The Oromo protest in Oromia on its fifth day
15 Nov 2005
As has been widely reported over the past week, the Oromo people are engaged in a nation-wide protest against the Ethiopian repressive government. The popular uprising is ignited as a response to the call made by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) urging the people to protest against Meles Zenawi’s regime.
As a continuation of this recent popular uprising, several demonstrations took place in various parts of Oromia over the last few days:
- Oromo students in the Faculty of Health at the University of Haromaaya held a demonstration in their campus voicing their protest against the regime’s repressive treatment of the Oromo people. In this demonstration more than 500 Oromo students took part. Among the slogans displayed by the students were “we want the OLF in Oromia”, “release all Oromo political prisoners immediately”, and “rename our university with its proper name: Haromaaya”. Panicked by this event, the regime deployed its brutal Special Forces in the campus in attempt to intimidate the students. However, the students were not deterred by the regime’s display of force and continued their demonstration throughout the day. The regime also sent members of the OPDO, a shadowy group of the ruling body, to persuade the students to abandon their demonstration. The OPDO delegates were rejected.
- Oromo students of Southern University in Hawaasaa also staged demonstrations in their campus in support of the ongoing mass uprising. The police prevented the demonstrators from leaving their campus.
- In Jimmaa zone, Qarsaa district, the Oromo people demonstrated denouncing the Meles regime. The Special Forces of the regime attacked the demonstrators and arrested several protesters. The names of the detainees include: 1)Xahaa A/Garoo, 2)Ahmad A/Maccaa, 3)Tsaggayee Hundee, 4) Ibraahim shee Shifaa (a farmer), 5)A/Nagaa A/Foggii (a farmer), 6) Mahammad A/Maccaa (a farmer), 7) Anuwaar shee Shariif ( a farmer), 8)Mahammad-amiin shee Iisaa (a farmer), 9) Haafiz Hajii Ahmed (student) and 10)Daliil A/Jabal (student)
- Residents of the city of Naqamtee in Western Oromia continued their demonstration that started few days ago. They have blocked the road leading north to Gida kiraamu. High school students of Naqamtee also took their protests to the streets, which was squashed by the regime’s Special Forces. Several students were arrested and many more sustained heavy bodily injuries.
- In Amdo, the protests have risen to new dimensions. Shocked by such fierce resistance of students, the regime closed down all schools in the western Shawaa zone indefinitely. Angered by the killings of their innocent colleagues in Ambo, the students of Ambo continue their protest by waving OLF flag and posting fundamental Oromo questions in schools such as the Gincii secondary school.
- In east Shawaa zone, demonstrations broke out in the city of Bishooftuu. The regime has deployed its forces in the city whose tactics are reported to frighten residents.
- Demonstrations are held in several districts in the rural regions of west Harargee zone including Machaaraa, Miicataa, Harooreysaa, Miliqaayee, Gaadullaan etc. Student demonstrators were joined by farmers chanting slogans: “OLF is the legitimate representative of the Oromo people”, “Oromo right to self-determination must be respected”, etc. Even though, the regime’s military and police forces did not interfere with the demonstration head-on, they have arrested several individuals during the hours following the demonstration. Among the detained demonstrators are: 1)Ayube Abdulqaadir 2)Ibsaa Kaliifaa and 3) Gammachuu Araddaa. All secondary schools in the region are closed since November 9, 2005.
- In similar developments, 7 Oromo soldiers who were members of the military unit guarding the University of Bahir Dar are reported to have disappeared with their full personal armaments. This has caused confusion and chaos in the University and city circles. During previous instances, we had the pleasure to report that several Oromo soldiers have refused to kill innocent fellow Oromos at several occasions. This is believed to be a response to repeated calls by Oromo students asking Oromo soldiers to side their own people and refrain from killing innocent school children.
External Information Division
Foreign Relations Department
Oromo Liberation Front
November 14, 2005