The Looming Genocide in Ethiopia – Overview of Facts and Available Legal Framework to Deal with Perpetrators

Ethiopia _ genocide
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Endalew Lijalem[1]
July 25, 2020

  1. Introduction

Genocide – or ‘barbarism’ as it was called before the term ‘genocide’ was first coined by a Polish lawyer Raphäel Lemkin in 1944 in his book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe[1] – is one of the heinous crimes of humanity. History tells us that genocide has been part of long-term human experience that occurred in various parts of the globe and in different types of civilizations and cultures – including early settler genocide and modern time genocide.[2] The massacre of the North American Indigenous Indians (at the hands of European settlers in the 18th and 19th centuries), the Armenian genocide, the mass killing of Jewish by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, the 1994 Rowanda genocide, the 1995 Bosnian massacre, the Darfur genocide, and the recent State-led ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, to mention a few, are part and parcel of the historical experiences of genocide.[3] We have also witnessed a number of ethnic-targeted attacks and mass killings in the different parts of Ethiopia over the last quarter of the century, and particularly in the Oromia region in most recent times. This triggers debate as to whether these identity-targeted crimes qualify as genocide or not; and what purpose such characterization may have in dealing with perpetrators. This short commentary aims to shed some light on these points by examining the relevant instruments of international law regulating the crime of genocide and the Ethiopian legal framework.

2. What Constitutes Genocide?

Lemkin coined the term ‘genocide’ from the Greek prefix genos, meaning race or tribe, and the Latin suffix cide, meaning killing; thus referring to killings targeting a particular race, tribe, or ethnic group. Lemkin developed the term ‘genocide’ mainly in response to the mass atrocities committed by the Nazi Germany against Jewish during the Holocaust, but also in response to previous instances in history of targeted killings aimed at the destruction of particular groups of

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6 Responses to "The Looming Genocide in Ethiopia – Overview of Facts and Available Legal Framework to Deal with Perpetrators"

  1. ERE GORAW !!!   July 25, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Somalia removed Somalia’s Prime Minister from power , for not ensuring safety of n Somalia. In Ethiopia on the other hand the Prime Minister went to the extent of denying the genocide committed by its lower level government security apparatus , so the Prime Minister do not get accused of not ensuring safety as the Prime Minister of Somalia ended up getting removed from power for not ensuring safety.

    Reply
  2. Mulatu   July 26, 2020 at 6:47 am

    Genocide (or not) these anarchists in Ethiopia belong in prison not on the streets. So far at least 5000 has been arrested. What we have in Ethiopia is a break down of law and order, which is now almost under control..

    Reply
  3. Nile  አባይ   July 26, 2020 at 6:48 am

    The genocide in Ethiopia started before Abiy when they came for us and you were silent. Then they came after them and you were silent. Now this. What’s next? The initial hour it was described  that our neighbors, fellow human beings  regardless of their ethnicity or religion brothers and sister and countryman and country women were being slaughtered there was a weep of terror. “Then a hundred were butchered. But when a thousand were butchered and there was no end to the butchery, a blanket of silence spread. When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out “stop!” When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible. When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard. The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.”  Is that what you seek for mother Ethiopia?  Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true.

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  4. M   July 26, 2020 at 6:49 am

    It’s not about genocide, it’s about bearing witness for the dead and the living. It’s about the fact that had these criminal  thugs had the resources, no doubt they would have  marched their victims (so far 259 killed including police officers and local residents) into gas vans and torched them.  The Nazis killed millions of people in gas vans or in stationary gas chambers. The victims were people with disabilities and later Jews and other prisoners. That’s the definition of genocide. There had been many genocides in Ethiopia that noting so far compares to the genocide of the 1980s civil war and famine where over one million Ethiopians were starved to death. And of course who could forget the massacre of 2005 that resulted in  the deaths of 193 protesters and injury of 763 others, mostly in the capital Addis Ababa, following the May 2005 elections.  It’s not a secret at all that mass killings start with one too many unnecessary deaths, but the difference is now the show is being televised and spread like the coronavirus by this type of shock-horror over dramatization that bears the hallmarks of media behavior in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Imagine this scenario for a moment: In the Rwandan genocide 500,000–1,074,016 killed in a matter of weeks by an ethnic led government, militias, and neighbors all driven by drunken radio hosts, political pundits and  fake news columnist. “My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain…There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory.” That’s the definition of Genocide.

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  5. Anberbir   July 26, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Until the genocide is officially over within Ethiopia Amaras who reside outside the Amara region should not engage in business ownerships or self employment jobs .
    Those who already engage in such activities should liquidate their properties and look for work where they can work as employees not as owners.
    For their own safety and for the safety of the whole country, ethnic Amaras should refrain from engaging in farming , real estate ownership or other type of business developments outside the Amara region within Ethiopia, until the ethnic competitive violent systemic capitalism is replaced by a non-ethnic federalism system, until justice is served and until the rule of law exists with noone not the PM not Oromo remaining above the law, until then it is not wise to invest hard earned money for the lawless anarchist PM and his entourages to destroy it.

    Reply
  6. Tsigemariam   July 27, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Too much lies and propaganda in the country and its history. All Ethiopian were subjected to injustice throughout the decades and now you have a generation who knows nothing of history but hate. It is so dangerous…

    Reply

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