Oduu Haaraya

Declaring a state of emergency cannot reverse Oromo peoples’ struggle for freedom and democracy.




OLF Press Release

Despite being the majority in Ethiopia, the Oromo people have been marginalized by the

successive Ethiopian governments. Unimaginable atrocities have been committed against the

Oromo during the campaign to create the Ethiopian empire and afterwards to upkeep it. In the

process, the Oromo were reduced to third class citizenship status on their own land. Our people

have been expressing their grievances at different times but the response from the ruling

Ethiopian authorities have always been to violently suppress their demand.

When the current TPLF/EPDRF government came into power, the OLF participated in the

transitional government hoping that it will end the cycles of oppressions and subjugations for

all peoples in Ethiopia. Within a short period of time, however, it became apparent that the

objective of the TPLF was not to create a democratic and all-inclusive system of government

but to camouflage itself with a façade of democracy and create a government that serves a


Hoping against all odds that the TPLF will listen to their grievances, the Oromo people

continued raising their concerns peacefully at different times over the last 25 years. In the

process, tens of thousands of Oromo students, farmers, professionals, and business owners have

been killed, jailed, tortured, and disappeared. In the name of economic development, hundreds

of thousands of Oromo families have been forcefully displaced from their ancestral lands with

no, or very little, compensation. These unconstitutional displacements did not only make the

families poor and destitute but negatively impacted their culture, language, identity, and general


Despite continued protests by Oromo students, farmers, and the general public against

displacements of Oromo families, the TPLF/EPRDF government came up with the Addis

Ababa Master Plan without any consultation with the stakeholders. The plan expands Addis

Ababa’s border to 50-times of its current size, potentially displacing millions of Oromo people

from their farmland. Historical marginalization coupled with TPLF’s illegal policy of

displacements intensified the November 2015 Oromo popular protest. Instead of listening to the

people and addressing their demands, the TPLF resorted to its violent rhetoric by killing over

800 people most documented by several human rights organizations.

These killings, however, did not deter the heroic Oromo people from continuing their struggle

for their just cause. The protest expanded to all regions of Oromia and other regional states

throughout Ethiopia, including the Amhara region. Frustrated by the unity of the oppressed

peoples of Ethiopia, TPLF resorted to more killing in all regions. Over a thousand people have

been killed in Oromia, Amhara, Gambella, and Southern regional states since July 2016.

تاريخ رقم Lakk.:22/stm/abo/2016


جبهۃ تحـرير اورومـى

P.O. Box 6973 Asmara, Eritrea Tel 2911 110236 Email: Caalchis@gmail.com, www.oromoliberationfront.org

TPLF’s heinous crimes against the Oromo escalated to the highest level on October 2, 2016

when their army, accompanied by helicopters gunship, massacred over 678 people who came

out to celebrate the Irrechaa, an Oromo thanksgiving festival. Angered by such atrocities, the

Oromo people from every corners of Oromia and other regions of Ethiopia continued their

peaceful demonstrations and took some actions against the TPLF in self-defense. The TPLF

government has done everything in its power, including the creation of conflicts between

different ethnic and religious groups within Ethiopia, to quell these protests. When its divide-
and-rule policy failed, the TPLF regime declared a state of emergency on October 9,

2016. It is to be remembered that Oromia is already under martial law since December 2016

and the state of emergency is not going to change the dynamics on the ground. This

declaration is nothing but a license for the military to continue killing more people and

reestablish the superiority of the minority Tigrean elites.

It is a mockery that the declaration states “the state of emergency will not breach basic human

rights enshrined under the Ethiopian constitution” while in fact the TPLF has been violating

the basic human rights of the Ethiopian peoples for the last 25 years. The Ethiopian peoples in

general, and the Oromo people in particular, know well that the TPLF/EPRDF regime does not

respect human rights and have demanded a fundamental change. The system is rotten and

reshuffling political leadership within TPLF/EPRDF does not address the deep rooted causes

of the problem. Instead of invoking articles that suites its cause from the constitution, TPLF

needs to respect the constitution and abide by its rules.

Contrary to TPLF’s assertion that these protests are supported by external governments or

groups, Oromo people’s struggle for freedom and justice is self-reliant for the last decades. It

is TPLF’s character to use a neighboring state or group as a scapegoat every time people ask

legitimate questions and it is not different this time. Unfortunately for the TPLF, the Ethiopian

peoples have known their lies for the last quarter of a century and will never give them the

legitimacy that they are seeking by pointing fingers to foreign elements.

The OLF strongly believes that the only choice that is left for the TPLF at this juncture is to

relinquish the power and be accountable for crimes they have committed against the Oromo

and other peoples in Ethiopia. The OLF has an obligation and responsibility to defend the

Oromo people from TPLF’s killing machinery by any means necessary.

The OLF would like to use this opportunity to once again call upon the Oromo people not to

be distracted by the declared state of emergency and redouble their struggle to remove this

terrorist government once and for all. We would also like to call upon the oppressed nations

and nationalities in Ethiopia to ignore the divide-and-rule tactics of the TPLF and stand with

the Oromo people to free yourselves from the yoke of oppression. We remind again the

Ethiopian Peoples that this is not only Oromo People’s problem; it is a serious concern to all

and we have to stand together to solve it once and for all by removing this fascist regime.

Finally, we call upon the international community and all peace loving people around the

world to make note of the impending crises in Ethiopia and hold the terrorist government in

Ethiopia accountable for crimes it has committed and is about to commit. The declared state

of emergency is sure to cause more deaths and destructions and it is only the TPLF/EPRDF

government that is responsible.

Victory to the Oromo people!

Oromo Liberation Front

October 10, 2016

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