A Year on since a Historic Gaado Furra has Voiced Nation’s Grievance in the Sidama Capital; The Handover of the Power to the Nation Yet to Materialise.
By Denboba Natie, Edinburgh, Scotland
(A4O, April 09, 2020) On the early hours of April 09, 2019, the Sidama Women, girls, elderly ladies and grannies staged on a peaceful government’s response delay- demonstration in the Sidama capital, Hawassa. The scorching Hawassa sun didn’t deter them from their mission as the day has progressed. Perhaps it was the first in its kind and composition of the participants in the African soil, not only in Ethiopia. The estimated number of over one (1) million Sidama women and girls in their colourful Sidama costume came out of their entire Sidama districts to show their national grievances to the rulers. However, the PM surrounded by anti-Sidama unionist advisers didn’t say a single word about the Sidama women’s demonstration to this date demonstrating how much he belittles and hates the nation.
The Sidama women’s demonstration was initiated by these groups due to the delay in fixing the date for the Sidama referendum that guarantees the nation of its constitutional rights to a national regional statehood. Sadly, to date the cause Gaado Furra has echoed hasn’t been responded apart from running of the referendum on the 20th of November 2019 whose result was staggering 98.52% in favour of Sidama statehood.
The Sidama nation commemorates this an historic day in nation’s anti-oppression peaceful resistance history as significant milestone in Sidama’s female population contribution and in adding their signature in a traditionally patriarchal society. Their historic action has transcended traditional belief and seen above the traditional assumption on women’s assignment mainly as a household chores bearers.
The Sidama however traditionally asserts that Women are the foundation of the society; and believes without their presence the life and the society can’t continue to exist. Furthermore, historically, the Sidama women have got a very strong association known as ‘Yakiissa’ through which they had effectively defended their rights since time immemorial.
Historically, the Sidama nation has demanded its national rights to be restored since the nation has lost its political and economic power to the invading Abyssinian king, Minelik II’s army in late 1890s. Ever since the nation has been occupied- it has never silently rested and voluntarily allowed its rights to be crushed. Instead, the nation has challenged the successive Abyssinian rulers in different forms and shapes; and the quest has continued to this date.
Due to this quest tens of thousands of Sidama civilians were massacred by the successive Ethiopian rulers. Since the new PM, Dr Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018, over 212 Sidama civilians were executed and between 3000 and 3500 civilians were unlawfully arrested and remain in various prison cells throughout the country. Recently, some of those (Ejjeetto leaders) were released after unlawfully incarcerating them for 8 months since July 17, 2019 for no apparent and justifiable reasons. As we speak, there are several hundreds of Sidama politicians and activists commonly known as ‘Ejjeetto’ prisoners arrested in relation to these quests by the current regime in Sidama land and in Hosaena Zone, nearly 200km away from their families and the nation at large.
The Sidama nation is demanding these Sidama prisoners to be unconditionally released as the danger of Covid-19 looms. At the current climate, keeping the Sidama and the other prisoners in entire Ethiopia in their cells equates to sentencing them all to death penalty. The Sidama nation is urging the government to unconditionally release the Sidama, the Oromo and the rest prisoners in Ethiopia. The Sidama also urges the government to immediately handover the Sidama State power to the nation by desisting from joking on our nation. It is imperative to assert that, since the declaration of Sidama victory by the national election board post November 20, 2019 Sidama referendum, the Sidama national regional state (SNRS) must obtain its regional budget to fight poverty, and the current Covid-19 pandemic in addition to planning for its own priorities and objectives.
Finally, I propose April 09 to be honoured in respect of the Sidama women and girls. Therefore, it needs to be commemorated as a historic Sidama Women ‘Gaado Fuura’ day on yearly basis.
I Salute Your Bravery and inde
finability the Sidama Women and Girls!
Furra Gaadanonke Agaxxeommo’ne!!
Stay Safe by Staying Apart for Some time!
April 09, 2020- By Denboba Natie, Edinburgh, Scotland