April 19, 2005

Oromo: OLF Statement Following the Briefing Trip to Europe on the Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia

Mr. Dawud Ibsa, chairman of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), highlights the succesfully accomplished mission to Europe
Untitled Document

“All Ethiopian regimes lack the good-will to disentangle themselves from their past authoritarian political traditions” said Mr. Dawud Ibsa, the chairman of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), in his highlight regarding the successfully accomplished mission of the OLF delegate that toured Europe to brief European governments, International organisations, Human right defenders, Social Research Institutes, Journalists and Reporters about the political situation of the Horn of Africa, mainly Ethiopia.

Despite the good will from EU, the United States, Canada and other democratic peace loving nations in assisting Ethiopia to promote democracy and good Governance, the minority regime of Meles Zenawi, like all its predecessors failed to implement its own constitution and adhere to international norms and standards which are very vital to alleviate poverty and create favourable conditions for sustainable economic development and peace on the Horn of Africa.

Though we, the OLF, alarmed democratic nations on the situation to follow when TPLF derailed the Transitional Charter in 1992 and forced many genuine political organisations including the OLF to withdraw from the Transitional Government, it took the International community more than a decade to realize that all Ethiopian regimes lack the good-will to disentangle themselves from the authoritarian political tradition. The great majority of nations and nationalities like the Oromos, Ogadenis, Sidamas, Benishangul, Anuak, Nuer, Walaita, Gurage, Adere, Kambata and etc who are overtly marginalized in the Ethiopian politics still have no voice in decisions on war and peace in Ethiopia.

As Ethiopia is geo-politically important by sharing its geographic boundaries with five countries of the Horn, Oromos who demographically constitute more than half of the Ethiopian population, and its land Oromia which stretches Northwest from Sudan to South east up to Somalia respectively, east from Djibouti west up to Sudan and south up to Kenya vis-à-vis has a key role in peace and stability of Ethiopia and the Horn at large.

Any social, political and economic alienation of this great majority (the Oromo) of the Empires’ population would persistently lead the empire to poverty and human misery. UN Human Development Index ranked Ethiopia as 168th out of 173 countries. It is typical political facade of EPRDF that it currently aspires a democratic national election without genuine and significant opposition groups and adequate time of election process. The outcome of the upcoming election process is already clear; the recent expulsion of representatives of the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) from Ethiopia is a clear diagnosis of the election, that is, the EPRDF will continue to rule undemocratically but the denominator of Ethiopia’s image, war, poverty, famine, resettlement, human rights violations and all sorts of human misery will worsen. The regime’s legislature, judiciary, executive, security and military are interwoven in to a single body. There is no distinction between TPLF party leaders and owners of private sector. The OLF, who enjoys the overwhelming support of the Oromo and other marginalized nations and nationalities, has a key role in stability of the Horn of Africa.

We call upon International organisations and democratic governments to opt for a viable long lasting peace by using all its diplomatic and economic tools on Meles’s regime that the people in the empire decide freely on their own fate.