London- II – Oromo Conference on National Consensus

The prevailing situation in Ethiopia in general and Oromia, in particular, has reached an alarming level, moving from bad to worse. The widespread killing and arbitrary arrest continue in all parts of the region. Following the Declaration of State of Emergency, which in fact, is a Declaration of Martial Law, the government deployed national defense force and its executive wing – the Command Post giving it a carte blanche to advance violence against the Oromo people. The elite soldiers have so far killed dozens of Oromo youth in different Oromo town, with the order of the Command Post.

In the face of massive economic, social and political suppression, the Oromo people had no choice but seek a solution in a peaceful manner and more civilized manner. They did that in the past, and are still in it. They seem to remain adamant even under the new atmosphere of the military takeover. Oromia has been and will continue not only as the epicenter of the movement for freedom, democracy, and justice but also the main target of the paramilitary force which is deployed in this military takeover.

The situation in the diaspora, however, seems to have difficulties to fully grasp what is happening in Oromia. There are many positive contributions from some diaspora based forces but they also struggle to catch up with events at home let alone, becoming part and parcel of it. Political organizations, the civic society as well as media and human rights activists continue business as usual, i.e. maintaining their individual and un-collaborative approach on events in Oromia. The exemplary move by our people back home in general and Qeerroos’ in particular, of working in a unified approach to stand against repression, seem to have no effect on the modus operandi of the diaspora Oromo organizations, be it Civic or Political.

With that in mind and as partial fulfillment of the mandate given to it by the stakeholders during the 1st London Conference on National Consensus, International Oromo Lawyers Association – IOLA, is organizing the 2nd London Conference. This Conference will be held in London from 29 – 30 April 2018.

The objective of the Conference will be two-fold:

  1. to reach a national consensus whereby a unified voice of support to the ongoing mass movement in Oromia as led by the Qeerroo; and,
  2. to discuss on ways of a more robust cooperation and collabroation between the Oromo peoples movement, as spearheaded by Qeerroo, and similar movements of other oppressed peoples, nations and nationalities in Ethiopia

Activities to enable the objective shall be designed in due course and presented to the participants of the Conference.

ALL stakeholders in Oromia’s social and political life shall participate in the Conference.

Details of the Conference, as well as formats and specific topics of discussion, shall be shared shortly.

March 6, 2018

Executive Board of the IOLA