We Congratulate The Sidama Nation and Commend Its Unprecedented Level of Determination and Huge Sacrifices that Earned the nation of Its rights to Statehood.
Press Release by Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD)
(External Affairs Committee).
July 03, 2020.
The Sidama nation has paid huge sacrifices to earn its statehood although this is clearly stated in Ethiopia’s supreme law, the constitution and is rightful rights of nations and peoples in Ethiopia but practically denied to Sidama. Article 47, (2-5) of the Ethiopian constitution states that; all nations and peoples are entitled to self-rule. In spite of these provisions, the Sidama nation has been denied these for the period of nearly three decades. Since 1994/5 the Sidama nation has been merged with the 56 independent nations and nationalities of south of Ethiopia to create amorphous region known as southern nations and nationalities and peoples regional state (SNNPRS) without the will and consultation of the concerned nations and peoples.
The reason for the amalgamation of nations and nationalities in a theoretically federated Ethiopia is for the regime to exploit their resources by fumigating them all together. The Sidama nation therefore, was unable to exercise its rights that help it to develop its culture, tradition, language economy and use its resources for the betterment of its people.
Therefore, the Sdiama nation has repeatedly demanded these rights to be constitutionally addressed although the responses of the regime have been live bullets, intimidation, harassment and extrajudicial incarcerations of tens of thousands Sidamas for decades. The Sidama Loqqee massacre of over 69 innocent civilians and the recent post July 17, 2019 unrest where over 174 civilians were executed by Dr Abiy Ahmed’s government in broad day light were all related with the Sidama’s constitutionally guaranteed quest for self-rule. After such bitter struggle for the last nearly three decades and the loss of lives of more than 300 (post EPRDF), the Sidama nation unwillingly snatched its rights from the hands of its abusers. Due to the nation’s unity and indefectibility, the Sidama became the 10th regional State in Ethiopia after overwhelmingly voting during the November 20, 2019 referendum with staggering 98.52% to bury the illusions of anti-federalists.
We, the members of the PAFD would like to congratulate the Sidama people for their glorious victory. We also congratulate the Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF), the other Sidama political groups and civil society organizations including the Sidama Ejjeetto for their continuous struggle that enabled the nation to achieve its goal.
Equally, we would like to highlight that the achievement of the Sidama nation is an inspiring lesson for the other oppressed nations and peoples in Ethiopia from which we all must learn. We, the oppressed nations and peoples, need to learn from the Sidama experience that, if we are united with the purpose and fight for our cause with courage and determination- victory is always possible. The Sidama nation has shown us this is possible even in the face of state terrorism. The Sidama nation defied the above and able to majestically move toward its ultimate goal.
Finally, however, we would like to humbly but sternly remind the Sidama people to safeguard and maintain their hard-earned achievement with their unity and having their own leaders elected by refusing centrally installed cadres. The Sidama nation must be aware of that, any force or political manipulation should not divert its focus from its national cause. The Sidama nation must always prioritize and defend ‘Sidaamumma’.
The PAFD always works for and speaks up about for the voiceless peoples in Ethiopia.
Freedom and Justice for All Peoples in Ethiopia!
Issued by Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD).
July 03, 2020.