Issued October 21, 2016
A PROPOSAL OF OROMO DEMOCRATIC FRONT
Our Common Future: A Proposal
Ethiopia stands at a crossroads, once again. But this time the prospects facing it are much more starkly contrasting than during past instances of change. If it is put on one course of change, achieving a final breakthrough to a common democratic future looks distinctly promising. If such a course is blocked or not pursued by the stakeholders, on the other hand, the breakdown of order appears threateningly possible. The time to put the country on the right course is now. Unless a country-wide consensus is forged for doing so today, the country will continue its steady slide towards the abyss.
As things stand now, the worrying scenario mentioned above appears more plausible than the former. Are we exaggerating and being alarmist when we draw this pessimistic conclusion? If we are alarmist, we are justified to be so because the time to take corrective measures is now before the country has gone over the cliff and reached a point of no return. There are important reasons why all concerned should worry about Ethiopia’s future.
The ongoing debate of the deaf in Ethiopia is just one of these reasons. Parties are talking past each other instead of conversing with each other. No one is genuinely paying attention to the pain and grievances or perspective of the other. As during many past periods in the country’s history, the choices currently confronting it are, once again, posed in a binary either/or manner. Even though the Oromo is at the forefront of the struggle to bring fundamental change in Ethiopia, some continue to sidestep core Oromo demands and talk as if the choices are either defending the present order or restoring the unitary state of yesteryears. Unless prominence is given to the more forward looking alternatives espoused by the Oromo, Ethiopia’s continued existence as a polity is questionable and we may all be condemned to live under a condition of sustained instability.
The present rulers of Ethiopia are absolutely convinced that there is no alternative to their style of administration. Even when admitting the need for some reform, however cosmetic, they can only think of reforming themselves. While endangering the country with its intransigence and refusal to make a shift in course, they shed crocodile tears for the country’s possible implosion if they are toppled. Consequently, they are determined to permanently preserve the status quo. However, societal rejection of their administration has been steadily growing and has now reached fever pitch.
The opposite stand, espoused by a very vocal sector, recognizes nothing valuable in how the present rulers structured Ethiopia and have ruled it for a quarter of a century. In this perspective, the present rulers put Ethiopia on a completely disastrous course from the outset by structuring Ethiopia into a federation curved along ethno-linguistic bases. Proponents of this stand see no alternative to dumping the present administrative system lock, stock and barrel.
The rancorous debate between these two opposing sides, hence, offers nothing new about the future. The present rulers are determined to preserve the status quo that has been rejected by most Ethiopians. Their vocal opponents look back to the time when the country was conceived as a unitary state with ethnic homogenization through assimilation as a strategy to forge a unitary nation and wish to restore it. But that conception of Ethiopia was militarily challenged by an increasing number of armed groups culminating in its replacement by the present structure. Hence, Ethiopian society is being offered the choice of either enduring the present failed approach to governance or the one preceding it, which has also disastrously failed. It is the stalemate between these two proposals, lacking any forward looking element, which worries us about the future of Ethiopia.
We wish to state one of our convictions up front. Structuring Ethiopia as a multinational state is a move in the right direction. And this move is due to neither the diabolical nor noble intensions of the present rulers. It was a historical necessity that was insurmountable at the time the military regime collapsed and the current rulers were catapulted to power. Consequently, the present rulers deserve neither commendation nor condemnation for embracing the principle of multinational federalism in Ethiopia. Structuring Ethiopia as a multinational state was as an unavoidable as was the Dergue’s Land Reform Proclamation of 4 March 1975. Both of these constructive developments in Ethiopia’s recent history were however ultimately abused to serve negative purposes not because they were wrong but because those ruling the country are/were averse to democracy in both instances.
The fundamental aim of this Proposal is articulating an alternative to the two proposals discussed above. Its core intention is recognizing and preserving what is positive in the status quo as well as the one preceding it. This stems from our conviction that some progress has been registered during each of the previous two incidents of change. When posed in this manner, the intention of this Proposal is undeniably reformist. Even at this eleventh hour of a popular revolution precipitated by the regime’s refusal to implement the minimum of reforms in its core policies and basic modus operandi, we believe reform and reformism offers the best route out of the country’s malaise. It aspires to build on positive developments during these instances of change instead of aspiring to totally scrap them.
All stakeholders must admit one fact. The only thing unchangeable in human history is the inevitability of change. Hence, it is better to anticipate the inevitably coming change and plan for it than to be overwhelmed by its unexpected consequences after it has occurred.
What constitutes the litmus test for evaluating the preferred direction of the coming change? We believe the answer lies in Martin Luther King’s now well-known observation that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Thus, the next process of change in Ethiopia should position the country “on the arc of the moral universe … bending toward justice.” Morality demands the search for justice for all.
Seeking justice for all is the fundamental aim of this Proposal. Because what is considered as just by one set of actors is often denounced as unjust by another group of actors, even the term “justice” could be controversial in the Ethiopian context just like so many other concepts.
What principle can help close the gulf separating these kinds of contrasting stands concerning justice? We propose that if the exercise of any right does not unjustly infringe on another’s ability to freely exercise their rights, then justice for all would be realized.
This Proposal is deliberately written in a concise form for a reason. The more is stated, the more detractors would find reasons to argue against it. We are not afraid of debate but wish to avoid the hair-splitting type of exchanges that so bedevil political discourse in Ethiopia. We are also not directly addressing the issues that are subjects of ongoing controversies in the country. Instead we are dealing with the premises, traditions and mentalities—worldviews—lurking behind the positions currently confronting each other. Unless these underlying assumptions are seriously interrogated and their hindrance to charting a better future is unearthed, we are condemned to relive our past and dismal present. To prevent Ethiopia from sliding into further chaos, many, including some from the international community, are calling for dialogue between Ethiopia’s contending stakeholders to resolve the impasse. Dialogue is the only alternative. However, no dialogue can tackle the impasse without meaningfully addressing the mindsets that underlie the ongoing conflict. This Proposal is prepared with this in mind.
1. THE MEANS DETERMINES THE END
Political movements in Ethiopia disagree on almost all issues except one. And that exception is democracy. Not a single Ethiopian movement is opposed to democracy. All movements agree that the installation of a democratic order should be the aim of the ongoing struggle. This common aspiration, hence, constitutes the factor potentially uniting the country’s gravely divided movements. Hence, this is an asset that is worth cherishing, preserving and promoting. A potential area of contention is perhaps the undue focus on outcomes rather than the process of democracy and the quality—their impartiality, professionalism, and openness—of the institutions that serve as the pillars of genuinely democratic society.
The controversial question is how the struggle for democracy should be conducted. Specifically, what means of struggle is likely to lead to democracy and what is not? The answer can be found by revisiting the recent history of Ethiopia. On several occasions during the last half century, Ethiopian movements have employed armed/violent struggle as the means to achieve democracy. They have fallen far short of their intended aspiration in each instance. The experiences of numerous other countries corroborate this tragic end result of armed struggle.
At this stage, asking the following provocative question appears pertinent: What is insanity? The equally provocative answer is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Consequently, if democracy is truly our common aspiration, we should reconsider our attitude regarding armed struggle. Armed struggle has not culminated in democracy in the past and is not likely to do so in the future.
The reason for this tragic consequence of armed struggle is quite simple if we are willing to stop and think. Any group employing armed means can prevail over the incumbent dictatorship only under one condition. And that is excelling the incumbent in precisely those behaviors that are inimical to democracy: secretiveness, unquestioning obedience top-down diktats, and intolerance of differing opinion. Because of the need to excel in these undemocratic behaviors in order to defeat the incumbent dictatorship, democracy becomes the first casualty of armed struggle within the movement conducting it. And a movement that itself is undemocratic cannot be expected to become a democratizing agency. No one can practice democracy in the external arena while internally suppressing it. And no internally democratic movement has ever succeeded in successfully conducting the protracted armed struggle that overcoming tyranny entail. Even established democracies are forced to significantly curtail civil freedoms during times of war and serious security threats.
Armed struggle, hence, is ineffective in ushering in democracy and effective only in replacing one form of dictatorship with an even more repressive alternative. Breaking out of this vicious cycle is possible only by dispensing with the common practice of blaming the incumbent for forcing armed means on those seeking democracy. A dictatorship obviously fears and hates democracy more than anything else. As the result, it prefers to maneuver its opponents into engaging it on the undemocratic plane, where it has the upper hand. Those genuinely seeking democracy should consciously avoid struggling in the manner preferred by the incumbent dictatorship.
As the country gradually inches day by day into armed struggle as a default and unavoidable option, it is hard to argue against an oppressed people’s right to defend itself against violent repression by the ruling party. The temptation to avenge our killers and defend against the onslaught of our oppressors is a natural human reaction. Self-defense, by all means in one’s disposal, is an inviolable right. However, we still need to stop and think seriously about where this slippery slope lands us: into the arms of another tyranny.
Even if armed struggle is proven to be unavoidable due to the sheer brutality of the ongoing repression on the civilian population, its negative consequences and how to limit its negative repercussions need to be looked at closely and dispassionately—even if doing so at a time when sections of the country are being turned into bloodbath is seen as ivory-tower intellectual conceit.
The reason why armed struggle replaces one form of dictatorship with an even more repressive alternative has been stated. The dictatorship that captures power by armed means has another complicating nature. It becomes imbued with a high degree of self-righteousness even as the struggle is underway. This is due to the fact that the leadership overseeing the struggle invokes democracy to motivate its followers to pay the highest sacrifice. Such a leadership ultimately assumes that it alone epitomizes democracy. Any criticism of such a leadership runs the risk of being portrayed as opposing democracy and mercilessly suppressed.
After coming to power, such a dictatorship also loves to invoke the memory of the martyrs who died in the struggle as the current regime does ad nauseam. It harangues the public non-stop that it owes a debt to the martyrs and does not state when this debt is paid up. Hence, the dead ends up indefinitely dominating the living. And all sorts of crimes are likely to be committed in the name of those who no more are in a position to express their opinion.
Moreover, the ownership of armed struggle steadily narrows during the struggle ultimately being monopolized by the secretive conspiratorial top leaders or even the top leading personality opening the way for the cult of personality. This appears to be innate to armed struggle and has repeatedly recurred in world history.
The ownership of non-violent struggle, on the contrary, has to continuously expand to embrace all participants. In fact, the only way non-violent struggles can succeed is through widespread public ownership and their active and creative participation in it. The aim and strategies of non-violent struggle are openly declared in order to attract a widespread participation. Once owned by the public in this manner, the path to narrowing the ownership of the struggle is blocked forever. Over all, the ultimate aim of non-violent struggle is openly declared and pursued—imbuing it with a high degree of internal democracy; and can thus culminate in the installation of a democratic order.
Sacrificing one’s life is sadly inevitable in the conduct of both non-violent and armed struggles. But the leaders of armed struggle often end up considering human life as just one of the many resources expended during its conduct. They ultimately draw a balance sheet of the deaths they inflict on the enemy and their own casualties. This cavalier attitude towards human life ultimately devalues it. Combatants are discouraged from openly expressing their grief about the death of their own comrades, to say nothing about that of the opposing force.
Both non-violent and armed struggle require a high degree of selflessness, including the willingness to lay down one’s precious life. However, participants in armed struggle are more nonchalant about taking the life of the opponent—precisely because they are selfless enough to put their own life on the line. On the contrary, non-violent struggle is premised on making the loss of any life unnecessary. And regrettable, when it happens. Those engaged in non-violent struggle do not aim to t life but to give their own if necessary. Participants in non-violent struggle value their own life as much as they value that of their persecutors. And when any life is lost during the non-violent struggle, the public turns out to mourn and celebrate the life of the martyr.
Armed and non-violent struggle have contrasting impacts on the internal solidarity of the incumbent dictatorship. Armed struggle tends to approach the incumbent as a monolithic entity and aspires to demolish it by force. This external threat plays into the hand of the top leadership of the dictatorship who portrays any threat against it as a threat to anyone sharing anything with it. The rhetoric of the armed opponent may give more prominence to denouncing the top leadership of the dictatorship. But in practice this denunciation runs the risk of steadily expanding to include the society that spawned the top leadership of the dictatorship. This top leadership would also do everything to fuel this fear of the society that spawned it.
On the contrary, non-violent struggle has the potential of driving a wedge among factions and interest groups within the camp of the dictatorship. Non-violent struggle does not approach the dictatorship as a monolithic entity but a collection of human beings. It does not dismiss outright the existence of individuals with conscience even within the camp of the dictatorship. Non-violent struggle deploys moral arguments in order to impact the conscience of all involved. Some, even in the camp of the dictatorship, are liable to be impacted by this form of persuasion. Hence, non-violent struggle has the potential of drawing a wedge between moderates and the extremist core of the dictatorship.
2. THE DIVISIVE ROLE OF ETHIOPIAN HISTORY
The preceding section cited Ethiopia’s history of the last half century in order to evaluate the efficacy of armed struggle in charting a common democratic future. Hence, imagining and working for the realization of a common democratic future inevitably involves looking back at the past. But this does not appear promising in the Ethiopian context. Reading and interpreting history tend to be very divisive. The heroes of one set of actors happen to be the villains of another. And one group’s history is considered as fiction by another. What is seen as the Golden Age of one group is portrayed as the dawn of the Dark Age for another. Even the depth of Ethiopian history is just as controversial. Does the history of contemporary Ethiopia uninterruptedly stretch back for several millennia or is it only a little over a century long?
Why is the history of other African countries rarely as controversial? Perhaps this could be due to the fact that the powers that created the other African countries packed up and left after independence. In Ethiopia, however the state was created by indigenous actors and the society from which the creators of the contemporary state were home-grown and have had nowhere else to go. And, as in any other processes of state formation, armed conquest was involved in bringing present-day Ethiopia into existence. But unlike other democratic countries, where the initial act of coercion by force was ultimately replaced by voluntary consent, force still remains the factor holding Ethiopia’s disparate cultural/linguistic societies together. As the result, when and how Ethiopia was put together still remains the subject of an emotive debate. The politicization of the reading and interpretation and re-interpretation of Ethiopian history thus still rubs raw nerves. This has the implication of rendering the historicization of politics in Ethiopia inevitable. Consequently, political stands tend to be backed with a specific interpretation of past history. When politics should rather be about solving problems facing today’s and tomorrow’s generations! Unless a way is found around this mutual politicization of history and the historicization of politics, imagining and realizing a common democratic future will thus remain unattainable.
Finding a way around this burden of Ethiopian history that stands in the way of imagining and articulating a common democratic future is way beyond the scope of this very brief writing. Instead, what will be attempted is proposing a few approaches on how to stem the obstacle posed by differing readings and interpretations of Ethiopia’s history. Even this modest attempt has a lot of dangerous, risky and controversial implications.
First, is it perhaps possible to agree that there is no such thing as the clinical and absolutely objective writing of history? Hence, the work of even the most refined professional historians is inevitably influenced by their biased preferences of some data, reading or perspective over others. Even research in such supposedly clinical subjects as physics, chemistry and other physical sciences is affected by preferential tapping of data and paradigms. This results from the fact that understanding any objective reality involves some degree of abstraction. A society’s means of understanding its past does not stand still: it continues to evolve, on account of the advent of new technology, and changes in philosophical perspectives and social tastes and sensitivities, necessitating a rereading and re-interpretation of the past. In addition, the archival material normally cited by historians is itself produced by contemporary chroniclers with their own biases—some selected in and many others left out. Hence, treating any history as Gospel truth should be approached with the utmost care.
Second, can we agree that the notion of “people without history” is not only wrong and unjust but also serves as the rationale for the commission of injustice? Every society has a past although maybe its ancestors did not have a literate culture to document it in writing. Hence, the history of the world should ideally be the sum total of the histories of all humans. Likewise, the history of a particular country should be the sum total of the histories of all sectors of its population.
Third, the literature which serves as the source for writing history is often assembled by individuals belonging to the dominant sector. This, hence, stamps history with a bias favoring the victor when documenting a particular process of state formation. History speaks in the commanding voice of the victor and mutes out the faint voices of the vanquished. The situation and suffering of the victim is rarely even mentioned. This has an inevitable implication. History written based on such a biased documentation ends up humiliating the descendants of those victims. Such was the history of Ethiopia that motivated some groups to develop a thirst for a kind of history differing from the one officially taught in schools. The end result was the politicization of Ethiopian history mentioned above. If we really want to end this, the state and state organs ought to favor the history of Ethiopia that reflects the role of all communities, which history should be taught in schools. This requires accepting that all communities have played a role in shaping contemporary Ethiopia.
Fourth, can we agree that there is no such thing as a completely blameless society? Every society has committed aggression against one or another of its neighbors at some times while finding itself at the receiving end of aggression by one or another of its neighbors at another time.
Finally, none of us chose the family/society into which we were born nor the particular locality or country where we were born. As individuals, we have the choice of moving to another country and of changing our citizenship. The society into which we were born, however, cannot exercise this option. Its only option is finding a way to peacefully live with its dignity upheld with the other societies thrown together to shape the population of the country. The focus of the effort of Ethiopia’s political movements should be working out the terms that allow such a dignified and peaceful coexistence among all the cultural/linguistic communities composing the Ethiopian population.
Proposal: Hence, can we agree to live with differing readings and interpretations of Ethiopia’s history on one condition? That it should not permanently demonize and criminalize a particular sector of the Ethiopian population, exclude any other from being part of the state, or deny that injustice was ever committed. Otherwise, our divergent reading and interpretation of Ethiopian history would permanently stand in the way of realizing a common democratic future.
3. THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
One of the most controversial and unavoidable issues in jointly seeking and charting a common democratic future concerns the invocation of the right of self-determination by marginalized groups, including the Oromo, who otherwise make up close to half of the country’s population. Returning to the debate surrounding this issue is not promising because contrasting stands have congealed. Instead, we should focus on the right to self-identification, without which self-determination or any other political project is impossible. Hence we start by addressing the controversial nature of self-identification because it is another matter standing in the way of forging a common democratic future in Ethiopia. This is yet another factor that sets apart Ethiopian politics from that of other countries, at least in Africa. This kind of controversy is almost non-existent elsewhere in Africa where individuals freely identify themselves either as members of their ethnic community or citizens of their country depending on the context. In Ethiopia, however, controversy rages over whether individuals first and foremost refer to themselves as Oromo, Amhara, Sidama, Afar, Guraghe, Somali, Tigrean, Anyuak, etc. or strictly as Ethiopians.
Delving into this topic runs the risk of just contributing to the presently raging controversy instead of defusing it. A volume can be written on the topic and yet fail to suggest a way around it. The aim of this brief writing is to suggest a number of simple principles that could point to a way to how to defuse this raging controversy.
First, can we agree that the right to self-identification is a fundamental human right that belongs to the self-concerned and to no one else? Stripping individuals of this right amounts to violating their humanity. It is like treating them as objects instead of conscious subjects. Whoever says to individuals “you are allowed to call yourself only A and not B” is exercising supremacy. Such a designator is also asserting ownership of the designated. Those exercising this type of supremacy by appropriating the others’ right to self-identification are in the position to also change their mind and say “from now on you can only identify yourself as X and not Y.” As the result, those whose right to self-identification has been appropriated in this manner are forced to lead a precarious life always questioning how they will be designated next.
Second, can we agree that the right to self-identification is a fundamental democratic right in the absence of which it is impossible to organize for any common purpose: political, social, cultural, religious, etc.? Individuals have to identify themselves as workers, women, members of cultural/linguistic community, etc. in order to organize to pursue a common objective. Restricting this right in any manner would ultimately lead to curtailing the right to assembly and organization. After all, the human being is fundamentally a social creature.
Third, can we agree that self-identification can be invoked in a multiple and contextual manner? Individuals can identify themselves as workers in one context. And as women at other times. And as women workers in yet another context, in which self-identification both as worker and woman is invoked. Likewise, why is it not possible for individuals to identify themselves as Oromo in one situation and as Oromo Ethiopians under another?
The answer is quite simple. Until recently being an Oromo was officially portrayed as antithetical to being an Ethiopian. This mentality is still reflected in the discourse of a vocal sector of Ethiopia’s elite. It is this mentality that drove some Oromo activists to articulate being an Oromo as antithetical to being an Ethiopian. Rejecting those who reject you is a natural human reaction. If at some time the dominant system denied Oromo identity as part of Ethiopian identity or tried to eliminate its traditions or discourage the use of its language through various means, one should not be surprised if those at the other end thought the same, and tried to assert the right denied. The only way to resolve this problem is by accepting that being an Oromo and an Ethiopian is not mutually exclusive and is indeed possible.
Fourth, can we agree that the right to self-identification can be invoked to serve constructive or destructive purposes? When this right is invoked to attack and belittle others, it definitely serves a destructive purpose. When it is invoked to seek justice for oneself as human beings, however, it plays a constructive role. Struggling for justice for the self should not amount to denying justice to others. And when it does, a red line has been crossed and should be corrected. Only when such a red line is crossed is the right to self-identification serving a negative purpose.
4. HOW TO INSTITUTE INCLUSIVE CHANGE
Ethiopia has undergone several incidents of tumultuous change during the past half century. There is one thing common to all these incidents of change. A particular group or even an individual ultimately monopolized the political space subsequent to the change that unfolded. Some of these changes started with widespread societal participation. This was the case especially with the process that brought the imperial era to an end. But soon after the imperial regime was unseated, various rival groups fought each other with the aim of monopolizing Ethiopia’s political space. This rivalry pitted against each other several nascent parties that claimed Marxism-Leninism as their ideology, and pioneered the practice of the “Red Terror” in order to self-righteously liquidate members of their opponents. The military clique simply appropriated this practice and employed it to demolish the rival civilian parties. Meanwhile, several processes of liquidation occurred within the junta at the end of which one officer managed to monopolize the political space.
When the military regime was overthrown in May 1991, the incoming EPRDF signaled its willingness to share political space with other movements by inviting them to join the Transitional Government. Within a few months, however, more and more of these non-EPRDF organizations were either systematically eased out or left the Transitional Government out of frustration. The course was set thereafter ultimately culminating in the monopolization of the political space in Ethiopia by the EPRDF. In the course of the following decade, the same process unfolded within the EPRDF, and one person eventually monopolized the political space, until his natural death.
We cannot change how these previous processes of change unfolded. But we can, and have to, identify and deal with the mentality that made the monopolization of political space inevitable in both instances. Otherwise, we will remain stuck in the vicious cycle of witnessing groups and individuals replacing each other as the monopoly holders of the political space. In undemocratic systems, monopolizing political space enables monopolizing the economic and other spheres as well.
First, these recurrent monopolizations of political space resulted from the mentality of “winners take all.” Not only that, the winning party is determined to indefinitely keep its gains. This means that losers lose everything and permanently. As the result, the losers have no stake whatsoever in the incumbent order. This drives the opposition not to acknowledge anything worthwhile in the policies and practices of the incumbent ruler. Neither does the incumbent acknowledge anything positive in the policy proposals of the opposition. In fact those in power view opposition to the regime as criminal. Change stemming from these mutually confrontational stands can have no other outcome but zero-sum.
Second, the feeling of self-righteousness slips in to further complicate this already complicated political contest. Each party portrays an absolute conviction that its stand, and only its stand, can serve the interest of the country or the people which it purports to represent. This often extends to the effort of trying to make the rule of the incumbent coterminous with that of not only the administration but also the Ethiopian state. As the result, successive rulers have done everything possible to wrap the state around themselves in order to signal that any threat directed against them is also a threat to the survival of the Ethiopian state itself. The country is currently on the verge of a frightening possibility due to this mentality.
Third, differentiating the state and government, which has never happened in Ethiopia to date, becomes well-nigh impossible so long as this mentality prevails. The bureaucracy, the military, police, the judicial system, etc. are believed to belong to the incumbent and to promote strictly its interests under this dispensation. Even the Constitution is believed to be an instrument tailored to reflect and enforce the vision and interests of strictly the incumbent ruler. Consequently, all these pillars of state institutions have undergone significant overhauls after each incident of change to date.
Demolishing these institutions and starting all over again after each incident of change is a very expensive undertaking in a country as impoverished as Ethiopia. It is also wrong because all forms of administration have positive and negative aspects. And positive aspects can be preserved and refined while removing the obviously negative ones. This requires both the incumbent and opposition agreeing on a couple of matters. The incumbent rulers should acknowledge that their policies and practices are not perfect by admitting that they are fallible human beings. The opposition should likewise acknowledge that not all the policies and practices of the incumbent stem from its diabolical intentions but also from burning question at the time it rose to power. And any policies and structures instituted by the incumbent to accommodate historically-rooted demands need to be preserved. So long as this kind of mentality replaces the one prevailing until now, both the defenders of the status quo and agents of change will have something in common.
Our proposal, hence, is a simple one: Those wanting to preserve the status quo can and should acknowledge that accepting some changes may serve such a purpose. And those seeking change should similarly acknowledge that preserving the positive aspects of the status quo could ease such a process.
5. SYSTEMIC CHALLENGES
We, members of the opposition, love to hold the ruling party responsible for all of Ethiopia’s predicaments. Doing so may be politic but we should not mislead ourselves by our own rhetoric. This does not mean to exonerate the ruling party from its responsibility for the current crisis and debacle in which its security forces are turning the country into a bloodbath and one huge prison. There are undoubtedly problems introduced by the present rulers. There are others that they inherited and exacerbated instead of defusing. And there are still others that are beyond the control of the present rulers regardless of their claim to be fully in control.
For example, climate change is truly becoming a problem defying even the most powerful countries. And in the Ethiopian context, this challenge is further compounded by the simultaneous depletion and pollution of natural resources and galloping population growth. This makes the prioritization of poverty alleviation higher than any other pursuit. The present rulers should be commended for putting development at the top of their priorities although whether they are genuinely and fairly implementing it could be debated. And any incoming regime must be prepared to refine and build on their efforts.
6. TECHNICAL MATTERS
This Proposal has not addressed such technical issues of caretaker government and other transitional arrangements. These issues will be addressed in a separate proposal, to be shared with different stakeholders and developed collaboratively. This decision stems from our conviction that such matters are less controversial than the attitudinal and traditional mind-sets that stand in the way of imagining and realizing a common democratic future.
Statement by the allied Oromo liberation forces on the official declaration of a State of Emergency by the TPLF shifta regime in Finfinne/Addis Ababa
The declaration of a State of Emergency by the lawless TPLF regime in Ethiopia is a blatantly egregious act making a bad situation a lot worse.
Statement by the allied Oromo liberation forces on the official declaration of a State of Emergency by the TPLF shifta regime in Finfinne/Addis Ababa
While Oromia is in mourning, burying the dead and still counting victims of the October 2 Irreecha Massacre, the lawless regime that perpetrated that Irreecha tragedy has declared a state of emergency in the country. “State of emergency” primarily aims lawful protection of life and property. But this is TPLF rule, whose distinctive marks are wanton destruction of life and embezzlement and looting of public and private property, ever since the regime came to power. The regime always has been a single-party tyranny, in spite of the constitutional facade of multi-party system, and there has been no respect for civil and political rights of anyone other than members of the regime and their armed surrogates. Oromia in particular has been under military rule since the on-going peaceful protest began on November 12, 2015. The declaration of a state emergency now, therefore, is nothing more than formalizing the existing state terror. It is more of the same poisonous pill that cannot moderate the TPLF’s lawless brutality. There is obviously no respite for their victims in Oromia or elsewhere.
We have in the past pointed out the TPLF’s myopic political prism and their obvious incapacity to understand, much less resolve, the perennial issues at stake on their own. The fundamental issues are persistent and deeply rooted, including a call for recognizing and ensuring basic democratic liberties, freedom and self-determination, a process which will require sober and inclusive deliberations by all interested parties. These are issues that cannot be resolved single handedly by authoritarianism and violence of TPLF. Only a civilized peaceful political process with the participation of the principal interested parties can lead the way out of the current logjam.
The protest in Oromia is non-violent and its aims are respect for basic democratic rights, freedom and democracy; in short, it aims for the achievement of universally-recognized rights. These aspirations are gaining support from all population groups in the country, without exception. The proper reply for the sacrifices of the people of Oromia who persist in their peaceful protest should have been opening up of dialogue with the genuine representatives of the people to address those issues of democracy, freedom and peace. The declaration of the state of emergency and applying the same worn out tactics and strategies of more violence and repression reveals that the TPLF is desperately out of depth, out of message and totally bereft of constructive ideas. Once again we remind them that the road to solution and out of the problem lies in dialogue, not more violence and repression. They should act now to save themselves and the region from looming catastrophe that their obstinacy is leading us toward.
To the gallant people of Oromia: the declaration of a state of emergency is yet another phase of TPLF terror with which you are already familiar and, albeit with serious sacrifices, an approach that so far you have successfully withstood. You have everything to gain to persevere in the struggle. At the same time, we need to be watchful against a TPLF divide-and-rule policy of turning one against the other in order to continue oppressing all. Your protection of non-Oromo in Oromia, including ethnic Tigrean residents, is exemplary. It has won you world-wide admiration and sympathy and support of all your neighbors.
We take this opportunity to say again, in order to deny TPLF any pretext, and to give peace a chance, that combatants of different liberation forces are requested to continue observing voluntary cessation of hostilities, except in cases of strict self-defense.
To the African Union and leadership of individual member states: Your deafening silence and inaction in the face of TPLF brutal regime’s atrocities in and around your headquarters in Oromia is an indelible stain on the continental body’s good name and ideals. It indeed does no honor to the continental body and its pledge to promote the interests of Africans if you remain quiet while the uprooting and wanton destruction of inhabitants’ farmsteads in Oromia in localities that can be seen from the windows of your headquarters is going on! Does the massacre of Oromo pilgrims in Irreecha really mean nothing to the AU? We hope and trust that you will uphold “respect for the dignity of the human person in Africa” as an ideal for launching a continental unity that founding fathers like Abubakar Tafewa Balewa spoke of.
We implore the US, UK, EU and others who are supporting the TPLF regime: Use their influence to impress on the TPLF the need to work for a peaceful transition in cooperation with representatives of the people, instead of pushing the country towards a dangerous precipice, which the current barbarous exercise of drawing on more irresponsible and arbitrary emergency powers is bound to speed up.
We express our gratitude to all democratic forces who expressed their solidarity and empathy with the people of Oromia at this trying time including, Amhara, Konso, Ogadenia, Harari, and many others. We also acknowledge the principled solidarity expressed by Tigrean democratic individuals and organisations. We wish to reiterate that, with the support of you all, the peaceful struggle being waged and sacrifices being paid by the people of Oromia for human dignity, freedom, democracy and self-determination, will prevail over evil forces of tyranny and usher in a new era of freedom, brotherhood of peoples, tolerance and democracy.
The struggle for freedom and democracy shall prevail.
Coordinating committee of allied Oromo Liberation Forces
(ODF, OLF, OLF-“U”, and FIO)
October 12, 2016
ODF/PG7 – የእሬቻ ክብረ በዓል ተሣታፊዎችን ፍጅት በተመለከት ከኦሮሞ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር(ኦዲግ) እና ከአርበኞች ግንቦት 7 ለአንድነትና ዲሞክራሲ ንቅናቄ የተሰጠ መግለጫ
የሃያ-አምስት ዓመታት የሕወሐት አገዛዝ ቁም ስቅላችሁን ያሣያችሁና ከመሞት በላይ ከመኖር በታች የሆነ የሰቀቀን ኑሮ የምትገፉ ዉድ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች ሆይ፡-
የኦሮሞ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር (ኦዲግ) እና የአርበኞች ግንቦት 7 ለአንድነትና ዲሞክራሲ ንቅናቄ ከቡሾፍቱ የተሠራጨዉን የወገኖቻችንን እልቂት የሚገልፅ እጅግ በጣም ዘግናኝ የሆነ ዜና የተከታተልነዉ በቃላት ለመግለፅ በሚያስቸግር የሃዘንና የጭንቀት ስሜት ነዉ፡፡ የፋሺስቱ ወያኔ አጋዚ ሠራዊት በኦሮሚያ ክልል ቡሾፍቱ በሚገኘዉ ሆረ አርሰዲ የእሬቻን በዓል ለማክበር በተሰበሰቡ በሚሊዮኖች የሚቆጠሩ ዜጎች ላይ የወሰደዉ ጭካኔ የተመላበት እርምጃ ህዝብን አስተዳድራለሁ ብሎ በመንግሥትነት ሥልጣን ላይ በተቀመጠ አካል ዕዉቅናና ትዕዛዝ የተፈፀመ መሆኑ የዚህን ዘረኛ ሥርዓት መሪዎች እንደሰዉ ማሰብ መቻል እንድንጠራጠር አድርጎናል፡፡ የእሬቻ በዓል የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ ለዘመናት ታግሎና ተንከባክቦ በመጠበቅ ካቆያቸዉ የማንነቱ መገለጫ ከሆኑት እሴቶቹ አንዱ መሆኑ ይታወቃል፡፡ በተለያዩ የመገናኛ ብዙሃን እንደተገለፀዉ በአገራችን ታሪክ እስከዛሬ ታይቶና ተሰምቶም በማይታወቅ ሁኔታ ባህላዊ እምነታቸዉን በሚያከብሩበት ሥፍራ በጣም ብዙ ዜጎቻችን በአጋዚ ነፍሰ ገዳዮች ወደ ገደል ተነድተዉና በጥይትም ተጨፍጭፈዉ አልቀዋል፡፡ በብዙ መቶዎች የሚቆጠሩ የበዓሉ ተሣታፊዎች ደግሞ ይህ መግለጫ እስከሚዘጋጅበት ጊዜ ድረስ የደረሱበት አለመታወቁን ከሥፍራዉ ከተላለፉልን መረጃዎች ለማወቅ ችለናል፡፡ ይህን የሕወሐት ድርጊት የበለጠ አሣዛኝና እጅግ በጣም ዘግናኝ የሚያደርገዉ ደግሞ የእነዚህ ዜጎች ወንጀል በሕወሐት አረመኔያዊ አገዛዝ ሥር ታፍነን መማቀቅ በቃን ብለዉ ፍፁም ሰላማዊ በሆነ መንገድ ተቃዉሟቸዉን ለመግለፅ መሞከራቸዉ ብቻ የመሆኑ እዉነታ ነዉ፡፡
ይህ የጭካኔ እርምጃ የሕወሐት/ኢህአዴግ አገዛዝ ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች ባለዉ ንቀትና ጥላቻ መሠረት በማን አለብኝነት ፍትሃዊ ጥየቄ ባነሱ የአገራችን ሕዝቦች ሁሉ ላይ ያወጀዉን ጦርነት ወደመተግበር መሸጋገሩን የሚያሣይ ነዉ፡፡ ስለሆነም ይህን በሰላማዊዉ የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ ላይ የተደረገ ለማመን የሚያስቸግር ግድያ በመግለጫ ብቻ ማዉገዝ በቂ እንዳልሆነ ይሰማናል፡፡ ለደረሰዉ የሰዉ ህይወት ጥፋት ብቸኛ ተጠያቂዉ የሕወሐት/ኢህአዴግ መንግሥት በመሆኑ መሪዎቹ ከተጠያቂነት እንደማያመልጡ ልናሰምርበት እንወዳለን፡፡ ይህን ዓይነት ዘግናኝ እልቂት ለማስቀረት የሚቻለዉ የሕወሐት/ኢህአዴግን አገዛዝ በማስወገድ መሆኑ አያጠያይቅም፡፡ ይህን አገዛዝ ለማስወገድ ደግሞ በተቃዉሞዉ ጎራ ያለን ኃይሎች አንድ ላይ ሆነን ለነፃነት የሚደረገዉን ትግል የበለጠ ማፋፋም ብሎም ጠንካራ አማራጭ ኃይል ሆነን በመገኘት በህዝባችን እየተካሄደ ያለዉን ትግል ከግብ ማድረስ ይኖርብናል፡፡ በዚህ ረገድ ኦዲግ እና አርበኞች ግንቦት 7 ለአንድነትና ዲሞክራሲ ንቅናቄ በጋራ ተግባራዊ እንቅስቃሴዎችን ማድረግ ጀምረናል፡፡ ይህ አሁን የደረሰዉ ዕልቂት ደግሞ የጀመርነዉን የጋራ ትግል የበለጠ አጠናክረን እንድንቀጥል የሚያደርገን መሆኑን እናረጋግጣለን፡፡
የተከበራችሁ ወገኖቻችን ሆይ፡-
የአሁኑ መስዋዕትነታችሁ በሕወሐት የሚመራዉን ሥርዓት በተቀናጀ መልኩ ታግለን ለመጣል የጀመርነዉን የጋራ ትግል በአስቸኳይ ወደ ሰፊ የአንድነት፣ የነፃነት፣ የዲሞክራሲና የፍትህ ታገዮች ህብረት በማሸጋገር ይህን የወንበዴዎች ቡድን በማስወገድ ነፃነት፣ ዲሞክራሲና ፍትህ የሰፈነበትን ሥርዓት በአገራችን ዕዉን ለማድረግ የበለጠ ተግተን እንድንሠራ ያስገድደናል፡፡ ስለሆነም እስከዛሬ በሕይወትና በአካል የከፈላችሁትና እየከፈላችሁ ያላችሁት መስዋዕትነት ፍሬያማ እንዲሆን ለማድረግ ቆርጠን ተነስተናል፡፡ በዚህም ላይ ተመሥርተን የወያኔ የግፍ ድርጊቶች ገፈት ቀማሽ ለሆናችሁት ሕዝቦቻችንና በአገር ዉስጥም ሆነ ከአገር ዉጭ ላሉ የኢትዮጵያ የነፃነት፣ የዲሞክራሲና የፍትህ ታጋዮች የሚከተለዉን ጥሪ ስናቀርብ ሁላችሁም የአሁኑ የሕወሐት አረመኔያዊ ድርጊት ከምን ጊዜዉም የተለየ መሆኑንና በሥርዓቱ ቁንጮዎች የታወጀብንን ግልፅ ጦርነት በቀላሉ የማንመለከተዉ መሆኑን ተረድታችሁ የየበኩላችሁን እንደምታደርጉ በመተማመን ነዉ፡፡
1. ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች በሙሉ፡-
የሕወሐት/ኢህአዴግ መሪዎች ላለፉት ሃያ-አምስት ዓመታት አንተን ከሰዉነት ዉጭ አድርገዉ ለአስከፊ ችግር፣ ለሰቆቃ፣ ለስደትና ለመፈናቀል ዳርገዉህ እነርሱ ግን ያንተኑ አንጡራ ሃብት በተለያየ መንገድ በመዝረፍ ቅንጦት የተመላበት ኑሮ መኖር አልበቃ ብሏቸዉ ዛሬ ደግሞ ያወጁብህን ጦርነት በግልፅ መተግበር ጀምረዋል፡፡ ባለፉት 11 ወራት ብቻ በሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ ሰዎች በኦሮሚያ፣ በአማራ፣ በኮንሶ እና በሌሎችም የኢትዮጵያ ክልሎች ያለምንም ጥፋት በግፍ መገደላቸዉ ይታወሳል፡፡ በ10 ሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ ዉድ ልጆችህን በተለያዩ የአገሪቱ ክልሎች ዉስጥ እንደፋብሪካ አስፋፍተዉ በከፈቷቸዉ የማሰቃያ ማዕከላት ዉስጥ አጉረዉ በታሪክ ከምናዉቀዉ በናዚ ማጎሪያ ቤቶች ይደረግ ከነበረዉ የማሰቃያ መንገድ በከፋ ሁኔታ ከማሰቃየትም አልፈዉ እሥር ቤቶችን በእሳት በማጋየት ሰዉን ያህል ክቡር ፍጡር አቃጥለዉ ሲገድሉ ታዝበናል፡፡ እነርሱ በሕዝብ ላይ ጦርነት ማወጃቸዉ እንዳለ ሆኖ አንተ ያነሣህባቸዉን የአልገዛም ባይነት ሰላማዊ የተቃዉሞ ጥያቄ በትግራይ ሕዝብ ላይ ያነጣጠርከዉ በማስመሰል የሕዝብ-ለሕዝብ ፍጅት ለማስነሣት የዉሸት ፕሮፓጋንዳ በሰፊዉ ነዝተዋል፡፡ መስከረም 22 ቀን 2009 ቡሾፍቱ በሚገኘዉ ሆረ አርሰዲ ዓመታዊዉን የእሬቻ በዓል ለማክበር በተሰበሰበዉ የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ ላይ የፈፀሙት የግፍ ጭፍጨፋ ያወጁብህን ጦርነት ወደከፍተኛ ደረጃ እያሸጋገሩት መሆናቸዉን በገሃድ የሚያሣይ ነዉ፡፡ የሕወሐት/ኢህአዴግ መሪዎች ይህን እርምጃ የወሰዱት የአንተ በልበ-ሙሉነት የአልገዘም ባይነት ትግልህን አጠናክረህ መቀጠል ተስፋ አሰቆርጧቸዉ እንደሆነ አያጠራጥርም፡፡ ይህ የቡሾፍቱ ጭፍጨፋ በቀላሉ ከታለፈ እነዚህ ተስፋ የቆረጡ የወያኔ መሪዎች ተመሣሣይ ጭፍጨፋዎችን በሌላዉም ሕዝብ ላይ የማይደግሙበትና አንተን ፀጥ ለጥ አድርጎ ለመግዛት የሚያስችላቸዉን እርምጃ አጠናክረዉ የማይቀጥሉበት ምክንያት አይኖርም፡፡ ስለሆነም የእኔ ነዉ ብለህ የምትቀበለዉን በነፃነት፣ በዲሞክራሲ፣ በፍትህ እና በእኩልነት ላይ የተመሠረተ መንግሥት እስክታቋቁም ድረስ የጀመርከዉን ሰላማዊ የተቃዉሞ ትግል ለአፍታ እንኳን ሳታቋርጥ እርስ በእርስህ ተባብረህና ተረዳድተህ የበለጠ አጠናክረህ ቀጥል እያልን ጥሪ ስናቀርብልህ ምንጊዜም ከጎንህ መሆናችንን እያረጋገጥን ነዉ፡፡
2. በአገር ዉስጥም ሆነ ከአገር ዉጭ በመንቀሳቀስ ላይ ለሆናችሁ የወያኔ ተቃዋሚ ኃይሎች በሙሉ፡-
ከመቼዉም ጊዜ በላይ ዛሬ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች የእኛን የተባበረ ኃይልና ያለምንም ቅድመ-ሁኔታ አብረን መቆም ከሚፈልጉበት ወሳኝ ወቅት ላይ ደርሰናል፡፡ ስለሆነም የኢትዮጵያን ሕዝቦች የነፃነት፣ የዲሞክራሲ፣ የእኩልነትና የፍትህ ጥማት ከሁሉም የፖለቲካ አመለካከት ልዩነቶቻችን አስበልጠን ማየት ይኖርብናል፡፡ አገራችን አሁን ያለችበት ሁኔታና በሕዝባችን ላይ እየተፈፀሙ ያሉት የግፍ ድርጊቶች እልባት ካላገኘንላቸዉ እንታገልለታለን የምንለዉ ሕዝብ ህልዉናም ሆነ ከወያኔ ነፃ እናደርጋታለን የምንላት የጋራ አገራችን እንደ አገር መቀጠል ጥያቄ ዉስጥ ሊገቡ እንደሚችሉ ማወቅ ይኖርብናል፡፡ ይህ እንዳይሆን ጥቃቅን ልዩነቶቻችንን ወደጎን በመተዉ ለትልቁ የአገርና የህዝብ ጉዳይ ቅድሚያ ሰጥተን የየበኩላችንን ድርሻ መወጣት ጊዜ የማይሰጠዉ ጉዳይ መሆኑን ልናሰምርበት እንወዳለን፡፡ ስለዚህ እንደ የፖለቲካ ኃይሎች ተደራጅተን የምንንቀሳቀስ ወገኖች ሁሉ ሕወሐት የከለለልንን “በአገር ዉስጥ በሰላማዊ መንገድ የሚንቀሳቀሱ” እና “ከአገር ዉጭ ያሉ” ወይም “ህጋዊ የሆኑ እና ያልሆኑ” የሚለዉን የሕወሐት ከፋፋይ ሴራ ወደጎን ትተን ተቀራርበን በመሥራት ይህን ፈታኝ ወቅት ማለፍ የማንችል ከሆነ በታሪክ ፊት ተጠያቂ ከመሆን የማንድን መሆኑን ለአፍታ እንኳን መዘንጋት የለብንም፡፡ ስለሆነም በአንድነት መንፈስ እየተዋደቀ ያለዉ ሕዝባችን ከምንም በላይ የሚፈልገዉንና በተለያዩ መንገዶች እየጠየቀ ያለዉን የተማከለ የፖለቲካ አመራር መስጠት የሚያስችለንን ሰፊ መሠረት ያለዉ ትብብር ለመመሥረት የጀመርነዉን ጉዞ እንድናፋጥንና ወደ የጋራ ተግባራዊ እንቅስቃሴ በአስቸኳይ እንድንገባ ልባዊ ጥሪያችንን በድጋሚ እናቀርብላችኋለን፡፡
ፍትህና ነፃነት ለሁሉም ሕዝቦች!!
የኦሮሞ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ግንባር (ኦዲግ) እና የአርበኞች ግንቦት 7 ለአንድነትና ዲሞክራሲ ንቅናቄ
መስከረም 2009 ዓ. ም.
ODF/PG7 – Ayyaana Irreecha Oromoo irratti dhumiinsaa fi ajjeechaa gahe ilaalchisee ibsa Adda Diimookraatawaa Oromoo (ADO) fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 irraa kenname
Ayyaana Irreecha Oromoo irratti dhumiinsaa fi ajjeechaa gahe ilaalchisee ibsa Adda Diimookraatawaa Oromoo (ADO) fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 irraa kenname
Waggoota diddamii-shaniif bittaa Wayyaanee jalatti, du’aa olii fi jiraa gadiitti lakkaawamtanii kan dhiitamaa fi hiraarfamaa jirttan lammiiwwan Itiyoophiyaa!
Dhumiinsaa fi ajjeechaa ummata keenya irra gahe ilaalchisee oduu gaddisiisaa Bushooftuu dhaa tamsa’eerifaatuu guddaadhaan hordofaa turre. Humna waraana faashistii Wayyaanee kan Agaazii jedhamee waamamuun dhumiinsaa fi ajjeechaan ummata Oromoo maliyoonaa hedduun lakkaawamu kan nagaadhaan ayyaana Irreechaa kabajauuf Hora Arsaadeetti yaa’ee irra gaye, beekumsaa fi ajaja mootummaa biyyan bulcha jedhee if dhaaduun gaggeeffamuun isaa matootii fi hooggantooti mootummaa kanaa sammuu akka namaatti yaadu dhabuu isaanii mirkaneessa.
Ummanni Oromoo qabsoo bara heedduutiin asxaalee aadaa fi eenymmaa isaa agarsiisan baay’ee keessaa kan hambifate tokko Irreecha ta’uun isaa hin mamsiisu. Ayyaana amantii isaatii irreeffachuuf saba nagaan waliitti yaa’e tokko gara jabinaan ajjeesuu fi qileetti oofanii akka dhuman taasisuun waan kanaan duraa gurraafillee dhagahamee hin beekamneedha. Oduu suukaneessaan akkasii seenaa saba fedhee keessattillee mul’atee hin beeku. Akka sab-quunnamtii adda addaa irraa dhageenyutti, hamma ammaatti namooti hedduun humna waraana Agaaziitiin rasaasaan galaafatamaniiru; loltoota Agaaziitiin dirqisiifamanii qileetti naqamaniiru; dhibbaatamaan kan lakkaawaman ammo bakki isaan bu’an hin beekamin jira. Gochaa Agaazii fi Wayyaanee kana kan caalaatti suukaneessaa taasisu ammoo yakki ummata gara jabinaan galaafatamee fi itti roorrifame kanaa diddaa garbummaa, mirga-dhalootaa fi namummaa karaa nagaa (harka qullaa) gaafachuudhaaf yaalii taasisuu isaa duwwaa ta’uu isaati.
Gara jabinni kun tuffii fi jibbiinsa Wayyaaneen saba Itiyoophiyaa hundaaf qabdu mirkaneessuu irra darbee gaafilee mirga namummaaf dhihaatan hunda humna waraanaatiin cabsee ol-aantummaan dhiitee bituuf labsii waraanaa uummattoota mormii kaasan hunda irratti dhiheenya kana labse hojjaa irra oolchuu jalqabuu isaa agarsiisa. Haa ta’u malee dhumiinsa suukaneessaa saba Oromoo irra gahe fi gahaa jiru kana ibsa baasuun balaaleffachuu qofti gahaa akka hin taane ni hubanna. Badii gahe kanaaf guutumaaan guutuutti kan itti gaafatamu hooggantoota Wayyaanee akka ta’an hubachiisuun barbaachisaaadha. Badiinsaa fi roorroo akkasii hanbisuuf Wayyaanee hiddaan buqqisuun dirqiidha. Wayyaanee hiddaan buqqisuuf ammoo tokkoomanii humna ta’uun qabsaawuun waan wal nama gaafachiisu miti. Waliiftumsanii gurmuu tokkoon qabsaawuudhaan sirna Wayyaanee dhabamsiisuun dirqama filannaa biraa hinqabne ta’ee jira. Kana bakkaan gahuuf nuti dhaabbileen ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 sochiiwwan gara garaa qindoominaan gaggeessuu jalqabneerra. Dhumiinsii fi roorroon amma dhalate kun amoo aalaatti akka nu humneessuu fi yoomuu caala waliin taanee akka qabsoo itti jirru haalaan finiisinu akka nu taasisu hin shakkinu.
Kabajamoota lammiiwwan keenya:
Wareegamni keessan akka nuti wal-tumsinee, gurmuu tokkoon kaanee, humna keenya jabeeffannee, roorroo garee waanbadee lakkoofsaan xinnoo taateen saba guddaa fi ummata bala’aa kanarra gahaa jiru faccisuun walabummaa, haqaa fi dimookrasii saba keenya gonffachiisuuf jabaatanii ol ka’uun dirqaqma irraa hin maqnne nutti ta’ee jira.
Kanaafis murannee kaaneerra. Kanaaf jecha lammiileen roorroo fi cunqursaa Wayyaanee jalatti hiraarfamaa jirttan, humnooti haqaa fi dimookraasiif biyya keessaa fi biyya ambaa irraa qabsoofttan hundi waamicha isiniif goonu kana qalbifachuun duula faashistii Wayyaaneen nurraatti baname kana haalaan hubattanii deebii quubsaa akka nuuf kennitan abdachaa waamicha armaan gadii kana isniif dhiheessina.
1. Saba Itiyoophiyaa maraaf:
Hooggantooti Wayyaanee / Ihadeg waggaa diddamii-shaniif sitti roorrisuun, ajjeechaa, hidhaa, dhabama, badiinsaa fi saaminsa sirraan gahuun akka ati maatii fi waatii kee dhiiftee, biyyaa baatee kooluu-galtuu taatu si taasisuun ofii isaaniitii ammoo abbootii aangoo fi qabeenyaa ta’uun jiruu bal’inaa fi sadoo gaggeeffachaa jiru. Kunis isaan gahuu didee amma kunoo waraana sirratti labsuun gara-jabinaan lafarraa si duguugaa jiru. Baatiilee 11 dabran keessatti namooti kumaatamaan shalagaman naannolee Oromiyaa, Amaaraa, Konsoo fi kutaawwan biyyittii adda addaa keessatti gara-jabinaan humna Wayyaaneetiin ajjeefamaniiru. Kuma-kurnaaleen kan hereggaman ammo mana hidhaa addaa keessatti marfamanii, gidiraa fi hiraarfamni kana hin jedhamne kan gocha Naazii isa senaadhaan beeknu caalu irra gahaa jira. Kana irra darbees mana hidhaa keessatti ibiddaan akka gubatanii ajjeefaman godhanii jiru.
Gocha suukaneessaa raawwachaa jiranii fi duula sirraatti banan dhoksanii, gaafilee ati haqaa fi mirga namoomaaf karaa nagayaa dhiheeffattee dharaan micciiranii akka waan ati lammiilee Tigraai lafarraa duguuguuf kaatee fakkeessuun dhiheessaa jiru. Dhumiinsii fi ajjeechaan Onkolooleessa 2, 2016 ayyaana Irreechaa Hora Arsadee irratti gaggeeffames Wayyaaneen duula ifatti labsuu isaa mirkaneessa. Dulli kun kan sirraatti labsameef ammoo gara-murannoon gamtooftee roorroo mormmachuuf lafaa ol ka’uu kee hubachuudhaan abdii kuttannaa keessa galuu Wayyaanee addeessa. Ajjeechaa fi dhumiinsi Hora Arsadeetti ta’e kun yoo cal jedhamee bira darbame haalli wal fakkaatuu ummata mormiif ka’u hunda irraa akka gahuu danda’au tilmaamuun barbaachisaadha. Ukkaamsanii, sodaachisanii, abdii kutachiisanii bulchuuf wanti isaan dhorku hin jiru jechuu dha. Kanaaf jecha, sirni fi mootummaan haqaa fi diimookraatawaan, kan ati kiyya jettee fudhattee itti bulttuu fi bulchitu hanga mirkanaawutti qabsoo eegalte gurmuu fi murannoon akka itti fuftu waamicha siif gochaa, nutis gama keenyaan karaa hundaan akka si bira dhaabbannu waadaa siif seenna.
2. Biyya keessaa fi biyya ambaa keessa sosso’aa kan jirttan humnoota mormitoota Wayyaanee hundaaf:
Nuti qabsaawotii fi mormitooti Wayyaanee hundi yeroo kamiyyuu caalaa walii-gallee, gurmoofnee, humna tokko ta’uun wal-tumsinee akka qabsoofnu sabni Itiyoophiyaa yeroo kamiyyuu caalchisee amma nu gaafachaa fi nu waammachaa jira. Nutis dheebuu bilisummaa fi walabummaa saba keenyaa kana guutuuf garaa-garummaa ilaalcha siyaasaa dhunfaan qabnu caalchifnee ilaaluun dirqama guddaa nutti ta’uu qaba. Yeroo ammaa kanatti miidhaa fi roorroo saba keenyarra gahaa jiru kanaaf furmaata argamsiisuu hin dandeenyu yoo ta’e uummatni nuti Wayyaanee jalaa bilisoomsina jennu fi biyyi qabna jennu sun akka biyyaatti jiraachuun ishee mamsiisaa ta’a. Kun akka hin taaneef wal-dhabdee fi garaa-garummaa xixiqqoo nu jidduu jiru lakkifnee, wal jala gamtaan hiriirree qabsaawuun barbaachissaa ta’a. Daangaa Wayyaaneen “warra biyya keessaa” fi “warra biyya ambaa”, “warra seeraan galmaawee” fi “warra seeraa alaa” jedhee nuuf kaa’e lagannee, walii galtee fi mareen waliitti dhufnee, wal-tumsinee, humna tokkoo taanee mootummaa jibbamaa kana buqqisuuf qabsawuun dirqama seenaati. Kanaaf jecha, saba keenya afuura tokkummaatiin wal-jala hiriiree, wal-tumsee, mirga isaa mormachaa jiru kana fedhaa fi waamicha isaa dhageenyee, sirna siyaasaa wiirtawe tokko utubnee, amna eegalle kana kallattiin itti gala isaatiin akka geenyu fi gamtaan akka qabsoofnu waamicha lammummaa irra deebinee isiniif dhiheessina.
Haqaa fi bilisummaan saba hundaaf!!
Adda Diimookraatawaa Oromoo (ADO) fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7
Oromo Democratic Front Statement on Bushooftu Irreechaa Massacre
The Ethiopian security forces fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse millions of Oromo youth peacefully calling for an end to authoritarian rule triggering a melee in which hundreds attending the annual Irreechaa (thanksgiving) died in the most gruesome manner.
The Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) expresses its deeply felt condolences to the Oromo nation that suffered its worst one-day calamity in its long and tortured history. To the families and loved ones of the martyred, we and the entire nation mourns with you. To those sustaining wounds and injuries, both physical and psychological, we pray for your quick recovery.
The Irreecha massacre has been building for close to a year. It is the culmination of the mindless repression and miscarriage of justice by the Ethiopian state and the nation’s determination to break free from the yoke of political oppression, economic exploitation, and cultural marginalization. The Oromo people yearn for freedom and change has reached the point of no return. We are afraid more bloodshed will follow unless the incumbent regime immediately removes its trigger-happy federal combat troops deployed to civilian areas, release all political prisoners, and end the domination of the country’s political, economic, and social life by an undemocratic and power-hungry minority clique ruling contrary to popular will.
The ruling party has clearly reached a point where it can no longer rule the country. Try as it might, the status quo is no longer tenable. However, its promises of reform ring hollow and the regime lacks the political will necessary to steer the country off the cliff. Accordingly, we call on our people in all its diversity to redouble its efforts not only to ensure that the blood of our martyrs, new and old, are not shed in vain but also to guarantee that the people’s will prevails against the forces of tyranny.
Freedom and justice for all!
The Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)
Public Statement by the Coordinating Committee of Oromo Liberation and Independent Organizations
The Coordinating Committee of the four Oromo liberation organizations announce the successful conclusion of its meeting from 15-17 September 2016 held in Farmington, Minnesota. In its deliberations, the Committee noted with satisfaction successes in executing joint projects and identifying and adopting innovative ways to further quicken the pace in carrying out the objectives set out in the agreement concluded earlier in May 2016. The Committee also resolved to build on the positive experiences this far and to draw lessons from issues encountered in the pursuit of common national objectives. We have further resolved to transform our cooperation into a united struggle.
The Coordinating Committee thoroughly reviewed the overwhelming democratic revolution rumbling in Oromia, which has now spread to different parts of Ethiopia. It noted with concern but also with utmost pride and pledged to honor the heavy sacrifices paid in challenging and shaking root and branch the disgraced TPLF tyranny. The Committee extolled with utmost respect the peaceful nature of the revolution and the exemplary role Oromia played in the struggle for human dignity, liberty, the rule of law, and self-determination throughout Ethiopia.
The meeting indignantly condemned and holds accountable the TPLF-led regime for the hundreds of unarmed protesters killed and maimed and thousands that are languishing in prisons in Oromia, Amhara, Konso and many other regions. We call on all forces that value democracy, the rule of law and basic liberty to rally behind the Oromia and now Ethiopia-wide resistance for freedom, democracy and to bring to a close an era of terrible tyranny.
The Committee reiterates its member organizations’ commitment to unreservedly respect the peaceful nature of the on-going revolution. To that end, the Committee calls on all forces engaged in armed resistance against the TPLF regime to underpin the peaceful nature of the revolution by considering voluntary cessation of hostilities except acting in self-defense. Also, we wholeheartedly support popular action establishing administrative committees to keep the peace wherever vestiges of TPLF rule are rendered ineffective. However, the Committee fully upholds the right of every people to oppose violent tyranny by all legitimate means, including by means of armed resistance in pursuit of basic human rights and liberty.
In our statement on 1 May, 2016 we called on other peoples in Ethiopia that protests in Oromia for freedom and democracy was universal and that all oppressed peoples stood to benefit from sacrifices being paid. At the time Oromia seemed on its own, as elsewhere palpable fear of brutal reprisals appeared to hold sway. We note with shared pride that fear itself has since died and that many other peoples have joined the peaceful struggle for basic human dignity and freedom, which incredibly enhanced the might and majesty of the revolution. With increased coordination, there is no doubt that the revolution will soon forge ahead and prevail over sectarian lawlessness that the TPLF regime represents. Wecall on all democratic forces to join us – the allied Oromo forces – so as to minimize sacrifices and we jointly put in place a peaceful democratic transition.
To the international community, particularly the USA, EU and UK, who pump substantial funding to the criminal TPLF regime under false pretenses of “fighting terror”, we say this: the TPLF regime is not only using such resources for perpetrating state terrorism against people it claims to rule whose only crime is asking for legal rights recognized even by the TPLF tailor-made constitution, but the regime is indeed spreading terrorism by clandestinely diverting scarce resources meant for development to terrorist outfits, lest defeat of such outfits would lead to drying-up of funds with which it is sustaining its misrule.
The tragedy of TPLF lawlessness is exacerbated as the regime that arrogantly claimed 100% win in the 2014 election when it competed only against itself was publicly praised as being democratic by the US president Obama in 2015. That was disgracefully ill-advised, to say the least. We call upon the international community to reexamine their position, and refrain from funding TPLF crime against Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia. Instead, we call on them to press the TPLF to begin forthwith a process of peaceful transition by freeing political prisoners and opening-up dialogue with genuine representatives of the peoples, all political opposition and other stakeholders.
We take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the International Human Rights Organizations – Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and others – for exposing the gross human rights violation perpetrated against the Oromo people by the tyrannical TPLF regime and bring it to the attention of the International Community. We again call on them to continue their admirable job of monitoring and documenting the human rights violation in Oromia and Ethiopia.
To the TPLF regime, we reiterate our previous call that it is in your own interests to seek a peaceful way out of the political quagmire you dug yourselves into, and that allied Oromo organizations represented by the Coordinating Committee and many other democratic forces in Ethiopia are ready for constructive dialogue to work towards a peaceful alternative, opportunities that you squandered time and again. Should you reject the olive branch and persist in your deranged course shedding innocent blood, you will only hasten your inevitable demise and the dawn of your accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The struggle for democracy and freedom shall prevail over tyranny!
Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)
Front for Independence of Oromia (FIO)
Oromo Liberation Front “United” (OLF “U”)
Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)
September 17, 2016
Haala yeroo ammaa kana Itiyoophiyaan keessa jirttu kalattii siyaasaa, diinagdee, hawaasummaa fi haala mirga namummaa akkasumas miidhaa fi badii mootummoota dhufaa-dabraan biyyattii bitaa turan, keesumaahuu kan TPLF/EPRDFn biyyaa fi uumata irra gahaa jiru, ilaalchisee ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 (PG7) erga gadi-fageenyaan irratti mari’atanii booda wal-hubannoo fi murtiilee ciccimoo dabarsaniiru.
Mootummaan amma biyya bitaa jiru kun akkuma bubbulaa fi bara ida’ataa deemuun miidhaa fi cunqursaanis hammaachaa akka deemu hubachuun waan nama dhibu miti. Kanaaf jecha, mootummaan TPLF hiddaan buqqa’ee bakka isaa motummaan federaalaa haqaa dhaabachuun barbachiisaa ta’uu isaa dhabbileen ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 jaboo amanu.
Baatii saglan dabran kana keessa ummanni Oromiyaa maliyoonaan lakkaawamu, amma ammo uummta kutaalee Amaaraa fi naannoo Kibbaa jiraatan dabalatee miidhaa, cunqursaa fi ajjeechaa akkasumas mirga ilma namooma isaanii mulqame balaaleffachuun hiriira wal-irraa hin cinne bahuu fi bahaa jiraachuun isaanii, kunimmoo kan eegalame filannoo Caamsaa bara 2015 keessa godhame kan mootummaan dhibbaa-dhibbattin hinjifadhe jechuun kijibaan labsee booda baatilee yertuu keessatti ta’uun isaa mootummichi saba inni bulchaan jira jedhee odeessuu irraa amantii dhabuu isaa agarsiisa.
Ajjeechaa, hidhaa fi dhiittaan mirga namummaa kun Wayaaneen humnaan biyya bituuf gara jabinaan ka’uu isaa tiif daandii tole hundaan aangoo irra turuuf murteeffachuu isaa mirkaneessa. Mootummmaan Wayyaanee heera ofii isaatiin tumatee fi labsate cabsee, ooggantoota, miseensotaa fi deggertoota gartuulee fi dhaabbilee mormitootaa seeraan ijaaraman hiraarsuu, hidhuu fi ajjeesuun, gaazeexxesitoota falmitoota haqa mirga ilma namaatiif bobbahan gidirsuun, qabeenya biyyaa saamuu fi sabatti roorrisuun isaa, mootummaan Wayyaanee daandii walii-galtee fi mareen biyya bulchuutti nama baasuu danda’u hunda cuqqaaluu isaa mirkanneessa. Miidhaa fi hacuuccaa madaallii hin qabne kana hanbisuuf uummanni Itiyoophiyaa tokummaan ka’ee qabsoo dimookrasii fi fincila gabrummaa fi abbaa irrummaa buqqisuuf gaggeeffamaa jirutti makamuun ala filmaata biraa hin qabu.
Dhaabileen mormitootaa hundi garaa-garummaa fi wal-dhabdee isaan gidduu jiru walitti dhufaii ilaa fi ilaameedhaan mari’achuun tumsaa fi gartuu walii ta’anii, gurmuu cimsatanii motummaa abbaa irree kana buqqisuuf akka hojjettan uummanni Itiyoophiyaa waamicha yeroo dheeraaf gochaa turuu isaa ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 hubatanii jiru. Waamicha sabaa kana guutuuf, dhaabbilee mormitoota haqaa hunda walitti fiduun walii galanii, gurmuu waliif ta’anii, daandii diimookraasiitiin akka qabsaawaniif hojjechuu irratti ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 waadaa seenu.
Humnootii fi dhaabileen haqaan dimookraasiif dhaabbatan hundi gurmuu tokko jalatti walitti dhufanii waliin qabsaawuu fi waliin hojjechuu malee mootummaa abbaa irree kana buqqisuuf daandii fi filmaanni biraan akka hin jirre hubachuun, gurmuun qabsaawonnii nagaa, wal-qixxummaa fi walabummaa dhugoomsuuf, haqa ilma namaa mirkaneessuuf, akkasumas diinagdeen guddatee misooma argamsiisuuf, ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7 tumsa qabxii gurguddaa sadii of keessaa qabuu kan akka armaa gadii kanatti tarreeffaman kana irratti hojjechuuf guyyaa har’aa, Hagayya 11 bara 2016, walii galaniiru:
1. Itiyoophiyaan biyya sablammooti hedduun afaan adda-addaa dubbatanii fi amantii gara-garaa qaban keessa jiraatanii dha. Mootummaan biyya akkasii bulchu eenyummaa fi maalummaa saba kanaa wal-qixaan kan calaqqisuu fi kan kabaju ta’uu qaba. Dhaabbileen tumsa kanaa lamaan, ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7, mootummaa federaalaa kan diimookraasii haqaan ijaarame dhugoomsuu, kan wal-qixxummaa fi tokkummaa sabaa mirkanneessu, seeraa fi heera haqaa fi lammummaa loogii hin qabnne kan dhugoomsu, guddinaa fi badhaanina kan mirkaneessu, akkasumas kan walabummaa biyyaa kabachiisee iggitii itti godhu ijaaruuf walii galaniiru.
2. Cunqursaa, abbaa irrummaa, aangoo siyaasaa fi diinagdee kan garee yartuu jalattii kuufamee jiru dhabamsiisuun sirna bulmaataa diimookraasii haqaa fi fedha sabaatiin sadarkaa hundatti ijaarame wixineessuuf jabaannee hojjenna. Miseensoti tumsa kanaatiif gurmuun (coalition) gara fuulduraatti ijaaramu daandiin aangoo haqaa karaa filmaata walabaa fi haqaa qofa dhugooma jedhanii amanu. Kanaaf jecha, kaayoon bu’uraa tumsa kanaa cunqursaa fi abbaa irrummaa dhabamsiisuun daandii aangoo diimookraasii haqaa qulqulleessuu fi diriirsuu ta’a.
3. Irra-ol’aanaan tumsa kanaa walabummaa, seeraa haqaa, wal-qixxummaa fi diimookraasii dhugoomsuun saba Itiyoophiyaa aangeessuu dha. Miseensonni tumsa kanaa wal-dhabdee fi garaa-garummaa imaammataa xixiqqoon kan ka’e kaayoo gaarii kana akka hin gufachiifnne jabeessanii of eegachuutu irra jiraata. Jijjiirraa imaammataa fi hegeree borii kan murteessuu qabu saba ykn uummata aangawe sana ta’a. Tumsi kunii fi miseensonni gurmuu hegeree ijaaramuu hundi aadaa walitti dhufanii obsaa fi kabajaan mari’atanii garaa-garummaa isaanii dhoksaa tokko malee ifatti baasanii dhugaa dubbachuun hiikkatan ta’u.
Dhaabbileen tumsa kanaa lameenuu, ADO fi Arbanyooch Ginbot 7, garee waliin hojjetu tokko, kan bakka bu’oota dhaabilee keessaa ramadaman, walitti dhufanii mari’achuun dirqama hooggantoota dhaabbilee lamaan irraa itti kennamu haala qindaaween hojii irra oolchu.
The time to end TPLF quagmire and the time for all Ethiopians to join hands to chart a new future and direction is now!
While the TPLF/EPRDF junta are busy celebrating their looting, torturing, and the killings for the past 25 years, the struggle of the Oromo people and the righteous anger of other Ethiopian peoples against injustice, political repression, social marginalization, and economic exploitation has exploded into a flood of popular protests that have been engulfing Oromia now for more than six months. Simmering discontent elsewhere in Ethiopia is also causing tensions. Despite the brutality of TPLF/EPRDF forces, the protesters have remained resilient, resolved, and resourceful. Read More
By Leenco Lata
Who is presently in control in Ethiopia? This is a strange question coming from a person who never minces his words when criticizing the EPRDF for installing an authoritarian order in Ethiopia, in which the top official is unquestionably in control. It is also strange to pose the question about a country where who is in control has never really been an issue at all. Emperor Haile Selassie, Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam and Meles Zenawi were fully in control in their day and in their distinct ways. Who is in control was never in doubt during the time of these previous rulers. Read More
You can find below the link for the full interview that Obbo Leenco Bati did with VOA here regarding #OromoProtests and the current crisis in Ethiopia.