Saambee Boona: ​Confusion, Willful Ignorance or Deception: the case of the Oromia Special Interest

Confusion, Willful Ignorance or Deception: the case of the Oromia Special Interest

Saambee Boona

This article by no means endorses the recently announced proclamation with the name “Special Interest of Oromia”. In fact, the proclamation is probably the only proclamation that belittles the fair demand of Oromos and undermines the bloods of the Oromo children sacrificed for it. 

This article tries to clear the deliberate  ill-characterization of the principle of the Special Interest. In this article, I would like to help some of the genuine non-Oromos who have the capacity to have a civil discourse and have the ability to accept bitter facts, at most with a grain of salt. Some of these people are in a very panic mode because they are confused with the basic principle of what an “Oromia’s special interest” is. First,  let us be clear that the question of a special interest is different from constitutional rights (freedom of speech, movement, expression, assembly….). These rights are for all human beings, regardless of his/her race, origin and other individual factors. Any non-Oromos have and should have the full right to own a land, do a business, ….as long as he/she abides with the state and federal laws. Second, let it be known that the question of a special interest neither directly benefit individual Oromos nor harm other nations. 

Making Afan Oromo a working language in Finifine city is a right but NOT a Special Interest. To give a credit, most of the pro UNITY parties like Kinijit have already accepted and included the Oromo’s language question in their political agendas.  Changing the names of some of the squares and streets in Finfine into their original names are a historical justice but NOT a Special Interest. Opening schools in Finfine (land of Oromia) is a constitutional right but NOT a Special Interest. To be honest, by creating such kind of schools in Finfine, other nations will benefit more to equally compete in a labor market and businesses across the country. Business minded non-Oromos shall even push this policy for its rapid implementation. 

In the contrary, failure to accept the above facts and rather terrorising ordinary citizens with a bloodshed because Afan Oromo is about to become a working language in Finfine;  because the street names and areas like Merkato, piazza are going to be changed into their original Oromo names is nothing but having a huge problem with Oromos and having an Oromophobia. Sorry, we have a little patience and skill to cure such kind of phobia. 

However, It is good to come to a consensus that there is a big difference between a special benefit for Oromo and Oromia. The original aim of the so-called special interest is for Oromia, which means everyone who lives in Oromia will benefit from it. For example, whatever the fair share Oromia gets from the city of Finfine, Oromia (NOT an individual Oromo) will use that income to invest in various development activities and in restoring the damage (being) caused by the city and its residents. The beneficiaries from these various projects are ALL citizens living in Oromia. In fact, the person who benefits more could be the non-Oromos.
As it is the case in other countries like Canada, USA and Germany, some States deserve a special treatment or benefit, depending on the circumstances. For example, Oromia may collapse if things go as it is being run under TPLF regime unless something is done (of course, the lasting solution is to remove them from a power). However, even without TPLF, the Oromia land is carrying a huge burden to feed and support the country. Because of the demography, geography, natural resources and economic reasons, Oromia is carrying a huge burden and needs attention!!! The fact that Oromia gets its fair share, doesn’t hurt anyone but rather benefits the entire people who resides in it at least and the country at large.
Therefore, let it be known that supporting the principle of the Special Interest should be the duty of ALL citizens as it benefits not an individual Oromo but the entire nations in Oromia and Ethiopia.


Abdii J Mohammed, Jawar Mohammed, Hola G. Irrenso, Tullu Liban, Solomon Ungashe, Daraara Daadhii, Dereje Atomsa, Ogessa Durii, Leta T. Bayissa, Letu Bushan, Gutu Olana

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