August 9, 2013 at 7:27 am · Gadaa.com
The following is a press release from the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF).
We, members of the Oromo Democratic Front, wish our Muslim brothers and sisters in Ethiopia and throughout the world a very happy Eid al-Fitr. We congratulate each and every one of them for successfully completing a month-long period of fasting, religious devotion and fellowship.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims dedicate themselves to deep religious reflection, fasting and prayer in order to enhance the fellowship of family and community members. Such an exercise is best performed under conditions of peace and harmony, conditions that have been non-existent for Ethiopian Muslims now for almost two years. Hence, Muslims are celebrating this year’s Eid al-Fitr once again under a very challenging atmosphere.
We, members of the Oromo Democratic Front, have been closely following the ever-rising confrontation between the TPLF/EPRDF regime and the Muslim community in Ethiopia with growing concern. The regime’s interference in internal Muslim affairs, in violation of its own Constitution, constitutes the ultimate cause of this rising confrontation. Instead of easing this worrying trend by upholding its own Constitution, the regime has chosen to violently suppress peaceful Muslim protests by heavy-handed means. The continuation and escalation of the confrontation and the hostilities have resulted in the arrest of an increasing number of Muslim leaders by the regime’s security forces. In defiance against the action of the regime’s security forces, Ethiopian Muslims have been conducting rallies and peaceful demonstrations around the country calling for the release of their leaders and urging the government to refrain from interfering in their religious affairs.
We are extremely saddened and disturbed to learn that the escalating hostility between the government and the Muslim community in Ethiopia has reached a tragic stage this week in which many innocent people were killed and wounded by the regimes security force in the Oromia region of Kofale town. We strongly condemn the regime’s military action against innocent civilians. We call for the immediate release of Muslim community leaders as well as all other political prisoners in Ethiopia to pave a way for dialogue in seeking a peaceful resolution to all unresolved religious, social, political and economic problems confronting the country. A military response to peaceful demonstrations of civilians calling for the release of their leaders and demanding deeper democracy is a fruitless approach to conflict resolution. The violent repression of dissent in Ethiopia by the regime’s security force would further lead the country into more conflict and bloodshed.
We call for a cessation of violence in all its forms on this occasion of holy Eid al-Fitr holiday. The Muslim communities in Ethiopia deserve the chance to celebrate this important religious occasion in peace and security.
Freedom & Justice for All!