Kemal Gelchu’s faction of OLF clarifies position on Ethiopian Unity

Elias Kifle | January 2nd, 2012

By Abebe Gellaw

Washington DC (ESAT) – The Oromo Liberation Front has announced its historic decision to drop its long-held secessionist agenda and to embrace the unity of Ethiopia under a genuine federal arrangement that must guarantee the rights, equality and liberty of all Ethiopians.

In a historic press release, the OLF, led by Brigadier General Kemal Gelchu, issued at the conclusion of its extraordinary National Council plenary, held on December 30 and 31 in Minnesota, the front spelt out its new vision in an unprecedented clarity. The meeting was also open to any non-Oromo Ethiopians for the first time.

According to the press release, the OLF National Council has examined the struggle of the Oromo people, the political program of the front, the prevailing conditions that the Ethiopian people suffer under the dictatorship of Meles Zenewi and the necessity of working with all democratic forces in Ethiopian to end the untold misery of Ethiopians under the tyrannical regime.

“The OLF National Council also focused on the timely demand of working with other democratic forces in forming the new Ethiopia that will guarantee and protect the fundamental rights of all peoples in Ethiopia. The new social contract will and should be based on the free will and consent of all peoples in Ethiopia. The previous style that claims “I know for you” should be abolished and replaced with a new vision that is based on peoples’ consent and free will,” the release stated.

The historic statement further noted that OLF would struggle not only for the Oromo people but also the people of Ethiopia suffering under the tyranny and oppression of the TPLF regime. “To fulfill this vision and play crucial roles, not only for the Oromo people, but for all Ethiopian people, the OLF National Council pursuant to the power vested to it by the OLF National Congress effectively amended the OLF political program today, January 1, 2012,” the front said.

The release underscored the fact that the revised OLF political program will “accept the new federal democratic republic of Ethiopia that will work for the betterment of all of its citizens, neighboring countries and international communities.” It also said that the OLF would honor and respect the decisions of the Ethiopian people would make exercising their will under the new federal republic of Ethiopia.

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OLF also urged all democratic forces to work in tandem to make Ethiopia a common home for all its people. It also called on the international community to desist from supporting the tyrannical regime of Meles Zenawi that is “engaged in terrorizing the Ethiopian people, selling the precious resources of the country to the highest bidders, and the government that does not respect the principles of democracy, human rights and rule of law.”

In an interview with ESAT Radio, Dr. Nuro Dedefo, OLF Executive Committee member, has explained that the front has charted out a new vision based on the reality on the ground. He said the new vision of the OLF aspires to liberate the Ethiopian people from the brutal minority rule of the TPLF and establish a new democratic Ethiopia based on the free will of the people to live, work and set up a common country for all. He pointed out that previously OLF used to advocate for the establishment of an Oromo state. As per its new vision, OLF now aspires to establish one country with other Ethiopians, he explained.

Dr. Nuro also underscored that OLF rejects the bogus federal arrangement that has imposed the hegemony of the TPLF on the rest of Ethiopia. According to Dr. Nuro, the OLF wants a real and genuine federal system which clearly shows that OLF broke with the past and embraced Ethiopian unity. “In order to change the racist minority rule of the TPLF and form a new Ethiopia that will be free from absence of the rule of law and rampant abuse of citizens… OLF is ready to work with all Ethiopian democratic forces,” he declared.

He noted that TPLF’s so-called federal arrangement has been designed to divide and rule the people of Ethiopia and impose its hegemony using its servile puppets and messengers. Dr. Nuro has underlined that that OLF’s new vision will put an end to TPLF’s propaganda against OLF, which it tried to present as a secessionist force. “That will put the scheme in the coffin once and for all,” he said.

The OLF official also called upon fellow Ethiopians to work with the OLF in a spirit of trust in order to establish the new Ethiopia, where democracy, justice, respect for human rights and rule of law will be the founding values.

Dr. Nuro told ESAT that the meeting, which was also open for non-Oromo Ethiopians, was exciting to so many Ethiopians that have already endorsed OLF’s new vision that it adopted to end dictatorship, suffering and lawlessness in Ethiopia once and for all in collaboration with any democratic forces.

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