Kemal Gelchu & Co.: “OLF” Trojan horse? Part IV

Thursday, January 19, 2012 | comments

By Observer

Continued from Part III (Read Here)

Kemal Gelchu & Co.'s Next Steps?

If you think Kemal Gelchu & Co.’s mission is limited to spying on, taking over and sabotaging the Oromo struggle led by the OLF and killing the organization, please think again. Their mission is much bigger than that. It is all part of the widely known and much talked about TPLF diaspora policy. Targeted for destruction by that policy is not only the Oromo struggle. Abyssinian (Habasha, Amhara & others) diaspora opposition groups, including Ginbot 7 (G7), are among those marked for infiltration and sabotage by various TPLF spies. Kemal Gelchu & Co. is but one such group deployed by TPLF.

The overall goal is to have diaspora opposition groups and liberation fronts silenced and surrender to TPLF where possible or saw discord among them to disrupt and frustrate their activities.

To that end, the Oromo struggle was chosen both as an end and a means - as an end, in that the effort targets the Oromo struggle for destruction; as a means, in that the effort includes using the Oromo struggle as a gateway to Abyssinian opposition groups marked for infiltration. The plan, which Kemal Gelchu & Co. is entrusted with executing, is killing two birds with one stone. The two birds are the OLF & diaspora Abyssinian opposition groups; the proverbial single stone to be used to kill both of them would be the OLF political program.


If there is one thing Abyssinians (Habashas) hate even more than they hate the TPLF, it is the OLF political program which calls for Oromo self-determination with the option of forming an independent state of Oromioa. This is a fact beyond dispute. For the Habasha, to defeat TPLF only to lose Oromia, the most fertile and richest part of the empire, would be to win the battle but lose the war. This is something no Habasha is willing to contemplate much less accept or compromise on. One way in which the Habshaa believe they would be able to achieve both of their objectives (defeating TPLF and keeping Oromia under the yoke of colonialism) would be to have the Oromo drop their demand for self-determination, and statehood, and join them in the struggle to depose TPLF from the Imperial throne.

TPLF is keenly aware of this state of affairs just as we all are. Of course, it is working hard to infiltrate Abyssinian diaspora opposition groups directly as well. But, that is a pretty obvious strategy which the Abyssinians are aware of and are vigilantly guarding against. An even better strategy, however, would be to blindside them. The Abyssinian blindside, in this case, would be their obsession with having the Oromo drop their demand for self-determination. Any Oromo group willing to offer them “unity and sovereignty of Ethiopia” would be invited to alliances and even mergers. Within the country, MEDREK – which now includes Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) and Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDN) - is a case in point. Abyssinian diaspora organizations have not been as lucky. Having searched for such a group in the diaspora for many years to no avail, they think they have found one now. They are now beating the drum for Kemal Gelchu & Co – the Trojan horse approaching them with the promise of “unity and sovereignty of Ethiopia”. Little do they know that they are dancing to TPLF tune.

Making predictions is always hazardous. It would have been nice to have a crystal ball in which to look and see the future. Having no such tool at my disposal, what follows is not a set-in-stone declaration of what will happen-- but rather what very well could happen based on Kemal Gelchu & Co.’s journey thus far as well as current trends. With that disclaimer, I will be looking out for the following scenarios to materialize in the near future.

Having promised everything Ginbot 7 &. Co. would like to hear, including acceptance of a federal Ethiopia, Kemal Gelchu & Co. would propose some sort of alliance or a merger. It would be difficult for Ginbot 7 to turn down such a proposal for a couple of reasons. First, Kemal Gelchu & Co. has declared that the Oromo have no demand or question different and separate from that of other Abyssinians. That is exactly what Ginbot 7 has been preaching to whoever cared to listen. They have also accepted a struggle for “a functional and vibrant federal political structure” which Ginbot 7’s political program calls for. What reason would there be for Ginbot 7 to refuse a merger? Secondly, as an aspiring “multi-ethnic” organization, Ginbot 7 would love to have as many Oromos as possible associated with it to get a foot hold in Oromia which it is currently lacking. Why would Ginbot 7 not take this opportunity to extend its activities into Oromia region?

Before such a merger can take place, however, Kemal Gelchu & Co. would insist on the future merged organization renouncing raising arms to achieve a political end and declaring “non-violence” as its method of struggle. This is necessary because Ginbot 7 has not done so explicitly. In fact, it refused to disavow raising arms in its political program by “emphasiz[ing] that “peaceful struggle” works in a society where the government respects the rights of its citizens to dissent.” No one can tell if Kemal Gelchu & Co. will succeed in this endeavor but given that Ginbot 7 is currently not engaged in one any way, it would not be farfetched to opine Ginbot 7 may be open to the idea.

If they succeed, such a merger would give them opportunity to do more harm to the opposition group by spying for TPLF and sabotaging the merged organization’s work from within. Claiming representation for the Oromo people, they would occupy high leadership positions from where they can influence decisions detrimental to the organization and beneficial to TPLF. From such positions, they would gather information on the organization’s plans and activities to be transmitted to TPLF.

At the same time, they would argue that “peaceful” struggle cannot be waged from afar and would work hard on convincing the merged organization to return home to lead the struggle from inside the country. The only way to do so would be to negotiate their return with TPLF who would provide them with a face saving concession which Kemal Gelchu & Co. – now part of the merged organization leadership - would accept after some feigned negotiations effort.

If other members of the leadership of the merged organization formerly from G7 agree with the concession and decide to head home, then, this would be Kemal Gelchu & Co.’s ticket back home to a hero’s welcome from TPLF. Otherwise, this would lead to a split of the merged organization along Oromo/Abyssinia line enabling Kemal Gelchu & Co. to continue to cause confusion and turmoil in diaspora opposition organizations until such time that they are exposed and “defect” back to TPLF.

Ginbot 7 would be well advised to beware of TPLF agents bearing the promise of “unity and sovereignty of Ethiopia”!


Having failed to succeed in recruiting from within the OLF and having failed to convince any faction of the OLF to join its government, TPLF had to come up with a crafty plot similar to what the Greeks did to defeat Trojans. It recruited Kemal Gelchu & Co. to infiltrate the OLF, take it over and wreak havoc among diaspora opposition groups.

As anyone with the slightest understanding of politics can see, it does not make sense for generals who purportedly left the employ of TPLF to challenge it by force to disband their army, renounce armed struggle before they fire their first bullet and adopt “peaceful struggle.” Nor does it make sense for their much loved and respected political organization to alter its political program which gained them public love and support and adopt one that is shown to have been rejected by the nation they claim to work for. On top of that, those who execute these changes are new comers to the organization – to the OLF. Where were they before joining this organization whose program and strategy they are changing? They were working for the enemy – the TPLF. Only an enemy agent would do what Kemal Gelchu & Co. did with the “OLF” faction they claim to lead. Only a Trojan horse would do such a thing!

The Eritrean government is aware of Kemal Gelchu & Co.’s mission from TPLF. However, as is common practice in the intelligence world, it is using the enemy agents for its own ends (more on this at a later date) while monitoring and controlling their activities. Kemal Gelchu & Co.’s request for travel permits outside Eritrea has been consistently turned down by the Eritrean government regardless of the purported purpose for travel request. Even within Eritrea, their movement is very much restricted. Since their arrival, they have been under special surveillance 24 hours a day and are followed everywhere by Eritrean HUMINT agents. Their communication with everyone and anyone, inside and outside Eritrea, is being monitored and reported every day. That is how the Eritreans found out the plot (in or around 2007) by Kemal Gelchu and diaspora supporters to force out Dawud Ibsaa and alerted the later who was able to thwart the plot easily. Even every interview Kemal Gelchu & Co. give is scrutinized by Eritrean intelligence officers for code words or code phrases meant to convey messages to TPLF.

Eritreans are very vigilant against infiltration. Are we, Oromos?

Will Kemal Gelchu & Co., "OLF" Trojan Horse, accomplish its mission and go back to TPLF to a hero’s welcome? That is their plan but only time will tell!

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