Arba Minch University community led by its President, Dr Feleke Woldeyes condoled the death of Ato Alemayehu Atomsa, former President of Oromia Regional state and the Chairperson of Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), in a meeting held at Lecture Theatre, Main Campus on 10th March, 2014.

The meeting was attended by AMU vice presidents, some of the directors and students. The meeting that began in a somber mood has two student representatives, Alula Abebe and Arega Worku conducting program in Amharic and Oromo languages.

‘‘Being a committed leader, he was the one who spurred the process of development not only in Oromia region but across Ethiopia. His anti-corruption stance endeared him to all. He was the role model widely accepted by the society and the government of Ethiopia in general.

In his death, Ethiopia has lost a visionary and a great political stalwart. This generation must take a cue from him in fighting corruption thus contributing in nation building. So, entire AMU community express grief at his early demise as his death is an irreparable loss for all. We also extend our sympathies to his family and associates,’’ said Dr Feleke.

AMU students representing different regions of the nation including AMU Student’s Union president expressed their grief at the loss of this populist leader.

As a mark of respect to the departed soul entire gathering observed one-minute silence. They also held lighted candles in their hands singing national anthem.

It is learnt that Alemayehu Atomsa, who died at the age of 45, was under treatment in Bangkok, while he passed away on 6th March morning. He had been under medical treatment in Bangkok since February 9, 2006 EC, sources say.

Alemayehu born in Bilo Boshe District of East Wollega zone was a strong fighter for peace, democracy and development of Oromo and entire country, a statement released from OPDO Secretariat stated.

Alemayehu attended school close to his home district at Gubo Leyo elementary school and Siri Secondary School. He graduated in Laws at Ethiopian Civil Service University, then a Masters in Public Policy Analysis at Beijing University.

He joined the armed struggle against the military junta of President Mengistu Hailemariam in 1989. He had been part of the leadership of OPDO and EPRDF since the ouster of the military junta in 1991; among others, as head of Oromia’s eastern Wolega zone and head of Oromia’s western Wolega zone.

He served as Oromia’s chief of security, as head of OPDO’s political department and as head of OPDO’s head quarters from 1996 to 2002.

He was head of Oromia’s Communications Bureau, then Director General of Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency from 2006 to 2010. In 2012, Alemayehu became chairperson of OPDO and President of Oromia region; months later, he became seriously ill.

He was laid to rest at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Church of Ethiopian Orthodox Church on 8th March, 2014, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Dr Mulatu Teshome, and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalgne as well as the presidents of the nine Regional states.

By Philips Joseph