Guraandhala/February 1, 2012 · Gadaa.com
The cultural, linguistic and political contours of a modern Oromo nation have taken concrete shapes including an Oromo state in the form of the Oromia regional state with a specific territory and officially demarcated geographically territory. For more than two decades the Oromo have been conducting their educational, administrative and judicial affairs in their own language. This was unthinkable just two decades ago. The contributions made by Oromo studies during the last thirty years have enabled the Oromo people to find pride in their own history and culture. In spite of all these achievements, the Oromo are still under an intolerable alien rule with the obvious implication that independence is the best option for consolidating what the Oromo have so far achieved and will achieve in the future. It is for this reason that the Oromo people are conducting both political and armed struggle. Regrettably, however, there are obstructionist forces which are poised not only to foil the struggle but also reverse and/or jeopardize the fruits of our people’s bitter struggle and ultimate sacrifices.
This article is a commentary on the much publicized claims of the Jijjiirama faction stating that “the question of Oromo independence is dropped by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)” and that such a question “was not part of the OLF political program” in the first place (ESAT January 1, 2012). The statements made by the group have stirred up strong feelings among both the anti- and pro-OLF groups and individuals.
* Mekuria Bulcha, PhD and Professor of Sociology, is an author of widely read books and articles. His new book—Contours of the Emergent and Ancient Oromo Nation—is published by CASAS (Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society), Cape Town, South Africa in 2011. He was also the founder and publisher of The Oromo Commentary (1990-1999). He is an active member of the OLF and has served in the different branches of the national movement since the 1970s.