The Uprising that Ignited in Oromia Will Go on until the TPLF System is Dismantled

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OLF Press Release

It is to be recalled that the National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (Qeerroo) and the Oromo People’s Uprising Coordinating Council (OPUCC) have launched uprising against the TPLF regime this last January. Subsequently the movement has escalated and is engulfing the whole of Oromia. The uprising that demands the Oromo rights is expanding including peaceful demonstration. The TPLF regime is responding to this peaceful and rightful demand of the Oromo in the usual way, forcefully suppressing using police and military force. The means employed includes arrest, beatings, abduction, expelling from educational institutions and firing employees.

The uprising is escalating despite this suppression and intimidation. As reports from different parts of Oromia show the revolt initiated by Qeerroo is widening its base and growing into a higher phase. The uprising by students in different institutions of education seems to surpass the stage where it can no more easily be suppressed. To mention but few examples; the regime has been forced to surround the universities of Adama and Jimma with police force. On the contrary the uprising in Jimma University has escalated to the extent of punishing the induced agents of the regime. Likewise uprising is underway in Haramaya University. Similar actions are taking place in the other universities as well broadening the base of the resistance.

Kachisi school teachers in western Shoa have joined the uprising initiated by Qeerroo. They resolved to boycott the teaching and learning activities until their demand that the imposed levy on their meagre salary for the construction of dam on the Nile River be halted and the hitherto deducted is refunded. The students as well have joined their teachers on this demand. The Qeerroo in the area have blocked a meeting called by Oromia Education Bureau demanding the cessation of exorbitant taxes levied on the peasants and merchants there. Student uprising in Chiro, eastern Oromia, is also shaking the cadres of the regime. In Arsi Negelle and in most districts of Horro Guduru peasants have chased out of office all cadres and local government authorities opposing any order to collect exorbitant taxes and forceful contributions. The awakening of students who were formerly hoodwinked into membership of OPDO, who officially erased their names from the list and joined the struggle, has further disturbed the regime. In related incident the road joining Ginchi and Gindeberet in Central Oromia has been blocked with wood logs and stones by the uprising. This road is known to be of service more to the looters of Oromia resources than to the residents. The police force of the regime is toiling to unblock the road. This manifestation of road blocking is escalating into other actions as well. The complete burn down of about 15,000 hectare sugar cane on farm in Alebash district of Bedele subzone in Ilu Abbaa Booraa zone of western Oromia is another case in point. This vast farm land was made available to Mr. Abdulmajid, a Pakistani investor, evicting 1,200 Oromo families. This project meant to supply sugar cane to the Alabash sugar factory was a joint venture with the regime.

The repeated appeal by the evicted families could not get any response except the advice to apply to the investor to be employed as daily labourers. The inhuman measures taken against the people in different parts of Oromia are endless. When there is no appropriate response to the rightful plea of the evicted people it is inevitable for them to act in self defence. The responsibility for any loss of life or property due to such actions squarely lies in the yards of the regime.

In another incident related to the uprising, Mr Lee King Shang, a notorious Chinese investor known for his arrogance and closely connected with the regime, was killed in Reenjii town Ada’aa Bargaa district of western Shoa on Feb 7, 2012. The elimination of the man who has the bigger share in Dangatte cement factory was a consequence of the eviction of population from the land where the factory was established. His intimacy with the regime and his despise of the people had infuriated the latter. This measure, taken after the appeal of the people for compensation fell on deaf ears, shows that patience of the people has been taken for granted. It is to be remembered that the OLF has forewarned the regime and the would-be investors against repercussions of such irresponsible eviction of the Oromo people from their ancestral lands. It is evident that ignoring of that advice has evidently caused this and it is not too late to heed to this advice again if more of such incidents are to be avoided.

In Oromia today citizens are aggrieved as there is no one to heed to their appeal. It will not be a surprise therefore if such measures are repeated on a wider scale at different locations. Nowadays, it is not only the land but the forests are also being devastated. The timber at Cillimo forest in western Shoa zone that is being recklessly razed and transported to unknown location is a case in point. The destruction of this source of natural beauty and environmental health and the subsequent exposure of the soil is a source of big concern. Concerned Oromos who appealed to the appropriate bodies of the regime could not get any response. Under such circumstances, measures like the above mentioned taken by the people, should not be a surprise. Mass arrest of the people or intimidation cannot be a solution either but taking appropriate measure to avert such dangers in advance by responding to the concern of the popular demand is the only solution.

OLF will reaffirm its full support for the peaceful demand of the people led by Qeerroo. It is also our wish that such peaceful demands get appropriate and immediate response. It is evident, however, that the TPLF regime has opted to respond to such demands in its usual way of using force. The OLF calls upon the people to persist in their peaceful way they initiated and not to be frustrated by the acts of the regime to the contrary. Like other dictatorial regimes the TPLF regime will conspire to label this movement as an armed insurgency and use maximum force. The Oromo people are expected to be aware of this and prepare for such eventuality by closing any loophole for such an excuse and persevere in their endeavour. There is no doubt that the struggle of the oppressed people will be victorious. The revolution of the Oromo people will continue until the TPLF tyranny is dismantled for good.


Victory to the Oromo People!

Oromo Liberation Front
February 13, 2012


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