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Letter Written by Prisoner of Conscience Dr. Wondwossen Assefa

The following is a letter from prisoner of conscience Dr. Wondwossen Assefa from Kaliti Prison in Addis Ababa city written to second generation diaspora youth. For more information on Dr. Assefa, refer to the short video below.

The call for “second generation diaspora”!!


Is it really a “Return to origins” or a contribution to the Amhara Genocide?

I am a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned in a narrow cell with few of my comrades, we have two luxuries; the first is a very small compound for exercise, it is enclosed with concert walls, a wire mesh covering the top, the only thing we can see in the sky. As the famous English poet Oscar Wilde wrote in his immortal poem entitled “The ballad of the Reading Goal’’ If I recall correctly it says,

‘’ Under that tent of Blue which we prisoners call the sky’’

The second luxury we have is a TV set, but we are allowed to watch the Ethiopian television only. One of these days while watching ETV, I heard the prime minister of Ethiopia inviting the second generation diaspora (those born abroad) to come to visit the prospering Ethiopia. I was quite shocked at the paradox of the message conveyed. It actually made me fall from smiling at the satire to weeping grief at the prevailing peril of my people. Although I hate to be reactive to propaganda, I decided to say a few things on the issue.

The invitation entitled “Back to origins” and also colored with phrases like “come back to your roots” are actually fascinating slogans, the likes of which needs the services of on advertising genius. The package comes with Airline ticket and hotel discounts, alluring project documentaries and glossy posters. The marketer being Abiy Ahmed Ali; making it hard to resist for the targeted customer segment.

The problem is the reality on the ground is not as it is displayed on the screen saver. The prosperity party regime which is known for its “convince and confuse strategy” have this time marked the younger diaspora for confusion. The regime wants to sell the idea that Ethiopia is prospering by exhibiting its superficial projects which has no fundamental impact on the country’s economy. The projects are a series of luxury collections of palaces, resorts, hotels, parks, Dysncy land like play grounds and dancing fountains the likes of which are found on fairytales. The projects have consumed billions of dollars of the country’s hard earned foreign currency.

The “come to connect with history” is actually funny, when we consider holding the Ethiopian flag or displaying on your clothes or bags is tantamount to signing your own death warrant in the current Ethiopia.

The current situation in our country is quite different from what the regime is telling the public. Politically there are a number of issues, among them is the case of Adds Ababa. The city is targeted for takeover by Oromia region. The strategy employed is making Addis Ababa irrelevant. The tactics are dispensing city government positions to cadres of the Oromo prosperity party; putting a siege on the city by creating mother city called Sheger, which enclosed Addis Ababa practically cutting it off from the rest of Ethiopia, and taking basic supplies hostage. Although the constitution grants the city self-administration. The regime is working on demographic change and forcing both private and public schools to teach the Afan Oromo or face closure.

The regime has imprisoned Amhara politicians, activists, journalists and tens of thousands youth. There is a prevailing state of emergency declared in Amhara region and most of the country.

Economically there is a double digit inflation driving price escalation on house rent, transportation cost and commodities. These has resulted in a wide spread hunger both in cities and the countryside. According to the Fortune newspaper published on Nov 29, 2023 a report buy a multitude of international organizations indicated “Around 70 million people are plagued by inconsistent access to meals and 25 million people go by days without food in Ethiopia”. Recently the country has defaulted it is debt payments making it less credit worthy to international lenders.

Socially it is Ethiopia’s use who has been denied their current livelihood and future. To cite a few examples; after being subjected to learn under faulty education policy for decades, the reason changed the policy overnight and announced that out of the 845.267 students which took national secondary school leaving examination; only 27.267 has passed; and therefore 96.7% can’t join colleges and universities.

Those who managed to complete their university education after years of which academic pursuit have failed to secure employment. According to the A.A city industry bureau, out of the 1.560.000 youth in the city, only 18% of them are employed.

In a country where the minister of health report that the health coverage is 43%, thousands of medical doctors are unemployed. Those who secured employment earn a meagre 30 USD per month which is equivalent the cost of a plate of dinner at Halala Kela resort.

The security problem is very serious, there is on active Amhara genocide and displacement in Oromia. There is war in both Amhara and Oromioa regions. According to GPE (genocide prevention Ethiopia). More than 31.000 Amharas have been in Oromia. On the other hand sources inside the Ethiopian disaster risk management commission confirmed that there are 4.3 million people displaced in Ethiopia; out of which 2.2 million lives in host communities. It is impossible to travel out of the capital for fear of the rampant kidnappings.

These issues of genocide, displacement, war, road blockage, property damage, sexual assault, and kidnappings may seem exaggerated but while these are only the tip of the iceberg; the following are testimonials of civic organizations governmental agencies, religious institutions and international organizations.


Testimonials -1:- Consortium of Ethiopian human rights organizations

The consortium reported that “It has become a culture that security forces in Oromia commit human right violations and go unchecked” the report cited a very recent example on the night of NOV 23 2023; 17 members of a single family were killed in Sherka wereda, Oromia, Arsi zone.

  • Nine people were killed in a church in Kellem Wolega, Oromia

  • Eight members of another family were also killed in the same zone, Lebo Kebele.

Testmonials-2:- Ethiopian human rights commission

EHRC has issued on extension report on Tikimit 19/2011 E.C about the genocide, sexual assault, mass imprisonment and drone attacks in Amhara region. Whole towns like Ataye has been burned to the ground nine times; while the town of Awura Godana in Minjar, north Shewa, Amhara had been bulldozed off.

Testmonials-3:- The national conflict identification study

The study revealed that from 2010-2015 E.C a total of 5300 conflicts in Oromia, Amhara and Tigray region has been region have happened. These conflicts have resulted in the displacement of millions of people, property destruction and genocide. The study further confirmed the participation of government officials in the genocide, displacement, rape and diverting humanitarian aid. It further confirmed that the conflicts were designed by government institutions

Testimonial-4:- The policy study institute

The institute reported to the Ethiopian parliament on Tahisas 8, 2016 E.C that due to security reasons it has restricted its activities t A.A and DireDawa cities.

Testimonial -5:- The National Dialogue Commission

In a press conference held on Tahisas 12,2016 E.C the commission’s spokesperson testified the commission’s failure to hold public consultative meetings in Amhara and Oromia regions, which constitute 70% of the country

Testimonial -6:- the civil societies council

The council announced on Tahisas 1,2016 E.C that civil organization have toiled to work in Amhara and Oromia regions due to security reason.

Testimonial-7:- The St. Lalibela monastery

The monastery is one of the major tourist attraction sites in Ethiopia. The abbot of the monastery in an interview save to the reporter Amharic newspaper on Tahisas 10,2016 E.C said “there is a considerable risk for visitors who plan to visit the monastery in the upcoming Gene Holiday ( Ethiopian Christmas) due to the ongoing war in the area.

Testimonial-8:- The Ethiopian catholic church

The catholic church gave statement on Tahisas 9,2016 E.C that it’s Priests and Deacons have been kidnapped by armed groups and released after negotiation in Western Shoa & Meki towns.

Testimonial-9:- The US government

In a recent testimonial at the United States US foreign affairs committee, two senior official.,the US special envoy to the horn of Africa Mike Hammer and USAIDs African bureau Assistant director Tiller Benkelman has given testimonial about the current region. In summary both said that Ethiopia is transforming in to rogue nation with rising human rights violations internal Conflicts in Amhara and Oromia and engaged in an increasing arms race. They also testified about the unchecked inflation, server foreign currently shortage and sinking credit rating.

Testimonial-10:- The African development Bank

The ADB, issued statement recently about two of its employees beaten and imprisoned by government security forces extra judicially; the ADB is plumy to relocate its headquarters to another country. Over and above there is on epidemic of malaria and diarrheal disease in the new south western Ethiopian regional states, affecting millions of people secondary to the federal ministry of health. The region is home to halala kela resort elephant lodge and Chebera Churchura park.

Kidnapping of civillians, asking for ransom money in millions is happening in Oromia, it is even rumoured that higher government officials are meditating ransom payments,

Amidst all these chaos, the higher officials of the ruling prosperity party are

  •  Busy decorating their affairs and spending millions of dollars of the public money on exotic furniture

  • They keep a fleet of luxury sedans & cruisers in their garage

  • When travelling abroad they travel with their full domestic staff including gourmet chefs

  • They entertain their cadres with lavish banquets and party like these in Beverly hills

  • Each higher officials live like on Arabian prince, or more of Silicon valley tycoon less the yacht

To this circus is invited the Ethiopian second generation diaspora. Our children, the second generation diaspora are a learned lot, most are endorsed with quality education and are quite smart in the ways of the world, I hope they will see this fallacy in this confusion strategy.

But if, that is a big if for those who responds positively to this invitation it would be

  •  Consenting to have your lunch served on a gold plate, while sitting on a pile of putrifying garbage

  • It would be spitting on the faces of millions of people struggling to survive and make ends meet

  • It would be being part of the Amhara genocide by contributing money for more drones,

Let us say

No!! Not in my generation!

Wondwessen Assefa (MD)

Prisoner of conscience

Kality A.A Ethiopia

Tir,2016 E.C

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