Shukshukta : TPLF | OLF | Getachew Assefa
By 1976, the Oromo Liberation Army had taken up a stronghold in the Chercher Mountains and this was used as an opportunity to reorganize the Front. A two-day secret conference was organized among Oromo leaders and the attendees hailed from all corners of Oromia and a more broadbased leadership was elected. A few members of the ENLF, who were released from custody in Somalia in 1975, and others, who had entered the country on previous occasions, as well as representatives of the underground study cells, individual Oromo nationalist and patriots were members of what is now called the “Founding Congress”. The Congress revised the 1973 OLF Political Program and issued a new detailed program. The program called for the “total liberation of the Oromo nation from Ethiopian colonialism”. The conference is now known as the Founding Congress and it marked the beginning of modern Oromo nationalism.
Another front was opened by a newly formed Oromo Liberation Army that was initiated in eastern Oromia by farmers. Oromo students and intellectuals in urban areas joined OLA camps by the hundreds in order to offer leadership and educational training. The first battles occurred in the rural areas around Dire Dawa such as Gara Mul’ata.