OLF leadership calls for a united front


By Hunde Dhugassa

Senior OLF diplomat and the current head of OLF (Oromo Liberation Front) Diplomacy for The European Chamber, Dr. Shigux Geleta, has reaffirmed his organization’s commitment for partnership and called for united front against the TPLF dictatorship in Ethiopia.

Speaking at the Workshop Organized by Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) from 28-29th October 2010 RISC, Reading in United Kingdom, Dr. Shigux has praised the SMNE for helping organizations with different political outlook to engage in dialogue and discussed the effort of OLF in creating different form of political partnership which dates back to the formation of Transitional Government in Ethiopia, the 2000 Paris Conference and the recent 2006 achievement in the formation of AFD (Alliance for Democracy).

He also discussed the nature of Ethiopian state, how TPLF managed to establish its political hegemony, the economy, human right situation and the way forward. He talked about the biased understanding of OLF by some Pan Ethiopianists who still remain in their traditional juxtaposition of individual versus collective rights in which case they uphold the first while rejecting the latter.

He explained, be the liberal theory as it may be, in reality there is no individual without certain basic social traits such as language, social habit, custom and ways of life, to say the least. This means by virtue of the fact that a human individual is brought up by a certain family under a given social structure in a certain way, he is already a social animal. His individuality is inseparable from that social environment in which he/she is brought up. Therefore, an individual can never be considered to be an atom whose identity is immaterial irrespective of time and space. Had it not been the case, there would not also be Ethipianness “Ethiopiawinet” for this Ethiopiawinet is anchored in a certain collective identity. So for liberal Ethiopians it would be self-contradictory in terms to uphold Ethiopiawinet and deny the social character of an individual at the same time. As much as Ethiopiawinet is the social source of nourishment for the individual, the individuals are the perpetrators or the agents of Ethiopiawinet. So there is no way to mutually separate the individual from the social and vice-versa. [Read full text of the speech here.]

What is more, his paper on “Current political affairs from OLF’s perspective” on the forum organized by Horn Of African Solidarity Group on 22 of May 2010 in Frankfurt, Germany [read here] has attracted tremendous audience across Europe. Dr. Shigux have explained the absurd reality on the ground in the Horn of Africa due to the TPLF dictatorship and called for the much needed partnership to tackle the ever growing trait posed by the one man rule in Ethiopia. He also briefly discussed the damages caused by the regime on power on democracy, land, people and its environment.

As a conclusion he said, the Meles regime will certainly fall sooner or later as a result of its own policies. Its fall, however, could be hastened, said Dr. Shigux, if all forces opposing the regime cooperate with one another on the bases of mutual interest and equality.

(The writer can be reached at jajjabee430@gmail.com)


25 comments on “OLF leadership calls for a united front

  1. belew on

    i am very much happy with olf’s stand now and i am sure olf is on the right truck so far and all ethiopians who oppose this parasite regime in ethiopia should come out and support olf.

  2. i don’t agree with the spontaneous fall of TPLF without resistance…the OLF should join us in standing for the rights of all of all Ethiopians! We will work together, we’ll fight together, we’ll die together and then we’ll live together!

  3. Anonymous on

    when we talk about being OROMO what are the criterias we taking ? If we take the language ,there are many non Oromos who speak the language,if we take custom there are different customs among oromos.If we take religion there are oromos with different religions.OLF style collectivity is the same as TPLF style colectivity for Tigrayans as a group.Individual right is personal right where no one can choose for me who i should be,how i think,,whom should i associate with etc….It is OLF should change itself not others.OLF is not different from TPLF.The only difference b/ween OLF and TPLF is one is in power the other is trying to get it.It is 21St century by the way.

  4. This is some thing I was waiting for a long time.I fully agree with Dr. Shigux’s analysis of individual vs collective rights.Let’s unite and hasten the last day of this narrow minded,selfish and corrupt one man and one ethnic group infested regime !!
    Unity ,Unity,Unity !!!!

  5. Netsanet Betigil on

    In the first place, I never heard or seen anywhere in the world that a major people in the middle of a country asking or rebeling what OLF has been asking. Sooner or later, it is realized by some and others still singing the song. Wake Oromia people. Only think the thinkable, do the doable. Never think or try the unheardoff. And it is right…..it is 21st century….the other world is going to unification.

  6. Assta B. Gettu on

    The gist of Dr. Shigut Geleta’s political speech is to award, without any condition, an independent status to Oromia at the expense of the other Ethiopian regions.

    In his speech, Dr. Geleta predicts that there will be no peace in Ethiopia for the near future without first recognizing Oromia as an independent nation and as a major political player in the Horn of Africa.

    He laments for the incomprehensible tragedies imposed, particularly, upon the people of Oromia by the previous and present regimes of Ethiopia as if Oromia were singled out by those Ethiopian sovereign leaders from the other Ethiopian provinces and purposely mistreated mercilessly.

    Focusing only on Oromo’s past and present pickles, Dr. Geleta, gives in his segregative remark no credits either for King Menelik II, who humanized the Oromo people or for Emperor Haile Selassie, who spent much of his time and energy in modernizing the Oromo people and bringing them to the other well-cultured communities of Ethiopia.

    Dr. Geleta believes Ethiopia is a multinational state, and, according to his belief, each nation has the right for self determination, has the right to establish its own government, to raise its own standing army, and to regulate its own commerce. Therefore, Dr. Geleta states: “The struggle of the Oromo people, then, is nothing more than an attempt to affirm their own place in history.”

    Ladies and gentle men, there is a great danger in Dr. Geleta’s great speech of disintegration of our beloved and united country – Ethiopia – for whom our ancestors died to preserve its unity, to defy the aggression of foreign adversaries, and to affirm their faith in one God, Jesus Christ.

    Any history, great or small, significant or insignificant, made by any region in Ethiopia is the history of Ethiopia as a whole, not the history of any particular province; thus, Dr. Geleta must find an issue that unites Ethiopia rather than insisting that the Oromos must have “their own place in history.” In reality, each Ethiopian state, starting from Oromia to all the rest of the regions, has a history included in the history of Ethiopia; therefore, we should not single out a particular region, in this case, Oromia, to have its own history because, whether you like it or not, the history of Ethiopia is the history of Oromia and the history of the rest of the regions.

    Can Oromia make its own place in history by itself? I don’t think so; can Oromia make its own place in history by the collaborative work of the other Ethiopian states? Of course, it can. As far as I know, Oromia’s history before its integration, thanks to the immeasurable effort of Menelik II, to the historical Ethiopia was a history of paganism or a history of nomadic people who cannot tell summer from winter or spring from autumn.

    It is, in fact, the education the Oromo people acquired from the successive Ethiopian governments that lead them today to the aspiration of independent Oromia, but it is a misguided aspiration, a selfish aspiration, and, at that, a self-destructive one. Changing the name of the charming city of Addis Ababa, for example, to the hideous name of Finfinne, as Dr. Geleta tried two times in his speech, will not give Oromia a distinguished place in history; it rather exacerbates the problem Oromia is facing today, and it further alienates her from the rest of the Ethiopian people, and will be considered as a recreant state.

    Any political organization, any religious denomination, and any foreign power that endeavors for the total disintegration of Ethiopia is the ruthless enemy of this united kingdom of Ethiopia, and Dr. Geleta and his likes, I hate to say, are the inciters of the existing human tragedies in Oromia; when Oromia suffers as the result of some ambitious Oromia politicians who want to be Meles II over the innocent people of Oromia, the rest of the Ethiopian people suffer indiscriminately. Ethiopia needs Oromia and Oromia Ethiopia as St. Paul said: “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable….” (1st Corinthians 12:21-22) Oromia may be a weaker or a stronger nation to some politicians, but weaker or stronger, Oromia needs Ethiopia, and Ethiopia needs Oromia.

    OlF died long time ago, and I don’t understand why Dr. Geleta praises and encourages the leadership of this dead organization that worked hard for the demise of Ethiopia by killing first Oromia and then slowly destroying the lives of all the other tribes of Ethiopia who depends on Oromia as Oromia depends on each one of them. Killing Oromia means snatching it away by force from her mother Ethiopia, but the truth is that Ethiopia will never give up her child to the ravenous wolves, the OLF, without a big fight.

  7. Habeshaw on

    I liked the argument of this man of OLF. As OLF is a senior party it well knows the mischief of TPLF that other opposition parties came to know only recently.

    Ethiopia, a country of many nations and nationalities, as result of history or fate, has many problems. People did not enjoy equal right and respect. This is reality. Addressing this reality and forging the way out of it only can lead to peace, democracy, justice and unity. We like unity, but it should not come at the expense peace, democracy and justice. Both individual and collective freedom should be capitalized. Ethiopia has both good and bad history. We have to learn from our good history and need to promote it. We should not regurgitate the ugly and bad history.

    True peace and democracy comes only when political parties are engaged in genuine dialogue. Both the Ethiopianist and nationalist parties should go half mile to reach agreement.
    God Bless Freedom Fighters

  8. Balcha Gebeyhu on

    Dr. Geleta’s calls for a united front is very commendable. However, the message one gets from the speach, although may have a good intention, leaves one with many unanswerd questions. The main goal is not to argue any specfic points in here, as much has been done in the past and anything more will not contribute for the struggle to free our citizens from either the tyrany of the TPLF or that of the tyrant Legesse Zanawi.

    To start with, it would have been helpful to point out if there was any “new strategy/policy” (that is planned to come out in six months) as the result of the much discussed unity between the leaders of the OLF?

    In addition, Dr. Geleta gives credits perhaps deservely to OLF for participating in other unity attempts with other forces. Still no attempt was made to shade some light why each failed…so that we can learn from our mistakes.

    Furthermore, Dr. Geleta spends much time explaining the differenece between the individual and group rights of our citizens. In fact, he refers to Kymlicka’s writing to avoid the “stumbling block” for meaningful alliance. However, he goes on to conclude that in order to attain the long lasting peace his solution is the only correct one which happens to be solving our multitude of our naional problems from the prosepective of the rights of nations and nationalities.(this view)…for some meant by implication accepting the TPLF designed carving of all regions and the constitution, as well as by going back to our traditional “Gadaa, idir xeer, equub”, which by the way all have benefits to our society, as a form of government to be explored….in the 21st centuary.

    Again, there is no point in taking sides, however some of our past problems with the unity of all the oppositions have been due to this fact that each expects the other “to take my way or hit the highway” mentality of all the “leaders” of the oppositions.

    We are afraid, Dr. Geleta’s or OLFs call for unity will start another usual academic arguments & counter-arguments of the last 40 yrs, which our citizens can not afford at the present time. Give & take discussion of this sort can perhaphs be dealt at another level with leaders or experts from all opposition sides of the political world view for which our country is fortunate enough to have plenty.

    May be it is time to get out of our fixed squares, which by the way our young generation has no idea about any of these positions, and start a genuine UNITY…democracy and the rule of law… that works for all the citizens of Ethiopia this time around.

    United we stand divided we fall.

    God/Allah Bless Ethiopia & Unity her citizens against tyrany.

  9. XET Pilot on

    Come on Elias! OLF. This is the same group that wants to witness Ethiopia in pieces. Please you can hate Meles and his gang but to back a Fox in sheep’s cloth don’t insult the ordinary Ethiopians intelligence. You should have better news to report than this trash.True one country loving OLF just like our brothers ONLF and Western Somalia come join the transformation of Ethiopia. you have a lot to prove to Ethiopian people before you can be trusted. Wolf or Fox you can spice up anything you say your trust level is Zero. And stop throwing these young kids in harms way while you and your group comfortably are sipping your Cognacs and chewing your Chat hoping for a miracle. Please stop the disintegration thought of Ethiopia. It will never happen in your life time. Even in the coming generation. Give it up. Join while you still have a chance. God will always protect Ethiopia. God bless the true one country loving Oromo People and god Bless Ethiopia.

  10. Shanqo on

    Unfortunately one can dialogue by going down to the levels of venomous parasite racist Assta B. Gettu ‘s wicked level. To post such garbage he has to be TPLF agent whose mission is diversion of ideas and discussion? Elias you are responsible for your accommodation of racist comment on this so-called moderated forum. You and your moderators’ are either blind or indifference to the above garbage racist slur by Assta B. Gettu. If you have a respect for majority of people in Ethiopian Empire; you will remove his post and take deterring action against this animal.

  11. Hiluf on

    #11 Shanqo
    U see how extreme dictator you are? But thanks to God you have no any power, of cours you even do not know what power is, to practice your dream of evil practice. I’m so sorry to your family, wife, children, friend …, if you have any but I do not think so, to suffer from your such inhumanity. Try please A B C …

  12. guest on

    If the OLF leaders are genuinely concerned about cooperation, they have to cleanse their heart from hatred and grudge. They have to win themseleves first (truly and seriously), then they can achieve their goal. Accept and embrace TRUTH, think pragmtically, and promote the collective good and respect humanity,, then everything should be better and possible.

  13. Tazabi on

    I would also like to express my disgust on #11 – Shanqo’s out right dictatorial comment. This is exactly an endemic problem of OLF sympathizers. They think they can shut off and/or silence anyone who opposes their treasonous and separatist view point. Imagine what these freaks would do if they are allowed to take the mantle of power. They will be exactly worse than the woyannes, by trying to silence and even eliminating people with different view points.

    We all want to change what Woyanne is doing because we all feel that its tribal and ethnic policy is not going to benefit our nation in the long run. Taking the same argument to the OLF sympathizers, Ethiopians are better off distancing away away from OLF’s divisive and counter-productive policy of disintegration unless it reverses its policy in a clear & concise manner. No one one wants to repeat the same mistake the woyanne made all over again. If the OLF and its sympathizers are to be taken seriously, they should abandon their separatist ambition and join other Ethiopians for a common goal of seeing a United Ethiopia where every ethnicity lives equally under one democratic Ethiopia… nothing less and nothing more.

    I know someone who is not capable of arguing on the merits of reasoned arguments is going to dismiss it and/or rush to put the tired labels without challenging the argument with their own reasoned and conciliatory view point. This is very typical of these groups as they don’t want to see or hear anything different than what they blindly follow.

    Remember, blind revolutionary fervor is what puts us in the predicament that we find ourselves in. So, Ethiopians cannot afford to take risk with a backward thinking separatist movement anymore. If anyone wants to see a a united front or some kind of shared agenda to struggle for democracy, then clearly abdicate or revise your program so you can earn the trust of the majority of Ethiopians who don’t agree with your separatist aspirations.

  14. Haile on

    Lets keep fighting until we see the Free Oromia State. If those opposition Ethiopians need to see their current government dismantled, they need to unite with us. It is not surprising to unite and fight the common enemy, its the same as using EPLF, why some people are against the call? Isnt he your boss “Dr. Birhanu” said “we will agree even with Satan to kick off Weyane”, we are better than all.

  15. Argii Amani on

    “…..We need to know the fact on the ground at present is that specially two things make Weyane to tremble: the possible Amara-Oromo alliance and the possible cooperation of this alliance with the Eritrean government. That is why Weyane cadres are doing every thing under the sky to hinder this from happening. Unfortunately, the still existing mistrust and fear from both sides of the ultra-left Oromo forces and the ultra-right Amhara forces are the best lottery, which the Weyane still enjoys. The ultra-left Oromo forces fear that Amharas may take advantage of the alliance and dismantle Oromia, whereas the ultra-right Amhara forces fear that Oromo nationalists may take this advantage of the alliance to dismember Ethiopia. What an absurdity! How long do they fear and mistrust each other and allow Weyane fascists to rule over us with no time limitation? Is it possible to save both Ethiopia and Oromia? The ultra-right Amhara-oriented forces cry always about saving Ethiopia, by which they actually mean to kill (dismantle) Oromia. The ultra-left Oromo nationalists also sing about only liberating Oromia, but seem to neglect the importance of regional integration – be it in a form of an Ethiopian union or a Horn union.

    It is like a conflict some obstetricians face sometimes, when they try to treat a sick pregnant mother with an endangered baby: save the mother or save the baby? Is it possible to save both? There was a time when such physicians had had to choose between saving the mother or saving the baby. In modern medicine most of the sicknesses now can be treated in a way that it is possible to save both. It is such a question which the politicians in the Tigrean empire are now facing: save Ethiopia or save Oromia? The Oromo struggle is now developed to this level and made Habesha elites to be in such a dilemma. The ultra-rights got a solution, which sounds: to save Ethiopia, kill Oromia. The moderate Amharas are now trying to move in the modern direction of trying to save both Ethiopia and Oromia. These are the forces, which currently started to work with Oromo democratic federalists as well as begin to seek an alliance with liberation forces, and they also try to find a common ground in order to forge an all-inclusive alliance against the current Tigrean colonialists. Of course, the common ground can only be either a consensus on a true killil-federation of autonomous nations or on a con-federation of independent nations in the region, call it Ethiopia or the Horn, or it is a referendum on all possible alternatives in order to decide per public verdict…..”

  16. Tewodros III on

    Haile (#16)^ has to be dreaming to think Ethiopians can be fooled with his venomous invitation to fight for his so-called “Free Oromia State”. That dream will ONLy remain a dream and will never, ever be realized. There has never been an “Oromia State”, and therefore, there is not going to be one either. Oromos are proud Ethiopians and they have more stake keeping the union than fall victim to such useless and destructive path. If at all, Oromos can play the leading role of keeping the union intact, as they are one of the leading (if not the leading)Ethiopian ethnic group. It is crazy to think a major and majority group seceding from its own.

  17. nadew on

    the olf is still as confused as ever mixing apples and oranges – the basis of individual right and group right is well definined in any social and political theory – the different between animal and human being is also well defined – once brain washed hard to change – you can be panethiopian without being libreal and having a leftist view…

  18. It’s really funny to hear about OLF this time! The world is becoming a small village, it is time of globalization, … The people of Oromia knows very well that this is the fact and the crucial is to be together in moving towards where the world is going to. OLF, I do not believe it really exist witnessed with such news, still trying to dismantl the people to create pieces of lands. This individual, because there is no more OLF at all, should join his Ethiopian brothers in the name of ETHIOPIA and fully discard the nonexistant OLF from his mind. Let’s forget such outdated and very uncivilized thinking in the 21 century. Let’s unit!!!!!!!!!

  19. The Observer on

    I am observing many people are talking from their preconceived and wrong understanding of OLF. Many of them are writing to divert attention from the main issue. Accusation and labeling of OLF with all possible means as have been done the past 20 years can only serve the dictatorial regime to stay on power. And those people who wrote as if they are OLF sympathizers are also TPLF agents. TPLF has been using this to terrorize the Pro Ethiopianist politicians. This is not OLF Stand at all. OLF never said Oromia will secede but the democracy we are going to build should be genuine enough to let the people what they want to say on their future fate.
    It is a time to renew your information about OLF and the Oromo. The Oromo nickname on the internet does not necessarily show neither the Oromo nor the OLF stand.
    Freedom for all

  20. Liberate yourself on

    TPLF may try to divide all it wants, but that does not mean we fall for a shady organization that is hell bent in its actions of seeing the disintegration of a nation.

    No matter how you want to gloss it over, OLF is nothing but a secessionist movement and clearly seeks to secede as a separate state. Although this claim is bizarre, that is exactly what it claims and stands for. If you doubt this, all you have to do is read its program, and listen to its chief operatives and their followers. If that was not the case, it would have scrapped out its claim of secession from its program, as requested several times by multi-nationals/Pan-Ethiopians who want to a see a democratic Ethiopia flourish regardless of their ethnicity.

    Therefore, if you are truly standing for the TRUTH, please for heaven’s sake spare us this cry that OLF is not this or that when the facts about the flimsy stand of the OLF is clear as day light. Hence, no amount of spin is going to wash OLF’s claim and stand.

    It still can redeem itself by coming clean on its stand. But looking at the genesis of events and its crude nature, it has no intentions.

  21. #20 The Observer: So, why this individual say just Ethiopia if he really is civilized and working for the liberation of Ethiopia? What is OLF????? If he think all the Ethiopians are opressed and need freedom he must and must use, at least, “ETHIOPIA” not OLF at all. OLF represents neither Oromia nor Ethiopia. It could at most represent an individual with thinking of back 100 years. Tell him to wake up and join the world and Ethiopians!!

  22. Kukuluku on

    TPLF advocated for Liberation of territory and people of Tigray. Now they are ruling territories that they acquired as a lottery during collapse of USSR in 1991, the price was outside of their founding fathers dream. To diminish natives’ natural connection to that territory they won, they are pulling a rug from under the natives’ legs by leasing it to foreigner entities or giving it to Sudan to tame the reminder. Djibouti, Alaska, likes are territories that changed hand for money. New French men Indians and their children and grand children immigrate to their 99-year leased land to claim right to the land of 99 years. TPLF is playing a game at no cost to Tigrayans. TPLF is digging deep grave to Amhara and other nations as they sleep. Did TPLF say borders of Tigray would be graveyard of Amhara? Is it before or after taking Amhara territory?

  23. Please don’t lose focus on what the main point is. In this day and age of globalization, any political organization with an “LF” (“Liberation Front”) in front of it is name, is backward-thinking and should not be tolerated.

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