Austin, MN, December 04, 2021(GMN) - Gambella born Oballa Oballa an Anywaa and Austin's First Ward councilman from Gambella Community in Austin, Minnesota met 46th President of the United States on December 02, 2021, at Dakota County Technical College following the Commander in Chief's infrastructure law speech.
Oballa shares the ordeal of December 13, 2003, Anywaa ‘s barbaric massacre in Gambella, Ethiopia during the TPLF 27 years regime. The POTUS felt bad and so sorry for what happened said “That should not happen to anybody.”
Oballa said meeting Biden was the opportunity of a lifetime and was able to share his own personal story with the 46th president.
"So, I am like, Mr. President, thank you for coming to Minnesota. I get his attention right away and I do not know why and he says what is your name and I said Oballa Oballa and he giggled a little bit and then people were so crowded and I said I am from Austin Minnesota. He was like Austin Texas and I was like no. Austin Minnesota, one of the best towns in Minnesota, and then he laughed a little bit and then after that I was able to exchange more words with him," Oballa said.
However, outside the event, an anti-Ethiopian government group protested, demanding the United States intervene in the country that has been divided by civil war.
Currently, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) is at odds with the acting Ethiopian government, headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Oballa said he noticed the protest and told Biden his own personal journey, which includes being a genocidal survivor.
The TPLF was previously in power for 27 years before Ahmed was voted into office in 2018. Oballa said the TPLF is responsible for the mass killings in his hometown, Gambella, Ethiopia,
The U.N has called the humanitarian hunger crisis in Ethiopia the world's worst in at least 10 years. Regarding a solution to the violence, Oballa said he hopes both sides can reach a cease-fire.
"My hope is that the TPLF put down the guns, the government puts down the guns and then let's have reconciliation and talk about peace because at the end the Ethiopian government, the Ethiopian issue, cannot be solved by America, or the UK, or France or by anything. It is Ethiopia themself who will
sit down and say we are done with this fighting. We have to sit down and talk about this and solve this issue internally," Oballa said.