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Africa: A resurgent “Dictators’ Club” July 30, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Tyranny, Undemocratic governance in Africa, Youth Unemployment.
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‘The international community’s failure to demonstrate strong opposition to the antidemocratic trajectory of many African countries is allowing authoritarian heads of state to gain more power and influence. The United States should single out and prioritize the needs of the few African leaders working to comply with international law and to promote democratic governance domestically and regionally. One way Washington can do this is by acknowledging and giving preference to the democratic states participating in the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit next week. If current trends are not thwarted, the future of the continent could fall under the control of a resurgent “Dictators’ Club.”’

 

“Repressive leaders are also copying one another’s laws, which collectively undermine basic freedoms for the continent’s citizens. In 2009, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia enacted the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which essentially aimed to eliminate independent civil society activity. Within a few years, Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya had introduced nearly identical laws, which are muzzling the work of human rights defenders, the independent media, local journalists, and members of the political opposition across East Africa.”

 

 

Reemergence of the African Rat Pack

(Freedom House, 30 July 2014) The reemergence of unconditional solidarity among Africa’s incumbent leaders is threatening respect for human rights and good governance throughout the continent. The phenomenon is obviously bad for the people of Africa and for the overall progress of democracy. But the worst consequence of many African leaders’ support for even their most authoritarian colleagues is the growing regional acceptance—and in some cases promotion—of deeply repressive policies.

Strong bilateral relationships in Africa, for instance between Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, are undercutting domestic and regional democratic frameworks. In Zimbabwe’s 2013 election, Zuma—acting as the chief election facilitator for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)—disregarded his obligation under the organization’s Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections to maintain neutrality by publicly rebuking a technical team for questioning the election preparations. Zuma then endorsed Mugabe’s reelection on behalf of SADC, even when clear evidence of vote rigging emerged, which Botswana cited as another violation of SADC’s guidelines. Nevertheless, Zuma stood by his counterpart in Zimbabwe, bolstering the idea that the region’s entrenched leaders can rely on one another in their efforts to maintain power, even if this means violating their own democratic standards.

This type of solidarity in Southern Africa has extended beyond domestic affairs to include limiting citizens’ access to justice on a regional level, as clearly demonstrated by the disbandment of the SADC Tribunal, launched in 2005 to enforce the SADC Treaty. The tribunal’s fate was sealed when it ruled that Zimbabwe’s seizure of land from white farmers without compensation was illegal and discriminatory. Mugabe refused to obey the decision, challenging the court’s authority and paving the way for its suspension in 2010. Despite the best efforts of civil society groups in the region, Southern Africa’s heads of state sided with Mugabe and voted to remove the individual mandate of the court, meaning victims of state abuse could no longer file cases against their governments. Not only was this a blow to human rights protection, but it also discouraged private-sector investment, as property owners would have no legal recourse beyond national courts. Once the SADC court ruled against the big man’s interests, political imperatives suddenly took precedence, and legal order was sidelined.

Repressive leaders are also copying one another’s laws, which collectively undermine basic freedoms for the continent’s citizens. In 2009, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia enacted the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which essentially aimed to eliminate independent civil society activity. Within a few years, Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya had introduced nearly identical laws, which are muzzling the work of human rights defenders, the independent media, local journalists, and members of the political opposition across East Africa.

A similar contagion effect occurred after the signing of what UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay referred to as “a piece of legislation that in so few paragraphs directly violates so many basic, universal human rights.” Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, signed early this year, went far beyond other anti-LGBTI laws by banning association with or operation of “gay” organizations. Instead of pushing back, many of the continent’s leaders supported Nigeria with their own repressive measures, including the signing of an “anti-homosexuality” bill in Uganda, the introduction of a draft law to criminalize gay and transgender people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the launching of a parliamentary caucus to ensure the implementation of anti-LGBTI laws in Kenya, and the refusal of justice for victims of homophobic attacks in Cameroon. Many argue that this is not surprising given the preceding rise in homophobic rhetoric from many African leaders, but since the Nigerian bill was enacted, attacks against LGBTI people across the continent have increased, even in more tolerant countries such as Côte d’Ivoire and Sénégal. Nigeria’s leadership catalyzed a steep regression for the protection of LGBTI individuals that could take decades to reverse.

Big-man interests are also driving a movement to withdraw en masse from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which would enable impunity for mass atrocities. Urged on by President Kenyatta, who is currently accused of crimes against humanity at The Hague, the African Union (AU) held a special meeting in October 2013 to discuss an ICC withdrawal. Due to the efforts of countries like Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Sénégal, the AU rejected the proposition, but Kenyatta succeeded in obtaining a resolution calling on the ICC to postpone his trial and to exempt sitting heads of state from international prosecution. As if this were not enough, an amendment to the newly established Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights was adopted at a June 2014 summit, giving immunity to African heads of state and senior government officials (yet to be defined) at what was supposed to be the continent’s new regional human rights court.

If the immunity amendment to the African court’s statute is ratified by AU member states, leaders will not be deterred from committing the same crimes of the past, and African citizens will have one less option for protection against human rights abuses. Furthermore, the amendment is entirely at odds with the normative frameworks already ratified by the AU member states to protect human rights, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Compliance with and enforcement of these frameworks are the best hope for strengthening democratic governance in Africa. However, these treaties, laws, and protocols will be useless if authoritarian leaders succeed in working together to ignore and actively undermine them.

It is therefore extremely important for countries like the United States to work actively with their African partners to uphold democratic principles on the continent. The international community’s failure to demonstrate strong opposition to the antidemocratic trajectory of many African countries is allowing authoritarian heads of state to gain more power and influence. The United States should single out and prioritize the needs of the few African leaders working to comply with international law and to promote democratic governance domestically and regionally. One way Washington can do this is by acknowledging and giving preference to the democratic states participating in the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit next week. If current trends are not thwarted, the future of the continent could fall under the control of a resurgent “Dictators’ Club.” Read @http://freedomhouse.org/blog/reemergence-african-rat-pack#.U9lHW9JDvys

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The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide: The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans – Wallaga 1992-93 July 28, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Colonizing Structure, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Hetosa, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, No to land grabs in Oromia, No to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Omo Valley, Oromia Support Group, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromian Voices, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Protests, Oromo students movement, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromo University students and their national demands, Stop evicting Oromo people from Cities, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide

(Part One)

The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans – Wallaga 1992-93

By  Mekuria Bulcha*

 

“…. many of us lost our parents and relatives and were cared for by the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) for our survival and wellbeing. With the support of the international community and Oromos abroad, some 1,700 of us have been taken care of in exile in the Blue Nile Province of the Sudan. … The ORA gave us the chance to survive” (from a letter by “Raagaa”, one of the ORA children 1993).

“The life of those of us who did not experience the sweet love of parents, but had known only an organization [ORA] was devastated when the organization collapsed; we were left alone without relations. There are many who shared my misfortune; regrettably the whereabouts of many of them remains a mystery” (from an interview by the author with another former ORA child, Leensaa, March 2014).

“We appeal to you to do all you can to shed light upon the fate of the more than 1,600 children from ORA camp in Kobor. Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra and all others?” (from a letter sent by the teachers and pupils of Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule to Dr. Klaus Kinkel, German Minister of Foreign Affairs, November 2, 1992)

Introduction

The three quotations presented above are from documents used in writing this article and reflect, in one way or another, the fate of about 1,700 Oromo children who were looked after by the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) in the refugee camps of Yabus, Damazin and Bikoree in the late 1980s. The first quote is from a letter written by one of the ORA children to the ORA office in Germany after he escaped from the Dhidheessa concentration camp in 1993. “Ragaa” is a fictive name as the letter writer lives in Ethiopia. The second quote is from an interview with Leensa Getaachoo who was one of the ORA orphans. First incarcerated at the age of ten in 1994, she had been in seven Ethiopian prisons before she fled from Ethiopia in 2000. A brief account of her more than a decade-long odyssey across three continents and her sojourn in six countries in search of a safe haven is included in the last section of this article. The last quotation is from a letter written by students and teachers of a school in Germany appealing to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help them find out the whereabouts of the ORA orphans. Their school supported the ORA project materially and the pupils were pen friends with the ORA children.

The main purpose of this article is to shed light on what happened to the ORA children in western Oromia during the summer months of 1992. Associating them with the Oromo Liberation (OLF), the Tigrayan Liberation Front (TPLF) imprisoned hundreds of them in 1992 and 1993 along with thousands of Oromo civilians and OLF fighters in the Dhidheessa concentration camp. Although I knew that many of the ORA children were imprisoned, I only got a hint of the full magnitude of the crime committed against themlast year when I came across a report written in 1996 by the UK based Oromia Support Group (OSG Press Release No. 13, 1996). The OSG wrote about the flight of the ORA children and their guardians chased by the TPLF forces. The report noted that“After three weeks on the run, with rain, mud, hunger and sleeping rough in the bush, the remaining 600 or so children were attacked in the Gunfi area.…. Local informants claim that the fleeing children were hunted like kurupé, a small antelope which leaps to see its way while fleeing through tall vegetation.” (Emphasis mine) This reminded me of what I read about the now extinct indigenous inhabitants of the island of Tasmania. They were hunted and killed by white settlers just like wild game and were exterminated. It is embarrassing that we have failed to record the story of the ORA children properly during the last twenty-two years. However, I believe that it is our obligation to record their story now and bring it to the attention of particularly the Oromo people. As the first two quotations above indicate, most of the children were parentless; the majority had no families to remember them. It is our duty to remember them by recording their story.

An inquiry into the intention of the crime is another aim of the article. The crime was carried out systematically and over a long period of time. The question is: why? Why did the TPLF forces chase children and adolescents for over three months and capture or kill them, when they knew that they were unarmed youth and that the adults accompanying them were not fighters but their guardians? Based on information gathered through interviews and the description of the manner in which the TPLF security forces have treated them inside and outside the concentration camps, the article will argue that politicide,[1] was perpetrated against the ORA orphans. The TPLF was in an open war with the OLF when the children were massacred in the summer months of 1992.  Consequently, it wouldn’t be farfetched to argue, as I will do in this article, that the atrocities committed by the TPLF against the ORA children and their guardians constitute a war crime.

Thirdly, the article will show that the persecution of the ORA children was a springboard for the TPLF policy of liquidating those individuals and groups its makers see as bearers of the seeds of Oromo nationalism, and that this has culminated in the current widespread war against Oromo students. I will describe, albeit briefly, the case of other Oromo children and youth who have been accused of “supporting” the OLF or branded as “terrorists” and treated with incredible cruelty.The many crackdowns on Oromo students during the past fifteen years, including the ongoing war against secondary school and university students throughout Oromia, which I will discuss in another forthcoming article, are guided by the same odious policy which led to the massacre and imprisonment of the ORA orphans. Based on my readings of its cruel treatment of the educated Oromo youth, my assessment of the main objective of the TPLF regime’s policy has been to deprive the Oromo nation of its current and future leaders. In short, what has been going on in Oromia since 1992 is clearly politicide. Oppressive Latin American dictatorships, which were led by military generals such Augusto Pinochet in Chile from 1973 to 1999, and Jorge Rafael Videla, Leopoldo Galtieri and others in Argentina between 1975 and 1983. Although not widely known and acknowledged, the politicide carried out against Oromo intellectuals, businessmen and students—who are often labelled by the TPLF regime as “OLF supporters” or “terrorists”—surpasses in its ferocity that of the Latin American dictators against the so-called communists. Its treatment of its Oromo victims is in many ways “dirtier” than the “Dirty Wars” which the Argentinian military dictators carried out against left wing politicians and others between 1975 and 1983. Politicide takes on genocidal characteristics when carried out against members of an ethnic, linguistic or “racial” community. The policy of the Tigrayan ruling elites against the Oromo displays these characteristics.

Sources of information

The article is based on information collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources comprise

  1. correspondence which I had with a former teacher and head of the ORA children’s project who was also with the children during their flight from the TPLF in western Oromia,
  2. written and telephone interviews with two former ORA children who live in an African country and one who lives in England,
  3. telephone interviews conducted with Oromos who were imprisoned by the Ethiopian regime in the 1990s. These Oromos, who are now scattered across different countries in Africa, North America and Europe and who know what happened to the children during the second half of 1992 or later.

I have consulted reports and documents from the archives of ORA as a secondary source of information.  These include a short letter written in Afaan Oromoo by one of the ORA children who were deported to the Dhidheessa concentration camp in June 1992. He escaped from the concentration camp in 1993 and found his way to Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) from where he wrote the letter to the ORA office in Germany. The letter was translated into English by Tarfa Dibaba. The other secondary source of information, an OSG (Oromia Support Group) report, was based on interviews with the surviving children, teachers, guardians and local Oromo population of western Oromia in 1996. The third document used here is a short article based on an interview given in 1994 by a former prisoner of the Dhidheessa concentration camp. The interview was in Afaan Oromoo and was translated to English by Yoseph Taera & Kathrin Schmitt and published as “An EPRDF Prison Camp from Inside” (see Oromo Commentary, Vol. VI (1), 1994). The informant was a detainee at the Dhidheessa concentration camp. Other documents obtained from the ORA archives in Germany include most of the photos used in the article, and a copy of the letter written by the teachers and pupils of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule of the city of Springe in Germany to the German Minister for Foreign Affairs in November 1992 mentioned above. The article has three short parts including this one. The second part will discuss imprisonment and death in the Dhidheessa concentration camp. The third part consists of short life stories of some of the children, both dead and alive.

The Oromo Relief Association: Its Origins and Objectives

The Oromo Relief Association (ORA) had its origin in a clandestine committee created during the dark days of the so-called Red Terror which was unleashed by the Dergue (the Ethiopian Military Regime) and devoured thousands of the educated youth in Ethiopia in 1977-78. The objective of the committee was to assist families whose breadwinners were jailed, had “disappeared” or had been killed. The committee was known as “Funding-raising Committee”, and functioned mainly in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). Oromo government employees and businessmen made contributions to assist the work of the clandestine committee. [2]

When it was formally established abroad in 1979, one of the objectives of ORA was to assist in bringing up the children of those Oromos who had died or were imprisoned because of their role in the national struggle for freedom. ORA provided humanitarian assistance to needy people in the OLF-held areas and offered medical and social service for Oromo refugees in the neighboring countries of the Horn of Africa. The Sudan was one of the countries in which the association was established and was recognized by its government.

ORA’s humanitarian activities in the Sudan

I visited the ORA offices in both Khartoum and Damazin in the Sudan for the first time in November 1981. From December 1982 to February 1983 I was again in the Sudan and could see the progress which the association was making in providing crucially needed services to Oromo refugee communities settled in the Blue Nile Province of the Sudan. In all the places I visited in the Sudan, the largest concentration of Oromo refugees was in Yabus, a district located south of Kurmuk town near the Ethiopian border.

Picture 1: The head of ORA, Fakadu Waaqjiraa in the ORA office in Khartoum, Sudan; Photo: Mekuria Bulcha, November 1981

Being one of the remotest districts in the Sudan, Yabus lacked not only a clinic and a school, but also all means of communication including roads. In February 1983, I presented a report entitled “Some Notes on the Conditions of Oromo, Berta and other Refugees in the Kurmuk District of the Blue Nile Province, Republic of Sudan” (Bulcha, 1983) to the UNHCR and NGOs in Khartoum, to raise awareness about the problems which were facing Oromo refugees in the remote districts of Sudan’s Blue Nile Province, particularly the health problems and high death rate among children. I also pointed out that the only organization which was assisting the refugees in the province was the ORA, and that it had almost no resources at its disposal to support even its staff. The UNHCR and NGOs responded positively to my short report. The UNHCR sent a staff member to Damazin and followed up the problem. Among NGOs was Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, who participated in providing medical service to Oromo refugees and the ORA children whose stories are given in this article. Researchers from Europe and the US were also in the region and to conduct further studies of the problem facing Oromo refugees.[3] The reportwas also presented during workshops organized by ORA support committees in some European countries.

Picture: 2. On the Road from Yabus to Darsumma near the Ethiopian boarder in 1983; Yabus was inaccessible by vehicle during the rainy season and barely accessible even during the dry season. The Toyota Land Cruiser was a donation from the ORA Support Committee in Holland and was fitted with spare parts for the rough terrain. The person standing farthest from the camera is the late ‘Goota Bobbaas’ Bunee (d.1991) veteran of both the Maccaa Tuulama Association and the OLF. Photo: Mekuria Bulcha, February 1983.

Picture: 3. a group of Oromo refugees in Yabus in 1983. Stranded in the middle of nowhere in inaccessible border areas, hundreds of Oromo refugees were suffering from hunger and diseases when I visited Yabus in 1983. Malaria and diarrheal diseases were taking their toll particularly among the children. Photo: Mekuria Bulcha, February 1983

Through hard work and assistance from Oromo Support Committees in Europe and the US, the ORA was able assist Oromo refugees in the Horn of Africa, particularly in the Sudan. Through its children’s program, the association provided education to young refugees, and took care of parentless children in shelters it had built in the Sudan (see Tarfa Dibaaba’s book: It is a Long Way: A Reflection on the History of the Oromo Relief Association (2011).

Picture 4a (Above Left): Tarfa Dibaba former head of ORA office in Germany and coordinator of ORA activities abroad at a school event in Oldenburg, Germany, talking about ORA and its activities;

Picture 4b (Right): Relief shipments with clothing, school material, toys, sports equipment and musical instruments for the ORA children in the Sudan arriving at the ORA office in Delmenhost, Germany.

Picture 5 Right: A child getting treatment with glucose under the shade of a tree in Yabus. Her name is Berhane; she fled to the Sudan with her parents and their neighbors who were displaced from Kusaayee, a village west of the town of Gidaami by the resettlement program of the Dergue. Berhane was only about 6 years old but in the picture she looks like an adult because of severe malnutrition. The ORA medical staff saved the lives of many children and adults in the remote refugee settlement of Yabus (Photo: Arfaasee Gammada, 1985)

Pcture 6 Left: Members of ORA-Germany Arfaasee Gammada and Gerda Klein, both of them trained nurses, in Yabus in 1985

The social backgrounds of the ORA children

As described in the first two quotations at the beginning of this article many of the children, who were supported and educated by ORA in its children centers in Yabus, Damazin and Bikoree in the Sudan, were parentless. They lost their parents and relatives during the Dergue period. Most of them were small when they came to the ORA camps. For example, the record shows that of the 244 children who fled Yabus to Damazin, 24 percent were between six and ten years old, 67 percent were between 11 and 15, and 9 percent from 15 to 17 years old (source:ORAdocuments, Berlin, Germany).

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Pictures 7a & 7b: Some of the ORA children in Yabus and in Damazin in the late 1980s (Photo: Tarfa Dibaba). 

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Picture 8a & 8b:  Some of the smallest ORA children in Yabus in 1988: In the forefront are the ‘inseparable sisters’ Sadiyyaa and Nuuriyya Tolasaa (see also 8b above, Photo: Tarfa Dibaba). Many of these children were viciously killed, imprisoned and tortured by TPLF’s forces in the 1990s.

The 1989 flight from Yabus

Quoting Amanda Heslop and Rachel Pounds of the London-based agency “Health Unlimited,” who were working as volunteers in Yabus as a teacher and a nurse respectively when it was attacked by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the New African (April, 1990) wrote “In mid-December 1989, Oromo children started arriving in an Oromo refugee camp in Damazin, Central Sudan in a severe state of malnutrition and shock. The New African added “They were orphaned children who, among 6,000 Oromo refugees, had fled from the South Sudanese town of Yabus”. According to another source (Dhaabaa, November 21, 2013) some of the children were moved to Damazin and the rest were sent to Bikoree when Yabus was attacked by the SPLA. The SPLA was fighting the Sudanese army and was backed by units of the Ethiopian army when it attacked Yabus.

Picture9Picture 9: The 244 children who fled from Yabus to Damazin in December 1989 were quartered in tents on their arrival. The tents and other ORA properties including trucks and large amounts of food in store were confiscated by the Sudanese government in 1992 supporting the Tigrayan regime in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). The tents were donated by the German Ministry for Development Aid. Photo Tarfa Dibaba

The children who were in the ORA children’s camps in the Sudan in the mid-1980s returned home in 1992. According to the ORA, the first batch of its1033 children returned to Oromia from Bikoree in early 1992. They were joined in May 1992 by 691 children from Damazin.  In addition to the 1,724 returnees from the Sudan, there were over 300 children in two camps—one in Caanqaa and the other Mummee Dhoqsaa in OLF controlled areas (source: Dhaaba as above). 

Following the demise of the Dergue regime, “Those from Bikore, aged 12-18, were moved to Asosa in 1991. Because of the poor security situation there, they were moved to a site near Mendi (Wallaga) for one year. Nearby clashes between the OLF and the TPLF forced them to be moved around April/May 1992 to Kobor, 10-20 km in the direction of Asosa from Begi” town. Soon after, “the 5-15 year olds” from Damazin also arrived in Kobor (OSG Press Release, No. 13, 1996).

“We were all full of joy to be back in our country”

Research on international migration shows that, irrespective of age, sex and profession, a spiritual and physical return to the lands of their ancestors is uppermost in the minds of most of those who find themselves outside of their homeland against their wishes. Indeed, the ORA children must have been very happy to return to their homeland. The parents of many of them had sacrificed their lives fighting for its freedom. In a letter he wrote to ORA-Germany, Raagaa, who escaped from the Dhidheessa concentration camp explained,

When the situation seemed favorable to move back to our country, arrangements were made to take us back to our home areas of western Wallaga. … First, we were taken to Mendi and from there to Begi. We did not see anything of the fighting between the TPLF and the OLF. We did not know anything about the problem. We did not see any armed units on the way. We enjoyed a short-lived peaceful time. We continued our regular lessons under shady trees and in small village schools and spent most of the time outside enjoying the cool climate of our country. We were all full of joy to be back in our country (emphasis mine).

Raagaa belongs to the batch of children who returned from Bikoree in early 1992. The joy he described above did not last long. Those who returned from Damazin in May 1992 did not get a chance to experience even the short-lived peaceful life that the returnees from Bikoree experienced. Their dream of a happy life in a free homeland was shattered by terror perpetrated by enemy forces who occupied their homeland. The children were deprived not only the right to live and grow in freedom and happiness in their ancestral homeland, but many of them were also deprived of the right to life itself.

A walk into a death trap

The return of the ORA children from Damazin to Oromia coincided with the encampment of the OLF forces which was mediated by representatives of the US and Eritrean governments and signed by the OLF and the TPLF, preparing the ground for elections planned to take place in June 1992. But that did not happen. As we all know, following the withdrawal of the OLF from the local elections scheduled for the third week of June, its camps were attacked by the TPLF soldiers, who were not encamped like those of the OLF.

Regrettably, it was not the peace and happiness for which the children were longing, but violence, horror and death that was waiting for them at home in the shape of a new enemy that had occupied it. Ironically, from the relative security in refugee camps in the Sudan, they walked into a death trap laid out by the TPLF-led regime in their homeland. The shelters for the children at Gabaa Jimaata (for those from Bikoree) and at Ganda Qondaala (for those from Damazin)—both near Kobor—were attacked as if they too were OLF camps. So were the smaller shelters at Mummee Dhoqsaa and Caanqaa. The fact that the shelters were both homes and schools for children was known to the public. This was not hidden from the TPLF troops. They would have been informed, not only by their intelligence agents, but were in the area for weeks before they started their murderous attack on the children. In other words, the assaults on the shelters were carried out with the intent of harming the children. At that time of the attack, 1,724 children who returned from the Sudan and 22 who joined them at home (altogether 1,746 children) lived with their 37 caretakers and 35 teachers in the two ORA children centers mentioned above. In addition, the two smaller centers at Caanqaa and Mummee Dhoqsaa run by the OLF, housed and supported about 300 internally displaced, poor or parentless children. All in all the assault targeted over 2000 children. According to Dhaabaa (November 21, 2013), at that time the children were receiving training in different skills in addition to the education given in public schools.

Describing what had happened to the children he had bravely tried to protect from the TPLF killers during their three-month long bewildering flight, Dhaaba (November 21, 2013) wrote,

Ijoolleen mirga namummaa, kabaja ijoollummaa isaani illee utuu hinsafeeffatamin addamsuun, irratti dhukaasuun, madaa’uu fi ajjeefamun akkasumas hidhaatti guuramuun carraa isaanii tahe”

Translated into English the statement reads,

“The children were denied human rights; they were hunted, shot at, wounded and killed. Those who were captured were dragged into prison in violation of ethics that ought to be respected. That became their fate.”

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Picture 10: A classroom in a school ran by ORA for refugee children in Damazin

As reflected in the eager faces of these pupils, children in refugee camps often have an amazing thirst for education. They see in it a better future. Regrettably, the life of these knowledge thirsty ORA children was cut short by the TPLF regime. They lacked protection, parental, organizational and legal. Photo: Tarfa Dibaba, 1988

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Picture 11Obbo Shifarraa was one of the assistant teachers and caretaker of ORA children in the ORA school in Damazin 

ORA and the OLF ran schools which taught classes up to grade six. This was also the case in areas under OLF control inside Oromia. It was here that together with the literacy classes that were given to Oromo refugees in different places in the Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia and elsewhere that the qubee based educational system adopted by all school Oromia in 1992 was laid down.

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Picture 12: Shows a classroom in Bikoree in 1990. It is difficult to say how many of these lovely kids were killed during the June-July 1992 TPLF onslaught or died in Dhidheessa concentration camp later. (Photo: Tarfa Dibaba)

Through Forests and Marshlands and Over Mountains with Killers on their Heels

Dhaba reported that they, the teachers and caretakers (hereafter the guardians), fled with the children into the Charphaa forest. From there, they sent some of the children away to Gidaami and some of them to Begi to look for relatives or hide among the local population. The TPLF forces arrived after sometime and opened fire on the group. In the shooting that followed some of the children were killed or injured. The children and their guardians fled from Carphaa to the Gaara Arbaa mountain range. Helped with information about the whereabouts of the TPLF forces provided by the sympathetic local population, they had been hitherto ahead of their hunters. However, soon aftertwo days after their arrival in Gaara Arbaa area, they detected that the TPLF fighters were building a ring around the forest wherein they were hiding. The children were forced to rush down the hillsides towardthe Dabus River. As the month of June is part of the season when the rainfalls are the heaviest, the valley had turned into a marshland and was covered with impenetrable tall elephant grass. Fleeing on foot through thewild and impenetrable vegetation was taxing. Blood-thirsty insects swarmed in the tall grass making travel through them immensely difficult and unbearable even to the most experienced adults: they had to fight off biting insects and struggle to walk through the grass at the same time. The children and their guardians found the Dabus was in full flood and unfordable on foot. Fortunately there were canoes owned by the locals. However, they carried only 2 or 3 individuals at a time. Therefore, it took many hours filled with fear and anxiety to take the children to the other side.  After ten days, the children and their caretakers came to Mummee Dhoqsaa on the banks of the Dillaa River, a tributary of the Dabus after ten days (Dhaabaa, December 9, 2013).

The Dillaa was also in flood and, as the children were trying to cross under similar stress and circumstances (as when they crossed the Dabus), the TPLF, whose soldiers were still on their heels opened fire on them in the Gunfi area. According the OSG report mentioned above, an unknown number of children were killed or wounded and some were captured by the soldiers. The rest were separated and scattered in different directions. Dhaabaa reported (December 9, 2013) that a clinic in Gunfi (where children who were suffering from malaria and other diseases were getting medication) was surrounded by the TPLF soldiers who opened fire on them. Although caretakers were assigned and had accompanied each group (Dhaabaa, see above) it is difficult to say how many of the children were able to escape the TPLF troops as they continued to chase and capture or kill them for many weeks.

Picture13Picture 13: Some of the ORA teenagers in Bikoree, Sudan, having a good time together in 1990. This and the other pictures taken in exile show that that the children were well cared for by ORA. Photo: Tarfa Dibaba

As mentioned above, there is no doubt that the TPLF forces knew that those who were fleeing from them were children, as well as their caretakers and teachers, and not Oromo soldiers or fighters. Although they might have been “carrying out” orders from above, they behaved monstrously as though the children they were chasing and killing were not human beings like themselves. It seems that they captured, persecuted or killed the children as a matter of duty.

Killed by TPLF bullets or taken by floods while fleeing from them

Nobody knows how many of the ORAchildren were killed or captured and imprisoned by the TPLF.  Different incidents are mentioned by the sources in which the children incurred casualties at the initial stage of their flight. According Abdalla Suleeman, a former OLF fighter, in one attack at a place called Yaa’a Masaraa near Kobor in Begi district over 30 children were killed when the TPLF forces bombed a building in which the fleeing children took shelter. He also mentions that many children had also drowned when the pursuing forces opened fire on them on the banks of the Dabus River (personal communication, March 2013). One of the eyewitness-accounts of the TPLF assault was given by a 13-year old girl, “Milkii” (fictive name as she is married and lives in Oromia now). Milkii was among the group of children who were sent in the direction of Mendi in the north. Although wounded when her group was attacked on the banks of the Dabus River, she was lucky to escape together with her 11-year brother and many of her companions. Regrettably, it was not all the children in her group who had that luck. She said that between 35 and 40 children in her cohort were killed on the riverbank or drowned while trying to cross to the other side seeking safety.

Since we do not have any other eyewitness of the incident described above, we have to accept Milkii’s account with caution. This, not because I believe she is telling lies, but because of the situation under which she had made the observation. However, it is important to note that other sources also indicate that a number of the ORA children had drowned while crossing the Dabus River or its tributaries.The OSG, for example, mentions that about 20 children had drowned while Dhaabaa mentions only one child who died in such an accident. Since the children were dispersed and fled in different directions, nobody seems to know how many of them had drowned or were killed during the flight. It is also difficult to verify whether the sources are referring to the same or to different incidents. In general, given the information we have, it is impossible to account for the fate of the majority of the 1,724 children who returned home, nor of the 300 who were in the Caanqaa and Mummee Dhoqsaa shelters when the TPLF attacked them in June 1992. However, regarding the number of children killed by the TPLFforces,the OSG (Press Release no. 13, August 1996: 17) wrote that “Between 170 and 200 bodies of children were found.” The OSG indicated that the figures were based on “Interviews with surviving children, teachers and carers, and interviews with residents in Wollega province over the last twelve months”. In short, although wecannot confirm the death statistics given above, there is no doubt that many of the ORA children were killed during their three-month long vicious pursuit and assault by the TPLF forces. Among those who were gunned down by the TPLF forces were the three boys—Tolina Waaqjiraa, Duula Tafarraa and Sagantaa Useen—mentioned in the letter cited at the beginning of the article (Dhaabaa, December 9, 2013). As mentioned above, over 300 children were captured and imprisoned in the Dhidheessa concentration camp. As will be revealed in the next part of this article, many died there from hunger, diseases and torture.

Crime against guardians and sympathetic local Oromo population

Noteworthy aspects of the flight of the ORA children were the courage that their guardians—their teachers and caretakers—had shown in protecting them as well as the support given them by the inhabitants of the districts they traversed. The price which both the guardians and many sympathetic peasants have paid to protect and support the children was high. Some were killed during the flight. It seems many were also caught and imprisoned. Among the children’s guardians who were killed were Abbaa Jambaree and Adabaa Imaanaa. The killing of the physically handicapped Adabaa Imaanaa was carried out with barbaric brutality. Dhabaa wrote (November 21, 2013) that

Adabaa Imaanaa was a guardian of the ORA children starting in Bikoree until the time of the TPLF assault. As he couldn’t walk, I got help from the people who gave us a mule to be used by him during flight from the assaulters. We were followed by the enemy from place to place and arrived in Mummee Dhoksaa on the banks of the Dillaa Gogolaa. After sometime we were surrounded by the enemy. They opened gunfire on us. One of the children’s caretakers, Abba Jambaree was killed. We managed to cross the river by canoes. Since his mule was frightened by the gunfire, panicked and galloped away, we sent away Adaba Imaanaa to limp to his village hiding from the enemy. When I went to his village later and I heard from his neighbors that he had reached his village with difficulty. But the TPLF agents had traced him, surrounded his house, took him out and killed him in late 1992.

However, in spite of the risks involved, the Oromo inhabitants of the districts through which the children passed, sheltered, fed, and directed them to the safest routes, informing them about the whereabouts of the TPLF forces. They had also volunteered to receive and hide those children whom the ORA staff were forced to place in their guardianship. The generosity shown to the fleeing children and their guardians by the inhabitants of the many villages through which theypassed, did not go unpunished by the TPLF. According Dhaabaa (November 21, 2013), the first person to be accused of helping the ORA children was a priest the village of Gabaa Jimaata mentioned above. His name was Abbabaa. He was dragged out of his house by the TPLF soldiers and shot in cold blood. A farmer called GaaddisaaDaaphoo was killed for feeding the children and their guardians in Harrojjii, a village in which they stayed during their flight.

It is difficult to imagine the hate that makes people commit such atrocities. Why did they kill, for example, a physically handicapped old man? Is it because he was an Oromo? What did the Oromo do to them? How can one hate a people amongst whom one lives in such a manner? Some probable answers to these questions will be discussed in the forthcoming part of this article.

[1] Politicide” means “a crime committed with intention on political grounds.” More fully, it is a deliberate killing or physical destruction of a group who form (or whose members share a distinctive characteristic of) a political movement.
[2] I was a contributor for a short time before I left the Ethiopia in September 1977.
[3] See for example, Virginia Lulling, “Oromo Refugees in a Sudanese Town”, Journal of Northeast African Studies, 8(2&3), 1996;

 

*Mekuria Bulcha, PhD and Professor of Sociology, is an author of widely read books and articles. His most recent book, Contours of the Emergent and Ancient Oromo Nation, is published by CASAS (Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society), Cape Town, South Africa, in 2011. He was also the founder and publisher of The Oromo Commentary (1990-1999).

 

The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide

(Part Two)

Deportation and Death in the Dhidheessa Concentration Camp

By  Mekuria Bulcha*

Introduction

In the first part of this article, published on this website on June 22, 2014 under the title “The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide: The Mass Massacre and Imprisonment of ORA Orphans – Wallaga 1992-93,” I described the humanitarian activities of the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) among Oromo refugees in the Sudan in the 1980s and discussed the repatriation of some 1700 orphans, who were taken care of by the association, to Oromia in 1992. As I mentioned in the article, the initial TPLF onslaughts on the fleeing ORA children and their guardians took about three months. The different sources that I consulted indicated that between 170 and 200 children were hunted down and killed or drowned in flight. In addition, an unknown number of their guardians—as well as inhabitants of the districts through which they passed who helped during their flight—were killed during the onslaught. At the start of the onslaught about 300 children were captured and sent to the Dhidheessa concentration camp.

Deportation, torture, and political indoctrination

As mentioned before, most of the children were either placed in the care of the people or were sent away to look for relatives before their teachers and caretakers scattered to hide or flee back to the Sudan to seek refuge. However, the TPLF search for ORA children continued for more than a year after the initial onslaught came to an end.  Apparently, many of the children who escaped the TPLF-forces’ bullets, and who were not arrested during the onslaught were traced, arrested and sent to jail. One of the survivors H.S. (who lives in a country neighboring with Ethiopia) told me:

I was about eight [years] old when the TPLF attacked us. I fled with the other children and adults in our camp.  After sometime, we smaller children, who were unable to keep pace with the rest in the flight, were given to families in different villages along the route. I was placed with a family in a village called Gaara Arbaa. Two of my shelter mates, Kuusaa and Dingata, were also placed in the neighborhood in the same village. However, after a few weeks, the TPLF found and captured us and took us first to Begi town and then to the Dhidheessa prison camp.

Consequently, the number of the ORA children who ended up in the TPLF jails and died whilst kept captive remains unknown. The limited information I could gather confirms that, generally, the children were treated with cruelty in the concentration camp.  In his letter to ORA (see the first part of the article), Raagaa mentions the names of some of the friends he left behind in the Dhidheessa concentration camp grieving that,

The fate of those children mentioned in this note, many hundreds of them, is that they were accused by the TPLF that they were brought up by the OLF and as such need to go through “re-education programs” of the TPLF. Can anybody imagine the children would fight the EPRDF/TPLF back? The truth is the children did not understand anything about the war.

Concerning the TPLF “re-education program,” another informant has also reported that “frequently the children are asked about their attitude towards the EPRDF” and that their “hands are fettered behind their backs” during the interrogations and that “the children’s skin was cut and wounded around their wrists from the rope” with which they were tied. To change their “political attitude,” the TPLF forced the children to participate in a “political education.” The OLF was demonized and the participants (prisoners) were instructed about the “crimes it had committed” and were made to shout anti-OLF slogans at the top of their voices.

The so-called political education was forced not only on the ORA children who were detained in the Dhidheessa concentration camp but also on the tens of thousands of Oromo prisoners kept in the numerous open and secret prison camps run by the TPLF regime in the early 1990s. One of the prisoners forced to experience the TPLF “political education” was Jamal. He was imprisoned in the Hurso concentration camp, outside of the eastern Oromo city of Dire Dawa. Jamal escaped from Hurso and fled to Djibouti in 1993.In August 1997, whilst in Djibouti, he met the two Swiss journalists Bruna Bossati and Peter Niggli as well as the late Lydia Namarraa of the ORA (UK) and told them about his own experience of the “political education” that was given by the TPLF cadres to Oromo prisoners as follows:

The lessons [were] given by the OPDO [and] were supervised by armed TPLF soldiers. The prisoners were instructed that the OLF was a criminal organization with a misguided anti-democratic program directed against the people. The teachers measured the success of their efforts by the enthusiasm with which their ‘pupils’ shouted slogans such as:  “The OLF kills and slaughters the people” and “We will destroy the OLF.”

Jamal said “Whoever didn’t agree with the slogans was forced to stand up and repeat them at the top of his voice.” Those who showed insufficient enthusiasm were punished. They were beaten. Any resistance, according to Jamal, would have risked death (see Bruna Fossati, Lydia Namarra & Peter Niggli, The New Rulers of Ethiopia and the Persecution of the Oromo Frankfurt am Main: Evangelischer Pressedienst, 1996, Nr. 45e , p. 25). The treatment of the imprisoned ORA orphans followed the same pattern. However, reports indicate that there were those among the ORA children imprisoned in Dhidheessa who resisted the intimidation of the TPLF “political educators,” thus risking their lives. Tarfa Dibaba notes that one of the survivors of the Dhidheessa concentration camp whom he met in Khartoum in 1998 told him about one of the ORA children who was hung upside down during one of the sessions of the TPLF political education and was ordered to tell its other participants to “give up” the idea that “Oromia shall be free.” But the boy was not intimidated into following the order. He refused to tell his prison mates anything nor did he repeat anti-OLF slogans. He paid with his life. He was tortured and left hanging upside down and died in the same position in the evening. According to the same source the boy was about 13 years old. An OPDO-TPLF militia participated in his torture.  Another report (Dhaabaa, January 7, 2014) indicates a boy called Simeesso was also killed in the circumstances similar to the above. The report also mentions the names of two other ORA children, Soreessaa and Asabo, who were tortured for showing similar resistance. It is reported that these two adolescents were separated from the other children and were taken away. Nobody knows what happened thereafter.

When a prisoner is “taken away” by the security agents of the TPLF regime, it can mean two things: either execution or solitary confinement in another section of the prison camp, or transfer to another prison in another part of the country. As noted by a former prisoner, Magarsaa Dame who escaped from a firing squad in March 1995 (see the Amharic Weekly Urjii Newspaper, March 1995), prisoners were taken out of the Dhidheessa concentration camp, executed and their bodies left in the open to be devoured by wild beasts. According to another former inmate (see Schmitt & Taera, “An EPRDF Prison Camp from Inside”, Oromo Commentary IV (1), 1994), the Dhidheessa camp constituted several prisons, some of which were open for inspection by international human rights organizations such as the Red Cross, while others, such as the so-called Korea Sefer, were secret. He said that some of the ORA children were kept in a secret prison “separate from others.” He reported that,

In December 1992, for instance, about 40 children were locked up in a very narrow dark room [and] those kids, who become ill, physically or psychologically, due to the hot climate of the Dhidheessa lowlands and torture, are not given medical treatment (Taera & Schmitt, as above 1994: 25).

According to the same source, the argument of the camp authorities for denying the children medication was that the children were not ill but that their problems were “related to their political attitude towards the EPRDF” (Taera & Schmitt, as above 1994: 25). “Political attitude” stands here for affiliation with the OLF and animosity toward the EPRDF (TPLF).

In the “Korea Sefer” and the other sections of the camp, untreated wounds caused by torture inflicted by the TPLF thugs and their OPDO prisoners of war, thirst and hunger, and above all, contagious diseases which flourished in the overcrowded filthy prison rooms, also caused the death of many prisoners. In the interview he gave in 1993, a former prisoner from Dhidheessa (as above Taera and Schmitt 1994: 25) explained,

In the so-called Korea Sefer section of concentration camp where the ORA children were kept, the prisoners are not allowed to go out to urinate, they do not get water to drink and are not allowed to wash themselves and their clothing. They are not allowed to go out to get fresh air. On a very narrow space many people are locked up with almost no possibility to move, heavily guarded from outside. As the consequence of the abhorrent sanitary conditions that prevailed in the concentration camp there were cases of typhoid fever. Since there are few facilities for washing, many prisoners are also suffering from lice.

However, there is no information whether the two boys mentioned above were taken to a firing squad or to another prison within or outside of the Dhidheessa concentration camp. Describing (in his letter mentioned in the first part of this article) the barbarisms to which he was exposed in the Dhidheessa concentration camp, Raagaa wrote:

I escaped from one oppressor and fell into the hands of another oppressorWhen one oppressor is replaced by another oppressor life begins to be miserable. To adjust oneself from an Amhara military oppressor [the Dergue] to a crueler regime of a Tigre oppressor is not an easy case.

Obviously it was not. It is impossible to expect human being to adjust to the cruel treatment which the ORA children received in the hands of the agents of the current regime. As Raagaa’s description of the prison conditions suggests, it is plausible to assume that many of them might have not survived imprisonment in Dhidheessa.

Many have pains in their hearts and their feelings …
Some died like insects”

The words in the sub-title, above, are from Raagaa’s letter. The horrendous atrocities which, according Raagaa and the other sources cited here, the ORA children and apparently Oromo prisoners in general were made to endure in the Dhidheessa prison camp, are painful even to imagine. However, no information is available about the exact number of those who died from diseases, hunger and torture in the filthy concentration camp. Malaria, in particular, seems to have taken its toll.In the letter, Raagaa expressed the inhumanity he saw and the pains he felt as follows:

Those of us who were detained were between 10 and 16 years of age. Many of us became ill from malaria and lack of food. Many of us were sick from diseases that affect children. Many have pains in their hearts and in their feelings. The worst sight which I will not forget is when the kids got sick from malaria and became crazy and talked nonsense. When their condition became serious their hands and legs were tied and they were made to lie on bare ground to keep them silent. During these hours nobody attended them and gave them medicine. Some died like insects. I do not know how many. I can only remember few of the names of the children I stayed all those days, weeks and months. I and these children have nothing to do with the political and military problems [of the TPLF and OLF]…. How can they do such things to children? Nobody can imagine this (Translated from Afaan Oromoo by Tarfa Dibaba. Emphasis mine)

Phrases such the “children became insane,” “have pain in their hearts” and “died like insects” indicate the excruciating pain felt and the unspeakable suffering the children experienced in the prison camp. Raagaa mentions with grief Maritu (female), Waanca (female), Burqaa Nagaasaa (male), Guutuu Injigu (male), Iddoosaa Ammayuu (male), Saloome Abdiisa (female), Galaanee Taariku (female), Aster (female), Almash (female) and Mitiku Abdallah (male) as some of the many former friends and playmates he left behind in the Dhidheessa concentration camp in the conditions described above. The camps in which the TPLF regime incarcerated tens of thousands of Oromos, irrespective age, were death camps. According to Susan Pollock (see “Ethiopia: A Tragedy in the Making”, Oromo Commentary, Vol. VI, no.1, 1996), 3000 men, women and children had died in four of the TPLF regime’s concentration camps from malaria, diseases and lack of food.  Dhidheessa was one of these camps. A former prisoner from the Dhidheessa concentration camp has described the conditions that resulted in the death of inmates in the following words.

Many prisoners had lost their lives or become mentally ill as a consequence of illness or maltreatment in the camp. Extremely bad is the situation of the OLF fighters who were disabled in the fight against the Dergue and in the conflict with the EPRDF. Among them, there are many who are blind, and some have lost their arms and legs. They are not offered any support although they are in the most terrible conditions in the camp since they are not able to wash themselves or their clothes or to go to the latrine without help of others. They suffer from unimaginable dirt and lice. (Taera & Schmitt, 1994: 25)

The horrific maltreatment described above was not limited to the inmates of the Dhidheessa prison. Similar conditions prevailed in the many hidden and official concentration camps which had been erected all over the Oromo country by the TPLF in 1992 and after.

Rape crime against imprisoned children

In an article published on Gadaa.com on May 28, 2013 I described that rape has been one of the dehumanizing torture-methods that are routinely used against Oromo detainees in the TPLF-run prisons in Oromia. The Dhidheessa concentration camp was no exception. One of my informants, Dhaabaa (December 4, 2013), gives the names of 10 of the ORA female children (the names are withheld here) who became pregnant in Dhidheessa prison after being raped by TPLF prison guards.  These, it seems, were only some among the many children who were exposed to this outrageous crime in prison. According to the same source, the father of one of the girls (name withheld) committed suicide on hearing that his child had been raped by guards in the concentration camp.The sources also indicate that some of the adolescent girls were forced to marry TPLF soldiers.

“Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra?”

As indicated above, nobody knew what exactly had happened to the ORA children and their guardians once they were back in their homeland. Therefore the story described in this article is sad news to everyone who knew them or was involved in helping them.  The inquiry “Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra and the others?” which was raised by the teachers and pupils of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule of city of Springe in Germany in their letter reproduced below was not answered. They were the only people who tried to find out what had happened to the children after they returned to their homeland in the spring months of 1992. They appealed to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, the German Commission for UNESCO and the UNCHR Branch Office for Germany, to speak for and protect the ORA children. The following is the content of their letter addressed to Dr. Claus Kinkel the German Minister of Foreign Affairs dated November 2, 1992.  I have reproduced its content unabridged in order to give the reader a grasp of the concern of the letter writers and the relations that existed between them the children in question.

Dear Dr. Kinkel,

We are deeply concerned about the fate of 1,600 Oromo orphans in Kobor near Begi in West-Wollega/Ethiopia. We have not received any information from the children’s camp there since July of this year, when Ethiopian government troops marched into West Wollega and also Begi. The ‘Oromo Relief Association’ (ORA) in Addis Ababa, which has been looking after and feeding these children for many years, was unable to establish contact to the camp.

In February 1985, our school organised an African Day with the Ethiopian teacher Terfa Dibaba. In this context we got to know about the starvation and civil war in his homeland and about the work of the indigenous refugee relief organisation ‘Oromo Relief Association’ (ORA). Since that time our school has continuously traced the work of ORA for parentless refugee children. We received oral and written reports and photographs regarding the opening of the refugee settlement in Yabus/Sudan, the opening of the children’s camp in Damazin/Sudan in early 1988, the day-to-day, medical and educational care for the orphans by the devoted and unpaid work of the ORA staff. The pupils, their parents and the teaching staff of our school have organised relief shipments with clothing, school material, toys, sports equipment and musical instruments since 1988.

The number of children in Damazin was increasing, and therefore, ORA opened another camp in Bikore/Sudan in 1990. The last time we received photographs, a letter and some children’s drawings was in August 1991. Duula Tafarra, a 12-year-old boy, closed his letter with the words: “Nagaa nu hundaaf haa tahuGARA JERMANII“. It means “To Germany: Peace be with us all” (emphasis mine).

In spring 1992 the children from Damazin and Bikore could return to their homeland Ethiopia. Our last relief shipment included, amongst other things, 200 notebooks, into which our pupils wrote – in view of the return: “I wish you peace and a good future in your homeland.” “Yeroo biyyakeetti galtu, nagaa fi hegeree gaarii akka argattun siifi hawwa.

In the meantime, we have received information about several incidents of brutal attacks by Ethiopian government troops (EPRDF) against the Oromo population. The election observers, who were assigned to the regional elections in the Oromo regions of Ethiopia by your Ministry in June this year [1992], told us that they had been asked by the parents of arrested children [not ORA’s] to speak up for their release. Now we heard that in July minors from the ORA camp in Kobor have been arrested [also] and deported to the EPRDF camp in Didessa. Is this information correct? Are they 250, as we heard, or are they more?

We appeal to you to do all you can to shed light upon the fate of the more than 1,600 children from the ORA camp in Kobor. Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra and all the others? Please take action to protect these children. Please try to arrange for the 1,600 Oromo orphans to be returned to the care of their previous guardians and teachers and make sure they can be supplied by the relief organisation ORA as before.

Yours faithfully

For the teaching staff of the Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule: J. Brennecke, Headmaster, and [14 signatures of teachers], Representing the pupils of the Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule [5 Signatures]

(The letter is translated from German by Kathrin Taera, November, 2013)

Duulaa and his group returned to Oromia in May 1992 and their camp was attacked in June that year. He wrote the letter (below) on behalf of the ORA children in Damazin.

Date 13-7-1991

From the [ORA] School in Damazin,

To pupils [of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule, Springe) in Germany,

First of all we send you our greetings. How are you? We are well. We who are greeting you are the Oromo children at the school in Damazin. We will like to inform you that we have received the gifts such as balls and other sport materials you sent us and that we are using them. We are happy with the gifts and thank for your generosity. [We] the Oromo children who fled from [our] country and are in Damazin in the Sudan are given the opportunity to learn [and we are happy about that]

We urge you to write to us. He who wrote this letter is Duulaa Tafara. He is in grade five and is 12 years old. May peace be with all of us!

(The letter is translated from Afaan Oromoo by the author)[1]

Regrettably, Duulaa and his friends were deprived not only the peace which he wished for all, but also of the right to life. As I have mentioned in the first part of this article, Duula and his two school (camp) mates mentioned in the letter by the pupils and teachers of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule, were among the victims of the TPLF assault on the ORA orphans. Tolina Waaqjiraa was killed on the first day when the TPLF forces opened fire on their camp in June 1992. Duula Tafarra and Saganta Usen were killed by the same force in the Carphaa forest where they took shelter with other children after their camp was attacked (Dhaabaa, December 9, 2013).

Notwithstanding the praiseworthy efforts of the pupils and teachers of the Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule, it seems that, neither the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor the officials of the two UN organizations who had received their appeal letters, took the initiative to confront either the late Mr. Meles Zenawi or his regime to find out the whereabouts of the ORA children in 1992 or after. It is unlikely, therefore, that the authors of the letter were informed about what had happened to the children. To my knowledge, this article is, regrettably, the first response to the enquiries they raised twenty-two years ago.

ora-kidsPhoto  (Left) This photo is said to be that of Duula Tafarra, Saganta Usen, and Tolina Waaqjiraa. The person (Dhaabaa) who sent it me did not identify who is who in the photo. The only thing he said he knew is that the photo is that of the three boys taken together. I have included the picture here hoping that someone who knew them can help us to identify them.

The case of Duula, Saganta and Tolina reflects not only the fate of many of the ORA children, but also of the numerous other unnamed Oromo children who perished inside and outside the TPLF regime’s concentration camps during the last two decades.

 

A case of politicide

The sources indicate that the ORA children were very conscious of their identity and were, above all, eager to repatriate and live in their homeland in peace. An Oromo scholar who knew the ORA children in the Sudan (mail communication with Asafa Dibaba, July 4, 2014) wrote,

I lived in Damazin two and half decades ago and together with Nagaasaa [killed in 1992 in a battle with the TPLF] I used to visit the children in Bikoree from time to time. The children were, as far as I remember, between 7 and 15 years and most of them had passed the Gammee age group (0 to 8 years). Their knowledge of Oromo history and culture was beyond expectation. Their knowledge of makmaaksa (folktales), riddles hibboo (riddles) and the flora and fauna of Oromia was also remarkable. The children narrated their family histories and genealogy as if they were growing up in family homes with their parents and grandparents. Although their education was based on a curriculum that followed by schools in Ethiopia, it reflected the cultural and education programs laid down by the OLF. They used to tell me that their hope was to return to an independent and Oromia to grow up and serve their people (freely translated from Afaan Oromoo by the author).

Once they started an open war with the OLF, the TPLF leaders did not want to leave the ORA children in peace. The fact that the said children were brought up by an organization which was associated with the OLF was enough for the TPLF to see them as potential enemies and persecute them. Its argument about “political education” mentioned above indicates that the ORA children were seen as “carriers” of Oromo nationalism, a “problem” which the TPLF leaders associate with the OLF. In his letter to ORA mentioned above Raagaa noted,

We [the ORA children] were accused by the TPLF of being brought up and educated by the OLF. Can anybody imagine the children would fight the EPRDF/TPLF back? The truth is the children did not understand anything about the war.

The three-month long pursuit of the fleeing children by the TPLF troops in the summer of 1992 and the search for children who were entrusted to the local households in western Wallaga by their guardians indicates that the children were, as indicated above, seen as bearers of the seeds of Oromo nationalism and the OLF aspiration of establishing an independent state. Therefore, I will argue that the TPLF believed that their best course of action was to exorcise the ideas and inspirations with which they believed the Oromo children were imbued (through their association with the OLF) before these spread among the Oromo youth at large.The so-called political education was, for example,to brainwash and make them subjects loyal to the TPLF-led regime. Those who were resistant to the process were eliminated physically.

In general, the intention behind the atrocious massacre committed by the TPLF-led regime against the ORA children and the murderous crackdowns which it has been conducting currently against Oromo high school, college and university students during the last fifteen years can been seen as a policy of politicide with the aim of nipping Oromo nationalism in the bud. As the comments which were repeatedly made on many occasions by the late Meles Zenawi reflected, the TPLF saw in any and every socially and politically conscious Oromo, a potential member or sympathizer of the OLF. It is common knowledge that tens of thousands of Oromos who were labelled as such have been in one way or another victimized by the TPLF-led regime. Therefore, its criminal actions against the ORA orphans in the 1990s and against Oromo students during the last fifteen years are hardly surprising.

Children labelled “terrorists” and killed by the TPLF

Associating and killing of Oromo children by the TPLF-led regime did not stop with the assault on the ORA orphans in western Oromia. Many Oromo children were detained and killed in other places for the same reasons. The Oromia Support Group (OSG Press Release No. 13, 1996) notes that in 1996 the government forces killed Usen Kaallu, aged 12, Badiri Shaza, also aged 12, Awal Saani, aged 13 and Awal Idire, aged 16 years old in Tukaana village near the town of Gasera in Bale in the southeast. Their “crime” was tattooing the initials “ABO” (the Oromo version of OLF) on their hands. It seems that, not knowing the consequences, schoolchildren have been tattooing the initials on their bodies or embroidering them on their capsand clothes in many places throughout the Oromo country. The same report indicates, for example, that seven other children between the ages of 12 and 14 years of age were imprisoned, accused of committing similar “crimes” in the nearby Dabool village at the same time. The report gives their names and ages as Muyidin Haj Useen (14), Kaliil Useen (13), Eliyas Haj Abdo (12), Idris Aman (13), Qadiro Useen (12) and Shitta Usman (12). However, the report does not indicate how long they were imprisoned nor any details about what had happened to them in prison or afterwards.

After the al Qaida 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, the TPLF-regime changed the characterization of its “Oromo enemies,” including schoolchildren was changed from members or supporters of the “OLF” to “terrorists.” The Human Rights Watch (HRW, 2005) wrote that “In early 2004, police in Dembi Dollo, arrested a twelve-year-old schoolboy and imprisoned him after discovering that he had tattooed ‘ABO’, the Afaan Oromoo acronym for ‘OLF’, onto his hand.” His father told HRW that

They [the police] said he was a terrorist.  They said he was a supporter of the OLF.  The child’s family petitioned the local authorities and secured his release after two weeks of detention, but the police continued to follow and harass the boy until the family was forced to send him to live with relatives in Addis Ababa.

The HRW notes that between 2001 and 2005, “At least twenty other children under the age of fifteen have been imprisoned for similar reasons in Dembi Dollo alone” (emphasis mine). Furthermore, a relative of a boy who was arrested in 2003 told a HRW reporter, “I had an eleven-year old relative who wrote ‘ABO’ on the blackboard at school. He was dragged off to the police station and imprisoned there.  They released him after several days because there was “too much noise about it” from the local people who were affronted by the imprisonment of an 11-year-old child.  However, the HWR writes that the “child also experienced problems with the police after his release and eventually left [home] to live with relatives in Canada.” The TPLF regime did not see the 11 year old boy as a child but as an enemy—a terrorist and a supporter of the OLF.

There are international conventions signed by the UN member-states to prevent genocide and other crimes against humanity of which the 1948 Human Rights Convention was the first. Regrettably, however, the conventions did not end the evil which was the cause for the origins of the convention—the evil which is epitomized by the acts of Adolf Hitler and his cronies.As mentioned in the first part of this article, the telling metaphor “hunted like kurupé” (used by Oromo peasants to describe the predicament of the fleeing children they had witnessed) reveals not only the physical movement called forth by the existential instinct to escape from life-threatening danger, but also the horror and angst the children felt as a consequence of the unconcealed vicious intentions of the armed units who were chasing them from one district to another, shooting at them and wounding or killing them. Notwithstanding the size of the affected population, the cruelty reflected in the assault on the ORA children brings to mind the evil deeds of the Nazis against Jews, and in particular, incidents which Serge Klarsfeld (2010) describes in his book French Children of the Holocaust—a Memorial concerning deportation to death camps. In his descriptions of some of the incidents, Klarsfeld reveals how Jewish children who attempted to escape deportation were callously shot down by the Gestapo as though they were not human beings. Even the TPLF action against the local peasants who helped the fleeing ORA children and their guardians was reminiscent of what Nazi thugs did to those who tried to rescue the European Jews and their children from deportation to the concentration camps. The nature of the evil, the intent to harm their victims with impunity which underpinned the actions of the TPLF forces, reflects a shocking similarity with the murderous behavior of the Nazi criminals. Nothing is as evil as treating human-beings as wild game as the TPLF forces did to the ORA children.

Disturbing silence over crimes against humanity

As noted by the famous physicist Albert Einstein “The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who stand by and let them” (cited in S. Bruchfeld & P. Levine, Tell Ye Your Children: A Book about the Holocaust in Europe 1933-1945, Revised Edition, 2012, p. 14).

It would not be an exaggeration to construe that today the world has become too dangerous for the Oromo to live in.  Whether it is at war or at “peace” with the Oromo and the other oppressed peoples in Ethiopia, the TPLF regime has been committing crimes against them and “against humanity” during the last twenty-three years.

A crime against humanity targets a given group and is carried out as a “widespread and systematic” violation of their human rights. By definition, crime against humanity differs from war crime in that it occurs not only in the context of war, but also in times of peace. Under international law, examples of war crimes include, among others, the persecution and deportation of the civilian population of an occupied territory, and the murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war. (See for example Gary Solis,The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War (2010: 301: 3). By and large, all the crimes mentioned here have been committed against the Oromo children. The crimes which were committed against Oromo prisoners in general (see my articles from May 28 and July 31 in Gadaa.comor Ayyaantuu.com) are acts that appear in the definition of crimes against humanity in the ICC Statute of 1998 and in other international conventions on human rights. In short, one can say that the characteristic elements of war crime and crime against humanity overlap clearly in the persecution of the Oromo children by the TPLF. A war situation prevailed between the OLF and the TPLF forces when the children were attacked and killed. The children were unarmed and non-combatants. However, the TPLF forces chased and killed or captured the children with the intention of harming them. The TPLF associated the children with the OLF and attacked, captured and incarcerated hundreds of them in a concentration camp. Many of them were denied the right to life. The ORA, an internationally known and supported humanitarian organization, was banned, and its properties were confiscated. The foundation it had laid for the physical and intellectual development of the orphans was destroyed.  Consequently, as I will describe in the third and last part of this article later, the life chances of those who survived the assault and imprisonment were shattered.

Regrettably, there is an ominous silence, not only over the less known massacre of the ORA children described in this and the first part of this article, but also on the many well recorded crimes committed by the TPLF-led regime against humanity during the last two decades. In August 1943, Fl. Hällzon, editor of the Swedish newspaper Hemmets Vän, frustrated by the continued silence over the holocaust, wrote that

The mass graves of Jews cry out to the world; yes, they scream, and the screams pierce the skies up to God in Heaven. Woe betide Germany and those responsible when the bloody crops are harvested. Woe betide the world, which through its sins has participated in this blood-soaked crime being committed in our days (F. Hällson, Hemmets Vän, August 1943, cited in Bruchfeld & Levine, as above, 2012: 60).

Implicit in Hällson’s frustration was that the silence over the Holocaust was not because of lack of information, but his country’s lack of the will to save the Jews. As reflected in the heroic deeds of Raul Wallenberg between July and December 1944, the Swedes finally acted to save the Jews, but it was too late. By then millions of Jews had been killed. The Nazis were defeated by the allied forces in 1945 and the leading holocaust criminals were also brought to justice.

Whether it could have been possible for the international community to intervene and save more Jews before 1944-45 or not remains a controversial issue. However, the type of problems that could have hindered international intervention against the Nazi onslaught on the European Jews do not exist today. The UN was established to end human rights violations. The purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the UN member states signed is to safeguard the right of every human being to life, liberty and security of person. Therefore, the silence of the international organizations over the atrocities committed against the Oromo is as frustrating— if not more so—than that over the fate of the Jews in the early 1940s. I am not saying that the Oromo are being killed on the same scale or at the same speed as the Jews were in the 1940s, but that the plight and fate of the tens of thousands Oromos who were incarcerated in the prison camps bear similarities with that of the millions of Jews who perished in the Nazi concentration camps. The congestion, the lice and the rats, the filth and diseases, the dearth of medical care and the lack of food and water which the Oromo prisoners (including the ORA children) suffered and died of in the outrageous concentration camps run by the TPLF regime bear striking similarities with the conditions associated with the Nazi concentration camps. As the recent excavation by a Turkish construction firm near a previous site of the TPLF concentration camp Hamaressa revealed, mass graves of Oromo victims bear signs of the crimes committed by the present regime. As it was with the Jews in the 1930s and 40s, the Oromo are being persecuted today because of their ethnic identity. The policy of the TPLF regime regarding the Oromo reflects elements of the Nazi policy of destroying a group based on race or nationality. The difference is that the Nazis believed they would solve what they called the Jew problem with the annihilation of the entire population of European Jews while the TPLF leaders intend to solve the Oromo “problem” with elimination of the politically conscious class of the Oromo population. Hitler’s policy was to rule a Europe “free” from Jews. He conducted genocide. The TPLF policy is to destroy current and future Oromo leaders and to become the rulers of the Oromo people. They have been committing politicide. As stated in the Hizbaawi Adera (The People’s Trust), the official quarterly of the ruling party TPLF/EPRDF, their policy is to eliminate Oromo intellectuals and businessmen who are labelled as the “enemy of Revolutionary Democracy.” They argued,

Higher echelon intellectuals and big business people are narrow-minded. Their aspiration is to become a ruling class only to serve their own self-interests. They are so greedy that they want to “eat” alone. As they are desperate, they can be violent. … Unless the narrow nationalists are eliminated, democracy and development cannot be achieved in Ethiopia (see Hizbaawi Adera, Vol. 4, no. 7, 1996, emphasis mine)

Tens of thousands of Oromo intellectuals, journalists, teachers, students, businessmen and their families have been the victims of this policy. One may argue that the crime against the ORA children was committed in a remote part of the country and was unknown. But, in general, the silence over the crimes committed against the Oromo was not due to lack of information. There are numerous, reliable reports by local and international human rights organizations such as the Human RightsLeague of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA), the Oromia Support Group (OSG), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) which indicate that the TPLF leaders and their security forces have been serial abusers during the last twenty-three years. The crimes which have been committed against the Oromo were systematically conducted and widespread. In other words, we are not talking about sporadic cases of rape, rare cases of mass killings, or occasional disappearances of few individuals, but crimes that have been consistently committed all over the Oromo country for more than two decades. The extra-judicial killings which the TPLF forces carried out in Oromia have involved not just a few men and women, but thousands of individuals. They have been the outcomes of an official policy which has been systematically implemented to terrorize and subjugate the entire Oromo nation of more than thirty-five million members.

Concluding remarks

The atrocities described in this article constitute what the international human rights statutes define both as war crimes and as crimes against humanity. Yet the international organizations and governments of democratic states have continued to conduct business with the TPLF-led regime as usual. I will say more on the role of bystanders regarding the violation of human rights by the TPLF-led regime in the third part of this article. It suffices to note here that, in general, the international organizations’ silence over the crimes committed by the Ethiopian regime is alarming. It is alarming because it makes the UN and its conventions irrelevant in the eyes of millions of people. It is important to note that the silence over the April-May 2014 massacre of Oromo students is particularly shocking to many observers, particularly among the Oromo. This is particularly so because the students were killed while participating in peaceful demonstrations to oppose the government plan to expand the city of Finfinnee (the indigenous Oromo name of Addis Ababa) thereby forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of Oromo families. In addition, Finfinnee, which serves as the capital city of both Oromia and of the Federal state of Ethiopia, is also the diplomatic headquarters of the continent of Africa. The headquarters of the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the embassies of UN member states, and the headquarters of the African Union (AU) are located in the city. Given the proximity of the “place of crime” to the seats of the representatives of international organization and states, the total silence over the atrocities committed by the Ethiopian regime is both astonishing and offensive to many people worldwide. Regrettably, the Oromo predicament is being repeatedly ignored by the entire diplomatic community their city is hosting.

By and large, the situation created by the recent mass massacre and widespread persecution of Oromo students has led to a new development in current Oromo affairs. The incident has made it clear to every Oromo that the survival of his/her community is under serious threat. This new insight has brought Oromos together everywhere to protest against the anti-Oromo policies of the Ethiopian government. This is a positive sign. It is also encouraging to witness that in some places like Minneapolis in US and in Canberra in Australia, Oromo communities have been able to solicit the support of important politicians and national political institutions to voice their protests against human rights violations in Oromia. These international responses will help considerably and should be stepped up and continued. However, it is not enough by itself to solve the Oromo problem or remove the regime from power. It is a deadly illusion to expect that foreign pressure would bring down the TPLF-led regime. We know that there is no interest among the great powers to do that. The Oromo themselves must do that. Therefore, there is the need for a strong Oromo organization that can strengthen the Oromo struggle for freedom at all levels, both at home and abroad, to ensure the survival of the nation. Needless to say, the recent reunification of the two OLF factions can be seen as a promising development in this regard and it is expected that other Oromo organizations will follow suit.

________________

[1] My gratitude is to the long-time Chairperson of the German ORA Support Committee to Rüdiger Jentsch and Obbo Shorroo Gemechu for sending me copies of this and other documents regarding the ORA children).

 

*Mekuria Bulcha, PhD and Professor of Sociology, is an author of widely read books and articles. His most recent book, Contours of the Emergent and Ancient Oromo Nation, is published by CASAS (Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society), Cape Town, South Africa, in 2011. He was also the founder and publisher of The Oromo Commentary (1990-1999).

Read @http://ayyaantuu.com/articles/deportation-and-death-in-the-dhidheessa-concentration-camp/

 

The Universal Law of Change July 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Development & Change, Economics, Ideas, Uncategorized.
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Change is variation, impermanence, acceleration, flux. Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, said: “Change, the state of flux, is a permanent feature of nature”. Greeks philosophers were fond of paradoxes. Another ancient Greek philosopher, Parmenides disagreed: “Change is ephemeral and things truly staid the same”. Greek philosophers were fond of disagreement. The dictionary says it’s the process of becoming different. Men have lamented the constancy of Change and decried the lack of Change. Barack Obama won a presidency promising Change.

The interesting thing about Change is that many, if not all, equations describing change look about the same. Let’s say Change is C, some driving force prompting the change is DF, and resistance to change is R. Then the generic form for most equations describing change is:

C = DF * 1/R

If this Universal Law of Change applies to many different Changes, perhaps it also applies to the economic and social Changes? For example:

Influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States, driven by the difference in hourly wages, and resisted by the high “coyote fees”, border patrol and vast deserts.
A flood of Central American children to the Texas border, driven by fear of death or injury from the local gangsters and resisted by the distance, and other resistances mentioned above.
Implementation of green energy generation driven by the fears of climate change, but resisted by the high cost of the green energy.
Etc., etc.
As mentioned, there are many laws describing change is physical systems that look about the same. For example, here’s Newton’s famous law as it is commonly written:

F = m a

Or force is mass times acceleration. In this case, acceleration, “a”, represents change. Acceleration occurs when something is at rest or traveling at a constant speed, and then it accelerates (positive acceleration) or decelerates (negative acceleration). Rearranging the equation:

a = F * 1/ m

So change, a, is equal to a force F driving for a change, acting on the object with the mass m. A heavy bowling ball has more mass, so it’s harder to make it accelerate than, let’s say a tennis ball. So m is resistance to change. Given the same driving force, the bigger m, the less change there is. Broadly interpreted, Newton’s law is a mathematical representation of change:

Change = (Driving Force) * (1/Resistance to Change)

In fluid dynamics, a science describing fluid flow, there’s a famous equation called the Bernoulli’s equation:

V12/2g + P1/ρg + Z1 = V22/2g + P2/ρg + Z2

Looks complicated, but rearranged into the Change = (Driving Force) * (1/Resistance to Change) it looks like:

(V22 – V12) = (P1 – P2)* (2/ρ) + 2g(Z1 – Z2)

engineerglasses

Change is variation, impermanence, acceleration, flux.  Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, said:  “Change, the state of flux, is a permanent feature of nature”.  Greeks philosophers were fond of paradoxes.  Another ancient Greek philosopher, Parmenides disagreed: “Change is ephemeral and things truly staid the same”.  Greek philosophers were fond of disagreement.  The dictionary says it’s the process of becoming different.  Men have lamented the constancy of Change and decried the lack of Change.  Barack Obama won a presidency promising Change.

The interesting thing about Change is that many, if not all, equations describing change look about the same.    Let’s say Change is C, some driving force prompting the change is DF, and resistance to change is R.  Then the generic form for most equations describing change is:

           C = DF * 1/R

If this Universal Law of Change applies to…

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Meroe, Oromo and Old Nubian: Solving the Mystery of Meroitic Language July 23, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Afaan Publication, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Ancient Egyptian, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Black History, Chiekh Anta Diop, Cushtic, Gadaa System, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Language and Development, Meroe, Meroetic Oromo, Oromia, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromummaa, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Sidama, State of Oromia, The Goddess of Fecundity, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System.
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Meroe, Oromo and Old Nubian: Solving the Mystery of Meroitic Language
By Dereje Tadesse Birbirso (PhD),  College of Social Science and HumanitiesHaramaya University, Ethiopia
Abstract
 
 Meroitic language is one of the most controversial ancient languages but one of the few having advanced writing systems. Some classify it Asian, European, non-African, Semitic,or ‘unclassified’. This paper contends Meroe, similar to their Cushitic friends, are left victims of preconceived ideas based on an entirely argument from silence, an hegemonic epistemology that elevates a single perspective and silences other(s). This paper, thus,comparatively analyzes Meroitic and Old Nubian lexical and grammatical items with corresponding Oromo, a Cushitic family which, 
a Cushitic family which,vocabulary possibly the Ancientlanguage of the Nile Valley and/or Horn of Africa. Meroitic and Old Nubian lexical, grammatical and epigraphic data were collected from secondary sources by Meroitic researchers. Oromo corpora are obtained both from classical and modern descriptions and native-speakers. Results indicate Oromo lexemes show significant level of cognates with not only Meroitic and Old Nubian, but also with the Ancient Egyptian to their northern part.
Keywords:  Oromo, Meroe, Nubian, Ancient Egyptian, Cushitic, Chiekh Anta Diop
 Related Reference:
The Meroitic Ethiopian Origins of the Modern Oromo NationBy Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

This paper deals, among others, with the development of Meroitic studies, the Meroitic civilization, the destruction of the city of Meroe, the dispersal of the Meroitic people after the collapse of their state, the Christianization of the post Meroitic states, the migration of the remnants of the Meroitic people in the direction of the Blue Nile and their possible relation of ancestry with the modern Cushitic language speaking Oromo nation. It must be stated clearly at the outset that the issue of Meroitic ancestry of the Oromo nation has not been considered, much less published in an academic journal or scholarly books. The paper was first presented in an academic conference organized by the Oromo Studies Association. Footnotes have been added recently.

1. The Development of the Meroitic Studies, the History of Kush and Meroe, and the Efforts to Decipher the Meroitic Scripture

Interest in what was Ethiopia for the Ancient Greeks and Romans, i.e. the Northern territory of present day Sudan from Khartoum to the Egyptian border1, led to the gradual development of the modern discipline of the Humanities that long stood in the shadow of

Egyptology: the Meroitic Studies.

Considerable advances had been made in academic research and knowledge as the result of the exploratory trips of the Prussian pioneering Egyptologist Richard Lepsius2 (1842 – 1844) that bestowed upon modern scholarship the voluminous ‘Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien’ (Monuments from Egypt and Ethiopia), and the series of excavations by E. A. Wallis Budge3 and John Garstang4 at Meroe (modern Bagrawiyah) in the first years of the twentieth century, Francis Llewellyn Griffith5 at Kawa (ancient Gematon, near modern Dongola, 1929 – 1931), Fritz Hintze6 at Musawwarat es Sufra, Jean Leclant7 at Sulb (Soleb), Sadinga (Sedeinga), and Djebel Barkal (ancient Napata, modern Karima) in the 1950s and the 1960s, D. Wildung8 at Naqah, and Charles Bonnet at Kerma. . The pertinent explorations and contributions of scholars like A. J. Arkell9, P. L. Shinnie10 and Laszlo Torok11 that cover a span of 80 years reconstituted a large part of the greatness and splendor of this four-millennia long African civilization.

Yet, due to the lack of direct access to original sources and genuine understanding of the ancient history of Sudan, the legendary Ethiopia of the Greeks and Romans, which also corresponds to what was ‘Kush’ of the Hebrews Bible and ultimately ‘Kas’ of the ancient Egyptians12, we face a serious problem of terminology. We are confined to such terms as Period (or Group) A (3100 – 2700 BCE),13 Period B14 (2700 – 2300 BCE that starts with Pharaoh Snefru’s expedition,15 and the beginning of time-honored enmity between Egypt and Kush), Period C16 (2300 – 2100 BCE, when we have no idea to what specific ethnic or state structures the various Egyptian names Wawat, Irtet, Setjiu,Yam, Zetjau, and Medjay refer)17, Period Kerma18 (2100 – 1500 BCE, named after the modern city and archeological site, 500 km in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border). What we know for sure is that, when the first Pharaohs of the New Empire invaded and colonized the entire area down to Kurgus19 (more than 1000 km alongside the Nile in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border), they established two top Egyptian administrative positions, namely ‘Viceroy of Wawat’ and ‘Viceroy of Kush/Kas’. Wawat is the area between Aswan and Abu Simbel or properly speaking, the area between the first and the second cataracts whereas Kas is all the land that lies beyond. With the collapse of the Kerma culture comes to end a first high-level culture and state in the area of Kush.

We employ the term ‘Kushitic Period’20 to refer to the subsequent period: a) the Egyptian annexation (1500 – 950 BCE) that was followed by a permanent effort to egyptianize Kush and the ceaseless Kushitic revolutions against the Pharaohs;

b) the Kushitic independence (950 – 800 BCE, when a state is formed around Napata21, present day Karima, 750 km in the south of the Sudanese – Egyptian border);

c) the Kushitic expansion and involvement in Egypt (800 – 670 BCE, which corresponds mostly to the XXVth – ‘Ethiopian’ according to Manetho22 – dynasty of Egypt, when the Theban clergy of Amun made an alliance with the Kushitic ‘Qore’ – Kings of Napata, who had two capitals, Napata and Thebes);23 and d) the Kushitic expulsion from Egypt (following the three successive invasions of Egypt by Emperors Assarhaddon24 in 671 BCE, and Assurbanipal25in 669 and 666 BCE, and of Assyria, who made an alliance with the Heliopolitan26 priesthood and Libyan princes against the Theban clergy and the Kushitic kings), and gradual decline (following the invasions by Psamtik/Psammetichus II27 in 591 BCE, and the Achaemedian28 Persian Shah Kambudjiyah/Cambyses29 in 525 BCE) until the transfer of the capital far in the south at Meroe, at the area of present day Bagrawiyah (at the end of the reign of Qore Nastasen30between335 and 315 BCE).

We call ‘Meroitic’ the entire period that covers almost 700 years beginning around 260 BCE with the reign of the successors of Nastasen (Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes31 (the most illustrious among the earliest ones and the first to be buried at Meroe / Bagrawiyah), down to the end of Meroe and the destruction of the Meroitic royal cities by the Axumite Abyssinian Negus Ezana32 (370 CE). It is easily understood that ‘Kushitic’ antedates ‘Meroitic’, but the appellations are quite conventional.

The Ancient people of Kush (or Ethiopia) entered into a period of cultural and scriptural radiation and authenticity relatively late, around the third century BCE, which means that the development took place when Meroe replaced Napata as capital of the Kushites / Meroites. Before that moment, they used Egyptian Hieroglyphic scripture for all purposes of writing, administrative, economic, religious and/or royal. The introduction of the Meroitic alphabetic hieroglyphic writing spearheaded the development of a Meroitic cursive alphabetic scripture that was used for less magnificent purposes than palatial and sacred relief inscriptions. The first person to publish Meroitic inscriptions was the French architect Gau33, who visited Northern Sudan in 1819. Quite unfortunately, almost two centuries after the discovery, we risk being left in mysteries with regard to the contents of the epigraphic evidence collected in both scriptural systems.

The earliest dated Meroitic hieroglyphic inscriptions belong to the reign of the ruling queen Shanakdakheto34 (about 177-155 BCE), but archaeologists believe that this scripture represents the later phase of a language spoken by Kushites / Meroites at least as far back as 750 BCE and possibly many centuries before that (hinting at a Kushitic continuity from the earliest Kerma days). The earliest examples of Meroitic cursive inscriptions, recently found by Charles Bonnet in Dukki Gel (REM 1377-78)35, can be dated from the early second century BCE. The latest text is still probably the famous inscription from Kalabsha mentioning King Kharamadoye (REM 0094)36 and dated from the beginning of the fifth century AD, although some funeral texts from Ballana37 could be contemporary if not posterior.

Despite the fact that F. L. Griffith has identified the 23 Meroitic alphabetic scripture’s signs already in 1909, not much progress has been made towards an ultimate decipherment of the Meroitic38. Scarcity of epigraphic evidence plays a certain role in this regard, since as late as the year 2000 we were not able to accumulate more than 1278 texts. If we now add to that the lack of lengthy texts, the lack of any bilingual text (not necessarily Egyptian /Meroitic, it could be Ancient Greek / Meroitic, if we take into consideration that Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes39 was well versed in Greek), and a certain lack of academic vision, we understand why the state of our knowledge about the history of the Meroites is still so limited.

Linguistics and parallels from other languages have been repeatedly set in motion in order to help the academic research. Griffith and Haycock40 tried to read Meroitic using (modern) Nubian. K.H. Priese41 tried to read the Meroitic text using Eastern Sudanese (Beja42 or Hadendawa43); and F. Hintze44, attempted to compare Meroitic with the Ural-Altaic group. Recently Siegbert Hummel45, compared the “known” Meroitic words to words in the Altaic family which he believed was a substrate language of Meroitic. At times, scholars (like Clyde Winters46) were driven to farfetched interpretations, attempting to equate Meroitic with Tokharian, after assuming a possible relationship between the name Kush and the name Kushan47 of an Eastern Iranian state (of the late Arsacid48, 250 BCE – 224 CE, and early Sassanid49, 224 – 651 CE, times)! However, one must state that the bulk of the researchers working on the Meroitic language do not believe that it was a member of the Afro-Asiatic group.

So far, the only Meroitic words for which a solid translation had been given by Griffith and his successors are the following: man, woman, meat, bread, water, give, big, abundant, good, sister, brother, wife, mother, child, begotten, born, feet. The eventual equivalence between Egyptian and Meroitic texts was a strong motivation for any interpretational approach, recent or not. More recent, but still dubious, suggestions are the following: arohe- «protect», hr- «eat», pwrite «life», yer «milk», ar «boy», are- or dm- «take, receive», dime «cow», hlbi «bull», ns(e) «sacrifice, sdk «journey», tke- «love, revere», we «dog». It is clear that vocalization remains a real problem50.

Through the aforementioned we realize why collective works, like Fontes Historiae Nubiorum. Textual Sources for the History of the Middle Nile Region (vols. I – IV, edited by T. Eide, T. Hägg, R.H. Pierce, and L. Török, University of Bergen, Bergen 1994, 1996. 1998 and 2000), are still seminal for our – unfortunately indirect, as based on Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Latin and Coptic texts – knowledge of Meroe.

2. The End of Meroe

Amidst numerous unclear points of the Kushitic / Meroitic history, the end of Meroe, and the consequences of this event remain a most controversial point among scholars. Quite indicatively, we may mention here the main efforts of historical reconstitution.

A. Arkell, Sayce and others asserted that Meroe was captured and destroyed, following one military expedition led by Ezana of Axum.

B. Reisner insisted that, after Ezana’s invasion and victory, Meroe remained a state with another dynasty tributary to Axum.

C. Monneret de Villard and Hintze affirmed that Meroe was totally destroyed before Ezana’s invasion, due to an earlier Axumite Abyssinian raid.

D. Torok, Shinnie, Kirwan, Haegg and others concluded that Meroe was defeated by a predecessor of Ezana, and continued existing as a vassal state.

E. Bechhaus- Gerst specified that Meroe was invaded prior to Ezana’s raid, and that the Axumite invasion did not reach lands further in the north of Meroe51

With two fragmentary inscriptions from Meroe, one from Axum, two graffitos from Kawa and Meroe, and one coin being all the evidence we have so far, , we have little to reconstruct the details that led to the collapse of Meroe. One relevant source, the Inscription of Ezana (DAE 11, the ‘monotheistic’ inscription in vocalized Ge’eze),52 remains a somewhat controversial historical source to be useful in this regard. The legendary Monumentum Adulitanum53, lost but copied in a confused way by Cosmas Indicopleustes54, may not shed light at all on this event. One point is sure, however: there was never a generalized massacre of the Meroitic inhabitants of the lands conquered by Ezana. The aforementioned DAE 11 inscription mentions just 758 Meroites killed by the Axumite forces.

What is even more difficult to comprehend is the reason behind the scarcity of population attested on Meroitic lands in the aftermath of Ezana’s raid. The post-Meroitic and pre-Christian, transitional phase of Sudan’s history is called X-Group55 or period, or Ballana Period and this is again due to lack to historical insight. Contrary to what happened for many centuries of Meroitic history, when the Meroitic South (the area between Shendi56 and Atbara57 in modern Sudan with the entire hinterland of Butana that was called Insula Meroe / Nesos Meroe, i.e. Island Meroe in the Antiquity) was overpopulated, compared to the Meroitic North (from Napata / Karima to the area between Aswan58 and Abu Simbel59, which was called Triakontaschoinos60 and was divided between Meroe and the Roman Empire), during the X-Group times, the previously under-populated area gives us the impression of a more densely peopled region, if compared to the previous center of Meroitic power and population density. The new situation contradicts earlier descriptions and narrations by Dio Cassius 61 and Strabo.62

Furthermore, the name ‘Ballana period’ is quite indicative in this regard, Ballana being on Egyptian soil, whereas not far in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border lies Karanog with its famous tumuli that bear evidence of Nubian upper hand in terms of social anthropology. The southernmost counterpart of Karanog culture can be found in Tangassi (nearby Karima, which represented the ‘North’ for what was the center of earlier Meroitic power gravitation)

In addition, in terms of culture, X-Group heralds a total break with the Meroitic tradition, with the Nubians and the Blemmyes/Beja outnumbering the Meroitic remnants and imposing a completely different cultural and socio-anthropological milieu out of which would later emanate the first and single Nubian state in the World History: Nobatia.

Much confusion characterized modern scholars when referring to Kush or Meroe by using the modern term ‘Nubia’. By now it is clear that the Nubians lived since times immemorial in both Egypt and the Sudan, being part of the history of these two lands. But Nubians are a Nilo-Saharan ethnic / linguistic group different from the Khammitic Kushites / Meroites. At the times of X-Group and during the long centuries of Christian Sudan, we have the opportunity to attest the differences and divergence between the Nubians and the Meroitic remnants. The epicenter of Nubian center, the area between the first (Aswan) and the third (Kerma) cataracts, rose to independence and prominence first, with capital at Faras, nearby the present day Sudanese – Egyptian border, around 450 CE. Nobatia institutionalized Coptic as religious (Christian) and administrative language, and Nubian language remained an oral only vehicle of communication. The Nobatian control in the south of the third cataract was vague, nominal and precarious. Nobatia was linked with the Coptic – Monophysitic Patriarchate of Alexandria.

The Meroitic remnants underscored their difference from the Nubians / Nobatians, and the depopulated central part of the defunct state of Meroe rose to independence in the first decades of the sixth century. Its name, Makkuria, is in this regard a linguistic resemblance of the name ‘Meroe’ but we know nothing more. The Meroitic remnants inhabited the northern circumference of Makkuria more densely, and the gravitation center turned around Old Dongola (580 km in the south of Wadi Halfa), capital of this Christian Orthodox state that extended from Kerma to Shendi (the area of the sixth cataract), so for more than 1000 km alongside the Nile. But beyond the area of Karima (750 km in the south of Wadi Halfa) and the nearby famous Al Ghazali monastery we have very scarce evidence of Christian antiquities. The old African metropolis Meroe remained at the periphery of Makkuria, Alodia and Axumite Abyssinia.

Makkurians highlighted their ideological – religious divergence from the Nubians, by adopting Greek as religious language. They even introduced a new scripture for their Makkurian language that seems to be a later phase of Meroitic. Makkurian was written in alphabetic Greek signs, and the Makkurians preferred to attach themselves to Christian Orthodoxy, and more particularly to the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Alodia has long been called the ‘third Christian state’ in Sudan, but recent discoveries in Soba, its capital (15 km at the east of Khartoum), suggest that Alodia rose first to independence (around 500 CE) and later adhered to Christianity (around 580 – 600 CE) following evangelization efforts deployed by missionary Nobatian priests (possibly in a sort of anti-Makkurian religious diplomacy). We know nothing of an Alodian scripture so far.

The later phases of the Christian history of Sudan encompass the Nobatian – Makkurian merge (around 1000 CE), the islamization of Makkuria in 1317, and finally the late collapse of Christian Alodia in 1505. The question remains unanswered until today:

What happened to the bulk of the Meroitic population, i.e. the inhabitants of the Insula Meroe, the present day Butana? What occurred to the Meroites living between the fourth and the sixth cataracts after the presumably brief raid of Ezana of Axum, and the subsequent destruction of Meroe, Mussawarat es Sufra, Naqah, Wad ben Naqah and Basa?

3. Reconstruction of the Post-Meroitic History of the Kushitic Oromo Nation

Certainly, the motives of Ezana’s raid have not yet been properly studied and assessed by modern scholarship. The reasons for the raid may vary from a simple nationalistic usurpation of the name of ‘Ethiopia’ (Kush), which would give Christian eschatological legitimacy to the Axumite Abyssinian kingdom, to the needs of international politics (at the end of 4th century) and the eventuality of an Iranian – Meroitic alliance at the times of Shapur II (310 – 379), aimed at outweighing the Roman – Abyssinian bond. Yet, this alliance could have been the later phase of a time honored Meroitic diplomatic tradition (diffusion of Mithraism as attested on the Jebel Qeili reliefs of Shorakaror). What we can be sure of are the absence of a large-scale massacre, and the characteristic scarcity of population in the central Meroitic provinces during the period that follows Ezana’s raid and the destruction of Meroe.

The only plausible explanation is that the scarcity of population in Meroe mainland after Meroe’s destruction was due to the fact that the Meroites in their outright majority (at least for the inhabitants of Meroe’s southern provinces) fled and migrated to areas where they would stay independent from the Semitic Christian kingdom of Axumite Abyssinia. This explanation may sound quite fresh in approach, but it actually is not, since it constitutes the best utilization of the already existing historical data.

From archeological evidence, it becomes clear that during X-Group phase and throughout the Makkurian period the former heartland of Meroe remained mostly uninhabited. The end of Meroe is definitely abrupt, and it is obvious that Meroe’s driving force had gone elsewhere. The correct question would be “where to?”

There is no evidence of Meroites sailing the Nile downwards to the area of the 4th (Karima) and the 3rd (Kerma) cataracts, which was earlier the northern circumference of Meroe and remained untouched by Ezana. There is no textual evidence in Greek, Latin and/or Coptic to testify to such a migratory movement or to hint at an even more incredible direction, i.e. Christian Roman Egypt. If we add to this the impossibility of marching to the heartland of the invading Axumites (an act that would mean a new war), we reduce the options to relatively few.

The migrating Meroites could go either to the vast areas of the Eastern and the Western deserts or enter the African jungle or ultimately search a possibly free land that, being arable and good for pasture, would keep them far from the sphere of the Christian Axumites. It would be very erroneous to expect settled people to move to the desert. Such an eventuality would be a unique oxymoron in the history of the mankind. Nomadic peoples move from the steppes, the savannas and the deserts to fertile lands, and they settle there, or cross long distances through steppes and deserts. However, settled people, if under pressure, move to other fertile lands that offer them the possibility of cultivation and pasture. When dispersed by the invading Sea Peoples, the Hittites moved from Anatolia to Northwestern Mesopotamia; they did not cross and stay in the small part of Anatolia that is desert. The few scholars who think that Meroitic continuity could be found among the present day Beja and Hadendawa are oblivious to the aforementioned reality of the world history that was never contravened. In addition, the Blemmyes were never friendly to the Meroites. Every now and then, they had attacked parts of the Nile valley and the Meroites had had to repulse them thence. It would rather be inconceivable for the Meroitic population, after seeing Meroe sacked by Ezana, to move to a land where life would be difficult and enemies would wait them!

Modern technologies help historians and archeologists reconstruct better the ancient world; paleo-botanists, geologists, geo-chemists, paleoentomologists, and other specialized natural scientists are of great help in this regard. It is essential to stress here that the entire environmental milieu of Sudan was very different during the times of the Late Antiquity we examine in our approach. Butana may look like a wasteland nowadays, and the Pyramids of Bagrawiyah may be sunk in the sand, whereas Mussawarat es Sufra and Naqah demand a real effort in crossing the desert. But in the first centuries of Christian era, the entire landscape was dramatically different.

The Butana was not a desert but a fertile cultivated land; we have actually found remains of reservoirs, aqueducts, various hydraulic installations, irrigation systems and canals in Meroe and elsewhere. Not far from Mussawarat es Sufra there must have been an enclosure where captive elephants were trained before being transported to Ptolemais Theron (present day Suakin, 50 km in the south of Port Sudan) and then further on to Alexandria. Desert was in the vicinity, certainly, but not that close.

We should not imagine that Ezana crossed desert areas, moving from the whereabouts (vicinities?) of Agordat, Tesseney and Kessala to Atbarah and Bagrawiyah, as we would do today. And we should not imagine the lands in the south of present day Khartoum, alongside the White Nile, were easy to cross in the antiquity. In ancient times, impenetrable jungle started immediately in the south of Khartoum, and cities like Kosti and Jabalayn lie today on deforested soil. At the southernmost confines of the Meroitic state, pasturelands and arable land could be found alongside the Blue Nile Valley.

Since jungle signified death in the antiquity, and even armies feared to stay overnight in a forest or even more so in the thick African forest, we have good reason to believe that, following the Ezana’s raid, the Meroites, rejecting the perspective of forced christening, migrated southwestwards up to Khartoum. From there, they proceeded southeastwards alongside the Blue Nile in a direction that would keep them safe and far from the Axumite Abyssinians whose state did not expand as far in the south as Gondar and Tana lake. Proceeding in this way and crossing successively areas of modern cities, such as Wad Madani, Sennar, Damazin, and Asosa, and from there on, they expanded in later times over the various parts of Biyya Oromo.

We do not imply that the migration was completed in the span of one lifetime; quite contrarily, we have reasons to believe that the establishment of Alodia (or Alwa) is due to the progressive waves of Meroitic migrants who settled first in the area of Khartoum that was out of the westernmost confines of the Meroitic state. Only when Christianization became a matter of concern for the evangelizing Nobatians, and the two Christian Sudanese states were already strong, the chances of preserving the pre-Christian Meroitic cultural heritage in the area around Soba (capital of Alodia) were truly poor; then another wave of migrations took place, with early Alodian Meroites proceeding as far in the south as Damazin and Asosa, areas that remained always beyond the southern border of Alodia (presumably around Sennar). Like this, the second migratory Meroitic (Makkurian) wave may have entered around 600 CE in the area where the Oromos, descendents of the migrated Meroites, still live today.

A great number of changes at the cultural – behavioral levels are to be expected, when a settled people migrates to faraway lands. The Phoenicians had kings in Tyre, Byblos and their other cities – states, but introduced a democratic system when they sailed faraway and colonized various parts of the Mediterranean. The collapse of the Meroitic royalty was a shock for the Nile valley; the Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makkuria and Alodia were ruled by kings whose power was to great extent counterbalanced by that of the Christian clergy. With the Meroitic royal family decimated by Ezana, it is quite possible that high priests of Apedemak and Amani (Amun) took much of the administrative responsibility in their hands, inciting people to migrate and establishing a form of collective and representative authority among the Meroitic Elders. They may even have preserved the royal title of Qore within completely different socio-anthropological context.

4. Call for Comparative Meroitic-Oromo Studies

How can this approach, interpretation, and conclusion be corroborated up to the point of becoming a generally accepted historical reconstitution at the academic level? On what axes should one group of researchers work to collect detailed documentation in support of the Meroitic ancestry of the Oromos?

Quite strangely, I would not give priority to the linguistic approach. The continuity of a language can prove many things and can prove nothing. The Bulgarians are of Uralo-Altaic Turco-Mongolian origin, but, after they settled in Eastern Balkans, they were linguistically slavicized. Most of the Greeks are Albanians, Slavs, and Vlachians, who were hellenized linguistically. Most of the Turks in Turkey are Greeks and Anatolians, who were turkicized linguistically. A people can preserve its own language in various degrees and forms. For the case of languages preserved throughout millennia, we notice tremendous changes and differences. If you had picked up Plato and ‘transferred’ him at the times of Linear B (that was written in Mycenae 800 years before the Greek philosopher lived), you should be sure that Plato would not have understood the language of his ancestors with the exception of some words. Egyptian hieroglyphics was a scripture that favored archaism and linguistic puritanism. But we can be sure that for later Pharaohs, like Taharqa the Kushite (the most illustrious ruler of the ‘Ethiopian’ dynasty), Psamtik, Nechao, Ptolemy II and Cleopatra VII, a Pyramid text (that antedated them by 1700 to 2300 years) would almost be incomprehensible.

A. National diachronic continuity is better attested and more markedly noticed in terms of Culture, Religion and Philosophical – Behavioral system. The first circle of comparative research would encompass the world of the Kushitic – Meroitic and Oromo concepts, anything that relates to the Weltanschauung of the two cultural units/groups under study. A common view of basic themes of life and a common perception of the world would bring a significant corroboration of the Meroitic ancestry of the Oromos. So, first it is a matter of history of religions, African philosophy, social anthropology, ethnography and culture history.

B. Archeological research can help tremendously too. At this point one has to stress the reality that the critical area for the reconstruction suggested has been totally indifferent for Egyptologists, Meroitic and Axumite archeologists so far. The Blue Nile valley in Sudan and Abyssinia was never the subject of an archeological survey, and the same concerns the Oromo highlands. Certainly modern archeologists prefer something concrete that would lead them to a great discovery, being therefore very different from the pioneering nineteenth century archeologists. An archeological study would be necessary in the Blue Nile valley and the Oromo highlands in the years to come.

C. A linguistic – epigraphic approach may bring forth even more spectacular results. It could eventually end up with a complete decipherment of the Meroitic and the Makkurian. An effort must be made to read the Meroitic texts, hieroglyphic and cursive, with the help of Oromo language. Meroitic personal names and toponymics must be studied in the light of a potential Oromo interpretation. Comparative linguistics may unveil affinities that will lead to reconsideration of the work done so far in the Meroitic decipherment.

D. Last but not least, another dimension would be added to the project with the initiation of comparative anthropological studies. Data extracted from findings in the Meroitic cemeteries must be compared with data provided by the anthropological study of present day Oromos. The research must encompass pictorial documentation from the various Meroitic temples’ bas-reliefs.

To all these I would add a better reassessment of the existing historical sources, but this is not a critical dimension of this research project.

I believe my call for Comparative Meroitic – Oromo Studies reached the correct audience that can truly evaluate the significance of the ultimate corroboration of the Meroitic Ancestry of the Oromos, as well as the magnificent consequences such corroboration would have in view of

a) the forthcoming Kushitic Palingenesia – Renaissance if you want – in Africa,

b) the establishment of a Post – Colonial African Historiography, and – last but not least –

c) the Question of the Most Genuine and Authoritative Representation of Africa in the United Nations Security Council.

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NOTES

1. To those having the slightest doubt, trying purely for political reasons and speculation to include territories of the modern state of Abyssinia into what they Ancient Greeks and Romans called “Aethiopia”, the entry Aethiopia in Pauly-Wissowa, Realenzyklopadie der klassischen Altertumwissenschaft consists in the best and irrevocable answer.

2. http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information … karl.html; http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Richard_Lepsius; parts of the Denkmaeler are already available online: http://edoc3.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/bo … start.html. Also: http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/LEO_LOB/L … 1884_.html. The fact that the furthermost point of ‘Ethiopia’ he reached was Khartoum is of course quite telling.

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._A._Wallis_Budge; he wrote among the rest a book on his Meroe excavations’ results, The Egyptian Sudan: its History and Monuments (London, 1907).

4. Mythical figure of the British Orientalism, Garstang excavated in England, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and the Sudan; Albright, William Foxwell: “John Garstang in Memoriam”, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 144. (Dec., 1956), pp. 7–8. Garstang’s major articles on his Meroe excavations are the following: ‘Preliminary Note on an Expedition to Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 3 (1911 – a), ‘Second Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia, I. Excavations’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 4 (1911 – b), ‘Third Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 5 (1912), ‘Forth Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 6 (1913), and ‘Fifth Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 7 (1914). His major contribution was published in the same year under the title ‘Meroë, the City of Ethiopians’ (Oxford). A leading Meroitologist, Laszlo Torok wrote an entire volume on Garstang’s excavations at Meroe: Meroe City, an Ancient African Capital: John Garstang’s Excavations in the Sudan.

5. Griffith was the epigraphist of Grastand and had already published the epigraphic evidence unearthed at Meroe in the chapter entitled ‘the Inscriptions from Meroë’ in Garstang’s ‘Meroë, the City of Ethiopians’. After many pioneering researches and excavations in various parts of Egypt and Northern Sudan, Faras, Karanog, Napata and Philae to name a few, he concentrated on Kerma: ‘Excavations at Kawa’, Sudan Notes and Records 14.

6. Basically: www.sag-online.de/pdf/mittsag9.5.pdf; among other contributions: Die Inschriften des Löwentempels von Musawwarat es Sufra, Berlin (1962); Vorbericht über die Ausgrabungen des Instituts für Ägyptologie der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Musawwarat es Sufra, 1960-1961 (1962); ‘Musawwarat es Sufra. Preliminary Report on the Excavations of the Institute of Egyptology, Humboldt University, Berlin, 1961-1962(Third Season)’, Kush 11 (1963); ‘Preliminary Note on the Epigraphic Expedition to Sudanese Nubia, 1962’, Kush 11 (1963); ‘Preliminary note on the Epigraphic Expedition to Sudanese Nubia, 1963’, Kush 13 (1965).

7. As regards my French professor’s publications focused on his excavations at Sudan: Soleb and Sedeinga in Lexikon der Ägyptologie 5, Wiesbaden 1984 (entries contributed by J. Leclant himself); also J. Leclant, Les reconnaissances archéologiques au Soudan, in: Études nubiennes I, 57-60.

8. His recent volume Sudan: Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile, Paris/New York (1997) contains earlier bibliography.

9. Some of his most authoritative publications: ‘A History of the Sudan from the Earliest Times to 1821’, 1961 (2nd Ed.), London; ‘’The Valley of the Nile’, in: The Dawn of African History, R. Oliver (ed.), London. Arkell is mostly renowned for his monumental ‘The Royal Cemeteries of Kush’ in many volumes.

10. Presentation of his ‘Ancient Nubia’ in:

http://www.keganpaul.com/product_info.p … cts_id=33; for a non exhaustive list of Shinnie’s publications:http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ia2.htm#S; see also a presentation of a volume on Meroe, edited by Shinnie et alii:http://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/mcgi/ … 1163879905{haupt_harrassowitz=http://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/acgi/a.cgi?alayout=489&ausgabe=detail&aref=353.

11. Many of his publications are listed here:

http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ia2.htm#S; also here: http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ypt4.htm#T. In the Eighth International Conference for Meroitic Studies, Torok spoke about ‘The End of Meroe’; the speech will be included in the arkamani online project, here:

http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … -meroe.htm.

12. Useful reading: http://www.culturekiosque.com/art/exhib … souda.htm; also: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history4.html; see also the entry ‘Kush’ in Lexikon der Aegyptologie and the Encyclopedia Judaica. More specifically bout the Egyptian Hieroglyphic and the Hebrew writings of the name of Kush: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/journey_to_nubia.html. For more recent bibliography:http://blackhistorypages.net/pages/kush.php. Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cush%2C_son_of_Ham.

13. Basic bibliography in:

http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … y_a_b.htm; http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/NUB/NUBX … chure.html.

More particularly on Qustul, and the local Group A Cemetery that was discovered in the 60s by Dr. Keith Seele:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/qustul.html (by Bruce Beyer Williams). Quite interesting approach by Clyde Winters as regards an eventual use of Egyptian Hieroglyphics in Group A Nubia, 200 years before the system was introduced in… Egypt:http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/anwrite.htm.

14. Brief info: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history3_1.html; see also: http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IS/RITNER/Nubia_2005.html; more recently several scholars consider Group B as an extension of Group A (GRATIEN, Brigitte, La Basse Nubie à l’Ancien Empire: Égyptiens et autochtones, JEA 81 (1995), 43-56).

15.Readings:http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/geoghist/histories/oldcivilization/Egyptology/Nubia/nubiad1.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneferu;ht … %20Snefrue),%201st%20King%20of%20Egypt’s%204th%20Dynasty.htm (with bibliography);http://www.narmer.pl/dyn/04en.htm; for the Palermo stone inscription where we have the Nubia expedition narrative:http://www.britannica.com/ebi/article-9332360; http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html (click on the Palermo Stone);http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palermo_stone (with related bibliography).

16. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-Group; http://www.numibia.net/nubia/c-group.htm; http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/sje/sjeexh.htmand http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/ta/tae.html (with designs and pictures); http://www.ancientsudan.org/03_burials_02_early.htm(with focus on Group C burials and burial architecture). See also: http://www.ualberta.ca/~nlovell/nubia.htm;http://www.dignubia.org/maps/timeline/bce-2300a.htm;

17. References in the Lexikon der Aegyptologie. See also: http://www.nigli.net/akhenaten/wawat_1.html; one of the related sources: The Story of an Egyptian Politician, published by T. G. Allen, in: American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Oct., 1921), pp. 55-62; Texts relating to Egyptian expeditions in Yam and Irtet: http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/assouan … rkouf.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medjay; more in ‘Ancient Nubia: Egypt’s Rival in Africa’(Paperback) by David O’ Connor,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/092417 … 67-0196731.

18. Brief description: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/stsmit … erma.html; http://www.spicey.demon.co.uk/Nubianpag … htm#French (with several interesting links); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kerma (brief but with recent bibliography containing some of Bonnet’s publications).

19. Vivian Davies, ‘La frontière méridionale de l’Empire : Les Egyptiens à Kurgus,’ Bulletin de la Société française d’égyptologie, 2003, no157, pp. 23-37 (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15281726); about the ongoing British excavations:http://www.sudarchrs.org.uk/page17.html; about the inscription of Thutmosis I: http://thutmosis_i.know-library.net; also:http://www.meritneith.de/politik_neuesreich.htm, and http://www.aegyptologie.com/forum/cgi-b … 0514112733.

20. In brief and with images: http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/um/umj.html; also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kush (with selected recent bibliography) and http://www.mfa.org/collections/search_a … kage=26155 (for art visualization). The period is also called Napatan, out of the Kushitic state capital’s name: http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/kingaspalta.html.

21. To start with: http://www.bartleby.com/67/99.html; http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9054804/Napata;http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology … apata.html (including references); most authoritative presentation by Timothy Kendall ‘Gebel Barkal and Ancient Napata’ in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … nubia.htm; also: ‘the Rise of the Kushitic kingdom’ by Brian Yare, in: http://www.yare.org/essays/kushite%20ki … Napata.htm. For Karima, notice the interesting itinerary:http://lts3.algonquincollege.com/africa … /sudan.htm, and http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karima.

22. Introductory reading: http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html (click on Manetho); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manetho (with selected bibliography). Among the aforementioned, the entries Manethon (Realenzyklopaedie) and Manetho (Lexikon der Aegyptologie) are essential.

23. For the Ethiopian dynasty, all the related entries in the Lexikon and the Realenzyklopaedie (Piankhi, Shabaka, Shabataka, Taharqa, Tanutamon) are the basic bibliography; see also: http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/3017.html; the last edition (1996) of Kenneth Kitchen’s ‘The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC)’, Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd, remains the best reassessment of the period and the related sources. Introductory information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabaka; http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabataka;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taharqa; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantamani. Also:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/mentuemhat.html; critical bibliography for understanding the perplex period is J. Leclant lectureship thesis (these d’ Etat) ‘Montouemhat, Quatrieme Prophete D’Amon, (1961)

24. Basics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assarhaddon; the edition of the Assyrian emperor’s annals by R. Borger (Die Inschriften Assarhaddons, Königs von Assyrien, AfO 9, Graz, 1956) remain our basic reference to formal sources. More recently, F. Reynolds shed light on private sources, publishing ‘The Babylonian correspondence of Esarhaddon, and letters to Assurbanipal and Sin-Sarru-Iskun from Northern and Central Babylonia’ (SAA 18, 2004).

25. For the Greater Emperor of the Oriental Antiquity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashurbanipal; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamash-shum-ukin; http://web.utk.edu/~djones39/Assurbanipal.html; until today we have to rely mostly on the voluminous edition of Assurbanipal’s Annals by Maximilian Streck (Assurbanipal und die letzten assyrischen. Könige bis zum Untergang Niniveh, Leipzig,1916); see also M. W. Waters’ Te’umman in the neo-Assyrian correspondence (Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1999, vol. 119, no3, pp. 473-477)

26. Heliopolis (Iwnw in Egyptian Hieroglyphic – literally the place of the pillars –, On in Hebrew and in Septuaginta Greek) was the center of Egyptian monotheism, the holiest religious center throughout Ancient Egypt; it is from Heliopolis that emanated the Isiac ideology and the Atum Ennead. Basic readings: the entry Heliopolis in Realenzyklopaedie and in Lexikon der Aegyptologie; more recently:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliopolis_%28ancient%29.

27. Basic readings: http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/chron … tiki.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psammetichus_I;http://www.phouka.com/pharaoh/pharaoh/d … tik1.html; http://www.specialtyinterests.net/psamtek.html (with pictorial documentation). See also: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history6.html.

28. Hakhamaneshian is the first Persian dynasty; it got momentum whenCyrus II invaded successively Media and Babylon. Readings:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_dynasty (with selected bibliography); the 2nd volume of the Cambridge History of Iran is dedicated to Achaemenid history (contents: http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/c … 0521200911.

29. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambyses_II_of_Persia (with bibliographya nd sources). Cambyses invaded Kush and destroyed Napata at the times of Amani-natake-lebte, and his embattled army was decimated according to the famous narratives of Herodotus that still need to be corroborated. What seems more plausible is that, having reached in an unfriendly milieu of the Saharan desert where they had no earlier experience, the Persians soldiers, at a distance of no less than 4000 km from their capital, faced guerilla undertaken by the Kushitic army remnants and their nomadic allies.

30. Nastasen was the last to be buried in Nuri, in the whereabouts of Napata. Contemporary with Alexander the Great, Nastasen fought against an invader originating from Egypt whose name was recorded as Kambasawden. This led many to confuse the invader with Cambyses, who ruled 200 years earlier (!). The small inscription on the Letti stela does not allow great speculation; was it an attempt of Alexander the Great to proceed to the south of which we never heard anything? Impossible to conclude. For photographical documentation:http://www.dignubia.org/bookshelf/ruler … 00017&ord=. Another interpretation: http://www.nubia2006.uw.edu.pl/nubia/ab … 94e6349d8b.

31. Arkamaniqo was the first to have his pyramid built at Meroe, not at Napata. See: http://www.dignubia.org/bookshelf/ruler … 0018&ord=;http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergamenes, He inaugurated the architectural works at Dakka, the famous ancient Egyptian Pa Serqet, known in Greek literature as Pselkhis (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/dakka.htm), in veneration of God Thot, an endeavour that brought the Ptolemies and the Meroites in alliance.

32. For Abyssinia’s conversion to Christianity: http://www.spiritualite2000.com/page.php?idpage=555, and http://www.rjliban.com/Saint-Frumentius.doc. The Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezana_of_Axum) is written by ignorant and chauvinist people, and is full of mistakes, ascribing provocatively and irrelevantly to Ezanas following territories (using modern names): “present-day Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, northern Somalia, Djibouti, northern Sudan, and southern Egypt”. All this shows how misleading this encyclopedia can be. Neither southern Egypt, northern Sudan, northern Somalia and Djibouti nor Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia ever belonged to Ezana’s small kingdom that extended from Adulis to Axum, and following the king’s victory over Meroe, it included modern Sudan’s territories between Kessala and Atbara. Nothing more!

33. Richard A. Lobban, ‘The Nubian Dynasty of Kush and Egypt: Continuing Research on Dynasty XXV’: http://209.85.129.104/search?q=cache:4F … clnk&cd=2; these inscriptions were published as early as 1821: E. F. Gau, Nubische Denkmaeler (Stuttgart). Other early publications on Meroitic antiquities: E. Riippell, Reisen in Nubien, Kordofan, &c. (Frankfort a. M., 1829); F. Caillaud, Voyage a Me’roe (Paris, 1826); J. L. Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, e5fc. (London, 1819); G. Waddington and B. Hanbury, Journal of a Visit to some ‘parts of Ethiopia (London, 1822); L. Reinisch, Die Nuba-Sprache (Vienna, 1879); Memoirs of the Societe khediviale de Geographic, Cairo.

34. Readings: http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/candace.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanakdakhete; more analytically:http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … graphy.htm. The only inscription giving her name comes from Temple F in Naga (REM 0039A-B). The name appears in Meroitic hieroglyphics in the middle of an Egyptian text. See also: Laszlo Török, in: Fontes Historiae Nubiorum, Vol. II, Bergen 1996, 660-662. The first attempts to render full Meroitic phrases into hieroglyphs (not only personal names, as it was common earlier) can be dated from the turn of the 3rd / 2nd century BCE, but they reflect the earlier stage of the development.

35. C. Rilly, ‘Les graffiti archaïques de Doukki Gel et l’apparition de l’écriture méroïtique’. Meroitic Newsletter, 2003, No 30 : 41-55, pl. IX-XIII (fig. 41-48).

36. Michael H. Zach, ‘Aksum and the end of Meroe’, in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … s/Zach.htm. See also:http://www.soas.ac.uk/lingfiles/working … rowan2.pdf. Also: Clyde A. Winters, ‘Meroitic evidence for a Blemmy empire in the Dodekaschoins’ in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … labsha.htm. Kharamadoye was a Blemmyan / Beja king who lived around the year 330 CE, and his inscription was curved on the Nubian/Blemmyan temple at Kalabsha (ancient Talmis) in the south of Aswan; more: M. S. Megalommatis, ‘Sudan’s Beja / Blemmyes, and their Right to Freedom and Statehood’, in: http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/8-16-2006-105657.asp, and in: http://www.sudaneseonline.com/en/article_929.shtml. More general: http://www.touregypt.net/kalabsha.htm.

37. For Ballana: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballana; http://www.numibia.net/nubia/sites_salv … p_Numb=13;http://www.dignubia.org/maps/timeline/ce-0400.htm; http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/fne … ndex.html; for the excavations carried out there: Farid Shafiq, ‘Excavations at Ballana, 1958-1959’, Cairo, 1963: http://www.archaeologia.com/details.asp?id=647.

38. His publications encompass the following:

‘Karanog: the Meroitic Inscriptions of Karanog and Shablul’, (The Eckley B. Coxe Junior Expedition to Nubia VI), Philadelphia, 1911; ‘Meroitic Inscriptions, I, Sôbâ Dangûl’, Oxford, 1911; ‘Meroitic Inscriptions part II, Napata to Philae and Miscellaneous’, Egypt Exploration Society, Archaeological Survey of Egypt, Memoirs, London, 1912; ‘Meroitic Studies II’, in: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol. 3 (1916).

39. Readings: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergamenes; http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arqamani; list of sources concerning Ergamenes II: Laszlo Török, ’Fontes Historiae Nubiorum’, vol. II, Bergen 1996, S. 566-567; further: http://www.chs.harvard.edu/publications … tei.xml_1;http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/813603; an insightful view: Laszlo Torok, ‘Amasis and Ergamenes’, in: The Intellectual Heritage of Egypt. Studies Kákosy, 555-561. An English translation of Diodorus’ text on Ergamenes (III. 6) is here:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/diodorus.html.

40. B. G. Haycock, ‘The Problem of the Meroitic Language’, Occasional Papers in Linguistics and Language Learning, no.5 (1978), p. 50-81; see also: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … nology.htm. Another significant contribution by B.G.Haycock, ‘Towards a Data for King Ergamenes’, Kush 13 (1965).41. See: K.H.Priese, ‘Die Statue des napatanischen Königs Aramatelqo (Amtelqa) Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum Inv.-Nr. 2249’ in: Festschrift zum 150 jährigen Bestehen des Berliner Ägyptischen Museums, Berlin; of the same author, ’Matrilineare Erbfolge im Reich von Napata’, Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 108 (1981).

42. Readings: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ … /beja.htm; http://bejacongress.com;

43. Basic reading: Egeimi, Omer Abdalla, ‘From Adaptation to Marginalization: The Political Ecology of Subsistence Crisis among the Hadendawa Pastoralists of Sudan’, in: Managing Scarcity: Human Adaptation in East African Drylands, edited by Abdel Ghaffar M. Ahmed and Hassan Abdel Ati, 30-49. Proceedings of a regional workshop, Addis Ababa, 24-26 August 1995. Addis Ababa: OSSREA, 1996 (http://www.africa.upenn.edu/ossrea/ossreabiblio.html).

44. F. Hintze, ‘Some problems of Meroitic philology”, in: Studies in

Ancient Languages of the Sudan, pp. 73-78; see discussions: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/mero.htm, andhttp://www.soas.ac.uk/lingfiles/working … rowan2.pdf.

45. In various publications; see indicatively: ‘Die meroitische Sprache und das protoaltaische Sprachsubstrat als Medium zu ihrer Deutung (I): Mit _quivalenten von grammatikalischen Partikeln und Wortgleichungen’, Ulm/Donau (1992).

46. See: http://www.geocities.com/athens/academy … ersc2.html (with extensive list of publications).

47. Readings: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kush/hd_kush.htm (with further bibliography); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushan_Empire;http://www.kushan.org; (with pictorial documentation) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kush/hd_kush.htm;http://www.asianart.com/articles/jaya/index.html (with references).

48. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsacid_Dynasty; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthia; authoritative presentation in Cambridge History of Iran.

49. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sassanid_Empire (with further bibliography); authoritative presentation in Cambridge History of Iran.

50. See: http://arkamani.org/meroitic_studies/li … oitic.htm; http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … rilly.htm;

http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … graphy.htm.

51. http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … s/Zach.htm (with reference to epigraphic sources).

52. More recently: R.Voigt, The Royal Inscriptions of King Ezana, in the Second International Littmann Conference: Aksum 7-11 January 2006 (see: http://www.oidmg.org/Beirut/downloads/L … Report.pdf); also: http://users.vnet.net/alight/aksum/mhak4.html;http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=37430160. Read also: Manfred Kropp, Die traditionellen äthiopischen Königslisten und ihre Quellen, in:http://www2.rz.hu-berlin.de/nilus/net-p … listen.pdf (with bibliography).

53. Readings: http://www.telemaco.unibo.it/epigr/testi05.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monumentum_Adulitanum;http://www.shabait.com/staging/publish/ … 3290.html; http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/aksum.html;http://www.arikah.net/encyclopedia/Adulis; further: Yuzo Shitomi, ‘A New Interpretation of the Monumentum Adulitanum’, in: Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko, 55 (1997). French translation is available online here: http://www.clio.fr/BIBLIOTHEQUE/les_gre … hiopie.asp.

54. Readings: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04404a.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmas_Indicopleustes; text and translation can be found online: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/awiesner/cosmas.html (with bibliography and earlier text/translation publications;http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/#Cosm … opleustes; andhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/more … copleustes. Also: http://www.henry-davis.com/MAPS/EMwebpages/202.html; http://davidburnet.com/EarlyFathers-Oth … eintro.htm.

55. Readings: http://library.thinkquest.org/22845/kus … oyalty.pdf

56. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shendi; N. I. Nooter, The Gates of Shendi, Los Angeles, 1999 (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1565561).

57. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atbarah; http://www.country-studies.com/sudan/th … ples.html;http://www.sudan.net/tourism/cities.html.

58. Syene (Aswan): see the entries of Realenzyklopaedie and Lexikon der Aegyptologie; also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan;http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14367a.htm.

59. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Simbel; http://www.bibleplaces.com/abusimbel.htm; http://lexicorient.com/e.o/abu_simbel.htm.

60. http://www.numibia.net/nubia/ptolemies.htm; http://rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it/nubiaco … zymski.doc. Dodekaschoinos was the northern part of Triakontaschoinos; the area was essential for Roman border security: http://poj.peeters-leuven.be/content.ph … al_code=AS. More recently: http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/facultie … f.dijkstra.

61. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dio_Cassius; see details of the early Roman rule over Egypt here: Timo Stickler, ‘Cornelius Gallus and the Beginnings of the Augustan Rule in Egypt’,

62. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strabo (particularly in his 17th book); English translation available here:http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R … 17A1*.html.

Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe

Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism July 21, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Beat, African Music, Culture, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Musicians and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism, Oromia, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Music, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Self determination, State of Oromia.
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Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism

By Harvard  University Professor Kay Kaufman Shelemay

Oromo Studies Collection

 

Harvard University’s African Studies Workshop Featuring Kay Kaufman Shelemay: “Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism”

Title: Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism
Author: Kay Kaufman Shelemay (Professor of Music and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University)
Published: Seminar Presentation, African Studies Workshop at Harvard University
Language: English
Keywords: Ethnography, Ethnomusicology, Music, Oromo Nationalism

On March 3, 2014, Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, presented, “Listening to Ethiopia’s South: Music, Musicians, and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism.” Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music at Harvard University, was the discussant.

Original Source: African Studies at Harvard University

 

The Human Factor in Innovation:Ethiopia Ranks Very Low in 2014 Global Innovation Index July 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model, The Global Innovation Index.
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Ojohn cornell university logoinsead the business school of the world logoworld intellectual property organization logo

 

 

Global Innovation Index (GII) 2014:  This year, the theme of the report is the ‘Human Factor in Innovation’

The fundamental driver behind any innovation process is the human factor associated with it. We observe that some nations take the lead in innovation capability over others. A major factor for this disparity of innovation prowess is the quality of human capital linked to the innovation activities carried out in these nations. Other factors, such as technology and capital, also influence the innovation process; these directly correlate with the human factor. Hence nurturing human capital at all levels and in all sections of society can be crucial for developing the foundation for innovation.

Human-Centric Innovation: Inspired Talent Is the Engine of Innovation.

http://www.globalinnovationindex.org/content.aspx?page=gii-full-report-2014

 

Out of 143 countries listed in the Global Innovation Index report released in Sydney, Australia,  18th July 2014, Ethiopia  is in the 126th position. The score is 25.4.

Among Ethiopia’s poorest performances are:

Innovation input sub-index (128)

Ecological sustainability (136)

Political stability (136)

Regulatory quality (134)

Ease of starting business (130)

Human Capital & research (137)

Education   (136)

ICT access (133)

Logistics performance (133)

Online creativity (141)

http://www.globalinnovationindex.org/content.aspx?page=gii-full-report-2014#pdfopener

 

Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Sweden are the most innovative countries in the world – and Singapore is Asia’s most innovative economy. No African country made the first 39 spot in the ranking but Mauritius tops the list for African countries coming in at 40. Mauritius (40) and Seychelles  (51) beat South Africa (53rd) to the chase in the African continent. The regional winner, Mauritius,  has shown an impressive improvement of 13 places from 53rd in 2013. The following Africa countries are in the first 100 rankings: Tunisia (78), Morocco (84), Kenya (85), Uganda (91), Botswana (92), Ghana (96), Cabo Verde (97), Senegal (98) and Egypt (99).

Top 10 in the  2014 rankings:

1. Switzerland

2. United Kingdom

3. Sweden

4. Finland

5. Netherlands

6. USA

7. Singapore

8. Denmark

9. Luxembourg

10. Hong Kong (China)

According to  the authors of the report: “These GII leaders have created well-linked innovation ecosystems, where investments in human capital combined with strong innovation infrastructures contribute to high levels of creativity.”

“In particular, the top 25 countries in the GII consistently score high in most indicators and have strengths in areas such as innovation infrastructure, including information and communication technologies; business sophistication such as knowledge workers, innovation linkages, and knowledge absorption; and innovation outputs such as creative goods and services and online creativity.”

11 of the bottom 20 countries are from Africa ( Ethiopia, Sudan, Burundi, Angola, Niger, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Benin, Guinea and Togo). These countries are making the 11 worst African countries.

The Global Innovation Index surveys 143 economies around the world, using 81 indicators – to gauge both their innovation capabilities and measurable results.

The annual rankings is published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
To view the full list, click here

 

 

And also read @ http://oromiaeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/the-human-factor-in-innovationethiopia-ranks-very-low-in-2014-global-innovation-index-july-20-2014/

Aid to Africa:A smokescreen to hide the “sustained looting” of the continent July 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Aid to Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, UK Aid Should Respect Rights, Uncategorized.
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OThe Guardian home

Although sub-Saharan Africa receives $134bn each year in loans, foreign investment and development aid, $192bn leaves the region, leaving a $58bn shortfall. See @ http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jul/15/aid-africa-west-looting-continent?CMP=fb_ot

 

 

Mark Anderson writes for the Guardian:

Western countries are using aid to Africa as a smokescreen to hide the “sustained looting” of the continent as it loses nearly $60bn a year through tax evasion, climate change mitigation, and the flight of profits earned by foreign multinational companies, a group of NGOs has claimed.

Although sub-Saharan Africa receives $134bn each year in loans, foreign investment and development aid, research released on Tuesday by a group of UK and Africa-based NGOs suggests that $192bn leaves the region, leaving a $58bn shortfall.

It says aid sent in the form of loans serves only to contribute to the continent’s debt crisis, and recommends that donors should use transparent contracts to ensure development assistance grants can be properly scrutinised by the recipient country’s parliament.

“The common understanding is that the UK ‘helps’ Africa through aid, but in reality this serves as a smokescreen for the billions taken out,” said Martin Drewry, director of Health Poverty Action, one of the NGOs behind the report. “Let’s use more accurate language. It’s sustained looting – the opposite of generous giving – and we should recognise that the City of London is at the heart of the global financial system that facilitates this.”

Research by Global Financial Integrity shows Africa’s illicit outflows were nearly 50% higher than the average for the global south from 2002-11.The UK-based NGO ActionAid issued a report last year (pdf) that claimed half of large corporate investment in the global south transited through a tax haven.

Supporting regulatory reforms would empower African governments “to control the operations of investing foreign companies”, the report says, adding: “Countries must support efforts under way in the United Nations to draw up a binding international agreement on transnational corporations to protect human rights.”

But NGOs must also change, according to Drewry: “We need to move beyond our focus on aid levels and communicate the bigger truth – exposing the real relationship between rich and poor, and holding leaders to account.”

The report was authored by 13 UK and Africa-based NGOs, including:Health Poverty ActionJubilee Debt CampaignWorld Development MovementAfrican Forum and Network on Debt and Development,Friends of the Earth AfricaTax Justice NetworkPeople’s Health Movement Kenya, Zimbabwe and UKWar on WantCommunity Working Group on Health ZimbabweMedactHealthworkers4AllFriends of the Earth South AfricaJA!Justiça Ambiental/Friends of the Earth Mozambique.

Sarah-Jayne Clifton, director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, said: “Tackling inequality between Africa and the rest of the world means tackling the root causes of its debt dependency, its loss of government revenue by tax dodging, and the other ways the continent is being plundered. Here in the UK we can start with our role as a major global financial centre and network of tax havens, complicit in siphoning money out of Africa.”

A UK government spokesman said: “The UK put tax and transparency at the heart of our G8 presidency last year and we are actively working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to ensure companies are paying the tax they should and helping developing countries collect the tax they are owed.” Read  @http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jul/15/aid-africa-west-looting-continent?CMP=fb_ot

http://www.gfintegrity.org/report/2013-global-report-illicit-financial-flows-from-developing-countries-2002-2011/

The Inspirational Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom (1918 – 2013) July 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Nelson Mandela, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Self determination, Uncategorized.
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International Nelson Mandela Day

After spending almost three decades as a political prisoner in his own country, Nelson Mandela emerged from his cell and quickly became one of the most revered world leaders.  18th July, Mandel’s Birthday, has been named International Nelson Mandela Day in his honor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taddasaand Mandella

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

 

 

Nelson Mandela was not only a great leader; he was a student of great leadership. As a boy, he was dazzled by stories of African leaders from the 17th and 18th centuries, and he saw himself as part of that grand tradition. He was raised by the Regent of the Tembu tribe, who allowed him to sit in on tribal councils. Mandela once told me that the Regent would never speak until the end, and then he would summarize what had been said and try to form a consensus. When I was working with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, I sat in on many meetings with his own senior team. He would almost always wait until the end to speak and then see if he could forge a consensus. To him that was the African way.

Mandela was not only a student of great leadership; he was intent on creating great African leaders. He believed that there was a dearth of great leaders in Africa, and he was keen on motivating a new generation of leadership for the continent.

I was with Mandela during many meetings with South African and international leaders. Afterwards, he would comment on a leader’s particular style or tactics, or even on what he wore. He would note if a leader was polite or deferential. He did not like leaders who were overly emotional or histrionic. If he described you as “measured,” that was a great compliment. He prized directness. He had no tolerance for leaders who were not honest. And he would sometimes smile ruefully if someone was in over his head.

Mandela believed that African leaders needed to be different than Western leaders. As the head of the African National Congress, and as the president of South Africa, he always sought consensus. He once told me that as a boy he had spent many days herding cattle, and that the way you lead cattle is from behind. By that he meant, you must marshal your forces and make sure that your people are ready to go in the direction where you want to lead them. Mandela led from the front and behind, and it is his spirit that is behind the Young African Leadership Initiative. And on Mandela’s 96th birthday, we get ready to welcome to Washington the 500 YALI Fellows who are the brightest of a new generation of great African leaders.

Mandela understood that leaders are made as well as born, and that circumstances bring forth great leaders. He liked the old English expression about leadership: “Cometh the moment, cometh the man – or the woman.” This is the moment for these young African leaders.

– See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/07/17/nelson-mandela-s-legacy-and-next-generation-great-african-leaders#sthash.oVogppHa.YJ5JRlPJ.dpuf

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Living isn’t just about doing for yourself, but what you do for others as well.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Photo: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." ~ Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace, Madiba.

Photo: "Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.” (Speech to European Parliament, 1990)</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

 

Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress member Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, raise fists upon Mandela’s release from Victor Verster prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Paarl, South Africa.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela at a funeral for 12 people who died during township unrest in Soweto, South Africa, Sept. 20, 1990.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela greets supporters behind the fence in the mining town of Randfontein, west of Johannesburg, Nov. 25, 1993. He toured the area as part of his campaign for the 1994 presidential election.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

President Mandela goes on a walkabout round Trafalgar Square in London on his way to South Africa House, where he made a speech from the balcony.(POOL/AFP/Getty Images),

See more at@http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/nelson-mandela-day-20140718

 

‘Over the years, Mandela’s initial military training and brief stay in Ethiopia received only a scant media coverage. It has been said that Mandela had come face-to-face with death at many junctures in his long life. But had the alleged 1962 assassination attempt in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, succeeded, the world would have been worse off.

gutadinkaA man who single-handedly saved Mandela has recently come forward with his story. Captain Guta Dinka, 78, was one of the two guards assigned to protect the future icon of peace during his training’  in Finfinnee. Read more at  http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3723-captain-guta-dinka-the-man-who-saved-mandela

Photo: Col Fekadu Wakene said Mr Mandela was a good student

Col Fekadu Wakene,  Oromo man

In ‘July 1962, Col Fekadu Wakene taught South African political activist Nelson Mandela the tricks of guerrilla warfare – including how to plant explosives before slipping quietly away into the night.’ BBC

WASHINGTON, DC (VOA, Afaan Oromo) — Prezidaantiin Afrikaa kibbaa duraanii Nelson Maandeellaa umrii isaanii 95tti kamiisa kaleessaa du’an boqotanii jiran.Uummanni addunyaa irra jiru prezidaantii gurraacha Afrikaa kibbaaf isa jalqabaa ta’an kanaaf gadda itti dhaga’ame ibsaa jira.

Namoota hedduu biratti maandelaan Goota.Nama kaka’uumsa qabu nama jabaa fi mul’ata qabu. Yeroo baayyee nama gad of qabu, nama gaarii, amanamaa, nama warra biraafis yaadu.

Ta’uun beekamu. Nelson Mandelaan Adooleessa 18 bara 1918 dhalatanii naannoo dur gurraachonni Afrikaa kibbaa keessa jiraatan Transkei jedhamtu keessatti guddatan.

Nelesen MaandeellaaNelesen Maandeellaa

Bara dargaggummaa isaanii sochii farra Apaartaayiid keessa seenuun paartii Afrikaan Nashinaal Kongrees ykn ANC jedhamutti dabalaman.Bara 1940 ANC keessatti damee dargaggotaaf hogganaa ta’an.

Maandeellaan kooleejii fi mana barnootaa kan seeraa yeroo seenan nama ANC keessaa Oliver Thamboo wajjin turan.

Yeroo jalqabaafiis waajiira gurraachaa kan waa’ee seeraa irratti hojjatu Afrikaa kibbaa keessatti banan.Gurraachootaaf gorsa seeraa baasii tokko malee tola ykn gatii xiqqoo gaafachuun gargaaraa turan.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1804939.html

WASHINGTON,DC — Perzdaantiin Afrikaa Kibbaa ka durii,Nelson Maandellaa nama addunyaan waan hedduun faarsitu.

Akka xiinxalyaan siyaasaa Jawaar Mohaammad yuniversitii New York  jedhetti ammoo wannii Maandellaa jaalataniif “nama kana nama bilisummaa sabaatii fi ummata isaatiif falmeen jaalatama…jaarmiyaa paartii Afrikaa Kibbaa ,ANC jijjiiree paartii ummataa godhee.Ummatii cunqurfamoon addunyaa ammoo isa akka fkn laalan.”
Akka Jawaaritti wanti Maandellaa biyya alaatti akkana jaalataniif bara Maandeellaa hidhaa bahe sunitti:

“Oggaa innii qabsoo san injifannoon irra aanee mana hidhaatii bahu san sodaan guddaan… ummata isaa sun qabatee ummata adii biyya san jiru biyya sanii hari’uu, biiluu bahuu dandahaa  sodaa jettutti jira..sun ammoo hin taane.”

Dubbii tana araaraan fixuutti akka Maandellaan jaalatamu tolche.Gama kaaniin ammoo Maandellaan gaafa leenjii waraanaatiif Finfinnee dhufe jeneraalii waraanaa bara sunii Taaddasaa Birruu jalatti leenjifame.

Itti gaafatamtootii waraana Oromoo ta bara 1960s keessaa tun Jeneraal Taaddasaa  Birruu, Koloneel Fiqaaduu Waakkanneetii,Kumaalaa Fiqaaduu Dibaabaatii fi Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa faan  Perz.Maandellaa leenjisanii nagaa isaallee eegaa bahe.haga Maandellaan Finfinnee jiru sunitti leenjisaa waan hedduun gargaaraa bahan.

Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa  akka Maandellaa ijjeesu sobamulee “sobamuu didee lubbu Maandeellaa oolche.”

Gaafa Maandeellaan leenjii fixatee Afrikaa Kibbaatti deebihullee  kumaalaa Guutaan shugguxii tokkoo fi rasaasa 200 Maandellaa kenne.Jennaan  Maandellaan poolisiin itti dhufnaan shugguxii sun gatee ammallee horii guddaan barbaaduutti jiran.

Gama kaaniin ammoo dhaabi fiilmii Amerikaa baasu Holly Woodii fi ka Afrikaa Kibbaalleen seenaa Maandellaafaa shugguxi Maandellaa ta baddee fi seenaa Oromoota isa waliin turanii irralleetti wa hojjachuutti jira.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1806836.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2013/12/what-mandela-meanttoafricanactivists.html

His Excellency Jacob G Zuma
President
Republic of South Africa
Dear Mr. President:
It is with feelings of great sorrow that we in the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo people at large learned the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela, the first elected President of South Africa and a true freedom -fighting icon. On behalf of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo people, I wish to convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and the people of South Africa during this time of national mourning. The passing of Former President Mandela is a tremendous loss not only to South Africa and Africa alone but to the whole world.
The world and Africa in particular has lost an extraordinary statesman; a true freedom fighter whose moral strength, dedication and determination liberated his people from the evil of apartheid and set a genuine example for the rest of world. This gallant son and leader of Africa, through his unconditional sacrifices and heroism transformed his beloved country, South Africa, into peaceful multiracial nation that continues to serve as an example of a true and genuine national reconciliation in the world.
We, Oromo, have very fond memories of Mr. Mandela’s secret visit to our country in 1962, where he was hosted by General Taddasa Biru, an Oromo hero, founder of the OLF and leader who was murdered by the Ethiopian regime in 1975, while in struggle for the liberation of his own people. General Taddasa Biru trained and prepared Mr. Mandela for armed struggle. Because of this connection in particular, Mr. Nelson Mandela has become a source of inspiration for those of us struggling for freedom, equality, peace and reconciliation. We will greatly miss this freedom icon and giant son of Africa.
History will remember President Nelson Mandela as a great man and hero. Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on and inspire generations to come.
At this moment, our prayers are with the people of South Africa and President Mandela’s family in particular and we hope that they will find strength and solace to overcome their sorrow during this period of deep grief.

May his soul rest in eternal peace!
Yours Sincerely,

Dawud Ibsa
Chairman
Oromo Libertion Front– National Council

http://ethiofreespeech.blogspot.no/2013/12/olf-sends-condolence-letter-on-mandela.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

The Oromo Studies Association (OSA) is profoundly saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was a father, a husband, a statesman, a global hero, an anti-apartheid symbol, an advocate of human rights, and a fearless fighter of discrimination. He fought for the equal right of the black people in Apartheid South Africa, and paid a heavy price for the freedom of his people. He was condemned to a 27-year imprisonment. Despite the prison ordeals, he defended his dignity, civility, discipline, principle, and emerged a better human being. Eventually, he led a pariah state to a new chapter of peace with itself and the world. A passionate and forgiving man, he built a common home for blacks and white races – making animosity between the once sworn enemies a matter of history. Today, the rainbow nation is a model for a racial equality and tolerance. Added to his popularity and grace was his decision to limit his presidency to one term in the continent often incumbents die in the office or removed by coup.

Gadaa.com
Mr Mandela with His Oromo Trainer, General Tadesse Biru. (Photo: Public Domain)

Mandela was a prisoner of conscience, but he was a free man at last. Today, there are tens of thousands of Oromo prisoners of conscience in Ethiopian prisons. Mandela was once considered a terrorist. Today, the Ethiopian government often labels one who advocates for the rights of the Oromo people as a terrorist. It is against this background that Mandela’s universal message of justice has a strong resonance in the Oromo nation, a nation trying to overcome a century of discrimination, oppression, marginalization, exploitation, and occupation.

The Oromo nation had a historical connection to a man who changed the world through his words and actions. He inspired General Taddasa  Birru, a man who ignited the struggle of the Oromo people for freedom and equality. The Oromo nation takes pride in teaching a military science and training Mandela needed to spark the struggle of the people of South Africa. Mandela cut his teeth under General Taddasa Birru and Capt. Fekadu Wakane. The Oromo nation also foiled an assassination attempt against the life of Nelson Mandela. Captain Dinka Guta is still a living witness for that. We are also happy that Dr. Neville Alexander, a son of an Oromo slave, fought for the independence of the people of South Africa, and imprisoned with Mandela at the same prison.

Mandela has left the world for good; yet he has changed the world for good.  Today, the world is a better place for humanity because of a meaningful life he lived and a remarkable legacy he left behind.  We are grieving his death, but humanity is better off because of his universal message of love, peace, harmony, understanding, human rights, and democracy. Mandela’s struggle against discrimination and oppression will inspire the struggle of the Oromo people and other oppressed peoples around the world.  Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and the people of South Africa during this difficult time.

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Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, signing a condolence book at the Consulate General of South Africa, in Chicago, December 6, 2013.

Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, briefed the staff of the Consulate General of South Africa about the link between the Oromo struggle and the South Africans’ struggle against the Apartheid
—————————

Ibrahim Elemo, M.D, M.P.H

President, the Oromo Studies Association/Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo
E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

December 7, 2013

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

‘May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela!’ Obama

The Oromo nationals with the Oromo flag at the memorial services for Nelson Mandela in Soweto FNB Stadium, South Africa, 10th December 2013.

Qunu, South Africa—Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically-elected president and its most beloved leader, was laid to rest Sunday at a state funeral in the lush green hills he roamed barefoot as a child.

About 4,500 mourners gathered in a giant white tent on the Mandela family compound, where 95 candles—one for each year of Mandela’s life—burned behind his South African flag-draped casket. Family, friends and world leaders recalled Nelson Mandela as disciplined but mischievous, courageous yet humble.

The service concluded a 10-day period of national mourning that included a memorial gathering in Soweto, various concerts and Mandela’s body lying in state for three days in Pretoria. Organizers wanted Sunday’s service to wrap up in two-and-half hours, because a man of Mandela’s stature should be buried at noon, “when the sun is at its highest and the shadow at its shortest,” said African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who served as master of ceremonies.

“Madala, your abundant reserves of love, simplicity, honesty, service, humility, care, courage, foresight, patience, tolerance, equality and justice continually served as a source of enormous strength to many millions of people in South Africa and the world,” said Ahmed Kathrada, who gave the first eulogy, addressing Mandela with the Xhosa word for elder. “You symbolize today, and always will, qualities of collective leadership, reconciliation, unity and forgiveness.”

Kathrada, who spent 26 years in prison with Mandela, choked up several times during his address. “When Walter [former African National Congress Secretary General Sisulu] died, I lost a father,” he said. “When you died, I lost a brother. Now I don’t know who to turn to.”

Guests included luminaries like Price Charles, Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson and African leaders such as Malawi’s President Joyce Banda, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete and Zambia’s former President Kenneth Kaunda.

Mandela’s granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, gave a moving tribute that recalled her grandfather’s humble roots. “He grew up from these rolling hills,” she said. “He went to school barefoot yet he rose to the highest office in the land.”

She depicted Mandela as a stern, but fun-loving and mischievous grandfather who loved telling stories.

“People always talk about his achievements, but he was a lot of fun to be around and he was a great storyteller.” She said he particularly liked to poke fun at himself, recounting a tale he told about trying to pick up a piece of chicken with his fork while at dinner with a girl he was trying to impress and her family. “Every time I stabbed the chicken, it jumped,” Nandi Mandela recalled her grandfather saying with a hearty laughter. “We shall miss your voice, we shall miss your laughter.”

Residents of Qunu and surrounding villages and ordinary South Africans who traveled from all over the country were not permitted inside the tent. Instead, hundreds watched Nandi Mandela and the other speakers on a giant screen set up in a distant field overlooking the Mandela compound, and at other public viewing sites around the country.

Draped in yellow and green Mandela t-shirts and scarves, with small South African flags attached to their hats or behind their ears, they sat quietly and intently, but jumped to their feet ululating and cheering when Mandela’s former praise poet, Zolani Mkiva, offered a rousing introduction to President Jacob Zuma.

The boos that greeted Zuma during a memorial service last week in Soweto were absent Sunday. In his speech, Zuma said Mandela offered, “hope in the place of hopelessness” and promised that South Africans would not abandon the principles that defined Mandela’s life.

“We have to continue building the type of society you worked tirelessly to construct,” Zuma said. “We have to take your legacy forward.”

As they watched the service in the field, mourners recalled how Mandela threw Christmas parties for the children of Qunu and surrounding villages, plying them with shoes, uniforms, and bags for school.

“For a big man like this, he was always there for us,” said Masibulele Magqirha, 42, of Qunu. Magqirha said he grew up playing soccer on the fields where Mandela’s house now stands. And he recalled when his entire soccer team decided they’d go ask Mandela to buy them uniforms.

“He said, ‘What are you doing here?’ But nobody wanted to talk,” Magqirha recalled. “’Gentlemen I’m talking to you, what are you coming here for?’” Mandela said, according to Magqirha. Magqirha finally spoke up: “Tata, please we are here to ask you to buy for us a kit. We are out playing soccer but we don’t have a kit.” Mandela told two team leaders to return the next day, Magqirha said. “When we came back, he said, ‘Tell me, what is your story?’ Are you studying? Please, you must go to school.’”

The next day, Magqirha returned, and was told to hop into a military truck, where he was presented with cleats, socks, shorts and shirts for the entire team.

“Where will we get a person like this again?” he asked.

Following Zuma’s speech, mourners walked behind the giant screen and paused in a vast open field. A young woman sat gazing towards the gravesite, crying. Others stood peering through binoculars towards the Mandela compound. Two police officers took a selfie, the funeral tent in the background. A man raised one fist in the air, holding a poster of Mandela in his other hand, gazing into the distance.

Then two busloads of men from neighboring KwaZulu Natal province, wielding spears and shields, offered a tribute in music and dance to Mandela, gyrating through the field.

Ultimately, Ramaphosa, the master of ceremonies, had to plead with the ancestors for extra time, as the ceremony went about an hour longer than expected. A small, private burial service followed at the family gravesite nearby.

Three helicopters carrying South African flags whizzed by, and military jets passed overhead in tribute as mourners sprinted towards them in a futile dash. A 21-canon salute boomed and smoke filled the village air.

At the Mandela family’s request, the national broadcaster cut the live feed to allow for a private burial. As coverage on the big screen ended, a woman seated in the front row wearing an elegant purple dress raised her hand and waved goodbye.

http://www.channel4.com/news/nelson-mandela-funeral-madiba-live-south-africa-qunu-video

http://www.newsweek.com/mandela-laid-rest-mourners-bid-final-farewell-224567

‘Much of Mandela’s belief system came from his youth in the Xhosa tribe and being raised by a local Thembu King after his own father died. As a boy, he lived in a rondavel — a grass hut — with a dirt floor. He learned to be a shepherd. He fetched water from the spring. He excelled at stick fighting with the other boys. He sat at the feet of old men who told him stories of the brave African princes who ruled South Africa before the coming of the white man. The first time he shook the hand of a white man was when he went off to boarding school. Eventually, little Rolihlahla Mandela would become Nelson Mandela and get a proper Methodist education, but for all his worldliness and his legal training, much of his wisdom and common sense — and joy — came from what he had learned as a young boy in the Transkei. Mandela might have been a more sentimental man if so much had not been taken away from him. His freedom. His ability to choose the path of his life. His eldest son. Two great-grandchildren. Nothing in his life was permanent except the oppression he and his people were under. And everything he might have had he sacrificed to achieve the freedom of his people. But all the crude jailers, tiny cells and bumptious white apartheid leaders could not take away his pride, his dignity and his sense of justice. Even when he had to strip and be hosed down when he first entered Robben Island, he stood straight and did not complain. He refused to be intimidated in any circumstance. I remember interviewing Eddie Daniels, a 5-ft. 3-in. mixed-race freedom fighter who was in cell block B with Mandela on the island; Eddie recalled how anytime he felt demoralized, he would just have to see the 6-ft. 2-in. Mandela walking tall through the courtyard and he would feel revived. Eddie wept as he told me how when he fell ill, Mandela — “Nelson Mandela, my leader!” — came into his cell and crouched down to wash out his pail of vomit and blood and excrement. I always thought that in a free and nonracial South Africa, Mandela would have been a small-town lawyer, content to be a local grandee. This great, historic revolutionary was in many ways a natural conservative. He did not believe in change for change’s sake. But one thing turned him into a revolutionary, and that was the pernicious system of racial oppression he experienced as a young man in Johannesburg. When people spat on him in buses, when shopkeepers turned him away, when whites treated him as if he could not read or write, that changed him irrevocably. For deep in his bones was a basic sense of fairness: he simply could not abide injustice. If he, Nelson Mandela, the son of a chief, tall, handsome and educated, could be treated as subhuman, then what about the millions who had nothing like his advantages? “That is not right,” he would sometimes say to me about something as mundane as a plane flight’s being canceled or as large as a world leader’s policies, but that simple phrase — that is not right — underlay everything he did, everything he sacrificed for and everything he accomplished.’

Read more: Nelson Mandela Dead at 95 | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2013/12/05/nelson-mandela-1918-2013-remembering-an-icon-of-freedom/#ixzz2nfn3oxN0

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

 

Ethiopia: UK Aid Should Respect Rights July 14, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Poor, Aid to Africa, Amane Badhaso, Dictatorship, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Ogaden, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, UK Aid Should Respect Rights.
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A UK High Court ruling allowing judicial review of the UK aid agency’s compliance with its own human rights policies in Ethiopia is an important step toward greater accountability in development assistance.

 

Ethiopia: UK Aid Should Respect Rights

By Human Rights Watch,  14th July 2014

(London) – A UK High Court ruling allowing judicial review of the UK aid agency’s compliance with its own human rights policies in Ethiopia is an important step toward greater accountability in development assistance.

In its decision of July 14, 2014, the High Court ruled that allegations that the UK Department for International Development (DFID) did not adequately assess evidence of human rights violations in Ethiopia deserve a full judicial review.

“The UK high court ruling is just a first step, but it should be a wake-up call for the government and other donors that they need rigorous monitoring to make sure their development programs are upholding their commitments to human rights,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “UK development aid to Ethiopia can help reduce poverty, but serious rights abuses should never be ignored.”

The case involves Mr. O (not his real name), a farmer from Gambella in western Ethiopia, who alleges that DFID violated its own human rights policy by failing to properly investigate and respond to human rights violations linked to an Ethiopian government resettlement program known as “villagization.” Mr. O is now a refugee in a neighboring country.

Human Rights Watch has documented serious human rights violations in connection with the first year of the villagization program in Gambella in 2011 and in other regions of Ethiopia in recent years.

A January 2012 Human Rights Watch report based on more than 100 interviews with Gambella residents, including site visits to 16 villages, concluded that villagization had been marked by forced displacement, arbitrary detentions, mistreatment, and inadequate consultation, and that villagers had not been compensated for their losses in the relocation process.

People resettled in new villages often found the land infertile and frequently had to clear the land and build their own huts under military supervision. Services they had been promised, such as schools, clinics, and water pumps, were not in place when they arrived. In many cases villagers had to abandon their crops, and pledges of food aid in the new villages never materialized.

The UK, along with the World Bank and other donors, fund a nationwide development program in Ethiopia called the Promotion of Basic Services program (PBS). The program started after the UK and other donors cut direct budget support to Ethiopia after the country’s controversial 2005 elections.

The PBS program is intended to improve access to education, health care, and other services by providing block grants to regional governments. Donors do not directly fund the villagization program, but through PBS, donors pay a portion of the salaries of government officials who are carrying out the villagization policy.

The UK development agency’s monitoring systems and its response to these serious allegations of abuse have been inadequate and complacent, Human Rights Watch said. While the agency and other donors to the Promotion of Basic Services program have visited Gambella and conducted assessments, villagers told Human Rights Watch that government officials sometimes visited communities in Gambella in advance of donor visits to warn them not to voice complaints over villagization, or threatened them after the visits. The result has been that local people were reluctant to speak out for fear of reprisals.

The UK development agency has apparently made little or no effort to interview villagers from Gambella who have fled the abuses and are now refugees in neighboring countries, where they can speak about their experiences in a more secure environment. The Ethiopian government’s increasing repression of independent media and human rights reporting, and denials of any serious human rights violations, have had a profoundly chilling effect on freedom of speech among rural villagers.

“The UK is providing more than £300 million a year in aid to Ethiopia while the country’s human rights record is steadily deteriorating,” Lefkow said. “If DFID is serious about supporting rights-respecting development, it needs to overhaul its monitoring processes and use its influence and the UK’s to press for an end to serious rights abuses in the villagization program – and elsewhere.” Read @http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/07/14/ethiopia-uk-aid-should-respect-rights

 

Dictators lie about economic growth July 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Economics, Free development vs authoritarian model, Youth Unemployment.
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Dictators lie about economic growth

BY HENRY FARRELL

(Washington Post, 26th June 2014), There’s a lot of recent scholarship suggesting that non-democratic regimes grow faster than democratic regimes. This has led some people not only to admire the Chinese model of growth focused authoritarianism, but to suggest that it may be a better economic model for developing countries than democracy. However, this research tends to assume that both democracies and non-democracies are telling the truth about their growth rates, when they report them to multilateral organizations such as the World Bank. Is this assumption safe? The answer is no, according to aforthcoming article (temporarily ungated) by Christopher S. P. Magee and John A. Doces in International Studies Quarterly.

The problem that Magee and Doces tackle is that it’s hard to figure out when regimes are being honest or dishonest about their rates of economic growth, since it’s the regimes themselves that are compiling the statistics. It’s hard to measure how honest or dishonest they are, if all you have to go on are their own numbers. This means that researchers need to find some kind of independent indicator of economic growth, which governments will either be less inclined or unable to manipulate. Magee and Doces argue that one such indicator is satellite images of nighttime lights. As the economy grows, you may expect to see more lights at night (e.g. as cities expand etc). And indeed, research suggests that there’s a very strong correlation between economic growth and nighttime lights, meaning that the latter is a good indicator of the former. Furthermore, it’s an indicator that is unlikely to be manipulated by governments.

Magee and Doces look at the relationship between reported growth and nights at light and find a very clear pattern. The graph below shows this relationship for different countries – autocracies are the big red dots. Most of the dots are above the regression line, which means that most autocracies report higher growth levels to the World Bank than you’d expect given the intensity of lights at night. This suggests that they’re exaggerating their growth numbers.

Growth and reported growth

 

The two countries with the biggest difference between their reported growth and their actual growth (as best as you can tell from the intensity of nighttime lights) are China (although the discrepancy was considerably larger in the mid-1990s than now) and Myanmar. More broadly:

If democracies report their GDP growth rates truthfully, then dictatorships overstate their yearly growth rate by about 1.5 percentage points on average. If democracies also overstate their true growth rates, then dictatorships exaggerate their yearly growth statistics by about 1.5 percentage points more than do democracies.

The authors conclude:

the existing literature on economic growth overestimates the impact of dictatorships because it relies on statistics that are reported to international organizations, and as we show, dictatorships tend to exaggerate their growth. Accounting for the fact that authoritarian regimes overstate growth slightly diminishes the effect of these regimes on long-run economic growth. In light of this point, much of the evidence showing growth benefits associated with authoritarian regimes is less compelling and the case for democracy looks better than before. See more @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/06/26/dictators-lie-about-economic-growth?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

 

Related Article:

What if everything we know about poor countries’ economies is totally wrong?

Read @ http://www.vox.com/2014/7/10/5885145/what-if-everything-we-know-about-poor-countries-economies-is-totally?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_name=share-button&utm_campaign=vox&utm_content=article-share-top

 

 

(OPride) – Over the last decade, Ethiopia has been hailed as the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa, maintaining a double-digit annual economic growth rate. The Ethiopian government says the country will join the middle-income bracketby 2025.

Despite this, however, as indicated by a recent Oxford University report, some 90 percent of Ethiopians still live in poverty, second only after Niger from 104 countries measured by the Oxford Multidimensional Poverty Index. The most recent data shows an estimated 71.1 percent of Ethiopia’s population lives in severe poverty.

This is baffling: how can such conflicting claims be made about the same country?  The main source of this inconsistent story is the existence of crony businesses and the government’s inflated growth figures. While several multinational corporations are now eyeing Ethiopia’s cheap labor market, two main crony conglomerates dominate the country’s economy.

Meet EFFORT, TPLF’s business empire

The seeds of Ethiopia’s economic mismanagement were sown at the very outset. We are familiar with rich people organizing themselves, entering politics and protecting their group interests. But something that defies our knowledge of interactions between politics and business happened in 1991 when the current regime took power.

Ethiopia’s ruling party, the EPRDF, came to power by ousting the communist regime in a dramatic coup. A handful of extremely poor people organized themselves exceptionally well that they quickly took control of the country’s entire political and military machinery.

In a way, this is analogous to a gang of thieves becoming brutally efficient at organizing themselves to the extent of forming a government. Once in power, the ruling Tigrean elites expropriated properties from other businesses, looted national assets and began creating wealth exclusively for themselves.

This plan first manifested itself in the form of party affiliated business conglomerate known as the Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT). EFFORT has its origin in the relief and rehabilitation arm of the Tigrean People Liberation Front (TPLF) and the country’s infamous 1984 famine.

As reported by BBC’s Martin Plaut and others, the TPLF financed its guerilla warfare against the Dergue in part by converting aid money into weapons and cash. That was not all. On their way to Addis Ababa from their bases in Tigray, the TPLF confiscated any liquid or easily moveable assetsthey could lay their hands on. For instance, a substantial amount of cash was amassed by breaking into safe deposits of banks all over Ethiopia. Those funds were kept in EFFORT’s bank accounts. TPLF leaders vowed to use the loot to rehabilitate and reconstruct Tigray, which they insisted was disproportionately affected by the struggle to “free Ethiopia.”

Intoxicated by its military victory, the TPLF then turned to building a business empire. EFFORT epitomizes that unholy marriage between business and politics in a way not seen before in Ethiopian history. According to a research by Sarah Vaughan and Mesfin Gebremichael, EFFORT, which is led by senior TPLF officials, currently owns 16 companies across various sectors of the economy.

This figure grossly understates the number of EPRDF affiliated companies. For example, the above list does not include the real money-spinners that EFFORT owns: Wegagen Bank, Africa Insurance, Mega Publishing, Walta Information Center and the Fana Broadcasting Corporate. The number of companies under EFFORT is estimated to be more than 66 business entities. Suffice to say, EFFORT controls the commanding heights of the Ethiopian economy.

While it is no secret that EFFORT is owned by and run exclusively to benefit ethnic Tigrean elites, it is a misnomer to still retain the phrase “rehabilitation of Tigray.” Perhaps it should instead be renamed as the Endowment Fund for Rendering Tigrean Supremacy (EFFORTS).

MIDROC Ethiopia, EPRDF’s joker card

In Ethiopia’s weak domestic private environment, EFFORT is an exception to the rule. Similarly, while Ethiopia suffers from lack of foreign direct investment, MIDROC Ethiopia enjoys unparalleled access to Ethiopia’s key economic sectors. Owned by Ethiopian-born Saudi business tycoon, Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi, MIDROC has been used by the EPRDF as a joker card in a mutually advantageous ways. The Sheik was given a privilege no less than the status of a domestic private investor but the EPRDF can also count it as a foreign investor. For instance, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that about 60 per cent of the overall FDI approved in Ethiopia was related to MIDROC.

MIDROC stands for Mohammed International DevelopmentResearch and Organization Companies. Despite reference to development and research in its name, however, there is no real relationship between what the crony business says and what it actually does. Ironically, as with EFFORT, MIDROC Ethiopia also owns 16 companies. But this too is a gross underestimation given the vast sphere of influence and wealth MIDROC commands in that country.

Like EFFORT, Al-Amoudi’s future was also sealed long before the TPLF took power. He literally entered Addis Ababa with the EPRDF army, fixing his eyes firmly on Oromia’s natural resources. Shortly after the TPLF took the capital, Al-Amoudi allegedly donated a huge sum of money to the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization.

Why the rush?

The calculative Sheik sensed an eminent threat to his business interests from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a groups that was also a partner in the transitional government at the time. In return for its “donation,” MIDROC acquired massive lands in Oromia – gold mines, extensive state farms and other agricultural lands. In a recent article entitled, “The man who stole the Nile,” journalist Frederick Kaufman aptly described Al Amoudi’s role in the ongoing land grab in Ethiopia as follows:

In this precarious world-historic moment, food has become the most valuable asset of them all — and a billionaire from Ethiopia named Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi is getting his hands on as much of it as possible, flying it over the heads of his starving countrymen, and selling the treasure to Saudi Arabia. Last year, Al Amoudi, whom most Ethiopians call the Sheikh, exported a million tons of rice, about seventy pounds for every Saudi citizen. The scene of the great grain robbery was Gambella, a bog the size of Belgium in Ethiopia’s southwest whose rivers feed the Nile.

It is little wonder then that Al-Amoudi said, “I lost my right hand,” when Ethiopia’s strongman of two decades Meles Zenawi died in 2012. If EFFORT is a curse to the Ethiopian economy, MIRDOC is EPRDF’s poisoned drink given to the Ethiopian people.

Mutual Distrust

The marriage between politics and business has had damaging effects on the country’s economy. One of its most far-reaching consequences is the total breakdown of trust between the EPRDF and the Ethiopian people. In economic policy, trust between private investors and the government is paramount. The deficit of trust is one of the hallmarks of Ethiopia’s much-touted development.

After all youth unemployment hovers around 50 percent. Every year, hundreds of young Ethiopians risk their lives trying to reach Europe or the Middle East, often walking across the Sahara desert or paying smugglers to cross the Red Sea or Indian Ocean aboard crowded boats. The desperation is a result of the lack of confidence in the government’s ability to provide them with the kind of future they were promised.

Ironically, aside from their crony businesses, the EPRDF does not have any confidence in Ethiopian entrepreneurs either. It is this mutual distrust that culminated in the prevalence of an extremely hostile environment for domestic private investment.

This is not a speculative claim but a well-documented fact. The World Bank’s annual survey, which measures the ease with which private investors can do business, ranks Ethiopia near the bottom. In the 2014 survey, Ethiopia came in 166th out of 189 countries in terms of difficulties in starting new business or trading across borders. Moreover, year on year comparison shows that the investment climate in Ethiopia is actually getting worse, sliding down the ranking both in the ease of doing business and trading across borders.

Farms but no firms

The TPLF cronies do not engage in competitive business according to market rules but act as predators bent on killing existing and emerging businesses owned by non-Tigrean nationals. However, the ruling party, which largely maintains its grip on power using bilateral and multilateral aid, is required to report its economic progress to donors (the regime does not care about accountability to the people). In this regard, the lack of foreign direct investment (FDI) has been a thorn in the throat of the EPRDF. Donors have repeatedly questioned and pressured the EPRDF to attract more FDI. The inflow of FDI is often seen as a good indicator of the confidence in countries stability and sound governance. Despite widespread belief in the West, the EPRDF regime cannot deliver on these two fronts.

To cover up these blind spots, the regime has persuaded a handful of foreigners to invest in Ethiopia, but until recently few investors considered any serious manufacturing venture in the country. Besides, considered “cash cows” for the government, banks, the Ethiopian Airlines, telecommunication and energy sectors remain under exclusive monopoly of the state. They provide almost free service to the crony businesses. Any firm looking to invest in manufacturing and financial sectors have to overcome insurmountable bureaucratic red tape and other barriers.

One sector that stands as exception to this rule is agriculture. Since the 2008 financial crisis and the rise in the global price of food, the regime opened the door widely for foreigners who wanted to acquire large-scale farms. These farms do not hurt their crony businesses but they do harm poor subsistence farmers. Vast tracts of lands have been sold to foreigners at ridiculously cheap prices, often displacing locals and their way of life.

Contrary to the government rhetoric, the motivation for opening up the agricultural sector has nothing to do with economic growth but everything to do with politics – to silence critics, particularly in the donor community who persistently question EPRDF’s credibility in attracting FDI. In essence, hundreds of thousands of poor farmers were evicted to make way for flower growers and shore up the government’s image abroad. This tactic seems to be working so far. Earlier this year, Ethiopia received its first credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. In the last few years, in part due to rising labor costs in China and East Asia, several manufacturers have relocated to Ethiopia.

Addis’ construction boom as a smokescreen

Crony businesses and flower growers may have created some heat but certainly no light in Ethiopian economy. EFFORT and MIDROC were in action for much of the 1990s and early 2000s but GDP growth was not satisfactory during that time. In fact, since other private businesses were in dismal conditions (and hence domestic market size is very limited), even the crony businesses encountered challenges in getting new business deals.

The setbacks in political front during the 2005 election shifted EPRDF’s strategies to economic front to urgently register some noticeable growth.  This partly explains the motives behind the ongoing construction rush in and around Addis Ababa. In several rounds of interviews on ESAT TV, former Minister d’etat of Communications Affairs, Ermias Legesse, provided interesting accounts of cronyism surrounding Addis’ explosive growth and its tragic consequences for Oromo farmers.

It is important to understand the types of construction that is taking place around or near Addis. First, private property developments by crony estate agents mushroomed overnight. A lion’s share of land expropriated from Oromo farmers were allocated to these regime affiliates through dishonest bids. Luxury houses are built on such sites and sold at prices no average Ethiopian could afford, except maybe those in the diaspora. The latter group is being targeted lately due to shortages of hard currencies.

Second, EPRDF politicians and high ranking military officers own multi-storey office buildings, particularly aimed at renting to NGOs and residential villas for foreign diplomats who can afford to pay a few thousand dollars per month. It is a known fact that the monthly salary cap for Ethiopian civil servants is around 6000 birr (about $300). As such, that these individuals could invest in such expensive properties underscores the extent of the daylight robbery that is taking place in Ethiopia.

Third, the government was engaged in massive public housing construction but under extremely chaotic circumstances. The condominium rush in Addis is akin to the Dergue regime’s villagization schemes in rural Ethiopia. Families are uprooted from their homes without any due consideration for their social and economic well-being.

Most households that once occupied the demolished homes in Addis Ababa’s shantytowns made a living through informal home businesses such as brewing local drinks and preparing and selling food at prices affordable to the poor. It was clear that the condominiums were not suitable for them to continue doing such businesses. The construction of the public houses was financed by soft loans from various donor agencies to be sold to target households at affordable prices. However, the government often priced them at the going market rates for condos.

As a result, the poor households simply rented out the properties to those who could afford, while struggling to find affordable houses for themselves. Solving the public housing crisis was never the government’s intention in the first place, as they were only interested in creating business opportunities for their crony construction companies.

Fourth, roads and railway networks are by far the most important large-scale public sector construction projects taking place in Addis. There is no doubt that Addis Ababa’s crowded roads, equally shared by humans, animals and cars, need revamping. But, what is happening in the name of building roads and railways simply defies belief. First, the sheer scale and magnitude as well as the obsession with construction makes the whole undertaking look suspicious. Every time I travelled to Addis, I witness the same roads being constructed and then dug up to be reconstructed over and over again.

The ulterior motive behind these projects is nothing more than expanding TPLF’s business empire and benefit crony allies. Having exhausted opportunities within the existing perimeter of Addis, the so-called master plan had to be crafted to enlarge the size of “the construction site” by a factor of 20 to ensure that the cronies will stay in business in the foreseeable future.  In effect, the large-scale construction projects are being used to siphon off public funds. And there seems to be no priority or accountability in the whole process from the project inception, planning to implementation.

Lies and damn lies

The construction boom in Addis serves as a two edged sward. On the one hand, the funds generated from selling Oromo lands to private property developers adds to the ever-expanding business empire of Tigrean political and military elites. On the other hand, the appearances of several high-rise buildings and complex road networks give the impression that Ethiopia is witnessing an economic boom. The target audience for the latter scenario is foreign journalists and the diplomatic community in Addis Ababa, some of whom are so gullible that they fall in love with ERDF’s economic “miracle” from the first aerial view even before landing at the Bole airport.

The fact remains however: no such economic miracle is actually happening in Ethiopia. A pile of concrete slabs cannot transform the economy in any meaningful way. After all, buildings and roads are only intermediaries for doing other businesses. For instance, it is not enough to build highways and rural roads – a proportionate effort is required to enhance production of goods and services to move them on the newly built roads in such a way that the roads will get utilized and investments made on them get recovered. Otherwise, the roads and buildings can deteriorate without giving any service, and hence more public money would soon be required to maintain them. This is exactly what is happening in Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, the EPRDF has been engaged in a frantic effort to generate lies and damn lies to fill the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of Ethiopia’s economy. The government-controlled media has been used for extensive propaganda campaign to create a “positive image” in the eyes of ordinary citizens. They literally compel viewers or listeners to see or feel things that do not exist on the ground. The Ethiopian television zooms onto any spot of land with a colony of green grass or lush crop fields to “prove” the kinds of wonders the government is engineering.

Barring rain failures, much of Ethiopia’s lush-green countryside has a decent climate for agriculture. But the EPRDF regime tries to convince the public that anything positive that occurs in the Ethiopia is because of its economic policies. But, as evidenced in ongoing multifaceted grievances around the country, the government is fooling no one else but itself (and perhaps a few gullible individuals in the diplomatic community).

Its lies also come in the form of dubious economic statistics, which are generated in such a way that EPRDF could report double-digit economic growth year after year. The story of the double digit economic growth rate in Ethiopia has been such that a lie told hundreds of times, no matter how shambolic the numbers are, is becoming part of the western vernacular. Donors often point to the abundance of high-rise buildings and impressive road networks in Addis Ababa in regime’s defense.

In a brief conversation, it is not possible to take such casual observers through details of the kind I have attempted to narrate in the preceding paragraphs. And, unfortunately for millions of Ethiopia’s poor, in the short run the government’s lies and crony capitalism may continue to ravage the country’s economy until it begins to combust from within.

*The writer, J. Bonsa, is a researcher-based in Asia.

 

Read @ http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/3762-the-myth-of-ethiopia-s-crony-capitalism-and-economic-miracle

Tyranny: What does democracy mean for TPLF/EPRDF? July 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Amane Badhaso, Colonizing Structure, Dictatorship, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromians Protests, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo University students and their national demands, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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What does democracy mean for TPLF/EPRDF?

by Alemu Hurissa 

Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) minority led regime has ruled Ethiopia for 23 years. During the years TPLF has been in power, they have used various methods to control everything in the country. One of these methods was false accusations against individuals or groups of sympathizing with the Oromo Liberation Front although the question of these individuals or groups has been based on the constitution of the country.

At the beginning when they came to power after overthrowing the Derg regime they promised to democratize the country, however they didn’t take time before they started targeting those who didn’t support their ideas as dissenters were subjected to torture and terrible sufferings in mass detention centres across the country. Over the last 23 years they have been in power, they have carried out unimaginable destruction against human life and natural resources in the country particularly in Oromia region. For instance destruction of Oromia forests and other natural resources as well as the killing of Oromo students, farmers and Oromo intellectuals in all parts of the region.

In December 2003 the government security forces massacred more than 400 Anuak Civilians in Gambella region as reported on January 8, 2004 by Genocide Watch, a US based Human Rights group. Police violence in Tepi and Awassa in the Southern Nations-Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP) regional state, resulted in the death of more than one hundred civilians and the arrest of hundreds. The Human Rights Watch report 14 January 2003 termed it as Collective Punishment.

War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the Ogaden area of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State, June 2008 and 19 October 2006, the Ethiopian police massacred 193 protesters in violence following last year’s disputed elections, an independent report says. These are very few among many such incidents that I have elected to mention as an example of TPLF security forces’ atrocious acts against innocent people in different parts of the country. The victim of these brutal acts range from very young children to the elderly people by age categories. For example, there was a report that an eight years old child was killed by federal police in Gudar in May 2014.

If any individual does not agree and support their agenda, automatically that person is a member of OLF, according to Woyane regime’s definition. For example, Bekele Gerba, who was a lecturer at Addis Ababa University was arrested in 2010 by the TPLF-led regime simply because he clearly depicted the true evil nature and behavior of TPLF and its members. He said the land inOromia is a private property of the ruling party members. If they want they will sell it or they will give it to the people who support them and these are people who got rich in a way that cannot be reasonably explained. Many Oromo prisoners testified about Oromo people suffering in jail after they have been released or escaped from prison. To name some of them, Ashenafi Adugna and Morkaa Hamdee are among the victims who suffered at the hands of Woyane security forces while they were in prison. Many innocent Oromo people sentenced to life term and death without any evidence that shows their involvement in any criminal act. What happened in the Oromia region against Oromo University and high school students by federal police as reported by the BBC and other mass media is evident to mention as an example.

In general, the brutal acts against Oromo people by TPLF security forces have never been witnessed anywhere in the world. This clearly depicts what the TPLF government and its party members stand for and lack of their perception about personal worth, and the contempt they have for a human being. One can be quite sure that oppression cannot continue forever, and the dark time for Oromo people shall be replaced with justice and freedom.

In a democratic country, the people have right to express themselves freely in accordance with the constitution and the laws of the country; but in Oromia, there is no freedom of speech. No one in Oromia can freely express him/herself. In oromia, the will of the people has been replaced by the will of the TPLF regime. What has been unfolding for the last 23 years in Oromia region is that the TPLF regime is busy fabricating false documents that are used by the brutal regime’s security forces to incriminate, intimidate, persecute, harass, arrest, torture and kill the innocent Oromo people. So for Woyane democracy means not to allow people their freedom of expression, intimidating, persecution, harassment, arresting, torture and killing innocents in cold blood.

Generally, woyane is a tyrant regime which uses power oppressively and unjustly in a harsh and cruel manner against Oromo people to keep itself in power as long as they could, but I strongly believe that the crimes woyane carried out against Oromo people as a part of its lust for wealth and power will not keep them in power rather it shall hasten the time the Oromo people will achieve freedom. It would be wrong to say woyane will stay in power while using excessive force of power and committing crimes against innocent Oromo people in horrible and oppressive character. What the government is doing now by the name of development is meaningless and inhuman; how one can bring development while exposing people to suffering and death is beyond anyone’s imagination.

Playing game with human life to gain wealth and acquire luxurious life in modern time by robbing and plundering the Oromo people’s wealth is simply unacceptable. The TPLF regime should have been grateful to the Oromo people instead of making Oromo people live a horrible life; because the better life enjoyed by the TPLF politicians came as a result of Oromia’s natural resources. Instead of displacing Oromo farmers, dismissing, arresting and killing Oromo students and dismissing Oromo workers from their job, would have given more respect and value for all Oromos. The problem is that the TPLF regime and itsSatellites parties like OPDO never understand the importance of Oromo people and Oromia region in Ethiopia. Oromia is bleeding since woyane has come to power, because woyane governed Oromia by using excessive force and violence.

All countries that have diplomatic relationships with Ethiopia have also played a major role in keeping woyane in power, because woyane has received too much money from these developed countries under the name of humanitarian assistance which woyane uses to buy weapons to brutally crackdown Oromo students, farmers and scholars. Under woyane’s political system there is no legal and moral right, in general, no rule of laws and justice.

On May 2, 2014, BBC reported that the security forces of the regime in Ethiopia had massacred at least 47 University and high school students in the town of Ambo in Oromia region. Human rights watch and other Non- governmental organizations also reported how the Ethiopian government abuses its own citizens for the benefit of the ruling party members.

The inhuman acts of TPLF regime against the Oromo students shows that it does not only kill students but also TPLF wants to kill the whole young generation psychologically which is their evil strategy and tactics in fact became in vain as Oromo students have continued their struggle for justice in Oromia region. We, Oromo should stand together to bring the perpetrators of massacre in Ambo town and other Universities to justice. It is true that as long as Woyane keep getting money and other facilities from developed countries; as developed countries also give priority for strategic interest than human right, it will be like climbing the top of a mountain; however, we should not let them to continue their inhuman action. What we have to know is that those students who have been massacred by woyane security forces could have been mine, our relatives or children. These students are hope of their family, Oromo society and the Oromia region in general.

TPLF-led regime in Ethiopia never understand the value of human being, what democracy and freedom of speech means because since they came to power, they have never learned from their mistakes rather than its political system goes from bad to the worst. Atrocities against our people have to continue because of just addressing the human right issue and the question of justice and freedom. So, to change the woyane’s oppressive and horrible political system in Oromia, all people who believe in justice and who know the value of human being should stand with the Oromo people and say no to the fascist and terrorist government of Ethiopia. Killing Oromo University and high school students in April and May 2014, beating and arresting students and local people, when the students and local people protested peacefully against the expansion of Finfinne and the eviction of Oromo farmers from their indigenous land is a proof that the regime in Ethiopia is being the fascist and terrorist regime. Woyane is always looking for a scapegoat for their evil actions and behaviors, but it is only woyane and its members who are responsible and will be held accountable for the crimes they committed against innocent Oromo people.

Fake leadership in Ethiopia have destroyed the Oromo people, and the constitution and the law of the country is always in favour of the TPLF regime, not the Oromo people. The TPLF regime is simply the worst government I have ever seen in the modern era.

At the end of my piece of writing, I challenge all Oromos to unite, as unity is strength and to contribute whatever we can to bring down woyane and its members from power and to bring justice and freedom to Oromia and I challenge and hope developed countries also will stop financial and technical support to terrorist regime in Ethiopia.
Read more@
http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/what-does-democracy-mean-for-tplfeprdf/

 

Related articles and references:

Widespread brutalities of the Ethiopian Government in handling protests in different parts of the state of Oromia by peaceful demonstrators

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/widespread-brutalities-of-the-ethiopian-government-in-handling-protests-in-different-parts-of-the-state-of-oromia-by-peaceful-demonstrators/

Pre 2015 Election and The Fate of The Opposition In Ethiopia

By Firehiwot Guluma Tezera

When we talk about election in Ethiopia, the 2005 national election has become foremost as previous elections under both Derg and EPRDF were fake. The national election of 2005 has shown a hint of democracy until election date in Addis Ababa but in regions it was until one month before the voting date. The ruling party has been harassing the opposition and has killed strong opposition candidates. In Addis Ababa the hint of democracy disappeared after the ruling party diverted the election results.

Having no other option than forcefully suppressing the anger of the people caused by its altering of election results, the ruling party intensified the harassment and killing. So the outcome for the opposition was either to go to prison or follow the path given by EPRDF.  Election 2005 ended in this manner.

The plan of the ruling party to give a quarter of the 540 parliamentary seats to the opposition and to minimize outside pressure and to restart the flow of foreign aid was unsuccessful. The election has made the party to assess itself. Even though it was widely accepted that EPRDF had altered the outcome of the 2005 election and had not anticipated the outcome, many have expected that the party will correct its mistakes. But the party says it has learnt from its mistakes but it made the following strategies:

Measures taken post 2005 election

  1. To harass print medias and to formulate and implement harassing press legislatures
  2. The government is the main American ally in east Africa in the anti-terrorist campaign. Through this it gets significant military and financial aid. Using this as a pretext the government formulated and implemented anti-terror laws and used it to harass and imprison parties that struggle peacefully. And through this to weaken peacefull struggle.
  3. Labeling jobless youth as dangerous and discriminating against the educated was identified as mistake during the election. To correct it they tried to share benefits by replacement and to appoint to political positions and making them members
  4. Letting jobless youth to organize and allowing them to get loans but making party membership a precondition and to stop youth joining the opposition by means of benefit
  5. To organize the rest of the people in groups of five and to disperse security personnel among the people and make difficult for the opposition to work with the people
  6. To change the roads built by aid organizations by cobble stone by employing unemployed youth. Employing the youth was good but they request exaggerated amount from the people. By doing this they are hitting two birds with one stone, to make its members beneficiaries and increase their numbers.

EPRDF used the above strategies for the preparation of 2010 elections. By implementing the strategies it has succeeded in increasing its members but they were not genuine supporters but they supported for benefits. When such kind of members increase, it becomes difficult to fulfill their benefits and at the end they become corruptionists. And they will become the ultimate enemies of the party.

The strategies mentioned above have enabled the party to claim to be winning 99% of the votes. Thenext day the then prime minister said” the people have given us 5 years contract believing that we have learnt from our past mistakes. This is a big warning for us. If we don’t live to their expectation they will take away their votes.” This was his scorning speech. But both the people and they know how they won and the 2010 election was declared error free.

Read more @http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/pre-2015-election-and-the-fate-of-the-opposition-in-ethiopia/

Sabboonoti qabsoo ummataa biyyatti gargaaruuf maal gochuu danda’u? What can nationals do to help the struggle back home? July 10, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Amane Badhaso, Ambo, Colonizing Structure, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Finfinnee n Kan Oromoo ti, Free development vs authoritarian model, Hetosa, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Ibsaa Guutamaa, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Language and Development, Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, Nimoonaa Tilahun, No to land grabs in Oromia, No to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromian Voices, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Protests, Oromo Protests in Ambo, Oromo students movement, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromo University students and their national demands, Oromummaa, Say no to the expansions of Addis Ababa, Self determination, State of Oromia, Stop evicting Oromo people from Cities, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The extents and dimensions of poverty in Ethiopia, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, Uncategorized.
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Sabboonoti qabsoo ummataa biyyatti gargaaruuf maal gochuu danda’u?

Ibsaa Guutama irraa*

Finfinneen Oromiyaa keessatt bu’uurfamte kanaaf qaama see ta’uun wal hin falmisiisu. Oromiyaan jaarraa oliif qabaa halagaa jala jirti. Finfinneen akka battala human qabateetti tajaajiltuu waan taateef Oromoon too’annoo bucuullee irraa hin qabu. Finqiclha Dargii duuba Oromiyaan humna qabatee jiruun kan fakkeessaa ta’us ifatt beekamtee caasaan bulchaa dhaabbateefii jira. Waan hariirtii ulee falfalaa fakkaatuun empayerittiin Federeeshinatt jijjiiramte. Kanaaf finnooti federeeshinaa hundi ijaaruu fi gaggeessuuf gumaacha walqixee qabu jedhamee yaadama. Kanaaf finnaan federaalaa tokko kophaa ba’aa baatu hin qabatu jechuu dha.

Yoo Oromiyaan feete Federeshinichi Finfinnee Oromiyaa irraa kiraayi fudhachuu yookaa bakka tolaa lafa bitee magaalaa mummittii haaraakaroorfatee ijaarrachuu qaba. Sun hafee ammmas Finfinnee akka lafa qabaa jala jiruutt fudhachuun ofumaa baballisuu yaaluun geeddarama uumaa empayerichatt goone jedhame haaluu dha. Filmaati biraa federalummaa gaabbanii akkuma durii ifaan finnaa empayeraatt deebisne jechuu dha. Sana duuba gaaffiin jiru federalummaa utuu hin ta’in kan kolonummaa ta’a. Akka fedhettuu humni halagaa biyya abbaa keessatt Oromoo ajjeesuun qajeelaa utuu hin ta’in yakka yakka hundaa caaluu. .

Amma ummati Oromiyaa mirga saanii irraa hamaa ittisuuf yoomuu caalaa, meeqayyuu itt haa bahu walii tumsa agarsiisaa jiru. Barattootii fi warri kaaba, kibba, bahaa fi lixaa mootummaan Itophiyaa dubbii Oromoo keessa lixanii burcuu yeroo tokko ka’uun morma agarsiisaa jiru. Mootummichi heera harkuma saatiin midhaasse kan hin kabajne ta’uu beekanuu bu’aa ciicannoo kennufiidhan bahanii heerichi dhugaatt heera ta’uu saa mirkaneessuuf yaaluutt bobba’ani.

Kuunnoo kaa, mootummichi eenyummaa saa dhugaa saaxiluun rasaasa, dullaa fi fuura imimsaa garba gamaa galfateen loltu addaa Agaazii jedhamtu hiriirsee isaan simate. Daa’imman hedduun lubbuu saanii dhabanii qabeenyi hedduunis barbadaawe. Addunyaan empayera fi mootummaa farra ilmoo namaa akkasii jalatt qabsoon nagaa akka hin danda’amne taliila ta’uu saaf akka hubatu taasifameera. Seerooti saanii dhooftuu sobaati. Ummatooti mirga saanii dhalootaa irratt kan hin callifne waan ta’aniif filmaati jiru lola qofa ta’uun waan nama gaddisiisuu.

Itophiyaa waan halle, durooma waa tattaa, human namaa fi surrii saamuu malee hanga yoonaa waan Oromiyaaf buufte hin qabdu. Surrii itt lola’e kan waajjirbulchii Itoophiaa bara dheeraaf jiraachise. Surroota sana isaanii kan fuuloo ta’ee fula saanii xuraawaa dhosseef. Gaaffiin Oromoo gaaffi bilisummaa sabaawaa sammicha seermalee akasii hambisuuf kan dhihaate yoo ta’u kan koloneeffataa olhaantummaa gad jabeessuuf kan dhihate. Yoo qabamsi raawwate malee dhoofsisaaf irraa ka’i waloo hin jiru. Kan golli sadaffaan qayyabachuu dadhabu sana ta’a. Gaaffiin hiree ofii ofiin murteeffachu dhugooffachuu mirkanii jireenya seenaa sabichaa irratt hundaawaa.

Mootummaan amma jiru kana beekuun kan heera saa keessatt mirga kana galche. Sun waan qajeelaa dha. Sobaan dhiheessuun garuu addagummaa dha. Oromomitiin seexaa qaban kan Oromiyaa keessatt dhalatan, jiraatan, yk hojjetan kanneen keesumsiisoo, michuu, nama biyya walii ta’an waan bilisomuu irraa sodaatan kan hin jirreef isaan waliin qabama raawwachiisuuf akka dhaabbatan eegamuu. Kanneen jibba sanyii fi amantee koloneeffamoo hin qabne ummati Oromoo naga qabeessoo fi aada qabeessoo akka tahan beeku. Nama nagaatt roorrisuun uumaa sabichaa keessa waan hin jirre. Garuu Wayyaaneen ofii yakka hamaa tolchee kan biraatt maqachuun amala see waan ta’eef dammaqanii eeggachuu dha.

Koloneeffataa inni eegalaallee yeroo mootii Itophiyaa fi biyya Oromoo ofiin jechuu labse adda addummaa biyyooti lamaan, Itophiyaa fi Oromiyaan qaban beekuufii saa agarsiisa. Oromoon akka wallaaloti tokko tokko xeeban gosa hedduu of keessaa qaba malee ofii gosa miti. Mootummaan ammaa gaaffii bilisummaa Oromoo irra darbama jira. Heera tumuun, Oromoo qabsoo saanii irraa dagachiisee, hamaa dhiiga lolaasu duuba fiduu deemuuf yeroo bitachuu saa ture. Hacuuccaa hagamiittu dhimma bahuun deebii gaaffii akkasiif barbaachisu yeroo hin beekamneef dabarsuun boombii innaa eeggatee dhukahu waan ta’eef irra darbuun hin dandahamu. Kanaaf bu’aa olloototaa fi addunyaa jedhamee ariitiii dandahamuun ilaalamuu qaba.

Ka’ka’i barattoota dhiheenya ta’e qabattee ilaalamu qaban hedduu keessaa tokko qofaa. Kanneen biro akka “Ittissa Haaromaa” (GRD) kan nammi hedduun kuusaa saa jireenyaa gowwoofamee bondi bituun itt dhagalaase; “Samicha lafaa” kan Oromiyaan ummati see buqqifamuun gatii yartuun gurguramte; Afaan Oromoo waajjiraalee fi waabaroota Finfinnee akka hin seene ittifamuu fakkaatan Oromoo waan laalaniif roorroo biraa irratt dabalamuun qabattee morma guddaa kaasuu danda’an keessatt argamu. Lagi Abbayyaa bishaa gara caalu Oromiyaa irraa argata. Yaa’aan saas lafa Oromiyaa guddaa tuqa. Bishaan qajeellaan dhimma itt bahamuu kan mormu hin jiru. Garuu akki inni itt eegalee malbeekiin kan gorsamu mitii, horiin barbaachisu kan hanga dhumaatt baasu miti, yaadi duuba jirus mamsiisaa dha. Wanti sanaan dhufuu kan Oromiyaa hubuu danda’u samicha lafaa gadi hin ta’u.

“GRD” surraa yeroo abba tokkee yk murnaaf moo, dhuguma akka jedhame dantaa Itoophiyaafii? Gartokko leellisuun mufannaa hariiroo sabgidduu mimichiiruunf malee dantaa Itophiyaa waliin kan wal hin agarree laata? Uumaa mootummichaa, martii dhibantootaa dhiphoo qabeenya walitt guuruuf araada qabu irraa yoo laalamu hamilaticha dhumaan gahuuf utuu hin ta’in kan dhoofsisa “dhaabuu yk jijjiiruuf ta’u” irraa bu’aa argamuu jedhanii eegalan fakkaata.

Laggeen Oromiyaa hamma yoonaa hidhaman irraa bu’aa kan argatan Oromiyaa utuu hin ta’in biyya koloneeffatoo fi daldaloota alaatii. Abbayyas adda hin ta’u. Waan lafa laalutt laftii ammayyuu kan mootummaati akka jedhamett hafe. Abbaan akka fedhutt dhimma itt bahuu danda’a. Kanaafi mootummichi kan gaafate hundaaf gatii salphaan gurguratu yk deggertoota saaf hiree akka gurguratanii durooman godhu yk galtuu Oromoo booda “kiraayi sabsaabii” jedhee ittiin dorsisuuf gurguraddhaa jedhee kennuufiitt jira. Jara akksii irraa kan bitatetu abbaan lafaa akka diinaatt ilaala malee kittillayyoon TPLF Oromoo buqqiftee jalaa miliqaa jirti. Lafti kan Oromooti, Oromoon keennaa haa ta’u gurgurtaa akkasii hin hayyamus kontraata akkasiisn seenames kabajuuf hin dirqamu. Kontraata seermalee, fedha Oromoo hin eegnee. Gaaffii Oromoo walii galaa kan laalutt mootummichi raawwachuu mirga of ifsaa gabbaarotaa irratt kan mallatteesse fakkaata. Kanaaf akkaataan ofirraa faccisuu jijjiiramuun dirqii dha; sana malee hiriirri nagaa kamuu of ajjeesuu ta’aa

Fixiisa duuba wanti nama aarsuu, mootummaan afaan dadhabootaa keessatt qooqa hudumuun obbolaa saanii du’anii fi qabsoo saanii akka balaaleffatan gochuu dha. Dubbiin saa kan Federaalati. Kan qawwee daa’imatt jifffatanis isaanii. Garuu kaasaa jeequmsichaa jajallisuun hamajaajii gooftoliin saanii uumuuf deeman balaaleffachuf kan ergaman Goobanoota haaraa dha. Ummatooti Itophiyaa balaaleffannaa akkasii duruu beeku. Mootii moototaaf “harka alaa”, Dargiif “CIA Qixiranyaa”, Wayyaaneef ” gooltuu fi farra guddinaa” jedhamu turan. Goobanooti haaraan akeeki “Karoora Muummichaa” barruun jiraachuu dagatanii Finfinnee magaalaa “Metropolitan’ guddaa tokkott jijjiiruf akka tahe haaluu yaalaniiru.

Oromoon namoota maqaa guddinaatiin Oromiyaa babbaqassanii qabeenya saanii mulquu kan yaalan dura ni dhaabbatu. Qabsoo bilisummaa fi tokkummaaf Oromoon tolchu hololli hamaa n akkamiiyyuu dhaabuu hin dandahu. Oromiyaa walaba tokko taate malee sabi Oromoo jedhamu hin jiraatu. Jaarmaa malbulchaa jabaa dhabuun baraatooti qooda dursuu akkuma yeroo mootii moototaa fudhachaa jiru. Akkuma barasii ABO dullachi hin qophaawu taanaan murni ijaarame biraa fulduratt cehuun kaayyoo sochii bilisummaa ganamaa haaromsa. Hanga roorroon hin raawwannett warraaqsa Oromoo dhaabuun hin danda’amu. Gamnoomaan qabsaawoti Oromo kan gochuu danda’an waan kaleessa ta’eef gadooduuti yeroo dabarsuu dhiisanii amma kaasee maaltu hojjetamuu qaba kan jedhu ilaaluu dha. Kaleessi hamaa fi tolaa saa waliin sokkeera; tolchuuf haa tahu balleessuuf hardha qabannee wayyaa ta’a kan jennu boritt aggammataa jirra.

Oromoo callisisuuf yekki tolfamu caalaatt o’ee oofamaa jira. Haalli badaan torbanoota darbanii kan fuggifamu miti. Garuu sabboonoti hundi akkaataa yakkooti sun itt hinfufne irratt yaaduu akka jalqabantu abdatama. Biyya keessatt geengoon ofirraa ittisuu qaata naanna’uu eegalee. Namooti miidhaan hacuuccaa itt dhagahamaa jiru caccaba Oromiyaa fi jiraattota arraddaa akaakilee fi bakka hiddi hannura dhaloototaa itt bu’ee buqqisuu ofirraa faccisuu ittuma fufuu.

Too’annaa gabii dhabsiisuuf sochii saanii cimfachuu qofa isaan barbaachisa ta’aa. Duuti dargaggoo fi namoota homaa hin balleessinee garaa nama guba garuu yeroo hunda bilissummaaf gatiin baafamu jiraa. Sannaayiroon basaasaa“Goox”, “Garee” fi “Aand Laamist” cabaniiru. Diinni ababbarutt ka’eera; itt fufanii jarjarsuun balleessaa ofiin xaxamee of oolchuuf dhofsisisuu dirqamuu danda’a. Mee, qabattee dhimmasiisan tokko tokko akkaataa sabboonotii fi namooti hundeen Oromiyaa ta’an ala jiraatan gamtaa walirraa hin citneen qabsoo biyyatt tolfamu itt gargaaran xinxaluu dandahan haa laallu.

Oromoon addunyaa guutuu keessa jiran hawaasatt, waldoota dhugeeffannoo fi ogumaatt ijaaramanii jiru. Garuu hundi saanii basaasotaa fi maandhee riphoo luuxxee galtuunkan faalamanii. Dhimma baasuuf dura of afalla’uu qabu. Jaarmaa noolaaf kan jedhame hundi kanneen malbulchaafis dhugaa dha. Akeeki jarmotaa hawaasaa naannaan danga’amaa dha. Gidiraan Oromoo garuu qindooma baaqula guutuu gaafata. Oromoo hundaaf waan dhimma baasuu gochuu waliin bobba’uuf waan danda’aman irratt xiinxala gadi fagoo gaggeessuu fi qabaticha sirriitt qayyabachuu feesisa. Muuxannoo darban irraa wanti baraman yoo jiraatan ilaalamuu qabu.

Jaarmoti malbulchaa yoo bobbaa saanii qindeeffachuu danda’an shaffisoo ta’uu. Yoo hanqatan dhaabotaa fi hooggani haala keessa dhalachuu waan danda’aniif isaanii dhimma hin baafnee ta’uun akka jiru beekamuu qaba. Kanneen sababa addaaf jara kaaniitt makamuu hin dandeenye qabsoo ummataatt gufuu akka hin taane eeggachuu dha. Haala amma jiru jalatt yaada wayyabaa tuffachuu fi mata jaboo ta’uun hin baasu. Biyyatt ijoo dadhabaan Oromoo lammooma, amantee fi gosaa. Diinni sana tuttuquun waldhabdee uumuu yaala. Kanaaf hundi utuu hin yaadin akka hin qabamne dammaqee eeggachuu gaafata. Nammuu guddina aadaa fi qabsoo ummataatt gufuu ta’uuf keetolee koloneeffatoo fi baballatoo kan ergamoota dhaabota amantee fakkaatanii dhihataan jiraachuu hubachuu qaba. Jarri kunis gargarbaaftuuf farra nagaa waan ta’aniif sabboonota amantoota hundaa keesssa jiraniin dura dhaabbatamuu qabu.

Kan irraanfatamu hin qabnee Wayyaaneen basaasota bobbaasuuf qabeenya motummaatt dhimma bahee kan didaniin hunda akka hordofuu. Akeekota saa keessa waldhabdee sabboonota ala jiran gidduutt uumee mormituu saa laashessuu fi iyyaatii sochii saanii corachuufi. Bakka danda’amett isaan keessaa PDO saaf namoota madaqfata. Sanaaf mala haaraa fi dooyaa namaa, luuxee galtuu abbaa dhimmaa caalaa dhimmamaa taatee dhihaattutt dhimma baha. Kun akka masaka dhaabbataa ergamtoota malbeekii kennamett gaggeeffama. Kanaafii jaarmmaa qilleensi hin seennee fi miseensoti amanamoon kan soqaman. Sabaawoti Oromoo jaarmaa saba saanii waliin yk diina waliin jiru. Mooraa lama tajaajiluu hin danda’anii. Waan akkasii keessatt waandhibnummaan dhaabbachuu qaba.Safuun, Oromoo fi nafii walfakkaataa kan qaban gidduu qofatt dhimma baasaa

Ummatooti olla Oromoo kan kolonoma jalatt kufanii fi ammas muummee sanaa ciiga’ami kan irra gahu jiruu. Jar asana waliin hidhata qabsoo uumuun bu’a qabeessa. Jarri sun ummata moo’oo daangaa ofii qabanii fi saboota kanaan dura hidhata qabsoo uummatan hariiroo saanii yeroo danda’ame sadarkaa olhanutt guddifachuu yaaluu dha. Harki diinaa gargar isaan baasuu fedhu caqasamuu qaba. Qabsaawoti Oromoo jara akkasiif bu’aa cicannoo kennuu malee ta’innaan hariiroon akka hin boorofne eeggachuu qabu. Kana malee kiyyoo diinni kaa’ee seenuu ta’a.

Oromooti ala jiran hedduun nambiyyoota biyya keessa jiraniiti. Jarri kun akka murna lammiitt waldaa noolaa qabu. Kanaaf yeroo hundaa ummati duubatti dhiisanii dhufan birmadhaa harka abba hirree jala nabaasaa jedhee iyyataa akka jiru irraanfachuu miti. Utuu isaan jiraniifii Oromiyaa, biyyi seenaan walaba fi demokaraatoftuu taate hirkattuu taatee jiraachuu hin qabdu. Kun seexaa saanii fi didhaa tahuu qaba. Kanaaf qabsoo nagaa malbeekii ummata saanii keessatt qoda taphatan akka qaban fudhachuu qabu. Ummatichi aangoo namaa beekoo fi ogeeyyi akkasumas deggersa waatattaa gosa hundaa barbaadaa. Murni Oromoo hamma saanii madda qabeenyaatt saaqaa qabu hin jiru.

Nammi biyyaa dhimma waloon isaan ilaalu mari’achuu walitt qabamuuf birbadummaa hin qabu. Garuu yoo hacuuccaan dangaa darbuu sodaan qabamuu ni haqamaa. Oromoon sadarkaa sana ga’aa jira. Wayyaaneen ijoolleen hiriirtee dhiistee Oromo hidhuuf ajjeesuun see hin hafuu. Sabicha keessatt hamlee yoo cabsite malee abbaa biyyumaa fi qabeenya samaa jirtu gaafata jettee sodaattii. Hanga danda’amett akka inni hin xiixne, qabeenya akka hin horanne, akka waa hin baranne ukkaamsitee bulchuu yaaltii. Kan Oromummaa ofiitt amanan karaa sabi kun xaxaa halagaa keesssaa futtaafatu maluu fi gargaaruu qabu. Kan lubbuu fi bilisummaa saanii maqaan akka hin badne wareegaa jiran duubbee ofiitt boonaniitu. Biyya ofii keessatt tuffatamanii, birmadummaa dhabuun jiraachuu caalaa wanti badaa fi salphisaan hin jiru. Kanaaf kanneen balaa sana jala hin jirre dubbee cimaa fi amansiisaa ta’u qabuu. Oromummaatu sana gaafata. Nammi tokko yoo hidhamu yk ajjeefamu abbicha qofa utuu hin ta’in hawaasi, warraa fi maatiin, jeeqama malbulchaa, hawaasomaa fi diinagdee keessa wan seensisuuf dubbee ta’uufiin barbachisa.

Qabsaawoti barruu karbooniin garagalchuu eegalan heddummeessituu alkoolii fi stencil keessa darbanii amma bara maxansitu elektronik gahaniiru. Ergamaa fi shiboo sibila isaan dhimma itt bahaa turan amma quunnamtii koputaraan bakka buufameeraa. Hedduun sana utuu hin dhaqqabin karaa mirgoo deemaa of akka barru nu tolchanii darbani. Nammi tokko akka dulloomaa deemeen komputaraa fi yaada ammayyaan walfudhachuun akka isa dhibu beekamaa dha. Kanaaf dhalooti haaraan komputaratt colluma qaban qabsoo shaffisiisuuf itt gaafatama karaa sanaa akka fudhatan jajjabeessuun dansa. Karaa dullachi qunnamtiif haa ta’u bulchaaf yeroon waan itt darbeef jijjiirrachuun anjaa qaba. Akka biraatt akeeki Gadaa kan yaa’a malbulchaa haaromsuu akka baraaf ta’utt guddifamuu qaba jechuu dha. Beekumsi muuxannoon argames dudhaa Oromoo keessatt qooda taphatu qaba. Oromoon yaadannoo ulfina dabankufoota durii fi dhihoo jedhanii bilisummaa irraa fuula deeffachuu hin qabanii. Balaan dhiheenya humna addaa adda koloneeffataa, nama nyaatoo TPLF/EPRDFn ergamaniin dargaggoo Oromoo irratt bu’e yaadachuun yeroo garaan nu madaawu imimmaan qabachuun nu dhiba. Gumaan saanii lafatt akka hin hafne booree nurra kaa’anii darbanii.

Ulfinaa fi surraan gootota kufaniif; walabummaa, walqixxummaa fi bilisummaan kan hafaniif; nagaa fi araarri Ayyaana abboolii fi ayyoliif haa tahu!

Ibsaa GuutamaGubirmans.com

http://www.gubirmans.com/What%20can%20nationals%20do%20to%20help%20the%20struggle%20back%20home.html

What can nationals do to help the struggle back home?

By Ibsaa Guutama*

Finfinnee is found in Oromiyaa, and so it is the indisputable part of it. Oromiyaa has been under occupation for over a century. Finfinnee was turned into the headquarters of the occupying force where Oromo was forced to serve with sweat and blood rather than getting benefit out of its formation. After the overthrow of the Darg, the state of Oromiyaa and the interest it has in Finfinnee was formally recognized by the occupying regime and a sort of administrative structure was created for it.

With what seemed a magic wand, the empire was turned into federation. It is assumed that all federal states will have equal contributions in organizing and running it so that no one state should bear a federal burden alone. Therefore, federal state has to lease Finfinnee if Oromiyaa wills or buy land or found a brand new citadel with master plan of its choice. Other than that, trying to expanding Finfinnee will be denying the change in nature of the empire. The alternative is to recant the officially declared federal status, and reestablish it as a colonial empire. Then, the question becomes not federal, but colonial. Be it as it may for an alien force to kill Oromo in their own land for whatsoever reason is unjustifiable, and so is wanton aggression and criminal.

Now the people of Oromiyaa are showing solidarity to defend their rights more than any other time, whatever the cost may be. Students and parents in north, south, west and east Oromiyaa had simultaneously gone out to protest the meddling of the Ethiopian regime in affairs of Oromiyaa. Though they know that the government is not known to respect its own single-handedly crafted Constitution, they gave it benefit of the doubt and went out to test the truth if the Constitution is constitutional. Alas, the government exposed its true self and met them with live bullets and clubs – imported from abroad, and a special force known as “Agaazii.”

Numerous under ages lost their lives, and properties were destroyed. The world has witnessed in clear terms the impossibility of peaceful struggle under such an empire and such anti-people regime. Their laws are only fake instruments. Since people cannot give up on their birth rights, it is lamentable that the alternative available to them is going to remain the violent ones alone.

Ethiopia so far has given nothing to Oromiyaa, but has taken away everything valuable, material wealth, human labor as well as brains from her. It is the brain drained that sustained Ethiopian bureaucracy for a long time. It is those brains that they use as masks to cover their dirty face.

The Oromo question is a question of national liberation to end such undue exploitation, while that of the colonizer is question of domination. There is no common premise for negotiation unless the occupation ends. That is what third parties might fail to understand. The demand for the realization of the right to national self-determination is based on historic fact of life of the people. It was realizing this that the present regime included such right in its constitution. That was the right thing to do. To fake it, is hooliganism. Conscientious non-Oromo who were born, lived or worked in Oromiyaa are expected to stand with their hosts, friends and Oromo compatriots in resisting occupation and have nothing to fear from being free. Those who have no biases against race and creed of the colonized know that the Oromo are the most peaceful and cultured people. To do harm to innocent human beings is not in the nature of the nation. But the possibility of TPLF committing heinous crimes and putting the blame on others must be watched out.

Even the first colonizer recognized the separate status of the two countries Oromiyaa and Ethiopia when he declared himself as emperor of Ethiopia and Oromo country. Oromo is a nation of many tribes not a tribe (gosa) as some ignorant want to refer to it. The present regime has kept on postponing the question of Oromo liberation. Promulgation of the Constitution was only to distract Oromo from their struggle, and buy time for the bloody repression it was going to unleash later. Whatever repressive force it may apply, the response to such questions cannot be avoided indefinitely for it is a time bomb waiting to explode when the appropriate time comes. Therefore, for the benefit of all neighbors and the world, they have to be attained the soonest possible.

Recent student uprising is only one out of several issues of concern. Others like the unsustainable “Great Renaissance Dam” (GRD) in which many are fooled into spending their life’s saving in buying bonds; “Land Grabbing” where Oromiyaa is being sold at the expense of eviction of natives; prohibition of Afan Oromo from schools and offices in Finfinnee also concern Oromo and could possibly be issues provoking public protest in addition to the overall human rights abuses. The Abbayya River gets most of its water from Oromiyaa and its course touches big swath of Oromo land. No one will object to fair use of the water. But, the ways it started is not diplomatically commendable, financially sustainable and the motive is questionable. The consequence affects Oromiyaa no less than the land grab.

Is the “GRD” for momentary individual or group glory or is it really meant for national benefits as stated. Is it meant to manipulate rifts in international relation in favor of one side and has nothing to do with Ethiopia’s interest? From the nature of the regime that is addicted to amassing wealth for small circle of cohorts, it is not to take the project to completion, but to benefit from possible negotiation to modify or end it. Many harnessed rivers of Oromiyaa did not benefit her, but the mother land and foreign business. Abbayya will not be different. As far as the question of land is concerned, land still remains property of the alien government. The owner can dispose of it as it liked. That is why the regime is selling to whoever asks at very cheap price; or give to supporter who amass wealth by selling it or give it to galtuu Oromo whom they could blackmail later with crime of “kiraayi sabsaabii” (rent seeking). It is Oromo land; the Oromo cannot accept the sale of their land or obliged to respect such contracts. It is unlawful contract that did not take peasant farmers’ interest into consideration. As far as the general Oromo question goes, it seems the regime has signed the end to the right of subjects to peacefully express oneself. Therefore, the form of resistance is sure to change, otherwise any peaceful demonstration there will be suicidal.

After the massacre, the most outrageous thing is the putting of words in mouths of the vulnerable by the regime to say things against their dead compatriots and their struggle. The case is Federal. They are also the ones that turned their guns against children. But they were the Neo-Goobanaa that had come out to distort the real causes of the uprising and blame culprits their masters are going to create for it later. The old Goobanaa served the same pacifying role until his dishonorable fall. The Ethiopian peoples have enough experience about allegations. Coined epithets were for the king “foreign hand,” for Darg “CIA hirelings,” and forWayyaanee they are “terrorists and anti-developments.” The Neo-Goobanaa also tried to deny the objective of the Master Plan that is to turn Finfinnee into one metropolitan “Addis Ababa” forgetting the plan is there in black and white.

The Oromo are opposed, of course, to those bodies that are trying to dismantle Oromiyaa in the name of city planning and development that dispossesses them. No amount of malicious propaganda will stop the Oromo struggle for liberation and the integrity of united Oromiyaa. There cannot be a nation called Oromo without integrated free Oromiyaa. For lack of formidable political organization, students are taking the lead as during the emperor’s days. Just like those days, if old OLF is not ready, other organized group will come forward and revitalize the originalKaayyoo of the liberation movement. As long as repression continues, Oromo revolution cannot be stopped. The wisest thing for Oromo activists is not to waste time lamenting about what happened yesterday, but on what should be done henceforth. Yesterday with its best and worst has gone; to make or break, we have today aiming at better tomorrow.

Committing more crimes to silence the Oromo is already in full gears. The tragic events of past weeks cannot be reversed. But it is hoped that all nationals have already started to ponder on how to stop such crime continuing. Domestically, the wheels of resistance have already started rolling. People who are feeling the brunt of alien repression will continue to put up resistance against dismantling Oromiyaa, and evicting the inhabitants from their ancestral grounds where umbilical cords of generations were buried. They may require only to strengthening their movement as to make it difficult for the enemy to control Oromiyaa. The death of young students and innocent nationals is heartbreaking, but there is always price to be paid for freedom. The spy networks of “Goox,”“Garee” and “Aand Laamist” are broken. The enemy has already started to be frantic; keeping the moment could make it entangled with its own follies and forced to negotiate for own survival. Let us raise issues of concern on how nationals and people in the Diaspora help Oromo struggle back home by assessing areas of sustainable cooperation.

Oromo all over the world are organized into communities as well as faith based and professional associations. But all organizations are infested with active and sleeping cells of infiltrators. To be useful for the national cause, they need to cleanse themselves first. What is said of civic entities is also true for political organizations. The functions of a community organization are limited to a surrounding. The Oromo predicament requires global coordination. It needs an in depth assessment of possibilities and thorough understanding of the issue to operate in unison for pan Oromo benefit. Past experiences have lessons to learn from.

Political organization will be effective if they could coordinate their operations. If they fail, it must be known that organizations and leaders can be born out of a situation and make them irrelevant. Those that cannot for reasons take part in joining efforts should take necessary care as not to be obstacle to people’s struggle. Refusing to yield to ideas of majority and stubbornness do not serve under the prevailing situation. The enemy pokes there to trigger conflict. So everyone has to be vigilant not to be caught off guard. On has also to beware of gents of colonialists and expansionists disguised as missionaries of religious establishments to take part in creating obstacles for cultural development and peoples’ struggle for freedom. These are also to be countered by nationals from faiths for they are divisive and anti-peace.

One important thing to remember is that Wayyaanee is using structures created in its embassies and government fund for espionage wherever there is dissidence. Among its objectives are creating conflicts among nationals abroad to paralyze opposition against it and also to gathering information on their movements. Where possible, they also recruit from among their ranks for their PDO’s. For this, they use modern technics as well as human spies, infiltrators who act more radical than true nationalists. This is carried out in accordance with permanent guidelines given to diplomatic missions. That is why tight organization of trusted members is needed. Oromo nationals are either with national organizations or with the enemy. They cannot serve both camps. Liberal attitudes have to stop in such matters. Safuu serves in Oromo context and only with those who have similar values.

There are peoples neighboring Oromiyaa – who had fallen to colonial rule and still face alienation by the same source. Solidarity of struggle with those is indispensable. Those are sovereign peoples with own territory, and deserve unequivocal recognition from all nations, including Oromo, without any precondition. Those who had already joined hands in struggle have to take it to higher level whenever possible. Enemy hand to divide them has to be watched out. Oromo activists have to give benefit of the doubt for such people as not to jeopardize relations by jumping to conclusions on assumptions. Otherwise, it will be walking into enemy trap.

Many Oromo living abroad are citizens of respective countries they live in. These, as ethnic groups, may have civic organizations. There are many arenas open to them to influence decision making of their respective countries. As long as they have the votes, they will have the voice as well. They have always to keep in memory that the people they left behind are crying to be rescued from dictators. Oromiyaa, a historically free and democratic country, should not remain dependent when they are there for her. It has to remain a challenge to their conscience. Therefore, they should take on themselves that they have at least a role to play in the peaceful or diplomatic struggle of their people. Their people need knowledgeable and skilled manpower as well as material support of all sorts. No Oromo group has more exposure to resources than they do.

People back home are not free to gather and discuss matters of common interest. But when oppression pass their limits, fear of being caught fades away. That is the stage where Oromo is reaching. Whether children demonstrate or not, the Wayyaanee will is not stopping incarcerating and killing Oromo. Unless it breaks the morale of the nation, it is afraid that Oromo will demand ownership of the land and resources it is plundering. As far as possible, it will try to gaga it so that it does not utter a word, produce wealth and it remains uninformed. All who believe being Oromo have to help and devise means that this nation can release itself from the alien entanglement. Those who give their lives and freedom to maintain the name high are doing so believing in their rear.

There is nothing worse than living despised and humiliated in own country. For this reason, those who are not living under that scourge have to be strong and dependable rear. Oromummaa demands that. Because when a person is imprisoned or killed, not only the person, but the community and family enter into political, social and economic crisis that is why to support from the rear becomes essential.

Those activists who started with carbon copying and have passed through alcohol and stencil duplicators have now reached the electronic printer age. Messenger and copper wire telephone they used are now replaced by computer communication. Many did not get chance to see it, but they have traveled tortuous road and passed away contributing to our self-consciousness. We may not realize that the older one is the less comfortable one becomes with computers and modern ideas. Therefore, computer suave and better informed younger generation has to be entrusted with that for efficient functioning of the struggle. The old ways have to phase out, be it in communication or administration, for they are becoming obsolete. In other words, the Gadaa principle of rejuvenation of political process has to be adopted in a way fitting changing times. Wisdom acquired through ages has its proper role to play in Oromo tradition. The Oromo have to gear up for the drive towards liberation in memory of their old and recent martyrs. We cannot help being in tears when our hearts bleed remembering the recent atrocities committed against Oromo youth by occupation’s special force sent by TPLF/EPRDF butchers.

Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living, and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!

Ibsaa GuutamaGubirmans.com 

http://www.gubirmans.com/What%20can%20nationals%20do%20to%20help%20the%20struggle%20back%20home.html

A Summary of Oromos Killed, Beaten and Detained by the TPLF Armed Forces during the 2014 Oromo Protest Against The Addis Ababa (Finfinne) Master Plan July 9, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Colonizing Structure, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Finfinnee n Kan Oromoo ti, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Language and Development, Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, Nimoonaa Tilahun, No to land grabs in Oromia, No to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo Identity, Oromo Protests, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromo University students and their national demands, Stop evicting Oromo people from Cities, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The extents and dimensions of poverty in Ethiopia, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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A Summary of Oromos Killed, Beaten and Detained by the TPLF Armed Forces during the 2014 Oromo Protest Against The Addis Ababa (Finfinne) Master Plan

Compiled by: National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (NYMFD) aka Qeerroo Bilisummaa
 
July 05, 2014
 
QeerrooReportOromoProtestsFDG2

 

Background

 

It is a well-documented and established fact that the Oromo people in general and Oromo students and youth in particular have been in constant and continuous protest ever since the current TPLF led Ethiopian government came to power. The current protest which started late April 2014 on a large scale in all universities and colleges in Oromia and also spread to several high schools and middle schools begun as opposition to the so called “Integrated Developmental Master Plan” or simply “the Master Plan”. The “Master Plan” was a starter of the protest, not a major cause. The major cause of the youth revolt is opposition to the unjust rule of the Ethiopian regime in general. The main issue is that there is no justice, freedom and democracy in the country. The said Master Plan in particular, would expand the current limits of the capital, Addis Ababa, or “Finfinne” as the Oromos prefer to call it, by 20 folds stretching to tens of Oromian towns surrounding the capital. The Plan is set to legalize eviction of an estimated 2 million Oromo farmers from their ancestral land and sell it to national and transnational investors. For the Oromo, an already oppressed and marginalised nation in that country, the incorporation of those Oromian cities into the capital Addis Ababa means once more a complete eradication of their identity, culture, and language. The official language will eventually be changed to Amharic. Essentially, it is a new form of subjugation and colonization. It was the Oromo university students who saw this danger, realized its far-reaching consequences and lit the torch of protest which eventually engulfed the whole Oromia regional state.

For the minority TPLF led Ethiopian regime, who has been already selling large area of land surrounding Addis Ababa even without the existence of the Master Plan, meeting the demands of the protesting Oromo students means losing 1.1 million of hectares of land which the regime planned to sell for a large sum of money. Therefore, the demand of the students and the Oromo people at large is not acceptable to the regime. It has therefore decided to squash the protest with its forces armed to the teeth. The regime ordered its troops to fire live ammunition to defenceless Oromo students at several places: Ambo, Gudar, Robe (Bale), Nekemte, Jimma, Haromaya, Adama, Najjo, Gulliso, Anfillo (Kellem Wollega), Gimbi, Bule Hora (University), to mention a few. Because the government denied access to any independent journalists it is hard to know exactly how many have been killed and how many have been detained and beaten. Simply put, it is too large of a number over a large area of land to enumerate. Children as young as 11 years old have been killed. The number of Oromos killed in Oromia during the current protest is believed to be in hundreds. Tens of thousands have been jailed and an unknown number have been abducted and disappeared. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, who has been constantly reporting the human rights abuses of the regime through informants from several parts of Oromia for over a decade, estimates the number of Oromos detained since April 2014 as high as 50, 000

In this report we present a list of 61 Oromos that are killed and 903 others that are detained and beaten (or beaten and then detained) during and after the Oromo students protest which begun in April 2014 and which we managed to collect and compile. The information we obtain so far indicates those detained are still in jail and still under torture. Figure 1 below shows the number of Oromos killed from different zones of Oromia included in this report. Figure 2 shows the number of Oromos detained and reportedly facing torture. It has to be noted that this number is only a small fraction of the widespread killings and arrest of Oromos carried out by the regime in Oromia regional state since April 2014 to date. Our Data Collection Team is operating in the region under tight and risky security conditions not to consider lack of logistic, financial and man power to carry the data collection over the vast region of Oromia.

 

 Read Full Report@

https://qeerroo.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/list-of-oromos-killed-and-detained-compiled-july-05-2014-compiled-by-qeerroo.pdf

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/07/a-summary-of-oromos-killed-beaten-and-detained-by-the-tplf-armed-forces-during-the-2014-oromo-protest-against-the-addis-ababa-finfinne-master-plan/

Ethiopia’s Genocide against Oromians: Mass graves of Oromo Nationals Executed by Govt Discovered in Hameressa, Eastern Oromia July 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, Oromian Voices, Oromo Protests, State of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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Oromo Singer Mustefa Abdi, best known as Mustefa Harawe, one of the victims found in recently discovered Hameressa mass grave.
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Suuraan tun tan wallisaa Oromoo Musxafaa Abdii ykn ammoo Musxafaa Harawweeti. Harawween walleelee aadaa, jaalalaatifi qabsootin hedduu beekkamaa ture. Sababuma kanaaf yeroo dheeraaf erga hiraarfamee booda Oromoota dhibbaatamaa waliin bara 1990 keessa ajjeefame, Qabrii Hammarreessaa tan dhihoo tana argamte sanitti gatame. Seenaan haa yaadattu, rabbi raahmata haa godhuuf.
 

 

hamreesa5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mass Grave of Oromos Executed by Govt Discovered in Eastern Oromia
Posted: Waxabajjii/June 10, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

According to sources, a confrontation between residents and Ethiopian government officials broke out on June 9, 2014, over a mass grave discovered at the former Hameressa military garrison near Harar city, eastern Oromia. The mass grave is believed to contain remains of political prisoners executed during both the Dergue era and the early reigns of the current TPLF regime. Among those who were executed and buried in the location was Mustafa Harowe, a famous Oromo singer who was killed around early 1980′s for his revolutionary songs. Thousands more Oromo political prisoners were kept at this location in early 1990′s – with many of them never to be seen again.

The mass grave was discovered while the Ethiopian government was clearing the camp with bulldozers to make it available to Turkish investors. Upon the discovery of the remains, the government tried to quietly remove them from the site. However, workers secretly alerted residents in nearby villages; upon the spread of the news, many turned up en mass to block the removal of the remains and demanded construction a memorial statue on the site instead. The protests is still continuing with elders camping on the site while awaiting a response from government.

In addition to the remains, belongings of the dead individuals as well as ropes tied in hangman’s noose were discovered at the site. See @ http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/06/mass-grave-of-oromos-executed-by-govt-discovered-in-eastern-oromia/

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Lafeen ilmaan Oromoo bara 1980moota keessa mootummaa Darguutin, baroota 1990moota keessa ammoo Wayyaaneen dhoksaan kaampii waraanaa Hammarreessaa keessatti ajjeefamanii argame. Ilmaan Oromoo mooraa san keessatti hidhamanii booda ajjeefaman keessa wallisaan beekamaan Musxafaa Harawwee isa tokko. Musxafaa Harawwee wallee qabsoo inni baasaa tureef jecha qabamee yeroo dheeraaf erga hiraarfamee booda toora bara ~1991 keessa ajjeefame. Hiraar Musxafaarra geessifamaa ture keessa tokko aara wallee isaatirraa qaban garsiisuuf muka afaanitti dhiibuun a’oo isaa cabsuun ni yaadatama.

Baroota 1990moota keessas Oromoonni kumaatamaan tilmaamaman warra amma aangorra jiru kanaan achitti hidhamanii, hedduun isaanii achumaan dhabamuun yaadannoo yeroo dhihooti.

Haqxi dukkana halkaniitiin ajjeesanii lafa jalatti awwaalan kunoo har’a rabbi as baase. Dhugaan Oromoo tun kan amma as bahe, mootummaa kaampii waraanaa kana diiguun warra lafa isaa warra Turkiitiif kennuuf osoo qopheessuuf yaaluti. Lafee warra dhumee akkuma arganiin dhoksaan achirra gara biraatti dabarsuuf osoo yaalanii hojjattonni ummata naannotti iccitii san himan. Ummanniis dafee wal-dammaqsuun bakka sanitti argamuun ekeraan nama keenyaa akka achii hin kaafamneefi siidaan yaadannoo akka jaaramu gaafachaa jiran.

Hamma feetes turtu dhugaan Oromoo awwaalamtee hin haftu.

#OromoProtests- 8th June 2014- Confrontation between residents and government officials is reported over mass grave discovered at the former Hameressa military garrison near Harar city. The mass grave is believed to contain remains of political prisoners executed during the Dargue era and the early reigns of TPLF. Among those who were executed and buried in the location is Mustafa Harowe, a famous Oromo singer who was killed in 1982? for his revolutionary songs. Thousands of more of political prisoners were kept at this location in early 1990s, with many of them never to be seen again.The mass grave was discovered while the government was clearing the camp with bulldozers to make it available to Turkish investors. Upon discovery of the remains, the government tried to quietly remove it from the site. However, workers secretly alerted residents in nearby villages who spread the news and turned up en mass to block the removal of the remains and demanding construction of memorial statue on the site. The protests is still continuing with elders camping on site while awaiting response from government.
Lafeen ilmaan Oromoo bara 1980moota keessa mootummaa Darguutin, baroota 1990moota keessa ammoo Wayyaaneen dhoksaan kaampii waraanaa Hammarreessaa keessatti ajjeefamanii argame. Ilmaan Oromoo mooraa san keessatti hidhamanii booda ajjeefaman keessa wallisaan beekamaan Musxafaa Harawwee isa tokko. Musxafaa Harawwee wallee qabsoo inni baasaa tureef jecha qabamee yeroo dheeraaf erga hiraarfamee booda toora bara 1982 keessa ajjeefame. Hiraar Musxafaarra geessifamaa ture keessa tokko aara wallee isaatirraa qaban garsiisuuf muka afaanitti dhiibuun a’oo isaa cabsuun ni yaadatama.Baroota 1990moota keessas Oromoonni kumaatamaan tilmaamaman warra amma aangorra jiru kanaan achitti hidhamanii, hedduun isaanii achumaan dhabamuun yaadannoo yeroo dhihooti.Haqxi dukkana halkaniitiin ajjeesanii lafa jalatti awwaalan kunoo har’a rabbi as baase. Dhugaan Oromoo tun kan amma as bahe, mootummaa kaampii waraanaa kana diiguun warra lafa isaa warra Turkiitiif kennuuf osoo qopheessuuf yaaluti. Lafee warra dhumee akkuma arganiin dhoksaan achirra gara biraatti dabarsuuf osoo yaalanii hojjattonni ummata naannotti iccitii san himan. Ummanniis dafee wal-dammaqsuun bakka sanitti argamuun ekeraan nama keenyaa akka achii hin kaafamneefi siidaan yaadannoo akka jaaramu gaafachaa jiran.

 

Suraan kun Oromoo baka Owala Waalissaa Oromoo Musxafa Harawweetti argamee akka lafeen isaa hibanee weiti gaafaatu mul’isa
Isaa Dargiitu ajjeesee Woyanen imoo lafee isaa darbuuf qoota jirti.
Hararge Bahaa Hammareessa
 — at Hararge Bahaa Hammareessa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#OromoProtests FDG Hameressa: Video – TPLF Shooting at Civilians

Posted: Waxabajjii/June 11, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com |

#OromoProtests FDG Hameressa: the video embedded below shows the TPLF Ethiopian regime’s security forces shooting at Oromo civilians at the recently discovered Hameressa hidden mass grave; Hameressa, located near the Harar city in eastern Oromia, used to be an Abyssinian military garrison/camp during the Derg and the TPLF regime – until recently when the TPLF regime sold it off to so-called “investors.”

The remains, of Oromo individuals executed by the successive Abyssinian governments of the Derg as well as TPLF, were discovered late last week at the former Hameressa garrison as the land was being cleared for the so-called ‘investment’ activity.

The TPLF government has reportedly been working hard to hide the evidences of the Hameressa mass-murder site from the public. However, the public has camped on the site – day and night – to seek justice for those slaughtered at the former Hameressa garrison.

In the video, the Oromo public is peacefully protesting the government’s attempt to conceal evidences of mass murders, but the TPLF government’s security forces are responding with live bullets. According to latest reports, three persons have been injured by the TPLF security forces at Hameressa.

 Yakka suukanneessaa dhala namaa irratti hin raawwatamane raawwatamufis kan hin malle dhala namaa irratti kana raawwate wayyaaneen oromummaa isaaniin kan yakkaman canacala harkaafi milla ilmoo oromootti erga kaa’ee akka itti kaa’eetti eerga iddoo tokkotti ukkaamseen booda yeroo dhugaan afaan baafatte biyyee saaqqatte biyyee keessaa yaate haqa ishee falmuuf dhugaa jiru yeroo isheen dubbachuuf jettutti odoo isheen harar murti_guutoof dhaamsa ishee dabrsitee hin fixiin bakka lafeen dachee keessaa yaatee afaan saaqatteetti dhugaa jirtu yeroo isheen uummata naannichaati odoo isheen lalabuutti jirtu boru kun ragaadha naaf jedhe wayyaanee ergamtoota isaa erge lafee ilmaan oromo murtii_guutootti afaan saaqqatte kana mootummaan wayyaane lotoota ishii uummatatti bobbaasuun erga bittinneessiteen booda doozaraan lafee jaallewwani kaan daakun kaan bishaanitti gadi naqaa oolera ammama nama gaddisisa laa dhugaa ukkaamsun dhugaa hawwaalun lafee ijoolle oromo hala kanaan irra deebiyee yeroo daaku hawwaalu. SBO Sources

 

Read more @

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/06/oromoprotests-fdg-hammareessa-tplf-shooting-at-civilians/

http://www.gulelepost.com/2014/06/11/hameressa-mass-grave-background/

http://maddawalaabuupress.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/oduu-amma-hammaareysaa-fi-murti-guuto.html?spref=fb

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/mass-grave-of-oromos-executed-by-govt-discovered-in-eastern-oromia/

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/06/ibsa-abo-ajjeechaa-ilmaan-oromoo-irratti-dhoksaan-hammarreessa-keessatti-barootaan-raawwatamaa-ture-ifa-bahe/