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Ethiopian Oromo Activists to Represent Oromo Voices in Congressional Hearing on The Unfolding Conflict in Ethiopia

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. She is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

OLLAA is working to represent Oromo voices in a congressional hearing about the ongoing violence in Ethiopia

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, December 1, 2020 / -- The Oromo Legacy Leadership & Advocacy Association (OLLAA) applauds the upcoming U.S House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs (HFAC) hearing on The Unfolding Conflict in Ethiopia. The hearing is scheduled for December 3, 2020, at 2:00 PM EST. The hearing will be convened by the HFAC Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

OLLAA welcomes the opportunity to participate in the hearing by submitting questions for consideration and officially submitting a letter for entry into the congressional record that outlines the Oromo people's concerns and hopes as it pertains to ongoing violence in Ethiopia. The ongoing violence in Ethiopia has claimed many lives and will claim more lives if a lasting solution for peace is not found to address the root of the conflicts.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, escalated the violence when on November 3, 2020, he declared a six-month state of emergency and ordered Ethiopian government troops into an armed conflict with Tigrayan forces. Nevertheless, the killings did not start with Prime Minister Ahmed’s military action. As reported by Amnesty International on May 29, 2020, the Ethiopian security forces have targeted the Ethiopian Oromo ethnic group for many years. The Amnesty International report states that “Ethiopian security forces committed horrendous human rights violations including burning homes to the ground, extrajudicial executions, rape, arbitrary arrests, and detentions, sometimes of entire families.” The Amnesty International report further cited evidence of at least 39 documented cases of extrajudicial executions, over 10,000 cases of arbitrary arrests and detention without access to legal counsel or courts, and additional cases of rape, torture, mass evictions, and the burning of property in the Oromia Region.

The unlawful killings of Oromos and other Ethiopian ethnic groups continue today. As reported by the Washington Post on November 3, 2020, 54 Ethiopians were killed in Ethiopia's Oromia region. Ethiopian Oromo opposition leader, Jawar Mohammed, remains a political prisoner, and last week, Ethiopian Oromo human rights activist, Galana Iman, was assassinated by unknown persons. These killings of Ethiopians must stop. This is why OLLAA applauds members of the U.S. Congress for taking a leadership role in the push for lasting peace and a return to democratic norms in Ethiopia.

For all inquiries relating to this press release, please contact:

Karl Von Batten
Von Batten-Montague-York

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