PRESS RELEASE

A hated regime perpetuates ethnic slaughter
Press Release by Gambella People in the USA
December 18, 2003


On Saturday December the 13th, 2003 EPRDF government soldiers targeted the ethnic Anuak civilians in Gambella region. While most killings that took the lives of more than 400 Anuaks were committed in Gambella town, which started with the killings of educated Anuaks, the genocide is also currently continuing in all areas where Anuaks live.

Our reliable sources from Gambella indicated that the attack came after the death of seven people, including three government officials who were visiting the area. Their car was ambushed by unknown gangs, allegedly some refugees who were opposed to a government plan to remove the refugees' camp. However, the government alleged that the officials were ambushed by the Anuaks only because the accident took place in an Anuak territory. But the fact was that this is a pre-planned strategy by the EPRDF to deceive highlander Ethiopians that the Anuaks were opposed to them, and create the pretext to commit gross crimes against humanity.

To our dismay, Mr. Meles' Defense Ministry spokesperson went on the mass media and issued a false statement which complicates the matter, stating that the tragedy was the outcome of a conflict between the Anuaks and the Nuers. To the contrary, however, there was no single fight occurred between the Anuaks and the Nuers. Therefore, the statement is a clear indication that the EPRDF government is fully responsible for such crime committed against humanity. One journalist working for Reuters also came out with a story echoeing the government's baselss accusation, contrary to ethics of professional journalists. The statement cited Dr. Gebrab Barnabas, the Federal Minister who blamed the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Eritrean government. Well, if we to assumed that the government statement was correct, the question is what would justify EPRDF's crimes of genocide against the Anuaks inside Gambella? Is OLF fighting the Anuaks or the Ethiopian army? Moreover, Gambella is not an Oromo territory.

Unlike the pervious ethnic cleansing which was sparked between the Anuaks and Nuers by EPRDF, this one took a different approach but greatly resembled to the tragedies that EPRDF committed in Awassa and Tepi towns of Southern states, where the EPRDF government used their strategic and tactical allies to commit mass murder against the Magenger and other southern Ethiopian civilians. While many of these mass murders which have been taking place in different provinces since the EPRDF came to power 12 years ago in what was peaceful Ethiopia, they all carry the same objectives, and that is to divert the attention of one national issue so as to prolong the life of EPRDF.

The real motive, however, is that the EPRDF government has failed to govern Gambella for the last 12 years of rule and nightmare imposed upon Ethiopian people. EPRDF has not only failed to win the support of the people of Gambella, particularly who are the few educated in the area, but also severely exhausted all its efforts of divide and rule in Gambella, and it doesn't have a future in Gambella.

Last year was the Nuer and Majanger fetched against the Anuaks. But to no avail. When all these divide and rule policies failed, we have now witnessed EPRDF forces mass-murdering the Anuaks openly in daylight. The reason is obvious, and that is, the Anuaks became a victim for only one reason: for standing tall as proud Ethiopians. In Gambella, the EPRDF regime is the most hated ruling clique the Anuaks had ever seen in Ethiopian history. They resent the un-Ethiopians government and its apartheid policy of the regime.

The vicious attack on civilian Anuaks was carried out in coordination with the so called anti-Ethiopia forces operating in the area, those share the same philosophy with the EPRDF regime. The questions many outsider and foreigners, particularly journalists, ask is why the government committed such genocide on it own citizens? And why in the world a government that enjoyed the support of the United States and the civilized western world would commit such a heinous crime and mass murder on its own citizens which could be compared with Adolf Hitler's Holocaust on the Jewish people and Saddam Hussien's on the Kurds people? The following evidence and systematic oppressive policies would highlight as to what the government is after. The objectives of the Meles regime are clear:

1. Having found itself to be the most hated government in Gambella, the EPRDF government begin a systematic policy by jailing 62 Anuaks politicians in Addis Ababa and more than 300 in Gambella. Over the year from 1998-2003, many educated Anuaks left Ethiopia for fear of their life. Moreover, the EPRDF set up the Anauks the road of conflict with other Ethiopian ethnic groups in the region. In all ethnic cleansing taking place in Gambella, Anuaks are the victims. During these barbaric attacks inflicted on Anuaks, the EPRDF provided guns and operational logistics to other ethnic groups to kill Anuaks.

2. Anuaks are subjected to such brutality and misdeed by the government, only for embracing Ethiopian identity which the EPRDF government resented. To confuse the issues, EPRDF created an atmosphere where the business owners in Gambella, mostly Ethiopian highlanders, can be in conflict with the natives of the area, particularly the Anuaks.

3. By mistreating the Anuaks, the EPRDF and its puppet groups that operate against the national interests of Ethiopia, are desperately looking for the surrender of the Anuak people as the ruling clique's subservient subjects. The Anuaks are proud Ethiopian citizens, and they would rather continue to struggle for the respect of human rights and the reign of a democratically-elected regime than fulfill the hidden, anti-Ethiopian interests of the hated regime in power.