Saturday, June 13, 2015

Raadiyoo Sagalee Walabummaa Oromiyaa (RSWO)

Sagantaa Waxabajjii 6, 2015 Dhaggeeffadaa!

Raadiyoo Sagalee Walabummaa Oromiyaa – Waxabajji 6, 2015

Sagantaalee RSWO dhaggeeffachuuf


So, what do you say? Do you like the radio's clear stand on independence of Oromia? If you do why? If you don't why not?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fincila Dargaggoota Oromoo Irraa Maal Baranna?

Beeka Biyyaa Irraa
Diddaan gabrummaa hanga gabroomfataan jilbeenfatutti, hanga kan gabroomemmoo walaboomutt  hin dhaabatu, hin du’us.

Mootummaan Wayyaanee qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo dhabamsiisuuf dhagaa isheen hin gargalchine tokko hin jiru. Oromoon kutaan, gandaa fi amantiin akka wal qoodee walii isaa irratti duulu taasisteetti; hooggantoota garaa isaaniif bulan bitteetti, kanaanis kan ka’e mooraa qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo yeroodhaaf laafistetti. Bakka akeekni ishee fudhatama dhabetti waraanaa itti bobbaaftee hamilee ummataa laashessuu yaaltetti.

Garuu yaaliin ta’e hundi qabsicha yeroof laafise malee ajjeesee owwaaluu hin dandeenye. Kanaafis ragaan, diddaa gabrummaa fi falmannaa abbaa biyyuummaa sabni Oromoo fi dargaggoonni Oromoo yeroo addaa addaa fi bakka addaa addaatti bifa qindaawaa hin ta’iniin gaggessaa turani fi jiran dha.

Sochiin diddaa gabrummaa dargaggootaa fi barattoota Oromoo Oromiyaa maratti gaggeeffamaa jiru, wareegamani ijoollee Oromoon ta’aa jiru fi ibiddi qabsoo bilisummaa yoom iyyuu akka dhaamuu  hin dandeenye - yaaliin mootummaa Habashaa olee bulee firii akka hin qabne - mirkanneessaa jira. Kanaafuu, ummatni Oromoo, beekaan Oromoo, qabsaawoonni bilisummaa Oromoo, akkasuma Oromoonni garaa isaaniif bitamanillee dhugaa dirree jiru kana irraa maal baranna?

Fincilli dhuga qabeessi lubbuu ilmaan keenya hedduu galaafate, galaafachuufis jiru kun maal nutt himaa jira?

1)      TOKKUMMAA; Fincilli Oromiyaa mara keessatti ta’e , OROMOON TOKKO kan jedhuu nu hubachiisa. Oromoon sararaa daangaa diinni sarareen adda akka hin baane nutti hima. “Qotee bulaa naannoo Finfinneetu lafa isaa irra buqqa’e nu hin laallatu” hin jenne. Oromootu lafa isaa irraa buqqa’aa jira jechuun tokkummaan walii dirmate.  “Ijoollee Ambootu ajjeefame dhimma keenya miti” hin jenne. Obboolota keenyatu ajjefaman jechuun hiree isaan irra gahe hirmaatan. “Dhimmi isaa Shawaa laallata” jedhee kutaan Oromia biroon harka maratee hin teenye. Akeekni diinaa Finfinnee fi Shawaa qofa utuu hin taane, kan inni itti xiyyeeffate eenyummaa Oromoo dhabamsiisuuf ta’uu hubachuun akka ilmaan abbaa tokkootti, akka Oromootti walii dirmatan.

2)      OROMUMMAA; Oromummaan mallattoo eenyummaa Oromoo ta’uu beekuun, diinni Oromoo bakka Oromummaa Itophiyummaa buusuuf abbalaa jiraachuu hubachuun “WAAWUU, NUTI OROMOO; FINFINNEENIS HANDHUURA OROMIYAA ti” jechuun utuu kutaan, gandaa fi amantiin wal hin qoodin harka duwwaa diina meeshaa waraanaa ammayaa hanga funyaanitti hidhate dura dhaabbatan. “Nuti Oromoo, biyyi keenyas Oromiyaa” jechuun maalummaa isaanii fi biyya isaaniif kufan malee, kun Islaama, sun kristaana, kaanimmoo waaqeeffata jechuun falamii eenyummaa fi abbaa biyyummaaf hin kakaane. Hundi eenyummaa keenya booda dhufuu qaba jedhanii ajjeefaman, madaa’an, hidhaman, jireenya dhaban.

Ijoolleen Oromoo yakka tokko malee mirga eenyummaa fi abbaa biyyummaaf waliin ka’anii, wliinis ajjeefamn. Nutihoo, ammas akkuma kaleessaa kutaa koo, ganda koo, amantee koo jenna moo, “NUTI OROMOO, BIYYI KEENYA OROMIYYA!” jennee faajjii ijoolleen Oromoo ajjeefamaniif qabannee wal cina dhaabannee biyya keenya falmanna?; mirga namummaa sarbamne kabajifanna?

Deebiin isaa kan hunda keenyaa ta’uu qaba.
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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Map of Oromiyaa Walaba - With Neighboring States Shown

It looks like years of vacillation between struggling for formation of independent state of Oromia and searching for equality within a democratized dying Ethiopian empire has come to an end at least for one of the OLF factions. The map shown below comes from - the web site of the OLF faction better known as QC or Transitional Authority. I say it is about time and a big present to the Oromo nation on the eve of April 15, 2014 Oromo Martyr's day - Guyyaa Goototaa in Afaan Oromoo.
Oromiyaa - Biyya Abbaa Kiyya!
Will we see if the same map will appear on - the web site for Shanee OLF. Would Shanee approve of this map in the first place? Only time will tell! However, if they don’t agree on a map of Oromia, it is unclear how the two factions can conclude their never ending reconciliation that they say has been going on for the last many years.
Happy Guyyaa Goototaa Oromoo to all my nationalist brethren.  

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Ever-increasing Crime of TPLF/EPRDF Brutal regime

By Getinet Dinkayehu*
"Now, getting justice for Oromo in Ethiopia under TPLF is compared to hunting for a dinosaur in this day and age." (Getinet Dinkayehu)
The continuous arrests, detention, torture and disappearance of people in Oromia should indeed be a cause for concern to every Oromo people living in the country and abroad. The past 22 years have been the most painful period in Oromia. A week hardly passes without someone being picked up and detained by the TPLF security agents for one unexplained reason or another.

The Last couple of weeks I have received a lot of messages from Oromo nationalists residing in western parts of Oromia through my emails, which I preferred not to mention their names here because of their security. Here is the message I received from one friend in “Afaan Oromo” and I wanted to put it in English as follows; “I am in deep tensions and annoyed because of the case associated with my family. My father was a respected businessman in our local area. Now about two weeks are passed since my father left his home and his whereabouts still unknown. Following his disappearance the TPLF Trojan horse better known as OPDO imprisoned one of my family members and coercing to reveal where my father is. What I knows about my father is, after he openly started criticizing the evil doings of the TPLF led Ethiopian regime and the Puppet OPDOs on different public meetings; he was continually harassed and even received several death threats including the family. He was arrested at different times suspected of OLF member without due legal process and without family visitations, tortured and interrogated at gunpoint to reveal the agents he was working with for OLF. The reason why he was mainly targeted as criminal and went to jail at different times is not because he was a criminal or have done anything wrong against anybody, but only because he protested that why his Oromo brothers and sisters were cold-bloodedly killed by TPLF securities without any reasons and because he protested against the widespread injustices being committed by the regime agents in Oromia. When my father was in woyanes secret detention center, the inhuman treatments he experienced at the hand of the torturers were horrible and even some part of his face was disfigured because of the massive tortures”.

Indeed this is a daily practice of the regime against many Oromo in wider scale. I personally know many Oromo; outstanding students, teachers, business men who were unlawfully detained by woyane securities or disappeared and their families are not informed of their whereabouts.
The most worrisome situation still going in various parts of western Oromia is that, people always branded as criminals and unlawfully detained only for being an Oromo and alleged association with the OLF or sympathizing with Oromo opposition political organizations. Despite a lack of any evidence against those people, the security agents continuously torture them in secret detention centers. Also other friends from the same area said that, to pick up peoples at night and take to prison is still a daily practice of woyane securities. Imagine sitting with your family waiting to have the dinner only to receive a knock on your door that you are wanted for questioning. You are then whisked away from your beloved family without anyone knowing your whereabouts, condition of detention or what crime you might have committed. This is exactly what peoples in many parts of Oromia still going through. Many people disappeared or been killed in a very systematic way simply because they exercised their fundamental rights. Diverting the mobile phone to their security forces and internet censorships are being practical on many people. The current human rights situation in western Oromia is terrible and repugnant. There is woyanes rule that does not tolerate any form of criticism in the area at all. Even the very slightest criticism of the government in the area could land a person in jail and charge with terrorism or “shororkeessumma”(in puppet OPDOs definition). Now this situation is highly forcing people to live under great fear and uncertainties than ever. It has become normal for the people in western Oromia to simply disappear into thin air; especially those who dare to criticize the government or who are reported by their adversaries to the regime securities.
It is very annoying when the TPLF minority led regime blatantly continues through its security forces to unlawfully arrest and detain anybody they perceive as an opponent. To add insult to injury, Most of the detainees are seldom informed of their rights and/or reason for their arrest or detention and are often held beyond the time limit without charge contrary to the edicts of the so called constitution. Several productive youths are running away to escape the difficult life that controlled the area. Activism for democracy, human rights and justice are being met with secret killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and detention. The name TPLF security or “Dehninet” has brought a great fear to every Oromo hearth, whenever someone is picked up. Some remain silence because they are afraid to speak up against what is going on.
We have seen that On the beginning of this year January 2014, when people on the world joyfully celebrated the New Year and wished peace, security improvements and prosperity to their own people, in contrary the Ethiopian Federal Court gave a prison sentence to 45 people, Most of them are Oromo nationalist political prisoners sentenced to three to twelve years in prison. Without committing any crime against anybody, they were unlawfully arrested in 2010 and were accused of being members or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). This alone can publically tell that TPLF/EPRDF regime has totally cracked down on political freedoms and continued committing widespread human rights violations with total impunity. Ethiopia today is ;the only country where the government publically labeled genuine dissents as terrorists and criminals, the worst kept secret killing field and the most politically intolerant regime in Africa. It is the country where the rule of law, good governance and the sanctity of human life are alien concepts. It is the country where torture, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial executions, detention without trial, statutory murder and extra-judicial convictions has become officially rooted as normal governance practices and intensifies its containment of democracy each day, and rules strictly through the instrument of paralyzing fear and the practice of brutality against ordinary citizens.
We have seen that when told the reality of Oromo, they call it anti-national or terrorism. For long we have seen that the TPLF owned Media distort the truth of Oromo for their own cause. For long we have seen that their Media created false and fabricated stories on Oromo nationalists. For long we have seen that several Oromo nationalists who were unlawfully detained And languishing in prison have been denied justice by TPLF court judges who were hired by a regime whose sole aim is to brutalize, torture and silence anybody against their tyrannical style of governance. For long we have seen that many innocent people unjustly sentenced to life term and death.
The TPLF minorities are all the leaders of the executive the legislative, judiciary and military branch, their words are final and anyone who goes against their authority is doomed. They are all the lawmen’s, the judges, the jury and the executives. They act as the ‘Creators’ of the people in Ethiopia, They decides who walks freely or shackled in jail, live, work and/or die. Judges are hired and fired by the TPLF cadres without any explanation. They owe their entire livelihoods to them and they determine who comes before these judges and the sentences they receive. Now, getting justice for Oromo in Ethiopia under TPLF is compared to hunting for a dinosaur in this day and age. It is very dangerous for the people when a single party members from one minority group has all such powers and even more dangerous if there is no accountability and no limit. No single party or leaders should have absolute power to run a nations single handily and with iron fist.
What is the future for Oromo?
Will there be any conductive environment where all Oromo people will be free from such kinds of fear, intimidation, torture, arrest and humiliation to express their legitimate rights and fundamental human rights which remains Unthinkable under TPLF gangs? No family, groups and businesses should count themselves safe from persecution, arrest, humiliation, detention without trial and torture under this brutal regime. We Oromo should be brave enough to come out from every corner and fight against the ever worsening injustices that continue to bedevil our motherland. Everyone, irrespective of party or group, is duty bound to act. In our journey to Demand our freedom, we must be ready to use every Avenue. The injustices meted on us are enough.
We should not expect the westerners to bring about the change we are seeking for in our Land, it’s we” Oromians ” who has to come together under one umbrella with a sole purpose of eradicating Dictators and liberating our people. We might not be united in the same political party but we should be united in the same course in fighting dictatorship. Look at the likes of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It’s the voices of the people that brought about change from the streets of Tunis to Tripoli to Benghazi and from the Cairo to Alexandria. It has come to a point in which we also need to do anything to get our freedom. For any meaningful political change to take place, the people must take it upon themselves to effect the change. As a result, we must not expect that an angel will descend from heaven and liberate us from Dictators. But the onus of liberating Oromia from oppression is every Oromians obligation.
Fellow Oromians, Let us ask ourselves these simple questions. With logic, we understand how our people are dying in silence.
Why TPLF led Ethiopian regime mainly targets Oromo people; intellectuals, Businessmen, teachers, university students, artists and entrepreneurs?
Why many Oromo on a daily basis are being arrested and detained without genuine reasons?
Why many Oromo are missing and their whereabouts remain unknown by their family and love ones?
Why many Oromo are still languishing in jail without trial or have had their trials delayed?
Why many Oromo Nationalists were shot dead in their home and in public by TPLF securities?
Why many people have been fired from their jobs and schools for no apparent reasons?
Why many lands and properties have seized and looted from Oromo under this regime?
Why many Oromo on daily basis are fleeing TPLF/EPRDF persecution and suffering in neighboring countries and dying in deserts?
How on earth one can be sentenced to life term or death penalty only for demanding his Freedom without committing any crime against anybody?
Tsunamis of Human right violations of the above are well documented and are available online.
Do we as a people only have to speak the truth and or condemn injustice only when it affects us directly and or personally? This is a question that I am posing to some people who are in a position of this regime today. To those dummy OPDO leaders who continue to carry out TPLFs dirty works be warn that you will all be going down with them. The world is now a global village and war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by any person or party will never go free. The choice is yours.
To those who think they have no say or voice on the atrocities committed against our people, Martin Luther King Jr. In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Oromia is under silenced bleeding by this evil regime. If we see injustice and remain silent, we have sided with evil. We have seen that Killing Oromo is the trade mark of this regime. These killings are not spontaneous or accidental they are done intentionally to silence the whole people.
Therefore, to prevent further injustice and sufferings there needs to be a collective response to the giant atrocities in Oromia. We all have a duty to ensure that we free our land from TPLF/EPRDF dictatorship. This should be done with united front and sincere commitments. I hope the sooner we all look at freedom as an inherent human right that is a prerequisite for any society to progress, and not as a “gift” to be given to only to the deserving, the sooner we will face this challenge as one nation UNITED in the destruction on tyranny! Oppression cannot stand forever, and it shall be replaced with freedom.
So, Fellow Oromians at home and Diaspora, Let us all rise up in unison and demonstrate against this brutal regime and fight for our freedom and for the freedom of all political prisoners who are inhumanly suffering in Ethiopia.

* Getinet can be reached at “

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Oromo & Oromiya - FAQ

(From the OLF)

What do Oromos want?

Ø  Nearly 90% of political prisoners in Ethiopia are Oromo nationals.
 Ø  In a survey of more than 500 Oromo refugees in Minnesota, 69% of men and 37% of women had been tortured by Ethiopian government. This number is considerably more than the 5-35% for other refugee populations.
Ø  The Oromo language is spoken by majority population in the Ethiopian empire; yet, the empire’s official language is that of the minority Amhara.
Ø  Oromia accounts for 65% of the empire’s GDP and 60% of its foreign exchange earnings; Yet Oromia is the least developed region in the empire.
Ø  Nearly 100% of Ethiopia’s hydro-electric power generation originates in Oromia; yet less than 13% of Oromia’s population has access to electrical power.
Ø  Ethiopia today is an authoritarian regime with no room for independent political mobilization or debate and where political space for electoral competition, the free exchange of ideas, and independent civil society organizations is virtually nonexistent.
Ø  Ethiopia receives US$3.5 billion (on average) annually in development aid which it utilizes as a tool to suppress political dissent and to consolidate the power of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).The European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany are the largest bilateral donors.
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Letter of Appeal to President Obama from NA Chapter of the OLF

December 22, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to you on behalf of myself, Oromo-American and permanent resident members and supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)[1] in the USA Who are happy to call this great nation their home and enjoy the democracy, justice and human rights it has to offer.  Our members and supporters, the vast majority of whom are voting United States citizens, are proud contributors to this nation’s economic and social life.

Mr. President,
As we mourn the passing away of, and celebrate the life and accomplishments of, former president Nelson Mandela of South Africa - "The last great liberator of the 20th century” – we cannot help but remember one of our own – General Tadesse Biru. Gen. Tadesse was another fighter for liberation of his people, the Oromo people, who was assassinated by the Ethiopian regime in 1975. He was, also, the man in charge of training Mr. Mandela when the latter came to our land for military training in 1962.  
In your eulogy speech at Nelson Mandela's memorial on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, you said “Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and …” which struck a chord with us because we are members of one such persecuted people – the Oromo people – in our land of origin Oromia.
The Oromo are the single largest group in Ethiopia comprising over 40% of the Ethiopian population but economically dispossessed and politically disenfranchised by successive Ethiopian regimes. Having been forcefully incorporated in to the Ethiopian empire around the end of the 19th century, the Oromo have since been struggling for their right to self-determination. In an effort to kill this political belief in the Oromo people and to perpetuate their dispossession, successive Ethiopian regimes have inflicted untold misery on the Oromo people in the form of selling off their land to the highest bidder, extrajudicial killings, torture, mass arrests, and disappearances. Such repressions, dispossessions and human rights violations by the current Ethiopian government against the Oromo people are escalating on a daily basis.

Today, thousands of Oromos from all walks of life suffer in Ethiopian prisons for no other reason than being born Oromos and/or for their political beliefs in the Oromo deserving freedom, justice and the right to determine their fate. In Ethiopia, “Torture and other ill-treatment of prisoners [are] widespread, particularly during interrogation in pre-trial police detention.”[2] Many Oromo political prisoners have died in Ethiopian prisons while we watch idly from the “sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.”[3]
Mr. President,
The list of Oromos murdered or imprisoned for their political beliefs would be too long to provide in this letter but the cases of Tesfahun Chemeda, Bekele Gerba and Olbala Lellisa should suffice to illustrate our points.
Tesfahun Chemeda Gurmessa, an Engineer by profession and a UNHCR recognized Oromo refugee in Kenya, arrested and handed over to his persecutors in Ethiopia in April 2007, charged under the deeply flawed Ethiopian anti-terrorism law, sentenced to life imprisonment, held in solitary confinement for over two years with no access to medical treatment which resulted in his death on 24 August 2013 is an example how Oromo political prisoners are treated in Ethiopia.
Bekele Gerba, deputy Chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) and Olbana Lelisa of the Oromo People’s Congress party (OPC) were both arrested on 27 August 2011 after meeting with Amnesty International (AI) deligation.[4] The AI delegation in Ethiopia was expelled soon after, leaving AI without presence in that country to monitor and report on constant harassment by the government against Oromos in general and opposition politicians in particular.
Bekele and Olbana were charged, again, under the deeply flawed Ethiopian anti-terrorism law and convicted to long years of imprisonment.  "In my life time, I have opposed injustice, discrimination, ethnic favoritism, and oppression," Bekele told the court at his sentencing hearing. He went on to say “I am honored to learn that my non-violent struggles and humble sacrifices for the democratic and human rights of the Oromo people, to whom I was born without a wish on my part but due to the will of the Almighty, have been considered a crime and to be unjustly convicted." Bekele’s speech to his persecutors parallels and should remind us of Nelson Mandela’s “I am Prepared to Die” speech at his Rivonia trial in 1964.
It was a fight against such injustices perpetrated against his people that brought Nelson Mandela for military training, albeit a short one, to the land of the people to whom Bekele Gerba was born, the Oromo people. Gen. Tadesse Biru, Tesfahun Chemeda Hunde and many others were cut down by successive Ethiopian governments while carrying Mandela’s torch against injustice. Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa and thousands of others are languishing in Ethiopia’s prisons and detention camps for raising Mandela’s torch for equality and due process.
Mr. President,
On behalf of myself and members and supports of the OLF in the USA, I call upon your administration to:
1.      Ensure the United States government’s security ties with the Ethiopian regime will not trump human and civil rights consideration for the peoples of the Ethiopian empire and does not lead your administration to overlook abuses in that country;
2.      “Act on behalf of justice”[5] and put the necessary pressure on the Ethiopian government to release all political prisoners of which the overwhelming majority are the Oromo;
3.      Utilize its influences with the Ethiopian government to rescind its deeply flawed anti-terrorism law which it has been using to sentence actual and perceived political opponents to long years of imprisonment and to stifle “freedom of expression, severely restricting the activities of the independent media.”[6]
4.      Put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure that United States financial, material and other aids paid for by United States tax payers are not used by the Ethiopian government for repressing Oromo and other peoples in the empire.
Abraahim Abbayyee
Abrahim Abbayyee
Chairman, North American Branch of the OLF

[1] The Oromo Liberation Front (Oromo: Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo or ABO), or OLF, is an organization established in 1973 by Oromo nationalists to promote self-determination for the Oromo people against "Abyssinian [Ethiopian] colonial rule".
[2] Annual Report: Ethiopia 2013, Amnesty International
[3] Taken from President Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela's memorial on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
[4] See Amnesy International “Urgent Action”  UA: 263/11 Index: AFR 25/007/2011 Ethiopia
[5] Taken from President Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela's memorial on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
[6] Annual Report: Ethiopia 2013, Amnesty International

Source: OLF web site.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Effort to Unify QC-OLF and Shanee-OLF Dead, Say Insiders

By Gurraacho Silgaa

Since the OLF split into Transitional Authority (QC) and Shanee Gumii (SG) in 2001, the concept of reconciliation has emerged as a central theme of political discourse within the Oromo community in the diaspora. Reconciliation has been promoted as a way of re-directing Oromo resources and energy that is being wasted on in-fighting and toward challenging and eventually defeating Ethiopian colonialism.  The hope was, and remains to be, that the splintered organization – the OLF that is – will again become one, united in its purpose, in its structure, in its function and in its processes, made stronger and thereby play the midwifery role expected from it in the re-birth of an independent and democratic Oromo state.
An encouraging sign in that direction emerged last year after over a decade of demand by the wider Oromo populace, during which the OLF performed more self-replication and internal bickering than it did anything else. I am talking about a “Memorandum of Understanding and Agreements” between the OLF Transitional Authority (QC) and the OLF Shanee Gumii (SG) issued on November 20, 2012. At the time many commentators questioned whether that    “understanding” was destined to join on the Internet the various previous “understandings” reached among the different Oromo organizations but came to naught or it would be a “real deal” worth the limited accolade it received from the Oromo Diaspora.

I hoped, and prayed, that it would be the later for the sake of our people and for this much loved organization for which the Oromo people’s respect has been eroding for the last twenty years.

Months after a global tour by the two factions to introduce their agreement and garner public support for it, and despite the eagerness of the Oromo public to learn the fate of their agreement, no news or progress report has been forthcoming. Thirteen (13) months after the hastily put together and announced “memorandum of Understanding,” time has proved that this one is no different from the “memorandums of understandings” among Oromo political oganizations that preceded it. Just like many before it, the QC-Shanee “understanding” remained on the Internet without amounting to anything on the ground.

The lofty assertions and promises made in their “memorandum of understanding” such as “we have resolved our differences”, “we are determined to revitalize the national struggle for liberation”, and their “agreement” to reunite their forces and combine their resources remained just that: a series of lofty pronouncements devoid of any substance.

Reliable sources inform this writter that the QC-Shanee “memorandum of understanding” is now dead and buried over who should become the Chairman (Hayyuu Duree) of the newly merged OLF. The details are sketchy at this time but both sides claimed chairmanship of the organization and refused to compromise. They are currently engaged in recriminations blaming the other side of causing the unification effort to flounder and eventually fail.

Those close to the unification effort say they are not surprised at all by such turn of events. They say such an outcome was a foregone conclusion right from the very beginning for two reasons.

The first is the fact that both sides excluded their very members from discussions and decisions on such an important matter which had the potential of merging the long separated factions. All during the talks, members on both sides knew what was going on just as much as the general public - which is to say almost nothing. As a result, members had no opportunity to push their leaders to compromise when necessary or to help device new strategies to bring the talks to a successful conclusion or at least question their leaders’ decisions. As one member of the QC group put it in afaan Oromoo, the attitude of the leaders on both sides is “Kan wal lolus hooggana, kan araaramus hooggana, miseensi maal keessaa qabaa? Yoo loli jedhan loluu malee! Yoo dhiisi jedhan dhiisuu malee!”

The second reason, according to those on the inside, is the insatiable appetite by both sets of leaders for power and the want to hold on to power for as long as possible. Based on the constitution of the OLF, say those on the inside, both sets of leaders have over stayed their mandate by over five (5) years.  In an organization which takes democracy seriously, these leaders would be considered illegitimate leaders. The national congress of both factions, required by the constitution to be convened and elect new leaders every four years is overdue by five years. Some say it is no surprise that such leaders with no deeply held conviction and upholding of democracy (free, fair and periodic elections) and democratic norms resist giving up power for the higher good of the Oromo struggle thereby causing the unification effort to fail. These are the same leaders who despite remaining in power for many years failed to advance the struggle in the last two decades and noting more should be expected from them.

In the humble opinion of this writer, unification and strengthening of the OLF is of a paramount importance to the Oromo struggle for liberation. However, the unification of these factions would be meaningless unless the underlying purpose is the advancement of the Oromo struggle and achievement of the Oromo people’s aspiration. Having the survival and staying in power of the current leaders as the overriding primary point of negotiations will not serve the interest of the Oromo people nor of their struggle but the narrow interests of those leaders.

Under these leaders, the OLF has been jumping from crisis to crisis for the last two decades and nothing to show in the way of achievements. In fact, I would argue it went backward over the same time period. It is a miracle that it has survived this long with nothing more to show than its accomplishments from over twenty years ago. Today, it is not an exaggeration to say that the OLF is surviving only in name and in the hearts of the masses.

If the OLF is to survive and thrive, it needs to be a well-functioning organization - what it definitely is not at the present time. To become such an organization, it needs to look for dynamic leadership in the younger generation of Oromos not encumbered by any personal issues among the current leaders. Such new and younger leadership has a better chance of unifying the OLF factions, of re-making the organization and of building capabilities and processes consistent with the OLF mission: the advancement of the struggle and eventual achievement of Oromo people’s aspiration for an independent Oromia and a free Oromo people.

Oromia shall be free!

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