Oromo Democratic Front and Patriotic Ginbot 7 Joint Statement on the Current Political Crisis in Ethiopia
September 20, 2016
The Oromo Democratic Front and Patriotic Ginbot 7 condemn in the strongest terms possible the mass killings, detention and torture of peaceful protesters by the TPLF ruling clique’s security forces in the Oromo and Amhara regions in particular, but also in the rest of Ethiopia, and calls for its immediate halt. All the peoples of Ethiopia have said enough is enough to 25 years of repression, murder, rape, looting and humiliation brought upon them by the criminal regime. The continuation of this unbridled massacre of the Ethiopian peoples in almost all regions of Ethiopia is not only threatening the peace, security, welfare and stability of Ethiopia, but will have grave consequences for the already volatile region of the Horn of Africa.
The 100 million citizens of Ethiopia are struggling for basic and fundamental rights that are universal and taken for granted in many parts of the world. These include, the right to life, free speech, peaceful assembly and association, and the ability to determine their own destiny. Yet, the regime’s response has been waging a campaign of terror against peoples demanding that these rights be respected, rights already guaranteed on paper in the regime’s own ‘constitution,’ but routinely violated.
The Ethiopian people have endured the ferocious brutality of the regime for over two decades and a half. But now their patience has completely run out and they are courageously fighting for their dignity, humanity, freedom, and survival in the face of brutal repression. They are paying heavily as hundreds of innocent men, women and children have been murdered, thousands kidnapped, raped, tortured, and imprisoned by the regime’s security forces. The whereabouts of thousands is not known.
We regret to note that the criminal regime in Ethiopia and its rule of brutality and repression, abuse of power and gross violations of human rights has been underwritten by powerful states, notably the United States and its Western allies ever since it seized power in 1991. In addition to economic, military and other aid, a third of the regime’s budget is provided by these powers. More important has been the political support, and cover has been provided for its paranoid undemocratic practices. In July 2015, in a speech in Addis Ababa, President Barack Obama, conferred upon the criminal regime the honor of being “a democratically elected government.” This was rather adding an insult to the injury suffered by the millions of Ethiopians who endure daily repression, humiliation and deprivation under an authoritarian repressive regime for the past quarter of a century.
We have repeatedly warned the international community on countless occasions, the implosion of Ethiopia – a country of immense geo-political significance and a regional powerhouse in the Horn of Africa – has grave catastrophic consequences for the region and Africa, as well as the rest of the international community. State failure and possible collapse in Ethiopia, along the failed state of Somalia and the civil strife in Sudan and South Sudan, will definitely be a field day for the likes of Al Shabab, Isis, Al-Qaida , and other terrorist outfits in the region and beyond.
We are certain that the international community, particularly, the donor countries that have been steadfastly and unconditionally supporting the regime with budgetary support, as well as development and humanitarian aid are cognizant of the fact that the current popular uprisings in almost all parts of Ethiopia, especially in the Oromo and Amhara regions, have undoubtedly demonstrated that the regime has lost any semblance of legitimacy. The popular mass movement has also cemented the unity of all of Ethiopia’s diverse peoples at home and throughout the world. This unity and solidarity of all Ethiopians are culminations of long-standing grievances against the minority ethnic dictatorship in Ethiopia that has criminalized all forms of dissent and political expression as a sacrilege or threat to national security.
Therefore, we call upon the international community, especially the United States, the European Union and its member states, as well as other Western states and the People’s Republic of China with strong ties to the regime to unequivocally condemn the continued heinous crimes of the regime and demand accountability for the massacres and savage repression of the Ethiopian peoples.
We also urge the international community to go beyond issuing inane statements and empty resolutions and to impose internationally recognized mechanisms to enforce concrete and effective pressure on the regime in Ethiopia to immediately and unconditionally cease the brutal killings, torture and harassment by its security forces, which is inflaming the populace and escalating the political crises to a very dangerous level. The brutal massacres of civilians we are witnessing in all regions of Ethiopia targeting particular population groups are tantamount to ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
We, therefore, call upon the United States, the UK, and other governments to immediately stop the supply of lethal weapons to the regime as they are being used to kill and maim civilians.
We urge the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights to press its demand to send international human rights monitors to investigate crimes against humanity and violations of human rights especially in Oromia and Amhara, as well other localities affected by the regime’s repression. They should also station human rights monitors permanently in these regions. We call upon the international community, the United Nations Security Council in particular to discharge its responsibilities to the Ethiopian peoples by pressuring the regime to accept UN human rights investigators and monitors unconditionally.
The demands of the Ethiopian people are entirely legitimate and they deserve to be recognized and resolved peacefully. We strongly urge the regime in Ethiopia to immediately and unconditionally commit itself to multi-lateral dialogue with all Ethiopian opposition political forces and other stakeholders in order to chart a road map to implement a genuine and durable process of transition to democracy, stability, and durable peace in Ethiopia.
Finally, we express our profound regret at the senseless loss of innocent lives in Ethiopia and we extend our heartfelt condolences to their families and share their grief. We are on the side of the Ethiopian martyrs, on the side of decency, humanity, civility, fortitude and freedom; all universal concepts which brave people around the world yearning to be free strove so valiantly to uphold.
Justice and Freedom for All!