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Movers and Shakers
From Left: Workineh Gebeyehu (PhD) Foreign minister and deputy chairman of OPDO; Lemma Megersa President of Oromia Regional Sate and Chairman of OPDO; and Abiy Ahmed (PhD) head of OPDO secretariat with vice presidential portfolio.

Movers and Shakers!!!

The Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), one of the four parties making up the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), has concluded its most anticipated four day conference agreeing up on ten decisive points which include the need to solve the border conflict along its administrative region: Oromia and Somali Regional States.  

The conflict which brought the displacement of thousands of Ethiopians and the death of hundreds has resulted in a public uproar and political unrest in the region. The Conference, which was held in Adama town, addressed this very issue head-on and decided, the border issue should no longer be a cause for conflict between the two regions. 

Furthermore, OPDO called for the immediate implementation of the border demarcation process between the two regions to avoid any future incident. It is to be recalled that the conflict along the border of the two regions was followed by a massive displacement of people from both sides with ethnic Oromos displaced from Somali region outweighing in number.

Following this particular humanitarian crisis, the federal government was calling upon rehabilitation programs to target those who are displaced from both Regions. It particularly meant to rehabilitate those who are displaced from their original homes by the conflict.

Contrary to this effort, this week, Ministry of Education (MoE) decided to revise the placement of first year university students from Oromia and Somali regions who were originally enrolled in universities located in the two regions. According to the new arrangement, students from both Oromia and Somali regions will be enrolled only to their respective region.

 “The decision was passed by the federal government,” sources at the Ministry confirmed. The communications office with ministry declined to give further information on the matter.

Unconfirmed reports show that this decision was taken after considering the pressure exerted on students who feared to go to their universities fearing for their safety.

As far as the ten points are concerned, OPDO vowed to work for unconditional respect of the constitutional rights of the people. It also expresses its commitment to solve problems such as lack of good governance in the region.

In addition, the Organization has also introduced a ten year strategic plan.

The Conference was attended by more than 2,000 individuals including party members, officials and veteran of the Organization including Abadulla Gemeda.

Following the end of the conference last week, a delegation of more than 200, from all parts of the Oromia region including elders, youth, artists as well as officials, has set out to Bahir Dar, the capital of the Amhara Regional State. The visit initiated by the two regions is in part an effort to strengthen people to people relationship between the two regions.

Lemma Megersa, president of Oromia Regional States, as well as top officials of the party and organization are expected to join the delegation later this week.   

In related news, the Amhara Regional State is also expected to hold the second leg of a peace conference to resolve issues with Tigray Regional States.