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Ethiopia’s Amhara state president killed amid regional failed coup attempt. Yaalii Fonqolcha Mootummaa Naannoo Amaaraatti Fashala’een Preezidantiin Naannoo Amaaraa Dhukaasa Banameen Ajjeefaman June 23, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Ethiopia’s Amhara state chief killed amid regional coup attempt, AL JAZEERA NEWS

The president of Ethiopia‘s Amhara region and his top adviser were killed in an attempted coup in which the country’s army chief was also shot dead, the office of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.

Spokeswoman Billene Seyoum told journalists a “hit squad” led by Amhara’s security chief Asaminew Tsige burst into a meeting in the state offices of Amhara’s capital, Bahir Dar, on Saturday and shot regional government President Ambachew Mekonnen and his adviser Ezez Wassie.

The men were “gravely injured in the attack and later died of their wounds,” she said.

“Several hours later, in what seems like a coordinated attack, the chief of the staff of the national security forces Seare Mekonnen was killed in his home by his bodyguard in Addis Ababa.”

Also shot dead was a retired general who had been visiting him, Billene added.

The bodyguard has been apprehended while Asaminew is still on the loose, sources said.

Ethiopia coup attempt Amhara

Al Jazeera’s Leah Harding, reporting from Addis Ababa, said Abiy called those responsible “mercenaries”.

“The army intelligence general said the coup was meant to create chaos and division in the military. He said the military now has control over the situation … and he reiterated that there are no divisions within the military,” Harding reported.

“This is particularly important because the two generals that were killed in Addis Ababa are part of the Tigre ethnic group, and the person who we believe is responsible for the coup plot is part of the Amhara group.”

Analysts said the incident showed the seriousness of the political crisis in Ethiopia, where efforts by Abiy to loosen the iron-fisted grip of his predecessors and push through reforms have unleashed a wave of unrest.

“These tragic incidents, unfortunately, demonstrate the depth of Ethiopia’s political crisis,” said International Crisis Group analyst William Davison.

“It is now critical that actors across the country do not worsen the instability by reacting violently or trying to exploit this unfolding situation for their own political ends,” the expert said. 

Ethiopia unrest

Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed condemned the unrest in an appearance on state television [Reuters]

Residents of Bahir Dar said late on Saturday there was gunfire in some neighbourhoods and some roads had been closed off.

The US embassy issued alerts about reported gunfire in Addis Ababa and violence around Bahir Dar.View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Travel – State Dept@TravelGov

#Ethiopia: The U.S Embassy is aware of reports of gunfire in Addis Ababa. Chief of Mission personnel are advised to shelter in place. http://ow.ly/kcLf50uKB0w 12111:04 PM – Jun 22, 2019159 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Early on Sunday, Brigadier General Tefera Mamo, the head of special forces in Amhara, told state television that “most of the people who attempted the coup have been arrested, although there are a few still at large.”

Since coming to power last year, Abiy has tried to spearhead political reforms to open up the once isolated, security-obsessed Horn of Africa country of 100 million people.

He has released political prisoners, lifted bans on political parties and prosecuted officials accused of gross human rights abuses, but his government is battling mounting violence.

Ethnic bloodshed – long held in check by the state’s iron grip – has flared up in many areas, including Amhara, where the regional government was led by Ambachew Mekonnen.

“Since Abiy Ahmed took power and the country moved towards democratisation … there have been different forms of mobilisations, by different actors, particularly nationalists.” Awol Allo, a lecturer in law at Keele University, told Al Jazeera. 

“[In] Amhara regional state, there is this feeling that they were marginalised, and these individuals that were suspected to be behind the coup recently said that Amhara people have never been subordinated.. so there is this sense of grievance and victimhood that is driving the nationalist movements,” he added. 

Ethiopia is due to hold a national parliamentary election next year. Several opposition groups have called for the polls to be held on time despite the unrest and displacement. Ethiopia is due to hold a national parliamentary election next year. Several opposition groups have called for the polls to be held on time despite the unrest and displacement.

Related News from Oromian Economist sources:

Yaalii Fonqolcha Mootummaa Naannoo Amaaraatti raawwatameen Preezidantiin Naannoo Amaaraa dhukaasa banameen ajjeefaman, BBC Afaan Oromoo

Ethiopia’s chief of staff killed in coup attempt in Amhara state, Reuters

The Amhara state president, Ambachew Mekonnen, and his adviser were shot dead and the state’s attorney general was wounded in Amhara’s capital, Bahir Dar, on Saturday evening, according to a statement from the office of the prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, The Guardian

Yaalii fonqolchaa kana akka itti hubatamuu qaburratti aktivistoonni Amaaraa bakka lamatti bahanii wal falmaa jiru. Gareen ija jabeessi ‘kun diraamaa Abiyyi tahe jedhee raawwatedha’ jechuun yakkamtoota isaaniirraa dhiiga dhiquu yaalaa jiru. Gareen kaan ammoo Abiyyiin jibbinuyyuu dhugaa kana haaluun rakkisaa dha, nun baasu jechuun haqa liqimsaa jiru. Kan nama qaanfachiisu garuu, warra maqaa Oromoon of waamaa ‘hojiin kun diraamaa Abiyyi malee yaalii fonqolchaa miti’ jechuun gartuu Asaamminoo Tsiggee irraa dhiiga dhiquuf dhama’us arguu dha. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=903553573365016&id=100011311443078

Jeneraal Se’are kan ajjeesse waardiyaa isaa Mesafint jedhamu ta’uun himameera. Bakki dhaloota isaa Gondar, Amhara dha. Ajjeechaa sana erga raawwatee booda of ajjeesuu yaalee kan ture yoo ta’u of madeessee lubbuun keessa jirti.

Dr. Ambachew Bahirdaaritti kan ajjeese Jeneral Asaaminew Tsige ta’uunis himamaa jira. Amma Bahirdar keessaa miliqee bakka hin beekamne dhokatee jira jedhama. Walgayii magaalattii walakkaa keessatti ta’e keessatti nama lama ajjeessee dhokachuu danda’uun isaa bulchiinsa Amaaraa keessaa deggertootaa hedduuf cimdaa bal’aa qabaachuu isaa agarsiisa. Hatattamaan hin qabamu yoo ta’e dhiyootti deggertoota isaa wajjin waraanaa mootummaa federaalaa irratti banuun isaa waan hin oolle. Caasaan ABN isa cina dhaabbachuun falmisiisaa miti. Qaamni kun Amaara keessa qofa otuu hin taane biyyattii bakka hundatti caasaa diriirfatee jira. Keessumaa magaalota Oromiyaa kanneen akka Adaamaa, Asallaa, Goobbaa fi Finfinnee keessatti caasaan ABN cimaa ta’uu hin oolu. Kanaaf ummatni keenya of eeggannoo cimaa godhuu qaba. Poolisii Oromiyaa cina dhaabbatee nageenya isaa tiksuu qaba. 
Solomon Ungashe tiin. https://www.facebook.com/daniel.areerii/posts/3080992428584542

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Oromia: Iyyi iyya dabarsi: Oromoon Walloo naa dhaqabaa jedhee lammiitt iyyataa jiraa June 20, 2019

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Iyyi iyya dabarsi: Oromoon Walloo naa dhaqabaa jedhee lammiitt iyyataa jiraa

Obbo Ibsaa Gutamaa irraa

Iyyi iyya dabarsi: Oromoon Walloo naa dhaqabaa jedhee lammiitt iyyataa jiraa. Amaarri goleett galchanii federaalaan dahachuun itt roorrisuu eegalanii jiru. Biyya keessan miti nu keessaa maal gootu faa jedhamuutu dhagahama. Seenaa fi seeraan Oromoon kan himatan caalaanu hafee jira. Seenaa hololaaf dur dur uumame irra deddeebi’uun waan isa tokkoo kan biraaf hin ragaasisuu. Oromoon Kaabaa, bara dhufee darbe hunda diina ofirraa qolata yoonaa gahanii. Yeroo isaan weeraran, dachaasanii golee saaniitt galchuun akka itt hin xiixne karoora baasanii bulchaanis turanii. Haaloo sanaati, namichi gargaarsa faranjiin aangoott ol bahe Teedros jedhamu arfan irraa ciruun rifachiisuu kan yaale. Faranjiin ka’iisa saa gargaare kufaatii saafis maqaa haa fudhatu malee, Maqadallaa irratt kan biyyoo nyaachisaniin Oromoo sana turani. Garaa laaffifachuuf faranjii hidhe yoo gad dhiisu, hogganota Oromoo hidhaa saa turan qalee qileett gad darbe. Haaloo bahachuun mootota isa duuba dhufaniinis, Oromoo irraa dhaabbatee hin beeku. Miseensoti EPRDFis sanuma itt fufaa jiru. ODPiin ummata maqaa saaf ijaarameef dhaqabuu mamuun, kakuu ADWUI waliin qabu kan mararfate fakkeesisa. Kun, Oromoo hafan didha kan galchuu dandahu tahuu hin hubanne taha. Dhugaa, nagaa, tukkummaa, walqixxummaa fi jaalallli Dr. Abiy lallabu qilleensa keessatt akka hin hafne ni sodaachisa. Kanaaf shaffisaan itt yaaduu feesisaa. Amaarri hanga daba kanaan dura hogganooti saanii raawwatan amananii, gumaa baasuun, nagaa, walqixxumma, bilisummaa fi obbolummaan Oromoo waliin jiraachuun barbaadna jedhanii waltahiinsa haaraa mallateessanitt araarri bu’uu ni rakkata. Kun tartiiba dudhaa kan waldhaban hordofan hundi beekanii. Gaaffii bu’uuraa hunda dura deebii barbaaduu. Gurguddoon Amaaraa hamma yoonaa aarii Oromoon bilisummaa gaafachuu saani si’anaaf qaban malee, abbootin saanii badii irraan gahaniif gaabbii hin agarsiisne. Dadhabbii fi kufaatii saanii hundaaf Oromummaa saa qofaaf ABO bakka deeman hundatt abaaru. Isaaniif ABOn mallatoo Oromummaa waliigalaati. Goototi saanii kanneen gara laafina malee Oromoott roorrisan, Tediros, Minilik fi Hayila Sillaaseen guyyuu afaanii hin buhani. Oromoo hedduun, awwaalaa baasee lafee saaniillee utuu gubee hin jibbu. Abiy akka ofiitt malee akka jarri barbaadanitt gaggeessuuf fedha waan hin agarsiifneef balaaleffachuu eegalaa jiru. Garuu Taabota meeqaa wareegan, kan hamma saa yeroo si’anaaf hin argatanii. Hayyooti saanii akka Daawwit Walda Gorgis faa mootummaan abbaa gonfoof kan itt haananii dhufan maaliif akka kufan qorachuullee hin dhimmamne. Abiy heera rarraasee Oromoo fi somaalee callisiisu yoo hin dandeenye taahitaa akka gaddhiisu gorsaa jiru. Gorsii Daawit W/Gorgis Amaartichi amma saddeettaman keessa jiru, haaraa mitii; Dargii fi qondaalota Itophiyaa hedduu galaafate Wayyaanee fi Shaabiyyaa injifannoon gahe. Inni ofii miliqee jireenya saa durii irra basha’aa jiraataa. Yaadi isaa yeroo waliin hin deemu. Qarooma utuu hin tahin mura honga’aa. Empayerri Itophiyaa bosose utuu argu, barumsaa fi muuxannoo qabuun saboota fi sabaawoti akkamitt walitt hafuu dandahuu faluu dhiisee empayera bututtuu walitt erbuuf hidhatee as bahe. Dhugaa inni dubate, Itophiyaan finnaa (state) hoongaate tahuu seetii. “Qinyi gizatoch” (Kolonooti) see erga didanii of soneessuu dadhabdee burjaaja’aa jirti. Sabooti isee keessa jiran akka Amaaraa, Tigray, Agawuu fi Qimaanti eenyummaa ofiin of dandahanii dhaabbachuuf tattaafataa jiruu. Itophiyaa dullattiin arraba isaa fi abdattu sirna Nafxanyaa akka isaa irratt qofaa hafaa jirti. Daawitii baddaa Habashaa irra gad yoo ilaalan kan bilisummaaf lolatu karisaa, kan kufaatii empayeraa jala gugatanii lafa saammatan jaalbiyyoota tahanii mullatu. Empayericha keessa karisummaanis “saranyummaanis” hin jiranii; kan mirga ofiif qabsaawanii fi sana ukkaamsuu kan yaalan qofa. Oromoon hardha qabsoo saaniitiin haala “Qinyii” (kolonii) akka itt hin deebi’amnett jijjiiranii jiru. Sana yoo tolchan mirgoota ilmaan namaa fi seera abbaa gadaa irra hin ejjenne. Isaan garuu akka harka badu tuttuqaa jiru. Garuu namoota nagaan jiraatan, keessa sodaa Oromoon isin fixuuf jedhuu facaasuun bakka yartuu dha hanga buqqa’ee baqatuun gahanii jiru. Sanaaf kashalabbee ofii malee Oromoo komachuu hin qabanii. Seenaa darbe dabaluuf, gurguddoon Amaaraa akkuma durii saanii “Nagaariit” (dibbee) dillissuun ni dhagahama. Godina Oromoo bulcha saanii jala jiruu fi olla tokko tokkott roorrisuu eegaluun argamaa jira. Oromoon amma dhiisee duruu mirga ofii tole jedhe gaddhiisee hin beeku. Kan baasu, Itophiyaa dullattii deebisanii kabeebsuu utuu hin tahin, seera fi sirna kanaan dura jallatan hunda sirreessanii, kakuu haaraa irratt walii galuun wal qixxummaa, bilisummaa fi wal kabajan nagaa fi gammachuun jiraachuuf ifaajja’uu dha. “Akka durii fi harka xuriitt hin hafan” jedha Oromoon. Kaleessi dhiitee seenaa tahaa, hardhi jalaan bariitee egeree ifsaa jirtii. Dubbiin Walloo bariisaa jarjarsiti malee dukkanni ni deebi’aa hin yaadamu. Oromoon iyyaati isaan caalaa yoo hin tane isaaniin gadi hin qabu. Inni akka durii Taaboti deemuu didee, qoolloo isinii harca’ee jira, lafa kennaafi jedhan sadarkaa Oromoon si’anaa irra jiru baruu dadhabuun sadarkaa guddina saanii qofa agarsiisa. Daa’immi Oromoollee muka irraa harkaan bocamuu saa beekti. Kanaaf gargar cita hariiroo akka hin taane beekoti Amaaraa itt haa yaadanii. Qabateewan si’ana galmoota magaalaa keessatt, irratt mari’ataman godina keenyaaf utuu hin tahin dureeyyii fi kanneen aangoo qaban qofaaf dhimma baasuu. Sana irraa bu’aa argachuuf rakkinni bu’aaraa nuti qabnu, Gaaffiin Sabummaa furmaata argatee tokkummaan addunyaa waliin dorgomuu jalqabuu dandahuu qabna. Sana maleee fedha xixinnoof utuu wal danqinu korporeeshinoota addunyaan akka hiratamnu abaraamuu dandeenya. Rakkina fedha xixinnoo furru malee waan gurgudaa dandahuun keenyas mamii qaba. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu

Xinxala gabaabaa haala yeroo June 16, 2019

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Xiinxala gabaabaa haala yeroo

Yaya Beshir irraa


Oromoon of kabajsiisuuf ammas karaan qabsoo fagoo akka tahe dhihoo kana katabeen ture. Dubbii kana maaliif akkan jedhe keessa deebi’een gad jabeessuuf dirqama. 
Humni Amaaraa aangootti deebi’uuf karaa gurguddaa lamaan 
didichaa jira. Mooraan siyaasaa Amaaraa kun waan irratti sirriitti walii galan qabu. Oromoota maqaa ODPtiin aangoo federaalaa irra jiran yoo danda’an dhiibbaa irratti godhanii Oromoo gansiisuudhaaf hojjechaa jiru. Dr. Abiyyi faa aangoo jabeeffachuu yoo barbaadan Oromoo gananii jara waliin dhaabbachuu malee akka fala hin qabne itti himaa jiru. ”Maqaa Oromoo dhahachaa Itoophiyaa bulchuuf mirga hin qabdu” hanga jechuus gahaniiru. Warri ifa baafatee Amaarummaan deemus (ABN) “yoo Amaara tahe malee sabni biraa biyya kanatti abbaa tahuu hin danda’u” jechaa jiru, saalfii tokko malee.

Hogganoonni maqaa Oromoo dhahatanii masaraa jiran yoo dhiibbaa kana sodaachuu didanii saba keessaa dhalataniif dhimman ammoo hookkara irratti kaasanii dhiibanii aangoo irraa buusuun ofii bakka bu’uuf haala mijeeffachaa jiru. Wanni Dawit Walda Goorgis dhihoo kana DCitti dubbate iccitii jarri dhoksaan itti jiran ifa nuu baasa. Abiyyi irratti hookkara kaasanii mootummaa federaalizimii sabummaa kana diiguun mootummaa cehumsaa ittiin aangotti of deebisan dhaabuu dha kaayyoon. Dhiibbaa kana kana irraa ka’uun Dr. Abiyyi ejjennoo Oromummaan dhaabachuu irratti daddaaqama agarsiisuun waanuma tilmaamamu. Takka as fakkaachaa takka achi fakkaachaa urursaa deemuu akka falaatti kan fudhatee deemaa jiru fakkaata. Kun ammoo hin baasu. Gamattis gamanatti hin milkeessu. Oromoof hin amanamu, jaraafis hin amanamu. Haala kana keessatti osoo hoookkarri dhalatee kophaatti isa hambisa. Oromoon kooti jedhee akka sagalee guutuun isa hin abdannee fi isa hin ittifne qalbii guutuudhaan Oromoof hin amaamne. Jara gammachiisuuf jedhee dantaa Oromoo irratti laaffachuu isaaf Oromoo keessatti shakkiin laalama. Kun ammoo kufaatii cehumsichaaf karaa mijeessa.

Rakkoo kana hunda wanni fide tuffii Habashoonni ammas Oromoof qabduu dha. Humni karaa lamaan olitti eerreen deemaa jiru lachuu ergaan isaa ifaa dha. Abadan Oromoo waliin wal qixxaannee hin bullu, olaantummaan keenya deebi’uu qabaa dha. Humna Oromoon ittiin Wayyaanee buqqise sanis waan dagatan fakkaata. Akka dagatan kan godhe ammoo tokkummaan keenya akka bara Wayyaanee sanatti jabaa tahuu hanqachuu dha. Ummanni kun ofiif baay’ate malee laalcha dhaabota siyaasaa adda addaa jalatti qoqqoodamee kan wal gaarreffatu waan taheef yoo jabaanne mogolee isaa cabsinee bakkatti deebi’uu dandeenya jedhanii wal amansiisanii jiru. Xiqqoo wanti yaaddoo itti tahaa jiru hariiroo Oromoo fi saboota ollaa gara gadii, bahaa fi dhihaa gidduutti cimfamaa jiru kana. Kanas diiganii madaala humnaa gama ofii deebisuuf duula bal’aaf qophaahaa jiru.

Kanaafan Oromoon ammallee likkii isaa diina isa tuffattutti agarsiisuuf qabsoo cimaatu isa eega jedha. Oromoon humna siiviilii kan akka gaafa Wayyaanee sana ammas irra deebi’ee agarsiisuuf waan hundaaf fala taha: 
1. Warra Oromoo keessaa dhalatee aangoo irra jiru kan takka gama takka gamana fakkaachuun dantaa Oromoo salphisaa deemaa jiruuf ergaa dabarsa. Nu ceesifta taanaan Oromoof amanamii nu ceesisi, tahuu baannaan waan si goonu beeyna jechuun cita dubbii itti hima. Jarris humna Oromootti abdatanii akka arraba jabaatanii dantaa Oromoof dursa kennan hamilcha, dirqa. 
2. Humna Oromoo tuffattee gamaa fi gamasiin owwaara kaasuu barbaaddu abdii kutachiisa. Amma biyya kanaaf fala barbaaduun dabareen kan Oromoo akka tahe dirqiidhaan waga’a. Guddina Oromoo amananii fudhachuudhaan abjuu olaantummaa ofii deebisuuf qaban akka of keessatti ajjeesan godha. Itoophiyaan isaan deebisuu barbaadan kana booda gonkumaa akka hin dhufnee fi yoo nagaa barbaadan Oromoo kabajanii, dhagahanii buluu malee fala biraa kan hin qabne tahuu akka amanan taasisa. 
3. Ummanni ollaa akka Sidaamaa, Somaalii, Affaar, Benis Shangul, Gaambeellaa, Tigraay fi ummatoonni gama Kibbaa jiraa hundi Oromootti firoomuu malee karaan biraa akka isaan hin baafne, akka humna Amaaraatiin hin dogoggorfamne karaa iftuu itti garsiisa. 
Oromoon akkasitti madaala humna siyaasaa biyyattii harkatti jabeeffachuu yoo danda’e qofa rakkoo dhufaa jiru mara irra aana.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

”Olaantummaa Oromootu olaantummaa Tigraayi bakka bu’ee jira” jechuun yaada ilmaan Nafxanyaa Daseetti itti kaasaniif Dr. Abiyy yeroo deebisu, ”Eega an aangootti dhufee booda Oromoon 0.1% yoo waan dabalataa argatee jiraateef sa’aa 24 keessan aangoo gadhiisa” jedhe. Jecha kana keessatti waan baay’een arga. Tokkoffaa, akka gaaffiin Oromoon qabsaayeef inni muudamuudhaan deebii hin argatin ibsa, innis akka sana beeku agarsiisa. Lammaffaa, kan jijjiirama dhufetti waan dabalataa argate Amaara malee Oromoo akka hin tahin amanuu isaa mul’isa. Sadaffaa, jarri gonkumaa galata akka hin qabne hubachuu isaas ni mul’isa. Afraffaa, ‘Oromoof waan addaa godhuuf as hin jiru, yoon sana godhe aangoo gadhiisuudhaanin isiniif adabama’ yaada jedhus qaba (waan kana jara gowwoomsuuf akka jedhetti hubachuun filadha). Kana jechuun ammoo (akka inni kakatetti) hoggansa isaa jalatti gaaffiin Oromoon kaasaa jiru deebii argataan shakkisiisaa taha.

Asirratti wannin hubadhe, Amaarri gama gaafatee gamana hargachaa jiraachuu isaati. Dr. Abiyyi osoo haqa jal’ate eenyuyyuu caalaa argaa jiruu hanga eessaatti jara sossobee akka deemu ifaa miti. Jarri bu’aa Oromoon hin argatin hoggansa Abiyyi irraa argate kun galanni jarri garsiisaa jiran abaarsa Oromootiin ibsamuun akka qabaan Dr. Abiyyi ittiin deemaa jiru kun milkiidhaan fagoo hin deemne mirkaneessa. Kana gidduutti Oromoonis callisa isaa cabsee ”Gahe!” jechuun waanuma eegamu. Dr. Abiyyi yoo abshaala tahe warra maaluu goonaanif galata hin qabne urursuu dhiisee dafee qehee isaa jabeessee of faana hiriirsuu qofatu kufaatii dhufaa jiru jalaa isas biyyas baasa. Sana gochuu dhiisee akkuma deemaa jiru kanatti itti fufnaan gaafa balaan dhufte lamaanuu of cinaadhaa dhabuudhaan xumura fokkataa mudata. Sun akka tahu hin hawwuuf.

After Neoliberalism, JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ June 11, 2019

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The neoliberal experiment – lower taxes on the rich, deregulation of labor and product markets, financialization, and globalization – has been a spectacular failure. Growth is lower than it was in the quarter-century after World War II, and most of it has accrued to the very top of the income scale. After decades of stagnant or even falling incomes for those below them, neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Vying to succeed it are at least three major political alternatives: far-right nationalism, center-left reformism, and the progressive left (with the center-right representing the neoliberal failure). And yet, with the exception of the progressive left, these alternatives remain beholden to some form of the ideology that has (or should have) expired.

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OBN: Anadhufu Gammachuu Magarsaa (PhD), Hayyuu Seenaa fi Antiroopolojii June 9, 2019

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Responding to the new Cold War June 5, 2019

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‘Suppose the world entered a new Cold War with the United States on one side and China, on the other. The United States has carved out a sphere of influence similar to that in the previous Cold War, though with weaker control of South America and with most of Eastern Europe on its side. China’s sphere of influence comprises most Asian nations, with the notable exceptions of India, which is non-aligned but leaning towards the US, and Japan, as US ally.Africa and South America have again become a stage for proxy wars in which forces sponsored by the two sides fight over control of countries. The same applies to the Middle East, though the development of renewables and US energy independence mean that access to Middle Eastern oil is much more important to China than the United States.Russia is not aligned with either bloc but leans towards China.’

Read more at https://knowledge.insead.edu/…/responding-to-the-new-cold-w…
https://knowledge.insead.edu/…/responding-to-the-new-cold-w…

Relief Web: Ethiopia: Food insecurity intensifies despite late and erratic Gu/Gena/Belg season rainfall, (Update, May 2019) June 4, 2019

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Food insecurity intensifies despite late and erratic Gu/Gena/Belg season rainfall

Key Messages

Despite enhanced rainfall in the second dekad of May 2019 over many areas of Ethiopia, due to the late starting, erratic, and below-average Gu/Genna rains, particularly in southern and southeastern pastoral areas, food security outcomes in these areas are expected to deteriorate. In East and West Hararghe zones of Oromia food consumption gaps consistent with Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes are likely from June to September. Northern Somali, major parts of East and West Hararghe, Northeastern Amhara, and Borena and Guji zones of Oromia are expected to move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in June due to low household purchasing power, a lack of confirmed humanitarian assistance, and lack of pasture for livestock.

The Gu/Genna season rainfall in the second decade of May 2019 rejuvenated water points for both livestock and human consumption in some woredas of Somali Region, Borena and Guji zones of Oromia, and South Omo in southern SNNPR, where improved water availability is reported. Pasture and water are expected to remain improved for a short period, but improved livestock body conditions and productivity are not expected until the Deyr/Hageya season in October. In East and West Hararghe zones of Oromia, livestock deaths are being reported.

Below normal area-planted and suppressed crop growth in Belg-producing areas due to the below-average rainfall season will likely lead to Belg crop failure in East and West Hararghe. In other parts of the country below-average Belg production is likely despite improved rainfall in May. Meher long-cycle crops, and Belg-planted Meher maize and sorghum, especially in East and West Hararghe, the Rift Valley of Oromia, and SNNPR also suffered growth delays due to the poor rainfall which will negatively affect production.

In East and West Hararghe, Bale lowlands, parts of Guji and Borena Zones of Oromia and Somali region, poor households are already experiencing constrained food access, as they are highly market dependent during the peak of the lean season. Staple food prices, especially for maize, and wheat flour remain atypically high.Children’s nutrition status is deteriorating in East and West Hararghe and Bale zones of Oromia and in large parts of Somali and North-eastern Afar. The situation may further deteriorate as the lean season progresses.

With some improvement in the security situation across the country, the Government of Ethiopia has begun to facilitate the return of IDP households to their homes in East and West Wolega, Gedio, and Amehra. This has been a smooth transition for IDPs in East and West Wollega zones of Oromia, and North Gonder zone of Amehra. However, Gedio IDPs did not feel secure returning to their homes and returned only at the insistence of the government. Monthly food assistance rations are being provided to IDPs by CRS (using JEOP resources), WFP, and the government of Ethiopia. This is expected to continue until IDPs are readjusted and able to return fully to their normal livelihoods and incomes.

A brief political history of Sidama Nation for self-rule, Addis Standard May 31, 2019

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A brief political history of Sidama Nation for self-rule

Shiferaw Muleta (PhD), For Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, May 29/2030 – The quest of Sidama statehood has become a point of discussion in the political arena of Ethiopia. Notwithstanding to its long political and military struggle for self-rule, many people in the capital city Addis Abeba, including prominent politicians and academicians, think that the Sidamas’ quest for self-rule is a recent phenomenon and presented after Abiy Ahmed (PhD) came to power. For instance, many people have not heard about the armed struggle of the Sidamas against the Derg regime, which was “one of the top secrets of the Derg regime” (Human Rights Watch, 1991:86). The armed struggle of the Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) for self-rule was one of the top five armed struggles launched by the EPLF, TPLF, OLF and ONLF against the Socialist-Dictatorship of the Derg regime. The SLM was active in its armed struggle for over a decade and the Sidamas sacrificed more than 10,000 men in different battle fields in Sidama region. In recent past, for example, a similar quest for statehood was presented by the Sidama zone council in September 2005. However, the response was a political one not a constitutional by then. Many Sidama elites and scholars were imprisoned and forced to exile for not accepting this political “decision”.

In this short essay, I present some historical events in the political struggle of the Sidama Nation for self-rule in a chronological order. The facts are compiled from local and international sources. However, I admit that this is not a complete chronological list. The aim of this essay is twofold: to acquaint readers with the political history of the Sidamas for self-rule and to initiate historians and young academics to conduct a thorough study in the armed struggle of the Sidamas. Hence, I believe this essay to serve as a stepping stone to document historical events in this regard. The dates are in Gregorian calendar for events from international sources, such as the Human Rights Watch reports. For some events, Ethiopian dates are included in brackets. The chronological lists are presented under four sections: Prior to Italian occupation, Haile Selassie I regime, Derg regime and post 1991.

I) The political Struggle of the Sidama Nation before 1941

  • 1891: Sidama land was annexed by the army of Menelik II of Shoa. Despite their strong resistance, the Sidamas were conquered due to superiority in firearms by the invading army.
  • 1900-1936: the armed resistance against the invading army continued, even though the struggles were in a fragmented way and not well coordinated. The early resistances were led by clan leaders such as Baallicha Worawo, Dullacha Raacho, Cuuko Daalachaanna, Aliito Hewano, Mangistu Hammeeso and Wena Hankarso.
  • 1936-1941: During this Italian occupation period, the Sidama Nation relatively regained ownership on the ancestral land. The Nation was freed from servitude and the notorious ‘gabbar’ system during the Italian occupation period. Nonetheless, on some parts of the Sidama land, the Italians faced strong resistance due to their policy of discrimination. A prominent figure in the resistance against the Italian rule was Alito Hewano. The Italians responded by indiscriminately killing clan leaders and elders, which is still referred as Umi Shibbire (The First Terror) in Sidama land.
  • II) The political Struggle of the Sidama Nation between 1941-1974
  • 05 May 1941: Emperor Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia from his exile and marked the restoration of Ethiopian independence from Italian occupation.
  • 1941: Following the restoration of the Emperor to his throne, the conflict between the Sidamas and the ‘Melkegnas’ continued. In 1933 EC, Sidama elders and clan leaders were once again killed en mass in a place called Ashisho, 25 Kms from the current Aleta Wondo town, for resisting the returnee landlords. This event is still remembered as Layinki shibbire (the second terror) in Sidama land.
  • 1940s-1974: the struggle continued with the returnee landlords who unfoundedly claimed to regain their “land”. However, the struggle was on individual basis and lacked coordination. Prominent individuals in the armed struggle against the returnee landlords during this period and then after include Yettera Boolle, Hushula Xaaddiso, Fiissa Ficho, Laanqamo Naare, Takilu Yota, Shila Harqa and Gebrehiwot Banata, just to mention few. As a result of the continued resistance, the Imperial regime was forced to make some reforms in its administrative system with a precondition of conversion of the Sidamas to Orthodox Christianity and accepting the language and culture of the ruling class. This assimilation policy had continued until 1991.

III) The political Struggle of the Sidama Nation between 1974-1991

  • September 1974: the last king of the “Solomonic” dynasty was overthrown.
  • March 1975: Declaration of Land to the Tiller policy
  • 1974-1976: mixed form of support to and resistance against the Derg regime continued. The support was due to the Derg’s popular decree of Land to the Tiller. Like in many parts of the country, the Sidama elites and youths by the then were organized under the then prominent political groups, partly with the EPRP and significantly with MEISON.
  • January 1977: The Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) was established and the late Woldeamanuel Dubale became the first president of the movement
  • June 1978-January 1980: A total of 60,000 Sidamas went to Somalia in five rounds to get military trainings. In the first four rounds, the journey of the SLM recruits was successful. However, there was a heavy causality in the fifth round.
  • 18 January 1980 (ጥር 10/1972)፡ On their way to the training camp of the SLM in Somalia, Sidama recruits were caught in a surprise air attack by the Derg at a place called Galbed at the Ethio-Somalia border. Out of the total 12,000 recruits who left Sidama for Somalia, 2,000 died by the air strike and 600 went missing. Only 9,000 of them reached their destination.
  • 1977-1987: The armed struggle spearheaded by the SLM continued. During this period, the SLM coordinated its armed struggle with the other fronts, such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The SLM continued its armed struggle against the Derg regime. It was successful in liberating many Sidama areas. The total causalities in the SLM side are estimated to be above 12,000(without including civilian losses) in its fight against the Derg regime for a decade.
  • 1981: The Human Rights Watch report states that “the SLM was more active,  largely  in  response  to  pre-emptive government counter-insurgency policies”. The HRW also stated that “The war in Sidama in 1981 was one of the Dergue’s best-kept secrets (HRW, 1991: 85). See the details from this link.
  • January 1981: 200 people were reported to have been killed by an army patrol at Godaboke Mito and Chire villages in Sidama. “The war in Sidamo in 1981 was one of the Derg’s best-kept secrets. In January, 200 people were reported killed by an army patrol at Godaboke Mito and Chire villages in Sidamo.” HRW, P. 85
  • 19-21 March 1981: The Derg bombarded the base of SLM in Chiirii woreda. The aim was to suffocate the army of the SLM within a forested valley. The HRW reported that helicopter and airplane attacks at Gata Warrancha in Sidama caused at least 20,000 people  in one valley to flee, and more than 2,000 were reported killed when a  “wall of  flames” was  ignited by bombing using either phosphorous or ethylene. The government ordered the evacuation of a Norwegian mission stationed in the area and a hospital [in Yirgalem], leaving the wounded without medical care. 
  • July 1981: 615 civilians were reported to have been killed at a meeting called by local administrators at a place known as Alo in Haroressa woreda. 
  • 01 December 1981: A well-documented killing took place in Chiiri (South Sidama) when a defense squad killed at least 48 people, including several cases involving entire families.
  • 13 July 1980 (03/11/1972 ዓ/ም): The Derg army stationed in Malga woreda, in a specific place called Wotera Resa, 25 KMs from the capital Hawassa, was attacked by the SLM fighters. In a pretext of crushing the forces of the SLM, the military fired a machine gun on civilians who were attending a meeting summoned by local officials resulting in heavy civilian casualties.
  • 18 July 1980 (08/11/1972 ዓ/ም): The Derg used heavy artilleries, including tanks, against civilians who were summoned for a meeting with local officials at the Market place of Yirba in Boricha district. When the civilians refused to comply with the demands of the officials and some of them started firing, the local officials reported to the nearby army camp as if they were encircled by heavily armed SLM fighters, the military massacred many civilians.
  • 1988-1991: Notwithstanding its strong resistance of the air bombardments and the heavy artilleries, the armed struggle continued. However, the SLM decided to slow down its resistance because this time the Derg applied an anti-guerrilla tactic by recruiting Sidamas forcefully to fight against the SLM army. This tactic worked against the SLM, even though similar tactics failed in the battle grounds in Eritrea and Tigrary. Even though the armed struggle became passive after the end of 1987, also partly due to the Derg’s tactic of dividing the SLM leadership, the armed struggle continued until 1991.
  • 1989-1991: The Sidama Nation got its own administrative structure for the first time since 1891. The “Sidama Administrative Region” became one of the newly formed 24 administrative Regions and the five autonomous regions.

IV) The political Struggle of the Sidama Nation in post1991 period

  • 28 May 1991: The EPRDF forces entered Addis Abeba.
  • July 1991: The SLM was one of the participating political groups in the the “July conference” in 1991. On its first day of meeting, the late chairman of TPLF, the late Meles Zenawi and the late Woldeamanuel Dubale exchanged a hot debate on the Sidama issue; the latter was supported by the OLF. This marked the beginning of hostility towards the SLM.
  • 1991-1993: The SLM was represented by two individuals in the transitional council.
  • 1993-1995: The Sidama Nation regained a self-administrative status (Region 8) out of the newly formed 14 regions at the national level.
  • 07 December 1992 (ህዳር 29/1984): An attempt was made on the life of the late Woldeamanuel Dubale in a broad daylight. This incident happened on the first general assembly meeting of the SLM held in Hawassa.
  • June 1992: The SLM was forced to withdraw from the transitional council.
  • September 1992: The leadership of the SLM were forced into exile.
  • 01 November 1991 (ጥቅምት 23/1984 ዓ/ም): The Sidama Peoples’ Democratic Organization (SPDO) was established as a surrogate Sidama organization to replace the SLM. Like the other PDOs (such as the creation of OPDO to replace OLF), this move by TPLF was to counter against the independent SLM. The political struggle of the SLM with the EPRDF continued.
  • 18 August 1993 (ነሃሴ 10/1985 ዓ/ም): Sidamu Afoo became the working language and medium of instruction. Due to its historical significance, this date is still commemorated by the Sidamas annually.
  • 1993-2005: The armed struggle continued by another Sidama organization called the Sidama National Front (SLF). The SLF was a splitter from the SLM due to differences in the struggle tactics against the EPRDF regime.
  • Since 1993: Some of the SLM members decided to continue their struggle within the country peacefully despite the intimidation of the EPRDF regime. Many members of the peaceful SLM party were either killed or detained in the pretext of their “collaboration with the SLF”. Many Sidama elites were also forced to exile.
  • January1993: The formation of the infamous SNNP region by merging five regions out of the 14 regions, which existed during the transition period. This move was objected by Sidama representatives within EPRDF, which forced many of the SPDO members to withdraw from the party and to continue their struggle from abroad. Prominent figures in this regard include Tufa Doyicha, the zonal president by then and others (e.g. Elias Tiro, and Tesfaye Fichola.)
  • January 1993: the formation of the South Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) by merging all the PDOs in the newly formed South region. This diminished the political participation of Sidamas.
  • July 2000: Many of the SLF and OLF fighting units were ambushed by the regime’s force in a battle ground fought in a place called Baidewa, Somalia. The Sidama and Oromo martyrs were buried together.
  • 22 August 2005: The Council of Sidama unanimously endorsed the age long request of Sidama Nation for statehood. However, the response was political rather than constitutional. Many Sidama scholars, who were at the forefront in this constitutional quest for statehood, were either detained or forced into exile.
  • 24 May 2002: The killing of more than 70 Sidama youth, children and women, who went out for a demonstration against the regime, by security forces. This tragic event is remembered as “the Loqqe Massacre” by the Sidama Nation. No one has been held accountable for this massacre.
  • October 2007: The formation of the South Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front (SEPDF) by dismantling all independently acting PDOs in their respective zones. This completely undermined the political participation of the Sidama as an independent entity.
  • 1995-2010: The political struggle, mainly by Sidama Political groups abroad, continued.
  • On 24 April 2018: The Sidama representative in the council of the EPRDF voted for PM Abiy Ahmed instead of his Sidama competitor for the chairmanship position of the EPRDF and subsequently the Prime Minster position. This independent move of the Sidama members within the EPRDF council has earmarked a new chapter in Oromo-Sidama relationship in the political arena.
  • 18 July 2018 (ሐምሌ 11/2010 ዓ/ም): The Council of Sidama Zone unanimously endorsed the quest for statehood for a second time.
  • 03 November 2018 (23/02/2011 ዓ/ም): The Council of SNNP region unanimously approved the Sidamas Zone’s request for statehood
  • 22 November 2018 (12/03/2011 ዓ/ም): The House speaker of the SNNP council officially requested the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to conduct a referendum for Sidama Nation as per Article 47 (3) of the constitution.
  • Since 22 November 2018: The Sidama Zone has been waiting for the action of the NEBE to conduct a referendum, while the necessary preparations to form its independent region, the Sidama National Regional State (SNRS), has been finalized.
  • 23 January 2019 (13/01/2011ዓ/ም): The Taskforce, drawn from Sidama scholars, was established by Sidama zone council to make the necessary preparations for the new region. The Taskforce has already completed its tasks. A public discussion on the new regional constitution is expected to commence soon.
  • 20 March 2019 (14/06/2011 ዓ/ም): More than a million people held a peaceful demonstration in Hawassa city protesting the delay of announcing the referendum date.
  • 13-15 March 2019 (መጋቢት 5-7 2011 ዓ/ም): As an extension of the first demonstration, the second demonstration (Gaado II) was conducted as stay-at-home protest for three days.
  • 09 April 2019 (01/07/2011 ዓ/ም): A peaceful demonstration by women and girls only, referred as Yaakissa, was held in Hawassa city over the delay of the referendum date.

Editor’s Note: Shiferaw Muleta (PhD) is from Addis Abeba University (AAU) College of Development Studies. He can be reached at shiferaw.muleta@aau.edu.et

_________________________________________//___________________________________

References

Human Rights Watch (1991). Evil Days: 30 Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia, p. 85

Wolassa L. Kumo. (2016). The Sidama Nation: History, Culture and Political Economy. Create Space Independent Publishing, North Charleston, USA

Ethiopia: Information on the Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM), including history, goals, and methods; whether the group uses violence and has participated in armed conflict.

John Markakis, 2011: Ethiopia: The Last Two Frontiers, Oxford, James Currey.

Markakis wrote that after 1977, the SLM “established an armed presence in three woreda[s] … and managed to fight off the Derg until 1982..”(Markakis 2011, 200)

የሲዳማ ዞን ባህል፣ ቱሪዝምና የመንግስት ኮሚኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች መምሪያ (2003 ዓ/ም). የሲዳማ ብሔር ታሪክና ባህል. (The Sidama Nation: History and Culture) pp:64-86 and 96-128

አበበ ማሪሞ. (2011 ዓ/ም). የሲዳማ አርነት ንቅናቄ የትጥቅ ትግል ታሪክ፡ ከ1970-1983 ዓ.ም. MA printing. (The Sidama Liberation Movement: History of Armed Struggle, 1978-1991 G.C), pp: 82-85 and 100-102, 111-128.

The memorial statue to honor Oromo national hero General Tadesse Birru, champion of human dignity, the man who mentored Nelson Mandela inaugurated in the town of Fiche, Salaalee, state of Oromia May 27, 2019

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Galmee Seenaa Jeneeral Taddasaa Birruu

The cultural center and the memorial statue to honor Oromo national hero General Tadesse Birru, champion of human dignity, the man who mentored the anti-Apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela, inaugurated in the town of Fiche, Salaalee, state of Oromia.

General Tadesse Birru, a celebrated Oromo freedom fighter in his own right, was Mandela’s trainer and host. Disturbed by the news about the plot to assassinate his guest of honor, Birru ordered officers to follow Abraham’s movements. That evening Dinka — a devout Christian — met Abraham at a local church where he swore to kill Mandela, took the money and camera from him. “I returned home that evening and went to the camp in the morning where I turned the money and camera over to my superior,” said Dinka. see Opride.com

‘The Oromo nation takes pride in teaching a military science and training Mandela needed to spark the struggle of the people of South Africa. Mandela cut his teeth under General Taddasa Birru and Capt. Fekadu Wakane. The Oromo nation also foiled an assassination attempt against the life of Nelson Mandela. Captain Dinka Guta is still a living witness for that.’ Quoted from OSA’ s letter to South Africa in tribute to Mandela.

General Taddasa Biru, an Oromo national freedom hero, founder of the OLF and leader was murdered by the tyrannic Ethiopian regime in 1975, while in struggle to liberate his people and restore equality justice, freedom and self rule to all.

B/Janaraal Taaddasa Birruu

MM Abiy Ahimad siidaa B/Janaraal Taaddasaa Birruu eebbisiisan, Caamsa 26 Bara 2019

MM Abiy fi Pirezidantii I/aanaa Oromiyaa

Ministirri Muummee Abiy Ahimadiifi Pirezidantiin I/aanaa Oromiyaa Obbo Shimallis Abdiisaa Giddu gala aadaa Oromoo Salaalee fi Siidaa yaadannoo B/Jeneraal Taaddasaa Birruu magaala Fiicheetti ijaarame har’a eebbisiisan.

Galmi kun baasii birri miiliyoona 91.5 kan ijaarame yoo ta’u bara 2005’tti ture ijaarsisaa kan eegalame.

B/Janaraal Taaddasa Birruu
Giddugala Aadaa Oromoo

Keessoo isaatti galmoota walgahii maqaa gootota godinichaa B/ Jeneraal Taaddasaa Birruu, Agarii Tulluu, Magarsaa Badhaasaa(Abune Pheexiroos), Abbabaa Biqilaa, Hayilemaariyaam Gammadaa fi Abbichuutin kan moggaafaman qaba.

Giddugala Aadaa Oromoo/Galma Abbabaa Biqilaa
Giddugala Aadaa Oromoo/Galma Magarsaa Badhaasaa

Galmi guddichi giddugalichaa kan B/Jeneraal Taaddasaan moggaafames namoota 2000 qabachuu kan dandahuudha.

Giddu galli kun sagantaawwan aartii hawaasummaa fi siyaasaa gurguddaa ni keessummeessa jedhamee eegama.

Galma Walgahii

Mooraa giddu gala aadaa kana keessatti Birrii miiliyoona 3.8’n kan ijaarame siidaan B/Jeneraal Taaddasaa Birruus har’a MM Dr. Abiy Ahimadin eebbifameera.

The Conversation: The story of Oromo slaves bound for Arabia who were brought to South Africa May 10, 2019

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Bisho Jarsa
How an Oromo slave became a South African teacher, click here for more detail in BBC (image source)

The story of Oromo slaves bound for Arabia who were brought to South Africa

by Fred Morton, Professor of History, University of Botswana

May 9, 2019

Oromo children saved from slavery. Supplied by author

In September 1888, the HMS Osprey serving in the Royal Navy’s anti-slave trade mission in the Red Sea, based in Aden, intercepted three dhows embarked from Rahayta and Tadjoura on the Ethiopia coast.

Aboard were 204 boys and girls bound for resale in Arabian markets. Other dhows with young human cargo were also apprehended. The children came from the highland area of Oromia Region of Ethiopia, and spoke the Oromo language.

They had been trekked as many as several hundred kilometres to the coast. The children were taken to Aden and, for a time, were housed and cared for at the Free Church of Scotland mission at Sheikh Othman.

The arrivals, however, were often too debilitated to withstand the harsh climate and prevalent malaria. In 1890, 64 of the survivors were transferred to the Free Church of Scotland’s Lovedale Institution, in Alice, a town in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

The story is captured in a new book laden with graphs, maps, charts and statistics. But if you like your history as narrative, you’ll have the job of piecing together this extraordinary story written by Sandra Rowoldt Shell in Children of Hope: The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa.

Fate of Oromo kids

During the 10 years the children spent at Lovedale they proved to be good students and on good terms with their Xhosa-speaking and English school mates. Four in five survived and left the school as young adults in search of opportunities. They became teachers, shop assistants, carpenters, painters, cooks, clerks.

Most remained in South Africa, but 17 earned fares to Ethiopia. A few married and started families. One whose story is traced in the book is Bisho Jarsa who married former Lovedale student Reverend Frederick Scheepers. Their daughter Dimbiti married carpenter James Edward Alexander, and were the parents of South African liberation struggle veteran and academic Neville Alexander.

But most of the Oromo orphans’ lives ended in obscurity or tragedy. Mortality among the returnees was particularly high (33%).

However, the orphans’ stories are not completely lost. Many left behind their autobiographies at Lovedale. They related, in their own voices, their individual ordeals from the time they were captured, sold or pawned, including the tortuously long journeys between their Oromo homeland to the coast. All are rendered in full in the books’ appendices.

Much of Shell’s account delivers the quantitative side of the Oromo story. She followed an assiduous research path to retrieve all possible data related to the orphans, their place of origin, the details of their enslavement and transfer, place by place to various entrepots, the traders and merchants involved, until over a 100 pages later, the Royal Navy’s Osprey appears.

Rich detail

Once in Aden, lengthy asides document the Sheikh Othman mission and its Keith-Falconer school (illustrated by photographs), personal details about the missionaries involved, orphan mortality, age and gender data.

After the orphans reach East London, in the Eastern Cape, we learn a lot about the Lovedale curriculum, comparative performance of Oromo and non-Oromo students (the Oromo did better on average), supplemented with graphs on class marks and percentages, including distributions, gendered results, class positions, and mortality rates, among others (the reproductive quality of the graphs is not very good).

A teacher scandal gets its own sleuthing through the display of doctored photographs eliding the suggestive hands of an Oromo boy on the alleged culprit’s shoulders prior to his dismissal.

Once leaving Lovedale, individuals are traced (thanks to a 1903 questionnaire results unearthed by Shell) that reflect the mixed fortunes of the Lovedale graduates. Though she displays many Oromo group photographs, Shell has uncovered only one individual photograph (the arresting Berille Boko).

A full one-third of the volume is made up of appendices on data variables, the Oromo autobiographies with a place-name gazetteer, an essay by Gutama Jarafo, detailed endnotes, bibliography and an extensive index.

Shell has added a great deal to our understanding of how children were ensnared into the Indian Ocean slave trade, which connected much of the Eastern African interior to Arabia, the Persian Gulf and India. Long after the Atlantic slave trade was snuffed out, the Indian Ocean trade continued almost to the beginning of the 20th century. The Osprey’s intervention and the survival of but a mere quarter of those it rescued suggests that thousands of children’s lives remained enslaved and in misery. Click here for more

Ethiopia: Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) Condemns the #Gumuz Massacre May 8, 2019

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The Massacre of Benshangul Gumuz People by the Amhara’s Special Forces Must Be Immediately Stopped!

Press Release by Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD)
May 06, 2019.

We are witnessing the biggest failure of humanity in Ethiopian soil just after 12 months since the new PM has vowed to make such barbaric actions towards unarmed civilians a history. Contrary to his and his government’s vows, we observe that the civilians are getting killed for no apparent reasons by a highly armed Amhara regional special force in Benshangul Gumuz regional state. This armed group is not only targeting solely indigenous and legitimate owners of the land; but also, hundreds of children and elderly are getting summarily executed for a simple reason of being different from their killers in the aspect of their culture, skin colour and political beliefs. This is a clinical example of genocide and it is tragically unfolding in Ethiopia as we speak. Apparently, the unarmed civilians are getting executed in their own soil by those who are legally allowed to occupy their land. As saying goes, a history is repeating itself in the Ethiopian soil. In 2003 between 430 and 500 unarmed civilians were massacred by those who colonised their land for a simple reason of silencing them whilst expropriating their resources and land in Gambella region. The same massacre is now unfolding in Shaka zone on a Shakacho people by the same highlanders. Tens of thousands of Oromo, Ogaden Somali and Sidama civilians were executed in the last 27 years alone.
Benshangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM) is a PAFD’s member. We strongly believe that the rights of our members and that of all peoples in Ethiopia must be always protected. We have confirmed that Benshangul Gumuz civilians are increasingly targeted and executed by the highly armed and well-trained Amhara youth who call themselves Fano. They were trained, radicalized and fully armed with modern machine guns by a National Movement for Amhara (NaMA). According to the eye witnesses, between May 1 and 2, 2019, over 500 Shinasha people in Benshangul-Gumuz Region, Jawi Woreda, were summarily executed and tens of thousands of civilians were also made to flee their own villages for their lives. The main victims were civilians including children, women and elderly.
Further threats of those who call themselves the defenders of the Amhara rights (Amhara extremists) all over the world are intensifying. Furthermore, these groups are also using extremely inflammatory remarks by calling the victims ‘Monkeys’ whilst reinforcing their delusional and mythical lineages with the Judaism thus their capability of killing any group or nation they think they can colonise their land. On this subject, we have gathered ample and credible evidences that the killers of Benshangul Gumuz civilians are increasingly employing inflammatory and derogatory remarks calling the victims uncivilised primitives needing execution in exact manner as the Europeans have employed during, after and prior to the scramble for Africa.
The Ethiopian Government neither condemn the killings of civilians nor asked for apology for failing to safeguard them. Although some authorities claim the restoration of the order, this is far from the truth as the Government hasn’t so far take any justifiable action against the killers and forces behind these tragic executions. Apparently, the Amhara Regional Government has got full
knowledge of the indicated group although it has deliberately refused to stop them from acting bestially. Some witnesses show that it has even assisted the executors with technical aspects of the indicated barbaric oppression.
In the aspects of Media coverage about such inhumane actions to unarmed civilians, we saw little or some misguided quotations about the incident. Instead, all Medias those usually daily reports when someone burps in Amhara region remain their mouths zipped. For example, some extremely biased Medias such as ESAT and ZeHabehsa- few days prior to the execution of civilians actively propagated the killing of between 10 and 13 Amhara civilians by the Benshangul Gumuz people who used traditional arrows. Witnesses believe to the contrary about the fact that ESAT’s and ZeHabesha’s false propaganda has played key role in escalating the situation to end up in such unsettling eventuality. Additionally, some of the Amhara’s army commanders including Colonel Demeke Zewudu, and some activists in their social media accounts have boasted of the killing of primitive people and stressed yet more to come to clear the remaining primitives so that they can overtake their land. These groups further threatened even the Oromo people in relation to the ownership claims of Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and vowed to repeat their success in Benshangul in Wallo and other parts of Amhara-Oromia borders.
Therefore, we the PAFD member political organisations, unanimously condemn with the strongest possible terms such barbaric actions toward the unarmed civilians, children, women and elderly of Benshangul Gumuz. We urge the Amhara’s regional state to exercise utmost restraint and lawfully handle its anarchically behaving special forces that has been primarily trained to maintain law and order. There won’t be any peace and security as long as some groups are fighting to dominate and dehumanise fellow mankind. Therefore, we must understand that refraining from bestially behaving to the other nations and groups must be seen as a sign of civility and wisdom.
Furthermore, we demand the federal government to immediately intervene and stop the on-going execution of powerless civilians whose lives are put at the mercy of their barbaric assailants. We also urge the federal government to immediately investigate and bring those responsible for such horrific and inhumane actions to civilians to justice. We advise the international human rights group and western countries politicians to earnestly bring this unsettling massacre of civilians to the attentions of obliviously sleeping Ethiopian authorities by urging them to take meaningful and corrective measures as a matter of urgency. We also call up on all Ethiopian peoples to unconditionally condemn such barbarism and demand the Amhara regional state to stop its inhumane actions to the unarmed civilians.
Finally, we send our deepest condolences to the families of barbarically executed Benshangul Gumuz civilians and show our consistent and unrestricted solidarity until justice is served on their behalf by bringing those who have killed and maimed their sons and daughters to an independent justice and their rights to the ownership of their land is restored by removing the colonial occupiers. The PAFD will always works for and speaks up for the voiceless people in Ethiopia.
Freedom and Justice for All Peoples in Ethiopia!
Press Release by Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) May 06, 2019

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Stop the genocide against the #Gumuz people: በጃዊ ወረዳ በአብን በንጹሐን ጉሙዝ ሕዝብ ላይ የተፈፀመው ጅምላ ጭፍጨፋ የዘር ማጥፋት ጦርነት ነው

The origin of ethnic politics in Ethiopia May 5, 2019

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The origin of ethnic politics in Ethiopia 

by Leenco Lata, The Reporter, 21 March 2015


Controversy has been dogging the policy of structuring Ethiopia as a multinational federation ever since it was publicly aired almost twenty- five years ago.

There are those who vociferously and persistently condemn the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) leaders for introducing the politicization of ethnicity by embracing this policy.

On the other hand, there are those who like wise consistently commend EPRDF leaders for the same reason. However, putting the adoption of this policy in an historical perspective would prove that both stands are wrong.

The erroneousness of the stand of both those who commend and those who condemn EPRDF leaders for structuring Ethiopia as a multinational federation becomes easily explicable by recalling the famous statement by Marx that “Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.” It is the circumstance prevailing when EPRDF leaders came to power that rendered structuring Ethiopia as multinational federation inescapable and not their alleged noble or ignoble intensions.
What was that circumstance? At the time, struggles for national self-determination by the Oromos, Tigreans, Ogadenis, Sidamas, etc. were gathering momentum while more and more communities (Gambellas, Benishanguls, etc,) were joining the fray with every passing year. Accommodating these quests for self-determination by structuring Ethiopia as a multinational federation was, hence, simply inescapable.

The critics of the present multinational federation blame the spokespersons of these struggles for self-determination for politicizing ethnicity/language for the first time in the country’s history. Nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, these struggles were simply a natural response to a prior state-driven policy of politicizing ethnicity/language. This state-driven politicization of ethnicity/language goes as far back as 1933 when the then Minister of Education, Sahlu Tsedalu, proposed the following policy:

ያገር ጉልበት ኣንድነት ነው ኣንድነትንም የሚወልደዉ ቋንቋ ልማድና ሃይማኖት ነዉ . . .
በመላ ኢትዮዽያ ግዛት ለሥጋዊና ለመንፈገሳዊ ሥራ ያማሪኛና የግዕዝ ቋንቋ ብቻ በሕግ ጸንተዉ እንዲኖሩ ሌላዉ ማናቸውም የአረማዉያን ቋንቋ ሁሉ እንዲደመሰስ ማድረግ ያስፈልጋል. . .

The rough translation of which is: “Unity is the strength of a country, and the sources of unity are language, custom and religion . . . [It is thus necessary] to legally preserve in the whole of Ethiopia only Amharic and Ge’ez [We can ignore Ge’ez for it was merely a liturgical language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church largely incomprehensible to ordinary believers.] for spiritual and earthly use [while] the language of every pagan must be erased.”

This policy to erase all languages except Amharic amounts to an ethnocidal intention of eradicating all communities except the speakers of Amharic. The targets of this discriminatory policy had no choice but to launch struggles for self-determination with a view to averting the state-driven intention to eradicate them. These struggles were, hence, the effect of a prior act of politicizing ethnicity/language and not its cause as commonly presumed by the critics of the present multinational federation in Ethiopia.

This language-based policy was ultimately codified in laws proscribing the use of all languages except Amharic at public events, including prayer meetings as if the Almighty could understand only one language.

It is common for all builders of empires to simply impose their language as the only official medium for administrative purposes but the builders of contemporary Ethiopia are perhaps unique in legally proscribing the use of other languages.

This discriminatory language-based policy ultimately influenced how Ethiopian identity (ኢትዬጵያዊነት) was portrayed. It gave rise to the version of Ethiopian identity (ኢትዬጵያዊነት) that was synonymous with being a speaker of Amharic and totally opposed to being an Oromo, Sidama, Tigrean, etc. By implication, this version of Ethiopianness (ኢትዬጵያዊነት) was expected to blossom on the graveyards of Oromonnet, Sidamannet, Tigraynnet, and the identities of all other peoples.

Equating being an Ethiopian with being a speaker of Amharic in due course drew the criticism of the Ethiopian student radicals of the 1960s. In particular, Walillign Mekonen’s article of 1969 cogently stated: “To be a ‘genuine Ethiopian’ one has to speak Amharic, to listen to Amharic music, to accept the Amhara-Tigre religion, Orthodox Christianity and to wear the Amhara-Tigre Shamma in international conferences. In some cases to be an ‘Ethiopian’, you will even have to change your name. In short to be an Ethiopian, you will have to wear an Amhara mask (to use Fanon’s expression).”

This state-driven policy of politicizing identity ultimately fomented the natural response of celebrating one’s identity by those whose languages and other contents of their identity kit were targeted for erasure. Thereafter, the course was set for members of these societies to invoke and launch the struggles for the self-determination of their national communities.

Advocating the right to national self-determination was not restricted to the members of these subjugated nations or nationalities. It also figured prominently in the political programmes of the country-wide leftist ML parties that came on the Ethiopian political landscape in the early 1970s. The debate that raged between the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP) and the All-Ethiopia Socialist Movement (more widely known by its Amharic acronym MEISON) concerned not the legitimacy of invoking the right to self-determination per se but it is a possible end point. The EPRP endorsed the right to national self-determination up to and including secession and very vocally faulted MEISON for failing to go to the same extent.

Goaded by the EPRP and cajoled by MEISON, even the military regime (Derg) ended up embracing a watered down version of self-determination in the form of regional autonomy. After prevaricating on the question for some years, the Derg finally extended regional autonomy to a selected group of minorities in its so-called Constitution of 1987. No other evidence is needed to prove that Ethiopia was already on a slippery slope leading to multinational federation than this measure by the highly centrist military regime.

EPRDF leaders thus had no other choice but to go one stage further in satisfying the ongoing quests for self-determination by structuring Ethiopia as a multinational federation when they unseated and replaced the Derg in 1991. Hence, it is the “circumstance existing already” that made adopting multinational federation necessary instead of the alleged noble or ignoble intentions of the incoming ruling group.

Political groups are merely wasting their time and energy by arguing to the contrary.

Multinational federalism is simply the latest natural step in Ethiopia’s political development that resulted from neither the generosity nor nefarious aspirations of any group. What should occupy all concerned is how to refine and polish this political order for the good of all Ethiopian peoples. When posed in this fashion, several cautions that need to be underscored come to mind.
First, those aspiring to undo the extant multinational federation need to carefully re-examine their project for its success does not look likely without horrendous bloodshed. Despite its undeniable practical short comings, no national community would willingly give up the right to self-government enshrined in the present Constitution.

Second, the intimate relationship between federalism and democracy cannot be over-emphasized. While it is certainly possible to exercise democracy without federalism, instituting federalism without democracy is not only an oxymoron but also a recipe for disaster as the recent experiences of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and Yugoslavia so tragically demonstrated.

All concerned should realize that federations are inherently fragile and multinational ones are possibly even more so. The success of any federation hinges on the willingness to strike a proper balance between over-centralization and over-decentralization. Over-centralization is potentially dangerous for it would tend to negate the very rationale of federation, recognizing and respecting local communities’ right to self-government. The frustration bred by over-centralization could lead to unexpected outbursts of the anger of concerned communities. Over-decentralization, on the other hand, could breed institutional incoherence potentially culminating in breakdown.

Let us face it: The cohesion supposedly underpinned by the linguistic and cultural homogeneity of the nation-state model has proven elusive even in its birth place, Western Europe and other parts of the globe settled by Western Europeans. This is evidenced by the invocation of sub-state identity in quintessential liberal democratic countries such as Spain, Belgium, United Kingdom, Canada, etc. Developments in the same countries also obviates the presumption by some in Ethiopia that instituting a liberal democratic order would automatically satisfy demands for group rights.

We are living through an era when the foundation of democratic political order is contested in large parts of the world. Religion, history, culture, economy, etc. are competing to serve as the foundation of an acceptable political order. Studies show that the territorial extension of the state is pulled in different directions depending on its role as the container of power, wealth and culture. When the state is deployed as a container of power, preserving existing boundaries gets greater attention. When it is tapped as a wealth container, encompassing larger territory becomes prioritized. When it is conceived as a container of culture, however, it would tend towards smaller size. What can possibly simultaneously satisfy all three tendencies is forging fora for political participation at supra-state, state and sub-state levels.

Finally, what is the origin of “ethnic politics” in Ethiopia? Who is to blame for this supposedly divisive policy? The rulers of Ethiopia are responsible for uncorking the genii of “ethnic politics” in early twentieth century. In due course, reactive invocations of identity continued to spread to other communities. Instead of aspiring to rebottle this jinni, unlikely without significant bloodletting, all should consider how to deploy it for the good of all.

Ed.’s Note: Leenco Lata is a prominent Ethiopian politician and President of Oromo Democratic Front (ODF). The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Reporter.

Stop the genocide against the #Gumuz people: በጃዊ ወረዳ በአብን በንጹሐን ጉሙዝ ሕዝብ ላይ የተፈፀመው ጅምላ ጭፍጨፋ የዘር ማጥፋት ጦርነት ነው May 5, 2019

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Seenaa Gabaabaa Dr. Nagaasoo Gidaadaa Solan (1943-2019). The Short History of Dr. Nagaasoo Gidaadaa Solan, the Former President of Ethiopia April 29, 2019

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Nagaasoo Gidaadaa (PhD) eenyu turan?

Dr. Nagaasoo Gidaadaa Solan was born in Dambi Doollo, Oromia on 8 September 1943 and died on 27 April 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. May his soul rest in peace.
Nagaasoo’s first degree was from Finfinnee university and pursued a doctoral study in Germany an awarded a doctorate in social history from the Goethe University in Frankfurt-am-Main. His doctoral thesis was “History of the Sayyoo Oromo of Southwestern Wallaga, Ethiopia, from about 1730 to 1886”. 


Dr. Nagaasoo Gidaadaa Solan was an esteemed statesman and scholar who served as president of Ethiopia (1995–2001), member of the House of People’s Representatives (2005–2010). A life-long proponent of human rights, ethnic inclusion, and democracy.

Dr. Nagaasoo Gidaadaa Solan participated in the student movement of the 1960s, led the Ayira School demonstrations against the feudal system in the 1970s, and advocated for the rights of the Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest nation. While living in Germany, Dr. Solan worked to unite the Oromo community, both internally and with other Ethiopian groups, in their struggle against military rule. He was an active member Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
Dr. Nagaasoo Gidaadaa Solan returned to his homeland in 1991, he joined the former OPDO, the present ODP and helped to draft a new constitution, chaired the 1994 Constitutional Assembly, and signed the constitution in 1995 as first president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. In 2015 Dr. Nagaaso Gidaadaa Solan was the Reagan-Fascell fellow at
National Endowment for Democracy, USA. He was the first former head of state to give a lecture at the NED. During his fellowship, Dr.
Nagaasoo Gidaadaa Solan wrote an article addressing the role of democracy in settling controversies around the Ethiopian multinational federalist system.




Oromia: OMN: Marii Hawaasaa Asallaa, (Ebla 25, 2019) April 26, 2019

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Agarsiisa Faashinii Aadaa Oromoo April 21, 2019

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OMN: Agarsiisa Faashinii Aadaa Oromoo “MOYI DESIGN” (Eebla 21,2019)

OMN: Agarsiisa Faashinii Gadaa ( Eebla 21, 2019)

Oromia gets new president as Megerssa takes federal post April 20, 2019

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Oromia gets new president as Megerssa takes federal post, Africa news

Ethiopia's Oromia gets new president as Megerssa takes federal post

Ethiopia’s largest and most populous region, Oromia, has a new president in the person of Shimelis Abdissa, a former Chief of Staff of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The position of regional president became vacant in the wake of the appointment of immediate past president Lemma Megerssa as Defense Minister.

The regional parliament in an emergency sitting on Thursday approved Abdissa’s appointment hours after the federal parliament had approved Megerssa and two other appointees in Prime Minister Abiy’s cabinet tweak.

The privately-owned Addis Standard reports that Abdissa previously held positions within the region before his appointment as Abiy’s Chief of Staff last year.View image on Twitter

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Addis Standard@addisstandardReplying to @addisstandard

Update: Shimelis Abdissa has just been sworn in as the incoming Pres. of #Oromia regional state. Among previous profiles he held include, Deputy head of Construction Bureau & Head of Urban Housing Development Bureau of Oromia regional state, a position he held before becoming CoS1712:59 PM – Apr 18, 2019See Addis Standard’s other TweetsTwitter Ads info and privacy

He is the second Chief of Staff Abiy is losing in a little over a year. His first appointee to the post, Fitsum Aregaa, is currently the Ethiopian ambassador to the United States.

Abiy’s cabinet tweak came in the wake of a vacancy at the Foreign Affairs ministry after Workneh Gebeyehu got a United Nations appointment. He has since been replaced by Gedu Andargechew – a former Amhara regional president.

Lemma – a loved personality across Oromia, repalced Aisha Mohamed – Ethiopia’s first woman Defense Minister. She reverted to a formerly held portfolio of Urban Development and Planning.

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#Ethiopia:The #Oromia regional state is currently hosting a farewell ceremony for Lemma Megersa, who was appointed as Minister of Defense today. The ceremony is being attended by PM Dr Abiy Ahmed, Deputy PM Demeke Mekonnen and Deputy Chief of Tigray, Dr Debretsion Gebremichael.

Ethiopia: People’s resistance movements have brought change in political relations on three decades old Ethiopian Federation, Obbo Ibsa Gutamaa April 16, 2019

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People’s resistance movements have brought change in political relations on three decades old Ethiopian Federation. This change has forced a transitional arrangement in which supremacy of the law is to be observed. There is consensus it seems, that EPRDF new leaders administer the transition. This will be the first journey towards freedom in the last hundred and more years for all oppressed peoples of the empire from own and colonial ruling classes. Members of those classes won’t go easily without the last effort to regain the power they lost to people’s revolution since 1974. The transitional governments role is not to attempt making fundamental changes but to enforce supremacy of the law and carry on routine government functions. Elected representatives after transition will establish the direction the post empire state would take. Oromiyaa is going to be one of the participating states in the decision making. Finfinnee is her capital. One that says Finfinnee does not belong to Oromiyaa is only one that considers Oromiyaa is not Oromo’s. Leftovers of past ruling class still have nostalgia for the old order. They are even heard advising Dr. Abiy to annul the constitution and rule with iron hand simply to deny Oromo regaining their lost rights. Oromiyaa showed willingness that there must be peace to discuss on how people continue living together not accepting supremacy of Ethiopia but believing in their equality. Freedom for the Oromo is assurance for freedom all oppressed classes and peoples in the empire. For leftovers of past ruling class democracy is disaster and demeaning. They are losers that have tried to sabotage the change that appeared in the empire from the beginning. They had hands in Darg’s genocide, Eritrea’s separation, collapse of the old army, and the coming to power of Wayyaanee. Still, they are trying the last effort to sell their evil ideas before aging takes them away. Their advice made Mangistuu monster and that alone will deny them credibility. The failed coup they masterminded caused the demise of the cream of Ethiopian elite forces. To pass their evil thoughts to the next generation they are advising their young to make all efforts that Oromo shall never raise their heads. They forget that mother mouse has also advised what mother cat advised. They are crying about the demise of the empire system as if it did not start cracking fifty years ago. Though he cannot save it, Abiy can make it smooth and tranquil for them to rehabilitate. From ruins of the empire there will not be catastrophe for the majority but free nations and democratic system are sprouting. Those that are not concerned to empower the peoples but want power for themselves wish crumbling or dictatorship for and show no worry for fate of the peoples. Oromo love peace and serenity; they will have gain from success of transitional government not from its fall. That could take them back to long and bitter struggle. The time is when we need peace and stability for viable change. But that does not mean they will not fight back aggressors. Let alone Dr. Abiy the one they initially tried to compare to, even if the true Moses of their dream comes, he cannot turn the wheel of change backwards, he would only help it cross the transition bridge. They started smear campaign against Abiy when they found that he has his own personality and own dreams not clone of Goobana. His trying to Ethiopianize Oromo demands was not enough for them. Contribution of Oromo intellectuals on matters of Finfinnee and anti-Oromo movements are so far not sufficient. Throwing slogans with emotions alone does not serve much. Oromo question is only about human rights, democracy, peace and freedom for all. Finfinnee will have City Council which will be filled by their representatives according to principle of one person one vote. Contrary to leftovers of Habashaa ruling class Oromo sovereignty will bring to Finfinnee peace, democracy and better understanding with neighbors. Oromo are simply saying that Oromo have sovereign right over Oromiyaa that includes Finfinnee. Areas that require interference of the sovereign will not exceed some tax areas and human rights and areas which are beyond the ability of the city. Non-Oromo residing in Oromiyaa had never been forced to change their style of life, culture and language; the same applies for Finfinnee. Whatever rights universally recognized Oromiyaa will be the first to implement because Oromo have a tradition in which rule of law and respect for human rights have priority. These are the truth whose distorted versions are presented by Nafxanyaa system hopefuls. They want to own everything, Oromo land, resources and Oromo labor. Therefore, Oromo media and intellectuals have a homework to handle. To report to Oromiyaa for Silxee, Adaree, Guraagee, Indagany, Qabeena, Dawuroo, Dorzee, Kambaataa, Hadiyyaa, Alaabaa, Sidaamaa and other Southern peoples that have established their lives on trading in Finfinnee has more advantage than remaining under control of Nafxanyaa hopefuls. Many relatives of Finfinnee residents live scattered over all parts of Oromiyaa than in any other state enjoying Oromo hospitality. But to tell the Oromo that Finfinnee is not theirs will be failed justice. Finfinnee can grow or diminish, profit or lose, based on Oromo will. The Oromo will like Finfinnee get better democratic governance than ever; develop more than ever; be more beautiful and peaceful; welcome all hard-working human beings to join in her development, not oppression, plundering, and neglect of the past hundred years to return to her. Everybody has to understand what it means to say Finfinnee is Oromiyaa’s? The truth is not what the children of colonial war lords, Raas Birruu, Raas Daargee, Raas Kaasaa, Raas Tasammaa, Negus Walda Goorgis, Raas Haayiluu and others who want to maintain colonial legacy say. Oromo are ready to negotiate with any nation and nationality based on equality and respect for mutual interest and rights. All peace-loving persons have to involve in creating understanding between peoples of the region. The Ethiopia Nafxanyaa system hopefuls are singing for, will not come back again but a beautiful maiden is being seen from distance whatever her name may be. What do you say?

Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!

Why al-Bashir’s fall is only the start of a new Sudan April 16, 2019

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Why al-Bashir’s fall is only the start of a new Sudan

The military has taken control of Sudan while protesters demand a total clean-out of Omar al-Bashir’s regime.

People chant slogans during a protest outside of the Military headquarters in Khartoum, Sudan, 13 April 2019. According to reports, thousands of Sudanese people demonstrated in front of the Military headquarters in Khartoum demanding that former President Omar al-Bashir face trial, as well as the military-led transitional council. Sudanese defense minister and head of Sudan's military council, Awad Ibn Auf, stepped down a day after leading a military coup that ousted long-time leader Omar al-Bashir amid a wave of protests. Awad Ibn Auf named Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan as his successor. A military-led transitional council will stay in power for two years followed by elections, the army said. Protests continue in Sudan, Khartoum - 13 Apr 2019

Against state machinery, photo credit to Quartz Africa

By David E Kiwuwa, The Conversation

These two weeks have proven momentous for Africa’s governance in general but more specifically for democratic transformation. The youth movement forced the capitulation of the perpetually “absent” Algerian president, 82-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika, after 20 years in power.

This was followed quickly by the ousting of the 75-year-old Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. His fall from power comes almost 30 years after he led a military coup in April 1989.

In the last few years al-Bashir has weathered a number of political crises and challenges to his leadership.

It first looked like he might survive this latest round of protests – but something set this crisis apart from previous ones. While the others fizzled out after brutal suppression, the arrest of opposition leaders and widespread repression, this uprising just refused to “go away”. This was true even after initial brutal suppression with the death toll reportedly reaching 60.

This time the crisis trigger – the country’s economic malaise – appeared to resonate with people on the street. This was coupled with the tenaciousness of the Sudan Professional Association which offered organisational strength to the protest. Other factors included the role of the military which abandoned the man they had helped stay in power for three decades.

Organisational strength

The Sudan Professional Association, made up of teachers, lawyers, doctors and other members of the country’s professional elite, was at the very heart of this uprising. The group shared common experiences across the country. It developed a formidable apparatus which offered the protests an organisational backbone.

The association’s ability to mobilise street protests countrywide placed unusual pressure on the regime’s ability to suppress unrest that spread broadly across cities and towns. The fact that the organisers weren’t a traditional political class gave them crucial political capital. While some people might have seen the traditional opposition as engaging in the usual political fights and settling scores, the association quickly gained acceptability and trust.

As the crisis dragged on, the professional class not only kept up the pressure but increasingly became less interested in compromise: its demands are for a total transition of the regime. Al-Bashir may be gone but they are unlikely to settle for military rule that sees al-Bashir lookalikes in power.

The political class: missing in action

For many years opposition political parties were at the forefront of challenging al-Bashir’s hold on power. This meant they bore the brunt of state repression and were subjected to arrests, incarceration and exile.

This time round, however, the crisis appears to have caught them off guard. Leaders of the three main opposition parties – the National Consensus Forces Alliance, Nidaa al-Sudan and Ummar party – were late in joining the calls for change, ceding the organisational initiative to the non-political class.

But despite their backseat role in the protests, the traditional opposition parties are nevertheless expected to play the role of kingmaker in any transition process. For its part, the professional association is expected to provide significant input.

And there will be another key player as Sudan tries to move forward: the military.

The military

Military coups were a staple of African governance in the 1970s and 1980s. With democratic reforms emerging in the 1990s, the military was forced to retreat back to the barracks. In this period the military class was refashioned both as a guardian of the state, as well as the guardian, in some ways, of the political class.

For leaders who came to power through military coups and later became strongmen the military became the power behind the throne. For example, al-Bashir relied on the military when he led a coup in 1989. Then he relied on the generals to maintain his power through a number of crises.

The fact that the military has forced his resignation is indeed momentous. This suggests that the men in uniform remain the kingmakers. Their reluctance to confront the population, and in some cases safeguard them against marauding and murderous state intelligence outfits, is testament to their self-image as the guardian of the state.

On the flip side, the announcement that the military will now oversee the transitional period for two years smacks of self-serving interest. It will undoubtedly be seen as usurping the role of the civilian political class to lead the transition.

End of an era

The time for fundamental political reforms is now. After 30 years of political repression, systemic corruption and subversion of state institutions to serve the entrenchment of al-Bashir in power, the end of an era now comes with acute challenges – but also opportunity.

Sudan has a chance to embark on the reconciliation of the political class, bringing together those in the opposition as well as the remaining vestiges of the regime.

Secondly, there’s a pressing need to undertake constitutional reforms. Allied to this would be guarantees of civil and political rights, expansion of the political space for old and new political players and stakeholders and the establishment of new structures of transparency and accountability.

Above all, the economy needs to be rebooted to address the immediate social economic challenges that gave rise to the uprising in the first place.

Al-Bashir’s fall is only the start of a new Sudan.


David E Kiwuwa, Associate Professor of International Studies, University of Nottingham

አንተ አልቻልክም: አዎ አንተ አትችልም!በሰይፍ መቅላት፣ረግጦ መግዛት… April 13, 2019

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#አንተ_አልቻልክም ::

አዎ አንተ አትችልም!
በሰይፍ መቅላት፣
ረግጦ መግዛት…. አልቻልክም፤
አንተ እጅ መቁረጥ፣
እግር መንሳት.. አልቻልክም፤
ዘር ማጥፋት፣
ደሃን መግፋት…. ፈጽሞውኑ አልቻልክም፤
የኔን ተቀበል ያንተን ወዲያ ጣል፤
በአንተ ወርቅ እኔ ልድመቅ ማለት፤
ምን በወጣህ አንተ አትችልም፤
ስለዚህ አንተ አልቻልክም::
ጀግናን በስቅላት፣ ገሎ ለጅብ መስጠት
40 ምሁር ከወደቁበት አንስቶ ማክበር እንጂ 60 ምሁር ባንዴ መቅበር እንዴት ይቻልሃል? አትችልም!
ለመላው አፍሪካ መስራት እንጂ ምስኪኑን የኤርትራ ህዝብ መውጋት አይሆንልህም::
ማስታረቅ እንጂ ማራራቅ፤
ወንድም ህዝብ ደም ይፍሰስ አትልም!
ስለዚህ አልቻልክም::
የእናቶችን እንባ ማበስ እንጂ የራሔልን እንባ ማፍሰስ፤
የልጅ እሬሳ ላይ አስቀምጦ በሰደፍ አናቷን ማፍረስ፤
አንተ አይሆንልህም አመድ አፋሽ ቢያረጉህም::
የችሎታ ስሌቱ ይሄ ለሆነ ህዝብ አንተ አትችልም::
በቃ አትችልማ!!!
ሞታቸውን የሚጠባበቁትን ከእስር ለቀሃል::
ስለዚህ አልቻልክም:: ምክንያቱም ጀግንነት ለእነሱ መግደል ነዋ!
የተበተኑትን ከአለም ዙርያ ሰብሰበሃል፤
በፍቅር አቅፈህ አብረህ አልቅሰሃል፤
ያለመዱትን? የማያዉቁትን?
ስለሆነም አልቻልክም::
ለአህያ ማር እየሰጠህ አስቸግረሃል፤
አህያ የለመደችው ሳር እንጂ ማር አይጥማትም፤
ስለዚህ ችሎታ ይጎለሃል::
ፒንሳ የልህም፣ የሃይላንድ ዉሃ የለህም፤
የምድር ስር ጉድጓድ፣ጫለማ ቤት የለህም፤
ማስፈራርያ አውሬ የለህም፤
ሽንት የምትሸና የመብራቱ ልጅ የለችህም፤
ታዲያ ችሎታህ ምኑ ጋር ነው???
ሚድያውን ማፈን፣ የባለጌን አፍ መድፈን፤
እጅግ ተስኖሃል:: ስለዚህ አንተ ሳትቀር ባደባባይ ይሰድቡሃል::
ያሻቸውን ይጽፋሉ ይናገራሉ፤ሲሻቸው ይሰለፋሉ፤ ሲሻቸው ይሸልላሉ(አንተምላይ ሳይቀር)
“ሰማይ አይታረስ ንጉስ አይከሰስ ” ሲል ለኖረ ሰው፤
ለገዢዎች የአምልኮ ስግደት ሲሰግድ ለኖረ ህዝብ፤
የአጋዚን ዱላ ለጠገበ ሰውነት ይሄ እንዴት ይሰማሟል???
ስለዚህ አትችልም ይለሃል::
እጅ መንሻ ሲሰጥ ለኖረ ጉቦ ለለመደ፤
ሌባ ይጥፋ ስትል ሀገሩን የካደ፤
ባዕድ ነው ለሱ፣ የችሎታ ማነስ፣ ባህሉን የናደ::
እሱ ችሎት ለኖረው አንተ ምን አነካከህ?
ከባለቤቱ ያወቀ ቡዳ ነው እየሞተ ያገኛታል መተው ነበረብህ::
እኔ ልንገርህ ዶ/ር አብይ አንተ አትችልም!
ብዙ ሚሊዮን ህዝብ መምራት እንጂ ብዙ ሚሊዮን እብድ መንዳት አትችልም!
via OJA

Oromia (Finfinnee): OMN: Sirna Kabaja Hundeeffama ODP Waggaa 29 ffaa fi Injifannoo Oromoo Waggaa 1ffaa ( Eebla 06, 2019). Oromo people in Finfinnee Victory Celebration April 7, 2019

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Oromo people , Finfinnee, 6 April 2019

Finfinnee and the Oromo people with their horses, 6 April 2019

Oromo people in Finfinnee (the Capital city of Oromia), democracy victory celebration, 6 April 2019 with ODP


Oromo people in Finfinnee (the Capital city of Oromia), democracy victory celebration, 6 April 2019 with ODP



A Review of Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed’s Achievements At One Year in Office/ The African Exponent March 31, 2019

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A Review of Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed’s Achievements At One Year in Office

Abiy Ahmed and One Year of Redefining Ethiopia

Amenna Dayo, The African Exponent, 27 March 2019

On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate PM Abiy Ahmed?

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, will clock one year in office on the 2nd of April, 2019.At just 42-years-old, the ever-smiling prime minister sits on the helm of affairs of one of Africa’s greatest countries and chairs both the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP).

Prior to his inauguration, critics had doubted his capability to steer a country like Ethiopia and stabilize the EPRDF, which consists of four political parties, namely Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Amhara Democratic Party, Oromo Democratic Party, and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement.There is no doubt that he has surprised the world.The “RD” in EPRDF which stands for Revolutionary and Democracy is no doubt the blueprint of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the last twelve months of ruling Ethiopia.

During his time, he has done a lot in reforming the country and re-defining governance. This has also been reflected in the entire region as he has been dubbed ‘the unifier’ and ‘transformer’.Even his opponents will admit that he has done well since coming into office.

Below are a few of Abiy’s achievements in less than one year since becoming prime minister of Ethiopia.

1. Signing peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea

True to his word, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signed a peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea in July, putting to an end two decades of bitter relations. He promised to withdraw Ethiopian forces from the borders and end the killings. In December, barely five months after the peace deal was signed, Ethiopia concluded all arrangements and withdrew its troops from the Ethiopian-Eritrean boarders.

2. Adopted the Visa on arrival policy for Africans across the continent

In line with the African Union’s decision to improve Regional Integration in the continent and while other Africa leaders were still dragging their feet one step forward and two steps back, Ethiopia adopted the Visa on Arrival policy for Africans across the continent.

3. Re-positioned Ethiopian Airlines

He re-positioned Ethiopian Airlines, making the current best airline and one of the biggest Pan-African brands in Africa.

4. Made peace with Somalia

He reconciled his country with Somalia after 41 years and flights to the neighboring country resumed after four decades.

5. Reduced the cabinet size of the country, with more women added

In what was the first in Africa, he reduced his cabinet members to just 20 and surprised the world when he released the list to reveal that ten out of the twenty ministers were women.

6. Ethiopia got its first female president

Ethiopia currently has the only female president in Africa after the Prime Minister appointed Mrs. Sahle Work-Zewde for the position of president in October. It was swiftly passed by the parliament.

7. Ahmed is on a monthly salary of $300

During a speech in October, the Prime Minister again shocked the world when he revealed that he was on a monthly salary of $300. African leaders hid their heads in shame when they saw this because some of them earn as much as $591,871.68 annually as their official salary.

8. Lifted the ban on political exiles

He promised to reach out to opposition both home and abroad, and this he did. In November, he lifted the ban on Berhanu Nega – who had been exiled for many years because of his critical views of the former regime. Nega finally returned to Ethiopia, a signal of Abiy Ahmed’s sweeping democratic reforms.

9. Peacemaker in the Horn of Africa

He made himself an emissary in the Horn of Africa and has successfully united the region. The United Nations arms embargo and sanctions on Eritrea was lifted after Abiy Ahmed organized reconciliation between the country and its neighbors with which it was in conflict.

10. Leading a fast-growing economy

Ethiopia was rated as one of the fastest growing economies in 2018.

ክቡር ፕረዝዳንት ለማ መገርሳ ከኢንቨስተሮች ጋር ያደረጉት ዉይይት OBN, Oromia, Ethiopia March 30, 2019

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Oromia: Keenya Finfinne Keenya, New Oromo Music March 23, 2019

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Oh Finfinnee! May Reason & Justice Prevail!

Oromia: OMN: Ayyaana Hundeeffama ODP Waggaa 29ffaa (Koyyee Facceerraa) [Bit. 22, 2019] March 22, 2019

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Yared Terfassa: Oh Finfinnee! May Reason & Justice Prevail! March 16, 2019

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The Oromo claim over Finfinnee has nothing to do with “social engineering,” or “special rights or preferences,” or “eviction of non-Oromo residents” as the radical and irresponsible groups would have us believe. Rather, the Oromo claim on Addis Ababa in essence is the recognition of the dynamic and necessary link between Addis Ababa and the Oromia Regional State in promoting democracy, justice and peace for the City and the Region. The Oromo people have an immediate and unwavering interest in the peace, development, and democratic governance of the City of Addis Ababa. The converse is also true for Addis Ababa.
This invites the question why there seems to be a dispute involving the “ownership” of Finfinnee at this time. The Oromo use the term “ownership rights” to emphasize the importance of coordinating administration of Finfinnee with Oromia for regional peace, development, and respect for citizenship rights. The Oromo never employ the term to demand exclusive residency or benefit from Finfinnee. Others deliberately distort the Oromo’s rights and interest on Finfinnee. They present the “ownership” issue as a dispute over the identity of residents of Addis Ababa and the Oromo people. They want to erect a divide, imaginary and actual, between the citizens of the City and Oromia. They manufacture stories and myths to radicalize a segment of the population. At the same time, they evoke “unity,” “one Ethiopia,” “post-tribalism,” “modernity,” and “politics based on citizenship” to confuse the gullible and to mask their true identity. A rose by any other name still has horns.
The so-called ‘unity forces’ have come up with a new phrase for an outdated phase in the political game. Their new catchword is ‘politics based on citizenship.’ It is an old dodgy idea that “cultural assimilation” is a perquisite for Ethiopian citizenship. It is a euphemism for cultural superiority, a disguise for contempt for other cultures, and a cover for denying peoples existence as people.
The primary agenda of these reactionary group is the Oromo civilization: what needs to be smashed, eradicated, obliterated is not injustice or indignity, but the revival of the Oromo culture. They accept the underpinnings of Classical Marxism: a belief in the superiority of modern societies over traditional ones – claiming their culture is more modern than the others’. History teaches us that such irrational prejudice is the incubator of fascism, racism, and war.
Citizenship is a political, legal status created and determined by a State and enforced by law. Participation in the political process is a manifestation of citizenship. The State transforms its subjects to citizenship status by recognizing their rights and obligations to participate in the legislation and execution of the rules governing them. Those without a citizenship status cannot formally participate in politics.
Citizenship is not a neutral concept; it is a contested one. Part of the contest involves the primacy or preference to be given to the basis of the citizenship status itself. Some countries accord citizenship status exclusively based on the individual whereas other countries bestow republican citizenship on the peoples that make up the State.
The choice between the varieties of citizenship statuses is or should be a function of the history of the country. Yet, the whims of political leaders and prevailing political sentiment of the times have influenced the choices countries have made. For example, citizenship status in the United States is based on the individual. This reflects the history of the country; the constituent peoples of the country have either been exterminated or reduced to a point of political insignificance; others have been subjected to racism and oppression for so long they have lost the will to assert themselves as a people. Even the victors themselves have come to recognize the evil committed and express the national and personal shame they feel about what has been done to the other peoples. The cost of standardizing identity is not just the generational pain and suffering it inflicts on the victims, but also the shame on the benefactors as well as the constant tension and uncertainty about the viability of the political union thus formed.
The situation in Ethiopia is a little different. Of course, there has been attempts to create a standardized “Ethiopian” by any means necessary. Violence, institutional racism, and shaming have been employed to standardize of the disparate peoples in the country into “one people.” Yet, due to the resiliency of the peoples, Ethiopia remains a multicultural country. Visit the history of Qimant; visit the history of Sidama; visit the history of Oromo; visit the history of Agaw; visit the history of all peoples in Ethiopia. Witness the human spirit for freedom and dignity first hand.
Today, Ethiopia recognizes its peoples. Republican Citizenship is the law of the land. Individual Rights is an indispensable part and parcel of Republican Citizenship. It is the law of the land. This does not mean that Ethiopia is out of the shadows of yester years’ prejudice and violence against its own peoples. There are radical groups who would like to make standardized Ethiopian individuals. They have the audacity and project to manufacture “new Ethiopians” in the next few months or years. But, remember, they do not have the magic wand to do it peacefully and immediately without pain. Oh no! They don’t! They would have to do the old way.
This is an unacceptable proposition for the Oromo in the 21st century. The Oromo cannot be reduced to an arbitrary identity standard concocted by irrational and prejudiced political entrepreneurs. Oromo is sacred. Tens of millions Oromos live it, identify with it, find meaning and purpose in it. The Oromo civilization has existed since time immemorial and generations of Oromo have and will always defend its existence and ensure it revival.
The deliberately manufactured crisis about Finfinnee is proxy for challenging the federal arrangement and the Constitution. Finfinnee should be a factor of cooperation and not a bone of contention. Radical, opportunist political groups should not be allowed to cause unnecessary and unwarranted conflict both among citizens of Finfinnee and between citizens of Finfinnee and Oromia. The radical groups are testing the waters; they are testing the resolve and wisdom of the current government. Arrogant and ignorant as they are, it is wise for Dr. Abiy not to gamble on their weakness. Neither is it wise to discount the harm they would cause to the social cohesion in the city of Finfinnee and beyond.

Click here to read the full article from Oromia Times

Relief Web: Ethiopia: At least 8.3 million people will require relief food/cash and non-food assistance during the year. Issue #4| 17 February-03 March 2019 March 14, 2019

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The humanitarian situation in 2019 will remain similar to 2018 mainly due to mass internal displacements in various parts of the country, and related humanitarian and protection needs.

Humanitarian Bulletin Ethiopia Issue #4| 17 February-03 March 2019

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners will formally launch the 2019 Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) on 7 March.
  • Some 90,000 displaced people in Amhara region need urgent assistance.
  • Improved security along the OromiaSomali border is enabling humanitarian partners to move relief commodities to Dawa zone after more than a year.
  • Access constraints has impacted humanitarian partners from providing meaningful assistance to IDPs in certain sites of Gedeb woreda (Gedeo zone), where most IDPs are concentrated.
  • Experience from an IDP child in Deder Town

Partners to formally launch the 2019 Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) on 7 March

The joint Government and partners Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for 2019 will be formally launched in the presence of Ato Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission; Mr. Aeneas Chuma, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator; as well as humanitarian partners, donors and the media at the Strategic Multi-Agency Coordination forum (S-MAC) on 7 March 2019.

The Plan lays out prioritized humanitarian needs in 2019 across eight sectors, including food, nutrition, shelter and non-food items, water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH), health, education, protection and agriculture.

The humanitarian situation in 2019 will remain similar to 2018 mainly due to mass internal displacements in various parts of the country, and related humanitarian and protection needs.
In addition, communities who suffered consecutive years of severe drought, who lost productive assets, or took on significant debts to shoulder the brunt of the crisis, will continue to need sustained humanitarian assistance and recovery during the year.

Accordingly, at least 8.3 million people will require relief food/cash and non-food assistance during the year.

The Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners launch today the 2019 Humanitarian  Response Plan (HRP) seeking US$1.3 billion to reach 8.3 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance. Click here to read in details

Why the world needs an African ecofeminist future, African Argument March 12, 2019

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Orthodox economic models have failed us all, but women across Africa are resisting them and coming up with visionary alternatives

By Fatima KelleheAfrican Argument

African ecofeminism: Credit: CIAT/Neil Palmer.

Women in Africa are often at the forefront of campaigns for sustainability, justice and sovereignty. Credit: CIAT/Neil Palmer.

We need an “African ecofeminist future”. And by we, I don’t just mean Africa, I mean everyone.

I say this for two reasons. Firstly, Africa is now the “final frontier” for economic models that have already ecologically compromised the rest of the planet. Not long ago touted as the world’s “basket case” but now covetously viewed as its future breadbasket, a sustainable alternative in Africa is possibly the final bastion against global environmental degradation.

Secondly, women and feminist activists are already on the front line of the battle for ecological sustainability on the continent. Their everyday struggles, uncompromised commitment, and willingness to envision a radical future in which justice, equity and rights harmonise with environmental sovereignty have the potential to save us all.

So what is ecofeminism, and why African ecofeminism specifically? Ecofeminist activism grew out of feminist, peace, and ecology movements of the 1970s and 1980s. Intersectional ecofeminism also underscores the importance of gender, race, and class, interlinking feminist concerns with human oppressions within patriarchy and the exploitations of a natural environment that women are often more reliant upon but also its guardians in many cultural contexts.

But whilst the broader movement has sometimes been bogged down in a divisive debate over whether gendered associations with nature essentialise women, movements engaged in feminist and ecological activism in Africa have simply gotten busy building strategic and political alliances between women, nature, and protection of the environment.

Wangari Maathai and her Green Belt Movement arguably epitomise the essence of African ecofeminism and the collective activism that defines it. As the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2004, Maathai highlighted the close relationship between African feminism and African ecological activism, which challenge both the patriarchal and neo-colonial structures undermining the continent. Lesser -known activists, however, have also long been at the intersection of gender, economic, and ecological justice.

Ruth Nyambura of the African Eco Feminist Collective, for example, uses radical and African feminist traditions to critique power, challenge multinational capitalism, and re-imagine a more equitable world. Organisations like African Women Unite Against Destructive Resource Extraction (WoMin) campaign against the devastation of extractive industries. Meanwhile, localised organising is also resisting ecologically-damaging corporatisation: in South Africa, Women Mapella residents fought off land grabs by mining companies; in Ghana, the Concerned Farmers Association, led largely by women, held mining companies accountable for pollution of local watersheds; and in Uganda, women of the Kizibi community seed bank are preserving local biodiversity in the face of the commercialisation of seeds by corporate multinationals.

These activists on these front lines are fighting back, but they are also offering visions of alternative development models that demand both gender and economic justice. In doing so, they ask us all to reconsider what constitutes “progress” in the first place.

Women, the environment and biodiversity

African women are often at the heart of communities dealing with huge changes related to economic development and shoulder the burden of environmental mismanagement. These concerns are multi-layered, and range from agrarian justice through to extractivism, but one issue that particularly clearly demonstrates the importance of African ecofeminism today is the threat to seed biodiversity.

This is an increasingly worrying concern. In the 20th century, an alarming 75% of crop biodiversity was lost, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, and this trend has continued since. In the last decade, for example, Europe and Central Asia have seen 42% of their terrestrial animal and plant species decline in population size, partially due to intensive agriculture and forestry practices, with more natural resources being consumed than produced.

Currently, the Green Revolutions seen in Europe, the US and, more recently, parts of Asia – which have involved moving from subsistence agriculture to industrialised farming, cash cropping and mono cropping – remain at the forefront of thinking around economic growth and food security. However, there is increasing evidence that this corporate-driven vision, which has dominated development trajectories over the last century, has failed on several fronts.

Not only has it failed to address hunger despite overproduction, it has indirectly reinforced biodiversity losses and therefore nature’s more holistic contributions to a sustainable environment. Before the Green Revolution in India, for example, there were roughly 50,000 varieties of rice. Within 20 years, this dropped to just 40. This has resulted in the loss of crops once part of diverse food baskets as well as a degradation of farmers’ ownership and control over seeds.

Seed sovereignty is therefore a key pillar of ecofeminism, and the relationship between seed biodiversity and women is particularly critical. Women, who are often central to domestic food production, are also frequently the custodians of seeds that reproduce balanced, varied and nutritional diets. In Africa, female farmers often preserve diverse (and indigenous) crops that remain off the cash-cropping agenda, from myriad varieties of spinach and cassava to the less well-known acha, a paleo grain native to parts of the Sahel.

Among other things, women’s indigenous knowledge around seeds and their selection, storage, and planting of diverse and often hardy crops increase climate resilience, placing them right on the frontline of the battle against climate change. By contrast, extensive mono-cropping has actually made agriculture more vulnerable to pests, disease and drought, often leading to a dependence on the pesticides and fertilisers produced by the same companies that sell the commercial seeds now being pushed across Africa.

Indeed, commercial seed capture on the continent is on the rise, with corporate-invested pushes towards regulations that authorise the planting of only selected seeds. Hybrid seeds aimed at maximising yields in particular are being prioritised. This is deeply problematic as hybrid seeds cannot be replanted, meaning farmers must buy new ones each season. Through this, farmers lose their autonomy, while the women who’ve been custodians of seed knowledge for centuries are disempowered. The commercialisation of seeds is therefore not just reducing variety and undermining climate resilience, but also compromising food sovereigntyas a small cabal of multi-nationals monopolise the market.

Visioning something better

An info-graphic making the social media rounds a few years ago highlighted that if everyone on the planet consumed like in the United States, we would need 4.4 Planet Earths. The reality that accepted models of development are unsustainable is no longer news to most. Meanwhile, there is a growing public awareness around threats to biodiversity and climate resilience as well as of the tensions that have arisen as a result of corporate-driven agricultural agendas.

And yet, most African governments remain anchored to the idea of a Western-inspired green revolution, and are beholden to donor support (from the West as well as China) that is often invested in agribusiness expansion. Policy spaces still rarely welcome the voices of smallholder farmers and those working at the grassroots, leaving alternative positions and challenges to orthodox models of economic development on the margins of regional and global tables where decisions are brokered.

Undeterred, however, ecofeminists continue to fight at the coalface of this struggle. From Ghana to South Africaand beyond, women-organised seed-sharing initiatives continue to resist corporatisation. Activists like Mariama Sonko in Senegal continue to lead on agroecological farming initiatives for localised and sustainable food production.

Ultimately, the crisis of Africa’s current trajectory is a crisis of visioning: the inability of the continent’s leaders to imagine a process of development less destructive, more equitable, less unjust, more uniquely African, and – quite simply – more exciting. The positions, passions, and holistic approaches offered by African ecofeminism provide key ingredients for an alternative to the capital-centric ideals of economic growth that have defined progress so far. These have not only wreaked havoc on global ecological sustainability but have failed to deliver a genuinely equitable or just society anywhere. It’s time to start dreaming and delivering an African future that can do better than that.

Resource extraction responsible for half world’s carbon emissions, The Guardian March 12, 2019

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Extraction also causes 80% of biodiversity loss according to comprehensive UN study,
Jonathan Watts, The Guardian

However, they said this dire scenario could be avoided if there is a faster transition towards renewables, smarter urban planning to reduce the demand for concrete, dietary changes to lower the need for grazing pastures and cut levels of waste (currently a third of all food), and a greater focus on creating a cyclical economy that re-uses more materials. They also called for a switch of taxation policies away from income and towards carbon and resource extraction.’

Massive dump trucks by the Syncrude upgrader plant, Canada.
 Massive dump trucks by the Syncrude upgrader plant, Canada. The tar sands are the largest industrial project on the planet, and the world’s most environmentally destructive. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Extraction industries are responsible for half the world’s carbon emissions and more than 80% of biodiversity loss, according to the most comprehensive environmental tally ever undertaken of mining and farming.

While this is crucial for food, fuel and minerals, the study by UN Environment warns the increasing material weight of the world’s economies is putting a more dangerous level of stress on the climate and natural life-support systems than previously thought.

Resources are being extracted from the planet three times faster than in 1970, even though the population has only doubled in that time, according to the Global Resources Outlook, which was released in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Each year, the world now consumes more than 92b tonnes of materials – biomass (mostly food), metals, fossil fuels and minerals – and this figure is growing at the rate of 3.2% per year.

Since 1970, extraction of of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) has increased from 6bn tonnes to 15bn tonnes, metals have risen by 2.7% per year, other minerals (particularly sand and gravel for concrete) have surged nearly fivefold from 9bn to 44bn tonnes, and biomass harvests have gone up from 9bn to 24bn tonnes.

Up until 2000, this was a huge boost to the global economy, but since then there has been a diminishing rate of return as resources become more expensive to extract and the environmental costs become harder to ignore.

“The global economy has focused on improvements in labour productivity at the cost of material and energy productivity. This was justifiable in a world where labour was the limiting factor of production. We have moved into a world where natural resources and environmental impacts have become the limiting factor of production and shifts are required to focus on resource productivity,” says the study.

The economic benefits and environmental costs are broken down by sector. Land use change – mostly for agriculture – accounts for over 80% of biodiversity loss and 85% of water stress as forests and swamps are cleared for cropland that needs irrigation. Extraction and primary processing of metals and other minerals is responsible for 20% of health impacts from air pollution and 26% of global carbon emissions.

The biggest surprise to the authors was the huge climate impact of pulling materials out of the ground and preparing them for use. All the sectors combined together accounted for 53% of the world’s carbon emissions – even before accounting for any fuel that is burned.

“I would never have expected that half of climate impacts can be attributed to resource extraction and processing,” said Stefanie Hellweg, one of the authors of the paper. “It showed how resources are hiding behind products. By focusing on them, their tremendous impact became apparent.”

The paper highlights growing inequalities. In rich countries, people consume an average of 9.8 tonnes of resources a year, the weight of two elephants. This is 13 times higher than low incomes groups. Much of this is unseen because huge amounts of materials are often needed for a small end product, such as a mobile phone.

Izabella Teixeira, former environment minister of Brazil, said the report highlighted how rich consumer nations have exported environmental to poor producing countries. With this model now hitting climate and biodiversity boundaries that affect everyone on the planet, she said it was time for change. “Currently decisions are being based on the past but we need to base them on the future. That means leadership.”

Where leadership could come from is difficult to see in the current political environment. The US and Brazil are slashing existing environmental regulations. China has moved ahead on renewables and pollution, but its growth is even more material-intensive than developed nations. According to the report, Asia is driving the fastest demand for minerals among upper-middle income countries, which now – because of their big populations – have a greater combined material weight than wealthy nations.

Concrete: the most destructive material on Earth

 Read more

The authors said it was essential to decouple economic growth from material consumption. Without change, they said resource demand would more than double to 190bn tonnes per year, greenhouse gases would rise by 40% and demand for land would increase by 20%.

However, they said this dire scenario could be avoided if there is a faster transition towards renewables, smarter urban planning to reduce the demand for concrete, dietary changes to lower the need for grazing pastures and cut levels of waste (currently a third of all food), and a greater focus on creating a cyclical economy that re-uses more materials. They also called for a switch of taxation policies away from income and towards carbon and resource extraction.

“It is possible to grow in a different way with fewer side effects. This report is clear proof that it is possible and with higher growth,” said Janez Potočnik, co-chair of International Resource Panel and former environment commissioner for the European Union. “It’s not an easy job to do, but believe me the alternative is much worse.”

OMN: Simpooziyamii Afaan OROMOO ( Yunivarsiitii Amboo) March 11, 2019

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Oromia: Dirmannaa Iyya Koyyee: Lafti Keenya Lafee Keenya: Hiriirri Nagaa Oromiyaa Har’as Itti Fufee Oole. #OromoProtests continues for the 3rd day. The Government of Oromia Reacts. March 8, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Uncategorized.
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Lafti keenya lafee keenya. Lafeen keenya ammoo alagaaf hin kennamu. Kooyyee Facceen Oromiyaa dha. Mootummaan Oromiyaa bulchuu qaba. #QeerrooPower

Hiriirri nagaa Oromiyaa keessatti magaalootaa fi bakka heddutti guyyaa sadaffaaf geggefamaa oolera. Kayyoo isaa yeroo gabaabaa waan guuttateef hiriirri kun yeroof har’a boodee akka dhaabatu ibsamee jira.

Bakkawwan hiriirri nagaa har’a itti geggeefamaa turan keessaa kan odeeffannoo qabnu:
Ambo, Adaabbaa, AqaaqiiAwwadaay, Adaamaa, Asallaa, Ajjee, Asaboot, Baakkoo, Baalee Roobee, Baddeessaa, Baroodaa, Baatee (Walloo), Bishooftuu, Boolloo, Bulbulaa, Bule Horaa, Calanqoo (Meettaa), Ciroo, Cinaaksan, Dannab Guddoo, Dadar, Nagallee(Arsi) Diksiis, Dirree Incinnii, Dirree Dhawaa, Dhummuugaa, Doobbaa, Gobbaa, Gudar, Gimbi, Gindhiir, Galamsoo, Gololchaa, Gursum, Guumaa, Haramayaa, Adaree Biyyoo (Harar), Hanqooloo (Waabee), Harawacaa, Hirnaa, Holotaa, Jimma, Darbaa, Calalaqaa, Aana Fadis, dinshoo, Arsi Qarsaa, Beddellee, Bookee, Magaalaa Alii, Kooraa, Abootee, Gurawaa, Dubiluqi, Laaftoo Harwa, Gooroo Mootii, Ada’aa Bargaa/Mogor/Reejjii, Sandaafaa, Aanaa bookee, Borana Yabelloo, Harargee bahaa Jaarsoo Ejersa Gooroo, Kokkossaa (Arsi Lixxaa), Kofalee, Gindabarat, Kaachis, Langey, Miinoo(Qumbi), Saaris, Sabbataa, Shanan Dhuugoo, Machaara, Mi’essoo, Qaallittii, Qullubbii, Qilinxoo, Asandaaboo (Jimmaa), Soqaa, Walisoo, Walloo Kamisee, Shashaamannee, Sigimoo, Sibu Siree, Salaalee, Saddiqaa, (Fichee), Sulultaa, Universitii Jimmaa, Xuulloo, Watar

Laftii teenna lafee teenna!
Finfinneen Handhura teenna!
Cinaaqsan cinaacha teenna!
Mooyyalee Balbala teenna!
Dirree Dhawaan dirra teenna!

Ethiopia land protest enters second day, Oromia govt reacts, Africa News

ባለፉት ቀናት በኦሮሚያ ሲካሄድ የነበረው የተቃውሞ ሰልፍን የታለመለትን ግብ ስለመታ ለጊዜው ቆሟል። እነዚህ ሰልፎች በሞቶዎች የሚቆጠሩ ከተሞች ውስጥ ፍጹም ሰላማዊ በሆነ መልኩ የተካሄዱ ሲሆን ምንም አይነት ጉዳት በሰውም ሆነ ንብረት ላይ ሳይደርስ ተጠናቋል።

ምስጋና ለቄሮ፣ ለጸጥታ አካላት እና ለሰፊው ህዝብ !!

Jammo, Finfinnee
Buraayyuu
Laga Xaafoo
Finfinnee
Ambo
Sabbataa
Asandaaboo
Adaree Biyyoo (Harar
Gimbii
Calanqoo
Jimma
Jimmaa
Dirree Dhawaa, Oromia
Dirree Dhawa
Dirree Dhawaa
Mgaalaa Soqaa
Salaalee
Macharaa
Arsi Lixa, Kokkossaa
Baatee, Oromoo Walloo
Baalee, Gobbaa
Cinaaksan

Arsi, Adaabbaa
Dukam
Bule Horaa
Bulee Horaa
Kofale
Aanaa Shanan Dhuugoo
Buraayyuu Ashawwaa Meedaa
Harawacaa
Sigimoo
Dhummuugaa
Bishooftuu
Guumaa, Jimma
Hanqooloo, Waabee
Baakkoo
Shirkaa
Dubiluqi

Oromia: Dirmannaa Iyya Koyyee: Lafti keenya lafee keenya. Lafeen keenya ammoo alagaaf hin kennamu. #OromPotests underway in towns of Oromia against illegal mega buildings and settlements on Oromo farm lands. #QeerrooPower March 7, 2019

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Lafti keenya lafee keenya. Lafeen keenya ammoo alagaaf hin kennamu. Kooyyee Facceen Oromiyaa dha. Mootummaan Oromiyaa bulchuu qaba. #QeerrooPower

Qeerroo Shashee

Hiriirri nagaa Oromiyaa keessatti magaalootaa fi bakka heddutti geggefamaa oolera. Amma gaaffiiwwan ka’an deebii quubsa argatanitti akka itti fufuf qeerroon beeksisaniru. Hiriirri kun kaleessa Koyyee Facceetti akka calqabe beekamee jira.

Bakkawwan hiriirri nagaa har’a itti geggeefamaa oolan Kessaa kan odeeffannoo qabnu:
Aqaaqii, Awwadaay, Adaabbaa, Adaamaa, Asallaa, Adaabbaa, Ajjee, Asaboot, Baalee Roobee, Baddeessaa, Baroodaa, Boolloo, Bulbulaa, Ciroo, Dannab Guddoo, Diksiis, Dirree Incinnii, Dirree Dhawaa, Doobbaa, Gudar, Gindhiir, Galamsoo, Gursum, Haramayaa, Hirna, Holotaa, Koyyee, Mi’essoo, Qaallittii, Qullubbii, Qilinxoo, Sandaaboo (Jimmaa), Walisoo, Walloo Kamisee, Shashaamannee, Sulultaa, Universitii Jimmaa, Xuulloo, Watar

Ethiopia’s Oromia hit by protests over Addis Ababa housing project, Africa News


Finfinne, the capital of Oromia is not negotiable’ say the Qeerroo/Qarree in Gudar
Roobee
Malkaa Jabduu
Asaboot
Asallaa


Harargee Lixaa, Galamsoo
Jimma University
Harargee Bahaa, Qullubbii
Walloo, Kamisee
Ciroo
Adaamaa

Holataa
Gidhir
Koyyee Faccee
Koyyee Faccee
Xuulloo, Harargee Lixaa
Sandaaboo, Jimmaa
Haramaayaa
Buraayyuu, Malkaa Gafarsaa
Dodolaa
Qilinxoo
Gursum
Dirree Incinnii
Adaabbaa
Boolloo
Baddeessaa
Awwadaay
Barooda
Doobbaa, Harargee Lixaa
Watar, Harargee Bahaa


በኦሮሚያ የተቃውሞ ሰልፎች እየተካሄዱ ነው
የአዲስ አበባ መስተደድር በትናንትናው ዕለት ከ51 ሺህ በላይ የጋራ መኖርያ ቤቶችን በዕጣ ማስተላለፉን ተከትሎ በኦሮሚያ ክልል የተለያዩ ከተሞች የተቃውሞ ሰልፎች በመካሄድ ላይ ይገኛሉ።
የተቃውሞ ሰልፎቹ በሻሸመኔ፣ በጅማ፣ በአዳማ፣ በባሌ ሮቤ፣ በጭሮ፣ በሻምቡ፣ በአሰላ፣ በአጄ፣ በአዳባ፣ በጉደር፣ በሂርና፣ በከሚሴ(ወሎ)፣ በቁሉቢና በመሳሰሉት ከተሞች በመካሄድ ላይ ይገኛሉ።
ተቃውሞው ከመስተዳድሩ ወሰን ውጭ የነበሩና አርሶ አደሮችን በማፈናቀል በኮዬ ፈጬ፣ በቦሌ አራብሳና ቱሉ ዲምቱ በመሳሰሉ አከባቢዎች የተገነቡት የጋራ መኖርያ ቤቶች እየቀረበባቸው የነበረው ቅሬታ ተገቢው ምላሽ ሳይሰጥበት በዕጣ ለማስተላለፍ መወሰኑ እንደሆነ ታውቋል።
መስተዳድሩ የተወሰኑ የጋራ መኖርያ ቤቶችን ያለዕጣ ለተፈናቃዮች እና ቤተሰቦቻቸው ማስተላለፉን ቢገልፅም ሕገ መንግሥታዊው የወሰን ጉዳይ እልባት ባላገኘበት ሁኔታ በድንገት መፈጸሙ የሕዝቡን ቁጣ ቀስቅሷል።
በተለይ የኦሮሚያ ክልል መንግሥት አርሶ አደሮቹ በግፍ በተፈናቀሉበት ወቅትም ሆነ አሁን በሁነቱ ላይ እንደውጭ ተመልካች ዝምታን መምረጡ ብዙዎችን ያነጋገረ ጉዳይ ሆኗል። አስቸኳይ የመፍትሔ እርምጃ ካልተወሰደም ሁኔታው ተባብሶ ወደ አደገኛ አቅጣጫ ሊሄድ እንደሚችል ሁኔታዎች እያመለከቱ ይገኛሉ። ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ የኦሮሚያ ክልላዊ መንግሥት በተከሰተው ሁኔታና በአዲስ አበባ ጉዳይ ላይ በዛሬው ዕለት መግለጫ ሊሰጥ ይችላል ተብሎ ይጠበቃል። Source: Gulale Post

MULTIPLE PROTESTS ACROSS OROMIA REGION IN WAKE OF CONDO HOUSES DISTRIBUTION BY ADDIS ABEBA CITY ADMIN, Hayalnesh Gezahegn – addisstandard News,  March 7, 2019

Dejene Tafa, center, first secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) joined protesters today near Koye Feche site

Thousands of demonstrators in several cities and towns across the Oromia regional state have taken to the streets today. The protests were triggered after the Addis Ababa City Administration Savings & Houses Development Enterprise (AASHDE) handed over thousands of condominium houses located both in the city, and in Oromia regional state special zone.

Addis Standard confirmed from local security and police officers that protests took place in the following cities: Adama, Shashemene, in western Arsi, oromia regional state; Bale Robe and Assela in south east Oromia; as well as Haramara in eastern Oromia regional state. A report by the BBCAmharic said protests have taken place in in ten cities across the region.

Demonstrators are protesting AASHDE’s decision to hand over thousands of condominium houses using a computerized lottery draw without the involvement the Oromia regional state, which has administrative jurisdiction of the site where Koye Feche one and two condominiums are located at. Some 7,127 people were given condominium unites of studio, one and two bedroom apartments built on a vast plot of land which used to a farmland.

Partial view of the condominium housing in Koye Feche. Photo: Social media

The winners of yesterday’s lottery draw were those who were registered for the housing under the saving schemes commonly known as 20/80 and 40/60 in which they were asked to save 20% for studio, one and two bedroom apartments and the government promised to help with the remaining 80%. The same mechanisms were applied for those who could save 40%.

Would be home owners were also told that if they saved 100%, they would be automatically entitled for the apartments. But the scheme has already left many dissatisfied as the mayor’s office recently scraped that and said the administration would stick to the original saving mechanism of 20/80 and 40/60.

The winners who got the apartments located in Koye Feche one and two sites, located in the southern outskirt of the city of Addis Abeba, some 20 km into the Oromia regional state administrative border in Akaki/Kality area, are those who are under the 20/80 saving scheme. While the apartments with three bedrooms are located in various condominium sites mostly in Addis Abeba.

Koye Feche is located in one of the eight zonal towns surrounding Addis Abeba which were established by the Oromia Regional State under the administrative name of “Oromia regional State Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne” in 2008.

Now, protesters are saying the Addis Abeba city administration is acting outside of its jurisdiction and without involving Oromia regional government. Many are carrying banners reading “our land is our bones,” “Koye Feche is in Oromia”, and “No to the master plan,” the later in reference to the infamous city master plan which wanted to expand the city of Addis Abeba into the surrounding Oromia region towns and cities. Although it was later scarped, the master plan was one of the immediate causes that triggered the sustained three years protest in Oromia regional state.

Koye Feche site one and two is only one of the multiple condominium sites built by Addis Abeba city administration on sites located in various places within the Oromia special zone over the last ten years.

However, the administrative procedure in which the lands were taken from the farmers and the inadequate compensations paid afterwards, the shocking details of which were revealed by a former federal official, drew severe criticisms in recent years as hundreds of thousands of farmers were left itching to have ends met.

During the lottery ceremony yesterday, Takele Uma, deputy mayor of Addis Abeba, said that families of displaced farmers were included in the housing distribution without the lottery draw. “We would like to say that your pain is ours, especially those of you who have lost your farmlands in order to clear for these [housing] projects and were exposed for economic and social crisis,” Takele said. However, Takele did not explain what has been done both by city authorities and the regional state to include those who have been dispossessed for little compensations. Several people at Koye Feche one and two sites and at Bole Arabssa site, a site for another massive condominium project, who spoke to OBN said they have been contacted neither by city administration officials nor by officials from the Oromia regional state special zone. Addis Standard’s attempts to reach both officials since yesterday has been to no avail.

So far both city officials and officials from the Oromia regional state did not release statements on the protests whereas online activists are calling for more protests tomorrow especially in Ambo and its environs. AS

BBC Afaan Oromoo: Qonnaan bultoota Koyyee Faccee fi Boolee Arraabsaa: ‘Lafa keenyas dhabnee ijoolleen keenyas daandii irratti hafte’

ስለ ፊንፊኔ/አዲስ አበባ አንዳንድ ነጥቦች (በድጋሚ) 
By Tsegaye Ararssa
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በፊንፊኔ ላይ የሚደረግ ማንኛውም ውይይት፣ ከዚህ በታች የተዘረዘሩትን ነጥቦች ታሳቢ ቢያደርግ ፍሬያማና ውጤታማ ይሆናል። እነዚህን ታሳቢ ባናደርግ፣ ውይይቱም ፍሬ-ቢስ፣ ፖለቲካውም ውጤት አልባ ሆኖ ይቀጥላል።

1. መልክዓ-ምድራዊ ተጠየቅም (the geographic logic)፣ የታሪክ ማስረጃውም፣ የአገሪቱ የሕግ ድንጋጌዎችም፣ ፊንፊኔ የኦሮምያ መሆኗን ይመሰክርሉ።

ፊንፊኔ የኦሮሚያ ከተማ ነች።

ከዚህም ባሻገር፣ የኦሮሚያ መንግሥት ዋና ከተማ፣ የፌደራል መንግሥቱም መቀመጫ ነች። ከተለያዩ የኢትዮጵያ ክፍሎች በተለያየ ወቅትና ምክንያት፣ ለተለያየ ዓላማ፣ የፈለሱ ነዋሪዎችን የያዘች፣ የህዝቦች መዲና፣ እና የንግድና የፖለቲካም ማዕከል መሆኗም ይታወቃል። በማንኛውም ከተማዋን በሚመለከት ውይይት ውስጥ፣ ይሄ ታሳቢ ሊሆን ይገባል።

2. በታሪክም፣ በመልክዓ-ምድራዊ ተጠየቅም፣ ሆነ በሕግ፣ ፊንፊኔ በኦሮሚያ ክልል የምትገኝ የፌደራል መንግሥቱ መቀመጫ ነች እንጂ እራሷን የቻለች ክልል አይደለችም።

የፌደራል መንግሥቱ መቀመጫ ነች ሲባል፣ የፌደራል መንግስቱ ተቃማት ጽሕፈት ቤቶች ሥራቸውን በዋናነት የሚያከናውኑባት ከተማ ናት ማለት ነው።

በተደጋጋሚ የምናየው ከተማይቱን እንደ ክልል የመቁጠር ስህተት ሊታረም ይገባዋል። አገሪቱ በሽግግር ጊዜ በቻርተር በተዳደረችበት ዘመን (ከ1983-1987 ዓም፣ ወይም እኤአ ከ1991-1995) እራሷን የቻለች ክልል የነበረች ቢሆንም ሕገመንግሥቱ ከፀናበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ ይሄ ክልልነት አብቅቷል።

አሁንም (በታከለ ኡማ አስተዳደር ሥር እየተሞከረ እንዳለው)፣ ከተማዋን ከኦሮሚያ ለመንጠቅ በማሰብ ብቻ፣ (“ብራስልስን እንደ ሞዴል ወስደን) እራሷን የቻለች ከተማ-ክልል (city-state) እናድርጋት” የሚለው አካሄድ ሊታረም ይገባል።

በመሆኑም፣ ፊንፊኔ በኦሮሚያ ክልል ውስጥ የምትገኝ፣ የኦሮሚያ ከተማ የሆነች፣ የፌደራል መንግሥቱ መቀመጫ ነች። በቃ።

3. የከተማው አስተዳደር ተጠሪነቱ (በቅድሚያ ለኦሮሚያ መሆን ሲገባው፣ ሕገመንግሥቱ ሲረቀቅ በተፈፀመ ስህተት ምክንያት) ለፌደራል መንግሥት የሆነና እራሱን በቻርተር የሚያስተዳድር የከተማ አስተዳደር (municipality) ነው። ተጠሪነቱ (በስህተት) ለፌደራል መንግስቱ (ብቻ) መሆኑ ግን፣ ከተማዋ ከኦሮሚያ ውጭ የሆነች ራስ-ገዝ ከተማ ነች፣ ወይም የፌደራሉ መንግሥት ይዞታ የሆነች ከተማ ነች ማለት አይደለም።

4. አንዳንዶች አልፎ አልፎ ለመከራከር እንደሚዳዱት፣ የከተማው አስተዳደር ተጠሪነቱ ለፌደራል መንግሥት በመሆኑ ብቻ ከክልሎች (ማለትም ከኦሮሚያ) ነፃ የሆነች የፌደራል ግዛት (Federal District, or Federal Capital Territory) አያደርጋትም፣ አላደረጋትም። በነገራችን ላይ፣ በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ አንድም የአገሪቱ ክፍል በቀጥታ ‘የፌደራል ግዛት’ ተብሎ በሕገመንግሥቱም ሆነ በሌላ ከዛ ወዲህ በወጣ ህግ፣ ወይም በሌላ ህጋዊ አስገዳጅነት ባለው ስምምነት የተሰየመ አካባቢ የለም። ከተማዋ የፌደራል መንግሥት መቀመጫ ስትደረግም እንኳን ይህ የተፈፀመው፣ ጥልቀት ባለው ውይይት፣ ወግ ባለው ድርድርና፣ በውል ሳይሆን እንዲሁ ከቀድሞ ዘመን በተወረሰ ልማዳዊ ተጠየቅ ብቻ ነው። የፌደራል መንግሥቱ ‘መቀመጫ የት ይሁን?’ የሚለው ጥያቄ፣ ዛሬም ቢሆን እንደ አዲስ ተነስቶ ውይይት ቢደረግበትም ለአገሪቱ ሰላምና መረጋጋት ብዙ ፋይዳ ይኖረዋል። በዘረፋ የተያዘ ቋሚ ንብረት ላይ ብዙ መቆየት ባለቤት አያደርግምና፣ ባለቤቱ ጥያቄውን ባነሳ ቁጥር ከመበርገግና ሰላም ከማጣትም ያድናል።

5. የከተማው ነዋሪዎች ባለሙሉ መብት ዜጎች ናቸው፤ ሆነውም ይቀጥላሉ። እራሳቸውንም፣ በመረጡት ተወካይ የማስተዳደር መብት አላቸው። (ይሄ ማንም የማይነፍጋቸው [እና ማንም የማይቸራቸው] ሕገመንግሥታዊ መብታቸው ነው።) በፌደራል ፓርላማ ውስጥ ባሉት ተወካዮቻቸው በኩልም አገሪቱን ከሌሎች ሕዝቦች ጋር በጋራ ያስተዳድራሉ።

‘አልተወከልንም’ የሚለው የዘወትር አነጋገር፣ ፍፁም ስህተት ብቻ ሳይሆን፣ ለማምታታት የተፈጠረ የፖለቲካ ግነት (political hyperbole) ነው። እውነቱ ግን፣ የከተማው ነዋሪ፣ በተወካዮች ምክር ቤት ውስጥ፣ በ23 ወይም 24 ድምፅ ተወክሎአል። በከተማው ምክር ቤትም እንዲሁ ሙሉ ውክልና አለው (ያው፣ ተመራጮቹ በዴሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ ያልተመረጡ መሆናቸው፣ እንደሌሎቹ ክልሎች ተወካዮች ሀሉ፣ የተመራጮቹ ትክክለኛ ሕዝባዊ ውክልናቸው ጥያቄ ውስጥ የሚገባ ቢሆንም!)

በተጨማሪም፣ ነዋሪዎቿ የየብሔራቸውን የወል መብትና ጥቅም ለማስከበር የሚያስችል ውክልና በፌደሬሽን ምክር ቤት ውስጥ ባሉ፣ የሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ብሔር፣ ብሔረሰብና ሕዝቦች ተወካዮች ተወክለዋል። በመሆኑም፣ በከተማዋ ውስጥ የሚኖሩ አማሮች እንደ አማራ፣ ኦሮሞዎች እንደ ኦሮሞ፣ ጉራጌዎች እንደ ጉራጌ፣ ስልጤዎች እንደ ስልጤ፣ ተጋሩ እንደተጋሩ፣ ወዘተ፣ ለቁጥራቸው ተመጣጣኝ በሆነ መንገድ ተወክለው አሉ። እርግጥ፣ የፌደሬሽን ምክር ቤት አባላት ምርጫ፣ እስካሁን ሲደረግ እንደቆየው፣ በክልሎች ምክር ቤት ከሚሆን ይልቅ በቀጥታ በሕዝብ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ ውክልናው የተሻለ ይሆን ነበር። ነገር ግን እስካሁን ባለው አሰራርም ቢሆን ማንም በፌደሬሽን ምክር ቤት ውስጥ ያልተወከለ ብሔር እስከሌለ ድረስ–ሁሉም ብሔር በምክር ቤቱ ውስጥ ተወክሏል ባልን መጠን የከተማይቱ ነዋሪዎችም ተወክለዋልና–‘የከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች አልተወከሉም ብሎ ማለት ብዙ ርቀት የሚያስኬድ ክርክር አይሆንም። ብሔር የሌለው የከተማ ነዋሪ የለምና። ከብዙ ብሔር የተወለደም ሰው እንኳን ቢኖር፣ ባለብዙ ብሔር ሆኖ በብዙ ተወካዮች ይወከል ይሆናል እንጂ፣ ሳይወከል የሚቀርበት ምንም ዓይነት ሁኔታ የለም። (በመሆኑም፣ አንዳንዴ በውሸት ‘ብሔር የለንም’ በማለት፣ ሌላ ጊዜ ደግሞ ‘እንደ ብሔር፣ ወይም በወል እንደ ሕዝብ፣ አልተውከልንም’ እያሉ አቅል-የለሽ ጩኸት ማሰማት፣ ተራ የፖለቲካ መደዴነት ነው።)

የከተማው ሕዝብ እንደ ግለሰብ ዜጋም፣ እንደ ህዝብም (በወል) ሙሉ መብት ያለው ሕዝብ ነው። ከተማዋ፣ በእርግጥም የአገሪቱ ሕዝቦች ሁሉ መዲና በመሆኗ እውነተኛ የሕብራዊነት(የብዝሓነት) ተምሳሌት ሆና መኖር ትችላለች፣ ልትሆንም ይገባል። ከዚህ ይልቅ፣ በአንድ ብሔር ማንነት ልክ በተሰራ አፋኝ ኢትዮጵያዊነት ጭምብል ሥር ተደብቆ፣ ‘እኔ ኢትዮጵያዊ ነኝ እንጂ ብሔር የለኝም’ እያሉ መመፃደቅና ‘ያው…ብሔር አለኝ ግን በብሔሬ አትጥሩኝ’ ማለት ተገቢ አይሆንም። (ይሄ የከተማዋ ‘በረራ’ነት አሉባልታም የበረከተው እንደዚህ ዓይነት ወገኖች ብቻ መሆኑም ይሄንን በግልፅ የሚያሳይ ይመስለኛል።)

6. ፊንፊኔ የኦሮሚያ ከተማ ነች ማለት፣ ኦሮሞ ያልሆነ ሰው በእኩልነት አይኖርባትም ማለት አይደለም። እንዲህ ሊባል አይገባም። ተብሎም አያውቅም። እንዲህ ያለ አስተሳሰብ፣ በሕግም በፖለቲካ ሥነምግባርም ዓይን ሲታይ ነውር የሆነና መቼም ቢሆን፣ በፍፁም ሊስተናገድ የማይገባው አስተሳሰብ ነው። (ታድያ፣ በሌሎች ላይ–በተለይ በከተማው ባለቤት በሆኑ ሕዝቦች ላይ–የበላይ ሆኖ ለመኖርና ያልተገባ መብት [privilege] መጠየቅም እንደዚሁ ነውር ነውና፣ ይሄም አብሮት ሊወገዝ ይገባዋል።)

ይሄ የከተማዋን የኦሮሚያ መሆን ተቀብሎ እንደ ባለ ሙሉ መብት ዜጋ፣ በእኩልነት ተከብሮ መኖር ማለት፣ በተጨባጭ ሲታይ ምን ማለት ነው ቢባል፣ የከተማው አስተዳደር ተጠሪነቱ ለኦሮሚያም ይሆናል ማለት ነው እንጂ፣ ነዋሪው ሁሉ በግድ ኦሮምኛ ተናጋሪ ይደረጋል ማለት አይደለም። ነገር ግን፣ ለምሳሌ የከተማው መስተዳድር የሥራ ቋንቋ አማርኛና ኦሮምኛ ቢሆን ለአሰራር ቅልጥፍና ጠቃሚነት አለው፣ ለኦሮሞ ነዋሪዎችና ለክልሉም ተገቢውን አክብሮት መስጠትን ያሳያል። እንደእውነቱ ከሆነ ይሄን ማድረግ፣ ከከተማው ህሕብራዊነት አንፃር፣ ሌሎች ቋንቋዎችንም የስራ ቋንቋ ለማድረግ መንገድን አመላካች ነው። በኔ ምርጫ ቢሆን፣ ፊንፊኔ፣ የሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች መናኸሪያ በመሆኗ የከተማው መስተዳድር የሥራ ቋንቋ፣ ሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ቋንቋዎች ቢሆኑ ይሻላል እላለሁ። አዲሱና እውነተኛው ሁሉን አቃፊ ኢትዮጵያዊነትም በዚህ ሕብራዊ ቀመር ላይ ይመሠረታልና። በዛ ላይ፣ እራሱን እንግዳ ተቀባይ ብሎ ከሚያንቆለጳጵስና ለውጭ አገር ቋንቋዎች እንኳን መስሪያ ቤቶቹን፣ ሕጎቹን፣ የልጆቹን ትምህርት ቤቶች እና የግል ጓዳውን ጭምር (በቴሌቪዥን ለሚተላለፉ የውጭ ፕሮግራሞች) ክፍት አድርጎ ለሚኖር ማሕበረሰብ፣ ‘የራሱ የሆኑ’ ሕዝቦችን ቋንቋዎች በሥራ ቋንቋነት አለመቀበል ግብዝነት ይሆንበታል።

እነዚህን ነጥቦች ታሳቢ አድርገን ብንወያይ ወደፊት ልንራመድ የምንችል ይመስለኛል። ኬልሆነ ግን…

Oromia: Iyya Koyyee March 6, 2019

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Lafa Oromoo saamanii qaama Finfinnee godhuuf murteen har’a dabre ergaa guddaa dabarseera. Hurrii duraan nutti maraa bahan nuu saaqee qulqulleesseera. Akkuma kaleessa jenne gara itti deemaa jirru nuu akeekeera. Murteen kun hayyama MNO ala godhame jechuuf ragaan hin jiru. Taakkalaan ODP dha. Finfinnee isatu bulcha. Ixaa kanas isatu baasise. Kanaafuu ODPiitu lafa Oromoo lubbuun gootota qaqqaalii 5000 itti gabbarame dabarsee kenne. Dantaa Oromoo dabarsanii kennuun waadaa kaleessa ”Gooftaa keenya ummata keenya” jedhan san ganbuu dha. Gantuuf ammoo gatii barbaachisu ummanni keenya ni beeka. Salphoo soqolatte soqolaa gargaaruu itti beeyna.

Qeerroo!!
Qabsoo kee dhiiga kumootaa itti wareegdee asiin geesse. OPDOn sabatti deebiteetti jechuun amanattee imaanaa kee itti kennattee nu ceesisi jetteen. Amma jarri imaanaa kee ormatti gurgurataa jirti. Kanaafuu bakka jirtuu ganiinsa kanaaf deebii malu kennuuf of qopheessi. Rakkoo sababa kanaan dhalachuu malu kamiifuu kan itti gaafatamu qaama imaanaa ummataa gane qofa dha. Guyyaa har’aa irraa qabee tasgabbii dhabiisa dhalatu kamiifuu kan itti gaafatamu qaama Mootummaa ofiin jedhuu dha. Qabbanaahu harka, gubu fal’aana!

Dhimmi finfinnee ijjannoo ifa ta’een qabsa’uu qabna.
1ffaa bulchiinsi finfinnee guutummaa guututti Oromiyaa jala galuu qabdi. Akkuma magaalaan oromiyaa keessa jiraatan daangaa magaalaaf malu Mootummaan oromiyaa tolchuu qaba.
2ffaa Eenyummaan oromoo waggaa 100 oli finfinnee keessaa haqame bakkatti deebi’uu qaba.
3ffaa seerri wayyaaneen fayidaa addaa jettee dhimma finfinnee tumte guutummaatti haqamuu qaba.
4ffaa hixxaan amma bahe kun guutummaatti haqamuu qaba.

Kondominiyeemii. Koyyee Faccee, Galaan, Tullu Diimtuu fi Galaan bulchiinsa Godina Addaa Oromiyaa gala jiru. Finfinneen seeraan ala ijaarte. Tarkaanfiin sirrii manneen kana godina addaaf dabarsanii akka godinni raabsu gochuu qofa. Raabsaan amma Finfinneen goote seeraan ala. Namni Finfinneen kenniteef tokkos itti galuu hin danda’u.

Oromia: Eebbi hundeeffama OMN waggaa 5ffaa magaalaa Finfinneetti geggeeffame. Oromia Media Network 5th Year Anniversary celebrated in Finfinnee, Oromia March 5, 2019

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Hundeeffamni OMN waggaa 5ffaani magaalaa Finfinneetti Bitoottesa 3 bara 2019 haala o’aan kabajamee oole.

https://www.youtube.com/user/OromiaMedia/videos

Oromia (Finfinnee): OMN: Marii Dubartoota Kolfee Qaraaniyoo fi magaalota naannoo Finfinnee February 25, 2019

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HRW: Interview: Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions February 23, 2019

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Interview: Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years

Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions

Amy Braunschweiger,  Senior Web Communications Manager, HRW and Felix Horne, Senior Researcher, Horn of Africa, HRW

After more than two years of protests, power changed hands in Ethiopia last April. Under the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia is shedding its reputation as a country that tortures detainees and spies on its citizens. The authorities have released thousands of political prisoners and dismissed some abusive security force officers. The decades-long conflict with neighboring Eritrea came to an end. And for the first time in eight years, Human Rights Watch staff who cover Ethiopia were permitted to visit the country. Senior Researcher Felix Horne talks with Amy Braunschweiger about these exciting steps forward, as well as his concerns about rising tensions among ethnic groups in the country’s rural areas.

Abiy Ahmed, newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia, is sworn in at the House of Peoples' Representatives in Addis Ababa, April 2, 2018. © 2018 Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Abiy Ahmed, newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia, is sworn in at the House of Peoples’ Representatives in Addis Ababa, April 2, 2018.  © 2018 Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

How has Ethiopia changed since you were last there?

Addis Ababa, the capital, has changed so much. Unlike before, modern asphalt roads are everywhere, there are freeways, tall, modern shiny buildings, lots of new restaurants, and a light rail system. It used to smell of smoke, from people burning wood to prepare food, but that smell is now gone. People seemed to feel much more free to express their opinions. They were speaking very openly about sensitive subjects in public spaces, cafes, and mini buses. That’s not the Addis I knew, where everyone was looking over their shoulder to see who was eavesdropping.

You went specifically for a workshop on rebuilding civil society. What did you learn?

Under the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation, civil society groups working on human rights issues in Ethiopia was decimated. Most nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were closed. Others had their bank accounts frozen. But a new law was passed earlier this month. It eliminates most of the draconian restrictions from previous legislation. The new agency registering NGOs needs to get up and running and that will take time, but we hope NGOs will be able to register soon, which will open up possibilities for funding. Then they can document abuses and advocate for respect for human rights, which is critical ahead of the May 2020 elections.

What was the workshop like?

There was a feeling of newfound optimism there. Still, it was starkly evident the extent to which civil society working on human rights has been decimated since the Charities and Societies Proclamation was passed 10 years ago. It will clearly take time for the sector to recover.

At the workshop, international and Ethiopian NGOs, such as the Human Rights Council of Ethiopia and the Consortium of Ethiopian Rights Organizations, discussed advocacy strategies and research gaps, and talked about economic, social, and cultural rights. It was a chance for everyone to get together in person. There were people there who I knew quite well but had never actually met. It was nice to put faces to names.

Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. © 2011 Tom Cochrem/Getty Images

Did anything surprise you?

Some of the activists organized a press conference at the end of the workshop, and I honestly didn’t expect much media interest. But 60 journalists showed up, and most were from the state media. When I talked about how it was our first visa in eight years, there was applause. They asked questions about what work we planned to do in Ethiopia and if we’d open up an office there.

State media never covered our work in the past, and that has clearly changed. But media is still publishing a pro-government prospective. For example, we spoke about all the great reforms happening, and we also talked about our concerns. But most of the media never reported on the concerns.

I have this memory from the press conference, when, among the microphones was one from ETV, which is the main state broadcaster, and next to it was one from OMN, the Oromia Media Network, which used to be banned in Ethiopia. The former government went to great lengths to jam OMN’s television broadcasts and had unfairly charged it under the counterterrorism law. It was great to see them side-to-side and a powerful image of change in the media landscape.

Over the past few years, there have been simmering ethnic tensions across Ethiopia. Where do these tensions now stand?

In Addis, things are good. There’s lots of optimism. But outside the capital – and I’ve been in regular contact with people around the country since Abiy came to power – it’s almost the exact opposite.

Previously, the ruling coalition’s direction was implemented from the highest-level officials down to the villages. An expansive network of intelligence at every level meant the government knew everything, allowing it to suppress any emerging threats to its power and control. The government also used other strategies to stem criticism, including force.

But that system in many places has all but broken down, as people associated with serious abuses, or those not loyal to the current government, have been purged. There is little governance happening at local levels, and local security officials are often ineffectual, allowing some vigilante groups to take control. At the same time, people are feeling newly empowered to speak openly after years of suppression, and many have longstanding grievances over land, border demarcations, access to state resources, and perceived discrimination against their ethnic group.

June 15, 2016 Report

“Such a Brutal Crackdown”

Killings and Arrests in Response to Ethiopia’s Oromo Protests

Unfortunately, institutions that would normally resolve those grievances – the judiciary, parliament, the Human Rights Commission — aren’t yet seen as independent or capable of doing so.

All this is happening at the same time as a massive influx of firearms into the country, many from Sudan. It’s a dangerous mix.

What does this look like on the ground?

The ethnic tensions play out in different ways. In some places, you see young armed gang members stopping cars and demanding payments, smuggling goods, controlling regional trade. There has been open fighting in other places, and the Ethiopian army has recently been engaged in clashes with the Oromo Liberation Front forces. The OLF was welcomed back into the country, but some of its members weren’t willing to disarm or reintegrate into government security forces.

What’s really worrying is that this violence could just be the tip of the iceberg. Around the boundary between the Tigray and Amhara regions, both sides are engaging in war-like rhetoric and heavily arming themselves. If open fighting broke out between those regions, it would affect the whole country. Yet there has been notable silence from Abiy around this and other emerging conflicts around the country.

Some of the challenges facing the government are inevitable in transitioning from an authoritarian government to a fledgling democracy. But restoring law and order doesn’t seem to be high on the government agenda. Officials don’t seem to be taking these risks seriously. Eighty-five percent of Ethiopians are rural, mostly small-scale farmers or pastoralists who need grazing land and water for their animals. If there is widespread conflict, if they’re displaced, or if they can’t plant or harvest because of fighting, the humanitarian consequences would be dire.

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The Ethiopian government is forcibly displacing indigenous pastoral communities in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo valley without adequate consultation or compensation to make way for state-run sugar plantations and the construction of Africa’s highest dam, the Gibe III hydropower project. The Lower Omo valley, one of the most remote and culturally diverse areas on the planet, is home to around 200,000 people from eight unique agro-pastoral communities who have lived there for as long as anyone can remember. Their way of life and their identity is linked to the land and access to the Omo River.

What about the problem of internal displacement?

There are over two million internally displaced people in Ethiopia. This includes 1.4 million new displaced people in the first half of 2018 alone – the largest internal displacement of people in the world during that time period. A changing climate brought increased drought and variability of rains, causing the displacement of pastoralists who didn’t have enough grazing for their animals. But most of those displaced were fleeing armed conflict. In many places along the 800 kilometer boundary between the Oromia and Somali regions, groups, many of them armed, violently removed people from their lands. Because these places are remote, it’s difficult to provide food and other types of humanitarian aid there.

We are worried the government may be forcing internally displaced people back to their lands before it’s safe. Recently, about 900,000 people from the Gedeo ethnic group were forced to flee their lands in the country’s coffee-growing south by the Guji Oromo ethnic group. But the spike in the number of those displaced embarrassed the government, so local officials pressured them to move back in part by telling humanitarian groups – which were feeding the Gedeo – to only provide them food in the places they had fled. Many Gedeo went back because of the pressure, even though for many there is nothing to return to or they feel it is still unsafe.

October 19, 2010 Report

Development without Freedom

How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia

Using aid to control people’s movement was a strategy the former government regularly deployed. It’s concerning to see it being used again in Abiy’s Ethiopia.

How will these factors play into Ethiopia’s 2020 election?

In the past, Ethiopia’s elections were riddled with irregularities, with the government “winning” over 99.6 percent of federal parliamentary seats in 2010 and all 547 seats in 2015 election. Expectations are high that the 2020 elections will be different.

But lots of important issues about the upcoming elections aren’t being addressed. Key elements for an environment conducive to credible elections, like an independent media, fair registration procedures, and a vibrant civil society, just aren’t in place. Opposition parties, many of which only existed outside of Ethiopia for many years, are starting from scratch. An oft-delayed census, historically controversial in Ethiopia, has still not taken place.

Many people are quietly asking if the elections should be postponed. The ruling party and most opposition parties have not sought a postponement because they all think they will do well. And many of the youth – those who joined the protests that brought about the changes over the past year – don’t feel represented by the existing parties. Combine all this with the current ethnic tensions and the security void, and it’s a potential powder keg.

How does all of this affect your work?

In the past, we never were able to get the government’s perspective on the abuses taking place. We always reached out to officials but got nothing back, which denied them an opportunity to tell their side of the story. I’m hoping this new government will continue to give our researchers visas and be responsive to meeting and discussing our findings. We hope we will also be able to do more research on the ground in Ethiopia, and tackle issues that were previously off limits because of access and security constraints. We also look forward to working more openly with local civil society groups and activists as the sector rebuilds itself. After many years stuck on the outside, there’s lots to do, and we intend to be there to do it.

UNESCO:International Mother Language Day February 21, 2019

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‘Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.’ #IndigenousLanguages #MotherTongueDay #AfaanOromoo #Oromia #Oromo #Africa #Languages #culture


International Mother Language Day

The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000.

UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others.  

Linguistic diversity(link is external) is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.

Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

“Indigenous peoples have always expressed their desire for education in their own languages, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme of this year’s International Mother Language Day will be indigenous languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation.
Indigenous peoples number some 370 million and their languages account for the majority of the approximately 7,000 living languages on Earth. Many indigenous peoples continue to suffer from marginalization, discrimination and extreme poverty, and are the victims of human-rights violations (…). On this International Mother Language Day, I thus invite all UNESCO Member States, our partners and education stakeholders to recognize and enforce the rights of indigenous peoples.”

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day

The iconic Oromo music star, singer, song writer and author of 5 books Daadhi Galaan murdered by unidentified gunman while on stage. February 15, 2019

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Wellisaa fi barreessaa beekamoo Daadhii Galaan nama eenyummaan isaa ammaf hin adda hin baaneen rasaasan ajjeeffame. Biyyoon isatti haa salphatu. Maati isaaf saba Oromoo maaraaf rabbi jajjabeenya haa kennu.

Wellisaa Daadhiin Oromiyaa, godina Shawaa Bahaa aanaa Liiban Cuqqaalaa ganda Jaarraa Gooroo bakka Buuyyamaa jedhamutti haadha isaa Likkee Damissee fi abbaa isaa Galaan Wadaajoo irraa bara 1977 dhalate.

Wellisaa Daadhii fi jaallan isaa Gurraandhala 11 bara 2019 godina Shawaa Bahaa aanaa Liiban Cuqqaalaa magaalaa Ashuffeetti ebba hoteelatiif sirbarra turan. Haala kana keessatti dhukaasa nama ammaf hin beekamne irraa banameen lubbuun artiist Daadhii Galaan darbeera.

Wellisaa Daadhin sirboota aadaa, jaalalaa, kan qabsoo fi sabboonummaa Oromoo jajjabeessan viidiyoo fi sagaleedhan weellisee maxxansiisuun gumaachaa guddaa godha ture.

Wellisaa fi barreessaa Dhaadhiin kitaabota 5 inni barreessee maxxansee gummaache matadureen isaanii:

Aangoo sanyiin dhaalan

Numalee

Yaadannoo jaallanii

Liiban Liibiyaa taate

Boolla nugusa

Sirboota baaqqee fi albamootas gumaachuun guddina aartii Oromootif uf qussannaa malee hojjechaa ture.

Sirboota isaa hedduuf walaloo fi yeedaloo qopheessaa kan ture isuma mataa isaa ture.

Daadhin weellisaa, barreessaa, waloo fi yeedaloos qopheessaa ture.

Artiist Daadhiin seenaa qoratu malee hin barreessu, hin sirbu jedhu hiriyoonni dhiyeenyan isa beekan.

Wanti barbaachisaan maqaa Itophiyaa utuu hin tahin, akka ilmaan namaatti fedhan waliin jiraachuuf maqaa fedhe jalatti walii galte hawaasomaa uumuu dha. Obbo Ibsaa Guutamaa irra February 15, 2019

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What is important is not the name Ethiopia, but the will to enter into a social contract to live together in peace as human beings under any name. 

Kanneen bara Minilik duudan ammallee Oromiyaa biyyoota mootii xixiqqoo isaan bulchoota muudaniifitt ciruu abjootu. Qaabannoo gabaabachuun, dargaggoon Oromo kaleessuma biyya ofii irra darbanii isaanuu bulcha abbaa hirree hamaa, TPLF jalaa bilisa baasuu saanii irraanfatanii jiru. Ummati Oromo fi dargagoon saas hardhas tokkummaa biyya ofii irraa hamaa ittisuuf caalaa dammaqanii eeguu cimsaa jiru. Finfinneen keenya jechuun “Humnoota tokkummaa”, akeeki saanii sana utuu hin tahin, Oromiyaa gargar kutuu akka tahe beeku. Kun waan haaraa utuu hin tahin bara Qinijjitii kaasee kan karoorfatanii. Wacabbarii saanii gidduu kanaa sanumaaf ture. Oromo bilisaa fi walabummaa hameessa saanii waggaa dhibbaa olii, biyya Oromoo, Oromoo biyaa (Oromiyaa) jibbu. Kallachi mormii Oromoo, dargaggoon Oromoo fi demokratoti biraa empayera keessa jiran TPLFiin kan buqqisan goblaa mirgaa kan tahe abdattuun sirna Nafxanyaa bakka buufachuuf miti. Sirni imperial dullachii sadarkaa kabeebsuun hin dandahamett babbaqaqee jira. Gaaffiin ama jiru Itophiyaa dullattii akkamitt dhinsinaa utuu hin tahin, mirkanii lafa jiru, moo’ummaa ummatootaa fudhachuu dha. Yoosi, kan tokkee haaraa fedha ummatootaa irratt hundaawe ijaaruun kan dandahamuu. Akeeki sochii bilisummaa Oromoo qabaa Itophiyaa jalaa Oromiyaa walaboomsuu dha. Sana bakkaan gahuuf waan teekinikaa xixinnootu isa hafee ture. Kanaaf akka ta’iisi sun xifa hin jirreett fudhachuun waldiddaa caalaatt hammeessuu dandaha. Kaayyoo ummata Oromoo ABOn akka ganama dhihaatett tuffiin ilaaluun ayyaamii saba sanaa waldhaaluu taha. ABOn fardaa, yoo dulloome Kaayyoo, ayyaana sabaa utuu hin tahin farda biraatu bakka bu’a. Kan tahuu qabu golooti nagaa jaallatan hundi, yaayyoo karaa mormii ummata booda jijjiirama demokraatawaaf yayyabame hanga xumuraatt hordofuu dha. Danuun seenaa bulcha cehumsaa Garee Lammaa Dr. Abiyyiin hogganamu uumee jiraa. Yero ammaa filmaati wayyaan jiru isaanuma. Deggersi keenya qeeqaa tahuu dandaha, garuu ifaajjee jijjiiramaa barbaachisu fiduuf akka dandeessisutt ijaaraa tahuu barbaachisa. Bu’aa ciicannoo kennaafiin wal amantee uumaa; mucuci asii fi achii, miiddhaan dhaqabsiisu yoo jiraate bu’aa yaa’icha keessa argamu hin caaluu. Waggoota dhibba tokkoof sammuu dhiqaaan jiraatuyyuu Itophiyaa tahuu kan hin fudhatin jiru. Kanaaf, ta’innaan, godinicha tokkeessuuf tattaaffiin godhamu mirkanii jiru kanaan wal gitchisiisuun barbaachisaa dha. Jalqaba, rakkinoota waggoota dhibbaa fi shantama as haanan keessatt kahan erga ilaallee kan waggoota kumaatt dabarra. Mirga saba hiree ofii ofiin murteeffachuu kan walabummaa dabalatu beekuun wal amantee sabootaa fi sabaawota akka walqixxeett waliin mari’achuu mijjeessu uumuu dandaha. Tokkumaan olii gad gonfamu, si’achi fudhatama hin qabaatu. Uumaa empayerii irratt qayyabannoo waloo qabaachuu yaaluun wal nokkora hedduu hambisuu dandaha. Qabeen saa, namoota daaya, gootota, alaabaa, afaan, aadaa fi seenaa tokko hin qabne, biyya ofii qaban kan tahee dha. Barri imperiyaalism jara akkasii humnaan bulcha tokko jalati fide. Hariiroon haala sana jalatt gaggeeffamaa ture hariiroo ashkarii fi goftaa giddu jiru ture. Booji’amootaa fi bitamtee hojjettuun Oromoo, Empayera Itophiyaaf dirree hedduutt gumaachanii. Dirree lola gurguddaatt jabduu agarsiisanii jiru; makiinaa afaan Amaaraa barressu (type writer) uumaniiruuf; dirree hogbarruu fi ooginaa afaan Amaaraa fi sportiitt kkf Itophiyaatt kan isaan gitu hin turre. Tajaajilli akkasii addatt kan Itophiyaa qofaatt beekame miti. Gumaachi Pushkin, Ruusiyaaf galmeeffame malee biyya tarii keessaa maddee Iroobiif miti. Gumaachi garbooti gurraachi qarooma addunyaaf tolchan Afrikaaf utuu hin tahin biyyoota gooftolii saaniif galmaawan. Biyya tokko keessatt tajaajiltummaan qooda fudhachuu fi bilisummaan hojjechuun adda addaa. Kanaaf “Gamna gowwoomsuun jibba barbaacha” kan jedhamu yaadataa, qabattee mirgoota ilmaan namaatt of haa daangessinu. Gumaacha ashkarootii fi booji’amtooti isaan keessaa maddan tolchan Oromoo gowwoomsee gaafii bilisummaaf qaban irraa isaan hin maqsuu. Akka daagaagicha Afrikaa fi ummata aadaan riqata qabuutt Oromoon waan tokkummaa Afrikaaf gumaachuu dandahan hedduu qabu. Garuu dura duubbee cimaa, Oromiyaa barbaadu. Gidiraa jiraatus, waliin jiraachuun jaarraa tokko olii, anjaa kennuun gara jijjiiramaa demokraatawaatt atoomaan waliin hojjennee ummati akka bilisummaan hiree saanii murteeffatan humneessuu ni dandeenyaa. Eenyuu maqaa Itophiyaa jala da’atee, sirna dullacha deebisee fiduu akka hin dandeenye gochuu dha. Fakkeenyi sirna dullacha, namichi ergaramaan tokko, ofii bututtuu uffatee kophee malee, ijoollee saa qullaa of jala yaasee harreett midhaan, dammaa fi dhadhaa fe’ee, qoraan gateettii baatee, tumaalessa ijoollee saa harkisiisuun warra abbaa lafaa gabbatoo takkaa hin daarre, afaan saa hin beekneef fida ture. Sun deebi’uu hin qabu. Ijoolleen Oromoo utuu hin quufinn, utuu daara hin bahin, utuu barumsa hin qabaatin, ummati Oromo jeejee,i dhukkubaa fi bulcha badaatt saaxilamaa qabeeenya Oromoo eenyuu saamee ittiin gabbachuu hin qabu. Wanti barbaachisaan maqaa Itophiyaa utuu hin tahin, akka ilmaan namaatt fedhan waliin jiraachuuf maqaa fedhe jalatt walii galte hawaasomaa uumuu dha. “Lammafata bishaan gaanii” jette hantuuti, jedhu Oromon. Bishaan gaanii keessa cubuluqxee akka tasaa dhangalaafnaan baraaramtee. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!

What is important is not the name Ethiopia, but the will to enter into a social contract to live together in peace as human beings under any name. 

Those deafened during the time of Minilik still dream of partitioning Oromiyaa into small kingdoms whose rulers will be ordained by them. Their memory being short, they have already forgotten that it was only yesterday that Oromo youth freed not only own country but also theirs from tyrannical rule of the TPLF. Oromoo people and their youth are still today standing guard vigilantly to protect integrity of their country. That the real objective of “Forces of unity” claiming Finfinnee is not in itself but aimed at dividing Oromiyaa is well known to them. This is only a plan that started during the time of Qinijjit. That was what all their hullabaloo of these days about. They hate to see free Oromo and independent Oromo country, Oromo biyyaa (Oromiyaa) their milk cow for over hundred years. It should not be expected that Oromo youth, the vanguard of people’s protest and all democratic youth in the empire that helped in removing the tyrannical rule of TPLF to tolerate another right wing Nafxanyaa system hopefuls to replace it. The old imperial system has cracked beyond repair. The demand now is not how to mend old Ethiopia but recognizing reality on the ground and taking each people as sovereign. That is when reconstructing a new union based on the will of the peoples becomes possible. Oromo liberation movement aimed at liberating Oromiyaa from Ethiopian occupation. It has almost done it except for some technicalities. Therefore, to talk as if that phenomenon never existed is inviting the conflict to escalate. Undermining the Oromo national Kaayyoo as originally articulated by the OLF is failing to understand the psychological makeup of that nation. OLF is only a horse; if it ages another horse will be replaced not the Kaayyoo, spirit of the nation. What should be done is that all peace-loving parties cooperate in following to the end the road map for democratic change that is drawn as a result of people’s protest. Historical accident has created a transitional administration led by Team Lammaa chaired by Dr. Abiy. Right now, they are the best alternative available. Our support can be critical but constructive so as to help them in their effort to bring about the required change. Give them benefit of the doubt; probable damages from slips here and there will not be greater than the benefit one gets from the process. Despite the over one and half century brain washing not everyone accepts being Ethiopians. So, assumptions made to unite the region should be adjusted to this reality. Let us first deal with problems created in the recent hundred fifty years and later we shall deal with those of the thousand years. Recognizing the right of nations to national self-determination up to and including independence creates trust that will enable all nations and nationalities to confer as equals. Super imposed union is no more acceptable. Common understanding of nature of the empire could save us unproductive controversy. It is composed of peoples that have no common vision, no common heroes/heroines, no common flag, common language, culture and history and have own territory. The era of imperialism had brought all this under one rule by force. All relation under that condition were done in servant, master relations. Oromo captives and merceneries have contribute much for the Ethiopian empire in so many fields. They have fought courageously in many known war fields. The have created Amharic type writer; No one excelled them in the field of Amharic literature and arts and Ethiopian sports etc. Such service of slaves is not peculiar to Ethiopia. Pushkin’s contribution is registered for Russia not for Iroob from where he might have originated. Contribution of black slaves to world civilization was not registered for Africa but to their masters’ countries. To take part in a country’s business while in servitude and working as a free person are two different things. Therefore, not forgetting the saying “Trying to fool a smart one is to beg for hatred”, let us stick to the issue of human rights. Praising Oromo nation for contribution of servants and captives originating from it will not fool and distract Oromo from their demand for freedom. As one of the giants of Africa and having the essential cultural inclinations, Oromo have lots to contribute to Pan Africanism. But first they need strong rear, Oromiyaa. Using our living together for over a century, we can turn our past misfortunes into greater advantage of working in harmony towards democratic change, empowering peoples to freely determine on their fate. No one should be allowed to hide under the name Ethiopia and bring back the old order. Example of old order is, a dilapidated man wearing tattered clothes and having no shoes, being followed by his naked children, with donkeys loaded with cereals, honey and butter, and carrying fire wood on his shoulder and his children drawing a ram for well-fed well clothed family of his land lord that do not speak his language. That should not be repeated. Sun deebi’uu hin qabu. When Oromo offsprings do not have enough to eat, enough to cloth, have no education opportunity and when Oromo people are exposed to hunger, decease and bad governance, no one should plunder Oromo resources and enrich oneself. What is important is not the name Ethiopia, but the will to enter into a social contract to live together in peace as human beings under any name. As an Oromo saying goes, “Never again tank water said the mouse” when water in the tank she was drowning in was accidentally poured out and she survived. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!

The East African Review: SPEAK OF ME AS I AM: Ethiopia, Native Identities and the National Question in Africa February 3, 2019

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Speak of Me as I Am

Does a country create a people, or do a people create a country? KALUNDI SERUMAGA responds to Mahmood Mamdani’s recent analysis on the political situation in Ethiopia. Published in The East African Review, January 26, 2019

The Westphalian principles, rooted in the 1648 Treaties signed in the European region of that name, have been monstrously mis-applied when it comes to the African continent, yet they established modern international relations, particularly the inviolability of borders and non-interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. The default position of a certain generation and class of African nationalist, is to cleave unto the “new” nation born at Independence, as the only legitimate basis upon which African progress can be conceived and built. Everything else, especially that dreaded category, ‘ethnicity’ is cast as a diversion and dangerous distraction. This is the tone that runs through Ugandan Professor Mahmoud Mamdani’s one thousand-word opinion piece: The Trouble With Ethiopia’s Ethnic Federalism, published on 3rd January for the New York Times by (and patriotically reproduced in Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper), bearing a total of fifty-four iterations of the word ‘ethnic’.

The default position of a certain generation and class of African nationalist, is to cleave unto the “new” nation born at Independence, as the only legitimate basis upon which African progress can be conceived and built.

At Independence, the Westphalia protocols were conferred on to the former colonial contraptions. The results were economic stagnation and political repression. For over five decades, these new nations have been the focus of intellectual and political agitation among Africa’s thinkers. When, after all that rumination and fulmination, our thinkers still get things horribly back to front, we all get stuck at a crossroads. Mamdani’s essay comes as our current Exhibit A in this long history of intellectual malfunction. Current Prime Minister, the youthful Abiy Ahmed is faced with a many-sided series of demands from a deeply frustrated population. Many of these relate directly to the lack of an economic growth model that palpably raises living standards. Others reach further back to the age-old question of land ownership and reform. Naturally, the demand for greater civic rights to speech and assembly come as a prerequisite. One feature common to these demands is the tendency for the Ethiopians to speak through, and/or on behalf of the various constitutionally recognised native identities within the country. Some may have even formed militias for this purpose.

Mamdani’s essay comes as our current Exhibit A in this long history of intellectual malfunction.

Mamdani engages with this to make an analysis not just of the Ethiopian crisis itself, but of the question of what he terms “ethnicity” which, he sees as the issue – or more accurately, the ‘problem’ – permanently bedevilling African politics. “Fears of Ethiopia suffering Africa’s next interethnic conflict are growing,” he warns. Prime Minister Abiy has been quick to concede much, and roll out as many reforms as he can. Most notably, he has ended the two-decade stand-off with his northern neighbour, Eritrea.

Mamdani engages with this to make an analysis not just of the Ethiopian crisis itself, but of the question of what he terms “ethnicity” which, he sees as the issue – or more accurately, the ‘problem’ – permanently bedevilling African politics.

This may not be enough, Mamdani tells us. The real problem, as he sees it, is the introduction of ethnicity into Ethiopian governance, and its central position in the Ethiopian constitution. This, Professor Mamdani says, was done by former Prime Minister, the late Meles Zenawi, who served as the de facto Ethiopian strongman from 1991 to 2012. Mamdani describes this as an attempt to replicate a similar strategy of ethnic organization that, in his view, was introduced to Africa as part of the colonial method of governing: “In most of Africa, ethnicity was politicized when the British turned the ethnic group into a unit of local administration, which they termed ‘indirect rule.’ Every bit of the colony came to be defined as an ethnic homeland, where an ethnic authority enforced an ethnically defined customary law that conferred privileges on those deemed indigenous at the expense of non-indigenous minorities.” This analysis fails to stop itself there, which would have been bad enough. “The move,” continues the Professor, “was a response to a perennial colonial problem: racial privilege for whites mobilized those excluded as a racialized non-white majority. By creating an additional layer of privilege, this time ethnic, indirect rule fragmented the racially conscious majority into so many ethnic minorities, in every part of the country setting ethnic majorities against ethnic minorities.” Describing native homelands as a “fiction”, the Professor goes on to say that while such ethnic labelling and selective privileging may have served the colonial purpose, it had the effect of first, “dividing a racially conscious African population” and second, turning them into people who saw themselves as “tribes” first and foremost. Thus, he concludes, “Wherever this system continued after independence, national belonging gave way to tribal identity as the real meaning of citizenship.” Having thus problematized the “ethnic” thing, Mamdani goes on to imply that there may be no peace to come in Ethiopia unless the issue is excised from the Ethiopian body politic in particular, and Africa in general. These words have many meanings, none of them good for Africans, at least. First, this is the same thing as saying that before European arrived in Africa, “ethnic” identities were not politicized, and neither were they units of administration. Taken to its logical conclusion, this is to say that there were no ‘politics’ in precolonial Africa, and neither were there forms of administration.

Having thus problematized the “ethnic” thing, Mamdani goes on to imply that there may be no peace to come in Ethiopia unless the issue is excised from the Ethiopian body politic in particular, and Africa in general.

Africans seem to have been roaming the continent as a cohort of an undefined but also homogenous mass, with wholly insignificant identities, which were only solemnised, formalized, and bestowed with political meaning with the arrival of a European power amongst them. Second, it also implies that only the European had the skill to animate these identities, without them tearing the (therefore necessary) European-planted state apart. Third, that the tragedy of modern Africa began when the European withdrew his controlling hand. Left to their own devices, the identities he had created, mutated into a Frankenstein’s monster of tribal strife. Fourth, that there is such a thing as ‘national identity’ that sprung to life fully formed at independence, a good by-product of the European-planted state, and that it is African ‘tribalism’ that destroys it. In other words, European-invented African tribalism spoils the one good thing (nationalism) that Europe brought to Africa. Finally, that belonging to the European-planted nation in Africa is the only viable means of an African citizenship. But if the British were pre-occupied with “ethnicizing”, and the resultant people’s feelings and loyalties were exclusively ethnic, where then does “national belonging” come from at independence? The entire analysis of the crisis is a crisis in itself: of naming, histories, theories and practice. It is intellectually disingenuous and patronising, and goes beyond the usual linguistic demotion and belittling one usually encounters from many an expert on Africa.

Naming

Why are 34 million Oromo in Ethiopia an ‘ethnicity’, and 5.77 million Danes a ‘nation’? Why are the three great wars that shaped modern Europe (Franco-Prussian, the 1914-18 and 1939-1945 great wars), not conceptualized as ethnic conflicts?

Mamdani’s entire analysis of the crisis is a crisis in itself: of naming, histories, theories and practice. It is intellectually disingenuous and patronising, and goes beyond the usual linguistic demotion and belittling one usually encounters from many an expert on Africa.

Why are there only a handful of contemporary states in Africa whose names bear a relation to the identity of people actually living there. Everyplace else is a reference to a commodity, or an explorer’s navigational landmarks. This frankly malevolent labelling offers the space for the linguistic demotion of entire peoples. To wit: 34 million Oromo, seven million Baganda, 43 million Igbo, 10 million Zulu will always remain ‘ethnicities’ and ‘tribes’ to be chaperoned by ‘whiteness’. 5.77 million Danes, 5.5 million Finns, and just 300,000 Icelanders can be called ‘nations’, complete with their own states with seats at the UN. Some of these states were only formed less than two centuries ago (Italy: 1861, Germany: 1815, Belgium: 1830), while some of those ‘tribes’, and most critically for the argument, their governing institutions had already been created. Why has the ethno-federalization of Great Britain itself, not been seen as such, and as a recipe for conflict? This, in fact, is the real ‘fiction’, and it has led to decades of instability. But just because Westphalia does not see them, does not mean the African nations don’t exist. The denial of their existence is in fact, an act of violence. This is what led a thus exiled Buganda’s Kabaka Edward Muteesa II to write: “I have never been able to pin down precisely the difference between a tribe and a nation and see why one is thought to be so despicable and the other so admired.” Many modern Africans, especially those whose identity is a product of the European imposition of contemporary African states, have a vested interest in making a bogeyman out of native African identity. The starting point of this enterprise is to invite the African to agree to see our own identities as a liability to African progress, by labelling them “ethnic”. When “ethnic” conflicts do flare up, those natives who have refused to jump on to this bandwagon are subjected to a big “I told you so”, as Mamdani’s essay now seeks to do.

Many modern Africans, especially those whose identity is a product of the European imposition of contemporary African states, have a vested interest in making a bogeyman out of native African identity.

This was the position of the OAU member states, and many African political parties, including those in opposition to their increasingly repressive post-Independence governments. But Ethiopia presents a huge problem for Professor Mamdani’s theory of the colonial roots of “ethnicity”, since its history falls outside the usual African pattern of a direct experience of European colonialism. Since his initial assertion when introducing the issue of ‘ethnicity’, was that it was a result of European labelling leading to a “divide and rule” situation, Mamdani is then faced with the difficulty of explaining where those particular Ethiopian ‘ethnicities’ spring from if there were no Europeans creating them. Unless, to develop his assertion of homelands being a ‘fiction’, he thinks Ethiopia’s various nationalities are fictional too?

Ethiopia presents a huge problem for Professor Mamdani’s theory of the colonial roots of “ethnicity”, since its history falls outside the usual African pattern of a direct experience of European colonialism

He covers up this logical gap by pre-empting a proper discussion of that history. Then changing tack, he suggests that the presence of “ethnic” problems in Ethiopia, despite the country’s lack of a European colonial history actually shows that “ethnicity” is somehow a congenital defect in the body politic of all Africa. “The country today resembles a quintessential African system marked by ethnic mobilization for ethnic gains.” Of course the correct answer to all the above questions is that Africa’s Africans had their ‘ethnic’ identities well known and in place long before the arrival of any European explorer or conqueror. And these were not anodyne proto-identities, but actual political institutions and methods of organization and governance. But this is an inconvenient truth, because then it forces the proper naming of these alleged ‘ethnicities’: nations. All told, deploying notions of “ethnicity” and “tribe” is a tactic to corral Africans into primordial nomenclatures, thereby avoiding a recognition of their pre-colonial formations as nations. It serves to fetishize the colonial project as the godsend device to rescue the African ethnic strife and predestined mayhem. But if the 34 million Oromo are an ethnicity, then so are the 5.77 million Danes. More so for our situation so are the English, Scots and Welsh who field national teams during the World Cup and the Commonwealth games. We need consistency, people must be spoken of as they are.

Deploying notions of “ethnicity” and “tribe” is a tactic to corral Africans into primordial nomenclatures, thereby avoiding a recognition of their pre-colonial formations as nations.

Naturally, the emergent Independence-era African middle class was more than happy to go along with this erasure, in what Basil Davidson called an attempt at “the complete flattening of the ethnic landscape”, and even fine-tuned it. Where some concessions had been made to the existence of the old nations, these were quickly, often violently, dispensed with. In British Africa, the politics of trying to dispense with this reality is what dominated virtually all the politics of pre-independence constitutional negotiations. The question informed even the political alliances that emerged at independence. In Zambia it required a special constitutional pact between the new head of state, Kenneth Kaunda and the ruling council of the Barotse people – they have recently sought to repudiate it and return to their pre-colonial status. Ghana’s Asante kings were against the British handing power to Nkrumah’s government. They argued that since they had ceded power to the British via treaty, then the departure of the British meant a termination of those treaties. Logically, therefore, that power should be re-invested in the ones it had been taken from under treaty. In Kenya, the Maasai and the Coastal peoples used the same argument during the decolonisation conferences at Lancaster House. Significantly, the Somali rejected inclusion in the independence Kenyan state, insisting that they wanted to be integrated into independent Somalia. Unable to resolve the ‘Three Questions’ the Foreign and Colonial Office cynically kicked them into the not-very-long grass for the incoming leadership to deal with. The Mombasa Republican Council of today draws its political legitimacy from the updated colonial-era Witu Agreement of 1906, signed between their ancestors and the independence government.

Histories

To understand the current situation in Ethiopia, one must face up to the challenge of properly understanding any part of Africa, a continent so taxonomised and anthropologised by white thinking that it is barely recognizable on paper to its indigenous inhabitants. It is a two-stage challenge. First: to understand Ethiopia’s history. To do that, one must first recognise and accept the possibilities of an African history not shaped, defined and animated by European imperatives. Africans, like all people, have been making their own history. And like people elsewhere, this has as much narration of the good as it does the bad.

To understand the current situation in Ethiopia, one must face up to the challenge of properly understanding any part of Africa, a continent so taxonomised and anthropologised by white thinking that it is barely recognizable on paper to its indigenous inhabitants.

Ethiopia’s crisis is a consequence of a century-old unravelling of the empire built by Emperor Menelik II (1889-1904). As his title implies, this was not a nation, but an Empire: a territory consisting of many nations, brought into his ambit by one means or another. Menelik’s motives and method can, and should be debated, but the fact is that Europe met its match in the Ethiopian Highlands, and were forced to leave Menelik to it.

Ethiopia’s crisis is a consequence of a century-old unravelling of the empire built by Emperor Menelik II (1889-1904).

Yes. Africans also produce momentous historical events. It is not an exclusive trait of white people. We must get into the habit of discussing our own non-European driven history as a real thing with real meanings. Just as we may talk about the continuing long-term effects of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the European Balkan region, so can we talk about how the demise of Menelik’s empire continues to impact on the greater Horn region. If that sounds far-fetched, bear in mind that since Menelik’s passing 120 years ago, Ethiopia has had only six substantive rulers: Zewditu/Selassie, Mengistu, Zenawi, Dessalegn and now Abiy. On his passing, Menelik left a region covering more than three times the area he inherited. Prince Tafari, upon eventually inheriting the throne as Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930 simply sought to consolidate it. In his 2002 biography: Notes from the Hyena’s Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood, the Ethiopian author Nega Mezlekia tells the story of him and his family, as one of many Amhara families that migrate to Jijiiga, a region in the far east of Ethiopia during the reign of Emperor Selassie. This was part of a government programme of Amhara settlement to many parts of the Ethiopian countryside. Jijiiga is home to ethnic Somalis. Amhara expansion, one of several factors, eventually provokes an armed revolt. Ironically, the author in his youth joined the insurgents. Emperor Selassie can be said to have made some errors, but the context is critical: his reign spanned a period that saw immense changes in global politics, and social ideas.

Consider his life and times:

He witnessed the two great inter-European wars, the fall of its empires (Italian, German, Ottoman, Japanese) and the end of direct European occupation of Africa. He suffered two European invasions of his realm, and lived in exile. He was a regent during the Bolshevic Revolution in 1917, and saw the emergence of the Soviet Union as a world superpower and the Cold War that followed. He may have been one of only a handful of world leaders to have been a member of both the United Nations, and the League of Nations that preceded it. This sweep of history also had its impact on the Ethiopian peoples. One response was a growing demand for social, economic and political reform, including loosening the bonds of Selassie’s empire. By the time of the 1975 coup against him, the world was a fundamentally different one than the one he had met when he took the throne. He was, in fact, so “old school” that his captors were taken aback when he calmly informed them that he had no personal income or savings to look after himself. He took a hard line on Eritrea, which had settled into an uneasy federation, provoking a war of secession; continued Amhara settler expansion into Oromo and elsewhere; and he failed to manage Tigrayan nationalism, rooted partly in their dynastic loss of the imperial throne to that of Menelik’s Shewa kingdom. Critically, he did not effectively address agrarian land reform, one of the roots of the country’s political and agricultural crises. So, to sum up Emperor Selassie: ultimately, he neither succeeds to fully consolidate his empire, nor does he re-order the empire’s boundaries and strictures, which he had inherited in a fundamentally different era. He found himself fighting the more conservative elements of his aristocracy opposed to his reforms; the modernist republicans concerned that he was not reforming fast enough; and the increasingly radical nationalists in the regions demanding self-determination. Enter Colonel Mengistu, something of a zealot, but who, for all his violent tendencies, was more of the “social reform” persuasion, and sympathetic to the “land to the tiller” demands of the early radical youth movements. Having overthrown a monarch, he saw himself in the image of the Soviet Union’s Communist party in Russia which had deposed the Russian King Tsar Nicholas II. His task, as he saw it, was to create a socialist state. However, Mengistu had basically taken over the same state that Selassie inherited and he was still wedded to it. His modernist concept of history and the world prevented him from understanding that he was dealing with a home-grown imperial history, and that he was in effect therefore, running an empire. This blinds him to the “nationalities question”, and only intensifies the agitations among the various indigenous nations trapped in his now secular empire. So, he basically tries to kill everybody opposed to him. This is the reality Mamdani fails to see, and mistakenly calls Mengistu’s state a ‘unified republic’; interestingly, he does not offer any of the gruesome details of how Mengistu ‘instituted’ this so-called unification. The only places where Ethiopia was unified and a republic was in Mengistu’s mind (and in his armory). What the various territories wanted was recognition of their separate identities, and an unchallenged say over the land of their ancestors. Mengistu’s response was to raise even higher the levels of violence needed to keep these rebellions in check, simultaneously fighting Tigrayan, Eritrean, Somali and Oromo insurgencies.

Theory and practice.

Ideologically, the leaderships of the Ethiopian insurgencies were taken over by persons claiming to be as Marxist as Lenin was. Eventually, all the belligerents, including the regime, claimed to be Marxist organisations, yet they were in conflict with each other. What intensified the crisis was the conflicting understandings of what Marxist practice should therefore be, in their context. It was at this point that a number of left-ideological debates came into play, and where a lot of left-ideologues lost their way. Marxist theory, which mobilized millions of people worldwide, and its practical implications, should be examined with some care. History on this point is necessary. These nationalist struggles based their arguments on the Leninist principle of “The Right of Small Nations to Self-Determination”, which had been partially applied in the Soviet Union from its formation in 1917. After Lenin’s death in 1924, his successor, Josef Stalin, found less time for it, and, in the face of sustained Western European aggression seemed to see it as a liability to the security of the revolution. The 1975 coup that brought Mengistu to power (or, more accurately, the coup that Mengistu then subsequently violently hijacked) was a response to widespread unrest, particularly among youth and student movements. This led to a number of practical problems on the ground, in relation to ideology. At the heart of both the Dergue and the later Tigrayan movements was the issue of land reform. Mamdani does note that the initial upheavals of the 1970s were driven by this, but then fails to make the correct links. For the vast majority of Africans, especially back then, land is not just a place to live, but also a place of work. To be without land is to be without a secure job. Subsistence peasant agriculture is back-breaking, often precarious, and not financially lucrative. It is also – and many progressives fail to recognize this – autonomous. To a very great extent, the subsistence peasant is not dependent on the state or the global economy. If anything, those entities depend on the farmer whose austere lifestyle acts as a hidden subsidy in providing the market with cheaply-grown food at no investment risk to the consumer or the state. Clearly, one thing that can transform and undergird this existence is sensible reforms to the way the farmer secures tenure of the land they work. But what happens when land rights encounter cultural rights based on land? A “homeland” is certainly not the “fiction” of Mamdani’s assertion. It hosts the identity and worldview of the people that occupy it. It holds their sacred sites, and places marking their cultural consciousness. More so, that culture underpins their ability to keep producing autonomously. To suggest that it does not exist or does not matter, actually shows a complete failure to grasp who black African people are and how they live, and think. It is a fundamentally anti-African statement implying, as it does, that black Africans do not have an internal intellectual and spiritual logic, developed indigenously, and augmented by physical spaces and objects within them, that informs a worldview. Africans, the suggestion is, are inherently transposable, as they are not tied to any thing or any place. The captains of the old transatlantic slave ships could not have theorized it better. Coming from someone who lives in Africa, this is a bit surprising. Coming from a professor heading an institute within one of Africa’s new universities, designed to bolster the colonial state’s mission of deracinating the African, perhaps less so. However, the current crisis in Ethiopia is very real, and failure to finally resolve it holds huge implications for the entire region. That is precisely why a correct analysis is needed. Not a comfortable one rooted in essentially racist tropes. The allegedly ‘ethnic demands’ were demands for a different type of guarantee to land rights than those being promoted by Mengistu. For example, would an Amhara family like Nega Mezlekia’s, originally settled by Emperor Selassie in Jijiiga, have a legally equal claim to land against the ethnic Somali communities native to the area, just because they now happen to be the ‘tillers’ there? Would there be a hierarchy of claims? In any event, who should decide? A central authority in Addis Ababa, or a federated unit representing the historic native community? There are no easy answers. But the regime’s (and other ‘progressives’) complete refusal to even consider the issue, is what led to the conclusion that for there to be justice in Ethiopia, the issue of native nationalities, and their land-based cultural rights, would have to be physically resolved first. In short, it became clear that the land reform question could not be effectively addressed without also addressing the underlying question of productive cultural identities and the historical land claims that arise from that. This was particularly sharp in those areas of the country –such as Oromo and Tigray- that are dominated by pastoralist communities. Historically, much of Africa’s land grabs have taken place against pastoralist communities, the great city of Nairobi being a prime example. This is the basis of the ‘ethnic’ movements that have so perturbed Professor Mamdani. It was, in fact, a debate of the Left, and not some right-wing atavist distraction. So, the great irony is that Ethiopia, home to that great bastion of mis-applied Westphalian thinking, the Organisation of African Unity, becomes ground zero for the great unresolved National Question as it applies to Independent Africa: what is an African nation, and is it the same thing as a given African state (or, more accurately, a state located in Africa)? The armed struggle began in Eritrea, after Selassie’s unilateral abrogation of the federal arrangement. The original fighting group, called the Eritrean Liberation Front was soon violently displaced from the field by a more radical Eritrean Peoples’ Liberation Front of Isias Afwerki, espousing those aspects of Leninism and Maoism that enabled it to mobilise a broad front of all classes affected by the feeling of Occupation. The rebels’ demands were clear: a federation of Ethiopia or separation from it; control of their own lands, and an equal recognition of cultures. For his part, Mengistu, now fighting five separate militant groups, including a very militant hard-line the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front based in urban Ethiopia, placed all his faith in military might. He ended up building the largest armed force in Sub-Saharan Africa (if not Africa as a whole) of some half- a million soldiers, and being heavily dependent on the Soviet Union, which saw him as a vital foothold in Africa, for war materiel and other supplies. He also received military support from Cuba. It again may not be widely known that at the height of the fighting, these different forces which had grown in to wholesale armies, were fighting some of the largest engagements (including tank battles) since the 1939-1945 European inter-ethnic conflict called the Second World War. The fight progressively turned in favour of the rebels. With Mengistu’s main arms supplier, the Soviet Union, finally capitulating against the US in the Superpower contest in 1989, his forces were routed and he was driven from the capital in 1991. The Eritrean armed struggle started in 1961, the Tigrayan one in 1975 and Oromo’s in 1973. All end with Mengistu’s fall. If Mamdani genuinely believes these nationalities are just “ethnicities”, and that Ethiopia is now running the risk of hosting “Africa’s next inter-ethnic conflict”, then this history shows that Ethiopia has in fact already had the “next inter-ethnic” conflict. Mamdani’s fears, this is to say, are 30 or 40 years late. To sum up Mengistu: he seized power in response to a severe political crisis, and then, misreading his position, sought to impose his concept of “socialism” on the various peoples still caught in the net of Menelik’s Empire state. This led to a situation of mounting violence, in which he saw just about everyone as an enemy to be physically crushed. His regime eventually succumbed to the overwhelming resistance. Enter Meles Zenawi, who came out of that generation of student activists who took up the nationalities and land reform demands during the time of the Emperor. To many of them, Mengistu’s high-handedness in dealing with the matter was a disappointment. Tigrayans today do not easily recall that when Meles led the the youth to start the war, they sought refuge in Eritrea, and were nurtured and trained there by Isias Afwerki’s EPLF forces already at war against the Ethiopian state. The issue of identity does not therefore mean that Africans are perennially and illogically at each others throats in some kind of primordial frenzy. They do politics, and are fully capable of defining their interests and maintaining relations, or breaking them off, as needs may dictate. Zenawi (to an extent like Daniel Ortega on the other side of the world, and even Yoweri Museveni, in his own way), found himself in charge of a state now encountering a new, neo-liberal global world order being enforced by the only super power left standing. Like Selassie, the circumstances around them had changed greatly from when they had begun their political journeys. Far from simply “introducing” a federal constitution whose “ethnic” nature Mamdani is problematizing, Zenawi’s regime was finally having the Ethiopian state recognise the long-standing historical realities that had emerged from decades of political and armed struggle. To reduce the product of all that sweeping history to a notion of “fictions”, is a dangerous over-simplification. In this quest for erasure, Mamdani applies the same misleading thinking backwards by calling the 1994 Ethiopian constitution a “Sovietificaton” of Ethiopia. The Russian nationalities were no more an invention of Lenin than the Ethiopian ones are of Meles Zenawi’s creation. The various units that made up the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were based on nationalities long in place before the 1917 communist revolution took place there. The responsible thing to do, as a starting point, was acknowledge that fact, which the communists did (and Stalin to a greater extent than Lenin before him). Yes, Meles was a dictator. And yes, the constitution is based on indigenous nations. That does not automatically suggest causality: Meles Zenawi did not “turn Ethiopia to ‘ethnic’ federalism”. Its long history did. In fact, events show that Zenawi and the dominant faction he governed with, were no longer in support of the “rights of small nations” by the time they took power. With the exception of holding the pre-agreed referendum on Eritrean independence (he may have had little choice in the matter: friends in Addis used to like to tell the story of how Meles’ own stepmother, who happens to be Eritrean, and who raised him, left him in his official Addis residence to go and vote for independence in Eritrea, then returned after), he fails to implement the sprit and the letter of the new arrangements that were based on principles forged in the course of the long war. As a small example: Article 5 of the country’s constitution now says that: “1. All Ethiopian languages shall enjoy equal state recognition”, but goes on to add that: “2. Amharic shall be the working language of the Federal Government.” Zenawi, despite being very fluent in the language reportedly refused to make public speeches in Amharic for the entire time he was in charge. A more substantive example is found in the very incident that sparked the current uprising: if the regime knew that – as Mamdani points out – the 1994 federal constitution guaranteed the nationalities concerned authority over their land, why then did it try to expand the boundaries of the Federal capital Addis into Oromo territory over the objections of people there? In other words, the problem in Ethiopia is the exact opposite of what Professor Mamdani sees. It is not the “ethnic” constitution at fault; it is the failure by the Zenawi regime to genuinely implement it, by negating the spirit of the idea in private, while pretending to uphold it in public. In particular, Zenawi’s “Woyane” regime repeated Mengistu’s mistake of trying to hold on to Menelik’s state. Critically, he too failed to address the historic issue of land reform that began the whole shake-up of Ethiopia with the student protests against the Emperor. In practice, land is still the property of the state, to be handed out for “developmental” purposes, upholding the Mengistu mentality, but now in the context of global neo-liberalism. “Derg and [the TPLF] took a very similar approach to the land question. Which is why, three decades after TPLF comes to power, they have still been unable to do land reform, abandoned agrarian reform and ironically, put rural Ethiopian land on the international auction. Something like four million acres of rural farmland, mostly in southern Ethiopia has been leased out to foreign investors since the mid-2000s, ” observes journalist Parselelo Kantai, who frequents the country. Power comes with its temptations, and a state machine comes with its own institutional imperatives. It would appear that once a group finds itself in control of the apparatus of an empire such as Menelik’s, they become very reluctant to abandon its workings. Perhaps it is only the armed forces in Portugal, having overthrown their autocratic Caetano regime in 1974, that ever went on to immediately dismantle their empire and allow the conquered to go free. The politics of the armed coalition coming together and finally driving Mengistu out may well have been the moment for this change in attitude to begin, not least because the Meles’ TPLF was by far the militarily dominant faction of the alliance. To sum up Meles Zenawi: he evolved into what many ‘revolutionaries” became after the Cold War era: a technocratic autocrat placing his hopes in a neo-liberal approach to solving the country’s deep economic problems through a “developmentalist” strategy. He quite literally burned himself out hoping that, by bringing rapid infrastructural development, he could perhaps outpace the historical political claims, and thus render them redundant. This essentially meant a new form of what Mengistu and Selassie had done before him: overlook people’s ancestral claims to this or that, and simply see the whole landmass as a site for “development” projects, no matter who they may displace or inconvenience. But “any notion of ‘progress’ or ‘modernization’ that does not start from a peoples’ culture is tantamount to genocide.” the late Professor Dan Nabudere warned us. Meles Zenawi sought to hold on to the very imperial state he had once fought. His unwillingness to fully honour the terms of the broad alliance of all the fighting groups, and instead consolidated his armed group to take factional control of the whole state and set the course for new upheavals. His sudden death became the opening for these issues to spill out into the streets. His immediate successor, Hailemariam Desalegn, soon found that the kind of extreme state violence that had served Zenawi, and Mengistu before him, and Selassie before them both, no longer worked, forcing Deslaegn to resign in failure. Abiy Ahmed must finally deal with these realities. Ultimately, any attempt to do politics based on the imperatives of the Menelik-created state was, and is, going to come up against the fact that this state actually started life as an empire. If the history of Ethiopia has shown one thing, it is that this approach has always provoked rebellions. Ethiopia, one could say, is back to the pre-war situation it was in just before Mengistu’s coup. The problem is conceptual; the same one that confronted Selassie and Mengistu: are we running a nation, or a homegrown empire made up of several?  Mr Abiy Ahmed would be wise not to go down that path. His challenge is to dismantle the remnants of Meles’ personal military apparatus, genuinely re-orient the country back to its federal constitutional ethos, begin to address the land tenure question, and quickly, before the political grievances – and the economic challenges underlying them – completely boil over. As the world becomes less secure and with fewer overlords, there will be more and more examples of Africa’s invisible nations asserting themselves to manage control of their resources. Dismissing them as “ethnic” is simply laying a foundation to justify violence against them.

Read more at: https://www.theeastafricanreview.info/op-eds/2019/01/26/speak-of-me-as-i-am/
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