Gambella Peoples’ Tragedy Under TPLF’s Regime and Foreign Invaders Must Come to An End!
Press Statement by Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD)
April 21, 2017
Gambella people’s Liberation Movement, (GPLM) is one of the founding members of People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD). Its’ people, as the other PAFD member nations and the rest peoples of Ethiopia, are subjected to various forms of dehumanizing treatments for the last 26 years under TPLF’s authoritarian regime. The regime expropriates their immense natural resources including their virgin land without slightest care for the stakeholders, instead by inhumanely displacing and subjugating them. Today in Gambella, like in other various regions, TPLF brutalizes the subjects in the scale hitherto unknown. To achieve its objectives, TPLF deploys several methods from which depersonalization of the subjects prior to totally cutting their ties with their lifeline; their land, the only asset they had had at their disposal since time immemorial, is some of the numerous others. In Gambella People’s living memory, TPLF/EPRDF is the only regime who is hellbent on denying them their unalienable rights to their own land, the only hope and aspiration they have got.
Under pretext of erroneous land-reform legislation, TPLF is doing whatever it wishes with the lands of the entire nations and peoples of the country, not only in Gambella region, although the scale of land grab in Gambella defy normal belief. The architects of TPLF’s regime, such as their late PM and the other legally organized criminals meticulously premediated as to how they can systematically displace legitimate stakeholders for TPLF to be able to freely trade with their land and land of the other over 95 million peoples. TPLF’s misguided policy which has been crafted by their godly figure, the infamous late sadistic, PM Meles Zenawi drawn series of criticisms from the international human rights defending community although the regime remains adamant, thus pursues its unlawful policy of displacement and enslavement.
The Gambella people were hardly prepared for such unprecedented level of barbarism when the regime targeted them by suddenly displacing and summarily executing them. The 2003/2004 Gambella massacre of confirmed over 450 civilians is part and parcel of TPLF’s regime premediated plot to depopulate Gambella region to vacate their land for its generals- to allow them to have unhindered access to the Gambella’s virgin land. Evidences from various sources show that, over 75% of bogus investors who have occupied Gambella land are purely Tigreans who have been given loans of millions of Ethiopian Birr from the national bank. Such bunches of legally organized criminals, TPLF’s generals, politicians and politically affiliated Tigreans become multi-millionaires within a blink of an eye by selling and trading with the lands of peoples of the country. Contrarily to the above, the Gambella civilians as the rest peoples of the country became virtual slaves in their own soil. We strongly denounce with all possible words, the invasion of Gambella and other peoples of Ethiopia lands by TPLF’s Tigrean gangs.
Unsatisfied with the expropriation of their natural resources and land by subjugating Gambella civilians, the TPLF’s regime is embarked on massacring the subjects time and again. Not only it’s massacring the civilians; evidences from various sources including GPLM further indicate that, TPLF has got agenda of incorporating part of Gambella, Benshangul and Amhara regions into its utopian dream land, the greatest independent Tigray. It aims to incorporate all regions adjacent to it, including the areas covering northern part of Amhara in addition to aforementioned regions.
PAFD strongly believes that uprooting people from their ancestral lands and livelihoods without their will, is inherently inhumane and barbaric. Moreover, doing so has got debilitating consequences on the survival of the nation as a national entity. TPLF’s regime premediates such eventuality, thus leaves no stone unturned whilst implementing its misguided landgrab policy. This is what the TPLF’s barbaric regime is doing to Gambella, Benshangul, Oromo, Ogaden Somali, Sidama, Amhara, Konso and the rest peoples of Ethiopia.
To make the situation worst, TPLF’s regime facilitates the necessary conditions for foreign invaders to cross over legally recognized Ethiopian border to kill Gambella civilians, abduct their children, totally burn their villages and raid their animals. The regime surreptitiously look at them as south Sudan’s raiders cross and commit such heinous crimes in a sovereign country, year in, year out. The regime claims that the raiders belong to south Sudan’s Murle ethnic groups, although this notion is a highly-disputed subject. The number of Gambella civilians who have been continuously killed and abducted children by external invaders vary from year to year. An international source estimates that the victims could be between 1000 and 1,300 civilians who have been killed since 2003/4 and tens of thousands of heads of cattle have been raided. Moreover, the number of abducted Gambella children during the same period are estimated to be between 900 and 1,400. Several villages have been also burnt down to ashes. Such aggressions in the face of its silence is, TPLF’s premeditated intent of committing genocide on a Gambella people. We also strongly condemn TPLF’s complacency in the face of illegal invasion of sovereign country to freely massacre its citizens.
The situation surrounding the Gambella tragedy begs several questions including, where the attackers come from and who gave them weapons to attack Gambella civilians, and why? Are we sure that the attackers were/are Murle tribesmen? How do we know that there isn’t TPLF’s foul play as its’ plan of creating ‘greatest Tigray involves Gambella region? How many people were killed and wounded so far in such sporadic attacks for the last 14 years, simply because there are no independent reports, as the regime blocks access to the region? Finally, who is governing the area from which the attacks were continuously launched; and what was the fundamental motive for the raid, and why the regime’s responses remain lenient so far? Is it not busying itself by invading Somalia?
The above questions weren’t answered by TPLF’s regime who is hellbent on continuing the expropriation of Gambella land without slightest regards to its stakeholders. The TPLF’s inability to answer the above questions also fetches further hypothesis. We, in PAFD believe that the incumbent regime aims to depopulate Gambella region for its economic interests and long term geo-territorial colonial expansion. It has done this for the last 26 years in different parts of the country. It has displaced and is displacing the Oromo, Sidama, Ogaden Somali, Konso, Amhara and the rest regions and zones peoples, for the regime to trade with the lands of legitimate owners by displacing them.
PAFD’s belief on TPLF’s long term objective on depopulating Gambella region, is cemented on the fact that, it has already prepared a new map annexing most parts of adjacent regions including the Amhara, Benshangul and Gambella to its utopian ‘greatest Tigray’. TPLF obliviously, but deliberately used the newly crafted Ethiopian map in primary and secondary schools to confuse the new generation with the aim of inculcating wrong border in their psyches. Therefore, it never refrains from doing anything which helps it to achieve its malicious long term objective. Never mind the rest peoples of Ethiopia, the TPLF’s architects are known for their barbarism to their own comrades whom they have mercilessly murdered during their time in Tigray’s mountains. They had no mercy when they have bombed their own people in Hawzen market to put blame on ‘Derg’ with the aim of earning Western politicians’ sympathy two or three years before they have controlled the country. Therefore, TPLF’s gangs are bunches of inhumane criminals who have no mercy over any mankind.
Categorically denouncing TPLF’s barbarism to the Gambella people and the rest peoples of the country, we at the PAFD urge TPLF to immediately stop facilitating the massacre of Gambella civilians by foreign invaders under its’ behind the scene stage management. We also urge the regime to stop displacing Gambella peasants from their lands; and urge it to return thousands who have been already displaced to their original lands by removing TPLF’s generals and illegal Tigray traders. We also urge the nations and peoples of Ethiopia to unite on common objectives and fight the regime denying all stakeholders human dignity and pride by depersonalizing them and imposing military rules. We also urge all opposition groups related with Ethiopia to come together to collectively fight the regime by putting our differences aside until we get rid of collectively dehumanizing TPLF’s regime. Furthermore, we also urge the international community to stand with us until we restore rule of law, justice and genuine democracy all taken away from the stakeholder by TPLF’s brutal regime for the last 26 years. Finally, we also urge the international community (West’s politicians) to unconditionally stop sponsoring the massacre and impoverishment of the peoples of Ethiopia under TPLF’s barbaric regime.
May the souls of Gambella civilians who’ve been killed by TPLF and foreign invaders rest in peace.
Issued by PAFD,
Freedom and Justice for all peoples of Ethiopia.
April 21, 2017