Surprisingly, the TPLF we despised at the beginning its move towards Tulluu Daalattii (Arat Kilo) ruled us with brute force for quarter of a century. Our separated and sporadic resistance against it didn’t work till now. Especially, lack of cooperation between the two opposition camps (pro self rule liberation fronts and pro shared rule unity forces), is the main cause for our failure. No Need to write more about the already well known common political problem we do have, but let’s think about our common future solution. First of all, I would like to suggest that we do agree on common citizens’ and cultural identity: being Oromian as a synthetic identity of being Ethiopian vs being Oromo, the two identities we used to antagonize till now. Accordingly, Oromia = formerly Ethiopia, as defined here: http://finfinnetribune.com/
which the following five points (FADOB-score) will be implemented: F = Freedom from the system of domination; A = Afan Oromo as a primary working language of the union; D = Democracy as rule of game in the union; O = Oromia instead of Ethiopia as name of the union; and B = Black-red-white as Cushitic flag of the union!
This approach of equating Ethiopia to Oromia or using the two designations interchangeably can solve our problem regarding the controversy around the name – Ethiopia:
– certain Ethio-nationalists love this name because of its appearance in the Holy Book and the ancient meaning as the glorious Cushitic kingdom.
– some Ethno-nationalists hate it because of the association with Habesha dominattion and with exclusively Christian kingom of the past Abyssinian history.
– few from both sides are ambivalent, just trying to be rational and they want to use or avoid the naming pragmatically.
I think now, it is a time to work on a common solution for the common political problem we do have. The TPLF already showed its uncompromising desire to stay on power by “winning the election 100%”. President Obama is going to “celebrate the victory”, just for the sake of using the TPLF as servant of America’s geopolitical interest in the region. We like it or not, the only way to get rid of the apartheid/domination system is through forging a necessary unity of purpose; of course the common purpose is freedom from the system. Such unity is not necessarily structural, but it can be an alliance by default, which is practiced by targetting only and only the TPLF and by avoiding any wastage of resource in the horizontal fighting. All organizaions struggling for freedom from this system can encircle the regime in Tulluu Daalatti 360°, both figuratively and realistically. It is absurd to quarrel on “which way is better: non-violent or per-violent?”, as the pro-unity forces are currently doing in different cyber and public forums. Actually, as Oromians in general, we can accomodate both ways of the struggle; but specifically, as individuals or organzations, we can choose one of the two, without denouncing the one we don’t prefer. Further more, we have to avoid any division based on our past history or our far future; let’s leave our pre-Woyane history for historians and the post-Woyane decision for the stake-holder peoples of the country, so that we can concentrate on the current struggle for freedom.
To be effective in our fighting, we better reduce the talks and writings we excercised till now, but increase the necessary thinkings and walks in a very pragmatic way. We surely heard and read the principle “action speaks louder than words” very often. Those of us, who really want freedom have to be practical personalities; it is better to act for 5 minutes than talk for 5 days. What are the concrete important actions to be taken for a success of our cooperation? Here are few points of the necessary list:
– stop horizontal fight between the anti-Woyane forces.
– possibly forge an AFD like alliance by design or else don’t spoil the existing alliance by default.
– those in diaspora should move back home like the ODF already planned, be it per Bole for non-violent struggle or through Bale for armed struggle.
– the diaspora should see themselves more as a support group rather than as determining freedom fighters; their main contribution being to provide the 3M’s (money, media & military) support.
– the main activity at home should be undergound, not to expose the productive personalities, as usually was the case during the past ritual “election” processes.
– try to accomodate both self rule and shared rule, instead of polarizing/antagonizing them and rejecting one at the benefit of the other position.
In short, both the non-violent and per-violent struggles should focus at home being supported by the huge resource of the diaspora. The struggle needs perseverance like running marathon; it is not similar to a short, but exhaustive sprint. Remember again and again: unallied we fail, united we prevail. The TPLF leaders know this more than anyone of us; that is why Meles Zenawi once said: “the TPLF has got historical advantage to rule the country for a century, because of the Amhara-Oromo conflict.” Unfortunately he is right; the elites from the two big nations still fear, hate and sabotage each other more than they do fight the TPLF. They think with the pre-1991 mentality; the situation of both nations is already changed, but the solution in the mind of the elites is not changed. Now, it is time for these elites to decide: either we cooperate and be free together or dwell on the old conflict and live as slaves of the Woyane’s brutal system of ethnic
apartheid for a century. We should not only speak and write about this indispensable way of struggle in unison, but also we have to walk the talk.
My message in this short opinion is clear: an inclusive unity of purpose for victory is inevitable; I used to write on this issue of alliance against the system repeatedly. As Dr. Marara put in his recent interview with SBS radio, the anti-Woyane forces need to do their homework of empowering the freedom fighters through necessary cooperation of the two opposition camps on a common denominator or middle ground of self rule with shared rule, as suggested by the democratic federalists. It is good to hear that the existing Oromo liberation fronts are consolidating their unity; it is also encouraging to see pro-unity forces coming together and even suggesting a formation of an inclusive government in exile. But only unity of groups in their respective camp is not enough; there must also be an efficient and working alliance of the two blocs against the system. Such approach of structural unity was tried repeatedly in the last 24 years, but failed. Can we learn from our mistakes and come up with working mechanism against the tyrants or are we doomed to be ruled and exploited further. The choice is ours: either walk the talk of alliance for freedom or live under the system of domination/apartheid/slavery/