Monthly Archives: January 2022
On the evening of December 1, 2021, 14 respected, experienced and culturally venerated leaders
in the Karrayyuu Oromo community of 100,000 in central Ethiopia were killed in minutes by
Oromia Special Police and Federal forces operating on orders by ruling party officials sitting a
hundred kilometers away in Adama city. The murdered men were located at Fantalle district,
East Shewa Zone of the Oromia regional state in Ethiopia. They were killed execution-style at
7:00 PM far from the village where they were abducted when Prosperity Party bosses gave the
go-ahead signal via cell phone message to awaiting members of the special forces. The murdered
men had just finished conducting Waaqa Kadhaa, a sacred indigenous prayer ceremony held on
special ground designated for that purpose. In the close-knit iconic livestock-rearing culture of
the Karrayyuu people, this was an unthinkable atrocity.
We, a coalition of Oromo advocacy and human rights groups operating internationally consider
that this horrifying series of events indicate the intentionality and destructiveness of Abiy
Ahmed’s government against Oromo and other Southern and marginalized peoples who do not
support his direction for the country. We urge the international community, in particular those
concerned with justice, peace, stability and human rights, to take note of what has happened in
Karrayyuu. Those who were deeply committed to spirituality and to democratic principles above
all, were brutally massacred with lightning speed: an act that sends a menacing warning to the
populace that no one is safe right now in Ethiopia.
Historic, Political and Economic Contexts
The shocking massacre was carried out amid ongoing brutal wars between Ethiopian Defence
Forces and the Tigray Defence Forces in the north of the country and with the Oromo Liberation
Army in the south. The site of the killing is the Karrayyuu camel-rearing, pastoral grazing and
watering lands located near coveted trade routes for lucrative commodities in a cash-strapped
economy. This valued territory has become a target of territorial expansionism by Amhara
militias emboldened by Abiy Ahmed’s government’s failure to protect vulnerable peoples like
the Karrayyuu. In the days leading to the event, the Karrayyuu Oromo’s community leaders had
resisted releasing young people to be conscripted to leave their homeland to fight as part of the
Ethiopian Defense Forces in the north. Among Oromo communities throughout Ethiopia, the
Karrayyuu are well-known and esteemed for their consistent practice of the principles of the
time-honored Gadaa system of socio-political organization that encompassed all Oromo prior to
incorporation into Ethiopia at the turn of the 20th century. These and other factors make the
tragedy of December 1 resonate throughout the population and account for an ongoing sense of
threat and foreboding among other vulnerable groups in the country.
We, the initiators of the idea behind the joint statement by worldwide Oromo Civic, Professional, Advocacy, Human Rights, and Community organizations, would like to express our deepest gratitude for all the co-signers of the joint statement for taking your time, receiving and approving the joint statement. As it stands now the joint statement is co-signed by a total of 64 Oromo civic organizations of various backgrounds and portfolios.
For that purpose it is safe to refer to the joint statement as an ‘A Consensus Oromo Statement on the NDC’ calling for careful sequencing of actions leading to inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia. We are scheduled to release the statement to the public through the media in the late afternoon on Friday 21 January.
To that end, we would like to make the following important points:
1 – The Statement BELONGS to all the co-signers. No single individual or institution lays exclusive claim on its ownership. Each co-signer owns it and is free to make use of it to advance the Oromo civic organizations’ recommendation with regard to inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia.
2 – We encourage all the co-signers to release the statement using respective institutional communication channels of each institution/organization which is the co-signer.
3 – We encourage all the co-signers to consider and promote the statement as ‘Consensus Oromo Statement on the NDC’ for various purposes, including during lobbying, awareness creating campaigns, distribution to the media and the international community including members of Parliaments /House /Senate, among others, in your respective districts. Let the world know what 64 Oromo civic organizations are recommending as a way out of Ethiopia’s crisis.
4 – We encourage all the co-signers to communicate and distribute the statement to their grassroots members and encourage them to use it during campaigns and lobbying works as well as social media engagements to create global awareness on what more than 60 Oromo civic organizations are recommending to be done before the commencement of inclusive dialogue in Ethiopia.
Once again, we thank each and every Oromo institution/organization for co-signing on this important statement. Together, we can be heard loud and clear.
21 January 2022
For full statement click below link: