jump to navigation

Oromian Condition: The way forward June 19, 2011

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far


DEL:D2, D6

Oromian Condition

The Oromo civilization preceded and might even have given birth to that of Egypt. The upper Nile was peopled by a progressive decent of the Cushite peoples from the region of the Great lakes to the upper and lower Nile were the cradle of    humanity. The Nile civilization includes Baro, Gibe, Shebele, Awash and others in the region. Previous studies discounted these and marginalized (limited) the space of history and civilization. There is a limit with oral history and also the classical written history to link Oromo with   origin of civilisation. Radical African history also has a limit.

Oromia is the first habitat of man, a garden of Aden.  Madda Walabuu was the centre of Cushitic world. The crisis of habitability has been emerged primarily because of Abyssinian tyranny. Oromos were from nowhere and always there and will be there. The Oromos were not newcomers to the region. They were not the expansionist (migrant). Oromo and the other Cushite are native to the region and had occupied more than the present location. Their geographical position has been subjected to contractions rather than expansions.  The so-called Oromo migration was not happened in history. There is a limit to oral history and of course distortions of written history on this and other Oromo matters. History on Oromo has been written in vertical approach. Oromo were recorded as people without origin, history and civilization. Archaeological, linguistic and anthropological studies are limited on Oromo.

Because of colonization and other distortions the cradle of mankind has been in a very serious despair. Thus, our study exposes the tragedy caused by history and fable of   human reductionism. It also reshapes the spoiled and the injured magnificent black beauty and the gist’s of Oromian history and the entire Cushite generation. The study expresses that Cushites are the origin of humanity and the original home of prime human civilization. Our argument  is not an original work by its own but it is the extension of the scholarly studies of Beyene (1992), Diop (1991), Demie (The Cushitic roots of Oromo, in Oromia Quarterly, 1998 &2000) and others.

The history of reductionism has been caused by and also the product of racism, politics of depossesion, impoundment, aggression and transgression of humanity. The catastrophic tragedy was not only in the past but still persists that it has been the root cause and the mother of all conflicts imposed on the Oromians and the entire Cushite people of East Africa today.

Based on the historical condition and their consequences, we have discussed in various ocassions the political conditions prevailing in Oromia under the Abyssinian domination, which are well known. What is still not so well known, and needs to be, is the enormous significance of these conditions for underdevelopment. The Ethiopian colonial elites, in their feudal mentality, view an Oromian economy as a pie of fixed size; hence they can cut for themselves a bigger piece or all of it, but only by taking away a portion or all that originally belonged to the Oromos. They have not even seen the possibility that the size of the pie itself can be increased in fertile and potentially rich Oromia. To achieve this at least as a precondition cluster bombs and the environmental and human consequences of militarism must be eluded. Then, under just social system and efficient system of resource management, with the application of   improved industrial and farm technology there can be a way for better humane life. With the just and efficient system, the fertile Oromo fields in the south and west can supply the material needs for better humane life not only for the 90 million people of Ethiopian empire but also for more millions in the entire North-East Africa. The Oromo farm lands and rives banks can play much more role for the Northeast than what the Nile delta and Aswan high dam has played for Egypt. To realize this potential, it needs not colonial control of Oromia but it essentially needs the liberation of this nation of wealth from the looting and misuse of Ethiopian militarism.

Moreover, the Oromo people are the objects of development in every sense. If development means anything at all, it must mean the development of people’s potentialities, but development is not really possible by outsiders who have other conflicting intentions. Furthermore, whenever pursued, development should be participatory. If it is not, it can only be the development of alienation and domination. This is what happened in Oromia. The people who talk most about development and who make and implement ‘development policies’ are alien leaders, their agents and supporters. But these are not the people who understand the development needs of Oromia. Most importantly, the interests of these groups are at odds with those of the subordinate people.

Historians, concerned scholars and humanitarians should work day and night to restore the self-possession power of the people whose identities and history have been not only confiscated but also intentionally manipulated, spoiled and tribulated.

Therefore, the development of Oromia should involve the liberation of Oromos from the conditions of deprivation and suppression. Politics should not only be the cause of underdevelopment but can also be tamed to remedy the problems of development. In this context, the development of Oromia essentially requires freedom as a prerequisite and that freedom involves, firstly, the national freedom, which is the ability of the Oromia citizens to determine their own future, and to govern themselves. Secondly, it is freedom from hunger, from disease and poverty. Thirdly, it involves personal freedoms; namely the right of the individual citizens to live in dignity and equality with others, freedom of speech, freedom to participate in decisions which affect their lives, freedom of making choices, freedom to control their own resources, freedom to education, freedom from servitude, and freedom from arbitrary arrests.  Freedom, both at national and personal level are absolute and positive freedom that Oromos enjoy as a people. It should expand in terms of Sen (1985) argument that it makes the ‘ minimum entitlement’ and the  ‘minimum capabilities’ that the Oromo people must acquire to live in ways they have reason to value. It should not be measured in relative terms whether in comparison to other individual, society or nation. Thus, the above three conditions are absolute minimum entitlements and capabilities the Oromos need in the process of expansion of their positive freedom, material, technological and social development.

Thus, the people of Oromia should be left free to choose both their political and development destiny. History teaches us imperial conquest and domination whether ‘the scramble for Africa’ or ‘the forward movement’ in South East Asia hardly brought development to its subject people except depriving their liberty, plundering their resources and causing underdevelopment. The Oromia’s reality is the reflection of this historical reality. The Oromos should have their own political rule in order to tackle development problems in their own particular environment. What keeps the Oromos in development crisis is their powerlessness to remove predatory Ethiopian colonial rule.

Oromia is the most centre in the Horn of Africa not only geographically but also politically, social linkage and economically. Militarily one of the most marginal. Economically the wealthiest in the region. Oromia’s political leverage on its and the region’s affairs is the lowest. What are the implications of physically and economically central and politically peripheral?  Military weakness was what led to   colonization and it sustainability. The question for the future is whether Oromia should pacify the region, forcing democratic transition in the region from pax Abyssinia =Pax Tyranny to Pax democracia. Should Oromia enter the politics of democratic power with strong military presence or remain colonial subject?

At the same time, since political and economic crises are fused, it is futile to solve one without the other. Conceivably, the colonial settlers would not concede freedom and do not promote genuine development. Therefore, political independence is a primary and essential condition for Oromia to make sustainable modern economic growth possible.

Conquest and dominations are social phenomenon as are dying elsewhere will die in Oromia and of course must die.

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2011 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2011. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.