Economic hardship and lack of freedom are the two major perennial challenges of Oromia and the worries of its people. The causes are, to be occupied by the minority Tigre tribe from north Ethiopia, the sell of their natural resources such as land, gold and coffee, multiplicity of imprisonments and killings, and the cultural degradation which are magnified by the colonial power of the Tigre tribe, starvation and ever deteriorating living conditions are the major problems.
In Oromia, any political authority, past and present, whose governance is arbitrary and fails to give careful attention to these truisms have nothing to offer to the people than repeating failure after failure. A look at Oromia’s recent past for a quick review of the policies and practices of the present government divulges the secret that things are already going astray in this occupied state whose wealthy natural resources did cost dearly to generations of Oromia during 150 solid years of it’s colonial experiences under the Amhara and the Tigre rules.
The Tigre Liberation Front (TPLF) is on record affirming that uprooting the land owners from their land will cause a flood of jobless refugee to cities, yet, all of the sudden it started Tigre dominated nation-building process with wrong approaches of selling Oromians land to the Arabs and the Indians and therefore, more painful years are ahead for 35 million occupied nation of Oromia.
Since Oromia is occupied by the Tigrians in 1991, the state of Tigri have celebrated the 18th anniversary of its liberation from Amhara ruled Ethiopia. Yet as an occupiers, the Tigrians in Oromia recorded a tragic failure practically in all fields of endeavor. The common feeling that the Oromians are facing today is more difficult than the times when they were ruled by the Amharas. On top of the economic hardship that they have brought upon the Oromians, their divide and conquer political game have caused the Oromo nation to lose social harmony as they intentionally introduced tactics of division between Oromia’s clans and it’s neighbors. This serious divisions are mainly caused by faulty and callously arrogant policies of the occupying Tigre rulers in Oromia. Each decree and proclamation passed by the ruling tribe from Tigri has come as yet, another recipe for unimaginable poverty and civil strife.
Each of the laws and decisions made by the Tigre ruling occupier can be taken randomly in order to test the manner in which their dictatorial government is driving Oromia towards an inevitable doom. The assertions of the TPLF regarding the long term disastrous consequences of the decrees and proclamations churned out by the TPLF are being authenticated by expert judgement reached through independent assessment and research.
One such corroboration of TPLF positions is a conclusion reached by many experts around the world regarding food shortage and the looming danger. Please log on to www.oromiannationalacademy.com and click on OROMIA: THE SOLD NATION to see the Video presentation.
As you will see it, the experts have concluded that the food shortage around the world will end up generating serious political and economic disasters especially for the nations such as the Oromians.
SELLING OROMIA’S FARM LANDS WILL CAUSE POLITICAL CONFLICT AND STARVATIONThe history of land holding in Oromia attests that 75 percent Oromians are practicing agriculture, 20 percent are engaged in a mix of cultivation and 5 percent are tied to different practices alone.
After the 1974 revolution in empire Ethiopia, the right given to the Oromians to hold land, and the security of land holding to peasant farmers are the few positive aspects of the Proclamation of land to the tiller. For that very reason, the selling of Oromians land will have revolutionary consequences as they eventually start fighting to have the same rights that they have had to a plot of land. Today, large segment of the population is totally disregarded and such a disregard will affect the farmers and pastoralists in such a way that it harms and befall this vulnerable social group.
The selling of Oromia’s land to the Arabs and the Indians, as it now stands, offers no special provisions protecting the grazing rights of Oromia’s farmers who traditionally practiced pastoralism or agro-pastoralism. As a result, the Oromo farmers will face greatest chance of being the losers in this land selling aggression by the Tigre rulerssince this practice will force them stop working for themselves and seek employment for the Indian and Arab capitalists.
Given the experience of other African countries, the decision to legally give Oromo land to Arabs and Indians is puzzling. It also poses dangers for the society as a whole, in threatening to underline the cleavages between immigrant Arab and the Indians on one side and the Oromians who are already tired of slavery on the other.
The Selling of Oromians land involves the migration of the Arabs who will be bringing their sexist and racist cultures that will significantly affect African indigenous culture and traditions while it also affect food prices and outputs. Arabs access to Oromo land means access to our wealth or subsistence” and because of these attributes the allocation of land is “a politically charged process which should not have been the colonial practice of the ruling Tigre tribe of empire Ethiopia.
Examples cited regarding conflicts caused by land laws which ignored social segments directly affected new land laws include bitter experiences in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe and other African countries. Resettlement of uprooted Oromo refugees, the Habasha immigrants and landless Oromo peasants will increase the competition for land in Oromia. This will lead to the marginalization of the Oromo farmers.
In Oromia, because the Tigre government of empire Ethiopia has already committed millions of acres to Indians and the Arabs, the native Oromians are guaranteed to lose their land for ever. That means, their chance to develop their own land is gone for ever while the conflict or political alienation they are going to face will be very high. Because the conflicts that are set to develop will happen in country sides part of Oromia, the rift of conflict will run directly along the cleavages which have existed among the Oromians and the Abyssinians throughout the political struggle years for independence of Oromia. More clearly, Muslim groups in Oromia may side with the Arab occupiers while none Muslims struggle against Tigreans program of Arabizing Oromia.
If political parties, in particular those who represent the interest of the farmers oppose the selling of Oromo land to Arabs and the Indians, the ruling occupying force from Tigri will refuse giving legal recognition to such political parties and the potential for conflict will not be minimized or resolved through public debate. Hence, selling Oromians land as investment corporation in the countryside is a serious mistake.
One of the most surprising facets of the Tigre government of empire Ethiopia land selling practice is its seeming revival of modernization theory and its agricultural applications. Two parts of the land reform give evidence to this paradigmatic retreat: the seeming lack of understanding of the value of Oromo farmers as a mode of production and the emphasis on external investment as a key factor in developing the countryside”.
What the prime minister of empire Ethiopia forgot is that he himself protested against the Haile Silase government modernization theories of the 1960s saying that the uprooting the farmers ands selling their land to the Moojaa family wrongly considered the role of farmers in economic production to be marginal. One such an example is the Arusha Declaration of 1967 which assumed that pastoralism was a ‘backward’ system of production until experience proved that assumption to have been wrong. That old assumption led governments to organize resettlement schemes with the aim of promoting development and self-sufficiency.
By analyzing diverse literature on African land reform, and experiences of other countries, one can argue that the later reconsideration of pastoralism as a mode of production have posited that, rather than being inferior to agriculture, it is a positive response to an arid environment where agriculture alone would be untenable in supporting the population. Adding to the renewed understanding of the productive capacity of pastoralism has been evidence that, given the choice between irrigated agriculture and pastoralism, some groups will choose pastoralism, investing in cattle wealth even after practicing settled agriculture.
The Tigre ruled government of empire Ethiopia land selling practice overlooks these very important experiences which show both the intrinsic value of the pastoral mode of production as a response to arid environments and the difficulties experienced by governments attempting to eliminate pastoralism. There is no justification for this disregard of pastoral and farmers interests in Oromia.
In short, the TPLF government of empire Ethiopia has not concerned itself with understanding the interests, either social or economic, of the pastoralist and farmers of Oromia.
Investment in rural OromiaThe rural investment policy accompanied the selling of Oromia’s lands appears to overlook the theoretical developments of the Derg era in which people were forced to leave Tigri and Wallo and settle in Oromia.
The allocation of these lands for sell in the name of investment is one of the disruptive mechanisms in the land reform intended to promote investment in the countryside. If the purpose of selling Oromo land to the Arabs and the Indians is for encouragement of investment in the countryside, or for an expansion of cash crops or for the creation of employment opportunities, or for the introduction of new technologies etc, such a wish-list is irrelevant to today’s realities. Case studies and empirical evidence suggest that it is not investment in projects, technology, or import-substitution, which develops the productive output of rural farms. Rather, it is concentrating resources in the hands of small holders and ‘getting the prices right’ that leads to increased output.
Studies throughout the developing world have demonstrated that land used by small farmers has higher output because of an increased level of labour inputs… Arguments for economies of scale that may be present in the underlying, assumed benefits of large farms, fall through in areas where labour is a comparatively abundant factor of production as is the case in this upcoming Arab buy out of Oromians lands.
It is also important to understand that the selling of natives land to the so called investors will have a serious environmental consequences because limited term investors deplete the land of its resources rather than contributing to the overall development of the countryside. flower farming is one such depleting practice in current Oromia. Therefore, if the Tigre government of empire Ethiopia’s intentions are to generate revenue for the state of Oromia via the selling of Oromo land, then failure is inevitable and may also lead to irrevocable environmental damage”.
While the intentions of the selling of Oromians land is seek to maximize the cash flow for the ruling elite out of poor state, Africa’s history has demonstrated such a fund raising practice as ineffective for the nation even for the dictators who take the money and save them in their own over seas accounts. Hailesilase who stole over 11 billion dollars and Mobutu Seseseko passed before using what they have stolen.
Further more, the TPLF regime has been re-settling thousands of its former fighters in Oromia creating new round Klanshikovnya (Nafxanya) and these new settlers have done their own share of evicting the Oromo farming communities around Finfinnee and elsewhere in Oromia.
So, the current land sell by the Tigre man only reminds us the the method that Emperor Menelik had used to subjugate the southern and eastern regions of empire Ethiopia during the past century. He settled there hordes of armed ‘Neftegnas’ from the northern and central parts of the country.
One way or the other, this scheme will have the dangerous consequences of dispossessing and dislocating the local population as well as disrupting their traditional mode of life by inevitably leading the region to serious conflicts based on religious lines, whose consequences would be disastrous.