July 7, 2020
Read: Open Letter to The United Nations and African Union Commission
H.E. António Guterres United Nations Secretary-General H.E. Mr. António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC) African Union Headquarters
P.O. Box 3243 Roosevelt Street W21K19
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
We would like to express our grave concerns about the ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Ethiopia, Oromia region perpetrated by 1Qerro terrorists’, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).
The International Communities and the United Nations need to take immediate action before the county collapses and results in unprecedented social crisis, civil war and endless bloodshed.
Recent reforms in Ethiopia have the semblance of democratic changes; however, sporadic waves of ethnic violence in different parts of the country are intensifying and destabilizing the already fragile nation.
On June 25, 2020 following the killing of a prominent Oromo singer Hachallu Hundenssa and failed coup d’état attempt in Ethiopia, the qerro terrorist groups massacred more than 200 defenseless ethnically Amharas and Guraghe civilians in Zeway, Shashamene and Arsi, of Oromia regions. Amhara people are selectively mutilated, chopped, dragged and burned alive.
The world is witnessing heinous crimes and attacks targeting people based on their identities. Women and children are gang rapped, stoned and beaten to their death in a horrific and inhumane manners.
These atrocities are committed in a very organized manner and masterminded by TPLF, OLF and the Oromia Media Network (OMN). These terrorists and media networks are relentlessly engaged in preaching hate, inciting religious and ethnic conflicts, and calling on the genocide of non-Oromo people in the Oromia regions. On top of theses, OMN is fundraising at an international level to further incite ethnic violence and genocide in Qerro refers to a young person in Oromo language.
Ethiopia (please see attached evidences). Regretfully, the Oromia Police and Special Forces were complacent to protect the victims from crimes against humanity.
It must also be clear that these organizations and their supporters are deliberately engaged in deceiving the international communities as if the Oromo people are the victims of their own evil acts.
Graphic videos and reports that are emerging from Oromia regions have shown inhumane and gruesome killings of civilians and massive destructions of businesses, residents and schools. Men, women and children were tortured, beaten and stoned to death; some have been burned to the ground with their houses; bodies of victims have been mutilated; women’s breasts, hands, tongues, and legs have been severed; and dead bodies have been dragged on the streets with blatant disregard for humanity by heartless qerro mobs. (Please see attached evidences).
Central to these barbaric actions lie the glaring failure of the ethnic federalism political discourse Ethiopia implemented for the last 3 decades.
The Oromia Regional government’s complacency to enforce the rule of law mainly in Oromia regions have emboldened ethnic extremists’ bigots and hate speech dispensers, and callous qerro mob to commit deplorable atrocities.
Nine months ago, in October 2019 attacks on non-Oromo civilians perpetrated by Mr. Jawar Mohammed and Oromo youth called qerro in the Oromia regions have resulted in the deaths of 87 citizens. At the time, Christians and non-Oromo people were targeted and brutally attacked, beheaded, and stoned to death. Hundreds have sustained life threatening injuries and fled their residences to Churches in the towns of Robi, Adaba, Dodola, Kofele, Adama, Harar, Mojo, and Sebeta of Oromia regions.
Qerroo mobs in Oromia regions have publicly lynched, tortured, and hanged upside-down individuals for their identities. In Buaryu, the outskirt of Addis Ababa, more than 100 families have been brutally attacked and murdered at their own backyards overnight due to their ethnic identities.
Women and children were raped, tens of thousands of people were displaced; more than 50 Ethiopian Orthodox Churches were burned to the ground, and priests, deacons, and Christians were slaughtered on a broad day light.
In effect, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch and Synod have long been petitioned and pleaded for the Ethiopian government and the international communities to provide them with safety and protection but to no avail.
Lawlessness and protracted interethnic conflicts have led to the massacre and displacements of civilians. Reports have indicated that in the last year alone, more than 3 million Ethiopians have been internally displaced due to interethnic clashes. Failure to effectively implement the following measures in a timely manner will result in unprecedented civil war and endless bloodshed in Ethiopia. The displacement of nearly 100 million Ethiopian people will destabilize the already precarious Horn of Africa and the entire continent. The region could also become a fertile ground for terrorist organizations like Al Shaba and poses significant challenges to global peace and stability.
Thus, on behalf of the Ethiopian people at home and aboard, we urge you to take the following immediate actions to avert the nation from becoming a failed state terrorists’ hub:
- Form an Independent International Committee to investigate crimes against humanity and bring those responsible officials, leaders and individuals to justice. Reports have confirmed that Oromia police officers were active participants in the mass killings and tortures of non-Oromo and Christian civilians.
- The International Communities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) , Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) must designate TPLF and OLF as terrorist organizations and hold accountable including their supports.
- Hold accountable medias like Oromia Media Network (OMN), Kush Media Network (KMN) and Tigray Media House (TMH) that perpetuate hate speeches and incite religious and ethnic violence.
- International communities, right based organizations, embassies, and civil societies must prioritize and address the ongoing crimes against humanity in Ethiopia. These organizations should assess their core values and stand firm against tyranny, oppression and injustices. They should unequivocally condemn and denounce the unfolding terrorist acts and crimes against humanity in the country.
- Hold the Ethiopian government accountable for the atrocities committed and bring those responsible to justice and further ensure that the Ethiopian government restores peace, rule of law and order.
- Hold the Ethiopian government accountable to change its ethnic federalism political discourse to address the root causes of ethnic violence.
- Hold accomplice officials to crimes against humanity in the government structure and bring them to justice.
- Freeze Assets: It is known that the corrupt officials of the ruling party of Ethiopia have been stealing billions of dollars’ worth of public assets and smuggling it to their hidden accounts in USA, Canada, Australia, UK and China. These publicly owned assets should be frozen, confiscated and returned to the people of Ethiopia
- Issue Warrants for Crimes Against Humanity and No-Fly List. Top officials of the Ethiopian governments who are committing atrocities and crimes against humanity should be held responsible and prosecuted before the International Criminal Court (ICC). ICC should issue warrants to apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice.
On behalf of the following organizations:
- I for Ethiopia Allied Task Force in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Ethiopian Diaspora in North America
- Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs
- Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations
- Anthony Lake, Executive Director UNICEF David Beasley, Executive Director WFP
- Filippo Grandi, High-Commissioner UNHCR
- Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Head of Mission, MINUSCA