(Borkena) Moga Farrisa (MD) is a founding member of and part of leadership of Oromo Federalist Movement. He had an interview with local Amharic Newspapwer, Sendek regarding the recent unrest and killings in connection of the peaceful protest against Addis Ababa Master Plan – a mega plan to expand the city to adjacent farming communities by dispossessing farmers of their small land holdings.
Moga told Sendek reporter that problem with the Master Plan is that the toll on the farming communities is heavy ; no consultation was made with farmers. They are displaced with unjustly, and that this has happened before in an effort to clear land for investors in the flower business.
Dr. Moga pointed out the farming communities in adjacent areas are targeted while there is still adequate unused land in Addis Ababa. Erstwhile farmers with land holdings are reduced to miserable daily laborers engaged mainly in the production of stone for construction.
He believes that there is no such thing as “development” while displacing farmer for their landholdings and that “Development” has to be about people too.
Dr. Moga criticized government that the task of soldiers is to defend border not to massacre citizens.
Asked to comment about attacks and harassment of other language speaking groups in towns in the regional state of Oromia, Dr Moga boldly replied that he is suspicious about it. And he seem to have perceived it as a work of radical groups operating under the cover of Oromo identity. He asserts that it is not in the Oromo culture to attack and abuse others , and the attack on other language speaking groups in the regional states is likely to have a lot to do with plot by OPDO cadres and these are mercenaries.
“I have lived in different parts of Ethiopia including Keren in what is now Eritrea.Mentality to hate others was nonexistent. It is something new. It’s OPDO cadre that is instigating conflict between different language speaking groups. They [OPDO] are not struggling for their freedom and they work to create conflict between different language speaking people. Oromo culure loves people. We have lived together and we will live together.”
OPDO is one of the submissive coalition member within the ruling EPRDF party which is under a very tight grip of TPLF – Tigray People’s Liberation Front.