The Honorable António GuterresSecretary-GeneralUnited Nations
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
Subject: Request for the deployment of UN peacekeeping force to Ethiopia
Dear Mr. Secretary-General:
We, members of the Oromia Global Forum – a global alliance of 45 Oromo civic, professional, and faith-based organizations – request your organization, your good office and conscience to deploy a UN peacekeeping mission to Ethiopia urgently.
In his address to the nation, on the occasion of the Easter holiday, Prime Minister Abiy reiterated the war in Tigray is being fought on eight fronts; that the war in Oromia and other southern states involving various liberation fronts has pushed the country’s defence to a breaking point. He repeatedly complained the citizens are not heeding his call to join the Federal Police and National Defense Force to save the country he believes is on the brink of disintegration. Whereas we think Ethiopia is indeed on the verge of breakdown, if it hasn’t already, Prime Minister Abiy and his ruling group are solely responsible for the outcome he has predicted. He began the country’s undoing by illegally extending his party’s term in office, and by extension his own tenure in power. He illegally postponed the national election, using COVID-19 as an excuse. When the Tigray government unilaterally decided to hold its regional election as provided for by the constitution, Prime Minister Abiy chose to go to war with the Tigray Regional State, instead of resolving the disagreement through dialogue and consultation.
The war Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed now admits is being waged on eight fronts, merely a month after he declared victory and end of what he characterized as a “limited law-and-order operation” has since spread like wildfire in all regions of Ethiopia with special intensity in Oromia. According to most international news outlets, human rights organizations, and governments, this war is now famed for committing the worst war crime and genocide operation in history, where rape is particularly rampant.
The Prime Minister and his party were propelled to power when the Oromo people’s struggle for self-rule spearheaded by Oromo youth weakened the TPLF dominated EPRDF regime. As members of the previous TPLF dominated EPRDF regime that terrorized the Oromo people for over 27 years through 2018, the Prime Minister and his ruling group are fully cognizant of the fact they will never be able to compete and win in a fair and free election against the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) that resisted the EPRDF regime through its tenure – the main reason for the postponement of the election in the first place. Since the postponement, the regime unleashed relentless terror campaigns throughout Oromia and the greater south, jailed all significant Oromo opposition leaders, closed or physically destroyed the opposition parties’ offices, confiscated their assets, and used security forces effectively to constrain their ability to move and campaign freely.
As we are writing this request letter, we learned that the residence of the only opposition party leader, Chairman Daud Ibsa, not yet jailed but remained under house arrest has been invaded, ransacked, his security guards removed, and his communication and computers removed at night. As it continues to clear the field of any competitive opposition parties’ candidates, the regime has repeatedly asserted its plan to now hold national election in June – i.e., at a time when the COVID-19 case numbers, the excuse the regime used to postpone the national election, is expected to be at its worst since the inception of the pandemic. The Tigray region will not participate because of security reasons, and the two main Oromo opposition parties have been systematically and brutally sidelined because of the insurmountable popular support they command. The planned elections thus are meant only to legitimatize the regime’s illegal hold on to power. The withdrawal of the European Union of its offer to observe the election is a testament to this fact. Currently, the rule of law and order is nonexistent in that country. Extrajudicial killings, especially in Oromia, Tigray, Benishangul-Gumuz, in Kimant, in Agaw and Oromo zone in Amhara region have become a norm than an exception. The longer Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s ruling regime remains in charge, Oromos and non-Amhara citizens face an unprecedented reign of terror and genocide. By designating “Shene” a reference to the Oromo Liberation Army and the TPLF as terrorists, both of whom have been calling for a national dialogue to solve the country’s out-of-control war, the illegitimate government of Abiy Ahmed is renewing its license to kill and continue its genocidal war.
Thus, we, members of Oromia Global Forum request your good office and conscinence to urgently deploy UN peacekeeping forces, while engaging Abiy Ahmed’s regime to stop conducting the sham elections and hold an all-inclusive political dialogue that shall ultimately enable all nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia to decide their political, economic, cultural and social future, freely and democratically.
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