Building Ethiopian Unity at the cost of dividing and dismantling the Oromo people and nation is a desperate move by the Ethiopian Regime!
Comprehensive Statement of Oromo National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (Qeerroo) on the current situation in Oromia.
June 9, 2019, Finfinnee, Oromia
To the attention of the respected and beloved:
- Oromo Political Organisations which are struggling for freedom and democracy;
- Oromo Youth (Qeerroo), who are undertaking bitter struggle paying heavy sacrifices;
- The Abba Gadas, who hold the promises of peace and security for the Oromo people;
- Religious leaders, who stand for truth, justice and moral values of mankind;
- Students of Universities and various institutions, who are at the forefront of the revolution;
- Oromo scholars and professionals, who shape and guide the future of the Oromo nation and people;
- Oromo people at large, who deserve freedom, democracy and peace in your land.
It is obvious that OLF is a vanguard of the Oromo National Liberation movement against the Ethiopian tyrannical political system for many years. The Oromo National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy AKA Qeerroo has embraced the OLF aims and objectives and directed peaceful struggle in a forefront and pushed it to the threshold of freedom. It is undeniable fact that the last four years’ bitter struggle of Qeerroo to overthrow the 27 years’ totalitarian and hostile regime has reached at its promising stage. However, following the footsteps of TPLF, the OPDO or ODP shielded under the name of Oromo, held the highest position in the ruling EPRDF party. Since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power by an orchestrated drama of EPRDF to deceive the Oromo people, he made huge efforts to turn around the Oromo struggle for freedom and democracy towards undesired goal. This ruling party is unwilling to answer the fundamental Oromo questions but changing the agenda towards its political interest. On one hand, the party is unfairly disarming the Oromo people and, on the other hand, it is arming the colonial sentimental groups to suppress the Oromo struggle more than any of the previous ruling parties. The ruling party is asking for more time for a democratic change process, while the direction of the change has lost its track.
Currently, the Ethiopian Government is dividing the people into neighbors, clans and religions. It is dismantling institutions and properties, destabilizing the existing harmony among people, fighting and undermining the Oromo people. The purpose is, with no doubt, to further weaken the Oromo people. The following areas are primarily targeted by the ruling party:
- Oromo nationalism – from day one as a PM, Abiy told us that he planned to implement various strategies to destroy Oromo nationalism and promoting counter Oromo nationalism agenda. This includes intimidating Oromo nationalists by using negative remarks such as narrow thinking, separatists, old fashioned and extremists. On the other hand, he started appreciating formation of the system of Ethiopian empire and their rulers who based their power on coercion, suppression and inequalities of peoples.
- The Oromo Unity – dividing Oromo people in regions, clans and religions and sabotaging to instigate conflicts among themselves is one of the practices of the current ruling party. Particularly Oromo in Western and South regions are singled out and the Government is working hard to mobilize Oromo forces against these regions. The evidence is the shameless speech by himself, PM, where he said, ‘ if I go to Wallaggaa (West) they will kill me, if I die Oromo from other regions will revenge for me’. This quotation is clear indication of, not only of an attempt to divide the Oromo people in regions and religions, but also to instigate conflict and blood shed among the Oromo people. Forcing Oromo individuals to disclose their place of birth and religion is another dividing mechanism used that the ruling party officials are using on a daily basis.
- The Abba Gada Council – the Abba Gada institution is a pillar of identity, nationalism, unity and social bond for the Oromo people. The Regime is working to break up this institution by dismantling the genuine Abba Gada institution and replacing it with politically motivated Abba Gada groups.
- War and insecurity in Oromia – The ruling party is enduring continuous war in Oromia region under the cover of disarming the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). It put up command posts in some places. There is no justification to fight the OLA, while the peaceful agreement is in place for resolving the conflict, including the deployment of armed group was signed between the Government and the OLF in Asmara. However, we believe that this unjustified government war has got dual purposes: First, to intentionally harass and kill Oromo people and destroy their properties so that they become poor, destitute and give in to the current tyrannical region. Second, to disrupt the peaceful negotiation between the OLF and the Government, so that the ruling party becomes the sole competitor in the forthcoming election in Oromia region. The evidence to our believe is that the members of OLA, who came from Asmara have been mistreated and relocated in various places and some of them are at unknown places. The OLA members who voluntarily disarmed through the interference of Abba Gadas, were given poisoned food and most of them have contracted lifetime illness.
- Oromo Political Parties – Genuine Oromo political parties such as OLF, OFC and PBO cannot operate in the country peacefully. Some are not properly embraced by the ruling party and their members are getting arrested and imprisoned, offices closed and the leaders are under continuous harassment and intimidation.
The Oromo Youth (Qeerroo Bilisummaa) struggles for freedom, true democracy, and self-determination rights. We would like to reiterate that our struggle is not to bring to power a party or an individual that is against our struggle for freedom and democracy. We don’t want those who have been killing us, only for demanding our democratic rights, to continue their hostilities. The central purpose of the Oromo people and Qeerroo struggle is to form a nation/ country that guarantee freedom, democracy, equality and fraternity among its people.
The Qeerroo believe that OLA should receive the respect and dignity it deserves. OLA is part and parcel of the Oromo people. Today’s OLA is yesterday’s Qeerroo who had been struggling peacefully to liberate the Oromo and other peoples from a century old tyranny. OLA is a freedom fighter and labeling OLA as bandit shows ignorance about a liberation struggle and cannot be accepted by the Qeerroo. It is not surprising that the ODP/ EPRDF officials, similar to their master trainers, cannot understand fundamental principles and values of human rights that people deserve. They are blindfolded by power and corruption and label genuine freedom fighters as terrorists, bandits, etc. The current ODP/EPRDF ruling party is digging every hole to stay in power despite the sufferings and bloodshed of Oromo and other oppressed peoples in Ethiopia. Deception, sabotage and confusion are the order of the day, and state sponsored, and bribed media outlets are spreading contradictory and puzzling information on daily basis. On one hand, peaceful negotiation, embracing opposition parties, resettling displaced peoples, releasing political prisoners are widely promoted. But on the other hand, the ruling party is deploying huge military forces and modern artillery in Oromia, especially, in West and Southern regions of Oromia; arresting or detaining opposition party members and supporters and causing more displacements to people. To this regard, the ruling party is tirelessly working to indulge Oromia in an endless war.
In addition, the ruling party is giving blind eye while the offcuts of the colonial powers are armed in Oromoland and get technical and economic support to fulfill their dreams. Qeerroo is saddened by the actions of the ruling party which, intentionally, is leading the Oromo people to instability, disarmament, poverty and displacement so that they become weak enough to be subjugated by the people who have colonial sentiments and always dreaming the occupation of Oromia. The Oromo people of all walks of life must be aware of this regime’s move as a warning signal as this is leading to breakdown of the Oromo nation forever.
Clear signals so far are ignoring Oromo quest for Oromo language being as a federal language; overlooking to set clear demarcation of Oromia territory; disregarding the ownership of Finfinnee as Oromia capital and unfairly disarming Oromo people. We also note that any individual or group raising the above-mentioned fundamental Oromo issues are considered enemies and silenced in one way or another. The Oromo people should clearly understand that the ODP ruling party, which claims to be Oromo and represent Oromo people, is not standing for the interest of Oromo, but implicitly or explicitly working against or suppressing the Oromo interest.
Therefore, our call to the respected and beloved Oromo people of all walks of life would be:
Oromo Political Organisations
You have been struggling for freedom and democracy in a way you believe to maintain Oromo National interest. However, under the present condition, the path for democratization has been halted. The ruling party came to power through your efforts and sacrifices of many Oromo, but it is turning against the Oromo interests and ambitions. The regime is paving a way to stay in power by crushing Oromo political groups, weakening their capacities and using them as a political puppet. Therefore, Qeerroo call up on the Oromo political organizations to commit and determine yourself more than ever to stand in unison against the current ruling force and collaborate with Qerroo to resume the democratization change process until we all achieve our common goals (Abba Biyyummaa Oromoo).
Oromo Youth (Qeerroo Bilisummaa)
You have undertaken bitter struggle paying heavy sacrifices for freedom and democracy and changed the political dynamics of Ethiopia. However, the victory you achieved so far have been hijacked and taken to different destination by those who constantly denying your quest for freedom, democracy and equality of peoples. The ODP party you put to power by your precious blood is using the political and economic power you honored to them for their own purposes by dividing your people, disintegrating your nation; and keeping you poor and destitute. Therefore, as you did yesterday, you must to stand up in unison to resume your struggle to achieve genuine freedom and true democracy once and for all.
Abba Gadas (Oromo traditional leaders)
The Abba Gada council, as a respected Oromo institution, had been the pillar of Oromo nationalism, and preservative of Oromo culture, language and tradition and served as social bond of the Oromo people for centuries. Oromo people give huge respects to this treasure and the Gada System is also recognized by the world community as a genuine democratic institution in Africa. Abba Gadas hold the promises of peace and security for the Oromo people. However, at present the original values of Abba Gadas are under threat and the institution is becoming political machinery for the ruling party. We call upon all Abba Gadas to maintain the original traditions and values of this treasured institution and to stand with Qeerroo to fight against the Ethiopian empire system that became a danger to unity, security, nationalism, culture, language and tradition of Oromo people.
Religious leaders stand for truth, justice and moral values of mankind. The Oromo people with different religions background had been peacefully and fraternally coexisted for centuries. Moreover, they are culturally intermingled and share invaluable socio-political and economic unity which is impossible to separate. However, the EPRDF ruling class tried to use divide and rule policy by instigating chains of artificially orchestrated conflicts between different religions as means of governance. Oromo religious leaders have resisted this damaging policy and stood with Oromo unity for the last 27 years. However, the current OPD/ EPRDF ruling party is using the same strategy in a different form to divide Oromo people in religion and weaken our unity. Qeerroo call up on you to be aware of this dangerous sabotage and strengthen your inter-religious relationship and promote peace and unity among all Oromo people. We also ask you to stand with Qeerroo to fight against this Ethiopian empire-based systematic repressions.
Nationalist Oromo Students
Oromo students in Universities and various institutions have proved to be at the forefront of the revolution. The Qeerroo believe that the current regime is not only ignoring Oromo fundamental questions but also paving ways to destroy Oromo identify, nationalism; and change Oromo demography. Also, we believe that trying to destroy OLA and leaving Oromo defenseless is not acceptable. The government’s various sabotages including labeling OLA as bandit; and bribing individuals to mobilize protests against the OLA should be stopped. The Qeerroo understand that these types of ill-behaved activities are the repetition of the TPLF strategies to break the Oromo people and should be vastly denounced. We would like to renew our call for you to stand with our struggle for Oromo nationalism, unity, justice and freedom of the Oromo people.
Oromo Scholars and professionals
You are expected to shape and guide the future of Oromo nation and people. Your efforts to reveal true history of Oromo people and promoting the Oromo nation to the world community is highly appreciated. However, as it stands now, Oromia is going to be disintegrated in your presence. Oromo nationalism and unity are under threat; the century long Oromo questions are overlooked; sacrifices of Oromo people are seen as pointless; people with colonial sentiments are trying to turn around the true history of the Oromo people. Therefore, we call up on you to stand with us using your knowledge, skills, time and resource to challenge the internal and external anti- Oromo movements.
Oromo people at large
You have been suffering under colonial rules for more than a century. At the same time, you have been continuously fighting for your freedom from generation to generation. Enough is enough you deserve freedom, democracy, peace and stability on your land. Although the new generation (Qeerroo and Qarrittii) determined to conclude the era of colony, the overall Oromo struggle for freedom and democracy has been hi-jacked once more by those counters to your demand for freedom, nationalism and unity. You must unite against these misleading forces and fight to achieve what you have been killed and massacred for centuries. So, we must stand in unison and renew our struggle for freedom and democracy once and for all.
Finally, we, the Oromo National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (Qeerroo), believe that the current aim and objectives of the ruling party is to build Ethiopian Unity by dividing Oromo people and dismantling the Oromo nation. We are ready to give ultimate sacrifices in unison, as we did before, to maintain the Oromo unity achieved by sacrifices of thousands of our brothers and sisters. We demand Oromo people from all walks of life to stand with Qeerroo and support the struggle for freedom and democracy.
Victory to the Oromo People!
Comprehensive Statement of the Oromo National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (Qeerroo).
June 9, 2019, Finfinnee, Oromia