WHAT IS NEXT FOR THE OROMO PEOPLE?
Thank you for inviting me to give a talk on the future of the Oromo people. To try to speculate on the future of the Oromo people is a very challenging task. Nevertheless, I try my best depending on my knowledge of the Oromo colonial history and national struggle in relation to the Ethiopian colonial state. Currently, the Oromo people and their national struggle are at a crossroads because of three major reasons. First, since the Oromo people are engaged in national struggle for self-determination, statehood, sovereignty, and democracy, the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian government is systematically attacking and terrorizing them. Second, at the same time, the Oromo elites who suppose to provide guidance and leadership for the Oromo national movement are fragmented, ideologically confused, and have failed to understand the lethal danger the Oromo people are facing from the Habasha colonizing elites. Third, the Oromo people are suffering from absolute poverty, recurrent famines, and malnutrition because the Meles regime and its supporters loot their economic resources. In addressing these three complex problems, I focus on five central issues. First, I explore the past and current status of the Oromo nation under Ethiopian colonialism. Second, I identity and explain the strengths and weaknesses of the Oromo elites in organizing and leading the Oromo national movement. Third, I explain the main characteristics of Oromo society. Fourth, I briefly identify the major opportunities and obstacles of the Oromo struggle. Finally, I suggest some urgent and practical measures that the Oromo elites and society should take to ensure the survival Oromia and to achieve national victory.