Monday, March 12, 2007

Gaara Suffii: The Killing Mountain – Lest We Forget!

Iyyaa, iyya dabarsaa!

As described to me by a compatriot born and raised there, Gaara [Mount] Suufii is located about two hours walk on foot from Mi’essoo, to the North-East of Asaboot, in Eastern Oromia. The Oromo have a poem (walaloo/geerara) for Gaara Suufii which goes like this:

Asaboot koran malee
Suufii naannawan malee
Odaa jigaa hin arganii
Yoo lola bu’an malee
Dhiiraan walqaban malee
Garaa jagnaa hin arganii

By all accounts, it is there, on Gaara Suufii, that the TPLF regime murdered twenty Oromos early this year. It looks like TPLF is determined to turn every inch of Oromo territory in to killing fields. Oromos, young and old, women, children and the elderly, are murdered every where; in schools, on the streets, in their homes, in detention camps and now on mountains.

The heart wrenching account of the Gaara Suufii gruesome and politically motivated murders of Oromo political prisoners was brought to us by the VOA Afaan Oromo program on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2007. The victims range from a fourteen years old teenager, Ayishaa Alii, to a seventy year old elderly farmer Obbo Ahmed Mohhamed Kuree.

The ordeal of two ladies interviewed on that VOA program is truly heart wrenching to any one who values human life.

Aadde Kadijjaa Usuman is the wife of the late Obbo Ahmed Mohhamed Kuree from Mi’essoo. She and her late husband have nine children - eight girls and one boy whom she just stopped breastfeeding. Here is her account of how her husband was murdered as told to VOA during an interview (translation mine; You may listen to audio clips of the interview after the texts. English translation of each clip is provided as well.)

“My husband, Ahmed Mohammed Kuree, is a farmer. Farming is all he knew. The tax man took him away to “China Camp” after telling him that he had to go pay his taxes. He was told he was going to pay his taxes. They kept him there for one night only. The next morning, they took him to Gaara Suufii. After they took him to Gaara Suufii, we searched for him for three weeks to no avail. After three weeks and having heard a rumor, we went to Gara Suufii. After two days of searching, we found his prayer beads, his cloth and a single piece of his bone which the hyenas left behind after devouring the rest of his body and we took those items home. What is more, after we got home, they [our persecutors] condemned us for going to Gaara Suufii and for mourning. For fear of repercussions, we have not offered the customary prayer for the dead for my husband by reading from the Qur’an. Justice has not been served. That is where we are today!” [Audio clips in Afaan Oromoo English]

Adde Kadijjaa was asked how she found out that her husband was taken to Gaara Suufii.

She said: “A meeting was called which some of our people attended. Our people enquired about my husband at the meeting. At that point they said to his sister [my sister-in-law]: “Your brother has died. Go home and give up the search for your brother.” She [my sister-in-law] went home in tears. The next morning, a Kebele meeting was convened in the city. When my husband’s siblings went to that meeting and asked why he was killed, they [our persecutors] said “Since when does the government kill citizens? Come, we will show you where he is.” With that, they took them to the camp [China Camp]. Once at the camp, they were unable to produce my husband. Instead, they arrested my sister-in-law.” [Audio clips in Afaan Oromoo English]

Ayishaa Alii (see picture above) was a fourteen years old, barely a teenager. According to her mother, Aadde Shamsii Ahmed Muusaa of Mi’eessoo, a divorced mother of six, Ayishaa attended school in Asaboot up to grade four. She was forced to discontinue her schooling to help her mother raise her younger brothers. Aadde Shamsii described the events leading up to her daughter’s murder to VOA as follows.

“His name is Muhammad Boruu. He was armed. He arrived at 9:00 AM. He woke her up from where she was sleeping and ordered her to get on the motor-bike he came on. She [my daughter] had a wound on her behind which she told him about. He said to her “forget your wound. You are to be devoured by wild predator beasts” and ordered her to follow him. She followed him with only her skirt on her back. That was how he took my daughter away from me. Because he is [worked for] the government, we assumed he was taking her to a prison. I had always assumed she was detained and searched for her in detention camps for two weeks. After we heard the rumor about the old man [Obbo Ahmed Mohammed Kuree] I followed his family to Gaara Suufii [in search of my daughter]. There we found her skirt, sweater, under wears and her hair, braided and red [dyed in henna] as it was when she was taken away. That was all we found of my daughters remains.” [Audio clips in Afaan Oromoo English]

Speaking about others murdered with her daughter, Aadde Shamsii says:

“They [the government] continue to take individuals to this mountain and murder them. Besides my daughter’s, we have found many human remains. One example would be a henna dyed human hand. There are many people missing and whose loved ones are hoping that they are in detention. They continue to murder people.” [Audio clips in Afaan Oromoo English]

The stories told by Aadde Kadijjaa Usuman and Aadde Shamsii Ahmed Muusaa are corroborated by others.

Obbo Abdulhakim Mohammed of Mi’eessoo district, Ciroo town, tells of the continued harassment and killing of Oromos in Mi’esso area, again to VOA.

“Just in the last two months, December and this month, hundreds of Oromos from the towns in this district – from Culloo, Ciroo, Baddeessaa, Habroo and Mi’essoo - have been herded to a concentration camp known as “China Camp” located here in Mi’essoo. After detaining them there, they took over twenty of them to Gaara Suufii in the middle of the night and shot them there. Eight of them are from Mi’eessoo district. Five are from other districts. Their names are Ashaa [Kormee], Ahmed Kuree, 70 years old, from Mi’eessoo, Shanqoo a labourer, Kedir Aliyyuu, a grade 8 student from Mi’eessoo, Yasin Mohammed Waday from Mi’eessoo, Alii Goolee, Saidee Ammadee, Kokaa Adam from Mi’eessoo district Faayyoo area. Others are, Ammee Shenkor from Tuulloo district, Hernaa Town, Ahmed Aliyyi Turee from Doobbaa district, Ciroo town, Abrahim Badhaasoo from Qunnii district, Odaa Bultum area. This is what we know so far.” [Audio clips in Afaan Oromoo English]

An elderly man who was a political prisoner at “China camp” for two and a half months, but did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation by the TPLF regime, describes the deplorable human rights abuses in that area as follows.

“There is always torture in that place. People are beaten up there day and night. That place is very worrisome. We were imprisoned there by Abdallaa Idiris and his colleagues. Abddalaa Idris is the leader of the [government] Militia deployed to Western Hararge. Abrahim Kamiilaa is second in command. Aadam Dheeraa is the third person. Alamayyoo is the lead interrogator. These people arrest and torture individuals day and night. They take them away at night around midnight, 2 AM, 3 AM or 4 AM. Among those taken away, were Ashaa Kormee and Ahmed Kuree. They took them away at 4:00 AM in the morning. They never came back. We have heard that they have been killed. Their prayer beads, pictures and ID cards have been found, particularly that of Ahmed Kuree. Of the girls [killed], it is said that their skirts have been found. For these reasons, the situation in that area is grim. Others are being persecuted under the pretext of their siblings joining armed groups [to fight against the government]. For instance, from Asaboot area, siblings of Abrahim Walii, Ahmad Mahammad Walii and Haadha Ahmad are being persecuted under such pretext.” [Audio clips in Afaan Oromoo English]

Speaking about others detained at that location, the same elderly man says:

“People are brought there from every where: from Doobbaa, Galamsoo, Baddeessaa, Ciroo. They bring people there from as far away as Adaamaa and Dheeraa town in Arsii. There are many people detained there. Prisoners are not allowed to see each other or communicate with others. At times about 30 prisoners share a cell. There are many people there. We [some of us] survived a deplorable situation. In that detention camp, they beat prisoners at night. After chewing Khat, prison officers get into manic behaviors. and start torturing prisoners. They ask about the OLF army that prisoners are alleged to have been feeding. Women and the elderly are also subjected to the same treatment. IRC (International Red Cross) is not aware of the grave [human rights abuses] situation in that area. Neither are other human rights advocates. Relatives are not allowed to visit the prisoners.” [Audio clips in Afaan Oromoo English]

As you can see or hear, their stories are consistent and shows that impunity for human rights abuses remains the norm in Ethiopia. “Nama iyyeef ollaan dirmata” jedha Oromoon. Do international human rights advoctaes know about this massacre? Does the world know? Have we done our part to bring the plight of our compatriots to the attention of the world public?

Lest we forget Gaara Suufii!

Please forward the English version of the clips to as many human rights advoctaes as
you can.

Maddi Barreefama kanaa Orom Affairs iraati.


At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hoga Ekeera Gaara Suufii

...Asaboot koran malee
Suufii naannawan malee
Odaa jigaa hin arganii
Yoo lola bu’an malee
Dhiiraan walqaban malee
Garaa jagnaa hin arganii

Qilleensa gaara Suufii
Ajeese balaan diinaa
Nagaa dhabne yaa qomoo
Funyaan dhiiga fununa
Yaa Suufii mandhe boree
Gaara nama gubdu garaa
Seenaa hin duune haa beekani
Guman qomoo diroof seera!

Abdaarif qalu jeennaan
Kichu Oromoo guyya qalan
Uumaamaaf waan kabajan
Namumaa kotten dhiitan
Gaara Suufii hin korani
Irreesaaf dhaqu malee
Namummaati qoosani
Dhugaa qabnu hin walalle
Digaaluu mureen sofaa
Danbiin qilxuu hin gabbisu
Qabsoon seenaa diroon fufa
Qomoo fi lammiin ittin obsu
Mirga maaliin geeraru
Boree bafaatan malee
Gumaan ijoollee Oromoo
Bulbultus waan hin oolle

Eenyuutan obsa laataa?
Seenaa garaa nama gubu
Gumaa Galamsoo fi Ciroo
Eenyuu muree naaf haa koobu
Abdiin koo gootoota Oromoo
Akka Ormaa bulee hin gaabbu!
Baddeessaan galaa seenaa
Kosooruun Xobbee dhiigsu
Hagamsaa hadhee gumaa
Irre Lammiin ilkee baasu
Eenyutti obsu laataa?
Seenaa Suufii na boosisu

Doobbaa biyya gameessaa
Dhiigan qabsoo nuu sooree
Iyyaa iyyaa dabarsaa
Birmaanaf seenaa egeree
Qomoo Oromoo qalani
Reefa nyachiisan saree
Alaagan hin birmaatu
Lammiitu baafata boree
Boree gootota Oromoo
Fachaa isaaniin geeraree
Irree tokkummaan baasu
Hadhee sirna tortooree!

Yaa Fayyoo mandhee seenaa
Mi’eessoon tuulaan reefaa
Seenaa Culloo fi Habroo
Xinnaa fi guddaatu kufa
Kan marsee Marsaa roobu
Caaffee coommaniin bifaa
Kan dhiigee Dhiiga sooruu
Seenaa Suufiittin ifa!
Dhukkuba bara dhibaa
Diroo guba akka saafaa
Sirna aadaa gabrummaa
Hadhooftu summi bofaa
Hinhaftuu guman qomoo
Dhugaatu xuuxee tufa!

Yaa Oromoo dhagessu
Dheeraas taatu gabaabaa
Ajjeerraa galma qabsoo
Diinni nu hin haamu kabaa
Oromoon fira hin qabnu
Yoo lammii fi qomoo malee
Seenaaf gargar facaanee
Kichu cirsisifne ijoollee

Yaa lammii koo dhagessuu
Seenaan abbaa dhimma guba
Waan iyyinuf iyya baaqee
Kolfaan quba nutti qaba
Hoga tokkummaan ture
Kan faayyinu dhukuba
Dhukkuba sirna gabrummaa
Kan nu gubuu bara dhiba
Roorroo jibbinne lammii
Bilisaaf du’un eebbaa
Eebba uumaamman hiree
Humna egeree tujuba
Ekeroota gaara Suufii
Sagaalee ilmaa fi abbaa
Alagaan hin birmatuu
Hoga nu dhowu hirriba
Boree lammiin dhukubsatu
Kan faayyisu Walabaa!

Tokkommaa humna Oromoon
Seenaaf dhaabatu alabaa
Ekeroota gaara Suufii
Hoga madda Walabaa
Boree lammiin baafatu
Abdiin Gudayyaa Roobaa!
Gudayyaan lammii itayyaa
Rooban dhiiga akka bokkaa
Odaa Bultum ciranii
Balaatu bu’ee bakakaa
Iyyaa Iyya dabarsaa
Buu’uraa seenaa dhamsaa
Gaari Suufii seenaa gorsa
Duutti hin oole Bilisaa!

G. Roobaa

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The saddest part is, it is the case of oromos killing Oromos. In my mind OPDO is the most criminal as it is their cadress who perpetrate the worst kind of human right abuses on Oromos. How ever, they will never win the trust of Weyanes/TPLF and one day they will face the same fate in the hand of the tyrants or liberators.

I thank Mana OromoSwiss for brining to our attention the plight of oromos under the TPLS regime

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Roobaa,

What a poem! Every Oromo compatrioit should read this.
This blog spot is fast becoming the rallying forum for all freedom loving oromos.


At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yaa ilmaan Oromoo yakka gara darbe diina keenyan nu irratti raawwatamaa jiru kana of irraa dhaabuuf gadduu qofa osoo hin taane murannoo ofii keenyaa nu gaafata. Kana kana nuuf falmuu danda'u oroma jennee kan eegnus yoo ta'u gowwummaa dha. Hanga nuti hirree keenya tokko godhannee diina keenya yartuu kana of irraa hin agganneetti yakki isaan nu irratti raawwatan kun dhaabbachuu tasa hin danda'u.

Kan yoo diinni keenya kadhaadhaan nu fixuu irraa of qusatu jennee kan yaadnu yoo ta'es hammasuma gowwoomuu dha.

Falli nuti qabnu waa takka qofa. Walii gallee halagaa fi oroma irraa mirga eegachuu dhiisnee of irratti amantee godhannee wal ta'uu dhaan diina keenya kana of irraa fonqolchuu qofatu dhumaatii nu baraaruu danda'a.

Gumaan jaallan keenya qulqulluu wareegamanii bilisuummaa dhaan ba'a!!!


At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Qottoon yoo muka cirtu kan ishee toltu seetee
lammiin yoo lammii qaltu hidda uumamaa dagattee
Diinni onnee dhiiteffattu gantuu hirree godhattee
Dhiigni ilmaa oromoo tasa hin haftu lolaate.

Yaa gadhee sanyii nyaattuu ganni hin dhufu seetee
Yaartuu abbaan abaaree tarree halagaan seentee
Ekeraan tarree ciisuu
Cubbuun si haa cubbisuu
Dhiigni ilmaan Oromoota iyyitu si hin gadhiisuu
Yaatullee si hin gabbisuu.

Tari tutturti malee gumaan isaani hin haftuu
Yaa lammii qabsoo cimsaa qabsoon kan hobbaafattu.


At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jarreen kun ilmaan Oromoo mara lafa irraa duguuguudhaaf waan wixanatan fakkaata. Maanguddootaa hanaga daa'imman wallaalaatti yakka akkasii irratti dalaguun kun sanyii Oromoo jedhamu baldheessuudhaaf akka isaan dhama'ani nu agarsiisa. Mee waan danadeenye maraa dhumaatii kana saaba keenya baraaruuf haa tattaafannu. Qaama mirga dhala namaa addunyaattillee bakka jirru hudatti haa iyyaannu.

Keessattuu daa'imman keenya balaa diinaa kanaan dhumaa jiran dhumaatii kana baraaruuf daran haa tattaafanu. Oromoonni lammii keenya sagalee hin qane kanaaf sagalee ta'uudhaan miidhaa isaanii labsaa jirtan kunillee galata qabdu.

Falamataa irra. Oromiyaan ni bilisoomti.

At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oromoo Tisiisa irraa damma eeguu haa dhiisnu. Yakka gara jabni akkasii nutu of irraa kutuu qaba.
Falli jiru falmachuu qafa. Falamaaf of haa kenninu.


At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi writer,
What TPLF has been doing on our people is still going ahead. It is gathering many Oromo’s people in to jail, terrorizing, torching, murdering and throwing their dead body for hyenas like what you mentioned in this topic. This is what makes Ethiopia’s regime different from the rest of the world.
To make our country and the rest of our people free from this kind of inhumanity, we need to keep our contributions for the Oromo’s people straggle.
So I see you are doing your best by providing necessary information concerning our problems to human rights, all people in the world and for our people who live far away of his country.
Keep doing.
Thank you!

From guddisa

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oromoo yoo humna qabaatan fira qabaatan; dhugaa qabaachuu qofaan bilisummaa fiduun rakkoo keenya nuuf furuu hin danda'u. Yakka garjabinaa Woyyaaneen uummata keeya qulqulluu irraan ga'aa jirtu kana of irraa dhaabuuf ilmaan Oromoo qoodni nu irraa eegamu guddaa dha. Tokkummaa keenya cimsachuun waldhaansoo keenya itti fufuu qofaatu kana jalaa nu baasuu danda'a.

Diinonni keeny warra seenaa irraa waa barachuu danda'n miti. Gara laafinaa fi seera demokraasii uumama hundee isaaniitii waan hin qabneef borillee yoo nuti jabaachuu baannee sanuma.

Haa jabaannu. Cunqursaan ni kufa qabsoon itti fufa.


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