Regarding Abiy Ahmed’s Government’s War of Aggression against the Oromo People


(OLF-OLA Press Release)

The regime of Mr. Abiy Ahmed has yet again launched another coordinated offensive against the Oromo people and the Oromo Liberation Army in the Oromia region. We have witnessed several similar time-bound “decisive,” “final” campaigns that vow to “eliminate” the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), and when that constantly failed, a clear policy direction towards wholescale genocide against the entire Oromo nation. To that end, a top Prosperity Party (PP) official is on record publicly stating: “to eliminate the fish we need to drain the sea” referring to the need to wipe out entire populations in Oromia in the pursuit of the OLA.

The OLF-OLA continues to believe that there is no military solution to the problem the country is faced with. The Ethiopian civil war, of which the current offensive in Oromia is a part, is being fought against the backdrop of a mainly ideological difference. Mr. Abiy Ahmed and his Amhara cheerleaders of the civil war are hell-bent on resuscitating a highly centralized, monochrome oppressive system. The OLF-OLA and the great majority of the people of the country have always been willing to put their lives on the line, as they have heroically and repeatedly shown, to build a decentralized democratic polity where autonomous regions self-govern while establishing a strong shared rule emanating from the will of the people of the country. In other words, the ideological differences that led to the present civil war in Ethiopia stems from the regime’s desire to re-establish a fascistic central government that prioritizes the narratives of the elite from one ethnic group, a revisionist approach to Ethiopia’s complex history, and genocidal rhetoric against all others. The regime aspires to turn the clock back to Imperial Ethiopia characterized by a singular language, culture, and identity. The latter is being openly claimed by the cheerleaders of the civil war on regime-controlled national media no matter how much it has all been utterly rejected by the nations and nationalities in Ethiopia as evidenced, time and again, throughout the country’s history and in the current civil war that Abiy Ahmed is prosecuting throughout the country.

It bears repeating that one of the primary targets of the current offensive in Oromia are Oromo civilians. Mr. Abiy’s security forces target individuals or entire regions and populations for their alleged support of the OLA. Individual civilians are made guilty by association. They are found guilty of crimes as serious as treason and executed on sight because, allegedly, one or more of their relatives or members of their family or a person they know of or are once associated with have joined the Oromo liberation army. Entire populations are being targeted; entire villages are being razed to the ground for allegedly harboring the members of the OLA.

It is a fact for all to see that the overwhelming majority of the Oromo people support our movement and the ideals it represents. However, no regime should be allowed to kill its ‘own’ people for their thoughts alone. Oromo civilians shouldn’t have been targets of the regime’s security forces insofar as they remained civilians. They deserve far better than being killed, jailed, and harassed for thinking what is best for themselves and their children. It is thought that has become a criminal offense in Oromia today.

The other major objective of the current operation is intensifying horizontal conflicts by pitting one national group against the other. This is being put to action by inviting and/or deploying Special Forces, Police Forces, and militia from neighboring regional states into Oromia. So far, members of security forces from the Somali, Sidama, SNNRP, Amhara, and Afar regions are being deployed. OLF-OLA is actively working with political leaders, and community elders of each neighboring region to avoid heightened horizontal clashes among civilians of different national groups.

We also know that the regime is deploying additional members of Amhara Special forces and associated vigilante groups into Oromia. By doing so, it aims to create unprecedented bloodshed between the Oromo civilians and their innocent Amhara brothers and sisters who live side by side in peace. The regime is eying to accomplish two objectives here: (a) the people of the country, across all regions, are demanding answers from the regime regarding the unbearable cost of living, precarious peace and security, jobs, basic services, infrastructure, and related basic services that a government fulfills without being asked. By intensifying horizontal conflicts and bloodshed, the regime hopes to divert the vertical demands of the people of the country; (b) after unparalleled violence and bloodshed the regime is looking to blame the OLA and other adversaries for the carnage of its own making. 

We, therefore, demand the international community put pressure on the regime to:

  1. Stop killing Oromo civilians for their thoughts, for supporting the ideals that the OLA represents Stop pitting one national group against the other by deploying security forces of neighboring regions into Oromia 
  2. Stop the war entirely. Ideological and political differences can never be resolved by a military means
  3. Encamp all regime armed forces in Oromia 
  4. Work towards a formation of an independent platform for peace talks
  5. Gain back its agency and start negotiations in good faith

Victory to the Oromo and all oppressed peoples!
OLF-OLA High Command
April 14, 2022

One thought on “Regarding Abiy Ahmed’s Government’s War of Aggression against the Oromo People

  1. The Portrayal of Ethiopia as a Colonial Empire in East Africa: The Oromo Liberation Politics and the Dying Empire
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    I have gone through OLA’s statement of 13 June, 2022, with regard to Abiy Ahmad’s war of aggression in Oromia. In general, the statement is fine. In the statement, I see two major points which I disagree on. First, that the difference between the Oromo and “Ethio-centric” leadership cannot only be confined to “ideological polarities” (differences). The major causes of conflicts of decades in that empire have their roots in Abyssinian ‘colonial demand’ of “Land Control” through imperialistic policy of “conquest” and their unwillingness to “recognize and accept” Oromo “national existence.” If according to this statement, ‘ideological and political differences’ cannot be resolved through “military actions,” then why OLA raised arms against the terrorist regime of Abiy Ahmad. I think this is paradoxical. Second, that “demanding” the terrorist regime to form “independent platform” and come to “negotiation table in good faith” (p. 4) is not essential. OLA as a ‘Liberation Force’ should warn the invading regime, not demanding. Claiming heroic victory over the Mafia regime of Abiy on the one hand, and appealing for negotiation on the other hand, cannot go together. Time and again, Abiy Ahmad underlined that he will never negotiate with OLA, which he designated as a terrorist. OLA is bleeding to “Liberate” its land (Oromia) from the colonizing Menelikians of Abiy Ahmad. I think the idea of “demanding” (p. 4) is to misread OLA’s unparalleled heroism and the shining victory.
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    In the analysis of complex political processes in Ethiopia, we must critically look at the main political objectives of Ethio-centric “Sovereignty” narratives and how Ethiopian empire is characteristically removed from Africa. That is to say Ethiopia is in Africa, but not part of Africa in its creation, history and development.

    The creation of Ethiopian empire is the result of turbulent eras in world history during which the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 (the Scramble for Africa) and the drafted colonial strategy led to historical, political and power shift in East Africa in the 1880s. This historic moment of the Conference facilitated the ground for the rising of global colonial empires and the rapid growth of territorial expansion, militarism, radical forces, genocidal violence, wars of colonization, the formation of unnatural boundaries and territories, as well as the imposition of a system of serfdom and slavery. The Ethiopian empire as integral part of the process of global colonial expansion of the late 19th century, is historically antithetical to the democratic principle of uniting diverse ethnic groups by common humanity. By common humanity, I am referring to a situation in which citizens are treated equally and share equal opportunity.

    I have also tried to unfold the deep-seated crisis of claiming ‘stolen ethiopianist identity,’ the paradox of this claim, as well as gross historical distortions and the duplicity of falsified legendary stories which serve as the background for anti- democratic stance, hegemonic thoughts and imperialized political culture of Abyssinian leadership. Every historical epoch in Ethiopian empire is marked by colonial expansion, displacement of indigenous peoples, asymmetric wealth distribution, involuntary unitarism, racial rhetoric, ethnic antipathy, beating the drum of war, tensions, fear, terror and planned genocidal actions. These are the strategic tools which the successive colonial-made ethiopianist tyrants use to justify their falsified historical projects, hollow hypocritical discourse of Abyssinian “Master Race” and borrowed identity politics. It is in this perspective that we need to sketch the way the politics of ‘racial dogma’ and colonial model power representation in Ethiopian function against the Oromo establishments – democratic institutional building of the Gadaa.

    The expansionists’ colonial dispensation, their unwillingness to rethink the burden of racialized institutional building – that is, applying racialized organizational theory to institutional structures, have exacerbated ethno-regional resistance. This broad study of Ethiopian failed state and its structural racism particularly focused on Constitutional crisis, institutional and social fragmentations. The redefinition and an interpretation of the irony of ethiopianist main organizing ideas aimed at depicting the inability of militant leaders to foster the principles of diversity, peaceful coexistence and democratic governing.

    The GADAA Founding Fathers inherited us egalitarianism and the fundamental humanistic belief in the sanctity of wisdom governing, freedom, farsightedness and the goodness of peace in which our core concerns should be to forge democratic Civil Power, promote the principle of ‘Welfare’ and exert our efforts to develop the fundamental ideas of forbearance and the respect for human dignity. We have historical responsibility to hold these democratic ideals to be functional and remain part of our ‘Liberation Aesthetics’- that all human beings are entitled to have inalienable rights.

    This leads us to the argument that without abolishing the old order of colonial expansion, oppressive institutions, the quest for military hegemony and having faith in absolute tyranny, sustainable growth and modern life cannot be imagined. The political agenda of rejecting ‘natural diversity’ and one’s Liberty, the fear of genuine opinions, undermining fruitful alternatives and God’s given fundamental rights, eventually unfold themselves in an irreversible disaster. In human history, the ‘imperialized colonial world’ and the free world of ‘egalitarianism’ (democracy) have never operated together peacefully. It is the living truth that those who are ‘strong to hate’ and ‘the weakest to love,’ and those who live up to the democratic principles of equal treatment of mankind have never had stable and prosperous country in common. Contemporary Ethiopia is a country where hate discourses, state terrorism, genocidal violence, racial and occupational segregation not only disfigured pluralism, but also threatened the ‘Laws of Nature’ of that pluralism.

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