“You can’t make the law to be respected by following an illegal procedure”
Following the establishment of Sheger city in Oromia region after a few months, a large number of individual houses and religious institutions houses are being demolished. Because of this, thousands of houses and villages have been completely demolished and tens of thousands of residents have been displaced and left homeless on the streets. Even though their numbers are different, mosques, churches and Protestant churches have been demolished by destructive forces in a way that violates religious rights and disrespects the believers.
The city administration states that this demolition of houses and religious institutions is focused only on land encroachment and houses of religious institutions built illegally, it is the master plan of the city and law enforcement. However, based on complaints from residents, Ethiopian human rights organizations report and our party’s own evaluation, the demolition of houses and religious institutions in Sheger city is not legal, based on wrong policy, is not current, does not include alternative solutions, and is being carried out in a favorable way and many thousands of citizens. We have realized that it is an illegal act that exposed chaos.
This demolition of private houses and religious institutions has not been done enough research and analysis and it has led to the demolition of private and religious institutions built legally and illegally. Besides this, without the necessary and sufficient discussion with the leaders of the community and religious institutions, it is being carried out without the necessary and adequate discussion as per the law, and without giving the necessary prior warning. It has been understood from the complaints from the residents and the information coming out from the human rights organizations that the demolition of private houses and religious institutions is fair, corrupt and corrupt.
OFC is against the expansion of illegal land encroachment as a party, and it doesn’t support the construction of illegal houses that didn’t follow the plan of the city leader. What makes the issue worrisome is that the government is not respecting the right to get enough housing and building for the citizens guaranteed by the constitution and international human rights principles clean from corruption and irregular bureaucratic procedures, not fulfilling its government duty and without properly stretching the legal lines.
The land administration policy lacks transparency and is exposed to corruption and malicious process. Even though it is said that land belongs to the people and the government according to the constitution, it is actually the personal use of the ruling party and the owners. We believe that the government has not established fair land management and convenient procedures has forced the citizens to follow irregular roads. Taking legal measures against those who couldn’t get a place to build a house legally and who have entered into illegal activities because of lack of a neck brace is both morally and legally unacceptable. Even more than this, while the government bodies are directly and indirectly involved in the construction of houses of private and religious institutions that are being demolished, we understand that demolishing the houses without taking legal action against these bodies is a legal action to hide one’s own mistake. For this reason, he has created a lot of complaints against the people and is making them to protest against the process. There is enough information that many people have been killed by government forces in different places in Sheger city due to the demolition of houses.
The protest of the Muslim people regarding the demolition of religious institutions in Sheger city has been heard peacefully in Finfine and other parts of the country. However, on Friday May 18, 2015, two innocent people were killed by the armed government security forces breaking into the compound of the mosque while the Muslim people were peacefully protesting in Anwar mosque. This government’s security forces action is unnecessary and disgraced religious institutions and followers of the religion. OFC strongly condemns the killing, physical harm and imprisonment of civilians in connection with the protest held at Anwar Mosque. He expresses his deep sorrow for those who lost their lives and suffered physical injuries and wishes condolences for the families of the deceased and the entire Muslim people.
In relation to this, there is a defamation campaign on the Oromo people by the Prosperity Party government and the illegal actions taken by its institutions. The forces who have been trying to change the shape of the issue for their own political purpose have been noticed. Using this opportunity, there are forces that are making a great and coordinated effort to divide the Oromo people by religion and ethnicity. The aim of these forces is to destroy the unity and brotherhood of the people by spreading conflicts and misunderstandings at every opportunity so we urge the people to follow them.
Finally, to solve the grievances created by the people and to find a lasting solution to the problem, and to reduce the tension created by Taizo with the killing.
1/ Sheger city administration and Oromia regional government should immediately stop demolishing houses of religious institutions and private houses and re-examine the loopholes in the legality and implementation.
2/ Before the situations get worse and cause more danger, we call for a solution with the people and the leaders of religious institutions.
3/ We request that the development and leadership plans of cities including Sheger city should be recorded in a way that respects the people’s human right to find housing and the right to organize religious institutions in a fair manner.
4/ We ask the government to investigate the situation of the innocent people following the protest at Anwar Mosque and the demolition of houses by government bodies in different parts of Sheger city and the government to take legal action on the security forces that did the force, and to give clear explanation to the people.
5/ we call on our people to maintain unity and brotherhood with other nations and nationalities without being confused by the propaganda of divisors.
Oromo Federal Congress (OFCO)
May 23, 2015