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OROMIA: #OROMOPROTESTS: THE US REMAINS VIGILANT, REQUESTS “TRANSPARENT AND SHARED” INVESTIGATION January 31, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooDeath toll climbs as #OromoProtests still rage in Oromia state ( Ethiopia); schools remain closed. As of 30 january 2016. Fascist Ethiopian regime conducts genocide against Oromo people.#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

#OromoProtests @ Abote, n. Shawa, Oromia, 29 January 2016

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#OROMOPROTESTS: THE US REMAINS VIGILANT, REQUESTS “TRANSPARENT AND SHARED” INVESTIGATION


 

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Second Genocide Being Committed Against Anuaks in Gambella January 31, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo

 

GPLM Press Release

The Second Genocide is Being Committed against Unarmed Anuak Tribe in Gambella, Southwest Ethiopia, by South Sudanese Refugees with Ethiopian Government’s Approval

It is with deep sadness that we learned that the Ethiopian government has once again embarked on carrying out a massive massacre of unarmed Anuak civilians in Gambella town of southwest Ethiopia, using similar killing style of 2003. Unlike the December 2003 – which involved Ethiopian highlanders’ civilians, this time, the Ethiopian government used South Sudanese ethnic Nuers to carry out the genocide.

The Nuers who are spearheading the killing of Anuaks are going front, while the Ethiopian military accompany them in the back. Any Anuak seen carrying traditional weapon, such as a spear, is shot dead by the Ethiopian military forces. In addition, the government ordered all Anuaks in police and special force to be disarmed by the Ethiopian military. Leaving all Anuaks vulnerable to be killed. In this rampage killing, the Nuer refugees are armed with modern weapons, such as AK-47, garnets and bombs, and are allowed to kill Anuaks and loots their properties before burning their houses to ground.

For the last three months, the Governor of Gambella region Mr. Gatluak Tut – who by nationality is a South Sudanese Nuer, with the knowledge of Ethiopian government, brought many guns to Gambella town from the Sudanese Nuer rebel base of Dr. Riek Machar Teny. These guns are distributed to all Nuers living in Gambella town in preparation to commit such mass genocide-plan. What availed itself on Wednesday January 27, 2016 around 2am and continued up to-date is the execution of such an atrociousness plan. Clearly, the plan was coordinated, and it was a combination of a strategic long-term plan by the EPRDF/Ethiopian government, South Sudanese Nuers, and their rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny to kill all Anuaks living in Gambella town.

Obviously, it was a continuation of the policy of genocide against the Anuaks which began its first implementation in December 2003. The Ethiopian government can not rest or stop its policy of genocide until all Anuaks are killed and the land is taken by the very government committing the genocide.

The Gambella People’s Liberation Movement (GPLM) strongly condemned this atrocity committed against our people by foreign forces with the support of the Ethiopian government and security organs. We believe such use of foreigners to kill Ethiopian nationals by the very government supposedly to protect them not only a violation of the country sovereignty and the constitution, but also is a violation of international law in the states obligation to protect it own citizens.

Thus, we calls on:

• International community to pressure the Ethiopian government to stop indirect and direct killing of Anuak civilians;
• To establish independent inquiries to investigate the massacre currently taking place in Gambella;
• The United States government and the Europeans community to pressure the Ethiopian government to desist from committing current genocide on our people;
• The United Nations and members nations, the African Union, in the East African countries to instruct the South Sudanese Nuer rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny to immediately stop supplying his Nuer tribe with deadly weapons to be used against unarmed Anuak civilians and creating instability in Gambella.
• Unconditional remove and transfer South Sudanese Nuers out of Gambella immediately;
• Finally, calls on government of EPRDF to stop its divide-and-rule politics in Gambella.

 

GAMBELLA PEOPLE’S LIBERATION MOVEMENT (GPLM) EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.

Contact Number: 1(204)-218-5988 Or 1(507)-383-0534

In Ethiopia, a Mix of Regulations and Repression Silence Independent Voices January 30, 2016

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Odaa OromooEthiopia's scores in freedom in the world 2016, freedom House World Report, January 2016.
Journalist Fikadu Mirkana, Oromia TV and Radio

Two of the Zone 9 Bloggers at Irreecha in bishooftu, after their release from jail

(Resurgent Dictatorship) — After a tense year marked by widely-criticized elections in which Ethiopia’s ruling party won 100 percent of parliamentary seats, 2015 concluded with yet more repression in the East African nation. During the last weeks of December, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported the arrests of two journalists, while five Zone 9 bloggers who had been acquitted of terrorism charges in October were summoned back to court as state prosecutors appealed their earlier acquittal.

These detentions occurred amid widespread protests in Oromia state, Ethiopia’s largest region. Human Rights Watch reported that since the protests began in mid-November 2015, police and security forces had killed 140 protesters and wounded many others, while hundreds of demonstrators and activists have been jailed; Ethiopian government officials have only publicly acknowledged five deaths.

The trigger for this recent crisis was the Integrated Regional Development Plan for Addis Ababa. Commonly known as “The Addis Ababa Master Plan,” its implementation would have expanded the capital city into parts of the neighboring Oromia region, potentially displacing a large number of local farmers, threatening their constitutionally-protected right to livelihood, and eroding local authority. One Ethiopia analyst, Tsegaye R. Ararssa, noted that the Master Plan violated Articles 39 and 105(2) of Ethiopia’s Constitution, which authorize alterations to state boundaries only by a referendum of self-determination or a constitutional amendment. Although the government recently decided to scrap the Master Plan, the decision was made primarily to silence the protests and falls short of addressing the protestors’ underlying concerns about the lack of good governance, access to information, and freedom of expression in Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian government prides itself on having one of the world’s fastest growing economies (the International Monetary Fund ranks the country among the top five globally). But the authorities often promote growth at the expense of citizens’ basic human rights, and many citizens feel that they have not benefitted from the country’s economic growth. The United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index ranks Ethiopia 174 out of 187 countries, and despite the government’s growth plans, 29 percent of Ethiopia’s population lives below its national poverty line.

The recent Oromia protests are a clear indication of what happens when the population feels that development is being imposed. If the government genuinely believes in inclusive economic growth, its plans would benefit from better communication with the people. Instead, the authorities have closed most venues for two-way communication and use state media to control media narratives and disseminate propaganda about their development plans.

In my January 2016 Journal of Democracy article, I describe how Ethiopia’s authorities have used legal and economic methods to suppress civil society and independent media. Ethiopia’s criminal code and press law, which have long been highly restrictive, have tightened significantly in the years since Ethiopia’s 2005 general elections, when mass protests erupted over vote-rigging allegations. Media repression became even more organized and systematic in 2009 after Ethiopia adopted the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP). Ostensibly intended to counter security threats, since its adoption the ATP has only ever been used to bring charges against political activists and members of independent media.

The Civil Society Proclamation (CSP), adopted in 2009 around the same time as the ATP, has also curtailed the efforts of most human rights organizations. Restrictions on foreign funding and regulations which limit how much a civil society organization (CSO) can dedicate toward its administrative and operations costs make it extremely difficult for CSOs to survive. According to onestudy, the number of federally-registered local and international CSOs in Ethiopia dropped by 45 percent (from 3,800 to 2,059) between 2009 and 2011. Ethiopia’s Charities and Societies Agency (CSA) claimed in 2014 that 3,174 CSOs were registered in Ethiopia, but a 2014 study by the joint European Union’s Civil Society Fund (EU-CSF II) found that of the total number of CSOs registered by Ethiopia’s Civil Society Agency, only 870 were actually operational. USAID’s 2014 CSO Sustainability Index for Sub-Saharan Africa noted that the impact of CSOs in Ethiopia is limited by national policies, funding restrictions, and a lack of government interest.

As a result of policies like these, platforms which normally serve to facilitate communication and feedback between government and citizens, such as media and civil society organizations, have been silenced by heavy government censorship and the criminalization of dissent. The lack of accountable communication channels makes the population feel alienated from the government, and the only remaining avenue for the public to express its concerns—peaceful demonstration—typically results in a harsh crackdown, as the last few months have shown.  In December, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn appeared on state television to defend the government’s use of physical repression against Oromia protestors, saying the government will take “merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area.”

These remarks betray the authorities’ insecurity. The increased intensity of repression against independent media, associations, and civil society organizations reflect a government that feels threatened by independent voices. Like most authoritarian regimes, Ethiopia’s government worries that the more informed and connected the people are, the more empowered they will be to hold the government to account. In other words, Ethiopia’s attempt to gag the media and choke civil society is not a sign of the government’s strength, but rather of its weakness.

Simegnish “Lily” Mengesha is a visiting fellow and former Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy’s International Forum for Democratic Studies. A seasoned journalist, media consultant, and translator, she previously served as director of the Ethiopian Environment Journalists Association.

The views expressed in this post represent the opinions and analysis of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for Democracy or its staff.

http://www.resurgentdictatorship.org/in-ethiopia-a-mix-of-regulations-and-repression-silence-independent-voices/

http://www.ned.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/JoD-Jan-2016-Ethiopia-Silencing-Dissent-Mengesha.pdf

 

JoD-Jan-2016-Ethiopia-Silencing-Dissent-Mengesha

Daily Maverick: How Ethiopia exploits AU role to suppress international criticism January 29, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Africa Union.
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 Odaa OromooObama Ethiopia visit Africa Union

 

 

The restrictions imposed on media and NGOs have the very real consequence of minimising negative news and information coming out of Ethiopia. This is one element of a censorship regime that is working. Recently, this was apparent in the coverage – or lack thereof – of the huge Oromo protests, where affected communities demonstrated against government plans to expand Addis Ababa. An estimated 140 people were killed, but the situation barely made international news, unlike, for example, the global headlines generated by the Marikana massacre in South Africa, even though the Marikana protest was smaller and far fewer people died.

Still, for an unabashedly authoritarian government, the ability to control information flow is the most significant advantage to hosting the headquarters of the AU. Just like that shiny AU building distracts the eye from the relative poverty of the suburb around it, so hosting the AU in Addis Ababa helps to disguise and obscure the darker elements of the Ethiopian growth story. DM

 

 

How Ethiopia exploits AU role to suppress international criticism

BY  SIMON ALLISON,  DAILY MAVERICK, 28 JANUARY 2016

 

 

Photo: Delegates listen to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Media and civil society at the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa face a stark choice: avoid criticising Ethiopia, or risk being denied access to the continental body. SIMON ALLISON reports on how the Ethiopian government uses its role as gatekeeper to the AU to keep journalists, researchers and activists in check.

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union headquarters, 24-storeys of clean lines and soaring glass, is Addis Ababa’s tallest building. It looks all wrong in the context of its dusty, low-rise surroundings (although increasingly less so, as the city develops furiously around it). It’s almost like it was accidentally transplanted from Shanghai or Beijing, which, in a way, it was – China paid for and built it. But there’s no question that it belongs. The building is Africa’s diplomatic centre, and Addis is the continent’s diplomatic capital. There’s nowhere else it could be.

The city’s starring role in continental politics began in 1963, when Ethiopia brokered a truce between two rival African blocs with different ideas of what a continental body should look like. The breakthrough conference in 1963, where the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was declared, took place in Addis Ababa, and it was only natural that the new institution should establish its headquarters there too.

Not that there wasn’t a fight. Togo spent $120 million – that was half its annual budget at the time – on a lavish new hotel and conference centre in Lomé, complete with 52 presidential villas, in an effort to persuade the OAU to move its headquarters. The bid failed, and the complex turned into a ludicrously expensive white elephant, abandoned and left derelict for decades.

Togo’s attempt to steal Addis Ababa’s thunder was only crazy because it failed. Had it worked, the investment would have looked like a small price to pay. As Ethiopia well knows, the benefits – both financial and political – far outweigh any costs associated with hosting the AU.

Let’s start with the obvious. The AU rakes in hard currency for Ethiopia. There’s the $2,000-plus a month rentals for staff villas; the restaurants, hotels and conference venues built to cope with the regular influx of summit delegates; the thousands and thousands of flight bookings – often first or business class – which have helped Ethiopian Airlines become the largest airline in Africa. The AU is a cash cow, and Ethiopia has been milking it for more than 50 years.

It’s not just about the AU itself. Almost every African country has an embassy in Addis, because they’ve all got ambassadors to the AU (Why else would the likes of beleaguered Mali, for example, maintain a mission here?). This applies to non-African countries too: Addis Ababa’s status as a diplomatic hub means it attracts more foreign representation than other African capitals of a similar size, including another vast international organisation: the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. These missions all rent offices and houses, employ local staff, and shop in local stores, as do the research organisations and NGOs who trail in their wake.

While there’s no doubt that the AU is good for the local economy, it’s also true that hosting the AU inflates Ethiopia’s influence over AU decisions. Unlike many African countries, Ethiopia is able to attend every meeting, and, as host, it is given the floor whenever it wishes. It is able to send high-level representation with ease, which can play a major factor in smaller meetings outside of summits. So far, so normal for any major diplomatic city, be it Brussels, Geneva or New York. But Ethiopia takes things even further, using its role as gatekeeper to the AU to protect itself from international scrutiny and criticism, and to monitor those who deal with the continental body.

Non-governmental organisations are particularly affected. In order to open an AU liaison office in Addis, foreign NGOs must first be registered by the Ethiopian government. This registration can be withdrawn at any time, and with it, access to the AU. Several senior staff at international NGOs and civil society organisations told the Daily Maverick that this arrangement is premised on a tacit understanding: as long as you don’t criticise Ethiopia, your registration remains intact, and you are free to interact with the AU. On occasion, this includes hiring a local employee with known links to national intelligence.

“We are very, very careful with what we say about Ethiopia. They are very sensitive, and the AU comes first for us,” said one senior NGO official, speaking on condition of anonymity – for obvious reasons.

A similar arrangement applies to journalists, who cannot receive AU accreditation without first obtaining an Ethiopian press card; the arrangement is slightly different during AU summits, although visiting journalists must still register with the government communications office. Effectively, this means that Ethiopia, a country that is notorious for its tight grip on independent media, controls who can and cannot report on the AU. Again, this forces journalists to make a trade off: either report on the AU, and stay quiet on sensitive issues in Ethiopia, such as human rights violations; or report accurately on Ethiopia and risk deportation and losing access, perhaps permanently, to the AU.

Several prominent NGOs and research organisations, such as Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group, have declined to open an office in Addis for fear of working in such sensitive conditions, and base their offices that deal with the AU, elsewhere. Likewise, most foreign correspondents choose to work from Johannesburg or Nairobi rather than Addis, even though Addis – with all its diplomatic activity and excellent air links – is a natural base. This not only protects the Ethiopian government from criticism, but weakens scrutiny of the AU itself.

The extent to which Ethiopia’s state security agency is involved in monitoring and screening people who work or visit the AU becomes obvious at the January summits held in Addis Ababa. Their involvement is so blatant, in fact, that the National Intelligence and Security Service actually produces the badges given to all attendees:

The message is unmistakeable: we are watching you.

An Ethiopian government spokesman did not respond to a request to comment for this story.

The restrictions imposed on media and NGOs have the very real consequence of minimising negative news and information coming out of Ethiopia. This is one element of a censorship regime that is working. Recently, this was apparent in the coverage – or lack thereof – of the huge Oromo protests, where affected communities demonstrated against government plans to expand Addis Ababa. An estimated 140 people were killed, but the situation barely made international news, unlike, for example, the global headlines generated by the Marikana massacre in South Africa, even though the Marikana protest was smaller and far fewer people died.

In some ways, the suppression of information about Ethiopia is a missed opportunity. The country is growing at a tremendous rate, and has made huge strides in the provision of healthcare and education. It desperately needs to improve its international image, which (unfairly) remains rooted in the famine reporting of the 1980s. There are good news stories that aren’t being told, as well as bad.

Still, for an unabashedly authoritarian government, the ability to control information flow is the most significant advantage to hosting the headquarters of the AU. Just like that shiny AU building distracts the eye from the relative poverty of the suburb around it, so hosting the AU in Addis Ababa helps to disguise and obscure the darker elements of the Ethiopian growth story. DM

Photo: Delegates listen to remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2016-01-28-how-ethiopia-exploits-au-role-to-suppress-international-criticism/#.Vqs4se2LRdg

The Marc Steiner Show: Discussion on #OromoProtests with Siyade Gemechisa and Henok Gabissa January 28, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooOromo are  ancient people Africa (Oromia, kemet)

#OromoPRotests tweet and shareOromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....Oromia map

 

 

 

Oromia & Ethiopia: Land – the Perpetual Flashpoint of Ethiopia’s Political Crisis: #OromoProtests Special coverage January 28, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa Oromoo

Ethiopian-land-giveaway#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in EthiopiaOromoProtests @Finfinnee University Dec. 7, 2015


Ethiopia: Land – the Perpetual Flashpoint of Ethiopia’s Political Crisis


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OROMO PROTESTS SIGN OF ETHIOPIA’S FAILURE TO ATTAIN SOCIAL PROGRESS

Mancunian Matters: ‘We ran away from murder, torture and rape’: Oromians in Manchester UK ask Manchester to ‘stand with them’ in #OromoProtests global rally January 28, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

Oromians in Manchester UK  ask Manchester to 'stand with them' in #OromoProtests global rally, 27 January 2016

‘We ran away from murder, torture and rape’: Oromo Ethiopians ask Manchester to ‘stand with them’ in protest

 


By Dominic Thomas, Mancunian Matters, 27 January 2016

Around a hundred protesters turned out to call on the UK Government to act on and stop supporting the killing of Oromo people in Ethiopia, in Albert Square yesterday.

The protest comes after Human Rights Watch reported at least 140 people had been killed and tens of thousands arrested by government forces in anti-government protests since November.

This took place in the Oromia region, where the Government had planned to expand the control of the country’s capital in what was known as the Master Plan of Addis Ababa.

The land-grabbing led to anger from the Oromo people, who claim the plans – which have since been scrapped – are part of systematic repression of their ethnic group, and is being supported by the UK Government, which provides Ethiopia with around £300million a year in aid.

Mohammed Tusa, Chairman of the Oromian Community which organised the protest in Manchester, told MM: “We ask the UK Government to stand with Oromo people, to stand against the Ethiopian Government and to speak out.

“So far many protests have taken place in the UK – in London and in Manchester several times –but nobody is listening to us. The BBC is not listening to us, and the Government is keeping quiet.

“We respect and we love British society, but the UK Government is not acting the way we expect them to.”

He described how he and his fellow protestors had been forced to flee to the UK because of the suppression and violence people of his ethnic group faced in Ethiopia.

“Everybody here who came to Britain was forced to flee their own country,” he said.

“We love our country and would love to live there but were forced to run away from there by violations of murder, torture and rape by the Government.”

One protester claimed that he believes around 40,000 Oromo people are currently in jail, and that most opposition leaders and intellectuals have been killed by military action.

“The opposition leaders are being arrested, so freedom of expression is not there,” said one.

“The British Government has been financing the Ethiopian Government to support the poor people, but they have misused that money.

“The British Government should stand up, should listen to our voice, listen to the people and they should act. They are a superpower of the world, so they have to tell them to stop killing innocent students, mothers and farmers.”

Ethiopia has been run by the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Democratic Front since 1995, with the party winning all 547 seats at the last election.

A statement from the European parliament earlier this week read: “The EU, as the single largest donor, should ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia.

“It also calls on the Ethiopian authorities to stop suppressing the free flow of information, to guarantee the rights of local civil society and media and to facilitate access throughout Ethiopia for independent journalists and human rights monitors.”


 

http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/270175429-we-ran-away-murder-torture-and-rape-oromo-ethiopians-ask-manchester-stand-them

Human Rights Watch: World Report 2016: Ethiopia: Events of 2015 January 27, 2016

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

 

In Ethiopia in 2015 there were continuing government crackdowns on opposition political party members, journalists, and peaceful protesters, many of whom experienced harassment, arbitrary arrest, and politically motivated prosecutions.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the ruling party coalition, won all 547 parliamentary seats in the May elections, due in part to the lack of space for critical or dissenting voices. Despite a few high-profile prisoner releases ahead of the June visit of United States President Barack Obama, there was no progress on fundamental reforms of the deeply repressive laws and policies constricting Ethiopian civil society organizations and media.

Elections and Political Space

May’s federal elections took place in a general atmosphere of intimidation, and concerns over the National Electoral Board’s lack of independence. Opposition parties reported that state security forces and ruling party cadres harassed and detained their members, while onerous registration requirements effectively put opposition candidates at a disadvantage.

Opposition parties reported that government officials regularly blocked their attempts to hold protests and rallies in the run-up to the election by denying permits, arresting organizers, and confiscating equipment.

These restrictions, alongside the absence of independent media and civil society, meant there was little opportunity for dissenting voices to be heard or meaningful political debate on key issues ahead of the elections.

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

Eighteen individuals identified as leaders of the Muslim protest movement that swept across Ethiopia from 2012-2014 were convicted in July under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and sentenced in August to between 7 and 22 years each after closed, flawed trials. Authorities detained them in July 2012 when some Muslim communities were protesting against perceived government interference in their religious affairs.

An unknown number of ethnic Oromo students continued to be detained, many without charge, after protests throughout Oromia in April and May 2014 against the planned expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into Oromia. Security personnel used excessive and at times lethal force, including live ammunition, against protesters in several cities, killing at least several dozen protesters, and arrested hundreds.

There have been no investigations by Ethiopian authorities into the deaths and the use of unlawful force. Those released said they were tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention. Ethnic Oromos make up approximately 45 percent of Ethiopia’s population and are often arbitrarily arrested and accused of belonging to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

Freedom of Expression and Association

Media remained under government stranglehold, with many journalists having to choose between self-censorship, harassment and arrest, or exile. At least 60 journalists have fled into exile since 2010. Tactics used to restrict independent media included targeting publishers, printing presses, and distributors.

The Ethiopian government’s systematic repression of independent media has created a bleak landscape for free expression ahead of the May 2015 general elections. In the past year, six privately owned publications closed after government harassment; at least 22 journalists, bloggers, and publishers were criminally charged, and more than 30 journalists fled the country in fear of being arrested under repressive laws.

In June, journalist Reeyot Alemu and five other journalists and bloggers from the Zone 9 blogging collective were released from prison ahead of President Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, On October 16, the remaining four imprisoned Zone 9 bloggers were acquitted of terrorism charges after 39 hearings and 539 days in detention. A fifth charged in absentia was also acquitted. Many other journalists, protesters, and other political opponents continued to be prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, and many journalists including Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye remain in prison.

The 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law) continues to severely curtail the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations to work on human rights. The law bars work on human rights, good governance, conflict resolution, and advocacy on the rights of women, children, and people with disabilities if organizations receive more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign sources.

The government regularly monitors and records telephone calls of family members and friends of suspected opposition members and intercepts digital communications with highly intrusive spyware. Leaked emails from Milan-based Hacking Team, which sold spyware to the Ethiopian government, reveal that despite warnings of the risk of Ethiopia misusing their spyware, they issued a temporary license to Ethiopia while they began negotiations in April on a new contract worth at least US$700,000.

Torture and Arbitrary Detention

Ethiopian security personnel frequently tortured and otherwise ill-treated political detainees held in both official and secret detention centers to give confessions or provide information. At its UN Universal Periodic Review in 2014, Ethiopia accepted a recommendation to “adopt measures which guarantee the non-occurrence of cases of torture and ill-treatment in places of detention,” but there is little indication that security personnel are being investigated or punished for carrying out these abuses.

The Liyu police, a Somali Regional State paramilitary police force without a clear legal mandate, continued to commit serious human rights abuses in their ongoing conflict with the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in Ethiopia’s Somali Region, with reports of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, and violence against civilians who are accused of supporting or being sympathetic to the ONLF.

Andargachew Tsige, a United Kingdom citizen and secretary-general of the Ginbot 7 organization, a group banned for advocating armed overthrow of the government, remains in detention in Ethiopia after his unlawful 2014 deportation to Ethiopia from Yemen while in transit. He had twice been sentenced to death in absentia for his involvement with Ginbot 7. UK consular officials visited Andargachew only three times, amid growing concerns about his mistreatment in detention. In April, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Ethiopia to release and compensate Andargachew.

Forced Displacement Linked to Development Programs

Some donors, including UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank, rechanneled funding from the problematic Protection of Basic Services (PBS) program in 2015. PBS was associated with the abusive “villagization program,” a government effort to relocate 1.5 million rural people into permanent villages, ostensibly to improve their access to basic services. Some of the relocations in the first year of the program in Gambella region in 2011 were accompanied by violence, including beatings and arbitrary arrests, and insufficient consultation and compensation.

Some Gambella residents filed a complaint in 2013 to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, the institution’s independent accountability mechanism, alleging that the bank violated its own policies on indigenous people and involuntary resettlement. The Inspection Panel identified major shortcomings in the PBS program in its November 2014 recommendations, although the World Bank Board largely rejected the findings in February. A translator who worked with the Inspection Panel in Gambella was arrested in March and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in September 2015.

In February, in the course of a court hearing on a complaint by an Ethiopian farmer that the UK violated its partnership principles by supporting the PBS program, DFID announced that it was ending support to the PBS program. DFID cited concerns over Ethiopia’s civil and political rights record, including concerns related to “freedom of expression and electoral competition, and continued concerns about the accountability of security services.”

There are ongoing reports of forced displacement from development projects in different regions, often with minimal or no compensation and little in the way of prior consultation with affected, often indigenous, communities. Allegations have arisen from commercial and industrial projects associated with Addis Ababa’s expansion and the continued development of sugar plantations in the Lower Omo Valley, which involves clearing 245,000 hectares of land that is home to 200,000 indigenous people. Communities in Omo have seen their grazing land cleared and have lost access to the Omo River, which they relied on for crops. Individuals who questioned the development plans were arrested and harassed.

Violent incidents, both between different ethnic groups and between the government and ethnic groups, increased in 2015 partly due to the growing competition for grazing land and other resources. The reservoir behind the Gibe III dam began filling in January 2015, reducing the annual natural flood that replenished the agricultural lands along the banks of the Omo River.

Key International Actors

Ethiopia enjoys strong support from foreign donors and most of its regional neighbors, based on its role as host of the African Union and strategic regional player, its contribution to UN peacekeeping, security and aid partnerships with Western countries, and its progress on development indicators. The African Union(AU)—the only international body that monitored the May elections—declared the elections “credible” despite the severe restrictions on opposition political parties, independent media, and civil society.

Ethiopia continued to facilitate negotiations between warring parties in South Sudan, and its troops maintained calm in the disputed Abyei Region. Ethiopia deploys troops inside Somalia as part of the AU mission, and in 2015 there were growing reports that abusive “Liyu police” forces were also deployed alongside the Ethiopian Defense Forces. Ethiopia continued to host hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea.

Ethiopia is one of the largest recipients of donor aid in Africa, receiving almost $3 billion in 2015 despite allegations of human rights abuses associated with some development programs, including forced displacement in Gambella and the Omo Valley. There are no indications that donors have strengthened the monitoring and accountability provisions needed to ensure that their development aid does not contribute to or exacerbate human rights problems in Ethiopia.

Motumaan Itoopian humna dhiibaa fudhechuu itti fuufeera. Bara 2015 keessatti qofa miseensota dhaabbilee siyaasaa, gaazexessitoota, fi hiriirtota nagaa baay’inni isaanii gidiraa adda addaa, hidhaa akka malee, akkasumas hiraarfama ilaalcha siyaasa irraa ka’ee gaggeeffamaa tureef saaxilamuun isaanii itti fufeera.

Sababa qaamota sagalee addaa qaban irratti karaan cufameef Gamtaan dhaabota siyaasaa aangoo irra jiru, Addi Dimokraatawaa Warraaqsa Ummata Itoopiyaa (ADWUI), baatii Caamsaa keessa filannoo gaggeeffameen teessuma paarlaamaa 547 hunda moo’eera. Dhufaatii Prezedantiin biyya Amerikaa Baaraak Obaamaa dura hidhamtoota siyaasaa beekamoo muraasa gadhiisuu tiin alatti mirga bu’uraa dhala namaa, seerota, imaammata caasaawwan bilisaa ummataa fi midiyaa cunqursan fi akka hin malletti sochii dhorkuuf tolfaman ilaalchisee biyatii keesatti fooya’insi ta’e homa hinjiru.

Filannoo fi Waltajjii Siyaasaa

Filannoon sadarkaa Federaalaa Caamsaa sun akka waliigalaa tti doorsisa/sodaachisuun kan guutame, Boordiin Filannoo Biyyoolessaa bilisummaa haala hin qabne keessatti gaggeeffame. Gama tokkoon dhaabotni mormitootaa humni tikaa fi dabballeewwan dhaaba siyaasaa aangoo qabatee jiru akka miseensota isaanii dararan fi hidhan yoo gabaasan gama biraatiin ammoo sirni dorgomtoota galmeessisuu mormitoota irratti akka malee ulfaataa akka ta’u godhamee ture.

Dhaabotni mormitootaa yaroo filanaannan dhiyaate tti hiriira nagaa gaggeessuuf fi ummata sochoosuuf yaalii yaroo hedduu godhanillee angawootni mootummaa hayyama dhorkachuu, hidhuudhaan akka danqaa itti ta’an ibsu.

Qoqqobbiiwwan kunniin, midiyaan fi dhaabotni ummataa bilisa ta’an dhabamuu isaanii waliin wal qabatee, hiikni qabu sagaleen addaa akka hin dhagayamne ukkamsuu falmiin siyaasaa hiikaa qabu qabxiiwwan siyaasaa murteessoo irratti akka hin godhamne taasisu.

Mirga Walgayii Nagaa Gaggeessuu

Sochii Hiriira Musliima kan bara 2012-2014 Itoophiyaa guutuu keessatti qabate qindeessu jedhamanii namootni adda baafaman kudha saddet irratti baatii Adoolessaa keessa labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti himatni dhiyaatee, Hagayya keessa adabni hidhaa waggaa 7 fi 22, dhaddcha cufaa fi falmii karaa malee gaggeeffameen irratti murtaaye.  Angawootni mootummaa Adoolessa 2012 keessa yommu ummatni Musliimaa mootummaan dhimma amantii isaanii keessa galaa akka jiru fakkaatee mul’atetti mormii hiriira taasisu jalqabanitti aanee hidhamani.

Karoora Finfinnee gara Oromiyaatti babal’isuu waliin wal qabatee hiriira mormii Ebla fi Caamsaa 2014 eegaleen, barattoota Oromoo lakkoofsi isaanii hammana jedhanii himuu hin dandeenye, hedduun himata seeraa tokkoon alatti qabanii hidhuun itti fufeera.  Qaamotni tikaa humna akka malee ta’e, kan lubbuu namaa balaaf saaxiluu, rasaasa dabalatee, fayyadamuudhaan magaalaa hedduutti hiriirtota irratti dhukaasuun yoo xinnaate namoota kurnoota hedduutti lakkaayaman ajjeesaniiru, dhibbootatti kan lakkaayaman hidhaniiru.

Ajjeechaa fi humna seeraan ala fayyadamuu kana ilaalchisee angawoota mootummaa Itoophiyaatiin qorannaan gaggeeffame hin jiru. Kanneen hidhaa irraa gadhiifaman garuu akka reebaman ykn haala akka malee keessatti qabamanii akka turfaman ibsu. Ummata Itoophiyaa keessa % 45 kan ta’u Oromoo yoo ta’u, yaroo hedduu hidhaa akka hin malle kan saaxilame fi Adda Bilisummaa Oromo (ABO) dhaaba seeraan uggurman deeggara maqaa jedhuun kan himatamudha.

Mirga Yaada Ofii Ibsachuu fi Walgeettii

Miidiyaaleen mootummaa jalatti ukkamamamanii hojjechuu itti fufaniiru, gaazexessitootni hedduun of to’achuuf dirqamanii hojjetu ykn hiraarfamuu, hidhamuu fi biyyaa baqatanii baduu keessaa tokko filachuun dirqama itti ta’eera. Bara 2010 irraa eegalee yoo xinnaate gaazexessitootni 60 ta’an biyyaa badaniiru. Tarsiimoon midiyaalee bilisaa ukkaamsu kun barreessitootaa fi waldaalee maxxansitoota fi raabsitoota dabalata.

Baatii Waxabajjii keessa, gaazexessituu Riyoot Alamuu fi gamtaan bilogarota Zoonii 9 faa fi kanneen biroo shan do’ii Pirezedantiin Obaamaan Itophiyaatti godhe dura mana hidhaa irraa gadhiifaman.  Onkololeessa 16, bilogarota Zoonii 9 keessaa kanneen hidhaa keessatti hafanii turan fi labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti yakkamanii ballama 36 tiif mana murtii tti deddeebi’aa erga turaniin fi bulti 539 erga hidhamanii booda murtiin bilisa jedhamanii hiikamani. Inni shanaffaan bakka hin jirretti dhimmi isaa ilaalamaa tures bilisa ta’eera. Gaazexessitootni biroo hedduu, hirmaattotni hiriiraa, akkasumas mormitootni siyaasaa biroo irrattis himatni labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti irratti dhiyaatu ittuma fufeetu jira, gaazexessitoota Iskindir Naggaa fi Wubisheet Taayyee dabalatee ammoo ammallee manuma hidhaa keessa jiru.

Labsiin Waldaawwan Tajaajila tolaa kennuuf hundaawan fi Jaarmiyaalee Hawaasaa, dhaabota bilisaa kan miti-mootummaa ta’an mirga isaan hojjechuuf qaban takaalee dhorkuun isaa ittuma fufeetu jira.  Seerichi waayee mirga dhala namaa, bulchinsa gaarii, walitti bu’insa hiikuu, falmii mirga dubartoota, kan ijoollee, fi ummata hir’ina qaamaa qaban irratti, dhaabotni hojjetan bajata qaban keessaa dhibbeentaa 10 olitti madda alaa irraa horii kan argatan yoo ta’e akka hin hojjente uggura.

Mootummaan kuusaa odeeffannoo haasawaa bilbila maatiiwwan fi hiryyootni namoota akka mormituutti shakkamanii itti fufinsaan towata, haasawaa isaanii gidduu galee meeshaa ‘spaayiweer’ jedhamutti fayyadamee akka hin malletti dhaggeeffata.

Imeeliin garee basaastuu- imeelii Miilan, spaayiweer mootummaa Itoophiyaatti gurguruun isaatiif icciitiin kan harkaa baye akka himutti, jarreen hayyama yaroo Itoophiyaaf kennanii akka ture fi Ebla irraa eegalee waliigaltee haaraa yoo xinnaate US 700,000 kan baasu raawwachuuf marii irra akka jiran argisiisa.

Reebicha fi Hidhaa Seera-Malee

Hojjettootni humna tikaa Itoophiyaa hidhamtoota siyaasaa manneen hidhaa beekamoo fi dhoksaa keessatti qabamanii jiran reebuun ykn akka hin malletti dararuudhaan jecha amantii fi odeeffannoo irraa fuudhuuf yaaluu ittuma fufaniiru. Mootummaa Gamtaawaniitti Gilgaala Waliigalaa Yaroo Yarootti Gaggeeffamu kan bara 2014 irratti, Itoophiyaan yaada fooyya’insaa kennameef fudhachuudhaan “manneen hidhaa keessatti reebicha raawwatamu fi hiraarsa irratti raawwachuun akka hin jiraatne mirkaneessuu kan dandeessisu deemsa akka diriirsuu” waliigalaeera, haa ta’u malee ergasii asitti hojjettootni humna tikaa kanneen hojii akkanaa raawwatan qoratamuu ykn adabamuu isaaniitiif mallattoon argame hin jiru.

Liyyuu poolisii, humni paaraamilitarii Mootummaa Naanoon Somaalee, Poolisii aangoo seera ifaa ta’e tokkoon maleetti, walitti bu’insa Adda Biyyoolessaa Bilisummaa Ogaaden (ABBO) waliin jiru sababa gochuun socho’uudhaa yakkoota ciccimoo mirga dhala namaa sarbuu Itoopiyaa fi somaalee keessatti raawwachuu itti fufeen, gabaasotni seera malee nama akka fedhanitti nama ajjeesuu, hidhaa seeraan malee, ummata siviilii ABBO gargaaruun shakkaman dararuun baay’inaaa gabaafamaa jira.

Andaargaachoo Tsiggee, lammii biyya Yunaayitid Kiingdam fi dhaaba mootummaa humnaan fonqolchuuf yaale jedhamee ugguramee jiru dhaaba Ginboot 7 jedhamuuf barreessaa kan ta’e, bara 2014 seeraan ala biyya Yaman irra otoo darbuu seeraan ala qabamee erga Itoophiyaatti dabarfamee booda hanga ammaatti hidhaa keessa jira. Namni kun hirmaannaa Giboot 7 keessatti qabuuf harka lama murtiin du’aa bakka hin jirretti irratti murameera. Miseensotni Qonsilaa UK, Andaargaachoo, mana hidhaa keessatti hiraarsi irra gayaa jiraachuu isaatiif shakkiin guddaan otoo jiruu, marraa sadii qofaaf dhaqanii isa ilaalani. Baatii Eblaa keessa gareen hojii seeraan malee hidhaa raawwatu irratti hojjetu kan UN tokko mootummaan Itoophiyaa Andaargaachoo akka gadhiisuu fi beenyaas akka kafaluuf gaafate.

Maqaa Karoora Misooma jedhuun Humnaan Nama Buqqisuu

Hirphaa kennitootni gariin, Qajeelcha Misooma Addunyaa UK (DFID) fi baankii addunyaa dabalatee, horii kennuu Tajaajila Bu’uraa Tiksuu (TBT) [Protection of Basic Services  (PBS)] sagantaa rakkisaa turerra bara 2015 jallisanii jiru. TBTn sagantaa ummata qubachiisuu, yaalii mootummaan ummata miliyoona 1.5 ta’u, maqaa tajaajila bu’uuraa ummatatti dhiyeessa jedhuun hawaasa baadiyyaa jiraatu buqqisuu waliin wal qabsiisee raawwatu dha. Bakki itti ummata buqqisanii bara duraaf galchuuf itti saganteeffatan  gariin, kan Naannoo Gambeellaa bara 2011 raawwate ummata hiraarsuu, reebichaa fi hidhaa akka maleetti fayyadamuudhaan, marii fi kaasaa gayaa tokkoon maleetti kan hojii irra ooledha.

Jiraattotni Gambeellaa muraasni bara 2013 Garee Qorataa Baankii Addunyaa, qaama bilisaa mala ittigaafatamummaa bilisa jedhamutti himata dhiyeeffatani, Baankichis seera mataa isaa kan imaammata jiraattota biyyaa fi ummata fedha isaa maleetti qubachiisuu waliin wal qabsiisee hordofu cabseera jedhu. Gareen Qorattuu, yaada fooyya’insaa Sadaasa 2014 dhiyeesseen sagantaa TBT keessatti rakkoowwan bu’uuraa adda baasee dhiyeesseera, haa ta’u malee Boordiin Baankii Addunyaa argannoo kunniin hedduu isaanii baatii Guraandhalaa keessa kufaa godheera.  Afaan hiiktuun Garee Qorannaa san waliin Gambeellaa keessatti hojjetaa ture Bitootessaa keessa erga qabamee hidhamee booda Labsii farra shororkeessummaa jalatti yakka raawwatte jedhamee Fulbaana 2015 tti himatame.

Guraandhala keessa, yommu himatni qotee bulaa Itoophiyaa tokko sababa UK’n waadaa sirna waliin hojjechuuf tolfame kabajuu hanqachuudhaan sagantaa TBT deeggarte jedhamtee mana murtiitti falmiin dhiyaachaa turetti, DFIDn sagantaa TBT deeggaruu akka dhaabe labse. Murtii isaa kanaa tiif akka sababa tti waantota tuqe keessaa, Itoophiyaan mirgoota siyaasaa kabajuu ishee ilaalchisee ragaan jiru, haala yaachisaa bilisa ta’anii yaada ofii ibsachuu fi dorgommii filannaa irratti, akkasumas haala yaroo dheeraatiif yaachisaa ta’ee itti fufaa jiru kan raawwii hojjettoota humna tikaa ilaalchisee jiru kaasee ture.

Humnaan ummata qeyee isaa irraa buqqisanii bakka biraa qubachiisuu ilaalchisee itti fufinsaan gabaasni dhiyaachaa jira, hojiin kun kafaltii xinno yoo kaan ammoo kafaltiin tokkoon alatti, otoo jiraattotni ykn ummatni dhimmi isaa ilaallatu sirnaan hin irratti hin mariisisiin kan raawwatamu dha. Komiin akkanaa kun projektota daldala fi indusitrii kan Finfinnee babal’isuuf karoorfamee jiru fi misooma biqiltuu shonkoraa holqa Oomoo isa garjalla isa lafa hektaara 245,000 irraa qulqulleessanii kaasuu fi jiraattota 200,000 kan laficha irra jiraatan waliin wal qabatee ka’udha.  Hawaasni Oomoo lafa isaa irraa kaloo horii qulqullaayee laga Omoo kan midhaan hoomishuuf itti fayyadamnanitti karaan yoo itti cufamu arganii callisuuf dirqamani.  Kanneen karoora misoomaa kana ilaalchisee gaaffii kaasan ammoo ni hidhamu ni hiraarfamu.

Walitti bu’insi hamaan, sabaa fi sablammoota gidduu akkasuma mootummaa fi ummata adda addaa gidduutti mul’achuun bara 2015 keessa dabaleera, sababni kanaas gara caalu lafa kaloo fi qabeenya umamaa irratti wal dhiibuu irraa madda.  Cufaan jallisii Gibee III duuba jiru Amajjii 2015 irraa eegalee, bara baraan bishaan uumamaan gad darbee gamaa-gamna Oomootti lafa qonnaa   jiisuun irra ture hanqisaa, ofii garuu guutuu eegaleera.

Qaamota Biyya Alaa Dhimma Kana Keessatti Furtuu Ta’an

Itoophiyaan hirphaa kennitoota biyya alaa hedduu fi biyyoota ollaa irraa gargaarsa guddaa argachaa jirti, kunis biyyattiin teessuma Gamtaa Afrikaa ta’uu ishee irraa kan ka’e bakka murteessaa qabaachuu, nagaa eegsiftuu Mootummaa Gamtoomanii (UN) keessatti gumaacha qabdu, nageenya fi gargaarsa waliin wal-qabatee walitti dhufeenya biyyoota dhiyaa waliin tolfatte, akkasumas misooma biyyaa irratti safartuuwwan jiru irratti fooyya’insa mul’ifte jedhamee kan himamu san irraa kan maddudha.  Gamtaan Afrikaa (AU) – qaamni tokkittiin addunyaa hunda irraa filannaa 2015 to’ate- otoo dhaabotni siyaasaa mormitootaa, miidiyaaleen bilisaa fi dhaabotni bilisaa kanneen biroon akka hin sochoone qoqqobbaan cimaan irratti godhamee jiruu, filannaan sun  “amanamaadha” jedhee labse.

Itoophiyaan kanneen lola irra jiran araara ummata Sudaan Kibbaa aanjessuu itti fuftee jirti, humni waraanaa ishii bakka wal dhibdeen jiru Naannoo Abiye’i qabatee jira. Itoophiyaan shoora Gamtaa Afrikaa (AU) keessatti qabdu waliin wal qabatee humna waraanaa ishii Somaalee akka bobbaaftee jirti, bara 2015 keessa humna akka maleetti fayyadama kan jiru humni “Liyyuu Poolis” humna waraanaa Itoophiyaa cinaa socho’aa akka jiru gabaasni dhiyaachaa ture. Itoophiyaan dhibba fi kumaatamatti lakkaayaman baqattoota Ummata Sudaan Kibbaa, Somaalee fi Eertiraa irraa simattee keessee jirti.

Karoorri misoomaa Itoophiyaa gariin isaa dhiibbaa mirga namaa waliin wal qabatee-humnaan ummata Gambeellaa fi Holqa Omoo keessa jiraatu buqqisuu dabalatee, kan mormiin irratti ka’u yoo ta’ellee, biyyattiin hirphaa biyyoota alaa irraa bara 2015 keessa biliyoona $3 hirpha argachuun Afrikaa keessaa sadarkaa tokkoffaa irra jirti.  Biyyootni hirpha kana kennan waliigaltee gargaarsichaa keessatti sirni ittigaafatamummaa fi to’annaa itti cimu, gargaarsi kun cunqursaa mirga dhala namaaf akka hin oolle gochuu irratti keewwata cimaa tokko kaayuu isaanii kan argisiisu mallattoon tokko hin jiru.


 

https://www.hrw.org/om/world-report/2016/country-chapters/285336


 

East Africa: Little Progress, Worsening Repression

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/01/27/east-africa-little-progress-worsening-repression

 

Oromia (#OromoProtests):The Movement that Caught all by Surprise January 27, 2016

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Odaa OromooKakaa Oromoo

The Movement that Caught all by Surprise


 

By Ibsaa Guutama,  Gubirmans.com     January 2016


 

We are raising this matter repeatedly in order to remind each other now and then, so that we may not be caught off guard by daily sprouting distorters. The way Oromiyaa resistance of November 2015 took shape surprised not the incumbent colonial government and opposition organizations that aspire to replace it alone, but also confused Oromo organizations as well. Because it was unprecedented phenomenon the TPLF leaders seem to be at a loss on how to handle it. What they can do was only secretly declaring Marshal Law that led to genocide and unnecessary incarceration. Ethiopian opposition organizations that crave to replace TPLF jumped to support the movement unconditionally but cooled down when they found their unevenly developed constituencies of Nafxanyaa remnant extremists were not supportive. This exposed that they are not representing a people’s dreams but that of groups that aspire to control the colonies next. These guys are reactionaries blinded by greedy for power and cannot move with the new world order. The naïve are in cahoots with them for nothing. That there are those that started conspiracy crossing the line to overthrow Wayyaanee and mount the peoples is becoming an open secret.

The peace loving Habashaa people have no problem with their neighbors. They are not yet subjected to eviction Oromiyaa type or land grab, their language is still the king’s language and their green, yellow and red flag is flying far beyond their borders etc. so no reason to rebel now. Even Habasha students in Oromo universities are mostly said not involved in the uprising but stayed in campuses. That implies that they do not feel belongingness to the rebelling region. “Ethiopianism” politicians want to propagate is only their own wish.

Oromo politicians lived confused by multifaceted pressure for a long time. Unable to move forward they turned to defending their leadership turf from assumed internal descent. As a result sincerity and transparency to members and supporters is lost. They have weakened their own base denying themselves the advantage due to a great people. Members became first in the list of adversaries. While they are in this mood, the movement came and gave the politicians and individual activists their lives’ shock. That they were only façade is exposed. Since then their behavior has become incoherent and frenzy, trying to cling on any string they come by and at times whisper of being in control of the movement. And some also are fuming with ambitions for fame and fortune they expect as a result. In connection with this, lies released have no bounds. But they should not forget the saying, “To fool the wise is to seek hatred”. For the mute observer there are lots to be said.

The opposition later switched to asking Oromo resistance movement to be named “Ethiopian”. The Oromo struggle had been around in its organized manner for half a century. They still do not comprehend it differently from how they initially responded to it. Since then much was gained by Oromo revolution as a result of damage done to fabrics of colonialism. Oromo nationalism has since spread throughout the land and people are now politically more conscious of their interest and identity than their elites. So the same approach of 70s and 80s do not serve. Instead of responding to national demand, when it was only a drop, with contempt full of tirades and insults, had they given it necessary attention then, it could not have now turned into the uncontrollable great flood? Though different in presentation and tactics this movement is only extension of the first phase of movement started by Oromo youth of the 60s. However that the objective goal or Kaayyoo is the same can be seen from placards and slogans they are using.

Even now, the offer given them by stray Oromiyaan politicians, to stand with them as equals and fight the Wayyaanee did not sink well with them. They want to humiliate them further by asking them to accept all about Ethiopia unconditionally and work against Article 39 of Ethiopian Constitution. They also want them to condemn OLF for them. They do not lack the method of attracting tamed Oromo but how to cleanse “the poison” spread by OLF. Those that join them are those who can do that, not those demanding to seat on equal level. In their mind there is only one old Imperial Ethiopia that they head, no modification is acceptable to them.

Therefore those that are going crazy with her love have to take that anyways. For independence camp the national objective set by OLF can never be stopped from reaching its goal even if they go insane. OLF is like a mushroom; its spores are scattered everywhere ready to sprout when one mutates into Ethiopianist. It must be known that the nation is not proud of enemy “Askaries” who were defectors and captives however capable they may be, they died enemy soldiers. Our concern is with those that died fighting for independence of their nation our praise should go for them and them alone. No one can rehabilitate the Askaries except independent Oromiyaa.

For Oromo struggle there will be no negotiation with any one that does not accept Oromiyaa’s sovereignty. Habasha have to think how to live with their neighbors after the decline of the empire. Trying to scare us with civil war of the Somalia type, if Oromiyaa gets freedom is not realistic and productive. Unless wanting to be quoted after death for saying it, they are no more the types to venture into colonial war again. Oromiyaa is not Somalia; there will be no mess let alone civil war for the breakdown of the empire. It has the capacity and the culture for self-control. It is clear that the life of Ethiopian Opposition will be short without Oromiyaa or civil war. Even unity of what is now called Amaaraa Country could become doubtful. But it would be prudent if genuine representatives of all people that have stake in the empire sit around a peace and reconciliation table and liquidate the empire and give everyone the chance to decide on its destiny. By participating in that, they can overcome their fears but not by trying the impossible sabotaging of others freedom. Image of “Mother” presented by Afework Teklee serves no more; times have changed. Spit your “Hirmii”.

Oromo youth is finding its way to build Oromiyaa devoid of oppression and servitude imposed on it by aliens. Oromiyaa is for Oromiyaans. There is no force to defend non Oromo Oromiyaans or aliens living in it than Oromiyaa itself. Those that do not want can smoothly exit without much ado. Alien forces that want to take DNA of long abandoned relatives as excuse to disturb its peace have to think twice. Oromo nationals that are trying to jeopardize hard won victories of Oromo youth and farmers must know they are misfired cartridges; they cannot be effective now as they have not been in yester years. Therefore, for good or worse better repent for past mistakes and stick to their people’s struggle. One who does not hold fast on what one initiates and holds that, leaving this one is of no use to oneself or for anybody. Without showing perseverance there is nothing one can be trusted for. It is high time that we all Africans understand values our peoples attach to freedom and independence and act accordingly. Oromiyaa has now burst into existence thanks to the sacrifices of its heroes of the past, and its revolutionary youth of the present. No force can hide it anymore! Long live Oromiyaa, long live our patriots!

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

Ibsaa Guutama
January 2016


Former WB Researcher on Impact of Oromo Protests on Foreign Direct Investment Flows to Ethiopia January 27, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopiaagazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

 

Felix Horne of HRW and Henok Gebissa of OSA talk to South African radio about Oromo Protests January 26, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoPRotests tweet and share

 

Oromia (#OromoProtests): Bekele Gerba and other Oromo political prisoners on hunger strike in Ma’ekelawi January 26, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

 

Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Desta Dinka, Addisu Bulala, Oromo political prisoners in hunger strike January 25, 2016

 

 

( Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com): According to media reports, Bekele Gerba, other imprisoned leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and other Oromo political prisoners are on a hunger strike in Ma’ekelawi, the notorious prison in Addis Ababa. The report said the political prisoners started their strike on Friday, January 22, 2016, and have vowed to continue the strike until their demands are met. Some of their demands, which they have communicated to the prison’s officials, include:

1) access to legal counsels and visitations by family as guaranteed by the Constitution and internationally accepted rights of prisoners;
2) cessation of torture of political prisoners in Ma’ekelawi;
3) access to proper medical care for all political prisoners.

It has not been possible to verify how many political prisoners are taking part in the strike. However, it has been confirmed that the following leaders of OFC are part of it: Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Desta Dinka, Addisu Bulala and others. Since November 2015, thousands of Oromos have been taken to Ma’ekelawi in connection with the ongoing ‪‎Oromo Protests against the lack of adequate self-rule for Oromia (of which the Master Plan is an example), and the decades-old marginalization of the Oromo people in the political, economic, social, linguistic and cultural spheres in Ethiopia as a whole. In addition to those thousands arrested in prisons and concentration camps across Oromia and Ethiopia, more than 160 Oromo persons were killed, and thousands of Oromo persons have been wounded by the Ethiopian Federal armed forces – including tens of Oromo children.

It is to be remembered that the Ethiopian government brought Bekele Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Addisu Bulala and others to a federal court in central Addis Ababa on January 22, 2016 (listen to the report in Amharic below) – this date is the same date on which the hunger strike reportedly began; many human rights organizations, such as the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, accuse the Ethiopian government of using draconian laws to prosecute peaceful and legitimate political dissidents in biased courts to silence voices critical of the government’s violations of human rights and unjust policies.

Oromia: Colleagues eulogize Ob. Bekele Mekonnen Wessenu as a great fighter for Oromo rights January 26, 2016

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Odaa OromooLong-time activist for Oromo rights and a founding member of the Macha-Tulama Association Ob. Bekele Mekonnen Wessenu

 Long-time activist for Oromo rights and a founding member of the Macha-Tulama Association Ob. Bekele Mekonnen Wessenu (1930-2016) passed away over the weekend in London (Jan. 24, 2016)


Colleagues eulogize Ob. Bekele Mekonnen Wessenu as a great fighter for Oromo rights

 Finfinne Tribune, 26 January 2016

 

From Ob. Ibsaa Guutama (via Gubirmans.com) 

Nagaa isa Dhumaa Baqqalaa Makonniniif Dhaamu


 

Baqqalaa Makonnin qaamaan nama bareedaa fulli ifaa yeroo hunda nama arguu gammaduu, arjaa fi of kennaa ture. Kun nama hin beekneef himuuf malee kan beekaniif kana caalaa tahuu saa waliin beekna. Miirri Baqqalaa, murannoo fi dudhammi kaayyoo saba saatiif qabu akkuma qaama hafee hin qabu. Baqqalaa Makonnin yeroo yaadannu ilama Warra Abbaafardaa tahu saa irra dabarree abba saa gooticha Oromoo, Makonnin Wasanuu fi qabsoo saba Oromoo yaadanna. Baqqalaan dardara haa turu malee abbooliima saa waliin Waldaa Maccaa fi Tuulama (WMT) ijaaruu fi wareegama guddaa baasuutt beekama. Baqqalaan dabaankufoota Oromoo Taddasaa Birruu, Maammoo Mazamirii, Sayifuu Tasammaa, Lammeessaa Boruu fi Abboolii WMT waliin gidiraa qabsoo hadhooftuu nama dhandhamate. Baqqalaan nama qaabannoo gaarii qabu, seenaa fi cunqurfama Oromoos tooraan kan yaadatu ture.

Baqqalaan bara Mootummaa Cehumsaa 1992 ummata ijaaruu fi dammaqsuutt qoodi inni fudhate dabbaloota ABO hundaan beekamaa dha. Akka ijoollee diinaan salphifamuu, kaayyoo ummata saa bakaan gahuuf qabsoo godhame keessatt hanga du’a saatt hin qollifanne. Roorroon diinaa sabboonota Oromoo lakkofsi hin beekamne biyyaa baaseera. Baqqalaan akka gaaf tokko biyya saa jaallatutt deebi’u abdii utuu hin kutatin qabsaawaa ture. Ummati Oromoo fi jaallawwan saa qabsoo, utuu mararfatanii dhukuba humnaa ol tahen raawwachuu saatiif manguddicha qabsoo bilisummaa saanii kana gaggeessaa jiru. Baqqalaan akkuma abbaa saa utuu diina jala hin kurkurin jannummaan obbaafate.

Jaalbiyyaan Oromoo, Baqqalaa Makonnin hardha hirree saa haa boraafatu malee fakkeenyi inni dhaloota ittaanuuf dhiisee darbe barabaraan yaadatama jiraata. Yeroo ijoolleen Oromoo kaatee lafa raasaa jirtu kanatt bakka qabsoon inni eegale geese utuu hin argin dadhabuun saa kan isa beeknu hunda dhukkuba garaa nutt tahee hafa. Haa tahu malee Baqqalaan hin dune ijoollee kana keessaan jiraataa. Baqqalaan kan warra saa qofa mitii, kan Oromiyaa hundaatii. Egaa Obboo Baqqalaa, utuu hin fedhin waldhabne, utuu nagaa walitt hin dhaamin deemtee, hin dhufta jennee karaa ilaaluunis hin hafe. Nagaatt egaa jaala koo. Firoota fi jaallewwan saa hundaan haa jabaannu jenna. Lubbuun saa qabanna haa ciistu.

Ulfinaa fi surraan gootota kufaniif; bilisummaa, walqixxummaa fi balchummaan kan lubbuun jiraniif; nagaa fi araarri sabichaa fi Ayyaana abbooliif haa tahu!

Ibsaa Guutama
Amajjii 2016


 

From Ob. Tesfaye Kenna

Birilleetu cabe, daadhiitu dhangala’e!

Gomboo kuusaa cuuphataa, yaa nama gaafa qaanii olkeewwata baaltetaa
Biqilaa dirree waajjuu, migira warra Salaalee
Oromticha Tuulamaa, Wasiila waarra Maccaa
Qabeenya isa Booranaaf, abdii dha Bareentummaaf
Hin sarmuu ilma gootaa, falmaa mirga dhalootaa
Bareeddicha akka cirri, mul’ataa tuuta keessaa
Sanyii fiixaa namaa, gooftaa amma maqaa gahu
Baqqalaa ilma Mokee nama waan himaniif qabu
Haftee hundeessota qabsoo, dhikima seenaa himu
Booqaa lammii keessaa, yaa guddicha akka Tulluu
Sibbiila gaafa xiiqii, abdii gaafa rakkinaa
Babal’aa damee odaa, gaaddisa qabsaayotaa
Buqqisaa akka ulee gajjaa, xoolagaa arcummee uulmaa
Guddisa Taaddee Birruu, yaa Wasanuuf akaakoo
Hin bannee akkam taanaree yaa abdii gaafa rakkoo
Warqii ibiddaan bahe, jabaa yaa sibila koo
Siqabaa man Tuulamaa, lakkaawwata lammii koo
Finceessisaa baalagee, jabaa diina hunkuru
Diina hunkuruuf malee, du’aaf jabaan hin jiruu
Baqqalaa nama lafee lammiirraa roorroo, dhoowwuuf, ojjate maaltu itti hafe
Goota roorroon hin moone, Baqqalaa ya qomoo koo
Maal raajii maaltu ta’e, buttuu maaltu sibute?
Kalee dheengadda mitii, miidiyaan keenya guddaan,
Hundeefama bu’uraa, calqaba hundee qabsoo,
Seenaa Maccaa-Tuulamaa, sagalee keetiin baasee,
Kan gurra keenyaan ga’e?
amma naaf galte dubbiin, wannattii qaanii hin beekne,
Kan gootaaf sodaa hin qabne, du’atu addaan nubaasee
Asirraa galli hin jiruu, kanuma dhumni namaa
Fooniin sidhabne malee, seenaan kee lammii boonse,
Tasallee hin dagatamuu, bara baraan himamaa
Fooniin sidhabne malee, seenaan kee lammii boonse,
Tasallee hin dagatamuu, bara barbaraan himamaa

Nagaatti

Tesfaye Kenna
Amajjii 24, 2016


 

Colleagues eulogize Ob. Bekele Mekonnen Wessenu as a great fighter for Oromo rights

 


https://www.oromiamedia.org/2016/01/24/omn-oduu-amma-nu-gahebreaking-news-ama-24-2015/
https://www.oromiamedia.org/2016/01/03/hundeessaa-waldaa-maccaaf-tuulamaa-keessaa-tokko-kan-taan-obbo-baqqalaa-mokonnon-waliin-gaaffiif-deebii-taasifame-kutaa-1ffaa/
https://www.oromiamedia.org/2016/01/12/qophii-addaahundeessaa-waldaa-maccaaf-tuulamaa-keessaa-tokko-kan-taan-obbo-baqqalaa-mokonnon-waliin-gaaffiif-deebii-taasifame-kutaa-2ffaa/
https://www.oromiamedia.org/2016/01/19/hundeessaa-waldaa-maccaaf-tuulamaa-keessaa-tokko-kan-taan-obbo-baqqalaa-mokonnon-waliin-gaaffiif-deebii-taasifame-kutaa-xumuraa/

Oromo: UNPO: Civil Society and International Bodies Condemn Violence January 26, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooUNPOHuman rights League of the Horn of Africaoromoprotests-tweet-and-share11

Oromo: Civil Society and International Bodies Condemn Violence


 

UNPO, 25 January 2016


 

On 22 January 2016, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa issued a statement, emphasising the recent attention accorded by the United States, European Union and United Nations to the human rights situation in Ethiopia. While The European Parliament, through a recent urgent resolution, calls for a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the killings of at least 140 Oromo protesters and into other alleged human rights violations, the HRLHA condemns the state sponsored violence, calling on the Ethiopian government to “immediately withdraw its special force “Agazi” from the Oromia Regional State and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

 

Below is the statement published by the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa:

The tireless voices for the voiceless spoken by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) and others- for decades-about the gross human rights violations in Ethiopia have caught the attention of the world and finally the hard truth has been revealed.

The US Government, the EU parliament and UN experts condemn the killings, detentions and kidnappings in the Oromo Nation by Ethiopian Government forces. The Oromo nation demand and that their basic freedoms and fundamental rights be respected in their own country.

The USA Government in its statements of December 18, 2015″The United States, Calls for Meaningful Dialogue About Oromo Community Concerns” and 14 January 2016 ” The United States Concerned By Clashes in Oromia, Ethiopia “condemned the Ethiopian brutality against peaceful protestors and urged the government of Ethiopia to permit peaceful protest and commit to a constructive dialogue to address legitimate grievances.

The European Union in its debate on 21 January 2016 discussed the “Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia”. The EU Parliament strongly condemns the recent use of violence by the security forces and the increased number of cases of human rights violations in Ethiopia. It calls for a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the killings of at least 140 protesters and into other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement after the May 2015 federal elections in the country.

The UN Experts in their release of 21 Jan. 2016: “UN experts urge Ethiopia to halt a violent crackdown on Oromia protesters, ensure accountability for abuses“. They called on the Ethiopian authorities to end the ongoing crackdown on peaceful protests by the country’s security forces, who have reportedly killed more than 140 demonstrators and arrested scores more in the past nine weeks.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa appreciates the statements coming out from different governmental agencies and governments exposing the ethnic persecutions and crimes against humanity in Oromia Regional State by Ethiopian Government forces in which over 180 Oromo nationals from all walks of life have been brutalized by the special force “Agazi” , over 8, 050 Oromo were arbitrarily detained and where large numbers were kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination.

To stop further human catastrophes in Oromia Regional State, the HRLHA urges the world community to continue putting pressure on the Ethiopian government:

To immediately withdraw its special force “Agazi” from the Oromia Regional State and bring the perpetrators to justice To unconditionally release the detainees To compensate, all casualties have been done by the government-sponsored criminals To abort the state of emergency declared in Oromia Regional State All authorities who were involved in the present political crisis in the Oromia Regional state, including the PMs special advisor AbayTseye and the PM of Ethiopia HailemariamDessalengn, should be stripped of their government responsibilities To allow independent investigators into the country to conduct an investigation into the present and past gross human rights violations in Oromia Regional State.


 

http://unpo.org/article/18864


 

17 Oromo Children Killed by Authorities in Ethiopia Land Protests January 26, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015Hanna doja. Oromo child, 1st grade student in Kombolcha, Horroo Guduruu, Oromia. Attacked  by Ethiopian regime fascist  forces on 31st December  2015


17 Children Killed by Authorities in Ethiopia Land Protests

By   Ellery Roberts Biddle,  Global Voices

Burial of Nasrudin Mohammed, a protester killed in December 2015. Photograph by Gadaa.com.


 

Ethiopian authorities have killed at least 17 children and injured many more involved in peaceful land rights protests since December 2015.

Demonstrations over a plan to expand the capital into the ethnic region of Oromia began in Ethiopia in late November. Since then, there have been 140 confirmed deaths of protesters at the hands of government authorities. Of the 17 minors killed by authorities, most were between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. Citizen media reports also show that many more school children have been injured in the protest movement.

The protesters are speaking out against the so-called “Master Plan” to expand the capital city, Addis Ababa, into Oromia, fearing that the proposed development will result in direct persecution of the Oromo ethnic group, including mass evictions of Oromo farmers from their land. Oromo people, who represent the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, have experienced systematic marginalization and persecution over the last quarter century. Some estimates put the number of Oromo political prisoners in Ethiopia at 20,000 as of March 2014. The country’s ruling elite, of the EPRDF party, are mostly from the Tigray (only 6% of Ethiopia’s 90 million population ) region, which is located in the northern part of the country.

In parallel with efforts of global organizations such as Human Rights Watch, local activists have worked to document and preserve evidence of these killings since early December. Last week, Ethiopian media scholar Endalk Chala and Oromo activist Abiy Atomssa published a map of confirmed deaths based on a crowdsourced data set comprised of reports from citizens, activists, social media, local media networks and VOA’s Amharic service.

 

 

Eighth grader Barihun Shibiru of West Shawa was among a handful of minors who were arrested and executed once in official custody. Shibiru’s funeral was held on December 17.

Citizen videos have also helped document and confirm deaths of minors, including a video that shows students crowding around the body of Lucha Gamachu, a 9th grader at Burqa Wanjo Secondary School. The video was published on Facebook by Jawar Mohammed.

We ask that any person who has evidence of the death or disappearance of protesters please contact us at editor@globalvoicesonline.org.

https://globalvoices.org/2016/01/25/17-children-killed-by-authorities-in-ethiopia-land-protests/

Youth Employment in Africa: what policy makers can do January 25, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Youth Unemployment.
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Odaa Oromoo


 


 

Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a learning crisis: While more children are attending school, many learn very little. By grade 3, many students cannot recognize a single word of a simple paragraph. At the end of the primary cycle, results from an assessment of math skills in 14 Southern and Eastern African countries found that 60% did not get beyond the designation of “basic numeracy,” and arecent assessment in 10 Western and Central (francophone) African countries found that 60% did not get beyond the ability to answer brief questions by calling upon factual knowledge or a specific procedure (defined by the authors as the “sufficient” competency threshold). By addressing these urgent education issues, governments could ensure that young Africans have the basic skills to build on through further education or on-the-job experience. Other dimensions of human capital merit action. Governments should put in place programs that ensure early child development; young children who start off with appropriate nutrition and stimulation have greater success later in life. Also, employers demand workers with high levels of socioemotional skills, which are also rewarded in household enterprises. There should be attention to developing these skills; for example, “life skills” training for adolescent girls has resulted in higher earnings.


 

Youth Employment in Africa: what policy makers can do


 

 By  

 

Just under two years ago, I—along with a team from across the World Bank—co-authored a report, Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, which tackled the growing gap between the aspirations of African youth and the realities of the job markets—and what governments should do about it. With an expected 11 million young Africans entering the labor market every year well into the next decade, the findings and main messages of the report remain relevant.

Boosting youth employment is not a one-dimensional task that can be solved, for example, by merely increasing training opportunities—a frequently touted response. The key is to ensure that young people—and other workers—can earn a decent income in whatever work they do. Young people need strong foundational skills—human capital—to bring to their jobs; farm and business owners, entrepreneurs and investors need a conducive environment to create more productive opportunities. Governments must address the quality of basic education and remove obstacles that hinder progress in agriculture, household enterprises, and manufacturing.

Nearly 80% of Africans work in the informal sector on small farms or in household enterprises. Most people in these sectors earn meager incomes. The challenge is beyond unemployment it is that of boosting earnings across the board.


Africa’s impressive economic growth
over the past 15 years (about 7% a year) was not associated with large-scale job creation or poverty reduction. Much of this growth was in the extractive industries that are less labor-intensive. Although the formal wage sector grew quickly in some countries (10% a year in Ghana) even in the best-case scenario, this sector will not create enough jobs in the near future. The report featured estimates of what kinds of jobs workers would have in 2020 based on optimisticprojections of overall economic growth, andhigh estimates of the formal sector wage job creation that would be associated with that growth—using the cases of countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam as sources (Fox et al. 2013). The results were sobering: while the number of jobs created would be impressive, the structure of the labor force would remain remarkably similar to what it is today—low-income African countries would have close to 60% of workers in agriculture, 20% in household enterprises, 13% working for wages in the services sector, and only 6% working for wages in the industrial sector. Demography and the difference between stocks and flows mean that any change will take a long time.

What, then, is a government to do? The report provides a framework for systematically assessing constraints to higher earnings related to the human capital that workers bring to their jobs, and the business environment that ensures that those jobs are productive. The framework looks not just at the formal wage sector, but also at how to increase productivity in agriculture and in household enterprises. It recommends what should be “done now for now” and what should be “done now for results later.”

Key recommendations for policy makers include:

  • Carry out business environment reforms that attract investment into large enterprises that can create a lot of formal wage jobs, and help make these firms more competitive. Priority reforms include improving access to finance and infrastructure services, improving trade logistics, and easing regulatory constraints to entrepreneurship.
  • Ramp up efforts to support the informal sector. Recognize its importance and ensure the legal status of those who work in it. Provide support by ensuring access to (i) land or (legal) space to operate a business, (ii) public services (such as security services) and infrastructure (such as electricity) so that small businesses can be secure and have a predictable operational environment, and (iii) finance so that even smallholder farmers and household enterprises can invest in their businesses to make them more productive.
  • Ensure that youth have solid foundational skills. Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a learning crisis: While more children are attending school, many learn very little. By grade 3, many students cannot recognize a single word of a simple paragraph. At the end of the primary cycle, results from an assessment of math skills in 14 Southern and Eastern African countries found that 60% did not get beyond the designation of “basic numeracy,” and arecent assessment in 10 Western and Central (francophone) African countries found that 60% did not get beyond the ability to answer brief questions by calling upon factual knowledge or a specific procedure (defined by the authors as the “sufficient” competency threshold). By addressing these urgent education issues, governments could ensure that young Africans have the basic skills to build on through further education or on-the-job experience. Other dimensions of human capital merit action. Governments should put in place programs that ensure early child development; young children who start off with appropriate nutrition and stimulation have greater success later in life. Also, employers demand workers with high levels of socioemotional skills, which are also rewarded in household enterprises. There should be attention to developing these skills; for example, “life skills” training for adolescent girls has resulted in higher earnings.
  • Promote the dynamic private market for vocational education and training(which includes apprenticeships). Priorities include providing information and facilitating access to existing training for disadvantaged youths as well as well as ensuring the availability of better training options (this does not necessarily mean providing these services). In the presence of active training markets, public interventions need to be selective, performance driven, and evidence-based. One interesting finding is that programs that combine training with access to finance (to start or invest in a business) seem to show substantial promise.

While there is no silver-bullet that will solve the challenge of youth employment, a number of actions can, and should, be taken to ensure that young Africans are well-prepared for work—and that the work that they will engage in will yield substantially higher incomes than it does today.

Read more at source:-

http://ideas4development.org/en/youth-employment-in-africa-what-policy-makers-can-do/

 

 

OROMIA: #OROMOPROTESTS: GETTING THE MESSAGES RIGHT January 25, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Oromia.
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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share11

Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.Ethiopian-land-giveawayOromoProtests against genocidal TPLF Ethiopia2. 19 June 2015

OPINION: OROMO PROTESTS: GETTING THE MESSAGES RIGHT

#OromoProtests Special coverage


 

By J. Bonsa, PhD,  Addis Standard, January 25, 2016


 

The most commonly held rallying cry of the ongoing Oromo protestin Ethiopia is “Say No to the Master Plan!” There is a consensus among the protesters and the general public that the “Master Plan”, named by some campaigners as the “Master Killer”, has just served as a focal point that ignited the widespread discontent in a range of social, political and economic lives of the Oromo who finally went out en masse to express their outrage.

 


This piece is concerned with effective messaging of the protest. If framed wisely and clearly,messages and slogans can contribute to effective communication between the wider Oromo society in general and, most importantly, with the rest of the Ethiopian people and the international community.
It should be emphasized that the Oromo protest is a spontaneous outburst of rage among the Oromo youth and the general public at large, who had enough of the relentless and systematic oppression and dispossession by the current EPRDF led government in which the Oromo peopleare not genuinely and meaningfully represented. Since the protest is not centrally organized and coordinated, it is not surprising if the messages are not as sharp as they should.

 

The “Plan”
The concerns and questions related to the ‘Master Plan’ can be classified into the following sets of issues and regulations: The ‘Master Plan’– The request to scrap the ‘Master Plan’, a technical document that specifies the expansion of Addis Abeba by 20 times its current size, albeit with the ominous prospect of dissecting Oromiya into two parts through a deliberate enlargement of Addis Abeba; and Evictions and Land Grab – This follows from (a) the enlargement of Addis Abeba will inevitably get accomplished by evicting hundreds of thousands of farmers and turning pristine farm lands into a massive urban development spaces; and (b) Urban Development Law– recently passed byCaffee Oromiya, which was rushed through as an urban development law with far reaching implications, essentially obliterating Oromiya’s right on its urban centers.

 

If we count slogans that appeared on placards carried at demonstrations in towns and villages of Oromiya as well as solidarity rallies organized by the Oromo diaspora, then perhaps more than 90% of the cases would refer to the ‘Master Plan’, that is in the sense of (a) above. We witness similar levels of frequent references on social media; for instance, profiles of activists on Facebook often appear with a familiar red-green colored two worded slogan, “Say NO”, a shorthand for “Say No to the Master Plan”. Matters related to land grab are also referred to during chants by protesters but with less frequency than “Say No” type slogans. As far as I am aware, the “urban development law” has received a very marginal attention during the protest rallies and related discourses.

 

Unintended outcomes
There is an unintended consequence of heavy reference to the ‘Master Plan’ during opposition and solidarity rallies and expert discussions. The presence of the very word ‘Plan’ in ‘Master Plan’ seems to have hugely distorted the message. By definition, ‘plans’ are essentially futuristic. Therefore, any opposition to a planned activity can essentially (and easily) sound as if it is all about opposing something yet to take place. To complicate matters, even in latest press releases by Oromo political groups appear with phrases like “if implemented”; that is to say “if this Master Plan is going to be implemented”.
In rare cases when they report on Oromo protest, the western media often misrepresented Oromo protest as opposition to “development plan”, with negative connotation of portrayal as anti-economic development. The EPRDF ledgovernment has often projected this image portraying itself as pro-development and Oromo activists as obstacles againstits development plans. Even if Oromos put their cases in the best possible way, then I suspect the government would still devise ways to distort it and the Western Media would still be reluctant to provide fair coverage. Such that lack of focus in getting messages right have therefore immensely contributed to the distorted image of Oromo activism, specifically related to opposition to the ‘Master Plan’.
The excessive reference to the ‘Master Plan’ has already caused some misunderstandings and created obstacles to the ongoing Oromo uprising. For instance, government officials have reluctantly indicated their willingness for dialogue. Under pressure they have gone as far as announcing a closure of the Integrated Master Plan Project Office. The US government has provided a lip service to Oromo protest, effectively implying that “what happened is regrettable, but now that the government is willing to talk to you, stop protesting and start engaging with the authorities”. Sadly, the US government has yet again given the moral high ground to the government in Ethiopia, whose security forces have already killed more than 80 peaceful Oromo protesters, including a mother who tried to plead and protect her son.

 

Sharpening
In my view, what is required is simple and straightforward. The messages can get right by doing two things:
Prioritize:I propose prioritization the messages in the following order: oppositions againstthe general practice of land grab; the Oromiya urban development law; and the ‘Master Plan’ itself. Meanwhile references to the later have to be kept to the minimum. Land grab, the end result of the ‘Master Plan’, has to be brought up front and protesters have to be vocal in their opposition to the ill-designed and deceitful regulation rushed through Caffee Oromiya. References to the fuzzy, vague and broad “plan” have to be relegated to a third category. However, I believe it should still remain on the placards but with less frequency than it currently appears.
Balance: The message gets clearer if opposition to the ‘Master Plan’is unpacked and presented in its time dimension: past, present and future. So far, the misunderstanding emanates from the presence of the word ‘Plan’ in ‘Master Plan’, which gave totally wrong impressions that Oromos are protesting a plan that is not yet implemented. It is a known fact that this is not the spirit in which the Oromo protests have taken place. The fact of the matter is the ‘Addis Master Plan’ has already been implemented. The EPRDF government should therefore be accused and challenged not only for lack of public participation in the preparation of the ‘Master Plan’ but also for declaring a plan for City development activity which has already been substantially implemented without much say from the general public. This would mean reframing the message and challenging primarily the implemented component of the Addis Abeba Master Plan. In other words, the focus of the movement should shift from what is yet to happen to what has already happened. This will save the protest from being labeled as a protest led by “imagination” to opposition against incalculable damages and crimes already perpetrated on the Oromo people.

 

Focusing
The whole purpose of this analysis is to assist with sharpening the messages and messaging in the ongoing Oromo protest. I will conclude by providing rough sketches of the nature of effective messages I would like to see in future rallies. Although I put “Land Grab” as a primary target for opposition, even this would need to be framed in such a way that the message to be conveyed is a great deal more focused and sharper. In the context of Oromiya, “We Oppose Land Grab” is not good enough. Instead“Lafaa Hattee Deebisi!” or “Return Stolen Properties!” sounds sharper. I will simply outline a few focal points, and leave the task of coining effective slogans out of them. (of course, that is if my concern is shared with others colleagues).

 

Compensation– peaceful protesters would need to put across messages that target proper compensation for millions of families that have already been evicted over the last two decades. The justification for this is clear and straightforward. Ill-compensated farmers have legitimate cases to legally hold the authorities accountable for their dispossessed properties. There is no such a thing as bygones are bygones in such matters. In this case, the target has to be proper compensations perhaps over a longer period of time. It is possible to imagine the kinds of settlement that can be reached.
This might include establishing an inquiry that will look into the elaborate scams surrounding property development deals, amount of money collected, and then institute public fund for special compensations that will regularly pay evicted farmers and reinstate their dignities as human beings. Inevitably, such compensation funds can be sustained through property taxes, which inin tern force those who unjustly acquired land to pay back in the long run. Such guarantees will save current owners from insecurity in the short term to medium term.

 

‘Master Plan’– The manner in which protesters oppose part of the ‘Master Plan’yet to be implemented would need to be reframed. The aspect related to inevitable future land grab will remain as in the current rally but it should not be allowed to overshadow other aspects. However, I think it is important to express opposition to the deceitful merger of Addis Abeba with surrounding Oromiya towns in the pretext of development. Peaceful protesters would need to vocally express their opposition to “merger”. The reason is clear; it violates the basic principles of federalism. Something like this would send a strong message: Development Plan Integrations, Yes!; City-Town Mergers, No!.It can never be a difficult task to elaborate the underlying reasons for such slogans. It will also remove the unfortunate image of sounding a protest against “development plans”. Holding this slogan is like hittingtwo birds with one stone – a protest against land grab, gerrymandering, and the urban development proclamation. It also gives confidence for others who plan to settle in Oromiya.

 


Ed’s Note: The writer is an economist by profession and can be reached atdinade0612@gmail.com. The opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial principles of Addis Standard magazine
The number of Oromo protesters killed as of now exceeds 150, according to campaigners.

 

Opinion: Oromo protests: getting the messages right

OROMIA: OROMO PROTESTS: MARKING THE NEXT ETHIOPIAN POLITICAL CHAPTER January 25, 2016

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OPINION: OROMO PROTESTS: MARKING THE NEXT ETHIOPIAN POLITICAL CHAPTER

#OromoProtests Special coverage


 

By Henok Gabisa, Addis Standard,  25 January 2016


 

The current situation in Oromiya and wider Ethiopia is blusterous. In the words of an anonymous commentator on the ground, “Oromiya is a war zone; we are under effective military control.” From this characterization, I gather that the government security forces’ merciless firing of live ammunition at peaceful protestors has turned the situation into a popular civil rebellion in all of Oromiya. As a matter of fact, protest actions have taken place in more than 170 Oromo cities, towns and villages. As of this writing, Oromo activists have verified and documented the killing of over 100 Oromo persons, the majority of whom are students and farmers. The Associated Press reports that 80 Oromo protestors were killed. Oromo mothers and female students are being kidnapped and transported to unknown locations.

 

Effective December 15, the Oromo nation has fallen under the administrative jurisdiction of a “Command Post”, an entity chaired by the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. “Counter-Terrorism Task Force”, which is assembled for this particular purpose is also deployed. It remains a major legal question whether the “military administration” constitutes the same effect as declaration of emergency situation-executive decree which should have followed a procedure of its own as under article 93 of the constitution. However, as of now, what we know is that the inception of the “command post” already has obliterated any semblance of legality because it unconstitutionally suspended the bodies that administer (i.e., the State Parliament and the Executive) of the State of Oromiya and the nominal political party in charge there.
On December 16, the federal government released something very close to a national decree. It was read on a national TV during prime time broadcast service. A joint venture of the “Command Post” and “Anti-Terrorism Special Task Force”, the decree’s content was considered by many as amounting to a declaration of war against the Oromo in general. The following day, the communication minister, Getachew Reda, followed up the decree with a presser, in which he described Oromo protesters as “devils”, “demons”, “satanic”, “witches” and “terrorists”, who need special military operation “to be put back in their place”. In his cantankerous statements, Getachew cleared up what many observers already suspected: the deep-seated and systematized dehumanization project of the Oromo by the regime and beyond. Again, PM Hailemariam Dessalegn, in an exclusive interview with the national TV, menacingly vowed for a “merciless” national response against the Oromo protesters if they don’t stop protesting. Now, we are observing synchronized, condescending and patronizing melodrama being translated into collective punishment against the Oromo. Getachew’s sordidly loaded press communication in fact reminded me of Seif-Al Islam Gaddafi’s last taunting moment in one of the notorious TV broadcast in which he called the Libyan protestors “rats” who had to be annihilated. The current military control in Oromiya exactly resembles the famous Nazi Law known as The Third Reich of 1933 that Nazified all German law in order to grant arbitrary power to Hitler to detain and convict Jews. In a similar way, ours is also a regime that has unequivocally and arrogantly displayed that it is not only the enemy of the people, but also of itself.

 

Why the plan is the reincarnation of perennial Oromo question?
The protest, now turned into an unarmed popular uprising or movement, is a renewed call from Oromo people to object to and demand the unconditional and permanent termination of the implementation of the Addis Abeba Master Plan, which is designed to incorporate surrounding Oromo lands into the capital against the will of owner-operators. The complete absence, on the part of the government, to solicit public consultation or participation since the start of the plan’s preparation in 2009 did not only make it a surreptitious political scheme, but also flagged major questions as to the substantive intent and content of the plan itself. In fact, the plan was viewed among the Oromo as an existential threat to the people and their land. The Oromo see the plan as a danger to their identity, language, culture, environment, and most importantly, their right to property/land security and the right to a sustainable development.
The government’s initial attempt to foist the plan in 2014 faced a stiff resistance from Ambo University students and all corners of Oromiya, triggering a massive crackdown by the government that killed unknown number of Oromo students in April and May of the same year. No judicial investigation or commission of inquiry was established, nor did anyone government official was hold accountable.

 

Completely disrespecting the peoples’ persistent objection against the plan, as of November 2015, the government came back with an imperious determination to implement the infamous master plan. At this juncture, the Oromo people, indisputably, were convinced of the federal government’s long-term scheme to end the meager economic and political presence, of the Oromo in central Addis Abeba and its surroundings.
The Master Plan, which the regional government said was scarped all together, is an epitome of the major political and economic injustices that have lingered on unresolved for far too long. Political subordination and denial of self-governance, rising poverty and increasing unemployment rate among Oromo households because of the policy of land eviction and language discrimination, are some of the fundamental questions. The ongoing movement is an expression of demand for an international scrutiny towards the Ethiopian regime’s system of wealth distribution and economic regulation in the ethnically structured federal system of the country.

 

Over the last quarter of century, the Oromo people have been ruthlessly targeted for their identity, falling prey to one of the authoritarian regimes in the continent. For example, various reports indicate that about 90% of the political prisoners in Ethiopian prison are exclusively made up of the Oromo. Not only did this create a deep-seated grievance among the Oromo, but also displayed the inept political leadership of the incumbent, potentially risking long-term stability of the region. The condensed account of political and economic discrimination based on identity, language and culture, the widespread and systematic violation of fundamental rights to property, crumbling land security, complete non-existence of freedom of assembly and of the press are some of the rudiments that are heating up the recent Oromo civil movement. These questions are as old as the coming into power of the current regime itself, or well beyond. The surreptitiously designed Addis Master Plan is the latest iteration of the long-standing policy of dispossessing the Oromo from their property, this time under the shibboleth of “urbanization” and “development.”

 

Humanitarian Crises: regime’s breach of common Article 3 of Geneva Convention
With the civilian protestors facing a regime that has no hesitation to use the national military force, a humanitarian crises has unfolded at an alarming rate. In some cases the government has deployed military helicopters to transport military personnel to the protest sites. We have witnessed that the regime’s military response doesn’t have moral boundary. I suspect the regime is oblivious to the fact that the whole world is watching.
Material breach-by the regime’s military force-of humanitarian obligation also continues to take place in several other forms. For example, in Wallaga, reports indicate that medical professionals are being beaten and arrested for treating wounded protesters. In Najjo town, Ambo and Burayu, security forces have occupied hospital compounds and other medical facilities in order to detain, deny and refuse admittance of the fatally injured protesters. In fact, the same type of cruelty has been witnessed during the 2014 Oromo protest. Of course, this kind of material breach of international humanitarian duty could also be considered as a constitutive element of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

Furthermore, the regime’s moral revulsion against the protestors is well indicated in the pervasive and horrifying acts of group rapes allegedly committed by members of the military  in a number of villages and university campuses. Some reports also reveal a disturbing account of a wife who was raped at night in front of her husband. It is clear that rape has always been used as a tool of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in different countries at different times. That is why International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) developed a legal theory under which an act of rape could give rise to a joint criminal conviction for crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Any viable solution?
The movement is an expressed demand for sustainable peace, justice, democracy, equality and true development that had been lacking in the country over the last 25 years. Apparently, the existing model of governance couldn’t extend to the greater public beyond the elites and a few members of a group who are affiliated with the regime. In fact, that is why Ethiopia is on the brink of famine with over 20 million Ethiopian people in need of urgent food, the majority of the affected being the Oromo. The number of Ethiopian youths that very frequently perish in the Mediterranean Sea while running away from home should put the lie to the government’s claim of the double digit growth. The stories thousands of our sisters living in an almost slavery-like situation in the Middle East should be a sufficient indication of how the travesty of the assertion Ethiopia’s fast economic growth.

 

 

The recent movement filled with ultimate self-sacrifice is the latest episode in Oromo’s quest for a better future and legitimate self-governance. The movement understands that unchecked state power in Ethiopia has been the problem and not the solution to economic development. The movement is an ultimate negation of the regime’s grandiloquent declaration of the recent 100% parliamentary win. It is the movement that is guarding and protecting the constitution from the government that was supposed to defend it. At the end of the day, the movement is a demand for reconfiguration and restructuring of the politics of the country. Of all, the movement is a plea for the permanent removal of the metastasized political cancer that that has diminished the lives and existence of the Oromo.
So, it is possible that the movement will soon culminate in being a sole driving force for the emergence of a new Ethiopia that all can call home. Oromo children’s blood gushing like a river on every street of Oromo city is a timely proof for a well-deserved moral leadership in the country. Over the last two months, the incumbent regime has conveyed a message to the Oromo and all other Ethiopians that it cannot lead the country; that its moral integrity is already corrupted, busted and politically bankrupt. The regime didn’t cash in on the benefit of the doubt it was granted 25 years ago. Now, it is a prime time for the people to step up their games by owning and showing the right leadership. That is the only way out.


 

 

Ed’s Note: Henok Gabisa is Visiting International Law Fellow based at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. He can be reached at GabisaH@wlu.edu. The opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect Addis Standard’s editorial guideline.

 

Opinion: Oromo Protests: Marking the next Ethiopian political chapter

Oromia (#OromoProtests): VOA: Ethiopia Boundary Dispute Puts Human Rights Violations in Spotlight January 25, 2016

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Global Solidalirty rally with #OromoProtests in Oromia@Seattle 29 December 2015
 Ethiopia Boundary Dispute Puts Human Rights Violations in Spotlight

After almost two months of clashes between Oromo protesters and security forces in Ethiopia, authorities have scrapped a “master plan” that would have expanded the boundaries of Addis Ababa and, according to protesters, would have displaced Oromo farmers.

However, observers are divided on the significance of the move by Ethiopia and whether it truly represents a change of policy or just a reaction to negative publicity.

Dr. Awol Allo, a fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics, said he believes the government will find other ways to take land it deems useful.

“I don’t actually believe that the practices of displacement and the eviction and the plunder would cease,” Allo told VOA. “Remember, the expansion of Addis began a very long time ago and it has intensified over the course of the last 10 years because of the influx of investment into the city, both foreign and domestic.”

Compiled by activists

Allo pointed to figures compiled by jailed Oromo activist and opposition leader Bekele Gerba, who said 150,000 Oromo farmers have had their land taken by the government over the past 10 years.

“The practices would continue. They just don’t call them a master plan,” Allo said. “The master plan was basically intended to sort of basically formalize and legalize the processes of annexation and expansion. It may not have that kind of name that gives it a broader mandate, sort of legitimacy and authority, but the practice would nevertheless continue.”

Earlier this week, the European Parliament adopted a 19-point resolution urging Ethiopia to respect the rights of peaceful protestors as well as to cease intimidation and imprisonment of journalists. During a recent visit to Ethiopia, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power urged the government to engage in dialogue with protesters.

Approximately 140 people were killed during the protests, according activists interviewed by Human Rights Watch.

“What we are urging is that the international community should not turn a blind eye to these gross violations of human rights that have taken place in Ethiopia,” said Mandeep Tiwana, head of policy and research at CIVICUS, a group that works to strengthen civil society and civilian participation in politics.

“They should diplomatically engage with Ethiopia, institute external inquiry into this matter and also bring to court those responsible for excessive force and it appears that security forces have used excessive force against peaceful protesters and in fact there are reports that even children as young as 12 have been killed,” Tiwana said.

Confirmed deaths

The government has confirmed that 13 security forces died in the clashes. VOA made repeated requests for comment from the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C., but has not yet received an official statement.

The protests come at a particularly difficult time for Ethiopia, as the worst drought to hit the area in 30 years has caused a famine that is particularly affecting the northeast region.

The aid group Save the Children says as many as 10 million people are in need of food aid and calls it one of the two worst humanitarian crises in the world, following only Syria.

But observers hope the desire by the international community to aid those affected by the drought will not prevent them from insisting that Ethiopia respect human rights as it pertains to the Oromo protests.

Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said her organization and others are calling for three additional measures following the cancellation of the master plan.

Release, investigation

First, they want the unconditional release of the people arrested during the protests. They also want an independent investigation of police conduct, and they are calling for a national dialogue about policing and demonstrations and what is appropriate during protests.

“It is a sign of good faith that the government canceled these immediate plans,” Wanyeki said. “I think the pressure from the community and from all of the people that put aid into Ethiopia’s much wanted development progress need to insist on standards around projects like this.”

Under Ethiopian law, all land belongs to the government and people who are relocated are entitled to compensation.

However, the constitution specifically protects the rights of pastoralists and their right not to be displaced from their land.

Allo said proper compensation and due process has not occurred in the Oromo region around Addis Ababa.

“Their entire livelihood is inextricably tied to the land and land means everything. Their property is a way of living for them so to deprive them of that possibility that prospect of leaving the land that they have known, in the ecologies that they have known, without proper consultation, without appropriate compensation, I think that is a huge injustice,” he said.

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Oromo Protests sustained due to lack of democratic virtues; protests natural reactions to authoritarianism of Ethiopian regime January 24, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests. International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis Worsens

 

#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in EthiopiaOromoProtests against genocidal TPLF Ethiopia2. 19 June 2015

Oromo Protests sustained due to lack of democratic virtues; protests natural reactions to authoritarianism


 

By Abdurezack Hussein,  Finfinne Tribune,   24 January 2016


 

Outrage has engulfed Ethiopia for a couple of months now. Peaceful protests – against a plan, popularly called the Integrated Master Plan, to expand the capital city borders into the surrounding Oromia National Regional State – are being suppressed by lethal force. Beyond affecting the livelihoods and the cultural makeup of the Oromo residents in the affected region, protesters argue, the Plan to snatch an area from one Federal State by another could amount to a blatant annexation. Thanks to the phony federal structure, the Oromia National Regional State, that was supposed to guard its borders and defend the protesters, is regrettably failing on both accounts. According to the Human Rights Watch, at least 140 innocent lives have since been gunned down. Activists on the ground, however, raise the death toll even higher.

The escalation of the crises and protesters’ defiance have unusually forced the government, which had vowed to implement the Plan at any cost, to retract the Plan. For the protesters, though, the government’s latest action is too little to rejoice and too late to embrace. Protesters’ discontent seems to have gone beyond the Master Plan into the working of the Federal State of Oromia itself. The sustained political disenfranchisement and the lack of real representation in the decision-making hierarchy have produced a magma of uneasiness with the system that has waited so long to explode. As the protesters are vowing to continue the protests, and more political actors and the international community are slowly joining and acknowledging their cause, the coming days and weeks will increasingly put the autocratic Ethiopian government in a difficult position.

Had it not been for the lack of democracy in Ethiopia, such opposition to the government’s policies could have been easily defeated either in the court or at the ballot box. The tragic failure of the system to hold the government accountable for its polices in either way has ultimately compelled the public that the responsibility – to safeguard its own rights and claim these hijacked democratic virtues at any cost – rests on the people’s protests.

Doing Development in an Autocratic Way

The incursion into a vast swath of land around the congested capital city will produce more development and modernization, the Ethiopian government contends. It, accordingly, accuses protesters of being traitors and obstacles in the so-called “miraculous double-digit growth.” Under the New Master Plan, the predominantly agrarian adjacent lands are expected to be replaced by alternatives usages that are presumably more valuable in terms of their economic values. It envisages creating new infrastructures, new real estates, new industries and new dwellers. It does not matter whether the Plan causes serious law abridgments, or is hugely unpopular, as far as it is adding to the GDP [Growth and Transformation Plan] and keeps alive the double-digit narrative. Public opinions and laws are, at best, second to development, and at worst, they are completely neglected. This is what is called doing development in an autocratic way.

At the heart of an autocratic way of building an economy, there exists a blatant disregard of accountability. In a working democracy, governments and policymakers are accountable to the law and the public. Any development plan, however economically sound it might be, is prone to cancellation, if it negates any law of the country and its Constitution. Autocrats, on the other hand, keep themselves above the law and dare abridge any verse of the Constitution. Besides, such a regime lacks an independent judiciary to keep the working of the government in check. Dictators, therefore, are in a perfect position to plan and execute any development plan without fearing any intervention by the judiciary.

The Integrated Master Plan is an epitome of an autocratic way of doing development. Despite the fact that it plans to stretch the borders of the capital city into the neighboring Oromia National Regional State’s land, which is potentially tantamount to annexation in a federal arrangement, neither the judiciary nor the House of Federation has toddled to intervene in the matter. It is the land of autocrats where accountability before the law is at its lowest.

Another route to bring accountability within the policymakers’ circles and to governments is via elections. Elections provide mechanisms to reward, or to punish, politicians and their policies. Parties with popular policies are elected into office; economic policies and projects are no exceptions. While in office, incumbent governments plan and execute development plans that are feasible in economic terms, sound in terms of country’s laws and popular in the eyes of their electorates. Free, fair and transparent elections constrain politicians from pursuing risky and unpopular policies. The recurrent massive turnovers among governments that follow austerity measures can be a good example in this respect.

In no-man lands of electoral autocrats, however, elections are, at best, mere periodic anniversaries, or at worst, eves of mass imprisonments of vocal dissidents. The very role of accountability-before-the-public that elections guarantee is impossible in dictatorships. However unpopular the policies they plan and execute might be, they can go away without facing any punishment by the public during elections. When elections cease to serve their natural purpose of voting politicians and their policies, plans – as unpopular as the Integrated Master Plan, can irresponsibly be planed and implemented without any accountability at the ballot box.

Protests as Working Constraints

Political institutions, such as legislature, political parties and elections ,are eminent constraints on governments. The judiciary, with its mighty power, keeps government’s actions in check. These are the virtues of democracy that nations under the auspices of autocracy are devoid of. Ethiopia has never been short of such regimes for very long. The current government has led the country for a quarter of a century with an iron fist. Any opposition to its rule and policies have been met with decisive force and merciless crackdowns.

The absence of democratic virtues like independent judiciary and elections as a mechanism to voice citizens’ approval or rejection of the government and its polices in Ethiopia has expectedly created enormous frustrations. Sustained public protests for the past few years by Ethiopian Muslims and the current Oromo protests are results of such hopelessness in the system and the institutions it has built.

The huge protests all across the Oromia National Regional State against the Master Plan for the past few months has claimed hundreds lives. Injuries and incarcerations are in thousands. Reports of torture and extra-judiciary killings are everyday news. Had the judiciary been to its honor and sound elections were in place, projects as unlawful and unpopular as the Master Plan would have been defeated in the court or at the ballot box. When both institutions fail, sadly, the people have to either chose between eviction and disenfranchisement, or bravely confront the implementation of the Plan with protests. Oromos have preferred the later and have audaciously faced one of the most brutal autocratic states in the world.

The sustained protests have lately compelled the government, which has got away with many actions without any public approval for past twenty five years, to rescind the Master Plan. It has, for now, dissipated the ambitions of the leeching pro-government business elites. What would have been easily defeated in a democratic polity has sucked the blood of many in the autocratic Ethiopia. The fallen and the injured have paid with their blood to reclaim deserved democratic virtues. They have won back what an independent judiciary or a fair election would otherwise have secured at ease. Protests have served as constraints on the government – which has abusively compromised the foremost constraints to its power: the judiciary and periodic elections.

Unfortunate enough, when protesters reclaim their rights after months of defiant protests and force their autocratic rulers to back down on their nightmare, another feature of an autocratic regime could dangerously spoil their jubilation: the question of credibility. In the absence of any institutional mechanism to assure accountability of the government, there is no way one can guarantee the government would not renege on its promises. As Mancur Olson (1991, p. 153) argued “If he (the autocrat) runs the society, there is no one who can force him to keep his commitments.” Repeated experiences in the past, and the very nature of the regime type, further strengthens the prospect of a possible change of mind sometime in the near future. More importantly, the amount of rents the political and business elites would have collected from such massive land grabs will inevitably test their commitment to the rhetorical promise they have lately made.

Both at the Crossroads

It appears that both the protesters and the government are at the crossroads. For the protesters, they have managed to force the government to scrap the Master Plan that has been the immediate cause of the protests. It is now the right time to decide whether to believe the government, which has been the sole architect of the Master Plan, and the subsequent brutality against protesters, on its word, or escalate their struggle to address the lingering deep-rooted sense of Oromo disenfranchisement and confront the beleaguered Ethiopian government to the end. Putting it differently, the struggle to reclaim democratic virtues has to make a shift to reclaiming democracy itself. While it is difficult to sleep safe believing the word of an autocrat, it also requires massive amounts of energy, coordination, solidarity and determination to make the second choice.

For the Ethiopian government, the current protests seem to indicate that the sun is slowly setting in their autocratic empire. History and the nature of the political regime the government is politicking are not on their side in terms of citizens’ confidence on their word. Incumbent politicians have to either go by their promise and give a strong signal to their credibility, or face the consequences of the ensuing protests and the public outrage. The coming days, weeks and months will tell which ways both the protesters and the government will take. Either way, the current protests, and actors involved from both sides, have already made it to the history of a country that has never witnessed a government of the people, for the people and by the people.



 

 

Oromia: Seenaa Solomoon: “Akkamiin Diina Gombisu?” New #OromoProtests Music January 23, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Beat, African Music, Oromo Music, Seena Solomon, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooSeena Solomon, famous Oromo music artist

Egaa sichi nyaannaa yoom nyaanne foon maddii

Galma ga’uf jiraa kan yaanne iddoo qabdii

 

 

 

Oromia: Dachii fi Daangaa Oromiyaa Ilaalchisee Labsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo Irraa Kenname. January 23, 2016

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Dachii fi Daangaa Oromiyaa Ilaalchisee Labsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo Irraa Kenname.

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Dachii fi Daangaa Oromiyaa Ilaalchisee Labsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo Irraa Kenname.

Amajjii 21,2016

Lafa, qabeenyaa lafa jalaa jiru fi qilleensa Oromiyaa guutummaatti to’annoo ummata Oromoo jala galchuu qofatu gaaffii ummata Oromoo deebisa.

Habashooti,afaan qawweetiiin itti duulanii, Oromoo lafa isaa irraa buqqisuun walii fi firoottanii isaaniitii eerga qoodanii booda ummata Oromoo hiyyummaa fi wal’aalummaa keessatti  darbanii hojiisifachuun lafa fi  dafqa isaatiin duuroomuu  kan eegalan jaarraa 14ffaa irraa yoo ta’e illee, kan ummata Oromoo miliyoonatti herregamu dachii/lafa isaa irraa buqqisee roobaa fi qabbana keessatti facaasuun kadhattuu fi waaridiyaa qeyee habashootaa taasisee jiruu, akkasumas ammo, jireenya maatiilee Oromoo fi ilmaan isaa  dhabamsiise mootummaa  Ixoophiyaa/wayyaanee ammaan tana Oromiyaa gabroomfatee jiruu dha.

Mootummaan Ixoophiyaa/Wayyaanee, ammaan tana Oromiyaa gabroomfatee jiru kun, “Tigraay akka mishoomtuuf, Oromoo fi Oromiyaan hiyyoomuu qabdi” imaammata jedhuun, lafa Oromoo saaamuu fi maqaa Investment’n saamsiisuu hojii duraa godhatee gannoota 25 darbaniif irratti hojjechaa jira.Qotee bulaa Oromoo kumoota hedduu irraa buqqisuun mootummaan:Miniliki, Haayilesillaasee fi Dargii magaalaa Finfinnee kan ijaaranii fi babal’isan oggaa ta’u, mootummaan Ixoophiyaa/Wayyaanee ammaan tana Oromiyaa gabroomfatee jirus, kan abbootiin isaa armana dura hojjetan daranuu itti fufuun, qotee bulaa Oromoo miliyoona hedduu dachii/lafa inni irraa: nyaatu, dhugu, daara bahu, wal’aanamu, ilmaan barsiifatu, irratti horii horsiifatuu, mana ijaarratu  fi  wal horu, akkasumas, yeroo du’u irratti awwaalamu fi madda jiruu fi jireenya isaa ta’e irraa buqqisee biyya abbaa isaa irratti : hiyyummaa, beela, daara, dhukkuba, akkasumas, jireenya salphinaa akka jiraatu taasifameera. Kana malees, mootummaan kun, dachii /lafa Oromoo kukutee qooduun fira ittiin bitatuu fi Oromoo irratti diina heddumessuuf shirri inni hojjetuuf tattaafate seenaa gabrummaa kamuu keessatti kan argamee fi dhagahamee hin beeknee dha. Walumaagalatti, akeeki mootummaa wayyaanee, tigroota dureessaa fi ummata Oromoo hiyyeessa manaa fi oobruu tigrootaa keessaa hojjetu uumuudhaan ummatni Oromoo kabajaa fi boonee jiraachuu bare irkattuu tigrootaa akka ta’u godhuu dha.

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dachii-fi-daangaa-oromiyaa-irraatti-labsa-qeerroo-bilisummaa-amajjii-21-2016

 

Oromia: Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Honours the European Union Parliament that it stood up publicly against assaults on Oromo peaceful protesters. Ibsa ABO Murtii Paarlaamaa Awroppaa Ilalchisee January 23, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, EU, OLF, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Nation.
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Oromo Liberation Front Press Release

ABOOn 21st of January all party Groups of European Parliament debated and passed a resolution on the current political situation in Oromia, Ethiopia. Since mid-November 2015 another round of enormous wave of mass protests that started over respect for the right of Oromo People in general and against the expansion of the capital Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) that triggered more to be demanded on the basic fundamental and democratic rights that have been supressed for the last century and half. Instead of looking for the solution the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF/EPRDF) led Ethiopian government declared war on the Oromo people and deployed its terrorizing special force (Agazi), the military and the federal police against peaceful Oromo demonstrators and the public at large. In doing so, it put Oromia under martial law tantamount to declaration of a state of emergency. The deployed forces have wantonly killed more than 180 people and wounded hundreds and detained thousands of Oromo farmers, students, teachers, merchants and government employees, including the medical staff trying to treat the overwhelming numbers of the brutalized mass.

 

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Oromia (WBO): Humni Addaa WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa Hidhattoota Wayyaanee haleele January 23, 2016

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Odaa Oromoosbofb367-alaabaanew

 

(SBO) – Amajii 23, 2016) Humni Addaa WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa Hidhattoota Wayyaanee Maqaa Faxinoon Ijaaramanii FXG Godina Baalee Keessatti Geggeeffamaa Jiru Dura Dhaabbachuu fi Ummata Irratti Duuluuf Sagantaa Baafatan Adabee Jira. Meeshaalee Adda Addaas Irraa Booji’e.

Humni Addaa WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa miliishota wayyaanee Fooq-Umar/Sheekistaa jedhaman irraa ijaaramuun loltoota wayyaanee waliin ta’anii ummata Oromoo Godina Baalee Onoota Raayituu fi Daawwee Sarar irratti lola geggeessuu fi sochii FXG naannicha keessatti geggeeffamaa jiru dura dhaabbachuuf sochii irra turan Amajjii 11,2016 galgala keessaa sa’aa 9:00 irratti Godina Baalee Ona Eelkarree bakka Gola Hurrii jedhamutti haleeluun hidhattoota 4 irraa ajjeesee garii isaanii madeessuu Ajaji WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa hubachiisee jira.

Tarkaanfii haxii kanaan Humni Addaa WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa AKM 4 hidhannoo guutuu waliin, Rasaasa AKM -47 5000 ol, Uniformii waraanaa 150, Birrii Itophiyaa 120,000 fi mi’oota biroo gaalota sadiin fe’amanii deemaa turan guututti booji’uun qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoof akka oolche Ajaji WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa ifa godheera.

Hidhattootni/faxinoon wayyaanee kun kan haleelaman haxxeedhaan oggaa ta’u, humni kunis gaala sadiin rasaasota adda addaa, uffannaa waraanaa/uniformii fi mi’oota gara garaa fe’uun qaama murna miliishota kanaa naannoo qubsuma Fooq-Umar bakka Dhiboo jedhamu qubatee jiruuf geessuuf sochii irra akka tures gabaafameera.

Foreign Policy In Focus: Ethiopia’s Invisible Crisis. #OromoProtests January 23, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share1Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo peopleAgazi security forces beating Oromo women, children)

Ethiopia’s Invisible Crisis

Hailemariam_Desalegn_and_Barack_Obama_in_2013

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn confers with President Barack Obama

“Badessa” was a third-year engineering student in western Ethiopia in April 2014 when he and most of his classmates joined a protest over the potential displacement of ethnic Oromo farmers like his family because of the government’s plan to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, into the farmland.

The night of the first protests he was arrested and taken to an unmarked detention center. Each night he heard his fellow students screaming in agony as one by one they were tortured by interrogators. “I still hear the screams,” he told me later. Eventually his turn came to be interrogated. “What kind of country is it when I voice concern that my family could lose their farm for a government project and I am arrested, tortured, and now living as a refugee?”

Since mid-November, large-scale protests have again swept through Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, and the response from security forces has again been brutal. They have killed countless students and farmers, and arrested opposition politicians and countless others. On January 12, the government announced it was cancelling the master plan, but that hasn’t stopped the protests and the resultant crackdown.

Although the protest was initially about the potential for displacement, it has become about so much more. Despite being the biggest ethnic group in Ethiopia, Oromos have often felt marginalized by successive governments and feel unable to voice concerns over government policy. Oromos who express dissent are often arrested and tortured or otherwise mistreated in detention, accused of belonging to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a group that has long been mostly inactive and that the government designated a terrorist organization.

The government is doing all it can to make sure that the news of these protests doesn’t circulate within the country or reach the rest of the world. Ethiopia’s allies, including governments in the region and the African Union, have largely stood by as Ethiopia has steadily strangled the ability of ordinary Ethiopians to access information and peacefully express their views, whether in print or in public demonstrations. But they should be worried about what is happening in Oromia right now, as Ethiopia — Africa’s second most-populous country and a key security ally of the US — grapples with this escalating crisis.

This may prove to be the biggest political event to hit Ethiopia since the controversial 2005 elections resulted in a crackdown on protesters in which security forces killed almost 200 people and arrested tens of thousands .

Although the government focuses its efforts on economic development and on promoting a narrative of economic success, for many farmers in Oromia and elsewhere economic development comes at a devastating cost. As one Oromo student told me “All we hear about is development. The new foreign-owned farms and roads is what the world knows, but that just benefits the government. For us [Oromos] it means we lose our land and then we can’t sustain ourselves anymore.”

It has become almost impossible for journalists and human rights monitors to get information about what is happening, especially in smaller towns and rural areas outside Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia is one of the most restrictive environments for independent investigation, reporting, and access to information, earning the country a top-10 spot in the global ranking of jailers of journalists. For the past decade, the government has limited access to information by regularly threatening, imprisoning, and prosecuting individual activists, bloggers, and journalists and sending a clear public message that the media must self-censor and that dissent or criticism of government policy will not be tolerated.

Independent media have dwindled—more than 70 journalists have fled the country since 2010 and five of the last independent publications closed down before the May elections. Meanwhile the state-run media parrot the government line, in this case claiming that the Oromo protesters are linked to “terrorist groups” and “anti-peace elements” who are “aiming to create havoc and chaos.”

Very few international journalists are based in Ethiopia. Those who have attempted to cover events on the ground since the protests began have braved threats and arrest, but these are a few lone voices.

Given restrictions on local and international media, you might think that ordinary citizens, local activists, and nongovernmental organizations would fill the gaps and document the events in Oromia. But Ethiopia’s human rights activists and independent groups have been crushed by draconian legislation and threats, and even ordinary people are often terrified to speak out. People who dare to speak to international media outlets or independent groups have been arrested. The government taps phone lines and uses European-made spyware to target journalists and opposition members outside the country.

Since the protests began, the restrictions have become even harsher. Authorities have arrested people, including health workers, for posting photos and videos or messages of support on social media. The state-run telecom network has also been cut in some areas, making it much more difficult to get information out from hotspots.

Radio and satellite television outlets based outside Ethiopia, including some diaspora stations, play a key role disseminating information about the protests within Oromia, as they also did in 2014 during the last round of protests. Last year numerous people were arrested in Oromia during the protests merely for watching the diaspora-run Oromia Media Network (OMN).

The government has frequently jammed foreign stations in the past, violating international regulations in the process. When the government is unable to jam it puts pressure on the satellite companies themselves. Throughout the protests government agents have reportedly been destroying satellite dishes.

Yet despite the clear efforts to muzzle voices, information is coming out. Some protesters are losing their fear of expressing dissent and are speaking openly about the challenges they are facing. Social media plays a key role in disseminating information as people share photos and videos of rallies, of bloodied protesters, and of expressions of peaceful resistance in the face of security forces using excessive force.

In the coming days and weeks Ethiopia’s friends and partners should condemn the use of excessive force by security forces that is causing tragic and unnecessary deaths. But they should also be clear that Ethiopia needs to ensure access to information and stop disrupting telecommunications and targeting social media users. The world needs to know what is happening in Oromia—and Ethiopians have a right to know what is happening in their country.

Felix Horne is the Ethiopia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

http://fpif.org/ethiopias-invisible-crisis/

Oromia:Ethiopia (All Africa): Update – European Parliament Adopts Powerful Ethiopia Resolution January 23, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, EU, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo.
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Ethiopia: Update – European Parliament Adopts Powerful Ethiopia Resolution

The 751 Members of the European Parliament, the only directly-elected body of the European Union (EU), have debated and adopted a powerful motion presented to them on the current situation in Ethiopia. The motion included detailed descriptions about the Oromo protests that have rocked the nation from all corners, the country’s frequent use of the infamous Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle “even mild criticism”, and the pervasive displacement and abuse of millions of Ethiopians in the name of development.

The debate and vote by the European Parliament took place yesterday during a first reading at a plenary session. “Ethiopia resolution adopted by EP plenary without amendments to the text supported by 7 Groups. Only extreme right wing voted against”, reads a tweet from Ana Gomez, a member of the European parliament.

Authored by more than 60 individual members of the European Parliament together with the Socialists and Democrats, S&D Group, the centre-left political group in the Parliament which has 191 members from all 28 EU countries, and supported by seven groups, the motion detailed a disturbing prevalence of human right abuses in Ethiopia perpetrated by the government.

Biggest crisis

The motion describes the recent Oromo protests as “the biggest crisis to hit Ethiopia since the 2005 election violence” and said “security forces used excessive lethal force and killed at least 140 protesters and injured many more.” It also accuses authorities in Ethiopia of arbitrarily arresting “a number of peaceful protesters, journalists and opposition party leaders in the context of a brutal crackdown on the protests in the Oromiya Region,” and “those arrested are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.”

The motion specifically mentions the arrest on December 23 of Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) Oromiya’s largest legally registered political party. It noted that Bekele was taken to a prison known for torture and other ill-treatment practices and “shortly after he was reportedly hospitalized”. It mentioned that the whereabouts of Bekele Gerba, were “now unknown, raising concerns of an enforced disappearance.” “The government [has] labeled largely peaceful protesters as ‘terrorists’ deploying military forces against them.”

The motion connects the current Oromo protests with “the bloody events of April and may 2014, when federal forces fired into groups of largely peaceful Oromo protesters, killing dozens; at least hundreds more students were arrested, and many remain behind bars.”

In an email interview with Addis Standard, a diplomat who is working at an EU member state embassy here in Addis Abeba, said the motion was “the strongest, detailed and straight forward motion that describes the current situation in Ethiopia.” The diplomat, who wishes to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak, further said that reports from various embassies on the ground have helped inform member states about the “fragility” of the situation in Ethiopia.

Asked to comment on whether the Parliament is likely to pass the motion or reject it, the diplomat said, without specifics, that “the current situation in Ethiopia calls for a careful reading of events on the ground and this motion, more likely than less, is Ethiopia as we know it today.”

The motion blames Ethiopia’s government of accusing people who express “even mild criticism of government policy of association with terrorism,” and mentions the dozens of journalists, bloggers, protesters, students and activists who have been prosecuted under the country’s draconian 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. “Numerous prisoners of conscience, imprisoned in previous years based solely on their peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression and opinion, including journalists and opposition political party members, remained in detention.”

The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won all 547 parliamentary seats in the May 2015 elections, the motion says, “due in part to the lack of space for critical or dissenting voices in the election process; May’s federal elections took place in a general atmosphere of intimidation, and concerns over the lack of independence of the National Electoral Board.”

However, the motion says, Ethiopia enjoys political support from western donors and most of its regional neighbors, “mostly due to its role as host of the African Union (AU) and its contribution to UN peacekeeping, security and aid partnerships with Western countries.” Ethiopia receives more aid than any other African country – close to $3bn per year, or about half the national government budget. But “the current political situation in Ethiopia and the brutal repression of dissent put a serious risk to the security, development and stability in the country.”

Call for action

In light with the detailed human rights violations by the government, the motion included a fifteen point recommendations including a call on the EU to “effectively monitor programs and policies to ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia, particularly programs linked to displacement of farmers and pastoralists, and develop strategies to minimize any negative impact of displacement within EU funded development projects.”

The motion also condemns the recent use of excessive force by the security forces in Oromiya and “in all Ethiopian regions, the increased cases of human rights violations and abuses, including violations of people’s physical integrity, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions, the use of torture, and violations of the freedom of the press and of expression, as well as the prevalence of impunity.”

The motion further for the immediate release of all those jailed for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including students, farmers, opposition politicians, academics, bloggers and journalists. It also calls on the government in Ethiopia to carry out a credible, transparent and impartial investigation into the killings of protesters and other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement and to fairly prosecute those responsible, regardless of rank or position. It also urges the government to “immediately invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly and other UN human rights experts to visit Ethiopia to report on the situation.”

But whether Ethiopia could heed the calls and recommendations remains to be seen.

Members of the European Parliament are elected once every five years by voters right across the 28 Member States of the European Union on behalf of Europe 500 million citizens.

Read more at:

Resolutionallafrica.com/stories/201601221289.html

Oromia: The Huffington Post: Ethiopia Is Brutally Cracking Down On Months Of #OromoProtests January 22, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo students movement, Say no to the expansions of Addis Ababa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia#OromoProtests global solidarity rally, South Africa. 17 January 2016Agazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Ethiopia Is Brutally Cracking Down On Months Of Protests

Human rights groups say at least 140 people have been killed in protests over a land expansion plan.

January 22, 2016

PACIFIC PRESS/GETTY IMAGES
A protest outside the United Nations in New York City. Human Rights Watch claims the Ethiopian government has killed over 140 protesters in demonstrations over the Addis Abba expansion plan.

Every week, we bring you one overlooked aspect of stories that made news in recent days. Did you notice the media forgot all about another story’s basic facts? Tweet @TheWorldPost or let us know on our Facebook page.

In Ethiopia, 2016 is off to a violent start. Authorities in the East African nation have killed at least 140 people in a brutal crackdown on protests over the last two-and-a-half months, according to human rights groups, amounting to the worst ethnic violence in years.

The violence has brought renewed attention to the struggle over land rights and political tensions in the country and it has highlighted rights abuses in a nation deemed an important U.S. ally in the fight against terror.

Anger Mounts In Oromia In The Fall Of 2015.

In November 2015, discontent intensified in Ethiopia’s Oromia region over a government plan to expand the borders of the country’s capital, Addis Ababa, into the surrounding rural areas.

Protesters marched to voice their opposition, fearing that the state’s Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan, as the proposal is called, would seize land from the Oromia region’s marginalized Oromo ethnic group, which makes up around 35 percent of Ethiopia’s population. The area of Oromia that the city seeks to incorporate is already home to two million people, according to Human Rights Watch.

The protesters’ fears were informed by years of deep discontent with the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front. Though the nation’s capital of Addis Ababa is surrounded by the ethnic Oromia region, the city was established by the Amhara people, The Washington Post notes. As the city expanded, there have been clashes over forcible evictions, as well as ethnic and linguistic identity. Furthermore, the authoritarian government has a history of attempting to stamp out dissent, especially among ethnic groups it views as being in opposition to its ruling coalition.

Over 5,000 Oromos have been arrested on charges relating to protests and dissent in the past five years, according to an Amnesty International report. Oromos who were detained were sometimes subject to horrific abuse, including rape, torture and beatings.

LONELY PLANET/GETTY IMAGES
A map of Ethiopia, which shows the capital of Addis Ababa. The Oromia region makes up two-thirds of the country, and surrounds the capital.

Security Forces Respond Forcefully

Demonstrations spread throughout the Oromia region over the course of November, as groups including farmers and students rallied against the government.

Ethiopian authorities responded to the largely peaceful protests with force, seeking to quash the growing dissent. Police used live ammunition to disperse protesters at rallies, activists and rights groups say, killing dozens of people in separate incidents in the areas around Addis Ababa.

As the unrest continued through December, rights groups also reported widespread arrests, beatings and torture at the hands of security services. Even senior members of opposition parties, including Bekele Gerba, a prominent member of the Oromo Federalist Congress — the largest Oromo political party — did not escape the crackdown.

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And The Protests Escalate. 

The security forces’ crackdown on demonstrators failed to prevent the protest movement from intensifying — it actually expanded its demands to also call for an end to police brutality. As of the end of December, over 140 people had been killed in the protests, according to Human Rights Watch — and the rising death toll began to attract international criticism.

The United States, which has collaborated with Ethiopia on anti-terror efforts and until last September operated a drone base out of the country, issued a statement of concern and called for the government to allow peaceful protests.

Instead of moving toward reconciliation, however, the government doubled down on its position. Authorities denied protesters’ requests to hold rallies in Addis Ababa and accused the Oromo protesters of committing terrorism in a bid to destabilize the government.

As demonstrations continued, the Ethiopian government finally caved to the months of pressure on Jan. 13, and scrapped its expansion plan.

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What’s Next?

While the protests met their initial goal of stopping the urban expansion, demonstrators have been invigorated by the crackdown and have continued to rally against the government.

“The complaints of the protesters have now expanded to include the killing of peaceful protesters and decades of marginalization,” Human Rights Watch Horn of Africa researcher Felix Horne told The WorldPost over email.

What began as a protest over land rights is now representative of a number of grievances with the government and ruling EPRDF. Ethiopia has seen a period of rapid economic growth in the past 10 years, but its urban and industrial expansion has also resulted in land disputes, corruption and authoritarian crackdowns on opposition groups.

As demonstrators increasingly demand solutions for Ethiopia’s many social and political problems, rights groups worry that the unrest and violence will continue.

“Human Rights Watch continues to receive reports daily about excessive force being used by security forces in Oromia,” Horne said. “The death toll continues to rise and the arrests continue.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ethiopia-ethnic-violence_us_56a10b1ee4b0404eb8f07c85

UN experts urge Ethiopia to halt violent crackdown on Oromia protesters, ensure accountability for abuses January 22, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Because I am Oromo, Human Rights, Oromia, Oromo, UN.
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Oromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....

UN experts urge Ethiopia to halt violent crackdown on Oromia protesters, ensure accountability for abuses

GENEVA (21 January 2016) – A group of United Nations human rights experts* today called on the Ethiopian authorities to end the ongoing crackdown on peaceful protests by the country’s security forces, who have reportedly killed more than 140 demonstrators and arrested scores more in the past nine weeks.

“The sheer number of people killed and arrested suggests that the Government of Ethiopia views the citizens as a hindrance, rather than a partner,” the independent experts said, while also expressing deep concern about allegations of enforced disappearances of several protesters.

The current wave of protests began in mid-November, in opposition to the Government’s ‘Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan’ to expand the capital’s municipal boundary. The ‘Master Plan’ could reportedly lead to mass evictions and the seizure of agricultural land in the Oromia region, as well as extensive deforestation.

The UN experts welcomed the Government’s announcement on 12 January 2016 suspending the implementation of the ‘Master Plan’, but were concerned about continuous reports of killings, mass arrests, excessive use of force and other abuses by security forces.

“The Government’s decision is a positive development, but it cannot be seen as a sincere commitment until the security forces stop their crackdown on peaceful protests,” they said. “The role of security forces should be to protect demonstrators and to facilitate peaceful assemblies, not suppress them.”

“We call on the Government to immediately release protesters who seem to have been arrested for exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, to reveal the whereabouts of those reportedly disappeared and to carry out an independent, transparent investigation into the security forces’ response to the protests,” the experts said.

“Accountability does not erase past abuses, but it is an important step towards rebuilding trust between people and their government,” they stressed. “Impunity, on the other hand, only perpetuates distrust, violence and more oppression.”

The UN independent experts also expressed grave concern over the Ethiopian Government’s application of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation 652/2009 to arrest and prosecute protesters, labelling them as ‘terrorists’ without substantiated evidence. This law authorises the use of unrestrained force against suspects and pre-trial detention of up to four months.

“Ethiopia’s use of terrorism laws to criminalize peaceful dissent is a disturbing trend, not limited to the current wave of protests,” they experts noted. “The wanton labelling of peaceful activists as terrorists is not only a violation of international human rights law, it also contributes to an erosion of confidence in Ethiopia’s ability to fight real terrorism. This ultimately makes our world a more dangerous place.”

“There are bound to be policy disagreements in any society,” the human rights experts said, “but every Government has the responsibility to give space for people to peacefully express their views and to take these views into account.”

(*) The experts: Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Mr. Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

The Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/Pages/Welcomepage.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Ethiopia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/ETIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Karin Hechenleitner (+41 22 917 96 36 / khechenleitner@ohchr.org)

– See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16977&LangID=E#sthash.adjSxZFp.KR3g37jZ.dpuf

European Parliament adopts 19-point resolution on the human rights situation in Oromia/ Ethiopia January 22, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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                European Parliament adopts

                19-point resolution

                on the situation  in Ethiopia


EU

 

Situation in Ethiopia

Parliament strongly condemns the recent use of violence by the security forces and the increased number of cases of human rights violations in Ethiopia. It calls for a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the killings of at least 140 protesters and into other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement after the May 2015 federal elections in the country. It also calls on the Ethiopian authorities to stop suppressing the free flow of information, to guarantee the rights of local civil society and media and to facilitate access throughout Ethiopia for independent journalists and human rights monitors. The EU, as the single largest donor, should ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia,

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdfs/news/expert/infopress/20160115IPR10195/20160115IPR10195_en.pdf

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdfs/news/expert/infopress/20160115IPR10195/20160115IPR10195_en.pdf

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I114947&sitelang=en&videolang=EN

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP))

The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Ethiopia and to the most recent plenary debate on the matter, of 20 May 2015,

– having regard to the statement of 23 December 2015 by the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson on recent clashes in Ethiopia,

– having regard to the joint statement of 20 October 2015 by Federica Mogherini, Vice‑President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), and Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,

– having regard to the press release on the meeting of 13 January 2016 between the VP/HR, Federica Mogherini, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Tedros Adhanom,

– having regard to the statement of 27 May 2015 by the EEAS spokesperson on the elections in Ethiopia,

– having regard to the declaration of 10 July 2015 by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, on the release of Ethiopian journalists,

– having regard to the latest Universal Periodic Review on Ethiopia before the UN Human Rights Council,

– having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

– having regard to the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia adopted on 8 December 1994, and in particular the provisions of Chapter III on fundamental rights and freedoms, human rights and democratic rights,

– having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

– having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by Ethiopia in 1994,

– having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,

– having regard to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

– having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the most recent general elections were held on 24 May 2015, in which the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) remained the ruling party and won all the seats in the national parliament, owing in part to the lack of space for critical or dissenting voices in the election process; whereas May’s federal elections took place in a general atmosphere of intimidation and concerns over the lack of independence of the National Electoral Board; whereas the EPRDF has been in power for 24 years, since the overthrow of the military government in 1991;

B. whereas over the past two months Ethiopia’s largest region, Oromia, home of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, has been hit by a wave of mass protests over the expansion of the municipal boundary of the capital, Addis Ababa, which has put farmers at risk of being evicted from their land;

C. whereas, according to international human rights organisations, security forces have responded to the generally peaceful protests by killing at least 140 protesters and injuring many more, in what may be the biggest crisis to hit Ethiopia since the 2005 election violence; whereas, on the contrary, the government has only admitted the deaths of dozens of people as well as 12 members of the security forces;

D. whereas on 14 January 2016 the government decided to cancel the disputed large-scale urban development plan; whereas, if implemented, the plan would expand the city’s boundary 20-fold; whereas the enlargement of Addis Ababa has already displaced millions of Oromo farmers and trapped them in poverty;

E. whereas Ethiopia is a highly diverse country in terms of religious beliefs and cultures; whereas some of the largest ethnic communities, particularly the Oromo and the Somali (Ogaden), have been marginalised in favour of the Amhara and the Tigray, with little participation in political representation;

F. whereas the Ethiopian authorities arbitrarily arrested a number of peaceful protesters, journalists and opposition party leaders in a brutal crackdown on protests in the Oromia Region; whereas those arrested are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment;

G. whereas the government has labelled largely peaceful protesters as ‘terrorists’, applying the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (Law No 652/2009) and deploying military forces against them;

H. whereas on 23 December 2015 the authorities arrested Bekele Gerba, Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Oromia’s largest legally registered political party; whereas Mr Gerba was taken to prison and reportedly hospitalised shortly afterwards; whereas his whereabouts are now unknown;

I. whereas other senior OFC leaders have been arbitrarily arrested in recent weeks or are said to be under virtual house arrest;

J. whereas this is not the first time that Ethiopian security forces have been implicated in serious human rights violations in response to peaceful protests, and whereas it is known that the Ethiopian Government is systematically repressing freedom of expression and association and banning individuals from expressing dissent or opposition to government policies, thereby limiting the civil and political space, including by carrying out politically motivated prosecutions under the draconian anti-terrorism law, decimating independent media, dismantling substantial civil society activism and cracking down on opposition political parties;

K. whereas in December 2015 leading activists such as Getachew Shiferaw (Editor-in-Chief of Negere Ethiopia), Yonathan Teressa (an online activist) and Fikadu Mirkana (Oromia Radio and TV) were arbitrarily arrested, although they have yet to be charged by the Ethiopian authorities;

L. whereas the Ethiopian Government imposes pervasive restrictions on independent civil society and media; whereas, according to the 2014 prison census conducted by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Ethiopia was the fourth-worst jailer of journalists in the world, with at least 17 journalists behind bars, 57 media professionals having fled Ethiopia in the previous five years and a number of independent publications having shut down as a result of official pressure; whereas Ethiopia also ranked fourth on the CPJ’s 2015 list of the 10 most-censored countries;

M. whereas numerous prisoners of conscience imprisoned in previous years solely on the basis of the legitimate exercise of their freedom of expression and opinion, including journalists and opposition political party members, remain in detention; whereas some of them have been convicted in unfair trials, some face ongoing trials and some continue to be detained without charge, including Eskinder Nega, Temesghen Desalegn, Solomon Kebede, Yesuf Getachew, Woubshet Taye, Saleh Edris and Tesfalidet Kidane;

N. whereas Andargachew Tsege, a British-Ethiopian citizen and leader of an opposition party living in exile, was arrested in June 2014; whereas Mr Tsege had been condemned to death several years earlier in his absence, and has been on death row practically incommunicado since his arrest;

O. whereas Ethiopia’s Charities and Societies Proclamation law requires organisations engaged in advocacy to generate 90 % of the funding for their activities from local sources, which has led to a decrease in action by civil society organisation (CSOs) and to the disappearance of many CSOs; whereas Ethiopia rejected recommendations to amend the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, made by several countries during the examination of its rights record under the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of May 2014;

P. whereas the Ethiopian Government has de facto imposed a widespread blockade of the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, which is rich in oil and gas reserves; whereas attempts to work and report from the region by international media and humanitarian groups are seen as criminal acts punishable under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; whereas there are reports of war crimes and severe human rights violations perpetrated by the army and government paramilitary forces against the Ogaden population;

Q. whereas Ethiopia, the second-most-populated country in Africa, is reportedly one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, with an average growth rate of 10 % in the past decade; whereas it nevertheless remains one of the poorest, with a per capita GNI of USD 632; whereas it ranked 173rd out of 187 countries in the Human Development Index for 2014;

R. whereas Ethiopia plays a key role in the region and enjoys political support from Western donors and most of its regional neighbours, mostly owing to its role as host of the African Union (AU) and its contribution to UN peacekeeping, security and aid partnerships with Western countries;

S. whereas, as economic growth continues apace (along with significant foreign investments, including in the agriculture, construction and manufacturing sectors, large-scale development projects, such as hydroelectric dam building and plantations, and widespread land-leasing, often to foreign companies), many people, including farmers as well as pastoralists, have been driven from their homes;

T. whereas Article 40(5) of Ethiopia’s constitution guarantees Ethiopian pastoralists the right to free land for grazing and cultivation and the right not to be displaced from their own lands;

U. whereas Ethiopia is a signatory to the Cotonou Agreement, Article 96 of which stipulates that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is an essential element of ACP‑EU cooperation;

V. whereas Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in decades, leading to increasing food insecurity, severe emaciation and unusual livestock deaths; whereas nearly 560 000 people are internally displaced owing to floods, violent clashes over scarce resources and drought; whereas the Ethiopian Government estimates that 10.1 million people, half of them children, are in need of emergency food aid owing to the drought;

W. whereas Ethiopia is faced with permanent influxes of migrants and is a host country for approximately 700 000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia; whereas on 11 November 2015 a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM) was signed by the EU and Ethiopia to reinforce cooperation and dialogue between the two parties in the area of migration;

[=======]

1. Strongly condemns the recent use of excessive force by the security forces in Oromia and in all Ethiopian regions, and the increased number of cases of human rights violations; expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and urges the immediate release of all those jailed for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression;

2. Reminds the Ethiopian Government of its obligations to guarantee fundamental rights, including access to justice and the right to a fair trial, as provided for in the African Charter and other international and regional human rights instruments, including the Cotonou Agreement and specifically Articles 8 and 96 thereof;

3. Calls for a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the killings of protesters and into other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement, and calls on the government to fairly prosecute those responsible before the competent jurisdictions;

4. Calls on the Government of Ethiopia to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter, including the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and association; urges the government to immediately invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and other UN human rights experts to visit Ethiopia to report on the situation;

5. Welcomes the government’s decision to completely halt the special zone master plan for Addis Ababa and Oromia; calls for an immediate, inclusive and transparent political dialogue which includes the government, opposition parties, civil society representatives and the local population, to prevent any further violence or radicalisation of the population;

6. Stresses that free and independent media are essential in order to guarantee an informed, active and engaged population, and calls on the Ethiopian authorities to stop suppressing the free flow of information, including by jamming media broadcasts and harassing media, to guarantee the rights of local civil society and media and to facilitate access throughout Ethiopia for independent journalists and human rights monitors; acknowledges the recent release of ‘Zone 9’ bloggers and of six journalists;

7. Requests that the Ethiopian authorities stop using anti-terrorism legislation (Anti‑Terrorism Proclamation No 652/2009) to repress political opponents, dissidents, human rights defenders, other civil society actors and independent journalists; calls also on the Ethiopian Government to review its anti-terrorism law in order to bring it into line with international human rights law and principles;

8. Condemns the excessive restrictions placed on human rights work by the Charities and Societies Proclamation, which denies human rights organisations access to essential funding, endows the Charities and Societies Agency with excessive powers of interference in human rights organisations and further endangers victims of human rights violations by contravening principles of confidentiality;

9. Calls on the Ethiopian authorities to prevent any ethnic or religious discrimination and to encourage and take action in favour of a peaceful and constructive dialogue between all communities;

10. Welcomes Ethiopia’s 2013 human rights action plan and calls for its swift and complete implementation;

11. Urges the authorities to implement, in particular, the recommendation of the Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and to release British national and political activist Andargachew Tsege immediately;

12. States that respect for human rights and the rule of law are crucial to the EU’s policies to promote development in Ethiopia and throughout the Horn of Africa; calls the AU’s attention to the political, economic and social situation of its host country, Ethiopia;

13. Calls for the EU, as the single largest donor, to monitor programmes and policies effectively to ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia, particularly through programmes linked to the displacement of farmers and pastoralists, and to develop strategies to minimise any negative impact of displacement within EU-funded development projects; stresses that the EU should measure its financial support according to the country’s human rights record and the degree to which the Ethiopian Government promotes reforms towards democratisation;

14. Calls on the government to include local communities in a dialogue on the implementation of any large-scale development projects; expresses its concerns about the government’s forced resettlement programme;

15. Expresses deep concern about the current devastating climatic conditions in Ethiopia, which have worsened the humanitarian situation in the country; calls for the EU, together with its international partners, to scale up its support to the Ethiopian Government and people; welcomes the contribution recently announced by the EU and calls on the Commission to ensure that this additional funding is provided as a matter of urgency;

16. Recalls that Ethiopia is an important country of destination, transit and origin for migrants and asylum seekers, and that it hosts the largest refugee population in Africa; takes note, therefore, of the adoption of a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility between the EU and Ethiopia which addresses the issues of refugees, border control and the fight against human trafficking; calls also on the Commission to monitor closely all projects recently initiated within the framework of the EU Trust Fund for Africa;

17. Is extremely concerned about the economic and social situation of the country’s population – in particular women and minorities, and refugees and displaced persons, whose numbers continue to increase – in view of the crisis and the instability of the region; reiterates its support for all humanitarian organisations operating on the ground and in neighbouring host countries; supports calls by the international community and humanitarian organisations to step up assistance to refugees and displaced persons;

18. Stresses that major public investment plans are required, particularly in the education and health fields, if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be attained; invites the Ethiopian authorities to make an effective commitment to attaining these goals;

19. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and Parliament of Ethiopia, the Commission, the Council, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, the institutions of the African Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the Pan-African Parliament.

 

 

 

IBTimes: Addis Ababa master plan: Oromo protesters claim Liyu police killed 27 after government scraps plan January 20, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Oromia, Oromia News, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo News, Oromo Protests, Oromo students protests, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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Addis Ababa master plan: Oromo protesters claim Liyu police killed 27 after government scraps plan

Ethiopia unrest
People mourn the death of Dinka Chala who was shot dead by Ethiopian forces in Yubdo Village, about 100km from Addis AbabaZACHARIAS ABUBEKER/AFP/Getty Images)

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

At least 27 protesters from the Oromo community, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, have been allegedly killed since the government announced it would scrap a plan to expand the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa, which triggered mass demonstrations. Protesters in Oromia, one of the nine ethnically-based states of Ethiopia, have continued to demonstrate, arguing they did not trust the statement from the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO) released earlier in January.

A demonstrator told IBTimes UK on conditions of anonymity: “21 peaceful demonstrators were killed yesterday [18 January] and six people are said to have been killed today. It’s really so tragic.”

The number adds to the already more than 140 people allegedly killed by security forces since protests started in November 2015 after the government announced the so-called “Addis Ababa master plan.”
The source alleged that the government deployed special forces, known as Liyu Police, into Oromia towns such as Bedeno and Dire Dawa. Liyu police – formed of Somalian soldiers – was created by the Ethiopian government in 2007 to halt the rise of Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) separatist group. The special forces have been accused of committing crimes including extra-judicial executions.

“They [Liyu Police] have killed about 27 peaceful protesters even after the master plan was said to have been halted,” the source continued.

Ethiopian government’s position

Demonstrators argued that the master plan will lead to forced evictions of Oromo farmers who will lose their lands and become impoverished as a result. They also claimed that forced evictions as well as a perceived marginalisation by the government are already occurring and they threaten the survival of the Oromo’s culture and language.

The Ethiopian government, which has been accused of trying to censor information on the protests, has always denied Oromo people are marginalised and claimed the protests are being orchestrated by some dissidents who aim to destabilise the country. Officials have also refuted the number of deaths given by the activists and opened an investigation to assess the death toll as well as the circumstances of the deaths.

IBTimes UK has contacted the Ethiopian embassy for a comment on the recent death allegations, but has not received a response at the time of publishing.

In a previous interview, Abiy Berhane, minister counsellor at the embassy, told IBTimes UK regarding allegations of violence: “These are just one of the many fabrications that are being circulated by certain opposition groups as part of their propaganda campaign. The unrest cannot be described as a national crisis.

“The disturbances orchestrated by opposition groups have now subsided as the general public understood that the integrated master plan is still at a draft stage and will only be implemented after extensive public consultation in the matter takes place and gains the support of the people.”

European Union condemns “excessive force”

Meanwhile, the European Union has issued a resolution on the ongoing unrest, condemning the “excessive forces by security forces” in Oromia and other Ethiopian regions.

The document reads: “[The EU] calls on the government to carry out a credible, transparent and impartial investigation into the killings of protesters and other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement, and to fairly prosecute those responsible, regardless of rank or position.

“Welcomes the government’s decision to completely halt the Addis Ababa and Oromia special zone master plan, that plans to expand the municipal boundary of Addis Ababa.”

The EU also urged the Ethiopian government to invite a UN rapporteur and human rights experts to investigate and to stop impeding the free flow of information.

More at:-

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/addis-ababa-master-plan-oromo-protesters-claim-liyu-police-killed-27-after-government-scraps-plan-1539043

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP)). European Union strongly condemns the mass killings in Oromia. January 19, 2016

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Odaa OromooEU

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION: European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ethiopia

19.1.2016

With request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP))

Victor Boştinaru, Knut Fleckenstein, Ana Gomes, Richard Howitt, Josef Weidenholzer, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Eric Andrieu, Nikos Androulakis, Zigmantas Balčytis, Hugues Bayet, Brando Benifei, José Blanco López, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Biljana Borzan, Nicola Caputo, Andrea Cozzolino, Andi Cristea, Miriam Dalli, Viorica Dăncilă, Isabella De Monte, Jonás Fernández, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Neena Gill, Michela Giuffrida, Maria Grapini, Roberto Gualtieri, Jytte Guteland, Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, Anna Hedh, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Eva Kaili, Jude Kirton-Darling, Jeppe Kofod, Javi López, Olle Ludvigsson, Andrejs Mamikins, Costas Mavrides, Marlene Mizzi, Sorin Moisă, Csaba Molnár, Alessia Maria Mosca, Victor Negrescu, Momchil Nekov, Demetris Papadakis, Vincent Peillon, Tonino Picula, Miroslav Poche, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Siôn Simon, Renato Soru, Tibor Szanyi, Claudia Tapardel, Marc Tarabella, Marita Ulvskog, Julie Ward, Flavio Zanonato, Damiano Zoffoli, Carlos Zorrinho on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP))

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP))
B8‑0121/2016
The European Parliament,

–   having regard its previous resolutions on the situation in Ethiopia

 

–   having regard to the statement by the EEAS spokesperson on recent clashes in Ethiopia, 23 December 2015

 

–   having regard to the joint statement by Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, 20 October 2015

 

–   having regard to the press release on the meeting between the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, Tedros Adhanom, 13 January 2016

 

–   having regard to the statement by the EEAS Spokesperson on elections in Ethiopia, 27 May 2015

–   having regard to the press release of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 10 July 2015

 

–   having regard to press briefing note of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 10 July 2015

 

–  having regard to the universal Declaration of Human Rights

 

–   having regard to the African Union Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights

 

–   having regard to the UN the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

 

–   having regard to Rule 123(2) its Rules of procedure

 

A.whereas over the past two months , Ethiopia’s largest region, Oromia, has been hit by a wave of mass protests over the expansion of the municipal boundary of the capital, Addis Ababa which has posed risks for farmers eviction from their land;

B.whereas security forces used excessive lethal force and killed at least 140 protesters and injured many more, in what may be the biggest crisis to hit Ethiopia since the 2005 election violence;

C.whereas on the 14 January 2016 the government decided to cancel the disputed large scale urban development plan ; whereas if implemented, the plan will expand the city’s boundary by 20 times its current size; whereas Addis Ababa’s enlargement has already displaced millions of Oromo farmers and trapped them in poverty;

D.whereas the ethnic Oromos continue to suffer particular discrimination and human rights violations in efforts to suppress potential dissent in the region;

E.whereas the Ethiopian authorities arbitrarily arrested a number of peaceful protesters, journalists and opposition party leaders in the context of a brutal crackdown on the protests in the Oromia Region; whereas those arrested are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment;

F.whereas the government’s labelled largely peaceful protesters as ‘terrorists’ deploying military forces against them ;

G.whereas on December 23, the authorities arrested Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC); Oromia’s largest legally registered political party; whereas Mr Gerba was being taken in a prison known for torture and other ill-treatment practices and shortly after he was reportedly hospitalized; whereas his whereabouts are now unknown, raising concerns of an enforced disappearance.

H.whereas other senior OFC leaders have been arbitrarily arrested in recent weeks or are said to be under virtual house arrest.

I.whereas last December leading activists such as Getachew Shiferaw (Editor-in-Chief: Negere Ethiopia), Yonathan Teressa (an online activist) and Fikadu Mirkana (Oromia Radio and TV) have been arrested arbitrarily though yet to be charged by the Ethiopian authorities.

J.whereas the current protests echo the bloody events of April and May 2014, when federal forces fired into groups of largely peaceful Oromo protesters, killing dozens; whereas at least hundreds more students were arrested, and many remain behind bars

K.whereas Ethiopia’s government has regularly been accusing people who express even mild criticism of government policy of association with terrorism; whereas dozens of journalists, bloggers, protesters, students and activists have been prosecuted under the country’s draconian 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.

L.whereas Ethiopia’s government imposes pervasive restrictions on independent civil society and media; whereas according to the Committee for the Protection of Journalist’s (CPJs) 2014 prison census found that Ethiopia was the fourth worst jailer of journalists in the world, with at least 17 journalists behind bars, whereas Ethiopia also ranked fourth on CPJ’s 2015 list of the 10 Most Censored Countries

M.whereas the Ethiopian authorities have routinely summoned to court the “Zone 9 bloggers” with terrorism charges for their writing over the past 2 years.

N.whereas numerous prisoners of conscience, imprisoned in previous years based solely on their peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression and opinion, including journalists and opposition political party members, remained in detention.; whereas these included some convicted in unfair trials, some whose trials continued, and some who continued to be detained without charge, among others Eskinder Nega, Temesghen Desalegn, Solomon Kebede, Yesuf Getachew, Woubshet Taye, Saleh Edris, and Tesfalidet Kidane

O.whereas severe restrictions on external funding continue to undermine the work and effectiveness of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation.

P.Whereas Ethiopia rejected recommendations to amend the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation that several countries made during the examination of its rights record under the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review in May 2014.

Q.Whereas Andargachew Tsige, a British-Ethiopian citizen and leader of an opposition party living in exile, was arrested in June 2014 while in transit through Yemen’s main airport and forcibly removed to Addis Ababa; whereas Tsige had been condemned to death several years earlier in his absence, and has been in death row practically incommunicado since then; whereas Juan Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, has written to the Ethiopian and UK governments saying he is investigating the treatment of Tsige, following claims that Tsige is being deprived of sleep and held in isolation;

R.Whereas the Ethiopian government has de facto imposed a widespread blockade of the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, rich in oil and gas reserves; whereas attempts to work and report from the region by international media and humanitarian groups are seen as criminal acts, punishable under the anti-terrorist proclamation; whereas there are reports of war crimes and severe human rights violations perpetrated by the Army and government paramilitary forces against the Ogaden population;

S.whereas The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the ruling party coalition, won all 547 parliamentary seats in the May 2015 elections, due in part to the lack of space for critical or dissenting voices in the election process; whereas May’s federal elections took place in a general atmosphere of intimidation, and concerns over the lack of independence of the National Electoral Board;

T.Whereas Ethiopia enjoys political support from western donors and most of its regional neighbours, mostly due to its role as host of the African Union (AU) and its contribution to UN peacekeeping, security and aid partnerships with Western countries;

U.whereas Ethiopia receives more aid than any other African country – close to $3bn per year, or about half the national government budget

V.whereas for decades the government have been authorizing big development projects to foreign investors, which have been leading to severe land grabbing and millions vulnerable people often forcibly evicted and insensitively resettling; whereas often the government does not offer the local communities any alternative to permanent settlement and had not fully consulted groups before evicting them.

W.whereas some donors, including UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank, rechanneled funding from the problematic Protection of Basic Services (PBS) program in 2015 which was associated with the abusive “villagization program,” a government effort to relocate 1.5 million rural people into permanent villages, ostensibly to improve their access to basic services; whereas some of the relocations in the first year of the program in Gambella region in 2011 were accompanied by violence, including beatings and arbitrary arrests, and insufficient consultation and compensation

X.whereas Ethiopia is experiencing its worst drought in decades, deepening food insecurity and severe emaciation and unusual livestock deaths; whereas with 640 000 refugees, Ethiopia is the country in Africa with the highest number of refugees; whereas nearly 560 000 people are internally displaced due to floods , violent clashes over scarce resources and drought

Y.whereas the current political situation in Ethiopia and the brutal repression of dissent put a serious risk the security, development and stability in the country;

1.Strongly condemns the recent use of excessive force by the security forces in Oromia and in all Ethiopian regions, the increased cases of human rights violations and abuses, including violations of people’s physical integrity, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions, the use of torture, and violations of the freedom of the press and of expression, as well as the prevalence of impunity;

2.Calls for an immediate end to violence, human rights violations and political intimidation and persecution;

3.Urges for the immediate release of all those jailed for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including students, farmers, opposition politicians, academics, bloggers and journalists ;

4.Calls on the government to carry out a credible, transparent and impartial investigation into the killings of protesters and other alleged human rights violations in connection with the protest movement, and to fairly prosecute those responsible, regardless of rank or position;

5. Welcomes the government’s decision to completely halt the Addis Ababa and Oromia special zone master plan, that plans to expand the municipal boundary of Addis Ababa. Calls for an immediate inclusive and transparent political dialogue, including the government, opposition parties, civil society representatives and the local population preventing any further violence or radicalisation of the population; takes the view that such dialogue, conducing to the democratisation of the country, is not possible under the current political conditions;

6.Calls on the Government of Ethiopia to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Union Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and association;

7.Urges the government to immediately invite the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly and other UN human rights experts to visit Ethiopia to report on the situation;

8.Calls on the government to stop suppressing the free flow of information, including by jamming media broadcasts and harassing media, including through intrusive surveillance programs, and facilitate access throughout Ethiopia for independent journalists and human rights monitors;

9. Calls on the government to include local communities in a dialogue on the implementation of any large scale development project and ensure equal distribution of future benefits to the population ; to ensure that farmers and pastoralists are adequately compensated, preventing them from any arbitrary or forced displacement without consultation and adequate compensation.

10. Expresses its concerns on the government’s forced resettlement program, known as “villagization program”.

11.States that respect for human rights and the rule of law are crucial to the EU’s policies to promote development in Ethiopia and throughout the Horn of Africa;

12.Call on the EU to effectively monitor programs and policies to ensure that EU development assistance is not contributing to human rights violations in Ethiopia, particularly programs linked to displacement of farmers and pastoralists, and develop strategies to minimize any negative impact of displacement within EU funded development projects;

13. Further calls on the EU and Member States to react promptly to the escalation of violence and the deterioration of the human rights situation in the country by publicly and privately condemning the use of excessive force by security forces in Oromia and call on the government to exercise restraint in its response against protests and the exercise of basic freedoms by the Ethiopian people;

14. Stresses that financial support to Ethiopia from the EU should be measured attending to the country’s human rights record and the degree to which the Ethiopian government promotes reforms towards democratisation, as the only way to ensure stability and sustainable development;

15.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Government and the Parliament of Ethiopia, the European Commission, the Council, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the institutions of the African Union and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

Last updated: 19 January 2016

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B8-2016-0121&format=XML&language=EN

 

Oromia: Funeral ceremonies for Oromo’s finest, the youth, killed by Fascist Ethiopian government January 19, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromooagazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151

#OromoLivesMatters!

Dhufeeraa Engineering Waggaa 4ffaa Yuniverstii Haromaayaa Loltoota Wayyaaneen Ajjeefame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US-Rw7kHIdI

 

See more at:-

Videos: Funeral ceremonies for Oromo’s finest, the youth, killed by Ethiopian government

  Finfinne Tribune, Gadaa.com,  Amajjii/January 18, 2016

 

The lethal actions against peaceful Oromo protesters – being undertaken by the Ethiopian government, mean that, with each passing day, the number of Oromo population, which is affected by the government’s heavy-handed response to the Oromo protests, continues to grow. An observer noted that, for each person the government’s bullets take away, a community of hundreds and thousands is impacted with the only memory of the deceased being the banner they held up at their last breath. The affected community moves forward with a resolute to press the banner of their martyr forward to its victory. At the tens of solemn funerals so far held for Oromo’s finest, its youth, in churches and mosques across Oromia, funeral-goers express this resolute to press forward through speeches, placards and slogans. On and off the funeral grounds, they continue their protests against the Ethiopian government’s persistent denial of Oromo’s self-rule (of which the Master Plan is just a symptom), and against the unabated killing, maiming and arresting of young students, farmers and other sections of the Oromo society. The following are a few of the funeral services held for Oromo students and farmers this year. According to one observer, Oromo’s finest leaving this world at this too young age is one pain the Oromo people will cope with forever through their memories; however, the government’s cruelty, which the deceased had faced during their last moments on this world, is one pain the Oromo people, the other Ethiopian people and the international community can stop — the deceased can not come back, but the injustice unleashed on them can be stopped, must be stopped, and will be stopped.

January 18, 2016: Funeral service for Biruk (Tolassa) Dhufera, a 4th-year Engineering student at Haromaya University – who was killed two days earlier. His funeral service took place at the local Orthodox church in his birth place of Abuna Gindeberet (West Shawaa) …

 

January 15, 2016: Funeral service for Lencho Dinkessa, a high-school Oromo student, in Dike village, near Waddessa (West Shawaa). He was killed in Ambo three days earlier while attending a funeral service for another martyr Abdata Olansa. His family was denied the right to bury him in Ambo; hence, it was forced to take his body to the countryside …

 

January 13, 2016: Funeral service for Chala Mohammed, a young farmer who was gunned down a day before in his farm in Haromaya (east Oromia) because he hesitated to turn off the engine of his water pump when the Ethiopian armed forces came to the area, according to media reports …

 

January 5, 2016: Funeral service for Abbas Abdulrahman who was martyred a day before in Masala (West Hararghee) …

 

Oromia: Ilmaan Oromoo Hundaaf, Artist ‪‎Hawwii‬ Tazarraa irraa January 18, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromo Artist Hawwii Tazarraa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromo singer Artist Hawi TezeraOromo singer Hawi Tezera tortured by Agazi security forces, December 2015Xalayaa Hawwii#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

 


Xalayaa

Akkami jirtu yaa ilmaan Oromoo, inuma jirtanii?

Anas Ayyanni Oromoo, Ayyanni saba cunqurfamaa osoo hin du`in har`aan na gaheera. Dararaa hundaa dandamadhee lubbuun koo osoo hin bahin har`a gaheera. Reebameera, akka dubartiitti osoo hin taane, akka sanyii namaatti osoo hin taane, akka bofaatti, ykn bineensa biraatti. Yakka tokkos hin dalagne. Waallee garaagaraa ummata oromoof weellise malee. Gaafa hiriiraa sana anis akka nama dhiiga Oromoo qabuutti baheen falme. Mirga koof falmadhe, gaafii abbaa biyyummaa gaafadhe. Yeroo muraas booda inni tokko dhufee sammuu keessa na rukute. Ergasi isaan wal qabanne, Qawwicha ofirraa dhoowwe. Booda jaha(6) tahanii akka dhala namaa osoo hin taane akka bofaa ykn akka bineensota birootti na reeban..Sadafii dhaan na reebaa karaa irra na harkisaa oolan.Hanga isaaniif bahutti erga na reebanii booda du`eera itti fakkaadhe.Takka turee yeroon dubbadhu hin duunee edaa jedhanii ammas hanga garaa isaanii na reeban. Achi booda gara Hospitaalaa na geessan. Amma Hospitaala dhuunfaa tokko keessa jira. Maatii kootis argee hin beeku..Mucaa kootis quba hin qabu. Bilbila koo narraa caccabsaniiru.Ammas lapheen koo na dhukkuba, hafuura baafachuu hin dandahu.Garuu Oromoota na gargaaran lakkawwee hin fixu, ulfaadhaa galatni keessan bilisummaa haata`u. Nuti biyya namaa hin dhaqne, biyya biraatifis hin falmatne, qabeenya keenyaaf biyya keenyaaf sababa falmatneef qofa biyyuma keenyatti kan reebamne, kan ajjeefamne, kan hidhamne. Garuu kan abdii natti hore yoo jiraate ummatni oromoo ammayyuu falmachaa jiraachuu isaati. Hiriirri guutuu Oromiyaatti itti fuufuu isaati. Fincilli ummata Oromoo hanga ammatti hin dhaabatne jennaan keessi koo baay`ee gammade.Yaa ilmaan Oromoo duguuggaa sanyiiti kan nurratti gaggeefamaa jiru.Yaa waaqayyoo ni bilisoomsi.Hanga ummatni keenya kan hidhame hundi hiikamutti,Barattootni hiikamaanitti, hanga mirgi abbaa biyyummaa nuu kabajamutti ni falmatna.Anis yoo du`e du`ee, yoo jiraadhe inuma falmadha.Yaa ummata Oromoo duubatti hin deebi`inaa, falmadhaan dhaamsa kooti.

Injifannoon Ummata Oromoof!


 


 

OMN: Oduu. 17, 2016


 

Mother of All Earth

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/mother-of-all-earth/

Oromia: In Ethiopia, anger over corruption and farmland development runs deep. #OromoProtests January 18, 2016

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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share11

In Ethiopia, anger over corruption and farmland development runs deep
Despite the government ending plans to build on Oromo land around the capital, clashes continue, as lack of transparency and maladministration fuel dissent

William Davison, The Guardian, Global Development, 18 January 2016

 

#OromoProtests  block the road in Wolenkomi, in the Oromia State, Ethiopia. Photograph by William Davison
Protesters block the road in Wolenkomi, in the Oromia region of Ethiopia
Protesters block the road in Wolenkomi, in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. All photographs by William Davison

Two years ago, on the edge of Chitu in Ethiopia’s unsettled Oromia region, local officials told Chamara Mamoye his farmland might be developed when the small town expanded. He hasn’t heard anything since.

“Losing the land would be a big problem for me, but if the government forces us, we can’t do anything,” the father-of-five says outside his compound.

Last month, Chamara, 45, saw the bodies of two protesters lying on the road after demonstrations rocked Chito. The dead were among up to 140 people killed by security forces during region-wide protests triggered by claims of injustice and marginalisation from the nation’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo.
Bolstered by US-based social media activists, the protest movement coalesced around opposition to a government plan to integrate the capital, Addis Ababa, with surrounding Oromo towns. After weeks of protests, the ruling coalition in the Oromia region said last week that it was cancelling the planned expansion.

Protests, however, go on, and the roots of popular unease and anger in Oromia run much deeper.

Dissatisfaction with corruption, maladministration and inadequate consultations on investments are fuelling dissent. This patchwork of grievances presents a fundamental challenge to an authoritarian government aiming to rapidly transform Ethiopia from an agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse. And the discontent is a national issue.

Urban expansion is causing clashes across the country as investors, officials and farmers protect their interests, says Seyoum Teshome, a lecturer at Ambo University.

“The villagers who have been asking for basic services and infrastructure rush to sell their farmland at market rate before it is expropriated at low rates of compensation,” he says.

As all land is state-owned in Ethiopia, houses are rapidly built on the edge of towns without official permission, to give plots value, Seyoum says. Investors may bribe corrupt officials to formalise illegal transfers, causing anger among dispossessed farmers, he adds.

 

Workers near Chitu in the Oromia

Workers near Chitu in the Oromia region

Chamara was not among the mostly youthful protesters who took to the streets in Chitu, but he shares their concerns about an unresponsive ruling system. He’s frustrated by repeatedly broken official promises to tarmac the main road that runs through Chitu. Although the area has electricity and a mobile-phone signal, he is disappointed with the rate of progress since the government came to power 25 years ago. “There is no big development considering the time they had,” he says.

 

He is also upset by a lack of information and consultation over land policies, as well as concerned by suspicions of corruption – though officials do not flaunt ill-gotten gains. “The corruption is done in a secret way. It’s a silent killer,” he said.

In elections last May, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition and allied parties won all 547 seats in the federal parliament and 100% of legislative positions in nine regional councils. Despite the result, the government acknowledged widespread dissatisfaction with the quality of public administration and levels of corruption.

“In many areas, personnel said to be involved in massive corruption that led to sudden outbursts of anger are being dismissed,” government spokesman Getachew Reda said in an interview last week.

One of the deadliest incidents last month took place in Woliso town, about113km south-west of Addis Ababa. Six protesters were killed by security forces after thousands of people from surrounding villages took to the streets to protest over planned expansion of the town.

A group of young Oromo, who had gathered next to the Walga river a few miles from Woliso, spoke of community fears of evictions and poor compensation. But nobody seemed to know anything specific about government plans. “The government does not discuss in detail. They do not have consent,” one said.

Ethiopia has long been a darling of the international donor community, which has appeared willing to ignore its poor record on human rights because high growth rates over the past decade have delivered some development goals. But the Oromo protests illustrate the vulnerabilities of this strategy.

To the north of Chitu, at Wenchi, which boasts a spectacular crater lake popular with tourists, grievances are almost tangible. Soldiers are still in town and, as elsewhere, the authorities have arrested people suspected of involvement in the protests. While some seem cowed by the crackdown, Rabuma Terefa is not.

His friend was shot in the leg on the edge of Chitu as he marched with other protesters from Wenchi.

When an elite military unit told elders the protesters must turn back, the group refused, arguing they had a constitutional right to peacefully demonstrate, said Rabuma. Within minutes, soldiers opened fire, killing people, including Birhanu Dinka, who was leading the crowd at that moment.

“They did not say anything, they just pointed the guns at us. We were begging them not to kill us,” Rabuma, 27, says. While abuses may have occurred, security forces are told to protect civilian lives, according to Getachew.

It is not only lives at stake: around the time of the protests in Wenchi, the property of a Dutch agricultural company, Solagrow, was torched by hundreds of people. Rabuma says the investment angered locals as it fenced off 100 hectares of prime communal grazing land, leased by the government. Solagrow says community relations were healthy and the valley was waterlogged until they drained it.

 

A cow on Solagrow land near property burnt down in a protest in Chitu, Oromia

A cow on Solagrow land near property burnt down in a protest in Chitu

The project was collateral damage of the political dispute, according to manager Jan van de Haar. “[The protesters] became angry and they said there was only one way to continue, and that’s our farm, because we’re the only investment in that place,” he says. The attack destroyed $300,000-worth of machinery and potato seeds.

Rabuma had no sympathy for Solagrow, which he says was complicit in the government’s oppression of the Oromo. He is instead focused on the struggle ahead.

In Chitu, Chamara speaks for many Oromo as he implores the government to better manage investments and urban sprawl. “No one is opposing the development of the city, but it should not be at the expense of farmers’ lives,” he says.

This article was amended on 18 January 2016 to correct the spelling of Chitu.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/jan/18/ethiopia-anger-over-corruption-farmland-development-runs-deep#_=_

Business Insider:One of Africa’s most promising economies is facing a fundamental problem January 17, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooHanna doja. Oromo child, 1st grade student in Kombolcha, Horroo Guduruu, Oromia. Attacked  by Ethiopian regime fascist  forces on 31st December  2015#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleen

 

 

The Addis plan is one instance in which these two objectives came into direct conflict. Protests over the plan, which Oromo viewed as a land grab undertaken by an oppressive and unrepresentative central government, broke out in late 2015. The government responded witha crackdown that killed 140 people, marking perhaps the deadliest outburst of political violence in the country since its civil war ended in 1991.

 

The Oromo protests are “engendering an intensified ethnic awareness that has also revitalized calls for genuine self-rule in the region,” Smith writes.

 

Karuturi had taken over land that the Ethiopian state had sold off as part of a controversial program in which the government leased 3.3 million acres of farmland to foreign investors after allegedly displacing some of that land’s original tenants.

It’s the kind of undertaking that would be substantially harder if Ethiopia were a multiparty democracy, rather than one of Africa’s most thoroughgoing dictatorships.

While Karuturi arguably stood to benefit from Ethiopia’s centralized single-party regime, it’s now learned the risk involved in pouring $100 million into an opaque authoritarian state.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/one-of-africas-most-promising-economies-is-facing-a-fundamental-problem-2016-1?r=US&IR=T

 



 

 

One of Africa’s most promising economies is facing a fundamental problem
Armin Rosen,  http://uk.businessinsider.com/  17 January 2017


 

Ethiopia, which has averaged double-digit GDP growth over the past decade and enjoys a close strategic relationship with the US, is one of Africa’s emerging economic and political powers and an example of a country that’s improved its economic fortunes without opening its political space.

A  January 11th Bloomberg News story hints at a huge problem the country might be facing moving forward.

According to Bloomberg, the Ethiopian government canceled a 2010 lease that Karuturi, an India-based agricultural company, had taken out on 100,000 acres of farmland.

Despite making an over $100 million investment in the country’s farming sector, Karuturi was accused of breaking its lease agreement in developing only 1,200 acres thus far. But the company claimed that it had received waivers from the Ethiopian government in the past, and said that it did not recognize the project’s cancellation.

According to Bloomberg, Karuturi had taken over land that the Ethiopian state had sold off as part of a controversial program in which the government leased 3.3 million acres of farmland to foreign investors after allegedly displacing some of that land’s original tenants.

It’s the kind of undertaking that would be substantially harder if Ethiopia were a multiparty democracy, rather than one of Africa’s most thoroughgoing dictatorships.

While Karuturi arguably stood to benefit from Ethiopia’s centralized single-party regime, it’s now learned the risk involved in pouring $100 million into an opaque authoritarian state.

And Ethiopia’s leaders, who want both economic prosperity and total political control, might soon find that these objectives aren’t nearly as mutually reinforcing as they’d hoped.

Oromo

Tiksa Negeri/ReutersWomen mourn during the funeral ceremony of Dinka Chala, a primary school teacher who family members said was shot dead by military forces during a recent demonstration, in Holonkomi town, in Oromiya region of Ethiopia on December 17, 2015.

Like Karuturi’s disappeared $100 million investment, the Addis Ababa expansion plan embodies the perils and contradictions of the Ethiopian regime’s long-term strategy of securing internal calm through economic growth and strong ties with foreign powers like the US and China.

As in past eras, the Ethiopian capital is being built up as a showpiece of the country’s modernity and development, and as a reflection of Ethiopia’s sense of its unique place in the world. Addis has one of Africa’s first light rails, a Chinese-built, 19.6-mile system that opened last year.

The city and the surrounding area are home to both of the country’s Chinese special economic zones, industrial parks where Chinese companies get tax breaks in exchange for operating in Ethiopia and hiring local employees. The Addis expansion plan would have incorporated neighboring areas into the capital district, enabling more holistic and centralized urban planning for a rapidly growing and economically vital capital city.

But the expansion plan also came at the expense of land in the Oromia Region — and it ended up exposing some of the deepest fractures in Ethiopian society.

The Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have been historically excluded from centers of power. Because Ethiopia lacks an ethnic majority (and perhaps because it has a 1,500-year history rife with conflict between the country’s centers of power and it geographic and social periphery), the country’s regions are supposed to receive a certain degree of autonomy under Ethiopia’s 1995 Constitution, which actually gives the regions a right to secede under certain circumstances.

In practice, the center still holds all of the power.

Screen Shot 2016 01 15 at 6.19.23 PM

Google MapsLocation of Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.

The current Ethiopian government, which is entirely run by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, which is descended from the militia that overthrew the ruling communist state in 1991 after a protracted civil war, is among the most oppressive in Africa.

The EPRDF regime is dominated largely by elites from the Tigrayan and Amharic ethnic groups. But its rule depends on a baseline of inter-communal harmony — just as it depends on the appearance of progress and economic growth.

The Addis plan is one instance in which these two objectives came into direct conflict. Protests over the plan, which Oromo viewed as a land grab undertaken by an oppressive and unrepresentative central government, broke out in late 2015. The government responded witha crackdown that killed 140 people, marking perhaps the deadliest outburst of political violence in the country since its civil war ended in 1991.

Even if the plan has been suspended, the Addis Ababa expansion push is an extension of aggressive growth policies that are fundamental to the regime’s self-image and possibly its survival, policies enabled by strong arm tactics that a country might not accept accept.

But the protests showed that economic growth and authoritarianism can’t paper over a general sense of frustration.

As Jeffrey Smith, head of the RFK Center’s sub-Saharan Africa-related advocacy programs explained to Business Insider, the suspension of the plan will do little to reduce popular discontent towards the regime.

“If the government is trying to head off larger protests and discontent in the country, then it’s much too little and much too late,” Smith wrote in an email. “During the protests, an estimated 140 people were killed and thousands were injured, opposition leaders and journalists were jailed, and the constitution was shredded … there has been no accountability for the deaths of protesters and dissent continues to be criminalized and violently suppressed.”

ethiopia rail system

Tiksa Negeri/ReutersA worker works on the electrified light rail transit construction site in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, on December 16, 2014.As with Karuturi’s apparent ejection from the country, the contradictions of trying to build a robust economy without genuine political freedom or basic transparency are manifesting themselves. But with the Addis plan, the stakes are much higher for the regime.

The Oromo protests are “engendering an intensified ethnic awareness that has also revitalized calls for genuine self-rule in the region,” Smith writes.

That’s a huge threat to a government that’s itself came to power following an ethnically fractious civil war. “I think leaders in Addis Ababa has gotten much more than they bargained for,” says Smith.


 

http://uk.businessinsider.com/one-of-africas-most-promising-economies-is-facing-a-fundamental-problem-2016-1?r=US&IR=T

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/one-africas-most-promising-economies-205434371.html?soc_src=mediacontentsharebuttons&soc_trk=tw

When Aid Goes Wrong January 17, 2016

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Odaa OromooDounle digit Ethiopia

 

The World Bank accepted a rap on the knuckles for the massive flaws in the PBS programme but did not cancel it. DfID re-routed funds to other programmes in Ethiopia, the aid flowed to the authoritarian regime as before. In late 2015 and early 2016, famine threatened. No one asked the obvious question: how much has Ethiopia’s brutal, donor funded, economic experiment contributed to the collapse in livelihoods?

 

Of all the academic economists working on Ethiopia, I could not find one who was willing to speak on the record for this article. Much of the professional field of development studies is dependent on DfID research grants, with many academics serving on multimillion-pound study teams.

“If you challenge the consensus and make headlines, it is going to make your life harder,” said one economist at a London university, speaking on condition of anonymity.

 

Evaluations of PBS relied on figures supplied by the Ethiopian government; there were huge, unexamined risks of corruption in funnelling the money through the Ethiopian treasury, and the metrics used to measure success were simply the things purchased by the programme, such as schools built, wells dug, pupils enrolled or teachers hired. The donors had, in fact, no way of measuring whether those things actually benefitted the populations concerned.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/12/ethiopian-refugee-who-took-on-the-british-government

 

Geography:Excel

ETHIOPIA-TRANSPORT-RAILWA-009 Development in Ethiopia’s capital city. But at what cost?

Most more economically developed countries give aid to those that are less developed and this is almost always seen as a positive thing. However there have been cases when the aid provided has done more harm than good.

This article looks at the situation in Ethiopia. This country has been a major recipient of western aid since the 1980s and much of it seems to have been successful in helping the country to develop and to fend off the worst of the famines that ravaged the country in the past. Currently though the development drive in Ethiopia has been implicated in forcing people off their land and in to less fertile areas.

It is a long read but full of information that could really develop your essay writing.

Consider the following points.

  1. Why are people being moved from their ancestral…

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Oromia: Torban lama keessatti January 17, 2016

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Odaa OromooBirrii (Qarshii Xophiyaa)Birrii bank run

Torban lama keessatti Birrii bilyoona 5n oltu baankii dhuunfa wayyaanee keessaa bahee gara baankii daldala Itiyyoophiya fi baankii Oromiya keessatti gale.

Kana ta’uu isaa kan agarsiisuu fincila diddaa garbummaa irran kan ka’ee lammiin ilamaan Oromoo waamcihaa qoqqoobbii diinagdee warishaalee wayyanee fi kaamphaanii wayyanee irrati fudhatamuu  jalqabameen wal fakkaata.

Ammas lammiiwwan Oromoo maallaqaa baankii wayyanee keesa qaban akka hin baafinne dhorkamanii jiru. Sababiin isaa moo maallaqa amma kana sababbii tokko malee sa’aa tokkotti baasuun hin eyyamamu kan jedhamu dha bulchiinsa bankotii kana irra kan kennameefi.

Ha ta’u itti harka lafa jalaatiin abban qabeenyaa axxiyyoonnonii bankolii dhuunfa kanaa maallaqa saamichaan argatan kana ammas amma isaan harka jiru saamanii biyya gad dhiisuudhaaf qopha’anii jiru.

Ka’uumisi naannoo Oromiyaa keessatti ta’a jiru kunii Finfinnee Oromiyaan marfamtee jirtu si’a tokko akka garbaa nu irratti galagalu kan jedhu sodaa ofi keessaa kan qaban ta’uun isaa dhagahamee jira. Dabalataanis bankoliin kun gara fuunduraatii akka tarkaanfachuu hin dandenyee fi kisaara guddaa jala akka seenu danda’an ibisamee jira.

Garuu haala jiru ibisuuf kan yaalanii fi akka sababaati kan ibsani bankinii daldala Itiyyoophiyaa Letter of credit seeran ala waan eyyemaa jiruu fi maammiltoonnii keenya nu dheenisaa jiru jedhani malee akka qoqqobiin ilamaanOromoo irra isaan muuddate hin ibsine.

Alemayehu Tilahun

– See more at: http://www.caboowanci.com/2016/01/17/torbaan-lama-keesatti-birrii-billiiyyoona-5-oltuu/#sthash.1HCenG7A.dpuf

 

 

Qabeenya Wayyaanee armaa gadii irraa hin bitinaa, ittis hin gurgurinaa.

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/oromia-oromoprotests-qabeenya-wayyaanee-armaa-gadii-irraa-hin-bitinaa-ittis-hin-gurgurinaa/

OSA Symposium: Understanding the Land Transfers and Political Crisis in Ethiopia: A Multidisciplinary Assessment of the Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan and Popular Uprising in Oromia January 16, 2016

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Odaa OromooOSA

 

http://www.oromostudies.org/

OMN: Haala Yeroo Oromiyaa Irratti Walgahii WQO/OSA Geggeessaa Jiru

Program Theme

The theme of this extraordinary session of the Oromo Studies Association is Understanding Land Transfers and Political Crisis in Ethiopia. The symposium was prompted by the outbreak of massive protests in the Oromia region against a decision to lease community land in a small town west of the federal capital of Addis Ababa to a private investor. Protests quickly took on a form of resistance against the federal government scheme known as the Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan and the whole program of land lease that allows eviction of farmers. Within days, demonstrators took to the streets in large numbers in cities and towns all over Oromia, voicing slogans that condemned the practice of transferring smallholder arable lands to private investors. Lately, the protestors’ calls have included the reinstatement of genuine self-rule at the local level. Government response was swift and brutal, killing many people, arresting hundreds of protesters, and taking into custody even Oromo political leaders who were not directly involved in the protests. For days, it seemed that the security forces had quieted down the protests. After brief lull, protests emerged in unexpected places as the Oromia enclave in the Amhara region and resumed in the eastern and western parts of Oromia. All told, the protests have now lasted for two months. Both the Master Plan and the protests are unprecedented in Ethiopia. The Master Plan is the most blatant form of state confiscation of arable rural land of indigenous Oromo people arguably since Menelik’s conquests. It is an integral part of the massive land transfers that have been taking place in the Oromia region for quite some time. The reaction it provoked has been demonstrably visceral and sustained in the face of a military force that had no qualms summarily executing child protestors as young as eight years old. The symposium is convened to begin addressing the question of why the Master Plan provoked such profound pan-Oromo reaction. The papers are expected to explore the constitutional, political, economic, cultural and environmental consequences of the Master Plan. They will be substantive, documented and clearly articulated to be accessible to specialists and the lay public. While it is the goal of the symposium to unpack the Master Plan, it would be a mistake to boil down the protest movement to the issue of urban planning. If the Master Plan were the main cause, it would be a technical problem that would be addressed by technocrats. The Master Plan was the trigger, not the ultimate cause. The main issues are structural and the protests reveal a crisis of the state. The papers also attempt to place the Master Plan in the context of a crisis of state which now seems to have entered an advanced stage of decomposition. At this moment, the protestors’ demands now include the end of EPRDF’s stranglehold on the political landscape, ethnic discrimination in allocating national resources, and the rule of violence in Ethiopia.

http://www.oromostudies.org/

VOA: Simpooziyemii Addaa Mormii Oromiyaa Keessaatti Fuuleffate

Markets, policy and sociology of economic immorality January 16, 2016

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Odaa OromooTrickle down economicsEconomic performance and size of government

 

 

In a society in which the money-maker has had no serious rival for repute and honor, the word ‘practical’ comes to mean useful for private gain, and ‘common sense,’ the sense to get ahead financially. The pursuit of the moneyed life is the commanding value, in relation to which the influence of other values has declined, so men easily become morally ruthless in the pursuit of easy money and fast estate-building…
A society that is in its higher circles and on its middle levels widely believed to be a network of smart rackets does not produce men with an inner moral sense; a society that is merely expedient does not produce men of conscience. A society that narrows the meaning of ‘success’ to the big money and in its terms condemns failure as the chief vice, raising money to the plane of absolute value, will produce the sharp operator and the shady deal. Blessed are the cynical, for only they have what it takes to succeed.” – (C.Wright Mills 1956).   Source:  Markets, policy and sociology of economic immorality by Oleg Komlik