with the TPLF Regime
In an interview with the Voice America Amharic Service, and also reported by the Afaan Oromoo Service, on November 14, 2008, Rev. Ittafaa Goobanaa, as Representative of the Oromo Elders, stated, among others, that the OLF has accepted, in principle, the TPLF/EPRDF (Ethiopian) Government’s Constitution, to negotiate a peaceful resolution of “the political differences” between the two. The OLF is compelled to respond to the issues raised in this interview to set the record straight. To begin with the OLF has a clear and standing policy regarding negotiations with the TPLF regime. It is true that in January 2008, the OLF delegation met with the Oromo Elders group, in the presence of a third party observer and facilitator, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
It is also true that the Oromo Elders Group presented to the OLF delegation their proposal to the OLF and the Ethiopian Government to enter into negotiation. The presented proposal requires the OLF, among others, to “Accept, in principle, the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.” After an extensive discussion, the OLF Leadership delegation agreed, despite clear contravention of the earlier understanding and its policy, to present the proposal to the OLF Executive Committee (EC) and communicate its decision to the Oromo Elders Group, via the facilitator, in two weeks. This was the only promise that the OLF leadership delegation made to the Oromo Elders Group.
The interview on the VOA seems to convey that the OLF delegation agreed to the precondition
and, also fails to inform the audience that the OLF EC has accordingly responded to the proposal on time. We implore our elders to adhere to the established tradition of Oromo elders and safeguard the reputation of that respected institution.
Oromo Liberation Front
November 15, 2008