The Genocide, the State of Emergency and a Referendum in Sidama: Contradictions in Fact and Law
By The Sidama Observer, 11 September 2019
The most peaceful campaign by the Sidama civilians for over one year to establish the 10th regional state of Ethiopia ended with a state sponsored tragedy, a massacre of over one hundred civilians. Emerging evidence point to a conspiracy involving state and political actors to dismantle the Sidama civilian youth movement, ejjeetto, a pressure group that spearheaded the demand to establish a Sidama Region within Ethiopia and divorce from the lackey southern regional state created for the sole purpose of looting the natural resources of Sidama and counter the Oromo nationalism. The state actors in the conspiracy were surely the prime minister himself, who not only lacks any clue to lead a village let alone a country but also with delusional commitment to the restoration of the glory of the defunct solomonic dynasty which was dead and buried in 1974. In this he was aided and abetted by the leadership of ultra nationalist party which labelled itself as a citizen party with tacit implication that the ethnic group that claims lineage to the mythical solomonic dynasty to be regarded the first citizens of the country.
Nevertheless, the citizens were not alone in conniving the Sidama genocide. The top echelons of the leadership of most inept and corrupt political establishment in the south, the South Ethiopian Peoples Democratic movement (SEPDM) in particular, Meferiat Kamil, who berates the Sidama nation with every fabric of her soul, Tesfaye Beljige and Moges Balicha with massive looted wealth in Hawassa, Sidama championed the conspiracy to commit the Sidama genocide.
The political actors were particularly vicious in that they went as far as recruiting a large number of jobless youth from other parts of the country to cause mayhem and destruction of private properties in various towns in Sidama which they carried out with precision. This was meant to paint a legitimate demand to create a regional state as a security threat to the state so that the youth that spearheaded the movement was dismantled and state of emergency was instituted. The conspiracy against Sidama was in a way an open secrete as the prime minister vowed in parliament to wage war on the nation.
Civilians imprisoned for two months with out charge
Over 2500 Sidama youth are languishing in jail in Hawassa, Yirgalem, Alata Wondo, Yayye, Boona, Hula and Hossana in Hadiya zone among others for the past two months. Influential ejjeetto activists who steered the peaceful demand to establish the Sidama Regional State languishing in prison include:
1) Tare W. Lemma
2) Getahun Dagooye
3) Fasika Legesse
4) Belay Balguda
5) Dr. Mathe Mengesha
6) Ass. Prof Tessema Elias
7) Ass Prof. Alemu Debisso
8) Melesse Agaro
9) Legesse Hankarsso
10) Asnake Assefa
11) Genale Garamo
12) Girma Karre
13) Asnake Addisu
14) Tariku Mathewos
These young professionals did not commit any crime whatsoever except echoing the constitutional right of the Sidama people to self determination, establishing a regional state within Ethiopia. They have never been charged in the past two months although they appeared in the kangaroo courts for seven rounds due to lack of evidence for any wrong doing. Their bail was revoked by Meferiat Kamil to cause permanent damage to the social fabric of Sidama.
Among the 2500 youth in jail in Hawassa in particular their prison treatments remain subhuman. Over 100 prisoners are stack in a tight room that barely accommodate a single bed. They were denied the right to relieve themselves in toilets coerced to using food utensils from families instead.
An unprecedented crimes against humanity is unfolding in Sidama as the state mocks the nation with the announcement of the date of the referendum.
The State of Emergency and the Referendum
The state that conspired to paint a peaceful constitutional demand as a security threat ironically recognizes the imperative to uphold the constitution by declaring the date for the referendum on 13 November 2019. If the demand was upheld as constitutional, why was the date for the referendum not declared before 18 July 2019, the day state launched war on the Sidama nation? The acts of genocide, the mass imprisonment, the state of emergency and the referendum are all contradictions in both facts and law.
In fact, a demand for the respect of the constitutional right to self determination can never constitute any security threat. In law, genocide to dismantle a civilian pressure group is a crime against humanity. The Ethiopian government’s revenge on the Sidama people for putting up a stiff resistance to secure its rightful place in the country is a crime against humanity. Both state and political actors will be held accountable. It is a matter of time.
Law as well as conventional wisdom dictates that legal obligations can only be fulfilled in peace for it is inconceivable to uphold the rule of law in war times. The Ethiopian governments mockery of an announcement of a referendum under a state of emergency in war time, defies fact and law. The intention nevertheless is clear. The genocide was plotted to dismantle the Sidama social fabric to tame the society for perpetual slavery. The state of emergency ensures that the outcome of the referendum is predetermined.
The last word to the failed state of Ethiopia is to immediately release the Sidama youth, lift the state of emergency and bring the perpetrators of the July 2019 genocide to justice to restore a semblance of peace in Sidama. Failing this rest assured, the Sidama nation will never despair in its resolve for self determination.
The fairy tale glory the prime minister is committed to restore will remain a fairy tale. There is nothing glorious about beggary! There is nothing glorious about genocide against a society that demanded respect to the constitution. A government and society that neither learns from history is doomed!!