Oromo People: The Strength Perspective
BY: Najat Hamza
We have lost so much as people we usually focus on the goals we have not accomplished yet or what we are lacking as people. It is good to note that this way of thinking does not arise from hopelessness; but rather it arises from the desire and the determination to get to the ultimate goal. The Oromo People have endured trauma over a long period of time, our trauma did not have the luxury of technology or documentation to be revisited but only in the hunting tales of those who lived through it and survived it. In this environment of calamity and despair I wanted to shed a light on what we did accomplish and still accomplishing under the crushing mighty powers of those who ruled/ruling over us and our land. We have been targeted for over a century but we are still here defending our land, our heritage and ourselves. We are not erased! We will never be erased!
Indigenous people of the world have been killed, raped, flat out erased from existence in some cases to make way for the new settlers on their lands. TPLF’s grand idea of clearing land by forceful evictions, violence and government policies are nothing new, it has been done in the world history time and time again. I want to point out the fate Native Indians have suffered for United States to emerge as it stands right now. The United States of America was home to many colorful, peaceful, spiritual tribes who lived in harmony with each other and with earth. However, when it was “discovered” by a stranger who randomly wondered on their shores, the Natives presented a challenge to the new vision the new comers had for this new place. It was not long before maps were drafted, treaties were written, bribes given out; deliberate trickery was placed to uproot Native Indians from their land and without consent.
We can revisit archives of history one by one and see what happed to those who suffered similar fate in all corners of the world and where they are in the present day, granted that some of these indigenous people faced far more dangerous enemies than what we have endured. The history is all too familiar, it is history of greed, evil and the lust for power over communities who embraced the spirit of humanity, peace, love and togetherness. The similarities are eerie even though these communities do not know each other and they are found in different regions of the world, they all fall pray to those who want to infect humanity with the dark side existence. In all of these circumstances, Land played a vital role. The Native Indian Land grab was an ample example of what happens when these legalized thefts is left unchecked. Because, United State government did not just make threats to remove Native Indians from their land, they went to congress and passed laws up on laws to legitimize their theft, needles to say, they were successful. The reason being, the Native Indian communities were not prepared to deal with the level of evil that was hitting their communities, they literally did not have enough time to even process what was happening to them.
When the Native Indians challenged the new power threatening their way of life, much like Oromo people are challenging the “The Master Plan” killings, raping, forceful evictions and harmful laws were enacted to clear them from their lands, and it was successful. I want you all to learn as much as you can about “The trail of Tears” in which more than 10,000 Native Indians lost their lives trying to reach the supposed Re-settlement area after they were uprooted from their land (Indian Removal Act of 1830). What makes this massacre extremely cruel is the stakeholders knew the conditions were harsh on the journey, that tribes will be exposed to elements and possibly face death and they forced them to accept the journey anyways. We all know what happened to their land and their lives!!! Those communities only live in history books now.
There are various indigenous people in the world who suffered the same fate; the Oromo People faced the same. The world greatest power is built on the bones, blood and the erosion of Native Indian heritage and countless lost lives from these mighty tribes. TPLF is simply looking through the dark archives of history trying to impose the impossible. It not a new idea to steal in the name of development, it is an idea as old as greed itself. We the Oromo people have survived far worse and we are still here, we are still proud and unbroken. Our enduring spirit speaks to our undying faith in justice and peace. The TPLF government should know that, this is not the first time those in power use their influence to enact laws that favors the ambition of the selective few over the rule of law grounded by justice and equality. However, what is electrifyingly new is the thunder like roar of the voice of freedom you thought was completely muffled emerging from its roots in all corners of Oromia. Our strength lays in embracing the principles of fairness, equality, justice, and freedom not only for ourselves but for those who call our land home as well.