Sep 11, 12 at 6:21 pm

    Obbo Lenjisoo Horoo,

    Our broken hearts are always repaired by such a thoroughly treated and skillfully presented pieces of articles; in contrast to the other saboteurs’ and revisionists’ empty hope and fantasy of our times, born in multiplicity you mentioned in unweavering clarity above! What a timely and burning message! We always care and are concerned about the unconscious and innocent followers who didn’t understand well about these guys. I wish we do better in addressing these people in the language we all undestand most for the fact that gaps of communications play role when falls in the hands of the cheaters and dealers our time is very generous to breed to us now than any time in the history of our people as such!
    These guys without any exaggeration are enemy agents worked for decades from inside the oromo organizations leadership, and now made clear what they were and are up to so far!
    For me, though I feel ashamed for their disgraced deeds of the past and now, but for the decisive journey the oromo people should take without hesitations, what they are doing now is much better than when they were disguised under the name of the struggle of our liberation, but in practice were demolishing that struggle from within subtly and secretly.
    Look what one of the supporters or the sponsors, or callers of the meeting of the current ODF is saying to one of the critics of their deeds.
    “…… in our struggle for liberation…. we should be like the hummingbird hunting its nectar; moving forwards, backwards, upwards, downwards, right sides, left sides…ect. until it gets its nectar…” Oromian batelear,
    This person tries to convince us why he one time runs to the international powers, another time regional forces, again to national enemies, thereby to the colonizers, their mad need to democatize the empire ..etc… What he couldn’t tell us though was, why his bird doesn’t come and try to create alliance with its kinds, but runs around like a mad dog that doesn’t know what it’s doing for unavail! We could understand what different ways should be tried to win victory over your enemies, but without abandoning your firm stand, and your fixed goal and the means of maintaining and attaining them! Is this what the militarists call honorable retreat from the battlefield backward when defeated by the enemy? We need to tell this person and his / her Mare friends that though they are so crazy to snatch the nectar from the bees /enemies,/ they should be sure that the multiple ways they are trying to reach at it, never enable them to reach it, unless they check their tracks and settle for the right way again! And that right way isn’t in the enemy site they are searching for, but here in the friendly area, in the location where they don’t like to find themselves anymore! So, their nature is awkward, their political theory is absurd and their dedication for the struggle they tirelessly talking about is the worst, their manly and heroism is equal to zero and totally cowardly!!!!!!! I never miss these guys, I rather have the hope that by disowning them like this, we bring to our people the honor they denied us from for this long time, and approach the unity and realize the strength resulted from that, which accelerates our movement towards our inevitable victory, no matter how long it may take us to reach!
    Thank you again for your precious and valuable work, and the honorable call you made to our people to horoically continue fighting for its God given rights of all kinds as a people, than surrendaring to its enemies of all times!
    Oromiya shall be free!!!!

  17. Good

    Sep 11, 12 at 11:30 pm

    Obbo Leenjiso,
    first of all accusing both Group-7 and ODF as anti-Arm-struggle is wrong; both of them didn’t exclude this precious instrument, but do claim to use all inclusive method. Then your usual antagonizing approach is not constructive, but destructive to the Oromo liberation movement. I don’t know why you chose to pray this mantra! Despite your writing, Tokkummaa for Bilisummaa of all Oromo nationalists is really feasible. It is surprising that our Oromo national leaders and scholars are still busy in antagonizing our liberation camp based on a divide of “Ethiopian democratization” VS “Oromian liberation”. Fact on the ground is that there are universally two phases of liberation struggle: FREEDOM phase and REFERENDUM phase. In the first phase (Gadaa Bilisummaa), there is no question that we need bullet to achieve our people’s freedom, whereas in the second phase (Gadaa Walabummaa), we go to a ballot box to vote for Oromia’s independence! All Oromo liberation forces should foster Tokkummaa in the first phase and then be ready to compete in the second phase. In the first phase, we do choose between Garbummaa and Bilisummaa, whereas in the second phase we will vote on walabummaa (independence) VS walfaanummaa (union). It is absurd to debate and fight against each other now being under Garbummaa. This presently ongoing quarell about “Ethiopian democratizatioon” and “Oromian liberation” actually must take place later, in the second phase, after achieving our Bilisumma by any means! I hope the new generation will do better than our present leaders and scholars like you, who failed to grasp this fact for the last more than 40 years!

  18. Mortaar

    Sep 11, 12 at 11:51 pm


    Your opinion is nice!
    Keep on encouraging those who contribute positive things to QBO!

  19. dachaas

    Sep 12, 12 at 6:22 am

    Mr. Good,
    I’m just wondering about the claim you guys make after abandoning the liberation struggle which you clearly exchanged for unionism with the very empire state the liberation struggle was needed for in the first place. How one can be a unionist and liberationist at the same time? For how many times should we tell you guys that you just go ahead and call your name in the patent you liked to purchase from the market of the national struggle. It isn’t the article writer who antagonized the difference between you and the liberators, unfortunately, it is your choice that gave you your name as unionists and the antagonistic nature of the union lovers and a harmonized relationship with your masters, against the freedom and independence struggle of your people that brought about the antagonistic nature of our differences! So, please stop claiming what you don’t have the right of possessing, once you left it! You and your likes belong to the unionism with Ethiopian empire, so stay there! Don’t frighten us with the creaction of antagonism between us, we already are in it, thanks to your shameful betrayal of your people!!!!!

    But listen, wether you are in it or on the opposite side fighting against it, be sure that the Oromo never stand short of its natural right of attaining its independence through whatever means available to it!!!!

  20. galgalo geenda

    Sep 12, 12 at 9:11 am

    This is an excellent analysis Obbo Leenjiso. Thank very much. This person called “Good” whose comment appears here does not know what he is talking about. He is confused really; in fact more confused than the members of the ODF are able to confuse even some of the most naive followers of their radio interviews.

  21. Mortar

    Sep 12, 12 at 9:56 am


    Your analysis and the analysis of your likes add nothing but confusion to the struggle of the oromo people. Group 7 has already told us its political goal in black and white. They claim that they struggle to democratise Ethiopia. They have already quit from the struggle for indpendence/freedom of Oromia. ODF is struggling to democrtize even an unkown country[Horn of Africa]. A single political organization shouldnot have unbigious goals. So the move by ODF and Ginbot 7 is best described by uisng the phrase used by Jawar Mohammed “much ado about nothing.”

    Let’s stop wasting time discussing and arguing on the goals of our struggle. We have completed that 40 years ago. We are struggling to make Oromia independent. The discussion should be on how to achieve that [strategies].

  22. Bilise

    Sep 12, 12 at 12:36 pm

    “….The foes of the Oromo liberation movement, who are now trying to pour benzine on the conflict, do differ from the genuine Oromo nationalists in the ‘direction of their gun;’ they do direct their gun (verbal bullet) on Oromo nationalists, who do have different approaches towards bilisummaa Oromo and walabummaa Oromia, whereas the genuine Oromo nationalists, consequently and consciously, try to direct their gun unto the current tormenting enemy, unto the colonizers now ruling in Finfinne palace. Our foes do shoot continuously the Oromo nationalists, who do have different approach, whereas the genuine Oromo nationalists try to tolerate all Oromo political groups, which are having different tactics and strategies towards both bilisummaa and walabummaa. So, let all Oromo nationalists check the direction of our gun; we do have no problem with the different positions of our gut; we can love independence or union as some of us do claim, but just let’s wake up and see how many Oromo nationalists we sometimes mistakenly kill with our verbal bullet. Accordingly, both the pro-independence Oromo nationalists and the pro-union ones need to refrain from unnecessary orgy of throwing stones at each other, and to better concentrate on the feasible methods we can use to shoot in unison at the main current enemy, at the Woyane….” http://gadaa.com/oduu/12717/2012/02/20/oromia-in-a-desperate-need-of-an-accomodative-re-united-and-inclusive-olf/

  23. Fayyalleessa

    Sep 12, 12 at 1:56 pm

    Obbo Leenjisoo Horoo, thank you so much. You are a true Oromo nationalist. You are among those unflagging and persistent Oromo nationalists for the Oromo cause.

    I read the article through and through. It is among the best articles. It laid out historical facts as well as current facts that are standing in front of all of us. The article cuts though the bones of the issues. Even those who oppose the Oromo struggle for independence cannot deny the presented facts. Facts are facts. But some stubborn individuals refuse to acknowledge facts. Refusing to face facts is unhealthy in the national struggle. This article may help those nationals to rethink and come back to the struggle of their people.

    And finally the article calls for unity and for the unity of actions to be taken together in stating, “Now, the hour has come. Now, this is our moment; this is our time and so this is the hour to unite, to organize, to arm ourselves and to fight, to repossess the freedom, justice, liberty, dignity, and the independence that our people have lost a century ago. We owe this to our people, to our country, to ourselves, to this generation and to the next generation yet unborn.”

    Obbo Leenjiso wrote in a way one can easily understand the issues. The contents of the article are clear. The purpose of the article is clear. Its message is unambiguous. It is a call for unity and to fight in unity for our common cause. It is a well presented article. The problems that the Oromo have been facing and still are facing are well articulated.

    This is a timely article. Learn from it and go forward for full independence of Oromia. Do not turn backward towards Ethiopian democratization. Do not turn your back against our gallantry organization, the OLF and its struggle. Do not turn your back against the Oromo people and their struggle for independence. Those who turn their back against the Oromo gallantry organization, the OLF; against QBO, the Kaayyoo, and the Oromo people will be shamed and condemned by history as the traitors.

    Obbo Leenjiso, thank you once again for this analytical article.

  24. Safuu

    Sep 12, 12 at 9:22 pm

    With or without the the Oromo splinter group from Shanee Gumii-OLF, a group known as the “Oromo Group 7,” the Nation of Oromia will be free from the Abyssinian colonialism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NB: Never doubt about it.
    Asalaam aleikum.

  25. Hambisaa

    Sep 13, 12 at 12:19 pm

    First and foremost, I wholeheartedly thank Obboo Leenjiso Horo for this article and for the articulation of the issues. It is an article that every Oromo must read.

    Normally, I do not comment. But this time, I choose to comment. Because, it is important to do so. So I begin with this important quote.

    “…whoever, makes alliance with the forces of empire holders in the name of its “democratization” will eventually go down with the empire into the dustbin of history…. As you probably already know, among the most notorious traitors condemned by history for their collaboration or alliance with the enemy of their respective countries and peoples were Gobana Daccee of Oromiya, Vidkun Quisling of Norway, Philippe Petain of France, Benedict Arnold of America, and Wang Jingwei of China , among others. In the eyes of the world and of their respective peoples all were traitors and still considered as such. All of them collaborated with the colonizers, invaders, and occupiers of their respective countries…. For this, all of them have been and still are condemned as the enemy of freedom, justice and independence by history and by their respective peoples.”

    This is a timely quote to learn from if one wants not to fall into the same disgrace as Gobana Daccee. B/G Kamal Gelchu group and “Oromo Dialogue Forum” have nothing for the Oromo people and Oromia except shame and humiliation. Both are the dividers of the Oromo nationals. Their purpose is and has been to weaken the OLF and the Oromo struggle. Both showed these facts time and again.

    Obboo/Obboolee Bilise and his/her ilk, the pro-union Ethiopianists have miserably failed to read the article properly, failed to understand the facts, and the message of the article. Instead as usual jumped on their usual mantra onto pro-independence and pro-union as if the two have the same thing in their hearts for the Oromo people and Oromia. The pro-union are Oromo gobanists, the sellouts, while the pro-independence are Oromo nationalists, patriots, the Oromo people and the friends of the Oromo people and their struggle. I see no reason for not warning the danger the pro-unionists are carrying with them in the name of “democratization,” and in the name of “union” of the empire. I can say, nothing can replace independence. Nothing is equivalent to independence.

    The advocators of the pro-union, Please, read the above quote and compare the pro-union with Gobana Daccee and the rest. See yourself inside that mirror. And tell yourself what you look like and where you are heading to. It seems the history of sellout of Gobana Daccee is repeating itself.

  26. Gammachis

    Sep 13, 12 at 11:34 pm


    I can’t appreciate you less than Obbo Lenjiisoo Horoo himself!
    You touched my soul, by underlining these important areas of our timely concern, about which the traitors want us even not to mention, for the fact that if discussed thoroughly like this, they know that, people are going to know more about them and start checking what the hell they are busy doing everywhere in Europe and America right now! The tactic they think is useful to hide from the people about their deadly mistakes is by repeating hundred times their own creations and demand us to worship it as words from a bible called “a political formula for Oromo national struggle.” Among them the rhetoric pro-independence and pro-union, whose roles are almost one and the same in their strategy according to them, by which they try to confuse and cheat the people, when we knew and told them several times, that these two aspects of theory of the Oromo struggles naturally could not be similar nor do their objectives the same! They are diametrically different and opposite to each other! One is struggling to completely liberating its people from any sorts of alien’s dominations, and the other struggles to keep the people under complete domination of this same alien forces which the concerned people had been struggling for centuries now! We also told them that there isn’t any possibility left to to be tried in a non-violence means of struggle in which we could achieve their goal of winning vote of our people through referendum after conducting a peaceful and fair election undertaken by our free people, unless we use armed struggle to make that wish reality through our unity and the strength we gain from that unity!
    Group 7 and O.D.F. should be able to tell the remaining alternative for peaceful way of achieving the aim of our people’s struggle, or else tell us that, well since we couldn’t succeed achieving our goal so far, why we don’t live under the colonizers we fought for so long, after asking apologies for our so far misbehaving to boldly demanding something we couldn’t carry out successfully! That is the only two choices they are left with.
    I understand the so called Group 7 has already done that, the second one, O.D.F. is not heard confessing so yet, for a simple reason that it didn’t finish its procedure here out side, but not that slow and lousy though as one may think it is, it already sent a condolence to the death of the Prime Minister, the very guy our people holds accountable for the lives of thousands of hundreds of its people, but for them, he would be such a friend in deed for whom paying such addressing would be done just to soothe the hearts of his survivors for a near future more friendship!
    So, both of them are on the right track to confirm their political nature. Thereafter we don’t have any more confusion about them unless we be stupid like them!!!!!

  27. Integrator

    Sep 14, 12 at 12:19 am

    When we do observe the authors and commentators in Oromo websites, we just do see two groups of Oromo nationalists and scholars: ANTAGONIZERS and INTEGRATORS. Antagonizersdo pray the mantra of antagonizing Oromo liberation forces as if they are irreconcilable enemies being divided into two camps of pro-union and pro-independence. Usually they cry as if the pro-union are the collaborators to the Abyssinian camp. The integrators do look at the two post-bilisummaa goals (independence/walabummaa and union/walfaanummaa) of the Oromo as two sides of the same coin of bilisummaa; they assert that both pro-independence and pro-union Oromo nationalists are pr-.bilisummaa (freedom fighters), who do have two reconcilable alternative objectives. Interestingly Woyane foot soldiers try to camouflage as pro-independent Oromo and curse the pro-union nationalists just for the sake of sawing a discord in Oromo liberation camp.Ttheir motive is clear: Oromo should be divided, antagonized and polarized in order to be kept weak and ruled. What is pity here is that some of our scholars like Obbo Leenjisodo simply fall in this trap of the Woyane cadres and do their bidding without any payment. Actually Woyane has hired best cadres doing the antagonizing job with the millions of dollars being invested on this project. May God open the eyes of our antagonizer Oromo nationalists!!

  28. Fayyaaleessaa

    Sep 16, 12 at 12:30 pm

    My observation is this.
    It is now clear more Habashas are visiting this website more often than ever before. As the distinction between the Oromo nationalists and pro-Nafxanyaa Oromos, is becoming more and more clear the Nafxanya are getting more and more irritated, more and more confused. In confusion, they are getting mad. We are seeing this madness in the postings of some individuals who are mouthing pro-union.

    The person who called himself/herself Integrator is one example. He is a Nafxanya may be who himself or herself sucked blood out of Oromo people or his or her parents sucked the blood out of Oromoo people and now is crying and madly scratching his/her hair condemning the Oromo nationals. Nafxanyaa! your politics is already dead. Your Nafxanyaa colonial system is coming to an end. You may call million times about pro-union, there was no union, there is no union, there had never be union and will never be one. Swallow this bitter pill. Go away.

    Your pro-union is badly smelling dead fish. It is the most hated group. The Oromo nationals hate it. The Oromo people hate it. Its interest will never materialize. Pro-union is a code name for anti Oromo struggle. It is a code name for anti Oromo aspiration. It is a code name for anti Oromia independence. Overall, it is a code name for pro-Habasha group meaning pro-Amhara, pro-Tigre, pro-Abyssinian empire.

    In my conclusion, I say Nafxanyaa and the so-called pro-union leave the Oromo people alone. Go away. Leave us. The Oromo nationalists and the Oromo people will triumph over the internal and external enemies. God bless Oromia, the Oromo people and the Oromo nationalists. The Oromo people and nationalists will never bow to the ill-will of Oromo pro-Nafxanya groups.

  29. Bilise

    Sep 17, 12 at 9:56 am

    “…The main two forces we do now see struggling in Oromia and/or Ethiopia in such sense of creating disunity or unity are the Abyssinian forces, who do everything under the sun to weaken Oromo’s power by using the divide-and-destroy method, and the Oromian forces, which try to fix this problem of discord in the Oromo national liberation movement with the purpose of strengthening the Oromo people. No question that to be liberated, the Oromo nation must be a force/humna. For this potentially great nation to be humna, it is fact that tokkummaa of the Oromo national liberation forces is necessary. The tokkummaa we need should not necessarily be structural unity so that all national liberation forces be in one stronger organization, as we used to dream and wish, but surely, the unity of purpose among all the Oromo national liberation organizations is mandatory and a must. The main principle used by the Abyssinian camp to hinder the Oromo nation from being such a humna is as mentioned above by sowing a discord and using the colonial method of divide-to-destroy.

    To that effect, particularly, the Woyane cadres do apply the so called ‘AME principle’: the acronym standing for antagonize-moralize-emotionalize. Nowadays, they do try to antagonize the two goals envisioned by the OLF, even though we know that one of the goals will prevail based on the future decision of the Oromo public per referendum: ‘Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian union’ vs. ‘Oromian independence within African union.’ Furthermore, both kaayyoo’s are not antagonistic to each other for the fact that the first kaayyoo is a very good prelude to the second. The cadres go on and try to moralize (paint as if Oromian autonomy is bad like a devil, and Oromian independence is good like a divinity, or vice versa). After moralizing the two goals like this, they further try to emotionalize (try to manipulate the Oromo nationals, so that we do develop an immense hatred against an Oromian autonomy, and of course, have an enthusiastic love towards Oromian independence, or the reverse).

    Regarding such move of the Woyane cadres to create division upon viewing order, the main areas of operation observed in the last 20 years of their rule are: the Amhara-Oromo divide, where they do try to make sure that these two camps never find a common denominator and forge a sort of alliance against their regime; the Amhara-Amhara conflict, where they try to hinder the andinet/unity of the Amhara camp, which can challenge their power in Finfinne palace; and the Oromo-Oromo discord, where they try to do everything under the sun to avoid any sort of tokkummaa in the Oromo national liberation camp, which, not only can take over power in Finfinne, but also liberate the whole Oromia from the Abyssinian domination forces. Oromo nationalists in particular, and all the anti-Woyane forces in general, should try to neutralize this malicious action of the Woyane by promoting the Oromo-Oromo tokkummaa, by not opposing the Amhara-Amhara andinet, and by being open for the possible Amhara-Oromo tibibbir/alliance/tumsa. It is clear that the forces, which want to create disorder/division/disunity upon viewing order, are doing their job in the Oromo national liberation camp continuously and untiredly. But, why do the forces of order/tokkummaa/unity not have such diligence and try their best to deal with these destructive forces of disorder?…” http://gadaa.com/oduu/13695/2012/05/06/unity-of-purpose-to-empower-oromian-liberation-forces-for-victory/

  30. Hassan

    Sep 17, 12 at 6:06 pm

    Much have been said in regard to this very important and timely article. Here I would like to add a few things.

    Obboo Leenjiso has correctly put, “Peaceful means of conflict resolution between Oromiya and Ethiopia is already exhausted” with Abyssinians. I believe, this is unquestionable fact. No one can contest the truth of this. Again he correctly stated the obvious fact that “…the only road to liberation of Oromiya and an end to colonial occupation, exploitation, and oppression of the Oromo people is by armed liberation struggle…. For this, armed struggle remains the only viable option in the struggle for independence.”

    Who denies this fact? The answer is no one except the Abyssinians created so-called organizations in the like of Oromo Group 7, Oromo Dialogue Form, and their running rabid dogs. These are the political tools of Abyssinians. Abyssinians always fight Oromo with Oromo nationals. That is, Amharas fight Oromo with Oromo nationals. Tigriyans fight Oromo with Oromo nationals. This is what we are seeing allover again. Nothing is new.

    It is the responsibility of Oromo nationals to put an end to Group 7 and Oromo Dialogue Forum’s political madness. Both are waging political and organizational war against the Oromo people and their struggle. Politically, both are and have been distorting the Oromo struggle. Organizationally, both have been dividing Oromo nationals. The only way to put an end to their malicious political and organizational campaign is to fight them. It is oftentimes said that without defeating the internal threat, the supporter of external enemy, to defeat the external enemy is impossible. This is always true.

    The Oromo Dialogue Forum and Oromo Group 7 are the internal threat to the Oromo national struggle and to the Oromo unity. The external enemy is operating through them. Therefore, first priority must be given to defeat the internal threat in order to defeat the external enemy, the colonizer.

  31. Aboma

    Sep 29, 12 at 8:34 pm

    Let us not be bogged down (be stuck) by using political jargon, such as “Ethiopian Democratization.” Let us break it down and ask “What’s IN IT for the Oromo nation?” Mind you, my job is to find out what the Oromo nation gains from any power arrangement – along the lines of autonomy, sovereignty, and perhaps Union.

    Therefore, let us ask ourselves – what’s in the political concept termed as the “Ethiopian Democratization” for the Oromo nation?

    1) Does “Ethiopian Democratization” entail going back to the Xeqilaygizat colonial arrangement for the Oromo nation? – Then, NO, the Oromo nation will not be served by “Ethiopian Democratization.”

    2) Does “Ethiopian Democratization” entail keeping the status quo of political slavery (colonization) for the Oromo nation? – Then, NO, the Oromo nation will not be served by “Ethiopian Democratization.”

    3) Does “Ethiopian Democratization” entail moving Oromia into an autonomous status? – Then, YES – despite the struggle being the total liberation of the Oromo nation and Oromia, getting to an intermediary step of “autonomy” should not be opposed just like the 1975 land reform was not opposed by Oromo nationalists, and just like the 1991 realization of Oromia, Qubee and Afaan Oromo as the official language of Oromia is taken as a step in the right direction.

    So, let’s not scare ourselves by “Ethiopian Democratization” unless it means the first two options I listed above. And, keep in mind about the Oromo liberation movement is capable of doing stepwise struggle (going from status quo to autonomy to sovereignty, then perhaps Union), and at the same time, driving the home run to sovereignty. The ‘paradigm shift’ I want to see is the Oromo liberation movement waging the struggle at the stepwise level as well as the ‘home run’ level. Actually, both of them MUST work hand in glove for the Oromo nation to be free.

    The ‘paradigm shift’ I want to see is for us to stop confusing ourselves and others by using political jargon like “Ethiopian Democratization” — never, never look at the situation from nowhere, but Oromo’s perspective. Otherwise, it will confuse all of us.

    I’m not saying let’s stop challenging those advocating the stepwise approach – actually, they need to be challenged since, the stepwise advocates are gradualists – they take some excruciating time to get to the next level on the way to the mountain top – so, the “big bang” group needs to constantly keep a check on the gradualists. So, again, the ‘paradigm shift’ I’m looking for is for the Oromo nationalists to work hand in glove, in a ’squeeze and grab’ fashion. That means, as we squeeze the enemy, someone should be able to grab the achievement right there and then.


    The Oromo liberation movement, as we and everyone know it, is not militarily strong. Had it been a militarily strong movement, then it will launch a military campaign to seize a town in Oromia, then once it seizes that town, it slowly, but surely, advances to the next town, then again to the next town, and so on. Military campaigns are not launched to overrun the enemy overnight – they are done step by step, town by town. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, no town is liberated from the enemy.

    What can be done, then? Just like the military campaign, which the Oromo liberation movement is not particularly excellent at (by design or unforeseen circumstances), we need to think the “political campaigns” the Oromo liberation movement launches as stepwise – inch by inch – from status quo to autonomy to sovereignty, etc. If the “political campaign” can overrun the enemy overnight (”big bang” – revolution kind) to get us to the ’sovereignty’ step, then fine! – But, just like a military campaign is about seizing a town (not the entire Oromia overnight), we also need to launch the “political campaign” to get to the mountain top stepwise. This is a more realistic approach. Over the last 20 years, students rose up in uproar to change the status quo, but no “political town” was seized from those campaigns since, last I checked, OPDO slaves are still in charge in Oromia.