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Waaqoo Guutuu  

Mohammed Hassen Ali

Oromo educator and resistance leader in Ethiopia, was born in the region of Bale, around the famous Madda Walaabuu, the sacred place in traditional Oromo religion. At a young age Waaqoo Guutuu became the pride of people, for his physical strength, courage, intelligence, gift of leadership, and determined resistance against land confiscation by Abyssinian settlers in Bale.

Between 1942, when Emperor Haile Selassie consolidated his authority, and 1970, when Waaqoo Guutuu made a peace settlement with the emperor, no fewer than 1,448,558 hectares of land were confiscated from Oromo farmers in the highlands of Bale, which is nearly 30 percent of all lands confiscated in southern Ethiopia at the time, clearly indicating that the Oromo farmers in the province of Bale were singled out for confiscation of their land. From 1958 to 1960 Waaqoo Guutuu tried by peaceful means to lessen the tax burden on his people ...