November 18, 2018

ODF Statement on its delegation heading home

A high level delegation of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) has departed for home this afternoon for talks with the Ethiopian government. The ODF was formed in exile in 2013 with the hope of relocating at home among its people and conduct a nonviolent political struggle. After several years of relentless efforts to engage the Ethiopian government, the much anticipated day has arrived with great excitement.

The Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) decided from its inception to pursue the path of nonviolent political struggle to defend the rights of the Oromo and other peoples, and secure freedom, justice, democracy, and prosperity for all Ethiopians. Accordingly, returning to our country and establishing itself among its constituents at home, and establishing a legal status in order to play its part in our country’s democratization has been and continues to be the ODF’s highest priority. To this end, we hope our discussions with the government will be fruitful.

The ODF team is expected to start its long standing efforts to be among our people. We are acutely aware that the road to peace, stability and democratization will be treacherous, complicated and paved with innumerable obstacles. Yet, we are determined more than ever to stay the course. Accordingly, we would relentlessly continue with our efforts to engage all political actors in our country to realize a just and genuinely democratic order, and sustainable and equitable development in Ethiopia.

Freedom and Justice for All
Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)

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Statement by ODF on talks with the Ethiopian Government

A high-level delegation of the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and a delegation
of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) held a fruitful discussion, from May 11-12, 2018, regarding the
reforms currently unfolding in Ethiopia. Pursuant to its longstanding public position, the ODF reiterated its
commitment to deepening and boadening the reforms and democratization process. The government
delegation also expressed its enthusiasm to engage all those espousing nonviolent means of struggle.

Both sides underlined that this discussion with the ODF is the beginning of a wider engagement. Although
much needs to be done, the ODF is encouraged by the government’s recent positive steps towards reforms.
Accordingly, it calls on those interested in contributing to the realization of a truly just and democratic
order in Ethiopia, both inside the country and abroad, to reciprocate by declaring their readiness and
resolve to rearticulate the strategies they have been pursuing to seek change.

The ODF is ready and eager to play its role in enabling all concerned to carry out reforms that would
culminate in an inclusive dialogue towards national reconciliation and consensus. With the aim of
kickstarting this process, an advance team of the Oromo Democratic Front will travel to Ethiopia soon for
more substantive talks.

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

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Haasawa ADO fi Mootummaa Itoophiyaa Gidduu

Jilli ol’aanaan aanga’oota Mootummaa Federaala Itoophiyaa fi jilli Adda Demokraatawaa (ADO) Oromoo,
Ebla 11-12, 2018tti, jijjiiramoota biyya keessatti tatta’aa jiran irratti haasawa firii-qabeessa deemsisan.
Ejjanna dhaabbataa yeroo dheeraaf ittiin masakamaa ture irra dhaabbachuudhaan, ADO jijjiiramoota
deemaa jiran gadifageessuu fi babal’isuuf kutannoo qabu haaromse. Jilli mootummaas kanneen karaa
hidhannoo-maleessaan qabsoo geggeessan cufa haasofsiisuuf qophii ta’u irra deebi’e ibse.

Gamni lachii mariin kuni marii irra baldhaadhaaf kan jalqabaa fi kan karaa saaqu ta’uu jala muran. Wanti
ammallee guutumuu qaban hedduu ta’ullee, ADO tarkaanfiilee qajeelaa mootummaan dhiheenya kana
fudhate gammachuun simate. Akka kanaan, humnoonni sirni dhugaan haqaa fi demokraatawaa ta’e akka
dhugoomu barbaadaan, kan biyya keessaa fi alattis socho’aa jiran, marti qabsoo isaanii karaa nagayaan
geggeessuuf ejjannoo fudhachuun akka simatan jajjabeessina.

ADOn jijjiiramoonni fudhatamaa jiran kunniin akka fiixa ba’an gochuuf gahee isaa taphachuuf qophiidha.
Kanaafis jilli dhaaba keenyaa haasawa kana goolabuuf dhihotti gama biyyaa akka imaluu woliifgalamuu
gammachuun ibsina.

Bilisummaa fi haqa ummataa hundaaf!
Adda Demokraatawaa Oromoo (ADO)

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ODF Statement on the election of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as Chairman of Ethiopia’s ruling party

The Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) welcomes the election of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as Chairman of the Ethiopian
People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and as Ethiopia’s incoming Prime Minister. He comes into
office at a critical period when the country is facing many domestic and regional challenges. He takes over a
divided country, a fractured political system, a broken economy, a frayed social fabric amid a complex regional
environment. The biggest challenge would be bringing about national reconciliation, ensuring justice, citizenship
rights and equality for all. Ethiopia has age-old issues as well as new ones and we hope the new EPRDF Chairman
would be the prime minister of all the 100 plus million people instead of just the party apparatus and a fraction
of society. We wish our country would be one where every Ethiopian is able to live in peace and harmony,
where all ideas and opinions are entertained and respected, and where all citizens participate in the affairs of
their country and equitably benefit from its resources without any fear or discrimination. We are certain that
without genuine democratization, the cyclical crisis that grips the country from time to time won’t go away.

To that end, we call upon the new administration to immediately rescind the State of Emergency, to revoke all
laws designed to stifle the human and constitutional rights of citizens, to release all political prisoners, and to launch dialogue with all credible political organizations, both inside and outside the country.

The Ethiopian people have been yearning for freedom, justice and democracy for generations. Countless lives
have been lost and ever-diminishing resources unnecessarily squandered in pursuit of these noble goals. The
crisis of the last three years and the immense sacrifices paid by the Oromo people in particular and the country
in general attest to this. We believe the time has come when Ethiopia embarks in earnest on the course of a
truly democratic transformation. It is our sincere hope that the appointment of the new PM is not going to be
just a change of guard, but a harbinger of the meaningful reforms the dire situation demands. We also hope that
Prime Minister Abiy would face the challenges squarely and carry out institutional reforms, including those of
the judiciary, electoral systems, the media, and the security sector.

We in the Oromo Democratic Front are convinced that Ethiopia’s intricate and complex political problems
cannot be solved by the ruling party alone; hence it must open up the political space and allow all stakeholders
to play their parts towards resolving the country’s chronic and age-old political and socio-economic challenges.
The ODF is prepared to shoulder its responsibilities in this regard.

We wish the new Prime Minister success in his new endeavor, especially his reform agenda. We would also like
to pay tribute to the departing Prime Minister, Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, for his exemplary move in stepping
aside from his post to pave the way for change and a fresh start that the country needed.

This change in the ruling party would have been impossible without the sustained popular struggle of the last
three years in particular and the sacrifices made. We would also like to take this opportunity to hail the Oromo
youth, as well as those of the rest of Ethiopia who have singularly shouldered the role of challenging the
authoritarian system with immense costs. We pay tribute to all the martyrs as well as all those who experienced
various forms of physical and emotional suffering. At the same time we congratulate the leadership of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization, especially Team Lemma, first for carrying out reforms and change within its ranks, and for courageously facing the challenges along the road.

Likewise we call upon the people of Ethiopia to sustain their exemplary patience and to give the new administration a breathing space by preserving peace and harmony among all communities and by eschewing all acts that may only play into the hands of detractors wishing to derail the reform process.

Freedom and Justice for All!
The Oromo democratic Front (ODF)

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Ummanni Oromoo Duula irratti Labsame Tokkummaa fi Gootummaan Mormuun ala Fala Biraa hin Qabu

Ibsa Adda Demokraatawaa Oromoo (ADO): Ummanni Oromoo Duula irratti Labsame Tokkummaa fi Gootummaan Mormuun ala Fala Biraa hin Qabu

Mootummaan abbaa-Irree Itoophiya gaaffii haqaa kan ummanni Oromoo karaa nagayaa fi seera-qabeessaan woggoota sadan dabraniif wareegama qaqqaalii itti baasuun gaafachaa turee fi itti jiru karaa qajeelaan deebisuu mannaa, Labsa Yeroo Muddamaa (LYM) irratti jigsee ilmaan sabaa ajjeechaa fi hidhaan alaakaa jira. Labsi kuni seeraa ala ta’uu daran rakkoo biyyattii kan hammeessu malee waan wayyeessu hin ta’u. Addi Demokraatawaa Oromoo (ADO) labsa kana ni balaaleffata; ni morma; duras ni dhaabbata.

Carraa kanaanis ADOn ummata keenya kanneen murtii dabaa kana fuulaa-fuulatti dura dhaabbachuun mormanii fi kanneen galma dabni seena-qabeessi kuni keessatti raawwatame kanarraa hafuun seerri kuni seeraa ala ta’uu mirkaneessuun maqaa isaanii galmee qabsaa’oota bilisummaa Oromoo keessatti halluu cululuqaan barreessan ni dinqisiifata. Gootota labsa seeraa ala kana dura dhaabbachaa jiraniin, kan qabsooftaniif haqaaf waan ta’eef mirgi keessani jennaan.

Labsi Yeroo Muddamaa kuni sagalee heeraatiin kufee osoo jiruu, humnaan ummatarratti fe’uun daba daba caalu. Akeekni labsa kanaas Oromiyaa fi ummata Oromoo qofarratti kan aggaammate ta’ullee ummotoota fi bakkoota hundatti dura dhaabbatamuu qaba. Kanaaf diddaa ummanni keenya karaa isaaf danda’amee fi mijjateeniin godhu ni deeggarra. Biras ni dhaabbanna. Humnoonni politikaa Itophiyaa hafanis akka balaaleffatanii fi morman yaamicha keenya dhageessifna.

Bilisummaaf Haqa ummataa Hundaaf!
Adda Demokraatawaa Oromoo (ADO)

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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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ODF Statement on the Release of Bekele Gerba and Colleagues from Detention

We are relieved and elated to learn that Bekele Gerba and colleagues have been released from detention. Bekele in particular has established himself as a giant but gentle champion of nonviolent struggle for justice. To the vast majority of Ethiopians, Bekele Gerba represented the moral clarity of Martin Luther King Jr. and the defiance and steadfastness of Nelson Mandela.

We congratulate his family, colleagues in the struggle and friends and the Oromo and Ethiopian populace at large for winning his freedom.

We believe his release marks a major milestone opening the democratic space to resolve all the political, economic and social ills in the country that have led to three years of relentless protests, strikes, and chaos in Oromia and Amhara and part of the South regions.

We take this opportunity to renew our call on the authorities to release the remaining political prisoners and implement the promise of initiating meaningful dialogue with a broad cross-section of stakeholders to pave the way for a smooth and peaceful transition.

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NEW: ODF on the just released statement by the Central Committee of OPDO_February 6, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ODF on the just released statement by the Central Committee of OPDO

We have reviewed, with great interest and care, the just released statement of the just concluded meeting of the Central Committee of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), the governing party in the Oromia National Regional State, and a constituent member of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

In the statement, OPDO expressed its willingness and readiness to work with Oromo opposition groups, both inside the country and outside, in promoting the interests and wellbeing of the Oromo people and all the people of the country. Along with promises of reform and a pledge to open the democratic space, it also called on the opposition to work with it to realize a truly democratic multi-national federation in Ethiopia.

We believe the call is timely and a major step in the right direction. And we therefore wholeheartedly welcome and accept OPDO’s call. While commending and applauding OPDO for the bold move, we want to take this opportunity to express our willingness and readiness to work with it not only to realize the aspirations of the Oromo people but also to make Ethiopia’s federation genuinely democratic and multi-national, for which we have been advocating since the founding of our organization.

To this effect, our organization and its leadership is ready to meet its counterparts in OPDO forthwith. We believe this augurs well for Ethiopia’s democratization and charts a path to ensure the age-old dreams of all the Ethiopian people for freedom, democracy and justice, for which tens of thousands have suffered and sacrificed over the decades, become a reality, once and for all.

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

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For Immediate Release: Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) Applauds the Release of Dr. Mararaa Guddinaa

For Immediate Release: Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) Applauds the Release of Dr. Mararaa Guddinaa
The Leadership and Members of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) applaud the decision to release Dr. Mararaa Guddinaa, Chairman of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and the few other political prisoners from prison.

We are cognizant that tens of thousands are still in detention—including notable voices of dissent and prisoners of conscience such as Bekele Garbaa, Dejene Tafa, Addisuu Bulaalaa, Olbaana Leellisaa, Ahmedin Jabal Muhammad Andualem Arage, and Eskinder Naga. We therefore urge the ruling party, in the spirit of promoting national reconciliation and creating a conducive political space for democracy to thrive, to keep its promises and release all the remaining political detainees immediately and without any preconditions.

Once again Ethiopia is at crossroad and nothing short of the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and meaningful dialogue that will encompass all stakeholders can save the country from the impending disaster. It is time the TPLF/EPRDF abandon its policies and practices of state violence against its purported citizens; repeal the repressive laws and pave ways for a national reconciliation and peace conference that will lead to a peaceful transition to democratic order. Without such confidence building measures, we are afraid the country could not turn the corner and forestall an impending calamity—which the decision was meant to avert.

We are delighted for Dr. Mararaa and for those 115 or so political prisoners released so far, we would like to remind the regime that they must fulfill their promise of releasing all political prisoners and close down the torcher chamber and the gallows of Maekelawi. We would also like to take this opportunity to remind the international community to hold the TPLF/EPRDF government of Ethiopia to their promises of releasing all political prisoners, convene an all-inclusive national reconciliation and peace conference and the close of the torcher chamber.

Freedom and Justice for All!
Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)
January 19, 2018

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ODF Applauds Bekele Gerba’s Grant of Bail

We learned with a great pleasure that prominent Ethiopian opposition leader Bekele Gerba has been granted bail on appeal and about to be released from Ethiopian prison. We applaud the move by the Ethiopian Supreme Court. Mr. Gerba should not have been imprisoned and charged in the first place. We hope the court acquits him on all the bogus and politically-motivated charges still pending against him. As we congratulate Bekele Gerba, his family and all human rights activists on this victory, we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Dr. Merera Gudina, who is also unjustly detained under trumped up charges.

Bekele Gerba, First Secretary General of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), is a champion of non-violent struggle. We commend his commitment to this means of struggle and his steely determination to seek the freedom, equality and justice of the Oromo and for all people of Ethiopia with courage and dignity.

Bekele Gerba committed no crime. Nevertheless, the tyrannical TPLF/EPRDF Government jailed and charged Bekele Gerba with serious crimes that he did not commit. He was wrongly detained and languished in the notorious prison since December 2015. It is to be remembered that wrong accusations and trumped-up charges are not new to Bekele Gerba. He was similarly and wrongful accused, sentenced to 8 years imprisonment and served almost four years and was released in April 2015.

At this historical juncture where Ethiopia is once again at the crossroads, we would like to remind the TPLF/EPRD Government that it is not too late to abandon its policy and practice of state violence against those seeking an end to tyranny, release all political prisoners, repeal its repressive laws and submit to calls for an all-inclusive national reconciliation and peace conference that will pave the way to a peaceful transition to a democratic order.

Freedom and Justice for All!
Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)

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