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The Daily Vox: What you need to know about the situation in Ethiopia November 1, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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What you need to know about the situation in Ethiopia


Since October 6th, Ethiopia has been in a nationwide state of emergency. To help understand the situation, the Daily Vox spoke to members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – vice chairperson Muhamad Ismail Omar, and chairman of the National Intelligence Bureau, Hassan Muhammad Moalin.

What’s up with this crisis in Ethiopia?

Well, the government has recently declared a state of emergency and are going full authoritarian-dictator on their citizens for the anti-government protests that started November last year. It’s pretty lit – but not in a good way. Since the start of the protests, the death toll is said to be over 500, and the military is on a national crackdown – soldiers have even been pulled out from Somalia and are deployed in high-tension areas.

Beyond that, the government has implemented strict restrictions and banned a number of activities in the country which undermine basic human rights. Among the list of activities that have been banned:

  • citizens are not allowed to post on social media,
  • there is no free assembly,
  • crossing one’s wrists in political gestures,
  • the travel of diplomats more than 40km out of the capital, and
  • watching foreign-based television stations, Ethiopia Satellite Television and Oromia Media Network – which are being referred to as “terrorist” media by the state.

But why are Ethiopians protesting in the first place?

It started when the current regime started seizing land from the ancestral home of the Oromo people for a “development” project to expand Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa – ominously referred to as “the master plan”. After over 100 people died protesting this land grabbing, things snowballed into a nationwide anti-government uprising based on a number of issues relating to ethnic tensions, social inequality, the state’s repression and lasting political grudges for historic injustices.

To understand the dynamics at play then, we need to go back a bit.

Since before its national borders were drawn, the area now known as Ethiopia was always divided regionally along ethnolinguistic lines.

Image via Wkipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Ethiopia_regions_english.png

Image via Wikipedia

Those from the northern highland region – the Amhara people and Tigrayans – have enjoyed occupying positions of power and privilege. However, the Oromo, for example, who make up the majority population in modern-day Ethiopia, are severely underrepresented in terms of political, economic and social power. Another region worthwhile noting is the Ogaden region which was originally part of Somalia, and thus most its inhabitants are ethnically Somali – some from the Ogaden region have been militantly pushing for self-determination.

“Historically what we call Ethiopia was called Abyssinia. The Abyssinian highland and the Abyssinian people, ancestors to the Amhara and Tigrayan people, dominated other oppressed peoples. So actually I would say they have occupied this land – the land of the Oromos have been occupied by the Abyssinians,” said Omar.

Ethiopia has a long history of being ruled by minorities. Until 1991, it was the Amhara people in power under the rule of the Communist Derg government, led by Mengistu Haile Mariam. Since his overthrow, led by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, Ethiopia has been ruled by the coalition party, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). This is the ruling party which the current protests are targeting – partly because the EPRDF is made up predominantly by Tigrayan people, but mostly because the regime is considered entirely oppressive. So there’s a long history of Ethiopian ethnic tension, as well as struggle against minority rule.

“So regardless of the master plan, even in the Amhara region they are fighting. Not only the Oromos, who people are saying to mislead the international community that they are uprising because of the masterplan, the master plan is only the most recent of the oppression which is centuries-old,” said Moalin.

Then what are people demanding in the protests?

It’s not clear at this point, since there is no strict sense of unity across the various regions that are uprising.

“The Amharas, they are fighting for democracy, whereas we are fighting for self-determination of the Ogaden region. Unless these rights have been obtained, the uprising which has paralysed the economy, and which has paralysed the unity of the Ethiopian people, [will continue]. The Ethiopian people are not united, the Oromo are fighting on their own, as are other regions,” said Omar.

What’s the way forward for the Ethiopian people then? Is there a need for international intervention?

Well, hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Despite the region’s disunity across historically drawn ethnic and regional lines, the current government has provided a common enemy for the people of Ethiopia.

“Yet there is hope for we do have one common aim, an enemy to overthrow and get rid of this despotic regime and its tyranny. We have now been forced to understand each other. We are now aware of each other and have created the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PFD). This is an alliance that incorporates most of the groupings and created an umbrella organisation to reinforce each other economically politically – even media wise we have to collaborate,” said Omar.


 

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Ogaden: ONLF: The Vicious Ethiopian Regime is Instigating Civil Wars between Somalis, Oromos and Amharas September 27, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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The Vicious Ethiopian Regime is Instigating Civil Wars between Somalis, Oromos and Amharas

ONLF Press Release,  August 12, 2016


ONLF

After millions in Ethiopia, particularly from Oromo, Amhara and other nations staged peaceful demonstrations during last week and in November last year, the Ethiopian regime is resorting not only to killings, arbitrary detentions and inhumane torture of the peaceful demonstrators, but the regime is unleashing a very sinister plan that is intended to instigate civil war among the different nations in Ethiopia.The regime is using the Liyu police in border areas between the Somali Territory and Oromia to suppress Oromo protesters. What is even more worrying and heinous, is that the regime is using the Somali administrations in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Northern Somalia and others areas in the Somali republic to detain, kill and harass Oromo and Amhara workers. In some towns in Ogaden, the Ethiopian army and associated militia’s detained or summarily executed scores of people of Oromo, Amhara descent or other nations from Ethiopia in support of the TPLF regime. Similarly poor workers are being detained illegally, forcefully transferred to Ethiopia or killed in Somali inhibited territories in the Horn of Africa, including Djibouti. Ogaden Somali Elders and civilians protested against this and were brutally beaten by the Ethiopian Security forces.

This is a deliberate policy to create hatred between Somalis and other Ethiopian communities, in order to forestall any future cooperation. However, such a policy is doomed to fail since Somalis in Ogaden decided that they share common interest with all the oppressed nations in Ethiopia, regardless of Ethnicity or religion. The Ethiopian regime has been committing Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes in Ogaden and has destroyed the wellbeing and livelihood of hundreds of thousands civilians in Ogaden since 2007 and the Somali people are resisting the regime on a daily basis. Unfortunely, innocent Somalis were also targeted in other regions during the protests.

Similarly, ONLF calls upon all national administrations in Ethiopia and their associated militias’ to desist from supporting the regime against the popular resistance and side with the people. The days of the regime are numbered and they shall start thinking about the future.

ONLF calls upon the international community to stop supporting the current regime in Ethiopia by either funding it or not making accountable for its blatant crime against all peoples in Ethiopia.

Finally, ONLF and the Somali people in Ogaden fully and unreservedly supports and sides with all oppressed people in Ethiopia and will not spare any effort to educate Somalis of the traps that is being set up by the Ethiopian regime. Ogaden Somalis and elders have already started calling for all Somalis to stop supporting the callous regime in Ethiopia and participate in the legitimate and genuine uprising against the unrepresentative regime in Ethiopia.

Issued by

The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)

Member of PAFD and UNPO

August 12, 2016

STATUTES OF THE PEOPLES’ ALLIANCE FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. #Oromia #Ogaden #Sidama #Sheckacho #Africa August 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Self determination.
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STATUTES OF THE PEOPLES’ ALLIANCE FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY

PREAMBLE
The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF),
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF),
The Sheckacho People’s Movement for Democracy and Justice (SHEPMODSOJ),
The Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
Hereinafter referred to as the Parties,

Whereas united effort among the oppressed people has become essential in the struggle to stop a continuous and gruesome repression perpetrated by the current regime in Ethiopia,

Recognizing the fact that true and lasting cooperation to fight repression could only exist among the oppressed people and political organization that stand and promote the causes of the people, including genuine and unfettered acceptance of the right of selfdetermination for all peoples in Ethiopia;

Reaffirming their unwavering determination to put an end to the underlying causes of repression, bloodshed, insecurity, political instability and marginalization in Ethiopia and the region, which is inflicting severe hardships and suffering on all…

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