The Sidama People's Struggle

The Sidama nation has a population of 5 million. The Sidama people are among one of the major groups of East Africa who had been conquered by Menlik the II in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Prior to this conquest , the Sidama people had their own social, and political authority systems. They practised different administrative styles including woma, mote, and the luwa systems. Following the conquest, the political, economic and social institutions were subjected to destruction. Since then systematic and gross human right violates, economic oppression and socio-political repression, had been common by all Ethiopian regimes.

During the time of imperial autocracy, the Sidama people witnessed personal rule and tyranny. They also saw their oppression modernised. At the time of communist military derg, scorched earth policies were pursued with enormous brutality and ruthlessness.

The current minority regime continues to traverse along the same old lines with deceptive appearances. What is more threatening, the regime has aligned with the far-right, reactionary forces who are bent on destruction of any achievement by the Sidama and other oppressed people. In the face of this, the Sidama struggle for justice and freedom has continued. Today the struggle for liberation reached new heights reflecting intense conflict with the Ethiopian empire state. This phase demanded a review of past performance, examination of the current problems and strong focus on future goals. In other words, the current events in the Ethiopian empire state required re-examination of national commitments, direction of the struggle, and a transfer of power in leadership. Therefore the council adopted the following resolution on its 27-28 July 1999 meeting.

On Leadership

Any liberation organisation needs a vibrant leadership to effectively accomplish its tasks. On the basis of this belief, the National Council found it necessary to hasten the struggle and strengthen the organisation. Therefore after thorough deliberations and self-examination, the Council decided to reshuffle the executive committee and unanimously elected Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and External Relations Officer to perform their duties responsibly.

On Organisation

Reflecting the depth of the struggle, the Council also decided to amend the name of the organisation from Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) to Sidama Liberation Front (SLF). The Front renews its commitment to Sidama People's democratic and political rights to national self-determination. It also revitalises its distinct political, economic and social aims laid out in its programme. The Sidama Liberation Front maintains its commitment to peaceful resolution of the problems of the Sidama people with empire state of Ethiopia. Whenever peaceful mechanisms continue to be blocked, the Sidama Liberation Army (SLA) would reinforce its struggle to pave a way for liberation.

Relations with the External and Neighbouring People

The sidama Liberation Front strives to forge relations based on equal partnership and voluntary co-operation on mutually desirable goals. The Front co-operates with the oppressed people and their political organisations that struggle for similar objectives. It respects the human rights of all people including the minority groups in Sidama. Finally, the Front will join hands with those who struggle for freedom, justice , democracy and human rights and expects support from its people and from all those who believe in the above principles.

The National Council

Sidama Liberation Front

July 1999