OROMO LIBERATION FRONT
25 June 2018
RESPONSE OF THE
OROMO LIBERATION FRONT
TO PM ABIY’S CALL
The speech made by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr. Abiy
Parliament calling for reconciliation is admirable and his call for peaceful settlement of conflicts in Ethiopia
deserves consideration. However, we will take this opportunity to reiterate the goal of the struggle o
organization, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), for more than 40 years, to come to the concrete content
of our response to the call.
It is a well
on an agr
eement or a political contract entered voluntarily by both parties. The Oromo people were dragged
into it against their will.
identity, enslaved them, and used their resources and l
abour, put them in darkness and lived so far.
to say, that Oromia has been under occupation and was ruled by force for more than 130 years. It was out
The OLF is one of the oldest political organisations in Ethiopia today. It was one of the main liberation
organisations that fought to end the Milit
ary rule of Colonel Mengistu Hailemairam and played a significant
role in shaping the transitional arrangement after the fall of his regime in 1991. However, the OLF was
pushed out of the transitional arrangement by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front
to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Oromo people and the Ethiopian state on
We have, time and aga
devastating instability in the region
a region already troubled by civil wars, failed states, famine and other
natural disasters, and that solving the conflict between the Orom
o people and the Ethiopian state would
contribute in stabilising the Horn of Africa as a whole. The TPLF/EPRDF leaders’ obsession with total
control of power has been a constant obstacle to democratic dialogue and opportunity for peace. Ignoring
our call f
or a peaceful resolution of the conflict, the regime continued to wage its war of annihilation against
Suspected of being members, supporters or even sympathizers of the OLF, tens of thousands of Oromos
were murdered, and many more were arrest
agents for the past 26 years. The vast majority of those arrested were kept in prison for years although not
charged with a crime. Many died in prison. Many came out of prison without limbs and other
harms; many incurred mental and other health problems that will stay with them for life.
families but also
by the entire Oromo nation. Many Oromos are still in prison and the whereabouts of our
known. The Oromo nation shall not forget the premeditated onslaught against
it, its territory and its very
We are proud of our people and
the gallant Oromo youth, the
Qeerroo, who have resisted the
TPLF/EPRDF tyranny persistently for the last many years, became examples for the peoples of the other
Regional States in
Perhaps, he could speak with confidence because he came to power borne on the courage and
selfless sacrifices of the Qeerroo. We hope he and his party would r
ealize that as well.
We are also impressed by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s courage and sense of responsibility. That does
not mean we do not have our concerns and reservations. Primarily, we are concerned because he represents
a deep seated authoritaria
n political system. His
promises are not yet institutionalized and may not be valid
once he is pushed out of office.
Furthermore, that the Prime Minister himself is praising Abyssinian leaders who had conquered our
country, butchered our people and brough
t them under Abyssinian domination is also disconcerting. The
Abyssinian emperors he praises were not champions of human rights and democracy. They represented a
predatory lawless system which was devoid of respect for human life.
In addition, the experie
nce from the 1974 revolution whereby the military junta made many unfulfilled
promises to get the support of our people and finally carried out massacres after consolidating its power is
aders who promised in 1991 to
turned out to be the most murderous group in the Ethiopian history, is another indicator of the true nature
of Ethiopian politi
use the moment to promote the rule of law and advance the cause of the Oromo nation.
The OLF is based
not only on the goal of bringing about the liberation of Oromia, but also an aspiration to promote
understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all the peoples in Ethiopia and the Horn
of Africa. As an organization with
a political program which has the strongest support from the majority
of the Oromo people, we see Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed’s call as an opportunity that will allow us to
struggle for the goal it was created
a national self
It is inco
nceivable for liberation to have any meaning without the return of illegally taken lands, wealth, and
the properties to their owner
the Oromo people. To allow the existing economic power possessed by the
ators to continue is to allow the continuation of their
domination over the lives of our people. What is more,
for some reason our people are being massacred
daily in all corners of Oromia even after the state of emergency is lifted.
It is, therefore, a fu
principle of our struggle and strategy that liberation must embrace more than nominal political liberation
We may have our differences with Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed on matters of our national goal but not
in the lofty ideas h
e presents on the rule of law, civil rights, peace and reconciliation. As the first leader of
the Ethiopian state to come up with such lofty ideas he has won our admiration. It is also our wish that his
mission to establish the rule of law and peace meets
The primary purpose of a sovereign state is to safeguard the security of its people. The Oromo experience,
over the past 130 miserable years, has been nothing but a collective trauma of lack of security, subjugation,
displacement, and living
under unimaginable abject poverty. Free Oromia will be the surest way of ensuring
the collective security of its people. Living in a safe country, where people can live in peace and are able to
bring up their children, is a basic human need. The alternativ
e, continuing to sustain the forced unity of
Oromia and Ethiopia, is recipe for disaster. You cannot expect safety from a system that has been inflicting
collective trauma for such a long time in the first place.
However, we welcome Prime Minister Dr. Abiy
determination and liberation of Oromia in sight.
Ethiopian leader is an Oromo or an Abyssinian, the right of self
determination is basic to the s
waged by the Oromo people.
Our struggle is to secure our people’s inalienable right to national self
determination. Here, our first task is
to end occupation, oppression, and exploitation of our nation and homeland. Having accomplished that,
the second task is to persuade our people to establish their own legitimate government. It is this government
of the people that can negotiate on behalf of our people as to whether to establish a political unity with
other nations and nationalities or go
their own way to establish their own independent state of Democratic
Republic of Oromia. The choice will be decided by the people themselves.
Oromia shall be free!