Ethiopia’s 3rd Round of State of Emergency: Proof of Deep Political and Economic Crises
|Global Gumii Oromia |
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December 12, 2017
Global Gumii Oromia (GGO), a non-profit, civic organization established to advocate for the rights of the Oromo people, is gravely concerned with the deteriorating human rights situation in Ethiopia over the last four years . Although the human rights situation in the country under the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF)/ Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been bleak over the last twenty-five years, currently it is even getting worse than ever before while the ruling party, dominated by the leaders of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF), is actively contributing to the crises in a desperate attempt to clamp to power.
Currently, while Ethiopia is facing deep politico-economic crises and the possibility of state collapse, the TPLF/EPRDF government is planning the third state of emergency[i] in the name of security to violently crush the popular uprisings led by the Oromo youth known as Qeerroo/Qarree, which have spread to the Amhara regional state as well as other states. The first state of emergency was proclaimed in 2016[ii] and it resulted in six months of abuse of citizens by Ethiopian security forces. When the state of emergency failed to silence anti-government protests, it was extended for another four months. However, popular protests have continued even in a more intensified manner, and the regime is planning a third round of a state of emergency and preparing to once again abuse and commit vicious crimes against citizens.
According to some media outlets in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian National Security Council, along with some other federal offices, has proposed a “Peace and Security Plan.” This so called plan is a license issued by the government to indiscriminately kill in the name of security and political stability. With such or similar licenses in place, over the past twenty plus years, the regime has committed genocide in the Gambela[iii], Oromia, Konso and Amhara regional states of the country.
Bad governance, lawlessness, internal displacements, economic decline, inflation, money laundering, government tax assessor’s sabotage, and dwindling investments and tourism are among the pretexts that the government is using to justify the new state of emergency plan. But the reality is that the state of emergency plan will be used to justify indiscriminate arresting, detaining, killing, displacing and terrorizing of thousands of Oromos in particular and Ethiopians in general with the intention of crushing the people’s movement, peaceful protests, and all rights of peoples. After the Addis Ababa Master Plan was shelved due to the Oromo popular uprisings, the TPLF/EPRDF government has opened a genocidal war campaign on the Oromos living in the Ethiopian-Somali regional state and in Oromia by using a paramilitary group known as Liyu police (especial police) that the TPLF/EPRDF government financed and trained. The Liyu police[iv] have massacred hundreds of Oromos and displaced more than 700,000. According to Oromia State Education Bureau, more than 65,000 students are living in camps without access to education because of the displacement from Somalia Region.
Contrary to the pretexts, the root causes of the problems in the country have been rampant human right abuses, state violence, intolerance of any political opposition groups, a corrupt system of governance, and land expropriation by the government and its cronies. The continuing eruptions of the Oromo youth protests have been peaceful since their 2014 beginnings. Instead of addressing the grievances peacefully, the government’s response has been violent killings, mass arrests, detentions, and tortures in detention centers[v]. The Ireecha Massacre[vi] of 2016 in which more than 700 Oromos were killed while celebrating their national festival revealed that the government is bent on crushing any resistance despite the plea of the international community to peacefully settle the conflicts through dialogues. Yet, these widespread government abuses have not quelled the popular uprisings and the demands of citizens for democracy and freedom.
Since the TPLF/EPRDF government came to power in 1991, it has been inciting and escalating social, economic, and political crises in the country and in the Horn of Africa.
Several human rights advocate groups and activists[vii] [viii]have reported that the TPLF/EPRDF government committed enumerable atrocities for more than two decades. Among these are mass murder, mass detainment, torture, and conflict instigation among nations and nationalities within the country and around the region. Meanwhile, the TPLF/EPRDF government has appeared on international stages as a shining symbol of African development and progress, falsely vouched by the World Bank and the IMF. Despite government bragging of double digit annual economic growth, one-tenth of the Ethiopian population are surviving on food aid from donors due to food shortage. Generally, the country is now on a path towards inevitable civil war and total economic and political crises and finally a failed state. Today, when the regime is declaring a third state of emergency, the peoples in Ethiopia remain desperate for justice, peace, equality, democracy, and economic stability. The world community must support the growing cries for self-determination, liberty, respect for human rights and multicultural democracy rather than enabling the regime to engage in state violence and genocide.
GGO encourages the peoples in Ethiopia to continue to peacefully resist the implementation of the newly proposed state of emergency plan under the disguise of “security plan”. We call upon all democratic nations of the world to pressure, and if necessary sanction, the TPLF/EPRDF government so as to stop the implementation of this new plan and to demand the TPLF/EPRDF government to answer to the peaceful demands of the people. In other words, GGO calls upon all stakeholders to denounce this dangerous “security plan”.
GGO calls upon all governments and international organizations to show their solidarity with the peoples in Ethiopia and to support their struggle for peace, human rights and democracy.
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The United States of America
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Republic of France
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The United Kingdom
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The Republic of China
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The Republic of Japan
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The United Nation
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The European Union
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The African Union