OLA Publishes a ‘Brief Political Manifesto’
The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) has just published a document titled, Brief Political Manifesto: From Armed Struggle to the Prospect for Peace.
The document sets out the visions and goals of OLA, and proceeds to clarifying possible misunderstanding and confusion that may arise with regard to OLF as a registered political party in Ethiopia. The rest of the document addresses various inter-related strands with a view to the prospects for transition to peace through third-party negotiated talks.
“In order to pave the way for a negotiated settlement…“, the document states, that,
“… the government must take the following confidence and security-building measures“.
The itemized measures are reproduced verbatim under two headings as shown below.
Confidence Building Measures (CBMs)
- Open humanitarian corridors in Oromia to allow aid agencies to reach the populations
affected by the conflict and its attendant ravages.
- Release all Oromo political detainees, specifically the many thousands of innocent farmers, businesspersons, students, and community leaders who are languishing in prisons and concentration camps across Oromia, accused of being OLA supporters.
- Terminate the intensified persecution of all Oromo opposition party leaders, and
supporters and the wanton closure of Oromo opposition party offices.
- Take practical steps to make Afaan Oromoo a federal working language and rescind policies the Federal Ministry of Education has promulgated that erode Afaan Oromoo’s status as the main instructional language in Oromia.
- Agree to recognize Finfinnee as an integral part of Oromia. While respecting the full political, economic, and property rights of residents and the city’s status as an international capital, the government must commit to acknowledging the Oromo peoples’ longstanding proprietary right to the city.
- Halt the intensification of land theft by Prosperity Party officials, religious institutions, robber barons parading as businesspersons, and social misfits who call themselves custodians of Finfinnee. The government must end these corrupt practices. Not doing so is tantamount to dereliction of duty.
Security Building Measures (SBMs)
- End the rampant extrajudicial killing of the Oromo simply by labeling them terrorists or associates of a phantom terrorist organization called “Shane.” In particular, the government must end the practice of guilt by association, collective punishment, and scorched earth punitive measures under the guise of fighting a non-existent threat of terrorism.
- Respect the dignity of Oromo individuals and their inviolable right to life, liberty, and property. We demand legal and practical guarantees that will end the rampant dehumanizing practices, namely arbitrary arrests, detentions without charge, illegal searches, and denial of court-ordered bail, and ordered the release of the thousands of Oromo political prisoners in federal custody and in detention facilities in Oromia.
- End military operations in Oromia and encamp the military and security forces in barracks. The government must also find ways to work in partnership with the OLA to maintain peace and security in many parts of Oromia.
- Abolish the illegal and immoral rule of a significant portion of Oromia by Command Posts. It did not result in the government gaining legitimacy or control of the region. It must end immediately.
- Stop the horizontalization of conflicts among the Oromo; between the Oromo and Amhara and others.
Full document of the Brief Political Manifesto can be viewed here.