Government-sanctioned mass killings in Gambella in Ethiopia by South Sudanese forces, which decimated the Anuak Tribe in January last year, is a clear example of the second wave of atrocities of the maleficient rulers towards the forgotten people of the African Horn.
Armed with modern weapons, the South Sudanese Nuers settled as refugees and took pride in forcibly and permanently disarming any Anuak civilian who dared to rise up. This region has come to prominence with various calls for the international community to take action again the genocidal acts of the Ethiopian government against its own people.
It is expected that crimes against peoples can be dealt with by fair law enforcement, and administered by fair judicial systems. But in Ethiopia, the judiciary lacks independence in any politically related cases.
Ethiopian courts refuse to investigate incidents of alleged torture, information dissemination is hindered with false media reports, and international agencies are blocked from investigating and detailing government oppression of civilians.
Government officials and party loyalists obtain preferential access to jobs, land and finances. The corruption of this Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government, over which the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front is the main component, has not been curtailed over its years in power. Rather it has bulldozed through the human rights of the people who slave away for subsistence.
In 2003, protests by the Amhara, the Oromia and the Gambella peoples aimed to stop native lands from being taken over. With their arms raised to signify peaceful protest, they were violently repressed.
Whole tribes in large parts of Ethiopia have faced destruction at the hands of a government entrusted to protect them. The nation’s wealth has been looted amid a bleak future of greater poverty and economic starvation for already suffering peoples. How much longer can people be subjected to the personal greed of the EPRDF in collaboration with the Gulf state countries?
The pride and life of Ethiopia must be preserved. The international community must take notice of the atrocities in Ethiopia and label them for what they are: genocide.
Unfortunately, for its own cynical interests, the US government has supported the EPRDF regime. When then-president Barack Obama visited Ethiopia last year, he congratulated the government on its “re-election” while it jails civil rights activists.
Ethiopia needs a combined effort by international agencies to investigate these genocidal acts, and hold the ruling party accountable and responsible. Bona-fide democratic processes must return.