The Bole/Were Genu Massacre: Murderous TPLF regime shoots 8 Ethiopians & wounds 100 others to clear land for foreign investors

19 May

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Contrary to what the affected public is informing Ethiopians at home and abroad with tears and agony, and after an all day of demolition of homes Thursday in District 12 of the Bole area, the Addis Abeba Police Commissioner Yihdego Seyoum said late Thursday afternoon that the demolition squad, accompanied by his forces, has put out of existence the illegally-built houses and fences at Were Genu.

Immediately as the demolition work started at dawn Wednesday morning, the residents resisted the action with shouting for help and yelling; they also refused entry to the demolition squad and the police into their homes, during which time the police of a police state turned to violence and killed eight residents, including children, according to local news reaching ESAT.

It is also reported that four policemen were dead, although the news did not specify how they died. Yesterday’s news report had mentioned that, after shooting at unarmed civilians and killing them, out of fear of the angry public two policemen had allegedly committed suicide.

Such is the lawlessness in Ethiopia and governance by hooligans that Commissioner Yihdego lied to the nation and the world, when he told the media Thursday that there was peaceful consultations and discussions with the residents, and even some had collaborated in the demolition of their homes. That is to say, magically the former owners worked together with the demolition squad and the force carried out its work Thursday without any trouble.

Com Yihdego Seyoum

In the first place, the commissioner has not even mentioned about Ethiopian citizens he had ordered killed by TPLF police shooting – not even about the four members of his force. He only told Fana about the occurrences of “minor injuries”.

Commissioner Yihdego Seyoum

When “minor injuries” come out of the mouths of officials, anyone listening must take them with a pinch of salt. Through the years, state violence against the public in Ethiopia has been known for its lack of sense of proportion.

The Addis Abeba police commissioner was telling lies to its collaborator – the TPLF media – that those individuals that had tried to disrupt the demolition work were suppressed with lawful actions, which he did not specify what those lawful actions and what happened to those individuals at the receiving end of his mistreatment.

The Bole/Were Genu massacre started at dawn Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Aware of the demolition squad’s coming, the residents had decided to resist the their homes from being destroyed by crying and shouting.

The TPLF, which is badly in need of lands for agro-industry and industrial parks has been on an onslaught of such people to collect land for investors it has been egging on to invest by renting the shades and manufacturing in Ethiopia.

This could have been done peacefully and lawfully, instead of TPLF’s reliance on the power of state violence.

Come to think of it. Those people have been residents in the area for several years. The state was aware when the houses were built and it has collected taxes and supplied electricity and water. When it was time for it to change its mind, it is always the poor, the helpless and the ethnically unaffiliated to the ruling party that have to pay with the little they have and their human dignity and their lives.

Therefore, since Ethiopia under the TPLF is a police state, the police, the security and the army speak only the language of violence and act violently. They could kill anyone at any time and get away with it. There would be no investigations by the appropriate bodies. The trouble in Ethiopia is that there is no appropriate body!

In the last few months, over 400 Oromo protestors have been killed, without them resorting to violence in the majority of the cases. The Bole Massacre is not any different!

Ethiopia is slowly sliding into conflict

The international community should take notice of the country’s misgovernance and the state violence that is being unleashed on Ethiopians on a daily basis.

The crime at Were Genu in these two days, i.e., the shooting of unarmed people, helpless as they were chanting: “Isn’t there government in Ethiopia? Who is to ensure our rights or protect us as citizens?”

As if these words were an attack on the security forces, trained merely to kill citizens for slight criticism of the regime, or showing anger toward the political bosses, the cries and fear of people have become sufficient reason for the TPLF to shoot at them!

The TPLF regime, in search of land it could seize from the people accused them of unlawfully building houses. With our sympathy to the people, we are not suggesting that there should be no city planning or the administration not enforce such laws.

However, we totally disagree with a murderous regime that solves a society’s problems with guns and violence, which is what happened at Were Genu on Wednesday May 18, 2016! This needs to be investigated and the criminals face justice, before more people are killed by the TPLF regime and things getting out of hand!

It is unfortunate for Ethiopia that it should slip into more and more violences in different parts of the country; this is in response to state terrorism the TPLF has been practicing. People now say enough is enough!

The latest news report is that those Ethiopians, the Qimant, who have been forcibly Tigrianized and their lands annexed as part of Tigray tried every avenue for several years and failed.

Now they met days ago, about four thousand of them, at Humera, a land seized by force by the TPLF from Gondar, they had had enough of the legal ways. They elected their leaders in the traditional way, prayed together and vowed not to accept Tigrian administration over them!

Similarly, the Oromo protests that have been cooling down now lately have resumed more in Oromia, though more in some parts than others. It is reported that yesterday, West Hararghe showed its deeply-held anger, at what has been done to its children in the last few months.

Social media reports also indicate that the Haramaya University was under lockdown since Wednesday morning, following an over night protest. There were police actions against the students, although there is no verified information about the extent of harms that have come the students’ way.

Clearly, the university campus has once again begun looking like a nervous military barack, with soldiers continuing to make the campus a ground for their show of force and the increasing number of students that are being arrested.

Moreover, students and farmers are teaming up for protests in Masala, at West Hararghe. It appears that their objective is said to be solidarity marching, as a show of discontentment.

This is the very regime, President Barak Obama during his official visit on July 27, 2015 in Addis Abeba during a ceremony at the National Palace, tapped at the back as a “democratically elected government”!

For all we know, Ethiopia has never seen any democracy, unless its meaning has changed.

What Ethiopians experience under the TPLF regime is death, humiliation, insecurity and misery and untold migration of the nation’s youths for fear of the killer regime.

Equally angering Ethiopians is the fact that the TPLF regime’s reputation is protected by the powers to be, while it has constantly and unmistakably proved a refugee producing dictatorship. This protection afforded it is simply because it serves US strategic interests in the Horn of Africa!

The question in the mind of Ethiopians is why this should be done at their expense, i.e., denial of their rights to live in their country in peace, safety, security and dignity, instead of the oppression and repression the TPLF has imposed on them?

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