on May 24, 2002, 69 Sidama civilians killed and around 250 wounded when they met with the regimes killing machine at a peaceful and non-violent demonstration in Hawassa protesting the regimes decision to remove the administrative right of the capital Hawassa from Sidama to the federal government
By United Sidama Parties for Freedom and Justice (USPFJ),
SINCE 1890s, the Sidama nation has endured various massacres of unimaginable scales most of which had genocidal intents. Time and again, the civilians of the Sidama people as a nation were deliberately targeted and slaughtered by the successive northern led regimes for no apparent reasons, but for demanding their fundamental rights.
The most worst and abhorring crime against humanity in recent memory among the others is the May 24, 2002 massacre of Sidama civilians at Looqqe village.
This particular massacre is entirely peculiar and inhumane crime ever committed against the Sidama nation by the successive rulers for the fact that for the first time in Ethiopian Empire’s history the empire had a legal document known as Constitution which guarantees nations and nationalities of the country to peacefully and non-violently demand their rights without being criminalised and punished for their peaceful actions; regardless of which the Sidama civilians were slaughtered in broad day light.
On May 24, 2002, the regime has indiscriminately massacred hundreds of Sidama civilians who’re demanding their rights with the manner which is stated in its constitution in black and white. The civilians were inhumanely responded with live ammunition of the regime’s army.
The Sidama civilians who sought justice were told that bullet is the only justice the current regime can give to Sidama nation. The Sidama civilians who were massacred were unequivocally shown that the current regime isn’t there to protect their rights, but to keep the repressive regime in power with all possible means.
The Sidama nation as, others oppressed nations, demanded their rights in a civilised manner to be responded with barbarism only comparable with medieval time witch hunts and their inhumane killings. To add anguish to their already harrowing situations, the families of the Sidama civilians’ massacre victims were obliged to collect the bodies of massacre Sidama civilians on the third and fourth day of post Looqqe massacre after being coerced to sign consent stating that the killed Sidama civilians were responsible for their own death.
The late PM Meles Zenawi has assigned Melese Marimo (who has voted for Sidama civilians massacre on the eve of their killing to lead his fake so called independent investigation to please its Western donors who have demanded him to do so with international pressure resulted from Sidama Diaspora campaign), the action equivalent to laughing at slaughtered Sidama civilians. Over 15, 000 Sidama civilians were indiscriminately imprisoned after the aftermaths of Sidama Looqqe massacre and remained in jail for months and others are still languishing in prisons. Among the confirmed 69 Sidama civilians massacred on the day, several dead bodies were left to be devoured by hyenas as the families of massacred Sidama civilians’ were disallowed collecting the bodies of their beloved ones. Over 250 civilians were seriously injured.
On May 24, 2014, the Sidama nation with its friends at global level marked the 12th commemorative anniversary of this, one of the darkest days in Sidama nation’s history as a day of utter sorrow. The cause for which the Sidama civilians were slaughtered remain unanswered as are those who have premeditated, ordered and the massacre, monitored the reactions of the Sidama nation remain at large. The Sidama life become much worse than it was during pre-Looqqe massacre. The regime deliberately and systematically impoverishes the nation. The regime, which is unable to address the democratic rights of its citizens can’t have moral authority to stay in power. All possible means of peacefully resolving matters and bringing those responsible to independent justice for the massacre of civilians remain remote.
Besides, the USPFJ urges the current regime to stop its inhuman actions to Sidama nation and stop the current killing of Oromo civilians who have demanded their constitutional rights. We also urge the current regime to abide to international covenant on protecting the fundamental rights of citizens and bring those that are responsible for masterminding the massacre of the Sidamas, the Oromo, the Ogadenia, Gambela and other civilians to an independent justice observed by internationally recognised institutions.
Finally, we also urge the Sidama nation to push with their constitutional demands to its political and socio-economic rights both independently and forging unity with like-minded peoples, nations and nationalities.
We salute the Sidama heroes and heroines who have paid ultimate sacrifices with their precious life for the just cause of the Sidama nation. We also solemnly promise that we never rest until justice is being served on behalf of the cause for which you have sacrificed your lives and until those who have massacred you are brought to justice. At this very critical moment for the Oromo nation whose civilians are recently being slaughtered demanding similar rights, we also send once again our heartfelt condolences. The situation in all regions is dire. We are witnessing the fact that on daily basis the regime is slaughtering civilians in all regions; thus unity at this critical moment is paramount. We also send our condolences to the families of the massacred civilians in various regions of the Country.
Our unforgotten Looqqe massacre victims, your soul may rest in peace and we never forget your sacrifices!! The Oromo civilians who have been recently massacred, may your soul rest in peace.
The civilians of others nations and nationalities who have been massacred in all regions, may your souls rest in peace as we never stop the fight until justice is being served on behalf of all victims!
United Sidama Parties for Freedom and Justice (USPFJ)
May 25, 2014
– – – –