The Sidama nation has paid immense sacrifices for regional self determination in the past 130 years. The Sidama King Baallichcha Worawo was brutally assassinated by Lul Seged, the general of King Minelik, in 1895 resisting the forced occupation of the Sidamaland. The Sidama nation never accepted forced annexation and imposition of babaric serfdom by the feudal regime. Led by its renowned heroes such as Mengistu Hamesso, Laanqamo Naare, Takilu Yota, Yetera Boolle, Fiisa Fichcho, Hushula Xaadisso and many others, the Sidama nation fiercely fought against serfdom imposed by the feudal regime.
Although serfdom was abolished in 1974, the military regime that usurped political power imposed misguided policies of villagisation and collectivisation that ruined the country’s economy and Sidama was not spared. The Sidama nation took up arms againt the military regime in 1978 under the leadership of the Sidama Liberation Movement and liberated three districts from the regime until 1984. Over 10,000 Sidama liberation fighters sacrificed their lives during the six years of armed struggle against the military regime. The logistics and morale support of our Oromo and Somali brothers during our liberation struggle against the military regime will never be forgotten.
The Sidama people also resisted the TPLF hegemony from the outset. The TPLF army suffered its heaviest defeat in Sidama when they confronted the civilians in our highland distritcs in 1991, the uprising which was squashed with a massive military itervention. In 2002 Hailemariam Desalegn and Shiferaw Shigute ordered massare of peaceful demonstrators in Looqqee Hawaasa for which they have never been held accountable until today!
Wih population of over 5 million, the Sidama nation is the 4th or 5th largest nation in Ethiopia and the single largest in the south. Its economic contribution to the country is the second largest after Oromia.
Why did then the EPRDF regime dismantle the Sidama regional administration and subsume it under the south? This is a grave violation of basic human and democratic rights. A grave violation of EPRDF’s own constitution which advocates regional self administration based on linguistic, cultural, geographic and psychological affiliations.
The Sidama parliament in 2005 unanimously approved restoration of the Sidama regional administration in line with the provisions of the current constitution of the country. However, the late PM Meles Zenawi and Shiferaw Shigute reversed the decision by force and illegally.
The Sidama nation demands from the new PM Abiy Ahmed restoration of justice for the Sidama nation by reinstating the Sidama regional administration with immediate effect. We hope that PM Abiy will not disappoint the Sidama nation and carry out the reforms he promised the nations before his election.
The Sidama people must demand restoration of their regional administration when PM Abiy visits Hawassa. They must rise up and demand their rights once and for all!!