The continued violation of human rights in Oromia

Frehiwot Guluma

The continued violation of human rights in Oromia and the Government denials.
The Ethiopian government’s human rights record remains poor, marked by an ever-hardening
intolerance towards meaningful political dissent. Accordingly Prime Minister Hailemarim desalegn
who took office after the sudden death of the late dictator Meles Zenawi has pledged to
maintain the controversial policies of his predecessor. He vowed to continue with the legacy
of the dead dictator without blending. In his first interview with an international media since
taking office, he spoke with Peter Heinlein in New York. In his interview he defended the
imprisonment of several opposition politicians and journalists under the newly enacted anti
terrorism law. He accused them of leading a double life. In the case of the imprisoned
opposition, labeling them as being members of both “legal opposition” and “terrorist
organization”. Based on yearly human rights records of Ethiopia published annually by US
state department, human rights watch and amnesty international over the years that the TPLF
led regime was on power in Ethiopia, one can understand the accusations as the continued
denial by the government about the actual facts on the ground. In the case of members of the
Oromo opposition who are currently in prison, the 2012 human rights situation in Ethiopia
published by human rights watch, explains that “In March 2011, authorities arrested more
than 200 members and supporters of registered Oromo opposition parties—the Oromo Federal
Democratic Movement (OFDM) and the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC)—during mass
roundups. Those arbitrarily arrested and detained included former members of parliament,
long-serving party officials, and candidates in the 2010 regional and parliamentary elections.
They were publicly accused of being involved with the banned OLF; at least 89 have been
charged with a variety of offenses, some relating to terrorism. On August 27 Bekele Gerba,
deputy chairman of OFDM; Olbana Lelisa, a spokesman for OPC; and seven other opposition
party members were arrested on charges of involvement with the OLF. They were held in pretrial detention at the Federal Police Crime Investigation Department, also known as
Maekelawi, where torture is reportedly common. At least 20 other ethnic Oromo were
arrested in this same sweep.” As it can be seen here clearly these people who were arrested as
being involved with OLF were either members or just supporters of opposition parties legally
registered by the Ethiopian government. They were targeted for speaking against the injustice
that is rampant under the TPLF led regime. The government is using OLF as a pretext to
suppress the resentment within the Oromo people. The new prime minister of Ethiopia has
continued with the denial adopted by his predecessor. It is impossible for an Oromo national
to speak against the government. The number of imprisoned Oromo nationals is so high that
Mr. Birhanu Nega the chairman of Ginbot 7 Opposition party said that the lingua franca of
Kality prison where he was imprisoned after 2005 national election is Afan Oromo even
though the national language of Ethiopia is Amharic. What we are seeing today is even if
there is a new person at the national Palace in Ethiopia we continue to see the old legacy
without blending and the suffering and imprisonment of Oromo nationals on false accusation
to continue regardless of government denials.



Unity of Oromo Struggle is a priority The Oromo want dignity, self-expression, and self-governance. The Oromo want their voices to be heard. The Oromo want sovereignty They want to live together at peace with their neighbors, who themselves also live in freedom exercising their own sovereignty.The struggle for independence will continue until the Oromo question gets proper and just response. A well organized liberation struggle and the spirit of Oromummaa will save the nation’s unity and identity from later day detractors. Long Live Free Oromiyaa!!Down with Colonial forces and their lackeys!!

Posted on 28/03/2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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