Statement of the National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo on the Current Non-violent Movement in Oromi
Over the last two weeks, the Oromo people and the Oromo youth, particularly the Oromo students of various colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools have been asking the Oromian regional government the right of the Oromo people on their country Oromia in a peaceful and legal manner according to the right given to us by the Ethiopian constitution.
However, the response of the Ethiopian government to our rightful question has been to unleash its Federal Police and a special military known as Agazi, armed to the teeth, on unarmed youth and civilian population and to turn the entire region into a battle field taking the lives of several dozen Oromians and kidnapping and arresting thousands others. Therefore, we, Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo, hereby ask the Ethiopian government to give appropriate and immediate response to the following rightful and legal demands, which are also the demands of the entire Oromo people.
1. We demand an immediate release of thousands of Oromo youth and other civilians who are jailed and being tortured at several Federal Police prisons in the country. We also demand that the list of these prisoners be released to the Ethiopian public and to the world.
2. We demand that those who killed dozens of unarmed students and peaceful civilians be investigated by an independent body erected by the United Nations and be brought to justice.
3. We demand that all political prisoners languishing in jail over the last 23 years of the TPLF/EPRDF rule under fabricated charges and verdict and those who are kept in prison without any charge be released without any precondition.
4. We demand that the Federal Police and the Federal government military who mercilessly massacres the Oromo people and other civilian citizens be completely removed from Oromia regional state.
5. We demand that all universities, colleges, high schools and other educational institutions be free of the EPRDF political party police, intelligence (spies), and cadres and for these personnel to be removed from the campus of all educational institutions.
6. We demand that eviction of Oromo people from their land be stopped immediately and an appropriate and immediate compensation be given to those who have been evicted from their land and homes over the last 23 years.
7. We demand that the right to self-determination of the Oromo people over their country, Oromia, be respected and implemented.
8. We affirm that the struggle of the Oromo people for freedom and justice and the current movement led by Qeerroo is peaceful and non-violent. We strongly demand that the response given from the government to our rightful questions and demands be peaceful and non-violent.
9. We hereby affirm in public that our peaceful struggle for freedom and justice does not target any peaceful groups of people or individuals; our struggle does not target the private property of individuals or none-Oromo ethnic groups. Our struggle is only against a system based on oppression and exploitation and to determine our own fate and our future lives and the coming generation. Therefore, we strongly condemn those who use our name to intimidate and campaign on other peaceful non-Oromo citizens living in Oromia.
10. We Oromo students declare to continue our questions and our struggle without interrupting our schools, and, in conjunction with the Oromo people and other friends and allies of the Oromo, we affirm to continue our peaceful struggle until all our demands are fully met.
11. The current non-violent movement in Oromia is led by the National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (also known as Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo) which has been establishing its structure throughout Oromia for the last two or so years. All necessary preparations have been made based on the lessons learned from the 2005 Revolt Against subjugation (Fincila Diddaa Gabrummaa) and its structures have been well stretched all over Oromia including government administrative and bureaucratic networks and properly being implemented. We greatly appreciate that our people at home and abroad embraced our movement and stood with us by providing all the necessary moral, material, and financial support. On the other hand we hear organizations and individuals who, on the one hand, say the current movement and its demand is legitimate, and, on the other hand, knowingly or unknowingly, suggest in public that the movement has “no leadership” and that it is “spontaneous”. We remind such groups and individuals that the current student protest in Oromia is led by adequate leadership and coordination of Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo and strongly and earnestly ask them to rectify their mistaken views and stand on our side in the struggle. Moreover, we strongly call on all peace loving groups and individuals to stand on our side in the struggle.
12. We call on all Oromos serving the current government in the Federal Police, Oromian Police, military, militia and other armed individuals and groups to stop firing on your own people. This government may look strong today, but when the time comes it will fall, just like its predecessors. Do not make a historical mistake by killing your own brothers and sisters to please this regime which is becoming the enemy of all people. We strongly advise you that, if you defy this call and continue obeying the orders of the regime and shoot unarmed civilians, you will not escape historical and legal judgment.
13. We call on all Ethiopian citizens serving in the EPRDF government military, Federal Police, intelligence and other federal government structures to stop firing on unarmed students and other civilians.
Rise up Oromo!!
The struggle shall continue!
Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromo