Home > In the news > Former regional chief said to have fled the country

Former regional chief said to have fled the country

The former Gambela regional state chief and the current federal affairs state minister, Omot Obang fled the country, it was reported. Omot is said to have left the country and he told friends that he would not be returning to Ethiopia, even though he hasn’t made public statement yet.Sources suggest Omot took refuge in Manila, Philippines.
Omot, ethnic-Anuak, who studied law at the Ethiopian Civil Service University, served as president of Gambela state in western part of the country for 13 years until he was replaced by Gatluak Tut Koat, ethnic-Newer.He led the region’s ruling party – Gambella Peoples’ Democratic Movement (GPDM) – from September 2005 until he left the party in 2012.
Omot has been named by human rights groups as a key architect of a genocide against the Anuak tribe.He was accused of being involved in December 13, 2003 massacre by government troops of more than 400 people.The former high-ranking Ethiopian politician denies the charges which he says are false, illogical and he says he is the victim of a smear campaign.
In April 2013, Prime Minister Hailemarim Desalegn dismissed him as part of a government reshuffle and then brought him to the capital, as the state minister for federal affairs in a controversial appointment.
Government officials this week admitted they have lost contact with Omot since he traveled abroad, supposedly on personal business. Federal affairs minister Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam said he had not managed to speak to Omot since last week and he said he had not notified the ministry of his resignation and did not follow up on his duties.
Omot has generally kept a low profile since he was sacked from his presidency of the region last year after he was evaluated and scrutinized for a week.
Gambella has a population of 300,000, mainly indigenous Anuak and Nuer. The Nuer are pastoralists moving with the cattle and the Anuak fish and grow crops as the flood waters recede. The low-lying region bordering Sudan is remote, politically charged and prone to drought and flooding. The government’s program to lease large tracts of land for agricultural investors in Gambella has at times been faced with violent opposition in the region.
In related news, the new president of the Gambela region, Gatluak Tut Koat announced that his administration is working with the different nationalities of the region against the widespread tendencies of stereotypes, competition, and mistrust which he said to be a feature of relations at the local level. He said he is trying to bring government closer to the people and distribute resources in a fair manner.
Gatluak, who was Omot’s deputy, becoming president of the region after his departure, said things are getting back to normal and Ethiopian refugees living in South Sudan are returning.
“Nine foreign and 350 local companies are investing in our region. They are growing food on the previously unutilized land. The farm investment is done in a win-win situation and people are benefiting from this investment,” he said.
The new president faces a daunting agenda: how to improve security in the region, whether to allow companies to buy more farm land, and how to accelerate the reconciliation process in the aftermath of the Nuer and Agnuak conflict.
Graduating from the Ethiopian Civil Service College in 2003 in advanced diploma and from Jimma University in law, Gatluak first worked in the region’s justice bureau before becoming vice administer and president of the region.
He enjoyed a close relationship with Prime Minster Hailemariam but is not on good terms with his former boss Omot.

  1. omot obang olom
    February 16, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Dear Addis Journal writer,
    I hope this email finds you well and furthermore, I would like to give critical comments on the article posted in February 1,2014 that related to my departure from Mama Ethiopia .
    As you all know, I didn’t come out of any statement in favor or against the present government at home or individual in charge of the state machineries either at national level or elsewhere among the regions of the Federation since January 24,2014 and as result of this,dozens of rumors and speculative opinions and feelings were flying forth and back from different sources concerning a number of issues revolving around me; and yet I didn’t give a piece of rely to any organization or I didn’t come up with any statement that comprised the reasons why I left my beloved country as well as family. In doing so, my colleagues at home or in diaspora had been surprising for my being salience for the last capable of three weeks and In this respect, patience and rationality critic is important for me to make any statement that could be sound for the present government activists, Ethiopian peoples, opposition parties and international community but currently this would not be my priority agenda Today, my presence in this journal is not to talk about anything else but to criticize the opinions and attitudes that came up in Addis journal in February 1,2014 which put aside the reality of my fundamental roles to rebuild the failing and fragile state[Gambella Peoples National Regional State] for the last 14 years. In this juncture, let me come back to the aforementioned article of February 1,2014 .
    Dear writer,
    When I read your article, I have come across of some statements that are not only genuine for me but writer of article is not genuine for himself because if i were him or her,i would have assessed the political landscape of Gambella region as well as the roles of Mr omot obang olum as well.
    In the first paragraph of your article, I should not deny that I was not working as a key architect of the EPRDF led government and i am % agreed with you in this perspective but i was not architect of a genocide against innocent Anuaks ethnic of many opposition parties used to accused me for their political gains so one that should clear for the writer is that when the conflict broke out in Gambella town ,Mr President okelo Akway who was in charge of chairmanship of the regional security knew the overall process of conflict and who involved in it and it would be good for you ask him very well to actors of the conflict ; and this paragraph doesn’t anything with me so far .
    Lost Profile cited in paragraph in paragraph second;,when we talk of profile of any leadership, I will not only associate with political posts and i do feel that it is related to different factors so the way you describe my profile is not logical and rational but of course ,it has a political motivation factors to blackmailing Mr omot obang olum while you know reality on ground. Above all, what justify your political motivation is that you are not even willing to communicate my academic profile knowing that i am PhD final year student and you do this intentionally to capitalize whom you favor so it doesn’t work .
    President Omot Obang Olom vs President Gatluck Tut comparison criteria
    As to me, leadership criteria you use to compare me and my predecessor is not a good lens and i personally i don’t you to compare me with Mr Gatluck Tut this is because my period of presidency leadership has different history with that of my predecessor and for your information it was me who cultivated and coached him to follow the walks of me for the last 8 years in Gambella and going to Addis Ababa as state minister, if you have gaps of information, let me tell you the correct ones. I went to Addis Ababa as state Minister following the question of GPUDM for equitable political representation in the Federal Structure and at that i was begged by the PM to represent the state by taking my political career into account through leadership succession and i was being selected out of the 8 candidates that GPUDM had submitted the EPRDF office but it was not the way you said for political gains

    Gambella People Nationalities and ethnics Relations
    When we talk about the demographic and the dynamic nature of gambella people at present time is too much complex and the degree of trust and understanding among themselves was not built in one year time but it was through the process that involved Leadership including the present president and the wrong attitude of the writer is that he tries to give loin share of the success to the present president as if the former leaders like Keat Tauch ,Genoer yer, Sunday Guch ,wyneto Abera, okung buya, omot obang olom and others who did good contribution to unity of gambella people so the writer needs to be rational to balance things inorder to get audience otherwise his article will be considered as trash .finally, he talks about the relationship between me and my predecessor and i think if he is not complicating things, he should know that i was working with Gatluck Tut in my office for a year and during our stay in the office we were respecting each other for sake of common good of our people; what was happening in last Dec.03,2013 between me and him during political debate was external driven which i don’t want to cite its sources now but it will later.Furthermore,it was me who introduced him to current PM in Amhara region while we were there to celebrate Nation Day so if the writer doesn’t know me vs Current PM relation,we had been leading the neighbors regions together and knowing each other for the last 8 years. As a conclusion, article in February 1,2014 doesn’t reflect the reality of Omot Obang Olom Fundamental roles in the political landscape Ethiopia except writer worries to get information from me that i don’t want to disclose to anyone else and let you avoid reality of individuals and organization works whether you favor or not for reasons .
    Omot Obang Oum,Former Gambella Peoples National regional State President and World Peace Ambassador; State Minister for Federal Affairs of FDRE

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