NY/NJ Ethiopians Task Force (Open Letter to Celebrities)
Re: Urgent appeal to avert a large-scale Rwanda like genocide that is being encouraged by a sitting government in Ethiopia
As a celebrity, you shoulder a lot of responsibilities. You are charged with the power to influence, change and convince minds, and as a result you undisputedly have a unique position in society. That is why we believe your voice will have a profound impact, ensuring people of power and influence pay attention to the dire situation millions of Ethiopians are facing.
When people like you who are blessed with celebrity status speak up on critical issues, the issues get noticed and the public and politicians get educated. If you express your concern on the current realities of Ethiopia, you can help avert another horrifying memory of ethnic cleansing we all witnessed in Rwanda. Powerful nations like the US and international organizations like the UN did not help, and
later displayed regret for not interfering in Rwanda to save the one million lives that perished due to the reckless and ruthless behavior of its leaders. It is important to remember that that genocide was well planned and executed by political and high-level military leaders who used a militia force fully backed by the regime to carry out the dirty job.
Just like in Rwanda, ethnic cleansing is being encouraged by the ethnocentric regime in Ethiopia. The regime is destroying the beautiful country and its people for the sick game of staying in power. The regime has intentionally divided the nation along ethnic lines and openly expressed its desire to antagonize two of the major ethnic groups so that it stays in power forever.
Ethiopia is an ancient African country that is considered a cradle of mankind. It is a country that taught the world the meaning of religious tolerance by accepting the prophet Mohammed and his followers while Christianity had the strong hold in the nation. Its people have fought and defeated the well-armed modern colonial power of Italy, demonstrating the resilience and patriotism of Africans and becoming the steward of future hopes for the emancipation of other nations subjected to colonialist rules.
Even though Ethiopia was never colonized, over several decades its people have been victims of instability, corruption and the cold war. Over decades, we have witnessed extreme human suffering, including unnecessary wars that caused the deaths of thousands, preventable mass migration and preventable hunger that has shown us the extreme suffering of children and the elderly. All these examples are mainly due to mismanagement and the extreme corruption of Ethiopia’s leaders, who completely disregard the democratic rights of their poor and law-abiding citizens and only care about the needs of their families and friends.
Unfortunately, right now Ethiopia is not a nation of wealth and power, and horrifying stories from that nation do not get coverage by CNN, ABC, FOX or MSNBC, even when more than one hundred peaceful demonstrators, and more than eight hundred “Irreecha” festival participants were killed in a single day in 2016, and ten peaceful demonstrators were killed just last week. While that is the sad reality of our world, you have the power to change that just by speaking up against the inhumanity, cruelty and utter disregard to human rights in Ethiopia.
As we write you this letter, the country is at a cross roads, and the recent displacement of more than three hundred thousand Oromos by a puppet Somali region president and his “Liyu Police Force” which incites violence directed towards certain ethnic groups is an example of what is to come. It is reported that the TPLF, which controls both the military and the intelligence offices, has trained and dispersed its cadres as merchants and professionals working in various regions of the country. Recently, those cadres have been carrying out orders, inciting violence between various ethnic groups, especially the Oromos and the Amharas, who are targeted by the regime for demanding that they receive democratic rights. Respected human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have previously accused the government of killings and intentionally inciting violence in various areas, but no one is paying attention. How many more Ethiopians must be killed before the world understands that this is a genocide perpetrated by a sitting government?
We urge to you not to stand aside and allow Ethiopians to be terrorized and massacred. Please speak up and help give millions of Ethiopians a voice through your celebratory status.
NY/NJ Ethiopians Task Force (www.ethionynj.com)
October 29, 2017