by Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni
Irreecha(Thanksgiving) Celebration in Bushoftu City in Oromia, about 40 kilometer from Addis Ababa, where over 500 people are believed to have been killed, was not “an stampede” as regime forces and some media outlets purported to frame, but a carefully planned and executed government security operation to cause maximum mass death on the Oromo people.
And, to our horror, their plan did cause the death of over 500 people when the security forces of the regime opened gunfire from helicopter gunship and ground military forces at a place where about three to four million people are gathered causing people to panic and disperse in every direction resulting in the planned mass killings through a stampede. All reports from the people present at the event indicate that Oromia regional police who were with the people did not involve in the shootings.
All the information I received in my inbox and the people I talked to on the ground attests that it was a carefully planned, and carefully executed security operation to cause a maximum killings that could be easily blamed on a stampede not the regime forces at an annual event the government knows a minimum of two to five million people will gather each year.
The government also knows that the Oromo people will come from every corner of Oromia to attend this annual national Thanksgiving holiday and festivity were children, the elderly, and all facets of the Oromo society gather.
The government also knows with certainty that the people will protest the uprooting of Oromo people from their lands, the killings, torture in the regime’s gulags throughout the country this year due to #OromoProtests without mentioning the horrors of the last 25 years.
The government also knows with certainty from the experiences of the past eleven months that #OromoProtests have always been peaceful except when the government security forces want to kill people and turn it violent.
What else do you expect other than mass panic and stampede when the regime’s security forces using helicopter gunship and ground military forces open gunfire on over three million people gathered in one place to celebrate Thanksgiving in a family setting?
What genius does it take to cause such mass killings through stampede by opening gunfire from helicopter gunship and ground forces except the evil mind of the killers of our people?
I only hope we stop lamenting the death of our people and start to do something meaningful to free our people. As painful it might be for our people around the world, let’s stop mourning and start to do something meaningful to prevent the next killings. We can only mourn when we know that we can prevent the next mass killings.
I have been away from social media for the last one month because of problems beyond my control. It is sad that I have to break my silence to speak about this horrible massacre that took the life of over 500 of our compatriots. I would like to say thank you to each one of you who sent me inbox messages and called me numerous times to check about my safety and wellbeing!
by Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni