DOI: https://doi.org/10.21847/1728-9343.2019.2(160).164984

The Gada system and the Oromo’s (Ethiopia) culture of peace

Abdurahman Abdulahi Aliye

Abstract


The purpose of this study is to add to recent calls to develop indigenous knowledge of peace system and culture development to promote culture of peace in Africa. It assesses the indigenous Gadaa system peace concept and culture, identify its peace related values, philosophies, traditions, institutions, etc for nurturing and sustaining peace in the Oromo society, with the neighboring ethnic group, and its relevance to creating peace culture in Africa and beyond. It relates Gadaa peace system with the UN peace system initiative and framework in demonstrating the relevance of Gada peace system to peace building in multi-ethnic conflicts transformation in the Horn of Africa and beyond. Oromo people were traditionally a culturally homogeneous society with genealogical ties living in Ethiopia, Kenya, and other neighboring east African countries. They governed themselves in accordance with Gadaa (literally "era"), an outstanding democratic socio-political system long before the 16th century that has survived to date and is currently functional in Ethiopia and Kenya, and  gaining importance and restored in all parts of Oromia in Ethiopia.. The Gada system is an indigenous institution that pervades every aspect of an Oromo life including personal, interpersonal, social, economic and political life. The Oromo concept of peace is comprehensive and broader than western conception of absence of violence. It covers both negative and positive peace, intra-personal peace, interpersonal peace, within Oromo, with other communities, with nature, and peace with God. Therefore, to build peace culture the Gada concept of peace, truth, values, principles, and conflict resolution techniques need to be restored and promoted. It should be documented and made part of education system. The academics should do research and disseminate these values. The regional state government and civic societies should develop a peace education program based on these values and traditions so that they should be restored quickly and sustained among Oromo community in all corners of east Africa where Oromo community lives. The concepts of gender equality and participation in sustainable development of the society needs to introduced into the Oromo culture and Gada system. 


Keywords


Peace; peace system; culture; values; Gada; Oromo; Indigenous; Africa; Ethiopia

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References


Ahlin, B. (2013). What kind of education is needed to promote a culture of peace in Africa? In: Proceedings of the Pan-African Forum Sources and Resources for a Culture of Peace in Africa. AFR-2013/WS/3, UNESCO. pp. 42-48. (In English).

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GOST Style Citations


Ahlin B. What kind of education is needed to promote a culture of peace in Africa? In: Proceedings of the Pan-African Forum Sources and Resources for a Culture of Peace in Africa. AFR-2013/WS/3, UNESCO. 2013. pp. 42-48.

 

Asmarom Legesse. Gada: Three Approaches to the Study of African Society. New York: The Free Press, 1973.

 

Asmarom Legesse. Oromo Democracy: An Indigenous Political System. Trenton: The Red Sea Press, 2006.

 

Baissa L. Gada Values: The Building Blocks of Democratic Oromo Polity. Journal of Oromo Studies, 1994. Vol. I. Number 2. pp. 17-52.

 

Charles B. B. Africa and the culture of peace: freeing the relationship from its complexes. Proceedings of the Pan-African Forum Sources and Resources for a Culture of Peace in Africa. 2013. AFR-2013/WS/3, UNESCO.

 

Debela F. M. Indigenous Mechanisms as a Foundation for AfSol Comprehension: Lessons from Gadaa System of the Oromo Nation in Ethiopia. Sociology and Anthropology, 2013. 5(5): 379-387. URL: http://www.hrpub.org/download/20170430/SA1-19608520.pdf. (Accessed: 11.01.2019).

 

An Ancient People Great African Nation: The Oromo / De Salviac, M., Ayalew Kenno (translat.). Oromia Culture and Tourism Bureau, 2013.

 

De Rivera J. Assessing the Basis for a Culture of Peace in Contemporary Societies. Journal of Peace Research. 2004. 41(5), 531-548. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343304045974 (Accessed: 16.01.2019).

 

Handbook on Building Cultures of Peace / eds. J. De Rivera. New York: Springer-verlag, 2009. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-09575-2 (Accessed: 02.01.2019).

 

Fernández-Dols J., Hurtado-de-Mendoza A. and Jiménez-de-Lucas I. Culture of peace: An alternative definition and its measurement Article in Peace and Conflict. Journal of Peace Psychology. 2004. 10: 117-124. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327949pac1002_3 (Accessed: 06.02.2019).

 

Hassen M. Some Aspects of Oromo History that have been Misunderstood. JOS, 1994. Vol. I. Number 2, pp. 77-90.

 

Hofstede G. Management science international? Management Science. 1994. Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 4-13. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2632841?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents (Accessed: 31.01.2019).

 

Hofstede G. Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture. 2011. 2(1). DOI: https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1014 (Accessed: 28.01.2019).

 

Jalata A. Gadaa (Oromo Democracy): An Example of Classical African Civilization. The Journal of Pan African Studies. 2012, vol. 5, no.1, pp.126-150.

 

Jalata A. Promoting and developing Oromuma. Journal of Pan African Studies. 2014. Vol. 6, no.8, pp. 119-145.

 

Korsgaard M. A., Soyoung Jeong S., Mahony D. M., & Pitariu A. H. A Multilevel View of Intragroup Conflict. Journal of Management, 2008. 34(6), 1222-1252. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206308325124 (Accessed: 21.01.2019).

 

Kuwee K. The Siiqqee institution of Oromo women. The Journal of Oromo Studies. 1997. Vol. 4. 1 and 2. URL: https://zelalemkibret.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/jos-volume-4-numbers-12-1997.pdf (Accessed: 28.01.2019).

 

Lewis H. Aspects of Oromo Political Culture. Journal of Oromo Studies. 1994. l (2): 53-58. URL: https://zelalemkibret.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/jos-volume-1-number-2-1994.pdf (Accessed: 25.01.2019).

 

Mehommed M., Hahbtamu T. and Ahmed A. Indigenous conflict management and resolution mechanisms on rangelands in pastoral areas, Ethiopia. Journal of African Studies and Development, 2017. Vol. 10(9), pp. 112-117. DOI: 10.5897/JASD2017.0458 (Accessed: 28.01.2019).

 

Miall H. Conflict Transformation: A Multi-Dimensional Task. Transforming Ethnopolitical Conflict / eds.: A. Austin, M. Fischer, N. Ropers. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-663-05642-3_4 (Accessed: 13.01.2019).

 

OCTB. Haile Alemayehu. Gada System: The Politics of Tulama Oromo. Finfinnee: Oromia Culture and Turism Bureau, 2009.

 

Pavanello S. and Scott-Villiers Patta Conflict resolution and peace building in the drylands in the Greater Horn of Africa. Technical Consortium for Building Resilience to Drought in the Horn of Africa. 2013.

 

Tenna D. The concept of peace in the Oromo Gada System: Its mechanism and moral dimensions. African Philosophy in Ethiopia Ethiopian Philosophical Studies II. 2013.

 

Tesema Ta’a. The Gadaa System and Some of Its Institutions among the Booranaa: A Historical Perspective1. Ethiopian Journal of the Social Sciences and Humanities. 2016. Vol. XII, No.2, 82-97. URL: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ejossah/article/view/159459 (Accessed: 15.01.2019).

 

United Nations General Assembly. UNGA Resolution 52/13. 1998

 

UN General Assembly: Declaration and Programme of Action for a Culture Peace. A/RES/53/243. New York, 13 September 1999.

 

United Nations. Report on the progress of decades building culture of peace. 2012. UNESCO. URL: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002164/216472E.pdf.

 

United Nations. The pan-african forum: Sources and resource for culture of peace. UNESCO/ Africa union report AFR-2013/WS/3. 2013.

 

Zelalem T. S. Ethiopia: When the Gada Democracy rules in a federal state bridging indigenous institutions of governance to modern democracy. (Doctor’s thesis). University of Tromsø, Norway, 2012. URL: https://munin.uit.no/bitstream/handle/­10037/5080/thesis.pdf?sequence=2 (Accessed: 05.01.2019).






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