OLF still maintained not Functioning Ethiopia but killing Ethiopia by Biraanu Gammachu

March 4th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

This piece is mainly devoted to discussions on Functioning Ethiopia from OLF’s (Oromo Liberation Front) perspective, and thereby opinionates what ought to be embraced by stakeholders.

OLF’s presentation of Oromo as non-Ethiopia was completely wrong. Ethiopia is significantly a making of Oromo. De-making Ethiopia amounts to De-making Oromo. Independent Republic Oromia is therefore not within a substantive Oromo worldview; at best it’s an artistic culture. Functioning Ethiopia which is a warranty for sustainable solidarity and tradable interaction in inter-Oromo and/or intra-Oromo is one missing.

For any realistic [and rational] change Functioning Ethiopia has been a point of gravity unlike for separatist OLF. So subtly it has been advancing its inverse function [Malfunctioning Ethiopia]. Implicitly, it is all about E – T – H – I – O – P – I – A and only interested in the middle letter ‘O’ virtually trashing the rest. This position has been unequivocally reflected in its sundry statements, public speeches and local affiliated electronic tabloids. Imagine given such unhelpful stance how will it enjoy an attention from non-Oromos? How can someone entrust one who destroys his own making? It is then not only a source of tension but also a liability for Functioning Ethiopia.

Customizing it …

OLF come in to existence four decades ago. Today we have virtually different environment, different imagination, different audience, different need, and different means of conflict resolution so what it chartered then is incompatible to today. The young generation has totally different world view and perspective. We bet OLF is in false association with the young generation or at best it’s futilely imposing itself.

Customizing OLF is thus an important matter over due to refresh its relevance to Ethiopia’s political demand or even to ensure its claimed Oromo-centric flag bearer-ship. However, the cluster is decreasingly knowledge-intensive, and hence hardly convinced of an internal predictable change. Interfacing Marxist and Communist world view it profoundly disincentives knowledge-based driven political enterprise alternate to blind and customary revolutionary convictions. It has been alarmingly drifting away from crucial intellectual resources. Actually, its geographic location is also another factor. It is possibly a discouraging environment for it to appreciate venturing different course. For instance, since it was doctored to move to Asmara OLF had delivered at best as an information unit/desk under security apparatus and has been meeting other political interests to the regime in Asmara towards Ethiopia. It has been simply

a ‘stool-pigeon’ of the Red Sea State and an object of the No Peace No War game with the regime in Ethiopia. Equally important, its tools of operations, structure and personality loyalist elements are in sum change resistant giving rises to hopelessness, mistrust, in-fight and demobilization within the group with a spillover effect. The paradox is customizing OLF is a far-fetching subject but customary OLF is definitely dead.

Did not create healthy political society but few who hate …

Unlike significant number of Oromo’s imagination, substantial media archives, public discourses and critical assessment about its nature and practice tell us beyond reasonable doubt that OLF is sadly little more than a collection of unrefined and less realistic political narrative, disjoined and pseudo liberators but hatred and vengeance against Amhara. Amhara [Habesha] as a social group is simply the beginning and the end of its narrative. For that reason, it kicked-off a retributive nationalism which is a function of vengeance, ethnic sentiment and hatred. This is the main common denominator which has been shaping an identity of OLF. In an endeavor to expand, continue and consolidate its social base young Oromos at school, college and university has been the main soft target and their interaction with other social back ground almost exclusively from Tigre and Amhara has been deliberately sabotaged. This insidiously has been un-harmonizing togetherness, mutual inter-social interaction, tolerance and humanity among young Ethiopians or the people at large. Further, it has been not only a criminal act of disrupting their future life but also it has been dislocating
them from developing critical thinking about their country at large beyond colors.

Down the road OLF did not manage to create viable political society but very few sections of its target populous who sentimentally identify themselves against Amhara and Ethiopia which is simply wrong to any healthy political enterprise. Arguably, OLF is now at a point where neither taming nor changing its infamous agenda can work out minus risking its identity. The stalemate calls for competent and timely leadership to help it move beyond such a threadbare an eye for an eye business.

It must repay change price …

Earlier on there is not reliable and clear secondary documentation, ‘the 1976 OLF revised political program’ accounts too much to Marxist ideology both as a means and end in itself for OLF chartered struggle. The political narrative further on impeached its alleged western made and backed ‘Imperialist Ethiopia’ and thus as an outcome bided for its total disintegration. One of the 2004 was clearly made for taming the preceding narratives but it sat between two stools.

Subtly, in the whole process Amhara as a social group was animated to have bedeviled and unwittingly equated to Ethiopia. Here’s where the group unable to skin-off the political dynamics potentially risking social fundamentalism and abhorrently overlooked substantive culture of Oromo. That unhealthy political view was not meaningfully converged for good to date among the group in charge though significant aborted efforts are made. During the infamous 1991 transition where people of Ethiopia could have entered genuinely new beginning having given their back to wrong past, OLF must have brushed off its disintegration agenda alternate to democratic Ethiopia through ethnic federalism. It did not respect the handout political participation and positions during ‘the charter’ thus it set off for military struggle. In a similar vein, ‘Tigre’ as a social group should have been picked in place of Amhara as they are in charge of the current Ethiopia at least post the charter. However, fixated OLF did not meaningfully move beyond such unhealthy politics, and still darting wrong target.

In 2006 encouraging news surfaced; OLF and its sister front ONLF together with other Ethiopian political groups initiated AFD (Alliance for Freedom and Democracy) against the late ethnocentric Meles Zenawi’s regime (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5005980.stm). It was a timely show-ground for equally desolate political signatories to the alliance. Hopes were refreshed for newly sound target – realization of functioning Ethiopia where coordination and cooperation, compassion and solidarity, common destiny and humanity are collectively a driving force of change. From OLF side it was clearly a negotiated rejection of long held infertile political position – Independent Oromia. It was a significant build-up and expectation from the youth. Unfortunately, mainly due to structural, strategic and leadership crises the alliance did not fruit at all. The price dividend was high from OLF side, as it compromised its habitual position and given its thorny conservative critics.

The leadership neither contained internal shocks following the stagnated alliance, nor delivered promises. Apparently waning in dismay it has not yet recollected itself, and had no power to bargain any alliance – internal or external. Therefore, this round a repayment price is not for dealing in for change but for self-change if there will be one.

Still at defensive …

Unwholesome nationalism has been oozing among OLF cadres and OLF affiliated Oromo public – it is a terrible social and political infectious disease escaped from OLF leadership (mostly awful in Diaspora) thus shuttering any immediate hope for it to reshape the struggle. Its failure of managing its internal affair is at a heavy cost of accommodating external interests.
Implicitly there has been growing uncertainty within OLF attributed to both internal and external circumstances. That is to say the cluster is irresolute and largely incapacitated of exploiting internal problems and external pressures to its own favor on its own term. In

addition to unwittingly forgone opportunities it’s left to wait for paternalistic circumstances to raft it to its own end. Equally, the variation of the group from its initial picture is almost insignificant. The leadership deliberately denied the struggle leeway to stand to fit into ever-appealing realities and nurture potential minds to this effect. Thus it can be concluded that the group still resonates within defensive width far from commanding internal and/or external environment at least reasonably.

It is simply off the market…

Exclusive ethnicity (which amounts to social-fanaticism) has never been healthy political enterprise in an endeavor to stability, peace and security and development at a smaller or a larger political geography which are meaningfully achieved through collective action. It is highly engaged in producing and reproducing un-togetherness, hatred and sentiment grossly undermining the benefits gained looking at the picture. Few core, fanatic and pseudo-armed Oromo group leaders have hardly imagined dancing beyond illusive past and personality cult. The local or global political, economic, environmental and social trend dictates the rational need for harmony, peaceful-coexistence, tolerance and mutual interdependence. Therefore, for relatively resultant healthy society and healthy environment to be achieved humanity, love, tolerance, justice, freedom and democracy should be at the forefront of our aspiration towards social change.
The world is moving. There are more futures to become present and there are more presents to become past. There is nothing as such we call history is repeating itself unless otherwise the history makers remained constant.

Beyond reasonable doubt we are convinced that no human history had perfect past in any part of our planet Earth so do people in Ethiopia. No past could twist to be a future nor does a future exclude the past in absolute terms. Our future could tangent the past but it should be with different curve. In order to mutually benefit from the dynamic, we must work together to evolve from less perfect towards more perfect social interaction. Then we would be able to leave behind more predictable social, political and economic interactions.

In conclusion, however bad we could think the previous regimes are, they in fact credibly, at least on one perspective, entrenched unflinching psychological and physical attachment to Ethiopia. Building on such a good aspects and embracing collective actions towards the failures are the missing life-line. Conversely, the group’s sensational hunt for an absolute unassembled Ethiopia so far did not come true. However, the cluster is just continually taken away by an oblivious of article 39 – an impious element of the current regime’s constitution in Ethiopia. At all, at its current nature and practice OLF is simply nowhere neither to contribute well nor to undermine geographic, political, emotional and economic Ethiopia.

My call …

Safe to leave making assertions on how far OLF succeeded without scientific investigation but its failure does not need so and it is as big as a mountain. Well it is still history but History of Failure. Regrettably, things did not work out at all for the Front of No and it has been living as the principal object of EPLF (Mr. Isaias) /TPLF (Mr. Meles) History. The most painful fact of it is that it continued to cajole its claimed subject – Oromo. Dear OLF leaders the failure is no more secrete and it is ours so join the stakeholders with facts and we seek solutions together.

My fellow youth you should be able to imagine an environment beyond the casket – liberators are also wrong doers. You must demand leaders on the real ground; after all it’s about our tomorrow. Cognizant to Ethiopia’s internal and external context insurgence induced power, as usual, did not win dictators and their philosophy once and for all; it rather widens opportunities for the new breeds to be crowned. Ethiopian people are a living witness and we have drawn enough lessons from track-record of regime changes in Post feudal Ethiopia and in a larger postcolonial Africa. Realities of an ethnocentric regime in Ethiopia dictate preference of concerted and inclusive evolutionary approach for social transformation to unpredictable and exclusive revolution. Furthermore, geo-economic, geo-politics, collective security, and proliferation of science and technology have been perverting violence means to political power making rebellion less cost effective.

Historic Ethiopia in mind, let’s blame no particular social group as a sole liability to an injustice or oppression but our less accommodative and less tolerant institute of governance [social, political, economic and environmental interaction] induced by our collective or individual behavior and attitude. Our past is our collective history; no group is exclusively free of blame because everyone must have something to account for it. Therefore, the war should be not on social/ethnic or class manifestations but importantly on behaviors and attitudes that habitually embeds and institutes our thinking. Reactions against wrong tongues and actions are mainly emotional, unsustainable and quick fixes, then [w]e have to work to together to change our mindset.
We [People of Ethiopia] shall continue as a Whole. Tolerance, Respect, Dialogue, Compassion, Humanity, Forgiveness and Togetherness should be the order of the process.
The author can be reach at biraanug@gmail.com

  1. Gecho
    | #1

    Right on! This call appeals to me and hopefully to the majority of Ethiopians.

    Our identity/culture has been the makings of countless factors and contributions of past generations. Whether we like it or not it will continually evolve. So we shouldn’t be closed to and afraid of change. Rather we must embrace the opportunities before us and leave our marks as countless generations have done in the past. But let’s make ours a change for good that is conducive to the well being of our people, a change that is so imbued with learning that is worthy of the sufferings our people.

    Fear induced dismemberment benefits NO ONE. We will loose too many treasures that we take for granted and do not appreciate right now. Just like every good thing lamenting after they are gone will not do any one any good.

    Look at Eritreans!They sacrificed believing independence is the panacea to the problems they believed caused by union with Ethiopia. They thought and openly gloated that they will join the first world very quickly. Now some sobriety is taking hold among some Eritreans. Many have disengaed from the cult like adhesion to the whole gedli “belief system”.

    Choosing the separatist way is tantamount to cowardice and sulking. The courageous way that will most likely bring well being to the stakeholders is facing the problems and stepping to the round or square table and start working for win-win solutions.

  2. ጉረኞች
    | #2

    How true “Down the road OLF did not manage to create viable political society but very few sections of its target populous who sentimentally identify themselves against Amhara and Ethiopia which is simply wrong to any healthy political enterprise.”

  3. tezera feyisa
    | #3

    My hat off to you Sir!!!!!!!!
    You said to the youth of Oromo, ” ……imagine an environment beyond the casket”, also ” our past is our collective history,”, “Dear OLF leaders, the failur is no more secret and it is ours so join the stakeholders with facts and we seek solutions together.”, ” we( people of Ethiopia) shall continue as a whole.”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Tase
    | #4

    You are not Biraanu G. Use your real name dude!

  5. Temesgen Andargie
    | #5

    It’s amazing! Look at the way you wrote your name. Do you thing anybody trust your trush phylosophical writing? you must be naive. It seems to me that you are were one of them(OLF). you are suffering from identity crises Mr. Berhanu Gemechu.

  6. melaku Mesfin
    | #6

    Really interesting analysis of the facts about OLF and the prevailing situation in Ethiopia.

  7. Jawar
    | #7

    Insightful article.

  8. dolom
    | #8

    Amazing how the dead EPRP come out in the shadow of this B. Gemechu to insult Oromo. OLF is malfunction. However our struggle is at a peak, we will reach freedom. There is no way any OLF or agents targeting ethnic Amhara or other ethnic group. We suffered a lot in brutal Ethiopia, in the name of Ethiopian unity as an Oromo. No body was left weather they support united or disintegrated Ethiopia. Therefore, if people hate what the name stand for don’t wonder. Don’t they the party with this name that insult Oromo, trashed victims in anole and chelanko, and today are side with TPLF to put 40,000 innocent Oromo in prison in the name of keeping the holy ‘Ethiopia’. Don’t be wondering if the next generation is more aggressive, because you brought it and you need to accept, though with cry.

  9. Ebsa
    | #9

    wow very interesting article

  10. aha!
    | #10

    I agree to your contest of part of the ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism, totalitarianism built into the constitution, the gives ethnic secessionism and/or ethnic nationalism in article 39 (1), articulated in the constitution by TPLF as the architect of constitution, with the ruling party composed of ex-liberation front of which the current OLF is the disgruntled segment of the TPLF/eprdf regime. The current regime with the above mentioned ideologies bears the major blame of creating linguistic states/ethnic regions and allowing for secessionism up to independence, a scenario that allowed Eritrea to secede from Ethiopia. As such ethnic federalism, as an artificial boundary creates a prelude to secessionism and future boundary conflict and subsequent ethnic cleansing by those parties aligned along ethnic rather than national agenda and support directly and/or indirectly the ideologies built into the constitution with ethnic rights overriding individual rights, comprising the constituents of negative forces of disintegration of Ethiopia, as a one nation state with the original provinces of assorted ethnic groups in tact in a tug of war with the positive forces of integration for unity, territorial integrity sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual rights to super cede ethnic and secessionist rights. While the political atmosphere prevailing in the last 40 years and creation of the constitution with ideologies mentioned above may be unavoidable, but the tilting of the balance towards the positive forces of disintegration may be achieved by all opposition parties coalescing around the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians with strategies to achieve those goals, which calls upon Ginbot 7 and/or ALJE=OLF/AFD2 and Medrek/OPDO/EFDF/fdre, abandoning their ethnic agenda by merging based on the national agenda to form democratic parties competing for their ideas to advance Ethiopia as one nation state, in terms of humanitarian, economic, political and conservation of natural resources and development according to ecological regions in a free market capitalism and/or mixed economy.

  11. ሕኣብኣጽሕኣ
    | #11

    Interesting! Again you want to insult oromo in the name OLF?
    Think deep, OLF is in the heart of all Oromos. Dig your hole deep enough
    And right now we are on peak, don’t worry to change your name to oromo
    Pls keep your identity. Having oromo name will not grant you oromo blood.
    May God Bless OLF!

  12. gebre
    | #12

    How many years of history do the oromos have in the land of ethiopia? Just answer this question before going to any further political argument.

  13. Tuli
    | #13

    Well stated. Those of OLF fanatics, driven by self centred ego, they better learn a thing or two from this article. Instead of wasting the life of innocent Oromo children by fabricating utterly false story while seating in the air conditioned house some where in the west, wake up from your reverie and do something worthy in your life.

  14. Yelma & Densa
    | #14

    [Biraanu Gammachu],

    Brother I thank GOD for people like you who are able to articulate what we the majority of sincere Ethiopians know clearly and we scratch our head over the political confusion we see among the different opposition organizations in general and OLF,ONLF,G-7,EPPF in particular. There is no surprise here for what we what we have witnessed in the past 22 years and continued the same to this this days with any ray of hope on the horizon to the political problem .

    As you have clearly stated the very notion to liberate any segment of Ethiopian population via Asmara has been faulty principle envisioned cd by those whoa re desperate for self interest and power. It does not take rocket scientist to figure this out. The brain child behind the idea of working with EPLF has been those who preach in public democracy, rule of law, liberty but in reality ,all along, they have been devising a better future that will land them in power. That explains why all the organizations cohabitate with Asmara are a gathering of friends and acquaintances. It is not that they don’t know that EPLF and TPLF are sworn enemies of Ethiopia and that no matter what so long the situation permits they will continue to keep us under subjugation until all the wealth of the nation is plundered .

    I agree with you OLF leaders need to be told to examine their position and reform their way and come up with means to actually alleviate the problem of the people. However, the call need to be extended to the rest of Ethiopians to unequivocally pronounce those organizations who are operating from Asmara as enemies of the country.

    You conclude by saying,

    ” …then [w]e have to work to together to change our mindset.
    We [People of Ethiopia] shall continue as a Whole. Tolerance, Respect, Dialogue, Compassion, Humanity, Forgiveness and Togetherness should be the order of the process.”

    I completely agree with your optimistic ideas. After all, the future of the nation is for the youth. This primitive way and a
    mere dictating of matters by the old guard to the rising generation ,unless it is accommodating all who are concerned, need to be resisted. In this spirit I join your call to belong, to join hands, to participate, and to raise hard questions as to why we are not coming up with right strategy to solve the problem. When we without fear ask
    why we as a people fail to map out working strategy to solve the political ,social and economic problem. Why we continue
    to bicker and argue each other and choose to withdraw from responsibility?

    In this perplexing times where globalism is ordering the day for many third world populations,

    not only we Ethiopians but if possible Africans must work together for our very survival. In other words, the survival strategy must be for Ethiopians to run the business of their country and not internecine

    squabbling that is dangled before us by the global masters.

  15. Somali Man
    | #15

    Dear Writer,
    You just presented us one side of the coin; this is the assimilation style of ethnicity in the old days of Haile Sillassie. You should talk about the facts that if you want to tango, you need another person. Blaming one side only will not take you to free land in Ethiopia; I had seen many kinds of your allegation to pretend that you will be respected from the assimilating group. To be franc with you , you should also describe the group who are still thinking Ethiopia would be ruled by one unitary state. For example, you should visit EPRP web site and learn how to respect other ethnic group if you want to see Ethiopia where two legged TPLF hyenas will be changed to human who are two legs. Both unitary and secessionist style of ideology are the ones who provide a free ride to EPRDF/TPLF. Moreover, OLF had morphed into ODF to accommodate and work with the unitary group; however this later group are still living in Zenebech’s fantasy land. That is why, we are seeing the proliferation of ethnic media. The launched Oromo Media Network and ESAT will compete while they are elongating the life span of the totalitarian regime of TPLF. Let me tell you ; it is not the ethnicity the problem is how you live with other and strive for better Ethiopia under rule of law , democratic where justice prevails .

  16. Mohammed
    | #16

    Hey, how wonderful you are participating in this discussion !!! OLF will Preval!!
    I would suggest to all habesha learn Oromo language so that you can find a job in oromia!!! Oromia shall be free!! It will be soon!!! State taking classes!!! Oromiyaan nibilisoomti

    Aa baa caa daa …..

  17. aha!
    | #17

    The only logical solution comes from flow system charting as in the process of creating a program to do a specific task, and models with major goals with strategies and/or methods to achieve those goals. In the past 23 years a shift in balance from the positive forces of integration in the past and the present to the negative forces of disintegration with ethnic agenda with a constitution built into it the ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism, denying the silent majority of Ethiopians free market capitalism with private property ownership of land as one of the means of production and yet creating crony capitalism by TPLF/political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations. In the middle are those parties with ethnic agenda forming a coalition with UDJP and Tigrai-harena, imlicetely supporting the constitution with the goals for respect of ethnic rights, “yekili Mengistats iqulent mekeber based on ethnic federalism/ethnic homelands, opening up of political space, democracy and respect for human rights as the only common denominator with those parties with the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, making up the third model and ethnic secessionism and/or ethnic nationalism in the armed struggle. Since the current political model is dominated by the first two models with its constitution as the operating system tilts the balance heavily towards the negative forces of disintegration. Therefore to alleviate the humanitarian, political, economical and environmental crises perpetrated by TPLF/eprdf regime and/or party directly and/or indirectly supported by the teletafi parties and the loyalist opposition parties now forming OPADO/Medrek/EFDF/fdre, security, police and military forces, the only logical solution is for all opposition parties to coalesce around the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. The solution presented by the author as ” tolerance, respect, dialogue, humanity, forgiveness and togetherness” do not seem tangible to me as opposed to a logical solution for the opposition parties to unite over the national agenda to counter balance the TPLF/eprdf regime and its constitutional frame work.

  18. Jale
    | #18

    Well said, I am in owe of this article. I think it is time for Oromo people and Oromo Political organizations like OLF to build a central identity, that is connected to the greater Ethiopia and it’s culture. Yes, It is paramount that the suffering of Oromo people throughout the history of Ethiopia which still ongoing brought forward and made aware to every Oromo child that is born not in the context of hate, revenge, or fear for one to be to isolated, disenfranchised but in the context of building an individual with a proud identity who is free and fearless to defend himself or to dominate. That is the kind of Oromo I have known my father to be that is the kind of Oromo I am and that is the kind of Oromo I will like my child to be.

  19. aha!
    | #19

    Jale! I share your view point partially, in that it is better to be part of the whole, than to be an isolated part or fragment of the whole, the survival of which is zero. If we take the analogy of Euclyptus tree, where the root is amahara or oromo and the stem is oromo or amhara and the bigger branches are the relatively big ethnic groups and smaller branches with leaves, are the smaller ethnic groups each with its own functions contribute to the whole organism than when cut into their own component parts. With that being the prevalent conditions for millennium, the reversal of that condition under the TPLF/eprdf regime with the ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism built into the constitution is the problem, that denies individual freedom, liberty and equality to super cede ethnic and secessionist rights. Whereas if the individual rights is respected the group rights follows, but not vice versa and as the only base of democracy, a rule by the people, for the and of the people. From that context your suggestion of “Oromo political organization like OLF to build a central identity, that is connected to the greater Ethiopia and it’s culture”, is good and it is still observed by the people. What I believe the pragmatic and logical solution for OLF leaders to follow reflectively is to think of Ethiopiawinet first and their ethnicity second in order to coalesce around the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where each ethnic group freely advances its language and culture under one flag and one nation state, called Ethiopia instead of opposition parties with ethnic agenda campaigning with the goals to respect ethnic rights, “yekilil Mengistats iqulent mebit mekeber, opening up of political space and respect of human rights, while upholding the above mentioned constitution by putting ethnic rights ahead of individual rights.

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