Oromia Global Forum Strongly Condemns the Assassination of Mr. Batte Urgessa

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The Oromia Global Forum (OGF) is deeply saddened and outraged by the brutal assassination of Mr. Batte Urgessa, a political officer of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). We strongly condemn this barbaric act and extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, the OLF, and the Oromo people at large.

Mr. Batte Urgessa was a leader committed to peaceful struggle and was a knowledgeable, brilliant political leader who spoke truth to power without fear. He advocated for the rights of the Oromo people and other historically marginalized nations in Ethiopia. Batte remained engaged in a peaceful struggle for justice despite being repeatedly subjected to illegal incarcerations regardless of courts’ ruling his innocence and ordered his immediate release. His exemplary life and martyrdom joins the tragic legacy of countless Oromos who were executed in a similar manner by the current and former rulers of Ethiopia.

Batte Urgessa’s legacy is one of courage, resilience, and unwavering commitment to the cause of justice. His tireless efforts to advocate for the rights of the Oromo people and other nations have left an indelible mark on the political landscape. His fearless approach to speaking truth to power has inspired countless others to continue the fight for justice and equality. His martyrdom serves as a stark reminder of the sacrifices made by those who dare to stand up against oppression and injustice.

The brutal assassination of Batte speaks volumes about the nature of the Ethiopian regime. Since the colonization of Oromia and other nations in Ethiopia, successive Ethiopia regimes have given lip service to peace while effectively sowing discord, eliminating opposition, and actively engaging in genocide by imprisoning, torturing and assassinating leaders of the indigenous population. As Reuters recently exposed, Abiy’s regime established “Koree Nageenya” (Security Committee) in the like of the Nazi German Gestapo led by the Head of the Oromia State and other high ranking officials of the ruling Prosperity Party accountable to the Abiy Ahmed to commit brutal, inhumane and heinous assassinations of Oromo opposition leaders at all levels.

These heinous extrajudicial executions of members of the opposition effectively shuts off any window of opportunity to resolve political differences through democratic means. In fact, it is likely to foster more violence as those who believed and participated in a peaceful democratic process like Mr. Batte are violently eliminated. Such barbaric operations not only pose a threat to peace and stability in Oromia and the region. It also confirms the regime’s unrelenting determination not to open up a political space and face people’s verdict but instead stay in power at all cost, which is a recipe for an all-out civil unrest and chaos.

We call for an independent, credible international investigation into this assassination. It is crucial to identify not only those who carried out the cowardly act but also those who coordinated and ordered this targeted, callous act. The Ethiopian government cannot be trusted to investigate its own crimes. The investigation must be transparent, and the family of Batte Urgessa, the OLF, and the Oromo public have the right to be served justice.

It should be noted that Batte had been imprisoned multiple times in recent years and severely tortured while in prison. He was only released in 2022, mainly due to his torture-induced deteriorating health condition. His day-to-day movement was under the Ethiopian government’s close security surveillance and the assassination is unlikely to have been conducted by any other than the regime itself.

We urge international organizations such as the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, and human rights organizations and democratic nations such the United States, to pressure the Ethiopian regime to cease the continuous targeted politically motivated assassinations and widespread murders in Oromia and bring the perpetrators to justice. The Ethiopian government has continued the barbaric culture of the Ethiopian empire that feeds on Oromo lives to survive.

The OGF stands in solidarity with all those who seek justice and peace in Oromia. We will continue to advocate for the rights and freedoms of the Oromo people and hold those responsible for such atrocities accountable.

For more information, please contact us on our website.

Oromia Global Forum


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