Ethiopia: Dark side of Oromo expansions and Menelik conquests

8 mins read

by Abera Tola

Through out history; people have migrated and expanded seeking greener pastures and more land. Globally, most countries have endured and were created thru expansions, wars, assimilation, migration; slavery etc. Even the most developed countries in the world today have dark pasts. For example; millions of Native Americans were exterminated or removed from their homelands while millions more African-Americans underwent the most cruel slavery in world history before the great democracy; the USA; was born. If not for the gradual improvement of human rights in America and its military superiority triggering an economic powerhouse; United States would have been just another poor country facing fragmentation and internal division due to its dark history of conquest and slavery. While Ethiopia did not have as much a bloody history as America; it did experience some conflicts and small level of slavery. Considering how extremely diverse Ethiopia is ethnically, linguistically, politically and religiously, Ethiopia still has been a relatively peaceful country. And that has been one reason why, despite all its problems, its citizens are proud. Case in point: how many poor countries with over ninety native languages and a near 50/50 Islam/Christian population have managed to co-exist or live in relative peace for over thousand years? Not many. But still, Ethiopia has had its share of problems as well. As an Oromo; the two most violent and most important events that impacted my people are the Oromo expansion in the 1500s and the Shewan Menelik expansion of the 1880s. These two events represent the two stages of Ethiopia’s ethnolinguistic evolution.

Stage one: Oromo expansion

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After the 1540s; the ethnolinguistic and political shape of the horn of Africa changed forever when the Oromo expanded north into territories dominated by the Amharic speaking people of Abyssinia/Ethiopia as well as the Sidama and the Adal kingdoms. Historians credit our unique Gadaa system for being suitable for warfare and for the successful conquest of present day central; west and eastern Ethiopia by the Oromo. According to Oromo oral accounts and historical records; the Oromo expansion into Abyssinia was disorganized but Oromo raids and attacks of the neighboring people lasted for many decades; leading to the killing of tens of thousands of Amharic speaking people. The powerful Oromo benefitted from its large population and better developed battle strategy. The Oromo expansions were also similar to that of the Ottoman Empire expansion because they both did not always change the religion of their new subjects. With the only exception of the Yejju Oromo imposing Afan Oromo on Amharas in Gondar; the Oromos also never enforced their language on other people. Nonetheless; many Somali, Amharic and Sidama speaking peoples became “tax-paying serfs” for the new Oromo rulers. And having already been weakened by the Adal/Somali conquest of southern Abyssinia; the Amharic & Tigrayan speaking population of Abyssinia lost more lands to the Oromo; including the Shawa and Dawaro regions (Arsi area) that have been Abyssinian territories since the days of their ancient Aksum empire. Today; the descendants of these Oromo settlers makeup the dominant population in Shewa and Arsi. Not only the eastern and southern edges of the Abyssinian highlands but; gradually; even some northern pockets of Abyssinia got conquered by Oromo warlords: which explains why small Oromo communities can still be found as far north as Tigray even today. Thus; in the late 1500s; having lost substantial territories to the Oromo; the Solomonic Dynasty/Abyssinia declined in power for decades. But that century also started the transformation of Abyssinia into a more multi-ethnic entity: one that was forced to incorporate Oromo as one of its citizens.

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Stage Two: Menelik/Shewan expansion

Another significant event that greatly impacted the ethnic and political situation in Ethiopia and the region was the Shewan/Abyssinian expansion led by Emperor Menelik II during the late 1800s. Just like the Oromo expansion; the Abyssinian expansion was disorganized since many parts of Abyssinia were in conflict amongst each other. The Shewan part of Abyssinia have been in various small battles against Gondar and Gojjam parts. However; using relatively modern weapons purchased from European countries; the Shewan Abyssinians defeated other Abyssinian regions and then they continued on to re-conquer Oromo territories that were settled by the Oromos since the 1500s. Proportionally; about the same percentage of people might have perished during the Shewan expansion (stage 2) compared to the Oromo expansion (stage 1). However; seen in raw figures; many thousands more were killed during the bloody conquests by Menelik’s Shewan army. As the sign of the times, not many international laws of war exists to stop the atrocities during these wars, or for that matter during any wars around the globe. Yet one undeniable key fact of this war was that the Shewan army was ethnically diverse, even if Amharas were the militarily dominant group in it. Because Oromos settled in Shewa since their 1500s expansion; Shewa was already a melting pot of Amhara and Oromo by the late 1800s. Therefore; the multi-ethnic Shewan army of Emperor Menelik was able to easily defeat various Oromo and southern areas of present day Ethiopia.

Both of these historical events of the 1500s and the 1800s shaped the ethnolinguistic identity of the new Ethiopia.


The most glaring difference between the two events is that one happened in a recent memory and thus it influences the current politics of the region more powerfully. Otherwise; both events are dark and equally violent parts of our history. De-emphasizing or ignoring one event over the other only creates confusion and bitterness among the new generation. An Oromo should not ignore “stage one” and only talk about “stage two.” Similarly; an Amhara should not ignore “stage two” and only talk about “stage one.” The blame game by bringing a biased version of the past only poisons the present. No one side should play the victim game or live in the past, instead of working for a better future; otherwise everyone will fall together.


-US Library of Congress Country study: Ethiopia history

– Pankhurst; Richard K.P. The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century. The Red Sea Press; Asmara.

– Oromo Oral history


  1. From GETACHEW REDA (Editor Ethiopian Semay)

    I do not understand why the writer is referring during Menlik re-constriction and stabilization of Ethiopia’s territory as “Amhara” war versus Oromo. Unless one takes Menlik as Amhara ethnic blindly as the OLF apartheid OLF guerrilla leaders claimed I have never understood the writer showed us who are the Amhara leaders and army he is referring too. As we can prove the army or leaders were not established in the name of Amhara or the leaders never claimed as such.

    But, the stage one the writer is referring is clear. It was well organized under the warriors of the then Gala pastoralists expansion and renamed all the native names and change it to Oromo name. Even Mohammed Hassen the OLF historian rightly putted it on his book. The only thing I agree with the writer is the conflict in both wars was brutal. Now, we forgot all that, the problem is there are thugs who wants to go back to the 18 century by erecting a breast pornography status to be seen by the world and by Ethiopians to create a new blood shade and want us to remember the 16 century brutal and savage expansion that involved massive brutal genitalia mutilation in the Oromo16 century expansion and also by the brutal OLF in 1991 against Amharic speaking people -teachers, mothers, children, elders…..)

    For reason unknown, The third stage of crime carried by the brutal OLF/IOLF should have been mentioned briefly or detail by the writer, unfortunately, he is shy on it. We ask why? That is even worst than the old conflict with no one is responsible if we wisely see the issue.
    Thanks. Getachew Reda *editor Ethiopian Semay).

    • I couldn’t find any Ethiopian intellectuals any more.. The editors and writers of the habesha lost battle of proving their story right.. look at your self G/RETA you are commenting your frustration and lost all reference.. you are proving to us Ethiopia never lived beyond 100 yrs..

  2. What a manipulative Neftegna disguising as Oromo. You guys are just unbelievable. I really don’t see any future with us continuing as a one country.

  3. Thank you for this article. You know individuals with extreme views took charge of our political life and all the focus had to be on what keeps us apart which is not in the interest of us all. We have hope when such people with balanced outlooks grace our politics. It is a must that we work on what narrows our difference.

    We all share all the good and the bad that had takern place in our country, there is no particular group that was targeted for the sake of it. Yes there has been some shameful acts of marginalisation of our culture and using pejorative and belittling languages against each other all of which had originated out of ignorance which is not by any means enough reason for us not to see eye to eye,
    Some approaches in our politics of today amount to madness, we got to stop that and return to reason, the way we are going we can not reach any where.
    We need people with fresh ideas, our leaders admit they have made mistakes but the unfortunate thing is that there is no meaningful change they have made.
    So there is nothing we can expect from them any more.
    We really have hope when we see individulas like you coming forward.

  4. Nice try Abera Tola! BTW, are the virtual professor from Adaamaa University re-surfacing simply as Abera Tola without the prof title this time around? Be that as it may, your fable reminds one about the clever street robbers in Merkato in Finfinnee. The street robbers rob their innocent victim at the gun point, beating him/her up to near death, take away all the belongings of the victim and then turn around and say ‘we are only reclaiming our lost belongings’. Is this not genius? I think the teret-teret above qualifies for a Guinness Book record both for its ingenuity and originality. Saying more on this original teret-teret is wasting ones own time. I would only add that may be the author of this wonderful teret-teret needs to be encourage to come forth being who s/he is instead of hiding behind pseudo Oromo names. If you believe in what you say, just be who you are. You do not need to try to be who you are not because it undermines your credibility, if any, of the teret-teret you are trying to narrate. If you cannot man up to be who you are and say what you want to say (teret-teret like the above or not) being who you are, how would you expect others to take you seriously?

    • You are sick. Why would u need to know who the the writer is? Your narrow tribal and racist mentality doesn’t let u discuss the idea and the messages. The inferiority complex WILL eat you out.

  5. You wrote about the expansion and migration of the Oromo people in detail but you forgot to mention that the neighboring Somalia presently divided was the Origin of that migration and expansion. As a half Oromian my self , I believe if the we / Oromos have to fight for a certain home land of our own , It has to be in Somalia or the only other way is to co-exist with justice and equality in our new and united future Ethiopia. Thanks for the article and it was hidden history most of us have to know.

  6. @Getachew Reda , I know that you’re sick in the head. What the hell are the Amhara settlers doing in Oromiyaa ? We’ll cut your dickhead too. Like the Eritreans did , we’ll pack on the back of a lorry and drop you on the Amahara-Oromiyaa borders.

    • Are you forgetting that there are Oromo settling all over Ethiopia too?? DO you mean like weyane did to the Eritrians??

    • Guji man, it is he 21st centure you still cut dickhead. You are a barbaric animal. This forum is for civilized people. Did you mentioin, kicking out the
      Amaharas? Are you dreaming? F E S A M !!!! You remeber, what Weyane did to you Oromo tribalist back in the 1990s. I heard you were running all the way down to Kenyan borader without firing a single bullet. I heard the ratio was 2 weyane for 100 FESAM Galas.

  7. Guyyaasaa.
    They don’t even see the dynamics of our movement and they cant fight us because there is no head quarter but grassroots movement.
    Ato Tola don’t need to change his name. He can call himself one of the ESAT journalist. I don’t care which one you pic. just take one name forget Tola, because you are writing negative about Obbo Tola who is in slavery for the last 150 years. Qubee generation has beaten you and you better compromise.
    One thing please don’t report about OLF military which you never mentioned before. We are peace loving people. We don’t want war.

  8. @guyassssa,

    Oromo migration to the north is something people like you find hard to swallow. YOU JUST LIKE CHEWING UP YOUR FABRICATED LIE about oromo being a victim. how do you explain the fact that there are oromo speaking people living in the middle of amhara communities in the north.

    How do you explain the fact that there are oromo speakers in Raya in tigre region. They migrated to the north, that is the fact. live with it.

    The oromo migration to the north has not only displaced millions of amharas and other communities but also resulted in millions of deaths. The land that amharas and other groups inhabited was taken away by the oromo who were advancing to the north in large numbers with their herds.

    similar seasonal migrations that take place even in present day Ethiopia. The Issa tribe in Eastern Ethiopia migrate to the north in search of grazing for their herd.
    In SOUTH EAST Ethiopia similar seasonal migration takes place the ogaden and oromo do migrate to each others territory. there are often clashes and many people are killed.

    The lie and fabricated stories about history that you have been fed has blunted your mind that you do not even want to admit such facts.

  9. hahhahah stupid retarded debtera posing as oromo. you are busted abera buda komata jezba tola. now go back to your cave!

  10. Some oromo elites seems to believe their own fabrication as true history,but what the good boys does not understand is that it was only written as a propaganda material to get some support from the ethnic oromo.Fact is Oromos expansion in abbysinia (Ethiopia) 15 th century mostly from kenya and around and goes to wolega which its name was damot before the invasion.

  11. As a moderator, I view Abera Tola’s article balanced and fair. Let us forget the tale tale story about breast cutting and move forward. Menilk was a devoted christen and it is not his character to do that. Minelik washed King Tona’s feet after he defeated him to show his humbleness and gesture of friendship. He restored Tona’s power and kingdom in Welayta. He did the same to Jimma Abajifar. Yes, there was fighting and death of people during restoring Ethiopian boundary during Menelik as there was in the 15 century during the Oromo expansion. Let us move on. What Oromos should ask now is proper representation and power sharing in Ethiopia. All democratic forces support this.

    • Abegaz, even though I don’t comment much on articles, your brief and articulate response moved me to do so, Menelik, as far as the history goes, advanced Ethiopia’s interest but no Amhara’s interest. Menelik was not by any measure, a tribal king but rather, Emperor of Ethiopia who showed kindness not only to his Oromo subjects but also to the very Italian captives who invaded Ethiopia. One key point that needs to be noted is Menelik was not expansionist but a monarch who sought to bring back lost regions back to the empire but Oromos, as all historians agree, were expansionists chipping off regions from the Empire for their own thus contributing to the decline of Ethiopia as a whole. If their move was purely for acceptance in the Empire, the outcome would have benefited all since Ethiopian Emperors were always adamant in excelling the Empire but skirmishes here and there kept them busy batteling with enemies at four corners of the Empire, busy enough that most Ethiopian Emperors didn’t have the time to build central palaces but instead leading their vast empire in mobile tents.

  12. I am happy to see such balanced article about our history. ofcourse most extremist oromos would like to talk about only stage two, not stage one. nice try guys. it is sad that innocent oromos are being targeted by the extremist promos….. but ethiopian people are not stupid. we should kick out all extremist oromos from shewa and wollo and see how they like it.

  13. @salaa golachaacsa

    You sound like a bitter, degraded, self hating individual on the verge of committing suicide.
    oromo migration and the destruction of lives that is caused in northern and central Ethiopia has not been discussed in detail. let the LIE AND FABRICATION of the ethno-centric fascists be exposed.


    This selective article have forgotten to mention the vital point of demographic facts in consideration, that we Oromos were Ethiopia’s undisputed majority not only in Debub Amhara regions the disput occurring but in national level.

  15. It is a good analysis but mist of Minilik warriors were oromos and Atse Minilik by himself were not Amhara. he was Oromo on his Mother side. Now the Oromo libration front have used a false propaganda by saying Minilik was Amhara, but it was their tactic to beat innicent Amharas as they killed many innocent Amharas in Arsi and arbagogu. Oromos took most of Amhara’s land but for the better future it is better to live every where with out discrimination.

  16. Well said mr abera. I wonder how some ppl from both sides are blind and crazy not to see the reality and hear each other. Some of u even dare to declare there is no future for us together. Well u can hang ur self some where in workd where u r but not Ethiopia please. I don’t know about the other sides of oromiya but the shoa oromos are mixed and intermarriade how could u tell them there is no future for future? Lets be optimist soborup and forgive and forget the past for betterment of our country. Those ppl have done their part weather its good or bad for thier country and on their ppl ( for the bad act) lets do our part than insulting each other for decades. Big up guys its 21 centuary ppl r doing so many incridble things and we r here fighting as those old ages. Well u may call me neftegna bla bla bla but I’m the son of mulatu chekuala okey! Proudly Ethiopian.Yaleminm dm Ethiopia Tekdem ale sewyew.

  17. ” The 16th century oromo migration theory is an absurd and odd theory .There is no proof that the large great oromo people appeared to Ethiopia 500 years ago. Oromos are among the first speakers of Afroasiatic and contrary to odd theory that the oromos are one of the earliest inhabitants of east Africa.The 16th century migration is disproved by our study of afroasiatic languages”
    Harvard professor Epherem Isaac(B.A, B.D, PHD, D.Litt, D.H.L)

    • Yes Amharas, Sidamas, Adals, Tigrayns all agree there was a huge surge of population in the 16th century.

      The prof article doesn’r deny Oromos’as part of east africa as they migrate from somali.

    • Forget Oromo elite fabrication with no single fact like the trash emperor MinIIK
      Breast damage which is normally the culture of the Oromo peoples not even emeye think about it.fact is which is even supported by foreign historians is the Migration of the Oromo tribe in different Areas in which at first seen as guests like the Name says it (Gala) till they started their Invasion to look fertile land for their herds and later confronted by the abyssinians.

  18. The American satirist Ambrose Bierce defines History “History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves(dishonest and deceitful men), and soldiers, mostly fools”. To just the unjust of the past is exhuming things that are better left alone. I am aware those narrow minded nationalists living the life of tranquility abroad will always push our people to do their agendas. Their perpetual satisfaction is the dismemberment of Ethiopia. They are full of vinegar and fizz. Always bitter on things that are done with.
    Crimes of the past must be investigated, cataloged and accessed easily by the public to be a lesson to the living. But not to be used as a fuel by hate mongers. Be it Oromo expansion or Menelik’s conquests, their act must be judged and measured in the time frame they lived. Those of us who are living in the 21st century must be the last ones to throw a stone at them.

  19. The best

    In the 16 century ,The origin of Oromo were actual OROMIA,the origin of Somalis were somalia. The invaders came from the highland.
    Unfortunatly All the ethiopian history about migration of oromo were writen by the wiiners and the crime of the southerners were to loose the war to menelik.

    • To : Koya
      History of migration of your people was based on facts. I don’t understand why you are really concerned about Somalia connection of the Oromo people.We have to face the fact. It is not only written by the winners. Foreigners had also written about it. Please Google it . I am sure you will find plenty of documents that will prove my point about the Original home of the Oromo people. Thanks.

  20. Oromo migraton is something the racist fascist clique led by dawd ibsa not want to talk about. can anybody with a sane mind fail to see how oromos appeared in places like Raya, Yeju, Asher bet etc in Northern Ethiopia if not by migration.

    These fascists only tell their fabricated lies about oromo represssion, always presenting oromo as a victim.

    oromo has taken land inhabited by amhara and other groups and destroyed millions of lives as they migrated to the north.

    In 1991 when olf and dawd ibsa were in their honeymoon with tigre liberation front , they have massacred millions of innocent amharas, in southern Ethiopia, continuing their destructive role to this present day.

  21. Although I don’t agree 100% with all the points the writer makes thanks anyway for putting historical facts in perspectives and prospects. For me arguing over 600 years old history is wasting time when we and our people are being abused, killed and treated as burdens right now by Woyane thugs.

    When Oromos and Amharas are busy ctiticizing each other over 600 years old long gone dead history Wyoanes are laughing all the way to the bank and enjoying life.

    Put the stupidity aside to die and live today’s life. Amharas or Oromos will never to live and enjoy their family and country while the big elephant, Woyane is sleeping in peace with full power secured by Amhara and Oromos quarrel over 600 years old history. The only way to reclaim their right is by standing together and fight for freedom.

  22. This article about Oromo expansions is a fabrication. There is no a grain of truth in it. Oromo is one of the indigenous peoples of East Africa. We are as old as the rivers. mountains, fields, lakes and valleys of Oromia.

  23. Hi Born Again,

    According to you, only today is important, and the past is irrelevant. Your argument is dead wrong. Yesterday is the mother of today, and today is the mother of tomorrow. They are interdependent and inseparable. Life is better understood backwards. We must learn from the past to avoid mistakes.

    • true ,you must learn from your past to avoid the future one. Now, you are working not to make the present and the future better world rather 100& against to that. My friend, I have no more to say you my brother because you are from oromiya and I am from the great Ethiopian empire. The more you stick to your past, you can not progress even a GAT ( an Ethiopian measuring scale). Do you understand what I mean? if not go to hell!!!!! I do not care!!!!

  24. KKKKK, this article imitated to be written by an Oromo is fabricated by confused unsure of his future Amhara. The Oromo people didn’t invade a single meter of Amhara Land. The story was written by Some Europeans who refer the source of their information from Abyssinians.

    My dear readers, whoever you are, like or unlike it, the conflict between these two trunks will be unavoidable. It will be taking place just some times until the Amharas recognize the mistakes they had done on Oromo people. Don’t get tiered of false hope and anticipation. You will be paying the price sooner or later. Writing false propaganda has no place in todays Oromo People. Those dark times has passed for Oromo people and we are recovering from the deeper ignorance, poverty and disorganization imposed up on us by the colonizers. There is a sense of proud in every amhara to leave and do what ever in Oromia, but those days will soon be ended in the near future. We come to fight you and push you back to your original location

    • one thing you do not understand is, you do not want to learn or read. But…let me tell you one reason that your Oromos ancestors evasion is true from the living witness of churches which lived for more than 1000 year even closer to 2000 years in the region of the so called Oromia now. what answers do you have for this…none or may be you might come up with some confusing notions. the thing is that you sick and you need time too heal from it by thinking positive and. I do not think as you claim now, that Oromos did not have churches because they were nomades and followers of Gada…so there are thousands of living witness in your region so try to solve you problem and think for the beautiful the nation otherwise go back to somalia and claim your Oromia there!!!

  25. Oromos are never victims. Actually they were worriors afflicting troubles on Amharas. In fact huge lands have been taken from previos Amhara and Tigre residents from south all the way to north, Tigray (Raya).

    In those years Oromos were violent going riding horses and destroying Amhara residents and farms and killing thousands mercilessly . They came from south, had no land to claim but now they have scattered all the way to Tigray.

  26. Weyane cadres are faning this thing and some foolish Amharas and Oromos are falling in their trap while they are exploiting the coutry. Weyane is doing history while Oromo and Amhara argue about stage 1 and stage 2. Are we preparing for stage 4???

  27. The Oromo should drop double-standard: sucking Ethiopian blood and insulting Ethiopia and Ethiopianism is an Irreconcilable stand. Split or live with gratitude of your people!

  28. If Ethiopia was a united country 300 years ago and being led by power full kings since its foundation, how the founders remained occupying bare and unproductive settlements areas like Gondar, Wollo and Tigray. The truth is the Oromo remained keeping its land intact from its historical enemies. Plus the truth brings the real change, we do not have any worry even to day, because we know every thing is just like a river which floods seasonally. The Woyane which comes to state power paying incredible sacrifices lived only two decades through lots of ups and downs. The head was broken and the remainants will step down soon and we the Oromo are extra confidential, We breath healthy and we dream a vision of hope and success. The Woyane deeply concerned how long to stay on power which does not print any hope of futurity. Even if the Oromo were expansionist or migrant, who makes the Amhara the body guard to Dawaro, Sidama or Kambata, etc…The time the Amhara cegan to penetrate to our land was only beginning from 1879, the day YohannessIV was beheaded and the day state power was transferred to MinilikII. You do not supposes to tell us history today. We know every thing …Bye Habesha!!!!

  29. For Ethiopia to remain its existence all our people have paid with their lives now during the TPLF rule we have to be disorganized and remain second class citizens in our own country while our country and our people are being sold for the biggest bidders.The fact about our country’s half a century history is that the battle have been and continue to be b/n Patriotic Ethiopians and anti-Ethiopia bandas.As history is about to repeat itself one is certain that Mother Ethiopia shall be defended by her patriotic sons and daughters.Obviously not by cyber patriots however by those who shall not hesitate for their life compared to Ethiopia.That would be the time when Ethiopia shall stand tall over the grave of demons of tribalism!Long Live Ethiopia!

  30. After the triumph of ethnonationalist Boycotbeddelle campaing,ethiopiawinet and the fake ethiopian nationalist is dead. We are nations and nationalities andpeople as such we have to build a Union of Horn african nations. Only neftegna is still using word like patriotic,ethiopianism to impose the old regime back

  31. To etie. First of all one country’s people is one nation as such Ethiopian people are one nation with a variety of languages,cultures and religious believe.In today’s world there is no country that calls itself nations,nationalities and people.According to you and your types the United Nations has to converted in to United Nations Nationalities and People(UNNP).I fill sorry to you and your types for the identity crises you have willingly found yourselves.Ethiopia and its people shall defended by her patriotic sons and daughters!By the you are correct that I am “Neftegna”because that what any patriotic would be in order to defend his country.For your information “Ethiopianism”is alive today and forever!!!!!!

  32. The invasion of Ethiopia by the Oromo tribes happened in very recent times, much later than 1600 AD. The invasion is witnessed and documented by many writers, including Ethiopian writers and Portugese missionaries who followed the Portugese military mission dispatched during the invasion of Ethiopia by the Jihadist army. In fact, the description of Oromo invaders by the Portugese missionaries, who were eye witnesses, makes a very interesting read for any one interested in the history of those times.

    What is quite interesting is that the military campaign of the Jihadist army earlier led by Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi was chronicled in great detail by a Yemeni historian and scholar named Sihab ad-Din Admad ibn ‘Abd-al-Qadir. The Yemeni historian was actually an eye witness who accompanied Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi on his military campaigns starting at the outskirts of the city of Harar and all the way to Midir Bahir (today’s Eritera).

    Sihab ad-Din Admad ibn ‘Abd-al-Qadir, in his epic book, not only describes the battles but the people who occupied the historical lands of Ethiopia during the sixteen hundreds. All of the southern people (Sidama, Wolaita, Gurage, Amhara and many others) are mentioned in detail, but there is no mention of the Oromo either in Showa, Bale, Harar or anywhere nearby. The Oromo tribes simply were not there. They were somewhere south of the Ethiopian borderlands.

    There is an indication though that they were not far away, as just within in a century they overran and occupied huge areas. For this, you may read the book: The Oromo of Ethiopia: A History 1570-1860 by Mohammed Hasan.

    • I was surprised during Jihadist Gragn Ahmed there were Somalis, Hararis, Afars, Adals but no Oromo name mentioned in the book. Gragn was unbeatable hero of not only Ethiopia but Africa and known world wide.

      During Crusader Menelik there were mostly Oromo foot soldiers and a few Amharas.

      However, I don’t believe that Oromos moved to contemperory Ethiopia in 16th century. I am sure they were there long time ago.

  33. Tariq
    You would like to explain to us that the single first inhabitant of actual ethiopia were amara.No Oromo were there before any body they did come from madagascar.The real invaders were the highlanders,abyssinans there are many proofs.A portuguese writer in the 16th century wrote in every corner of the country you will find oromo. Tariq stop ypur lie please.

  34. Koya:

    Ethiopia, as it’s today, was a multiethnic and multi religious land during the time of the Jihadic wars. There were christans, Muslims, Jewish and people worshiping other deities then as now. There were multitude of ethnicities in the empire then as there are multitude of ethnicities today.

    I suggest you do a little more reading about this period. May be you should start with the author I have mentioned and try to form a learned opinion. I am aware of the work of the “Aleqa” who hypothesized the Madagascar origin. I personally don’ t consider it to be a well researched work. Interestingly, however, I have met a few people from Southern Madagascar, when I used to live in South Africa. They claim that their original homeland was in Ethiopia. Their physical appearance is very similar to many people you see in Ethiopia as well. So, it is a small world. There may have been a route the other way at some point. Best thing is to keep the mind open. Nothing is definitive.

  35. Why do people always talk about the past? The past is constructed by elites. The current is something that we have to care because we we live in it; we live now. Why do not the Oromo intellectuals talk about the atrocities of the Oromo hordes that massacre lots of people still today for nothing!? The atrocity by the Oromo against most of the Ethiopians, especially the people of southwestern Ethiopians, is not history of the past; it is rather an action still taking place now. You the so-called Oromo ‘intellectuals’ or elites, please act as civilized people and stop your atrocity! Why do you exaggerate about Menelik’s wars and killings, which is a pain for most Ethiopians including the Amharas and Tigrians? Was not the army of Menelik largely an Oromo army?That is past. Is not the Oromo still cutting the nipples of non-Oromo girls/women today? Are not the Oromos cutting the genitals of non-Oromo men just now? Please stop this savage action of yours! Why do you, the Oromo elites, be so ethnocentric? No body argues about the contribution of the Oromo to the Ethiopian civilization and polity. The Oromo did not face any suppression different from any other Ethiopian. Rather, the Oromo elites were part of the suppressors. Of course, there was no Amhara or Tigre neftegna in Gedeo, Sidama, Gamo or Kafa. It was the Oromo neftegna that looted and suppressed the whole of southwestern Ethiopia and its people. I am not echoing difference. What i am saying is emphasizing the past for a meaningless petty and ethnic (call it national) interest does not benefit us (as Oromo, as Amhara, as Hadiya, as Somali …). Let us use the past for our benefit; no countryin the world is formed peacefully. The US was formed by eliminating the natives. by enslaving the blacks. But the US id now a peaceful and hopeful country, that is exemplary for the whole world. Let us make a new history as brothers: as Oromos, Amharas, Wolaytas, Kores, Sidamas, Somalis, Afars, Kafas, etc. We are just fighting over a dry bone. Hi come to your sense; let us build our common ETHIOPIA that is suitable for the Oromo, Amhara, Tigray, Wolayta, Burji, Kore, Kafa, Hadiya, Kambata, Somali, Yem, Dawuro, Afar, etc. We have the bless of God so d we can buils our beloved home if we talk, think and act together.

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