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

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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share11

 

(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.

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

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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