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Oromia-Ethiopia: The Current Banning of the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association

Posted: Onkoloolessa/October 29, 2011 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com | Comments (8)

The following is a press release from the Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA, Inc. on the banning of the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association (MTSHA).

The Current Banning of the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association
Continuing the repressive colonial policies of the regimes of Haile-Selassie and Mengistu Haile-Mariam, and violating international and its own laws, the Meles Zenawi government banned the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association (MTSHA) on October 14, 2011. The parent of almost all Oromo organizations and associations, the MTSHA was formed on January 22, 1963 by prominent Oromo professionals, who were committed to reduce or eliminate some socio-economic ills, such as poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, and diseases by promoting self-reliant social, economic and cultural development of their people and other oppressed peoples in the Ethiopian Empire. Realizing the potential and accepting the motto of this association, more than three million Oromos and others joined the association within four years. Recognizing that the association was attracting millions of members, and hating and opposing the objectives of the association, the racist Haile-Selassie government banned the MTSHA on December 28, 1967, and imprisoned, tortured, and hanged or assassinated its famous leaders. The replacement of the Haile-Selassie government by that of Mengistu Haile-Mariam in 1974 did not allow the Oromo leaders to recreate this civic association.

The efforts of the Oromo national struggle and the overthrow of the Amhara-led military government of Mengistu Haile-Mariam in 1991 by the Oromo, Eritrean and Tigrayan liberation fronts enabled some Oromo civic leaders to initiate the rebirth of the MTSHA in the early 1990s. As the MTSHA reopened its office in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) on August 12, 1993, because of its fame and objectives, it attracted the brightest elements from all sectors of Oromo society and started to articulate the interest of the Oromo and other oppressed peoples. In 2004, the government of Meles Zenawi transferred the capital city of Oromia from Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) to Adama in order to marginalize and increase the invisibility of the Oromo nation and to diminish the sovereignty of the Oromo people in the capital city of Finfinnee. The leaders of the association and its members opposed this unlawful and evil decision. On May 18, 2004, to muzzle the voice of MTSHA, the Zenawi government banned the association. Furthermore, on July 2, 2004, the kangaroo court of Zenawi ruled the confiscation of the property of the association by the security of the Ethiopian regime.

Members of the MTSHA took the cases of the association to the higher court, and after three years the court renewed the license of the association for three years. Consequently, on January 13, 2008, the MTSHA reopened its office and started its work in Finfinnee. Although its leaders were under persistent intimidation of the security agents of the regime until 2011, the association taught some young Oromos about Oromo history, culture, the gada system, and Oromo philosophy. Like its predecessors, the Meles regime considers teaching of Oromo history and culture as a crime that cannot be tolerated. As a result, on October 14, 2011 by letter no. 01/chsA-10, 241, the colonial regime of zenawi banned the association again in order to totally silence the voice of the Oromo nation.

The Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA, Inc. appeals to the US government, European governments, the UN, and the international community to urge the Meles Zenawi government to immediately release recently imprisoned members of the association and to retract the banning of the association.

M/Abebe G/Mariam
President of Board of Directors,
Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Cooperative Association, USA, Inc.


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  1. Kebede

    Oct 30, 11 at 11:18 am

    The rebirth of the genuine struggle!
    For 1.5 decades some of us were praising the TPLF dictatorial government for the left over gift to the multitudes of the Oromo people. All is extracted from us and least portion of the left over is given to us. We were blind folded with this, in particular some of our diaspora scholars who always open the forum with the Lencho Lata notorious topic of democratization or liberation. MTSHA was being cited as the existence of democracy in Ethiopia. Now that democracy is tested and failed which may give us the direction towards a genuine struggle to liberate Oromia. What is left now?!! Mention killing, imprisonment, property confiscation, false accusation, all are experienced by Oromos.
    After the banning of this historical self help association is there any thing else we expect from TPLF? Please the so called Oromo intellectuals living abroad open your eyes, make up your minds and force these fragmented oromo organizations to wake up. The banning is a call for all of us. Lets bring this tyranny to an end. I wish graves would open and the dead could take a moment to see how we are taking showers in their blood and breaking and grinding their bones that were broken for our liberation. Minilik’s monument is erected in Oromia yet we are burying the history of our heroes in the back yard.
    Remember how our intellectuals brought MTSHA and how we are killing it in our hands. SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Aboma

    Oct 30, 11 at 12:26 pm

    This is the time for all Oromo to come together and formulate a coordinated response to the ongoing campaign against the nation.

    However, keep in mind that the enemy always has a trap for us. We are put in a situation where our only action is a reaction; therefore, we need to choose our reaction in a way that doesn’t satisfy the enemy’s trap.

    Does it not bother you that Meles is releasing Derg officials (accused of ‘genocide’ in his home of Tigray) while detaining our Macha-Tulama leaders? Does this not sound like he’s making a friend of the Amhara camp while alienating the Oromo camp?

    That’s why I ask all Oromo to come together and formulate a coordinate response that will not put the nation in another enemy’s trap like 2004, when our unilateral reaction was nothing more an excuse for the enemy to solidify his divide-and-rule machination. On the other hand, this is not 2004 – we have twitter and Facebook now – our blood will not be spilled behind closed door. The enemy is taking a calculated risk of repeating his past trick – we should also take a calculated response with less emotions and more reasons.

  3. Jabees

    Oct 30, 11 at 1:35 pm

    Amaara says: “Ahiyaawun fertoo, dawulaawun!” I mean if you are a real concerned Oromo, why should you roar like a lion against the victim (Oromo intellectuals in Diaspora), but say no word against the victimizer (Woyane)? Or are you a wolf in a sheep skin, yet to discourage Oromo intellectuals?

    Obbo Aboma,
    as usual your comment is very constructive! I just wonder, why you refuse to give us more input from your wisdoms? Hin doqnoomiin, arjaa ta’i malee; yaada qabdu baay’isi nuu gumaachi.

  4. Tola Boru

    Oct 30, 11 at 2:21 pm

    Dear Oromo nationals (non-collaborators),
    Let us join the Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Cooperative Association, USA, Inc. and consolidate our civic movement since our political organizations have failed to carry out their missions and objectives. Let us contribute something to our movement rather than giving lip service on computers and in private avenues. People who refuse to be organized are not different from a market crowd that can be pushed on all direction during crisis. Because of the lack of an effective organization we are being ruled by people who were converted into hero by famine of the 1980s and who are introducing famine crises to Oromia to destroy our nation. If you continue to be organized, you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    Death to Tigrayan ethno-fascists and their political wives!

  5. Boruu Maal Fidaa

    Oct 30, 11 at 7:07 pm

    The day we Oromo get our freedom is the day we will all see that the Abyssinians that occupied us are a weak group. It is our own internal challenges combined with significant financial support which keeps them a float. Never in the history of Occupying nations has there been a time when an Empire nation was considered one of the poorest countries in the World.

    Another example of their weakness is targeting of Civic Organizations. You have reached the end of your reign once you target civic and non-governmental organizations. This is very much similar to the end of some Arab dictator regimes.

    This is only a consequence of marketing an image without having any true strength. On a larger scale, the former Soviet Union created this super power image that it could not sustain financially. The Soviet Union could at least say they were advanced in technology. The only thing Abyssinians claim is selling African slaves in large numbers like the story of Oromo Children who ended up at Lovedale South Africa.

    I hope we can see this sooner than later for once we do, Abyssinians will no longer control our destiny.

  6. Abba boruu

    Oct 31, 11 at 1:14 pm


  7. Kebede

    Oct 31, 11 at 5:48 pm

    Obbo Jabees,
    Thanks for the insult! You are welcome to say any abusive words as long as you are satisfied.
    With high regards


  8. rogoo

    Nov 2, 11 at 3:15 pm

    Dear all,

    I do not know what else could awaken the Oromo (my people) and what else we are waiting for.I agree with Obbo Tola Boru’s idea that we all Oromos need to wake up and join the Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Cooperative Association, USA, Inc. and consolidate our civic movement. Let us lcome together and join MT Association as a matter of urgency.

    I strongly and urgently call up on the leadership of the Mecha-Tulama Asoociation to take up this opportunity and unify the Oromo people. This is the right time to leave aside the politics within the OLF and bring all Oromos together. Pleas hold a meeting soon and let us work the way forward.Otherwise we just perishing silently.

    Expecting your positive reply,