GOPENO: Response to the “Secret Communications” Publicized by Gambela Today

August 04, 2013 (GSN) - The Executive Committee of Gambella Openo Organization (GOPENO), a nonprofit and humanitarian group of Diaspora Anyuaks from Openo area in Ethiopia, considered the “Secret Communications Revealed” by Gambella Today with great concern and interest and has decided to offer clarifications on alleged mentioning of “Openo Development Association” as a source of funding for “anti-peace forces”.

 The claim that “Openo Development Association” donated money worth of twenty to thirty thousand US dollars to anti-peace forces is a complete lie and false information fabricated by either Gur Omot and Meer Kiru  in coordination with their own much admired roommates or Alpha Christopher, the masked face and bogeyman of Gambella Today web site.

On behalf of the GOPENO and its members, the Executive Committee would like to express that an organization legally named as “Openo Development Association” does not exist in Canada and the United States of America (USA). In this regard, the reference made to “Openo Development Association” as an entity funding “anti-peace forces “and destabilizing peace and security in Gambella Region is an intentional attempt to label GOPENO in the USA and our partner, Gambella Openo Community Association (GOCA) in Canada,  as “anti-peace forces” and terrorist organizations.  Apparently, the faultfinders are not aware that the existence of these two organizations of Gambella Openo in Diaspora has been officially notified to the Office of Chief Administrator of Gambella People’s National Regional State of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in a letter dated June 19, 2010. The letter of the notification was personally presented to the Office of the Chief Administrator by an auditor and member of our organization who visited Gambella in 2010.

Furthermore, the former vice president of GOPENO who was an account holder of the GOPENO bank account visited our future partners and beneficiaries in Gambella in early 2012. However, other members of our organizations including Meer Kiru, a loyal member of the government of Gambella and  Oman Ojwato , who is implicated as an agent of anti-peace forces in the “Secret Communications “, were not delegated and authorized to conduct visits to East Africa  on behalf of GOPENO and GOCA. In fact, the composition of membership of GOPENO and GOCA constitutes both supporters and members of opposition political parties to the Ethiopian government. Thus, GOPENO and GOCA cannot involve in a mockery political game of “hide and seek” with the regional state of Gambella in promoting political agenda through violence or a non-profit and non-governmental organization as perceived by the accusers. In the same manner GOPENO and GOCA do not anticipate taking part in further publicity, debate and rhetorical analysis on such provocative matters and leaked documents from unreliable sources. Nevertheless, the Executive Committee remains vigilant and makes all efforts in finding the real culprit involved in leaking or manufacturing of the “Secret Communications” whose main purpose is to tarnish image of both Openo humanitarian organizations based in the USA and Canada.


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