Oromo Youth Post Rally Press Release

The March on Washington: Oromo Youth Rally at the capitol -Press Release

The brutal regime of Ethiopia has intensified its repression against the citizens of the country, especially the Oromo people, by systematically depriving them of basic human rights and access to basic needs. Because of this, since the current minority regime of Addis Ababa clinched power in 1992, the Oromo people have seen the largest exodus in its recorded history in the search for a peaceful life. Today, hundreds of thousands who fled the country to neighbouring African nations are living in nightmare, in fear of forced deportation, killing and arrest pursuits, while those who remained in the country are oppressed and kept economically and politically isolated. 


Just recently, the Ethiopian governments killing squad, also known as Agazi army, has targeted Oromo students at several colleges and universities arresting over 80 students from Bahirdar University alone. The victims were targeted for calling on the government authorities to uphold law of the land, for demanding an immediate halt on the ethnically derogatory remarks by government agents against Oromos on the university campus, and those who made the remarks be brought to justice. According to a report obtained on 23rd of March 2009, Bahirdar University student (Tasew Tabor – an Oromo) was abducted by the government commando from his dorm room without any evidence of wrongdoing.  His whereabouts are unknown to date. This is just one example of what Oromo students are facing in many University campuses across Ethiopia.

Various human rights reports indicate Oromo students are not the only targets of this unjust system. In the past year alone, hundreds of innocent civilians, besides college students, like local business owners, farmers, teachers and other professionals have been arrested without any warrant, detained without bail, tortured and extra-judicially killed. For example, in Western Hararge, an Oromo farmer was brutally attacked and killed by government death squads and several others abducted from neighbouring towns. These types of arbitrary atrocities did not spare even nursing women and the elderly. While the Ethiopian government is amassing millions of dollars from international donors, more than ten percent of the population is on the verge of death from starvation, and millions of children are severely malnourished.


The government has been hiding this grave situation that has been dubbed by many as ‘a green famine.’ Lack of good governance and corruption of almost all government officials are the culprits for this humanitarian crisis. Because of this, we, the Oromo youth in Diaspora, feel obliged to be the voice for the voiceless majority in Ethiopia.  In light of this obligation, on April 20, 2009, we gathered in front of the United States Department of State to voice our concerns and call on the US government to stop funding the dictatorial regime in Addis Ababa. Oromo youth, community members and concerned citizens came from every corner of the United States, to take part in this rally. Despite the heavy rain and unsuitable conditions, we were able to conduct a successful rally and deliver a letter detailing our concerns to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

Accordingly, we have adopted a resolution to continue the struggle until the Oromo people and other oppressed people in Ethiopia are free of oppression, and pledged to renew our struggle and to stand against injustices:

  • Whereas the government of Ethiopia does not respect the very same constitution it had ratified
  • Whereas innocent people continue to languish in prison for no apparent reason
  • Whereas people are intentionally left to starve if they refuse  to agree with government’s policy’s
  • Whereas Oromo students continue to be expelled from universities and colleges while some also get imprisoned
  • Whereas the resources of the country are being used to make the government officials and their friends rich
  • Whereas the government continues to build its home-state Tigray at the expense of the rest of the country
  • Whereas the media inside the country is being used as the government’s propaganda machine. 

Justice for Oromo People and Justice for All!! 

International Oromo Youth AssociationPO Box 14668Minneapolis, MN 55414ioyapress@ioyn.orghttp://www.ioyn.org 



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