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Friday, August 3, 2012

Ever since Bushe and Maldia, the ancestors of the Sidama nation, settled in Teelamo, the epicentre of the Sidama civilization and nation building, as they returned back from Dawa in search of better lands for cattle herding and sedentary farming, the society lived in peace and tranquillity albeit minor ethnic conflicts from neighbouring tribes for control of grazing lands. However, the situation changed drastically when the Abyssinian army invaded the southern nations immediately after the 1882 Berlin Conference of the western nations that decided to divide Africa among themselves. The Abyssinian army supplied with rifles and other modern weapons by these rival western colonizing powers, marched towards the south between the late 1880s and the beginning of the 20th century for control of the vast fertile land and other resources owned by the peoples of the free southern nations. These nations waged bitter armed struggle against the occupying forces of King Minelik during this period. Sidama was one of those free nations that waged such a gallant struggle against the occupying forces during this period.

Thus for the Sidama nation, the struggle for liberation began simultaneously with the resistance to occupation. When we, therefore, talk about the Sidama liberation struggle, we refer to the heroic resistances waged by our nation ever since the occupation of our land by invading Abyssinian forces in 1893. It is a blatant lie and a deceptive misinformation to state that the Sidama liberation struggle began after the 1974 revolution. The feuding of different Abyssinian political parties and the military Junta for the control of the Abyssinian empire may have led to the displacement of certain Sidama individuals from their appointed privileged positions in the early years of the revolution, but that can in no way be considered as the beginning of the Sidama liberation struggle.
It is therefore important to once again put the Sidama liberation struggle and the role of its leadership in an historical perspective and undo the misinformation about both the struggle and its leadership regardless of whoever does the misinformation. This is necessitated by the need to provide accurate and non-fabricated information about the heroic struggle of our nation and the role of its leadership to the like-minded political organizations. The deliberate misinformation about the Sidama liberation struggle and its leadership by a group of people who belong to a single family and who try to impose hitherto unknown hegemony and kingship over a society of more than 5 million people and certain individuals who try to assume unwarranted guardianship over this society is acting as a temporary bottleneck to creating a conducive environment for unity and cooperation between the Sidama National Liberation Organization (SNLO) and other like minded organizations of the oppressed sisterly nations.