Dawud Ibsa, Oromo Liberation Front Chairman, interview with Dereje Haile

Dawud Ibsa
Dawud Ibsa. Photo credit : Screenshot from the video

May 10, 2020

Dawud Ibsa is the chairman of the ethnic Oromo nationalist party – Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). In the first part of a two parts interview with Dereje Haile, he talked about himself and his political organization.

Before he espoused  Oromo liberation Front political ideals, he said  he was part of the student movement at Addis Ababa University (based on the interview.) And the key political questions at the time were, “land for the tiller,” “an end to ethnic oppression” and the formation of popular government.

He then talked about the evolution of the party he is leading now – Oromo Liberation Front. Dereje posed a question as to why there are several Oromo Liberation Front Organization, and the relation between OLF and OLF Shane.

Dawud Ibsa said, “there is only one Oromo Liberation Front.” Yet, he did not shy away from explaining why there are other Oromo Liberation Organizations. “It is the dynamics of the struggle,” is his answer but he did not elaborate it further except pointing that “others” use the party’s name.

Regarding the question of a possible link with what most people understood as the military wing of his organization, OLF Shane – an armed group that is fighting against the Ethiopian government in Wollega region of Ethiopia -, he said that relation is officially renounced in the presence of Aba Gedas. There has been a confrontation between the government and Dawud Ibsa led Oromo Liberation concerning disarming OLF’s combatants.

On the question of the organization’s political goals, he denied that secession has never been the goal of his organization but “self-determination.    

Dawud also talked about the assassination attempt on his life during Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s administration.   

Watch the first part of his interview below

Video: embedded from Arts TV YouTube channel
Cover photo: screenshot from the video

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