April 14, 2016
US-Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520
Reference: Appeal for United States’ Voice and Humanitarian Assistance for Victims of December 2015 Kemant Genocide in North Gondar, Ethiopia
The Kemant genocide, which took place in North Gondar, Ethiopia December 9-18, 2015, slaughtered more than 95 Kemants, women, children, and elders ; wounded 86 Kemants, kept in detention unknown number of people, displaced approximately 25,000 people. The displaced victims have been deprived basic needs, they have neither food nor shelter and currently suffering from hunger and diseases. Perpetrators also demolished or burned in fire 986 residencies, emptying the enter villages in some localities; destroyed or taken away 42,284 quintals of grain, seized more than 18, 700 domestic animals. The total of property loss in the course of genocide is estimated to be US$34.4 million.
Genocide was carried out by Amhara Regional Government forces of Ethiopia, comprised of 10,000 Special Forces, paratroops and armed militia who used 58 to 62 heavy trucks to transport logistics and personnel. The regional government has not denied perpetration of genocide, but portrayed as if it was people to people hostility, between Amharas and Kemants.
Persecution against the Kemant population, killing and detention have been in effect, especially since 2013. Kemants through their representative, called Kemant coordinating committee and supporters appealed to the Ethiopian Federal Government more than four times. The Federal Government of Ethiopia acknowledged the problem following current genocide and set up a special committee led by Kassa Tekilebirhan, former House Speaker and currently a cabinet member to implement self-rule for Kemants in 126-128 kebels/localities, 8-counties, but the committee has achieved nothing so far. Alternatively, a creation of a regional state for Kemants, proper & Amharic speaking Agaws in general and Beta Israelis living throughout Gondar and Gojjam, currently repressed in Amhara Region is believed to be the best remedy to guarantee durable security. Otherwise, provincial, zonal arrangement may not provide needed lasting security for Kemants and other ethnic groups.
Indeed, the central government’s inadequate response to the crisis is a reason for Kemant’s present sufferings. The central government has lacked the political will and commitment to bring alleged perpetrators, suspected officials to justice. Despite systematic atrocity committed against the Kemant population with purity, no key top officials presumably responsible for genocide have been brought to before justice, with exceptions of questioning junior ones who allegedly acted on top regional officials’ directives.
Unfortunately, even after December 2015, genocide is still in effect. On January 21, a government security force opened fire on the crowd gathered to celebrate the Ethiopian traditional Epiphany in Chilga and killed five people including the chief priest, Bisret Abera carrying a replica of Ark of Covenant and wounded dozens. On March 26, 2016, the regional government’s Special Forces, paratroops numbered 400-500 entered into the town of Tikildingay, Lay Armachiho County in the midnight and terrorized population including torture.
Moreover, the regional government officials are currently retraining including retired soldiers and disseminating propaganda via a party line obviously for large scale genocide on Kemants probably comparable to Rwanda 1992, or World War-II Holocaust against the Jewish people.
I under signed hereby, an independent human rights observer and community constituent kindly appeal on behalf of the victims, the United States to voice against injustice and play a positive role working with the Ethiopian Government for the following, purposes, but not limited:
a) all perpetrators to be tried at neutral court and prevent similar atrocity in the future.
b) The displaced victims to be provided with immediate humanitarian assistance.
c) The victims’ families to be provided with adequate compensation for lost life and properties.
d) One of the key suspects of genocide Mr, Gedu Andargachew, incumbent Head of Region-3, called Amhara Regional State currently in the US to be tried.
Attached please find a copy of the report of December 2015 Kemant Genocide, includes a list of victims, the location of catastrophe and names of suspected officials involved in genocide and theory for genocide.
Prime Minister of Ethiopia, other concerned governments and international organizations