Home | Comment & Analysis    Tuesday 14 April 2009

The forgotten tribes of Oromo in Somalia

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By Abas Eenow

April 13, 2009 — A long time ago, most of the current Somali territories in the horn of Africa belonged to the larger Cushitic nationality of Oromo known by the Somalis as Galla and others. For hundreds of years, until the end of the 19th century. The nomadic Somali tribes have invaded and forcefully occupied parts of the present state of Somalia which was populated by non-ethnic Somali ethnic groups.

During their expansion, the Somali pastoral warriors have evicted the majority of the Oromo and other non Somali tribes from their land and forced those who remained to be assimilated. In the course of these campaigns, Oromo tribes such as
Boran, Rendiile and others have been dislodged from their territories of origin inside Somalia and these communities are found in Kenya & Ethiopia. In fact large number of them such as Wa Boni and Gaalbore have been partially integrated and have taken nominal Somali tribal names although still considered inferior to noble Somali tribes.Most of them live among the Digil & Mirifle tribe of the South.
But Oromos who declined to convert and refused to become clients to the Somalis tribesman were subjected to aggression and discrimination like Ribo (raybo), Wardey (Waradaya) in the South and Lo’jir in the North.

If you go back to the oral history of the Somali people, you will understand that Hargeeysa (North) and Garbohareey (South) are actually Oromo names and literally Galkacyo means, " Where the Oromo has been kicked out "
Overall, the Somali war of " Force occupation " has been stopped by the British colonial administration in the late of the 19th century after the British has realized that the wandering warlike tribes would cross over the Tana river in Kenya and into great lake region.

After the Somali civil, the Somali tribes of Oromo origin who were unarmed were robbed, raped and killed in wanton.
In regards to the minority groups in the failed state of Somalia a lot of reports have been written over the plight and the suffering of ethnic clans but, unfortunately, the Somali tribes of Oromo origin such as Ribo , Wardeey and others have not been mentioned .

Therefore, as there is no hope that a democratic state will come out of Somalia in the foreseeable future, we demand from human rights organizations to correct their mistakes so that, at least, the rights of these communities are recognised by international organizations.

The author is an activist for the Oromo-Somalis



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