By Siyanne Mekonnen @Siyaanne
Addis Abeba, April 29, 2021 – The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the splinter armed group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) released separate statements regarding the current state of affairs of the county in which they also proposed solutions for the political instability.
OFC in its statement talked about the deteriorating security situation in the country such as the establishment of command posts in different parts of the country, discrepancy between the justice system and execution of prisoners. The OFC discussed its decision to withdraw from the election and emphasized the need for an inclusive dialogue before ‘forcing an election’ citing the much lower than expected voter registration in the country including the capital.
The OFC noted inflation which it attributed to administrative failures by the government under the leadership of the TPLF dominated EPRDF as well as Prosperity Party. Similarly, the statement by the OLA among other things noted the need to revive the economy weakened by recurring conflict in the country. “In Tigray in particular, the war is costing the country tens of thousands of precious human life and consuming the already meagre national economic resources, while millions of people are left to starve and scavenge.” the statement read, adding the need for an independent investigation into all human rights abuses in Ethiopia blamed on both state and non-state actors.
The call for a national dialogue was also echoed by the OLA and OLF. The OLA also described in government channels as “OLF/Shene” went further to propose the formation of a transitional government through an all-inclusive transitional conference. The OLA called for ‘immediate and unconditional’ cessation of hostilities as well as an indefinite postponement of what it described as an “illegal Sham elections” and contrary to popular belief that the liberation army stood for securing the rights of the Oromo to self determination, the OLA put forward the idea of reforming the constitution via referendum as well as granting self-determination to ethnic minorities in the present regional states. “The Ethiopian government’s total disregard for this fundamental right is one of the main reasons why the Oromo people, among others, have taken up arms.” the OLA said, revoking the injustice the Oromo suffered under the imperialist regime and accusing unspecified groups of yearning for the return of the old political system.
Under the transitional government it proposed, the OLA suggested reforming the judiciary system, the national defense forces and rebuilding institutions such as the judiciary and electoral system, national defence force and limiting inter-state conflict by way of clarifying the mandates of regional special forces of all ten regional states.
The OLF on its part expressed concerns over the security situation in the country which it explained as ‘reaching a stage of high unpredictability with widespread anarchy’. The OLF recalled the appeals it made to the international community, including AU, EU, and UNSC, UNHRC, to intervene in the crisis. In its statement, the OLF detailed mass killings and internal displacements committed by government militias and the Eritrean army in the Northern part and other parts of the country. It also noted the humanitarian disaster in Tigray, the atrocities in the Benishangul Gumuz region as well as in Wallo suggesting that they are simply “the tip of the iceberg.” The statement read, ”While reiterating its dedication to to work with all stakeholders in paving the way for political dialogue, consensus building on peaceful resolution of political differences, the OLF also called on the AU, UNSC, EU to exert maximum pressure on the ruling group to end hostilities and resolve the issue. AS