Oromo conflict

The Oromo conflict was an armed conflict between the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Government of Ethiopia. The conflict began in 1973, when Oromo nationalists established the OLF and its armed wing, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).[13]


The Oromo people are an ethnic group that mainly inhabit Ethiopia, with communities in neighbouring Kenya and Somalia as well.[14][15] They are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa; according to a 2007 census,[16] they make up about 34.5% of Ethiopia's population, and others estimate that they make up about 40% of the population.[15][17]

In 1967, the imperial regime of Haile Selassie I outlawed the Mecha and Tulama Self-Help Association (MTSHA), an Oromo social movement, and conducted mass arrests and executions of its members. The group's leader, Colonel General Tadesse Birru, who was a prominent military officer, was among those arrested.[18] The actions by the regime sparked outrage among the Oromo community, ultimately leading to the formation of the Ethiopian National Liberation Front in 1967[19] and the Oromo Liberation Front in 1973.[20]



In 1974, the Ethiopian military ousted the imperial regime and seized control of the country. The new regime promptly arrested Oromo leaders; subsequently, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was formed during a secret conference attended by Oromo leaders, including Hussein Sora and Elemo Qiltu.[19] A group of armed Oromo fighters in the Chercher Mountains were adopted as the OLF's armed wing, the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). The OLA increased its activities in the Chercher Mountains, prompting the Ethiopian regime to send its military to the region to quell the insurrection.[20]

In June 1974, General Tadesse Birru, an Oromo nationalist who had been arrested by the imperial regime in 1966 along with other high ranking military officers, escaped from house arrest and joined Oromo rebels led by Hailu Regassa in Shewa. Birru and Regassa were later captured and executed by the Derg regime.[21]

In late August 1974, an OLA unit came down from their stronghold in the Chercher Mountains and made their way closer to Gelemso, hoping that nearby fully grown crops would be able to hide them from Ethiopian soldiers as they advanced towards other nearby towns. Three of the unit's new recruits were unaccustomed to climbing long distances, so they spent the night around the bottom of the mountains, while the rest of the soldiers camped at the top.[22]

When an OLA soldier was sent to retrieve the three recruits, it was discovered that they had been killed by Ethiopian militiamen who had followed the unit to Tiro. A large group of Ethiopian policemen and militiamen surrounded the OLA position in the mountains, and the two opposing groups began to exchange gunfire. A group of Ethiopian soldiers led by General Getachew Shibeshi later arrived, and began to shell the stronghold with mortar rockets, killing most of the OLA's members, including Elemo Qiltu. The event became known as the Battle of Tiro.[22] Contingents of the OLA continued to fight the regime after the battle and later gained a massive influx of recruits and volunteers after the Derg regime executed Tadesse Birru and Hailu Regassa.[21]

In 1976, the OLF established a stronghold in the Chercher Mountains and began reorganizing itself.[19][20][23] A congress was created by Oromo leaders, which revised the 1973 OLF Political Program and issued a new detailed program. The program called for the "total liberation of the Oromo nation from Ethiopian colonialism". The conference is now known as the Founding Congress, and marked the beginning of modern Oromo nationalism.[19]


In the 1980s, the OLF estimated that they had over 10,000 soldiers. They were poorly equipped in comparison to other rebel groups in Ethiopia at the time, such as the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF).[23] The OLF also opened an office in Sudan in the 1980s, after its office in Somalia was closed down.[19]

During the 1980s, the government of Ethiopia was accused of using scorched earth tactics, such as burning down entire villages and massacring inhabitants. The OLF also lost several prominent members due to government ambushes and heavy fire; the secretary general of the OLF at the time, Galassa Dilbo, was nearly killed in one such ambush.[23]


In the early 1990s, the Ethiopian Democratic People's Republic began to lose its control over Ethiopia. The OLF failed to maintain strong alliances with the other two big rebel groups at the time; the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) and the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF).[19][23] In 1990, the TPLF created an umbrella organization for several rebel groups in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The EPRDF's Oromo subordinate, the Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO) was seen as an attempted replacement for the OLF.[24]

In 1991, the EPRDF seized power and established a transitional government. The EPRDF and the OLF pledged to work together in the new government; however, they were largely unable to cooperate, as the OLF saw the OPDO as an EPRDF ploy to limit their influence.[19] In 1992, the OLF announced that it was withdrawing from the transitional government because of "harassment and [the]assassinations of its members". In response, the EPRDF sent soldiers to destroy OLA camps.[24] Despite initial victories against the EPRDF, the OLF were eventually overwhelmed by the EPRDF's superior numbers and weaponry, forcing OLA soldiers to use guerrilla warfare instead of traditional tactics.[25]

In the late 1990s, most of the OLF's leaders had escaped Ethiopia, and the land originally administer by the OLF had been seized by the Ethiopian government, now led by the EPRDF.[26]


002 Oromo Liberation Front rebels
OLF forces retreat into Kenya, February 3, 2006

After the Eritrean–Ethiopian War, the OLF moved its leadership and headquarters to Eritrea. The OLA allegedly began receiving military training and arms from the Eritrean government.[27] On 25 July 2000, OLF and IFLO signed a peace agreement after five days of negotiations, thus ending 20 years of inter-factional fighting.[28] In 2004, the Gambela Region-based Ethiopian Unity Patriots Front (EUPF) rebel group launched forays into Oromia with the help of Eritrea. These raids were only limited in scope, however, as the EUPF had no popular support among the Oromo people, despite having some Oromo members.[1]

In 2006, the OLA in southern Oromia retreated into Kenya in an attempt to regroup. That same year, Brigadier General Kemel Gelchu of the Ethiopian military took 100 of his soldiers and joined the OLF in Eritrea.[29] Despite initially aiding the OLF as leader of its military wing, in 2008, General Kemel Gelchu took matters into his own hands and announced that the OLF would lay down its weapons and abandon its previous goal of seceding Oromia and instead work as a political party to democratize Ethiopia.[30] Along with this announcement, he commanded OLF soldiers in south Oromia to lay down their weapons and surrender to the government.[31]

On 30 May 2015, various media outlets reported that the OLF had attacked a federal police station in the Ethiopian side of Moyale town killing 12 Ethiopian soldiers.[32][33] This occurred weeks after Ethiopian forces swarmed across the Kenyan border and began absuing locals of Sololo town looking for OLF troops. These forces later responded to the attack by launching an attack on Moyale District Hospital and killing one guard.[34]

A roadside bomb struck a minibus traveling through a village in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region on 18 December 2018, killing ten civilians and injuring one. The police blamed the attack on the Oromo Liberation Front.[35][36]


  1. ^ a b WRITENET (2004), p. 8.
  2. ^ Iaccino, Ludovica (26 February 2016). "Ethiopia claims Eritrea behind Oromo protests but activists warn against 'state propaganda'". International Business Times UK.
  3. ^ "Ethiopia Alleges Oromo Protesters Receiving Support From Egypt". Bloomberg. 10 October 2016.
  4. ^ Shaban, Abdur Rahman Alfa (7 August 2018). "Ethiopia govt agrees peace deal with Eritrea-based 'ex-terror' group | Africanews". Africanews. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Ethiopia Military Strength". Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  6. ^ Schmid & Jongman, 2005: 538-539.
  7. ^ a b Gérard Prunier. "Armed Movements in Sudan, Chad, CAR, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia". ZIF Analysis. Addis Ababa, febrero de 2008, pp. 13-14.
  8. ^ a b Østebø, 2011: 289
  9. ^ Koonings, 2002: 259; Marcus, 2002: 235
  10. ^ "Country report and updates Ethiopia". War Resisters' International. Entre 1974 y 1990 murieron 300 000 soldados etíopes y 230 000 entre enero y mayo de 1991.
  11. ^ David H. Shin (2009). Ethiopian Armed Groups since World War II. Garmisch: George Washington University Press
  12. ^ "UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia: Ethiopia". Uppsala Conflict Data Program. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  13. ^ Triulzi, Alessandro (1996). Being and Becoming Oromo. Sweden: Gotab. ISBN 91-7106-379-X.
  14. ^ Merriam-Webster Inc, Frederick C. Mish, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, (Merriam-Webster: 2003), p.876
  15. ^ a b Ta'a, Tesema (2006). The Political Economy of an African Society in Transformation. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 17. ISBN 978-3-447-05419-5. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  16. ^ Central Statistical Agency (2008), "TABEL [sic] 5: Population size of Regions by Nations/Nationalities (ethnic group) and Place of Residence: 2007", Census 2007 (PDF), Addis Ababa: Central Statistical Agency, p. 16, Table 2.2, archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-27
  17. ^ Anthony Appiah; Henry Louis Gates (2010). Encyclopedia of Africa. Oxford University Press. p. 433. ISBN 978-0-19-533770-9.
  18. ^ Adejumobi, Saheed (2007). History of Ethiopia. United States of America: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 112. ISBN 0-313-32273-2.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g "The Birth of the Oromo Liberation Front".
  20. ^ a b c "Insurrection and invasion in the southeast, 1963-78" (PDF).
  21. ^ a b "ARREST OF OROMO INSURGENT LEADERS". Wikileaks. 1975-03-14.
  22. ^ a b "2004 Interview with Dhugassa Bakako, survivor of the Battle of Tiro". 2004.
  23. ^ a b c d Evil Days: 30 Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia. United States of America: Africa Watch. 1991. ISBN 1-56432-038-3.
  24. ^ a b "Interview with Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front".
  25. ^ "Chronology for Oromo in Ethiopia".
  26. ^ "Genocide against the Oromo people of Ethiopia?".
  27. ^ "Statement of the OLF regarding new faction" (PDF). OLF.
  28. ^ "Oromo groups agree a common front". IRIN. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  29. ^ "Ethiopian commander joins rebels". BBC. 10 August 2006.
  30. ^ "Kemal Gelchu's faction of OLF clarifies position on Ethiopian Unity". Ethiopian Review. January 2, 2012.
  31. ^ "As separatists in Ethiopia disarm, a new chapter for D.C.'s Oromo community". Washington Post. April 1, 2012.
  32. ^ "OMN/SBO - Gootichi WBO Zoonii Kibbaa Mooraa Waraana Wayyaanee Magaalaa Moyyaalee Haleeluun 17 Ol Hojiin Ala Gochuun Injifannoo Galmeesse". Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  33. ^ "OMN: Amharic News May 30, 2015". Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  34. ^ "Guard killed as Ethiopian fighters storm border post". Standard Digital News. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
  35. ^ "Bomb explosion kills 10 in Ethiopia". www.theeastafrican.co.ke. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  36. ^ "Ten killed in Ethiopian blast". www.news24.com. Retrieved 2018-12-18.

Works cited

ASEAN Declaration

The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.

Arms race

An arms race occurs when two or more nations participate in interactive or competitive increases in "persons under arms" as well as "war material". Simply defined as a competition between two or more states to have superior armed forces; a competition concerning production of weapons, the growth of a military, and the aim of superior military technology.

The term is also used to describe any long-term escalating competitive situation where each competitor focuses on out-doing the others.

An evolutionary arms race is a system where two populations are evolving in order to continuously one-up members of the other population. This concept is related to the Red Queen's Hypothesis, where two organisms co-evolve to overcome each other but each fails to progress relative to the other interactant.

In technology, there are close analogues to the arms races between parasites and hosts, such as the arms race between computer virus writers and antivirus software writers, or spammers against Internet service providers and E-mail software writers.

More generically, the term is used to describe any competition where there is no absolute goal, only the relative goal of staying ahead of the other competitors in rank or knowledge. An arms race may also imply futility as the competitors spend a great deal of time and money, yet end up in the same situation as if they had never started the arms race.

Asian Relations Conference

The Asian Relations Conference took place in New Delhi in March-April 1947. It was hosted by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who then headed a provisional government that was preparing for India's Independence, which came on 15 August 1947. The Asian Relations Conference brought together many leaders of the independence movements in Asia, and represented a first attempt to assert Asian unity. The objectives of the conference were "to bring together the leading men and women of Asia on a common platform to study the problems of common concern to the people of the continent, to focus attention on social, economic and cultural problems of the different countries of Asia, and to foster mutual contact and understanding."

In his writings and speeches, Nehru had laid great emphasis on the manner in which post-colonial India would rebuild its Asia connections. At this conference Nehru declared: "... Asia is again finding herself ... one of the notable consequences of the European domination of Asia has been the isolation of the countries of Asia from one another. ... Today this isolation is breaking down because of many reasons, political and otherwise ... This Conference is significant as an expression of that deeper urge of the mind and spirit of Asia which has persisted ... In this Conference and in this work there are no leaders and no followers. All countries of Asia have to meet together in a common task ..."

Conflicts in the Horn of Africa

Since the 17th Century BCE, conflicts have been occurring in the Horn of Africa. This is a list of conflicts in the Horn of Africa, which includes the nations of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Die Wende

Die Wende (German pronunciation: [diː ˈvɛndə], "The Turn" or "The Turnaround") is a German term that has come to signify the complete process of change from the rule of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and a centrally planned economy to the revival of parliamentary democracy and a market economy in the German Democratic Republic (also known as East Germany or the GDR) around 1989 and 1990. It encompasses several processes and events which later have become synonymous with the overall process. These processes and events are:

the Peaceful Revolution during the presidency of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, a time of massive protest and demonstrations (Montagsdemonstrationen – "Monday demonstrations" and Alexanderplatz demonstration) against the political system of the GDR and for civil and human rights in late 1989.

the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 following a press conference held by the Politbüro during which Günter Schabowski announced the introduction of unconditional travelling permissions, which was very unusual after four decades of severe travelling restrictions and intended to tone down the protesters but instead because of Schabowski's unclear and ambiguous wording led to an onrush of people willing to leave the country and the accidental opening of the border checkpoints at the same night.

the transition to democracy in East Germany following the Peaceful Revolution, leading to the only truly democratic elections to the Volkskammer of the GDR on 18 March 1990.

the process of German reunification leading to the Einigungsvertrag (Treaty of Unification) on 31 August 1990, the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany on 12 September 1990 and finally the joining of the five re-established East German Länder to the Federal Republic of Germany.In hindsight, the German word Wende (meaning "The Turn") then took on a new meaning; the phrase seit der Wende, literally "since the change", means "since reunification" or "since the Wall fell". This period is marked by West German aid to East Germany, a total reaching an estimated $775 billion over 10 years. To some extent, Germany is still in the midst of the Nachwendezeit (post-Wende period): differences between East and West still exist, and a process of "inner reunification" is not yet finished.

This fundamental change has marked the reunification of Germany. The term was first used publicly in East Germany on 18 October 1989 in a speech by interim GDR leader Egon Krenz (the term having been used on the cover of influential West German news magazine Der Spiegel two days previously). Whilst it initially referred to the end of the old East German government, die Wende has become synonymous with the fall of the Wall and of East Germany, and indeed of the entire Iron Curtain and Eastern Bloc state socialism.

Eisenhower Doctrine

The Eisenhower Doctrine was a policy enunciated by Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 5, 1957, within a "Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East". Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression. Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism". The phrase "international communism" made the doctrine much broader than simply responding to Soviet military action. A danger that could be linked to communists of any nation could conceivably invoke the doctrine.

Exercise Verity

Exercise Verity was the only major training exercise of the Western Union (WU). Undertaken in July 1949, it involved 60 warships from the British, French, Belgian and Dutch navies. A contemporary newsreel described this exercise as involving "the greatest assembly of warships since the Battle of Jutland."

Frozen conflict

In international relations, a frozen conflict is a situation in which active armed conflict has been brought to an end, but no peace treaty or other political framework resolves the conflict to the satisfaction of the combatants. Therefore, legally the conflict can start again at any moment, creating an environment of insecurity and instability.

The term has been commonly used for post-Soviet conflicts, but it has also often been applied to other perennial territorial disputes. The de facto situation that emerges may match the de jure position asserted by one party to the conflict; for example, Russia claims and effectively controls Crimea following the 2014 Crimean crisis despite Ukraine's continuing claim to the region. Alternatively, the de facto situation may not match either side's official claim. The division of Korea is an example of the latter situation: both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea officially assert claims to the entire peninsula; however, there exists a well-defined border between the two countries' areas of control.

Frozen conflicts sometimes result in partially recognized states. For example, the Republic of South Ossetia, a product of the frozen Georgian–Ossetian conflict, is recognized by eight other states, including five UN members; the other three of these entities are partially recognized states themselves.


In the Russian language the word Glasnost (; Russian: гла́сность, IPA: [ˈɡɫasnəsʲtʲ] (listen)) has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century.In the Russian Empire of the late-19th century, the term was particularly associated with reforms of the judicial system, ensuring that the press and the public could attend court hearings and that the sentence was read out in public. In the mid-1980s, it was popularised by Mikhail Gorbachev as a political slogan for increased government transparency in the Soviet Union.

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.


Hoxhaism is a variant of anti-revisionist Marxism–Leninism that developed in the late 1970s due to a split in the Maoist movement, appearing after the ideological dispute between the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labour of Albania in 1978. The ideology is named after Enver Hoxha, a notable Albanian communist leader.

Jamaican political conflict

The Jamaican political conflict is a long standing feud between right-wing and left-wing elements in the country, often exploding into violence. The Jamaican Labor Party and the People's National Party have fought for control of the island for years and the rivalry has encouraged urban warfare in Kingston. Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to been backed by the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro.

Johnson Doctrine

The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.

NDF Rebellion

The NDF Rebellion was an uprising in the Yemen Arab Republic by the National Democratic Front, under Yahya Shami, between 1978 and 1982.

Nixon Doctrine

The Nixon Doctrine, also known as the Guam Doctrine, was put forth during a press conference in Guam on July 25, 1969 by President of the United States Richard Nixon and later formalized in his speech on Vietnamization of the Vietnam War on November 3, 1969. According to Gregg Brazinsky, author of "Nation Building in South Korea: Koreans, Americans, and the Making of a Democracy", Nixon stated that "the United States would assist in the defense and developments of allies and friends", but would not "undertake all the defense of the free nations of the world." This doctrine meant that each ally nation was in charge of its own security in general, but the United States would act as a nuclear umbrella when requested. The Doctrine argued for the pursuit of peace through a partnership with American allies.


Titoism is described as the post-World War II policies and practices associated with Josip Broz Tito during the Cold War, characterized by an opposition to the Soviet Union.It usually represents Tito's Yugoslav doctrine in Cold War international politics. It emerged with the Yugoslav Partisans' liberation of Yugoslavia independently of, or without much help from, the Red Army, resulting in Yugoslavia being the only Eastern European country to remain "socialist, but independent" after World War II as well as resisting Soviet Union pressure to become a member of the Warsaw Pact.

Today, Titoism is also used to refer to Yugo-nostalgia, a longing for reestablishment or revival of Yugoslavism or Yugoslavia by the citizens of Yugoslavia's successor states.

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

Western Bloc

The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".

Post-1960 conflicts
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West Africa
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