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Oromo Liberation Front denies responsibility for last week blast in Addis Abeba


Oromo Liberation Front

Statement on the TPLF Regime’s accusation of the OLF of the Minibus Blast in Finfinne/Addis Ababa

May 29, 2008 — On May 26, 2008, the Ethiopian Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) dominated regime issued a fabricated statement regarding a minibus blast that occurred on May 20, 2008, in Finfinnee aka Addis Ababa. It stated that:" Some of suspects of the bombing last Tuesday in Addis Ababa of a taxi minibus killing six passengers and injuring seven others have been put under custody. … Terrorists including those now arrested planted the explosive in the minibus full with commuters heading to Lagar from Arat Kilo on 20 May 2008. Evidences indicate that this act of terror was also coordinated by the Eritrean regime and perpetrated by its stooge, the self-styled Oromo Liberation Front."

From the outset, we would like to make it clear to all concerned that the accusation labeled against the OLF is baseless. The OLF has nothing to do with the blast. The OLF has never and will never target civilian population nor does it condone any such acts.

The OLF is an independent political organization, formed in 1973, that struggles for the realization of the Oromo people’s right to national self-determination. The OLF is struggling for the protection of the Oromo people’s political, economic, social and cultural rights. The OLF is accountable to the Oromo people and has never been a lackey of any other Government or organization. The TPLF knows this more than any other.

The OLF has never targeted civilian population or their properties in its military operations ever since its formation either against the imperial, the now defunct junta and the incumbent minority tyrannical regime of the TPLF.

It is imperative to recall that the OLF had struggled against the feudal imperial regime and the Marxist Military regime of Ethiopia. It also is important to remember that after the downfall of the military regime, the OLF was a member of the Coalition that formed the Transitional Government of Ethiopia, among others with TPLF, in 1991. The OLF joined the coalition and formed the Transitional Government with the TPLF and others, in good faith and it was committed to peacefully and democratically pursue its political objectives. To the contrary, the TPLF joined the coalition as a tactical move. The truth was the TPLF formed the coalition with a commitment of forming a one-party TPLF tyrannical rule and that was why it forced out the OLF, the only independent organization in the coalition, from the political process. The TPLF made sure that no independent political organization participated in the country’s political process. To deceive the external world /donor governments, it created several satellite/dependent organizations and appeared to have installed a multi-party system. It is a public knowledge that the OLF resorted to armed struggle, as a means of last resort, after the tyrannical TPLF minority regime closed all avenues to peacefully and democratically pursue its political objectives.

Soon after the OLF was forced by the TPLF to withdraw from the Transitional Government, the TPLF Leaders wishfully declared to the whole world that it has annihilated the OLF. The TPLF regime could not and cannot annihilate the OLF because the OLF is an embodiment of the Oromo people’s political expression and, therefore, enjoys their overwhelming support. This had been publicly expressed during the Transitional Period.

Having terribly failed to deprive the OLF of the unflinching support of the Oromo people, the TPLF maliciously and opportunistically labeled it as a "terrorist organization" and embarked on the defamation of the OLF. The target was to undermine the objectives of the Oromo people’s struggle for self-determination, which has the goal of justice, freedom, democracy and progress. The TPLF regime’s objective of labeling the OLF is to tarnish the international image and standing of the OLF and to isolate the legitimate cause of the Oromo people’s struggle. For the project of defaming and isolating the OLF, the TPLF has allocated a huge budget and has assigned a full time staff of several hundreds of agents, including highly paid lobbyists. To date, the TPLF regime’s wicked effort to defame the OLF did not succeed.

The TPLF regimes’ accusation of the OLF makes sense only to its leaders and lackeys. The TPLF never had internal legitimacy. The overwhelming majority of the people in Ethiopia lend no credence to what the TPLF Regime says. Therefore, international community, in general, and donor Governments in particular, are the targets of the manipulation malicious and trumped-up charges against the OLF.

There is a pattern of timing in TPLF regime’s malicious accusation of the OLF. In general the TPLF regime accuses the OLF to either deflect the people’s attention or to gain the donors’ attention. It accuses the OLF when it believes it is internationally conducive to make such labeling stick or when the regime’s internal/domestic political challenges soar or crisis worsens. These days, the TPLF regime is engulfed in crises. The country’s economy is ailing of a sky rocketing inflation and the largest majority of the people are hardly making ends meet. The imperialistic and adventurous aggression and occupation of Somalia has become a quagmire to the TPLF army and it appears that there is no strategy for victory or exit. The Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, continuous making contradictory and confused statements in this regard. The secret boundary demarcation agreement or deal that the TPLF regime made with the Government of Sudan is facing a strong opposition from the Ethiopian People. The undemocratic April 2008 local and by-election have transformed the TPLF regime from the de facto one-party to a de jure one-party- TPLF/EPRDF tyrannical rule. Now, Emperor Meles Zenawi is more naked.

Hence, the regime started orchestrating bomb blasts and blaming it on the OLF to harness sympathy from concerned corners as a victim of terrorism. For all who know the history of the TPLF regime’s leaders, such an orchestration of bomb blasts, at the cost of human lives and limbs, to make a political point, does not come as a surprise. TPLF has no regard for human life. It killed thousands, including its own base people of Tigray, on its way to power; it started killing unarmed civilians as soon as it won the political power of the country from the military junta, and it is perpetuating its tyrannical rule by killing the civilian population opposed to its dictatorship.

The OLF has all reasons to believe that the minibus blast of May 20, 2008 that happened in Finfinne/Addis Ababa was organized and carried out by the TPLF Security Agents, as usual, for the purpose of blaming it on the OLF. It is not a coincidence that the TPLF Security Agents planted the explosive on a minibus on which an American citizen of Israeli origin was a passenger. We believe that they carried this out to make it appear that the OLF targets the US and Israeli citizens, security and national interests. This action, in their calculation, will corroborate their standing effort to put the OLF on the US list of terrorist organizations. The OLF would like to unequivocally state that its objectives, struggle or operations are in no way directed at the security and interests of the US, Israel, or any other state or the well being of their citizens, or any civilian population for that matter.

It is also worthy of note that it is a practice and custom of all Ethiopian regimes to label, mischaracterize and defame all political forces opposed to their tyrannical rule. It is a known fact that the predecessor of the incumbent regime had labeled TPLF and its leaders, among others, Meles Zenawi, "terrorist and mercenaries of the Arab Countries." One, therefore, should not give credence to or be surprised by the TPLF regime following in the footsteps of its predecessors and labeling, mischaracterizing and diabolizing the OLF. Finally, we would like to reiterate, emphasize and put to rest this issue that the OLF is neither a terrorist organization, as labeled by the tyrannical regime of Ethiopia, nor does it endorse terrorism as a means of political struggle. The OLF expresses and struggles for the legitimate political aspiration of the more than thirty million people of the Oromo nation. The fabricated and repeated accusations of the tyrannical TPLF regime against OLF is hollow and, hence, cannot depreciate the good name/record of the OLF or the legitimate struggle of the Oromo people for self-determination, liberation, justice, democracy, peace, economic, social and cultural development.

Last, but not least, when we were about to dispatch this Statement, AP reported the following news: "A Somali group called Islamic Guerrillas claimed responsibility for the Tuesday’s [May 27, 2008] bombings in Nagele, 560 kilometers (347 miles) south of Capital." The AP further reported that, "Ethiopian Government Spokesperson Zemedkun Tekle previously said that the bombings were probably the work of the OLF group." We added this AP report to the Statement because it corroborates all what we have been saying about the minority TPLF tyrannical regime’s accusations of the OLF. This is a vindication for the OLF. The charlatan Leaders of the TPLF tyrannical regime will be further exposed.

Victory to the Oromo People!
Oromo Liberation Front
May 29, 2008

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