By Oromsis Adula*
On March 13th, 2010; at a historic event televised live by Gadaa and Opride.com, leaders of Oromo political organizations, community members, and religious leaders convened in Minneapolis to seek effective ways forward for Oromo struggle.
In recent years, all agreed, the Oromo political struggle has seen numerous setbacks. Among other things, the leaders noted, lack of determined leadership and unity among the Oromo forces contributed to the current paralysis.
The event dubbed as the first of its kind, brought together the feuding Oromo Liberation (OLF) factions around one table. The leaders took turns addressing a crowd of some 200 attendants gathered at the meeting hall and another 400 online participants. Representing their respective factions, OLF leaders, underlined the need for Oromo unity and clear vision for Oromia.
The star performer of the event, an Oromo Evangelical Church leader, Dr Gammachis Buba, noted that the name Ethiopia is equitable with war as the country has participated in every major war imaginable. Repeatedly stressing his role as theologician and quoting biblical principle of good neighborliness, Dr Gammachis called on Oromo leaders to work for democratization of Ethiopia.
Dr Merera Gudina, the only panelist from Oromia, gave a brief update on the current state of Oromia and the prospects of Oromo opposition gaining some traction in the upcoming parliamentary election. Dr Merera further noted, the Oromo has spent decades engaging in internal disputes on paths to reach what he referred to as “heaven”. Noting that there are multiple avenues to reach heaven, he called on Oromo forces to work together if feasible and/or focus on the common enemy working side by side complementing each other.
Responding to questions from the audience that the Oromo opposition participation in Ethiopian politics gives a false pretext about Ethiopia’s multiparty system, Dr Merera reiterated “…we are there to make sure that someone speaks truth to power, telling it that there is no democracy in Ethiopia but tyranny. We are there to mobilize the Oromo mass and speak of the injustices that the Diaspora is fighting to change”.
At another town hall meeting with members of Oromo Community in Minnesota, Dr Merera repeated his calls for cooperation among Oromo forces. At this event, sponsored and organized by Orpide.com, Dr Merera stated that the Oromo spent 40 years throwing stone at eachother. Fourty years of paralysis are enough, and it is high time for all Oromo organizations to do what they can instead of creating a gridlock.
The following are video presentations, audio news, excerpts from the event. Opride.com is proud to have sponsored and broadcast both events live.
We are still editing the video presentations. More to come… Checkback this page for updates.