Many Ethiopians want peace

The article "Tribe Boycotts Ethiopian Vote," June 19, over simplifies the issues concerning the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). It says, "Much of the problem lies in the confusion among Oromos themselves about what they want, analysts say." The OLF for the last 15 years, and the Oromo people for a 100 years, have made known what they want: freedom.

One week later, the article "Ethiopia's Ruling Ethnic Coalition Is Shaken After Vote," June 26, blames the OLF for continued tensions and says nothing about the number of violations by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). It does not mention the slaughter of Oromo demonstrators in Watar by the EPRDF, or even hint that the OLF was supposed to be a partner with a valid voice in the coalition government.

The assertion that the head of the EPRDF, Meles Zenawi, on his own volition recognized "Ethiopia's ethnic diversity" and "established a transitional coalition government," is misleading. Mr. Zenawi has no more respect for the peoples of the south than any of his predecessors did.

The Oromo people do not want war. They have suffered enough war and destruction. Rather, the OLF has repeatedly expressed its preference to resolve these conflicts politically.

Unfortunately, those who thrive on violence take such gestures as timidity and weakness. No struggle for freedom is fought and won because of military balance but in spite of it. Teferi Fufa, Minneapolis

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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