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Title: Review of Land Grabbing Policies of Successive Regimes of Ethiopia
Authors: Malkamuu Jaatee and Zakaariyaas Mulataa
Published: Oromo Studies Association (OSA) – Presentation at Annual Conference 2012
Keywords: Land, colonization, livelihood assets
Land is a foundation of natural resource of a country. Management of land affects political stability, socioeconomic prosperity, and cultural identity of a nation. Land grabbing policies of successive regimes of Ethiopia are generally reviewed to understand their impacts on social stability, economic prosperity, cultural identity, human rights, and political power of peoples living under colonialism. The current land grabbing policy of Ethiopia is critically analyzed to understand whether it is progressively architected development plan to improve livelihood assets of all peoples of Ethiopia or it is systematically articulated political strategy of Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) regime to destabilize subsistence livelihood assets of rural communities of South Ethiopia in general, and Oromia in particular, to sustain 123 years old colonialism. Land ownership right is not only a customary or a legal right to access a plot of land to produce sufficient amount of crop and animal to secure supply of food for demand of a family, a community, and a nation at all time. It is directly linked to sovereignty and territorial integrity of a country and its citizens. The right to access land in Oromia and Southern Ethiopia before colonization was governed by customary law based on traditional principles. However, traditional land ownership rights of indigenous peoples were dismissed by military power of successive Abyssinian regimes basically rooted in technical, material, and financial aids of foreign organizations since 1880s, the era of scramble for colonization of Africa. Land tenure policy of Ethiopia is politically grouped into two levels, customary and colonial land use policies, respectively in North and South Ethiopia. It is coded as (1) Rist and Gebar, (2) state, and (3) public & investment land tenures during imperial (1889 – 1974), military (1974 – 1991), and the TPLF (1991 – current) regimes, respectively. Very dangerous land grabbing policy is intentionally designed by the TPLF regime to destabilize livelihood assets of peoples of Oromia and southern Ethiopia through aggravation of poverty, expansion of food insecurity borders, intensification of conflict, degradation of ecosystem, and advancement of human rights violation. The regime is systematically maintained insecurity through synergistic interconnection of effects of poverty, food insecurity, conflict, human right violations, and violence in order to sustain its military, economic, and political dominance over its colonial territories. These vicious cycles of violence and insecurity negatively affect legitimate national liberation struggle of oppressed peoples of Ethiopia.
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Title: Who Owns the Ethiopian Nation-State?
Author: Udub M. Mukhtar, PhD
Published: Seminar Presentation (Ogaden News Agency (ONA))
Keywords: Ogaden, Abyssinia, conquest, occupation, annexation, colonization, militarism, imperialism, nation-state, nation-building
“[T]he goal of nation building should not be to impose common identities on deeply divided peoples, but to organize states that can administer their territories and allow people to live together despite differences. And, if organizing such a state within the old internationally recognized borders does not seem possible, the international community should admit that nation building may require the disintegration of old states and the formation of new ones.”
The ownership of the Ethiopian nation-state was problematic from its inception in the last quarter of the 19th century, and particularly from the perspective of non-Abyssinian nations. Incongruous state formation processes resulted in conquest, occupation, annexation, colonization, militarism and imperialism which aggravated harmony among Ethiopian ethnic groups. This paper explores the ownership of the Ethiopian nation-state. Part I delivers four sections of the paper. Other parts of the paper are delivered through a serious of documents bearing the same main title, but with different subtitles. The first section in this part provides a brief introduction to the problems discussed in this paper. The second section presents a summary into the history of the Ethiopian state formation and its annexation of Somali Ogaden territories. The third section introduces a unique and novel definition for, and reviews the different underlying theories of, the nation-state. The fourth section describes a model, or operational expectations of a nation-state, and the practice of nation and institution building in Ethiopia against this model. The last section provides for concluding remarks.
Title: The Oromo in Exile: Creating Knowledge and Promoting Social Justice
Author: Asafa Jalata (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
Published: Societies Without Borders Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011, pp. 33-72 (40)
Keywords: Oromo, Oromia, Indigenous Peoples, State Terrorism, Genocide, Colonization
This paper explains how some Oromos who were forced to leave their country, Oromia, by successive colonial Ethiopian governments and live in exile have been organized in foreign lands to liberate their people and country by supporting the Oromo national movement. By demonstrating how global and regional forces have collaborated in the colonization, continued subjugation and dehumanization of the Oromo people, the paper illustrates how the Oromo people have lost their cultural, political, and social rights that are enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of human rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and how they are still facing state terrorism and genocidal massacres. The financial support from powerful Western countries as well as the support from China to the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian government is threatening the survival of the Oromo people in the 21st century. In response to these gross human rights violations, Oromo activist intellectuals and other Oromos in the Diaspora are engaged in creating knowledge and promoting justice for their downtrodden people on global level.