(Bilisummaa, 13 October 2011) The Oromo Liberation Front National Council (OLF-NC) has successfully completed its fifth regular session held from October 3 – 10, 2011.
The NC, during this session, addressed wide ranging issues including organizational matters, the situation of the Oromo people and its struggle, the unparalleled brutality of the TPLF/EPRDF regime against the peoples in Ethiopia in general and the Oromo people in particular, peace and stability in the Horn of Africa and other regional and global issues. After thorough deliberation the NC concluded its meeting by passing several important resolutions.
The Oromo liberation struggle for freedom and sovereignty, led by the OLF, continuous to enjoy popular support of our people, who continue paying immense sacrifices. The ongoing popular uprising led by the Oromo youth, the Qeerroo, which is gaining wide spread support from the Oromo and other peoples, is shaking the regime to its foundation. In the course of the struggle, our organization has encountered and overcame various internal and external challenges. The council reaffirms its unfolding commitment to the achievement of the Oromo people’s right to self-determination up to and including independence. At this junction, we call upon all Oromo political forces to join hands with us in the continuous effort to liberate our people. We are committed to peacefully resolve tactical differences that might have existed between us.
The TPLF/EPRDF regime has continued targeting the Oromo people through brutal repression to extend its grab on power. Accordingly massive human rights violations, extreme economic exploitation and blatant discrimination has become the lot of the Oromo people. The recent ‘Anti Terrorism Law’ by the rubber stamp parliament has worsened the condition of Oromo individuals of all walks of life. This law is being used to suppress fundamental human rights including the right to assembly and freedom of expression. Today more than any time in the past the Oromo people are subjected to extrajudicial killings, disappearance, torture, mass arrest, harassment and imprisonment in villages, workplaces, towns and cities. Imposition of exorbitant taxation on the farmers and small businesses, eviction of peasants from their ancestral farm lands for leasing to foreigners under obscure terms, denial of job opportunities and dismissal of employees from their jobs on flimsy excuses is a daily experience of our people. Oromos and Oromia are discriminated against in employment, promotion, education, and other social services.
Millions of people are facing famine due to deliberate wrong policies in Oromia. However, the fact that the existence of famine is denied and access to the area by outsiders is blocked by the regime, the people are not receiving the life saving assistance necessary from the international community. Therefore, we urge the international community to pressure the regime to open up the areas for access and provide necessary assistance. Because of the sever repression in Oromia, thousands of Oromos have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries like Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Djibouti and beyond. Many have perished trying to cross the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Peninsula. Others have faced the same fate trying to cross the Sahara and other deserts. The Ethiopian security agents have crossed international borders to assassinate, abduct or harass the refugees. We call upon the hosting countries and pertinent international agencies to assist the refugees in accordance with the relevant international law.
The regime has been maintaining itself in power by habitually instigating conflicts between the Oromo people and its neighbors using the defunct ‘divide and rule’ policy. The latest such tragic episode took place between Oromo and Gumuz people in western Oromia and between the Oromo and Somalis in the East. In addition, the regime has been working hard to incite religious conflict in the Oromo society and elsewhere by destroying the traditional tolerance among religious groups. Incidents like burning churches and holly books including the Qur’an, that have never been heard in the long history of peoples with different religions living side by side, have recently surfaced in some localities of Oromia with apparent connivance of the authorities. We call upon the Oromo and neighboring peoples to resist the enemy instigation and resort to the traditional way of resolving their differences peacefully. Similarly we call on Oromo and other religious communities to adhere to the long held tradition of practices of tolerance.
Ethiopia which shares border with all the IGAD countries except for Uganda, lies at the centre of the security complex of the Horn. Consequently the situation in Ethiopia should be of a serious concern to the IGAD member states. The instability in Oromia, which lies at the centre of Ethiopia, affects the stability of the whole region. The case of thousands of refugees in all the member countries and the cross border incursion by the Ethiopian security forces is one of the cases in point. Therefore, the Council urges the IGAD member states to support the genuine Oromo Liberation struggle for justice and freedom and dissociate themselves from the baseless and false allegations of the Ethiopian regime against the OLF.
The international community is turning blind eye to the injustices perpetrated by the TPLF/ EPRDF regime against the peoples in Ethiopia. Despite credible report of Human Rights Organizations Media Reports about the misuse of the assistance given to the regime some governments particularly from the west are actively continuing to support the regime by providing the means of oppression. The National Council calls on these governments to review their policy towards the oppressive brutal regime and instead support the genuine struggle of the Oromo and other peoples for freedom and equality which could serve for lasting peace in the region.
The Tigrian political elites ruling Ethiopia today are the enemy of the peoples in Ethiopia including the Tigrian people. The regime has slammed the door on peaceful means of resolving the perennial political conflict with resistance groups and closed the political playing field of legal oppositions. The OLF is ready to cooperate in the struggle against this regime. Therefore, we call upon all forces opposed to the dictatorial minority regime and struggling for liberation, equality, freedom and peace to rise up in unison to get rid of these autocrats.
Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front-National Council
October 10, 2011