Reliable sources have informed this Blogger that the Shane Gumii faction (aka the Asmara Group) of the OLF has filed a lawsuit against the TA-OLF faction on two counts: that the later group has violated the “Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act” and that it interfered with the Asmara Group’s “prospective economic advantage.”
The lawsuit, filed on July 19, 2007, lists one active and two inactive Oromo non-profit organizations, seven individuals and a “John Doe.” The three organizations are “Oromo self-help Association, Inc”, “Oromo self-help Organization” and “Oromo self help Association, Inc” all incorporated under MN law on June 3, 2005, July 8, 1999 and March 7, 1994 respectively.
The OLF split into two in 2001 over what some say differences of political strategy but others claim power struggle within the highest echelon of the organization. They have both claimed the name OLF since the split. Attempt at reconciling the two factions have so far produced no results.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants have interfered with The Asmara group’s prospective economic advantage and have “caused and/or [have] threatened to cause plaintiff [the Asmara Group] to suffer damages in the form of lost good will, lost members or potential members and loss of donations.” This being the primary fund raising season of the year for Oromo political organizations, has worried the Asmara Group who some say will not be able to raise as much funds as it has been able to in the past years due to its very unpopular alliance with CUDP (aka Kinijit.)
The Asmara Group is asking the Fourth Judicial District Court of the State Of Minnesota to enjoin TA-OLF to cease and desist from using the “trade” name OLF permanently, to award the Asmara Group compensatory damages in excess of $50,000.00 and to grant a temporary injunction against the Oromo public meeting called for July 26, 2007 by TA-OLF. The motion for the injunction request is to be heard on July 23, 2007 at 8:30 AM.
The source tells this blogger that this is nothing new and that the Asmara Group has done all it could in the last six years to sabotage Oromo public meetings called by TA-OLF. In support of this allegation, my source pointed me to an audio file at HERE in which someone claiming to be an agent of the OLF asked owners of the meeting hall which TA-OLF had rented for their last year Oromo public meeting “NOT to cooperate with the group....”
Finances collected from Oromo public with the promise to use them toward the Oromo struggle should not be squandered by using them to take another Oromo political group to court or to defend ones group against such a lawsuit. Such money is better used toward taking the Meles Zenawi regime to World Court for its crimes against the Oromo people, lobbying western governments, raising or strengthening a liberation army, or supporting families of our compatriots who are currently political prisoners in TPLF’s Ethiopia.
This is a political issue - a struggle for Oromo hearts and minds - which should be waged, and won or lost, in Oromo public court, NOT in US legal courts.
Stay tuned for more news on this. Also, don’t forget to have your say.