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Incarnating Abyssinian Genocidal Hitlers through music January 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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4 comments

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‘Tedy Afro, for the past few years, has been deliberately resurrecting some dead zombies, and he is making money and fame out of such dirty and unethical work. The two great Zombies that he resurrected so far are Emperor Menelik and King Hailesilassie. Anytime some one resurrect the dead, a lot of questions crop up; from political to ethical. Is there any moral guide that stops musicians from reanimating worst dictators and mercenaries? What is the political significance of reincarnating a barbaric mass killer like Menelik for Ethiopian people at this time? As a matter of fact, Tedy started his career from the very beginning by glorifying King Hailessilassie. This is the same king who watched in silence as millions of Ethiopians perish during the 1973 famine. …The musical piece Tedy composed for the late monarch seems to have rallied the majority of feudal elements who during the reign of king Hailessilassie lived on the bloods and sweats of the Ethiopian poor. Now that Tedy wrote lyrics and composed music for the great zombie of all time (Menelik), he qualify to be recognized as an entrepreneur who lives on the fame of dead monarchies. He is making himself name and money off the dead dictators. By doing so he successfully milked those Abyssinians who always dreamt the second coming of Hailesilassie and Menelik, but immensely disrespected millions Ethiopians who suffered in the hand of these dictators.

One may ask him/herself  what objective the young artist might have on his mind when he composed the Tikur Sew lyrics for Menelik.  We know that Menelik is not Tikur. That is to say he is not Tikur by choice, by his own preference. Menelik is not a ‘black man’ because he rejected his blackness. You don’t need any other witness other than Menelik himself to prove that he wasn’t black.  Shame on you Tedy; you tried your best to twist history just in the same way many Debteras did in the past Ethiopian history. Unfortunately, what you tried to reverse is irreversible.  Historians have documented it very well. You cannot make Menelik to be proud of his blackness. Menelik dismissed it in public. He told the whole world that he is Caucasian, not black. ‘I am not a Negro at all; I am a Caucasian’ , Emperor Menelik told the West Indian pan-Africanist Benito Sylvian who had come to Addis Ababa to solicit the Emperor’s leadership in a society for the ‘Amelioration of the Negro race.’ Haile Sellassie confirmed that view in a declaration to Chief H. O. Davis, a well-known Nigerian nationalist, stating that the Ethiopians did not regard themselves as Africans, but as ‘a mixed Hamito-Semitic people.(See John H. Spencer, Ethiopia at Bay (1984), p. 306.) With regard to the great purpose that music plays to bring people together and minimize tension among ethnic lines, Tedy’s recent Album played the exact opposite. Oromo youth around the world have taken to facebook and other Medias to boycott the album which glorifies a mercenary who butchered our forefathers and mothers. This album is more dividing than healing Ethiopian people. In particular it is an insult to Oromo nation and Southern Nations and Nationalities. It is a complete disregard to the lives of those who were massacred by the invading army of Menelik.  It is an insult to the entire Oromo nation and South Nations who survived the genocide Abyssinian Army perpetrated against us.   It is an outrageous act of praising a criminal who inhumanly butchered millions of children, women and innocent men.’

http://shagarindex.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/reincarnating-menilik-just-one-step-away-from-repeating-genocide/

Reincarnating Menilik? Just one step away from repeating genocide.

As hardliner Abyssinian commemorate centennial of Emperor Menilik II, the conquered Nations and Nationalities mark 100 years of colonial subjugation under successive Abyssinian rulers.

Abyssinian commemorate the epoch when their beloved emperor( Emiye Menelik –  literally translated as ‘mother Menilik’)annexed free people into his Empire.  Towards the end of 19 century, Emperor Menilik led Abyssinian’s   murderous colonial   army into the lands of Oromo, Somali,  Sidama, Kambata, Walayita,Gambella and other Nations and Nationalities.  Armed to the teeth with latest European arms, the army of Menelik annihilated millions of natives who were armed only with wooden spears. In over a decade of armed resistance, most nations and nationals outside Abyssinia proper fall under the army of Menilik.  In this colonial campaign Menilik army killed more than 5 million innocent civilians in Oromo land alone. Those who survived death were taken into captivity and sold into slavery. The remaining population were dispossessed of their lands and reduced into serfs to labor on the lands distributed to Menelik’s nobility, army and priests- until freed by death.

anole3

AANOLEE MARTYS MEMORIAL MONUMENT

The brutalities of Emperor Menilik and his army were unseen and have no parallel in the African continent. The Harma Muraa( breast cutting) and Harka Mura( arms chopping) at Aanolee in Arsi region of Oromia epitomize the  cruelty and barbarity of Menilik’s army, while it also captures the greatest  human tragedy that Empire builder had carried out in expanding their empire. Today, in Oromia region, monuments are being built in memory of millions of innocent civilians murdered by Menilik and his Army. (Aanole Martyrs memorial monument and cultural center)

Photo

This very week, those who share the legacy of Menilik commemorated 100 year anniversary of Menilik in the heart of Oromia, SHAGGAR( Addis Ababa as colonialists call it). This very land where they celebrate the event is the land confiscated by Menilik from Oromo peasants and distributed to Abyssinian Orthodox church. ( click here to watch the commemoration event).  Traditionally, Orthodox Church priests were/are legitimisers of the Abyssinian throne. The Tabot( tablet) followed the army of Menilik everywhere they fought the conquered people. As such, after the conquest of free nation was completed, the Orthodox Church was granted 1/3 of every inch of the conquered land as it’s fiefdom along with the conquered peasantry as its own property.  The Orthodox priest also played essential role as ideologues of the colonial undertaking of Abyssinia. (Follow this link to read more about the role of Orthodox Church in Abyssinian politics).

For Oromo Nation and other conquered people who survived the brutalities of Menilik and his army, this hardliner Abyssinian are opening our wounds afresh. They are boldly telling us that they have no respect for the millions killed brutally during Minilk’s colonial campaign. They are re-victimizing and insulting those who survived the heinous genocide carried out by Menilik and his army. There seems nothing will stop them from repeating Menilik’s heinous crime if they get the chance.

http://shagarindex.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/reincarnating-menilik-just-one-step-away-from-repeating-genocide/

Regardless of this evil forces shameless attempt to reincarnate Africa’s Hitler as  a benevolent Emperor,  for Oromo Nation and other conquered Nation and Nationality in the Ethiopian Empire, Menilik will remain a BULGU, a murderer, a villain , a butcher, and  a genocidal Emperor.

I summarized my comment by this African proverb. “Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter”. Jailers will continue to criminalize the innocent until free people stand up against them. The conquerors will continue to tell their glory until the conquered stands up and stop them. Free Nation Shall Prevail. Oromia Shall Be Free!

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/duguuggaan-sanyii-minilik-oromoorratti-oofe-waraana-qulqulluudha/

Oromo as a victim of hate crime at homeland and abroad

By Hara Olani 

In its broad meaning, hate crime is a category of crime used to describe bias-motivated violence: “assault, injury and murder on the basis of certain personal or group characteristics that include different appearance, different color, different religion, different nationality, different identity, etc.

For more than a century, the Oromo in Ethiopian empire specifically targeted and injured, killed, forced to flee their homeland, and even continuously abused verbally abroad by Ethiopian politicians, media, activists, and individuals that think being a true Ethiopian is being denying oneself’s identity.

Since the Oromo nation failed under Abyssinian oppression, the hate towards Oromo are planned, politically motivated and kept in place by the successive regimes that ruled that empire and including the current TPLF lead killer regime.

In a meaning to hate crime, Oromo are targeted and still a target of hate crime in a meaning more than their personal characteristics, appearance, color, nationality, language and religion. Oromo are a victim of hate crime in a Ethiopian related identity just because of what they are. This showed again and again openly and the fresh “I am Oromo first” sentence created anger and violence from narrow minded Ethiopians who used to disrespect Oromo.

As racist anti-black bias was the most frequently reported hate crime motivation in the USA even in 2011 for example, for more than a century long time frame being an Oromo is just away to be abused verbally by non-disciplined Ethiopians and to the worst killed, tortured, and disappeared by regimes that ruled the empire one after the other including the current once.

A serious hate crime against oromo in Ethiopia is clearly motivated by racial and it is involving violence. It is happening for long and continued today with out certain limits. It is more sad that the Oromo nation that is a back bone of that old empire but yet the identity of the Oromo people’s identity kept denied by narrow minded Ethiopians who deny the truth behind Oromo nation and the make up of the Ethiopian Empire. The hate crime against innocent Oromo caused social unrest, and a significant and wide-ranging psychological consequences on Oromo, not only upon the direct victim but also on other oppressed people in that uncivilized empire.

The hate crime that victimized millions over the century and continued today, is clearly planned. It is a politically motivated act and violence by oppressors, and organized officially and non-officially, measured its success and changes its form based on different factors. That is why today we can see the hate crime towards Oromo by narrow minded Ethiopians, made its way all long and continued even in the western democratic society member Ethiopians. There for, it can be taken as a crime that is organized by hate group that attacks Oromo and Oromummaa in every way possible in the Empire or out side. But is is really funny that even these groups that have common interest in attacking Oromo and Oromummaa are enemies to each other and made common bed when comes to such matter.

A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of others that are targeted. Accordingly, the hate group which currently targeted Oromo and Oromummaa at home and abroad, took a primary purpose of promoting animosity, hostility, and malice against oromo identity, language, culture, political organizations, associations, intellectuals, etc.

Like before currently, any thing that promote Oromo nation became a victim of these hate groups that includes the current killer regime in Ethiopia, those oppositions calling themselves they struggle for freedom and democracy in Ethiopia, opposition groups calling them selves freedom fighters of Ethiopian people, the so called activists, politicians, journalists, media, PC desk top heroes and heroine. Even though they have some thing to struggle for against each other but they showed unity in hating Oromo and Oromummaa. They cooperate successfully in advertising the hate towards Oromo nation in all costs of their activity.

If we try to see at least few examples that shows how Oromo are targeted inside that Empire, Oromo students are targeted and imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, killed and dismissed from their study at different levels, just because of they born Oromo and showed respect to their own identity than the identity others dreaming fro them. Many Oromo business men and women ended up in Prison from their own business as one of the hate crime objective towards Oromo, is to weaken the economy to the root level. Due to such police, it became clear that today others controlled all the business going inside Oromia. The Oromo farmers missed and continuously missing their piece of land under the so called investment with out any sufficient compensation. Oromo intellectuals lead a life in prison as the government planned it purposely to discourage the Oromo young generation. Even those Oromo politicians who are trying the way they think they can solve the problem of that empire, ended up in prison for the crime they never planned and did, even never thought.

Oromia as one of the state in the federal government that seems another way to strength the exploitation of oromia, Oromia contributed the largest GDP to the economy of that empire. But one can clearly see that most of the cities and villages in Oromia purposefully denied basic infrastructures and lagging behind of time. According to the new report from Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), out of a list of 528 political prisoners, the Oromo constituted almost 90% of the new statistics.

One can say only the lucky once has made away to escape the hate crime showering on Oromo in Ethiopia and just the luckiest once to westerns since many are still suffering in East African countries and Arab countries. But In reality, even those who made to westerns, faced another front line of hate crime from narrow minded Ethiopians who continued to deny Oromo’s self identity and never wants to hear about Oromo and Oromia. But wants to impose their own identity on others.

The hate group that is a fruit of century long hate towards Oromo in Ethiopian empire, continued to victimize Oromo even in western society. They wanted the Oromo to deny themselves and they condemn Oromo when the Oromo say what they are in public or private. But this is just a selfish dream that will never be fulfilled because Oromo can’t deny themselves.

From activist and journalist Jawar Mohammed’s “I am Oromo first” to “we are oromo we are not ethiopians” of the protesters against violence against Oromo refugees in different countries, the anger, insult and verbal abuse that came out of habesha related media, politician, activists, journalists and individuals was clearly showed what does it mean being an Ethiopian according to them and also showed the future of that empire . The reality is that, the Ethiopia they dream of such character is good for nobody including for themselves. All this confirm that the hate crime involved killing, imprisoning, torturing of Oromo in Ethiopia took another form in dyaspora. It involves verbal violence.

Verbal violence is often a substitute for real violence and that the verbalization of hate has the potential to incite people who are incapable of distinguishing between real and verbal violence to engage in actual violence. These hate crimes against Oromo and Oromummaa have been conducted by internate hate groups and few Ethiopian media which are infected by Oromophobia.

Internate hate groups are hate groups that spread their messages by word of mouth or through the distribution of flyers and pamphlets in addition to electronic transmissions of sounds and images. The internet has been a boom for hate groups in general but specifically the narrow minded Ethiopian dyasporas have effectively used and using the internet targeting Oromo and Oromummaa and interms of organizing the hate crime against Oromo refugees. The plan was to silence the Oromo refugees about their identity but the failed plan doubled their anger and hate towards Oromo nation in general.

Today hate websites, social network groups, blogs, news groups, you tube, video sites, and TV under the arm band of “Emiye Ethiopia” became common and actively participating in advocating the hate groups organized to attack the Oromo people and nation verbally.

As the use of internet continues to grow among the Ethiopian dyaspora society, the narrow minded ethiopians have found “effective” and new ways to seek validation for their hateful agendas towards Oromo and oromo nation.

As the great African leader, the most inspiring leader for equality and justice, Nelson Mandela said “….people learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes from naturally to the human heart than its opposite”, thus let us work together to stop the hate crimes against the Oromo people in their own country and outside. The Oromo people respect their own identity and they respect identity of others too.

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/oromo-victim-hate-crime-homeland-abroad/

“Wa’ee Finfinnen Menelikiin qabamuu, Oromoo tokko ‘Inxooxxoo dhaabatani’ jedhee kan aarii isaa geerarsaan dhageessise dhaloota dhalootatti darbee jira. Geerarsisaa akkas jedha:

Inxooxxo dhaabatanii
Caffee gadi ilaaluun hafe
Finifinnee loon geesaani
Hora obaasuun hafe
Tulluu Daalattii irraatti
Yaaiin Gullallee hafe
Gafarsattii darbanii
Qoraan cabsachuun hafe
Hurufa Boombii irraatti
Jabbiilee yaasuun hafe
Bara jarrii dhufani
Loon keenyas indhumani
Eddaa Mashashaan dhufee
Birmadummaanis hafe! ”
http://www.voicefinfinne.org/AfaanOromo/Seenaa/mb_ao.html

“Members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group are celebrating online after the Heineken beer company announced that its Ethiopian franchise would cancel sponsorship of pop star Teddy Afro.

The Bedele beer company dropped its support for Teddy Afro’s upcoming national tour on Thursday, though it did not give a reason. Ethiopian Oromos have been campaigning to boycott the beer over controversial statements allegedly made by the entertainer. Oromos were outraged after he allegedly praised Emperor Menelik II, a 19th-century ruler who some see as a unifier and who placed territories belonging to Oromo and other groups under centralised rule. The magazine quoted Teddy Afro as saying, “For me, Menelik’s unification campaign was a holy war”. The artist’s most recent album also has a song dedicated to the emperor, among other popular historical leaders. Teddy Afro says the quote was falsely attributed to him, writing on Facebook, “Under circumstances unbeknownst to me and due to the error of the magazine, my photo was printed along side a different quote which is not in line with my belief or journey…. The magazine has issued a correction and apologized to us for its error.” Some expressed doubt that the comment was an error. Many celebrated the news from Heineken online, while some said they would not be satisfied without an apology from the singer.”

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201401032207-0023290

The sources suggest that more than 90 percent of the Maji or Dizi, about 80 percent of the Gimira, between third thirds and three quarter of the Kaficho and about half of the Oromo population had lost their lives as the consequence of the conquest and colonisation The small kingdom of Walaita also lost a large proportion of its inhabitants. An Abyssinian expedition in 1894 slaughtered about 119,000 men,women and children (Prouty, 1986:115) in less than two weeks.

Secondly, to spread terror among real and potential enemies, the Abyssinian forces committed acts of mass murder and mutilation against the different peoples they conquered. Here, unlike in the north, mutilation included even women. In that respect the best-known case was the mass mutilation of the Arsi Oromo during the wars of conquest fought from 1882 to 1886. What was remarkable here is that mutilation did not stop with Abyssinian victory at the battle of Azule in 1886 that cost the lives over 12,000 Oromo fighters (Haji, 1995; Zewde, 1991: 63). Weeks after the Arsi were defeated at battle of Azule, the commander of the conquering forces, Ras Darge Sahle Selassie, ordered thousands of Oromos to gather at a place called Anole. Thousands came obeying the order and were killed or mutilated – the men of their hands and the women of their breasts (Haji, 1995: 15-16).

According to (De Salviac, 1901:349-354 During the protracted war of conquest and the pacification that lasted for several decades, vast amounts of property belonging to the conquered peoples was confiscated or destroyed, and millions of head of livestock were looted. Tens of thousands of captives were deported and sold into slavery. The conduct of Abyssinian armies invading a land is simply barbaric. As the fire begins, surprised men in the huts or in the fields are three quarter massacred and horribly mutilated; the women, the children and many men are reduced to captivity. General Walde Gabriel was for a long time held in check, he had cut the right wrist of 400 notable Oromo in one day alone.  In these great expeditions (war), the generals have right to be preceded by eight drummers (negarit); the Nugus has 24 of them. The number is  trumpets is unlimited, Menelik brought back 10,000 oxen, and several thousands of slaves form just one campaign, not including the booty of subordinate officers. The number of heads of cattle captured in one expedition sometimes rises to 100,000; we have seen our eyes some of these glorious ones mutilated. In his hours of reflexion the general, almost a centenarian, believed seeing the specter of these 400 heroes, pursuing him with their reproach. The Nugus, whom I had asked the number of dead, had his guard of the seal make an inventory; each chief told how many victims their men had. Finally I had a total of 96,000 men killed and taken prisoners. I have seen Abyssinians escort string of prisoners; women, and children, making them carry the bloody stripped skins  of their husbands or their fathers. I have seen, and the Nugus (Menelik) had to make an edict  to prevent the atrocities, Abyssinian solders pull away infant from the breast and throw them in the field, in order to unload off the mother the weight which would have obstructed her from continuing  on the road all the way to the country. Page 354.

It was reported that in 1912, about 40,000 of the Gimira were rounded up and taken to the north, and that half of them died on the way while the rest were sold as slaves and scattered within and outside the Ethiopian empire (Pankhurst, 1968: 107).

While, in the case of the Arsi Oromo, both resistance and surrender to the conquering forces led to mass murder and mutilation, the initial passive incorporation of the Gimira and Maji/Dizi expedited their enslavement and mass deportation from their land (Hodson, 1927: 02). Writing about the Maji/Dizi, the German anthropologist Eike Haberland (1984: 47) notes that before the arrival of the Amhara troops in the 1890s and the subsequent forced incorporation of the Dizi into the Ethiopian empire, the Dizi probably numbered between 50,000 and 100,000.

Bulatovich referred to the one-sidedness of the killing he had witnessed. An expedition which would have cost any European power millions, was carried out by the Abyssinians almost free, if you don’t count several hundred men killed and several thou sands cartridges shot ([1898], 2000: 381). .Bulatovich,the Menelik punishments against Oromo even peace time.

Judicial System and Procedure

The exercise of judicial functions rests partly in the emperor and commanders of regions and districts, and partly in the people itself.

Each leader has the right to judge and punish his subordinates, and each individual person has the same right over his servants.

In the forty-fourth chapter, it talks about imperial power. The time of appearance of this book coincides with the apogee of imperial power.

Crimes and punishments are as follows:

1) State crime — capital punishment (in very rare cases); cutting off the right hand and left leg; most often, putting inchains and life imprisonment.

2) Insulting majesty — cutting out the tongue.

3) Murder — the murderer is given to the family of the person killed, who kill him in the same manner that he killed.

4) Robbery — capital punishment (in this way, Emperor Menelik eliminated robbery, which formerly was very widespread).

5) Insulting a personality by action or word 104 — monetary fine.

6) Fraud — monetary fine.

7) Accidental manslaughter — monetary fine from 50 to 1,000 talers.

8) Non-performance of instruction of the government — monetary fine and flogging.

9) Criminal breach of trust — removal from job, putting into chains, monetary fine, confiscation of property. The imposition of punishments by separate individuals goes in the following steps:

1) Each private individual in relationship to servants and minor commanders have the right to throw someone into chains for an indeterminate time and to impose 25 lashes by birch rods (kurbach).

2) The commander of a marketplace can impose monetary fines and flogging with whip (jiraf) up to 8 lashes.

3) The commander of an area — cutting off hands, up to 50 lashes (jiraf), and monetary fine.

4) Afa-negus — cutting off hands, up to 75 lashes (jiraf), and monetary fine.

5) The emperor — capital punishment, up to 100 lashes (jiraf), monetary fine, and life imprisonment. Capital punishment is carried out by hanging, or, in case of murder, it is carried out by relatives in the same manner in which the murderer killed. When the murderer is sentenced, he is given over to the relatives, who take him outside town and kill him. Very often, this task is entrusted to a child. Bulatovich,

http://oromiatimes.org/2014/01/04/evidence-meneliks-genocide-against-oromo-and-other-nations/



Koreen bakka bu’oota dhaabbilee barnoota ol’aanoo Bulchiinsa Mootummaa Naannoo Oromiyaatii fi Obbo Johan Doyer,General Manager of Heineken Ethiopiaf xalayaa barreesse. Guyyaa Mudde 30,bara 2013. barreefame Bulchiinsa Mootummaa Naannoo Oromiyaatiif/BMNOf/. Finfinnee Dhimmi Isaa:-Faarfannaa waggaa dhibbaffaa Miniliik Oromoo fi Oromiyaa irratti gaggeeffamuuf deemu ittisuuf. – Nuti kanneen maqaa fi mallatoon keenya armaan gaditti eerame dhimma atattamaa kana bakkaan ga’uuf bakka buutota dhaabbilee barnoota ol’aanoo irraa koree ariifachiisaa ta’uun muudamnee jirra. -Iyyannoon kun ariifachiisaa ta’uu irra darbee qaama dhimmi isaa ilaallatu hundaan furmaata yeroo hin kennine kan barbaadu ta’uu dursnee jabinaan hubachiisuu barbaanna. Dhimmi harma muraa ayyolee Oromoo fi harka muraa abbootii Oromoo namticha mootii ofiin jedhu Miniliik 2ffaan gochi gara jabinaa Oromoota irratti gaggeeffamaa ture seenaa yeroo dhiyoo fi Oromoota biratti yoomuu kan hin dagatamne ta’uu isaa duubatti deebinee seenaa wal barsiisuu otoo hin ta’iin wal yaadachiisuun qofti ga’aa fakkaata. Kun ammo kan akka Oromoottiis ta’ee akka namaatti boqonnaa nama hin kennine ta’uu isaa namni akka namaatti yaadu hubachuu dhiba jennee hin amannu. Egaa dabni yeroo dheeraaf gaggeeffamaa ture kun akkanaan otoo jiru Oromoota biratti waan dagatame fi dhokate fakkeessuun namoonni hawwii bulchiinsa namticha kanaa qabanii figochaa isaa kanaaf deeggarsa fi gammachuu qaban har’a kabaja ykn faarfannaa waggaa dhibbaffaa mootii Miniliik jechuun Oromoo fi Oromiyaa irra naanna’uun maqaa konsertiin ispoonsarummaa waarshaa biiraa baddalleen wal ta’uun faarfachuuf qophii xumuranii akka jiran kan eenyu jalaa iyyuu hin dhokannee fi ifatti hubatamaa jiru dha. Kun immoo uummata miidhame isaa kana seenaaf jedhee qabatee obsaan taa’e kana madaa isaa yeroo irratti gammachuun faarfatan callisee obsaan dhaggeeffata jedhanii yaaduun ykn eeguun gara laafina irra tufii ta’uu hunda keenya jalaa waan dhokatu hin fakkaatu. Tarii gochaan maal dhibdiin ykn maaltu dhufaan gaggeeffamuuf jiru kun mootummaa ykn sirni biyya bulchaa jiru addattu mootummaan naannoo Oromiyaa akkamiin irraa callisee ilaala? kan jedhu gaaffii uummata Oromoo ta’uus, gochaan kun uummata Oromoo saboota kaan waliin kabajaa fi obsaan jiraachaa jiru seenaa badaa kana myeroo irratti faarfamu of irraa ittisuun waan dirquuf kallattii hin barbaachisne qabachuun dirqama ta’uun hundi keenya hubachuu feesisa. Kanaaf,qaamni dhimmi isaa ilaallatu hundi addatti mootummaan naannoo Oromiyaa gaaffii keenya kaanf deebii kennuu qofaa otoo hin ta’iin, akka abbaa dhimmaattiis hal dureen fuula dura dhaabbachuun gochaan kun Oromiyaa irratti gonkumaa akka hin dandahamiin jabinaan ittisuun akka irraa eeggamu hubachiifna.Gaaffiin karaa seera qabeessaan eegale kun gama qaama dhimmi ilaallatu hundaatti marsaa marsaan haga bulchiinsa aanaatti itti fufuun deebii akka argatu qabsoon ykn gaaffiin keenya akka itti fufuus gamanumaa hubachiisuu irra dabree gaaffiin karaa seeraa fi mirgaan gaafatamaa jiru kun atattamaan furmaata argatee warri gochaa kanaaf tirtiraniis addatti weellisaa Teedii Afroo fi waarshaa biiraa Baddallee gochaa isaanii kana irraa dhaabbatanii seera fuula duratti yoo hin dhiyaannee fi gochaa isaanii tuffiin itti fufanii argaman Oromoon kamuu kanaa ol obsa kan hin qabne ta’uu hubatamee miidhama ga’u kamiifuu gaafatamaan sirna biyya bulchaa jiru addatti mootummaan bulchiinsa naannoo Oromiyaa,Waarshaa biiraa Baddallee fi weellisaa Teedii Afroo akkasumaas kanneen duubaan deeggarsa gochaa jiran hundaa akka ta’e jabeessinee hubachiifna.

Maqaa fi Mallattoo………..

Mudde,bara 2013. Koree bakka bu’oota dhaabbilee barnoota ol’aanoo Bulchiinsa naannoo Oromiyaaf

http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3729-political-layers-behind-teddy-afro-and-boycottbedele

(OPride) – A recent social media campaignagainst Ethiopia’s Heineken-owned Bedele Brewery, over its planned sponsorship of a yearlong musical tour for controversial Amharic singer Tewdros Kassahun, has forced the premium beer maker to drop the agreement.
In a span of two weeks, the campaign rallied more than 42,000 supporters on Facebook pressuring Heineken NV to issue a statement saying, “we are not going to pursue the sponsorship contract” with Kassahun.
Kassahun’s unexamined adoration and immortalization of past Ethiopian rulers is popularly seen as offensive and deluded among the Oromo and other nations in Ethiopia’s south. As such, Heineken’s sponsorship of Kassahun, who is better known as Teddy Afro, was widely viewed as a complicit attempt to revive a historical injury among those forcibly incorporated into Abyssinia during Menelik’s 19th century southward imperial expansion.

The anger against Teddy reached fever pitch mid-December after a local magazine published, but later retracted, Teddy’s comments condoning Menelik’s war of conquest as a “holy war.” The social media-based activists said the music tour which was scheduled to start on Jan. 11 in Oromia, the Oromo homeland, amounted to inviting victims of Menelik’s deadly campaign to a dance-party on their ancestors’ graveyard.

Teddy’s crude comments were not surprising per se, but the tour served as a reminder of his scurrilous behavior and bold insolence toward Oromo history. In a statement celebrating the group’s triumph, the #BoycottBedele campaign noted,Dire Dawa, where the tour was scheduled to taper off, is “only miles away from the grave at Calanqo” where according to eyewitness accounts “the blood of Oromos (killed at the battle) gushed like a river.”

After stopping the multi-million sponsorship, the campaigners posed a series of questions that are likely linger in the minds of this generation: what does Teddy’s tour got to do with love? How does lionizing and glorifying someone of Menilik’s statue ever meet the minimum threshold for a tour meant to promote love?  Has Teddy ever thought of honoring the victims over the killer?

Beyond its momentous victory, the swift social mobilization and reverberation of the campaign offers a menu of lessons. First, notwithstanding the schism of diaspora politics, it proved how vociferously and in unison the Oromo people could stand together against a brick wall of historical injustice. The novelized assumption of political disunity among the Oromo saw its self-rectification which was inimical to a flaw in speculation.

The Oromo youth, who came together and stood up to powerful political and business interests, passed a “litmus taste” by turning Teddy’s ostentatious “journey of love” into a “walk of shame.” Menilik’s brutal campaign epitomizes one of the most callous acts of pain in Oromo history and the history of Ethiopia’s southern nations and nationalities. While much of Menelik’s brutality is obscured by the battle of Adwa, in which Ethiopian forces defeated Italy in 1896, no other Ethiopian ruler represents such a savage face of repression for the Oromo.

In one of the first acts of acknowledgement, the Oromia Regional Government erected a memorial statue in 2009 to honor victims of Menelik’s genocidal campaign at Anole and Calanqo. In 1886, at the Anole gathering called to make peace with Arsi Oromos after a deadly battle at Azule, Menelik’s forces cut off Oromo women’s breasts and men’s hands amputated. One of the harshest chapters in Ethiopia’s tortuous history, Anole stands as a single most traumatic event for the Oromo.

Which road to love: denial or repentance?

Now that the euphoria and disappointment over #BoycottBedele’s victory is over, in order to move the conversation beyond individuals and historical figures, it is important to take up the underlying issues at the core of the debate.

As hopeless as it looks given the current political climate, there’s a greater need for reconciliation and healing. However, it’s even more important to note that such an endeavor presupposes not a stingy denial, but an active repentance and acknowledgement from those who were historically privileged.

The events of last two weeks offer ominous prospects. Posing as academics, journalists and historians, revivalists of Menilik’s vision offered a wide range of views in different forums. On the face of it, the diversity of perspectives and robust discussions of issues is crucial. However, much of the commentary focused on downplaying or outright denial of Menilik’s murderous expansion and the consequent extermination of the Oromo and other southern people.

In addition, using their media establishments and vocal presence on social media, they sought to control the direction of the discourse by portraying all debates on past injustices as a fair game. Even more appalling, they tried to draw a false parallel between Menelik’s colonial project and a phenomenon known as the Oromo expansion. The later historical event refers to a period in 16th century described by historians as a return of Cushitic Oromos to their roots.

As sober and at times poignant as some of the denials get, much has also been uncovered from a group whose basis of reaction was a simple ignorance and emotional ambition to keep the phantom of the “highland kingdom” alive, even in this century.

Tabling the issue of past injustices for debate does great disservice to the millions of victims. Nonetheless, this benign question begs for a sober consideration by Menilikian revivalists: which road takes to reconciliation in Ethiopia – denial or acknowledgement of historical injustice?

Freedom of speech and customary laws against heinous crimes

One form of denial was disguised and masqueraded under the posture of “freedom of speech.” Teddy’s fans were quick to point out that the cancellation of his contract sat a dangerous precedent on free speech. But the reactionary gate keepers and vanguards of hallow Ethiopianism didn’t wait too long to accuse Oromo activists as separatists, secessionists and other labels, essentially for exercising their inalienable freedom of speech.

Alarming hate speeches, some only marginally short of a declaration of war, were hurled at Oromo activists under the camouflage of free expression. Some liberal Ethiopianists even sought to turn Teddy and his fans into martyrs for freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is a universal right for all but why did a simple act of campaigning to stop the continuation of historical injustices warrant so many tantrums and whining?

Let us examine similar cases and interpretations elsewhere with regards to the denial of historical injustices.

The nature and degree of atrocities committed by Menilik, even if not of similar proportion, in some ways resembles the Jewish holocaust that took place in Germany. Absent a robust media spotlight, the inherent socio-political fragility and efforts to obfuscate the facts by varnishing rosy layers over traumatic events make the former far less glaring. Notwithstanding the ongoing bid to contain the bad publicity generated by the campaign, the grief stands, the wound itches and the trauma resonates across Oromos from all walks of life.

Across continental Europe, the denial of the holocaust constitutes a legal and moral offense penalized by applicable criminal laws. For instance, in Austria, under the 1945 criminal statute, which was amended in 1992, the denial of the Holocaust is punishable by a prison term of up to ten years. In 2006, in one of the most publicized cases, an Austrian court convicted David Irving, a British writer, for Holocaust denial and sentenced him to three years in prison.

Similarly, in France, Robert Faurisson a professor of literature) was convicted in 1991 for contesting that holocaust doesn’t constitute a crime against humanity under a French criminal law.

Faurisson subsequently appealed his case before the UN Human Rights Committee (a quasi- judicial body with the mandate to monitor international human rights) by contending that the law curtails his right to freedom of expression and academic freedom. The Committee upheld the legality of the French legislation by noting that France’s introduction of the law was intended to serve the struggle against racism. From Spain to Germany there are simply a plethora of examples to prove that laws criminalizing the denial of historical injustice are not in violation of the normative framework of freedom of expression.

Jurisprudentially speaking, freedom of speech is not and has never been an absolute right. It has a number of justifiable and legitimate exceptions. Article 8(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights, one of the most progressive protection instruments, stipulates similar kinds of grounds limiting the bounds of freedom of speech. Article 29(6) of Ethiopian constitution, in theory, sets a fine limit on freedom of speech to protect against injury to others’ human dignity. In the eyes of most Oromos, nothing is more injurious and offensive than the denial of historical injustice perpetrated by Menilik and his successors.

In fact, Menilik’s atrocities could easily be placed under crimes against humanity and war crimes. For those who argue that violence during Menelik’s time was the order of the day, it is enough to note that several international customary laws that regulate heinous crimes were fully operational dating back a century ago. In addition, no law bars the retroactive regulation of these crimes. For example, after WWII, at the Nuremberg Trials for German war criminals the terms laid down in the 1907 Hague Convention were retroactively used in sync with other laws and customs of war.

Ultimately, whether justice is administered or not, Menilik’s atrocities in the south cannot be cherry-picked for expedient political goals. Efforts to disassociate Menilik’s brutal war from the normative framework of customary rules of crimes against humanity and war crimes are shallow and obloquies.

In a specific reference to the non-limitation statute regarding crimes against humanity, article 28 of the current the Ethiopian Constitution gives a weighty tone to the intolerance of the law toward past perpetrators and their current idolizers.

Besides these legal regulations, the recognition of Menilik’s brutality by Oromia regional government itself speaks volume. The inference is clear: honoring the Oromo martyrdom at Anole and Calanqo with a memorial statue is a first important step in the establishment of a historical and legal truth.

The ramification is that any act of idolizing and glorifying the past injustice is offensive to the Oromo people. If justice was administered as per applicable local and international laws, Teddy and the Menilikians have no legitimate right to glorify these injustices.

Yet, much more remains for young generation of Oromos to continue to deconstruct Ethiopia’s fictionalized history and reconstruct Oromo historical narratives in order to reclaim their agency.

The Imbroglio of Ethiopian Emperor and Theory of State-Formation

In response to the campaign, in sync with Teddy’s hagiography, several pundits tried to cast Ethiopian emperors as unifiers and state builders. Some even went so far as to equate Menelik with American unionists. They alleged that state-formation normally exhibits and comes at the cost of violence and war. And that Ethiopia’s was no exception to this rule. A quick glance at the theory of state-building might help these pseudo scholars out of their confusion. Hobbes’s and Locke’s “social contract theory” presupposes the existence of “State of Nature”, where individuals are entitled to an absolute right, including even the right to kill each other over fulfillments of their interests.

According to Hobbe’s, in this state of nature which solemnly favors the most powerful group only the strongest survives. The society has to come together under a “covenant” and agree to voluntarily pass over their authority to a sovereign body, which is duly authorized to look over all members of a society pursuant to “the contract or the agreement.”

Here, such a covenant presupposes a voluntary and consensual agreement as opposed to a brutal and targeted massacre of specific groups in the society. This is how a supposedly unorganized society (living in a state of nature) is legitimately and sanely metamorphosed into a modern polity or nation-state. Seen through this lens, the glorification of Menilik as a nation builder – as often shamelessly claimed by neo-feudalists – is utterly ridiculous and a gross distortion of reality.

Instead, Menilik’s brutal killings and imperialistic expansion illustrates the gloomy shadow of the “State of Nature.” Menelik and his successors never tried to create a polity based on a social contract. In many respects, Ethiopia is still a continuation of its imperial past – stuck in Hobbe’s state of nature.

That is why pro-Menilik activists and those with unexamined and superfluous knowledge of history continue to suppress efforts to reform and redefine the notion of home and national state in Ethiopia.

Dream as they might, the era of monopoly over historical facts is long gone, never to return. Oromo people have reclaimed much that has been lost and now own their narratives. The successful execution of #BoycottBedele campaign is but a dramatic example of a resurgent voice that no amount of hullabaloo can dwarf.

*Henok G.Gabisa is a Visiting International Law Fellow at Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington Virginia. He can be reached atGabisaH@wlu.edu

The real Hero

Inni kunis ilma Geexeen deesse akkuma Asaffaa Sharoo Lammii.
Minilik and Hayile Sellassee did never fought Italians, as dictators just claimed the credit.

Here is the real man, the real hero, Who made real fight and defeated Italians at Adowa in 1896.

Mohammed Ali (King Mika’el, 1850- 1918), an Oromo, was born in Wollo. His father was Imam Ali Abba Bula and his mother was aadde Geexee. Mohammed Ali was a relative of Queen Worqitu of Wollo. He was the father of Iyasu. Mohammed Ali Abba Bula (Ras/King Mika’el) led the feared Oromo cavalry against the invading Italians at the Battle of Adowa. An Italian brigade began a fighting retreat towards the main Italian positions. However, the brigade inadvertently marched into a narrow valley where Ras Mika’el’s cavalry slaughtered them while shouting “Reap! Reap!” (Ebalgume! Ebalgume!). The remains of the brigade’s commander were never found. ‘Negus Mikael (Ali) of Wollo—-father of Lij Iyasu V—-lead a fearless and feared Oromo cavalry of fighters in the Battle of Adwa in 1896, wiping out an entire Italian brigade.)’ http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com/post/12623441087/zulu-rose-ras-mikael-ali-of-wollo-and-the

George Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley, Campaign of Adowa (1902), quoted in Lewis, Fashoda, p. 118.
He was the founder of Dessie (Deessee) as his Oromo capital.

Photo: Inni kunis ilma Geexeen deesse akkuma Asaffaa Sharoo Lammii.<br /><br /><br />
Minilik and Hayile Sellassee did never fought Italians, as dictators just claimed the credit.</p><br /><br />
<p>Here is the real man, the real hero, Who made real fight and defeated Italians at Adowa in 1886.</p><br /><br />
<p>Mohammed Ali (King Mika'el, 1850- 1918), an Oromo, was born in Wollo. His father was Imam Ali Abba Bula and his mother was aadde Geexee. Mohammed Ali was a relative of Queen Worqitu of Wollo. He was the father of Iyasu. Mohammed Ali Abba Bula (Ras/King Mika'el) led the feared Oromo cavalry against the invading Italians at the Battle of Adowa. An Italian brigade began a fighting retreat towards the main Italian positions. However, the brigade inadvertently marched into a narrow valley where Ras Mika'el's cavalry slaughtered them while shouting "Reap! Reap!" (Ebalgume! Ebalgume!). The remains of the brigade's commander were never found. 'Negus Mikael (Ali) of Wollo—-father of Lij Iyasu V—-lead a fearless and feared Oromo cavalry of fighters in the Battle of Adwa in 1896, wiping out an entire Italian brigade.)' http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com/post/12623441087/zulu-rose-ras-mikael-ali-of-wollo-and-the</p><br /><br />
<p>George Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley, Campaign of Adowa (1902), quoted in Lewis, Fashoda, p. 118.<br /><br /><br />
He was the founder of Dessie (Deessee) as his  Oromo capital.

http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com/post/12623441087/zulu-rose-ras-mikael-ali-of-wollo-and-the

Copyright © OromianEconomist 2013 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

‘For history students, the coagulation of Menelikites, with their core extreme ideology of “Galla Geday” (Oromo Killer) is identical to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the USA. Following the Civil War, the US Congress directed reconstruction of the war torn states and the society. In the South, the policies of Reconstruction aimed at extending the rights of blacks. However, the policy also injured the moral of the slave-owners, giving rise to the KKK, which immediately began organizing to perpetrate systematic violence in opposition to the new social order. KKK unleashed terror against former slaves, but also Northern teachers, judges, and politicians. Historians see the creation of KKK as a true sign of the death of slavery. The “Galla Geday” of Ethiopia, with a minute scale and unlikely chance to grow to any capacity of treat, also marks the beginning of the end of Amhara supremacy. This unheard of celebration of a death instead of a birth of an emperor has become a new motto, a new uniting slogan of Menelik’s ethnic tribe that suffered great defeats economically and politically over the last few decades, just like the KKK advocated a wave of dogma to affirm the existence and interest of slave owners. The profligate claim to greatness by way of a brutal emperor fails to serve good for Ethiopia simply because the wounds of Menelik’s barbaric expansion are not allowed to heal for good. It also cultivates and grows hate among peoples.’http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/new-statue-for-menelik/

Nuding Ethiopian History and the Naked Political Reply from Right Wingers

http ://birhanumegersalenjiso.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/nuding-ethiopian-history-and-naked.html?spref=fb

The Strange Twist in Amhara Politics: Rehabilitating Past Tyrants

shaggar

article1There are people who thrive on the fame of the dead. Indeed there are people who thrive on the noxious fumes of dead zombies. One such person is Tedy Afro who continued living on the dead spirit of Abyssinian worst dictators. This article is in response to Teddy Afro’s latest Album, the album which Tedy wrongly labeled Tikur Sew.  My intention is not to educate Tedy or any other Habesha musician. The objective of this article is to indicate how Tedy abused music and also how he wronged the late Emperor Menelik II by mislabelling the Caucasian Emperor as a black man.

Purpose of music

Humanity employed music for several purposes, positive as well as negative. Music has been part of human experience in every culture and society since time immemorial. From the earliest cultures of humankind until now music has been used to express a wide range of human…

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A Call for an End to Ethiopia’s Endless Violence Against Oromo Nation January 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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The following is an Urgent Action statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA). HRLHA is a nonpolitical organization (with the UN Economic and Social Council – (ECOSOC) Consultative Status), which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. January 12, 2014. Press Release.
http://gadaa.com/oduu/23826/2014/01/13/ethiopia-a-call-for-an-end-to-the-endless-violence-against-oromo-nationals/

In the past twenty-two years, the peoples of Ethiopia and the outside world have witnessed the EPRDF Government’s incarceration of hundreds of thousands of Oromo Nationals from all walks of life in jails, unofficial detention centers and concentration camps simply for allegedly being members or supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and some other opposition political organizations. Due to the inappropriate and inhuman treatments by the government security members, hundreds of Oromos have died, suffered from physical disabilities resulting from tortures, and most of those who were taken to court were given harsh sentences, including life in prison and capital punishments or death penalty. Oromo intellectuals, businessmen, and the members of legally operating Oromo parties (for example, the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM)) have been among the victims of the EPRDF/TPLF Government’s suppressive political system. The most worrisome is that the Oromo youth, who were even born after the EPRDF/TPLF government came to power, have become the major victims of the Government’s brutalities under the same allegations of supporting and/or sympathizing with Oromo opposition political organizations. In the past decade or so, thousands of young Oromo students of universities, colleges, high schools and intermediate academic institutions have been criminalized for allegedly being member or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front. A lot of them have killed and tortured, and thousands are still languishing behind bars, while thousands others have been banned from being part of any level of educational opportunities; and, as a result, they have become jobless, homeless, etc. Tenth of thousands have fled their homeland and become refugees in neighboring countries.

In the same manner and for the same reasons, the most recent cases of arrests and imprisonments have taken place in Gujjii Zone of Oromia State. According to the HRLHA’s informant in Gujii, more than 45 Oromo nationals have been arrested by the Federal police forces without court warrant at different times since August 25, 2013 to December 2013. This was mainly in the districts of Gorodolo, Girja and Bore of the Gujjii Zone. Most of the victims of these most recent extrajudicial actions have reportedly been taken a detention centre in Negele Town. Victims of this particular operation include members of the legally operating opposition Oromo political party of the Federalist Congress (OFC), as well as high school teachers, students of elementary and high schools, college and university students in various parts of the Gujjii Zone.

According to reports obtained by HRLHA, on August 25, 2013, the federal police arrested 8 college students from Harekello town in Goro-Dola district; and on the following day, police searched houses of many residents of the town without court warrant, and arrested another 3 more people. Among them was a high school teacher called Gobena Gemeda. The alleged reason for the arrest, detention, and search of homes in this particular campaign was the distribution and posting of leaflets in the town with contents condemning the discrimination of the government against the Gujjii Oromos. Among those who were arrested and detained, 6 people, including kedir A/ Bundha, Gobena Gemeda and Shako Bura, were released after a week; while the following five students are still in detention center in Negele Prison, according to the information HRLHA has obtained.

Imprisoned Oromo Nationals
Imprisoned Oromo Nationals
The legally registered Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) officials and cadres, who were genuinely working for their people on behalf of their party, were also accused of allegedly being sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and arrested in Adolla town in Gujjii and in Bule Hora district of Borana Zone. Among them was Mr. Borama Jano, elected parliament member from the districts of Bore and Anna-Sorra. He was arrested on November 15, 2013, and is still detained at Adolla Police Station. Two OFC organizing cadres – Mr. Hirbaayyee Galgalo and Uturaa Adulaa – were arrested in Bulehora Wereda of Borena Zone in December 2013.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these Oromo nationals who have been picked up arbitrarily from different places at different times and are being held at various detention centers. The Ethiopian government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens, who were suspected of supporting, sympathizing with and/or being members of the opposition political organizations. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other secret detention centers.

The HRLHA calls upon the Ethiopia Government to refrain from systematically eliminating the young generation of Oromo nationals and respect all international human rights standards in general, and of civil and political rights of the citizens it has signed in particular. HRLHA demands that the Ethiopian Government unconditionally release those arrested most recently as well as all other political detainees.

HRLHA also calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand the immediate halt of such kinds of extra-judicial actions against one’s own citizens, and release the detainees without any preconditions.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned government ministries and/or officials as swiftly as possible, both in English and Amharic, or your own language:

Gadaa.comExpressing concerns regarding the apprehension and fear of torture of the citizens who are being held in different detention centers, including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;

Gadaa.comRequesting to refrain from detaining, harassing, discriminating against Oromo Nationals;

Gadaa.comUrging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners;

Gadaa.comAlso, send your concerns to diplomatic representatives in Ethiopia – who are accredited to your country.

• Office of Prime Minister of Ethiopia
P.O. Box – 1031, Addis Ababa
Telephone – +251 155 20 44; +251 111 32 41
Fax – +251 155 20 30; +251 155 20 20

• Office of Min. of Justice
P.O. Box 1370, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251 11 551 77 75; +251 11 552 08 74
Email: ministry-justice@telecom.net.et

——-
Cc:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: + 41 22 917 9022
(particularly for urgent matters) E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org

African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
48 Kairaba Avenue
P.O. Box 673
Banjul, The Gambia
Tel: (220) 4392 962, 4372070, 4377721 – 23
Fax: (220) 4390 764
E-mail: achpr@achpr.org

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
Tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
Fax: + 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53

U.S. Department of State
Tom Fcansky – Foreign Affairs Officer
Washington, D.C. 20037
Tel: +1-202-261-8009
Fax: +1-202-261-8197
Email: TOfcansky@aol.com

Amnesty International – London
Tom Gibson
Telephone: +44-20-74135500
Fax number: +44-20-79561157
Email: TGibson@amnesty.org

Human Rights Watch – New York
Leslie Lefkow
lefkowl@hrw.org; rawlenb@hrw.org
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax:+1-212-736-1300
Email: hrwnyc@hrw.org

http://www.unpo.org/article/16742

http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/afr250112011en.pdf

OUTCOME OF PERSECUTION IN ETHIOPIA: 3,000 TO 5,000 OROMO HOMELESS KIDS IN HARGEISA

Outside downtown Hargeisa’s central market

No matter how prosperous Somaliland might become, it’s doubtful that any of that good fortune will trickle down to Hargeisa’s homeless children—young outcasts living completely on their own who are at best ignored and at worst abused and treated like vermin. They are a near-constant presence, crawling around the shadows of alleys and squares in a city where poverty and wealth butt heads on nearly every street corner: shiny new office blocks sit beside ancient shacks, currency traders have set up open-air stands where they display piles of cash, Hyundais brush past donkeys down the city’s sole paved street.

Behind that street is a café that serves up coffee and soup to midmorning breakfasters. This is where I first met Mohamed. “Salam,” he said quietly after I introduced myself.

Mohamed told me that if he sleeps too close to the skyscraper that shields him from the light of dawn, a security guard beats him with an acacia branch until he bleeds. I noticed that he had an old lemonade bottle tucked under his filthy sweatshirt. It was filled with glue, perhaps the only escape he has from his harsh existence. He took huffs every few minutes as he spoke to me: “I could stop. I could definitely stop. But it’s hard… And why?”

According to the Hargeisa Child Protection Network, there are 3,000 to 5,000 homeless youth in the city, most of whom are Oromo migrants from Ethiopia. Around 200 a year complete the voyage through Somaliland and across the Gulf of Aden into Yemen, where they attempt to cross the border to Saudi Arabia and find work; many more don’t make it.

For more than four decades the Oromo have been fleeing persecution in Ethiopia, where they have long been politically marginalized. Mohamed arrived in Somaliland as part of this ongoing migration. Five years ago, he told me, his family made the 500-mile trek from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to Hargeisa. The Somaliland government claims up to 80,000 illegal immigrants—mostly Ethiopians—reside in its territory. Many of them trickled in through the giant border of Ogaden, a vast, dusty outback on the edge of Ethiopia’s Somali Region (the easternmost of the country’s nine ethnic divisions, which, as the name implies, is mostly populated by ethnic Somalis). Some travel in cars arranged by fixers. Others make the long journey on foot. Almost all won’t make it past the border without a bribe. Given their options, a few bucks for freedom seemed liked the best deal for Mohamed’s family. But after their migration, things only got worse.

A short time after his family arrived in Somaliland—he’s not sure exactly when—Mohamed’s father died of tuberculosis. Quickly running out of options, he left his mother in a border town called Borama to try to eke out a living, working whatever job was available some 90 miles away in Hargeisa.

Instead Mohamed ended up where he is now, wandering around the city with his friends and fellow Ethiopian migrants Mukhtar and Hamza (all three have adopted Muslim-sounding names to better blend into the local population). Their days mostly consist of shining shoes for 500 Somaliland shillings (seven cents) a pop and taking many breaks in between jobs to sniff glue.

On a good day, the boys will combine their meager earnings and pay to sleep on the floors of migrant camps on the outskirts of town, where persecuted people from all over East Africa live in corrugated shanties in the desert. If they don’t shine enough shoes, it’s back to the storm drain. “I live in the walls,” Mukhtar said. “No one knows me.”

Though they fled Ethiopia to escape persecution, the Oromo migrants often endure even worse treatment in Hargeisa. The first time I met Mohamed’s friend Hamza he was plodding through the crowd at an outdoor restaurant, offering shoe shines in the midday sun. An older man dressed in a cream apparatchik suit like a James Bond villain sitting next to me shouted at the child, who cowered, turned, and ran away. “Fucking kids,” he said to me in perfect English. “God can provide for them.”

Mohamed poses for the camera while Ibrahim takes a hit from a glue bottle behind him.

Mohamed poses for the camera while Ibrahim takes a hit from a glue bottle behind him.

Reports by the local press on Hargeisa’s growing homeless- youth population have done nothing to help the kids’ reputation. The authorities have told journalists that street kids are the city’s gravest security threat amid a backdrop of tables covered with gruesome shivs, shanks, and machetes supposedly confiscated from the wily urchins. “The grown-up street children have become the new gangsters,” local police chief Mohamed Ismail Hirsi told the IRIN news agency in 2009.

Officials are similarly apathetic to the notion of helping the young migrants get out of their rut, likely because Somaliland and Somalia are already dealing with enough horrific humanitarian crises without having to worry about another country’s displaced people—in 2012, the number of Somalis fleeing their own country topped a million.

Somaliland boasts “a vibrant traditional social-welfare support system,” according to its National Vision 2030 plan—a grand scheme unveiled in 2012 that aims to continue to improve the region’s standard of living. The plan also acknowledges that “there are, however, times when vulnerable groups such as street children, displaced people, young children, and mothers are excluded from traditional social safety nets [and] the government… has a responsibility to intervene.” So far, the only evidence that the government intends to follow through with the plan is a struggling 400-capacity orphanage in Hargeisa. Unsurprisingly, government officials in Somaliland refused repeated requests for comment on this issue or any other issues pertaining to this article.

At the Somaliland government’s last count, in 2008, the region’s population was 3.5 million, but with so many people flooding in from the south and Ethiopia each year, it’s impossible to say how many hundreds of thousands more live there now. It’s hard to assign all the blame to the burgeoning nation’s embattled and overwhelmed authorities; there’s simply no room and too few resources to think too deeply about glue-addicted kids roaming the streets.

One claim that the government can’t make is that these kids have chosen to live in squalor; for them, there are no viable alternatives. Somaliland offers no government-funded public education—schools are generally run by NGOs, and other private groups rarely accept Oromo children as students. Even if they did, enrollment would be a nightmare because the vast majority of these kids are without identification, homes, or relatives living nearby. They’re often left on their own to scratch out an existence in a city that hates them and offers them next to nothing.

Ismail Yahye, who works for the Save the Children campaign, used to be a Somaliland street kid himself. He despairs at the pipe dreams they are fed before relocating from Ethiopia—many leave home believing the rumors about how life is so much better in Somaliland.

“The main reasons they come here are for economic prosperity and job opportunities,” he said. “They pay bribes at the border and come by foot. They can’t return. They’re trapped.”

The Hargeisa Child Protection Network reports that 88 percent of the city’s homeless children have suffered some form of sexual abuse or harassment. All of the boys I met denied having been raped or abused during their time on the streets, but my fixer told me he strongly believed that they were too ashamed and scared to admit to any such incidents.

In this very unfriendly and inhospitable city, a Somali American named Shafi is one of the few residents who goes out of his way to help the kids. In another life, Shafi was a drug dealer in Buffalo, New York, a job that landed him in prison before he cleaned up his act and decided to return to the city of his birth to do good. Now he provides Hargeisa’s street urchins with the occasional meal, helps them organize games of soccer or basketball, and finds safe places where they can stay at night. But he is only one man and knows he can’t save them all. Most still end up sleeping in the drains, left to die of starvation or diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid fever. “I’ve carried quite a few dead children through these streets,” he told me.

Many kids earn small amounts of cash doing menial tasks like shoe-shining and washing cars. Others find work running alcohol, which is illegal in the Muslim state. If you ever find yourself at a party in one of Hargeisa’s sprawling, plush villas, chances are the gin in your gimlet was smuggled into the country by a kid who sleeps in a gutter.

It was with Shafi’s help that I was first able to meet Hargeisa’s Oromo children. He told me the best place to find them was around the convenience stores they visit daily to buy fresh glue. On our first attempt and without much searching, Shafi and I found a couple of kids who appeared to be homeless hanging out in an alley near a school. We spoke with them for a bit, and when I felt that everyone was comfortable I pulled out my camera. Before I could take their photos, a guy who said he was an off-duty cop appeared out of nowhere. He approached us, shouting at me in gravelly Somali and quickly confiscating the bottles of glue from the kids.

“He called you a pedophile,” Shafi translated, adding that it would benefit me to reimburse the boys for their stolen solvents.

After the cop left, one of the boys grew somber. “I hope I stop using,” he said. As he spoke I noticed the painful sores etched across his face. “I just miss my family. I haven’t seen them in years. I’m alone and no one helps me.”

The stigma that surrounds these children is such that even those trying to help them are treated with suspicion—as are reporters hoping to tell their story, as I found out the hard way one night while Shafi and I were trying to track down Mohamed and his friends.

It was a typical breezy fall evening, full of the usual scenes: men sipping tea and debating loudly, women and children hustling soup and camel meat, a mess of car horns cleaving the air. Shafi was sure the kids were nearby, but that didn’t mean much because they usually try to remain hidden so as not to cause a scene.

It didn’t take much time to spot Hamza’s tattered bootleg Barcelona soccer jersey peeking out from behind the edge of a wall. As we approached, more kids appeared from behind parked cars and emerged from alleys, and some even popped out of a nearby storm drain. Within minutes more than two dozen homeless children had surrounded us, clamoring for cash and posing for pictures. An empty square in the middle of town had suddenly transformed into a glue-sniffers’ agora.

Our time with the kids didn’t last long. A couple minutes later an old man who was lounging outside a nearby café decided he’d had enough, sprung to his feet, walked over to us, and began hitting me and the kids with his walking stick.

Some of the children scattered. Others stayed, presumably with the hope that holding out for the payout from the Western journalist would be worth the licks. In a surreal moment, as the old man continued to swing his stick and scream, one boy, who said his name was Hussein, walked over and, huffing on his glue pot, told me about his hopes and dreams. “I want to be a doctor,” he said, staggering about and staring straight through me. “Sometimes I dream when I get hungry. But there’s no food here, no help. I expected a better life. I don’t now. But sometimes, I wish.”

Just then, a scuffle broke out—the old man had lured a couple of his friends into the argument, and they came to the collective decision to grab me and smash my camera. Shafi and my driver, Mohammed, struggled to hold them back.

Two cops arrived on the scene soon after the scuffle. Instead of punishing the old man for attacking the kids and trying to destroy my camera, they dragged me off to a festering cinder-block carcass covered in graffiti that serves as the local jail.

“You cannot photograph the children without their permission,” the more senior cop said, pointing to my camera. “They do not want you to photograph them.”

Shafi translated as I tried to explain to the policeman that that the kids were clearly desperate forsomeone to be interested in their plight, and that they were even posing for pictures. That’s when I stopped, realizing that the subject wasn’t up for debate. It was clear that writing about or photographing these street children was taboo.

In the end, I compromised by deleting most of the photos I had taken and then sat in a corner of the jail while my driver, Mohammed, and my captors read one another’s horoscopes outside the gates.

A couple hours later I was released. Mohammed was waiting for me outside, and he immediately pulled me aside to tell me something that I had already accepted the moment I entered the jail: my reporting on the children had come to an end.

Mohammed looked unnerved. “We can leave now, Insha’Allah… The kids thing is over. They are invisible.” http://danieltadesse.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/outcome-of-persecution-in-ethiopia-3000-to-5000-oromo-homeless-kids-in-hargeisa/

In its January 6, 2014  Urgent Action and Appeale, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)  has also expresses its deep concern about the safety of civilians in South Sudan – who have been trapped in the conflict zone between the government troops and the opposition group militia led by former Vice President Riek Machar- since mid-December 2013. The original conflict broke out between President Salva Kiir’s SPLA government forces and rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar around the strategically located town of Bor on December 15, 2013; it quickly spread out from Bor to the north to Unity State and south to the Central Equatoria State, where the capital city, Juba, is located.

Since the conflict broke out, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed and more than 300,000 displaced according to reports by HRLHA’s informants in Juba. Social services and basic necessity supplies for communities are almost paralyzed while tribal tensions and localized conflicts are on the rise.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa calls upon the United Nations (UN), African Unity (AU) and sub-regional organizations to work together to halt the current crisis and rescue the youngest country before it escalates into an uncontrollable civil war. The HRLHA also calls upon the two opponents to resume immediate direct talks to resolve their differences thorough negotiation. http://gadaa.com/oduu/23816/2014/01/12/hrlha-on-south-sudan-immediate-action-needed-to-rescue-the-youngest-country-from-collapse/

 A meeting on Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia took place at the House Commons, UK.

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