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Ethiopia : Oromo Leadership Summit in Atlanta “morally and politically indefensible”,says Oromo activist group

October 25,2016

In a letter addressed to Professor Ezkiel Gebissa and Jawar Mohammed,some of the key figures behind the project, a group of Oromo activists and academicians expressed concern over the planned “Oromo Leadership Summit” in Atlanta, Georgia.

The four pages of letter signed by twelve academicians and activists stated “we find the proposed project morally and politically indefensible.”

Areas of concern

The “concerns” seem to be primarily over procedural issues and document (“concept document”) produced for the summit.

The group noted diversity of views within the Oromos and reflected conviction Oromos conception of post-TPLF Ethiopia is something to be decided by “a representative convention.” Implied, so to speak, is that the planned summit is not representative enough which in turn imply existence of Oromo groups not represented in the project.

The letter seem to be candid and vocal about its reservation regarding draft presented as concept document: “…We feel that some of the language in the document should be reformulated to avoid alienating key allies and endangering the uncommon expressions of solidarity with the various nations and nationalities…”

It is to be noted that Jawar Mohammed unveiled, seemingly not accidentally, to an Oromo audience during an event in Minnesota that the planned summit will prepare “freedom charter” and a transitional government constitution for the Oromos- something that Professor Ezkiel Gebissa seem to deny with straight face. However, Jawar went so far as unveiling plans to establish ethnic Oromo army, not just Oromo constitution.

Further, the letter seem to be worried that project organizers were not sensitive to the audience : “It goes without saying that many Ethiopians and Ethiopia’s foreign backers are looking closely at what Oromos do. It is important that we are always mindful of our audience and anticipate the potential for misunderstanding.”

The group’s main worry is that project “will cause tremendous damage to the unity and cohesion of our communities and will further erode public trust and confidence in its leaders” and noted that planning a different summit is is already underway by different group of Oromo activists.

The letter made recommendations that are supposedly relevant to address the problems with the project. Full version of the letter is on SiiTube

The Atlanta summit is scheduled to take place between November 11-13, 2016 if it is not cancelled.

Before the release of the letter , Dr. Awol Kassim Allo of Keele University wrote a facebook update in which he lucidly pointed out that there is no mandate for the project to legislate on behalf of all the Oromo people. He also raised question related to procedures in the preparation of the summit and document to which Dr. Tsegay Ararsa reacted with an apparent irritation.

In fact, many others negatively reacted to Dr. Awol’s rather reasonable observation and question on the “Atlanta Leadership Summit” and the “concept document”. Negative reaction on Dr. Allo’s update were predicated on assumptions of service to “enemy” rather than as to whether the question he posed are valid or not. It goes without saying that to many radicals “enemy” is Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

Do other Ethiopians really constitute enemy to Oromo people? On what basis? Activists in the Oromo quarter need to work diligently in terms of clearing such radical mystical political beliefs.

What is the experience of the Oromos under the the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front versus Fedual Ethiopia over a century ago? Why is unity with other Ethiopians who are fighting against TPLF regime feared by many Oromo activists like Jawar? Subjecting history for a politically charged irrational analysis as a means to attain fundamentalist political objectives by way of manipulating what seem to be gullible crowed has to end. It could ultimately backfire against radical activists.


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  1. “Do Ethiopians really constitute enemy to Oromo people? On what basis? Activists in the Oromo quarter need to work diligently in terms of clearing such radical mystical political beliefs.

    What is the experience of the Oromos under the the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front versus Fedual Ethiopia over a century ago?”
    1 – who are Ethiopians? You sound that Oromos’s are not part of Ethiopia. Please, correct yourself.
    2 – Please, stop using past history to justify the monsterness of TPLF, it is becuase of our past history that TPLF is on power till now. So, let us work for the betterness of future by focusing on our commonly value!

  2. As Oromos we should put our house in order before worrying about those who denigrated UA and are waiting for their turn. If it is not for the so called Oromos who want to save Ethiopia from its historic demise at the cost of Oromos, Ethiopia would have been relegated to history. Oromos are peaceful people who can cohabit with anybody. Let us put our own house in order before we dive into solving Ethiopia’s historical problem which we did not create and not a willing party to begin with.

  3. Oromo is an Ethiopian after freedom. I think this is very clear to those who asks about Ethiopia while every Oromo issues are raised jealousy

  4. ” The enemy is Ethiopia and Ethiopians”. That our own statement. You should ask yourself this: Are Oromos not Ethiopians? Is Ethiopia outside Oromia?

  5. We all wanted to see liberated Oromiyaa so to.make that happen fast we need to include everyone like all Oromo political organization’s, all Oromo activist, all Oromo doctors, professor’s including Oromo political organization’s in the country and also we need to use some very smart word’s to accomplish our struggle.
    Shurly we can agree on.disagree and stay in one room till we achieve our goals.
    We have no rooms for errors and trials, we have lost so many lives in the last 130 years of colonization and we had enough.
    That alone must United Oromo across the globe and no one should be left out if possible please.

  6. Peace be to my people who are suffering from brutal administration of tplf govt & arrogant the so called political leaders or activists who called them selves ormos but who don’t have Oromo’s heart. My people has suffered almost half a century from his own children who left him in between enemies fire and prison who never comes to agreement. I heard that one of the emporers has cursed us not to unite who cares he that is cursed who curses so it has no effect, i am afraid that the innocent blood of thousands & of thousands Oromo youth, Oromo’s farmers will cry for the shame full bitreyal of the so called intellectuals. I want to remind you that you guys you aren’t wise enough it’s 21st century search & know what this generation needs. Unity, development, equality through diversity. You know how many times you guys were fooled by others while everything was in your side to lead the whole nation. repeating the same old history today just in a very few weeks we are seeing so many distracting stands. As one of the insignificant Oromo I will witness that you will not win alone or others will not win alone the ball is in your field if you don’t know how to play you will lose the game. I pray that God will open your eyes & widened your hearts. This generation is waiting for wise & intelligent leaders who knows their time. Thanks.

  7. I do not see as problem that Oromo prepared it’s charter or Afar, Tigre, Amara, Sidama, Harari and Gurage long as they work together at the end. for me if that process finished with harmony and peace. Ethiopia’s political, Ethnical, Religions problem will be solved. Than we will have on East Africa peace and development that can be taken as an example for the rest of Africa.

  8. I just can’t get this juhar guy some off the activist and so called academics or religious ppl, when will you guys will be wake up and think what’s our young brothers and sisters doing in Ethiopia they preaching oneness. And know all you fucks act like you worry about you say you want Oromo soldiers all that ,which Amhara /wolayeta or others you hear or see that say Oromos our enemy so please don’t come up with nonsense shit if you want the power make an election born win the election please please

  9. X Oromo solidarity with other Ethiopians against the brutal regime of Ethiopia is very essential as we all have same enemy who is killing our people, loot their property , p
    imprison for indifinite period of time


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