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Ethiopia and multidimensional poverty: Over 80 % of the population are multidimensionally poor June 30, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Poverty.
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???????????Ethiopia poverty reduction

The above is from World Bank source which is conventional (income based) method of poverty analysis

Ethiopia's Per capita income trend, relative to  Sub-Saharan Afr 001Ethiopia

According to the Economist’s latest (25 June 2015) multidimensional poverty analysis, 9 countries that have registered 80% and above  of their population as multidimensionally poor are all in Africa: Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, South Sudan, Guinea, Niger, Burkina Faso  and Chad. 

population in multidimensional poverty

MOST measures of poverty just focus on income. About 1 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. But a new report from Oxford University looks at poverty levels in 101 developing countries, covering 5.2 billion people, or 75% of the world’s population. The report understands poverty in a different way from how economists usually do.

The economists measure “multidimensional poverty”. This complements measures based on income and reflects the many different problems people can face all at the same time. These include bad health and a lack of education. In all, they identify ten indicators; if people are deprived in at least one-third them, they are multidimensionally poor. The authors estimate that 1.6 billion people fit this description.

In some countries the difference between the conventional and unconventional measures is stark. In Mexico, Pakistan and Egypt, for instance, there are twice as many multidimensionally poor as there are conventionally poor. –

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2015/06/multidimensional-poverty?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/multidimensionalpoverty

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/07/omn-oduu-waxabajjii-30-2015/

Karoorri Guddina Dinagdee fi Traansoformeshinii Itoophiyaa,qabatamaatti jireenya Ummataa akka hin jijjirre ibsame.

OMN: Oduu Wax.30,2015 Mootummaan Itoophiyaa Waggoota shanan darban karoora Guddina fi Tiraansfoormeeshinii baasuun diinagdee biyyattii Dijitii lamaan guddisee biyyattii, toora biyyoota galii giddugalaa qaban cinan hiriirsa jechuun hojjechaa ture.

Keesumaa Diinagdee Biyyattii Qonnaan durfamaa jiru gara diinagdee Industiriitti ceesisuuf karoorfamee yoo tures utuu galma hin gahin hafuu isaa ogeessa Diinagdee kan ta’an Obbo Mulatu Gammachuu OMN tti himaniiru.

Humna Elektirikaa bara Hayila Silaasetti fayyadamaa,Qonnnaan bulaan Gindoodhuma waggoota 40 darbe lafa qotaa,guddinna galmaa;e jedhamu arguu dadhabne jedhaniiru.
Hanqinni sharafa biyya alaa yeroo diinagdee biyyatti raasaa jiru fi qalaa’iinsii gatii guddachaa jiru kanatti karoora guddina fi Tiraansfoormshinii jedhanii labsuun maqaa isaa irra kan hafe qabatamaatti jijjiramni fide hin jiru jedhu Obbo Mulatuun.
Biyya Itoophiyaa keessatti guddinni kan dhufuu danda’u qonnaa fi industiriin wal simee lammiileef carraan hojii yoo umamee dha kan jedhan obbo Mulatuun,Projektonni Misoomaa gurguddoon biyyattii illee hanqina sharafa biyya alaatiin rakkoo keessa akka jiran dubbatan.

Barreessaan Paartii Kongressii Federaalistii Oromoo obbo Baqalaa Nagaa’s, Itoophiyaa keessatti yeroo ammaa kana hojjetaan Mootummaa miindaa argatuun jiraachuu akka dadhabe, Qonnaan bulaan lafa isaa irra seeraan alaa buqqa’ee kadhaaf daandiitti bahaa akka jiru himanii, ummanni keenya tajajjila dhala namaaf barbaachisu ille argachaa hin jiru jedhu.

Karoorri Guddinaa fi Tiraansfoormeeshinii waggoota shanan dhufaniif bahes isa kanaan duraarraa waan addaa fida jedhanii akka hin eegne hubachiisaniiru.

Gabaasaan Alamayyoo Qannaa ti.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/07/karoorri-guddina-dinagdee-fi-traansoformeshinii-itoophiyaaqabatamaatti-jireenya-ummataa-akka-hin-jijjirre-ibsame/

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Thinking about Ethiopia June 30, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo.
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Great observation.
‘Here I saw people living on 1 dollar per day. And they are not beggars. They work and earn their 20-25 birr (around 1 $) per day and they pay 40% taxes to the government.’
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There are also these empty concrete and glass buildings in the capital, built out of prestige while people can’t afford renting the space there. So it is Ethiopia, African country without African fun and joy. The most un-African of all South Saharan African countries.
Just several decades ago they had their emperor and their Eritrea. Haile Selassie lived in a luxury and denied the reality of famine. There were no starving people in his country and live skeletons walking the streets. The emperor was old. The Lion was no longer the lion. He used to be a hero, when his country was liberated from Italian occupation. But not when he was too old to hold power. Rumors say that he was killed in his sleep.
In 1974 the Revolution took place and the Dergue military committee seized the power. Many people were tormented and killed. In mid 80th people were starving again. In 1991 communists were replaced by so called democrats, but you can still buy dollars only on the black market in Ethiopia.

obroniblog

Just several decades ago they had their emperor and their Eritrea. Haile Selassie lived in a luxury and denied the reality of famine. There were no starving people in his country and live skeletons walking the streets. The emperor was old. The Lion was no longer the lion. He used to be a hero, when his country was liberated from Italian occupation. But not when he was too old to hold power. Rumors say that he was killed in his sleep. The dynasty claiming its descent from the King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba had thus ceased to exist.

In 1974 the Revolution took place and the Dergue military committee seized the power. Many people were tormented and killed. In mid 80th people were starving again. In 1991 communists were replaced by so called democrats, but you can still buy dollars only on the black market in Ethiopia…

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Scientific Research: Colonialism of Mind: Deterrent of Social Transformation, The Experiences of Oromo People in Ethiopia June 30, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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???????????Tigrean Neftengna's land grabbing3 and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocide

 

Colonialism of Mind: Deterrent of Social Transformation

 By Begna F. Dugassa, Sociology Mind 2011. Vol.1, No.2, 55-64 Copyright © 2011 SciRes

ABSTRACT

An educational system and its curricula are shaped by the culture and epistemology in which it is embedded. It is influenced by the societal knowledge, but it also instrumental in shaping the knowledge of the society. Culture influences learning style. Based on cultural diversities and social needs, different societies have distinct curricula. As such, Oromo students ought to be taught now to interrogate the colonial epistemology and ideology as well schooled in the ways of dismantling the hegemony. However, in many cases, they are simply taught to reproduce the knowledge, culture, power structure, thinking and the worldview of colonizers. This means that education, which is supposed to be about critical inquiry and social transformation has been used to indoctrinate or brainwash some students. Such colonial educational curricula have invalidated the knowledge of indigenous Oromo people and compromised their needs. This type of education system, instead of empowering the students and their society, has incapacitated them. For the Oromo people, such curricula have distorted their history, image, identity, and damaged their social fabric. In this paper I argue that, colonial knowledge and education system is not in a position to bring about social transformation among Oromo people; on the contrary it disrupts their peace (nagaa), health (fayya) and (tasgabii) social order.
Colonialism of Mind, Deterrent of Social Transformation

Oromooti Sagal Hidhaa Hiikaman-OVR June 30, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo.
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(Oromedia, 30 Waxabajjii 2015) Sabboontoti Oromoo Oromummaa isaaniitiin yakkamanii wagoota turban darbaniif manneen hidhaa Itoophiyaa keessatti gidirfamaa bahan sagal hidhaa waggaa torbaa booda hiikaman.

OromoPersecution2010_2 (1)Raadiyoon Sagalee Oromoo (OVR) akka gabaasetti, hidhamtooti siyaasaa Oromoo salgan kunneen bara 2008 keessa sababa Oromummaa isaaniitiin yakkamaniii hidhaatti kanneen guuraman turan.

Akka odeessa nu gaheetti, sabboontoti hiikaman kunneen kanneen galmee Tasfahuun Camadaa faáa jalatti himatamnii turanii murtiin dabaa irratti darbee ture taúun beekameera.

Kanneen yeroo  amma hiikaman saglan,

  1. Ob Isheetuu Kitil
  2. Ob Kabbadaa Booranaa
  3. Ob Baqqalaa Nagarii
  4. Ad Aragaash Yaadataa
  5. Ob Waabee Hajii
  6. Roobaa GAddafaa
  7. Baayísaa Huseen
  8. Olaanii JAbeessaa
  9. Hayiluu Dalasaa ti.

Hidhamtoota kunneen waliin hiikamuun kan irra ture Dajanee Dhaabaa garuu haga yoonaatti mana hidhaa Zuwaay irraa akka hiikamne beekameera. Hidhamaan murtiin umurii guutuu irratti darbe  Masfin Abbabaa Abdiisaas hidhaa hidhaa umurii guutuu  baatee gidiraa argaa jira.

Akka yaadatamu, Tasfahuun Camadaa wagga tokko dura mana hidhaa keessatti ajjeefamuun isaa kan beekmuudha.

Lalisee Wadaajoo manni murtii…

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Pinnacle of Excellence in High School: Valedictorian Biiftu Duresso | An Oromo Inspiration June 29, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Inspirational Oromo Women.
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FEATURE –Pinnacle of Excellence in High School: Valedictorian Biiftu Duresso | An Oromo Inspiration

 Waxabajjii/June 30, 2015 · Finfinne Tribune , Gadaa.com

(Fox News NY) Biiftu Duresso was the valedictorian this year at Wilson Magnet High School in Rochester. She gave a moving tribute to her parents in her speech this weekend. Her father Jamal Abdullahi raised Biiftu while working as an assistant custodian at his daughter’s high school.

“My parents Jamal and Zubaida made their way to Rochester, New York from Ethiopia in the 80’s and 90’s,” Biiftu said in her speech. “They had the audacity to imagine something better for me and my siblings.”

It was a long journey. Her father escaped Ethiopia for Somalia and eventually got refugee status from the U.S. government and headed to New York. Biiftu is headed to Columbia University’s Barnard College in the fall. She homes to become a doctor and open a clinic in Ethiopia to help the people who are not as fortunate as her family.

HRLHA Press Release: Ethiopian Election 2015: Is Democracy Prosperous or Destitute? June 29, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

Ethiopian Election 2015: Is Democracy Prosperous or Destitute?

 

HRLHA Press Release

June 28, 2015

 Public, For Immediate Release

Ethiopia holds general elections every five years; the most recent one was held on May 24, 2015. The ruling TPLF/EPRDF party, which has been in power for the past twenty-four years, officially announced on this past Monday, June 22, 2015 that the government and its allies ((political organizations created by EPRDF) won a landslide victory in the country’s parliamentary elections. In the announcement, the ruling party proudly declared itself, not just the winner, but that it was also more victorious than ever before by taking all seats in both the federal and regional parliaments with its allies. In the months and weeks leading to the elections, under very restrictive conditions and in some places even where detentions were common, campaigns by the opposition parties were very intense, and the public response in support of the parties was far beyond expectations.

Unfortunately, all of that was to no avail. Looking at the end results of the elections, all that could be said is that the huge public rally behind the opposition parties instead alerted the ruling party- it prepared itself and came up with more and newer tactics to rig the elections. Heavily equipped armed forces were deployed in different areas including the surroundings of the capital, Addis Ababa/Finfinne.

As has been the case during the previous elections, hundreds of opposition party candidates, and observers were hunted down and detained at different places prior to the polling day under the pretext that they created obstacles to the process of election or were suspected of being members of political organizations labeled terrorist by the EPRDF government, groups such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ogadenean Nation Liberation Front (ONLF) and Ginbot 7.

filanooThousands of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) candidates and observers in Oromia Regional State, including Bule Hora (Guji Zone) South Oromia,  Makko and Darimu (Illu Abba Bora), Gimbi and Gulisso (Wallagga) West Oromia, Ginir and Goro (Bale), South Oromia were arrested and intimidated by the government security forces. OFC members Mr. Dula Matias and Mr. Zelalem Shuma in Dambi Dola (Wallagga), the Western Oromia Regional State were among those detained.

There have been cases of misinforming and misguiding voters, especially regarding voting times and places. Although it was announced ahead of the election day that there were plenty of voting cards, Oromo electors in some particular parts of the region were told that there were no voting cards left. In other areas of Oromia it has been confirmed that the voting cards were distributed to the people hours after the election has already started.

For example, in the following photo the EPRDF representative on the Toke Kutaye District (Ambo) was distributing voter cards on May 24, 2014.

Worst of all was the stealing of the ballot boxes after they were filled with voting cards in order to give all the votes to the candidates of the ruling party, regardless of whom the voter cards belonged to. The above mentioned incidents happened mainly in Eastern and Western Hararge, Dire Dawa, in various parts of central Shawa, in the Oromia Zone of Wallo, particularly at Wallo University, in Illu Abbabor, at Mettu University, in different parts of Wallaga, in Guji and Borana zones of the regional state of Oromia.

Accordingly, as proven in the announcement made by the National Election Board, the ruling TPLF/EPRDF Party stole most of the votes and, by so doing, systematically eliminated all opposition parties from the political game, leaving both the regional and federal parliaments without any alternative voices and differing political opinions. It is so worrisome that the country is once again back under a one-party monopoly of everything – political, economic, and social. All the rhetoric during the past two decades regarding the flourishing of democracy in Ethiopia has now proven to have been lies and deceptions- the reality is that democracy has been diminished.

Regardless of the unpopular results of the elections, both the Ethiopian peoples and all the opposition political parties should never feel that they lost. They should be rewarded for doing the best job that they have done – very peaceful election campaigns were conducted by the opposition parties and, in response, similar rallies and supports were shown by the general public. Both the Ethiopian peoples and the opposition parties have demonstrated and exercised genuine democracy in an oppressive political environment where democracy did not exist. Above all, the reaction of the population during the campaigns clearly demonstrated to the world that fundamental changes are needed in that country.

While the local observers were silenced by various types of harassment and intimidation, foreign and international independent observers such as the European Union and various human rights agencies chose to stay away knowing that, based on experiences from the past elections, their presence would make no difference except giving legitimacy to such a fake election. The decision taken by international observers not to participate in such a fake election could be described as a step in the right direction, a sign of rejection and refusal which showed that preconditions the government of Ethiopia followed for the election was wrong.  However, a lot more needs to be done to bring about positive political changes in Ethiopia.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Ethiopia which keeps deteriorating over time. Ethiopia is a party to numerous instruments of international and regional human rights, humanitarian and other laws[1]. The Ethiopian government has accepted, signed and ratified most of the international human rights standards. It has an obligation to adhere to those agreements and their implementations.  However, the government of Ethiopia has repeatedly failed to implement those standards, including the Ethiopian constitution of 1995. On the contrary, the government adopted anti- terrorism legislation and NGO law which it has used to criminalize the democratic rights of the people.

The Ethiopian government has been given a number of recommendations from UN Human Rights Council sessions to adhere to the international instruments it has signed and ratified, including at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) assessment outcome of 2014, where the country was given 252 recommendations to improve its human rights infringements it has committed against its people. The Ethiopian government also was advised to implement in full its constitutional protection for freedom of expression, assembly and association, and to encourage political tolerance

The parliamentary election of May 2015 in Ethiopia confirms that the country is heading towards a mono- political system of government. To change this, the Ethiopian government needs to:

  • Adhere to International, Regional and Domestic human rights and their implementation, humanitarian rights and its own constitution
  • Abolish the Anti-terrorism Proclamation of 2009
  • Remove NGO law 2009
  • Reforming the Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation of 2009
  • Repealing the provisions shielding public officials from criticism

Therefore, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) calls upon the international diplomatic and human rights agencies to join hands with the democratic-thirsty Ethiopian peoples and opposition political parties in their efforts to put pressure on the ruling TPLF/EPRDF party so that it abides by democratic principles as well as international laws and respects fundamental human rights so that genuine democracy can flourish.

[1] http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/ETIndex.aspx

Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

Ancient Africa: Khemetic Mathematics: Herega Dur Durii June 28, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Rock paintings in Oromia, Meroetic Oromo.
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EGYPTIAN MATHEMATICS

Ancient African (khemetic), hieroglyphic, numerals

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic numerals

The early Egyptians settled along the fertile Nile valley as early as about 6000 BC, and they began to record the patterns of lunar phases and the seasons, both for agricultural and religious reasons. The Pharaoh’s surveyors used measurements based on body parts (a palm was the width of the hand, a cubit the measurement from elbow to fingertips) to measure land and buildings very early in Egyptian history, and a decimal numeric system was developed based on our ten fingers. The oldest mathematical text from ancient Egypt discovered so far, though, is the Moscow Papyrus, which dates from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom around 2000 – 1800 BC.

It is thought that the Egyptians introduced the earliest fully-developed base 10 numeration system at least as early as 2700 BC (and probably much early). Written numbers used a stroke for units, a heel-bone symbol for tens, a coil of rope for hundreds and a lotus plant for thousands, as well as other hieroglyphic symbols for higher powers of ten up to a million. However, there was no concept of place value, so larger numbers were rather unwieldy (although a million required just one character, a million minus one required fifty-four characters).

Ancient Egyptian method of multiplication

Ancient Egyptian method of multiplication

The Rhind Papyrus, dating from around 1650 BC, is a kind of instruction manual in arithmetic and geometry, and it gives us explicit demonstrations of how multiplication and division was carried out at that time. It also contains evidence of other mathematical knowledge, including unit fractions, composite and prime numbers, arithmetic, geometric and harmonic means, and how to solve first order linear equations as well as arithmetic and geometric series. The Berlin Papyrus, which dates from around 1300 BC, shows that ancient Egyptians could solve second-order algebraic (quadratic) equations.

Multiplication, for example, was achieved by a process of repeated doubling of the number to be multiplied on one side and of one on the other, essentially a kind of multiplication of binary factors similar to that used by modern computers (see the example at right). These corresponding blocks of counters could then be used as a kind of multiplication reference table: first, the combination of powers of two which add up to the number to be multiplied by was isolated, and then the corresponding blocks of counters on the other side yielded the answer. This effectively made use of the concept of binary numbers, over 3,000 years before Leibniz introduced it into the west, and many more years before the development of the computer was to fully explore its potential.

Practical problems of trade and the market led to the development of a notation for fractions. The papyri which have come down to us demonstrate the use of unit fractions based on the symbol of the Eye of Horus, where each part of the eye represented a different fraction, each half of the previous one (i.e. half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, sixty-fourth), so that the total was one-sixty-fourth short of a whole, the first known example of a geometric series.

Ancient Egyptian method of division

Ancient Egyptian method of division

Unit fractions could also be used for simple division sums. For example, if they needed to divide 3 loaves among 5 people, they would first divide two of the loaves into thirds and the third loaf into fifths, then they would divide the left over third from the second loaf into five pieces. Thus, each person would receive one-third plus one-fifth plus one-fifteenth (which totals three-fifths, as we would expect).

The Egyptians approximated the area of a circle by using shapes whose area they did know. They observed that the area of a circle of diameter 9 units, for example, was very close to the area of a square with sides of 8 units, so that the area of circles of other diameters could be obtained by multiplying the diameter by 89 and then squaring it. This gives an effective approximation of π accurate to within less than one percent.

The pyramids themselves are another indication of the sophistication of Egyptian mathematics. Setting aside claims that the pyramids are first known structures to observe the golden ratio of 1 : 1.618 (which may have occurred for purely aesthetic, and not mathematical, reasons), there is certainly evidence that they knew the formula for the volume of a pyramid –13 times the height times the length times the width – as well as of a truncated or clipped pyramid. They were also aware, long before Pythagoras, of the rule that a triangle with sides 3, 4 and 5 units yields a perfect right angle, and Egyptian builders used ropes knotted at intervals of 3, 4 and 5 units in order to ensure exact right angles for their stonework (in fact, the 3-4-5 right triangle is often called “Egyptian”).

See more at : –  http://www.storyofmathematics.com/egyptian.html

Related:-

Scientific System, Mathematics and Ancient Kemetic Traditions

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/kemetic-numerology/

KENYA: THE PLIGHT OF OROMO REFUGEES June 28, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromo Refugees in Kenya.
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THE PLIGHT OF OROMO REFUGEES

BY EMILY ONYANGO,   SautiYamtaa, 22nd June 2015

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The Oromo community met recently in Eastleigh estate to discuss critical issues that for the last month, have been affecting their community.

They believe that there are people who have been sent to kidnap Oromo residents and take them back forcefully to Ethiopia where ethnic Oromo are subject to arbitrary arrest, detentions without access to lawyers, repeated torture and even targeted killings to crush dissidence.

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So far, approximately 70 people have been forcefully taken back in this manner.

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Many of the respondents said they had been detained in prisons, police stations, where they are subjected to repeated torture.

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They listed a myriad human rights problems they faced including arbitrary killings, allegations of torture and mistreatment of detainees by security forces, harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, detention without charge, a weak and overburdened judiciary subject to political influence, infringement on citizens’ privacy rights including illegal searches, as well as restrictions on academic freedom and freedom of assembly, association and movement. They also alleged interference in religious affairs, violence and societal discrimination against women, abuse of children, trafficking in persons and societal discrimination against persons with disabilities.

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“We are here expressing the problems we Oromo refugees are experiencing here in Kenya. We have fled our home country due to political persecution and execution targeted by the ruling government of Ethiopia, but I feel the Kenyan government are not taking concern of refugees protection seriously. We are being arrested by police and taken back to Ethiopia unlawfully. I believe our rights as refugees are not recognized fully. We have cases of our women being raped and our men taken to Ethiopia,” said Daki Waso.

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“ Last Saturday some spies who are believed to come from Ethiopia were taken to the police station but at midnight they were terrorizing the community. Those who reported are not aware which criteria they used to come out from the police station since they are in the country illegally,” said Jabir Sheik-Ismail.

http://www.sautiyamtaa.com/2015/06/22/the-plight-of-oromo-refugees/

Related:

Hawaasti Oromoo Keenyaa Basaasota Saaxile

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/hawaasti-oromoo-keenyaa-basaasota-saaxile/

IMF and USA set to ruin Ghana June 28, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Energy Economics, Ghana.
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Aletho News

By Craig Murray | June 27, 2015

Just ten years ago, Ghana had the most reliable electricity supply in all of Africa and the highest percentage of households connected to the grid in all of Africa – including South Africa. The Volta River Authority, the power producer and distributor was, in my very considerable experience, the best run and most efficient public utility in all of Africa. Indeed it was truly world class, and Ghana was proud of it.

Obviously the sight of truly successful public owned and run enterprise was too much of a threat to the neo-liberal ideologues of the IMF and World Bank. When Ghana needed some temporary financial assistance (against a generally healthy background) the IMF insisted that VRA be broken up. Right wing neoliberal dogma was applied to the Ghanaian electricity market. Electricity was separated between production and distribution, and private sector Independent Power Producers…

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South Africa’s image tarnished by recent news headlines June 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, South Africa.
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South Africa’s image tarnished by recent news headlines

A survey says the al-Bashir & Fifa scandals and the xenophobic attacks have damaged the country’s image.

South Africa, flag

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The research included 1,000 reports from 15 TV shows.

This involved major broadcasters in countries including the US, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and China.

The hasty exit by Sudan’s president, contrary to a court order, achieved the most South African coverage overseas, with the Fifa scandal and corruption also making news headlines.

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Prior to the al-Bashir scandal and xenophobia, the Oscar Pistorius murder trial also made news headlines worldwide, adding to negative publicity.Media Tenor says the only notable good news about South Africa was the cricket World Cup in January and February with the Proteas making notable progress, but losing to New Zealand.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

http://ewn.co.za/2015/06/24/SA-international-image-tarnished-by-recent-news-headlines

What You Need To Know About The Continues Attack on The Oromo Under Four Successive Regimes. June 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo.
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???????????Stop Torture

From Oh No! to Oromo! White Supremacy and Colonialism in the 21st Century June 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia.
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We spoke today with Ms. Veta Byrd-Perez of WhenAndWhereIEnter.org about the on-going struggle of African women in Latin America, and with Dr. Fido Ebba about the Oromo people in East Africa all in the context of what continues to be misrepresentations of White supremacist symbolism and violence.

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Oromia & Ethiopia: Flannoo kijibaa Wayyaanee Caamsaa Darbee Ilaalishisee Ibsa OFC/Medrek: OFC/Medrek’s Statement Regarding Ethiopia’s May 2015 Sham Election June 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in OFC, Sham elections.
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???????????OFC MEDREK’S Election Symbol (Five Fingers with the Open Palm'High Five Goes Viral

Deja vu in 2015 Ethiopian Elections

በ2007 በኢትዮጵያ የተካሄደውን ምርጫ በሚመለከት ከመድረክ የተሰጠ መግለጫ:- ሕገ-መንግሥታዊና ሕጋዊ የምርጫ ሥርዓት በተጣሰበት ሂደት የተከናወነው ሕገ ወጥ የምርጫ ድራማ ተቀባይነት ሊኖረው አይችልም!

ከመድረክ የተሰጠ መግለጫ …

ሕገ-መንግሥታዊና ሕጋዊ የምርጫ ሥርዓት በተጣሰበት ሂደት የተከናወነው ሕገ ወጥ የምርጫ ድራማ ተቀባይነት ሊኖረው አይችልም!

በሀገራችን ኢትዮጵያ የመድበለ ፓርቲ ሥርዓት እውን ሆኖ በነፃና ፍትሐዊ ምርጫ አማካይነት የሕዝባችን የሥልጣን ባለቤትነት የሚረጋገጥበት ሁኔታ በሕገ-መንግስቱ እውቅና ተሰጥቶት በይፋ ተደንግጎአል፡፡ ይሁን እንጂ ኢህአዴግ ሕገመንግሥቱንና የምርጫ ሕጎችን የጣሰ የምርጫ ድራማ በየ5 ዓመቱ በመቶ ሚሊዮኖች የሀገር ገንዘብ እያባከነ ያካሂዳል፡፡ ኢህአዴግ ይህንን የምርጫ ድራማ የሚያከሂደው፣ ወቅቱን የጠበቀ ምርጫ ማካሄድ በዓለም አቀፍ ለጋሽ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ሀገሮች ዘንድ እውቅና የስገኝልኛል በሚል ተስፋ ነው፡፡ ተጨባጩ እውነታ የሚያሳየው ግን ኢህአዴግ በሥልጣን ላይ በቆየባቸው 24 ዓመታት ራሱ ያጸደቃቸውን ሕጋዊና ሕገመንግሥታዊ ድንጋጌዎችን በመርገጥ የራሱን አምባገነናዊ ገዥነት ለማስቀጠል እንዲያስችለው የሕዝብ ድምፅ መንጠቂያና ማፈኛ ሕገወጥ የምርጫ ስትራቴጂዎችን እያወጣና ሥራ ላይ እያዋለ መሆኑን ነው፡፡ የሕዝባችንን ድምፅ መቀማቱንና ማፈኑን በየምርጫ ዙሮቹ እያባባሰ መሄዱን ቀጥሎበት አሁን ለደረስንበት የ100 ፐርሰንት ቅሚያም ደርሶአል፡፡ በተለይም በ2007 ዓም በተካሄደው የ5ኛ ዙር ሀገር አቀፍ ምርጫ ሕጋዊና ሕገመንግሥታዊ ድንጋጌዎችን በማንአለብኝነት በመጣስ በአጋርነት የፈረጃቸውን ፓርቲዎች አስከትሎና ሕዝቡንና ሐቀኛ ሰላማዊ ተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎችን በኃይል አፍኖ ምርጫውን በሕገወጥ መንገድ መቶ በመቶ ለመቆጣጠርና ጠቅልሎ ለመውሰድ የፈጸማቸው አስነዋሪ ተግባራት ከአንድ በመንግሥት ኃላፊነት ላይ ከሚገኝ ፓርቲ የማይጠበቁ ናቸው፡፡ አገዛዙ በዚሁ ምርጫ ከመራጮች ምዝገባ ጀምሮ ከፈጸማቸው ሕገወጥ ተግባራት ዋና ዋናዎቹ የሚከተሉት ናቸው፡፡

1ኛ፡- የኢህአዴግ ካድሬዎች ከምርጫ ቦርድ በሚደረግላቸው ትብብር ብዛት ያላቸው የመራጮች ምዝገባ ካርደ እየተሰጣቸው አህአዴግን ይመርጣሉ ለሚሏቸው ቤት ለቤት በመዞር ለአንድ ሰው ከአስር ካርዶች በላይ ከተለያዩ ማስፈራሪያዎችና መደለያዎች ጋር ጭምር የምርጫው ዕለት ድረስ በማደል አንድ ሰው አንድ ድምጽ የሚለውን ሕግ በመጣስ ወንጀል ሲፈጽሙ ቆይተዋል፡፡ ተቃዋሚዎችን ይመርጣሉ ብለው የጠረጠሩዋቸውን በርካታ ዜጎችንም የምርጫ ምዝገባው ጊዜ ከማለቁ በፊት በምርጫ አስፈጻሚዎች #መዝገቡ ሞልቷል$ ወይም #ካርዱ አልቋል$ እየተባለ ሳይመዘገቡ እንዲቀሩ ተደርጓል፡፡ እንደዚሁም መድረክ በመረጃ የደረሰባቸውን ለሰው የታደሉ ትርፍ የመራጭ ካርዶችን ከመራጮች ምዝገባ ላይ ለማመሳከር ባደረገው ጥረት ካርዶቹ ተመዝግበው ያለመገኘታቸውን ማረጋገጡ፣ በመራጮች ምዝገባ ሂደት ከፍተኛ ወንጀል እንደተፈጸመ የሚያሳይ ነው፡፡ ይህ ሁኔታ አዋጅ 532/1999፣አንቀጽ 65 3ለ ላይ የሰፈረውን #እያንዳንዱ መራጭ በመራጮች መዝገብ ላይ ስሙ ሰፍሮ መገኘት አለበት$ የሚለውን ድንጋጌ መጣሱም ምርጫውን ሕገወጥ የሚያደርግ ነው፡፡

2ኛ፡- በየምርጫ ጣቢያዎቹ የሕዝብ ታዛቢዎች ተብለው የተሰየሙት ሰዎችም የምርጫ ደንብ በሚያዘው መሠረት፣ በምርጫ የሚወዳደሩ ፓርቲዎች በደብዳቤ ተገልጾላቸው ተወካዮቻቸው በተገኙበት መመረጥ ሲገባቸው ያለተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች ተሳትፎ በአህአዴግ ደጋፊነታቸው የተመለመሉ መሆኑ ምርጫው ነፃና ታአማኒ እንዳይሆን ከመነሻው የተወጠነ ሕገወጥ አካሄድ ነበር፡፡

3ኛ፡- ገዥው ፓርቲ መንግሥታዊ ሥልጣኑን ያለአግባብ በመጠቀም በየክልሉ የመንግሥት ሠራተኞች አስተዳደር ሕግ የተፈቀደውን የቅስቀሳ ጊዜ ፈቃድ ለመድረክ ዕጩ ተወዳዳሪዎች ከልክሎ የኢህአዴግ አባላት የሆኑ ከፌዴራል እሰከ ወረዳ ደረጃ ያሉት እጅግ በርካታ የመንግሥት ሠራተኞች ዕጩ ተወዳዳሪ ያልሆኑት ጭምር ከሙሉ ክፍያ ጋር ከመደበኛ ሥራቸው ነፃ ሆነው በምርጫ ቅስቀሳው ወቅት በየተወለዱበት ወረዳዎችና ቀበሌዎች ተሠማርተዋል፡፡ ለምርጫ የተመዘገበውን ሕዝብም ቤት ለቤት እየዞሩ በማስፈራራትና በመደልል የንብ ምልክት ብቻ እንዲመርጡና መምረጣቸውንም ለኢህአዴግ ተወካዮች በግልጽ እያሳዩ ኮሮጆ ውስጥ እንዲጥሉ፣ ይህንን ካላደረጉ ግን ተቃዋሚዎችን እንደመረጡ እንደሚቆጠርና ተለይተውም እንደሚታወቁ በማስጠንቀቅና በማስፈራራት ላይ ተሰማርተው ቆይተዋል፡፡ ለዚሁ ሕገወጥ ሥራ የተሰማሩት የኢህአዴግ አባላት የሆኑት የመንግሥት ሠራተኞች በብዙ አከባቢዎች የመንግሥት ተሸከርካሪዎችን ለምርጫ ቅስቀሳ በማንአለብኝነት ሲገለገሉበት ቆይተዋል፡፡

4ኛ፡- በምርጫው ሂደት በብዙ ምርጫ ክልሎች በመቶዎች የሚቆጠሩ የመድረክ ዕጩዎችና ቀስቃሾች ሲደበደቡና ከባድ ጉዳት ሲደርስባቸው፣ ሲታሰሩና ለቅስቀሳ የሚጠቀሙባቸውን መሳረያዎች በገዥው ፓርቲ ካድሬዎች ሲነጠቁና ሲቀሙ ቆይተዋል፡፡ ከእነዚህም ውስጥ በደቡብ ክልል በጋሞጎፋ ዞን በዳራሞሎ ወረዳ 26፣ በዛለ ወረዳ 19፣ በካምባ ወረዳ 4፣በካፋ ዞን ቦንጋ ከተማ 2፣ በኦሮሚያ ክልል በባሌ ዞን ዶሎ መና ወረዳ 40፣ በቦረና ዞን ቡሌ ሆራ ወረዳ 40፣ በምዕራብ ሸዋ ዞን አምቦና ጀልዱ ወረዳዎች 27፣ በትግራይ ክክል በመቀሌ ከተማ 17 ፣ እስከአሁን በእስር ላይ የሚገኙ ሲሆን በመቶዎች የሚቆጠሩት በዋስ ተፈትው ጉዳያቸውን እየተከታተሉ ይገኛሉ፡፡

5ኛ፡- የዜጎችን ነፃና ምስጢራዊ የድምፅ አሰጣጥ መርሕ በመጣስ አንድ አባል 11 መራጮችን መልምሎ እንዲከታተልና ሕዝቡ በ1ለ5 ተጠርንፎ እስከ ምርጫ ጣቢያዎች ድረስ ተያይዞ በመሄድ ድምፅ እንዲሰጥ በገዥው ፓርቲ በተቀየሰው ስተራቴጂ ምርጫው እንዲካሄድ ተደርጓል፡፡ በአከባቢው በሌሉና በማይታወቁ ሰዎች ስምም የተመዘገቡ ካርዶችን በመጠቀም ምርጫው እንዲካሄድ አድርገዋል፡፡ ለምሳሌም በደቡብ ክልል በቀድዳ ጋሜላ ወረዳ ይህ ተፈጽሟል፡፡

6ኛ፡- በምርጫው ዕለት በአብዘኛው ምርጫ ጣቢያዎች የመድረክ ተወካዮች እንዳይገኙ በማባረር፣ በመደብደብና በማሰር ምርጫውን ታዛቢዎቻችን በሌሉበትና የገዥው ፓርቲ ካድሬዎች የሆኑት የዞን፣ የወረዳና የቀበሌ አመራር አባላት የምርጫ ጣቢያዎችን ሙሉ በሙሉ በተቆጣጠሩበትና አዋጅ ቁጥር 532/1999 አንቀጽ 47 ንዑስ አንቀጽ 3 በመተላለፍ ልዩ ኃይል ፣የፌዴራል ፖሊስና ታጣቂዎችን በሕዝቡ መካከል በብዛት በማሰማራት በህዝቡ ላይ የሥነ ልቦና ሽብር በፈጠሩበት ሁኔታ ምርጫው ሊካሄድ ችሎአል፡፡ ብዙ የምርጫ ጣቢያዎችንም በርካታ ታጣቂዎች ልዩ ትጥቅ አንግበው እንዲቆጣጠሩት ተደርጓል፡፡ ከበርካታ ምርጫ ጣቢያዎችም በየጣቢያዎቹ ተገኝተው የነበሩት ወኪሎቻችን እየተፈጸሙ ያዩትን የምርጫ ሕግ ጥሰቶች ለማሳረም ሲሞክሩ ተደብድበው ተባረዋል፡፡

7ኛ፡- በበርካታ የምርጫ ጣቢያዎች የምርጫ ሰነዶች፣ የድምፅ መስጫ ወረቀቶች የምርጫ ጣቢያ የኮድ ማሕተሞችና የኮሮጆ ቁልፎች በሥርዓት ባልተያዙበትና ኮሮጆዎቹ ቀድመው ሞልተው ባደሩበት እንደዚሁም አዲስ የመራጭ ካርድም በአዲስ መልክ ሲታደል በነበረበትና የንብ ምልክት የተደረገባቸው የድምፅ መስጫ ወረቀቶች ከውጭ ወደ ምርጫ ጣቢያዎች እየገቡ ጥቅም ላይ ሲውሉ በነበረበት ሁኔታ የድምፅ አሰጣጡ ተከናውኖአል፡፡

8ኛ፡- ለመድረክ ድምፅ የተሰጠባቸው የድምፅ መስጫ ወረቀቶች በብዛት ሽንት ቤት የተጣሉበትና የተቃጠሉበት ሁኔታ በብዙ አከባቢዎች ተከስቶአል፡፡ ለዚሁም ማስረጃ የሚሆኑ በርካታ ከሽንት ቤት የተሰበሰቡ ድምጾች ለአብነት በእጃችን ይገኛሉ፡፡

9ኛ፡- የመራጭ ምዝገባ አፈጻጸም መመሪያ 2/2000፣ አንቀጽ 13/7 # በአንድ ድምፅ መስጫ ጣቢያ ከ1000 በላይ ድምፅ አይሰጥም$ የሚለውን ድንጋጌ በመተላለፍ የኢህአዴግ ተወዳዳሪዎች ከ1000 በላይ ድምጽ እንዳገኙ ተደርጎ ይፋ መደረጉና ይህ እየታወቀ በምርጫ ቦርድም የእርምት እርምጃ አልተወሰደም፡፡

10ኛ፡- በቅድመ ምርጫም ሆነ በምርጫው ዕለት የተከሰቱ የሕግ ጥሰቶችና የኃይል እርምጃዎችን በሚመለከት መድረክ ከምርጫ ጣቢያዎች አንስቶ እስከ ብሔራዊ ምርጫ ቦርድ ድረስ ላሉት አካላት ያቀረባቸው ቅሬታዎችና አቤቱታዎች ተገቢው መፍትሔ ሳይሰጣቸው ቀርቶ ችግሩ እየተባባሰ ገዥው ፓርቲ በወታደራዊ ኮማንድ ፖስት በመመራት የታጠቀ ኃይል በሰላማዊ ሕዝብ ላይ በማዝመት ጭምር ያከናወነው ምርጫ ሊሆን ችሎአል፡፡

11ኛ፡- በምርጫው ዕለት በኦሮሚያ ክልል በምራብ ሸዋ ዞን ሚዳ ቀኝ ወረዳ በአቶ ጊዲሳ ጨመዳ እና በምዕራብ አርሲ ዞን በቆራ ወረዳ በአቶ ገቢ ጥሴቦ ላይ ግድያዎች የተፈጸሙ ሲሆን፣ ከምርጫው በኋላም በምራብ ትግራይ ዞን በማይካድራ ከተማ በአቶ ታደሰ አብርሃና በደ/ብ/ብ/ሕ ክልል በሀዲያ ዞን በሶሮ ወረዳ በአቶ ብርሃኑ ኤረቦ በሚባሉ በምርጫው ሂደት ንቁ ተሳትፎ ባደረጉት የመድረክ ሰላማዊ ታጋዮች ላይ አሰቃቂ ግዲያዎች ተፈጽመዋል፡፡ በጋሞጎፋ ዞን በአርባ ምንጭ ምርጫ ክልልም በምርጫው እንቅስቃሴ ጠንካራ ተሳትፎ ባደረገውና በላካ ቀበሌ ምርጫ ጣቢያ የመድረክ ወኪል/ታዛቢ በነበሩት በአቶ ዳንኤል ጉዴ ላይ በተደረገው የመግደል ሙከራ ከቤተሰባቸው ጋር እቤት ውስጥ ተኝተው እያሉ ቤታቸውን ከውጭ በገመድ አስረው በእሳት በማቃጠል ከነቤተሰባቸው ለመጨረስ ሙከራ የተደረገ ሲሆን የመድረክ አባሉና ቤተሰቡ በጎረቤት እርዳታ ሕይወታቸው ሲተርፍ ቤት ንብረታቸው በሙሉ ተቃጥሎ በአሰቃቂ ሁኔታ ሜዳ ላይ ቀርተው ይገኛሉ፡፡ የሰላም ታጋዩ በአሁኑ ወቅት ከቀበሌአቸው በኢህአዴግ ካድሬዎች የተባረሩ ሲሆን ከአቅመደካማና ቤቱ ከመቃጠሉ በፊት በካድሬዎቹ ክፉኛ ከተደበደቡት አሮጊት እናታቸው ጋር ወደ ቀበሌአቸውም እንዳይመጡ በካድሬዎች ተከልክለው እየተንከራተቱ ይገኛሉ፡፡

12ኛ፡- ከዚህ በላይ በአጭሩ ለመግለጽ በተሞከረበት ሁኔታ በምርጫው የሕዝቡን ድምፅ ጠቅልለው የወሰዱት የኢህአዴግ ካድሬዎች ይህ አስነዋሪ ተግባራቸው አልበቃ ብሎ ከምርጫው ማግስት ጀምረው በብዙ አከባቢዎች #ለመድረክ በታዛቢነት አገልግላችኋል፣ሕዝቡ መድረክን እንዲመርጥ ቅስቀሳ አድርጋችኋል፣ መድረክን መርጣችኋል$ ወዘተ ባሉዋቸው በርካታ ዜጎች ላይ የበቀል እርምጃዎችን በመውሰድ ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡ በዚሁም መሠረት በተለያዩ አከባቢዎች በርካታ አባሎቻችንን በማሰር፣ በመደብደብ፣ ቤታቸውን በማፍረስና በሐሰት ወንጅሎ በማስቀጣት፣ ከሥራቸውና ከትምህርት ገበታቸው በማባረር፣ የሥልጠና ዕድል በመንፈግና በመንግሥት ሥራ እንዳይቀጠሩም በመከልከል እንደዚሁም በገጠር በግብርና ሥራ ላይ የተሰማሩ አባሎቻችን የሰፍትኔት ዕርዳታና ሌሎች መንግሥታዊ እርዳታዎችንና አገልግሎቶችን እንዳያገኙ በማድረግ ወዘተ የዜግነት መብታቸውን ነፍገው እያሰቃዩ ይገኛሉ፡፡ ቅርንጫፍ ጽ/ቤቶቻችንንም በግድ ዝጉ በማለት እያስፈራሩ በማዘጋት ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡ ለምሳሌም በምዕራብ ሸዋ ዞን ሜታ ሮቢ ወረዳ በ16/10/07 በወረዳው አስተዳዳሪና በወረዳው ፖሊስ አዛዥ በተሰጠ ትዕዛዝ የኦፌኮ/መድረክ ቅ/ጽ/ቤት ተዘግቷል፡፡

ከዚህ በላይ የተዘረዘሩትና በገዥው ፓርቲ የተፈጸሙት ተግባራት በኢፌዴሪ ሕገመንግሥት አንቀጽ 54 ንዑስ አንቀጽ 1 #የሕዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት አባላት ሁሉ አቀፍ፣ ነፃ፣ ቀጥተኛ፣ ትክክለኛ በሆነና ድምፅ በምስጢር በሚሰጥበት ሥርዓት በየአምስት አመቱ በሕዝብ ይመረጣሉ&$ ተብሎ የተደነገገውን የጣሰ ነው፡፡ እንደዚሁም የየክልል ምክር ቤቶች አባላት ምርጫን በሚመለከትም በየክልላዊ መንግሥታቱ ሕገመንግሥታት በተመሳሳይ የተደነገጉትን፣ በተሻሻለው የምርጫ ሕግ አዋጅ ቁጥር 532/1999 አንቀፅ 26 በሰፈሩት የምርጫ መርሖዎችም #ማንኛውም ምርጫ ሁሉአቀፍ፣ ቀጥተኛ፣በምስጢር ድምፅ አሰጣጥ መራጩ ፈቃዱን በነፃነት የሚገለጽበት እና ያለምንም ልዩነት በእኩል ሕዝባዊ ተሳትፎ ላይ የተመሠረተ ይሆናል& የመምረጥ መመረጥ መብቱ በሕግ ያልተገደበ ማንኛውም ኢትዮጵያዊ የመምረጥ ወይም የመመረጥ መብት አለው& እያንዳንዱ መራጭ የሚሰጠው ድምፅ እኩል ነው& ማንኛውም ኢትዮጵያዊ ለመምረጥም ሆነ ለመመረጥ አይገደድም&$ ተብሎ የተደነገገውንም የጣሰ ነው፡፡ በተጨማሪም በሀገራችን የምርጫ ሥነምግባር ሕግ አንቀጽ 14 ንዑስ አንቀጽ 1 ስልጣንን ያለአግባብ መጠቀምን አስመልክቶ #ማንኛውም የፖለቲካ ፓርቲ፡- ያለውን የሥልጣን ኃላፊነትና የተለየ ዕድል ወይም ተፅዕኖ የማሳደር ችሎታ ለፖለቲካ ፍላጎቱ ለመጠቀም መደለያ ማቅረብን፣ ቅጣትንና ማንኛውንም የማስፈራሪያ መንገድ መጠቀምና የፈዴራል መንግሥትን፣ የክልል መንግሥታትን፣ የከተማ ማዘጋጃ ቤትን ወይም ሌላ የሕዝብ ሀብትን በምርጫ ሕጉ ከተፈቀደው አኳኋን ውጭ ለምርጫ ቅስቀሳ ዓላማ መጠቀም የለበትም&$የሚለውንም ድንጋጌ ያላከበረ ነው፡፡ የመንግሥት ሠራተኞችና ንብረት በሚመለከትም የመንግሥት ሠራተኛና ኃላፊ ሆኖ በራሱ የግል ጊዜ ካልሆነ በስተቀር በመንግሥት የሥራ ሰዓትና ኃላፊነት ተቋሙን በመጠቀም እጩዎችን ያስተዋወቀ ወይም ሌሎች እጩዎች ራሳቸውን በሕጋዊ መንገድ ለማስተዋወቅ ያላቸውን እድል ያደናቀፈ፣ በመንግሥት ንብረት ለምርጫ ቅስቀሳ የተጠቀመ፣ እንደሆነ የሥነምግባር ጥሰት እንደፈጸመ ይቆጠራል& ተብሎ በአንቀጽ 27 ንዑስ አንቀጽ 7 እና 8 የተደነገገውን በመጣስ የተፈጸሙ ሕገወጥ ተግባራት ናቸው፡፡

በአጠቃላይም በ2007 ዓ ም በሀገራችን ተካሄደ የተባለው ምርጫ በሕግና ሥርዓት ያልተመራና በሕገ-መንግሥቱና በምርጫ ሕጎች የተደነገጉትን የነፃ፣ፍትሐዊና ታአማኒነት ያለው ዴሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ መርሖዎች በኃይል በተጣሱበት ሁኔታ የተፈጸመ በመሆኑ መድረክ የምርጫውን ሂደትም ሆነ ውጤት የማይቀበለው መሆኑን እየገለጸ፣ ለዚህ አሁን ሀገራችን ለገባችበት አስቸጋሪ ሁኔታ መፍትሔ ለማስገኘት የሚከተሉት እርምጃዎች እንዲወሰዱ በጥብቅ ይጠይቃል፡፡

1ኛ፡– በ2007 ዓ ም የተካሄደው 5ኛ ዙር ሀገር አቀፍ ምርጫ ሂደትና ክንዋኔ በአጠቃላይ የሀገሪቱን ሕገመንግሥትና የምርጫ ሕጎች በጣሰ ሁኔታ የተከናወነ ስለሆነ፣ ይህንን ግዙፍ የሕግ ጥሰት አንድ ወገንተኛ ያልሆነ አካል ተቋቁሞ እንዲያጣራው፣

2ኛ፡- ከዚህ በላይ በተጠቀሱት አራት አባሎቻችን ላይ ግዲያ የፈጸሙ ወንጀለኞች ተገቢው ክትትል ተደርጎ ለሕግ እንዲቀርቡና ፍትሐዊ ውሳኔ እንዲሰጥባቸው፣

3ኛ፡- ከምርጫው ቅስቀሳ ወቅት ጀምሮ በየምርጫ ክልሎቹ የታሰሩት አባሎቻችን ካለአንዳች ቅድመ ሁኔታ በአስቸኳይ እንዲፈቱና የድብደባና የማሰቃየት ተግባራትን የፈጸሙባቸው የገዥው ፓርቲ ካድሬዎች ለሕግ እንዲቀርቡ፣

4ኛ፡- ከምርጫው እንቅስቃሴ ወዲህ ቤታቸው የተቃጠለባቸው፣ የፈረሰባቸውና ንብረታቸው የተዘረፈባቸው አባሎቻችን ሀብትና ንብረት በአስቸኳይ እንዲመለስላቸውና እንዲከፈላቸው፣ በንብረታቸው ላይ ጉዳት ያደረሱ ካድሬዎችና የጸጥታ ኃይሎች አባላትም በሕግ እንዲጠየቁ፣

5ኛ፡- በአሁኑ ወቅት በኢህአዴግ ካድሬዎች በማንአለብኝነት በሰላማዊ ዜጎች ላይ እየፈጸሙ የሚገኙት የማሸበር ተግባራት ማለትም በሰላማዊ ታጋዮቻችን ላይ በቀጣይነት እየተፈጸሙ ያሉት ግዲያዎች፣ ማስፈራራት፣ ወከባዎች፣ ዛቻዎችና የመሥራትና የመማር እንዲሁም እርዳታና አገልግሎት የማግኘት መብት በመንፈግ የሚፈጸሙ ሕገወጥ ተግባራት በአስቸኳይ እንዲቆሙ እንዲደረግና በዚህ አፍራሽና ፀረ ሰላም ተግባራቸው ምክንያት የሀገራችንና የሕዝባችን ሰላምና ደህንነት እንዳይናጋ ወቅታዊ የእርምት እርምጃ እንዲወሰድ፣

6ኛ፡- በ2007 ዓ ም በሀገራችን የተካሄደው ምርጫ ከሀገራችን ሕገ-መንግሥትና የምርጫ ሕጎች ውጭ መንግሥታዊ ሥልጣንን ያለአግባብ በመጠቀም ሕዝብን በማስፈራራት፣ በኃይልና በአፈና ገለልተኛ ታዛቢዎች በሌሉበት ገዥው ፓርቲ ራሱ ተወዳዳሪ፣ ዳኛና ታዛቢ ሆኖ ያካሄደውና በምንም መልኩ ፍትሐዊና ዴሞክራሲያዊ ያልሆነና ታአማኒነት የሌለው ሕገወጥ ምርጫ ስለሆነ፣ገዥው ፓርቲ በገለልተኛ የምርጫ አስተዳዳር አማካይነት ገለልተኛ ታዛቢዎች በተገኙበት ነፃ፣ ፍትሐዊና ዴሞክራሲያዊ የሆነና ታአማኒነት ያለው ምርጫ ሊካሄድ በሚችልበት ሁኔታ ላይ ከመድረክና ሌሎች ሐቀኛ ሰላማዊ ተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች ጋር በአስቸኳይ በመደራደር ለነፃ፣ ፍትሐዊ፣ ዴሞክርሲያዊና ታዓማኒነት ላለው ምርጫ አመቺ ሁኔታ እንዲፈጠር እንዲደረግ አጥብቀን እንጠይቃለን፡፡

7ኛ፡- በሀገራችን የመድበለ ፓርቲ ሥርዓት እንዲረጋገጥ ሕጋዊ ሁኔታዎችን ለመፍጠር ፣ እንደዚሁም ነፃ ፍትሐዊ ተዓማኒ ምርጫዎች ውስጥ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች እንዳይሳተፉ እንቅፋት የሆኑ ሕጋዊና ተቋማዊ ሁኔታዎችን ለማስወገድ ከኢህአዴግ ጋር የሚካሄድ ድርድርና የሌሎች ድርጅታዊ እንቅስቃሴዎች ውጤት በቀጣዩ ለመድረክ በምርጫዎች መሳተፍ ወሳኝ ይሆናል፡፡ ይህ የሰላማዊ መፍትሔ እርምጃ ከዚህ በፊት በኢህአዴግ አሻፈረኝ ባይነት ተቀባይነት አጥቶ ችግራችን እየተባባሰ እንዲሄድ ሲደረግ እንደቆየው ሁሉ አሁንም በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ ቀጥሎ የሀገራችን ችግሮች እየተወሳሰቡና ከቁጥጥር ውጭ እየሆኑ ከሄዱ ኃላፊነቱ የኢህአዴግ ብቻ እንደሚሆን በቅድሚያ መግለጽ እንወዳለን፡፡

በመጨረሻም ነፃ፣ ፍትሐዊና ታአማኒ የሆነ ዴሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ ለዘመናት ሲትናፍቅና ስትታገልለት የኖርከው ሰላም ወዳዱ መላው የሀገራችን ሕዝብ መድረክም ሆነ አባል ድርጅቶቹ በኢህአዴግ የ24 ዓመታት አገዛዝ በሀገራችን በተካሄዱት ምርጫዎች በመሳተፍና የሀገራችንን ችግሮች በሰላማዊ ውይይት ለመፍታትና የሕዝባችንን የሥልጣን ባለቤትነት በሰላማዊና ሕጋዊ መንገድ ለማረጋገጥ ባካሄድናቸው ጥረቶች የኢህአዴግን በርካታ የግፍ ተግባራት በከፍተኛ ትዕግሥትና አርቆ አስተዋይነት ተቋቁመህ ከጎናችን በመሰለፍ ላበረከትከው አስተዋዖና ለከፈልከው መስዋዕትነት መድረክ ያለውን ታላቅ አክብሮትና ልባዊ ምስጋናውን ይገልጻል፡፡ የኢህአዴግ አገዛዝ ኃላፊነት በጎደለውና ሕግንና ሕገ-መንግሥትን በጣሰው እርምጃው የነፃ፣ ፍትሐዊና ዴሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫን መንገድ ሙሉ በሙሉ በኃይል የዘጋብን ቢሆንም፣ በሀገራችን ሕገመንግሥት የተረጋገጡትና ገና ያልተጠቀምንባቸው የሰላማዊ የትግል ፈርጆች በርካታ ስለሆኑ በሰላማዊ የትግል አማራጫችን ጸንታችሁ አምባገነኑ የኢህአዴግ አገዘዝ ለሕግ የበላይነት እስኪገዛና ሰላማዊ የመፍትሔ ሐሳቦችን ተቀብሎ ሕገመንግሥታዊ መብቶች በተግባር እስኪረጋገጡ ድረስ ሰላማዊ ትግላችሁን ይበልጥ በተደራጃና በተጠናከረ መልኩ እንዲትቀጥሉ መድረክ ጥሪውን ያስተላልፋል፡፡

ድል ለሕዝባዊ ትግላችን!!

መድረክ
ሰኔ 19 ቀን 2007 ዓ.ም.
አዲስ አበባ

Finfinnee, 26 May 2015

Related:

PRESS RELEASE: Amnesty International Asks Ethiopia to Investigate Suspicious Murders and Human Rights Violations

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/press-release-amnesty-international-asks-ethiopia-to-investigate-suspicious-murders-and-human-rights-violations/

Ethnic Cleansing against Kemant People: Genesis of Agaw People Suffering June 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia.
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???????????AgawFocus on Cushitic Nations, Explore the Agaw Nation

Focus on Cushitic Nations: Discover Agew, Awi and Kemant

Voice of Justice - VOJ

By Mizigena A

From the start of Christianity introduction to Ethiopia, the North Western Cushitic Agaw people was suffering from multidimensional socio-economic prospective (such as religion, politics, social, economic, culture and language) for over 1600 years. With the rising and expansion of Christianity in the fourth century, the majority of Agaw were forced to accept Christianity following the conversion of the two Agaw king brothers, Aezana and saezana and received Christian name as Aberha and Atsibeha. Those who resisted and adhered to their original and former belief (Judaism and paganism) fled from North to South and South-East direction along Tekeze River and settled in Gondar and around Gondar and Lasta and gradually to North Shewa, Jemma and Abay rivers and beyond.
The Agaw population who resisted for centuries long the state religion after conversion of majority had been divided into smaller enclaves (Awi, Kementy, Himita, Blen, Alien/Falasha and more others)…

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Africa Progress Panel: WORLDS APART Range of time Viewed from Africa, energy use patterns in rich countries represent another universe June 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Alternative Energy, Energy Economics.
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O

Africa Progress Panel

Affordable and reliable electricity underpins every aspect of social and economic life. But Sub-Saharan Africa has an energy crisis that demands urgent political attention. Two in every three Africans, around 621 million in total, have no access to electricity at all.

Ethiopia, with a population of 94 million, consumes one-third of the electricity supplied to the 600,000 residents of Washington D.C. Greater London consumes more electricity than any country in Africa other than South Africa. By international standards much of Africa’s energy infrastructure is dilapidated, reflecting several decades of under-investment. According to the IEA, the average efficiency of Sub-Saharan Africa’s gas-fired power plants is around 38 per cent. Similarly, most of Africa’s coal-fired power plants employ sub-critical technologies, rather than the super-critical technologies that could generate far more electricity from the same amount of fuel. Recent super-critical coal-fired power plants built in China generate on average 30 per cent more electricity than those operating in Africa. Economic growth has intensified pressure on Africa’s creaking energy infrastructure. One symptom of that pressure is a boom in leasing of emergency power. Unable to meet base-load demand through the grid, governments are turning to high-cost energy providers using technologies designed to meet emergency needs. Low levels of power generation are both a symptom and a cause of wider development challenges. In part, Africa’s limited power generation is the product of low average incomes. But it is also a contributory factor in keeping incomes low. In that context, the widening energy gap between Africa and other regions is a matter of concern. There is a very real sense in which today’s inequalities in energy are tomorrow’s inequalities in economic growth, international trade and investment.

DISCONNECTED AFRICA APP_REPORT_2015

Energy Consumption, disconnected Africa6Energy Consumption, disconnected Africa2Energy Consumption, disconnected Africa3Energy Consumption, disconnected Africa4Energy Consumption, disconnected Africa5Energy Consumption, disconnected Africa

Unreliable power supply has created a buoyant market in diesel-powered generators. Around 40 per cent of businesses in Tanzania and Ethiopia operate their own generators, rising to over 50 per cent in Kenya.15 In Nigeria, around four in every five SMEs install their own generators.16 On average, electricity provided through diesel-fuelled back-up generators costs four times as much as power from grid.17 Diesel fuel is a significant cost for enterprises across Africa, even in less energy-intensive sectors such as finance and banking. According to McKinsey, diesel fuel represents around 60 per cent of operator network costs for mobile-phone operators.18 High cost and unreliable supply add to the cost of doing business in Africa, with damaging consequences for economic growth, investment and tax revenues. The World Bank has estimated the losses at 2-4 per cent of GDP.19 Lack of reliable and cost-effective electricity is among the top constraints to expansion in the manufacturing sector in nearly every Sub-Saharan country.20 Small and medium enterprises account for most of the job creation but face particularly severe problems, with around half citing the high cost and unreliability of supply as a barrier to enterprise development. Lack of electricity reinforces the poverty trap Restricted access to electricity has direct and damaging consequences for household poverty. Africa’s poor typically pay higher unit costs for energy than the rich. This is partly because the rich are subsidized, but also because the poor use inefficient energy sources including batteries, candles, and charcoal.If the poor could use more efficient energy sources they could reduce the share of income that they spend on energy and free up resources for other priority areas. It could also reduce the amount of time that women and girls spend collecting firewood and cooking. Households across Africa, including very poor households, spend a significant share of their income on energy. Data from 30 countries showed that the average share of household spending directed to energy was 13 per cent.21 The poorest households typically spend a larger share of their income on energy than richer households. In Uganda, the poorest one-fifth allocated 16 per cent of their income to energy, three times the share of their richest counterparts. Women and girls spend a lot of time collecting firewood and cooking with inefficient stoves. Factoring in the costs of this unpaid labour greatly inflates the economic costs that come with Africa’s energy deficits. Estimates by the World Bank put the losses for 2010 at US$38 billion or 3 per cent of GDP.

DISCONNECTED AFRICA APP_REPORT_2015

Ethiopia: US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 June 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Human Rights.
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???????????US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert
 “We all witnessed the brutality and nihilism of the horrific attacks by Pakistani Taliban and Boko Haram on schoolchildren, the assassinations of Charlie Hebdo journalists, and numerous outrages and killings carried out by ISIL. The rise of ISIL was in part a consequence of, and illustrated the dangers of, atrocities committed by the government of Syria and failures of inclusive governance in Iraq. Meanwhile, governments in China, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among others, continued to stifle free and open media and the development of civil society through the imprisonment of journalists, bloggers, and non-violent critics. In Thailand, the military overthrew a democratically-elected government, repealed the constitution, and severely limited civil liberties; subsequent efforts by the military government to rewrite the country’s constitution and recast its political intuitions raised concerns about lack of inclusivity in the process. In the face of all this, the human aspiration for political liberty and honest, non-abusive governance remained strong.” – Secretary’s Preface
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
Ethiopia is a federal republic. The ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of four ethnically based parties, controls the government. In 2012, following the death of former prime minister Meles Zenawi, parliament elected Hailemariam Desalegn as his successor. In national parliamentary elections in 2010, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded technical aspects of the vote were handled competently, some also noted an environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place prior to the election. Authorities generally maintained control over the security forces, although Somali Region Special Police and local militias sometimes acted independently.

Other human rights problems included alleged arbitrary killings; alleged torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; reports of harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; a weak, overburdened judiciary subject to political influence; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights, including illegal searches; alleged abuses in the implementation of the government’s “villagization” program; restrictions on academic freedom; restrictions on freedom of assembly, association, and movement; alleged interference in religious affairs; limits on citizens’ ability to change their government; police, administrative, and judicial corruption; violence and societal discrimination against women and abuse of children; female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C); trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against persons with disabilities; clashes between ethnic minorities; discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation and against persons with HIV/AIDS; limits on worker rights; forced labor; and child labor, including forced child labor.

Impunity was a problem. The government, with some reported exceptions, generally did not take steps to prosecute or otherwise punish officials who committed abuses other than corruption.

Factions of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), an ethnically based, violent, and fragmented separatist group operating in the Somali Region, were responsible for abuses.

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom from:Share

a. Arbitrary or Unlawful Deprivation of Life

Members of the security forces reportedly committed killings.

On April 30, a peaceful student protest in Ambo, west of Addis Ababa, escalated into violence and resulted in the deaths of at least eight persons. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that “witnesses said security forces fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters.”

There were no new developments in the credible allegations detainees died in detention as a result of arrests during the August 2013 Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

Scattered fighting continued between government forces–primarily regional government-backed militias–and elements of the ONLF. Clashes between ethnic groups resulted in injury and death.

On October 13, gunmen reportedly killed more than 40 security forces in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR), according to local press and NGOs in the town of Gambella. According to reports, the clash occurred between a group of ethnic Majanger and Ethiopian national and local security forces.

b. Disappearance

Unlike in previous years, there were fewer credible reports of disappearances of civilians after clashes between security forces and rebel groups.

There were no developments in determining the whereabouts of 12 residents of Alamata town detained in January 2013 by security forces following protests against government plans to demolish illegal housing units.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The constitution and law prohibit such practices; however, there were reports security officials tortured and otherwise abused detainees.

In April, two journalists/bloggers affiliated with the Zone 9 activist group accused police of beating and mistreating them. One journalist reported police beat him across the face, while another stated police beat the undersides of his feet (see section 2.a.). The Federal High Court regularly sought explanations from prison officials on allegations of mistreatment.

Sources widely believed police investigators often used physical abuse to extract confessions in Maekelawi, the central police investigation headquarters in Addis Ababa. HRW reported abuses, including torture, occurred at Maekelawi. In an October 2013 report, the HRW described beatings, stress positions, the hanging of detainees by their wrists from the ceiling, prolonged handcuffing, pouring of water over detainees, verbal threats, and solitary confinement at the facility. Authorities continued to restrict access by diplomats and NGOs to Maekelawi, although some NGOs reported limited access.

In 2010 the UN Committee Against Torture reported it was “deeply concerned” about “numerous, ongoing, and consistent allegations” concerning “the routine use of torture” by police, prison officers, and other members of the security forces–including the military–against political dissidents and opposition party members, students, alleged terrorists, and alleged supporters of violent separatist groups such as the ONLF and the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The committee reported such acts frequently occurred with the participation of, at the instigation of, or with the consent of commanding officers in police stations, detention centers, federal prisons, military bases, and unofficial or secret places of detention. Some reports of such abuses continued during the year. Based primarily on interviews with Oromo refugees in Uganda, Somaliland, and Kenya, Amnesty International (AI), which had been denied access to Ethiopia since 2011, reported thousands of ethnic Oromos, whom the government accused of terrorism, were arbitrarily arrested and in some cases tortured.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Prison and pretrial detention center conditions remained harsh and in some cases life threatening. There were reports that authorities beat and tortured prisoners. Medical attention following beatings reportedly was insufficient in some cases.

Physical Conditions: In 2012 there were 111,640 persons in prison, of whom approximately 2,500 were women and nearly 600 were children incarcerated with their mothers. Authorities sometimes incarcerated juveniles with adults. Male and female prisoners generally were separated.

Severe overcrowding was common, especially in prison sleeping quarters. The government provided approximately nine birr ($0.45) per prisoner per day for food, water, and health care, although this amount varied across the country. Many prisoners supplemented this amount with daily food deliveries from family members or by purchasing food from local vendors, although there were reports officials prevented some prisoners from receiving supplemental food from their families. Medical care was unreliable in federal prisons and almost nonexistent in regional prisons. Prisoners had only limited access to potable water, as did many in the country. Also water shortages caused unhygienic conditions, and most prisons lacked appropriate sanitary facilities. Many prisoners had serious health problems in detention but received little or no treatment. Information released by the Ministry of Health in 2012 stated nearly 62 percent of inmates in jails across the country suffered from mental health problems as a result of solitary confinement, overcrowding, and lack of adequate health-care facilities and services.

The country had six federal and 120 regional prisons. A local NGO ran model prisons in Adama and Mekele, with significantly better conditions than those found in other prisons. There also were many unofficial detention centers throughout the country, including in Dedessa, Bir Sheleko, Tolay, Hormat, Blate, Tatek, Jijiga, Holeta, and Senkele. Most were located at military camps.

Pretrial detention often occurred in police station detention facilities, where conditions varied widely. Reports regarding pretrial detention in police stations indicated poor hygiene and police abuse of detainees.

Administration: Due to the lack of transparency regarding incarceration, it was difficult to determine if recordkeeping was adequate. Authorities did not employ alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders. Prisons did not have ombudspersons to respond to complaints. Legal aid clinics existed in some prisons for the benefit of prisoners. Authorities allowed the submission by detainees of complaints to judicial authorities without censorship. Courts sometimes declined to hear such complaints. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Federal Police Commission sometimes investigated allegations of abuse, although there were reports detainees’ discussions with them were not carried out in private, which could inhibit their ability to speak freely.

The law permits prisoners to have visitors, although in some cases police did not allow pretrial detainees access to visitors (including family members and legal counsel). For example, the attorney for Arena Tigray party leader Abraha Desta detained in early July had been able to visit his client only once in a 28-day period. Family members of prisoners charged with terrorist activity alleged blocked access to the prisoners. There were also reports authorities denied those charged with terrorist activity visits with their lawyers or with representatives of the political parties to which they belonged. Prison officials continued to limit the number of individuals permitted to visit journalist Reyot Alemu.

Prisoners generally were permitted religious observance, but this varied by prison, and even by section within a prison, at the discretion of prison management. There were some allegations authorities denied detainees adequate locations in which to pray. Prisoners could voice complaints about prison conditions or treatment to the presiding judge during their trials.

Independent Monitoring: During the year the International Committee of the Red Cross visited prisons throughout the country. The government did not permit access to prisons by international human rights organizations.

Regional authorities allowed government and NGO representatives to meet regularly with prisoners without third parties present. Civil society representatives and family members were reportedly denied access to prisoners by prison officials, including access to individuals detained in undisclosed locations. The government-established EHRC, which is funded by parliament and subject to parliamentary review, monitored federal and regional detention centers and interviewed prison officials and prisoners in response to allegations of widespread human rights abuses. A local NGO continued to have access to various prison and detention facilities around the country.

Improvements: Some government and prison authorities cooperated with NGO efforts to improve prison conditions. Reports indicated some prison conditions, including the treatment of prisoners, improved upon completion of an NGO-sponsored local legal aid clinic in 2013, although specific data was not available.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

Although the constitution and law prohibit arbitrary arrest and detention, the government often ignored these provisions. There were many reports of arbitrary arrest and detention by police and security forces throughout the country.

Civilians, international NGOs, and other aid organizations operating in the Somali Region reported government security forces and local militias committed abuses such as arbitrary arrest.

Role of the Police and Security Apparatus

The Federal Police reports to the Ministry of Federal Affairs, which is subject to parliamentary oversight. The oversight was loose. Each of the country’s nine regions has a state or special police force that reports to the regional civilian authorities. Local militias operated across the country in loose coordination with regional and federal police and the military, with the degree of coordination varying by region. In many cases these militias functioned as extensions of the ruling party.

Security forces were effective, but impunity remained a serious problem. The mechanisms used to investigate abuses by federal police were not known. There continued to be reports of abuse, including killings, by the Somali Region Special Police. The government rarely publicly disclosed the results of investigations into abuses by local security forces, such as arbitrary detention and beatings of civilians.

The government continued to support human rights training for police and army personnel. In 2013-14 the EHRC conducted training sessions for 1,622 police officers and 577 prison police on basic human rights concepts as well as rights of detained individuals as provided in the National Human Rights Action Plan. The government continued to accept assistance from certain NGOs and the EHRC to improve and professionalize its human rights training and curriculum by including more material on the constitution and international human rights treaties and conventions.

Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees

Although the constitution and law require that detainees be brought to court and charged within 48 hours of arrest, authorities did not always respect this requirement. With a warrant, persons suspected of serious offenses may be detained for 14 days without charge and for additional 14-day periods if an investigation continues. Under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP), police may request to hold persons without charge for 28-day periods, up to a maximum of four months, while an investigation is conducted. The law prohibits detention in any facility other than an official detention center; however, local militias and other formal and informal law enforcement entities used dozens of unofficial local detention centers.

A functioning bail system was in place. Bail was not available for persons charged with terrorism, murder, treason, and corruption. In most cases authorities set bail between 500 and 10,000 birr ($25 and $500), which most citizens could not afford. The government provided public defenders for detainees unable to afford private legal counsel, but only when their cases went to court. There were reports that while some detainees were in pretrial detention, authorities allowed them little or no contact with legal counsel, did not provide full information on their health status, and did not allow family visits.

Arbitrary Arrest: Authorities regularly detained persons without warrants. For example, on April 30, security officials in Addis Ababa detained Zekarias Yemanebirhan, Addis Ababa chairman of the opposition political party Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), and Nebiyu Hailu, a journalist for UDJ’sFinote Netsanet newspaper, for allegedly violating zoning restrictions while mobilizing supporters in advance of a UDJ protest. On May 12, authorities released both without charge.

Pretrial Detention: Some detainees reported being held for several years without charge and without trial. Information on the percentage of the detainee population in pretrial detention and the average length of time held was not available. Trial delays were most often caused by lengthy legal procedures, the large numbers of detainees, judicial inefficiency, and staffing shortages.

Amnesty: On September 11, in keeping with a long-standing tradition of issuing pardons at the Ethiopian New Year, the federal government pardoned 995 prisoners. Regional governments also pardoned persons. For example, in 2013 the SNNPR regional government pardoned 1,984 prisoners, the Oromia regional government pardoned 2,604, and the Amhara regional government pardoned 2,084.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The law provides for an independent judiciary. Although the civil courts operated with a large degree of independence, the criminal courts remained weak, overburdened, and subject to political influence. The constitution recognizes both religious and traditional or customary courts.

Trial Procedures

By law accused persons have the right to a fair public trial by a court of law within a “reasonable time,” a presumption of innocence, the right to be represented by legal counsel of their choice, and the right to appeal. The law provides defendants the right not to self-incriminate. The law gives defendants the right to present witnesses and evidence in their defense, cross-examine prosecution witnesses, and access government-held evidence. The government did not always allow defendants to access evidence it held. The court system does not use jury trials. Judicial inefficiency and lack of qualified staff often resulted in serious delays in trial proceedings and made the application of the law unpredictable. The government continued to train lower-court judges and prosecutors on effective judicial administration. Defendants were often unaware of the specific charges against them until the commencement of their trials; this also caused defense attorneys to be unprepared to provide an adequate defense.

The Public Defender’s Office provided legal counsel to indigent defendants, although its scope and quality of service remained limited due to the shortage of attorneys. Numerous free legal aid clinics around the country, based primarily at universities, provided advice to clients. In certain areas of the country, the law allows volunteers, such as law students and professors, to represent clients in court on a pro bono basis.

On February 3, the Federal High Court re-opened to the public the trial of 19 Muslims identified with July 2012 protests. The trial proceedings were previously closed for alleged national security and witness safety concerns.

Many citizens residing in rural areas generally had little access to formal judicial systems and relied on traditional mechanisms for resolving conflict. By law all parties to a dispute must agree to use a traditional or religious court before such a court may hear a case, and either party may appeal to a regular court at any time. Sharia (Islamic law) courts may hear religious and family cases involving Muslims. Sharia courts received some funding from the government and adjudicated the majority of cases in the Somali and Afar regions, which are predominantly Muslim. In addition other traditional systems of justice, such as councils of elders, continued to function. Some women stated they lacked access to free and fair hearings in the traditional court system because they were excluded by custom from participation in councils of elders and because of strong gender discrimination in rural areas.

The Access to Justice and Legal Awareness (AJLA) project, at Haramaya University, began in June 2013. The AJLA provided previously unavailable legal redress and protection for the neediest populations across East/West Hararghe Zones in Oromia and the Harari Region. By the end of the year, 128,357 vulnerable persons (73,905 women and 54,452 men) had benefited from these previously nonexistent legal services.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

Estimates by human rights groups and diplomatic missions regarding the number of political prisoners varied widely. The government did not permit access to prisoners by international human rights organizations. There were NGO reports of individuals held in unofficial detention centers throughout the country, particularly in military barracks, but also in private offices and homes.

All of the journalists, opposition members, and activists previously convicted and jailed under the ATP remained in prison.

In February the Federal Court of First Instance in Addis Ababa convicted Asrat Tassay, a prominent member of the UDJ, of contempt of court after he wrote in an opinion piece, “We should not expect justice from [Ethiopian] courts.” The judge sentenced Asrat to five months’ imprisonment but immediately suspended the sentence, opting for a two-year probationary period instead.

On July 9, police detained four opposition political-party leaders in Addis Ababa and the northern city of Mekelle in separate operations. Police reportedly did not bring Habtamu Ayalew, Daniel Shibeshi, Yeshiways Assefa, and Abraha Desta before a judge within 48 hours of their detention, as required by law. The group’s defense attorney and other political party leaders alleged police denied them access to the detainees. Police had not brought formal charges against the four defendants by year’s end.

In 2012 the government asked the Federal High Court to freeze the assets of Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage, both convicted of terrorism and treason, while investigating whether their assets were used in conjunction with commission of the crimes for which they were convicted. The Federal High Court had not issued a decision by year’s end.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

The law provides citizens the right to appeal human rights violations in civil court. No such cases were filed during the year.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The law requires authorities to obtain judicial warrants to search private property; police, however, often ignored the law, and there were no reports of courts excluding evidence obtained without warrants.

There were reports throughout the year police carried out nighttime raids of Muslims’ homes in Addis Ababa to collect evidence against persons they alleged to be terrorists. The government claimed the police had warrants.

Opposition political party leaders reported suspicions of telephone tapping and other electronic eavesdropping, and they alleged government agents attempted to lure them into illegal acts by calling and pretending to be representatives of groups–designated by the parliament as terrorist organizations–interested in making financial donations.

The government reportedly used a widespread system of paid informants to report on the activities of particular individuals. Opposition members reported ruling party operatives and militia members made intimidating and unwelcome visits to their homes and offices.

Security forces continued to detain family members of persons sought for questioning by the government.

The national and regional governments continued to put in place “villagization” plans in the Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, SNNPR, and Somali regions. These plans involved the relocation by regional governments of scattered rural populations from arid or semiarid lands vulnerable to recurring droughts into designated clusters. The stated purposes of villagization were to improve the provision of government services (i.e., health care, education, and clean water), protect vulnerable communities from natural disasters and attacks, and change environmentally destructive patterns of shifting cultivation. Some observers alleged the purpose was to enable the large-scale leasing of land for commercial agriculture. The government described the villagization program as strictly voluntary.

International donors reported assessments from more than 18 visits to villagization sites since 2011 did not corroborate allegations of systematic human rights violations in this program. They found problems such as delays in establishing promised infrastructure. Communities and individual families appeared to have agreed to move based on assurances from authorities of food aid, health and education services, and land, although in some instances communities moved before adequate basic services such as water pumps and shelter were in place in the new locations. International human rights organizations, however, continued to express concern regarding the villagization process. A 2013 report by the Oakland Institute claimed the military forcibly relocated communities and committed human rights violations in the Omo Valley. The report noted that during a 2012 assessment in the South Omo Valley, donor representatives heard testimony from community members of human rights abuses.

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:Share

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press; however, authorities arrested, detained, charged, and prosecuted journalists and other persons whom they perceived as critical of the government. Some journalists, editors, and publishers fled the country, fearing probable detention. At year’s end at least 16 journalists remained in detention; of these, 10 were arrested and charged during the year, and all but one were denied bail and remain detained; four journalists and publishers were charged, tried, and convicted in absentia.

Freedom of Speech: Authorities arrested and harassed persons for criticizing the government. NGOs reported cases of torture of individuals critical of the government. The government attempted to impede criticism through various forms of intimidation, including detention of journalists and opposition activists and monitoring and interference in the activities of political opposition groups. The authorities pressed charges against several journalists, bloggers, and independently run publications. Some persons feared authorities would retaliate against them for discussing security force abuses.

Press Freedoms: The government continued to take action to close independent newspapers. On August 4, the Ministry of Justice issued a statement accusing independently run publications Enqu, Fact, Addis Guday, Lomi, Jano, and Afro Times of “repeated acts of incitement” intended “to cause a violent overthrow of the constitutional order.” In most cases articles cited as examples of incitement were mainly critical of government action. Some called for protests of such actions but rarely, if ever, for violent action. One week after issuing the initial statement, the government began pressing criminal charges against the publications and their staff. On October 7, the Federal Court tried and sentenced, in absentia, the managers of Addis Guday, Lomi, and Factmagazines. The managers were charged with inciting violent revolts, printing and distributing unfounded rumors, and conspiring to abolish unlawfully the constitutional system of the country. Their sentences ranged from three years and three months to three years and 11 months.

The remaining 18 independent newspapers had a combined weekly circulation in Addis Ababa of more than 144,000. Most newspapers were printed on a weekly or biweekly basis, with the exception of the state-owned Amharic and English dailies and the privately run Daily Monitor.

The government controlled the only television station that broadcast nationally, which, along with radio, was the primary source of news for much of the population. Six private FM radio stations broadcast in the capital, one private radio station broadcast in the northern Tigray Region, and at least 19 community radio stations broadcast in the regions. State-run Ethiopian Radio had the largest broadcast range in the country, followed by Fana Radio, which was affiliated with the ruling party.

Government-controlled media closely reflected the views of the government and the ruling EPRDF. The government periodically jammed foreign broadcasts. The law prohibits political and religious organizations and foreigners from owning broadcast stations.

Violence and Harassment: The government continued to arrest, harass, and prosecute journalists. This included the continuing prosecution of three persons associated with the defunct Muslim Affairs magazine under the antiterrorism proclamation. There were also allegations some journalists were tortured in Maekelawi prison.

On April 25-26, police detained six bloggers affiliated with the Zone 9 activist group and three independent journalists in Addis Ababa and Ambo, a town west of the capital. Police subsequently searched the detainees’ homes and seized personal property, including laptops, and prohibited family members and supporters from visiting them in detention. The Federal High Court charged the group under the ATP in July and denied the defendants bail. The trial continued at year’s end.

On October 27, a court sentenced Temesgen Desalegn to three years in jail for “provocation and dissemination of inaccurate information.” In 2012 the authorities initiated court proceedings against Desalegn, former editor in chief of the defunct Feteh newspaper.

Censorship or Content Restrictions: Government harassment caused journalists to avoid reporting on sensitive topics. Many private newspapers reported informal editorial control by the government through article placement requests and calls from government officials concerning articles perceived as critical of the government. Private sector and government journalists routinely practiced self-censorship.

Libel Laws/National Security: The government used the ATP to suppress criticism. Journalists feared covering five groups designated by parliament in 2011 as terrorist organizations (Ginbot 7, the ONLF, the OLF, al-Qaida, and al-Shabaab), citing ambiguity on whether reporting on these groups might be punishable under the law. Several journalists, both local and foreign correspondents, reported an increase in self-censorship.

The government used libel laws to suppress criticism.

On February 11, police temporarily detained Daniel Tefera, the former UDJ organization affairs head, for questioning in relation to allegations of defamation following Tefera’s involvement in the writing of a former parliamentarian’s biography. Police did not file formal charges.

On January 28, the Sidama Zone High Court in the southwestern city of Hawassa (Awassa) acquitted the editor in chief, managing editor, and publisher of the newspaper Ethio-Mihdar on defamation charges. Officials from Hawassa University had filed the charges against the Amharic-language weekly in response to a June 2013 article reporting allegations of corruption by university employees. According to media reports, the judge said the defendants “did the right thing by exposing faulty practices committed by public institutions.”

Internet Freedom

The state-owned Ethio Telecom was the only internet service provider in the country. The government restricted access to the internet and blocked several websites, including blogs, opposition websites, and websites of Ginbot 7, the OLF, and the ONLF. The government also temporarily blocked news sites such as al-Jazeera. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yahoo! were inaccessible at times. Several news blogs and websites run by opposition diaspora groups were not accessible. These included Addis Neger, Nazret, Ethiopian Review, CyberEthiopia, Quatero Amharic Magazine, Tensae Ethiopia, and the Ethiopian Media Forum. Authorities took steps to block access to Virtual Private Network providers that let users circumvent government screening of internet browsing and e-mail. Authorities monitored telephone calls, text messages, and e-mails. There were reports such surveillance resulted in arrests. According to the International Telecommunication Union, approximately 1.9 percent of individuals used the internet in 2013.

In 2013 Citizen Lab, a Canadian research center at the University of Toronto, identified 25 countries, including Ethiopia, that host servers linked to FinFisher surveillance software. According to the report, “FinFisher has gained notoriety because it has been used in targeted attacks against human rights campaigners and opposition activists in countries with questionable human rights records.” A “FinSpy” campaign in the country allegedly “used pictures of Ginbot 7, an Ethiopian opposition group, as bait to infect users.”

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

The government restricted academic freedom, including through decisions on student enrollment, teachers’ appointments, and curriculums. Authorities frequently restricted speech, expression, and assembly on university and high school campuses.

The ruling party, via the Ministry of Education, continued to give preference to students loyal to the party in assignments to postgraduate programs. Some university staff members commented priority for employment after graduation in all fields was given to students who joined the party.

Authorities limited teachers’ ability to deviate from official lesson plans. Numerous anecdotal reports suggested non-EPRDF members were more likely to be transferred to undesirable posts and bypassed for promotions. There were unspecified reports of teachers not affiliated with the EPRDF being summarily dismissed for failure to attend party meetings. There continued to be a lack of transparency in academic staffing decisions, with numerous complaints from individuals in the academic community alleging bias based on party membership, ethnicity, or religion.

According to multiple credible sources, teachers and high school students in grade 10 and above were required to attend training on the concepts of revolutionary democracy and EPRDF party ideology. In August the Ministry of Education announced a requirement that the 116,000 new and 250,000 existing university students attend mandatory government policy training.

A separate Ministry of Education directive prohibits private universities from offering degree programs in law and teacher education. The directive also requires public universities to align their curriculum offerings with the ministry’s policy of a 70/30 ratio between science and social science academic programs. As a result the number of students studying social sciences and the humanities at public institutions continued to decrease; private universities focused heavily on the social sciences.

Reports indicated a pattern of surveillance and arbitrary arrests of Oromo University students based on suspicion of holding dissenting opinions or participation in peaceful demonstrations. A 2014 AI report indicated students were also expelled or suspended as a result of such suspicions.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Freedom of Assembly

The constitution and law provide for freedom of assembly; however, the government did not always respect this right. Organizers of large public meetings or demonstrations must notify the government 48 hours in advance and obtain a permit. Authorities may not refuse to grant a permit but may require the event be held at a different time or place for reasons of public safety or freedom of movement. If authorities determine an event should be held at another time or place, the law requires organizers be notified in writing within 12 hours of the time of submission of their request.

The government denied some requests by opposition political parties to hold protests but permitted other requests for demonstrations. According to the Addis Ababa City Administration, during the year political parties made 22 requests to conduct peaceful demonstrations, of which the city administration granted 13 of the requests and rejected nine. Organizers in most cases alleged government interference, and authorities required several of the protests to move to different dates or locations from those the organizers requested. Protest organizers alleged the government’s claims of needing to move the protests based on public safety concerns were not credible. During April and May, demonstrations occurred on university campuses throughout the Oromia Region against a draft development plan for Addis Ababa that would expand the capital city into towns previously controlled by the surrounding Oromia Region. There were reports of security forces beating and killing protesters at these demonstrations.

Local government officials, almost all of whom were affiliated with the EPRDF, controlled access to municipal halls, and there were many complaints from opposition parties local officials denied or otherwise obstructed the scheduling of opposition parties’ use of halls for lawful political rallies. There were numerous credible reports owners of hotels and other large facilities cited unspecified internal rules forbidding political parties from utilizing their spaces for gatherings.

Regional governments, including the Addis Ababa regional administration, were reluctant to grant permits or provide security for large meetings.

The government arrested persons in relation to opposition demonstrations. For example, on January 30, police temporarily detained Semayawi Party members as the party announced plans to hold a demonstration on February 2 in Gondar, as well as UDJ members as they announced plans for a public rally in April.

In January according to media reports, government officials in the northern city of Adigrat temporarily detained two members of opposition political party Arena Tigray and then beat other party members as Arena Tigray announced plans to hold a party conference on January 26. Arena Tigray member Asgeda Gebreselassie was reportedly admitted to a hospital with injuries caused by government officials.

In March police temporarily detained UDJ members meeting in a private home in the southern town of Wolaita Sodo and accused them of holding an illegal meeting. Police reportedly destroyed the detainees’ cell phones by dipping them in chemicals.

On July 18, police detained 14 persons, primarily Muslim worshippers, and two Semayawi Party members following protests at the Anwar Mosque. After nearly one month, the detainees, some of whom reportedly suffered injuries during clashes with police, were released on bail.

Freedom of Association

Although the law provides for freedom of association and the right to engage in unrestricted peaceful political activity, the government limited this right.

A report of the UN special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association stated, “The enforcement of these [the CSO law] provisions has a devastating impact on individuals’ ability to form and operate associations effectively.”

The CSO law bans anonymous donations to NGOs. All potential donors were therefore aware their names would be public knowledge. The same was true concerning all donations made to political parties.

International NGOs seeking to operate in the country had to submit an application via Ethiopian embassies abroad, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs then submitted to the Charities and Societies Agency.

c. Freedom of Religion

See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at www.state.gov/religiousfreedomreport/.

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

Although the law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, the government restricted some of these rights.

The government cooperated with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in providing protection and assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees, returning refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, and other persons of concern; however, at times authorities or armed groups limited the ability of humanitarian organizations to operate in areas of insecurity, such as on the country’s borders.

Humanitarian organizations reported 32 incidents that impeded humanitarian work in the first half of the year, compared with 36 such incidents during the same period in 2013. The majority of these cases were in the Somali Region. The incidents included hostility toward and violence against humanitarian personnel, theft of assets, interference with the implementation of humanitarian programs, and restrictions on importation of personnel and goods into the country for humanitarian work. This data referred broadly to humanitarian work and was not limited to activities focusing on IDPs or refugees.

Access to Nogob (formerly Fik) Zone in the Somali Region improved during the year. Authorities permitted several government-led, multi-agency missions including UN and NGO representatives to visit the area. Access to other parts of the Somali Region, particularly those bordering Somalia, worsened due to security concerns stemming from reports of an increase in al-Shabaab terrorists operating in these areas. In several cases NGOs delayed travel to program sites and could not assess needs. Following credible information about a possible terrorist threat against international staff, UN agencies temporarily withdrew some of their international staff from Dollo Ado in June but began to return them in August. Attacks on vehicles carrying humanitarian personnel, assault on humanitarian staff members, and harassment, including arbitrary detention, reportedly continued.

In-country Movement: The government continued to relax but did not completely remove restrictions on the movement of persons into and within the Somali Region, continuing to argue that ONLF and al-Shabaab terrorists from neighboring Somalia posed a security threat (see section 2.d., Internally Displaced Persons). Security concerns forced a temporary halt of deliveries of food and medicine in the limited areas affected by fighting. The government continued a policy that allowed refugees to live outside of a camp. According to the Administration for Returnees and Refugee Affairs (ARRA), which managed the out-of-camp program, as of August there were2,993 individuals living outside the camps (2,806 in Addis Ababa and surrounding areas and 187 from Shire), compared with 3,412 in 2012. Prior to this policy, the government gave such permission primarily to attend higher-education institutions, undergo medical treatment, or avoid security threats at the camps.

Foreign Travel: A 2013 ban on unskilled workers travelling to the Middle East for employment continued in effect at year’s end. The ban did not affect citizens travelling for investment or business reasons. The government stated it issued the ban to prevent harassment, intimidation, and trauma suffered by those working abroad, particularly in the Middle East, as domestic employees.

On March 21, National Intelligence and Security Service officials at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa prevented Yilekal Getnet, chairman of the political opposition Semayawi Party, from travelling abroad for an exchange program sponsored by a foreign government.

Exile: Several citizens sought political asylum in other countries or remained abroad in self-imposed exile.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated there were 426,736 IDPs in the country as of June, an increase of 51,091 from June 2013. According to the IOM, an estimated 71.4 percent of all IDPs were considered “protracted” IDPs, for whom durable solutions (return to home areas, local integration, and resettlement in other parts of the country) were not possible at the time. This was due to lack of resolution of conflicts, lack of political decisions or resources to support local integration, or undesirability of resettlement to other areas of the country.

Categories and totals of IDPs experiencing protracted displacement included victims of interclan and cross-border conflict (304,707), flooding (1,477), and volcanic eruptions (1,800). Seventy-two percent of the IDPs (308,770) resided in Somali Region; 10.3 percent (44,094) were in Oromia; 9.7 percent (41,489) in Gambella; 1.1 percent (4,580) in Harar; 0.6 percent (2,501) in SNNPR; and 5.9 percent (25,302) were in Afar Region.

Significant populations of IDPs experiencing protracted displacement included an estimated 3,500 households displaced in July 2013 in East Hararghe Zone, 1,310 households displaced in February 2013 in West Hararghe Zone, and nearly 2,000 households displaced in 2008 and 2009 in the border town of Moyale. Approximately 12,000 IDPs remained in the Gambella Region after fleeing conflicts that occurred in 2009.

Conflicts and natural disasters contributed to a rise in the number of IDPs. Conflict in the SNNPR’s South Omo Valley displaced 300 households. In March, following violence between Guji and Borena communities in the Oromia Region, approximately 120 persons were killed and another 30,700 persons displaced. In April conflict arose between Afar and Somali populations around Siti Zone, reportedly leading to the displacement of 900 households and the destruction of homes and other local infrastructure. In mid-September at least 600 households were displaced in Majang Zone of Gambella due to intercommunal violence between ethnic Majang and highlanders. In addition, storms caused flooding, which led to displacements in Afar, Gambella, SNNPR, and Somali Regions.

Following a change in Saudi Arabia’s foreign labor legislation, between mid-November 2013 and mid-March, Saudi Arabia unexpectedly deported 163,018 Ethiopian migrants. At the peak of the operation in November and December 2013, approximately 7,000 Ethiopians returned from Saudi Arabia per day. Humanitarian organizations worked with the government to provide medical care, water, food, and transportation for the returnees. The government collaborated with the Saudi Arabian government to ensure proper delivery and protection of the returnees’ possessions. As of mid-March, 94 percent of the returnees had received postarrival assistance. The government also assigned a significant number of personnel to coordinate the return operation and posted full-time staff at the transit sites set up with the help of the international community.

The government, through the Disaster Risk Management Food Security Sector (DRMFSS), continued to play an active role in delivering humanitarian assistance to IDPs. Federal and local DRMFSS officials collaborated with the IOM and its partners in monitoring IDP populations. In addition the Somali Regional State-level Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau, in collaboration with the IOM and other international actors, set up a Durable Solutions Working Group to seek sustainable solutions for the protracted IDP caseload in the Somali Region.

Protection of Refugees

Access to Asylum: The law provides for the granting of asylum or refugee status, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees.

According to the UNHCR, by late December the country hosted 644,168 refugees. The majority of refugees were from South Sudan (248,580) and Somalia (244,066), with others coming from Eritrea (111,321), Sudan (35,606), and other countries (4,595), particularly Kenya.

The UNHCR, the ARRA, and humanitarian agencies continued to care for Sudanese arrivals fleeing from conflict in Sudan’s Blue Nile State. The government also extended support to South Sudanese asylum seekers from South Sudan’s Jonglei and Upper Nile states. As of December more than 193,960 individuals had sought refuge in Ethiopia due to the political conflict that erupted in South Sudan in December 2013.

Eritrean asylum seekers continued to arrive in the country. This included a large number of unaccompanied minors. Many Eritreans who arrived in the country regularly departed for secondary migration through Egypt and Sudan to go to Israel, Europe, and other final destinations.

Employment: The government did not grant refugees work permits.

Access to Basic Services: The UNHCR and the ARRA, with support from NGOs, provided refugees in camps with basic services including health, education, water, sanitation, and hygiene. For those outside of camps, there were no reports of discrimination in access to public services.

Durable Solutions: The government granted refugee status to asylum seekers from Eritrea, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. The government welcomed refugees to settle permanently in the country but did not offer a path to citizenship or facilitate integration. It permitted Eritrean refugees to live outside refugee camps provided they sustained themselves financially. The government provided some support for Eritreans who were pursuing higher education. As of December, 6,553 refugees had departed the country for resettlement.

Section 3. Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their GovernmentShare

The constitution and law provide citizens the ability to change their government peacefully. The ruling party’s electoral advantages, however, limited this ability.

Elections and Political Participation

Recent Elections: In August 2012, following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the ruling EPRDF elected Hailemariam Desalegn to take Meles’s place as chairman of the party and subsequently nominated him for the post of prime minister. In September 2012 parliament elected Hailemariam as prime minister.

In the 2010 national parliamentary elections, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. Government restrictions severely limited independent observation of the vote. Although the relatively few international officials allowed to observe the elections concluded technical aspects of the vote were handled competently, some also noted the lack of an environment conducive to free and fair elections prior to election day. Several laws, regulations, and procedures implemented since the 2005 national elections created a clear advantage for the EPRDF throughout the electoral process. There was ample evidence unfair government tactics, including intimidation of opposition candidates and supporters, enlarged the EPRDF victory. In addition voter education was limited to information about technical voting procedures and was provided by the National Electoral Board just days before voting began.

The African Union, whose observers arrived one week before the vote, deemed the elections to be free and fair. The EU, some of whose observers arrived a few months before the vote, concluded the elections fell short of international standards for transparency and failed to provide a level playing field for opposition parties. The EU observed a “climate of apprehension and insecurity,” noting the volume and consistency of complaints of harassment and intimidation by opposition parties was “a matter of concern” and had to be taken into consideration “in the overall assessment of the electoral process.”

The EPRDF demonstrated its continued dominance in nationwide elections for local and city council positions held in 2013. EPRDF-affiliated parties won all but five of approximately 3.6 million seats; 33 opposition parties boycotted the elections.

Political Parties and Political Participation: Political parties were predominantly ethnically based. The government, controlled by the ruling EPRDF, restricted media freedom and arrested opposition members. Constituent parties of the EPRDF conferred advantages upon their members; the parties directly owned many businesses and were broadly perceived to award jobs and business contracts to loyal supporters. Several opposition political parties reported difficulty in renting homes or buildings in which to open offices, citing visits by EPRDF members to the landlords to persuade or threaten them not to rent property to these parties.

There were reports authorities terminated the employment of teachers and other government workers if they belonged to opposition political parties. According to Oromo opposition groups, the Oromia regional government continued to threaten to dismiss opposition party members, particularly teachers, from their jobs. Government officials alleged many members of legitimate Oromo opposition parties were secretly OLF members and more broadly that members of many opposition parties had ties to Ginbot 7. At the university level, members of Medrek and its constituent parties were able to teach. There were reports unemployed youths not affiliated with the ruling coalition sometimes had trouble receiving the “support letters” from their kebeles (neighborhoods or wards) necessary to get jobs.

Registered political parties must receive permission from regional governments to open and occupy local offices.

Participation of Women and Minorities: No laws or cultural or traditional practices prevented women or minorities from voting or participating in political life on the same basis as men or nonminority citizens, although women were significantly underrepresented in both elected and appointed positions. The Tigray Regional Council included the highest proportion of women nationwide, at 48.5 percent.

The government’s policy of ethnic federalism led to the creation of individual constituencies to provide for representation of all major ethnic groups in the House of People’s Representatives. There were more than 80 ethnic groups, and small groups lacked representation in the legislature. There were 24 nationality groups in six regional states (Tigray, Amhara, Beneshangul-Gumuz, the SNNPR, Gambella, and Harar) that did not have a sufficient population to qualify for constituency seats based on the 2007 census; however, in the 2010 elections, individuals from these nationality groups competed for 24 special seats in the House of People’s Representatives. Additionally these 24 nationality groups have one seat each in the House of Federation.

Women held three of the 22 federal government ministerial positions, including one of three deputy prime minister positions and 152 of 547 seats in the national parliament.

Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in GovernmentShare

The law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials. Despite the government’s prosecution of numerous officials for corruption, some officials continued to engage in corrupt practices. Corruption, especially the solicitation of bribes, remained a problem among low-level bureaucrats. Police and judicial corruption also continued to be problems. Some government officials appeared to manipulate the privatization process, and state- and party-owned businesses received preferential access to land leases and credit.

Corruption: The Ministry of Justice has primary responsibility for combating corruption, largely through the Federal Ethics and Anticorruption Commission (FEACC).

The FEACC continued criminal proceedings against the director general of the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority, his deputy, and other government officials and private business leaders for alleged corrupt practices. On January 10, Yaregal Ayesheshum, former president of the Benishangul Gumuz Regional State, was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 20,000 birr ($1,000) for “abuse of power” and corruption.

Financial Disclosure: The law requires all government officials and employees to register their wealth and personal property officially. The president and prime minister registered their assets. By June approximately 80,000 government officials had registered their assets as required by law (the 2010 Asset Disclosure and Registration Proclamation).

The FEACC held financial disclosure records. According to law any person seeking access to these records may do so by making a request in writing, although access to information on family assets may be restricted unless the FEACC deems the disclosure necessary. The law includes financial and criminal sanctions for noncompliance.

Public Access to Information: The law provides for public access to government information, but access was largely restricted. The law includes a sufficiently narrow list of exceptions outlining the grounds for nondisclosure. Responses generally must be made within 30 days of a written request, and fees may not exceed the actual cost of responding to the request. The law includes mechanisms for punishing officials for noncompliance, as well as appeal mechanisms for review of disclosure denials. Information on the number of disclosures or denials during the year was not available.

The government publishes laws and regulations in the national gazette prior to their taking effect. The Government Communications Affairs Office managed contacts between the government, the press, and the public; the private press reported the government rarely responded to its queries.

Section 5. Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human RightsShare

A few domestic human rights groups operated but with significant government restrictions. The government was generally distrustful and wary of domestic human rights groups and international observers. State-controlled media were critical of international human rights groups such as HRW.

The CSO law prohibits charities, societies, and associations (NGOs or CSOs) that receive more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources from engaging in activities that advance human and democratic rights or promote equality of nations, nationalities, peoples, genders, and religions; the rights of children and persons with disabilities; conflict resolution or reconciliation; or the efficiency of justice and law enforcement services. The law severely curtailed civil society’s ability to raise questions of good governance, human rights, corruption, and transparency, and forced many local and international NGOs working on good governance and human rights to either close or cease advocacy. In 2012 the UN high commissioner for human rights expressed concern that civil society space “has rapidly shrunk” since the CSO law’s enactment. By year’s end approximately 3,056 NGOs had registered under the CSO law. Of these, however, only four groups were actively engaged in human rights-based advocacy.

Some human rights defender organizations continued to register either as local charities, meaning they could not raise more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign donors but could act in the specified areas, or as resident charities, which allowed foreign donations above 10 percent but prohibited advocacy activities in those areas.

One of several sets of the law’s implementing regulations, commonly known as the 70/30 rule, caps administrative spending at 30 percent of an organization’s operating budget. The regulations define training of teachers, agricultural and health extension workers, and other government officials as an “administrative” cost, contending the training does not directly affect beneficiaries, thus limiting the number of training programs that can be provided by development assistance partners who prefer to employ train-the-trainer models to reach more persons. The government addressed application of this regulation on a case-by-case basis. A Civil Society Sector Working Group, cochaired by the Ministry of Federal Affairs, three civil society organizations, and representatives of the donor community, convened periodically to monitor and discuss challenges that arose as the law was implemented.

The government denied most NGOs access to federal prisons, police stations, and undisclosed places of detention. The government permitted a local NGO, one of four organizations granted an exemption enabling them to raise unlimited funds from foreign sources and to engage in human rights advocacy, to visit prisoners. Some NGOs played a positive role in improving prisoners’ chances for clemency.

Due to security concerns, authorities limited access of human rights organizations, the media, humanitarian agencies, and diplomatic missions to conflict-affected areas, although it continued to ease such restrictions. Humanitarian access in the Somali Region in particular continued to improve; however, due to security concerns, some restrictions remained. The government lacked a clear policy on NGO access to sensitive areas, leading regional government officials and military officials frequently to refer requests for access to the federal government. Officials required journalists to register before entering conflict regions. There were isolated reports of regional police or local militias blocking NGOs’ access to particular locations on particular days, citing security concerns. Some government agencies limited project activities for security reasons.

Some persons feared authorities would retaliate against them if they met with NGOs and foreign government officials who were investigating allegations of abuse.

The United Nations or Other International Bodies: Requests to visit the country from the UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment remained unanswered.

Government Human Rights Bodies: The EHRC investigated human rights complaints and produced annual and thematic reports. The commission operated 112 legal aid centers in collaboration with 22 universities and two civil society organizations, the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association and the Ethiopian Christian Lawyers Fellowship. The commission also signed cooperative agreements with Axum, Wolayta, Debre Berhan, and Jijiga universities.

The EHRC reported to parliament that in 2013-14 it had accepted 1,037 human rights-related grievances and completed investigations into 134 cases (13 percent of the total). In addition the EHRC claimed to have provided counseling services to 463 individuals, resolved 107 cases through negotiation, and referred 306 grievances (30 percent of the total) to the relevant government offices.

The Office of the Ombudsman has authority to receive and investigate complaints with respect to administrative mismanagement by executive branch offices. From September 2011 to September 2012, the office received 2,094 complaints. Of these, the ombudsman opened investigations into 784, and the office reported it resolved the remaining cases through alternative means. The majority of complaints dealt with social security, labor, housing, and property disputes. The Office of the Ombudsman did not compile nationwide statistics.

Section 6. Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in PersonsShare

The constitution provides all persons equal protection without discrimination based on race, nation, nationality or other social origin, color, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, property, birth, or status, but the government did not fully promote and protect these rights. The constitution does not address discrimination based on disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Women

Rape and Domestic Violence: The law criminalizes rape and provides for penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment, depending on the severity of the case; the law does not expressly address spousal rape. The government did not fully enforce the law, partially due to widespread underreporting. Recent statistics on the number of abusers prosecuted, convicted, or punished were not available.

Domestic violence is illegal, but government enforcement of laws against rape and domestic violence was inconsistent.

Domestic violence, including spousal abuse, was a pervasive social problem. Depending on the severity of damage inflicted, legal penalties range from small fines to imprisonment for up to 10 to 15 years.

Although women had recourse to the police and the courts, societal norms and limited infrastructure prevented many women from seeking legal redress, particularly in rural areas. The government prosecuted offenders on a limited scale.

Domestic violence and rape cases often were delayed significantly and given low priority. In the context of gender-based violence, significant gender gaps in the justice system remained, due to poor documentation and inadequate investigation. Gender-based violence against women and girls was underreported due to cultural acceptance, shame, fear, or a victim’s ignorance of legal protections.

“Child friendly” benches hear cases involving violence against children and women. Police officers were required to receive domestic violence training from domestic NGOs and the Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs. There was a commissioner for women and children’s affairs in the EHRC.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): FGM/C is illegal, but the government did not actively enforce this prohibition or punish those who practiced it. The government strategy for combatting this practice was focused on community education rather than punitive measures, which had been seen to drive the practice underground in other countries (see section 6, Children).

Other Harmful Traditional Practices: The most prevalent harmful traditional practices other than FGM/C included uvula cutting, tonsil scraping, milk tooth extraction, early marriage, and marriage by abduction.

Marriage by abduction is illegal, although it continued in some regions despite the government’s attempts to combat the practice. A 2009 Population Council study of seven regions found that 2.6 percent of married female youth reported their marriages occurred through abduction. Of that number, the study found the rate to be 12.9 percent in the SNNPR, 4.4 percent in Oromia, 3 percent in Afar, and less than 1percent in Beneshangul Gumuz. The study did not include the Gambella or Somali Regions. Forced sexual relationships accompanied most marriages by abduction, and women often experienced physical abuse during the abduction. Abductions led to conflicts among families, communities, and ethnic groups. In cases of marriage by abduction, the perpetrator did not face punishment if the victim agreed to marry the perpetrator.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment was widespread. The penal code prescribes penalties of 18 to 24 months’ imprisonment, but authorities generally did not enforce harassment laws.

Reproductive Rights: Individuals and couples have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of children; to have the information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence; and the right to attain the highest standard of reproductive health. The government fully supported reproductive rights and worked actively to ensure equitable access to reproductive health services throughout the country. Orthodox and Muslim church leadership actively promoted use of health services, including family planning if desired, to ensure healthy families. A “mini” Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) was conducted during the year to measure progress in contraceptive prevalence, total fertility rate, maternal health, and nutrition. The mini-DHS indicated a modern contraceptive prevalence of 40 percent nationwide among married women, up from 27 percent three years prior. The mini-DHS also showed delivery with a skilled birth attendant had risen from 10 to 16 percent. Modeling completed by the government with support from the Gates Foundation and UN agencies indicated the number of women dying during pregnancy and childbirth had dropped from 676 deaths per 100,000 live births to an estimated 420 deaths per 100,000 live births, indicating the country had met its UN Millennium Development Goal target of reducing maternal mortality by 70 percent since 1990. Abortion is illegal but with numerous exceptions. The incidence of illegal, unsafe abortions had declined since legislation changed, which accounted in part for the drop in maternal mortality. All maternal and child health services were provided free of charge in the public sector; however, challenges persisted in accessing quality services in more remote areas of the country due to transportation problems.

Discrimination: Discrimination against women was a problem and was most acute in rural areas, where an estimated 85 percent of the population lived. The law contains discriminatory regulations, such as the recognition of the husband as the legal head of the family and the sole guardian of children more than five years old. Courts generally did not consider domestic violence by itself a justification for granting a divorce. Irrespective of the number of years a marriage existed, the number of children raised, and joint property, the law entitled women to only three months’ financial support if a relationship ended. There was limited legal recognition of common-law marriage. A common-law husband had no obligation to provide financial assistance to his family, and consequently women and children sometimes faced abandonment. Traditional courts continued to apply customary law in economic and social relationships.

According to the constitution, all land belongs to the government. Both men and women have land-use rights, which they may pass on as an inheritance. Land law varies among regions. All federal and regional land laws empower women to access government land. Inheritance laws also enable widowed women to inherit joint property they acquired during marriage.

In urban areas women had fewer employment opportunities than men, and the jobs available did not generally provide equal pay for equal work. Women’s access to gainful employment, credit, and the opportunity to own or manage a business was further limited by their generally lower level of education and training and by traditional attitudes.

The Ministry of Education reported female participation in undergraduate and postgraduate programs rose to 172,237 women in 2012-13 from 144,286 women in 2011-12, continuing the trend of increasing female participation in higher education.

Children

Birth registration: Citizenship is derived from one’s parents. The law requires all children to be registered at birth. Children born in hospitals were registered while most children born outside of hospitals were not. The overwhelming majority of children, particularly in rural areas, were born at home.

Education: As a policy primary education was universal and tuition-free; however, there were not enough schools to accommodate the country’s youth, particularly in rural areas. The cost of school supplies was prohibitive for many families, and there was no legislation to enforce compulsory primary education. The number of students enrolled in schools expanded faster than trained teachers could be deployed. Orchestrating government, NGO, and donor resources, the government had opened 5,322 new primary schools and 715 new secondary schools since 2009.

Child Abuse: Child abuse was widespread. The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2013, published by the African Child Policy Forum, found the government had increased punishment for sexual violence against children. “Child friendly” benches heard cases involving violence against children and women. There was a commissioner for women and children’s affairs in the EHRC.

Early and Forced Marriage: The law sets the legal marriage age for girls and boys at 18; however, authorities did not enforce this law uniformly, and rural families sometimes were unaware of this provision. In several regions it was customary for older men to marry girls, although this traditional practice continued to face greater scrutiny and criticism. The government strategy to address underage marriage was focused on education and mediation rather than punishment of offenders.

According to the 2011 DHS, the median age of first marriage among women surveyed between the ages of 20 and 49 was 17.1 years. The age of first marriage appeared to be rising. In 2005 the median age of marriage for women surveyed between ages 20 and 24 was 16.5 years, and while 39 percent of women between 45 and 49 reported being married by age 15, only 8 percent of girls and young women between 15 and 19 years of age reported being or having been married.

In the Amhara and Tigray regions, girls were married as early as age seven. Child marriage was most prevalent in the Amhara Region, where the median first marriage age was 15.1 years, according to the 2011 DHS, compared with 14.7 years in 2005. Regional governments in Amhara and, to a lesser extent, Tigray offered programs to educate girls and young women on problems associated with early marriage.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C): FGM/C is illegal, but the government did not actively enforce this prohibition or punish those who practiced it. The majority of girls in the country had undergone some form of FGM/C, although the results of the 2009 Population Council survey suggested its prevalence had declined. Of female respondents ages 21 to 24, 66 percent reported they were subjected to FGM/C, compared with 56 percent of those ages 15 to 17. Of the seven regions surveyed, the study found the rates to be highest in Afar (90.3 percent), Oromia (77.4 percent), and the SNNPR (74.6 percent).

FGM/C was much less common in urban areas, where 15 percent of the population lived. Girls typically experienced clitoridectomies seven days after birth (consisting of an excision of the clitoris, often with partial labial excision) and infibulation (the most extreme and dangerous form of FGM/C) at the onset of puberty. The penal code criminalizes the practice of clitoridectomy, with imprisonment of at least three months or a fine of at least 500 birr ($25). Infibulation of the genitals is punishable with imprisonment of five to 10 years. No criminal charges, however, had ever been brought for FGM/C. The government’s strategy was to discourage the practice of FGM/C through education in public schools, the Health Extension Program, and broader mass media campaigns rather than prosecute offenders. International bilateral donors and private organizations were active in community education efforts to reduce the prevalence of FGM/C, following the government’s lead of sensitization rather than legal enforcement.

Other Harmful Traditional Practices: Societal abuse of young girls continued to be a problem. Other harmful practices included early marriage, marriage by abduction, and food and work prohibitions, uvula cutting, tonsil scraping, and milk tooth extraction.

Sexual Exploitation of Children: The minimum age for consensual sex is 18 years, but authorities did not enforce this law. The law provides for three to 15 years in prison for sexual intercourse with a minor. The law provides for one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 birr ($500) for trafficking in indecent material displaying sexual intercourse by minors. The law prohibits profiting from the prostitution of minors and inducing minors to engage in prostitution; however, commercial sexual exploitation of children continued, particularly in urban areas. Girls as young as age 11 reportedly were recruited to work in brothels. Customers often sought these girls because they believed them to be free of sexually transmitted diseases. Young girls were trafficked from rural to urban areas. They also were exploited as prostitutes in hotels, bars, resort towns, and rural truck stops. Reports indicated family members forced some young girls into prostitution.

Infanticide or Infanticide of Children with Disabilities: Ritual and superstition-based infanticide continued in remote tribal areas, particularly South Omo. Local governments worked to educate communities against the practice.

Displaced Children: According to a 2010 report by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, approximately 150,000 children lived on the streets, of whom 60,000 were in the capital. The ministry’s report stated families’ inability to support children due to parental illness or insufficient household income exacerbated the problem. These children begged, sometimes as part of a gang, or worked in the informal sector.

A 2010 Population Council Young Adult Survey found that 82.3 percent of boys who lived or worked on the streets had been to or had enrolled in school, 26.4 percent had lost one parent, and 47.2 percent had lost both parents. Among these boys, 72 percent worked for pay at some point in their lives. Government and privately run orphanages were unable to handle the number of street children.

Institutionalized Children: There were an estimated 4.5 million orphans in the country in 2012, according to statistics published by the UN Children’s Fund. The vast majority lived with extended family members. Government orphanages were overcrowded, and conditions were often unsanitary. Due to severe resource constraints, hospitals and orphanages often overlooked or neglected abandoned infants. Institutionalized children did not receive adequate health care.

International Child Abductions: The country is not a party to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. For country-specific information see the Department of State’s website at travel.state.gov/content/childabduction/english/country/ethiopia.html.

Anti-Semitism

The Jewish community numbered approximately 2,000 persons. There were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

Trafficking in Persons

See the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.

Persons with Disabilities

The constitution does not mandate equal rights for persons with disabilities. The law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities in employment and mandates access to buildings. It is illegal for deaf persons to drive.

The law prohibits employment discrimination based on disability. It also makes employers responsible for providing appropriate working or training conditions and materials to persons with disabilities. The law specifically recognizes the additional burden on women with disabilities. The government took limited measures to enforce the law, for example, by assigning interpreters for hearing-impaired civil service employees (see section 7.d.).

The law mandates building accessibility and accessible toilet facilities for persons with physical disabilities, although specific regulations that define the accessibility standards were not adopted. Buildings and toilet facilities were usually not accessible. Landlords are required to give persons with disabilities preference for ground-floor apartments, and this was respected.

Women with disabilities were more disadvantaged than men with disabilities in education and employment. The 2010 Population Council Young Adult Survey found young persons with disabilities were less likely to have ever attended school than young persons without disabilities. The survey indicated girls with disabilities were less likely than boys with disabilities to be in school; 23 percent of girls with disabilities were in school, compared with 48 percent of girls without disabilities and 55 percent of boys without disabilities. Overall, 47.8 percent of young persons with disabilities surveyed reported not going to school due to their disability. Girls with disabilities also were much more likely to suffer physical and sexual abuse than girls without disabilities. Of sexually experienced girls with disabilities, 33 percent reported having experienced forced sex. According to the same survey, approximately 6 percent of boys with disabilities had been beaten in the three months prior to the survey, compared with 2 percent of boys without disabilities.

There were several schools for hearing and visually impaired persons and several training centers for children and young persons with intellectual disabilities. There was a network of prosthetic and orthopedic centers in five of the nine regional states.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs worked on disability-related problems. The CSO law continued to affect negatively several domestic associations, such as the Ethiopian National Association of the Blind, the Ethiopian National Association of the Deaf, and the Ethiopian National Association of the Physically Handicapped, as it did other civil society organizations.

National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The country has more than 80 ethnic groups, of which the Oromo, at approximately 35 percent of the population, is the largest. The federal system drew boundaries approximately along major ethnic group lines. Most political parties remained primarily ethnically based.

Clashes between ethnic groups resulted in injury and death. For example, in late April and May, demonstrations on university campuses throughout the Oromia Region broke out following reports that a draft development plan for Addis Ababa would expand the capital city into towns previously controlled by the surrounding Oromia regional officials. On April 30, a peaceful student protest in Ambo, west of Addis Ababa, escalated into violence and resulted in the deaths of at least eight persons. HRW reported that “witnesses said security forces fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters.”

Authorities in the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz forcibly evicted as many as 8,000 ethnic Amhara residents from their homes; some of those evicted alleged police beat and harassed them because of their ethnicity. The regional president publicly stated the evictions were a mistake and called on the evictees to return. Government officials also stated that victims would be compensated for lost property and any injuries sustained. Authorities dismissed several local officials from their government positions because of their alleged involvement in the evictions and charged some of the officials with criminal offenses.

Acts of Violence, Discrimination, and Other Abuses Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal and punishable with three to 15 years’ imprisonment under the law. No law prohibits discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. There were some reports of violence against LGBT individuals; reporting was limited due to fear of retribution, discrimination, or stigmatization. There are no hate crime laws or other criminal justice mechanisms to aid in the investigation of abuses against LGBT persons. Persons did not identify themselves as LGBT persons due to severe societal stigma and the illegality of consensual same-sex sexual activity. Activists in the LGBT community stated they were followed and at times feared for their safety.

The AIDS Resource Center in Addis Ababa reported the majority of self-identified gay and lesbian callers, most of whom were male, requested assistance in changing their behavior to avoid discrimination. Many gay men reported anxiety, confusion, identity crises, depression, self-ostracism, religious conflict, and suicide attempts.

HIV and AIDS Social Stigma

Societal stigma and discrimination against persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS continued in the areas of education, employment, and community integration. Persons living with or affected by HIV/AIDS reported difficulty accessing services. Despite the abundance of anecdotal information, there were no statistics on the scale of the problem.

Section 7. Worker Rights

a. Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining

The constitution and law provide workers, except for civil servants and certain categories of workers primarily in the public sector, with the right to form and join unions, conduct legal strikes, and bargain collectively, although other provisions and laws severely restrict or excessively regulate these rights. The law specifically prohibits managerial employees, teachers, health-care workers, judges, prosecutors, security service workers, domestic workers, and seasonal and part-time agricultural workers from organizing unions.

A minimum of 10 workers is required to form a union. While the law provides all unions with the right to register, the government may refuse to register trade unions that do not meet its registration requirements and unilaterally cancel the registration of a union. Workers may not join more than one trade union per employment. The law stipulates a trade union organization may not act in an overtly political manner. The law allows administrative authorities to appeal to the courts to cancel union registration for engaging in prohibited activities, such as political action. While the law prohibits antiunion discrimination by employers and provides for reinstatement for workers fired for union activity, it does not prevent an employer from creating or supporting a workers’ organization for the purpose of controlling it.

Other laws and regulations that explicitly or potentially infringe upon workers’ rights to associate freely and to organize include the CSO law, Council of Ministers Regulation No. 168/2009 on Charities and Societies to reinforce the CSO law, and Proclamation No. 652/2009 on Antiterrorism. The International Labor Organization (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations noted the CSO law gives the government power to interfere in the right of workers to organize, including through the registration, internal administration, and dissolution of organizations, and that the Antiterrorism Proclamation could become a means of punishing the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and the right to organize.

While the law recognizes the right of collective bargaining, this right was severely restricted. Negotiations aimed at amending or replacing a collective agreement must be completed within three months of its expiration; otherwise the provisions on wages and other benefits cease to apply. Civil servants, including public school teachers, have the right to establish and join professional associations but are not allowed to negotiate for better wages or working conditions. Furthermore, the arbitration procedures in the public sector are more restrictive than those in the private sector. The law does not provide for effective and adequate sanctions against acts of interference by other agents in their establishment, functioning, or administration of either the workers’ or employers’ organizations.

Although the constitution and law provide workers with the right to strike to protect their interests, the law contains detailed provisions prescribing excessively complex and time-consuming formalities that make legal strike actions difficult to carry out. The law requires aggrieved workers to attempt reconciliation with employers before striking and includes a lengthy dispute settlement process. These provisions apply equally to an employer’s right to lock workers out. Two-thirds of the workers concerned must support a strike for it to be authorized. If a case has not already been referred to a court or labor relations board, workers retain the right to strike without resorting to either of these options, provided they give at least 10 days’ notice to the other party and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and make efforts at reconciliation.

The law also prohibits strikes by workers who provide essential services, including air transport and urban bus service workers, electric power suppliers, gas station personnel, hospital and pharmacy personnel, firefighters, telecommunications personnel, and urban sanitary workers. The list of essential services exceeds the ILO definition of essential services. The law prohibits retribution against strikers, but also provides for excessive civil or penal sanctions against unions and workers involved in unauthorized strike actions. Unions may be dissolved for carrying out strikes in “essential services.”

The informal labor sector, including domestic workers, is not unionized and is not protected by labor laws. Lack of adequate staffing prevented the government from effectively enforcing applicable laws for those sectors protected by law. Court procedures were subject to lengthy delays and appeals.

Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining were not respected. Although the government permits unions, the government established and controlled the major trade unions. As it had for more than four years, the government continued to use its authority to refuse to register the National Teachers’ Association (NTA) on the grounds a national teachers’ association already existed and that the NTA’s registration application was not submitted in accordance with the CSO law. According to the Education International report to the ILO in 2011, government security agents subjected members of the NTA to surveillance and harassment, with the goal of intimidating teachers into abandoning the NTA and forcing them to give up their long-standing demand for the formation of an independent union. In March the ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association expressed its concern with regard to serious violations of the NTA’s trade union rights, including continuous interference in its internal organization that prevented it from functioning normally, as well as interference by way of threats, dismissals, arrests, detentions, and mistreatment of NTA members. In May 2013 the ILO mission made a working visit and signed the Joint Statement with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, according to which the government was ready and committed to register the NTA in accordance with the CSO Law. The committee continued to urge the government to register the NTA without delay and to undertake civil service reform to protect fully the right of civil servants to establish and join organizations of their own choosing. During the year the ILO experts committee reported the government was “ready and committed” to register the NTA under the Charities and Societies Proclamation.

While the government allowed citizens to exercise the right of collective bargaining freely, representatives negotiated wages only at the plant level. It was common for employers to refuse to bargain. Unions in the formal industrial sector made some efforts to enforce labor regulations.

Despite the law prohibiting antiunion discrimination, unions reported employers fired union activists. There were reports most Chinese employers generally did not allow workers to form unions and often transferred or fired union leaders, and intimidated and pressured members to leave unions. Lawsuits alleging unlawful dismissal often take years to resolve because of case backlogs in the courts. Employers found guilty of antiunion discrimination were required to reinstate workers fired for union activities and generally did so. While the law prohibits retribution against strikers, most workers were not convinced the government would enforce this protection. Labor officials reported that high unemployment and long delays in the hearing of labor cases made some workers afraid to participate in strikes or other labor actions. Antiunion activities occurred but were rarely reported.

b. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits most forms of forced or compulsory labor, including by children, but it also permits courts to order forced labor as a punitive measure. The government did not effectively enforce the forced labor prohibition, and forced labor occurred. Both adults and children were forced to engage in street vending, begging, traditional weaving, or agricultural work. Children also worked in forced domestic labor. Situations of debt bondage also occurred in traditional weaving, pottery making, cattle herding, and other agricultural activities, mostly in rural areas.

Also see the Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report at www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/.

c. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment

By law the minimum age for wage or salary employment is 14 years. The minimum age provisions, however, only apply to contractual labor and do not apply to self-employed children or children who perform unpaid work. Special provisions cover children between the ages of 14 and 18, including the prohibition of hazardous or night work. The law defines hazardous work as work in factories or involving machinery with moving parts or any work that could jeopardize a child’s health. Prohibited work sectors include passenger transport, work in electric generation plants, underground work, street cleaning, and many other sectors. The law expressly excludes children under age 16 attending vocational schools from legal protection with regard to the prohibition on young workers performing hazardous work. The law does not permit children between the ages of 14 and 18 to work more than seven hours per day, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., on public holidays or rest days, or on overtime.

The government did not effectively enforce these laws. The lack of labor inspectors and controls prevented the government from enforcing the law. The resources for inspections and the implementation of penalties were extremely limited. Despite the introduction of labor inspector training at Gondar University in 2011, insufficient numbers of labor inspectors and inspections resulted in lax enforcement of occupational safety and health measures and in increased numbers of children working in prohibited work sectors, particularly construction. The National Action Plan to Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor was signed at the end of 2012.

While primary education is tuition-free, it is not compulsory, and net school enrollment was low, particularly in rural areas. To underscore the importance of attending school, joint NGO and government-led community-based awareness raising activities targeted communities where children were heavily engaged in agricultural work. The government invested in modernizing agricultural practices and constructing schools to combat the problem of child labor in agricultural sectors.

Child labor remained a serious problem. In both rural and urban areas, children often began working at young ages. Child labor was particularly pervasive in subsistence agricultural production, traditional weaving, fishing, and domestic work. A growing number of children worked in construction. Children in rural areas, especially boys, engaged in activities such as cattle herding, petty trading, plowing, harvesting, and weeding, while other children, mostly girls, collected firewood and fetched water. Children worked in the production of gold. In small-scale gold mining, they dug their own mining pits and carried heavy loads of water. Children in urban areas, including orphans, worked in domestic service, often working long hours, which prevented many from attending school regularly. They also worked in manufacturing, shining shoes, making clothes, as porters, directing customers to taxis, parking, public transport, petty trading, and occasionally herding animals. Some children worked long hours in dangerous environments for little or no wages and without occupational safety protection. Child laborers often faced physical, sexual, and emotional abuse at the hands of their employers.

Also see the Department of Labor’s Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor at www.dol.gov/ilab/reports/child-labor/findings/.

d. Discrimination with Respect to Employment or Occupation

The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, marital status, religion, political affiliation, pregnancy, socioeconomic status, and disability. The law specifically recognizes the additional burden on women with disabilities (see section 6.) Sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV-positive status are not specifically protected. The government took limited measures to enforce the law.

Discrimination in employment and occupation occurred with respect to women, who had fewer employment opportunities than men, and the jobs available did not provide equal pay for equal work.

Discrimination against migrant workers also occurred (see section 7.e.).

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

There is no national minimum wage. Some government institutions and public enterprises set their own minimum wages. Public sector employees, the largest group of wage earners, earned a monthly minimum wage of approximately 420 birr ($21). The official estimate for the poverty income level was 315 birr ($15.75) per month.

Only a small percentage of the population, concentrated in urban areas, was involved in wage-labor employment. Wages in the informal sector generally were below subsistence levels.

The law provides for a 48-hour maximum legal workweek with a 24-hour rest period, premium pay for overtime, and prohibition of excessive compulsory overtime. The country has 13 paid public holidays per year. The law entitles employees in public enterprises and government financial institutions to overtime pay; civil servants receive compensatory time off for overtime work. The government, industries, and unions negotiated occupational safety and health standards. Workers specifically excluded by law from unionizing, including domestic workers and seasonal and part-time agricultural workers, generally did not benefit from health and safety regulations in the workplace.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs’ inspection department was responsible for enforcement of workplace standards. In 2013 the country had 291 labor inspectors, down from 380. According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, the decrease was the result of high turnover and limited financial resources. Due to lack of resources, the labor inspectors did not enforce standards effectively. The ministry’s severely limited administrative capacity; lack of an effective mechanism for receiving, investigating, and tracking allegations of violations; and lack of detailed, sector-specific health and safety guidelines hampered effective enforcement of these standards. In addition penalties were not sufficient to deter violations.

Compensation, benefits, and working conditions of seasonal agricultural workers were far below those of unionized permanent agricultural employees. The government did little to enforce the law. Most employees in the formal sector worked a 39-hour workweek. Many foreign, migrant, and informal sector workers worked more than 48 hours per week.

Workers have the right to remove themselves from dangerous situations without jeopardizing their employment. Despite this law most workers feared losing their jobs if they were to do so. Hazardous working conditions existed in the agricultural sector, which was the primary base of the country’s economy. There were also reports of hazardous and exploitative working conditions in the construction and fledgling industrial sectors.

– See more at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper

Somalia: WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Twisted Ethiopia’s Arm to Invade Somalia June 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Somalia.
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wikilks(Borama News, 25 June 2015) –By mid 2007, the 50,000 Ethiopian troops that invaded Somalia in late 2006 found themselves increasingly bogged down, facing much fiercer resistance than they had bargained for as Somalis of all stripes temporarily put aside their differences to stand together against the outside invader.

As the military incursion turned increasingly sour, then US Under Secretary of State for Africa, Jendayi Frazer, who taught at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies in the 1990s, insisted that, prior to the invasion, the United States had counseled caution and that Washington had warned Ethiopia not to use military force against Somalia. Frazer was a close collaborator with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, for whom there also is a strong University of Denver connection. Frazer certainly tried to distance the United States from responsibility for the Ethiopian invasion in a number of interviews she gave to the media at the time.

But one of the released WikiLeaks cables, suggests a different picture, one that implicates Frazer in pressing Ethiopia’s President Meles Zenawi to invade its neighbor. The content of the cable is being widely discussed in the African media. It exposes a secret deal cut between the United States and Ethiopia to invade Somalia.

If accurate — and there is no reason to believe the contrary — the cable suggests that Ethiopia had no intention of invading Somalia in 2006 but was encouraged/pressured to do so by the United States which pushed Ethiopia behind the scenes. Already bogged down in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, the Bush Administration pushed Ethiopia to invade Somalia with an eye on crushing the Union of Islamic Courts, which was gaining strength in Somalia at the time.

At the time of the invasion there was little doubt that the Ethiopian military incursion was “made in Washington.” Like so many other WikiLeaks cables, this one merely puts a dot on the “i” or crosses the “t” on what was generally known, although it does give specific information about Jendayi Frazer’s deep involvement in the affair.

According to the cable, as the main U.S. State Department representative in Africa, Frazer played a key role, spearheading what amounted to a U.S.-led proxy war in conjunction with the Pentagon. At the same time that she was pushing the Ethiopians to attack, Frazer was laying the groundwork both for the attack in the U.S. media and for a cover-up, by claiming that although the United States did not support Ethiopian military action, she could understand “the Somali threat” and why Ethiopia might find it necessary to go to war.

Frazer spread rumors of a possible jihadist takeover in Somalia that would threaten Ethiopian security. Turns out that media performance was little more than a smokescreen. The U.S. military had been preparing Ethiopia for the invasion, providing military aid and training Ethiopian troops. Then on December 4, 2006, CENTCOM Commander, General John Abizaid was in Addis Ababa on what was described as “a courtesy call.” Instead, the plans for the invasion were finalized.

At the time of the Somali invasion, Zenawi found himself in trouble. He was facing growing criticism for the wave of repression he had unleashed against domestic Ethiopian critics of his rule that had included mass arrests, the massacres of hundreds of protesters and the jailing of virtually all the country’s opposition leaders. By the spring of 2006 there was a bill before the U.S. Congress to cut off aid to Zenawi unless Ethiopia’s human rights record improved. (His human rights record, by the way, has not improved since. Given how the United States and NATO view Ethiopia’s strategic role in the “war on terrorism” and the scramble for African mineral and energy resources, Western support for Zenawi has only increased in recent years).

In 2006, dependent on U.S. support to maintain power in face of a shrinking political base at home — a situation many U.S. allies in the Third World find themselves — and against his better judgement, Zenawi apparently caved to Frazer’s pressure. Nor was this the first time that Frazer had tried to instigate a U.S. proxy war in Africa. Earlier as U.S. ambassador to South Africa, she had tried to put together a “coalition of the willing” to overthrow Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe, an initiative that did not sit so well with South Africa’s post-apartheid government and went nowhere.

The 2006 war in Somalia did not go well either for the United States or Ethiopia. Recently a State Department spokesperson, Donald Yamamoto, admitted that the whole idea was “a big mistake,” obliquely admitting U.S. responsibility for the invasion. It resulted in 20,000 deaths and according to some reports, left up to 2 million Somalis homeless. The 50,000 Ethiopian invasion force, which had expected a cake walk, instead ran into a buzz saw of Somali resistance, got bogged down and soon withdrew with its tail between its legs. The political result of the invasion was predictable: the generally more moderate Union of Islamic Courts was weakened, but it was soon replaced in Somalia by far more radical and militant Islamic groups with a more openly anti-American agenda.

As the situation deteriorated, in an attempt to cover both the U.S. and her own role, Frazer then turned on Zenawi, trying to distance herself from fiasco using an old and tried diplomatic trick: outright lying. Now that the invasion had turned sour, she changed her tune, arguing in the media, that both she and the State Department had tried to hold back the Ethiopians, discouraging them from invading rather than pushing them to attack. The WikiLeaks cable tells quite a different story. In 2009, the Ethiopian forces withdrew, leaving Somalia in a bigger mess and more unstable than when their troops went in three years prior. Seems to be a pattern here?

http://boramanews.com/index.php/english-news/item/3623-wikileaks-reveals-u-s-twisted-ethiopia-s-arm-to-invade-somalia

Mr. Obama’s visit to Ethiopia sends the wrong message on democracy, Washington Post. June 25, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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“AFRICA DOESN’T need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” Those were President Obama’s words when he addressed Ghana’s parliament in July 2009, during his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president. The historic speech, watched around the globe, was an optimistic clarion call to the leaders on the continent from the son of a Kenyan. “First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments,” Mr. Obama said.

The president seems to have forgotten that speech. Last week, the White House announced that, while traveling to Kenya next month, Mr. Obama also will stop in Ethiopia, the first such visit by a sitting U.S. president to the country of 94 million. It’s almost unfathomable that he would make time for an entrenched human rights abuser such as Ethi­o­pia while cold-shouldering the nation that just witnessed a historic, peaceful, democratic change of power: Nigeria.

Administration officials justify the trip by citing the United States’ long-standing cooperation with Ethi­o­pia on issues of regional security and the country’s accelerating economic growth. Ethi­o­pia is a major recipient of U.S. development assistance, and the African Union has its headquarters there. But it also stands out in Africa for its increasingly harsh repression and its escalating chokehold on independent media and political dissent. Since June 2014, 34 journalists have been forced to flee the country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Ethi­o­pia is also one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists.

The administration already undermined Ethiopia’s struggling journalists and democracy advocates in April, when Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said Ethi­o­pia has “moved forward in strengthening its democracy. Every time there is an election, it gets better and better.” Shortly after her statement, the ruling party held an election in which it secured 100 percent of the parliamentary seats. That was indeed an improvement upon its 2010 performance, when it won 99.6 percent of seats. In the months ahead of the May 24 polls, opposition party members and leaders were harassed and arrested. The Ethiopian government refused to allow independent election observers, except from the African Union. Since the election, two opposition members and one candidate have been murdered. The government hasdenied any responsibility for the killings.

Meanwhile, Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and the one with the largest economy, overcame risks of electoral violence and Boko Haram’s terrorism to manage a peaceful transfer of power for the first time since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. With numerous African countries facing elections in the next two years, a visit to Nigeria would have signaled U.S. commitment to partnering with governments that respect freedom, the rule of law and the will of their people. Snubbing Nigeria for a trip to Ethi­o­pia sends the opposite message, in essence validat ing Ethiopia’s sham elections and rewarding a regime that has shown no intent to reform. Six years after his idealistic speech in Ghana, Mr. Obama is sending a message to Africa that democracy isn’t all that important after all.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-wrong-message-on-democracy/2015/06/24/a558f68c-1956-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html

Ethiopia’s higher-eduction boom built on shoddy foundations, George West, The Guardian June 25, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia the least competitive in the Global Competitiveness Index, Free development vs authoritarian model, Schools in Oromia, The Global Innovation Index, Uncategorized.
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The country desperately needs new universities to drive development, but most of the 30 built in the last 15 years fall woefully short

 

Higher education

 

The declining standard of Nigeria’s premier institution, the University of Ibadan, ten years ago is reflected in Ethiopia where the quality of new universities varies widely. Photograph: George Esiri/REUTERS

 

Ethiopia’s higher education infrastructure has mushroomed in the last 15 years. But the institutions suffer from half-written curriculums, unqualified – but party-loyal – lecturers, and shoddily built institutions. The rapid growth of Ethiopia’s higher education system has come at a cost, but it is moving forward all the same.

Twenty years ago the Ethiopian government launched a huge and ambitious development strategy that called for “the cultivation of citizens with an all-round education capable of playing a conscious and active role in the economic, social, and political life of the country”. One of the principal results of Ethiopia’sagricultural development-led industrialisation strategy (ADLI) has been a rapid expansion in the country’s higher education system. In 2000 there were just two universities, but since then the country has built 29 more, with plans for another 11 to be completed within two years.

The quality of these new universities varies widely; from thriving research schools, to substandard institutions built to bolster the regime’s power in hostile regions. One professor recalls a hurried evacuation from part of a recently completed university while he was working there: one of the buildings had collapsed.

But there have also been success stories. The University of Jimma, for example, has come first in the Ethiopian Ministry of Education’s rankings for the past five years, and is held up as evidence of ADLI’s efficacy since its establishment in 1999. The most recent development at Jimma, the department of materials science and engineering (MSE), opened for students in 2013, and has quickly expanded to become one of the top research schools in the sub-Saharan region. The department’s founder, Dr Ali Eftekhari, has since received a fellowship from the African Academy of Sciences on the back of the project’s success.

This success is much-needed. At 8%, African higher education enrolment issignificantly lower than the global average of 32%, and Ethiopia trails even further behind, with fewer than 6% of college-age adults at university. Research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) is starting from a particularly low base in Africa. The World Bank reported last year that though the sub-Saharan region has “increased both the quantity and quality of its research” in recent years, much of this improvement is due to international collaboration, and a lack of native Africans is “reducing the economic impact and relevance of research”.

Dr Eftekhari echoes these concerns: “The problem for development in Ethiopiaand similar African countries is higher education itself. This is the reason that I focused on PhD programs. “For instance, Jimma’s department of civil engineering has over 3,000 undergraduate students. These civil engineers are the future builders of the country, but there is not one PhD holder among the staff; most only have a BSc.”

Eftekhari improvised and sweet-talked in order to get the department established; in its first year, the department taught 18 PhD students – all native Ethiopians – on almost zero budget, with staff donating their time and money until funding was secured from the ministry of education. Despite the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) push for development, Ethiopia’s political landscape remains a minefield for education professionals, says Eftekhari: “People are always suspicious about the political reasons behind each new project. I decided to start with zero budget to allay those doubts. In developing countries everything has some degree of flexibility. I used this to borrow staff and resources from the rest of the university until we could secure a budget.

“Many of the staff saw the project as a career opportunity,” says Eftekhari, but altruism also played a part. The department’s research focuses primarily on solving the country’s pressing poverty and development problems. “They knew they were actually saving lives,” says Jimma’s innovation coordinator, Maria Shou.

The belief that science and engineering is key to alleviating poverty propels the work of the school. Projects range from the development of super-capacitors for the provision of cheap power, to carbon nanomaterials for Ethiopia’s expanding construction industry. “You only need a couple of weeks in Ethiopia to realise that materials science is a priority,” says Pablo Corrochano, an assistant professor at the school. “Even in the capital you’ll experience cuts in power and water; in rural areas it’s even worse. Producing quality and inexpensive bricks for building houses, designing active water filters, and supplying ‘off-the-grid’ energy systems for rural areas are all vital to the country’s development.”

However, Jimma’s success could be seen as a bit of an anomaly. Paul O’Keeffe, a researcher at La Sapienza University of Rome, who specialises in Ethiopia’s higher education system, believes that similar initiatives are needed, but that the government’s politics are an obstacle: “My research indicates that the rapid expansion of the public university system has seen a dramatic decline in the quality of education offered in recent years. Instead of putting resources into improving the existing system, or establishing a few good institutions, the EPRDF has built many new universities, largely for political reasons.

“A lot of the time the universities are merely shells. They do not function as universities as we would expect and are poorly resourced, and in some cases shoddily built. It would seem that they are built almost as a token where the EPRDF can say to hostile regions ‘look we are doing something for you, we’ve built a university’.”

Even when the universities do function, the quality of education is often low: “Once the funding, say from a western development agency, is finished for a particular course, it is no longer taught as the university authorities believe they can get funding for a new course instead; whatever is the latest fashionable course. So often this type of education for development is not sustainable.”

Reports of spies, classroom propaganda, of curriculums that have been abandoned half-written due to funding cuts, and of unqualified staff are common at these universities, which make up the bulk of Ethiopian higher education, says O’Keeffe. “The party line is peddled during class, students are required to join the party, [there are] various reports of spies in the classrooms, who monitor what is said and who says it.”

A lecturer at Addis Ababa University, who wished to remain anonymous, is concerned primarily with the lack of qualifications among staff: “What is disturbing is that those who have just graduated with BAs and MAs are the lecturers. That is the manpower that they have. If you talk with students you wouldn’t believe that these students actually graduated from these so-called universities. Their inability to articulate their thoughts is breathtaking. It is extremely frustrating and you wonder how they have spent four years at university studying a doctorate.”

In this context, the MSE school provides a beacon of hope. The school’s success demonstrates that higher education – Stem research in particular – has the potential to thrive and play a central role in helping Ethiopia to reach its goal of becoming a middle-income nation by 2025, provided political interests are put to one side. Let’s hope the EPRDF takes note.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/jun/22/ethiopia-higher-eduction-universities-development

UNESCO: Oromia: Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio-political, Representative List – 2016 June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Gadaa System, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Sirna Gadaa.
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Oromo nation and Gadaa system

Oromo nation and Gadaa system

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Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio-political. UNESCO Representative List – 2016

Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio-political system of the Oromo Representative List.  File reference: 1164. UNESCO listed the  Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio- political system of the Oromo to the Urgent Safeguarding List or Representative List, proposals for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices of Intangible Cultural Heritage to be reviewed at the organizations 2016 meeting for full international recognition as world heritage. https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/06/oduu-waxabajjii-252015/http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?pg=00774&include=slideshow.inc.php&id=01164&width=620&call=slideshow&mode=scroll The Gadaa Oromo Heritage http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00774

unesco file, Gada system, an indigenous democratic socio-political system of Oromo (Oromia)

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Oromia: Qophii Qe’ee Oromoo Anolee June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Aannolee Oromo Martyrs’ Memorial Monument, Hetosa.
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War on Want: Africa: a continent of wealth, a continent of poverty Afrikaa: Ardii qabeetti ardii iyyeetti June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Corruption in Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Poverty.
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???????????A shocking investigative journey into the way the resource trade wreaks havoc on Africa, ‘The Looting Machine’ explores the dark underbelly of the global economy.

Africa: a continent of wealth, a continent of poverty

There has been much talk of an African renaissance in recent years. Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s second post-apartheid president, has spoken of a ‘rebirth that must encompass all Africans’. So as African politicians and mining companies convene in London this week for ‘Mining on Top’ – Africa’s annual mining summit – where are the voices of civil society? Their absence speaks volumes.

Africa is blessed with a rich bounty of natural resources. The continent holds around 30% of the world’s known mineral reserves. These include cobalt, uranium, diamonds and gold, as well as significant oil and gas reserves. Given this natural wealth it comes as no surprise that, with the tripling of global mineral and oil prices in the past decade, mining has exploded on the African continent. Over the period 2000 to 2008 resource extraction contributed more than 30% of Africa’s GDP while the annual flow of foreign direct investment into Africa increased from $9 billion to $62 billion (most of this into extractive industries). However, despite being so richly endowed, and despite the mining boom of the past decade, Africa has drawn little benefit from this mineral wealth and remains one of the poorest continents on the globe, with almost 50% of the population living on less than $1.25 per day.

So, why is it that a continent with such vast potential wealth can remain so poor? It is in large part down to ‘illicit financial flows’: the illegal movement of money or capital from one country to another. The exploitation of mineral resources has all too often led to corruption and a large proportion of the continent’s resources and revenues benefiting local and foreign elites rather than the general population. Trade mispricing (and in particular transfer pricing and trade misinvoicing) is the most common way of transferring illicit funds abroad. Through trade mispricing, companies seek to maximize profits artificially through maximizing expenses in high-tax jurisdictions and maximizing revenue and income in low-tax jurisdictions. This enables corporations to minimize tax payments illegally and transfer the funds abroad.

Such illicit flows undermine social development and stymy inclusive economic growth. Instead of investing resource revenues into improving infrastructure, health and education, political elites, often in collusion with mining companies, have siphoned off proceeds from the continent’s mineral and oil wealth – lining their own pockets to the detriment of ordinary Africans.

Zambia presents as a wealthy country – the largest producer of copper in Africa and the 7th-largest globally. Yet Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 74% of the population living on less than $1.25 a day and 43% of the population being undernourished. This is in part due to a haemorrhaging of wealth, mainly to transnational mining companies. According to the Zambian Deputy Finance Minister, in 2012 the country was losing $2 billion a year from tax avoidance – around 10% of Zambia’s GDP. The mining industry was the largest culprit and the bulk of the loss was attributed to transfer pricing – where parts of the same company trade with each other at prices that they determine on their own – and to the over-reporting of costs and under-reporting of production. The situation is compounded by overly generous tax incentives provided to companies by the Zambian government.

The Zambian example is not an isolated case. Such corporate practices in the mining sector are common right across the continent. In South Africa, illegal capital flight through trade-misinvoicing (a means to evade tax) is rife in the ores and metals sector. Over the period 1995 to 2006 trade misinvoicing alone amounted to $167 million. And when it comes to fuel-exporting countries, over the period 1970 to 2008 states were losing on average $10 billion per year because of misinvoicing – the sum accounting for nearly half of all illicit financial flows from Africa during this time. Moreover, statistical data generated through the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, which was introduced in 2003, revealed that diamond production was nearly twice as large as estimated, indicating massive smuggling, under-reporting and tax evasion in the sector. The list goes on.

So, what is to be done? At the heart of any solution must be transparency. Countries need to be more open in their dealings with mining companies, put in place and enforce fairer tax regimes and anti-corruption rules, and pursue economic policies that promote diversified economies and reduce dependence on revenues from mineral wealth. International mining capital would also, of course, have to play by the rules or be held to account for its indiscretions. Such measures would go some way to ensuring that the continent’s wealth benefits ordinary people and puts Africa onto a path to greater prosperity.

Mining routinely disrupts and destroys people’s livelihoods while damaging their health and the environment. It is local communities right across the continent that are most affected by the extractives industry. ‘Mining on Top’ should be the perfect opportunity to bring these communities into the very discussions that will affect their lives. Shamefully, they’ve not been invited. So while the mining elite discuss how best to exploit a continent, ordinary Africans continue to lose out.

The ‘Mining on Top’ Africa – London Summit takes place on 24-26 June at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, 200 Westminster Bridge, SE1 7UT. On Thursday 25 June, War on Want will join London Mining Network and Gaia Foundation in protest at the failure of organizers to include civil-society representatives at the summit.

http://newint.org/blog/2015/06/24/africa-a-continent-of-wealth/

Ethiopia: GNI per capita , Atlas method (current US$) June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????Ethiopia is the one of the lowest in social Progress 2015Ethiopia's Per capita income trend, relative to  Sub-Saharan Afr 001

Ethiopia’s Per Capita Income trend, relative to Sub-Saharan Africa Average

Sub-Saharan African countries are the poorest regions of  Africa and the world. The World Bank’s Per Head Income trend from 2005 shows that Ethiopia’s trend is by far below Sub-Saharan Africa average trends with constantly widening gap. With Per Capita Income of  below $500 throughout the trends,  World Bank data shows that Ethiopia’s trend has been below the averages of world’s low income countries. So, what is the point of Ethiopia’s ‘fastest growth’ hype?

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) GNI per capita (formerly GNP per capita) is the gross national income, converted to U.S. dollars using the World Bank Atlas method, divided by the midyear population. GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. GNI, calculated in national currency, is usually converted to U.S. dollars at official exchange rates for comparisons across economies, although an alternative rate is used when the official exchange rate is judged to diverge by an exceptionally large margin from the rate actually applied in international transactions. To smooth fluctuations in prices and exchange rates, a special Atlas method of conversion is used by the World Bank. This applies a conversion factor that averages the exchange rate for a given year and the two preceding years, adjusted for differences in rates of inflation between the country, and through 2000, the G-5 countries (France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States). From 2001, these countries include the Euro area, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. -World Bank national accounts data, andOECDNational Accounts data files

Obama’s plan to visit Ethiopia criticised as ‘gift’ for repressive government June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, 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.
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Obama’s plan to visit Ethiopia criticised as ‘gift’ for repressive government

Activists express anger at US president’s trip to country widely criticised for human right abuses. Global Voices report

Barack Obama during a to Wajir in Kenya, close to the Ethiopian border, before he was elected US president in 2008.
Barack Obama during a to Wajir in Kenya, close to the Ethiopian border, before he was elected US president in 2008. Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Barack Obama’s decision to visit Ethiopia has shocked human rights activists, who say the visit sends the wrong message to a repressive government widely accused of clamping down on dissent.

A White House statement said Obama will visit the east African country for meetings with government officials as part of his last African trip as president. As well as meeting the leadership of the African Union, the visit will form part of US efforts to strengthen economic growth, democratic institutions and improve security in the region.

But as activists and social media users have been making clear, Ethiopia’s track record on human rights and democracy is deeply troubling.

In its 2014 report, Human Rights Watch noted that Ethiopia increasingly clamps down on the freedoms of its citizens “using repressive laws to constrain civil society and independent media, and target individuals with politically motivated prosecutions”.

Last month, Ethiopians voted in parliamentary elections which were widely denounced as unfair. Though the African Union declared that the vote was peaceful, they fell short of using the words “free and fair”.

While the US state department has expressed concerns about restrictions on civil society, media, opposition parties, and independent voices, Ethiopia remains a significant recipient of foreign aid money and security support.

On Twitter Hannah McNeish, a freelance journalist , juxtaposed last month’s suspicious elections results with the White House’s decision to honour Ethiopia with an official visit:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/24/obama-ethiopia-online-outcry-twitter

Human Rights Watch: Dispatches: Alarm Bells for Ethiopia’s 100% Election Victory June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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Elections where a ruling party wins 100 percent of the seats in parliament should always ring alarm bells. Results in Ethiopia from the May 24 general election, released yesterday, are no exception. According to Ethiopia’s National Electoral Board, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition won 546 parliamentary seats (with the 547th seat still to be announced).

The results shouldn’t be seen as a stamp of approval for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s government – rather they are the inevitable outcome of a political system in which opposition parties face extraordinary challenges and nearly all avenues for citizens to engage in political debate are closed.

The seeds for this situation were sown years ago. Since the last election in 2010, in which the EPRDF won a mere 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats, political space has been further restricted: the independent media has been decimated, civil society groups virtually eliminated, and peaceful public demonstrations quelled, sometimes by force.

The crackdown on opposition parties and their supporters was the final piece of the puzzle. In the lead-up to the elections, the authorities arrested leading members of the opposition and put them on trial on trumped-up terrorism charges. Political parties reported difficulties in registering candidates and acquiring funds to which they are legally entitled. Security force personnel arrested and harassed people organizing rallies, confiscating their equipment and unfairly denying them permits. Over the last two weeks, several opposition members and candidates have been beaten to death in suspicious circumstances.

International observers were largely absent, choosing not to monitor a vote that provided little opportunity to be independent and effective observers. The African Union was the exception, concluding that the elections were “calm, peaceful, and credible” – a standard very different from being free and fair.

The European Union and the United States, two of Ethiopia’s key allies, were largely silent on the political crackdown. Instead, they congratulated Ethiopia for a “peaceful” election, more concerned with the increasing potential for violence than with a fair electoral landscape. This is short-sighted and dangerous. Authoritarian control rarely provides long-term stability and nearly always compounds significant human rights violations.

For many Ethiopians, the elections confirmed what they already knew: the ruling coalition completely controls all aspects of their daily life and permits no alternative political views. The question is, when will Ethiopia’s allies open their eyes?

http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/06/23/dispatches-alarm-bells-ethiopia-s-100-election-victory

PRESS RELEASE: Amnesty International Asks Ethiopia to Investigate Suspicious Murders and Human Rights Violations June 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo, Sham elections.
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PRESS RELEASE
JUNE 23, 2015

Amnesty International Asks Ethiopia to Investigate Suspicious Murders and Human Rights Violations

The suspicious murder of opposition leaders and wide-spread human rights violations against opposition party members over the past few weeks raises questions about Ethiopia’s elections, said Amnesty International as the parliamentary poll results were announced yesterday.

The organization has also expressed concerns about the failure of the Africa Union Elections Observer Mission (AUEOM) and the National Elections Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to properly monitor and report on allegations of widespread abuses before, during and after the election.

“Amnesty International has received a number of reports concerning the deaths of political opposition figures in suspicious circumstances, as well as of a pattern of human rights violations against political opposition parties throughout the election period. These reports must be investigated and perpetrators brought to justice,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for Eastern, Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes.

“It is unacceptable that these violations barely warranted a mention in reports released by official observers, including the Africa Union Elections Observer Mission and the National Elections Board of Ethiopia.”

In the run-up to the elections, more than 500 members of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (EFDUF)/ Medrek – a coalition of opposition parties, including the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) were arrested at polling stations in Oromia region. Forty-six people were beaten and injured by security officers while six people sustained gunshot injuries and two were shot and killed. Gidila Chemeda of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC/Medrek) was shot and killed by police in Western Shewa zone, Dima Kege Woreda, Gelam Gunge Kebele of the Oromia region.

On June 15, 2015, the body of 27-year-old Samuel Aweke, a candidate with the Samayawi (Blue) party was found in one of the main streets of Dembre-Markos at around 7 p.m. Blue party officials believe his murder was politically motivated. A few days before his murder, Aweke published an article in his political party’s newspaper Negere Ethiopia criticizing the behavior of local authorities, the police and other security officials. His political party claims he received threats from security officers after the article was published. Witnesses at the scene where his body was found said his body had visible stab wounds and appeared to have been beaten with a blunt object.

A member of the Arena/Medrek political opposition party reported that its leader for Western Tigrai zone, Tadesse Abraha, 48, was accosted while on his way home on June 16, 2015 by three unknown people who attempted to strangle him. Abraha managed to escape, but collapsed and died shortly after reaching his home. According to his political party, Abraha had reported being threatened by local security officials shortly before his death.

On June 19, 2015, another member of Medrek was found dead 24 hours after he was arrested at his home by two police officers. Berhanu Erabu’s battered body was found near a river in Hadiya Zone, Soro Woreda (district) of Southern Ethiopia.

Amnesty International has documented these killings and is now calling on the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice, Federal Police Commission and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to investigate these apparent targeted killings of opposition political party leaders and ensure those responsible are brought to justice

Background:

Amnesty International sent a letter with preliminary recommendations to the AUEOM on May 21, 2015.

Amnesty International expressed its concerns about the state of human rights in Ethiopia and the impact the human rights context was having on the ability of Ethiopians to participate in the electoral process. The organization urged the AUEOM to monitor and report on human rights violations throughout the election period in its assessment of the conduct of the elections.

The ruling political party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been declared the winner of the elections.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/amnesty-international-asks-ethiopia-to-investigate-suspicious-murders-and-human-rights-violations

Related: AmnestyInternationalReport_BecauseIAmOromo014

Press release: UK: Minister for Africa expresses concern over Ethiopian elections June 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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Mootummaan Biyya Inglizii flannoo Itopiyaatti ta’e ilaalchisee yaaddoo akka qabu ibse.

The UK: Minister for Africa expresses concern over elections in Ethiopia

Waxabajjii/June 23, 2015 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

The following is a press release from the Minister for Africa of the UK government regarding the General Elections of 2015 in Ethiopia. —– Press release Minister for Africa expresses concern over Ethiopian elections UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge Minister for Africa James Duddridge calls on Ethiopian government to increase diversity in parliament and ensure the voices of all citizens are heard. Commenting on the election results, Minister for Africa James Duddridge said: “I welcome the fact that the recent Ethiopian parliamentary elections were conducted in a generally peaceful environment and that the Ethiopian people turned out in large numbers. I agree with European Union concerns about the negative impact on the electoral environment of arrests of opposition members and journalists, closure of media outlets, and obstacles faced by the opposition while campaigning … “In light of the results I urge the Ethiopian government to explore ways to increase the diversity of political parties in future parliaments, and to ensure those who voted for other parties this time still feel their voice is heard in the next five years. I hope that they will comprehensively address all the issues raised in the African Union Election Observation Mission report. The UK stands ready to offer support which might help in this regard.” —- Source: Gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/news/minister-for-africa-expresses-concern-over-ethiopian-elections

“JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND EQUALITY FOR MAJENGER AND ALL NILOTIC PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA” June 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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“JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND EQUALITY FOR MAJENGER AND ALL NILOTIC PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA”

Gambella
Press Release
May 22nd 2015, Gambella

Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) strongly condemns the TPLF/EPRDF killings of the Mezenger people of Southwest Ethiopia. The massacre of Mezenger people has now escalated and spread to all neighbouring villages of Sheka, Surma, Bench and Menit tribes in the Southern Nations Nationalities and People Regional State. The massacre is jointly carried out by the federal police forces, ENDF (Ethiopian National Defence Force) and the illegal settlers (highlanders) in Teppi and Metti towns Godere Zone of the Gambella region. It has started in September 2014 and so far no investigation and action taken against the perpetrators to stop the massacre. Since January 2015 the killing intensified and all villages of Majengirs and neighbouring villages destroyed and all people from these villages went into bush leaving behind their belongings without anything to support their livelihood. However, attempted to return home from the bush is killed, chanting that the monkey has come home to live with human beings.

As our sources from the ground indicates so far more than 120 Mezenger are reported dead and the killing is indiscriminate against children, women and men. It is a systematic genocide to exterminate the Mezenger people, as many of their educated ones were packed into prison without any trial in the court. To weaken the power of Mezenger people, the police forces from the local community were disarmed and they were replaced with ENDF to manoeuvre the plan successfully and take over the land from Mezenger people. In addition to this the Kwegu and Hamer people are being displaced from their land and many more killed by the Ethiopian government because of sugar plantation project of Hailemariam Desalegn. Likewise, the Hamer tribe is now engaged in full scale war with the government soldiers in resistance to land grabbing and forced displacements.

The sugar plantation project in the South Omo zone has been carried out without the consultation of local community. The people of Southern Ethiopian should not be deceived by the leadership of the current prime minister because he is from the region. As he was baptized by the deceased Prime Minister Meles for the post he should be known for his hatred against the indigenous Nilotes in the southern region for which he can manipulate the system and exterminate the tribes.

The people of Majengers and other Nilotic people of South west Ethiopian have been in constant conflicts and frustration with the Ethiopian government and illegal settlers from the north, and the loss of land has been in alarming rates as clearing of the forests by commercial investors and the illegal settlers continue to surge. Since EPRDF took over, the Mezenger people were killed in 1993, 2001 and the current one of 2014/2015. The current massacre is worst of all kind as it has devastated and destroyed the properties of people and forced people to flee their land.

GNUM will continue to fight for justice, equality and freedom of the indigenous Nilotes to ensure their full recognition and identity in their land. The TPLF/EPRDF government is a racist government that puts ethnic conflicts as means to prosper its own people to settle in the southwest regions. It is a government that cares only for its citizens from Tigrai region, and it should be resisted strongly by all means as racist and divisive.

GNUM also call upon the international community to investigate the killings of Majengers and other Nilotic people of southwest Ethiopia through their body, and force the perpetrators to be brought to justice. We call upon all the donors to withhold their funds from the TPLF government to make sure their funds are not used to perpetuate the killings against the innocent indigenous populations. Further, we also strongly ask the international community to analyse and make serious investigation toward the root cause of the increasing killings against the indigenous populations in Southwest Ethiopia and come up with strong recommendations and actions for maximum self determination as the only lasting solution to protect the life of the indigenous populations.

Therefore, GNUM would like to call upon all the indigenous Nilotes to unite themselves as one people and resist and fight the racist TPLF/EPRF government to protect their land.

In conclusion the Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) will continue it struggle for all people of Gambella and all the South-western Nilotes to ensure freedom, liberty, justice, security and prosperity are brought to people in their God given lands.

“All Nilotic People Should Stand Together and Fight As One to Overthrow TPLF/EPRDF Government from Their Land”

Gambella Nilotes United Movement/Army

Central Committee

Our contact:                   gambellagnuma@yahoo.com   OR

gambellagnuma@gmail.com

http://www.ayyaantuu.net/justice-freedom-and-equality-for-majenger-and-all-nilotic-people-of-ethiopia/

Hawaasti Oromoo Keenyaa Basaasota Saaxile June 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromo, Oromo Diaspora, Uncategorized.
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(Oromedia, 22 Waxabajjii 2015) Hawaasa Oromoo biyya isaanii Oromiyaa irraa baqatanii Keeniyaa keessa baqattummaan jiraatan irratti shirri aggaammatame akka fashale ibsame.
Oduun Naayiroobii irraa nu gahe akka addeessetti, hawaasti Oromoo Naayiroobii Wxabajjii 13 irraa eegalanii duula gaggeessaniin basaasota mootummaa Itoophiyaa lama qabanii mootummaa Keeniyaaeetti kennaniiru.

Akka oduun kun ibsutti, basaasoti kunneen hawaasa Oromoo fakkaachuun kanneen hojii diigumsaa raawwachaa turanii dha. ” Basaasoti kunneen akka baqattooti qabamanii biyya keessatti deebifaman dhoksaadhaan karaa addaddaa hojjachaa turan,” kan jedhe maddi keenya, haalli kunis jabina hawaasaatiin irratti dammaqamee saaxilamuu danda’uu isa ahuabchiise.

Miseensi Koree Bulchiinsa Hawaasaa Gaaffii fi deebii Oromedia waliin godhan keessattis akkak mirkaneessanitti, mootumaman Itoophiyaa gurmuu fi jaarmiyaa hawaasaa diiguuf shira olaanaa gaggeessee ture.

Haata’uutii jabina hawaasichaatiin kanneen ergama diinaa baatanii hawaasatti dhufan lama to’annaa jala oolchuun poolisiitti kennuu isaanii addeessan. Akaksumas, kaan illee bakka jiranitti waan saaxilamniif yeroo ammaa balaan aggaammatamee ture irra aanamaa akka jiru miseensi Koree Hawasa Oromoo addeessaniiru.

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Oromia: The poetics and politics of Oromo resistance June 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Musicians and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism.
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The poetics and politics of Oromo resistance

Oromo music has played a central role in providing alternative spaces for enunciating ‘the Oromo question’.

Oromo Artist Ebbisaa Adunyaa

Ebbisa Adunya, 2013. Wikicommons/Hirphaa Gafuree.Some rights reserved.

On June 4, 2015, renowned Oromo artist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa released an intoxicating single track, Maalan Jiraa. The song condenses within itself the story of the Oromo people with impeccable acuity, waltzing between stories of pain and pride, hope and despair. Full of anguish and self-doubt, Maalan Jira is a powerful probe into the modern Oromo condition and illustrated the complex dilemma facing the Oromo nation and its struggle for political emancipation.

The Oromo are the single largest ethnic group in East Africa, comprising well over a third of Ethiopia’s 99 million people. For generations, Oromos have been relegated to the periphery of Ethiopian politics, not in spite of their numerical majority, but because of it. What makes the Oromo experience so incomprehensible is the fact that they remained one of the last oppressed majority groups of the world in a country in which identity is both theconstitutive and regulative principle of political life.

Stripped of agency, voice, and visibility, the Oromo use poetry, music, and storytelling both to articulate their experiences of marginalization and to resist forms of knowledge and modes of interpretation used to legitimize their oppression. Originating from a deep well of Oromo tradition, music has served as the single most important expressive art form used – a site of counter-memory and counter-culture. Among the downtrodden and reviled of the world, Oromos turned to music to resist official narratives and hegemonic interpretations, undoing imposed silences, and disrupting established frameworks of remembering and forgetting.

By undermining the very coherence and unity of official interpretations, Oromo music has played a central role in providing alternative spaces and enunciating ‘the Oromo question’.

The Oromo question

The Oromo question has been articulated as a question of national self-determination, understood as the right of the Oromo people to determine their political, economic, and cultural status. Within this historically specific articulation, national oppression is the origin of the question, Oromumma (Oromo national identity) its engine, and liberation its end goal.

Oromos consider themselves victims of a systemic and structural wrong, an injustice that deprived them, like the Plebeians of antiquity, of the very conditions of visibility and audibility. Though an integral part of the Ethiopian state, the stigmatization of their identity and culture makes them what French philosopher Jacques Rancière calls ‘the part of no part’. Oromos insist that to include them in ways against their will, and on terms that do not reflect and acknowledge their status as a people, is no less violent and oppressive than exclusion. They remain threatened in the very space to which they belong. 

Oromo resistance music

Oromos have always used freedom songs and dances to symbolize and enact their experiences of dispossession and marginalization. In the 1990s a distinctive genre of protest music begun to function as the loudspeakers of the Oromo struggle for freedom. Oromo musical icons such as Ali Birra, Abitaw Kebede, Nuho Gobana, Umar Suleyman, Ebbisa Adunya, Kadir Said with many others played an indispensable role in creating a social space wherein the Oromo struggle for equality and self-emancipation is articulated and debated.

It is here, in this reservoir of songs, in the unruly dances and heart-breaking ballads, that one finds the story of the Oromo nation and its struggle for self-determination, not in the official archives and historiographies of the Ethiopian state.

In lyrics packed with angst and fervor, a generation of Oromo singers turned to the cryptic but transformative power of music to give voice to their aspirations. Singing against the current, they rejuvenated Oromo nationalism and conserved the Oromo experience of marginalization and humiliation. They also engaged in forms of protest that laid bare the essence of Oromo life within Ethiopia in all its traumatic complexity.

For example, Suleyman’s poignant compositions and enthralling bass voice moves people to action. His epic lyrics, recorded on cassettes, have been listened to in awe and admiration throughout Oromia. In the 1990s, Omar’s songs literally flew the flag of rebellion, articulating the limits of non-violent resistance and the inseparability of the cause of freedom and justice from violence.

It is in this most unpromising and unhistorical of places, in lyrics full of emotions and nostalgia but expressive of the devastation of the social fabric, that one finds the authentic experience of the Oromo.

The Addis Ababa master plan

Hundeessaa’s song comes at a time of great uncertainty for Oromos living around the city of Addis Ababa. Historically an Oromo city located at the heart of Oromia, the largest of the 9 states making up the Ethiopian federation, Addis Ababa (Finfinne) is the seat of the Federal government. The Ethiopian constitution recognizes the special interest of Oromia in Finfinne and directs parliament to enact laws specifying the terms and conditions that respects and regulates this multifaceted relationship between the city and Oromia.

Two decades on, however, no such law is forthcoming, and to add insult to injury, the ruling party announced what it calls the ‘Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan’, allowing the unprecedented expansion of the city into Oromia. Emboldened by a symbolic election victory in which the ruling party won 100% of the 442 seats announced thus far, the government is set to implement the Master Plan, threatening the wellbeing and livelihood of Oromo farmers neighboring the city.

This is precisely what Hundeessaa’s new song depicts. It weeps for Finfinne, a city that for generations condemned the Oromo culture and identity to precarious subterranean existence. The song’s engrossing sonic texture is at once unsettling and captivating, unsettling because it excavates and reopens past wounds, captivating because it has the poetic quality only a work of art can achieve.

Two clear narratives emerge from the song: first, that of pride and affirmation of Oromo identity and self-worth, and second, that of mourning, discord, and humiliation born of the continued dispossession and marginalization of the Oromo on their own land.

Full of fire and pride, Hundeessaa protests this tyranny of the center, and situates ‘the Finfinne Question’ within the broader Oromo history and experience of dispossession. His song is part tribute and part mémoire, a tribute to Finfinne and a memoire to the dozens of students gunned down by security forces during Oromo students protest against the Master Plan.

This is a song that enables the Oromo to imagine beyond the given-ness of present arrangements; a song that shows that the present is not inevitable, and that things could be different and better.

About the author

Awol Allo is a Fellow in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science

What is Calculus Used For? TEDx Talks Faayidaan Eregaa maali? June 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in 10 best Youtube videos, 25 killer Websites that make you cleverer.
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learn calculus

This talk describes the motivation for developing mathematical models, including models that are developed to avoid ethically difficult experiments.  Three different examples from the field of human health are presented.

Jeffrey J. Heys is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Montana State University. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering in 1996 from Montana State University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1998 and 2001,respectively.  His research area is computational transport and computational fluid dynamics in biological systems with an emphasis on fluid-structure interaction and multiphase flows.

BasicCalculus

Introduction to Calculus

http://ocw.mit.edu/resources/res-18-001-calculus-online-textbook-spring-2005/textbook/

Post sham elections and the scene of Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s murder crimes: Berhanu Rebo, Hadiya National and member of Medrek foundation committee murdered June 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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Mr. Berhanu Rebo, Hadiya National and member of Medrek foundation committee was murdered by Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s killing squads on 18th June 2015. His body was damped near river bank. Mr. Berhanu Rebo was a resident of Diinaa Tooroo in Sooroo district, Hadiya Zone (Southern State). Mr. Rebo was a husband and father of five.

Jiraataan Biyya Hadiyyaa, konyaa Sooroo, ganda Diinaa Tooroo fi miseena kommiitee bu’uraa partii Madrak kan ta’an lammiin saba Hadiyyaa Obbo Biraanuu Reeboo ergamtoota wayyaaneen Kamisa, Waxabajji 18 Bara 2015  qeyee isaaniitti admfamanii ajjeefamanii laga qaraqara irratti gatamuuni isaan beekame.

Obbo biraanuu Reeboo umurii waggaa 40 yoo ta’ni, abbaa manaa fi abbaa ijoollee shaniiti.

Oromia and Hadiyya

ዜና መድረክ:- በሀዲያ ዞን ሶሮ ወረዳ ዳና ቶራ ቀበሌ የኢማዴ-ደህአፓ/መድረክ መሠረታዊ ኮሚቴ አባል አቶ ብርሃኑ ረቦ ተገደሉ

(ዜና መድረክ) – በሀዲያ ዞን ሶሮ ወረዳ ዳና ቶራ ቀበሌ የኢማዴ-ደህአፓ/መድረክ መሠረታዊ ኮሚቴ አባል አቶ ብርሃኑ ረቦ ተገደሉ፡፡

በደቡብ ብ/ብ/ሕ ክልላዊ መንግሥት በሀዲያ ዞን ሶሮ ወረዳ በዳና ቶራ ቀበሌ ነዋሪና የኢማዴ-ደህአፓ/መድረክ መሠረታዊ ኮሚቴ አባል የነበሩትና በ2007 ሀገር አቀፍ ምርጫ በቅስቀሳ ሥራ ላይ ተሰማርተው ከፍተኛ አስተዋጾ ሲያበረክቱ የቆዩት አቶ ብርሃኑ ረቦ ሰኔ 11 ቀን 2007 ዓ ም ከምሽቱ 2፡00 ሰዓት ላይ በመኖሪያ መንደራቸው በተፈጸመባቸው ድብደባ ከተገደሉ በኋላ ወንዝ ውስጥ ተጥለው ተገኝተዋል፡፡ በዕለቱ ይኼው የመድረክ አባሉ ከመገደላቸው በፊት ብርሃኑ ደቦጭና ታዲዮስ ጡምሶ የሚባሉ ፖሊሶች ሟቹንና ሌሎች በቀበሌው የሚኖሩ የመድረክ አባላትን ለመደብደብ ሲያሳድዱ ሟቹ ከአከባቢው ሸሽተው የሄዱ ሲሆን ሌሎቹን አባላት አግኝተው መደብደባቸውና እርሳቸውን ሲፈልጉ ካመሹ በኋላ ማታ ወደቤታቸው ሲመለሱ ጠብቀው ግዲያውን ፈጽመው ወደ ወንዝ ወስደው እንደጣሉ ከአከባቢው ከደረሰን መረጃ ለማወቅ ተችሎአል፡፡ ከግዲያው ቀደም ባሉት ቀናትም እነዚሁ ፖሊሶች በሟች አቶ ብርሃኑና ሌሎች የመድረክ አባላት ላይ ግዲያ እንደሚፈጽሙና ከአከባቢው እንደሚያጠፉዋቸው ሲዝቱ መቆየታቸውም ታውቋል፡፡

አቶ ብርሃኑ ረቦ የ40 ዓመት ጎልማሳ ሲሆኑ ባለትዳርና የአምስት ልጆች አባት ነበሩ፡፡ የቀብር ሥነ ሥርዓታቸው ይህ ዜና እስከተጠናቀረበት ጊዜ ድረስ እንዳልተፈጸመም ለማወቅ ተችሎአል፡፡

በ2007 በተካሄደው ሀገር አቀፍ ምርጫ ሙሉ በሙሉ ማሸነፉ የሚወራለት የኢህአዴግ ካድሬዎች በአሁኑ ወቅት በምርጫው ቅስቀሳ ንቁ ተሳትፎ ያደረጉ የመድረክ አባላትን በየአከባቢው የማዋከብ፣ የማሰር፣ በገንዘብ የመቅጣት፣ የመደብደብና የመግደል ተግባራትን በማከናወን ላይ የሚገኙ ሲሆን ከምርጫው ዕለት ጀምሮ ከተገደሉት የመድረክ አባላት አቶ ብርሃኑ ረቦ 4ኛው ሟች ናቸው፡፡ ቀደም ስል በኦሮሚያ ክልላዊ መንግሥት ምዕራብ ሸዋ ዞን ሚዳ ቀኝ ወረዳ አቶ ጊዲሳ ጨመዳ፣ በምዕራበ አርሲ ዞን ቆራ ወረዳ አቶ ገቢ ጥቤ እና በትግራይ ክልላዊ መንግሥት ምዕራብ ትግራ ዞን በማይካድራ ከተማ አቶ ታደሰ አብርሃ የሚባሉ የመድረክ አባላት ከምርጫው ዕለት ጀምሮ መገደላቸው ይታወሳል፡፡ በምርጫው ወቅት መድረክ ጠንካራ እንቅስቃሴ ባደረገባቸው በደቡብ ብ/ብ/ሕ፣ በኦሮሚያና በትግራይ ክልሎች ከምርጫው ወዲህ ብቻ ቤታቸው የተቃጠለባቸው፣ የፈረሰባቸው፣ በጥይት የቆሰሉ፣ በድብደባ ከፍተኛ ጉዳት የደረሰባቸውና በእስር በመሰቃየት ላይ የሚገኙት የመድረክ አባላት ቁጥር በብዙ መቶዎች የሚቆጠር ነው፡፡

Leaked Bank Loan Record of Land Grabbers in Gambella June 21, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Poverty.
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Leaked Bank Loan Record of Land Grabbers in Gambella

Leaked Bank Loan Record of Land Grabbers in Gambella

(The Gulele Post) – The following document contains names of individuals and companies who borrowed money from a branch of Development Bank of Ethiopia located in Western Ethiopia for the purpose of investment on farm land development. We have redacted some information to protect our sources. The data shows how much money has been borrowed, by whom and where the supported farm land is located. With exception of few cases, most of the land is taken from Gambella. http://www.gulelepost.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Bank-Loan-for-Land-Grab_Ethiopia.pdf

Bank-Loan-for-Land-Grab_Ethiopia

78 % of land grabbers in Gambella are fascist TPLF from Tigray, evidence from Gambella state. Dhiba keessa qabxii 78 saamicha lafaa Gambella irratti kan bobba’ani woyyaanota/ ilmaan Tigreeti. Ragaa motummaa Gambeellaa irraa argame kan armaa gadiitiin mirkaneessa.

land grabbers in Gambellaland grabbers in Gambellalandgrabbers1 in Gambella

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/06/omn-oduu-waxabajjii-18-2015/

An Insult to the People and Democracy: On the Ethiopian General Election June 19, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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???????????Deja vu in 2015 Ethiopian ElectionsEthiopia 2015 election in Finfinne volters were not allowed  their phones
An Insult to the People and Democracy

On the Ethiopian General Election

by GRAHAM PEEBLES,  Counterpunch

Every five years the Ethiopian people are invited by the ruling party to take part in a democratic pantomime called ‘General Elections’. Sunday 24th May saw the latest production take to the national stage.

With most opposition party leaders either in prison or abroad, the populace living under a suffocating blanket of fear, and the ruling party having total control over the media, the election result was a foregone conclusion. The European Union, which had observed the 2005 and 2010 elections, refused to send a delegation this time, maintaining their presence would legitimise the farce, and give credibility to the government.

With most ballots counted, the National Election Board of Ethiopia announced the incumbent party to have ‘won’ all “442 seats declared [from a total of 547], leaving the opposition empty-handed…the remaining 105 seats are yet to be announced.” ‘Won’ is not really an accurate description of the election result; as the chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, Merera Gudina, put it, this “was not an election, it was an organised armed robbery”.

The days leading up to the election saw a regimented display of state arrogance and paranoia, as the government deployed huge numbers of camouflaged security personnel and tanks onto the streets of Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar. For months beforehand anyone suspected of political dissent had been arrested and imprisoned; fabricated charges drawn up with extreme sentencing for the courts, which operate as an extension of the government, to dutifully enforce.

Despite the ruling party’s claims to the contrary, this was not a democratic election and Ethiopia is not, nor has it ever been a democracy.

The country is governed by a brutal dictatorship in the form of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) that has been in power since 1991, when they violently overthrew the repressive Derg regime. The EPRDF speaks generously of democracy and freedom, but they act in violation of democratic principles, trample on universal human rights, ignore international law, and violently control the people.

Independent international bodies and financial donors, from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to the European Union and the US State Department, are well aware of the nature and methods of the EPRDF, which is one of the most repressive regimes in Africa. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that Ethiopia is “the fourth most heavily censored country in the World”, with more journalists forced to leave the country last year than anywhere except Iran.

In the lead up to the recent election, CPJ found that, “the state systematically cracked down on the country’s remaining independent publications through the arrests of journalists and intimidation of printing and distribution companies. Filing lawsuits against editors and forcing publishers to cease production.” Various draconian laws are used to gag the media and stifle dissent, the Anti Terrorist Proclamation being the most common weapon deployed against anyone who dares speak out against the government, which rules through fear, and yet, riddled with guilt as they must surely be, seem themselves fearful.

Democracy and Development

The government proudly talks a great deal about economic development, which it believes to be more important than democracy, human rights and the rule of law, all of which are absent in the country. And yes, during the past decade the country has seen economic development, with between 4% and 9% (depending on who you believe) GDP growth per annum achieved, the CIA states “through government-led infrastructure expansion and commercial agriculture development.” It is growth, however, that depends, the Oakland Institute make clear, on “state force and the denial of human and civil rights.”

GDP figures are only one indicator of a country’s progress, and a very narrow one at that. The broader Ethiopian picture, beyond the debatable statistics, paints a less rosy image:
Around 50% of Ethiopia’s federal budget is met by various aid packages, totaling $3.5 billion annually. Making it “the world’s second-largest recipient of total external assistance, after Indonesia” (excluding war torn nations, Afghanistan and Iraq), Human Rights Watch states. The country remains 173rd (of 187 countries) in the UN Human Development Index and is one of the poorest nations in the world, with, the CIA says, over 39% of the population living below the low poverty line of $1.25 a day (the World Bank worldwide poverty line is $2 a day) – many Ethiopians question this figure and would put the number in dire need much higher.

Per capita income is among the lowest in the world and less than half the rest of sub-Sahara Africa, averaging, according to the World Bank, “$470 (£287)”. This statistic is also questionable, as Dr. Daniel Teferra (Professor of Economics, Emeritus at Ferris State University,) explains, “In 2008-2011 income per capita (after inflation), was only $131,” contrary to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 2013 report, which put the figure at $320.

The cost of living has risen sharply (current inflation is around 8%) and, as The Guardian reports, “growing economic inequality threatens to undermine the political stability and popular legitimacy that a developmental state acutely needs. Who benefits from economic growth is a much-contested issue in contemporary Ethiopia.” Not amongst the majority of Ethiopians it isn’t: they know very well who the winners are. As ever it is the 1%, who sit in the seats of power, and have the education and the funds to capitalize on foreign investment and development opportunities.

Some of those suffering as a result of the government’s development policies are the 1.5 million threatened with ‘relocation’ as their land is taken – or ‘grabbed’ from them. Leveled and turned into industrial-sized farms by foreign multinationals which grow crops, not for local people, but for consumers in their home countries – India or China for example.
Indigenous people cleared from their land are violently herded into camps under the government’s universally criticised “Villagization” program, which is causing the erosion of ancient lifestyles, “increased food insecurity, destruction of livelihoods, and the loss of cultural heritage”, relates the Oakland Institute. Any resistance is met with a wooden baton or the butt or bullet of a rifle; reports of beatings, torture and rape by security forces are widespread. No compensation is paid to the affected people, who are abandoned in camps with no essential services, such as water, health care and education facilities – all of which are promised by the EPRDF in their hollow development rhetoric.

An Insult to the People

Economic development is not democracy, and whilst development is clearly essential to address the dire levels of poverty in Ethiopia, it needs to be democratic, sustainable development. First and foremost Human Rights must be observed, and there must be participation, and consultation, which – despite the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s duplicitous comments to Al Jazeera that, “we make our people to be part and parcel of all the [developmental] engagements,” – never happens.

The Prime Minister describes Ethiopia as a “fledgling democracy”, and says the government is “on the right track in democratizing the country”. Nonsense. Democracy is rooted in the observation of Human Rights, freedom of expression, the rule of law and social participation. None of these values are currently to be found in Ethiopia.

Not only is the EPRDF universally denying the people their fundamental human rights, in many areas they are committing acts of state terrorism (one thinks of the abuses taking place in the Ogaden region and the atrocities being committed against the Oromo people for example) that amount to crimes against humanity.

The recent election was an insult to the people of Ethiopia, who are being intimidated, abused and suppressed by a brutal, arrogant regime that talks the democratic talk, but acts in violation of all democratic ideals.

Graham Peebles is director of the Create Trust. He can be reached at: graham@thecreatetrust.org

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/19/on-the-ethiopian-general-election/

The rhetoric of #Africa’s economic ‘rise’ does not reflect reality June 19, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising.
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???????????Dounle digit Ethiopia

 Ethiopia Least competetive GCI 002

‘African economies consistently underperform the Southeast Asian average across all the pillars. The most critical gaps continue to be seen in the areas of basic requirements of competitiveness: institutions, infrastructure, and education and skills.19 This is troubling because the majority of African economies are classified as factor-driven economies (see Table 1), so these areas are currently the most critical areas for the competitiveness of these countries. On a more positive note, Africa’s financial, goods, and labor markets function comparatively well (on par, or nearly on par, with Latin America). However, ease of entry and exit from low-wage, low-productivity jobs will not lead to improved competitiveness. It will be important to build upon the region’s comparatively efficient markets by investing in  other competitiveness-enhancing reforms. A particular point of concern is the continent’s weak institutions. Although Africa’s performance is similar to that of Southeast Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean in this pillar, the institutions in all three regions receive scores below 4 out of 7. This suggests that more effort should be made to increase the capacity of the institutional framework, as it provides a critical foundation for the other dimensions of competitiveness. Indeed, the quality of institutions has actually been deteriorating in both OECD and African economies according to the GCI. This might explain in part why Africa’s competitiveness seems to have stagnated in comparison to OECD economies
(see Figure 11a). In Africa, a decline in security and government efficiency—two components of the public institutions subpillar—would appear to be at the core of this decline. Sound public institutions and governance are an important prerequisite for economic development.’-    
Africa_Competitiveness_Report_2015

Is Africa really rising? History and facts suggest it isn’t

Grieve Chelwa, Africa is A Country
In the year 2000, the Economist ran a cover story with the title “Hopeless Africa”. Four years later, Robert Guest, who served as the newspaper’s Africa Editor, published “The Shackled Continent”, a book that pretty much concluded that, absent any miracles, Africa’s future was bleak. The book was widely praised, not least of all by all-round Africa expert Bob Geldof who said “[it] was written with a passion for Africa and Africans”.  Then in 2011, the current era of Afro-euphoria signalled its triumphant entrance with the Economist’s Africa Rising cover story. In contrast to their cover story of just a couple of years back, this one declared that there was hope for the hopeless continent (TIME did exactly the same thing in 2012).

We’ve written about the Africa Rising meme on this site, from culture to politics to music to fashion, again and again and again and again and again and again andagain and again. Now for the economics.

To be sure, African economies have begun growing again after contracting for most of the 1980s and 1990s. According to the World Bank, real GDP per capita shrank at a rate of 1% per year over the period 1980 to 2000 for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Since 2000, real GDP per capita has grown at the more respectable rate of 2% per year. And it appears that the incidence of poverty, at least as measured by the World Bank, also declined, although marginally, during the last decade.

Many so-called Africa watchers seem to have caught the “Africa rising” bug. There is now wide expectation, undergirded of course by the likes of the Economist, that growth will continue unabated going forward. Africa’s time is now! So declared a piece in the trendy Harvard Business Review.

The “Africa rising” narrative suggests the continent is now well on its way to self-sustaining growth. The kind of growth that the East Asian “tigers” and the countries known as the West experienced during the times they were rising. The kind of growth that has led to a massive reduction in poverty in China within a generation. Unfortunately here is where reality stands at odds with the euphoria.

Africa’s current growth revival (the continent did grow, and healthily so, from the 1960s to the 1970s) seems to be largely driven by external factors: China’s spectacular growth and along with it an increase in the price of commodities, whose exports Africa relies on to a great extent. So any slowdown in China’s growth, as is likely to happen as its economy matures, is likely to impact greatly on Africa’s performance.

To be sure, there have also been some internal drivers of growth: price distortions have been reduced in agriculture, macroeconomic stability has been restored (inflation rates are low and stable across most of the continent) and political institutions have improved (democracy and elections are now more common on the continent than before). But the prospects of these internal policies to sustain long-run growth are dismal. The Harvard economist Dani Rodrik, in a highly insightful essay titled “An African Growth Miracle?”, points out that the relationship between standard measures of good policies (macroeconomic stability, reduced price distortions, etc…) and economic growth tends to be weak. At best, good policies make economic crises less prevalent but cannot sustain and drive growth on their own. The same is also true of institutions, which following the much publicized work of Daron Acemoglu and friends, has become the be all and end all of development thinking. Rodrik points out that Latin America has experienced positive institutional changes within the last 20 years with a small payoff in growth. On the other hand, impressive growth in South Korea (until the 1990s) and China (today) has occurred alongside rampant cronyism and corruption.     

According to Rodrik, self-sustaining growth begins to occur when an economy undergoes a structural transformation from relying less on agriculture to relying more on industry. That is, self-sustaining growth is underpinned by large-scale industrialization. This is the historical lesson of the East Asian tigers, of China, and of even the West. Unfortunately the facts for Africa point in the opposite direction. Yes, African labour has moved out of agriculture in large numbers, but the beneficiary has not been manufacturing but services. The service sector tends not to be as “productive” as the manufacturing sector. And productivity, which is the ability to produce ever more output from the same amount of inputs, is what drives and sustains growth. The share of manufacturing in the economies of most African countries has declined from about 15% in the 1970s to around 10% today. That is Africa has in fact deindustrialized! And even the 10% of GDP that is manufacturing is mostly made up of small informal firms that are not particularly productive and are unlikely to evolve into big formal firms. Rodrik sums up his prospects for Africa thus:

“To sum up, the African pattern of structural change is very different from the classic pattern that has produced high growth in Asia, and before that, the European industrializers. Labour is moving out of agriculture and rural areas. But formal manufacturing industries are not the main beneficiary. Urban migrants are being absorbed largely into services that are not particularly productive and into informal activities. The pace of industrialization is much too slow to [spurn self-sustaining growth].”   

So what can be done? Rodrik suggests that industrialization can be helped along by improving the “business climate” in Africa. But the problem with the business climate argument, apart from being vague, is that it does not confront the fact that Africa was more industrialized in the 1970s, at a time when the business climate was likely no different from what it is today. In my opinion, the Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) that were administered beginning in the early 1980s are largely responsible for halting the pace of industrialization on the continent. With SAPs, Africans were told by their betters to stop supporting industry because doing so was “wasteful”. Subsidies to industry were reduced. Protective trade barriers were removed. Planning for industry was done away with. All this advice was dispensed in spite of the fact that today’s developed countries industrialized behind a veil of considerable state support. For instance, the historian Sven Beckert points out that Britain’s cloth manufacturing industry, which was largely responsible for the Industrial Revolution, was shielded from competition from India for most of the 18thCentury. The Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang has called this phenomenon of rich countries forcing policies on poor countries that they themselves did not implement during their time of take-off as “kicking away the ladder”.   

Africa needs to industrialize for it to really rise. Unfortunately the rhetoric around “Africa rising” is giving us a false sense of comfort and distracting us from the real work that needs to happen.

Source:

http://africasacountry.com/is-africa-really-rising-history-and-facts-suggest-it-isnt/

Oromia: Brief National History of the Raya & Azebo Oromo People in Ethiopia June 17, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Rayya Oromo.
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???????????Girl from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia. johangerrits

Waayee gooticha sabboona Oromoo Jaal Lammeessaa Boruu: Aadde Worknesh Alemu & Aadde Lense Lammessaa Boruu Recount Jaal Lemessa Boru’s Revolutionary, Courageous & Exemplary Years in the Oromo Struggle June 17, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Obbo Lammeessaa Boruu, Oromia.
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???????????Oromo national hero Lammeessaa Boruu

Waayee gooticha sabboona Oromoo  Jaal Lammeessaa Boruu haati manaa isaanii Aadde Warqnash Alamuu fi hintalli isaanii Leensee Lammeessaa   OMN irratti seena isaan waan jedhan vidiyoo calqabaa kana  irraa caqasaa. Vidiyoon lammataa kan raadiyoon Finfinnee Leensee gaafate dha. Vidiyoon lammanuu Afaan Amaaraatiin.

Africa’s Looting Machine: Warlords, Tycoons, Smugglers and the Systematic Theft of Africa’s Wealth review – ‘the raping of a continent’ June 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia.
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Abay Tsehaye TPLF fascist mass killer

The Looting Machine: Warlords, Tycoons, Smugglers and the Systematic Theft of Africa’s Wealth review – ‘the raping of a continent’

Ian Birrell,  The Guardian, 2nd March 2015

 Laurent Kabila, the former president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who received ‘at least $4m a week in cash-filled suitcases from mining companies’. Photograph: Adil Bradlow/AP

Augustin Katumba Mwanke was a young banker in South Africa when persuaded to return home to help rebuild the Democratic Republic of Congo by the new government of Laurent Kabila. A year later he got a call from the president, a fellow Katangan, and was stunned to be appointed governor of an area the size of France, with control over some of the world’s most valuable mineral seams.

This marked the start of his rapid rise to power beside the president, placed at the core of a network of Congolese officials, foreign businessmen and organised criminals plundering the nation’s immense wealth. First, they transferred $5bn of state assets into the pockets of private firms with no benefit to the state, then after this was exposed, Katumba created a shadow state to steal funds, buy elections and bribe supporters. One witness says Kabila was being handed at least $4m a week in cash-filled suitcases from mining companies.

The victims, of course, are those millions condemned by the “resource curse” to conflict and poverty in a country that remains among the world’s poorest, despite the huge riches beneath their feet. As this timely book shows, similar shadow states are pillaging Africa’s immense wealth, from Angola to Zimbabwe, while corroding its societies. The result is a nation such as Nigeria, one of the world’s major oil producers, generating half as much electricity as North Korea – only enough to power one toaster for every 44 of its citizens.

After nine years reporting on Africa for the Financial Times, Tom Burgis exposes how the extractive industries have turned into a hideous looting machine, the west guilty of complicity in the raping of a continent. As he says, corruption does not end at the borders; kleptocratic regimes use avaricious allies to sell their commodities and stash illicit cash. “Its proponents include some of the world’s biggest companies, among them blue-chip multinationals in which, if you live in the west and have a pension, your money is almost certainly invested.”

Burgis shows how even the World Bank is linked to this looting, although it would have been good to see recognition of the role of aid propping up awful regimes. But the author makes an important case colourfully, convincingly and at times courageously as he confronts some of those involved in the pillaging. He examines countries cursed in similar style, whether by oil in Angola, coltan in the Congo, iron ore in Guinea, uranium in Niger or diamonds in Zimbabwe. There are lots of dodged questions and unanswered emails, but also surprising admissions, such as the Nigerian governor defending his need to “settle” payments for political survival. “If I don’t, I’ve got a big political enemy,” he says.

South Africa is home to the world’s most valuable mineral resources – yet the gap between rich and poor probably widened since the end of apartheid. This fits a pattern of inequality stemming from the resource curse, argues Burgis, pointing out how some leaders fought against racist regimes only to preside over elites that resemble in structure minority rulers they overthrew. “It’s like a virus, transmitted from the colonial regime to the post-independence rulers,” says one Nigerian critic. “And these extractors, they are the opposite of a society that is governed for the public good.”

Then there is the questionable role of China. The author is right to say there is a “distinct whiff of hypocrisy” to western criticism of the nation’s advance into Africa. Yet he grapples with the role played by the secretive Sam Pa. Burgis speculates about links to Chinese intelligence as he details Pa’s steady, lucrative cultivation of top-level contacts. His informative book ends with the words of Nigeria’s impassioned singer Nneka: “Don’t think you’re not involved.”

The Looting Machine is published by Harper Collins. Click here to buy it for £16

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/02/looting-machine-warlords-tycoons-smugglers-systematic-theft-africa-wealth-review?utm_content=buffer0a30b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

The Plunder of Africa

How Everybody Holds the Continent Back

Discussions about the fate of Africa have long had a cyclical quality. That is especially the case when it comes to the question of how to explain the region’s persistent underdevelopment. At times, the dominant view has stressed the importance of centuries of exploitation by outsiders, from the distant past all the way to the present. Scholars such as the economist William Easterly, for example, have argued that even now, the effects of the African slave trade can be measured on the continent, with areas that experienced intensive slaving still showing greater instability, a lack of social trust, and lower growth. Others observers have focused on different external factors, such as the support that powerful countries offered corrupt African dictatorships during the Cold War and the structural-adjustment policies imposed by Western-led institutions in the 1980s—which, some argue, favored disinvestment in national education, health care, and other vital services.

At other times, a consensus has formed around arguments that pin the blame on poor African leadership in the decades since most of the continent achieved independence in the 1960s. According to this view, the outside world has been generous to Africa, providing substantial aid in recent decades, leaving no excuse for the continent’s debility. There’s little wrong with African countries that an end to the corruption and thievery of their leaders wouldn’t fix, voices from this camp say. Western media coverage of Africa has tended to provide fodder for that argument, highlighting the shortcomings and excesses of the region’s leaders while saying little about the influence of powerful international institutions and corporations. It’s easy to understand why: Africa’s supply of incompetent or colorful villains has been so plentiful over the years, and reading about them is perversely comforting for many Westerners who, like audiences everywhere, would rather not dwell on their own complicity in the world’s problems.

Reading about African villains is perversely comforting for many Westerners who, like audiences everywhere, would rather not dwell on their own complicity in the world’s problems.

One of the many strengths of Tom Burgis’ The Looting Machine is the way it avoids falling firmly into either camp in this long-running debate. Burgis, who writes about Africa for theFinancial Times, brings the tools of an investigative reporter and the sensibility of a foreign correspondent to his story, narrating scenes of graft in the swamps of Nigeria’s oil-producing coastal delta region and in the lush mining country of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, while also sniffing out corruption in the lobbies of Hong Kong skyscrapers, where shell corporations engineer murky deals that earn huge sums of money for a host of shady international players. Although Burgis’ emphasis is ultimately on Africa’s exploitation by outsiders, he never loses sight of local culprits.

GIMME THE LOOT

Sure signs that Burgis is no knee-jerk apologist for African elites arrive early in the book, beginning with his fascinating and lengthy account of “the Futungo,” a shadowy clique of Angolan insiders who he claims control their country’s immense oil wealth, personally profiting from it and also using it to keep a repressive ruling regime in power. The country’s leader, José Eduardo dos Santos, has been president since 1979, and in 2013, Forbes magazine identified his daughter, Isabel, as Africa’s first female billionaire. “When the International Monetary Fund [IMF] examined Angola’s national accounts in 2011,” Burgis writes, it found that between 2007 and 2010, “$32 billion had gone missing, a sum greater than the gross domestic product of each of forty-three African countries and equivalent to one in every four dollars that the Angolan economy generates annually.” Meanwhile, according to Burgis, even though the country is at peace, in 2013 the Angolan government spent 18 percent of its budget on the Futungo-dominated military and police forces that prop up dos Santos’ rule—almost 40 percent more than it spends on health and education combined.

Those who tend to blame Africa’s woes on elite thievery seize on such examples with relish. But Burgis tells a much fuller story. Angola’s leaders may seem more clever and perhaps possess more agency than other African regimes—and indeed, other African states seem to be eagerly adopting the Angolan model. But the regime relies on the complicity of a number of actors in the international system—and the willful ignorance of many others—to facilitate the dispossession of the Angolan people: Western governments, which remain largely mute about governance in Angola; major banks; big oil companies; weapons dealers; and even the IMF. They provide the political cover, the capital, and the technology necessary to extract oil from the country’s rich offshore wells and have facilitated the concealment (and overseas investment) of enormous sums of money on behalf of a small cabal of Angolans and their foreign enablers. Because Angola’s primary resource, oil, is deemed so important to the global economy, and because its production is so lucrative for others, Angola is rarely pressed to account for how it uses its profits, much less over questions of democracy or human rights. Burgis shows how even the IMF, after uncovering the $32 billion theft, docilely reverted to its role as a facilitator of the regime’s dubious economic programs.

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos leaves a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, April 2014.

For those who insist that foreign aid to Africa compensates for the role that rich countries, big businesses, and international organizations play in plundering the continent’s resource wealth, Burgis has a ready rejoinder. “In 2010,” he writes, “fuel and mineral exports from Africa were worth $333 billion, more than seven times the value of the aid that went in the opposite direction.” And African countries generally receive only a small fraction of the value that their extractive industries produce, at least relative to the sums that states in other parts of the world earn from their resources. As Burgis reveals, that is because multilateral financial institutions, led by the World Bank and its International Finance Corporation (IFC), often put intense pressure on African countries to accept tiny royalties on the sales of their natural resources, warning them that otherwise, they will be labeled as “resource nationalists” and shunned by foreign investors. “The result,” Burgis writes, “is like an inverted auction, in which poor countries compete to sell the family silver at the lowest price.”

Meanwhile, oil, gas, and mining giants employ crafty tax-avoidance strategies, severely understating the value of their assets in African countries and assigning the bulk of their income to subsidiaries in tax havens such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and the Marshall Islands. Some Western governments tolerate and even defend such arrangements, which increase the profits of Western companies and major multinational firms. But these tax dodges further shrink the proceeds that African states earn from their resources. According to Burgis, in Zambia, one of the world’s top copper producers, major mining companies pay lower tax rates than the country’s poor miners themselves. Partly as a result, he reports, in 2011, “only 2.4 percent of the $10 billion of revenues from exports of Zambian copper accrued to the government.” Ghana, a major gold producer, fared slightly better, with foreign mining companies paying seven percent of the revenue they earned in taxes—still a tiny amount, Burgis points out, “compared with the 45 to 65 percent that the IMF estimates to be the global average effective tax rate in mining.”

A RACE TO THE BOTTOM

African countries’ unequal relationships with powerful international financial organizations and large multinational firms help explain the “resource curse” so frequently lamented in discussions of the continent’s economies. Rather than issuing from some mysterious invisible force, the curse is to a large degree the product of greed and the disparities in leverage between rich and poor—and its effects are undeniable. Burgis quotes a 2004 internal IFC review that found that between 1960 and 2000, “poor countries that were rich in natural resources grew two to three times more slowly than those that were not.” Without exception, the IFC found, “every country that borrowed from the World Bank did worse the more it depended on extractive industries.”

A case in point is the arid, Sahelian country of Niger, which for decades has served as a major supplier of uranium to France, its former colonial master. According to Burgis, the French company Areva pays tiny royalties for Niger’s uranium—an estimated 5.5 percent of its market value. And the details of the company’s contracts with Niger’s government are not publicly disclosed. Reflecting on this situation during an interview with Burgis, China’s ambassador to Niger adopts a posture of moral outrage, proclaiming that Niger’s “direct receipts from uranium are more or less equivalent to those from the export of onions.”

Rather than issuing from some mysterious invisible force, the “resource curse” is to a large degree the product of greed and the disparities in leverage between rich and poor.

This is a telling exchange, since many Africans believed that Chinese investment and influence on the continent would offer a way to lift the resource curse. Many greeted the arrival of the Chinese as big economic players in the region, which began in the mid-1990s, with great enthusiasm—especially the leaders of states whose economies depend heavily on minerals. China’s share of the global consumption of refined metals rose from five percent in the early 1990s to 45 percent in 2010; its oil consumption increased fivefold during the same period. In 2002, Chinese trade with Africa was worth $13 billion; a mere decade later, that figure had soared to $180 billion, three times the value of U.S. trade with 
the continent.

The hope was that with China directly competing with Africa’s economic partners in the West, African countries would win better terms for themselves. But as Burgis makes painfully clear, what has happened more often is a race to the bottom, in which Chinese firms focus their attention on African countries that face sharp credit restrictions or economic boycotts from the West, owing to coups d’état or human rights abuses. In many such countries, including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Guinea, the Chinese have extended easy financing to governments, crafting secretive deals that reward Chinese investors with even more lopsided terms than Western governments and firms tend to enjoy. “Access to easy Chinese loans might have looked like a chance for African governments to reassert sovereignty after decades of hectoring by the [World] Bank, the IMF, and Western donors,” Burgis writes, but, “like a credit card issued with no credit check, it also removed a source of pressure for sensible economic management.” In addition to this, critics point out that Chinese companies frequently bring in their own workers from China, providing little employment for Africans and few opportunities for Africans to master new skills and technologies.

 

Some of Burgis’ strongest work follows the dealmaking of a shadowy Hong Kong–based outfit called the 88 Queensway Group, which was founded by a man sometimes known as Sam Pa, whose background is reportedly in Chinese intelligence. By tracing a complex web of corporate relations, Burgis shows how Pa’s group has put together lucrative deals in one African country after another, since starting seemingly from scratch in Angola during the early phases of China’s push into Africa.

In Burgis’ telling, one mission of Pa’s 88 Queensway Group and its associated companies, including China Sonangol and the China International Fund, seems to be offering the Chinese government plausible deniability when it comes to major transactions and contracts with some of Africa’s most corrupt and violent regimes. But some African elites at the receiving end of Pa’s entreaties have been left with little doubt that dealing with Queensway would in fact put them in contact with the highest levels of the Chinese state. Mahmoud Thiam served as the minister of mines in Guinea under President Moussa Dadis Camara, a junta leader who faced international outrage after his forces opened fire on a peaceful opposition rally in September 2009, killing at least 150 and gang-raping many who tried to flee the assault. In 2009, Thiam traveled to China at Queensway’s invitation and later told Burgis about being whisked around Beijing by Pa’s associates. “If they were not a government entity, they definitely had strong backing and strong ties,” Thiam recalled. “The level of clearances they had to do things that are difficult in China, the facility they had in getting people to see us [and] the military motorcade gave us the impression that they were strongly connected.” In the case of Guinea and other places, Burgis reports that Queens­way was able to provide tens of millions of dollars to African governments on short notice, with virtually no strings attached, sometimes to help bail out leaders presiding over economic crises and sometimes merely to prove the company’s bona fides.

The hope was that with China directly competing with Africa’s economic partners in the West, African countries would win better terms for themselves. But what has happened more often is a race to the bottom.

In the hands of a less astute observer, Pa could come off as something like a Bond villain. But Burgis rightly reminds readers that it hardly takes a conniving mastermind to profit off the inequities and shortcomings of African political systems. “If it weren’t him, it would be someone else,” as a U.S. congressional researcher puts it to Burgis. The researcher adds that even if Pa’s operation were shut down, “the system is still there: these investors can still form a company without saying who they are, they can still anchor their business in a country that is not concerned about investors’ behavior overseas, and, sadly, there’s no shortage of resource-rich fragile states on which these investors can prey.”

LOSS PREVENTION

By showing how “the looting machine” is operated by people and institutions both inside and outside Africa, Burgis transcends the tired binary debate about the root causes of the continent’s misery. But if the problem is as complex as he makes it out to be, with avarice flowing from so many different sources, how can ordinary Africans—and African elites intent on leading more just, prosperous, and equitable societies—improve 
their prospects?

For Africans, the answer lies in large part in insisting on more open and accountable government. Although the outside world has taken little notice, democracy has spread significantly around the continent in the last two decades, and although conflicts grab the headlines, evidence suggests that war and other forms of large-scale violence have declined during this same period. Stronger civil societies and regular, free, and fair elections would prevent leaders such as Angola’s dos Santos from perpetuating their rule for decades and might allow more responsive elites to put Africa’s resources in the service of more equitable development strategies.

For the outside world, the priority should be getting foreign powers, including China, to agree on more stringent measures to combat corrupt business practices. The U.S. Treasury Department is cracking down on foreign banks that enable Americans to evade taxes; Washington should expand its efforts to prevent illicit financial flows involving other countries as well, reducing the amount of revenue that African countries lose owing to tax havens.

Finally, as Burgis’ book strongly implies (although does not explicitly argue), international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF must be made much more accountable. In Africa, that would mean publicly measuring their programs’ performance in terms of their impact on economic growth. Over the years, such institutions have demanded rigorous compliance from their poorest clients while never holding their own performance or the soundness of their advice up to public scrutiny. The internal IFC review Burgis cites made the same point more than a decade ago. But its findings were largely ignored as the World Bank continued to promote extractive industries in Africa even when they contributed nothing to development. Today, with Africans seeking to cross the Mediterranean Sea by the thousands to escape misery, a simple recommendation from that review is perhaps more pertinent than ever: World Bank and IFC staff should be rewarded not simply for allocating money to projects but for demonstrably reducing poverty. After all, whatever the causes of African poverty, any efforts to address it will fail if they are blind to their own effects.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2015-06-16/plunder-africa

When Peace Wreckers Become Peacekeepers: Why Do Authoritarian Regimes Make Their Armies Readily Available to Participate in International Peacekeeping? By Alem Mamo June 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in The study of Evil, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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“Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order – in general of government.”
—Albert Einstein

Why Do Authoritarian Regimes Make Their Armies Readily Available to Participate in International Peacekeeping

When the first United Nations Peacekeeping force was proposed by the Canadian Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson in 1956 in response to the Suez Crisis the idea was received with a mixed reaction in the international diplomatic and policy circles. Some welcomed it as a ground breaking and watershed moment for global peace and security while others viewed it as a strange and impossible idea to build consensus from all member states. Whatever the initial reaction, establishing an international peacekeeping force eventually won the support of the majority, and Lester B. Pearson who subsequently became the Prime Minister of Canada won a Noble Peace Prize for his contribution in proposing and designing and building consensus to the establishment of UN peacekeeping force.

Since its founding UN Peacekeeping has come a long way in scope, mandate, mission and size. The traditional peacekeeping force contributors, such as Canada, have significantly reduced their participation to peacekeeping and moved into combat and combat related missions, creating a gap in troop contribution. As a result, nations from the global south are filling this void. This shift, in return, has raised the question of the human rights record of regimes, their armies and policies participating in peacekeeping missions in different parts of the world.

Over the last six decades UN peacekeeping operations led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) have played an irreplaceable role in maintaining peace and stabilization in countries facing inter-state and intra-state conflict. This general achievement record, however, is not without a history of spectacular failure resulting in a tragic consequences. The slaughter of 800,000 Tutsis in1994 by Hutu extremists and the failure of the UN to prevent the genocide remains one of the darkest chapters of the UN and international diplomacy and multilateral response to crisis.

In the recent years UN peacekeeping operations ushered in new guidelines, frameworks and mandates to respond to each conflict dynamic effectively. Alluding to this point the United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers was quoted as saying, “This is not your mother’s, or your grandmother’s, peacekeeping.” Indeed, most of the changes that have taken place over the last decade or so are commendable and they could significantly strengthen the capacity of the UN peacekeeping missions and their effectiveness. However, some of the changes, particularly the expansion of the pool where the uniformed and civilian peacekeepers comes from, is a case for concern both for the reputation and prestige of UN peacekeeping missions and for upholding the principles of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

In this regard, one particular case among many others stands out. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)-led authoritarian regime in Addis Ababa has significantly accelerated its contribution to international peacekeeping, and currently there are 37 police, 113 military experts, and 7712 troops volunteered by the TPLF regime serving in peacekeeping missions in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, the Sudan regions of Darfur and Abeyi, and South Sudan.2 The basic question to be asked here is why would the TPLF regime in Addis Ababa be interested in participating in international peacekeeping? Is it driven and motivated by world peace? World peace as a motivation certainly is a noble cause, however, the fact is world peace and regional stability are not TPLF’s primary concerns. Peace is the least defining characteristics of the regime. In fact, since its inception the TPLF has exploited conflict and directly and indirectly manufactured national and regional conflicts to advance its political and economic agenda.

So, why get involved in international peacekeeping? There are four key motivations for the regime to jump on the bandwagon of international peacekeeping. Money, international prestige, creating an illusion of peace at home, projecting military capacity and preparedness. Let’s review each one of these rationales separately.

First, TPLF sees international peacekeeping as lucrative business / money making opportunity. According to the UN’s publicly available information “countries volunteering uniformed personnel to peacekeeping operations are reimbursed by the UN at a standard rate, approved by the General Assembly, of a little over US$1,028 per soldier per month.”3 Which means based on the current troop contribution TPLF pockets close to a million US dollar a year (7862 x $1028= $80,811.36 x 12 =$969856.32). How much of this fund is allocated to the participating troops or police officers is not disclosed and there is no system of accountability or audit.

Second, the regime’s eagerness to dispatch troops to international peacekeeping is motivated by gaining some level of international prestige/recognition, which it often propagates for a local audience, as well as the outside observer. This allows it to project an image of internationally responsible regime. In doing so the regime believes it can harvest legitimacy to govern, which it has lost from the citizens of the country it rules with an iron fist.

Third, participating in international peacekeeping helps the regime create an illusion of ‘peace’ and ‘stability’ at home. Although, there is no full scale inter or intra-state conflict at the moment, sporadic and low-level conflict in different parts of the country continues. Most importantly, the undemocratic and authoritarian nature of the regime has led some groups to consider challenging the regime through armed resistance.

While the primary objective of this article is to highlight the deceptive nature of the TPLF regime and its selfish motivation for participating in international peacekeeping, it is also worth noting that other authoritarian undemocratic regimes marred in internal conflict and violated the rights of citizens are participating in international peacekeeping. It is an open secret that TPLF treats the army and police as its own private force instead of a national force that protects its citizens from any harm. In fact the biggest harm inflicted upon the people of Ethiopia comes from the police, Special Forces, and the army that the regime dispatches to squash any peaceful dissent or opposition to the regime. Structurally, the army and police senior ranking positions are reserved for members of a particular group instead of merit based representation of the all members.

Authoritarian regimes such as the TPLF use their military and police to silence dissent, torture citizens, and murder peaceful protesters, as has been the case in Ethiopia over the last two decades. How it is morally and ethically acceptable that members of the same police and army are welcomed the fold of international peacekeeping? Doesn’t this contradict the very values and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)? The UN must uphold its own values and principles and hold those who violate the rights of citizens accountable instead of allowing them to participate in international peacekeeping. It is also worth noting that regimes known for violating citizen’s rights, such as Burundi, D.R. Congo, Central African Republic (CAR), and Yemen among others are participating in the UN peacekeeping missions. More significantly, these are regimes year after year failed to provide political, social and economic leadership that are vital for building sustainable peace in the countries they rule and yet they are part of the UN peace keeping missions.

‘Positive peace’ is not the absence of war, it is rather the presence of economic, political, social and cultural structures that promote, enhance and strengthen justice, inclusive economic growth free and fair political participation and promotion and protection of human rights. In the absence of these, one cannot claim sustainable peace in its complete form.

Read more at:

http://www.ayyaantuu.net/when-peace-wreckers-become-peacekeepers/

Oromia: An Awesome Intro about Oromo & the Oromo Gadaa Civilization by Young African-American Scholar at Afric Network June 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Gadaa System, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Nation.
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????????????Oromo wedding culture???????????Irreecha Oromo 2014 Hora Harsadii, OromiaIrreecha Oromo 2014 Naqamtee, Oromia