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Poverty, Deprivation, Capability and Economics August 30, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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World map showing countries by nominal GDP per...

World map showing countries by nominal GDP per capita in 2008, IMF estimates as of April 2009. Sbw01f’s work, but converted to an SVG file instead. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘It has to be known that  the social structures, the power relations, that have generated and continue to generate poverty.’

In the present world, poverty, particularly   as it is experienced in the developing countries, has become the main topic to a great deal of discussion among economists and policy
makers, and there have been various campaigns  going on to overcome it: “to make poverty history.” The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) project is for front of these undertakings. In these makings, the issue is absolute deprivation, and the current widely accepted standard defines poverty as living on less than $2 per day and extreme poverty as living on less than $1 per day. The $2 per day and $1 per day figures are in terms of 1990 purchasing power. The World Bank uses these standards to report each year on the number of people living in poverty and in extreme poverty. The definition of poverty in terms of absolute deprivation may make good sense. When people do not have the basic necessities – the food, the shelter, the clothing – that they need to lead a reasonable life, they are living in poverty. Although we might not agree over the exact baseline.  There may look nothing wrong with the term.
However, there are problems with this absolute deprivation term of poverty. Primarily, there is the problem of whether or not an income measure can actually handle what we understand by people living in an ‘unreasonable’  condition of deprivation; not all the things that
make for a reasonable existence can be directly  transformed to purchasable goods and services. Besides, there is the problem of what we mean by ‘deprivation’. Of course, economic well-being – cannot be properly  measured and clearly understood by a single, absolute measure. In particular, the meaning cannot be properly  captured by  individual’s or a people’s absolute level of income. Actually, this issue has been widely recognized by the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI), Sen’s capabilities concept, and to some extent by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) campaign. Achieving an income goal alone does not eliminate poverty. A closely related issue  is that poverty (or well-being) cannot be captured properly by any single measure or single combination of measures, such as the HDI. Both the terms of poverty and economic well-being do not take into account issues of inequality in the distribution of income or the distribution of other measures of well-being. This failure to take into account issues of distribution in defining poverty (economic well-being) is conceptually and practically  problematic. If poverty is understood in absolute terms without consideration of distributional issues, the social structures that generate poverty tend to be ignored. It has to be known that  the social structures, the power relations, that have generated and continue to generate poverty. As  Arthur MacEwan  of University of Massachusetts Boston argues: ‘To a large extent, the poor are poor because they lack power, and they lack power because they are poor. When power is brought into consideration, the focus of policy shifts towards such issues as land reform and the effective control of state actions – i.e., of the underlying factors that determine spending on health care, education and other social services. The problem of poverty, then, would be approached as a socio-political problem, not simply as a technical problem. (Technical changes can bring about changes in socio-political relations, and that is one of the reasons, in addition to their direct impacts, that they are often good. But technical solutions are less likely to be effective when they are implemented without consideration of power relations.’  For instance, as studies on the Horn of Africa recognize, the colonizing Abyssinian Ethiopian structure has been  a very serious development problem in Oromia. In recent debates the UN and other international organizations are taking human rights issues to a center stage in the discussions of eliminating poverty as it is to  define the post 2015 actions. Actually, individual human rights and collect (group) rights must be at the center stage  in processes of poverty eliminations and achieving development. A person can be  socially and economically deprived and made incapable to achieve life goals not only as individual but also because he/she is a member of a group.  That is what we have learnt from the experiences and studies on  indigenous people such as the Oromo nation under Ethiopian social and political structures.

The discussion of  poverty may be as old as disciplines of economics and philosophy.  Economists  and philosophers including  Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Rawls, Amartya Sen, and many more have discussed the subject. The capabilities concept of economic well-being has been established  and extensively discussed by Amartya Sen. He maintains that “…the right focus for assessing standard of living is … something that may be called a person’s capability…., the capability to function …that comes closest to the notion of standard of living.”  The following site is interesting  further discussions: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=econ_faculty_pubs&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bing.com%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dpoverty%252C%2520capability%2520and%2520deprivation%253Awhat%2520economists%2520say%26pc%3Dconduit%26ptag%3DADE7BA551541340B0B5F%26form%3DCONOMX%26conlogo%3DCT3210127%26ShowAppsUI%3D1#search=%22poverty%2C%20capability%20deprivation%3Awhat%20economists%20say%22

Another Interesting current economic article on the subject of poverty is rebeloged  here with kind acknowledgement to the author:

“How important should the subject of poverty be within the discipline of economics? Some economists appear to think it is a very small issue compared to the magnificent mathematics of general equilibrium theory. Others believe that economics should fundamentally be about the sources of human well-being and misery, and that understanding poverty is absolutely fundamental for economics. How should we try to sort this out? Among the contemporary economists who have given the greatest attention to poverty and deprivation, Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze are particularly outstanding. Their research on well-being, quality of life, and hunger set a standard for the point of viewthat says that life quality and deprivation need to be at the top of the list of economic research goals. Here I’m thinking of books like Inequality ReexaminedPoverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation, and Hunger and Public Action. The neoclassical free market purists stand at the other end of the garden.  The economists of the Chicago School put primary emphasis on the beneficent effects of untrammeled market behavior, and they give little attention to the “market imperfections” that poverty and deprivation represent. (The word “poverty” does not occur in the index of John Van Overtveldt’s good intellectual history of the Chicago School, The Chicago School: How the University of Chicago Assembled the Thinkers Who Revolutionized Economics and Business.) Poverty seems to be viewed as a normal and fair result of the workings of market institutions: some people make large contributions and earn high income, and others make small or zero contributions and earn low income.”  Daniel Little, Rebloged from http://understandingsocietyglobaledition.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/poverty-and-economics/ read more from http://understandingsocietyglobaledition.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/poverty-and-economics/

As disccused in the above sources, poverty is not only a matter of lack of income.  And also economic  growth alone does not alleviate poverty.  As it has been analysed in following sources: “The problem with seeing poverty only through the lens of income is that it leaves economic growth as the only option to remove poverty. The underlying assumption is that the poor will be someday and somehow able to earn enough money to take care of all their needs, starting with having sufficient food. The problem is that the poor also lack skills to earn sufficient money, they are denied credit or loan by the banks, they have no access to quality education and healthcare facilities, and face social discrimination and political marginalization. Therefore, it is rather naive to expect that just because the economy is doing well, they will suddenly start having good income and come out of poverty. Thanks to the efforts of eminent economists such as Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and late Dr Mahbub ul Haq of Pakistan, better ways of measuring poverty and human well-being than income have emerged. If the UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) launched in 1990 provided the first global tool to probe the standard of living, a bigger thrust was given in 2010 by the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) that uses 10 different indicators to probe various deprivations the poor face. An application of the MPI analysis on the above two countries reveals an entirely different picture. Ethiopia has 90 percent poverty while Uzbekistan reveals just 2 percent multidimensional poor. What we learn from this is that the society in Uzbekistan looks after its people much better than the Ethiopian society. Therefore, poverty is better understood in terms deprivations, not lack of income. Economic Growth Alone is not “Development.” The real purpose of development is to enhance the well being of people and raise their standard of living, for which economic development is an important tool. However, this tool has been converted into an end in itself. Another popular view sees “development” as technological development; other contemporary concepts of development are industrialization and increasing the GDP growth (and keep doing it forever!). The way international business is being steered through global treaties, it appears that the world is being converted into a big bazaar and people into mere tools of production and consumption. The per capita consumption has emerged as modern measure of development and hence, of the well being of people. Hence, people of “developed” nations are the biggest consumers on the planet. Rest of the world is catching fast to beat them in this competition.” http://goodpal.hubpages.com/hub/Looking-at-Poverty-Beyond-Lack-of-income

Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom. Poverty is a call to action – for the poor and the wealthy alike – a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities. Poverty is the state of being without, often associated with need, hardship and lack of resources across a wide range of circumstances.’http://www.fightpoverty.mmbrico.com/poverty/what.html

“Since poverty is often so linked with human development, or lack of it, the 1996 report took a special look at poverty and concluded that income poverty is only part of the picture. “Just as human development encompasses aspects of life much broader than income, so poverty should be seen as having many dimensions,” says the report. As a result, the report introduced a new, multidimensional measure of human deprivation called the capability poverty measure, (CPM). The CPM focuses on human capabilities, just as human development index does. Instead of examining the average state of people’s capabilities, it reflects the percentage of people who lack basic, or minimally essential human capabilities, which are ends in themselves and are needed to lift one from income poverty and to sustain strong human development. The CPM considers the lack of three basic capabilities. The first is the lack of being well nourished and healthy, represented in this case by the proportion of children under five years who are underweight. The second is the lack of capability for healthy reproduction, shown by the proportion of births unattended by trained personnel. The third is the lack of capability to be educated and knowledgeable, represented by female illiteracy. The composite index emphasizes deprivation of women because, says the report, “It is now well known that the deprivation of women adversely affects the human development of families and of society.” Comparing the new capability poverty measure with the income poverty index, the report found that while 21 per cent of the people in developing countries are below the income poverty line, 37 per cent face capability poverty.   That is, 900 million people in developing countries are income poor, but 1.6 billion are capability poor.”    http://www.womenaid.org/press/info/poverty/cpm.html

The Tyrannic Ethiopian Regime is Accountable for the Death of a Political Prisoner And Prisoner of Conscience, Oromo National, Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda August 27, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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The tyrannic and minority rule of TPLF  Ethiopian government has been conducting genocidal killings against the majority (the Oromo people), nations and nationalities in Southern  and Eastern Ethiopia. In its policies and strategies of  Nazi and Apartheid style, it has mainly targeting the Oromo who make more than 40% of  the population of the Horn of Africa. Engineer Tesfahun Chemada Gurmeessaa is the latest victim of  TPLF’s planned and systematic genocide going on. Ethiopian empire (Horn of African) is one of the least developed, economically very impoverished and marginalized in the world. It is the most world food aid dependent region. The tyrannic and corrupt regime in its statistical lies and paper growth has reported that it has registered the fastest economic growth in Africa. Practical observation on the ground indicates the opposite (it is poverty alone that is  growing). The politically motivated sectarian regime actually destroys the very scarce and rare  resources the region holds and the dynamics of the society (Oromo and other non-Tigrayan) that it has put under its genocidal target : engineers, teachers, graduate students, the writers, the farmers, business men and women, the natural forest (the ecosystem) and the ancient  human culture of the region.

The followings are republications  among the latest  petitions  initiated and open letters made by concerned citizens and Oromo human rights advocates  in the calls for the reversal of the ongoing crime against humanity. For further details and actions please refer to the original sources as they are acknowledged in this page.  

Dear President Barack Obama,

The #Oromo People < http://www.oromo.org/enocide-against-the-oromo-people-of-thiopia.html&gt; are the single largest Nation in the Horn of Africa under the brutal rule of successive Ethiopian rulers nearly for a century & half now. At this very moment, the current EPRDF regime, which controls Ethiopia for the last 22 years, has intensified the killing, detaining, displacing, expelling our people from every sectors of our society, from all corners of our country for no tangible reasons, but simply due to politics of fear and an excuse for extension of its ruling terms under various pretext.

Dear Mr. President,

In history, our people have never had such tactical gross abhorrent human rights violations of the highest order in any past Ethiopian successive governments that parallel to the current EPRDF tyrannical regime in part due to the shielding effect of present day Geopolitical dynamics.
Time and again, many peasants, students, skilled professionals, journalists, Artists, prominent nationalists, even Government ministers, and local and International activists have tried to demonstrate,  petition and  stage worldwide rallies to the Whitehouse and other Government and NGO institutions in various occasions in several countries to demand on Ethiopian Govt. to stop atrocities, but no concrete response was achieved yet.

There is no particular crime that our people have committed to suffer from such purposefully calculated heinous crimes by the ruling party against innocent civilians. Despite out loud preaches of Modern Democracy all over the world, our people are still well silenced and voiceless under gunpoint not to demand or petition their Govt. and no words from independent major world media outlets to expose these crimes and brutalities committed by this regime.Our people have been denied the right to collect and rest the bodies of their family members, relatives or friends who are victims of the Ethiopian Govt. The very recent cases in point among many others, are the refusal by the Govt. of the bodies of victims of Kofale Massacre & that of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, who was subjected to refoulement from Kenya to Ethiopia in few years back and killed this August 2013 in the notorious Kaliti Prison. Instead of allowing the family burry their son, the Govt. agents took his sister to jail accusing her of publicising Engineer Chemeda’s news of death at their hands.

Dear Obama,

We  hereby so kindly seeking your urgent support in voicing our strongest objection & hold the Ethiopian ruling EPRDF accountable for all its inhuman actions and atrocities being committed under various excuses and urge this regime to respect the rule of law, human rights & Democracy in Ethiopia. There will be no time that our people seek urgent help from USG and International communities than right now! Enough is better than over, justice, peace and democracy for the Oromo & other nationalities in the Horn of Africa shall prevail.

Therefore; we,  the undersigned individuals, would like to request your highest Office and all whom this may concern to influence the Ethiopian Govt. to respect the basic human & constitutional rights, stop genocide on peaceful people & obey rule of law to eventually transition itself from absolute Dictatorship to Democratic form of Government.

Thanks for your precious Mr. President,

Thanks everyone for taking your time to sign, share (on social media) & forwarding to friends.



The HRLHA Statement

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa strongly condemns the atrocious torture and inhuman treatment by the Ethiopian government against its citizens and hold it accountable for the death of a political prisoner and prisoner of conscience Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda on August 24, 2013 in Kaliti prison.

HRLHA informants confirmed that Engineer Chemed died in Kaliti Penitentiary due to the severe torture inflicted on him while he was in different detentions centers from 2007 until the day he died. We also protest the fact that he was denied medical treatment by the government.

Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, an Oromo national, was handed over by Kenyan authorities to Ethiopian Security agents in April 2007 from where he had granted a refugee status from UNHCR in Kenya after he had fled to Kenya to escape persecution by the EPRDF government of Ethiopia.

Engineer Tasfahun Chemeda was one of the 15 Oromo nationals who was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 by the Ethiopian court http://humanrightsleague.com/2010/07/a-call-for-the-reversal-of-the-racial-politically-motivated-and-discriminatory-sentence-by-a-court-in-ethiopia/ for his activism and political beliefs that were different from the ruling EPRDF government of Ethiopia.The Ethiopian Government is accountable for Torturing Mr. Chemeda in prison, thereby violating the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, an agreement which Ethiopia signed and ratified in 1994 For denying Engineer Tesfahun medical treatment, violating the rights of prisoners which are clearly stated in international law and International covenants on civil and political rights article 10(1) “. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”. and Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Rights of Persons Held in Custody and Convicted Prisoners article 21 (1) “All persons held in custody and persons imprisoned upon conviction and sentencing have the right to treatments respecting their human dignity”.

By handing over the Oromo refugees and others, the Kenyan Government is also breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary laws.

Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185,) the Kenyan Government has the obligation not to return a person to a place where they will face torture or ill-treatment.
Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides: No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa calls upon the Ethiopian authorities to immediately carry out an independent investigation into Engineer Tesfahun’s death, including whether torture played a part in his death, and disclose to the public anyone found responsible and bring that person to justice. The HRLHA also calls upon the Western political allies of the TPLF/EPRDF Government of Ethiopia to exert pressures so that it is forced to turn around and start working on the genuine democratization of the country, halting the systematic elimination of citizens who demand basic rights and fundamental freedoms,

Finally we extend our condolences to Tesfahun’s family and friends in their time of grief as well as all Ethiopians who have been falsely accused, illegally detained or wrongly killed at the hands of a brutal and hypocritical regime. Engineer Tesfahun is just one of thousands of victims of the EPRDF government’s campaign of violence, repression and efforts to curtail basic freedoms and fundamental rights of Ethiopians at all costs.


The following is an open letter of the Oromia Support Group in Australia (OSGA) to Hon. Kevin Rudd, Australian PM, on the death in Ethiopian custody of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya.


Oromia Support Group in Australia

P.O. Box 38

Noble Park, 3174, Vic

E-mail: info@osgaustralia.com

Date: August 26th 2013

Open letter

Death in Ethiopian custody of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya

To: Honourable Kevin Rudd,

Australian Prime Minister

It is with sadness and anger that Oromia Support Australia Inc. OSGA reports the death of a young Oromo in Kaliti prison, Ethiopia, on 24 August, 2013. Tesfahun Chemeda was a student activist in Ethiopia and a political asylum seeker among refugees in Kenya, where he was granted refugee status by UNHCR. He was arrested with a colleague, Mesfin Abebe, by Kenyan ‘anti-terrorist police’ on 2 April 2007.

Although cleared by the anti-terrorist unit and by the FBI, the men were subject to refoulement to Ethiopia at the request of the Ethiopian authorities. UNHCR, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya and the Kenyan Human Rights Commission were told in court, after their application for habeas corpus that the men had been returned to Ethiopia, whereas they remained in custody in Kenya for at least two more days after the court hearing.

Tesfahun and Mesfin disappeared in detention in Ethiopia until charged with terrorist offences in December 2008. They were sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2010. [1] (Mesfin’s death sentence was later commuted.)

Tesfahun was transferred from Zeway prison to Kaliti, where he had been held in solitary confinement for nearly two years before he was killed. [2]

This is not the first time young Oromo men and women have been killed in detention. For example, Alemayehu Garba, partially paralysed with polio, was shot dead with 18 others in Kaliti prison in November 2005. [3]

Refoulement of UNHCR-recognised refugees from Sudan, Djibouti and Somaliland continues. [4]

How long must we wait for Australian Government and other western governments to stop maintaining the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in power? Over one third of Ethiopia’s budget is in foreign aid. Ethiopia receives more aid from the Australia than any other country in the Africa.

It is a shocking state of affairs and an appalling way to spend Australian taxpayers’ money. Oromia Support Group in Australia Inc. tired of hearing from officials that they take every opportunity to engage with representatives of the Ethiopian government at the highest level to express their serious concerns about human rights abuses and lack of democratic progress in Ethiopia.

We have been hearing this for years. When are we going to see an effective response by those who control Ethiopia’s purse strings?

If Australia is so committed to providing aid to Ethiopia, than at least we should insist on it being contingent on real, measurable benchmarks of human rights and democratisation and not the desk-based studies of government-controlled data which support the status quo in Ethiopia.

This should be backed by effective sanctions so that members of the Ethiopian government are prevented from travelling to Australia and other western countries and investing in property and businesses outside of Ethiopia.

Unless meaningful sanctions are applied, growing disaffection with the west, previously noted by former US Ambassador Yamamoto, is likely to mature further. Under the oppression of the Ethiopian regime, opposition voices are becoming more likely to find expression in the very movements which the support of Ethiopia, because of its cooperation in the ‘war on terror’, is meant to avoid.

The authoritarian regime in Ethiopia is a major cause of instability affecting the whole of the Horn of Africa. Supporting it and investing in it is a short-sighted policy.

Yours sincerely,

Marama F. Qufi

Chairperson,Oromia Support Group in Australia Inc.

(For Dr Trevor Trueman, Chair, Oromia Support Group)


[1] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_46.pdf, pp.43-44.

[2] http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3701-oromo-activist-tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence

[3] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22

[4] For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained in Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from Hargeisa on 23 Novermber 2012 and imprisoned in Jigjiga, Somali Region, Ethiopia.


Dr. Trueman’s Letter to the British Government

Mark Simmonds MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth
Affairs (Africa)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
25 August 2013

Open letter
Death in Ethiopian custody of Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya

Dear Minister,

It is with sadness and anger that I report the death of a young Oromo in Kaliti prison, Ethiopia, on 24 August, yesterday. Tesfahun Chemeda was a student activist in Ethiopia and a political activist among refugees in Kenya, where he was granted refugee status by UNHCR. He was arrested with a colleague, Mesfin Abebe, by Kenyan anti-terrorist police on 2 April 2007.

Although cleared by the anti-terrorist unit and by the FBI, the men were subject to refoulement to Ethiopia at the request of the
Ethiopian authorities. UNHCR, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya and the KenyanHuman Rights Commission were told in court, after their application for habeas corpus, that the men had been returned to thiopia, whereas they remained in custody in Kenya for at least two more days after the court hearing.
Tesfahun and Mesfin disappeared in detention in Ethiopia until charged with terrorist offences in December 2008. They were sentenced to lifebimprisonment in March 2010. [1] (Mesfin’s death sentence was later
Tesfahun was transferred from Zeway prison to Kaliti, where he had been held in solitary confinement for nearly two years before he was killed.[2]
This is not the first time young Oromo men have been killed in detention. For example, Alemayehu Garba, partially paralysed with
polio, was shot dead with 18 others in Kaliti prison in November 2005.[3] Refoulement of UNHCR-recognised refugees from Djibouti and Somaliland continues.[4]

How long must we wait for Her Majesty’s Government and other western governments to stop maintaining the EPRDF in power? Over one third of Ethiopia’s budget is in foreign aid. Ethiopia receives more aid from the UK than any other country in the world.

It is a shocking state of affairs and an appalling way to spend UK taxpayers’ money. I am tired of hearing from Ministers and officials
that they take every opportunity to engage with representatives of the Ethiopian government at the highest level to express their serious concerns about human rights abuses and lack of democratic progress in Ethiopia.

I have been hearing this for over twenty years. When are we going to see an effective response by those who control Ethiopia’s purse strings?
If the UK is so wedded to providing aid to Ethiopia, than at least we should insist on it being contingent on real, measurable benchmarks of human rights and democratisation and not the desk-based studies of government-controlled data which support the status quo in Ethiopia.
This should be backed by effective sanctions so that members of the Ethiopian government are prevented from travelling to the UK and America and investing in property and businesses outside of Ethiopia.
Unless meaningful sanctions are applied, growing disaffection with the west, previously noted by former US Ambassador Yamamoto, is likely to mature further. Under the oppression of the Ethiopian regime, opposition voices are becoming more likely to find expression in the very movements which the support of Ethiopia, because of its cooperation in the ‘war on terror’, is meant to avoid.

The authoritarian regime in Ethiopia is a major cause of instability affecting the whole of the Horn of Africa. Supporting it and investing in it is a short-sighted policy.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Trevor Trueman, Chair, Oromia Support Group.

http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_46.pdf, pp.43-44.
http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22
4 For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained in Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from Hargeisa on 23 Novermber 2012 and imprisoned in Jigjiga, Somali Region, Ethiopia. Tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence

[3] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22

[4] For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained i Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from   Somali Land.                        http://qeerroo.org/2013/08/26/death-in-ethiopian-custody-of-tesfahun-chemeda-after-refoulement-from-kenya-open-letter-of-dr-trevor-trueman-of-osg-to-uks-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-foreign-and-co/

OLF Statement on the death of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda  and His Short Biography

Engineer Tesfahun was born in 1976 from his father Mr. Chemeda Gurmessa and his mother Mrs. Giddinesh Benya at Harbu village, Guduru district, eastern Wallaga, western Oromia. He was lucky enough to get the slim chance of going to school for his likes under the occupation. He completed his school starting at Looyaa, then Fincha’aa and at Shambo in 1996. His remarkably high scoreenabled him to join the university in Finfinne (Addis Abeba) where he graduated with BSc in Civil Engineering in 2001. Subsequently:

1. Sept. 2004–Jan 2005 – he worked as unit manager for the maintenance of Arsi-Bale road project run by Oromia Rural Road Maintenance Authority and Ethio-Italian Company.
2. Worked at Degele-Birbirsa RR50 project in Salle-Nonno District in extreme South-west of Ilu-Abba-Bore Zone
3. Worked on four simultaneous road projects for settlements; Kone-Chawwaqaa, Baddallee-Kolosirri, Gachi-Chate and Yanfa-Ballattii
4. Worked as a project manager for Chawwaqa district head office construction in Ilu-Harari.
5. Oct. 2001–July 2003 site engineer for Siree-Nunu-Arjo Rural Road of Wallaga district.

Because of the policy of persecution andsurveillance imposed on him, like any educated and entrepreneurial Oromo class as per TPLF’s standing policy, he decided to flee to Kenya for his safety. He sought protection from the UNHCR office in Nairobi explaining his position, and got accepted and recognized as a refugee. However, for unknown reasons, he and his colleague in skill and refugee life, Mesfin Abebe Abdisa, were arrested and eventually handed over to the Ethiopian authorities by the Kenyan counterpart on April 27, 2007, due to the agreement between the two countries.

Ethiopia, being a member of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT), formed under the auspices U.S. that includes Uganda and Kenya as well, continues to abduct Oromo refugees from the neighbouring countries where they sought UN protection, under the pretext of anti-terrorism. The two innocent victims Tesfahun and Mesfin were handed over to the Ethiopian authorities who took them handcuffed and blindfolded at 2:00AM local time on May 12, 2007, purportedly to have them investigated for terrorism at the JATT Main Investigation Branch in Finfinne (Addis Abeba).

From Apr. 27 to May 12, 2007, before handing them over, they were interrogated at the Kenyan National Bureau of Investigation near Tirm Valley by American agents and Kenyan Anti-Terror Police Unit. The Kenyan officer Mr Francis, who led the investigation, concluded the innocence of these two victims and requested the Kenyan authority to immediately let them free. However, another Kenyan CID agent Ms. Lelian, who is suspected of having close connection with the Ethiopian agents, opposed the decision and facilitated the handing over of these two innocent victims.

Once in the hands of the Ethiopian agents, they were taken to the notorious dark Central Investigation compound, known as Ma’ikelawii, where they were interrogated under severe torture for a year and a quarter.

Engineer Tesfahun was then presented before a court of magistrates of all Tigrian nationals in Jul. 2008, who passed the life sentence on him on March 31, 2010. The two were subsequently moved from the maximum security prison to an unknown destination for the pretext of planning to escape. They were taken for further torture in another underground location by a squad directly commanded by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. It was only since last three months that they were returned to Qallitti main prison. The beating was so severe that the engineer repeatedly requested and needed medical treatment which he was of course denied and eventually succumbed to the torture impact yesterday Aug. 24, 2013. He became the latest victim of the vicious systematic genocide against the Oromo.

Regarding the fate of these two engineers, the OLF strongly believes that the way Kenyan authorities have been handing over innocent Oromo refugees to the anti-Oromo Ethiopian criminal regime is against the relevant international conventions. We strongly request the Kenyan government to desist from this practice of the last 22 years of handing over innocent Oromo victims who seek refuge in their country. The Kenyan government cannot avoid sharing the responsibility of such murders of innocent people who they hand over to the notorious regime that is well known for its anti Oromo campaign.

The OLF extends its heartfelt condolence to the family relatives and friends of Engineer Tefahun and calls on the Oromo people to double the struggle for freedom as the only way to be free of such persecutions.


Oromia Times

Godina Dhihaa Oromiyaa bakkotaa gara garaatti sabboontotni ilmaan Oromoo ajjeechaa suukkaaneessaa mootuummaan Wayyaanee EPRDF hayyuu Oromoo Injinner Tasfahun Camadaa irratti raawwatamettii gadda guddaa itti dhaga’amee, ibsachuun

Anotaa gara garaa keessatti Hagaayyaa 25/2013 irraa egaluun reeffaa gooticha Injiner Tasfahun Camadaa eegaa turan. Keessaattuu Magaalaa Amboo, Gudarii , Geedoo fi Hanga Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaaggaa Anaa Guduruutti sabboontotni Oromoo
reeffaa gootichaa Oromoo walqindeessuun simmannaaf egaa kan turan ta’uu gabaasi Qeerroo naannicha irraa beeksisa.

Awwaalchaa gooticha Oromoo Injineer Tafahun Camadaan walqabatee mootummaan Wayyaanee humna waaraanaa bobbaasuun uummata sodaachisuuf yaaluun, reeffii isaas guyyaa uummataan simatamuuf waan eegamaa tureef mootummaan Wayyaanee ta’e jedhee halkan akka darbuu fi maatii isaan akka dhaqabu taasise.Haalli kunis bakkaa hundatti sammuu uummataa keessaatti hadhaa kana hin jedhamne fi kulkkulfannaa uumee jira.

Sirni gaggeessaa awwaalcha hayyuu fi goota Oromoo Injiiner Tasfaahuu Camadaa Hagayya 26,2014 godina dhalotaa isaa Onaa Guduruu keessaatti ganda Harbuu iddoo jedhamu itti bakkaa hiriyoonnii isaa , sabboontotni Oromoo,Qeerroowwaan,dargaggoonnii Oromoo, Baratootni Oromoo dhaabbiilee barnotaa garaagaraa irraa boqonnaaf galanii jiran bakkoota garaagaraa irraa walitti dhammaachuun sirna awwaalcha gooticha Oromoo Enjineer Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti argamuun marartoo fi jaalala goota kanaaf qaban agarsiisuun kabajaan aduunyaa kana irraa gaggefame.

Sirna sana irrattis haala sagalee jabaan fi dhadhannoon hangana hin jedhamneen Ummaannii fi sabboontotni dargaggoonnii Oromoo dhadannoowwaan argaman gadii dhageesisan.

1.Tasfaahuun hin dunee ummataa Oromoof jedhetu wareegame,
2. Wareegama hayyuu keenyaan bilisummaan uummataa keenyaa ni mirkana’a!!
3, Qabsoo hayyuun Oromoo Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti, wareegamee fiixaan ni baafna.
4, Wayyaaneen diinaa uummataa keenyaati!!
5, Gumaan Hayyuu Oromoo Tasfahuun Camadaa irree qeerrootiin ni baafama!!
6, Diinni goota keenyaa qabsaa’aa kuffisuus qabsoon inni egalee hin kufuu itti fufaa kan jedhuu fi Walaloo fi seenaan Hayyuu Oromoo Injiineer Tasfahuun Camadaa uummataaf dubbifamuun haala aja’inbsiisaa ta’een sirni awwaalchaa isaa rawwate.

Walumaa galattii sirna awwaalchaa enjiiner Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti kutaalee Oromiyaa gara dhihaa fi magaalota Finfinnee Adaamaa dabalatee Uummaannii Oromoo tilmaamaan 10,000 olitti lakkaa’amani tu irraatti kan argamee fi dargaggoonnii hedduun waraanaa Wayyaaneetiin utuu achii hin ga’iin karaattii kan dhorkamuun deebifaman ta’uu odeessii nu qaqqabee jiruu ifaa godhee jira.

Kana malees, Caasaaleen Qeerroo kan Godinotaa Lixaa Shawaa, Jimmaa, Iluu Abbaa Booraa , fi Godina kibbaa lixaa Shawaa erga gootichi Oromoo hayyuun ija uummataa ta’ee kun wareegamuu dhaga’anii gaddaa guddaa isaanitti dhaga’ame ibsachaa guyyaa sirni awwaalcha isaa rawwatamee bakkuma jiranitti maadheewwan walitti dhufuun dungoo qabsiifachuun sirna awwalchaa kana hirmaachuun gadda isaanii waliif ibsuun qabsoo gootni Oromoo kun irraatti wareegamee galmaan ga’uuf waadaa isaanii haaromsan.
Sirna Awwalchaa Gooticha Oromoo Injiineer Tasfahuun Camadaa ilaalchisuun gabaasni Qeerroo Oromiyaa gara gara irraa itti fufa.

Qbasa’an Kufus Qabsoon ittii Fufa!.


VOA Afaan Oromoo News




Ethiopia’s Governance And The Current Situation And Management of Natural Resources August 13, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Despite the change of leadership following the death of Mr Meles last August, there are few signs of any shift away from the prevailing state-led development model. Nonetheless, it is possible that the government could be forced into a policy turnaround if it is unable to secure the financing required to support its ambitious and underfunded five-year economic plan. At present, the plan is largely financed by direct central bank financing and by forcing private banks to purchase Treasury bills (T-bills); however, this strategy is both inflationary and unsustainable.”

Ethiopia became a de facto one-party state following the May 2010 general election, which more or less wiped out the opposition, after years of determined progress. The ruling alliance has strengthened its grip on power through a steady erosion of political liberties, including the use of controversial anti-terrorism legislation. However, the death in August 2012 of Meles Zenawi—the long-standing prime minister, who did much to hold the ruling coalition together—has taken Ethiopia into uncharted territory. In line with the constitution, the former deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has been endorsed as prime minister following the death of Mr Meles. Nonetheless, if Mr Hailemariam fails to stamp his authority on the coalition, the risk of ethnic and religious tensions will increase. Ethiopia’s population was nearly 85m in 2011 according to World Bank estimates, making it SubSaharan Africa’s second-most populous nation after Nigeria. Its population grew by an average of 2.7% a year in 1990-2011, and is expected to reach 120m by 2025, according to projections by the UN. There are more than 80 different ethnic groups represented in the country. The population is still overwhelmingly rural, with only 17% living in towns. Economic progress—and, in turn, political stability—will be heavily dependent upon Ethiopia’s continued access to foreign aid. In this respect, the government has faced criticism for its hard-line response to any domestic opposition. Indeed, it seems likely that, for the foreseeable future, the regime will  continue to protect its hegemony using restrictive legislation and periodic crackdowns by the security services. At the same time, as the largest country in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has positioned itself as a bulwark of Western states against Islamist terrorists in the region. This factor is likely to outweigh donor concerns about possible misuse of aid. The impasse with Eritrea over the two countries’ disputed border remains a significant political risk, although a return to all-out conflict (as occurred between 1998 and 2000) is not expected in the near future; Eritrea is unlikely to initiate any hostilities, since it would almost certainly lose, while the Ethiopian authorities are aware of the damage that renewed conflict would do to relations with, and funding from, international donors. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)—an alliance of four main groups—won an overwhelming majority in parliament at the May 2010 election. Following the death of Mr Meles, the 180-member council of the EPRDF gave its unanimous—if belated—endorsement to his deputy, Mr Hailemariam. This suggests that the party wishes the latter to remain in the post, at least until the next elections, due in 2015. However, the longer-term prospects for EPRDF unity are more uncertain. Mr Hailemariam is currently attempting to rebalance the EPRDF—traditionally dominated by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).’

Ethiopia’s country profile by The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013. To read the details on Ethiopia and other 24 African countries click the following links:

Click to access doc.pdf

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The Oromo People Need Freedom and Justice:Oromians Gathered in Front of the White House to Protest Against Ethiopia’s Human Rights Violations and Land-Grabbing August 5, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Journalist/Author Abdi Fite Reports for Oromo TV

VOA Afaan Oromo Reports:

Here is the full text of  joint appeal letter of the demonstrators to Secretary of State of the United States:
August 02, 2013
John Kerry
Secretary of State of the United States
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
RE: Joint Appeal Letter of OYSA, OCO, OSA, HRLHA and OSG on Eviction of Oromo Farmers and Human Rights Abuses in Ethiopia
Dear Honorable Secretary,
We the undersigned associations, namely: the Oromo Youth Self-help Association (OYSA), the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA), and the Oromia Support Group (OSG) are a diverse group of scholarly, community and human rights organizations focusing on Ethiopia, particularly Oromia, the Oromo regional state in Ethiopia. We are writing this joint appeal letter to you to express our deep concern about the widespread human rights violations that continue unabated in Ethiopia and to request that the U.S. Department of State, under your able leadership, uses its enormous influence with the government of Ethiopia to stop its arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, tortures and killings of innocent Oromos and other peoples of Ethiopia. The Oromo, who constitute more than forty percent of the population of Ethiopia, have been the target of attack by the minority Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) dominating the Ethiopian regime for over two decades.Pressure Ethiopia to Stop Killing and Evicting Oromo Farmers from their Ancestral LandsOn July 7, 2013 three innocent Oromo civilians namely: Mr. Ibrahim Henno (age 38), Mr. Mahammed Musa (age 26) and Mr. Mohammed Yusuf (age 27) were killed and two others – Mr. Nuredin Ismael (age 25) and Mr. Ali Mohammed (age 27) wounded in Eastern Oromia’s Regional State, in Ethiopia in a violence that involved the Federal Government’s special force known as Liyyu Police. According to the Human Rights League of Horn of Africa[1], the three dead victims of this most recent attack by Liyyu Police took place in Gaara-Wallo area in Qumbi District of Eastern Hararge Province in Eastern Ethiopia. The two wounded victims of this same violent action have since been treated at the Hiwot Fana Hospital in the city of Harar. More shocking was that the bodies of the three dead victims were eaten by hyenas, because there was nobody around to pick and bury them as the whole village had been abandoned when the Liyu Police forced the villagers to leave the area.The Ethiopian government-backed violence that has been going on in the name of border dispute around the Anniya, Jarso and Miyesso districts between the Oromia and Ogaden regional states has already resulted in the death of 40 Oromo nationals[2] and the displacement of more than 20,000 others along with looting of their cattle and valuable possessions.In January 2013, Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher, Claire Beston told the Guardian[3], “There have been repeated allegations against the Liyu police of extrajudicial killings, rape, torture and other violations including destruction of villages and there is no doubt that the special police have become a significant source of fear in the region.” In a similar dispute last May, the Voice of America reported[4] that at least five Oromos were killed in an inter-ethnic clash near the town of Dabus, Bidigilu county in the Benishangul Gumuz region. Manasibu county administrator in West Wollaga zone, Mr. Malkamu Tujuba, confirmed the death of civilians and destruction of properties to the VOA’s Afan Oromo program.

Oromo Political Refugees need UNHCR protection

Oromo Political refugees in Egypt who fled tyranny and subjugation in Ethiopia are facing another round of attack and human right abuse from Egyptians, who have been angry at the construction of the renaissance dam on the Nile River by Ethiopia. The UNHCR and Egyptian government couldn’t provide protection to these political refugees per the UN convention. Consequently, on July 6, 2013, one young Oromo was attacked by a knife as he and his friend were looking for dinner. His friend survived the knife attack by running away.

On May 22, 2013 nine Oromo/Ethiopian refugees were arrested in front of the UNHCR Office, Djibouti branch, where they had been for the renewal of their refugee identification cards. The families and friends of those refugees have not been able to see and/or communicate with them since they were arrested and detained. Based on related past experiences and the involvement of Ethiopian security agents in the arrest and detention of those refugees, there is a high level of fear that the government of Djibouti might deport the detained refugees back to Ethiopia exposing them to detention, torture and death. Similar human rights abuses have been reported on Oromo refugees in Yemen.

Pressure Ethiopia to Release Oromo Political Prisoners in Ethiopia

In May 2013 six Oromo civilians and artists were incarcerated by the TPLF security agents from their respective homes and work places. They are Tesfaye Lammuu, Addisu Mengistu/Karrayyu (Artist), Dasse Lamu, Birraa Margaa, Dhaba Abdulqadir, and Shasho Idosa.

On November 1, 2012, two well-respected Oromo opposition politicians, Mr. Bekele Gerba (professor) and Mr. Olbana Lelisa, along with seven other Oromo nationals, Welbeka Lemi, Adem Busa, Hawa Wako, Mohamed Melu, Dereje Ketema, Addisu Mikre and Gelgelo Gufa were convicted and later sentenced to long term imprisonment under the charge of “working underground to secede Oromia from the federal government” and other concocted charges after being kept in jail for more than a year. The two opposition leaders were arrested in August 2011 after speaking with Amnesty International officials.

Dear Honorable Secretary,

Over the past 21 years, the TPLF-led and dominated Ethiopian government, has imprisoned tens of thousands of political opposition and citizens, mainly Oromos. As the result of the government’s repressive policies, thousands of innocent citizens have been languishing in prisons and secret camps, and many have been severely tortured, deformed and/or killed. Others have been abducted and made to disappear. Hundreds have been murdered in broad day-light. Well respected human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and US State Department’s own annual reports have documented rampant arrests, unlawful killings, abductions, tortures and other human rights abuses by the Ethiopian government. These reports are consistent with our own reports and direct experiences. We are frustrated because, despite these glaring facts, Ethiopia’s allies and Western donors are reluctant to restrain the government and halt its flagrant human rights abuses. Some donors even go on record to support the government’s wrong claim that Ethiopia is “on the road to democracy.” It is troubling that despite these well documented human rights abuses, the Ethiopian government continues receiving billions of dollars of aid money every year. Using over one third of its budget from foreign aid, Ethiopia has built one of the biggest and best-equipped armies in Africa, while millions of its citizens seek food aid. In fact, the aid money is used to impose the Tigrayan dictatorship and autocratic regime on Oromos and other peoples in a multinational society.

Observing the painful agony and sufferings of the ordinary people and the political prisoners, we specifically request that you and the US government:

Use your influence and international responsibilities to force the Ethiopian Government to stop the killing of Oromo nationals, bring the violence to end and facilitate the return of the displaced Oromos back to their homes.
Use your influence and international responsibilities to force the minority regime in Ethiopia to stop the politically motivated eviction of Oromo farmers from their ancestral land and illegal selling of Oromo land immediately.
Use your enormous influence to put political, economic and diplomatic pressures upon the Ethiopian government to unconditionally release Mr. Bekele Gerba, Mr. Olbana Lelisa and thousands of Oromo political prisoners.
Influence the Ethiopian government to respect the current Ethiopian constitution and stop the regime’s extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention of innocent people without trial.
Insist on the unconditional release of all political prisoners before providing economic aid to the regime.
Demand that the regime is committed to respecting human rights of the Oromo and other peoples of Ethiopia and allow freedom of expression and assembly.
Demand the repeal of all new laws that violate the fundamental freedom of citizens: particularly the so called Anti-terrorism Law, Press Law, the current law that prevents charitable organizations from freely moving in the country and the most recent law that criminalizes the usage of Skype and other media tools.
Demand that the regime respect freedom of religion and stop interfering in religious affairs.
Finally, we believe that unless international donors, mainly the US government, use their leverage and make meaningful pressure, the Ethiopian government will continue with political repression of the Oromo and other nations and nationalities. Therefore, we humbly request you to exert your energy and diplomatic skills to create conducive political environment for establishment of the rule of law in Ethiopia. We earnestly believe that as America’s top diplomat and principal voice on international issues, you have an extraordinary opportunity to alleviate the incredible human sufferings of the Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia. We thank you for your interest in the wellbeing of the Oromo and other peoples of Ethiopia.


Abebe Etana
Chairman, Oromo Youth Self-help Association (OYSA)
6212 3rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

Desta Yebassa, Ph.D.
Board President, Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington D.C. Metropolitan area
6212 3rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

Mosisa Aga, Ph.D.
President, Oromo Studies Association (OSA)
P.O Box 32391, Fridley, MN 55432

Garoma Wakessa
Director, Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)
994 Pharmacy Avenue, M1R 2G7, Toronto, ON, Canada

Dr. Trevor Trueman
Director, Oromia Support Group (OSG)
60 Westminster Rd, Malvern, WR14 4ES, UK


Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500


Tel: (202) 395-2020

António Guterres,
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt


Tele: +41 22 739 8111

[1] ”Ethiopia: Loss of Lives and Displacement Due to Border Dispute in Eastern Ethiopia” http://humanrightsleague.com/2013/05/ethiopia-loss-of-lives-and-displacement-due-to-border-dispute-in-eastern-ethiopia/

[2] http://humanrightsleague.com/2013/05/ethiopia-loss-of-lives-and-displacement-due-to-border-dispute-in-eastern-ethiopia/

[3] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/10/ethiopia-forces-human-rights-funding?intcmp=239

[4] http://gadaa.com/GadaaTube/8229/2013/06/17/voa-gd-jiraataa-mayyuu-mulluqqee-wajjiin-haala-yeroo-ammaa-achiti-deemaa-jiru-irraatti-taasise/

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

Language and National Development: A tribute in Honour of Haile Fida’s Contribution to the Development of Oromo Orthography August 1, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Language and Development.
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Haile FidaHirmatadubbii afaanoromo

Dr Haile Fida Kuma has made an outstanding contribution to the development of Oromo national orthography. He was one of the pioneers who attempted to shade fresh on the history of the Oromo, the right of the Oromo people to speak, read and write in Afaan Oromo. He initiated Oromo studies in Europe and has made a major contribution both to our knowledge of Afaan Oromo grammar and to the discussion on how the language should be written 1968-1974. His first research paper was published in 1972, on Tatek, theoretical Journal of Ethiopian Studies in Europe entitled ‘Languages in Ethiopia: Latin or Geez for writing Afaan Oromo.’ He further published in 1973 Oromo Grammar book entitled ‘ Hirmaata Dubbi Afaan Oromo’: Haile Fida, et al. (1973). Hirmaata Dubbi Afaan Oromo, Paris and a literature book :‘Barra Birran Barie, paris,’ using his adopted 35 Latin Qubee alphabet. The books were as a result of his long-time study of the Oromo language and problems of Oromo orthography. In this groundbreaking Afaan Oromo grammar book, he adopted the Latin alphabet to the phonology of the Oromo language by modifying some of the shapes of the letters and adding subscript diacritics. He made distinctions between short and long vowels letters by using single vowels letters (i, e, a, o,u) for the former and double (ii, aa, oo, uu) ones for the latter. He presented the finding of his research to the conference of Ethiopian Student Union in Europe in 1972 and this brought a debate on language issues within the Ethiopian and Oromo students movement abroad (see, Dr. Fayisa Demie. 1996. Historical Challenges in the Development of the Oromo language and Some Agendas for Future Research, Journal of Oromo Studies, Vol.3, no.1 &2, pp. 18-27. Oromia Quarterly. Fayisa Demie. 1999. The Father of Qubee Afaan Oromo: A tribute in Honour of Haile Fida’s Contributions to the development of Oromo Orthography, Oromia Quarterly, Vol.. II, no.3. Pp. 1-5.) His knowledge on Oromo language was so encyclopaedic and his contribution to the Oromo studies in Europe was so well known at the time and his contribution was greatly acknowledge by the Oromians who know him very closely. Oromo national Organisations have started to use Qubee Afaan Oromo from 1970s. Oromo national Convention in 1991 endorsed the use of Qubee all over Oromia. Dr. Haile was assassinated by the Dergue Ethiopian regime before seeing this remarkable achievement in the use of Qubee in Oromia which is the greatest milestone in the history of the Oromo people. Dr. Haile Fida completed his initial primary education at Arjo primary school and junior garde 7-8 at then Haile Selassie I Secondary school in Naqamtee followed with secondary education at General Wingate school in Finfinnee and undergraduate at Finfinnee University (Science Faculty, Geology Department). Haile was an outstanding student while he was in General Wingate secondary school and the university. He completed his secondary education with 10A’s and 2B’s and his Undergraduate University with distinction with GPA 4. After graduation from the Department of Geology he was employed as a graduate assistant and became a lecturer in the same department. He left to France to pursue a postgraduate studies. Haile studied MA in sociology and social anthropology and PhD in philosophy at the Le Palais De L’ Academie Paris. While he was in Europe he was an active member of the Ethiopia students Union in Europe and an Honorary secretary of the French Socialist Party. Dr. Haile was married to Mme Marie and survived with two children.

Haile belonged to a group of generation of Oromo nationalist who embarked on arduous struggle to liberate the Oromo nation from Ethiopian oppression in two different strategies . The first Oromo group were convinced the Oromo question is a colonial question and argued the solution to the Oromo question is the liberation of Oromia from Ethiopian Colonialism. Indeed to show the Oromo identity as a colonial people deprived their right to govern themselves democratically and oppressed by Amhara/ Tigrai colonial settlers, they have put forward historical evidence which support the Oromo case. The second group, in which Haile belonged, argued the Oromo question is a national and it is possible to solve the problem through the democratisation of the Ethiopian state. As part of their struggle against national oppression this group of Oromos have attempted to take forward the national question high in the agenda of the Ethiopian student movement and other Ethiopian organisations that were mushroomed since the Ethiopian revolution in 1974. The first members of this generation were born in the early 1940’s and the youngest in the early and mid 1950’s. It was a generation of Oromo activists who came together to struggle against national oppression. Most of them killed while struggling for the Oromo cause or while attempting to change Ethiopia. Indeed Haile was one of the victims who died while attempting to change the environment of national oppression in Ethiopia. He was killed by Ethiopians while struggling against national oppression and for the right of the Oromo people to speak and write in their language. His early death robs Oromia an enthusiastic, hardworking and committed Oromo professional. The inspiration he provided throughout his life continues to influence Oromo scholars and new generations in the field of Oromo studies.







Confession documents under the notorious Derg Military Dictatorial regime interrogation of Haile Fida Kuma confessional-document-of-dr-haile-fida-kuma


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