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Oromo Liberation Front says it did not return to Ethiopia for peaceful struggle

Now its name scrapped from the list of terrorists and allowed to enter the country, Oromo Liberation Front openly declares its commitment for armed struggle denying that it did not return for a peaceful struggle. It also says that it will not disarm

Ibsa Dawu OLF _ Oromo Liberation Front

October 7,2018

A day after Ethiopian ruling coalition concluded its 11th party congress in the southern city of Hawassa, with the motto “national Unity for multifaceted prosperity” and resolving not to tolerate anymore lawlessness and displacement of residents, a radical ethno-nationalist and secessionist group – Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) reportedly claimed that it did not have any agreement with the government regarding disarming its fighters and/or peaceful struggle.

As per a report by Walta, Dawud Ibsa who is the leader of OLF reportedly said that he will not disarm his fighters.

“The talk that OLF returned to Ethiopia after an agreement with the government of Ethiopia to disarm and struggle peacefully is baseless. There is no agreement where we agreed to disarm. There is no reason for us to disarm while there is an armed party [seemingly a reference to the government]” he is quoted as saying.

He added, “no one will disarm, and no one is able to make [us] disarm.”

Last week, a deadly violence broke out in Benshangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia in what seems to be a retaliatory measure to the September 26 killings of four senior security authorities of the region near Ghimbi, Wollega in Oromo regional state, by “unidentified gunmen.” At least 44 are reportedly killed and more than 70,000 displaced from Kamashi Zone, as per a report by authorities from Benghangul and Oromo regional states.

The same week, gunmen (“unidentified again”) carried out another deadly killing, this time against civilians, in Keffa zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region.

Addisu Arega, Rural Political Mobilization Head and one of the executive members of Oromo Democratic Party (formerly known as OPDO), a party that administers Oromo region of Ethiopia, called for the radical Oromo Liberation Front to disarm its fighters and order them to government designated camps where they will get orientation and training to reintegrate to the society.

As part of a demonstrated effort to broaden democratic space in the country, the government of Abiy Ahmed mobilized parliamentarians to lax the anti-terrorist legislation and the parliament, consequently, scrapped outlawed armed opposition groups including Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) from the list of terrorists.

Subsequently, armed opposition groups were invited to end their armed struggle and return to Ethiopia for a peaceful struggle. Seemingly, there was an understanding among Ethiopians that armed opposition groups who decided to return to Ethiopia agreed to the call for a peaceful struggle but that does not seem to be the case with the radical Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

At the end of August, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed rolled out a new project of reintegrating returning rebel fighters to the society naming Tesfaye Yigezu as head of the project within the office of the Prime Minister.

Yet, the extra mile that Abiy Ahmed’s government traveled in the interest of making a political dialogue and peaceful struggle a new political culture in the country does seem to be meaningless as far a group like Oromo Liberation Front is concerned.

In the second week of September, there was a brutal massacre in Burayu, a small town in the outskirts of western Addis Ababa, against ethnic Gamo and it happened a day after OLF leader, Ibsa Dawud, arrived in Addis Ababa where his supports spread fresh blood from slaughtered ox on his forehead – a ceremony that puzzled many Ethiopians. At least, 60 civilians were massacred in Burayu.

OLF also seem to have coordinated other violence in recent time. Federal Prosecutor linked the June 23 grenade attack in Addis Ababa during a rally in support of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to members of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

There is a reported new partnership between OLF and Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – another radical ethno-nationalist party that created and dominated the ruling coalition for more than 27 years – and lost the power struggle from within. As well, the OLF is believed, many Ethiopians believe so, to get financial and other forms of support from actors in the Arab world who seem to have interest in the break up of Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, reports by rights group indicate that the situation in the latest areas of violence in Benshangul and Keffa zone is still tense despite members of the defense forces is deployed to the region. And they are calling for the government to act more seriously to stop further violence in the region and resolve it durably.

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  1. Were you High on drugs when you wrote this article? How did you make all of these connections about OLF? Gather some evidence before you make any serious alligeations towards anyone. If you want to accuse OLF of a crime provide evidence for it.

  2. ‘Many Ethiopians believe so’ doesn’t make it a fact. Don’t spread lies and misinformation.

    If you condemn killings of innocent civilians, you need to condemn the killing of the 44 people in Benishangul-Gumuz in which 70,000 were displaced. Instead you describe this atrocity as a ‘retaliatory measure’. Your blatantly anti-oromo stance is too obvious. You’re not helping Ethiopia by slandering the Oromo.

  3. Really does he think he is the government ? I say lock him up and his army where does he think he is he wants to turn Ethiopia into a war zone ? I used to feel safe in ethiopia I don’t anymore because of satanic people like this ! Wake up u are no better than anyone ! Why in the world does he even have army are we in Congo??? Plz go to where u came from u are a useless person with an empty mind !

  4. Observer, If what the OLF leader (Dawud Ibsa) says in the Walta TV interview is true? I do not understand why a smart and visionary leader like Obo Lemma Megersa will go to Asmara and ever agree to just invite OLF with its fighters armed with guns in a country which prides itself that it is not a failed state, that it has total control of the government and territorial integrity of Ethiopia? Then, one of these activists who prides himself as a maker or breaker when it comes to anything Oromos was write when he said in one of his many interviews that there are two powers/governments in Ethiopia. Wow! to me it does not make sense to have an armed group roaming parts of Ethiopia when Dr. Abiy and his team have begin to transition the system to a more democratic one. As Dr. Abiy said, Ethiopia is not weak, it has a strong national defence force, hence we do not need any other force inside Ethiopia. What we need is wise and visionary supporters to the current leaders of Ethiopia so we can overcome injustices and poverty.

    Peace for all Ethiopians!

  5. The OLF Bandas are following the TPLF bands now they committed exact same hate crimes and ethnic cleansing when exposed their defence is as expected same defence TPLF use this is anti tigrayans and in old case this is anti Oromo. The truth is there are enough patriotic ETHIOPIAN OROMOS THAT WILL WHIPE OUT TREASONOUS BANDA ANIMAL OLF

  6. Is this a gossip site? If it’s true the leader of OLF said those things, please put the link to that source (Walta). Why would OLF work with TPLF? Their arch enemy for 27 years?
    But if this is some twisted news yiu’re Putting up, you are a demented person who seeks more blood shed and division in the country.

  7. This article is nothing more than a propaganda campaign against OLF. It is illegitimate to make OLF responsible for the massacre in Burayu; because the very reason for the start of the conflict is the Addis Ababa gangsters who tried to disturb the OLF welcoming ceremony. Secondly, police has already hinted that the massacre was carried largely by mercenaries (bought killers).

  8. Why armed Amhara forces and Tigray forces are not disarming? Why only Orom is requested? I hope one might not fool him’herself saying Amhara and Tigre are disarmed.


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