Ethiopian security forces clashed with Sidama Youth in Hawassa

  • Sidama Youth group, they are also known as Ejeto, clashed with security forces as they unilaterally declare ethnic Sidama Statehood
  • At least 1 person killed, three others injured
Hawassa City. Photo credit: DW Amharic

borkena
July 18, 2019

Ethiopian Security Forces clashed with Sidama Youth group (Ejeto) in Hawassa, the seat of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region in South Ethiopia, reported DW Amharic on Thursday. 

At least 1 person was killed and three others are reportedly injured as a result of the clash. Intense gunfire has also been reported in the city. 

Roads and businesses were closed in the city when security forces entered the city. Mobile and internet connection is disconnected in the city as of Thursday. 

Chairwomen of Southern Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Movement (SEPDP), Muferiat Kamil, who is also the minister for peace and security, is holding a meeting with senior government officials of the zone. 

The confrontation between security forces and the Sidama youth group unfolded as the later unilaterally declared July 18, 2019, a day of referendum for ethnic Sidama statehood. 

On July 16, 2019, the National Election Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) disclosed its decision regarding the referendum for ethnic Sidama Statehood. 

The Board recognized that it has received an application for ethnic Sidama Statehood in November 2018 but it was unable to respond to it earlier as the institution had been undertaking major legal and administrative reform, including the selection of new board members which was completed in June of 2019. 

NEBE said that it has five more months, based on the Ethiopian constitution, to organize the referendum and that it is working to ensure referendum will take place within the next five months once the logistical, administrative, security, among others, aspect of the arrangement is finalized. 

Yesterday, head of Sidama zone administration, Qare Chawicha, called on people in the zone to maintain calm and wait for the referendum organized by NEBE.

Leaders of Sidama opposition, like Sidama Liberation Movement, admit that the question of “self-rule” is being addressed, although it is late, called on Sidama people to maintain calm. 

NEBE made three recommendations for the regional and zone authorities before as part of the preparation for the referendum.  One of the issues was the status of Hawassa, which is the seat of the regional state. Matters related to wealth distribution between the would-be Sidama state and the Southern regional state has to be figured out, said the Board. 

The Board also raised the rights protection issue of non-ethnic Sidama should the zone voted for ethnic Sidama state. 



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6 Responses to "Ethiopian security forces clashed with Sidama Youth in Hawassa"

  1. Habesha first   July 18, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Of course any group is going to vote for independence if you give them a ‘referendum’.
    If there was the same vote in Texas today, I’m sure the majority would vote for self-determination.

    Sometimes a little authority is needed from a national leader to prevent so-called democratic ideas that are nothing but foreign imposed.

    Reply
  2. Tamrat   July 19, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    RIP!!

    SORRY FOR THE LOSS OF LIVES!!

    GOOD THING JUST IN TIME MOST OF THE VICTIMS BOUGHT INSURANCES FOR THEIR PROPERTIES PRIOR FROM THESE DESTRUCTIONS, THAT TOOK PLACE IN AWASSA ON JULY 18, 2019.

    Ethiopias security apparatus is unable to perform it’s duty of securing , even after an early warning given to the federal government because the federal government had directed it’s resources on capturing FANO , NAMA , BALADERA and Getachew Assefa totally .
    Currently FANO , NAMA , BALADERA AND GETACHEW ASSEFA are most wanted draining the resources of Federal police and Federal military.

    what was going to take place in Awassa was not given needed attention because the security apparatus were claiming they are too close to catch one Getachew Assefa
    And relocating the security personell will jeopardize Getachew Assefa’s capture.

    When Ambachew , Saere and the other government senior officials got killed the Federal government government of Ethiopia claimed to spend considerable amount of resources to “capture” the killers going around arresting thousands of people. Inturn when the Federal Government was given an early warning about the Sidama/Wolaita people’s demand to get their secession orelse that they are ready to bring chaos the Federal Government didn’t put enough resource to protect Ethiopuans citizens.

    The way it is going next Oromia would put a deadline claiming Addis Ababa is within Oromia and when the Addis Ababa city doesn’t become within Oromia, MOST LIKELY the Oromos would go around killing NON OROMOS and destroying Amara/Gurage/Tigre….. Properties just like what took place in Hawassa on July 18,2019..

    Reply
  3. Mesfin Mekonen   July 20, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Ethnic conflicts that threaten to tear Ethiopia apart are the result of the 1994 Constitution, introduced by then-Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front governing coalition. The constitution recast the country from a centrally unified republic to a federation of nine regional ethnic states and two federally administered city states. The system of ethnic federalism was troubled with internal inconsistencies because ethnic groups do not live only in a discrete “homeland” territory but are dispersed across the country. Non-native ethnic minorities live within every ethnic homeland.

    Reply
  4. debole   July 21, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    it is a constitutional right that every ETHNIC group should be given self rule, BY REFERRUNDUM.
    In amhara region,oromo has self rule. and anyother ethnic group in the amhara region should have self rule because the constitution says so.
    The same should apply in oromo region, afar region, benishangul, southern ,gambella, ogaden , tigre regions.
    if we have to go by the constitution that is what should happen. the job of granting self rule should not stop at only the 9 regions .
    On the one hand you are ruled by a constitution that allows ethnic segregation, and on the other hand to oppose ethnic killils being formed is a contradiction. so the government has no option but to allow the sidama, kembata and all others to have their self rule.

    In the southern region 9 other ethnic groups are waiting for their chance to be given self rule. if the government refuses, then violence and unrest may follow. now a precedent has been set for a referrundum to take place before a region is given self rule. this should be applied consistently for all ethnic regions who demand self rule.

    Will this scenario lead to the end of ethiopia or not. no easy answer.

    In ethiopia, when we say oromo region or tigre region, it is interpreted by the ethno liberation fronts that, that particular region belongs exclusively to oromo or tigre , for example. Other ethnic groups living there are seen as ‘settlers’ and second class citizens with no right. The ethno liberators forget that every piece of land in ethiopia has been preserved for the current generation by the blood and sacrifice of our forefathers who came from all ethnic back grounds. If we take the battle of Adwa in recent memory, or the battle of the Ogaden, millions of our forefathers have paid the price representing us the current generation. no ethnic liberation front can deny us the right to live and work where we want in ethiopia.
    When italy invaded ethiopia, the people of ethiopia came out from every corner of the country to die in the battle field to defend Adwa, tigre and all of ethiopia from fascist aggression. they did not say it is the business of the tigre to defend themselves and not our concern. we will defend our patch when the enemy comes to us. The people saw the country as belonging to them and that is how ethiopia was built. all our people died together, were buried together, bonded in blood.
    In the present age we live in, tigre liberation front regards tigre region as their exclusive property , no other ethiopian feel safe to live and work there. olf is trying to make oromo region exclusively for oromo. millions of ethiopians have been evicted , displaced by olf thugs . that trend continues as we speak. the ‘kegna ‘ politics of olf has targeted other ethiopians as ‘settlers’. we have to refer to history to see who is the real settler, if it comes to that. that is another topic.
    ethiopians should not be intimidated by tplf or olf or any other liberation front to claim their birth right bought by the sacrifice of their forefathers.

    Reply
  5. tayye   July 22, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Abiy ahmad has gone to asmara to learn how to drive a car whilst sidama is burning.
    ethnic cleansing, burning of churches and mosques, looting , murder is taking place in this region . where is the prime minister?

    Reply
  6. End To Ethnic Federation   July 29, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    The source and cause of human misery in Ethiopia today is the result of Ethnic Federation and the medieval constitution prepared by greedy self serving EPRDF thugs. Which was not focused on democratization and equal right and treatment of people. Instead it was designed to serve their purpose by making the regime (the groups of elites holding power) the owner of every inch of land that definitely makes every citizen destitute and weak.

    Therefore power has to go back to people not a government that is irresponsible and few greedy people naming themselves a government. Let people own land and government out of it.

    Reply

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