Sidama Community United Kingdom,

May 25, 2013

London,

On a very bright morning in Sidama land, on May 24, 2002, between 10:30 and 11:00am local time; the Sidama people of all walks of life staged on a peaceful and non-violent Demonstration after fully exhausting the constitutional requirements that is needed to undertake such an activity. Carrying the leaves of trees and Ethiopian flags, the demonstrators peacefully started to march towards their capital city, Hawassa which is located at the distance of about 3 km from where they have been planning to hold the said peaceful demonstration when they were encountered with deliberately targeted barbaric acts after they have nearly travelled about a kilometre from the point they were gathering.

 

The objectives of the demonstration was in protest of the government’s decision to remove the administrative right of their capital (Hawassa)- from Sidama to the federal government in addition to the issues related with regional self administration quest, the Sidama nation is constitutionally guaranteed, yet denied. Whilst the Sidamas were peacefully demonstrating, suddenly, they were met with several armoured vehicles with machine guns and others hundreds of army personnel all of whom live shot into the upcoming crowds without warning-instantly killing over hundred Sidama civilians and wounding about 250-300.

 

With Sidama civilian demonstrators about three Sidama police officers were also summarily executed by the army for demanding them and police officers to stop the killing of Sidama’s peaceful and unarmed civilians. For being humane and genuine the said Sidama police officers also paid ultimate sacrifices for the causes of justices with others Sidama civilians. The dead bodies of hundreds of Sidama civilians were left on the street for the entire day whereas others seriously wounded unfortunately died in the middle of highly grown up corn plantation; most of whose dead bodies eventually devoured by hyenas. Others several seriously wounded civilians were also left to loss their blood and die in an agonising pain as health professionals weren’t allowed to help them until after 6 hours, after the shootings. After 6 hours of the shootings, the dead bodies of the Sidama people were dragged and some of them thrown to the pickup cars and an ISUZU lorry to be eventually dumped in Hawassa health centre. The families of the dead Sidama civilians weren’t allowed to collect the bodies of their beloved ones up until 3rd or 4th days.

 

Strict curfew was imposed throughout Sidama region for weeks and the Sidama was fully militarised from corner to corner. Those culprits who have ordered, stage-managed and monitored the massacre of the Sidama civilians are widely circulating in Sidamaland to date until now, and most of them are promoted to higher authority statuses.

 

As we commemorate the 11th anniversary of such tragic acts of the regime sponsored terrorism against law abiding Sidama civilians with our brothers and sisters [the sons and daughters of others subjugated nations of Ethiopia], our thought goes to the families and relatives of Sidama victims of Loqqe massacre of May 24, 2002.  We also salute their courage, determination and indefatigable decisions whilst they took to the streets of Sidamaland demanding their fundamental rights defying the mightiness of the regime’s live ammunitions to pay ultimate sacrifices. We also believe that this is the kind of crime taking places in Oromia, Ogadenia, Gambella, Shakicho Kaficho and others regions of subjugated nations with varying degrees. We salute the strengths of all civilians whose ultimate contributions in the end will make the dreams of their respective nation’s reality.

 

We’re commemorating Sidama victims of atrocity of May 24, 2002, in conjunction with psychological thought of those all Ethiopians who have lost their precious lives for simple reasons of seeking justice, liberty, human dignity and respect for fundamental rights; the essential elements all are denied by the successive Ethiopian regimes including the incumbent one.

 

As we all gathered here in London on May 25, 2013, in a free land where the rule of law is part and parcel of the whole society, our hearts and minds travel thousands of miles, dissecting clouds and ocean alike to share the sufferings of those who are unfortunately left back in Ethiopia, under the rule of jungle where democracy and democratic values remain meaningless.

 

Therefore,

The Sidama nation wholeheartedly reaffirms its oaths on its determination until it asserts the rights of Sidama nation for which cause its fallen Sidama heroes paid ultimate sacrifices!

 

The Sidamas in Sidamaland and in Diaspora remember this Day, as the day of Sidama Martyrs and salute them all for their precious sacrifices of life. We all Sidamas, young and old, female and male alike never forget the ultimate sacrifices those heroes paid on behalf of our nation.

 

We the Sidamas wholeheartedly thank the representatives of Oromia, Ogadenia, Shakacho Kaficho and others subjugated nations’ brothers and sisters for showing us their usual solidarity by taking part in whatever we do on behalf of our systematically subjugated and deliberately brutalised nation.

 

Finally, we demand the support of the international community and strongly suggest to hold the Ethiopian current regime into account for its inhuman treatment of civilians and bring those who’re responsible for Loqqee massacre of Sidama civilians and others similar massacres and genocides committed by this very regime all over the country. We also demand the current Ethiopian regime to stop the acts of barbarism towards civilians, intelligentsia, journalists, opposition members and the wider societies at large.

 

May the Souls of Sidama Victims of atrocity and others Ethiopian nation’s peoples who have paid similar sacrifices Rest in Peace!!

 

Sidama Community UK, May 25, 2013, London

 

 

ONA

 

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