ESFNA is alarmed and angered by recent developments in Ethiopia. The root cause of ESFNA’s formation in North America was political oppression, which forced the founding generation of ESFNA to seek political refuge around the world. ESFNA is a non-political, non-religious sports and cultural organization. This does not mean we remain silent when we witness the unwarranted shooting of innocent, law-abiding citizens.
ESFNA strongly condemns the killings of unarmed demonstrators in Ethiopia by the very authorities that are supposed to protect them. We call on all stake holders NOT to simply put a band aid on this issue, which assures the continuation of a viscous cycle of violence that has plagued our country in recent history, and could even lead to more egregious bloodshed. We call on ALL Ethiopians to work hard to bring lasting peace and reconciliation to our beloved country.
In the past, ESFNA has been in the forefront, standing with our people during famines, floods, the AIDS epidemic and a whole slew of other social issues. We believe this issue trumps all others because it was preventable had the government respected its citizen’s inalienable human right to peacefully protest, bestowed upon them by the Almighty.
We can no longer afford to metaphorically place our heads in the sand and watch our country disintegrate into a lawless failed state. The “E” in ESFNA stands for Ethiopia. Our very name and existence gives us a responsibility to take a firm stand for unity and justice today. We call on all our members and ALL Ethiopians around the world to not only pray for lasting peace in Ethiopia, but also to take an active role in eliminating the gross injustice in our motherland. The blood of our brave forefathers still flows in our veins today and we cannot simply remain silent and act as if all is well.
This is a moment of truth for ESFNA and our members and we choose to stand with our people and the truth. We pray for the souls of the dearly departed and make a very strong call for peace in our country. As Martin Luther King once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Justice will prevail in our country, but let’s all do our part and take just actions today that will make us proudtomorrow.
May God bless our beloved Ethiopia and its people and land!
እግዚአብሄር በቃችሁ ይበለን!
The Ethiopian Sports Federation in America