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Militant Oromo opposition dragging Ethiopia to civil war

Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)structure replacing government structure in western Oromia
OLF and agree that there has been fighting between Ethiopian Defense force and OLF

Ethiopia _ Civil War _ Oromo
OLF fighters
Source : Durame

December 22,2018

Undertaking political reforms with a vision to broaden the political space in Ethiopia in a way to help create a democratic political culture was top agenda item for prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration.

In that direction, apart from all releasing all political prisoners in the country, his government removed armed political organizations operating outside of Ethiopia from the list of terrorism and invited them all to the country for a peaceful struggle and help create a democratic system in the country to which all armed groups including the radical Oromo ethno-nationalist organization – Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – responded positively.

As it turns out, OLF’s, whose leadership returned to Ethiopia in mid September, acceptance of government offer to return to the country was meant to be a strategic move rather to carry out a militant activity to pursue its radicalism.

Dawud Ibsa, Chairman of the OLF, told journalists in a press conference on Friday that there has been a fighting between his rebel forces on the one hand and government forces on the other in areas like Selale, Bale, Guji and Western Oromia- Wollega region.

Government officials admit that there is an ongoing fighting between Ethiopian defense force and OLF militants in the above-mentioned regions of Ethiopia.

Dr. Alemu Sime who is head of Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), a party that is governing Oromia regional state, told Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) yesterday that Ethiopians in some parts of Wollega like Qelem district are not getting government services, schools are closed, rebel fighters are rapping women and banks are robbed, among other things.

In other words, government structure in the region is replaced by OLF governance structure. The situation seems to have a negative impact on the security of citizens for killings of civilians is now rife in the region. For example, VOA Amharic reported yesterday that eight civilians were killed in Lalo Asabi district of Western Wollega.

For OLF chairman, the war is explained in terms of failure on the part of Ethiopian government to implement “agreement” – a reference to talks between government of Ethiopia and OLF in Asamara which led to cessation of hostility with Ethiopian government sometime in August of this year.

He specifically mentioned “integration of OLF fighters with government forces” and restrictions to visit OLF’s demobilized rebel forces at Ardaita training camp in Arusi, among others, as showcases to prove his point that government is violating “agreement.” Mr. Dawud also indicated that the appointment of former OLF faction leader, Gen. Kemal Gelchu who also used to be in the Ethiopian Defense force, as security chief of Oromia region as a point of divergence between his organization and Oromia regional state.

Government dismisses OLF allegations of breaching agreement. It says there was no special agreement with OLF. Dr. Alemu Sime says government invited all opposition forces to return to the country for a peaceful struggle and no opposition party need to be armed to carry out a peaceful struggle.

Regarding allegations of restrictions on OLF leaders to visit former OLF combatants, he says that it is baseless as OLF leadership visited former combatants. 1300 combatants who returned from Eritrea are taking training in Ardaita, Arusi. For the government, they are citizens and they are no longer OLF forces. And it was important for the government to provide training, psychological and other, to these forces before they are integrated to the society. About 700 have shown interest in joining Oromia regional police and met the requirement, and they are taking police training in Adama. About 400 are interested in staring their small business and government is making arrangements for micro-finance solutions.

According to Dr. Alemu there were also Tigrigna speakers in the OLF forces, and that they were sent to Tigray region. And some tend to see that as a proof that OLF has entered into a new partnership with Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which is believed to be financing instabilities in different parts of Ethiopia.

Alemu added, government has been extremely patient with OLF even when citizens are killed something that should not be the case from the point of view of government responsibility to protect the safety and security of citizens.

Now government has deployed forces to areas where there were security problems including in Wollega region but OLF leader seem to think that the move is not right. “OLF forces are not launching an attack. They are commanded only to be respond to an attack,” he said.

A little strange about OLF militant activity, which essentially escalated to civil war, is that the leader, Dawud Ibsa, is commanding his forces from the comfort of his office in the capital Addis Ababa – the seat of Ethiopia’s government.

And that is what most Ethiopians seem to find even stranger. Why the radical Oromo nationalist organization, OLF, is permitted to have an armed force, in the first place, while all other armed groups are disarmed and operating peacefully in the country is the question that many Ethiopian are asking.

Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), which has been avoiding calling OLF militants by name for a long time when it employed “unidentified armed group”, is now admitting that OLF is dragging Ethiopia to civil war and that it will no more tolerate it.

OLF’s response is that it is now ready for ceasefire and for peace talk. And if ODF statement is true, it could be a little late for a peaceful negotiation.

For now, Dawud Ibsa is still managing his militant radical ethno- nationalist forces from the capital Addis Ababa.

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  1. What most Ethiopians find strange is, why OLF, is permitted to have an armed force, in the first place, while all other armed groups are disarmed and operating peacefully in the country. Why the double standard?

  2. OLF is a terror organization.
    Almost all opposition parties start unarmed peasful stragel, but OLF continue fighting.
    It is not acceptable one terror organization to desterb the country democratic process.
    OLF must be destroyed for ones and the last.

  3. If our gov’t is really to be, now is not a time to set unnecessary deals with petty differences anymore! Ethiopia is not a home of single ethnic group. They need to evaluate the past, from what Ethiopia is miraculously spared by her patriots and God’s will.

  4. It is a bit hard for Abiy to force OLF to disarm because that would make him lose support from the Oromo people. On other hand, it is not fair for the rest of Ethiopians to suffer because of the instability the OLF is causing in the name of ethnic nationalism.

    What will work best in my opinion is for Abiy to continue the peace process that let thousands of Oromos express themselves with no fear. When they realize that they can coexist with the rest of the ethnic groups, they will abandon the OLF agenda for sure.

  5. Please understand that the Oromo people are the majority. We have a right to have oromiffa as the language of Ethiopia, our religion as the religion of Ethiopia. This is majority rule. This is democracy. With the tigreans they are a minority, they have no right. But we are majority so we can do anything we want in Ethiopia. Whether you like it or not, ethiopia will become Oromo nation and if you don’t like it you can go to Tigray region and fight us from there. We will see who will win. It is better to just accept Oromo are the new power and they will rule Ethiopia forever as majority rule and there is nothing you can do about it. It is better you learn oromiffa soon and also learn about Gada and Islam too.

    • That would make sense if Oromo people were the founders of Ethiopia. They were simply absorbed by the Imperial Solomon dynasties of the past. You should consider yourself lucky to be labeled Ethiopian. The legendary name that is known for its rich heritage around the world. Honestly, the rest of the world does not give a damn what Gada system or adopted Latin alphabet you are using.

      If you want your own nation, go ahead and move to where you came from (Borena). Then you will realize you have made a big mistake the same way Eritreans did. They thought they could survive on their own. Now their people are fleeing back to Ethiopia as refugees.

      • The founders of Ethiopia are not “Habesha”. Habesha or migrants from Yemen are people who intermingled with cushities in the northern part of what was then KUSH. They then defeated the Kushitic kingdom and created Abbysinia. Ethiopia is a term meaning burnt face. The Greeks traveled to Africa and named the entire continent Ethiopia. The original people of present-day Ethiopia are actually the Mursi and Ari people. Today all Ethiopians are jumbled up in one nation when in reality they are not of the same origin speak many languages have many different histories it’s amazing how we even lasted this long as a country without democracy. When true democracy forms, Ethiopia will be at peace, but this can not happen unless its people truly understand the orignal history of Ethiopia and why it is a failed state.

  6. Ethiopia needs to accept the fact that it is based on Imperialism, accept the Oromos want their own nation, and the Somalis never wanted anything to do with you. Once that is accepted let them go their separate ways otherwise civil war will always be a threat.

  7. I am not sure if TPLF factions opposing the government are disarmed. I am not sure if ONLF and Arbenyoch-Ginbot 7 are disarmed. I suspect that some anti-oromo and anti-OLF advisers of the prime minister are colliding ODP with OLF. OLF and ODP must be cautious about what is going on!!!!

  8. @Gecho

    Your comments are not healthy and you do not even sound an Oromo. It is highly likely that your aim is to collide other Ethiopians with the oromo people and to do your usual business of sucking the blood of Ethiopians and looting the minerals of Ethiopia. We know who you are; no oromo give this kind of divisive comment.

  9. If you don’t behave yourself, remember Eritrea is just next door what he did to AMHARAS & TIGRAYNS will do to OROMO…. So you better enjoy the peace with Eritrea before its too late.

    • Chill. Your people are suffering so much so that they are migrating back to Ethiopia. I am sure Ethiopians will do just fine without you.

  10. It was the Gobenna Minilik II coalition that created modern Ethiopia. I don’t think the Oromos will destroy a country they created. History is on the side of Abiy and Lemma!!

  11. This guy (Dawud Ibsa) is out of his mind and probably senile to say the least. He needs to be in jail and tried for terrorism and treason. Ethiopians should no longer tolerate and allow such crazy minds to thrive and to create chaos.

  12. You people be patient and express your feelings thoughtfully. All people in the world are from one father and one mother (the father: Addam/Adam/ Adem) and the mother (Hewan/Hawa/ Hawe). We were created seemingly to the creator with the potential to identify good and bad and to act in acceptable way. The creator gave us a beautiful country with abundant resources enough for all of us if we exploit and use them equitably and impartially. so, let us love and show empathy to one another and leave peacefully. No one is superior or inferior to the other. We all are brothers and sisters, children of the creator.

    • Down with this evil terrorist the so called jawar Mohammed and his stupid supporters!
      by the way is ethiopian government and military force waiting till this idiot radical terrorist jawar Mohammed let Isis came to Ethiopia and open his base or what is going on…..

  13. Fresh Violence Hits Towns Surrounding
    Arsi asala
    By As

    Qeerroo-ProtestOctober 23, 2019
    A fresh outbreak of violence has hit some towns surrounding the Ethiopian capital after ethnic Oromo youth, otherwise called Qeerroo, blocked the roads leading to Arsi. Asela and Addis Ababa.

    Transportation services from sagure ,Itaya and other towns to Asela have been blocked as the Qeerroo, who carry sticks, protested and chanted in support of their leader activist Jawar Mohammed.

    OMN director Jawar Mohammed on his Facebook page claimed that his security guards were told to leave his residence and that his residence has been surrounded by other security forces. His claim, however, has not been substantiated by others except OMN and communities.

    Police have refrained back from controlling
    action of protesters in the stated towns where businesses have been shut down and the movement of people was restricted.
    and business activities and transportation services were halted in towns as a hole.
    The violence followed Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s warning on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, during parliament session that his government would take the necessary measure against owners of media working on challenging the existence of the nation not matter whether they speak Amharic or Oromiffa.

    In his address to members of parliament, PM Abiy blamed old politicians for the unfolding violence and conflicts happening in different parts of the country.

    According to the premier, regional states should be ready to ensure peace and security of their people, not defend planned attacks from other regions.” If there is a need to attack one another, they would rather enter into an endless war in which the winner would not emerge.

    He said the weapons of security forces in regional states and even at the national level are outdated. “Special Forces, police and sometimes soldiers at the national level are armed with weaponry which are outdated and of inferior quality than arms held by individuals in other countries,” the premier said

    “There is no regional state in Ethiopia armed with weaponry that could be effective both during the day and night time. It is better for the regional states to collaborate at times of security problems in one another’s territory,” Abiy added.

    The people of Ethiopia should wake up, Abiy said. If a leader of a certain group believes in war to solve political problems in the country, that leader should be willing to sacrifice himself first. It is not right that the leaders stay safe at the expense of the lives of the poor.

    The conflicts in our country are mainly instigated by old politicians who want to ensure their safety amidst violence, the premier said. He advised the youth to say enough and reject the ideas of those old politicians.
    But, I wounder if the case of protesting followed the talk made.

  14. Down with this evil terrorist the so called jawar Mohammed and his stupid supporters!
    by the way is ethiopian government and military force waiting till this idiot radical terrorist jawar Mohammed let Isis came to Ethiopia and open his base or what is going on…..

  15. If our gov’t is really to be, now is not a time to set unnecessary deals with petty differences anymore! Ethiopia is not a home of single ethnic group. They need to evaluate the past, from what Ethiopia is miraculously spared by her patriots and God’s will.

  16. Enough is enough. For our country to be in peace and prosperity Law and Order have to be enforced .
    We have to be alert some so called “Activist” and some in the leadership of “Ethnic based political parties “ are hired by the enemies of Ethiopia.
    You have to learn from history.
    It has happened before. In different times when our enemies were invading our country they used some of our own worst to spaying and spreading misinformation between our people so they would be divided and be concurred by the enemy. They used to call them Bandas, they sold out their brothers, sisters and even the whole country just for personal gain maybe financial or a little power in a puppet administration .
    It seems like that we have same kind of Bandas are leveling themselves as an activist for some ethnic groupings telling them that they have been oppressed by this ethnic or that ethnic groups and pushing for violence spreading vile lies with invented false history. There wish and mission is that our people can be fractured and weaken so our enemies will come in with no or less resistance and work with them.
    Now we have to wake up. Ask questions how is that one or few individuals have the kind of influence they have? First definitely needed a lot of money and who’s funding that?
    Obviously there are not spending their own money. Some of whom we know didn’t have any good paying jobs for a very long time.
    But always some how bills for housing transportation food and for all personal expenses is paid for them so they can be focused on their work that’s stirring troubles
    With our people.
    Some of them they used the opportunity given to allow to all opposition politicians to come home and participate on the process to help for creating a real and strong
    Democratic nation.
    Instead of working to educate the voters about democratic principles and unite the country they are hard working to divide and spread misinformation.
    We have been watching the results of the work they did such as those horrible killings to innocent citizens by those who have been brain washed to act this kind of cruelty to their brother country men and women.
    All the killers and the masterminds have to be accountable and face swift justice once and for all


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