Date 10th May 2021
- Amnesty International Ireland,
- Government of Ireland, Office of An Taoiseach,
- Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland
- UN Security Council
- Human Right Watch,
- European Union,
We, the members and supporters of Oromo Liberation Front(OLF) living in Ireland, are writing this letter out of a grave concern for the safety of Mr. Dawud Ibsa, the chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front, and his family who are under government security siege.
Mr. Ibsa is the chairman of a legally registered major political party in Ethiopia representing more than 50 million Oromo across the country. Mr. Ibsa has been under house arrest for the last year in his resident in Addis Ababa. During this time all of his communication lines were cut off constantly and he was under constant surveillance of the security.
On May 3 2021 around 9:00 PM local time Mr. Abiy sent his military to forcefully raid Mr Ibsa’s residence and broke in without any court order in the dark time of the day. It is very puzzling and worrying to us as to why the government needed to do this as Mr. Ibsa has been under a constant surveillance day and night by the government security.
At this time the EU , the US, and all peace-loving governments, NGOs, and other civic organisation are trying to bring peace to that troubled country through political dialogue, but Mr. Abiy’s act of terrorising a major opposition political party leader at his residence is totally appalling and unacceptable.
We are gravely concern about this development as Oromo Liberation Front previously forced to quit from running for the sham election Abiy is pushing to hold in June. Both Oromo Liberation Front ad Oromo Federalist Congress, another major opposition party, left the election as most of their offices were closed and majority of their members were rounded up and jailed by the government without any crime. While many of them have never been brought to court, some who come to court were freed by court but never released free as the government did not obey court orders. It is recalled that prominent political activist Jawar Mohammed, Oromo Federalist vice chairman, Bekele Gerba and many members of the opposition party are still in jail without any meaningful trail.
Mr. Abiy has been blocking Mr Ibsa from media, diplomats, human rights groups and his own supporters for many months now. This recent development was a very aggressive move as the security who broke into Mr. Ibsa’s residence, beating and harassing people who live with him. Information coming from Addis Ababa show that the security cut electric supply and blocking access while harassing Mr. Ibsa and his household.
The overall political situation of that country is deteriorating day by day, but the PM Abiy’s government is keeping its deaf ears from international communities’ call for peace and dialogue to shape the political system of the country where a free and fair election can be help. At the moment Abiy seems does not care for any call to bring about peace, as he believes that war is the only way forward for him. This has led to the war in Tigray, Oromia, Benishangul Gumuz, and other regions of the country were thousands of children, elders and those most vulnerable are suffering. Today there is death and suffering every single day as a result of Abiy’s stubborn view and unwillingness to listen to, and accept the EU, the AU, and many other bodies who like to extend their helping hands to the country’s deep political crisis.
The attack on Mr. Ibsa now is a leading indicator of a grave political, security and social consequence to come because of Abiy’s fake election that pushed out many political parties that are supported by millions in Addis Ababa, in Oromia, and other regions.
Therefore, we are pleading to your honourable office, in coordination with other international organisations and governments, to mandate, Abiy administration stop harassing Mr. Ibsa and his family, and all political parties of the country and ensure their safety during this volatile time. Removing Mr. Ibsa’s security guards at this very critical time is intentionally exposing Mr. Ibsa’s life to danger and attacks from any side, including the government operatives themselves. If anything happens to Mr. Ibsa’s life, the consequences will be far reaching and devastating. Therefore, we request your immediate steps to ask PM Abiy to ensure Mr. Ibsa and his family’s security. We like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all your supports to our country of origin and its people in addressing its political, social, and economic problems.
OLF Members and Supporter living in Ireland.
Dublin, Ireland, 2021.