Federalism form of government in Ethiopia based on Ethnicity is fake, disproportionately dividing lands with no meaningful manner. The ruling junta Tigray Liberation Front/TPLF annexed lands of Amhara, wekayt tegede,Afar tribes as if itsown Tigray region. Not only these but also most of the places regarded as Oromia region were parts of northern, western and southern Ethiopian nations. As OPDO is the right hand of TPLF at the time of dividing Ethiopia based on Ethnic federalism, a lion share of land of current Ethiopia is given to OPDO-as Oromia region.
Hence after that time most of us don’t belong to them are forced to leave “their places” where our ancestors used to live.Morethan 50,000 Amharas displaced from Benishangul and South Ethiopia in 2012 while genocide happened to evacuate thousands of Anuwaks from Gambella region. Many South Omo tribes, southern nationalities, Anuwaks, etc were killed in Bedeno, Jimma,Gambella etc since 1992, and also recently April 20/2014 more than 200 Amhara farmers evicted from Wellega town.
Unless this fascist TPLF weyane is abolished from Ethiopia all the nations will be in chaos of displacement. Promote historical facts to withstand and stop eviction.
This articles summarizes how the Oromos assimilated Kingdom of Kaffa,Ennariya to Jimma and how the Kingdoms of Damot brutally changed to Wellega, Illuaba Bor etc, focusing on Western Ethiopia.
The historical accounts mentioned here are from non-Amhara writers for Amhara phobic Oromo ‘elites’. The books of Dr. Tesema Ta’a on the Mecca Oromo expansion; the book of Richard Pankhurst on the Ethiopian boarder lines and “Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia” by David Shinn et al are among the evidences approving Oromos never been in what is now categorized as Central-Western Oromia region by TPLF Weyane.
These are the realities Oromos are invaders of those western, southern, Central Ethiopia.
And Tplf Weyane should revise ethnical form of federal government and should be based on historical back grounds which tribe founded the area and live for longer time before and after the 15th century advent of Oromo in Western Ethiopia.
Damot and Enariya Kingdom
Damot kingdom: “Originally located south of the Abay river and west of the Muger river near Shewa, under the pressure of Oromo attacks the rulers were forced to resettle north of the Abay river in southern Gojjam between 1574 and 1606”.
“Its earliest mention is in the Gadla or Hagiography of the 13th century Saint Tekle Haymanot, which mentions Damot under a governor named Motalame, who had his palace at a place called Malbarde, and whose territory extended east beyond the Muger as far as the Jimma.” (1)
“Evidently impressed by the province’s importance, an Arab writer Ibn khaldun( 1332- 1406) states that Damot had been governed by a great king ,Motalame,who reputedly had a large empire”.That is why even the Welayta and Sidama kingdoms also claim Motalame was their king. Animist by religion, the area christened by St. Tekle Haymanot latter the king converted and renamed Fesseha Tsion. (2)
“Damot throughout the time played an important role in the horn of Africa. Gold trade evidence of this is found in al-Umari, who asserts that rare metal from the province east dispatched as far as Ifat, for export via zeyla port and Aden gulf”. Gaudefroy-Demombynes(1927,p.13).
“Damot and nearby Hadiya incorporated to the Christian empire by king Amde Tseyon during his early reign 1316-17, then Amde Tseyon assigned Shabir Ad Din II as the province ruler. The people served as a warrior to extend the empire north of Tsegede,Tselemt and against the Muslims of Adal who had invaded Shewa from the east”.(2)
“Sertse Dingil appointed Fasil/Fasilo governor of Damot in the third year of his reign 1566.
The Mul’ata of the Oromo tribe afflicted the Christians of Damot; they scattered them and devastated their country. During their time Shoa and Damot became deserts.” (2)
Who were the original inhabitants of Damot prior to the Oromo conquest?
“Before the Oromo movement into western central Ethiopia, the region was largely inhabited by peoples belonging to two major linguistic groupings: the Omotic and the Nilo-Saharan.” (Tesema Ta’a,2006).
Based on the current distribution of languages in western Ethiopia, it appears that Omotic speakers inhabited a large portion of the area. Although the main bulk of Omotic speakers are now found south of the Gojeb river (Keffa Region and Omo valley), isolated Omotic enclaves are still found in south Gojjam and western Wellega. One significant Omotic remnant occurs adjacent to Dembi Dollo (Mao and Mes speakers). (Bender and Fulass 1976. Map – “Distribution of Mother Tongues in Ethiopia” in the book “Language in Ethiopia)
Without doubt, a large number of these people were absorbed into the Oromo cultural sphere.
Enariya Kingdom : “By the end of the 13th century,Ennariya was referred to as part of the kingdom of Damot. But by the beginning of the 16th century, it was virtually an independent entity with a hereditary kingship system.Almeida reports that the inhabitants were brave and intelligent and their occupation was sedentary farming with limited trade activities in slaves, ivory and gold. He also indicated that the kings of Ennariya used to pay tribute to the Abyssinian emperor.The people of Ennariya had put up a stiff resistance against the Mecca Oromo incursions at first. Between 1550-1570, however, Ennariya was conquered by Limmu clan of the Macca Oromo and was thereafter named limmu –enariya.” (Tesema Ta’a ,2006)
Who were the original inhabitants of Enariya prior to the Oromo conquest?
Historocal records of Charles Buckingham (page 600) translates the entire people of Ennarya is a scion of Hamitic tribe before the tribe of Yoqtan/Semetic in holybible Genisis 10/ came and usurped the kingdom of the tribe of Cush,destroying the people in war and causing the rest to flee.
And “This people lived on the southern borders of Ethiopia, in Welayita, Sidamo, Kullo, Konta, Amoro, and Janjiro. After the war, they submitted to the kings of the tribe of Yoqtan, and showed allegiance to them by paying tribute. Earlier, before the Oromo occupation, Luqma, Jimma, Leqa,Tibbe, Guma, and Kefa were all territories of the people of Ennariya.”
“Later, because the Oromo caused it to be evacuated, it became Oromo territory. A king called Ennarya used to be appointed over it, under the king of kings, in accordance with the (tradition) that continued from ancient time to the time of Menelik I, and after that up to the time of Christianity.”
Another evidence from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rulers_of_the_Gibe_state_of_Limu-‘Enarya clearly shows Oromo rulers named Aba bogibo,Aba Gomoli,Aba bulgo…came after Oromo conquered Enariya around 1800. Prior to 1800, However, the previous kings such as Kaba Tseyon(1450-1530) who founded the kingdom of Ennariya ,Bedancho(1580-1603) who adopted Christianity and kings:- Gaha Nechocho;Kawo Sherocho in the 17th centrury upto king Chechu Nechecho of 1800 were well known rulers of Kaffaa kingdom ruling also Enariya.
Related expanssion of Oromos killing the tribes of Kaffa,Omo, Janjero & Gafat
Kaffa Kingdom: “Originates from Bonga the Gojeb river formed its northern border, beyond which lay the Gibe kingdoms; to the east the territory of the konta and Kullo Peoples lay between Kaffa and the Omo river; to the south numerous subgroups of the Gimira people, and to the west lay the Majanger people. Its boundaries were extended upto Woliso and according to Orent even it was a charity that they decided not to go farther into Shewa province.(Orent,”Refocusing on the history”, p 277)
Unfortunatelly, the last king Gaki Shorocho defeated by the combined armies of Welde Giorgis Ras Damisse, and King Abba Jifar II of Jimma, until he was captured on 11 September 1897.
Amazinglly “during the reorganization of the provinces in 1942, the former Kaffa kingdom was enlarged by the addition of a number of other kingdoms from the Gibe region to become Kaffa Province”(1)because King Hailesilasie knows the history Kaffa lost the territory by the conspiracy of Oromo Aba Jiffar with Ras Demissie ,Despite territories of Southern and northern Ethiopia annexed to Oromia and Tigray recentlly.
-“The Busase state was another Omotic kingdom in southwestern Wallaga. It was organized by the Busase who had conquered part of the Mao(Nilo -Saharan) people over whom they established a ruling dynasty called the Busase in Anfillo, prior to the advent of the Oromo.The Busase dynasty of Anfilo is clearly remembered as having put up a long and tough resistance against Oromo expansion into their region. It was a well orginzed state dominated by people who originated in kaffa and who spoke an omotic language related to kafficho and Sinicho(Shinasha)” (3)
“References in early European sources and local traditions indicate that the expanding Oromo faced more challenges from the Omotics than they generally did from the Nilo-Saharans in the area”.(3)
-“The nearby Janjero Kingdom was situated in southwestern Ethiopia, in the angle formed by the Omo and the Jima Gibbe rivers; to the west lay the Kingdom of Jimma and to the south the Kingdom of Garo. It existed from the 15th century to 1894. The first kings of Janjero belonged to the Halmam Gama dynasty, which was ejected by the Mwa clan, who claimed to have come from the north”.(1)In support of this fact David Shinn et al on their book Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia(2004) also written that this kingdom belongs to Semitic groups ussepered by Orromo agression.(4)
“In 1844, warriors of the Kingdom of Jimma defeated the army of Janjero, and the king of Janjero was taken prisoner. He regained his freedom in 1847, and resumed his struggle against his more powerful neighbor.” (1)
“Jimma conquered part of Janjero in the 1880s. The rest of the kingdom was annexed in the reign of Menelik II in 1894, and its last king, Abba Bogibo, fled to the Gurage country, but eventually made his submission to Emperor Menelik II.
During the reorganization of the provinces in 1942, the former kingdom was absorbed to become part of the Kaffa Province. However, with the new constitution of 1995, the area Janjero once occupied became the Yem Special Wereda/”Yeminano”, which was added to the Southern Nations,Nationalities, and peoples region to form the enclave of the Region west of the Omo River.”
-Like the nearby Damot “Gafat is reported in the Gedla Yared,to have come under Zagwe rule in the 12th century and St. Teklehaimanot accomplished his mission as well.
Gafat by the 15th century was firmly under imperial rule ,all the clans used to pay tribute mainly in cattle before the Oromo wiped them out and forced them to flee to Gojjam.” (2)
Encyclopedia Aethiopia states “the Gafats who lived on the left side of Abbay escaped Oromo persecution by crossing Abbay and settling there.
The Ge’ez sources unambiguously provide the names of a few Gafat subgroups, such as the Abadray, Ashman, Berababo, Den, Harbaqal, Harabawash, Shat, wange, Yasubli , Yazambal. the Bot and the Gambo,
The Gaffat people were creative and well known with variant handcraft skills, such as manual metal casting and leather works that could contribute to cottage industrial development in the country.”(2)
Once in Gojjam, they were incapable of resisting the Christian kingdom, but instead looked toward them for protection. Overtime thus the Gafat became loyal and inconspicuous subjects of the Christian empire. Professor Wolf Leslau in 1940s also concluded that “Gafat language was spoken on both sides of Abbay Iit’s true Oromo invasion of Gafat territory was the single most deadly blow that caused the start of their extinction”.
Oromo mass expanssion towards Western Ethiopia in brief
It should be an accepted fact that Oromos are among the natives in the horn of Africa. However,no evidences found they had been in their present occupation of west Ethiopia,Wellega ,Illuaba bor or Jimma before 16th century. Let alone to these western Ethiopia their expansion from Bale was restricted behind lake Ziway for example in 1573 by king Sartsa Dengel who “was the first emperor of Ethiopia to confront the encroachment of the Oromo. He campaigned against them again in his 15th (1578) and 25th (1588) reign years. He also campaigned in Enariya twice, the first time in 1586, and the second time in 1597” to secure the sustainability of Solomonic dynasty established along before his birth.(1)
But after his death, according to the sources of Dr.Tessema Ta’a “the Mecca and Tulama Oromo expansion into most parts of shewa and western central Ethiopia got opportunity from the reputed site of Oda Nabe,”now Akaki vicinity. (3)
Camping at Oda Nabe, later, the Macca Oromo established its own separate Gada known as ‘Oda Bisil’ with its center around Ambo and occupied the south western Oromia (Tessema 2004). Then, the Mecca Oromo divided itself into two groups known as ‘Afre’ and ‘Sadacha’ (which means the fourth and the third) . In the first half of 19th century, the ‘Afre’ group established the two Leqa states in Wallega known as Leqa Qelem and Leqa Naqamte from various clans such as leqa,Amuru,nanno, Jimma, Hulle and Wallaga. Then the Present IIuabba Bor inhabited by the Tume tribe and even if the tribes such as Leeqaa,sibu,Gudru & Amuru conquered the area it is the tribe called Wellega dominated Damot and won the clashes amongst themselves and re named Damot to Wellega(3)
At the same time the second branch ‘Sadacha’ group of Macca mainly the Hulle clan established the five Gibe states known as ‘Limmu Enariya, Jimma, Gera, Gomma and Gumma in the areas of today’s Jimma zone’.
“In Kaffa and Janjero further south, the resistance against the Oromo had been fierce and deeper penetration. On the other hand the majority of Nilo Saharans resisted only with bows and poisoned arrows while the Oromos had effective cavalry and infantry armed with spears, shields and special kinife Billabuta, sharp both sides purposely to cut heads of enemy according to J.Goody(technology,tradition and the state of Africa 1971)” (3)
The Mecca Oromo settlement in most of the Gibe region and western Shewa around thier gedaa center,Tute bisil, was complete by the turn of the 17th Century.
“By the end of the 18th century they had moved into the western corner of Gojjam (Wambara),central and westeren wallaga and Illuaba bor, more or less completing their expansion and settlement in western central Ethiopia.” (3)
“The Christian states contact with Enariya/Jimma,other Gibbe states apparently dated back to the reign of the Aksumite ruler Degna Jan , and that with Damot/Wellega and Gafat/south Gojjam to the Zagwe dynasty , while those with Hadeya and Gurage made by Amdeseyon.” (Pankhurst, 1997)
Therefore, they can be regarded as having a history of more than 3000 years equally like Aksum and also be a family or close friend of Semitic empires since ancient times. Although the current Ethiopian territory is officially made by Menelik II in the 19th century, these western central Ethiopian regions of Oromia (Ennariya/jimma, Damot) were in contact with north Abyssinians along before the 13th century.
If association with Semitic contacts suggested by Rechard Pankrust is not fair for narrow minded Oromos,they should leave Wellega,Illuaba bor, and Jimma for Omotic and Nilotic tribes since Damot and Enariya belongs to them 400 and 200 years ago respectively.
It would be the best solution if everyplace belongs to the whole Ethiopians denouncing TPLF agenda of federalism based on ethnicity. Therefore Tplf should consider historical facts such as western Oromia belongs originally to other ethnicity prior to the Oromo expansion of 16th century and their full settlement in the 18th century! Stop eviction!
(2) Richard Pankhurst, 1997.”The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century” Red Sea Press, 1997
(3) Tesema Ta’a ,2006. “The Political Economy of an African Society in Transformation: The Case of Macca Oromo (Ethiopia)”.
(4) David Shinn & Thomas Ofcansky,2004. Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia” Africa Series
Contributed by ABRAHAM Taye