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The Conflict between the Ethiopian State and the Oromo People

Published in 2013, European Conference on African Studies, Kumsa, Alemayehu - Archived on August 13th, 2014

Title: The Conflict between the Ethiopian State and the Oromo People
Author: Alemayehu Kumsa, PhD
Published: Centro de Estudos Internacionais do Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) (5th European Conference on African Studies/ECAS – June 27-29, 2013)
Language: English
Keywords: Colonialism, Abyssinia, Oromo, Ethiopia, Liberation Movement

Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another. The etymology of the term from Latin word colonus, meaning farmer. This root reminds us that the practice of colonialism usually involves the transfer of population to new territory, where the arrivals lived as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegiance to the country of origin. Colonialism is a characteristic of all known civilizations. Books on African history teaches us that Ethiopia and Liberia are the only countries, which were not colonized by West European states, but the paper argues that Ethiopia was created by Abyssinian state colonizing its neighbouring nations during the scramble for Africa. Using comparative colonial history of Africa, the paper tries to show that Abyssinian colonialism is the worst of conquest and colonial rule of all territories in Africa, according to the number of people killed during the conquest war, brutal colonial rule, political oppression, poverty, lack of education, diseases, and contemporary land grabbing only in the colonial territories. In its arguments, the paper discusses why the Oromo were defeated at the end of 19th century whereas we do have full historical documents starting from 13th century in which the Oromo defended their own territory against Abyssinian expansion. Finally the paper will elucidate the development of Oromo national struggle for regaining their lost independence.

Article in PDF format   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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A History of Oromo Cultural Troupes (1962-1991)

Published in 2013, Bessa, Tesfaye Tolessa, Science, Technology & Arts Research (STAR) Journal - Archived on February 22nd, 2014

Title: A History of Oromo Cultural Troupes (1962-1991)
Author: Tesfaye Tolessa Bessa
Published: Science, Technology & Arts Research (STAR) Journal Volume 2, Issue 1, 2013, pp. 86-94
Language: English
Keywords: Culture, Music, Oromo Struggle, Oromo Cultural Resistance

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the struggle of Oromo cultural troupes in creating consciousness among the Oromo to reconsider their lost rights. The study draws up on primary and secondary sources, which had been collected in the summer of 2008. Primary sources are securitized from archives and interviews. Informants were selected only on the basis that they had been direct participants of the events. Printed material, as both primary and secondary sources, are utilized with critical scrutiny. Many of these sources are indicators of the situation the Oromo had been forced to bear in those days. From the analysis of these sources, the paper is able to reveal how the Oromo troupes brought hidden grievance of the Oromo to the light under unbearable situations. It also shows how these troupes brought unstructured way of cultural resistance and rural social banditries into the modern form of organized struggle by attracting many minds of bureaucrats, military officers, students, professional groups and the business classes.

Article in PDF format (Gadaa.com)


The following audio is from the era on which the author of the research paper writes.

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The Oromo, Gadaa/Siqqee Democracy and the Liberation of Ethiopian Colonial Subjects

Title: The Oromo, Gadaa/Siqqee Democracy and the Liberation of Ethiopian Colonial Subjects
Authors: Asafa Jalata (Department of Sociology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee) and Harwood Schaffer (Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee)
Published: AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples Vol. 9, Issue 4 (2013): 277-295.
Language: English
Keywords: Gadaa (indigenous democracy), Oromia, Oromo/Oromummaa, Ethiopian colonial subjects/nations, national self-determination, Ethiopian colonialism

This paper explores the potential role of the Gadaa/Siqqee system of Oromo democracy in the development of a democratic multinational liberation movement of the colonized nations within the Ethiopian Empire in order to dismantle the Tigrayan- led Ethiopian terrorist government and replace it with a sovereign multinational democratic state in the Horn of Africa based on the principles of indigenous democracy. After a brief introduction, this study describes the presence of a democratic, Siqqee/Gadaa administration among the Oromo in the Horn of Africa in the 16th and 17th centuries and the subsequent changes that made them vulnerable to colonization. It further examines the essence and main characteristics of Gadaa/Siqqee, showing that it provides
a contrasting political philosophy to the authoritarian rule of the Ethiopian Empire. The study shows that in the face of oppression and exploitation the Oromo people have struggled to preserve and redevelop their indigenous democracy, written records of which go back to the 16th century, long before European nations embraced the principles of democratic governance. It also explains how it can be adapted to the current condition of the colonized nations within the Ethiopian Empire in order to revitalize the quest for national self- determination and democracy and to build a sovereign democratic state in a multinational context. Furthermore, the piece asserts that this struggle is truly a difficult one in the 21st century as the process of globalization is intensified and regional and local cultures are being suppressed under the pressure of dominating cultures.

Article in PDF format (Gadaa.com)

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Environmental Destruction in Ethiopia: A Leading Factor in Oromo Migration

Published in 2013, Addisu, Mardaasa, Seminar Presentation - Archived on November 28th, 2013

Title: Environmental Destruction in Ethiopia: A Leading Factor in Oromo Migration
Author: Mardaasa Addisu
Published: Seminar Presentation, the 56th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association (Theme: “Mobility, Migration and Flows”)
Language: English
Keywords: Environmental Destruction, Oromia, Migration, Forced Displacement

This paper demonstrates that the Oromo population of Ethiopia, who live on the largest and most resource‐rich land area, are denied key environmental protections in their homelands. Drawing together data from research conducted in a number of Oromo areas, the paper explores how massive state and corporate projects intent on accessing valuable resources cause environmental destruction, which results in involuntary forced displacement of the Oromo population.

I compile significant evidence of environment destruction to argue that it is a major cause of ongoing forced displacement. These data have not previously been brought together coherently. Actions covered include massive forest fires set by newly‐arrived settlers, bodies of water in Oromia polluted by state‐sponsored industrial development, ecological destruction and displacement due to state reallocation of land to private businesses, and seed and fertilizer manipulation schemes which make farming untenable for peoples who treasure the land. The combined impact forces massive displacement of Oromo. Donor nations have demonstrated little awareness of the scale of the displacement, showing a slow response to environmental issues. Based on the findings, the study attempts to establish the scale of the forced displacement, then provides some policy recommendations to address the reoccurring issue.

Seminar Presentation in PDF format

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Oromo Studies Association (OSA) 2013 Annual Conference Videos

Published in 2013, Oromo Studies Association - Archived on November 4th, 2013

The following videos are from the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) 2013 Annual Conference (held in Washington DC at the Howard University on August 3 and 4). Those videos previously posted on GadaaTube.com have also moved to this new location on “Oromo Studies Collection @ Gadaa.com” for future academic reference uses by readers.


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