December 1, 2006

Oromo: OLF Concerned by Somali-Ethiopian Border Skirmishes

The Oromo Liberation Front recently released a statement underlining the risks that may arise from the Somali-Ethiopian conflict. The skirmish unless contained as a matter of urgency could allegedly engulf the Horn of Africa region, OLF says.

Below is a press release from the Oromo Liberation Front on the current Somali-Ethiopian conflict:

 
Thursday 30 November 2006.

 
OROMO LIBERATION FRONT

 
The current conflict in Somalia can lead to a regional catastrophe

 Press Release


November 29, 2006 — The Oromo Liberation Front views the current skirmish between the armed forces of the Somalia’s Union of Islamic Courts and the Ethiopian regime with a grave concern. The skirmish unless contained as a matter of urgency could engulf the Horn of Africa region with devastating consequences. The Horn of Africa is one of the poorest regions of the world and a senseless war, without any doubt, will only exacerbate the disastrous economic, social and political situations created by decades of ethnic oppression, armed conflicts, and drought.

The Oromo people share long historical ties with the people of Somalia. We are mindful that the people of Somalia have lived without a central government for the past 16 years and we value their efforts to rebuild their country. We believe that the people of Somalia must be supported in a positive manner acceptable to them to rebuild their country and shape their future. On the other hand, we consider the interference in the internal affairs of Somalia by the regime of Ethiopia and others to be totally irresponsible. Meles Zenawi’s interference in the volatile situation in Somalia is not only a futile attempt to divert attention from his regime’s abhorrent dictatorship and human rights abuses it is inflicting on Oromos and other people in Ethiopia, but also a dangerous manoeuvre that will have longstanding negative consequences for peace in Northeast Africa as a whole.

Oromia shares a considerable length of border with Somalia. We are seriously concerned that the war between Ethiopia and Somalia would cause further suffering of the Oromo and other peoples, and instability in the region. The Ethiopian regime will yet again squander the resource of Oromia that it controls illegally on its war effort and will send young Oromo conscripts as cannon fodders just as it did in its war against Eritrea in 2000.

The Oromo people will gain nothing from the war between Ethiopia and Somalia and therefore must refrain from collaborating with the Ethiopian regime in the war effort. On the contrary, we call up on the Oromo people to remain focussed on the national liberation struggle to liberate Oromia from Ethiopian colonization.

We would like to remind all involved in the ongoing conflict in Somalia to show restraint and give diplomacy a chance to resolve differences. We would also like to express our concerns to the international community about the looming disaster and urge them to stop the harmful involvement of the Ethiopian regime in Somalia’s internal political affairs.

Oromia shall be free!

Oromo Liberation Front