The following “Open Letter to the Ethiopian People and International Community” had been posted on the East Africa Human Rights Educators Movement (EAHREM) page, on June 15, 2019. The author has sent the link to wlka for republication and respecting the request on a humanitarian basis.
Open Letter to Ethiopian People and International Community
My name is Ale Keya, members of Gumuz community and a human rights observer.
Humbly, I like to brief and seek your support to bring perpetrators of 93 Gumuz children, before justice.
As was covered national and international media, like Aljazeera, 93-Gumuz children were massacred on April 30, 2019 by Amhara Militia forces (called Fano) in Jawe Administrative District in Amhara Regional State, Awi Administrative Zone. As has been confirmed by eye witness in the area and Gumuz independent investigators, about 400 Amhara militia forces were transported from Bahir Dar district, Quarit and Secela of Amhara Region to commit genocide against the Gumuz innocent children.
Allegedly, the genocide order was issued by Commander Mesresha Sete, Fano’s Chief, in consultation with General Asminaw Tsge, Head of Amhara Regional State Security and Mr. Zemene Kashegn, the former Ginbot 7 guerrilla Commander and others. Five decades ago, their fathers sold our children for slavery inhuman way and today they are killing our children in mass and refusing to take accountability for their acts, because of they are Gumuz (‘Bare’).
On the basis of best international practices and guides of various conventions, two warring parties or parties involved in a dispute are investigated and judged by a neutral body, to deliver fair justice for both sides.
Initially, an inquiry of this case was handled by neutral federal investigators, but Prime Minister Abiy’s government intervened in the investigation process and handed over the responsibility to Amhara Regional Government, where its chief security head was presumably involved in ordering the genocide as mentioned above. This is an extremely disturbing part of drama by Prime Minister Abiy’s government. How Amara Regional Government directly implicated in genocide can be an investigator, witness and judge? At any rate, this is a violation of fundamental justice.
In the first week of June 2019, there was an unconfirmed report about arrest warrant against Colonel Mesresha Sete and Mr. Zemene Kashegn, who supposedly directed genocide on the children. But, in the practical reality, nothing happened both men are talking about their military strength and further military actions if Prime Minister Abiy’s government attempts to arrest them.
Close observers in Addis Ababa say Abiy’s government has no military capacity to arrest and put on the trail the alleged chief perpetrators. This theory seems accurate; Prime Minister Abiy’s government has detained 40-people in Jawe who has no significant role in genocide other than providing information and food for perpetrators who sent for the criminal mission. There is no single person in detention among actual alleged perpetrators. The same dram is taking place in Kamant area North Gondar and Kanise Oromo administrative area South Wollo.
The Ethiopian state is collapsing drastically and rolling back to the 18th-century politics in the terms of lawlessness, where strong men, warlords, are not held accountable for their consequences, but unorganized and unarmed powerless people pay a price for the crime committed by strong men, like Mesresha Sete. Thus, the federal government might not have military capacity to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice. However, if it had commitment to human rights and supremacy of the law, it could issue the arrest warrant publicly and seek the Ethiopian public and international community support to try the suspected criminals.
Our Gumuz government in Metekel courageously took measures against those members of Gumuz community implicated in deaths of persons regardless of ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, Amhara Government has been acting on the contrary. It is busy detaining its political opponents, for public consumption to cover up the real criminals who massacred the innocent children in purity. Justice cannot be served in such way rather it will lead the whole country into the state of anarchy.
What makes the situation worse is the federal government’s irresponsible act that reinforces the strong men, such as listed above to continue their atrocity. Apparently, Abiy’s government has been accepting the stereotypical notion that killing Gumuz is not a crime, to compromise for failed political support. Therefore, I call on:
- The Ethiopian people and the international community to condemn the perpetrators and Abiy’s government is inhuman role.
- Gumuz Community members in Diaspora to take the genocide issue to the UN Human Rights Commission.
- Prime Minister Abiy’s government to stop arming Amhara Regional Government, which has been in turn supplying arms to Fano.
If you have questions, or comments, please contact at the email address indicated below.
June 14, 2019