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THE THIRD OROMO LEADERSHIP CONVENTION, DECEMBER 1-3, 2017 December 7, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistOromo Leadership Convention 10-12 March 2017

 

THE HOUSTON STATEMENT OF THE THIRD OROMO LEADERSHIP CONVENTION

ON THE CRISES IN ETHIOPIA

The Third Oromo Leadership Convention was held in the City of Houston, Texas December 1-3, 2017.  The delegates participated in extensive discussions concerning the situation in Ethiopia based on analyses presented by several scholars. The delegates established that the Oromo Protest that started in 2014 has opened new possibilities for transformative change in Ethiopia.  They also recognized that, because of the protests, the historic Oromo struggle has advanced from resistance against oppression to reconstruction in preparation for the imminent political transition in Ethiopia.

The country is in throes of deepening multidimensional crises.  This is the conclusion of an assessment jointly prepared by Ethiopian intelligence and defence officials otherwise known as the National Security Council.  There is a historic opportunity for transition to a genuinely participatory democracy that emerges from below. There is also the danger that the opportunity could be squandered. To protect the gains made and to soldier on towards ultimate victory, we urge all Oromo nationalists to do their part to deny the forces of reaction the chance to launch a counterrevolutionary offensive against the Oromo struggle.

We issue this statement as the consensus of the delegates to the Third Oromo Leadership Convention calling on all those who support the longstanding goals of the Oromo national movement to facilitate a peaceful transition to a new political dispensation of a participatory democracy.

IMMEDIATE MEASURES

Immediate steps need to be taken to reverse the deepening crisis by asserting the legitimacy of any existing constitutional body. A peaceful and democratic transition addresses the current crisis of legitimacy and sets the stage for the restoration of democratic-constitutional state.  The following can be taken as steps for action.

Legislative Authority

  1. Reasserting authority. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the core of the governing party, now admits that it is responsible for the deepening political and economic crises in Ethiopia. Because of its culpability in precipitating the crisis, the TPLF incapable of addressing the profound problem of lacking of a visible, authoritative, and widely acceptable leadership that has paralyzed the country for some time must be addressed. The federal legislature is the only body where the voices of all constituencies are said to be represented on a proportional basis. It must reassert its authority to prevent harmful laws from passing.  This would constitute a major step towards a smooth transition to a genuine participatory democracy.
  2. Transparent Debate:  Responding to demands of the people should be the focus of the elected representatives of the people. Parliament should debate the ongoing crisis and take steps to restore order based on the wishes of all constituencies. The parliamentary deliberations should be done publicly in order to win the support to all constituencies.
  3. Critical First Steps: The federal parliament can institute the following confidence-building measures to give chance to an orderly transition.a.       Repeal unconstitutional laws: The Anti-Terrorist Law, the Press Law and the Civil Society and Charities Law are designed expressly to prevent citizens from exercising the human rights enshrined in the constitution. They are unconstitutional and should be repealed. The law for registration of political parties, the electoral law and the various regulations and directives issued under it, and the law on public political meeting and peaceful demonstration must be revisited with a view to allowing the people maximum freedom to associate, organize, assemble, demonstrate, and express their political views, interests, and petition for their rights within the ambit of their constitutional human rights.

    b.       Release all political prisoners: Opposition leaders who now languish in prison are victims of these unconstitutional laws. With the repeal of these laws, it then follows that they should be released unconditionally.

    c.        Reform the System: The instruments of “dominant-party rule” are: a justice system that is subservient to the will of the ruling party; a security system that operates to eliminate opposition and resistance; and a national election commission whose reason for existence is to declare the ruling party’s election victories without counting the votes. Parliament must engage in a genuine and sustained justice sector reforms, security sector reforms, electoral system reform, reform of all democratic institutions of representation (House People’s Representatives), inclusion (House of Federation), human rights (Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and  the Institute of the Ombudsman), and accountability (Auditor general and Anti-corruption Commission).

  4. Outlawing Illegitimate Authority: There is widespread perception that there is a private source of power behind the public institutions. Decisions are first hammered out in private and then forwarded to the public legislature for enactment. Rendering the parliament functional can obviate the dangers that the private centres of power are likely to pose to protect their ill-gained power and privilege.

Executive Authority

There is only one way out of the present crises: the legislature should act as the true and supreme source of power [as per art 50(3) cum 54(4) of the Constitution] and stop waiting for somebody to give it direction. The incumbent executive entity has no credibility or legitimacy.  Parliament must institute a governing structure that observes the rule of law.

  1. Reformed Executive: Parliament must do everything to resuscitate the civilian governing bodies and end rule by the security organs of the state. To do this, Parliament must form a new, more inclusive, more credible, more functional, and more representative government in such a way that expresses the wishes of the people as manifested in the protests.
  2. Marshall Support: Following the adoption of this process of peaceful and systematic transition, the legislatures of the regional states should pass resolutions in support of the reform agenda. And the residents of these administrations should be mobilized to support the actions of their legislatures.
  3. Re-establish Security: There is increasing reliance on coercive means and institutions, which is eroding the effectiveness and legitimacy of civilian institutions. We believe the Ethiopian Defence Force (EDF) is responsible for the deteriorating security situation characterized by a “breakdown of the rule law,” “apparent lawlessness” and “episodic conflicts” and it at least complicit in the death and mayhem that is still creating havoc throughout Oromia. The legislature must assert civilian control over the EDF and arrest the deepening political and economic crises.
  4. Internally Displaced Persons:  We condemn the massive displacement of Oromo from the Somali regional state.  The deliberate act of organizing the eviction of a group of people because of their identity is crime that must be investigated and the perpetrators of the crime brought to justice. The president of the Somali regional state, Abid Mohammed Omer aka Abdi Illey, should be brought to justice for the crime against humanity his forces committed against innocent Oromos. Parliament must immediately conduct inquiry into the source of funding and the legal basis for its operation. Parliament should also work towards disarming and disbanding this unruly paramilitary forces such as the Liyu Police that the regional president uses to advance his egregious agenda of ethnic cleansing and replace it with a properly recruited and trained State Police.
  5. Reassuring stakeholders: Interested foreign powers need to be reassured that their interests would not be negatively affected. In particular, legitimate foreign investors should be reassured that their outlay is safe. It should be made abundantly clear to these parties that a sort of internal stability drawing on democratic legitimacy would render it a better guarantor of regional stability than an order that is internally challenged.  This should in fact make the donor countries evaluate their uncritical support for the regime and push for a transition to a democratic order.

OROMO POLITICAL COMMUNITY

We affirm our ultimate national objective is belief stated in the OLC Charter, An Oromo Covenant, that the Oromo people shall always draw inspiration from their gadaa democratic heritage and shall remain a self-governing, participatory democracy founded on respect for fundamental human rights.

In this Convention, we concluded that a true democratic transition in Ethiopia can only be viable if it addresses the long standing demands of the Oromo national movement as expressed in our time by the Oromo protests. While they are expressed in multiple ways, the Oromo demands are captured in the all-encompassing expression, abbaa biyyummaa, which is the demand for sovereignty over the governance, the resources and the ownership of our homesteads, land and country.

As we anticipate ushering in this new political dispensation, we urge all Oromo political parties to deliberate on the current situation carefully and systematically and offer a clear roadmap for what will be implemented in the wake of the inevitable collapse of the regime in power.

CIVIL SOCIETY FORCES

The revival of the Abba Gadaa institutions is evidence of Oromo cultural renaissance and revitalization of Oromo indigenous political heritage. The Abba Gadaa councils are a genuine Oromo institution that must be strengthened. In this respect, we support the councils’ work and express our wishes for the following.

  1. The Union of the Oromo Gadaa Council is urged to call the Oromia gadaa assembly to consider national issues once a year.
  2. The different regional gadaa councils established at the many former gadaa assemblies should begin to legislate rules that will strengthen the functions of the gadaa institutions.
  3. The regional gadaa councils should take measures to create institutions that take account of their adaptability to the present generation’s needs and demands.
  4. The councils must continue to build civil society institutions, particularly the inclusion of women into gadaa structures.
  5. Oromo communities and other peoples find the indigenous institutions of conflict resolution more expeditious and judicious than the lengthy litigation handled by formal institutions. We urge the regional gadaa councils to begin to take measures to relaunch alternative dispute resolution processes and institutions to complement the functions of formal institutions.

 

DONE IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, ON THIS 3rd DAY DECEMBER 2017.

 


 BACKGROUND


The first Oromo Leadership Convention (OCL) held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 11 – 13, 2016, took place at a time of heightened risks for the Oromo protests. There was pent-up anger in the country over the Ireecha Massacre and deep apprehension concerning the just declared state of emergency in Ethiopia. The second was held in an atmosphere profound uncertainty with many Oromos wondering whether the protests movement had atrophied. There was concern that Command Post, the military unit in charge of the state of emergency had succeeded in arresting the momentum of change the Oromo protests had unleashed.

OLC_3rd_convention.jpg

The situation today is very different. We can be more confident that the struggle has moved on to a more hopeful stage. We are on the cusp of becoming free but that outcome is not assured. It is a critical period in the history of our nation and out longstanding struggle. At this stage, the OLC needs to aim to address current challenges continue to assist the struggle at home and complete the struggle with triumph.

To contribute our part to the current phase of the Oromo national movement, the OLC Coordinating Committee to affirm the decision that was made at the Washington Convention and announce that the third convention will be held in the City of Houston from December 1-3, 2017.

AGENDA

We believe that the Oromo national movement has entered a decisive, if uncertain, stage. The OLC was organized to nudge the Oromo struggle forward, affirm the unity of the nation and organize its national politics. At this stage of the struggle, we maintain that Oromo nationalism has moved from a defensive posture to an assertive model. The delegates will evaluate the road we have traveled and chart course for the future of our nation.

1.      Envisioning a Pluralistic Society: Oromo is a unified nation with a social organization that recognizes differences of age, kinship, gender, religion and region. Historically, these differences have served the purpose of organizing the society into unity. In our time, we must begin to recognize that the unified Oromo nation contains diverse groupings and must take steps to begin to live as a free, open and pluralistic society and practice a cultural of pluralism which contains the values of diversity, tolerance, commitment and communication. The Houston Convention envisages kicking off a national convention on pluralism in the Oromo context.

2.      Forging of political solidarity: At this stage, the Oromo movement has overcome the distractive political divisions within the Oromo society while deepening a culture of pluralism. The Oromo movement needs to overcome divisions that obstruct cooperation and strengthen solidarity with other groups. OLC will invite Oromo scholars to discuss ways of strengthening internal diversity and external solidarity with non-Oromo groups.

3.      Recognize the contribution of artists: Throughout the Oromo struggle, artists have helped inform the larger Oromo society about social issues, harmonize social activists within the movement; informed the movement ideals and goals to people outside the movement; dramatized movement goals directly to historicize, tell and retell the history of the Oromo movement.  The OLC will highlight these contributions and encourage artistic expressions to advance the struggle across the finish line.

OUTCOME

The Houston convention will issue a manifesto that will reaffirm that Oromo unity is built around gadaa principles and Oromo aspirations are shaped by gadaa values; declares the principle of living together in a pluralistic society; and underscores the importance of solidarity calling for cooperation based on common purpose and common interest and establishing ways of resolving differences.

 

VENUE

The leadership convention will take place in Houston, Texas, December 1-3, 2017 at the Omni Houston Hotel at Westside, 13210 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas, 77079. Click here to Book your Hotel : https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/houston-westside/meetings/olc-2017-oromo-leadership-convention                            

Click Here to register  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-third-oromo-leadership-convention-tickets-39790792331

CONVENER

The Oromo Leadership Convention Coordinating Committee

OFFICIAL DOCUMENT

 

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The Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC): Landmark resolutions March 16, 2017

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Press Release                 For Immediate Release       March 14, 2017


The Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC) held its second meeting in the City of Washington, District of Columbia, March 10 – 12, 2017.  The Convention was opened with the blessing of representatives of the main religious groups in Oromo society and concluded after successfully deliberating on the current situation in Oromia and passing landmark resolutions that affirm the unity of all Oromo and underscore the need to strengthen institutions of democracy.

This Convention was attended by over 600 religious, civic and community leaders from across North America and other parts of the world, political organizations, professional and civil societies, artists, businessmen, scholars, veterans of the struggle and Oromo notables who have contributed to the advancement of the Oromo cause in their respective fields.

Considering the gravity of the deteriorating situation in Oromia and the tremendous suffering that the state of emergency has imposed on our people, the Convention focused on taking action.

1. Based on the proposal recommended by the Task Force on Humanitarian Assistance, the Convention established a non-governmental organization known as HIRPHA International (Humanitarian Initiative to Relieve the Plight in the Horn of Africa) to assist in the effort deliver coordinated and efficient aid to the victims of the Ethiopian government.

2. Accepting the proposal of the Task Force on Diplomacy and Advocacy, the Convention established a research and policy center that will assist the efforts to conduct diplomatic action in a strategic and coordinated manner with the view to assisting the struggle to end tyrannical rule in Ethiopia. This center will be named Organized Diplomacy and Advocacy Action in the Horn of Africa (ODAAHA).

3. Recognizing that the Task Force of Experts presented revised documents known as the Declaration of Oromo Unity and National Aspirations and Oromo Charter of Freedom, Justice, Dignity and Human Rights reflect the views of the delegates regarding the foundation of Oromo unity and a common ground for political action, the Convention adopted the revised documents as its official documents.

4. Recognizing that the need for further discussions to internalize the contents of these documents, the Convention recommended them to Oromo communities around the world for studying and discussions. The Task Force of Experts was named as a Commission of Experts to spearhead the effort.

Considering that the Oromo struggle needs robust, functioning and autonomous democratic and civil society institutions, the Convention discussed new agendas proposed by the OLC Executive Committee. The new agenda emphasized the need for enhancing women’s participation and youth engagement in the Oromo nation’s future and initiated an effort to create professional associations.

After thoroughly discussing two concept papers, the delegates recommended launching a community-wide conversation with a view of taking concrete steps to enhance women and youth participation in Oromo affairs within a reasonable period.

Recognizing the demand of the Oromo people, the Convention stressed the importance of the unity of purpose among Oromo political organizations for the success of our people’s struggle. The participants recommended to all political parties to continue to work together to find ways to mobilize our people for the bitter struggle ahead and redouble efforts to expand the arena of interparty collaboration, build democratic institutions, and fortify self-rule capabilities.

Recognizing the gravity of the time, Convention participants decided to increase their support for the Oromo struggle and to join hands in solidarity with all freedom loving peoples to fight against the repressive TPLF regime. In view of the continued suffering of our people, the Convention, once again, condemns in the strongest of terms the continued killings, mass incarcerations, enforced disappearances, and persecution of Oromo. The delegates also demanded an immediate end to the State of Emergency that has made life impossible for our compatriots.

Concerned with the continued impunity of the Ethiopian regime, the Convention, once again, calls upon the international community to live up to its commitment not to “never again” allow mass killings from occurring again by demanding the establishment of an independent and thorough investigation into the mass killings, especially at the Irreecha festival on October 2, 2016, and the other crimes perpetrated by Ethiopian security forces against innocent people.

Finally, the Oromo Leadership Convention extends its call to all peoples in Ethiopia to redouble their efforts to end totalitarian rule in the country.

March 12, 2017

City of WASHINGTON, District of Columbia

 OFFICIAL DOCUMENT 


 

VOA Afaan Oromoo, Bitootessa 16, 2017

 

Hirbuu Oromoo’ galmee Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Amerikaa, Verjiiniyatti taa’an irratti walii galan ‘dhiyootti’ maxxansanii baasan


Hirbuu Oromoo, galmee Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo irratti walii galan dhiyoottuu maxxansanii baasan.

Korii guddaan, Yaa’ii Hooggansaa Oromoo Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC) kun ta asiin dura Amerikaa,Atlaantaatti taa’anitti aanee dhufe.

Korii Amerikaa godina Verjiiniyaa Bitootessa 10-12, 2017 Verjiiniyaa magalaa Kiristiyaal Sitii keessa taa’e. Akka warrii qopheesse jedhutti nama 600 caalutti itti dhufe.

Kaayoon isaa akka koree yaa’ii tana kopheessite keessaa Dr.Izqiheel Gabbisaa yuniversitii Kaateringi ka Mishigen jirtu keessaa dubbatetti ummata Oromoo biyya keessaa fi biyya alaatti rakkoo gugurdoo keessa jiru gargaarsa ilmaan namaatii fi gama siyaasaalleen gargaaraa tokkummaa Oromoo ijaaruu fi jabeessuu dhaaba dhaabuu.

Akkuma kanaan Yaa’iin tun dhaaba HIRPHA International (Humanitarian Initiative to Relieve the Plight in the Horn of Africa) jedhu ka nama mootummaan Itoophiyaatiin Afrikaa gama Gaafaa keessaa miidhame gargaarsa qindaahee kennuun qagaraafuu.

Rakkoo Oromoo sadarkaa biyya alaatti himuufiitii ykn gama diplomaasiitiin ammoo yaada gama Koreen Qindeessituutin dhiyaatee dameen qorannoo fi himaammataa hujii diplosamasii hojjachaa mootummaa abbaa irraa akka koreen jettutti Itoophiyaa irratti qabsaahuu.

Tanaafuu Afrikaa gama Gaafaa keessatti damee Organized Diplomacy and Advocacy Action in the Horn of Africa (ODAAHA) yayyaban.

3.Tana maleellee galmee yaada Koree Qindeessituutin dhiyaatte jedhan Declaration of Oromo Unity and National Aspirations and Oromo Charter of Freedom,Justice, Dignity and Human Rights jedhuun tokkummaa Oromoo jabeesitu jedhan yayyaban.

Hujii tanaaf koree yaada galmeelee tana keessatti dhiyaate hawaasa Oromoo addunyaatiin geettu yayyabame.

Galmeeleen dhiyaatan kun dhiyoottuu maxxansanii baasan.Hujii tana Koree Qineessituu miseena 17 qabdutti hojjata.

Akka Dr.Izqiheel jedhutit galmeen Chaarterii Hirbuu Oromoo tun ta kabaja mirga namaa eeguu fi falmituuf taati.

Yaa’iin tun tana maleellee, dhaabbilee hawaaaa hiree ufii ufiin murteeffatuu fi dimokiraatawa qabaachuuf qooda dubartootaa fi ijoolleen kahimaa sadarkaa addunyaatti yayyabuuf wali gale jedha Dr.Izqiheel.


The Second Oromo Leadership Convention March 10-12, 2017: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa

The Second Oromo Leadership Convention March 10-12, 2017: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa March 12, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Yaa’iin Hoogganoota Oromoo tan hayyoonni Oromo addunyaa guutu irra irratti argaman akka gaariitti deema jiritti. Yaa’iin tun murtiilee gurguddoo dhimma Oromo walii galaa irratti murtaawaa jira. Nageenyaafi naamuusni walgahii tana akkaan eegamaadha. Ilmaan Oromo garaa qulqulluun waliin maryataa jiran. Kun Seenaa Ummata Oromo keessatti kan duraati. Qabsoon teenya waggooti dheeraa booda Dhaloota Haarawaa, warra rakkoof gadadoo sabni keenya keessa jiruuf fala barbaadan biyya keessaaf biyya alaattillee uumamtee jirti. Kana Oromon bakka jirutti mataa ol qabate ittin dhaadachuu qaba. Yaa’iin kunis akka injifannoon xumuuramu abdii keenya. Baga Gammaddan. Haqa Qabna Ni Moona!!!

https://www.facebook.com/OromiaMedia/videos/1897123027167222/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Second Oromo Leadership Convention: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa February 7, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

The Second Oromo Leadership Convention: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa.

A press release from the Oromo Leadership Convention.

In the two months since the historic Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC), held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 11 – 13, 2016, the situation in Oromia has deteriorated precipitately. The Ethiopian government has unleashed the full array and fury of its security forces against Oromos. Several thousand innocent citizens have been herded to military concentration camps, hundreds gunned down and numerous people subjected to enforced disappearances. Unable to cover the mounting expenses of enforcing the State of Emergency it promulgated on October 9, 2016, the regime has essentially legalized confiscation of private assets and looting by soldiers.   Click here and read more at  (www. oromoconvention.org) 


YAA’II HOOGGANSA OROMOO ISA LAMMAFFAA

Ka’umsa

Yaa’iin Hooggansa Oromoo (YHO) seena-qabeessa ta’e Sadaasa 11-13, 2016 Magaalaa Atlaantaa, Joorjiyaa keessatti, erga xumuramee as haalli Oromiyaa keessa jiru daran hammaateera. Mootummaan Itiyoophiyaa humna waraana isaa uummata irratti bobbaasee jira. Lammiileen kuma hedduutti lakkaawwaman gara mooraa waraanaatti guuramaniiru, dhibbootaan kan lakkaawwaman ajjeefamaniiru, akkasumas achi buuteen isaanii kan dhabame hedduudha. Mootummaan Labsii Yeroo Hatattamaa labse hojjii irra oolfchufi baasii isaa dadhabuudhaan loltoonni namoota irra qabeenya isaanii akka saamaniif aangesseera.

Haalli hammaataan kun akkaataa itti diyaaspoporaan qabsoo biyya keessa gargaaruu danda’u irratti hojii qabatamaan akka hojjetuuf barbaachiseera. Yaa’iin YHO inni 2ffaa ammaa kun yaadawwan taask-foorsiin garagaraa dhiyeessan yaada keessa galchuudhaan hojiitti jijjiiruuf dhimmama. Hojiin keenya hamma akka ariifachiisaa ta’ee fi qormaataan guutuu ta’e ilaacha keessa galchuudhaan YHO irra deebi’anii waamuun hojmaata bira darbamuu hindandeenye ta’eera. Ittigaafatamummaa jiru kana irraan kan ka’e Koreen Qindeessituu YHO walga’ii isa itti aanuu Bitootessa 10-12, 2017 Magaalaa Washiingten keessatti adeemsisuuf murteesseera.