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In realization to the call made to all the opposition parties in the diaspora by the New Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Amhed in 2018 in response to the new reform in the country, it should be reminded that the Southwestern Ethiopia Indigenous Peoples Movement (SWE-IPM) amended its original designation from peoples movement to political party called “Southwest Ethiopia Indigenous Peoples Democratic Movement” (SWE-IPDM) in order to participate in the upcoming election in Ethiopia. However, being skeptical to the reform and the Ethiopian centralized political tendency and behavior which has persisted and defied the existence of the Southwest indigenous Nilo Saharan peoples in Ethiopian society, SWE-IPDM slowed its pace from rushing into chaos in the country, and for the 20 months has been carefully assessing the so call “new reform” in Ethiopia.
Our observation reveals series political blunders that exposed the indigenous communities to perpetual genocide killings, atrocities, land grabs, extinction, and human rights abuses. After serious evaluation of multiple factors regarding magnitude of volatile political situation in the country, the SWE-IPDM came to profound conclusion that, the future of the indigenous population has been greatly placed in danger.The formation that is rolling back to centralism, the military establishments, the perpetual killings in the southwestern regions, and enforcement of demographic movement and policy to consolidate the occupation of the indigenous lands; enforcement of the refugees integration policy to speed up urbanization and occupation in the indigenous lands are tremendously mounting threats, if ignored and left unaddressed the existence of the southwestern indigenous populations in Ethiopia will vanished.
Therefore, we categorically reject this unrealistic call, decided to reinstate our original designation of “Southwest Ethiopia Indigenous Peoples Movement” (SWE-IPM) from party to the indigenous people’s movement. Since its formation in 2011 the SWE-IPM has been the leading advocate for the whole Southwestern Ethiopia Indigenous Peoples that vigorously addresses the grand human rights abuses facing the indigenous population in the Southwest, Ethiopia. As we amend the name, the SWE-IPM will adhere to its original vision and mission and as always committed itself to address the insecurity caused by the Ethiopian government, marginalization, extinction measures including ethnic cleansing conflicts and mass killings, land grabs, underdevelopment, and lack of justice and freedom of the indigenous populations in their ancestors’ lands.
At this point, our message to all fellow indigenous peoples of Southwestern Ethiopia is that your future is in danger. We must unite and work together for our freedom. We must recognize and embrace new challenges, obstacles, hopes and opportunities for our path of movement toward freedom and true democracy and equality may be long and painful. Nevertheless, through perseverance, we will get there. Today let it be known as the day of unity, hope and mutual understanding for the new chapter in the history of the Southwest Ethiopia Indigenous Peoples Movement (SWE-IPM). We must reject the deceitful call for return of exile politicians. We call upon all the stakeholders particularly, the Southwestern Ethiopia Indigenous Peoples inside and outside of Ethiopia (in the Diaspora) to put aside our differences, to unite, consolidate our collective power and solidarity to work together as we demand our inalienable rights and freedom. May the year 2020 bring unity, collaboration, cohesiveness and victory to the Southwestern Ethiopia Indigenous peoples!
SWE-IPM Executive Committee
Southwestern Ethiopia Indigenous peoples Movement (SWE-IPM)
Salt Lake City, UT 84158