ODF Statement on the Current Crisis in Ethiopia_June 2016

The time to end TPLF quagmire and the time for all Ethiopians to join hands to chart a new future and direction is now!

While the TPLF/EPRDF junta are busy celebrating their looting, torturing, and the killings for the past 25 years, the struggle of the Oromo people and the righteous anger of other Ethiopian peoples against injustice, political repression, social marginalization, and economic exploitation has exploded into a flood of popular protests that have been engulfing Oromia now for more than six months. Simmering discontent elsewhere in Ethiopia is also causing tensions. Despite the brutality of TPLF/EPRDF forces, the protesters have remained resilient, resolved, and resourceful.

The massive defiance and victories registered by forcing the regime to cancel the national school leaving exam scheduled to take place this week while schools have been closed across Oromia for the past six months due to Oromo protests across Oromia have been unprecedented in the history of Ethiopia. Yet again, this regime learns no lesson and currently is attempting to reschedule the very exam rejected by the Oromo protesters merely a month later. The new date of the exam falls on 3-6th of July, which happens to be not only a religious holiday, the Eid-al-Fitr, but also an official one according to the law. This is another telling evidence of TPLF/EPRF regime’s total disregard of even the laws enacted by subscribing to the constitution tailor-made to reflect its political preferences and that of no one else.

While the regime unleashes all the tools of the state’s repressive apparatus against peaceful and unarmed civilians demanding their fundamental rights enshrined in the country’s constitution and turns Oromia into a bloodbath, it is disheartening for all peace loving Ethiopians to dwell on minor differences. The time to pool our resources together and for once and for all rid Ethiopia of the brutal TPLF junta that has been terrorizing the people of for over 25 years is now. The Oromo people at home in their millions are rallying together risking it all to put an end to the displacement, dispossession and eviction from ancestral farmlands. The other Ethiopians do not benefit anything by remaining silent. Ethiopia’s political groups cannot continue to bicker thereby squandering the opportunity to bring about change and thus expose our peoples to unimaginable agony.

Accordingly, we join our voices in support of the Oromo youth’s action of defiance in forcing the government to cancel the school leaving exam and we categorically condemn the regime’s attempt to reschedule the exam during religious holidays without due consideration of students to have enough preparatory time to review the materials even though the students missed out more than six months of class time. We unequivocally express our solidarity with our compatriots fighting for their rights with bravery and those brave souls that risked their life to leak the exam in public domain ahead of the unfairly scheduled exam to yet again punish those Oromo protesters.

We would also like to reassure all concerned that the Oromo have never harbored ill-will towards any society living in its environs and never shall. Consequently, we call on all Ethiopian political and civic groups to overcome the mentality of viewing the Oromo as the source of threat and to partner with us in this struggle for justice for all.

Until and unless this change of mind-set materializes, the TPLF/EPRDF junta will continue to terrorize our peoples and thus, we have no choice but to close ranks and sustain and intensify the current protests by redoubling our determination and willingness to bear sacrifices. We wholeheartedly express our solidarity with the protesters standing up to the heavily armed security forces and other machineries of repression. We solemnly declare our support by every means available to us.
We also call up on the regime to:

 Immediately halt the mass crackdown on peaceful students demanding their rights
 Immediately release all protesters currently held in detention centers,
 Give reasonable time for the students to prepare for the school leaving exam,
 Compensate the relatives of those whose life was cut short by the security forces.

We stand for a type of Ethiopian Unity based on equality and justice instead of the one drawing strictly on coercion that has endured to this day.

Freedom and Justice for all!!
Oromo Democratic Front



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