Ethiopia: Oromia Liberation Front/Army (OLF-OLA) – High Command – Self-Defense is a Natural Right! (27.10.2021)

(OLF-OLA High Command Press Release)

Through its successive operations over the past months, the OLA has begun to successfully reverse the Prosperity Party led genocidal campaign on the Oromo people and free a large swath of territory in Oromia from suppression. Other wars taking place in Ethiopia have their roots in the dictatorial mishandlings and inta-power struggle within the now defunct EPRDF camp. As different factions wage war to occupy and/or cling onto power through the barrel of the gun, our people have been caught in the crossfire and are paying the ultimate price.

Specifically, our people in Wollo have been living through this brutal civil war for three reasons. First, there are some who have fallen prey to Prosperity Party (PP) propaganda campaign that paints Tigrayans fighters as a foe. Second, extreme Amhara nationalists of the Gondar and Gojjam shade have been pushing the war in the Amhara region from Gondar to Wollo, and finally, whatever the source of the war, our people were forced to engage as they do not have a government that can protect their safety and security in the midst of a civil war being fought in their neighborhoods.

OLF-OLA would like to reiterate again that the genocidal Prosperity Party army and its allies including the Amhara Special Forces, Militia and Fano should not get any form of support from our people in Wollo. Assisting these forces will be forgetting the recent ethnic cleansing in Shewa Robit, and the ongoing PP campaigns in Wollega, Guji, Borena, Matakat, Gindeberet, Wollo and many other places across the country.

Our people in Wollo have the natural right to defend themselves against any incursion that comes on their turf. To mitigate the effects of this civil war, our people should organize, arm and defend themselves. Popular self-defense is part and parcel of the Oromo struggle for freedom and national self-determination. Therefore:

  1. We urge some members of our community who have fallen prey to PP propaganda to dissociate themselves from a ‘government’ whose days in power are numbered;
  2. We would like to remind our people, friends of our struggle and the international community that the PP-led government of the Ethiopia bears the ultimate responsibility for the crimes committed in this conflict against our people in Wollo;
  3. We call upon our people in Wollo to continue to join your own OLF-OLA and the Wollo branch of OLA to emancipate yourself from living as a second class citizen inside the Amhara region;
  4. We call upon soldiers and decent commanders within the PP army to stop fighting for a war with no cause other than keeping one man in power. At the very least, we ask you spare your own lives by leaving the army of a ‘government’ on the brink of collapse;
  5. We call up on the international community to support our struggle for freedom and self-determination, and for the stability of the country and the region;
  6. Dictators divide and rule oppressed peoples. We call upon all oppressed communities to be cognizant of Abiy’s divide and rule tactics, and to stand in unison with your brothers in arms;
  7. We would like to remind everyone that the solution to the political malaise rocking Ethiopia lies in true recognition of the peoples’ demand for self-determination, and not through keeping an individual or a group in power;
  8. The only mechanism to extricate the people of the country from civil war is by creating a platform of democratic self-governance in which respect for the rights of an individual, and peoples can be simultaneously and sustainably ensured;
  9. In the absence of any semblance of a government that can protect the safety and security of the people—a prevailing condition almost everywhere in of today’s Ethiopia—the people will have the natural right to organize and defend themselves.

Victory to Oromo People!
OLF-OLA High Command
October 27, 2021

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