TPLF: the face of massacre in Ethiopia
Birhanu M Lengiso
If there is any thing that TPLF should be remembered for, it is the massacre of civilian in Ethiopia. There are multiple massacres orchestrated/operated by TPLF. Although it is very difficult to have an exhaustive list, the following are the major ones that many Ethiopian people remember.
The Hawzen Massacre (1988)
Many wrote and many still give their testimony that TPLF have orchestrated #HawzenMassacre of June 22, 1988 where thousands of people specially school children were massacred en mass. They video taped this atrocity and used it for propaganda purpose in order to convince local people and buy their support. TPLF also used the life of thousands of people perished in Hawzen to win the financial support of the Western powers.
The Badano Massacre (1992)
In a similar fashion TPLF orchestrated #BadanoMassacre in 1992. They video taped the atrocity and used for propaganda against OLF in a similar fashion with Hawzen. The #BadanoMassacre and the followed propaganda was described as one of the successful propaganda and biggest achievement in the history of their struggle as it has helped them to maintain the divide and rule policy particularly between the Oromo and Amhara people. They continued to use this narrative to keep the two people apart, to ease their minority and inferiority complex and to remain in power for over quarter a century.
Loqee Massacre (2002)
Evidence indicate that 69 unarmed, nonviolently Sidama civilians have been executed in broad day light by government highly mechanized army on May 24, 2002 while unknown numbers of Sidama victims who’re shot and unconsciously run into nearby bushes and maize farms were eaten by hyenas and other wild animals on the night of the massacre. #LoqeeMassacre is widely remembered among the Sidama people, also its demand -the Sidama nation’s regional self-administration. The quest is still active, legitimate and constitutional but officials, both regional and federal who are responsible for loqqe massacre continue to play their devilish roles in silencing the Sidama nation.
The Anuak Massacre (2003)
On December 13, 2003 the Ethiopia government ordered a massacre that resulted in death of many Anuaks. The #AnuakMassacre, although took the life of many Anuaks, is least known even to the Ethiopians because the government covered up the atrocity from the mainstream media and whitewashed the allegation. There are also other similar massacres on the #Mazengers (2002), #Sidamas (2001) but not known to the Ethiopian people.
The Addis Ababa Massacre (2005)
In November 2005, the government massacred hundreds of unarmed protesters in Addis Ababa (#AddisAbabaMassacre). This is relatively well known to many international media and to the Ethiopians and created a groundswell of outraged response. It was very difficult for the government to whitewash this as they often do although they did not shy away from trying.
The Ogaden Massacre (2008’ 2014, 2016)
The Ethiopia government have been accused of multiple massacres in Ogaden (OgadenMassacres). There are at least three rounds of massacres in Ogaden in 2008, 2014 and 2016. The rights group reported that tens of thousands of ethnic Somali civilians have been experiencing serious abuses and a looming humanitarian crisis in the context of a little-known conflict between the Ethiopian government and an Ethiopian Somali rebel movement. Since mid-2007, thousands of people have fled, seeking refuge in neighboring Somalia and Kenya from widespread Ethiopian military attacks on civilians and villages that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Ambo Massacre (2014, 2017)
This is the first massacre in relation to #OromoProtests where security forces killed over 70 people in cold blood in Ambo town in April 2014. Ambo has always been paying huge sacrifices in Oromo struggle and hundreds of people were killed only over the last three years. It is obvious that TPLF has always been trying to revenge the Ambo people because they have challenged them from day one on their way to Finfinnee. There are multiple rounds of #AmboMassacre but 2014 is very historic in Oromo struggle.
The Konso Massacre (2016)
In September 2016 many were massacred and evicted from their home in Konso. The locals reported the government is fully responsible for the #KonsoMassacre. The Ethiopian government killed many Konso people, evicted in thousands, imprisoned thousands and silenced the people but has moved on as if nothing happened and now expanding the same to other parts of the country.
The Irreecha Massacre (2016)
#IrreechaMassacre is one of the devastating massacres happened in Ethiopia. This is a crime that the Ethiopian security forces committed on civilian in October 2016. The security forces tried to intimidate over two million who went to Bishoftu for religious festival by hovering helicopters very close to the crowed and firing into the sky from the ground. Later, with increasing anti-government chants, the security forces fired into a crowed, tear gases and chemical bombs dropped from the helicopters and left over 700 festivalgoers dead and many more injured. Many believe this was a revenge to the anti-government protests that lasted close to a year in the country.
The Calanqo Massacre (2017)
The Ethiopian defense forces massacred dozen of civilians, including a a 10-year-old child and five family members working on their farm. Many people were wounded in #CalanqoMassacre in December 2017. Many more were also killed across other Oromia towns (Ambo, Shashamene, Garba Guracha, etc) and in Amhara in the same year. Protests erupted afresh and led to social media shutdown in the country.
The Woldia Massacre (2018)
The #WoldiaMassacre happened on a religious festival – the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians epiphany celebration on 20 of January 2018. Many say the Woldia massacre is also a revenge for previous anti-TPLF protests and ethnic based discontents. It should be recalled that the youth in Woldia were clashed with football fans from Tigray region few weeks back. There are also rumors coming out government security forces did this to immediate and threaten Amhara youth who are preparing for Tedy Afro`s concert in Bahir Dar. The number of civilian killed in this atrocity is not yet confirmed but local informants put the estimate around 21.
As I said this is not exhaustive list. But we can see trends that TPLF used massacre as a tool to grab power as well as to remain in power. Who will be next is a definitive question from this trend. But when is the Ethiopian people going to unite and put an end to this atrocities is a more burning question.