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Being and Becoming A Global Nation: The #Oromo of East #Africa January 28, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African American, Oromia, Oromo Diaspora.
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OOromo diaspora

Being and Becoming A Global Nation: The Oromo of East Africa

By Dorii Abbaa Fugug,  



Globalization is a phenomenon that has been metamorphosing from negative imperialistic connotation background to more positive, progressive and cherished representation. However, it is still suffering from cynicism and prejudice as some group of nations continuously prospering on the expense of others mortification.  Long before the existence of the term globalization and when the concept of globalization is not as comprehensive as today people were fighting over the dominance and some of them with the only rudimentary awareness of the glob and aspired to dominate the world mainly to maximize their sphere of influence or revenues. Others had mainly focused in strongly defending their territory and live in peace and tranquility for many centuries. The Oromo people were among those strong, democratic and peaceful nations in the region. 

However, their unshakeable power in the region for many centuries prior to European conquest was deranged; and with help of colonizers’ superior armaments; the once dying Abyssinian enclave happened to control the mighty Oromo nation. Thus with extraordinary weaponry supplies and unrelenting advice of their masters, this “dependent colony” strived and maintained its power over the Great Nation for over a century.

During this time, the Abyssinians tried their best not only to completely eradicate the Oromo identities (language, cultural, etc.), but they had also committed ethnic cleansing in which the Oromo population was reduced in half. They prohibited the Afaan Oromo from spoken in public or in offices and further worked hard to make the Oromo totally ignorant of the world around them. In other words they destroyed all traditional relationships with their neighbors and effectively blocked their interaction with them and the entire world at large.

For instance, until the Italian period in 1935-41, the Oromo males were not allowed to go to market (magalaa/gaba’aa/ katama) as they were killed by Naftangas as “cursed and unruly enemies”. On the other hand, the Oromo were also neither surrendered their dignity easily or stopped fighting them during this time. Patriotic Oromos like Muce Ahmed Muce was remembered by countless banana trees he planted on the graves of Naftanyas he killed. He is also remembered by eating Minelik’s commander, waldegebriel Aba Seyxan’e ear. I am very sure many Oromos from different corners of the Country have similar stories to tell.

During the emperor period and afterwards, the Oromo were discouraged to have any access to outside world be it in terms of business, education or any travels. They were geven, derogatory mistrusting nomenclatures like Aligaza bay “galla” (unruly “gella”) during Menilek; Banda(collaborators) during Hailesillasie; sargogab ( infiltrators) during Mengistu and OLF during Melles Zenawi (wayyane) regime only for the purpose of justifying the killing or robbing of the innocent Oromos. Yet, the Oromo continued to abjure such Abyssinian aspersion and illegally trekked to the neighbouring Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and other Arab countries.

These assiduous and risky defiant encounters resulted in creating Oromo heroes like Waqo Gutu, Jarra Abba Gada, Elemo Qilxu and many, many others who were the key for the formation of Oromo Liberation Army. History also witnesses thousands of Oromo who were captured and massacred by Abyssinian militias while crossing the border. Some of them were even followed and killed in neighboring countries. People like Ayyub Abubake, Jahatani Gurmu, Mullis Ababa Gada, etc, are the case in point. It was in this defiant and antipathy of Abyssinian anathema that the most precious Oromo freedom fighters, the eleven members the top OLF leaders, perished in the hands of hostile Ogadenian bandits, while travelling to Somalia for diplomatic purposes.

However, with EPRDF policy of killing some Oromos and expelling other from the country, thousands of Oromians took flight out of the country, all for the purpose of defending the Oromo nation right for self-determination and to become one of free world nation. In a nut shell, the Oromo have paid ultimate sacrifice for their independence not less than Algerians or Eritreans in any standards which most of us should be proud of. As I tried to mention above I don’t mean in anyways that globalization is a trend or a phenomenon that Africans have benefited from and as a result we cherish it. No, not at all. My point is that While becoming a victim of globalization, in general, is a bad thing, yet being deprived of your national identity, as Oromo, in the globalized world, is the worst thing ever and the opposite is true.

My other point here is that although the Oromo as a nation with its own national boundary and sovereign rule is in waiting, our diaspora efforts are already making Oromians a global citizen/nation in short cut. Today the Oromo have very strong community organization, vibrant civic and political organizations in Diaspora. Most importantly the majority of the Oromo have long been mentally liberated and completely forgotten Ethipiawinet.

Now that, we have seen how the Oromo were defiantly absconding the country sadistically since the beginning of the Abyssinian colonialization of Oromia and particularly during the 1950s and 1960s of Jarra Abba Gada-Waqoo Guutuu generations, which brought about the Oromo freedom fighting that continued to swelter like conflagration .

On the other hand, unprecedented new fashion of defiant flees or mass exodus of Oromo happened after 1991-2 Revolution. While few OLF left the country through Bole many thousands had flocked to the different corners of the countries’ border. As it goes, if we cannot succeed through Bole we will be making it through Bale became a motto. Anyway, most of these people destined to refugee in neighboring countries only to seek eventual resettlement to the third countries (to western world). As a result most of these refugees succeeded in resettling in countries like Australia, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherland, the UK, The United States and Canada. Although the trauma of refugee camps and establishing in new counties are not simple matter, many of these refugees are quickly established themselves and involved in the doing Oromummaa projects.

Although deserting the country especially by few top OLF leader during the crisis was seen as an abhorrent historical disaster for the Oromo struggle for independence, there are people who believe that leaving the countries enabled the Oromo people to be free of oppressive government and work for the Oromo struggle from outside of the country. Leaving the former for history, we are witnessing the latter becoming the reality.

That doesn’t mean however every Oromo in Diaspora is working for the benefit of Oromians, there is a group of Diaspora Oromo that chose to seek yet another Ethiopiawinet citizenship. How on earth someone can seek a new citizenship in the country where he was born and where the citizenship right in the county is already by birth.

On the contrary, however, those who left the country for the genuine pursuit of Bilisumaa continued working on a plethora of Oromummaa projects here in Diaspora. For example, all the proliferated Oromo free Medias, strong community organizations and other civic organization like OSA, OSG, ORA, HRLHA, Mada Walabu, IOYA, Barnoota and many other organizations are only the tip of the iceberg. These actives are undoubtedly becoming the reliable means for the Oromo to being and becoming the global nation. Furthermore, these are the outcomes of the Oromo defiance against the Abyssinians policy of concealment, camouflaging and containment. It is also a remarkable confirmation of the total failure of Abyssinian century old struggle against the Oromo or the demise of Ethipiawinet for good.

Thus, the assiduous process of reintroducing or reconnection of the Oromo nation to the world community as independent entity, of course, has reached the stage where no one can relapse it. We can see a multifaceted movement in continuums. The diaspora Oromo Students Organizations, Oromo community associations, the OLF and OSA and Oromo Medias are the leading champions of these developments.

The OMN which is envisioned by young Oromo student Obbo Jawar Mohammed and his friends started its role as a giant media outlet. They mobilized the diaspora Oromo behind the mission and the OMN has successfully been launched in March 2014. The OMN not only informs about what is going on in the world concerning the Oromo and the Horn of Africa’s natios but is also instilled the moral and spiritual connection of the Oromians all over the world as well as demonstrated that the Oromo can do so many great things when worked together. It also showed the Oromo that for every problem they are suffering from now, the solutions are always right in their hand.

The other promising Oromo project of our time in diaspora is Toltus Tufa’s’ Education project(Afaan). Toltu Tufa is an outstanding Australian born Oromo girl who envisions the greatness of educating her people in diaspora. Started with small project in Melbourn, Adde  Tultu expanded the horizon of her vision to reach all the Oromo children in every corner of the globe. Currently she is touring around the world to distribute the children books she authored.

Totlu project is so crucial for the Oromo people in diaspora for several reasons: First, Oromiffaa/Afaan Oromoo is one of the few languages that survived the language genocide. Please refer to the UN Genocide Convention definitions,( Art. 2b & 2e), which clearly stipulates what the linguistic genocide means, and how it occures. So Toltu’s project of teaching Afaan Oromoo is not only helps us to survive our languages from the threatening foreign media and scholastic language genocide in diaspora; but it makes our children be active future leader and inheritors of our struggle for independence. Secondly, it preserves Oromo identity as intact as it was. Toltu, herself, is a role model and charismatic leading light for our young foreign born Oromians.

There are many other emerging young talented Oromo leaders of Qube Generation like Toltu and Jawar whose achievements in the field of Oromumma are yet to be witnessed. As they are marching on natural course of actions( for a just cause), these young leaders are always successful to the detriment of those time-worn old gantuus Oromos who are derailed from the right trajectory.

The other acclaimed successful diaspora Oromo achievements are the naming of Minneapolis Oromo Street and the Melbourne Oromo community, hosting Oromo flag (right beside the Australian National flag) on Melbourne Street only to represent the Oromo nation as a distinct entity. These are shining Oromo community achievements in diaspora which shows the being and becoming of global nation. The OLF participation on “world stateless nations” conference in last year was nothing more than a confirmation for the world community that we are the nation without the state. Indirectly that means we are a state in exile or Oromia is the state in waiting.

Generally the Oromo in diaspora do actually know the fact that strengthening their organizational capacities and becoming viable global citizen enables them to revive and reconnect to their age older brotherly relationship with East African nations to work hard for the demise of the crumbling Ethiopian Empire. Many neighbouring nations have already joined hand in hand against tyrannical Ethiopian regime. Thus the disintegration of Ethiopia Empire will definitely paves the way for the integration and re-alliance of eastern African loving nations.

Mind you, while the Abyssinian in Washington reaffirmed their deep-rooted hatred to the Oromo her in the USA, the Somali and Oromo in Minneapolis demonstrated their Cushitic ties by working to together to make their dream of enshrining their names on the street of Minnesota. This trend of working together with brotherly spirit for the revitalization of old Cushitic bonds should continue with other East African communities.

Finally, we must be well aware of the multiple opportunities ahead of us to make difference in making the great Oromo Nation more known to the world communities and for the ultimate of Bilisummaa Oromoo. Each Oromo community association in diaspora has to bear the responsibility of doing at least one thing in their cities that make Oromo lined up among free nations. We become one of the independent World nations in our own rights!!!!