Oduu Haaraya

Century Old Deception

News broke out recently that Obbo Lencho Leta, his ODF members, and associates are heading to Finfinne for another power sharing dilemma with TPLF government. It looks like a long and exhausting mediation effort by Abba Biyya Jobir and Professor Isaac resulted in some sort of road map transition with the regime in the Empire of Ethiopia. Mr. Lencho’s political history has not been easy one. It is complicated one that created misery for millions of Oromo people and I am afraid still repeating the same without hesitation. In the history of Oromo struggle, he is very controversial figure. Before joining the transitional government in 1992, there are some credible sources that indicate that he was actually one of the few that cause the OLF split and orchestrated the blood shade between OLF and IFLO that consumed the lives of thousands of Oromo gallant fighters from both sides. It was a mystery division that weakened and hindered the progress of the organization strategically, politically, and militarily decade before fall of Dergu regime.

As a leader of de facto organization, he played a major role in negotiation that took place in London in 1992. He and his team went to the mediation drama with empty hands and came out empty hands. When TPLF army marched from Tigre down south and able to take the land, piece by piece from Dergu falling regime and control the entire nation, the organization Obbo Lencho led refused to come out of some of the pocket area of bush where they were hiding and failed to take that advantage. As OLF leader at the time, he could have come out and lead his fighters to use that golden and favorable opportunity to control much of Oromia. He and many still in the leadership power with different factions name defied a plea by many Oromos and some top commanders of the Dergu military who didn’t like the influence of advancing TPLF army for OLF to come out take the military hardware, land, even man power. For unknown reason they decided to stay away in some pocket of bush where they were hiding. That was not a tragic mistake but it was calculated conspiracy implanted by Obbo Lencho and some innocent bought to his influences. Right after the London conference, they grumbled about not been given enough seat within the TPLF government when they have not liberated a single acre of land.

As soon as they entered Finfinne, one of TPLF strategy was to destroy OLF fighters. Through some of the powerful countries pressures were exerted on Obbo Lencho to dismantle its liberation army or place them in the concentration camps under pretext of “two power cannot run the country”. Obbo Lencho, being a supreme leader of the OLF at the time, without proper discussion, debate or having consensus with other leaders, OLF chairman Galassa Dilboo, and field commanders pulled the fighters and put them in the camps that took many of us by surprise. Those true Oromo children, some which are just joining the OLF from colleges, universities were surrounded and massacred by TPLF army. Some that survived that tragic cataclysm were hunted and executed while some of them thrown into jails where they still suffering from torture and inhumane treatment by the TPLF regime. Hundreds of thousands ordinary Oromos that were considered OLF members, sympathizers, and donors hunted in every corner of the country, while Obbo Lencho and some of his comrades took the back door through Bole and run for safety to Europe and America. Many of us stunt with radical twist and development inside of the organization. It was a gimmick and outrageous act many still vivid it as a dream and wondering why he took such ill-advised actions. As prominent politician as he was, he left us with many unanswered questions whether he was/is working for Oromo cause as claims or he is just selfish and crook politician that doesn’t care about his actions their consequences. Many of us that live in America and elsewhere in Europe and Australia were among few survived and took refuge in the neighboring countries like Kenya, Djibouti, and Sudan. We are a living witness of that tragic event of Obbo Lencho’s work. Some determined leaders left behind and fought until their last breath and sacrificed their precious lives. They paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause they believed in.

Can we ask a fundamental question whether his motivation is going to benefit the Oromo cause or hurting us around this time? We, ordinary Oromos probably fail to understand his true intensions instead branding him unpatriotic gesture, who knows? Whether we support or against his actions, we need to debate and discuss so that we will able to clear the clouds of confusions. I have nothing against Obbo Lencho if he leaves politics and go back to the country and live whatever life he wishes. As long he still trying to play active political role in my name (Oromo), I decided to put out this piece of words for discussion because as an Oromo, it concerns me, and you, and all of us. After quarter of century of his political failures, do we have any reason to believe him now this time around that his intentions will create fundamental political dynamics in favor of Oromo people and bring the rule of law in the country that has been dominated and ruled by minority Tigre elites or is this another idiosyncrasies in the making? To me the first impression is utterly wrong. I am afraid, Mr. Lencho doesn’t have a good legacy and his political resumes are full of craps and great mysteries.

The political reality of the country in the past 24 years will tell us that TPLF regime has no intention to peacefully accommodate political dissents, has not shown any tendency to a meaningful political commitment that will create peace, stability, rule of law, and respect for human right in the horn of Africa. What we are witnessing is contrary to these basic ideas. TPLF is increasingly maintaining its grip on power; still sending thousands of Oromo and non-Oromo journalist, activists, politicians, and ordinary people to jail; executing dissent in medieval barbaric style shocked the entire world. We have witnessed the gruesome brutal murder of those two individuals beyond human dimensions at least in 21st century in Central Oromia in Salale local area about a week ago; they are banning political parties from operating in the country from participating in upcoming election. We have not yet seen one-year anniversary of Oromo student massacre. Mothers and fathers of those vanished kids have not cried enough and their eyes still full of tears. At this time, the Oromo people are sending wave of revolution across the country to the unprecedented level that the regime forces cannot contain any more even if we lack viable political leadership inside and outside of the country. Then, why this peculiar and ambiguous politician decided to march to Finfinne at this very crucial time in the history of the Empire? One thing is obvious and true. This desperate regime will use Mr. Lencho’s appearance to confuse Oromo nationalists inside and outside of the country, create more division and cracks, and use this event as leverage for its political maneuvers, advantage, and legitimatize its brutality and prolong its life on power

What about issue of Ethiopia? Our politicians are Ethiopians by heart even though they don’t disclose to us officially. ODF, Shanee, QC OLF, Jijiirama OLF… leaders are all have Ethiopian tendencies except few of them. I actually appreciate for Mr. Lencho for taking bold action and clear himself, even though I disagree with his policies. My question to all of you, my readers, is there anything we as Oromo public fail to understand about being Ethiopia? Can independent Oromia with demarcated boundaries viable and achievable goals? Can Oromo question be resolved inside Ethiopia? Can we live in peace and harmony and become the owner of Oromo land and its resources at the same time living with other nation and nationalities side by side in the Empire on mutual understanding and benefit? I urge Oromo politician, activists, general public that have accesses to ONA or social network come out and discuss about this burning issue. By doing so, I believe we can clear lots of hurdles erected in front of us and clear our path to freedom from clutters.

Thank you (Galatooma),

kassim Sheimo

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