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The Guardian: EU urged to end cooperation with Sudan after refugees whipped and deported February 28, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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MEP calls for inquiry as Ethiopian and Eritrean asylum seekers receive 40 lashes and $800 fines, while activists warn EU migration aid is emboldening Sudan.

Migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia are detained in Omdourman, on the western outskirts of the capital Khartoum, after Sudanese forces caught them travelling illegally on the Libyan-Sudan border on January 8, 2017.
People from Somalia and Ethiopia are detained on the outskirts of Khartoum in January 2017. Activists say Sudan’s crackdown on migrants and refugees has escalated. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images

The EU is facing calls to rethink its cooperation with Sudan on migration flows after scores of refugees were whipped, fined, jailed and deported from Khartoum last weekend following a peaceful protest over a huge rise in visa processing fees.

About 65 asylum seekers – the majority from Ethiopia and some from Eritrea – were lashed 40 times on their backs and the back of their legs with leather whips, lawyers told the Guardian.

The detainees were also handed fines of more than $800 (£645), and 40 were deported immediately, after being arrested in what witnesses say was a violent police attack on a peaceful protest.

The incident raises concerns about the strength of human rights conditions attached to more than $100m of migration-related aid earmarked for Sudan by the European commission.

The MEP Barbara Lochbihler, vice-chair of the European parliament’s sub-committee on human rights, said the EU should launch an inquiry. “The EU must voice clear criticism on the recent incidents, conduct a thorough investigation, try and help the people concerned, and draw the necessary conclusion: if projects such as Better MigrationManagement carry the risk for the EU to become complicit in human rights abuses, which I believe to be true, we should pull out immediately.”

Judith Sargentini, an MEP on the European parliament’s development committee, said she would be asking a question about the issue in parliament this week.

“Honestly, when we see Ethiopian refugees being harassed, lashed and thrown out of the country, we have to wonder whether we are not legitimising the Sudanese behaviour with our funding,” she said.

“The [EU] training for immigration and border management does not seem to be working very effectively yet,” she added. “I can imagine that [Sudan’s president Omar] al-Bashir thinks he has more manoeuvring space because the EU money is coming.”

A human rights worker in Sudan, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said the regime’s brutality towards refugees had worsened in the last year as EU cooperation had increased.

“The crackdown on migrants and refugees has escalated,” the activist said. “The government feels empowered to do whatever they want. They think they can get away with human rights violations like this. They see them as goodwill gestures to the EU to show they are controlling the flow of migrants.”

The commission has pledged nearly €2bn to countries taking steps to curb migration to the EU in an emergency trust fund for Africa. Sudan separately received €100m of funds last year to improve border security and address causes of forced displacement.

Sudan is also benefiting from €40m (£34m) set aside under the Khartoum Process’s Better Migration Management scheme to help restrict refugee flows in central and east Africa.

These revenues could be used to pay for military and police border management posts, surveillance systems, transport vehicles, communications, protective police gear, IT systems, infrastructure and power supplies.

EU officials deny that any revenues will go to government forces such as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), border guards on Sudan’s Libyan frontier linked to the notorious Janjaweed militia.

The RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan, known as Hemedity, last year demanded that the EU replace vehicles and weapons lost while his force rounded up 20,000 migrants.

“We are hard at work to aid Europe in containing the flow of migrants, and if our valuable efforts are not well appreciated, we will open the desert to migrants,” Hemedity said.

But it was a Khartoum court’s police that whipped and deported the asylum seekers, not the RSF. Most of those arrested were Oromo people fleeing ethnic and political repression. The court case that followed also fell short of international standards, according to local lawyers.

“It was not a fair trial,” claimed Montasir Mohammed, a lawyer for two of the arrestees. “No legal representatives were allowed to attend the court, and the men were not given a chance to appeal. The flogging was administered immediately after the court hearing. No doctors have been allowed to see them.”

The asylum seekers had been arrested last Friday when police dispersed a sit-down protest by 300-500 people outside the Ethiopian embassy in Khartoum. Eyewitnesses say officers attacked protesters with long wooden batons and tear gas canisters, provoking a dangerous stampede.

One witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “People were quietly sitting down on the pavement when suddenly the police came with big sticks and started to beat people. Then the military police arrived and fired teargas.

“People started to run but there was no way to escape except by jumping over a cemetery wall. Then it collapsed because so many people were jumping and pushing on it. All the people trying to escape were badly beaten as they ran, even me. It was painful.”

Use of overseas aid for this kind of political repression is “explicitly excluded” under criteria agreed by the OECD’s Development Assistant Committee last year.

The EU says it has not yet given any funds to the Sudanese government and that monies have been directed through international agencies.

However, a parliamentary delegation to Sudan in December said while EU stocks might not yet have arrived, it was clear that its funding projects “will be providing equipment to national police across the region for border control”.

Sudan is considered a key transit country for migrants to Europe. An estimated 30,000 people travelled through it on the way to Italy (pdf) in the first 11 months of 2016.

Around 500,000 refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia are currently thought to be in the country.

Last week, a British parliamentary inquiry warned that in Sudan, “the European Union’s long-held reputation as a human rights standard-bearer is in danger of being sacrificed at the altar of migration”.

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Human Rights League: ETHIOPIA: The Ethiopian Government is Plotting a War Among the Nations and Nationalities in Ethiopia February 28, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistHuman rights League of the Horn of Africatplf-ethiopias-federal-army-abbay-tsehaye-and-samora-yunus-are-architects-of-the-ongoing-ethnic-cleansing-against-oromo-in-south-and-eastern-oromia

ETHIOPIA:  The Ethiopian Government is Plotting a War Among  the Nations and Nationalities in Ethiopia

 

HRLHA Press Release


HRLHAFebruary 26, 2017

The  Ethiopian Somali Liyu Police led by the Ethiopian Federal government’s killing squad have been engaged in a cruel war for the past six months against the Oromo nation in fifteen districts of Oromia.   The Oromia districts that have been invaded by the two aforementioned forces are in east and east- west Hararge Zone, Eastern Oromia,  Guji,  Borana and  Bale, South Oromia zones, Southern Oromia of Oromia Regional State.

Nations

Somali Liyu Police Invading Southern Oromia

The Ethiopian Federal government, which in theory has a state duty and a responsibility to bring peace and harmony among the nations and nationalities in the country, is actually engaged in instigating a war between the Ethiopian Somali and Oromo nations. High casualties have been registered on both sides in the past six months.  Hundreds of Ethiopian Somali Liyu Police led by the Federal government’s killing squad have entered into Oromia villages, attacked and killed and abducted hundreds of Oromos and looted properties; over 750 goats, ships,  and camels were taken.

According to the HRLHA informants, the Oromia Regional State nominal administrative leaders, including Lema Megersa- the president- turned a blind eye while the citizens they claimed to be governing have been killed,  abducted, and displaced from their lands and villages  and dehumanized by the warriors of the  Ethiopian Somali Liyu Police led by the Federal government of Ethiopa’s killing squad.

Recently, the invasion into Oromia has expanded into the western part of Oromia Regional State. The Federal government force in Gambela crossed into West Wallaga, Oromia Regional State villages and displaced thousands of Oromos in Qelem Zone of Anfillo and Yatii districts. The HRLHA informants also disclosed that the Ethiopian Killing squad force is on intensive training on the western side of Oromia regional state boundary in Benshangul regional state preparing to invade Oromo villages in the western part of Wallaga zone of Oromia Regional State.

During the recent skirmish between Liyu  Police and Oromo people on February 23, 2017, in  Bale, Sawena district at Qilessa village Southern Oromia,  19 Oromos were killed and 13 wounded. In the same fight,  35 were killed and 50 wounded from the Ethiopian Somali Liyu  Police invaders by Oromo civilian resistance force.

According to the HRLHA informants, the total casualties in connection with the invasion by the  Ethiopian -Somali Liyu Police led by the Federal government’s killing squad in Oromia Zones of Guji, Borana, Bale and east and west Hararge zones caused the deaths of over 200 Oromos and injured over 150 and many were abducted and taken to Somali Region. The report from our informants also confirmed  Oromo self-defense civilians killed over 260 invaders,  members of  Liyu police and Ethiopian Federal Killing squads, and injured many others.

This meaningless and reckless action by the Ethiopian Federal government will destabilize the region in general and Ethiopia in particular.

It is clear that the  Ethiopian Federal government is demonstrating its hidden agenda- to eliminate the Oromo nation under the pretext of boundary conflict between nations and nationalities. During the  Oromo self-defense attack against Somali  Liyu Police, many invaders were killed and others injured. This shows that the plan to invade  Oromia in all directions may lead to a  civil war, which suggests that the Federal  Government of Ethiopia is deliberately plotting to cause a war among nations and nationalities in the country.

Background

Ethiopians have been under extreme repression ever since  October 8, 2016- a State of Emergency in fact.  The Ethiopian government has used a state of emergency in order to kill, imprison and abduct citizens from their homes and workplaces in Oromia and Amhara regional states. During the past four months- under the State of Emergency- over  70,000 Oromos,  including pregnant women, seniors and underage children have been taken to concentration camps in Xolay, Zubway, Didessa, Huriso and other places. There, they have been tortured, exposed to communicable diseases and malnutrition from which hundreds have died.

 

The cause of the civilian unrest in Ethiopia during the past two years was the marginalization of the citizens from the political and fair distribution of their economic resources; they have also been evicted from their ancestral lands without consultation and compensation. Evictions from the land around the city of Addis Ababa after the declaration of ” The Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan”- evictions which have confronted by the Oromo nation from all walks of lives and have caused the deaths of over 2000 Oromos by the federal government sniper force Agazi- still continue. In the Month of February over 200 People have been displaced by the government and their lands have been taken.  Every day a number of people are detained all over Oromia and Amhara regional States and tortured.

Today, over ten million Ethiopians are daily exposed to hunger and poverty while the Ethiopian government has invested billions of dollars of foreign aid in training killing squads to kill its own people, claiming that Ethiopians were not dying from hunger and poverty.

A call on International Communities:

  • The HRLHA once again renews its calls to the international community to act collectively in a timely and decisive manner to request the Ethiopian government to stop instigating war among the Nations and nationalities in Ethiopia, a situation that could easily lead to civil war.
  • The HRLHA further requests that members of the UN Human Rights Council urge the Ethiopian government to allow the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteurs to visit the country to assess the human rights situations of political prisoners and others in detention centers all over the country
  • The HRLHA calls upon major donor governments, including the USA, UK, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Australia to make sure that their aid money is not used to train the Ethiopian Government’s killing squads to dehumanize the citizens of Ethiopia

Copied To:

  • UN Human Rights Council
    OHCHR address: 
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
    Palais Wilson
    52 rue des Pâquis
    CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Africa Union (AU)
    African Union Headquarters
    P.O. Box 3243 | Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area) | W21K19 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44
    Webmaster: webmaster@africa-union.org
  • The US Department of State
    WASHINGTON, D.C. HEADQUARTERS
    (202) 895-3500
    OFMInfo@state.gov
    Office of Foreign Missions
    2201 C Street NW
    Room 2236
    Washington, D.C. 20520
    Customer Service Center
    3507 International Place NW
    Washington, D.C. 20522-3303

 

Mo Ibrahim Foundation announces no winner of 2016 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership February 28, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

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ibrahim-index-of-african-governance-iiag-annual-statistical-assessment-of-the-quality-of-governance-in-every-african-country

ibrahim-index-of-african-governance-iiag-sustainable-economic-opportunity-2006-2015


Mo Ibrahim Foundation announces no winner of 2016 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership


28 February, 2017

Oromia: #OromoProtests:#OromoRevolution: Gabaasa Fincila Xumura Garbummaa (FXG) Oromiyaa 2017 (February) February 28, 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

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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

Gurraandhala (February) 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…..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 Worsensfreedom-in-the-world-2017-ethiopia-profile-not-free-and-deteriorating-situation

Ethiopia received a downward trend arrow due to the security forces’ disproportionate and often violent response to massive, primarily peaceful antigovernment protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions, as well as an emergency declaration in October that gave the military sweeping powers to crack down on freedoms of expression and association.

Ethiopia'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 January 2017

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



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OMN: Weerara Poolisii Addaa ilaalchisee Dhaabbileen Siyaasaa Oromoo maal jedhu?

ETHIOPIA:  The Ethiopian Government is Plotting a War Among  the Nations and Nationalities in Ethiopia

 

HRLHA Press Release


HRLHAFebruary 26, 2017

The  Ethiopian Somali Liyu Police led by the Ethiopian Federal government’s killing squad have been engaged in a cruel war for the past six months against the Oromo nation in fifteen districts of Oromia.   The Oromia districts that have been invaded by the two aforementioned forces are in east and east- west Hararge Zone, Eastern Oromia,  Guji,  Borana and  Bale, South Oromia zones, Southern Oromia of Oromia Regional State.


Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2017: Ethiopia Profile: Not free and in downward trends with political rights and civil liberties: Aggregate score of 12/100

UNPO: Oromo: Political Conviction Endures, while Communities Refuse to be Stifled

How should the US react to human rights abuses in Ethiopia?

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

African Studies Centre Leiden: ASCL worried about Ethiopian political scientist Dr Merera Gudina

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

IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report: War Crimes: Crimes Against Humanity: The genocide against Oromo people involving Ethiopia’s Somali region police (Liyu Police), a segment of fascist TPLF’s Agazi forces

Fascism: Corruption: TPLF Ethiopia: Inside the Controversial EFFORT

AI: ETHIOPIA TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT: The torturous fields of Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centre

The NY Times: OLYMPICS: Feyisa Lilesa, Marathoner in Exile, Finds Refuge in Arizona


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


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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.
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“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.”

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”

https://www.facebook.com/v2.3/plugins/post.php?app_id=249643311490&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2FSh-3BhStODe.js%3Fversion%3D42%23cb%3Df2de287767684ac%26domain%3Doromianeconomist.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Foromianeconomist.com%252Ff292e294086dc74%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=0&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ffeyisa.lelisagemechu%2Fposts%2F1253738581380844&locale=en_US&sdk=joey&width=460


OMN: Oduu (Gur 26 2017)

OMN: Oduu (Gur 26 2017)

Protest in Chinaksan, East Hararge against invasion and killings by Liyu Police. Protesters demand the TPLF army siding with killers and demand it to leave the area. February 23, 2017
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Hiriira Mormii Godina Harargee Bahaa Magaalaa Cinaaqsan. Ummanni makkalaakayaan nurraa haa ka’u jedha.

https://youtu.be/oG6qZL4Vujs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-YlGeZwANg


Godina Wallaggaa Magaalaa Mandii Keessatti Qabeenya Abootiin Qabeenyaa Wayyaanee Saaman Irratti Ummanni Tarkaanfii Fudhate.

Guraandhala 26/2017 Ummanni Oromoo magaalaa Mandii keessa jiran diddaa mootummaa abbaa irree Wayyaaneef qaban irraan kan ka’an qabeenyaa sirna cunqursaa abbaa irree Wayyaanee irratti tarkaanfii fudhatan.

Haaluma kanaan qabeenyaa kan abbaan qabeenyummaa isaa kan sirna Wayyaanee ta,e irratti Ummanni Oromoo magaalaa Mandii keessa jiraatan tarkaanffii konkolaattota abbaan qabeenyummaa isaa kan Wayyaanee ta’e  hojiin ala taasisan. Addattimmoo konkolaattota kanneen akka golden bus,Selum bus,fi Sky bus jedhaman irratti ummanni magaalaa Mandii keessatti fudhatamaa jiru sirna Wayyaanee gidduu kana nagaa dhorkaa akka jiru maddeen Qeerroo naannichaa himan. #OromoRevolution


Godina Arsii Aanaa Suudee Magaalaa Darrabbaa fi Kullaa Keessatti Gootonni Dargaggoonni Oromoo Kaabinoota Wayyaanee Salphisan.

4-must-go1Gurraandhala 27,2017 Godina Arsii Aanaa Suudee Magaalaa Darrabbaa fi Kullaa keessatti guyyaa  sanbata kaleessaa ergamtoonni OPDO Daragaggoota walitti qabanii hojii isinii uumna jedhanii wallitti qabuun mariisuun fi Dargaggoonnis ergamtoota kanneen gaafilee ciccimoon gaafachuun ufirraa deebisuun dhagayameera,akka Odeessi magaalattii keessaa nu gahe addeessutti dargaggoonni gootonni Qeerroon Oromoo akkas jechuun gaafilee isaan rifaasisu gaafatanii jiru. Continue reading


Godina Wallaggaa Aanaa Warrajjirruu/Lataa Sibuu Keessatti Dargaggoonni Loltoota Mootummaan Qabamaa Jiraatani Ummanni FXG Itti Fufee Jira.

Gurraandhala 27,2017
Because I am OromoGodina Wallaggaa Aanaa Warrajjirruu/Lataa Sibuu keessaa yeroo ammaa mootummaan gita bittuu abbaa irree Wayyaanee maqaa labsii yeroo muddamaa komaandi poostii da’oo godhachuudhaan ilmaan Oromoo qaroo biyyattii ta,an gidduu kana mana hiraarsaatti guuraa jiraachuun gabaafame.
Haaluma kanaan mootummaan abbaa irree Wayyaanee torban kana keessa godina Wallaggaa  aanaa Lataa Sibuu keessatti diddaan uummataa daran jabaachuurraan daandiin magaalaa Asoosaa irraa gara magaalaa Finffinneetti geessu  bakka addaa Gujjur jedhamuu fi magaalaa lataa sibuu keessaa bakka garaa garaatti cufamuudhaan diddaan uummataa daran jabaachuun finiinaa akka jiru maddeen achirraa gabaasan.

Continue reading


Godina Harargee Bahaatti Keessatti Ummanni Waraana Liyuu Poolisii Somaalee Wayyaanee Dura Dhaabbachuu Jabeesse.

Continue reading


 

 

 

OMN: Weekly English News Feb 22, 2017

 

 

 

Mo Farah Made Banned Gesture Against TPLF to Show Solidarity with Oromo

BREAKING: Mo Farah Shows Solidarity with Oromo

– He made the banned gesture against the TPLF rulers.Via Naf-tanan Gaadullo
by CDEMo FarahFour-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah made the famous Oromo gesture in protest against the government of Ethiopia as he crossed the finishing line in the 5,000m Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.The legendary British athlete who have just returned from Ethiopia to break the European record at the event (pictured), swapped his ‘Mobot’ signature celebration with a show of solidarity for the Oromo people.In Rio Olympic, hundreds of millions of people watched Ethiopian silver medallist Marathon winner Feyisa Lilesa hold his arms over his head, wrists crossed, in support of members of his Oromo ethnic group against the Ethiopian ruling party.The Tigre ethnics group (TPLF) of the country’s leaders have been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses and of discrimination against the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group, comprising about 35% of the country’s 100m population. Continue reading

OMN: Oduu Guraandhala 21, 2017

1-all-artists

 

OMN- Girma Gutema in conversation with Dr. Frank Ashall, former Professor at AAU

 

 

ODUU

OMN Oduu (Gur 19 2017)

FXG Oromiyaa Bakkoota Gara Garaatti Akka Itti Fufetti Jira.

Gurraandala 17,2017

diddaa-4Guraandhala 11 irraa kaasee hanga har’aa Finfinne kutaalee magaalaa adda addaa keessatti waraqaan warraaqsaa bittimfamaa jiraachuu Qeerroon gabaasee jira. Boolee bakka addaa Wara Gannuu jedhamee waamamutti waraqaan afaan amaaraan barreeffame waamicha uummata jiraattota naanoo FF kakaasu bittimfamee jira.
Waraqaan kunis muraasni fuula kana irratti kan hidhamee jiruudha. Guyyaa lama dura gabaasa godina kibba lixa Shaggar irraa nu qaqqabeen sakatta’iinsi mana namoota hedduu irratti raawwata jiruun abbootin maatii sadii humna diinaan ukkaamfamanii halkan bakka buuteen isaanii kan dhabaman
1.      Obbo Tamasgeen Oomaa
2.      Saxxee Seeqaa
3.      Dachaasaa Toffee fi
4.      Tasfaayee Caalaa kan jedhaman
Sakatta’iinsa tasa uumameen qabamuu isaanii Qeeroon magaalichaagabaasee jira. Continue reading


 

 

 

ODUU

OMN: Oduu Gur 12, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to watch ENGLISH PROGRAM OMN: Weekly English News Feb 1, 2017

ODUU OMN Oduu Gur 2, 2017

 ODUU OMN:Gur 1,2017

RSWO – Gurraan-dhala 2, 2017 (Kaabinootni OPDO Maqaa Haaromsa Jedhuun Olola Oofaa Jiraachuu

https://youtu.be/_3JoTa53Aac


Godina Arsii Aanaa Balee Keessatti Gootonni Barattooti Oromoo Faaruu Alaabaa Sirna Wayyaanee Farfachuu Diduun FXG Itti Fufan.

4-must-go1Gurraandhala 2,2017 ,Godina Arsii Aanaa Balee keessatti barattoonni faaruu Alaabaa ganama ganama faarfamu faarfachuu diduun dhagayame.akka odeessi Aanicharraa dhufe himutti.Mana Barnootaa Mariiqaa Sad 1ffaa, Mana Barumsa Adamtuu Sad 1ffaa, Mana Barumsaa ingooyyee gooyaa Sad 1ffaa, Mana Barumsa Farzaanaa  sad 1ffaa keessatti ganama har’aa faaruu Alaabaa faarfachuu dhaabanii jiru.

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Wayyaaneen TPLF Gaaffii Ummataa Dabsee Afaan Fajjii Uumuu Yaale Itti Hin Milkoofne.

Gurraandhala 2,2017
Eega Warraaqsi Uummataa banbanee asitti sochii hawwasaa qabbaneessuuf karaa hedduu yaalaa turuun Wayyaanee nii yaadatama.Keessattuu uummata afaan qawween bulchuuf duula waraanaa irratti labsuun uummata shororkeessaa turtee ittis jirti.Duulli Wayyaanee uummatarratti bante kun kan adiyyooma ishee saffisiisu malee kan danbalii jireenyaa ta’eefuu dhommoqarraa ishee baraaruu ta’uu dhabuun humna Command Post erga uummata tasgabeessuu dadhabee duula oollota Oromoo uummatartatti kaasuu fudhattee turte.Hawwiinf fedhiin ishees qe’ee Oromoo humnaa cabsitee dhaaluuf fudhachuu qofaa waan tureef michoota taasifachuun naannolee ollaa irratti kaasuun daangarra Oromo jiran dararaa turtee Qe’ee Oromoo onsuufis irratti dalgaa turte. Continue reading


Godina Arsii Aanaa Amiinya Magaalaa Addellee Keessatti Kaabinooti OPDO Ummata Dogoorsuu Yaalan Hin Milkoofne.

13895322_315922245464518_1980774746114202586_nGurraandhala 1,2017/ Godina Arsii Aanaa Amiinyaa Magaalaa Addeellee keessatti OPDOn karaa kaabinoota isiitin hojiin dargaggootaf uumamee dargaggoota keessan warra hojii hin qabne dhuftanii akka galmeessitan jechuun gandaa gandarra deemtee ummata goyyomsaa akka jiran Qeerroon gabaasa. Akka Qeerroon gabaasetti  Wwayyaaneen dargaggoota maatin isaanii hin galmeessisin humna Qeerroo qindeessu jechuun adamsuu akka heddus dhagayameera. Asuma Godinuma kana Aanaa   Heexosaa Magaalaa Abaadir keessatti basaasaa wayyaanee.dargaggoota hiisisaa fi reebicha irraan geessisaa ture. Hojjataa bulchiinsa  Magaalattii kan tureefi ammas itti jiru.Muhaammad H/ Awwal jedhamu irratti ummanni naannichaa  halkan kaleessaa miidhaa hamaan irra gayuun amma Hospitaala Asallaatti yaalamaa jiraachuu Qeerroon Aanichaa gabaasee jira. Continue reading

The NY Times: OLYMPICS: Feyisa Lilesa, Marathoner in Exile, Finds Refuge in Arizona February 25, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
5 comments

Feyisa Lelisa  Rio Olympian and world icon of #OromoProtests

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The young boy was getting reacquainted with his father after an absence of six months and climbed on him as if he were a tree. The boy kissed his father and hugged him and clambered onto his shoulders. Then, when a protest video streamed on television, the boy grabbed a stick, and the lid of a pot to serve as a shield, and began to mimic a dance of dissent in the living room.

There is much joy and relief, but also continued political complication, in the modest apartment of Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian marathon runner who won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and gained international attention when he crossed his arms above his head at the finish line in a defiant gesture against the East African nation’s repressive government.

Afraid to return home, fearing he would be jailed, killed or no longer allowed to travel, Lilesa, 27, remained in Brazil after the Summer Games, then came to the United States in early September. He has received a green card as a permanent resident in a category for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business and sports.

On Valentine’s Day, his wife, Iftu Mulisa, 26; daughter, Soko, 5; and son, Sora, 3, were reunited with him, first in Miami and then in Flagstaff, where Lilesa is training at altitude for the London Marathon in April. Their immigrant visas are valid until July, but they also hope to receive green cards.

Continue reading the main story

“I’m relieved and very happy that my family is with me,” Lilesa said, speaking through an interpreter. “But I chose to be in exile. Since I left the situation has gotten much, much worse. My people are living in hell, dying every day. It gives me no rest.”

Lilesa’s Olympic protest was against Ethiopia’s treatment of his ethnic group, the Oromo people, who compose about a third of the country’s population of 102 million but are dominated politically by the Tigray ethnic group.

Last month, Human Rights Watch reported that, in 2016, Ethiopian security forces “killed hundreds and detained tens of thousands” in the Oromia and Amhara regions; progressively curtailed basic rights during a state of emergency; and continued a “bloody crackdown against largely peaceful protesters” in disputes that have flared since November 2015 over land displacement, constitutional rights and political reform.

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Feyisa Lilesa’s gesture as he finished second in the Olympic marathon was made to protest Ethiopia’s treatment of his ethnic group, the Oromo people. CreditOlivier Morin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Ethiopian government has said that Lilesa could return home safely and would be considered a hero, but he does not believe this. He lists reasons for his suspicions, and they are personal: His brother-in-law, Tokkuma Mulisa, who is in his early 20s, has been imprisoned for about a year and reportedly tortured, and his health remains uncertain. His younger brother, Aduna, also a runner, was beaten and detained by the Ethiopian military in October.

Aduna Lilesa, 22, said he was training in Burayu, outside the capital, Addis Ababa, on Oct. 16 when soldiers approached him. They hit him in the head with the butt of a rifle, kicked him and threatened to shoot him, he said, while demanding information about Feyisa.

Fearing for his life, a gun pointed at him, Aduna said he lied and told the soldiers what he thought they wanted to hear about his brother: “He is a terrorist; he is no good.”

Since the Olympics, Aduna said, his wife has been suspended from her job with Ethiopian government radio. He is living with Feyisa in Flagstaff until mid-March, when he will return home to his wife and young son. “It is not safe, but my family is there,” Aduna Lilesa said. “If I live here, they will be confused.”

Unease extends, too, to the Ethiopian running community.

When Feyisa Lilesa runs the London Marathon, one of his primary challengers figures to be Kenenisa Bekele, a three-time Olympic champion on the track and a fellow Oromo who is considered by many the greatest distance runner of all time. The two runners were never close and tension between them increased last September in Berlin, where Bekele ran the second-fastest marathon time ever.

Before that race, Bekele said in an interview with Canadian Running Magazine, speaking in English, which is not his first language, that “anyone have right to protest anything” but “you need to maybe choose how to protest and solve things.”

Asked specifically about Lilesa’s Olympic protest, Bekele said it was better to get an answer from him. Asked about other Ethiopian runners who have made similar crossed-arm gestures, Bekele said that sport should be separate from politics, that everyone had a right to protest in Ethiopia and that the government was trying to “solve things in a democratic way.”

Bekele has received some criticism for not being more forceful in his remarks, and on social media in Ethiopia there is a split between supporters of the two runners. “Many people are being killed,” Lilesa said of Bekele. “How can you say that’s democratic? I’m very angry when he says that.”

Continue reading the main story

Photo

Lilesa playing with his son, Sora, at the family’s new apartment in Flagstaff, where Lilesa is training for the London Marathon in April. CreditMatthew Staver for The New York Times

His own social awareness, Lilesa said, began when he was a schoolboy, living on a farm in the Jaldu district, sometimes spelled Jeldu, west of Addis Ababa. Security forces used harsh tactics to break up student protests, he said, and sometimes his classmates simply disappeared. He belongs to a younger Oromo generation emboldened to resist what it considers to be marginalization by Ethiopia’s ruling party.

“Before, people would run away; they feared the government, the soldiers,” Lilesa said. “Today, fear has been defeated. People are standing their ground. They are fed up and feel they have nothing more to lose.”

When he was named to Ethiopia’s Olympic team last May, three months before the Summer Games, Lilesa felt it was urgent to make some kind of protest gesture in Rio de Janeiro. But he did not tell anyone of his plans. If he told his family, they might talk him out of it. If the government found out, he might be kicked off the Olympic team or worse.

He continued to visit Oromo people detained in jail and to give money to Oromo students who had been dismissed from school and left homeless. He was wealthy for an Ethiopian, independent, and he sensed that the government monitored some of his movements.

He worried that he could be injured or killed in a staged auto accident. Or that someone might ambush him when he was training in the forests around Addis Ababa. When the doorbell rang at his home, he went to the second floor and peered outside before answering.

“I was really fearful,” Lilesa said. “Being an Oromo makes one suspect.”

On the final day of the Olympics, his moment came. As he reached the finish of the marathon, in second place behind Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya and ahead of Galen Rupp of the United States, Lilesa crossed his arms. It was a familiar Oromo gesture of protest and one that carried great risk, both to his career representing Ethiopia and to his family.

“Giving up running for Ethiopia was the least I could do, because other people were giving up their lives,” Lilesa said.

Iftu Mulisa, his wife, was watching at home in Addis Ababa with 15 or 20 relatives and friends. There was loud cheering and celebrating, and then Lilesa crossed his arms. The cheering was replaced by silence and confusion and fear.

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After the Olympics, Lilesa was not certain he would see his family again. But on Valentine’s Day, they flew to Miami to join him. CreditWilfredo Lee/Associated Press

“Everyone was asking: ‘Does he come home? Does he stay? What happens next?’” Mulisa said. “It was so shocking. He hadn’t told anyone.”

For two or three days, Lilesa said, he did not answer the phone when his wife called.

“I had put them in this position and I just didn’t know what to say to her,” he said.

Still, he felt he had made the right decision.

“I needed to do this,” Lilesa said. “I thought of it this way: When a soldier enlists, you know the risks, but because you swore to defend the country or the law, you don’t think about the consequences.”

When he finally spoke to his wife, Lilesa said, he tried to calm her and tell her everything would be O.K. But the uncertainty was difficult.

“He had never been gone more than a week or two,” Mulisa said. “Having young kids made it more difficult. They missed him and asked questions I couldn’t answer. But I was hopeful we would be reunited one day.”

In a diplomatic whirlwind, Lilesa secured an immigrant visa to the United States and eventually moved to Flagstaff, a training hub at nearly 7,000 feet where athletes often go to enhance their oxygen-carrying capacity. He was invited there by a runner from Eritrea, which neighbors Ethiopia.

Even in the best of situations, distance running can be an isolating life of training twice a day and sleeping. Lilesa kept in touch with his family through video chats, but they were disrupted for a period when the Ethiopian government restricted internet access.

In Ethiopia it is the traditional role of the wife or maid to prepare the food, to do the domestic chores. Without his family, Lilesa said, he sometimes ate only once or twice a day, too tired to cook dinner, hardly recommended for marathoners who routinely train more than 100 miles per week.

Continue reading the main story

Photo

Lilesa with his wife, Iftu Mulisa, and their children, Sora, 3, and Soko, 5. “I’m relieved and very happy that my family is with me,” he said. CreditMatthew Staver for The New York Times

“I had to fend for myself in a way I’ve never done in my life,” he said.

Perhaps the most difficult moment, Lilesa said, came when he was still in Rio de Janeiro after the Games and learned of the death of a close friend, Kebede Fayissa. He had been arrested in August, Lilesa said, and was among more than 20 inmates to die in a fire in September under suspicious circumstances at Kilinto prison on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Opposition figures have said that the bodies of some prisoners had bullet wounds.

“I didn’t even know he had been arrested and there I was in Brazil, finding about his death on Facebook,” Lilesa said of Fayissa. “He had helped me so much at different times of my life.”

Eventually, Mulisa and their two children received immigrant visas to enter the United States and left Addis Ababa in mid-February for Frankfurt, Germany, then Miami, where Lilesa greeted them at the airport. The scariest time, Mulisa said, came when she walked down the Jetway to the plane, afraid the Ethiopian government would prevent her from leaving at the last minute.

Most likely, Lilesa said, his family was permitted to leave because to do otherwise would have generated negative publicity. In Miami, there was more emotion than words, Mulisa said, as the children hugged their father and she told him, “I didn’t think I would see you so soon.”

While he will surely not be chosen to compete for Ethiopia at the Olympics and world track and field championships while in exile, Lilesa can still make hundreds of thousands of dollars as an independent, elite marathon runner. Since the Olympics, he has run a marathon in Honolulu and a half marathon in Houston. A GoFundMe campaign for him and his family, started by supporters, raised more than $160,000. The London Marathon is two months away.

He now has a voice as strong as his legs. Lilesa has met with United States senators, addressed members of the European Parliament in Brussels, written an op-ed essay in The Washington Post and spoken with numerous reporters, trying to spread the story of the Oromo people.

If the political situation changes in Ethiopia, he said, he and his family will move home. He does not expect that to happen soon. In the meantime, he hopes that his wife and children will be permitted to make yearly trips there to visit relatives. For himself, he said he had no regrets.

“This has given me more confidence, more reasons to try harder, more reasons to compete so that I can use this platform to raise awareness,” Lilesa said. “I’m constantly thinking, what else can I do?”


AI: ETHIOPIA TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT: The torturous fields of Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centre February 23, 2017

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Amnesty International

  • The torturous fields of Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centre


    By Befeqadu Hailu, AI,  22 February 2017


    Befeqadu Hailu, a member of the Zone-9 blogging group was arrested for criticizing the State of Emergency Declaration, in an interview he gave to the Voice of America. In this note, he shares what he witnessed during his stay at Awash Sebat Military Training Centre, which was turned into a rehabilitation centre for people arrested during the State of Emergency.

    Wakoma Tafa was planning to get married on Sunday 9 October 2016, when the police arrested him just three days before his wedding day in Alem Gena -a town 25kms west of Addis Ababa. On his would-be wedding day, the Police took Wakoma to Awash Sebat Federal Police Training Centre, turned into a ‘rehab centre’ (Tehadiso Maekel) as per the Ethiopia’s State of Emergency.

    I met Wakoma after the Command Post (a special unit established to to enforce the state of emergency declaration measures) transferred me to Awash Sebat along with 242 other ‘suspects’ from Addis Ababa. Together, we were over 1000 people.

    The day we arrived at the center, we saw many youngsters in worn-out dirty shirts, walking barefoot in two lines. A fellow detainee related that it looked like a scene from the movie series ‘Roots’.
    Befeqadu Hailu

    A scene from ‘Roots’?

    The day we arrived at the center, we saw many youngsters in worn-out dirty shirts, walking barefoot in two lines. A fellow detainee related that it looked like a scene from the movie series ‘Roots’.

    Later, we found out that the police were taking them to the sandy field at the back of the compound for physical exercises every day after breakfast. The exercises included frog-jumping, push-ups, sit-ups and supporting their body for long in a push-up position. The hot ground burnt their palms. The police encouraged those too tired to continue by beating them.

    Oromia Police, who were in charge of the interrogations, thrashed, kicked, and punched the detainees during interrogation. The purpose of the interrogations was to find out the level of their participation and to name the others in the protests. During the 33 days of our stay, Wakoma’s nose was bleeding every day since a police officer kicked him during interrogation. Nurses at the centre could not stop his bleeding. However, Wakoma was not the only one tortured during interrogations. Most of the ‘suspects’ who were in Awash Sebat for 40 days before our arrival sustained varying degrees of beating, slapping and kicking.

    A new normal

    Then, our turn came to be paraded, bare footed, to the open pits within the Centre’s compound. The gravel path was hard to walk on barefoot but the yelling of officers dangling their sticks was enough incentive to run on it. Once we reached the toilet pits, we had to sit side by side and do our business. None of us was willing to do it the first day. Later on, we accepted that it as the new normal.

    For breakfast, they gave us half-cup of tea and two loaves of bread. I noticed the youngsters, who were there before us, enjoying the additional loaf of bread. Before our arrival, they had only one during breakfasts.

    They spread us into 10 different halls each harboring more than one hundred detainees. Each room has sixteen double-decker beds enough for only thirty-two people; the rest shared mattresses on the floor. The rooms have ventilators but not enough to cool the heat. In addition, there was not enough water –not even to drink. In the 33 days of my stay, I was able to wash only two times.

    ‘Rehabilitation training’

    Befekadu’s Certificate of attendance for the rehabilitation training

    On day two of the parading, the Command Post sent a team to start our ‘rehabilitation training’. They also allowed us to wear shoes. Unfortunately, nearly half of the detainees who were there before us had no shoes when they arrived at the Centre 40 days prior to our arrival.

    The state of emergency Inquiry Board came and spoke to notable opposition party members such as Abebe Akalu, Eyasped Tesfaye, and Blen Mesfin. They reported the rights violations we were facing in detail.  However, we learnt that the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, the state-broadcaster, reported only logistic problems, entirely leaving out complaints of rights violations.

    Most detainees from Addis Ababa, however, complained to the officials that they are victims of personal revenge. Some said people with personal grudges against them tipped their names to the police. Similarly, most detainees from the Oromia regional state maintained they were victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    One of the clips they regularly showed on the screen was the Afaan Oromo song, ‘Madda Seenaa’by artist Teferi Mekonen. Ironically, Teferi Mekonen was among us. On our “graduation” day, he was invited to perform on the stage. He pleased us all by singing the politically charged Oromifaa song, ‘Maalan Jira’, by the prominent Oromo artist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. Sadly, Teferi Mekonen is re-arrested immediately after our release from Awash Sebat. I was shocked to see him in a prison here in Addis Ababa when I went to visit my friends, journalists Annania Sori and Elias Gebru.

    A day before we left the centre, the police told us we had to wear a t-shirt on which ‘ayidegemim/Irra hin deebiamu (never again) is printed in Amharic and Oromifa. None of us hesitated to wear the t-shirts – they were fresh and clean and our souls were desperately looking beyond the centre and to getting back to our homes; we were exhausted and looking forward to resume the life we left.

    There were 17 women among the detainees and one of them was pregnant. There were also about 15 underage boys. We were all in it together and we all survived.

    I am hoping that the 28 years old Wakoma can re-organize his wedding again.

    This blog was originally published on Addis Standard News Paper with the title: Memoirs of my detention at Awash 7: tales of indoctrination, of laughter and the unknown on 30 Dec 2016 (reprinted with modifications with permission of the author) 


     

African Studies Centre Leiden: ASCL worried about Ethiopian political scientist Dr Merera Gudina February 23, 2017

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ASCL worried about Ethiopian political scientist Dr Merera Gudina

A Court in Ethiopia has adjourned the case of Dr Merera Gudina on 23 February, allowing the police to investigate him for another 28 days. Dr Merera was arrested on 1 December 2016. The African Studies Centre Leiden is concerned about Merera, who is a political scientist and chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress in Ethiopia, a legal opposition party. Dr Merera has been a visiting scholar to the African Studies Centre Leiden twice and has made major contributions to the understanding of Ethiopian and African political life. He has been a consistent voice for moderation, dialogue and transparent politics.

Dr Merera has been in prison since his arrest. According to a post on Twitter from the Ethiopian Human Rights Project, the Court adjourned the case of Merera Gudina on 23 February 2017, which it also did on 26 January 2017.

Before his arrest Dr Merera had returned from a meeting on 9 November at the European Parliament in Brussels, where he had, upon invitation, briefed EP members on the situation in Ethiopia after the proclamation of the ‘state of emergency’ on 12 October 2016. Although Dr Merera has been in prison (Ma’ekälawi Prison) for nearly three months, no charges have been brought, and the ground given for his arrest was “…trespassing the state of emergency rulings of the country”, an apparent reference to the presence at the same meeting of a leader of the Ginbot-7 movement, a group seen as ‘terrorist’ by the Ethiopian government under its ‘anti-terrorism proclamation’ of 2009. This reason given for Dr Merera’s arrest seems not very convincing, as Dr Merera did not invite these members and did not organize the meeting: that was the European Parliament. Dr Merera cannot be reproached for having to meet and sit at the same table with other guests invited by the European Parliament.

Although we understand Ethiopian government’s concern with security, this arrest of Dr Merera does not fit the picture. It is well known that he and his party OFC have no violent or insurrectionist agenda, and he has always been very open and clear about his position and that of his party. The activities of this party are consistently peaceful and aimed at political dialogue and accommodation.

In prison, Dr Merera has so far neither been allowed to meet friends and relatives nor his lawyers.

The ASCL is concerned about his fate. Detaining him does not match the confidence building measures and efforts ‘to hear the voice of those that may not be represented’ in Ethiopia, a stated aim of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Mr. Hailemariam Dessalegn, e.g., in his talks with visiting German Chancellor A. Merkel on 11 October in Addis Ababa.

We therefore would like to plead for the unconditional release from prison of Dr Merera.

African Studies Centre Leiden

(photo credit: still from Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0kG6pQgFMw Ethiopia online/VoA)

There is No Devil in Indigenous Afrikan Spirituality ( Without The Devil, There Is No Christianity) February 22, 2017

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The Origin Behind The God & Devil Concept ( There is No Devil in Indigenous Afrikan Spiritual Science-Spirituality ) – Haki Kweli Shakur ________________________________________ WITHOUT T…


 

WITHOUT THE DEVIL, THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY


Without the devil, there is no Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Neither sin nor the devil are native Africanconcepts. ‘Devil’ as expounded by the alien unAfrican, anti-African and non-African Judeo-Christian &Islamic religions, does not exist in traditional African spirituality. We don’t condemn, much less demonize anyone who believes in the “the Devil” or even “the Devil” himself. One is free to believe in anything onewishes. The only case we make is, ITS NOT AFRICAN.

“African Religion doesn’t know a cosmic principle of evil like the devil in the Christian and Muslim faith.”Gregor Schmidt, MCCJ Contemporary Beliefs about Witches and Witchcraft in Kenya, p.3

“Within the African worldview there is no concept of a devil that is in constant battle with God. Onlythrough colonization and enslavement have Africans adopted such a notion, and in some instances theyhave infused it into their own indigenous belief systems.” The African Concept of God,p. 6 (Unattributed)

“African spirituality does not recognize any all-powerful supernatural being that is hell bent on deposingthe creator as master of the universe. Consequently thereis no word for ‘Devil’ in most African languages. In their pathetic disingenuous attempt to translate the alien concept of ‘devil’ into African languages, the unimaginative purveyors of the intolerant alien creeds (Islam,Christianity) distorted, mangled anddemonized otherwise reputable African deities like Esu & Ekwensu. ‘Devil’ is a figment of superstitiousJudeo-Christian/Islamic imagination; a convenient fall-guy to explain their moral failing .” Esu: The
Revenge Of Bishop Ajayi Crowther, By Remi Oyeyemi, Nigeria Village Square”
“…

the missionary agenda had had a number of effects to declare ethno- spirituality unworthy; to declareimagery as idolatry, and visualisation as superstition. Also, by identifying indigenous deities with the devil,missionaries validated belief in a devil with all the power and attractiveness of the indigenous deity.”Stephen Bigger Ethno-spirituality: A Postcolonial Problematic? Alternation Special Edition 3(2009):233

“Enyeribe Onuoha refutes the idea that Ekwensu is Satan or anti-God. For him, Igbo religion has notranslated word for “evil incarnate” and there are no such spirits called the “Devil” who does nothing butevil. Rather for him, Ekwensu is one of the minor spirits of Igbo spiritology.

According to him, the term is a
borrowed one transported directly from Christian theology and knowledge of the Satan.” MatthewMaduabuchi Nsomma Anyanwu, The Doctrine of Resurrection and the Challenge of TraditionalI
quickgrid_20169415171745 igbo(African) Eschatology: 313
There is no “devil”or adversary against God in the African Traditional Religion of the Igbo“…

in the indigenous cosmology the deities do not contest the power of the Supreme God (Chukwu), butrather work in concert with humans for realization of individual and communal destiny.” Elochukwu Uzukwu, InterfaceBetween Igbo Theology and Christianity, p.87 Ref Source NGa Sidney Davis

“For example, Capuchin missionaries made numerous and sometimes detailed assessments of local religious life during their evangelical work in Kongo. Much of this work takes the form of denunciations of local customs,thus revealing a strong Christian bias. This bias is reflected, for example, in their tendency to identify all supernatural beings worshipped in Kongo as manifestations of the Devil. Their accounts are never quite clear as to whether the Kongolese truly were worshipping a figure they regarded as wicked and evilin the same way Christians regard the Devil, or even whether Kongolese cosmology included a figure who served as an opponent for God, or whether the missionaries were simply assigning all supernatural beliefs to the Devil. Most historians address this difficulty by studying modern anthropological accounts or the testimony of modern Kongolese and hoping that they can see the local cosmology more fully.Nonetheless, the missionaries were contemporary eyewitnesses and thus can never be discounted as a source of information,whatever problems their bias creates.” Writing African history, edited by John
Edward Philips: 268

In Tanzania lie Lake Victoria, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Olduvai Gorge where the oldest known
remains of the human species have been found. The north-south line of lakes, Albert, Ruranzige, Kivu, and Tanganyika, make the eastern edge of the Ituri Forest in Congo. The Efe Pygmies who live on the Ituri Forest called the Towering massif of Ruwenzori Baba Tiba, the Mountains of the Moon. In Efe theology the first man ascended to the heavens after serving as a benevolent governor of the primordial Pygmy nation.
He then established residence on the moon where he still assists God by serving as the angel-of-the-
moon. For tropical Black Africa the moon was, and still is, the favorite object of veneration, not the sun.
Egyptian texts from around 2500 BC refer to the Pygmies as little men from the land of trees and spirits at the foot of the Mountains of the Moon. Egyptian king Nefrikare sent an expedition into central Africa and it returned with a dancing dwarf known as Akka. In the pyramid text of the sixth-dynasty monarch Pepi I it is declared that, “He who is between the thighs of Nut is the Pygmy who danceth like the god and who pleaseth the heart of the god before his great throne.” Nut was the goddess of heaven and the mother of Osiris. This Pygmy was called Bes. ( Courtesy Shahar Harari)

There is no Devil or demonizing or Intra- and inter-religious hate and violence or human right violations among, between or against practishioners of African Spirituality, African Traditional Religion (ATR), Indigenous (Igbo) Traditional (or Tribal) Religions (ITR), or among practitioners of Voodoo, Verdun, Juju, Obeah, Ifa, Afa, Shamanism, Wicca, etc or among Atheists or of any human being. Because of their belief in the Devil the Abrahamic religions terrorize and demonize each other and all these religions terrorize and demonize among and within themselves (Intra- and Inter), Sunni against Shia, Protestant against Catholic, also among and within Jewish sectarians (especially along ethnic and racial lines) and so on ad nauseum.
“The Book” religions have within their Holy Texts justification for religious and human violence and the demonization of others. However the Abrahamic Religions and/or “Book Religions” all agree together in one thing, they are all together and united in terrorizing and demonizing ATR or ITR. To these religionists African indigenous culture and spirituality (ATR and ITR) was seen and is still seen as “barbaric,” “brutish,” “bestial,” “black magic,” “cannibalistic,” “devilish,” “demonic,” “dispensable,” “despicable,” “heathen,” “illiterate,” “immoral,” “inferior,” “primitive,” “pagan,” “promiscuous,” “satanic,” “savage,” “sensual,” “sexual,” “superstitious,” “uncivilized,” “witchcraft”, inter alia, etcetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseum and so on. What is so ironic is they as Devil believers and demonizers accuse us of worshipping the Devil and demons when we demonize no one!

The Demonization of Afriqan People First Took Place With The God Bes

The God Bes
A guardian god. Bes was a foreign god, an import from the land of Nubia. He was jolly, fond of music, and dancing. He was a popular god who was adopted by the middle classes; he was considered a tutelary god of childbirth and, strangely enough, of cosmetics and female adornments. Bes chased away demons of the night and guarded men from dangerous animals. His image was carved on bedpost. He eventually became a protector of the dead and, amazingly, competed with even the refined and magnificent god Osiris for the attentions of men. He was originally the protective deity of the royal house of Egypt, but came to be a popular household deity throughout Egypt. Archeology Findings The oldest known fossil remains, according to Dr. Louis Leakey, were found in the Olduvai Gorge region in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. These first “small stature” people were known as the “Twa”, who worshipped the God Bes, a primitive human form of Horus I, being the earliest form of Ptah the God of Gods. The Twa, are modern humans or Homo sapiens sapiens. They are a diminutive Africoid people residing in the rain forests of Central Africa. Related groups live in South and Southeast Asia. We also find this same black God, Ptah, symbolized in the mystery system in Egypt. The Twa are said to have migrated the four thousand one hundred miles of the Nile river, establishing what was later to become the Egyptian civilization. A Modern Theory of Language Evolution, by Carl J. Becker, 2004, p. 164 & 167:

Full video The Origin of The God and The Devil Concept Haki Kweli Shakur & K.Kinte

Source: There is No Devil in Indigenous Afrikan Spirituality ( Without The Devil, There Is No Christianity)

Why the Eerie Silence of The Peoples of Ethiopia As State Terrorism Mainly Rampages Oromia? February 20, 2017

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Why the Eerie Silence of The Peoples of Ethiopia As State Terrorism Mainly Rampages Oromia?   

  


‘Unite to Defend Your Rights, Or Else, You’ll Cease to Exist’


By Denboba Natie, Sidama Info Network,   February 20, 2017, 

“Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere. We Are Caught In An Inescapable Network Of Mutuality, Tied In A Single Garment Of Destiny. Whatever Affects One Directly, Affects All Indirectly.” Martin Luther King Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, 16 April 1963, USA


  1. The TPLF Never Quashes the Oromo Revolution.

The Oromo nation’s new waves of struggle against the ongoing oppression began in October 2015, is continuing unabated; despite the imposition of state of emergency by TPLF’s ruthless regime since October 2016. Several hundreds of Oromo civilians have been summarily executed on monthly basis ever since; and to date hundreds are getting slaughtered by TPLF’s terrorizing agents known as ‘Agi-azi’, in addition to Ogaden Sumali Liyu militia, the national army and security forces. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of Oromo civilians are rounded up and taken to various torturing chambers all over the country; where the prisons of the country mainly entertain Oromo prisoners – to the extent where people assume that the language of all prisons in Ethiopia became Affan Oromo. The Oromo’s prominent opposition figures such as Baqala Garbaa and Professor Marara Gudina among hundreds of thousands of Oromo prisoners remain unlawfully incarcerated. Therefore, the Oromo’s current revolution is the outcome of over century old grievances resulted from deep-seated injustice imposed on the nation by successive Ethiopian rulers including the current TPLF’s ruthless regime.

Therefore, the aim of the Oromo nation’s new form of struggle is not about demanding the regime to answer their mysterious, unrealistic and alien quests. To the contrary, the Oromo nation unanimously rose to unconditionally demand its Waqaa, Allah, Magano, Yahweh, Egiziabher (God-given) unalienable rights to decent life, liberty, freedom of choice and self-determination, the pursuit of happiness and dignity; all denied to the nation by this regime for the last 26 years. The Oromo nation as the rest nations and peoples of Ethiopia is demanding ‘Nothing More, Nothing Less’.

Furthermore, the Oromo nation as the rest peoples of Ethiopian is demanding the current TPLF’s terrorist regime to stop the ongoing exploitation of their vast resources and economy, displacements of millions of Oromo peasants from their ancestral lands and livelihood (to vacate it for TPLF’s military commanders and its collaborators to trade with it under the pretext of elusive investment and fake development). The Oromo is demanding its denied rights to be unconditionally restored.

Sadly, the response of TPLF’s ruthless regime to date remain live bullet and mass incarceration of hundreds of thousands of Oromo civilians where inhumane treatments in various prisons is extreme. To make the situation worst, the current deployment of Ogaden Liyu militia (Agi’Azi within it) to massacre the Oromo people from East to South Ogaden neighboring areas is demonstrating the virulent nature of TPLF’s brutal regime to the Oromo nation in particular, to the rest peoples and nations of Ethiopia in general. Lessons the peoples of Ethiopia have learnt thus far are evident that this regime never respect its own constitution which vehemently denounces (at least on paper) its harrowing actions to unarmed civilians. Wholly disregarding its constitution, the regime remains responding all quests of the Oromo, Ogaden Sumali, Sidama, Amhara, Konso, Gambella, Benshangul and the rest peoples and nations of Ethiopia with live bullet and unprecedented level of brutality since it has assumed power in May 1991.

  1. The West and Their Hypocrisy

Overwhelmingly occupied with jungle mentality of over four decades, to date the TPLF’s architects resorted to responding to any peaceful quests of the subjects with brutality and cruelty of unheard proportion in Empire’s history. The military commanders of the TPLF, blatantly terrorize unarmed civilians in front of the oblivious Western diplomats whose mouths remain zipped when vested interests’ posse eerie silence. Whilst the said oblivious diplomats watching in front of their noses, the TPLF’s killing machines who are mainly trained and equipped with modern snipers by the USA, France, the UK and some other EU countries military and security personnel, summarily execute the unarmed Oromo, Ogadenia, Amhara, Gambella, Konso, Sidama and the rest peoples of various nations. Obliviously, regardless, they pore aid money to date. To have such confidence in executing unarmed civilians and mass arresting tens of thousands of civilians, the TPLF’s politicians often receive tacit agreement from their surreptitiously watching Western sponsors who always pay deaf ears and blind eyes to the suffering of the majority of stakeholders.

West’s politicians, particularly during the era of Tony Blair’s Premiership, when once TPLF’s late leader PM Meles Zenawi, was regarded as their darling; the West has tacitly given him outright authority to do whatever he wishes on his subjects as long he runs their agenda in the horn. This has been obliviously reinforced by the repeated visits of the USA’s, Germany’s and UK’s leaders and high level officials including last year’s visit of the USA’s former president, Barak Obama. Their Medias remain as oblivious as their politicians, whilst wasting their time talking about the ailing Robert Mugabe, instead.

Due to the above geopolitical interests of the West and concomitant silence in the face of unfolding executions, the TPLF ruthless regime became bold, callously, blunt, confident, unrepentant and stubbornly determined to assure the subservience of the majority to its barbaric rule. Particularly, with this end, it is the Oromo nation to be mainly focused upon, the Amhara standing the second in the queue. The ultimate reasons why the Tigrean regime is focusing on brutalizing the Oromo nation is twofold. The first is the Oromo’s economic importance for its plan of exponentially increasing the capacity of their domestic and international bank accounts. Those, TPLF’s military commanders, once who were penniless when they occupied Finfinnee (Addis Ababa), over quarter of a century ago, now become multimillionaires by looting, primarily the wealth of the Oromo nation as the region has got vast resources including immense minerals and abundant cash crops; as Oromia remains their primary cash cow. The second reason is the Oromo’s being major single entity in Ethiopia. Hence, unless the regime, divides and silences the Oromo nation and the second largest nation of Ethiopia, the Amhara, TPLF knows that its survival will be at stake. Cognizant of this, the regime leaves no stone unturned to humiliate and silence the Oromo nation primarily and the Amhara secondly.

III. TPLF’s Erroneous Belief That the Smouldering Fire Has Been Extinguished.

It’s imperative that TPLF believes that, it has accomplished its tasks after the imposition of state of emergency. Gullible belief, as far as the situations in Oromia and Amhara regions are concerned. The fire is steadily Smouldering. The same is true in all regions. Moreover, TPLF particularly believes that its infamous quislings have silenced the 4th and 5th largest nations of the county, the Sidama and Ogaden Sumali. In the cases of both Sidama and Ogadenia, this is the case simply because it uses notorious cadres of the country known for their barbaric actions against their own people whilst implementing TPLF’s agenda in their respective regions although in Ogaden, the ONLF is fiercely fighting the enslaving regime. The hideous personalities include, the infamous ‘Shiferaw Shigute’ who has worked hard to humiliate the Sidama nation time and again whilst facilitating, and committed crimes against the Sidama people in addition to his major roles in displacing tens of thousands of Sidama peasants from their ancestral lands by leaving them destitute. Abdi Mohammed Omar of the Ogaden Sumali (regional puppet president), who is known for his viciousness and blood thirsty nature as his Sidama counterpart, is responsible for the death and incarceration of tens of thousands of Sumali civilians. This is the wicked puppet who is overseeing the official commanding aspect of Ogaden Liyu militia under the watchful eyes of TPLF’s generals, whilst implementing the current massacre of the Oromo civilians from east to south east. The two notorious cadres known for their both barbarism and moronic nature, are instrumental in dehumanizing their own peoples and beyond. Besides, the Smouldering fire in Oromia and beyond won’t be extinguished until it successfully achieves its objectives.

  1. Is the Division of Oromo Diaspora Playing Against the Oromo’s Interests? 

If a herd of buffalo remain united creating fence like defense, stands its grounds and doesn’t run away from its predators, none of them could be easily devoured. However, once a herd loses its ground, frightened, panicked and start to run away, natural separation occurs -thereby become an easy prey. We human beings are not different. If we are united and defy any oppression, no oppressor on planet will be able to enslave his/her subjects. Nowhere on planet, oppression has been successful unless the subjects are divided, manipulated and mentally defeated to allow themselves to be enslaved. This has been the case during the era of European colonization of Africa and the rest parts of the world; and it is the case as we speak all over the world. This has been the case in human history since mankind began a socially organized life. Yet, failing to assert such simple analogues, we fail time and again. We make the same mistakes repeatedly. This can be the case, when we are less aware of or our ego overrides the needs of our downtrodden groups of society for whom we may claim, are ready to sacrifice our lives, whilst quashing their dream as we continue bickering on little issues.

Finally, I dare to be bold (although I might be told it’s none of my business), on the fact that, the division and subdivision of Oromo Diaspora and opposition groups for minor issue is playing to the advantage of the TPLF’s ruthless regime. The division of the Oromo Diaspora is allowing to the regime to buy time. The Oromo players must stop, rethink and act quickly to save the situation before it gets out of control, thereby, elongate the suffering of the Oromo people those who are paying ultimate sacrifices with their precious lives day and night. If we remain as stubborn as we seem now, let all of us not forget that we’re committing inexcusable historical error. Humbly, I remotely believe that any Oromo wants this to be the case. Therefore, it’s now, the right time to act.

 

  1. The Silence of The Sidama Nation Must Come to An End!

The relationship of Oromo and Sidama nations is much deeper than mere solidarity, one might entertain as a temporary show case only benefiting politico-diplomatic gesture. Both Kush brothers share deeper unity in several ways. Their view of the world around them and beyond, their perception of justice and equality as well as governance under egalitarian systems ‘Gadaa and Luwa’, their religious belief are of similar nature, not only they are of similar stock. The Sidama and the Oromo nation share numerous attributes- not exhaustively such as cultural and psychological as well as socio-economic. Their being are closely intertwined in such a manner that, sometimes becomes indistinguishable. If one studies the Arusi and Bale Oromo and traditional Sidama society, their stark similarities are unprecedented.

Moreover, Oromo and Sidama nations’ resistance movements predate the creation of the current barbaric incumbent, TPLF. Since Hailesilassie and prior to the latter, including during the Abyssinian king, Menelik II, Oromo and Sidama nation have shared both bad and good times together. They have been in quest for their liberty and freedom taken away from them together. Both nation are the victims of the current injustice. Whilst the Tigreans were part and parcels of the subjugating empire, the solidarity of the Sidama and Oromo has been there. Therefore, at this critical moment in the history of the Oromo nation, while its sons and daughters are gunned-down in broad day lights by Tigrean barbaric regime; to me as a principled Sidama man, the current uncustomary silence of the nation is extremely unsettling. Thus, I urge the Sidama nation to rise and walk shoulder to shoulder with its Oromo brothers and sisters. The propaganda of the regime conveyed and enforced through notorious ‘Shiferaw Shigute’ network, evidently, so far has confused the Sidama nation. Such deceitful propaganda should be critically considered and scrutinized to be eventually regurgitated. There is no excuse, for the current silence, thus I reiterate that, the Sidama must stand with its Oromo cousins and disallow its land from being used by the TPLF’s brutal regime, to incarcerate and torture Oromo brothers and sisters, old and young alike.

  1. The Unity of All Peoples of Ethiopia Is Paramount to Dismantle Brutal TPLF.

Having a meticulously planned objective; using violence, assassination, massacres, land confiscation and expropriation of the entire wealth of the country, for the last 26 years, the TPLF’s regime has demonstrated its virulence to all peoples of the country. Not only to the other peoples, it has also shown its hideous nature to its own people to achieve its objectives. A good example could be drawn from its barbaric action when it has masterminded the massacre in ‘Hawzen’ market place where hundreds of Tigray civilians have been mercilessly bombed by the fighter jet coordinated by TPLF. Its action was planned to blame on its predecessors to gain international sympathy. Therefore, the TPLF’s regime has time again shown its barbarism and viciousness to all peoples of the country. The solution, thus is needing a strategic unity, maintaining differences as they are, until we get rid of this ruthless regime. The current revolution started by gallant Oromo nation is serving as a vehicle to achieve such objectives, thus shouldn’t be aborted by the brutal crackdown on a peaceful and purpose-driven Oromo youth and the entire nation.

All peoples of Ethiopia need to synchronize their struggle, temporarily leaving their petty differences aside, until this bestial regime is brought down to its knees. We must, rethink our actions before we rush into entertaining petty differences whilst men and women, youth and old citizens are gunned-down in broad day light in all parts of the country. None of us can afford continuing in such heartless and soulless manner; if we genuinely aspire the emaciation of our nations and peoples from over a quarter of a century subjugation and brutality of unprecedented scale. The time is today. Let’s move with strategic togetherness before it’s too late.

 

Denboba Natie, (my opinion not of my political party or alliance)

February 20, 2017


 

IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report: War Crimes: Crimes Against Humanity: The genocide against Oromo people involving Ethiopia’s Somali region police (Liyu Police), a segment of fascist TPLF’s Agazi forces February 18, 2017

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 Odaa OromooOromianEconomisttplf-ethiopias-federal-army-abbay-tsehaye-and-samora-yunus-are-architects-of-the-ongoing-ethnic-cleansing-against-oromo-in-south-and-eastern-oromia

Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s federal defence army,  Abbay Tsehaye & Samora Yunus are architects of the ongoing genocidal ethnic cleansing against Oromo people in South and Eastern Oromia. 

Oromia violence involving Ethiopia’s Somali region police

IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report, 17 February 2017

EVENT

Several members of Ethiopia’s Somali region’s Liyu special police were reportedly killed by armed locals on 14 February in Gursum district, Oromia region, allegedly in response to recent raids into the area by these security forces, according to Ethiopian opposition media. Locals also seized unspecified amounts of police ammunition and weapons during the violence.

Earlier in February, both an Oromia government official and an Oromo opposition party had claimed Somali regional police involvement in recent cattle raids, looting, and killings in Oromia’s East Haraghe (which includes Gursum), Bale, Guji, and Borena zones.

Complicity by the Ethiopian government, dominated by its Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) wing, in these raids would most likely be part of a strategy designed to prevent the formation of a cross-ethnic domestic opposition and marginalise the ethnic-Oromo opposition ahead of the scheduled end of the state of emergency in April.


About Jane’s

Jane’s Defence Weekly (abbreviated as JDW) is a weekly magazine reporting on military and corporate affairs, edited by Peter Felstead. It is one of a number of military-related publications named after John F. T. Jane, an Englishman who first published Jane’s All the World’s Fighting Ships in 1898. It is a unit of Jane’s Information Group, which was purchased by IHS in 2007. The magazine has a large circulation and is frequently cited in publications worldwide

How should the US react to human rights abuses in Ethiopia? February 16, 2017

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H.Res.128 – Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.115th Congress (2017-2018)


How should the US react to human rights abuses in Ethiopia?

By Matt Hadro, Catholic News Agency, 16 February 2017

 

The US capitol building. Credit: Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.

The US capitol building. Credit: Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.

 One member of Congress is hoping for a “serious policy review” by the Trump administration of the United States’ relationship with Ethiopia, citing human rights abuses by the government there.

“To truly stop violence abroad, Ethiopia must stop violence at home,” Rep. Chris Smith, chair of the House subcommittee on Africa and global human rights, stated at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday.

“Since 2005, untold thousands of students have been jailed, have been shot during demonstrations or have simply disappeared in the last 11 years,” Smith stated Feb. 15. “Ethiopia’s next generation is being taught that the rights that democracy normally bestows on a country’s citizens don’t apply in their country.”

Smith and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) introduced a House resolution (H. Res. 128) Wednesday “highlighting the crisis in Ethiopia due to government violations of the human rights of its citizens,” Smith stated.

“With this resolution, we are showing that the United States remains committed to universal respect for human rights, and that we will not tolerate continued abuse of those human rights by Ethiopian security forces,” Coffman said.

There has been a “steady erosion” of democracy in Ethiopia since 2005, the congressmen maintained.

Government dissidents have been jailed, citizens have been tortured and killed by the government’s security forces, and freedom of the press has been infringed upon. Ethnic groups have been the victims of violence perpetrated by the government.

Peaceful protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions of the country were met with hundreds of killings and tens of thousands of arrests by security forces in 2016, Human Rights Watch said in its recent report on the country. Citizens released from jail claimed they were tortured while in custody.

“Instead of addressing the numerous calls for reform in 2016, the Ethiopian government used excessive and unnecessary lethal force to suppress largely peaceful protests,” Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, stated in the report released in January.

One protest in the Oromia region resulted in the police using tear gas, rubber bullets, and rounds fired into the air to break it up, claiming that the crowd was getting out of hand. An ensuing stampede killed 50. The Inter-religious Council of Ethiopia, on which Catholic leaders sit, called for prayer and peace amid the protests and asked government leaders to listen to the people.

The recent protests in the Amhara region of the country have showed a sense of “identity” on the part of embattled citizens, and their “need to survive,” Tewodrose Tirfe of the Amhara Association of America, a refugee who came to the U.S. in 1982, noted.

“The U.S. and the West cannot sympathize with a government that kills people,” Seenaa Jimjimo, a human rights advocate who was born and grew up in Ethiopia, insisted in her statement at Wednesday’s press conference.

Amidst protests, a state of emergency was declared by the state in October and is “being used as a method to crack down even further on basic human freedoms,” Coffman said.

Thus, the resolution is the “first step by our representatives to let the Ethiopian government know that the U.S. policy is changing, that their continued human rights violations on innocent civilians will not be tolerated,” Tirfe stated.

“We invoke the Global Magnitsky Act,” Gregory Simpkins, staff director of the House subcommittee on Africa, said on Wednesday of the law which enables sanctions against specific “entities and persons who violate the human rights of people.”

Ethiopia has acted as a key ally in fighting international terrorism, Smith noted, but if it fails to protect human rights at home then extremism could fester within its own borders.

“What Congressman Smith and I are asking is for the Congress of the United States to join together and pass this resolution condemning the Ethopian government for its human rights abuses,” Coffman stated.

“And I think it’s important for all Americans to care about human rights to encourage their member of Congress to co-sponsor this resolution so that we can pass it in the Congress.”


Related:-

Mana-maree Yunaayitid Isteetsitti, dura-taa’aa Koree-birkii Dhimma Fayyaa fi Mirgawwan Dhala-namaa Sadarkaa Addunyaa fi Dhaabbatoota Sadarkaa Addunyaa ka ta’an – bakka-bu’aan Niwujeersii, Kiris Ismiiz, har’a “Seeraa Haaraa Mirgawwan Dhala-namaa Itiyoophiyaa Lakkoobsa 128 ” kaleessa yeroo gazexeessotaaf ibsa kennanitti ifa godhaniiru.

Wixineen seeraa kun, “Kabajaa mirgawwan dhala-namaaf kennamu deggeruu fi Itiyoophiyaa keessatti bulchiinsi hunda hammate akka jiraatu jajjabeessuu” ka jedhu.

Gabaasa guutu kana cuqaasuun dhaggeeffadhaa


Congressman Chris Smith submit again His Resolution HR861 of Ethiopia Govt Human Rights Violation

African Arguments: Why President Farmaajo holds so much hope for Somalia February 16, 2017

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The Big Cheese: Why President Farmaajo holds so much hope for Somalia

Why is there so much excitement around the former prime minister’s surprise appointment as Somalia’s new president?

Somalia’s ninth president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.


On 8 February, the protracted Somalia elections finally came to an end to widespread celebrations and surprise as Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo was appointed as the new president.

The former prime minister was one of 21 candidates vying to be Somalia’s 9th president in a process involving 329 newly-elected lawmakers. The decision went to a second round of voting in which Farmaajo received 184 votes to the incumbent Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s 97, prompting to the latter to concede peacefully.

This outcome came as a huge but largely welcome shock to most.

Who is Farmaajo?

The new president – known as Farmaajo, Italian for “cheese”, because of his reported love of the food – first became a well-known figure in Somalia in November 2010. At that time, he had been living and working in the US, where he holds dual citizenship, for 25 years. But he was suddenly plucked out of obscurity in the diaspora by then President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to become prime minister.

It is what happened in the following seven months that made him perhaps Somalia’s most popular politician in recent times.

Unlike so many of Somalia’s politicians, Farmaajo made an immediate and tangible difference on coming into office. For the first time since 1991, he reduced the cabinet from the customary 31 members down to a core of just 18, dropping redundant departments such as the Ministry of Tourism and Wild Animals. He fought corruption, establishing an Anti-Corruption Commission and increasing transparency around government spending and ministers’ assets. And he ensured salaries were disbursed to government workers and soldiers who hadn’t been paid for months, an accomplishment for which he is still fondly remembered.

Under Farmaajo, large swaths of territory were also recaptured from al-Shabaab. The momentum achieved in this period is believed to have been the cause of the Islamist militants’ withdrawal from the capital Mogadishu, for the first time since their inception, just a month and half after Farmaajo left office.

In 2011, however, the prime minister’s term came to an abrupt end. The president and then Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden had been embroiled in a bitter power struggle for months, and it was only resolved when the two struck a deal that included an agreement that Farmaajo would step down.

The resignation of the admired prime minister triggered days of demonstrations across Somalia and abroad, with protesters blaming foreign interference for his removal. Farmaajo’s popularity was particularly notable in Mogadishu from which his clansmen, who include former President Siad Barre, had been indiscriminately driven out in the 1990s civil war. His acceptance in the capital served as a reminder of how far Somalia has come.

The biggest mandate

Farmaajo’s popularity amongst the people combined with his mandate – the biggest since 1967 – gives the new president a tremendous opportunity to move Somalia towards stability, democracy and prosperity.

To achieve this, it is imperative that he avoids the mistakes of his predecessors, particularly in four key areas.

Firstly, Farmaajo must take great care in appointing his prime minister. The past four presidents all struggled with this and each went through at least three different PMs, with almost all the partnerships ending in acrimony. In some instances, internal conflicts lasted months, derailing any progress that could have been made. President Farmaajo must appoint somebody he trusts, that shares the same vision, and that will stick with him through his administration.

A second key area will be reconciliation. The brutal civil war that broke out in 1991 led the country to break up into several clan-based territories. Many Somalis never leave their regions.

The new president will need to set in motion a process of national reconciliation. Political grievances must be readdressed; the discriminatory parts of the constitution such as the 4.5 clan-based power sharing formula should be removed; and property should be returned to its rightful owners. By re-cultivating real trust between clans, Farmaajo can ensure a lasting peace.

[4 questions the new president must confront in deciding what kind of democracy Somalia should be]

Thirdly, the new president will have to tackle the insecurity that has long wracked the country. Even after some promising gains, Mogadishu has seen an increase in al-Shabaab attacks, to the extent that the venue of yesterday’s election had to be moved to the heavily fortified Aden Adde Airport.

To improve security, Farmaajo will have to pay special attention to Somalia’s security forces. Soldiers’ morale desperately needs to be built up with adequate training and the timely payment of salaries. This, in turn, could help the army recruit the young educated conscripts it needs to effectively replace the African Union forces (AMISOM) when they eventually leave the country.

Finally, Farmaajo will have to take great care in ensuring his rule is inclusive. The past two administrations were frequently criticised for concentrating power in the hands of the few. Under the new president, Somalis all over the country should be able to claim the government as their own and be proud of it.

As prime minister in 2010, Farmaajo openly expressed a disapproval of the 4.5 power-sharing formula that discriminates against smaller clans. At the time his capacity was limited, but now he has the power to walk the walk and ensure that his government is one that represents all Somalis.


Sakariye Cismaan is a political commentator. Follow him on twitter at @SakariyeCismaan.


 

Trump, Ethiopia: Neither is Normal February 15, 2017

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Oakland Institute

There has been nothing normal about the political, social and economic situation in Ethiopia for years. But this past year has seen things get far worse, with increasing state violence and restrictions on basic human rights.


Trump, Ethiopia: Neither is Normal

By Elizabeth Fraser,  Oakland Institute,  November 29, 2016


In the weeks since Donald Trump was elected, many have focused on the need to not normalize the man, his words, or his actions.1

This call is vital. We cannot normalize having someone in the White House who has become the very face of bigotry, islamophobia, white supremacy, misogyny, and contempt for the environment.


Ethiopian army soldiers monitoring Suri people during a festival in Kibish. Credit: Oakland Institute.
Ethiopian army soldiers monitoring Suri people during a festival in Kibish. Credit: Oakland Institute.

This call has also got me thinking about the many times and ways that normalization gets in the way of real change. One country that comes to mind is Ethiopia.

One Year Anniversary of Oromo Protests Against Land Grabs

November marked the one year anniversary of the start of mass protests in Ethiopia’s Oromo region. The protests began in reaction to a proposed land grab by the government in order to expand the borders of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Land grabbing in the name of “development” is not new to Ethiopia, and previous grabs have involved widespread human rights abuses. So, it was a major victory when this particular land grab was successfully defeated. But the protests didn’t stop. Instead, they expanded into calls for human rights, democracy, and justice, and spread across the country.

These protests are a reaction to an authoritarian state that has oppressed people for years; a state that has cracked down on freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion; a state that has jailed students, political opposition members, land rights defenders, religious leaders, journalists and more for raising their voices; a state that received 100 percent of the seats in a supposedly “democratic” election; and much more.2

Ethiopian Government’s Response: Bloodshed and Brutality

Sadly, the protests have been met with bloodshed and brutality. In early October 2016, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn admitted that 500 protesters had been killed by security forces in previous months. This came one week after the Irreechaa tragedy which took between fifty-two and several hundred lives and one month after a fire at the Kilinto prisonleft dozens dead. Days later, the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency that included a laundry list of curtailed freedoms.

For a few weeks around the state of emergency, it felt as if all eyes were finally on Ethiopia. US Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski penned a scathing op-ed that called the abuses perpetrated by the Ethiopian government “self-defeating tactics.” Social media exploded with images, videos, and reports from the ground. A Human Rights Resolution was put before the US Congress, one of Ethiopia’s largest donors.

But in recent days the international outrage appears to have shifted.

While the Ethiopian government continues to crackdown, Germany has lifted its travel ban to the country. Diplomats are allowed to travel outside of Addis Ababa. The World Bank has gone back to publishing articles on so-called climate smart agriculture. Civil society groups are organizing a conference on changing food systems in Africa later this month. The list goes on.

Trump, Ethiopia: Not the Time to Normalize

“Not normal” is happening all over the world, and looking away is not an option.

But things in Ethiopia are far from normal. In mid-November, the government released a list of over 11,600 people who were arrested in the first six weeks of the state of emergency. Mobile internet is frequently turned off across the country, and social media sites remain blocked. You can still be arrested for crossing your hands above your head, discussing the situation with outsiders, or listening to diaspora radio and TV. At the same time, the Ethiopian government has gone out of its way to issue diatribes against the work of the Oakland Institute and Human Rights Watch,3 and, according to The Hill, even mocked the potential of the US House Resolution on human rights in Ethiopia to pass.

There has been nothing normal about the political, social and economic situation in Ethiopia for years. But this past year has seen things get far worse, with increasing state violence and restrictions on basic human rights.

The world is calling on us to stand up for a lot of things right now. As we work to keep from normalizing Trump, let us extend this standard to all of our work. “Not normal” is happening all over the world, and looking away is not an option.

Footnotes

Human Rights League of Horn of Africa: The United Nations Human Rights Council: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention: ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN OROMIA ESCALATE AFTER THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IS DECLARED February 15, 2017

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Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

 

Human Rights League of Horn of Africa

(HRLHA)

Written Statement Submitted to United Nations Human Rights Council,

34th Session, 27 February – 24 March, 2017

Item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

(Country- Ethiopia)

Geneva, 12 February, 2017

ETHIOPIA:

ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN OROMIA ESCALATE AFTER THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IS DECLARED

oromo-protests-against-tplf-fascsit-ethiopian-regimme-tyranny

ETHIOPIA:

How Many Should die Before the Internatioanl Community intervenes to save lives?

                    HRLHA  Calls for  Intervention by the international community

to end Human Tragedy in Ethiopia


1. The Ethiopian government has targeted the Oromo people in general and the youth in particular, since the 2005 beginning of the mass, but the peaceful uprising of the Oromo people led by Orom students demanding their freedom and the halt of systematic violations of their fundamental rights. The response from the government to the legitimate and peaceful demands of the people] was massive arrests, torture, disappearances and summary executions of the civilian population. However, the heavy hand of the government forces didn’t stop the demands of the Oromo people and the protest has continued for over ten years. From November 2015, the mass movement- in which Oromos from all walks of life have participated- has continued on a daily basis until the government declared a State of Emergency on October 8, 2016.<

The government also targeted prominent political leaders of Oromo parties that are registered and functioning peacefully in Ethiopia. Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress – OFC, Mr. Bekele Gerba- has been in jail for some years now, with his case still pending in the court of justice under the pretext that the prosecutor is unable to gather witnesses to testify against the accused. The number of Oromo political prisoners has reached an unbearable level and so disproportionate that, using the words of one senior government official who spend few years in prison, “Afaan Oromo (the language of the Oromos) has now become the official language of Ethiopian prisons”.

2. Ethiopian prisons, as far as the rights of the political prisoners to a reasonable space/room for sleeping, access to daylights, to proper sanitation, to family visits and meeting with their respective lawyers is concerned, are that they are among the worst correctional facilities in the world. The level of torture, as reported by the families who were granted rare visits, is unbearable. The government continues to deny access to international organizations, the UN Human Rights Special Rapporteurs and the ICRC, whose report could have shed more light on the situations in the prisons.

3. The Ethiopian government boldly demonstrated its dedication to continue violating the fundamental human rights of its citizens, when it arrested Dr. Merera Guddina, chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress – OFC, on November 30, 2016 upon his return to Ethiopia after briefing the European Union officials on the situation in Ethiopia. The arrest, according to the government, was justified because of an alleged meeting of Dr. Merera with the other opposition leader, Prof. Berhanu Nega, chairman of the outlawed political party, Ginbot – 7 (a.k.a G7). Dr. Merera Guddina and Professor Berhanu Nega, the G7 Leaders, had been invited by the EU parliament to Brussels to attend an EU organized Conference on the Ethiopian current political crisis. According to reliable sources, Dr. Merera Gudina was taken to the infamous Maikelawi interrogation center, with the other two of his friends, Taye Negera and Kumala, both of whom were in his house during the arrest.

4. The peacful protests that have rocked Ethiopia over one year (November 2015- October 2016) led by “Qeerroo Bilissummaa” literally, youth for freedom against subjugation, dramatically changed the peaceful protests into violence after the tyrannical government mercilessly massacred over 700 Oromos, from the ground and the air, at the Irrecha Festival, Oromo Thanksgiving Day on October 2, 2016. This dramatically changed the peaceful protests into violent ones all over the country.

Ethiopian runner who protested in Rio reunites with family. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution February 15, 2017

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Ethiopian runner who protested in Rio reunites with family

NY Daily News, February 14, 2017

 

Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa, rear, of Ethiopia, hugs his wife Iftu Mulia, his daughter Soko, right, 5, and son Sora, left, 3, while picking up his family at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.

Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa, rear, of Ethiopia, hugs his wife Iftu Mulia, his daughter Soko, right, 5, and son Sora, left, 3, while picking up his family at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.

(WILFREDO LEE/AP)

The Ethiopian marathoner hid behind a column at the Miami airport as he carried a bouquet of red roses.Feyisa Lilesa’s daughter spotted him first and ran in for a hug. Then, his young son and lastly his wife.On Valentine’s Day, the Olympic silver medalist who became an international figure when he crossed his wrists in protest at the finish line in Rio de Janeiro finally reunited with his family. He was a little late (traffic), but what’s a few extra minutes when he’s already waited six long months to see them.As he made his way out of the airport, his daughter rode on the luggage and his son perched on his shoulders, carrying the flowers he brought as a gift.Ethiopia’s Lilesa afraid to return home after Olympic display“The biggest gift is us seeing each other again — and me seeing them again,” Lilesa said through a translator in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s all been very tough.”

The 27-year-old eventually settled in Flagstaff, Arizona, after making an anti-government gesture during the Olympic marathon that drew global attention to the deadly protests in his home region of Oromia. He never returned home after Brazil out of fear of what might happen to him. He’s constantly been worrying about the family he left behind in Ethiopia. His nearly 6-year-old daughter, Soko, and 3 ½-year-old son, Sora, always asked when they will see him again.

Finally, he was able to answer.

Lilesa remains in the U.S. on a special skills visa. His family arrived on visas as well, secured through his attorney.

UC Davis researcher killed by protesters in Ethiopia

The plan now is this: A few days of beach time and then it’s off to Flagstaff where the family will settle into everyday life in their rental house.

One weight off his mind.

Still, he can’t forget what his country is going through, with the Oromia region experiencing anti-government protests over recent months. Violent anti-government protests spread to other parts of Ethiopia and led to a state of emergency that was declared in October.

Since his gesture, many have described Lilesa as a national hero.

Planned Parenthood fans, pro-life protesters rally across U.S.

“My mind is pretty much occupied by what is happening back home,” Lilesa said. “Whether I’m running or I’m sleeping or I’m laying back, my family and what is happening in Ethiopia — and what is happening to my people — that’s constantly on my mind.”

Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa, of Ethiopia, carries his son Sora, 3, and pulls along his daughter Soko, 5, after picking up his family at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.

Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa, of Ethiopia, carries his son Sora, 3, and pulls along his daughter Soko, 5, after picking up his family at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.

(WILFREDO LEE/AP)

Most days since his arrival in America have been spent training. It was his best cure for loneliness.

“I come from a very big family, and I’ve never lived alone,” Lilesa said. “I’ve always been surrounded by people I know. This has been the complete opposite. Here, I’m removed from all of that.”

Still, he would protest all over again.

Dozens gather to mark two-year anniversary of weekly BLM protests

“I think me taking the risk and putting family in that position and putting them potentially in harm’s way, it was a good lesson for a lot of people that you need to sacrifice in order for you to win some concessions and change your situation,” Lilesa said. “In that sense, it inspires people to fight for their rights and resist the government in Ethiopia. It also led to greater awareness about the situation in Ethiopia.

“Now, you see more coverage of the human rights violations. I speak with people wherever I go. Even outside the media limelight, people are interested in knowing. They heard the story because of my protest.”

Someday, he would like to go back to Ethiopia.

“But as long as this current government is in power, I don’t have hope of going back to Ethiopia,” he explained. “I do know change is inevitable.”

Paris Jackson supports DAPL protesters at Grammys

He also wants to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Whether that’s wearing the colors of Ethiopia, he doesn’t know.

“I’m not too hopeful the system will be changed in the next three years and I will be in a position to run for Ethiopia. We will have to wait and see,” said Lilesa, who plans to run in the London Marathon in two months.

For now, Lilesa’s priority is getting his family settled.

“I knew that we would meet somehow, but I didn’t expect it would happen under these circumstances over here,” Lilesa said. “When I think about my family, it takes me back to why I did this and why I’m here. I missed my family, but this was a big bother to me — the plight of my people.”


Related:

SB Nation: Olympian Feyisa Lilesa is reuniting with his Ethiopian family in U.S., despite fear of President Trump

 

Star Tribune: Ethiopian runner who protested in Rio reunites with family

WP: Ethiopian marathoner who protested at Rio Olympics reunites with his family

AP: Ethiopian runner who protested in Rio reunites with family

 

BBC: World-famous Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa has reunited with his family for the first time since going into exile in the US after protesting against the government at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio, the New York Daily News reports.   

runner who protested in reunites with family in US. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/ethiopian-runner-protested-rio-reunites-family-article-1.2972659 

Photo published for Ethiopian runner who protested in Rio reunites with family

Ethiopian runner who protested in Rio reunites with family

The Olympic silver medalist who became an international figure by crossing his wrists in protest finally reunited with his family.

Report

His wife, daughter and son flew into Miami, where the 27-year-old athlete met them after a separation of about six months.

Feyisa told the newspaper through a translator:

The biggest gift is us seeing each other again, and me seeing them again. It’s all been very tough.”

Back in August, Feyisa became the first Ethiopian to finish in the top two of a men’s Olympics marathon since 2000, claiming silver behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge.

As he crossed the line, he lifted his arms in an X-shape above his head in solidarity with the Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group, who have suffered a crackdown at the hands of the Ethiopian government.

The country’s officials said the runner would be welcomed home from Rio as a hero, but Feyisa said he might be killed if he returned.

Oromo Olympic marathon athlete Fayyisaa Lalisaa on the Guardian. #OrompProtests global icon p1Fayyisaa lalisaa Oromo national hero, at Rio 2016 Olympicmarathon in the podium, finishing line in #OromoProtests as winning theOlympic medal, 21 August 2016

 

The “x” sign is used as a symbol of protest in Ethiopia

https://www.facebook.com/VOAOromo/videos/1266626250039354/

UNPO: Oromo: Political Conviction Endures, while Communities Refuse to be Stifled February 14, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

UNPO

Oromo: Political Conviction Endures, while Communities Refuse to be Stifled

Photo courtesy of Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Despite punitive suppression, Oromo people continue to gather in protest of the state of affairs in Ethiopia. Through the current state of emergency, the government is attempting to solidify central power and quash opposition groups, which results in the heightened marginalisation of already-disadvantaged communities. Voices in these communities express distrust in small democratic concessions, and call instead for a total overhaul of the political system to ensure inclusivity. With no opportunities for opposition to engage politically, and with the often-violent suppression of peaceful protests, the options for the Oromo are severely limited. For now, legitimate grievances fuel continued unrest, and the ruling party coalition maintains a chokehold on every pathway to power.

 

The article below was published by The Guardian:

In a muted show of defiance near Ethiopia’s capital city, a tall farmer glanced around before furtively crossing his arms below his waist to make the Oromo people’s resistance symbol.

Ethiopia’s government outlawed the gesture made famous by Olympic men’s marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa – who formed the “X” above his head at last year’s Rio games – when it enacted a draconian state of emergency in October in an attempt to stem 11 months of protests. Although that decree has suppressed unrest, the farmer thinks demonstrations will start anew.

“The solution is the government has to come with true democracy. The people are waiting until the state of emergency is over and then people are ready to begin to protest,” he said.

While the emergency has led to at least 25,000 people being detained, security forces aren’t visible on roads flanked by fields with workers wielding curved sickles to harvest crops. Beyond that seeming normality, there is pervasive discontent with authorities accused of responding to claims of ethnic marginalisation by intensifying repression.

“The protests will come again because the government is not responding to the demands of the people in the right way,” said another young Oromo man in Ejere town. Like others, he answered via a translator in the Oromo language, and asked for his views to be kept anonymous.

Farmers in the restive West Shewa district of Oromia dismissed the political response so far, which has amounted to replacing regional leaders. Despite positive noises from the new Oromia president, many seek a wholesale change of government. “People need new faces and a new system,” the Ejere man said.

The problem for activists is how to translate popular anger stemming from grievances into political change. The security apparatus has shown it can quell protests and a de facto one-party state offers few opportunities for opposition activities.

Longstanding complaints by the Oromo about state exploitation coalesced around opposition to a metropolitan development plan in November 2015. In January the government suspended the blueprint for the integrated development of Addis Ababa with surrounding Oromo areas, but that didn’t stem the revolt. Some demonstrations were peaceful; others involved torching investments and government offices. Security forces gunned down as many as 600 protesters, according to the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia.

Now the demands are less policy-oriented due to outrage over repression. Allegations of ethnic bias are prevalent, though it is Oromo officials who are culpable for local failings. The claims centre on a view that the Tigrayan ethnic group benefit disproportionately from a system said to be controlled by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which founded a coalition that has ruled the country since 1991. Activists, many of whom are based abroad, also allege that Ethiopia’s territorial expansion in the late 19th century dispossessed Oromo, who at roughly 35 million people-strong nonetheless remain Ethiopia’s largest community.

Under a multinational federal system introduced in 1995, the Oromo group runs its own region, but people complain the resource-rich state is economically exploited, and their leaders subservient to the TPLF in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). “There’s an Oromo saying: what the husband says, the wife cannot change,” said another opponent apropos of the political dynamic.

Land, which is state-owned in Ethiopia, is a particularly emotive issue. An aggressive, government-driven approach to development, combined with corrupt officials and investors, led to Oromo families losing farmland without receiving adequate compensation over the past two decades, particularly on the sought-after fringes of the capital.

Around Guder town, 80 miles (130km) west of Addis Ababa, farmers believe Oromo officials enriched themselves by selling plots on the edge of town to developers and using the proceeds to build houses near the capital. One man interviewed can’t give a specific example of an unfair eviction near Guder, but he’s worried about the trend. “People have a fear about what happened in the Addis Ababa area,” he said.

Other common concerns are mundane, and acknowledged as legitimate by officials: people want an improved road, or better supplies of water and electricity. Despite evident progress, Ethiopia, where the population of close to 100 million is Africa’s second largest, still lies 174th out of 188 countries on the UN’s 2015 human development index, below South Sudan and Afghanistan.

The evolving and multi-layered grievances are an acute test for the government, as well as a conundrum for major donors, such as the UK’s Department for International Development, which remains silent on the EPRDF’s repression as it lauds its development record. While efforts to improve public services, create jobs and reduce corruption may make headway, there’s little chance of the desired systemic reform.

That was reinforced by the arrest in November of Merera Gudina, the most high-profile Oromo opposition leader not in jail or abroad. He was accused of breaking emergency rules by communicating with a banned nationalist opposition leader at a European parliament hearing in Brussels.

Across West Shewa, locals said there had not yet been any changes in community leaders and the government hadn’t reached out to discuss the problems with them. Some said they were no longer interested in what officials had to say.

In Addis Ababa, the federal communications minister, Negeri Lencho, an Oromo professor of journalism, offers a different view. “The change belongs to the people. The reform belongs to the people. The reform includes increasing awareness of people to defend their interests,” he said.

Despite this gulf between officials and public, serious dialogue is unlikely, according to Zelalem Kibret, an Ethiopian blogger who was arrested in 2014 and is currently a visiting scholar at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University.

“The government will not go for any type of concession while the opposing force is weak. The activists also seem unwilling, since they are aimed at ousting the regime. I think the brutality that was unleashed by the regime for the last 12 months pushed every moderate voice to the fringe,” he said.

If the movement were to opt for incremental gains through the ballot box, opposition parties would have to compete in local elections scheduled for 2018, but that presents formidable political and logistical obstacles. As well as holding all seats in the federal parliament and regional chambers, the four-party EPRDF and allied organisations occupy all of up to 100 seats on each one of more than 18,000 village councils, and also on roughly 750 larger administrations, said Zelalem. With opposition leaders and activists exiled, imprisoned, or fearing arrest, already weak parties are in no shape to loosen the coalition’s hold.

“The EPRDF is still the only strong political force in Ethiopia. I doubt the protesters have any solid bargaining power other than sporadic demonstrations that are likely to be quashed easily. It is an impasse. Most probably the regime will stay in power for many years,” Zelalem said.

“General Gabre” the most corrupt fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s officer in Somalia February 13, 2017

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“General Gabre” the most corrupt Ethiopian officer in Somalia

“General Gabre” the most corrupt Ethiopian officer in Somalia
"General Gabre" the most corrupt Ethiopian officer in Somalia

Ethiopian military and political backing for sale by a corrupt officer called “Gabre” (Part 1)

(Suna Times )- The most Ethiopian corrupt military officer who is called Haile Gabre known by Somalis as General Gabre becoming extremely wealthy from the huge sums of money that he is getting from opportunistic Somali politicians who want to buy the sympathy of Addis Ababa, one of his juniors told Waagacusub anonymously.

“Atto  Gabre was corrupted  by Somali politicians and he also then corrupted Ethiopian senior officials so they will condone  his wrong doing,” the officer who could not give his name afraid of reprisals said

“There was several vehicles that were taken from somali individuals  by intimidation or corruption which were later donated by Gabre to most senior military officials and their family members,” he said.

Gabre had a business interest in United Arab Emirates in which he is represented by one of cousins

The bussiness is to give a better exchange rate of foreign currency for Ethiopians who want to import goods to landlocked hugely populated  Ethiopia.

“Recently large construction equipment owned by Gabre were sent to Ethiopia on a duty free from Dubai through port of Djibouti,” an Ethiopian business man based in Djibouti said.

“All the materials belonged to Gabre but his name can’t be seen on the manifest,” he said.

Gabre most incoming generation is from Somali politicians who want to use his country’s support in order to come to power.

He also gets money from the funds donated by the west for the regional East African body known as IGAD, he is suppose to be a facilitator for Somali so called peace process.

The Ethiopian traitor started his murky business in very early 90 in Bay and Bakol region by selling small arms to rival warring factions in southern Somalia but he became principal corruption boss after 2002 when the major Somalia talks in Kenya started.

There is a famous Mogadishu saying “if you want the power in Somalia first corrupt Gabre and enjoy military and political backing of Ethiopia.”

Gabre is from the Tigre tribe which is ruling the country since 1992.

Most of his dark business is well known by many Ethiopians but no one dare to say a word of that as most of national secret service agents are from his compatriots of Tigre Libration Front.

The continuation of violence  in Somalia us a surviving kit for Gabre and few other African corrupt officials, but he is the most ruthless money monger in that sector.

To be Continue Part 2

Reporters in Dubai, Djibouti and Mogadishu

Compiled by Dahir Alasow

 


 

Related Article: 

Ethiopian spy is the most hated person in Somalia.

 Waagacusub.net, February 11, 2017



 Somali elected president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo” was requested by many people and political groups to declare Ethiopian secret service official Hailu Gabre persona non grata for intermingling in the internal affairs of Somalia and masterminding renewed hostilities.”The spy, Gabre, is rearming former warlords to foil the newly elected Somali president,” Ahmed Daud Ibrahim who is a local district official in Medina district said.

“Gabre is always working against the peace in Somalia because violence is the best chance for him to sell weapons,” he said.

The officer who falsely calls himself  as General Gabre is a spy committed to serve only the interest of few Tigre ruling tribe of Ethiopian.

He is highly paid for his services by Somali  politicians who want to come to power through corruption, violence  and intimidation.

But he attracted extreme antipathy of those who care about Somalia.

“Everybody in Somalia knows Gabre is a weapons dealer, corrupt and saboteur,” Ahmed Tubako, a shop owner in Mogadishu said.

“He is part of the so called international community but Gabre is a cancer in the national interest of Somalia.” said Tabako.

Maryan Awale, elementary school teacher, warned that if the new president did not expel Gabre from our country then no progress will be made to rebuild Somalia.

“You can’t avoid sickness if you have bacteria in your food or or environment at home,” says Maryan who is 36 years old mother.

“Gabre is a combination of bacteria and virus that harm the nerve of our politics ,” she said by adding ” he is the most hated person in Somalia.”

Somali president was elected by overwhelming vote on Wednesday  in Mogadishu to replace president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who was rejected for corruption and misrule.


 

Thieving autocrat: The reign of Haile Selassie in Ethiopia February 13, 2017

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Selassie bred corruption in Ethiopia; he maintained a backward and inhuman system in which millions of his subject lived in degrading poverty, oppressive misery and ignorance. Nowhere in the world was the gulf between rich and poor greater.

Haile Selassie was not God or a great reformer; but a callous, greedy, thieving autocrat, who should be remembered for the murdering leech that he was.


Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (full title “His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Elect of God”) has almost universally been remembered as a kindly benefactor, yet the evidence suggesting otherwise is overwhelming.

It is argued that he implemented many reforms in his country and Rastafarians believe him to be God incarnate – as prophesied by Marcus Garvey – but how justified are these suggestions?

If we take as starting point Fascist Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia we find Selassie fleeing to Britain in a brave attempt to rally support for his country. Garvey pointed out that he “ran away from his country to England, leaving his people to be massacred by the Italians” (Marcus Garvey, The Failure of Haile Selassie as Emperor, Black Man – London, March/April 1937). He remained in Bath for the duration of the war, but on returning to take his place on the throne he became paranoid about the partisans who had stayed and fought the Italians, fearing their bravery and preferring obsequiousness. Thus, they were gradually removed from positions of authority and replaced with those who had collaborated with the Italians as he knew they could be easily kept in line and would be open to the methods Selassie used to control his dignitaries. Selassie’s methods of asserting and achieving and maintaining power involved breeding an atmosphere of distrust and corruption, where government officials would inform on each other in a constant vying for power, each wanting to be noticed and promoted by the Emperor, as the financial rewards could be great.

Ethiopia had much in common with any other capitalist society. For instance, starving peasants felt themselves privileged to even see a rich person in the flesh (shades of the homeless in Britain grieving over a recently deceased Princess). To achieve this state of affairs, Selassie would throw crumbs to the poor and bribe the rich. An example of this was his practice of throwing coppers to the poor to celebrate his birthday each year.

That is why it is preferable for the Abyssinian Negroes and the Negroes of the world to work for the restoration and freedom of the country without the assistance of Haile Selassie, because at best he is but a slave master. The Negroes of the Western World whose forefathers suffered for three hundred years under the terrors of slavery ought to be able to appreciate what freedom means. Surely they cannot feel justified in supporting any system that would hold their brothers in slavery in another country whilst they are enjoying the benefits of freedom elsewhere. The Africans who are free can also appreciate the position of slaves in Abyssinia. What right has the Emperor to keep slaves when all the democratic sections of the world were free, when men had the right to live, to develop, to expand, to enjoy all the benefits of human liberty[?] (Garvey, 1937)

Always Selassie had to exercise absolute control, punishing those who undermined his authority, two examples being Prince Imru and Tekele Wolda Hawariat. Prince Imru gave some of his lands to the peasantry without the Emperors permission and as a result he was exiled form Ethiopia for twenty years for “disloyalty”. Tekele Hawariat, a celebrated war hero, refused bribes and special privileges and so was imprisoned and finally executed by decapitation. If Selassie couldn’t have someone in the palm of his hand then he would get rid of them.

Progressive
The image Selassie liked to project to the West was always one of being somehow progressive. To this end many youngsters were sent abroad to be educated, though when they returned Selassie’s megalomania and greed meant that this education could never be employed to initiate any reforms in the country. Yet, as we have said, Selassie is remembered by many as a great reformer. Rather than being interested in reform, Selassie was interested in ‘development’. This allowed him to appeal for funds to help this process. To this end hospitals, bridges, factories etc. were built, all bearing the name of the emperor. But as the money poured into Ethiopia much of it was misappropriated by Selassie and hundreds of millions of dollars found their way into his personal bank accounts. The West, however, continued to back Selassie, who they regarded as a bulwark against ‘communism’ in Africa.

In the sixties, when Selassie had begun to lose his grip following an attempted coup d’etat, he found it necessary to pay Army officers and his Police obscene amounts of money to maintain loyalty and order. Thus, in a country of 30 million farmers and 100,000 police and military personnel, 1% of the state budget was allocated to the farmers and 40% to the army and the police.

Sumptuous Banquets
Selassie bred corruption in Ethiopia; he maintained a backward and inhuman system in which millions of his subject lived in degrading poverty, oppressive misery and ignorance. Nowhere in the world was the gulf between rich and poor greater. In 1973 Jonathan Dimbleby visited northern Ethiopia and made the film which was to signal the end for Selassie. The film for the first time showed that people were starving to death in their multitudes, despite the money for ‘development’ which was being pumped into the country. At the Palace the splendour and riches seemed to know no bounds. The juxtapositioning of the two contrasting images in the film was striking; the pigs with their sumptuous banquets were growing fatter on the backs of walking skeletons. Of course this hunger suited Selassie as people could hardly rebel when they were starving to death. There was in fact, however, plenty of grain in Ethiopia. But landowners took the harvest from the peasants, grain prices doubled and the farmers who grew the grain could not afford to buy it.

As the dying continued, western journalists were no longer allowed into Northern Ethiopia. Selassie preferred to show off his great ‘developments’ to the world press. The suffering could not be hidden indefinitely so, as the situation became a bigger and bigger embarrassment to the Emperor, the Police began to kill off the starving en masse.

It is ironic that Selassie liked to project an image of himself to the world of a kind, tolerant and benevolent soul, yet those in his country who detracted from this image were usually executed. Supporters of Selassie could argue that it was his underlings and not he that were responsible for the atrocities and corruption, the Emperor being kept in total ignorance of the situation. A look at the facts shows this to be impossible. Selassie knew what he was doing when he stuffed the money stolen from his subjects under his mattress and encouraged others in his employ to do likewise. Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski wrote of Selassie: “the Emperor himself amassed his great riches. The older he grew, the greater became his greed, his pitiable cupidity…he and his people took millions from the state treasurer and left cemeteries full of people who had died of hunger, cemeteries visible from the windows of the royal palace” (The Emperor (1984) Picador p.160).

When the facts of history are written Haile Selassie of Abyssinia will go down as a great coward who ran away from his country to save his skin and left the millions of his countrymen to struggle through a terrible war that he brought upon them because of his political ignorance and his racial disloyalty. (Garvey, 1937)

Haile Selassie was not God or a great reformer; but a callous, greedy, thieving autocrat, who should be remembered for the murdering leech that he was.

The Guardian : How long can Ethiopia’s state of emergency keep the lid on anger? February 12, 2017

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A state crackdown has silenced ethnic Oromo people in Ethiopia, but grievances over land and rights, and a lack of political options, could reignite protests

Oromo people stage a protest against the government near the Hora Lake at Debre Zeyit
Oromo people stage a protest against the government near the Hora Lake at Bishoftuu ( Debre Zeyit). Photograph: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

In a muted show of defiance near Ethiopia’s capital city, a tall farmer glanced around before furtively crossing his arms below his waist to make the Oromo people’s resistance symbol.

Ethiopia’s government outlawed the gesture made famous by Olympic men’s marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa – who formed the “X” above his head at last year’s Rio games – when it enacted a draconian state of emergency in Octoberin an attempt to stem 11 months of protests. Although that decree has suppressed unrest, the farmer thinks demonstrations will start anew.

“The solution is the government has to come with true democracy. The people are waiting until the state of emergency is over and then people are ready to begin to protest,” he said.

While the emergency has led to at least 25,000 people being detained, security forces aren’t visible on roads flanked by fields with workers wielding curved sickles to harvest crops. Beyond that seeming normality, there is pervasive discontent with authorities accused of responding to claims of ethnic marginalisation by intensifying repression.

“The protests will come again because the government is not responding to the demands of the people in the right way,” said another young Oromo man in Ejere town. Like others, he answered via a translator in the Oromo language, and asked for his views to be kept anonymous.

Farmers in the restive West Shewa district of Oromia dismissed the political response so far, which has amounted to replacing regional leaders. Despite positive noises from the new Oromia president, many seek a wholesale change of government. “People need new faces and a new system,” the Ejere man said.

The problem for activists is how to translate popular anger stemming from grievances into political change. The security apparatus has shown it can quell protests and a de facto one-party state offers few opportunities for opposition activities.

Longstanding complaints by the Oromo about state exploitation coalesced around opposition to a metropolitan development plan in November 2015. In January the government suspended the blueprint Global Development – The Guardian African women form a united front in the battle for equality – podcast

Under a multinational federal system introduced in 1995, the Oromo group runs its own region, but people complain the resource-rich state is economically exploited, and their leaders subservient to the TPLF in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). “There’s an Oromo saying: what the husband says, the wife cannot change,” said another opponent apropos of the political dynamic.

Land, which is state-owned in Ethiopia, is a particularly emotive issue. An aggressive, government-driven approach to development, combined with corrupt officials and investors, led to Oromo families losing farmland without receiving adequate compensation over the past two decades, particularly on the sought-after fringes of the capital.

Around Guder town, 80 miles (130km) west of Addis Ababa, farmers believe Oromo officials enriched themselves by selling plots on the edge of town to developers and using the proceeds to build houses near the capital. One man interviewed can’t give a specific example of an unfair eviction near Guder, but he’s worried about the trend. “People have a fear about what happened in the Addis Ababa area,” he said.

Other common concerns are mundane, and acknowledged as legitimate by officials: people want an improved road, or better supplies of water and electricity. Despite evident progress, Ethiopia, where the population of close to 100 million is Africa’s second largest, still lies 174th out of 188 countries on the UN’s 2015 human development index, below South Sudan and Afghanistan.

The evolving and multi-layered grievances are an acute test for the government, as well as a conundrum for major donors, such as the UK’s Department for International Development, which remains silent on the EPRDF’s repression as it lauds its development record. While efforts to improve public services, create jobs and reduce corruption may make headway, there’s little chance of the desired systemic reform.

That was reinforced by the arrest in November of Merera Gudina, the most high-profile Oromo opposition leader not in jail or abroad. He was accused of breaking emergency rules by communicating with a banned nationalist opposition leader at a European parliament hearing in Brussels.

Across West Shewa, locals said there had not yet been any changes in community leaders and the government hadn’t reached out to discuss the problems with them. Some said they were no longer interested in what officials had to say.

In Addis Ababa, the federal communications minister, Negeri Lencho, an Oromo professor of journalism, offers a different view. “The change belongs to the people. The reform belongs to the people. The reform includes increasing awareness of people to defend their interests,” he said.

Despite this gulf between officials and public, serious dialogue is unlikely, according to Zelalem Kibret, an Ethiopian blogger who was arrested in 2014 and is currently a visiting scholar at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University.

“The government will not go for any type of concession while the opposing force is weak. The activists also seem unwilling, since they are aimed at ousting the regime. I think the brutality that was unleashed by the regime for the last 12 months pushed every moderate voice to the fringe,” he said.

If the movement were to opt for incremental gains through the ballot box, opposition parties would have to compete in local elections scheduled for 2018, but that presents formidable political and logistical obstacles. As well as holding all seats in the federal parliament and regional chambers, the four-party EPRDF and allied organisations occupy all of up to 100 seats on each one of more than 18,000 village councils, and also on roughly 750 larger administrations, said Zelalem. With opposition leaders and activists exiled, imprisoned, or fearing arrest, already weak parties are in no shape to loosen the coalition’s hold.

“The EPRDF is still the only strong political force in Ethiopia. I doubt the protesters have any solid bargaining power other than sporadic demonstrations that are likely to be quashed easily. It is an impasse. Most probably the regime will stay in power for many years,” Zelalem said.

Insecurity in Yemen threatens incoming refugees and migrants: It’s estimated that up to 290,000 refugees have entered Yemen since 2013: 80% from Ethiopia and the rest from Somalia. February 11, 2017

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Since the civil war began in Yemen in 2015, the conditions there have only gotten worse and worse. So when you think of refugees, typically you think of people FLEEING the country and not trying to…

Source: Insecurity in Yemen threatens incoming refugees and migrants

DW: Political unrest simmering in Ethiopia: The emergency decree remains an instrument of repression. February 10, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomiststop killing Oromo People

Political unrest simmering in Ethiopia

By Merga Yonas, DW, 10 February 2017

Four months after declaring a state of emergency in a crackdown on protests, Ethiopia’s government claims the country has returned to normal. Critics says the emergency decree remains an instrument of repression.

Äthiopien Proteste | Ausgebranntes Auto in Sabata (DW/M. Yonas Bula)

This coming April marks three years since protests broke out in Ethiopia. They were triggered by students in Ambo town, some 120 kilometers (74 miles) west of the capital Addis Ababa. The students were protesting against a controversial government plan dubbed “Addis Ababa and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Master Plan”.

The Ethiopian government maintained that the purpose of the plan was to amalgamate eight towns in Oromia Special Zone with Addis Ababa. The scheme would promote development.

However, residents in the eight towns were resentful of a plan they said had been devised behind closed doors. They were also worried that the plan, under the guise of development, would deprive farmers of their land, and have an unfavorable impact on local language and culture.

The protests which started in Ambo then spread to other towns in Oromia Regional State. On January 12, 2016, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), which is the local ally in the country’s ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), revoked the plan.

Äthiopien Proteste | Dr. Negeri Lench (DW/M. Yonas Bula)Negeri Lencho claims the government was forced into declaring a state of emergency

But although the OPDO nominally represents regionally interests, the real power in the EPRDF is in the hands of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

This sense of underrepresentation helped drive the protests in Oromia Regional State, which soon reached Amhara Regional State.

The response by the security forces to these protests, which had a strong following among young Ethiopians, was harsh. Hundreds were killed, thousands were injured, hundreds ‘disappeared’ and others went into exile.

But the protests conituned despite this lethal crackdown. In October 2016, the government responded by declaring a state of emergency for six months. .

Political crisis

Negeri Lencho, the minister who heads the government’s communications office, told DW that the government had announced the state of emergency “not because it wanted to do it, rather it was forced to do it” because of the political crisis.

The administration of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn claims that the state of emergency has already brought peace back to the country. Critics could therefore agrue that it would be possible for the government to lift the decree even before the six months have expired. However, Lencho says that no timeframe has been declared so far either for the repeal or for the extension of the decree.

Opposition figures and members of the public DW spoke to dispute the claim that the state of emergency has restored peace to Ethiopia. The protests and the gunfire may have ceased, but the arbitrary arrests and human right violations continue.

Äthiopien Proteste | Brennende Reifen in Sabata (DW/M. Yonas Bula)Protests were initially triggered by anger over a development scheme for the capital Addis Ababa that demonstrators said would force farmers off their land

One Ambo resident, who asked to remain anonymous as he took part in the protests, said that the state of emergency had “unsettled the public’s inner repose”.

Repression was still in place, he said, despite the government “falsely” claiming that life was returning to normal.

“You cannot go out after curfew. You cannot stand anywhere with a few people. People are filled with fear. They fear the Command Post.” The Command Post is the government body charged with implementing the state of emergency.

The town of Sabata, located 20 kilometers southwest of Addis Ababa, was part of the “Master Plan.” One local resident said calm appears to have been restored to the town which was heavily affected by the protests, However the arrests and repression under the state of emergency continue, he said. “For example, there are youths who got arrested without a warrant and have been in prison for over three months on the charge that they have listened to music,” he told Deutsche Welle. “The state of emergency is being used by the state to take revenge against youth,” he said.

Äthiopien Proteste | Mulatu Gamachu (DW/M. Yonas Bula)Mulatu Gamachu, deputy chairman of the oppostion Oromo Federalist Congress, says state security must avoid repression

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy chairperson of the oppostion Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), said a de facto state of emergency had been in force in Oromia fo some time, but by making it public the government had acquired a legal shield for further acts of repression. Gemechu added that the country can become peaceful only when the state security forces with their firearms keep their distance from ordinary citizens and stop arresting people.

“If government claims peace is returning because of soldiers’ presence, then it isn’t peace,” Gemechu told DW.

Thousands of people were arrested following the declaration of the state of emergency. Although the Ethiopian parliament set up an inquiry board to investigate human right violations in the wake of the state of emergency, it has yet to submit its first report. Lencho says he has no knowledge of any such report.

Uncertainty over number of arrests 

Government and opposition parties differ over the number of people who have been detained during the state of emergency. The government says 20,000 people have been arrested in Oromia, but Gemechu puts the figure closer to 70,000.

The government has said it will release more than 22,000 people. More than 11,000 were set free last Friday (03.02.2017)

The authorities said the prisoners were given “training in the constitution of the country and promised not to repeat their actions”.

But prisoners said that the government, in bringing together people from different areas to one location, had give them an opportunity to get to know each other and “strengthen their struggle and learn more about politics of the country”.

 

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: Oromo athlete Genzebe Dibaba Breaks world record in 2000m in Sabadell, Spain February 9, 2017

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As well as the outdoor 1500m world record, Dibaba now owns the fastest ever recorded times indoors for the 1500m, mile, 2000m, 3000m, two miles and 5000m.

World 1500m champion Oromo athlete  Genzebe Dibaba added to her growing list of record-breaking achievements by breaking the world 2000m record* at the Miting Internacional de Catalunya in the Spanish city of Sabadell on Tuesday, 7 February 2017.

The three-time world indoor champion overtook the pacemaker just before the half-way mark, which was reached in 2:42.65, and continued to extend her lead over her younger sister Anna and Morocco’s Siham Hilali.

She went on to stop the clock at 5:23.75, taking almost seven seconds off the world indoor best set by Gabriela Szabo in 1998. Although the 2000m isn’t an official world record event indoors, Dibaba’s performance – pending ratification – can be classed as an outright world record as it is faster than Sonia O’Sullivan’s outdoor mark of 5:25.36.

As well as the outdoor 1500m world record, Dibaba now owns the fastest ever recorded times indoors for the 1500m, mile, 2000m, 3000m, two miles and 5000m.

Elsewhere in Sabadell, European champion Adam Kszczot won the 800m in 1:46.31 with Spanish record-holder Kevin Lopez taking second place in 1:46.58.

European 5000m silver medallist Adel Mechaal was a convincing winner of the 3000m, clocking 7:48.39 to finish more than two seconds ahead of Italy’s Marouan Razine.

Questions for Dr Tedros Adanhom, Ethiopia’s contender for WHO Director General, 2017 February 9, 2017

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Poor young child selling cigarettes and chewing gum for her mother on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (photo taken in January, 2017) Dr Tedros Adanhom, until recently Ethiopia’s Foreign Minist…

Source: Questions for Dr Tedros Adanhom, Ethiopia’s contender for WHO Director General, 2017

The inconvenient truth about foreign aid: The aid system colludes in redistributing wealth from poorer to richer. Under an aura of beneficence, aid is harnessed to self-interest. February 9, 2017

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The inconvenient truth about foreign aid

For recipients aid has been a very mixed blessing, but for donors it’s been a bonanza.

Credit: Flickr/DFID. Some rights reserved.

It’s astonishing when you think about it. Why should an old and poorly-performing industry carry on, burdened with even more tasks, and provided with yet more money? I’m talking about foreign aid, whose mixed results have been reconfirmed countless times in the last 70 years.

For aid’s backers, such skepticism is unfair or at best premature. Successes, from combating diseases to promoting the ‘green revolution,’ are held as self-evident. With new, smarter policy formulas and management focused on results, failure is soon going to be minimized. Across most of the Left-Right spectrum, aid still enjoys political backing. Western spending continues largely upward. New aid donors from Turkey to Thailand are joining in. And tasks are expanding.To achieve the 169 targets of the world’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030, global leaders concur that foreign aid is vital.

For aid’s critics, however, ‘mixed results’ is a euphemism for badly designed, poorly-managed efforts guided by donor hobbies and flip-flopping policies that ignores the graveyards of failed programmes, the histories of waste, and the sometimes toxic outcomes of aid born of coercion and incoherence. China and Vietnam reduced poverty significantly with almost no Western aid, while aid-dependent countries like Malawi and Timor-Leste have fared badly—in which case why does the aid industry keep on prospering?

To answer that question we have to look at the drivers and navigation systems at work upstream in the system where the captains of the aid industry confer. These drivers get little serious probing, but the knowledge we do have points to an inconvenient truth: the main systems of development aid chiefly serve the donors. The aid system colludes in redistributing wealth from poorer to richer. Under an aura of beneficence, aid is harnessed to self-interest.

Here’s how.

To buy goodwill from others or coerce them, aid provides a classic tool of statecraft. For the biggest donors it can buy votes at the United Nations, keep client regimes ‘onside’, punish troublemakers and open doors to powerful people. As a former senior US aid official put it, “Foreign aid … is like political campaign contributions:  it can facilitate the access of those providing it to those receiving it.” Giving aid helps governments to look good in diplomatic forums while encouraging taxpayers to feel good about their generosity.

In addition, ‘our security’ is at stake. Since 9/11 development and humanitarian aid has increasingly been subordinated to hard power aims—that is ‘securitized.’ European aid, for example, is now supposed to help curb irregular migration from Africa.  Meanwhile, military doctrine and operations have become ‘developmentalized,’ complementing older practices in which aid lubricates access to strategic assets as in Kyrgyzstan, where western aid was exchanged for use of an airbase serving NATO operations in Central Asia.

Boosting exports and investments are major objectives of aid providers. A scholarly consensus, backed by many studies, holds that the mercantile interests of aid givers usually enjoy priority over the interests of aid recipients. For donors the pay-offs are many. For example, for every €10 the Dutch provide in bilateral aid to an average recipient country, Dutch exports to that country increase in the short run by €7 to €9. In the longer run, as goodwill and force of habit take hold, aid-induced sales then become even more lucrative. In the period 1988-2004, each dollar in Western bilateral aid yielded 2.15 dollars in additional exports of goods and services by Western businesses.

Donors use aid to gain footholds for their industries, like Japanese fishing fleets in the South Pacific, French uranium mining in Niger and oil and gas companies in emerging producers of hydrocarbons. Aid providers work assiduously to lower costs and risks for their business investors using subsidies like low-cost loans, insurance and market advice. In recipient countries they add to physical infrastructure and occasionally skilled-up workforces. But the aid system’s most powerful contributions involve the transmission and enforcement of ‘sound policy’, meaning policy that is suitable for investors.The formulas are well-rehearsed: sell-offs of public property; weaker protection of labour rights and environmental safeguards; and taxes shifted from foreign flows to domestic sources.

Under the World Bank’s ‘competitive cities’ approach, municipalities are pushed to compete for outside investment by offering tax ‘sweeteners’, land and other subsidies. With the rise of financial sector power, donors have facilitated the growth of stock markets and hot money flows. Key to these investor-friendly climates has been austerity—driving down public spending in recipient countries.

Acting almost as bailiffs, donors also help to extract payments to big pharmaceutical and software firms who own patents, copyrights and other kinds of ‘intellectual property.’ In the years 2012-2015, sub-Saharan African countries together paid about $10 billion to these private interests, up from about $8.7 billion in the years 2007-2010. But because rich country tax laws allow firms to hide profits, these World Bank data may actually understate the true scale of extraction.

Under vigorous donor pressure, poorer countries have poured trillions of dollarsinto Western banks under a rationale of self-insurance. As the economist C. P. Chandrasekhar has pointed out “This reverse flow of capital essentially means that excess savings in emerging markets are being ‘recycled’ in ways that put the responsibility of allocating that capital in the hands of a few financial decision makers … sitting at the apex of a concentrated global financial system.”

Consistent with their promotion of rent-seeking from ‘intellectual property’, donors show almost no interest in curbing cartels and other anti-competitive practices by transnational firms. Research is scarce, but it points to massive losses for poorer countries. One study estimates that annual losses are equivalent to at least 50 percent, and could equal as much as 300 percent of aid disbursed.

Donors have also invested in knowledge, but gains can flow back disproportionately to themselves. Aid for the ‘Green Revolution’, for example, helped boost crop yields in poor countries, but major beneficiaries have been western agribusinesses. Up to the early 1990s, estimated returns to such firms were forty times the amount of aid paid out originally by the US for research and development of the ‘Revolution’s’ higher-yield technologies.

Contrary to the belief that aid-financed programmes target diseases that mainly affect people in the tropics, research shows that “development aid is intended to alleviate the threats to populations within the donor state.” And since the 1960s, foreign aid has brought hundreds of thousands of students from poorer countries to study at universities in Europe and North America. Today, student fees and expenses annually absorb more than $3 billion in aid—virtually all of it spent in donor countries.  Where the longer-term benefits from aid-funded scholarship programmes go isn’t known with much precision, but there is some evidence that former scholarship holders from Africa tend to stay in richer countries, or to work abroad in Western firms and other organisations.

In sum, poorer countries routinely put more resources at the disposal of donor country interests than they receive in foreign aid, yet it isn’t easy to demonstrate this inconvenient truth conclusively. Estimating the extent of the aid system’s collusion in ‘perverse’ aid is often guesswork because the system’s upper reaches lack transparency. Laws, rules, political agreements and sheer inattention shield many counter-flows from public view. Every year, thousands of evaluations of aid’s ‘downstream’ activities take place but I know of no formal evaluation of aid mechanisms ‘upstream’ that would indicate with precision who benefits and by how much.

Does it have to be this way?

In 1943, at a time of enormous human suffering, one of the 20th century’s greatest activist-philosophers, Simone Weil, wrote about the characteristics of practical compassion for others.  She insisted that help must be concrete and authentic: “All human beings are bound by identical obligations, although these are performed in different ways according to the circumstances…. The obligation is only performed if… expressed in a real, not a fictitious, way.” Today, in framing debates about obligations across borders, that plea has lost none of its relevance.  It calls for lucidity, and hence the rejection of pseudo-solutions promoted through the foreign aid system.

Activists, academics, journalists and NGOs in a number of fields are already focusing on counter-flows and the legal gimmicks and non-transparency that promote them.  Although based outside the mainstream aid system, these initiatives are getting respectful attention from some donors, notably in Norwaybut also in a few knowledge centres of the United Nations. A prime example is the movement for tax justice.These combined efforts have begun to pay off as better tax enforcement and new rules yield more revenues for public purposes. Meanwhile a bloc of non-Western governments at the United Nations led by Ecuador is pressing to create a global tax body.

A system of global taxation won’t be with us soon, but as this idea gains traction it may open up a pathway towards an authentic system of redistribution across national borders. In so doing it could help to replace today’s machinery of upward redistribution, re-build decent social contracts, and ultimately sideline foreign aid as we know it.

Somalia: Ex-Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo elected as Somalia president February 8, 2017

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GET THE FULL STORY Photo credit: Deeqosonna Warsame – Fagaaraha 11aad Columbus Ohio Farmaajo,Culusow,Faqi, CC BY 3.0, Link

via ‘Farmajo’ selected as Somalia president  — MEMENEWS

How government media misrepresents the struggle in Cameroon February 7, 2017

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We have all used oral forms of communication to tell our stories for as long as we have been able to form words and create sounds, but every new form of communication since then, whether in written…

Source: How government media misrepresents the struggle in Cameroon

Sidama National Liberation Front’s statement on the violence of TPLF in eastern/southern Oromia February 7, 2017

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomistNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

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The Ongoing Massacre of Oromo Civilians Never Resolve EPRDF/TPLF’s Inherent Malice!

Press Statement by Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF)

February 2, 2017

Since capturing the state power a quarter of a century ago, the TPLF/EPRDF dictatorial regime has monopolized the political governance and embarked on a project of fear, dehumanization, depersonalization, exploitation of peoples’ lands and wealth for its benefit, and systematic enslavement of the citizens of the country. Often changing its color like Chameleons, TPLF/EPRDF has proved its expertise in cheating, deceiving, stealing and more importantly brutalizing its subjects at an unprecedented scale. The regime has maintained its grip on power with barrel of gun terrorizing its subjects day and night. During TPLF/EPRDF 26 years of tenure, it became clear that the grotesque nature of the regime is multilayered and deeper than any person can comprehend. When it wishes, it sows the seeds of hatred between two or three sisterly nations whose peoples have peacefully coexisted with deep-rooted spirit of fraternity and cooperation for centuries. At the same time, the regime pretends to intervene to appear to be a provider of peace for the conflict it has meticulously masterminded. When it wishes, it massacres civilians who demand their constitutional rights in the name of defending the constitution which it persistently violates. Massacre, executions and incarceration of civilians have become a daily routine for the oppressed nations under the TPLF’s brutal regime.

The TPLF/EPRDF regime remains in power by terrorizing the nations and peoples of the country it claims to govern. As we speak, it is terrorizing the citizens under the ‘State of Emergency’ with the intensity of cataclysmic proportion. The current State of Emergency began since October 2016. One of its key objectives is quelling the Oromo and Amhara revolutions that began in November 2015 in Oromia and July/August 2016 in Amhara region. The two largest nations of the country are demanding freedom, democracy and self-rule in their respective regions.

To quell the Oromo national demand, for the last three months, the regime embarked on deploying Ogaden Somali Liyu militia to kill Oromo civilians, on its behalf in the entire areas neighboring Oromia with Ogaden Somali. The Oromo people are massacred by TPLF armed and commanded ‘Ogadeni Liyu Militia’ day and night, from Borana Zone to Harar and beyond. It orchestrated and instigated such conflicts between the two down trodden sisterly nations to secure a breathing space from the intense Oromo struggle for freedom and emancipation. The Amhara struggle for the same cause is also putting the regime’s position in precarious situation. The aim of the brutal regime is to shatter the dream and aspirations of the Oromo nation and other oppressed nations by setting them up against one another employing a typical colonial divide and rule strategy copied from the West. Together with the likeminded oppressed nations and peoples, the Oromo nation will never surrender its fight to the last drop of blood. The Oromo nation as well as Ogadenia, Amhara, Sidama, Konso, Benshangul-Gumuz, and other oppressed nations of the country are determined to liberate themselves from the TPLF’s tyranny now than ever before. The popular demand couldn’t be easily silenced by the power of weapon and military might, and draconian State of Emergency laws that stifle basic human freedom.

Acting unlawfully, the regime has proved its vicious nature time and again. Impoverishing the target subjects and most of the regions, it has indescribably enriched its region and people, who are exponentially multiplying their wealth and assets day by day. The TPLF elites, who were penniless apart from rifles and ammunitions when they occupied Addis Ababa in May 1991; turned to multi-millionaires by expropriating the resources of Oromia, Sidama, Gambella, Benshangul, Amhara, Konso, Ogadenia and the rest of Ethiopians. In the past 26 years, tens of millions have been displaced from their lands to vacate it for Tigreans and TPLF’s business empires and for those whom the TPLF regime recruits from abroad under the pretext of international investment.

The regime has time and again shown its blatant disregard for a peaceful settlement of political differences. Instead it answers all constitutionally guaranteed demands for freedom with live bullets. In the past 16 month alone, the TPLF/EPRDF regime has executed over 1,700 Oromo civilians and unlawfully arrested over 170,000 who have demanded their constitutional rights in Oromia alone. The Amhara people are also similarity targeted as are in Ogaden, Konso, Sidama, Gambella, Benshangul and elsewhere in the country. Ethiopia is under an act of state terrorism! Under this regime, children and elderly, women and men alike have been increasingly subjected to ongoing massacre and state terrorism.

The ongoing massacre of the Oromo people by Ogaden Liyu Militia, armed and coordinated by TPLF generals behind the scene is deplorable, thus it must be unconditionally stopped. It is wholly loathsome for the regime that calls itself a government to play such barbaric games on human lives. The Oromo and Ogaden Somali nations fully understand the vicious attempts by the TPLF to divide and sow seeds of conflict between them, must foil this heinous plot and stand together in denouncing these criminal actions. We must show the regime that it can’t ‘divide and conquer us’ by standing shoulder to shoulder more than ever until we get rid of the barbaric regime. The ongoing massacre of the Oromo people in the entire militarized Oromia must be unconditionally stopped and the region must be immediately de-militarized. The Oromo and Ogadeni Somali nations must focus on targeting the regime which has denied them their dignity, identity and pride. The Ogandeni Liyu Militia are also urged to reject the TPLF and its sinister agenda of sowing seeds of belligerence between the two sisterly nations to prolong its rule.

Finally, the Sidama National Liberation Front calls up on all the oppressed nations and the entire peoples in Ethiopia, to stand in unison to denounce the TPLF fascism and forge a united front for freedom, democracy and genuine self-rule.

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Oromo Youth OYA Melbourne : Qophii Galgala Aadaa Dargaggoo fi Shamarran Oromoo OYA Melbourne, Australia February 7, 2017

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The Second Oromo Leadership Convention: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa February 7, 2017

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The Second Oromo Leadership Convention: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa.

A press release from the Oromo Leadership Convention.

In the two months since the historic Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC), held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 11 – 13, 2016, the situation in Oromia has deteriorated precipitately. The Ethiopian government has unleashed the full array and fury of its security forces against Oromos. Several thousand innocent citizens have been herded to military concentration camps, hundreds gunned down and numerous people subjected to enforced disappearances. Unable to cover the mounting expenses of enforcing the State of Emergency it promulgated on October 9, 2016, the regime has essentially legalized confiscation of private assets and looting by soldiers.   Click here and read more at  (www. oromoconvention.org) 


YAA’II HOOGGANSA OROMOO ISA LAMMAFFAA

Ka’umsa

Yaa’iin Hooggansa Oromoo (YHO) seena-qabeessa ta’e Sadaasa 11-13, 2016 Magaalaa Atlaantaa, Joorjiyaa keessatti, erga xumuramee as haalli Oromiyaa keessa jiru daran hammaateera. Mootummaan Itiyoophiyaa humna waraana isaa uummata irratti bobbaasee jira. Lammiileen kuma hedduutti lakkaawwaman gara mooraa waraanaatti guuramaniiru, dhibbootaan kan lakkaawwaman ajjeefamaniiru, akkasumas achi buuteen isaanii kan dhabame hedduudha. Mootummaan Labsii Yeroo Hatattamaa labse hojjii irra oolfchufi baasii isaa dadhabuudhaan loltoonni namoota irra qabeenya isaanii akka saamaniif aangesseera.

Haalli hammaataan kun akkaataa itti diyaaspoporaan qabsoo biyya keessa gargaaruu danda’u irratti hojii qabatamaan akka hojjetuuf barbaachiseera. Yaa’iin YHO inni 2ffaa ammaa kun yaadawwan taask-foorsiin garagaraa dhiyeessan yaada keessa galchuudhaan hojiitti jijjiiruuf dhimmama. Hojiin keenya hamma akka ariifachiisaa ta’ee fi qormaataan guutuu ta’e ilaacha keessa galchuudhaan YHO irra deebi’anii waamuun hojmaata bira darbamuu hindandeenye ta’eera. Ittigaafatamummaa jiru kana irraan kan ka’e Koreen Qindeessituu YHO walga’ii isa itti aanuu Bitootessa 10-12, 2017 Magaalaa Washiingten keessatti adeemsisuuf murteesseera.

AI: the State of Emergency in Ethiopia has resulted in many derogations that fail to meet international human rights law February 5, 2017

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Ethiopia: Zone 9


UNPO: Oromo: Empowered Youth of Oromia Will No Longer Stay Silent February 5, 2017

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Oromo: Empowered Youth of Oromia Will No Longer Stay Silent

UNPO, 3 February 2017

 

Photo courtesy of UN photo/Eskinder Debebe


Mr Mohamed Ademo, editor of the OPride news platform, shares his perspective on the importance of the mobilization of Oromo youth, or the “Qubee generation”, as he prefers to call it. Over the past year, Olympic athlete Feyisa Lilesa has been an important example of this generation, but he does not stand alone. Members of the Qubee generation were the first able to study in their native language and therefore developed a strong and resilient sense of identity. In the context of the state of emergency which turned Ethiopia into “a violent, repressive surveillance society” over the course of 2016, it is important to support and enable this generation of young Oromos to keep faith in the face of repression.

The article below was published by the Diplomatic Courier:

Mohammed Ademo, an Ethiopian journalist and editor of the OPride news platform, had a difficult time choosing the 2016 Oromo Person of the Year. In fact, Ademo admits in his end-of-year essay that he originally planned to write about Olympic athlete Feyisa Lilesa’s courage, and how Feyisa’s protest at the Olympic Games made visible the oppression of Oromo people that the world didn’t yet know it ignored.

Feyisa made the year-end lists of changemakers at Foreign Policy, Deutsche Welle and Huffington Post, Ademo wrote. But the more the Washington-based journalist thought about it, the more he realized that Feyisa is emblematic of a more powerful cultural shift. Feyisa represents an entire generation of young Oromo in Ethiopia – the Qubee, who were the first Oromo permitted to learn in their native language and thus described by an alphabetical feature associated with Afaan Oromo.

Essentially, they’re Oromo millennials.

“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,” Ademo writes. Even as Bekele Gerba, Merera Gudina and others remain imprisoned, the youth represent inevitable change.

Yet that change is coming at a cost that should shame the Ethiopian government as it strangles its own future under a violent, repressive surveillance society – and shame international leaders for their complicity. Because the Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, numbering more than 35 million, and one that has historically felt marginalized and severely discriminated against by successive governments. The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has held power for decades and has awarded power to elites from the minority Tigrayan ethnic group.

Last month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) praised the release of 9,800 prisoners participating in anti-government protests, many of them in the Oromia region. But they remain less than half of the 24,000 people who have been detained since Ethiopia announced a state of emergency in October. That decision followed the Irreecha massacre, in which the Oromo Federalist Congress puts the death toll at nearly 700, a number wildly at odds with official counts of just 52. OFC leader Mualtu Gemechu says there were up to 70,000 people who had been detained in recent months, not necessarily all Oromo protesters.

Their youth is emphasized in the December HRW report, which describes the harrowing experience of a 16-year-old girl from Hararghe whose father was killed, her brothers imprisoned and other family members disabled. She was banned from school after the military found a protest song, one of many recorded by Oromo’s young generation, on her mobile phone.

The Ethiopian teen told HRW that security agents went through her community “arresting every young person they could find,” and she refuses to return until the violence stops and the Oromo are heard.

“Many other young people have told me the same thing,” writes Felix Horne, author of the HRW report.

To say “young Ethiopians” is almost redundant, because one third of the population is under 25 years old. In 2014, almost half of all Ethiopians – 45 percent – were less than 15 years old. So it’s not that a new generation of Oromo don’t know the history or the sacrifices made by their elders, especially those active in organized political resistance that’s designed specifically for them. The reality is that they know that history all too well, and in an era of connectivity and engagement, they demand a different future.

Ethiopia is, in theory, governed under autonomous regional authorities aligned with ethnicity and historical homelands, although in practice that governance and self-determination are rarely true for some groups, including the Oromo. Although they are the largest ethnic group, and along with the Amhara account for a 60 percent majority among Ethiopia’s 100 million people, both groups are ruled by a coalition that’s dominated by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Through the Tigray minority, that Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition has retained power for decades that have seen Oromo excluded from opportunity in government, the economy and other avenues. Protests that began in November 2015 over land annexation in Addis Ababa, plans that would adversely affect Oromo interests, reflected decades of anger and frustration.

The leader of an Ethiopian Somali rebel group, Abdirahman Mahdi of Ogaden National Liberation Front, warned last May that tensions were about to boil over in the manner of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings – and his assessment was accurate. Yet Ethiopian officials rarely pay more than lip service to promises of change.

This week, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn again professed his support for “deep reforms” in government and society that he believes will be successful through public participation. His words are as hollow as those of Western leaders who profess their concern for Ethiopian human rights and the democratic process, while failing to insist that any reforms be implemented. That’s especially true of the United States and the need to protect an Ethiopian ally in combatting terrorism in the Horn of Africa.

While Hailemariam speaks of public engagement, the detentions continue and the disappearances remain unexplained. The trials and lengthy sentences of high-profile journalists, political activists and opposition leaders make more headlines. The draconian control of media and independent reporting has yet to see its well-deserved demise. Ethiopia’s promises are broken, but the world now sees the Oromo, whether through media outlets based in the diaspora like Ademo’s, or thanks to solidarity protests in Europe and America.

What Ethiopian officials must accept – and the world must ensure – is that in this young nation, this race toward freedom and equality is not a sprint but a marathon. Feyisa Lilesa understands this well, but he is not running alone. The Qubee generation runs behind and beyond him, and they will not be deterred.


 

Causes and Effects of Land Size Variation on Smallholder’s Farm-Income: The Case of Kombolcha District of East Hararghe, Oromia, Ethiopia February 5, 2017

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Causes and Effects of Land Size Variation on Smallholder’s Farm-Income: The Case of Kombolcha District of East Hararghe, Oromia, Ethiopia

By Abera Gemechu Doti, Open Access Library Journal (OALib Journal) DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1103312, PP. 1-17


Abstract

For farmers, farmland is a basis of their livelihood and the basic agricultural resource and is now becoming a constraint in agricultural production. This study was carried out in Kombolcha district of Oromia National Regional State. The specific objectives of the study were to identify the factors affecting size of landholding and to analyze the effects of land size variation on farm income. To address these objectives a two-stage random sampling procedure was used to select 5 peasant associations and 110 sample respondents from a total of 19 peasant associations found in the district. Multiple linear regression and Cobb-Douglass production functions were used for analyzing the cause of land size variation and effects of land size variation on farm income respectively. Accordingly, age of the household head, agro ecology, family size and land availability in PA were found to be the significant factors in causing variation in size of land holding in the study area. The regression coefficients of the Cobb-Douglass production function indicate that the size of cultivated land, average land productivity, livestock owned and non-farm income were statistically significant factors in explaining variation in farm income among farmers. Therefore, there should be urgency of devising means and ways to improve the farm income through strengthening the production of cash crops. Besides this, productivity of land should be increased through the introduction of high yielding varieties of crops. And there should be strategy to create non-farm income sources for the smallholder farmers.


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Cite this paperDoti, A. G. (2017). Causes and Effects of Land Size Variation on Smallholder’s Farm-Income: The Case of Kombolcha District of East Hararghe, Oromia, Ethiopia. Open Access Library Journal, 4, e3312. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1103312.

References

[1] MOFED (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development) (2010) Ethiopia: (Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction). (Draft). Addis Ababa.
[2] MOFED (Ministry of Finance and Economic Development) (2003) Challenges and Prospects of Food Security in Ethiopia. Proceedings of Food Security Conference2003, Professional Associations Joint Secretariat, Addis Ababa.
[3] EEA (Ethiopian Economic Association) (2002) A Research Report on Land Tenure and Agricultural Development in Ethiopia, October 2002, Addis Ababa.
[4] Mariam, M.W. (1999) Land and Development in Ethiopian. Economic Focus, 2, 12.
[5] Kebede, B. (1998) Agricultural Credit and Factors Impeding Loan Repayment Performance of Small-Holders in Central Highlands of Ethiopia: The Case of Alemgena District. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, AUA, Ethiopia.
[6] Rahmato, D. (1998) Land and Rural Poverty in Ethiopia. A Paper Presented on Forum for Social Studies, Addis Ababa (Unpublished).
[7] Joshi, M.R. (1990) Status and Agro Forestry Opportunities. In: Agro Forestry in the Taria. Seminar Proceedings. U.N, Food and Agricultural Organization and the Department of Forestry and Government of Nepal, Nepal, 5-11.
[8] West, H.W. (1982) Land Tenure, Policy and Management in English Speaking African Country. The United Nation University, Rome.
[9] CSA (Central Statistical Authority) (2007) Populations and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Oromyia Regional National State. Addis Ababa.
[10] Sankhayan (1998) Introduction to the Economics of Agriculture of the Agricultural. New Production Delhi, Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.
[11] Koutsoyiannis, A. (1973) Theory of Econometrics. An Introductory Exposition of Econometric Methods. The Macmillan Press Ltd, London, UK.
[12] Tesso, G. (2003) Variation in Land Size and Its Effects on Farmers’ Income. The Case of Qarsa Qondaltiti District. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, AUA, Alemaya Ethiopia.
[13] Adnew, B. (1992) Analysis of Land Size Variation and Its effects: The Case of Smallholder Farmers in the Hararghe High Land. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, Alemaya University.
[14] Gujarati, D.N. (1995) Econometrics. 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, Inc., New York.

FT: Ethiopia’s economic gains tainted by violent repression February 5, 2017

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Ethiopia’s economic gains tainted by violent repression

Emergency fails to protect regime from biggest threat to 26-year grip on power

The Ethiopian regime has acted on its threat to crush any threat to its economic model.

Six soldiers burst into Beckham’s dormitory at Gondar university in northern Ethiopiaone evening without pausing to question the student.

Beckham’s crime was to share with the world, via a diaspora network, how 104 other Ethiopian students had been detained for complaining about conditions on campus.

Despite the beating, the smiling Ethiopian, who is studying applied science, considers himself lucky because he is still alive.

Beckham was held in a police station rather than a military camp, unlike many of the tens of thousands of people detained under a state of emergency imposed last October to contain anti-government protests.

“After a few weeks the police let me go. They seemed to sympathise with our cause,” says Beckham, who asked to use the name of his favourite footballer for fear of reprisals.

Beckham is among hundreds of thousands who joined protests over the past two years in the biggest threat to the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Frontsince it seized power 26 years ago. The autocratic government has responded with force, sending troops and police to break up protests, in which more than 500 people have been killed, imposing the state of emergency and rounding up tens of thousands.

It has vowed to crush any threat to its economic model, which has been lauded by development experts and helped lure billions of dollars to one of Africa’s best-performing economies. Yet the protests have underlined the fragility of the economic success. They spread from Oromia region in the centre to the northern highlands around Gondar, for generations the seat of imperial power, drawing in Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic groups, the Oromo and Amhara.

Human rights groups, domestic and foreign, have documented repeated and widespread abuses by the security forces. They also reported increasing use of violence by the opposition, particularly before the emergency was imposed.

Protesters’ grievances include a lack of democracy, repressive rule, limited job opportunities and the dominance of the Tigrayan ethnic group, which accounts for 6 per cent of the population, in the state and ruling coalition.

“We have no freedom and no prospects unless we join a party in the EPRDF,” Beckham says. “We need change and so we have to fight for it however we can.”

Raised in the city of Ambo, 120km west of Addis Ababa in Oromia, Beckham, who is in his 20s, has experienced the manner in which the EPRDF crushes dissent.

The unrest began in early 2014 when the government announced it wanted to extend the capital Addis Ababa into Oromia. Locals considered it a land grab and protested.

“In Ambo 72 people were killed on one day,” Beckham says of a demonstration in April 2014. “I was there and saw them shot [by soldiers].”

The authorities say the highest number of fatalities in Ambo on any day during that period was eight.

Stung by the level of anger, the government offered to negotiate with the Oromo over the Addis Ababa master plan. No deal was reached and 18 months later, in November 2015, protesters took to the streets again.

Beckham was then studying in Gondar, 730km north of Addis Ababa, but rushed back to Ambo after his 16-year-old brother was killed by soldiers in one of the first protests.

“He had been shot once in the heart and hit on the head with a stick,” he says. “It was difficult to identify if it was him or someone else because he was beaten so badly.”

The capital expansion was scrapped but the protests morphed into a wider anti-government movement and spread north.

A further source of discontent was the annexation of Welkait, once part of Amhara, into Tigray more than two decades ago. Protests flared in Gondar in July after Tigrayan police tried to arrest Demeke Zewdu, a former colonel and leader of the self-styled Welkait Committee, which has agitated for the area’s return to Amhara.

“About 300,000 people took to the streets of Gondar when they tried to arrest Colonel Demeke and everything went from there,” says a university lecturer who asked to be called Sufi Seid. “For about 20 days shops did not open as a sign of protest and demonstrations continued.”

“In Gondar and a couple of other towns that I know of about 120 people were killed and many many were arrested,” says a café owner.

Hailemariam Desalegn, the prime minister, said in November the death toll since November 2015 might be 500. His ministers admit that more than 20,000 have been detained. Activists say those are huge underestimates.

The emergency has brought a semblance of calm to Gondar, although grenade blasts rocked two hotels last month and violence has been reported in nearby towns.

“The protests have not gone away. People are just waiting because they don’t want to get into trouble,” Beckham says. “And nothing is being done to address the roots of the problem. So some people are now fighting back with weapons.”



 

Ethiopia on the brink? Politics and protest in the horn of Africa February 4, 2017

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Ethiopia on the brink? Politics and protest in the horn of Africa

Ethiopia is 12 months in to a political crisis which has seen at least 1,000 people killed. But unless the government introduces significant reforms, it will get worse.


By Andrea Carboni, Trans Conflict,  February 2017


An unprecedented wave of protests has shaken Ethiopia since November 2015. These protests have revealed the fragility of the social contract regulating Ethiopia’s political life since 1991, when the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition (EPRDF) overthrew the Derg and assumed power. This tacit agreement between the ruling coalition and the Ethiopian people offered state-sponsored development in exchange for limited political liberalisation. After twenty-five years of EPRDF rule, frustrated with widespread corruption, a political system increasingly perceived as unjust and the unequal gains of economic development, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have now descended into the streets, triggering a violent reaction from the state.

As we enter the twelfth month of the uprising, violence shows no sign of decreasing in Ethiopia. In its efforts to put down unrest, the government has allowed the security forces to use lethal violence against the protesters. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, more than one thousand people are estimated to have died as a result of violent state repression since last November. Thousands of people, including prominent opposition leaders and journalists, have been arrested and are currently detained in prison.

International concern

International institutions and non-governmental organisations have expressed major concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. The UN Human Rights Council called for “international, independent, thorough, impartial and transparent investigations” over the repression in Ethiopia, a request that was swiftly rejected by the government. Ethiopia’s Information Minister instead blamed “foreign elements” linked with the Egyptian and the Eritrean political establishments for instigating the rebellion and arming the opposition.

Rather than stifling dissent, state repression has contributed to escalating protests. Violent riots have increased after the events in Bishoftu on October 2, when a stampede caused by police firing on a protesting crowd killed at least 55 people. In the following days, demonstrators have vandalised factories and flower farms – including many under foreign ownership – accused of profiting from the government’s contested development agenda. An American researcher also died when her vehicle came under attack near Addis Ababa. Although protesters have largely remained peaceful and resorted to non-violent tactics, these episodes of violence raise concerns over escalating trends in the protest movement.

This map shows the number of reported fatalities in Ethiopia, November 2015 – October 2016. Image credit: Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset.

Unrest and repression

The geography of unrest is also telling of the evolving protest cycle in Ethiopia. The protests originated last November in the Oromia region, where the local population mobilised to oppose a government-backed developmental plan which would displace many farmers. The Oromo people, who constitute Ethiopia’s single largest ethnic group, accuse the EPRDF of discriminating against their community, and its local ally, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), as being a puppet in the hands of the Tigray-dominated ruling coalition.

Until mid-July, the unrest had largely remained confined to Oromia’s towns and villages. Local tensions around the northern city of Gondar inaugurated a new round of protests in the Amhara region, where regionalist demands joined the widespread discontent with state repression. In the following weeks, protests spread further into the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’, the native region of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as local communities began to stage anti-government protests. Episodes of communal violence and attacks against churches have been reported in Oromia as well as in other ethnically mixed areas of the country.

Despite increasing dissent, the government seems unwilling to mitigate its repressive measures. Internet access was allegedly shut down in an attempt to hamper the protest movement, which uses online media and social networks to disseminate anti-government information. On October 9, the government introduced a six-month state of emergency, the first time since the ruling EPRDF came to power in 1991. At least 1,600 people are reported to have been detained since the state of emergency was declared, while the Addis Standard, a newspaper critical of the government, was forced to stop publications due to the new restrictions on the press.

Polarised politics: government and opposition

These decisions notwithstanding, it is unclear how the EPRDF can manage to restore the government’s authority and preserve investor confidence by adopting measures that continue to feed resistance. After pressure from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hailemariam pledged to reform Ethiopia’s electoral system, which currently allows the EPRDF to control 500 of the 547 seats in Parliament. These limited political concessions are unlikely to satisfy the protesters’ demand for immediate and substantial change, since the proposed reform would only produce effects after the 2020 general elections.

According to the opposition, this is the evidence that the Tigray minority, which dominates the upper echelons of the government and the security apparatus, is unwilling to make any significant concessions in the short term. By labelling the opposition’s demands as racist and even denying their domestic nature, the government is leaving little room for negotiation and compromise and risks contributing to the escalation of the protests.

For over a decade, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Foreign investments – most notably from China – have funded large-scale infrastructure projects, including the recently inaugurated railway to the port of Djibouti.

The on-going unrest is likely to have a negative impact on Ethiopia’s economy, reducing the country’s considerable appeal among foreign investors and tourists. The demonstrations have revealed the growing discontent of the Ethiopian people, and especially of its disenfranchised youth, over the EPRDF’s authoritarian and unequal rule. The EPRDF therefore needs to implement far-reaching reforms and embrace dialogue with the opposition to prevent the current unrest from deteriorating.

Andrea Carboni is a Research Analyst at ACLED and PhD student at Sussex University.

This article was originally published by Insight on Conflict and is available by clicking here. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of TransConflict.

Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2017: Ethiopia Profile: Not free and in downward trends with political rights and civil liberties: Aggregate score of 12/100 February 2, 2017

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Overview:

Ethiopia is an authoritarian state ruled by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has been in power since 1991 and currently holds every seat in Parliament. Multiple flawed elections, including most recently in 2015, showcased the government’s willingness to brutally repress the opposition and its supporters, journalists, and activists. Muslims and members of the Oromo ethnic group have been specifically singled out. Perceived political opponents are regularly harassed, detained, and prosecuted—often under the guise of Ethiopia’s deeply flawed Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. The 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation drastically impeded the activities of civil society groups.

Key Developments:
  • Hundreds of people were killed in a crackdown on antigovernment protests that took place primarily in the Oromia and Amhara regions throughout much of the year. The Ethiopian government admitted to at least 500 deaths since the protests began in November 2015, while some human rights organizations report up to 800.
  • Thousands of people have been detained in connection with the protests, and reports of mistreatment, including torture, while in custody are rife.
  • In early October, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn announced a six-month state of emergency that gives the government sweeping powers to deploy the military, further restrict speech and the media, impose curfews and movement restrictions, and monitor communications.
  • Throughout the year, the authorities disrupted internet and mobile phone networks, and temporarily blocked social-media platforms and certain news websites, in an effort to prevent people from organizing and communicating about the protests.
Executive Summary:

Ethiopia was wracked by protests throughout much of 2016, a result of widespread and growing discontent with ethnic and political marginalization and repressive rule by EPRDF. The largely peaceful protests were frequently put down violently by the security forces. The protests had begun over ethnic and land rights in November 2015 in the Oromia region, and intensified in 2016, with significant additional protests in Addis Ababa and the Amhara region.

In January, the government withdrew the contentious Addis Ababa Master Plan, which had been the rallying point for Oromo protesters who alleged that thousands of farmers would be displaced from their ancestral lands to make way for the capital’s expansion. However, the announcement did little to staunch larger discontent with the EPRDF, and demonstrations took on broader antigovernment dimensions and appealed to Ethiopians across ethnic lines. The protests were regularly met with excessive force by the police and the military, including the use of live ammunition and tear gas against crowds. Tens of thousands of people were detained in police sweeps, and reports of mistreatment, including beatings and torture while in custody, were widespread. Among those arrested or charged were leaders of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, including party chairman Merera Gudina and deputy chairman Bekele Gerba. In October, the government admitted that more than 500 people had been killed in connection with the protests since November 2015, though some rights organizations reported that the true figure is at least 800.

In early October, the government announced a nationwide six-month state of emergency, enacting sweeping powers to deploy the military, restrict speech and the media, impose curfews and movement restrictions, and monitor communications. According to some estimates, nearly 24,000 Ethiopians were detained under the state of emergency, although about 10,000 were released in December. The demonstrations subsided in the wake of the emergency decree, but the government has taken little action to address the grievances of the protesters.

In September, the government pardoned some 700 prisoners in its annual gesture, including 135 Muslims who had been convicted on terrorism charges. However, key religious, ethnic, and political leaders, as well as at least 16 journalists, remained behind bars, and a number of new arrests occurred in 2016; countless other political dissidents are still facing terrorism charges in lengthy and ongoing trials.

Tensions between Ethiopia and Eritrea reached a boiling point in June, when the two militaries skirmished at the northern border town of Tsorona before returning to an uneasy peace.

 

The full report for this country or territory will be published as soon as it becomes available.