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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24 Responses to "Militant Oromo opposition dragging Ethiopia to civil war"

  1. Obo Densa   December 22, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    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. Addis   December 23, 2018 at 7:09 am

    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. Obboo kaba   December 23, 2018 at 8:09 am

    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. Abesha first   December 23, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    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. Aethiopi   December 23, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    This website is unbelievable. In every article you guys blame Tigray. You guys are part of the problem.

  6. Gehco   December 23, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    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.

    • Janno   December 24, 2018 at 1:28 am

      Typical Tinb Gala!!

      • Abegaz   December 27, 2018 at 5:14 am

        Do not be mindless, insulting is barbarism and too backward, of not this century.

    • Abesha First   December 24, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      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.

      • Ethiopia4life   December 27, 2018 at 12:16 pm

        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.

    • Abegaz   December 27, 2018 at 5:16 am

      Are you in mind!!. A sheepboy does not think at this time even.

  7. wedinakfa   December 23, 2018 at 6:26 pm


  8. Gemechu   December 23, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    Oromia is here to stay. Get used to life under the majority rule of Oromo peoples. This is dimocracy.

  9. HF   December 24, 2018 at 2:02 am

    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.

  10. Obsaa_Injifataa   December 24, 2018 at 4:28 am

    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!!!!

  11. Obsaa_Injifataa   December 24, 2018 at 4:39 am


    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.

  12. Issayas   December 24, 2018 at 7:31 am

    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.

    • Abesha First   December 24, 2018 at 3:12 pm

      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.

  13. Obboo   December 24, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Sad !!!!!

  14. Oddo   December 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    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!!

  15. Tola   December 24, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    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.

  16. shewaworktesema   December 25, 2018 at 7:35 am

    please some of you be reasonable and reason and logic dictate you.

  17. Abegaz   December 27, 2018 at 5:10 am

    Why OLF Needs still fighting, for what??? This Group must not be tolerated more. Ther is an END, so stop it!!

  18. desalegn Fufa   January 25, 2019 at 4:46 am

    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.


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