Resolutions of Global Gumii Oromia (GGO)
January 14, 2018
The Global Gumii Oromia (GGO) is organized to mobilize resources to assist Oromo victims of human rights abuses, injustices, displacements and dislocations by political and natural disasters; to create favorable environment to build awareness for sustainable development and empowerment; and to maintain, preserve and promote Oromo culture and language.
GGO held its first leadership conference in Washington, D.C., from January 12 to January14, 2018. At its conference, the leadership thoroughly reviewed the activities of the organization for the last eight months, assessed its strengths and weaknesses and designed short and long-term goals to fulfill the objectives of the organization. The leadership also carefully analyzed the current political crises in Oromia in particular and Ethiopia in general. After extended discussions, the GGO leadership decided to issue the following resolutions.
- Assessing the current political crises, the leadership team noted the unending suffering of the Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia under the repressive rule of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front /Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (TPLF/EPRDF) regime. Despite the widespread resistance of the people to end the state repression, TPLF/EPRDF has continued its aggression against the people and its misguided policies of fomenting clashes between neighboring ethnic groups to deflect the attention from its incompetent, corrupt and undemocratic administration. The GGO leadership is alarmed by the escalation of the conflict on the Oromo-Somali border in the east and southeast of Oromia, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in the region. According to various credible sources, this conflict was instigated by the TPLF/EPRDF leaders who enabled the recruitment, training and arming of the Liyu(special) police of the Somali regional state. With the backing of the federal government, this special paramilitary has massacred thousands of innocent Oromo civilians, perpetrated violence on peaceful Oromo citizens and caused the displacement of over 700,000 people from their homes. GGO believes that the TPLF/EPRDF government officials are directly responsible for the loss of lives and displacement of families along the east and southeast of Oromia. The TPLF/EPRDF government is also accountable for all the clashes in Oromia and other parts of Ethiopia. The regime is committing state terrorism.
- GGO leadership also noted, with admiration, the courageous, peaceful protest of the Qeerroo Oromo Youth Movement) against the TPLF/EPRDF repressive regime. Recognizing their historical role of standing for the defense of the Oromo society in times of crises, the Qeerroo have risen again to the occasion, and organized themselves and mobilized all Oromos to engage in a peaceful protest against the TPLF/EPRDF tyranny. GGO recognizes the Qeerroo national movement as a reflection of the role of Oromo youth in the best Gadaa tradition, and believes they deserve unqualified support of all of us. On its part, GGO fully supports the Qeerroo movement in every way possible in their peaceful struggle for justice and democracy for all.
- To overcome the social, economic and political crises imposed on them by the TPLF/EPRDF regime, GGO urges the Oromo people to unite and protect their core values. Despite their peace-loving nature, Oromos do not have many friends in the region that could come to their assistance in this time of crises. To offset the lack of robust external support, Oromos should cultivate and protect their unity (Tokkummaa) as one of their core values. Historically, our ancestors built a powerful society by practicing the Gadaa system and nurturing their T We became weak and vulnerable to external enemies when we failed to honor our core values, hence internally divided. Realizing the value of Tokkummaa at this critical time in our history, every Oromo should work to realize the unity of our people. For the survival of our nation, we need to resist the divisive tendencies within our communities and strongly discourage individuals who pursue actions that damage our unity for personal interests. Our Tokkummaa has to be defended as one of our core values by all of us. This is not the time to be divided. It is the time to be united to survive as people.
- GGO applauds the efforts of the Oromo communities in mobilizing support for our displaced compatriots. Despite the multiple challenges they are facing, Oromo communities in Diaspora are playing an important role in articulating and disseminating the voices of their fellow citizens to the global community. So far, they have organized rallies, submitted appeal letters to governments and international organizations, and coordinated material support for those who were displaced in Oromia. But these efforts are not enough. Still we need to overcome the organizational challenges and fight back the negative tendencies of suspecting and mistrusting each other, and the infiltration of enemy security agents who spread misinformation and misunderstanding within our communities. Given the magnitude of the crises currently facing our people, Oromo Diaspora communities need to organize better and continue their relief efforts to save our compatriots in efficient and coordinated ways.
- GGO leadership realizes that there is lack of genuine efforts by the leaders of independent Oromo political organizations to minimize their differences and create a united front against the repressive TPLF/EPRDF regime. Unfortunately, their failure to work in tandem is prolonging the life of TPLF/EPRDF regime and its repressions in Oromia. For the very survival of our nation and our people, we urge all leaders of Oromo political organizations, civil organizations, and social institutions to minimize their differences and work together, for the sake and safety of our people. Thus, GGO appeals to all leaders of independent Oromo organizations, their members and supporters, to rally under Oromummaa (regardless of ideology and other affiliations),collaborate with each other, harmonize their activities, unify and lead the nation in action, and support the gallant Qeerroo movement in Oromia to hasten the downfall of the TPLF/EPRDF regime. In the end it is the Oromo people and only the Oromo people that decide how they want to be governed and their future. The role of political organization is to enable the people to decide their future without any foreign or domestic influence.
- GGO leadership has also noted the contradictory gestures and statements of some leaders of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO). While some of their speeches suggest the desire to align themselves with the popular Oromo national liberation movement, their actions fail to show serious commitment to defend the people. Still, they maintain their unflinching commitment to the EPRDF coalition government. The OPDO leaders are not providing adequate relief to those who were displaced from their homes, and are not protecting the Oromo people from TPLF violence. There are reports that OPDO is physically blocking volunteers from delivering food, clean water, and basic medicine to the displaced and forgotten Oromos in a remote area outside the view of the international community. Hence, they cannot be trusted. For this reason, GGO warns the Oromo people not to be deceived by sweet speeches of OPDO leaders, but guard themselves diligently. The Qeerroo leadership and leaders of other independent Oromo organizations need to scrutinize the behavior of these leaders carefully. More importantly, the Qeerroo should also resist the temptation of sharing their operational tactics and plans with the OPDO leaders, and safeguard the Oromo national liberation struggle from being hijacked by Trojan horses. We would like to remind the Qeerroo and the Oromo people at large that no group or regime defeated the Oromo people without the support of home grown traitors. History should be our lesson.
- GGO leadership also analyzed the conflicting statements issued by the EPRDF Executive Committee after the completion of one of its never ending meetings in late December 2017. The EPRDF statements suggest both the continuation of the repressive practices of the regime and some limited reform. Particularly, the second statement issued by the leaders of the four coalition members of the EPRDF party on January 3, 2018, indicated the intention to release political prisoners and the closure of the notorious Me’akelawi prison. Although the closure of the infamous prison and the release of prisoners are welcome, the sincerity of the TPLF/EPRDF leadership is highly doubtful. Analyzing the conflicting statements, GGO leadership concluded that TPLF/EPRDF has not changed at all. Releasing a few prisoners who should not have been in prison in the first place is simply an attempt to camouflage the continuation of the corrupt and undemocratic rule. The irony is that, while the announcement to release political prisoners is going on, hundreds of people are being rounded up and thrown to prison by the regime throughout Oromia. For this reason, GGO again warns Oromos and all Ethiopians not to be deceived by the usual machinations of the TPLF/EPRDF elite, but continue their struggle for freedom and democracy with determination.
- Finally, GGO appeals to international organizations—the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund—and governments who provide economic and diplomatic support to the Ethiopian government, to demand accountability from the EPRDF regime and urge it to end its human rights abuses and displacement of citizens. GGO requests the establishment of an independent commission to investigate the massacre, and massive internal displacement in Eastern and Southeastern Oromia. We demand the unconditional release of all prisoners detained in numerous prisons throughout Oromia and Ethiopia. We also appeal to the international community to immediately send aid to the more than 700,000 displaced Oromos from their home as a result of TPLF regime’s ethnic cleansing policies, and make sure that these aides reach the people in need.
Global Gumii Oromia