Why we must support Oromo students by Admasu Belay

May 3rd, 2014 Print Print Email Email

For many years, we have always condemned ethnic politics. It is a fact that any form of tribal politics is divisive, undemocratic and opposes individual rights. However, we must also support people whose culture and rights have been marginalized. Group rights is just as vital as individual rights. And we all know the Ethiopian Oromo people are one of the most marginalized group of people. Especially their economic and linguistic rights have been oppressed for centuries. The Amharic speaking population in Ethiopia (amaras, gurage, tigre, mixed and probably half of the south & Oromo) is around 80% of the country. But just because we are the majority, we should never oppress the minority languages.

First, Let us set the records straight briefly when it comes to the Oromo people. Since the Oromo people expanded north into Shewa and Wollo in the 1500s, they have been part and parcel of Abyssinia for centuries. History books also show us that the original native people of Addis Ababa were the ancient Gurage people, not the Oromo. We also know that the Oromo secession ideology is a fantasy that is rejected by most Oromos. (Even the first OLF chairman Mr Dima Noggo Sarbo himself opposed secession).

But despite all of the above facts, we should not forget that the Oromo people have endured oppression and cultural domination for many decades. We can never ignore this fact.

And it is from this lense that we should view the Oromo student protests the last few days. The oromos know that Amharic language, society and culture dominates Addis Ababa. So they feel like TPLF’s expansion “master plan” for Addis Ababa will harm the development of Oromo culture and society inside Oromia villages neighboring Addis ababa.

Here are five reasons why we should support Oromo students:

1.While the idea of more urbanization is good in principle, we should ask why is TPLF doing this today? Why now? I believe this is a divide & rule strategy by TPLF because there is an election next year. Before the next election in 2015, TPLF is once again inciting tension between Oromos and Amaras. It wasn’t long ago that TPLF built a breast statue in Arsi as a symbol of hate and bitterness about the past. We should see this latest TPLF “master plan” as another woyane tactic to divide our people.

2.When is the last time DC, los angeles or New york declared a “master plan” for territorial expansion? Big city governments do not need to declare to get bigger. This should happen naturally. Towns neighboring a city should benefit, not be harmed. Commercial intergration should happen naturally, not artificially or by force. Also Big cities usually grow up vertically, not horizontally. Knowing all of this, we should stand on the side of oromo students.

3.Another concern for Oromos is that they have no big city to develop their language and culture without having to learn a foreign language. For example, Tigray has Mekelle, whose demography is over 95% Tigre. And Amhara region also has big cities like Bahir Dar which is also over 95% Amhara. But Oromia does not have any big city with majority Oromo population. For example among Oromia cities: Addis Ababa is only 19% Oromo, Nazret/Adama is only 38% Oromo, debre zeit/bishoftu is 44% Oromo and even in Jimma Oromos are not real majority. So where do the businessmen, affluent and educated urban Oromos advance their language and culture? Where do rural Oromos who want to “make it” in the big city go to, without having to learn a non-Oromo language? They have no where. If that is not bad enough, the towns adjacent to the capital city are now about to be absorbed into Addis Ababa if TPLF’s plan is successful.
So when we look at the anger of Oromo students, we must put ourselves in their position. We must have dialogue as a country so that every group in Ethiopia feels the benefits of its Ethiopian citizenship, especially the Oromos who are the largest in number.

4.Another reason why we should support Oromo students is because the current dispute about Addis “master plan” has actually divided EPRDF. According to many sources, some mid-level OPDO members are openly criticizing the TPLF about this master plan. We can be assured that TPLF affiliated businesses will benefit the most from this “master plan.” So The fact that some OPDO members are opposing the TPLF is a good sign that EPRDF is getting weak. The faster that TPLF/EPRDF falls, the faster democracy prevails in Ethiopia.

5.The last reason why we should support Oromo students is because we are all one people, no matter our differences. We all have a common destiny. Real unity or genuine unity is when we support each other in times of need. The Oromo students’ voice should be heard even if we disagree with them. Remember: When over 200 Kinijit supporters were killed by TPLF during the 2005 election in Addis Ababa, it was Ambo oromos who went out to protest and many of them were killed. Even though they called us “Neftegna,” the Ambo oromos still went to the streets in solidarity with Kinijit supporters. This is true unity.

So when we demonstrate against the TPLF regime, let us remember the Oromo students who paid the ultimate price this week.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!

  1. Ambachew
    | #1

    How could we join the Oromo students when they demand the removal of King Menilke’s statue from Addis Abeba ? ?
    How could we join them when they demand to void our Amhara language as Ethiopias official language and regarded our amharic language as minority language and when they demand Oromos language (Afaan Oromo) to be the crown official language of Ethiopia ? ? ?
    How could we join them when olf’s entire political platform is based on hatred for our Amhara people and planing to deport every Amhara from every Oromo regions ???

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    what the hell is this? a middle school essay?

  3. Lemlem
    | #3

    This is good idea to unite our people around common enemy
    But we have to be careful because tribalism breeds more of it
    We have to adopt the successful ghana model by banning all ethnic politics

  4. Getachew Demeke
    | #4

    THE GOVERNMENT MUST DEFEND ALL CIVILIANS BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY

    The protest was not inclusive of all other Ethiopians, it was based on narrow Oromo ethnicism more like Oromo tribalism, that is why the protest will not hold any political value but exposed The nature of Oromo extremism. The Ethiopian government have a moral and constitutional duty from such ethnic based protest from becoming rewanda style hate warfare against non Oromo civilians, must hunt those core crime Organizers and punish them to the fullest extent of the law.

  5. Developement without Freedom
    | #5

    The struggle to bring democracy to Ethiopia should not be the struggle of ethnic or religious groups, but the struggle of all Ethiopians. Otherwise Ethiopians are doing exactly what weyenes planned for them: dividing them along ethnic lines to weaken their struggle and control them

    Oromos should see themselves, first of all, as Ethiopians. They should not think they are the most oppressed tribe to justify tribalism. All tribes of Ethiopia suffered equally.

    They should also know that the tribal zone, Oromia, like other zones, in Ethiopia, is made up by weyenes to create divisions. That is why Oromos should refuse to use the name and instead refer to the area by their former non tribal names, like Wellega, Shewa, Arsi, etc. That is one way to strength struggle for democracy and fight tribalism.

  6. dorit
    | #6

    Big cities in the West have always absorbed neighboring communities, except they usually expanded into people with similar linguistic and cultural background. In our case, it is a little differnt.

    Having said that, I am rather jaded by these Oromo hate groups who had been behind “boycott Bedele” now fanning the city master plan protests. These groups acted as if other Ethiopians have no stake in the future of Addis. And I find that troubling.

    I agree when you said, “The Oromo students’ voice should be heard even if we disagree with them”. But, shouldn’t the Oromos themselves stop from making the issue an all Oromo affair?

  7. Teddy
    | #7

    We should always support oromos. They are our immediate brothers and sisters
    Most of us intermarried anyway so it is not like we have choice

  8. dorit
    | #8

    In my comment above “only” is cut out from the very end of comment. Should read as “….an all Oromo affair only?”

  9. Asmat
    | #9

    No. 2 i agree with you. The article is full of errors and incorrect information. I think the author did not write them out of ignorance but by intention to provoke non-oromo readers, very childish and should not have been published here.
    I want to add that given the oromo arrogance despite them being immigrants ethiopians are still very considerate towards them, but how long will that remain so ?

  10. Barento
    | #10

    Oromo students did not begin their protests hoping the Amaras will join hands in support. Atrocities committed by Amaras in the past and atrocities being committed today by the Wayanes are both atrocities. You all talk about hate, please reread your postings and tell me if you see and sign of love. A shallow unity without recognizing ones existence as equal and no remorse of the barbaric act of your forefathers, there will not be unity. For sustainable unity, you must first acknowledge past atrocities and our differences both historically and culturally, which will then set the stage for genuine reconciliation and enduring unity. That is a proven path to real unity. Stop pointing fingers at other when you are the worst enemy of unity and ethiopia. The author of this article seems to begin to sense the reality, and tries to unsuccessfully show you all the little tiny sparkle of light of reality. So people the destruction of Ethiopia rests in your hands and stop blaming others for it. As for Oromo student they have not more to lose except their degraded existence, there for nothing will stop them until their goals are accomplished.

  11. The source of hate
    | #11

    Ambachew and the likes,
    To begin with, we have to understand where this tremendous amount of hate and division came from. OLF, ONLF and all the other separatist groups in Ethiopia are the brainwashed victims of EPLF and TPLF. The EPLF mafia group themselves are the brainwashed victims of Mussolini soldiers that spread hate and division among Ethiopians to conquer Ethiopia. And now, as we speak, Ethiopians have been dealing with the most hate filled TPLF mafia group that were trained and groomed by EPLF. The coldblooded and bloodthirsty TPLF mafia group have proven themselves that they do indeed have deep rooted hate towards Ethiopia and Ethiopians and only love her money and natural resources. TPLF have divided Ethiopians by demonizing the Amhara ethnic group, have left Ethiopia landlocked, they have been giving and selling Ethiopia’s land by kicking out and evicting Ethiopians with no place to go, the have been looting Ethiopia blind and gotten disgustingly wealthy in a short period of time, have been incarcerating and slaughtering innocent Ethiopians and so on… In the last 23 years or so, TPLF have been Ethiopia’s homegrown worst enemy.

  12. Mekuria Zeleke
    | #12

    The ABC of human right infringement by Oromo students.

    These uneducated Oromo students should be taught basic civility and the meaning of democracy, federalism does not mean absolute right to discriminate against non Oromo Ethiopians who were residing in that region, where you select discriminate and dehumanize against Amharas and others. Within the umbrella of federal constitution every Ethiopian citizen will have his or her universally accepted rights to live in peace and harmony, you can not have no ethnic defined discrimination and killings of non Oromos.

  13. Sam
    | #13

    I am not supporting the Oromo students’ movement. I am not opposing it either. I can understand why they are opposing the “master Plan.” They were taught ethnic politics fed by EPDR from infancy. They acted the way EPDRF should expect them to act. But strangely now EPDRF chose to gun them down for asking their “ethnic right” which EPDRF seemed to have supported for all its existing life. Why? The answer right now is not easy to come by. But given time it will be available.

  14. Ibsa
    | #14

    Oromia shall be free from THIS killer, Apartheid, TPLF Zombies! !!!!!!!!

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    If all oromo people be one and agree in one,all this things too simple to stop it

  16. Bahilu
    | #16

    Thank you Mr Admasu. Balanced thought. The rest of you both to the right and the left you have to be mature. Politics is rubbish by itself and with you it will be double rubbish. If amhare is pulling only towards itself in the guise of unity why not the other ethnic? do you think Amharas prevented the other to decide for themselves? But i think it is because each people are not organized. The tigre are better organized after a suffering for a decade. Then they learned from that. They are truly the most disadvantaged people may be on earth, born on stone and grown on stone. If they donot kill the centeral highlanders they will have no means of survival as they will loss their power and will be sent back to that stone. Oromo are disadvantaged in terms of politics. Amhare were the better in terms of politics and devevloping their own culture but they are facing drastic failure because they ignored Ethiopians brothers. This will be more against Amhara for the future as well. Oromo are maintaing their indigenous identity because most people are rural and the urban oromos are rarely married to non oromos or encourage their non-oromo partners to respect their culture. The article has a very strong point. We can build it than discouraging

  17. Anonymous
    | #17

    Ibsa,
    Let’s unite and work together to free Amaras, Gurages, Gambelans, Oromos, country loving Tigrians, Somali Ethiopians, Wolaytans and the rest of all Ethiopians from the bondage of TPLF that have proven themselves repeatedly in the last four decades to be the most hateful racist, godless, atrocious, senseless and barbarous inhumane killers and thieves. THE UNITY OF ALL ETHIOPIANS IS THE NIGHTMARE AND THE END OF ALL TPLF MAFIA.

  18. Awasa
    | #18

    I BLAME KING MENILIKE AND HAILESELASSIE FOR THE MESS.

    The Amhara dominated governments for the last 100+ years had oppressed and systematically mass genocided Oromos,Tigres and Eritreans in the name nationalism and ideology.
    Today’s Oromos mistrust of outsiders could be traced to this historical facts. All the land that is in disput was stolen from Oromos and was given to the Amhara aristocrats during the Amhara era (Menilike and Haileselassie). To Oromos are awaken and they do not want that ugly Amhara era to repeat that is why Oromo students were defensive about the expansion of Addis’s city limit.

  19. Anonymous
    | #19

    Awasa,
    LOL! What a nerve! Typical shameless TPLF leba! Give up! The cat is out of the bag! Ethiopians know who is lying, manipulating, robbing, throwing their children in cold rotten cells and killing their children! You are so mentally blinded with hate and lies to even recognize that you are socked head to toe with fresh blood of countless number of innocent Ethiopians from East to West and from North and South of Ethiopia.

  20. Ambachew
    | #20

    I agree Mr. Ambachew Comment 100%,

    Some extremist Oromo students protested while non Oromo students (the majority of the university students) disagreed and refused to participate in the protest. The Oromo students protest was not not politically inclusive but divisive, thus created no unity of protest.

  21. Halemariam Mamo
    | #21

    [AWASA]

    You must be one of those TPLF cadre who are inserted
    in our midest to deciminate unti unity propaganda. Or you are one of those very few noisey tribalist who believe in do nothing save come to talk in the chat room. Which every way you look at I come to in form you this .Your type of politics is in life under life support. Because twenty one years has proven the ineffectiveness of tribal politics. You might as well enjoy your type of do nothing for the oppressed save only spreading hate against today one and tomorrow some other tribe. My advise for you is before any thing else you need to liberate your own occupied mind. If you can do this that will be great help for the community. never mind about Ethiopia and her people;many are putting their time and energy to make difference in the life of those who are impacted by the events at home.

  22. aha!
    | #22

    The country has been besieged by ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies, crafted by EPLF/TPLF in their years of gorilla ware fare against HIM’s And the Derg regime along with their entourage of ex-liberations fronts, that transpired into TPLF/eprdf regime, where the eprdf represent the teletafi parties in support of the ideologies of ethnic federalism, a division of Ethiopian land mass by major languages and lumping nationalities into other forms of ethnic homelands, which the teletafi parties took as an entitlements, a prelude to secessionism, with impending boundary conflicts, genocide and an ongoing ethnic cleansing with economic model of totalitarianism and/or state capitalism along with crony capitalism by TPLF/political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations, an opportunity denied to the silent majority of Ethiopians particularly in terms of private ownership of land anywhere in Ethiopia as one of the means of production to say the least of the Real State transaction as form of building national wealth. These frame work of thoughts/ideologies built into the constitution, which created alignments of parties along ethnic lines and an ethnic rule or ethnic dictatorship by the current minority rule and prospective ethnic majority rule, OPDO/ Medrek /EFDF/fdre a mirror image of TPLF/eprdf both of which comprise the negative forces of disintegration with ethnic agenda in direct contrast to the positive forces of integration with the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom (economic and political), liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights, that currently prevails in the constitution to form a truly democratic government of the people by the people and for the people.

    The overriding principle to unite is over the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, but not over an isolated issue of expanding the suburbs of Addis Ababa into the Oromo ethnic homeland, which scrambling with late Prime Minister to have Finifine as the seat of Oromia region. If that had been realized, would there still be a protest of annexing the surrounding suburbs of Addis from the Oromia ethnic homeland into Finfine. as a pragmatic solution and nullify ethnic federalism, and secessionism, we need to resort to the previous provincial boundaries with assorted ethnic groups including Addis Ababa, with the possibility of expansion of the capital city with private ownership of land by all Ethiopians, with government being the steward of the land resources with eminent domain over the land resources for the common good of all Ethiopians, devoid of crony capitalism by TPLF/political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations particularly in the Agro industries.

  23. Damenaw
    | #23

    @Sam
    Sam I absolutely agree with all what you said. Let me add two words on your view; the reason the ethnic gangster (TPLF) gun-down his policy followers is just to make him as a unity seeker and defender. Don’t forget this is a year of another drama 99% kind of election.

  24. menlik
    | #24

    አቶ አድማሱ በላይ!

    አመለካከትህ ጥሩ ሆኖ ሳለ እንዴት ጥሩ ወርቅ ጊዜህን ከነፍሰገዳዮችና ከአሸባሪዎች ጋር እንዳጠፋህ እየተሰማህ እነደመጣህ ማንም ዲያስፖራና የለውጥ ናፋቂዎች ተገንዝበውታል:: ኢህአደግ (ወያኔ)መርዝ የተሞላበትን የፖለቲካ አቅጣጫ ከወሰደ ጀምሮ ; ይህን ከፋፍለህ ግዛውና ዘርን ከዘር የማጋጨት ፖሊሲ በተለይ የኦሮሞን ብሄርንና የአማራውን ዘር ? ደም በደም ለማስታጠብ ያደረጉት ሙከራ ስላልተሳካ የማፈርም ስሜት ስለተሰማቸው , አሁን ኦሮሞን ብቻ ችግር ፈጣሪ አድርጎ በመቁጠር ሙሉ በሙሉ የኦሮሞ ብሄርን የወንጀለኛ ጥርቅም ብሄር በማድረግ ይህ ነው የማይባል ወንጀል እየተፈፀመባቸው ይገኛሉ….

    ኦሮሞ ብሄሮች ምንም ቢሆን አመጣጣቸው ከወደ ሩዋንዳ እና ማዳጋስካር አካባቢ ቢሆንም, ከ1000 ዓመት በላይ ኢትዮጵያን ሃገሬ በማለት ይህ ነው የማይባል አስተዋፅኦ ከማድረግም በላይ ታላላቅ የጦር ጀግኖችም ወጥተውባታል:: ታዲያ ዛሬ ይህን የ21ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን ያመጣውን የዕኩልነትና የመብት ጥያቔ በማጉደፍ (አብዩዝ)በማድረግ 80% የኢትዮጵያ ግዛት የኔ ነው, ኦሮሞ ብሄራዊ ቛንቛ ይሁን, ላቲን ፊደላችን ይሁን,አዲስ አበባ ፊንፊኔ መባል አለባት የሚል ፈሊጥና በተለይም ታላቁን ባለታሪክ ምኒሊክን እንደጠላት ማየትና የታላቁን የዓድዋ ጀግና ስም ማጥፋት ባህላቸው አድርገውታል::
    ተምረው ዶክትሬትም አግንኝተው ከወያኔም ጎን ለጎን ተሰልፈው ላሉ የኦሮሞ ሊቆች ሊኖረን የሚገባው መልዕክት are you better of living in Ruanda or Ethiopia ? የሚል ነው::

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