The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago, Inc.
5800 N. Lincoln Ave ● Chicago, IL 60659● (773) 508-0303 ● Fax (773) 508-0309● www.ECAChicago.org
Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans in Chicagoland area met on a community conference call and after thorough discussion of the current political and humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, have made the following statement:
July 18, 2020
We, Ethiopians in Chicago, in the State of Illinois, USA, convey our deepest sorrow on the vicious political assassination of Artist Hachalu Hundesa and send our heartfelt condolences to his family and the peace-loving people of Ethiopia. We also express our rage over the genocidal massacre primarily targeting ethnic Amharas and Orthodox Christians that also extended to the killings of other ethnic minorities like the Guragies, Gamos, Wolayitas, and others, as well as senseless victimization of innocent Oromos and Moslems in the various Oromia regions following the well planned and well-synchronized murder of Hachalu Hundesa. We, therefore, roundly condemn the perpetrators and their enablers, who are determined to destabilize Ethiopia. Regrettably, the young singer’s death is the latest in a series of assassinations of politicians and high-ranking civilian and military leaders witnessed in Ethiopia in the recent past.
We, Ethiopians, and Americans of Ethiopian origin in the Greater Chicago area note that this brutal killing took place at a critical moment in the history of Ethiopia, when the country is dealing with existential threats, including foreign aggression, a pandemic outbreak and internal conflicts. We believe that the killing was premeditated and carried out to thwart the ongoing efforts of Ethiopia surrounding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project, and to create chaos and instability in the country by inciting genocidal inter- ethnic and inter-religious conflicts. The actions of these criminal elements have been helped by non-state actors that have penetrated the structures of government and public services, rendering the bureaucracy and judiciary ineffectual and lacking credibility and trust in the eye of the public.
We are deeply disturbed by the loss of hundreds of defenseless lives and the destruction of properties and national heritages in Oromia and ask the people of Ethiopia to exercise wisdom and restraint, and not to succumb to the traps of the criminal and extremist groups behind this tragic event. At the same time, we extend our sincere appreciations and admirations to those Oromos who protected and saved many lives of their brethren Ethiopians.
Therefore, in solidarity and cooperation with many Ethiopian communities and rights groups across the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, we Ethiopians, Ethiopian-Americans in Chicago:
- Unequivocally condemn the brazen assassination of this famous artist Ethiopian, Hachalu Hundesa.
- We Strongly condemn emerging symptoms of Genocide that targeted specific group of Ethiopians premediated based on a pre-arranged list of individuals and their businesses because of their ethnic and/or Christian identity leading to brutal killing and desecration of their bodies, and senseless and total destruction of their homes and businesses and ultimately causing dislocations.
- We strongly condemn and oppose the depersonalization and dehumanization of these minorities in Oromia such as “Naftagnas”, “Safaris” (Settlers or “outsiders”) and encourage the view that it is “fair game” to exterminate these minorities and eradicate them out of Oromia;
- We Support the efforts of the Ethiopian Government to quell the tragic event of bloodshed in the country and bring the perpetrators to justice; as well as encourage building preventive intelligence service and national counseling power whose primary aim will be to enhance safe and interdependent coexistence of all Ethiopians.
- We Call upon the Ethiopian Government to partner with all well-meaning Ethiopian elders, professionals, and scholars to normalize the current scary political climate in the country.
- We Call upon all the people of Ethiopia, without regard to ethnicity, religion, or political affiliations, to stand together and avoid further bloodshed and violence.
- We Call upon the Government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to commission an independent and reliable body to transparently and credibly investigate the motives behind the assassination, and the glaring human rights violations reported in various parts of Oromia and to take swift actions against the responsible individuals and groups; but also conduct community education and deradicalization of the Youth that were Victims of hateful propaganda, indoctrination of promoting violence, and the destruction of Ethiopia as a society and political entity.
- We Call upon the Government to enforce the pertinent media laws of the country and to curb the hate speech, violence, and incendiary activities of political and social actors through mainstream media and social media including Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber, TikTok, etc.
- We Call upon all international organizations and human rights groups to show meaningful support to prevent a looming genocide and mass displacements in the country; and
- We Call upon Western governments to bring to justice criminal activists who reside in their respective countries and remotely incite sectarian violence in Ethiopia.
Abera Sisay, President and Board Chairperso