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Oromo Federalist Congress (Ethiopia)

Last modified: 2018-03-30 by bruce berry
Keywords: oromiya | oromia | oromo | ethiopia | tree | star |
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Image sent by Jaume Ollé, 15 Feb 2018

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Background

After three days of a general strike in Oromia, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, has resigned and he also resigned as leader of the EPRDF and the Southern Peoples Democratic Movement (SPDM).
The conflict started following an attempt by the government in Addis Ababa to annex some territory from Oromia.  The dispute later included several former political prisoners, including the vice president of the main opposition party, Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), Andualem Aragie, and several jailed Oromia politicians. The led to a general strike which resulted in seven Oromo political prisoners being freed including Bekele Gerba (Jirata),one of the leaders of the main Oromo party, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC).

The Oromo Federal Congress (OFC) is a coalition that was formed in January 2009 by the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC), led by Dr. Merera Gudina, and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM), led by Mr. Bulcha Demeksa. Both OPC and OFDM are currently member parties of the newly formed Ethiopian national coalition party – the Forum for Democracy and Dialogue (FDD) (later Unity for Democracy and Justice).

According to the press release published at the time of its formation, the move to create is: “to work together in the upcoming election.”  Specifically:
* to organize public meetings together;
* to coordinate our activities in the Oromia Regional Council and at the Federal Parliament as well as stand together in case of challenges at both levels;
* to solicit support both in side the country and abroad and share equally resources mobilized together;
* to coordinate our activities when dealing with other political groups;
* even if, there are only few differences in our political programs agreed to sort out whatever differences we have in the future; and
* to compete in the upcoming elections with a common platform and field candidates in common.

The State of Oromia has 178 seats in the House of People’s Representative. The Regional Council of Oromia has 534 seats.   The National Election Board of Ethiopia, an entity which has long ago lost its impartiality, has refused to recognize the grand coalition between the two independent Oromo political parties that operate within the framework of the TPLF regime. The refusal to recognize OFC was a setback in the 2010 election and a testament for the absence of any “political space.”

These two parties will mount real opposition to the ruling party in the State of Oromia in the upcoming election; consequently, both of these parties regularly report that their members are harassed and imprisoned by government forces throughout Oromia. In addition, any form of gathering is not allowed in that State; and members of OPC and OFDM are often accused of being “infiltrators” of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the organization that struggles for the self-determination of the Oromo people and left the Ethiopian government coalition with TPLF in 1992.

It is to be remembered that TPLF security forces imprisoned more than 100 members of OPC and OFDM, including the General Secretary of OFDM, Mr. Bekele Jirata (Gerba), and several other civilians in November 2008.
Jaume Ollé, 15 Feb 2018


Flag of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)
 

The Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) has a white flag defaced with the emblem of the organization, while the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) has a flag which is black over white horizontal stripes with a red triangle at hoist. On the white stripe is a tree (in natural colors) and above the tree (in arch) are five red 5 pointed stars.   In 2009 the OFC adopted this as its flag (Source: Flag Report, 72, Oct 2014).
Jaume Ollé, 15 Feb 2018
 


Flag of the Oromo Youth League (OYL)

 

     Images sent by Esteban Rivera, 16 Feb 2018

There is also another flag related to the OFC, a black-red-white horizontal tricolor with a green tree on white and a gold five-pointed star above it on red; both charges are centered horizontally and off-set vertically, closer to the red-white partition line and also to each other. This source suggests that this is the flag of Oromo Youth League (OYL), the OFC's youth wing which was founded in 2014.
Tomislav Todorovic, 16 Feb 2018

 

According to this source, the OYL was established on 25 January 2014.

Esteban Rivera, 16 Feb 2018



 
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