The Oromo didn’t expect the loss of more than six hundred people in one day when they were Celebrating Irreechaa Festival in Bishoftu Oromia on 02 October 2016 before shot at by military forces on the ground while helicopters fired teargas from the air.
About Irreechaa Massacre
On October 2, 2016, the sacred grounds of Harsadi were littered with dead bodies where thousands of fellow Oromo, the largest indigenous peoples of East Africa, were massacred by Ethiopia’s security force on the Irreecha celebration. Over five million celebrants were herded and shot at by military forces on the ground while helicopters fired teargas from the air. The deaths in Bishoftu occurred because security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition at a crowd of over a million people celebrating a cultural festival.
Reports show over 670 deaths from shooting and from being trampled. Many deaths remain unexplained. The incident is shrouded in mystery because of the media blackout which followed. At least some killings followed the event rather than taking place at the time and are believed to have been deliberately orchestrated by the government.
We would like to ask all Oromo and Oromo organisations to produce research papers, short videos, poems, songs, that shall be used to commemorate and celebrate the lives of the victims of Irreecha Massacre during the upcoming Irreecha festival around the world. Alongside the Irreecha celebration, speeches, flyers, poems, appeal letters will only make this year Irreecha festival special.
We owe the victims of the Irreecha massacre acknowledgement of their deaths and an explanation to the world of how and why they died.