The Damage vs. the Trend: Why Oromos should not panic about Golichaa Dheengee’s defection
By Tulluu Ayira, September 20, 2021
Historically, our long struggle against Amhara colonialism has experienced multiple defections and was full of ups and downs, hiccups, and challenges with painful results. The killing of our people in Wallo in the hands of Tewodros, Yohanis, Menilek and later Haile Selassie; the massacre of our people by Menilek at Anole and Chalanqo; the killing of our Oromo brothers in Horro Guduru and the burying alive of our leader by Adal Tasama of Gojjam; Haile Selassie’s bombing of our brothers in Bale; Naxanya massacre of our people in Badano, Watar, Arba Gugu, Saxamma and Soyama during the TPLF regime; and the countless massacres of the Oromo under the order of Abiy Ahmad in the last three years – the list goes on and on.
In all this process there were hundreds of defectors from Gobanaa Daacee to Golichaa Dheenge. In the last three years alone Leencoo Lataa, Diimaa Nagoo, Galaasaa Dilboo, Licho Bukura and the sneaky Leencoo Bati created an exclusive club of defectors. I remember the sneaky Leencoo condemning Licho’s defection on one of the news media networks. Now, he is an ambassador serving the nefxanya prime minister. Leencoo, Diimaa and Galaasaa shamelessly condemned OLF’s leadership for collaborating with TPLF forty years ago. This was at the very time they were leaders of the Front.
The struggle experienced ups and downs and had several testing moments right from the beginning. Tracking the major events since the middle of the twentieth century: foundation of the Maccaa Tuulamaa Association ignited the rise of modern Oromo nationalism – the association faced serious setbacks, its leaders sentenced to death, some to life, others were tortured and killed, many were exiled, but the fire they started had never been extinguished. Instead, the movement gave birth to a child called the Oromo Liberation Front which took the struggle to a higher level. This movement, too, suffered serious setbacks at different times. Its first authentic leaders were decimated in Somalia’s desert while a promising successor, Baro Tumsa, was killed through a conspiracy hatched by defectors who are in the pocket of Abiy Ahmad today.
A reorganized OLF under today’s defectors (Galaasaa, Leencoo and Diimaa) joined the Transitional Government in 1991 only to be pushed out in early 1992. Soon Leencoo and Diimaa abandoned the cause and began the work of dismantling the OLF from inside; they succeeded in 1998. Galaasaa, whose chameleonic character we failed to understand because of his pretentious behavior, was acclaimed to have saved the struggle. Alas! We never knew that he was another Satan working on crushing the struggle. But the struggle survived. Under a difficult situation which history will detail in the future, Dawd Ibsaa went on exile to a hostile country with his share of the OLF and saved the struggle under difficult circumstances. In 2018, he brought back the struggle and handed it to its rightful owner, the Oromo people. But the challenge to him and to the OLF became enormous; we have recently seen another defection in his camp instigated by elder defectors – Leencoo, Diimaa and Galaasaa. When it became clear that the OLF could not operate peacefully as planned, the Qeerroo listened to the call of a young and charismatic leader, Jaal Marroo, who did not only save the struggle but also took it to a level of unprecedent proportions. Golichaa was another leader until he joined the exclusive club of defectors.
In conclusion, we should not panic with Golichaa’s defection. Yes, all defections came with damages, but they have never been devastating to the struggle. With every defection the struggle got cleaner and stronger. The trend has always been positive, stronger with clarity and unprecedent mass support. At OLA level, the struggle has reached an irreversible stage. Sooner or later, members of the exclusive club of defectors will appear in front of a victorious OLA carrying stone on their back (in the tradition of their nafxanya masters) and asking for forgiveness.
Golichaa is another Leencoo, another Diimaa, another Galaasaa. The defection of these subhumans never stopped the struggle, nor the rise of OLA under Jaal Marroo. The defection of Golichaa is minuscule and Oromos should never worry about its damage.
Stop panicking, stop talking about it, do what you can do for the struggle!