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Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association (MTA), USA, Inc.

Press Release October 12, 2011

Illegal imprisonment of Macha-Tulama officials

As all its predecessors, the current dictatorial and terrorist regime of Ethiopia came to state power and managed to stay in office through brutal force for twenty years. Since it grabbed state power by force, the main target of its hidden war and terrorism is the Oromo people. This Tigrayan-led regime has been employing all means of violence, terrorism, intimidation, torture, harassment, throwing thousands of innocent people in prison camps by branding them with unsubstantiated labels. Furthermore, thousands of Oromo peasants, artists, intellectuals and students with any political dissent have been forced into exile. Independent political and civic associations were outlawed. Only those who bowed down to the will of the regime have been spared and they are used by the government as pawns.

The Macha-Tulama Self-help and Development Association are among many independent Oromo civic associations that have been surviving under the continuous attack by the brutal state machinery of Meles Zenawi. Sadly, the international community had been watching silently while the Ethiopian regime raided the Macha-Tulama office in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and confiscated its property and thrown the leaders into jail in 2004. Continuing its crimes against Oromo leaders, recently in September 2011, the Ethiopian dictatorial regime repeated with impunity the same fiasco once again. Regrettably, the international community has not raised its voice against this heinous crime against humanity.

The Macha-Tulama high officials Mr. Laggese Deti Dhaba, Mr. Mulugeta Riqitu and Sisay Sarbesa are all held incommunicado at the Maikelawi Torture Center in Finfinnee as of today. Mr. Dhaba was the Secretary General of Macha-Tulama Self-help Association for the year 2002- 2003. Mr. Dhaba has also served as the Chairman of History and Culture Committee of the association. He is a cultural expert of Oromo society, and hence imprisoning and attacking him is tantamount to destroying Oromo cultural resources and foundations. Similarly, his colleagues who have been imprisoned with him have deep interests in promoting Oromo history and culture. They are Mr. Mulugeta Rikitu, School Director and Board Member of MTA; and Mr. Sisay Serbesa, 3rd Year Student at Addis Ababa University.

These Oromo notables were detained on August 24 on their way home returning from a celebration of Gubaa Ceremony, one of the oldest Oromo original holidays celebrated in connection with the beginning of the New Year in early September. They are mainly targeted for showing respect and interest in Oromo cultural festivals and for showing mental independence in Oromo cultural renaissance. There is a serious concern as to the safety and well-being of these detainees. The Ethiopian regime has well documented history of using torture on detainees and extrajudicial execution in cold blood. The Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA, Inc. appeals to the US government, European governments, human rights groups, the UN, political leaders and the international community to urge the Ethiopian regime to release Mr. Legesse Deti Dhaba, Mr. Mulugeta Rikitu and Mr. Sisay Serbesa immediately and unconditionally, and to stop its ongoing war of intimidation and terror on the Oromo people.


Board of Directors

Macha -Tulama Association, USA, INC.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa/HRLHA

 Press Release
Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa/HRLHA

 October 2011 - Somalia - Peoples’ Free Will; Not Coercions

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa strongly condemns the heinous and deadly terrorist attack carried out in the Somali Capital, Moqadisho  on the 4th of October, 2011, in which 70 plus innocent civilians were killed, and more than one hundred others wounded. Among the dead were students who were waiting for scholarship application results at the office of the Ministry of Education. It is so saddening and so shameful to hear that a group who claims to have been fighting in the name of the Somalis targets innocent civilians in such an indiscriminate manner, and kills students (the younger generation) in the hands of whom is the future of the country and the people.

In today’s world of the 21st century, when the maximum advancement, growth and maturity have been achieved in all aspects of human lives, and when all forms of communication, dialogue, negotiation, and peaceful resolution of conflicts are possible, it is difficult to find a reason as to why such deadly and destructive acts of terrorism are committed so indiscriminately. One of the reasons why Somalia has become an example of a failed state is because none of those groups who have been operating in the name of the Somalis has attempted to allow the ordinary Somalis to exercise their free will to make choices of their own, and be part of the decision making processes. The Somalis undoubtedly have a lot of socio-economic issues to be concerned and think about. Particularly at the present time, hard hit and taken up by severe drought and starvation, they are looking out into the hands of international communities for food - which they need to save as many lives threatened by the catastrophe as possible.

Any form of terrorist act is aimed at forcibly imposing one’s own wills and interests against the targeted group’s free will and/or consent. It would in no way bring a lasting solution to war torn countries and societies like Somalia. It is instead very likely that it would give rise to other different or similar forms of coercive systems.

HRLHA calls up on the Al-Shabab, the group that has claimed the responsibility of carrying out the deadly attack, to refrain from such terrorist acts against one’s own people, and engage in peaceful means of finding lasting solutions to the internal conflict of Somalia that has already caused enormous destructions.     

The HRLHA is a non-political and non-profit organization that attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works on defending fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works on raising the awareness of individuals about their own fundamental human rights and that of others. It encourages the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Resolution of the Oromo Liberation Front National Council Fifth Regular Session


Resolution of the Oromo Liberation Front National Council Fifth Regular Session

The Oromo Liberation Front National Council (OLF-NC) has successfully completed its fifth regular session held from October 3 - 10, 2011. The NC, during this session, addressed wide ranging issues including organizational matters, the situation of the Oromo people and its struggle, the unparalleled brutality of the TPLF/EPRDF regime against the peoples in Ethiopia in general and the Oromo people in particular, peace and stability in the Horn of Africa and other regional and global issues. After thorough deliberation the NC concluded its meeting by passing several important resolutions.

The Oromo liberation struggle for freedom and sovereignty, led by the OLF, continuous to enjoy popular support of our people, who continue paying immense sacrifices. The ongoing popular uprising led by the Oromo youth, the Qeerroo, which is gaining wide spread support from the Oromo and other peoples, is shaking the regime to its foundation. In the course of the struggle, our organization has encountered and overcame various internal and external challenges. The council reaffirms its unfolding commitment to the achievement of the Oromo people’s right to self-determination up to and including independence. At this junction, we call upon all Oromo political forces to join hands with us in the continuous effort to liberate our people. We are committed to peacefully resolve tactical differences that might have existed between us.

The TPLF/EPRDF regime has continued targeting the Oromo people through brutal repression to extend its grab on power. Accordingly massive human rights violations, extreme economic exploitation and blatant discrimination has become the lot of the Oromo people. The recent ‘Anti Terrorism Law’ by the rubber stamp parliament has worsened the condition of Oromo individuals of all walks of life. This law is being used to suppress fundamental human rights including the right to assembly and freedom of expression. Today more than any time in the past the Oromo people are subjected to extrajudicial killings, disappearance, torture, mass arrest, harassment and imprisonment in villages, workplaces, towns and cities. Imposition of exorbitant taxation on the farmers and small businesses, eviction of peasants from their ancestral farm lands for leasing to foreigners under obscure terms, denial of job opportunities and dismissal of employees from their jobs on flimsy excuses is a daily experience of our people. Oromos and Oromia are discriminated against in employment, promotion, education, and other social services.

Millions of people are facing famine due to deliberate wrong policies in Oromia. However, the fact that the existence of famine is denied and access to the area by outsiders is blocked by the regime, the people are not receiving the life saving assistance necessary from the international community. Therefore, we urge the international community to pressure the regime to open up the areas for access and provide necessary assistance. Because of the sever repression in Oromia, thousands of Oromos have sought refuge in the neighbouring countries like Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Djibouti and beyond. Many have perished trying to cross the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Peninsula. Others have faced the same fate trying to cross the Sahara and other deserts. The Ethiopian security agents have crossed international borders to assassinate, abduct or harass the refugees. We call upon the hosting countries and pertinent international agencies to assist the refugees in accordance with the relevant international law.

The regime has been maintaining itself in power by habitually instigating conflicts between the romo people and its neighbors using the defunct ‘divide and rule’ policy. The latest such tragic episode took place between Oromo and Gumuz people in western Oromia and between the Oromo and Somalis in the East. In addition, the regime has been working hard to incite religious conflict in the Oromo society and elsewhere by destroying the traditional tolerance among religious groups. Incidents like burning churches and holly books including the Qur’an, that have never been heard in the long history of peoples with different religions living side by side, have recently surfaced in some localities of Oromia with apparent connivance of the authorities. We call upon the Oromo and neighboring peoples to resist the enemy instigation and resort to the traditional way of resolving their differences peacefully. Similarly we call on Oromo and other religious communities to adhere to the long held tradition of practices of tolerance.

Ethiopia which shares border with all the IGAD countries except for Uganda, lies at the centre of the security complex of the Horn. Consequently the situation in Ethiopia should be of a serious concern to the IGAD member states. The instability in Oromia, which lies at the centre of Ethiopia, affects the stability of the whole region. The case of thousands of refugees in all the member countries and the cross border incursion by the Ethiopian security forces is one of the cases in point. Therefore, the Council urges the IGAD member states to support the genuine Oromo Liberation struggle for justice and freedom and dissociate themselves from the baseless and false allegations of the Ethiopian regime against the OLF.

The international community is turning blind eye to the injustices perpetrated by the TPLF/ EPRDF regime against the peoples in Ethiopia. Despite credible report of Human Rights Organizations Media Reports about the misuse of the assistance given to the regime some governments particularly from the west are actively continuing to support the regime by providing the means of oppression. The National Council calls on these governments to review their policy towards the oppressive brutal regime and instead support the genuine struggle of the Oromo and other peoples for freedom and equality which could serve for lasting peace in the region.

The Tigrian political elites ruling Ethiopia today are the enemy of the peoples in Ethiopia including the Tigrian people. The regime has slammed the door on peaceful means of resolving the perennial political conflict with resistance groups and closed the political playing field of legal oppositions. The OLF is ready to cooperate in the struggle against this regime. Therefore, we call upon all forces opposed to the dictatorial minority regime and struggling for liberation, equality, freedom and peace to rise up in unison to get rid of these autocrats.

Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front-National Council
October 10, 2011

Map of oromia

Map of oromia