Incinerating Political Prisoners Never Resolve the Political Malice of Ethiopia.
By Denboba Natie*
September 6, 2016
Since November 2015, the resistance of the Oromo nation has shaken the foundation of the incumbent brutal regime and it is fiercely continuing. The Amhara nation and the other regions have followed on the footsteps of the Oromo and are moving the current resistance to a solid stage. The authoritarian regime whose power has been maintained and consolidated with killing of tens of thousands unarmed civilians, incarcerating hundreds of thousands and totally suffocating freedom of expression and assembly has been seriously worried. The incumbent regime has lost it control as popular resistances gain momentum. The army and police of the country are increasingly joining popular resistances.
The regime uses various techniques and tactics to quash such resistances including committing mass executions. Over 800 civilians have been killed since November 2015 in Oromia and Amhara regions, about 700 in Oromia and the rest in Amhara. It also uses dirty tactics to divert the attentions of its subjects and that of the international community. When it wishes, it explodes bombs to allege opposition political parties although these have been repeatedly exposed by the WikiLeaks and the other Western intelligence groups. Although failed, still the TPLF’s barbaric regime blatantly continues with its hoodwinking strategies as the resistance engulfs the entire country. The country’s largest nations constituting at least 60-65% of the population, the Oromo and Amhara are literally on fire. The rest of the regions are following on their footsteps.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the major part of notorious prison of Qilintto, at the outskirts of Finffinnee (Addis Ababa) has been engulfed by fire on the early hours of September 03, 2016. Various credible reports have confirmed that there have been series of suspicious activities before the days leading to the Qilntto prisons fire incident. For example, the Oromo and Amhara police personnel have been removed from the prison to be replaced by the loyalists ‘Agiazi’ commando groups (mainly composed of Tigreans specializing in summarily excusing civilians on all peaceful demonstrations) in particular the day before the prison fire. The later groups have been placed in all corners of the prisons at the key positions with their highly sophisticated snipper guns on the eve of the political prisoners’ prison has been set on fire. The shootings have been heard long before the fire has been started.
Any person with unaltered mind of his own understands that there are clear indications that there have been foul plays.
The Qilintto prison hosts prominent political prisoners such as the Oromo’s human rights defenders Bekele Gerba, Addisu Bulala, Dejene Xaaffa (Tafa); Berhanu Tekleyared, Lieutenant Masresha Sete of Amhara; Solomon Nayyu of Sidama…and the other thousands of political prisoners from all over the country. It has got 4 major zones and totally hosts over 3,100 political prisoners who are all alleged of plotting against the current government- although the evidences prove that they all have peacefully attempted to show their and their fellow countrymen’s and women’s political grievances. It has been confirmed that Zone 2 of the prison has been totally obliterated. Therefore, has been feared that the regime has deliberately incinerated such a high profile political prisoners as their whereabouts remains as their family members are unable to locate them to date.
Eye witnesses have confirmed that there has been continuous shooting for the periods of over 45 minutes on early stages of the fire by the aforementioned Agiazi commando groups as harrowing experiences of the prisoners becomes evident. Subsequently, the inner sources from various hospitals also reports that several dozens of shot dead bodies have been arrived covered with black bags, none of these with fire related death. The identities of the dead bodies are unknown but were all coded with numbers. The families of over 3,100 prisoners are totally distraught as they search for their loved ones to receive only beating and intimidation from TPLF’s prison officers.
The current incident isn’t a new. On previous occasions the regime has played such heinous games when it has set various prisons on fire to have an excuse to shoot and kill prisoners. In November 2006, the regime has summarily executed over 160 prisoners in Qalitti prison as the inmates were sleeping. In October 2015, the regime’s security forces have set fire on Gonder’s prison where over 24 inmates have been summarily executed by the regime’s forces; in Oromia and Ogadenia regions such inhumane actions of the TPLF’s regime against the prisoners remain a common practice.
The Sidama nation must join the current Oromo resistance!
In spite of such diabolic practices of the regime in power, the peoples of Ethiopia are adamantly and gallantly pushing forward with their struggle… following on the footsteps of the Oromo. The Sidama nation from the south is eagerly expected to show its strong muscle to the regime that has repeatedly undermined its rights to regional self-administration for the last 25 years. The Sidama nation has been subjugated with such denials in addition to other demands similar to the rest part of the country. Therefore, the Sidama nation is expected to be at the forefront of the current demand for the fundamental change in Ethiopian politics.
The current silence of the Sdiama nation whilst its brothers and sisters in Oromia are paying a heavy sacrifice with their lives is uncustomary and uncharacteristic! The nation’s intelligential must stop its silence to risk all for the freedom and liberty of their own nation whilst giving moral and political direction instead of hiding in their shells during the current upheaval. After all, the Sidama nation is more relegated than any other nations of Ethiopia. The nation’s eerie silence whilst its rights are gravely violated is utterly and totally unacceptable. Instead the nation must join its Oromo brothers and sisters without further delay! It must and should stand with its Oromo neighbors to join popular resistance to get rid of the regime that has commonly dehumanized, depersonalized, brutalized and humiliated the nation time and again and with the rest peoples of Ethiopia.
* By Denboba Natie, September 6, 2016