To: UN Security Council
Office of the Ombudsperson
The unabated killing, imprisonments and harassments is continuing in Ethiopia since Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) had controlled all sectors of governmental power in 1991, with the support of mainly the geo-political historical rival counties of the region. Soon it had ousted the then military dictatorial government on 20th May of 1991, it had “officially” started implementing the ethnic cleansing ideology across the country specifically targeting against the Amhara ethnic as its prime enemy. For that effect, TPLF had unilaterally partitioned the country into ethnic lines and took the lion sharing for itself and provide the other part to its ‘King Maker’, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) deliberately excluding the Amhara ethnic and other true broad based & secular political parties bearing the name ‘Ethiopia’ from the then formation of the so-called Transitional Government of July-August 1991.
Once, TPLF manipulated the power vacuum situation of Ethiopia to its end, to realize its remote demand of creating ‘Greater Tigray’, it had used all governmental apparatus and its’ Tigray Cadres including its trained thugs to eliminate and evict the Amhara from their ancestral land across the country where they used to live together with country folks in bad and good times in peace for centuries! Within the last 26 years and since TPLF inception in 1974, millions and millions of Amhara had been killed and evicted in silent as well as in public to implement the well document ‘Manifesto of TPLF’ used as its political platform since its formative stage in 1974 stating that “Amhara is the prime enemy to its platform as well as the Tigre People, and shall be exterminated from Ethiopia” to achieve its end, Greater Tigray, TPLF’s 1974 Manifesto.
Besides, according to the International Criminal Court (ICC) data compiled based on reliable sources in 2004 more than 403 Anuak ethnic group members in Gambelia Region were massacred and more than 100 thousands displaced from their ancestral land due to TPLF’s land grabbing policy. Moreover, after TPLF managed distancing the Amhara ethnic group from the Ethiopian governmental power apparatus, it had turned its’ domination against the Oromos on the base of their ethnicity. As a matter of fact, in 2014 – 2015 the Ambo University Students massacred during the peaceful mass protest against land grabbing on the bases of Addis Ababa Master Plan is another tragedy, more than 40 students were killed in the day light. And at different times, for the last 4 – 3 years more than 5 thousand members of our Oromos brothers and sisters are suffering under TPLF prison. This doesn’t include publically known political dissent according to Amnesty International report.
The UN Human Rights report of October 2014 specifically mentioning what has been done against the innocent nomads of on the Ogaden Region is another heart breaking scenario committed by TPLF. Beyond the massacre, most nomads were deliberately starved to death being accused of sheltering rebels and consequently young ladies are forced to give birth in prison to TPLF soldiers are the living witness as I write this letter.
The Afar People, living in the very long lowland stripe of Red sea, is another victim of TPLF army. TPLF is illegally controlling the natural salt mining facilities, the huge potash deposit and different mining resources in the region and destitute the nomads society into a level extinction. Sadly, there is untold story in the region because TPLF would like to secure a reliable Railway line from Djibouti to Tigray as an outlet to the outside world, while doing so, it is implementing the method of depopulating and exterminating the Afar nomads similar to that of Amhara is the best policy to its long term strategy of creating ‘Greater Sovereign Tigray’ at the cost of others.
All these had brought misery and ethnic cleansing, in which Genocide Watch declared that Genocide after Genocide is waged in Ethiopia first on Amhara, then Anuak and then against small ethnic minorities since September 2008. One of TPLF’s technic of depopulation is injecting medicines (Sterilization) to prospective future mothers in the name of family planning had severely depopulated the Amhara and Afar ethnic groups to the level of heart breaking sadness. Consequently, for the last continuous 15 years, there were no enough number of kindergarten and elementary students in the big cities as well as in the rural areas of Amhara due to the chance of fertility had dropped by 80% since Dr Tedros Adahnom —- like Chemical Ali of Iraq against the Kurds — of TPLF implemented the depopulation plan specifically on ethnic Amhara and Afar ethnic groups.
Even very recently 2013 within Metekel areas, one of the sub-region of Gojjam, more 200, 000 Amhara people were brutally perished and driven out of their ancestral land so that the land be vacated to 350, 000 new settlers from Tigray region so that the ‘Greater Tigray Map’ be stretched to the ongoing ‘Blue Nile Dam’ currently under construction. And now, the area is entirely controlled from small shopkeepers to warehouse owner, from small scale farmers to mechanized modern farmers, from local administration to church priest by the new Tigre/Tigray comers and changed the natural demography into a kind of proper Tigray village.
What is now so terrifying and unprecedented is that the intensity, magnitude and scale of the killing, imprisonment and harassment is so country wide. The unabated mass protest of the Oromos since November 2015 is continuing on its large scale. So far, according reliable sources inside Ethiopia, more than 600 Oromos brothers and sisters were killed, thousands injured and thousands of thousands imprisoned under TPLF prison.
What had triggered the popular mass protests within Amhara regions of Gonder & Gojjam and beyond against TPLF lead regime is that, the special force of TPLF, from Tigray region, were secretly dispatched to Gonder on July 12, 2016 night to kidnap (as usual) members of the peaceful committee formed out of the dissent areas of Northern Gonder, namely called Wolqait-Tsegede, had resulted to a sad stunning story against the innocent civilian was so shocking. i.e., while the abduction of some of the peaceful committee members were successful, one of their colleagues, Col Demeke Zeudu, had resisted on legal terms and consequently the illegal intensive gun fire of TPLF on Col Zeudu’s house within the heart of the Gonder City on the above mentioned date had turned out the city residences into peaceful popular mass protest and resound their humanly right and said enough is enough to TPLF regime.
Following these eruptions and mass protests across the Oromo and Amhara regions the TPLF lead government of Ethiopia security mercenaries and special killing squad armed forces and snappers used live ammunition and lethal forces against unarmed protesters resulted in horrendous murders in both regions.
All Ethiopians across the globe expresses our grave concern and deepest grief by the brutal nature of TPLF that results such loss of innocent Ethiopians. What is astonishing is that mostly youth and organizers of the popular mass protest have been deliberately targeted and murdered; hundreds injured thousands thrown into unknown TPLF prisons in Amhara as well as in Oromo regions. To your attention, one of the newly opened TPLF prisons whereby most Amhara on the current popular mass protest severely suffering is found in Gojjam/Amhara Region called “Birr Sheleqqo”. The news coming in this TPLF’s prison is heartbreaking, and needs your urgent help!
According to Amnesty International press release more than 100 innocent were killed, hundreds injured and thousands of thousands imprisoned on 6th of August 2016 weekend; whereas another 600 innocent Oromos were killed since November 2015 and thousands injured and imprisoned. All these land grabbing in the big cities of Ethiopia by the name of infrastructure and new investment strategy is another dirty trick of TPLF to evict citizens from their livelihood.
The long-standing dream of creating greater Tigray by subjugating very big proper fertile lands such as: Humera, Welkayt-Tegede and Tselemet as well as Ende-Mehari, Raya-Azebo, Wefla, from the Amhara regions of Gonder and Wollo respectively as well as from the Afar region are clearly stated on the manifesto of TPLF at its formative stage in 1974. According to TPLF, they endeavor to achieve this by implementing the methods of divide and rule principles and specially exterminating and weakening the Amhara people adjacent to the neighborhood regions of Tigray and across Ethiopia. In spite of this, TPLF had settled about 750,000 Tigray, at one go, in the disputed sub-regions of Gonder and similarly changed the demographic nature of Northern Gonder of the Amhara region into Tigray villages.
The other key issue we want to bring to your attention is that, TPLF is conspiring with the Sudanese government to cede Ethiopian Very fertile farm land to the Sudan; in the exchange of that, the Sudan government don’t allow TPLF’s oppositions and political dissents exists and operates in the neighborhood of Sudan and Ethiopia so that this help to materialize its demand of grabbling land from Ethiopia, and now the Sudanese government army is intensively gunning down Ethiopians dissents in our proper land with the order of TPLF! Because, if the regime in power goes down in Ethiopia their secret deal between them will obviously be empty and void!
Last but not least, as the popular mass protest “identity question” mentioned at the early stage of the protest devolves into the question of all citizens political, economic and human rights fundamental questions and then the TPLF lead government had declared an official war against the Amhara people and consequently special armed force and heavy military armaments are deployed and used against the innocent citizens to silence the popular mass protest by all types of military means.
Finally, although United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on August 10, 2016 had demanded the so-called Ethiopian government to allow an independent investigation across the Oromia and Amhara regions on the innocent killings, we believe that this is too late with what is going right now on the ground.
Therefore, I sincerely demand your government/organization to help our people by:
- Stopping the unabated killing of Ethiopians across the country,
- Release all those currently suffering associated with the Popular Mass Protest,
- Release all opposition political leaders and dissents as well as all journalists,
- Return all uniform soldiers to its military barrack,
- Stop the looting carried out by TPLF, and last but not least
- Put pressure so that TPLF acknowledges that its regime is already finished and respect the aspiration of the people to form a Genuine Transitional Government without any delay!
Anteneh Shiferaw (Eng.)
UN Human Rights Council
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Director for the Media and European Parliament Spokesman
Executive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
Clementine de Montjoye
Advocacy & Research Officer, East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project