Final attempt, the case of reconciliation between 2 OLF wings
There have always been two competing ideologies inside the OLF from the day the OLF was created. Since that day on, these opposing ideologies are caught in a tug of war as each of them tried to have it in both impossible ways.
Lenco Lata sees political opportunities in the political game he always wished to play, i.e do what Malasa did and come to power in-order to control the resources of Empire Ethiopia and then draw Faranjii’s attention by using “Oromia’s strategic location slogan” that so far played the role of bridging between the horn of Africa and the western world. After that, reform Ethiopia’s complicated ethnic make up by linking them with Amharic, or possibly with Cush and Semitic based theory.
Based on this view and fundamental belief, Lenco Lata worked so hard to undermine Galaasa’s view and created his own followers within the OLF. After several unsuccessful attempts to accomplish his objectives however, Lenco Lata is still trying to outsmart the Asmara based OLF by using the same argument of participating in Ethiopia’s election.
As a result, the organization that ushered conservative Oromo political view for 40 years suffered setbacks after sets backs, not because it lacked popular support but because of Lenco Lata’s vision, i.e peaceful struggle. Because of the confusion created by such vision, the OLF couldn’t look at the mistakes it made during the 1998, 2005 and 2010 skirmish within the organization and forge new strategy that will enable it to move toward.
The Lenco strategy
- Among the strategy on that Lenco Lata has laid out on the road map that the the OLF should follow are:
- Avoid opposition by supporting Malsasaa Zeenaa when he is doing something right and holding him accountable when he is wrong.
- Clarify OLF’s stands on the stability of the horn of Africa and the national interest of the West.
- Prod nationalist Oromians on the issue of secession and weaken their nationalist view so that they will waver slowly.
- Use term “Liberation” around the Oromo mass in order to maintain popularity among the Oromo mass while undermining the remaining two OLF groups ability to influence.
- Control media by creating journals such as Burqaa and radio.
While still licking his wounds from the repeated failures, Lenco and his 3rd wing OLF are trying to bring the Asmara based OLF back under their influence and emerge as cohesive OLF that will participate in another round Ethiopian elections. Meanwhile, work very closely with the state department and the Norwegians who work very closely with American intelligence services. On the other hand, the debate continues among the Oromians whether the Galaasaa Dilboo and the Asmara group OLF wings can be brought together and create new circumstances that may lead all Oromo liberation Organizations to the ULFO version union.
The debate whether the OLF to continue armed struggle or rely on Lenco Lata’s vision illustrates the friction about what direction should be taken. Such a debate took place before every upcoming Ethiopian elections. When a group of people within the OLF opposed to this vision, they contested that the OLF should return to its armed struggle tradition by embarking a reform course. This view split the OLF into two major groupings until Lenco influenced a third group emerged with a vision that the OLF should embrace both armed struggle tradition and reforming Ethiopia and went on to create a grass-root organization also known as the 3rd wing OLF whose principle revolves around the new global politics and circumstances that is facing the Oromians.
This third wing OLF led by Gen. Galchu focuses on what Lenco Lata calls “Global implication”. Hence, the group cites this vision as better strategy that still matters than arm struggle and thus they believe their strategy is worthy of Oromians attention. However, the Asmara based and the Galaasaa group OLF feel that the OLF needs to broaden its nationalist appeal to the Oromo mass so that the Oromians can no longer be seen as the weak people who had to beg for their rights from minority northern Christian Abyssinians.
The OLF suffered grievously during nearly a quarter century of inside conflict and is now seen as the weakest organization by the Abyssianas and American spies. Mean while, Malasaa Zeenaa continues to lead empire Ethiopia to the bottom of developing countries rank. The reconstruction and development program dominated by the Tigre tribe further resulted in political marginalization of the Oromo people and national reconciliation and state-building agenda led by the Americans and western Europe also failed. These challenges fore sure will exacerbate by an increasing economic worsening situation and fake political process of state-building agenda that Malasa Zeenaa put himself in charge of for close to a quarter century. Regardless of its failure however, the TPLF continued to believe that economic growth will bring security to the Tigreans power grip in empire Ethiopia.
It is true that robust economic growth will generate employment but economic growth alone will never guaranty the Tigreans a century worth colonial control. That means, a virtuous cycle of leaving power can be generated to empire Ethiopia by arm struggle movement from several fronts. That means, the Ogadenians and the Oromians should increase armed struggle if they don’t want to see the outcome of Tigreans long term colonial plan in empire Ethiopia.
Challenging the success of the TPLF also means is challenging Lenco Lata’s underlining vision. In the absence of effective action as part of a well-thought out longer-term counter against the Ethiopianist strategy, it will become increasingly difficult to bring the OLF back to its nationalist tradition. While there is a wide spread that the OLF is the weakest organization in the eyes of the Abyssinians, the weakness of the OLF is caused by very small portion of its members and thus OLF’s weakness can be limited from expanding beyond its current scope.
The key for OLF’s success therefore is simultaneous progress towards to building the unity of purpose among the Oromias by improving OLF’s military structure and by allowing representation of each locality and clan when situation permits, and by becoming an inclusive political organization. This can be done if major effort of collaboration is done across the Asmara and Galasaa groups. It is true that USA and western Europeans will fund the TPLF, Dr. Marara’s party and Lenco’s OLF wing so generously but they can’t stop the Oromians from building Oromo institutions and from collaborating with their Oromian colleagues within the OPDO and other Oromo organization to get back their rights from the colonizing Tigre forces. It is this cooperation at both in diaspora and at home, combined with the tenacity and spirit of the ordinary Oromo women and men that makes the virtuous circle of Abyssinians colonial rule to collapse and for an independent Oromia to be possible.
The coalescence around the centrality of building a State by all partners and the commitment to partnership and engagement in achieving this goal is a tremendous resource that needs to be leveraged. However, the OLF must first reform itself from the difficulties of localism, financial limitations and the confusion brought to it by the Lenco group. More systematic and sustainable approach can be implemented if the OLF studies the current empire Ethiopia circumstances and draw the attention of both the Oromo people and other oppressed nations and nationalities of the empire and forged a consensus around the state-building agenda as the only one that promises a sustainable Ethiopia with a long term exit path for the partners.
A stable OLF is a precondition for empire Ethiopia’s stability because one wing OLF along can never gain internal and external legitimacy, or the capability to write off the remaining OLF factions. If one wing OLF claims the Ethiopian identity like few individuals done it in the past, such an action only contributes to further instability to the OLF temporarily while bringing long term instability to empire Ethiopia.
The OLF must look at the Oromo people and its educated segment as an asset for that it’s is only this asset that permits it to think with realistic goal. But this asset can only be useful if the consensus is achieved through political means not through coercion.
To do that, the OLF must be a bridge between Oromo clans and localities but such a position requires to fully understand that there can be no lasting peace and prosperity by playing the game of fake Ethiopia. To reduce and then eliminate localism, the OLF must uphold the Oromo identity. Meanwhile, the OLF need to learn that the organization is not a private business of few individuals from certain clan or locality.
The OLF cannot risk its hard earned name to the ambition of the few who uphold the Faranjii world view that they are indoctrinated via their religious practices. Without identity and the rule of law, commitment to transparency and accountability, the OLF cannot produce a comprehensive set of reforms that would enable it to have the institutions that would make it secure and strong.
Clear objective and clear Goal is key to indicator and measure of the road that the organization must travel. It is true that we have the world’s lowest social indicators today. But we must also keep in sight the fact that the potential of what we can be is by mobilizing our energies.
A clear goal is major instrument for translation of our vision into concrete and visible benefits for that we fight for our people. It is essential to make this objective so clear to every woman and man, regardless of location, social background, age or physical ability. Particularly Oromian’s citizens who have sacrificed during the struggle to ensure our freedom against totalitarianism and expansionist Abyssinian rule must occupy a special place in our nation’s memory.
Social capital is the fabric of networks, relationships, norms and institutions that bind a society together and enable it function and grow dynamically. This also means the knowledge, skills and capacities that allow individuals to operate within this fabric. This fabric have been severely affected by ignorance built over the years and by borrowed religious traditions and cultures. To rebuild these social and human capital it require the careful nurturing and the restoration Oromummaa, confidence and trust in the mind of our people. By making social and human capital the first Pillar in its National Development Framework, the OLF can signal to the Oromo and to the international community the importance it accords to core human and social investments in the areas of education and social protection.
The creation of the OLF and other Oromo liberation Fronts suggest that the oppressed nations and nationalities of empire Ethiopia have begun to break the vicious cycle of inferiority complex and there are encouraging signs of progress. For the first time in 150 years since the Abyssinians have occupied Oromian and the southern nations lands and lives, positive and hopeful nationwide trend have emerged.
Having achieved such significant gains, the challenge now is to consolidate these progress, and to use them as foundations for self-generating social and human development in the years to come. However, this success is threatened by Tigreans colonial occupation. The Oromians still live in extreme poverty and deprivation under the Tigreans colonial rule with no freedom to air their opinions.
After two decades of killing and jailing, the essential infrastructure of human and social development brought forth by the OLF are crashed by the Tigre minority tribe. This also arrested economic recovery at a time when increasingly heavy demands are being placed on Oromian national resources.
When the Oromians ownership is a key for stability and peace, Tigreans occupation have imposed colonial practices and thus uprooting the Oromo nation from their land continues to take root at an accelerated speed than the times of Haile-Silase and Mangistu. Ultimately the liberation struggle comes down to the fixing of this problem.