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Oromia Insight: Activities of Oromians in Melbourne Australia in solidarity with #OromoProtests in Oromia January 5, 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

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Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016 January 5, 2016

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Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016 p6

Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016 p1Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016 p2Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016 p3Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016 p4Oromia at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia, January 3, 2016 p5

Oromia: Inside Ethiopia’s Self-Defeating Crackdown on Oromo Musicians January 5, 2016

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Inside Ethiopia’s Self-Defeating Crackdown on Oromo Musicians

Written by Endalk,  Global Voices, 5 January 2016

Oromo singer Hawi. Photo from her official Facebook page.

While journalists and bloggers remain the primary targets of state repression in Ethiopia, musicians that don’t jive with state propaganda also take the heat.

Hawi Tezera, an ethnic Oromo singer, was reportedly beaten, arrested, released and then rearrested in the space of just seven days by government security forces in connection with her song about ongoing protests in Oromia, a southern administrative region that is Ethiopia’s largest.

Two other Oromo singers, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, told this author over Facebook chat that they have been under intense surveillance since anti-government protests began in the region in November.

According to some estimates, over a hundred demonstrators have died in unrest that began after the government made plans for the expansion of the capital Addis Ababa into land inhabited by the Oromo ethnic group, which accounts for almost a third of Ethiopia’s population.

In the last two decades, Oromo singers who gravitate towards political and social activism have been subjected to intimidation, abductions and torture.

There are also more musicians-in-exiles among the culturally distinct Oromo group than any of Ethiopia’s other major groups.

One of the most recognisable victims of this slow purge was iconoclastic Oromo singer, Ebisa Adugna, who civic activists believe was killed by Ethiopian government forces in 1996.

Dawite Mekonen, widely known for streamlining Oromo traditional music with more contemporary styles in the 1990s, went into exile after refusing to perform for soldiers at war front during Ethio-Eritrean war in 1998.

Elefenesh Keno, arguably the most important female vocalist of Oromo language of all time was forced into exile in Norway around the same time, while vocalist Hirpa Ganfure also releases songs from the Scandanavian country having been forced to leave Ethiopia the same year as Dawite.

These are just few of the better-known examples of Ethiopia’s repression of Oromo musicians.

New wave of censorship?

Musicians of all backgrounds that go against the government line find it difficult to get a gig or airtime on Ethiopia’s radio stations.

One example of this trend is the last-minute cancellation last year of two concerts featuring Teddy Afro, a prominent Amharic singer and song writer.Teddy has a great popular appeal and is widely known as the most successful musician in Ethiopia.

Teddy, who was released from imprisonment on hit and run charges he always denied in 2009, said his team was refused permission to hold the concerts scheduled for last September, without speculating as to why.

It seems most likely the cancellations are part of a continuing government campaign against the musician since his release of songs critical of the regime in 2005, three years before he was imprisoned.

However, censorship is noticeably harsher as  regards the Oromo, Ethiopia’s single largest ethnic group, which is viewed as a threat by a government packed with politicians from the northern Tigray minority.

According to reports at least 17 Oromo singers whose lyrics show “nationalistic tendencies” were banned from air waves in December 2015 by the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority.

Oromo singers often produce music that articulates strong pride in their national and cultural heritage, whether through lyrics or the incorporation of traditional instruments and melodies.

The latest ban has encompassed songs that appear to be far from overtly nationalistic, including the songs of the two musicians the author interviewed for this piece.

This signifies a clampdown on even moderate forms of cultural self-expression.

A counterproductive policy

According to academic Michael Shawn Mollenhauer, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on the topic of censorship of Oromo culture in Ethiopia, the current government uses Oromo musicians  to present a facade of cultural diversity while systematically imprisoning and intimidating independent singers.

Hawi Tezera’s story is an indicator that the state’s grip on any form of freedom of expression is getting ever-tighter, with controls over music reaching a new low.

However, the crackdown is not having the desired effect.

In fact, Oromo songs with political undertones are actually seeing a resurgence, with this author tallying over 300+ songs on YouTube and Facebook alone since 2014, as the Internet provides an alternative space for musicians to defy the blanket of state censorship.

If anything, music censorship has helped strengthen Oromo nationalism.

The overwhelming majority of Oromos already felt that their identity was being attacked unjustly, and the intensification of state harassment against a background of growing political unrest is tipping them over the edge.

This story was commissioned by Freemuse, the leading defender of musicians worldwide, and Global Voices for Artsfreedom.org. The article may be republished by non-commercial media, crediting the author Endalk, Freemuse and Global Voices and linking to the origin

https://globalvoices.org/2016/01/05/inside-ethiopias-self-defeating-crackdown-on-oromo-musicians/

 

 

Related:-

 

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/oromia-famous-oromo-female-singer-hawi-tezera-feared-to-be-under-another-torture-activists-say-oromoprotests/

Demand the Immediate Release of Oromo Peace Activist Bekele Gerba from Ethiopian Prison January 5, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo

Free Bekele Gerba

 

Baqqalaa Garbaa

https://www.change.org/p/demand-oromo-peace-activist-bekele-gerba-s-immediate-release-from-ethiopian-prison

On the evening of Dec 23, 2015, Bekele Gerba, was at home, reading at his desk in the company of his wife and son when armed Ethiopian federal security forces surrounded his home, entered and searched his house against his will, and forcibly arrested him. His family and witnesses were told that he would be taken to Makalawi, an infamous high security prison where they could visit him in 24 hours. But they were not allowed to see him. The day he was scheduled to appear in court, he disappeared. Later, he was taken to a hospital where word got out that he had been beaten to unconsciousness during an interrogation at a military camp. He continues to be denied visitation. Right now, he is being held incommunicado, and we have grave concerns that his health is deteriorating.

Bekele Gerba is the Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress party and a widely respected peace advocate. He is a renowned voice for nonviolence, urging only peaceful forms of resistance to violent oppression in Ethiopia.  He envisions peaceful struggle as the preferred means for attaining democracy, unity, and justice. He has become a significant voice of this generation. 

His arrest late December was not his first. In August 2011, following a meeting with Amnesty International about Ethiopia’s human rights violations, Bekele was imprisoned, charged under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism proclamation and sentenced to eight years. Similarly trumped up charges are frequently used to silence any voice of opposition to the government. He was released in late March 2015 upon appeal, and upon his release, he was invited to the U.S. to deliver keynote remarksat an academic conference.  He spent a week in Washington, meeting with members of the diplomatic community. He met with Congress members, State Department officials, media outlets and human rights groups. He gave an interview to NPR’s Michele Kelemen about the lack of political space in Ethiopia and to Al Jazeera’s The Stream.Recently, he spoke to Al Jazeera about the Ethiopian government’sviolent crackdown on widespread Oromo protests against proposed large-scale land takeovers that will displace millions of farmers.

For most of his life, Bekele was a professor of foreign languages. A few years ago, he declared that he could not simply witness the widespread and systematic oppression, ethnic persecution and grievances of his people, the Oromo, and the Ethiopian government’s merciless targeting and killing of the Oromo. Amnesty International reported, “between 2011 and 2014, at least 5000 Oromos have been arrested based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government.”  Now thousands more are being rounded up and arrested by federal security for participating in peaceful protests.

Please stand with Bekele and join me in signing this petition calling for the immediate release of Bekele Gerba. And please send this petition to your Representatives and Senators.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”- MLK

https://www.change.org/p/demand-oromo-peace-activist-bekele-gerba-s-immediate-release-from-ethiopian-prison

LETTER TO
Pres. Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, UN Amb. Samantha Power, UN General Sec. Ban Ki Moon
Representative Ed Royce
Representative Chris Smith
and 2 others

Oromia (WBO): Waraanni Bilisummaa Oromoo (WBO)n Godina Bahaa Gidduu Kana Basaasota Fi Loltoota Wayyaanee Haleelee Injifannoo Galmeesse January 5, 2016

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Odaa OromoosboBilisummaa (Freedom Function)fb367-alaabaanew

 

Waraanni Bilisummaa Oromoo (WBO)n Godina Bahaa Gidduu Kana Basaasota Fi Loltoota Wayyaanee Haleelee Injifannoo Galmeesse.

 

(SBO – AMAJJII 05,2016) Gootichi WBO Godina Bahaa Amajjii 05, 2016 Har’a Ganama Ona Xuulloo Keessatti Lola Waraana Gabroomfattuu Wayyaanee Waliin Taasise Irratti Loltoota Diinaa 13 Ol Hojiin Ala Godhe.

Mirga Abbaa Biyyummaa fi Bilisummaa Oromoo deebisuuf falmaa hadhawaa gochuu irratti kan argamu gootichi WBO, Amajjii 05,2016 guyyaa har’aa ganama Lixa Harargee Ona Xuulloo naannoo Masalaatti waraana gabroomfattuu wayyaanee kan ummata keenya gaaffii mirgaa finiinsaa jirutti roorrisaa ture haleeluun 8 yeroo irraa ajjeesu, 5 ol ammoo akka madeesse Ajaji WBO Godina Bahaa ifa godheera.

Humni WBO lola kana geggeesse diina irraa meeshaalee gara garaa akka booji’es gabaafameera.

Tarkaanfiin diinaa fi farreen QBO ta’an irratti fudhatamu karaa hundaan haala kennate mara keessatti ciminaan kan itti fufu ta’uu Ajaji WBO Godina Bahaa mirkaneesseera.

 

 

(SBO – AMAJJII 04,2016) Irree fi Gaachanni Ummata Oromoo WBOn Godina Bahaa keessa sossohu Mudde 30 fi 31,2015 Baha Harargee Ona Bokkoo/Fadis bakka Dhagaa-Gaachanaa jedhamuu fi bakka Waldaya Gobeellee fi Maayaa jedhamanitti waraana wayyaanee warraaqsa ummata Oromoo finiinaa jiru dhaamsuuf sochii adda addaa godhaa turee fi ummata irraan miidhaa geessisaa ture rukutuun loltoota 24 ol hojiin ala gochuu Ajaji WBO Godina Bahaa oduu tarkaanfii waraanaa SBOf ergeen beeksise.

Haaluma kanaan tarkaanfii fudhatameen loltootni diinaa 13 yeroo ajjeefaman, 11 ol ammoo madoo taasifamaniiru.

Loltootni wayyaanee du’aa fi madaa’uu irraa hafte faffacaatee akka baqattes gabaafameera.

Humni Addaa WBO tarkaanfii isaa itti fufuun Dhiha Harargee Ona Habroo magaalaa Balballeettii keessatti gaafa Mudde 30,2015 basaasaa sirna wayyaanee Taklamaariyam jedhamu irratti tarkaanfii xumuraa fudhateen ajjeesuu Ajaji WBO Godina Bahaa beeksiseera.

Basaasaan kun waraana wayyaanee keessa kan turee fi tika tahuudhaan ummata keessatti bifa maanguddummaan socho’aa akka ture ibsameera. Taklamaariyam dhalataa lammii Tigraayi magaalaa Addigiraat ganda 01 akka ta’es gabaafameera.

Gama biraan Amajjii 02,2016 Humni Addaa WBO Godina Bahaa Baha Harargee naannoo Dhangaggoo jedhamutti qondaala tikaa wayyaanee naannoo kana keessatti diinummaa guddaa hojjechaa ture dhalootaan lammii Tigraay ta’e Gabra-Igzihaber jedhamu du’aan adabuu Ajaji WBO Godina Bahaa dabalee hubachiiseera.

Bakkoota adda addaatti tarkaanfilee fakkaatoon loltootaa fi basaasota diinaa akkasumas gufuu ummataa fi barattootaa ta’uun isaanii mirkanaa’e irratti tarkaanfileen fudhataman jabaatanii itti fufanii akka jiran gabaafameera.

Kanneen faallaa Warraaqsa Ummata Oromoo ykn gufuu Fincila Xumura Gabrummaa (FXG) ta’anii jiran gocha isaanii diinummaa fi farrummaa kana irraa deebi’anii gara saba isaanii akka hiriiran WBOn irra deebiin yaamicha isaa dhiheessaa jira.

The Ogaden Youth and Student Union condemns the systematic genocidal massacres taking place in Oromia and Ogaden January 5, 2016

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Odaa OromooFlags of the Oromo and Ogaden people were on display at the May 9 rally in St. Paul, Minnesota

OYSU: A Call to Action in Ending the Crimes Against Humanity in Ethiopia

December 31, 2015

The Ogaden Youth and Student Union condemns the systematic genocidal massacres taking place in Oromia and Ogaden, and stands with student protesters fighting to end the authoritarian regimes policies of mass displacement against the Oromo and Ogaden people.

The current EPRDF regime in Ethiopia continues and has exacerbated the policies of successive authoritarian Ethiopian regimes in the past. The genocidal massacres taking place in the Ogaden is well documented by human rights organizations and has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilian populations since 2007. The Ethiopian government’s exploitation of natural resources in the Ogaden has led to a dire humanitarian crisis and a worsening armed conflict. The Ogaden region is currently facing the worst drought in history and international humanitarian organizations that have historically provided much needed assistance, such as Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross, have been denied access to operate in the region. Government-sponsored militias, known as the Liyuu Police, continue to commit rape, extrajudicial killings, mass arrests, and torture with impunity. Millions of people in the Ogaden are facing one of the worse famines in the world and the international community continues to turn a blind eye.

The gross human rights situation that has been taking place in the Ogaden has now spread all over Ethiopia, mainly in the Oromia and Amhara regions. The EPRDF regime, which is mainly controlled by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), is now committing mass genocidal campaigns against the Oromo people. We are receiving credible reports of mass arrests, kidnappings and extrajudicial killings taking place in different parts of Oromia. The Ethiopian regime’s current policy of displacing hundreds of thousands of Oromo farmers off their land has led to an uprising led by the Oromo youth. Protesters have spread all over the country and new armed opposition groups have emerged in parts of the Amhara, Afar, and Sidama regions. The Oromo people, who make up nearly half the population of Ethiopia, have been under repression and marginalization by successive Ethiopian regimes in the past. The Oromo people are essential to the future of Ethiopia and can play a fundamental role in the stability or instability of the Horn of Africa. The Ethiopian regime’s ill-advised policies and criminal behavior will lead to a humanitarian crisis in epic proportion if the international community does not intervene.

The Ogaden Youth and Student Union (OYSU) stands in solidarity with the Oromo youth and students who are leading the peaceful protests currently taking place in Ethiopian and have been the main target of rapes, mass arrests, killings, and kidnappings. The Ogaden and Oromo people, not only share a common struggle, but also share a common history of repression and marginalization by successive Ethiopian regimes. We are calling upon both people to unite against the Ethiopian regime, and reclaim freedom and justice for their respective people.

OYSU urges the international community, and mainly Western nations, to put an end to the funding and sponsoring of authoritarianism and genocide in Ethiopia. We urge Western powers, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, to pressure the Ethiopian government to end the gross human rights abuses taking place in Oromia, Ogaden and elsewhere in Ethiopia. We urge international human rights organizations to continue and further their commitment to exposing the genocidal massacres and displacements taking place in these regions. Lastly, we urge international media organizations to shed light on the acts of genocide and crimes against humanity the Ethiopian regime has been committed in the Ogaden, Oromia, and in other regions of the country.