Category Archives: Press Release

Appeal letter to UN et al

October 15, 2020

From:
Human Rights Organizations and Civic Institute
Contact email: Globaloag@gmail.com

To:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland
E-mail:ccpr@ohchr.org

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District
Western Region P.O. Box 673 Banjul, The Gambia
E-mail: au-banjul@africa-union.org ,
africancommission@yahoo.com

European Commission
Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 170
B-1049 Bruxelles/Brussel
Belgique/België
Email: eric.mamer@ec.europa.eu

International Committee of the Red Cross
19 Avenue de la paix
1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Eamil: press@icrc.org

Committee to Protect Journalists
P.O. Box 2675
New York, NY 10108
Email: info@cpj.org

CC;
Amnesty International, East Africa
Riverside Studios, PO Box 1527, 00606 Sarit
Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
contactus@amnesty.org

Human Rights Watch
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
hrwpress@hrw.org

The Genocide Watch
S-CAR, George Mason University. 3351
North Fairfax Drive, MS4D3
Arlington, VA 22201
communications@genocidewatch.org

We, the undersigned Human Rights Organizations and civic institutes, write this letter to you out of grave concern with the current political and constitutional crises in Ethiopia and the foreseen human catastrophe. International human rights organizations like Amnesty International and various National and International media outlets have reported that the Ethiopian government has continuously engaged in massive human rights violations*.

some of which may, in fact, amount to genocide. The rule of law has never shone in Ethiopia both in its literary meaning as well as the politico-legal context. Arbitrarily arresting citizens and dictatorial rule have remained the hallmarks of the Ethiopian rulers for more than one hundred and fifty years. The people of Ethiopia, particularly the Oromo people and people of the Southern Nations and Nationalities, however, continue to yearn for democratic governance.

The fall of the barbaric feudal system in 1974 that was in place since the 1940s gave way to the military junta that ruled Ethiopia with a brute force for 17 long years. The death of the military regime in 1991 paved a chance for a multi-ethnic coalition transitional government and a new federal structure meant to ease a century-long conflict and hegemony of a single ethnic culture. However, the bright light quickly dimmed when the TPLF acted to purge the OLF (a major Political Organization representing the Oromo people) out of the transitional government, paving a way for a protracted war and continued marginalization of the Oromo people. The resistance waged by the OLF against the TPLF via armed struggle, clandestine resistance, and mass uprising eventually forced the EPRDF to kneel down, ending the hegemony of the TPLF in 2018. It also gave a golden opportunity for the emergence of individuals like the current Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, to usurp the movement from within under the guise of reform.

In the beginning, the PM presented himself as someone who has the will to chart a new path for the country. Internally, however, he was making pacts with those who adore old Ethiopia and vowing to restore the glory of the imperial system known for its racist and hegemonic strata – the single source of all evils stirring Ethiopia to this date. Given his public gesture and the desire of the mass in Ethiopia for change, many opposition political parties including the OLF consented to work with the regime on building a new path for the country and they showed their commitments by taking bold steps: declaring unilateral ceasefire, agreeing to demobilize their armed forces, and relocating their leadership from exile back to Ethiopia.

However, it did not take the Abiy government more than a few months to abrogate on these concessions and embark on the usual culture of intimidation of the leaders of the OLF, rounding up of their supporters, and subsequently, declaring a war of annihilation on the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) that were in the process of demobilizing. Ever since, the supporters of the OLF and the Oromo people have been living under a constant threat of military command, abductions from their homes and workplaces, and being hoarded into premises with little or no facilities to house human beings. Numerous representatives of the OLF, prominent elders, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs have, therefore, fallen prey to Abiy Ahmed’s police state inherited from his time working for the TPLF.

The official tenure of Abiy Ahmed’s regime has also ended on October 5, 2020. Given the precarious state of affairs facing the country, the OLF has called for the establishment of a transitional government in Oromia. And this OLF call has gained popular support from the Oromo people both within and outside of the country.

However, it appears that the call has served as a de facto reason for the ire of the Abiy Ahmed government to be directed against the OLF and the Oromo people. The October 12, 2020, blatant attack by the Armed forces dispatched with the direct order of Abiy Ahmed on the OLF chairman, Mr. Dawud Ibsa is one such example and an alarming recipe for disaster in the country. When Mr. Ibsa’s home was raided, renowned Oromo elders, political figures, and community leaders along with some non-government affiliated media Journalists were also rounded up by Ethiopia’s federal police and security personnel with no court order.

Besides interrupting Mr. Ibsa’s media briefing related to the current political and constitutional crises in the country, particularly in Oromia, the Federal Police has arrested several of the participants including the Oromo elders and journalists and more than dozens of the Audiences of the media briefing were ordered to remain in house arrest. The same day, the Federal Police have also rounded up a fundraising event organized by the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) for humanitarian aid in Sebeta, a city located on the South West of Finfinne. There too, the Federal Police has arrested serval people, including Mr. Dechasa Nuguse, chairman of the Association, Mrs. Yerosan Takele, and Mr. Jaleta Abdissa, who were facilitators of the event. Three Journalists who were reporting the event have also been arrested.

We feel that the October 12, 2020 incidence on a peaceful gathering of people at a private residence of a major leader of a political organization constitutes state terrorism and is the making of a fascist act targeted at the Oromo people. We note that the attack on Mr. Dawud Ibsaa, a symbol of the Oromo political capital and an icon of endurance, resilience, principle, and resistance, is the last bell to ring before the canon goes loose in the country. Putting the very fact that Ethiopia (a country of over 110 million out of which the Oromo alone roughly constitute 50 million) cannot afford armed civil strife, therefore, we call upon;

1) all peace-loving countries, representatives, and the international community to help avert the looming crisis in Ethiopia by intervening as outlined in OLF’s press statement of September 13, 2020, that called for international arbitration of Ethiopia’s complex constellation of conflicts;

2) the UN, AU, EU, and major donor governments to the regime in Ethiopia to exert maximum pressure as they have the leverage to stop Abiy Ahmed’ killing spree and a mass crackdown from going awry;

3) the International community that has the leverage to help the call for a peaceful transition to succeed by providing the necessary material, financial, diplomatic, and security assistance to the national stakeholders as needed;

4) the international community to understand that inaction to this call may lead to the repeat of the carnage in the Balkans and the tragedy in Rwanda that occurred during the first half of the 1990s in both instances.

5) the international Human Rights Organizations to diligently follow the situation in Ethiopia, particularly in Oromia, and expose the human rights violations perpetrated by the Abiy government’s military and security forces.

Sincerely

1. Advocacy for Oromia
2. Global Oromo Advocacy Group
3. Horn of Africa Genocide Watch
4. International Oromo Women’s Organization
5. International Qeerroo Support Group
6. Oromo Parliamentarians Council
7. Oromo Political Prisoners Association
8. Oromia Support Group – Australia
9. United Oromo Christian Church of Australia

Here is the PDF format of the Appeal Letter: Appeal letter_GOAG_2020_4_10-16-20

* Ethiopia: “Beyond law enforcement” human rights violations by Ethiopian security forces in Amhara and Oromia
(https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr25/2358/2020/en/)

The Fundamental Solution to Ethiopian Politics – New Approach

[VOL – October 08,2020] The current political crisis in Ethiopia, specially, that of Oromia, are not only meant to make Oromia war and insecure zone; rather, driving Ethiopia to irreversible misery. Oromia Regional State is under the State of Emergency. Because of the failure to timely solve political crisis, the former government structure is already broken down. Currently, there is no elected administrative organ expected to solve problems of the people. There is nowhere the people go and complains for solution even when: killed, robbed and their property are destructed. If this continues, the worse would follow. In addition, we hope that operation of various forces contributed for Dissolution of Oromia, and further aggravated not to come out of those chaos. Finally, this will inevitably mislead our way.

It is crystal clear that the dissolution of Oromia will not only bring troubles to the Oromo people, besides, it will bring continuous sufferings to the Citizens of Oromia. No one could deny the fact that massive troubles are coming towards every individual, family and Ethiopia as a country. Thus, in order to bring about a sustainable peace and security, looking for an immediate resolution and systematic way out is very much needed.

Oromos and the Citizens of Oromia have many things in common. They share same country, lifestyle, political problems, culture as well economic system, for so long period of time. Specially, it is known that we have struggled and have been struggling the with the problems brought by the political culture of Ethiopia, from generation to generation. This also shows the strong relationships the Oromo people has with other Peoples of Ethiopia.

As we have went through many struggles, again these days, we believe that it is time for Oromos and Citizens of Oromia to Unite and establish our Transitional Government in common; and thereby alienate from our problems, and fulfill our common and personal interests.

Ethiopian People in general should bear your responsibilities in stabilizing the Oromia region. By doing so, you wouldn’t only rescue your citizens residing in Oromia; rather, it would help us in fundametalizing what we have, as a country.

Dissolution of Oromia brings enormous happenings. It shall not only be problems of the Oromos and Citizens of Oromia, rather, we should consider that it will be problem of Ethiopia and that of the Horn of Africa in general. Therefore, immediately establishing Oromia National Transitional Government, is found decisive. What we have to understand here is that: The objective of establishing a Transitional Government is not to dissolve the country; besides, we would like to confirm to the Peoples of Ethiopia, Countries of the Horn of Africa and African Countries, as well, the United Nations, that it is aimed at solving the challenges to dissolve the country, and rescue the Country and Horn of Africa from the potential threats.

In history, Oromo has never dissolved, rather, it has built the Country. Oromo has never thought only for himself, and it has been shade for the other Nations and Nationalities. This shall be evident that the Nations and Nationalities settled in Oromia than other regions of the County. As a result, we shall confidently say that Oromia is Model of Ethiopia, where Nations and Nationalities reside. Establishment of the Transitional Government shall be important in securing those nations and nationalities residing in Oromia; and thereby strengthen their Unity and Cohabitation.

We again affirm that this Transitional Government, has an intent of strengthening the history and culture of the People which were already built. Besides, has no aim to dissolve the country. We want to drive the relationship of the Oromos and Citizens of Oromia to better level, and let it based on love and mutually building the country. We hope that this will be base for the sustainable peace of the rest regions of Ethiopia.

In this journey, OLF hereby send its message to Oromo and Citizens of Oromia, solve their daily problems together. This message of ours for the wider Oromo and Citizens of Oromia, and the planned Transitional Government shall be the first in history, and it is a stage in which government of the people, by the people and for the people shall be built and facilitate conditions for the same.

We are striving to make sure our future bright, in which every person shall have a determinant vote. Our objective and intent is to change the Partisan Political Culture of Ethiopia, and substituting the same, by the inclusive government made up of the entire citizens of Oromia, elected by the People and for the People.

OLF has no interest to make its political policy be burden on others, however, tries its best to hearing various entities and building common administration, in such a way that shall be good for the entire citizens. For the attainment of the same, we hereby express that: with the Citizens of Oromia, we will create a basic environment conducive from the very beginning to final. We hope this will bring about sustainable peace and stability.

If we change the political culture of Ethiopia, and build a stabilized, inclusive, impartial and all serving government in Oromia, every one shall predict what our country will looks like in a short period. If a government based on the equality of the citizens and interest of the people; if there shall be a clear interest and foreign relations of the country; if independency of the judiciary ensured; ìf the Peace keeping and the National Defense shall not loose own stand under the order of the ruling party; if the government shall be held responsible for their wrong doings; if human rights (individually and collectively) respected; we believe that our country shall be a place where its citizens lead a respectful and happy life.

When there shall be peace and stability, and if the Nations and Nationalities show their sense of belongingness about their country and government, it will not be difficult to bring development and prosperity. Our country is full of resources and attracts global investment. However, when the country lacks peace and stability, even operating investors leave. In order to enable domestic and foreign investors, to invest in the country without any threat and alienate our country from begging; if and only if, there is peace and stabilized government.

Youths and Skilled labour shall get employment opportunity and engage in building the country, only if there shall be peace and stabilized government. Citizens shall move from place to place and administer their families. Individual and collective properties shall get secured. Our children will learn or work peacefully. Love and Cooperation flourishes in our people, than hate and fighting. Using this, we will again build our culture of helping and encouraging each other.

Finally, the current political crisis of our country is very complex. Solving the complex problems under the rotten and outdated political culture became impossible. Although it was repeatedly tried, many lives were lost and enormous properties were destructed; it was unsuccessful. We shall only overcome these problems if and only if we come together, discuss and pace the way.

For time being, we should together build a Transitional Government of Oromia, that shall be basis of peace for other governments and regions. This shall also be a stage where we contribute our share and express our interest. On top of this, we shall solve the current problems related with peace and stability, if we come together and discuss, and establish the Transitional Government of Oromia interpret and succeed with the said Transitional Government, OLF again ensures that it has been working having deployed with full force. We also affirm that we are ready than ever to receive opinion of the public and concerned bodies, and make it for the best interest of the people. OLF reassures to you that, it will openly work with you, on the process of establishment and implementation of the National Transitional Government of Oromia.

Eventually, I would like to extend my Esteems Respect for the Citizens of Oromia and other Nations and Nationalities lost their lives in the last fifty years, for Democracy, Human Rights and Equality of the Nations and Nationalities. Specially, I hereby bestow our Eternal Respect for our Freedom Fighters who have helped us, to see this.

As well, I would like to extend my respect to Peace Keepers, who fought and lost their lives in protecting the people, standing with the people and bringing about peace.

In addition, I admire and respect the Addis Ababa Peace Keeping Police Forces (shortly: Addis Ababa Police), those who have kept human rights and dignities, as well, carried out their responsibilities lawfully, in a difficult political situation, leaving their family and life aside, and keeping peace day and night. Again, I bestow my deepest thank to those who stood with us individually, collectively and as institution, that you have encouraged us to further developour commitment and reach this level.

Since our statement of invitation for the establishment of the National Transitional Government of Oromia, those of the following, who stood with us, lined up with us and striving for the attainment of the same, are bestowed with esteemed thanks:

1. Honorable Citizens of Oromia who have accepted the invitation and stood with us

2. Political parties, specially, our partner OFC

3. Leaders of the OLF in and outside countries

4. Officials of OLF in and outside countries

5. Qeerro National Youth Movement for Freedom and Liberation 6. Oromo Supporters and Community

7. The Oromo Scholars and Professional Group

8. Oromo Global Forum

9. Leaders of different religions, who became voice of our people and transferred the invitation

10. Global Oromia Journalist Association

11. Global 39 Movement Support Group

12. Committee of Members and Supporters of OLF, working on getting Political Prisoners of Citizens of Oromia released

13. Those who were not mentioned

Thanks for listening.

Victory to the Mass

Dawud Ibsa Chairperson of the Oromo Liberation Front

October 8, 2020

Finfinne (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Political crisis can only be resolved through a political process.

Global Oromia Journalists Association

8 October 2020

(A4O, 8 October 2020) Global Oromia Journalists Association, GOJA, is a non-profit organization that provides a networking and resource forum for journalists of Oromia and Diaspora would like support the call of the major Oromo political parties, OLF and OFC, who have a majority number of supporters, for a transitional government in Oromia.

At this critical time the Global Oromia Journalists Association is observing five major contradictory processes have started to emerge in Ethiopia and Oromia.

Firstly, the decomposition of the Ethiopian colonial system and its institutional infrastructures such as the nafxanya government and other institutions.

Secondly, the emergence of progressive forces that are determined to establish a true multinational democracy in the context of federation or confederation, which guarantees national self-determination.

Thirdly, Oromia has become the hotspot of the emerging political contestation between the old and dying forces on one hand and the new and energized political and social movements on the other.

Fourthly, Abiy’s security infrastructure has detained most of the known OLF leadership to make it a marionette of PP or to simply destroy it.

Lastly, working to avoid the looming state collapse and the possible emergence of an empire-wide conflict and war will lead to a peaceful transition. Failure to wrap up this chapter of our struggle in a way it ensures our freedom and liberty will have huge consequences for our future.

The Global Oromia Journalists Association believe that mass media are regarded as one of the key democratic institutions vital in facilitating the process of democratisation, and peace-building. At this critical time, media can play an instrumental role in preventing the danger of state collapse and the total breakdown of the empire resulting in unimaginable human tragedy. At this critical time, journalists can play a vital role in supporting peaceful transition through critical reporting issues that matter.

The global powers should learn from the consequences of ignoring the national crises in Somalia, Yugoslavia, Yemen, Ruanda, etc. Early intervention in the impending crisis in Ethiopia can save millions of human lives, and can avert enormous refugee crisis and human misery of the local populations, and can also save humanitarian aid costs to international organizations and governments.

Therefore, Global Oromia Journalists Association calls upon all Oromo media residing in different parts of the world to support the call for a transitional government in Oromia. Our collaboration and support at this crucial time will lead to a peaceful transition paving the way to our nation freedom.

We believe that any political crisis can only be resolved through a political process. Thus, the proposal of establishing an all-inclusive transitional government is crucial, and it will require the support of all peace-loving entities.

With best regards,

Global Oromia Journalists Association

8 October 2020