July 20, 2014
Joint Press Statement
By Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) & Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
Time and again, we all have witnessed the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led dictatorial regime of Ethiopia deliberately masterminding various forms of atrocities in order to remain in power. The regime uses its organized agents to deliberately instigate violence between the various oppressed nations in the country. Although the ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics have been adopted by all oppressive rulers all over the globe, the tactics of the current regime in Ethiopia differ in one key aspect. They are aimed at driving a wedge between the most closely related peoples and communities. The regime has done this between the two Kush cousins, the Oromo and the Sidama people, time and again seriously undermining their basic human dignities and democratic rights.
The Oromo and the Sidama people are culturally, ethno-linguistically, socially, geo-politically & morally intertwined nations. The two largest Kush cousins also share similar ancestral origins and large expanse of territorial boundaries. The alliance between these two sisterly nations is founded on historical roots, therefore, it is unshakable. Moreover, the Oromo and the Sidama nations are fundamentally democratic and egalitarianism societies, and govern their respective nations by using their traditional democraticGadaa and Luwa systems, respectively. Both nations use the aforementioned noble socio-cultural and politico-economic heritages as the pillars of genuine democracy, just and fairness.
The successive Ethiopian regimes are aware of the unshakable power the Kush brothers can galvanize if they are left to freely and peacefully exercise their rights. For these simple reasons, the successive Ethiopian regimes have done what they could to instigate wars between the two cousins under various pretexts although their successes have been limited to the actions of uninformed immoral messengers sent out by these regimes to do their dirty jobs in both Oromia & Sidamaland. Due to such tragedies instigated sadly by the current regime, several lives have been unnecessarily lost in the past 23 years from both Sidama and Oromo people. However, our noble elders from both nations have effectively foiled the repeated plots of the current regime time and again. In spite of the repeated attempts by the current regime to divide the two brotherly nations permanently, our beloved nations have managed to maintain peace and harmony, and centuries old unity. However, this has never been palatable to the current regime. The regime is once again playing its dirty game of instigating further conflict between the two nations. Cognizant of the significance of the Oromo-Sidama alliance on its political future, the TPLF regime is sending out its messengers to fuel further instability in the neighbouring lines of the Sidamaland and Oromia.
In the Angettuu district of the Bale zone in the Oromia, the Sidama and the Oromo made their unity reality by cooperation and living together for centuries. In this very region, where both peoples peacefully and harmoniously live together, TPLF’s messengers are currently sent out to instigate hatred between the two. However, they weren’t successful in doing so as both peoples fully understand the regime’s divide and rule tactics. When the Oromo elders and the wider community refused to create any disagreements with their Sidama cousins, the TPLF’s Oromo messenger cadres themselves began burning the houses of Sidama residents by demanding the Sidama people to completely vacate the area. The situation remains tense where over 40 Sidama houses have been burned to ashes by the TPLF’s Oromo messengers when the Oromo people refused obeying their orders.
Similarly, repeated previous attempts of the regime have been foiled by the normalising actions of noble, wise and farsighted elders of both Oromo and Sidama nations. As the Oromo and Sidama are working hard for genuine political alliances, both within the country and in Diaspora, the regime feels extremely anxious and restless. Cognizant of the likelihood of the creation of a significant political alliance, the regime is working day and night to destabilise both nations.
Therefore, we call upon the peoples of both nations to be extremely vigilant and unconditionally reject the regime’s divide-and-rule tactics by sticking together to further our struggle for liberation.
We also call upon both nations to stick to our traditional values, and stand shoulder to shoulder to fight our common enemy which is robbing our dignity and pride by uprooting our peoples from their lands and incriminating those who demand for their rights. We also urge the TPLF Oromo cadres to stop burning the Sidama houses for the political gain of the regime in power.
Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) & Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
July 20, 2014