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Oromia: #OromoProtests:#OromoRevolution: Gabaasa Fincila Xumura Garbummaa (FXG) Oromiyaa 2017 (January) January 31, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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 Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

oromoprotests-one-year-on-struggle-november-2015-2016oromorevolution-oromoprotests

Oromo Protests defend Oromo National Interest

#OromoPRotests tweet and share#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

https://videopress.com/embed/Kv0UV52t?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

scotiabank-toronto-waterfront-half-marathon-winner-kinde-asafa-showing-the-protest-juster

an-oromo-youth-hero-shanted-down-down-woyane-on-the-face-of-mass-killers-tplf-agazi-at-bishoftu-2nd-october-2016-oromoprotestsFeyisa Lelisa Rio Olympian and world icon of #OromoProtestsQuebec City Marathon winner, Oromo athlete, Ebisa Ejigu, replicates Rio Olympic medallist’s #OromoProtests. p3Athlete Fraol Ebissa Won the Germany 10Km race and shows his solidarity with #OromoProtests. 4 September 2016. p2oromo-athlete-tamiru-demisse-center-reacts-after-the-final-of-mens-1500m-of-the-rio-2016-paralympicoromo-oromo-athletes-tamiru-demisse-c-megersa-tasisa-l-and-sport-journalist-adugna-angasu-r-who-are-in-rio-de-janeiro-brazil-for-the-paralympic-2016-show-solidarity-in-a-world-stage-to-oromoathlete-hajin-tola-winner-of-mississauga-canken-5k-race-protests-in-support-of-ethiopias-oromo-peopleathlete-hirut-guangul-joined-the-brave-movement-as-she-won-the-womens-marathon-and-in-solidarity-with-oromoprotests-25-september-2016-this-video-is-viral-on-social-media-in-her-adoration
Oromo Students protest @ Mandii, Western Oromia 25th November 2015Oromo Students protest @ Ambo, Oromia 25th November 2015 picture1

Gaaffiiwwan yeroo ammaastop killing Oromo People#GrandOromoProtests 6 August 2016, in Oromia including in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa), the capital.


Oromo Olympic marathon athlete Fayyisaa Lalisaa in the social and international media. #OrompProtests global icon. p7

the-heroes-said-down-down-wayyane-down-on-2nd-october-2016-at-irreecha-bishoftu-to-protests-mass-killings-p2oromorevolution-thefinalmarchforfreedomoromoprotests-and-fascist-tplfs-human-rights-violations-anaginst-civilians-2016-bbc-sources

Gincii, Amboo, Jalduu, Gudar, Giddaa Ayyaanaa, Mandii, Najjoo, Laaloo Assaabii, Jaarsoo, Gullisoo, Bojjii, Gujii,Dambi Doolloo, Gimbii, Naqamtee, Buraayyuu, sabbataa, Dirree Incinnii, Adaamaa, Harammayyaa, Mattuu, Baale (Robee), Madda Walabu, Walliisoo, Tulluu Boolloo, Sulultaa (Caancoo), Horroo Guduruu, Buuraayyuu, Dirree Dhawaa, Calanqoo, Ada’aa Bargaa, Baddannoo, Holootaa, Shaashee, Awaday (E. Harargee), Hara Qallo (Goro Dola, Gujii), Gaasaraa (Baalee), Bulee Hora, Jimmaa, Arjo, Heebantuu, Giddaa Ayyaanaa ,Kiiramuu, Ciroo, Dodolaa, Anfilloo (Mugii), Walqixxee, Diillaa, Bishooftuu, Finfinnee,  Yuniversiitii Finfinnee, Geedoo, Asallaa,  Shaambuu, Agaarfaa, Sibuu Siree, Kotobee, Wacaalee, Saalaalee, Machaaraa, Ammayyaa, Tokkee  Kuttaayee, Innaangoo, Baabbichaa, Laaloo Qilee, Hiddii Lolaa, .Mugii, Arsi Nagallee, Baabbichaa, Shukutee,  Baakkoo Tibbee, Jalduu, Gindoo, Buun’dho Beddellee, Grawwaa, Gaara Mul’ataa, Qarsaa, Qobboo (Dardar, Eastern Oromia), Sinaanaa (Baalee), Jimmaa Arjoo, Bojjii, Kombolcha,  Aggaaroo,Tajji (Iluu), Qilxuu Kaarraa, Baabboo Gambel, Daawoo,Tulu Milki (Warra Jarso), Hirnaa, Xuulloo,  Masalaa, Galamso, Bordode, Mi’esso, Waheel, Diggaa, Arjoo Guddattuu, Guraawa, waamaa Adaree, Shabee Somboo, Limmuu Saqaa, Amuruu (Agamsa), Daroo Labuu (Gaadulloo), Yaabelloo, Aliboo (Jaartee Jardagoo), Saasigga, Magaalaa Dafinoo, Dhumugaa, Daroo Labuu (Buraysaa) Begii (Kobor), Mardida Halo Guba (Daroo Labuu), Qassoo, Bonayyaa Boshee, Baalee  (Dalloo Mannaa), Jimmaa Raaree (Magaalaa Gobaan), Nophaa (Iluu), Bordoddee, Togowacaalee, Dooguu, Metekel (Wanbara), Asaasaa, Waabee, Heeraroo, Doguu, Quufanziq (Dadar), Boku Luboma (Miyo, Borana), Eddoo, Dirree (Ada’aa), Qilxuu Kaarraa, Shebel town, Bate, Walanchiti, Warra Jiruu,  Boolee Bulbulaa, Diilallaa, Gannat Haaraa (dodolaa)……………



 

 

Amajjii (January) 2017: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 ……2017

 


Down! down! Down With Wayyanee! Down TPLF!

https://videopress.com/embed/Kv0UV52t?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

https://youtu.be/D5YauwAQTgU

#OromoProtests: International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis Worsens

#OromoProtests. International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis WorsensEthiopia's scores in freedom in the world 2016, freedom House World Report, January 2016.

Ethiopian regime guilty of crime against humanity

Click here for OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-31 December 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-30 November 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution  report  1 – 31 October 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests report 1- 30 September 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests report 1- 31 August 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests Updates, 1st July – 31st July 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests Updates, 1st June – 30 June 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 31st May 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 30 April 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 31st March, 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, November 2015- February 29, 2016



For Latest News click here for OromianEconomistonfacebook


Real Media Press: WHY IS ETHIOPIA’S SITUATION THE MOST UNDER-REPORTED CONFLICT IN THE WORLD?

Ethiopia: War Crimes Against the Oromo Nation in Ethiopia

 

Ethiopia in Crisis: What is going on now in Oromia is a massacre in the name of emergency, terrorising civilian populations

Stop Genocide Against the Oromo People: The Whole of Oromia Must Act to Stop the Agazi and Liyu Police Terror in Hararge, Bale, Borana and Gujii

 

Fascism: Corruption: TPLF Ethiopia: Inside the Controversial EFFORT

The hero, the legend and the thinker: Oromo Athlete Feyisa Lilesa’s spectacular finish at Aramco Houston Half Marathon January 16, 2017

THE INTEREST THAT IS NOT SO SPECIAL: ADDIS ABEBA, OROMIA, AND ETHIOPIA

 

 

Mail & Guardian Africa: Ethiopia’s political ripple a big test for infrastructure-led Chinese approach

BBC: Oromia: No regrets for Ethiopia’s Olympic protester. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

Free Dr. Merera Gudina And All Political Prisoners In Ethiopia

Oromia: Human Rights League New Year’s Message: “It always Seems Dark Until the Sun Rises”

Oromia (Africa): Oromo Person of The Year 2016: The Qubee Generation. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

BBC: Africa’s top hashtags of 2016: #OromoProtests and #AmharaProtests

 Stop Your madness with Masterplan and Resolve the Master Problem

Hof-Land: Ausgestoßene im eigenen Land

ETHIOPIA: THE STATE OF EMERGENCY CANNOT BECOME THE NORM

Samantha Power, the Unites States ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has called for the release of a leading Ethiopian opposition member, Bekele Gerba

HRW: The Year in Human Rights Videos

WP: A state of emergency has brought calm to Ethiopia. But don’t be fooled.

THE HUMAN COST OF ETHIOPIA’S SWEEPING STATE OF EMERGENCY: “I NEVER WANTED TO SEE TOMORROW”

In his interview with VOA, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Tom Malinowski discussed the current Ethiopian situation and his concerns regarding human right protection. He said, “It’s a very difficult situation. The country is under a state of emergency, and a state of emergency by definition means that certain rights are suspended. Due process is suspended. And however much the government may feel that the state of emergency has brought calm temporarily to the country, it also brings with it certain risks. It risks adding a new layer of grievances to those grievances that initially led people in Oromia and Amhara to come out onto the streets. At first they were concerned about land seizures and lack of jobs and representation, all of which the government has acknowledge to be real and legitimate. But now they’re also upset about the arrests and the violence. And the longer this continues, the more those grievances are likely to build. At the same time, it risks giving greater power to the security apparatus in a way that could delay the introduction of the reforms that the Prime Minister and the government have, to their great credit, said are necessary.” Listen the first part of VOA interview at: http://bit.ly/2h3kmYO https://www.facebook.com/us.emb.addisababa/posts/1372399152802454


 

Ana Gomes (MEP): Ethiopia: Arrest of Dr. Merera Gudina – Annual report on Human Rights and Democracy

Africa News: EU parliament writes to Ethiopian president over detained Oromo leader, Professor Merera Gudina

AU expresses concern about upcoming Summit in restive Ethiopia

Africa News: Oromia’s Olympic athlete, Feyisa Lilesa, has been named among the 2016 top 100 global thinkers by the Foreign Policy (FP) magazine.

EurActive: EU: Commission to Ethiopia: ‘start addressing legitimate grievances of your people’December 2, 2016

 

The Independent: Ethiopian opposition leader testifies to EU over lack of political freedoms – and is immediately arrested upon his return. European politicians ‘shocked’ by arrest of Merera Gudina

BBC: Ethiopian opposition leader arrested after Europe trip

WP: Ethiopia arrests top Oromo opposition politician after Europe Parliament speech

Ethiopian Opposition Leader from Restive Region Arrested


One Year Anniversary of Oromo Protests Against Land Grabs


Africa Times: #Oromo news network in U.S. works to defeat Ethiopia’s media blackout


#OromoRevolution Australian MP Andrew Wilkie the parliament speaking about the of Oromo people

https://youtu.be/mmhJ1EevSqQ


OROMIA: OMN: Gaafiif Deebii Gammadaa Waariyoo Down Down Wayane TPLF Jechuun Kan Beekamu. #OromoProtests


The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia


Ethiopia: State of Emergency Used as Systematic State Repression in Ethiopia HRLHA Press Release


Open Democracy: Ethiopia’s crisis: Things fall apart: Will the centre hold? By RENÉ LEFORT 19 November 2016


Why is the Ethiopian diaspora so influential?

The Oromo protests have changed Ethiopia

The struggle of the Oromo people has finally come to the attention of the global public conscience.

 

Newsweek: ETHIOPIA: OROMO POLITICIAN ARRESTED AFTER SPEAKING TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT


#OromoProtests: A year on struggle: This is a video made by Swedish students in Skara about the protests going on in Ethiopia. #OromoRevolution

Pambazuka News: Some thoughts on the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia. #Oromorotests #OromoRevolution

HRW: Will Ethiopia’s Year-Long Crackdown End?

Need for Meaningful Reforms, Accountability

Olympics dissident: Ethiopia could ‘become another Libya’

AI: Ethiopia: After a year of protests, time to address grave human rights concerns


Crossing Arms: The Plight and Protest of the Oromo in Ethiopia


State of emergency: Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s government command post soldiers raping and killing


The Final Desperate Emergency Martial Law of Ethiopia and its Implications


“Open Letter to Government of Ethiopia” From Lotte Leicht, EU Director, Human Rights Watch. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution #Africa


Global Journalist: Ethiopia’s State of Emergency & #OromoProtests


One Of The World’s Best Long Distance Runners Is Now Running For His Life

 


HRW: Ethiopia: State of Emergency Risks New Abuses: Directive Codifies Vague, Overbroad Restrictions. 

 An Ethiopian government directive under a state of emergency contains overly broad and vague provisions that risk triggering a human rights crisis, Human Rights Watch said  in a legal analysis. The government should promptly repeal or revise all elements of the directive that are contrary to international law.  31 October  2016.


 Ethiopia’s state of emergency silences aid workers — and some of their work


Venture Africa: WHY THE ‘PLANNED’ HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN ETHIOPIA SHOULD BE A GLOBAL CONCERN. #OromoProtests


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkNRF-erHls

Al Jazeera: Ethiopia ‘ruthlessly targeted’ Oromo ethnic group, report finds.

Ethiopia’s Regime Faces Precarious Times As Diaspora Plans for the Future


AI: Ethiopia: Draconian measures will escalate the deepening crisis. #OromoProtests


How Ethiopia’s State of Emergency affects Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Emergency Declared in Ethiopia but the decree means nothing to those who have lived with inhumanity worse than death.


Ethiopia’s crisis is a result of decades of land disputes and ethnic power battles


DW: New Ethiopian clampdown

Ethiopia’s state of emergency could trigger civil war and food shortage


The National Interest: Ethiopia Opens a Pandora’s Box of Ethnic Tensions


Oromia: Yakka Waraanaa Ummata Oromoo Irratti Gaggeeffama Jiru Ilaalchisuun Ibsa Gamtaa Barattoota Oromoo (Oromo Student Union )


Ibsa Ejjeennoo Barattoota Oromoo Yuuniversiitii Jimmaa,  October 7, 2016


Irreecha Massacre: Bishoftu Massacre: Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Oromia (Ethiopia) on the peaceful Irreecha ceremony- Oromo thanksgiving day, 2nd October 2016 where over 4 million celebrating the Oromo National Cultural Day at Horaa Harsadii, Bishoftu, Oromia.

 

Gabaasaa qindaawaa armaan gadii kan nama balaa san irraa hafeen nuu dhihaate kana obsaan dubbisaa. Sana booda wanti kaleessa Hora Haarsadeetti tahe maal akka fakkaatu hubannoo gahaa horattu.
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
“Kan dhagaa darbaate ummata miti. Yeroo dheeraaf mormiin walitti fufinsaan deemaa ture. Waanuma godhan dhaban. Gubbaan helekoopitara nurra naanneessaa turan. Helekoopitarri marsaa duraa ergaa baga geessan jedhu gubbaa gad facaasaa ture. Sun kan akeekkameef ayyaana ummataaf yaadamee miti. Sodaachisaaf ture. Yeroo helekopitarichi nurratti gad siqee naannawuu umman guutuun harka wal qaxxaamursuun mallattoo didda itti agarsiisaa ture. Haalichi cimee itti fufe. Mormiin bifa adda ta’een deeme. Qeerroon guutummaan iddoo silaa Opdof isaan qabachiisu barbaadan dursite ganamumaan waan qabatteef kallattii dhaban. Karaa mormii ittiin qabaneessan dhaban. Midiyaaleen addunyaas ta’e isaan biyya keessaa bifa danda’aniin haalicha waraabaa turan. Guutummaan mormii waan tureef kallattiin dabarsu hin dandeenye. Fuuldura keenyatti faranjoota heedduu argaa ture. Waraabaa turan.

Midiyaaleen alaa carraa nu bira ga’uu hin arganneef malee gara ummata mormii irra jiruutti seenuun jiddu jidduun gaafiif deebii taasisaa turan. Qeerroon sodaa tokkoon alatti isaanitti himaa ture. Manguddoonnis akkasuma himaa turan. Mootumma shiftaa kana hin barbaannu,opdo hin barbaannu,ofiin of bulchina jechaanii ture. Ammas mormiin cimaa dhufe. Ummanni kallattii hundaan gara irreechaatti dhufu mormii dhaggeesisaa dhufa. Sagantaa gaggeeffachuu taasuma isaan hin dandeenye. Haalli kun hedduu isaan aarse. Ni boba’an. Naannolee adda addaatii qarshii kanfalaniif ummanni isaan geejibbaan fidatanis isaanitti gara gale. Mormiin liqimfamee mormitti seene. Woyaneen waan qabdee gad dhiiftu dhabde. Poolisoonni jidduu ummataa dhaabde hidhannoo hin qaban. Agaazii gara duubaatiin dhaabdee jirti. Booda irra as ba’an malee tasuma hin mul’atan ture.

Adaduma baayinni ummata gara horaa dhufu dabaluun mormiin haala duraanii caale cime. Dirreen irreechaa dirree mormii qofa taate. Kanatu isaan dhukkubse. Ummanni miliyoona heddu dirree irreechaa irratti bakka miidiyaaleen addunyaa baay’een argamanitti isaan salphise. Kanaaf maratan. Summii saamii irraan helekopitaraan gad roobsan. Ummata joonjesan. Sab booda dirreen aaraan guutamte. Agaaziin iddoo jirtuu as baate. Rasaasaan dha’amuu ummata arguu qofa taate. Boolla meetira 10-15 gad fagaatutu jidduu waraanaaf ummataa jira. Boolla kanatti baayee fixan. Lakkofsi ummata dhumee hedduu dabaluu danda’a. Rasaasa isaanii cinatti boollichis isaaniif tumseera.”
Yaya Beshir irraa


Human Rights Watch: Q&A: Recent Events and Deaths at the Irreecha Festival in Ethiopia

The genocidal massacres of Oromos at the Irreechaa Fesival: The lies of the Tigre-led Ethiopian government


UN Human Rights Briefing Note on EthiopiaOctober 7, 2016


Indian Professor in Ethiopia: An Appeal to the International Community about Human Rights Situation. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution


African Arguments: Ethiopia: How popular uprising became the only option. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution


BBC: Are Ethiopian protests a game changer? #OromoProtests


Aljazeera: Oromo protests: Ethiopia unrest resurges after stampede

VOA: Ethiopia Protests Continue Despite Call for Calm. #OromoProtests #Bishoftu Massacre


Ethiopia: human rights defender condemns deadliest mass murder in Oromia. #IrreechaaMassacre #OromoProtests


Ethiopia Human Rights Abuses Spark U.S. Congressional Action

Oakland Institute: After Irreechaa Tragedy, the US Must Take Action for Human Rights in Ethiopia


Ana Gomez, MEP, Statement at European Union regarding the mass killings conducted by fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) at Irreecha Oromo National Cultural celebration event in Bishoftu, Oromia where over 4 million people congregate on 2nd October 2016


Risk Advisory: Ethiopia | Assessment of government stability amid ongoing protests

The Ethiopian government is looking increasingly unstable, and the security environment in Ethiopia is looking more dangerous.


This is Africa: Ethiopia at a crossroads: apartheid, civil war or reconciliation?


ETHIOPIA’S GRADUAL JOURNEY TO THE VERGE OF CRISIS

Lelisa’s Message

A wave of protest in Ethiopia highlights the country’s history of exploitation and dispossession.


Click here  to read Daily Maverick: Ethiopia Mourns– but mourns what, exactly?

The Economist: The downside of authoritarian development: Ethiopia cracks down on protest: Once a darling of investors and development economists, repressive Ethiopia is sliding towards chaos


CCTV America: Who are Ethiopia’s Oromo and what’s behind the wave of protests in the country?

“Internet mobile irrati fayadamuuf mali argameera… akkas agodhani qeeroon Setting..more network….mobile network… access network name…. harka mirgara + kan jedhu tuqu… name kanjedhu … et.wap… APN… et.wap…. proxy…10.204.189.211… port…9028…. authentication… PAP or CHAP kan jedhu guutu… kana booda qeerroon mirgaan galte Mobile jam Tplf irraa hanu… sanan fayadama jira amaan kana.” #OromoRevolution.

 

 

 

 

 

For those following the Feyisa Lilesa and in Ethiopia: Sifan Hassan on his demonstration – “He’s my hero.”

Athlete Sifan Hassan, the European champion – “I’m Oromo and Feyisa is my hero”

 

Wayyaaneen TPLF yeroo ammaa kanatti Oromiyaa bakkoota gara garaa keessatti milishoota gandaa walitti qabuudhaan leenjii kennuuf dirqaa jira.

Amajjii  30,2017  Murni  Wayyaanee yeroo ammaa kanatti Oromiyaa iddoowwan garaagaraatti milishoota gandaa walitti qabuudhaan leenjii waraanaa kennaafii jira.
Haaluma kanaan yeroo ammaa Godinaalee akka Harargee, Shaggar Lixaa, Wallaggaa fi Jimmaa keessatti aanota baay’ee keessatti leenjisaa jiraachuun baramee jira. Shirri mootummaan wayyaanee milishoota kanneen leenjisaa jiruufis sochiin ummata Oromoo daran jabaachaa jiraachuu irraa soda guddaa waan qabuufi. Continue reading

Barruuleen Warraaqsaa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Godina Arsii Aanaalee Adda Addaa Keessatti Tamsa’aa Jira

Amajjii 30,2017

Godina Arsii Magaalota Seeruu,Asaasa,Nageelle, Suudee,Gobeessa, Doddotaa,Jimaata, Ashmiira, Waabee,Darrabbaa,Seerofta, Adaabbaa, Kofale,Boqojjii, Hurutaa, Minee, Balee Gasgaar keessatti Barruulen Warraaqsaa kaleef dheengadda maxxanfamaa jiru.

Kana malees Godinuma Arsii keessatti waraanni feederaalaa ganda gandaan nama 10-20 warra hojii milishaa hojjatan walitti qabee leenjii waraanaa kennaafii jira, Aanota hunda keessatti dargaggoota gurmeessjdhaan hojii uumufif yaadamees ummatuma milishaa kanaan leenjisiisee,hojiitti seensisuuf akka deemaa jirus himamaa jira

barruu-2barruu-4barruu3qeerroo

Adeemsa “Haaromsa” Jechuun Wayyaaneen Gaggeessaa Jiru Uummanni Akkamitti Ilaalaa Jiraa?

Oduun nuti tibba darbe dhagaa’a turre dhimma haaromsa gadi fagoo kan jedhu waliin wal qabata.Haaromsi afaaniin dhudhuufan kun hacaahumsa isaanitti fiduuf waan shakkisiisu hin qabu.Haaromsa maqaa jedhuun godinota maraaf Namoota aangoo gurguddaa qaban fedaraalarraa bakka bu’anii ergamuusaanii quba qabdu jedheen abdadha.Akka dubbii jarattiitti fi maqaa jechicha sanaatti qaamota isaanii waliin hojjetan
namoota dhuunfaa hojii uummataaf dhiisanii dhimma dantaa dhuunfaa dalaganidha.Garuu uummata gowwaa se’anii kan itti afaan fajjiif deeman
ta’u bakkeewwaan hedduutti uummanni mirkaneeffate. Continue reading


OMN: Murtii Perez. Donald Trump Ilaalchisee Ogeessotni Seeraa Maal jedhu? (Amajjii 30, 2017)

 

 ከጋዜጠኛ ጃፈር አሊና ከቀድሞው የሶማሌ ከልል ፕሬዚዳንት ልዩ አማካሪ ከአቶ አብዱላሂ ሁሴን ጋር የተደረገ ቃለመጠይቅ ክፍል 2

SONA MIIDIYAA

OMN: Sona Miidiyaa (Amajjii 26, 2017)

OMN: Oduu Amajjii 29, 2017

OMN: ODUU (Amajjii 28,2017)

OMN: Oduu (Amajjii 27), 2017

OMN: Oduu Amajjii 26, 2017

 

Gabaasa Qeerroo

Amajjii 25,2017

Jimmaa:-  Galgala Kana Mooraa Guddaa Jimma Yuunibarsiitii Keessa Humni Waraanaa Akka Waan Lubbuun Isa Bahuuf Jettutti Garmaamaa Jirti.
Waamicha Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo biyya keessaa bakkeewwan garaagaraatii taasisaa jiru sodaachuun doorsisi wayyaanee dorsisi humna hin qabne daran bakkeewwan hedduutti dabalee mul’ataa jira.Haala sochii bakkeewwan garaagaraatti taasifamaa jiruu sodaachuutin adeemsa
qabsoo Oromoo ABOn durfamu dadhabsiisuuf tooftaalee hedduu fayyadamaa turtullee,waan qabbanaa’e hin jirre ta’uu hubachuurraan;Akkasuma waraqaa waamichaa Qeerroon waliin gahaa jiru sodaachuun mooraalee Yuunibarsiitii garaagaraa keessatti sochii dhaamsuuf ifaajii taasiftu itti fuftee jirti.
Addatti wanti har’a moraa guddaa Jimma Yuunibarsiitii keessatti argamaa jiru,sodaaf bir’annaa hamaa keessa galuu ishee haala deemsa diinotaa kaarra hubachuun dandaa’amullee Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo falmasaa galiin gahuuf ammallee duubatti kan hin jenne ta’uu
hubachiise

Dambi Doolloo:- Lixa Oromiyaa Dambi Doollo Ona Gordommee Keessatti OPDOn Walitti Bu’insa Hamaa Keessa Seenanii Jiran. Erga kaabineen OPDO ona Gordommee  keessatti ummata gidirsaa ture du’ee asitti hojettoonni OPDO guddaa hanga xiqqaatti walshakkii hamaa keessa seenuun walii isaanii lolaa jiraachuun dubbatame.Haalli Kaabinoonni keessa jiran,daran kan isaaniin abdi kute yoo ta’u jireenyaaf abdii kutachuurra darbanii caasaleen isaanii wal diigaa jiraachuullee dubbatu.Ona kana keesaatti gama biraan gartuun tarkaanfii fudhachaa jiru ammallee tarkaanfii isaa gadi jabeessee anjessuun diina Oromoo ajjeesee konkolaachisuuf kan duubatti hin jenne ta’uu dubbatu. Continue reading

 

OMN: ODUU (Amajjii 25,2017)

Mata Duree Oduu (Amajjii 24, 2017)

OMN: Oduu (Amajjii 23, 2017)

OMN: ልዩ ዝግጅት (ጥር 22, 2017) ከአቶ ኤደኦ ቦሩ ጋር የተደረገ ቃለ ምልልስ ክፍል ሁለት

ODUU

OMN: ODU (Amajjii 21, 2017)


Wayyaanee TPLFn Finfinnee keessatti raafamni guddaan mudatee jira.

img_0976Sirna ayyaana cuuphaa hordoftoota amantaa Ortodoksii biratti haala hoo’aa fi adda taheen biyyattii keessatti kabajamu Wayyaneen akkuma isaaf hin hafne tahee yaaddoo guddaan qabamuu fi uummata amantaa kanaaf bahe shororkeessuuf yaales uummanni guddaan Oromiyaa fi magaala Finfinnee keessaa bahe wayyaaneen balaaleffatuun ayyaana isaa cinatti gaaffii abbaa biyyummaa qabatee as bahee jira.
Guyyaa lamaan kanaa asitti waranni mooraadhaa bahe meesha gurguddaadhaan konkolaataa guuttachuun Finfinnee  guutuu naanna’anaa bahan jala bultii ayyaanicha irraa kaasee tahuun ni mul’ata. Haala kanaan kaleessaaa fi har’as ganama irraa kaasee Finfinnee keessaa
dhukaasni bakka uummanni Oromoo itti heddummatutti dhaga’amaa jira kana malees magaalota oromiyaa gurguddaa keessatti haala wal dhiphisee kan uummanni dhaadannoo fi sirban qabsoo dhageesisuun ayyanicha kabajaa jiru tahuu isaa caasaan dhaabaa bakka jiruu gabaasa gochaa jira. Continue reading

FXG Mooraa Universtiy Wallaggaa Keessatti Itti Fufuu Qeerroon Gabaase.

Mooraa Yuunibarsiitii Walaggaa keessatti warraaqsi FXG dhohuun yaaddoo guddaa mootummaa ofiin bula biyyattii keessa galchee
jira.Galgala kana mooraa Yuunibarsiitichaa humni diinaa TPLF itti bobbaafamaa jiraachuullee dubbatu.
Haala kana sodaachuu mooraa Jimma Yuunibarsiitii keessa humna hidhatee socho’u bobbaasuun barataa doorsisuuf yaala jiraachuullee
dhagaa’ame.

=> Wallee Onee Goota Oromoo
Continue reading


Yunivarsiitii Arbaa Minci Keessati Erga Hiriira Baatan Jedhamuun Barattoota Oromoo 27 Hidhanii turan Keessaa 4 Barnoota Irraa Arihamuu Qeerroon Gabaase.

Barruulee Qeerroon facaaseMormiin Oromiyaa keessatti ka’een wal qabatee barattoonni Yuunibarsiitoo hiirira mormii gaggeessitan jedhamuun Yunivarsiitooti Arbaa Minci kan kibba Itoophiyaa keessatti argamturraa barattoota danii hidhanii afur mana barnootaan ala gochuun isaanii ni yaadatama.Haa ta’uullee malee ammayyuu mirgi namoomaa nuu kabajamee kan jiraachaa hin jirree ol jennee ija keessa ilaaluuf qawween doorsifamuuf reebichi waan jutti danatuu haalli barachuu illee nutti ulfaatee jira.jechuun Sagalee Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo ibsanii jiran.Adeemsi biyyattii keesatti qaroo uummata Oromoo barattoota Oromoorratti dalagamaa jiru akkaan nuffisiisaa saatii ta’e fincaan Tigireef jala deemtonnishee OPDOn kana booda nagaan baatee galuu akka hin qabnetti sochiin gama hundaan finiinuu qaba. Continue reading


#OromoProtests against TPLF (Liyyu Police) genocide in Eastern Oromia Mayyuu Mulluqee, 20 January 2017.

oromoprotests-against-tplf-liyyu-police-genocide-in-eastern-oromia-mayyuu-mulluqee-20-january-2017

 

 

 

#OromoProtests during the Dubai Marathon January 19, 2017, Oromo nationals Tamirat Tola and Warqinesh Degefa are the winners in men’s and women’s races. oromoprotests-during-the-dubai-marathon-january-19-2017-oromo-nationals-tamirat-tola-and-warqinesh-degefa-are-the-winners-in-mens-and-womens-race

 

oromo-athletes-tamirat-tola-and-waraqinesh-degefa-win-dubai-martahon-2017-mens-and-womens-race-respectively

#OromoProtests, Arsi, Roobee, Oromia, 20 January 2016

Amajjii 20/2017 Godina Arsii Magaalota Hedduu Keessatti Ayyaana Cuuphaatiin wal qabatee Qeerroon akkuma waraana agaazitiin marfamee jirutti sagalee dhageessisuun FXG gaggeessaa kan jiru yoo ta’uu Qeerroon Godina Arsii Aanaa Roobee Diida’aa ABOn Dhiiga Keenyaa Wayyaaneen OPDOn wayyaanee diina keenya Jechaa Oolan. oromoprotests-arsi-roobee-oromia-20-january-2016

Ilmaan Oromoo Haroomsa Hin Jenne Harroomsa Wayanee Akkannatti Miilan Irra Deema Jiran.#OromoProtests. 20 January 2017

 

haaromsa-wayyaanee-akkanaan-irra-deemaa-jiran-oromoprotests-20-january-2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FXG Itti Fufee Manni Barumsaa Preparatory Amboo Cufame.

Amajjii 15,2017

Itti fufaYaadannoo baratoota Oromoo bara darbe qabsoo irratti wareegamani gochuuf jecha,Qeerroon manneen barnootaa Amboo fi magaalaa jiran wal gurmeessuun waraqaa warraaqsaa fi suuraa barattoota wareegamanii maxxansuu fi baasuun duungoo qabatani bahuuf waamicha yeroo taasisanitti mana barnootaa guyyaa lamaaf cufuun akka yaadannoon kabajamu wal gurmeessaa turan.

Waraanni Agaazii haala kana dhagahe konkolaatota 5 niin loltoota guuree gara mana barnootaa deemuun dallaa marsuun barattoota haala kana qindeessu jedhu tokko lamaan maqaa yaamuun heddumminaan gara mana hidhaatti fuudhanii waan deemaniif jecha Qeerroon diddaa isaa itti fufee manneen barnootaa cufee jira.

Amajjii 14,2017 manni barnootaa high school Amboo irraa hamma Awaaroo gahutti barattooti daandii aspaaltii cufuun FXG gaggeessaa olanii jiru. Haalli kun hanga ammaa hin tasgabbaawiin jira.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oromo-youth-in- Ssalaalee- Ooromia- protestting- 7-January-2017. Qeerroon Salaalee sirna kabaja ayyaana qilee irratti sirboota warraaqsaatin shubbisuun dhaadannoolee gara garaa dhageessisaa oolan. Amajjii 7 bara 2017.

oromo-youth-in-salaalee-oromia-protestting-7-january-2017

fascist-ethiopias-regime-tplf-is-conducting-genocide-in-ethiopia-it-has-segemented-forces-into-agazi-federal-police-liyu-police-defence-forces-etc-all-to-conduct-genocide-in-different-forms

 

 

Gincii, Oromia, #OromoRevolution, 6 January 2017. “Ginciit eergatu dinaa barattoota dabarse keennaa turunsaa kan beekamu I/Anaa Daarektara kan ta’e Obboo Desisa, mana jireenya isa irrattii Qeerroon Gincii tarkaanfi fudhatte jirti. Gamuma walfakkaatun yeroo amma kanaa dargaggoo qeerroowwan magaala Gincii komaand-postii waliin ficisisaa kan jiru dargaggoon Kaasu Sori tarkaanfi qeerroo irraa miliqee(narrowly escaped death) Agaaziin makame ijollee ficisisaa jira.”

oromo-revolution-in-gincii-oromia-6-january-2017


Rare Prison Photo of Oromo Prisoner of Conscience Bekele Gerba

In a rare undated photo taken from an Ethiopian prison compound, Mr. Bekele Gerba, the Oromo Prisoner of Conscience, is shown in a yellow prison jumpsuit with his characteristic calm yet resolute demeanor. He was arrested by the Ethiopian government nearly a year ago on December 23, 2015. At the time of his arrest, he was the Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), whose prominent top leadership, including its Chairman Dr. Merera Gudina, has been put into prison over the last year and half since the onset of the second waves of the Oromo Protests in November 2015. The OFC leadership has been accused, by the Ethiopian authorities, of igniting and leading the nonviolent Oromo Protests, which the authorities have labelled as “terrorist” actions. With Dr. Merera Gudina and Mr. Bekele Gerba, thousands of Oromo young and old citizens (including recording artists) are imprisoned for participating in and/or sympathizing with the Oromo Protests; several thousand others, including the victims of the Bishoftu Irreecha Massacre of October 2, 2016, have been extrajudicially murdered by the government. These abuses of the human rights and the human dignity of the Oromo person continue unabated inside and outside the prison camps in Oromia and Ethiopia. -Source: Amajjii/January 5, 2017 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com |

 


Mootummaan Itiyoophiyaa, torban lama dura, jechuun gaafa Mudde digdamii-tokkoo, kanneen hiriira mormii naannoolee Oromiyaa fi Amaaraa keessatti geggessametti hirmaatan – jechuun qabee, mooraalee Xollaayii fi Birri Shalaqoo keessatti hidhee ture kuma shanii gad-lakkisuu beeksisee ture. “Namoonni kun, leenjii haaromsaa fudhatanii gad-lakkisaman” jedha – mootummaan. Jarreen gad-lakkisaman keessaa, kanneen mooraa Xollaay keessaa, haala itti qabamanii fi haala mooraa sana keessaa akkamitti ibsan? Namoon kanneen mooraa Xollaay keessaa deebi’an keessaa haga tokko dubbisee jira. Kutaa duraa dhiheessina.

Kanneen godinaalee Oromiyaa adda addaa keessaa qabamanii, mooraa Xollaay keessatti leenjii fudhatan – namoonni kuma afur ennaa gad-lakkisamanitti, ka bakka sanatti argamanii haasawa godhanii turan, muummichi-ministaraa Itiyoophiyaa – Obbo Hayile-maariyaam Dessaalenyi, “lammata itti hin deebinu” jechuun akka qalbii jijjiirratanii fi dogooggira irraa deebi’uuf waadaa seenan eeranii, mootummaanis gama isaaniitiin dogoggora isaa sirriiffachuun akka keessa isaa tii of haaromsu hubachiisanii turan.

Kanumaa, namoonni mooraa Xollaay keessatti leenjisaman haala akkamiitti qabamanii mooraa Xollaayitti geessaman. Haala mooraa sana keessaa fi waa’ee leenjii isaanii maal jedhu? Namoota gad-lakkisaman haga tokko telefoonaan dubbisnee jirra.

Kana cuqaasuun dhaggeeffadhaa


ከ70,000 በላይ ሰዎች በኦሮሚያ ክልል ብቻ በእስር ቤት ውስጥ እንደሆኑ ተገለጸ


ሰበር መረጃ . . . የህወሃት ሶሻል ሚዲያ ሰራዊት የጥቃት ስልት ይፋ ሆነ

በመሃበራዊ ግንኙነት ዙሪያ ላይ መበለጣችን ለህዝባዊ አመጽና ለስልጣን መፈረካከስ አድርሶናል በማለት በአዲስ እራይ ልሳኑ በይፋ ያወጀዉ ወያኔ ሀርነት ትግራይ የተቃዉሞ ምንጭ በሚል ድምዳሜ በግንባር ቀደምትነት የፌስ ቡክ ሚዲያ ዘርፍን ለማጥቃት ዘመቻ መዉጣቱን ተንተርሶ ለቅጥረኞች የሶሻል ሚዲያ አጥቂ ሰራዊቱ የተሰጣቸዉን ግዳጅ በጥንቃቄ እንመለከተዉ ዘንድ በዘርፉ ከተሰማሩ ምንጮቻችን መረጃ ደርሶናል።
• የሰራዊቱ ዋነኝ አላማ……………….
_በተቃዉሞ ዘርፍ ላይ ተሰማርተው ወያኔን በከፍተኛ ሁኔታ ከሚሞግቱት ጋር ተመሳስሎ የትግላቸዉ አካል በመሆን እና መረጃዎችን በመቀባበል ትግሉን ማጥቃት እና ማኮላሸት ህወሃትን ማዳን ።
_ አላማዉን ለማሳካት እነዚህ የሶሻል ሚዲያ ሰራዊት አባላት በተቃዋሚ ሰራዊቶች ዉስጥ ታማኝነትን በማፍራት እና ሰርገዉ በመግባት በዉስጥ መስመር የማሳመን ስራ መስራት የማህበራዊ ግንኙነት የጥምር ቡድን ስብሰባዎችን መቀላቀል ሐሳቦችን እና ሆን ተብለዉ የተጠኑ መረጃዎችን በማቀበል ሙሉ እምነት እንዲጣልበት አድርጎ ለዘርፍ ሐላፊ የብሄራዊ ደህንነት ተጠሪዎች ማሳወቅ።
_ ይህ ተግባር በተለየ መልኩ ከነጻነት ሐይሎች ጋር ቀጥታ ግንኙነት አላቸዉ የሚባሉ ተጠቃሚዎች ላይ ያነጣጠረ ሲሆን በመካከል በሚፈጠር ጠንካራ ታማኝነት ምክንያት የሚዲያ ሰራዊቱ አባላት እስከ ግንባር ድረስ እንዲዘምቱ እና የማፍረስ ስራ እንዲያከናዉኑ ይታገዛሉ።
_ አብዛኛዎቹ የህወሃት የሶሻል ሚዲያ አባላት አዲስ አካውንት ከመክፈት ይልቅ ነባር አካዉንታቸዉን ስም በመቀየር እንዲገለገሉበት ተደርገዋል።
_ የሶሻል ሚዲያ ሰራዊቱ ሆን ተብለዉ በፖለቲካ ምክንያት ከሐገር እንዲሰደዱ በማድረግ በተልይ የኮማንድ ፖስቱ ባለ ቀይ መስመር ሐገሮች ላይ እነርሱም አሜሪካ ፣ ኖርዌይ ፣ ሲዉዲን ፣ እንሊዝ ፣ ኒዘርላንድ ፣ ካናዳ ፣እንዲሁም ደቡብ አፍሪካ ፣ ኬንያና ፣ ዩጋንዳ ላይ ልዩ የጥቃት ስልት ተንድፎ ይቀርብላቸዋል።
_ የህወሃት ሰራዊት የተሳሳቱ መረጃዎችን በመስጥት ታማኝነት እንዲጠፋ መተማመን እንዳይኖር በብርቱ ይተጋሉ
• አፈጻጸም…………………
_ ጥቂትና እዉነተኛ መረጃዎን ከሁሉም ቀድሞ በማሰራጨት ታማኝነን ማዳበር
_ የተቃዋሚ ክፍል አደገኛ ተግባራቱን ማጥናትና ማቅረብ በግል ደረጃ እነማን እንደሆኑም በጾታዊ ወይም በመመሳሰል የትግል ስልት በማሳመን እና በማግባባት ማወቅ የት እና ከየትኛዉ ማህበረሰብ ከምን አይነት ቤተሰብ የወጡ ናቸዉ ? እስከሚባሉት ድረስ መሄድ..
_ ለታዋቂ የፌስ ቡክ ገጾች የተጠኑ መረጃዎችን ማቀበል ለተለያዩ ድህረ ገጾች በተለይም ዘ_ሐበሻና ኤካዴፍ ለመሳሰሉት መረጃ መስጠtና በሌሎች ዉስጥ ቦታ መያዝ።
• የምርመራና ከሳሽ ዘርፍ……
_ይህ ዘርፍ በቀጥታ ከህወሃት የደህንነት ሰራተኞች ጋር በቅንጅት የሚሰራ ሲሆን ዋነኛ አላማዉ አዝማች የተቃዋሚ አጥቂ ግለሰቦችን በህግ ሽፋን ክስ ለመመስረት በሚያስችል መልኩ አሳልፎ ለመስጠት መረጃ መሰብሰብ ዋና ስራዉ ነዉ::
_ በዚህ ክፍል ዉስጥ የተሰማሩ ቅጥረኞች የተቃዋሚ ክንፍ ባለ አካዉንቶችን በዉስጥ መስመር በመልእክት ወይም በድምጽ እንዲሁም በጽሁፍ መስቀለኛ ጥያቄ መጠየቅ ሲሆን
ጥያቄዎቹ . . . መዝመት እፈልጋለዉ? በየት በኩል ልጓዝ ? ከእነማን ጋር ልገናኝ ?. . . እነ እገሌን ታዉቃቸዋለህ? እነማን ሲባል _ የሚጠየቁት ግለሰቦች በሽብር የተከሰሱ ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ ) እና የመሳሰሉት………..።
• ህወሃት ያሰማራቸዉን የሶሻል ሚዲያ ሰራዊት አባላት ከተቃዋሚ ሰራዊቶች ጋር ተመሳሳይነት ያላቸዉን ስሞች በመቅረጽ የማደናገር ተግባር መፈጸም
• በተቃዋሚ የመረጃ ዘርፍ ዉስጥ በዘላቂነት ከርሞ አቋምን በመቀየር የማደናገር ተግባር መፈጸም።
• የልማትና የስራ ዘርፍ…….
_ ከተራ አካዉንት እስከ ኢቢሲና የተለያዩ የህወሃት ልሳኖችን በመጠቀም ልማታዊ ክንዉኖች ቦታ እንዲይዙ የሚጥር የሚዲያ ክንፍ

ዉድና የተከበራችሁ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ይህ አንባገነኑን ህወሃት በዚህ ዘርፍ ላይ በብርቱ እያማከረች የምትገኘዉ ቻይና ስትሆን ለዚህ የሚዲያ ዘርፍ የሚዉል የግፍ ገንዘብ 1 ቢልዮን የአሜሪካ ዶላር ተመድቦለት ወደ ተግባር ተገብቷል፡
ድል ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ !
( ጉድሽ ወያኔ )


 


 

OMN: Oduu Ama 3, 2016

 

 

 

OMN: Mata Duree Oduu Ama 2. 2017
Bulchiinsi Magaalaa Burraayyuu rakkoo hojii dhabdummaa magaalitti keessa jiru fura jechudhaan namoota kumatamatti laka’aman galmeessuudhaan kanneen keessaa goxii tokkorra nama sadii qofaaf carraa kennudhaan hojjechattii jiraachuun gowwomsaadha malee rakkoo kaa furu miti jechuun Jiraattonni komatan.
Kara biraatiin ammoo Magaalaa Burrayyuu keessaa rakkoon qulqullina sirnaan eeggamaatti kan hin jire tahu illee jiraatonni dubbatan.



Godina Walloo, aanaa Harxummaa Fursee – Keessatti jiraattota naannoo fi Hidhattoota Mootummaa gidduutti walitti bu’insi uumamuun himame.

Jiraatonni akka jedhanitti – Gama hidhattoota Mootummaa irraas ta’e gama uummataa irraa namni lubbuun darbe jiraachuus dubbatu. Uummanni sodaa irra kan ka’e mana osoo gadi hin ba’aanii cufan tahuuf dirqaama isaan illee jiraatonni kunneen himaniru.


Godina haraghee lixaa Magaalaa Hirnaa irraa namoonni 52 guyyaa har’aa gara mana hidhaa cirootti dabarfamu isaanii jiraataan magaalaa kana OMNtti himan.
Akka namni kun jedhanitti, magaalaa kana keessaas tahe, naannoosheetti dhiibbaan mootummaan wayyaaneen lammiilee nagaarratti raawwatamatti jiru daraan hammate akka jiruus dubbataniru.


Labsiin yeroo muddamaa hatattamaatti haqamuu dhabnaan rakkoolee dhalatan kamiifuu kan itti gaafatamu sirna mootummaa Wayyaaneeti jechuun godina addaa Oromiyaa naannawa Finfinnee kutaa bulchiinsa magaalaawwan Sandaafaa, Laga-Xaafoo-Laga Daadhii fi, bakka adda addaatti waraqaan bittinfamuun himame. Kana sababeeffachuun gareen komaandipoositi jiraattota goolaa akka jiran ibsameera.


Dargaggoota keessan dhiheessaa jechuun magaalaa Dirre Dhawaa keessatti maatiin hedduun hiraarfamaa jiraachuun himame. Dargaggoonni baayyeen magaalittii keessaatti hidhaa jala baqachuuf jecha jireenyaa baqaaf saxailamuu isaaniis jiraattooni OMN tti himan.


Mootummaan wayyaanee baajataa barsiisotaaf ramadamee humnoota waraanaaf qoode waan xumureef, barsiisotaaf mindaan kaffalamuu dhabamuu barsiisonni aanaa Sulutaa magaalaa Caancoo dubbatan.
Rakkoon baajataa kun, bulchiinsaa magaalaa sulutaa irra kan hafe magaaloota godina addaa Oromiyaa hedduu keessaatti mudaacha kan jiru tahus maddeen odeeffannoo keenya himan jiru.


Amajjii 2 Bara 2017: Odeeffannoo Walloo kan dabalataa
“kan du.e ergamaa Woyyane Mahammad Alii jedhama kan madaa’e Hasan Boru jedhama anaa harxummaa fursee bulshaa ganda raasati. Kan qeerroo keesa madaa’e shafii yasin jedhama.”


Amajjii 1 Bara 2017: Dhaamsa Gindabarat, laga Mogor irraa dhufe:

“Lola Kaleessaafi har’a Godina Shawaa Lixaa Aanaa Gindabar naannoo laga Mogor keessatti godhameen gara keenyaan Qeerroon lama yoo wareegaman gara Agaazii reeffa 6 agarree jira. Qabsoon hamma bilisummaatti itti fufa. Waan dandeessaniin nu bira dhaabbadhaa!!”

 

 

OMN: Arabic News/أخبار (Jan 1, 2017)

 

OMN: Oduu Amajjii 1, 2017

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Ethiopia in Crisis: What is going on now in Oromia is a massacre in the name of emergency, terrorising civilian populations January 31, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistun-copyNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

 

Ethiopia in crisis, closes down news

By Ismail Einashe, sage Journals


oromo-people


ETHIOPIA HAS BEEN in lockdown for months. There has been a state of emergency declared and there is little news coming in and out of the country.  Social media and the internet have been outlawed, religious and cultural events banned, curfews imposed. Thousands of soldiers are roaming the streets.

It escalated after security services started killing people at the annual Irreechaa festival for the Oromos in Bishoftu in October 2016 This thanksgiving celebration of the Oromos is attended by millions from across Ethiopia and the diaspora. They wear traditional clothes and sing songs of resistance. As Ethiopia declares a state of emergency, Ismail Einashe explains some of the history to the current situation

For Oromos, Irreechaa is their most significant cultural event, and even though they are evenly split between Christians and Muslims, they all share ties to the original Oromo faith, Waaqefanna.

But at this year’s festival there was a stampede and attack by the Ethiopian police. The numbers killed are disputed – the government said 52 were killed, but activists from the Oromo Federalist Congress claim 678 people died.

And since pictures of the festival goers who were killed were published internationally, the state has shut down all access to the outside world. Behind the tragedy at Irreechaa is a long history of the Ethiopian state repressing Oromos, said Dr Awol Kassim Allo, an Ethiopian lecturer at the UK’s Keele University. “What is going on now in Oromia is a massacre in the name of emergency, terrorising civilian populations to force them into capitulation,” he said.

What is going on now in Oromia is a massacre in the name of emergency, terrorising civilian populations

He added: “The massacre at Irreechaa occurred before the state of emergency, although Ethiopia has always been under a state of emergency, the official declaration of emergency was a conclusive evidence that the state was losing control and that a large segment of the society has rejected the government’s authority to govern”.

Celebrating their traditions and wearing traditional dress, as the Oromos were doing at Irreechaa, has historically been part of the resistance to the government in Ethiopia, according to Mohammed Ademo, founder and editor of OPride.com, a multimedia news site focused on Ethiopia’s Oromo community, and now based in the USA.

Recently, many Oromos have begun to eschew Western attire completely and wear Oromo clothes. Oromo clothing has been more visible on the streets. This way of dressing is becoming a cornerstone of their identity and self- expression.

Traditional Oromo clothes consist of woya for men, which are toga-like robes, usually white, and a skirt called a wandabo for women. Oromo women also wear qollo and sadetta, cotton cloths traditionally hand-spun and hand-woven, and sometimes other garments are worn such as leather or animal skin robes.

On Facebook there are numerous groups now dedicated to dissecting the latest fashion styles of Oromo dress and there are popular style blogs that enjoy a huge following. Latest pop hits by Oromo artists heavily feature Oromo clothes – along with dances.

 

Peri Klemm, a professor in African history of art at the University of California at San Diego and expert on Oromo dress, said: “At times when identity is threatened, dress, particularly that of Oromo women who have always been the carriers of culture, becomes a way in which the Oromo maintain a sense of who they are.”


click-here-to-read-in-pdf-sage-journals-ethiopia-in-crisis

 

Tyranny, Debt & Underdevelopment: Ethiopian Rail Corporation’s Debt: How Big Is It? January 31, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia.
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The Ethiopian Reporter (ER) newspaper has been presenting shocking facts about extents of corporate bankruptcies. These have escalated particularly since #OromoProtests started in November 2015. Such reports are becoming commonplace so much that we do not even pay much attention to them. We have been reading about a series of scandals related to Sugar Corporation, METC (the Military Engineering Complex), and lately that of the Ethiopian Railway Transport Corporation (ERC).
In this piece, I will briefly comment on the latest scandal, related to ERC’s murky finance. The ER stated quoted ERC management report and presented troubling accounts of the corporation’s escalating debt, currently standing at birr 102.5 billion or USD 4.6 billion. Let’s put this figure in a context – how big is it relative to the size of the Ethiopian economy?
  • Birr 1,031 or USD 46, if expressed as debt per person (dividing the figure by population of Ethiopia)
  • 7.4% of GDP (expressing it as a ratio to Ethiopia’s national income)
  • About 50% of the income generated in the whole of Ethiopia’s industrial sector
  • 180% of the whole of Ethiopia’s manufacturing sector (nearly twice the size of total income generated in the manufacturing sector, including small scale handcrafts)
By any stretch of imagination, ERC’s debt is a colossal figure. It is not something that Ethiopians would take as yet another financial scandal regading some corporate entity. At the end of the day, it is Ethiopians who would foot this bill. After all the money does not simply melt away, it must have been pocketed by some group who have been busy siphoning off public money. It is not without reason that the authorities have been so much addicted to mega projects. Such big projects have been convenient mechanisms for embezzlement.
We all recall circumstances through which the Addis Rail was started. A very large construction project was completed, completely revamping the Addis Road Networks. Though expensive, this was necessary. The ring road and the rest were completed. However, Addis residents barely started driving on the new and fresh looking roads when the government came up with some crazy idea – yet another mega project, a gigantic city rail network!
Ironically the rail infrastructure was put in place by digging up the newly build asphalt roads. It was madness. A logical next step would have been a tram rail system, which requires only a minor modification – burying the rails in the asphalt road so that the roads would be shared by trams and other vehicles. That option was not acceptable to the authorities because it was not big enough to generate perpetual business opportunities for their cronies.
Now we witness a rather ridiculous situation. By coincidence, the day the Addis Rail started operating, I was back home. The next day, as I was driving in Addis, I witnessed something sounding a comedy show – only one coach rail was moving up on that ugly structure. Well, in that case, if it is only a single coach that moves on it, then what is the point putting up that amorphous structure? I hear the number of coaches moving on those rail networks has been two, three, or four at most.
The bottom line is this. That kind of system can be supported only by a vibrant economy – a healthy economy that generates decent income for citizens! In a normally functioning and genuinely rapidly growing economy, business opportunities expand in all corners of a large city like Addis Ababa. This induces movements of people, commuting between their places of work and residences as well as between premises to do business. In the process income is generated and their capacity to pay for fares get enhanced. If all these things are in place, the public transport sector such as the ERC can balance its books, including meeting its domestic as well as foreign debt obligations.
The situation in Ethiopia is quite different, in fact rather perverse. To begin with, the Ethiopian Economy is growing rapidly only on paper and in official government statistics. The fact on the ground tells the exact opposite. There isn’t much vibrant business opportunity. People wish to travel but that wish remains only a desire – government policy has curtailed their capacity to pay fares at a rate that would make ERC profitable. So, ERC operates at much smaller rate than its full capacity, perhaps 10% to 20%. If circumstances would not change, ERC will never ever able to pay its debt. The principal and interest will accumulate and debt would escalate, as it already has, leaving behind a level of debt whose size will become larger and larger over the years as a share of GDP, industry and manufacturing. The debt per citizen will most certainly become even larger.
It should be noted here I confined my analysis only to the case of ERC. If I closely examine the implications of other financial scandals, it is possible to reveal how alarming each case is. In a nutshell the whole of the Ethiopian economy is in a dire state, whose severity is much more grave than most Ethiopians and the donor community may realize. The sooner the on-going madness is put to stop the better.

Western Sahara welcomes Morocco’s African Union membership January 31, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Western Sahara.
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Western Sahara looks forward to independence talks with Morocco.

 

Western Sahara welcomes Morocco’s African Union membership

BBC Africa, 31 January 2017


Western Sahara refugees (file photo)
Image copyrightAFP


Western Sahara has welcomed Morocco’s readmission to the African Union, 32 years after members refused to withdraw support for the territory’s independence.

It was a “good opportunity” and “a chance to work together,” a top Western Sahara official told the BBC.

Morocco controls two-thirds of Western Sahara and sees it as part of its historic territory.

However some, including the UN, see Western Sahara as Africa’s last colony.

Africa Live: More on this and other stories

Find out more about Western Sahara

A referendum was promised in 1991 but never carried out due to wrangling over who was eligible to vote.

Thousands of Sahrawi refugees still live in refugee camps in Algeria – some have been there for 40 years.

What difference will this make to Western Sahara?

It is not clear what happens next but Western Sahara is hopeful that a committee set up by the AU will address the issues that both sides have raised.

Some AU delegates said that it would be easier to resolve the issue with Morocco inside the AU.

Sidi Mohammed, a Western Sahara official, told the BBC that Morocco’s return to the AU means that it would now be expected to put “in practice decisions taken by the AU with regard to a referendum in Western Sahara”.

Mr Mohammed dismissed the suggestion that Morocco would now seek to get the AU to change its position, saying that the no country could unilaterally change the AU fundamental agreement, saying it opposed colonisation.

In his speech at the AU summit, King Mohammed VI of Morocco said the readmission was not meant to divide the continental body.

Algeria fell out with Morocco over Western Sahara – has that changed?

No. Algeria has always been a big supporter of Western Sahara’s Polisario Front and it had wanted Morocco to accept independence of the territory as a condition for readmission.

Zimbabwe and South Africa were also supportive of this stance but they were outnumbered by those who wanted Morocco back in the fold.

Why did the AU not insist on Morocco recognising Western Sahara?

There is no specific provision in the AU charter that bars any country from joining it.

Map of Morocco and Western Sahara

Morocco simply applied and the request was accepted by more than two-thirds of the 53 members.

Morocco has been involved in intense lobbying and applied in July last year to rejoin the continental body.

King Mohammed toured various African countries seeking support for the bid.

Why did Morocco want to rejoin – is it a shift from being Arab-focused to looking towards Africa?

No. While culturally the country’s identity aligns with Arab states, its economic interests increasingly lie in Africa.

This is a strategic move to continue exploring its interests in mining, construction, medical, insurance and banking sectors on the continent.

Moroccan troops went into Western Sahara after Spain withdrew in 1975.

How did we get here?

  • 1975-76: Morocco seizes two-thirds of Western Sahara after colonial power Spain withdraws.
  • 1975-76: Polisario Front declares the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), with a government-in-exile in Algeria. Thousands of Sahrawi refugees flee to western Algeria to set up camps.
  • 1984: Morocco leaves the Organisation of African Unity (which later became the African Union) in protest at the SADR’s admission to the body.
  • 1991: UN-monitored ceasefire begins in Western Sahara, but the territory’s status remains undecided and ceasefire violations are reported. The following decade sees much wrangling over a proposed referendum on the future of the territory but the deadlock is not broken.
  • March 2016: Morocco threatens to pull its soldiers out of UN global peacekeeping missions in Western Sahara, after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon uses the term “occupation” when referring to the territory.
  • May 2016: Long-time Polisario Front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz dies aged 68

Stop Genocide Against the Oromo People: The Whole of Oromia Must Act to Stop the Agazi and Liyu Police Terror in Hararge, Bale, Borana and Gujii January 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

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The Whole of Oromia Must Act to Stop the Agazi and Liyu Police Terror in Hararge, Bale, Borana and Gujii

 

It is well known that areas in eastern and southern Oromia are already hit by drought and weakened. The people are deprived of water and food by the government and there is no adequate humanitarian assistance in the region. Using this opportunity, the paramilitary forces of the fascist Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) regime, Agazi and Liyu Police, are deployed alongside the border of Oromia and Ogaden region committing massacres. In the past four weeks alone, the Liyu Police slaughtered more than 200 innocent Oromo people. These paramilitary forces are engaged in ethnic cleansing through armed attacks against unarmed Oromo civilians, women and children. The barbaric Agazi and Liyu Police are burning down villages, displacing thousands of people from their ancestral land, and carry out pillage in several districts of Oromia, for instance Qumbii, Cinaaksan, Gursum, Mayyuu Mulluqqee, Miidhagaa Lolaa, Odaa Diimaa, and Hara Funaanni. It is to be remembered that, since 2008, the Liyu Police have committed similar massacres in villages in Hararge province of eastern Oromia repeatedly. These are undertaken by the Somali regional state Liyu Police under the Tigrayan fascist regime’s direction and instruction. The Liyu Police has been committing attacks on civilians in several villages in Ogaden region itself. The TPLF, spearheaded by the Liyu Police, had already committed genocide in Ogaden region, which is well documented by international human rights groups, including Genocide Watch. Now, the TPLF has unleashed the abusive force on Oromia with the pretext of the state of emergency it declared to crash a peaceful protest.

Real Media Press: WHY IS ETHIOPIA’S SITUATION THE MOST UNDER-REPORTED CONFLICT IN THE WORLD? January 24, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistun-copymass-arrest-of-students-underway-in-najo-west-wallaggaa-oromia-23rd-november-2016-oromoprotests-oromorevolution

WHY IS ETHIOPIA’S SITUATION THE MOST UNDER-REPORTED CONFLICT IN THE WORLD?


The situation in Ethiopia has been declared by some bloggers (see for instance Prof Chris Blattman) as the most under-reported conflict in the world right now. This is rather true. Though some media outlets reported on the recent political turmoil in Ethiopia, such as some German press in the context of the recent visit of Chancellor Merkel to Addis Ababa, generally very little has been reported on the unrest.

Already in November 2015, the first protests against the Ethiopian Government unfolded in the Oromia region when the government wanted to expand the margins of the city of Addis. As this implied the resettlement of the local Oromo population -the largest ethnic group in the country- this was seen as a further expression of political and economic marginalisation.

The situation calmed down a little over spring 2016 and erupted again in the summer when the Amhara people in the North started anti-government protests. The military was deployed and further unrest unfolded again in the Oromia region – and for the first time an alliance between the Oromo and the Amhara was built. Since November 2015, at least 500 people have been killed by security forces and tens of thousands have been arrested, according to Human Rights Watch. What started as a protest against the expansion of Addis turned into an expression of general dissatisfaction with the government’s authoritarianism and lack of political and economic participation for more than two and a half decades.

On 9th October, the Ethiopian Government declared the state of emergency for the first time in 25 years. This was after more than fifty people died at a religious festival of the Oromo people close to Addis. A week after, further details on the state of emergency were made public. Now, the government can arrest and detain for six months (the duration of the emergency state) any person breaching emergency laws and conduct searches without a court warrant. There are now severe restrictions to the freedom of assembly and protest, and any communication with foreign governments or foreign NGOs “that is likely to harm sovereignty, security, and constitutional order” (translation provided by Horn Affairs) as well as any communication with “anti-peace groups” is prohibited. Moreover, the Government can monitor and restrict “messages transmitted” through different sorts of media outlets. This is reflected in cutting off the internet via the mobile network for two months – a major internet access route in Ethiopia – as well as the similar disconnections for social media.

Shortly after declaring the state of emergency (on 15th October), the Ethiopian Government also announced reforms, including changes to the electoral system from ‘first past the post’ to a proportional system. A change of cabinet has already taken place and tackling corruption has been declared a priority.

So why are these developments in Ethiopia the most under-reported conflict of the world, to stay with the initial phrase?

To reiterate: Ethiopia is experiencing political unrest over an extended period of time and the state of emergency has been declared for the first time in 25 years. This should be reason enough to report on the situation, but there is more: Ethiopia has the second largest population in Africa with nearly 100million inhabitants, only topped by Nigeria. Secondly, Ethiopia’s GDP grew rapidly over the last few years at a rate of 9.6% in 2015. Thirdly, Ethiopia is considered as a bulwark against Jihadist Islamist movements in the Horn of Africa. Despite recently retreating some forces, Ethiopia has sent it troops to fight al-Shabab – the official al-Qaeda branch in Somalia.

These economic and security features of Ethiopia are at the same time a factor, if not the main reason why the West reports so little on the current political situation. Though the low coverage of Ethiopia is also related to the fact that other issues happen in the world and dominate Western media, the situation in Syria and Trump’s election to name a few. It is likely that Ethiopia’s importance to the West heavily contributed to the lack of coverage. Looking at the ever increasing Official Development Assistance (ODA) levels to Ethiopia by Western states, most notably the US and the UK, it seems as if the West buys into two arguments of the Ethiopian Government: political participation and democratic rights are less important than Ethiopia’s economic development and regional stability in the fight against terrorism. This is also reflected in the US and UK’s national focus on the ‘war on terror’ and their own balancing of national security in relation to human rights. A similar dynamic exists with regard to the World Banks and other donor priorities of poverty reduction over issues of political governance when they decide on Ethiopia’s ODA levels.

Though it has to be mentioned that the US, amongst others, expressed that they were ‘deeply concerned’ over the situation in Ethiopia, actions speak louder than words. It needs to be seen whether or not Western ODA levels continue to grow. And in the same manner, we should report on whether or not the Ethiopian Government will really deliver on its reform promises.

Ethiopia: War Crimes Against the Oromo Nation in Ethiopia January 23, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

 

Ethiopia: War Crimes Against the  Oromo Nation in Ethiopia

HRLHA  Urgent Action  22nd January 2017


The Oromo nation is under severe coordinated internal  and external attacks  by TPLF/EPRDF- sponsored mechanized killing squads. In the past three months, since  the state of emergency was declared on October 8, 2016, the  Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF  government  has  deployed  its killing squad Agazi force all over Oromia  and massacred over 1200 Oromo youths, mothers and fathers  in their homes and in the streets, imprisoned tens of thousands, committed rape, and disappeared other  thousands .  Over seventy thousand Oromos  from all walks of life have been arbitrarily detained- under the pre-text of rehabilitation (Tehadiso)- picked up from their homes, workplaces, streets and taken to concentration Camps of  Xolya, Huriso, Diddessa  and also to  unidentified concentration camps.  In these concentration camps, tens of thousands Oromos have suffered and died  from torture, communicable diseases, and malnutrition without receiving medical treatment.

The external attacks have been perpetuated against Oromos by TPLF/EPRDF trained special force (Liyu Police) from the Somali regional state in  the eastern  boundary. The Liyu Police is a special killing squad of the TPLF/EPRDF government in the Ogaden Region, a group  established in 2008 under the pretext of  protecting the people of the region  from the opposition political organization, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) fighting for the self determination of Somali people in Ethiopia.

The Liyu police has routinely conducted heinous massacres in Ogaden villages ever since its formation and committed genocide against its own family members in the past eight years.

According to The Guardian, published  Thursday, 10 January 2013  , millions of pounds of Britain’s foreign aid budget were spent on training an Ethiopian paramilitary security force that stands accused of numerous human rights abuses and summary executions. The Guardian has  also mentioned in its news that  an internal Department for International Development document formed part of a tender to train security forces in the Somali region of Ogaden, as part of a five-year £13m–15m “peace-building” program has recently been discovered.

In its Urgent Action on May 2013 HRLHA reported that the Liyu Police had illegally  crossed into  Oromia in 2013 and attacked  the defenceless people; 700 different types of cattle and other valuable possessions were  reported to have been looted  and over 20,000  Oromos from Rasa Harre, Marfata, Qillee, Mulqee, Dirraa, Waldayyaa, Biqqoo and Libee community fled to the highland areas in Eastern Hararge Zone.

Since then, the TPLF/EPRDF- sponsored Liyu Police periodically has repeatedly attacked the neighboring Oromia districts in Bale, in Eastern Harge zones. The attack of the Liyu police  has escalated into invasions all over Oromia’s neighboring districts multiple times in the past one and half months.

According to the HRLHA informants,  this is the part of  internal and external  coordinated plan of TPLF /EPRDF government to  totally eliminate the Oromo nation  by using paramilitary Liyu Police. (synonym for Janjaweed militia which loosely translates to ‘devils on horseback’) . Janjaweed militia were group  of  killers deployed by Sudan government against the Darfur people in 2003 in which over 480,000 people were massacared and over 2.8 million have been displace)

Acording to the report we received  from our informants, overr 150  Oromos have been killed and many wounded during the war between  Liyu Police and the Oromo civilian in  Gursum, Qunbi, Babile, Chiksan, Gursum, and Jarso (Eastern Hararge),  Seweyena, Meda Welabu, Dawe Sarariti and Raytu (Bale Zone),  Liban and Laga Dawa (Guji Zone), Funanagrsu and Elele (Borana Zone) of Oromia.

The TPLF/EPRDF is committing war crimes against the Oromo nation  by deploying its highly trained killing squads from the internal Agazi Force  and by the external Liyu Police funded by foreign governments. The World Community should not remain silent and witness when such systematic war crimes are  taking place  against the Oromo Nation in Ethiopia, crimes that are similar to those committed in Rwanda and Darfur.

The TPLF government and the TPLF surrogate and the so- called Oromo  People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) must be held accountable by the world community for their systematic war crimes against  the Oromos.

The 2003/2004 Genocide against Darfur in Sudan is a striking lesson; the people there were killed indiscriminately and, more sadly, the perpetrators would go unpunished until it culminated in a full genocide. What is happening in Oromia regional state today resembles more or less what happened at the embryonic stage of the Darfur genocide in Sudan.

Even the AU, whose headquarters is in the center of Oromia/Addis Ababa, remain actionless after thousands of Oromo children, seniors, men and women have been massacred by the TPLF/EPRDF killing squads in the past year. The donor governments such as the USA, the UK, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia  and government agencies (African Commission  on Human and Peoples’ Rights, EU Human Rights Commission and  UN Human Rights Council) have not found the courage to take concrete action, other than expressing  their concerns.  Such inaction doesn’t reflect the AU’s  and the UN’s obligation under their own Constitutive Act, which provides for intervention inside a member state against genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

This is a cosmopolitan ideal of protecting people inside states against mass atrocities as a matter of common obligation. The Responsibility to Protect (R2P), coined in 2001 under the leadership of the Canadian government and adopted by 150 heads of states and governments in 2005, obliges the international community to intervene to stop atrocities.

As a matter of principle, a state shoulders the primary responsibility to prevent and protect its own citizens against horrific acts, but if it is unable or unwilling to prevent and protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, the responsibility is thus shifted to the international community. The R2P states, “ when a state is unable or unwilling to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, the international community has the responsibility to intervene”.

The UN Charter’s first and most essential aim is to “maintain international peace and security”. However, when the UN was first created, it was an enormous undertaking based on hope.

Today, one critical question on everyone’s lips is whether the United Nations is living up to its mandate, more particularly, of maintaining international peace and security. Amid ongoing human rights crises in Ethiopia it is hard to figure out what exactly the UN & AU have done to uphold their responsibilities. Nevertheless, it is not too late to act today.  

Recommendation:

For the Ethiopian human rights crisis, two ways can be helpful in restoring peace and stability. In this, the international communities and agencies (AU, EU & UN) can play a decisive role:

  • Major donor governments, including the USA, the UK & Canada, Sweden, Norway and Australia should stop funding the authoritarian TPLF/EPRDF government
  • Put pressure on the TPLF/EPRDF government to allow neutral investigators to probe into the human rights crisis in the country as the precursor to international community intervention

The HRLHA therefore calls, yet again, upon the international community to act collectively in a timely and decisive manner – through the UN Security Council and in accordance with the UN charter on a case-by – case basis to stop the human tragedy in Oromia.

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Oromia: Athletic Nations Report: Shining victories for Oromo athletes in 2017 Dubai Marathon in both men and women races. January 23, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Athletic nation.
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Tamirat Tola was the only survivor of a grueling early pace tonight in Dubai. Six competitors and two pacemakers went through halfway under 62 minutes, and Tola was the only one to finish under 2:06. He crossed the line in 2:04:10, making him the third fastest Ethiopian ever and the ninth fastest man ever on a record-legal course. (The 2011 Boston Marathon, forever a scourge on the record books, means that Tola is the No. 11 performer ever in all conditions.)Tola’s run also broke the 2:04:23 course record, which was run in 2012 in much more hospitable conditions. It was in the 50s that year; it’s 72 in Dubai right now, at least 20 degrees warmer than ideal.

COMPLETE RESULTS

The weather, pace, and maybe a bizarre injury at the start knocked out Tola’s countryman Kenenisa Bekele just over halfway through the race. After the race, Bekele’s manager Jos Hermens told the broadcast said that Bekele was pushed from behind, fell, and injured his arm and calf right at the start of the race. Hermens said that on the broadcast that the gun went off at the start with no notice, which caused the crash.

But it was a breakout performance for the 25-year-old Tola, if it’s possible to break out after winning an Olympic medal. Tola hadn’t run a marathon since finishing fourth in Dubai in 2:06 in 2014. His focus on the track worked in 2016, as he ran 26:57 at the Prefontaine Classic and finished third in the 10K at the Olympics. His win is worth $200,000, and he missed a $50,000 bonus for breaking 2:04 by just ten seconds. Runner-up Mule Wasihun ran 2:06:46, and no one else broke 2:08.

Tola hung in the lead pack for the first half of the race, and between 25K and 30K, he and the rabbit broke away from the field. Rabbit Amos Kipruto dropped out just after 30K, and Tola was left with a one-minute lead that only grew.

With the hot conditions and hotter early pace, only six men broke 2:10.

In the women’s race, Worknesh Degefa beat pre-race favorite Shure Demise, finishing in 2:22:35. Demise was 22 seconds behind in second place. It was Degefa’s marathon debut. Like Tola, the 26-year-old won $200,000 for her efforts. Degefa’s debut is the eleventh fastest marathon debut ever.


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Learn it right: The Feynman Technique: A formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else January 22, 2017

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

A Nobel prize-winning physicist identified three simple steps to mastering any subject

I wasn’t always a good learner. I thought learning was all about the hours you put in. Then I discovered something that changed my life.

The famous Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between “knowing something” and “knowing the name of something,” and it’s one of the most important reasons for his success.

Feynman stumbled upon a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else.

It’s called the Feynman Technique and it will help you learn anything deeper, and faster. The topic, subject, or concept you want to learn doesn’t matter. Pick anything. The Feynman Technique works for everything. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple to implement.

The catch: It’s ridiculously humbling.

Not only is this a wonderful method of learning, but it’s also a window into a different way of thinking. Let me explain:

There are three steps to the Feynman Technique.

Step 1: Teach it to a child

Take out a blank sheet of paper and write the subject you want to learn at the top. Write out what you know about the subject as if you were teaching it to a child. Not your smart adult friend but rather an eight-year-old who has just enough vocabulary and attention span to understand basic concepts and relationships.

A lot of people tend to use complicated vocabulary and jargon to mask when they don’t understand something. The problem is we only fool ourselves because we don’t know that we don’t understand. In addition, using jargon conceals our misunderstanding from those around us.

When you write out an idea from start to finish in simple language that a child can understand (tip: use only the most common words), you force yourself to understand the concept at a deeper level and simplify relationships and connections between ideas. If you struggle, you have a clear understanding of where you have some gaps. That tension is good—it heralds an opportunity to learn.

Step 2: Review

In step one, you will inevitably encounter gaps in your knowledge where you’re forgetting something important, are not able to explain it, or simply have trouble connecting an important concept.

This is invaluable feedback because you’ve discovered the edge of your knowledge. Competence is knowing the limit of your abilities, and you’ve just identified one!

This is where the learning starts. Now you know where you got stuck, go back to the source material and re-learn it until you can explain it in basic terms.

Identifying the boundaries of your understanding also limits the mistakes you’re liable to make and increases your chance of success when applying knowledge.

Step 3: Organize and simplify

Now you have a set of hand-crafted notes. Review them to make sure you didn’t mistakenly borrow any of the jargon from the source material. Organize them into a simple story that flows.

Read them out loud. If the explanation isn’t simple or sounds confusing that’s a good indication that your understanding in that area still needs some work.

Step 4 (optional): Transmit

If you really want to be sure of your understanding, run it past someone (ideally who knows little of the subject—or find that 8-year-old!). The ultimate test of your knowledge is your capacity to convey it to another.


Feynman’s approach intuitively believes that intelligence is a process of growth, which dovetails nicely with the work of Carol Dweck, who beautifully describes the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.

This post originally appeared on Medium. If you want to work smarter and not harder, I recommend subscribing to The Brain Food Newsletter. You can follow Shane on Twitter and Facebook, and read more of his work at Farnam Street.


Africa: Gambia’s longtime autocratic leader finally leaves the country and go into exile January 22, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh finally left the country on Saturday evening local time after several days of negotiations with West African leaders and Gambia’s incoming government over the terms of his exit from office.

Locals were relieved that his departure managed to take place without a violent resolution as tension had built up while the protracted negotiations carried on. The erratic former leader left from capital city Banjul on a plane headed to Conakry, Guinea, and is expected to leave there to spend his time in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Many Gambians believe that had Jammeh stayed in the country, he would never have actually relinquished power to the incoming government of president Adama Barrow. Jammeh’s departure brought an end to 22 years of eccentric and repressive rule over a small country which has not made much economic progress under his leadership. Instead, a disproportionately high number of young Gambians have left home to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe.

Jammeh, 51, had agreed 24 hours earlier to step down nearly two months after losing a general election to Adama Barrow. Jammeh initially agreed to hand over peacefully soon after the elections only to change his mind. His final agreement to step down and leave the country only came after soldiers from neighbor Senegal crossed the border under the auspices of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS).

The focus for Gambians has now turned to calling Jammeh to account for some of his alleged human rights abuses. A joint declaration issued on Saturday by ECOWAS, the African Union, and the United Nations sparked controversy among Gambians because it seemed to prevent Gambia’s new government leadership from seizing assets and property from Jammeh that he acquired while president, and to allow Jammeh return to the country whenever it suits him:

ECOWAS, the AU and the UN will work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that former President Jammeh is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state.

Though the joint declaration is not likely to be legally binding, responding to it will still be a tough early test for president Barrow, who was sworn in on Jan. 19 at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal, after Jammeh refused to step down.

While many ordinary Gambians welcome the country’s first peaceful transition of power since independence in 1965, they also hope Barrow will investigate some of the claims against Jammeh, particularly human rights abuses. In an interview on Saturday with the BBC, Barrow said he was looking into creating a truth and reconciliation commission similar to one established in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid in 1994.

 

 

Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh finally left the country on Saturday evening local time after several days of negotiations with West African leaders and Gambia’s incoming government over the terms of his exit from office. Locals were relieved that his departure managed to take place without a violent resolution as tension had built up while…

via Gambia’s longtime autocratic leader finally leaves the country and go into exile — Quartz

OLF’s Galasa Dilbo in New Year’s message to Oromo: By working together, we can realize emancipation of Oromia January 22, 2017

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OLF’s Galasa Dilbo in New Year’s message to Oromo: By working together, we can realize emancipation of Oromia from colonial occupation


Posted: Amajjii/January 22, 2017 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com |


The newly re-elected Chairman of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Mr. Galasa Dilbo, addressed the Oromo nation in a statement issued upon the New Year 2017.

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ADDA BILISUMMAA OROMOO
OROMO LIBERATION FRONT

2017 New Year Message from OLF Chairman Galasa Dilbo

Comrades and Compatriots,

Happy new year to you all! I hope you will celebrate the start of 2017 in good spirit with comrades, family and friends. As the new year is approaching, it is good to look ahead and think about what this year may bring us.

But, first a quick look back. 2016 was quite a year for all of us. We have been through many challenges; and the circumstances being most unfavourable for our nation. As the year ushered in, Oromia was in the midst of popular uprising spearheaded by our gallant youth. As the year progressed, our countrymen and women joined the peaceful resistance against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) occupying forces in masses in every part of our country. The response of the TPLF was brutal culminating in the October 2, 2016 massacre at the Irrechaa celebration in Bishoftu.

2017-new-year-message-from-olf-chairman Galasaa Dilboo-click-here-to-read-the-full-text-in-pdf

Read the Full Statement (OromoLiberationFront.net)

Fascism: Genocide: TPLF Ethiopia: Prompting conflict among Neighboring Nations does not rescue the stumbling Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s regime from defeat January 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

OMN: English News ( January 18, 2017)


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Prompting conflict among Neighboring Nations does not rescue the stumbling TPLF regime from defeat (OLF Statement)

Conflict

The Ethiopian empire was founded not based on the will of its nations and nationalities. It was formed by force by elites from the north with help of the European powers. Since its formation, Ethiopia has never respected the interests of other nationalities in the empire. Today, as in the past, the empire is serving only elites from the Tigray, particularly TPLF and members of its pseudo organizations, while majority of ordinary people from other nationalities, particularly the Oromos, are languishing under its tyranny. Subsequently, the economic, socio-cultural and political exploitations have continued unabated. Tired of such tyranny, the Oromo revolutionaries and the youth has stepped up an uprising that has engulfed the entire nation since 2014. Though the responses of the TPLF security forces were brutal, killing hundreds of peaceful protesters and detaining tens of thousands, the protest has continued and even expanded to the Amhara regional state and to the southern Nations and Nationalities regional state.

Desperate to control the people’s uprising, TPLF first declared a command post rule and then a state of emergency. However, neither of the command post nor the state of emergency has stopped the protest as TPLF hopes. Today, there is no political order in the country especially in Oromia and Amhara regional states. Failed to control the situation in the country, TPLF and its pseudo allies used various strategies to silence people’s quest for freedom and democracy. Since clinch on power, TPLF has been instigating a conflict along national and religion lines. Interestingly, after selfinstigating conflict using its undercover security agents, often it presents itself as a mediator while supporting one group with all sorts of logistics up to militarization. Subsequently, TPLF uses this self-instigated conflict as a propaganda on its statecontrol media to tell the people that TPLF is the best, perhaps the only, remedy for the state to continue as a nation. These are among the strategies that this minority group uses to stay on power. Contrary to this fact the TPLF and its dictatorial rule that are destroying the integrity of the country it claims to maintain.

In Oromia, there are countless instances where TPLF intentionally created a conflict between Oromos and other ethnic groups such as Somali. The current “Oromo -Somali conflict” in East and west Hararge, Bale, Borena and Guji zones seem unique in its nature from previous incidents. A well-trained special police forces (aka Liyu police) solely composed of ethnic Somalis are the fore front of the conflict. This conflict, perhaps a war, has been going on for now three weeks and hundreds of innocent Oromo people have been killed by this special police forces.

Although these special forces are composed of carefully selected ethnic Somalis, it is commanded by a TPLF general Abrhaa Qurater and is also enforced by TPLF Agazi Special Force. The Ethiopian government, as usual, is trying to divert this war as if it is just a conflict between Oromo and Somali farmers. Unlike previous conflicts, this is a large-scale war encompassing East and West Hararge, Bale, Borena and Gujii zones. It is also worth noting here that this Somali special forces are trained by Britain for a so called counter insurgency. The UK- and US-governments also finance the training and supported with all the logistics, which are now murdering innocent Oromo farmers in the East, south-east and southern Oromia bordering the Somali regional state. The TPLF government is using this special police forces, trained supposedly for counter insurgency, to raid just unarmed Oromo farmers. It not a simple conflict to ransack cattle and camels, as TPLF tried to present, however, it a war of ethnic cleansing by a well-trained police forces. Not only those directly involved in the war but also those who trained and armed them will be responsible for such atrocity on hundreds of innocent people.

Our people are fighting back with what they have, but one should note that these are a well-trained and armed forces. Thus, they need support from all Oromos in Oromia and across the globe. This is the time that we standup for the right cause, and show our support for those in dire need, putting aside our little differences. Thus, we call upon all Oromo in Oromia and in diaspora to stand with those who are facing the TPLF special forces with bare hand. The only ever lasting solution we have at stake now is to remove TPLF from power for once and for all. This is possible only when we all united and act as one people for one goal, remove TPLF, the killer of our people. We also call upon all Oromos who are currently serving at various posts in police and military camps of the TPLF to turn their weapons against the enemy of your people.

Those who supported the TPLF killing machinery financially as well as in logistics will not escape from accountability. Thus, we call upon the Western governments, specially the government of USA and UK who financially sponsored the training of such killing machinery should immediately withdraw their support and held the TPLF government accountable for all the killings and destruction. Finally, we would like to call upon all people in Ethiopian to stand together to bring an end to the TPLF tyranny.

Victory to the Oromo people!
Oromo Liberation Front
January 21, 2017

Read more in Amharic,  Afaan Oromoo and English


Related videos and articles:-

 

https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=DjFbRM68ml4

 

Gaaddisa RAABAA DOORII (LIVE) Amajjii 17, 2017, Qabxiin Marii: Weerara Liyyuu Poolisii Oromoo Irratti Bane.

OMN: ODUU (Amajjii 18,2017)

OMN: ከቀድሞው የሶማሌ ክልል ፕሬዚዳንት ልዩ አማካሪ ከአቶ አብዱላሂ ሁሴን የተደረገ ቃለመጠይቅ


Abdi Illey’s recent attacks on Oromian territories with TPLF Generals

 

(Ayyaantuu News):There has been frequent, but in fact subsequent, attacks launched by what is called the Liyu Police Force of the Somali Regional State on different districts of Oromia along the South, South east and east particularly along the Hararghe, Bale and Borana lowlands. More than 200 people are estimated to have been killed so far. The Liyu Police, as commanded by the psychopath Abdi Illey did repeatedly commit war crimes and crimes against humanity on civilians in the Ogaden region. Most of the units of the Liyu police are said to have been recruited from Illey’s own clan. After he established the murderous militia group and took the command and control of it, Mr. Illey has literally turned himself into a war lord. He never gives sh* about what the officials at the federal gov’t had to say. It’s even with in the public domain that he spitted on the face of the puppet prime minister HMD in Jigjiga while he was there as a ‘guest of honor’ during the celebration day of what they call “nations and nationalities day” in 2013. While even most of the cabinet ministers of the federal government go on the routine per diem scales on trips to foreign countries, Abdi Illy makes it so differently. The man even contracts and commissions top security guards while reserving hotel rooms in some of the top hotels of the cities he goes for trip to.

2/3: “Liyu police” is an equivalent of the Janjaweed militia in the Sudan (Arabic: جنجويد) but armed by the TPLF to raid districts in Oromia

In this short commentary, I argue that Abdi Illey’s recent attack on the Oromo territories is part of his strategy to “take back” the land he lost during the backdoor deal with the TPLF Generals.
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The land dispute with Afar Regional State
It has been a matter of generic knowledge among the public that the Afar-Issa-Somali conflict over land was the cause for the dismissal for three-fourth of government cabinet members in the Somali regional State a couple of years back. At the heart of the conflict lies, as the Afar diaspora network claims, the Somali-Issa militia forces did expand their control into the heart of the Afar land reaching to the banks of the Awash River and the strategic highway linking Addis Ababa to the port cities of Assab and Djibouti. Apparently, the dispute was halted by TPLF’s interventionist deal that favored the position of the Afar. But insider informants had it that the TPLF-imposed decision to seal the deal favoring the position of the Afar asymmetrically divided the 12-membered cabinet of the Somali Regional State into a fiercely fighting group of 4 to 8 members. Accordingly, 8 of the 12 cabinet members including the then vice-president did reject the decision while 4 of them (including the president Abdi Illey) accepted the TPLF-imposed decision. But the whole saga then went astray so much so that the 8 cabinet members in the Somali Regional State who opposed the move had to be all fired out to implement the land dispute deal proposed by the TPLF, at the end of the day. Abdi Illey’s 4-membered group in the cabinet, a minority by any democratic sense, had to turn victorious by firing all the 8 others (including the vice-president) because Abdi Illey & co had the keen supported from TPLF Generals. What is more??
Why the TPLF wanted to favor the Afar in the tribal land dispute/conflict?
For the TPLF, the Afar region is just part of the greater Tigray it envisions. If article 39 of Ethiopia’s facade federalism is to be first invoked by the TPLF (the maker and its breaker) any time it reads greater risk in the wider Ethiopian politics, Tigreay will secede taking Afar along with it — we all know it and they all know it too. Tigreans have not only political and economic supremacy in the Afar areas but they even dominate the urban culture in there – much like the Amhara do in Oromia due to the lingering legacy of the imperial era and that of the derg. Most businesses in the Afar towns are owned by business men of Tigray origin who are affiliates of the TPLF, more often than not. So, for the TPLF, it’s a natural instinct choice for any land dispute deal between the Afar and the Somali being sealed in favor of the former. But more importantly, the TPLF can make sure that the later won’t lose the land it claimed or at least be compensated for it by what could possibly be paid by a party that had no involvement either in the conflict or in the deal to seal it at the end of the day. Here is where Abdi Illey’s attack on Oromia, as supported by the TPLF Generals comes in. He has already been declared as “the best person of the year” by the TPLF’s mouth piece called “Tigraionline.com”. Sooner or later, we will be told that some remote territories disputed among some tribal pastoralists of the Oromo and Somali have been given to the later. And that seals the backdoor deal between Abdi Illey and the TPLF Generals.

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So what?
It’s conceivable that the OPDO are neither aware of it nor capable of stopping this deal. They are created to contradict the Oromo in the very first place. While the Liyu police not only raids Oromo villages crossing borders but also killing their cadre sitting in office, the OPDO did nothing other than dialing on the old digits of the Arat kilo palace. The response was loud and clear though: ‘the number you calling doesn’t exist’. But they are still calling….so amazing…….
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So, the public should defend itself against these TPLF’s mercenary group called Liyu police by all means possible. We believe semi-organic bodies like the Oromia Police shall stand by the side of the public. We will overcome this dirty war of the TPLF too!
la luta continua vitoria e certa!!!

Fascism: Corruption: TPLF Ethiopia: Inside the Controversial EFFORT January 19, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Corruption, Tyranny.
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6 comments

Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

The TPLF Corruption network


ANALYSIS: INSIDE THE CONTROVERSIAL EFFORT


  

Every authoritarian regime has its own symbol of economic exploitations and monopoly either in an individual face or in an organizational mask.

Ethiopia, despite its success in persuading its western allies that it is combating poverty using its fast economic growth and democratization, remained to be one of the poorest and most closed countries where a group of few individuals control vast economic shares and absolute political power. Unlike many other authoritarian regimes, the most dominant ruling elite group in Ethiopia has a complex behavior in that it claims to represent a minority ethnic group from the northern part of the country, Tigray. In response it has gotten a relatively overwhelming legitimacy among the people of Tigray as compared to other regions; or at least many people, including myself, believe it receives better legitimacy only in that specific region.

Moreover, this elite group has established a chain of several multi-billion dollar worth business firms under a home-grown umbrella called EFFORT, ‘Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray’, which was originally established to serve a harmless looking purpose of  ‘rehabilitating’ Tigray, a war-torn region deprived of a fair chance to prosper during decades of successive regimes. In the past 25 years of TPLF’s dominated political rule in Ethiopia, therefore, EFFORT has emerged as one of the leading economic powerhouses in the name of ‘rehabilitating’ the region.

 What is in the name?

On the surface, EFFORT is an umbrella company for a group of businesses which are involved in major industrial activities in Ethiopia, such as banking and insurance, import and export, media and communication, construction, agribusiness, and mining, among others.

Having started with an initial capital of around US$100 million, EFFORT’s worth has now reached more than a staggering US$3 billion in paid capital, creating more than 47,000 employment opportunities.

EFFORT companies were first registered as private share companies owned by some of the top leaders of TPLF. Later on, however, the companies were re-registered as “endowment” companies whose profits will not be divided to individuals, according to the 1960 Ethiopian civil code. However, top officials of the TPLF, the most powerful member of Ethiopia’s ruling party EPRDF, remained as the CEOs and GMs of these companies; and some of whom reportedly own small shares designed to motivate them in helping EFFORT stay competitive.

‘The original sin’: How did TPLF accumulate its wealth?

 EFFORT’s official profile claims it was established by using seed money from the liquidated amount of capital of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), accumulated during Ethiopia’s 17 years civil war of the militarist Derg regime to establish these companies.

In 2008, Aregawi Berhe, a former veteran of TPLF who later on left the party, did his Ph.D. dissertation on ‘The Political History of TPLF’ for Vrije Universteit in Amsterdam, somehow corroborates the story. In his account of the party’s earliest times, Aregawi wrote about one of the first successful operations that the then guerilla fighters ever had: ‘Axum Operation’. It is a military operation that succeeded in raiding a police garrison and a bank in the historic city of Axum in the north during which the TPLF fighters made away with “substantial amounts of arms and ammunition and 175,000 birr (US$ 84,000)”, according to Aregawi.

Having started by raiding public banks, members of the TPLF continued to accumulate wealth and went on to dominate the contested use of ‘aid money’ for political purposes before the party came to control power in 1991. TPLF had also founded the Relief Society of Tigray (REST), a humanitarian wing, during the civil war. “By June 1985,” wrote Aregawi Berhe, “REST had received more than US$100 million from donors in the name of saving famine victims. [… however] the late Meles [Zenawi’s] proposal for the allocation of the relief aid money was as follows: 50% for MLLT [Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray] consolidation, 45% for TPLF activities and 5% for the famine victims.” Predictably, Aregawi’s claim, especially that of aid money allocations, has been vehemently denied by the current TPLF leaders.

Gebru Asrat, another former TPLF veteran who later on established an opposition political party Arena Tigray, has briefly raised this issue in his book, ‘Lualawinet Ena Democracy beEthiopia’, (Sovereignty and Democracy in Ethiopia), and said that the guerilla fighters used to get a lot of money in foreign aid and; ‘it was up to the TPLF [leadership] to allocate which money goes where.” Gebru neither confirmed nor denied Aregawi’s claim that aid money was used for political purposes. If anything, he is of the view that it is impossible to make such allegations.

However, legally questionable ways of accumulating wealth seemed to have continued within the party even after it took control of state power. Ermias Legesse, a former Communication State Minister, who is now in exile, has recently published his second book, ‘Yemeles Leqaqit’, in which he raised multiple controversial points against the establishment and functions of EFFORT.

In Chapter six of this 565 pages book, Ermias tells several stories on how EFFORT used to get its finances unfairly from the Ethiopian state and how it transferred it to its own account. Ermias went an extra mile to display a letter written in 1994 and was signed by the then Prime Minister, Tamrat Layne, demanding the Addis Abeba Health bureau to refund TPLF’s medical expenses of the civil war time. The money requested amounted to more than four million birr (almost 67% of the city’s annual budget at that time), but the total amount paid by the Ministry of Health was actually 17 million birr. Ermias also wrote that the medicines that TPLF had distributed to  the locals during the civil war, for which it had requested a refund, was actually robbed by the guerilla fighters from public pharmacies. The money that was paid back in such a bizarre demand by the then Prime Minister was put in TPLF’s accounts.

Of continued sins & controversies

Companies that are currently under the umbrella of EFFORT were originally established as PLCs having a few members of TPLF leaders as shareholders. Later on, in August 1995, they were re-registered as ‘endowment’ companies and still remained under the umbrella of EFFORT.

The re-registration of these PLCs as ‘endowment’ companies was done to justify that these companies were established using the money donated by the shareholders of the preceding PLCs, which in itself portrays a picture that EFFORT, as a conglomerate of these companies, did not use public money to be established. According to the Ethiopian civil code, endowment companies are legally prohibited from distributing their profits to individuals. This fact effectively obscures the few individuals controlling these companies behind a party cover.

In 2004, the Amharic version of the ‘Ethiopian Reporter’, a bi-weekly newspaper owned by a former member of the TPLF rebel group, published series of stories concerning EFFORT and its debt in public banks, including the controversial cancellation of the debt. (The copies of these publications are annexed in the latest book of Ermias Legesse, referred above.)

According to this series of publication, EFFORT had borrowed 1.7 billion birr from the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) which later on has risen to 1.8 billion birr debt including the interests. First, CBE officials have denied and said that ‘they did not loan money to EFFORT’. But later on CBE had transferred the debts to yet another state-owned bank, Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), for ‘better management’. Finally, DBE reported that the amount of money loaned to EFFORT was ‘none performing’ loan. Ermias claims that the CBE had loaned EFFORT the money with no collateral in the first place. The following year it was reported that DBE, the bank that took over the loan for “better management” was facing a bankruptcy of some 3.5 billion birr; certainly not exclusively attributable to the loan provided to EFFORT, but due in a significant part to it.

The other controversy surrounding EFFORT lies in the manner in which its businesses affiliates operate. Its leaders claim that their extreme obedience to the rule of law and their refusal to bribe local officials often poses a great challenge to their operations, disadvantaging their businesses. However, EFFORT companies are generally known to enjoy a great deal of support from officials. A good example to prove this is a rare ruling by a federal court on the 19th December 2012. The federal First instance court at Lideta ruled that one of EFFORT’s companies, Mega Entertainment Center, which was led by the widow of the late PM Meles Zenawi, Azeb Mesfin, has been running its business in a fraudulent manner by reporting more expenses than the actual and without paying value-added taxes collected from its customers during the preceding eight years.

But the secrecy of most of these companies is such that details like this come to the public’s knowledge only when there is disagreement between stakeholders; this time, it was between Azeb and another management member of Mega, Eqoubay Berhe.

Still, just what is EFFORT?

According to a letter by former US ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Yamamoto, which was one of the Wikileaks documents, Ex-TPLF veteran Seyee Abraha (who later on fell from favor and was subsequently jailed for corruption) was quoted as saying the objectives of EFFORT during its foundation were “to study, and then establish profitable companies that use locally-available resources and provide employment [opportunities] for Tigray.” In this sense, EFFORT, even though it also gets raw materials from and markets its end products to other regions in Ethiopia, mostly (though not exclusively) hires Tigrians.

In principle, its profit should be used to rehabilitate the region. However, many Tigrians despair the fact that the “Endowment” is merely used by a few corrupt TPLF elites to enrich themselves. Former veteran and ex-president of the Tigray region for a decade, Gebru Asrat, in his book mentioned above admitted that the “endowment” was being exploited by a few TPLF top leaders; he suggested that there must be ways of diverting EFFORT’s profits/wealth to the people of Tigray as the endowment belongs to the Tigrians. His suggestion indicates a return, once again, of the endowment to a share company in which as many individuals could become shareholders. Many Tigrian pro-democracy activists agree with Gebru Asrat’s suggestions.

What do ‘others’ own?

Without a doubt, other regions of Ethiopia have also suffered significant social and economic devastations during the 17 years civil war before it ended in 1991. Military expenditure was Ethiopia’s biggest expense during the entire rule of the militarist Derg regime. Suffice to say, therefore, other regions also needed ‘endowments’ of their own.

It seemed it was in response to this concern that TPLF ‘provided’ seed money for other rehabilitation funds.  In Oromia regional state is Dinsho endowment, which was established in 1992 and was renamed Tumsa Endowment for Development of Oromia in 2001. It is led by top officials of the OPDO, the party representing the region within the EPRDF coalition. In Amhara regional state is ‘TIRET’, first established in 1995 and went on to incorporate several pre-existing companies. TIRET is led by senior officials of ANDM, the party representing the region within the ruling EPRDF. And in Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) is WENDO trading, which was established in 1994 and is led by senior officials of SEPDM, the party representing the region within the ruling EPRDF.

Seyee Abraha has admitted: “TPLF gave a portion of its capital to each of the three parties within the EPRDF to establish their own endowment funds”. However, the combined numbers of companies run by these three ‘endowments’ are less than twenty; whereas at least 24 companies are listed under EFFORT; (some put these numbers as high as 380). The nature of secrecy surrounding this delicate matter means one may never find out the real figures.

Nonetheless, the three “endowments” run by OPDO, ANDM and SEPDM were supposed to create employment opportunities for more than 80% of Ethiopia’s population as compared to EFFORT’s targeting of 6% of Ethiopians in Tigray regional state.

According to a research titled ‘Rethinking Business and Politics in Ethiopia’, published in 2011 by Sarah Vaughan and Mesfin Gebremichael, “[TIRET] companies employ only 2,800 staff, as compared with the more 14,000 permanent employees or 34,000 contract staff of EFFORT and its companies.” And the poorest regional states of Ethiopia, namely, the Somali, Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella regions do not have ‘endowment companies’ of their own to help them rehabilitate their respective regions, although they are politically administered by EPRDF’s sister parties.

What’s not and what’s owned by EFFORT?

There is a big deal of confusion in identifying EFFORT’s business complexities. Selam Bus Share Company is a good example. Established in 1996, 99.6% of this interregional transport service providing company share is held by Tigray Development Association (TDA); the rest is held by individuals. Although Selam Bus board members, as are EFFORT companies’ board members, are members of the TPLF, EFFORT has no registered share in Selam Bus. However, Selam Bus is a company many people name first when asked to list EFFORT’s businesses. This blurry ownership status is perhaps one of the reasons why Selam Buses were targeted by the last year’s widespread public protesters in Oromia and Amhara regions.

Dejennna Endowment is another example. Established to ‘help promote development in Tigray,’ on the surface Dejenna Endowment is a part of the Relief Society of Tigray (REST). There are 11 companies listed under Dejenna Endowment in its website. In 2009, Dejenna has merged with EFFORT following the appointment of Azeb Mesfin, widow of the late Meles Zenawi, as head of the later. Companies under EFFORT usually hold shares in one another’s companies so that one pulls up when another fails. However, until today little is known about the merger of EFFORT and Dejenna. Besides, the information on the official websites of the two endowments mis-inform readers as if the two are independent of one another. But, some of the companies that are known to be under EFFORT are actually listed as the properties of Dejenna endowment.

The Sheger vs Mekelle narrative

By now, keen observers of the relationship between politics and business in Ethiopia can safely assume that business and politics in Ethiopia are radically divided into two major narratives in defining and perceiving the current TPLF dominated regime. I call these narratives ‘the Sheger narrative’ – a political narrative that is mostly advocated from here in the capital Addis Abeba, and ‘the Mekelle narrative’ – usually advocated by the people in Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray regional state, home to the all too powerful members of TPLF.

However, both narratives go beyond these respective centers depending on whose political view is solicited. The two narratives are only thoughts that do have majority acceptance in their respective centers. ‘The Sheger narrative’ (the most popular one) considers the TPLF dominated administration as a total failure that holds power by force; whereas ‘the Mekelle narrative’ generally sympathizes with the regime and considers it as a legitimate administration, albeit admitting some of its fault lines mostly due to the corrupt practices of some of its leaders.

This definition makes it clear how and why Tigrians (in most cases driven by ‘the Mekelle narrative’) and non-Tigrians (driven by ‘the Sheger narrative’) view the relationship between TPLF and EFFORT differently.

Tigrian pro-democracy activists’ criticism of EFFORT can be clearly seen by how they react to the manner in which former leaders of TPLF, who were expelled during the party’s infamous split in 2001, view EFFORT. Former top leaders of TPLF, Seyee Abraha, as we read him on wikileaks documents, and Gebru Asrat, from his book, both criticize EFFORT’s management. Both regret EFFORT’s failure to rehabilitate Tigray as was stipulated in its foundational principles. However, both believe the people of Tigray are the rightful owners of these ‘endowment’ companies under EFFORT.

On the contrary, most non-Tigrian activists and politicians disown EFFORT and also the rest of ‘endowments’ that are being manipulated by EPRDF leaders. Lidetu Ayalew, former leader of the opposition Ethiopian Democratic Party, and Dr. Berhanu Nega, current leader of the outlawed Ginbot 7, both condemned EFFORT as a party business that monopolized the economy, and both concluded the “endowments” should be dissolved or privatized. Similarly, many other activists want to (and sometimes advocate) boycotting EFFORT services and products to stop TPLF’s hegemonic march.

In the same manner, Tigrian activists claim other home grown charity organizations operating in Tigray, namely REST and TDA, are used to create grassroots networks to dictate the people of Tigray become loyalists of the TPLF, whereas non-Tigrian activists, such as Ermias Legesse, disagree and say these organizations are replicas of EFFORT to simply promote disproportionate social development of Tigrians at the cost of others.

This leads us to conclude that ‘the Mekelle narrative’ generally portrays EFFORT as an organization that rightfully belongs to the ‘Tigrian people’ which is unfortunately being exploited by few members of the top management for personal gains. ‘The Sheger narrative’, on the other hand, defines EFFORT as ‘a tool to exploit the wealth of Ethiopian people and create economic monopoly for the benefit of a [small] group’.

 The red line

What is indisputable is speaking truth in a country governed by the TPLF dominated EPRDF is always a dangerous exercise; speaking the truth about EFFORT is even more dangerous. A tax controller from Adama, 100kms south east of Addis Abeba, who is now in Qilinto prison on the southern outskirt of Addis Abeba suspected of ‘corruption’ has recently told me that ‘EFFORT trucks were known to be untouchables on their way to and from Djibouti port’. Similarly, investigating companies under EFFORT is normally a red line no journalist in Ethiopia would like to cross, contributing to the secrecy of the ins and outs of the giant umbrella.

Concealed in this intimidating rubble are crucial facts about EFFORT such as details on tax returns. That is why this article cannot be taken as an exhaustive look into the functions of EFFORT and its affiliates, but just the tip of the iceberg to demonstrate in part some facts about the economic exploitations of the authoritarian regime currently governing Ethiopia.


Graphic design: Addis Standard

COMMENTARY: THE INTEREST THAT IS NOT SO SPECIAL: ADDIS ABEBA, OROMIA, AND ETHIOPIA January 19, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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5 comments

 

 Addis Abeba, Jan. 18/2017 – When Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn indicated last week that a draft law was prepared on the “special interest” of Oromia in Finfinnee (aka Addis Abeba), discussions have resurfaced on the issue of the status of the city and its relations with Oromia. Last week, I had the privilege of discussing the matter in a couple of radio interviews where, inter alia, I was asked what the content of the special interest is, what I anticipate the content of the draft law will be, and whether passing the law would address the concerns raised in the Oromo protests that has rocked the country for over two years now. What follows is a set of reflections on some of these issues.[1]

This announcement about the draft being prepared on the ‘special interest’ comes at a time when the country is under a state of emergency the end of which is indefinite even according to the Prime Minister.[2] The announcement comes at a time when, in the wake of the Oromo protests against the Master Plan, at least over 700 people are killed by the regime and thousands more are injured. In particular, it comes after key Oromo political leaders—such as Bekele Gerba and Dr Merera Gudina–and tens of thousands of protestors have been sent to jail and military detention centers, respectively, for demanding the right to ownership of their Oromo land including Addis Abeba. The announcement comes at a time when the Oromia and Amhara regions are chiefly being administered by the Command Post in charge of implementing the state of emergency law. The Master Plan, which was once said to be repealed, is reportedly being implemented within Addis Abeba. The boundary between the city and its Oromo suburbs that are still within the administrative jurisdiction of Oromia is not delimited. The repression of all forms of dissent continues. This immediate political context is not without a precedent. In fact, one can say that it is only the continuation of a long-drawn historical context.

Before the advent of Art 49(5)…

Historically, it is now a well-known fact that the notion of Oromia’s ‘Special Interest’ entered the Ethiopian legal universe in 1992 through the instrumentality of the Proclamation that established National/Regional Self Governments (Proclamation No. 7/ 1992). This is the proclamation that set the blue-print for what came later to be the constituent units of the Ethiopian Federation. Adopted to give effect to the decentralization that was envisaged in the Transitional Charter – and to valorize the right of ethno-national groups to self-determination – it established 14 self-governing national regions. Accordingly, Oromia became one of the 14 self-governing States. Addis Abeba, like the City of Harar, was also a region in its own right. Oromia’s ‘special interest’ over both cities was first recognized in this piece of legislation (1).In Article 3 (4), it is provided that:

“The special interest and political right of the Oromo over Region Thirteen [Harari] and Region Fourteen [Addis Abeba] are reserved. These Regions shall be accountable to the Central Transitional Government and the relations of these Self-Governments with the Central Transitional Government shall be prescribed in detail by a special law.”

Very much like the provision in Art 49 (5) of the Constitution that came later, it envisaged a ‘special law’ (meant to clarify the relation of accountability to the Central Government), but such a law was never promulgated. It is interesting to observe that, unlike in the constitution, in this transitional period law, the Oromo has not just a “special interest” but also a political right over the two self-government regions. It is also important to observe that there is no attempt to delimit the boundary of the city. As a result, it was not clear as to where exactly the jurisdiction of the government of Addis Abeba ends and that of Oromia commences.

While it looked like a city-state in a federation, Addis Abeba was also seen as a city within a larger state, i.e., Oromia. In other words, administratively, it was an enclave falling outside of Oromia while also housing the Government of Oromia as its capital. In a sense, Addis Abeba is in Oromia, but not of Oromia. Oromia was a State governing from Addis Abeba without, however, governing Addis Abeba itself. While the meaning of ‘special interest’ was understood to mean much more than having a seat for the Oromia government in the city, for the entire period of the transitional times, this remained to be the only ‘interest’ Oromia could obtain.

The concept of Oromia’s special interest was thus injected into the language of public law in the country accompanying the shift away from a formerly unitary state to what was subsequently to become a ‘multinational federation’. Acutely sensitive to the rights of sub-national groups (called ‘Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’) in Ethiopia, this ‘ethno-federalization’ was a reaction, and a push back, to the goings-on in history. We can thus see its immense historical import in its potency to speak both to the past and to the future. The ‘special’ in the ‘special interest’ phrase hails not only from the mere fact of geographic location of Addis Abeba in Oromia but also from the implicit recognition of the essentially Oromo identity of the city. Historians have routinely described the fact that, until it was violently raided and occupied by the forces of the Shoan Kingdom in the 19th century, the city was inhabited by the Oromo.

When it was ‘founded’ as the capital of the modern Ethiopian Empire in 1886, it was set as a launching pad for the campaigns of imperial conquest on the peoples of the Southern, South-Eastern, and South-Western peripheries. With a violent beginning marked by conquest and occupation of the land; raid, massacre, and displacement of the population; and transformation of the cultural and environmental terrain by the soldiers, it started as a garrison town. A cursory glance at writings by William Harris[3], Alexander Bulatovich[4], and even Evelyn Waugh[5], indicates that the State operated in Addis Abeba as an occupying force of settler colonialists bent on pushing out and displacing the indigenous Oromo peoples. Because the settlers generally spoke Amharic and confessed the Ethiopian Orthodox faith and because of the disproportionate concentration of modern urban facilities in Addis Abeba, it became increasingly different culturally from its surroundings.

Consequently, it projected a cultural life that is different from that of the Oromo. The culture, identity, and language of the Oromo became the constitutive outside of the cultural life in the city. In time, the Oromo were effectively marginalized and otherized. For most of the 20th century, the Oromo, although historically the host, was forced to live like the alien and the guest in what was their own homeland. Informed by this memory and propelled by years of national liberation struggles, the politicians that negotiated the Transitional Charter (Proc. 1/1991) and made the law (Proc. 7/1992) sought to emphasize the need to acknowledge the Oromo presence in the city’s affair through the ‘special interest’. The ‘special interest’ package was thus a way of making up for the artificial (created or intentionally produced) absence of the Oromo. In other words, it was a method of presenting the absent, a way of bringing back the Oromo to its own.

What does the Law Say about the Special Interest?: The Legal Context

When the constitution of FDRE was finally adopted in 1995, the ‘special interest’ clause was more or less carried over into art 49(5). To understand the full textual context of the special interest package in art 49 (5), it is important for us to reproduce the entirety of article 49 in full. Accordingly, the provision in art 49 reads as follows:

  • Addis Abeba shall be the capital city of the Federal State.
  • The residents of Addis Abeba shall have a full measure of self-government. Particulars shall be determined by law.
  • The Administration of Addis Abeba shall be responsible for the Federal Government.
  • Residents of Addis Abeba shall in accordance with the provisions of this constitution, be represented in the House of Peoples’ Representative.
  • The special interest of the state of Oromia in Addis Abeba regarding the provision of social services, or the utilization of natural resources and other similar matters, as well as joint administrative matters arising from the location of Addis Abeba within the State of Oromia, shall be respected. Particulars shall be determined by law.  

Owing to the unclarity of the clause in art 49 (5), coupled with the lack, to date, of the law constitutionally envisaged to enunciate the content, it became imperative for people to ask “just what is the ‘special interest’?” And what is so special about it? In this section, we make a close reading of the provision to explore what could be in the package.

Developments: Toward Articulating the Content of the ‘Special Interest’

It is important at the outset to underscore that Addis Abeba is a Federal capital city within a State. In this, it is more like Berne (of Switzerland) or Ottawa (of Canada). It is not a city-state (in the style of Berlin or Brussels). Nor is it a federal capital territory or a federal district (in the style of Abuja, or Canberra, or Washington DC). Once that is recognized, i.e., that Addis Abeba is a city in Oromia, one should have an explicit discussion and mutual understanding about what it means to be a federal capital because that automatically indicates that the Federal Government does not have a ‘natural’ right to be in the city. Unfortunately, that discussion did not happen. That was a historical blunder about a city mired in several historical misdeeds and mistakes.

That it was made accountable solely to the Federal Government was the second big blunder committed at the time of adopting the constitution. Given the fact that the city is Oromia and that it is also a ‘natural’ capital of the government of Oromia, it should have been made accountable to Oromia. Or, at the very least, it should have dual accountability to both the Federal and Oromia Governments. That did not happen. Commanding exclusive say on the administration of the city (in the name of ultimate accountability), the federal government ‘banished’ the Oromia government at will in 2003 and allowed it back into the city in 2005. In this, the federal government expanded and re-enacted the original violence of dispossession and displacement of Oromos from the city thereby perpetrating a new wound before the historical wounds could heal. Had it not been for this contemporary constitutive mistake, this ‘original sin’ of constitutional drafting in 1995, there wouldn’t have been anything special about the special interest of Oromia. If there would be ‘special interest’, it would have been that of the Federal Government or the non-Oromo residents of the city. These twin mistakes of recent history led to events of dire consequence that continue to claim lives and limbs to date.

The Host made a Guest

Having made a guest out of the host through the legal fiction of excision, i.e., by excising the city out of the political and administrative jurisdiction of Oromia, it became necessary for Ethiopia, almost as an afterthought, to ‘concede’ a lame ‘special interest’ to Oromia in Art 49(5). Over the years, the government of Oromia and Oromos in general hung on this provision more as a symbolic rallying point to interrogate Ethiopia for what is actually beyond the specific content of the Oromo interest in the city.

To the Oromo public, the city became the metaphor for what Ethiopia has made of the Oromo in general: an invisible, non-speaking, non-acting other who inhabits the interior of the territory but the exterior of the polity. It became the concentrated expression of the ‘life’ and the agony of the Oromo in the Ethiopian polity: their present-absence and their absent presence at a time.

Today, the Federal State presided over the coalition of four parties that make up the EPRDF became the new empire in a federal form, and the leaders became the new emperors in a democratic-republican garb. This forced the quip from many commentators that in Ethiopia ‘plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’ (‘the more it changes, the more it remains the same’).

Hence, the wide Oromo discontent over the whole arrangement with regard to Addis Abeba. Taking advantage of the historic asymmetry in power, the city administration, mostly prompted by the federal government, has consistently acted in complete neglect or wilful defiance of the interests of Oromia and Oromos.

Legal Silence Exploited

Taking advantage of the undefined territorial boundary of the city, the administration continued to expand its competence over the suburbs surrounding Addis Abeba. Routinely, the Federal and the City Governments exploited the legal silence on the matter of special interest. Thus, the Addis Abeba Land Administration office often acted as the authority in charge of land administration in areas such as Labbuu, the Laga Xaafo-Marii continuum, Bole-Bulbula, Buraayyuu, Sabbata, Sululta, and districts beyond the Aqaqii-Qaallittii corridor (such as Galaan, Dukam, etc). The Federal Government continued to implement its industrialization policy by reserving Industrial Zones, Recreation Parks, and designated investment sites (much like Special Economic Zones). In doing all these things, the Federal Government and the city never took the trouble to consult with Oromia, much less the Oromo people. Evictions of farmers with little or no compensation became a routine practice.

Pollutions, Waste, Deforestation, Evictions

Pollutions from industrial emissions were sustained with no sense of accountability from the part of the city. Waste was dumped recklessly causing massive health risks. Deforestation and soil degradation was intensified in the neighboring districts, especially after the rise of investment in flower farms, dairy farms, and poultry farms. Homelessness of the evicted farmers and residents started to be felt among the people.

Oromia and Oromos Respond Resentfully: #Oromorprotests Emerges

The response from the Government of Oromia was late, but it did come in the form of a 2009 Caffee Oromia proclamation that established a Special Zone of 17 districts and 36 towns in the area. Its attempt at legislative articulation of the ‘Constitutional Special Interest of Oromia over Addis Ababa’ remained a draft to date. Its demand for enunciation of the content of the ‘special interest’ by the Constitutional Inquiry Council (CIC) was rejected on the ground that the CIC and the House of Federation do not give an advisory opinion in the absence of litigation.

Also, Oromo residents of the inner city resented the absence of Schools and cultural centers that operate in Afaan Oromo. The fact that the city has become anything but Oromo over the years made Oromo residents lament the complete cultural insensitivity to the needs of the Oromo in the city. Increasingly, the demand for schools in Afaan Oromo and cultural centers began to be vocally expressed in the last decade or two (resulting in efforts to construct an Oromo Cultural Centre and to open public schools that operate in Afaan Oromo)[6].

While such demands were gaining momentum steadily over the years, the Integrated Regional Development Plan (alias the Master Plan) was announced to the public in 2014. Immediately, it provoked a resistance in all corners of the Oromia region.

The day-to-day encroachment of Oromia’s jurisdiction with the informal expansion of the city; the general spill over effects of the city; its becoming the dumping ground for Addis Abeba waste for no gain; the pollution of the rivers, the soil, and the general environment of the surrounding districts and towns; the evictions with ‘compensations’ whose lower limits are legally left unregulated; the insensitivity to the cultural and linguistic needs of Oromo residents; the temperamental behaviour the Federal Government showed vis-à-vis Oromia’s claim to Addis Abeba as its capital city; these and other resentments fed the anger that emerged in the wake of the revelation of the Master Plan.

Apart from its violation of the principles of federalism and a healthy intergovernmental relation that should exist in a working federation, one of the reasons given for resisting the Master Plan was that it liquidates the ‘special interest’ of Oromia. As was noted above, the particulars envisaged to ‘be determined by law’ were never determined.

Giving Content to the ‘Special Interest’

According to art 49 (5), the articulation of the content of the ‘special interest’ is hoped to revolve around the meaning of four broad phrases:

  1. ‘Provision of social services’
  2. ‘Utilization of natural resources’
  3. ‘Joint administrative matters’
  4. ‘Other matters’ similar to provision of social services or utilization of natural resources.

In the endeavor to give content to the special interest clause, one is expected to interpret these phrases in a judicious manner that can also satisfy the popular discontent that was ignited into full manifestation in the protest to the Master Plan.

Social Services

In particular, we must identify the kind of social services that Addis Abeba should provide to Oromia. Normally, ‘social services’ connote services such as access to housing, education, health, water, transport, and other matters needed for achieving adequate living standards. From experience, we know that one of the unmet needs of Oromia in Addis Abeba is access to public buildings and properties for their offices and residential places for their officials and civil servants. And the need for designated plots of land on which to build houses for the employees of the state.

Organizing public schools that operate in Afaan Oromo is another kind of social service seen as a pressing need. Related but not often articulated is the need for building or making spaces for public libraries run in Afaan Oromo, exhibition centres, concert halls, theatres, museums, galleries, cinema halls, printing presses dedicated to the nurture and development of Oromo cultural lives, shows, performances, plays, memories, arts/paintings, movies, books, etc. This need to give attention to culture also requires the need for memorializing personalities and historical moments of the Oromo through naming streets, places, squares; and erecting statues. In addition, subsidizing Oromo arts and printing and publications as part of making the Oromo presence felt to anyone who comes to and inhabits the city is an important aspect of social service. In other words, the provision of social services also extends to the cultural representation of the Oromo in the life of the wider city.

Similarly, health facilities and other utilities such as public transport services that operate in Afaan Oromo should be considered part of the social services to be provided to Oromos. One way of addressing this could be making Afaan Oromo the co-equal working language of the City Government. The move to make Afaan Oromo and other languages to become working languages of the Federal Government will also help curb part of the problem of access to social services and facilities such as public transport, celebration and registration of vital events (birth, marriage, death, certification, authentication, licensing, etc).

 Natural Resources

The proposed law must also clarify the type of ‘natural resources’ Addis Abeba has, resources that Oromia uses, and identify the modes in which it continues to use them. The effort to give content to this phrase becomes confounding when we note the fact that there is hardly any natural resource that the city offers to Oromia. Anything ‘natural’ in the city is ipso facto that of Oromia because the city itself is of Oromia anyway. The city actually is dependent on the natural resources of Oromia. Water, forest products, hydroelectric supply, minerals, sand, cement products, precious stones, food products, and everything else that Ethiopia (beyond and above Addis Abeba) needs come from outside of the city, Oromia and the other regions.

In the course of articulating this interest, one needs to consider the benefits Oromia should get from the delivery of these resources. One way of doing this is to agree on the percentage of income that should go back to Oromia’s revenue based on what is often called the principle of derivation in federal countries. If the federalism was properly functioning, this would have been handled through a negotiated channel of financial intergovernmental relations.

Joint Administration

The proposed law to be prepared must determine the scope and method of exercise of the envisaged ‘joint administration’. For this, we will first need to identify what tasks are matters for joint administration. Secondly, we need to decide who is responsible for what aspect of the administration. In the area of inter-jurisdictional roads (say maintenance); border management; managing trans-boundary forests, rivers, etc.; inter-jurisdictional legal cooperation (whose police takes responsibility for cross-border criminal activities); these and some such activities need to be spelt out.

One obvious area of joint administration is management of land. Because legislative power over land issues is a matter for the federal government and administration is for the States, issues such as town planning, mapping, cadastre, land redistribution among residents, designing construction regulations, etc should have been a matter for states, districts, and local/municipality governments. And in these areas, local governments of Oromia and the city administration (i.e., sub-cities and districts) could find some collaboration. Accordingly, the government of the state of Oromia and the government of the Addis Abeba City could coordinate their activities as they have overlapping jurisdictions (i.e., Oromia has a territorial jurisdiction while the city has a self-administrative jurisdiction) because the city is also the capital city of Oromia.

Ideally, ‘joint administration’ could have happened if the city was made accountable to the Government of Oromia rather than to the Federal Government. At the very least, joint administration could have been achieved through making the City government accountable to both the Federal and the Oromia governments. Settling on one of these options would mitigate the injustice of the original constitutional arrangement that: a) made Addis Abeba the capital city of the Federal government without the consent of Oromia and Oromos; and b) made the city’s self-government accountable exclusively to the Federal Government.

‘Other issues’

The meaning of the ‘other issues’ over which Oromia has a special interest is to be decided contextually on the basis of issues that rear their head in the course of day-to-day life experience. One cannot be definitive about the list of things to be included in this category.

However, twenty years of experience should have brought forth several such issues that may need to be specified while leaving others to the discretion of administrators subject to judicial review.

Who Takes Initiative?

Even assuming that the content of the ‘Special interest’ is clear, there is another issue left for us to determine: who comes up with the law that “determines” the “particulars”? Is it the Federal Government, the City Government, or the Government of Oromia? So far, the federal government had hesitated to legislate on the matter even in the face of a repeated demand by the government of the state of Oromia. That is of course because the federal government wants to exploit the ambiguity that remains because of the legal vacuum.

Legal silence is strategically deployed by the Federal and Addis Abeba Council to avoid their part of the obligation and to continue to enjoy what doesn’t rightfully belong to them in the absence of a law that proscribes it. Oromia’s attempt in the past (2006) to legislate on the matter could produce only a draft piece of legislation that couldn’t ultimately be presented to and passed by the Caffee Oromia.

Beyond the Content: Reconciled Relationship between the City, the Region, and the Country-Redemption via Relocation?

If there was an inclusive participatory constitutional moment that acknowledges the presence of the Oromo in the polis-to-be between 1992 and 1994, one or more of the following scenarios might have been negotiated:

a) Find a (new) site that is commonly agreed upon by all the constituent members of the Federation to be the Federal District Territory;

b) Designate another city in another State or in Oromia as the seat of the federal government accountable to that state;

c) Designate different cities that can serve as seats for the different branches of the Federal Government;

d) Agree to have a roving capital city for the federal government every decade or so;

e) Designate Addis Abeba as the capital city with a self-governing council ultimately accountable to Oromia—an essentially Oromo city in which the federal government may have some form of ‘special interest’

f) Designate Addis Abeba as a federal capital city whose self-governing council will be accountable to both the federal and the Oromia governments.

 Towards a Redemptive Discourse

We all know that the constitution-making process was less ideal than one would hope for. It was marked by lack of legitimacy on procedural and substantive accounts.[7] The work required now, while attending to the immediate needs of giving content to the ‘joint administrative issues’, is to identify potential areas of constitutional amendments that would overcome the problems caused by original flaws in the constitution. This will force us to engage in—and engage the public with–what I called, elsewhere, a ‘redemptive constitutional discourse,’ a discourse that overcomes the deficits in original legitimacy, a discourse that ‘corrects’ the imperfect beginnings of the constitution by also attending to the trauma caused by inaugural violence with which the city was incorporated into, and made the capital of, the modern imperial Ethiopian state.

Relocating the Capital

While that is being done, the search for a lasting solution to the violent Ethio-Oromia relations, especially regarding Addis Abeba needs to begin and continue. In particular, it is imperative that we consider the possibility of relocating the Federal Government elsewhere. Removing the Federal government will help undo the trauma of the violent occupation at the moment of ‘founding’ and subsequent displacement of the Oromo through the ‘settlement’ of others. Relocation has the advantage of:

  1. Dissolving the altercation over ownership of the city;
  2. Securing the socio-cultural interests of the Oromo in the city;
  3. Restoring full jurisdiction of Oromia over its territory;
  4. Rescinding the legal excision of the city from the administrative jurisdiction of Oromia through the provision of article 49;
  5. Enhancing the Oromo’s right to exercise of ultimate political power in the city;
  6. Restoring the host, the Oromo, to its rightful position and securing the rights of the guests, the non-Oromo inhabitants, in a context of mutual recognition;
  7. Arresting the continued lawless expansion of the city and the concomitant land grab, eviction, and ethnocide thereof;
  8. Responding to, and thereby dissolving, the question of the so-called ‘special interests’ within the context of Oromia and Oromia alone;
  9. Comprehensively responding to the demands of the #Oromoprotests whose rallying cry has been “Finfinnee belongs to Oromo” (“Finfinneen kan Oromooti!”).

The legal relocation of the Federal capital has more transformative potential for the entire polity than the obvious advantages outlined above. It is a restoration of Oromo agency and authority over the decision on what matters to their life in their land and in the wider country. The issue of choosing a negotiated site for a federal capital city is an opportunity to help the wider country to agonize over its history, its state system, its capacity to deal with historical injustice, and its hope of re-building the state on a fairer, more just, and more plural foundation. In short, it allows for a redemptive constitutional discourse to emerge.

It has to be explicitly stated however that to remove the Federal Government is not synonymous with removing the inhabitants of the city. The inhabitants will be part of Oromia and like all other people living in the wider Oromia, their rights shall be respected. Yes, there may be some people who work for the federal government institutions that may have to commute to and from work if they choose to continue living in Addis Abeba after the relocation of the capital. Yes, there will also be people who might move to the new capital altogether. But they don’t have to. No one has to. It is important to remember, incidentally, that not all the inhabitants of the city are employees of the Federal Government as such. The federal Government is merely its institutions, agencies, and its workers. That is not the (entire) population of the city.

Pending Redemption…Shift Accountability

Until that is done through constitutional revision or amendment, it may be necessary to consider the shift of accountability of the city government from the Federal to the Oromia government. It may be imperative for the Federal Government to start paying rent to the Oromia government as a token of acknowledgement to their being hosted by Oromia.

The quest for a lasting solution should start with identifying unconstitutional laws and policies that violate Oromia’s rights and special interests. Laws such as the one that promulgated the Addis Abeba Charter of 2003 (Proc. 361/2003, especially its article 5), the Investment Amendment Proclamation of 2014 (Proc. 849/2014, especially its provisions regarding ‘Industrial Development Zones), and projects like the World Bank sponsored Industrial Zone Projects (such as the Resettlement Action Plan [of] the Qilinxo Industrial Zone (April 2015) should all be rescinded.

New laws may need to be issued. An example is a proclamation that governs the lowest threshold for rates and modes of compensation awarded to a farmer in the event of eviction from her/his land. To be sure, there was a 2005 Proclamation (Proc. 455/2005) that provides for expropriation of land holdings and compensation. However, this proclamation, apart from enhancing the dispossessive regulatory and police powers of the Ministry of Federal Affairs, federal and local governments, and of several other agencies, it says little about the substance of the compensation, especially for collective landholdings (about which it says nothing). Needless, to say, as the actual practice of expropriation has routinely demonstrated, even the normative gesture in the law of providing a replacement remains to be more a legal rhetoric than an actual reality, more a juridical promise than a political practice.

Not so Special

Recognition of special interest is exception-making. Through a ‘special interest’ package, a rightful entity extends some rights, as part of underserved acts of grace, to another that cannot lay claim to these rights. To Oromia and Oromos, there is hardly anything special about the ‘special interest’. The city is naturally and intrinsically part of Oromia. As such, Oromos and Oromia have pre-eminence over the city. They lay claim over the city as their own natural territory. Oromo interests are not supposed to be granted to them by others as some kind of favor. They have the more fundamental right of an owner. As such, they do not need others to make exception in their favor in order to guarantee the protection of the interest of the Oromo in the city. If anything, it is the Oromo that should make exception to the other inhabitants in granting them, for instance, the right of self-government at the municipal level.  In other words, if anything was to be ‘special’, it was the ‘interest’ of other peoples who live in the city that should have been so designated as to constitute the ‘special interest’ of non-Oromos in this inherently and primarily Oromo city.

However, owing to the legacy of imperial conquest and violent occupation of the city and the consequent dispossession and displacement of the Oromo from the city, it is now the guests that are extending (and so far denying) the ‘special interest’ of the hosts. This is a testament to the total lack of self-awareness on the part of the Federal and City Governments about the land they stand on. It is a testament to their moral blindness and (and the consequent incapacity) to pay attention, to see the original owners of the land, and to recognize their natural rights thereof. The result is the failure to understand the pain of dispossession and relentless quest of the Oromo for restoration.

The more consequential result is that this moral blindness is blocking the redemption of the relationship between the city (Addis Abeba), the Region (Oromia), and the Country (Ethiopia). That is why it comes as no surprise that the contestation over the city is pivotal to the making or breaking of the Ethiopian state in our own time. AS

 


ED’s Note: Tsegaye R Ararssa, Melbourne Law School. Email: tsegayer@gmail.com.

Cover Photo: Partial view of Addis Abeba

Photo Credit: Dereje Belachew


End Notes:

[1] The substance of most of these reflections were extensively discussed elsewhere. Here, in most sections, I present a rehash of those reflections. See Tsegaye Ararssa, “The Special Interest in Addis Ababa: The Affirmation of Denial,” Addis Standard (Jan 18, 2016) available at http://addisstandard.com/the-special-interest-the-affirmation-of-denial/.

[2] Technically speaking, this government which needed a special—emergency–measures to secure peace and stability, does not have a legal mandate to enact a law before repealing the emergency declaration and calling the army back to its barracks. Nor does it command a moral authority to make a legislation for the people it killed, maimed, arrested, detained, and tortured unaccountably only because they protested.

[3]William Harris, The Highlands of Ethiopia (1844).

[4] Alexander Bulatovic, Ethiopia through Russian Eyes: A Country in Transition, 1896-1898 (Richard Seltzer, Tr), (2000).

[5] Evelyn Waugh, Waugh in Abyssinia (1936).

[6] Note that the Oromo Cultural Center in Addis Abeba was built and inaugurated only in 2015.

[7] See, for example, Ugo Matei, ‘The New Ethiopian Constitution,’ Cardozo Review (1995), http://www.jus.unitn.it/cardozo/Review/constitutional/Mattei2.html; and  Tsegaye Regassa, ‘The Making and Legitimacy of the Ethiopian Constitution,’ 23 (1) Afrika Focus (2010), 85-118.

Oromo music legend Hayluu Disaasaa (Haylu Disasa) died age 61. May his soul rest in peace January 18, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Haylu Disasa, Hayluu Disaasaa, Oromo Art, Oromo Music.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistoromo-music-legend-hayluu-disaasaa

Wallisaan Oromoo hangafaa fi beekamoon dhalatee waggaa 61tti adunyaa kana irraa boqochuun ibsame. Hayluun kan dhalate Lixa Oromiyaa,  Wallaggaa,  Qellem, Qaaqetti.  Manni jirrenya isaa Finfinnee, Birbirsa Goorooti. Hayluun abbaa ilma tokkichaa, Sanyi Hayluu Disaasaati.

Hayluun hamma adunyaa kana irraa boqotutti aadaa fi aartii Oromoo calaqqisiisuu fi dagaagsuu irratti shoora  guddaa taphachaa ture. Sirboota Afaan Oromoo barreesuu fi  sagalee isaa kiloleen surbuudhan, diraamaa, fiilmii fi tiyaatira Afaan  Oromoo adda addaa hojjechuun jiruu seenaa qabeessa saba isaaf dalagaa ture. Hayluun kana hundaa kana rawwachaa kan ture dhibbaa Oromummaa isaatiif isa irra gahaa turan hundaa danda’ee irra aanuu dhaani. Jirreenyi isaa hamma boqotutti inni keesa turesi kanuma mul’isa.

Sirboota Hayluu Disaasaa ittiin beekamu keessa muraasni: Geerarsa, yaa warra baddaa, yaa finna koo, naggaaden haa dabartuu, yaa damma koo, amma yaa marii, shaggee tiyyaa fa’i.

Biyyoon isatti haasalphatu.

 

 

Bilisee boqochuu artist Hayiluu disaasaa dhaggeesse jirta??
Dhaamsa mucaa isaa sanyii Hayiluu
Ergaa karaa keessaa dhuftee,
mee oromoota nannoo finfinnee jiraniitti naaf dhaamigiiftiiko. kaleessa boqochuu Weeellisaa angafaa kana dhagahee awwaalchi isaas kaleessuma se’en gara finfinnee naanno birbirsa pihassaa jarri jedhan bakka itti galaa ture iyyaafadhee dhaqe. Garuu anoo ofittan qaana’e waanan argeen eenyummakoo jibben sitti hima mana osoo hin taanee qooxii handaqqoorra gargar hin jiru. gootichi aartii Oromoo kun achuma keessa taa’eet waggaa 42 baandii hagar fiqir keessatti masaanuuwwan afaanifii aadaa oromoon mormaa aartii oromoof gumaachaa ture. garuu harkasaa hin arganne uummata kanarraa.silaa goonni mana hin qabu jedhu mana gaarii teesso bareeda jiruu dhuufaa mijataa dhabuunsaa omaamiti. baga dhes seenaan isaa siidaa ta’et yaadma. innoo uummataaf jiraataa turee. kan na ajaa’ibsiise garuu osoo mana hinqabaatii waltajjiirratti yoo bahu fuulsarra kolfafi qoosaa wallee malee miirri dhabaa fi kadhaa hin mul’atu.goodo inni itti galu keessa wanti tokko hin jiru.garuu inni dhukkubsachuus erga eegalee irra bubbule jedhan takkaa mootummaanis ta’e namoota dhuunfaan nagargaaraa yoo jedhu hin dhageenye hin jennes. Garuu baandii sana keessatti yeroo heddu hacuucamaa gidirfamaa hidhamaa tuffatamaa akka jiru carra argatetti fayyadamee himatee ture roorroo sabaaf naa birmadhaa jedhaa ture.keessattu sirba yaa warra badda jedhurratt fi yeroo waltajjirratti sirbitu jechota qineen nuarrabsita jedhamee hidhamas hojirra hari’ames ture. Wellisa Hayiluu Disaasaa tokkicha qixxee kumaa bara 1963 waltajjiirratti bahee afaan oromoo afaan aartii afaan midiyaaf tolu kanittin sirbanii bashannan ta’u agarsiise. wagga 40 oromoo bakka bu’e tiyaatiran welluun diraamaan baandii agar fiqir keessa tajaajile xuratas bahe ture. yaa dhaloota qubee goota kanatu du’ee awwaalcha dhabe nurraa. uuuuuu….https://www.facebook.com/bilise.gadisa.7/posts/1852571331693986?pnref=story.unseen-section

 


አንጋፋው የኦሮሚኛ ሙዚቃ አቀንቃኝ ኃይሉ ዲሳሳ አረፈ

(ዘ-ሐበሻ) ከአንጋፋ የኦሮሚኛ ሙዚቃ አርቲስቶች መካከል አንዱ የሆነው አርቲስት ኃይሉ ዲሳሳ ትናንት ምሽት ጃንዋሪ 18, 2017 ማረፉ ተሰማ::

ድምጻዊ ሃይሉ ዲሳሳ በተለይ በሀገር ፍቅር ትያተር በኦሮሚኛ ዘፈኖች ዝነኛ ድምፃዊ ነበረ:: ኃይሉ በ61 አመቱ ህይወቱ ሲያልፍ የ1 ልጅ አባት እንደነበር የሕይወት ታሪኩ ያስረዳል::

ነብስ ይማር!!


Oromo music legend artist Hayluu Disaasaa died  18 January 2017, age 61. He is survived by his only son.

The following are some of Hayluu Disaasaa’s popular  music works:- Yaa damma koo,  geerarsa, na fuute, shaggee tiyya, amma yaa marii.





 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYR0viwi9Fk


 

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: The hero, the legend and the thinker: Oromo Athlete Feyisa Lilesa’s spectacular finish at Aramco Houston Half Marathon January 16, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Marathon, Oromo Sport.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

 

fayyisa-leellisa-the-oromo-athelete-the-hero-the-legend-the-thinker-after-rio-olympic-hawai-then-2nd-in-2017-houston-marathon

 

 

 

 

 

Feyisa Lilesa’s post race interview in Houston: “I won’t stop protesting until freedom comes”

 Amajjii/January 16, 2017 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com


Olympic marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa finished second at the Houston Half-Marathon on January 15, 2017, with a time of 61:14 – only a fraction of a second behind the front runner Leonard Korir. The thrilling battle between Lilesa and Korir at the finish line is captured below.

Feyisa Lilesa had, once again, shown the #OromoProtests symbol of “X” (crossing the hands over the head) as he crossed the finish line in Houston. This symbol of the #OromoProtests has been officially deemed illegal by the Ethiopian government since the declaration of the six-month State of Emergency on October 9, 2016 – a week after the Bishoftu Massacre, where hundreds of Oromos were murdered by the Ethiopian army during the UNESCO-recognized Irreecha Oromo cultural and religious festival.

After the race, during a reception thrown by the local community in Houston to honor him, Feyisa Lilesa spoke with Seife-Nebelbal, an online Oromo radio broadcast in Amharic, about his continued use of the symbol of the #OromoProtests at the finish line; Lilesa said he would continue to protest until freedom and democracy dawn in Ethiopia. Below are the interview and some photos from the reception (courtesy of journalist Ebba Abbamurti from the Lone Star State).

Click here for interview with Seife-Nebelbal Radio (in Amharic):

 

Click here for interview with journalist Ebba Abbamurti (in Afan Oromo)

Photos from the reception thrown in Houston in honor of athlete Feyisa Lilesa:

The thrilling finish-line battle between Lilesa and Korir:

Feyisa Lelisa runs in exile after his protest in Rio

His Olympic ‘X’leads to exilefrom Ethiopia

Photo: Marie D. De Jesus, Staff

Olympics medalist marathoner Feyisa Lilesa lowers his head after being asked about his home country Ethiopia after the Chevron Houston Marathon press conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, in Houston. ( Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle )

He’s the loneliest of long-distance runners, a man far removed from his country and his family. These days, Feyisa Lilesa runs not for personal glory but for emotional therapy and for a purpose he believes to be far bigger than himself.


Freedom of the Net 2016: Ethiopia country profile: Social Media/ICT Apps Blocked: Press Freedom Status: Not Free January 14, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Internet Freedom.
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JUNE 2015–MAY 2016

  • Internet and mobile phone networks were repeatedly disrupted around the country, particularly in the Oromia region during antigovernment protests that began in November 2015 (see Restrictions on Connectivity).
  • Social media and communications platforms were temporarily blocked several times to restrict information about antigovernment protests and police brutality (see Blocking and Filtering).
  • News websites were newly blocked for reporting on the Oromo protests and a severe drought, adding to a growing blacklist (see Blocking and Filtering).
  • In May 2016, blogger Zelalem Workagenehu was sentenced to over five years in prison for leading a digital security course (see Prosecutions and Arrests for Online Activities).
  • Prosecutors challenged the release of members of the Zone 9 blogging collective, after they were acquitted of terrorism charges in 2015 (see Prosecutions and Arrests for Online Activities).
Introduction:

Internet freedom declined in the past year as the government cracked down on antigovernment protests and the digital tools citizens used to organize them.

Starting in the Oromo region in November 2015 as a protest against the authoritarian government’s plan to infringe on land belonging to the marginalized Oromia people, the movement spread across the country in the subsequent months, turning into unprecedented demonstrations seeking regime change and democratic reform.

In a heavy-handed response, the authorities frequently shutdown local and national internet and mobile phone networks to prevent citizens from communicating about the protests. Social media platforms and communications apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and IMO were also temporarily blocked at different times. In October 2016, the government imposed a six-month state of emergency on October 17, resulting in another internet shutdown lasting several days. Under the state of emergency, accessing or posting content related to the protests on social media and efforts to communicate with “outside forces” are criminal offenses.

News websites and blogs reporting on the protests were permanently blocked in 2015 and 2016. Separately, critical news about the current drought—the worst the country has experienced in 50 years—was systematically censored. Meanwhile, the authorities arrested and prosecuted several bloggers, sentencing blogger Zelalem Workagenehu to five years in prison in May 2016. He was convicted of conspiring to overthrow the government for facilitating a course on digital security. The government’s persecution of the Zone 9 bloggers continued. Though four of the bloggers were acquitted in October 2015, the prosecutor appealed their release to the Supreme Court, and they were repeatedly summoned throughout the year.

The legal environment for internet freedom became more restrictive under the Computer Crime Proclamation enacted in June 2016, which criminalizes defamation and incitement. The proclamation also strengthens the government’s surveillance capabilities by enabling real-time monitoring or interception of communications.

Internet and mobile phone networks were deliberately disrupted in many parts of the country throughout the year, particularly in the Oromia region during largescale antigovernment protests that erupted in November 2015. Meanwhile, poor infrastructure, obstructionist telecom policies, and a government monopoly on the ICT sector make ICT services prohibitively expensive for the majority of the population.

Availability and Ease of Access

Ethiopia is one of the least connected countries in the world with an internet penetration rate of only 12 percent, according to 2015 data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).1 Mobile phone penetration is also poor at 43 percent, up from just 32 percent in 2014.2 Low penetration rates stem from underdeveloped telecommunications infrastructure, which is almost entirely absent from rural areas, where about 85 percent of the population resides. A handful of signal stations service the entire country, resulting in network congestion and frequent disconnection.3 In a typical small town, individuals often hike to the top of the nearest hill to find a mobile phone signal.

Access to ICT services remains prohibitively expensive for most Ethiopians, largely due to the government’s monopoly over the telecom sector, which provides consumers with few options. Prices are set by state-controlled EthioTelecom and kept artificially high.4 Price cuts announced in February 2016 mitigated some of the financial strain,5 bringing mobile internet prices to ETB 5 (US$ 0.25) per day for 25 MB of data or ETB 3,000 (US$ 140) per month for 30 GB. Nonetheless, the lower cost 25 MB package is extremely limited considering a standard Google search uses up to 79 KB alone. Regularly loading websites containing 1 GB of multimedia content could cost US$ 9 a day. William Davison, Bloomberg’s Ethiopia correspondent, described the issue on Facebook in March 2016: “It cost me 44 birr ($2.05) to watch Al Jazeera’s latest 3-minute dispatch on Oromo protests using 4G network on my phone, which is not that much less than the average daily wage of a daily laborer in Ethiopia.”6 Ethiopians can spend an average of US$85 per month for limited mobile or fixed wireless internet access. Better quality services in neighboring Kenya and Uganda cost less than US$30 a month.

Telecommunication devices, connection fees and other related costs are also beyond the means of many Ethiopians. As a result, Ethiopia has among the lowest smartphone ownership rates in the world at only 4 percent according to a recent Pew survey.7 In April 2016, EthioTelecom proposed a new pricing scheme to charge more for the use of popular Voice-over-IP (VoIP) platforms such as Viber and Facebook Messenger on mobile devices.8 This would make smartphone usage even more expensive.

Consequently, the majority of internet users still rely on cybercafés for internet access. A typical internet user in Addis Ababa pays between ETB 5 and 7 (US$ 0.25 to 0.35) for an hour of access. Because of the scarcity of internet cafes outside urban areas, however, rates in rural cybercafés are higher. In addition, digital literacy rates are generally low.

For the few Ethiopians who can access the internet, connection speeds have been painstakingly slow for years, despite the rapid technological advances improving service quality in other countries. In a test conducted in the capital Addis Ababa,9 the average connection speed during one week in March 2016 was 1.2 Mbps—five times slower than the average 5.5 Mbps connection speed in Kenya. According to Akamai, the average connection speed in Ethiopia was 3 Mbps in the first quarter of 2016, significantly lower than the global average of 6.3 Mbps (Kenya’s average speed was documented at 7.3 Mbps in the same period).10

In practice, such speeds result in extremely sluggish download times, even of simple images. Logging into an email account and opening a single message can take as long as five minutes at a standard cybercafé with broadband in the capital city, while attaching documents or images to an email can take eight minutes or more.11 On mobile connections, Akamai found Ethiopia had the world’s slowest average load time, at 8.5 seconds.12

Compounding Ethiopia’s onerous access issues, severe drought in 2015 and 2016 has had a negative impact on the country’s hydroelectric electricity production,13 resulting in frequent and extended power outages that limit users’ ability to access the internet even further.14

Restrictions on Connectivity

The Ethiopian government’s monopolistic control over the country’s telecommunications infrastructure via EthioTelecom enables it to restrict information flows and access to internet and mobile phone services. In 2015–16, the flow of online traffic into, within, and out of Ethiopia registered a significant decline, likely as a result of network throttling, repeated internet shutdowns, and increased blocking.

As a landlocked country, Ethiopia has no direct access to submarine cable landing stations; thus, it connects to the international internet via satellite, a fiber-optic cable that passes through Sudan and connects to its international gateway, and the SEACOM cable that connects through Djibouti to an international undersea cable. All connections to the international internet are completely centralized via EthioTelecom, enabling the government to cut off the internet at will.

Internet and mobile phone networks were disrupted in many parts of the country throughout the year. Oromia, the largest of the federal republic’s nine regional states, has experienced frequent telecom network since November 2015 saw the start of largescale demonstrations against the government’s plan to appropriate Oromia territory.15 The protest movement escalated and remained ongoing in late 2016, leading the government to declare a six-month state of emergency and shut down mobile internet services nationwide for several days in October.16

In an incident unrelated to the protests, internet services on computers and mobile devices were shut down for 24 hours in July 2016, ostensibly to prevent students from cheating during national university exams.17

The ICT shutdowns have been costly. Network disruptions between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 cost Ethiopia’s economy over US$ 8.5 million, according to the Brookings Institution.18

ICT Market

The space for independent initiatives in the ICT sector, entrepreneurial or otherwise, is extremely limited,19 with state-owned EthioTelecom holding a firm monopoly over internet and mobile phone services as the country’s sole telecommunications service provider. Despite repeated international pressure to liberalize telecommunications in Ethiopia, the government refuses to ease its grip on the sector.20

China is a key investor in Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry,21 with Zhongxing Telecommunication Corporation (ZTE) and Huawei currently serving as contractors to upgrade broadband networks to 4G in Addis Ababa and expand 3G networks elsewhere.22 The partnership has enabled Ethiopia’s authoritarian leaders to maintain their hold over the telecom sector,23though the networks built by the Chinese firms have been criticized for their high cost and poor service.24 Furthermore, the contracts have led to increasing fears that the Chinese may also be assisting the authorities in developing more robust ICT censorship and surveillance capacities (see Surveillance, Privacy, and Anonymity).25 In December 2014, the Swedish telecom group Ericsson also partnered with the government to improve and repair the mobile network infrastructure,26 though ZTE remains the sector’s largest investor.

Onerous government regulations also stymie other aspects of the Ethiopian ICT market. For one, imported ICT items are tariffed at the same high rate as luxury items, unlike other imported goods such as construction materials and heavy duty machinery, which are given duty-free import privileges to encourage investments in infrastructure.27 Ethiopians are required register their laptops and tablets at the airport with the Ethiopian customs authority before they travel out of the country, ostensibly to prevent individuals from illegally importing electronic devices, though observers believe the requirement enables officials to monitor citizens’ ICT activities by accessing the devices without consent.28

Local software companies also suffer from heavy-handed government regulations, which do not have fair, open, or transparent ways of evaluating and awarding bids for new software projects.29 Government companies are given priority for every kind of project, while smaller entrepreneurial software companies are completely overlooked, leaving few opportunities for local technology companies to thrive.

Cybercafés are subject to burdensome operating requirements under the 2002 Telecommunications (Amendment) Proclamation,30 which prohibit them from providing Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services, and mandate that owners obtain a license from EthioTelecom via an opaque process that can take months. In the past few years, EthioTelecom began enforcing its licensing requirements more strictly in response to the increasing spread of cybercafés, reportedly penalizing Muslim cafe owners more harshly. Violations of the requirements entail criminal liability, though no cases have been reported.31

Regulatory Bodies

Since the emergence of the internet in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Telecommunications Agency (ETA) has been the primary regulatory body overseeing the telecommunications sector. In practice, government executives have complete control over ICT policy and sector regulation.32 The Information Network Security Agency (INSA), a government agency established in 2011 and controlled by individuals with strong ties to the ruling regime,33 also has significant power in regulating the internet under the mandate of protecting the communications infrastructure and preventing cybercrime.

News websites known for their reporting on the Oromo protests joined Ethiopia’s growing list of blocked content, while social media and communications platforms were blocked for periods of time throughout the coverage period for their role in disseminating information about the demonstrations and police brutality. The government manipulates online content, disseminating propaganda to convince Ethiopians that social media is a dangerous tool co-opted by opposition groups to spread hate and violence.

Blocking and Filtering

One of the first African countries to censor the internet,34 Ethiopia has a nationwide, politically motivated internet blocking and filtering regime that is reinforced during sensitive political events. More websites were newly blocked during the Oromia protests that began in November 2015. Targets included the websites of US-based diaspora satellite television stations such as Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and the Oromo Media Network (OMN), which provided wall-to-wall coverage of the antigovernment protests. Ayyantuu.net and Opride.com, prominent websites also known for their reporting on the protests, were also blocked.35

In an apparent attempt to restrict news about the protests from spreading, social media and file-sharing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Dropbox were repeatedly blocked for periods of time throughout the protests.36 The blocks on social media first impacted networks in the Oromia region but later spread to other regions,37 and eventually manifested in a shutdown of entire internet and mobile networks for days a time (see Restrictions on Connectivity).

Unrelated to the protests, the authorities blocked access to social media and communications platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Viber, IMO, and Google+, to prevent cheating during university examinations on July 9 and 10, 2016.38 The blocks followed a 24-hour internet blackout for the same reason (see Restrictions on Connectivity). A government spokesperson stated that blocking social media during the exam would help students concentrate. However, some progovernment media organizations and commentators seemed to have exclusive access to social media during the block,39 which reinforced the belief that the government imposes restrictions on citizens while keeping the web open for its own advantage. Viber and IMO, two popular voice-over-IP applications, remained blocked until July 20, according to local sources.40

Separately, coverage of a severe drought—the worst the country has experienced in 50 years—was systematically censored in the past year, with news websites and blogs blocked for reporting on the impact of the disaster that strayed from the government’s official narrative.41

In total, over one hundred websites are inaccessible in Ethiopia.42 A manual test conducted on the ground in mid-2016 confirmed that a large number of the websites tested by Freedom House each year since 2012 remained blocked. Blocked sites include Ethiopian news websites, political party websites, and the websites of international digital rights organizations, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Tactical Technology Collective. Select tools such as text messaging apps and services on Google’s Android operating system on smartphones were also inaccessible, but at irregular intervals and for unclear reasons.43

Notably, several websites that hadn’t been updated for years and appeared abandoned became accessible again in 2016, likely because the authorities deemed them no longer threatening. The social media curation tool Storify—first blocked in July 201244—was also newly accessible during the coverage period,45 in addition to the URL shortening tool Bit.ly.46

To filter the internet, specific internet protocol (IP) addresses or domain names are generally blocked at the level of the EthioTelecom-controlled international gateway. Deep-packet inspection (DPI) is also employed, which blocks websites based on a keyword in the content of a website or communication (such as email).47

Digital security tools are also pervasively blocked in Ethiopia, including Tor, the circumvention tool that enables users to browse anonymously, which been blocked since May 2012.48 As social media platforms were blocked in the past year, diaspora-based activists publicized virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent the censorship, but certain VPNs were also subsequently blocked.49 Local sources suspected progovernment commenters were flagging the same tools to be blocked by the authorities. The Amharic translation of the Electronic Frontier Foundations’ “Surveillance Self-Defense” web guide was blocked two weeks after it was published in October 2015.50 One source reported that key terms such as “proxy” yield no search results on unencrypted search engines,51 reflecting the government’s efforts to limit users’ access to circumvention tools and strategies.

Some restrictions are also placed on content transmitted via mobile phones. Text messages to more than ten recipients require prior approval from EthioTelecom.52 A bulk text message sent without prior approval is automatically blocked, irrespective of the content.

There are no procedures for determining which websites are blocked or why, precluding any avenues for appeal. There are no published lists of blocked websites or publicly available criteria for how such decisions are made, and users are met with an error message when trying to access blocked content. The decision-making process does not appear to be controlled by a single entity, as various government bodies—including the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), EthioTelecom, and the ICT ministry—seem to be implementing their own lists, contributing to a phenomenon of inconsistent blocking. This lack of transparency is exacerbated by the government’s continued denial of its censorship efforts. Government officials flatly deny the blocking of websites or jamming of international satellite operations while also stating that the government has a legal and a moral responsibility to protect the Ethiopian public from extremist content.

Content Removal

Politically objectionable content is often targeted for removal, often by way of threats from security officials who personally seek out users and bloggers to instruct them to take down certain content, particularly critical content on Facebook. The growing practice suggests that at least some voices within Ethiopia’s small online community are being closely monitored. For instance, during the various legal proceedings involving the Zone 9 bloggers in 2015, friends and reporters who posted pictures and accounts of the trials on social media were briefly detained and asked to remove the posts.53 During protests in Oromia, activists who wrote messages of solidarity for the protestors on Facebook were also asked to delete their posts.54

Media, Diversity, and Content Manipulation

Lack of adequate funding is a significant challenge for independent online media in Ethiopia, as fear of government pressure dissuades local businesses from advertising with politically critical websites. A 2012 Advertising Proclamation also prohibits advertisements from firms “whose capital is shared by foreign nationals.”55 The process for launching a website on the local .et domain is expensive and demanding,56 requiring a business license from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and a permit from an authorized body.57 While the domestic Ethiopian blogosphere has been expanding, most blogs are hosted on international platforms or published by members of the diaspora community.

Despite Ethiopia’s extremely low levels of internet access, the government employs an army of trolls to distort Ethiopia’s online information landscape.58 Opposition groups, journalists, and dissidents use the contemptuous Amharic colloquial term, “Kokas,” to describe the progovernment commentators.59 Observers say the Kokas regularly discuss Ethiopia’s economic growth in favorable terms and post uncomplimentary comments about Ethiopian journalists and opposition groups on Facebook and Twitter. In return, they are known to receive benefits such as money, land, and employment promotions.

The government also manipulates online content through propaganda that aims to convince Ethiopians that social media is a dangerous tool co-opted by opposition groups to spread hate and violence.60 That characterization has been debunked by research. The University of Oxford and Addis Ababa University analyzed thousands of comments made by Ethiopians on Facebook during general election in 2015, finding that hate speech was a marginal proportion of the total comments assessed.61

Meanwhile, increasing repression against journalists and bloggers has had a major chilling effect on expression online, particularly in response to the spate of blogger arrests that have increased in the past few years (see Prosecutions and Detentions for Online Activities). Many bloggers publish anonymously to avoid reprisals.62 Fear of pervasive surveillance has also led to widespread self-censorship. Local newspapers and web outlets primarily publish reporting by regime critics and opposition organizations in the diaspora. Few independent local journalists will write for either domestic or overseas online outlets due to the threat of repercussions.

Digital Activism

Despite oppressive conditions caused by poor access and the hostile legal environment, online activism has gained considerable momentum and influence in the past year, particularly as traditional media coverage of current events has become increasingly narrow and dominated by pro-government voices. Notably, social media and communications platforms helped tech-savvy Ethiopians launch the widespread antigovernment protests in the Oromia region in November 2015. Online tools have been essential to the #OromoProtests movement, enabling activists to post information about the demonstrations and disseminate news about police brutality as the government cracked down on protesters.63 The use of such tools to fuel the protest movement led the government to block access to several platforms throughout the year, and shut down internet and mobile networks altogether (see Blocking and Filtering and Restrictions on Connectivity).

The new Computer Crime Proclamation enacted in June 2016 criminalizes defamation and incitement; observers say it could be invoked to suppress digital mobilization. The proclamation also strengthens the government’s surveillance capabilities by enabling real-time monitoring or interception of communications. Several bloggers were arrested and prosecuted, with one blogger sentenced to five years in prison, while prosecutors challenged the acquittal of the Zone 9 bloggers.

Legal Environment

Fundamental freedoms are guaranteed for Ethiopian internet users on paper, but the guarantees are routinely flouted in practice. The 1995 Ethiopian constitution provides for freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and access to information, while also prohibiting censorship.64 These constitutional guarantees are affirmed in the 2008 Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation, known as the press law, which governs the print media.65 Nevertheless, the press law also includes problematic provisions that contradict constitutional protections and restrict free expression, such as complex registration processes for media outlets and high fines for defamation.66 The Criminal Code also penalizes defamation with a fine or up to one year in prison.67

Meanwhile, several laws are designed to restrict and penalize legitimate online activities and speech.

Most alarmingly, the 2012 Telecom Fraud Offences Law extends the violations and penalties defined in the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and criminal code to electronic communications, which explicitly include both mobile phone and internet services.68 The antiterrorism legislation prescribes prison sentences of up to 20 years for the publication of statements that can be understood as a direct or indirect encouragement of terrorism, which is vaguely defined.69 The law also bans Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype70 and requires all individuals to register their telecommunications equipment—including smartphones—with the government, which security officials typically enforce at security checkpoints by confiscating ICT equipment if the owner cannot produce a registration permit, according to sources in the country.

In June 2016, the Ethiopian government passed a new Computer Crime Proclamation that criminalized an array of online activities.71 Civil society expressed concern that the law would be used to further crackdown on critical commentary, political opposition, and social unrest.72 For example, content that “incites fear, violence, chaos or conflict among people” can be punished with up to three years in prison, which could be abused to suppress digital campaigns.73 Other problematic provisions ban the dissemination of defamatory content, which can be penalized with up to 10 years in prison,74 and the distribution of unsolicited messages to multiple emails (spam), which carries up to five years in prison.75

To quell escalating antigovernment protests that began in the Oromia region in November 2015, the government imposed a six-month state of emergency on October 17, 2016 that included restrictions on certain online activities.76 In addition to shutting down the internet for several days, the authorities criminalized the access and posting of content related to the protests on social media, as well as efforts to communicate with “terrorist” groups, a category that includes exiled dissidents. Penalties for violating the state of emergency include prison terms of three to five years.77

Prosecutions and Detention for Online Activities

In the past few years, the authorities have intensified their crackdown against bloggers and online journalists, using harsh laws to arrest and prosecute individuals for their online activities and silence dissent. The most high-profile prosecutions were against six bloggers from the critical Zone 9 blogging collective, who were arrested in April 2014,78 and charged with terrorism under the harsh Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in July.79 The bloggers were accused of intent to overthrow the government, an offense under the criminal code, by encrypting their communications to disseminate seditious writings.80

Despite widespread international condemnation, the detainees were denied bail and brought to court dozens of times for over a year,81 until two of them were unexpectedly released without charge in early July 2015, immediately before U.S. President Obama visited Ethiopia. The four remaining Zone 9 bloggers were acquitted in October 2015,82 though they were barred from leaving the country.83 The prosecutor contested their acquittal and appealed to the Supreme Court, and the four were summoned in December 2015 and in October 2016.84 They were scheduled to return to court in November 2016.85

Several other bloggers were arrested and prosecuted in the past year, including Getachew Shiferaw, editor-in-chief of the online newspaper Negere Ethiopia, in December 2015.86 Negere Ethiopia is known for its affiliation with the opposition as well as its coverage of the Zone 9 trials. Shiferaw remained in pretrial detention in mid-2016.87

The prominent opposition member Yonatan Tesfaye was arrested in December 2015 and charged with terrorism based on Facebook posts that criticized the government’s handling of the Oromia protests.88 He remained in prison in mid-2016 and faces the death sentence if convicted.89 Tesfaye’s Twitter handle has been active during his detention, leading to suspicions that the officials have been using his account to bait potential dissidents.90

In April 2016, blogger Zelalem Workagenehu was found guilty of terrorism and sentenced to over five years in prison in May.91 He was first arrested in July 2014 on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government after he facilitated a course on digital security. In the same trial, bloggers Yonatan Wolde and Bahiru Degu were acquitted after spending nearly two years in detention on terrorism charges; they were also arrested in July 2014 for applying to participate in Workaegnehu’s digital security course.92 Workagenehu has appealed to the Supreme Court.93

The ongoing antigovernment protest movement has also led to numerous arrests, some for digital activities, including posting or “liking” social media content about the protests. In October 2016, police arrested Seyoum Teshome, a well-known academic and blogger for the Ethiothinktank.com website who had published an article about the Oromia protest movement inThe New York Times.94

Meanwhile, the well-known dissident journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega is serving an 18-year prison sentence handed down in July 2012 under the draconian anti-terrorism law for criticizing the law itself in an online article.95

Surveillance, Privacy, and Anonymity

Government surveillance of online and mobile phone communications is pervasive in Ethiopia and was strengthened under the new Computer Crime Proclamation enacted in June 2016, which enables real-time monitoring or interception of communications authorized by the Minister of Justice and obliges service providers to store records of all communications and metadata for at least a year.96

There are strong indications that the government has deployed a centralized monitoring system developed by the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE to monitor mobile phone networks and the internet, according to a 2015 Human Rights Watch report.97 Known for its use by repressive regimes in Libya and Iran, the monitoring system enables deep packet inspection (DPI) of internet traffic across the EthioTelecom network and has the ability to intercept emails and web chats.

Another ZTE technology, known as ZSmart, is a customer management database installed at EthioTelecom that provides the government with full access to user information and the ability to intercept SMS text messages and record phone conversations.98 ZSmart also allows security officials to locate targeted individuals through real-time geolocation tracking of mobile phones.99 While the extent to which the government has made use of the full range of ZTE’s sophisticated surveillance systems is unclear, the authorities frequently present intercepted emails and phone calls as evidence during trials against journalists and bloggers or during interrogations as a scare tactic.100

Meanwhile, exiled dissidents have been targeted by surveillance malware. Citizen Lab research published in March 2015 said Remote Control System (RCS) spyware had been used against two employees of Ethiopian Satellite Television Service (ESAT) in November and December 2014. ESAT is a diaspora-run independent satellite television, radio, and online news media outlet, based in Alexandria, Virginia.101 Made by the Italian company Hacking Team, RCS spyware is advertised as “offensive technology” sold exclusively to law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world, and has the ability to steal files and passwords and intercept Skype calls and chats. 102

While Hacking Team has said that the company does not deal with “repressive regimes,”103 the social engineering tactics used to bait the two ESAT employees made it clear that the attack was targeted. Moreover, analysis of the RCS attacks uncovered credible links to the Ethiopian government, with the spyware’s servers registered at an EthioTelecom address under the name “INSA-PC,” referring to the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), the body established in 2011 to preside over the security of the country’s critical communications infrastructure.104 INSA was already known to be using the commercial toolkit FinFisher to target dissidents and supposed national security threats. FinFisher can secretly monitor computers by turning on webcams, record everything a user types with a key logger, and intercept Skype calls.105

Given the high degree of online repression in Ethiopia, political commentators use proxy servers and anonymizing tools to hide their identities when publishing online and to circumvent filtering, though the tools are also subject to blocking (see Blocking and Filtering).

Anonymity is further compromised by strict SIM card registration requirements. Upon purchase of a SIM card through EthioTelecom or an authorized reseller, individuals must provide their full name, address, government-issued identification number, and a passport-sized photograph. EthioTelecom’s database of SIM registrants enables the government to terminate individuals’ SIM cads and restrict them from registering for new ones. Internet subscribers are also required to register their personal details, including their home address, with the government. During the antigovernment protests in 2016, state-owned ICT provider EthioTelecom announced plans to require mobile phones to be purchased from Ethiopian companies and to create a tracking system for all mobile devices in Ethiopia. Observers believe the plan aims to allow the government to track and identify all communications from subscribers on its network.106

While the government’s stronghold over the Ethiopian ICT sector enables it to proactively monitor users, its access is less direct at cybercafés. For a period following the 2005 elections, cybercafé owners were required to keep a register of their clients, but the requirement has not been enforced since mid-2010.107 Nevertheless, some cybercafé operators have reported that they are required to report “unusual behavior” to security officials, who also visit cybercafés (sometimes in plainclothes) to ask questions about individuals or monitor activity themselves.108

Intimidation and Violence

Government security agents frequently harass and intimidate bloggers, online journalists, and ordinary users for their online activities. Independent bloggers are often summoned by the authorities to be warned against discussing certain topics online, while activists report that they are regularly threatened by state security agents.109 Ethiopian journalists in the diaspora have also been targeted for harassment.110

Amidst escalating antigovernment protests in 2015 and 2016, the authorities reportedly harassed, detained, and abused several people who used their mobile phones to record footage of demonstrations.

Meanwhile, imprisoned bloggers reported being held in degrading conditions and tortured by prison guards seeking to extract false confessions.111 Yonatan Wolde and Bahiru Degu were re-arrested shortly after their acquittal in April 2016 and released the next day, reporting that officials had threatened their lives.112

Technical Attacks

Opposition critics and independent voices face frequent technical attacks, even when based abroad. Independent research has found that Ethiopian authorities have used sophisticated surveillance malware and spyware, such as FinFisher’s FinSpy and Hacking Team’s Remote Control Servers (RCS), to target exiled dissidents.113

There were no reports of technical attacks against human rights defenders or dissidents during the coverage period, though hacktivists launched attacks on government websites, including the Ministry of Defense, as a form of digital protest alongside the largescale Oromo demonstrations.114 Meanwhile, the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) reported that they had foiled at least 155 cyberattacks in 2015. Critics said they used the data to justify cracking down on the internet.115

Notes:

1 International Telecommunication Union, “Percentage of Individuals Using the Internet, 2000-2015,” http://bit.ly/1cblxxY

2 International Telecommunication Union, “Mobile-Cellular Telephone Subscriptions, 2000-2015,” http://bit.ly/1cblxxY

3 Endalk Chala, “When blogging is held hostage of Ethiopia’s telecom policy,” in “GV Advocacy Awards Essays on Internet Censorship from Iran, Venezuela, Ethiopia,” Global Voices (blog), February 3, 2015, http://bit.ly/1OpDvzz

4 Ethiopia – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts, Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd.: June 2014, http://bit.ly/1ji15Rn

5 Misak Workneh, “Ethio Telecom announces new mobile internet packages, tariff revisions,” Addis Fortune, February 23, 2016, http://addisfortune.net/articles/ethio-telecom-announces-new-mobile-internet-packages-tariff-revisions/

6 William Davison’s Facebook post, March 26, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/william.davison.33/posts/10153956834545792?pnref=story

7 Jacob Poushter, “Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies,” Pew Research Center, February 22, 2016, http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/02/22/smartphone-ownership-and-internet-usage-continues-to-climb-in-emerging-economies/

8 Eskedar Kifle, “Ethio telecom may charge for VoIP apps,” Capital Ethiopia, April 6, 2016, http://mereja.com/news/1149276.

9 Test conducted by Freedom House researcher in March 2016. While the speed test should not be interpreted as a standard speed for the entire EthioTelecom network speeds, the data we gathered from a repeated speed tests over a span of a week from March 16 to March 21, 2016 suggest that Ethiopia’s average speed lags behind the average speed of the region. Nearly same figures were reported by speed-test services such as http://testmy.net and http://www.dospeedtest.com.

10 Akamai, “Average Connection Speed,” map visualization, The State of the Internet, Q1 2016, accessed August 1, 2016, http://akamai.me/1LiS6KD

11 According to tests by Freedom House consultant in 2016.

12 Akamai, “State of the Internet, Q1 2016 Report,” https://goo.gl/TQH7L7.

13 William Davison, “Ethiopia Sees Nationwide Power Cuts While Drought Dries Dams,” Bloomberg, December 1, 2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-01/ethiopia-sees-nationwide-power-cuts-while-drought-dries-dams

14 Mengisteab Teshome, “Ethiopia: Power Outage Taken as ‘Business As Usual’ – Residents,” The Ethiopian Herald, September 4, 2015, http://allafrica.com/stories/201509040955.html

15 Endalk Chala, “Ethiopia Locks Down Digital Communications in Wake of #OromoProtests,” Global Voices (blog), July 14, 2016, https://globalvoices.org/2016/07/14/ethiopia-locks-down-digital-communications-in-wake-of-oromoprotests; Moses Karanja et al., “Ethiopia: Internet Shutdown Amidst Recent Protests?” OONI, August 10, 2016, https://ooni.torproject.org/post/ethiopia-internet-shutdown-amidst-recent-protests/

16 Stephanie Busari, “Ethiopia declares state of emergency after months of protests,” CNN, October 11, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/09/africa/ethiopia-oromo-state-emergency/; Endalk Chala, “Ethiopian authorities shut down mobile internet and major social media sites,” Global Voices (blog), October 11, 2016, https://globalvoices.org/2016/10/11/ethiopian-authorities-shut-down-mobile-internet-and-major-social-media-sites/

17 Paul Schemm, “Ethiopia shuts down social media to keep from ‘distracting’ students,” Washington Post, July 13, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/07/13/ethiopia-shuts-down-social-media-to-keep-from-distracting-students/

18 Darrell M. West, “Internet shutdowns cost countries $2.4 billion last year,” Brookings Institute, Center for Technology Innovation, October 2016, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/intenet-shutdowns-v-3.pdf

19 Al Shiferaw, “Connecting Telecentres: An Ethiopian Perspective,” Telecentre Magazine, September 2008, http://bit.ly/1ji348h.

20 “Ethio Telecom to remain monopoly for now,” TeleGeography, June 28, 2013, http://bit.ly/1huyjf7

21 Paul Chapman, “New report explores the Ethiopian – telecoms, mobile and broadband – market insights, statistics and forecasts,” WhatTech, May 1, 2015, http://bit.ly/1L46Awu.

22 “Out of reach,” The Economist, August 24, 2013, http://econ.st/1l1UvJO.

23 “Out of reach,” The Economist.

24 Matthew Dalton, “Telecom Deal by China’s ZTE, Huawei in Ethiopia Faces Criticism,” The Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2014, http://on.wsj.com/1LtSCkD.

25 Based on allegations that the Chinese authorities have provided the Ethiopian government with technology that can be used for political repression—such as surveillance cameras and satellite jamming equipment—in the past. See: Addis Neger, “Ethiopia: China Involved in ESAT Jamming,” ECADAF Ethiopian news & Opinion, June 23, 2010, http://bit.ly/1LtSYI9; Gary Sands, “Ethiopia’s Broadband Network – A Chinese Trojan Horse?” Foreign Policy Blogs, Foreign Policy Association, September 6, 2013, http://bit.ly/1FWG8X1.

26 ENA, “Ericsson to take part in telecom expansion in Ethiopia,” Dire Tube, December 18, 2014, http://bit.ly/1PkZfvA.

27 The Embassy of the United Stated, “Doing Business in Ethiopia,” http://1.usa.gov/1LtTExh.

28 World Intellectual Property Organization, “Ethiopia Custom Regulation: No 622/2009,” http://bit.ly/1NveoeB.

29 Mignote Kassa, “Why Ethiopia’s Software Industry Falters,” Addis Fortune 14, no. 700 (September 29, 2013), http://bit.ly/1VJiIWC.

30 “Proclamation No. 281/2002, Telecommunications (Amendment Proclamation,” Federal Negarit Gazeta No. 28, July 2, 2002, http://bit.ly/1snLgsc.

31 Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency, “License Directive for Resale and Telecenter in Telecommunication Services No. 1/2002,” November 8, 2002, accessed October 20, 2014, http://bit.ly/1pUtpWh.

32 Dr. Lishan Adam, “Understanding what is happening in ICT in Ethiopia,” (policy paper, Research ICT Africa, 2012) http://bit.ly/1LDPyJ5.

33 Halefom Abraha, “THE STATE OF CYBERCRIME GOVERNANCE IN ETHIOPIA,” (paper) http://bit.ly/1huzP0S.

34 Rebecca Wanjiku, “Study: Ethiopia only sub-Saharan Africa nation to filter net,” IDG News Service, October 8, 2009, http://bit.ly/1Lbi3s9.

35 “Ayyaantuu website blocked in Ethiopia,” Ayyaantuu News, March 3, 2016, http://www.ayyaantuu.net/ayyaantuu-website-blocked-in-ethiopia/

36 Felix Horne, “Deafening silence from Ethiopia,” Foreign Policy in Focus, April 12, 2016, http://fpif.org/deafening-silence-ethiopia/; Endalk Chala, “Ethiopia locks down digital communications in wake of #OromoProtests,” Global Voices (blog), July 14, 2016, https://advox.globalvoices.org/2016/07/14/ethiopia-locks-down-digital-communications-in-wake-of-oromoprotests/

37 William Davison, “Twitter, WhatsApp Down in Ethiopia Oromia Area After Unrest,” Bloomberg, April 12, 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-12/twitter-whatsapp-offline-in-ethiopia-s-oromia-area-after-unrest

38 Nicole Orttung, “Why did Ethiopia block social media,” Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 2016, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2016/0712/Why-did-Ethiopia-block-social-media?cmpid=gigya-tw

39 According to activists who were able to circumvent the blocks and observe the social media activities of progoverment users.

40 @befeqadu Twitter post, July 17, 2016, https://twitter.com/befeqadu/status/754725025610104833

41 Christabel Ligami, “Defying censorship, hunger stories emerge from Ethiopia,” Equal Times, April 29, 2016, http://www.equaltimes.org/defying-censorship-hunger-stories?lang=en#.WBJZxMmFs6E; “Ethiopian police detain journalists reporting on drought, escort them back to capital,” Committee to Protect Journalists, August 17, 2016, https://cpj.org/2016/08/ethiopian-police-detain-journalists-reporting-on-d.php

42 Test conducted by an anonymous researcher contracted by Freedom House, March 2015. During the test, some websites opened at the first attempt but were inaccessible when refreshed.

43 @AtnafB Twitter post, July 17, 2016, https://twitter.com/AtnafB/status/754711725967024131

44 Mohammed Ademo, Twitter post, July 25, 2012, 1:08 p.m., https://twitter.com/OPride/status/228159700489879552.

46 Ory Okolloh Mwangi, Twitter post, November 6, 2013, 9:20 a.m., https://twitter.com/kenyanpundit/status/398077421926514688.

47 Daniel Berhane, “Ethiopia’s web filtering: advanced technology, hypocritical criticisms, bleeding constitution,” Horns Affairs, January 16, 2011, http://bit.ly/1jTyrH1

48 “Tor and Orbot not working in Ethiopia,” Tor Stack Exchange, message board, April 12, 2016,

http://tor.stackexchange.com/questions/10148/tor-and-orbot-not-working-in-ethiopia; “Ethiopia Introduces Deep Packet Inspection,” Tor (blog), May 31, 2012, http://bit.ly/1A0YRdc; Warwick Ashford, “Ethiopian government blocks Tor network online anonymity,” Computer Weekly, June 28, 2012, http://bit.ly/1LDQ5L2.

49 Ismail Akwei, “Ethiopia blocks social media to prevent university exam leakage,” Africa News, July 10, 2016, http://www.africanews.com/2016/07/10/ethiopia-blocks-social-media-to-prevent-university-exam-leakage/

50 Endalk Chala, “Defending against overreaching surveillance in Ethiopia: Surveillance Self-Defense now availabile in Amharic,” Electronic Frontier Foundation, October 1, 2015, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/09/defending-against-overreaching-surveillance-ethiopia-surveillance-self-defense-n-0

51 A 2014 report from Human Rights Watch also noted that the term “aljazeera” was unsearchable on Google while the news site was blocked from August 2012 to mid-March 2013. According to HRW research, the keywords “OLF” and “ONLF” (acronyms of Ethiopian opposition groups) are not searchable on the unencrypted version of Google (http://) and other popular search engines. Human Rights Watch, “They Know Everything We Do,” March 25, 2014, 56, 58,http://bit.ly/1Nviu6r.

52 Interview with individuals working in the telecom sector, as well as a test conducted by a Freedom House consultant who found it was not possible for an ordinary user to send out a bulk text message.

53 Reporters prevented from reporting on the trial of Zone9 Bloggers. See, Trial Tracker Blog, http://trialtrackerblog.org/home/ .

54 Kevin Mwanza, “Is Ethiopia restricting access to social media in Oromia region?” Afk Insider, April 13, 2016, http://afkinsider.com/123180/ethiopia-restricting-access-social-media-oromia-region/

55 Exemptions are made for foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin. See, Abrham Yohannes, “Advertisement Proclamation No. 759/2012,” Ethiopian Legal Brief (blog), September 27, 2012, http://bit.ly/1LDQf5c.

56 “Proclamation No. 686/2010 Commercial Registration and Business Licensing,” Federal Negarit Gazeta, July 24, 2010, http://bit.ly/1P3PoLy; World Bank Group, Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency, Economy Profile 2015, Ethiopia, 2014, http://bit.ly/1L49tO6.

57 Chala, “When blogging is held hostage of Ethiopia’s telecom policy.”

58 “Ethiopia Trains Bloggers to attack its opposition,” ECADF Ethiopian News & Opinions, June 7, 2014, http://bit.ly/1QemZjl.

59 The term “Koka” is a blend of two words: Kotatam and cadre. Kotatam is a contemptuous Amharic word used to imply that someone is a sellout who does not have a respect for himself or herself.

60 Endalk Chala, “Ethiopia protest videos show state brutality, despite tech barriers,” Global Voices (blog), January 6, 2016, https://advox.globalvoices.org/2016/01/06/ethiopia-protest-videos-show-state-brutality-despite-tech-barriers/

61 Iginio Gagliardone et al., “Mechachal: Online debates and elections in Ethiopia. Report One: A preliminary assessment of online debates in Ethiopia,” working paper, October 2, 2015, http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2016-06-23-mapping-online-hate-speech

62 Markos Lemma, “Disconnected Ethiopian Netizens,” Digital Development Debates (blog),November 2012,  http://bit.ly/1Ml9Nu3.

63 Jacey Fortin, “The ugly side of Ethiopia’s economic boom,” Foreign Policy, March 23, 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/23/no-one-feels-like-they-have-any-right-to-speak-at-all-ethiopia-oromo-protests/

64 Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1995), art. 26 and 29, accessed, August 24, 2010, http://www.ethiopar.net/constitution.

65 Freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information Proclamation No. 590/2008, Federal Negarit Gazeta No. 64, December 4, 2008.

66 Article 19, The Legal Framework for Freedom of Expression in Ethiopia, accessed September 10, 2014, http://bit.ly/1Pl0f33.

67 Criminal Code, art. 613, http://bit.ly/1OpHE6F.

68 Article 19, “Ethiopia: Proclamation on Telecom Fraud Offences,”legal analysis, August 6, 2012, http://bit.ly/1Lbonjm.

69 “Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009,” Federal Negarit Gazeta No. 57, August 28, 2009.

70 The government first instituted the ban on VoIP in 2002 after it gained popularity as a less expensive means of communication and began draining revenue from the traditional telephone business belonging to the state-owned EthioTelecom. In response to widespread criticisms, the government claimed that VoIP applications such as Skype would not be considered under the new law, though the proclamation’s language still enables the authorities to interpret it broadly at whim.

71 “Ethiopia Computer Crime Proclamation Text Draft,” Addis Insight, May 9, 2016, http://www.addisinsight.com/2016/05/09/ethiopia-computer-crime-proclamation-text-draft/

72 Kimberly Carlson, “Ethiopia’s new Cybercrime Law allows for more efficient and systematic prosecution of online speech,” Electronic Frontier Foundation, June 9, 2016, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/06/ethiopias-new-cybercrime-law-allows-more-efficient-and-systematic-prosecution-online; Tinishu Soloman, “New Ethiopian law targets online crime,” The Africa Report, June 9, 2016, http://www.theafricareport.com/East-Horn-Africa/new-ethiopian-law-targets-online-crime.html

74 Article 13, “Crimes against Liberty and Reputation of Persons,” Computer Crime Proclamation.

75 Article 15, “Dissemination of Spam,” Computer Crime Proclamation,

76 “Seven things banned under Ethiopia’s state of emergency,” BBC News, October 17, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-37679165

77 “Social media blackout in Ethiopia,” Jacarandafm, October 17, 2016, https://www.jacarandafm.com/news-sport/news/social-media-blackout-in-ethiopia/

78 “Six members of Zone Nine, group of bloggers and activists are arrested,” [in Amharic] Zone9 (blog), April 25, 2014, http://bit.ly/1VJn6ow.

79“Federal High Court Lideta Criminal Bench court, Addis Ababa,” http://1drv.ms/1OqAjlC.

80 Endalk Chala, “What You Need to Know About Ethiopia v. Zone9 Bloggers: Verdict Expected July 20,” Global Voices (blog), July 17, 2015, http://bit.ly/1jTDO9b.

81 Ellery Roberts Biddle, Endalk Chala, Guardian Africa network, “One year on, jailed Ethiopian bloggers are still awaiting trial,” The Guardian, April 24, 2015, http://gu.com/p/47ktv/stw; “Nine Journalists and Bloggers Still Held Arbitrarily,” Reporters Without Borders, “Nine Journalists and Bloggers Still Held Arbitrarily,” August 21, 2014, http://bit.ly/1P3TW4I.

82 Committee to Protect Journalists, “In Ethiopia, Zone 9 bloggers acquitted of terrorism charges,” news statement, October 16, 2015, https://www.cpj.org/2015/10/in-ethiopia-zone-9-bloggers-acquitted-of-terrorism.php.

83 Gregory Warner, “Freed from prison, Ethiopian bloggers still can’t leave the country,” NPR, May 31, 2016, http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/05/31/480100349/freed-from-prison-ethiopian-bloggers-still-cant-leave-the-country

84 “Netizen Report: Ethiopia’s Zone9 Bloggers Go Back to Court,” Global Voices (blog), March 30, 2016, https://advox.globalvoices.org/2016/03/30/netizen-report-ethiopias-zone9-bloggers-go-back-to-court/

85 “Netizen Report: As Protests Rage in Ethiopia, Zone9 Bloggers Return to Court,” Global Voices (blog), October 21, 2016, https://globalvoices.org/2016/10/21/netizen-report-as-protests-rage-in-ethiopia-zone9-bloggers-return-to-court/

86 “Ethiopia arrests second journalist in a week, summons Zone9 bloggers,” Committee to Protect Journalists, press release, December 27, 2015, https://www.cpj.org/2015/12/ethiopia-arrests-second-journalist-in-a-week-summo.php

87 “Getachew Shiferaw – The Price of Freedom of Expression in Ethiopia,” Ethiopian Human Rights Project, May 3, 2016, http://ehrp.org/getachew-shiferaw-the-price-of-freedom-of-expression-in-ethiopia/

88 Salem Soloman, “Ethiopia’s Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?” VOA News, May 31, 2016, http://www.voanews.com/a/ethiopia-anti-terrorism-law-security-silencing-dissent/3356633.html

89 “Ethiopia: Release opposition politician held for Facebook posts,” Amnesty International, press release, May 6, 2016, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/05/ethiopia-release-opposition-politician-held-for-facebook-posts/; “Facebook post leads to serious charges for Ethiopian politician,” Enca, May 6, 2016, https://www.enca.com/africa/facebook-post-leads-to-serious-charges-for-ethiopian-politician

90 @befeqadu Twitter post, April 12, 2016, https://twitter.com/befeqadu/status/719963259911188480/photo/1

91 Tedla D. Tekle, “Ethiopian blogger and activist sentences to five years and four months,” Global Voices (blog), May 16, 2016, https://advox.globalvoices.org/2016/05/16/ethiopian-blogger-and-activist-sentenced-to-five-years-and-four-months/

92 Tedla D. Tekle, “’I was forced to drink my own urine,’: ‘Freedom’ for netizen after 647 days locked up, but not for all,” Global Voices (blog), May 2, 2016, https://globalvoices.org/2016/05/02/i-was-forced-to-drink-my-own-urine-freedom-after-647-days-locked-up-but-not-for-all/

93 “Co-blogger Zelalem Workagegnehu’s appeal heard, appointed to tomorrow,” De Birhan (blog), July 20, 2016, http://debirhan.com/?p=10035

94 “Oromo protests: Ethiopia arrests blogger Seyoum Teshome,” Al Jazeera, October 5, 2016,

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/oromo-protests-ethiopia-arrests-blogger-seyoum-teshome-161005071925586.html

95 Such trumped-up charges were based on an online column Nega had published criticizing the government’s use of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to silence political dissent and calling for greater political freedom in Ethiopia. Nega is also the 2011 recipient of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.“That Bravest and Most Admirable of Writers: PEN Salutes Eskinder Nega,” PEN American Center (blog), April 13, 2012, http://bit.ly/1Lm89Y7; See also, Markos Lemma, “Ethiopia: Online Reactions to Prison Sentence for Dissident Blogger,” Global Voices, July 15, 2012, http://bit.ly/1OpKaKf; Endalk Chala, “Ethiopia: Freedom of Expression in Jeopardy,” Global Voices Advocacy, February 3, 2012, http://bit.ly/1jfIEO3.

96 Article 23, “Retention of Computer Data” and Article 24, “Real-time Collection of Computer Data,” http://hornaffairs.com/en/2016/05/09/ethiopia-computer-crime-proclamation/

97 Human Rights Watch, “They Know Everything We Do,” 62.

98 Human Rights Watch, “They Know Everything We Do,” 67.

99 Ibid, 52.

100 Committee to Protect Journalists, “Ethiopian Blogger, Journalists Convicted of Terrorism,” January 19, 2012, http://cpj.org/x/47b9.

101 Bill Marczak et al., Hacking Team Reloaded? US-Based Ethiopian Journalists Again Targeted with Spyware, Citizen Lab, March 9, 2015, http://bit.ly/1Ryogmr.

102 Hacking Team,“Customer Policy,” accessed February 13, 2014, http://hackingteam.it/index.php/customer-policy.

103  Declan McCullagh, “Meet the ‘Corporate Enemies of the Internet’ for 2013,” CNET, March 11, 2013, accessed February 13, 2014, http://cnet.co/1fo6jJZ.

104 Marczak et al., Hacking Team Reloaded? US-Based Ethiopian Journalists Again Targeted with Spyware.

105 Fahmida Y. Rashid, “FinFisher ‘Lawful Interception’ Spyware Found in Ten Countries, Including the U.S.,” Security Week, August 8, 2012, http://bit.ly/1WRPuap.

106 Endalk Chala, “Ethiopia Locks Down Digital Communications in Wake of #OromoProtests.”

107 Groum Abate, “Internet Cafes Start Registering Users,” The Capital republished Nazret (blog), December 27, 2006, http://bit.ly/1Lm98aX.

108 Human Rights Watch, “They Know Everything We Do,” 67.

109 SIMEGNISH (LILY) MENGESHA, “CRAWLING TO DEATH OF EXPRESSION – RESTRICTED ONLINE MEDIA IN ETHIOPIA,” Center for International Media Assistance (blog), April 8, 2015, http://bit.ly/1IbxFie.

110 “ክንፉ አሰፋ በስለላ ከሆላንድ የተባረረው የጋዜጠኛውን አንገት እቆርጣለሁ አለ,” ECADAF Ethiopian News & Opinion, April 12, 2015, http://ecadforum.com/Amharic/archives/14790/.

111 Tedla D. Tekle, “’I was forced to drink my own urine,’: ‘Freedom’ for netizen after 647 days locked up, but not for all.”

112 Tedla D. Tekle, “’I was forced to drink my own urine,’: ‘Freedom’ for netizen after 647 days locked up, but not for all.”

113 Marczak et al., Hacking Team Reloaded? US-Based Ethiopian Journalists Again Targeted with Spyware.

114 Kinfemicheal Yilma, “Hacktivism: A New Front of Dissent, Regulation,” Addis Fortune, February 14, 2016,

http://addisfortune.net/columns/hacktivism-a-new-front-of-dissent-regulation/

115 “Ethiopia: The cyber attack that probably never was,” Zehabesha, July 13, 2016,http://www.zehabesha.com/ethiopia-the-cyber-attack-that-probably-never-was/

How and why we are moving beyond GDP as a measure of human progress January 13, 2017

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How we track our economy influences everything from government spending and taxes to home lending and business investment. In our series The Way We Measure, we’re taking a close look at economic indicators to better understand what’s going on.


Ever since 1944, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been a primary measure of economic growth. It’s in the news regularly and, even though few can define what it means, there is general acceptance that when GDP is growing, things are good.

There are problems with this simplistic formulation.

GDP measures production only. It does not capture collapsing fish stocks, increasing obesity and diabetes, or new types of synthetic drugs. When people choose to work part-time to have a better work-life balance, GDP actually goes down.

This narrow focus distorts our perception of progress. It guides our representatives to focus only on certain things – what is measured – and allows them to ignore what isn’t quantified and regularly reported.

But a new set of measures is slowly being established, which aims to capture a wider range of human experiences and reset our idea of “success”. Called the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), these aim to include all the main pillars of a progressive society, from physical safety through to economic opportunity and good health.

SDGs will force action by highlighting what is currently covered up by the narrow measures of how our economy and society are faring.


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Human Rights Watch: Ethiopia: Year of Brutality, Restrictions: Restore Rights, Address Grievances January 13, 2017

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Ethiopia: Year of Brutality, Restrictions


Restore Rights, Address Grievances

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HRW, 12 January 2017


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(Nairobi) – Ethiopia plunged into a human rights crisis in 2016, increasing restrictions on basic rights during a state of emergency and continuing a bloody crackdown against largely peaceful protesters, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2017. The state of emergency permits arbitrary detention, restricts access to social media, and bans communications with foreign groups.

Ethiopian security hold back demonstrators chanting slogans during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016.

Ethiopian security hold back demonstrators chanting slogans during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016.

Security forces killed hundreds and detained tens of thousands of protesters in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara regions during the year. Many of those who were released reported that they were tortured in detention, a longstanding problem in Ethiopia. The government has failed to meaningfully investigate security forces abuses or respond to calls for an international investigation into the crackdown.

“Instead of addressing the numerous calls for reform in 2016, the Ethiopian government used excessive and unnecessary lethal force to suppress largely peaceful protests,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Vague promises of reform are not enough. The government needs to restore basic rights and engage in meaningful dialogue instead of responding to criticism with more abuses.”

In the 687-page World Report, its 27th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that a new generation of authoritarian populists seeks to overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights as an impediment to the majority will. For those who feel left behind by the global economy and increasingly fear violent crime, civil society groups, the media, and the public have key roles to play in reaffirming the values on which rights-respecting democracy has been built.

Protester anger boiled over following October’s Irreecha cultural festival, when security forces’ mishandling of the massive crowd caused a stampede, resulting in many deaths. In response, angry youth destroyed private and government property, particularly in the Oromia region. The government then announced the state of emergency, codifying many of the security force abuses documented during the protests, and signaling an increase in the militarized response to protesters’ demands for reform.

Government limitations on free expression and access to information undermine the potential for the inclusive political dialogue needed to understand protesters’ grievances, let alone address them, Human Rights Watch said.

The tens of thousands of people detained in 2016 include journalists, bloggers, musicians, teachers, and health workers. Moderates like the opposition leader Bekele Gerba have been charged with terrorism and remain behind bars, education has been disrupted, and thousands have fled the country.

The Liyu police, a paramilitary force, committed numerous abuses against residents of the Somali region in 2016, and displacement from Ethiopia’s development projects continued, including in the Omo valley.

The crackdown during 2016 followed years of systematic attacks against opposition parties, nongovernmental organizations, and independent media, effectively closing political space and providing little room for dissenting voices.


NEWSWEEK: A TOUGH YEAR FOR THE CONTINENT: SIX STORIES THAT WILL SHAPE SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA IN 2017. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution #Africa January 13, 2017

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SIX STORIES THAT WILL SHAPE SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA IN 2017

Political change, separatist insurgencies and a possible genocide project a tough year for the continent.

Like much of the world, 2016 has been a struggle for sub-Saharan Africa.

The region recorded its slowest overall growth in more than two decades, as low commodity prices and political uncertainty elsewhere put the brakes on economic progress. Civil conflicts have continued raging in countries including South Sudan and the Central African Republic, while extremist and Islamist groups have posed significant threats in nations including Nigeria, Somalia.

As 2017 approaches, Newsweek looks ahead to six stories that could shape the next year on the continent.

The Risk of Genocide in South Sudan

“The stage is being set for a repeat of what happened in Rwanda.” That was the stark warning from Yasmin Sooka, the head of a U.N. human rights commission that reported at the end of a 10-day fact-finding mission to South Sudan in November. Sooka was, of course, referring to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when extremists from the Hutu ethnic majority killed more than 800,000 members of the Tutsi minority and moderate Hutus.

Since fighting broke out between President Salva Kiir and former vice-president Riek Machar’s forces in December 2013, South Sudan’s civil war has had a devastating impact on the world’s youngest nation. Thousands have been killed; 3 million have been displaced; the economy has gone into freefall. The signing of a peace agreement in August 2015, and the return of rebel leader Machar to the capital Juba in April, provided tantalizing glimmers of hope. But these were washed away as fresh blood was spilled in July; Machar and his troops fled, and the country reverted to a situation of war, alleged human rights abuses and large-scale displacement.

South Sudan soldiersSouth Sudanese government soldiers celebrate while standing in trenches in Lelo, outside Malakal, South Sudan, October 16. Tens of thousands of people have been killed since civil war broke out in the country in December 2013, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the country’s leaders to avoid a possible genocide.ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

In Rwanda in 1994, the international community looked on as extremist Hutus carried out ethnic cleansing on a scale not seen before in Africa. The outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, writing in Newsweek, urged the world not to let the same thing happen in South Sudan. “Time is running out as the warring parties ready themselves for another vicious cycle of violence,” said Ban. “If [the South Sudanese leaders] fail [to restart an inclusive dialogue], the international community, the region, and the Security Council in particular, must impose penalties on the leadership on both sides. We owe this to the people of South Sudan, who have suffered far too much, for far too long.”

The African National Congress Reinvents Itself

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, was vigilant about putting party loyalty to his African National Congress (ANC) ahead of justice for South Africa’s people. “If the ANC does to you what the apartheid government did to you, then you must do to the ANC what you did to the apartheid government,” Mandela told a trade union congress in 1993.

It has been 22 years since the ANC came to power, bringing to an end decades of racial segregation and heralding a liberated South Africa. 2016 must rank as one of the party’s worst years since that pivotal moment. South African students have risen up against the party, accusing it of marginalizing them with expensive tuition fees; the party leader, Jacob Zuma, has been dogged by seemingly endless scandals; and in August’s local elections, the ANC lost control of key metropolitan areas, including the commercial hub Johannesburg, as urban voters made clear their disillusionment with the party.

Those results gave rise to factional infighting within the party and calls for Zuma to resign before the expiration of his second, and final, presidential term in 2019. The ANC is due to hold its elective conference in December 2017; if he survives until then, Zuma is expected to bow out at the conference. There are several prominent candidates to succeed him—his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, and outgoing African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who happens to be Zuma’s ex-wife, seem the most likely.

Jacob ZumaSouth African President Jacob Zuma attends a luncheon at the U.N. General Assembly, New York, September 20. A series of scandals and poor election results have heaped pressure on Zuma to step down as ANC leader.PETER FOLEY – POOL/GETTY IMAGES

The ANC is far from being on the brink of defeat: it still took 53.9 percent of the national vote in August, way ahead of the Democratic Alliance (DA) on 26.9 percent. But the choice of its next leader, and how the party negotiates a difficult economic climate and deals with tense protesters, will be important ahead of 2019. Both the DA and left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters are fronted by charismatic, if diametrically-opposed, leaders—Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema—who will be keen to pounce on any further mistakes South Africa’s liberation party makes.

Leaving a Dictator Behind in Gambia

2016 was a year of shock results in elections and referenda. While Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory grabbed the headlines, perhaps just as astounding was the presidential election held on December 1 in the smallest country on the African mainland.

After 22 years of authoritarian rule by Yahya Jammeh—or His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh Babili Mansa, as he prefers to be known—Gambians threw off their shackles and voted for Adama Barrow, a property developer with next to no political experience.

But now comes the hard part. After graciously accepting the result on December 2—“this is the will of Allah,” Jammeh saidthe outgoing president pivoted a week later and announced he was annulling the result. Regional and international leaders went into uproar, demanding Jammeh immediately step aside.

But the former army officer, surrounded by a military whose loyalty he has cultivated for more than two decades, dug himself in. “I am not a coward. My right cannot be intimidated and violated. This is my position, Nobody can deprive me of my victory except the Almighty Allah,” he said.

Adama BarrowGambian President-elect Adama Barrow (C) arrives at a hotel in Banjul for a meeting with four African heads of state, December 13. Gambia’s outgoing president Yahya Jammeh is refusing to leave his post despite losing an election to Barrow.SEYLLOU/AFP/GETTY

What happens next is somewhat unclear. Jammeh has submitted a petition to Gambia’s Supreme Court, which hasn’t sat in over a year and would need to be reconstituted before hearing the appeal. The president of regional body ECOWAS has threatened military intervention if Jammeh refuses to relinquish power. The region and the international community seems set on making an example of Jammeh, an archetypal African strongman leader, but he appears unlikely to go without a struggle.

Ethiopia’s State of Emergency

Ethiopia has been one of sub-Saharan Africa’s economic success stories in recent years; the Horn of Africa state has averaged 10.8 percent growth between 2003/04 and 2014/15, double the regional average of 5.4 percent. But such rapid expansion has masked a delicate situation in a country with clear ethnic divisions and where much of the population still lives in poverty.

Tensions exploded in November 2015 with the outbreak of the so-called Oromo protests—led by members of the majority Oromo ethnic group—against government plans to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, which protesters said would result in forced evictions of Oromo farmers. The government abandoned the plans in January, but the fuse had been lit: security forces were heavy-handed in dealing with the protests, killing and injuring demonstrators, while the government accused protesters of damaging private property and outside forces, including Eritrea, of fueling the discontent. Amnesty International estimates that at least 800 people have been killed since the protests began, thousands have been detained, and authorities have cracked down on media freedom.

Oromo protests IrreechaDemonstrators chant slogans while making the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2. Hundreds of people have been killed since November 2015 and Ethiopia’s government has implemented a restrictive state of emergency.TIKSA NEGERI/REUTERS

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn imposed a six-month nationwide state of emergency on October 9, hoping to defuse the protest movement. The government has began releasing thousands of detained protesters, but this may simply be a way of papering over the cracks in the country. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in power since 1991, is dominated by the Tigrayan ethnic minority; Oromos and other ethnic groups have complained of being discriminated against and deprived of socioeconomic opportunities. The country’s parliament is also 100 percent-controlled by the EPRDF and a coalition partner, leaving little room for opposition voices. The state of emergency may be simply a sticking plaster, rather than an antidote, for the country’s problems.

Burundi’s Increasing Isolation

A tiny, landlocked country with the lowest GDP per capita in the world, it’d be reasonable to think that Burundi would want all the friends it could get. But since President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial decision in April 2015 to run for a third term in office, Burundi has increasingly withdrawn from international organizations and severed regional ties.

The country has rejected attempted interventions by the United Nations, including the sending of an almost-300 strong police force; the European Union has suspended aid worth 432 million euros ($451 million) over six years to the country; and Nkurunziza announced in October that he was pulling Burundi out of the International Criminal Court, despite the court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda opening a preliminary investigation into the country’s situation in April.

Closer to home, Burundi has consistently accused neighboring Rwanda of arming refugees—83,000 of the almost 330,000 Burundians who have fled the country have gone to Rwanda—in a bid to topple Nkurunziza. Rwanda has denied these allegations and expelled some Burundian refugees.

Burundi ICC voteMembers of Burundi’s National Assembly vote to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, Bujumbura, October 12. Burundi, under the leadership of President Pierre Nkurunziza, has increasingly withdrawn from international organizations.ONESPHORE NIBIGIRA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

According to the United Nations, almost 500 people have been killed in clashes between security forces and anti-Nkurunziza protesters since April 2015. Burundi has been accused of muzzling its media and cracking down on free speech: pupils have been sent home from school for allegedly defacing pictures of Nkurunziza. The concern for Africa and the international community is, as Burundi withdraws further within itself, the conflict and human rights abuses may continue without any independent observers to record them.

Holding Things Together in Nigeria

Things are never quiet in Nigeria. But 2016 has been a busy year even by its hectic standards: the country has made huge gains in fighting Boko Haram, but a seemingly endless whack-a-mole of insurgencies and protest movements have arisen elsewhere.

Militants in the Niger Delta decimated oil production, a major factor that pushed the country into recession; government forces continued clashing with a Shiite group in northern Nigeria; roaming Fulani herdsmen have clashed with settled farmers in the Middle Belt; and separatists in the southeast kept up their campaign for an independent republic of Biafra.

At present, Muhammadu Buhari and his government seem to have a tentative grip on some of the crises. Nigeria’s military is pressing into Boko Haram’s dark heartland of the Sambisa Forest; the Niger Delta Avengers, the main aggressors in the oil-rich Delta, have not claimed an attack on oil pipelines since November. But there are still big challenges. Various states have banned the country’s main Shiite group, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), an action that could force it underground; and human rights groups have demanded investigations into the killing of pro-Biafra activists.

Nigerian soldiers prepare a convoy in MaiduguriNigerian soldiers prepare a heavily armed convoy in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, March 25. The Nigerian military has made big gains against Boko Haram in 2016, but threats have emerged elsewhere in the country.STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

While one of the richest countries in Africa, its resources are also limited: the military has been stretched in recent months after having to deploy to the Niger Delta while keeping up the tempo against Boko Haram. One false move by the security forces—take the clashes with the IMN in December 2015, in which almost 350 people were killed—can open up a new frontier that may push the administration beyond its limits.

And in a country with a melting pot of often-competing ethnicities, religions and political groups, things can quickly fall apart.

Famine: Ethiopia: 5.6 million people need urgent humanitarian assistance requiring in 2017 January 11, 2017

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5.6 Million Ethiopians are in need of emergency food assistance in 2017. Failed rains from late September to November caused a new drought in Oromia, Somali and SNNP regions. Pastoralist and agro pastoralist communities in Borena, Guji, Bale and East Hararge zones of Oromia region, all the nine zones of Somali region and Omo, Gamo Gofa and Segen zones of SNNP region are the most affected.

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Ethiopia’s Regime (TPLF) Resorts To Fascism To Control Citizens January 10, 2017

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WP: Ethiopia targets opposition who met with European lawmakers January 10, 2017

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January 9, 2017
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Ethiopia said Monday it will not release a leading opposition figure detained under the country’s state of emergency after meeting with European lawmakers in Belgium.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told reporters that Merara Gudina of the Oromo Federalist Congress party instead will face justice.

“Individuals in the European Parliament who are harboring anti-peace elements cannot save those who trespass the law of the country,” the prime minister said.

Merara is one of 22,000 people the prime minister said were detained under the state of emergency declared in October after widespread, sometimes deadly anti-government protests. The government has said several thousand have since been released.

Merara was arrested immediately after he returned from Belgium, where he met with the lawmakers about the state of emergency. He was accused of meeting with members of an armed Ethiopian opposition group in Brussels, an act banned under the emergency law.

Photos posted on social media show him sitting next to Birhanu Nega, leader of the armed opposition group called Ginbot 7 that mainly operates from Eritrea, and Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian marathon runner who crossed his wrists in a sign of protest while crossing the finish line at the Rio Olympic Games.

The Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia said the state of emergency’s wide-ranging restrictions have severely affected freedoms of expression and assembly. “Tens of thousands of individuals have been arrested arbitrarily” and dissent and independent reporting have been quashed, it said.

The state of emergency is set to end in May. The prime minister did not indicate it would be extended, but he told reporters that “as far as the date of lifting the state of emergency is concerned, it should be seen in the perspective that we have to consolidate the gains that we have made so far.”


 Fox News: Ethiopia targets opposition who met with European lawmakers

Ethiopia says it will not release a leading opposition figure detained under the country’s state of emergency after meeting with European lawmakers in Belgium.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told reporters on Monday that Merara Gudina of the Oromo Federalist Congress party instead will face justice.

The prime minister says “individuals in the European Parliament who are harboring anti-peace elements cannot save those who trespass the law of the country.”

Merara is one of 22,000 people the prime minister says were detained under the state of emergency declared in October after widespread anti-government protests.

Merara was arrested immediately after he returned from Belgium. He was accused of meeting with members of an armed Ethiopian opposition group in Brussels, an act banned under the emergency law.


 

Mail & Guardian Africa: Ethiopia’s political ripple a big test for infrastructure-led Chinese approach January 8, 2017

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Ethiopia’s political ripple a big test for infrastructure-led Chinese approach

 NIV HORESH, Mail & Guardian Africa, 06 JAN 2017 

Both the US and China could lose out if chaos spreads in the Horn of Africa.

Violence broke out during an Oromo religious festival, and in some instances foreigners seem to have been targeted. (Tiksa Negeri/Reuters)
Violence broke out during an Oromo religious festival, and in some instances foreigners seem to have been targeted. (Tiksa Negeri/Reuters)

Nearly three months into the state of emergency declared by Ethiopia, the atmosphere on the streets of its bustling and impressively modern metropolis and capital, Addis Ababa, feels tense.

At 2 355m above sea level, the climate is pleasantly mild most of the year. Its broad thoroughfares are studded with magnificent cultural attractions. These are infused with the glow of an ancient yet resilient civilisation that could withstand both Jesuit and Wahhabi encroachment.

READ MORE: #OromoProtests: An African salute to fight continued marginalisation and suppression

Yet, at present, tourists are understandably few and far between. There have been reports of hundreds of deaths in districts surrounding the capital in recent weeks. But these have been played down as an exaggeration by Prime Minister Heilemariam Desalegn.

Violence broke out during an Oromo religious festival, and in some instances foreigners seem to have been targeted. In response, the predominantly ethnic-Tigrean government clamped down on social media, took a few TV channels off the air, and restricted the movement of the opposition leader and foreign observers.

For the past few years, Ethiopia has been able to partly shed its association with abject poverty and famine. Arguably inspired by China, the country became a developmental success story and one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. At much the same time, Addis Ababa was able to capitalise on being the gateway to the politics of the African continent and foreign aid.

READ MORE: Ethiopia’s volcano: The Oromo are resisting the regime and its bid to grab their land

It is evident just how rapidly China’s stakes here have grown over the past few years. Just as evident is China’s different approach to development as compared with the West. It is also easy to see why the recent instability in Ethiopia is a real test to China’s approach.

Behind the veneer of Ethiopia’s parliamentary federalism lies an authoritarian system of state-led development that is preferred by Beijing over the country’s ragtag opposition forces. The question is whether the fruits of fast economic growth can be distributed sufficiently effectively in Ethiopia so as to forestall ethnic rural unrest.

Showcase infrastructural projects

Rather than providing grants directly aimed at poverty alleviation or promoting civil society, Chinese state-owned enterprises have been busy erecting showcase infrastructural projects. The aim is to attract further private business investment and to boost tourism.

The new sparkling African Union conference centre in Addis was fully funded by China. A new six-lane 87km highway to Adama has cut travel time from three hours to just one hour. And the international arm of China State Construction will soon give the capital a state-of-the-art stadium and upgrade its airport.

But perhaps a more persuasive productivity-booster is Addis Ababa’s new light-rail network completed in 2015 by China Railway Engineering Corporation. Often, the Chinese developmental approach is portrayed as construction frenzy ahead of genuine consumer demand.

Yet, far from being at risk of becoming a white elephant, it is already heavily used by local commuters just over a year after inauguration. In a city where taxi fares are exorbitant and buses are often in bad repair, the network is making a real difference to ordinary people’s lives.

But Beijing also runs a real risk here. In 2007, for example, 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese expatriates were murdered by Somali separatists in an attack on a Sinopec-run oilfield in the east of the country. There is clearly a strong case for Heilemariam to broaden his government’s ethnic support base and heed various regional and rural concerns about disenfranchisement as a result of foreign investment.

No zero-sum game between the US and China

Unlike the Chinese Foreign Affairs ministry, the US State Department has expressed concern over the imposition of the state of emergency.

But the Ethiopian government is likely to remain in the US’s good books. This is primarily because of its role in countering the spread of fundamentalist terrorism in the Horn of Africa. In fact, it is that role that has helped endear Ethiopia to the world, and facilitated Western relief aid.

On the other hand, it would be a mistake to conclude China’s growing stakes in Ethiopia immediately offset Western interests. For one thing, Ethiopia’s recent troubled history suggests the enemies of government often denounce oppression. But they do not necessarily champion human rights when they seize power themselves.

In addition, Western aid is still far greater and more vital to the running of the country than anything China provides. For all the speculation about the Chinese currency replacing the US dollar as global reserve currency soon, most hotels here do not seem to readily exchange China’s currency for Birr yet.

READ MORE: Oromo protests: Ethiopia arrests blogger Seyoum Teshome

There is, in short, no zero-sum game between the US and China over Ethiopia, at times quite to the contrary. Neither power is interested in Ethiopia purely for exploitative colonial-style mineral extraction, or is purely motivated by altruism. The budding, somewhat desultory Chinatown in Addis Ababa’s Rwanda Vegetable Market hardly comes across as an insular colonial outpost. And the Chinese embassy compound is vastly outsized by the American one.

What plays out instead are perhaps different approaches to the low-income world where the US has prized the diffusion of individual freedoms and human-rights norms and China has prized collective economic betterment. And both the US and China are set to lose out if chaos spreads in the Horn of Africa.

China’s approach may be benefiting Ethiopia

Amid capital scarcity, China’s different approach seems to benefit Ethiopia. Put simply, it opens up another avenue for development where the World Bank and IMF doctrines have until recently been the only show in town.

In concrete terms, it means Chinese companies nowadays bid for projects often with concessional terms – where, in the past, only Western companies had the technological capacity to deliver.

Hydro-electricity is perhaps the best example for that: a healthy competition seems to be building up between Italy’s Salini Impregilo and Sinohydro when it comes to damming Ethiopia’s rivers. Local and foreign NGO oversight would still be vital in order to minimise the dislocation and environmental degradation that both companies can cause.

But, at the same time, with better planning, the untapped potential of hydro-power might mean cleaner and lower-cost energy in a part of the world where power cuts are all too common.


Niv Horesh, Visiting Research Fellow, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


 

Oromia (WBO): Abdii fi Gaachanni Ummata Oromoo WBOn Falmaa Godhu Jabeessee Itti Fufuun Diina Haleele January 8, 2017

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WBOn Godina Kibba Bahaa Mudde 16 hanga 19,2016tti Falmaa Diina Waliin Godheen Injifannoo Galmeesse.

(SBO/VOL – Amajjii 08,2017) Oduun tarkaanfii waraanaa Ajaja WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa irraa bahe akka ifa godhutti, irree fi gaachanni ummata Oromoo WBOn Godina Kibba Bahaa waraana weerartuu wayyaanee sakattaan duubbee isaa jeequu fi isa dhabamsiisuuf karaa adda addaan humna guddaan itti bobba’e hamilee fi gootummaa guddaadhaan dura dhaabbatee falmaa godheen loltoota wayyaanee 95 ol hojiin ala gochuun qawwee AKM 19, Girinoova 1, boombii harkaa F1. 25 fi rasaasa hedduu dhuunfatee jira.

Haaluma kanaan Mudde 16,2016 WBOn Godina Kibba Bahaa Baalee keessa sossohu Ona Haroo Dibbee bakka Burii jedhamutti humna komand postii wayyaanee duraa fi boodaan itti bobba’e waliin falmaa godheen diina irraa 12 ajjeesee, 15 madoo taasisee jira. Falmaa kana irratti WBOn qawwee AK-47 10, boombii harkaa F1.25 fi rasaasa kilaashii 1000 ol booji’uun qabsoof oolchee jira. Lolli kun waaree booda 2:00 – 3:30tti geggeeffame.

Mudde 17,2016ttis humni WBO Godina Baalee Ona Galleey Diimaa bakka Eela Roqaa jedhamutti waraana wayyaanee bishaan eelaa irra qubatee ture weeraraan haleeluun 12 ajjeesee, 10 ol ammoo madoo taasisee jira.

Gootichi WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa Baalee keessa sossohu tarkaanfii isaa itti fufuun, Mudde 18,2016 Ona Gooroo bakka Gooroo Mudhii Sonsaa jedhamutti waraana wayyaanee sakattaa WBO irra turee galgala gara mooraa isaatti deebi’aa ture haxiidhaan rukutuun 17 irraa ajjeesee, 9 ammoo madoo taasisee jira. Qabeenyi diinaa qawween AKM 9, PKM/Girinoovi 1 fi rasaasni AKM 950n diina irraa booji’ameera.

Mudde 19,2016tti Godina Baalee Ona Haroo Dibbee bakka Kaarra Buruurii jedhamutti humna WBO aamna irra turee fi waraana wayyaanee gidduutti galgala sa’aa 6:00 – 6:30tti lola geggeeffameen diina irraa 9 ajjeefamee 11 ol ammoo madeeffamee jira.

Mootummaan wayyaanee duubbee WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa jeequu, WBO duubbee akka hin qabaannee fi lafa akka hin qabanne gochuuf walitti fufiinsaan maqaa sakattaan gammoojjii Baalee keessatti humna komandpostii fi waraana dhaabbataa akkasumas miliishota gosa adda addaa bobbaasee sakattaa bal’aa geggeessaa jiraatus, WBOn wareegama guddaa kafalee diina dura dhaabbatuun falmaa hadhaawaa taasisaa jiruun, injifannoo boonsaa galmeessaa akeeka diinaa hongeessaa akka jiru Ajaji WBO Godina Kibba Bahaa beeksiseera.


Ethiopian Security Chief of Eastern Command Assassinated

Source: SBO
SBO (OLF Radio) status update from Adami Tulu, E Shoa Jan. 5, 2016:
An agriculture complex owned by a TPLF higher official is destroyed by “Special Force” on Dec. 31, 2015 in Adami Tulu District [Woreda], E Shoa. Among destroyed are:
– 5 water tanker trucks,
– 1 tractor,
– 1 corn peeling machine,
– 5 iron (qorqoorroo) houses

      Sagalee Bilisummaa Oromoo


Tiki Olaanaan Wayyaanee Gochaa Yakkaa Bakkoota Adda Addaatti Ilmaan Oromoo Irratti Raawwachuun Beekamu Magaalaa Harar Keessatti Humna Addaa WBOn Ajjeefame

Abdii fi Gaachanni Ummata Oromoo WBOn gartuun Humna Addaa Godina Bahaa Amajjii 03, 2016 magaalaa Harar keessaa bakka Dakkar jedhamutti basaasaa fi tika olaanaa gartuu abbaa irree wayyaanee kan ta’e Haayluu G. Tsaadiq kan lammummaan Tigree ta’e irratti tarkaanfii xumuraa fudhateen ajjeesuu Ajaji WBO Godina Baha Oromiyaa beeksise.

Tiki wayyaanee kun waraqaa eenyummaa (ID) kan Itophiyaa, Jibuutii, Somalilandii fi Puntland kan qabu oggaa ta’u, biyya keessa dabalatee biyyoota kanneen keessa naanna’uudhaan ilmaan Oromoo Oromummaan ykn miseensota ykn deggertoota ABO ti jechuun akka hidhaman, ukkaamfamanii fi ajjeefamaniif yakka hiriyaa hin qabne kan raawwataa ture ta’uun beekameera.

Humni Addaa WBO Godina Bahaa tika olaanaa wayyaanee Haayluu G. Tsaadiq irratti kan tarkaanfii fudhate konkolaataa inni ittiin deemaa ture dhaabsisuun oggaa ta’u, shugguxii tokkoo fi maallaqa Itophiyaa 9000s irraa booji’uu Ajaji WBO Godina Bahaa dabalee beeksiseera.

Gama biraan Humni Addaa WBO Godina Bahaa Amajjii 04, 2016 guyyaa kaleessaa naannoo Qobbootti tarkaanfii hidhattoota wayyaanee irratti fudhateen 4 ajjeesuun injifannoo galmeessuu isaa Ajaji WBO Godinichaa ifa godhee jira. Tarkaanfiin diinaa fi basaasota diinaa irratti fudhatamu cimee kan itti fufu ta’uus hubachiiseera.


Godina Baha Shawaa Ona Adaamii Tulluu Keessatti Qabeenyaan Angawaa Olaanaa Mootummaa Wayyaanee Tokko Gartuu Humna Addaan Daareffame.

Godina Baha Shawaa Ona Adaamii Tulluu ganda Aneenoo Shiishuu keessatti kan argamu qabeenyi maallaqa hedduutti shallagamu kan qabeenyummaan isaa kan angawaa wayyaanee olaanaa tokkoo ta’e Mudde 31, 2015 gartuu Humna Addaan tarkaanfii irratti fudhatameen barbadeeffamuu oduun SBO dhaqqabe hubachiise.

Angawaan wayyaanee olaanaan kun ummata irratti haalaan roorrisaa kan ture oggaa ta’u, qabeenyi isaa meeshaalee gara garaa of keessaa qabu maasii misooma qonnaa Musxafaa Geraanyi jedhamu keessatti argamu tarkaanfii Humna Addaan guutuutti barbadeeffameera.

Gartuun Humna Addaa waardiyoota maasii qabeenyaa angawaa olaanaa mootummaa wayyaanee kanaa eegaa turan erga ukkaamsee to’atnaa jala galcheen booda, meeshaalee maasicha keessatti argaman Taankera Bishaanii 5, Tiraakteera qonnaa 1, Maashina Boqqolloo falfalu 1, Doqdoqqee (Motorcyklii) 1, manneen qorqorroo 5 fi maallaqa callaa kan biyyattii 100,000 olitti shallagamu waliin guutuutti gubuun akka barbadeesse oduun kun ifa godha.

Tarkaanfii Humna Addaa kanaan kan baarage mootummaan faashistii wayyaanee waraana isaa baay’inaan naannoo kanatti bobbaasuun sakattaa geggeessuu itti fufee kan jiru oggaa ta’u, abbootiin qabeenyaa wayyaanees sodaan liqimfamanii qabeenya qaban mara waraanaan eegsisaa akka jiran hubatameera.

Qabeenyi qondaala wayyaanee tokko barbadaa'uun gabaafame Naannoo magaalaa alamganaatti kan argamu warshaan oomishaa meeshaalee ijaarsaa kan obboo Gabruu walda amaanu'el kan jedhamu barbadaa'uun isaa oduun amma as bahe ni hima. Kan hafes haa gubatu

Qabeenyi qondaala wayyaanee tokko barbadaa’uun gabaafame.
Naannoo magaalaa alamganaatti kan argamu warshaan oomishaa meeshaalee ijaarsaa kan obboo Gabruu walda amaanu’el kan jedhamu barbadaa’uun isaa oduun amma as bahe ni hima. Kan hafes haa gubatu


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.


 

AFCON 2017: African Cup of Nations 2017 – Match Schedule January 8, 2017

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2017 African Cup of Nations Live Stream Online (14 January-05 February)

 


Premier international competition in Africa will be taking place in January 2017 which is widely known as “African Cup of Nations”. Gabon will be hosting the 21 day competition starting from 14th January 2017 and will be played through 05 February 2017. Many top African players will be leaving their club sides in Europe to be part of the premier African competition. There will be 16 teams participating in the tournament which starts with group stage of 4 groups with 4 teams each. Top two qualify for the knockout stages and the final takes places on Sunday, 05 February 2017 at Stade de l’Amitié, Libreville.

2017 African Cup of Nations Live Stream

This will be the 31th ediction of African Continents premier football competition. It was started back in 1957 when only three teams competed in a tri-nation competition but with the passage of time football has evolved in africa and now 16 teams take part in what is a very competitive competition. So far 18 nations in Africa has hosted the competition and 2017 African cup of nations will be taking place in Gabon who are hosting it for the very first time.

Ivory Coast will be defending their title which they won back in 2015. They will be favourites alongside Egypt and Cameroon.

Ivory Coast will be defending their title which they won back in 2015. They will be favourites alongside Egypt and Cameroon.

14 nations have won the competition so far with Egypt being the most successful team in the competition having won it 7 times while Ghana and Cameroon has won it 4 times each. Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon has the all time leading goal scorer in African cup of nations and he will be part of Cameroon squad.

African Cup of Nations 2017 – Match Schedule:

The competition will start with the opening game between hosts Gabon and Guinea-Bissau on 14th January while the final match will be played 5th February 2017. here is the complete match schedule of the tournament.

Chelsea Shirt Sponsorship Deal With Turkish Airlines
NO# MATCH DATE TIME (Local)
1 Gabon vs Guinea-Bissau (Group A) 14 January 17:00
2 Burkina Faso vs Cameroon (Group A) 14 January 20:00
3 Algeria vs Zimbabwe (Group B) 15 January 17:00
4 Tunisia vs Senegal (Group B) 15 January 20:00
5 Ivory Coast vs Togo (Group C) 16 January 17:00
6 DR Congo vs Morocco (Group C) 16 January 20:00
7 Ghana vs Uganda (Group D) 17 January 17:00
8 Egypt vs Mali (Group D) 17 January 20:00
9 Gabon vs Burkina Faso  (Group A) 18 January 17:00
10 Cameroon vs Guinea-Bissau (Group A) 18 January 20:00
11 Algeria vs Tunisia (Group B) 19 January 17:00
12 Senegal vs Zimbabwe (Group B) 19 January 20:00
13 Ivory Coast vs DR Congo (Group C) 20 January 17:00
14 Morocco vs Togo (Group C) 20 January 20:00
15 Ghana vs Mali (Group D) 21 January 17:00
16 Egypt vs Uganda (Group D) 21 January 20:00
17 Cameroon vs Gabon (Group A) 22 January 20:00
18 Guinea-Bissau vs Burkina Faso (Group A) 22 January 20:00
19 Senegal vs Algeria (Group B) 23 January 20:00
20 Zimbabwe vs Tunisia (Group B) 23 January 20:00
21 Morocco vs Ivory Coast (Group C) 24 January 20:00
22 Togo vs DR Congo (Group C) 24 January 20:00
23 Egypt vs Ghana (Group D) 25 January 20:00
24 Uganda vs Mali (Group D) 25 January 20:00
25 Quarter Final #1 (Winner A vs Runnerup B) 28 January 17:00
26 Quarter Final #2 (Winner D vs Runnerup C) 28 February 20:00
27 Quarter Final #3 (Winner C vs Runnerup D) 29 February 17:00
28 Quarter Final #4 (Winner D vs Runnerup A) 29 January 20:00
29 Semi Final # 1  01 February 20:00
30 Semi Final # 2  02 February 20:00
31 Third Place Playoff  04 February 20:00
 32 The Final  05 February 20:00

table seperater

BBC: Oromia: No regrets for Ethiopia’s Olympic protester. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution January 4, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Feyisa Lelisa  Rio Olympian and world icon of #OromoProtestsHero Hero, double hero in Olympic Marathon, Rio 2016 and Oromummaa. Oromo athlete. Fayyisaa Lelisaa.

BBC: No regrets for Ethiopia’s Olympic protester

Feyisa Lilesa caught the world’s attention when he raised his arms in solidarity with the Oromo people as he crossed the finishing line at the Rio Olympic games. He tells Julian Keane what the gesture has cost him.

Ethiopia: Some 2,000,000 pastoralists and agro pastoralists need emergency food assistance; serious water shortage continues to affect the regions January 3, 2017

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: Ethiopia Weekly Humanitarian Bulletin, 02 January 2017

Drought exacerbated by El Niño, combined with extensive flooding, disease outbreaks and the disruption of basic public services, continue to have a negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of 9.7 million Ethiopians. Urgent funding gaps for the response remain across multiple sectors to the end of 2016, notably for response to Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD), for interventions in animal health and food assistance. Major funding requirements are already anticipated for early 2017, as there are concerning indications that the current negative Indian Ocean Dipole, may affect water availability, livestock body condition and Meher harvest performance in southern and eastern Ethiopia.

Some 2,000,000 pastoralists and agro pastoralists need emergency food assistance; serious water shortage continues to affect the regions

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Oromia: Gaaffii fi deebii RAB Ob. Jawaar Mohaammad woliin goote dhaggeefadhaa January 3, 2017

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Violence Against Free Media and Knowledge Dissemination in Ethiopia: An Analysis of the Mechanisms of Restrictions on Information Flow January 3, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Human Rights.
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Violence Against Free Media and Knowledge Dissemination in Ethiopia: An Analysis of the Mechanisms of Restrictions on Information Flow

By Habtamu Dugo, Visiting Professor of Communications,
University of the District of Columbia

hab.dugo@gmail.com


Abstract

This article examines multiple mechanisms the Ethiopian state has been using to implement information blackout throughout the country in order to distort, misrepresent, hide and deny massive human rights infractions perpetrated by the military against citizens demanding self-government, basic rights and justice across Oromia state and Ethiopia. The data for this research were obtained through multiple research approaches, which included reviewing three relevant Ethiopian laws that justify information blackout; reviewing reports by human rights organizations; reviewing news stories on the topic in multiple languages; and reviewing audio-visual materials containing press releases from Ethiopian authorities. The study finds that the Ethiopian government has used a mixture of mechanisms to restrict the free flow of information by: introducing a slew of draconian proclamations, resorting to suppressing and removing communications applications and hardware and engaging in robust local and global misinformation and denial campaigns in times of unprecedented domestic political upheavals.

Key words: press freedom, freedom of speech, media control, social media control, information blackout, state-led violence, Oromo, Ethiopia, East Africa, Horn of Africa.

Introduction

In the summer of 2014 Ethiopian government police, security forces and commando units shot live ammunitions into crowds of peaceful protesters killing at least 100 (OP, 2014). The protesters were opposed to a city planning scheme known as the Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan (IDMP). By the time this plan was released, Addis Ababa’s expansion had already displaced 150, 000 families of Oromo farmers and was set to displace millions more across Oromia (Legesse, 2014).

Demonstrators demanded that the IDMP be halted immediately and the Oromo people’s constitutional right to self-rule be respected. The Ethiopian government did not respond to the popular demands. Instead, authorities promised massive violence against civilians in an attempt to continue the implementation of the draconian plan (Biyyaa, 2014), characterized by the Oromo as “master killer.”

In a compressive study released in 2014, Amnesty International (2014) reported that between 2011 and 2015, “at least 5000 Oromos have been arrested based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government.” The popular understanding of the IDRP among the Oromo is that it will continue to uproot millions of Oromo farmers from their land and lead to the eventual splitting of Oromia into two halves—the east and the west. This will separate the Oromo people who share the same language, identity and a regional state from each other. Even families would be separated as they have been in North and South Korea.

None of the perpetrators of the April and May 2014 massacres were brought to justice nor was there an independent investigation into the mass killings by government security. Instead,some government officials such as Abay Tsehaye, the former Minister of Federal Affairs, threatened to take more actions against anyone who is opposed to the plan (OMN, 2014).

Oromia-wide protests against the IDMP recurred in mid-November 2015 in small town west of the capital city “when the government transferred the ownership of a school playground and a stadium to private investors, in addition to clearing the Chilimo natural forest to also make way for investors,” (AI, 2015). In just over a few weeks, the protests spread to all parts of Oromia, involving people from all walks of life. The government responded with lethal force which resulted in the death of more than 200 people, including children, women and the elderly (HRLHA, 2015). Thousands of Oromos were wholesale labeled as “terrorists”, giving a blank check to government officials and commanders of the security forces to act with impunity. Hundreds were killed, thousands maimed and several thousand imprisoned. The government placed a ban on domestic and international human rights organizations, media, journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists to cover up the use of lethal force to suppress the protests and the staggering number of casualties.

Human Rights Watch noted the government’s tight chokehold on information as follows: “Ethiopia’s pervasive restrictions on independent civil society and media mean that very little information is coming from affected areas although social media are filled with photos and videos of the protests,” (HRW, 2016). This has left the global community in the dark about the real magnitude of the crimes security forces have committed. This paper analyzes the different facets of the Ethiopian government’s restrictions on information flow focusing on actions taken during the Oromo protests of 2015-16.

I contend that the government’s endeavors to create an information blackout was designed to avoid responsibility for the mass killings, maiming, detentions, rape and other crimes that the federal police, the Agazi Special Forces, and other state security units have committed against unarmed Oromo civilians. The study also reveals that the government has used a number of ‘legal’ and coercive strategies and tactics to exercise monopolistic control over information.

Disinformation

One of the ways in which the government uses to conceal its atrocities is the state-controlled media and crackdown on alternative media. With near monopoly on media outlets in the country, top government officials appear on state-controlled television (formerly ETV) and make statements that cannot stand to simply scrutiny. On December 15, 2015, for instance, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn threatened to take “merciless actions” against Oromo protestors whom he labeled “terrorists,” “anti-peace forces” and “destabilizing “forces”. He indicated that the government’s Anti-Terror Task Force will take swift measures to restore order. While the security forces have indeed carried out the orders, the purpose of the threats was to cow people into submission. In other words, the media is used to carry out disinformation battles that parallel the real actions.

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Free Dr. Merera Gudina And All Political Prisoners In Ethiopia January 2, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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free-professor-merera-gudinaFree Bekele Gerba and all political prisonners in Ethiopia

Free Dr. Merera Gudina And All Political Prisoners In Ethiopia

January 01, 2017


Currently, the TPLF led regime in Ethiopia is undertaking a mass arrest of Oromos under their draconian law of state of emergency. Recently they jailed the last voice of the Oromo in Ethiopia, Dr Merera Gudina, leading to the imprisonment of almost all leadership of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC). The allegation for his imprisonment was for giving testimony to the European Parliament about the current violation of human right in Ethiopia. Furthermore, the regime jailed one of Dr. Merera’s lawyers at Ambo prison. So, there is no single opposition political party in Ethiopia that represent the Oromo, a single largest ethnic group in the country.

OFC-ISG, Friends and supporters of Dr Merera Gudina organized an Ad Hoc Committee with motto “Free Dr Merera Gudina And All Politica Prisnors In Ethiopia” to provide international level support for his Lawyers and also to bring this issue to the attention of International Community. Hence, the following Bank Account is a special account opened to help Dr. Merera Gudina finacially. We (OFC-ISG, Freinds, and supporters of Dr. Merera Gudina) kindly request your support for the cause by donating.

Wire Transfer:
Bank Name: Chase Bank
Account Name: Oromo Federalist Congress International Support Group(OFC-ISG)
Account Number: 432572902
Routing Number: 122100024
International Number or code: CHASUS33 OR CHASUS33XXX
Check
Payable to: Oromo Federalist Congress International Support Group
Memo: FREE DR. MERERA
Address: 10314 West Superior Ave
TOLLESON, AZ 85353

For More Information Contact:
Public Relation Officer: Alemayehu Feyera
Phone: 3012734205
Email: afayera@gmail.com

Financial Officer: Dr. Tilahun Jiffar
Phone: 1-281-795-0477
e-mail: moti1123@att.net

Thank You For Your Support
The Ad Hoc Committee

Here is the link to Gofundme:- https://www.gofundme.com/ea-free-dr-merera


Oromia: Human Rights League New Year’s Message: “It always Seems Dark Until the Sun Rises” January 2, 2017

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Human rights League of the Horn of Africa


New Year’s Message from  HRLHA“It always Seems Dark Until the Sun Rises”December 31, 2016


The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is delighted to be closing 2016. The organization is deeply grateful to its valued Board members, reporters, members, and supporters for their extraordinary  efforts to help the HRLHA continue to be the voice for the voiceless in the Horn of Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular this year.

In 2016, the Horn of Africa Region remains one of the most volatile regions in the world. The civilian unrest in Ethiopia, the civil war in S. Sudan, and Somalia, the mass exodus from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia  to neighboring countries away from executions and famine, were some of the notable crucial problems in the region.

The year of  2016 has been a year of sorrows and chaos for nations  and nationalities in Ethiopia, due to the deplorable evil actions taken by Ethiopian government killing agents against peaceful Oromo, Amhara and Konso protests in which the Oromo, Amhara, Konso and other  nations and nationalities simply tried to exercise their fundamental rights to present their grievances. During the peaceful protests in Oromia, which have been going on for over one  year  in Amhara regional states and Konso Zone,  a number of citizens have been massacred, incarcerated, tortured and disappeared. Due to its mistreatment of its citizens, the government lost control over the country as  a whole and then declared a state of emergency to quell the dissent. Since the state of emergency was declared  on October 8, 2016,  many gross human rights violations have been registered- killings, abductions, and imprisonments. These continue to the present day among Oromo and Amhara nationals.

The staff members and reporters of HRLHA have worked  tirelessly to  expose the government of Ethiopia’s tyranny and defend and promote human rights in 2016; their work this year has been at its most intense than any of the past nine years. We gave maximum efforts to bring to light the atrocities in Ethiopia in a challenging environment characterized by administrative sanctions on mass media, including social media, email, telephone, sanctions designed to hide the atrocities the government killing agents were committing.

We are  greatly indebted to  HRLHA members, reporters and supporters who have shown courage and stood with us on this front to deliver their responsibilities of monitoring and reporting human rights abuses in Ethiopia under such difficult situations.

The HRLHA believes that 2016  was the darkest year in the history of the Oromo  nation. To give just one example, a mother and father lost their three sons in one night in their home to the government killing squad Agazi force. The mother was forced by the killers to sit on her son’s dead body. In other cases, women were raped in front of their husbands. These are just to mention  a few of the crimes known to have been perpetuated against Ethiopians by the dictatorial TPLF/EPRDF government crime groups. The HRLHA believes, however, that behind the darkness there is light for which we must continue fighting “It always Seems Dark Until the Sun Rises”.   It might seem that  the fight for our  basic and fundamental rights is over,  due to the repressions by the dictatorial TPLF/EPRDF government for  over the past twenty five years  since its formation in 1991. But it is not yet over, we should not give up, we must continue fighting for our rights until we win.

Therefore, in 2017, we must redouble the fight to protect human rights, democracy and equality by exposing  the dishonesty of the Ethiopian government to its ordinary citizens, and also to its political party members and government authorities.

The biggest fight of all, however, is the struggle for the well-being of all Ethiopians, for equality, and for the elimination of all forms of discrimination. It is also the most difficult because the present reality still hits hard at those who live through the anxiety and anguish of poverty and violence.

Finally, the HRLHA urges all peace, democracy and  human rights lovers, governments, government and non-government agencies to work together, so that the core values of peace, democracy, human rights, security and development will be restored in the Horn of Africa region in the incoming year of 2017.

“Let us strive together to make  all expectations and goals for each day be fulfilled on the day itself, to remove the darkness in the past  and to bring a brighter future in the incoming year of 2017 “

“We Fight For Human Rights!”

Happy New year for all!!

Garoma B. Wakessa
Director, HRLHA


 

Oromia (Africa): Oromo Person of The Year 2016: The Qubee Generation. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution January 1, 2017

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For inspiring and moving the world with their disciplined courage and bravery in the face of relentless state brutality, for bringing the dream of freedom ever closer to being realized, for their bold commitment to a cause greater than self, for finally forcing the world to pay attention to the plight of Oromo people and for rejuvenating and energizing the Oromo movement and bringing it to the cusp of victory, the Qubee Generation is OPride’s Oromo Person (s) of the year 2016.For over a year, Ethiopia teetered and tottered to contain protests roiling the Oromia state, home to the Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group. The grim year not only tested the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF’s, quarter-century stranglehold over the country but also the limits of human perseverance against determined state action.

Although similar demonstrations have taken place in the Amhara state, Oromia remained the epicenter of the widespread and sustained anti-government protests throughout 2016. Few, if any, of Oromia’s 560 towns and 180 districts, escaped the growing anger and revolt of ordinary citizens against the central state.

From Ginchi to Ajje, Guliso to Nekemte, Awaday to Dallo Mana, and anywhere in between, students, parents and teachers as townsfolk and farmers fought side by side to challenge the social, economic and political marginalization of the Oromo people in Ethiopia. The Oromo constitute nearly half of Ethiopia’s 100 million people, but they remain marginalized.

For the first 10 months of 2016, millions across Oromia took to the streets, demanding an end to forceful dispossession of their ancestral land, the land grab, the release of political prisoners, and the rule of law as opposed to the rule by the gun and prison. Ethiopian security forces responded to peaceful protesters as they always do: Using an excessive and disproportionate force, including live bullets as a standard crowd-control tool. But the state’s extraordinary measures only engendered more anger and inspired more street protests.

In fact, both the protests and the official brutality were unprecedented, even by EPRDF’s checkered history of violence. Security forces killed more than 1,000 people in Oromia alone in 2016. Hundreds were wounded. And the besieged state saw record levels of arrests with legions disappearing in the maze of military training facilities acting as a concentration-like prisoner holding camps. Tens of thousands, including nearly all top leaders of the only “legal” Oromo opposition party, the Oromo Federalist Congress, remain incarcerated on dubious terrorism charges.

The protests began in November 2015, initially over opposition to an urban master plan that sought to expand the boundaries of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, gobbling up Oromo towns, farmlands, and villages.

Sheer horror

The year’s biggest tragedy took place on the sacred grounds of Hora Arsadi, in Bishoftu, about 25 miles southeast of Addis Ababa. On Sunday, October 2, an estimated 2 million people made the annual pilgrimage to Bishoftu’s ancient crater lake to observe Irreechaa, a premier Oromo thanksgiving holiday that has become the symbol and celebration of Oromummaa (the Oromo identity) itself.

On the millennia-old Irreecha celebration, the Oromo give thanks to their creator (Waaqa) for the bountiful harvests of Birra (spring) and to renew their hopes and aspirations for future after a dark, rainy winter season.

But 2016 was not an ordinary year for the Oromo. The mood ahead of this year’s Irreechaa was predictably tense. Staying true to tradition, the youth arrived in Bishoftu from across Oromia fervently singing resistance songs and chanting anti-government slogans. The protesters’ impatience was palpable even the night before Irreechaa. While there were no major incidents for much of the morning, it was clear that the sea of youth came to Arsadi to make a stand — a statement. Early in the afternoon, as the chorus of protests grew louder, a standoff ensued near the main stage where officials give speeches and traditional leaders offer blessings.

Image: The Guardian

What happened next was tragic beyond words: sheer horror ensued as security forces fired tear gas and live bullets into millions gathered in a confined space. The crowd was surrounded by heavily armed security forces, a lake, deep gorges and ditches. As shots began to ring out from above the crater, festival goers ran for their lives. But they had no way out, encircled as they were by gun-toting officers from the left and shrub-covered ditches on the right side, and a deep lake from below.

At least 678 people died in the ensuing stampede, according to OFC officials and hospital sources. It’s the darkest hour in contemporary Oromo history. Innocent lives were lost on a day they came to celebrate their culture and heritage. The day will forever be remembered as the “Irreechaa massacre,” an extraordinarily savage and horrific tragedy in which the Ethiopian security forces caused the death of hundreds of Oromos.

The bravest act at the Rio Olympic

Unsurprisingly, the turmoil in Ethiopia received marginal media coverage for much of the year. That changed in August. No other event — not even the Irreechaa massacre — had the effect of mainstreaming and raising global awareness about the repression of the Oromo people than Feyisa Lilesa’s defiantly heroic Olympic protest.

On Sunday, August 21, as he approached the finish line, winning a silver medal in the men’s marathon, Feyisa crossed his wrists over his head, forming an X, a popular gesture of protest used by the Oromo youth in Ethiopia. With that simple protest, dubbed “the bravest act at the 2016 Olympics,” which he repeated at the post-race press conference, Feyisa both inspired and implored the world to pay attention to the horrific tragedy taking place in Ethiopia.

Feyisa faced a potential loss of his medal and a grave danger to his life as well as family. But he gave no hoot. “I don’t want to look at my children any different from the children of other people in my country who are being killed,” he later told reporters. “They face the same fate and the same destiny like all other children in Ethiopia.”

Feyisa, 26, was born in West Shewa, Jaldu District in 1990, a year before the EPRDF regime took power in Ethiopia. Growing up in Jaldu about 120km west of Addis Ababa near the border of Macha and Tulama, Feyisa witnessed the injustices and indignities faced by Oromo people. As an elite athlete, he faced a significant dilemma. “I could not join my peers in the streets if I were going to have the chance to compete at all,” he told reporters in September. “I had to leave the country a lot in order to compete overseas, so I knew that if I protested with the ordinary citizens, I would be blocked from ever leaving the country again.”

But the country’s political troubles and blatant violations of human rights affected him deeply for a long time. He recalls visiting friends, former classmates, and acquaintances in prisons. In Addis Ababa, he helps young people from Jaldu and other places who run away from home to escape arrest and have become homeless. This is why his Olympic protest did not come as a spur of the moment decision. It was informed by his own lived experiences. He quietly but meticulously planned and prepared for it months in advance. “I made the decision to protest in Rio three months before the Olympics,” he said. “As soon as the Ethiopian Athletics Federation selected me for the marathon, I decided to work hard and make a stand if I won and got a good result.” The rest, as they say, is history.

The fact that the Oromo, a nation that gave birth to some of the finest long-distance runners in the world, including the great Abebe Bikila, Mammo Wolde, Darartu Tulu, Almaz Ayana and what not, had to wait until 2016 to savor such a demonstration by one of its sons speaks volumes that the current generation had it enough with the marginalization of the Oromo in the Ethiopian state.

Feyisa knew it would be the biggest moment of his life. He anticipated it to be one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. But, he admits, he did not expect the outpouring of the global support he received and the remarkable impact his gesture had in creating awareness. Feyisa’s protest in Rio and his subsequent press conference in Washington, DC, where he spoke to more than 30 journalists from 25 media organizations, generated far more press coverage than the year-long protests in which over 1,000 innocent lives were savagely cut short.

His name will forever be mentioned alongside two legendary African-American athletes —Tommie Smith and John Carlos — who made history by raising the black power salute during the U.S. national anthem at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Other notable comparisons include Muhammad Ali, who famously denounced the Vietnam War, and Billie Jean King, who championed women’s equality long before it was in vogue.

Feyisa has already won international recognition for his defiant protest. Earlier this month, the Foreign Policy magazine named him among the 2016 top 100 global thinkers. He was recognized as a challenger, “for breaking the rules of the games  in order to call attention to the brutal actions of his country’s security forces.” Feyisa was also included in the Huffington Post’s list of “athletes who inspired off the field in 2016.” Deutsche Welle featured him in its top ten stories that moved Africa in 2016.

Down, Down Wayane

Feyisa’s was not the only uncommon act of courage by an Oromo in 2016. The defiant protest at Irreechaa in October was the clearest evidence yet of a generation that’s determined to end the Oromo people’s marginalization. As if Feyisa’s wasn’t enough, the generation’s resolve and defiance of authoritarianism were illustrated in one courageous act by Gemeda Wario Wotiye.

Gemeda, 20, came to Bishoftu the morning of the Irreechaa festival with his friends from Shashamane. He was angry, like all of his peers, about the killings of peaceful protesters, the endless arrests of Oromo leaders, the hegemonic domination of ethnic Tigrayans over the country and EPRDF’s deepening authoritarianism. But Gemeda had no special plans other than being part of the Irreechaa festivity and the protests. It was his first time attending the annual event.

The native of Siinqillee town in the restive West Arsi zone grew up in Shashamane. He helped organize protests at his preparatory school. He was detained and held at Sanqallee military camp for more than a month. But until then he was still like any ordinary 11th-grader. Nothing, except his uncommon courage, could have prepared him for what transpired next. As the standoff between the protesters and the attending officialdom heated up that afternoon, Gemeda made a spur-of-the-moment decision and jumped onto the stage. Video footage from the scene shows Gemeda snatching a microphone from one of the emcees who was unsuccessfully pleading with the protesters for calm.

Microphone in hand, Gemeda stretched out his arms toward the sea of protesters gathered below, and started shouting, “down, down Woyane, down, down TPLF.” (Woyane is a moniker for the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the kingmakers in the hodgepodge EPRDF coalition.) Gemeda’s neck veins bulged as he led the crowd in the now famous chant. The crowd went wild with jubilation responding to his chant with earth shattering chants of their own and by repeating it numerous times over, with wrists crossed above their head, and finally breaking out into a pandemonium of cheers and jeers.

Gemeda was quickly booted off the stage but his extraordinarily brave act boosted the protesters’ morale, much to the chagrin of the officials and security forces. This provoked the trigger-happy federal security forces to unleash their brutal massacre. Gemeda’s chant, which he blurted out almost accidentally, and the resounding response by the protesters made one thing unmistakably clear: that the only remaining source of legitimacy for the EPRDF government was its monopoly of the forces of violence.

Gemeda’s courageous act quickly gained attention on social media, becoming the most widely shared rallying cry of protesters in the aftermath of that tragic day. The regime simply stepped up its repression. In retaliation, protesters began torching government buildings and gutting foreign-owned business installations. Among the casualties was an American researcher.

The changes in the protesters’ tactics made the region virtually ungovernable, prompting EPRDF to declare a six-month state of emergency on October 9. Following a massive manhunt, Gemeda fled to Egypt after weeks of hiding. He crossed the Sahara desert on foot, retracing a treacherous route increasingly being used by hundreds of young Oromos looking for a safe haven and better opportunities. It is worth noting here that, for the Oromo, the calamity at home in the past year was compounded by the loss of more young lives at the high waters of the Mediterranean, where in one April boat tragedy alone some 180 Oromos perished.

Our rationale: #OromoProtests is a generational revolt

Without a doubt, both Feyisa and Gemeda qualify to be OPride’s Oromo Persons of the Year. They were disruptive to unjust power; they challenged both our assumptions and the status quo, and they became instant heroes to millions of young Ethiopians by defying the odds and gods. Praise songs have been written to extol their bravery and honor their courage.

All told, we initially set out to write an individual profile of Feyisa and honor his once-in-a-generation protest. But a common thread emerged as we researched our much-anticipated, year-end feature story. It was a difficult decision indeed, but in recent years we have also made a tradition of honoring those whose names and selfless deeds are known only unto God. 2016 gave us too many such unsung heroes. The list includes Mustefa Hussein, Adam Dima, Haji Guye Dula, and countless others. But, in the end, we settled on Qubee generation because the Oromo protest is, by and large, a generational revolt.

“If you suffocate people and they don’t have any other options but to protest, it breaks out,” Ambo University lecturer and now certified torture survivor, Seyoum Teshome, told the New York Times in August. “The whole youth is protesting. A generation is protesting.”

Seyoum was right. Gemeda’s defiant protest at Irreechaa 2016 and Feyisa’s brave act at the Rio Olympics epitomize the valor and gallantry of a generation revolting.

Even in a grim year that saw such an unspeakable tragedy, the remarkable Qubee Generation provided hope, to young and old, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Even in a grim year that saw such an unspeakable tragedy — from a mother in Burayu who, after losing her newborn child, had to bury alone because the father was detained in Qilinto prison and she couldn’t rally her neighbors because of the state of emergency; to a wedding party in Ajje that was shot at for simply playing a music that authorities did not approve of; to the devastated parents in Sirka, East Arsi, whose three children were lost to a senseless and random execution by the Agazi force — the remarkable Qubee Generation provided hope, to young and old, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Who are the Qubee Generations?

There is no standardized age range to define this generation, but the term generally refers to those born in the early 1980s onward. In terms of age, the Qubee generation is what a millennial is in the United States. It takes the prefix Qubee from the Latin alphabet that’s adopted in the 1990s for writing in Afaan Oromo. In 1991, when Qubee was formally adopted and Afaan Oromo became the official language of Oromia, the 80s kids were entering middle school, becoming the first generation of Oromos to go to school and learn in their native language.

The Qubee generation now consists of college students, recent graduates, and students in high school and middle schools. Unlike their parent’s generation, the Qubee generation studied in their mother tongue, Afaan Oromo. They are keenly aware of Oromia’s boundaries. This is true in Oromia as it is elsewhere in Ethiopia’s nine linguistic-based pseudo-federal states. This generation grew up singing their respective region’s anthems as opposed to the national anthem. Few, if any, can actually recite Ethiopia’s national anthem by heart. In Oromia, informed by long-standing national grievances toward the central state, the Qubee generation exhibits a pure and unadulterated allegiance to the Oromo question, a demand for the end of Oromo people’s marginalization in the Ethiopian state.

An estimated 71 percent of the Ethiopian population is under the age of 30. In 2014,  Ethiopia had a total of 19,382,000 pupils enrolled in primary and secondary education. In the 2013/14 school year, some 627,452 students were enrolled in Ethiopia’s higher education system. More than half a million students enroll in public secondary schools across Oromia every year. This means that the overwhelming majority of today’s protesters are members of the fierce and fearless Qubee generation.

This generation is also acutely aware of their basic rights, as enshrined in the country’s little-practiced constitution — rights that are so callously trampled upon by the EPRDF regime. This is in part because they were taught civic education at an early age. The Qubee generation is by far the most connected thanks to the proliferation of mobile phones.

The adoption of Qubee is one of the enduring legacies of the struggle and sacrifices of the preceding generations. They blazed the trail with blood, literally, so that the Qubee generation can, even with the absence of the full freedoms they fought for, can proudly and unapologetically proclaim, I am Oromo first and I am proud of it. The pioneer generation should also be celebrating as this is in away the fruits of their hard labor. Waqo Gutu, Tadesse Birru, Elemo Qilxu and their contemporaries must all be smiling, even from beyond the clouds.

The soundtrack of the revolution

Artists and singers have long been the vanguard of Oromo nationalism. However, the indomitable spirit of the Qubee generation is best gleaned from the plethora of music singles released over the past year. The incumbent regime has exiled more Oromo singers and artists than any other professional group, including journalists, for which it is often censured. Until recently, there were more professional Oromo singers in the diaspora than inside the country. Oromo singers are known for embracing the principle that, in the words of Toni Cade Bambara, “the role of the revolutionary artist is to make the revolution irresistible.”

The Oromo singer is at once a provocateur, social critic and an inspiration and outlet to a generation suffocated by a deep state hell-bent on clinging to power through the barrel of the gun.

Oromo musicians released more than 100 #OromoProtest singles in the past year alone. One common thread that runs through all of these songs: A disdain and nonexistent fear for authority and a call for an end to Oromo people’s marginal status. The Oromo singer is at once a provocateur, social critic and an inspiration and outlet to a generation suffocated by a deep state hell-bent on clinging to power through the barrel of the gun.It’s worth noting here that female singers had been at the forefront of this lyrical fight, bucking established norms that deem Geerarsa is the sole domain of male artists, which in and of itself is a form of protest. The list is long but it includes moving clips by Hawi Tezera, Seenaa Solomon, Mulu Bekele, and Keeyeroon Darajjee to mention only a few. These and many other artists, including Haacaalu Hundessa, Caalaa Bultume, Jafar Yusuf, Galaana Garoomsaa, Jireenya Shiferaw, Ittiqa Tafarii, Teferi Mokonnen and Jambo Jote, provided the soundtrack for the revolution.

Hawi, Seenaa, Jireenya, Teferi and many other artists, too many to list here, have been in and out of prison. Caalaa Bultume and a handful of other artists including Shukri Jamal, Kadir Martu, Zerihun Wodajo, Addisu Karrayyu and Yanet Dinku were forced into exile.

Again and again, a thread that binds these disparate protests — on the streets, at the Olympic stage, on social media, and through music — is their membership in the fierce and fearless Qubee Generation. They share a universal disdain and mistrust for authority, a desire to be free, respect for their basic rights and an acute ethnic self-awareness.  

Economic grievances

To be sure, as with young people all across Africa, the Qubee generation also has real and everyday economic grievances. Youth unemployment continues to run high. The lowest paying public service job requires party membership or deep connections to those in power. Even the lucky few who are employed lack avenues for upward mobility. The hundreds of thousands of yearly college graduates lack well-paying quality jobs. The gap between the rich and the poor keeps widening. The cost of living continues to soar amid persistent inflation. The youth loathe EPRDF’s suffocating Orwellian model of surveillance — known as one to five — which has made life unbearable, reaching down to the village level.

Endemic corruption, cronyism and a heightened focus on ramping up school enrollment to meet global millennial development goals, rather than improving instructional quality, has wrecked the educational system. This is evident in Ethiopia going from having only a handful of universities two decades ago to now boasting more than three dozen public universities. The effects of the plummeting quality of education may not be apparent just yet. But as Ethiopia looks to become a regional manufacturing hub and amid continental efforts toward more regional integration, Ethiopian students are likely to have difficulty competing for jobs and other opportunities. The signs are beginning to show already. Recent college graduates report growing stigma for having spent 16 years going through the school system to only end up working in road construction, breaking cobblestones for Chinese investors.

The way forward: ‘Organize, organize, organize’

Ethiopia’s main challenge today is not corruption or the lack of good governance as the regime often alleges, but its inability to meet the aspirations and grievances of an increasing assertive generation and a new breed of youth, made up mostly of middle and secondary school students, who are determined to decide their fate and shape the destiny of their communities.

The Oromo protests have proved far more disruptive than anything done in the past to address longstanding Oromo grievances. Using social media as an outlet, in a nation where only 4 percent of the population is online, no less, Oromo activists forced the cancellation or postponement of Ethiopia’s secondary school exit exams by leaking test answers to diaspora-based agitators. Official meetings have been recorded and leaked to the media, creating mistrust at the highest levels of government to a point where authorities felt compelled to mandate government ministers, parliamentarians, and regional officials to turn off their cell phones during important meetings.

In spite of all these developments, the EPRDF regime continues to ignore the writing on the wall, instead choosing to play an embarrassing game of cat and mouse with an unpredictable and a horizontally organized movement. The cosmetic changes at the top of the pyramid, including the recent cabinet shuffle, and promises of “deep reform” continue to sidestep the very real issues that are pushing an entire generation toward the edge.

Every day that the EPRDF regime tries to explain away popular, grassroots revolt as machinations of few bad actors from abroad, the tide continues to turn against its brutal and repressive rule. For every athlete or activist that’s forced into exile, there are hundreds more determined to expose the regime’s excesses, promising to keep the story in the media limelight. It will only be a matter of time until rank and file Oromo bureaucrats, the Oromia police, merchants and Oromo members of the armed forces join the budding revolution — for they too belong to the gallant Qubee Generation. Ethiopia’s history suggests that that would herald the end of EPRDF and yet another bloody transition in a country that has never seen a single peaceful transfer of power.

Ethiopia continues to run headlong into the abyss at a fast pace. Its phony federalism, promises of self-governance, and claims of economic miracle have been exposed as a sham from beginning to end. The state of emergency may have temporarily quelled the street protests but the deeper discontents remain. The Qubee generation appears ready to fight on until, in the words of Oromo leader Bekele Gerba, either all Oromos are jailed, killed and exiled, or until everyone is free.

Global trends such as the shocking Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president suggest that the establishment in Addis Ababa will have a hard time prevailing against Oromo protesters. But in our view, much remains to be done to dislodge the entrenched EPRDF regime. The loose coalition appears shaky. It is badly wounded from within and without. But it is still the biggest and even formidable obstacle blocking the winds of change in Ethiopia.

One thing is for sure: Unlike previous generations of Oromo revolutionaries, the Qube Generation has outwitted the ruling party time after time. Thanks to its resourcefulness and resilience, the regime had to retool itself from time to time simply to catch up with the speed and creativity of the protesters. It is not doubted that Oromo activists are using the remaining months of the state of emergency to ponder next steps.

This holiday season, as we celebrate the visions and victories of Feyisa’s generation, both big and small, we must remain mindful of the incessant need for a broad-based and multi-prolonged campaign to create a durable peace in Ethiopia. Beyond individual acts of heroism, transformative change comes communally from the ground up. Diaspora activism has been key in echoing and amplifying the voices of the protests. But our storytelling — in words, songs and art — must continue to be grounded not in our grandiose political ambitions or positionings, but in the real, everyday grievances of those at home who are staring down the barrel of a gun.

In his keynote address at the 2016 Oromo Studies Association annual conference in August, imprisoned veteran Oromo leader, Merera Gudina, recalled a popular slogan from his student days. At the inauguration of the last leadership of the University Students Union of Addis Ababa, Eshetu Chole, veteran student activist and later professor of Economics there,  now deceased, shouted out three slogans to the roaring sound of thousands of university staff and students:

One organize

Two organize;

Three organize

In Merera’s words, “in this regard, there is a clear gap we (the Oromo) should fill.”

Will the Qubee Generation finally bridge this gap?

A luta continua, vitória é certa. Happy Holidays to all!