August 18, 2017

ODF Statement on Bushooftu Irreechaa Massacre

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)

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