December 16, 2017

Public Statement by the Coordinating Committee of Oromo Liberation and Independent Organizations

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
Farmington, Minnesota

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