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CNN Connect the World: Marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa tells us why it was so important to highlight his people’s suffering at the Rio 2016 Olympics and #OromoProtests September 17, 2016

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Hero Hero, double hero in Olympic Marathon, Rio 2016 and Oromummaa. Oromo athlete. Fayyisaa Lelisa at press conference. p1

CNN Connect the World: Marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa tells us why it was so important to highlight his people’s suffering at the Rio 2016 Olympics and #OromoProtests

CNN Connect the World: Marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa tells us why it was so important to highlight his people’s suffering at the Rio 2016 Olympics and #OromoProtests

 

 

 

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Addis Standard & All Africa: Ethiopia: #OromoProtests – the ‘Oromo Street’ and Africa’s Counter-Protest State, part III September 17, 2016

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Ethiopia: #OromoProtests – the ‘Oromo Street’ and Africa’s Counter-Protest State


ANALYSIS 


In the first part of this series, I explored in historic perspectives (particularly with developments in Oromia regional state) the Ethiopian government’s road to becoming a counter-protest state and the systematic ways in which the regime further bolstered its role as a counter-protest state.

And in the second part I discussed about the surge of popular protests in Ethiopia focusing on the socio-political and party architecture in which the ongoing Oromo protests first took shape. In this third, and last, part I will take a close look at the decades-old simmering tensions between the Oromo nation and successive Ethiopian states, discovering what they reveal about the contemporary politics of the Ethiopian counter-protest state vis a vis its relations with the Oromo protests, which, by several measures, have reached a point of no return.

Decades of simmering tensions

Continuous confrontations and tensions between Oromo protesters and the ruling party manifested in Oromia-wide Oromo protests may not be understood fully unless we look back its history. In order to contextualize the on-going Oromo protests, we must consider decades of relationships between the two confronting parties – the Ethiopian state and the Oromo nation – discovering what they reveal to us about the politics of the Ethiopian counter-protest state, and what they suggest about the future prospects of Ethiopia’s political trajectory.

It is indisputable that this massive movement in Oromia is not simply a political phenomenon whose root is limited to the period between 2006-2015; it goes as far back as the 1960s when modern Oromo political activism was born, and even goes as far back as the formation of the Ethiopian state itself.

Yearning since the 1960s for three overarching questions – language, land, and self-rule – Oromo nationalism has been growing more than ever since the introduction in Ethiopia of the multi-national federalism in the early 1990s. While the Oromo question for land has two parts: the homestead (qee’ee) and the Oromo country (biyya-Oromoo), the issue of language became the foundation of identity question. The third, the Oromo question for self-rule in the course of their national struggle, seemed to have been conceived as an ultimate solution capable of addressing the other two.

These three overarching Oromo questions were aired in the 1960s by the Oromo members of the Ethiopian student movement and the Maccaa-Tuulama Self-help Association, and were later on articulated in the early 1970s in the political program of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). These questions have been dealt with piecemeal in the revolutions of 1974 and 1991.

The 1974 revolution succeeded in the promulgation and implementation of a proclamation answering the country’s pressing demand, which was coined through the famous slogan of the student movement – “land to the tiller”; it was able to return plots/homestead to individual peasant households. With the Oromo in view, the 1974 revolution answered the question of qee’ee (homestead) but it had never attempted to deal with the Oromo question of yearning for biyya-Oromoo (Oromo country). Instead it criminalized the demand presenting it as a treasonable crime. The revolution also addressed the Oromo identity claims by allowing some media outlet for Afaan-Oromoo (Oromo language) but the demand to use Latin alphabet (qubee) was made another treasonable crime.

The political change in 1991, however, went far beyond the offers of its predecessor and dealt with more fundamental issues. Demands of Oromo nationalism was legitimized and institutionalized within the state apparatus when the new regime – for the sake of its own legitimacy – decided to offer concessions to decades old national struggles.

Through the federalism arrangement, it created the long sought after Oromo country within Ethiopia in the form of the Oromia National Regional State with its own regional parliament, Caffee Oromiyaa. It also allowed Afaan Oromoo, which had long been criminalized and heavily suppressed under the imperial and socialist Ethiopia, to be recognized as the medium of instruction in schools throughout Oromia.

But as the rule of the TPLF/EPRF began to unfold the problems inherently linked to its system of rule started to unearth. When in 1991 a coalition of rebels overthrew the Derg, the victorious TPLF-led-EPRDF not only took control of the capital city, expanding daily at the expense of Oromo farmers, but also inherited one of Africa’s oldest authoritarian state form, effectively excluding from the country’s politics, economy and cultural manifestation most of the southern peoples (the Oromo included).

As soon as TPLF took control of the center, a dubious, rather feckless Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE), where various political groupings, including Oromo parties of which the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was prominent, was organized in 1992. Perhaps as part of its concerns to take the OLF on board, the TPLF recognized Addis Abeba as the capital of Oromia and promised that the interests of the Oromo people in the city would be accommodated.

The Transitional Charter that established the TGE (1991-1995) declared, “The special national and political interests of the Oromo are reserved over regions 13 [Harari State] and 14 [Addis Abeba].” In 1995, Oromia’s interest in Addis Abeba was once again recognized by the constitution that created the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE). Article 49, sub-article 5 of the constitution states that “The special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Abeba, regarding the provision of social services or the utilization of natural resources and other similar matters, as well as joint administrative matters arising from the location of Addis Abeba within the State of Oromia, shall be respected.”

However, the whole scheme boiled down into a political manipulation where the TGE gained the support of Oromo parties and the people’s support for the creation of a lasting TPLF-dominated authoritarian regime. When the TPLF dominated EPRDF ensured its control over Oromia, it went on to purge the OLF out of the TGE in June 1992.

In 1995, when the new constitution transformed TGE into the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE), the TPLF dominated government began employing ambiguities in the constitution and walked in earnest to take full control of Addis Abeba.

In Article 49, where issues of Addis Abeba have been stipulated, three of its sub-articles (sub articles 2, 3 and 5) present contrary provisions, a state of affairs that made the gate wide open for the ruling party’s looming interests over the city. After appointing a TPLF veteran soldier as the mayor of Addis Abeba in 2000, the regime took a bold decision in 2003 to shift Oromia’s capital from Addis Abeba to Adama, 100km southeast of Addis Abeba. When the office of the Oromia regional parliament, Caffee Oromiyaa, was thrown to Adama it appeared that the hope of the Oromo to have their government in the city they believe is the center of Oromia was dashed.

Following the 2003 government decision to transfer Oromia’s seat to Adama the leadership of Maccaa-Tuulama Association (MTA) and Addis Abeba University students immediately organized a protest, which was met with brutal crackdown.

The organizers were imprisoned and MTA was outlawed and had its office looted and dismantled. The university itself dismissed nearly 400 students whom it believed had taken part in the protest. While it was clear that thousands of farmers were evicted between 1995 and 2003, it was, however, the decision to transfer Oromia’s capital from Addis Abeba to Adama that gave birth to the Oromo struggle for Addis Abeba.

The declaration of the proposed “Master Plan” a decade later would mean dashed hopes and broken promises; it breaks up into two what has been known in the narrative of modern Oromo political activism as biyya-Oromoo (Oromo country), a reference to Oromia. On one hand, it is a broken promise because it sustains the regime’s tradition of deciding on issues relevant to biyya-Oromoo without the consent of the Oromo nation. In fact, many believed the implementation of “the Master Plan” would come close to restoration of the former Shewa governorate-general, which in turn would mean a renewed wave of cultural invasion on the Oromo as much as a territorial break up of Oromia.

Addis Abeba’s expansion in historical times had scored the highest record in eviction of the surrounding farmers in its environs, namely, Tuulama Oromo, but the EPRDF regime took this to a new level previously unmatched in Ethiopia’s history. Most peasant households have been and still are poor in Ethiopia but they live on their land and depend on its produce for their livelihoods, whatever its sufficiency.

Tuulama Oromo in this regard appear the most unfortunate for encountering endless evictions since at least the 18th century. Left in isolation from the Oromia National Regional State, Ethiopians in all walks of life, and undoubtedly the TPLF/EPRDF regime, the Tuulama Oromo have been forced to bear unbearable projects accompanying the regime’s intent (whatever the name attached to it) of expanding the city of Addis Abeba with no regard to their way of being.

Coherently conscious

The Oromo population constitutes nearly 40 per cent of Ethiopia’s estimated population of 100 million. Some are adherents of Islam (being involved in more than one sect); others follow different sects of Christianity, and still others adhere to Waaqeffannaa, the Oromo indigenous belief system. In rural Oromia, their social organizations exhibit diverse historical experiences and regional patterns. These few remarks help us appreciate the internal diversity of Ethiopia’s largest ethno-nation.

So far, a number of scholars have made serious attempts to understand the contemporary political status of this diversity within the Oromo nation. While some treated them as a nation others seriously question that status. This diversity, for example, in the eyes of Gebru Tareke, an Ethiopian scholar, made the Oromo nation “a vastly dispersed people with no history of political unity since the sixteenth century.”

Another scholar, John Markakis, wrote, “From the beginning of their historic [population movement] the Oromo did not forge unity above the tribal level, nor did they ever coordinate their efforts for a common purpose. Each tribe pursued its own destiny entirely independent of the others, and inter-tribal warfare was the rule rather than the exception.” Historian Bahru Zewde on his part says “… the incorporation of the nineteenth century has resulted in the denigration of Oromo culture and identity,” but plainly denies the fact that an Oromo country has ever existed before the twentieth century; he argues against a map of Oromo country – Ormania – made by a German missionary J.L. Krapf based on primary historical data he collected ‘during an eighteen-years residence in eastern Africa’ in mid 19th century.

 While Gebru Tareke and John Markakis have taken Oromo internal diversity far beyond limits, it is fairly recognizable that Oromo internal diversity led to considerable divisions that played key roles not only in their historical experiences with Ethiopian systems of rule but also in creating within themselves fissured political groupings.

But the fact that the ongoing Oromo protests engulfed the whole of Oromia in merely three weeks’ time threw some light on the perspectives of these scholars – Gebru and Markakis, for example – who consistently argued against the presence of the Oromo’s nationhood.

 By claiming that Oromoness is counterfeit, that it never existed, that Oromo nation possess within itself lots of local and cultural diversity to develop any coherent consciousness and never possessed an overarching sense of “nationhood”, or that they are inseparably intermingled with various other peoples, “the opponents believe that they can divide, destroy, or, perhaps, wish away Oromo nationalism,” to use the words of Herbert Lewis, who wrote The Development of Oromo Political Consciousness from 1958 to 1994.

While this attitude has clear origins in politics and “interests,” it is facilitated by the general social science discourse that still tends to discount or decry ethno-nationalism. Yet this kind of internal diversity which some scholars employed to question the very existence of the Oromo as a nation is seriously called into question with the start of Oromo protests in November 2015.

Many scholars attempted to understand the challenges of the Oromo national struggle in isolation from the political developments in that tumultuous region of Ethiopia and the horn of Africa. But the on-going Oromo movement appears to have overcome lots of deterring factors long-lived in the Oromo national struggle. In less than four weeks what the Oromo people regarded as a serious threat to their national identity caused a union of massive popular movement that engulfed the whole of Oromia.

A case in point is how Oromo national identity, Oromummaa, has been built over decades and the significant impact it has in uniting a population of close to 40 million for a coherent cause. Oromoness is a reference to all those features that make up Oromo personality.

It is constituted by the entirety of the Oromo culture. It is worth noticing that Oromo activists, artists, political commentators, scholars and politicians appear to have successfully campaigned over the last two decades highlighting the fact that Oromummaa transcends differences in political opinions, religions, and all sorts of background, a concept well articulated in the works of Oromo scholars such as Assefa Jaleta.

Readjusting the narrative

Apparently placed at a precarious position, many scholarly works need to be revisited; there is a need to further investigate facts and collect empirical data to create effective analytical frameworks capable of capturing the whole, more nuanced scenario that would help us better understand the Oromo nation and its indisputable place in the Ethiopian state.

Only then can we appreciate and understand why and how various Oromo politicians chose to establish different political parties after the onset of the 1974 revolution; have decided to join rival political groupings not founded for separate Oromo cause; have even joined the dictatorial military regime – a clear indication that even those of similar social and religious backgrounds understood Oromo problems differently and likewise proposed disputing routes of political struggle.

Only then can we clearly comprehend why Oromia has in the last quarter a century exhibited spatial and temporal mismatch on concerns of opposition to the EPRDF regime. Without readjusting our existing narratives it will be hard to understand how and why the 2014 and the on-going Oromo protest movement overlap and deviate.

Our understanding of the cultural and socio-political stances that are being taken through the Oromo protests movement can also be appreciated when placed into context with issues related to the wider Horn of Africa.

A more accurate contextualizing of these stances can be viewed within the affairs of Ethiopia’s broader issues, and their complexities. The same understanding appeared to have been useful to inform narratives shaping the future of the Oromo national struggle. The days of hiding behind Oromo internal diversity as Ethiopia’s numerical majority with subaltern political constructs are gone, and will not come back again.

It is also incumbent upon us to understand that taking opportunities offered in the current multinational federal system, Oromo youth at secondary schools and junior colleges throughout Oromia, and the ever expanding universities have for the last two and half decades propagated their literature, folklore, music, songs, poetry, theatre, drama, and other forms of cultural revival and actions in these concepts of the Oromo cultural movement. Taking into account the growth of federal universities from less than five when TPLF/EPRDF took power in 1991 to over 30 in 2015, it becomes important to see the relationship between this considerable expansion in higher education and the growth in modern Oromo political activism.

While ‘economic solvency’ remains one of the fundamental points of the Oromo people’s opposition to ‘the Master Plan’, for the growing Oromo consciousness it is by no means comparable to the Ethiopian regime’s project of posing immeasurable challenges to the concept of Oromoness altogether, and all of what it means from the central parts of Oromia, the territory the Oromos believe is “handhuura-Oromia” (Oromia’s bellybutton).

Understanding this is at the same time one of the pillars in symbolization and conceptualization of Oromoness in the minds of the Oromo people. It is such understanding of Oromoness which seems to have brought the new generation of OPDO, discussed in part two of this series, to openly speak against “the Master Plan” in April 2014. There is little doubt that the Oromo nation conceived ‘the Master Plan’ as a threat to their national identity. Styled after popular Arsii tradition, “namni lafa hinqabne, nama lafee hinqabne,” (a person without land is a person without bones).

Hope for millions

After nearly five decades of struggle, the Oromo seem to have learnt from experience and history that an attack on one part is an attack on the whole. Collective memory helps a society to understand both its past, present, and by implication, to imagine its future. It is important to underline here that it is the memory of past injustices and the contemporary aims of the TPLF/EPRDF regime against the future of the Oromo nation that has served as one of the most important tools stirring the ongoing protest.

The Oromo protesters believed that “the Master Plan” violates the territorial integrity and identity of the Oromo and their aspiration to become a self ruling nation. In the perspectives of the protesters rallies across Oromia are rallies for self-defence. The progress of Oromo nationalism over decades appear to have succeeded to present the cause of the Oromo of the central region as the cause of all.

While the government employs the same old narrative of “we have made it possible for Ethiopia’s oppressed nations for the first time to use their own language and exercise their cultures,” public political consciousness seems to have navigated far ahead of this narrative.

As protesters have proved for themselves through their practical experiences that the regime has very little room for implementation of provisions in the same constitution drafted and promulgated under its own dominance, they took up constitutional provisions as weapons against it.

In short, the constitution has become for the Oromo protesters what James Scott theorized as “weapon of the weak.” As the protests set out to start the systematic use of provisions in the constitution by dissent voices within OPDO, the protesters and the opposition became united. It is mainly in this sense that the regime’s propaganda to present the protesters as “terrorists” and “anti-peace” failed to bear fruit.

The struggle for Addis Abeba and the adjacent territories presents the Oromo people with a choice between survival and annihilation as a cultural unit and as a nation. It is this understanding that managed to mobilize the entire Oromo nation throughout Oromia region and tested the limits of the counter protest state that Ethiopia is.

This popular perception has clearly succeeded in establishing in the minds of Ethiopia’s single largest nation that “the struggle for Addis Abeba is the struggle for Oromia.” EPRDF’s killing is far from threatening the Oromo people and all indication suggest that there is no turning back. The slogans have now changed from “No to the Master Plan,” “Oromia is not for sale,” and “Oromia needs autonomous self-government,” to “justice for our blood and lives.”

It is also a hope of millions of Oromo and many more that it is upon the Oromo national struggle to give birth to an efficient national political narrative that, while not compromising unanswered historical questions in Oromia, gives rise to a country-wide coalition of political parties that can realize the old democratic demands of the peoples of Ethiopia, a state of affairs Ethiopia had missed to realize at many historical trajectories.

Despite age-old terrains of relations among various groups of peoples in Ethiopia and the Horn, and where the Oromo people deeply and actively involved themselves for generations, Oromo struggle is a struggle for self-rule as well as one for democracy, struggle for both group and individual rights. Signs of overcoming disagreements and standing together for common cause are being observed at this point of the Oromo national struggle. Appreciable is unequivocal banners carried out by Amhara protesters in support of their Oromo brethren and statements made by some Oromo and Amhara political parties and dialogues initiated by their respective media outlets.

TPLF/EPRDF’s approach of facing popular protests with bloody crackdowns is no longer keeping Ethiopia as a state. The persistence of the Oromo people in the face of the counter protest state’s ruthlessness will also soon begin to reflect itself within the Horn of Africa’s fragile peace and stability position. Any concerned party, be it domestic or international, which takes seriously the Horn of Africa’s peace and stability, must not only understand the framework of today’s popular demands (that refuse to turn back in Ethiopia’s Oromia region), but must also become grounded in the particular historical contexts of this framework.

Ed’s Note: Etana Habte is a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, SOAS, University of London. He can be reached at:ittaanaa@gmail.com


Click here to read related article on #OromoProtests: OPINION: THE QILINTO MASSACRE: THE TRUTH SHALL BE REVEALED

Ibsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo: “Ayyaana Irreecha Guddicha Bu’aa Qabsoo Bilisummaa Oromoon Kan Argamee As Gahe Qabsoon Kunuunfanna” September 17, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo, Irreessa.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

 

Ka'i Qeerro

Oromia and the continuitity its Nile Valley Civilization, Irreecha Malkaa 2015 ( 6409 years since started on upper Nile (Mormore) Valley)Irreecha Malkaa Oromoo kan Bara 2015 Hora Harsadi, Bishoftuu, Oromia, Africa. Onkoloolessa 4,  2015  (6409 ALO)Oromia and the continuity its Nile Valley Civilization, Irreecha Malkaa 2015 ( 6409 years since started on upper Nile (Mormore) Valley)


Ayyaanni  Irreechaa kabajamaa fi jaalatamaan uummata Oromoo miliiyoona kudhanootaan kan kabajamu bu’aa  qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo wareegama qaalii lafee gootota Oromoo fi dhiiga gootota Oromoon tikfamee hardha ga’ee , yeroo ammaa kanattis ayyaana Irreechaa fi aadaa Oromoo kunuunsanii tiksuun dhalootaaf dabarsuuf gootonni Oromoo wareeegama qaalii itti baasaa jiru. Baroota darban keessa ayyaana Irreechaa kabajuuf jecha ummanni Oromoo fi sabboontotiin hedduun waraana Agaazii fi Poolisoota sirna TPLFn hedduu dararamanii jiru, gariin qabsaawotaa fi dargaggoonni Oromoo bakka irreecha kabajatanii fi kabajuuf deemanitti reebamuun kanneen qaamaa hirdhatan hedduu dha. Warri hidhamanii hanga ammaa bakka buuteen isaanii wallaalalme dhibbootaa  hedduu dha. Kanas ta’ee gootonni Qeerroo Bilisummaa hiraarsa kora bittinneessaan osoo hin jilbeeffatiin ayyaana Irreechaa Oromiyaa bakkoota adda addaatti kabajamu sirna miidhagaan kabajachuun aadaa Oromoo aduunyaatti muldhisaa turan. Haalleen dararaa fi gufaatii sirni Wayyaanee TPLF ummata keenya irraan gahu hunda keessa qaxaamuruun bu’aa gootota wareegamanii kan ta’e Ayyaana Irreechaa kana daran midhagsuu fi aduunyaatti muldhisuuf har’a sadarkaa UNESCO itti galmaa’aa jiraachuun qabsoo Oromootiif injifatnoo tokko.

Haala kana keessatti  Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo Ayyaana Irreechaa Birraa kan baranaa 2016 Hora Arsadiitti kabajamuuf yeroo jiru kana keessatti, Oromiyaa fi ummanni Oromoo bulchiisa waraanaa yoomyyuu caalaa suukanneessaa kan ta’e jala galtee jirti. Ayyaanni guddaan saba Oromoo biratti jaallatamaa ta’e kun duula waraana TPLF Oromiyaa fi Oromoo irratti labse kana cabsuun ummata miliyoona hedduun kabajamuuf Oromoota biratti qophii guddaa irra jirama. Bara kana ayyaanni Irreechaa kabajamu kun dhaadannoo  ‘ Ayyaana Irreecha Guddicha  Bu’aa Qabsoo Bilisummaa Oromoon Kan Argamee As Gahe Qabsoon Kunuunfanna”jedhuun kan kabajamuu waan ta’eef Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo  uummata isaa cufa waliin ta’uun ayyaana Irreecha 2016 kabajamu bifa adda ta’een kabajachuuf kan jirru  ta’uu hubachisuun haala kabaja ayyaanaa Irreecha bara kana sadarkaa hundarratti  kabajamu  ilaalchisuun Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo  uummata Oromoo, sabootaa fi sabalammoota kabajaa fi jaalaala ayyaana irreechaa Oromoof qaban hundaaf Ibsa kanaa gadii dabarsee jira.

  1. Ayyaanni Irreechaa bakka uummatnı Oromoo Waaqa isa uume ıttı galateeffatu, kadhatuu fi wal arguun waliin İrreeffachuu Aadaa, Duudhaa, eenyummaa, Oromummaa , Sabboonummaa isaa itti jabeeffatuu fi tikfatu ta’uun gadi jabeessuun hubachiifna;
  2. Biyyaatti Impayera Ethiopia humna waraana mootummaa EPRDF/TPLF gaggeeffamaa jirtu keessatti ayyaanota gurguddoo kabajaman keessa ayyaanni Irreechaa qofti bara baraan loltoota EPRDF, TPLF fi ergamtoota isaaniin uummatni nagaan ayyaaneffachuuf bahuu daandii irratti goolamaa , reebamaa, hidhamaa, daraaraamaa fi hiraarsaa ulfaataan kan isa  mudachaa ture.  Ummatni Oromoo haala rakkisaa kana hundaa tokkummaa fi kabajaa fi jaalala eenyummaa isaa kan ibsuu ayyaana Irreechaaf qabu  obsaa fi murannoon jala dhaabbatee wareegama baasaa kabajachaa har’a ga’ee. Bara kanas TPLF /Wayyaaneen Irreechaa 2016  karaa dhaaba jalee isaa OPDO  maqaaf Aadaaf Turizimiin karoora danqaa tatta’an baafachuun ummati Oromoo ifaa fi bilisaan akka ayyaanicha hin kabajneef shira xaxaa jira.  Karoorri OPDO kun hatattamaan ummata keenya irraa ka’ee Oromoon bilisaan ayyaana qabsoon argate kana akka kabajatu warra karoora shiraa wixinee ummata rakkisu karoora kana akka kaasaan gaafatna;
  3. Mootummaan Wayyaanee OPDOn ummata Oromoo waaqa uumaa kee illee eeyyama koo malee waaqeffachuu fi ayyaaneffachuu hın dandeessuu jechuun mirga uumamaan uummatni keenya qabu  ırraa sarbuun anatu siif beekaa akkan jedhetti malee waaqeffachuu hin dandeessuu jechuun shoroorkaa uummataa keenyarratti gaggeessaa jiran hatattamaan akka dhaabbatu Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo gadi jabeessuun ni hubachiisa.  Jaarmiyaaleen mirga namummaa Idil-addunyaa hundii rakkoo ulfaataa uummatni keenyaa keessa jiru akka hubatanii fi dhiibbaa  wayyaanee irratti akka jabeessus sabboontotni biyya alaa jirtan gadi jabeessitanii akka irratti hojjettan cimsinee gaafatna;
  4. Qeerroon dargaggootni Oromoo haamilee uummata keenyaa fi qabsoo bilisummaa bara dheeraa  ummatni keenya irratti wareegamaa jiruuf kabaja fi jaalalaa qabnu  muldhisuun jeequmsa kamuu osoo hin uumne Oromiyaa, gootota Oromoo qabsoof wareegaman faarsuun ummata haamlessuu fi diddaa sirna gabroomfataaf qabnu muldhisuu irratti jabaannee akka hojjennu hubachiifna;
  5. Ayyaana kana irratti hogganootii fi miseensotiin Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo bakka jirtan hundatti tokkummaa, jaalalaa fi kabajaa ummata  keenyaa fi gootota keenyaa wareegamaa qaalii kanfaluun asiin nu ga’an faarsuun eegumsa naamusaa,daa’immanii , Shamarranii fi Maanguddootaaf akkasumaas uummata keenyaa waliigalaaf akka goonu dhaamsa Oromummaa fi dirqama dhalootaa waliif dabarsina;
  6. Jalbultii Ayyaana İrreechaa barana Fulbaana 20-21, 2016 Wayyaanee TPLF fi ergamtooti isaa OPDOn muddamanii waan qabanii dhiisan dhabuun maqaa waldorgommii İspoortii jedhu gaggeessuun yaada ummataa hanga tokko warraaqsaa FXG irraa jallaisuu dandeenya jettee toftaa dulloomaa ishee butachuun olola afaan fajjii gaggeessuuf akka jirtu saaxilameera. Ummatni Oromoo dhumaa utuu jiruu, hidhaa keessatti  dararaa hiriyyaa hin qabne irra gahaa osoo jiruu biyyi keenya  Oromiyaan waraanaan shororkeeffamaa utuu jiruu shirri itti fakkeessi TPLFn wixinamee OPDOtti kenname kun salphinaa fi farrummaa qabsoo Oromoo waan ta’eef dargaggoonni Oromoos ta’e ummanni Oromoo bakka shiraa maqaa Ispoortiin qopaawee kana akka hin geenyee fi irraa akka of qusatan dhaamsa lammummaa wareegmtoota dabarsina;
  7. Ummatni Oromoo biyya isaa keessatti mootummaa hin qabu; Media Mootummaas hin qabu; poolisii isa eeguu , nageenyaa fi mirga isaa kan kabachiisu hin qabu; Oromoon wal malee homaa waan hin qabneef bakka jirtaan hundatti jaalala, tokkummaa fi kabaja Oromummaa waliif akka qabaattanii nagaan baatanii nagaan qe’ee keessanitti akka deebitaniif akka wal tiksitaniif waamichaa keenyaa dabarsina. Meidaleen walabaa Oromoo jalbultii ayyaana Irreechaa irraa eegaluun ayyaanichaa fi qophii isaa aduunyaatti muldhisuun akka miidhagsitan waamicha keenya dabarsina;
  8. Mootummaan Wayyaanee shiroota garaagaraa jalbuitii Ayyaana İrreechaa rawwachuuf jiru qindeessaa jira. Shiroota kanneen keessa ammaaf kan saaxilame Fajjii qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo alaabaa ABO har’a uummaatni Oromoo golee fi Oromiyaa cufa keessatti qabatee  ittiin warraaqsa gaggeefataa jiru fi  jaalaalaa, kabaja uummatni ABO faajjii qabsoo isaaf qabu argisiisaa kan jiru kana gaafa jala bultii ayyaana Irreechaa irraa kaasee basaasotiin Wayyaanee bal’inaan karaa irra dhaabbatanii gurguruun nama alaabaa bitu hordofuun qabuuf shira guddaa xaxaa jiru. Ummanni keenyaa fi dargaggoonni keenya kana hubachuun alaabaa Oromoo kan Wayyaaneen gurgurtaaf dhiheessaa jirtu akka irraa hin bitne gadi jabeessinee dhaamsa dabarsina;
  9. Ayyaanii Irreecha birraa 2016 sadarkaa godinaaleetti waan itti fufuuf qabxiilee ibsa kana irratti taarrifaman bakka iyyuutti yaadachaa muuxannoo Hora Arsadiitti argattan irraa kabaja Ayyaana Irreechaa godinaalee irrattis bifa ho’aa, naamusa ol aanaan  fi qindaa’aan akka kabajamu waltaanee gamtaan kan irratti hojjennu ta’uu dhaamsa keenyaa dabarsina.

 

Injifannoon Uummata Oromoof!!

         

                Gadaan Gadaa Bilisummaati!!

 

                Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo!!

         

            Fulbaana 16, 2016 Finfinnee

 

Konso: #KonsoProtests Alert! #OromoProtests Alert! Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) is conducting genocide against Konso people (indigenous people in Southern Ethiopia). September 17, 2016

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The current  fascist Ethiopia’s regime also known as TPLF (Woyane), a criminal group from minority Tigray tribe,  in northern Ethiopia is conducting genocidal mass killings against Konso people.  TPLF  has occupied Konso land, killing the people and burning the entire town and villages. The Konso are one  of the very ancient people in East Africa and their historical villages are UNESCO World Heritage.

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Agazi’s new tactic, burn homes to ground along inhabitants. This was done to Konso people in Aylota-Dokatu & Lulito towns yesterday September 13, 2016. Hundreds homes were destroyed and death is reported. All the Konso people are asking to be granted zonal status which their right enshrined within the constitution. The federation council accepted their appeal last week yet the federal army in burning their homes. Jawar Mohammed


SORRY BUT THE KONSO UNESCO REGISTERED WORLD HERITAGE SITE HAS BEEN BURNT TO ASHES
Xiixaa Buubaa Sardaa• with Darajjee M. Billii

Yesterday, we heard (Listen to VOA Amharic & Afaan Oromoo, transmitted on 9/15/2016 17:30-19:00 GMT), over the past 1 month, both the elected local Konso District leaders & leaders of the Regional State of Southern Ethiopian Peoples Nations & Nationalities (SEPNN) are counter-blaming one another for what they call “genocide on the Konso people”. The Konso People speak Afaan Oromo in its other southern Ethiopian Kushites accent/dialects and still retain the ancient Gada Socio-politico-theological System and Qaalluu Ancestral Spirituality. Moreover, they retain the eschatology of preserving in sarcophagus of the Spirits of the dead that we know in Ancient Kemet/Egyptian turned to a battle ground, the Konso District’s UNESCO registered world heritage site was burned into ash by government security forces of Ethiopia. Konso Cultural Landscape is a 55km2 arid property of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia. It constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adapted to its dry hostile environment. The landscape demonstrates the shared values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities. Stone steles in the towns express a complex system of marking the passing of generations of leaders.

On April 2016, William Davidson wrote on the guardian as Protests sparked by the arrest of Konso leader Kala Gezahegn underlined growing tensions between Ethiopia’s central govelrnment and many ethnic populations. Now it has been over a period of 7 months since the Konso people has started protesting against the injustice and maladministration by the forcefully established Zone- Segen Area People’s Zone. The Konso people who were formerly administered under a Special District status in SNNPRS, had been unconstitutionally forced to form a zone with other neighboring ethnic groups, dropping from a ‘Special District’ status to a District in the newly formed zone. That sparked complaints from the people but no one gave an ear to the people that time. The zone government then grabbed three Kebeles from Konso to create a new city structure in Sagan town. This was also followed by the deduction of annual budget allocated to Konso District without being approved by the District council representing the people. This gave momentum to the silent and peaceful popular protests in every corner in Konso since then. Despite the loyalty of the people to the constitution of the country, the government in power at all levels has failed to give a constitutional answer to the people appeal for establishing a self-governed Zone as per the law of the country.
Now, the Konso people is under military siege some months ago. No freedom of movement, no education for children… all offices closed. Worst the innocent farmers are being shot to death by security forces. Konso cultural landscapes tell the incremental story of human progression—how regular people have taken the sum total of their knowledge and applied it to living in their natural surroundings. They are another way in which history comes alive through the built environment, and their importance is recognized by UNESCO. Beside their ten months long protests the indigenous people of Konso now lost both their life and heritage. After 400 years of conservation now Konso-world heritage site is destroyed with fire set by security forces of Ethiopian government, world community have to take part in identifying the cause and take measures on guilty body.


 

Oakland Institute: Ethiopia: The Time for Change is Now! #OromoProtests September 17, 2016

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Ethiopia: The Time for Change is Now!


Last weekend on the eve of two large celebrations in Ethiopia—the Ethiopian New Year and the beginning of Eid al-Adha festivities—the Ethiopian authorities pardoned approximately 1,000 people, 135 of whom had been charged under the country’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Amongst those released were leaders of theEthiopian Muslim community, who have been in jail since July 2012 when they were detained for protesting against governmental interference in religious affairs.1

Ethiopian army soldiers monitoring Suri people during a festival in Kibish. Credit: Oakland Institute.
Ethiopian army soldiers monitoring Suri people during a festival in Kibish. Credit: Oakland Institute.

While the release of these political prisoners is welcome, we must not be fooled by this supposedly “generous” act. The Ethiopian government frequently issues pardons at times of international scrutiny. Before President Obama’s trip to Ethiopia in July 2015, for instance, numerous high profile political prisoners were released, including Bekele Gerba,2 Reeyot Alemu, and several of the Zone 9 Bloggers. Pardons like these are strategic. They are meant to make the Ethiopian government look reasonable, with the hope that the international community will be pacified and look the other way.

But the abuses continue, and cannot be ignored.

Just two days after the pardons, it was reported that two more Ethiopian opposition members had been arrested. On September 3rd, at least 23 prisoners died “under disputed circumstances” when a fire broke out in Ethiopia’s notorious Kilinto jail. Those jailed at Kilinto include numerous Oromo protesters, former World Bank translator Omot Agwa, and prominent Oromo opposition politician, Bekele Gerba. Local news reports allege that prison guards opened fire on the detained during the fire.

And let us not forget the thousands that remain behind bars, having not been included in what appears to have been an arbitrary set of pardons.

Mounting Pressure

The Ethiopian government has good reason to worry about the growing dissent in the country. The past months have seen increased unity in the courageous fight for democracy and human rights. Community members engaged in the struggle told Oakland Institute staff “there will be no jubilation until all political prisoners, regardless of religious or ethnicity, are released.”

International pressure, too, has mounted. On September 12th, Rep. Chris Smith introduced House Resolution 861, entitled “Supporting human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.” The bill recounts the many abuses taking place in Ethiopia – from the impact of the villagization program on the Anuak in Gambella, to the numerous unlawful arrests made under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; the crackdown on civil society organizations under the Charities and Societies Proclamation to the numerous extrajudicial killings that have taken place during this past year’s protests – and calls for strong action, both by the US and Ethiopian governments. One day later, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed deep concern in his opening remarks before the Human Rights Council regarding the “lethal use of force against protesters, enforced disappearances, and mass detentions” by Ethiopian forces. He reaffirmed his previous calls for an “independent, impartial, and international” investigation.

Solidarity actions are also taking root in the US. On Friday September 16th, the Oromo Renaissance Organization will hold a peaceful rally in Oakland to “denounce the deadly crackdown … on peaceful protesters in Oromia and other regions of the country.”3 Earlier this week, Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa held a high-profile press conference in Washington DC, bringing significant international media attention to the plight of not just the Oromo people, but those in Amhara and Gambella as well. Lilesa will hold another press conference on September 18th in Minneapolis, hosted by the Oromo Community of Minnesota.4

A Critical Moment for Ethiopia

This is a critical moment for Ethiopia. The US Government, United Nations leaders, and the international media are all paying attention to the abuses taking place, and finally giving these atrocities the attention they deserve. Now, more than ever, the international community needs to follow through on its responsibility. We must not accept the introduction of a bill or the pardoning of 1,000 as enough. Instead, we must continue to call for universal human rights, democracy, and justice across Ethiopia.

The time for change in Ethiopia is now!


Footnotes

 

  • [1] Their sentencing was condemned by the Chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, who called the Muslim leaders “peaceful advocates for religious freedom.”
  • [2] Bekele Gerba was rearrested in December 2015, and continues to languish in jail.
  • [3]The peaceful rally, coordinated by the Oromo Renaissance Organization, will be held on Friday September 16 from 11am – 2pm at 1301 Clay Street in Oakland, CA.
  • [4] The press conference with Feyisa Lilesa, hosted by the Oromo Community of Minnesota, will be held at 12:00pm on Sunday September 18th at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave S., in Minneapolis, MN.

 

RUNNING INTO TROUBLE: A life of discrimination and fear led an Ethiopian marathoner to protest on the world stage September 17, 2016

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At night, Feyisa Lilesa and his friends hid in the farms to evade the security forces who were arresting people across the country. As a 15-year-old growing up in Oromia region, Lilesa says he was always aware that many of his fellow citizens didn’t approve of the government’s treatment. But the moment of awakening for…

via A life of discrimination and fear led an Ethiopian marathoner to protest on the world stage — Quartz