The current ruling party of Ethiopia has intensified yet again its war of ethnic cleaning on the Oromo people. Lately, it has targeted Oromo communities in Eastern Hararge. The communities directly affected in the recent campaign include those who live in the districts of Anniyyaa, Jaarsoo, and Mi’eesoo.
This latest incident of ethnic cleansing that is being perpetrated against the Oromos in Eastern Hararge zone is a continuation of a grand design of the TPLF-led regime of Ethiopia to undercut the demographic weight of the Oromo and the territorial expanse of Oromiya. This design, one which its leaders in many occasions in such a blatant bravado have spoken about, is framed to fulfill its long-term political and economic objectives.
The obvious political objective of the TPLF-led regime of Ethiopia is primarily the containment of the Oromo political life. The regime with a minority constituent base is always unnerved of the Oromo population size with its potential political weight. To overcome this fear and sense of insecurity, it has been determined to maintain its political hegemony and keep Oromiya under its occupation by all what it takes.
The impact of such a determination of the TPLF on the Oromo people is enormous. During the last 22 years, the TPLF has perpetrated what amounts to genocidal wars on the Oromo people. At various times it has targeted various Oromo communities. It has launched hidden wars and inflicted upon them a colossal loss in lives and properties. While most of such wars have directly involved the TPLF army, some have been conducted by its proxies. The proxies that the TPLF has so far involved in the war against the Oromo people are primarily ethnic groups sharing common boundaries with Oromiya and national minorities residing within Oromiya itself.
With the intent of ethnic cleansing, the TPLF has directly launched a silent war on the Oromo people over the years. However, such a war meant to extinct a community of people has often been masked under the heading of “human rights violation”. In effect, what the TPLF has been and is still carrying out on the Oromo nation should be taken as a designed action of ethnic cleansing. Its actions that clearly attest to this fact are many. For instance, the early 1990s Nazi type concentration camps that the TPLF set up in Dhedheessa, Zuwaay, and Hursoo are cases in point that speak volume of its intension. It had thrown tens of thousands of Oromos to these notorious camps. Tortured, starved, and exposed to communicable diseases and malaria, according to many accounts, not very many of them have survived the cold-blooded atrocity of the TPLF led regime. Also, hidden from the outside world, many penitentiaries, prisons, and unknown underground cells, and forced labour camps across the empire are presently filled with Oromo youth whose fate would likely be the same as their encamped kin of the 1990s.
In no less degree, other actions of the TPLF have violated the very existence of Oromo communities during its rule. Man-made famines it help created resulted in starvation that took heavy tolls in life in many parts of Oromiya and most notably in Boran, Hararge, and lush zones of Arsi that the international media once referred to it as ‘green famines’. Its barbaric act of environmental terrorism has equally brought about destruction of ecosystems and exacted an inordinate number of human lives and loss of habitats for rare flora and fauna. Suffice to mention here two notorious cases that illustrate the TPLF’s acts of brutality on the environmental resources of Oromiya: The blazing and decimation of the forests in Bale and most recently in Iluu Abbaa Boora. The immediate impact of this act on the present generation of the affected communities is enormous. Furthermore, looking at this heinous crime of the TPLF from a larger scope, it is conceivable that such a destruction of ecosystems would have far-reaching implications on generations to come. It would undoubtedly check the population growth of the communities, a desired result that the TPLF leaders are hoping to secure.
Adding to the above mix, the eviction of the Oromo people from its ancestral lands had torn apart their social fabric and exposed them to vagaries of environmental stress in which they could not cope to survive. Internal displacement with all its devastating effect aside, the eviction has also led to mass exodus of the Oromo people to unknown foreign lands where the chance of survival for many has proved to be exceedingly limited. Instigating and fueling conflicts, the TPLF has caused enormous devastation on numerous communities. The inter-ethnic conflicts between the Issa and Oromo in Hararge, the Somali and Oromo in Boran, the Gumuz and Oromo in Walagaa, the Burjii and Oromo in Boran and the Afaar and Oromo in Walloo; and the intra-ethnic conflicts between Boran and Gujii and Garrii and Boran were the making of the TPLF. These conflicts which took place at different times had exacted a huge human and property loss from the impacted Oromo communities.
Despite relentlessly working at its silent ethnic cleansing grand plan over the last two decades, the demographic weight of the Oromo people has still remained unnerving for the TPLF led-regime. As a result, it has continued with the campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Oromo with more intensity and coordination. The present war against Anniyya, Jarsoo, and Mi’eesoo in Hararge zone is part and parcel of its escalated ethnic cleansing campaign. For this campaign, it has incited a proxy war: A war that contingents of Somali force from Ogaden have been deployed against the Oromo people. This force which is known as Liyu polis (special police force) has been trained and armed by the regime. The regime has provided the force with logistical support, finance, and military operational advice. It is this force that is presently causing havoc in Eastern Hararge.
This proxy war that has been declared on the Oromo people in Eastern Hararge zone is taking a heavy toll on human life. Since the war began, under the pretext of conflict over land clams between the adjoining Somali and Oromo communities, hundreds of people have been killed, tens of thousands have been evicted and displaced, properties of the communities have been partly confiscated and the rest decimated. The displaced people of Anniyaa who survived the recent mass killing are now in dire need of shelter, food and medicine. Their way of life is completely shattered, and with no one to appeal to the flagrant violation of their human rights and the right to their ancestral land they contemplate nothing but a bleak future. Undoubtedly, the long tem consequences of this Somali led incursion backed by the TPLF on the lives of the affected Oromo communities would be much more calamitous.
Ultimately, the TPLF led regime, as a mastermind of this proxy war, is responsible for the crime against humanity that has been committed on the Oromo people of Anniyaa, Jaarsoo, and Mi’eesoo. We condemn in the strongest possible term the TPLF regime for the heinous crime it has concocted and committed.
For the TPLF regime, pitting one ethnic group against another has served as a political survival means for so long. It would continue using this wild political card for as long as it is in power. Should all ethnic groups who have lived in harmony side by side for millenniums and shared a common political history fail to see its divide and conquer policy and rise up in unison and challenge it, the policy will continue serving its purpose. This would mean all oppressed ethnic groups will remain prey of this parasitic regime.
Therefore, it is worthwhile for all ethnic groups to be vigilant of every sinister move of the TPLF that can incite conflict amongst them. It is also critically important to understand that the beneficiary of such a conflict is only the TPLF. Peaceful co-existence fosters peace, prosperity, and progress in human development for the community of nations in the region. Such a co-existence can be restored and maintained only if all resist the temptation of becoming an accomplice of the TPLF for a short term gain.
With regards to the present encroachment of the Somali force in Eastern Hararge, ULFO is extremely outraged by the callus act of this force that is for all practical purposes a mercenary of the TPLF regime. They do not in any shape or form represent the brotherly people of Ogadenia who share a common history of colonial oppression and a common interest with the people of Oromiya. Sooner or later the people of Oromiya will pay the sacrifice necessary and regain its territorial integrity. Peace will prevail in the region, not if, but when the sun sets on the TPLF and it finds itself in political darkness.
The United Liberation of Oromiya (ULFO)
Oromiya shall be free!!!!!