The Horn Times Newsletter 18 March 2013
by Getahune Bekele, South Africa
A grieving mother’s plea for justice to the world.
As the United Nations fails to declare the current ethnic Apartheid rule in Ethiopia a crime against humanity and as the
ICC remains reluctant to charge hordes of Tigre warlords for genocide and war crimes committed over the course of 21 years of brutal minority rule, flagrant human rights violations are spiraling out of control in lawless Ethiopia Where federal police members and feared Tigre People Liberation Front, TPLF, cadres go as far as dousing non- Tigre citizens with petrol and set them alight in broad daylight.
Even after the death of Meles Zenawi, the outdated Tigre junta remains avowedly ethnocentric and genocidal, governing the nation by exploiting ethnic and religious passions which bind and blinded Ethiopians for 21 years.
The impact of such rule is both frightening and devastating.
The heart breaking story of long suffering 67 year old Ethiopia Yilma (pictured) sent shock waves in Ethiopia when the independent Finotenetsanet newspaper published the detailed account of what happened to her and her family who lived for three decades in the historic eastern city of Harrer.
Ordeal of the elderly Amharic woman began when the city’s administrators including the commander of the police started threatening her with expulsion unless she gives up her home which was standing at prime spot in the city’s Kebele 17 zone.
However, Ethiopia Yilma withstood the unrelenting pressure and continue to live in her home with her 75 year old husband until the day more than 30 police men came to evict her forcibly.
“That morning we were drinking coffee when police men kicked open my door and dragged me outside shouting ‘here she is, here she is’. I screamed in agony asking them what my crime was but they simply said I am a lawless criminal, my neighbors also demanded to know what was happening.
“Then while we were arguing, my daughter arrived and we won the battle for the day. The police left.”
The lone, destitute and sorrow smitten grand mother told Finotenetsanet Amharic weekly reporters that the same day a police man named Ramadan and his young accomplice known as Endale Girma went to her daughter’s tiny canteen, doused her with paraffin and set her alight in full view of the public.
“When the people brought her to the hospital my daughter was still breathing. The next day I hired a car and when we were about to leave for Addis Ababa to seek better medical treatment, police intercepted us and denied me permission to travel…my daughter died in my arms due to lack of medical attention.” Ethiopia Yilma told the paper with tears streaming down her ashen face.
Once they got rid of her daughter, local authorities evicted Ethiopia Yilma and her 75 year old husband from their private home without arranging for them another accommodation or paying compensation.
“Even the 3,000 Birr I got from my sympathetic neighbors was confiscated by Harer city police and my house is given to a well connected lady named Anisa Mohammad. She is currently building double story house on my property.” Ethiopia Yilma continues.
“My husband is Oromo and my children are Oromo. This entire calamity came up on us because I am Amharic.”
According to Yilma her daughter was the fourth person to be killed in such brutal way and the murderers are leading a normal life with no fear of prosecution.
Finotenetsanet Newspaper reporters manage to trace the area’s crime preventation unit leader Sergent Teshome Seifu but he denied knowing a police man by the name of Ramadan. Jamaal Ahmed, the region’s governor also denied any knowledge of the blood curdling crime committed against citizens based on their ethnicity and Race.
Ethiopia Yilma is currently living in Addis Ababa while her homeless husband toils in the city of Harar.
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