Ethiopian civic and political groups, media, activists, scholars, and artists announce that November becomes “Ethiopian Election Massacre” commemoration month around the world. In preparation to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Ethiopian Election Massacre, a worldwide task force has been formed. The task force organizes various activities and a worldwide conference next month.
On May 15, 2005, over 26 million Ethiopians voted peacefully to elect their leaders. As the results started to come in, showing a landslide victory for the opposition party, Meles Zenawi went on TV and declared a state of emergency. He also ordered re-votes in several districts where members of his party went down in defeat, banned political rallies, and unleashed his killers against peaceful citizens who protested his attempt to steal the election.
When the Addis Ababa Police showed restraint, Meles ordered all of them to be disarmed, and gave the Federal Police and his personal army, the Agazi, a shoot-to-kill order.
The Agazi and Federal Police snipers from roof tops and military trucks gunned down young, hundreds of unarmed protesters with 50 caliber rifles. Over 50,000 students and other individuals were rounded up and sent to concentration camps in remote parts of the country. All senior members of the opposition CUD were arrested. All the private press were shut down.
The 2005 election massacre was one of the darkest moments in the history of Ethiopia.
This coming November, we will remember those fellow Ethiopians who gave their lives for their right to vote and for their vote to be counted.
Let’s come together to remember the victims of Ethiopian Election Massacre.
Let’s also unite and devise a new strategy to fight for a better Ethiopia where freedom, democracy and justice will prevail.
More details will released by the organizing committee in the coming few days.
The Ethiopian Election Massacre Remembrance Task Force
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