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Professor Ali Mazuri: Pre-eminent African Scholar, OSA Member and 2008 OSA Conference’s Keynote Speaker October 30, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Literature, Oromo Studies Association, OSA, Professor Ali Mazuri.
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The following is a statement from the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) on the passing away of Prof. Ali Mazuri.


With great sadness, members of Oromo Studies Association, along with all who are interested in African studies, heard about the passing on October 12, 2014 of Ali Mazrui. At the end of his life, he held the position of Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, New York. He was a towering intellectual, a giant, a versatile and erudite scholar whose work played a major role not only in shaping Africans’ perception of themselves, but also the view of Africans in the eyes of the world. Ali Mazrui was unmatched in his influence on African scholarship from the 1960s to the time of his death. He travelled the globe as a teacher, filmmaker, speaker and author. He was the first African scholar to publish three books in a single year (1967); he stood out as a very creative political scientist, able to express his ideas with eloquence and charm, and he was also a courageous scholar who, among other challenges, publicly criticized Idi Amin, the brutal dictator of Uganda in 1972, while others remained silent. Professor Mazrui was teaching at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda in those years. Bonnie Holcomb, one of the founders of OSA, was at Makerere at that time and an eyewitness to his brave public speeches in opposition to Amin.

Professor Ali Mazrui was the most prolific scholar. His expertise was broad – including African politics, international political culture, political Islam, globalization and Africa’s relations with other continents, especially with Europe and Asia. He was also a highly-successful film maker. His 1986, nine-part television series, entitled The Africans: A Triple Heritage, was extremely popular and influential. In this series and in its accompanying book, Professor Mazrui demonstrated that Africans have been among the most dehumanized and exploited people in human history due to a combination of the slave trade, the ravages of colonialism, and the global racial discrimination to which Africans had been subjected as the legacy of the colonial era.

While Professor Mazrui did not reflect upon the Oromo condition in Ethiopia in his television series – only mentioning them briefly in the book that accompanied the series – he publicly expressed regret for this lapse in 2008 when he addressed the members of the Oromo Studies Association as a Keynote speaker. As a newcomer to the field of Oromo studies, Professor Mazrui was eager to learn about Oromo society. It was an OSA member, Professor Seifudein Adem, who introduced Professor Ali Mazrui to Oromo studies, after which Mazrui delved into Oromo issues.

It was in a spirit of seeking to understand Oromo issues and correcting his previous scholarship of the region, that he warmly accepted the Oromo Studies Association invitation to be Keynote speaker at its 2008 annual conference.. He delivered an impressive address at OSA in Minneapolis, MN on July 26, 2008. It was at that time that he became a member of OSA, demonstrating his genuine commitment to learning about the Oromo society. The 2009 Journal of Oromo Studies (Volume 16, Number 1, distributed by The Red Sea Press) featured his remarks at the OSA conference and focused on aspects of his scholarship which impacted Oromo Studies.

Ali Mazrui authored more than 30 books and hundreds of articles writing extensively on African politics, political economy, modernity, state building and nation building, violence, political instability, and Africa’s vulnerability to foreign domination and exploitation. He always wrote in lucid and entertaining prose, using spicy turns of phrase to reduce complex ideas and numerous facts into accessible food for thought. His fascinating interpretation of historical events, his thought-provoking generalization about the African condition and his optimism about the capacity of Africans, including the Oromo, to shape their own future, left behind an unparalleled legacy of impressive scholarship. He was a stellar African scholar who was well-known and well-connected around the globe. He wrote in English for the purpose of presenting Africa to Africans and to the world.

Ali Mazrui, this most famous global African scholar, was buried in Mombasa, Kenya, the place where he had been born on February 24 in 1933, 81 years ago and where his umbilical cord lies buried. He was laid to rest at his family’s graveyard on October 20, 2014. His death is a great loss to his vast extended family and to all who cherish the flourishing of African studies. The OSA Board of Directors and Executive Committee, on behalf of OSA members, express their deepest condolences to his family members and all those who have been nourished by his extensive scholarship as well as his infectious love for debate. He respected the opinions of all people, even those who challenged him, even those who unkindly and unfairly attacked him. May his soul rest in peace. May our Waaqa comfort his family members and all those who knew the great scholar and shared his strong optimism about the capacity of Africans, including the Oromo, to improve their condition.

Despite his passing away, his writings, his elegant prose, poetic language and his powerful ideas, will continue inspiring and informing current and future generations.

May his soul rest in peace!

The Oromo Studies Association


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The genocidal Ethiopia and Its Janjaweed Style Liyu Police: The Killings of 59 Oromo Men, Women and Children, The Wounding of 42 Others, the Confiscation of Property and the Forcible Removal of People from Their Ancestral Land in Eastern Oromia January 19, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Nelson Mandela, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Slavery, South Sudan, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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Oromo Studies Association’s (OSA’s) Letter to U.S. Secretary of State on the Killings of 59 and Wounding of 42 Oromos in Eastern Oromia by Ethiopian-Trained “Liyu Police”:

January 17, 2014

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, DC20520

Subject: The killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others, the confiscation of property and the forcible removal of people from their ancestral land in eastern Ethiopia

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Oromo Studies Association, an independent scholarly, multi-disciplinary, non-profit organization based in North American. My purpose is to bring to your attention and to protest on behalf of the members of OSA a crime committed against the Oromo in Eastern Ethiopia, that is, the killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others and the confiscation/destruction of property with an estimated value of Eth$14,726,000 in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. These acts of extreme and unprovoked violence, killings, violent wounding, burning of houses and confiscation of cattle and other property of the Oromo citizens in eastern Oromia zone, were committed by Ethiopian government-trained special Somali militia forces known as “Liyu Police” (translation: Special Police Force). The Ethiopian regime arms Somali in that region while disarming Oromo farmers. These actions of deliberately arming one people while equally deliberately disarming the other and, thus, by creating conflict between formerly closely related people – groups who have lived peacefully as neighbors for centuries – goes beyond abdicating governmental responsibility. It is a heinous crime that this government commits against peoples within its jurisdictional borders. The world regards these victims as citizens of Ethiopia, but they are being seriously mistreated with no proper defense available.

In the past several months, there has been a new wave of killing of Oromo nationals in particular who reside in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Targeted Oromo victims suffer also the confiscation of their property and removal by the thousand of residents from their ancestral lands. This is a miserable new policy which constitutes nothing less than a strategy for creating a blood feud between the two culturally related people, namely, the Oromo and Somali in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. In the sacred land of their birth, Oromo children, women and unarmed men are killed systematically by Ethiopian government Special Police forces. Once the slaughter is completed, these government-equipped forces then callously deny their victims even decent burial, which, in itself, is a crime against humanity.

The Ethiopian government is responsible for inflicting a great deal of harm and damage on defenseless Oromo peasants through this practice of arming Somali against disarmed Oromo farmers by building special police force comprised of Somalis. This appears to be a continuation of the callously inhuman policy of the Ethiopian regime that led to the removal of Oromo peasants from seven major ancestral regions covering extensive territories in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Most OSA members are Oromo Americans, who closely follow events in the region and whose findings are confirmed by the reports of pain and suffering of their families – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, relatives and friends – who were killed, wounded and displaced, and whose livelihood was destroyed by Ethiopian government Special Police forces made up of Somali armed by the regime.

The Oromo Studies Association, OSA, was established 26 years ago by international scholars from around the globe to promote studies related and relevant to the Oromo and other peoples in the Horn of Africa. In its attempt to create academic forums where ideas and research findings about the Oromo and other people of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa are freely discussed, OSA has established a peer-reviewed Journal of Oromo Studies, other periodic publications, as well as organizing regular mid-year and annual conferences. OSA has been involved in building a knowledge base for creating a democratic future for the peoples of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In our scholarly organization Somali and Oromo scholars work together. The Journal of Oromo Studies publishes research papers on Somali studies. Our goal is to strengthen historical relations between the two related peoples.

You may be surprised to learn that Oromia, the Oromo regional state in Ethiopia, is the largest, the richest and the most densely populated regional state in Ethiopia. Because the Oromo constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia – and in the entire region – they are regarded as the greatest threat to the ruling minority group, dominated by members historically affiliated with the Tigrayan Liberation Front (TPLF). The current government is dominated by Tigrayans persons whose ethnicity represents less than seven percent of the population of Ethiopia. Current Ethiopian government policies, which target populations on the basis of ethnicity, are best understood in light of a history of ethnic politics and ethnic discrimination. Arming Somalis to destroy Oromo in order to confiscate their lands and other resources continues ethnic politics in its most brutal form.

Oromo do not have powerful friends in the western world who bring the injustices that they suffer to the attention of international community. The Oromo Studies Association requests that you respond to our voice as a voice of conscience uttered to the international community. We urge that you immediately put pressure on the Ethiopian regime to desist from driving Oromo out their ancestral land in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. We request that the State Department under your able leadership look into this critical matter take effective action while there is time to reverse a criminal policy and save the lives and livelihood of vulnerable populations in Eastern Ethiopia.

In the light of the issue raised which is only the most recent of an ongoing series of violent attacks on Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone during 2013, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) urgently requests that the State Department utilize its good offices to seek justice by putting pressure on the Ethiopian government to:

• Stop immediately the Liyu Police attacks on Oromo farmers in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Return, without delay, those who were forcibly driven from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Bring to speedy trial those who ordered the Liyu Police force to attack, killing 59 defenseless Oromo children, men and women and wounding 42 others while confiscating or destroying property estimated at Eth$14,726,000.

• Pay compensation for the lives lost and the property confiscated from those defenseless Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Urge the Ethiopian government officials to stop the forcible removal of thousands of Oromo farmers from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia and make sure that such measures will never be repeated in Oromia or other parts of Ethiopia.

• Advise the leaders of the Ethiopian government to abandon the cruel and crude policy of disarming Oromo while unleashing the special police force on defenseless children, men and women.

• Strongly urge the leaders of the Ethiopian government to respect and implement the provisions in their own Constitution, which officially guarantees respect for human rights and democratic governance.

The Oromo Studies Association requests that the State Department, under your leadership, set an example by taking the above measures in a timely fashion.

You have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of Oromo and other people in Ethiopia. Our scholarly association appreciates your good efforts in this regard.


Ibrahim Elemo, President
Oromo Studies Association
P.O.Box: 6541
Minneapolis, MN 55406-0541
E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

Ambassador Girma Birru
Embassy of FDRE, Washington, D.C
3506 International Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General
Office of the Secretary General of United Nations
885 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017, USA

Mr. David Cameron, Prime Minister of UK
10 Downing Street, London, UK

The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House


Liyu Police is Ethiopia’s (TPLF’s) style of  Janjaweed to conduct genocide against the Oromo people.


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