February 17, 2016
The Executive Committee of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) having deliberated on the unfolding situations in Oromia over the last three months has reached the conclusion that further attempts by the regime to reassert total control are futile and actually counterproductive.
Reiterating our unwavering support for non-violent resistance by the Oromo people in their struggle for human rights, freedom, and democracy, we want to make one thing abundantly clear: No amount of violent suppression by the regime will any longer cow the Oromo into submission.
As the Oromo people, determined to end their marginalization, rises in their millions demanding legitimate rights, there can be no force that can derail it from its course towards certain victory.
The status quo of the last 25 years is shattered and no longer tenable. All attempts by the ruling party to gain control of the volatile situation through single use of security and military means has come to naught. Short of concrete actions towards political liberalization, Ethiopia risk sliding toward chaos and TPLF/EPRDF regime policies are squarely responsible. Having effectively marginalized and destroyed political opponents; imposed the political and economic dominance of a small ruling elite through illegal appropriation of land and wealth; having institutionalized corruption and damaged the legitimacy of state organs; one can no longer hope that weakened national institutions manned by the most incompetent are capable of arresting the situation from spinning out of control. Hence, averting further national tragedy is incumbent on all stakeholders.
The ODF Executive Committee therefore makes a three-pronged call. First, we call on all Oromo political and civic organizations inside and outside of the country to unite. Second, we call on all Ethiopian political and civic organizations to join their Oromo counterparts to consolidate our people’s efforts to free the country from tyranny. Third, we call on the international community to stop fooling itself that the status quo of the last 25 years in which the ruling party single-handedly dictated the country’s future is sustainable and rather help convene an all-inclusive conference to prevent further bloodshed.
The liberation of the Oromo people and that of all freedom seeking Ethiopians is inevitable, so we advise all parties to take the correct measures so as to escape being on the wrong side of history.
February 17, 2016