March 21, 2019

Another State of Emergency in Ethiopia?

ODF Statement For Immediate Release: Another State of Emergency in Ethiopia?

There is nothing more counterproductive than drinking salt water in order to quench one’s thirst. Similarly, re-imposing another state of emergency in Ethiopia in order to suppress society’s legitimate resistance against the imposition of an illegitimate coercive order can only exacerbate an already fragile security situation. When will Ethiopia’s rulers understand that the wielding of naked force is the root cause of the turmoil that has ravaged the country during the last three years?

The people have no other option than stepping up their resistance until their rights as individuals and nations are upheld. The only way to move in the direction of legitimate stability is by starting to implement the reforms that some elements within the ruling party have announced at various times.

Ethiopia’s rulers evidently did not draw lessons from the imposition of the previous state of emergency. That action only dampened the society’s legitimate resistance for a short period of time. At the same time it occasioned the spread of self-assertiveness into the armed and security forces tasked with implementing the state of emergency. Moreover the acceptability of the armed and security forces by society, if there ever was any, took a considerable hit. Even more importantly, the corruption of the civilian authorities, the main cause of societal grievance, also spread to the armed and security services. All of these developments put together do not augur well for cohesiveness of these forces.

We call on all parliamentarians, especially those from the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), to reject martial law and urge the Ethiopian people to step up their legitimate peaceful resistance with indefatigable determination and in unison. The people’s choice is between dying with dignity failing which they will be killed in ignominy anyway. The history of the last three decades demonstrates this reality that there is no alternative to dying with dignity in pursuit of one’s legitimate rights.

We call on all political groups to stand in solidarity with our heroic people who have shown readiness to pay any sacrifice to put an end to dictatorship once and for all. We hope the world community will also do likewise although we harbor much skepticism borne out of the experiences of the last three decades. African leaders in particular should be mindful that the seat of the African Union is about to plunge into interminable chaos and take action before it is too late.

Freedom and justice for all!
Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)

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