About Oromiyaa


2. Homeland

Map of OromiaOromos call their nation and country Oromiya. They have been living in the Horn of Africa for all of their known history. They are one of the largest ethnonations in Africa with a population estimated at about 30 million people in the mid-1990s. Oromiya is located mainly within the Ethiopian Empire and covers an area of 600,000 sq km (232,000 sq mi). The 3.5 million-year-old fossilized human skeleton known as "Lucy," or 'Chaltu" in Oromo, was found in Oromiya. Present-day Oromos also live in Kenya and Somalia. During the last decades of the 19th century, Oromos were colonized, forcibly incorporated into Ethiopia and lost their independent institutional and cultural development. Great Britain, France, and Italy supported the Ethiopian colonization of Oromos. Oromiya is considered the richest region of the Horn of Africa because of its agricultural and natural resources. It is considered by many to be the "bread basket" of the Horn. Agricultural resources including barley, wheat, sorghum, xaafii (a grain), maize, coffee, oil seeds, chat, oranges, and cattle are abundant in Oromiya. Oromiya is also rich in gold, silver, platinum, marble, uranium, nickel, natural gas, and other minerals. It has several large and small rivers that are necessary for agriculture and to produce hydroelectric power. In spite of all these advantages, a century of colonization by Abyssinia (Ethiopia), a backward nation itself, has meant that the Oromo people have endured a stagnant existence where ignorance and famine have been coupled with ruthless oppression, subjugation, exploitation and above all, extermination. Thus for the last one hundred years under the Ethiopian rule, the Oromo have gained very little, if anything, in the way of political, social and economic progress. Although the Oromo nation is one of the largest in Africa, it is forgotten by or still unknown to the majority of the world today. Unfortunately even the name Oromo is unknown to many, and this should not be allowed to continue. Today, when nearly all of the African peoples have won independence, the Oromo continue to suffer under the most backward and savage Ethiopian settler colonialism. In its attempt to oppress and eliminate the essential elements of Oromo culture, successive Ethiopian regimes have used cover-up words such as development, relief, settlement, villagization, literacy campaign, democracy and peace to mislead the world. In fact most of these programs and projects have been aimed at displacing Oromo people and denying them freedom, justice, human dignity and peace, thereby hastening the process of Amharization or de-Oromization.

The struggle of the Oromo people is nothing more than an attempt to affirm their own place in history. It seeks freedom, peace and democracy. It is not directed against the masses of a particular nation or nationality, nor against individuals, but rather against Ethiopian colonialism.