Ethnic Cleansing in Gambella Region, Ethiopia: What Is to Become of Its Minorities?
Unfortunately it is not unusual for the Ethiopian government to conduct ethnically-based human rights violations in its own country. Only a few weeks go, Oromo civilians were specifically targeted and killed in their home towns following peaceful protests. Today it is the Anuak community who is suffering from oppression by national authorities. The government seems to have started the conflict to repress a group of civilians suspected of affiliation to the Gambella Peoples’ Liberation Movement (GPLM). The People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) condemns these atrocities and pleads the international community to take these continuous human rights violations in consideration when engaged in relations with the Ethiopian Government.
Photo courtesy of Julio Garcia @Flickr
On January 27, 2016, around 2:00 am local time, ‘special police’ from the regional administration of Gambella aided by local militia attacked Anuak civilians all over the region. Subsequently, the death of more than four dozen of Anuak civilians have been reported; and the indiscriminate massacre of unarmed Gambella civilians is said to be continuing. Moreover, the local militia close to the regional administrator attacked a prison in Gambella town and residential areas by killing more than 8 people and destroying the regional state prison.
In Gambella, the Ethiopian government arms and trains both the special police forces and the local militias. Therefore, the government is believed to have instigated the current conflict after it has suspected that the Anuak are affiliated to Gambella Peoples’ Liberation Movement (GPLM), one of the founding members of the ‘Peoples’ Alliance for freedom and Democracy’ (PAFD). The instability of the South Sudan is also said to have negatively impacted on the intra-communal harmony.
Between 13 and 16 of December 2003, in Gambella region, the Ethiopian army has massacred over 424 Anuak people, wounding further 200 and causing the disappearances of about 85 people.
Time and again, we have witnessed such profoundly disturbing crimes perpetrated by the current Ethiopian government on civilians of all regions. Since November 2015, the Ethiopian government’s forces are committing similar massacres and brutally treating unarmed Oromo civilians in various Oromia villages and towns. The Oromo civilians are peacefully protesting TPLF’s land-grabbing policies under the pretext of expanding Addis Ababa.
The regime blatantly continues committing similar massacres in Ogaden Somali, Sidama, Tepi-Mezenger, Beni-Shangul and other regions in front of the international community. Civilians and opposition groups and their supporters are arbitrarily imprisoned, continually tortured and denied legal representation. Millions of farmers are continually uprooted from their livelihoods to vacate their land for TPLF’s business. Journalists for writing the truth and all those who dare to exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights are classified as terrorists.
- Categorically condemns the Ethiopian government’s systematic instigation of the current conflict in Gambella and urges it to stop the arming of one ethnic group to stand against their own people.
- Calls upon all the Gambella civilians to exercise utmost restraint; stop massacring their own brothers and sisters- instead uniting to resist authoritarian TPLF’s regime
- Calls upon all Gambella related democratic movements and liberation fronts to unite in unanimously denouncing the Ethiopian government's heinous tactics of inciting conflicts between fraternally co-exited brothers and sisters.
- Calls upon all the international and Ethiopian related democratic forces to unite in condemning the on-going Gambella massacre orchestrated by the Ethiopian government.
- Calls upon all the international humanitarians and Western politicians to rethink their position whilst supporting the Ethiopian TPLF’s authoritarian regime.
- Call upon all foreign groups to desist from interfering in the internal affairs of the Gambella peoples.
For the original press release please download this.