May 30, 2016, London Conference
Press Release by Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF)
About six dozen confirmed and several dozen unconfirmed Sidama civilians have been indiscriminately gunned down in broad day lights by Ethiopian armed forces on May 24, 2002 in Sidama land whilst peacefully protesting government’s continued denial of constitutionally guaranteed rights to regional self-administration. The Sidama of all walk of lives have staged on a peaceful demonstration in Hawassa’s outskirts village known as Loqqee, on early hours of the aforementioned date after fully satisfying the constitutional requirements rightly stipulated in incumbent’s constitution whilst undertaking such publically guaranteed democratic privileges. Over 300 have been seriously injured and the other several hundreds have sustained minor injuries.
Disallowed to be collected by their love ones’, the dead bodies of the Sidama victims have been left for days to be devoured by by hyenas during the period of 24-48 hours’ strict curfew imposed in entire Sidama land following the Loqqee massacre. Over 15,000 Sidama civilians from all over the Sidama districts and villages have been also rounded up to be indiscriminately mass arrested and tortured; as the military personnel were allowed to roam on the streets and villages -literally terrorizing the entire nation.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF/EPRDF’s) government under the leadership of late PM Meles Zenawi has meticulously planned and centrally coordinated the Sdiama Loqqee massacre. The current TPLF/EPRDF’s PM, Hailemariam Desalegn -the then Southern Ethiopian regional State president has been given the responsibilities of stage-managing of the Sidama Loqqee massacre and has been also ordered to chair a pre-massacre extraordinary urgent meetings of May 23, 2002. Assigned by late PM, federal government officials, regional and Sidama Zone politicians numbering 21 participants have taken part in the said stage-managing meeting of the massacre in the eve of May 24, 2002 Loqqee massacre in Hawassa (the Sidama capital). They all but two Sidama participants have agreed to shoot and kill all Sidama civilians if they go on with demonstration in the following morning. The aforementioned massacre has taken place under such deliberately and clearly targeted killing of the Sidama civilians who have done no wrong but attempted to exercise their constitutional guaranteed rights.
The Sidama nation is globally marking the said 14th commemorative anniversary of the Sidama Loqqee massacre whilst the nation is still languishing under TPLF’s brutally oppressive regime seeking the way out of it with the rest of Ethiopians. The nation commemorates the 14th anniversary of its sons and daughter’s massacre in the midst of further government orchestrated impoverishment, displacements of millions of Sidama peasants, deliberately imposed subjugation, economical and politico-social marginalization. More importantly, the nation is commemorating the 14th anniversary with the rest of subjugated and massacred Ethiopians with renewed sense of hope and determination to bring those who have massacred the Sidama civilians and the other Ethiopian civilians to justice.
The London conference of May 30th 2016 Sidama Loqqee 14th commemorative anniversary and other Ethiopians massacre commemorating event asserts the fact that the future directions of peoples of Ethiopia depends on us all. The massacre is ongoing in Oromia, Ogadenia, Amhara, Gambella, Benshangul, south Omo and the rest of Ethiopia. Therefore, we call upon all Ethiopians to join us in fighting of the repressive regime to bring about lasting and genuine solution beneficial to all Ethiopians.
To date no person from federal to regional and Sidama Zone level has been held accountable for the Sidama Loqqee massacre. Instead, those who have been fully involved in planning, stage-managing and massacring of the Sidama civilians have been uplifted and rewarded with more powers, financial packages and privileges. The SNLF categorically condemns the brutal action of the TPLF’s barbaric regime and calls upon all democracy loving Ethiopia related politicians and the entire peoples of Ethiopia to be united to fight the regime enslaving us all with rigor and determination.
We never forget the Sidama Loqqe massacre victims and the cause for which they have sacrificed their precious lives. We also never forget the Oromo, Ogadenia, Amhara, Gambella, Benshangul and the rest of Ethiopians who have been massacred by TPLF/EPRDF’s brutal regime during its 25 years of reign of terror.
We salute the Sidama Loqqee Massacre Victims and the rest of Ethiopian people’s victims. May your souls rest in peace whilst we fight for justice to prevail on your behalf.
SNLF, May 30, 2016