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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Press Statement
By Sidama National Liberation Front, 14 September 2016
Photo from ENA
The Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC) of Ethiopia has been building parks in various parts of the country. Hawassa is one of the pilot corridors for this ambitious project which is headed by Arkebe Equbay. Nonetheless, the practices of the IPDC in the Sidama region remains anti developmental for several reasons:
First, the plot for the park in Hawassa, the capital city of Sidama, is taken from the land legally owned by the Sidama Development Corporation (SDC) without consultation and any compensation. The land was used by the SDC for agribusiness developments.  Expropriation of land without compensation is not only illegal but also anti-developmental. The Sidama people will view the Hawassa Industrial park not as a development corridor but as a weapon to economically marginalise them.
Secondly, many Sidama farmers are displaced to provide additional space for industrial park leaving them destitute. Worse still many more are feared to be displaced sooner or later, as far as ‘Malga Wondo’, although known as ‘Wondo Genet’ for further expansion of the so-called corridor development imposed on the Sidama society from the top. No adequate compensation and rehabilitation were provided to the poor Sidama farmers and nothing is in sight yet.
Thirdly, the local people are not consulted about the project. Hawassa is the Sidama land. The federal government cannot build projects on Sidama land without consulting the local people as doing so is un constitutional. Practically, the TPLF’s government as always is operating in Sidama land illegally and unlawfully. The local people do not feel any sense of ownership of the so called ‘industrial park’ in Hawassa. They consider it as a project imposed on them for and with malicious intents.
Ethiopia industrial park
Phot from CR 
Fourthly, in spite of the construction of the park on the Sidama land, the Sidama people have not benefited at all in terms of job opportunities. The Sidama people have not been employed even as daily labourers by this project. This cements the Sidama belief that the objective of the project was not to develop the Sidama region in the first place. Therefore, in reality, the objectives of the said project are deliberately impoverishing and systematically enslaving the nation whilst enriching TPLF’s officials and their loyalists.
Fifth, no industrial spaces have been allocated to the Sidama businesses. The government builds an industrial park on Sidamaland but denies the Sidama people any industrial space in the park (in their own land).
Finally, and worst of all, sources indicate that a Wolayita woman was appointed directly by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as the manager of the park in Hawassa. Sources further indicate that the cadres from the Sidama zone are opposing the move, but there is no guarantee for their success since the lady is appointed by the Prime Minster.
Conclusion and Call for Urgent Action by TPLF/EPRDF’s Government
The foregoing evidence indicates that the Hawassa Industrial park was not meant to industrialize Sidama for the benefit of over 5.5 million populated Sidama. It was a pretext for a land grab to develop the priority region in the country. It is a usual method of resource extraction from the periphery by those in power for the last 25 years -at the centre.
Therefore, the Sidama National Liberation Front strongly calls on the TPLF/EPRDF government to take an urgent action on the following:
  1. Immediately consult the Sidama people about the whole aspects of the project to agree upon its benefit for the key stakeholders, the Sidama people.
  2. After the agreement has been reached, provide an equivalent land for the Sidama development activities on the side of the industrial park immediately.
  3. Compensate the Sidama Development institution for the illegal land grab by IPDC immediately.
  4. Compensate the Sidama framers that have been displaced to provide for additional space for the park.
  5. Unconditionally halt further expansion of dubious projects in Sidamaland and attendant evictions of poor Sidama farmers in and around Hawassa.
  6. Unconditionally ensure that the Sidama people benefit from the park in terms employment and industrial spaces for business development.
  7. Unconditionally reverse the appointment of a ‘Wolayita’ person as the manager of a Sidama industrial park as long as no Sidama person is appointed as a manager in a Wolayita or Tigray parks.
Failing these, we will assure the IPDC that your project designed to marginalise the Sidama society will be targeted at any time as a centre for the oppression and deliberate marginalisation of the Sidama society.
The Sidama activists will share this demand with the IPDC using their contacts below on social media and directly.
Industrial Parks Development Corporation (IPDC)
Telephone: +251-11-661-69-86 / +251-11-661-66-74
E-mail: -info@ipdc.gov.et
Bishangari Building, Comoros Street
(Opposite to Kenyan Embassy)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The Sidama National Liberation Front, September 14, 2016  

By Denboba Natie, September 09, 2016  
The current TPLF’s Ethiopian regime has denied the Sidama nation its constitutionally guaranteed rights time and again to relegate the nation to a second citizenship on its own soil. Although the Sidama nation has heroically resisted TPLF’s regime on several occasions, the current silence of the nation in the faces of unfolding tragedies is inconsistent with its deep seated values and determination. The nation remained the subject of deceits and manipulation during the entire tenure of TPLF’s quarter of a century. By this regime, the Sidama nation has been belittled, berated and ridiculed. In particular, the TPLF’s mastermind, late dictator PM Meles Zenawi has repeatedly travelled to Sidama-land (between 2004 and 2011) to deceive the nation stressing that ‘the nation can be an independent nation (the quest which isn’t in the nation’s priority list during the time), let alone regionally self-administrative’. His false promises however remained lifeless until his death in 2012. His ghost worshipers, the current officials including an extremely misguided and confused puppet PM ‘Hailemariam Desalegn’, also followed on the footsteps of their late PM to do more harm to the Sidama nation than before. TPLF’s pernicious anti-Sidama policy is still being actively endorsed in Sidamaland.
Aforementioned late dictator has repeatedly deceived the nation by beginning them to give him some more time. The constitutional rights which have been nominally granted to the other nations of the country including the nation whose population is 16 or 17 times less than the population of the Sidama- have been promised to be rationed by the late evil dictator PM Meles Zenawi. However, his promise to date remains elusive. The sons and daughters of the Sidama nation have been slaughtered in broad day lights demanding these rights to be honored. The nation is constantly terrorized by Agi’azi mercenaries for demanding these rights. Needless to say, the May 24, 2002 Looqqe massacre of over 69 Sidama civilians by TPLF’s Agi’azi killers is one of several mass murders committed on Sidama people by TPLF’s regime. Shamelessly, late TPLF’s PM has begged the elders of the nation to vote for TPLF/EPRDF in favor of becoming regionally self-administrative during 2005’s fake general election, when Qinjit has snatched the entire Finfinnee (Addis Ababa’s) vote from TPLF’s dictators before it has been immediately reversed by his decision.
To be precise, the TPLF’s regime has done and is doing serious damage to the Sidama nation with detrimental implications for the survival of the Sidama as a national entity. Some of key areas where the current barbaric regime has worked on is totally erasing the identity of the nation. The regime handpicks few loyalists who hardly question why they obey the regime who is systematically relegating their own nation to pretend to be the representatives of the nation. Under the pretexts of ‘you have got your own representatives’ the regime works on acculturation and inculcating the ideology of inferiority in the psyches of the nation by advocating ‘TPLF and its origin as being the best’ the rest peoples of Ethiopia including the Sidama nation are the least, therefore worshiping TPLF and its poultices whatever they might be. The nation is made to think that they are nothing but honor TPLF’s killing machines by believing them as being the savers of the peoples of Ethiopia and the entire country.
Secondly, by doing so they hoodwink and expropriate vast resources of the nation from which they give the left overs to the Sidama pariahs who are hell-bent on worshiping TPLF thereby to impose the will of the regime on Sidama people. These groups under the directions of central regime adulterates its unwitting citizens by making them lick little honey from the left over. TPLF’s recruits such as the infamous anti-Sidama element ‘Shiferaw Shigute’ think that there is nothing other than TPLF for them on planet. Thirdly, the said Sidama recruits facilitate the confiscation of the Sidama ancestral lands in Hawassa and its environs to share it among themselves and their loyalists by leaving the Sidamas hopeless and dreamless destitute, as it is the case with Aborigines of Australia and Canada as well as the USA’s red Indians who have been removed from their lands by the colonial powers to be left socio-culturally and economically void.
Fourthly, they systemically reduced the number of Sidama population from Hawassa as they introduce harsh economic conditions for the Sidama people. Although the number of the Sidama people in its city is proportionally equal with the rest peoples of Ethiopia who live in Sidama land, it’s pertinent for the Sidama nation to be visible in its capital to have their rights are fully protected. Yet the regime installs the Sidama’s worst quisling recruits who can only do the job for TPLF by violating the rights of the Sidama nation from the level of Hawassa mayor to the ordinary city administration officials. Moreover, the regime stifles the use of Sidama language in Hawassa and works day and night to undermine the nation not only in Hawassa, but also in various surrounding villages. The lands of the Sidama peasants from Hawassa surrounding villages have been persistently confiscated to give it free of charge to TPLF’s officials to trade with it for their personal benefits. Tens of thousands of Sidama peasants are made destitute. With this effect, fifthly, the plot goes onto Sidama coffee merchants whom TPLF has systematically impoverished through systematic and malicious financial regulations which imposes restriction on them whilst allowing financial relieves for all Tigrean merchants and their loyalists as well as political affiliates. The Sidama peoples’ part in economic activity in their own land has been seriously diminished and jeopardized from time to time. This gives the total monopoly of Sidama’s best quality coffee market exclusively to TPLF’s companies and their loyalists. The Sidama coffee merchants made to be all bankrupt.
The overall objective of doing the above is curtailing entire meaningful development activities to breed poverty, hunger, famine and beggary in a society that has never witnessed these social ills in its history until the incumbent regime has systematically and deliberately introduced them. The Sidama’s development projects inspired by the Sidama noble intellectuals such as (Wolassa L. Kumo, PhD) have recorded excellent success (early 1990s to late 1990s) in a very short period of time until it has been stopped by TPLF’s barbaric regime who’s claimed that ‘the Sidama nation is moving at the pace of Japan’ or ‘becoming the ‘Ethiopian Japan’. The said projects financially supported by the Irish Aid have been started, developed and led by the aforementioned Sidama son with the other Sidama intellectuals has been forcibly obliged to terminate by the direct orders of late PM Meles Zenawi and Dr Kassu Illala who’ve claimed that ‘if the Sidama nation is allowed to move at the pace it has been operating with efficiency and precision, it will be Ethiopia’s Japan’. Therefore, they have decided the entire Sidama projects to be fully stopped until the Sidama nation is economically downgraded to the level of and catch up with the rest of 56 various nations and peoples of south of Ethiopia. The projects have been stopped and the leader of the projects obliged to flee the country for his live with some other core professionals. The projects inspired and created by the aforementioned Sidama’s noble sons such as the Sidama Development Corporation SDC previously known as the Sidama Development Programs, SDP have been confiscated and made to serve the purposes and interests of TPLF’s regime and that of its criminal cadres such as Shiferaw Shigute. The Sidama radio program which has been established for the purposes of enhancing rural development and educational attainments of the Sidama children -by the SDP/SDC began serving the interests and political purposes of TPLF and its agents totally ignoring the purpose it has been established. TPLF’s regime at policy level began breeding abject poverty, hunger, deprivation and promoted gross violations of the Sidama’s fundamental rights for the last 15 years with particular focus and rigor.
It’s imperative that the Sidama nation and its political leaders must open their eyes to see what is actually happening in their land. Historically fearless nation, the Sidama, seems to be subdued in a number of ways. It’s undeniable fact that the Sidama nation has bitterly fought this regime for the last 22 odd years with all possible means. Although the nation is seriously disadvantaged by TPLF’s regime, the current deafening silence of the nation is morally not only wrong but also seriously unsettling. I strongly believe that the future fate of the nation as a national entity must be fearlessly defended. The nation also has got historical duty to support the cause of its fraternal neighbors, the Oromo nation who is paying heavy sacrifices for the cause of freedom, democracy, justice, and self-determination for which the Sidama nation remain yearning for the entire 25 years. Therefore, there is no justification for the current silence of the Sidama nation and its political leadership operating within the country to remain docile fearing the consequences of their actions. The Sidama nation must know that ‘Fear must and should be conquered’!!
The Sidama nation in particular the Sidama youth, unless you conquer your fear, you can’t move a step forward in all aspects of life. If you don’t understand that freedom always needs a heavy price, you are still in serious darkness. In human history there has never been any freedom without sacrifices. I may die tomorrow, but you must and have to continue with your fight for justice and equality. Death is always there, whether you like it or not. Dying heroic death for the cause you believe in, is not death, but resurrection, as your name remains in the history book for generations to come. If you think that you don’t have a cause to pay sacrifices for, then there is serious generational failure to assert the reality on the ground. But fearing an individual or personal death you are allowing the nation as an entity to die an eternal death which any liberated person never aspire.
Therefore, the sons and daughters of the Sidama nation, you’re at the historical juncture in your national history. You must grab this opportunity to galvanize the support of all peoples of Ethiopia to get rid of the regime collectively enslaving you. You have been relegated in your own soil. You’ve been ridiculed time and again by the regime in power and its Sidama messengers. You have been deceived time and again, yet you remain uncharacteristic subservient since last year. You are known for your heroic resistance for the past century, yet, today your youth is hiding in its bed and your elders are not standing their ground to defend the rights of their nation by proving moral direction. The Sidama leaders who claim representing their own people are still remaining inefficient. You have been placed in a position which is not yours. You don’t belong to coward ancestors. You have been brought in an ignominy by the Sidama cadres who are trading by your name, but you’re still peacefully harboring them to date. You failed defending the rights of your gallant sons who are unlawfully incarcerated thus languishing in prison for your rights. You never forgive yourself if you ignore this opportunity preferring to live under slavery, abject poverty and excruciating deprivation.
The Sidama youth, you’re better positioned to learn good and bad in the 21st century as communication technology has made an informed choices possible. Your lack of understanding is partially addressed. Therefore, there won’t be any excuses under whatsoever definition for your silence. It is a time to act like Oromo and Amhara youth. You must remove all TPLF’s signatures from the Sidama land; and you have got all you need to do so! You need to conquer your fear!! You’re made a slave by this regime. You’re displaced to be made beggar in your history for the first time during this regime. You’re made dreamless and directionless as a nation. You’re left with no hope and aspiration. Your resources and wealth are serving the incumbent regime and its loyalists whilst you’re lacking single bread a day for your family. Remaining silent, the current generation, you’ll become national disgrace with your deafening silence and obliviousness whilst your brothers and sisters are paying heavy sacrifice in Oromia. It is not for the sake of Oromo nation you’ve to fight and get rid of this regime, but for your own sake and for the future generation of the Sidama nation!
We don’t need another explanation for the Sidama’s national disgrace than stressing the regime’s continued denial of the nation their constitutionally guaranteed rights to regional self-determination which has been nominally granted to a nation whose population is over 16 times smaller than the population of the Sidama nation. Period!
Mass-murdering of the prisoners on September 03, 2016 might have included the Sidama political prisoners such as Salamon Naayyu, Dawassa Daka Dalacha, Tashoma Dabawa Torbammo. Their fates are intertwined with that of all Qulintto prisoners such as the Oromo’s ultimate hero ‘Baqala Garba’ and the rest. The current TPLF’s government failed therefore murdering its prisoners with bullet and fire. This is a sign for its failure to govern with principles and values enshrined in its constitution. This is the regime who has enslaved and is enslaving you – the Sidama nation. You have enough of hibernation. It’s the right time for you to unconditionally join the Oromo, Amhara, Ogaden Somali and wider people of Ethiopian resistance if you wish to secure the future of the nation. If you argue otherwise, rest reassured that the regime remained brutalizing you for the last quarter of a century will repeat this for another century. Does the Sidama nation needs this? The hibernation of the Sidama nation at this historical junction is wholly unacceptable, therefore the nation must wake up to unconditionally join its Oromo neighbors and the rest peoples of Ethiopia without further delay.
Denboba Natie, September 08, 2016 (denbobanatie@yahoo.co.uk).