Addis Abeba, November 25,2021- Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) issued a statement yesterday reiterating calls for peaceful resolution to what it called an avoidable war raging all over the country. In its statement the OFC listed steps to immediately be taken to salvage the country from disintegration and the entire region from potential destabilization, among which is the immediate establishment of an interim government for a period of 3-6 months with a mandate to maintain law and order, undertake the charting of a common roadmap and facilitate the national dialogue processes. During the mandate of the interim administration, all parties will begin negotiations on the formation of an all-inclusive transitional government that shall last for 18 months. No major stakeholder shall be excluded from these negotiations, the OFC said.
Recalling the recent press release “Only Honest, Genuine, and All-inclusive National Dialogue Can Solve the Country’s Political Crisis” announced on 25 October 2021, and even beyond the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) has been repeatedly called for and appealed to the current ruling party and its leaders to change course from the present perilous road to destruction and the political dead-end thereof, which has pushed the country to brink of a potential disintegration. For the ruling party and its leaders are not bold enough to take concrete positive measures dangers are looming on the land of Ethiopia. To tackle the imminent danger, we hereby again strongly reiterate that peaceful resolution is a panacea for the current Ethiopian crises.
Starting from the assumption of power by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018 after 27 years of a one-party authoritarian rule, Ethiopians in general and the Oromo people in particular, have become hopeful for a successful democratic transition through honest and genuine national dialogue that can lead the country to durable peace, democratic governance and meaningful economic development, which in turn could pull millions of our citizens out of poverty. However, the incumbent government quickly moved to fulfill its ambition of a one-party rule that squandered the opportunity for a real democratic transformation, dashing the hopes of millions of people who were dreaming for freedom and democracy.
Our party, OFC used every opportunity to cooperate with the ruling party to draw a common road map for smooth transition. Our effort to help the ruling party move in the right track has become to the risking of the safety of our members who have been imprisoned in mass, forced to flee from their loved ones, beaten, and even shot dead just for disagreeing with the path the government has chosen.
Sadly, the government’s response to all our peaceful plea was the closure of almost all our party offices across the country, except just three, in addition to forcing the OFC out of the 2021 ill-designed elections hosted by illegitimate election processes that resulted in the usual, “I won 99% or 100% of the vote” tradition we experienced from Ethiopia’s past dictators or elsewhere in Africa. Consequently, today, Ethiopia is at a critical crossroad of uncertainty, which forced us to forward the below points as an alternative for solution. For sure an avoidable war is raging all over the country consuming the lives of tens of thousands and bringing misery for tens of millions. And, more than ever before in our country’s history, the war is not limited to armed factions, but also ordinary citizens with no real training for war or have no knowledge of international rules of engagements in war have become active actors of the horror.
After assessing the on-going blood bath in the country and the potential for a war of all against all whose end-result cannot be predicted, our party is calling for the following steps to immediately be taken to salvage our people from civil war, our country from disintegration and the entire region from potential destabilization.
- We call for the immediate establishment of an interim government chaired by an individual accepted by major stakeholders that will serve for a period of 3-6 months with a mandate to maintain law and order, undertake the charting of a common roadmap and facilitate the national dialogue processes.
- We urge all warring parties to negotiate for a ceasefire immediately. An end to hostilities including providing unfettered humanitarian access to feed the starving, tend to the sick, permit the displaced to return to their homes, and restore essential services to all areas. This will include a total repudiation of all incitements to violence and hate speech in all forms.
- All political prisoners held at various prisons and detention centers must be released immediately.
- During the mandate of the interim administration, all parties will begin negotiations on the formation of an all-inclusive transitional government that shall last for 18 months. No major stakeholder shall be excluded from these negotiations.
- The all-inclusive transitional government shall adopt a transitional charter, including all necessary measures for economic stabilization, and recovery, as well as finalize the national dialogue processes to determine the future of Ethiopia. The interim administration shall end its mandate by organizing ‘free, fair, and credible’ elections.
- As the on-going civil war has destroyed the economy of our country and millions are facing starvation, we call upon the international community to support the new transitional arrangement by providing diplomatic, financial, and material supports for the workings of the new transitional government so as to ensure security as well as the wellbeing of our citizens.
In conclusion, OFC urge all Ethiopians, the international community, and the warring parties to hear our voice and cooperate in achieving durable peace and stability to salvage our country. In this regard, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) strongly reiterates its support for any genuine and honest political solution that helps the redemption of Ethiopia. Dispatch