USA stop aiding Dr. Abiy’s state terrorism!

By Aba Orma, (Ph. D.), February 27, 2020

The OROMO PEOPLE are the largest ethnolinguistic group in Africa. The majority of Oromos live in Oromia, the bread-basket of the present-day Ethiopia. The Oromo people constitute more than 40% of the population of Ethiopia. The Oromo people speak Afaan Oromo and they call their country Oromia (Oromiyaa in Afaan Oromo).  A large number of Oromos also live in neighboring counties. There is a large Oromo diaspora community residing in North America, Europe, Australia and Africa. They are doctors, educators, business man, and lawyers. Interestingly, the first slave to arrive to the United State of America from Ethiopia were Oromos. A picture of first Oromo slaves is displayed in Ellis Island Museum in New York.

Ethiopia’s long history of State terrorism against the Oromo people has continued under the current government as evidently seen in the following video when a group of high-school students are viciously attacked by members of the military in a place called Awaday, Eastern Oromia.

Human right groups are reporting mass arrests, indiscriminate killings in the hands of security forces, and disappearances of civilians in Oromia. For more than a month, Dr. Abiy’s government has cut-off Internet, Phone and other services from the West and South part of Oromia and deliberately killing livestock, burning crops on fields and harvests, and displacing residents in these areas.  Oromo university students are systematically intimidated, harassed, and more than 12 students are killed in Amhara regional state by beating, stoning, and thrown from the top of buildings. A number of students are still in prison by Amhara security forces. A number of Universities are closed and more than 35,000 Oromo students are expelled from colleges and universities in the country.

If not reversed now, Dr. Abiy’s Ethiopia is on a path to a civil war that the Ethiopian people and the world cannot afford. The United States government must stop funneling money and support a misguided policy of Dr. Abiy and pressure his administration to change course. Dr. Abiy is on the wrong path and must be urged to genuinely engage with opposition parties and address the demands of the Oromo people who propelled him to power. The American government must encourage and demand that Dr. Abiy’s government:

  1. To lift the illegal state of emergency imposed on Oromia and other regional states.
  2. To establish an independent inquiry commission to investigate the extrajudicial killings, rape, burning of crops and livestock by the military in areas that are under by the state of emergency.
  3. To stop political harassment, intimidation, restriction of movement, and imprisonment of supporters of opposition parties.
  4. To reinstate communication and other services cut-off by the military in the South and West Oromia and stop this practice going forward.
  5. To release all political prisoners.
  6. To release Oromo students that are unlawfully detained in the Amhara regional state.
  7. To reinstate students of higher institutions that have been illegally expelled.
  8. To reopen universities and colleges that have been closed for political expediency.
  9. To engage in a dialog with all political parties and facilitate a fair and free election.

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