Statement of the Central Committee of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)

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On organization

The Central Committee of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) held an historical meeting from July 29 to August 4, 2016. The meeting was held at a time when people from all over Oromia were intensifying their uprising to demand democratic rights and genuine self-government in unison. The meeting recognized that the peaceful political struggle the Oromo people are waging inside the country is entering a new phase, gaining resilience and continuity.

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After listening to the organizational report presented by the Executive Committee, the Central Committee thoroughly discussed and reflected on the report. The Central Committee commended the Executive Committee’s effort and performance in implementing policies and carrying out day-to-day operations of the organization. The leadership took note of the strengths and weaknesses confronting the organization. A unified direction and steps were formulated to build on our strengths and also lessons were drawn from our weaknesses.

On Oromo protest

The meeting also assessed the political development in the Oromia region, and other regions, in Ethiopia.  Twenty-five years after it came to power, the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front (EPRDF) neither democratized the country nor tackled developmental challenges facing our people. Massive violations of human rights and the prevalence of abject poverty continued to be features of EPRDF rule. Frustrated by the lack of democratic rights, good governance, and basic services, the protests instigated by the Oromo protest is now evolving into a country-wide mass uprising to demand fundamental democratic change.  Instead of addressing the legitimate demands of the various peoples, the regime chose to savagely attack its own citizens by killing, torturing, and incarcerating thousands of people. These desperate and cruel reactions by the regime against peaceful protesters proved to be futile as the yearning for change ignited in Oromia by the Oromo people is expanding to the other parts of the country, confirming the inevitability of change.

On the Gonder protest

The protest that started nine months ago in Oromia put the Oromo people in the front of the struggle for democratic change in Ethiopia. Now the movement has started to spread throughout the country. This week, a massive and spectacular nonviolent demonstration was held in Gonder. One of the historical significances of the protest in Gonder is the expression of unwavering solidarity with the struggle of the Oromo people and condemning the atrocities perpetrated against the Oromo by the cruel regime run by the EPRDF and dominated by the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), who have perpetrated extreme violations of human rights in the region. The demonstration of solidarity through nonviolent protests not only strengthens our peoples’ unbreakable bond but also speeds up and steers the country-wide movement, kindling the beginning of democratic change to be realized by consigning dictatorship in Ethiopia to dust bin of history. On this occasion, we call upon all the peoples of Ethiopia to defy the divide and rule policy of the regime and stand shoulder to shoulder in their struggle for democratic change and peaceful coexistence.

Call for the formation of Ethiopia-wide alliance

The Central Committee discussed in detail various initiatives the ODF has undertaken to reach out to various Ethiopian opposition groups and leaders. Recognizing that the relationship that has been cultivated with these groups is encouraging, the Central Committee instructed the Executive Committee to further strengthen the ties established in order to work toward the realization of an Ethiopia-wide coalition that can spearhead the nonviolent resistance engulfing the country. The coming together of various opposition groups not only speeds up the struggle by providing the most needed leadership, it also lays down the transition to democracy and peace. The ODF is happy to announce that it is working hard to materialize the Ethiopia-wide alliance and hopes to make public the end result of this effort in the near future. We also call upon all political organizations to be vigilant of the current political development in our country and come together to avoid any gap that the crumbling of the incumbent regime may create. United we will win, divided we will fail. The down fall of the EPRDF regime is certain. The question is not about if, but when. We need to play a constructive role by leading our peoples to democratic change. We cannot squander this opportunity as we have missed many of them in the past.

Call to international communities

The Central Committee calls upon international community to withdraw its financial and military support to the autocratic regime dominated by the TPLF in Ethiopia for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the regime is internally illegitimate, drawing support for its leadership only from external foreign powers rather than internal forces within Ethiopia. The United States and other members of the international community who are fighting extremism are undermining their own democratic values and long term security interests by continuing to support the incumbent regime. The United States is only compromising its long-term security interests by continuing to support an illegitimate and autocratic dictatorship in Ethiopia. Pressure must be put upon the TPLF/EPRDF to heed the demands of the people within the country they seek to rule, and the most effective way to influence the regime is pressure from external influential powers.

 

Justice and freedom for all!!

The Oromo Democratic Front Central Committee

August 5, 2016

 

3 Comments

  1. I was expecting this from ODF; well done. “United we will win, divided we will fail.” Keep united now in practice.

  2. Everyone who is concerned about the fate of all those very proud and harmonious peoples that produced us all should heed this call and come into a lasting union. There is no excuse for not doing that. Colonial this and colonial that diatribe has never worked. We should all come to an understanding that those soldiers who are doing the shooting in Oromia and Gondar are not Tigrayans but rather the children of Oromia and Amhara respectively. All those heeding this call should also understand and accept the fact that the entire people of Tigray or even who espouse the TPLF or Woyane should not be blamed for any violation of the rights of the individual in that country. Whether we admit it or not, whether we try to admit it or not, most of the people of Tigray support their major political organization the TPLF aka Woyane. And for good and deserved reasons. When they were left to die from starvation in their millions in the 1970’s and 80’s, TPLF was the one to be there as their own to help. Mengistu was trying to forcibly eject them from their ancestral homes and ‘resettle’ in some wilderness without any proper pre-planning. Thousands had died after being resettled then. But TPLF came on the scene with life saving supplies and the fathers and mothers of Tigray reciprocated by offering their sons and daughters to the front and with raging fervor. We should never forget that. But now this same organization has been savagely kidnapped by the street smart few who are now multi-millionaires and possibly billionaires. In the process they had managed to harvest dedicated and equally fanatic beasts of burden from every ethnic group. If you try to dislodge Muktar from his generously rewarding position Sebhat or anyone in the TPLF is not the one who will cut you down but it is Muktar himself who will put the first bullet between your eyes. You should never let this fact fall in your lapse.
    Otherwise, if anyone continues lambasting at accusing the entire TPLF as an organization then it will be seen as ethnic hatred and it will not garner any international sympathy or even listening ears.

    This is my honest take. I expect to get mix responses for this comment and some of you will revert to that longstanding tradition of immature student politics of name calling. Or you are one of those busy rummaging at the dump sites in Asmara. That is something you should be utterly ashamed of. First respect yourself and then you can talk to me.

  3. ODF?,
    yes, ODF what the majority Ethiopians know it is the true alliance OR serve-tu with TPLF until recently when humiliated by TPLf for the fact ODF lacks popular support in Oromia and true if one listens the Oromo evolutional music one can easily understand how the Oromo nation never trust ODF.
    . But today, when the Ethiopians are uprising the ODF attempts to save the dying TPLF via fake opposion window as it calls a wide nation alliance.As the ODF has a history of betrial towards it’s nation again such call is only to support the dying TPLF!

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