Resolutions of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Executive Committee (EC)
The OLF Executive Committee successfully concluded its second regular meeting that was held from June 09 – 19, 2018, after the fourth General Assembly. During this meeting, the EC listened to reports from the office of the OLF chairman and the different departments of the organization, discussed on issues that were addressed at the Policy Consultation Conference that preceded the executive committee meeting, and resolved on several important issues. After thoroughly deliberating on issues related to the Oromo people and their struggle for freedom, the situation in the Ethiopian empire, and regional and international political developments, the EC passed the following resolutions:
On the Oromo People and the Oromo Liberation Struggle:
The Oromo people have been struggling for over a century to restore the freedom that they lost by the barrel of a gun and to have their inalienable human rights fully respected in their own country, Oromia. In the process of the just struggle for freedom, the Oromo people have registered major victories at different times and places. The bitter struggle that the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), Oromo Youth (Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo), OLF members and supporters (both inside the country and in diaspora), and the Oromo public at large conducted with unparalleled determination and tirelessness at the expense of huge sacrifices, including long time imprisonment, loss of body parts, and loss of life, etc. have shaken the foundation of the tyrannical camp and forced the EPRDF government to release several thousands political prisoners from Ethiopian jails. Despite the progress that we have made, the unjust system that has been forced upon our people by the Ethiopian Empire, the oppressive military and security apparatuses, and the exploitation of our economy are continuing unabated. Recognizing this fact, and to transition the Oromo liberation struggle to the next higher level and speed up our liberation, the EC has resolved to work with great determination and redouble all aspects of our struggle, including strengthening the movements of OLA and Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo.
Regarding the Ethiopian Government:
The EPRDF government, with the help of the military and security forces that it created and using the cronies that it dispatched in different regional states to safeguard its stay in power, has inflicted unparalleled atrocities on the peoples of Ethiopia in general, and the Oromo people in particular. A bitter struggle, that required heavy sacrifices ensued these atrocious acts is bringing the EPRDF government to its knees and weakening its destructive forces.
Pressed by the unfolding popular resistance, EPRDF has pulled another one of its deceptive practices by pretending to implement reforms and spreading misleading propaganda and false hopes of bringing the desired change. The fact on the ground is that the EPRDF has been showering its leaders and veterans that have been terrorizing the Ethiopian people for the last 27 years, and who have stained their hands with innocent’s blood with awards and praises and then giving them comfortable retirements. Others are simply assigned to higher posts by reshuffling. It must be clear to all concerned that this is not a step that brings the desired change, but rather it is a machination that is designed to extend the stay on the power of EPRDF and perpetuation of the atrocities that it has been committing for the last 27 years.
The source of political, economic, and social problems affecting the peoples in the Ethiopian empire is the anti-democratic and anti-freedom goals and policies on which the EPRDF was established. Therefore, until the military, security, economic, and governance structures that EPRDF created for its own benefit is dismantled by people’s struggle and people freely elect a government of their own, it is unthinkable to bring about the change that will benefit the people within the structure of this government. To bring about a real change and achieve the goal for which we have paid dearly, our people must consolidate and step-up the struggle with renewed vigor and get it to the finish line.
To the Oromo Freedom lovers and who have been released from prison:
With the sustained struggle and sacrifices of the Oromo people in general, and the Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromo, OLF members, and organizations representing other oppressed peoples in Ethiopia, in particular, Oromo nationalists that have been imprisoned for decades in EPRDF jails and suffered inhuman treatments for allegedly supporting the OLF and Oromo Liberation Struggle have been released along with other oppressed peoples nationals.
We congratulate the gallant Oromo nationalists who have suffered so much for no other reason than standing up for the freedom of their people and confirm to you that your sacrifices are not in vain. We hope that you find comfort in knowing that the Oromo Liberation Struggle, for which some of you lost your body parts and others suffered psychological trauma, has grown exponentially and produced millions more nationalists and brought your people to the eve of their inevitable freedom. The OLF EC deeply expresses that, until the parties that are responsible for your sufferings are brought to justice and held accountable for their crimes, and until you are fully compensated for the physical and mental trauma, it is impossible to say you have received justice and vindicated.
Additionally, the OLF EC asks for the immediate release of all remaining detainees who are still suffering in EPRDF’s jails and those whose whereabouts are still a mystery. Their release must be unconditional and with public explanations of their conditions.
The OLF EC also calls upon the Oromo people to provide the support that these gallant Oromo sons and daughters deserve. These heroes paid heavy prices to bring freedom to the Oromo people. The Oromo people should give them the love and respect that they deserve and support them morally and in any other way that they need.
On the war prompted by EPRDF among the people:
From every corner, the EPDF government is grabbing the Oromo land piece by piece, which has been going for a long time as Oromo land grabbing is an EPDF and successive Ethiopian regime’s policy. The intention of this land grabbing policy is to diminish the Oromo land size, thereby change the demography of the Oromo population. By changing the demography of the Oromo population, EPDF envision eliminating the Oromo struggle and in fact, in the due process has committed an ethnic cleansing on Oromo people. Just because they are born Oromo, more than one million Oromos are evicted from neighboring areas, their ancestral land and lost their prosperities as well as their livelihood. Orchestrated by EPRDF together with its surrogate regional governments, the Oromo people were engaged in wars with its neighboring regions in the North, East, Southeast, South and West part of the country. Despite these, people have lived together peacefully for centuries, now they are engaged in a war which basically indicates that such a war, in fact emanating from the EPRDF’s policy of instigating conflict to attack Oromo and Oromo national struggle for liberation for its political consumption.
In a similar manner, conflicts among the people in various regions are also prompted by EPRDF and its security agents. Such conflicts instigated by EPRDF for its political benefit have so far resulted in a huge crisis on the people. On top of this, such senseless war could leave scars that potentially endanger the long-term relationship of these people, which is among the main topics that the OLF EC has thoroughly discussed on and decided to work hard on ways to curb the impact of such conflict on all peoples.
On resolving the problems that exist between the Oromo liberation struggle and the Ethiopian empire through negotiation
OLF was forced to enter into an armed struggle since the Ethiopian rulers failed to entertain any political freedom and wanted to sustain their oppressive political system by their military power. The closing of the “Maccaa and Tulama” association and imprisonment and killings of its workers is a recent example of the oppressive nature of the Ethiopian governments. Still today, The Maccaa and Tulamaa development associated remains closed indicating the inherited oppressive nature of the successive Ethiopian governments. Since Minilik, all the Ethiopian rulers, including the current one, clinched to political power by barrel of guns and none of them peacefully hand over their power democratically, which clearly indicates the true dictatorial nature of the Ethiopian rulers. Even to date, all the Ethiopian peoples, including the Oromos are governed by a barrel of gun. Therefore, the goal of the OLF is to remove such dictatorial government from the shoulder of the people and create a system where all peoples in the empire have the freedom and the right to elect the government they want as well as establish a political system that suits them. These are among the basic strategies on which OLF was established. To achieve its goals, OLF had no option, due the dictatorial nature of the Ethiopian rulers, other than entering into an armed struggle.
While maintaining their political power as well their individual and group interest by guns using their military and police forces, the Ethiopian prime minister has recently tried to demean armed struggle as an outdated activity. It is in fact embarrassing for the Ethiopian government to say that armed struggle is an old fashion, as if they are not governing the country with a barrel of a gun. This further proves that what the prime minister talk on stage contradicts with what EPRDF actually does on the ground in real life. It is very important that our people pay attentions to the true nature of EPRDF government.
To resolve this century-long political problem that existed between the Oromo people and the Ethiopian empire through negotiation, at the beginning of April 2018, OLF has made its position clear on how to resolve the political crisis in Ethiopia. Although the OLF’s call for negotiation was widely distributed on both local and international media, the Ethiopian government still didn’t officially respond to our call. Ignoring our calls, the Ethiopian prime minister keeps talking on stages about peacefully resolving the political problems through dialogue. Other than taking on stages, rather for political consumption, still the Ethiopian government is not ready to settle the political turmoil in the country through dialogue. Therefore, OLF wants the Oromo people and all the peoples in the empire understand that EPRDF’s call for negotiation is nothing more than just a lip-service. Understanding such EPRDF’s political maneuvering, to bring a lasting solution, our people must continue, while maintaining the victories so far regained, its struggle unabated until the Ethiopian government takes a clear step to the negotiation table. Up to now, the only solution that leads us to lasting solution is to continue the struggle and thus, OLF calls upon the Oromo people to continue to support the Oromo Liberation army (OLA).
On the Alliance of the Oromo political organizations
To bring the Oromo liberation struggle to its end goals, OLF coordinates all the necessary resources like human power, knowledge, and all other resources that help to speed up our liberation struggle forward. This has been and continues to be our standing policy until we regain the freedom of our people. To this end, to secure the interest of our people, OLF believes that this is the most important time for all Oromo political organizations to work together to shorten the time of our liberation. And to ascertain this, OLF works to its at most capacity. Those Oromo political organizations, that we have previously agreed to cooperate, have recently disrupted our agreement, due to the political situation in the country. They should realize that their recent moves should be to the benefits of our common interest.
On People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD):
PAFD has worked on ranges of issues to bring a political solution to the crisis that the empire is facing. For such broader and complex issues, PAFD has laid out a political solution (road map) and presented at the conference held in February 2018 in London, UK. Many stakeholders have participated in this conference, including political and academic elites from various groups, and diplomats including members of the European Union parliament. Currently, this road map, presented by PAFD at the London conference, is under review by many stakeholders in such a way that an all-inclusive transitional arrangement be made. The OLF EC would like to call upon all stakeholders to contribute their thoughts into this road map and make it complete. This will assure the impartiality of the road map and by serving all the stakeholders in that empire, it will provide a political solution for once and for all. OLF EC also wants to assure that OLF, on its part, will do what it takes for the success of PAFD.
For all Ethiopian political Organization:
To bring a long-term solution for the current political, economic and social crisis, all the political forces in the country and other concerned bodies must begin an all-inclusive transitional process and OLF believes that this transitional process should be given a priority. Such long-term political solution would be realized only when all the political forces freely address their political views to the public and when the public freely decide on their future without any pressure from any forces. OLF works with members of the PAFD to make sure that such all-inclusive transition arrangements being realized. We also understand that there may be another group who may have a similar political solution (road map) for the empire. OLF calls for such group and all other groups who work for democracy and freedom to work for the success of the transition process as well as to be part of this process. OLF also extends its call to all Ethiopian peoples and the international governments to support such transitional process.
The wider Oromo people:
The Oromo people, living both in Oromia and abroad, have actively supported the Oromo liberation struggle and enabled the struggle to reach this interesting stage as it is now. The dedication and commitment that our people showed by participating in the struggle worth a huge appreciation. Today, the huge sacrifice that our people paid during this struggle is bringing us closer to the liberation. However, we should also note that there are groups of people working to reverse the victories that our people obtained through their struggle for the sake of satisfying their egos. Therefore, the current situation that our struggle is in requires a further doubling of our participation and support as well as a careful analysis of any steps to be taken. Therefore, the OLF EC strongly appeals to the wider Oromo people, living both in Oromia and abroad, to be aware of the situation, safeguards our victory from these self-serving politicians, and work toward achieving swiftly to the end goal.
The members and supporters of OLF:
In our long-time struggle for justice, the roles of the OLF members are tremendous. Note that the patience, commitment, dedication, determination as well as the loyalty of the OLF members and supporters are the bases of our today’s victory. To move forward rapidly to our end goals, still the contribution of our members and supporters are hugely needed. The remaining road toward victory is short, and to make even shorter, it requires more awareness, commitment and determination. Taking this into account, the OLF-EC strongly stresses that all members and supporters of OLF must continue to fully obligate to do their part.
The Oromo Liberation army:
The Oromo liberation army, the hope for the Oromo people’s liberation, has been enduring a tremendous pain, and paying a huge sacrifice for the freedom of the Oromo people. This will be greatly remembered forever in Oromo people’s history. As you are the hope of our liberation, in addition to be a hideout and safeguard for you, the Oromo people will remain committed to stand with you with what they have. With the sacrifices you paid so far, you have recorded so many great historical victories and to secure the liberation of your people, OLF EC would like to call upon you to continue your struggle with great preparation and awareness.
The Oromo Youth (aka Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo):
The Oromo youth movement (aka Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo) has secretly established yourself and carried out a historical movement that caught many by surprise. Your movement indeed made the Oromo people to be proud of and also regain the respect that your people deserve. Your movement and sacrifices were heard across the globe. As you know, many have denied your existence, wished your disappearance, demeaned your organization and worked day-in and-out to destroy you. However, today, we see while the same people have been trying to capitalize on the victories that you gained through a huge sacrifice. Therefore, the OLF EC would like to call up on you to be aware of such forces and actively protect your organization until the cause for which you paid such sacrifice bears final fruit.
The Oromo men and women currently serving in the Ethiopian government:
To those Oromo men and women currently severing this government at various levels for various reasons. The OLF EC would like to call upon you to stand with your people’s liberation struggle with your full energy in the struggle against this dictatorial regime. Especially those are serving in the military and in the federal and Oromia police forces to refrain from participating in the campaigns to quell the struggle for freedom, participate in the struggle to ascertain the liberation of your people.
The nations and nationalities in the Ethiopian empire The goal of the OLF struggle is not only to ensure the liberation of the Oromo people, but also to ensure that the liberation and respect of human right for all the peoples of the empire is secured. Our struggle is also to bring peace and stability to the region. To this effect we have paid huge sacrifice. EPRDF instigates conflicts among ethnic lines at various times for its political benefit and in doing so extends its time on power. Enabling this oppressive and dictatorial government to stay on power doesn’t benefit any group. Therefore, the OLF EC calls upon all the nations and nationalities in the empire to stand with and support the struggle of the Oromo and other oppressed peoples against this regime.
The International community and governments:
All the successive Ethiopian rulers so far stood on a political system that is oppressive, exploitive and anti-democratic in its nature. And they have established such vicious systems over the people with their barrel of guns and in due process, they have killed, imprisoned, looted the properties of many people for years. In addition, huge number of people have also been displaced and forced to exile. Since clinching to power in 1991, the EPRDF government has been enjoying the support from the international community and governments by deceiving them with the name of democracy and development. There was no time that OLF didn’t expose the true nature of the EPRDF and its deception to the international communities and governments. Today, through the struggle of the Ethiopian peoples in general and the Oromo people in particular, the deceptive true nature of the EPRDF government is further exposed to the world communities. OLF and other human rights organizations have been warning for the last 27 years that EPRDF’s human right violation and the crimes they have been committing on the peoples are an act of terrorism. On top of this, the current Ethiopian Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahemd, has recently confirmed on its report at the Ethiopian parliament that the EPRDF government indeed has committed a terrorist act on its own people.
However, the EPRDF and its government system that have been terrorizing the people are still in place. The international community should not expect a real change from the government that has been committing a state terrorism on its own people for the last 27 years. Ignoring the pretentious changes that the EPRDF government is promising, OLF EC calls upon the international community and governments, to rather stand with the people’s genuine struggle for real change that encompasses all the stakeholders in the empire. Furthermore, the international communities should also support the transitional road map that the OLF along with other members of the PAFD are crafting.
Using this opportunity, OLF EC would like to appreciate the steps taken to pass the HR-128 resolution, by the USA congress, and the resolutions on Ethiopia passed by the European Union on various occasions. While appreciating these steps taken to re-enforce a democratic process, the international community and governments should also support to strengthen those who struggle for liberation of their peoples and want to establish a democratic and inclusive government system.
Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front
OLF Executive Committee
June 20, 2018