To: Mr. Kofi
Annan, United Nations
Secretary General, The United Nations
United Nations Plaza, Room S-3800
New York, NY 10017
RE: Anuak Cry for Survival December 19, 2003
Ethiopia is one of the African countries that suffer from grave human
rights violations, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detention and torture.
Such human rights violations in Ethiopia have been increasing in recent
years. Since 1991, the Melese led government of Ethiopia has detained
and executed many innocent Ethiopians. The special police and armed forces
ruthlessly suppress peaceful groups that request their constitutional
right to self-administration and self-expression.
The Anuak people are one of the nationalities in the Gambella regional
state. When the present government came into power in 1991, the traditional
lands of the Anuak people were renamed as Gambella People National Regional
State (GPNRS). The Anuak People strongly opposed the EPDRF interfering
in the regional affaire and repeatedly appealed for the right of self-administration.
Many Anuak people who peacefully objected the government's actions to
their constitutional rights were either killed or arrested by the intervention
force (Tigrean Special army), which was deployed into the region. The
killers of these people have never been brought to justice.
The December 13, 2003 genocide in Gambella city in the south western
Ethiopia is the most recent example of the government's harsh policies
and the lack of justice in the region. The genocide in Gambella city
broke out after a car was ambush roughly 20 kilometers from Gambella
city, on the road leading to Jikawo district and when the car arrived
in the Gambella city carrying the bodies of seven local Ethiopian and
one Anuak who had been killed.
At 12 pm, several Ethiopian troops together with the civilian’s
Ethiopian “Highlanders” who were armed with guns, clubs,
spears and machetes took to the streets of the city in a genuine manhunt,
beating and striking dead all Anuak who crossed their path but their
target were educated Anuak men. The Ethiopian government troops began
approaching those Anuak that were previously identified as "troublemakers".
This list of Anuak has been well-publicized and is made up of those that
are sympathetic to the former regional government, those that hold positions
in the present regional government, and those that are outspoken against
the federal government's policies in the region. Of the Anuak on this
list, some were arrested with no charge, but the majority were shot and
killed in cold blood.
This mass killing, which followed - more than 400 people are thought
to have died - was carried out by the government's special police force.
By the order of the federal government the security men and women were
instructed to mix with the civilians Ethiopian or Highlanders and chant
anti-Anuak slogan from today forward no Anuak, No Anuak land and create
chaos. They massacred and burned Anuak houses and properties. This created
the mixed communities, which coexisted for centuries to go after each
other and kill. Then the government security pulled out and blamed one
side or another. This was a calculated murder aimed at divide and rule
We, the threatened Anuak people in the Gambella region of Ethiopia,
especially educated Anuak hereby urgently appeal to you and to the whole
international community of nations as upholders of human rights to hear
our very desperate Anuak CRY.
The most recent development of situation in the Gambella city is so
explosive and tautened due to assault and slaughtering in a contemptible
and inhuman manner on Anuak by un-neutral armed forces which went hand
in hand with thousand of EPDRF troops who mainly come from outside Gambella.
Within three days over four hundreds Anuak including women and children
were killed; several homes were totally burnt down and destroyed.
The armed forces which ought to protect innocent people, in fact are
now torn apart by internal conflict among themselves. This causes that
Anuak people become fully unprotected, and consequently death tolls are
escalating daily in frightening number.
For this very reason, we urgently appeal, that the International Community
through the United Nations speedily renders us international help by
placing UN Special investigators into the Gambella region. We urgently
hope that our CRY will get your immediate response in order to prevent
a worsening process of genocide (cleansing) in Gambella.
We have brought some examples of the crimes and the collective violations
of human rights committed by the EPRDF government and its forces with
regard to the exclaiming of mass disappearances, murders and mass graves,
In the light of these crimes, we are all more than ever convinced:
1 That the Ethiopian government must stop its genocidal program and
withdraw its troops from Gambella, our ancestral homeland
2 That the international community recognizes our right of self-determination
3 The international community do all it can to stop the killing and
foster investigation with the help of third party.
We strongly and unanimously urge that you condemn the Ethiopian government
for the its heinous crimes against the Anuak people, cry halt to them,
once and for all and help us realize our collective rights as people.