Press Release: The Oromo Community Association of Nova Scotia has organized a peaceful public demonstration on December 17, 2015 to denounce Ethiopian junta killing of innocent Oromo students

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - December 16, 2015

The Oromo Community Association of Nova Scotia has a plan to protest and express our outrage at the killing of Oromo students and systematic elimination of Oromo people by the Ethiopian junta.

This is not the first time that innocent Oromos and other Ethiopians have been killed by the TPLF/EPRDF regime. Since this regime came to power through war in 1991 we have witnessed thousands of kidnappings, and the detention, torture and murder of innocent Ethiopians.  

The current wave of violence by this junta is part of the long-term scheme for a systematic destruction of Oromo populations in general and Oromo students, businessmen, workers, and farmers in particular.

Almost all Ethiopian regions are subject to state sponsored terror including the regions of Oromia, Amhara, Afar, Gambela, Tigray, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Benishangul-Gumuz, and Somali (Ogaden).   

Since April 25, 2014, Oromo students have peacefully demonstrated throughout the Oromia Regional State to protest the government’s plan to systematically eliminate Oromo people in the name of “development”. Fertile land in Oromia, Gambela, and Benishangul-Gumuz has been sold to foreign investors and as a result, millions of farmers have been evicted at gunpoint and displaced.
The so-called “Addis Ababa Master Plan” is to divide Oromia into pieces and to displace about 5 million Oromo farmers from their area. This plan is to remove Oromo farmers and to settle armed settlers -from Tigray- to strengthen the ongoing Apartheid type of policy in Oromia, Ethiopia.

This junta came to power by overthrowing the previous self-appointed military dictatorship, but still represents only 6% of the Tigriyna speaking people in the Tigray region. This dictatorship junta controls all aspects of life including the economy, politics, and the military of the country.
Oromos constitute over 40% of the Ethiopia’s 95 million population and Oromo’s were ruthlessly suppressed, persecuted, discriminated, marginalized, subjugated, and abused for the last 136 years.

The student protests, all over Oromia including 173 places in 21 districts (zones), involving students from elementary to university levels, have been staged around universities, high schools, and elementary schools. The regime has blocked the attendance of independent media and human rights observers, and it is not easy to corroborate how many students have died, or have been arrested or abducted, or who have simply disappeared due to the regime. There is no freedom of information in Ethiopia and most of the journalists have been killed or put in jail or have fled the country. In several places, communications were cut-off, and there has been no communication to corroborate how many civilians have been massacred.

Based on our independent sources, since the current wave of protests started in November 2015, over 100 students and civilians have died with more than 500 people injured, and over 8,000 have been detained in hidden detention centres. The government security force (aka Agazi), and special Commando forces fired machine guns at demonstrators and massacred them.

The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) dictatorship junta committed the following crimes against humanity:

  • There has been systematic killing of innocent Oromos without due process for the last 25 years.
  • There was torture and inhumane treatment in Hursoo, Dhidheessa, Asoosa, Tigray, and Afar region secret prisons.
  • They have intentionally caused great suffering or serious injuries to the bodies or health of some 3,000 Oromo students in various hidden locations. This has included arresting them and placing them in various detention centres located in a very hot environment where there is no food, medication, and communication access in the Afar region. When detention centres are full, they pack students into mobile containers like sardines, with 60 students in each container.   
  • This regime has deprived people of the right to a fair trial when accusing innocent Oromos including elementary school students.  
  • This junta has committed war crimes and has destabilized the Horn of Africa by invading neighbouring countries and killing innocent individuals including those in Kenya, Somalia, The Republic of the Sudan, and Eritrea. This regime has forced poorly trained Oromo youth to be cannon fodder & thousands of Oromos have perished in an unwanted and unjust war.  

  • This junta has been involved in kidnapping and taking hostages; Oromo bona fide refugees in Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, and Yemen were kidnapped, handcuffed by the junta’s security agencies (Agazi) on several occasions, and transferred to secret prisons in Ethiopia where they were tortured and killed.    

  • This junta has been involved in money laundering; the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) members and their high ranking military officers and security officers have used extortion and embezzlement to own and monopolize the main sector of the country’s economy including financial institutions, farming, mining, real estate, energy, transportation, and communication services.

  • The junta is using disease, starvation, and basic necessities like land and water resources for their political supremacy and subjugation. Foreign Aid is used to buy guns and tanks to oppress citizens. Thousands of people are internally displaced and there is no food, medication and shelter for them. Nearly 15 million people are on the edge of starvation.
  • Political Corruption – the junta’s high-ranking officers, military officers, and security officers have monopolized the country’s main economic resources, and export & import sectors, and most of them are wealthy millionaires or billionaires simply by being from Tigray. In the last 25 years the regime has conducted phoney elections to pretend that there is a democracy in the country. The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia is handpicked by the junta and commanded by the junta’s security forces. The bogus election conducted this year in May 2015 was a sham election. Opposition leaders and supporters were harassed, killed, arrested or disappeared, and the ballots were stolen by the junta’s security forces during the night, and as a result the junta self-proclaimed a victory of 500 of the 547 seats.
  • Ethnic cleansing – this junta has used systematic forced removal or migration of ethnic groups in Oromia, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, regions and has resettled armed Tigrinya speaking people.    
 This regime should be accountable for the Crimes against humanity.

Taking this opportunity, we are appealing to individuals, government and non-government organizations to protest and pressure the Ethiopian government to stop state sponsored terrorism against innocent Oromos and to bring those responsible to justice.

The Oromo Community Association of Nova Scotia has organized a peaceful public demonstration on December 17, 2015 from 11 to 1 PM (AST) in front of Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle St, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

For more information, please contact:
Oromo Community Association of Nova Scotia

OROMO COMMUNITY ASSOCITION OF NOVA SCOTIA (OCANS) is a registered Society Organization in the Jurisdiction of Nova Scotia, Canada

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