OLF Press Release – October 15, 2021
The OLF was strongly denouncing the repeated massacres of Oromo civilians by the central government budgeted Amhara Special Forces (aka Amhara Militias). Although using ethnic conflict as a political tool is a common policy of Ethiopian ruling system, the extent and frequency of the current conflicts are extremely high. It is to be remembered that the Amhara Militias had been deployed to Oromia and Benishangul_Gumuz Regions several times on their own as well as in coordination with Federal Forces and the Eritrean armed forces. To mention some of the recent ones: in the months of March and April 2021, large number Amhara Militias armed with heavy weapons opened fire on Oromo residents in East Wallagga in places known as Wast, Siredoro, Hagamsa, and Haroo/ Lalisee towns and they killed many Oromo civilians. At the same time, many Battalions of Eritreans were deployed to Metekel Zone, Benishangul Gumuz and East/West Oromia regions including Qellam Wallaga and West Wallaga Zones, Shashamane, Guji and Borana Zones and committed many killings.
Particularly the civilian killings increased sharply since Dr Abiy Ahmed vowed in public that he would deploy Amhara Militias to restore law and order in other regions of Ethiopia and his deputy PM, Demeke Mekonnen, highlighted providing firearms and training to the Amhara people to “defend themselves,” implicitly to realize their territorial expansion project to other regions. To the contrary, it is observable truth that the Oromo people had no right to have firearms and had been confiscated all sort of implements including machetes they use for farming and even banned from holding sticks that is a traditional way of life for Oromo men. This clearly indicated that this is intended not only undermining other regional polices but giving vital role to the Amhara militias that is being used to destabilize other peoples.
Although Amhara Militias massacring civilians repeatedly happened in Oromia, the OLF is immensely shocked by this round of brutal massacres of Oromo Civilians in East Wallagga in the last three days. According to the information we received, in the last two days (October 10 and 12, 2021), 40 Oromo civilians were murdered in cold blood in East Wallagga alone. On 10 October 2021, 25 Oromo civilians were brutally murdered by heavily armed Amhara Militias in Haro District of East Wallagga. The civilians were killed in extreme cruelty including massacre of nine people in one place. Out of the twenty-five victims twenty had their throats slit opened, and five were gun shot. Fourteen of the bodies have now been eaten by stray dogs as the gunmen refused to allow burial. We have received the details of eighteen people out of twenty-five killed in Haro District. According to the information the age range of the victims were 12 to 70 years old. Eight are Female and ten are male. Similarly, on 12 October 2021, 15 Oromo civilians were massacred by Amhara Militias in districts of Kiramu and Guto Gidda in a town called Luugoo, East Wallagga. These include the former Luugoo town administrator aged 55 years old; 60 years old man a father of five children; 70 years old woman and 17 years old young person.
In addition, in separate incident, the recently discovered bodies in Borana Zone are shocking news. According to the report issued by Prisoners’ Rights Campaigners on 13 October 2021, two Oromo young civilians known as Boruu Guyyoo and Derejjee Biraanu had been taken out of the Hiddi Lolaa Prison, in Miyo district of Borana and killed in cold blood by the PP soldiers and buried in unknown place. After long time searches by the victims’ families, the bodies of the two Oromo civilians were recovered on 13 October 2021.
OLF would like to express its condolences to their families that might have been affected by this brutal Massacre of Amhara Militias and PP soldiers. In addition, we want to make clear that the identities of the victims that were not
known so far would be verified at the right time. The OLF strongly condemn these expanding brutal acts of terror by the PP government soldiers and its appendage Amhara Militias that is creating havoc throughout the country.
We would like to express our deep concern that Dr. Abiy Government’s actions of intensifying ethnic conflicts for political objective will lead to catastrophic ethnic genocide and put the country and the region in irreversible danger.
1. We call for independent investigation into these Massacres of East Wallaga regions so that it will be clear to the Ethiopian peoples as well as to the international community.
2. We inform the Ethiopian peoples and the international community that Dr. Abiy’s government and his prosperity party should be accountable for all the lives lost due to inflaming ethnic conflicts and should refrain from future atrocities that might happen due to actions of his ill motivated partial Government of Prosperity Party.
3. We would like to strongly remind the Oromia citizens that you do not have a government to protect you. OLF was informing you this for long time. Lack of Oromia regional governance exposed it to invasion by other regional forces, namely, Amhara regional government militia. The Amhara regional state as a core of ruling property party is supported by Central Government of Dr. Abiy that repeatedly deployed Militias to break the Oromo people’ lives. Thus, we would like to remind the Oromo people again that you must strengthen the Oromia Regional State National Transitional Government and protect yourself from regional invasion and restore peace and security in your region.
4. We continue to urge the international community to take practical actions using all tools available to pressure the Government of Dr. Abiy to respect human rights, and refrain from inciting genocide between nations and nationalities that would have catastrophic outcome for Ethiopian peoples and detrimental impact on peace and security in the region.
5. We also ask the international community to urge Dr. Abiy to abide by the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Republic constitution, and respect national, regional, and international laws on human rights and people’s rights.
In conclusion, the OLF requests the Amhara Regional Government to immediately withdraw Amhara Militias from Oromia regions as continuation such irresponsible actions will have more grave consequences for the people it claims to represent.
Victory to the Masses!
Oromo Liberation Front
October 15, 2021