For immediate release :

November 23, 2016

After actively participating in the Oromo Leadership Council Convention held in Atlanta between November 10 and 13, the Oromo-American Citizens Council (OACC) representatives have returned to their homes.

OACC wants to take this opportunity and thank the Convention’s organizing committee for coming up with the idea and taking the initiative and putting into action such a momentous undertaking of bringing Oromos together for a dialogue.  At this historical moment when our people’s movement has reached a decisive stage, conducting such a conference to chart a united way of action is truly an honorable and admirable task. We also want to thank the Atlanta Oromo Community for hosting such a historic convention.

This Convention is the first of its kind held by Oromos in diaspora. OACC is highly delighted with the turnout of attendants, and impressed by the diversity of Oromos who took part in it.  Without exaggeration the Convention was in a way a microcosm of Oromia. Oromos of all walks of life; young-old, male-female, individuals from all faiths and localities of Oromia, from all professions, trades, and all political spectrum, congregated and discussed earnestly about the wellbeing and future of their people.

This is unprecedented in the modern history of Oromos where such diverse groups of Oromos in such number, by their own initiative and freewill assembled to talk about their fate.  It is an uncontroverted fact that the Oromos were defeated and kept under the bondage of successive Ethiopian rulers mainly because they did not confront their invaders in unison, and also because they did not fight sufficiently united to liberate themselves.

Unless this pernicious division among the Oromos elite is overcome, it would be extremely difficult that they could play the proper historic role of guiding our people’s struggle.  We believe the Atlanta Convention has laid the cornerstone for such a unity.  It has shown that notwithstanding their political differences, Oromos belonging to different political parties, could work together on a common platform.   It is up to all of us now, whether we attended the Convention or not, who claim that we are concerned about the wellbeing of our people to build on this and take it forward.

As a first of its kind, this Convention is not expected to be perfect in all aspects. However, rather than dwelling on its shortcomings, it’s incumbent on all of us to build on what is already been achieved, so that it could be an all-encompassing venture that will have a lasting effect in bringing all our people together. It’s in this vein that OACC suggests to the organizers to further reach out to those who did not take part in the Convention and involve them in finalizing the Charter and other remaining tasks.

Oromo-American Citizens Council (OACC) is a Minnesota non-profit organization established and functioning since 2002. We are made up of Oromo-Americans and others who are concerned about Oromo issues. Among others, we advocate for equal rights of Oromos in Ethiopia, expose human rights violations, and help initiate dialogue and reconciliation among various Ethiopian groups.