The following is a statement from the Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD), a coalition of five political groups, namely: Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF), Gambella People’s Liberation Movement (GPLM) and Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM) …
Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) held its first successful General Congress from March 21st to 25th, 2016. The Congress had discussed the status of our collective struggle in particular, and the current situations in Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa and the world, in details.
PAFD is a political alliance united for the struggle to free the oppressed peoples in Ethiopia and it was been established on the 23rd of October 2015 in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, by five different political organizations, namely – the Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM), the Gambela People’s Liberation Movement (GPLM), the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF) and representatives from Women and youth. The alliance is determined to uproot the current oppressive minority regime in order to safeguard and advance peoples’ rights to exercising genuine self-determination.
The situation in Ethiopian Empire is deteriorating day by day whereby the dictatorial Ethiopian regime led by TPLF/EPRDF’s government is evicting, harassing, imprisoning civilians without due process of law, and it is intensifying wanton killings.
The military and security apparatuses of the government is firing on peaceful demonstrators in most parts of the country in general, and in the Oromia region in particular. Denial of political rights of people has already led to mass uprising in different parts of the county in general as we speak. In its attempt to suppress the peaceful resistances and struggle, the TPLF/EPRDF’s government resorted to responding to peoples’ peaceful quest with violence and created marshal law.
Additionally, its response is also become evident as it is implementing various forms of brutalizing methods. It also continuously uproots people from their ancestral lands by excessive force and killing innocent civilians – including children and pregnant women. Regardless of strong people’s opposition and international criticism to such illegal and inhumane policy, the regime continues with implementing its harsh policy using international aids as a political weapon.
The regime continues to violate freedom of press, policy of land grabbing, exploitation of natural resources, instigating conflicts among different nations and nationalities to ensure its grab on power.
After hearing a report from Temporary Committee formed on the Founding Conference, the chairmen of the five organizations and the participants of the General Congress had discussed and analyzed the successes, weaknesses, opportunities and possible threats the alliance might be facing during the course of its operational activities. After deliberation on founding documents, future political, diplomatic and military activities, the Congress has ratified PAFD’s working documents.
The General Congress also discussed and strategized about the future direction of the alliance’s activities and clearly instructed its Executive Committee and all other functional bodies.
The General Congress also elected its Chairman, two Vice Chairmen, Executive Committee members and Heads of different functional bodies to carry out the operational tasks of the alliance. After assessing the current situation of the Ethiopian Empire, the Horn of Africa and the wider global affairs the PAFD’s General Congress calls upon:
– The peoples of our member organizations to be unconditionally united to resist and intensify their legitimate struggle to achieve their unalienable rights denied to them by successive Ethiopian rulers, including the current one.
– The Ethiopian regime to unconditionally stop the killing of unarmed innocent civilians, imprisoning without due process of law, looting natural resources of oppressed nations and people, and the media blockage,
– The military and security apparatus to stop the killing of innocent civilians, and we urge it to stand with the people to end the TPLF/EPRDF’s brutal rule.
– All political organization in the Ethiopian Empire to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight the dictatorial regime in unison. Furthermore, PAFD invites all opposition groups, which are struggling for freedom, justice, equality and democracy, to unconditionally join the alliance.
– The international community to respect the wishes, desires and rights of all the nations and peoples in Ethiopia, and stop supporting the dictatorial regime before the current situation becomes totally uncontrollable. We also ask the international community to exert their influence in bringing those responsible massacring innocent civilians to justice.
Finally, PAFD strongly condemns the illegal use of aid given to the people who are in great need, and preventing them from acquiring other means by blocking trade and denying access to all humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, we condemn soliciting aid for regime’s political purposes created by evicting indigenous peoples from their fertile land, and chartering it to the so called foreign and ruling class investors.
Peace, Democracy, Freedom, and Genuine Rights of Peoples to Self-determination!
Peoples Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD)
March 25, 2016