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)