The Irreconcilability of the Oromo Nature of Peace and Leadership with the Ethiopian Nature of Violence and Dictatorship
By G. Chemeda Nadhabaasaa (M.G.Meelbaa) | February 23, 2012
As embedded in the Oromo Gadaa tradition, the Oromos understand peace (nagaa) in its positive term. When the Oromos say, Peace to the Creator God (Waaqa Uumaa), peace to the mother earth (lafa, dachee), peace to all mankind, peace to plant life and animal creations etc. they mean that they perceived peace as a gift of God (Waaqa), on which they are blessed to work in positive terms for positive missions.
In order to defend the Waaqa given peace at the centre of its positive position, the Oromos, in their history of peace management, tirelessly work and sort out the root causes that could defile the worthiness of the peace (nagaa) they are granted by God. This had helped pre-colonial Gadaa Oromo society in particular to devise constructive reconciliation methods (mala araara) at various levels, for example, at family level, at clan level, at inter-clan and at ethno-national levels.
And, thereof, the Oromo belief of peace asserts a harmonious relationship between human laws and natural laws. Any imbalance between the two laws is believed to cause the departure of peace from the centre of its positive domain. It will be casted down to the periphery, leaving the domain to chaos; selling it for evilness and ruthlessness; inviting dictators to the top echelon to rule over humanity with iron-fist. To the Ethiopian autocratic and theocratic leaders however, the existence of balance of forces between the natural and human order is undesirable, for the fact that it gives them no chance of getting up on horseback to ride for violence and excommunication.
If we peer into the history of Oromo buttaa institution, when Oromo values are at stake, and all peace efforts failed, the condition to go for a lawful offensive right to protect the God-given nagaa Oromoo is unconditionally voted for; and uncompromisingly declared by those competent and democratically elected Gadaa leaders. In this case, the fact of bandits’ aggression and their ruthless oppression are main factors to compel the Oromos to legitimise the use of offensive right in defence of their God-given peace.
Legitimate War in Defence of one’s own Peace
As the Oromos are men and women of their words, they are also men and women of peace; peace with humans, peace with natures. However, this does not mean that the Oromos were born being hostage to submissiveness, bondage to complete docility or an appendix of subservient loyalty whose outputs are humiliation, annihilation and slavery.
Whenever Oromos are threatened with aggression, as they are heroes of peace, they are also heroes of war. This has been well documented by the aggressors’ writers themselves. They showed how the Oromos had been organised, for instance in the 16th century, in Gadaa regiments and marched on the aggressors. It was a just war fought against the unjust aggressive war.
However, to defend their humiliation, debtera historians and their allies invented a phrase, just on the top of their essays, what they call “the Oromo War of Migration” or “the Oromo War of Robbery”. They use these invented headline interchangeably under the scornful name “Galla”, to justify the inherent enmity they have developed against the people they labelled as “Ye Amhara demenyaa Xelaat” meaning the bloodiest enemy of Amhara. (See Aleqa Kidanewold Kifle’s Metsehafe—womezgeqalat. 1948, E.C)
The Oromos were born not to worship the misleading cowardly preaching of “if one slaps on the left part of your face, turn your right face to him too”. This is what they are preaching for ‘violence’ to be the supreme command structure of surrender for awful humiliation. It is neither for peace, nor for freedom nor for human dignity. It is for complete psychological slavery, disdainfully projected to de-humanise the human dignity God has bestowed on mankind by birth. It has been being preached under the cover of “individual right to worship”.
This brain killing silent bullet has been invented by supremacists who are using the Bible as ‘Scripture of Holy Colonialism’. In fact, it is the preaching of such verses from the re-edited Bible that has become an important aide to Ethiopian dictators to continue to violate the peace of peaceable peoples in the empire of the dictators.
Oromo Code of averting and ending blood feud
When leaders are adhering to society’s norm, respect the rule of laws and have honesty to public feelings, there is no reason why peace cannot supersede violence and aggression. But in a society where rulers view themselves more than the Creator, and the subject people also view them as divine creatures, there is no reason why the rule of anarchy for violence prevails over the awesome of peace.
As the Oromo egalitarian system of Seera Caffee/Gumii has clearly laid down, there is no crime more than slaying a fellow human being, whether or not it is carried out through intentionally planed action or in self-defence. It is a serious crime, committed in violation to the harmonious functions of natural order and the human Oromo code of conduct.
According to seera gumaa Oromoo, if a man slays his fellow semblance, that is, human being, he has to pay the necessary compensation for the blood he is a cause to spill down. This fundamental code has been a guide in resolving feuds and in re-enforcing peace between two or more feuding parties. It automatically averts tension that could divide the society on clan or sub-clan lines. It peacefully resolves the incident on the ground and any prospective intent of retaliation. Thus:
- Seera Gumaa is a law of blood compensation legislated, adopted and declared by Caffee to avert and resolve blood feud or any retaliatory vengeance peacefully.
- It is a wisely designed law that halts the escalation of feuds to inter-clanship level, which could be a cause for a war to start and a dictator to rise.
In pre-colonial era of Gadaa Oromo society, there were strong political and religious institutions which were directly responsible for managing peace. While from the secular Gadaa side, the Abbaa Seeraa institution is responsible; from the religious side, the Abbaa Muudaa/Qaalluu institution is responsible. To avert any form of deviance seems to be detrimental to the normal function of Gadaa societal norms, the two institutions work in dual relationship. Ideally, the Abbaa Seera functions in the light of the seera caffee tumaa and the abbaa muudaa/qaalluu functions in the light of Seera Uumaa. There is a harmonious check and balance relationship between this two Oromo pillar institutions.
Ethiopia’s Code of Endless Feud
Abyssinian politico-religious institutions, the ‘tewaahido taabot’ theocrats and the ‘zewud-nugus’ autocrats, can be credited for their notable proxies of war and violence in the region. In their politico-religious history, the Abyssinians are well known to agree on agreement that can certify any effort to escalate feud, war of conquest and aggression. The question is what could come out of a society that has been negatively harmonised with the deadliest “tit for tat” doctrine; a doctrine of conflict to conflict, feud to feud, retaliation to retaliation? How peace can come to those colonised peoples in the ‘taabot-nugus’ empire of Ethiopia who lost their God-given peace to the Ethiopian rule of violence?
The mono relationship between the Ethiopian ‘tewaahido-taabot church’ and the ‘zewud-nugus’ Solomonic dynasty of legendary history function being as a dagger and sheath. When the main function of the tewaahido-taabot is the pronouncement of excommunication and pouring of wreath of curses on those who have grievances against the cruelty of the divine rulers, the function of the zewud-nugus is the declaration of death sentence, the expansion of colonial territories (qiny gizaat), the management of chisanya-gabbar with iron-fist etc.
Distinguished leaders of MatchaTuulama Self-Help Association like Dejazmatch Kebede Bizunesh were the victims of the espionage work conducted by Ethiopian Tewaahido Church leaders, Abune Tewoflos and Abba Mattias Workineh. After the Tewaahido Church leaders had known where the MatchaTuulama leaders were, they secretly approached them in the name of ‘ye haymaanot abbaatooch’.They bowed down to their feet and appealed for peace. When the leaders accepted the appeal of the ‘spiritual fathers” and cooled down their grievances, the tewaahido-taabot leaders of Ethiopia betrayed them from behind. They handed them over to Hailesellasie’s security agent through Prince Tenanyework Hailesillasie. (See Gizetina Gigot by Olaanaa Zewgaa, pp: 92-133)
In case of murder or manslaughter, vendetta, which they call biqqela in Amharic, is the only code of ‘relief’ through which the victim’s relatives are believed to be ‘compensated’. It is a blood for blood compensation. It contradicts the Oromo gumaa code of compensation that compels the payment of blood price to the victim’s relatives. It stands to assure groups’ security and individuals’ free movement in the society, not merely the diffusion of hostility between feuding parties.
In the Abyssinian case, what is odd to an outsider is that, when revenge after revenge goes on between two feuding parties, it is considered as heroic deeds by the general society at large. There is no institution with chartered codes that can manage to avert the escalation of the feud. There is no mechanism of reconciliation that can prepare the two parties to sit for peaceful resolution of the feud either. Feuding parties are always on standby to take revenge against each other.
The Vagueness of Irqe-Salaam
As the Abyssinians, alias Ethiopians, have developed no God of their own concept, or a God indigenous to African concept, they have no culture of their own peace concept; or a peace concept of an indigenous to African spirituality. All are ideas and practices borrowed from Arab and Hebrew origins. In other words, if the Abyssinians had developed peace of African mentality that has respect for human values, loves and protects plant lives and animal creatures, rampant war and famine, vicious drought and hunger could not have been the endemic phenomena of the region.
We often hear of their overdue saying, “irqe-salaam” (reconciliation-peace) in their daily utterances. But, this borrowed utterance is devoid of flesh and bone in delivering the strategy of peace. It is not more than a tactical approach of buying time to update programmes of the old model; for violence to continue to function in a modified programme.
Had they had an indigenously conceptualised peace institution of their own notions, they might have developed quality leadership earlier and a social charter that could govern the ethical function of the irqe-salaam. The vagueness of the ”irqe-salaam”, which is only invoked to buy time, is designed to give more chances to the dictators to stay in power than offering peace solutions to the people suffering under the rule of violence in the empire.
One should note that, it is not the anger of God Who ordered violence and hunger to rule over the people and the land. It is the “angry devil” of the leaders’ inhuman behaviour that has cultivated nudeness against peace.
Gadaa Democratic Leaders and Abyssinian Autocratic Rulers
In a society like Abyssinians (Ethiopians) where aggression, expansion, violence, banditry and retaliatory vengeance are dictatorially and imperially institutionalised, there is no place for the growth of socially chartered institutions that can manage peace for the wellbeing of the citizens. The kings, regional warlords, emperors, and dictators are ‘divine’ rulers, who are believed to have an ascribed status in giving a divinely-fetched decision, be it punishment or amnesty. They are well tilted to a magical wand of war and aggression strategists as righteous advisers instead of eschewing such advisers as devils of peace.
In the goggled eyes of the rulers, an Oromo who summits to peace is coward, indolent, lousy and inherently being born to be ruled. Sadly, these negatively perceived adjectives have also been illusively inculcated in the minds of the subject Abyssinian society at large. The king’s or dictator’s decisions are taken to be absolute, unchallengeable, and un-contestable.
Patriarchs, priests and deacons of the tewaahido-taboot Church re-divinise the kings and the emperors as Siyume Igzihaber which is essentially similar to some of the Sunni Muslims’ belief of Al-Mahadi as chosen ones. The ordinary people are illusively assenting to the divineness of siyume-igzihaber by saying, “nungus aykessesim, semaay aytaaresim”, which attests the fact that the nugus is the only figure who is ascribable to his own divinely established will. This divine will can be either the dispensation of peace for tax collection in his area of control or the declaration of war of aggression on regions out of their control. They appoint themselves as possessing divine right to do or undo, to unite or disunite, to own or disown, to punish or pardon anything under their disposal.
On the contrary, the Oromo Gadaa leaders, who come to the office of Abbaa Gadaa through sacred nomination for public election every eight years, will stay in office being servants of the rule of laws. They can be lawfully impeached and dismissed for any misconduct, dishonest or partial judgements they may display while in office; or for any attempt they may show to manipulate public opinions to build dictatorial ambition.
However, after the brutal conquest of Oromoland by the Ethiopian war of qiny gizaat maasfaafat, meaning, an expansion to colonise new territories, in the last quarter of the 19th century, the functional value of araara Oromo in maintaining peace and order has been unwillingly smothered. The culture of the new colonial settlers, biqqela and adma which significantly expresses vendetta and conspiracy respectively has been planted on Gadaa laws. Obviously, these nefxenya colonial settlers have had clear objective. That is, to demonise the democratic Gadaa code of statute. They did it in the past. They are doing it right now.
By its very origin, the egalitarian Oromo belief of law, democracy, leader and leadership is completely different from the Abyssinians, because the Oronmos are electing their leaders and enacting their laws out of the deadly notion of divine order. They elect them to defend, respect and pursue the rule of law. The elected leaders know that, they are elected to serve their people, maintain peace and order. They transfer the power vested in them peacefully at a fixed time and fixed place. This underlines how Oromo traditional political decency functions for peace and democracy. But, sadly, this Oromo values had been prohibited by Aste Menilik. The quotation from an Abyssinian qees (priest) is quiet enough to authenticate this; “Ke Burqaa betaachi ye Harar Gaallaa Caffee Bululloo nebber. Indihu Wallom, Arusiim beyyedejjuu Caffee aaderege. Yihewum Caffeyaachew be Aste Minilk zemen tekelekele.” Its English version, as has been translated by Bahiru Tafla, “—The Galla of Harar had their Caffee in Bulullo. Similarly, the Wallo, the Arusi set up Caffe in their respective areas.—Their Caffee, however, was abolished in the time of Ase Menilik.” (Tafla: tras&ed. P.134-135) The prohibition is still going on, covertly and overtly.
The Culture of Conspiracy and Bloodshed
The culture of conspiracy to eliminate one another, the coming of individuals to power through bloodshed, the destruction of natural habitat etc. are testimony to the long history of Abyssinians muteness to the meaningfulness of power for peace. They believe in individual’s seizure of power that would come to it through violence and bloodshed. Peaceful transfer of power is unknown to them; and, in fact, it is a dead political culture. If at all it exists, it is considered as a vacuum that lacks the divine power.
The long history of Abyssinia, today’s northern part of Ethiopia, conforms to facts of conspiracy, bloodshed, war and feuds registered among regional warlords racing for the status of kingship and emperorship. It is this evil political and social culture that has colonised Oromoland. Since the onset of the colonisation, it has been ravaging the human value of Oromummaa and continues to demonise its democratic tradition.
Let’s see few cases in brief how violence has been a criterion for power transfer in Abyssinian (=Ethiopian) political culture which diametrically contradictory to the Oromos’ culture.
1. AsteTewodros of Gonder
When we begin from Atse Tewodros, we find this man coming to power in Gonder after he eliminated his rivals. He was blessed and crowned by the patriarch of the tewahido-taabot church as Emperor of “Ethiopia” in 1855, after he had defeated his own father-in-law, Ras Ali in 1854. While trying to expand his territory to Wallo, to rule under his blood-stained sword, he captured Prince Amedie Ali Liben, the son of Queen Warqituu, and finally executed him together with other prisoners in 1865. (Darkwah: Shewa, Menilik–. 1975, p. 87)
Terwodros was killed in Maqdalla, Wallo, in 1868, which western historians have given due credit to the British expeditionary force. However, Ethiopian debtera historians are persistently defending the death of the cruel man as committing suicide, to hide the humiliation and death of their divine leader at the hands of an Oromo heroine.
Today, Terwodros is praised by all corners of Abyssinians, by Amharas in particular, as an almighty man that Igzihaber had sent for them to unite the fragmented precincts under a single “Al- Mahdi”. But, Abyssinians muteness to the culture of peace could not help them understand how unity for peace or peace for unity cannot come from leaders whose hands are soaked with innocent blood; their goggled eyes are thirsty to see human blood spilling down.
2. Aste Yohannes IV of Tigray
To occupy the vacuum left behind by the death of Tewodros, a race started between Dejazmatch Kassa Mercha of Tigray and Wagshum Gobozie of Amhara in 1871. Kassa defeated the race and became an emperor, bearing a new name and a new title: His Imperial Majesty Emperor Yohannis IV, Emperor of Ethiopia and King of Zion in 1872. (http://www.angelfire.com/ny/ethiocrown/Yohannis.html)
The most important mission of Aste Yohannes was either to convert Muslim Oromos of Wallo to Christianity (tewaahido-taabot) or to finish them off. He massacred them with the firearms he used to collect from different European kings as a gift. He converted hundreds of thousands of Muslims to his tewaahido-taabot faith under the rule of the firearms. His mission seemed to have been fulfilled when he converted the Wallo leader Mohammed Ali to his fanatic tewaahido-taabot faith and baptised him as Ras Michael, later became Nugus Michael.
The fanatic Yohannes was guillotined at the war with the Dervishes around Matama area and passed away. We do not know whose souls had gone to heaven and rested in peace. The fanatic Muslim man who killed him in the offensive war for Islam to triumph? Or the fanatic Emperor who was killed fighting for the supremacy of Abyssinia’s tewaahido-taabot faith? Whatsoever, similar to Tewodros, he also died of not natural death but killed by followers of Islamic faith he hated to the most.
3. Aste Menilik of Shewa
The death of Aste Yohannes was excellent news for Menilik to hear, because it left a vivid vacuum of power to occupy without any arduous race for it. As a young man he had been once captured by Tewodros and taken to prisoner of war. He learned cruelty in practice under Tewodros. He escaped from Maqdella prison by the help of Queen Warqituu and was able to return to Shewa. After he became King of Shewa, he turned the firearms he amassed from European kings against the people of Wallo who did the most favour for him. He butchered them and put under his control. That is the type of reward Abyssinian morality accepts to the best performance.
In 1878 Minilik, as a king of Shewa, and Yohannes of Tigray, as an emperor of Ethiopia made an agreement at Boru Meda on how to proceed conquering the Oromos and enslaving them. They divided Wallo among themselves. Menilk gave his daughter, Waizero Zewuditu, to Yohannes’ son, Ariya Sellasie as a marriage to cement the bond of the Boru Meda agreement. Warra Illu was given to the couples as a fief. (Darkwah: Shewa, Menilik–. 1975, P.78-78)
Menilik was encouraged to pursue his conquest of Oromoland further to the south in which he used men like Ras Goobanaa, Ras Mekonnen, Ras Darge, Ras Tesema, Ras Woldegiyorgis and others to accomplish the evil conquest. They massacred millions of Oromos and other peoples in the area they occupied as qiny gizat, colonial territory
Added to the death of Aste Yohannes, the mysterious death of Ras Goobanaa in 1889 cleared all obstacles for him to become the only absolute decider on the future fate of the peoples now came under his iron-fist. Menilik became the nugusenegest (king of the kings) of Ethiopia he concocted until his death was officially announced in 1913.
(Emperor) Lij Eyasu
After Menilik’s death, his grandson, Lij Eyasu, became the designated Emperor to the throne. However, he was trapped by the Shewan conspiracy who was bitterly opposed to his Oromo background as a main factor rather than his legitimacy to the throne. The second factor was his close tie with different social sectors in the newly concocted empire. He had good relationships with the Muslim and Catholic communities whom the Abyssinians see as the bloodiest enemy to their tewaahido-taboot faith. The third factor was his cordial relations with outside world particularly with Germany, Austria and Turkey which the British colonial power in the region found it dangerous to pursue its colonial motives. Thus; the British assisted the Shewan conspirators against Lij Iyasu and facilitated the way for Ras Teferi to come to power.
Lij Iyasu was politically and spiritually dismissed after Abune Mattiwos, head of the then Coptic Church of Ethiopia officially excommunicated him. Even though his father, King Michael of Wallo and he himself attempted to revert the coup, their resistance was in vain, as the Shewan conspirators were backed by the then superpower of the world. His father, Nugus Michael, was captured at the battle of Sagalee in 1916. Later on, after five years of struggle, Lij Iyasu was captured. He was first imprisoned at Fiche, Salaalee, and later on transferred to Gaara Muldhataa in Hararge.
Iyasuu died about 1935. One of the versions of his death elucidates that he died in Gaara Mul’ataa soon after Haileselasie sent his soul father, Abba Hanna Jima, to visit him. His dead body was buried either in the Ogaden desert or thrown to Waabee Shebelle river. The other version says, as the Italians were marching toward the south to capture Finfinnee, Hailesellasie brought Lij Iyasu to his palace and executed him and fled the country. There is no confirmation as of Lij Iyasu’s burial place. However, there is unconfirmed rumour that Hailesellasie buried him secretly in the churchyard called St. Marikos, located in his former Sidist Kilo palace campus, now serves as the main campus of Addis Ababa University. (See http://www.angelfire.com/ny/ethiocrown/lij.html)
Ras Teferi Mokonnen
Ras Teferi was a governor of Hararge region when Liji Iyasu was the designated emperor of Ethiopia. Because of Teferi’s mistreatment of the people of the region, particularly the Muslim population, Lij Iyasu wanted to transfer him to other region. He summoned Teferi to Finfinnee and went to Harar to discuss the problem with the people. It was by this time that Ras Teferi and his Shewa compatriots, backed by British diplomats from the Embassy, stood against Lij Iyasu and eventually dismissed the designated Emperor from power.
Ras Teferi became Haile Sellassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God and Emperor of Ethiopia on his coronation day that took place on 2nd November 1930, at St. George Cathedral Church. The Church was built on the former Oromo specific place name called Maarama Birbirsaa, in the district of Birbirsa Yaa’ii Gooroo, one of Finfinne’s district names of pre-colonial time.
After ruling the country for more than 40 years, Hailesellasie was overthrown and replaced by a military council called Dergue, led by the infamous man, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. His death was officially announced in 1975 but his burial place had been kept secret until the current Tigrian based regime came to power and publicised the secrecy for exhumation.
The Dergue: Military Council
In February 1974 there was a mass uprising against the autocratic, aristocratic and feudalistic rule of Hailesellasie. It was culminated to a mass revolution that the emperor’s regime was not able to break through. It was by this time that a military officers’ club consisting of 120 members formed a committee known as “Dergue” and snatched the revolution from the mass. On 12th September 1974 the Dergue officially announced that it had deposed the ailing emperor and called itself “Provisional Military Administration Council” under the chairmanship of General Aman Andom.
Following the overthrow of the emperor, power struggle among the 120 Dergue members intensified. As to Abyssinian tradition of bloodshed for palace power, the Dergue members turned to eliminate themselves. They first overthrew the Chairman and executed him, filling the vacant position by another General called Teferi Benti.
After Andom’s elimination, the turn to eliminate was knocking at the door of Teferi Benti’s office. Subsequently, he got Aman Andom’s fate and his dead body was removed from his office. Now, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariyam, who was the then first vice chairman of the Dergue, became an acting chairman. But, he was not so secured to declare himself “first chairman” as far as his rival, the second vice chairman, Colonel Atnafu Abate was behind him. By any means, Atnafu’s elimination had to be executed. It was successfully executed as intended, and officially announced.
The Colonel became the sole winner of the blood-stained race for the seizure of palace seat. The power had lasted with him for seventeen years, of course, with full of terror, bloodshed, war, and mass killings. He verbally showed cruelty by saying “ye fiyyel waxexe tikishaw yaabbexe libbuu yaabexebbet and practically announcing names of those who were executed. He testified himself being the true ‘son’ of Tewodros and Minilik, the only men he used to praise in his long-boring speech.
Mengistu had fled the country in 1991 before the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray (MLLT), operating in the name of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led by Meles Zenawi, overran him.
Blessing Mr Herman Cohen of the United States of America at the London ‘violence’ Conference of 1991, Tigrian People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) of Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray (MLLT) was able to overrun the century old Amhara based Ethiopian regime. After the Conference, Cohen gave TPLF’s MLLT full permission to enter Finfinnee as quickly as possible and grip palace power. Since then, Ethiopia, the concocted empire of Nugus Menilik of Shewa, has been being controlled by Amhara brethren from Tigray, the home of the fanatic Atse Yohannes IV. All Menilk colonies (qiny gigaatooch) of the South haven been transferred to cliques of individuals cascaded down from the rocky hills of Tigray.
Today the colonies are under the most oppressive colonial rule of these food hungry and water thirsty cliques from Aste Yohannes’ homeland. They have no new ideology to follow except to update the old nefx ideology of their Amhara brothers; the ideology of suppression and exploitation. They cannot re-enforce peace, nor can they uproot the new model of the war, conflict, violence and aggression they have planted among peaceful peoples of Oromiyaa and the South because these are core values they have inherited from their ancestors as a pride way of life.
Basically, true peace should be measured with the one who is at normal position with his own state of creation. Those who desire to live in harmony with humans and natures or who are desirous of peace, must, in the first stage, be at peace with their own state of mind at domestic situations. The origin of the Oromo nature of peace is rightfully spearheading to maintain such objectives for truth, justice, love and harmony at the centre of humanity. It is built on the basis of human values; constructed to harmonise forces of the visible world and the invisible supernatural world. Thus:
- The Oromo views of peace are balanced between the given-natural order, Seera Uumaa and the legislated human order, seera tumaa.
- The human laws and natural laws are understood as having complementary relationship to each other in maintaining the nagaa Oromoo worldviews.
Minor and major Oromo clans (lammii and gosa) are historically organised in federation, no matter whether it is loose or tightened. At a supra-regional level, for example, the case of MatchaTuulamaa Oromo, Yaa’ii saglan Booranaa-Sagaltama Gabraa is a continuous historical process of a living reality in place today.This peacefully developing Oromo kinship organisation has been continuously supressed and banned by Abyssinian successive colonial regimes.
An Oromo self-help association named after MatchaTulama was banned by the regime of Meles Zenawi for the third time by a letter written to the association on October 14, 2011, bearing a Ref.Nr 01/chsA-10,241, by signed a certain Ali Siraj Mohammad. Similarly, before banning MatchaTuulama Self-help Association (MTSHA), the regime’s Minister of Justice, Minister Harqa Harriye had totally banned the legal body of Waaqeffannaa Oromo spiritual association from Oromoland by a letter he wrote on 3/3/1997 (E.C) with a Ref.Nr 01/ ?/2655/112
One of the major problems of Abyssinians is that they lack wisdom of reckoning their lammii, gosaa, mana or balbala to trace their roots.That is whythey label the Oromos who are rich in having such African based wisdom as gosanya or zerenya: literally, tribalist or racist respectively.They have neither the mythology nor the genealogy to narrate their roots in ascending or descending generation. As a consequence, they become suspicious of lammii Oromo’s developmental sociology as threat to their ‘divinely derived’ ruling motive.
The suspicion has created the problem of ‘in-group’ identification in their self-conflicting minds, whose ultimate result has become social-psychological inferiority complex. To heal the crumbling crisis, their only option was to choose for the worst side of inhumanity. Hence, it has taken up cruelty as the only panacea to continue to suppress Oromos who are endowed with lamummaa as in-group identification pride within the matrix of Oromummaa.
“–muka Odaati mukti baala qabu, muka silkiiti mukti baala hin qabne; of eegi yaa ilma dhiiraa,nama galaafatti namni lammii hin qabne.”
This traditional Oromo song has been given an artistic expression by artist Jomboo Jootee. The song clearly substantiates the root cause of identity crisis and the effect that follows.
To the Oromos, peace is not a tactic for buying time in order for the old model to be systematised and updated. It is a strategy to be achieved through a wise application of reconciliation, araara. It is a mission to be accomplished. To come to the peace mission, the Oromos are spiritually in close attachment with their Waaqa, Who enriched them with wise elders and provident natures. Thus, Oromo’s understanding of peace (nagaa/nagayaa) is, fundamentally, for humanisation, harmonisation, naturalisation, integration of fellow human beings.
However, to the Abyssinians, the Oromo humane practices of peace for love and integration through moggaasa (naturalisation) and guddifachaa (adoption) for harmony are not norms of civilisation but they are the untutored minds of primitive people’s manifestation. As of now, it could be reasonable if Gadaa leaders are able to review existing Gadaa laws in relation to those who are eligible and not eligible for moggaasa and guddiffacha, especially in Oromo regions where Gadaa laws are still effectively working.
Oromos understand peace as a striking staff against the breading store of aggression and violence which are negative to build social consensus, hindrance to the prevalence of sustainable peace for lovely co-existence. That is why Oromo people’s history of struggle for peace is replete with profound rejections against imperialist Ethiopia’s institutionalised monger of aggression, conflict instigation, retaliatory action and incessant domination.
A country like Abyssinia, alias Ethiopia, which has no root of democratic traditions at all, can neither be smoothly nor abruptly democratised. Taking into account the current reality on the ground, such like, lack of charted institutions to regulate people’s behavioural activities, it may take another ‘three thousand years’ for peace and democracy to come to the Abyssinians.
As history has been thoroughly teaching us, as a colonised ethno-nationals, it is too meekness to expect peace, democracy, quality leadership or human dignity from any form of Abyssinian ruling regimes. Therefore, for peace and democratic leadership to come back to Oromo forests, rivers, birds, wildlife etc., not merely to the people and the land, the only panacea is the ending of Abyssinian dictators’ coronation on Oromo soil.
Theoretically, one can argue in favour of Abyssinians as good democrats who can forge a ‘unitary peace polity’ with peoples like the Oromos in the region, who have long history of indigenously developed democratic culture. However, as it was witnessed in the past ca.130 years, it is practically unrealisable even to try to enliven a ‘federal peace polity’ arrangement. Hence, Oromos’ question should not focus on, who could be the next champion of a bloodshed race for dictators’ coronations on Oromo soil? Their question, from every walk of life, should concentrate on how a unified display of power can speed up the demise of evils’ coronation in Oromoland, in which the re-consummation of an independent republic of Oromiyaa can be a reality.