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The Oromo have been denied basic aspects of their humanity since they were forced to enter into the global capitalist world system via slavery and colonialism, which were facilitated by the alliance of Ethiopian dependent colonialism and global imperialism (Holcomb & Ibssa 1990).
Holcomb, Bonnie, and Sisai Ibssa 1990 The Invention of Ethiopia.
There have been five miseensas (parties) in gadaa; these parties have different names in different parts of Oromia as the result of Oromo expansion and the establishment of different autonomous administrative systems (Lepisa, 1975; Ibssa 1992).
"The gun (from Europe) and the gun carrier (from Abyssinia) arrived in the colonies as one unit," Holcomb and Ibssa (1990: 135) note, "and this unit basically expresses the political alliance that created the neftenga-gabbar [sic] relationship, the relation that lay at the heart of the emerging Ethiopian colonialism." Whenever Oromo farmers and other colonized peoples failed to provide services or pay taxes or tributes, the settlers enslaved their children or wives.
Ibssa 1990 The Invention of Ethiopia: The Making of a Dependent Colonial State in Northeast Africa.
The balance of power between Oromos and Habashas changed in the second half of the 19th century, when Britain, Italy, and France assisted the latter in colonizing Oromos and other peoples in the Horn of Africa (Jalata, 1993; Holcomb and Ibssa, 1990).
The surviving Oromos became colonial subjects, much of their land was expropriated, millions were sold into slavery, and others were reduced to semi-slaves or gabbara (Jalata, 1993; Holcomb and Ibssa, 1990).
With the support of Great Britain, France, and Italy, Menelik's colonization of non-Abyssinians, particularly the Oromo, allowed him to gain access to the abundant human and material resources that he mercilessly exploited so that he could purchase the modern weaponry and expertise necessary to create and maintain the Ethiopian empire (see Jalata, 1993; Holcomb and Ibssa, 1990).
Iyasu "desired to do away with the religious and national distinctions that prevailed in the empire.and began to build a foundation for some kind of national unity on a different model from that which was already in place and to establish a base support different from that of" the Ethiopian establishment (Holcomb and Ibssa, 1990: 158).
The Abyssinian warlords created the Ethiopian empire by terrorizing and committing genocide on the Oromo and other peoples during the last decades of the 19th century (Jalata, 2005; Holcomb and Ibssa, 1990).
For example, Holcomb and Ibssa (1991) state that the Oromo " account for over 60 percent of the population of the present-day Ethiopia."
See, for example, Holcomb and Ibssa (1990) and Jalata (1993).
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