Open Letter to the Ethiopian PM Dr Abiy Ahmed,
Finfinnee (Addis Ababa), Ethiopia, East Africa, June 27, 2020
From Mr Denboba Natie, Edinburgh, Scotland
Mr. Prime Minster
After assuming power on April 02, 2018 following the downfall of your former regime – EPRDF due to a fierce revolutionary resistance predominately led by the Oromo Qeerroo between late-2014 and late-2017; you have unambiguously stated and acknowledged that- your regime has been engaged in a state terrorism during its tenure of 27 years. Therefore, you have apologised on behalf of your regime to all the victims, their families, respective nations and the whole country promising not to repeat such a brutality on Ethiopian soil- until you have reversed it by turning blind eyes as your security forces and army commit crimes against humanity in Oromia’s Guji and Wolaga zones and in Sidama state since mid-2018. You have also promised freedom of expression, assembly and movement, the promise only short lived when the state of emergencies and command posts were imposed to stifle these rights enshrined in the international covenants on protecting people’s collective and individual rights.
Furthermore, you have also promised to widen a political space therefore the opposition groups including our SNLF were able to enter into the country to be a part of the solution until your regime started hunting them like antelopes to intimidate, harass and unlawfully incarcerate and torture them including the OLF’s leadership and its thousands of grassroots members. Your decision to release hundreds of political prisoners including high profile was commendable- until your regime embarked on a mass incarceration of civilians in Oromia, Sidama, Sheka and several places in the country by burning their properties and livestock to destroy their livelihoods thereby erase everything that keeps their tie with their lands- the action tantamount to a crime against humanity.
Moreover, you have also rebranded your old party, EPRDF in which you were one of the key architects in masterminding the dehumanisation project of the subjects meticulously planning and implementing the ‘Information Network Security Agency- INSA’ through which citizens were identified, taken out of their houses to be made disappear or executed. We have also observed that your rebranded neoliberal party known as ‘Exclusive Prosperity Party/Prosperity Party’ EPP/PP has got a grand objective of changing the model of governance from the collective dictatorial leadership or democratic centralism to a single handed dictatorial rule as you claimed you are the only person capable of navigating Ethiopia and its over 110 million subjects through the tumultuous transition that is currently left in tatters. You have also affirmed that your late mother told you to be an Ethiopian king when you were just 7. Therefore, it appears to me that you’re pushing with your fictitious and nightmarish ambitions thus determined to work toward a new form of Royalty in Ethiopia, ‘Abiy’s kingdom’; an utter foolishness and naïve narcissism!
Additionally, sadly, we are witnessing that your authoritarian regime’s short-sighted project has failed and it is continuing to badly fail. This failure coupled with your misguided philosophy of Medemer (meaningless mantra whose meaning is ambiguous and doesn’t weigh an ounce) is proving to be a futile that so far rendered nothing other than confusion potentially capable of destabilising the country with far reaching consequences. Besides, you still remain stubborn by ignoring the warning and advices of all personalities in Ethiopia by obliviously overlooking at a clear sign of looming danger due to your erroneous unionist project that is responsible for ongoing volatility.
As you are surrounded by the unionist cliques who earnestly wish the names of nations and peoples in Ethiopia to be erased but theirs; you become such confusing figure needing a reconfiguration of your bewitched mind-set in a multi-ethnic Ethiopia frame of mind. Understanding that, you are rather engrossed with pushing forward with your unitary ambition, one of the nations in Ethiopia has heroically dashed your ambition to resuscitate the aspiration of federalists in Ethiopia. Therefore, we are also aware of that you’re attempting to break the will of the Sidama and the wider federalist nations and people in Ethiopia as part of your and your unionist advisers’ vindictive actions. We are aware that to date you all are moaning on daily basis that the Sidama nation shouldn’t become a regional state; a nightmarish wish that never materialises.
Intentionally, obliviously or inadvertently; you are proving your irrational stubbornness with narcissist tendency to push with your unionist agenda by severely compromising the very tenets of country’s supreme law, the constitution as you side-line the constitutional rights of nations and people in Ethiopia. You’re waging a full scale war in Oromia’s national state as you keep the Sidama nation under state of emergency that is erroneously dubbed as a command post since July 17, 2019; and now you’re planning to install corrupt cadres in Sidama’s hard earned State.
Needless mentioning – the Sidama nation’s strides toward self-realisation and subsequent actualisation has shaken the foundations of unionists to demonstrate the unworkability of your policies in Ethiopia. The Sidama’s heroic and breathe taking, civilised, moral and constitutionally justifiable struggle for self-rule has shown the capabilities of any nation in Ethiopia and beyond that, the determined and unified nation can indeed exert pressure on the rulers to be able to unwillingly snatch their rights from their clinched feasts. The Sidama nation has proved this although the hullaballoo of unionists is becoming deafening- both within the empire and internationally.
Meanwhile, we have consistently seen the responses of your government since June 2018 and July 17, 2019 in the case of the Sidama nation. Your regime’s responses were live bullets, mass incarceration of Sidama intelligentsia and political figures from whom over 350 to date remain imprisoned, 82 of which are in Hadya Zone, over 200 KM away from their families and the nation.
I would like to make it clear that, the Sidama nation as the Oromo, Ogadenia, Gambella and the rest of the subjugated nations and peoples in Ethiopia has fought for its rights for the last 135 years including formally waging an organised guerrilla-warfare against the Ethiopia’s Derg’s regimes between mid-1970s and mid-1980s. The nation has paid heavy sacrifices of precious lives to achieve this outcome. The Sidama as the rest nations and peoples in Ethiopia has earned the current rights with the precious sacrifices of lives of tens of thousands of peoples.
Mr. Prime Minister,
We are aware that your EPP/PP became the ruling party in Ethiopia. Therefore, your government appears to be picking its cadres to install them in various regional states as EPP’s leaders, thereby the president of respective states. However, I urge your government to refrain from doing so for the newly established Sidama National Regional State (SNRS). The Sidama has earned statehood in the face of yours state-terrorism by uniquely exercising its rights in Ethiopian soil for the first time- by strictly following genuine bottom up democratic principles. During this stride, the nation has sustained huge sacrifices of lives of over 247 civilians. Therefore, the Sidama nation must be allowed to decide who leads them based on popular opinion instead of installing corrupt cadres who will be hugely resisted in Sidama land by the Sidama people of all walks of life.
Otherwise, the danger of installing corrupt criminal cadres in SNRS is twofold. The Sidama will be driven to other protracted resistances once again if your government ignores the nation’s demand for genuine self-rule after the nation has overwhelmingly decided to be a state. The Sidama nation didn’t pay such precious sacrifices of lives to be ruled by handpicked corrupt cadres such as the infamous ‘Desta Ledamo’ in the manner the European colonialists used to rule over their African subjects. Allowing your regime to do so in Sidama land will be an insult to the gallant nation thus, we will ensure that your unionist ambition will be once again put to a rest. Secondly, if you regime pushes with its undemocratic and unionist ambition, this will have a wider regional ramification simply because, doing so will be the sign for your regime’s glare violation of the constitutional rights of nations and peoples in Ethiopia pushing all nations and peoples toward full scale resistances.
Finally, I reiterate that, attempting to install handpicked corrupt cadres in a hardly earned democratic Sidama State will be a fundamental political miscalculation and flaw and inconsistency of your regime’s policies. Therefore, I urge your regime to think twice before daring to do so. I assure your honour that, your regime will be looser; and we all Sidama with the other fraternal federalist forces in Ethiopia will ensure that this will be the case. Therefore, I am writing this message on behalf of the Sidama, Oromo, Ogadenia, Gambella, Amhara, Sheka and the rest of Ethiopian peoples and nations’ victims of your former EPRDF and the current rebranded EPP/PP, their demands to be urgently addressed.
Finally, I assure your Excellency that your regime only can achieve its objective by becoming accommodating, wide-reaching, transparent, all-inclusive and democratic in a multi-national Ethiopia. This is my humble, but stern warning and advice of your regime to stop state terrorism in Oromia, Sidama and in all areas where your security apparatuses are wreaking havoc. Moreover, the Sidama nation must be unconditionally allowed to choose who to lead it in its SNRS with no coercion and obligation from your regime.
Peace, Justice, equality and fraternity for all peoples in Ethiopia.
Mr Denboba Natie, is an Edinburgh based Public health professional, human rights activist and politician who could be reached on (firstname.lastname@example.org)
June 27, 2020
By Denboba Natie