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Countering Land-grabs by Establishing a Database of Customary Land Ownership Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Published in 2013, Dugo, Habtamu, Eisen, Joanne, Jaatee, Malkamuu, Oromo Studies Association - Archived on August 20th, 2013

Title: Countering Land-grabs by Establishing a Database of Customary Land Ownership Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Authors: Malkamuu Jaatee, Habtamu Dugo and Joanne Eisen
Published: Oromo Studies Association (OSA) – Presentation at Annual Conference 2013
Language: English
Keywords: Land-grabs, Property Rights, Deeds, Indigenous peoples, and Documentation

Without modern deeds and documentation, indigenous peoples cannot prove ownership of their ancestral lands. This paper describes a proposal that will create land ownership records/deeds for indigenous people by recording their land boundaries using GPS technology. The recording process will begin in areas that are at highest risk for land grabbing and the data will be stored out of country. This should strengthen the position of those who have only informal title to their land and who do not have the ability to prevent land grabbing. We expect that short term benefits will include the promotion of Oromummaa, the development of Oromo leadership, the continuing education of the people about their rights and the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent [FPIC] and the intimidation of prospective land grabbers by alerting them to brewing resistance. In the long term, if court proceedings are required, measurement of ancestral property and documentation of ownership offer a higher chance of a successful outcome. We show how the changing concept of FPIC and financial failures of previous land grabbing schemes may be contributing to an eventual slowing of the land grab process. Until that time, indigenous leadership should promote the timely local actions required to protect the people from despotic treatment.

Article in PDF format (Gadaa.com)

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Transcontinental Emerging New Media Practices and Oromo Youth in Galvanizing Oromummaa

Published in 2012, Dugo, Habtamu, Seminar Presentation - Archived on September 15th, 2012

Title: Transcontinental Emerging New Media Practices and Oromo Youth in Galvanizing Oromummaa
Author: Habtamu Dugo
Published: Seminar Presentation
Language: English
Keywords: Oromummaa, Oromo media, new media, new media practices

Following the outflux of the Oromo to various Western and African diasporas in search of shelters from massive persecutions inflicted upon them by the Tigire-domianted Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF/TPLF) in the early 1990s, the Oromo have been utilizing new media technologies to tell their stories. Since the Oromo have been demonized and their stories have been misrepresented (or distorted) worldwide by the Habesha group and some complicit expatriates for over a century, the extension of the earliest practices of countering those misrepresentations and telling accurate stories on the new media can approximately be traced to the late 1990s, when only a few websites dedicated to Oromo socio-political issues such as www.oromolibeartionfront.org and www.oromiaonline.com were active. At the turn of the 21st century, Oromo online presence increased further with the addition of newer and independent websites. In the second half of 2000s, as in anywhere in the world, Oromo new media practices exploded on multiple platforms—the Web, blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, professional networks, listservs and email groups. The purpose of this paper is to analytically explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the explosion of emerging new media practices in reviving Oromummaa and Oromo unity. It is very important to analyze the trends in youth and adult new media practices so as to map the problems and recommend solutions that are relevant in advancing the usage of new media for productive purposes. I argue that current Oromo new media practices are diverse, fragmented, individualized and even polarized, hampering the development of Oromummaa as the pan-Oromian national identity. The paper proposes some strategies toward the integration of emergent Oromo new media practices.

Seminar Presentation in PDF format

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