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The economic Case for National Independence: Catalonia, Flemish, Scotland and Oromia April 25, 2013

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“Conventional wisdom holds that nationalism and separatism are characterized by close-knit bonds and intense allegiance to a common history, lineage, land, and language. This is largely correct, but the current situation in Spain and Belgium paints a slightly different picture. In more prosperous and federal regions, financial concerns, intensified by economic gloom apportioned unevenly, can reinforce nationalist and separatist sentiment. Relative prosperity empowers an already divergent people who wish to garner greater control of their economic destiny. Economic separatism may be the wave of the future in a more developed and globalized.”

As Catalonia or else where the Oromians make the historical, territorial,social and economic cases for their national independence. Oromia is located mainly within Ethiopia and covers an area of about 232,000 square miles (600,000 square kilometers). The 3.5 million-year-old fossilized human skeleton known as “Lucy” (or “Chaltu” in Oromo) was found by archaeologists in Oromia. Present-day Oromos also live in Kenya and Somalia. In the late nineteenth century, Oromos were colonized and mainly by Abyssinian Ethiopia. They lost their independent institutional and cultural development.   Oromia has been considered the richest region of the Horn of Africa because of its agricultural and natural resources. It is considered by many to be the “breadbasket” of the Horn of Africa. Farm products, including barley, wheat, sorghum, xafi (a grain), maize, coffee, oil seeds, chat (a stimulant leaf), oranges, and cattle are raised in abundance in Oromia. Oromia is also rich in gold, silver, platinum, marble, uranium, nickel, natural gas, and other mineral resources. It has several large and small rivers used for agriculture and for producing hydroelectric power. Since colonization the Oromian economy has been structured towards serving the interests of the highly exploitative and economically poor Abyssinian colonizers. Oromo’s human rights and civil rights have been violated by one Ethiopian government after another. Oromos do not have control over their lives, lands, other properties, or country. They do not have a voice in the government, and they are not allowed to support independent Oromo political organizations. Oromos have been threatened, murdered, or imprisoned for voicing against economic exploitation and social marginalization.  Oromos are not treated according to the rule of law. Today thousands of Oromos are kept in secret concentration camps and jails  or being killed just for being Oromo.  Their bodies are thrown into the streets to terrorize the rests of Oromo people and to prevent them from supporting the Oromo national movement. Human rights organizations such as Africa Watch, the Oromia Support Group, and Amnesty International have produced evidences upon evidences on human rights violations against the Oromians. The Oromians are voicing: Oromia shall be free! (Oromiyaan ni bilisoomti!). That is the demand for national economic, political and social independence.

‘Catalonia, with an economy the size of Portugal, could be on the brink of breaking away from one of the oldest states in the world. How did it come to this? Home to over seven million inhabitants in a region hugging the northeastern Mediterranean coast, Catalonia has long claimed a language, culture, and history different from Spain. During the Franco years, the Catalan language and even the national dance, the “sardana,” were banned. Since Franco’s death in 1975, and the ensuing democratic transition, Catalonia has received limited self-rule in Spain’s federal system, particularly in areas such as education, health, and policing. The region, up to now, has mainly focused not on outright independence, but on greater autonomy within the framework of the Spanish state. In 1979, almost ninety percent of Catalans approved the original Statute of Autonomy, which granted more powers of self-government but kept Catalonia as a regional entity within the newly democratic Spain. Separatist attitudes for a while polled relatively low, and the primary political party extolling independence, the Republican Left of Catalunya (ERC), has not been a major political force. But this dynamic is changing and rapidly. Pro-independence sentiment is on the ascent. Recent celebrations of Catalan National Day, “La Diada” – unusual in that it commemorates a defeat, in 1714 in the War of Spanish Succession – brought over a million protestors to the streets of Barcelona, the Catalan capital, in a noisy bid for greater autonomy from Madrid. La Vanguardia, an influential Catalan newspaper, published a poll in September of this year that put the independence sentiment at over fifty-four percent, a significant increase from thirty-five percent in 2009. Catalan President Artur Mas seems to be following the people’s lead, if belatedly, by joining the pro-independence bandwagon. Hailing from the mainstream center-right Convergence and Union Party (CiU), an erstwhile supporter of increased autonomy within Spain, Mas has called snap elections for November 25. This election, which many view as a de facto referendum on independence, could then be followed by an actual vote on secession from Spain in 2014. This quest for self-rule would, however, be difficult. The Spanish constitution would need to be amended and the measure would need nationwide approval from all Spaniards, not just those in Catalonia. But if Catalans do indeed vote for and unilaterally declare independence, Madrid would be under severe pressure to at least listen to their demands for fiscal autonomy. The regions of Navarra and the Basque Country already enjoy this right – although not full independence. Under the Spanish federal system – known as “café para todos” (coffee for everyone) – the country is organized into seventeen “autonomous communities,” with each sharing powers with Madrid. This serves partially as a wealth redistribution process, by which more affluent regions send a portion of their revenues, via Madrid, to poorer regions. Catalonia, whose economic success since industrialization in the 19th century has made it one of the wealthiest regions in Spain, currently accounting for roughly a fifth of Spanish GDP, increasingly views this arrangement as unfair. The recent economic turmoil has exacerbated the feeling of being unfairly gouged by Madrid. With rising unemployment and shrinking output, Catalans have called for more funds to help service their own needs. On a net basis, the region currently sends approximately eighteen billion euros, nine percent of Catalan GDP, a year more to Madrid than it receives back in investment. Moreover, Catalonia now maintains the biggest regional debt in Spain, approximately forty-two billion euros, and recently had to go hat in hand to Madrid to request five billion euros in emergency assistance from an eighteen billion euro liquidity fund launched by the government in June to help finance regional debt. The Catalan region is shut out of financial markets because of the overall Spanish fiscal situation and must repay nearly six billion of bond maturities this year. Accordingly, it is no surprise that many Catalans view greater fiscal control as a means to plug the deficit and help alleviate the economic shortfalls. Independence has been transformed into an economic issue, with proponents arguing that such a step would free Catalonia from the burden of aiding the rest of Spain and allow Catalan wealth to remain in Catalonia. President Mas recently voiced this grievance, declaring, “Spain is a backpack that is too heavy for us to keep carrying. It’s costing us our development.” Spain is not the only country in Europe facing a separatist backlash nurtured by economics. Belgium, famous for its communitarian and federalist structures, is also falling victim to this phenomenon. Split between Francophone Wallonia in the south, and Dutch-speaking Flanders to the north, the country faces the prospect of dissolution along economic lines. Walloons were the wealthier Belgians in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, profiting from industrialization. But now the situation is reversed. Flanders, on the back of a burgeoning services sector, is now more economically viable. A University of Leuven study notes that Flanders hands over roughly sixteen billion euros a year to Wallonia. And the Flemish, especially with the current economic turmoil in Belgium and across Europe, are growing more resentful of subsidizing their less affluent neighbors. Local elections in early October confirm the resentment, with the separatist Flemish party, New Flemish Alliance (NVA), sweeping the region. NVA won twenty out of thirty-five districts and its leader, Bart De Wever, was elected mayor of Antwerp, the de-facto capital of Flanders and a commercial hub. De Wever, just prior to his electoral victory, echoed the widely felt condemnation of fiscal transfers to Wallonia, proclaiming, “The Flemish have had enough of being treated like cows only good for their milk.” In the nearby United Kingdom, regional independence for Scotland is a major issue. The dynamic, however, is slightly different from that of Catalonia and Flanders. Unlike in Spain and Belgium, the British Government has already sanctioned a referendum on Scottish independence due to take place in 2014. Moreover, many see Scotland as more dependent on U.K. resources, rather than the other way around, as Glasgow is not the economic engine that is Barcelona and Antwerp. A recent Ipsos MORI poll indicates a drop in Scottish support for independence from thirty-nine percent in January to thirty percent now. One might conclude that independence sentiment would be higher if Scotland was richer than the rest of the U.K. and economics was more of a factor. This larger phenomenon of economic separatism can also be seen in the context of the European Union. In federalist systems, like Spain, Belgium and the EU, different provincial entities share power with a central authority, which transfers wealth among the various parties. Unity in diversity is dependent on economic reallocation of funds from richer to poorer regions to help develop the entire economy. EU Structural and Regional Funds are based on this premise. They inject capital from richer member states into lesser developed, usually new members. Ironically, Spain is often hailed as one of this program’s greatest success stories, as investments from Brussels turned the country’s economic fortunes around to the point that now Spain is a net contributor to the EU budget. Eurozone financial assistance is also based on the same thinking. But just as in Spain and Belgium, there is a backlash against fiscal transfers within the EU and Eurozone framework. Many Germans resent having to use German tax payer money to bail out fellow Eurozone members such as Greece, a country seen as economically irresponsible. Conventional wisdom holds that nationalism and separatism are characterized by close-knit bonds and intense allegiance to a common history, lineage, land, and language. This is largely correct, but the current situation in Spain and Belgium paints a slightly different picture. In more prosperous and federal regions, financial concerns, intensified by economic gloom apportioned unevenly, can reinforce nationalist and separatist sentiment. Relative prosperity empowers an already divergent people who wish to garner greater control of their economic destiny. Economic separatism may be the wave of the future in a more developed and globalized world.’ http://www.fairobserver.com/article/catalonia-and-rise-economic-separatism-europe




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Who Owns Africa? The Accelerating Large Scale Land Grabs Across the Continent April 16, 2013

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Satellite image of Africa, showing the ecologi...

Satellite image of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


‘Large-scale land acquisitions by foreign governments and investors – a phenomenon termed “land-grabbing” by activists – peaked following the 2008 global food price spikes. Governments and venture capitalists from the Gulf States, Asian tiger economies, EU and US rushed to acquire large terrains in developing countries to grow and secure food supplies for their populations and biofuels for expanding markets. But the practice has been increasing for at least a decade. The Land Matrix Partnership estimates that 227 million hectares of land have been ‘grabbed’ worldwide since 2001. And according to the World Bank, 70% of the current demand for forest and arable land is concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, with its vast parcels of “cheap” and “unoccupied” terrains. Liberia, for example, has reportedly sold off three-tenths of its territory in five years. “Once seen as marginal, this issue has emerged as one of the development priorities of our different governments”, Cameroon’s Forestry and Wildlife Minister, Philip Ngole Ngwese tells Think Africa Press. Indeed, across West and Central Africa, an escalating number of poverty-stricken men, women and children in rural areas are being chased off ancestral lands they have relied on for generations for farming, grazing and hunting. They are increasingly squatters and low-paid labourers for the incoming foreign investors and local elites. “When the government takes this land and gives it out in a lease for 40, 50 or up to 99 years, the people often lose access to these commons resources”, Michael Richards, Natural Resources Economist with the UK-based Forest Trends, notes. “In some cases, they do allow access for the extraction of certain products. But in other cases, they put great fences which stop communities having access.” Land grabbers also usually obtain unlimited rights to water use, Richards adds, implying curtailed availability for downstream users. Other experts warn of looming threats of hunger, stalled investments and political instability should the land deals continue to be shrouded in secrecy and corruption, lack of accountability and transparency, or negotiated without the informed consent of local communities.On the other side of the argument, advocates of the large-scale land transactions claim they have the potential to improve local infrastructure and services, boost governmental tax revenues, create jobs, and enhance food and energy security. According to them, activists have been exaggerating the negative outcomes of large-scale deals and, by dominating coverage of stories around large-scale land deals, have given a false impression. “There could be a reporting bias in that many of these reports are put together by advocacy groups who want to show the negative effects”, says Richards. However, even if this is the case, it does not explain away instances of human rights violations and the mass displacement of local communities and indigenous peoples.  One group at the forefront of a worldwide campaign to reverse recent land grab trends is Rights and Resources Initiative. The organisation has been pressing for government forest land policy reforms that recognise and restore land ownership rights of local communities. RRI warns the tenure crisis is worst in Africa, where only 0.4% of forest land is formally owned by local people, as opposed to around 24% in Asia and Latin America. In 2009, the group summoned stakeholders from across the globe to rethink and propose better tenure rights governance for West and Central Africa at a conclave in Cameroon’s capital Yaoundé. Participating government representatives, related sub-regional institutions, NGOs and civil society organisations declared their commitment to lobby and double forest land areas under community ownership by 2015. “We identified problems of deforestation, lack of respect for human rights and the crisis that was unfolding across the region. The meeting generated a lot of recommendations and governments made a lot of commitments about what to do”, says Andy White, RRI Coordinator. But four years down the road, and only two years before the Objective 2015 deadline, not much has been achieved. Reports presented at a follow-up regional dialogue in Yaoundé in March indicate that only half of the 26 West and Central African countries revisited their tenure systems. And those that did only ceded feeble secondary rights to indigenous people, granting them access and usage privileges, but maintaining tight grips on stronger rights to exclude intruders or transfer ownership to a third party. “There’s been some progress. Some governments in the region have initiated new land reforms, but the laws and policies they’re proposing are really inadequate”, says White. “The crisis has become much greater over the last four years than we expected and there’s been far too little action. [There is a] crisis in terms of loss of life, crisis in terms of the systematic destruction of the culture of the forest peoples like here in Cameroon. It’s just alarming.” New recommendations therefore stipulate fast-tracking the implementation of previous policy reform commitments, embracing the full bundle of rights of local communities in land tenure negotiations, and reinforcing the lobbying power of NGO and civil society organisations. “We are calling on the support of RRI and other partners because we want to build a network of traditional rulers to constitute a lobby to defend our rights”, says HM Bruno Mvondo, bureau member of the Council of Traditional Rulers of Cameroon. “For us traditional rulers, the land belongs to the community. But in front of modern law, our customs don’t have any strength. We’re begging the authorities to take into account our traditional law.” For displaced communities and global activists, the fight goes on and debates regarding who owns Africa’s lands are gathering momentum. But at the same time, fresh findings suggest wealthy nationals and elites are keeping busy too and increasingly joining the rush for land.’ http://thinkafricapress.com/cameroon/who-owns-land-cameroon-large-scale-land-grabs



What is happening in Omo valley is also happening in Oromia and Gambella.



Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2013 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Genocide and the Suffering of beleaguered Communities:Between 1868 and 1900, five million Oromo were killed in Ethiopia and it is still happening with Intensity April 9, 2013

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The author’s daughter, Nafees Ahmed, reads at excerpt from “The Thistle and the Drone” at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

‘It is difficult to read about contemporary instances of genocidal behavior, writes Akbar Ahmed, and not think that they belong to some distant, barbaric past instead of the world of today. But, if anything, these instances are occurring with greater frequency and intensity as far as tribal societies are concerned. And yet, much of the world seems indifferent to this suffering. Acts of genocide not only challenge their victims but all those who must contemplate the consequences of these actions. This was evident in the following letter, sent to me from an anonymous author after reading the op-eds in Al Jazeera written by my team and myself about the suffering of these beleaguered communities: “I felt ashamed to not have known about their struggle for existence. I wonder how these people cannot become terrorists or rebels if faced with such inhumane conditions. The question is how would we react if faced with a situation they are in. I can only pray to Allah to protect all of us from this test. For sure, most of us would fail in this test.” The anonymous writer had raised a pertinent question. Genocide had been taking place in history and was again recurring. It is difficult to believe that these are not chronicles of ancient peoples visited upon by demon barbarians, but rather what is happening today. What is new is the increased frequency and intensity of genocide as far as tribal societies are concerned. If every tribal community is like a bounded world of its own, then the obliteration of literally hundreds of worlds becomes possible. The scale of suffering can be illustrated in numerous examples. In the 1860s, Russia killed 1.5 million Circassians, half of their population, and expelled the other half from their lands. In the 1940s, the Soviet government loaded the entire Chechen population of 400,000 on trains to Kazakhstan, killing half in the process. More than 100,000 were killed in the wars after 1994, or 10% of the entire population. In the first four decades of French colonial rule, two million Algerians, two-thirds of the population, were killed. From 1930 to 1933, the Italians killed 50,000 Cyrenaica tribesmen in Libya and, in total, reduced the population by two-thirds as a result of death and displacement. Genocide has been taking place throughout history. Between 1868 and 1900, some five million Oromo, or half the population, were killed in Ethiopia, with an additional half million killed in the Oromo Bale region in the 1960s. In the 1990s the Sudanese government killed as many as 500,000 Nuba, half of the population, and as many as 400,000 Darfuris in the early 2000s. These figures convey a stark reality: If Muslims are an embattled species in the modern world, Muslim tribesmen are an endangered species in it. Because these staggering statistics involve hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, they are numbing and difficult to comprehend. Perhaps individual cases will throw the horror of genocide in sharper relief. Consider the two children in Waziristan who saw their father shot in the head during indiscriminate firing by Pakistani security forces when he took the children shopping at a bazaar: “The children were covered in blood and brains of Yaqub Shah, they saw their beloved father, head shattered, lying in a pool of blood with no one to help them. For hours, the terrorized children sat by the dead body of their father, eyes wide open, not able to cry, not able to speak.” Or consider the Fulani Muslims of the Middle Belt region of Nigeria who became victims of cannibalism by Berom tribesmen making matter-of-fact comments on video while police watched passively: “I want the heart” and “Did you put some salt?” Or hear a Russian soldier describing what his fellow soldiers were doing in Chechnya: “One guy pinned a Chechen to the ground with his foot while another pulled off his pants and with two or three hefty slashes severed his scrotum. The serrated blade of the knife snagged the skin and pulled the blood vessels from his body. In half a day the whole village was castrated, then the battalion moved out.”Or listen to Fatoumata, the brave young Fulani woman, who relived her ordeal at the hands of security forces chanting “We are going to exterminate you, Fulani” in the notorious episode at the stadium in Conakry, Guinea.  “A police officer, after raping me, decided to urinate in my mouth, as if it was part of their program,” she recounted. “I received streams of urine all over my face. After, they used sticks to rape me again with these objects. Then, finally, one tried to stab me in front, on the private parts.… The blood began to flow and I was so exhausted that I could not scream or cry.” Or hear the courageous Kashmiri woman recalling the night the women of her village were gang raped by the Indian Army: “The army entered our houses at ten in the evening and left at nine in the morning.… There were screams everywhere — from almost every house in the village.” Or contemplate the bodies of dead Baluch men with lettering freshly carved into their chests declaring “Long Live Pakistan.” It is difficult to believe that these are not chronicles and legends of ancient peoples visited by demon barbarians, but rather what is happening today. People on the periphery have been traumatized beyond imagination in recent years.  They have been cooked and eaten. Their women have been gang raped in front of them. Their young men, elders, and religious teachers have been humiliated, tortured and killed. Their houses of worship have been destroyed. They have been relocated away from their homes and their lands stolen from them. They face widespread famine and disease and are voiceless and friendless in a hostile world. They have been called “insects,” “snakes” and “reptiles.” They have been robbed of their dignity and honor. They have seen their young men and women transformed into suicide bombers killing women and children, passengers in buses or worshippers in a mosque in a frenzy of anger. Yet the world seems indifferent to their suffering and is barely aware of its scale. This is indeed the dark side of the soul of man. After the grim and relentless litany of woes I have just related, it is hard not to cry with Joseph Conrad: “The horror! The horror!” It should give everyone pause to reflect on the fate of humans and ask: Is this where they were meant to arrive? In the end, will they be defined by little more than their indubitable capacity to breed and kill?’ http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=9957



Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2013 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

21 Century Social and Economic Apartheid: In the TPLF variant of Apartheid System of Ethiopia, the Oromo are making the Majority of the Prisoners April 6, 2013

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From the outset TPLF defines itself as a liberator for one specifically racially defined group. And still after two decades on power, irrespective of its ostensible claim that it is under the umbrella of EPRDF, people of the same origin monopolistically has held the whip-hand; and the whole country has been cash cowed by one specific racial group while the majority is being treated as impediments.

The apartheid nature and characteristics of TPLF’s policies and behavior is as covert as possible to throw the majority into total muddle until it is too late. To put it bluntly, the fledgling apartheid system of TPLF is emerging through a frog boiling tactic.

The TPLF’s apartheid system can be described as a subtle state action designed to secure and maintain the Tigrian domination by furthering their Economic and Political interests through control over the majority Non-Tigrian population.

The following categories make the necessary, sufficient, and defining characteristics of the emerging tender-plant apartheid system in Ethiopia:

1. Economic Interest

Furthering the Tigrean economic dominance is mainly achieved through a threefold economic sabotage: i.e.,

Through the creation of Tigrian tycoons in every facet of the economy;
By building extractive business empire;
Through emasculation of Non-Tigrian business firms.
Let’s see each of the above points in detail.

1.1 The incubation of the Tigrian Racketeers: Unlike the loosely dispersed and individualistic Non-Tigrian business men, the Tigrian racketeers are a highly organized kleptomaniacs that are exclusively nurtured by the under-table action of the government in a way that:

– Favoring to get loan from state-owned banks with least or no collateral;

– Facilitating the bureaucratic process in the Custom office with least search procedure while this government office intentionally delays the items that belonged to the Non-Tigrian business men.

– Government toleration for their criminal act of tax evasion.

– For the Tigrian importers, letter of credit will be processed easily and access to hard currency is almost unlimited; whereas the Non-Tigrians must wait a minimum of 4 to 6 months since their application.

– The government has granted them key business sites under low bid.

– The government conducts special training programs and video conferences to create situational awareness among them and update them with first hand information. At this point, we must not forget that nowadays information is equivalent to money.

On top of that, they have been informed /’’trained’’/ and equipped with the following racketeering tactics.

1. Insider Trading: Obviously all key governmental positions are occupied by the Tigrian; which means any policy or information particularly related with business reaches to the Tigrian racketeers before the crowd gets it so they adjust everything in advance to suit to the new condition. And due to such a prior knowledge they net millions from insider trading.

They also have foreknowledge on every government auction however the Non-Tigrians get it lately from news papers. For insider information equals ‘’money’’ in a modern market economy, it is a great power in the hands of people who are the most cohesive and organized criminal group like the Tigrian racketeers. As a matter of fact, insider information is illegal both from moral and law perspective.

2. Dual Set of Ethics: In fact, the Tigrian racketeers have been informed directly or indirectly to practice a dual set of ethics:

I. An altruistic set of ethics for themselves and

II. A predatory one for the rest of Ethiopian people.

– They don’t compete with one another for a single niche of market;

– They don’t interfere with the monopoly controlled by other Tigrian racketeer;

– They are barred from underbidding fellow Tigrian racketeer.

– They are always cooperate with one another so as “not to lose the money of Tigray”

3. Team Strategy: Before we go to how they act in team, let’s see the psychological set up of the Tigrian racketeers and the Non-Tigrian business men.

The Non-Tigrian have been conditioned to think that everyone must be judged on his or her merits and that it would be immoral to be biased for his own race. The Tigrian racketeers, on the other hand, have been conditioned from early time of TPLF to think in terms of the good of their race.

Keeping this fact in mind, what they are practicing is through “Infect to insolvency and then wait to takeover” approach. For example, if they need to monopolize certain business sector they allocate a calculated sum of money to under bid the price of item which certainly makes the Non-Tigrian competitor unable to fight with irrationally low price then put the competitor company into insolvency and finally buy the company itself with a giveaway price and will apply “the abuse of dominance” once they control the sector.

In general, a cohesive and powerful team effort, dual set of ethics along with insider information consistently amasses collective power to the Tigrian racketeers over a scattered and individualistic Non-Tigrian.

1.2 By Establishing Extractive Trade Empire: An acronym EFFORT stands for the TPLF’s multi-billionaire trade empire called Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray. It was established by expropriating capital equipments from different parts of the country and by the infamous defaulted bank debts. Currently there is no business sector that is free from the involvement of EFFORT. It stretched from production to distribution, from finance to insurance, from wholesale to retail, from real-estate to horticulture, from mining to IT. Peculiarly, this trade empire hasn’t ever been audited by external auditor nor repays the loan it borrowed periodically.

Similar to the Tigrian private companies, EFFORT is also privileged in the following manner:

– It is awarded government auctions of big projects;

– Favored to borrow in billions without collateral and it is not subject to repayment;

– Equipped with insider information;

– Granted fertile land at a giveaway price by displacing tens of thousands of indigenous people from their ancestral land;

– Granted key mining sites without open bid;

– Market opportunity will be arranged for it by forcing regional and federal offices to buy products which haven’t a relevant importance or in an exaggerated quantity.

Surprisingly, almost 99.9% of the employees in these innumerable companies of EFFORT are Tigrian; which means that majority of the economy is occupied by either the Tigrian private companies or by the extractive trade empire called EFFORT; and they primarily privileged job opportunity for Tigrians. As the complete cycle of economic dominance and privileged labor market portrays, we are under a severe economic genocide.

1.3 Stifling of Non-Tigrians’ Business Firms: Obviously the playing ground is not level; and the whole situation is an uphill battle for Non-Tigrians’ business firms to survive all the barriers that they faced from the government bureaucracy and from economic sabotage of the highly privileged EFFORT companies and the cohesive Tigrian racketeers. Consequently, especially after election-2005 we have seen that many Non-Tigrian businesses have been either liquidated or down-sized.

2. Political Interest

The foremost plan of TPLF was to secede the Tigray region from the rest of the country and to establish a sovereign republic, as plainly stated in Manifesto-68 which was formulated by the triumvirate of Abay Tsehaye, Sebhat Nega and Meles Zenawi. However, through time they inferred that a sovereign republic of Tigray would be a weak and failed state. Then they changed their program to live together as a state-within-a state and TPLF’s role as a Quasi-Occupying Force.

Similar to the case for economic dominance, TPLF and Tigrians maintain their political dominance using racial solidarity as weapon against the Non-Tigrian Ethiopians in the following manner:

2.1. Surrogate Colonization /Repopulation/: The TPLF apartheid system has also been featured with Depopulation andPopulation-Transfer. The annexation of arable lands of the Amhara region like Humera, Welkayt, Tsegede, Alamata, Korem and so on, to Tigray province and depopulating the indigenous Amharas from those places and then replacing with Tigrians is a case in point of the surrogate colonization of the TPLF regime. The expansion of Tigrians is also continuing in west and north Gondar to annex the North Mountains after they learned that the North Heights are fields of Gold and other Precious metals.

2.2. Expropriation of Land /Landed Property/ Belonging to A Racial Group: As a matter of the truth, the people of Gambella have been denied its natural right of living on its ancestral land. And clearly we know that more than quarter of arable land of the region has been awarded to land grabbers at a giveaway price by TPLF megalomaniacs. But beside to this, more than 2/3 of the remaining arable land has been expropriated by Tigrian Mechanized-Farm owners in which it left more than 70,000 indigenous people for forcible relocation to the place where the soil is dry with poor quality and with no infrastructure. What worsened the situation was that the deployment of the TPLF mechanized army upon the unprotected civilians to enforce forcible relocation of the indigenous people. As a result, they became victim of genocide, rape and conflagration of their villages by TPLF militias.

2.3. Deliberate Denigration of Living Conditions of Non-Tigrian Racial Groups: This includes:

– Demolishing of business areas under cover story of investment which are mainly occupied by Gurage business men in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Particularly after election-2005, the Gurages have been profiled as “Accomplice of Neftegna” and currently as “Ginbot-7 Sympathizers”; and consequently, they are paying the expensive price ever for the alleged charge.

– Internal deportation and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of the Amhara people from different parts of the country by confiscation of their tenure and property is also one of the cruelest repressions of the racist regime of TPLF in order to break the potential resistance from this group by throwing them into absolute destitution and instability.

2.4. Infliction of Serious Bodily and Mental Harm upon Certain Racial Members: Tens of thousands of political and Conscience prisoners are concentrated in three federal and 120 regional major prisons. They are also found in an unofficial detention centers in military camps including in Dedessa, Bir Sheleqo, Tolay, Hormat, Blate, Tatek, Jijiga, Holeta, and Senqele. Majority of the prisoners are racially Oromo; and their alleged charge is “Sympathizers of OLF”. The number of Amhara, Gambella and Ogadenese political and conscience prisoners are also significant.

The condition of these political prisoners is extremely harsh, overcrowded and life threatening. Besides, the TPLF henchmen often use a series of torture and brutal interrogation to extract confessions including whipping on the soles of feet, over stretching of limbs, slow dripping of water on the head, slandering of their race, pulling out of nails, forcible extraction of teeth, weights suspended on testicles, plunging into spoiled water, solitary confinement in dark cell for long period of time, signing a confession, forced self-incrimination, threatening with injection of HIV infected blood, forcing to denounce others, burning with cigarette, insertion of bottle and hot candle into prisoners’ rectum, drowning into ice cold water for long period of time and beating with rifle butt, stick, whip, belt etc.

2.5. Access: No matter how the Non-Tigrians have the qualification for the high post in the army or the security apparatus or for key government offices, they have already been denied by the unwritten law of TPLF. Access to government-sponsored scholarship at the overseas is also highly secured for Tigrians.

In conclusion, Ethiopia is a country of nations and nationalities. So there must not be room for the socio-political and economic dominance of single race. All the people of Ethiopia must be treated as an empowered citizen. The fledgling Tigrian apartheid system must be nipped in the bud before it sparks the bloody genocide.

As a universal truth, no one ever negotiated successfully from weakness, but from strength. It must be our primary target to be strong. And, I do personally believe that awakening to the truth will make us strong. We are now in the middle of life-or-death struggle; if we fail to break the yoke of TPLF’s apartheid system the future of our people, the continuity of our race and the stability of our country will be at stake.

We have left nothing with TPLF; we have been cornered, humiliated, persecuted, harassed, assaulted, exiled, locked-in jail, tortured, expelled, impoverished by design, confiscated and decimated. We must not have room for the source of all these evil, TPLF, anymore!!! We must fight it by all possible means until we regain our freedom!!! We must struggle desperately until we tear apart the reins of the Quasi-Occupiers!!!

On the other hand, the Tigrians must also do their own homework before they are being treated as:

– Accomplice of Criminally guilty TPLF officials;

– Politically guilty as TPLF Supporters;

– Morally guilty as Tigrians;

– And perhaps, metaphysically guilty as Ethiopians.

Facts about Tigree Domination in the Military
High Ranking Military Officials , see  http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/the-tplf-variant-on-apartheid-majority-of-the-prisoners-are-racially-oromo/

By Dawit Fanta



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