The following is a statement from the Oromo Dialogue Forum (ODF).
We are greatly saddened by the death in exile of Jarra Abba Gada (Abdulkarim Ibrahim), one of the trailblazers in the Oromo people's struggle for freedom. Jarra was the bravest of the brave. He took up arms to fight the Ethiopian rulers who continued to subjugate Oromia and oppress its people. In his young age, he found it unacceptable to tolerate the oppression, exploitation, and abuse of the Oromo people in the hands of successive Ethiopian rulers. Deciding to give up everything in life for the sake of liberating the Oromo people, the young Jarra joined the Bale resistance and later helped found the Oromo Liberation Army.
Jarra was the first Oromo nationalist in the OLF to alert and educate Oromo leaders and nationalists on the sinister schemes and the danger the Somali regime of Siad Barre posed against our people and land. He languished for five years in Somali prison for refusing to succumb to Siyad Bare’s ambition of gobbling up Oromo territory to aggrangize his Great Somalia Republic. He was uncompromsing when it came to the legitimate rights of the Oromo people. Moreover, Jarra consistently resisted and opposed foreign meddling in Oromo affairs.
It is a travesty that such a giant national hero could not die among the people he so loved and could not be laid to rest on the land he fought to liberate.
As we witness the pioneers of the 1960s and 1970s Oromo nationalist movement, Hussein Sura, General Waqo Gutu, Adam Jilo, and Sisay Ibsa, passing away one after the other in exile without seeing the freedom of their beloved people and the liberation of their cherished homeland, need to dedicate ourselves to redouble our efforts to realize the aims for which they died.
As we pay tribute to our fallen hero and extend our sympathy to his family and our entire Oromo people in this occasion of losing a great nationalist leader, we declare our determination to reversing the paralysis and invigorating our just struggle with the dynamism and innovation the time and situation demands.
May Allah keep your soul in eternity!
Oromo Dialogue Forum (ODF)