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EADC Condemns Ethiopian Government’s Pattern of Cultural Genocide in Addis Ababa: Urgent Call for Preservation Efforts

Ethiopian News _ Addis Ababa _ Piassa _ EADC

Ethiopian American Development Council

Denver, Colorado, March 25, 2024 : The Ethiopian American Development Council (EADC) strongly condemns the recent indiscriminate demolition of historic neighborhoods, including landmarks and heritage sites, in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, under the guise of “development.” This act of cultural violence, sanctioned by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, represents an irrevocable loss of the nation’s heritage and an assault on its identity. Development should be inclusive, sustainable, and respectful of history and culture. It should aim to uplift communities without erasing the essence that defines them. True stewardship by responsible governments is manifested in the renovation and adaptive reuse of historical structures, rather than indiscriminate demolitions of irreplaceable heritage sites. Since its establishment in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taytu Betul, Addis Ababa has been more than just Ethiopia’s capital; it has been a living museum of Ethiopian history, a melting pot of its diverse cultures, and a showcase of its architectural achievements. The city’s unique heritage is the result of contributions from generations of Ethiopians from all walks of life, who have migrated from every corner of the nation to make Addis Ababa a true representation of the Ethiopian spirit. The recent mass demolitions, which have reduced historic neighborhoods from Arat Kilo to Piazza to rubble, represent a direct attack on this spirit. The obliteration of Addis Ababa’s historic neighborhoods is not merely an act of development but a profound cultural genocide, stripping away the city’s soul and denying future generations a connection to their past. These demolitions extend beyond the historic Arat Kilo and Piassa neighborhoods; several other communities are also being erased. Among these demolitions are neighborhoods that are being demolished for the outrageous purpose of constructing multiple pharaonic palaces for the Prosperity Party rulers, including Prime Minister

Abiy Ahmed Ali and the President of the Oromia region Shimelis Abdisa, each of whom will get their own grand palaces at the cost of thousands of residents forcefully displaced. The estimated cost of constructing these lavish palaces, complete with artificial lakes, amounts to $15 billion This act of destruction severely undermines the intrinsic value of heritage preservation—a universally revered practice that ensures the continuity of cultural legacy for future generations. In erasing these irreplaceable landmarks, we lose more than just structures; we lose a connection to our history, our heritage, and ourselves. EADC emphasizes the broader implications of these demolitions, highlighting a disturbing trend of forced displacements and disregard for human dignity in favor of short-sighted vanity projects directly championed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Such actions displace long-standing communities, erode social cohesion, and prioritize the interests of the affluent over the well-being of the majority, often underrepresented, populations. The ongoing situation in #Ethiopia, compounded by ethnic violence and human rights abuses, paints a grim picture of a country at a crossroads. The destruction of Addis Ababa’s historic fabric unfolds against a backdrop of the government’s war on Amhara, famine in Tigray, ethnic cleansing in Oromia, the persecution of Orthodox Christians, and the desecration of sacred sites, including ancient monasteries across Ethiopia. In response to assertions by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that the demolished areas are merely old buildings or shanty towns necessitating modernization, EADC firmly underscores the profound misjudgment such views represent. These neighborhoods, far from being inconsequential, included historic landmarks and heritage sites rich in cultural significance and communal heritage, deserving renovation and preservation, not indiscriminate demolition. The path to modernization must not obliterate our historical roots but should instead integrate the preservation of our cultural and architectural heritage, proving that development and preservation can coexist. The short-sighted approach of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, characterized by significant neglect for the restoration and upkeep of heritage sites and historic neighborhoods, is not just flawed—it’s a destructive force against the very fabric of our national identity. Labeling the demolition of Addis Ababa’s historic neighborhoods as “development” is a misnomer; it is, fundamentally, an act of cultural genocide erasing our collective memory and denying future generations their cultural inheritance and connection to their ancestors. EADC urges the Ethiopian government to halt these demolitions immediately and calls upon the United Nations, African Union, and other international bodies, including those providing funding to the government, to intervene in preserving Ethiopia’s cultural heritage. It is imperative to engage in a development strategy that respects the historical and cultural significance of spaces, fosters sustainable growth, and ensures the inclusive participation of all stakeholders. The loss of Addis Ababa’s historical neighborhoods is not just a loss for Ethiopia but a loss for Africa’s cultural diversity. EADC stands in solidarity with all Ethiopians and global citizens who value cultural preservation over destruction. We advocate for a future where development and heritage coexist, ensuring that the legacy of our ancestors is preserved for generations to come.

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1 COMMENT

  1. አቢቾ የዘመናችን ድንቅ መሪ: የስነ ምግባር እና መልካም አስተዳደር ተምሳሌት: የእውቀት ምንጭና ፋኖስ አቢቾ የዘመናችን ድንቅ መሪ: የስነ ምግባር እና መልካም አስተዳደር ተምሳሌት: የእውቀት ምንጭና ፋኖስ

    abiy the butcher and his oromumma thugs have No history or vestiges of any contribution in the development and history of Ethiopia. Look at entirety of Wollega, Arsi, Jimma, Southern Shoa, etc, oromumma has nothing, nada, zilch, zero contribution to show in the history of Ethiopia. Look at Wollega in its entirety, Arsi, Jimma etc. oromumma does not have one traceable vestige of contribution and attribute in the history of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    የኦሮሙማው የበታቸኝነት ስሜትና በሽታ እኮ ታክሞ የሚድን ቁስል አይደለም:: መወገድ ያለበት የኢትዮጵዊያን ቁስል እንጂ!!!!

    Peaceful power tranistion on abiy’s oromumma watch is not possible:

    1)MPs like Christian Tadelle are languishing in the dungeons of the despot for exercising their rights ( Christian’s crime was for indicating that the embezzler and thief abiy ahmed needs to be audited)

    2) the despot controls and manipulates all public mass media and shuts internet at will

    3) the despot uses his rubber stamp parliament to pass autocratic diktats under the umbrella of “state of emergency” and uses this to eliminate and massacre his perceived political opponents.

    4) the despot uses starvation and other crimes against humanity to quell dissent and oromumma tyranny.

    THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCERPT FROM UN CHARTER ON GENOICDE

    Article I
    The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
    Article II
    In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
    (a) Killing members of the group;
    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. Article III
    The following acts shall be punishable:
    (a) Genocide;
    (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
    (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

    despot abiy ahmed

    RESIGN NOW VOLUNTARILY OR YOU WILL BE FORCED TO RESIGN VERY SOON WHEN ALL YOUR CHICKENS FINALLY COME HOME TO ROOST.

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