The Sidama and Oromo are same people struggling for common cause. We have been experiencing bitter poison of the EPRDF that divide nations and nationalities since it came to power by barrel of gun in 1991, as the people’s struggle led to downfall of the brutal Dergue regime.
The whole Ethiopian nations hoped to have democracy, freedom and prosperity. But, it never lived longer and the glimmer of hope dimmed instantly by the gun point of the regime and the worst brutality spread all over the country while all its arsenals roaring against peace loving people who raised the issue of democracy.
Like other nations the Sidamas have been a victim of EPRDF atrocity. To achieve its evil goals that never succeeded, it is a customary for Meles’ regime to use divide and rule system, just to mention some:
§ Denying the existence of people’s political parties and assassinating its leadership
§ Silencing the voice of democracy through intimidation, denying justice, indefinitely putting behind bars and killing opposition leaders
§ Organising its own puppets (the surrogate), messengers of death
§ Creating clan based political organizations to make division among the same nation
§ Destabilising peace and economy of different nationalities who lived together for centuries in love and harmony
§ Creating divisive boundaries to make separation between people’s integration and unity etc
Many time EPRDF (TPLF) tried to make a conflict among the Sidama and Ormomo in the name of pastoral land and settlement as they did between the Sidama and Wolayita people in Bilate area organised by Ato Hailemariam Desalegn the then president of the Southern Region (Now Meles’ Chief Advisor). Hailemariam Desalegn is also a responsible person for looqe massacre of May 24 2002. At present front runner in destabilising peace among the Oromos and Sidamas is Aba Dula Gemeda, a puppet president of the Oromia region. Aba Dula (or Minase) has been travelling to Wondo Genet area of the Sidama region in order to intimidate the Oromos who lived in the area for centuries in harmony and peace with Sidamas. His evil request to Guji oromo was they never belong to Sidama and should move out of the region either by mobilising them towards the oromia region or creating another artificial boundary. People knew his aim from the very beginning and rejected rather by raising their voice of unity and oneness. As he has been the Woyane’s solder he used his gun and cadres to silence his opposition killing four innocent people, destroy and burning 18 houses and properties. Nevertheless, our people’s unity remains strong as ever.
He tried to pass the blame to OLF and SLF as EPRDF always does to cover up its failure. Furthermore, they pocketed another death squad from the Oromo puppet with thousands of Birr inorder to assassinate the Sidamas who always rejected the EPRDF’s dictatorial rule. One of them is now arrested in Awassa and disclosed his mission how he has been given Eth. Birr 25,000 as an incentive for this purpose.
In spite of all sufferings our people remain united and strong. The Sidama and the Oromo are naturally gifted to resolve their conflict whether it is from within or arranged from EPRDF.
Our message to EPRDF and Aba Dula Gemeda is “STOP KILLING, Harassing and Intimidating Our People for you never win hearts and minds of determined people”.
Our message to our beloved people is that we share your sufferings and pain. We urge you to continue struggling to the down fall of the woyane regime as you had done to Degue regime.
Our message to international organizations is that please do not let the woyane regime to wash its hands with a blood of innocent people and urge you to put pressure on Meles Zenawi to stand in front of justice for his involvement in massacre, assassination, harassment, intimidation and injustice in all over Ethiopia.
Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
26 May 2007
SLF: Statement on the 5th anniversary of Hawassa massacre.
On Friday 24 May, Five years ago, an act of genocide against Sidama civilian population was perpetrated by brutal regime of Ethiopia. Peaceful demonstrators who demanded their basic rights were gunned down in broad daylight. Over a hundred people, all of them Sidamas were killed and hundreds wounded. This is an act of genocide, because the intent of TPLF and its surrogates who decided to undertake this action was to eliminate the Sidamas, or part of Sidamas who would like to live in Hawassa city and retain their city.
Those who ordered the massacre still at large or none of those authorities have brought into justice, as no independent investigation was conducted. Therefore, instead of attending to the demands of the people, the TPLF dominated EPRDF government of Ethiopia which is one man band continued its business as usual style of repression while the people’s case cries for justice. Displacement, detention, torture and harassment of the Sidama people seem to be the response. More and more civilians, students, professionals and business people are rounded up, arrested or made to disappear. As it had not been stopped, the regime had conducted massacre on the Anyuwack of the Gambela, Oromos, Ogadense and on the supporters of the CUD in Addis and in entire country. The regime is perpetrating another round of cross border massacre on Somalis in their own land whose symptoms are all too clear the way for having international licences to commit genocide in Horn of Africa.
It must be clear for all that the root causes of the massacres were primarily the regime’s inability to take into consideration the people’s demand or its inbuilt contempt for their opinion leading to dictatorial decisions without asking the consent of the people. Secondly, the worry about spread of terrorism in horn of Africa, made western powers reluctant to say no for genocide further it appears its act is equated as good experience to employ the regime for mercenary job to topple the Somali government that has sound acceptance by Somali public at large.
All these acts of political blunder contradict the very constitution of the EPRDF. They indicate the violation of constitutional right of the people to organise protest. Above all, it indicates the brutality of the regime for whom human life is not worthy of protection, but easily dispensable in the process of destruction. It is in this context that ousting the Sidamas from their city can be explained.
As the leading organization of Sidama in their journey to freedom and democracy, SLF keenly concerned about what has happened and is happening in Sidama, Oromia, Ogadenya, Gambela and on the entire Horn of Africa. What has happened on 24 May 2002 is something unthinkable by conscionable human behaviour. However, we want to remind all that it is exactly the same behaviour which caused appalling famine, conflicts, poverty and misery on massive scale in the country. The people of Addis Ababa and other major cities today are being punished by famine which is unusual in Ethiopian history, as most of Ethiopian famine victims has been at large rural. The cause for most human suffering is devastating political rule which incapacitates the potentials and opportunities of peoples of Ethiopia and including the Horn of Africa.
In the last consecutive years, the Sidama, Oromo, Ogaden, Amhara, Gambela and now Somali people from all walks of life have witnessed growing degradation of living due to the policies directly linked to the regime. We therefore register our grave concern for the welfare of our people and the spectre of destruction haunting the peoples in that part of the Horn of Africa. How ever the blood of innocent civilians, suffering of those who live for their conscious mind like those who are languishing in jails the Oromos, elected leaders of CUD is not without vindication.
The AFD (Alliance for Freedom and Democracy) which is creating frightening nightmare for EPRDF and finally digging the grave for EPRDF’s burial has mobilising force not only heterogeneous national struggles but has uniting effect on cementing meagre differences that might arise from setting priority, among each member organizations. This is the result of the crying blood of martyrs for freedom, justice and democracy.
Therefore, SLF asserts All the Sidama’s; the blood of your sons and daughters the suffering of your heroes will nourish the tree that bears the fruit of freedom, justice, democracy and tranquillity. All the nations of Ethiopia, and the Horn of Africa; The dying EPRDF regime is at its final stage of existence; and even hated by the people whom it claims to represent, the cadres and army who have been perpetuating its existence, who are join their just and respective organizations, SLF, OLF, ONLF, EPPF and others.
Finally, we demand the Ethiopian government’s withdrawal its decision to oust the Sidamas from their city, we demand to restore the grant of regional statehood to Sidamas, stopping physical and mental torture of Sidama nationals, stop creating the ground for another round of massacre, allow people to exercise their human rights, stop dismantling the human and material infrastructures of Sidama, and allow independent, international organizations to investigate the massacre and bring those responsible for justice. And we recognize the international governmental and non-governmental organizations have the moral and legal responsibility for the action of EPRDF government as it has used their financial aid and political support to maintain its existence.
Sidama Liberation Front (SLF).
24 May 2007
The TPLF’s Genocide Goes Beyond Imagination:
SLF Statement on State Sponsored Terrorism
The TPLF regime of Ethiopia has gone too far by extending its sphere of influence. If any, may be only few have imagined that Meles Zenawi would carry out his genocidal act in a foreign country.
The recent invasion of Somalia by the tyrannical regime of Ethiopia has tripled fold.
The first one is to extend its persecution of the Ethiopians including those who have fled their country to escape from his (Meles’s) brutality at home, and sot refuge in Somalia, in the pretext that the refugees may support various liberation fronts. With this context the regime is proceeding a premeditated genocide on the Oromos and other ethnic groups including Sidamas in Somalia.
The second aim for Meles is to present himself as anti-terrorist (Islamist) Champion, this would enable him to receive large aid from the west (U S A) to maintain his authoritarian rule over Ethiopia, hereby prolonging the misery of Ethiopian people.
The third one is to limit Somalis power. The Ethiopian regime is very anxious to keep the Somalis without central government or at least to keep them with weak and puppet government which would able Meles to control from Addis Ababa.
Having these three ill conceived motives in mind Meles Zenawi shamelessly invaded, a country which lived without central government or conventional army for more than 15 years.
It seems he succeeded at least temporarily for his malicious aim. Consequently he is continuing his genocide of the Oromos in Somalia.
We condemn this barbaric act in its strongest term and urge the international community to condemn and intervene before it gets out of control.
Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
January 24, 2007
AN OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO SNLO’S ALLEGATION
This statement refers to the SNLO’s allegation released on its website dated 15th of August 2006 (full text of the statement is attached herewith). The statement alleges the SLF’s rejection of SNLO’s offer for political unity.
SLF hasn’t reacted to SNLO’s approach in this matter from the beginning not because we have nothing to say but we did not want to say it in the way SNLO did. We decided to treat the issue as internal affairs of the Sidama nation and didn’t want to expose it to the outside world, as we believed that the matter could be resolved internally. But since the SNLO decided to go public to use this opportunity to defame and blame SLF for its sinister plans and wanted to use this particular case to compensate for its political loss, we are forced to explain the matter to the Sidama public and our struggle partners in a greater detail
SLF is not interested in engaging itself in unnecessary confrontation with anybody particularly with such an irresponsible and disorientated individuals. But in the interest of informing the truth to the oppressed Sidaama people, who is the owner of the liberation struggle that the SLF is spearheading and our respected struggle partners, we found it necessary to present the whole picture of the issue, thereby to protect all our stakeholders from misleading and confusing information coming from the sources whose sole aim is to discredit SLF and solicit the support and recognition from Sidama people and other opposition political parties.
It is SLF’s best interest and policy to work in unison with like-minded organizations. We also advocate inter and intra national unison of opposition political organizations (wherever applicable) for synergic effect towards weakening our common enemy. It was this basic belief that has led the SLF to accept the opposition parties’ call for alliance and sign an agreement with Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD) formed in May 2006 between 5 major opposition parties.
To take this agenda further, SLF extended invitations to all Sidaama nationals at home and in diaspora to support the newly formed Alliance for Freedom and Democracy and to intensify our liberation struggle against the dictatorial woyyane regime. We are proud of the overwhelming support we are receiving from the heroic Sidamas in this regard. It was through this initiative that we came into contact with an individual who at the latter stage claimed to be affiliated with an organization called SNLO. Before this incidence, SLF had received no communication from SNLO whatsoever. Therefore, SNLO can’t claim sending delegation for talks with SLF, as we haven’t received any authorized person from the organization. It can’t either claim offering for political unity, as we hadn’t talked about this matter before this incidence.
We held a number of meetings with the individual and other Sidamas as part of our initiative to involve all Sidamas in the liberation struggle, in some occasions in the presence of the chairman of SLF. Until the individual revealed his true identity, the discussion was centered on two issues: The first one was the formation of Sidama community in Diaspora. The second one was to organize the Sidama individuals and groups with various political orientations under SLF. Everybody in the audience was in complete agreement with the proposal. It was during the last two meetings that the individual declared himself as if representing SNLO and started evaluating SLF, the organization he had nothing to do with before. It was at this juncture that he presented the preconditions for SLF to meet before entering into the negotiations for political unity between SLF and SNLO. Among the issues be raised, the following standout most:
To emphasis, as we have stated earlier, SLF is for peace, unity and co-operation among the freedom fighters and peace lovers.
Finally, we hope the above clarification will remove the smear campaign launched against good name of Sidama Liberation Front by the so called SNLO, and we urge the Sidama people and friends to distance themselves from such impostors.
SLF Executive Committee
24th August 2006
Statement Issued by Sidama Liberation Front inCommemoration of Sidama Massacre.
On May 24 2002, at mid-day, about ten thousand unarmed Sidama civilians took out to the streets at Locke village, the outskirts of Awassa, to express their concern against the violation of their rights over their self-administration by the Ethiopian government. The government responded to their demand with a PKM machine gun mounted on vehicle by its military forces that killed over one hundred civilian Sidamas, one-third of whom were school children from the surrounding villages.
Following the massacre, a special military force from the Federal government replaced regional police forces and carried out massive arrests and intimidation in all parts of Sidama by expelling and arresting local authorities and the police who voiced against the Massacre.
Since then, Sidamas all over the world have been appealing to various international communities the fact that the cause and the manner of the demonstration was constitutional, and the response from the government was so unjust that the criminals and the authorities be brought to justice. As a result of the strong pressure put by, particularly, the European Union and member states, and the national and international human rights and political organisations and the media, the level of detention was reduced. However, the killers and those responsible for the killings have not been brought to justice, rather, they have been allowed to enjoy impunity and promotion for their implementation of the tight Federal orders. The Federal authorities and their accomplices in the Southern Region, particularly, Hailemariam Dessalegn, Shiferaw Shigute, and Mellese Marimo are enjoying renewed promotion for their second betrayal of Sidama’s decision to assume regional status.
Surprisingly, the remaining detainees have been made to languish through improper procedures; civilians and local authorities and the police who opposed the massacre lost their jobs and suffered all sorts of allegations; the families of the victims left in anguish and destitution; all local institutions, government and non-government alike, have been put in the hands of political pundits who only obey the Federal orders. As a result justice for Sidamas is not only delayed but also denied.
The Sidama community everywhere understands the global situation that could distract the attention of the influential international community on one hand, and the approach of the atrocious Ethiopian authorities to “help fight terrorism” on the other. However, we feel that it is equally important for the international peaceful community to recognise that Ethiopian authorities are doing this to disguise the domestic terror perpetrated by themselves against civilians in order to silence any dissent and protect their political renegades.
Therefore, Sidamas around the globe commemorate the 4th year of Sidama Massacre with a saddened heart because the anguish and grief of the victims’ families and the suffering of those who voiced against the crime is not yet addressed; at its worst, the Federal Government is harassing and silencing those who voice for freedom and democratic order in Sidama. Once again, the Sidama Liberation Front appeals for real justice with great hope that the international community will continue its effort to influence Ethiopian government to stop its Federal grip of Sidama’s local affairs and obey the rule of law that remained only on paper, so that the current plight of Sidama people shall end and justice both delayed and denied shall prevail.
Freedom for the oppressed!!!!!
SLF, May 24, 2006top
SLF: Statement Regarding the Prevailing Condition in Sidama:
The present condition in Sidamaland is alarming and tense more than ever before. It generated from accumulated anger of the people related to the question of nationality and self-determination. The regional self-administration or autonomous governance ((kilil) demand had been presented to the government several months ago. Regarding this question the confusing behaviour of the regime however has created unpredictable situation for the Sidama people.
The Sidamas are well aware of the devious and deceptive nature of the Ethiopian regime. When the Sidama people delivered undeniable blow to the regime during the May 2005 election was not only shocked but experienced a humiliating defeat. It (the regime) quickly resurrected the long neglected demand of the people, in order to deceive the Sidama people once again. The regimes cadre started to preach their unholy gospel (lie) to the people. They openly admitted that they had mistreated the Sidama people in the past and promised that they would learn from their mistakes. Thereafter declared and signed agreement to give back the Sidamas their town, Awassa, which was forcefully taken away by federal administration, as well to answer the Sidama’s demand for regional self-administration (kilil). Those cadres swore and accepted the Sidama’s cultural blessing or curse depending on the deeds that they act upon either positive or negative. But all these evaporated just few weeks after as they claimed a false victory on general election. Among them (cadres) few stood firm to their wards on the side of the mass, while those belly and position mongers ignored their covenant and betrayed their own people.
Now they are talking very loud to prevent Sidamas from becoming a kilil. Many puppets are scattered in Sidama zone to propagate that PM Meles Zenawi did not accept the issue of Sidama’s regional status. Thousands of Birr distributed to those cadres, if necessary to bribe some influential elders to silence them from speaking about kilil. But the elders rejected this bribe and cursed those lying surrogates. Since this didn’t work, they turned to harassment and intimidation as their main duty. When Sidama people dismissed their propagation and resisted harassment, they brought over 50, 000 armed troops to share their duty, to terrorize Sidamas. On Thursday 2nd Feb. 2006 those troops entered the school compound in Yirgalem town, beat and injured many students, similar action is being repeated in many places in Sidama zone including the main town, Awassa. Troops are stationed in every spot in Sidamaland. For instance Boricha is relatively a small village, but several hundred troops are roaming around there, why?
We do not understand why so much money spent, labour wasted and innocent people including students who are not even teenagers yet harassed and tortured. What the government does lose if Sidama becomes a kilil? We think this is a minimum concession that the government could offer to the Sidama people.
Sidama contributes more than 40% washed coffee to the national export. Contrary to its contribution to the national wealth, Sidama has been marginalized by past and present rulers of Ethiopian, but Meles Zenawi goes farther than any other. We recall that how Meles Zenawi had massacred over 100 innocent Sidamas in May 24/2002. Stationing over 50, 000 armed forces in the Sidama zone prelude to another massacre. We believe he is now in preparation for another slaughter. Therefore, we appeal to the international community to intervene before innocent people are butchered.
Finally we encourage the Sidama people to stand firm for your courageous demands for resolute results. Our gallants are determinant to carry out your struggle until accomplished.
Sidama Liberation Front: SLF
TPLF dominated government of Ethiopia has left no stones unturned so that it can extend its tyrannical rule in the country.
The regime continues to kill in mass/massacre, torture, imprison, and harasses the Sidama people since it came to power by gun in 1991. In the recent crackdown the regime has locked up many Sidamas (mostly students) in the Billate military camp. Now the regime is not only in trouble, but it is in absolute confusion after the devastating defeat of the May election even through it claimed false victory. Its confusion is manifested by the fact that while it continues to terrorize our people on one hand and on the other hand trying to bribe them. The regime is sending a wrong message to the people. Consequently they failed to regain the hearts and minds of the mass.
The Sidamas never bowed to those naked aggressors today or in the past, they rather intensified their struggle more than the regime anticipates.
Today the regime is busy as ever:
1) Elevating some Sidama puppets whom they consider would serve their vicious aims against the interest of Sidama people. But would those elevated betray their own people for temporary advantage? Do they remember what happened to their predecessors? Where are they now?
2) They started to bribe the Sidama farmers to gain support they have hitherto lost, they have began to distribute a few cents to the farmers, they also sot out to decrease the farmer’s taxes. Seeking this type of action shows how far the regime is behind from the farmers on its tactics and strategy. Even with this belated maneuver the rural people refused to discuss with any of officials from government side on any issue unless their question about regional administration (killil) is properly settled. Farmers told the woreda and zonal officials that they would take the harshest possible measure if they come again to them with the notorious ruler’s agenda.
All these efforts are diversionary methods to sabotage legitimate question of the Sidama and to remove them from their homeland and cities such as Hawassa and other major towns and re-distribute the land among themselves and their cronies. We like to remind the Sidama farmers that the regime is doing all these not because they liked you, neither it is a good will gift, but they are forced to do so as the result of your unflinching struggle.
Finally, we urge the Sidama people to intensify their resistances as there is no victory without struggle.
Sidama Liberation Front
30 November 2005
Ethiopia’s Election and TPLF Sabotage
SLF Statement on Ethiopia’s Election Result:
Enthusiastic innocent Ethiopian politicians and their supporters, who could not detect the true nature of TPLF, hoped that the May 15 election would dawn democracy and justice result the country. Many among those who participated in the election believed that they won election outright. They even set up frenzy of short lived celebrations inside and outside Ethiopia.
Meanwhile TPLF conducted overt and covert tactics to take away even the few seats the opposition thought they won. TPLF sabotaged the election count. Hence they delayed the election result for over three months. In clear day light, in front of international observers they rigged the vote of Ethiopian left and right making sure their calculated result gives them 2/3 majority. During this long delayed so called investigation the TPLF claim of ‘Victory’ showed its real color which changed many times over like chameleon.
‘Victory’! is it through ballot? ‘No Chance Charlie’. Every Ethiopian knows that TPLF will never win real election. We know how TPLF/EPDRF came to power in 1991. It was through barrel of gun and same gun is keeping them in power.
We made our stand clear and advised our people and friends not to participate in this bogus election just to legitimize the regimes malicious policy (see SLF statement of 18 Feb. 2005 regarding May 15 election).
During and after election some opportunist, ‘who call themselves politicians’, tried to miss-lead the Sidama people in the name of SLM. But the Sidamas stood firm and never allowed those confused to confuse them. They rather demanded their constitutional rights to exercise their regional self-administration.
We are convinced that now most Ethiopian people will understand that the TPLF regime doesn’t comprehend the language of democracy and justice. Then, is there any other alternative? Yes, there is one alternate, just one ‘struggle’.
Therefore, we call upon all opposition groups of Ethiopia to join us for struggle (including armed struggle).
Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
28 September 2005
SLF Statement on the Ethiopia’s upcoming election.
The widely expect and anxiously waited election, rather selection is due in May 2005.
The TPLF/EPRDF government of Ethiopia pretends relaxed and hopeful. Nevertheless, this indicates its very dangerous and well calculated approach to confuse others. Many people including international communities tend to believe that this election would be better than its previous ones. And many parties (more than 70) have registered to contest this election. But the reality is far from it.
We do not see any convincing evidence that the regime has changed its attitude towards democratization, human rights and freedom of expression. Opposition groups are till being harassed, persecuted and imprisoned because of their political opinions. Many political prisoners are languishing in various prison houses without trial.
The main hindrance for free and fair election in Ethiopia is the so-called ‘election commission’ which is appointed by the ruling party and filled with its own cadres. Unless this arbitrary commission is abolished and replaced by genuine one free and fair election cannot take place in Ethiopia. The other obstacle for free election is, the TPLF doctrinaire (mould shaped) soldiers or militias which are scattered in every village in the country not to enforce law and order but to hunt down and terrorize everyone who opposes the destructive policy of the regime. Unless these conditions are changed free and fair election cannot take place in that devastated land.
Therefore, participation in such election has no meaning except legitimatization the tyrannical rule of the Ethiopian regime.
Consequently, we advise our and others peace loving people and any democratic forces in any part of the country not to take part in this hideous election.
Sidama Liberation Front
18 FEBRUARY, 2005
The Brutal Regime of Meles Zenawi Continues to Subdue the Sidamas! Many Arrested in Alleged Possession of Explosives!
From the outset, Meles’s strategy to ensure the undisputed power of TPLF over the nations of Ethiopia was and is to subjugate the nations such as Sidama, Oromo, Ogadenia and others, which he believes as a threat to his power. This plan is being implemented through various means:
In a recent development, Meles’s regime came up with well-calculated excuse to harass, terrorise and imprison the Sidama people in mass as it happened after the May 24/2002 incidence of Awassa Massacre. Early in September 2004, 5 people were imprisoned for allegedly found in possession of explosives. The detainees are:
1. Tasfesse Shallamo -----------------A teacher from, Yirgalem
2. Fekadu Baso -------------------------Businessman, Yirgalem
3. Shura Chachara ---------------------Civil Servant, Hagereselam
4. Yohannes Amanuel and other ---(Both students) from Awassa
The ‘Voice of EPRDF’ Walta Information Agency- released that explosives have been smuggled into the country from Kenya to attack 3 towns in Sidama; Awassa, Yirgalem and Hagereslam. This is a sheer lie. No Sidama is out to destroy his/her own land (towns) but defend it. It has been discovered that the EPRDF’s policemen secretly placed the explosives (bombs) in the houses of the detainees and claimed that they are caught red-handed.
The intention of this act is clear. Firstly, the Woyane (TPLF) and its surrogate parties are well aware that the EPRDF government has lost legitimacy from the public and fears that the party would lose in the upcoming general election. The only way it thinks to win the election is by strengthening its fist on the influential people to frighten and give a clue of the consequences if someone does not vote for them or tries to oppose them. Secondly, it also determined to discourage the Sidama people from supporting the oppositions through the allegation of masterminding the attempted attack on the Sidamas. The Woyanes are deceiving the Sidamas trying to appear as if they are safeguarding the Sidamaland from attackers. The reality is the other way round. The Sidamas have shed their blood and lost lives to defend their land from the Weyane attackers. This act of the TPLF is the continuation of the well-planned attack on the Sidamaland and the people.
The SLF condemns this barbaric action being inflicted on the freedom-seeking people by the Weyane regime, and calls upon the Sidama people and other peace loving nations within the country to stay resolute in the face of atrocities of power mongers and continue their struggle for freedom, peace and democracy. We also call upon the international communities to employ its mechanisms at hand to discipline the TPLF (EPRDF) government to stop the gross violation of human rights in the country and ensure that all prisoners arrested without genuine fact, but with false charges to be released.
Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
4 October 2004
MASS KILLINGS CONTINUE IN SIDAMA!
The decaying TPLF (EPRDF) regime of Ethiopia continues to intimidate, harass and terrorise the Sidama people in their homeland. In fact, since blindly decided massacre of Sidama people at Loqqe village near Awassa (Hawassa) town on 24 May 2002, thousands of Sidamas have been locked-up in horrifying prisons. Even though many were released after long torture and ill treatment as a result of international pressure, still some are languishing in prisons in addition to those long time sufferers for unrelated cases to the Awassa massacre, in the name of “red-terror”.
The only reason why the victims are kept in the prison is to be scapegoats so that the real murderers and those involved in massacre remain in their position being rewarded for their evil actions.
It is recalled that many Sidama intellectuals and businessmen fled the country due to undemocratic government and unsound administration of the EPRDF. Furthermore, the Awassa massacre inflamed the situation and many more forced to leave the country where they are experiencing hardship away from home and families and it has created a brain drain in Sidama. Consequently, the regime is spreading its tyrannical rule all over the country using uneducated, incompetent workers and some other “yes-men”.
In recent months many Sidamas were forced ironically to evacuate their homeland in the name of resettlement to Bench-Maji, small triangle bordering Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia that has no access to health, education and drinking water. There is no means of transportation and communication to have a contact with their families and relatives who were left behind. The area is uninhabitable where mercilessly dumped people are exposed to malaria disease and wild beast. In contrary, some Sidama land has been redistributed to the privileged Tigrian settlers.
We strongly condemn the recent killing of two innocent sidama farmers in the district of Aroressa (Hororessa) by the Ethiopian security (death squads) forces for they resisted and opposed the oppressive rule and tyrannical policy of the regime. Mr. Tadele Kawiso was killed in Lalessa village (kebele) on 15 January 2004, and Mr. Asege Beyene was murdered on 5 February 2004 in Chire-Ba’lo Kebele. Both men were killed in front of their families and other people according to murderers to give a lesson to those oppose the government. All these show that how the regime is determined to terrorise and marginalize the Sidama people.
At present the regime is in preparation to launch another war on Eritrea and the Sidamas are asked to handover thousands of militia for the same purpose. We advise the Sidamas and other peace loving people neither participate nor provide any precious lives to the warmongering regime. We also ask the international communities and the UN to denounce these improper activities of the Ethiopian government.
We also urge the donor governments especially the US and EU to reassess their relations to the regime and stop their fat financial aid that is used for human rights abuse in Ethiopia and withdraw their diplomatic support that bolden Meles Zenawi to declare war on neighbouring countries.
We appreciate non-governmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, ECHO, etc for their reports that truly reflect the human rights abuse and violations in Ethiopia and their efforts that brought the issue into international scene.
Sidama Liberation Front (SLF)
16 February 2004
Without a real change in those above mentioned conditions in the country it will not be possible to conduct free and fair election. It is incumbent upon all Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopians to stand stead fast and campaign for free and fair election.
With relation to this, SLF would like also to convey a message to those parties who call themselves oppositions and who are hesitantly engaging in taking part in this sham election. We believe that your participation once again is delaying the freedom and human rights blossoming in the country (Ethiopia). Some of you have been calling yourselves opposition party in rubber stamp parliament of Woyane over eighteen years and others at least five or more, and what changes did you bring to your fellow country men? Even the little hand out you are given by TPLF regime has not improved your own individual well being. We believe that the time has come for you to rethink and withdraw from this sham election, if not history will judge you just like your masters the Woyanes.
Finally we would like to emphasis that participation in such election has no meaning except legitimatization the tyrannical rule of the Ethiopian regime.
Consequently, we advise our friends, supporters and others peace and democracy loving people in the country not to take part in this hideous election.
Sidama Liberation Front 24th January 2010