Waging War on Own Citizens Never Brings Solution to the Troubled Country; but All-Inclusive Roundtable Negotiation Does.
The SNLF, February 24, 2021
Press Statement by Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF) On Deeping Crisis in Sidama, Oromia, Tigray and the entire Ethiopia with Possible Regional Repercussions.
It is nearly three years since Ethiopia’s political movement led by Oromo nation mainly has brought down the EPRDF regime by exposing its signature on extra judiciary killings, gross violations of the nationalities and on impoverishing of various nations and peoples during its 27 years tenure. This change has allowed the same EPRDF’s cadres within to grab power by overthrowing their own EPRDF historically dominated by TPLF. The later usurpers promised hundred per cent political reform and vowed to bring about the total shift of political paradigm in Ethiopia.
Sadly, the promises are only short lived when the regime becomes the worst authoritarian and unitary system restorer than all its recent predecessors. The hopes and dreams of over 115 million subjects who were enthusiastic and exuberant have shattered. The vicious cycles of injustice and brutality has continued in their worst forms. The country descended into total chaos.
This followed by further extreme political turmoil resulting in unfolding tragedies in the country. This coupled with the assassinations of dozens of high profile political, military and professional figures; the unlawful incarcerations of thousands of mainly Oromo and Sidama’s prominent politicians with some notable politicians of the other nations; indeed, the country is descending into cataclysmic eventualities with a wider detrimental regional consequence. War crimes and crimes against humanities are underway in Tigray in particular and in Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz in general.
Whilst observing such atrocities in other parts of Ethiopia, we, the Sidama nation experienced similar atrocities by Abiy regime since April 2018. The Sidama National Liberation Front has bitterly fought for self-rule and scarified precious lives of its sons and daughters until as recently as June 2018 and July 2019; when Abiy’s regime has executed over 67 (June 2018) and 174 Sidama civilians (July 2019) in broad day light by imprisoning further over 5,000 civilians. Over 300 of those prisoners remain to this date incarcerated, although, the Sidama nation has pushed for a regional self-rule eventually by winning with 98% ‘Yes’ for Statehood during November 20, 2019 referendum.
The attempt of Abiy’s regime to stop the Sidama nation from its stride toward statehood has repeatedly failed thus his regime has put its anti-Sidama plan-B project in place. These included the removal of all pro-Sidama politicians (who led the struggle) from power to replace them with the handpicked, obedient cadres known for their anti-Sidama sentiment. The latter were installed following the establishment of the new Sidama National Regional State (SNRS) so that they can do unionist’s heinous job in Sidama land. Secondly, disabling and hijacking of all pro-Sidama nation- civic organizations including operating in Diaspora such as Sidama Diaspora Association currently serving the interests of Abiy’s Sidama cadres; Sidama Media Network that has been initially established by the Sidama community in Diaspora including politicians and intellectuals currently hijacked by Abiy’s Sidama cadres. Thirdly, the symbol of the Sidama’s national resistance movement, Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) has been systematically disabled and then dismantled since the establishment of SNRS as Abiy’s Sidama cadres bribed SLM’s entire leadership who has disowned the national oath of the organization.
For the indicated national cause over 25,000 civilians sacrificed their precious lives between late 1970s and early 1980s. The SLM’s corrupt leadership has reduced their moral level to the equivalent or worst positions to Abiy’s corrupt Sidama cadres. The Sidama nation believes it revives the national cause of the SLM sooner than later.
Fourthly, SNRS dismantling process is underway although the region has been nominally declared. The regional structures including Zones were not established apart from following on unionist PP/EZEMA envisioned District (Woreda) structures as per their road map given by G7 to the current dictator PM. The Sidama’s Abiy installed corrupt cadres and their egocentric, self-benefit blinded and short sighted domestic and Diaspora followers are all in unison facilitating Sidama disintegrating and disabling PP/EZEMA project to be effective in Sidama land. The indicated and the rest Sidama dismantling projects have also involved Sidama Ejjeetto who have previously positively participated during the Sidama’s quest for a regional statehood currently working for nations’ arch enemies.
In the midst of unfolding national disaster, instability, mayhem, and deepening crisis; EZEMA and PP with the rest of unionist blocs are preparing for so called sham national election. The former G7, the current EZEMA with PP are declaring that they are prepared for the election in the faces of unfolding calamitous situation in the country occupied by the foreign forces therefore on the verge of collapse. We strongly believe that the indicated preparation of the unionist blocs is reckless and illegal action that must be unconditionally stopped and deplored by all moral peoples of the world. In the country where several millions are displaced and depending on food aid, conventional war is active, the offices of various Oromo political parties are totally shut down, hundreds of key opposition political figures are thrown into various prisons- for example in Sidama, Oromia, Benishangul, Somali, Finfinnee and thousands in Tigray; is like preparing corpse for undertakers. Thus, PP and EZEMA with their unionist sympathizers are playing serious and fatal game.
Cognizant of the seriousness of the situations in the entire country, the SNLF therefore urges the regime-
- To unconditionally release all Sidama, Oromo, Tegaru, Ogadenians, Benishangul and the other nations’ political prisoners.
- To allow the Oromo prisoners on hunger strike to urgent medical assistance, and to immediate release.
- To unconditionally stop War in Tigray, remove all foreign troops from Tigray, stop ethnic profiling and targeting Tegaru and unconditionally allow humanitarian access to a war torn and decimated Tigray regional state.
- To allow an independent inquire into the killings of noncombatant civilians during the last 3 years throughout the country including in Oromia, Tigray, Sidama, Benshangul, Gedeo, Konso and elsewhere. It is utter recklessness at worst foolishness to think about election in the current calamitous political climate in Ethiopia as priority must be a Peace!
- Unconditionally stop ethnic cleansing in Benshangul Gumuz perpetrated by Amhara regional state and its extremist expansionists.
- To unconditionally call for all-inclusive transitional government after which a national dialogue and consensus could be reached to be able to agree on the future direction of the country.
May Justice Prevail On Behalf of the Victims!
The SNLF, February 24 2021