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No Oromo Nationalist Participated in the Making of the Ethiopian Empire

February 2, 2012 ·

It has become a fad these days to say, “Oromos participated in the making of the Ethiopian empire.”

The truth of the matter is that no Oromo nationalist participated in the making of the Abyssinian-Ethiopian empire. The key word here is “nationalist” – an Oromo person empowered by Oromummaa (Oromoness).

Only those individuals with Oromo-skin and Abyssinian-masks (to use Frantz Fanon’s description) could have participated in the making of the Ethiopian empire. Some call these Gobanists after Gobana Dace. The most astonishing observation is those who accuse Atse Meles Zenawi’s grandfather of being Abyssinia’s “banda” serving Mussolini’s Italy turn around to tell us Gobana Dace and the likes are “heroes” of the Oromo people; of course, Atse Meles Zenawi’s grandfather can be taken as a “hero” for Mussolini’s Italy as Gobana Dace and the likes are “heroes” for Abyssinia’s Ethiopian empire.

Throughout the Oromo history of the late 19th-century, the 20th-century and now, Oromo nationalists (those empowered by Oromummaa) have always been fighting against the colonial occupation of Oromiyaa.

Here’s a list of Oromo anti-colonial movements since the mid-1800′s, when Wallo fell under Yohannes and Minilik at Boru Meda.

Of course, some would like to talk about only the anti-colonial struggle led by the OLF since the 1970′s.

- Have you forgotten the struggle under the leadership of Abba Waatoo, the Rayya, Yejju and Wallo Oromo (1867-1877)?

- The bitter resistance against occupation led by the then Arsi’s Abbaa Duula (War Minister), Roobaa Butta (1886)?

- The continued resistance of the Wallo Oromo led by Sheik Tola Jaafar, who after obtaining assistance from the Sudan, went back to Wallo and continued the armed struggle well into 1910. The resistance was first started in 1884.

- How about the Rayya revolt (the original Woyane – before Zenawi stole the word) of 1928-1929? … Oromo peasants and nomads in Yejju, Rayya or Wajerat districts of present southern Tigray and northern Wallo revolted against the rule of Haile Selassie and refused to pay the heavy taxes imposed on them. The government dispatched troops to put down the revolt. The peasants with few arms they possessed were able to defeat the troops and capture a large quantity of arms and ammunition. Additional arms were obtained by the nomads from the Red Sea coast in Tajura.

- The well-known movements are that of Gen. Tadasse Birru’s Macha-Tulama Association, and Gen. Waqo Guutu’s Baale Resistance of the mid 20th-century.

- It was only after a century-old protracted resistance by OROMO NATIONALISTS that the OLF was founded as a culmination of the century-old yearn of the Oromo people to have a strong and unified national organization to lead the struggle in the 1970′s.

Oromo nationalists have never participated in building the Ethiopian empire, rather they have been fighting against it from Wallo to Baale since the mid 19th-century.

The Oromo people’s anti-colonial struggle is not 40 years old; the struggle was there since the first day of the military occupation of Oromiyaa by Abyssinian rulers; the struggle is here because of the occupation; and the struggle will continue until the last day of the military occupation of Oromiyaa by Abyssinian rulers.




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