Oromia Today

Independent Voice of Oromia

Moving Beyond the Trauma of October 2, 2016 Irreecha Massacre - Part III

A Pledge to Struggle for Oromo National Sovereignty
By Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor
30 September 2017

In Part II of this article I have described the trauma and anger caused by the October 2, 2016 massacre and discussed the manner with which the Oromo society has responded to the situation. In this third part of the article, I will explore the role which the Irreecha massacre has played in Oromo mobilization for national sovereignty, and resistance against the TPLF regime. In addition, I will provide a brief discussion of the consequences of the State of Emergency declared by the TPLF regime on October 9, 2016 and the role of the so-called Somali Liyu Police (Special Force) as agents of state terrorism against the Oromo.[1] [More]

Moving Beyond the Trauma of October 2, 2016 Irreecha Massacre - Part II

28 September 2017

The Oromo Resolve to Fight the Trauma of State Terrorism

By Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor

Although the Oromo have been exposed to series of violent acts perpetrated against them by the Ethiopian security during the past twenty-six years, the Irreecha massacre of October 2, 2016 stands out as one of the most traumatic events. It was an act that had affected the largest number of Oromos in one place and day. The incident shocked and infuriated millions of Oromos irrespective where they were at that moment. Reports from those who participated in the festival through FaceBook and video footages which were transmitted on the occasion show that the 2016 Irreecha parade started with the mood of festivity that characterized the event as in the past. The mood, however, suddenly turned ugly when the regime used the festival for its political agenda and provoked the participants to protest. The subsequent onslaught by security forces transformed the festive mood of millions of men, women, and children into terror and helplessness (four million, according to the regime itself). As one journalist and survivor put it, “The scene was horrific and unbearable. Many who saw the belongings of their loved ones being scattered on the field were crying and running towards the ditch.” As blankets of teargas cloud covered parts of the festival grounds, participants ran in different directions and thousands of them were pushed into the bush where, hidden from their sight a netherworld, which like the Biblical Hades[1] had opened its mouth wide, was waiting to swallow them. The journalist mentioned above wrote, “By the time I reached at the ditches, hundreds have already lost their lives and many more were still trapped in the ditches, covered up by the soil.” All of a sudden the sacred thanksgiving site around Lake Arsadee was transformed into a valley of death. [More]

Moving Beyond the Trauma of October 2, 2016 Irreecha Massacre - Part I

25 September 2017


October 2 Will Signify State Terrorism Against the Oromo in Ethiopia 

By Mekuria Bulcha, Professor

In Oromo history 2016 was one of the darkest years. Sequences of traumatic events followed each other from day to day, week to week and month to month as the Oromo uprising which had started in Ginchi in November 2015 spread across Oromia like wildfire and persisted vigorously as the number of participants in the numerous demonstrations swelled into millions. Although the protests were mostly peaceful, the first eight months of 2016 witnessed the massacre of hundreds of Oromo youth. Parents witnessed as their children were gunned down by the special forces of the regime called the Agazi, in their homes. Pregnant mothers and elderly Oromos above the age 70 and children under the age of 10 were among the victims. The impunity with which the Ethiopian regime is [was] treating the Oromo people was made clear by the brutal crackdown when hundreds of the Oromos were killed at the Irreecha festival on October 2, 2016, near Bishoftu. [More]

The ‘Nine Lives’ of Oromo Literacy - Qubee and the Birth of a Generation - Part II

Defying a Tradition that Demonizes Our Identity, Our Language and Alphabet

18 September 2017 

By Mekuria Bulcha, Professor

In this second part of the article, I will briefly describe the resurrection of Oromo literacy in Oromia in the early 1990s and the opposition and skepticism with which the Latin alphabet, qubee, used in Oromo literacy, was met from the Orthodox clergy and the Habesha elite. After briefly introducing the radical changes brought about by the Oromo adoption of the qubee alphabet and the implementation of the use of Afaan Oromo, I will explore the anti-qubee and Afaan Oromoo feelings which were reactivated after the Oromo uprising in November 2015. It is important to note that, although the use the qubee alphabet in Oromo literacy was adopted by the Oromo people in 1991, there are groups who still today, in 2017, are opposing the Oromo right to write their language in an alphabet of their choice. Most Oromos dismiss the opposition of these groups as nonsensical and unworthy of attention.[1] However, ignoring it is not an option. There are a couple of reasons which, in my view, make countering the anti-qubee discourse a necessity. To begin with, any discourse that downplays a people’s right to develop and use their language violates human rights, and should be countered. Secondly, a discourse that distorts and demonizes the adoption of the qubee alphabet as a reflection of Oromo hate against the Ge’ez alphabet or fidel and Amhara culture, as many of the opponents’ comments are saying, is a sinister distortion intended to plant mistrust between the Oromo people and their neighbors. Such a discourse should be exposed and countered before it would cause serious conflicts and damages. It is said ‘Tell your story, otherwise someone else will tell it differently.’ Taking that advice into account, I will try, in this and a forthcoming third part of this article, to answer the questions, “Why are they opposing the qubee after more than two decades of silence? Why are the Oromo singled out for an attack while there are many other Cushitic-speaking peoples who have also adopted the Latin alphabet? Who are the authors of the articles and commentaries that oppose the qubee alphabet? In addition, the article will examine the ideology that underpins the opposition against the Oromo language in general, and use of the qubee in particular. Before proceeding to that, a brief overview of the spontaneous reception of the qubee alphabet by the Oromo nation and the opposition and skepticism of the Abyssinian clergy elite in the early 1990s is in order. [More]

The ‘Nine Lives’ of Oromo Literacy:  Qubee and the Birth of a Generation

Part I

By Mekuria Bulcha, Professor
15 July 2017

The qubee [the Oromo alphabet], in providing an instrumental means to modern communication, has itself become highly symbolic of the legitimacy and authority of Oromo in the modern learning environment. Juxtaposed with the odaa tree [it], is a resonant symbol of the Oromo polity asserting the unity of all Oromo. It is a printed alphabet that is as much a celebration of Oromo cultures, traditions, and identities, and an assertion of their place in the world of modern literacy and learning (L. Towers 2009)[1] [More]

Oromo shall defend the gains they so far registered with their sweat and blood

By Ibsaa Guutama
25 June 2017
Qubee is Oromo national treasure and pride. It belongs to no group in particular except the Oromo nation. It costed so many lives and involve so many to reach here. Therefore let us make a call to Oromo of all walks of life, from independent or dependent camps, to take stand never to allow others to dictate on the Oromo nation the term of use. If you are calling yourself Oromo, Qubee is your identity that locks you with all the tribes of Bariinto and Boorana. [More]

Adwa and Abyssinia’s Participation in the Scramble for Africa: Part II

Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor
24/04/2017
In the first part of this article which was published on March 28, 2017 by Oromia Today and other Oromo websites, I critically assessed the conditions under which the Oromo and the various conquered peoples in southern Ethiopia had participated in the famous Battle of Adwa. I discussed the Abyssinian participation in Scramble for Africa, and the role of Europeans in the making of Menelik’s empire. In this second and last part of the article I will expose how the victory achieved at Adwa is being used to distort the history of the peoples conquered by Menelik, explore the effect of the victory on the peoples of what is now known as southern Ethiopia. I will also discuss the meaning of the Battle of Adwa for the Oromo and the irrationality of blaming them for a lack of pride in the victory achieved in the war and critique the futile effort of Habesha and non-Habesha scholars and politicians to erase Oromummaa (Oromo identity) and replace it with Ethiopiawinnet (Ethiopian-ness) using Oromo contribution to Ethiopia’s victory at Adwa. As in the first part of the article, the views which are expressed in both Mr. Borago’s articles and Dr. Larebo’s stories about the Oromo and the Battle of Adwa, which were broadcast on different media outlets, are the points of departure also in this second part of the article. [More]

Adwa and Abyssinia’s Participation in the Scramble for Africa: Has that Relevance to the Ongoing Oromo protests?

 
Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor
28 March 2017
The purpose of the article is to critically assess the meanings of the Battle of Adwa for the Oromo and other non-Abyssinian peoples who were conquered and forcibly incorporated into the Ethiopian Empire by Menelik. The following questions will guide my discussion: (a) what were the conditions under which the Oromo and the other non-Abyssinian peoples participated in the Battle of Adwa? (b) What “benefits” did they derive from the victory at Adwa? (c) In what ways was the Battle of Adwa a turning point in Abyssinia’s participation in the Scramble for Africa? (d) What was the relationship between the peoples of the south including the Oromo and the Abyssinian state before and after Adwa? [More]

History - Alkaline to neutralize conflicts or an element to catalyze them? The recent ESAT interview with Dr. Larebo

By: Bayisa Wak-Woya
wakwoya2016@gmail.com
 Geneva, 20th February, 2017
The recent ESAT interview with Dr. Larebo encouraged me to write this note, something which I was thinking of doing for some years now. Although I am disappointed with both the form and content of the interview, I found it a blessing in disguise because it provided me with the muse I needed to gather my thoughts to write this piece regarding the use or misuse of history. In bracket though, I would like to express my deepest dissatisfaction that, a) the interviewer seems to have an ulterior motive – because he was feeding the interviewee with leading questions, which is very unprofessional; and, b) the issues discussed were not relevant to the prevailing situation in Ethiopia in general and that of the ongoing rapprochement between the Oromo and Amhara people in particular. To sum up, and in my view, the interview did not have any added value whatsoever. As for Dr. Larebo’s statement about Oromos, I can only say that he is either an educated illiterate or an arrogant individual who is harboring quite a dose of grudge against the Oromo people for reasons not known to me yet. [More]

The matter of Oromo Liberation --II--Dhimma Bilisummaa Oromoo

By Ibsaa Guutama
February 2017
The matter of Oromo Liberation
Seriousness of the Oromo in demanding for their independence has started to be felt by all that have interest in and hatred for independent Oromiyaa. As a result, scared internal and external forces are rushing to extinguish the fire of freedom. For them independent Oromiyaa means losing the opportunity to, plunder more, cheap and productive labor force as well as their best fighting machine. Against all odds Oromo revolution has raised political awareness of the colonized people to a level of no return to slumber. [More]

Oromia’s moment of truth: The Greatest Oromo generation and the Oromia Flag

By Leenjiso Horo, February, 2017

Now, it is time for the Qubee generation to take up the torch of struggle that commenced with the great Oromo generation of the 1960s. The ultimate aim of the Oromo struggle is and has been for total political independence. For this, many forms of strategy and tactics have been used. In this struggle, a partial victory has already been won by the generation of the 1960s. The Oromo unity is achieve; Oromia is put on the map, Oromo are known to the world community, the Oromo flag is made a realty, Qubee has been created, the new Qubee generation is born, and Oromo language has become a working language. Now, it is for the Oromo Qubee generation to raise the struggle to higher level to achieve full victory. For this, it is time for this generation to engage in armed liberation struggle. [More]

The Tigrayan fascist regime’s genocidal war against the Oromo people

By Leenjiso Horo, Januaray 2017

The Tigrayan fascist regime has undertaken open and hidden total genocidal war against the Oromo men, women, and children. It has been carrying out systematic, methodical, pre-planned, and centrally-organized genocidal mass massacre against the Oromo men, women and children. Our people have been and are facing the cruelest and barbarous fascist regime since 1991. It has particularly targeted women, youths and children. The purpose is to deny to Oromo, their future generation so as to reduce the population of Oromo to a minority. It has already put its plan of action to erase the Oromo people through genocide. [More]

A PROPOSAL ON THE CONSOLIDATION OF OROMO SUPPORT

By: Koree Tokkummaa
29 December 2016

Over three months ago, a lady came up with an initiative on "#Oromo Protests Support Group" to go beyond mere exchange of information and urged the participants to organize a teleconference for a deliberation on what concrete measures need to be taken in support of the victims of tyranny in Oromia. Three participants volunteered to prepare a proposal and schedule a teleconference call. [More]