Singer Eebbisaa Addunyaa was gun down by Woyyaane 17 years ago, August 30, 1996
August 30, 2013
It has been 17 years since Eebbisaa Addunyaa, the famous revolutionary Oromo nationalist and patriotic singer was murdered by Woyyanee security forces on the street of Finfinee. The extremely fearless and vocal advocate of the Oromo people, was gunned down in his home, along with his friend – Tana Wayessa, on August 30, 1996. “Today, Friday August 30th, we mark the 17th Anniversary of the his Execution. Eebbisaa is an inspiration to all of us. Not only because he changed the Oromo nation with his music, but for the fact that he “did not give up or give in” no matter how bad the oppression got. He continued to be a voice for the voiceless people until his last breath. They killed Eebbisaa; but they will never kill his work or the cause for which he was martyred for. sirboota eebbisaa keessaa amma yoonatti kan sammuu dhalataa oromoo keessaa baduu dide yeroo hunda kan yaadannoo ta’ee argamu duuti eebbisaa amma yoonatti kan dhugaa hin fakkaatne keessaa geerarsa isaa keessatti**Yaa bunaa hin daraarinii amman harree bitutti yaa du’aa nan waaminii yaa biyyee nan nyaatinii amman bilisummaa ija kiyyaan argutti** kan jedhee geerare amma yoonatti sammuu ilmaan oromoo keessaa kan hin haqamne ta’ee argama . Ebbisa was born in Dembi Dollo, southwest of the Western Wallaga region of Oromia. With two younger brothers and three sisters, Ebbisa was the eldest son in his family. He was a very talented and respected young person. He attended Oliiqaa Dingil Primary School, Qellem High School, and then passed the national examination for Higher Education to attend a university.
In 1991, while waiting for admission to an university, the military regime of Ethiopia was overthrown by OLF, TPLF, and EPLF forces. In Ebbisa’s hometown of Dembi Dollo, OLF forces had set up a strong military base. At that time, Ebbisa was very aware of the deteriorating Oromo condition and the need for self-determination for the Oromo people; hence, to support the Oromo struggle for national determination, he joined the OLF. He was trained to be a cadre (Dabballee), and being exceptional at that, he became a Dabballee/cadre trainer in the Dembi Dollo OLF military camp. But beyond his abilities within the military, Ebbisa was also musically talented; he played many instruments and was a gifted vocalist. Because of this, he joined the OLF music band and played a significant role in pushing forth Oromo culture, music, and identity.
Throughout 1991 and 1992, Ebissa travelled through various regions within Oromia (the south, southwest, center, and western) to perform and sing; his songs were not only cultural, but they were revolutionary. They were songs that strongly emphasized the sufferings of the Oromo people and ways through which the Oromo people should demand justice. On a personal level, Ebbisa was a very kind person; he truly loved and cared for the Oromo people. He provided his assistance and care to individuals, his relatives, his sisters, brothers, etc. to anyone who needed help or were having troubles. Ebbisa was a very popular, well-admired, nationalist musical artist. Ebbisa was also known to be a very brave individual. Even after the OLF went underground and its leaders where banished from the country, he continued to sing about the criminal activities that the Ethiopian government was heavily engaging in. He was extremely fearless, daring, and publically vocal about the Ethiopian regime’s terrorist tactics against the Oromo people and continued to also support the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA).
Because Ebbisa was so courageous, so openly vocal about the murders and injustices that the Ethiopian government was committing, he himself became a large target of the Ethiopian government. According to the Oromia Support Group Press Release No 17, a 26 year-old Oromo who was a friend of Ebissa and who was helping him by transporting him to performances recognized clearly that Ebbissa was under government survelliance and was being monitored by government agents. On August 30th, 1996, Ebbissa Addunya was assassinated in his own home by woyyanee security agents in Finfinne. The following is an account from the Oromia Support Group Press Release No 14 in October 1996: Oromo nationalist singer Ebbisa Addunya and his friend Tana Wayessa were shot dead by government gunmen on August 30th [,1996]. They were at Ebbisa’s home in the Shiromeda area, No 094, Higher 13, Kebele 01, north of the American Embassy in Finfinee, when gunmen burst in.
Eyewitnesses claim the bodies were dragged from the house and put in a Land Rover with a government license plate. The security men who carried out the murders first cleared the street. Residents who looked out of their houses after the gunfire were told to get back indoors. The bodies were recovered [the] next day from the morgue at Menelik II hospital. But even after Ebbisa was murdered, Ebbisa’s family became a target as well; they were repeatedly mistreated in the hands of OPDO security agents in Dembi Dollo due to their relation to Ebbisa. His brother Ashanafi has been repeatedly imprisoned by Wayyene and OPDO agents. May his soul rest in peace, he will never be forgotten. Qabsoon itti fuffaa*** !!
By Getinet Dinkayehu