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Kemal Gelchu’s faction of OLF clarifies position on Ethiopian Unity

By Abebe Gellaw

Washington DC (ESAT) – The Oromo Liberation Front has announced its historic decision to drop its long-held secessionist agenda and to embrace the unity of Ethiopia under a genuine federal arrangement that must guarantee the rights, equality and liberty of all Ethiopians.

In a historic press release, the OLF, led by Brigadier General Kemal Gelchu, issued at the conclusion of its extraordinary National Council plenary, held on December 30 and 31 in Minnesota, the front spelt out its new vision in an unprecedented clarity. The meeting was also open to any non-Oromo Ethiopians for the first time.

According to the press release, the OLF National Council has examined the struggle of the Oromo people, the political program of the front, the prevailing conditions that the Ethiopian people suffer under the dictatorship of Meles Zenewi and the necessity of working with all democratic forces in Ethiopian to end the untold misery of Ethiopians under the tyrannical regime.

“The OLF National Council also focused on the timely demand of working with other democratic forces in forming the new Ethiopia that will guarantee and protect the fundamental rights of all peoples in Ethiopia. The new social contract will and should be based on the free will and consent of all peoples in Ethiopia. The previous style that claims “I know for you” should be abolished and replaced with a new vision that is based on peoples’ consent and free will,” the release stated.

The historic statement further noted that OLF would struggle not only for the Oromo people but also the people of Ethiopia suffering under the tyranny and oppression of the TPLF regime. “To fulfill this vision and play crucial roles, not only for the Oromo people, but for all Ethiopian people, the OLF National Council pursuant to the power vested to it by the OLF National Congress effectively amended the OLF political program today, January 1, 2012,” the front said.

The release underscored the fact that the revised OLF political program will “accept the new federal democratic republic of Ethiopia that will work for the betterment of all of its citizens, neighboring countries and international communities.” It also said that the OLF would honor and respect the decisions of the Ethiopian people would make exercising their will under the new federal republic of Ethiopia.

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OLF also urged all democratic forces to work in tandem to make Ethiopia a common home for all its people. It also called on the international community to desist from supporting the tyrannical regime of Meles Zenawi that is “engaged in terrorizing the Ethiopian people, selling the precious resources of the country to the highest bidders, and the government that does not respect the principles of democracy, human rights and rule of law.”

In an interview with ESAT Radio, Dr. Nuro Dedefo, OLF Executive Committee member, has explained that the front has charted out a new vision based on the reality on the ground. He said the new vision of the OLF aspires to liberate the Ethiopian people from the brutal minority rule of the TPLF and establish a new democratic Ethiopia based on the free will of the people to live, work and set up a common country for all. He pointed out that previously OLF used to advocate for the establishment of an Oromo state. As per its new vision, OLF now aspires to establish one country with other Ethiopians, he explained.

Dr. Nuro also underscored that OLF rejects the bogus federal arrangement that has imposed the hegemony of the TPLF on the rest of Ethiopia. According to Dr. Nuro, the OLF wants a real and genuine federal system which clearly shows that OLF broke with the past and embraced Ethiopian unity. “In order to change the racist minority rule of the TPLF and form a new Ethiopia that will be free from absence of the rule of law and rampant abuse of citizens… OLF is ready to work with all Ethiopian democratic forces,” he declared.

He noted that TPLF’s so-called federal arrangement has been designed to divide and rule the people of Ethiopia and impose its hegemony using its servile puppets and messengers. Dr. Nuro has underlined that that OLF’s new vision will put an end to TPLF’s propaganda against OLF, which it tried to present as a secessionist force. “That will put the scheme in the coffin once and for all,” he said.

The OLF official also called upon fellow Ethiopians to work with the OLF in a spirit of trust in order to establish the new Ethiopia, where democracy, justice, respect for human rights and rule of law will be the founding values.

Dr. Nuro told ESAT that the meeting, which was also open for non-Oromo Ethiopians, was exciting to so many Ethiopians that have already endorsed OLF’s new vision that it adopted to end dictatorship, suffering and lawlessness in Ethiopia once and for all in collaboration with any democratic forces.

72 thoughts on “Kemal Gelchu’s faction of OLF clarifies position on Ethiopian Unity

  1. What surprises me the most is the fact this debelolebashi debtera,who I thought have retired,is back in this forum from his hibernation to comment on this news.For long I have suspected Assta’s soft side for weyane. Not that I give currencey for this news.I am against the strategy of G-7.I prefering Ethiopians to raise an army of their own with out reling on any one.

  2. Dear yes,

    Thank you for the complement brother. I do not recognize myself by my ethnic. I am Ethiopian. I guess that is good enough for me. My line of thinking emanated from my own life in Ethiopia and also moreover enrinched by living and working in many countries. This my thinking dimension is now multidimensional. I honesty can afford to think about race,religion or ethnic or tribe.I am not in that world.

    I used to use Tigrainet before. But I had a fall out with editor of Tigrai net. Since then I left the website. The reason was about Ethiopian map. He added to my article the new Meles Zenawi’s map that is the map without Eritrea. I asked him to removei it. He was hurt by that. After that he was not posting my writing. I gave up100% was him. I was using Tigrai online. But when I started heavy attacking Meles TPLF, I was banned and I was actually warned I would be killed from wherever I am. I left that website. Aiga is obvious, Meles Zenawi’s backyard. I have been kicked out from there long before when I was not lining up with thier narrow world.

    I tried Ethiomedia.We did not get along with Abraha Belay. I tried Abbay media and Ethioguardian. But they only post my article when I insult Meles. If it is neutral what rebuke all Ethiopian, they will not post it. It has to be something only about against TPLF.

    I never sent to Elias Kifle.I only comment but he delete them because he has his own biase and prejudice built into him and he categorically lump me with them.

    To be honest, we Ethiopians are backward. I have to admit this. We do not recognize each other human being. All of us our aim is to eliminate each other only. This is the reality about Ethiopian. If you do not think they way they want you to think,you are thier enemies. I have lived with people I have never encountered this type of problem.

    The only ideologist admire are those EPRP who killed by TPLF. They were highly egalitarian and all inclusive. But now all is messed up.TPLF did not landlock Ethiopia only? It has sown too much hatred among Ethiopians. Why? I do not know?

    Now the country is on sale like a garage sale. Ethiopians are divided and watching when their land is slipping out of their hand to foreigners like Arabs, Indians,Pakistanis,Turkish,….

    This is our fault.We have allowed TPLF to do everything it wanted. Because we have failed to trust each other and to stand together. Meles Zenawi,one man is able to manipulate about 91 million for 23 years? This is an insult to the 91 million people.

    This is really what deprives me sleep. I do not care about the banning of websites. They can have their websites. Who knows I may have own warehouse scale computer sooner or later, not just a website.I will then if they can stop me or any Ethiopians from using the net.

    Here is my recommendation:

    1. If you really meant Ethiopia, if you love it, love every Ethiopians from north to South.From east to west including Eritreans.

    2. Dissolve all the factions,and form an Ethiopian national movement that can be led by an elected Ethiopian.He can be Oromo, amhara or Tigrie or Eritrean, by the way Eritrea is not a blood or ethnic,but they can still have it if they are proud of this name.

    3. After setting up National Ethiopian Council, NEC, all inclusive. I am telling you TPLF will fart immediately.

    4. Every Ethiopian Ethiopian, there is no any Ethiopian who is more Ethiopian.and stop intimidating people. Organize people by ideology instead of by hatred propaganda.

    5. Then we can all work together. Otherwise, olf, tplf, onfl,eppf, g7,…is not appealing,at least not for me. It is also waste of time, lives and resources. If we all unite, we can have an eleted leader anytime because unity is power and truth, mutula trust,mutual love, mutual fraternity is power that is above any despot.

    if we do not do these now, I am affraid we will have Atse Meles Dynasty and when Meles dies, his daughter will take office like the North Korean accession.

    It is time to bury OLF, tplf, eplf, onfl,….and form National Ethiopian Council, NEC like ANC of South Africa that form a government based on one law that respect every human who has a breath in Ethiopia. My soul has no tribe.My soul has no region. My soul has no colour. My soul has ethnic or race. How does my soul look? does my soul go to Tigray or Addis ababa when I die? my soul has no awraja. My soul has no region or oromia or amhara or tigray kilel. No. This must come to an end. Aparthied system? No need aparthied in Ethiopia when border or race or ethnic is becoming irrelevant in this nano Technology age.

  3. Hilluu #48,

    do you want to confince the Ethiopian peoples that your Asmara based ” Shanee ” is clean from crime and sponage ? First tell the Ethiopian peoples how your criminal boss in Asmara has ecaped the Addis Abeba heavly guarded Derg’s jail. And secondly, explain why he is only guarded and watched by his only clan the ” HORRO “. It is not he who decide for Oromos whether they cooparate with others Ethiopians or not. Leave alone the Oromo mass, the Shanee does not represent it’s own members any more because it lives on alms which is given to it by the hungry Afewark. So it is better for you if you wash your mouth with the soap thoughly and keep quite.

    menzaw replies:

    Garjeeda #53,
    I know who you are and I would bet anything that you are not from Garjeeda, that you do not know what Garjeeda means, and that you are no Garjeeda by any means. You a Wayyane agent masked with an Oromo name for the sole purpose of sawing your evil seeds of discord between the peoples of Ethiopia.
    While you are utterly wrong in stating that I have a boss in Asmara, I do know that Dawud Ibsa, the current chairman of the OLF, was in Dergue’s prison in Addis Ababa back in the mid 1980s and that he escaped from that highly guarded jail and joined his comrades in Western Oromia to resume the fight against the Mengistu regime. I am glad you’ve given me the opportunity to tell this “hidden secret” to Ethiopians but I must ask you why it is that think they might have issues with someone escaping from Dergue’s dungeon? Wake up dude… Would you care say if Eskinder Nega escaped from Wayane prison? You would, would’t you Mr. Wayane agent?
    One last thing, you mentioned Obbo Dawud Ibsa is guarded by his only clan the “Horro”… You betrayed your ignorance dude ’cause there is no such thing called “Horro” clan in Oromo society… For your info, here is the complete list of Oromo clans: Sabbo, Goona, Macca, Tulama, Rayya, Aseebo, Siko, Mando, Itu, and Humbanna, and they are all descendants of our ancestral fathers Borana and Barentu, sons of Horro. Do you get this Wayane boy? Tell me why you think it is wrong to be guarded by ones ancestral father?

  4. Hillu,

    You might have a point if what you say is true and you are not to divide us again so that we can reject OLF. That is exactly what I am talking about, more studies should be done and ER has its own investigative research so that ER must find out who is who. For that matter, every oppostion must be found out who and who.

    One thing I am suspecting is that definitely there are factiosn of OLF who are talking with TPLF secretly because they are part of the destruction of Ethiopia. TPLF and Shaebia have long thought about splitting Ethiopia and of course OLF groups who are dominant muslims are aslo the one who are dreaming of ORomia. The aim could be to weaken Amara and finally annex Amara from Wollo on and they can control Amaras if Eritrea is also part of the greater Tigray therefore, Amara will be the minority so it cannot do anything if it is forcibly annexxed by Tigray and Eritrea. Of course, what is left of Ethiopia will become under OLF and ORomia probably with Sharia law. That seems to be the secret between OLF, Shaebia and TPLF. TPLF has been silent its campaign against Shaebia since Meles and Issayas have been talking secretly. If Ethiopia split, then there might be war between Greater Tigray and Oromia who will control Addis Ababa. Let us face it, Addis Ababa does not belong to anyone but for every ethnic groups like the UN in Ethiopia where every development by the past brave leaders hoped our ethnic groups from all corners of Ethiopia will develop good relationships, it is after all our UN. Since Addis will no longer be the center of Ethiopia, outsiders might move the African Union to South Africa or Libya with the help of the West.

  5. Dear Abiy #51,

    You have no idea how warm, soft, comfortable, and durable debelo is: Indeed, as a yekolobet temari, I used to wear a very colorful debelo made out of four sheep skins – white, black, red, and gray, and I am not ashamed of wearing such a durable product, not imported from foreign countries, but a home-made product, meticulously designed and sewed together by the hands of assiduous and adept students of yekolo temari bet, the source of humility, dignity, discernment, respect, camaraderie, love of God, and love of his Church, the only true Church – the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church.

    You wish I were retired, and you think retired people are done with their daily duties they used to adore after they have retired, and if that is the way you think, you are absolutely living in the Age of Homo habilis. Read the stories of Jack Well, Age 107, Poppy Bridger, Age, 84, Colonel Harland Sanders, Age 90, Barbara Miller, Age 74, Sylvia Lieberman, Age 91, and many other famous people who contributed so many memorable and unforgettable pieces of history for their country.

    Intelligent, healthy, and hard-working people never hibernate to pass the winter or aestivate to pass the summer; only some mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are bound by the law of nature to accomplish their true hibernation – a long sleep until the winter passes, but some of us humans, like some animals, may have torpor hibernation – temporary sleep, not more than eight hour sleep; however, some indolent people may sleep the whole day after they have retired. For some people, retirement may be the end of their lives, the end of their activities, and the end of everything, but for some prudent people, retirement is the beginning of their second lives; some call it “the Golden Year!”

    I have bad news for you, my friend Abiy, if I retire, I will continue to write, to comment, to teach, to preach, to travel, to meet people, to advise and counsel those who need my advice and my counseling. I will never shut my mouth from throwing fiery and mild words according to the circumstances. The moment I retire, the very active and busy life I am planning to live; after I retired, I am not going to live like bears, frogs, bats, and lizards that sleep a long sleep. No way! I will take the examples of Jack Well and other hard working people.

    For a long time I have been one of those fighters who fought Woyanne with their pens, and my previous articles and comments are the true testimonies for the battle I fought against Meles Seitanawi and his wife Jezebel (Azeb), so how can you shamelessly say I have a soft side for Woyanne and his cadres? Ask Elias Kifle for an access to my articles and comments about the Woyanne regime and death squads.

    You say you are against the strategy of Ginbot 7; can you tell me what the strategies of Ginbot 7 are. It seems you are member of Ginbot 7, which is good per se; if so, I want to know the plans, the goals, and the strategies of this active or dormant organization. I think the honeymoon between Ginbot 7 and OLF is over for good or bad. For sure, any friendship with OLF does not last long, and for this reason, I advise people to get away from the crook OLF.

    Finally, you are telling the world your short or long term plan: You prefer Ethiopians to raise an army, but you have failed to give us a valid reason why you want Ethiopians to raise an army. As you may know Ethiopia has never been short of army for almost 3000 years; however, instead of raising an army, it is better to learn new techniques how to influence the existing Woyanne army to support the new movement to bring down the Meles regime.

    I would like to tell you the new techniques to persuade the Meles army and bring democracy to Ethiopia without any blood shed, but I am afraid you will not accept such sweet ideas from a debelolebash debtera; therefore, I have declined to share my views with you, but I will share them with other people who do not disparage me and call me debelolebash debtera – a stigma with some people like you, but an honor with many Ethiopians who achieved their education by wearing debelo, eating roasted beans, sleeping on the floor, fighting with dogs to get their daily bread, often going hungry and thirsty, and, many times, starving themselves to death to keep the Ethiopian traditional learning from disappearing for ever and ever.

  6. Ethiopia’s strength has always been its unity. This is its foundation. God is smiling at this decision. The TPLF adgenda has been to divide. Individuals are easier to target and control, than a crowd.

  7. It appears to me that the declaration of Kemal Gelchu and Hailu Gonfa’s (both former Woyane Generals)faction of Oromo political group is no different than the second coming of OPDO under the tutleage of Ginbot 7 Movement. A scholarly nalysis of the situation was composed by Jawar Mohammed’ article. Needless to say it has a coherent and farsighted analysis, I suggest to the editor of “Ethiopian Review” that its readers will be well served if it has a wider circulation to elevate the discussion from fantasy to reality. The weblink is

  8. What is this song and dance. This is a small/tiny faction lead by former woyane soldier. The authentic voice of ormomo people never gives up the rights of Oromos and their destiny for anybody, i..e “ethiopia” or for anyone else. Geltchu is OPDM member and is leading a bogus and/or sham small splinter group. He wants to drop the strugle and want to go back to TPLF, his puppet master.

  9. The new OLF position is great for Ethiopia and its people. But, if this is done TACTICALLY and not STRATEGICALLY just to remove the Wonyane, history is repeating itself, the same HISTORICAL MISTAKE Wonyane did in 1991. It may facilitate the overthrow of Woyane but we will end up in putting the every existence of our nation in question. The way I see it, hope I am wrong, the short-sighted Woyane’s alliance with EPLF just to get rid of the Dergue in 80s, which costed us two ports, is being repeated by Ginbot7 and the new OLF – REMOVING WOYANE AT ANY COST, INCLUDING THE VERY EXISTENCE OF NATION. Throughout Ethiopian history, the political marriage-of-convenience of kings and foreigners always hurt the nation.

    Most Ethiopians have been concerned about the Unity of the nation because Woyane put Art.39 in the Contitution. But, lately, we saw promissing developments of abandoning the sessessionist idea from both Tigrians and Oromos politicians, eg. Seye, Asrat, Aba Biya, Negaso, etc. Therefore, this new marriage of convenience between Ginbot 7 and OLF is a reverse to such positive change of heart.

  10. Dear Assta B. Gettu,

    First of all I truly apologize for my disparaging and insensitive remarks. Again, I am sorry for making unwise comments about you. As you haverightly put it,it is an honor to be a kolo temari. I sincerely realized my comment was not a well thought out response. I admire the way you handled this one. I assume the extended vacation you took must have been a positive factor in the way you handled my irritating comment .Please accept my apology kindly, I mean it.
    To the question what is the strategy of G-7? Your Gus is as good as mine. My answer to your question is based on opinion and not facts. To begin with G-7 never clarified its strategy in public, although it has at times said its main objective is to open dialogue with every political organization that deals with Ethiopia and Eretria. This being its main objective, I am at a loss with what exactly it is? If you ask me why I am not its supporter? I don’t believe the entanglementof any Ethiopian politcal organization with Shabia will bring any hope of freedom for the country. In fact, whether they know it or not, those who are working with Shabia need to be hold accountable for delaying the freedom of our people. If there was any lesson for G-7 in this the experience of EPPF could have been conclusive.G-7 may have right to embark on any course it choose but, the Ethiopian people need not to expect anything meaningful from such raprochment with Shabia – simply said,it is mere illusion and false hope.

  11. Dearest Abiy #60,

    Without the slightest ill-feeling, I have accepted your sincere apology, and let us move on, work hard, and pray to God for a genuine unity of our country without depending on any superficial organization, be it Ginbot 7, OLF, or any other political union. If there are some good unbigoted political unions whose sole purposes are to unite Ethiopia and liberate her from the oppressive Woyanne government, let us join such unions and work with them day and night.

    I have never known or taken extended vacation in my life since I was a little boy, shepherding the goats, the sheep, the caws, the horses, and the donkeys, my parents’ properties. My work after that has never been easier till now, and whenever I get 15 minutes break and during my 30 minutes lunch time, I write some comments and articles. I wish I had more times to share my opinions with my Ethiopian friends here and at home.

    It seems you are against those some Ethiopian organizations who are covertly working with Shaabia, but it does not mean they are Shaabia. I think it is a political strategy to work with Shaabia in the land of the Shaabia in order to bring down Meles from power. Do you remember what St. Paul said while he was working with the Jews? This is what he said: “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law” (1st Corinthians 9:20). Therefore, if Ginbot 7 is working with the Shaabia in order to change the hearts of the Shaabia, and finally convince the Eritreans to denounce their independence and join Ethiopia as one country, it is a good Pauline strategy.

    Peace to you and your family!

  12. Dear, Hilluu. thank you very much. Yours is not comment instead it is a short statement of OROMOO people. Every body should know and understand this. Kemal Galtu was given mission from TPLF and he is trying to accoplish his mission. That is all about and OROMOO people know all about it very well. Every body should know that independent OROMOO and OROMOO LAND.(OROMIA) will become true via precious sacrefice and struggle led by true OLF formed by Oromo nationalists. VICTORY TO OROMOO PEOPLE.

    Boonaa replies:

    THIS is historic fortune for all ethiopians regardless of their ethnic group they came from,it is time to unite to defeat their two decades enemy”woyane'”once and for all.leave aside the agenda of other political issues,letus come together,let us unite with out any borders of political
    JOIN with historic fortune

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