ETHIOPIA’S MINORITY REGIME COMMITTING ATROCITIES AGAINST ITS OWN CITIZENS

OEA Statement

For Immediate Release July 15, 2016

The Organization of Eritrean Americans condemns the brutality of the minority regime in Ethiopia against its own citizens and stands alongside the people of Ethiopia during these challenging times. Our thoughts are with the victims of these unacceptable crimes committed against the Ethiopian people. The Ethiopian people have continued to witness acts of violence against protesters in the Gambela, Ogaden and Oromia and now the Amhara regions of Ethiopia without accountability.

On 20 April 2016, the United States Senate sponsored a resolution that called for a full, credible, and transparent investigation into the killings and instances of excessive use of force that took place as a result of protests in the Oromia region and hold security forces accountable for wrongdoing. The Senators were unanimous in their condemnation of the regime’s brutality:

  • “...I am shocked by the brutal actions of the Ethiopian security forces, and offer condolences to the families of those who have been killed. The Ethiopian constitution affords its citizens the right to peaceful assembly and such actions by Ethiopian government forces are unacceptable. The government’s heavy-handed tactics against journalists and use of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism and Charities and Societies Proclamations to stifle free speech and legitimate political dissent demonstrate a troubling lack of respect for democratic freedoms and human rights...”-( Senator Cardin)
  • “...Peaceful protestors and activists have been arrested, tortured and killed in Ethiopia for simply exercising their basic rights. I condemn these abuses and the Ethiopian government’s stunning disregard for the fundamental rights of the Ethiopian people. I urge the Obama Administration to prioritize respect for human rights and political reforms in the U.S. relationship with Ethiopia...”- (Senator Rubio)

Since the 2005 election, violent crackdowns, unlawful arrests and displacement of individuals have been carried out by the regime’s “Liyu” special police and security forces. Journalists, members of the various opposition groups in exile have been the scapegoat for the Ethiopian regime’s continued authoritarian control over the nation. Just over a year ago, during the national elections, the minority regime in Ethiopia claimed it had won 100% of the vote to lead the country. A percentage not witnessed anywhere in the world. Not long after the elections the regime began its campaign of killing and maiming the very same people whom it has claimed voted for it.

A few months ago a large number of Ethiopians in the Oromia region started a peaceful protest against the government’s decision for displacing them from their farmlands. The regime brutally killed many innocent citizens; and is still pursuing similar actions against other groups all over the country. Currently the regime’s military powers have spread across the country to contain the people’s revolution against the crimes and atrocities being committed against them. This brutal regime blinded by its hidden agenda of greater Tigray will not hesitate to kill as many Ethiopians as it can in order to stop or contain the people’s movement.

These incidents, along with many others, have gone unaccounted for by the international community. Now, with over 1000 killed and many more injured by the regime security forces, it is clear that the Ethiopian regime is committed to policies of violence and harassment against all who oppose its authoritarian practices.

The minority regime’s 14-year long occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories in violation of over a dozen UN Security Council resolutions, the African Union and United Nation’s Charters, the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s final and binding delimitation and demarcation decisions are further evidence of the regime’s belligerence and contempt for international law. It should be recalled that the bigoted minority regime deported over 80,000 Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin at the height of its 1998-2000 aggressive war of invasion, expansion and occupation, and confiscated their belongings, in violation of international human rights laws and the UN Geneva Conventions.

It is indeed ironic that the very same minority regime that kills and maims its own citizens has been rewarded with seats on the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council. This government cannot be expected to carry its responsibility at the UNSC and will not be trusted to uphold a neutral position nor decision that benefit international peace and security.

OEA calls upon all friends and allies of the suffering Ethiopian people to stand up for justice. We also ask peace-loving people everywhere in the world to bring the brutal regime to its senses for the sake of innocent civilians who are currently suffering at the hands of the very government that should be protecting them.

OEA demands that all violence and unlawful arrests, as well as the unending harassment, cease immediately toward peaceful protestors across Ethiopia, and calls upon the UN Security Council to declare the situation in Ethiopia, a threat to international peace and security.

Organization of Eritrean Americans (OEA) --