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Oromia the home of Gadaa System

Ambassador Suleyman Daddafoo: Bara 1992 akkaataa EPRDF ABO dhiibee biyya baase. የቡዳ መድኃኒት በጀርመን ፍራንክፈርት:: OMN: Gaafii fi deebii Obbo Galaasaa Dilboo HD-ABO VOA: Hidhaa fi Dararaa waggaa kudhiif maatii irrra ga'e.

One of the influential figures in the Oromo struggle for freedom before and after the formation of OLF.

Posted 12/28/2018

Demissie K Serda was a chairperson of Ethiopian Agricultural and Industrial Labour Union, was tortured in Derg prison, languished for 12 years in jail and 
OLF representatives during the Transitional Charter Conference.Demissie K Serda was a chairperson of Ethiopian Agricultural and Industrial Labour Union, was tortured in Derg prison, languished for 12 years in jail and OLF representatives during the Transitional Charter Conference.Tullu Liban

Reports have it that a team of senior OLF gurus led by Obbo Gelasa Dilbo will be arriving in Finfinnee on December 29, 2018. In the team are great personalities like Obb Ibsa Gutema, Obbo Demissie Kebede Serda and Obbo Mulugeta Mosisa among others. These are influential figures in the Oromo struggle for freedom before and after the formation of OLF.
I would like at this juncture to take the liberty of saying few words about Demissie Kebede Serda whom I know very well in person, give due respect for his selfless contributions to the cause of the Oromo people and admire as a role model. Demissie is going home after 27 years in exile, though he has never been detached from his people in sprite and deeds for such a long time. 

Obbo Demissie Kebede Serda, is the son of Ade’a Oromo, born in Ade’a Berga area around Holota town, some 40 km away in the rural village of Oromia. His resistance struggle for the Oromo people stems from the protest his grandfather, his father and his uncles made against the Neftegna system in the Ethiopian empire. 

During the reign of Menilk II when the Oromo people were defeated by the Abyssinian kingdom of Shewa, Oromo land was confiscated and settlers from the concrors were appointed to every village of the Oromo community. Mr. Serda who was very bitter about this injustice protested against the actions of the occupying forces. He took the case to Minelik II court representing his community as a lawyer. He argued firmly in Menilik's court against the confiscation of Oromo land, though in vain. Because of his aggressive move, he was banned from entering Menilk's palace and other preveleges. Serda tried to grab the opportunity to get back his ancestral land during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1936. There happened a serious debate in the community whether whether to support the Neftegna rulers to fight the Italians or to abstain from participating in the war or frighting both simultinosly. 

Serda, though aged, was serious that they rather should first fight the Neftegnas who deprived them of any dignity and impoverished the Oromo to death and next defend their land from the Italians. He argued that he should never rally behind those who devastated the entire life of his people and that he should get rid of them first in order to chase the Italians away. He organized a group that would fight the rulers who reduced the Oromo people to serfdom until the next occupants arrive so that Oromos would select their own leaders to resist the newly occupying European force. However, he was betrayed and ambushed. As a consequence more than 30 people died from both (Serda side and his opponents). Later the grudge between Seda’s clan and his opponents mounted to the extent that led to continued fight. As this became tense three of Seda’s sons including Demissie’s father were ambushed in another clash. The three brothers were buried in same grave on a single day, properties were lotted and villages were destroyed. The widow of Kebede, Demissies’ mom, the cousin of Feyisa Ejeta, (an Oromo freedom icon and scholar who was killed by the Derg) was forced to flee her husband’s place with her children, including Demisse. She moved to Badii, her birth place around Shegar and reared her children under serious difficulties. 

Demisse went to an elementary school in Holota. Then he moved to Finfinnee and completed his high school education. While he was in the high school he frequently attended Maccaa and Tulamaa Association gatherings and he was groomed with Oromo self-consciousness as a result. He always admired General Taddese Biru and Colonel Alemu Qitessa who were his mentors. When the government cracked down on Maccaa and Tulamaa Association, Oromo youth of those days who saw there was no alternative for the Oromo people than a political solution, formed an OLF and Demissie was one of them.

Demissie joined the industrial sector as a worker and became the chairperson of Ethiopian Agricultural and Industrial Labour Union, which had 150,000 members. When the Ethiopian Trade Union was formed at a national level Demissie became vice president of the Union. He exploited the opportunity to organize clandestine OLF cells in the Trade Union, chairing one of the cell committees in the trade sector.

However, he and his comrades were identified by the Derg secretive services and jailed in January 1980. Demissie was tortured in prison, languished for almost 12 years in jail. His comarades like Muhe Abdo and Gezehagn Kebede were killed after serving 8 years in prision and suffering unbearable torture with Demissie. Demissie and his colleagues, including Mulugeta Mosisa and his wife were on death row if not Derg was collapsed. Demissie and Mulugeta were released in 1991 two days after dictator Mengistu Hailenariam fled the country. Immediately after his, release Demissie went back to Oromo political business even without visiting his aging mom. He became one of OLF representatives during the Transitional Charter Conference. During the formation of a transitional government he became a member of the parliament occupying one of the 12 seats taken by OLF and was OLF CC member during that period. When OLF withdrew from the Transitional government Demisse was abroad for medical treatment because of the complexities he sustained in the Derg torture chamber. He moved to Canada from the Netherlands and he has devoted all his life to Oromo struggle up to now. He is one of the icons who is in the forefront for Oromo refugees and Oromo issues in the community in North America."

Related: ABO magaala Jalduu, bara 1991.