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For Immediate Release August 5, 2016

The Grand Oromia Rally is a national act of protest by the Oromo and non-Oromo citizens of Ethiopia to gather in unison to express deep-seated mass grievances, country-wide anguish and suffering, widespread violation of rights that is perpetrated by the TPLF regime over the past several decades.

In the past 9 months alone, the Oromo people saw one of the bloodiest military response from the regime that murdered over 600 lives, shot and injured over 5000 persons, incarcerated tens of thousands and caused forced disappearances of thousands. The regime has also rendered hundreds of thousands landless, jobless, homeless, and placeless. It has demolished houses of thousands who have been rendered homeless and left out in the punitively cruel cold weather of the rainy season. All this is mainly, although not merely, because of the people’s decision to protest the government’s Master Plan that illegally and unconstitutionally annexed their ancestral lands in and around the Capital Finfinnee/Addis Ababa.

This Grand Rally is going to be staged in all the major cities and district towns of Oromia. This rally is a peaceful rally expressing the people’s general yearning for a just peace.

During this planned Grand Oromia Rally, we expect the Oromo people to remain connected using the Internet, mobile technologies and social media platforms. We strongly urge the government to refrain from blocking communications channels, using tactics of fomenting conflicts, provoking and meting out violence and mass arrest in order for it to disrupt and restrict lawful assembly and peaceful protest. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Oromo and non-Oromo citizens are ready to gather across more than 200 districts, over 20 zonal cities and in the Capital, Finfinnee (also called Addis Ababa), to join in this peaceful protest as a part of the grassroots Oromo movement.

On August 6, as we march, we acknowledge millions who are also marching in solidarity with us. So, we march in the company of all people who, like the Oromos, were wronged by the regime’s ruthless dictatorial, at times, even terroristic practices. The Grand Rally comes at a time when the regime lost all kinds of reason by placing elite political benefit over public service, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, and most importantly privileging members of one ethnic group over those of others. Let it be known to all, near and far, local, national, and international, that we are peacefully assembled here, as it is our God-given right. Also, we feel obliged to highlight these facts as worth noting by all:


  •   Oromo and friends of Oromo people are united in their anger and outrage against the sickening brutality of its military on peaceful innocent civilian population. We also like to underscore the obvious mal-governance by the TPLF regime–rampant corruption, mass arrest, mass killings, dehumanization, torture, and rape by the regime’s military that also colluded with its business and political elite since 1991.
  •   The Oromo people categorically and unequivocally express their rejection of the regime; and that it has indisputably lost its legitimacy, the legitimacy it hardly had at any rate, among the Oromo people.
  •   All foreign visitors and expatriates working and living in our country will be given an extra- care by the protesters. Hence, there is no need to fear. We are inherently bound by our Gadaa democracy to ensure the safety and security of our guests. To the extent the people can, they pledge their full protection to all residents.
  •   On August 6, 2016, starting 8:00 AM in the morning (ganama keessaa sa’a lama akka lakkofsa Oromotti), the march will take place in all districts and zonal cities and towns across Oromia. We reiterate in the strongest of words that it is a totally peaceful march. Consequently, there will be no weapons in the rallies. Roads shall not be blocked. Government offices and officials will not be bothered.
  •   Given the tendency of the regime’s military and security force to use live ammunition to shoot at the protesters from a point blank range and cruel treatment of protestors in response to the situation, the grand rally will continue to show the utmost ethical standards in terms of ensuring orderliness, peace, and non-violence. There will be no reason to fear any attack against any property.
  •   Demonstrators shall march steadily and in a completely orderly procession. There will be no rushing, running, or a resultant commotion. We call upon all peace loving people to pay attention and to bear witness as we, today, march for justice, peace, voice, dignity, equality, and liberty for all.


    Organizers of the Grand Oromia Rally E-mail:

    Freedom, Justice, Liberty, Dignity, and Democracy for ALL!


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