Amhara Oromo parties to work together to stop violence in Universities

Amhara Oromo parties operating in both regions of Ethiopia vow to work together in ending violence in university campuses.

Amhara  Oromo  Parties _ Ethiopia
Dawud Ibsa, Chairman of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Photo : screen shot from FBC video

December 17, 2019

Amhara Oromo parties operating in Amhara and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, including ruling parties, concluded on Tuesday two days of discussion in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The forum that drew parties from the two regions was organized to find solutions to end ethnic-based violence in the two regions, build a national consensus and strengthening the relationship between the two people. There is a widely held belief, and statistics seem to support it, that ethnic-Amhara and ethnic-Oromo are the most intermingled Ethiopians which makes sense given the fact that the two are the largest language speaking groups in the country.

Ethiopian Universities, especially in Amhara and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, have become fighting grounds for students. The clash is usually ethnic-based involving Amhara and Oromo students. It was happening almost every week and several students are killed and wounded.

Remarking after the end of the meeting, one of Oromo Democratic Party (ODP)’s top officials, Taye Dendea, said: “We need our students to understand the point that being a student is an identity on its own.”  He said students need to focus on how they can build their country, rather.

In the two days forum, the political parties also discussed ways of working together by avoiding suspicion towards each other. 

Representatives (mostly party leaders) from Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), National Movement of Amhara (NaMA), Oromo People’s Federalist Congress (OFC), Amhara Social Party (ASP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), among others, have attended the forum.

Chairman of Oromo Liberation Front, Dawud Ibsa, and chairman of National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) made a joint statement after the conclusion of the discussion forum on Tuesday.

The parties have pledged that they will do their part to ensure that the teaching-learning processes in the Universities in the two regions are peaceful, as reported by Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).

They have also agreed to work cooperatively and reached an agreement to reach out to their supporters in different parts to promote their party programs – something that was very difficult before due to radicalized ethnic politics – especially in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

The political parties held a joint press conference and issued a statement in which they asked the government to go after those who are responsible for instigating clashes between students. They have also called on the government to reinforce security in institutions of higher learning.

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education passed a decision recently to deploy members of the Federal Police university grounds to protect the security of students facing violence.

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