Dr. Robert McMahan, President of Kettering University
1700 University Ave, Flint, MI 48504
Re: Professor Ezekiel Gebissa’s call for ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia
July 6, 2020
Dear Dr. McMahan
We are writing you this letter as concerned US citizens of Ethiopian origin residing in New York and New Jersey. As you may know Ethiopia is a country that is in the middle of its transition towards democratization, after close to five decades of dictatorial rule, which was imposed on Ethiopians by the communist military Junta, followed by an ethnocentric cruel dictatorship by the TPLF (Tigrian people’s liberation front) which was deposed by popular uprisings in 2018. Once TPLF was forced to relinquish power, the current prime minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed and his cabinet worked very hard to bring peace, fair democratic elections, and economic development to the nation. The prime minsters’ efforts to bring peace to East Africa by resolving decades of animosity towards neighboring nations has earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 2020.
While Abiy has overwhelming support there are narrow minded ethnocentric and power thirsty individuals like Professor Ezekiel Gebissa who are now working with ousted leaders of the TPLF (considered by majority of Ethiopians as looters, torturers and criminals) to undermine and overthrow the current regime by force. Sadly, the professor in your university who is enjoying a peaceful life in Michigan became a man who is calling for genocide on the Amhara ethnic group (one of the major ethnic groups in the country).
On June 29, 2020 a young and popular singer “Hachalu Hundessa” who was also an ardent critic of the former TPLF regime was assassinated in Addis Ababa (the capital city of Ethiopia). The heinous killings are believed to have been plotted by the TPLF leaders and Oromo extremist including Jawar Mohammed (a close confidant of Professor Ezekiel Gebissa) to incite violence and realize their political ambitions. The second day (30th of June 2020), the Professor went on his youtube page claiming the killings were perpetrated by Neftegna’s (a term used to describe Ethiopian fighters who are mostly from the Amhara ethnic group). Gebissa went on further, elaborating how the act was equivalent to the killing of the whole Oromo ethnic group. By spreading that type of rhetoric, he was calling for ethnic cleansing designed to benefit his power monger friends in the country. His irresponsible and cowardly actions have already resulted in the killings of hundreds of citizens in various parts of Oromia regions the next day.
The professor who previously claimed violent transitions to power by various groups has deterred the country from implementing a democratic rule, became the provocateur in chief of violence of the worst type; ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately, he and his extremist friends see that as the only option to get to power rather than participate in a democratic process they were invited to be part of by the current prime minister.
It is beyond reprehensible for a professor in your college to have dispersed such hateful language while living in the comfort of his home in the US, where various ethnic groups and people of all kind of background including him come to live and exercise their rights as human beings, and not as ethnic entities.
As you may know, Rwanda has shown the world how hateful speeches loaded with intentional name callings have resulted in one of the worst genocides in recent human history. As a self-claimed expert on African studies professor Ezekiel Gebissa was aware of what he was doing while propagating the Rhetoric that Neftega is the killer of the prominent Oromo singer “Hachalu Hundessa” and claiming the whole Oromo ethnic group is under attack. We believe the professor was involved in incitement to genocide.
Professor Ezekiel Gebissa has the blood of many Ethiopians on his hands. We are asking you to have an independent investigation on his actions and take appropriate measures. The fact you have an employee practicing hate speech that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of poor Ethiopians is a sad reality that we think you should pay close attention to.
Professor Ezekiel Gebissa (right) and his religious fanatic friend Jawar Mohammed (left) who is currently in prison, suspected of inciting ethnic violence in Ethiopia via his Oromo Media Network (OMN)
To understand Gebissa’s rhetoric, we ask you to please obtain an independent translation of the following Amharic video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T14Ag_kr1OE
NY/NJ Ethiopian Task Force
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