Free Mr. DAWUD IBSA, the Chairman of the OLF

Free Mr. DAWUD IBSA, the Chairman of the OLF

Koste Yadeta started this petition to United Nations and 1 other

Dawud Ibsa

Mr. Dawud Ibsa, chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), is one of the most respected and seasoned politicians in Ethiopia. He spent his entire life fighting for his people’s freedom and democratic rights. Today, Mr. Ibsa and his party, the OLF, is one of the largest political parties in the country, with full support from a significant majority of the Oromo people, which represent more than 42% of Ethiopia’s population.

Sadly, on May 3, 2021, at approximately 9:00 PM local time, the government of Abiy Ahmed ordered its military forces and raided Mr. Dawud Ibsa’s residence. During the raid, they confiscated his computer, cellphone, documents, and personal belongings, including cash money and other electronics in his house. Since then, Abiy’s military and security forces have blocked every access to Mr. Dawud Ibsa’s residence. In effect, Mr. Ibsa is being held under house arrest without trial or even accusation of a crime. As a result, families, and friends, including the Ethiopian human rights commission and Africa Union representatives, were prohibited from visiting him. Until now, Mr. Ibsa’s situation is unknown to his families, friends, and the international community.

Although intimidation and imprisonment of members and leaders of competing political parties are customary to successive regimes in Ethiopia, Abiy’s recent move to eliminate political rivalries in the country is extremely dangerous. It is also important to note that most of the members and leaders of the OLF and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), the two largest political parties representing Oromia, are languishing in Abiy’s prison for a long time. The attack on Mr. Ibsa’s residence is another manifestation of Abiy’s clampdown on political dissent to cling onto power and Mr. Ibsa was targeted because of his majority support from the Oromo people. Instead of facing him in a democratic election, Abiy and his cliques are choosing to face him and his party with their military power. Such an attempt will only further polarize the situation in the country with imminent catastrophic consequences.

As his belongings, including his cellphone, were confiscated and all communication avenues to him were blocked, it is impossible to know Mr. Ibsa’s current situation. His safety, health, and overall mental and psychological well-being are in danger, and no one knows if Mr. Ibsa has access to basic human needs such as food, water, and other necessities. Considering the precarious reality facing Mr. Dawud Ibsa, we appeal to the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. António Guterres, to take necessary measure(s) on the government of Abiy Ahmed so that at least families, friends, and representatives of the human rights and international communities are able to visit Mr. Ibsa. A delay in the UN’s action is tantamount to the deterioration of the health and well-being of Mr. Ibsa.

Bedassa Tadesse (PhD), Professor of Economics, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Dessalegn Guyo (PhD), Associate Professor of Social Work
Koste Yadeta (PhD), Molecular Pathologist


  1. #I’m very concerned regarding the safety and life of #OLFChairman Mr. Dawud Ibsa.
    I’d like to strongly ask the international community to intervene that late put pressure on the unconstitutional Ethiopian government to release Mr. Dawud
    Thank you in advance!

  2. I am concerned regarding the safety and wellbeing of Mr. Dawud Ibsa, the Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front, and would like the international community to put pressure on the government of Ethiopia for immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Ibsa and all other Oromo political prisoners.

  3. I am very concerned regarding safety and wellbeing of the chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front Mr. Dawud Ibsa and would like to ask the international community to urge the government of Ethiopia to release Mr. Ibsa and other Oromo political prisoners.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. It is dishonest to invite the opposition in the name of reconciliation and then harass those who came home to pursue peaceful political contest. It is inconceivable what the so-called Prosperity Party is doing in Ethiopia. In some cases, atrocities committed by the PP exceeds that of EPRDF (OPDO and ANDM, the Amara wing of EPRDF) until 2018. If politicians depend on muscle (PP commanding the country’s armed forces) imprisoning some, killing others with differing idea of organization is simply silly. Free Dawud Ibsa! Free also other political prisoners as well! It’s a tragedy, Abiy lets Jawar, Bekele, Dejene… languish behind bars while working with Isayas Afewerki, who is responsible for three turns of war against Ethiopia: The Thirty Year-War which ended with Eritrean victory over Ethiopia, the Ethio-Eritrea War 1998-2000 and the ongoing war, especially in Tigray, openly, probably in secret in other parts of Ethiopia. Who is going to stop Isays Afewerki from killing the Ethiopian youth?

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