November 19, 2019
Press Statement by the Sidama Nation Liberation Front (SNLF)
Dear Sidama Nation,
Your sons and daughters were repeatedly executed by the security and army of successive Ethiopian rulers whilst seeking justice, equality and freedom that denied to them for the period of five generations. You have repeatedly demanded nothing other than recording your quests for self-rule to be able to live as equal citizens by sharing the resources your nature in your land yields. Your sons and daughters travelled lengthy distances yearning for the indicated noble cause since 1890s. The responses of the successive Ethiopian rulers were consistent and brutal suppression, unlawful and extrajudicial imprisonment of your sons and daughters, execution and mass killing of your civilians. From the imperial’s brutal regime up to the current EPRDF’s authoritarian; the Sidama nation as the rest of subjugated nations and peoples in Ethiopia has been subjected to insufferable conditions that includes socio-political subjugation, economic exploitation and cultural relegation.
Masking their motto under the pretext of Ethiopia and their account on a misconceived unity; the indicated rulers have consistently imposed their will on your nation thereby coercing you to speak their language by relegating yours, dance their dances by undermining yours, obliging you to sing their songs, follow their religions by subjugating your own noble cultures and think in the manner they requires you to think by totally relegating yours. By doing so you, as the rest of the subjugated nations in Ethiopia, you have been subconsciously coerced into systematic self-denial for the last nearly 130 years and your rulers wish to maintain the stats-quo. Therefore, to this date, your historical rulers and their descendants are working to consolidate their position and perpetuate your systematic slavery under the pretext of Ethiopian unity thereby deny you of God-given rights to self-respect and self-realisation by becoming self-governing national state- the fact that increasingly unsettle them.
Although, you’re fully aware of the indicated malicious acts of your adversaries; yet you maintained your civility as you pursue with your noble cause with dignity, integrity and self-respect. The Sidama national liberation front is proud of you for your insightfulness, steadfastness, patience, tolerance, accommodation and focussed strides towards your ultimate goal.
Moreover, thanks to the blood and bones of your sacrificed sons and daughters- and in fact that of your closest allies sons and daughters; you’re on the verge of earning your long overdue rights to your national regional statehood after successfully conducting tomorrow’s referendum. You’ve repeatedly defied death, imprisonment, intimidation, glaring violation of your constitutional rights and full-scale state-terrorism to be where you’re today. Your noble sons and daughters, Ejjeetto remain to this date unlawfully incarcerated as you heroically walk your heads high to show the world what kind of politics, culture, social and economic future during the decades to come you would like to have within Ethiopia. Contrary to this, your adversaries are trying all they can to instigate and immerse you into unnecessary conflicts thereby to hamper your civilised momentum towards your national statehood. Besides, you’re going to assert your long overdue rights in front of your enemies, whether they accept it or not. However, never undermine the formidability of your enemies during their final attempts as they gasp for their last breath by increasingly becoming restless during the final hours in Sidama land- cognizant of inevitable reality about the birth of the Sidama’s national state.
Therefore, strongly advising the Sidama nation utmost caution during these last remaining hours before the commencement of vote casting; the SNLF thanks all those who are involved in maintaining peace and security in the Sidama land in the face of sustained campaign of its historical rulers. In this regard, we salute the brotherly solidarity of our Oromo cousins and of course the sons and daughters of the oppressed nations and peoples in Ethiopia for their consistent support during the Sidama’s ups and downs since July 17, 2018 after the Sidama zone has unanimously decided to be a regional state. The Sidama nation takes this an historic opportunity to honour those Sidama Ejjeetto- composed of high level intellectuals, professionals, business men and women who have peacefully demanded the Sidama’s constitutional rights to be respected since the indicated time- yet to date remain incarcerated. They must be proud of their roles; and the nation always sees them as national peaceful resistance icons.
This is an historical time for the Sidama nation and for all nations and peoples in Ethiopia for two fundamental reasons. First, it is the time for rejoicing for those all Ethiopians who believe in nations’ and peoples’ rights to genuine self-rule. Secondly, it is the time we can test whether Ethiopia will have a future where all its subjects peacefully and fraternally coexist by respecting and dignifying each other contrary to the current hullaballoo of the enemies of nations and peoples in Ethiopia. It is a testing time for the survival of both genuine federalism in Ethiopia and the country as Ethiopia.
- Demand the Ethiopian government to immediately and unconditionally release the Sidama Ejjeetto and all prisoners -unlawfully incarcerated by the regime running anti-federalism agendas whose groups are organised under various obfuscating names.
- Urge all peoples in Ethiopia who are living in Sidama land for generations without any problem to stay focussed and support the Sidama cause. The Sidama nation strongly advises that there won’t be any malicious plots attached to Sdiama’s becoming a regional state as ascribed by the Sidama’s historical enemies. The Sidama remains the same as it has been for decades to those who decided to peacefully live with the nation.
- Urge those who are living in Sidama land, but are increasingly engaged in discrete Sidama destabilising project by unconditionally ceasing their anti-Sidama hostile conspiracies whilst working in the name of unionist parties and their Medias. The Sidama maintained and maintains its civility in Sidama’s forthcoming State; however it hardly tolerates the malicious plots of people living in Sidama land but are hell bent on sabotaging the Sidama’s rightful rights to a national self-governance. We urge those groups to stop abusing the nation’s civility, patience, tolerance and accommodation.
- Urge the Sidama zones leadership and Sidama nation at large to keep a closer look at the process, security and safety of the referendum as it is conducted on November 20, 2019. All peoples in Sidama must maintain their safety and that of their neighbours as they cast their vote on the indicated historic day in nation’s history.
- Thank our closest supporters and the Ethiopian peoples at large for understanding our just cause in the face of regionally, nationally and internationally coordinated campaigns whose aim is hampering our national aspiration to be recognised as a national regional state within Ethiopia.
- Strongly advice the Ethiopian government to unconditionally remove state of emergency from the Sidama and Oromia lands; and release all Oromo’s over 20,000 prisoners incarcerated whilst seeking justice for their own nation since June 2018.
Finally, we salute the indefatigability and steadfastness of the Sidama nation and its vibrantly heroic Ejjeetto who are paying heavy prices for our national cause. We salute the Oromo’s Qeerroo and formidable intellectuals currently working day and night to materialise justice and equality for all nations and peoples in Ethiopia by informing and equipping the mass with the necessary and realistic information.
May you all Sidama heroes and heroines whose lives were cut short whilst aspiring to see this historic day rest in peace as the Sidama nation moves towards asserting the cause you’ve heroically sacrificed your lives for. May you all who have been killed whilst seeking justice and freedom for all in Ethiopia rest in peace.
The Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF)
November 19, 2019