It’s time for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize
Tigrai Online June, 29, 2022
Today, on the second anniversary of the death of the popular Ethiopian musician and political activist, Hachalu Hundessa, and following over 388 deaths since April this year, the Oromo Legacy, Leadership and Advocacy Association (OLLAA) has called for the international community to intervene to bring about a rapid peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ethiopia, and for the Prime Minister to be stripped from his Nobel Peace Prize.
Over 3,500 civilians have been killed in Ethiopia since September 2018 at the hand of Nobel Prize winner Abiy Ahmed, who came to power promising peace but instead continued persecuting the 38 million Oromos who make up the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia.
The death of the popular musician and political activist, Hachalu Hundessa, a champion of Oromo rights, at the hand of government security agents was a turning point in the relationship between the Oromo community and the administration of Nobel Prize winner Abiy Ahmed.
On the day after Hachalu’s death, thousands of young people protested in Addis Ababa and across Oromia, resulting in at least 239 people being killed and thousands imprisoned. Even the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which has been accused of being strongly biased towards the government, stated that the killings during the protest were a crime against humanity.
Today, two years later, every day Oromos face extrajudicial killings. Amnesty International reported that hundreds of Oromos have been subjected to human rights abuses and state-sanctioned violence in the past year alone, including extrajudicial arrests, beatings, torture and killings at the hands of Ethiopian security forces, who at times have used drones and helicopters against their own citizens.
One recent example is the murder of a seven-month pregnant school teacher Mrs Genet Birri, who was killed last month by security forces alleging that she and her husband had relatives who were in the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) and a 17-year-old boy who was publicly executed in 2021.
Speaking on the second anniversary of Hachalu Hundessa’s killing, Seenaa Jimjimo of OLLAA called for a swift and urgent focus on peace saying:
“Two years since Hundessa’s death, thousands of Oromo have died and now 8 million are facing famine and persecution.
“Today we are calling for an immediate end to the violence in Ethiopia and Oromia along with an urgent independent investigation into the human rights abuses committed by government officials and security forces in Ethiopia.
“The Prime Minister made his reputation as a peacebuilder but has incited war and violence against indigenous groups across Ethiopia. The international community must now investigate his role in the conflict and consider stripping him of the award.”
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