United We Stand Together to Mourn and Commemorate the Fourteenth Years Anniversary of Anuaks Genocide
(Press Release (Gambella), December 13, 2017) In commemoration to the 14th year Anniversary of the Anuaks’ Genocide of December 13/2003, GNUM would like to rekindle the memory of all the entire Anuak community and the sympathizers in all over the world, the causes behind the genocide which include racist conspiracy, hate speeches, isolations, and ethnic architect campaigns launched against the tribe by the TPLF/EPRDF government, that resulted in the massacre of 424 of civilian Anuak men (as official confirms), but in reality more than 1500 civilians Anuaks were massacred in three days’ time in the Gambella soil.
While we are commemorating this day, we should remind ourselves the causes are still growing active against our people, and the massacres as we have experienced in the past, as many they were, will still continue until our people are wiped away systematically from their ancestral land. Our brothers and sisters of whom some were buried alive in mass grave, were gunned down and mutilated by the civilian highlanders who were supported by the TPLF/EPRDF soldiers in uniform, chanted “today is the day of Anuaks massacre, there will be no Anuaks to be left in this land”. These civilian highlanders and soldiers who carried out the massacre should be reminded that, they were the very settlers of 1984/5, of whom we warmly welcomed and embraced with our arms during the famine that hit the Northern part of the country, and we gave them safe haven in our land to share our resources as human. Should they recuperate and picked up machetes, pangas, and guns against our people and killed them in massive, brutally? This should make us rethink of what sociopolitical and economic environment we are going to construct as far our freedom and prosperity are concerned for our struggle.
We don’t revenge and we should not be discouraged to show our God gifted hospitality to our neighbors, but we ought to confirm our right to choose for better future that will ensure peaceful and secured livelihood for our peoples throughout the current political struggle. It must be known that December 13, 2003 Anuaks’ genocide give us a turning point to choose for our destiny between slavery and freedom, poverty and prosperity, lies and honesty/truth, dehumanization and humanity, colonization and self-respect/honor, for the Anuaks and the entire indigenous communities in the region. It marks the climax of the Ethiopian brutality and cruelty against our people not to allow them to leave in peace, freedom, and prosperity in their homeland. For this reason, we need to take strong political vision for our future, and GNUM as unifying political party embraces the values that preach out unity, equality, and solidarity to ensure freedom for our peoples.
As we commemorate this horrific episode we remind ourselves the responsibility taken by our ancestors and heroes to control and manage our land. We therefore, need to give due attention to unite our efforts toward unity with purpose to protect the oppressed indigenous peoples. It should be known that the event of genocides in Gambella has changed its color into land grabs, refugee settlement and forced villagization to eliminate systematically the indigenous populations from their ancestral lands. The Ethiopian government has engaged itself in ditching our land to foreign multinational and Ethiopian highlander companies, to allow the highlanders influx into our regions to occupy our land indirectly and to extinct our peoples. The resettlement programmes and land grab policies of TPLF/EPRDF government being implemented throughout the southwestern regions are totally against the will and interest of our indigenous peoples.
The live of our peoples in Gambella and to Southwestern Nilotic and Omotic peoples at a large is at high risk. Many of genocidal massacres carried out by the TPLF/EPRDF soldiers against our peoples are being reported: in Lower Omo Valley of SNNPR and Gambella for instance people are being killed and tortured. Other regions including Ogaden, Oromiya, Afar, Amhara and Benishangul Gumuz are experiencing the same atrocities. Many of our peoples are fleeing the country to find refuge in east Africa countries, to escape the ongoing atrocities and killings inside the country. As of today Anuaks are entering into refugee camps every year since then. Majority of our youths, children, elders, children, mothers, fathers, and elite groups are now finding themselves in the refugee camps of South Sudan, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda and some fled to unknown places of Africa in a trouble life condition. As we grieve today we also remember our fellow brothers and sisters who are also in the field struggling for our freedom. We are calling upon all people of Gambella again that, the best way to achieve our goal toward freedom and victory is only through unity and we should stand as one.
The Gambella Nilotes United Movement will continue its struggle to ensure freedom and justice for the oppressed Gambella people and the Southwest Nilotic-Omotic people. Finally, we are calling the TPLF/EPRDF to stop harassing the indigenous people, detention, tortures, and killing of the civilians inside the country. Our indigenous members and the communities, who are suffering in the hands of the TPLF/EPRDF soldiers including prisons, should be released without conditions. May God Bless all people of Gambella and neighboring the Southwest Nilotic-Omotic people.
United We Stand Together to Mourn and Commemorate the Fourteenth Years Memorial Day of Anuaks Genocide December 13th 2017
Gambella Nilotes United Movement/Army