(OLF-OLA Press Release)
Due largely to the raging civil war that has severely obstructed agricultural activities and market exchange, and made worse by season after season of drought-induced crop failures, famine has now gripped most of Oromia. Included among the affected areas are fertile parts of western, central and eastern Oromia—previously known for their surplus production. Consequently, the people—especially women and children — are dying of hunger every day despite early warnings of the severity of the issue.
While drought is predominantly a natural phenomenon, famine is quintessentially political. Our people are dying of hunger only because the so-called “government” is unwilling to allow humanitarian agencies access to affected areas. As famine rages throughout most of Oromia, the Abiy regime has been preoccupied with vanity projects and a futile genocidal campaign against the Oromo people under the guise of fighting the OLA. The regime’s excuse that these areas are the setting of a “law enforcement operation” and are currently under “command post” administration is, simply, evidence that famine is being used as a weapon of war in Oromia.
On this issue, we propose the following;
- A declaration of a humanitarian truce to allow humanitarian agencies to deliver aid to affected areas;
- If the truce fails, or if the regime should choose to drag its feet in the negotiation of one, we intend to do all we can to open humanitarian corridors and cooperate, in any way possible, with international partners including USAID, UNOCHA and others in all their activities related to providing humanitarian aid in the areas under our administration.
We reiterate our previous call to the international community, particularly international humanitarian partners, to step up pressure on the regime to relent in its use of famine as a weapon of war. The OLA stands ready to assist the international community in making sure that we lose no more lives to hunger.
Victory to the Oromo and All Oppressed Peoples!
OLF-OLA High Command
August 16, 2022