Resolution of the OLF Central Committee meeting held in Finfinnee from March 16-18, 2020
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has held its regular second central committee meeting at it’s headquarter in Finfinnee, from March 16-18, 2020. In this meeting, the OLF central committee has thoroughly discussed on various critical political, social and economic issues pertaining the front and peoples of Ethiopia. The challenges and opportunities including what OLF has and has not done since September 2018, and the overall organizational structure from the top leadership to the local organizers were examined and directives were given accordingly by the committee.
A strategy on how to financially strengthen the party was among the topics thoroughly discussed, and a strategy how to raise funds for the party was designed. As the current political crises in the country are unfolding, the OLF central committee has also discussed on this crisis and set a strategy to mitigate the political hurdles that the party is facing from the Ethiopian government. The political harassment, the human rights violations, particularly against the Oromo people, and the mass arrest and imprisonment of peaceful citizens, including journalists and members of the OLF top leadership are among the issues assessed by the central committee.
As the Ethiopian general election, planned for 2020, is fast approaching, the committee has also assessed various issues related to the election. The relationship of the party with the newly established National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), the works awaiting the party to prepare itself for the election, and the human and financial resources needed for the election were all assessed by the central committee. After the assessment, the committee has made a decision and given directives to mobilize best part of the party’s human and financial resources toward the upcoming election.
The other critical issues discussed in this meeting was the party’s strategic plan, especially related to the upcoming election. The most critical and urgent issues often raised by our people were sorted out, and an action plan to resolve these issues were suggested and adopted for an immediate action. The OLF election manifesto was consented by the committee for orderly execution.
Forming working alliances among the Oromo political parties, and parties from other nations and nationalities are among the key topics discussed in detail and a strategic plan was drafted for implementation. Accordingly, the committee has given directives to swiftly form the necessary working alliances with parties that not only support but also further the existing multination Federalism. OLF support and also ready to work with all political parties that believe in and work towards a multination Federal government system.
As we all are aware of the Ethiopian politics becoming very concerning, and it is daily getting worse. The OLF central committee examined this situation, discussed and suggested various solutions. As we all are aware of, OLF returned home with the hope that the questions of the Oromo people and people of other nations and nationalities for freedom and democratic rights will be resolved through a peaceful democratic process. To the end, the current Ethiopian government was tasked by the Ethiopian people to lead the country toward a democratic system.
However, instead of opening up the political space, respecting human rights, and the people’s democratic rights to self-determination, as promised to the Ethiopian peoples and the world community, the government is rather shrinking the political spaces and continued grossly violating people’s rights to assemble and even people’s movement from place to place. In addition, the government prohibited the opposition parties to hold any political rally, intimidate people for supporting the party that their choice or opposing the party that they dislike in any way possible. Such government attempts to suppress the democratic rights of the people and the political parties using political and security muscle will rather lead the country into more catastrophe than resolving the existing grievances. Inflicting unimaginable wounds on the people using its security apparatus with a pretext of maintaining order must be stopped before leading the country into chaos.
On the other hand, a political group or groups who wish to reestablish the old Ethiopian government system, ignoring people’s quest for true multination federal system, are gaining energy. This is the reality on the ground. Sadly, these groups utilize the government structure, finance and media support to promote their political agenda, which is eroding the multination Federal system that is hoped for to resolve the political, social and economic disparities existed in the country for decades.
Although OLF faces multifaceted challenges from the Ethiopian government, we would like to reassure our people, members and supporters that we will continue our struggle peacefully by abiding to peaceful means. OLF reaffirms once again that we will continue political dialogue with the government and other stakeholders to seek a political solution for the current crisis that the country is enduring and pave the way that leads to a fair and free election. To the end, OLF calls upon the Oromo public residing inside and/or outside the country, to double its commitment to support the OLF at this critical time in history. Especially, the Oromo elites and business owners do have a historical responsibility to stand with the OLF and ensure the victory of our people.
Since its inception, OLF has been fighting against a government system that has been subjugating and marginalizing peoples. In its history, OLF has never targeted any group or individual during its struggle. Instigating conflict among ethnic lines and nations and nationalities for political consumption is rather the culture of the Ethiopian government. To prolong its time in power, the government has been using the divide and rule system for decades. Instead of propagating conflicts among nations and nationalities for political benefits, OLF call upon the Ethiopian government to rather join us to cultivate and promote a sense of community and togetherness among nations and nationalities in the country.
As we speak, in Oromia, mass arrest, imprisonment, and the harassment of the Oromo people, young and old, and extensive resource looting are widely taking place. Strongly condemning the cruelty of the government security forces against our people, OLF call up on the government to immediately halt its mass arrest operation against the Oromo people, members and supporters of the OLF, and release all political prisoners including member of the OLF leadership. The illegally declared command post is not operating following the military rules and procedures.
OLF requests the government and all concerned bodies to reevaluate the operation of the Ethiopian military and security forces, as they are violating the people’s political and human rights across Oromia. It is more than a month now since all communications and social networks are cut off from Wollega (four Provinces), Guji (2 Provinces) and Borana and the OLF central committee calls for an immediate restoration of the communication lines and networks to these zones. It is also immoral to cut off communication and networks from a society when the world declared a Coronavirus disease pandemic, threatening the lives of millions of people across the globe. Communication is key to stop, or minimize the spread of the Coronavirus, and cutting communication lines of people at this critical time is truly inhuman, and we ask the government to immediately restore the communication lines so that people in these regions will get the update necessary to protect themselves and their communities from this deadly virus.
Recently, we have been hearing the disagreement between the three Nile basin countries (Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia) with regard to the usage of the upper Nile water to fill the Ethiopian Renaissance dam currently under construction. OLF believes that this is a national issue and thus, it concerns all of us. We know that this negotiation has been going on for over eight years, and it is now unclear what led to the failure of the negotiation while we are expecting an agreement reached. Regardless, OLF believes that the rights of Ethiopia to utilize the water resources should be respected, and this issue should be resolved through a peaceful negotiation process.
Lastly, OLF calls upon the world community and the international human and democratic rights organizations to stand with the Ethiopian peoples and ensure the establishment of the overdue democratic system that serves all the peoples equally in the country.
Victory to the Mass!
OLF Central Committee
March 18, 2020
For PDF format: Resolution of OLF Centeral Committee