OPDO acknowledges ‘legitimate demands’ as protests continue

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The Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO) issued a statement Friday that the Oromia regional government plans to respond to what it called the legitimate demands of peaceful protesters, after a third day protests severely handicap the region.
OPDO offered to address the demands through talks and political settlements, though saying it has no jurisdiction to set free the leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress leaders, Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba. “We want to emphasize that there can no longer be any doubt about the region’s sincerity to respond to the demands and it is also our wish to see prisoners released. That is why in the past six months, we have freed more than 22,000 prisoners. Since the leaders of OFC are under the federal government and accused of terrorism, the region has no jurisdiction. However, in a meeting with the Prime Minister Hailemariam in Nekemt town on July 12, religious leaders and elders drawn from east Wellega and Horo Guduru Welega zones presented their demands for their release, for which the prime Minister responded in positive and the region is also waiting for that.”
OPDO is one of the four parties that make up the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front, though it is often criticised for being rubber stamp of Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF)’s agenda that controls the army and security apparatus.
In another news, a stay-at-home strike in Oromia region have continued for a third day. Activists tweeted photos of empty streets and shops in several towns such as Ambo, Guder, Ginchi, Nekemte, Miesso, Aweday, Haromaya.

Arefayné Fantahun
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