Amid the killing of dozens of Oromia police and unknown numbers of civilians ODP admits deteriorating security, vows to bring rapid change
Addis Abeba, Nov. 30/2018 – In a statement it released following an emergency session by is executive committee, the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), the party governing Oromia and is chaired by PM Abiy Ahmed, admitted a troubling deterioration of security in parts of the region, which is highlighted by the death of more than a dozen Oromia police offices, unknown numbers of civilians and a large-scale internal displacement.
A statement released by the party hours after its Central Committee Meeting in Addis Abeba chaired by PM Abiy and Oromia regional state president Lemma Megerssa, ODP said that ‘the group’ behind these acts are working without rest to the turning the region into a bastion of chaos while deliberately orchestrating the killings on the Oromo people. “This is a dream at the brink of death and we will hold those responsible accountable,” reads the statement, which failed to identify “the group” by name.
The “Oromo Revolution” and the current nationwide reform is not something to be taken for granted as it was not “achieved easily”; it all happened with the sacrifices of the Oromo people, the statement said, expressing the party’s determination to let “no one” to hijack the revolution. “Yet this is another chapter of the Oromo revolution, and ODP will take it to another level,” it reads, further underscoring the need to make more rapid and concrete progress on the reform process.
Yesterday’s emergency meeting of the executive came in the wake of increasing violence in recent weeks along the Benishangul Gumuz regional state, bordering ther Kemashe zone and the Oromia regional state as well as in various parts of west Oromia; in Moyale in southern Ethiopia; and Chinaksen and Babile areas in east Hararghe. The ongoing violence continue to cost the lives of civilians and mass displacements, the extent of which is unclear as of yet. ODP’s statement refereed to these incidents as “unspeakable atrocity” being committed.
This week alone an attack by armed groups on civilians and the Oromia police has left many killed, including 17 members of the Oromia regional state Police, who, according to people who talked to local media, have intervened and later run out of bullets. The burial ceremonies of these police officers in different parts of cities and towns across the region triggered anger and resentment among residents marked by protest demonstrations denouncing ODP’s failure to guarantee safety and security in the region .
“ODP has no doubt that the region will enjoy the peace it has lost, and it will take the people out of the adversity they are facing,” stated the party, stressing on the impact of its merger this week with the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF), headed by veteral Oromo politician, Lencho Letta, as a viable way to its efforts in building a democratic system.
The statement also called on various of segments of the society including elders, religious leaders, the Abba Geddas, the Oromo Youth (Qeerroo) and others to work together to bring a peaceful resolution to the underlying causes of the conflicts.
The statement was short of explaining the party’s plan in containing the violence erupting in pockets of the region and continue costing g lives and limbs.