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Dr. Mitiku Ejjeta’s call for Oromo Unity 2002 – 2012 still needs answer

           To: All ULFO member Organizations 2002

It is with regret that we all look at our current situation. While our enemies are doing everything they can to silence our right and the genuine cause of our people, we are held immobile and non-vocal. As an Oromo each and every one of us should know than being the majority in the Ethiopian empire, we ought not to succumb to the domination of any entity; leave alone to savage Abyssinian dictators. The only reason for our failure is our lack of unity even on our common goals. We must understand that such disunity has created an immense benefit for the enemies of our people.

With this writing, I am attempting to present my petition and plead in the name of Oromo Martyrs and public for a broader consensus among concerned Oromos on the necessity of re-uniting the Oromo Liberation Forces.

Life experience shows, those who work hard often make mistakes. Yet, our mistakes should have been used as guidance for future development. In some culture, the responsibility of admitting to a committed mistake is not yet widely accepted. Others tend to punish and blame the one who has committed a mistake, rather than correcting the mistake. It must be known that there are difficulties in the political struggle. In the mean time, the activities of Oromo political organization may be beneficial or harmful depending on how we look at the consequences. Sitting at a distance or claiming to be clean from involvement is no longer a solution nor is something to be advocated.

Somewhere around 1991, when many Oromo political organizations showed up to share power in the transitional government of Ethiopia, one of the elders who attempted to unify the subdivided Oromo organizations said “gadaatu shani male, oromoon tokkumma”. This was a statement in which the elders on behalf of the Oromo people expressed their dis-satisfaction on the disunity of Oromo organizations. Today, we still see such disunity, at a time when our country bleeds and suffers under the brutality of a foreign entity. While the situation of our country is at its highest stage, I do not see any reason why we continue to have many divided Oromo organizations. To my understanding, most of the current leaders and supporters of the various Oromo organizations have been either leaders or supporters of the OLF. Furthermore, there are neither philosophical nor ideological variations to substantiate their differences. If there exist any difference at all, it must have been an individual ego. It is my belief that the suffering of our country under a brutal colonizer outweighs such an individual ego for which we must fight in unison.

The formation of ULFO with the coming together of Oromo organizations is a sign of turning point. Although, it has happened after long overdue, the formation of ULFO has brought joy to the Oromo public. Yet, the pace at which ULFO trumps is sluggish and has taken so long to see fruitful achievements. Furthermore, there seem ULFO is not mandated to create an exclusive and unified leadership to put the motion of Oromo struggle into one basket. The activity of ULFO lacks clarity and a set plan of achievement. Unfortunately, the founders of ULFO appear to have forgotten the vacant windows the Oromo public faces. The unity that ULFO founders focused on deals with organizational unity and do not address the majority of Oromos who do not belong to any of the Oromo organizations.

Having scarce financial resources, the design of ULFO, as an umbrella organization comprising many parties, may not be effective. In this sense, the existence of ULFO means squandering Oromo human, time and financial resources into smaller and weak categories. Most importantly, ULFO remain a locked system where there is no incentive that may motivate new people, ideas and resources other than from these embraced within the member organizations. This is so, because from the manner it is built, ULFO has limited access and capacity to mobilize all Oromo resources effectively. For example, if somebody who is not a member of any ULFO member organization wants to participate, he/she would not be able to do so without being a member to one of the organizations. Regardless of opting to support ULFO, not many people are willing to join the individual organizations. Hence, there is no doubt that ULFO has failed to produce new members and unify Oromo resources effectively.

With the above situations in mind, we need to re-examine the past political activities and transform ULFO itself to what has to be known as United Oromo Liberation Front (UOLF). The transformation into a solid and unified organization, than the ability to work together (as has been advocated by ULFO) is much more beneficial for the success of Oromo struggle. The transformation can be easily implemented for various reasons:

  • Most of the present ULFO members were either founders or members of the OLF. Therefore, there is no challenge to be united under the name UOLF. Oromo people have heavily invested in the OLF, they cannot easily give up the name OLF, regardless of who is leading, and the weakness it has gone through. It must be understood that, it has become clear that the name OLF is taken as synonym to Oromo nationalism and Oromo itself. Recognizing similar contributions from all Oromo organizations, it benefits us by many folds to combine our many organizations into a name that has been widely accepted.
  • Many Oromos worked very hard to support the OLF and many have lost their lives in the battlefield. This has created a strong affiliation to name OLF itself.

The issue of creating a UOLF requires a farsighted outlook and understanding. As individuals, we must succumb to national interests than an individual ego. Our national interest, of which the central point is liberation, can only be achieved through a united and coordinated struggle under a single organization. The formation of one totally unified organization should guarantee that all Oromo individuals accomplish their responsibilities to strengthen our struggle and share their full rights.

Furthermore, our failure regardless of having many organizations must be indicative that the existence of many organizations is simply a weakening of our strength. We have failed and missed many potential occasions and we have failed for very long time. Now it’s time to learn from the past and make lasting corrections to the divisive political culture. We have to learn how to mange conflict among ourselves and how to tolerate each other. The more we get closer and closer to our culture, the better we become confident about ourselves as people of one nation.

At this particular time of the situation in Oromiyaa, I sincerely believe that there is no more urgency to all of us than reaching at consensus on how to create Unity out of diversity through the transformation of ULFO into UOLF. Such a formation would re-store confidence of the Oromo people. We must realize this unity when the enemy is denying us our innate right to our native land, such as Finfinnee and other “Chartered Cities”. There is no way we would come out with success from fighting our enemy in a scattered manner. We must believe that we can beat such a beast only with the united and coordinated approach.

Finally, I would like to attest that, there is no any socio-political motive I would gain by putting this petition forward. It is solely out of a genuine concern about Oromo national interest and the unity of the Oromo people and their organizations. Please let us discuss the pros and cons of transforming ULFO into United organizations. I have no doubt that UOLF would help to build a national confidence and unshakable unity of the Oromo people.

Oromiyaa Shall is Free by United Forces & Resources of Oromiyaa.

Mitiku Ejjeta, Ph.D.
November 7, 2002

Source:  Ayyaantuu .com


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