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Oromia: DHAAMSA QEEROO IRRAA. #OromoProtests  February 24, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

DHAAMSA QEEROO IRRAA 


Peresedantii Mootummaa Xoophiyaatii
Af-Yaa’ii Mana Mare Bakka Bu’ootaa Ummaataa Xoophiyaatiif
Koree ministiroota zoophiyaatiif
Mana Marii Bakka Bu’ootaa Ummaataa Xoophiyaatiif
Dh.D.U.O Tiif
Geggeessitota Sadarkaa Adda Addaatiif
Saba Ballaa Uummata Oromootiif
Qeerroo Naannoo Oromiyaatiif
Fannoo Naannoo Amaraatiif
Zermaa Ummatoota Kibbaa Guraageetiif
Wadala Ummatoota Kibbaatiif
Nabiroo Ummatoota Kibbaatiif
Raayyaa Ittisa Biyyaatiif



Dhimmi isaa: Labsii Yeroo Muddamaa Kan Ilaalatu


Barri hedduun darbaniiru, jechootni akka nadhii dammaa dhamdhamaa tolaanii fi urgaa foolii bookaa qaban waa’ee tokkummaa biyyaa xoophiyaa faarsan baayyeen taphatamaniiru, faarfatamaniiru akkasumas walaloon, Og-barruu fi wellistoonni bayyeen faaruu meshaalee muuziqaa aadaa fi ammyyaan dabalame sirbaniiru waa’ee tokkumma xoophiyaa. Kana duwwaa miti gotootni bayyee aarsaa heddu kaffalaniiru waa’ee tokkumaa xoophiyaatiif. Ammas yeroon dabaree nuuf laattee tookkuma keenya akka mirkaneessinuuf qeerroon Oromiyaa qaamota armaan oliitiif hundaaf waamicha gochaa jirti. 


1. Perezedaantii mootummaa xoophiyaatiif


Yeroo kumaatamni du’ee, kumaatamni mana hidhaatti dararamuu fi Kumatamni biyyaa tokkummaan xoophiyaa kessatti faarsamu kessatti qe’ee, sabni guddaan salphate fi qabeenya isaa irraa buqqa’ee beelaaf hongeen dararamu hin dubbanne, akka perezendaantii biyyaa tokkottillee miti akka nama dhuunfaa tokkoottillee yaada kee hin ibsanne. Yoo aangoon siharkaa jiraattee maaf midhamtu, maaf dararamtu jechuudhaa yoo baatteyyuu as baatee baga duutan , baga qe’ee fi qabeenya keeessan irraa buqaatan osoo jeette nutti tola akka qeerrooti. Silaa maal buuftaa miti waa’ee labsii muddamaa kana irratti waa jechuu kee barbaanna akka lubbuun jirtuu fi hin jirre baruuf. Ta’uu yoo baate reeffa Perezendaantii ta’ee biyya bulchaa jiruu jechuu genus book irraatti si galmeessina. mee onnee godhu, jiraachuun garaa duwwaaf miti, barri dhufee darba seenaa garuu baraan jiraatti.


2. Af-yaa’ii mana mare bakka bu’oota uummataatiif


Gaafa mootiin fari’oo saba israa’el waanjoo garbummaa jalatti waggaa hedduu rakkisaa ture Museetu ka’e . Ulee Museen harkatti qabatee ture saba israa’eeliin garbummaa mootii fari’oonii, loltuu fari’ooni fi bishaanii nyaatamuu galaana diimaa jalaa isaan baase malee garbummaaf yokkiin du’aaf isaan hin laanne. Sobaaf muka walitti hin rukkuttin uleen siharka jirtu yeroo tokkoo fi isa xumuraaf dhimmaa haabaastu , uummata bakka buutee jirtuuf sagalee haa dhageesistu.


3. Koree Ministiroota xoophiyaatiif


Seenaa daba dalaguuf demaa jirtu, nama ni dagoggortu, dogoggara keessaniif immoo qeerroon garaa dhiifamaa qabdi, tarkaanfii fudhachuuf deemaa jirtan kanarraa yoo debitan fi jijjirama siyaasaa fi sirna dimokiraasii hundeen isaa heeraa fi seeraan ol aantummaan isaa mirkanaa’ee akkasumas biyyaa walqituummaan lammiilee keessatti mirkanaa’ee ijaaruuf waadaa seenuun har’uma hojiitti yoo jijjiirtan qeerroonii fi uummanni oromoo afaanuma haak jedhee isin tufuuf ka’een isin degera isin waliin guddina xoophiyaa haaromteef hojjeta. Yoo ta’uu baatee fi humna waaraanaa abdachuun labsii kana uummata nagayaa irratti garee faayyidaa dhuunfaa isaa eeggachuuf carraaqu waliin taatan, waraanni isin ittin boontan kun harki caalaan dhaloota qubee fi qeerroo akka ta’e isin hubachiisuun barbaanna. 


4. Mana Marii Bakka Bu’ootaa Ummaataa Xoophiyaatiif


Uummanni xoophiyaa:


a. Qotee bulaan barressuuf fi dubbisuu hin dandeenye beekumsa naaf ta’i, naaf barreessi naaf dubbissi ,beekumsa naaf ta’i naaf dubbadhu jedhee isin filatee hin dagatiinaa adaraa abba keessannii, adaraa harmee fi adaraa biyyaa.
b. Qaro dhabeenyiin qaroo naaf ta’aa naqaraa, karoo hin qabuu qaroo naaf ta’aa jedhee isin filatee hin dagatiinaa. Adaraa qaroo, argaa ilaalaa murtee kennaa
c. Qoomaa hir’uu bakkan fiiguu dadhabetti fiigii naaf qabi, jedhee sagalee siniif kennee hin daagatiinaa.
Walumaagalatti isin afaan uummataati afaan saba balaati sammuu uummata keessaniin yaadaa. Afaan uummata keessaaniin dubbadha. Rakkoon fi gadadoo uummata keessanii hin dagatiinaa. Nidagattu jennee hin yaadnu haadha fi abbaa ilmoo isaanii ol adeemtoota qeerroo fi qarree dabtaaraa fi qalama qabataniif ganama mana bahanii osoo manatti hin deebiin hafan. Qeerroo fi qeerre fulbaana birraa bariite nagaa dhaammatanii digirri fideen dhufa jechuun waadaa seenanii garaa unirsiitii deeman garuu reeffi isaanii manatti galu. Qabsoon qeerroo homaa kaayyoo kan biraa hin qabu innis tokkoo fi tokkodha. gochaalee armaan olitti caqafaman hanbisuun xoobiyaa biyya dimokiraasii fi biyya walqixxummaan lammiilee keeessatti mirkanaa’ee taasisuu qofadha. Kanaafu uummata bakka buutan dagattanii afaan badii hin ta’iinaa jetti qeeroon.


5. Dh.D.U.O fi Geggeessitota Sadarkaa Adda Addaatiif


Isiniif ergaa gabaabduu fi ijoo taate qabna. Dhuguma qaama uumata oromoo geggeessu yoo taatanii fi boor uummata oromoo waliin biyya geggeessina jettanii abdii qabdu ta’e labsii muddamaa kan gonkuma hin fudhatiinaa, yoo diddee kan murtooftu taate illee hojirra oolmaa isaa irraatti akka qooda hin fudhanne uummata oromoo waliin gumaa taatu of eeggannoo godhaa. Kun akkeekkachiisa uummanni oromoo marti fi qeerroon yeroo xumuraaf isinii kennudha .
Hubachiisa: Mootummaan garboomfataan sadarkaa addunyaatti caaasaa mataa isaatiin biyyaa yokkin saba tokkoo kolonii jala galfatee hin beeku. Kun dhugaa qorannoon mirkanaa’edha. Garuu dabalee bitamtuutti fayyadamuun bandaa warra jedhaman jechuudha, garboomsuu ni danda’a . isin garuu gocha akkasiif karaa fi garaa akka hin laanne abdii qabna nuti qeerroon.


6. Saba Ballaa Uummata Oromootiif 


Labsiin muddamaa kun labsii duguuggaa sanyii ittin raawwachuuf labsame dha. Uummanni oromoo rooroo ofirra qolachuus ni baaka. Nuti oromoo akka beeknutti uummata yeroo obboleessi isaa du’u irraa dheessu, yeroo ilmoo isaa birratti duutu irratti ilaalu miti saba wal irratti du’u male. Kanaafuu labsiin muddamaa kun humnaan nurratti kan labsamu yoo ta’e afaan tokkoon yaada tokkoon xiqqaa fi gudda , dhalaa fi dhiira, qeesii fi sheekii osoon hin jedhiin akka ofirra mormitan dhaamsa isinii dabarsina. Qeerroo egeree biyya irraa akka hin hafne abdii uummata oromoo mara irraa qabana.


7. Fannoo,Zarmaa,wadala fi Nabirootiif 


Nuti keessatuu qaama qabsoo bilisummaati. Biyyi xoophiyaa kun boor nu eeggati, mana keenya booriiti akkasumas biyya nuti kunuunsinee dhaloota nuti aanuuf keninu nudha abdiin biyyaa. Biyya lama hin qabdu boor yoo feene kan dhiifnee demnu miti. Biyya tokkitti qabdu kana immo yeroo gartuun fedhii dhuunfaa isaaf kallatti isatti tale irra yoo barbaade heera fi seera baasee yoo fedhi immoo diigee akka shaqaxaa mummata isaa aangoo harkaa qabuu fayyadamee daldalu teenyee hin ilaalu. Afaan tokkoon aagoon kan uummataati jedha yoo fedhe immoo aangoo siyaasaa haa hafuuti aangoo uumamaa fi mirga namoomaa illee nurraa muulqee uummata balla dararu kana afaan tokkofon kaanee yoo labsiin kun hojiitti jijjiirame mormuu fi yeroo xumuraaf ofirraa fonqolchinuf dursitanii qophii ballaa fi tarsiimoon degerame akka gootan qeerroon dhaamsa isiniif dabarsina. Waliin biyya dimokraasii fi dinagdeen badhaate xoophiyaa haaraa ijaarra.


8. Raayyaa Ittisa Biyyaatiif


Dhumarratti raayyaan itti biyyaa uummata keessaa kan walitti qabame ( ijaarame) uumata isaaf kan hojetu, daangaa biyya isaa diina alaa irraa akka eegu nageenya uumata isaa geeguu dangaa biyya fi gammojjii keessa beelaa fi dheebuu obsuun akka eegan qeeroo sirritti beekti. Haala michataa keessa akka hin jirre ni beekna. Haata’u harmee isaanii ji’a sagal garaatti baatte ciniinsifatte deesse fi abbayyee isaanii marrummaan hidhate isaan guddise , obboleeyyan isaanii waliin tiruu takka boraafatanii dhalatan, qotee bulaa fi daldalaa dafqa isaa cobsee hojjetee mindaa isiniif kaffalu, barataa baradheen bor matii koo fi biyya koof bu’aa buusa jedhee xaaru irra irraatti akka afaan qawween hin dorsisne fi dhukaafne qeerron abdi qabna. Garuu tarii hubannaa fi hariitti dagattanii dogoggora seenaa keessa akka hin seenne qeerroon waamicha isiniif goona. Mootiin ni mo’a ni kufas uummanni garuu ni jira gara kaayyoo keessa dagattaniif harkaa abba irree ta’uu uumata harka duwwaa irraatti ol aantummaa qawwee akka hin agarsiifne irraa deebinee waamicha isiniif goona.
Hubachiisa: Qaama dhimmi ilaaluuf
Keessumaa warri qeerroo xiqqisitanii yaaddan,qeerroo booda uummata ballatu jira, kaan kaan yoo hafe iyyuu humna waraana isin itti biyya bulchina jetteanii abdatan gariin qeeroodha. Ilaallataa lolaa.
Dhugaa qabna ni injifanna!!!!!!!!! injifannoon kan uumataati ballaati.


Qeerroo irraa 


Galagalcha.


Dr. Mahammad Hassan (Ciro) 0911865071
Awwal Mahaammad (Ciro) 0924620033
Aliyyii Kaliifaa (Doobbaa) 0910336695
Fooziyaa Amiin (Bookee) 0911219219
Caaltuu Saanii (Habroo) 0911075558
Dassaaleny Dhugumaa(O/Bultum) 0912008135
Jibriil Yuyyaa (Masalaa) 0912308272
Kimiyaa Jundii (Habroo) 0910033517
Awwal (A/Xuulloo Hirna) 0924620033/0929105631
#Qaama dhimmi ilaalu hundaaf


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Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses Overbroad, Vague Provisions Undercut Rights says Human Rights Watch #OromoProtests February 24, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistHRW

Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses

Overbroad, Vague Provisions Undercut Rights

Human Rights Watch, 23 February 2018

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus calls on the Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) to reverse the state of emergency.የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ መልዕክት February 24, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church

(ይህ የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ መልዕክት ነው)

ለኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዲሞክራቲክ ሪፓብሊክ መንግስት፤ የካቲት 15-2010 ዓ.ም
ለመላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች፤
ለተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች ፤
ለሕዝበ-ምዕመናን በሙሉ፤
የሀገራችንን ወቅታዊ ሁኔታ በሚመለከት ከኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ የቀረበ ጥሪ፤
እንደሚታወቀው፣ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከነገድ ሁሉ፤ ከቋንቋም ሁሉ፣ ከወገንም ሁሉ፣ ከሕዝብም ሁሉ በክርስቶስ ኢየሱስ የተዋጁ ምዕመናን አንድነት ናት፤ የእምነቷ መሠረት የሆነው መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ፣ ቤተክርስቲያንም ሆነች መንግስታት ከእግዚአብሔር የተሰጣቸውን ሕዝቡን በታማኝነትና በጽድቅ የማገልገል ታላቅ ኃላፊነትና አደራ በሚገባ መወጣት እንዳለባቸው በአጽንኦት ያስተምራል፡፡ ስለሆነም ቤተ ክርስቲያን በዚህ ምድር የእግዚአብሔር መንግስት እንደራሴ እንደመሆኗ፤ ሕዝቦችም ሆኑ መንግስታት የሚጠበቅባቸውን ኃላፊነት በፈርሃ እግዚአብሔር በመልካም ሁኔታ እንዲወጡ የማስተማር፣ የመምከርና የማሳሰብ፣ ግዴታ አለባት፡፡
ይህን ታላቅ አደራ ከመወጣት አኳያ የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ ሁኔታዎችን ስታጤን፣ ሀገራችን ኢትዮጵያ አሁን የምትገኝበት ሁኔታ በእጅጉ አሳሳቢ መሆኑን ትገነዘባለች፤ ከሰብኣዊ መብት አያያዝ፣ ከዲሞክራሲ፣ ከፍትህ፣ እና ከመልካም አስተዳደር ጋር በተያያዙ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ በተለያዩ አካባቢዎች በመንግስትና በህዝቡ መካከል የከረረ አለመግባባት መታየት ከጀመረ ውሎ ያደረ ሲሆን ካለፉት ሁለት አመታት ወዲህ ደግሞ ህዝቡ፤ በተለይም ወጣቱ ትውልድ በሰላማዊ ሰልፍና አንዳንዴም ሀይል በተቀላቀለበት መልኩ ወደ አደባባይ በመውጣት ተቃውሞውን ሲገልጽ መቆየቱ ይታወቃል፤ በእነዚህም እንቅስቃሴዎች መነሻነት በጸጥታ ሀይሎችና በህዝቡ መካከል በተፈጠሩ ተደጋጋሚ ግጭቶች እጅግ በሚያሳዝን ሁኔታ የብዙ ሰዎች ህይወት ጠፍቷል፣ ብዙዎች ለአካል ጉዳት ተዳርገዋል፣ በርካታ ንብረቶችም ወድመዋል፡፡
የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ የህብረተሰቡ አካል እንደመሆኗ መጠን ይህ አሳዛኝ ሁኔታ በተለያዩ ክልሎች መከሰት ከጀመረበት ወቅት አንስቶ ፍትህ የሰፈነበት እርቅና ሰላም እንዲወርድ በጸሎት እግዚአብሔር አምላኳን ስትማጸን የቆየች ከመሆኑም በላይ መንግስት ህዝቡ ለሚያቀርባቸው ጥያቄዎች ተገቢና ፍትሃዊ ምላሽ በአፋጣኝ እንዲሰጥ፣ ህዝቡም ጥያቄውን በሰላማዊ መንገድ ብቻ እንዲያቀርብ ጥሪዋን በተናጠል፣ እንዲሁም ከሌሎች የሃይማኖት ተቋማት ጋር በመሆን ስታቀርብ ቆይታለች፤ መንግስትም ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ ራሱን በመገምገምና የችግሮችን ምንጮች በመለየት መላውን የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ይቅርታ ከመጠየቅም አልፎ በህዝቡ ጥያቄ መሠረት የፖለቲካ እስረኞችን መፍታት መጀመሩ የሚያስግነው ነው፡፡ በቀጣይነትም፣ መንግሥትም ሆነ የሚመለከታቸው ሁሉ የሀገር አንድነትና የሕዝቡ ሠላም ይበልጥ በአስተማማኝ ሁኔታ እንዲገነባ በጋራ መግባባት ላይ መስርቶ መሥራት ስለሚያስፈልግ፣ የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ የሚከተለውን ጥሪ በከፍተኛ አክብሮትና በታላቅ ትህትና ታቀርባለች፡-
ሀ. ለኢፌዲሪ መንግስት
1. የማንኛውም መንግስት የህልውና ምንጭና መሰረት ሀገርና ሕዝቡ እንደሆነ የሚያጠያይቅ አይደለም፤ ስለሆነም ገዢው ፓርቲም ሆነ የኢፌዲሪ መንግስት ከማንኛውም ፖለቲካዊ አስተሳሳቡም ሆነ እቅዱ ይልቅ ለሀገር ሰላም፣ ለሕዝቡ ደህንነትና አንድነት ቅድሚያ እንዲሰጥ፤
2. ኢትዮጵያ ሀገራችን ሰላሟ ተረጋግጦ እንድትቅጥል፣ ሕዝቦችዋም በአንድነትና በእኩልነት ተባብረውና ተጋግዘው በፍቅር የመኖር ነባር እሴታቸውን አጎልበተው እንዲቀጥሉ ለማድረግ የሚቻለው ሀገራዊ የጋራ መግባባት ሲኖር በመሆኑ፣ የተለያየ ግንዛቤና አመለካከት አለን የሚሉ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች/ፓርቲዎች፣ ሲቪል ማህበራት፣ ምሁራን፣ ታዋቂ ግለሰቦች፣ የኃይማኖት መሪዎችና የሀገር ሽማግሌዎች የሚሳተፉበት የጋራ መድረክ በማመቻቸት መንግስት ታሪካዊ ኃላፊነቱን እንዲወጣ፤
3. ቤተክርስቲያኒቱ ሰሞኑን ሀገሪቱ ለሁለተኛ ጊዜ በአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ ሥር እንድትተዳደር መደረጉ የፈነጠቀውን የሠላምና የመግባባት ተስፋ አደብዝዞ ሀገሪቱን ይበልጥ አሳሳቢ በሆነ ውስብስብ ችግር ውስጥ ሊያስገባት ይችል ይሆን የሚል ሥጋት ስላሳደረባት፣
3.1 መንግስት ያሉትን ሁኔታዎች በጥልቀት አጢኖ ቢቻል አዋጁን ማንሳት በሚቻልበት መንገድ ላይ እንደገና እንዲመክር፤
3.2 አዋጁ ሥራ ላይ ይዋል ከተባለ ደግሞ በአፈጻጸሙ ወቅት የዜጎች መሰረታዊ መብትና ሰብዓዊ ክብር እንዳይነካ ብርቱ ጥንቃቄ እንዲደረግ፤
4. መንግስት መልካም አስተዳደርን ለማስፈን፣ የሃሳብ ልዩነቶችን በሰላማዊ ውይይትና ድርድር ለማስተናገድ እንዲሁም ከፖለቲካ አስተሳሰብ ጋር በተያያዘ የታሰሩትን እስረኞች በመፍታት ለሕዝቡ ጥያቄ መስጠት የጀመረውን ተግባራዊ ምላሽ አጠናክሮ እንዲቀጥል፤
ለ. ለተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች
1. ከላይ በተራ ቁጥር ሀ.1 እንደተጠቀሰው፣ የግልም ሆነ የቡድን ፖለቲካዊ አስተሳሰቦችን በነጻነት ለማራመድና ተወዳድሮ በማሸነፍና በመሸነፍ ሥርዓት ውስጥ ውጤታማ መሆን የሚቻለው ሀገርና ሕዝብ ሲኖር እንደሆነ የሚያጠያይቅ አይደለም፤ ስለሆነም ሁሉም ተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ሀገሪቱ አሁን ከገባችበት ችግር እንድትወጣ ከየራሳቸው መርህና ፍላጎት ይልቅ ለሀገር ሰላም፣ ለሕዝቡ ደህንነትና አንድነት ቅድሚያ እንዲሰጡ፤
2. የሃሳብ ልዩነቶችን በሰላማዊ ውይይትና በድርድር የማራመድ፣ ለጋራ መግባባትና ለሰላም መስፈን የበኩላቸውን አዎንታዊ አስተዋፅዖ እንዲያደርጉና ቁርጠኝነት እንዲያሳዩ፤

ሐ. ለመላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ
1. መላው የሃገራችን ሕዝቦች በተለይም ወጣቱ ትውልድ ነገ የሚረከባት ሀገር የተጎሳቆለች እንዳትሆን፣ ያለውን ጥያቄ ሁሉ በከፍተኛ የሀላፊነት ስሜትና የዜግነት ዲሲፕሊን በሰላማዊ መንገድ ብቻ እንዲያቀርብ፣ በተጨማሪም አሁን መንግስት በተለያዩ ዘርፎች እየወሰደ ያለውን የለውጥ ርምጃ በትዕግስት እንዲከታተል፣ ሁከት ተስፋፍቶ በሀገሪቱ ያለዉ ውጥረት እንዳይባባስ ብርቱ ጥንቃቄ እንዲያደርግ፤
2. አሁን አልፎ አልፎ የሚታዩት ብሄር-ተኮር ግጭቶች አደገኛ አዝማሚያ ስለሆኑ፤ ከጥንት ጀምሮ የቆየው አብሮነት፣ ተግባብቶና ተጋግዞ በፍቅር የመኖርን አኩሪ ኢትዮጵያዊ እሴት/ባህል ከመቼውም ጊዜ ይበልጥ እንዲያዳብረውና እንደ ዓይኑ ብሌን እንዲጠብቅ፤

መ. ለመላው ሕዝበ-ምዕመናን
እኛ፣ የብዙ ብሄር-ብሄረሰቦች እናት የሆነችው ኢትዮጵያ ሀገራችን በማንኛውም አስቸጋሪ ሁኔታ ውስጥ ብትሆን ጠባቂና ታዳጊዋ ልዑል እግዚአብሔር እንደሆነ በጽኑ እናምናለን፤ በመሆኑም፡-
1. በሀገራችን ፍርድ እንደ ውኃ ፅድቅም እንደማይደርቅ ፈሳሽ እስኪሆን ድረስ ምዕመናን ሁሉ በትጋት በጾምና በጸሎት እግዚአብሔርን እንዲማጸኑ፤(2ዜና 7፡14፣ አሞ. 5፡24)
2. ምዕመናን ሁሉ የምድር ጨው፣ የዓለም ብርሃን፣ እንዲሁም የሰላም መልዕክተኞች እንደመሆናቸው፣ የማስታረቅ ተልዕኮአቸውን እንዲወጡ፤ (ማቴ 5፡13-16)
3. ምዕመናን ክርስቲያናዊ የዜግነት ግዴታቸውን በየተሰማሩበት መስክ በመወጣት ክርስቲያናዊ አርአያነታቸውን እንዲያሳዩ፤
ቤተክርስቲያን ጥሪዋን በአጽንኦት ታስተላልፋለች፡፡
ስለዚህ ከላይ ጥሪ የተደረገላችሁ አካላት በሙሉ እንዲሁም ሲቪል ማህበራትና የሀገር ሽማግሌዎች ለዚህ ብርቱ ሀገራዊ ጉዳይ ልዩ ትኩረትና ቅድሚያ በመስጠት እንድትመክሩበት፣ በኢትዮጵያዊ የመቻቻል መንፈስ እጅ ለእጅ ተያይዛችሁ የሚሊዮኖች የጋራ መኖሪያ የሆነችውን ውድ ሀገራችንን ከተጋረጠባት አደጋ እንድትታደጉ ቤተክርስቲያኒቱ ከአደራ ጭምር ጥሪዋን በትህትና ታስተላልፋለች፡፡
እግዚአብሔር አምላካችን፣
ሃገራችንን ይባርክ፣ ይጠብቅ፣
ፊቱንም ያብራላት፣ ጸጋውንም ያብዛላት፣
ፊቱን ይመልስላት፣ ሰላሙንም አብዝቶ ይስጣት፡፡
አሜን!

Don’t underestimate Ethiopia’s crisis, Mail & Guardian February 23, 2018

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Oppressed: Oromo mourn the hundreds of people killed by Ethiopia’s security forces in the 2016 Irreecha massacre (Tiksa Negeri, Reuters)
Oppressed: Oromo mourn the hundreds of people killed by Ethiopia’s security forces in the 2016 Irreecha massacre (Tiksa Negeri, Reuters)

For the past four years, ever since the first serious rumblings of discontent began, it has been difficult to appreciate the scale of the political crisis in Ethiopia.

Africa’s second-most populous country maintains an extraordinarily tight grip on information. Local journalists are routinely harassed, intimidated and censored, and foreign journalists are closely watched and prevented from going anywhere too sensitive. Local nongovernmental organisations and opposition parties operate under similar restrictions: under draconian laws, NGOs must tow the government line or risk losing their operating licences; opposition sympathisers are locked up in their thousands.

The international NGOs and think-tanks that operate in Ethiopia are complicit in maintaining the veil of silence. Many agree to refrain from any criticism of the Ethiopian regime in exchange for unfettered access to the African Union, which is based in Addis Ababa. Others turn a blind eye to the government’s routine human rights abuses because of its relatively good record on delivering socioeconomic development — although that record has been called into question by the sheer volume of protest action over the past few years.

In this climate, building an accurate picture of the unrest — and getting any of the usual suspects in the international community to raise the alarm — becomes nearly impossible.

There were plenty of clues, however, that not all was right. The odd massacre made international headlines — such as the dozens, perhaps hundreds, mowed down by security forces at an Oromo religious festival in October 2016. Reports of co-ordinated protests across the restive Oromia and Amhara regions suggested that resistance to the regime ran far deeper and was much better co-ordinated than the government was willing to admit.

Now, the political crisis has exploded into the open, with the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn — always little more than temporary successor to Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012 — and the imposition of Ethiopia’s second state of emergency in under two years.

This new state of emergency, valid for six months pending parliamentary approval, will give sweeping powers of search and arrest to the security forces and restrict freedom of movement, protest and association. It gives licence for another crackdown on all forms of political opposition.

In this context, it is clear that recent political reform, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners, was not a symptom of more progressive policies but the desperate act of a government increasingly fearful for its very survival.

But the rapturous reception received by the freed opposition leaders, especially the Oromo Federalist Congress’s Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba, seems to have convinced the hardliners in the country’s ruling coalition to remove the velvet glove and revert to the iron fist, which has served the regime so well for so long.

Now the country waits to see who will replace Desalegn. In another bid to placate protesters, it is almost certain to be someone from the Oromo region, either Lemma Megersa or Abiy Ahmed — both senior officials in the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation, one of the four ethnically based parties that make up the ruling coalition. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have been long marginalised both economically and politically.

Somehow, the new prime minister will have to find a way to balance the demands of the protesters, who will expect immediate, demonstrable change, with the needs of the powerful securocrats in the ruling coalition who are manoeuvring for their own political futures, especially senior figures in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, who have long monopolised power and are not anxious to share.

“Whoever ascends to the top post will have much to prove but they should begin by following the advice of the United States embassy in Addis Ababa, which warned recently that the answer to growing unrest is ‘greater freedom, not less’,” wrote Mohammed Ademo, founder and editor of OPride.com, for African Arguments. “Indeed, Ethiopia sorely needs national reconciliation and an all-inclusive dialogue, and the next leader must act swiftly to make good on pledges of widening the democratic space.”

The alternative is too frightening to contemplate.

“[The ruling coalition] is at a historic crossroads and the options are clear. It can choose to genuinely reform or it can implode under the weight of a bitter power struggle and popular discontent,” said Ademo.

Meles ZenawiHailemariam DesalegnEthiopiaAfrican UnionOromo Liberation Front


Related (Oromian Economist findings):

Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses

Overbroad, Vague Provisions Undercut Rights,  HRW

Does Ethiopia’s New State of Emergency Dash Hopes for Reform?, Human Rights Watch

‘Game Over,’ U.S. Congressman jabs Ethiopia’s TPLF, Africa News

U.S. condemns crackdown in Ethiopia as political crisis deepens

Ethiopia: Mass protests ‘rooted in country’s history’, Al Jazeera

OMN Insight: Conversation with Jawar Mohammed on Ethiopian Political Crisis (Feb 21, 2018)

የኢትዮጲያ ሕዝብ በህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ላይ የአስቸኳይ ግዜ አዋጅ ማወጅ አለበት! 

Global community responds to Ethiopia’s political uncertainties

 Ethiopia: Final days of the TPLF regime

Where is Ethiopia heading after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s surprise resignation?

Ethiopia’s Great Rift

OPINION: CAN ETHIOPIA OVERCOME ITS CRISIS AND BE A NORMAL COUNTRY?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ETHIOPIA? STATE OF EMERGENCY, PROTESTS AND POLITICAL CRISIS EXPLAINED

Ethiopia crisis needs reforms not emergency rule – E.U. warns govt

Ethiopia’s next Prime Minister

With nobody in charge, Ethiopia declares a state of emergency, The Economist

የኢትዮጲያ ሕዝብ በህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ላይ የአስቸኳይ ግዜ አዋጅ ማወጅ አለበት! 

First a concession, then a crackdown. The ruling party’s divisions over how to respond to growing revolt are on show

«የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጁ የሰብዓዊ መብቶችን ይገድባል»ጀርመን 

የጀርመን ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር ሰላማዊ ለውጥ እና አስፈላጊ ማሻሻያ የሚያመጣው ከሚመለከታቸው የፖለቲካ አካላት ጋር አካታች እና ሰፊ ውይይት ብቻ እንደሆነ እናምናለን ብሏል። መሥሪያ ቤቱ እንዳለው እንዲሕ አይነቱ ውይይት ለኢትዮጵያ ዘላቂ ውስጣዊ ሰላም እና መረጋጋት መንገድ ይጠርጋል።

Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union on the situation in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden

Governments Call for Ethiopia to Revoke its State of Emergency

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden February 23, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden

A blue field with a yellow Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag.

(Africa News) — Sweden says it is concerned about Ethiopia’s reinstatement of a state of emergency (SOE) in the midst of reform efforts initiated by government.

Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister, Margot Wallstrom, in a tweet said as an ally, Sweden was ‘following development in Ethiopia closely.’

Continued reform efforts, inclusive dialogue, respect for rule of law and human rights, including freedom of expression should be a priority, her tweet further tasked the government.

Following development in Ethiopia closely. As a long-time partner, Swe is concerned about reinstatement of the SoE. Continued reform efforts, inclusive dialogue, respect for rule of law and human rights, including freedom of expression should be a priority.

The February 16 state of emergency was imposed after a meeting of Council of Ministers supposedly to curb spreading violence across the country. It is the second such measure in the last two years.

The country spent the the first eight months of 2017 under a SOE imposed in October 2016. The recent measure was declared barely 24 hours after PM Hailemariam Desalegn resigned his post. The ruling coalition is set to name his successor at a Congress.

Most western allies including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany have all spoken on the move, tasking the government to soldier on with political reforms and respect for the rights of opponents.


Norway concerned over State of Emergency in Ethiopia February 23, 2018

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Norway concerned over State of Emergency in Ethiopia

‘As a good friend and strategic partner of Ethiopia I was concerned when learning of the re-imposition of a State of Emergency in Ethiopia, so soon after the last State of Emergency was lifted,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The reinstatement of the State of Emergency was introduced 16 February for a period of six months.

‘The sustainable political and economic development as well as stability of Ethiopia is important to Norway. It is essential that the recent State of Emergency will not reduce the Ethiopian government’s commitment to ongoing reform processes, including multiparty dialogue, release of prisoners and the dialogue with civil society. These processes, which aim for a more inclusive political environment, are important for the development of democracy. In this respect, I would urge the government of Ethiopia to implement the State of Emergency in a proportional manner and in respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms,’ said Eriksen Søreide.


THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES COMMITTING CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY WITH IMPUNITY February 22, 2018

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THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES COMMITTING CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY WITH IMPUNITY

THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES COMMITTING CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY WITH IMPUNITY


Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

Human Rights League of Horn of Africa (HRLHA)
Written Statement Submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council,

37th Session,  26February – 23March, 2018


Item 4:Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention


(Country- Ethiopia)


THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES COMMITTING CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY WITH IMPUNITY
 
With the Terror Law Proclamation of 2009, which declared three Ethiopian opposition Political groups- namely the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and Ginbit-7 “terrorists”, remaining in effect despite pleas from numerous national and international human rights organizations, the Ethiopian government continued cracking down on whoever protests against its repressive rules. The Proclamation fully contradicts the whole catalogue of human and legal rights stipulated in the Ethiopian Constitution. Citizens have no freedom to express their views or meet in public, and whoever dares to defy the Proclamation is charged with being a terrorist or affiliated with a terror group, subsequent to which s/he is thrown into jail without the right to bail. As a result, the numbers of political prisoners held in Ethiopian prisons and makeshift sites have reached an unprecedented level, forcing the government to starve other sectors of the economy in order to build new prisons. The number of political prisoners in the country remains secret as the government denies holding any, even though a few weeks back and under pressure from the public, it declared that it would soon release all political prisoners. The promise, however, was not kept as it released only 153 prisoners out of the thousands held in federal government prisons. Prominent opposition party leaders like BekeleGerba, AndargachewTsigie and journalists like EskendirNegahave remained imprisoned.
 
The judiciary remains as dependent as ever and Court rulings are far from being fair. In most cases, the judges were given orders by authorities in the ruling party to sentence alleged political figures to a certain number of years, although it is evident that the charges were fabricated. In cases where some independent judges dared to release political prisoners on bail, as happened with the case of Mr. BekeleGerba, it was the prison officials, with a link to the ruling party officials, who defied the court ruling and kept the prisoner. At the time of this writing and for almost a year now, Mr. Gerbastill languishes in prison not knowing what the future may hold for him. Some political prisoners who were on the list of those to be released from prisons following the announcement by the government were kept behind, and brought to court where they were sentenced for violations of the norms of the Proclamation on Terror. This is just one indication that the Ethiopian judiciary is completely under the control of the government.
 
The government is targeting the non-EPRDF member citizens in general, and the youth in particular, who have been fighting for equality and justice for almost a decade now. The citizens, however, have continued with their peaceful uprising for an unprecedented three years in a row since November 2015, unifying the people of all ages and from all corners. During these three years of continuous protests, over 4,000 citizens have been killed, thousands others injured, and unknown numbers forcefully disappeared. The civilian police and the military killed over 700 Oromos on October 2, 2016 alone during the celebration of Irrecha, the Oromo Thanksgiving festival.
 
After all these cruel actions of the government, the Oromo people didn’t give up their demands for equality and justice and continued their peaceful protests. Unable to suppress the uprising, the government declared-on October 8, 2016-a six- month state of emergency which de jure suspended all constitutional rights. With a pretext of participating in protests, over 70,000 Oromos were thrown into prison and military camps and kept in inhumane and degrading conditions. Some 30,000 were released, but many Oromos remain detained in unknown locations and without official charges.
 
Although the government officially admitted that the mass uprising was the result of failure on its part to deliver good governance, it continued arresting and killing civilian demonstrators and ignoring their legitimate demands for equality and justice. It is reported that during the 2017 civilian demonstrations alone in Oromia and Amhara regions, more than 1,000 persons were killed. Since the beginning of 2018, the security forces killed nearly 100 persons during demonstrations in these two regions.
 
The killings, beatings and imprisoning of the citizens in Ethiopia didn’t stop them from demanding equality, justice and freedom. To silence the grievance of the citizens by military force, the government created on November 12, 2017 the so- called “National Security Council” led by the Defense Minister who declared de facto military rule. Following the decision, the government deployed its military force into the Oromo and Amhara Regional States to effect repression. The National Security Council- which is led by the Defense Minister SirajFegessa- has controlled the regional states’ police and security activities, paralyzing regional police and security institutions, in violation of article 39(3)[1] of the Ethiopian constitution of 1995 which stipulated that “Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has the right to a full measure of self-government which includes the right to establish institutions of government in the territory that it inhabits and to equitable representation in state and Federal governments”.
 
The Federal government, in its attempt to engage the different ethnic groups (nations and nationalities) against each other and rule them as divided entities, encouraged the Somali Regional government to declare an outright war against the adjacent Oromo people as a result of which nearly one million Oromos were forced to leave their homes and villages. The government, although admitting for the first time in its history that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) existed on its territory, deprived the displaced of the right to access food, shelter and water by blocking access roads as well as making them unsafe for humanitarian relief workers. As a result, the million displaced people had to seek permanent settlement in other parts of Oromia, with the help of Oromo Nation and regional authorities without the involvement of the Federal government.
 
Conditions in Ethiopian prisons remain the same as we last reported in 2017 at the UN Human Rights Council 34th Session. Political prisoners have the right to a reasonable space/room for sleeping, access to daylights, to proper sanitation and family visits as well as meeting with their respective lawyers. In one of the worst correctional facilities in the world, none of these have been afforded. The level of torture, as reported by those who were recently released from these prisons, is simply unbearable. The government continues denying access to international human rights organizations, the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteurs and the ICRC, whose report could have shed more light on the situations in the prisons.
 
The economic situation in the country is going from bad to worse. With the “developmental state economic policy” of the government, the few at the top amassed the entire wealth of the nation leaving the population in abject poverty. Graduates of the various universities can hardly find jobs in the country, and as and when they take their frustration to the streets, the security forces are meeting them with live bullets. All in all, the security situation and the physical safety of the youth in the country remain un-secured, resulting in a mass exodus of the entire young generation who is leaving illegally in search of a better life elsewhere. In doing so, hundreds are being drowned in the Red Sea or the Mediterranean, while some others end up being hostages of human traffickers and organ collectors in the Sinai or the Sahara. Young girls are lured into the criminal world and remain exploited by human traffickers in Middle Eastern countries.
 
The HRLHA once again renews its calls to the international community to act collectively in a timely and decisive manner – through all available mechanisms of the United Nations in accordance with the UN charter to stop the Ethiopian government’s assaults on its own citizens before it is too late. Based on the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document Paragraphs 138 and 139 on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)[2], the international community has the responsibility and the mandate to use appropriate actions, diplomatic, humanitarian and other available means to protect the people who are only demanding their fundamental human rights as recognized by the United Nations. It is not a new practice of the United Nations that when States violate the terms of the social contract they have with their own population, it has always been the responsibility of the international community to step in and save the defenseless civilians from being exterminated, as is the case now in Ethiopia. When the State is unable or unwilling to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, the international community has the responsibility to intervene.
*****
[1] Proclamation No. 1/1995 Proclamation of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopiahttp://www.ethiopianembassy.be/wp-content/uploads/Constitution-of-the-FDRE.pdf

Crisis in Ethiopia: elections, and fast! RENÉ LEFORT, Open Democracy February 20, 2018

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Capsizing: The system of government introduced in 1991, and monopolised by Meles Zenawi from the early 2000s, is irremediably dead. It had been in its death-throes since Meles’s sudden demise in 2012. The snap resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on February 15 marked the serving of the official death certificate.

What is urgent is to bring down the tension by focusing the hopes and energies of the activists on a political way out, in the form of a tested, unchallengeable mechanism.

Recently resigned Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn speaking in China, May 15, 2017. Lan Hongguang/Xinhua News Agency/Press Association. All rights reserved.


The crisis in Ethiopia has suddenly gained momentum and reached a tipping point. Things could go either way. The country could dig itself even deeper, with consequences that don’t bear thinking about. Or there could be a broad realisation that Ethiopia is “at the precipice”, bringing a surge of realism and pragmatism that would finally start a process of political rebuilding on solid, inclusive and lasting foundations.

This will require compromise, an attitude that is, to say the least, somewhat unfamiliar in traditional Ethiopian culture. All the actors will have to find a balance between what they would like to get and what they can get, between the short-term and the long-term. But time is short, numbered in weeks, maybe days.

Capsizing

The system of government introduced in 1991, and monopolised by Meles Zenawi from the early 2000s, is irremediably dead. It had been in its death-throes since Meles’s sudden demise in 2012. The snap resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on February 15 marked the serving of the official death certificate.

He had privately indicated his intention to resign, but not until after the planned spring congress of the governing coalition of the four major ethnic parties: the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO), the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM).

The reason he gave for his resignation, as “vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy”, is particularly open to question in that he was a well-known reformist. Did he quit because he was pushed or because he had become aware of his powerlessness? In the midst of the worst storm that the country has experienced for decades, he was the official captain of a crew that had become so disparate, divided and disloyal that his vessel was pitching and yawing wildly.

Hailemariam probably did not want to be held responsible in the event that it should capsize. He may also have hoped that his departure would back the ruling coalition into a corner and leave it with no other alternative than to set a course out of the storm and form a new crew capable of following it.

Hegemony?

In parallel with this decline in central power, the respective strength of the coalition’s regional parties, starting with the OPDO, has continued to rise to the detriment of the TPLF, which had dominated the coalition for more than two decades despite the fact that Tigrayans account for only 6% of the nation’s population. And alongside this centrifugal movement, opposition forces – both legal and illegal, national and anchored in the diaspora – were growing in power, after long years of repression had kept them in the wilderness.

As the body politic fragments and levels out, the protests show no sign of abating, mainly in Oromya, even though not a week goes by without its death toll of victims of the security forces. Oromo complaints of marginalisation have gradually shifted towards claims of what they believe they deserve as the country’s most populous and richest region: to be at the top.

The home strike on February 12 and 13 paralysed Oromya as far as the gates of Addis Ababa, demonstrating that a blockade of the capital would not be inconceivable. Unprecedented crowds in multiple cities celebrated the return of the most prominent political prisoners: around 6,000 have been freed since a gradual amnesty announced at the beginning of January. Buoyed up by its successes, the street – at least in Oromya – could misinterpret the disarray of the EPRDF to the point that it could believe itself to have achieved an hegemonic  position that none can deny it.

However, this popular movement, mostly spontaneous and therefore loosely organised, has its shadow side, at least on the margins. While the primary responsibility for the forced displacement of almost a million people – mostly Oromo, a minority Somali – essentially since September 2017, described as “interethnic clashes”, is attributable to the Somali authorities, at grassroots level it has stirred up ethnic tensions that were previously latent, or at most sporadic and sparse.

Ethnic clashes and nationalist hysteria

The frequent claim that multi-ethnic communities have lived in peace for centuries is both true and false. “Ethnic clashes” have always taken place around basic issues: land, pasturage, water. They have flared up with all the major upheavals and subsequent power vacuums of recent decades, such as the agrarian reforms of 1975 and the introduction of the federal system in 1992-1993.

The national parties, mainly OPDO and ANDM, have backed the quest for “national identities” and claims of “national rights” in order to assert themselves vis-à-vis the TPLF and ride the wave of protests. Some of their leaders have even given their imprimatur, at least through inaction, to outbursts of nationalistic hysteria that itself also masks well-known interests, ultimately leading to “ethnic cleansing” accompanied by dispossession and pillaging.

Recently, thousands of Tigrayans, identified with their governing elite, whose powers and resources are disproportionate, were driven out of the Amhara region. Members of the Kemant, a subgroup of the Agwa ethnicity, were massacred there. Students have had to flee their universities to escape a sometimes murderous wave of “ethnic purification”.

“Ethnic clashes” are proliferating. In some cases the regional or local security forces do nothing to stop them. A symptom of this odious climate: on websites accessible in Ethiopia , especially in the comments sections, overtly racist interethnic attacks, which would be an offense anywhere else, are flourishing as never before.

Fundamental divide

Finally, in parallel with this threefold process – disintegration in the system of power, continuing protests with sometimes violent outbursts, and rising ethnic hysteria – a fundamental divide is forming, even if it does not reach the light of day. The ultra-dominant official rhetoric is reformist, founded on a key expression: “deep renewal”. However, websites (like Aigaforum.com or Tigraionline.com) that say out loud what is only whispered in certain circles of the TPLF, insist that the only effect of the government’s acts of appeasement is to make the protesters even more demanding and exacerbate the disorders.

In this view, the only way to put an end to both is to employ every possible means in a trial of strength. In addition, questions remain about some interventions by federal forces – army, police, the elite Agazi unit – carried out without the prior agreement of the regional authorities, a legal requirement, and frequently accompanied by the use of disproportionate violence. These forces are disciplined and battle hardened, so individual excesses or blunders are highly unlikely. These cases of autonomous and brutal conduct, running counter to official policy, are undoubtedly commanded, or at least tolerated, by the heads of these units, although they cannot be unaware that they are an essential contributor to escalations in radicalisation and violence.

How to draw back from the precipice

Drawing back from the “precipice” requires an urgent Copernican revolution. It can be built on four cornerstones.

– Apart from a few very marginal elements, no one fundamentally questions the Constitution. It can therefore provide the frame of reference for any change.

– None of the members of the ruling coalition envisages putting an end to it, however formal and forced its perpetuation may be. They all know that the coalition’s official collapse could devour them all. At least in the short term, it is hard to find any sign of any alternative coalition that could form, let alone govern. If the EPRDF broke up, the probability that Ethiopia would become a “failed state” is very high. However weakened it is, there would still be one hand on the helm.

– At no point, so far, has the spearhead of protest in Oromya, the Queerroo (youth), called for armed struggle. This is a major change: in the history of Ethiopia, power has always come through the barrel of a gun. However, there is a growing radical fringe which believes that taking up arms will be sufficient to put an end to the regime.

– Finally, even the opposition, which was calling for the immediate formation of a transitional government of national unity, has more or less abandoned this demand. It was unrealistic. The EPRDF has just rejected it. If it had agreed, its divisions and the scattered nature of the opposition would have bogged down the formation of such a government in interminable bargaining and one-upmanship and, once in place, would have condemned it to impotence.

However, the longer the power vacuum continues, the closer the “precipice” approaches. Regardless of its divisions, the EPRDF must at all costs make the internal compromises needed to appoint a credible prime minister and government, and then actually support them so that they can take back the helm. Of course, the appointment of Lemma Megersa, although he cannot legally occupy this position, would satisfy Oromo protesters. However, it would require such major concessions in the light of what we know about the balances of power, that another Oromo or Amhara figure, or even a southerner, would seem more feasible, a remake of the compromise reached for Meles Zenawi’s successor.

State of emergency

The proclamation of the state of emergency on February 16 caused an outcry, prompting the US Embassy to issue a statement of a severity unprecedented in contemporary US-Ethiopia relations, almost an ukase (“We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency… (This) undermines recent positive steps…  We strongly urge the government to rethink this approach”).

According to the Minister of Defence, it was decided unanimously by the Council of Ministers, and therefore by its OPDO and ANDM members, who reportedly came on board after first having vigorously rejected it. If this is true, what compromises were required? At present we don’t know the terms, any more than we know what is debated behind the scenes on all the different issues, making the state of emergency just one aspect of a global negotiation. There is still much to play for.

Does it signify that political openings have been rejected and the priority placed on repression, in other words a major victory for the “hardliners”? This will also depend on its scope, those enforcing it and their behaviour. The only indication comes from the official agency press release, which states that the purpose is “to protect freedom of movement and the rights of citizens to live wherever they choose as well as build assets”, in other words first and foremost to put an end to the “ethnic based attacks” mentioned a few lines below.

It is noteworthy that it makes no mention of restrictions on political activities. If, and only if, future information on the state of emergency confirms this analysis, and if, and only if, the federal forces show a minimum of restraint in their behaviour, the government will have taken the decision incumbent on any government facing the risks of an explosion of violent excesses, including ethnic unrest on this scale.

That may perhaps be why OPDO and ANDM, which had condemned the ethnic attacks, was ultimately able to accept the state of emergency. Under these circumstances, it can also be assumed that Parliament might approve it.

However, intervention by the security forces alone will not suffice to prevent this threat if nothing changes elsewhere. They were overwhelmed during the previous state of emergency. Ethiopia has around 15,000 rural communities (kebele), each with a few dozen militiamen. In other words, probably 400,000 armed men who owe their loyalty to the leader of the kebele. There is no proof that these leaders would be willing or able to hold back ethnic attacks perpetrated by a majority of inhabitants.

At this level of crisis – breakdown in the system of government, dispersal and weakness of the legal opposition, protest that is increasingly heated, disparate in its organisation and simultaneously extreme and nebulous in its goals, proliferation of ethnic clashes – it is unrealistic to think that time and resources are sufficient for a big negotiation, a sort of “national conference”, even one that brought together the main stakeholders in and outside the country, to be able to start everything afresh and rebuild a global alternative system step-by-step.

What is urgent is to bring down the tension by focusing the hopes and energies of the activists on a political way out, in the form of a tested, unchallengeable mechanism that will be as speedy, practical and unifying as possible. The mechanism that would meet these criteria is early general elections, held well ahead of the current schedule of spring 2020.

Early general elections

First, they would clarify the political landscape. Each force would be required to present voters with its flagship measures for rebuilding the system of political, economic, military or security power. The goal would not simply be a change of regime. It would include the distribution of powers and resources within the federation, hence the famous “nationalities question” that lies at the heart of the current crisis and for almost two centuries has undermined the capacity of Ethiopians to live together.

Following the elections, this landscape could be structured and hierarchized on clear and transparent foundations, and the inevitable alliances would be formed first around their respective weights and projects. Since these foundational elections would be legislative, Parliament would finally acquire the primary role assigned to it in the Constitution. The verdict of the electorate, founded on universal suffrage, would make the outcome unchallengeable.

Finally, elections would channel protest that is both vigorous and inchoate into a concrete, tangible and decisive goal. The Queerro who favour a shift to armed struggle remain a very small minority, but they have the wind in their sails. All the voices that count in Oromya and in the diaspora continue to call for calm, for patience, arguing that change is now inevitable but needs to be given time. If they are listened to and if, moreover, the undertaking to hold these general elections could reduce the tension, defuse the reasons for protesting and therefore the risks of outbreaks, there would be a greater chance that the most extreme elements would become isolated and ethnic clashes less probable.

Free and fair

However, this scenario can only work on one condition: that these elections are “free and fair”. For this to happen, a supreme authority needs to be established, emanating from all the main stakeholders, whether government, opposition or civil society, in Ethiopia or abroad.

The former head of the military, General Tsadkan, even proposed that, in order to guarantee its independence from the current government, no member of the EPRDF should be able to be part of it, though it would be difficult for the coalition to agree to submit to the authority of a body that would resemble a weapon directed against it.

This authority would be vested with the powers needed to guarantee the ability of all the competitors to organise and express themselves freely, including the power to put on ice laws that contravene it and that it would be formally impossible to repeal rapidly.

Finally, it would set a realistic date for elections.  The oppositions must have a certain amount of time to build their electoral machines, but the date should be as soon as possible. In the meantime, the government would continue to deal with day-to-day matters.

It may be objected that the formation of this supreme authority and its mandate would encounter the same kinds of difficulties as a transitional government. However, there is one big difference in scale and scope: whereas the purpose of the latter would be nothing less than to govern, the former would be restricted to a single goal: to organise and manage elections. Still unrealistic? Possibly, but probably the least unrealistic scenario to enable the country to step back.


Related:

Ethiopia’s Great Rift: Will a power struggle within the ruling party lead to reform — or more repression?

Washington Puts Ethiopia’s Human Rights Abusers on Notice, Tesfa News

Ethiopia: End Game? Having achieved so much through protest, it is unlikely that the Ethiopian people will accept half-hearted reforms.  ,     Oromian Economist     

198 Ways to Fight the T-TPLF’s State of Emergency in Ethiopia and Win, Al Mariam’s Commentaries February 19, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

198 Ways to Fight the T-TPLF’s State of Emergency in Ethiopia and Win


One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The T-TPLF state of emergency declaration is an unjust law!

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress… If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” — Frederick Douglass, anti-slavery statesman.

The endurance of the Ethiopian people suffering under T-TPLF ethnic apartheid rule has completely vanished. Today, they are on the move agitating and mobilizing for peaceful nonviolent change.

Author’s Note:

Make no mistake about it!

The peaceful struggle for political change in Ethiopia is now in its final and terminal phase.

On February 16, 2018, the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (T-TPLF) declared a war of the people of Ethiopia for the third time since October 2016 by declaring a state of emergency. That is the T-TPLF’s response to the Ethiopian people’s peaceful demands for change.

That declaration of a state of emergency is the T-TPLF’s last hurrah, their curtain call.

But the whole emergency declaration is a crock of horse manure. This is the third emergency declaration since October 2016. The people’s demand did not stop. What is so different now?

The T-TPLF state of emergency declaration should be called by its proper name: License to kill. License to jail. License to torture.

But the T-TPLF has had that license for 27 years. It is nothing new. It changes nothing.

When they T-TPLF massacred thousands of people in October 2016 at the Irrecha Festival, they did not have a declaration of emergency. For 27 years, the T-TPLF has massacred, jailed and tortured hundreds of thousands of innocent Ethiopians without a declaration of emergency.

Do the T-TPLF bosses now believe the people will kneel down to them, kiss their shoes and become their slaves in their ethnic apartheid empire simply because they scribbled a piece of paper with the words, “state of emergency”? That declaration is not worth the paper it is written on.

The fact of the matter is that the T-TPLF bosses today are desperadoes, criminals with no place to run or hide. They are at the end of their ropes, on their last legs. They do not know what to do to continue to cling to power and maintain the ethnic apartheid system they have enjoyed over the past 27 years.

So they try to prove they still have power and they are still the masters of Ethiopia’s 100 million people.

But make no mistake.

The state of emergency declaration is about sending a message to the people of Ethiopia and to the world. It is a message that announces the T-TPLF is making its final stand to cling to power come hell or high water:

The T- TPLF will never, never give up power peacefully and allow a democratic transition in Ethiopia.

The T- TPLF will kill, massacre, jail and torture to crush the people’s demand for peaceful change and cling to power.

The T-TPLF would rather see a civil war than give up power peacefully.

The T-TPLF would rather go down blazing than find peaceful ways of addressing the people’s demands.

The T-TPLF will have it ONLY its way: All for itself and nothing for anyone else. It will be the T-TPLF way of the highway.

The T-TPLF in its emergency declaration is offering the Ethiopian people a stark  choice: Bow your heads, drop down on your knees and live like slaves, or die trying to be free with your nonviolent civil disobedience boots on.

So, the dreaded day has come for the T-TPLF. Ethiopia is at the crossroads and the crosshairs.

The T-TPLF wants an Armageddon.

The people of Ethiopia want peace, truth and reconciliation.

The people have resolved to free themselves of ethnic apartheid rule.

The T-TPLF is determined to keep them under ethnic apartheid rule.

The T-TPLF bosses know the end is near; and they are facing the final curtain.

How so?

The people have met their most formidable enemy. That enemy was hiding within them.

For decades, that enemy dwelled in their hearts, minds and every cell in their bodies.

That enemy goes by the name FEAR.

But the people have conquered FEAR and in so doing conquered the T-TPLF.

Robert Holmes (“The Ethics of Nonviolence”, 2013 at p. 226”), explained it best:

For power dissolves when people lose their fear. You can still kill people who no longer fear you, but you cannot control them. You cannot control dead people. Walk through a cemetery with a bullhorn, if you like. Command people to rise up, clean the streets, pay taxes, report for military duty, and they will ignore you. Political power requires obedience, which is fueled by the fear of pain to be inflicted if you refuse to comply with the will of those who control the instruments of violence. That power evaporates when the people lose their fear…

Simply stated, nonviolent social change by civil disobedience and mass resistance simply means the people have lost their fear of their oppressors.

What is to be done by people who have lost their fear of their oppressors?

What is to be done in the face of T-TPLF’s declaration of state of emergency and beyond?

In 1901, V.I. Lenin wrote a pamphlet entitled, “What Is to Be Done?” (p. 47). He argued the working class will not be politically mobilized into action simply by fighting economic battles over workers’ wages, working conditions and other economic rights. To transform the working class into a potent Marxist political force, Lenin said it would be necessary to form a “vanguard” of dedicated revolutionaries to spread Marxist political ideas among the workers.  He prescribed, “To bring political knowledge to the workers the Social Democrats must go among all classes of the population; they must dispatch units of their army in all directions.”

I say what is good sauce for the goose is good for the gander. The principles that apply to a violent revolution apply equally to a peaceful nonviolent revolution.

The peaceful nonviolent movement led by the “youth vanguard” cannot win the struggle without educating and empowering all segments of Ethiopian society.

The youth vanguard must educate, inform, empower and mobilize all segments of the  population, all members of ethnic groups in their own languages and traditions, all age and faith groups, all members of the professions and trades in the techniques of nonviolent struggle in the fight for democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The time is NOW for the youth vanguards of the Ethiopian peaceful nonviolent revolution to penetrate every nook and cranny of Ethiopian society.

The youth vanguard, above all, must teach and preach ETHIOPIAWINET which is simply defined as LOVE.

The ultimate aim of the Ethiopian struggle must be the victory of ETHIOPIAWINET over ethnic hate and ethnic apartheid system.

Teaching and preaching peaceful change must be made synonymous and go hand in hand with teaching and preaching of  ETHIOPIAWINET way of life.

The youth vanguard must teach and preach the philosophy and practice of nonviolent peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the schools, colleges and universities.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the churches and mosques.

The must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the civil service and bureaucracy.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the armed forces, the police and security forces.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among women and girls.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET to the urban and rural youth.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the tea rooms, restaurants and bars.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the shops and market places.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the stadiums and sports fields.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among the elites, the wealthy and privileged.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among the poor, the powerless and defenseless.

They must teach-in and teach-out peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET.

They must preach on and on!

They must be the change they want to see. They must live a life of ETHIOPIAWINET.

I have been teaching and preaching nonviolent social change and promoting truth and reconciliation for over 12 years.

I got involved in the Ethiopian human rights struggle because I was outraged by the Meles Massacres of 2005.

The Meles Massacres stirred deep emotions in me. For the first time in decades, I realized that though I had left Ethiopia, Ethiopia had not left me. The Meles Massacres made me realize that even though I had moved away from Ethiopia permanently, Ethiopia had not moved out of me permanently. It is a feeling that is hard to explain even today. I can only say that the massacre of those unarmed citizens (and the shocking photographs) triggered in me an emotion of volcanic outrage (that some say still flows unabated; I will not argue with them). I was not merely shocked and appalled; I was shaken to the core.

It has been said that in desperate times, we either define the moment or the moment defines us. It was at this time that I resolved to define my moment by using my pen (keyboard) as a weapon of nonviolent resistance against the tyranny of Meles Zenawi and his gang of criminals in designer suits.

I believe it is my moral obligation (and all human beings) to speak up against human rights crimes and agitate for peaceful nonviolent resistance. In my efforts, I have tried to make a small contribution by providing civic education in nonviolent resistance.

Indeed, before Official Day 1 of my involvement in the Ethiopian human rights struggle on July 3, 2006, I wrote a three-part commentary on civil disobedience and nonviolence and its relevance in the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia.  I undertook that effort after the Tegbar League Addis Ababa Leadership Committee issued a statement in March 2006 indicating that it

will organize nonviolent actions such as blocking major roads, work slowdowns, boycott of schools, and boycott of products that are produced or sold by EPRDF-affiliated companies. These nonviolent actions are intended to systematically make the country ungovernable and paralyze the Meles regime. There will be no public demonstration and direct confrontation with the blood thirsty Federal Police and Meles Zenawi’s death squad.

To provide intellectual support to Tegbar and spread knowledge about the philosophy and practice of nonviolence and civil disobedience, beginning in April 2006, I issued my series.

In Part I “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (April 23, 2006), I examined the ideas of Henry David Thoreau, who inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King in leading an independence and civil rights movement.

In Part II “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (May 10, 2006), I examined Gandhi’s use of  “Satyagraha,” which he defined as “truth-force,” “love-force” or “soul-force.” In fighting for human dignity of Indians in South Africa and later independence of India. Gandhi’s message to the colonial oppressors of India was simple. “My ambition is no less than to convert the British people through nonviolence, and thus make them see the wrong they have done to India. I do not seek to harm your people.”

In Part III “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (May 18, 2006), I examined MLK’s efforts to bring peace, harmony and interracial unity between black and white people in America”.

Over the past decade, I have written dozens of commentaries promoting nonviolent change, truth reconciliation, direct action and have tried to mobilize Ethiopian intellectuals to join me in the effort.

In October 2008, I wrote a commentary entitled, “The political economy of remittances in Ethiopia”. That commentary was in fact an analysis of the billions of dollars Diaspora Ethiopians send back to Ethiopia. I raised a number of questions which focused on the role of remittances in providing economic buoyancy to help keep afloat, support, prolong and entrench the one-party, one-man dictatorship of the T-TPLF in Ethiopia.

I am gratified to learn of recent efforts by an “international task force calling for remittance boycott against regime in Ethiopia.”

In my September 2013, commentary, “The Diplomacy of Nonviolent Change in Ethiopia”, I wrote abut how people lose their fears of oppressive government and muster courage to fight back with civil disobedience. The “diplomacy” of nonviolent change involves the use of  dialogue, negotiations, compromise, bargaining, concessions, accommodations, cooperation and ultimately peace-making and reconciliation.

In my September 2013 commentary , “Interpreting and Living MLK’s Dream”, I discussed Dr. King’s message of hope and redemption for our time and his unlimited imagination and hope in the infinite capacity of humanity to be humane while acutely aware of  “man’s inhumanity to man”.

In 2014, I joined the boycott of Coca Cola Company for its disrespectful and humiliating treatment of the great Ethiopian patriot Teddy Afro. In my June 2014 commentary“Why I am boycotting Ȼoca Ȼola”, I called on my readers to boycott Coca Cola products. I promised then never to touch a Coca Cola product, a promise I have kept to this day.

In my January 2017 New Year message, “Dare to Dream With Me About the New Ethiopia in 2017”, I shared my dreams of the Beloved Ethiopian Community to peacefully emerge from the nightmare of T-TPLF ethnic apartheid rule. Here are a few of those dreams of: ONE Ethiopia at Peace with itself. Ethiopians finding their unity in their humanity instead of their ethnicity. Ethiopians regardless of ethnicity, religion and region subscribing to the creed, “I am my brother’s, my sister’s keeper.” The day when Truth shall rise from the ashes of lies and lead all Ethiopians on the path of reconciliation in Ethiopia. Human rights extinguishing  government wrongs in Ethiopia. True multiparty democracy with iron clad protections for human rights. Learned men and women using their intellectual powers to teach, preach and touch the people. The release all political prisoners.

Above all, I have a dream of the day when Ethiopia’s young people will put their shoulders to the wheel and take full charge of their country’s destiny, leaving behind the politics of hate and ethnicity; turning  their backs on those wallowing in moral bankruptcy and corruption and creating a new politics for a New Ethiopia based on dialogue, negotiation and compromise.

Simply stated, I dream of the New Ethiopia, rising over the horizon in a peaceful revolution, as a shining “city high on top of the African hill”.

In my December 2013 commentary, “Mandela’s Message to Ethiopia’s Youth: Never give up…!” Never give up and keep on trying to build your Beloved Ethiopian Community! Dare to be great. Change yourselves first before you change society. Keep on trying. Come together. Be virtuous. Be patriotic. Be courageous. Dream big. Lead from behind. Be optimistic and determined.  Learn and educate the people.

In my January 2018 commentary, “Unarmed Truth and Unconditional Love (Reconciliation): Dr. Martin Luther King’s Message to Ethiopians Today”, I examined Dr. King’s lifelong message of nonviolence, peace, reconciliation in the context of Ethiopia’s dire crises today and building of a new Beloved Ethiopian Community.

All Ethiopians have a moral and ethical obligation to engage in peaceful, nonviolent change in their motherland

The time has come for all freedom-loving Ethiopians to stand up and be counted. It is time for truth or consequences. We all have a choice to make: Stand with the people of Ethiopia, or by not doing so stand with their oppressors.  It is a choice without moral relativism or ambiguity. One can choose to be part of a 27 year-old problem or part of the solution to usher in the New Ethiopia.

Dr. King said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” He explained, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

The T-TPLF’s state of emergency declaration is an unjust law. It is a law that contravenes God’s law. It violates natural law. It is a government wrong against God-given human rights.

The peaceful, nonviolent struggle in Ethiopia must go on.

We must have Churchillian resolve in our peaceful nonviolent struggle.

Facing an imminent invasion of Britain by the Nazis, Winston Churchill was ready to fight and threw down the gauntlet. “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, and in the air, on the beaches, the landing grounds, in the streets, in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Ethiopians in Ethiopia and in the Diaspora must go on to the end. We must fight the T-TPLF using every weapon of peaceful nonviolent struggle.

We must fight them with civil disobedience and mass resistance in the schools, in the colleges and universities, in the streets, in the urban and rural areas, in places of worship and public gatherings, in every hamlet, village, town and city.

We must fight the T-TPLF in every open and closed political space, in the workspace and even in the prison space. We must fight them in the monkey courts and in the kangaroo parliaments. We must fight them during the day and in the night. We must fight them in the sunshine and in the rain.

Diaspora Ethiopians in the West must do their fair share. We must fight their lobbyist in the halls of Congress and in the White House. We must fight them in the newspapers, on television and radio. We must fight their trolls in cyberspace and social media.

We must fight them, to paraphrase what Churchill said of the Nazis, and carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New Ethiopia, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of all Ethiopian people from the yoke of T-TPLF ethnic apartheid system.

A very special request, my humble plea to all who are engaged in the peaceful struggle – Please no violence

We must not bring ourselves to the level of the T-TPLF.

That is because we have the most powerful weapon in our hand, hearts and minds.

That weapon is nonviolence.

We must not resort to violence against our brothers and sisters, neighbors and compatriots.  Gandhi said, “the strong are never vindictive” and have no need for violence.

We who advocate nonviolent change are strong! In body, spirit and soul.

Let us heed Dr. Martin Luther King’s words:

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness… The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

For 12 years, I have toiled day and night, night and day, to see the daylight, the sunlight of freedom and equal opportunity shine on Ethiopia.

I do not ever want to see Ethiopia full of blind people, blinded by hate and revenge.

My dream is to see Ethiopia blinded by the light of love and of truth.

I have stood with Ethiopia’s young people through thin and thick for a long time

Now I ask them to stand with me in actively practicing NO VIOLENCE. NO DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY. NO REVENGE.

Hate and violence cannot drive out hate and violence out of Ethiopia. Only love, understanding and tolerance can do that.

We are better than the hate mongers, those who use violence to suppress human rights.

Let us become the change we want to see!

============================================================

How can every Ethiopian man, woman and child live up to their moral and ethical obligation to resist T-TPLF tyranny and work for peaceful nonviolent social and political change.

Let me count the ways!

The following document is authored by Prof. Gene Sharp, the “intellectual father of peaceful resistance” and founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action. Prof. Sharp passed away on January 28, 2018. He has influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world.

PDF copy of the document is also available.

Prof. Sharp prepared the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action to demonstrate that “practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of ‘nonviolent weapons’ at their disposal.” He classified those “weapons” into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.   

=============  ==============  =================  =============

                                  198 METHODS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

Formal Statements

  1.                    Public Speeches
                      2. Letters of opposition or support
                        3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
                        4. Signed public statements
                        5. Declarations of indictment and intention
                        6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience

  1.                    Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
                      8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
                        9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
                        10. Newspapers and journals
                        11. Records, radio, and television
                        12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations

  1.                    Deputations
                      14. Mock awards
                        15. Group lobbying
                        16. Picketing
                        17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts

  1.                    Displays of flags and symbolic colors
                      19. Wearing of symbols
                        20. Prayer and worship
                        21. Delivering symbolic objects
                        22. Protest disrobings
                        23. Destruction of own property
                        24. Symbolic lights
                        25. Displays of portraits
                        26. Paint as protest
                        27. New signs and names
                        28. Symbolic sounds
                        29. Symbolic reclamations
                        30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals

  1.                    “Haunting” officials
                      32. Taunting officials
                        33. Fraternization
                        34. Vigils

Drama and Music

  1.                    Humorous skits and pranks
                      36. Performances of plays and music
                        37. Singing

Processions

  1.                    Marches
                      39. Parades
                        40. Religious processions
                        41. Pilgrimages
                        42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead

  1.                    Political mourning
                      44. Mock funerals
                        45. Demonstrative funerals
                        46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies

  1.                    Assemblies of protest or support
                      48. Protest meetings
                        49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
                        50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation

  1.                    Walk-outs
                      52. Silence
                        53. Renouncing honors
                        54. Turning one’s back

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION

Ostracism of Persons

  1.                    Social boycott
                      56. Selective social boycott
                        57. Lysistratic nonaction
                        58. Excommunication
                        59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions

  1.                    Suspension of social and sports activities
                      61. Boycott of social affairs
                        62. Student strike
                        63. Social disobedience
                        64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System

  1.                    Stay-at-home
                      66. Total personal noncooperation
                        67. “Flight” of workers
                        68. Sanctuary
                        69. Collective disappearance
                        70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS 
Actions by Consumers

  1.                    Consumers’ boycott
                      72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
                        73. Policy of austerity
                        74. Rent withholding
                        75. Refusal to rent
                        76. National consumers’ boycott
                        77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers

  1.                    Workmen’s boycott
                      79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen

  1.                    Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management

  1.                    Traders’ boycott
                      82. Refusal to let or sell property
                        83. Lockout
                        84. Refusal of industrial assistance
                        85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources

  1.                    Withdrawal of bank deposits
                      87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
                        88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
                        89. Severance of funds and credit
                        90. Revenue refusal
                        91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments

  1.                    Domestic embargo
                      93. Blacklisting of traders
                        94. International sellers’ embargo
                        95. International buyers’ embargo
                        96. International trade embargo

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: THE STRIKE 
Symbolic Strikes

  1.                    Protest strike
                      98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes

  1.                    Peasant strike
                      100. Farm workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups

  1.                    Refusal of impressed labor
                      102. Prisoners’ strike
                        103. Craft strike
                        104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes

  1.                    Establishment strike
                      106. Industry strike
                        107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes

  1.                    Detailed strike
                      109. Bumper strike
                        110. Slowdown strike
                        111. Working-to-rule strike
                        112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
                        113. Strike by resignation
                        114. Limited strike
                        115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes

  1.                    Generalized strike
  2.                    General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures 

  1.                    Hartal
  2.                    Economic shutdown 

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION 
Rejection of Authority

  1.                    Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
                      121. Refusal of public support
                        122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government

  1.                    Boycott of legislative bodies
                      124. Boycott of elections
                        125. Boycott of government employment and positions
                        126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
                        127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
                        128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
                        129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
                        130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
                        131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
                        132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience

  1.                    Reluctant and slow compliance
                      134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
                        135. Popular nonobedience
                        136. Disguised disobedience
                        137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
                        138. Sitdown
                        139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
                        140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
                        141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel

  1.                    Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
                      143. Blocking of lines of command and information
                        144. Stalling and obstruction
                        145. General administrative noncooperation
  2.                    Judicial noncooperation
                      147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
                        148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action

  1.                    Quasi-legal evasions and delays
                      150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action

  1.                    Changes in diplomatic and other representations
                      152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
                        153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
                        154. Severance of diplomatic relations
                        155. Withdrawal from international organizations
                        156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
                        157. Expulsion from international organizations 

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION 
Psychological Intervention

  1.                    Self-exposure to the elements
                      159. The fast
                                            a) Fast of moral pressure
                                            b) Hunger strike
                                            c) Satyagrahic fast
                        160. Reverse trial
                        161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention

  1.                    Sit-in
                      163. Stand-in
                        164. Ride-in
                        165. Wade-in
                        166. Mill-in
                        167. Pray-in
                        168. Nonviolent raids
                        169. Nonviolent air raids
                        170. Nonviolent invasion
                        171. Nonviolent interjection
                        172. Nonviolent obstruction
                        173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention

  1.                    Establishing new social patterns
                      175. Overloading of facilities
                        176. Stall-in
                        177. Speak-in
                        178. Guerrilla theater
                        179. Alternative social institutions
                        180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention

  1.                    Reverse strike
                      182. Stay-in strike
                        183. Nonviolent land seizure
                        184. Defiance of blockades
                        185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
                        186. Preclusive purchasing
                        187. Seizure of assets
                        188. Dumping
                        189. Selective patronage
                        190. Alternative markets
                        191. Alternative transportation systems
                        192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention

  1.                    Overloading of administrative systems
                      194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
                        195. Seeking imprisonment
                        196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
                        197. Work-on without collaboration
                        198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

Without doubt, a large number of additional methods have already been used but have not been classified, and a multitude of additional methods will be invented in the future that have the characteristics of the three classes of methods: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation and nonviolent intervention.

It must be clearly understood that the greatest effectiveness is possible when individual methods to be used are selected to implement the previously adopted strategy. It is necessary to know what kind of pressures are to be used before one chooses the precise forms of action that will best apply those pressures.

[1] Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973 and later editions.

====================

Additional resources on the application, techniques and experiences of nonviolent resistance in different countries:

https://www.aeinstein.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/198-Methods.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Handbook-for-Working-With-Activists.compressed.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/50-Crucial-Points-web.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/CANVAS-Core-Curriculum_EN.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/MOB_English_May2014.pdf

U.S. ‘strongly disagrees’ with Ethiopia state of emergency February 17, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

U.S. ‘strongly disagrees’ with Ethiopia state of emergency, Africa News

U.S. 'strongly disagrees' with Ethiopia state of emergency

ETHIOPIA

The United States embassy in Ethiopia said on Saturday it disagreed with the government’s decision to impose a state of emergency to calm political unrest the day after the prime minister’s surprise resignation.

The statement came after the council of ministers imposed yet another six months nationwide state of emergency last night, which defence minister Siraj Fegessa, said would include a ban on protests and publications that incite violence.

‘‘We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression,’‘ the statement said.

We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression.

The prime minister’s resignation followed a wave of strikes and demonstrations successfully demanding the release of more opposition leaders.

‘‘We recognise and share concerns expressed by the government about incidents of violence and loss of life, but firmly believe that the answer is greater freedom, not less,’‘ it said.

Under a previous state of emergency, declared in October 2016 and lasting 10 months, thousands of Ethiopians were arrested by the military.

The current state of emergency has to be approved by the national parliament, which is currently on recess, giving the council 15 days to enforce the emergency rule until parliament reconvenes.

The statement urged the government in Ethiopia “to rethink this approach and identify other means to protect lives and property while preserving, and indeed expanding, the space for meaningful dialogue and political participation that can pave the way to a lasting democracy.”


Related:-

Ethiopia’s authoritarian regime backtracks on reforms. With an economic record at risk, Ethiopia is sacrificing democracy, FT

What triggered unrest in Ethiopia? Al Jazeera

Ethiopia: Final Days of the Regime, Counter Punch

Obboo Baqqalaa Garbaa: Labsiin Yeroo Hatattamaa Qabsoo Uummataa Hin Dhaabu, VOA Afaan Oromoo

Dhaamsa Dr Maraara Qeerroo Hundaaf Guyyaa hardhaa, Kichuu

ANALYSIS: AMID A REVOLUTIONARY STUPOR, ETHIOPIA’S RULING PARTY DUMPS ITS LEADER, AS

Ethiopia 2024 dollar bond hits 6-mth low after PM resigns, Reuters

Reform or repression? Ethiopia ‘faces watershed moment’ after PM resigns, Democracy Digest

Why is Ethiopia in upheaval? This brief history explains a lot, WP

Ethiopia’s Counterproductive State of Emergency, Atlantic Council

 

Déjà vu: Ethiopia’s fascist regime (TPLF) again declares state of emergency to continue with its genocide. U.S. issues Ethiopia alert, warns of tricky security situation February 16, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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5 comments

Odaa Oromoooromianeconomisttravel-warning-do-not-travel-to-ethiopia-terrorist-tplf-from-tigray-is-killing-people-and-looting-propertiesNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

Labsiin Yeroo Hatattamaa Labsame Haggamiif Akka Ta’e Hin Ibsamne, VOA Afaan Oromo


State of emergency declared in Ethiopia amid political unrest, The Guardian

Emergency rule imposed by ruling EPRDF coalition following prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s decision to resign

Supporters of Bekele Gerba
 Supporters of Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), chant slogans to celebrate his release from prison. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Ethiopia has announced a state of emergency after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday announced his intention to step down amid a political crisis in the country.

The ruling EPRDF coalition’s council met on Friday and decided to impose emergency rule for an unspecified period, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. The council “came to the conclusion that imposing emergency rule would be vital to safeguarding the constitutional order of our country”. Further details are expected to be given by the defence minister on Saturday morning.

An opposition leader said earlier on Friday the ruling coalition had lost its authority and that all parties must help map the country’s future.

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said Ethiopia needed a completely new political system after years of unrest. “Ethiopians now need a government that respects their rights, not one that keeps beating and killing them,” he said.

Rights advocates have frequently criticised Ethiopia’s government for mass arrests and long jail terms handed to political opponents and journalists. But more than 6,000 political prisoners have been freed since January as the government has struggled to quell discontent.

The prime minister’s resignation followed a wave of strikes and demonstrations demanding the release of more opposition leaders.



Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM quits, JAZEERA NEWS

Ethiopia's prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests [Tiksa Negeri/Daylife]
Ethiopia’s prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests [Tiksa Negeri/Daylife]
Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency, a day after the country’s prime minister abruptly resigned.

The measure was announced on Friday by the Council of Ministers, the Ethiopian government’s cabinet, according to state broadcaster EBC.

Local media said the measure is effective as of Friday, but it was not immediately clear how long it would last.

Quoting an unnamed source “close to the government”, the Addis Standard newspaper reported that the Council was debating whether to make the measure span three or six months.

In August 2017, Ethiopia lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after hundreds of people were killed in anti-government protests demanding wider political freedoms.

Ethiopia’s Oromo and Amhara people – who make up about 61 percent of the country’s population – have staged mass demonstrations since 2015 demanding greater political inclusion and an end to human rights abuses.

Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo rights activist and head of the Oromia Media Network, said the state of emergency declaration was “unnecessary, unhelpful and unwise”.

“The best way to ensure stability at this time is not to declare state of emergency that was tested and failed,” Mohammed wrote on Facebook earlier on Friday.

Felix Horne, a Human Rights Watch researcher on Ethiopia, said during the last state of emergency – the first in 25 years – more than 20,000 people were arrested.

“Those released speak about how it has only angered them further. It didn’t work then, what does [the government] hope to achieve now?” Horne wrote on Twitter.

Political uncertainty

Hailemariam, who has sat at the helm of the Ethiopian government since 2012, announced on Thursday he would be stepping down as prime minister and head of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.

He cited ongoing “unrest and a political crisis” in the country as major factors in his resignation, which he described as “vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy”.

Hailemariam said he will stay on as prime minister in a caretaker capacity, until the EPRDF and the country’s parliament accept his resignation and name a replacement.

READ MORE

Ethiopia ‘at crossroads’ after Hailemariam resignation

The executive committees of both the EPRDF and his own party within the coalition, the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, have so far accepted his decision to step down.

Tsedale Lemma, editor-in-chief of Addis Standard, said there has been a political struggle within the ruling party since the death of former prime minister, Meles Zenawi, in 2012.

Appointing a new prime minister from within the Oromo community would be “a conciliatory gesture”, Lemma said.

But whomever replaces Hailemariam, she said Ethiopia “needs a very serious political surgery to heal it from its structural [disfunction]”, which would include dismantling repressive laws and strengthening the independence of the judiciary.

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said earlier on Friday that Ethiopia needs a new political system after years of unrest.

“Ethiopians now need a government that respects their rights, not one that keeps beating and killing them,” he told Reuters news agency.


MORE ON ETHIOPIA from Al Jazeera

Related:

Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM’s resignation, Reuters


OMN: GRD – የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ (LIVE) Feb 16, 2018

Regime in just declared new state of emergency for a third time since onset of in early 2015. Regime has already killed thousands, and displaced 3M+ people in Oromia. Now wants to continue the genocide campaigns.  Oromo Press


During the 10 month state of emergency in 2016-2017 over 20k were arrested for no reason. Those released speak about how it has only angered them further. It didn’t work then, what does govt hope to achieve now? Any goodwill from prisoner releases will be gone.  Felix Horne



Ethiopia: End Game? Having achieved so much through protest, it is unlikely that the Ethiopian people will accept half-hearted reforms. #OromoProtests #OromoStrikes February 15, 2018

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Crowds waiting for Bekele Gerba, February 13, 2018

The protest movement playing out in Ethiopia is one of the most consequential conflicts on the African continent – more than any other, it has the potential to upend US policy in the Horn of Africa. It could disrupt counterterrorism efforts in Somalia and reduce the number of peacekeeping troops in South Sudan. But alarmingly, it has barely registered in Washington policy discussions or in the American press.

Ethiopia’s Oromo population is celebrating a victory today that is probably unprecedented in African history. Without extensive violence or bloodshed, and while almost all of its leading voices languished in jail, a grassroots protest movement has managed to force one of the most powerful regimes in Africa to surrender to its demands. As an organized strike involving tens of thousands of Oromo youths drew closer to the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopian authorities agreed to release a host of important political prisoners, including Bekele Gerba, a compelling activist whose release from prison the government has fiercely resisted. (Just the week before, Bekele had been sentenced to an additional half-year behind bars, for the crime of singing a protest song in front a judge.)

In honor of Bekele Gerba’s release, the Oromo strikes were suspended, and the crowds in the street turned jubilant. Then, on February 14, authorities stunned and delighted the protestors further by releasing other extremely prominent dissidents (including among others the blogger Eskindir Nega, opposition leader Andualem Aragie, former Gambella Governor Okello Akway, and the Muslim religious freedom activist Ahmedin Jebel), some of whom had been imprisoned on “terrorism” charges for years.

ETWEET1

Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalagn had promised the release of a large number of political prisoners in early January, and did later release a number of political activists, including opposition leader Merera Gudina. Government officials claimed at the time that the move was intended to widen the political space and foster a genuine dialogue with the political opposition and with the ethnic-based protest movements. But skeptics (including the majority of protestors) saw the move as largely symbolic, and perhaps even calculated to sow discord within the opposition, as some individuals were released and not others, and particularly as the most influential figures remained behind bars.

After the events of February 13 and 14, however, there can be little doubt about the seriousness of the Ethiopian authorities. The severity and persistence of the protest movements have clearly become an existential threat to the regime, and the need to diffuse the protests’ momentum is imperative enough, apparently, to overcome differences of opinion between the so-called “moderate” and “hardliner” factions with the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is the most powerful faction with the ruling party.

The TPLF’s alarm is well-founded; the only question is whether its belated concessions to the protestors, after years of growing unrest, may be too little, too late. Anger at the perceived economic and political dominance of the small Tigrean ethnic faction is a moving force behind the protests, and the threat of a genocide or other targeted ethnic violence against Tigrean individuals appears to be escalating. Fearful Tigrean citizens have reportedly relocated in large numbers from the Amhara and Oromo regions of the country, and attacks on Tigreans (a rarity in the past) are reported. At the same time, violent clashes between other ethnic groups, particularly the Oromo and Somalis, have dramatically increased. Tensions are high across the board; the protestors are flush with victory; and the newly-released scores of political dissidents may vie for prominence. Is there any chance of the protests subsiding?

Probably not, though it is surely the TPLF’s hope that Bekele Gerba, Ahmedin Jebel, Eskindir Nega and their colleagues will prove to be wise and moderating voices in the coming dialogue. They have in the past not only been decisively less radical, but have been firmly committed to non-violence – unlike the radio and social media personalities, some of the based in the diaspora, that have risen to prominence in their absence and are now driving the opposition discourse in real time.

ETWEET2.1

Having achieved so much through protest, it is unlikely that the Ethiopian people will accept half-hearted reforms. Speculation is rampant, for example, that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalagn – who is not Tigrean but is widely regarded as an instrument of the TPLF elite – will be replaced with an Oromo at the ruling party’s upcoming conference in three weeks’ time. (Lema Megersa, president of the Oromia Regional State, is a prime focus of this speculation.) These rumors are mere speculation, but have taken on the force of expectation, and disappointment could easily lead to another round of protests. Another round of civilian deaths at the hands of Ethiopian security forces, or the declaration of another state of emergency, could have the same effect. Next time, the Ethiopian government’s concessions may not be enough to halt the protests. If dialogue fails, and the security forces are unleashed, the resulting conflict will be bloody and awful – and will certainly not succeed in ending the uprising.

ETWEET3.1

Implications for US Policy

Washington, of course, has every incentive to avoid such a scenario.

The United States has much at stake in Ethiopia, whose troops and cooperation have been essential to Washington’s efforts to stabilize Somalia and South Sudan. American strategy in the Horn of Africa is deeply flawed and is demonstrably failing to achieve its objectives (as the situation in both countries continues to deteriorate). But no alternative policy proposals are on table, and a sudden collapse of Ethiopian capacity to support American policies with African boots on the ground would be catastrophic. The African Union mission in Somalia, already on its last legs, would probably not survive a sudden and wholesale withdrawal of Ethiopian forces – and countless civilian lives in Southern Sudan would be endangered. A disordered Ethiopia is of course more vulnerable to incursions by the al Qaeda-linked Somali terror group, al Shabaab, which has already managed to establish a vibrant offshoot in Kenya amid similar social conditions (a large population of unemployed youths, a disenfranchised and villified Muslim population, and rampant police brutality).

Unfortunately, few countries are more poorly positioned than the United States to play a constructive role in Ethiopia’s future. This stems from Washington’s long history of providing budgetary support to the Ethiopia’s ruling party, the close cooperation between the two countries’ military and intelligence services, and the long-standing refusal of American officials to criticize the human rights record of the regime or to challenge the imprisonment of thousands of civilians.

Washington’s silence on Ethiopia’s deteriorating human rights and security situation is a result of many factors. First and foremost, of course, the Ethiopian regime has served as Washington’s indispensable partner in the “war on terrorism” since the early 2000s. Second, the former prime minister and architect of the ruling party, Meles Zenawi, cultivated warm personal friendships with senior American policymakers who subsequently championed the regime and shield it from public criticism. Third, as is the case in Rwanda, Western policymakers paraded Ethiopia as an “African success story” as a means of facilitating continued aid and investment to the continent, and drawing attention to the human rights narrative was inconvenient. Fourth – and not least important – public criticism of the Ethiopian regime was found by American diplomats not to work very well: over the years it has resulted in numerous journalists, diplomats and American non-governmental organizations being expelled from Ethiopia over the years, without causing a whiff of improvement in the regime’s conduct. And Ethiopia’s ability to restrict access to the African Union (AU headquarters are located in Addis) has led many otherwise reputable analysts and journalists to practice self-censorship. Ethiopia has also proved very willing to retaliate against diplomatic pressure by holding American security interests hostage: in September 2017, for example, when the House Subcommittee on African Affairs attempted to pass a resolution drawing attention to Ethiopia’s human rights abuses, Ethiopia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Girma Birru, visited the Subcommittee members and threatened to withhold counterterror cooperation in Somalia. Faced with this threat, the Subcommittee immediately abandoned the resolution. (The Subcommittee threatened yesterday to bring the resolution to the floor for a vote on February 28, unless the Ethiopian government gives UN investigatory teams access to the country.)

The most credible voices among the protest movement have already condemned US inaction, and would not consent to a dialogue with US officials – indeed, they argue that engaging with Washington would erode their credibility, and they are probably right. Washington can of course attempt to pressure or persuade the TPLF to undertake credible and meaningful reforms – but Washington’s chequered diplomatic history with Addis suggests that such efforts are unlikely to bear fruit. It is also unclear what reforms would appease the public: while there have been calls for Ethiopian security forces to leave the Oromo and Amhara and other regions (including the Somali or “Ogaden” zone), absolutely no one is demanding fresh elections (which have historically been heavily rigged) or other staple democratic measures to restore the peace.

The next month, and days, will be decisive. The Ethiopian regime will either commit to its current course and expand on its commitment to reform, signaling this commitment perhaps by offering the prime ministership to an Oromo leader. Or it will double down on its previous course, and declare a state of emergency. But this would be a deadly decision, as a new state of emergency would surely be regarded by opposition leaders and the protestors as a declaration of war.

Ethiopia’s only hope for peace is a series of rapid and sincere concessions by the TPLF elite, which must certainly involve a meaningful redistribution of political and economic power. The Ethiopian public has tasted its power, and one way or another, the status quo will not survive.

Bronwyn Bruton is deputy director and director of programs and studies in the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. Follow her on Twitter @BronwynBruton.


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Ethiopia: #OromoProtests: Oromia state rocked by protests. Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba freed. February 13, 2018

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Mass protests force Ethiopia to free opposition leader.- The Guardian.

OromiaStrikes

Oromia state rocked by protests and killings amid a 3-day market boycott, OP News


Ethiopia’s Oromia region at standstill as 3-day social shutdown kicks off, Africa News

OMN: Lagannaa Gabaa guyyaa 1ffaa (Gur 12, 2017)

 

Wantii Hundumtuu Uummata Keenyaan Ta’e, Guddaa Galatomaa. Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa


Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba freed.

 

 

 


Ethiopia frees Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba

(OPride) — Ethiopia on Tuesday released prominent Oromo opposition leader Bekele Gerba and six of his Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) colleagues from prison.

Authorities dropped all charges against the freed leaders, a day after a #OromiaStrikes blocked roads and staged rallies bringing the restive Oromia state to a standstill. The news of Bekele’s release was welcomed with warm and spontaneous celebrations across the country.

Bekele, secretary-general of OFC, was arrested in December 2015 at the height of the three-year long Oromo protests. He was initially charged terrorism but his charges were later reduced to criminal offenses for allegedly inciting violence.

“He just walked out of prison. We have confirmed that all charges against him have been dropped,” Mulatu Gemechu, a member of the OFC’s leadership told Reuters.

The other six OFC leaders released today are Gurmessa Ayano, Addisu Bulala, Dajane Xafa, Getu Garuma, Tesfaye Liban and Beyene Ruda.

The move is a response to deepening protests demanding Bekele’s release and part of a promise Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn made last month to build national consensus and widen the democratic space.

 

Ethiopia frees Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba

Mohammed Ademo

 @OPride

Ethiopia on Tuesday released prominent Oromo leader Bekele Gerba and six of his Oromo Federalist Congress colleagues from prison and dropped all charges against them, a day after #OromiaStrikes blocked roads and staged rallies across the state.

  1. Bekele Gerba and his colleagues pose for photo shortly after their release from prison earlier today. They’ve been in jail since December 2015. Text on their shirts reads: “Our land is our bone. We won’t be displaced.” A slogan that has been the battle cry of the .

    View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
  2. Breaking: Prominent Oromo opposition leader @BekeleGerba and 6 of his comrades released from prison this morning. They should not have been in jail in the first place but relieved that Bekele can now access critical medical care. Their freedom is welcome. Critical reforms needed.

  3. Fantastic news to hear reports that Bekele Gerba and his colleagues were released today! Their detention encapsulated the many things that are wrong with ’s judiciary. Hoping Bekele can continue his work with OFC without further arrest or threats/harassment from the govt

  4. Bekele Gerba et al’s release is a victory for and the Oromo people as a whole. His release came on the second day of a statewide in the form of market boycott, which has brought the restive Oromia state to a standstill. https://www.opride.com/2018/02/13/ethiopia-oromia-state-rocked-protests-killings-amid-3-day-market-boycott/ 

  5. To afford Bekele and his colleagues a heroic welcome and in recognition of today’s victory, Oromo activists are expected to call for the suspension of on its 3rd and final day tomorrow. A huge devt. as credible sources warn of plans for re-imposition of martial law.

  6. The third day has been suspended in reaction to release of Bekele Gerba and his comrades. The third day will be dedicated to welcoming heroes and cleaning street.

  7. Here are the heroes! Lafti keenya lafee keenya, hin buqqaanu!!

    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
  8. Shashemene erupts upon hearing release of Bekele Gerba and comrades

    View image on Twitter
  9. Ambo erupts in celebration of victory

    View image on Twitter
  10. What a victory for those youth who relentlessly pursued justice against incredible odds!

    Whats more inspiring than this?

  11. Bekele Gerba, Gurmessa Ayano, Addisu Bulala, Dajane Xafa, Getu Garuma, Tesfaye Liban & Beyene Ruda

  12. This generation of enlightened Oromo youth/Qeerroo are game changers; change makers. free from prison, among others. Freedom is on the horizon 2018.

    View image on Twitter
  13. The protesters that I saw with my own eyes weren’t violent in any way.

    They had clear demands.

    -The end of dictatorship.
    -The immediate release of political prisoners.
    -The cry to end poverty and systemic economic disfranchisement.

  14. Bekele Gerba released from prison amid protests. Hopeful releases will mark a new chapter in Ethiopian politics https://reut.rs/2Hd5br2 

  15. Amazing news this morning. We learn of the release of Bekele Gerba along with his colleagues. Hoping he can continue to work with OFC and his greater people without the fear of being reincarnated, threatened, and harassed by the government.

  16. : The release of Bekele Gerba and six others is great news! Now, this should lead to the unconditional and immediate release of all prisoners of conscience imprisoned for peacefully voicing their dissent with the Ethiopian government.

    View image on Twitter
  17. Bekele Gerba and seven other prisoners of conscience are released from jail. Releasing innocent individuals who should not have been jailed in the first place should not be seen as a favour doled out to them. The government should go further & release all political prisoners.

  18. It will be interesting to watch how OPDO leaders react as their base erodes little by little. Bekele Gerba is a force of nature and has a lot of appeal to a wide base.

  19. Congrats to () organizers and protesters for the release of and other political prisoners. The government is forced to release them because of your consistent works. Thank you!

  20. We are happy to hear the release of opposition figure, Bekele Gerba, who was illegally arrested, prosecuted and harassed for his fight for human right respect and freedom. We well come his release & fight for the cause he was arrested. Congratulations for his family & friends.

    View image on Twitter

 



Ibsa lagannaa gabaa Oromiyaa yeroodhaaf dhaabuu ilaalchisee kenname


Hoggantoota KFO 7 injifannoon erga hiiksiseen booda Qeerroofi Qarreen haala laguun kun itti deemu malu xiinxaleera.
Xinxala kanarratti hundaayuun laguun guyyaa boruu (roobii) akka dhaabbatuufi guyyaa hafte kana hoggantoota injifannoon hidhaa bayan simachuuf, daandii fi magaalota sochiin guyyoota lamaan darbe keessatti ta’e mara qulqulleessuuf akka oolu murteesseera.
Qindeessitionni Qeerroo diddaafi lagannaa gabaa namusa cululuqaafi injifannoo addaan xumurame kanaarratti lammiilee hirmaatan maraaf kabajaa fi dinqisiifanno guddaa akka qabu ibsuu barbaada.

Bilusummaan Uummata Oromoof, Bilisummaan uummattoota Itoophiyaa maraaf.

Qeerroo Oromiyaa

Guraandhala. 13, 2018

 

#HammarreessaaMassacre: Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) Agazi forces conducted another barbaric mass killings against internally displaced Oromo people at Hammareessaa (Hameressa) camp, Eastern Oromia February 12, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistFascist ethiopian regime (TPLF) Agazi forces conducted another barbaric mass killings  at  Hammaaressaa, ternally displaced people  camp in Eastern Oromia.png Fascist TPLF’s Agazi forces conducted another mass killings in Hameressa IDP camp.

Ethiopia army accused of deadly attack on IDP camp in Oromia, Africa News.

Another massacre by TPLF’s Agazi in Hameressa refugee camp Oromia/Ethiopia.

OMN: Oduu Amma Nu Gahe – Ajjeechaa Hammarreessaa (LIVE) Gur 11, 2018

 

 

Congressman Mike Coffman scores ‘hero status’ with local Ethiopians for work on African human rights abuses – Aurora Sentinel February 10, 2018

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Coffman scores ‘hero status’ with local Ethiopians for work on African human rights abuses

“This has pretty much elevated Congressman Coffman to hero status,” said Neb Asfaw, an organizer for the Ethiopian community

By KARA MASON, Aurora Sentinel, 8 February 2018

Ethiopia Politicians FreedSupporters of opposition leader Merara Gudina, wait for his release, in Burayu, Ethiopia, Wednesday, Jan. 17 2018. Ethiopia’s top opposition figure and hundreds of others were released from prison on Wednesday as part of the government’s recent pledge to free detained politicians and “widen the democratic space for all” after the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century. Gudina led the Oromo Federalist Congress party and was arrested a year ago under the country’s state of emergency after he returned from Europe, where he had briefed European lawmakers on widespread and sometimes deadly anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Elias Meseret)


AURORA | The Ethiopian community in Aurora — the largest foreign born population in the city — is praising Congressman Mike Coffman for his work to ensure the Ethiopian government improves its human rights record.

“We hear about these violations on a daily basis now,” said Yoseph Tafari, chairman and co-founder of the Ethiopian American Civil Council. Tafari said of the more recent troubling incidents was in late January where at least seven people were gunned down by government forces for anti-government chants outside a religious celebration in the northern region of the country.

Last week, Coffman invited Tafari and the Ethiopian delegation from Aurora to Washington for a round of negotiations, which Tafari said was successful, especially as the Ethiopian government paid a lobbyist a monthly salary of $150,000 for a year to ultimately defeat a resolution Coffman is carrying that condemns the Ethiopian government for its human rights record.

Coffman is an original co-sponsor of the resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ.

“The Ethiopian Human Rights Council reported 102 deaths by April 2016 and Human Rights Watch subsequently reported that the Ethiopian security forces had killed between 500 and 800 peaceful protesters in the Oromia and Amhara regions by November 2016, and the number is likely higher,” the resolution said.

The resolution, which now has 77 co-sponsors in the House, has been temporarily put on hold as the Ethiopian government has until Feb. 28 to decide whether to let observers from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights into the country.

If the government decides against the option, the resolution will move onto the House floor. It was scheduled for a vote in October, but was delayed after the Ethiopian government threatened to end security cooperation with the U.S. if the resolution was heard on the House floor.

“In a sign of willingness to work with the Ethiopian government and to get the Ethiopian government to release political prisoners, the Majority Leader cancelled the already scheduled vote,” said a news release from Coffman’s office last fall.

The resolution calls on the Ethiopian government to “end the use of excessive force by security forces,” conduct an investigation into killings and excessive force, release political prisoners, guarantee the freedom of the press, and allow the UN to do its own investigation.

Tafari said he felt it was a major indicator that Ethiopia is afraid of the U.S. taking action against the country after hiring a lobbyist to handle the resolution. According to justice department documents, the lobbyist was paid $1.8 million for a year’s worth of work in Washington.

“We need to deal with this one way or another,” Tafari said. “In one sense here is a government that has a sector of the population that doesn’t even have food, but they’re spending $2 million to prevent a resolution from passing through the U.S. Congress. And it’s the taxpayers’ money. They’re clinging to U.S. money (for aide).”

While Coffman is urging the Ethiopian government to do more, there has been some positive progress recently.

“While (the) Ethiopian government’s announcement that it’s releasing political prisoners and closing down one of its torture camps, is a step in the right direction— all human rights violations by the Ethiopian government must come to an end,” Coffman said last month. “The Ethiopian government has engaged in terrorists acts against its own people and such behavior is unacceptable and I will continue, as I have, to make sure that the United States holds the Ethiopian government responsible for all of its promises in respecting the human rights of all of the Ethiopian people.”

Nearly 3,000 Ethiopians call Aurora home, according to the city. And they’ve been paying special attention to the resolution.

“This has pretty much elevated Congressman Coffman to hero status,” said Neb Asfaw, an organizer for the Ethiopian community.

Tafari echoed Asfaw’s comment, saying that for a Democratic-leaning group the Ethiopian community is very fond of Coffman, particularly for how he’s approached issues important to the community, such as the human rights of their home country.

Asfaw said it’s a common conversation throughout the Ethiopian community that if the GOP as a whole approached minorities the way Coffman has, they’d have even more success and support from those communities.

For Asfaw, whatever happens on the resolution —the Ethiopian government allowing for the UN to observe or the resolution reaching the floor — is progress.

“It is extremely positive, the fact that the government drew a line in the sand to make sure that the bill would not pass majority leader’s office and go to to the floor for a vote (is substantial),” he said. “It’s a small step forward either way, we’ve been waiting for a long time. For Congress to look at this and make a demand for better human rights when they (Ethiopia) is considered an ally is a major shift of policy and it’s welcome by many Ethiopians from Aurora and across the country.”

Oromia: Athletc Nation Report: Oromo athlete Genzebe Dibaba clocks second fastest indoor 1500m of all-time to top five world leads in Karlsruhe February 5, 2018

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Living up to her meeting poster girl billing, Genzebe Dibaba powered to the second fastest indoor 1500m of all time to highlight the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe on Saturday (3), the opening leg of the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Tour.

The Ethiopian’s sensational 3:57.45 run was one of five world leading performances to play out before a vociferous sell-out crowd of 4,500 at the Messe Halle Karlsruhe, but the only one likely to remain atop the world lists, unless Dibaba herself decides to attack it later this season.

Clearly, Dibaba likes to race in Karlsruhe. The Ethiopian set the 3:55.17 world indoor record at this meeting four years ago on the nearby Europahalle track. She clocked 4:00.13 two years prior to that, which is, after this evening, the 10th fastest run of all-time.

On this return engagement, she looked like the Dibaba of 2014, attacking her world standard from the gun. She looked eager early on, testing her patience behind the pacesetter Nelly Jepkosgei, who opened with a 1:01.16 opening 400m. That was well inside the 62.5 in Dibaba’s world record run, but too quick for Jepkosgei, who struggled in the waning stages of her 800-metre assignment. The tempo not to her liking, Dibaba forged ahead to go it alone, passing the 800m mark in 2:07.52, a second-and-a-half faster than four years ago.

Unrelenting, her record assault intentions, mere whispers prior to the race, were clear by 1100m. Here the clock read 3:10.57, almost identical to the 3:10.5 en route to her record. Forging on, she finally ran out of steam midway through the final bend, but still managed to finish well under the formidable indoor four-minute barrier for the third time. No other woman can claim that achievement.

While Dibaba went for broke from the outset, the race for second was a contest of patience. Kenyans Beatrice Chepkoech and Winny Chebet tried to maintain for the first 800 metres, but quick paid for those ambitions, both falling back over the next two laps. That played well into the hands of Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who often prefers to run alone. Passing the Kenyan duo, the German, who will celebrate her 21st birthday on 18 February, pushed on to eventually reach the line in 4:04.00, a personal best.

Chepkoech was third in 4:08.33 and Chebet fourth clocking 4:09.45.

NELVIS IMPROVES TO 7.80

While Dibaba was the meeting’s main global attraction, that role’s national counterpart was played by Pamela Dutkiewicz, whose star has risen considerably since she took world 100m hurdles bronze last summer in London. But Sharika Nelvis of the US rained on that parade after she emerged victorious in a blanket finish in the 60m hurdles, clocking 7.80, another world lead and nabbing ten World Indoor Tour points.

IAAF


 

Activists pushed for passage of Ethiopian Human Rights bill in the US Congress February 5, 2018

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Bekele Gerba, a university Professor & one of the prominent political prisoners is in a critical condition denied of medical care in #Ethiopia. #MedicalCare4BekeleGerba #FreeBekeleGerba #OromoProtests @ScholarsAtRisk February 1, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Free Bekele Gerba and all political prisonners in Ethiopia


Bekele Gerba, a university Professor & one of the prominent political prisoners is in a critical condition denied of medical care in Ethiopia. #MedicalCare4BekeleGerba #FreeBekeleGerba #OromoProtests @ScholarsAtRisk

NEWS: IMPRISONED OPPOSITION LEADER BEKELE GERBA RISKS LOSING LEFT EYE VISION, HIS DISTRAUGHT DAUGHTER SAYS    

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa Wal’ansa Fayyaa Dhabuun Nu Gaddisiisa: Maatii, VOA Afaan Oromoo

አቶ በቀለ ገርባ ግራ ዐይናቸው መጎዳቱን ልጃቸው ቦንቱ በቀለ ገለፀች. VOA


#MedicalCare4BekeleGerba: Activists launch online campaign amid jailed leader’s deteriorating health,  OPride 


Ethiopian activists on Thursday launched an online campaign demanding the release of and immediate medical treatment for jailed Oromo opposition leader, Bekele Gerba. The campaign is themed, “Bekele Gerba’s eye is our eye. He won’t lose his sight while we watch idly.”

Bekele, the deputy chairperson of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), is at risk of losing his eyesight due to hypertension and other health issues. The Qilinto prison administration, where he has been held since December 2015 accused, among other things, of inciting the #OromoProtests, have refused to allow Bekele to seek medical treatment at a local private clinic despite a referral from government hospital in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Bekele, a champion of nonviolent movement and who during previous prison term translated Martin Luther King’s speeches to Afaan Oromo, was widely expected to be released as part of government amnesty announced last month. However, so far, authorities have remained tight-lipped about whether his release and the release of other prominent political prisoners is forthcoming. Merera Gudina, the chairperson of OFC, was released 12 days ago.

“The doctors told us Bekele needs specialized doctors to treat his retinal blood vessels which are severely damaged due to a high blood pressure he has been experiencing since his detention, which has not been treated,” his distraught daughter, Bontu, told Addis Standard on Thursday. “We don’t know what is going to happen, my father’s left eye vision is completely blurred and he is in pain.”

At the last check-up, Bekele’s blood pressure reportedly came in at 190/110, which according to Addis Standard, “is considered hypertensive crisis or an emergency.” 

A quick timeline of Bekele’s ordeal:

  • Bekele was detained in December 2015 for allegedly inciting the popular Oromo protests.
  • Bekele was charged in April 2016 along with 21 defendants that included defendants Dejene Fita Geleta, Secretary General of OFC, and Gurmesa Ayano, another senior member, with various articles of the country’s sweeping Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.
  • A federal high court in July acquitted five of the 22 defendants, and reduced the terrorism charge against Bekele to crime charges under article 257/A of the 2004 Criminal Code.
  • In August, a panel of three judges at the Federal High Court denied Bekele’s request for bail.
  • On Oct. 30, 2017, the  Supreme Court overruled the high court decision and granted Bekele bail on appeal.
  • The court ordered Bekele’s release pursuant the posting of bail bond for 30, 000 birr (about $1, 000.)
  • On Oct. 31, the Qilinto prison administration refused to release Bekele claiming that the file number was incorrect.
  • On Nov. 1, the high instance court, also known as cassaction bench, suspended the bail. Bekele was asked to file a response.


Ethiopia is following the path of failed states in the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East January 31, 2018

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Ethiopia is following the path of failed states in the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East.

Ethiopia faces a high risk of failure due to continued political and social instability in the country, the Fund for Peace reported in its Fragile States Index Annual Report 2017.

Over the past few years, months, weeks and days, security officers have killed anti-government protesters, resulting in more anti-government protests. The latest point in this vicious cycle occurred on January 20 when Ethiopian security forces shot and killed at least seven protesters. According to news reports, the protesters were celebrating a religious festival. Then they started chanting anti-government slogans and hurling stones at security officers, who responded by firing bullets.

Reports say the weekend clash was followed by a week of more violent clashes, which resulted in the death of at least 20 civilians.

Much of this bloodshed in Ethiopia is based on ethnic differences and territorial disputes between ethnic regions within the nation.

“Limited attention has been given to outbreaks of violence in Ethiopia, as anti-government protests, particularly in the Amhara and Oromia regions, led to a declaration of a [10-month] state of emergency in October 2016,” the Fund for Peace wrote in its report. “The state of emergency was also used as a tool to crack down on political opponents and media.”

Activists say that more than 700 Oromia residents were killed when security officers clashed with people from the Oromo ethnic group during a thanksgiving festival in October 2016. A similar incident happened in October last year when security forces killed about 10 people who were protesting food shortages. In December, military officials reportedly killed 15 protesters in Oromia.

“Ethiopia’s overall Fragile States Index (fsi) score has been incrementally worsening over the past decade, moving from 95.3 in 2007, to a score of 101.1 in [last] year’s 2017 index, with Ethiopia—along with Mexico—being the most-worsened country over [2016],” wrote the Fund for Peace. Foreign Policy wrote on January 11 that “Ethiopia Is Falling Apart.”  Click here to read more….


 

Why GDP growth is totally wrong as a measure of economic and social success January 28, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

 

5 ways GDP gets it totally wrong as a measure of our success,  by  David Pilling, World Economic Forum 

GDP is flummoxed by the Internet. Wikipedia provides all human knowledge free of charge, but in GDP terms, it is worth zilch

GDP is flummoxed by the Internet. Wikipedia provides all human knowledge free of charge, but in GDP terms, it is worth zilch

Image: REUTERS/Gary Cameron


The beauty of gross domestic product is its single figure. It squishes all of human activity into a couple of digits, like a frog jammed into a matchbox. As this image of an unfortunate amphibian suggests, this condensing is also GDP’s flaw. How can the sum total of everything we do as human beings be so compacted? How can our activity be conflated with something as complex, nuanced and contested as our wellbeing?

GDP’s inventor Simon Kuznets was adamant that his measure had nothing to do with wellbeing. But too often we confuse the two. For seven decades, gross domestic product has been the global elite’s go-to number. Fast growth, as measured by GDP, has been considered a mark of success in its own right, rather than as a means to an end, no matter how the fruits of that growth are invested or shared. If something has to be sacrificed to get GDP growth moving, whether it be clean air, public services, or equality of opportunity, then so be it.

GDP is how we rank countries and judge their performance. It is the denominator of choice. It determines how much a country can borrow and at what rate. But GDP is well past its sell-by date, as people are starting to realise. However brilliant the concept, a measure that was invented in the manufacturing age as a means of fighting the Depression is becoming less and less capable of imparting sensible signals about complex modern economies.

Pointing out the defects of GDP and even tentatively suggesting alternatives is no longer controversial. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy commissioned a panel led by Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel economist, to examine the issue. It was creating a dangerous “gulf of incomprehension”, Sarkozy said, between experts sure of their knowledge and citizens “whose experience of life is completely out of sync with the story told by the data”.

What is so gross about gross domestic product?

GDP is a gross number. It is the sum total of everything we produce over a given period. It includes cars built, Beethoven symphonies played and broadband connections made. But it also counts plastic waste bobbing in the ocean, burglar alarms and petrol consumed while stuck in traffic.

Kuznets was uneasy about a measure that treated all production equally. He wanted to subtract, rather than add, things he considered detrimental to human wellbeing, such as arms, financial speculation and advertising. You may disagree with his priorities. The point is that GDP makes no distinction. From the perspective of global GDP, Kim Jong-un’s nuclear warheads do just as well as hospital beds or apple pie.

Is that all that’s wrong with GDP, then?

No. Don’t get me started. In a short article like this, there’s not enough time to go into everything. But here are a few points, all of which are covered in much greater detail in my book, The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty and the Well-Being of Nations.

GDP is born of the manufacturing age. It measures “things you can drop on your foot”. Yet in advanced economies such as the US, up to 80% of production is in the service industry. GDP doesn’t do services – at least not very well. It is good at quantity, but lousy at quality. If the food or service improves in your local restaurant, GDP will not notice. Ditto, if an airline’s safety record improves. In fact, GDP might prefer a plane crash – so that it can build a new plane.

GDP is flummoxed by the Internet. If I buy my own cheap airline ticket, check myself in online and pick my own aisle seat, my convenience has gone up. But GDP has gone down. I am my own travel agent, a job that would once have been performed by a fully paid-up GDP-producing employee. Wikipedia provides all human knowledge free of charge. In GDP terms, it is worth zilch.

GDP deals in aggregates; GDP per capita in averages. In an age where a huge cause of social dislocation is inequality, GDP has nothing to say about distribution. Averages are misleading. Medians are better than means. A rise in average GDP could actually be retrograde, if it leaves 99% of people resentful at how the 1% is making good.

From GDP’s perspective, bigger is always better. In the real world, that is not always so. When the financial sector got bigger and bigger, it ended in financial crisis. When the US health service gets bigger and bigger, it means costs are out of control.

In general, GDP measures only cash transactions. In Europe that includes heroin and prostitution. However, volunteer work, housework or looking after an ageing relative count for nothing. GDP has skewed priorities.

In poor countries, the informal sector is practically invisible to GDP. Yet in much of the world, the informal economy counts for most. Monitoring economic activity from space, through satellite images of nightlights, might be more accurate than on-the-ground GDP, academic studies have found.

Is GDP really such a bad measure of wealth?

GDP is not a measure of “wealth” at all. It is a measure of income. It is a backward-looking “flow” measure that tells you the value of goods and services produced in a given period in the past. It tells you nothing about whether you can produce the same amount again next year. For that, you need a balance sheet – a measure of wealth. Companies have balance sheets as well as income statements. Nations don’t.

When Nigeria was busy selling high-priced oil to the world before the price crash, its GDP was soaring. But its wealth was falling. Oil deposits were used up, but cash was not reinvested in human, physical and technological capacities to ensure future income. Only wealth accounts could have drawn attention to that.

In January, the World Bank will release a groundbreaking study of comprehensive wealth for 141 countries between 1994 and 2014. It is well worth a read.

Should GDP be dethroned?

Yes. GDP is an ingenious measure. It tells us something. It should definitely not be scrapped – it is still far too valuable a policy tool for that. And GDP growth can provide the wherewithal for the other things we want in life: health, education, security, opportunity, goods.

But we need to pay more attention to other measures to complete the picture, some of which already exist and some of which we may have to invent. Measures of wealth, equality, leisure, wellbeing and net domestic product, adjusted for negatives like pollution, are places to start.

Everyone will have their favourite data point. One of mine is hours of sleep, which might be a proxy for work-life balance or stress. The number of hours of sleep in the US has been steadily declining from about eight hours in 1940 to 6.8 hours today. Now that’s a statistic I know how to act on.

Oromia: Ambo People gives Professor Merera Gudina Hero’s Welcome. Ambotti Simannaa Prof. Mararaaf Godhame January 28, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistDistinguished Political Science Professor Dr. Merera Gudina, renowed Oromo Scholar and Human rRights Advocator

January 28/2018

Today hundreds of thousands of people from Ambo, a city 125 km west of Addis Abeba, and its environs came to welcome veteran opposition party leader Dr. Merera Gudina. 

 Dr. Merera, chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)  was released from prison last week after spending more than a year a prison. 

Since then, he has been busy receiving jubilant supporters from all walks of life.

 

But today, he went to his birth place, where he enjoys a massive support

 His supporters came in droves from every vicinity of the city of Ambo

The program at the Ambo stadium lasted only few minutes

And Dr. Merera used the time to thank the people and the police for peacefully coordinating the massive turnout to welcome him


Related article: Ethiopia’s Oromo leader meets German envoy over political developments, click here to read at African News

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) forces suppressing new protests in Amhara: gunfire, deaths reported January 25, 2018

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Ethiopia army suppressing new protests in Amhara: gunfire, deaths reported

ETHIOPIA

Local media portals are reporting violent protests in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region. The protest in the town of Kobo is against an earlier deadly crackdown that killed seven people in the town of Woldiya last Sunday.

The Addis Standard and Addis Gazetta portals report that the clashes started on Wednesday leading to the burning of government offices and other public properties.

The heavy military presence in the region and the sound of gunshots suggest that live bullets are being discharged. There are no official casualties reported from the incident even though journalists said three people have been killed.

Public protest and deadly crackdown undergoing in Kobbo, north east of Amhara, undergoing. Reports are coming out that Fed forces are using live ammunition against unarmed protestors.

The earlier protest which resulted in the Kobo round of protests was in Woldiya during the Epiphany celebrations, according to the United Nations human rights office, the military fired live bullets to prevent young people from chanting anti-government slogans.

Seven people are said to have died whiles dozens got injured in the ensuing clashes. Kobo is located about 50 km from Woldiya.

-Some reports indicate that there have been civilian deaths during protests that began yesterday in town, northern Wollo zone of the regional state. The incident follows the weekend killing of civilians in , 50 km from Kobo. pic.twitter.com/tLbpq7ZlPN

This pictures were posted on @addisgazetta and reportedly show the aftermath of the protests in , denouncing the killing . Also, according to journalist @Belay_Ma, “government offices were burnt”, “shops [are] closed” and “gunfire [can[ still be heard in the town.” pic.twitter.com/2uQoVW2WB0

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Amhara along with Oromia region were the main centers of anti-government protest that shook the country in 2015 and through the better part of 2016.

To quell the violent protests, Addis Ababa imposed a nationwide state-of-emergency in October 2016. The measure was lifted in August 2017. Parts of the country have been rocked by deadly protests since the measure was lifted.


Related from Oromian Economist sources:-

Uprising in Kobo, regime forces are using military helicopters


BBC: ስማቸው እንዲጠቀስ ያልፈለጉ የቆቦ ከተማ ቀበሌ 01 ነዋሪ፤ ከትናንት ጀምሮ በነበረው ግጭት አንድ ታዳጊን ጨምሮ በርካቶች መገደላቸውን ለቢቢሲ ተናግረዋል።

የሟቾችን ቁጥር በተመለከተ ያገኘናቸው መረጃዎች የተለያዩ ሲሆኑ ከሆስፒታል ምንጮች ለማረጋገጥ ያደረግነው ጥረት አልተሳካም።

እንደ ነዋሪዎች ከሆነ ግን ቢያንስ ሶስት እና ከዚያ በላይ ሰዎች ተገድለዋል። በጸጥታ ኃይል አባላት ላይም ጉዳት መድረሱን ነዋሪዎች ጨምረው ተናግረዋል።

ያነጋገርናቸው ሌላኛው የቆቦ ነዋሪ የግጭቱን መነሻ ሲያስረዱ፤ ”በወልዲያ ከተማ የተፈጸመው ግድያ ቆቦ ውስጥ ከፍተኛ ውጥረትን ፈጥሮ ነበር። ይህ በእንዲህ እያለ ንብረታችን ሊዘረፍ ወይም ሊወድምብን ይችላል ብለው የሰጉ ሰዎች ንግድ ቤቶቻቸውን በመዝጋት ንብረት ለማሸሽ ሞክረው ነበር። አንዳንድ ወጣቶችም ‘እዚህ ምንም ሳይፈጠር እንዴት ይህን ታደርጋላችሁ’ ብለው መጠየቃቸውን ተከትሎ ግርግር ተፈጠረ ከዚያም ወደ ግጭት አመራ” ሲሉ ያስረዳሉ።

በከተማዋ ተቃውሞ የተጀመረው ትናንት ከቀኑ 8 ሰዓት ጀምሮ እንደነበር እና ተቃውሞው ወደ ግጭት ተሸጋግሮ የንግድ ቤቶችን እና የመንግሥት መስሪያ ቤቶችን ማቃጠል የተጀመረው ግን 10 ሰዓት አካባቢ መሆኑን ከከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች መረዳት ችለናል።

ዛሬ ሐሙስ እሰከ ጠዋቱ 3 ሰዓት ድረስ ከተማዋ ምንም እንኳን ውጥረት ውስጥ ብትቆይም ግጭት አልነበረም የሚሉት ሌላው ነዋሪ ”ከ3 ሰዓት በኋላ ግን በርካታ ወጣቶች ዘለቀ እርሻ ልማት ወደሚባል ድርጅት በመሄድ በድርጅቱ ቅጥር ግቢ ውስጥ የነበሩ ትራክተሮችንና የእርሻ መሳሪያዎችን አወደሙ። ከዚህ በተጨማሪም የድረጅቱ ህንጻ ላይም ጉዳት ደርሷል” ሲሉ ያስረዳሉ።

እንደ ነዋሪዎቹ አባባል የእርሻ ድርጅቱ የጥቃቱ ኢላማ የሆነው ”ከአርሶ አደሩ በርካታ ሄክታር መሬት ተነጥቆ ለዘለቀ እርሻ ልማት ድርጅት ተሰጥቷል የሚል ቅሬታ በመኖሩ ነው” ሲሉ ተናግረዋል።

ከዘለቀ እርሻ ልማት ድርጅት በተጨማሪ ኪወ የእርሻ ልማት እና ባለቤትነቱ የሆላንዳውያን የሆነ ሌላ የእርሻ ልማት ድርጅቶች ላይ ጉዳት መድረሱን የኪወ እርሻ ልማት ባለቤት ለቢቢሲ ተናግረዋል


BBC:  ”ወንድሜን በአምስት ጥይት በሳስተው ነው የገደሉት”

በወልዲያ ከተማ በጥምቀት በዓል ማግስት የተከሰተውን ተቃውሞ ተከትሎ የፀጥታ ኃይሎች በወሰዱት እርምጃ በርካቶች ህይወታቸውን ማጣታቸው ይታወቃል።

መንግሥት የሟቾች ቁጥር ሰባት ነው ቢልም ያነጋገርናቸው የከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች ግን የሟቾችን እና የቁስለኞችን ቁጥር ከፍ ያደርጉታል።

ከከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች እንደሰማነው ከሟቾቹ መካከል አዛውንቶች እና እድሚያቸው በአስራዎቹ መጀመሪያ ላይ የሚገኙ ሁለት ታዳጊዎች ይገኙበታል።

ESAT: One of the thirteen people shot and killed by TPLF security forces on Epiphany day religious festival in Woldia, a town on a major transportation route in Northern Ethiopia, was shot five times.


VOA: በሞያሌ መከላከያ ፖሊስ አንድ ሰው ገድሎ ሦስት ማቁሰሉን የከተማው አስተዳደር አስታወቀ


UNPO: Ethiopia: HRLHA Calls for Genuine Solution to Crisis in Ethiopia January 25, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistUNPOHuman rights League of the Horn of Africa
 

Ethiopia: HRLHA Calls for Genuine Solution to Crisis in Ethiopia


Photo Courtesy of Andrew Heavens@Flickr

By  UNPO, Jan 23, 2018

On 21 January 2018, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) released an urgent action statement calling for more disclosure and action from Ethiopia’s government, in light of the recent release of political prisoners. Although praising the release of 115 federal inmates, including OFC Leader Dr. Merera Gudina, HRLHA views this as ‘picking a few individual grains out of a ton’. The government declared the release was to create a national consensus and widen the political space however, HRLHA states that this is not a likely result unless other more concrete measures are implemented. 

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has continued to deny the holding of political prisoners and the use of torture in centres such as Maikelawi detention centre, known as Ethiopia’s Guantanamo.

The situation is particularly severe in the Oromia Regional State, where political uprising has been met with military action and the region is under the complete control of the Federal Military Force ‘National Security Council’. Since this military takeover, many youth have been detained due to their participation in protests, an action that contradicts the government’s efforts to ‘create a national consensus’.

The HRLHA made a series of recommendations in this release calling for the government of Ethiopia to take steps towards full disclosure and transparency of the number of forcibly disappeared and political prisoners held in federal prisons, military camps and underground prisons. A recommendation for the government to invite all stakeholders to genuine and inclusive dialogue to promote a national consensus among Ethiopian citizens.

 

Read the urgent action statement from HRLHA here.

The entire document is also available in PDF format here: The Chronic, Political, Economical and Social Crisis in Ethiopia Needs A Genuine Solution

 

Ethiopia: Detention of Indigenous Leaders Continues January 25, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistOakland Institute

The Release of Ethiopian Political Prisoners: Stifled Voices amidst False Promises

  • “We must always remember the people outside of Addis, from marginalized communities, who are in jail for standing up and resisting government programs that took away their land.”

  • “Those who have been forgotten, whose voices are not being heard, and who are behind bars for speaking out on behalf of their people. People in Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, the Lower Omo Valley, and other places, who still remain invisible.”

For years, the Ethiopian government has denied that there are political prisoners in the country. This is despite its consistent use of the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle dissent and detain thousands of politicians, journalists, religious and indigenous leaders, and students.

“2015—Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at NY event on industrialization in Africa.”. On January 3, 2018 Prime Minister Desalegn announced that the government would release all Ethiopian political prisoners and close the notorious Maekelawi police station. Credit: UNIDO (CC BY-ND 2.0)
“2015—Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at NY event on industrialization in Africa.” On January 3, 2018 Prime Minister Desalegn announced that the government would release all Ethiopian political prisoners and close the notorious Maekelawi police station. Credit: UNIDO (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Thus, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s recent announcement that some political prisoners would be released, sparked a mixture of relief and confusion: relief that the government was finally acknowledging and releasing political prisoners in the country; and confusion over who would be freed, and what the announcement really meant.

Uncertainty Continues after Prime Minister Desalegn’s Announcement

“The government says it will close Maekelawi, but this closure doesn’t stop the current government from torturing people.”

This uncertainty has continued. A week after the announcement, prominent Ethiopian political prisoner Bekele Gerba was sentenced to an additional six months in jail for singing a protest song during his court proceedings. Gerba, the Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested in his home in December 2015, just months after spending four years in prison for meeting with Amnesty International researchers. Gerba was granted bail in October 30, 2017, but it was revoked two days later.

Then on January 15, it was announced that charges against 528 persons currently in detention would be dropped. Most of them, including prominent political prisoner Merera Gudina, appear to have been released on January 17.

Detention of Indigenous Leaders Continues

  • “The government says it will close Maekelawi, but this closure doesn’t stop the current government from torturing people. The torture that has taken place there was not only during the Derg, it’s under this regime too.”

However, this is not the time to celebrate given that thousands of others remain in jail. Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law and other draconian legislation like its civil society proclamation are still in place and widely used to intimidate and repress.

Most importantly, the repressive system is not just about barring political freedom; to a large extent, it is about ensuring the control of a minority over the resources of the country and the benefits of the economic development. Many political prisoners in Ethiopia are not just members of opposition political parties but ordinary citizens who oppose the grabbing of their land and natural resources by the government.

Many are members of indigenous communities such as the Anuak, Bodi, Mursi, and other marginalized groups who spoke up against land grabbing and for the rights of their people to decent livelihoods and life with dignity. Thousands are still being held by the regime in facilities across the country though the actual number is unknown given the general opacity surrounding such matters.

Closure of Maekelawi Prison Doesn’t Guarantee End of Torture

  • “There has been public resistance in Ethiopia, and I think this pressure made them release this statement. They want people to calm down. But what the people of Ethiopia need is freedom and absolute change in the political arena. They need something practical – not just theory and words. They need democracy, they need to have the right to use their land, they need their voices to be heard.”

“I hope they release my father, and that my family, and all the other families affected by this government, can finally come together again. I hope this will help heal the wounds of Ethiopia.”

We must also scrutinize the Prime Minister’s announcement to close the notorious Maekelawi police station. The government said this closure is because Maekelawi was used as a place of torture under the previous Derg regime, insinuating that torture no longer takes place there. But, as numerous studies have documented, torture is rampant at Maekelawi and prisons across Ethiopia and, as stated below by those who have suffered at the hands of this government, its closure does nothing to guarantee that these abuses will halt.

In the course of the Oakland Institute’s work on land rights and development issues in Ethiopia, we have met or come to know many of the victims of this repressive system. We reached out to several current and past Ethiopian political prisoners and their families to hear their perspectives on the recent announcements made by the government. We share and amplify their voices here, and echo their calls for justice. Given the ongoing threats to themselves and their families, names have been withheld to protect their identities.


 

Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch (HRW) World Report 2018 January 21, 2018

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 Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Attendees of Irreecha 2017 in Bishoftu, HRW 2018 world report.png

Attendees at the Irreecha festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on October 1, 2017. Irreecha is the most important festival for Ethiopia’s Oromo people. One year earlier at Irreecha hundreds died following security force mishandling of the large crowd. © 2017 Reuters /Tiksa

Ethiopia made little progress in 2017 on much-needed human rights reforms. Instead, it used a prolonged state of emergency, security force abuses, and repressive laws to continue suppressing basic rights and freedoms.

The 10-month state of emergency, first declared in October 2016, brought mass arrests, mistreatment in detention, and unreasonable limitations on freedom of assembly, expression, and association. While abusive and overly broad, the state of emergency gave the government a period of relative calm that it could have used to address grievances raised repeatedly by protesters.

However, the government did not address the human rights concerns that protesters raised, including the closing of political space, brutality of security forces, and forced displacement. Instead, authorities in late 2016 and 2017 announced anti- corruption reforms, cabinet reshuffles, a dialogue with what was left of opposition political parties, youth job creation, and commitments to entrench “good governance.”

Ethiopia continues to have a closed political space. The ruling coalition has 100 percent of federal and regional parliamentary seats. Broad restrictions on civil society and independent media, decimation of independent political parties, harassment and arbitrary detention of those who do not actively support the government, severely limited space for dissenting voices.

Despite repeated promises to investigate abuses, the government has not credibly done so, underscoring the need for international investigations. The government-affiliated Human Rights Commission is not sufficiently independent and its investigations consistently lack credibility.

Ethiopian government and security officials should act with restraint and take concrete steps to prevent injuries and deaths at this year’s Irreecha festival on October 1, 2017.

State of Emergency

Ethiopia spent much of 2017 under a state of emergency first imposed in October 2016 following a year of popular protests, renewed for four months in March, and lifted on August 4. Security forces responded to the protests with lethal force, killing over 1,ooo protesters and detaining tens of thousands more.

The state of emergency’s implementing directive prescribed draconian and overly broad restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and assembly across the country, and signaled an increasingly militarized response to the situation. The directive banned all protests without government permission and permitted arrest without court order in “a place assigned by the command post until the end of the state of emergency” and permitted “rehabilitation”—a euphemism for short-term detention that often involves forced physical exercise.

During the state of emergency military were deployed in much larger numbers across Oromia and Amhara regions, and security forces arbitrarily detained over 21,000 people in these “rehabilitation camps” according to government figures. Detainees reported harsh physical punishment and indoctrination in government policies. Places of detention included prisons, military camps, and other makeshift facilities. Some reported torture. Artists, politicians, and journalists were tried on politically motivated charges.

Dr. Merera Gudina, the chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), a legally registered political opposition party, was charged with “outrages against the constitution” in March. He joins many other major OFC members on trial on politically motivated charges, including deputy chairman Bekele Gerba. At time of writing, at least 8,000 people arrested during the state of emergency remain in detention, according to government figures.

Freedom of Expression and Association

The state tightly controls the media landscape, a reality exacerbated during the state of emergency, making it challenging for Ethiopians to access information that is independent of government perspectives. Many journalists are forced to choose between self-censorship, harassment and arrest, or exile. At least 85 journalists have fled into exile since 2010, including at least six in 2017.

Ethiopia: 2017 in numbers

Scores of journalists, including Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye, remain jailed under Ethiopia’s anti- terrorism law.

In addition to threats against journalists, tactics used to restrict independent media include harassing advertisers, printing presses, and distributors.

Absent a vibrant independent domestic media, social media and diaspora television stations continue to play key roles in disseminating information. The government increased its efforts to restrict access to social media and diaspora media in 2017, banning the watching of diaspora television under the state of emergency, jamming radio and television broadcasts, targeting sources and family members of diaspora journalists. In April, two of the main diaspora television stations—Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and the Oromia Media Network (OMN)—were charged under the repressive anti-terrorism law. Executive director of OMN, Jawar Mohammed, was also charged under the criminal code in April.

The government regularly restricts access to social media apps and some websites with content that challenges the government’s narrative on key issues. During particularly sensitive times, such as during June’s national exams when the government feared an exam leak, the government blocked access to the internet completely.

The 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law) continues to severely curtail the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations. The law bars work on human rights, governance, conflict resolution and advocacy on the rights of women, children, and people with disabilities by organizations that receive more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign sources.

Torture and Arbitrary Detention

Arbitrary detention and torture continue to be major problems in Ethiopia. Ethiopian security personnel, including plainclothes security and intelligence officials, federal police, special police, and military, frequently tortured and otherwise ill-treated political detainees held in official and secret detention centers, to coerce confessions or the provision of information.

Many of those arrested since the 2015/2016 protests or during the 2017 state of emergency said they were tortured in detention, including in military camps. Several women alleged that security forces raped or sexually assaulted them while they were in detention. There is little indication that security personnel are being investigated or punished for any serious abuses. Former security personnel, including military, have described using torture as a technique to extract information.

There are serious due process concerns and concerns about the independence of the judiciary on politically sensitive cases. Outside Addis Ababa, many detainees are not charged and are rarely taken to court.

Individuals peacefully expressing dissent are often charged under the repressive anti-terrorism law and accused of belonging to one of three domestic groups that the government has designated as terrorist organizations. The charges carry punishments up to life in prison. Acquittals are rare, and courts frequently ignore complaints of torture by detainees. Hundreds of individuals, including opposition politicians, protesters, journalists and artists, are presently on trial under the anti-terrorism law.

The government has not permitted the United Nation’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate allegations despite requests from the UN body in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2015.

Somali Region Security Force Abuses

Serious abuses continue to be committed by the Somali Region’s notoriously abusive Liyu police. Throughout 2017, communities in the neighboring Oromia regional state reported frequent armed attacks on their homes by individuals believed to be from the Somali Region’s Liyu police. Residents reported killings, assaults, looting of property, and displacement. Several Somali communities reported reprisal attacks carried out by unknown Oromo individuals. Human Rights Watch is not aware of any efforts by the federal government to stop these incursions. Several hundred thousand people have been internally displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict.

The Liyu police were formed in 2008 and have a murky legal mandate but in practice report to Abdi Mahmoud Omar (also known as “Abdi Illey”) the president of the Somali Regional State, and have been implicated in numerous alleged extrajudicial killings as well as incidents of torture, rape, and attacks on civilians accused of proving support to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). No meaningful investigations have been undertaken into any of these alleged abuses in the Somali Regional State.

Abdi Illey’s intolerance for dissent extends beyond Ethiopia, and family members of Ethiopian Somalis living outside of the country are frequently targeted in the Somali Region. Family members of diaspora have been arbitrarily detained, harassed, and had their property confiscated after their relatives in the diaspora attended protests or were critical of Abdi Illey in social media posts.

Key International Actors

Despite its deteriorating human rights record, Ethiopia continues to enjoy strong support from foreign donors and most of its regional neighbors, due to its role as host of the African Union and as a strategic regional player, its contributions to UN peacekeeping, regional counterterrorism efforts, its migration partnerships with Western countries, and its stated progress on development indicators. Ethiopia is also a country of origin, transit, and host for large numbers of migrants and refugees.

Both the European Parliament and US Senate and House of Representatives have denounced Ethiopia’s human rights record. The European Parliament urged the establishment of a UN-led mechanism to investigate the killings of protesters since 2015 and to release all political prisoners. In April, European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis visited Ethiopia, underscoring EU concern over Ethiopia’s human rights situation. Other donors, including the World Bank, have continued business as usual without publicly raising concerns.

Ethiopia is a member of both the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council. Despite these roles, Ethiopia has a history of non-cooperation with UN special mechanisms. Other than the UN special rapporteur on Eritrea, no special rapporteur has been permitted to visit since 2006. The rapporteurs on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly, among others, all have outstanding requests to visit the country.


Attendees of Irreecha 2017 in Bishoftu, HRW 2018 world reportHirmaattota Ayyaana Irreechaa Onkoloolessa 1, 2017 Bishooftuu, Itoophiyaa. Ayyaanni Irreecha uummata Oromoo Itoophiyaatif ayyaana addaati. Ayyaana Irreecha waggaa tokko dura kabajame irraatti humnootni tikaa tuutaa uummata jeequurran kan ka’e namootni dhibbootan lakkayaman du’anii ture.

© 2017 Reuters /Tiksa


Qabinsa mirga namoomaaf haaromsa haalaan barbaachisu gochuu irratti Itoophiyaan bara 2017 keessa waa xinnoo dalagde. Inumayyuu mirgoota bu’uuraafi bilisummmaa laammiileeshii humnaan ukkaamsuu itti fufuuf jecha labsi yeroo muddamaa, haleellaa humnoota tikaafi seerota ukkaamsoo fayyadamaa turte.

Labsiin yeroo muddamaa ji’oota 10f turefi baatii Onkoloolessa 2016 keessa labsame hidhaa jumlaafi mana hidhaatti dararamuu fidee ture.  Mirgoota akka hiriira nagaa bayuu, mirga yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuufi mirga ijaaramuu irrattis dhorkaaa hin barbaachisne kaayee ture.  Labsiin muddamaa sun gar-malee baldhaafi sirna malee kan dhimmi itti bayame ta’us mootummaa biyya bulchuuf yeroo tasgabbii silaa komii mormitootni kaasaa turan itti furu kenneefii ture.

Haata’u malee mootummaan Itoophiyaa gaaffilee mormitootaa kan akka cufinsa dirree siyaasaa, haleellaa gara jabeenyaa humnoota tikaafi humnaan qeyee ofiirraa buqqa’uufaa hin furre. Gaaffilee mormitootaa kana deebisuurra aangawoonni mootummaa jijjiirraa farra-malaammaltummaa, jijjiirraa kaabineefii haasawaa paartilee mormituu hafan wajjiin gochuuf, carraa hojii dargaggootaaf uumuufii ‘’bulchiinsa gaarii’’ fiduuf kutannoon akka hojjatan dhuma 2016 fi 2017ti beeksisanii turan.

Itoophiyaan ammas dirree siyaasaa akkuma cuftetti jirti. Walta’insi paartii biyya bulchuu teessoo mana maree bakka bu’oota uummataa naannoofi federaalaa 100% dhuunffatee jira. Dhorkaan guddaan dhaabbilee siviilii fi midiyaarra kaayame, dhabbilee mormituu ofiin dhaabbatan dadhabsiisuun, hidhaafi dararaan namoota mootummaa deeggaruu didan irra gahu dirree sagalee mormii garmalee dhiphisee/cufee jira.

Yeroo heddu yakkoota kana qorachuuf waadaa galus, mootummaan qorannoo amanamaa gochuu dhabuun ammas barbaachisummaa qorannoo idil-adunyaa cimsee agarsiisa.  Komishiniin mirga namoomaa Itoophiyaa hirkattummaa mootummaarraa bilisa waan hin taaneef qarannoon dhaabni kun godhu amanamummaa qabaatee hin beeku.

Labsii yeroo muddamaa

Harka caalaa bara 2017 Itoophiyaan labsii muddama jalatti dabarsite. Labsiin kun Onkoloolessa 2016 yeroo mormiin guddaan turetti labsamee ture. Labsichi Bitootessaa 2017 ji’a afuriif itti dabalamee haaromfamee, Hagayya 4, 2017 kaafame. Humnootni tikaa humna garmalee fayyadamuun namoota kuma tokkoo (1000) ol ajjeesaniiru. Namoota kuma kurnaniin lakkaayaman ammo hidhaatti guuraniiru.

Seerri labsi muddamaa hojiirra oolchuuf itti dabalamee baye biyyattii guutuu keessatti mirgoota akka yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuu, hiriira nagaa bayuufi ijaaramuu irratti dhorkaafi ukkaamsaa garmalee baldhaa kaayee. Tarkaanfiin kunimmoo rakkinoota mudatan humna waraanaan furuuf kallattii mootummaan kaayame agarsiisa. Seerichi hanga labsiin kun ka’utti mormii heeyyama mootumma hin arganne mara dhorkuun iddoolee labsiin kun murteesseetti ajaja mana murtii malee namoota hidhuus heeyyamee ture. Itti dabaluunis ‘’haaromsa’’- hidhaa yeroo gabaaba kan hojii humnaa dirqiin hojjachuu of-keessaa qabu heeyyame.

Yeroo labsii muddamaa sanitti humnootni waraanaa baayyinaan naannolee Oromiyaafi Amaaraa keessatti bobbaafamuun akka istaatistiksii mootummichaatti namoota kuma digdamii tokkoo (21,000) ol seeraan ala kaampiiwwaan haaromsa garaagaraatti hidhanii turan. Hidhamtoonni hedduun adabbii qaamaa hamaaf saaxilamuu isaaniifi imaammata mootummaa fudhachuuf waadaa galuun dirqii ta’uu dubbataniiru. Iddooleen namoonni kun itti hidhaman: kaampii waraanaa, maneen hidhaafi maneen yeroo gabaabaaf ijaaraman keessatti ture. Hidhamtoonni dararaafi reebichi hamaan mana hidhatti nurra gayeera jedhanis muraasa miti.  Aartistoonni, hoggantoonni paartilee mormituufi gaazexeessitoonni yakka siyaasa bu’uura godhateen himataman.

Dr Mararaa Guddinaa, dura taa’aan paartii kongiresii federaalistii Oromoo- Paartii seeraan galmayee,’’baatii Bitootessaa keessa sirna heeraa mootummaa cabsuutiin himatame. Inni hoggantoota paartii koongiresii federelaastii Oromoo kan akka itti aanaa paartichaa Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaafaatti dabalamuun himanni siyaasaa bu’uureffate irratti baname. Yeroo gabaasni kun barraayetti, akka istaatistiksii mootummaatti namoota yeroo labsii muddama qabamannii hidhaman keessaa 8000 ammayyu mana hidhaa jiru.

Mirga yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuufi mirga ijaaramuu

Miidiyaan marti to’annoo mootumma jalatti kufaniiru. Towannoon kun yeroo labsii muddamaattimmo garmalee jabaate. Sababa kanaaf lammiileen biyyattii odeeffannoo piroopaagaandaa mootummaarra bilisa ta’e argachuuf garmalee rakkisaa ture. Filannoon gaazexeessitoonni hedduun qaban yookan ofiin of-laguu ykn hojjatanii reebamuufi hidhamuu ykn ammo biyyaa bayuu qofa ture. Bara 2010 as qofa gaazexeessitoonni 85 Itoophiyaarra baqatanii bayaniiru. Kana keessaa yooxiqqaate gaazexeessitoonni 6 bara 2017 baqatanii bayan.  Gaazeexeessitoonni danuun kan akka Iskindir Naggaaffi Wubishat Tayyeefaa hanga ammaatti labsii farra shorrorkeessumman yakkamanii mana hidhaa tursiifamaniiru. Gazexeessitoota dararuun alattis dhaabilee beeksisaa, maxxansaafi raabsaa doorsisuun tooftaalee dhaabbilee miidiyaale bilisaaratti dhiibbaan godhamuudha. Dhabamsiifamuu dhaabbilee miidiyaa biyya keessaa irraa kan ka’e miidiyaan hawaasaafi dhaabileen televiziyoonaa diyaaspooraa odeeffanno daddabarsuu keessatti shoora ol-aanaa taphataniiru. Motummaan yaalii towannoo dhabbilee televiziyoona diyaaspooraafi midiyaalee hawaasa 2017 keessa jabeessuun, yeroo labsii muddamaatti televiziyoonota diyaaspora ilaalu dhorkee ture. Dabalataanis raadiyoofi televiziyoonota diyaaspooraa ugguruun akkasumas maatii gaazexeessitoota fi madden odeeffannoo doorsisaa ture.  Ebla, 2017 dhaabbileen televiziyoonotaa diyaaspoora lamaan- Oromiya miidiyaa Netwoorki (OMN) fi ESAT, labsii ukkaamsa farra shorrerkussummaatiin himatamaniiru. Daarektarrii OMN, Jawaar Mohaammedis ji’a Eblaa, 2017 keessa seera yakkaatiin himatameera.

Mootummaan yeruma mara qaqqabinsa aappii miidiyaalee hawaasaafi marsariitota ilaalcha mootumiichaa faalleessan ugguraa ture. Yeroolee murteessoo akka yeroo qorumsa biyyoleessaafaa miliqee bayuu qorumsaa sodaachuun mootummaan intarneeta guutumatti uggureera.

Labsiin dhaabilee arjoominaafi siiviiki bara 2009 baye (CSO) ammayyu humna dhaabbilee miti mootummaa bilisa ta’anii hudhee qabee jira. Labsichi hojiiwwaan akka mirga namoomaa, bulchiinsa gaarii, walitti bu’insa furuufi dhaabblee mirga dubartootaa, daa’iimmaniifi qaama miidhamtootaaf bajata 10% ol biyya alaati argatanii dhorkee jira.

Reebichaafi dararaa mana hidhaa keessatti

Hidhaan seeraan alaafi reebichi mana hidhaa keessaati godhamu ammayyu rakkoo guddaa Itoophiyaati. Humnootni tikaa mootummaa, poolisiin federaalaa, humnootni basaastuu wayyaa siviilii uffatan dabalatee, poolisiin addaa fi raayyaan ittisa biyyaa hidhamtoota siyaasa mana hidhaa ifaa fi dhoksaa keessaatti yeroo heddu reebuun odeeffannoo humnaan irraa fuudhaniiru.

Namoonni baayyeen hiriira mormii bara 2015/2016 manneen hidhaafi kaampilee waraanaa garaagaraatti hidhaman akkasumas kanneen yeroo labsii muddamaa 2017 hidhaman maneen hidhaa keessaatti reebichiifi dararaan irra gayuu dubbatu. Dubartoonni heddu maneen hidhaa kessaatti humnoota tikaatiin gudeedamuufi reebamuu himatu. Humnootni tikaa yakka akkana raawwatan seeratti dhiyaachuu isaanii ragaan muldhatu hin jiru. Namoonni dur humna tikaa keessa hojjatan manneen hidhaa keessatti reebichaafi dararaan ragaa funaanaa turuu isaanii raga bayaniiru.

Dhiimmootaa siyaasaa hamoo irratti walabummaan mana murtiifii adeemsi seeraa baayyee yaaddessaadha. Manneen sirreessaa Finfinneen alaa jiran keessaati hidhamtoonni hin himataman, mana murtiittis hin dhiyaatan. Namonni karaa nagaa sagalee mormii dhiyeessan yeroo heddu labsii farra shorreerkeessummaan yakkamu. Miseensa dhaabbilee mootummaan shorreerkeessitoota jedhee labseeti jechuunis ni himatamu.  Murtiin adabbii himannaa akkanaa irratti darbu hanga hidhaa umurii guutuutti. Himannaa addaan kutuun hin baramne. Hidhamtoonni yakki reebichaa mana hidhaa keessatti nurra gayeera jedhanii yeroo himatan manni murti irra deddeebiin gurra duuchatee bira darbaa jira. Namoonni dhibbootaan lakkayaman, hoggantoonni paartilee mormituu, hirmaattoonni hiriira nagaa, aartitstoonniifi gaazexeessitoonni labsi farra shorrorkeessummaan yakkamanii mana hidhaatti dararamaa jiru.

Qaamnii mootummoota gamtoomanii hidhaa seeraan alaa qoratu bara 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 fi 2015 irra deddeebiin himannaa kanarratti qorannoo gaaggeessuuf gaafatus mootummaan dhorkee jira.

Dhiittaa mirgaa Poolisiin Addaa Somaalee raawwatu

Poolisiin naannoo Somaalee dhiittaan mirgaa garmaleen beekamu ammas yakkoota hamaa dalaguu akkuma itti fufetti jira. Hawasni naannoo Oromiyaa daangaa naannoo Somaaleerra jiraatan irra deddeebiin humnoota poolisii addaa naannoo Somaleeti jedhamaniin haleelamuu himaniiru. Hawaasni daangaarra jiratan kun ajjeechana, lollii, saamichi qabeenyaafi qeyeerraa buqqayuun akka irra gaye himatu. Hawaasni Somaalees haleellaan haaloo bayumsaa humnoota Oromoo hin beekamneen irratti fudhatamu dubbatu. Hiyumaan raayitswoch yaalii mootummaan federaala haleellaa daangaarra kana dhaabuuf godhe homaayyu hin agarre. Namootni kuma dhibbootaan lakkaayaman sababa walitti bu’insa daangaarraatti deemaa jiruu kanaan qe’eefi qabeenya isaanirraa buqqayaniiru.

Poolisiin addaa naannoo Somaalee kun bara 2008 kan hundeeffame yoo ta’u itti gaafatama seeraa ifa hin taaneen socho’u. Garuummoo qabatamaan pirezideentii mootummaa naannoo Somaalee kan ta’e Abdi Mohamud Omariif abboomamu. Humnootni poolisii addaa kun yeroo garaagaraatti ajjeechaa seeraan alaa, reebichaafi dubartoota gudeeduun akkasumas uummata nagaa humna waraanaa Ogaaden deggaruun shakkaman rukutuun himatamu. Yakkoota gurguddoo humnootni kun naannoo Somaalee keessatti raawwatan jedhamanii himataman qorachuuf yaaliin hiika qabeessi godhame tokkoyyuu hin jiru.

Fedhiin Abdi Illeeyn mormitoota isaa ukkamsuuf qabu daangaa Itoophiyaa qofa keessatti kan daangeffame miti. Lammileen Somalee Itoophiyaa biyya alaa jiraataniis hiriira nagaa erga bayanii ykn barreeffamoota Abdi Illeey qeeqan miidiyaa hawaasa irratti yoo barreessan maatiin isaanii naanno Somalee jiraatan seeraan ala hidhamaniiru, reebamaniiru, qabeenyi isaaniis saaamameera.

Qooda dhaabbilee Idil-Adunyaa murteessoo

Qabinsi mirga namoomaa Itoophiya baayye badaa ta’ullee biyyattiin gargaarsa arjoota biyya alaafi gargaarsa biyyoota ollaa guddaa argachaa jirti. Saababiin gargaarsi kun itti fufee keessa muraasni: biyyattiin teessoo gamtaa Afrikaa ta’uusheefi taarsimoo naannawaa saniitti shoora murteessa waan taphattuuf, qaama nagaa eegsistuu mootummoota gamtoomanii waan taateef, waraanna farra-shorrorkeessitoota naannoo gaanfa Afrikaa keessatti sababa hirmaattuuf, dhimma baqattootaa irratti mootummoota dhiyaa faana michuummaan waan hojjattuufi guddina misooma gaalmeessite jedhamuufi. Itoophiyaan madda, karaafi buufata baqattoota hedduutis.

Paarlaamaan Awurooppaa, manni maree bakka bu’oota fi seenetiin Ameerikaa qabinsa mirga namoomaa Itoophiyaa balaaleffataniiru. Paarlaamaan Awuroppaa ajeechaa mormitoota bara 2015 eegale rawwate irratti qorannoon qaama mootummoota gamtoomaniin durfamuun akka godhamuuf hidhamtoonni siyaasa marti akka hiikaman waamicha godhee ture. Baatii Eblaa keessa bakka bu’aan dame mirga namoomaa gamtaa Awuroppaa addaa Istaavros Lambridinis Itoophiyaa deemee daawwachuun yaaddoo gamtaan Awurooppaa qabinsa mirga namoomaa Itoophiya irratti qabu mirkaneesseera. Dhaabbilen idil-adunyaa kanneen akka Baankii Adunyaa dhiittaa mirga namooma biyyattii irratti ifaan ifatti yaaddoo tokkollee otoo hin ibsiin hojii isaanii idilee itti fufanii jiru.

Itoophiyaan miseensa mana maree nageenyaafi mirga namoomaa Mootummoota gamtoomaniiti. Ta’ullee adeemsa addaa mootummoota gamtoomanii waliin hojjachuu akka diddeetti jirti. Erga raappoortarri addaa Eertiraa 2006 biyyattii seenee as gareen addaa mootummoota gamtoomanii tokkollee Itoophiyaa seenee qorachuuf heeyyama mootummaa hin arganne. Raapportaroonni reebichaa, mirga yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuufi hiriira nagaa gaggeessuu biyyatti daawwachuuf yeroo garaa garaatti akka fedhan gaafatanii jiru.


Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: Double victory for Oromo athletes at the Tata Mumbai Marathon as Amane Gobena and Solomon Deksisa won both the women’s and men’s races. Gulume Tollesa successfully defended her title at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon with a course record of 2:29:37 January 21, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistOromo athletes Solomon Deksisa and Amane Gobena won Mumbai Marathon, 21 January 2017.png


Double triumph for Oromo Marathon athletes at the Tata Mumbai Marathon as Amane Gobena and Solomon Deksisa won at the IAAF Silver Label road race in 2:25:49 and 2:09:34 respectively on Sunday, 21st January 2018. They represent Ethiopia in the competition.

Meanwhile  Gulume Tollesa successfully defended her title at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon with a course record of 2:29:37.

Twenty-two-year-old Deksisa broke away from the rest of the field at the 35-km mark and kept his nose ahead for the reminder of the 42.195-km men’s event to lead a 1-2 finish for Ethiopia ahead of 29-year-old compatriot Shumet Akalnaw. Deksisa clocked 2 hours, 9 minutes, 34 secs, off the course record of 2:08:35, while his compatriot Shumet crossed the finish line in 2:10:00 after being in hot pursuit of the lead runner over the last seven kms without being able to catch up.

Kenyan Joshua Kipkorir, second last year, ended up third this year in 2:10:30. Oromo Athlete Shumi Dechasa for Bahrain  (2:12:24) is 4th.

Gobena won the women’s race  by a comfortable margin  in 2:25:49 ahead of defending champion Bornes Kitur of Kenya who registered  2:28:48. In third place was another Oromo athlete, Shumo Genemo (2:29:41). The overall winners of both full marathons reap $42,000 each. Birke Debele  (2:29:45) and  Kuftu Tahir (2:35:01) completed 4th and 5th respectively.

Deksisa, running his sixth marathon with a personal best of 2:06:22 that he had registered while finishing second in the Rooterdam Marathon in April 2016.


More  read at Indian Express: Mumbai Marathon: Solomon Deksisa, Amane Gobena make it double

More read at IAAF: GOBENA AND DEKSISA SECURE ETHIOPIAN DOUBLE IN MUMBAI

 

Leaked Documents Show That Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s Ruling Elites Are Hiring Social Media Trolls (And Watching Porn) January 21, 2018

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Leaked Documents Show That Ethiopia’s Ruling Elites Are Hiring Social Media Trolls (And Watching Porn)

Over the past two months, a series of leaked documents from Ethiopia’s powerful political elites have been circulating online.

Among other revelations, the leaks show that the Ethiopian government has been paying online commenters to influence social media conversations in the ruling party’s favor. The documents include hundreds of pages of chat logs and email correspondence of Ethiopia’s top government officials, multiple government planning documents and top-secret meeting records.

The leaks have come at what may be a turning point in Ethiopia’s recent political crisis. Since mid-2015, thousands across Ethiopia rose up, demanding more political freedoms and social equality and a stop to government land grabs in the Oromia region, which represents Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group. The government responsewas brutal: Hundreds have been killed, thousands have been arrested, and critical voices — both on and offline — have been systematically silenced.

Among the recent leaks, which began to circulate on Facebook in November 2017, one of the most revealing documents is a list of individuals who appear to have been paid to promote the ruling coalition on social media. The list shows the names of the so-called “social media commentators” along with their job titles and a precise amount of money that they apparently received for their online postings. Most of the people listed are government employees.

The list corroborates previous evidence that the Ethiopian government has been hiring online commenters to promote its agenda and harass its opponents.

Online communities in Ethiopia have been calling these paid commenters “cocas”, a colloquialism in Amharic (the most widely spoken language in the country) that can be translated as “contemptible cadres.” In Amharic, this term typically refers to people who sell themselves for easy money. But in this case, most of the commenters listed in the leaked directory are already on the government payroll.

Who is responsible for the leaks?

The origin of the leaks has been rumored and contested at several levels. The documents were originally sent to diaspora activists from the at least two Facebook accounts, both of which belong to government employees, in November 2017.

The first known leak, of the “coca” list, came from the Facebook account of Gebremichael Melles Gebremariam, an employee of the communications affairs office of the Tigray state. Gebremariam first denied sending the documents, claiming his account was hacked. But he then backtracked on this claim. It is now rumored that he has been dismissed from his job.

Soon after the initial leak, more documents began arriving in the inboxes of diaspora activists, this time coming from the Facebook account of the Director of the Federal Communications Affairs office, Haddush Kassu. Shortly thereafter, Haddush began to publicly shame those government officials who are implicated in the leaks. On January 18, he denigrated Deputy PM Debretsion Gebremichael in a public Facebook post.

It is unclear whether Haddush sent the documents himself have been hacked.

Social media ‘cocas’ push pro-government discourse

The revelations of political and state officials paying “cocas” to promote the ruling party agenda online correspond with a recent rise in polarization and hate speech on social media, alongside increased online persecution of independent journalists.

The leaked “coca” list reveals that at least thirteen commentators were each paid at least USD $300 (a large sum in Ethiopia, where average GDP per capita was USD $660 in 2016) for blog posts or Facebook messages that they wrote at the behest of the ruling coalition.

Among individuals named on the list are Daniel Berahane and Dawit Kebede, publishers of two Ethiopian internet news site HornAffairs and Awaramba Timesrespectively. The two journalists have long been accused of cheer-leading a pro-government information campaign especially during a heightened political tension.

In recent years, independent Ethiopian journalists reporting on government affairs, corruption and human rights have been arrested or exiled en masse. The resulting gap in news coverage has thus been filled by opposition activists and protesters who often work with diaspora-based media outlets to draw global attention to the brutal military crackdown on protesters that has killed more than 1200 people and has led to several mass arrests since mid-2015.

On the heels of the list came a separate leak of what appears to be a proposal to counter opposition groups using social media platforms. The Amharic-language document from the office of Ethiopia’s longtime governing coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF), enumerates solutions and strategies to curtail the influence of online diaspora-based activists.

The document also describes how officials have ordered paid commenters to attack people who call for democracy and to praise the ideologies of ruling coalition. The document encourages its members to post comments on the internet as if they were regular citizens.

Other documents show that Ethiopia’s spy agency, the Information Network Security Agency, known to surveil and censor journalists and political dissidents, issued a money order of USD $12,000 to send two of their employees to China for special training. The documents do not specify what kind of training the two employees were meant to receive, but this information has begun to come to light with the release of subsequent chat logs.

Five weeks after the list was leaked, another document surfaced showing a written exchange over Facebook Messenger between two high-level public servants —  Haddush Kassu and a high-level operative of Ethiopia’s spy agency, Zeray Hailemariam — who were furious about the leaks, and the disclosure of the paid commentators.

One said the leaks are threats to their security and pledged to seek help from  Information Network Security Agency to investigate the source of the leaks. The other blamed a “disgruntled regional communication officer” for leaking the names to diaspora-based political rivals.

At one point in the exchange, the operative of Ethiopia’s spy agency suggested that they should encourage a “brave solider” like Daniel Berahane “who is fighting every extremists”. In response, the official from government communications affairs confirmed their support for him and wrote back “we pay him 33,000 [about USD $1200] for two articles.”

The exchange between the two top government officials also sheds light on the power struggle at the helm of Ethiopian ruling party, where infighting has led leaders to hire figures like Daniel and Dawit to undermine political opponents or curry favor with diplomats and foreign organizations in Addis Ababa. Daniel and Dawit have been leading voices in the pro-government media backlash against opposition activists and diaspora media.

And what is the Minister of Communication and Information Technology up to?

Other revelations have pointed to the online habit of Ethiopia’s former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Dr. Debretsion Gebremicheal.

On December 16, 2017 member of the inner circle of the ruling party dumped screenshots of ten years browsing history of Dr. Debretsion Gebremicheal on his Facebook page. The details only lasted for about two days. It was removed sometime on December 18, 2017 without any explanation.

ደብረጽየን ለራሱም ለሴቶችም ክብር የሌለው ሰው ነው። ደሞ ገብረሚካኤል ሃክ ተደረገ በሉ። ሰው አስሬ ሃክ ይደረጋል እንዴ? ዋይ https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.104275863701078.1073741825.100023559936070&type=1&l=a3df88c983 

Debretsion does not have a respect for woman as well as for himself. Okay, you can go ahead say my account was compromised. Does a person has to be hacked ten times? Hell no!

For Dr. Debretsion this looks especially bad because he could not even clean his browsing history or encrypt his online communications, which means it was much easier than usual for the hackers to steal his browsing history. It’s quite amateurish mistake for a person who brands himself as one of the country’s top ‘intelligence’ personnel.

Abebe Gelaw, a prominent diaspora based journalist pieced together a revealing fifteen-page expose after he scrutinized over two hundred pages of Dr. Debretsion’s embarrassing and salacious browsing history.

But one of the most interesting aspects of the story itself was the sourcing of the revelations. The documents are said to originate from various sources, some say disgruntled insiders leaked them, others say hackers are responsible. But from an incoherent drip of leaks a common outlook emerges that there is unprecedented power struggle happening among Ethiopia’s ruling elite.

Ethiopia: Oromia: The leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress Professor Merera Gudina has been released. #OromoProtests January 17, 2018

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Professor Merera Gudina's speech after the court of Ethiopia denied him hearing. #OromoProtests

OMN: Dura Taa’aan KFO Dr. Mararaan Hidhaa Bahan (LIVE) Amajjii 17, 2018

Click here for Photos: Oromia erupts as Ethiopia govt frees Merera Gudina, Africa News.


Ethiopia releases opposition leader Merera Gudina | Africanews

Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina has been freed after more than a year in detention.

Merera becomes the first ‘political prisoner’ to be released since Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced on 3 January that the government will pardon several convicted politicians and those with cases in court in a bid to foster national cohesion.

Prison authorities told his family that he was released on Wednesday morning and allowed to go back home.

Merera, the leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress, has been in prison since December 2016 and was facing multiple charges, including association with terrorist groups. He denied the charges.

Free at last! Jailed opposition leader in Dr Merera Gudina freed after more than a year in detention.

Influential media portal, Addis Standard tweeted a letter (issued in Amharic) which stated that the charges had been dropped ‘for the benefit of the public and the government’.

A letter announcing to discontinue the multiple criminal charges brought by federal prosecutors against Dr. has been issued by the attorney general Getachew Ambaye. It stated charges were dropped “for the benefit of the public and the government.” cc: @Belay_Ma

Earlier this month, the government said it would pardon and drop the cases against more than 500 prisoners.

The announcement followed more than two years of anti-government protests that have rocked the country, with demonstrators calling for political and economic reforms and an end to state corruption and human rights abuses.

Ethiopia had always denied that there were any political prisoners in the country, as alleged by human rights and opposition groups.


Prominent Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina has been released from prison after more than a year in detention. more at  aljazeera.com



Ethiopie, Merera Goudina libéré de prison


BBC: Merera Gudina, Ethiopia opposition leader, freed

Ethio
Image captionHuge crowds welcomed Mr Merera home

Jailed Ethiopian opposition leader Merera Gudina has been freed after more than a year in detention.

The leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress was released on Wednesday morning and allowed to go home, where he was welcomed by thousands of people.

He has been in prison since December 2016 and was facing charges, including association with terrorist groups.

The Ethiopian government announced on Monday that it would drop charges against more than 500 suspects.

Human rights groups have long accused Ethiopia of refusing to allow opposition groups to operate freely.

The government has denied holding any political prisoners but says the releases will foster national debate and “widen the political sphere”.

Those being freed will first undergo two days of “rehabilitation training”, the government says.

At the beginning of January, Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn announced the government would close Maekelawi – a detention facility in the capital, Addis Ababa, allegedly used as a torture chamber.

Why was Mr Merera arrested?

Mr Merera was arrested in November 2016 at the airport in the capital, Addis Ababa, after he flew in from Brussels.

He had violated Ethiopia’s state of emergency by having contact with “terrorist” and “anti-peace” groups, state-linked media reported at the time.

That month, Mr Merera had criticised the state of emergency in an address to the European parliament.

The government imposed it in October 2016 to end an unprecedented wave of protests against its 25-year rule.

Map of protests and violence in Ethiopia in 2016

More than 11,000 people were arrested, mostly in the Oromia and Amhara regions, which were at the forefront of anti-government protests.

Many in the two regions complain of political and economic marginalisation.

Who else will be freed?

It is still not clear which other politicians will be released.

Ethiopia says it will not free anyone convicted of using force to overthrow the government, destroying infrastructure, murder or causing physical disability.

However, it says it will pardon some of those convicted under the anti-terrorism law.

Critics and human rights groups have accused the government in the past of labelling its opponents, and some journalists, as terrorists.

Rights group Amnesty International says the release of Mr Merera and other prisoners should not be the last.

“Hundreds of prisoners of conscience continue to languish in jail, accused or prosecuted for legitimate exercise of their freedom of expression or simply for standing up for human rights,” Amnesty’s Netsanet Belay said.

Presentational grey line

Five more high-profile Ethiopian prisoners:

Bekele Gerbadeputy chairman of the OFC – arrested together with Dejene Fita Geleta, secretary-general of OFC, and 20 others in connection with the 2015 Oromo protests that resulted in the death of hundreds of protesters.

Andargachew Tsegeleader of Ginbot 7 (designated a terrorist group by Ethiopia) – arrested in 2014 while on transit in Yemen and taken to Ethiopia, where he faces the death penalty after being convicted in absentia. A British national, human rights groups have been pushing for his release.

Andualem Aragievice-president of the Unity for Democracy and Justice party – imprisoned since 2011, and now serving a life sentence on terrorism charges.

Eskinder Negajournalist and blogger – imprisoned since 2011 after criticising the use of anti-terror laws to silence the press. He was subsequently sentenced to 18 years in jail.

Woubshet Taye, journalist and editor – imprisoned since 2011 and sentenced the next year to 14 years in prison for terror-related offences.

 


Ethiopia govt had no business arresting Oromo leader Merera Gudina – E.U. MP

ETHIOPIA

A member of the European Parliament, Ana Gomes, has reacted to the the move by the Ethiopian government to drop charges against leading Oromo politician, Merera Gudina.

According to Gomes, who frequently comments on political ongoings in Ethiopia, Gudina “should never have been jailed.”

The university don who is leader of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has been under detention for a little over a year. He was arrested in December 2016 after returning from an European trip during which time he addressed the E.U. parliament on the political situation back home.

Upon his arrest, the government said he was picked in connection with having flouted an October 2016 state of emergency imposed to quell spreading anti-government protests predominantly in the Oromia and Amhara regions.

He was eventually charged with terrorism but the offense was later downgraded to multiple criminal charges. The case like that of other political elements has been traveling at a slow pace with prosecutors seeking extensions and introducing fresh evidence.

The MEP also commented on Eskinder Nega, an Ethiopian journalist currently in jail. Eskinder Nega is a brave man, paying for freedom and justice for his country. He is still a political prisoner in Ethiopia. He must be liberated! She said in a tweet.

Nega and a Venezuelan writer and journalist Milagros Socorro have recently been honored by Oxam Novib (PEN Awards 2018). “Eskinder couldn’t receive the award because he is in jail for his journalism works,” blogger Befeqadu Hailu wrote.


Ethiopia has released a handful of prisoners – but nothing else has changed,  Mail & Guardian Africa

WHO: Tedros Adhanom raised eyebrows with his appointment of Robert Mugabe and new recruitment policies. But the real shocker was his choice of a Russian to head up agency’s tuberculosis fight. January 17, 2018

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The Mugabe appointment “was stupid, but this is a disaster,” said Mark Harrington, executive director of Treatment Action Group. Ahead of the appointment, TAG led an open letter from more than 40 civil society groups asking Tedros to use a transparent, competitive process to choose the next director of the Global TB Program, tasked with fighting the top infectious killer worldwide.

 #NoTedros4WHO

World’s doctor gives WHO a headache


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus raised eyebrows with his appointment of Robert Mugabe and new recruitment policies. But the real shocker was his choice of a Russian to head up agency’s tuberculosis fight.

 

Illustration by Eva Bee for POLITICO

 

Seven months into his tenure, the early moves of the WHO’s first African chief are stoking a backlash.

His supporters say Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus promised to shake the institution up. The critics, increasingly emboldened, say he’s undermining the World Health Organization’s effectiveness and putting its funding at risk.

The former Ethiopian health minister turned heads with his appointment of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador in October. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Tedros — as he prefers to be called by Ethiopian tradition — was eschewing the normal hiring process for U.N. agencies, looking to increase gender and geographical diversity as quickly as possible. That’s unsettled some in the Geneva headquarters and the constellation of activists and researchers who work with WHO, who fear an overly political approach is bringing a culture change at the cost of credibility.

The latest disruptive move is his appointment of a little-known Russian official to run the WHO’s tuberculosis program, using a fast-track process, one month after meeting with President Vladimir Putin at a major gathering on the topic in Moscow.

The Mugabe appointment “was stupid, but this is a disaster,” said Mark Harrington, executive director of Treatment Action Group. Ahead of the appointment, TAG led an open letter from more than 40 civil society groups asking Tedros to use a transparent, competitive process to choose the next director of the Global TB Program, tasked with fighting the top infectious killer worldwide.

Reward for being retrograde

The December nomination of Tereza Kasaeva (an official at the Russian health ministry) prompted an editorial in the medical journal the Lancet, which described it as triggering a “potentially disabling controversy.”

“The domestic situation there is horrible. It’s probably one of the worst outside of Africa on TB infections” — Eduardo Gómez, King’s College London

“Russia has a poor record on TB and HIV,” write the editors of the journal, which is widely seen as the voice of the global health establishment. “Her appointment may be regarded as rewarding a country that does not deserve to be rewarded … WHO’s reputation — indeed, its political leverage — depends on the agency’s technical credibility.”

Russia is widely regarded as retrograde in its approach to treating the infectious disease, having developed a raging outbreak after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Since 2000 or so, overall incidences are down and survival rates are up, but Russia is still a world leader on the proportion of infections that don’t respond to antibiotics; a recent study predicted one in three cases would be antibiotic resistant by 2040.

Kasaeva replaces Mario Raviglione, a leading TB expert with more than 25 years of experience fighting the bacterial infection.

Tedros says he’s just keeping a campaign promise to overhaul the agency in the wake of its high-profile failure to respond quickly to the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa. He is the first African to run the WHO — and the first director general chosen with a vote open to all member countries in May, overcoming what he called a “colonial mindset” among backers of his British rival.

Tedros’ advisers have defended his decision to name Mugabe a goodwill ambassador for noncommunicable diseases less than four months into the job as just a misguided effort to build bridges with a regional giant who, despite human rights violations and a long embrace of the tobacco industry, recently expressed openness to new commitments on health.

The offer was quickly retracted, but not before it triggered international condemnation. An opinion piece in the Washington Post even speculated that it was payback to Mugabe for securing the African Union’s support in the WHO election, or to China for its backing.

Tedros’ first appointments have already transformed the gender and geographic balance within the top ranks, even as they have raised concerns about a closed selection that downplays conventional expertise.

Of eight new directors chosen largely through a fast-track process, including Kasaeva, all but one are women.

Tedros is trying change the recruitment system to eliminate “unconscious biases that make it unfavorable for women to get the positions,” a top Tedros adviser, Senait Fisseha, said in an email. Until that can be accomplished, she said, he had made “limited appointments of diverse and highly qualified women” to move his vision forward.

That’s music to the ears of those who see an endless game of musical chairs that circulates people from one U.N. or international development agency to another. Often that means wealthy Western countries dictating to poorer countries how to deal with their problems in order to receive aid.

Vlad in Geneva

Diversity is a worthy goal, said Global Coalition of TB Activists CEO Blessina Kumar. But it shouldn’t come “at the cost of effectiveness and competency. You can’t trade one for the other,” she said.

“Merit was the first criteria for all appointments, while secondary consideration was given to gender and geographical diversity,” WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl said. “Dr. Tedros also sought to appoint qualified people with country-level experience, as a vital complement to the technical expertise that already exists within WHO. This will help to accelerate progress at the country level.”

Kasaeva’s appointment has proved politically volatile both for Russia’s speckled track record in combatting TB, and because it’s seen as playing into Putin’s hands, helping the Russian president project power on the global health stage while he neglects patients back home.

“The domestic situation there is horrible. It’s probably one of the worst outside of Africa on TB infections,” said King’s College London’s Eduardo Gómez, the author of “Geopolitics in Health: Confronting Obesity, AIDS, and Tuberculosis in the Emerging BRICS Economies.”

In 2012, Russia rejected a $127 million grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, stifling many of the groups on the ground. On top of that, the federal government cut domestic TB funding in recent years, according to Gómez.

Nonetheless, in mid-November, Russia pledged $15 million toward fighting TB worldwide during a major U.N. TB conference in Moscow. The foreign aid is a typical Putin move, said Gomez. “This is an opportunity to reassert Russia’s dominance in global health.”

Putin addressed the gathering and met with Tedros. A month later, on December 15, Tedros announced Kasaeva’s appointment in an internal WHO email.

“I can’t see what the upside is other than political payback,” Harrington said.

Backlash on Tedros

Defenders say Russia’s TB program is improving — driven in part by Kasaeva — and that she may be the best hope for getting the country to change.

Vadim Testov, a former WHO official now working on Russia’s TB program, said he’s seen the government’s commitment increase over time, and that it’s “ready to provide” financing to make Russia’s domestic TB fight successful. He noted that new regulations from Kasaeva’s team have led to a sharper decrease in TB cases over the last five years.

Kasaeva “will have influence on Russian officials” in her WHO position, Testov predicted.

Many aren’t sold on Tedros’ new approach and fear that global health will suffer — especially if the WHO’s biggest donors get spooked.

The backlash shows the risks from Tedros’ effort to upend the status quo. Defenders say the same-old same-old at the U.N. hasn’t served patients on Ebola, TB or a range of other issues.

“Whatever we’ve been doing for the last quarter century isn’t working that well,” said Salmaan Keshavjee, a Harvard TB expert who has worked on the ground in Russia with Partners in Health.

He argued that WHO recommendations have in the past been ill-suited to Russia’s circumstances and that homegrown experts from emerging, populous economies may be in a better position to solve their own problems and bring a new perspective to the global effort.

“If you want to hold the BRICS countries’ feet to the fire, they have to be involved in health architecture,” Keshavjee said.

Budget strings

But many aren’t sold on Tedros’ new approach and fear that global health will suffer — especially if the WHO’s biggest donors get spooked.

Though ultimately blocked, U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut back on foreign aid — announced on May 23, the same day Tedros was elected to lead the WHO — has alarmed many in the organization. The recent controversies drive some worry that other large donors like the U.K. or Germany might be tempted to draw the purse strings tighter.

The U.S. contributes almost a quarter of the WHO’s $4 billion-plus annual budget.

Tedros’ doctorate is in community health, and he served as Ethiopia’s health minister for seven years — winning wide praise for strides in expanding contraception, fighting malaria and, yes, controlling TB.

But it may be his experience as Ethiopia’s top diplomat from 2012 to 2016 that seems most apposite now. During that period, he kept his country in the West’s good graces (and the aid money flowing) despite growing concerns about the regime’s human rights violations, by stressing Ethiopia’s position as a stable, strategic partner in the war on terror.

Tedros’ team includes plenty of conventional choices; Jane Ellison, a Brit, served as something of an olive branch to the WHO’s No. 2 state donor after the U.K. strongly backed its own candidate in a campaign that turned nasty. Tedros also named a German to a long-sought top post after Berlin stepped up donations and raised Tedros’ profile by inviting him to the G20 summit.

A Moment Of Significance And Opportunity For Ethiopia January 15, 2018

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A Moment Of Significance And Opportunity For Ethiopia – OpEd

Graham Peebles, Eurasia Review,  14 January 2018


Since November 2015 unprecedented protests have been taking place in Ethiopia: angry and frustrated at the widespread abuse of human rights and the centralization of power in the hands of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) tens of thousands have taken to the streets. The ruling party’s response to this democratic outpouring has been consistently violent; hundreds have been killed and beaten by security forces, tens of thousands arrested and imprisoned.

In an attempt to gag the people, a highly repressive State of Emergency was imposed in August 2016. It failed, the protests continued, the movement strengthened. The regime then tried to inflame ancient ethnic differences amongst various groups by staging attacks using plain-clothed security personnel. In the border region of Oromo and the Ogaden Tesfaye Robela of the Ethiopian Parliament claims that over 10,000 people have been killed. ESAT News (the sole Ethiopian independent broadcaster) quotes the findings of a parliamentary report into the ethnic clashes, which concluded that: “based on interviews with victims of the violence, squarely puts the blame on Somali Region Special Police, local police and militia for perpetrating the killings.” The Liyu Police is controlled by the Ethiopian military.

Despite these attempts to extinguish the movement for change, the people of Ethiopia are continuing to demand freedom, justice and democracy; this time they will not be silenced. The minority powers within the ruling EPRDF coalition – The Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) have been empowered by the popular uprising and there are signs that they are at last standing up to the majority TPLF members. Under pressure from the OPDO and ASDM and in a further attempt to distract attention from the protests and undermine the protestors’ claims, on 3rd January the government put out a convoluted statement relating to political prisoners.

The Prime-Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that the regime would release “some political prisoners”, prisoners that for the last 27 years they have denied even existed. ESAT News (which is based in Europe and America) reports he went on to announce that, “members of political parties and other individuals would be released to widen the political and democratic space” and that “the government would review the cases of certain individuals affiliated with political parties, including party leaders, [and] in some cases, charges would be dropped or people would be released or pardoned, depending on investigation results.”

His words, which have been widely reported in mainstream media, were not only disingenuous they were ambiguous and inconclusive. He failed to acknowledge that those imprisoned for expressing political dissent had been falsely incarcerated; repeatedly stating they were behind bars because they were guilty of breaking the law.

Whilst the release of any political prisoners at all would be a move in the right direction, in its present form the policy, if indeed it is a policy and not simply a public relations exercise aimed at international benefactors, is an insult to the thousands languishing in prison for no other reason than they disagree with the ruling TPLF. The statement is inadequate and needs clarification: who will be considered for release and when? Does it include opposition politicians charged with fictitious terrorist offences under the universally condemned Anti-Terrorist Proclamation of 2009? Will this long-overdue gesture mean that politicians who have been forced to live in exile for fear of arrest and imprisonment can safely return home?

These and other pressing questions need to be raised by opposition groups and human rights organizations, and indeed Ethiopia’s major donors — America, Britain and the European Parliament, all of which have allowed the TPLF to trample on human rights and the people for decades. Intense pressure must be applied on the government to articulate its intentions and, for once in their tyrannical reign, do the right thing and release all political prisoners, including journalists, bloggers, protestors and activists of all kinds.

It was also announced by the PM that Maekelewi prison in Addis Ababa, which has been used as a torture chamber by the TPLF for years, will be closed down, and rather bizarrely, turned into a modern museum, unless common sense prevails and it is demolished. This is a positive development but is again short on detail, there has been no mention of what will happen to the inmates. All political prisoners held there should be released unconditionally, and an independent international monitoring group established to oversee the release and or transfer of all other detainees.

The current of change

Despite being enshrined as rights within Ethiopia’s liberally worded constitution, for over two decades all forms of freedom of speech and political dissent have been virtually outlawed. Anyone who openly disagrees with or questions the ruling party is seen as a threat, and persecuted, arrested, imprisoned and, commonly, tortured. The Anti-Terrorism Act, together with The Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP), both passed in 2009, are the primary tools of suppression within the regime’s Arsenal of Control.

Both laws have been widely criticized by Human Rights groups; responding to the CSP in 2012 Amnesty International said that, “The law has had a devastating impact on human rights work, both in terms of the practical obstacles it creates for human rights defenders, and in exacerbating the climate of fear in which they operate.” This is of course precisely what it was intended to do. Commenting on the Anti-Terrorist Proclamation when it was drafted, Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that it provided “the Ethiopian government with a potent instrument to crack down on political dissent, including peaceful political demonstrations…It would permit [indeed has facilitated] long-term imprisonment and even the death penalty for ‘crimes’ that bear no resemblance, under any credible definition, to terrorism.”

For 27 years the TPLF group within the coalition have dominated all life in the country and like all such tyrannical regimes they have ruled through violence and fear. But we are living in new times; the days of tyrannical regimes is all but over, those that persist are sustained by the polluted energies of the past and are on their death bed. The people of Ethiopia sense that this is their time, that change is not only possible, but is coming.

The government’s half-baked move to release a few political leaders will not appease anyone, but should embolden many. It reveals a crack in the democratic facade presented by the regime, which must be split open under the force of sustained political activism, civil disobedience and public protest.

The minority members of the coalition — the OPDO and ANDM — now have an opportunity, indeed a responsibility to act boldly, to stand up and take a lead. As representatives of the two largest ethnic groups in the country they are in a position to do a number of things: demand The Anti-Terrorism Act, and The Charities and Societies Proclamation be immediately repealed, compile a comprehensive list of all political prisoners (working in cooperation with Amnesty International or The Ethiopia Human Rights Project), and vigorously press for their immediate release. Then, providing opposition politicians are released and political groups outside the country — including Ginbot 7 — are allowed to operate freely, work vigorously to campaign for fair and open elections (such a thing has never taken place in Ethiopia) to be held sometime in late 2019. This is a moment of significance in the country. There is an unstoppable force for justice and freedom sweeping across the world and Ethiopia is firmly within that current of change.


 

IRIN: Feature: Ethiopian Oromo refugees face bribes, harassment in Kenya January 12, 2018

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 NAIROBI, 12 January 2018


A freelance journalist, focusing on humanitarian and development issues

Ethiopian Oromo refugees fleeing to Kenya to escape persecution say they are finding life on the streets of Nairobi no better than the insecurity they left behind, as they are targeted by bribes and harassment and forced into vast camps with few prospects or protections.

The Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have long complained of political and economic marginalisation at the hands of the country’s ruling party, which is dominated by a minority ethnic group, the Tigrayans.

Following 2016 protests demanding political reform, which resulted in a state of emergency and the deaths of more than 600 in the security crackdown, thousands of Oromo made their way to neighbouring Kenya seeking asylum and refuge.

But they did not escape the Ethiopian authorities. Human Rights Watch has reported “numerous cases of harassment and threats” against Oromo asylum seekers in Kenya by Ethiopian government officials.

The rights group has also documented “confessions” by Kenyan police officers in which they admit to being offered bribes by the Ethiopian embassy to detain and intimidate Oromo refugees.

“When I came to Kenya I thought that I would be protected and would be able to start a new life,” said former Oromo politician “Tolessa”, who requested his identity be protected.

“[But] what I’m facing here is no different from what I was facing at home,” he told IRIN. “My future here isn’t very bright.”

Full of “spies”

Oromo refugees also reported attempts by Ethiopian officials to recruit them as informants in Nairobi’s Oromo community, promising land, protection, money, and even resettlement to the United States or elsewhere, Human Rights Watch noted.

“There are a lot of Ethiopian spies here in Nairobi,” one refugee, a former Ethiopian intelligence officer, alias “Demiksa”, told IRIN.

Now a senior dissident, “Demiksa” related what had happened to him back in Ethiopia.

He said that after refusing orders to torture prisoners held in Addis Ababa’s infamous Maekelawi prison, he was accused of being an opposition collaborator, detained, and then tortured himself.

“They tied my hands up and hung me up on the wall with nails and beat me with electric cables around my ankles and on my back,” he told IRIN, fighting tears. “I couldn’t walk for three months,” he added.

“Demiksa” said he was spared capital punishment on one condition: kill or be killed. Handed photographs of two prominent Oromo activists, he was given a loaded gun and told to get into a car.

He accepted the mission – “I had no choice,” he told IRIN – but was able to escape en route to the hit, and then fled Ethiopia.

When he arrived in Nairobi, “Demiksa” was told to register at the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya like all other Ethiopian exiles.

The long arm of Ethiopian security

But Oromo who fear being stalked by Ethiopian intelligence believe even Kakuma is not safe.

“Threats from Ethiopian security officials – working together with local [Kenyan] police – also extend to the refugee camps [in Kenya],” Human Rights Watch researcher Felix Horne told IRIN.

Horne said Oromo activists who have come from cities in Ethiopia fear camp life because of the lack of employment opportunities, the heat, and Kakuma’s physical proximity to Ethiopia.

But they have darker fears too.

Oromo refugees have reportedly been kidnapped from Kenya and taken back to Ethiopia, and there have been similar reports from Sudan, Djibouti, Uganda, and Somaliland.

“This is not unique to Kenya,” Horne said. “The patterns of pervasive Ethiopian security presence utilising local security officials is similar in other countries where Ethiopians flee to.”

Tariku Debela, a political refugee living in Kampala who fled Kenya in April 2016, still remains a target for Ethiopian security forces. He told IRIN that his scars bear witness both to the torture he received in Ethiopia and an attempt on his life in Uganda.

“Some people came to my hotel room, drugged me, and then beat me up,” he explained to IRIN over the phone. “People living nearby heard what was happening and came to my rescue. One of [the attackers] was arrested.”

A Ugandan police investigation revealed “that the men who attacked me were sent from Ethiopia to kill me,” he added.

After imploring the UN refugee agency several times to offer him protection, Debela now stays in a UNHCR safe house, but doesn’t get much else in the way of assistance.

“UNHCR haven’t even tried to help me process my case for resettlement,” he told IRIN. “Since I am a political refugee, I shouldn’t have to stay here for the rest of my life.”

UNHCR has a mandate to provide protection to refugees, including political figures like “Demiksa” and Debela.

“The documentation issued to them by the government and UNHCR gives them the right to reside legally in Kenya and protects them from deportation to their country of origin or expulsion from Kenya,” Yvonne Ndege, senior communications officer at UNHCR, told IRIN.“There are some high-profile cases, such as the Oromo; sometimes their cases are expedited through the registration process,” she added.

But some say this policy exists only in theory.

“In practice, there is very little protection afforded to Oromo refugees,” Horne told IRIN.  “Individuals with serious security issues – some of whom are high-profile individuals – often receive no practical protection whatsoever from these agencies.”

Bribes, harassment, and detention

Kenya has an encampment policy – refugees are supposed to stay in one of two vast refugee camps that house 489,000 people: Dadaab and Kakuma. That means those found in urban centres without proper documentation are vulnerable to extortion and intimidation by the police.

Refugees IRIN spoke to in Nairobi mentioned regularly having to pay bribes to avoid harassment. The going rate is up to $200 for a permit to avoid being sent to Kakuma.

Life for those who can’t afford to pay is bleak. “Because I don’t have my papers I stay at home so that I can be safe from police,” teenager Fozia told IRIN.

Fozia fled Ethiopia following a brutal crackdown on students in her hometown in Oromia. After student protesters dispersed, she says police followed her home, then raped and beat her. She decided to flee.

Despite coming to Kenya as an unaccompanied minor, Fozia hasn’t been helped by the authorities. Without the ability to bribe registration officers at Nairobi’s government-run refugee registration centre, Shauri Moyo, she can’t officially register with UNHCR for refugee status determination.

“I was given a movement pass to Kakuma, but I feared going there, especially as a young girl,” she explained.

Neither can Fozia afford to bribe officials to gain an all-important exemption permit that would allow her to legally avoid going to Kakuma.

“Without that, I’m told by UNHCR to either go to Kakuma or register for exemption at Shauri Moyo,” she said.

Many other refugees face the same hurdles.

“I still haven’t received exemption,” another former Oromo politician and victim of torture in Maekelawi who preferred to remain anonymous, told IRIN.

“I’ve been ordered to bribe officers with $200 to gain exemption from camp,” the former politician said. “I don’t have that sort of money. I also stay indoors to avoid having to pay police officers that harass me.”

Following registration with Shauri Moyo, refugees can then apply for a government of Kenya “alien card” for asylum recognition. But several refugees told IRIN that this process also entails under the table payments – ranging from $300 to $485.

Such allegations of corruption and extortion are denied by Kenya’s Refugee Affairs Secretariat, known as RAS.

UNHCR “concerned”

Once refugees are able to access asylum, their cases are referred to UNHCR for refugee status determination, which is necessary for official recognition as a refugee.

But many refugees are having to wait years to even get an interview.

“I was supposed to have an appointment in March this year,” one woman complained. “You just turn up to their office [UNHCR], stand in line, and wait for your turn. Then they tell you that they can’t see you that day.”

She went on to explain how they typically just give you another appointment letter with a different date and year and tell you to wait.

“They didn’t even give me another appointment date last time – they just told me that they would call me,” she said. “I still haven’t heard anything yet [since her March appointment].”

Recognising these concerns, the UN refugee agency insisted it is committed to improving the registration system.

“UNHCR is concerned about the time being taken for asylum seekers and refugees to receive proper documentation,” UNHCR’s Ndege told IRIN, adding that it was working to streamline its registration processes.

But Horne from Human Rights Watch said neither UNHCR nor RAS are doing enough right now to protect vulnerable Oromo.

“Country guidelines on Ethiopia that officers use to assess asylum claims should be updated as they are over 10 years old and do not remotely reflect the current situation in Ethiopia,” he said.

Oromo opposition to rulers in Addis Ababa stretches back centuries. The current ruling party, the EPRDF, has used federalism to dilute that dissent, but it has persisted.

Charlie Ensor/IRIN
An Oromo activist in Nairobi, crosses his arms in an Oromo symbol of solidarity

In the unrest in 2016 and 2017, the Oromo were joined by the second largest ethnic group, the Amharas, in the demand for political reform – posing a significant challenge to the government.

Reform at last?

In a surprise announcement at the beginning of the month, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced that his government would close Maekelawi prison and release political prisoners in a move he said would advance political dialogue with opposition groups.

“The regime realises that the political landscape is shifting rapidly and that they have to find a way forward to deal with ethnic tension and communal violence,” Ahmed Soliman, associate researcher at Chatham House, told IRIN.

But this all depends on how sincere the government is on reforming and its willingness to admit the violations it has committed – including in neighbouring countries.

As Amnesty International researcher Fisseha Tekele put it after Desalegn’s announcement: “A new chapter for human rights will only be possible if all allegations of torture and other ill-treatment are effectively investigated and those responsible brought to justice.”

(TOP PHOTO: Eastleigh, Nairobi. Home to Nairobi’s refugees. CREDIT: Charlie Ensor/IRIN)

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Ethiopia’s decision on ‘political prisoners’ in context January 11, 2018

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Ethiopia’s decision on ‘political prisoners’ in context

By , Al Jazeera, 10 January 2018

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]


On January 3, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn made two major announcements: his government will release political prisoners and close down a notorious detention centre at the heart of Ethiopia’s capital,widely known as a torture chamber for dissidents and government opponents. Desalegn announced the decision as part of a wider package of reforms aimed at fostering national reconciliation and widening the democratic space.

Rights groups welcomed the announcement as “an important step toward ending long-standing political repression and human rights abuse in the country” while others saw the move as a significant concession to the relentless protests of the last two years by the Oromos and Amharas – the two largest ethnic groups in the country.

As local and international media began to scrutinise the rationale, implications and consequences of the announcement, most of the commentary focused on Ethiopia’s perceived admission that there are political prisoners in the country. US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce even issued a statement praising Ethiopia for “finally acknowledg[ing] that it holds political prisoners.”

Shortly after the announcement, however, the government distanced itself from this interpretation by emphasising the fact that the prime minister never used the term “political prisoners” in his initial statement.

Indeed, Desalegn only referred to “political leaders and individuals whose crimes have resulted in court convictions or have resulted in their ongoing prosecution under the country’s law,” in his statement and never gave a clear indication as to which prisoners will be eligible for release.

Ethiopia’s political prisoners

The Ethiopian government has always denied consistent and widespread reports by human rights groups that it holds political prisoners. Like his predecessor, the late Meles Zenawi, who adamantly denied politicising the legal system to stifle dissent and opposition, Desalegn has also repeatedly dismissed the suggestion that Ethiopia is holding political prisoners.

Shortly after he took power in 2012, Al Jazeera’s Jane Dutton asked Desalegn if he intends to “confront” the legacy of political repression he inherited from Zenawi and take steps to release the “thousands of [political opposition] languishing in jail”. Desalegn said, “There are no political opposition that are languishing in prison.”

In May 2015, shortly before the country’s national election in which the ruling party won 100 percent of seats both at the national and regional levels, Al Jazeera’s Martine Dennisasked Desalegn about the imprisonment of “record number of journalists” to which he replied “these are not journalists …The moment you join a terrorist group, you become a blogger”.

There can be no justification to hold some political prisoners or journalists, bloggers and scholars while releasing high-profile leaders of political parties.

No sitting government would publicly admit to holding political prisoners, and – even after last week’s announcement – Ethiopian government still appears to be refusing to do so. But evidence suggests that very few governments in the world today hold more political prisoners than Ethiopia.

Since assuming power, the government frequently used the legal system to lock up members and leaders of the opposition. Indeed, the courts served as potent instruments of repression and power consolidation second only to the military-security apparatus.

Since the early days of the regime and particularly following the adoption of the country’s notorious anti-terrorism law in 2009, there has been a frightening politicisation of the legal system and the administration of justice. With or without disguise, Ethiopia used its courts and other institutions of justice to harass, intimidate, and eliminate political opposition from the political space.

In the early days of the regime, several members of opposition parties have been held in detention centres throughout the country without charges, particularly in the Oromia regional state. Actual or suspected members of the Oromo Liberation Front have been arrested in mass and detained without charges. More than two decades later, the whereabouts of several individuals including prominent Oromo politicians such as Nadhi Gamada and Bekele Dawano are still unknown.

Following the contested election in 2005, the government rounded up leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) who made significant electoral gains that denied the incumbent its majority. Since the government adopted its notorious anti-terror legislation, more than 1,000 people including opposition political leaders, journalists, bloggers, activists, scholars, and religious figures, have been charged with terror-related crimes. It is estimated that tens of thousands of individuals are currently in jail because of the government’s intolerance to dissenting views.

What makes these individuals political prisoners is not their innocence or guilt but the fact that their arrest, prosecution, and conviction were purely motivated by political ambitions as opposed to normative concerns with the rule of law and justice. In other words, the legal process is set in motion not for the determination of guilt and innocence but for political expedience, to pursue the dual goal of delegitimising political foes and physically eliminating them from the political space.

While the Ethiopian government still appears to be refusing the mere existence of thousands of political prisoners in the country, last week’s announcement, however incomplete, is a step in the right direction.

The closure of the infamous torture chamber commonly known as Maikalawi is another welcome development that signals a departure from the repressive practices of the past. But it needs to be noted that the prime minister did not admit that his government used the prison as a torture centre. He instead noted that the prison will be closed and turned in to a museum as result of its role in past atrocities.

Yet there are many credible reports (pdf) showing that opposition politicians, protest organisers, journalists, suspected dissenters and other voices critical of the government are taken to Maikalawi and subjected to torture or other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment under the rule of the current regime.

The real reasons behind the announcement

The decision to release political prisoners and close down the detention centre is a compromise between the four political parties that make up the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition. But understanding the political considerations behind the announcement requires a proper understanding and appreciation of the two central issues: the constitutive and operational logic of the EPRDF and the nature of the crisis destabilising the country for well over two years.

EPRDF is the brainchild of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a Marxist-Leninist movement that fought to liberate the Tigray ethnic group, which comprise six percent of Ethiopia’s more than 100 million people. In the final days of Ethiopia’s civil war, the TPLF orchestrated the creation of three satellite parties – Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) – that ostensibly represent their respective ethnic groups.

The TPLF assembled these puppet organisations to consolidate its grip on power. They helped broaden TPLF’s appeal beyond Tigray and bolster its political legitimacy while also enabling it to smother real opposition from autonomous parties such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the All Amhara Peoples Organization (AAPO).

For 26 years, TPLF used this vassal configuration to dominate all aspects of the country’s political life, while mercilessly muzzling dissenting voices both from within and outside the party. The discontent and suffering that have been simmering underground for decades exploded into the open in November of 2015 when Oromos, the largest ethnic group in the country, took to the streets in protest.

In July of 2016, the Amharas, the second-largest ethnic group in the country, joined the protest, creating a nationwide protest movement that reconfigured the political landscape and brought the government to its knees.

The protests not only exposed the structural anomalies at the heart of Ethiopia’s political system, but also brought about a significant reconfiguration of the asymmetric relationship between the four parties that make up the EPRDF. TPLF lost its absolute power within the coalition as its junior partners began to reinvent themselves and side with their respective people.

This is particularly evident in Oromia, where the new leadership of the region refused to play second fiddle. OPDO began to flex its muscles, knowing full well that as the party with the most seats in parliament, and the largest population, it can cripple the government. In a major break, the new leaders of OPDO began protesting the disproportionate and indiscriminate policing, harassment, imprisonment, and torture of Oromos by security forces.

In a joint press statement of the four parties that make up the ruling coalition, Lemma Megersa, the leader of OPDO and the president of Oromia regional state, characterised Maikalawi as “a site in which our citizens have been castrated for years“. Megersa, a transformational figure with a distinct ability to appeal to people across competing nationalist narratives and fault lines that divide Ethiopian politics, went on to argue that “while it is one thing to close it down, it is important that we look at the justice sector more broadly, from investigation to prosecution, trial, and sentencing.”

While the proposed package of reforms are in the interests of the OPDO and ANDM, it is not clear to what extent the other parties, particularly the TPLF, which still controls the intelligence, the military and the federal police, is genuinely committed to enforcing measures, which, if fully implemented, would ultimately reduce its influence within the coalition, the government and the state more generally.

TPLF’s hegemonic status depends on fostering hostility and division, not national reconciliation and democratisation. Indeed, just three days after the announcement, the Federal Police announced a “deep investigation” into “Qeerroo Oromo” (Oromo youth) movement, a decision which collides head-on with the party’s stated goals of national reconciliation and democratisation.

The government acknowledges the unprecedented nature of the crisis facing the country and rightly identifies national reconciliation and widening the democratic space as two of the most significant policy objectives necessary to save the country from plunging into the abyss. However, the government cannot pursue these goals while at the same time proposing measures in conflict with these imperatives.

The government must come to terms with the transformations of the last two years and open up the political process for all voices that seek a hearing and bodies that seek visibility. This means adopting the broadest possible definition of political prisoners and releasing all those whose arrest, detention, prosecution, and conviction have been driven by political considerations.

There can be no justification to hold some political prisoners or journalists, bloggers and scholars while releasing high-profile leaders of political parties. If there is any lesson the government can learn from the protests of the last two years, it is that more repression will only escalate the crisis, not contain or avert it.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

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Geneva press Club: Fear of State Collapse and Prospect of Democratic Transition in Ethiopia January 11, 2018

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Mohammed Al-Amoudi transferred to maximum security prison January 11, 2018

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Al Amoudi


Mohammed Al-Amoudi transferred to maximum security prison

Tesfa News ESAT News, January 10, 2018

The Ethiopian born Saudi tycoon, Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi and all the remaining detainees that were held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel have been transferred to Al-Ha’ir prison, a maximum security prison south of Riyadh.

The Middle East Monitor quoted the Arabic Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site as saying authorities have transferred the remaining detainees being held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel to Al-Ha’ir prison because they have refused to pay large payments, 70% of their wealth, to secure their freedom.

The report said nearly 60 detainees were transferred to the most high security prison in the Kingdom. The prisoners include Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal as Prince Turki Bin Abdullah and a number of government officials who refused to make the large financial payments for their release.

Among those transferred to the maximum security prison is Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi whose worth is 10.6 Billion dollars and owns businesses in hundreds of millions of dollars in Ethiopia. He works works closely with the TPLF oligarchy that granted him thousands of hectares of agricultural land and several prime plots in the capital Addis Ababa. He hit jackpot with gold in Ethiopia and has been mining gold for over two decades. His agricultural and construction projects stretch all across the country.

Early in November Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the arrest of about 200 princes and businessman accused of high level corruption.

But the purge was also seen as a move to raise money for the cash strapped Kingdom’s treasury. Authorities aimed at raising 100 billion dollars in return for the release of the suspects.

Prince Miteb bin Abdullah had been released after paying more than $1 billion for his release. And a few others had reportedly reached settlement for their freedom.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel is now available for booking starting next month, according to its website.


 

How to bring down a dictator | The Economist Film January 10, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistThe Economist on #OromoProtests

“Foreign government don’t have friends, only interests.”

“Democracy is like love you need to make it everyday.”

 

FT: Ethiopia regime caught between will to survive and call for change January 9, 2018

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Ethiopia regime caught between will to survive and call for change


Real reform unlikely as it would mean self-destruction for government, critics say

#OromoProtests at a point of no returns

After anti-government protests erupted two years ago, Ethiopia’s government adopted its traditional approach to dealing with dissent: hundreds of people were killed in clashes with security forces, tens of thousands were detained and a state of emergency was imposed. But the unrest continued to fester and has escalated in the five months since emergency rule was lifted, once more threatening the stability of the nation and the prospects of one of Africa’s best-performing economies. Now the rattled government is trying a different tactic — making conciliatory gestures to those who oppose its autocratic rule.  Hailemariam Desalegn, the prime minister, announced last week that the government would release political prisoners and close a notorious prison as the first steps in a process to “foster national reconciliation”.  Analysts say the highly unusual measure was prompted by a belated realisation in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front that the unrest posed a serious threat to its 26-year hold on power. But the way the crisis has been handled also exposes unprecedented cracks in the unity of the four-party ruling coalition. “[While] on the one hand . . . the situation of our country is delightful, the conflicts . . . pose serious danger to our national survival Regime executive committee press release “The EPRDF has always had divisions but it’s been very insular and everything has been contained,” says Ahmed Salim, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence. “For the first time we’re seeing some of these machinations play out publicly because of the anti-government protests.” The decision to release prisoners, which has yet to be implemented, was taken by the EPRDF’s 36-member executive committee at a 17-day retreat last month. In a rare bout of self-criticism, the executive committee blamed the crisis on poor leadership at all levels of the coalition and a lack of democracy. The EPRDF controls all the seats in parliament and all the main opposition parties have been outlawed or emasculated, the country has few independent civil society organisations and the media is muzzled. The committee concluded that while “on the one hand . . . the situation of our country is delightful”, according to an official translation of a press release, “the conflicts being ensued in different parts of the country . . . posed serious danger to our national survival”. The “conflicts” erupted in 2015 over opposition to government plans to expand the capital, Addis Ababa. They escalated into a more general anti-government movement as discontent rose, particularly in the Oromia and Amhara regions, where people complain about decades of marginalisation by the ruling Tigrayan elite. Ethiopia’s prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the move to free prisoners would ‘foster national reconciliation’.

More recently, the protests have centred on clashes between people in Oromia and the Somali federal state, prompting fears among analysts that the unrest could become increasingly ethnic. “It’s a realisation by the [EPRDF], perhaps a little too late, that they need to shift course in their approach to the growing anti-government sentiment,” Mr Salim says. “It’s a tacit acceptance they’ve got it all wrong.” After its meeting, the EPRDF committee expressed “its earnest remorse for putting the ongoing quarter century [of] development in jeopardy”. Over the past decade, Ethiopia, an impoverished nation of 100m, has recorded average economic growth of more than 8 per cent, while attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment as it positioned itself as a centre of low-cost manufacturing. Awol Allo, an Ethiopian political analyst at Keele University in the UK, describes the prisoner announcement as a “major step in the right direction for the EPRDF”. However, activists’ long-held scepticism of the regime’s reform promises would remain until there was tangible progress, he says. Arguably the greater threat to the coalition’s survival comes not from the streets but from within its ranks, he says, particularly the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation and Amhara National Democratic Movement parties. “These parties are becoming increasingly vocal and demanding greater democracy,” he says.   The Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups account for more than 60 per cent of the population, but the EPRDF is dominated by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front. Tigrayans comprise only 6 per cent of the population but the TPLF led the armed struggle that in 1991 toppled Mengistu Haile Mariam’s dictatorship.  The fourth party in the EPRDF is the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, which is led by Mr Hailemariam, the prime minister Mr Salim says the EPRDF is “clearly not united” but that it is premature to predict what will happen. “Complete collapse is the most unlikely scenario but they’re experiencing threats that are existential,” he says.  The coalition’s challenge is to find a balance between survival and satisfying demands for change, says Befeqadu Hailu, a prominent Ethiopian blogger. “If the EPRDF does real reform and introduces proper democracy it will perish, because it’s reated so many grievances in every citizen’s head it will either split or be voted out,” he says. “But if it doesn’t do reform, the crisis will get worse.”


 

Oromia: Crackdowns on Qeerroo? Good Luck Intimidating the Tiger! #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution January 8, 2018

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#OromoProtests, Oromo students movement for freedom

 

Click here to read more: Crackdowns on Qeerroo? Good Luck Intimidating the Tiger! 

Qeerroo: Hawwii Tazarraa New Oromo Music 2018 January 6, 2018

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Ethiopian Government’s Promise to Release Political Prisoners & Close Notorious Jail Meaningless Without Political Freedoms January 5, 2018

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“For years, while donor countries like the US have turned a blind eye, thousands of Ethiopians have languished behind bars simply for speaking up against so-called development policies and related human rights abuses, all perpetrated by the Ethiopian regime. The acknowledgement of these political prisoners, their release, and the closure of the horrific Maekelawi police station, if actually carried through, are all long overdue, but not enough.”

Ethiopian Government’s Promise to Release Political Prisoners & Close Notorious Jail Meaningless Without Political Freedoms

The Oakland Institute, January 4, 2018

Kibish, Ethiopia. Credit: The Oakland Institute.

Media Contact: Anuradha Mittal
amittal@oaklandinstitute.org
+1 510-469-5228

Oakland, CA—Until yesterday, the Ethiopian government refused to even acknowledge the presence of scores of political prisoners in the country. Then on January 3, 2018, the government announced that it would release all of its political prisoners and close the notorious Maekelawi police station. The surprise announcement came after years of political suppression that saw the deaths of over 1,000 people and the arrest of over 26,000 in 2016-2017 alone, as well as the imposition of a 10-month state of emergency.

According to Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, “For years, while donor countries like the US have turned a blind eye, thousands of Ethiopians have languished behind bars simply for speaking up against so-called development policies and related human rights abuses, all perpetrated by the Ethiopian regime. The acknowledgement of these political prisoners, their release, and the closure of the horrific Maekelawi police station, if actually carried through, are all long overdue, but not enough.”

The Oakland Institute has exposed human rights abuses linked to land grabs and failed development policies across Ethiopia for over a decade. This has included forced displacement, unlawful arrest, the stifling of basic human rights, and more. Journalists, opposition party members, religious and indigenous leaders, students, and land rights defenders have been imprisoned simply for speaking out against injustice in the country. The Institute has been closely involved in the cases of various land rights defenders and political prisoners, and has campaigned against Ethiopia’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.

“For years, the Ethiopian government has used its anti-terrorism law to criminalize basic human rights, stifle dissent, and lock up anyone who critiques its policies and actions,” explained Lewis Gordon, Executive Director of the Environmental Defender Law Center and editor of a joint report with the Oakland Institute about the law. “While today’s announcement has the potential to be a positive step forward for many in Ethiopia, it is also imperative that the government repeal the use of this repressive piece of legislation.”

While yesterday’s news has been heralded by many, questions remain about how the government intends to enact these sweeping changes.

“Who is considered a political prisoner? How and when will these releases take place and under what conditions? Going forward, what kinds of political freedoms will be allowed? The right to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of the media? How will the perpetrators of crimes that have been committed against Ethiopian citizens be held accountable? These are all details that have not yet been released,” Mittal stated. “In the absence of these details, we remain cautious about this announcement.  We will remain vigilant in the days and weeks to come, and hold the Ethiopian government accountable to swiftly and fully follow through on its promises.”

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Learn more about Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in our report: Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Law: A Tool to Stifle Dissent.

Financial Times coverage of Mr. Okello’s sentence (registration required).

Obok’s letter to the Financial Times in response to their report.


Related (Oromian Economist sources):-

BBC: Ethiopia PM ‘misquoted’ over prisoners

Foreign Affairs Committee: Chairman Royce Statement on Ethiopia Political Prisoners Announcement,Press Release

The New York Times: Ethiopia Says It Will Close Notorious Prison and Free Some Inmates 

BBC Afaan Oromoo: ‘Nama malee manni nama hin dararu’ – Maa’ikalaawii

OPride: Ethiopia needs deeper reforms beyond release of jailed politicians and closure of Maekelawi

OPride: Here is what Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said and what he didn’t say

 

QZ: Ethiopia will have to do a lot more than release political prisoners to end repression

OP-ED: RACE TO THE BOTTOM: ETHIOPIA’S ACCELERATING CRISIS January 2, 2018

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An economy in free fall, ever-deepening repression, a deteriorating security, inter-ethnic violence, and a vicious infighting within the ruling party – Ethiopia is on the cusp of political explosion.


Addis Abeba, December 31/2017 – The Executive Committee of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) just concluded a high stakes meeting widely expected to offer a pathway out of the current crisis. The press release put out by the party after the 18-days long meeting is full of invectives, outrageous falsehoods, and deliberate reversal of historical facts designed to give an appearance of coherence and solidity to a regime in complete shambles.

Ethiopia has largely been seen in Western capitals as “an Island of stability in a troubled region”.  The inability and unwillingness of the government to address the popular demands of the protests of the last three years degenerated into a far more complex and dangerous turmoil, morphing into a wholesale political crisis.

According to the 2017 Fragile States Index by the US think thank Fund for Peace, Ethiopia is the 15th most fragile state in the world, down from 24th in 2016. And also according to the forthcoming 2018 Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index (BTI), which evaluates and analyses the political, economic, and governance transformations of 129 developing countries, Ethiopia is on a downward trend. It ranks 113th on the state of political and economic transformation, down from 111th in 2016. The country is teetering on the brink of a bottomless abyss. But what are the key reasons and how can this sharp increase in the vulnerability of the state to collapse reversed?

Since the sudden demise of its all too powerful Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, in 2012, the country has been in tumult, unable to deal with the political crisis generated by escalating levels of ethnic discontent, violent political repression, and crippling economic conditions. A strategic thinker known for being duplicitous, savage, and decisive, Meles was a master manipulator with an absolute grip on the country’s political and economic policies. His successor, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, had neither the adept strategic maneuver nor the far-reaching control Meles had over the party, the state, as well as the military and security apparatus.

Rupture in the Ruling Coalition

The ruling party, EPRDF, a coalition of four unequal ethnic based parties, is on the brink of unraveling. Alarmed by the pace of changes sweeping the political landscape and the central government’s increasing strategic and tactical incompetence, some of its members are beginning to publicly contradict each other, a rupture that marked a make or break moment for the party and the government. EPRDF is a vassal configuration held together through ideological machinations and a range of repressive tactics. Its members are: The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), The Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), The Amhara National Democratic Movement, and The Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement.

The most dominant mother party, TPLF, used the vassals to bolster its legitimacy and squelch opposition from autonomous parties. While the vassal parties were allowed a measure of autonomy on internal matters, the mother party ensured the durability of the vassal configuration by ensuring that vassal parties do not build a social capital and internal party infrastructure that will one day allow it to free itself from this titular arrangement.

Since the death of Meles Zenawi, the vassal configuration has been in tatters, as former vassals began to assert themselves and demand a fair and equal distribution of political power within the party and the state. This is particularly evident within the Oromia regional state, where the region’s governing party, the OPDO, has been publicly expressing its disenchantment with the status quo.

The Violence on the Eastern Front

Elements within the TPLF who saw the OPDO as the greatest threat to their power turned to sabotage to reassert control of the vassal that is abandoning them to side with their sizable constituency. According to several sources, the violence along the border between Oromia and Ethiopian Somali regional state, while executed by Liyu Police, a paramilitary force with a dubious mandate, was indeed, instigated by TPLF generals. The border conflict has claimed the lives of hundreds and displaced more than half a million people.

For over a decade now, the government has been hiding behind the rhetoric of national security and narrative of development to shut down critical conversations of considerable political significance. These narratives have run out of steam and no longer provide the cement capable of holding together the crumbling social and political fabric in the country.

Nation-wide protests

As years of pain and suffering turned into rage, Ethiopians poured into the streets to demand that the government respects its own Constitution, and political repression. The Muslim community began protesting in December 2011 demanding religious freedom and an end to the government’s intervention in the affairs of their religion. In November 2015, the Oromos, the largest ethnic group in the country who make up around a third of the population, started one of the most consequential protests, essentially redefining the terms of engagement between the state and society. In July 2016, the Amharas, the second largest ethnic group in the country, joined the protest, intensifying the pressure against the government.

Although the nature of the grievances and the demands of these protest movements are not exactly the same, these protests were essentially reflections of decades of humiliation and hopelessness by their respective communities, exacerbated by the government’s contempt to long overdue questions of representation, autonomy, equality, and justice.

The government’s brutal response – complete with a show of force – was to securitize the demands and denigrate protesters as terrorists and anti-peace elements – a common tactic used by the Ethiopian government to justify violent suppression of peaceful opposition. As a consequence the tone and substance of the conversations on the Ethiopian streets suddenly shifted, with protesters demanding a radical transformation of the system. The ruling party has become the symbol of national decay and bankrupt hopes. Shaken to its core, it declared a state of emergency on October 8, 2016, to reassert control. By the time the emergency was lifted, in August 2017, hundreds of people were killed and tens of thousands were detained.

The Executive Committee Meeting

The highly anticipated Executive Committee meeting was widely expected to pass major decisions on the future direction of the party and the country by offering credible and tangible pathways for democratizing the party and the state. If the press statement is to be taken as an accurate reflection of what has been agreed in the meeting and where the party is headed, the status quo seems to have won the day.  The substance and tone of the statement is in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the Ethiopian people who have staged relentless protests for more than three years and paid a considerable price.

The country is on the verge of explosion and the government has now reached a turning point. It faces a choice between opening up the political process and tumbling into the abyss.

The West also faces a choice between supporting an all-inclusive transition or the complete unraveling of a geopolitically significant state with a colossal repercussion for its people and the region. Indeed, some diplomats with extensive experience of the country and the region have been moving away from the morally and politically questionable position they supported and defended for over two decades. Ambassador Herman J. Cohen, former US Assistant Secretary of States, who played a key part in the last political transition in Ethiopia, recently called on the government to “seriously consider requesting US Government mediation to organize a conference among all parties that will produce new democratic dispensation – before law and order collapse completely”.

Western governments who have been criticizing the government in private and behind closed-doors must take their criticisms a step further and demand concrete action. Most of all, they must demand that the government stops instigating inter-ethnic violence, release all political prisoners, listen to the plight of its people, and take radical steps to halt the race to the bottom.


ED’s Note: Awol Allo, is Lecturer in Law at Keele University, Great Britain. He tweets at @awol_allo and can be reached at a.k.allo@keele.ac.uk