Undermining the Martyrs who Sealed history with their Blood:

The case of Ethiopianist Oromos.
Rundaasaa Asheetee Hunde*

Since Minilik’s soldiers crossed the boundaries of Oromia on the north end of the Wallo state during the spring of 1872, the Odaa Nabee state Oromians lived under a great tension, especially whenever they learned that the enemy was increasing it’s speed toward them. They knew that Minilik’s army would destroy everything they have built for centuries.

Hence, knowing death would visit them soon, the Gullallee, the Ekkaa, the Galaan, the Salaalee and Wabarrii Oromo clans frequently met and made decisions necessary to fight back. These preparations culminated in a meeting with the abba Gadaas and a few other close associates.

While this extraordinary council was going on in Tuulamaa state, Minilik charged Gobana Daacii, explaining that he had conferred upon him all the authority, and keys necessary to govern the new country they will soon build. “I roll the burden and responsibility of leading this nation off from my shoulders on to yours,” Minilik declared. “Now, round up your army, go and conquer all the Gallaas!”

Few months earlier, Minilik also told his the Marra-Beetee and Manzee clan army to go and burn down the homes and the farms of the Tulamaa Oromoos at the Odaa Nabee state. Soon, tens of thousands of people were burned to ashes being locked up from behind. The same year the survived abba Gadaas brought to Minilik’s church based courts on unfounded charge and hanged at Birbirssaa, where Minilik’s statue stands today. Fully aware of what Minilik’s army would do to them the survivors fled their birth places and Minilik’s troops took full control of the Odaa Nabee state of Tuulamaa. Few survived mothers and elderly men submitted to Minilik’s rule and performed everything they were asked to do hoping to appease Minilik’s officials. They abandoned the Ateetee, Irrechaa and Waaqeffsanaa practices and accepted the Orthodox religion, which their posterities celebrate with Habashas today.

After the Abbaa Gadaas were hanged with false treason against the king of king Minilik and the Odaa Nabee has fallen under the Habasha rule, Goobana Daccii’s army marched to Caboo, Ambo, Walisoo, Hammayyaa etc counties of the Macaa state in 1875 but the army of Ibsaa Bashar Gurree and Osho Bantaa Alangaa fought back and chased gave a chase. Nevertheless, Minilik’s army returned three years later after making secret arrangements with Osho Banataa who accepted a power sharing arrangements with Minilik.

On the afternoon of June 27, 1881, the abba Gadaa of Embaboo and Limmuu counties of Jimmaa gathered and discussed the looming war. Days later they concluded their war plan and one of the abbaa Gadaas asked a man who had a rich tenor voice to perform the Geerasaa song. Soon the man’s voice was raised:

The power to love or hate,
For will in us not to be ruled by fate,
The battle for freedom shall soon begin,
We must fight hard and win!
And our determination has an effect,
Whether or not we deserve full respect!
Our Gachaana and Eeboo shall suffice,
Aim and throw measured by our own eyes,
We shall debilitate the enemy and the war is slight,
Whoever punctures the enemy’s stomach at first sight,
Determines the duration for how long we fight!

The Geerarsaa was very much in accordance with everyone’s feelings at the time the cloud of war was raging over their heads, dull and gloomy.

Shortly after one year, in 1882, early in the morning, a large group of Minilik’s attackers stormed the villages of the Jimmaa state, firing their Wacafoo and Nafx guns at the women and the children inside the houses. Within a few minutes, the foul deed was done. Thousands of women and children were shot and killed almost immediately.

To be continued on Part 2……..

*The writer can be reached at biyyaoromo@gmail.com

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