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Oromo Federalist Congress and Oromo Liberation Front discuss merger

Oromo Federalist Congress and Oromo Liberation Front discussing are reportedly discussing union. The two parties have been perusing different political goals through different, perhaps even opposing, strategies.

Photo credit : Fana

August 30,2018

Two of the larger ethnic Oromo nationalist political organizations, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) are discussing the formation of a coalition party.

Ibsa Negao, the spokesperson of OLF, told journalists today during a presser organized in connection with preparation for the reception of OLF leaders based Asmara that the two parties are holding talks to merge.

“The focus Oromo National Liberation Front in the next phase of the struggle is to foster Oromo People’s struggle,” Fana Broadcasting Corporate cited Ibsa as saying.Apparently, the merger is meant to achieve that goal.

OLF has been waging an armed struggle for well over three decades with the intention to secede Oromo region from the rest of Ethiopia. The party agreed to end armed struggle and hostility towards the government of Ethiopia after Ethiopian government sent delegates under foreign minister Workeneh Gebeyehu (along with Lemma Megarsa, one of the heavy weight leaders of Oromo People’s Democratic Organization and president of Oromo regional state) to Eritrea this month. Dawud Ibsa, Chairman of Oromo National Liberation, is expected to arrive in Ethiopia sometime this week.

On the other hand, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), whose chairman is Merera Gudia, has been struggling peacefully in Ethiopia for years and has managed to build a considerable support base. Bekele Gerba, secretary of the party, and Merera Gudia have been in jail at the height of government repression against opposition political parties.

Timetable and other details of the merger between the two parties are not disclosed. Perhaps that is what the OLF chairman will accomplish once return to Ethiopia.

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