Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia
By: Sophia Tesfamariam
January 2, 2004

On July 9, 1999 after the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson condemned the Tigrayan minority regime in Ethiopia following the expulsion of Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin from all over Ethiopia , the leader of the apartheid regime in Ethiopia Melles Zenawi, arrogantly lashed out at her statement. It was at that time that he made the shameful racist statement about deporting anyone “if we don't like the color of their eyes” . The apartheid regime in Ethiopia expelled over 80, 000 Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin and confiscated a billion-dollar's worth of properties.

Today, ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia has reached a level that innocent people's are dying in the hundreds and thousands as a result of the ethnic policies that is propagated and advanced by the Tigrayan minority regime in Addis. This is done with the funding received from various international quarters. Media headlines such as “University Students Massacred”, “Journalists Killed”, “Peasants Uprooted and Slaughtered” etc. etc. are common occurrences in today's Ethiopia . The latest report of the massacre that has been taking place since Saturday, December 13, 2003 in the Gambela region of Ethiopia is therefore, not an isolated incident.

According to Ethiopian and international media and eyewitnesses, “ethnic Anuak”, “Nuers” and other innocent civilians in Gambela are being massacred :

“While most killings that took the lives of more than 350 Anuaks were committed in Gambella town, which started with the killings of educated Anuaks, the genocide is also currently continuing in all areas where Anuaks and Nuers live…This tragedy is a continuation of massacres and killings instigated by the wrong-headed ethnic policies of the regime that is terminally pitting one ethnic group against another all over Ethiopia”.

•  “Is deeply shocked by the recent horrible massacre of thirty-eight innocent Afar women by the Amhara Regional State Militia. The massacre took place in Corebarata Kebale on the 8 th November 2002 …Afar women have been killed in a ghastly and uncivilized manner by slaughtering some of them with knives as if they were animals. Among the massacred women were young girls, elderly and pregnant women …that the massacre had been deliberately planned and secretly organized … in order to destroy the family basis of the Afar community, to prevent birth within the Afar society

(Afar Forum letter to the UN on November 22 nd , 2002 )

  •  “The regime has created ideal conditions for internal civil wars, hunger, poverty, and disease to ransack the country. It has destabilized the Horn Africa through its destructive policies by waged wars against some of the neighboring countries, mostly Eritrea , Somalia . Besides, in the name of its “democracy”, the regime is fighting mercilessly against the oppressed Ogaden Somalis, Ormos, Sidama and others in Ethiopian, who have been denied of their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms…Today, the country is composed of nine regions and there are armed uprisings against its injustice policies. By employing the political culture pursued by its progenitors of divide and rule, the TPLF is using its institutional capacity to incite people against peoples constantly by creating conflicts between Somalis, Oromo, Gedeo, Benishangul, Gambela, Afar, Gurage, Kambata and others. This act has denied the Somalis and other peoples their right to live together in peace and security”

Dr. Abdi Aden Mohamed, the former deputy Minister of Health of Ethiopia- June 27-29, 2003 , Stockholm , Sweden

The minority regime in Ethiopia is not only propagating practicing ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia , it is.

•  A regime that is violating all tenets of human rights

•  A regime that has defied international law and believes in the law of the jungle

•  A regime that is retreating from its international obligations and treaties it has signed. The case in point being, its rejection of the final and binding EEBC decision of April 13, 2002 .

In spite of all these crimes against humanity and defying of international law, the world is treating this lawless, belligerent, intransigent and arrogant minority regime in Ethiopia with kids' gloves. Although the BBC, Red Cross, Voice of America and UN bodies have investigated and verified Ethiopia's "ethnic cleansing" policy, the international community has remained curiously mute. Addis based diplomats are reluctant to rock boats. It is about time proper punitive measures are taken before we see another Rwanda in Ethiopia , and before we see additional innocent Ethiopians being used as cannon fodder and minesweepers in the borders of Eritrea and Ethiopia .

The rule of law must prevail over the rule of the jungle!