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The miscarriage of “Oromo Leadership Convention” in Atlanta

11 mins read

By Abbaa Ormaa
All is not lost for the Atlanta Oromo Leadership Convention. Regardless of whether it is a success or a failure, depending on where one stands on the Oromo political spectrum, it is yet more evidence that the Oromo struggle for justice and fairness has entered a new and final phase.  The author is in favor of coordinated Oromo struggle through all inclusive discussion among all stake holders. We are not enemies; we are citizens bleeding and crying with our fellow citizens back home every day and wish nothing less than a speedy freedom to our people and all peoples in Ethiopia at last.
Having said that, since its announcement, the “Oromo Leadership Convention” has faced criticisms and suspicion and it did not disappoint.  The main objectives of the organizers were to discredit Oromo political organizations that are independent in particular the Oromo Liberation Front and to come out of the convention as a unified front by crowning Jawar as a leader of the Oromo movement.  Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on one’s stand, they failed on both fronts.  First Oromo Liberation Front is standing taller as a mature organization with an adult in charge.  Second, the convention did not succeed in crowning the supreme Ayatollah of Oromo as planned.  In the coming days we will soon learn more about their hidden agenda and their miserable failure. Even before the participants where invited, the ring leaders of the organizers prepared a document outlining their ambition for power grab and hunger to be called leader of the Oromo movement.  Fixing election and rigging election is not new but to have already decided and put names on paper before a single nomination and vote is casted is the first. All they wanted from the convention was stamp of approval to the so called “leaked” document by the participants. No nomination is made. No vote is casted. The document is one for the record.  It is the most divisive and hallow document at a fifth grade high-school social science project level.
One then wonders why the Organizers are adamant about the Oromo liberation Front and the Oromo Liberating Army (OLA)?  What crime did the Oromo Liberation Front committed to deserve these much hostility from the few ring leaders?
Regardless of political views, Oromos from all walks of life must be enraged and condemn the disrespect shown to the people who are fighting the real fight and all the Oromo struggle veterans who sacrificed their life under the banner of Oromo Liberation Front. It is one thing to disagree with leaders and criticize them. But, to disrespect the men and women who are sacrificing their lives is beyond pale. We all have our reservations when it comes to leaderships of our political organizations.  Anyone who disrespects the men and women on the battle field does not deserve Oromo support let alone to lead. These are the people who choose to live the hard life and sustained the Oromo struggle and brought it to where it is today. We all are products of this grand Organization.  It is disgraceful to make light of people who are dying and willing to die for the same cause we pretend to care. His excellence Daud Ibsa is a man of principle and didn’t sell Oromo martyr for life in America or Europe. He deserves the utmost respect of the Oromo people.
We don’t denigrate those brave men and women who picked up AK47 and took the oath and solemnly swore to die for the Oromo people and defend Oromia.  It is “saafuu”.
Let us look closely the supposedly leaked document I have all reason to believe that this is indeed the real deal for the organizers.

The Supreme Council

First this document calls for establishing a “supreme council of nine people” and recommends all Oromo stake holders to come under the leadership of his excellence Bekele Garba. The document tasks Jawar Mohammed to build the super council and recommend him to serve as deputy to Bekele Garba.  In the absence of Mr. Garba (in TPLF’s jail), Jawar is to exercises the function of the head of the council.
Ok, too much to digest here.
First:  The organizers are using the good name of a true hero Bekele Garba to advance their hidden agenda.  Plain and simple.
Second:  Jawar serves as the deputy to a person in prison who is most likely to remain in TPLF’s prison for the unforeseen future.  In effect Jawar is the chairman of the Oromo movement according to this arrangement. Someone has the audacity to call himself a leader by acclamation.
Third: By putting Bekele as the chairman, they are telegraphing to TPLF that Bekale Garba is a conspirator to over through a “democratically elected” government of Ethiopia so that he remains in jail for life.   This is the evil nature of this arrangement.  One wonders if they ever consulted him whether he accepts their offer to be the chairman.  This is the only time they compare Bekele Garba to Nelson Mandala.  We will never hear these words again.
This is a shrewd political calculation! It is killing three birds in one stone.
In a nutshell what was planned is to declare Jawar Mohammed as the leader of Oromo struggle. Everything else is a hallow exercise to make the people believe that it is done in a democratic and all inclusive way.

The Command Posts

Here we hear an echo of the Wayane State of Emergency in their most divisive partition of Oromia by command posts, religion, and village.  Many of these people have been critical of Oromo Liberation Front leaders for not living in Oromia and running the struggle remotely from Asmara. Now their plan is to run these so called command posts from Europe and North America through a supreme leader in Jawar Mohammed.  This is hypocrisy to its bone.  Asmara is much closing to Oromia than Europe and North America.  So, if I have to choose, I will choose the one in Asmara ten times out of ten times.
This document also divides Oromia into command post that sounds a copy of TPLF command post and again makes one wonders if they get their military advisors from TPLF.

Foreign and Diplomatic Affairs

Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) is put in charge of foreign affairs and diplomacy. It is to be remembered that ODF recently formed alliance with an Naftegna organization yet to be created as recently described by Major Dawit W. Giorgis. So, one wonders again what is the political agenda of the leaders of this group? How many times ODF won a diplomatic victory for Oromo?

Domestic Affairs

Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) with Oromia Internal Affairs as a peaceful wing. Either the leaders have the blessing of TPLF in case of complete disaster for TPLF to hand over Oromia and adios to Tigray or TPLF is setting up the whole show to justify its massacre and incarceration of leaders and supporters of OFC for conspiring with banned political organization to overthrow a “democratically elected” government of Ethiopia.   You cannot have it both ways.


It is unfortunate that such a grand and important idea is hijacked by the twisted few. The Oromo people have seen many moves like this and each times, they sided on the side of principle and reason to sustain the struggle and ushered it to where it is today.  This time is no difference. The Oromo people will once again separated the shaft from the wheat and march the struggle forward.
Had not this document leaked by concerned citizen, we would have been hearing how successful the convention was and preparing for the inauguration of supreme Jawar.  Fortunately, the lady didn’t bear it for 9 months. This is a serious time that demands serious people.  It is my hope that all sides learn from the Atlanta experience and come together and form a true all inclusive fact based global Oromo struggle support group. Not a leader for sure. The people on the ground back home are the leaders!  Our role is to do the easy part. Financial support and increase awareness of the Oromo people’s struggle against injustice and for fairness.

Now is the time to go ahead and unleash your attack dogs on the messenger!