Death toll from Ireecha Massacre at Bishoftu reaches 678; likely to rise further

4 Oct

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), whose assessment is usually reliable, is now telling the world that last Sunday’s death toll in Ethiopia is still dynamic, dead bodies left in unexpected of places. By individual count of the number of the dead, according to the OFC source informing the Voice of America (audio hereunder), Ethiopia has so far lost 678 citizens.

On the other hand, the TPLF regime acknowledges only 55 deaths, attributing the causes to stampede. Different sources, however, see a combination of causes, primarily TPLF security forces firing on young people peacefully demanding freedom and justice as also were the forces crowd control measures firing from ground and air bullets and tear gas that have created a scare startling festival participants to run in every direction.

Ethiopia has been mourning for a long time because of the lawlessness of a regime in power, it being the author of human sufferings and its habitual lies and denials, in all crisis situations. Even after the deaths of these many citizen, the TPLF regime has been preoccupied, not with healing those with broken hearts or what is to be done in future. Rather it has been engaged in trivializing the victims and attacking the memories of the dead, all these to cover its faults.

Truth be told, Ethiopia would not be the same again. After Ireecha 2016, the TPLF leaders and their minions have all the more shown that they are an assemblage of hooligans in power. By their actions they now have made the grief and anger of Ethiopians far more profound.

What could one say to Ato Dereje Urghi, a Sendafa resident and father of nine, who has lost his wife of 30 years and a daughter? His sixth daughter was well-known for her academic performance at a high school, because of which she has been a pride of her family, teachers and classmates.

It is speaking with a broken heart, Ato Dereje Urghi chose to liken the attack by the TPLF regime against the Ireecha celebrants to an “invasion by a foreign force.” How could a man in grief liken these deaths to an invasion, if his loss and the cause for the hundreds of others is stampede?

The hyena only knows bones and thinks of only bones all the time, as does the TPLF in all situations. One time, they now peak of how they would prosecute those that have ’caused these deaths’. At another, they jabber about registering Ireecha as UNESCO protected societal inheritance, while continuing to accuse young Oromos of turning the occasion to their demand for “freedom and justice.”

What is happening now is that those angered at this Ireecha-related TPLF regime repeated crimes against humanity are acting against the regime and its minions in different parts of the country, including only tens of kilometers distance from the so-far-protests-sheltered Addis Abeba and the many revenge actions. I had the privilege of retweeting Belay Manaye’s tweet, which reads:

Consequently, in state offices and business enterprises and investor properties have been destroyed in parts of the country, as per reports of the TPLF itself. This is likely to continue in an intensified manner, especially in Oromia and Amhara regions – home for the country’s two largest ethnic groups, as the capital city warms up from the TPLF’s self-inflicted wounds.

What we have learnt now is that there can no longer be any trust between the people and those that are sitting in power, leaning on their guns and tanks. Therefore, the situation is is likely to lead to some bloodshed and severe civil society crisis in Ethiopia.

It seems that the time has come for Ethiopians to show their resolve to see the regime’s back.

That is why I would urge the United Nations to move itself from behind the curve and take action to save human lives, ensure respect for human and civil rights in this TPLF jungle of abuses and oppression, one of the few oldest nations in the world called Ethiopia.

Without just measures, any hope of sustained economic growth and stability in Ethiopia would not be any better smoke and mirror.

Just to remind readers, it is these considerations and the regime’s evil nature that has compelled me to oppose Ethiopia’s candidacy for a seat in the United Nations Security Council earlier this year!

Thus, come January 2017, the objectives of the Charter of the United Nations would be cast away as the international community would have a murder in its midst, an enemy of human rights, peace and security, a manufacturer of lies as a member of the Security Council, for which no more evidence is needed than the Ireecha Massacre, one of the nation’s respected institutions, a moment of thanksgiving to the Lord who giveth!

Inquiring email to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

    “I am writing to inquire if High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has pronounced himself about last Sunday’s tragic massacre of an estimated 700 people at a religious festival in Ethiopia. If not, is there any indication or time table for a possible event on this latest attempt at genocide at Bishoftu, otherwise known as the Ireecha Massacre? Or if the high commissioner’s office is planning to undertake any continuing effort with the TPLF regime?

    We recall that on September 13, 2016 the high commissioner had alerted the Human Rights Council of the United Nations deep concern in Ethiopia of “children, as well as by worrying restrictions on civil society, the media and opposition”, reminding the Council of the request he has made an independent international investigation to be carried out about the killings in Oromia since November 2015 and subsequently in Amhara region. Is the UN to fold its arms and remain quiet, when genocide follows further acts of impunity and TPLF’s impunity and killings, as happened at Bishoftu?

    I hope not!

    For us, Ethiopians of varying ethnic origins who are very familiar with TPLF’s criminality, Ireecha 2016 represents a sure attempt to wipe out as many members of Oromos, during their number one and the usually well-attended festival, attracting up to over 2.5 million people.

    The Oromo – the largest ethnic group in the country – has been the usual target of the TPLF ethnic minority regime in the last 25 years. In a study that took some years, titled Because I am an Oromo, Amnesty International broke the hidden story in 2014 that Oromos constitute the largest prison population in Ethiopia, subject to constant tortures and killings, and also the majority of refugees.

    Let there be no mistake, therefore, Ireecha 2016 – a religious festival, is once again converted into another TPLF experiment in genocide, notwithstanding the Front’s habitual denials and manipulation of the foreign media – some journalists rendered malleable and others for they are frightened of expulsion if they wrote anything the regime does not like.

    Probably the best parallel in history to Sunday’s Ireecha Massacre is the 13 April 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in British India. It is also known as the Amritsar Massacre in Indian history. On that date, in a brief moment the British army killed 379 celebrants at the Jallianwala Bagh city park, among the tens of thousands assembled to celebrate their religious festival.

    The timing is very important. It was a moment of instability in India, as Indians had begun some form of resistance against British oppression, all forms of taxes and the mistreatments. Thus, as did the TPLF last Sunday, the colonial army also bade its moment when a crowd of nonviolent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh city park in Amritsar, Punjab, and indiscriminately fired upon the people.

    The silver lining of this colonial cruelty in Indian history is its galvanisation of the shift in Indian demand from home rule to full independence of India. Such as the power of the massacre, it compelled Mohandas Gandhi to return to India and help organize the essential mass civil disobedience against British occupation of India.

    The lessons of the Jallianwahla Bagh massacre for Ethiopians is very potent. Indians and Gandhi did not want any violence. Nor do Ethiopians. In fact, all along Ethiopians have known and wanted peaceful co-existence, until the dogs of power in the TPLF clearly showed they are determined that they have a different agenda.

    To put it in simpler terms, all that Ethiopians need is a properly defined and instituted rule of law, guarantying the claws of the state are properly clipped to enable citizens establish trust in the nation’s governance institutions and laws to defend their rights, instead of the present kingdom of the ethnic mafiosi.

    Such rule of law is only possible in Ethiopia without the criminal and deceitful TPLF murders in the picture.

    After a lot of crying and dying, Ethiopians do not want anything less than what was been done by the civilized nations after six years of the Second Wold War, including the Scandinavian countries, to sanctify their societies from the evil and onslaughts the Nazis killing machine and its internal collaborators had brought on their nations.

    By so doing and championing human rights, the West took its moral ascendency wisely administering severe penalty justice to a world that has lost more than words could express!

    Ethiopians are compelled by what they have witnessed and have endured in a quarter century under the corrupt TPLF to demand the same justice in the interest of peace and stability.

    Best regards,

    Keffyalew Gebremedhin”



    His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
    Secretary-General of the United Nations

    His Excellency Ambassador V. Churkin
    Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation,
    President of the Security Council

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