Is Oromo a Tribe? What Is Wrong With Oromo Tribalist?
In anthropology, a tribe is a human social group. Exact definitions of what constitutes a tribe vary among anthropologists, and the term is itself considered controversial in academic circles in part due to its association with colonialism. In general use, the term may refer to people perceived by a population to be primitive and may have negative connotations. The concept is often contrasted with other social groups concepts, such as nations, states, and forms of kinship.(From Wikipedia)
Oromo is not a tribe, Oromo Politicians are not Tribalist!
Having its origin from the latin language (referring to the three (tri) main divisions of the Roman people representing Latin, Sabine and Etruscan settlements) the word “tribe” refers to a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by a blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized group leader. In evolutionary anthropology tribe is the second stage in human political evolution, only next to band & often connotes “primitive,” “uncivilized,” “backward” and “inferior” stage of human evolution, which is a derogatory description in modern society.
As far as my understanding is concerned Oromo is a nation – a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, language, associated with a particular territory (perceived or real) and sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possesses their own government. Oromo fulfills all of the above criteria and thus qualify to be a nation.
It is not only tribe, there are many unrelated also derogatory and mischaracterizing words in our political discourses. Ye gosa (clan) & Ye zeri (race) politics are among the well situated terms with no real existence. It is time to stop denigrating ourselves with those terms. Their wrong use has multiple consequences in our political evolution. It is not only about mischaracterizing people, failure to choose the right and powerful words to express/communicate our political identity is downgrading ourselves.
What I do not understand is, why some Oromo politicians still insist on tribal politics, including the right to secede. They are the only politicians in our galaxy who are advancing a minority tribal agenda when they are the largest tribe in the country.
Can you imagine Han-Chinese, who constitute the majority in the People’s Republic of China, advancing a tribalist agenda or demanding secession from the other minority Chinese tribes to form a country called Han?
In Canada, 58 percent of the population declare English as their mother tongue, compared to 21 percent who identify themselves as native French Speaking. Can you fathom the idea of English speaking Canadian provinces demanding secession from minority French speaking provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec?
It would be outside of the cosmos of common sense to imagine, fathom or envision Han-Chinese or Anglophone Canadians worshiping in the temple of liberation theology, much less singing the hymn of secession. That would be high-octane stupidity and plenty moronic.
Since homosapiens got tired of roaming planet earth barefoot and established swaths of lands as their country, majority tribes have served as a bulwark for their country’s indivisibility, be it by ጡጫ or by ምርጫ.
In the US, during the civil war in the 1860s, 21 million people lived in the Northern states, compared to the 9 million people who were native to the Southern states. The minority Southern states wanted to split from the Union. The majority North used ጡጫ to keep them in the union. In total 620,000 people perished to keep America indivisible.
THE LEGACY OF OROMO LIBERATION FRONT (OLF)
Be they part of the ruling coalition or a member of the oppressed class, majority groups do not embrace a minority agenda. That was why the majority Shia (60-65 percent) population of Iraq who were ruled by the brutal hands of Saddam Hussein of the minority Sunni sect did not have a secessionist agenda.
The Oromo liberation enterprise is the only known political establishment that champions a minority agenda while representing the largest tribal population in the country. This is the legacy of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
The OLF has another legacy: An exponentially negatively slopping learning curve. In existence for nearly half a century, OLF has not only failed to learn from its mistakes, but it seems that it leverages on it to speed up its descent down the slippery slope into the comfort of political oblivion and a slow eternal death.
Abiy and Lemma stormed the political scene with a winning strategy of embracing Ethiopian nationalism and assuring the indivisibility of Greater Ethiopia. They were embraced by all Ethiopians, including by an overwhelming majority of Ethiopians of Oromo heritage.
The new political reality threw a monkey wrench in the calculus of Oromo liberation enterprise that is anchored in grievance politics of the operation of the Oromo by other tribes. Marketing victimhood became a difficult undertaking in the present-day Ethiopia with an Oromo sitting at the apex of the political architecture.