July 15, 2005

Pitting Innocent People against Each Other Is Crime against Humanity

OLF Statement on the Fratricidal War between the Borana and Gabra Oromos

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) alias Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government, a minority group that came to power in 1991 through military insurgency, has maintained its rule using all sorts of coercive subversions under the cover of democracy. One of such subversions is pitting innocent people against each other to divert the attention of the people from the widespread resistance to its tyranny. It has not been easy to quell only through direct killing, arrest, torture, systematic impoverishment or mass exile of conscious elements of the society. The recent intertribal war between the Borana and Gabra tribes of Oromo, who live on both sides of Ethiopia and Kenya border, is the latest incident of a chain of this technique of counter insurgency used by this government. 

The Oromo people, lead by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), have waged resistance against the tyranny of TPLF/EPRDF ever since the hidden agenda of this group became clear. Many other peoples are also engaged in such resistance, with same consequence. In all such cases, like the recent case of Gambella, direct TPLF/EPRDF involvement is apparent.

The Oromo, being the largest nation under this regime, has born the brunt of this criminal technique as witnessed by the wars instigated between the Oromo and their neighbouring peoples and between different Oromo tribes. The clashes between the Oromo and Issa clan of Somali; and, between Oromo and Afar people in the East; between Oromo and Gedeo people in the South; and between the Oromo tribes of Garri and Borana; Gurraa and Arssi; Gujii and Gabra in which hundreds of inocent human lives and property was lost, is part of this scheme. As late as last June, when the Oromo people in southern Oromia totally rejected the TPLF agents in the election, they instigated war between the Gujii and Gabra tribes, and threatened the Boran that they will regret what they did. 

They attributed their loss in the election, especially in the South, to the activity of the OLF and devised the latest campaign to go across the border and instigate this war between the two tribes in Kenya. 

As the perpetrators purportedly in support of one of tribes went from the Ethiopian side across the border it should have been clear that the ubiquitous security force of the regime was not unaware. The OLF, as an independent and self-reliant organization, has neither strategic nor temporary interest in provoking Kenyans and their government, nor any motive to commit such atrocities on their kin and kith across the border. However, we are surprised to see some media in Kenya to carry news alleging that the OLF massacred innocent Kenyans. On the other hand the TPLF/EPRDF motive is to punish the people of southern Oromia who vehemently rejected it during the election and discredit the OLF especially in the eyes of the neighbouring people and government.

Finally we would like to express our deepest sorrow on the loss of innocent lives and property and forewarn the Ethiopian government that they bear the full responsibility for this and other crimes they have committed against humanity.

We also appeal to the Kenyan government not fall into the TPLF regime’s trap once again and take unwise actions that will exacerbate and complicate the situation. Any action that is to be taken should be based on independent inquiry and only by the Kenyan government. Involving the already discredited regime of the TPLF on this affair will be inviting other political agenda into the affair.

 Victory to The Oromo People!

  Oromo Liberation Front


For more information, contact:
Oromo Liberation Front
Department of Information
P. O. Box 73247, Washington, DC 20056
Tel: (202) 462-5477 ext. 202
Fax: (202) 332-7011