Sep 11, 2013

Oromo: OSA Engages In Establishment Of Media Organisation

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Non-profit, US-based Oromo Studies Association (OSA) has issued a statement in which it engages to form a committee in order to facilitate the establishment of an Oromo Media Organisation, which could shed light on the suffering and injustices faced by the Oromo.

Below is the statement by the Oromo Studies Association:

Dear Oromo People,

Dear OSA Members,

Dear Members of the Oromo Free Press,

Dear Friends of the Oromo People,

It is to be recalled that members of the Oromo Studies Association and participants of the various OSA conferences have been asking for OSA leadership’s active role in promoting Oromo interests, facilitating discussions among the various actors and stakeholders of the Oromo social, political, economic, and religious organizations. OSA and its leadership has been striving to achieve their objectives through reasonable means.

The Oromo people in Ethiopia are politically and economically marginalized, dehumanized, and became second-class citizens in their own home country. The suffering and injustices faced by the Oromo is largely hidden away from the international media. The Oromo voices need to be heard. The Oromo people need media that could educate, enlighten and empower through provision of timely, balanced and unbiased information. There have been efforts made by few prominent Oromo personalities and interest groups to establish Oromo-centric media. However, these efforts are being made in a piecemeal fashion and lack a broad-based, all inclusive and non-partisan approach. The Oromo people in Diaspora and back home in Oromiya need a media organization that is capable of launching a competitive news network that sustains its objectives against all the odds. It is with this objective in mind and rational that we call for actors and stakeholders, who have best Oromo interests at heart, to come together unconditionally and form a public media organization. Any efforts otherwise shall compromise the momentum which exists today among the Oromo in Diaspora to have vibrant and viable media that puts Oromummaa and Oromo interests first.

Whereas, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary organization established to promote and foster studies on the history, economy, culture, health, education, politics and laws of the Oromo people;

Whereas, in the era of information technology, all-inclusive, sustainable, strong pan-Oromo media is necessary to report fundamental freedom and human rights violations committed on our people, to promote our rich cultural heritage, and to direct the consensus of our people towards a common goal;

Whereas, it is necessary to support, and to bring together, those individuals motivated by a passion of Oromummaa to create a voice for the Oromo people in different corners of the world;

Whereas, OSA is at a special position to facilitate discussion among various groups running various media that need to be unified to establish the strong pan-Oromo media;

Whereas, OSA is mandated to promote interaction and mutual understanding among Oromo, who encounter common issues of concern;

Now, therefore, OSA has decided to establish the following ad-hoc committee of eight persons comprising of former OSA presidents, prominent elders and scholars.

1. Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa, Former OSA President
2. Dr. Hamza Abdurezak, Former OSA President
3. Dr. Mosissa Aga, Former OSA President
4. Dr. Sentayehu Bedane
5. Obbo Abdalla Sule
6. Obbo Mamma Argo
7. Aadde Asli Oromo
8. Obbo Kadiro Elemo

I ask the Oromo in Diaspora, all actors, stakeholders and interest groups to provide all the necessary support to this committee to realize its objective of helping to establish an Oromo-centric Media Organization.

We serve and work to empower the Oromo!

Ibrahim Amae Elemo, M.D., M.P.H
President, Oromo Studies Association