The killing of renowned Oromo artist and activist Hachalu Hundessa has sparked widespread protests across Addis Ababa and Oromia killing dozens according to authorities and leaving hundreds injured. Rights groups including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have condemned the use of force by law enforcement and the shutdown of the internet while appealing for calm and de-escalation following several days of unrest.

Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF) released a statement on July 3, 2020, which vehemently condemns the assassination of Hachalu Hundessa- a ‘national hero’ and ‘a cultural icon of the Oromo nation’ admired by millions urging the government to immediately bring to justice those responsible for his death.

The group also called upon the government to release Oromo political prisoners including Jawar Mohamed, Bekele Garba, members of Oromo Liberation Front’s executive committee, and to abstain from using violence against protestors in a bid to undermine their constitutional rights.

SNLF appealed to the Sidama nation and all oppressed nations to stand in solidarity with the Oromo nation calling for unity and the protection of the current multi-federalist system in Ethiopia.


Press Release by the Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF)
July 3, 2020

It is with the deepest sadness that the Sidama National Liberation Front sends its heartfelt condolences to the families of an iconic Oromo artist Hacaaluu Hundeessa who was assassinated in Finfinnee on 29 June 2020. We cannot hide our anger caused due to the assassination of the Oromo’s beloved iconic artist, human rights defender and campaigner. Hacaaluu was not merely an artist. He was an embodiment of the struggle of the Oromo nation for freedom, self-rule and by implication represented the aspirations of the entire oppressed political south for freedom. His musical genius and imagination anchored the youth revolution that ushered in the regime change that has brought the current transitional government to power in early 2018. He was a national hero. He was a cultural icon of the Oromo nation and admired and loved by tens of millions in the south.

The Sidama National Liberation Front condemns with the strongest possible terms the assassination of Hacaaluu Hundessa and calls on the current regime to conduct swift and credible investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice without delay. We also condemn the violence against civilians in Oromia who protested against the gruesome assassination of their towering son as we do the unlawful imprisonment of the Oromo’s nationalist politicians. We call up on the regime to desist from using violence to undermine the constitutional rights of nations and nationalities to self-rule in Oromia and the oppressed south.

Unsatisfied with the gruesome assassination of the Oromo’s iconic figure, Halaaluu Hundessa, the Ethiopian government is also engaged in hunting the Oromo’s nationalist politicians. As per its premediated plan and meticulously masterminded project, the Ethiopian regime has surrounded to arrest one of the Oromo revolution diaspora leaders, Obbo Jawar Mohammed and another famous Oromo politician whom Dr Abiy’s former regime (EPRDF) has repeatedly arrested – Obbo Bekele Garba with the other over 33 high profile Oromo politicians few hours after the assassination of Hacaaluu Hundessa. Additionally, today (July 03, 2020), the Oromo Liberation Front’s executive committee members including Dr. Shigut Geleta, Obbo Michael Boran and Commander Qenneessa (Kenneessa) Ayyaana were unlawfully incarcerated as part of government’s war on Oromo nation. This is not a war against Oromon but all the federalist nations and peoples in Ethiopia.

Therefore, we make unambiguously clear that, State violence against the Oromo civilians and extrajudicial imprisonment of their true leaders will not derail the aspirations of the Oromo for genuine self-rule. The generation that has dismantled the foundation of the brutal EPRDF’s regime and cleared avenue for the current transitional government to power never allows its rights to be willingly violated and never accepts slavery.
Thus, we call upon the Sidama nation and all the oppressed nations to stand with the Oromo nation to build unity and safeguard the multinational federalism in Ethiopia. We also call upon the international community to condemn the gross violations of basic human rights in Oromia and other parts of the country. Finally, we call upon the government to unconditionally release all the Oromo, Sidama and the other prisoners in Ethiopia by unconditionally stopping state-terrorism.

Victory for the oppressed nations and peoples in Ethiopia.
Issued by SNLF on July 3, 2020

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