January 7, 2016
On the occasion of the recent events in Oromia, where a number of peaceful protests led by youth and student groups are being violently suppressed by the government, the Ogaden Youth and Student Union (OYSU) expressed its support for the struggle of the Oromo people. OYSU called Ethiopian Government to end the human rights abuses towards the Ogaden and Oromo people, as well as towards the people of the other regions of Ethiopia.
Below is a press release by OYSU
The Ogaden Youth and Student Union condemns the systematic genocidal massacres taking place in Oromia and Ogaden, and stands with student protesters fighting to end the authoritarian regimes policies of mass displacement against the Oromo and Ogaden people.
The current EPRDF regime in Ethiopia continues and has exacerbated the policies of successive authoritarian Ethiopian regimes in the past. The genocidal massacres taking place in the Ogaden is well documented by human rights organizations and has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilian populations since 2007. The Ethiopian government’s exploitation of natural resources in the Ogaden has led to a dire humanitarian crisis and a worsening armed conflict. The Ogaden region is currently facing the worst drought in history and international humanitarian organizations that have historically provided much needed assistance, such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross, have been denied access to operate in the region. Government-sponsored militias, known as the Liyuu Police, continue to commit rape, extrajudicial killings, mass arrests, and torture with impunity. Millions of people in the Ogaden are facing one of the worse famines in the world and the international community continues to turn a blind eye.
The gross human rights situation that has been taking place in the Ogaden has now spread all over Ethiopia, mainly in the Oromia and Amhara regions. The EPRDF regime, which is mainly controlled by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), is now committing mass genocidal campaigns against the Oromo people. We are receiving credible reports of mass arrests, kidnappings and extrajudicial killings taking place in different parts of Oromia. The Ethiopian regime’s current policy of displacing hundreds of thousands of Oromo farmers off their land has led to an uprising led by the Oromo youth. Protesters have spread all over the country and new armed opposition groups have emerged in parts of the Amhara, Afar, and Sidama regions. The Oromo people, who make up nearly half the population of Ethiopia, have been under repression and marginalization by successive Ethiopian regimes in the past. The Oromo people are essential to the future of Ethiopia and can play a fundamental role in the stability or instability of the Horn of Africa. The Ethiopian regime’s ill-advised policies and criminal behavior will lead to a humanitarian crisis in epic proportion if the international community does not intervene.
The Ogaden Youth and Student Union (OYSU) stands in solidarity with the Oromo youth and students who are leading the peaceful protests currently taking place in Ethiopian and have been the main target of rapes, mass arrests, killings, and kidnappings. The Ogaden and Oromo people, not only share a common struggle, but also share a common history of repression and marginalization by successive Ethiopian regimes. We are calling upon both people to unite against the Ethiopian regime, and reclaim freedom and justice for their respective people.
OYSU urges the international community, and mainly Western nations, to put an end to the funding and sponsoring of authoritarianism and genocide in Ethiopia. We urge Western powers, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, to pressure the Ethiopian government to end the gross human rights abuses taking place in Oromia, Ogaden and elsewhere in Ethiopia. We urge international human rights organizations to continue and further their commitment to exposing the genocidal massacres and displacements taking place in these regions. Lastly, we urge international media organizations to shed light on the acts of genocide and crimes against humanity the Ethiopian regime has been committed in the Ogaden, Oromia, and in other regions of the country.