The Right Honorable Justin Pierre James Trudeau MP, Prime Minister of Canada
July 10, 2020
80 Wellington Street Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2
RE: Ethnic cleansing continued in Oromia Regional State by Ethiopian government lead by Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
We, the members of the Oromo Canadian Community Association of Atlantic Canada, and the Oromo Community Association of Nova Scotia, are writing this letter to bring to your attention and express our deepest concerns about the continued mass killing, evicting of farmers from their land, arbitrary arrest without due process, torturing of innocent civilians, raping of girls and women in front of their families, burning of crops, and the killing of opposition parties’ supporters and party members in Oromia by defense forces, Federal Police, Federal Security, and Special Forces of the Ethiopian government lead by Dr. Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
Under military rule headed by Dr. Abiy Ahmed, authorities are committing outrageous mass killings, of not only mothers, young children, students, merchants, farmers, civil servants, community leaders, religious leaders, civil right activists, and journalists, but recently they have targeted Oromo artists.
Several Oromo artists were jailed without committing any crime, and some have been executed in public by killing squads, or have left the country as refugees due to expression of their opinions using their music and artistic talents to promote social justice and expose human rights violation issues in Oromia.
A well-known iconic Oromo music star, and author of 5 books, Mr. Daadhi Galaan was assassinated by a killing squad while performing his music on stage on February 11, 2019 in Finfinne/Addis Ababa.
A well-known Oromo artist, songwriter, performer, human rights activist, and freedom fighter Haacaaluu Hundeessa was assassinated in Finfinne/Addis Ababa on June 29, 2020. Security forces also killed his uncle.
Since Dr. Abiy came to power in April 2018, tens of thousands of innocent Oromos have been killed by security forces, have disappeared, or have been detained and tortured in the country’s notorious prisons and at hidden and unmarked locations.
A gross violation of the constitution ensued, and the legally recognized party that brought him to power two years ago, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), was illegally dismantled and the election term was extended; the country is currently facing civil war and disintegration.
The majority of Ethiopians, including the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), who were among the founders of the EPRDF, have rejected the newly merged party, the Prosperity Party (PP), due to the party’s policies and ideology. The PP’s hidden agenda is to rebuild the outdated unitary monarch dictatorship system - to bring back the legacy of Emperor Menelik II - which emphasizes one country, one language, one flag, and one religion, while abandoning a pluralistic, multicultural, multilingual, and multi-ethnic Ethiopian society.
Currently, the PP has declared war on the groups, or individuals, or zones, or regional states that refuse to accept the PP’s ideology. The hidden policy includes eliminating ethnic identity, abolishing the current language-based regional states, abolishing the actual region’s using their own language for their own regional administration, and wanting to impose the PP’s official language.
To date, more than 2 million Oromo farmers have been evicted by force from their land and have become internal refugees without any assistance. Most of the people who are residing in conflict zones have fled persecution to neighboring regions or neighboring countries.
Almost all Ethiopian regions, except Tigray, are under the control of state sponsored terrorism including Oromia, Amhara, Afar, Gambela, Southern Nations Nationalities and People, Benishangul-Gumuz, Somali (Ogaden), and Sidama region. The Tigray region has also been pushed to the corner, and there are tensions on the northern and southern borders.
Since the government of Ethiopia has blocked independent media organizations including the Oromo News Network, and the Oromo Media Network, government-controlled media are spreading fake news and dramas to humiliate opposition parties.
Electricity and Internet have been curtailed, and independent mass media, human rights monitors, and international human rights observers have been blocked from gaining access to Oromia, particularly in zones that are suffering at the hands of the military administration, and it is difficult to corroborate the government killing, arresting, torturing, and displacing of innocent people.
Based on our own independent sources, since this undeclared war started in Oromia, thousands of Oromos have been killed, hundreds of Qemants and Agaws have been killed or burned alive in their own houses in the Amhara region, hundreds of Sidama activists have been jailed, and hundreds of people have killed in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, by government security forces. Several Welayta, Kambata, and Mocha youth have been jailed due to their demands to become members of the Ethiopian Federal states.
The hope for elections and the democratization of Ethiopia has vanished, and the bogus National Election Board of Ethiopia office has become a showcase to collect money from donors in the name of democratization and election process improvement while the election office is totally owned and controlled by Prosperity Party security agents. COVID_19 was presented as a lame excuse to delay the election planned for May 14, 2020 and the current government cannot rule beyond October 10, 2020 due to the country’s constitution, which states that the House of
Peoples’ Representatives shall be elected for a term of five years, and their time will end in October.
In this situation, according to the constitution, opposition parties must convene to discuss how the country is to be governed, but unfortunately, most of the opposition party leaders are in jail or under house arrest or have been killed, and no one knows where they are.
The current situation and the direction in which the government is leading the country will lead to civil war.
Mr. Prime Minister, our community is deeply concerned that there is ethnic cleansing going on in Oromia and Ethiopia, once again, the international community has not responded. We have come to a point where we cannot sit in silence and watch the massacre of innocent Oromos. We appeal to you and your government to evaluate the crimes committed by the Ethiopian government over the last 26 months and to use your good office to apply appropriate pressure on the regime to stop killing innocent people.
In the past, the Government of Canada has demonstrated support for human rights, democracy, and good governance and it is time for Canada to stand with the people of Oromo, Ethiopia, instead of supporting an armed criminal government.
We feel that military, economic, and strategic aid or partnership with Ethiopia should be tied to respect for human rights, justice, democracy, and good governance.
We, therefore, respectfully request that you use the influences of your good office to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to immediately and unconditionally:
1. Stop killing, torturing innocent civilians without any precondition;
2. We solemnly appeal to the Canadian government and the international community to put maximum pressure on the Ethiopian Prime Minister, and Ethiopian President to step down immediately before the country plummets into civil war;
3. We appeal to the Canadian government to help, to facilitate International Commissions of Inquiry, Commission on Human Rights to investigate gross human rights violations, ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia, particularly in the Oromia regional state during the last 26 months so that perpetrators face justice;
4. We appeal to the Canadian government and the international peace loving communities to impose maximum economic, and armed embargo on current Ethiopian government until they stop killing innocent citizens, and immediately call for fare and free election, and hand over the power to freely elected people’s representatives or else we fear that there will be a devastating civil war in the country;
5. We appeal to the Canadian government and the international peace loving communities to put maximum pressure on Abiy Ahimed to restore electricity, telephone, and internet services, without any preconditions so that they can share information on COVID_19;
6. We appeal to the Canadian government and the international peace loving communities to put pressure on Abiy Ahimed to release all political prisoners and reimburse them for the illegal time they spent in prison and for the torture and suffering they faced;
COVID_19 outbreak reported in several prisons, but government-controlled media are not reporting – Red Cross and independent media should be allowed to access the prison facility to observe the political prisoner health conditions;
7. We appeal to the Canadian government and the international peace loving communities to put pressure on Abiy Ahimed to stop bringing foreign mercenaries, mobile killing squads from neighboring countries to kill the opposition leaders or prominent leaders in the community;
8. We appeal to the Canadian government and the international peace loving communities to put pressure on Abiy Ahimed to allow UN independent observers access to affected areas in Oromia;
9. We appeal to the Canadian government and the international peace loving communities to put pressure on Abiy Ahimed to allow Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross to treat the injured victims in affected areas;
Yours very truly,
President of Oromo Canadian Community Association of Atlantic Canada firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman of Oromo Community Association of Nova Scotia email@example.com
Her Excellency The Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada
The Honourable Andrew Scheer, PC MP, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Leader of the Opposition
The Honourable Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader and MP
Ms. Jo-Ann Roberts, Interim Leader of the Green Party of Canada
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs and MP
The Honourable Mary Ng, MP, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, MP, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
The Honourable Karina Gould, MP, Minister of International Development
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, MP, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Mr. John F.G. Hannaford, Deputy Minister of International Trade
His Excellency Marc-André Blanchard, Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations
The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, MP, Minister of National Defence of Canada
The Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of the Province of Nova Scotia
His Excellency Antoine Chevrier, Canadian Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti H.E. Nasise Challi JIRA, Ethiopian Ambassador to Canada