DECLARATION ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF OROMIA REGIONAL NATIONAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT
1. Introduction, the overall situation in Oromia
The Oromo people have been waging a continuous struggle with immense sacrifices for over a century to regain natural rights it has been denied, to free itself from subjugation, and to ultimately secure the right to self-determination. The human and material cost of the struggle for freedom, even after the birth of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) that rendered modern organizational and political shape to the Oromo people’s quest for freedom by mobilizing a unified course of action, was immense. With the unprecedented level of mobilization of the Oromo youth organized under the Oromo Qeerroo/Qarree (youth) and the Oromo populace in general around 2015, the human casualties and material costs of the struggle had skyrocketed to a tipping point. Thousands have paid the ultimate price with their precious lives while many more were left with permanent disabilities. Even though the human and material loss in this mass mobilization was concluded with a bitter-sweet victory, the fruits of the sacrifices paid by the Oromo Qeerroo were hijacked by visibly and invisibly conspired hands. The much awaited and hoped for victory was reversed taking an unintended course, leaving the sacrifices in vain.
The anticipated political reforms, resumption of dialogue around the institutionalization of true democratic order that would respect the rights of peoples to self-determination within the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) failed miserably, – before moving an inch forward. Some cautious organizations that were skeptical of the reformists’ potential to effect a fundamental change in Ethiopia proposed an all-inclusive transitional government that could lay foundations for the said reform to bring about a lasting change as a point of departure from the outgoing old order. One among such political forces was the Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom & Democracy (PAFD), a coalition of many political organizations to which the OLF belonged as a senior founding member. When the call for a transitional arrangement of the alliance fell on deaf ears, ambitious political organizations, disenfranchised activists, and foreign powers with vested interests in Ethiopia commenced rallying around a group that sprang out of the embattled Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The new group, disguised as a dynamic force for change, headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed placed itself at the helm of an undefined transitional terrain. It was amid such confusion that the country headed for the 6th national election in 2020. This chaos allowed the same functionaries of the old ruling party, the EPRDF, as legitimate rulers of the country without reaching at any fundamental consensus among the major political forces whose consent should have been vital to offer the slightest legitimacy to the new oligarchy.