October 4th, 2016, Gambella
In solidarity with the ongoing Ethiopian protests and protestors inside and outside the country, the Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) condemns the TPLF government’s genocidal killings, arbitrary arrest, and tortures of civilians in most parts of the country including Gambella, Oromya, Amhara, Beneshangul Gumuz, SNNPR, Afar, and Somalia regions.
GNUM condemns the arbitrary arrest, detention and disappearing of the indigenous people particularly the Anuaks of Gambella, which is still a day to day phenomenon in the region. Besides, the land grabs that are still taking place in rampant, while the indigenous are being marginalized and brutally killed through systematic and genocidal extinction measures, the TPLF government is planning a serious ethnic cleansing conflicts in the region. In late September/2016 more than 29,000 South Sudanese refugees (dominantly Nuers) have crossed the border to Gambella. These are heavily armed refugees mobilized to settle in the refugee camps as usual with aim to eliminate the indigenous Anuaks from their ancestral lands for the TPLF members.
This will add to the tension caused in January 2016, in which 13 Anuaks villages were burned down and many Anuaks were killed by the heavily armed Nuer refugees in Itang and Jikaw districts, while the TPLF soldiers were condoning the killings and the evacuation of the villages. The Anuaks villages evacuated are not yet rehabilitated. The IDPs are still suffering under the trees without security and government assistance. One of the perpetrators behind the Anuaks genocidal killings in Gambella, Thwat Pal, who was once a time led the Ethiopian patriotic opposition party, repatriated to Ethiopia in September 2016 on special arrangement with the TPLF government. His repatriation is allegedly to facilitate and escalate ethnic conflicts and killings in the Gambella region. Could the ongoing and the upcoming of armed Nuer refugees in Gambella be a part of the plan to come!
GNUM strongly condemns the killings of innocent Oromo people in Oromia region by the TPLF soldiers that took place this week on October 2, 2016 during the annual religious of Irreechaa thanksgiving festival in Bishoftu, a town near to Addis Ababa, the capital. The TPLF government should be held accountable for the Irreechaa massacre in turning this religious festival into protest through its security agents who were chanting slogans leading to chaos. Thus, the TPLF government could carry the killings inhumanely by deploying the defense force including helicopters gunship and tanks against unarmed civilians. The death toll is has reached to 600 civilians and more than a thousand injured. Still many are missing and the number of death bodies is increasingly rising.
Following the Irreechaa massacre there is a growing mass protests and tensions in many parts of Oromya and other regions. Many government buildings and properties are put on fire; roads are blocked with no movement. People are demanding their freedom and justice. As our sources confirm the killings continue in different parts of Oromia region. Many are arrested and many more have disappeared from their homes as protests continue. During this protest one American researcher was killed. With the current crackdown of protest and killing of protesters in the country, the international community should consider the TPLF/EPRDF as terrorist government.
GNUM condemns the killings and the arbitrary arrest in Beneshangul Gumuz region. In Mid-September 2016 in peaceful rally held by Gizan residents in the region against the TPLF robbery of the natural resources by the corrupt army commanders, officials, and cronies of the regime deployed in the areas as gold prospectors, more than 300 protestors were severely beaten and arrested; unspecified numbers were killed by the TPLF regime; the detainees are accused of terrorism, a charge the regime is routinely uses to stifle any kind of dissent, which is similarly used in natural resources rich regions such as Gambella and other regions in Ethiopia.
For the last eight months the Konso people of Southern Nations Nationalities people region (SNNPR), have been under attack by the Ethiopian security forces killing of innocent civilian and displaced thousands of Konso people. The people of Konso were constitutionally requesting their own administrative area and the TPLF government rejected their demand intentionally, just to increase the tension in the area and potentially used it as pretext to eliminate the elites of Konso people.
GNUM condemns the killings, arbitrary arrest and detention, tortures and displacement of the indigenous populations in South Omo Valley of SNNPR. The indigenous populations live in great fear and threat following the mega project of the state owned Sugar plantation which will resettle huge number of people from Tigray region. The pictures from the South Omo Valley portraying brutal tortures and killings of the innocent indigenous pastoralists are evidenced on the international and opposition Mass Medias which should be condemned widely.
GNUM condemns the killings and the arbitrary arrest and tortures of Amhara People. Following the claim of Walkait area which is historically belong to Amhara people but forcefully demarcated into Tigray region, it has sparked unstoppable mass protests in Amhara region that lent itself into full scale war between the civilian Amhara people and the TPLF soldiers. Many unarmed innocent Amharas have died and many more were arbitrary arrested and tortured since July 2016. Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) is also calling upon all people of Gambella and other South Western Nilotes to stand together with Oromo, Amhara, Konso, the Beneshangul Gumuz people and all Ethiopians who are suffering under brutal regime of Ethiopia.
GNUM is aware and understood that TPLF/EPRDF government deliberately plays divide and rule politics among our nationalities to extinct the indigenous communities from their ancestral lands. The leadership of GNUM would like to inform and encourage all the indigenous populations to collaborate and pay solidarity with other oppressed Ethiopians to condemn and oppose the current leadership of the EPRDF/TPLF government to bring regime change.
To this respect, GNUM/A would like to call upon the international community to investigate and condemn these barbaric killings, intimidation and harassment of mass protestors in Ethiopia and holds the TPLF/EPRDF regime accountable for all crimes against humanity. We are particularly also calling upon the United Nations, EU, AU, and all other humanitarian organizations to closely monitor the political and military action against the innocent civilian in many parts of Ethiopia.
At last we call upon the TPLF/EPRDF government to stop killing of innocent Ethiopians; to release our brothers kept in various prisons in the country under inhumanly conditions; to recognize the communal land rights and ownership in accord with the UN provisions. The Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) will continue its struggle for all people of Gambella and other oppressed Ethiopian to ensure freedom, justice, security and prosperity are brought to all the oppressed people of Ethiopia.
Gambella Nilotes United Movement