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: