Integration and Peace in East Africa: A History of the Oromo Nation

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According to a estimate by James Minahan, about half of the Oromo people are Sunni Muslim, a third are Ethiopian Orthodox, and the rest are mostly Protestants or follow their traditional religious beliefs. Oromo people were traditionally a culturally homogeneous society with genealogical ties. The Gadaa system elected males from five Oromo miseensa groups , for a period of eight years, for various judicial, political, ritual and religious roles. Retirement was compulsory after the eight-year term, and each major clan followed the same Gadaa system.

Under Gadaa , every eight years, the Oromo would choose by consensus an Abbaa Bokkuu responsible for justice, peace, judicial and ritual processes, an Abbaa Duulaa responsible as the war leader, an Abbaa Sa'aa responsible as the leader for cows, and other positions.

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Like other ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa and East Africa, Oromo people regionally developed social stratification consisting of four hierarchical strata. The highest strata were the nobles called the Borana , below them were the Gabbaro some 17th to 19th century Ethiopian texts refer them as the dhalatta. Below these two upper castes were the despised castes of artisans, and at the lowest level were the slaves. In the Islamic Kingdom of Jimma , the Oromo society's caste strata predominantly consisted of endogamous, inherited artisanal occupations. Each caste in the Oromo society had a designated name.


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For example, Tumtu were smiths, Fuga were potters, Faqi were tanners and leatherworkers, Semmano were weavers, Gagurtu were bee keepers and honey makers, and Watta were hunters and foragers. By the 19th century, Oromo slaves were sought after and a major part of slaves sold in Gondar and Gallabat slave markets at Ethiopia-Sudan border, as well as the Massawa and Tajura markets on the Red Sea. The Oromo people developed a luni-solar calendar, which likely dates from a preth century period and before the great migration because different geographically and religiously distinct Oromo communities use the same calendar.

This calendar is sophisticated and similar to ones found among the Chinese, the Hindus and the Mayans. It was tied to the traditional religion of the Oromos, and used to schedule the Gadda system of elections and power transfer. The Borana Oromo calendar system was once thought to be based upon an earlier Cushitic calendar developed around BC found at Namoratunga. Reconsideration of the Namoratunga site led astronomer and archaeologist Clive Ruggles to conclude that there is no relationship. It is a lunar-stellar calendar system.

Some modern authors such as Gemetchu Megerssa have proposed the concept of Oromumma , or "Oromoness" as a cultural common between Oromo people. The Oromo people, depending on their geographical location and historical events, have variously converted to Islam, to Christianity, or remained with their traditional religion Waaqeffanna. According to Gemetchu Megerssa, the subjective reality is that "neither traditional Oromo rituals nor traditional Oromo beliefs function any longer as a cohesive and integral symbol system" for the Oromo people, not just regionally but even locally.

Starting in November , during a wave of mass protests, mainly by Oromos, over the expansion of the municipal boundary of the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia, over people have been killed and many more have been injured, according to human-rights advocates and independent monitors. With the rising political unrest, there was ethnic violence involving the Oromo such as the Oromo—Somali clashes between the Oromo and the ethnic Somalis, leading to up to , to be displaced in Most Oromos do not have political unity today due to their historical roles in the Ethiopian state and the region, the spread-out movement of different Oromo clans, and the differing religions inside the Oromo nation.

In addition to holding high powers during the centralist government and the monarchy, the Raya Oromos in the Tigray regional state played a major role in the "Weyane" revolt, challenging Emperor Haile Selassie I 's rule in the s. At present a number of ethnic-based political organizations have been formed to promote the interests of the Oromo. The first was the Mecha and Tulama Self-Help Association founded in January , but disbanded by the government after several increasingly tense confrontations in November, A number of these groups seek to create an independent Oromo nation, some using armed force.

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Meanwhile, the ruling OPDO and several opposition political parties in the Ethiopian parliament believe in the unity of the country which has 80 different ethnicities. But most Oromo opposition parties in Ethiopia condemn the economic and political inequalities in the country.

EU’s contribution to East Africa’s regional integration efforts – Embassy of Ethiopia

Progress has been very slow, with the Oromia International Bank just recently established in , though Oromo-owned Awash International Bank started early in the s. The first private Afaan Oromoo newspaper in Ethiopia, Jimma Times, also known as Yeroo, was recently established, but it has faced a lot of harassment and persecution from the Ethiopian government since its beginning. Various human rights organizations have publicized the government persecution of Oromos in Ethiopia for decades.

In , OFDM opposition party condemned the government's indirect role in the death of hundreds of Oromos in western Ethiopia. These include thousands of peaceful protestors and hundreds of opposition political party members. The government anticipates a high level of opposition in Oromia, and signs of dissent are sought out and regularly, sometimes pre-emptively, suppressed.

In numerous cases, actual or suspected dissenters have been detained without charge or trial, killed by security services during protests, arrests and in detention. According to Amnesty international, there is a sweeping repression in the Oromo region of Ethiopia. According to the report, the students were protesting against the government's re-zoning plan named 'Addis Ababa Master5 Plan'. On October 2, , between 55 and festival goers were massacred at the most sacred and largest event among the Oromo, the Irreecha cultural thanksgiving festival.

Every year, millions of Oromos, the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, gather in Bishoftu for this annual celebration. However this year, the festive mood quickly turned chaotic after Ethiopian security forces responded to peaceful protests by firing tear gas and live bullets at over two million people surrounded by a lake and cliffs. Template:Eritrean diaspora. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses. Home FAQ Contact. Oromo people Wikipedia open wikipedia design. For the language, see Oromo language. See also: Cushitic peoples , Abyssinian people , and Horn of Africa.

Main article: List of Oromo subgroups and clans.

The Oromo Ethnic Group Of Ethiopia & Kenya

Further information: Borana calendar. United Nations Population Fund. Archived from the original PDF on 25 March Retrieved 29 October Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original on 12 May Retrieved 21 May Retrieved 7 November Archived from the original on 23 September Retrieved 29 January Minahan Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. The Oromo and the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia: Levine University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 30 May Marcus A History of Ethiopia. University of California Press pp. Lapidus A History of Islamic Societies.

Cambridge University Press. The Red Sea Press. Oxford University Press. The Journal of African History. African Studies.

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University of Lisbon. Archived from the original on 7 November Frankfurt University Library 1. Retrieved 24 July Kraus Nendeln, Liechtenstein.


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    Retrieved 18 November Samatar World leaders gather in New York this week to tackle a plethora of global problems, from climate change and migration to humanitarian disasters and war. In June, Ethiopia and Eritrea ceased decades-long hostilities , agreed to reopen borders and embassies, and resumed flights between their capitals.

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    The following month, Eritrea and Somalia restored relations, after nearly 15 years of animosity with Mogadishu accusing Asmara of funneling money to insurgents. On Sept. After taking over, he immediately ended an internet blackout, released journalists and critics, engaged exiled opposition groups , closed notorious prisons, and promised to open up the economy.

    He also reached out to long-time foe Eritrea, saying Ethiopia will fully accept the terms of an agreement signed in which ended the war between the two nations over a disputed border.