The Sidama Farmers Beaten and Arrested by TPLF’s Forces

In the past 24 years of Ethiopian politics, TPLF’s savage regime has shown its state-terrorism and capability of committing crimes of unprecedented proportion against unarmed civilians. It has also shown its inadequacy in a number of ways including totally ignoring and breaking its constitution which is country’s supreme law although it always erroneously preaches it. The regime always claims that it is safeguarding the constitution even whilst killing unarmed civilians. Time again we sow TPLF’s regime blatantly violating the rights of citizens under the pretext of its defense. This claim remains an ongoing rhetoric even as it currently massacres Oromo civilians by imposing martial law in Oromia region.

Witnessing the ongoing massacre of hundreds of thousands of unarmed citizens in broad day light on yearly basis can’t be defending the rights of civilians or safeguarding of the constitution. Continually incarcerating hundreds of thousands of peaceful civilians and opposition figures who speak the truth isn’t defending constitution. Responding to all peaceful quests of the citizens with live bullets doesn’t constitute promoting justice. The unlawful displacement of millions of helpless and powerless farmers from their ancestral lands to allow TPLF’s officials to trade with their lands under obfuscating explanations by leaving legitimate owners and their families destitute can’t justify any person’s or government’s actions. Favoring single ethnic (minority) thus allowing them to own the lands of the entire country belonging to all 96 million Ethiopians isn’t about defending constitution. Terrorizing peaceful and unarmed citizens under the pretexts of defending constitution and peace and security can’t justify any person’s brutal actions under whatsoever explanation. Controlling of the entire economy, military and political aspect of the country by solely Tigray born politicians never justify the action of TPLF’s government. Promoting the supremacy of minority government to do whatever they wish on the other groups of peoples can’t be continually tolerated. Moreover, relocating TPLF’s own people (politicians and affiliates) from Tigray region in the land of Oromia, Sidama, Ogaden, Amhara by displacing them without the will of the peoples of those regions isn’t and can’t be sustainable and tolerated any longer.

There are ample evidence proving that this regime has neither respected its Paper Tiger constitution nor allowed the citizens to exercise them apart from brutally treating the citizens by its military and security apparatuses whenever they demand these rights to be respected. The citizens of the country from north to south, from west to east have been summarily executed, massacred and extra judiciary arrested for demanding their constitutionally guaranteed rights. As I have mentioned above, millions have been displaced from their lands without the necessary parameters in place to safeguard their livelihoods with ultimate aim of vacating their land for the regimes’ cadres so that they can trade with it for their personal gain in the name of investment. The continued massacre of the Oromo people and beating and imprisoning of the Sidama farmers as we speak is part of such regime’s ill-conceived and savage actions against fundamental and constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens.

Although constitutionally unlawful, politically incorrect and morally wrong, TPLF’s leadership and loyal cadres’ excessive use of farmers’ land as their own personal asset by displacing millions has blatantly continued. TPLF’s officials and their surrogates increasingly became such reckless greedy bunches of criminals who have no sense of humanity, power of empathy and reasoning to continue with their unprecedented level of barbarism toward unarmed civilians under their false development’s defeating mantra. After exhausting all business and economic exploitation of the entire country, they have now resorted to confiscating the lands of Oromia, Sidama, Ogadenia, Amhara and others regional peoples.

TPLF’s army and political leadership who have arrived to Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) 24 years ago – each of them with single fire arm and famous slippers locally known as ‘Barabasso’ and pediculosis infested unhygienic Afro hair have already looted the Oromo, the Sidama, Amhara, Ogadenia, Benshalgul, and the entire south Ethiopia resources to accumulate multimillion; to build multi-story buildings in various cities and towns of the country, exclusively rule over the entire country with iron feast, evade taxi to keep multi million dollars in foreign countries and further create hundreds of business companies under various pretexts. As we speak, they are hell bent to continue with their unwarranted barbarism, lies and deceits whist looting and subjugating their subjects.

Moreover, evidences show that TPLF’s regime has also sophisticated its dehumanizing and depersonalizing techniques to a number of ways including brutally torturing, sodomizing male prisoners and gang-raping female opposition prisoners. In their infamous prison known as ‘Ma’ikelawi’ literally meaning the central; tens of thousands of political, economic and human rights activists are incarcerated where they are subjected to such horrendous dehumanizing and depersonalizing treatments in the name of defending the said lifeless constitution. The Sidama’s famous business person known as ‘Solomon Nayu’ has been kidnapped from his home on the 27th of November 2015 and taken to the said notorious prison where his family and the Sidama community are denied visit and concerned for his life.

Meanwhile, TPLF’s regime policy towards the Sidama nation has brutal and continued as it has been for the past 24 years. Tens of thousands of Sidama farmers have been displaced from their ancestral lands of Hawassa adjacent villages since this regime has assumed power. The Sidama farmers and civilians as well as opposition politicians who have resisted to such polices have been always responded with imprisonments, torture and live bullets. For instance, the Loqqee massacre of Sidama’s 69 civilians on May 24, 2002 is part of such TPLF’s heinously masterminded action and barbarous policy toward the Sidama nation as is to the Oromo, Ogadenia, Gambella, Amhara and the other peoples of the country.

More shockingly, TPLF’s regime has planned to exponentially expand Hawassa city up to Yirgalem (over 44 km) from Hawssa. In its second phase, TPLF’s regime has already displaced at least 200,000 Sidama farmers from three Hawassa adjacent districts where it has already began trading with the Sidama’s ancestral lands leaving the Sidama farmers destitute. The Sidama farmers those who question TPLF’s unlawful actions are always brutally beaten in front of their wives, children and even in front of their in-laws (children’s wives and husbands).

Since the 23rd of December 2015, the newly assigned Hawassa mayor renegade known as Tewodros Gebiba (although his name if Tewodros Gebeyehu, from one of Sidama born non-Sidama Ethiopians) has been terrorizing Sidama farmers at Sidama’s Shallo farmer’s association about 12-15km from Hawassa. He has called for the Sidama farmers meeting in this particular association where he’s asked them to unconditionally leave their lands for government’s development projects. When the Sidama farmers question what this is meant to their families and questioned why the government displaces them without any compensation and pre-arranged plans, he’s boldly reminded them about the Sidama’s Loqqee massacre of May 24, 2002 and warned them that, if they resist the plan of the government, similar fate might be awaiting them. Subsequently, the Sidama farmers rose up against him when he has immediately ordered for re-enforcement of two military vehicles full of security personnel who have been waiting for such deployment in Hawassa. Tewodros Gebeyehu has been also entrusted the power of commanding Hawassa’s city security forces exclusively assigned by the federal government to terrorize Sidama people in addition to his puppet mayoral role. He has been given both roles simply because TPLF’s authorities and fake PM Hailemariam Desalegne believed that this man is an honest anti-Sidama tool, good for taking their orders to implement it in Sidama land without slightest hesitation and deviation.

Sidama business places burned down by regime's secret forces to vacate room for TPLF's businesses in Hawassa.

In so doing, Tewodros Gebeyehu (fake Gebiba) has ordered the security and federal police personnel to beat and torture hundreds of Sidama’s Shallo farmers. After satisfying their sadistic interests of beating and torturing of unarmed Sidama farmers, they brought unknown number of them to Hawassa police station where they stay to date. These farmers are in addition to those who have been beaten and tortured in Datto village for similar reason where 42 Sidama farmers have been finally arrested about 5 weeks ago.

The Sidama nation must be united and rise up against the regime brutalizing them whilst systematically impoverishing the nation under the pretext of fake development. There can’t be any development by uprooting farmers from their livelihoods to make them and their families utter destitute. The Sidama nation must be prepared and take up all possible challenges to pay the necessary sacrifices for their rights in particular with their Oromo cousins. The Sidama’s University students must work with their Oromo cousins’ day and night until this regime is removed from power to allow the rules of law to be fully exercised and the respect of human dignity and democratic rights are fully achieved.

The Sidama nation must stand shoulder to shoulder with the Oromo to fight this brutal regime with all possible means. Never keep silent. Equally, Amhara, Ogadenia, Afar, Gambellla, Benshangul, Wolyta, Gedeo, Hadya, Guragie, Kambata, Kafa Shaka and the rest of Ethiopians, must show their unconditional support to the Oromo nation with action not with lip services. It is a time for all of us to be united to wage effective war against TPLF’s barbaric and heinous regime who rejoices by the tortures of unarmed and powerless citizens.

Silence while something so important to humanity is being compromised is equivalent to dead walking. ‘Life without Purpose and Reason is not worth living’ (Socrates 390 BC).

By Kukkissa, the Sidama reporter from Sidama capital Hawassa.

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