Remembering the Meles Massacres of November 2005, the Irreecha Massacres of 2016

Ethiopian Martyrs

Ethiopian Martyrs of June and November, 2005.

By Prof. Al Mariam

“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness. For not only are we responsible for the memories of the dead, we are also responsible for what we are doing with those memories.” Elie Weisel

We the living MUST bear witness …

On On June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, following the parliamentary elections in May, the military, police and security forces of the ruling Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (T-TPLF) in Ethiopia under the personal command and control of the late T-TPLF mastermind Meles Zenawi committed unspeakable crimes against humanity.

Watch video documenting the Meles Massacres (in Amharic) HERE.

An official Inquiry Commission established jointly by Meles Zenawi and his rubberstamp parliament documented that 193 unarmed men, women and children demonstrating in the streets and scores of other detainees held in a high security prison were intentionally shot and killed by police and security officials. An additional 763 were wounded.[1] The Commission held Meles Zenawi and his T-TPLF bore full responsibility for the massacres.

We MUST remember the victims of the Meles/T-TPLF Massacres of 2005:

Rebuma E. Ergata, 34, mason; Melesachew D. Alemnew, 16, student; Hadra S. Osman, 22, occup. unknown; Jafar S. Ibrahim, 28, sm. business; Mekonnen, 17, occup. unknown; Woldesemayat, 27, unemployed; Beharu M. Demlew, occup. unknown; Fekade Negash, 25, mechanic; Abraham Yilma, 17, taxi; Yared B. Eshete, 23, sm. business; Kebede W. G. Hiwot, 17, student; Matios G. Filfilu, 14, student;Getnet A. Wedajo, 48, Sm. business; Endalkachew M. Hunde, 18, occup. unknown; Kasim A. Rashid, 21, mechanic; Imam A. Shewmoli, 22, sm. business; Alye Y. Issa, 20, laborer; Samson N. Yakob, 23, pub. trspt.; Alebalew A. Abebe, 18, student; Beleyu B. Za, 18, trspt. asst.; Yusuf A. Jamal, 23, occup. student; Abraham S. W. Agenehu, 23, trspt. asst.; Mohammed H. Beka, 45, farmer; Redela K. Awel, 19, taxi Assit., Habtamu A. Urgaa, 30, sm. Business. Dawit F. Tsegaye, 19, mechanic; Gezahegne M. Geremew, 15, student; Yonas A. Abera, 24, occup. unknown; Girma A. Wolde, 38, driver; W/o Desta U. Birru, 37, sm. business; Legese T. Feyisa, 60, mason; Tesfaye D. Bushra, 19, shoe repairman; Binyam D. Degefa, 18, unemployed.

Million K. Robi, 32, trspt. asst.; Derege D. Dene, 24, student; Nebiyu A. Haile, 16, student; Mitiku U. Mwalenda, 24, domestic worker; Anwar K. Surur, 22, sm. business; Niguse Wabegn, 36, domestic worker; Zulfa S. Hasen, 50, housewife; Washun Kebede, 16, student; Ermia F. Ketema, 20, student; 00428, 25, occup. unknown; 00429, 26, occup. unknown; 00430, 30, occup. unknown; Adissu Belachew, 25, occup. unknown; Demeke K. Abebe,uk, occup. unknown; 00432, 22, occup. unknown; 00450, 20, occup. unknown; 13903, 25, occup. unknown; 00435, 30, occup. unknown. 13906, 25, occup. unknown; Temam Muktar, 25, occup. unknown; Beyne N. Beza, 25, occup. unknown; Wesen Asefa, 25, occup. unknown; Abebe Anteneh, 30, occup. unknow; Fekadu Haile, 25, occup. unknow; Elias Golte, uk, occup. unknown; Berhanu A. Werqa, uk, occup. unknown.

Asehber A. Mekuria, uk, occup. unknown; Dawit F. Sema, uk, occup. unknown, Merhatsedk Sirak, 22, occup. unknown; Belete Gashawtena, uk, occup. unknown; Behailu Tesfaye, 20, occup. unknown; 21760, 18, occup. unknown; 21523, 25, occup. unknown; 11657, 24, occup. unknown; 21520, 25, occup. unknown; 21781, 60, occup. unknown; Getachew Azeze, 45, occup. unknown; 21762, 75, occup. unknown; 11662,45, occup. unknown; 21763, 25, occup. unknown; 13087, 30, occup. unknown; 21571, 25, occup. unknown; 21761, 21, occup. unknown; 21569, 25, occup. unknown; 13088, 30, occup. unknown; Endalkachew W. Gabriel, 27, occup. unknown.

Hailemariam Ambaye, 20, occup. unknown; Mebratu W. Zaudu,27, occup. unknown; Sintayehu E. Beyene, 14, occup. unknown; Tamiru Hailemichael, uk, occup. unknown; Admasu T. Abebe, 45, occup. unknown; Etenesh Yimam, 50, occup. unknown; Werqe Abebe, 19, occup. unknown; Fekadu Degefe, 27, occup. unknown Shemsu Kalid, 25, occup. unknown; Abduwahib Ahmedin, 30, occup. unknown; Takele Debele, 20, occup. unknown, Tadesse Feyisa,38, occup. unknown; Solomon Tesfaye, 25, occup. unknown; Kitaw Werqu, 25, occup. nknown; Endalkachew Worqu, 25, occup. unknow; Desta A. Negash, 30, occup. unknown; Yilef Nega, 15, occup. unknown; Yohannes Haile, 20, occup. unknown; Behailu T. Berhanu, 30, occup. unknown; Mulu K. Soresa, 50, housewife, Teodros Gidey Hailu, 23, shoe salesman; Dejene Yilma Gebre, 18, store worker; Ougahun Woldegebriel, 18, student; Dereje Mamo Hasen, 27, carpenter.

The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality. (Attributed to Dante Alighieri.)

Regassa G. Feyisa, 55, laundry worker; Teodros Gebrewold, 28, private business; Mekonne D. G.Egziaber, 20, mechanic; Elias G. Giorgis, 23, student; Abram A. Mekonnen, 21, laborer; Tiruwerq G.Tsadik, 41, housewife; Henok H. Mekonnen; 28, occup. unknown; Getu S. Mereta, 24, occup. unknown;W/o Kibnesh Meke Tadesse, 52, occup. unknown; Messay A. Sitotaw, 29, private business; Mulualem N. Weyisa, 15, Ayalsew Mamo, 23, occup. unknown; Sintayehu Melese, 24, laborer; W/o Tsedale A. Birra, 50, housewife; Abayneh Sara Sede, 35, tailor; Fikremariam K. Telila, 18, chauffer; Alemayehu Gerba, 26, occup. unknown; George G. Abebe,36, private trspt.; Habtamu Zegeye Tola, 16, student; Mitiku Z. G. Selassie, 24, student; Tezazu W. Mekruia, 24, private business; Fikadu A. Dalige, 36, tailor; Shewaga B. W.Giorgis, 38, laborer; Alemayehu E. Zewde, 32, textile worker; Zelalem K. G.Tsadik, 31, taxi driver; Mekoya M. Tadesse, 19, student; Hayleye G. Hussien, 19, student; W/o Fiseha T. G.Tsadik, 23, police employee; Wegayehu Z. Argaw, 26, unemployed.

Melaku M. Kebede, 19, occup. unknown; Abayneh D. Orra, 25, tailor; W/o Abebch B. Holetu, 50, housewife; Demeke A. Jenbere, 30, farmer; Kinde M. Weresu, 22, unemployed; Endale A. G.Medhin, 23, private business; Alemayehu T. Wolde,24, teacher; Bisrat T. Demisse, 24, car importer; Mesfin H. Giorgis, 23, private business, Welio H. Dari, 18, private business, Behailu G. G.Medhin, 20, private business; Siraj Nuri Sayed, 18, student; Iyob G.Medhin, 25, student; Daniel W. Mulugeta,25, laborer; Teodros K. Degefa,25, shoe factory worker; Gashaw T. Mulugeta, 24, student; Kebede B. Orke, 22, student; Lechisa K. Fatasa, 21, student; Jagama B. Besha,20, student; Debela O. Guta, 15, student; Melaku T. Feyisa, 16, student; W/o Elfnesh Tekle, 45, occup. unknown; Hassen Dula, 64, occup. unknown; Hussien Hassen Dula, 25, occup. unknown; Dejene Demisse,15, occup. unknown; Name unknown; Name unknown; Name unknown; Zemedkun Agdew, 18, occup. unknown; Getachew A. Terefe, 16, occup. unknown; Delelegn K. Alemu, 20, occup. unknown; Yusef M. Oumer,20, occup. unknown.

Mekruria T. Tebedge, 22, occup. unknown; Bademe M. Teshamahu, 20, occup. unknown; Ambaw Getahun,38, occup. unknown; Teshome A. Kidane, 65, health worker; Yosef M. Regassa, uk, occup. unknown; Abiyu Negussie, uk, occup. uk; Tadele S. Behaga,uk, occup. unknown; Efrem T. Shafi,uk, occup. unknown; Abebe H. Hama, uk, occup. unknown; Gebre Molla, uk, occup. unknown; Seydeen Nurudeen, uk, occup. unknown; Eneyew G. Tsegaye, 32, trspt. asst; Abdurahman H. Ferej, 32, wood worker; Ambaw L. Bitul, 60, leather factory worker; Abdulmenan Hussien, 28, private business; Jigsa T. Setegn, 18, student; Asefa A. Negassa, 33, carpenter; Ketema K. Unko, 23, tailor; Kibret E. Elfneh, 48, private guard; Iyob G. Zemedkun, 24, private business; Tesfaye B. Megesha,15, private business; Capt. Debesa S. Tolosa, 58, private business;Tinsae M. Zegeye,14, tailor;Kidana G. Shukrow,25, laborer;Andualem Shibelew, 16, student; Adissu D. Tesfahun, 19, private business; Kassa Beyene Yror,28, clothes sales; Yitagesu Sisay,22, occup. unknown; Unknown, 22, occup. unknown.

T-TPLF police and security personnel killed in each other’s crossfire: Nega Gebre, Jebena Desalegn, Mulita Irko, Yohannes Solomon, Ashenafi Desalegn, Feyisa Gebremenfes.

We MUST remember the T-TPLF/Meles Massacres in Kaliti Prison on November 2, 2005:

n the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Teyib Shemsu Mohammed, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Sali Kebede, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Sefiw Endrias Tafesse Woreda, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Zegeye Tenkolu Belay, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Biyadgligne Tamene, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Gebre Mesfin Dagne, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Bekele Abraham Taye, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Abesha Guta Mola, age unknown, male, charges unknown. Kurfa Melka Telila, convicted of making threats. Begashaw Terefe Gudeta, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [breach of peace]. Abdulwehab Ahmedin, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Tesfaye Abiy Mulugeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Adane Bireda, age unknown, male, charged with murder. Yirdaw Kersema, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

Balcha Alemu Regassa, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Abush Belew Wodajo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Waleligne Tamire Belay, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Cherinet Haile Tolla, age unknown, male, convicted of robbery. Temam Shemsu Gole, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Gebeyehu Bekele Alene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Daniel Taye Leku, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Mohammed Tuji Kene, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Abdu Nejib Nur, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Yemataw Serbelo, charged with rape. Fikru Natna’el Sewneh, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. Munir Kelil Adem, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Haimanot Bedlu Teshome, age unknown, male, convicted of infringement. esfaye Kibrom Tekne, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Workneh Teferra Hunde, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

Sisay Mitiku Hunegne, charged with fraud. Muluneh Aynalem Mamo, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Taddese Rufe Yeneneh, charged with making threats. Anteneh Beyecha Qebeta, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Zerihun Meresa, age unknown, male, convicted of damage to property. Wogayehu Zerihun Argaw, charged with robbery. Bekelkay Tamiru, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Yeraswork Anteneh, age unknown, male, charged with fraud. Bazezew Berhanu, age unknown, male, charged with engaging in homosexual act. Solomon Iyob Guta, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Asayu Mitiku Arage, age unknown, male, charged with making threats. Game Hailu Zeye, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder] Maru Enawgaw Dinbere, age unknown, male, charged with rape. Ejigu Minale, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. Hailu Bosne Habib, age unknown, male, convicted of providing sanctuary. Tilahun Meseret, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Negusse Belayneh, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Ashenafi Abebaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Feleke Dinke, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Jenbere Dinkineh Bilew, age unknown, male, charged with brawling [public disorder].

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. Albert Einstein

Tolesa Worku Debebe, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Mekasha Belayneh Tamiru, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Yifru Aderaw, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Fantahun Dagne, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Tibebe Wakene Tufa, age unknown, male, charged with instigating armed insurrection. Solomon Gebre Amlak, age unknown, male, charged with hooliganism. Banjaw Chuchu Kassahun, age unknown, male, charged with robbery. Demeke Abeje, age unknown, male, charged with attempted murder. 58. Endale Ewnetu Mengiste, age unknown, male, no charges indicated. Alemayehu Garba, age unknown, male, detained in connection with Addis Ababa University student demonstration in 2004. Morkota Edosa, age unknown, male, no charges indicated.

I am the captain of my soul. Nelson Mandela

Yenesew Gebre
Yenesew Gebre.

We MUST remember Yenesew Gebre.

On 11/11/11, Yenesew Gebre, a 29 year-old Ethiopian school teacher and human rights activist set himself ablaze outside a public meeting hall in the town of Tarcha located in Dawro Zone in Southern Ethiopia.

We MUST remember the victims of the T-TPLF Irreecha Massacres of 2016

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Elie Wiesel
Irrecha massacre
Troops loyal to TPLF opened fire on civilians at Irreecha.

On October 2, 2016, troops loyal to the Tigrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (T-TPLF) opened fire indiscriminately on crowds attending one of the most important cultural and spiritual events in Ethiopia, the Irreecha (Thanksgiving) Festival in the town of Bishoftu, some 45 miles southeast of the capital Addis Ababa. An estimated 500-plus people were killed and twice that number severely injured during the event.

Watch Irreecha Massacre victims funeral services HERE.

Watch BBC report on the Irreecha Massacres HERE.

T-TPLF puppet prime minster (PPM) Hailemariam Desalegn pledged, “The government will bring to justice such evil doers and hold them accountable. In this effort, the whole people must stand with the government. In this situation where only evil doers were involved, our security forces made great effort to ensure security; no gunfire was heard and the government took great care [to prevent harm] of the situation. I want to thank the security forces who protected the people in the name of the EFDRE (T-TPLF)…”

By November 12, 2016, PPM Hailemariam had made good on his promise by detaining over 11,000 persons in connection with the Irreecha Massacres, which balooned to over 26 thousand persons by March 2017.

Irrecha massacre
TPLF loyal troops opened fire on civilians at Irreecha.

On October 3, 2016, Freedom House issued a statement on the Irreecha Massacres: ”The deaths in Bishoftu occurred because security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition at a crowd of over a million people celebrating a religious occasion. The government of Ethiopia should allow a truly independent body to investigate the tragedy at Bishoftu as well as security forces’ well-documented record of using excessive force against peaceful gatherings. (Emphasis added.)

Irrecha massacre
TPLF loyal troop's machine gun.

In late March 2017, the T-TPLF Command Post announced that 4,996 of the 26,130 people detained for allegedly taking part in protests would be brought to court.

On 18 April 2017, the T-TPLF’s in-house “Ethiopia’s National Human Rights Commission” “submitted its second oral report to Parliament on the protests, which found that 669 people were killed, including 63 members of the security forces, and concluded that security forces had taken ‘proportionate measures in most areas.’”

Irrecha massacre
Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, on October 2, 2016. © 2016 Reuters

The Irreecha Massacres were poignantly recalled by a grieving mother who told reporters that she “felt like she was being chased by a cackle of hyenas” running away from the trigger-happy T-TPLF soldiers at the Ireecha celebrations.

We MUST remember the victims of the T-TPLF Ambo Massacres of 2014

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. Albert Einstein

In early May 2014, the T-TPLF massacred at least 47 university and high school students in the town of Ambo 80 miles west of the capital Addis Ababa. The actual number is said to be at least three times the reported fatalities and hundreds more injured and imprisoned. The T-TPLF dismissed the Ambo Student Massacre and tried to sweep it under the rug claiming that a “few anti-peace forces incited and coordinated the violence”. (See my May 2014 commentary, “Crimes Against University Students and Humanity”.

We MUST remember the victims of the T-TPLF’s Ogaden Massacres of 2007

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. Martin Luther King

In 2007, the T-TPLF massacred hundreds of people in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia. Human Rights Watch in its June 2008 report entitled “Collective Punishment: War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden area of Ethiopia’s Somali Region”, documented, “Ethiopian troops have forcibly displaced entire rural communities, ordering villagers to leave their homes within a few days or witness their houses being burnt down and their possessions destroyed and risk death. Over the past year, Human Rights Watch has documented the execution of more than 150 individuals.”

We MUST remember the victims of the Meles/T-TPLF Anuak Massacres of 2003

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. John F. Kennedy

In December 2003, the T-TPLF massacred hundreds of Anuak people in Gambella in Western Ethiopia.

A report by the Harvard Law School Human Rights Program on the Anuak Masscre concluded, “From December 2004 to at least January 2006, the ENDF (Ethiopian National Defense Forces) attacked and abused Anuak civilians in Gambella region – wantonly killing, raping, beating, torturing, and harassing civilians.”

Genocide Watch sent a fact-finding team in Gambella and secured authentic documents “proving that the Gambella massacres were planned at the highest levels of the Ethiopian government, and even given the code name “Operation Sunny Mountain,” the title of Genocide Watch’s resulting 1994 report.” (See also my May 2011 commentary/interview, “ The Anuak’s Forgotten Genocide.”)

We MUST remember the victims of T-TPLF Massacres in Gonder, Wolkait, Bahr Dar and other locations in Ethiopia

In its Manifesto, the TPLF declared:

Amhara are the enemy of the Tigray people. Amhara are not only enemies but also double enemies. Therefore, we must crush Amhara. We have to destroy them. Unless Amhara are destroyed, beaten down, cleansed from the land, Tigray cannot live in freedom. For the government we intend to create, Amhara will be the main obstacle.

According to Al Jazeera, “Amhara is one of the poorest regions not only in Ethiopia but in Africa.”

Over the past several years, the T-TPLF has directly and using proxies committed crimes against humanity and genocide against the Amhara people.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Frederick Douglass

We MUST remember the victims of Derg (military regime) executions of November 23-24, 1974.

On November 23, 1974, a military junta gathered and took a “simple vote” to summarily execute 60 high level government officials, civil servants, decorated war veterans and elite army officers and enlisted men of the imperial regime of H.I.M. Haile Selassie. That massacre propelled Ethiopia into a spiraling vortex of gross human rights violations and tyranny which persists to the present day. On August 28, 1975, nearly a year after he was deposed and held in detention, Emperor Haile Selassie was reported dead by the Derg military regime . The overwhelming body of evidence shows the Emperor was murdered by the Derg. His remains were discovered buried “under a palace toilet in 1992.”

In the in ensuing years, the Derg launched a Red Terror Campaign (Qey Shibr) of assassination and massacres of young people numbered in the tens of thousands. We MUST remember the young and idealistic Ethiopians who were victimized by a bloodthirsty and ruthless military regime.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. Pastor Martin Niemöller
Victims of Derg (Military) Execution in Ethiopia 11/23/74
Victims of Derg (Military) Execution in Ethiopia 11/23/74.

Aklilu Habtewold
(Tsehafe Tizaz, served as prime minister under H.I.M. Haile Selassie for 13 years and in other high level positions for a total of 39 years).
H.H. Ras Asrate Kassa
(member Crown Council, Senate President, Enderassie; served in various high level positions for over 34 years).
Endalkachew Mekonnen
(prime minister; Lij; Ethiopian ambassador to the U.N., served in various high level positions for 23 years).
Ras Mesfin Seleshi
(war veteran, Enderassie; served in various high level positions for over 54 years).
Ato Abebe Retta
(Minister, linguist, scholar in history and religion, particularly the Ethiopian Orthodox Church; served in various capacities for 47 years).
Lt. Col. Tamirat Yegezu
(Enderassie, Crown Council member; served in various capacities for 38 years).
Ato Akaleworq Habtewold
(Minister, ambassador, served in various capacities for 39 years).
Dr. Tesfaye Gebre-Egzy
(Minister of Information).
Ato Mulatu Debebe
(Minister; served in various capacities for 22 years).
Dejazmach Solomon Abraha
(Enderassie; served in various capacities).
Dejazmach Legesse Bezu
(Enderassie; served in various capacities for a total of 29 years).
Dejazmach Sahlu Defaye
(Enderassie, veteran; served in various capacities for a total of 46 years).
Dejazmach Workneh Wolde Amanuel
(Minister, Senator, Enderassie; served in various capacities for a total of 30 years).
Dejazmach Kifle Ergetu
(Ambassador, diplomat, Senator).
Dejazmach Worku Enqoselassie
(Enderassie; served in various capacities for a total of 26 years).
Dejazmach Aemeroselassie Abebe
(Enderassie, civil servant; served in various capacities for 35 years).
Dejazmach Kebede Ali Wole
(Enderassie military commander served in various capacities for 34 years).
Ato Nebeye Leul Kifle
(Minister, Crown special cabinet member; served for a total of 24 years).
Col. Solomon Kedir
(Chief of security, minister; served in various capacities for 25 years).
Afenegus Abeje Debalq
(Judge, Crown Counsellor; Senator; served in various capacities for 44 years).
Ato Yilma Aboye
(Palace courtier, served in various capacities for 18 years).
Ato Tegen Yeteshaworq
(Minister, editor Ethiopian Herald; served for 12 years).
Ato Solomon Gebremariam
(Minister; served in various capacities for 31 years).
Ato Hailu Teklu
(civil servant).
Blata Admassu Retta
(Palace courtier).
Lij Hailu Desta
(Ethiopian Red Cross President, served in various capacities for 26 years).
Fitewrari Amede Aberra
(rancher, served in various capacities).
Fitewrari Demessie Alamerew
(Enderassie).
Fitewrari Tadesse Enquselassie
(Enderassie).
Lt. General Abiye Abebe
(Minister, ambassador, Senate President).
Lt. General Kebde Gebre
(Minister, Enderassie).
Lt. General Dressie Dubale
(Commander, Ground Forces).
Lt. General Abebe Gemeda
(Commander, Imperial Body Guard, Enderassie; served in various capacities for a total of 40 years).
Lt. General Yilma Shibeshi
(Chief of national police; served in various capacities for 34 years).
Lt. General Haile Baykedagn
(Chief of staff; served in various capacities for 32 years).
Lt. General Assefa Ayene
(Minister, chief of staff; served in various capacities for a total of 38 years).
Lt. General Belete Abebe
(Chief of staff, served in various capacities for a total of 40 years).
Lt. General Isayas Gebreselassie
(Senator).
Lt. General Assefa Demissie
(ADC H.I.M.).
Lt. General Debebe Hailemariam
(war veteran, palace courtier, commander ground forces; served a total of 33 years).
Maj. General Seyoum Gedle Giorgis
(served in various capacities in the military for a total of 31 years).
Maj. General Gashaw Kebede
(served in the national police force and other capacities for a total of 33 years).
Maj. General Tafesse Lemma
(Military attache, palace courtier; served total of 28 years).
Vice Admiral Iskinder Desta
(Commander of the navy, modernized Ethiopia Navy, diplomat).
Brig. General Mulugetta Woldeyohannes
(Chief of National Police; served in various capacities for 31 years).
Brig. General Girma Yohannes
(served in national police force for 28 years).
Col. Yalem Zewd Tessema
(Commander, Army Airborne).
Col. Tassew Mojo
Col. Yigezu Yimer
Major Berhanu Metcha
Capt. Molla Wakene
Cpt. Demessie Shiferaw
Cpt. Belay Tsegaye
(Army aviation helicopter pilot; served a total of 31 years).
Cpt. Woldeyohanes Zergaw
Lance Cpl. Teklu Hailu
(18 year-old and member of Army engineers; executed for opposing the idea of military government).
Pvt. Bekele Woldegiorgis
(served 22 years).
Lt. General Aman Michael Andom
(chairman of Derg and Council of Ministers, Defense Minister and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces).
Lt. Tesfaye Takele
(24 years-old Army aviation pilot, Derg member).
Junior Aircraftsman Yohanes Fitiwi
(Derg member).

We MUST remember all of the innocent victims of T-TPLF crimes against humanity since 1991.

We MUST remember the political prisoners held by the T-TPLF. “Many of Ethiopia’s political prisoners—opposition politicians, journalists, protest organizers, alleged supporters of ethnic insurgencies , and many others—are first taken to Maekelawi (“central” in Amharic), after being arrested. There they are interrogated, and, for many, at Maekelawi they suffer all manner of abuses, including torture.”

We MUST remember… to get up and stand up for human rights and never give up the fight!

Get up, stand up, stand up for human rights!

Get up, stand up, stand up for your right!
Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight
Get up, stand up. Life is your right
So we can’t give up the fight
Get up, stand up.
Keep on struggling on
Don’t give up the fight…
Don’t give up the fight …

Bob Marley

I have never seen more light in my life than the times I stood by those facing their darkest hours and assuring them that even the darkest of the darkest hours is only 60 minutes long and light always follows darkness. This too shall pass…

“Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.” – Mahatma Gandhi

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. – Mahatma Gandhi

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Author’s Note: Following the Meles Massacres of 2005, I became involved in Ethiopian human rights advocacy. My conscience was seared by the crimes against humanity committed against innocent men, women, children and old men who were massacred merely because they engaged in peaceful protest.

I had a simple choice to make: Stand up and be counted on the side of the victims and define the moment, or remain silent and be on the side of the tormentors and killers and be defined by the moment.

For the last 12 years, I have been the voice from the grave of all victims of crimes against humanity and genocide of the T-TPLF. The hundreds of thousands of T-TPLF victims need at least one witness to bear testimony on their behalf. I have been blessed to be that vigilant witness in the court of world public opinion.

They say justice is like a long delayed train and though it chugs and lugs, in the end it always arrives. I have no doubts that I will be among the welcoming party when it arrives in Ethiopia.

Some have told me that I have made the Meles/T-TPLF Massacres my cross to bear for the past 12 years. They could not be more wrong. It has been a labor of love being the voice of voiceless and silenced victims of Meles/T-TPLF crimes against humanity and genocide. It has been a divine blessing to be able to stand up for human rights and against government wrongs!

I often wonder how many Ethiopians remember the victims of T-TPLF’s crimes against humanity and genocide in a moment of silence, how many remember them in the houses of faith and worship during services, how many political groups, social, cultural and community organizations include them in their activities, how many in the electronic and print media and cyber-media and blogosphere remember them.

I hope all Ethiopians will join me in this month of November at least in a moment of silence, and if possible in moments of reflection, about those whose lives were taken by a gang of criminal thugs defending the cause of freedom and human rights in Ethiopia.

In their moments of reflection, I wish they would contemplate Nadezhda Mandelstam’s words writing about life under Stalin’s reign of terror: “I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity.

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[1] The Commission’s list of 193 victims includes only those deaths that occurred on June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, the specific dates the Commission was authorized to investigate. It is believed the Commission has an additional list of many hundreds of victims of extra-judicial killings by government security forces which it did not publicly report because the killings occurred outside the dates the Commission was authorized to investigate.

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