Press Release (OLF Foreign Relations Office)
January 7, 2024
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is gravely concerned about the political climate in Ethiopia and
Somalia following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ethiopian
government and Somaliland. The OLF emphasizes that such agreements pertain to the involved
government and concerned parties. Additionally, we call for calm and understanding from all sides,
urging the respect of refugees and civilian citizens on both fronts during these emotionally charged
times. In the past, similar occurrences between these states have repeatedly inflicted enduring
wounds on Oromo refugees and civilians.
The Oromo people have coexisted as neighbors with the people of Somalia for centuries, sharing
cultures, traditions, religion, borders, and even land to mutually access resources and live together
graciously in peace and harmony. Unfortunately, regimes have employed a ‘divide and rule’ policy,
insinuating conflict that often escalates to war, resulting in loss of life and destruction of resources.
The enduring positive relationship between our organization and Somali counterparts is rooted not
only in the camaraderie with our Somali brothers but also in an ideological convergence regarding a
passion for justice and respect for humanity. These shared human values and mutual respect form
the foundation of our confidence that Somali politicians, scholars, religious leaders, elders, activists,
and the entire spectrum of the people will heed this call.
In this critical time of heightened political tensions, we implore you to protect Oromo and other
Ethiopian refugees residing in Somalia. We acknowledge the emotional intensity of the situation and
fear that innocent civilians, including refugees, may become victims of impulsive actions. It’s crucial
to recognize that refugees fleeing Ethiopia, whether Oromos or others, bear no ill intentions toward
Somalia. Many, both refugees and non-refugees residing in the proximity, have coexisted, and are
closely engaged in trade, farming, grazing, and worship.
The OLF sincerely believes that these challenging times necessitate caution and understanding to
preserve the values dear to all of us, particularly the lives of innocent civilians. We appeal to all Somali
citizens, whether residing in Somalia or the diaspora, to consider the protection of innocent civilians
as a moral duty.
We also urge the international community, including the UN, the African Union, the European Union,
and all neighboring countries, to utilize their influence to peacefully resolve this emerging conflict
before significant damage befalls the region.
Victory to the masses
OLF Foreign Relations office
January 7, 2024