For over six thousand years, the Oromo people maintained a unique national identity distinct from the national identity of Abyssinia. In 1900, the Abyssinian rulers invaded the land of Oromo people and embarked on a policy of occupation and oppression that seriously threatens the continued survival of the unique cultural and religious identity of the Oromo people. We are extremely concerned about the human rights abuses in Oromia. Tragically, a world that condemns colonialism has largely ignored Abyssinia’s occupation of Oromo land.
The human cost to the Oromo people has been of tragic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of Oromo’s were killed outright or died as the result of aggression, torture or starvation. Over 8,000 sacred places and centre of Gadaas were destroyed.
The repression of the Oromo people in their own land continues to this day and compounds the illegitimacy of the Abyssinian rule. Abyssinia denies the Oromo people’s right to democratically elect their own political representatives. The use of the Oromo language in Oromian schools and as the effective official language of Oromia represses Oromo culture and has marginalized many Oromo’s. Oromos are aggressively prevented from freely pursuing their religious practices. Abyssinian policies have encouraged Abyssinian settlers to the point where Oromo s have become a minority in many areas of Oromo lands. Major economic development decisions for Oromia are made in Abyssinian policy makers and benefit Abyssinian settlers and officials more than Oromo’s. Oromia’s natural resources are being exploited and its environment seriously imperilled with little regard for the wishes of the Oromo people.
The Oromo people have demonstrated repeatedly against the Abyssinian occupation. Their struggle is manly nonviolent and worthy of our special attention. Indeed, in 1990, the international community clearly observed the Oromo freedom movement when the historical charter was adopted in Finfinne, Oromia. Advocacy for Oromia is a continuation of the Oromo freedom movement that has continued to advocate for the cause of Oromo people and for peace, tolerance, human rights, non-violence, and equality throughout the region.
We have joined together in Advocacy for Oromia to support the Oromo people’s struggle. We ask the peoples and nations of the world to recognize that Oromo land is occupied by the Abyssinian and demand the cessation of practices that deprive the Oromo people of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, including their right to self-determination.