The OROMO Dilemma

Oromo protest.

By Addisalem D.

Healing process takes long

Due to the nature things, a term process emerged to show the existence of evolutionary path. Unfortunately, every evolutionary process goes latent, until it reaches its climax and surprises people with unexpected results. People go to bed with the status quo will be in place the next day, in their mind. As essence is in place there is also phenomena and things my not occur in similar pattern as yesterday.

The issue surrounding the OROMO ethnic group did not emerge as a surprise of any event. There was a lengthy process of history that built up a nonexistent category to become part and parcel of the surrounding issues.

Long time ago, my ancestors were living in a way they believed is right. They had their own culture, identifying characteristic, social behavior that defines their historical background. They were also evolved in to a level of democratic self-governance, which was known as The Geda System. They had their own rituals and ceremonies on how they worship God. It was near to perfect society that has full control over the economy, safety and welfare of  its members.

People of the modern society believe that the interwoven relationship between countries of the world is influencing or affecting each country directly or indirectly. Such a huge global hook did not spontaneously happen. For that matter spontaneity is defined as an occurrence of something in defiance of the norm of understanding in human observation.

We call occurrences spontaneous when they happen without display their path of growth. Nothing comes without a cause in accordance to the principles of cause and effect. The current global interdependence has grown from inter-village or inter-tribal relations to what they are now.

Philosophy and religion became the driving forces of societal transformation. As stated in different scriptures, man came to the world as writing ready or print ready blank slate or “tabula Rasa” according to the definition of Ancient philosophers. However, the embedded tendency of getting excessive power and control, which is generally referred as ego has created the gap in every aspect of societal definition and it established social hierarchy and division.

This change in social formation is also affected by many external factors, including geography, weather and so on. This itself created distinction between peoples of different regions. The diversity became amazingly huge.

At that time, some people neighboring the Oromo had different perspective about power and advancement. Such variation in understanding of the world led the country currently labeled as Ethiopia in to inter-tribal clashes and conflicts. The relatively advanced invading power was galvanizing the wrongdoings by patriotism and building one unified nation. It is not bad to have a country that is built up on inclusive and participatory nationalism.

However, imposing your own thoughts by force on others not as an add-on but by erasing what they had is simply invasion of identity which is equal and possibly worse than colony. Some European invaders (expeditionary) went to north America and Australia, not only to seek fertile land and opportunity, but also to assimilate the indigenous people of the regions, plotting effective mechanisms. That is what exactly happened to my people in the name of creating a wider and stronger nation measured by the ego of the oligarchs and war lords who were self-anointing as elects of God and self-appointing as kings of kings, imitating the real rulers of the ancient Abyssinia and of European counties, known to history.

Here, I am not trying to educate anyone about the already said and boring argument surrounding this matter. My interest is to have a say on how to handle this matter and how to decisively “kill” this tension. Theoretically, every member of a society has responsibility in contributing towards the resolution of societal divergence. Some social scientists even impose a responsibility on every citizen and they want to hold all citizens accountable, on any crises.

Arguments exist everywhere based on the objective reality and they get solved or calmed using pragmatic remedy, which sounds fine to do. As long as, the symbiosis exists and the demand for solution is eminent, a resolution takes place even when the latent factors are still eroding and perforating the attaching “glue” of social groups. It is like saying “eating excessive sugar is unhealthy, but for now it is okay, as we don’t have substitute to sugar”

The issues surround my people is similar to the above stated simple analogy. There are deep rooted traumatizing memories and scars that are still inflicted by un-halted and untamed members of the society, who bark using the lost voice of the invaders who have placed more than enough damage to this people.

This is unhealthy and irresponsible, and the only solution to stop such a poisonous ideology from being disseminating and leading the country towards disintegration is setting new laws and legislations. In such a case the legislature of the country has unshared responsibility. The existing government has huge responsibility to address the concerns of each complainant boldly and bravely, to establish a working platform.

Some culturally and ethnically diversified countries have hate crime which is supported by the very concept of their constitution, that deals with the right of every citizen to be treated with dignity and the right of all people to get legal protection against any unwelcomed intrusion. Such law needs to be considered as people are not morally correct, at all times. Basic right should not be left to the generosity individuals who depend only on moral values. Trying to ease and remove the matter surrounding the Oromos, by doing nothing it is like begging for piece of meat from a starved beast. The only and effective way to address such issues is, to legislate a new law, which is commonly known as HATE CRIME LEGISLATION.

People of different tribes are still using pejorative terms to annoy and undermine the largest ethnic group in the country. There are people who disseminate poisonous messages, to purposely create toxic relationship between people of diverse backgrounds. Such an act of social endangerment should not be tolerated and it needs to be addressed, at any cost, as any cost does not match the price tag of disintegration of our nation.

Some fear mongers are still working in building hate and widening the gap by inducing fear in to the hearts of innocent people, including to the hearts of some Oromos.

It is factual that, chauvinism is more difficult to avoid than any other social syndrome. The people who are comfortable when the roads and squares of their own land is named after the name of foreigners who have no significance in the history of the country were observed to panic when any road receive its original name, in Oromo language.

Some people look like to have the mindset of a dejected and colonized society. They don’t care when their roads and hospitals are named after the name of invaders and criminals, but they abruptly react in a scary way, when they are named after the names of their own people, who have contributed a lot to the very existence of the country.

As the government is being forced to recognize the enquiries of the Oromo people, they began to circulate a propaganda of being dominated by the Oromo. Answering legitimate questions of any ethnic group is being used as an instrument of generating dread and cynicism, between the ethnic groups, who lived in virtual harmony, for more than a century.

The other sickening angle of those narcissistic people is that, they put all the blame of ethnic politics on to the shoulder of the current government, which is not correct. The reason for the Oromos to begin struggle against ethnic oppression sixty years ago was, the view of the regime and the social arrogance of that time. The struggle of Tigray people was also fully focused on ethnic oppression. Some elites think that, they are at the apex of metaphysical civility and they consider the majority of the public is like a child. It is like “don’t show that to a child”.

In Ethiopia, it is common to hear people complaining against the Woyane or blaming them for “showing” the Oromos or other oppressed ethnic groups how oppressed they were and telling them to raise queries of impartiality.

Such a chauvinistic viewpoint that streams from the heads of wistful people is still broadening the gap by perpetrating the “wound” that has existed for more than a century. As long as the zero-sum politics of the chauvinist folks is not adjusted and inverted, the “strands” of unity and coexistence are going to become fantasy.

That is not the wish of the majority to see such decline, but the wheels of history are clearly demonstrating such a veracity. There is an old Ethiopian proverb that says, “if he does not see when you put light in to his eyes, that means, he is blind”. This is what is going on in our country now.

This does not mean the current government is blameless or in favor of the deprived people. The above stated argument should not be misconstrued, as if the current government is pro-democracy and justice. The current government enters the field of political game showing different and attractive political panache. Then, step by step, it went back to the old and unacceptable rhythm, which cannot be endured by the people of today. There was an extremely fertile political ground for the Woyanes at the beginning of transformation to reconcile the country by telling the truth and teaching the new generation love and respect, instead of choosing to follow politics of fear, having A good faith that fear-mongering could serve as an equipoise, to stay in power. Honestly, that was not the expectation of Ethiopians. If there is room for change still it is not too late to be a Renaissance to the country, beyond the catchphrases from the void.

Some citizens are easily manipulated by others and they just think the existing ethno-political clash is based on a hidden plot of one wing, to disintegrate our country. Others believe that the reason for such crises is rooted at the heart of powermongers. Few also believe, it upsurges from false viewpoint or the philosophy of the people in power. What they share without distinction is that, the current government is not handling things wisely or it is not following the universally agreed ideals of healthy ascendency. It resembles to the communal anomaly, that comes from not following the norms of a given society. Some people with such attitude remain outcasts and those who have been transformed from being anomalous in to sociopaths become sources of anarchy. Here is where the social resistance begins.

The politicians of the current government look like they are made politicians by default, quarantined in the old and un-pragmatic philosophy. It is obvious that people become members of a certain group, by being born from that certain group only. But the confinement within that limited and narrow atmosphere makes them vulnerable and easy to be manipulated by self-absorbed inventors of the failing ideology.





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