The Ethiopian Government Jails 2500 Sidama Civilians for over Two Months Without Charge

The Ethiopian Government Jails 2500 Sidama Civilians for over Two Months Without Charge

By The Sidama Observer, 17 September 2019

  1. The Hijacked Revolution

One of the manifestations of the hijacked Oromo revolution of 2015-2017 is the Sidama genocide of July 2019. The Sidama people were extremely enthusiastic about the revolution. The Sidama civilian youth movement  Ejjeetto, was inspired by Qeerroo, the unsung heroes of the reform process which has been sadly fully hijacked by the proponents of a  unitary form of state. The revolution was ignited by lack of respect to the right to self determination enshrined in the constitution primarily by the Oromo nation as well as other oppressed nations and peoples. The revolution was progressive. It called for full and unequivocal respect to article 39 of the constitution. It called for full realization of political freedom and the right to unrestricted economic opportunities, employment and poverty alleviation.

Sadly, the prime minister who was entrusted to uphold the wishes of the 35 million Oromo people,  5 million Sidama people, 6 million Somali people and all oppressed nations in Ethiopia to realize their aspiration for full degree of self administration betrayed their trust. He connived with the supremacist group that wished to impose a hegemony of one ethnic group over the 80 others. It never occurred to the oppressed nations that he was himself a committed supremacist who considered himself as messiah sent to save and restore the defunct solomonic dynasty dead and buried with its last emperor during the 1974 revolution.

The rhetoric of restoring the glorious past that was never there, the deamning of the Oromo, Sidama other oppressed nations as herds like cattle are the quintessential manifestations of an aspirant emperor, perhaps minelik III although the first was never there. The oppressed nations must wake up. They must reject any attempt by any  lackey psychopath to derail their natural right to self determination. Ethiopia shall never revert to a unitary form of government ever again.

  1. The Ethiopian government jails 2500 civilians for over 2 months without charge

The Ethiopian government jailed 2500 Sidama civilians for over 2 months without charge in Hawassa, Yirgalem, Alata Wondo, Yayye, Boona, Hula and Hossana, in the Hadiya Zone. These civilians were arrested on 18 July 2019 following the state sponsored massacre of over one hundred Sidama civilians.  The civilians had done nothing wrong except demanding the announcement of  the date for a referendum to establish a Sidama Regional State. Because the prime minister and his  supermacist unitarists reject the constitution and the right of the various nations to self determination, the one year peaceful yearning for a determination of the date of the referendum was misconstrued as a national security threat. What a tragedy. Abiy Ahmed may think he can supress the Sidama nation using the military power and state of emergency. Nevertheless, he should rest assured that he will never suppress the will of the Sidama people for self determination. The Sidama people will never despair.

Among 2500 Sidama civilians in Abiy concentration camps across Sidama, about 15 prominent activists, university professors, medical doctors and the managers of an independent Sidama Media Network (SMN) appeared in court yesterday 16 and today 17 September 2019. These were:

Sidama Referendum

1) Tare W. Lemma: Deputy Manager of SMN
2) Getahun Dagooye: CEO, SMN
3) Fasika Legesse
4) Belay Balguda: Board Member of SMN
5) Dr. Mathe Mengesha, Medical Doctor.
6) Ass. Prof Tessema Elias; Law, Hawassa University
7) Ass Prof. Alemu Debisso, Heath Sciences, Hawassa University
8) Melesse Agaro
9) Legesse Hankarsso
10) Tefera Qeenfato
11) Asnake Assefa
12) Genale Garamo
13) Girma Karre
14) Asnake Addisu
15) Tariku Mathewos

These civilians have not been charged with any crime until today. They are jailed without charge for over 2 months along with other 2500 civilians imprisoned in 6 other districts. They appeared in court for the 8th time yesterday and today 17 September.  This is a gross violation of a fundamental human rights.

  1. Release Sidama Civilians and Lift the State of Emergency

State sponsored terrorism is the biggest threat to humanity than racially or religiously motivated acts of terrorism. Examples abound. The holocaust, the whole WWII casualties, various genocides in Africa and three massacres in Sidama in the past 28 years were all state sponsored terrorism.

These senseless state sponsored genocides and massacres cost a  thousand times more human lives than all religious and racial terrors combined.  The Ethiopian government is committing a heinous  state sponsored terror in Sidama. It is a high time we call a spade a spade.

The Sidama nation is fully aware of the deception and manipulations of the South Ethiopia Peoples Democratic Movement (SEPDM) to stay in power in Sidama at any cost. The massacre and the state of emergency were used as a weapon to dismantle ejjeetto. That is the goal.

The announcement of the date of the referendum to fall on 13 November is in effect a tactic to silence the dissent. Elections and referenda can not possibly take place under a state of emergency in any country. A free and fair referendum can only take place when a society is free to choose among the various alternatives. This will never happen in Sidama if the 2500 civilians are not immediately released and the state of emergency is not lifted as a matter 9f urgency.

  1. An Appeal to the International Community

We appeal to the international community to denounce the genocide and human rights violation in Sidama by the government of Abiy Ahmed. The political  reform for which thousands sacrificed their lives and this person promised to implement 18 months ago have evaporated. There is no freedom  in Sidama Oromia and many other parts of the country.  A misguided ideology of a supremacy of one ethnic group over the 80 others is risking the imminent disintegration of the empire.

We appeal to the international community to exert pressure on the government of Ethiopia to save the reforms and respect the rule of law. Ultimately, this is the only guarantee to keep this country intact. The dictatorial actions we are witnessing will backfire and badly so.

Abiy Ahmed symbolizes, for many, a dangerous tendency towards reimposing a unitarist state than strengthening a federal system of governance. Ethiopia can not survive under a unitary form of state with one out of 80 ethnic groups aspiring to impose its hegemony under the leadership of this prime minister.  This is a disaster in waiting!!

We appeal to the international community to be alert about a dangerous tendency towards reversing the gains of self determination enjoyed by the 85% of the Ethiopian population after 35 years of civil war.  Ethiopia may be a strategic partner for many developed nations. Nevertheless, if the current dangerous tendency towards the supremacy of one ethnic group is left unchecked, it may not even remain a partner of its own nations.

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