Dear Honorable guest speakers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great privilege and honor for me to be among you today representing the Oromo Liberation Front. First of all, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the organizing committee for inviting OLF and having organized the 4th New World Summit that brought together the representatives of stateless states to discuss and share experiences about the potentials or obstacles that states are embroiling some genuine political causes today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The topic on which I am going to address is “A Criminal State: The Blackmailing of the Oromo Liberation struggle for Freedom and Democracy”: the futile attempt of successive regimes of Ethiopia. Accordingly, my presentation is organized in five main parts. In the first part, I introduce Oromo (the people) and Oromia (the land) that are caught in an increasingly violent identity political struggle. In the second part, I will try to indicate the deep rooted conflict that led the Oromo people for being at odd to the Ethiopian Empire. In the third part, I point to the birth and grand objectives of Oromo Liberation Front. In the fourth, I will enumerate with some specific examples how all the Ethiopian regimes that seized power one after the other attempted to blackmail Oromo liberation struggle. Finally, I offer our view on the current political situation and the future scenarios on Oromo vs Ethiopia.
1) Who are the Oromo and Oromia?
I might be forgiven for asking who the Oromo are and why they are important. It is, however, impossible to understand Ethiopia – which is Africa’s second most populous country and the recipient of billions of dollars in western aid without knowing something of the Oromo. Oromos are the largest ethnic group of the Ethiopian empire and their language is the fourth most spoken in Africa. According to US Bureau of African Affairs November 5, 2010 the total population of Ethiopia is estimated at 80 million of which the Oromo are said to constitute 40%. With today’s projected 93.9 million people of Ethiopia, Oromo accounted for about 35 million. Addis Ababa/Finfinne, sometimes known as the capital city of Africa, serves as the seat of Ethiopian government, Oromia regional state and many international organizations is located at the heart of Oromo land (Oromia). Among the nations and nationalities in Ethiopia, Oromos occupy an important position not only geographically but also socio-economically. Oromia State is the largest among the Regional States of Federal Republic of Ethiopia. It stretches from northwest Sudan border to south east to Somalia, from north Tigray border to south up to Kenya, and in the west from Sudan border to the east up to Djibouti. Oromos are the single most nation that has cultural contact with many nations and nationalities in Ethiopia. Natural resource from Oromia is the backbone of Ethiopia’s national economy. It mainly supplies most of agricultural products. Coffee, which generates about 60% of Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings and about 10% of government revenue, grows mainly in Oromia. Other major exportable agricultural products such as hides and skins, pulses and oil-seeds are also produced mainly in Oromia. Oromia has large reserve of gold, platinum, nickel, tantalum, iron, marble, and other non-metallic and industrial minerals. It is also estimated that Oromia has the Potential to provide hydroelectric power to the Horn of Africa. The main hydroelectric power of the country comes from Oromia. In addition, potentially rich geothermal power exists in the Great Rift Valley section, which passes through the heartland of Oromia. The main tributaries to the Great Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Nile dam come from Oromia. Yet the Oromo are an invisible nation in the eyes of the world and political minority in the Ethiopian empire.Read More:- The Blacklisting of the Oromo Liberation Struggle for Freedom and Democracy final-4