May 25, 2024

Who is Ebisa Adugna?

Ebisa Adugna was born in Dembidolo, in the Western Wallaga region of Oromia. Ebisa was the eldest son in his family, with two younger brothers and three sisters. He was a young man who was well regarded for his musical and football abilities. He completed his primary education at Oliiqaa Dingil Primary School and then attended Qellem High School. Later, he passed the national examination for higher education and got admission into a university.

Joining the OLF


The military government of Ethiopia was overthrown in 1991 while Ebisa was waiting for entrance to a university by OLF, EPRDF, and EPLF forces. OLF soldiers had established a substantial military post in Dembidollo, Ebbisa’s hometown. Ebbisa joined the OLF to support the Oromo people’s struggle for national independence at that time because he was acutely aware of the deteriorating Oromo situation and the necessity for self-determination for the Oromo people. He received training to become a cadre (Dabballee) and excelled in his role, eventually becoming a trainer for cadres in the Dembi Dollo OLF military camp.

Ebbisa in Music Industry

Beyond his military skills, Ebbisa had musical talent as well. He was an outstanding singer and was capable of playing many kinds of instruments. Because of this, he joined the OLF music band and played a significant role in pushing forth Oromo culture, music, and identity. Throughout 1991 and 1992, Ebissa travelled through various regions within Oromia (the south, southwest, central, and western) to perform and sing; his songs were not only cultural, but they were revolutionary. They were songs that made a point of emphasizing the struggles of the Oromo people as well as methods for people to fight for justice.

Death of Ebbisa.


The Oromo Liberation Front began waging a guerilla struggle against the EPRDF in the countryside in 1994. After the OLF went underground and its leaders were banished from the country, he continued to sing about the criminal activities that the Ethiopian government was heavily engaging in. He was publicly vocal about the Ethiopian regime’s terrorist tactics against the Oromo people and continued to support the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).

He was later killed by government agents after becoming a target of the government as a result of his efforts. In 1996, while he was at home (in the north of the American Embassy in Finfinne), a group of government soldiers knocked on his door, asking him to come, saying it was for reasons regarding his job. He and his friend Tana Wayessa were shot shortly after he allowed them in, and they were dragged on to government cars and put in a Land Rover with a government licence plate. The security men who carried out the murders first cleared the street. Residents who looked out of their houses after the gunfire were told to get back indoors. The bodies were recovered by their families the next day from the mortuary at the Menelik II hospital. The government later released a statement saying that the killing had been a mistake and that the target was Tana Wayessa. His death forever turned him into a martyr and a symbol of the struggle for independence in Oromia (the Oromo homeland).

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