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ULFO and UAM-OLF Joint Statement

 United Liberation Forces of Oromiyaa (ULFO) United Activists and Members of Oromo Liberation Front (UAM-OLF)

 June 16, 2013

 

JOINT STATEMENT

 Deeply concerned about the escalating state terrorism that the TPLF led regime of Ethiopia has been lately perpetrating on the people of Oromiyaa and the present precarious state of the Oromo national liberation struggle, the United Liberation Forces of Oromiyaa (ULFO) and the United Activists and Members of the Oromo Liberation Front (UAM-OLF) initiated joint sessions meant to assess the extent and implication of the TPLF all-rounded attacks on the Oromo people and explore ways and means that could help unite the Oromo liberation organizations and put the struggle on the right trajectory– one that reassures the salvation of the Oromo people from the wanton destruction by the TPLF.

 We, ULFO and UAM-OLF, held a series of meetings and discussed a range of issues. The salient issues that were given a special focus in the discussion include: (1) The heinous crimes of the TPLF-led regime and the present state of the Oromo nation, (2) the growing public apathy and cynicism on the unity of purpose among Oromo liberation forces, and (3) major bottlenecks that are exceedingly restricting the development of the Oromo liberation struggle, and (4) redress mechanisms that can extricate the struggle from recurring setbacks. After extensive deliberation on the issues, the following joint statement has been released:

Duly taking a stock of the crimes of the TPLF-led regime of Ethiopia has committed on the Oromo people and their implications on the present political, economic, and social conditions of the Oromo nation, ULFO and UAM-OLF have stated that the regime: Has made the situation of the nation in all spheres of life quite abysmal and it is relentlessly working to even further deteriorate their situation;

 

·         Has completely marginalized the Oromos from having any stake in the political affairs of their nation by further shrinking even the token political space it has accorded its own proxy organization – the OPDO;

 

·         Has strangulated the economic life line of the Oromo so much so that an abject poverty has overwhelmed the people to unprecedented degree;

 

·         Has evicted the Oromo people from their ancestral land, from both urban centers and rural areas, at an alarming rate and leased or sold their land to trans- national corporations;

 

·         Has repeatedly fomented inter-ethnic conflicts that took heavy tolls on human  life and property of Oromo communities; for instance, the recent conflict that displaced the Oromos of Anniyyaa, Jaarsoo, and Mi'eessoo sistricts in Eastern Hararge is the case in point.

 

·         Has escalated environmental degradation in Oromiya (in some cases by deliberately destroying a rare natural forest stock in Oromiya) like the one recently decimated in Illuu Abbaaboora Zone – the UNESCO-Registered Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve;

 

·         Has arrested the economic and social development of Oromiya by massively incarcerating the most productive demographic group throughout Oromiya and by terrorizing the bulk of the population and distracting them from engaging in development activities;  

 

·         Has caused hundreds of thousands to flee their country and suffer in foreign lands, particularly in the neighbouring countries and in the Middle East, where survival for many proved to be utterly difficult;

 

·         Has generally targeted and declared on the Oromo people a silent war of ethnic cleansing that the international community seems to have failed to notice;   

 

We condemn in stern terms the TPLF-led regime of Ethiopia for all crimes it has committed on the people of Oromiya. We call upon the world community to heed to appeals of the Oromo people and act in a morally responsible manner. 

Having reflected on the wanton aggression of the Ethiopian regime on the Oromo, ULFO and UAM-OLF have cogently recognized that the Oromo nation would not have been in such a dire state had the Oromo political forces put their political powerhouse in order. In light of this glaring fact, we would like to call upon all stakeholders to work towards the evolution of a untied and an effectively organized and led Oromo national liberation struggle.

 

Recognizing the basis of cynicism of the Oromo public on the unity of the Oromo political organizations, ULFO and UAM-OLF have called upon:

 

·         All independent Oromo political organizations to match their words with concrete deeds and earn the trust of the Oromo public;

 

·         All organized Oromo civil societies (social organizations, religious institutions, business communities, academic associations, community organizations etc.) both at home and abroad to constructively engage all political forces to seriously and demonstratively work towards unity;

 

·         The broad Oromo public, as the stakeholder in the political affairs of the nation, to significantly elevate its active engagement in the national liberation struggle and bring about the much desired outcome of the struggle- the liberation of Oromiya;

 

·         The Oromo intellectuals not to remain aloof at this critical juncture when the nation desperately looks for profound solutions for its critical problems from its critical mass – the learned ones;

 

·         All who level critics from the sideline on Oromo liberation forces of all stripes to redirect their energy and positively contribute to the national cause by directly involving in an organized political engagement and offer pragmatic solutions to the admittedly frustrating state of the Oromo liberation struggle.

 

Understanding that the road-block that has impeded the progress of the Oromo national struggle so far is the lack of genuine political will to fundamentally and collectively address the prevailing political gridlock of the nation, we appeal to all Oromo political forces to give a somber thought to this burning issue and prepare for an open political engagement that ultimately help effectively contain the challenge of our time.

 

ULFO and UAM-OLF on their part have committed themselves and come up with a mechanism that can redress the issue of unity of purpose among the Oromo liberation forces and eventually put the struggle on a better footing. Cognizant of the fact that all other forces are currently working along the same line, ULFO and UAM-OLF have commended all for such a noble effort and demanded that attempts along unification of forces be carried out in a more expeditious and coherent manner.

 

UNITY IS STRENGTH !

 The United Liberation Forces of Oromiyaa (ULFO) and The United Activists and Members of the Oromo Liberation Front (UAM-OLF)