Editorial Statement of OLF
December 2, 2007 (OLF) - On November 14, 2007 the Kenyan Daily Nation reported that the Kenyan government and the minority Tigrean government have agreed to launch a “joint search operation" on the Southern Command of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). The deal was supposedly made at a joint meeting held in Hiddi Lola near Moyale.
As an apparent beginning of this "search operation", on November 30, 2007, Reuters reported that the Kenyan Police had arrested 21 Oromo nationals, nine of which are of Kenyan origin, accusing them of supporting OLA. Reuters also reported that that two of the accused Oromos have already been deported to Ethiopia. It is our belief that the remaining detained Oromos will also likely be handed to the Ethiopian regime by the Kenyan officials.
Other sources also reported that, since the Kenyan government can not or was unwilling to commit any funds for this operation, the Ethiopian regime agreed to cover all expenses. The same sources suggest that an army of four brigades is planned for this "operation" out of which the Kenyan government agreed to contribute one brigade while the remaining three brigades will come from the Tigrean military.
OLA is an Oromo army that fights against the unjust rule of the Tigrean based minority rule in Ethiopia. Its military activities are limited to Oromia. OLA has no personnel in Kenya, military or otherwise. The Oromo people have known such and worst wars of aggression from successive Ethiopian regimes for well over a century. But it comes to us as an absolute and regretful surprise that the Kenyan government has chosen to be party to this war of aggression by the Tigrean regime. Oromos have long seen Kenya as a peaceful country that has sheltered millions of refugees from its neighboring countries, Oromos included. Kenya has long been a symbol of peace and prosperity in this war-torn region. The current joint venture of Kenyan soldiers and the Tigrean army is certain to bring bad image to Kenya and will surely spoil the good relationship our neighborly people have enjoyed for centuries.
The Tigrean based minority regime of Ethiopia had planned this joint operation to clear the road to even more entrenched dictatorship and eliminate any perceived competition in Ethiopia before the upcoming local elections, expected to take place in December, 2007. The purpose of this aggression is also to weaken OLA and eliminate any objection to the war with Eritrea before launching another brutal round. The Ethiopian regime has put in place the entire necessary military and intelligence infrastructure for this war. As a peace loving country, Kenya simply has no reason to be drugged into this unpopular and endless cycle of regional war and conflict. It would be extremely saddening if the Kenyan government has chosen to become an instrument for the minority government of Meles Zenawi. The days of the Ethiopian dictator are numbered, and this regime is unworthy of spoiling Kenya’s image and the long lasting friendly relationships between our neighborly peoples.
In conclusion, we believe the peaceful coexistence of people in this war-torn region of Africa very much hinges on deescalating conflicts and crafting positive strategies for long-term coexistence. OLA firmly stands for a just cause, self-determination of all peoples, their desire to live in peace as neighbors free from any domination, building upon the democratic tradition of the people. This, we assume is consistent with that of the Kenyan people. In this sense any attack by any entity, an attack from the Ethiopian regime included, against OLA is senseless and unprovoked. But Oromos are used to attacks from successive Abyssinian regimes. They do not expect any aggression from Kenya or any other neighboring people with whom they have lived in peace for centuries. Any groundless aggression from Kenya towards the Oromo people would certainly leave a trace of historic magnitude. OLA leadership is committed to working towards peace and maintaining good relationships with Kenya.
Victory to the Oromo people!
December 2, 2007