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Obama’s Planned Visit to Ethiopia is Incompatible with Claims of Democratic Principles of the US Government

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(Statement from Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) , July 4, 2015) The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) strongly opposes the planned visit to Ethiopia of the US President Barack Obama on the end of July 2015.

As Ethiopia is one of the most brutal regimes of the world, OLF believes that such a visit will result in strengthening the dictatorial minority regime, will boost the regime’s confidence to strengthen its ruthless human rights violations, will give a green light to the regime to continue its repression, economic exploitation, and marginalization of various nations and nationalities of the country under its usual pretense of democracy.

OLF also believes that a lasting national and security interest of the US is better protected not by blessing and supporting such a well-known ruthless regime, but by being on the side of the people, supporting the struggle of the peoples of the country for freedom, democracy, and justice by using its leverage through exerting the necessary pressure on the regime on power.

For full Statment: OLF_Statement_on_Obma_visit

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Joint Statement

                           By Ogaden Liberation Front (ONLF ), Sidama Liberation Front (SLF) and  Oromo Liberation Front(OLF)

Joint Statement from Ogaden Liberation Front_1The Tigray dictatorial ruling class was built on excessive military power. The regime indulged the country into extreme poverty. The corruption of the ruling class was one of the main machinery that put the country into the highest level of economic inequalities where the few members of the ruling class became the richest and the majority of the citizens are unable to even earn their daily bread.  This high level of inequality resulted into absolute poverty, migration and loss of lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Today hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian people are living in hunger and insecurity in their own country.  Some are cherished in Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea while they were trying to escape from unfair and abusive government.

For the last 24 years, since the Tigray ruling class  came to power, the corruption, displacement of people and human rights abuses have increased with the tremendous speed. These miseries darken the political space and eradicated people’s hope for democracy. The Ethiopian people have been denied political freedom and rights of expression of their opinions. In this current regime, it is a crime to have different political opinion rather than supporting the Tigray ruling class’s party. The Ethiopian regime recorded highest level of Human rights abuses, killings, and intimidations not only in African continent but also in the world.

The Tigray ruling class came to power with military force; it has built its dictatorial regime on military power and will continue to do so. One party dictatorship rule was the vision they had from the very beginning. They proved their vision within the last 24 years. In the future, they want to rule Ethiopia under one party dictatorship rule. The Tigray ruling class never listened to the Ethiopian people, nor willing to listen in the future. The responses to peoples’ questions were imprisonments, tortures and killings.

The main priority for the Tigray ruling class is to stay on power. One of the strategies they designed to stay on power is to carry out fake election every five years. The last four elections proved that the ruling class is the most dictatorial regime on the planet. This 5th election that will take place on May 24, 2015 is not different from the previous elections. This election will not make any change to the political system and democracy in the country but it is only to renew the power of the ruling class for the next 5 years. This election is not democratic and not expected to fulfil the interest of the Ethiopian people. The election board is established by the current ruling class; the so called participating political parties are not treated fairly; the members of the opposition parties are arrested, harassed and beaten; the election process do not follow the democratic principle. Therefore, one can easily to judge the outcome of such unfair and sham election.

The Ethiopian people were struggling for peace and democracy for several years. Among the people struggling for their rights the Ogaden, Sidama and Oromo people were on the forefront. The Ogaden, Sidama and Oromo people were struggling for many years and made huge sacrifices to regain their freedom and democracy. The Ogaden, Sidama and Oromo people were not struggling to gain nominal seats in dictatorial government system but to become free from a century long political, economic and social domination. This objective cannot be achieved through participating in the election organised by the dictatorial ruling class.

Particularly to the Ogaden, Sidama and Oromo youngsters and students, you have made significant sacrifices to move our freedom and democracy struggle forward. In order to make your sacrifices yield a fruit, you must continue your struggle for freedom and democracy. Participating in this fake election means that you forget the sacrifices your brothers and sisters made. Participating in this election means that you’re building the power of your perpetrators. From many years’ experience, the ONLF, SLF and OLF know the plan and behaviour the Tigray ruling class. The ONLF, SLF and OLF know that this regime is not prepared to leave its position even if they lose the election, which is unlikely within the current election process.

Therefore, we want to inform the Ethiopian people in general and the Ogaden, Sidama and Oromo people in particular, that this election stands only to serve the Tigray ruling class and to keep them in power for the next five years. This election does not fulfils the interest of the Ethiopian people and do not lead to peace, stability and economic development of the country. The Ogaden Liberation Front (ONLF ), Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)& Oromo Liberation Front(OLF) once again want to remind that our people should not mispleaded by this fake election. Particularly to the Ogaden, Sidama and Oromo people, you are the first target of the Tigray ruling class; the power and strength of this regime works against you. Hence, the ONLF, SLF and OLF remind you to stay away from any activity, including the current election that build the Tigray regime and keep them in power.

Victory to the people!

May 23, 2015

For PDF format Joint Statement from Ogaden Liberation Front

Amnesty Says Ethiopia Detains 5,000 Oromos Illegally Since 2011

October 27, 2014


Victims include politicians, students, singers and civil servants, sometimes only for wearing Oromo traditional dress, or for holding influential positions within the community, the London-based advocacy group said in a report today. Most people were detained without charge, some for years, with many tortured and dozens killed, it said.

“The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” Claire Beston, the group’s Ethiopia researcher, said in a statement. “This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region.”

The Oromo make up 34 percent of Ethiopia’s 96.6 million population, according to the CIA World Factbook. Most of the ethnic group lives in the central Oromia Regional State, which surrounds Addis Ababa, the capital. Thousands of Oromo have been arrested at protests, including demonstrations this year against what was seen as a plan to annex Oromo land by expanding Addis Ababa’s city limits.

Muslims demonstrating about alleged government interference in religious affairs were also detained in 2012 and 2013, Amnesty said in the report, titled: ‘Because I am Oromo’ – Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia.

Government Denial

The state-run Oromia Justice Bureau said the findings were “far from the truth” in a reply to Amnesty included in the report. “No single individual has been and would not be subjected to any form of harassment, arrest or detention, torture for exercising the freedom of expression or opinion.”

The majority of detainees are accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front, which was formed in 1973 to fight for self-determination, according to Amnesty.

Senior Oromo politicians Bekele Gerba and Olbana Lelisa were jailed in 2012 for working with the group, which was classified as a terrorist organization by lawmakers in 2011.

“The accusation of OLF support has often been used as a pretext to silence individuals openly exercising dissenting behavior,” Amnesty said.

The bulk of Amnesty’s information came from interviews with 176 refugees in Kenya, Somalia and Uganda in July this year and July 2013. More than 40 telephone and e-mail conversations were also conducted with people in Ethiopia, it said.

Some interviewees said they fled the country because of conditions placed on them when released, such as being told to avoid activism, meeting in small groups, or associating with relatives who were political dissenters, the report said.

Amnesty has been banned from Ethiopia since 2011 when its staff was deported.

To contact the reporter on this story: William Davison in Addis Ababa at wdavison3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net Paul Richardson, Karl Maier

Source: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-10-27/amnesty-says-ethiopia-detains-5-000-oromos-illegally-since-2011