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Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Studies, Oromo Studies Association.
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International Oromo Lawyers Association (IOLA)  logoInternational Oromo Lawyers  Association  Mid Year Conference at LSE, 1st  April 2016OSA Mid Year Conference at LSE, 2nd and 3rd April 2013


IOLA Mid-Year Conference London, 1 April, 2016

Theme: The State of Rule of law, Human Rights and Democracy in Ethiopia


Continuous efforts have been made to create a modern state and the legal basis that underpins its formation in Ethiopia for about one century. The adoption of the 1930 constitution and the 1955 revised constitution which is followed by series of law making attempts that produced half a dozen of codified laws over a space of 10 years in the mid twentieth century. The 1991 Transitional Charter and more importantly, the 1995 constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia could be taken as one of the most radical marking point and complete departure from the past in the legal and political history of Ethiopia. This new constitution brought about a new state formation and instituted the formation of nine Regional States with their respective state structures. Politicians and the academia fiercely debate on the legal and political implication of the rights of the nations and nationalities enshrined in this constitution.

IOLA seeks to reflect on the underlying reasons that necessitated the adoption of major legal documents that constitute today’s Ethiopia and to discuss the level of success of such legislative attempts. It would like to take the opportunity to reflect on the legacies of past and present constitutive moments.


Possible topics include, but not limited to:
– The power relationship between the Centre (Federal) and its constituting Regional Sates under the 1995 FDRE Constitution: theory and practice;
– The position of Oromia Regional State regarding the capital city (Addis Ababa or Finfinnee);
– Electoral politics in Ethiopia: the role of the opposition and civil society;
– Federalism as a solution for Self-determination of people/nations;
– The current state of law enforcement and justice systems in Ethiopia: comparative analysis to the rule of law and universal human rights norms;
– Freedom of the press and the media landscape in contemporary Ethiopia.


OSA’s Midyear Conference to stay in Europe | London will host the conference on April 2 & 3, 2016

The Oromo Studies Association’s (OSA’s) 2016 Midyear conference will take place at the London School of Economics (LSE) in London on April 2 and 3. The theme of the Conference will be “The Oromo in the Global Political Economy.” For the latest update, visitOromoStudies.org



APRIL 2-3, 2016


THEME: The Oromo in the Global Political Economy

The Oromo Studies Association invites paper abstracts and panel proposals for its 2016 midyear conference to be held at the London School of Economics (LSE) in collaboration with the LSE Africa Initiative.

The conference provides a platform for examining major changes, challenges and opportunities that impact the Oromo via the global political economy. The theme sets a broader context in which to examine the power dynamics and major actors and beneficiaries of global political economy in Ethiopia. We are also interested to examine how these dynamics and actors inform the questions of economic and political justice, history, law, leadership, and environmental challenges. Global trade, finance, and geopolitical interests over the last few decades seem to have shaped both inter-state relations and regional political economy. From the Oromo perspective, these subjects are critical to the process of mapping knowledge across multiple disciplines with a view to seeking direct global alliances and partnerships.

The event presents an opportunity to explore unique and exciting themes that will broaden understanding of the Oromo nation through research and dissemination of findings globally. With such a diverse range of interest focusing on the Oromo in global political economy, the famous London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) presents an excellent ideal academic environment for OSA’s midyear conference.

Themes of the conference include:

– The place of the Oromo in the geopolitics of the Horn;
– Federalism; Oromo land and property security: natural resource ownership;
– Economic justice, state/party-capitalism and conglomerates in Ethiopia;
– The ‘developmental state, constitution and constitutionalism
– China-Africa Trade Policy and Implication for the Oromo
– Global events/turning points in modern history & the Oromo, 1935/36, 1974, 1991)
– Imperial Ethiopia, local alliances and global connections;
– Finfinnee, Oromo hinterlands and the fate of Oromo national identity;
– Climate change and its impact on ecological health, sustainable development, renewable energy in Oromia;
– Historical wrongs and the pursuit of justice and reconciliation;
– Regional networks, alliances & political projects: the Oromo & the rest of the South
– Ethiopia’s counter-archives: narrative, memory, history
– The identity/alterity nexus in the Oromo-Ethiopia dualism
– The politics of othering and the othering of politics
– The next chapter in the political economy of Oromia and Ethiopia


IOLA Press Release on the Oromo Protest and the ongoing brutal crackdown in Oromia, Ethiopia January 14, 2016

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Odaa OromooInternational Oromo Lawyers Association (IOLA)  logo


IOLA Press Release on the Oromo Protest and the ongoing brutal crackdown in Oromia, Ethiopia

January 11, 2016


The International Oromo Lawyers Association, a non-profit Organization registered in the State of Minnesota with the objective of promoting the prevalence of the rule of law in Ethiopia, is saddened and shocked by the ongoing wanton mass killings and arrests of thousands of Oromo students, supporting parents and teachers in the State of Oromia, Ethiopia. According to information available to us from different sources including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and reputable media networks such as the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera, the Ethiopian government has deployed a special armed unit (known as the death squad – Agazi) to forcefully suppress the ongoing peaceful demonstration of Oromo students who are simply exercising their fundamental and constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression to oppose the so called Addis Ababa Master Plan. The Plan which is alleged to have been secretly designed by the order of few key Federal government officials is in fragrant violation of the Constitution which stipulates that any change in the affairs of the Regional States should be discussed at the parliament, the government and by the people of the respective Regional States.

We feel it is our duty to share the prevailing frustration because of past experiences, that the above mentioned “Master Plan” is nothing other than being a pretext to forcibly displace native Oromos from their ancestral land without or insignificant compensation whatsoever and to allocate the vacated land to foreign investors all under the name of development. We have already witnessed in the past ten years when the Federal Government forcibly removed ethnic Oromos from their land without any meaningful compensation and leased the vacated land to investors who converted the wheat producing land into massive production of flowers, at a time the country is facing massive food shortage. The result, as expected, did not bring development but misery to the displaced population and environmental degradation in the community. According to experts, the prevailing famine in Ethiopia, which has affected nearly 15 million people, is largely attributed to such facts of involuntary displacement of the farming population from their ancestral lands and detaching them from their traditional farming profession.

Protest against the ‘AA-Oromia Integrated Master Plan’ started within the ruling party in early 2014. When the federal government disregards these concerns, the issue turned out to be the issue of the public at large and resulted in street protest. However, the authorities preferred to subdue the dissent by force and do it quickly rather than engaging stakeholders in a genuine way and addressing the issues comprehensively. As a result, several lives were lost and properties were destroyed.

This round of protest started after the authorities reinitiated the implementation of plan. Still, the government followed similar violent crackdown and we are witnessing the killing of over hundreds of protesters, the arrest of thousands and uncalculated damages to bodily harm and property damages. There is credible evidence that the government is engaged in blank point killing of what it calls “anti-development” students and parents. Thousands of members and leaders of the well-known Oromo Federalist Congress party known for its advocacy for peaceful means of struggle, including its deputy leader Mr. Bekele Gerba, are now arrested and thrown into jails without due process of law and without any charge whatsoever. Mr Bekele was released few months ago after serving four years of politically motivated charges. Basically, the ongoing protest is far bigger than the master plan itself. While the master plan is an immediate cause; while several issue linked to corruption, dispossession, nepotism, selective justice and political marginalization of the Oromo’s under EPRDF government are the main causes.

It is a high time for the international community and key stakeholders in Ethiopia (USA, UK, EU, China, Russia and AU) to utilize their leverage to deter the crippling of the country in to a full blown civil war by the irresponsible move of the Ethiopian government. Specifically we urge you to push the government to:

  1. Immediately stop the arbitrary mass killings and arrest of Oromos students,
  2. Release ALL Oromo students and Opposition members (and its leaders) who are arrested and thrown into jail following the recent unrest in Oromia,
  3. Bring to justice those who are responsible for the killing of hundreds of Oromo students and opposition members,
  4. Repel the so-called “Addis Abeba Master Plan” and any other plan of eviction in Oromia, Gambella and other regions of Ethiopia
  5. Implement a comprehensive reform to address the decades of marginalization, nepotism and corruption in the country
  6. Call for a national reconciliation involving all stakeholders and fully implement the constitution of the country.

IOLA will always be more than glad to provide its time and resource to initiate any positive reform, peaceful coexistence, rule of law and help the implementation of the federal constitution in Ethiopia.

The Executive Board of International Oromo Lawyers Association (EB_IOLA)

January 11, 2016