Stop Fascism from Taking Root in Ethiopia
To: The Federal Government of Germany
Berlin, Friday Jul 10, 2020 – Oromo protests in bad weather
The Oromo community in Germany as elsewhere received the news of Artist Hachalu Hundessa’s assassination with shock and extreme anger. We have no doubt that Hachalu Hundessa was murdered in cold-blood by the agents of Prime Minister Colonel Abiy Ahmed, and that only his government is to be held responsible of this heinous crime and the subsequent events it unfolded. The circumstances of Hachalu’s murder, the complete lack of credible investigation into the killing yet, his forced burial by the military in which two additional members of Hachalu’s family were shot dead by security forces, and the speed and setup with which Oromo Media Network (OMN – the only free Oromo media) was raided and closed, are clear indicators that the killing and subsequent machinations were pre-planned and minutely executed by Abiy’s regime.
We are also extremely disturbed by the development of events thereafter, in which the Prime Minister deployed all state machinery of repression to cover-up this heinous crime. High ranking members of the political opposition parties, prominent among them Mr. Bekele Garba and Mr. Jawar Mohammed of OFC, Mr. Michael Boran, Dr. Shigut Galata, Ms. Chaltu Takele, Mr. Kennasa Ayyana, Col. Gammachu Ayyana and Mr. Iddosa Taddasa of the OLF, have been arrested on trumped up allegations. These arrests are in addition to Abdi Raggasa, OLF CC member illegally detained since March 2, 2020, and thousands of OLF and OFC members and supports currently languishing in official and undisclosed prisons and detention centers.
To make matters worse, the regime of Colonel Abiy Ahmed, controlled and steered by ultra-right and Oromo-phobic Amhara nationalists and unitarist remnants of preceding dictatorial regimes, is working relentlessly to dismantle the current federal setup that gave a semblance of self-rule to the 80+ ethnic groups in the country. Such an attempt is but a sure step towards the emergence of a fascist dictatorial regime and a plunge into Yugoslavia-style mayhem. The extremist groupings around PM Abiy make no secret about their aversion to democracy and federalism, and, to hang onto power, won’t hesitate to let a blood-bath reminiscent of the “Red Terror” of the 1974-91 communist dictatorship.
The world community has thus the moral duty to act immediately and put all the necessary pressure on the regime to avert such a catastrophic outcome that would otherwise engulf the whole of East Africa.
Prime Minister Colonel Abiy Ahmed, who came to power riding on the wave of popular revolt in part inpired by Hachalu’s songs, but reduced the Nobel Peace Prize he won in 2019 to a farce, put parts of Oromia under undeclared martial rule since October, 2018, and is openly waging war against the Oromo Nation. His army is since committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Western and Southern Oromia, including extra-judicial execution of parents for allegation of their children joining the underground Oromo Liberation Army. At the same time, his secret agents are brutally liquidating Oromo personalities at their workplaces that includes dozens of Oromo university students. The cold-blood murder of Hachalu Hundessa is but one in a series of a fascistic plan of eliminating Oromo intellectuals as to deny the Oromo vital defenders of their legitimate quest for freedom, democracy and equality, and as to keep them in perpetual servitude to the pro-Amhara unitarist ruling elite.
The brutality with which the Ethiopian army and state security under the command of Abiy Ahmed perpetrates human right violations is unprecedented. There are abundant harrowing reports of death, torture, rape and the torching of peasant huts, farms and natural forests, particularly in Wallaga, Gujii, and Borana zones of Oromia. The recent Amnesty International report (AI Index: AFR 25/2358/2020) is only the tip of the iceberg. The scorched-earth policy and all-out war of the regime against the Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia is a tragedy that has the potential to create Rwanda-like genocide and the destabilization of the Horn of Africa.
We, therefore, appeal to the German Government to use its economic leverage and its influence in the EU and the UN to pressure Abiy’s government to:
- End its expressed genocidal war against Oromoness and the Oromo Nation;
- Free all political prisoners immediately and without any precondition;
- Lift the illegal state of emergency and martial law, and restore civilian rule immediately;
- Establish an independent international enquiry into the assassination of Hachalu Hundessa and into the gross human rights violations perpetrated in Oromia and other regions;
- Since Oromo people’s peaceful and legitimate quest for freedom from subjugation have been met times again by brutal repression and cultural genocide on the part of successive Ethiopian regimes, We demand a UN monitored Referendum for Self Determination of the Oromo Nation according to Article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution.
(Oromo civic, religious, youth and student organizations in Germany)