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News: Siinqee Institute requests UNESCO to condemn Karrayyu Abba Gadaas’ execution, facilitate space for healing and reconciliation

Seven of Karrayyu’s Gadda Michille leaders, Councilors and Qallu (Spiritual leaders) who were executed on 01 December 2021 by members of Oromia Police. Pictures compiled and verified by Addis Standard

Addis Abeba – Siinqee Institute, a civic organization established by a network of individuals and small groups from across different social, cultural, political, spiritual and geographical boundaries, has requested the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to condemn the extrajudicial killing on 01 December 2021 of 14 members of the Karrayu’s Gadaa Michilee leaders. The institute also requested UNESCO to facilitate “a space for healing and reconciliation.”

The UNESCO has inscribed the Gadda System, an indigenous egalitarian democratic system of the Oromo nation in Ethiopia, “developed from knowledge gained by community experience over generations” on its “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in 2016.

Calling the extrajudicial killing by members of Oromia regional state special police “a heinous crime” Siinqee Institute, which works with indigenous, transnational grassroots, and women’s groups, said that “with the purpose of moving beyond retributive justice in pursuit of Indigenous justice as healing and restorative, the Siinqee Institute has carried out its own truth seeking within the purview of Indigenous frameworks,” and called upon the UNESCO to give its study report “a careful consideration and assist us in our pursuit of justice for the massacred Karrayyu Gadaa leaders and their traumatized families and communities.”

Siinqee Institute also requested the UNESCO to call upon relevant authorities and “facilitate the establishment of a truth and reconciliation process whereby the Karrayyu community find restorative justice and healing from historical trauma.”

“Imagine this was the government of a western nation and ponder the impact of killing an entire government with all its cabinet ministers in just one cruel strike. That was what happened to the Karrayyu who are left leaderless and disenfranchised,” the letter reads.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said there was “reasonable ground to believe” that the killing of Gadaa leaders constitutes “extrajudicial killing” by security forces and urged that members of the security forces who committed the killings should be brought to justice and that the victims and families of the victims should be compensated. AS

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