The Oromo People will never allow the Reinstatement of Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) Master Plan

The Oromo People will never allow the Reinstatement of Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) Master Plan.

Oromo Liberation Front Press Release

The so called “Council of Ministers” of Ethiopia released a draft legislation regarding Oromia’s special interest on Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). The bill was referred to the House of People’s Representatives for approval, according to the release. The Oromo people and their vanguard organization, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), categorically reject this draft law.

We reject this law because the minority regime that rules Ethiopia with façade of democracy and by the barrel of gun has no legitimacy to make decisions on behalf of the Oromo people. Finfinnee is an Oromo land that was conquered over a century ago and the Oromo people have been struggling to take back what is rightfully theirs. Any decision on matters related to the coexistence and resource sharing among the diverse inhabitants of the city can only be made by legitimate Oromo representatives. The Oromo people did not have such representative in the last 150 years and neither do not have such a representation in the current minority dictatorial regime in Ethiopia. Neither the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) nor the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) has been elected by the Oromo people and cannot make decisions on their behalf on serious matters such as this.

It was an open secret that the TPLF/EPRDF stole all the past elections and the recent 2015 sham election and declared 100 percent of the electoral votes. Within months of that theatrical act, the Oromo people, and the vast majority of the Ethiopian peoples in other regional states, took to the streets to express their anger and rejection. Instead of addressing their demands and grievances in a proper manner, the government of Ethiopia that came to power by force resorted to its usual brutal killings of innocent school children, women, and the elderly. Over 2000 people were massacred in broad daylights and tens of thousands were imprisoned, raped, tortured, and disappeared.

On October 2, 2016 alone, over 700 innocent people were massacred by the TPLF mercenary army as they celebrated Irrecha, an Oromo thanksgiving festival, in the town of Bishoftu. Not a single person has been held responsible for all these crimes.

When TPLF realized that even this level of atrocities cannot stop determined people from demanding their natural rights, it declared a state of emergency. The peoples of Ethiopia in general and the Oromo in particular are now living in a prison house where the military and security forces have the authority to kill, torture, and imprison anyone without the due process of law. Drafting a legislative bill to decide the special interest of Oromia on Fifinnee under these circumstances, with zero input from the public and while violating their human, assembly, protest rights, is tantamount to genocidal declaration.

As the strategy for resisting the tyrannical TPLF government under the state of emergency shifted from street protest into other means, it falsely declared that peace has been restored in the country and started making a few cosmetic changes in order to deceive the public and its foreign donors. One such change involved the reshuffle of cabinets to give the appearance of more Oromo representation. A close look at the Oromo ministers, however, shows that many of them, especially the ones in key government positions, are either Oromo speaking non-Oromo or mixed ethnicities that have lived their entire life denying their Oromo identity. It is with the consent of these ministers, and other idiotic Oromo cabinet members who chose to be subservient to a tiny minority, that such a law is drafted by TPLF gangs and approved by the “council of Ministers”.

This law is nothing but another one of their deceptive cosmetic changes that appears on the surface to legalize Oromo people’s interest on Finfinnee but in reality is a ploy to reinstate the failed Addis Ababa Master Plan. According to the draft law, for example, TPLF gangs and their cronies, who turned into billionaires overnight by looting from the Ethiopian peoples, can now remove an Oromo family from their ancestral land by declaring that their property is needed for development purposes. All that is needed is to compensate the property owner “at least a little more than what the property is worth”, which is of course being determined by Woyane agents. The development nature of the project itself is determined by the TPLF rulers or their lackeys. If property owners refuse to accept the offer, there is no independent legal system to appeal to because the judicial system is under the total control of TPLF gangs.

Ironically, the draft law does not mention the effect that removing families from their villages have on their language, culture, and social fabric.

Unchecked urban growth that this legislation promotes not only destructs the original settlement of the Oromo people but also results Continuation in the destruction of scared places of the Oromo community, cultural amenities, unique ethnic values, collective belongings and identity, environmental amenities, and historical sites, to mention just a few. This is a pure continuation of ethnic cleansing by any legal standards and should be resisted at all cost. Despite the false promise in the draft law to control pollutions that affect the surrounding Oromo communities, the city itself has no sewer systems, no control over urban runoff, no waste management amenities, no performance standards, and no sustainable land use management. One should ask then how the planned urban sprawl will not affect the surrounding communities.

Another mockery of the draft law is on the learning and use of afaan Oromo in Finfinnee. According to the law, for children of Oromo peasants and city residents who “want” their children to have afaan Oromo as their mother tongue, the city administration has to organize an elementary school in afaan Oromo. This is bigotry at the highest level that comes from ignorance and historical injustices that considered afaan Oromo as a forbidden language the last 150 years while there were schools for Indians, Greek, Armenians and the rest. This is a real evidence that attest the TPLF regime was systematically denying the Oromo in Finfinnee their fundamental right to send their children to School in their own language and is permitting now at only primary level. A recent change in the qubee afaan Oromo alphabet further indicates that the TPLF is out to destroy Oromo language, culture, and identity.

The OLF would like to take this opportunity to inform the Oromo people that this legislation is another attempt by the criminal TPLF gangs to reinstate the Addis Ababa Master Plan by taking your land and dividing Oromia into different enclaves thereby weakening Oromo nationalism. A tyrannical group who murdered your children, pregnant women, and the elderly cannot be expected to draft a law that benefits you.

These gangsters came to power with nothing but guns. They enriched themselves to the level of being counted as the richest people in the world by looting and exploiting you. They have been conducting ethnic cleansing against you and dividing you into different camps to weaken your numeric superiority.

The prophecy of one of TPLF’s architects, the late Meles Zenawi, was to make the “majority a minority”. That is what the current rulers are trying to fulfill now.

You have been resisting all forms of attacks directed at you and your identity over the years and persevered. Over the last two years in particular, you smashed the security apparatus and spy rings that these gangs built over the last 25 years and exposed their heinous crimes to the world. You pushed them to the edge of a cliff where their only choice is either to jump and die or surrender. They choose to stand on the edge and fight back rather than surrendering. So, they declared a state of emergency as a last resort. Your heroic Qeerroo and WBO have to make adjustments to deliver the final blow to these criminals. That is the only lasting solution for our freedom.

We, therefore, call upon you, the entire Oromo people, including those who work for the criminal group to make ends meet, to now see the true nature of this group and prepare yourself for the final push. The road ahead might be bumpy but we are certain that victory will be ours. This is a high time to take your arms and use all means available; join your freedom fighters to remove this cancer from our shoulder.

We also call upon the international community to make note of what is happening in Ethiopia and pressure the ruling clique to change courses before it is too late. Your defining silence amidst unspeakable atrocities by a minority regime in Ethiopia is unjustified when measured even by your own values and rules you set. We are, however, obligated to forewarn that the stability of the entire horn of Africa is in jeopardy unless preventive measures are taken now by the international community. A regime that terrorizes its own people cannot be a partner in the war on terror.

Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front
July 1, 2017

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Afaan Oromoo
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