You can download the new Program of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum also known as FDD (Forum for Democratic dialogue)Adobe PDF
Dr. Merera has been elected as the chairman of UEDF (April 08, 2009)
The Oromo People's Congress (OPC) and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) have formed a coalition, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)Jan 12, 2009 - The Oromo People's Congress (OPC) and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) announced that they have formed a coalition, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), in order to work together in the upcoming election. Details:
- 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;
- to compete in the comming elections with a common platform and field candidates in commom. In this connection, when fielding candidates for the coming elections it was agreed that the 42 seats won by OPC and 11 seats won by OFDM in the last elections will be maintained by the two parties while the rest of the 135 constituencies in Oromia won by other parties including the OPDO will be equally shared between the two parties.
Forum for Democratic Dialogue (FDD): Step Forward to create Grand Coalition for the coming 2010 election
June 17, 2007 - Major opposition parties and individuals in Ethiopia formed a forum known as the "Forum for Democratic Dialogue" (FDD) on June 17, 2007. The purpose of FDD is to give these parties a chance to solve their differences and come up with a common understanding that will allow them to work together.
The participants are : Oromo Peoples Congress(OPC); Oromo Federalist Democratic Party(OFDM); United Ethiopian Democratic Forces(UEDF); Somali Democratic Forces Coalition(SDFC); Arena Tigray For Democracy and Sovereignty(ATDS) ; Mr. Seye Abreha, former defense minister, and Dr Negaso Gidadda, former Ethiopian president, have also joined as individuals. The UDJ also joined this Forum on February 7, 2009.
- The objectives of FDD are:
- To establish meetings and negotiations that will allow them to come up with common objectives.
- To formulate a strategy for the 2010 election and ensure that there will be a fair and free election.
- To fight the various obstacles laid by the ruling party together in a peaceful and democratic fashion.
- To make public announcements and build up public support together in order to propose solutions for the problems facing the nation.
- To work together to promote diplomacy
- Bruck Shewareged Interview with Professor Merera Gudina (Dec. 15, 2007)
- VOA Interview with Professor Merera (July 18, 2007) (Audio)
- Addis Ferenj Interview with Professor Merera Gudina (Oct. 29, 2005)
- Addis Tribune Interview with Professor Merera Gudina
Today the Oromo Peoples's Congress (OPC) and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) formerly led by Obbo Bulcha Demekessa held a joint meeting to complete their long awaited merger. The name of their new party is: Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). The following persons were elected as leaders of the new party from across Oromia:
1.Dr. Merera Gudina, Chairman of the merged party;
2.Obbo Bekele Gerba, First Chairman (now in prison);
3.Obbo Mulatu Gemechu, Vice Charman;
4.Obbo Gebru Gebremariam, Vice Chairman;
5.Obbo Bekele Nega, Secretary
6.Obbo Dejene Taffa, Assistant Secretary.
The six persons will form part of the 24 persons Executive Committee who will share the leadership of the rest of the committees such as foreign relations, Finance, etc.
The meeting also decided to create an advisory committee of elders consisting of:
1.Obbo Bulcha Demekessa,
2.Col. Sailu Berri,
3.Obbo Mamo Geda,
4.Obbo Debissa Beyene;
5.Dr. Moga Ferissa;
6.Obbo Tesfa Bushan &
7.Professor Tesema Ta'a.
We think, this is a proper answer both to the call of our people for unity and people's quest for freedom and democracy. Please share with those who support the cause of our people.
Merera Gudina, (PhD)
July 28, 2012
OPC held its congress December 31,2011
The Oromo Peoples Congress has held its Congress yesterday (December 31st) and decided on the following major issues among others:
1. a merger with OFDM as soon as possible so as to solidfy the unity of Oromo people;
2. approved the establishmnet of Mederek as a front with other parties to strengthen the struggle of the opposition at home.
The congress has also elected new leadership for OPC, which could lead the organization for the coming 3 years (A Central Committee of 30 members, an Exectutive Committee of 11 persons and a three-man Audit and Control Committe)
On the occasion, opposition leaders of other parties made solidarity speeches, which added colour to the event. These are: Obbo Bulcha Demekssa (OFDM), Ato Gebru Asrat (Arenna Tigray), Dr. Mogga Firsasa (OFDM), Ato Ayale Seyoum (ESDP), Ato Kidane Ramisso (SEPDU) and Dr. Negasso Gidada (UDJ).
The event was covered by VOA. Ehiopian Radio TV and aslo covered the closing cermony.
More deatils can be found under:
Another Round of Repression.
After the massive detentions during the May 2010 elections where the ruling party claimed to have won 99.6% in the most massively rigged elections even by African standards, in yet another round of repression- as of mid-March 2011 hundreds of OPC members have been detained and charged with treason cases with members of other Oromo organizations.
The detainees include former OPC parliamentarians and as well as Councilors of the Oromia Regional Parliaments. In the witch hunt young people including university students are consciously targeted.
The repression of the Oromo legal opposition has continued and as late as end of August OPC's Office head, Mr. Olbana Lelissa was detained with other members because of his meeting with the reporters of Amnesty International, who were ordered to leave Addis Ababa within twenty four hours.
The most convenient allegation the Ethiopian regime using against OPC members is to label them as members of Oromo rebel group, the OLF. The Ethiopian regime is using its newly introduced anti-terrorist law for the purpose. Extra-judicial detentions and torture are extensively used by the regime´s security personnel (see the reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch).
September 9 2011
Hard to campaign for the election
We have only two weeks before the election and it has been impossible for OFC to campaign for the upcoming election. To report some of it:
Our members and leaders have been to 40 Oromia Weredas in East and West Hararghe, Arsi, Bale and Borana Zones. And were only able to hold only six public meetings and the election administration is totally taken over by the local cadres. In some areas they deny open space for meetings; deny our campaigners hotel rooms; flatten tires of our cars, smashed the windows of our cars, have beaten our campaigners, etc. In Muyale town the Somali region police have beaten up Oromos gathered to meet while the Oromia police was watching the drama. In Yabello town they snatched our video camera.
In short, EPRDF does not want us to operate and is making things impossible. We all know the election code of conduct EPRDF has been talking about. It is obvious it is not respected by the ruling party, so much for the talked about code of conduct, it has been already killed by the ruling party.
Massive arrest in Oromia
Massive arrests of our members and supporters are going on across Oromia from Borana to Harar in the last two months. In the last few weeks alone more than 350 of our members are arrested and a young student aged 17 was shot dead in cold blood by police while one of his friend wounded last Friday (September 18, 2009) in Dandi Wereda, West Shewa - 30 kms from Ambo town.
Ridiculously, the arrests are going on while the Ethiopian Government is calling for negotiation with the opposition.
EPRDF is Still Shooting to Rule
After close to 18 years in power, the EPRDF is still shooting to rule. In what appears to be putting more pressure on the Oromo People's Congress, Oromo's largest legal opposition - three separate actions have taken by government forces against members and supporters of OPC.
- In February two teachers in a local school in Midakaegn Wereda, adjacent to Ambo Wereda were severely beaten by electric wire by the local police and wereda officials. Their names are Kuriye Wondimu and Dinka Kumsaa. Dinka was OPC candidate during the last Wereda elections in which we were forced to boycott.;
- Adjacent to the same wereda, in Gedo town, security personnel (the Government's rapid deployment force) surrounded Gedo High School on March 4 and started to shoot at the students in which several students were wounded, three of them very seriously. One student by the name Wondimu Demena died at Ambo Hospital.
- OPC parliamentarian from Zuway Dugida, Arsi region was blocked at gun point from talking to members and supporters last week.
- OPC Held its Congress-December 31,2011
- Hard to campaign for the election
- Massive arrest in Oromia
- EPRDF is still shooting to rule(March 5,2009)
- Press Statement by the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF) on the problems faced in the Electoral Process Leading up to the April 2008 Local and By-Elections
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- Potential For Violence Shadows Ethiopia's 2010 Election-May, 2009
- A Statement on the Current Situation in the Country
- 2008 Human rights report: Ethiopia
- Lets Try Once More
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- Ethiopia: Government crackdown intensifies following investigation-September 21st, 2011 | by The Bureau
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- The Ethiopian State and the Future of the Oromos: The Struggle for "Self-Rule and Shared-Rule" - Presented to OSA Annual Conference by Merera Gudina. Download paper in Microsoft Word | Acrobat PDF format.
- Ethiopia: A Transition Without Democratization - Merera Gudina