Published on July 20, 2013.
A statement from Oromo Youth Self-Help Association (Washington, DC) condemning the attack on journalist Abdi Fite
Even though Oromummaa has proved its maturity, firm stand, commitment and readiness to pay the necessary sacrifices back in Oromia, the recent minor retreat in the Oromo struggle has given the old empire builders in the Diaspora the courage not to accept the truth, just cause and strong Oromo nationalism. Instead they have wrongly convinced themselves that this would be a right time to rehabilitate and wage counter attack on Oromumma – which is altogether a futile attempt to begin with.
The recent multi-faceted audio-visual, oral and written media attack on Oromians and Oromummaa, although nothing of significance to deter us, is exceeding its limit and developing into physical attack on one of our members, who a few days ago produced and released a video clip declaring “I am Oromo First!” The attack happened on Tuesday July 16, 2013 in Silver Spring, Maryland in disguise. Firstly, such cowardly acts are indicators that some extremist Ethiopian immigrants, by infringing the law, have resorted to physical attack in a democratic country where they took refuge. Secondly, such unprecedented media and personal attacks on Oromumma are clear signs that Oromo nationalism has prevailed and unquestionably secured the upper hand in the political discourse in that old Empire.
The majority of Oromo youth in the Diaspora in general and members of OYSA/WWDO in particular have passed through, one way or the other, various atrocities, repression, imprisonment, torture, expulsion from different higher educational institutions in Ethiopia and forced to exile from our father land, Oromia. As such, many of the Oromo Qubee generation in the US are political asylees, who could not live on our own land due to life threatening situations in Oromia. We were the ones who bare handedly dared the highly armed Woyane Federal Police and special security forces in different universities, colleges and offices – a determination we learnt from those that came before us and one that our younger brothers and sisters are following to this day.
This being the case, if any one or any group has thought that they can perhaps bring us to submission, we ask them to rethink again. Let it be clear, for anyone who may still doubt us, that no amount of chauvinist media propaganda, abuse or physical attack will shake our will and determination to defend the rights of our people.
This is, therefore, to express our commitment to the respect of rule of law in the country that has given us political protection that we couldn’t get in our own homes due to century long occupation of our land and at the same time express our determination and readiness to pursue the Oromo cause until its final destination. By doing so, we will take all necessary legal actions to bring to justice the unruly and arrogant individuals that were involved in the attack of our member Abdi Fite on July 16, 2013. In the mean time, we urge Oromo youth in Diaspora to legally and lawfully organize to defend our rights at all times.
In the words of our youth that are being attacked verbally and physically we too declare “We are Oromos First!” Our cause is just and our struggle for freedom shall continue! In the meantime, we would like to assure our people that Oromo youth is more than ready to take the freedom torch forward to its final destination in victory!
Oromo Youth Self-Help Association, Washington, DC