Ethiopian Court Gives Oromo Politicians Prison Over Secession

December 12th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

(Bloomberg) — Ethiopia’s Federal High Court sentenced two senior Oromo politicians to as much as 13 years in prison after their convictions on charges of inciting a secessionist rebellion.

Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of the opposition Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement was sentenced to 8 years in prison and Olbana Lelisa of the Oromo People’s Congress party to 13 years, Judge Kenate Hora said. “It’s absolute injustice,” Bekele said to reporters outside the courtroom.

Bekele and Olbana were accused of being members of the banned Oromo Liberation Front and inciting students to rebel, Kenate said. Seven others were given sentences of between three years and 12 years for getting training in camps in Kenya and being involved in gunfights with Ethiopian soldiers, he said.

The Oromo Liberation Front has been fighting for more autonomy for the Oromo, Ethiopia’s most populous ethnicity, since 1973, according to its website. The group was initially part of a transitional government after helping allied rebels oust the Derg military regime in 1991. The Ethiopian government silences legitimate Oromo opposition by branding them rebels, Amnesty International said in a report in January.

  1. aha!
    | #1

    The antidote for the current narratives under this article is for all parties and factions is to coalesce uner the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic and secessionist rights, not for more autonomy of the Oromo ethnic group with a constitution of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalirianism built into it and also not replacing secessionism stipulated in Article 39 (1) but not more autonomy, which either way alludes to ethnic federalism, where the plea is for yekilil mengistats ikulent mekeberina and attaining a polical space from the TPLF/eprdf regime, while imlicitely supporting ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism does not a radical change make or amendement of the constitution with respect to Aticle 1, the flag, Article 46 ethnic federalism, article 8, the sovereignity of Ethiopia, along with reasserting individual rights to supecede ethnic and secessionist rights and reneged artile 29 press freedom reinstated.

    This does not condone the actions by the TPLF/eprdf regime, where TPLF is the politbeurro and eprdf (the teletafi parties) are ruling the country as ex-liberation fronts, spearheaded by TPLF, the master architect of the constitution of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, supported by the teletafi parties, the security forces, federal police force and the military militia in the support of the TPLF/eprdf and its constituion.

    Armed with the constitution and defender of the constitution, TPLF regime has the upper hand to organize parties along ethnic agenda rather than national agenda as well as create free market capitalism for TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affilated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations, leaving the silent majority of farmers under serfdom, and diminishing the ability of marchants the ability to exercise free market capitalism as well as the underlying manifesto to wipe out Ethiopian History established by the previous regimes.

    Despite the cry for the unlawful arrests of political prisoners of all sorts, Ethiopians need to rally against TPLF/eprdf regime to restore individual freedom, liberty and equality to exceed ethnic and secessionist rights, retore Ethiopian Nationalism/Unity by resorting to original fourteen provinces including Eritrea, should the wish to join by freeing themselves from the current dictatorship and resore the sovereignity of Ethiopia, by creating a constitution with the individual freedom, liberty and equality as the center piece of the constitutition, instead of seeking fully autonmous region of ill defined boundries such as Oromia and Ogaden Somalia and one or two others of fantaci-lands allotted by the TPLF/eprdf regime under the the constitution of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism, to say the least about ethnic secessionism besieged with continual war skirmishes and boundry conflicts.

  2. Sushant
    | #2

    Bakkalcha ganamo,I agree with you that there is a major thraet. But there were major thraets under Minilik, Haile Selassie, Mengistu and now tplf. I mean close to some 200 long years. Did Oromos learn anything from all these byegone genocides and major thraets? Not much. Even your fear is also a direct testimony of Oromos not being able to learn from their past harsh experience and come to build relevant capacity, unity in diversity, alliances locally, nationally, globally and fight for democarcy, equality, justice for all, etc. inorder to align their just struggle with the prevailing dominant powers and world political atmosphere. Even crocodiles are said to be leaning against strong stone in the rivers inorder to cut its immediate enemy in to pieces. If you don’t have or built local, national, regional and global support networks for your just struggle you are some what lonely, fighting alone and dying alone. Just look at some of the current Oromo political movements, talking with divergent voices in divergent and contradictory directions exposing only their disions, weaknesses and powerlessness and crying about the imminent genocide. Their division and lack of alliances as well as petty power mongering coupled with foreign manipulations are the prime thraet bringing the fearful genocide. I mean that it is within us but not only within them. If I see united,broad based alliances, consensual, knowledgable, wise Oromo fronts, seeing the big picture and sturggling but still not being able to bring the situation under control I would blame ONLY external factors. But NOT now.Any way I am NOT a politician. so why should I bother myself?The current thraet is as a result of a long standing exclusively minority built permanently unstable system/dictatorial governace/rule, meant exclusively to benefit only minorities. This long running phenomena now again finally brought us to this fearful moment. Even if you may have again another brutal minority dictator functioning within the brutal minority built system of governanace you will only again come to the same point of instability and great fear of genocide just like the last some 200 long years.As a naive none political individual my informed guess and instincts tell me that Oromos need to form fast alliances both inside(all Oromos) and out side(all Ethiopians)on the basis of give and take principle, win-win consensual basis, put in place a solid representative council(about 45% oromo, about 30% amharas 6% tigres and so on down the line with all Ethiopian included)Yes this time demands very strong, decisive, majority based, unifying wise leader with a BIG HEART!Every one must have a stake, astake and a fair share in the cake!!We don’t need instant territorial separatism now because that means sure death for all whether you believe it or not. PERIOD! It ONLY benefits the enemies of all Ethiopians/ Oromos too and these enemies are many waiting to grab what is left of the crushing after all the owners have crushed each other. Chaotic and incurable Somalia comes to mind but even that is just a small event compared to the multi ethnic, multi religious, etc diversities of Ethiopia if the fearful final day of reckoning comes to happen. Past experiences and long running emotions may demand territorial liberty but rationality, knowledge, wisdom and the greater good self interest and other interest must govern. That way genocide may be averted.Now I must go for my cup of coffee before it gets cold after which time I may not be any bold. GOD/ALLAH BLESS YOU ALL!!

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