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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ethiopia: Political culture of deceit and manipulation

Media manipulation and misinformation has become the trade mark of the Ethiopian regime. This is particularly manifested in recent years, by repeated and brazen fabrications of events by Ethiopian diplomats to Kenya in matters related to recurrent violation of the country’s Northern border and terrorizing the pastoral communities inhabiting the area.

In its well known habit of creating confusion and malicious cover-up, it is not uncommon for the Ethiopian regime to blame the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) for the conflicts and cross-border raids from Ethiopia into Kenya when in fact it is a shameless act of its own militia. We condemn any attempt to draw wage between the OLF and the Kenyan Government and people.

For Kenyans who live around the Ethio-Kenya border, it is a common knowledge that over the last fifteen years Ethiopian security forces and militia have constantly violated the Kenyan sovereignty and disrupted the life of its citizens. Mr. Ajebe L. Wolde, the Ethiopian diplomat to Kenya, in his interview with the East African Standard on April 19th, 2006, in the usual attempt to mislead the Kenyan public and cover-up the dirty acts of his government has tried to lay the blame on the OLF for recent cross-border raids on border villages of Dukanaa and El Haadhi in Northern Kenya.

Mr. Wolde, in a blatant lie and misinformation, accused the OLF of entering Kenya donning Ethiopian uniform and riding in military trucks to commit crime against Kenyans. In his muddled up imagination and in total underestimation of the capacity of the Kenyan State and public to see things through, Mr. Wolde attempts to mislead Kenyans by distorting the reality of the violation of the territorial integrity of Kenya by the Ethiopian security forces. It is a baseless allegation, as the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) doesn’t possess military trucks and will not don its enemy’s uniform.

The recent act of entering the Kenyan territory, by Ethiopian security forces, pillaging and robbing thousands of livestock and killing innocent civilians is a clear indication that through unwarranted aggressions on almost all of its neighbors the Ethiopian regime is committed to destabilize the region. We fail to understand why anybody should perpetrate such act of cruelty against a population trying to cope with the devastating effect of drought and famine which hit the region and while the Kenyans are still also mourning the loss of several Kenyan leaders, in plane crash, who were on their way to a Peace Conference at Marsabet.

The Ethiopian regime rocked by public upheaval has resorted to desperate actions both inside and outside the country in a bid to stay in power through a sheer force of arms and has intensified the killings, imprisonments and abductions of its citizens including school children. For sure, Ethiopia under a tyrant is bound to continue to violate the rights of its citizens and those of its neighboring states and peoples. It should also be understood that Ethiopia that is not at peace with itself will continue to be a cause for suffering and terror in the region.

This is a tyrannical regime that neither understands nor respects international norms. The present cross-border raid on the villages in Kenya is not an isolated incident. The constant incursions into Kenya should be a warning to the states of the region that the current minority Tigrean dominated Ethiopian regime will continue to violate their sovereignty in order to divert the attention of the international community from its serious internal troubles.

The OLF in the struggle for the Right of Self-Determination of the Oromo people in Ethiopia does not condone any operation targeting civilian population and there could be no motive or expediency whatsoever, for the baseless allegation made by Mr.Wolde.

Department of Foreign Relations
Oromo Liberation Front
P. O. Box 73247
Washington, DC 20056

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