Photo: Mr. Obang Metho, founder and executive director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE).

As I mourn the recent death of more than 400 ethnic Amharas people in Tole Kebele, Gimbi Woreda, West Welega Zone, Oromia Region of Ethiopia, and 47 people in the Gambella Region by the same terrorist groups, the Oromo Liberation Front/Army (/A) or Shene and Gambella Liberation Front (GLF), my heart is broken over the suffering so many are experiencing.

At the same time, I have a serious and painful question to ask all of you, including myself.

How long are we willing to witness the horrific slaughtering of our own people, by our own people, with hardly any response to seriously address it from our own government and other institutions?

Personally, I am sick and tired of condemning the senseless killing of innocent civilians, injuries, robbery, displacement and suffering of our people throughout the country.

It is especially disgusting when so much of it is based on one’s ethnic background or one’s religious beliefs. It is also disturbing when I do not see a significant effort from those in charge of the country to address it in a meaningful and effective way.

When will this barbarity of attacks on the innocent people end? Who will do it? It is the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens from any attack, foreign and domestic and to enforce law and order, but there is only limited evidence of efforts to do this.

Where and who will be the next to be attack? How many times over the past four years have I, and others, had to condemn ethnic based killing of Ethiopian people and the lack of justice?

I am sick and tired of condemning such horrific killing of innocent civilians and calling on both federal and regional governments and other institutions to help and protect, especially when the main reason these people were targeted was their ethnicity.

When will we as a people and nation value humanity over ethnicity or any other differences? When will we understand that no one ethnic group will be free until we all are free? When will we see high standards of justice applied to all Ethiopian citizens?

Who is listening? Who will take action to protect our people from all enemies, foreign and domestic? Who will dismantle this system of ethnic federalism that helps ignite the current chaos, deaths, destruction and suffering through the dehumanization of others?

I am strongly convinced that the only way to bring justice, freedom and lasting peace to Ethiopia is to value the lives of every human being and the individual rights of every citizen. These God-given principles are the foundation of any healthy, well-functioning and more prosperous society.

Why is this so hard to understand? Are we ready to humbly examine that within ourselves and within our culture that clashes with these principles?

May God stir the consciences of our politicians, intellectuals, youths, elders and religious leaders to do what is right, moral and good. We will otherwise, all be doomed as a people and as a nation.

May God save us and forgive us for what we have done to each other and show us His way forward.

Long Live Ethiopia!

Obang Metho

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