The Unwarranted Attack on the Sidama Nation by the Ethiopian Satellite Television (Ethsat) Is Deplorable!
April 05, 2018
The SNLF Statement on Ethsat’s Deliberate Attack on the History of the Sidama Nation
The Ethiopian Satellite Television (Ethsat) or (ESAT) launched unprovoked and unwarranted attack on the identity, dignity and history of the Sidama nation on its Weekly program transmitted from London known as ‘Menalesh Meti’, broadcast on 2 April 2018. To the shock and consternation of the entire Sidama nation, in the indicated program, ESAT mocked, insulted, belittled and dismissed the right of the Sidama nation to preserve their identity, history and culture on their own land, Hawassa.
The focus of ESAT’s poisonous attack on the history of the Sidama nation was the statues of the most revered Sidama heroes erected in front of the Sidama Cultural Hall in Hawassa. These Sidama heroes are (1) King Baallichcha Worawo who defeated the invading army of King Minelik led by Beshah Aboye in 1891 and later assassinated by another lieutenant of King Minelik, Lul Segid, who defeated the Sidama nation after a prolonged resistance. King Baallichcha Warawo was taken by force by the army of Lul Seged to Konso and was assassinated there in 1895; (2) Lanqamo Naare, a prolific anti feudal Amhara ruling class resistance fighter from Alata who was killed by the agents of the feudal regime approximately in 1948; (3) Takilu Yota a guerilla fighter against feudalism and serfdom who was also killed by the agents of the feudal regime in 1969; (4) Yetera Boolle, a formidable freedom fighter who waged relentless war against the feudal regime and the military regime and eventually killed by the Derg in 1979; (5) Fiissa Fitchcho, a giant of the Sidama freedom struggle who fought against the feudal regime, the military regime and the TPLF regime, and was finally killed by the agent of the TPLF regime in 1993; and (6) Mengistu Hamesso who was killed by the Italians for resisting their rule in the Sidama region in 1941; and numerous more Sidama freedom fighters such as Hushula Xadisso, Abadama Qomichcha, etc.
These are the lions of the Sidama freedom struggle and the Sidama nation has every right to honour them and preserve their historic contribution to the freedom of the nation in any form and shape the Sidama nation sees fit. These Sidama heroes are the outcome of the history of oppression and subjugation by the ruling Amhara elites during the feudal regime which confiscated the land of every single Sidama person and converted them into serfs. Thousands of Sidamas were massacred by the Amhara ruling class (elites) during the feudal regime for resisting serfdom and demanding the return of the land to the tiller the goal which was latter supported even by the progressive Amhara students. ESAT, which claims to be the voice of the oppressed nations today, wittingly or unwittingly denies the significance of the struggle against feudalism and serfdom and rejects the role of the Sidama struggle stalwarts who sacrificed their lives fighting the very oppressive system progressive Amhara students vehemently denounced.
ESAT has no right what so ever to question what the Sidama nation does with its history and dictate what history we should preserve and what history we should not preserve on our land. What the Sidama nation does with its history and the history of the Sidama heroes narrated above is its prerogative and its prerogative only. We would like it to make unequivocally clear that, the time of forcing the history of Kibre-Nagast which is alien to the Sidama nation on its throat and on the throats of the oppressed nations is over. ESAT has no right to validate or invalidate who was a hero and who was not in Sidama society. Heroes are born out of a history of a nation. They are not assigned by an ill-informed, ill-intentioned and racist Amhara supremacist journalist/s or their TV station. Through its actions of April 2, 2018, the ESAT has demonstrated that its goals like the TPLF’s barbaric regime, are imposing a systematic domination by the Amhara ruling class on the oppressed nations instead of building a country based on freedom, equality, democracy and justice for all.
By attacking the history of the Sidama nation on April 02, 2018, ESAT has laid bare our wounds of the past which have not been fully addressed. To build a genuine unity among the various nations of Ethiopia, the perpetrators of injustices should acknowledge the injustices done on the victims and either pay reparation or request forgiveness through an official process of peace and reconciliation. To the contrary, to date, the Amhara ruling elites and their descendants never acknowledged the victimization of the oppressed nations by their forefathers. Instead today, they attack the very victims of the barbaric oppressions meted on our people by their forefathers. Insulting King Baallichcha Warawo who was executed by an Amhara ruler, Lul Seged, is sending a dagger through the heart of the current generation of the Sidama nation and would never help build unity among the nations.
The Sidama nation fought the oppressive Amhara feudal regime, the barbaric military regime and is fighting equally the brutal minority regime of the TPLF. It will not be distracted by unwarranted attack by the Amhara supremacist media, ESAT.
We acknowledge the renewed vigour with which the new Prime Minister spoke about the unity of Ethiopia with full acknowledgment of its diversity. His message was to build positive sentiments and understanding among the various nations of the country. However, it appears to us that, ESAT misjudged the sentiments of the new Prime Minister to mean rejection of the diversity of nations and their histories.
Finally, the Sidama National Liberation Front demands an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the scatting attack ESAT launched on the Sidama nation and its history. Failing this, the Sidama nation will ensure that its culture, history and identity is preserved in its land by the blood of its sons and daughters!
The Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF)
April 05, 2018