THE STRUGGLE OF THE OROMO TO PRESERVE AN INDIGENOUS DEMOCRACY
This paper explores the essence of the gadaa system (Oromo democracy) and how and why the Oromo people are struggling to preserve and develop this indigenous democracy, written records of which go back to the sixteenth century. It also explains the essence and the main characteristics of Oromo democracy that can be adapted to the current condition of Oromo society in order to revitalize the Oromo national movement for national self-determination and democracy and to build a sovereign Oromia state in a multinational context. The paper also demonstrates that this kind of struggle is an uphill battle because the Oromo people are the colonial subjects of the Ethiopian state, and they do not have the freedom of association, organization, and expression. Furthermore, it asserts that this struggle is truly a difficult one in the twentieth first century as the process of globalization is intensified and regional and local cultures are being suppressed under the pressure of dominating cultures.