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Crown Council of Ethiopia statement on the killing of Hachalu Hundessa

Reconciliation, and the Restoration of Prosperity, Equality, and Hope

July 3, 2020 / 26 ሰኔ 2012

A Statement by

His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie
President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia

On behalf of the Crown Council, I extend my sincere and deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Hachalu Hundessa, a revered singer in Ethiopia. Mr. Hundessa has graced Ethiopia with his music, demonstrated is love for his Oromo culture and continuously challenged us to evaluate the value of unity. His senseless killing has profoundly affected people in Ethiopia and in the Diaspora.

At a time when the entire world is dealing with turmoil stemming from social dysfunctions in addition to the global health crisis which has shaken economies and developmental efforts for the wellbeing of nations, we now have to mourn the death of another courageous man. Hate crimes have erupted in all societies, benefiting only the forces of destruction and instilling fear as well as instabilities.

It is time for us to reconcile our differences. It is our moment in history for each of us to become a voice of reason to the unreasonable, and work towards fulfilling the hopes of our forefathers and mothers to develop Ethiopia and address the challenges of the youth.

Revisionism is a dangerous approach. Our youth have not benefited from historical education which not only would have highlighted how Ethiopia’s resisted foreign attempts to conquer our society, and how she showed her strength as a unified country to lead Africa and set an example to the world. Ethiopia’s greatness was never based on ethnicity. It has always been about the spirit our family of nations embodies; the culture it embraces and traditions it celebrates.

On June 30, 2020  (23 ሰኔ 2012), the destruction in Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon, in London, of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I’s iconic statue, and the tearing down of the statue of the Emperor’s father — and a great 19th Century Ethiopian leader in his own right — Ras Makonnen, in Harar, confirms the concerns of our ancestors.

Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora have witnessed an eruption of racism and ideological hatred against our own heritage with the wanton and deliberate destruction of statues of two historical figures who gave hope, prosperity, and unity to all Ethiopians. Have we forgotten that Oromo pioneers such as Taddasaa Biru, Jaagamaa Kello, Waqejira Serda, Dawit Abdi and Major Qadida Guremeysa all stood on the side of the Emperor and remained politically involved with him throughout their life?

When, on June 29, 2020, radical Oromo separatists utilized the tragic murder of the famous Oromo singer, Mr. Hachalu Hundessa, it affirmed the disruptors’ aim of halting our peaceful progress as well as dismantling the Prime Minister Abiy’s Government efforts. The destruction of these statues seeks only the demise of our diversity and demonstrates blind hatred. In pursuit of a divisive political and ethnocentric agenda, our aggressors are working tirelessly to stifle our interwoven strength and break our long-standing foundation.

The murder of Mr. Hachalu Hundessa, who had the right to speak freely and stand for his rights, has sparked greater violence, with the deaths of more than 100 people in subsequent riots. The radicals who used the excuse of secessionism and extremist ideology to attack the symbols of Ethiopia’s unity did not honor Mr. Hundessa; they defiled him by propagating hatred. In defense of Ethiopia’s sovereignty, we should remember Ras Abebe Aregai, Defense Minister Fitawrary HabteGiorgis, General Mulugeta Buli and all the countless Oromo soldiers who stood as one nation in Battles such as the Battle of Adwa as well as the Battle of Machew. Let’s preserve the pride and integrity of our unity. These ethnically-motivated secessionists, supported and financed for many years by foreign governments, have become the enemy of Oromo’s progress, not the champions of Oromo greatness.

Historians know that our great unifiers, Emperor Haile Selassie I and Ras Makonnen along with many other leaders, have been beacons of reconciliation and unity. The radicals who tore down the statues did so knowing that the great motivation of Emperor Haile Selassie was to end ethnic and regional inequality in Ethiopia. Both the Emperor and Ras Makonnen were known for elevating Oromo People as other ethnic people in the territory of Ethiopia, ensuring that they would be a vital and equal part of the greater Ethiopian dream. They brought the Oromo into the heart of the Ethiopian society, and I am living proof, as is the Prime Minister, and so many others. Destroying their legacies and aspirations for Ethiopia will not erase their grandeur.

We must be able to forgive one another for our forefathers’ perceived wrongdoing. We must be able to reconcile our differences, as our shortcomings will be the greatest hurdles for our children. The world is not the same as it was in the time of the Emperor and his Father. Many things are changing and the 21st Century will affect the fundamentals of our existence. We must all overcome this crude belligerence, and this insult to our knowledge and dignity. We are capable of progress with our ability to act as a unified family of proud cultures and peoples.

The death of Mr. Hachalu Hundessa must be addressed transparently through judicial channels, and the murderers brought to justice in open trial. I am pleading to elders, mothers and fathers, and all Ethiopians to extend your reach and to work towards forgiveness. We must march towards hope, prosperity, and dignity.

A country, with its nation at home and abroad, mourns Mr. Hundessa’s untimely death as it has awakened us to the reality of our growing pains. We hope to build forward as one nation recognizing and valuing our culture, history and traditions.

Let us stand for reconciliation and forgiveness. Let us build a foundation of hope, prosperity, and dignity for our children.

God Bless You, and God Bless Ethiopia.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I am a late comer history buff. But I have used my spare time especially during my retirement years to delve into the history books on the old country written mostly by foreigners and some by our own countrymen. I am always inclined to pay more attention to what was written by our own. I have read a lot of uplifting accounts and very many disconcerting and shameful ones. But there were two emperors whose acts of atrocity to their own citizens are something we should wish they never did. As profoundly proud nigga, I am proud of Emperor Theodore how he ended his own life. He died spitting in the face of foreign invaders. But he was also known for herding inhabitants of villages in the present day Gojjam and other places where my Barentus were living into their huts and burning them alive. He also did that in the present day known as Shewa. His successor Emperor John was also equally gallant warrior who sacrificed his royal life protecting the sovereignty of the country. He also had very ugly accounts of history. He was known to gouge out citizens eyes and shortening Allah created human tongues because in many cases they were caught looking at him with their wide open eyes or professing even different sects of his own religion. He massacred citizens for their ethnicity and religions. One account I read in a history book written by one of our own tells one of the most barbaric siege he laid on the citizens of Gojjam. It is written that he sent his army to torch down every farm where crops were about to be harvested thus killing thousands by starvation. Menelik himself no matter how he left behind an enduring history of triumph over an invading European power so that Afro/Ethio-centric junkies like me will be proud of for eternity, he himself had left an ugly record behind. For me as much fair as I strive to be, Emperor Haile was not as egregious as those before him. He had bad parts in the way he handled the Eritrean issue and the rebellion in Bale. If you compare what his successors did to young people and protesting students that makes him the most docile of all. That is why I always keep a soft spot in my heart for him. Deacons of Marx/Lenin/Mao used to lambaste in front of us during rallies in the 1960’s that the streets of Addis/Finfine, Asmara, Dire Dawa and all other towns with students presence were covered with students’ blood gunned down by the Emperor’s personal security forces. We used to be told that students’ blood was flowing like a raging flood in every street of Addis/Finfine. When I did my own fact checking I usually came up with a discovery that it was all lies. We still see and hear similar false allegations using such catch words like genocide being thrown around like candies. O boy, I still recall how that agitated young man standing at the podium opening his speech like ‘Dear comrades! I wish I have good news for you from Addis. That city was shaken up by the sudden insurrection of our comrades but as expected the archaic feudal emperor with the help of imperialists had unleashed his killing machine on our comrades and every street is now covered by the blood of our warriors. The reactionary ruler does not understand peaceful protests and the only way he left for us is fighting him in kind. The people of our country have the right to protect themselves from the violence unleashed against them by the regime. We have to start an armed struggle now because that is only option we are left with’. Such incendiary speeches were usually closed with ‘revolutionary’ songs and of course ‘The International’. The irony of all this was that many of such agitators could be seen chanting down with feudalism and imperialism today at one gathering and you would see them chanting with ‘Stop genocide by Ethiopia!’, ‘Long live ELF and later on EPLF!’ the following week somewhere else. O’ Gullible Us!!! We had been taken on a long ride!!!! But that has been the common modus operundi of commies: Telling lies after lies and getting away with it. Stalin and Mao had told lies how their citizens were having 3 meals a day when millions were dying from starvation. Mao’s deacons are now caught lying about SARS in 2002 and COVID-19 today. They have to tell lies for survival. They can’t help it. I told you not to start with me about these demons!!!! Just don’t!!!!

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