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Mother of all earth December 31, 2015

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Odaa OromooOromo singer Artist Hawi Tezera

 

 

When I was a kid growing up in Ethiopia, I used to closely watch how the man around me acted towards women. I followed their characters and tried to learn from them. See, for a young boy like me, there was nothing more important than emulating them. The older ones in my community did things in a respectful manner towards women and girls. They talked to them in different way they do to us boys. Even when we mess around and get in trouble, we were scolded differently. One night we were watching a TV, a younger lady walked in and the older gentleman wanted her to take his seat. I was a little taken a back by his action. Later that night I asked him why he did what he did and he told me “A women is a mother of all earth, everyone comes into the world from a mother’s womb. No one knows who the mother give birth to, a king or a Pop. You should always respect a women because that is a measure of a just man”

The quote sound much better in our language (apologize for the lack of good translation) but it thought me a very important lesson in my young age. A women is a mother of all earth!

I am sure you heard about the current situation in Ethiopia and Oromo protest against the illegal master plan to take the land from poor farmers to give it to private foreign companies and government cronies. I am sure you heard the government killed 100 plus, injured hundreds of protesters and imprisoned over a thousand activists. The images of dead students some at the ripe age of teens and some in college years are televised and broadcasted in diaspora TV stations. Every single one of them are sad and infuriating. Here is a story of one of the thousands that are detained and tourtured by Federal security forces in Ethiopia.

Meet artist Hawi Tefera. The famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera was detained and tortured by the Ethiopian Federal police for releasing an Afan Oromo single music that’s critical of the Ethiopian government’s affairs, i.e. the Master Plan and the killings following the protests against the Master Plan, in the Federal State of Oromia. The single, which was released on December 15, 2015, was produced using the traditional Oromo protest genre called Geerarsa.

Upon the intervention of the Oromian State police, Hawi was released from her ordeal only to be imprisoned again over the last few days. In that time interval, activists able to take a photo of her pain inflicted body and no one knows where she is and how she is doing.

Here is the song she released.

Her story really bothered me and pained me. Who are the federal police officers that tortured her. How does a government with a good standing with the world, be able to do this without consequences? when do the world fell this low to do nothing while artists, students and farmers summarily executed because they protested.

Yes, in Ethiopia, the government is above the law. But when we torture the mother of all earth, bad karma will torture as back very soon.

Free Hawi Tefera!!

Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere!

Related:-

Oromia: Famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera feared to be under another torture, activists say. #OromoProtests

The healthy man does not torture others – generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

Carl Jung

hawi

When I was a kid growing up in Ethiopia, I used to closely watch how the man around me acted towards women. I followed their characters and tried to learn from them. See, for a young boy like me, there was nothing more important than emulating them. The older ones in my community did things in a respectful manner towards women and girls. They talked to them in different way they do to us boys. Even when we mess around and get in trouble, we were scolded differently. One night we were watching a TV, a younger lady walked in and the older gentleman wanted her to take his seat. I was a little taken a back by his action. Later that night I asked him why he did what he did and he…

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#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally, London December 31, 2015

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#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally, London Dec 29,2015

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnqx8F8h7ek

 

The London Evening Post: Oromo Community in UK urge British Government to halt aid to Ethiopian regime

Oromo Community stage a protest outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.
Oromo Community stage a protest outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.

By Henry D Gombya

The Oromo Community in the United Kingdom have written to the British government urging it to halt with immediate effect, its assistance to the government of Ethiopia which they accuse of systematic repression that includes the torture, killing and harassment of school children in Oromia, a regional state of Ethiopia.

In a letter to Philip Hammond, the British Foreign Secretary, Amin Abdella, Chairman of the Oromo Community in the United Kingdom accused Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s security forces of carrying out a renewed crackdown inside the country against the Oromo people. The letter adds that more than 70 students were killed, many made to disappear, while others were jailed simply for taking part in a peaceful demonstration.

The letter informs the Foreign Secretary was told that over the past week, the same tragedy took place in Oromia high schools and universities as students protested against the continued eviction of the Oromo people from their livelihood without compensation and thereby driving them down to extreme poverty. It accused the Ethiopian government of continuing to push its policy of evicting the Oromo people from their livelihood on a wider scale. “This policy, coupled with the burning of a vast area of natural forests and the continued eviction of indigenous people, has been opposed in peaceful protest yet met at all times with brutal suppression in the forms of mass arrest, torture and killings,” the letter said..

Continue to read at:-

http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/oromo-community-in-uk-urge-british-government-to-halt-aid-to-ethiopian-regime/

 

#OromoProtests: Oromo Community in Toronto Protests in Solidarity with Protests in Oromia against Fascist TPLF Ethiopia Mass killings December 31, 2015

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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share11Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.

 

Seattle: Protests over civil rights abuses in Ethiopia: The protesters, many of them members of the East African community — want Washington senators to pressure Ethiopian leaders or cut U.S. aid in the wake of the ongoing mass killings that they say are targeting ethnic Oromos in Ethiopia. #OromoProtests December 30, 2015

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Odaa OromooSay no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.Stop killing Oromo Students

Protest for Ethiopian Civil Rights blocks downtown Seattle streets

Global Solidalirty rally with #OromoProtests in Oromia@Seattle 29 December 2015

Demonstration is in wake of mass killings in Ethiopia

Seattle (Kiro7 News) — Seattle on Tuesday as it made way to the Federal Building.
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

http://www.kirotv.com/videos/online/video-seattles-ethiopian-community-march-downtown/vDgtcn/
The protesters — many of them members of the East African community — want Washington senators to pressure Ethiopian leaders or cut U.S. aid in the wake of the ongoing mass killingsthat they say are targeting ethnic Oromos in Ethiopia. See photos from the protest here.

Here is the reason for the protest

Members of the East African community in Seattle planned a huge rally with regard to the “ongoing mass killings targeting ethnic Oromos  in Ethiopia.”

“The Ethiopian regime is the largest U.S aid recipient in Africa and the protestors will be heading to the Federal Building to demand both Senators pressure the Ethiopian regime or cut the US aid to the dictatorial regime,” a news release said.

Protestors at Federal building say Ethiopian govt. is oppressing Oromo students. @DanKingImages gets the video.

They plan to send a letter to Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

“We, members of the Oromo community in Seattle and Metropolitan area, refugees and immigrants alike, arise in protest because we believe American aid is financing human and environmental atrocities directed against the Oromo people by the current Ethiopian regime,” a letter they wrote says in part.

About the killings in Ethiopia

An Ethiopian opposition party charged Wednesday that Ethiopian government forces have killed more than 80 people in the past four weeks in protests in the country’s Oromia region, according to The Associated Press.

Violent clashes between protesters and security forces have spread across Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, the biggest and most populous of Ethiopia’s federal states. Oromo students have led protests against the government’s plan which they charge will take lands from their region and displace thousands of farmers.

The government charges that the protesters are working with “terrorists.” It claims that only five protesters have been killed and that the development plan for the capital city, Addis Ababa,  will not deprive farmers of land. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, speaking on Ethiopian state television, warned that the government “will take merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area.”

Protest had minimal traffic impacts

The Seattle Department of Transportation reported shortly after 11 a.m. that the demonstration started at 14th Avenue and Jackson Street near the Central District.

The demonstration went through Pioneer Square around noon, and it ended after the march to the Federal Building.

http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/demonstration-near-pioneer-square-could-create-tra/npstT/#st_refDomain=www.facebook.com&st_refQuery=/

Ethiopia Censors Satellite TV Channels as Student Protests Draw Global Media Attention. #OromoProtests December 30, 2015

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Ethiopia Censors Satellite TV Channels as Student Protests Draw Global Media Attention

Protesters in the Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa demand TPLF  stop killing Oromo students. Photo by Gadaa via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Protesters in the Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa demand TPLF stop killing Oromo students. Photo be Gadaa via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Ethiopian government is reportedly undertaking a massive clampdown on dissenting citizen voices in relation with the ongoing Oromo student protests in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest administrative region.

The regional political party known as the Oromo Federalist Congress reports that upwards of 80 people have been killed over the past four weeks by government forces. The government has yet to release its own updated numbers, but said on December 15 that five people had died.

Alongside increasing tensions around protests, security forces have arrested two opposition politicians, two journalists, and summoned five bloggers — all members of the Zone9 collective, who were acquitted of baseless terrorism charges just two months ago — to appear in court on December 30.

The government has also reinforced censorship campaigns against US-based Ethiopian satellite TV channels as well as protest songs that were produced in solidarity with Oromo protesters.

Torture marks on musician Hawi Tezera after she was arrested for supporting Oromo student protesters with music. Photo shared on Facebook by Jawar Mohammed.

Torture marks on musician Hawi Tezera after she was arrested for supporting Oromo student protesters with music. Photo shared on Facebook by Jawar Mohammed.

Protesters of the “Master Plan” to expand the capital city, Addis Ababa, into Oromia fear that the proposed development will displace large numbers of farmers mostly belonging to the Oromo ethnic group. Since demonstrations across the region began, the Ethiopian government has tried hard to stifle any kind of information about the outcry.

However, photos, videos and audio materials captured on mobile phones of the protests and of police brutality have made their way out of the country and are widely shared on the US-based satellite TV channels ESAT and Oromia Media Network (OMN).

These two channels reach tens of millions of Ethiopians who don’t have access to the Internet but who do have satellite dishes and depend on the two channels for news, analysis and views about the protest in Amharic and Afan Oromo, two of Ethiopia’s major languages.

Executives from the satellite channels report that Ethiopian authorities attempted to prohibit their broadcasting services. Jawar Mohammed, executive director of OMN, wrote on his Facebook page:

Notice: OMN is NOT back on satellite yet. It was NOT jammed either. Transmission was discontinued by the service provider under duress. The satellite we were on Eutelsat 8WB is still not jammable. Stay tune for details as soon as piece it together.And the promise remains the same; OMN will be back on air very soon one way or another!

Meanwhile, ESAT posted the following on their website:

The management of the Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT) said the regime in Ethiopia has jammed one of its two satellites, Eutelsat E8WB @ 8West starting the morning of Saturday December 19, 2015. .This latest move by the regime came at a time when ESAT has been widely covering the growing protest against the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia. Ethiopians rely on ESAT for news and information about their country. The regime, known for muzzling press freedom and one of the top jailers of journalists in the world, is spending millions of dollars on jamming equipment to deny people access to information.

Citizen reports on Facebook indicate that Ethiopian authorities have started to frantically send security forces around to remove satellite dish receivers from the rooftops of residents particularly in Oromia region.

Photo taken from Facebook page of Getachew Shiferaw

Photo taken from Facebook page of Getachew Shiferaw

Getachew Shiferaw, editor-in-chief of the online newspaper Negere Ethiopia, wasarrested. Two days earlier, he had shared a photo showing satellite dish receivers on rooftops (above) with the following note on Facebook:

They [Ethiopian government] are wrong if they think all these satellite dish receivers are set up to watch their tired propaganda.

Again, Jawar Mohammed wrote on his Facebook page:

The War on Satellite Dishes Continue. If the regime thinks it can cut our audience off from receiving OMN news and programs, they are too dumb to understand what we are made off. Just as we beat them time and again during their 10 jamming in the last 18 months, we will beat them again by staying several steps a head of them. Even if they take down every dish in the country, we will still find a way to reach our audience. Time for them to give up and face up to the truth!

Both ESAT and OMN say that in the past, they have moved their signals to other satellites that are harder for the Ethiopian government to jam. They both frequently notify their audiences in Ethiopia and advise them to re-position their dishes accordingly.

The Ethiopian authorities see these channels as mouthpieces of outlawed oppositions groups engaged in destabilizing the country. Although the government usually denies jamming satellites services, media outlets such as France24, Deutsche Welle and BBC have all condemned Ethiopian authorities for interfering with their broadcasting abilities.

Ethiopian authorities’ satellite jamming is similar to Internet censorship, whereby the government blocks access to websites, blogs and online radios, which are mostly set up by journalists and activists living in exile. Ethiopia tops the list of countries forcing journalists to flee into exile for fear of persecution.

Oromia: ‎TPLF‬ /EPRDF soldiers killed a six months pregnant ‪‎Oromo woman Shashitu Mekonnin‬ and her sister in law ‪‎QananiFikadu‬ in ‪‎Guduru. They threw their body of the cliff. Relatives thought they ran to other villages to escape but their bodies were found three days later. #OromoProtests December 29, 2015

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Odaa OromooStop killing Oromo StudentsStop TortureAgazi security forces beating Oromo women, children)agazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151

Last week TPLF /EPRDF soldiers killed a six months pregnant Shashitu Mekonnin‬ and her sister in law
‪‎Qanani Fikadu‬ in ‪ ‎Guduru‬ . They threw their body of the cliff. Relatives thought they ran to other villages to escape but their bodies were found three days later.” A witness tells VOA Afaan Oromoo.
“The way the Agazi forces killed two women and a man is very brutal; bodies of the women were left in a trench in the forest after they were executed. Their bodies were found after two days,”Eyewitness source.
The 7 month pregnant victim was named Shashitu Mekonnen. She was 19 and has recently completed 10th grade. Another victim was Qeneni Fikadu, 17 years old. They were shot dead by Agazi forces,
according to the sources.
The victims were buried at Wakiyo Church, the witness said. “It was inhuman to murder women who have nothing to do with the protest,” the witness told. Another victim, Tolossa Lelisa was also killed by Ethiopian security forces in the area.
The source said that security forces kill anyone who trespass the 8:00 PM curfew and throw their bodies into the woods.
“The current situation is not good; schools are closed; government offices were closed; there is no transport service,” the witnesses said. People are grossly arrested, harassed, and killed everywhere in
our Wereda, he said.
The TPLF security forces massacred more than 150 people in Oromia since 12 November 2015.

Addis Gazetta

Afaan Oromoo: BBC Media Action is looking for an Afan Oromo-speaking Senior Producer December 29, 2015

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Category:
Advertising and Media, Communications, PR and Journalism
Location:
Career Level:
Senior Level (5+ years experience)
Employment Type:
Contract
Salary:

Job Description

BBC Media Action is looking for an Afan Oromo-speaking Senior Producer to take overall lead in the launch and production of new radio dramas, facilitating the development of culturally and socially relevant innovations, style and approach to radio drama in Ethiopia which leads the industry.

Building the creative skills of our staff to help them grow into creative leaders in their own right is also a key responsibility of this job.

BBC Media Action 

BBC Media Action uses media and communications to reduce poverty and promote human rights in developing countries. To achieve this, the BBC Media Action partners with civil society, local media and governments to:

  • Produce creative programmes in multi-media formats, based on robust research, which inform and engage audiences around key development issues.
  • Strengthen the media sector through building professional capacity and infrastructure.

BBC Media Action delivers a portfolio of media projects in Ethiopia. It seeks to expand this portfolio of work, but also ensure that existing projects are delivered to time, to budget and to the highest standards, and in accordance with BBC editorial values as well as Media Action methodologies.

Overall Purpose of Job

This is a senior role within the production and training department. The Senior Producer, Drama will use her/his strong enthusiasm for storytelling, extensive drama production experience, desire to build the skills and capacity of others and passion to positively impact lives to oversee the development, launch, and production of drama outputs.

The Senior Producer, Drama will take overall lead of the launch and production of radio dramas, facilitating the development of culturally and socially relevant innovations, style and approach to radio drama in Ethiopia which leads the industry.

Building the creative skills of our staff to help them grow into creative leaders in their own right is a key responsibility of this job.

Main Duties

Production

  • Take overall responsibility for the planning, production and delivery of drama outputs, and to develop and maintain systems to ensure we produce high-quality work on time and to budget.
  • Work closely with relevant international advisors to ensure that all drama production activities benefit from experience and learning outside of Ethiopia.
  • Provide creative leadership for the drama production staff, from researching storylines, planning the overarching themes for each series and overseeing the scriptwriting process through recording, post-production, final edit and delivery.
  •  Supervise, train and mentor staff involved in drama production to enable them to hone the creative skills that will allow them to deliver engaging, high quality programs that appeal to audiences and meet BBC Media Action project objectives.
  • Working with staff across departments, ensure that resources (both human and material) are strategically allocated, scheduled, and shared between different teams to meet the demands of a busy production schedule.
  • Working with the Executive Editor, help identify, recruit, and retain staff and freelancers to enable us to maintain a creative edge in the industry while continually refreshing our talent pool.
  • Working with the Project Management team, ensure that our drama outputs meet overall project goals and objectives.
  • Working with the Executive Editor and others, help the office consider innovative platforms through which to distribute drama outputs.
  • Ensure drama outputs fully comply with BBC Editorial guidelines and values. Work with the Executive Editor to manage any editorial issues that may arise.
  •  Explore collaborative opportunities with other parts of Ethiopian media as appropriate.
  • With the Executive Editor, ensure that BBC Health and Safety guidelines are observed on all drama productions, staff are trained and briefed to manage risk, and support is provided to others to take appropriate measures to minimize exposure to perceived risks. Advise and support the Executive Editor to manage risk related to production on all the projects.

 Capacity building

Take an active role, in conjunction with the Project Manager, Executive Editor, and relevant Producer/Trainers, in designing and implementing capacity building strategies with media partners and relevant stakeholders.

Leadership

  • To deputize for the Executive Editor as required, managing Producer/Mentors, Assistant Producers and Sound Technician, ensuring they receive adequate guidance and supervision.
  • To delegate tasks clearly to the team, where appropriate, and ensure the team understands the importance of their role in attaining and having attained their goals.
  • Support the Project Manager and Executive Editor in ensuring the production expenditure keeps within budget.
  • Support the Executive Editor in ensuring that all necessary contracts, clearances or agreements under direct control are negotiated and completed.

Cooperation

  • To liaise closely with Senior Producers and production staff in other teams, and with contributors, media partners and government officials.
  • To work with Project Management to align project goals and outcomes.
  • Cooperate closely with cross-functional departments (eg. Finance, Administration, HR, Project Management, Outreach, Research and Learning)
  • All Senior Producers may be required to contribute to, or work with other programme teams or partner organizations and to have the ability to work across a range of skills and in a flexible manner, carrying out these responsibilities in accordance with the BBC’s overall standards and values

Duties include: 

  •  Take overall responsibility for the planning, production and delivery of drama outputs, and to develop and maintain systems to ensure we produce high-quality work on time and to budget.
  • Provide creative leadership for the drama production staff, from researching storylines, planning the overarching themes for each series and overseeing the scriptwriting process through recording, post-production, final edit and delivery.
  •  Supervise, train and mentor staff involved in drama production to enable them to hone the creative skills that will allow them to deliver engaging, high quality programs that appeal to audiences and meet BBC Media Action project objectives.
  • Help consider innovative platforms through which to distribute drama outputs.
  •  Ensure drama outputs fully comply with BBC Editorial guidelines and values.
  • Explore collaborative opportunities with other parts of Ethiopian media as appropriate.

Job Requirements

Essential:

  • Substantial experience in producing drama for radio, TV or other platforms.
  • Excellent interpersonal leadership and people management skills. Experience of leading and managing talent and production teams, as well as managing diverse teams.
  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken Afan Oromo and Amharic, and very good command of English
  • An extensive knowledge of the needs of the Oromo audience

Required skills, knowledge and experience   

  • Substantial experience in producing drama for radio, TV or other platforms.
  • Highly advanced storytelling and other creative drama skills and instincts, including the demonstrated ability to originate new ideas and see them through production or completion.
  • Strong editorial decision-making experience and judgement.
  • Excellent interpersonal leadership and people management skills. Experience of leading and managing talent and production teams, as well as managing diverse teams.
  • Demonstrated experience supporting the professional development of staff in creativity, editorial judgement, technical skills and decision-making.
  • Excellent knowledge of written and spoken Afan Oromo and Amharic, and very good command of English
  • Wide familiarity with Ethiopia and an in-depth understanding of the country’s health, social issues, mindsets and attitudes
  • An extensive knowledge of the media situation in the target area and the needs of the Oromo audience
  • Understanding of the latest production-related technology and techniques for radio, TV or digital platforms.
  •  Production budget management experience.
  • Knowledge of, or ability to learn, BBC editorial values, aims and objectives.

 Competencies 

·      Creative Thinking – able to transform creative ideas into practical reality.  Can look at existing situations and problems in novel ways and come up with creative solutions.

·      Strategic Thinking – can identify a vision along with the plans which need to be implemented to meet the end goal.  Evaluates situations, decisions, issues etc. in the short, medium and longer-term.

·      Decision Making – Is ready and able to take the initiative, originate action and be responsible for the consequences of the decision made.

·      Planning and organisation – able to think ahead in order to establish an efficient and appropriate course of action for self and others.  Prioritises and plans activities taking into account all the relevant issues and factors such as deadlines, staffing and resources.

·      Communication – able to get one’s message understood clearly by adopting a range of styles, tools and techniques appropriate to the audience and the nature of the information.

·    Influencing and persuading – able to present sound and well reasoned arguments to convince others.  Can draw from a range of strategies to persuade people in a way that results in agreement or behaviour change.

·      Managing relationships and team working – able to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people.  Works co-operatively with others to be part of a team, as opposed to working separately or competitively.

·      Leadership –  able to create a vision and inspire others to realise it irrespective of circumstances

·      Developing Others – is able to recognise the potential (managerial, professional, artistic or otherwise) and is willing to foster the development of that potential.  Creates a climate in which potential can be realised.

·      Resilience – manages personal effectiveness by managing emotions in the face of pressure, set backs or when dealing with provocative situations. Demonstrates an approach to work that is characterised by commitment, motivation and energy.

·    Flexibility – adapts and works effectively with a variety of situations, individuals or groups.  Able to understand and appreciate different and opposing perspectives on an issue, to adapt an approach as the requirements of a situation change, and to change or easily accept changes in one’s own organisation or job requirements. 

This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of responsibilities and duties.  The BBC is an equal opportunity employer. 

DURATION:             One-year fixed term with possible extension

CONTRACT:            Local terms and conditions.  Only eligible for Ethiopian

nationals or those legally able to work in Ethiopia 

 

How to Apply

candidates should write a letter in English, explaining – in an engaging way – why they are the right person for the job. The letter should be sent, with attached C.V., to the following email address: ethiopia@bbcmediaaction.org(the job title should be in the subject field of your email).

Candidates will be long listed based largely on the quality of their covering letter.

Deadline for applications: January 17, 2016

NB: Candidates should have Ethiopian nationality or have a valid Ethiopian work permit. Please note that these are not international postings.

BBC Media Action is an international charity, which uses media and communications to reduce poverty and promote human rights in developing countries.  For more information please see our website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaaction/

World Justice Project (Rule of Law Index 2015): Ethiopia ranked 98/102 in civil justice, 97/102 in fundamental Rights December 29, 2015

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Odaa Oromooworld justice project

“Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins.”

– JOHN LOCKE

The Rule of Law Index 2015, released by the U.S.-based World Justice project  analyses 102 countries worldwide using a survey.  The data, collected in 2013, measures how the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations using 47 indicators across eight categories — constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

According to the 2015 Index, Ethiopia’s overall rule of law performance places it in the 91st out of 102 countries worldwide.  It’s ranks in civil justice and fundamental rights are 97th and 98th respectively. The top overall performer in the WJP Rule of Law Index 2015 was Denmark.

Ethiopia in 2015 rule of law index: Ranked worst on global and regional level

Ethiopia in 2015 rule of law index. Ranked worst on global and regional level

 

Ethiopia ranks 91/102, one of the worst performers

 

Ethiopia in 2015 rule of law index. Ranked 91of 102 countries.

 

 

Read the details at:-

http://data.worldjusticeproject.org/#groups/ETH

http://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/roli_2015_0.pdf

http://worldjusticeproject.org/rule-of-law-index

 

 

 

The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index® provides original, impartial data on how the rule of law is experienced by the general public in 102 countries around the globe.

The WJP Rule of Law Index 2015® relies on over 100,000 household and 2,400 expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations by ordinary people around the world. Performance is assessed using 44 indicators across eight categories, each of which is scored and ranked globally and against regional and income peers: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.

The WJP Rule of Law Index is the most comprehensive index of its kind and the only to rely solely on primary data. The Index’s scores are built from the assessments of local residents (1,000 respondents per country) and local legal experts, ensuring that the findings reflect the conditions experienced by the population, including marginalized sectors of society.

What is the Rule of Law?

Derived from internationally accepted standards, the World Justice Project’s definition of the rule of law is a system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

  1. The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
  2. The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
  3. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient.
  4. Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

These four universal principles are further developed in the nine factors of the WJP Rule of Law Index, which measures how the rule of law is experienced by ordinary people in 99 countries around the globe.

Read more at:

http://worldjusticeproject.org/what-rule-law

Oromia: Ibsa Sochii Dargaggoota Biyyoolessaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokiraasii (Qeerroo Bilisummaa) Irraa Kenname December 29, 2015

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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share11#OromoProtests December 28, 2015 Akkoon mormii irra jiru The struggle continuesSay no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleen

Ibsa Sochii Dargaggoota Biyyoolessaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokiraasii (Qeerroo Bilisummaa) Irraa Kenname

cropped-qeerroo-edit.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haala Yeroo Warraaqsaa Biyyoolessaa FDG Gaggeessa Jirru Ilaalchisuun Ibsa Gabaaba Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo fi Gamtaa Barattoota Oromoo Irra Uummata Oromoo Hundaaf  Kenname!!

Muddee 28,2015

Finfinnee Oromiyaa

Nuti dhaloonni haaraan fi qaroon Hawwaasaa keenyaa addunyaa qaroomtetti dhiyoo jirru jarraa 21ffaa keessa gabrummaaf jilbeeffannee hin jiraannu, Uummata keenya adeemsa qe’eerraa buqqisuu teenyee hin ilaallu, Biyyaa keenya biyya mirgi ilma namaa fi mirgi dimookiraasii keessatti dhiitamaa jiru tole jennee hin fudhannu . Sagantaa fi karooraa duguuginsa sanyii (Genocide) Maqaa Master Pilaanii Finfinnee fi labsii Magaalota Oromiyaa jedhuun as ba’ee mormuu fi gaaffii kabajamuu mirga abbaa biyyummaa, mirga dimookiraasii fi mirgi namummaa nuuf haa kabajamu jennee karaa nagaa dhiyeeffannee mormii waan jabeesinee fi dhimmichi dhugaa qabatamaa dhimma uummata Oromoo ta’uu uummatni Oromoo akka guutummaa Oromiyaatti gamtaan dhaabbatne falmachaa kan jirruuf Mootummaan Wayyaanee EPRDF/TPLF/deebii armaan gadii kana nuuf deebisaa jiraachuun seeraa fi heera ofiin tume illee cabsuun yakka dugugginsa sanyii uummata Oromoo irratti rawwate jira.

  1. Uummata karaa nagaa fi Dimookiraasii gaaffii mirgaa dhiyeeffachuun sagalee mormii dhageesisaa jiru irratti poolisii federaalaa,waraana agaazii, fi humna raayyaa ittisa biyyaa jedhamu bobbaasuun oromiyaa godinaalee cufa keessatti yakka ajjeechaa genocide’n wal madaalu fudhachuun hanga ammaa ilmaan Oromoo kan maqaan adda bahee beekamu 125 ol ta’an warreeguun,kumootaan kanneen lakka’aman madeessuun, kumoota dhibbootan kenneen lakka’aman immoo ukkamsee hidhuun mootummaa fashistii ta’uu isaan addunyaa biyyaa lafaa fi biyyoota dhiha warra mirga namaa fi dimokiraasii leellisan fulduratti ilaalcha keessa galee jira.
  2. Uummaata Oromoo karaa nagaa mirga isaa fi karooraa fi sagantaa master pilaanii Finfinnee fi Labsii Magaalota Oromiyaa hin fudhannu jedhee falmachaa jiru uummata Sivilii irratti waraana labsee uummata Oromoo irratti tarkaanfiin waraanaa fudhatamee namootni hedduun du’anii, hedduun madaa’uun hedduun immoo ukkanfamanii lafa buuteen isaanii kan dhabame ta’uun ifadha. Ibsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Muddee 28 2015                                                                         ibsa-qeerroo-bilisummaa-muddee-28-2015

Oromia: Partial list of Oromos mainly students that have been killed by Ethiopian regime police, security agents, Special and armed force during peaceful demonstration of last three weeks (updated stand. 26 December 2015). #OromoProtests December 29, 2015

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Sabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Dajannee Sarbeessaaagazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151Sabboona Oromoo Baayyisaa TaaddasaaStop killing Oromo Students#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

Partial list of Oromos mainly students that have been killed by Ethiopian regime police, security agents, Special and armed force during peaceful demonstration of last three weeks (updated stand. 26 December. 2015)

Click Here-

partial-list-of-oromoos-mainly-students-killed-by-ethiopian-regime-police

 Partial List of Oromoos Mainly Students Killed by Ethiopian regime police

 

#OromoProtests (Video) – International Issues: Oromo Lives Matter: The Oromo Popular Resistance Against the Infamous Addis Ababa Master Plan December 28, 2015

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests December 28, 2015 Akkoon mormii irra jiru The struggle continuesoromoprotests-tweet-and-share11Agazi security forces beating Oromo women, children)Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.oromoprotests-finfinnee-aau-over-kidnapping-of-two-female-students-their-name-is-lomitu-waqbulcho-3rd-year-afan-oromo-hirut-tule-2nd-year-chemical-engineering-18-december-2012#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleenBaqqalaa GarbaaKakaa OromooOromo singer Artist Hawi TezeraCourageous High School Oromo Students in continue silent protest and resistance inside the room after prevented by soldiers from marching outside. #OromoProtest in Adama at high school, 28 December 2015#OromoProtests @Black Lion Hospital Oromo Medical stodents, 14 December 2015Germeny, Oromo Peaceful rally in solidarity with #OromoProtests in  Oromia against TPLF Ethiopian regime's ethnic cleansing (Master plan), December   10, 2015, picture#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015Silent sit-ins in the campus arena seem to become the new norm of protest (#OromProtess) when physical challenge of barbarism lets nearly impossible to otherwise. Arba Minch University, Dec. 2015. image2Oromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....OromoProtests @Finfinnee University  Dec. 7, 2015#OromoProtests @Buraayyuu (C. Oromia),  elementary school students bloocked roads,  14 December 2015

 

 

Videos – International Issues: Oromo Lives Matter: The Oromo Popular Resistance Against the Infamous Addis Ababa Master Plan (Video only – exclusive production from Radical Citizen Media)

Source: Latest Update: Oromo Lives Matter

 

 

 

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Ethiopia’s fake economic growth borrows from ENRON’s accounting December 28, 2015

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Odaa Oromoo

the-grim-reality-behind-ethiopia-rise-hype1ethiopia_03Dounle digit EthiopiaEthiopia is the one of the lowest in social Progress 2015

Ethiopia’s fake economic growth borrows from ENRON’s accounting

J Bonsa analyses Ethiopia’s economic growth over the last ten years.  Africa At LSE

More than 70 people have been killed and dozens wounded in an ongoing crackdown on peaceful protesters in Oromia. One of the underlying causes of the prevailing tense political situation is Ethiopia’s bogus claim about “miraculous” economic growth in the last decade.

The youth is not benefitting from the country’s supposed growth and doesn’t anticipate the fulfillment of those promises given the pervasive nepotism and crony capitalism that underpins Ethiopia’s developmentalism.

Courtesy: OPride

Courtesy: OPride

The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) came to power in 1991 and briefly experimented with democratic transition. However, a little over a decade into its rule, the party’s former strongman, the late Meles Zenawi, realized that their pretentious experiment with liberal democracy was not working. Zenawi then crafted a dubious concept called, “developmental state.”

Stripped of the accompanying jargon and undue sophistication, Zenawi was simply saying that he had abandoned the democratic route but would seek legitimacy through economic development guided by a strong hand of the state. This was a ploy, the last ditch attempt to extend EPRDF’s rule indefinitely.

Using fabricated economic data to seek legitimacy and attract foreign direct investments, the regime then advanced narratives about its double-digit economic growth, described with such catchphrases as Ethiopia rising, the fastest growing economy in the world and African lioness. The claims that EPRDF has delivered economic growth at miraculous scales has always been reported with a reminder that it takes several decades to build democratic governance. The underlining assumption was that, as long as they deliver economic growth, Ethiopia’s leaders could be excused on the lack of democracy and human rights abuses associated with the need for government intervention in the economy.

EPRDF spent millions to retain the services of expensive and well-connected Western lobbying firms to promote this narrative and create a positive image of the country. These investments were also accompanied with a tight grip on the local media, including depriving foreign reporters’ access if they cross the government line. Ethiopia’s communication apparatus was so successful that even serious reporters and analysts started to accept and promote EPRDF’s narrative on rapid economic growth.

However, a few recent events have tested the truthfulness of Ethiopia’s economic rise. Drought and the resulting famine remain the Achilles heels of the EPRDF government. The government can manipulate data on any other sector, including the aggregate Gross Domestic Product, and get away with it, but agriculture is a tricky sector whose output is not so easy to lie about. The proof lies in the availability of food in the market, providing the absolute minimum subsistence for the rural and urban population.

The sudden translation of drought into famine raises serious questions.  For example, it is proving difficult to reconcile the country’s double-digit economic growth with the fact that about 15 million Ethiopians are currently in need of emergency food aid.

Rampant famine

Except for some gullible foreign reporters or parachute consultants, who visit Addis Ababa and depart within days, serious analysts and students of Ethiopian economy know that authorities have often fabricated economic statistics in order to generate fake GDP growth.  To the trained eye, it does not take a lot to find inconsistencies in the data series. In fact, Ethiopia’s economic growth calculus is so reminiscent of Enron accounting.  (See my recent pieces questioning EPRDF’s economic policies, including anomalies in the alleged achievements of millennium development goals, crony businesses, devaluation, external tradeand finance.)

The tacit understanding in using GDP as a measure of economic growth is that responsible governments generate such data by applying viable international standards and subjecting the data to scrutiny and consistency checks.

Unfortunately, these standards are not foolproof; irresponsible governments with mischievous motives can abuse them. There is credible evidence that shows Ethiopian authorities deliberately inflated economic statistics to promote feel-good, success stories.

Let’s take the agricultural data, which is timely and topical given the ongoing famine. This came to light recently as the European Union tried to understand anomalies in Ethiopia’s grain market, particularly persistent food inflation which the EU found incompatible with the agricultural output reported by the Central Statistical Authority (CSA) of Ethiopia.

The EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) then developed the technical specification for studying the scope of the Cereal Availability Study in order to account for the developments in the Ethiopian cereal markets. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) was selected to carry out the study.

ethiopiagraph_images_growth1Figure 1 (above) compares the EU-sponsored survey and the Ethiopian government’s survey produced by the CSA. I am using the data for 2007/08 for comparison. The negative numbers indicate that the IFPRI estimates were consistently lower than the CSA data. For instance, CSA overstated cereal production by 34 percent on average.  This ranged from 29 percent for maize to 44 percent for sorghum. The actual amount of Teff produced is lower by a third of what’s reported by the CSA.

The research team sought to explain this “puzzle” by examining the sources of the confusion, the methodological flaws that might have led CSA to generate such exaggerated economic data. Toward that end, they compared CSA’s crop yield estimates with comparable data from three neighboring countries:  Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda (see Figure 2).

ethiopiagraph_images_growth2

From 2000 to 2007, the average increase in cereal yield for these countries, including Ethiopia, was 19 percent. Yet the CSA reported a whopping 66 percent for Ethiopia’s yield growth. The country was not experiencing an agricultural revolution to justify such phenomenal growth.  It is unrealistic that Ethiopia’s yield growth would be greater than the neighboring East African countries, particularly Kenya, where the agricultural sector is at a much more advanced stage. If anything, the reality in Ethiopia is closer to Uganda, which did not report any yield increase during that period.

This reveals the extents of data manipulation by Ethiopian authorities to create an inexistent economic success story and seeks political legitimacy using a bogus record. We now know the widespread distortions in official statistics on cereal production thanks, in no small part, to EU’s intervention in sponsoring a study and explaining the disparities. Cereals represent only a sub-sector in the agricultural realm. It is likely that worse distortions would be revealed if similar studies were done on Ethiopia’s growth statistics in other sectors, including manufacturing and service divisions.

‘Poverty reduction’

The IMF has praised Ethiopia for achieving accelerated growth with a focus on equity and poverty reduction, a challenging dilemma for most countries. However, a closer look at three interconnected facts turns this claim on its head.

First, as noted above, Ethiopia’s agricultural output has been inflated by 34 percent on average. Second, a33 percent poverty reduction since 2000 is widely reported. Third, there is a consensus that poverty reduction has happened mostly in rural Ethiopia. Now we put these three facts together and apply a simple logic to establish that the 33 percent poverty reduction is explained by the 34 percent exaggerated agricultural outputs. Notice that it is not by accident that the two percentage points are almost identical. Therefore, the ups and downs cancel each other out. In the best-case scenario, poverty rate must remain at the same level as in 2000.

The World Bank, IMF and other donors have often anchored their conclusions on poverty reduction on alleged changes in the agricultural sector, where the bulk of the poor live and work. Little do they know that the data they used to compute the poverty index comes from agricultural statistics with hugely inflated yield assumptions as shown above.

This raises the question: where has the billions of dollars in bilateral and multilateral aid pumped into Ethiopia in the name of poverty reduction and the millennium development goals gone?

‘The enclave economy’

The ‘Ethiopia rising’ storyline is a standard set by foreign correspondents who often repurpose official government press releases, or reports based on the construction projects in the capital, Addis Ababa.

For example, Bloomberg Africa’s William Davison, often uses the proliferating high-rise buildings in Addis Ababa as tangible evidence of Ethiopia’s double-digit economic growth. In his latest whitewash, Davison writes, “such growth is already visible in parts of the capital, where shopping malls and luxury hotels are sprouting up.” That a veteran reporter for a business website unashamedly passes judgment on economic success by referring to heights and width of buildings underscores his shallow understanding of the country’s social and political fabric.

Here are some of the questions that reporters aren’t asking and seeking answers for:  Who owns those building?  Where did the investment money come from?  Are there any firm linkages between these physical infrastructures and the rest of the Ethiopian economy? I have partially answered some of these questions in a previous piece and will soon provide additional insights.

For now, I would like to draw attention to the existence of an “enclave economy” within the mainstream Ethiopian economy. This enclave is made up of highly interconnected crony businesses, which are owned and operated by Tigrean elites, who also have a tight grip on the political and military command structures. Take, for example, the Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), a business conglomerate affiliated with the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). EFFORT has its humble origin in the relief and rehabilitation arm of the TPLF. However, it has undergone amorphous growth and now controls the commanding heights of the Ethiopian economy. By some estimates, EFFORT now controls more than 66 business entities.

The EFFORT controlled enclave and related military engineering complexes have created a semi-autonomous economy in Ethiopia. They made smart choices and specialized in engineering and construction businesses. This means they do not have to rely on the Ethiopian public for their products; instead, each specialize in separate industrial branches and buy from each other and also sell to the government, which is also in their hand. The huge government infrastructural projects necessitated by the “developmental state” model create business opportunities for these engineering companies.

The enclave economy is only loosely linked to the mainstream economy and it does not benefit the bulk of the Ethiopian people in any meaningful way. The luxury hotels and supermarkets that Davison refers to cater for the needs of the affluent business classes, their families, and the expatriate community.

In other words, Ethiopia’s miraculous economic growth, if it in fact exists, must have happened only in the enclave economy. Statistically, it is possible to generate a double-digit economic growth at the national level through a combination of some real astronomical growth in the enclave component and stagnation or declines hidden, through some accounting tricks, in the rest of the economy.

Lock-in style of reporting

Unfortunately, the unquestioned reporting on Ethiopia’s economic success has continued. Even the EU study appears to have been shelved, or deliberately ignored despite the significant findings. Even as a fifth of the population is in need of emergency aid, the World Bank is sticking with the outdated data and has recently released a sensationalized report entitled “Ethiopia’s Great Run: the growth acceleration and how to pace it.”

The ensuing famine has shaken the foundation of Ethiopia’s growth narrative, yet western NGOs and media outlets appear to suffer from the lock-in effect in adopting consistent storylines. They continue to link and refer to the World Bank, IMF and others reports and indexes by multilateral organizations.

That’s why we continue to see comical headlines such as “Ethiopian Drought Threatens Growth as Cattle Die, Crops Fail,” which assumes that Ethiopia’s growth is actually occurring. This acquiescence does not only display ignorance, but it also underscores an effort to evade accountability for previous mistakes and failure to report accurate information.

In a recent interview with The Ethiopian Reporter, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn made a rare and fateful admission: “if we crave for too much praise for our achievements, we might run the risk of undermining the challenges we are facing. These challenges could grow bigger and become irreversible and that would be detrimental.”

Over the past 25 years, the EPRDF worked tirelessly to create a distorted image of the country and began craving and lobbying foreigners for praises.

Enron’s success involved an elaborate scam, but the firm was named “America’s Most Innovative Company” for six consecutive years. This fame did not stop Enron from crumbling. EPRDF’s fate will not be any different. The Oromo uprising has already started the unraveling of its elaborate scams devised to attain legitimacy on the back of non-existent economic and democratic advancement.

 J. Bonsa is a researcher based in Asia.

 

This article was first published on OPride.

 

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/africaatlse/2015/12/24/ethiopias-fake-economic-growth-borrows-from-enrons-accounting/

Oromia ( #OromoProtests ): Qabeenya Wayyaanee armaa gadii irraa hin bitinaa, ittis hin gurgurinaa. December 27, 2015

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(SBO – MUDDE 26,2015) Qabeenya Wayyaanee armaa gadii irraa hin bitinaa, ittis hin gurgurinaa!

1. Tajaajila Transport ii Selaamii :- kaappitaalli dhaabbata kana birrii miliyoona 10 yommuu tahu biiroon isaa guddichi magaalaa Maqalee keessatti argama. Itti gaafatamaan biiroo kana Arkebe Uqbaay jedhama. (Saba Tigree ti.)
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2. Dhaabata Ijaarsaa Segel (Segel Construction):- Kaappitaalli isaa birrii 10, 000,000 dha. Biiroon guddichi isaa Maqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan dhaabbatichaa Obbo Arayaa Zerihun jedhama. (Tigree)

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3. Mega Net corporations:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 10, biiroon guddichi Maqaletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan Obbo Alemsegged Gebre Amlak jedhama. Tigree dha.
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4. Waldaa Aksiyoona Hitech Park :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 10, biiroon guddichi isaa magaalaa Meqeletti argama, Itti gaafatamaan Obbo Shimellis Kinde jedhama. Tigree dha.
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5. Fana Democracy Plc :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 6 dha, Teessoon biiroo guddichi isaa Meqeletti argama, itti gaafatamaan Negash Sahle jedhama. Tigree dha.
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6. Express Transit :- kaappitaalli isaa birrii miliyoona 10 dha. Teessoon waajjira guddicha Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan isaa obbo Gebre sillaasee Gidey jedhama. Tigree dha.
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7. Waldaa Aksiyoona Ethio Rental :- Kaappitaalli isaa birrii miliyoona 10, Teessoon waajjira guddicha Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan obbo Atkiliit Kiroos jedhama. Tigree dha.
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8. Warshaa biiraa Dilate (Dilate Brewery):- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 15 dha. Teessoon isaa guddichi Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan Obbo Teweldee Tedla jedhama. Tigree dha.
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9. Warshaa nyaataa Dessalenyii (Dessalegn caterinary): kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 15 dha. Wajjirri guddaan isaa Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan Dr Maru Erdaw jedhama. Tigree dha.
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10. Addis Consultancy House:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 10 dha. Waajjirri guddichi isaa Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan isaa Obbo Sibhat Neggaati. Tigree dha.
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11. Dhaabbata Ijaarsa Gamoo Birhaan (Birhane Building construction):-kaappitaalli isaa birrii miliyoona 10 dha. Biiroon isaa guddichi Meqeletti
argama. Itti gaafatamaan isaa Obbo Bereket Mazengiya jedhama. Tigree dha.
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12. Waldaa Aksiyoona warshaa gogaa Sheba:- kaappitaalli isaa birrii miliyoona 40 dha, Biiroon guddichi Tigraay magaalaa Wuqrotti argama, itti gaafatamaan Abadi Zemu jedhama. Tigree dha.
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13. Meskerem Investment:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 40 dha. Biiroon guddichi magaalaa Axumitti argama. Itti gaafatamaan obbo Tewdros Ayes Tesfaye jedhama. Tigree dha.
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14. Waldaa Aksiyoona inshiraansii Africa:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 30, Teessoon biiroo guddichi magaalaa Finfinneetti argama. Itti gaafatamaan isaa Yohaannis Uqubay jedhama. Tigree dha.
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15. Globa Auto Sparepart :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 26 dha, Teessoon biiroo guddichi Finfinneetti argama. Itti gaafatamaan isaa Obbo Teklebirhaan Habtuu jedhama. Tigree dha.
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16. Experience Ethiopia Travel :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 26 dha. Teessoon biiroo guddichi Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan isaa obbo Tony Hiki jedhama. Tigree dha.
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17. Addis Engineering consultancy :- kaappitaalli miliyoona 25 dha, Biiroon guddichi Finfinneetti argama, itti gaafatamaan obbo Arlebe Uqubaay jedhama. Tigree dha.
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18. Hiwot Agriculture mechanization :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 25, Teessoon Meqelee, itti gaafatamaan Obbo Yohaannis Kidane jedhama, Tigree dha.
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19. Aksiyoona keemikaalaa Berhe :- kaappitaalli isaa birri miliyoona 25, Teessoon guddichi Meqeletti argama, Itti gaafatamaan Obbo Abadi Zemu ti. Tigree dha.
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20. Dhaabbata ikispoortii hoolaa fii re’ee Rahwaa :- Kaappitaalli birrii miliyoona 25 dha, Teessoon guddichi Meqeletti argama, Itti gaafatamaan Yaassin Abdurrahmaan,
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21. Dhaabbata Oomisha Qorichaa Star (Star Pharmaceuticals) :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 25, Teessoon isaa Meqeletti argama, itti gaafatamaan obbo Arkebe Uqbaay dha,
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22. Tesfa Livestock :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 20, Teessoon Meqeletti argama, itti gaafatamaan obbo Yohaannis kidane ti. Tigree dha.
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23. Warshaa Huccuu Almedan:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 660 dha. Teessoon isaa Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan Obbo Abadi Zemuu ti.
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24. Mesfin Industrial company:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 500 dha. Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan obbo Arqebe Uqubaay dha.
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25. Warshaa Simmiintoo Meseboo :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 240, Biiroon guddichi Meqeletti argama. Itti gaafatamaan Obbo Abadi Zemu jedhama.
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26. Almeda Textile Factory:- kaappitaalli isaa birrii miliyoona 180 dha, magaalaa Meqeletti argama, itti gaafatamaan Obbo Abadi Zemu jedhama.
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27. Sur Constitution:- kaappitaalli isaa birri miliyoona 150 dha, biiroon guddichi Finfinne irratti argama. Itti gaafatamaan obbo Arkebe ukbaay dha.
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28. Trans Ethiopia:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona dhibba tokko dha, Meqeletti argama, itti gaafatamaan obbo Shimelis Kinde jedhama. Tigree dha.
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29. Dhaabbata qusannaa fii liqii Deddebiit :- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 60 dha. Teessoon guddichi Meqeletti argama. It gaafatamaan Obbo Atikilit Kiroos jedhama.
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30. Ezana Mining Development :- kaappitaalli miliyoona 55 dha, biiroon guddichi Finfinneetti argama, itti gaafatamaan Obbo Tewdros H. Berhe jedhama. Tigree dha.
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31. Warshaa oomisha qoricha Addis (Addis Pharmaceuticals production):- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 53, Biiroon isaa guddichi Finfinneetti argama. Itti gaafatamaan obbo Abadi Zemu dha.
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32. Waldaa Aksiyoona manneen daldalaa Xaanaa:- kaappitaalli isaa miliyoona 50 dha. Teessoon biiroo isaa guddichi Meqeletti argama. Obbo Sibhat Neggaatu hooggana.
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★ Dhaabbatawwan wayyaanee asii gaditti tarreeffamanii argaman immoo kaappitaala isaanii ifa godhanii hin jiran.

33. Ambassel Commerce Dinsho Share company
34. Tigrai Tagai Association Brook chemical share company
35. Dashen Beer Factory
36. Express Ethio Travel service
37. Tigrai Development plc computer networking Technology
38. Berhan Building construction
39. Star pharmaceutical Importers
40. National Electromechanical
41. Saba Emnebered Guna Trade service
42. Biftu Dinsho Oromia Credit Bank
42. Adwa Flour Factory
43. Wendo Trading
44. Shala Advertisement
45. National Geo Textile
46. Tikal Agri Tigrai
47. Wegagen Bank
48. Alage Forest products
49. Sebhat Nega plc
50. Addis Transport
51. Walta industry
52. Marha poultry
53. Dima Honey processing plant
54. Zeleke Agricultural mechanization plc
55. Tikur Abbay Transport
56. Beruk Tesfa plastic factory
57. Abrdele Animal Export company
58. Maichew particle Board

Kaampaaniiwwan armaan olii hundii qabeenya mootummaa wayyaanee dhalattoota Tigreetiin hogganamanii dha. Nutis kana beekuun meeshaalee diinaa kanneenitti fayyadamuu dhabuudhaan dinagdeen diina akka hin gabbanne gochuu qabna. Qabeenya keenyaanis mirga keenya haa falmannu.

What are the real causes of the Ethiopian ‘famine’? December 27, 2015

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Odaa OromooThe grim reality behind 'Ethiopia rise' hypeFamine Ethiopia 2015 BBC report

 

The mood within the power circle is one of relaxation…One can hardly find the sense of urgency expected…The response system remains fragmented. There is no functioning integration between risk assessment units, response institutions, local administrations and federal level units… The whole response system seems to host great inefficiency[16].

The credo was: the country has its own capacity to deal with the crisis; the government has enough food stock[7]. Redwan Hussein was categorical: “We are able to feed ourselves”.[8]The Prime Minister and Chairman of the ruling party, Haile Mariam Dessalegn, repeated such statements word by word[9].

But one month later, Redwan Hussein acknowledged that the recent rise in the number of victims calls for an urgent foreign assistance. “Although the government can tackle the problem by diverting the budget allocated for development, it needs international assistance so that the on-going pace of development would not be hampered[10]. And even more: the government is now complaining that the donors “have already promised so much, but they have delivered practically nothing. The government is working alone[11]. Even more: the government is now complaining that the donors “have already promised so much, but they have delivered practically nothing. The government is working alone”.

This provoked strong reactions. “Enough is enough… It is embarrassing and humiliating indeed to observe our smartly dressed leaders scuttling from one donor meeting into another with their begging bowls… It surely should not be beyond Ethiopia’s capacity to handle minor droughts without the necessity for the degrading foreign aid… By running to the UN for help, the EPRDF – the ruling party – has gravely injured the positive image of the country[12].

The designated culprit is the drought, attributed to the climatic El Nino phenomena. Meteorological experts have confirmed it is the worst in the last two or three decades. However, this kind of crisis is recurrent. The sequence of bad rain seasons leading to bad harvests leading to a food crisis is unstoppable in a country where 98% of the agriculture remains rain fed.

It is highly probable that sooner or later TV screens will show us crying children with emaciated faces and  balloon stomachs. The viewers will be convinced that once more famine and Ethiopia form a diabolical duo[13].  But there is always and at any time at least one place in Ethiopia where a camera could catch such a worrying scene. Does it mean that Ethiopia’s old evils have once again risen to the surface?

First, the apocalyptical famines of 1972-73 and 1984-85 left hundreds thousands of deaths, probably around 200,000 and 400,000 respectively. Now, whether real famine pockets have developed here and there remains to be seen – usually the stage of famine is considered reached when a significant number of adults start to die from hunger. In any case the possible death toll would have nothing to do with these previous figures.

Second, the official growth of the cereals production, and therefore the agricultural development action of the government are rightly the subject of enquiry. Last year, the official figure for the cereals’ harvest has been 27 million of tons for a population close to 100 million, that is to say 270 kg/person/year. Even with a high range estimate of post-harvest losses and reserve of future seeds, this left a per person consumption availability of basic food well above the required 180 kilo per year. Given these figures, Ethiopia should be overflowing with locally available surpluses.

The food market prices have remained relatively stable, and within the range of the global inflation. For example, the wholesale price of sorghum and maize in Addis Ababa are stable compared to one year ago, wheat has increased by 7% and decreased by 3% since its summer peak, teff, the most locally prized cereal, has increased by 13%[14]. But one should be aware that during former similar crises, the crops inflation started at the beginning of the following year.

But in any case, to attribute food shortages to a shortfall in the whole agricultural production cycle is misleading.

At least half of the Ethiopian farmers are net buyers of their own household food consumption thanks to extra-farm incomes. In bad years, their production drops, and they would need more money to respond to their needs. But bad years also mean less agricultural daily labour, well less paid, while this represents usually the main source of cash for the poorest. Thus, they face a food shortage not because the market is lacking, but because they cannot afford to buy it. Thus, they face a food shortage not because the market is lacking, but because they cannot afford to buy it. Amartya Sen has perfectly demonstrated this mechanism for the 1943 Bengal famine in India.

Third, the early warning systems have operated relatively properly, even if they need to be improved, after having been launched more than a decade ago.

Fourth, the so-called biblical famines of 1972-73 and 1984-85 were deliberately hidden so as to preserve the image of the imperial regime or of the Derg military junta. Even more recently, in 2008-2009, both the authorities and the donor community publicly denied the acuteness of the food crisis for three to four months, thus leading to a corresponding delay in the aid delivery.[15] Again, the reaction of the authorities is under strong criticism here and there. “The mood within the power circle is one of relaxation…One can hardly find the sense of urgency expected…The response system remains fragmented. There is no functioning integration between risk assessment units, response institutions, local administrations and federal level units… The whole response system seems to host great inefficiency[16].

Interviewed under conditions of anonymity

International experts who deal with food crisis year on year don’t share this point of view, even when they go off the record and far from being apologists of the regime. Their general opinion is that the government has efficiently performed vis-à-vis the crisis, both in terms of volume and organisation. Aid officials and NGO’s leaders, interviewed under conditions of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue for the authorities, reached the same conclusion[17].

For them, the authorities have reacted faster and more vigorously than during any of the previous crisis. Above all, their level of assistance is beyond comparison with those of the past. For the first time, they have drawn on the national and regional budgets to put on the table first a tiny 33 million US dollars, second around 200 millions of the 600 million needed at that time, and just now an additional 97 million[18].

This represents around 3% of the whole budget, and 9% of the investment budget. Haile Mariam Dessalegn travelled to the affected areas in the Somali region at the end of October, and almost all regional high officials also did this. The concerned state departments are fully mobilized, including and even more in the regions. When the head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ethiopia said that “the leadership and commitment of the government in driving its response to the impact of the El-Nino phenomenon on food security in affected areas has been exceptional[19], this statement is not only diplomatically motivated. When Addis Standard writes: “The trend of not admitting on time to a looming drought hasn’t improved over the last four decades since 1974[20] – the weekly is wrong.

It is obvious that the ruling power does not want the age-old dramatic images of starvation and the dead aired again all over the world. Reports have proven that, at least locally, a lot is done to hide the drama and even to silence the victims[21]. But trying to minimize the publicity about the food shortages, which the authorities do with a patent clumsiness, must not be mixed up with trying to withhold information of a crisis.

Fifth, the worst is highly probably to come. There is no doubt that the summer rains season in many parts of the highlands were insufficient and erratic, including in some of the most productive areas, and that the main harvest has been affected as a result. The crisis can only deepen until at best the small spring harvest and, more possibly the main production next autumn.

Controlling the crisis

Now the key question is: facing unprecedented growing needs, could the authorities – and the donors – continue to upgrade their response capacities, and thus maintain the crisis under control? Now the key question is: facing unprecedented growing needs, could the authorities – and the donors – continue to upgrade their response capacities, and thus maintain the crisis under control?

Some argue that the latter seem now to have reached their limits. The State Minister for Agriculture and Secretary of the National Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Committee Mitiku Kassa stated: “You can build resilience, but when conditions are bad enough, so severe – and we’re seeing the perfect storm – these resilience systems are overawed”. He added: “The international community is not in a position to respond to our crisis[22].

200,000 tons of food are on their way to Ethiopia. 600,000 tons have just been ordered. A bid for one million tons will soon be called for. The aim is not only to feed the starving people, but also to prevent a sky-rocketing in food prizes.

Where could the money come from to buy on the international market? First, Ethiopia’s lack of foreign currencies is chronic. It seems the World Bank and the African Development Bank are willing to give a hand. But other donors are more reluctant, and some of them even condition their further financial effort on the same move by the Ethiopian government.

The minimum delay between a bid and the effective distribution of the food at a village level is five months. The only solution to feel the gap in between is to dip into the available local reserves. But again: who will pay? At this stage, some donor organizations will be short of food to distribute in January in some areas.

Finally, the logistic bottlenecks. Most of the importation of Ethiopia transits through Djibouti port. It manages usually around 500,000 tons per month. Can it deal with an additional 2 million tons, and with what kinds of delay?

Sixth, Ethiopia is expected to become a middle level income country in 2025. Could the continuous foreseen growth of the Ethiopian economy, including the agricultural sector, progressively absorb these perennial food crises? The answer looks rather grim.

First, the cereal production has officially tripled during the last fifteen years. Even if this figures is highly questionable, the per capita production has substantially increased for sure. But the percentage of people suffering from the droughts has remained stable: around 20% in 2001-2002, around 15% in 2007-2008, around 20% now. “The poorest 15 percent of the population experienced a decline in well-being in 2005-11 mainly as a result of high food prices ».[23]  “Graduation from the Safety Net Program has been short of expectation[24].

The number of people who succeeded in increasing their assets enough to live without perennial aid has not exceeded a small percentage. So the hard core of the poorest farmers, the food insecure people, chronically vulnerable to any climate shock, has not been significantly alleviated.

Prospects

The present agricultural development policy does not seem to be appropriate to reverse this trend. At the grass roots level, when asked why this hard core of poverty remains, and even extends, the local authorities and development agents respond: “because these farmers do not follow our development advice”. When asked why they cannot escape from poverty, these poor farmers reply: “because the development programme does not fit our needs and means”. Actually, it looks like they are left to their fate.

They even start to complain that a kind of implicit alliance has been formed between the local authorities and the most enterprising farmers – the so called “model farmers” – to endorse this neglect. The former focus their efforts on the latter because they can boast of having better results to their superiors. The latter are the only ones who can rent a land from a poor farmer who is obliged to do so because he is engulfed in a debt spiral when any shock occurs.

The government seems to have validated this status quo. The draft of the Growth and Transformation Plan for 2015/16-2019/20 devotes few words to this destitute hard core. It mentions “strengthening the Productive Safety Net Program” and “providing effective credit facilities and other supplementary and complementary programs… to accelerate the graduation of Programme beneficiaries[25].

But it looks like it doubts itself whether any of these actions would succeed: the food reserve for Food Security, Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, would have to be raised from 400,000 tons now to 3 million tons, which could be reduced to a little bit to more than one million tons in the finalised Plan[26].

Finally, the same scapegoat is selected as always. “The right to ownership of rural and urban land… is exclusively vested in the State and in the peoples of Ethiopia”, states the Constitution. Thus, the land tenure system, because it forbids sales, leases and mortgages, because it allows eviction for public interests, would be the main culprit for low production and thus for the food shortages in case of crisis. The only solution would be privatisation. But the land tenure security is now largely assured through the new 30 years land certificates. De facto, a mechanism of leasing has been put in place which allows land to be rented for cash or through a share cropping agreement. Privatisation would worsen the situation of the poorest farmers.

In the case of drought, they inevitably fall in debt. If a land market existed, their only choice would be to sell their last asset, their land, with very few possibilities of being employed either locally or in the urban areas, because the available workforce outnumbers the needs. They would simply join the growing rural lumpen proletariat – who is precisely the main food aid seeker.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more at original source:-

Source: What are the real causes of the Ethiopian ‘famine’?

Oromo Protests Shed Light On Ethiopia’s Long-Standing Ethnic Tensions. #OromoProtests December 27, 2015

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The grim reality behind 'Ethiopia rise' hypeEthiopia Crisis

Oromo Protests Shed Light On Ethiopia’s Long-Standing Ethnic Tensions

 

Why is Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group also one of the most oppressed? As anti-government demonstrations spread across the Oromia region, and the death toll continues to rise, the Oromo people are asserting their long neglected struggle.Why is Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group also one of the most oppressed? As anti-government demonstrations spread across the Oromia region, and the death toll continues to rise, the Oromo people are asserting their long neglected struggle. Labelled as terrorists and extremists by the government, the diaspora are reaching to the international audience for support.BY SORCHA AMY THOMSON & MACARENA ESPINAR LÓPEZ

Oromo Protest Outside Of Ethiopian Embassy In Israel

(Sahara Reporters) — In Israel, Oromo asylum seekers marched upon the Ethiopian Embassy, asking the compelling question: “UN – where are you?” As part of a wave of similar protests around the world, the demonstration called for intervention in what has been described as Ethiopia’s worst civil conflict in a decade. The rally echoed a series of peaceful demonstrations that have spread throughout Ethiopia’s Oromia region. As the protests escalate, so too does the government’s use of excessive force to crush the dissent.

According to Human Rights Watch around 75 protesters have been killed by Ethiopian security forces since mid-November. Many others have been wounded. Meanwhile, the government reports a starkly contrasting five deaths. Peaceful protests began in schools and universities, but as the government responds with violence, outrage has spread throughout society.

The unrest was sparked by a draft Master Plan designed by the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian current government, which aims to expand the territorial scope of Addis Ababa, into 1.5 million hectares of Oromia land. Since the contentious national elections of 2005, Oromos have borne the harsh consequences of thecountry’s quest for economic growth. In order to meet the demands of Ethiopia’s rapid urbanisation, the government has failed to consult with the affected populations about its annexation of land and mass forced evictions.

Matat Admusu, standing outside the Embassy in Tel Aviv, fears the escalation of the current situation.

Oromo Protest Outside Of Ethiopian Embassy In Israel picture2

“The Oromo people are resisting by peaceful means. But the government is taking action with the military. As the protests continue they are bringing special military from the border into the region, who do not speak the language of our people. Because the government says we are terrorists, they kill us. But the more they kill our people, the angrier we get. The demonstrations are getting bigger. Now the region is full of the military.”

A HISTORY OF POLITICAL REPRESSION

Ethnic Oromos comprise more than 25 million people of the nearly 74 million that constitute the total population of Ethiopia. Despite their number, the ethnic majority are the subjects of state discrimination. Nearly all Oromo cultural organizations are banned, youth unemployment is severe, and the Oromo language, despite being widely spoken throughout the country, is not an official language of Ethiopia. Employment opportunities in the public sector tend to be highly politicised, as the only successful applicants are the ones with strong connections to the ruling elite.

These structural concerns were voiced by the protesters in Tel Aviv: “We are competing with those who speak the official language and we are not given the chance to work in the government or other institutions. There is no place for us in our country, even though we are the majority.”

While the recent uprising was sparked by the government’s land-grab, it comes in the context of a long history of Oromo political repression. The ruling regime is led by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition that has been in power since 1991 and that reflects the long-term domination of the Marxist Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The leading coalition consists of four political parties, including the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO).

However, as one of the protesters in Tel Aviv explained, the OPDO does not address the demands of the people they are supposed to stand for: “It is just symbolic, it is a fake party that is not working for the Oromo. They were born in Oromia but do not represent our plight, and every time there are demonstrations they do not hesitate to kill our people.”

Lacking genuine representation in government, many Oromos are dedicated supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a nationalist political organization, founded in 1973, whose aim is ‘to exercise the Oromo peoples’ inalienable right to national self-determination’. The OLF is labelled as a terrorist group in Ethiopia, which hinders the struggle of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group.

PEACEFUL PROTESTS OR TERRORISM?

Oromo Protest Outside Of Ethiopian Embassy In Israel picture3

On 16 December the Ethiopian state intelligence services issued a statement claiming that the Oromia protesters were planning to “destabilize the country” and that some of them have a “direct link with a group that has been collaborating with other proven terrorist parties.”

Human rights groups are concerned this anti-terror rhetoric will escalate the severe crackdown on the Oromo protesters. “Instead of condemning the unlawful killings by the security forces, […] this statement in effect authorizes the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters,” said Amnesty International.

The Ethiopian government’s disregard for human rights attracted international attention when, in July 2015, Barack Obama became the first sitting US President to visit the country. His visit, highly criticised by Ethiopian activists and international human rights organisations, focused on the country’s increasing strategic importance in the fight against terrorism in the region.

“Ethiopia and the United States share a long friendship,” Obama said. He described the nation as an “outstanding partner” for its contribution to the fight against Islamic extremism in East Africa. He went on to declare his support for the current government, elected in May 2015 with a contested landslide 100% of the vote: “We are opposed to any group that is promoting the violent overthrow of a government, including the government of Ethiopia that has been democratically elected.”

Obama’s lip-service to Ethiopia’s democracy was the subject of widespread criticism. Bekele Nega, general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress,voiced the popular outrage: “I don’t know if democracy means robbing people’s vote and robbing their election result? They have killed people and they have taken the ballot box with them in organised fraud. […] Is this the meaning of democracy in America? We are very sorry that Mr Obama’s comment on our election is really supporting dictators. We know the US is always looking after its own interests”.

APPEAL FOR INTERVENTION

While appealing for external assistance, Matat, one of the protesters in Tel Aviv, conveyed that the known strategic value of the Ethiopian government to US interests dampens hopes for effective action.

“The international community only work for their own interests. They have an international military vision. In Somalia and in Sudan, they need the Ethiopian military to support them in the fight against terrorism. So they ignore the innocent people being killed. It is the same military who fights for Western interests on the border that are brought to kill the Oromo people. How can this not attract the international media?”

The resounding silence in the international press reflects the complete absence of independent coverage in Ethiopia.

“The protests in Ethiopia are not reported on national television. If you look at Ethiopian media they talk about development, about new hotels and train lines, not about the plight of the Oromo people”, says Matut.

In an effort to counteract the negative government rhetoric, the protesters across Oromia are reaching out to social media. The Twitter campaign, with the hashtag #OromoProtests, calls for international intervention against the state violence. Images and videos depicting the brutality across the region have successfully spread, prompting the authorities to cut mobile phone coverage in some of the key areas.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE

As the demonstrations continue across the region, it remains unclear if the incumbent regime’s violent crackdown on ethnic Oromos is prompted by deep-rooted sentiments of ethnic supremacy or rather by an attempt to utilise ethnic divisions to crush any perceived dissent. But there is a fear among the Oromo that the current status quo could develop into further violence, fuelled by ethnic divisions.

“It could lead to ethnic conflict. There is tension now. The government is not only suppressing Oromos but other ethnic groups [there are more than 80 ethnic groups in Ethiopia]. The situation is increasing. As people continue to be killed, the protests continue to grow, and after time it could spark uncontrollably. We are afraid of that. Everyone should be afraid of that”, expressed Fikreselassie, a 28-year-old Oromo asylum seeker in Israel.

The characterisation of the Oromo struggle as a terrorist movement and the strategic importance of Ethiopia in the fight against regional Islamic extremism contribute to the deafening silence within the international community regarding the brutal oppression of the Oromo protesters. The UN and civil society institutions must call on the Ethiopian government to restrain from the use of excessive force against demonstrators, take measures to de-escalate the growing tensions, and address the root causes of Ethiopia’s ethnopolitical conflict.

About the writers:

Sorcha Amy Thomson is doing an internship in journalism at Amnesty International Israel.

Macarena Espinar López is carrying out an internship as a caseworker at the African Refugee Development Center. She is also completing her Master’s degree in Global Refugee Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark.

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International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO): Request for Urgent Action! Stop genocide act on Oromo people. #OromoProtests December 27, 2015

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Odaa OromooInternational Oromo Women's Organization

IOWO: Request for Urgent Action!

 

December 25, 2015

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
http://www.whitehouse.gov
Tel: (202) 395-2020

Subject: Request for Urgent Action.

Dear Mr. President Barack Obama:

I am writing this appeal letter on behalf of the International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO), a Non-Profit, Non-governmental Organization established to promote gender equality and be the voice for the voiceless.

You may remember IOWO’s appeal letter of January 20, 2012 with your reply on April 9, 2012. This IOWO letter was requesting to take necessary actions to prevent the disasters of currently happening in Ethiopia.

To prevent such disaster, I wrote another letter to your Excellency on May 30, 2015 requesting discussion on the possible solutions with policy makers.

Again we telling the fact that, as far as Ethiopian government continues like this no one will benefit except more disasters and creating long term instability in the horn of Africa. As a result we cannot maintain our American’s interest in the region.

Here are few examples what the Ethiopian government (TPLF) doing and we are celebrating Christmas in such situation as a descendant from that country, while you are sending us Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays message. We thank you for your good wish for us.

The brutal crackdown against peaceful Oromo protesters in Ethiopia by the Agazi Special Squad and Liyu Police (special police force) continues unrelieved in different parts of the regional state of Oromia. Reports coming from all around Oromia indicate that Oromia Regional State is already under siege. Accordingly, the Agazi Special Squad has been deployed in all parts of Oromia regional State with heavily armed guns and security forces engaged in indiscriminately killing, raping, torturing, and kidnapping the local people from their homes and on the streets ranging from elementary school age to old age, men and women, boys and girls, students, human right activists, Medical professionals, farmers, business people, singers, and journalists.

Currently, any Oromo from all folks of life are under the command post of TPLF commanders.

Example in picture.

Agazi security forces beating Oromo women, children)

 

Among the victims, the famous young female Oromo singer Hawii Tezera was detained and tortured.

According to Gadaa.com news, she was detained and tortured by the Ethiopian Federal police for releasing Afaan Oromo music that criticize the Ethiopian government’s action of killing peaceful Oromo protesters. Her music was released on December 15, 2015 and followed the release of her music she was detained and tortured.

The following photos show her tortured body. (photos from Gadaa.com).
Femal Oromo singer Hawi Tezera tortured  by Agazi security forces in December 2015
Oromo singer Hawi Tezera tortured  by Agazi security forces, December 2015
Oromo singer Artist Hawi Tezera

According to Gadaa.com, even though she temporally released by the intervention of the Oromia State Police, she has a fear that she could be imprisoned and tortured again.

Hawii is one example that we can see her tortured body among thousands of Oromo people imprisoned.

More than one hundred Oromos killed across Oromia over the last three weeks protests. Here is the example in picture how the government forces fire life ammunition to the protesters.
agazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151

The USA government is the major supporter of the Ethiopian government since it came to power and has powerful influence in the region.

We request the US government:

  1. Exert pressure on Ethiopian government to stop genocide act on Oromo people.
  2. To re-evaluate the policy relation that the American government has with such brutal government of Ethiopia,
  3. To stop military support to Ethiopian government,
  4. To support the criminals to bring to justices
  5. To listen the voice of the oppressed people.

 

Sincerely,

Dinknesh Deressa Kitila
IOWO Board Director

 

CC:

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

 

Office of the UNHCR
Telephone: 41 22 739 8111
Fax: 41 22 739 7377
Po Box: 2500
Geneva, Switzerland

Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
+ 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
+ 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53

U.S. Department of State
Laura Hruby
Ethiopia Desk Officer
U.S. State Department
HrubyLP@state.gov

TVOMT: Walaloo Yoo du’uun du’uu taate …. #OromoProtests December 26, 2015

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Odaa OromooKakaa Oromoo

Bilisummaa (Freedom Function)

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Oromia: Bakkee Adda Addaati Qabeenyi Wayyaanee Daareffame December 26, 2015

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Odaa Oromoosbo

Bakkee Adda Addaati Qabeenyi Wayyaanee Daareffame

 

(SBO – MUDDE 25,2015) Godina Arsii Lixaatti Manni Murtii Ona Shaallaa Barbadeeffame; Godina Booranaa Ona Mi’oo Keessattis Dhaabbata Daandii Hindootaan Geggeeffamu Qabeenyummaan Isaa Kan Wayyaanee Ta’e Daareffame.

Warraaqsa Bilisummaa Ummata Oromoo fi gaaffii mirga abbaa biyyummaa guutuu Oromiyaa keessatti belbelaa jiru dhaamsuuf tarkaanfii faashistummaa mootummaan abbaa irree wayyaanee ummataa fi barattoota meesha maleeyyii irratti fudhataa jirutti ummatni dallansuu isaa daran mul’isuun qabeenya mootummaa wayyaanee dabalatee caasaalee sirnichaa adda addaa irratti tarkaanfii barbadeessaa fudhatu jabeessee jira.

Haaluma kanaan Mudde 24,2015 guyyaa kaleessaa ganama keessaa sa’aa 6:00 irratti Godina Lixa Arsiitti manni murtii Ona Shaallaa magaalaa Aajjeetti argamu tarkaanfii humna ummataan fudhatameen guutummaatti barbadeeffamuun daaraa akka ta’e oduun SBO dhaqqabe ifa godha. Galmeelee fi meeshaaleen gara garaa mana murtii kana keessa turan guutummaatti daareffamaniiru.

Kaabinootni Onaa fi poolisootni walta’uun guyyaa guutuu ummata irratti sakattaa gochuuf yaalanis haalli ummataa waan isaan sodaachiseef, sakatta’icha akka addaan kutuuf dirqamanis hubatameera. Diddaan ummataa haalaan jabaa ta’uunis gabaafameera.

Oduuma walfakkaatuun Mudde 24,2015 guyyuma kaleessaa Godina Booranaa Ona Mi’oo keessatti qabeenyummaan isaa kan wayyaanee kan ta’ee fi Hindootaan kan geggeeffamu dhaabbata karaa baasu tokko irratti ummatni tarkaanfii fudhatee jira.

Tarkaanfii kanaan konkolaattotni dhaabbatichaa kan daareffaman oggaa ta’u, hojjettootni dhaabbatichaa hedduunis madaa’uun hospitaala seenanii akka jiran oduun SBO dhaqqabe addeessee jira.

Tarkaanfii ummataa kanaan walqabatee Hindoota dabalatee hojjettootni dhaabbata daandichaa keessa hojjetan naannicha gadhiisanii deemuuf akka dirqamaa jiran kan gabaafame oggaa ta’u, mootummaan wayyaanee humna waraanaa baay’inaan bakkichatti guuraa akka jirus ibsameera.

Gaaffii ummatni karaa nagaa gaafateef deebiin mootummaan wayyaanee kennaa jiru tarkaanfii faashistummaa fi diinummaa dorgomaa hin qabne waan ta’eef, aarii kana irraa tarkaanfiin ummatni qabeenyaa fi caasaa sirna wayyaanee irratti fudhatu guutuu Oromiyaa keessatti babal’atee itti fufuu akka danda’u taajjabdootni hubachiisaniiru.

Oromia/ Ethiopia: Thousands of ‪#‎Oromo‬ nationals are being arrested and in detentions. Their location is unknown. ‪#‎OromoProtests‬ December 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Kidnapped and disappearance of Oromo civilians, Oromo Protests, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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Oromia/ Ethiopia: Thousands of ‪#‎Oromo‬ nationals are being arrested and in detentions. Their location is unknown. ‪#‎OromoProtests‬

Gammachuu H. Mariam Oromo youth kidnapped by Agazi

Oromoonni Hedduun Gara Mana Hidhaatti Guuramaa Jiru

Humnoonni mootummaa Oromoota kuma hedduutti lakkaa’aman Fincila Diddaa Gabrummaa(FGD) Oromiyaa keessatti adeemsifaa jiru irratti hirmaataniittu jechuudhaan gara mana hidhaatti guuranii darara jiru. Baratoonnni, barsiisonni, wallistoonni, gaazexeesitoonni, daldaltooni akkasumas quteebultoonni humnoota mootummaan uukkaanfamanii erga fudhatamnii booda reebicha fi miidhaa cimaa irraan gahuun isaan darara jiru. Namoonni ukkaanfaman baay’een isanii eessa akka jiran hinbeekamu. Maatii, firootaniifi hirriyyoonni akka isaan hindubbisne godhamaniiru.

Suraa armaan gadii irratti kan mula’atu Gammachuu Haylamaaram Dinqaa jedhama. Dhalatee kan guddate magaala Ambooti yoommuu ta’u taphataa kubbaa miilaa Magaalaa Burraayyuu ture. Kan jiraatu magaala Sabbataa yeroo ta’u, gaafa 20/12/2015 bakka hojiirraa isa qabanii gara Maa’ikalaawwiit geessanii ergaa dararaa turani booda shoorkeessummaarratti hirmaateetta jechuun himata itti bananiiru

Suraa armaan gadii irratti kan mula’atu hirmaateetta jechuun himata itti bananiiru. Erga qabamee hidhameetii, maatii, firoottanii fi hiriyyoonni isa dubbisuufi haala inni irra jiru beekuu hindandeenye. Gammachuu fi dargaggoonni Oromoo kuma hedduun yeroo amma kanatti mana hidhaa keessatti badii tokko malee, mirga isaanii waan gaafataniif qofa dararama jiru. Hidhaa fi ajjechaan qabsoo Oromoon abbaa biyyummaaf taasisa jiru dubbatti hindeebisu!

 

Source: Oromoonni Hedduun Gara Mana Hidhaatti Guuramaa Jiru

Oromia /Ethiopia: More Victims of Extra-Judicial Killings, Kidnappings, Arrests and Detentions. The Human Rights League has confirmed that deaths resulting from the ongoing crackdown of peaceful protesters in various parts of the state of Oromia has now reached 122, while mass arrests and detentions have also been intensified. December 26, 2015

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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share1Sabboona Oromoo Baayyisaa TaaddasaaStop killing Oromo Students#OromoLivesMatters!Agazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015Baqqalaa Garbaa and Dajanee Xaafaa of Oromo Federalist CongressSabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Dajannee Sarbeessaaoromoprotests-finfinnee-aau-over-kidnapping-of-two-female-students-their-name-is-lomitu-waqbulcho-3rd-year-afan-oromo-hirut-tule-2nd-year-chemical-engineering-18-december-2012Hawi Tazara , our sister, our music, our famous Oromo artist

Oromia Regional State /Ethiopia: More Victims of Extra-Judicial Killings, Kidnappings, Arrests and Detentions

HRLHA Urgent Action

December 25, 2015

imagesThe Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has confirmed that deaths resulting from the ongoing crackdown of peaceful protesters in various parts of the regional state of Oromia has now reached 122, while mass arrests and detentions have also been intensified. Top officials of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) party have been targeted in the most recent cases of kidnappings, arrests and detentions. Accordingly, Mr. Dajane Tafa, Deputy General Secretary of OFC, was kidnapped by federal armed forces and taken away to yet unknown destination yesterday morning, December 24, 2015 around the area known as Giyorgis, in the centre of the Capital Finfinne/Addis Ababa on his way to work. In the same way, Mr. Bekele Garba, Deputy Chairman of the OFC, who spent about four years in jail on fabricated allegations and released recently, was also arrested yesterday afternoon from his home in Adama and taken away also by armed federal forces. HRLHA has been informed that homes of both Mr. Dajane Tafa and Mr. Bekele Garba have been searched for hours; and that of Mr. Bekele Gerba in particular remained invaded and surrounded by the federal armed forces until late in the afternoon.

hrlha-more-victims-of

Ethiopian Government committed war crimes says Amnesty international representative. #Oromoprotests December 26, 2015

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Civil Rights Defenders: Escalation of Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia Must Stop and an independent investigation is Required. #OromoProtests December 26, 2015

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Escalation of Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia Must Stop and an independent investigation is Required

Ethiopia is once again witnessing another round of mass crackdowns by the authorities as scores of protesters have been killed and hundreds arrested in recent weeks. The government must be held accountable for these murders, provide redress, and most importantly of all allow citizens’ the right to express their grievances and demands.

Students and other members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromos, have been staging protests in many parts of Oromia regional state since mid November 2015. The protests were originally sparked the previous year and resulted in the death and arrest of numerous protestors. The protests arose from a draft plan called the “Addis Ababa and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Master Plan” which protestors insisted would see the displacement of communities and farmers dispossessed them from their lands, without prior consultation and proper compensation.

#OromoProtests, healthcare professionals at Bishoftu hospital saying No! to the Master Plan, 14 December 2014

“Land rights are crucial when it comes the realisation of other human rights especially for people whose economic, social and cultural lives are strongly attached and dependent on the land. In light of this, the students’ demand a constructive consultation process and the initiation of an adequate compensation scheme in Ethiopia as a start when it comes to acknowledging basic rights.” said Robert Hårdh, Executive Director at Civil Rights Defenders

The excessive use of force by armed police and military personnel has inflamed the situation turning the peaceful protests into violent clashes which has subsequently led to death and the destruction of property.

While the main opposition party in the region, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), put the number of people killed at 85, Civil Rights Defenders accessed a list of victims compiled by activists who quoted the numbers at 119. The Government, meanwhile, has vaguely stated the casualties as being “high in numbers.”

Silent protests and sit-ins have continued to materialise in several areas and institutions while house-to-house searches and widespread detentions have taken place throughout the Oromia region, according to local residents. Some students, suspected of taking part in the demonstration, have been reportedly expelled by University administrations although to date this has not been verified by independent sources.

In a late but noteworthy move, the Ethiopian government recently announced that the ‘Master Plan’ would not be implemented without consultation from the public, and even admits that the demonstrators’ have a legitimate right to protest.

Despite this symbolic gesture, senior government officials have also engaged in contradictory provocative rhetoric.

The government is consistently labeling the protestors as having links with “terror groups” with aim of attempting to spark a “revolution.” Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn accused the protesters as being misled by “destructive forces” whose aim is to “destabilise the area.”

Another senior official has likened the protesters to genies “let out by OFC (Oromo Federalist Congress), Ginbot 7 and OLF (Oromo Liberation Front)” that should be put back in the bottle. The later two groups are based outside Ethiopia and have been branded as “terrorists” by the parliament.

Allegations such as these echo previous incidents where the Ethiopian authorities have used the “terror label” to silence critics and civil society groups and thus constitute a worrying development.

The killing of peaceful protestors, harassment and mass arrest of those suspected of organising protests will only harm the already shaky human rights record of Ethiopia. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, which Ethiopia is party to, provide that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly includes the right to participate in peaceful assemblies, meetings, protests, strikes, sit-ins and  demonstrations.

In a further act, which has led to the escalation of the crisis, the government has also attempted to limit the flow of information to and from the areas affected by the protests. In some areas government operatives have been seen removing satellite dishes from the rooftops of private residences.

Last week, the head of the nation’s Broadcast Authority told a parliamentary committee that he has warned media houses to pay attention to the content of their reports of the protests coming out of the Oromia region.

A foreign correspondent based in Addis Ababa recently wrote that a translator who had traveled with him to one of the protest areas was subjected to interrogation and mistreatment. A journalist working for the state owned broadcaster, Fikadu Mirkana, was also arrested during the week. Known for persecuting journalists, few independent reports are available about developments in Ethiopia particularly in times such as this. Social media, particularly Facebook, remains the principal source of information and exchange though the country’s Internet penetration rate is among the lowest in the world.

“The flow of independent information can be an influential tool in avoiding public unrest, while acting as a catalyst in exposing human rights abuses especially in times of protests. Furthermore, denying people access to information contravenes Ethiopia’s obligation to respects citizens’ rights regarding access to information,” added Robert Hårdh

 

http://www.civilrightsdefenders.org/featured/ethiopia-statement-escalation-of-human-rights-violations-must-stop-and-an-independent-investigation-is-required/

 

Related:-

 

 

UMAN RIGHTS

Ethiopian opposition urges scrutiny of industrial plan

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/ethiopian-opposition-urges-scrutiny-industrial-plan-151225201737029.html

The international community needs to pressure the Ethiopian government to halt land grabs and respect human rights, an opposition party leader has said after two prominent opposition members were arrested for inciting protests in Oromiya earlier this week.

Oromiya is the largest region in Ethiopia. Groups such as the OLF, accuse the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition of marginalising ethnic Oromos.

Bekele Nega, secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), said security forces have killed at least 86 people since protests began earlier this month over government plans to create an investment and industrial zone near the capital, Addis Ababa.

“They have killed 86 and wounded thousands [and are] imprisoning people and political leaders including our vice-chairman Bekele Gerba,” Nega told Al Jazeera.

Merara Gudina, OFC chairman, said police detained Gerba on Friday and the party’s assistant secretary, Dejene Tafa, a day earlier.

“They suspect that our party and some of our members are part of the protest movement, that we have been inciting the demonstrations,” he told Reuters news agency, denying that the OFC had incited violence.

 The protests are being described as some of the biggest in Ethiopia in recent times [Reuters]

“We do not know when Bekele and Dejene will be released or be charged for anything.”

Opposition leaders and activists said the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan” designed to merge certain rural areas into Addis Ababa will result in land grabs and the displacement of farmers.

Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s prime minister, told parliament on Friday that people had a legitimate right to oppose Addis Ababa’s plan, but that the government would take “unflinching measures” against those who incite violence.

Hailemariam said “anti-peace forces” had incited violence by spreading false information about the plan.

The government has accused the secessionist Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and opposition group Ginbot 7 of involvement in the protests. Both organisations are regarded by the state as terrorist entities.

Amnesty International, the human rights monitor, said earlier in December that protesters have been labelled “terrorists” by Ethiopian authorities “in an attempt to violently suppress protests against potential land seizures”.

The Ethiopian government has neither released an official death toll nor confirmed how many people were arrested since the protests started.

‘Impartial investigation’ 

Betsate Deneke, the head of the the Human Rights Council (HRCO), said his organisation was currently collecting information on how many were killed and would announce their findings next week.

He told Al Jazeera that HRCO demanded an “impartial investigation into the killings of people” takes place.

Earlier this week, the opposition said the government had rejected, for the second time, an application to hold a public demonstration on December 27 to protest against the Addis Ababa Master Plan.

Four out of five Ethiopians still live in rural areas even though the country has witnessed tremendous growth over the past 10 years.

Ethiopia has also faced significant criticism for forcibly removing tens of thousands of people from their homes to make way for large scale commercial ventures, often to the benefit of foreign investors.

Opposition leaders say some 86 people have been killed over the past four weeks at the hands of security forces [Reuters]

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/ethiopian-opposition-urges-scrutiny-industrial-plan-151225201737029.html

Oromia: OFC’s letter to the diplomatic community. #OromoProtests December 25, 2015

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Odaa OromooOromo Federalist  Congress

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The arrogance of the Ethiopian regime comes partly from the lack of serious pressure from the international community, especially from countries such as the US and the African Union, which watches the senseless drama silently.

The Master Plan is the continuation of the massive land grabbing across the country in such places like Gambella, Beni-Shangul, Afar and Oromia.

 

 

OFC’s letter to the diplomatic community


 

To: Members of the Diplomatic Community:


We, the Executive Committee Members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), a legally registered political party, make an urgent appeal to members of the diplomatic community on behalf of the Oromo students and the larger Oromo population.

The Ethiopian government is committing an atrocious act of brutality against Oromo students and the larger population, who are peacefully protesting across Oromia for their rights. Consequently, most universities, colleges, high schools as well as elementary sections across Oromia are also closed. Far worse, for the last four weeks, over 85 students and ordinary citizens have been mercilessly killed; thousands have been wounded while several thousands have been detained. Moreover, the government security personnel have targeted our members who were candidates and observers during the 2015 elections. None of the imprisoned persons are charged with any crime and brought to the court of law as the Ethiopian law requires. We think, the arrogance of the Ethiopian regime comes partly from the lack of serious pressure from the international community, especially from countries such as the US and the African Union, which watches the senseless drama silently.
As you might aware, the Oromo youth and the larger Oromo population are demonstrating against the so-called Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia towns Integrated Development Plan (Master Plan), which was done without the consultation of the local population whose livelihood, depends on land. Similar opposition to the same plan in 2014 claimed not less than 78 students’lives in Ambo town and other Oromo areas. No one was made accountable for that vicious act.

The Ethiopian government that shelved the plan for one year arrogantly revived it recently, provoking a fresh unrest. During this interregnum, except in few limited areas, at that under a controlled environment, the government did not conduct any discussion with the Oromo population on the Master Plan and its effect on poor Oromo farmers. Furthermore, none of the opposition parties and independent civil organizations was consulted as stakeholders. Sadly, for its brutal killing of students in 2014, the Ethiopian regime did not face any condemnation from the donor governments which prop up the regime except the western-based human right organizations, which did a good job. Thus, encouraged by the silence from the diplomatic corps and their foreign governments, it is now repeating the same act with a new vigor and sense of impunity.

Contrary to the claim of the Ethiopia government, the Oromo students and population are not against development per se. The Oromo students are protesting against massive land grabbing and the displacement of Oromo farmers from their ancestral land under the guise of development in several places. For your information, we have evidence that shows – after the 2005 elections alone more than 150,000 farmers were displaced with their families from the environs of Addis Ababa and nobody knows as to where about of these farmers and their children. Land is not just a material possession for the Oromo. It is intimately tied to their way of life and who they are. Thus, the Oromo students are also protesting against the systematic destruction of their traditions, values, language and other distinct Oromo traits that follow the loss of their ancestral land. Moreover, students are protesting the de facto annexation of Oromian territory that follows the implementation of the Master Plan that envisages encompassing nearly 3 times the current boundaries of the city. This is not only land grab, but also power grab, dismantling of the federal system and an existential threat for the Oromo.

Even before the implementation of the Master Plan, the City of Addis Ababa had exponentially grown horizontally into the peripheral Oromia territory. As a result of this, hundred thousands of farmers have continued to be disposed of their land, the only basis of their livelihoods. As indicated above, thousands who were disposed of their land at a nominal compensation have left their ancestral land and some of them moved to the harsh and unforgiving city life in Addis Ababa where they have become either homeless, daily laborers or beggars. The Master Plan is the continuation of the massive land grabbing across the country in such places like Gambella, Beni-Shangul, Afar and Oromia. Far worse, the corrupt government officials and cadres are recklessly displacing poor farmers for their own personal enrichment.

We strongly believe that looking away from the crimes of the Ethiopian regime and allowing it to terrorize millions of its citizens under the guise of fighting international terrorism is both morally as well as politically wrong. And partnership in fighting international terrorism should not be taken as a license to kill innocent citizens by authoritarian regimes such as that of Ethiopia. As we write this appeal to you, the Oromia region is under a practical state of emergency where the army, the federal police and other armed units of the regime have become the law of the land by themselves. Therefore, we urge you to put an utmost pressure on the Ethiopia government to stop its senseless killings and cease to use excessive force. We further request you to support the legitimate question of the Oromo students and ask the Ethiopian government to immediately stop the implementation of the Master Plan, release imprisoned students and other citizens as well as bring to justice those who have used excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators. As this is also a delayed reaction to the total robbery of the May 2015 elections by the EPRDF regime, we urge you to advise the regime to engage the country’s democratic forces by opening up the political space for all the concerned stakeholders so as to find a durable solution through a national dialogue.

Regards,

For the OFC Executive Committee, Merera Gudina (PhD) & Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations,
Chairman, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)
Vice – Chairman & Head of Foreign Affairs of MEDREK.

 

 

Oromia: Seenaa Qeerroo Sabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Qaroo Dajanee Sarbeessaa (1998-2015). Dajanee Sarbeessa: A 17 years old multi genius School student with exceptional ability was murdered by Agazi (TPLF Ethiopia’s fascist forces). December 25, 2015

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#OromoLivesMatters!

 

Sabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Dajannee Sarbeessaa

Dajanee Sarbeessaa (1998-2015)

Dajanee Sarbeessaa a bright student  with exceptional ability Killed by Agazi (fascist) Ethiopian regime forces on 4th December 2015

Dajanee Sarbeessaa abbaa isaa obboo Sarbeessa Araddaa fi hadhaa isaa Aaddee Gaaddisee Durreessaa irraa bara 1998 Oromiyaa giddu galaa ganda Abebee Sillaasee fi Gichillaa keessati dhalatee guddate. Dajaneen umuriin isaa hanga barnootaaf ga’uti ganduma dhalate sana  keessatti haadhaa fi abbaa isaa gargaaraa ture. Kana malesi, ganda saanii keessatti taphaa ijoollummaa isaa hirriyita isaa walliin taphachaa dabarse.

Dajaneen akkuma umuriin isaa barnootaaf ga’een bara 2006  waggaa 8’ffaa isaatti gara mana barumsaa ganduma inni keessatti dhallatetti jalqabe. Yeroo sanatti imanaan maatii isaa “Beekaa nuuf ta’ii; harkaa nu qabi; hiyyumaa keessa nu baasi; beekaa lammiif ta’ii!” kan jedhu fudhatee barumsa isa eegale. Akka imaanaa maatii fudhatee qabsoo barnoota isaa eegaleen kutaa 1’ffaa isaa ABC ….fi 123….jechuun eegalun kutaa 1-8 tti qabxii gaarii galmeessisuun itti fufe. Yeroo kana keessattis, daree isaati fi akka waligalati 1’ffa ba’uun qabxii boonsaa galmeessisa ture.

Dandeettii fi Qarummaa

Dajaneen barnoota isaatin cimaa ture. Kana malees, ogummaa waa umuun illee nama gummachaa gaarii mana barumsaa isaa keessati rawwatee ture. Fakkeenyaaf, Dajaneen yeroo kutaa 6’ffa isaa baratu bara 2010tti kallaqoota kanneen akka moodela solarii kan bishaan ho’isuu danda’uu, maykiroskophii fi kitaabaa barattootaf akka yaadaanootti dubbisuuf mijjatu qopheessaa ture. Sababa kanaan dhumaa semistera 2’ffa irraatti badhaasota gosaa ja’aa (6) nama badhaafame ture. Akka kanaan hangaa xummuraa sadarkaa 1’ffaa isaatti badhaasota soddomii lama ol mana baruumsa irraa badhafaame.

Sababa kanaan, Dajaneen kabajaa fi jalaala mana barumsaa qabun qabxii olaana fi ga’uumsa qabun imanaa mana baruumsa fi maatii isaa fudhachuun gara kutaa 9’ffaa bara 2014tti gara mana baruumsa Baantu saddarka lamafaa fi qopha’inatti barrachuu eegale. Achittis semistera 1’ffaa qabxii gaarii ta’ee galmeessun bakka bu’aa mana baruumsa Baantuu ta’uun fillamee gara Adaamaatti dorgomiif dhihaate. Dajaneenis turtii Adaamaa kana torbe tokkof taasisen badhaasa cimiina isaa gonfate;  ergaa debi’ee bodaa immoo qabxii kutaa 9’ffa isaa kan walliigala 1117 Average waliigala 93.5 fiddun akka kutaattis ta’ee akka waliigallatis 1’ffaa ba’uun gara kutaa 10’ffaati bara 2015 darbee barnoota isaa haalaa ho’aan eegale.

Haala kanaan osoo barachaa jiruu dubbiin dhimma master pilani bara 2014 eegale falmii dargaggoo Orommotiin dhorkamee bara kana 2015  ka’uun mormii barattoota Baantu sadarkaa 2’ffa fi qopha’inaa walliin ta’een sagalee isaanii dhageessisaa turan.

Gaafii Barattootaa

Gaaffiin isaanii dhimmii master pilaani nurra haa dhabbatu; lafa keenya irraa hin buqqanu; bara baraan maaliif hidhaan ajjeechan reebichii seerran allaa durrati gaggeefama? jedhaan. Otuu isaan karaa nagaan sagalee isaanii dhaggeesisanu sarroota wayyaanetiin raasasa akka akkayii qammadii xaxaxiisuu irraati roobsan; baratoota baay’een miidhamuun lubbuun isaanii dhaban; Dajaneenis  guyyaa 4 Mudde 2015 lubbuun isaa dabarte.

Qabsa’aan nii du’aa Qabsoon ittii fuffa !

Injifannoon uummata oromoof!

Oromia: Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa fi Obbo Dajanee Xaafaa To’annaa Jala Oolan. Fascist Ethiopian Regime (TPLF) unlawfully Arrested Baqqalaa Garbaa and Dajanee Tafaa of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) December 25, 2015

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Odaa OromooBaqqalaa GarbaaBaqqalaa Garbaa and Dajanee Xaafaa of Oromo Federalist CongressFree Bekele Gerba

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/12/25/omn-oduu-mud-24-2015/

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa , Itti-Aanaa Dura taa’aa KFO/OFC fi Dajanee Xaafaa itti-aanaa barreessaa KFO/OFC guyyaa ardhaa qabamuun Himame. Sochii Uummataatiin kan bararuqe mootummaan Shororkeessaa Woyyaanee hoggantoota gootota ilmaan Oromootaa kana Obboo Baqqalaa Adaammaarraa loltuu Lammii Tigraay qofa 21 qabatee mana marsee qabee gara Maakalaawitti yo geessu Obboo Dajanee Xaafaa ammoo Yuuniverstii Rift Valley bakka inni barsiisurraa qabanii mana geessanii and mana isaa sakatta’anii gara Maakalaawitti geessuun himameera.
Obboo Baqqalaan kanaan durallee woggoota 4 wolakkaa f mana hidhaa kan ture yo ta’u obbo Dajaneenille nama woggaa dheeraaf qabsoo karaa nagaa keessa turee dha. Ob Dajaneen 2005-2010 aanaa callayaarra filatamee paarlaamaa keessa turuun beekkama.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/12/24/omn-oduu-amma-nu-gahe-muddee-242015/

 

 

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa Deebisanii To’annaa Jala Oolan

 

 

Muddee (Dec.) 24, 2015

Kan dhiyeenya mana hidhaa dhaa gad dhiisaman Itti aanaa dura taa’aan kongresa Federaalawaa Oromoo Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa akka lakkoobsa Itiyoopiyaa har’a galgala naannoo Sa’a 12 mana isaanii Adaamaa jiru irraa hunoota mootummaan qabamuu maatiin isaanii nuu mirkaneessaniiru jechuu dhaan barreessaan dhaabichaa Obbo Baqqalaa Nagaa dubbataniiru.

 

Bonnie Holcomb: OSA’s Board Chair – message regarding the unlawful arrest of Bekele Gerba of OFC

Bekele Gerba was arrested last night 7:30 PM local time in Adama by 14 uniformed and armed Federal Police. They came with a paper callng for the arrest of “Bekele Gerba Tuji.” Bekele was reading at his desk in the company of his wife and son. He responded peacefully that this is not his proper name, that he had broken no law and refused to go with them or allow them to search the house. They brought another two intelligence people in civilian clothing who led a search the house without a stated purpose against his objection that his rights were being violated. He was taken by force without a charge in front of his wife, son and three witnesses who were EPRDF members. He was put into the back of a Federal Police vehicle and taken away. At that point his wife was told not to follow them and that she could visit him at the Makelawi prison after 24 hours.

This is the highly-respected man with a reputation of utmost integrity who translated the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr into Oromo language while serving and a prisoner of conscience from 2011-2015. He is an official in the legitimate Oromo opposition party in Ethiopia. He delivered the keynote address at the 2015 Oromo Studies Association calling upon Oromo protest peacefully to assert their rights. I personally accompanied him to visit the State Department Ethiopian Desk officer, State Department Democracy Rights and Labor representative who also reported to the African Desk officer. He spoke with members of the Atlantic Council at a session on August 27, with National Endowment for Democracy, RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, Freedom House, offices of Congressional Representatives from Minnesota and the House Subcommittee on Africa. He was interviewed by NPR and Al Jazeera. At all meetings he spoke clearly about the crisis the Oromo were facing with violation of all rights guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution, the outright confiscation of land, the closure of all political and social space for expression. He urged support for peaceful demonstration by Oromo in Ethiopia, and received assurances that the United States fully supports democratic expression. Now is the time for all who heard and understood his message to stand in support of Bekele and the Oromo protesters who peacefully demonstrated in response to illegal land seizure and egregious violations of their rights.

http://www.ayyaantuu.net/bonnie-holcomb-osas-board-chair-message-regarding-the-unlawful-arrest-of-bekele-gerba-of-ofc/

 

 

MN Oromos rally to protest student deaths in Ethiopia December 25, 2015

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MN Oromos rally to protest student deaths in Ethiopia

IssuesMukhtar Ibrahim · · Dec 24, 2015
Demonstrators demanded justice for students killed in Ethiopia at the State Capitol. Mukhtar Ibrahim | MPR News

A Call for the UN Human Rights Council to Create a Commission of Inquiry for Oromia State/Ethiopia December 24, 2015

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Odaa OromooHuman rights League of the Horn of Africa

HRLHA: A Call for the UN Human Rights Council to Create a Commission of Inquiry for Oromia Regional State/Ethiopia

 

Dec 24, 2015

Shocked and grieved by the unprecedented tyrannical actions and gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Ethiopian Government against the Oromo Nation in the past twenty five years, since the present government came into power in1991;

Condemning the recent deadly violence against Oromo peaceful demonstrators staged against the so called “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan”- violence that has already claimed more than 200 lives including, children and senior citizens in December 2015 alone with more than 50,000 imprisoned;

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of person, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful demonstration and assembly,

Recalling further that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest and detention,

The HRLHA calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council:

  • to create an international commission of inquiry to investigate the recent alleged serious violations of international customary law and international human rights law by the Ethiopian Government
  • to request the UN Commissioner of Human Rights to dispatch a mission to Oromia Regional State/Ethiopia immediately to investigate the alleged violations

In the meantime, the HRLHA calls upon the UN Human Rights Council to use its mandate to put pressure on the Ethiopian Government:

  • to immediately bring the “Agazi” paramilitary members who cold-bloodedly attacked the peaceful demonstrators to justice
  • to unconditionally free all  Oromo prisoners of conscience and  others arbitrarily detained, including those held before for no reason and  during the peaceful protests of April-March 2014 and November – December 2015 against the ” Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan “
  • to refrain from reprisals against Oromos who have taken part in peaceful demonstrations

Background Reports:

The Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government’s gross human rights abuses against the Oromo Nation in the past 25 years have been widely reported by domestic, regional and international human rights organizations and international media including Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty (AI), the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)[1], the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and others.

 

Human Rights League of the H. O. Africa background report, Human Rights violations against Oromo people in Ethiopia

[1]http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287
http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14668
http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15430
http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15667

Members of U.S. Congress write to Secretary of State Kerry on #OromoProtests in Ethiopia December 24, 2015

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Odaa OromooRepresenting Minnesotaoromoprotests-tweet-and-share1

Stop killing Oromo StudentsAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Members of U.S. Congress write to Secretary of State Kerry on Oromo Protests in Ethiopia

 #‎OromoProtests‬ US Congress Members Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum & Tom Emmer write letter to U.S. Department of State. Page1#‎OromoProtests‬ US Congress Members Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum & Tom Emmer write letter to U.S. Department of State

The following is a letter written by members of the U.S. Congress: Reps. Keith Ellison (MN), Betty McCollum (MN) and Tom Emmer (MN), to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 24th, 2015

Ellison, McCollum, Emmer Send Letter to Secretary of State Kerry Regarding Protests in Ethiopia

WASHINGTON DC – Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Tom Emmer sent the following letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the student protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia calling for stronger action against human rights violations:

December 23, 2015

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We are writing in regards to the recent student protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia that have erupted in response to the Ethiopian government’s Master Plan to expand Addis Ababa into surrounding farmland. Minnesota is home to the largest Oromo population in the United States and we have been contacted by hundreds of constituents concerned about the violence and intimidation these protesters have faced from government security forces. We would like to commend you for condemning the recent killings and violence against peaceful Oromo protesters. However, our constituents feel that stronger action is required to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the region.

The United States and Ethiopia have shared a long, fruitful relationship and are partners on a number of issues important to the region. This ongoing relationship, coupled with the extensive foreign assistance that the United States provides Ethiopia each year, should be used to leverage the United States’ position that inclusive democracy be practiced in Ethiopia.

Numerous reports from organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Committee on the Protection of Journalists have revealed the growing practice of government security forces using arbitrary arrests and prosecution to silence journalists and Ethiopian citizens who are simply exercising freedom of expression—a fundamental right and the cornerstone of a democratic society. These individuals are often charged under the draconian 2009 anti-terrorism proclamation. The continued mistreatment and displacement of the Oromo ethnic group in the Oromia region is especially troubling. Furthermore, the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law), enacted in 2009, has made it nearly impossible for non-profits to operate in Ethiopia.

Similar protests last year left dozens of Oromos dead and hundreds arrested. This year, there have already been five officially recorded deaths, although constituents close to the issue have informed us the true number of deaths is much higher with a death toll of at least 75. Recently, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that authorities “will take merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area.” This aggressive approach to peaceful protesters is cause for major concern by the United States and we therefore urge you to engage the Ethiopian leadership in a serious dialogue in order to prevent further loss of life and to ensure that Ethiopia is adhering to democratic principles.

The United States Congress has already sent a strong message regarding Ethiopia’s response to protests. The 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill has provisions to ensure that the U.S. funding to Ethiopia cannot be used to support forced evictions in the country. Furthermore, the bill requires U.S. assistance to be used to support local community initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods and be subject to prior consultation with affected populations. The bill also opposes U.S. funding to international financial institutions such as the World Bank for programs that could lead to forced evictions in Ethiopia.

We respectfully ask you to conduct a full, thorough review of this ongoing situation. We cannot look the other way when our allies are violating the human rights of their citizens. If during your investigation you find violations of the Leahy Law, we ask that you respond by taking appropriate action. Thank you for your attention to this important human rights matter.

Sincerely,

Keith Ellison
Member of Congress

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress

Tom Emmer
Member of Congress

Cc: Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, White House
Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to United Nations
Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, United States House of Representatives
Congressman Elliot Engel, Ranking member of Foreign Affairs Committee, United States House of Representatives

http://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ellison-mccollum-emmer-send-letter-to-secretary-of-state-kerry-regarding

Atrocities by the Ethiopian Security forces exasperates in Oromia December 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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???????????#OromoProtests @Finfinnee (AAU) over kidnapping of two female students. Their name is Lomitu Waqbulcho ( 3rd year Afan Oromo & Hirut Tule (2nd year Chemical Engineering). 18 December 2015#OromoPRotests tweet and share

Hawi Tazara , our sister, our music, our famous Oromo artistAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

The Ethiopian government security forces atrocities has continued throughout the Oromia region. Now, the whole Oromia region is under the control of the government army. The security forces are raping children and women ; beating, torturing and maiming thousands of people in the region. They are jailing Oromo singers, human right activists and university lecturers .Recently, Hawi Tezera, a renowned Oromo singer was beaten by the federal police and taken to jail for releasing a single album that resists the Master Plan and the killings of Oromo students by the government military forces in Oromia region during the peaceful protests that took place in the region opposing the Addis Abeba and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Master Plan that aims to expand the capital city to areas in the Oromia region.Hailu Adugna, a lecturer at Haramaya University and social media activist was taken by security forces from the class he was teaching and his whereabouts is not still known. He was targeted because he wrote on the social media opposing government forces brutal treatment of the peaceful protesters. Another social media activist detained by the security forces is, Girma Gemedi, who is known among the Oromo youths for boldly writing and speaking against the human right violations of the Oromo people by the Ethiopian government.Thousands of Oromo youths are behind bars for taking part in the peaceful protests that lasted for more than a month in every corner of Oromia region. In an interview on the national television, the Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn vowed to take ‘merciless action’ against the peaceful protesters saying that the protesters are ‘terrorists’. This rethoric by the prime minister shows that the Ethiopian government’s commitment to is use the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2009 to crush the peaceful protesters and silence dissents.

Source: Atrocities by the Ethiopian Security forces exasperates in Oromia

Oromia: Famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera feared to be under another torture, activists say. #OromoProtests December 24, 2015

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???????????#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

Stop TortureStop killing Oromo Students

Famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera feared to be under another torture, activists say

Release Hawi, our sister, our music, our famous artistHawi Tazara , our sister, our music, our famous Oromo artist

(December 23, 2015, Finfinne Tribune, Gadaa.com ): According to a media report, the famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera was detained and tortured last week by the Ethiopian Federal police after releasing an Afan Oromo single music that’s critical of the Ethiopian government’s affairs, i.e. the Master Plan and the killings following the protests against the Master Plan, in the Federal State of Oromia. The single, which was released on December 15, 2015, was produced using the traditional Oromo protest genre called Geerarsa. Photos of the singer’s tortured body, showing the bruised and swollen areas, are shown here.Report shows Hawi Tezera’s bruised and swollen body from last week’s torture; activists fear she could be tortured again.

Upon the intervention of the Oromian State police, the report adds, Hawi was released from her ordeal only to be imprisoned again over the last few days. Activists fear that she could be tortured again; the Ethiopian government has a record of detaining and torturing dissidents (prisoners of conscience) who oppose its policies using peaceful and Constitutional means.

In addition to Hawi, thousands of Oromos, including a journalist, have been imprisoned across Oromia and Ethiopia over the last week – accused of expressing protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan. According to the protesters, who are using peaceful (nonviolent) means to demonstrate their opposition, millions of Oromo farmers will be evicted from their homesteads, and thousands have already been evicted and have become homeless, through the government’s large-scale land-grab project called the Addis Ababa Master Plan. During the recent wave of arrests, the government has especially targeted Oromo singers and their families/relatives for imprisonment and harassment. It is to be remembered that Oromo male singers Jireenyaa Shifarraa and Bilisummaa Dinquu were reportedly abducted last week by the government forces – after being accused of releasing music that’s critical of the government’s policy in Oromia; photos of Jireenyaa Shifarraa in handcuffs were circulating on social media last week. Read more at:-

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/12/famous-oromo-female-singer-hawi-tezera-feared-to-be-under-another-torture-activists-say/

DW: Oromia: #OromoProtests set to continue in Ethiopia December 24, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and share

Oromo protests set to continue in Ethiopia

In an interview with DW, a spokesman of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum accused the government of abusing the country’s constitution with its plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa.

OromoProtests set to continue

Violence and chaos gripped Ethiopia this week as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in protest against government plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa. Human Rights Watch said at least 75 people were killed in a bloody crackdown by heavily armed security forces. The demonstrations have spread to several towns since November, when students spoke out against plans to expand the capital into Oromia territory, a move the Oromo people consider a land grab. DW spoke to Merara Gundina, chairman of the opposition Oromo Federal Congress, in Addis Ababa.

DW: What exactly are you demonstrating against?

Merara Gundina: The Addis Ababa Master Plan is part of a larger land grab by the Ethiopian government around Addis Ababa, which has displaced not less than 200,000 people. Secondly, under federalism all the boundaries are being eroded by the ruling party which is bent on taking the land. People are very angry with the government and people who wanted to see change are frustrated.

Under the Ethiopian constitution all land belongs to the state, with people living there legally considered tenants. Doesn’t this allow the government to carry out any developments that may serve the interests of all Ethiopians?

No, no, the government is misusing it. The constitution says the land belongs to the public so it doesn’t allow the government simply to tell the people “go away” and it takes the land. No, it says there are bonds of state in the name of the people and there are individuals owning the land. It is the ruling party that is misusing the constitution. In fact, the state itself is privatising the country.

We understand you have vowed to continue the demonstrations despite the killings and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared on television that the government would act without mercy. Is it not better to solve these issues through talks?

We continue to support the cause of our people. We continue our peaceful struggle. We cannot be intimidated as the government has done. We have popular support, we have millions of people behind us. The government cannot silence us easily. We are following the constitution but we are against the arbitrary misuse of the constitution by the ruling party. Our people will continue.

Is it true that your organization is getting support from outsiders?

The diaspora is far away. It’s school kids, high schools and universities and the government is simply accusing the left and the right. Probably the diaspora is very active in the media because the local media are totally controlled by the government. We have no access to the media and the diaspora have some media outlets and they report what is happening in the country. But a diaspora of a few thousand cannot move millions of people.

http://www.dw.com/en/oromo-protests-set-to-continue-in-ethiopia/a-18937401?maca=en-Twitter-sharing

 

Related:-

 

VOA: Ethiopia’s Oromos Tread Warily Amid Anti-government Protests

Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest in Valletta against the Ethiopian regime's plan to evict Oromo farmers to expand Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Dec. 21, 2015.

Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest in Valletta against the Ethiopian regime’s plan to evict Oromo farmers to expand Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, Dec. 21, 2015.

Marthe van der Wolf, December 23, 2015 3:22 PM
Schools are closed, businesses have just reopened after being closed for almost a week, and there is tension in Ginchi, Ethiopia, one of the first towns where the Oromo people began protesting last month against a plan to expand the capital, Addis Ababa.

Police are on the main road in Ginchi, which is about 80 kilometers west of Addis Ababa. Interviews have to be conducted on the basis of anonymity and on the outskirts of the town.

A waitress says that despite the reopening of the cafe where she works, life is not back to normal yet: She says that there is not an official curfew, but that young people risk being randomly detained if they are out in the evening.

The most recent protest in Ginchi was last weekend, after a funeral. Citizens said security forces killed three people before the protest took place.

The Addis Ababa master plan is a blueprint to expand the capital into the Oromiya region. The protesters believe that the expansion will lead to land grabs without proper compensation and a loss of the Oromo culture and language.

A shop owner, who participated in the protests, says those who created the master plan do not understand that life is tough and that people like him will not benefit from the promised development. He says there is no benefit for the people to have outside investors who take their land.

Established in 1991

The Oromiya region was established when the current government came to power in 1991. The federal system was divided along ethnic lines. The Oromos are the largest ethnic group in the country.

Bekele Gerba, leader of the opposition Oromo Federal Congress, lives in Adama, the former capital of the Oromiya region. The city, about 60 kilometers south of Addis Ababa, has also seen protests in recent weeks.

Gerba says Oromos have never been treated like equals by Ethiopia’s leaders, but he believes the current government is the worst.

“The ruling classes, usually, they think that Oromo is a threat,” he said. ” ‘One day they can overwhelm us. Therefore, they have to be treated in such a way so that they won’t have any power.’ Therefore, for example, we don’t have any power in the military. All the military commanders belong to a different ethnic group.”

Gerba’s party says more than 75 people have died since the protests began, and that many of his party members have been detained. Rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch say the government is using “excessive lethal force” on the protesters.

A government spokesman, Getachew Reda, told VOA on Wednesday that security forces had exercised restraint, “even under circumstances where they found themselves overwhelmed.”

http://www.voanews.com/content/ethiopia-oromos-tread-warily-amid-anti-government-protests/3116002.html

 

FP: Revolt in an African Stasi State

 

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/23/revolt-in-an-african-stasi-state/

 

Daily Mail: Ethiopia opposition: 80 killed in protests against land plan

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3372090/Ethiopia-opposition-80-killed-protests-against-land-plan.html#ixzz3vCWG0CDp

 

Ethiopia arrests journalist after channel reports on protests. #OromoProtests December 23, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and shareJournalist Fikadu Mirkana, Oromia TV and Radio

Ethiopia arrests journalist after channel reports on protests

(CPJ, Nairobi, December 22, 2015)–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Ethiopia to release news anchor Fikadu Mirkana. Fikadu, who works for the state-run broadcaster Oromia Radio and TV, was arrested at his Addis Ababa home on Saturday morning, according to news reports.

CPJ could not determine the reason for Fikadu’s arrest. It comes as Oromia Radio and TV has, in recent weeks, covered protests against a plan to expand the Ethiopian capital, in a move that campaigners say would displace hundreds of thousands of farmers, according to news reports. Dozens of protesters have been killed during clashes with police during the unrest in the regional state of Oromia, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

“Journalists have a vital role to play in ensuring the flow of information, both from the Ethiopian government and also, critically, from those who will be affected by its decisions,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine in New York. “We call on authorities to release Fikadu Mirkana immediately.”

It is not clear where Fikadu is being held and neither his family nor his lawyers have been allowed access to him, an Addis Ababa-based journalist, who has spoken with Fikadu’s family and who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, told CPJ.

The Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for details about Fikadu’s arrest.

In recent weeks, the Ethiopian government has used anti-terror rhetoric against campaigners, with the communications minister, Getachew Reda, branding them “terrorists” and “demonic,” according to a column by Awol Allo, a fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science, published Saturday on Al-Jazeera‘s website. This language usually presages a crackdown on dissenters, the column said. Protests in Oromia, a region that stretches across central Ethiopia and is home to a third of the country’s population, have affected at least 30 towns and prompted the arrest of more than 500 people since mid-November, according to news reports.

Ethiopia is the third largest jailer of journalists on the African continent, with at least 10 behind bars on December 1, CPJ’s 2015 prison census shows.

https://cpj.org/2015/12/ethiopia-arrests-journalist-after-channel-reports-.php

 

Koreen Mirga Gaazexeessitotaa (CPJ) Akka Itoophiyaan Gaazexeessaa Fiqaadu Mirkanaa Hiiktu Gaafatte


Journalist Fikadu Mirkana, Oromia TV and Radio

Gaazexeessaa Fiqaaduu Mirkanaa

Gaazexeessaa Fiqaaduu Mirkanaa dhaaba TV fi Raadiyoo Oromiyaatii hojjata.

Akka gabaasa CPJ baaseetti nama kana Muddee 19,2015 ganama Finfinnee qabanii hidhan.Waan gaazexeessaa kana hidhaniif CPJ ammatti beekuu baatullee dhiyoo tana keessaa mormii master pilaanii Finfinnee gabaase.

Sue Valentine, qindeessituu sagantaa CPJ damee Afrikaati,NY jirti.

“Gaazexeessitotii akka ummatii mootummaa fi waluma irrallee odeeffannoo argatu tolchuuf qooda guddaa qaban,”jetti.”

Tanaafuu Fiqaaduu ariitiin hidhaa bahuu qabaa jetti,Sue.Fiqaaduu eessatti akka hidhan akka CPJ-tti maatii fi abukaatoon isaalleen hin beekan jedha CPJ.

CPJ waahee hidhaa gaazexeessaa kanaa bulchoota Itoophiyaa Finfinnee jiranii fi embaasi Naayroobii jiran irraa saatii barbaadetti deebii argachuu hin dandeennee jedha.

Itoophiyaan gaazexeessitota hidhuun akka CPJ-tti Afrikaa keessaa sadarkaa sadaffaa irra jirti.

http://m.voaafaanoromoo.com/a/journalist-fekadu-mirkana-jailed-oromo-ethiopia/3113884.html

Oromia (Holonkomii): Blood and terror in Ethiopia as protests sweep the streets. #OromoProtests December 22, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoPRotests tweet and shareAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Wolenkomi, a town just 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the capital Addis Ababa.

“That was my only son,” a woman sobbed. “They have killed me.”

Back at the family home of 20-year-old Kumsa Tafa, his younger sister Ababetch shook as she spoke. “He was a student. No one was violent. I do not understand why he is dead,” she said.

Human Rights Watch says at least 75 people have been killed in a bloody crackdown on protests by the Oromo people, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group.

Bekele Gerba, deputy president of the Oromo Federal Congress, puts the toll at more than 80 while the government says only five have been killed.

The demonstrations have spread to several towns since November, when students spoke out against plans to expand the capital into Oromia territory — a move the Oromo consider a land grab.

The sight of the protesters on the streets of towns like Wolenkomi — shouting “Stop the killings! This isn’t democracy!” — is rare in a country with little tolerance for expressions of discontent with the government.

Tree trunks and stones are strewn on the asphalt on the road west from Addis to Shewa zone, in Oromia territory, barricading the route for several kilometres.

Chaos broke out on a bus on the road when it emerged that the police were again clashing with demonstrators in Wolenkomi.

“My husband just called me,” said a woman clutching her phone, as others screamed and children burst into tears.

“He’s taking refuge in a church. Police shot at the protesters,” she said.

The man next to her cried in despair: “They’re taking our land, killing our children. Why don’t they just kill everyone now?”

The army raided Wolenkomi again the next day, the rattle of gunfire lasting for more than an hour.

“They grabbed me by the face and they told me, ‘Go home! If you come back here, we’ll kill you’,” said Kafani, a shopkeeper.

Rights groups have repeatedly criticised Ethiopia’s use of anti-terrorism legislation to stifle peaceful dissent, with the US expressing concern over the recent crackdown and urging the government to employ restraint.

But Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn declared on television that the government would act “without mercy in the fight against forces which are trying to destabilise the region.”

– ‘Land is everything’ –

Oromo leaders have vowed to keep up their resistance against proposals to extend Addis, and Human Rights Watch has warned of “a rapidly rising risk of greater bloodshed”.

“The government can continue to send security forces and act with violence — we will never give up,” said Gerba.

Land is at the heart of the problem. Under Ethiopia’s constitution, all land belongs to the state, with owners legally considered tenants — raising fears amongst the Oromo that a wave of dispossession is on its way.

“For farmers in Oromia and elsewhere in the country, their land is everything,” said Felix Horne, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.

 

Source: Blood and terror in Ethiopia as protests sweep the streets

Appeal Letter To US State Department by Five Civic Associations In Washington DC and North America. #OromoProtets December 22, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and shareOromoProtests against genocidal TPLF Ethiopia4. 19 June 2015

Appeal Letter To US State Department by Five Civic Associations In Washington DC and North America.

 

 

December 10, 2015
Secretary of State John Kerry
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

RE: Continued Massacre in Oromia Regional State by the Tyrannical TPLF Government in Ethiopia

Dear Mr. Secretary,

It has been over a year since the Tyrannical TPLF minority regime unveiled a scheme to expand the city of Addis Ababa into the Oromia Regional State under the guise of development. Their underlying objective is to evict Oromos and settle their Tigrian people. If the scheme is implemented, the current size of the capital increases by 20 folds, from 54, 000 to 1.1 million hectares. It is designed to incorporate 36 Oromian towns into Addis Ababa, such as Dukem, Bishoftu, Adama, Gelan, Legetafo, Sendafa, Sululta, Burayu, Holeta, Sebeta, and Addis Alem among others. More than two million Oromo farmers will be forcefully evicted from their ancestral land by the plan. It is also designed to bring the expanded city under the federal government administration by abolishing the Oromia Regional State jurisdictional right and thereby destroy Oromo identity, Oromia integrity and constitutional right of self-administration

As a matter of fact, Addis Ababa itself is the heartland of Oromia and integral part; and should serve the federal government as headquarters while remaining under the full administration and ownership of Oromia State. Carving out Addis Ababa from Oromia and putting it under the jurisdiction of the federal government is weird and has no contemporary parallelism in the world. Washington, DC or Moscow is not under the jurisdiction of the federal government. The motive of the TPLF government is sinister to deny Oromo ownership and expropriate the city for the benefit of their Tigrian cronies. This scheme leads to permanent conflict and destabilization.

Completely surrounded by Oromia regional state, Addis Ababa city is entirely dependent on Oromia for all services. Today almost all electric power, water supply and other infrastructural raw materials come from Oromia region. In recognition of these, the Ethiopian constitution Article 49 (5) stipulates “the special interest of the state of Oromia will be respected regarding provision of services, the utilization of resources and joint administrative matters.”

Despite these historical, natural, constitutional and economic rights, Oromia regional government is devoid of any decision making process over Addis Ababa administration. Generally, the current so called Integrated Development Master plan violates the Oromia constitutional rights. The ultimate decision is in the hands of the TPLF (Tigre People Liberation Front) leaders whose interest is to exploit the land and resources, loot Oromia and destroy Oromo identity.

The scheme has been rejected by the Oromo nation as a whole. It is an existential question for Oromia and the Oromo people. The unveiling of the scheme ignited public protests in 2014 all over Oromia spearheaded by University, high school, and elementary students. The response by the tyrannical regime is to shoot and kill. More than 70 students were massacred, thousands gravely wounded and tens of thousands were hauled into concentration camps and torture prisons in April and May 2014. Because of the uprising the scheme was paused until it has been reactivated recently again leading to bloody protests in all Oromia Regional State

As different mass media outlets are streaming, the Oromo people in general and students at all levels are currently protesting against the implementation of the plan to expand the city of Addis Ababa into the neighboring Oromo farmers land, which not only displaces millions of Oromo farmers from their ancestral land, but also causes loss of Oromo culture, history and identity. The response by the dictatorial bloodthirsty minority government of the TPLF is shooting to kill, beating, imprisoning and torturing of the peaceful protestors as usual. 8 students were shot dead, thousands wounded, beaten, jailed, disappeared. The tyrannical regime is trying to silence the demand of the people by killing, harassment, imprisonment and torture.

The continued massacre of students and civilians is part of the grand scheme to annihilate the Oromo people and expropriate their land and resources. The late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said a couple of years ago, while he was alive,” the majority will be diminished into a minority.” That remark reflects deep rooted objective of annihilating Oromo, which the current TPLF leaders are bent to implement. Currently, about 90% of political prisoners in Ethiopia are Oromos. The former Defense minister stated that all prisoners speak Afaan Oromo (Oromo language) after released from prison indicating the huge number of Oromo prisoners. It is puzzling to fathom the strategy of reducing 40% of the Ethiopian population to minority unless one thinks of genocide. Generally, a war of attrition is being waged by the TPLF government against the Oromo people. The trend is dangerous. The Oromo demand deserves timely and appropriate response. Oppression leads to violent response.

Dear Mr. Secretary,

What is being perpetrated against peaceful demand and protest is the concern of the 40 million Oromos not students only. Accordingly, the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of the Washington Metropolitan Area, the Oromo Youth Self-help Association (OYSA), the International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO), the Macha Tulama Association (MTA), the International Qeerroo Support Group(IQSG), and the Oromo Community Association in North America (OCO_NA)are writing this joint appeal letter to you to express our deep concern and outrage about the current massacre of Oromo students all over Oromia by the federal police and army of the TPLF/EPRDF Ethiopian government. While more numbers of fatalities are still coming in and the exact number is hard to be known due to the denial of access by the government for local and international journalists. We have known through our contacts that more and more reports of death are coming every day. Moreover, hundreds are severely wounded by live bullet and other thousands are rounded up and thrown into jail. Given the history of brutality of the current regime in Ethiopia, also those in jail are feared to be tortured or even secretly murdered in their prison cells.

It is so sad that such heinous crimes are repeatedly happening to the Oromo students and civilians. The massacre of more than 70 students on April 30 and May 1, 2014, took place when you were making official visit to Ethiopia. While you were in Addis Ababa, dozens of students were being massacred in Ambo, just 80 miles from your site and yet the Ethiopian government media behaved as if nothing had happened. It was only the BBC that exposed the genocidal killings, and other West media kept silent. This is the government that the U.S. Government is giving financial and economic aid and maintains intelligence and military “cooperation” with. The U.S. military support is used to kill Oromos and others who demand respect for their democratic and human rights.

Last year, we protested against the brutality of the government and submitted letter of appeal to address the problem and we also briefed the State Department staffers by appointment. We showed to the staffers videos of graphic atrocities. But nothing has been done. No member of the criminal regime has been brought to court of justice. We are observing criminal governments brought to ICC from former Yugoslavia, Kenya, Congo Democratic Republic, Rwanda, Liberia and others. We don’t understand why the criminal TPLF government is allowed to move with impunity. Because of unrestrained criminal activity, the government has continued to massacre the Oromo people, grab their lands, plunder resources, harass and imprison. The consequence of the unabated killing of citizens with impunity by tyrannical governments will be regrettable as we can see in many countries facing similar situations today. Stitch in time avoids big crack. Oromo life matters!!

The TPLF minority regime is hoodwinking the West by wearing the veil of progress and development. But the reality is the dirt under the veil. While the TPLF regime is boasting of 12% annual economic growth, 10 million Ethiopians are exposed to hunger and famine according to their appeal to the 2015 World Climate Conference in Paris for food aid. This shows the growth propaganda is commercial. But they blame climate change. Climate change is not earthquake that happens abruptly and cause hunger and famine. The main cause of the famine is land policy and mal administration. Land is expropriated by the TPLF government which they distribute to the Chinese, Indians, Saudis, Turks, and others freely for hidden quad pro quo. TPLF is sole land lord in the country. We recall the infamous hanger of 1973 which dethroned Emperor Haile Selassie and abolished feudalism. The 2015 hunger also should have consequences.

The regime speaks of democratic process while rigging election and declaring 100% victory. In the absence of freedom of expression, press, gathering, protesting they speak of democratic prevalence. They accuse dissenters of corruption and rent seeking, while they stash billions of dollars in foreign banks by snatching from the hunger stricken Ethiopians. They snatch people’s houses and farmers land in the name of development by paying minimum or no compensation and stash away the market value. There is no guarantee of property ownership. Generally, government accountability is nil. Anger against this government is simmering. The tyrannical activity of the government is leading to volatile vent. They should be denied support unless they respect human rights, democratic principles and show transparency.

The current student protest against the master plan is partly the extension of government involvement in extensive land grab which we, the Diaspora Oromo, have been protesting in front
of the US State Department and the White House. The plan is a land grab disguised in development. It is designed to kill the Oromo generation. There is no legal or social justification to include this small cities and provinces under Addis Ababa city administration for development.

To worsen the situation, the government has declared establishment of Urban Development Corporation, which controls all cities and municipalities denying the administrative rights of the Regional States. It is an initiative to abolish the federal system and centralize the country under the Tigrian minority regime. It will be adding fuel to the already burning fire in many parts of the country

The principle of integrated regional development does not infringe on the geopolitical entity of the regions. As we can see here in the United States, integrated development among the District of Colombia-Maryland-Virginia does not in any way, encroach on the entities of the states. We do not see any reason why the model cannot be applied in Ethiopia, unless it is for sinister motive. It is illegal to curve out urban centers and bring under the federal government. It is a big scheme to destroy the remaining faint light of federalism and put the county in chaos. There is no track record where the federal government controls the urban centers exclusively. This dictatorial regime is leading the country to disaster. It should be stopped before long.

We earnestly request the US government to use its influence to urge the Ethiopian government to respect the right of the Oromo people, rule of law and stop killing and arresting Oromo students, otherwise we request the US government to stop its support. We specifically request that the US government:

• Demand an immediate stop to the unlawful so called “Integrated development master plan” implementation and the unlawful eviction of Oromo farmers and the illegal selling of Oromo land under the disguise of such “development”.

• Demand the cancellation of the establishment of centralized Urban Development Commission to be implemented by the federal government.

• Demand that an independent commission be appointed to investigate the mass killing in Oromia regional state and look at the prison demography.

• Demand the unconditional and immediate release of Oromo students who are jailed for exercising their constitutional right and all political prisoners languishing in jail for several years.

• Demand that the regime to commit itself to the respect of human rights and allow freedom of expression and assembly and making a peaceful protest.

• Demand Ethiopian perpetrators of mass killing be brought to ICC similar to criminals in other countries.

• Demand the Oromo plight be given equal weight to that of other nations under the yoke of dictatorial regimes

Sincerely,

Desta Yebassa, Ph.D.
Board President, Oromo Community Organization of Washington D.C. area (OCO)
6212 3rd ST NW Washington, DC 20011 and Protest Organizing Committee Chair
ydesta9@aol.com, info@oneoromo.org
www.oneoromo.org

Abebe Etana
Chairman, Oromo Youth Self-help Association (OYSA)
6212 3rd ST NW Washington, DC 20011
abebe_etana@yahoo.com

Dinknesh D. Kitila
Board Director, International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO)
6212 3rd St NW, Washington, DC 20011
iowo@iowo.org.
http://www.iowo.org

Teshome Dime
Board Chairman, International Qeerroo Support Group (IQSG)
Box 55244 Washington DC 20040
tashomatakala@yahoo.com

Dr. Guluma Gemeda, PhD
Chair, Board of Directors of Oromo Communities’ Association in North America (OCA-NA)
465 Mackubin St N, St. Paul, MN, 55103, USA
ggemeda@umflint.edu

Asafa Jalata, PhD
Board Chairman, Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA, Inc.
Oromo Center 811 Upshur St. NW Washington, DC 20011
ajalata@utk.edu, contact@machatulama.org
http://www.machatulama.org

CC
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
http://www.whitehouse.gov
Tel: (202) 395-2020

Mr. Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General
First Avenue at 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
USA

Oromia: Paying Tribute to Obbo Yishaaq Angoos Gurmu: An Exemplar Educator and Civic Leader December 22, 2015

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???????????Machaa Tuulamaa in USA

 

Obbo Yishaaq Angoos Gurmu

1933 – 2015

 

We were shocked and saddened by the passing away of Obbo Yishaaq Angoos Gurmu on November 19, 2015, in Finfinnee, Oromia. He was the secretary of the Board of Directors of the Macha-Tulama Association in Oromia in the 1990s. Obbo Yishaaq gave outstanding service to his people by rebuilding this association with other leaders and by implementing its cultural, social, and political objectives. Throughout his life, Obbo Yishaaq fulfilled the educational objective of the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association single-handedly.

His extraordinary service had an immense impact on the education of a generation of Oromos and this had far reaching consequences. As a teacher, director, and an administrator, he served in different parts of Oromia and influenced the education of future Oromo leaders across Oromia who would go on to serve the Oromo people. As the director of the Haile Selassie I Secondary School of Naqamtte, which was later named the Naqamtte Comprehensive High School, Obbo Yishaaq Angoos Gurmu demonstrated his farsightedness, effectiveness and quality of leadership. He recognized the importance of rigorously educating Oromo students so that they would receive the university education they needed to be leaders in science, administration, politics, and other areas. Obbo Yishaaq was a great man who shaped the intellectual careers of thousands of Oromo students and others.

Before he arrived in Naqamttee to serve as the director of the Haile Selassie I Secondary School, students rarely passed the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination. But ever since his arrival, with his guidance, many students passed this exam and were admitted to colleges and the Haile Selassie I University, later named Addis Ababa University. As a director, he created a positive and constructive educational environment to educate his students effectively. Obbo Yishaaq promoted academic excellence by establishing high standards for teaching and learning.

Obbo Yishaaq was educated in the U.S., where he received his master’s degree. Although he was a highly educated man, Obbo Yishaaq preferred to work in a dusty and impoverished city rather than work in Finfinnee, where he could have been employed with a high paying, prestigious job. Instead, Obbo Yishaaq committed his life to cultivating the minds of young Oromos to prepare them for leadership in education, science, and other areas. As a result of this, some of his students emerged as political leaders, professors, and medical doctors. Obbo Yishaaq was a role model for the Oromo nation. He immensely contributed to the education and enrichment of Oromo society. The Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA, expresses its deepest condolences to his family, friends, his former students, and all members of the association in Oromia and foreign countries.

Sincerely,

Asafa jalata
Asafa Jalata, PhD
President, the Directors of Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA

Oromia/ Ethiopia: What Is Behind the Oromo Rebellion in Ethiopia? #OromoProtests December 21, 2015

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???????????#OromoProtests @Finfinnee (AAU) over kidnapping of two female students. Their name is Lomitu Waqbulcho ( 3rd year Afan Oromo & Hirut Tule (2nd year Chemical Engineering). 18 December 2015

#OromoPRotests tweet and shareOromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleenAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015OromoProtests @Finfinnee University  Dec. 7, 2015 picture2

The current uprising is a culmination of systematic injustice perpetrated against the Oromo.

As is often the case, oppressors are blind to what they perpetrate on their victims and surprised when the oppressed rise up defiantly.

Even the African Union, with its headquarter in Addis Ababa, while rightly concerned about a potential genocide inBurundi, is conspicuously silent on the massacre taking place against the Oromo right on its doorstep.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yohannes-woldemariam/what-is-behind-the-oromo-_b_8849776.html

World Post: What Is Behind the Oromo Rebellion in Ethiopia?

 

The Ethiopian government is now faced with unprecedented rebellion from the Oromo ethnic group, consisting 35% of the Ethiopia’s population, which it disingenuously claims is inspired by terrorism. The immediate pretext is the Addis Ababa Master Plan encroaching and displacing Oromo farmers, but this masks a deeper grievance which has been brewing for at least two decades under this regime, and for over a century under successive highland Ethiopian rulers. In the following, I will try to provide some context and offer some analysis of the danger Ethiopia and the region are facing.

Background

The late Ethiopian Prime Minster, Meles Zenawi, achieved power in 1991 as “the first among equals” in a ruling coalition. After the 1998-2000 “border war” with Eritrea, he moved to consolidate his power by rewarding loyalists and weakening or imprisoning his rivals. Meles institutionalized one-party rule of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and his Tigrayan inner circle, with the participation of other co-opted ethnic elites who were brought into the ruling alliance under the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

The EPRDF consists of four groups: the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the South Ethiopian Peoples’ Democratic Front (SEPDF) and the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF). The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) decided to withdraw from the EPRDF coalition in 1992 and was pushed out after unsuccessfully trying to assert its independence from the TPLF within the coalition. The role of OPDO, ANDM and SEPDF is simply to rubber stamp TPLF’s agenda. In North American parlance, one can describe the members of OPDO, ANDM and SEPDF as the uncle Toms of Ethiopian society.

Zenawi’s violent crackdown on the 2005 demonstrations protesting the widely believed rigged election was a clear indication of his determination to hang on to power. In the 2010 elections, the EPRDF won 499 out of 547 parliamentary seats — with all but two others going to EPRDF-allied parties — and all but one of 1,904 council seats in regional elections. Despite the semblance of parliamentary rule, those elected were irrelevant to the governance of the country, since the TPLF and PM Zenawi maintained near absolute control over the country’s politics.

If there was any doubt in 2005, in the 2010 and 2015 elections, it became clear that this was a one-party rule with a vengeance, ensuring the triumph of repression, the squashing of dissenting voices and the shutting down of independent media. Elections in Ethiopia are shenanigans to show complete EPRDF control rather than engagement in democracy. There is a clampdown on internet access, and the arrest and sentencing of political opponents and journalists. Even two Swedish journalistsreporting in the Ogaden were imprisoned on terrorism charges.

Succession Not Transition

There was a speculation that Meles’s passing in august 2012
could touch off an internal power struggle expected to take place within the ranks of his loyalists. But the succession of a new prime minister turned out to be an uneventful affair and at least outwardly peaceful. The number of Tigrayans in the cabinet decreased, but key posts remain in the hands of aging Tigrayan loyalists. The talk of “generational change” over the past few years was simply a charade.

Among the exceptions is the current PM Hailemariam Desalegn, the relatively unknown ex-Deputy Prime Minister. Desalegn’s ethnicity gives a superficial semblance of balance and cover for the Tigrayan oligarchy. Desalegn is a Wolayta, a somewhat marginalized ethnicity in the periphery of Ethiopian society, and a born-again Christian in a country where the dominant church is Ethiopian Orthodox. He never participated in the armed struggle that brought the various factions of the EPRDF to power. His status as an outsider was perceived by many to be an asset that gave him broader legitimacy, insulated him from criticism, and allowed him to present himself as an underdog protected from the historical baggage of the Amhara and Tigrayans.

Yet, in his three years in power, Desalegn has announced few new policies. Some suggest that he is a mere figurehead and that real power is still within a core TPLF group shadowing him. In any case, party leaders seem lost without Zenawi. They govern on autopilot, following the vision and templates he left behind. In effect, Zenawi is ruling from the grave. Yet developments like the Oromo uprising expose the limits of ruling from the grave. Regime officials seem confused. Different officials say different things and contradict each other. They look like deer caught in the headlights. As is often the case, oppressors are blind to what they perpetrate on their victims and surprised when the oppressed rise up defiantly.

Resistance to EPRDF Rule

While opposition and discontent have been growing in Ethiopia, the security apparatus is ever vigilant against them . Rioting Muslims were effectively contained. The TPLF marginalized both the legal and the extra-legal opposition, leaving little option but to protest as in the current Oromo uprising. The few co-opted Oromo elites within the EPRDF have little credibility, and protesters scoff at statements coming from Oromo leaders serving the regime.

Other ethnic groups deeply dissatisfied are the Ogadenis, Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz. The Ogaden national liberation Front (ONLF) in Ogaden is waging an insurgency exacerbated by forcible relocations to allow oil and gas exploration. Similar insurgency rages in Oromia led by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Oromia was incorporated into the Ethiopian empire in the 1880s by emperor Menelik IIduring the time the European scramble for Africa was underway.

Resentment to TPLF rule extends even among parts of Tigray, where a part of the population feel left out by the TPLF elites interested only in making money and investing it in the capital or abroad. The EPRDF has unsuccessfully lobbied the U.S. government to label the ONLF and the OLF as terrorist organizations. Nevertheless, the controversial use and abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Law is applied with impunity. The government attributes the ongoing Muslim and Oromo protest to infiltration from Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and the opposition Ginbot 7 movement.

Despite a dishonest attempt to externalize the issue, Ethiopian Muslims, who number anywhere from 40% to 50% of the population, and the Oromo have historically been marginalized, and the protest is very much homegrown and rooted in a long list of grievances.

Ethiopia, the U.S. and its Western Allies

Ethiopia is a key strategic ally for the War on Terror, which insulates it from any UScondemnation. Ethiopia receives the largest aid in Africa — an average $3.3 billionper year. The government abuses aid money to the extent that even government-provided seeds and fertilizer is denied to farmers who are not party members. Regarding the current uprising, the United States has issued a statement of concern. However, the regime itself is noticably unconcerned because it knows these statements by the U.S. are accompanied by little or no action. Even the African Union, with its headquarter in Addis Ababa, while rightly concerned about a potential genocide inBurundi, is conspicuously silent on the massacre taking place against the Oromo right on its doorstep.

The late Zenawi had the wit to position himself as an indispensable ally of the West in the fight against “terrorism.” Ethiopia is seen as a bulwark against extremism and the chaos of Somalia. From the U.S. point of view, Ethiopia is a military bridgehead to contain Al Qaida infiltration in Somalia and even across the Red Sea in Yemen.

International aid subsidizes about 50 % of Ethiopia’s national budget. United Kingdom funding of $4.9billion for a brutal resettlement scheme was only withdrawn this year. Germany continues to aid Ethiopia for “strategic” reasons despite voicing concern about human rights violations. The regime has deepened its economic relationship with China (which is tight-lipped on human rights issues) by utilizing its comparative advantage: capitalizing on the availability of plentiful cheap labor and Chinese subsidies for projects encroaching in Oromia.

The Economy

Zenawi engineered Ethiopia’s success in securing aid from the European Union and the U.S.; he was adept at maneuvering and securing money from Western financial institutions that even his detractors acknowledge. He counted among his admirers big names such as Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard as well as Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics. The country’s rulers have perfected the culture of begging and dependency and are now appealing for a $1.4 billion to feed the 10.2 million drought victims even though they engage in the business of leasing fertile land to foreign investors who export everything they grow. Drought does not have to lead to hunger and famine, if a government plans for it. Poor governments can store grain when there is good harvest in preparation for such emergencies.

Consistent with the notion of state-directed developmentalism espoused by the EPRDF, it aspired to oversee the development of roads, rail, electricity and telecommunications, boasting double-digit growth although the IMF disputes those figures and puts the growth rate at 7.5 per cent . It did succeed in Addis Ababa getting sub-Saharan Africa’s first light-rail network. However, the government’s claim that its socio-economic policies have helped the poor is disputed by critics, who point out that the primary beneficiaries are the political elite and that the gap between the elites and the poor is ever wider. The Oromo uprising is partially resentment over displacement and over environmental damage in the name of development.Corruption is rampant in the country. Theft from state enterprises and participation in the black market, including widespread graft is all too common.

Federalism

Ethiopia under the EPRDF was officially declared a federal state. In states with true federalism, regions enjoy political primacy, as it is they who consciously decide to form the state, unlike centralized states where the constituting units come into being in line with EPRDF administrative requirements from the center. The strong center in Ethiopia never allowed for the true spirit of federalism to emerge. The country could never rid itself of the lingering grievance of the regions, of not getting their share, commensurate with their resources. There is a whole list of such claims, such as, misuse of river waters and cheaply leasing of indigenous land to foreign capitalists, urbanization (as in Addis Ababa’s Master Plan), and increasing Deforestation.

The TPLF military and the future

The Ethiopian military as an institution has acquired unprecedented power. Under any conceivable scenario, the military will continue to be a key and decisive player. Yet, it is not a truly national army; at the officer corps level, it is heavily dominated by Tigreans. Historically, the rank and file soldiers come mostly from the Oromo nation and have been the cannon fodder in the country’s numerous wars under Haile Sellassie, Mengistu Hailemariam, and now under the TPLF dictatorship. There is deep grievance within the army resulting in high profile desertions from the Air Force and other branches.

Control of key economic sectors by the military under the EPRDF have made it difficult to limit its role to a strictly military one. The military’s role has other consequences of spiraling ethnic conflicts which have reached a boiling point in the current uprising. EPRDF rule has engendered profound hatred and resentments among different groups with Ethiopian society and among the former ruling classes of the Amhara ethnic group.

The Ogadenis have a longstanding group grievance that is part and parcel of their indomitable desire for self-determination, which has never been addressed. The current uprising is a culmination of systematic injustice perpetrated against the Oromo. Resistance in Ethiopia in the absence of political space for cross-ethnic alliances is being channeled along ethnic and religious lines, potentially setting the stage for the balkanization of the country. In the 20th century, highland monarchist absolutism, Stalinist dictatorships and today’s make-believe “democratic federalism” may contribute more to fragmentation and dismemberment than nation-building. The legacy of dictatorship, from Menelik II, Haile Selassie, Mengistu Hailemariam to Meles Zenawi has endangered the country.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yohannes-woldemariam/what-is-behind-the-oromo-_b_8849776.html

CRIMES THAT MADE THE OROMO YOUTH REVOLT. #OromoProtests December 20, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and shareTigrean Neftengna's land grabbing and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocide

CRIMES THAT MADE THE OROMO YOUTH REVOLT

From the Forest Fires of 2000 to the Conflict over the AAMP in 2014 and Beyond

By Mekuria Bulcha

 

TPLF ETHIOPIA'S CRIMES THAT MADE THE OROMO YOUTH REVOLT

Introduction

Literature on social movements shows that student activism has been a catalyst in regime change in many countries around the world. In Asia and Latin America it had a significant role in the fall of many regimes. In the West, the anti-establishment student movements of the 1960s had significant effects on both national and global politics. The role of student movements in struggles against colonialism in Africa and Asia is also on record. In Ethiopia, a student movement, in the 1960s and early-1970s, was a catalyst for the revolution that led to the downfall of the Haile Selassie regime in 1974. It is common knowledge that Oromo students from high schools, colleges and universities have been expressing grievances and making peaceful demands on behalf of their people, and that the response of the Ethiopian regime has been violent during the last fifteen years. Although the conflict between them has persisted for more than a decade and half, a holistic picture that shows the complexity of the issues which constitute the demands of the Oromo students and the psychology of domination and fear that underpin the repressive responses of the leaders of the TPLF-led regime to the student demands is lacking.[1] This article attempts to fill the gap.

As indicated in the title of the article, the forest fires of 2000 and the AAMP of 2014 are two of the most conspicuous events in a series of incidents which have instigated the Oromo student protests of the last fifteen years. In the article I will show that the two events did not occur in isolation, but were crucial moments in a trajectory of interconnected episodes that have marked the contentious relationship between the Oromo youth and the Ethiopian regime. The word “beyond” in the title of the article indicates an inevitable continuity of conflict between the Oromo people and the Ethiopian regime. To show the complexity of the conflict over Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) the article describes the vicious circle of the tyrannical characteristics inherent in the political culture and predatory behavior of Abyssinian ruling elites, their psychology of fear, and the impunity of their violence against the Oromo people as the cause of the conflict. Indicating that this vicious circle is deeply rooted in the history of the relations between the Oromo people and the Ethiopian state, the article suggests that the conflict may not find resolution short of achievement of full freedom by the Oromo.  Since the initiators and main actors in the ongoing protests against the policies of the Ethiopian regime have been university and high school students as well as primary school-children the terms “youth” and “students” are used interchangeably throughout the article.

The article has 5 sections. The first two parts take up land-ownership and environmental protection as a locus of contention and tensions between the Oromo youth and the TPLF-led regime. Here, the conflict over resources are discussed on two different levels: environmental protection and the right to a homeland.  Putting the conflict on a concrete, cultural level and in an abstract ethical perspective, the first part will examine the incompatibility of the dominating Abyssinian environmentally hostile values and practices with the environment friendly values and practices of the Oromo people. In part 2, the article examines contradictions between the rights of a conquered people and the interests of conquerors: the right to a homeland and its resources on the one hand, and interest in the exploitation of the human and natural resources of a territory on the other. For the present Oromo youth, this involves a birth right to a homeland and an aspiration of preserving its natural resources, and of passing them over to coming generations. The article shows how, having been instigated first by the forest fires which had destroyed over 150,000 hectares of forestland in 2000, the current uprising of the Oromo youth has developed into a movement over the years. According to the Ethiopian Constitution of 1995, all land in Ethiopia (in this case also all Oromo land) belongs to the state. Therefore, any decision about the exploitation of its resources, its administration including the protection of the eco-system, is the prerogative of the guardians of the property of the state. The guardians are the self-appointed TPLF (Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front) leaders. Based on empirical evidence, the article describes the behavior, and the illegal action and predatory behavior of the leaders of the TPLF, as antithetical to the guardianship role which their own constitution confers on them.

The third part deals with the economic policy of the TPLF-led government in relation to its ongoing conflict with the Oromo students. It starts with the massive student protests of 2002. The protests were triggered by a quest for distributive justice and exacerbated by violence which was used by the regime as a solution. The political economy of ethnic-cleansing, which is reflected lately in the attempted implementation of the so-called Addis Ababa Master Plan (AAMP), is explained here. Parts four and five discuss the stratagem used by the Tigrayan leaders of the current Ethiopian regime to stay in power. It shows how George Orwell’s fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four which was published in 1948[2] becomes a reality that affects concretely the lives of tens of thousands of Oromo youth under the present Ethiopian regime. Part four discusses how the fictitious duties of the Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” of the state of “Oceania” (whose role is manufacturing lies) have been adopted by the TPLF-led regime’s ministries of information, propaganda and justice by converting vice into virtue, misrepresenting dictatorship as democracy, demonizing law-abiding citizens as terrorists, falsifying inhabited land as empty and its indigenous populations as squatters. The part discusses the contradictions between the “democratic rights” (which the Ethiopian Constitution purports to grant its citizens) and the vicious treatment which the Oromo are receiving from the TPLF-led regime. Part four explores the consequences of “thought surveillance” conducted in classrooms, lecture halls and on school and university campuses by the TPLF-led regime’s security police in order to “flush out” and persecute suspected holders of dissenting political opinions. The notoriety of the method used by these security agents is analogous to the modus operandi of the “Thought Police” caricatured in George Orwell’s satirical fiction mentioned above.

In its fifth and last part, the article examines briefly Oromo response to the AAMP at home and in the diaspora. It also discusses a new phase which the Oromo struggle has entered because of the dynamics of the contentious interaction between a new generation of Oromo youth, who are determined to restore what their people have been denied under consecutive Ethiopian regimes, and the impunity of the present regime in suppressing them. It raises the deplorable silence of the diplomatic community and the media over the brutal massacre of Oromo youth by its police and military forces in April 2014 and again now, and examines its implications and consequences. In addition, it explores briefly some of the factors that make the Oromo youth movement a dynamic force in advancing the Oromo struggle for freedom to new levels.

Environmental ethics in Oromo and Ethiopian cultures and politics

The contradictions between the autocratic Abyssinian political culture and the Oromogadaa democratic tradition is well-known among researchers and most of the readers of this article are, to some extent, informed. What is not widely known is the incompatibility of the Abyssinian perception of nature with the environment-friendly Oromo culture. The right to homeland for which the Oromo students have been struggling involves two inter-related rights. The first is right to land as property. It concerns both individual and collective rights to land as a resource. In that sense, their struggle is part of the ongoing Oromo struggle against the exploitation of their resources as well as the dispossession and eviction of Oromo farmers.

The second focus of their contention with the Ethiopian regime is the natural environment. From the very beginning, the protection of the environment per se was the concern of the Oromo students. When they came together the first time and approached the government authorities, the aim of the students was to protect Oromo forests against fire. As will be discussed in the next part of this article, the response they received from the TPLF-led regime was conveyed with a violent crackdown on them. It was that violent response which led to the birth of a movement which I call in this article the Oromo Student Movement (OSM). Today, the same movement is rocking the very foundations of the regime which tried to silence its ever-increasing and maturing members. It must be pointed out from the start that the struggle for the environment is inextricably inter-meshed with every aspect of the Oromo struggle that concerns land, including the eviction of Oromo farmers, be it by land-grabbing commercial farmers or urban “property developers.” Thus, as I will explain in the first two parts of this article, the conflict between the Oromo youth and the Ethiopian regime involves the natural environment. It concerns what I will call an “environmental conflict”, and involves a clash between the environmental values the youth have absorbed from their ancestral traditions and the “development” policy of the present Ethiopian regime which reflects in its implementation values and practices that are harmful to the environment.

In order to demonstrate the differences between the values which the Oromo and the Abyssinians give nature, and the connection they have with the eco-system within which they live, I will cite the observations by European travelers in the nineteenth and the early decades of the twentieth centuries. I will start with the fertility and beauty of the Oromo country which was described by travelers in the past and which in fact is also a reflection of the respect and harmony with which the Oromo co-existed with nature. Describing Oromo “communion” with their natural surroundings, the Dutch traveler Juan Schuver who stayed at the court of Jootee Tullu in the summer months of 1881, wrote

[the Oromo] ought to be one of the merriest and happiest of races, living as they do in one of the most fertile countries, to which the Spanish ideal of a happy land ‘plenty of sun and plenty of water’ can be applied, rare in this part of Africa.[3]

He described the landscape of Qellem as “a charming spectacle of verdant landscape,carefully divided into pasture grounds and different coloured fields strewn with yellow huts and granaries, the whole beautifully studded with dark forest-trees, stretched far away to the distant horizon.” Continuing with his comparison of the Oromo country with European landscapes he stated “the whole scene reminded me of the best part of Bohemia”[4] (emphasis mine). Observations made by other travelers such as the French brothers, the researcher Antoine and soldier Arnauld d’Abbadie (who were both in Abyssinia and in the central-western parts of the Oromo country in the 1840s) reflect a harmonious relationship between the Oromo and nature which were strikingly similar to those made by Schuver. Comparing what he saw during his research sojourns among the Oromo of Guduru and the Gibe region between 1843 and 1844 and in 1846 with what he had observed during his longer stay in Abyssinia, Antoine d’Abbadie wrote that “In crossing the River Abbay [Blue Nile] to enter Oromoland, the traveler is struck not only by the abundance of trees, the change in costume and language, but above all by the dispersion of the houses. That is what we see in Europe in Norway, in Westphalia, and with the Basques.”[5] Noting the value which the Oromo give to nature, his brother Arnauld wrote that “no enemy [would dare] to break the branches or fell the trees the Oromo love so much that they plant them near their dwellings, the greenery and shade delight the eyes all over and give the landscape a richness and variety which make it like a garden without boundary.” Describing Oromo “communion” with the ecosystem, he remarked that “Healthful climate, uniform and temperate, fertility of the soil, beauty of the inhabitants, the security in which their houses seem to be suited, makes one dream of remaining in such a beautiful country.”

Travellers who had visited other parts of Oromoland in the nineteenth century had also described what they saw in similar terms. One of them was the British envoy Major W. C. Harris, who was in the Kingdom of Shawa in 1843. Harris accompanied its ruler, Sahle Selassie, in December 1843 during one of his annual raiding expeditions against the neighbouring Tuulama Oromo and described what he saw in the present site of Finfinnee as “the very picture of peace and plenty.” As he put it, what he saw was a panaroma of “high cultivation and snug [inviting, cozy] hamlets”. Describing the harmony he observed between nature and Oromo culture he wrote,

Meadows of the richest green turf, sparkling clear rivulets leaping down in sequestered cascades, with shady groves of the most magnificent juniper lining the slopes, and waving their moss-grown branches above cheerful groups of circular wigwams [houses, homes], surrounded by implements of agriculture, proclaimed a district which had long escaped the hand of wrath.[6]

The most colorful description of Oromia’s pre-colonial natural environment was penned by Martial de Salviac. In his French Academy Prize wining book Les Galla: Grande Nation Africaine published in 1901 in Paris he describes the homeland of the Oromo as a territory where

Green forests thronged with swarms of bees; thick pastures with giant herbs, where peaceful cows with inflated udders graze, where boisterous horses bounce, lambs frolic by the side of their mothers, short-haired and silken little goats of the Orient shine.[7]

De Salviac mentions meadows “variegated with flowers like French countryside” and valleys which “surround clear streams with banks strewn with white lilies and roses” which in turn thrive “under the protection of the acacia trees loaded with bird nests and intermingled with palm trees.” He noted that “thousands of torrents bounce and sing under the tunnels of entwined branches, crestfallen trunks, one close to the other, or between glacial walls with narrow corridors in the depth of the abyss.” He adds “Myriads of birds with brilliant plumage are the ornaments and the life of this pleasant region.”[8]  De Salviac’s description of the Oromo country was colorful but not over-exaggerated. As will be discussed in the second part of this article, the natural environment De Salviac described more than a century ago was destroyed by a system imposed by Abyssinian kings who conquered the Oromo country at the end of the nineteenth century, to build the Ethiopian Empire.

De Salviac mentions that, referring to their political culture, Antoine d’Abbadie had called the Oromo “African conservatives.” Drawing a parallel and underlining his own view that the Oromo are firm environmentalists, De Salviac states that the Oromo are Africa’s conservatives “also from another point of view. Their land is the one from all of Ethiopia which best preserves the gracefulness of nature. The travelers who only go to Addis Ababa would not realize the splendor of the virgin forests which decorate the land.”[9] (italics mine)

Travellers who had visited Oromoland at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century made observations similar to the ones mentioned above. Commenting on the understanding and care with which the Oromo interact with nature, a Russian, Alexander Bulatovich, who  followed the armies of the Abyssinian conqueror Menelik and had seen much of Oromoland at the end of nineteenth century, wrote that the Oromo “loves nature, lives with her, and to him, it seems that she likewise is endowed with a soul.”[10]

In his book Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics: A Study of Oromo Environmental ethic and Modern Issues of Development, Workneh Kelbessa notes  that “The Oromo atraction to the natural environment and recognition of the right of non-human creatures to exist” suggests Oromo “biophilia.” He defines biophilia as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of the ultimate human nature.”[11]

In the traditional Oromo religion God is omnipresent in the form of ayyaanaa or spirit. As perceived by the Oromo, God’s omnipresence is in every living thing; it does not exist in the air separate from nature. Humans and all living things are edowed with ayyaana or a spirit. For a people to live happily, there should exist a balance not only in social relations (relations among humans) but also between the social and the natural world. The sources or foundation of this balance are the safuu and nagaacodes of conduct which, in Oromo thought, define not only relationships between human beings, but also harmony between humans, nature and God.  These codes of conduct constitute the core of the Oromo environmental ethic. In general, ethics denote principles that inform cultures, shape peoples’ values and guide the behaviors and practices of their societies. In many cultures, ethics concern only social relations. In Oromo culture, ethical principles are holistic: the Oromo see immorality not only in harm done to humans; they also consider the ill-treatment of animals and destruction of trees and forests morally problematic.  It goes against the Oromo sense of safuu, which, in Oromo thought, defines the ethical principle that links humans to the living world around them. In other words, the safuu code of conduct is holistic and connotes a culturally expressed respect for all living things. This all-embracing respect is motivated by a number of interconnected concerns: one is philosophical and religious. In the Oromo worldview, there is an inherent worth in all living things because they are endowed with ayyaana as mentioned above.

The Dutch Catholic priest and cultural anthropologist, Father Joseph Van de Loo notes that safuu relates to the individuals sense for well-tempered inter-relations with fellow humans, with Waaqa, with cattle and the environment. He wrote that mishandling animals and disturbing the ecological balance with acts such as felling large trees without reason are considered violations of the safuu moral code.[12]Therefore, the safuu ethic reflects an attitude of “live and let live.” It prescribes respectful co-existence with nature. The message the attitude seems to convey can be interpreted in two ways. First, it seems to says implicitly: “we do not know why the eco-system is what it is; we are not its creators, hence we do not have the right to be its destroyers. We are part of it and must seek to co-exist with the life world that constitutes it. Furthermore, Mother Earth is not to be conquered or dominated but to be revered, protected and enjoyed.” As expressed in an oral poem often recited by Oromo peasants Faarsuu Dachee (Hymn to MotherEarth), the Oromo see themselves as part of Mother Earth and not as beings who are “above” her. Survival is the second concern of the Oromo environmental ethic. Like many indigenous communities around the world, the Oromo understand that their well-being is dependent on a “healthy relationship” between them and the living world around them. Traditionally, plants and animals are protected in Oromia, not only by the safuu code of conduct, but also by an elaborate legal system. These laws are not only remembered, but still exercised in Borana were the gadaa system is functional to some extent. One can only exploit nature provided that the use is reasonable and respectful. There is no doubt that the “charming spectacle of verdant landscape” and the delightful greenery which made the Guduru landscape look “like a garden without boundary,” described by the d’Abbadie brothers described in the early 1840s,  “the meadows of the richest green turf,” the “sparkling clear rivulets leaping down in sequestered cascades” and the “shady groves of the most magnificent juniper lining the slopes” which Harris saw as he looked at the rich scenery of Finfinnee from standing on a hillside during the same period, reflect the environment-friendly nature of Oromo culture.

Oromo adoration of nature is indicated in the manner which they integrate it in their cultural expressions. A large percent of Oromo parents give their children names which connote positive qualities in nature, or are nature “friendly.” The value the Oromo accord to nature is reflected also in numerous sayings and maxims. One of these says is “Biqilaan ilmoo ofti” (“That which grows is one’s offspring”). The maxim denotes the Oromo sense of connectedness to nature and the care and protection which their culture accords plants. The odaa tree symbolizes not only Oromo gadaademocracy, but also Oromo reverence of nature.

The Oromo respect and revere nature for a variety of reasons. As we know, the Oromo irreechabirraa festival or Thanksgiving is unthinkable without its natural “paraphernalia” and “décor.” It cannot be celebrated in a desert, or a place without green grass, or without flowers and plenty of water. It is a festival in which a living culture and nature are inextricably interlaced. It is conducted to celebrate life and thank God for that. Workneh Kelbessa had identified more than eighty plants in two sites, one in Borana and the other in Ilu Abba Bora, where had carried out field research and concludes that the preservation of forests is extremely important to the Oromo for almost an endless number of utilitarian reasons.[13]

The Oromo have a tradition of planting trees. They planted trees on the graves of family members and relatives. In the past, the Abba Muuda, the high priest of the traditional Oromo religion, Waaqeffannaa, advised the multitudes of pilgrims who visited his galmaa (seat) every eighth year to plant trees when they return home. Such trees were seldom cut down. They grew to immense size and remained standing, not only telling the life histories of their planters, but also symbolizing the pilgrimage they had made to the muuda centre on behalf of their clans. My guess, based on casual observation in many parts of Oromia, is that there were in the late 1960s and the 1970s masses of very large trees that were apparently several hundred years old standing majestically in the middle of farms and pastures in the neighborhood of hamlets.. Many of them had cultural significance and have names. They link nature and culture. Besides the five major odaas (Odaa Nabee, Odaa Bultum, Odaa Bulluq,Odaa Robaa and Odaa Bisil), there are thousands of other trees all over Oromia that bear names of persons. [14]   Such trees are not cut because they symbolize the sacredness of nature, have cultural significance or represent memory. They consistitute an ecological heritage of considerable depth and importance. In addition, Workneh Kelbessa notes that

Various informants indicated that trees have aesthetic value. The Oromo believe that some trees satisfy an aesthetic of the sublime and the beautiful. They say that green nature is required for the health of eyes. Beautiful trees around one’s homestead and in open fields also symbolise individual self-images and aspirations.[15]

In general, it seems that a large proportion of the ancient trees are preserved and protected because of what they represent for the Oromo communities. A small survey I have conducted by telephone about trees, the names of which I knew since childhood in the vicinity of Naqamtee, showed that most of them are still existing. Based on that, one may conclude that a large proportion of ancient trees that, as I have indicated above, thrived decades ago scattered across Oromia could also have  escaped the “hand of wrath.” Unfortunately that is not the case with the pristine forests which once covered much of the Oromo territory. As a subjugated people, the Oromo have not been in a position to protect them.

The dualism of culture and nature in Abyssinian culture

As indicated above, the Abyssinians’ informal set of attitudes and behaviour toward nature are quite different from those of the Oromo. While the Oromo worldview is holistic, Abyssinian perception of nature is dualistic. They believe that humanity and the natural living world belong to separate spheres. Their understanding is that God created humans to dominate and exploit the other creatures. Therefore, the safuucode of ethic which the Oromo extend to the relationships between humans and nature is alien to their thought system. In fact, they deride Oromo respect for nature as primitive paganism.  Reckless exploitation of nature is not a sensitive issue in their culture as it is in Oromo traditions. The marked differences between the environment-friendly attitude of the Oromo described above, and the overtly exploitative attitude and behavior of the Abyssinians toward nature had caught the attention of those who visited the region in the past.

Long before Arnauld d’Abbdie’s implicit comparison of what he saw on both sides of the Blue Nile, the predatory characteristics of Abyssinian contact with natural environment were reflected in observations made by two Europeans, Andrea Corsaly, a Florentine merchant, and Francisco Alvarez, a Portuguese priest, who were in Abyssinia in the sixteenth century.[16] The two men were guests at the nomadic “tent capital” of the Abyssinian king. They were astonished by the destruction the king and his entourage were causing on the environment wherever they went. The image which their descriptions of royal entourage portray brings to mind a swarm of locusts that flocked from one green spot to another, destroying the environment and afflicting the human population. Corsaly reported in 1517 that the retinue of the Abyssinian king Lebna-Dengel consisted of hundreds of thousands,  that he did not stay in one place for more than four months or return to the same place in less than ten years. He noted that those who “took part in the expeditions which [often] turned into military raids did not hesitate to plunder or take prisoners.”[17] Those who were taken captives were enslaved. A similar picture of the Abyssinian king’s entourage was portrayed by the Portuguese envoy, Alvarez who arrived in Abyssinia a few years after Corsaly and stayed at the nomadic court of Lebna Dengel for several years, reported that “The Court cannot move with less than 50,000 mules; usually it uses as many as as 177,000.” A century later, the Portuguese Catholic priest Manuel d’Almeida, who stayed in Abyssinia from 1626 to 1633, described the destruction caused by the roving court wherever it had halted. He wrote that the king had stayed in five or six places in 14 years and the resources of each place were totally depleted and its inhabitants impoverished beyond any hope of immediate recovery making the places unattractive destination for the court in the near future.  He wrote that this “has been the custom of this empire” and when the emperor changes these places one would see nothing in those he left, but a land that is totally devoid of trees. The Abyssinian kings, he commented, “choose primarily a place near which firewood is found in plenty, but as they have no method in cutting down forests and groves, the neighbouring hills and valleys are bare in a few years.”[18] By and large, what Corsaly and d’Almeida described were ravenous hordes of predators and destroyers of the environment who, as pointed out by a historian, were constantly on the move “led by the kings, in search of loot.”[19] The driving force behind the royal expeditions was the search for booty in cattle and products for consumption and captives to be channeled into the slave market of the Middle East.  Court chroniclers and historians have ascribed the task of law and order maintenance to the roving tent courts of the Abyssinian kings. Needless to say, ascribing such an honor to bands who plunder, kill, take captives for enslavement, and destroy the environment beyond recognition, is a travesty.

The comments made by the European visitors in the sixteenth century about the behavior of Abyssinian kings are interesting, not only as anecdotes from the Abyssinian history, but also as descriptions of values and behaviors that have persisted for centuries and, in the longue durée, led to the environmental crisis we see in Ethiopia today.  Thus, the behavior of the Abyssinian settlers in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century in Oromia was, in many ways, similar to that of the medieval roving courts of the Abyssinian kings. In the late 1870s, when Menelik conquered the districts of Gullalee, Finfinnee and Ekka, where he built his capital city (Addis Ababa) in the mid-1880s, the surrounding hills were covered with forests of junipers and other indigenous trees and vegetation. But “[a]fter a decade and a half, Finfinnee and the surrounding mountain ranges were reduced to barren land.”[20]Menelik who had already changed the seat of his government three times (Ankober, Liche, and Dildila on the Entotto ranges), was about to continue with the tradition of his ancestors when “[t]he introduction of eucalyptus trees saved the new capital from an already initiated transfer to Addis Alem, some 60 kilometres away to the west.”[21]The eucalyptus trees may have solved Menelik’s firewood problem partially and saved him the trouble of transfering his capital city to a new site, but did not prevent the destruction of forests by the naftanya he had settled in the newly conquered south. The French Catholic missionary and scholar, Martial de Salviac who had observed the behavior of the naftnya in the early days of the colonial conquest wrote,

The Amhara devastate the forests by pulling from it the laths for their houses and make camp fires or firewood for their dwellings. They do not have the foresight to reforest or respect the root of trees, which would grow new off shoots.[22]

Among those who commented on how the Abyssinian settlers in the south related to nature, Martin de Saliaviac was most critical. He pointed out that the Abyssinians are not only  known as “great destroyers of trees,” but are also accused by some people of “exercising barbarity against the forests for the sole pleasure of ravaging”(italics mine). He adds that “All of highland Ethiopia offers bautiful landscapes, pleasant sites, luxuriant prairies, and vigorous vegetation. But there, where the Abyssinians live, their cultivation and pasture ground are surrounded by bare heights [with] naked flanks … stripped off the magnificence of trees.” He wrote that, by contrast, where or when the Oromo were still in control, “nature springs up with superb and luxurious pride.” [23]  Pointing out the laxity of fire management by the Abyssinians, he wrote

the Ayssinians do not care to stop the progress of the fire at the edge of the forests, and I have seen, broken hearted, many trees burn with hives they carried; gigantic conifers, which, for four hundred years, prospered under the wing of the Oromo generations, carbonized and tumbled down, from 50 meters of height, like the steeples of a cathedral whose base had been sapped by a mine. [24]

As another critical observer who had visited parts of the central and eastern Oromo territory in the beginning of the 1930s stated:“The Abyssinians imposed what was, by nature, a deadly and hopeless system” on the people. He summarized the behavior of the agents of the Ethiopian government as “idle and domineering, burning the timber, devouring the crops, taxing the meagre stream of commerce that seeped from outside, enslaving the people.”[25] Thus, Abyssinian conquest and occupation has been harmful not only to Oromo society and culture, but also to nature in Oromia. The eco-system which was fostered for centuries by an environmentally friendly Oromo culture was destroyed gradually by a system which is hostile to the environment. The Christian clergy who accompanied the forces of conquest interpreted the environmentally benign practices of the Oromo as nature worship and cut down revered trees.  Workneh Qalbessa has, for example, reported that in Borana in southern Oromia, the Abyssinian conquerors tried to convert the people to Christianity. However, as most people opposed the new religion the “Abyssinians cut down Dakkii [sacred] trees, burned Galma [the ceremonial places of Waaqeffannaa],and they threw ritual beads into the river. They cut down trees from traditional graves.”[26]

The destruction of the environment under the previous Ethiopian regimes, if not documented exhaustively, was raised by many observers and examined by scholars. Therefore, it suffices here to note that a large part of the Oromo territory was covered by forests when the Abyssinians conquered it at the end of the nineteenth centurty. The rich and bountiful natural environment which the European travellers and missionaries had observed in the Oromo country was still intact. Destruction of the natural environment and the exploitation of the Oromo people were felt soon after the conquest. However, it was estimated that more than forty percent of the forest cover was still undamaged half a century later in the 1950s.

The deforestation of Oromia and degredation of the environment accelerated with the expansion of commercial farming in the 1960s. The land reform of 1975, which abolished the feudal land holding system, did not contribute to the preservation of the natural environment. Land was nationalized, the regime replaced the naftanyalandlords as de facto owner of all land in the country. It used the land for large-scale state farms and settlements schemes for hundreds of thousands of people from the famine-affected regions in northern Ethiopia. Consequently, as the regime cleared hundreds of thousands of hectares of land for state farms and resettlement programs, the depletion of the forest areas in Oromia and the south-west was exacerbated. It was not only the activities of the regime that had been harmful in this case; the behaviour of the settlers was not environment-friendly either. Describing the behavior of northerners who were settled by the Dergue in Metekel north of the Blue Nile in the 1980s, a researcher noted:

The Gumuz retreated to low lying, remote areas within Metekel and across the Blue Nile, and their society turned even more introverted and xenophobic. They were appalled by the highlanders’ destruction of the forest and the wiping out of wild animals. The settlers, who always carried an axe on their shoulders, were said to cut even the tree ‘under which they sit while defecating.’[27]

An axe for a gun

The land reform of 1975 destroyed the natanya (gun-carrier), who carried a gun as a weapon of domination,and brought settlers who carried an axe as a weapon of deforestion. Not only among the Gumuz, but also the Oromoo, settlers with “an axe on their shoulders” became an expression for reckless contact with nature. The settlers cleared not only bushes and woodlands for farming: they cut down trees or burnt prime forests just to get rid of them. Incompatibility between the settlers’ recklessness and Oromo biophilia was inevitable. In one case, the indigenous Oromo population complained to the authorities but did not get their attention. As settlers continued to cut down trees, including those which were used for bee hives, the local population took their own decision and destroyed crop fields planted by the settlers. In Oromo culture, one cannot just pick up an axe and chop down a tree because one gets the opportunity. One has to follow ethical principles handed from Oromo ancestors. What the settlers did violated these principles. At last, the government was forced to resettle the migrants elsewhere. The incident took place during the 1973-74 famine.

The complaints about “axe-carrying settlers” did not find resolution with the end of the 1973-74 famine. The Dergue resettled hundreds of thousands of people in the south-west following the 1984-85 famine. Regarding settlers in the forest areas in Ilu Abba Bora, Alemneh Dejene wrote that, besides clearing for farmlands, the settlers’ habit of cutting trees not only for fuel, house construction and farm equipment, but also “just to get rid of forests” was accelerating deforestation. He reported that “the sights of ‘integrated settlements’ easily stand out throughout Illubabor because they occupy a bare land, one that is devoid of their natural vegetation, and is in the midst of thick forest”[28] Another researcher, Workneh Kelbessa, also notes that “[t]he settlers indiscriminately destroyed natural forests and [wild] coffee  plantations. Millions of trees were cut down …This has led to local climatic changes and soil ersion.”[29] It is interesting to note here that a research committee set up by the Council of Ministers of the military regime also found that the resettlement program was a great menace to the environment.  According to Alemneh Dejene, the warning conclusion of the committee’s report was that, at the ongoing rate of environmental destruction, the resettlement zones of the south-west will degenerate, in less than a decade, to conditions similar to the northern highlands.[30] It seems that the military regime, to which the report was directed, did not consider the content of the report. It was overthrown three years later in 1991.

Ironically, the TPLF-led regime did not learn from the mistakes of its predecessor. The resettlement started under the Dergue did not cease. According to Workneh Kelbessa “About 2000 household heads from the Amhara region have settled in Illu Abba Bora in 1998. They have controlled 2068 hectares of land and destroyed 367 hectares of forests. About 66,000 peasant farmers from the Amhara Region have moved to Wallaga and settled illegally.”[31] This ‘legal’ and illegal settlement has continued since Workneh made the observation cited here. Combined with the lease of the forest land to coffee planters, miners and logging firms, it has brought the few patches of natural forests which existed twenty years ago, not only in the south-west but also in south and central Oromia, to the verge of total destruction.  Today Ethiopia’s annual rate of deforestation is among the top ten countries in the world. A survey conducted by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), noted that Ethiopia’s forest cover decreased from 15.11 million hectares in 1989 to 12.2 million hectares in 2010. That means a decrease by about 20 per cent of the forests that existed when the TPLF came to power in Finfinnee in 1991.  Between 1990 and 2010 Ethiopia lost on average 140,900 hectares of forest  per year meaning around 2,818,000 hectares in total during these ten years. The same source indicates that the rate of deforestation had actually increased to 214,000 hectares per year between 2005 and 2010. Needless to say, the largest part of the destruction had occurred in Oromia, where most of the remaining patches of natural forests exist.

In recent years, the major causes of deforestation in Ethiopia are mentioned by observers as a combination of government development policy, “uncommon” or “mysterious” forest fires, population growth and climate change. A paper presented by Olie Bachie at the 29th Annual Conference of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) held at the Howard University, Washington D.C. in August 2015, reveals an alarming environmental crisis which is now facing Ethiopia and particularly the Regional State of Oromia. It showed that in Oromia, the hills and mountains which, some decades ago, were covered by lush forests and vegetation, are now deforested and barren. The myriads of cooree (small springs), which sparkled from countless groves and everglades and provided fresh water to myriads of hamlets throughout the highlands of Oromia and mingled forming numerous creeks and rivulets, are gone. Ravines, through which creeks and rivulets cascaded throughout the year, and had been the life-sustaining arteries of the eco-system in the past, are today stretches of dry brown earth and rocks. The river banks which were covered by majestic trees, lush vegetation, often decorated by varieties of flowers and teeming with birds, bees, butterflies and other living things, are now bereft of life. De Salviac has noted that “In Oromo regions, covered with forests, the flow of the rivers is quite constant; but there is nothing irregular and more sudden than the regime of torrents, in the deforested parts of Abyssinia.”[32] Regretably, the rich natural environment which European travelers and missionaries such as De Salviac had observed in Oromia in the past has gone. The main tributaries of the Blue Nile such as the Angar, Gudar, Mugar and Dhidheessa which carried large volumes of water throughout the year in the past and which De Salviac had in mind, are reduced to small creeks, particularly during the dry season, today. Although population growth and global climate change have made their contributions, the TPLF-led regime’s land policy must carry a  large share of the blame in causing the impending disaster.  Workineh Kelbessa notes that some of the informants he interviewed for his study mentioned above told him that “if their ancestors were alive, they would commit suicide for they could not lead a happy life on this degraded environment. They would not want to see the present state of the land.”[33] The statements of these Oromo informants may sound exaggerated, but they are important. They reveal their own feelings about the ongoing destruction to the environment that their ancestors had known and cherished. As peasants, whose lives are being adversely affected by the ongoing destruction, they are extremely unhappy and desperate. The preservation of the forest is extremely important to them, but they are powerless to prevent its destruction.  Their voice is not heard. The Tigrayan ruling elite, who are the de facto owners of the natural resources of Oromia today, are interested in the exploitation of the forests. Ecological protection is not in the priority list of their policy of “development”.

Student concern about forest fires that are ruining Oromia

By and large, the TPLF had a tension-filled relationship with the Oromo people from the very moment its forces crossed the Blue Nile and stepped onto Oromo soil in May 1991. However, tension between the regime and Oromo students started to crystallize first in 1998 in connection with the regime’s forcible recruitment of youth (including high-school students) to fight in the Ethio-Eritrean war. The Oromo youth did not see any reason to fight against the Eritreans, arguing that the war was not an Oromo affair.  Not surprisingly, their position on the war was not without repercussions on their lives. Some ended up in jail and others went into exile.

However, the issue which sparked off the first major conflict between the regime and the Oromo youth was an “uncommon” forest fires which devastated large portions of the existing forestlands Oromia in February and March of 2000. The news about the fires reached the public during the second week of February. Ironically, for more than five weeks, the government did not take any concrete action to stop the fires. The students volunteered to fight the fires which were destroying particularly ancient forests in the highlands of Bale and Borana regions. However, the regime did not allow the students to travel to the sites. Its spokesman told the public that the April rains would put out the fires and that therefore he did not see the reason to worry much about the problem. Unsatisfied by this response, the Oromo students at the Addis Ababa University (AAU) took the first step to fight the fires. Hundreds of students from different colleges of the AAU organized themselves and travelled to the Bale and Borana regions where the fires were threatening to consume ancient forests and to destroy rare plant and animal species that are found only here and nowhere else.[34] The concern over the forest-fires was not confined to university campuses, but was also shared by secondary and elementary schools in many parts of Oromia. The students asked the government to act and to put out the fires, but also stated their own readiness to participate in the action. The government authorities did not listen to them. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) research team noted that on March 9, 2000, high school students in Ambo demonstrated after authorities arrested four students who were sent to express their concern about the spreading forest fires and their desire to travel to the sites and help in extinguishing them. In Naqamtee, they staged a demonstration after their request for a letter of support from local officials to travel to the fire sites and participate in putting it out was rejected.  Overall, ignoring the students’ concern about the environment, the TPLF-led regime used violence to silence their voice. In Ambo, its security forces cracked-down on the demonstrators, beating one student to death and wounding nine others. In the same city, 300 civilians were detained following the event. In Naqamtee, several students were wounded by police fire and dozens of them were arrested, jailed and beaten. In Dembi Dollo in western Oromia, a student was killed in a similar chain of events.[35]  The death of these students did not terrorize and silence the Oromo youth. It strengthened their collective will to defend the environment against the reckless destruction caused by the policies of the present rulers of the Ethiopian state as well as to oppose the eviction of the Oromo from land they had inherited from their ancestors. Since the majority of them came from peasant households, the question of land and the environment was a question of life and death to Oromo students.

Dirribee Jifaar: One of the young students killed in 2000 by the Ethiopian police

while demonstrating for the protection of Oromia’s forests

According to researchers from the UN-Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (UN-EUE), while the regime’s crackdown on the protesting students went on between January and early April 2000, the fire consumed between 150,000 and 200,000 hectares of forests and killed thousands of livestock and wildlife in Bale and Borana alone.[36] In Bale, unique plant and animal species were also destroyed.  The reactions of the Oromo people and the ruling Tigrayan elite to the forest fires reflected the difference in values they give the environment. The UN-EUE report notes that “The effectiveness of the local fighting response and the communities’ willingness to devote time and effort despite endangering their own lives demonstrates the immense value the Ethiopian [in this case the Oromo] people place on land.”[37] In addition, the report indicated that the forest fires had also revealed that it is the communities who live on the land—those who know it, care for it and have an interest in its conservation—who will fulfill the responsibility of ownership.[38] Be it consciously or not, the UN-EUE researchers underline an irony in their conclusion. Although the Oromo are deprived their rights of ownership to their land and forests, yet they were the initiative-takers, while the TPLF-led regime, which in the name of the state, had usurped ownership of the land, was not only letting the fire burn the forests, but was even preventing the students from putting it out. It is no wonder that the authors of the UN-EUE report had recommended that land ownership be taken from the state and given to local communities. The TPLF leaders and their surrogates, the leaders of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), did not share the students’ concern and sense of urgency to put out the fire. The UN-EUE researchers reported that “The fires started at the end of January and raged for three months.” The fires were put out during the first week of April. It is not certain whether they were extinguished by the heavy rains of March 24 and 25 which fell in some areas in Bale and on March 29 and 30 in the Borana and Bale zones, or by the contributions of the tens of thousands of local people, or by the input of international fire-fighter teams from South Africa and Germany who had participated in putting out the fires. However, the UN-EUE report pointed out that “Due to the delay in government’s response and the minimal resources available to it, the most effective fire-fighting tools were community members themselves.”[39] A report from the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) also acknowledged the significance of the input made by the local population in fighting the forest fires. It did not say much about the input made by state authorities and institutions.[40] Ironically, the regime did not apologize for its own inadequacy to fight the fires, or repent the harm its security forces had inflicted on the students. It blamed the cause of the fires on local inhabitants and kept student leaders in detention. The tension between students and the regime was still high when the summer vacation started in June 2000.

The students were not left alone during their vacation. The agents of the regime followed many of them wherever they went and harassed them. Many of them were arrested or abducted from their parents’ homes and jailed or “disappeared.”  Solidarity with imprisoned and abducted students, and the memory of those who were killed, kept the student grievances alive. Consequently, when they returned from vacation, the students took to the streets in September 2000, demanding the release of their compatriots.[41]  Dozens of people were killed or injured, many were imprisoned, or disappeared between March 2000 and early 2001. By then the pattern of impunity with which the regime reacts to peaceful protests was clear to the students.

An aerial view of the forest fires in the Bale Mountains,

Photo: March 4, 2000. Curtesy of Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)

Did the silence ‘speak’ the truth?

Forest fires are common in Ethiopia. But there were many things that made the forest fires of 2000 in Oromia, “mysterious,” “controversial” or “uncommon” as many observers had put it. The first question was, who lit the fires? If human hands were behind the fires, who were the culprits of the crime? Writing about “controversy over the origins of the forest fires” the authors of the UN-EUE report noted that “During this study some key informants, including farmers, gave the impression of not wanting to openly comment on the causes of the 2000 forest fires.”[42] The authors added that they “could not collect any valuable information on this obviously politically very sensitive issue as officials and farmers alike were reluctant to provide any information concerning the forest fires.”[43] Why? Why were they unwilling to speak about the fires? Were they afraid? If so of whom or what? The farmers could fear the local officials, but what was the cause of the local officials’ fear? Why was it “politically sensitive” to speak about the forest fires? Why did the regime react brutally when the students took the initiative to put out the forest fires? Was the regime of Meles Zenawi trying to cover-up the cause of the fires? The UN-EUE report does not give any clue as to what can be an answer to any of these questions.  It is silent. Apparently, the silence indicates the truth as its accusing finger is pointing at the regime itself. 

However, as mentioned above, the regime blamed the local people for setting the forests on fire and arrested 146 men: 70 in Bale and 76 in Borana.[44] This parading of an incredible “army of arsonists” by the regime did not convince the people regarding the identity of the culprits. The allegation was that the fires were lit by the agents of the regime to drive away the Oromo Liberation Front’s (OLF) guerrilla fighters from the area. Consequently, the general conclusion was that the regime was covering its own felonious activities by holding innocent civilians responsible. In addition, its attempts to pose as the keeper of law and order, while killing students who demonstrated peacefully to bring the damages of the forest fires to public attention had also exacerbated Oromo distrust of the regime. Furthermore, the negligence of duty reflected in the regime’s failure to put out the fires and protect resources in the Oromo and other territories in the south put under question the currently dominant Tigrayan elite’s legitimacy to rule the country. Thus, as the report by the UN-EUE researchers aptly suggested, the forest fires “exacerbated social tensions that lay dormant beneath the surface of the daily activities of Ethiopian life.” Indeed, as we will see in the next part of this article, that was what has been happening progressively during the last 15 years.

[1] OPride’s article “OPride’s Oromo Person of the Year 2014: Oromo Student Protesters” published on January 1, 2015 is an excellent contribution in this respect. [Online resource] http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/3783-opride-s-oromo-person-of-the-year-2014-oromo-student-protesters
[2] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel, first published in London by Secker & Warburg in 1949.
[3] Juan Schuver, Juan Maria Schuver’s Travels in Northeast Africa 1880-1883, translated and edited by Wendy James et al., (London: Hakluyt Society, 1884/1996), pp. 76, 51.
[4] Juan Schuver, ibid.
[5] Cited in Mohammed Hassen, “The Significance of Antoine in Oromo Studies”,Journal of Oromo Studies, Volume 14, No. 1, 2007, p. 150
[6] C. W. Harris, The Highlands of Aethiopia, (London: Longmans, 1844), Vol. 2, p. 192.
[7] Martial de Salviac, Les Galla: Grande Nation Africaine, Un Peuple Antique au Pays de Menelik (Paris: H. Oudin, 1901), p. 111.
[8] Ibid. pp. 111-12
[9] Ibid.
[10] Alexander Bulatovich, EthiopiaThroughRussianEyes:A Country in Transition,1896-1898,  (Lawrenceville, N.J: The Red Sea Press, 2000), p. 61
[11] Workneh Kelbessa, Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics: A Study of Oromo Environmental ethic and Modern Issues of Development (Washington, D.C.: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 2008). p.123
[12] Joseph Van de Loo, Gujii Oromo Culture in Southern Ethiopia: Religious capabilities in rituals and songs (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1991).
[13] Kelbessa, Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics, p. 131
[14] Some of those I know are Bakkaniisa Robee, Dambii Wandii, Bakkaniisa Qeesee and are found near my birth place.
[15] Workneh Kelbessa, Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics, p. 123.
[16] Cited in Y. M. Kobishchanov, “The Gafol Complex in Ethiopian History,” inProceedingsoftheNinthInternationalCongressofEthiopianStudies (Moscow: Nauka Publishers, 1988).
[17] Ibid. p. 103
[18] See Almeida, “The History of High Ethiopia or Abassia”, in SomeRecordsofEthiopia,1593-1646. (Translated and edited by C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford), London: Hakluyt Society. 1954, p. 82
[19] Teshale Tibebu, The making of modern Ethiopia: 1896-1974 (Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press, 1995), p. 34
[20] Sutuma Waaqo, “Ecological Degradation in Ethiopia”, Oromo Commentary, Vol. IV. No. 1, 1994, p.
[21]  ibid.
[22] De Salviac, ibid. p. 20
[23] Ibid. 20-21
[24] Ibid. p. 120
[25] Evelyn Waugh, Waugh in Abyssinia (London; New York: Longmans, Green, 1936), p. 26.
[26] Workneh Kelbessa, “The Utility of Ethical Dialogue for Marginalized Voices in Africa”, Discussion Paper, 2005, p. 16.
[27] John Markakis, Ethiopia: The Last Two Frontiers, James Curry, 2011, p. 160
[28]  Alemneh Dejene, “Peasants and Environmental Dilemma in Resettlement”, energy and Environmental Policy Center, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Typescript 1989: 7-8
[29] Workneh Kelbessa, ibid. 2011, p. 73
[30] Alemneh Dejene, ibid.
[31] Workneh Kelbessa, ibid.
[32] De Salviac, ibid. p. 122
[33] Workneh Kelbessaa, 2011, ibid.
[34]  Letter from Geresu Tufa to Mekuria, February 2000
[35] Among those who were killed were three high school students, Dirribee Jifaar, a young female student in Dembi Dollo, and Alemu Disaasaa, a teenager from Jimma, were gunned down by government soldiers in April 2000. Another high school student, Getu Dirriba, was beaten to death in a military detention center in Ambo.
[36] In economic terms the damage was estimated by researcher to amount to “The total economic damage caused by the forest fires in Bale and Borana zones of Oromia Region alone amounted to approximately US$ 39 million or 331,179,405 ETB”, Dehassa Lemessa & Mathew Pernault, ibid, pp. 110-111
[37] Ibid. pp. 108-9
[38] Ibid. p. 122.
[39] Ibid. p.108
[40] J. G. Goldmanner, “The Ethiopian Fire Emergency between February and April 2000”, IFFN No. 22, 2000: 2-8.
[41] Oromia Support Group (OSG) Report No. 45
[42] Ibid. p. 98
[43] Ibid. p. 102.
[44] BBC World News, Africa, ”Arrests over Ethiopian forest fires”, February 29, 2000

Bilisuumma:  Oduu Gammachiisaa: Mootummaan Jarmanii %100 Oromoo akka deeggarru Ibse December 20, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and shareOromians in Germany protested against OPDO Woyane visit 31st january 2015

Viva Oromo Diaspora In Germany. Baga itti milkooftani.

Dubbi himaan mootummaa Jaramanii guyyaa har’aa waan danda’ame hundaan akka Uummata Oromoo deeggaran, akka namoota Jarmanii Itoophiyaa keessa jiran hojii isaanii dhiisanii gara Jarmanii deebi’aniif akka amma booda hariiroo mootummaa Itoophiyaa waliin qaban dhaaban wadaa galaniiru.

Oduu Gammachiisaa: Mootummaan Jarmanii %100 Oromoo akka deeggarru Ibse

(Bilisummaa.com, Muddee 20 bara 2015): Akkam jirtan yaa lammiiwwan kiyya. Akkatti jirru walumaanu beekna natti bareetin isin gaafadhe dhiifama akka itti jirru wallaaleti miti. Hundi keenya mootummaa wayyaanee ilmaaf abbaa ykn haadhaaf ilma walirratti ajjeesaa jiru kana laalaa akkamitti nagaa qabdaani jettanii nu gaafattan badii tiyya ta’uu amaneetin fudhadha. Ani mootummmaa wayyaanee kan osoo AMNEST INTERNATIONAL NAMOOTA 75 Seera malee ajjeefamee jedhee gabaase namoota 5 qofatu ajjeefame jedhee balaaleffattu sanii miti. Mootummaan Wayyaanee waggaa 10 dura bara 2005 deeggartoota paartii QINIJJIT jedhamu 26 ajjeefamuun isaani yeroo himamu lakkoofsa 26 akka lakkoofsa 75 waakkatan kanatti hin waakkanne.

Namootni 26 dhukaasa akka tasaa itti dhukaween lubbuu isaanii akka dhaban kan gazexeessitoota BBC hime ture Ob. Mallasaan namootni 26 ajjeefamani turan sun hundi eega rasaasa akka tasaa dhukaaten ajjeefamanii maaliif hundii isaani addarra nyaara ija isaanii lamaan jidduu rasaasan rukkutamanii ajjeefaman gaafii jedhu kan gareen BBC ‪#‎HardTalk‬ kaasaniif deebii dhabeet ture. Dubbii Qinijjiit bara 2005 kaasee ture kanan kaasu isaan faarsuf ykn qabsoon sun waan cimaa tureef akka qabsoo akkasii gootan isin yaadachiisuf ykn warra Qinijjit wayyaanerratti qabsaawe san balaaleffachuufi miti.

Waanan ani kaasa jiru dogongora Qinijjit bara 2005 hojjeterraa barattani akka of sirreessitan dhaamsa cimaa akka lammii biyyaaf yaadu tokkootti isiniif dhaamu tokkon qaba dhaamsa kiyya kana yoo na tuffattanillee mee yaa lammii Oromoo xinxaala keessa galchuuf yaalaa. Kuni dhaamsan Lubbuu 100 oli ji’a kana keessa wareegamaniitin irbuu isiniif seenu. Baqattootni Oromoo guyyaa sadi osoo manatti hin galin Cabbii keessa oola fi bulaa godhan milkiin xummuramuun isaa guddaa nama gammachiisa.

Dubbi himaan mootummaa Jaramanii guyyaa har’aa waan danda’ame hundaan akka Uummata Oromoo deeggaran, akka namoota Jarmanii Itoophiyaa keessa jiran hojii isaanii dhiisanii gara Jarmanii deebi’aniif akka amma booda hariiroo mootummaa Itoophiyaa waliin qaban dhaaban wadaa galaniiru. ‪#‎VivaGermany‬. Kun Sochii guddaa baqattootni Oromoo Jarmanii keessa jiran godhanirra kan dhufe waan ta’eef‪#‎VivaOromoDiasporaInGermany‬ jennee galateeffachuu qabna.
Gammachuun mootummaan Jarmanirraa arganne haala kanarra osuma jiruu mootummaan hablee qara lamaatin Addunyaarratti rakkoo uumuun beekamu mootummaan Ameerikaa ibsa inni keennaa jiru soonkoof soorgoo ” Yaa ta’u jennaan harree qalle, hin ta’u jennaan harree ganne kan harree ganne sunuu qorichaa fidaa jennaan barbaadnee dhabne ” ciigoo jedhuun wal fakkaatti.

Ibsa Ameerikan kaleessa baase keessatti Waraanni Wayyaanee akka ajjeechaa Oromoo hiriira bahanirratti hirmaateefi akka Oromoonis gochoota sodaachisaarratti hirmaatan ibsaa akka waraanni wayyaanee fi Oromoon waliin haasawani dubbii amma itti jiran kana fixatan dhaamsa dhaamun mootummaan Ameerikaa lubbuun Oromoo dhumaa jiru kana siyaasa adurree kan horsiifne akka hantuuta nurraa fixxuufi dubbii jedhuun wal fakkaata. Yeroo ammaa kanatti uummatni Oromoo Hantuta.

Wayyaaneen adurreedha. Adurreen mirga hantuutaa ni kabajjiif yoo kan jettan taate wayaaneen mirga Oroomoo hin tuqxu jedhaati waan Ameerikaan odeesditu jala deema. Mirga ofii abbumatu kabajjiifata yoo kan jettan ta’e wayyaane, Ameerika, Jarmanii kkf hundarraa walaba taanee of dandeenyee yaa qabsoofnu. Garuu, warra adeemsa qabsoo keenyaa keessatti waan barbaachisaa ta’e nuuf gumaachaa jiran akka galateeffachuu qabnu dagachuu hin qabnuun dhaamsa kooti. Akkuma Nelson Mandeellan General Tadesse Biru “Long Walk To Freedom ” kitaaba jedhee barreesse Keessatti bakka guddaa kenneef Deebiin guyyaa har’aa mootummaa Jarmaniirraa arganne kun kan bakka guddaa qabuu plzzzzz nurraa hin dagatinaa. Ammas beektota keenya‪#‎OromoAnonymousHackers‬ jedhaman kan barattootafi qotee bulaa Oromoo bira dhaabbatani Waraana Wayyaanerraatti duula addaa banan nuuf jajjabeessan isiniin jedha isin hoo maal jettu?

http://www.bilisummaa.com/oduu-gammachiisaa-mootummaan-jarmanii-%100-oromoo-akka-deeggarru-ibse/

Oromia (WBO): Gootichi Humna Addaa WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa Loltoota Wayyaanee Warraaqsa Ummata Oromoo Belbelaa Jiru Dhaamsuuf Daangaa Somaalee Irraa Gara Giddu Galeessa Oromiyaatti Socho’aa Turan Irratti Tarkaanfilee Gara Garaa Fudhateen 91 Ol Hojiin Ala Godhe. December 20, 2015

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???????????

Bilisummaa (Freedom Function)OLF logo

 

Oduu Tarkaanfii WBO

(SBO – MUDDE 19,2015) Irree fi Gaachanni Ummata Oromoo WBOn Kibba Bahaa Godina Baalee keessa sossohu gartuun Humna Addaa, Mudde 13 fi 16,2015 Baalee Ona Haroo Dibbee keessaa bakkoota gara garaatti tarkaanfii haxxee fi tarkaanfii miinoo (fanjii) farra konkolaataa loltoota wayyaanee konkolaataa ORALiin guutamanii gara giddu galeessa Oromiyaa fi naannicha keessatti bobba’uun ummataa fi barattoota Oromoo warraaqsa bilisummaa finiinsaa jiran irratti yakka waraanaa raawwachuuf sossohaa turan irratti fudhateen loltoota diinaa 91 ol hojiin ala gochuun qawwee AKM. 7 hidhannoo guutuu waliin booji’uu Ajaji WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa beeksiseera.

Haaluma kanaan gartuun Humna Addaa WBO Mudde 13,2015 Godina Baalee Ona Haroo Dibbee bakka Kaarra Jibriitti ganama keessaa sa’aa 8:00 irratti waraana wayyaanee FDG dhaamsuuf bobbahaa ture haxii itti hidhee tarkaanfii irratti fudhateen 7 ajjeesee, 9 ol madeessuu fi qawwee AKM 7 hidhannoo guutuu waliin booji’ee dantaa QBOf oolchuu Ajaji WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa ifa godheera. Lolli kun daqiiqaa 40 oliif akka geggeeffames gabaafameera.

Mudde 16,2015ttis Gartuun Humna Addaa WBO Godina Baalee waraana wayyaanee daangaa Somaalee Doolloo irraa fe’amee Cirrattii keessa qaxxaamuruun gara giddu galeessa Oromiyaatti ummata Oromoo fi ilmaan isaa barattoota irratti ajjechaa raawwachuuf ORALII 4n socho’aa ture akkuma magaalaa Cirrattii irraa km.30 fagaateen bakka Kullaa Kootichaa jedhamutti ganama keessaa sa’aa 9:00 gubbaatti miinoo/fanjii farra konkolaataa kiyyeessuufiin ORALII 2 loltoota diinaa 50 ta’an, hidhannoo qaban waliin guutummaatti daaressuu Ajaji WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa dabalee beeksiseera.

Waytuma kana gartuun Humna Addaa WBO Godina Baalee kun loltoota wayyaanee ORALII 2n boodarraan dhufaa turanitti haxii hidhuudhaan tarkaanfii irratti fudhateen 10 iraa ajjeesuu fi 15 ol ammoo haalaan madeessuu Ajaji WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa dabalee addeesseera. Lolli kunis daqiiqaa 20 oliif akka adeemsifame ibsameera.

Walumaagalatti tarkaanfii Humni Addaa WBO Godina Baalee Mudde 13 fi 16,2015 waraana wayyaanee irratti fudhate kanaan loltootni diinaa 91 ol ta’an du’aa fi madoo ta’anii, ORALIIN 2 guutummaatti oggaa daareffamu, qawween AKMn 7 ammoo hidhannoo guutuu waliin booji’amaniiru.

Oromia:The Oromo students’ defiant protests are a response to decades of systemic and structural marginalization. #OromoProtests December 20, 2015

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#OromoProtests @Finfinnee (AAU) over kidnapping of two female students. Their name is Lomitu Waqbulcho ( 3rd year Afan Oromo & Hirut Tule (2nd year Chemical Engineering). 18 December 2015Oromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....

Protesters in Ethiopia reject authoritarian development model

The Oromo students’ defiant protests are a response to decades of systemic and structural marginalization

December 19, 2015

Social media is full of images of dead and injured students from Ethiopia’s Oromia state. At least 50 protesters have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands more arrested in monthlong protests across the region. Tensions escalated sharply this week after authorities accused the demonstrators of terrorism and confirmed deploying military forces.

The government continues to take a hard line. On Dec. 17, Communications Minister Getachew Reda described the protesters as “terrorists” and “demonic.” Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has threatened to take “merciless action against any force bent on destabilizing the area,” echoing pronouncements by the country’s counterterrorism task force, which has promised “legal and proportionate” measures.

This is an old tactic in Ethiopia, where protests and public proclamation of dissent are criminalized. Addis Ababa often dismisses genuine local grievances as evil designs of anti-development elements.  Over the last decade, the government in Addis Ababa used the “war on terrorism” and the rhetoric of development to silence independent voices and curtail democratic debate. The press is effectively muzzled, and independent civic and political organizations face an array of government tactics, including manipulation, co-optation and violent repression.

The immediate trigger for the crisis is the Integrated Regional Development Plan for Addis Ababa and the Surrounding Oromia Region, commonly known as the Master Plan, which aims to expand the Ethiopian capital’s jurisdiction to Oromia. But the movement is a reflection of long-simmering ethnic tensions and deeper historical injustices. The Oromo, who constitute nearly half of Ethiopia’s 100 million people, have long been pushed to the periphery of Ethiopia’s economic, social and political life. The anger and defiance of the last few weeks is a spontaneous response to decades of systemic and structural marginalization of the Oromo.

Despite the government’s claim, the ongoing largely peaceful protests pose no threat to Ethiopia’s economic or national security interests. However, the government’s heavy-handed crackdown on protesters and the implementation of the Master Plan presents a clear and present danger to the well-being of the Oromo.

Why are Oromos protesting?

These protests are not new. In April and May 2014, similar protests broke out when the government unveiled the controversial Master Plan. Dozens of people were killed and many more wounded. Authorities insist that the draft plan will better coordinate development activities and facilitate the delivery of public services to remote areas. The protesters say it is a blueprint for annexation and will displace millions of Oromo farmers.

Addis Ababa, one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, faces a population explosion. The city has sprawled into neighboring Oromo villages, farmlands and forests. In the last 10 years, more than 150,000 Oromo farmers have been evicted from their ancestral lands without adequate compensation and proper relocation. Displaced farmers are becoming daily laborers on lands taken from them. Oromo activists and opposition politicians fear that the Master Plan will lead to a new and unrestrained land grab that could radically alter the region’s demographics and cultural makeup. The protesters say such expansion would cleanse the Oromo people and culture from the area.

Oromo protesters want a human-centered development that places people at the center of government policies and programs and allows everyone to get a fair share of what belongs to all.

Addis Ababa lies in the heart of Oromia. The Ethiopian Constitution recognizes the state’s “special interest” over the city and mandates Parliament to enact laws that would regulate the “provision of social services or the utilization of natural resources” between Oromia and Addis Ababa. However, two decades after the constitution’s adoption, no such laws have been enacted. Meanwhile, Addis Ababa’s expansion into surrounding Oromo towns continues unabated. This advance, which is in part fueled by demand for land by foreign and private investment, has had serious economic and ecological consequences for the area.

Human-centered development

The government has appealed to developmental goals to silence such concerns, but its approach to development is narrow. Ethiopia follows a developmental state model that doesn’t guarantee democratic participation and representative procedures necessary to scrutinize the legality, viability and proportionality of state-led projects. Its five-year Growth and Transformation Plan is mainly funded by foreign aid, including from the United States. The plan envisions the relocation of people from lands slated for infrastructure construction, industrial parks and large-scale agricultural development. These programs are often implemented through intimidation, violence and other repressive tactics.

Ethiopia happens to be a key U.S. ally in the “war on terrorism.” In 2006 the U.S. provided technical and financialsupport for Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia under the pretext of targeting the Somali armed group Al-Shabab. Since 2011, the U.S. has been flying armed reaper drones from bases in Ethiopia as part of its counterterrorism mission in East Africa. Washington acknowledges the ruling party’s increasingly authoritarian tactics but has consistently ignored human rights concerns. The U.S. State Department on Friday expressed concern about reports of deaths and urged the Ethiopian government “to permit peaceful protest and commit to a constructive dialogue.”

The protesters oppose policies that disregard the will of the people. They are calling for a system grounded in fair processes, driven by equitable outcomes and the effective participation of affected communities in defining the scope of development programs. In short, they want a human-centered development that places people at the center of government policies and programs and allows everyone to get a fair share of what belongs to all.

These protests are unprecedented in many ways. They are broad based and resilient as well as creative. They are using roadblocks, sit-ins, lunch boycotts and striking hand gestures and other symbols of civil disobedience to capture asymmetries of power and governance.

Their nonviolent resistance transcends deep political fault lines and is building interethnic solidarity among Ethiopia’s key political players. Over the last two weeks, several non-Oromo political parties and civic organizations have expressed solidarity with the protesters. This in and of itself is a remarkable achievement in a country sharply divided along ethnic lines.

This movement may not end the subordination of the Oromo people and the displacement of its farmers, but its legacy will endure. It leaves behind traces and reminders that will serve as the seedbed of indignation and frustration, providing inspiration for future struggles for equality and justice in Ethiopia.

Awol Allo is a fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/12/protesters-in-ethiopia-reject-authoritarian-development-model.html