Yadesa Bojia: Song dedicated to victims of Irreechaa Massacre
I dedicate this music and music video to the victims of Irreechaa Massacre and Sifan Legesse victim of #irreecchamassacre and her brother Gemechu Legesse victim of #oromoprotests two months prior of Irreecha. May your ordeal never be forgotten and your life and death teach us to love and cherish each other! Lots and lots of people to thank but primarily thanks to Chris Whitley and Stable Roots Production for the wonderful music production, Ire Taylor and mankind Music Production for recording, Oromoshop.com, Demitu Argo for helping me tirelessly, Chala birhanu, Naema Said, Ahmed Musa, Abadir hajiand Yusuf Bestir.
Hundreds feared dead in Bishoftu Irreechaa Massacre
(OPride) – At least 250 feared dead in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, after police used tear gas and opened fire on people gathered to mark Irreechaa, the Oromo thanksgiving festival, according to activists and eyewitness reports. The Irreechaa holiday at Hora Arsadi, the crater lake near the site of Sunday’s massacre, is considered the biggest cultural and spiritual celebration in Africa.
On this day, October 2, which will be entered into history books as the Irreechaa Massacre, the sacred grounds of Arsadi were littered with dead bodies, according to reports. The mass arrests began a day early. Tensions run high all day as military helicopters flew above the crowd at lower altitude, in what was seen as an effort to intimidate the gathering crowd. At the city entrances, security checkpoints stretched for hours as festival goers arrived from across Oromia. But despite the heavy security presence, Irreechaa goers still expected to partake in a peaceful celebration of the arrival of Birraa, as the holiday marks a seasonal change from dark and rainy winter months to a bountiful Spring.
But chaos, confusion and stampede broke out in the early afternoon when the youth booed the newly elected chairman of the ruling Oromo People’s Democratic Organization, OPDO, off the stage. The protests began as soon as the crowd filed into the malka, the river bank, close to the stage where politicians hoped to make political statements – statements that are often unheard and unheeded even on a “normal” year. It’s clear that the youth were ready to make a statement of their own to the local officialdom – in an unusual in your face type of way. But their protests were peaceful. They crossed arms, forming an X, popularized by Oromo marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa, to say no to the killings, beatings and arrests. It is an incident like no other. A turning point for the 11-month old Oromo protests, a popular uprising against the Oromo people’s continued social, economic and political marginalization by the central government in Ethiopia.
Irreechaa has emerged at the most important event among the Oromo. It is officially a celebration of the bountifulharvest of Birra but a celebration of Oromummaa itself. It is the most unifying event for the Oromo, who constitute at least half of Ethiopia’s 100 million people.
This wasn’t an ordinary year for Oromo and for Ethiopians as a whole. More than 1,000 people have been killed, mostly in Oromia, but also in the Amhara state in the last 11 months.