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Western Governments’ Aid Is Funding Human Rights Repression In Ethiopia. #Oromia. #Africa April 4, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report.
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Western Governments’ Aid is Funding Human Rights Repression in Ethiopia

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) Presented by Garoma B. Wakessa, Executive Director OSA Mid-Year Conference at Maximilians-University, Germany March 28-29, 2015. After its first year of being in power, the TPLF government made its next step the weakening and/or eliminating of all independent opposition political organizations in the country. To pretend that it was democratizing the country, the TPLF signed five international human rights documents from 1991 to 2014. These include the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. Despite this, it is widely known that the TPLF has tortured many of its citizens ever since it assumed power and has continued that to the present day. The TPLF Government adopted a new constitution in 1995; based on this constitution, it formed new federal states.The new Ethiopian constitution is full of spurious democratic sentiments and human rights terms meant to inspire the people of Ethiopia and the world community. The TPLF’s pretentious promise to march towards democracy has enabled it to receive praise from people inside and outside including donor countries and organizations. The TPLF government has managed somehow to maintain a façade of credibility with Western governments including those of the USA and the UK, who have supported them since 1991. From 1991 onwards, the TPLF militia has been fully equipped with the UK government, equipment that the TPLF security force has used for intensive killings, abductions, and disappearances of a vast number of people. The victims were Oromo, Ogaden, Sidama peoples and others whom the TPLF suspected of being members, supporters or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). TPLF high officials to ordinary level cadres in the various regional states have engaged in enriching themselves and their family members by looting and embezzling public wealth and properties, raping young women in the occupied areas of the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia, and committing many other forms of corruption. The TPLF government declared, in 2004[1], an investment policy that resulted in the eviction of indigenous peoples from their lands and livelihoods. Ethiopia is receiving a significant aid package estimated at one-third of its annual budget from donor governments and governmental ganizations each year. The donations pouring into Ethiopian Government banks are in the name of development, humanitarian and security aid. The Ethiopian government is using these development aids to suppress political dissent, freedom of expression and assemblies. Human rights campaigners have repeatedly urged donor governments to ensure that their aid Money is utilized in an accountable and transparent manner- not for political repression. However, the Ethiopian government has boldly rejected even measured criticism of its human rights record with sweeping, contemptuous denials. Donor governments have appeared reluctant to challenge the Ethiopian government’s complete refusal to engage in constructive dialog about the donor government’s many human rights-related failings. Western governments have been too timid to challenge the government publicly. Instead, their aid policies are influenced by Ethiopia’s perceived status as the most stable country in the Horn of Africa and made Ethiopia their friend to fight the “global war on terrorism.” The development project funded by the UK government and run by the World Bank has been used for a violent resettlement program in Ethiopia. Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) is the primary sponsor of the World Bank’s foreign aid initiative, supposedly set up to improve basic health, education, and public services in Ethiopia[2]. Those who attempted to oppose or resist evictions were murdered and/or jailed by the TPLF[3]. European Union (EU) is also working with the government of Ethiopia on several development programs. The partnership between Ethiopia and the EU is based on the African-EU strategic partnership[4] which gives emphasis to Peace and security and good governance and human rights. Regarding the governance and human rights under the strategic priority (b) it says,” the promotion of democratic governance and human rights constitutes a central feature of the Africa-EU dialog and partnership”. Moreover, the Cotonou/city of Benin agreement defines relations between the EU and Africa collectively, and between the EU and ACP countries. Based on this policy, EU and Ethiopia signed in Nairobi on June 19, 2014 European Union aid in favor of Ethiopia in an amount of 745.2 million EUR to be made available to Ethiopia for the period 2014-2020 based on Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement which is to provide the basis for political relations and dialogue between Ethiopia and the EU. By providing help to the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia, the EU has breached:

  1. The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, a joint Africa-EU strategy policy adopted in Lisbon in 2007/ Lisbon, 9 December 2007 16344/07.”[5]
  2. EU International Cooperation and Development policy which is primarily based on good governance and respect for human rights, their national country’s laws and international human rights standards,[6]

The giving away of Oromo land in the name of investment also includes Addis Ababa, the capital city situated at the center of Oromia Regional State. More than 30,000 Oromos were evicted by the TPLF/EPRDF Government from their lands and livelihoods in the areas around the capital city and suburbs. Their lands have been given to the TPLF officials, members and loyal cadres over the past 24 years. The TPLF government prepared a plan called “ Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” in 2013/2014, a project that aimed at annexing about 36 towns and surrounding villages into Addis Ababa. The project was challenged by the Oromo People’s Democracy Organization/OPDO in March 2014 in the seminar given to the members how to implement the project. The challenge was first supported by Oromo students in different universities, colleges and high schools in Oromia. The resistance then spread to Oromo farmers, Oromo intellectuals in all corners of Oromia Regional State and Oromo nationals living in different parts of the world. TPLF Agazi snipers brutalized More than seventy Oromo students from among the peaceful protestors. The “Addis Ababa integrated master plan”threatens to evict more than two million farmers from around the capital city. More than five thousand Oromos from all walks of life were imprisoned in different parts of Oromia Regional State. The inhuman military actions and crackdowns by the TPLF government against peaceful protestors were condemned by various international media such as the BBC[7], human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the HRLHA[8]. The government admitted that it killed nine of them[9]. As well, more than seventy Oromo youths were brutalized. The HRLHA believes that the gross human rights violations committed by the TPLF government in the past 24 years against Oromo, Ogaden, Gambella, Sidama and others were pre-planned and intentional. The TPLF killed, tortured, and kidnapped and disappeared thousands of Oromo nationals, Ogaden and other nationals simply because of their resources and ethnic backgrounds. The recent research conducted by Amnesty International and released under the title “Because I am Oromo”: SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIA’ [10], confirms that people in Ethiopia who belongs to other ethnic groups have been the victims of the TPLF. The TPLF’s inhuman actions against the citizens are clearly genocide, a crime against humanity[11]and an ethnic cleansing, acts, that breach domestic and international laws, and all international treaties the government of Ethiopia has signed and ratified. We at HRLHA firmly believe that the TPLF government leaders are accountable as a group and as individuals for the crimes they have committed and are committing against Oromos and others. Therefore, the HRLHA calls upon EU member donor states, investors and Organizations reassess their relationship with the Ethiopia TPLF/EPRDF government for its persistent brutal, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against innocent and unarmed civilians and refrain themselves from helping the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia. Recommendations:

  1. Western Government donors should abide by their development and aid policy which says “no democracy, no aid”. The EU must respect its “Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, a joint Africa-EU strategy policy adopted in Lisbon in 2007/ Lisbon, 9 December 2007 16344/07.”[12]
  2. The EU must abide by the Cotonou partnership agreement EU International Cooperation and Development policy which is primarily based on good governance and respect for human rights, their national country’s laws and international human rights standards,[13]

[1] http://unctad.org/en/docs/iteiia20042_en.pdf [2] http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/uk-government-accused-sponsoring-human-rights-abuses-ethiopia-0 [3] Genocide Watch, http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopia.htmlGenocid, -The Oakland Institute ,Engineering Ethnic Conflict,http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/Report_EngineeringEthnicConflict.pdf [4] http://www.afmeurope.org/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/12/2014-2020_NIPprogramme_ethiopia_en.pdf, [5]http://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/documents/press_corner/nip_11th_edf_ethiopia_signed.pdf [6] http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/acp/overview/documents/devco-cotonou-consol-europe-aid-2012_en.pdf [7] Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27251331 [8] Ambo Under Siege, http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287, and Region-Wide, Heaeavy-Handed Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters, Http://Www.Humanrightsleague.Org/?P=14668 [9] BBC TV Reported, Https://Www.Youtube.Com/Watch?V=Cynywxtulig [10] Ethiopia: ‘Because I Am Oromo’: Sweeping Repression In The Oromia Region Of Ethiopia, Http://Www.Amnesty.Org/En/Library/Info/Afr25/006/2014/En [11] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Articles 6&7,http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/InternationalCriminalCourt.aspx [12]http://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/documents/press_corner/nip_11th_edf_ethiopia_signed.pdf [13] http://ecdpm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014-European-Parliament-Political-Dialogue-Human-Rights-Article8-Cotonou-Agreement1.pdf   http://www.ayyaantuu.net/western-governments-aid-is-funding-human-rights-repression-in-ethiopia/

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