OLF Press Release Regarding the Illegal General Assembly currently taking place in the OLF Headquarter, Finfinnee
(March 12, 2021)
Due to the confusion created by a particular splinter group, organized and financed by external body, from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), our organization was required by National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to conduct an extraordinary General Assembly meeting to clear this confusion, particularly in the leadership. The National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) has also supported the intention of OLF to call a general assembly to resolve the confusion around the OLF leadership before the forthcoming National election. To this end, OLF Preparatory Committee priorly elected by Central Committee, and since then started working toward its implementation according to our constitution and internal procedures of conducting a General Assembly. NEBE is informed by formal letter of this committee to this effect. In the meantime, the committee has continued closely working and making appropriate communication. For instance, we have been formally updating NEBE with our progress and milestones of organizing the Assembly. At the same time, OLF has been appealing to the NEBE to facilitate the Assembly by, for example, opening our headquarter office in Finfinnee, which was closed forcefully by Addis Ababa police force. Even, OLF has written an official letter on 25/02/2021 to the NEBE demanding to facilitate the opening of our headquarters and create a conducive environment for the Assembly to be held.
As can be recalled that on 01/08/2020 the Addis Ababa police commission forcefully closed our headquarters without due court process. Since this day, our headquarter was under the Addis Ababa police commission’s surveillance who oversees all the activities that take place in the office and around the compound. However, according to the information we are receiving, an illegal conference is currently taking place in the office by a splinter group with heavy government police presence. Based on the information we had, on 12/03/2021 OLF has written an official letter to the Addis Ababa police commission to stop this illegal meeting before it is being held, and failing this, the police commission would bear the responsibilities they took when they evacuated us.
We believe that this conference currently running in our headquarter is entirely illegal and should not be allowed to a splinter group. Also, this is a lack of accountability to the body that knowingly concedes this unlawful conference. The splinter group has no legal ground or constitutional mandate to undertake this General Assembly, which also violates the organization’s constitution and internal procedures and the NEBE registration rules of A6112/2019. It is important here to note that the Addis Ababa police commission has no legal mandate to allow this splinter group to carry out a conference in our office without the chairman of the organization’s knowledge and endorsement, particularly after forcefully vacating us, the OLF leadership, including the chairman, staff, and members since August 01, 2020.
Therefore, the OLF would like to inform the Oromo people, the Ethiopian peoples, and the international community that illegal, unfair, and political sabotage is taking place against OLF and push out the country into more chaos. The whole responsibility lies on the government and its institutions on the impact of this illegal act.
We would also like to demand independence and impartiality of key institutions again in the country, including the NEBE, the judiciary, and the government’s law enforcement branch, particularly the Addis Ababa Police Commission to correct this gross mistake.
We thank our members and supporters for their vigilance and total boycott from this bogus meeting and call for continued perseverance to protect their organization.
Oromo Liberation Front
March 12, 2021