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

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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 Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

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

Oromo Protests defend Oromo National Interest

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



 

 

Amajjii (January): 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

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


 

Down! down! Down With Wayyanee! Down TPLF!

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

https://youtu.be/D5YauwAQTgU

#OromoProtests: International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis Worsens

#OromoProtests. International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis 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 1-28 February 2017

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



For Latest News click here for OromianEconomistonfacebook


Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) extends its state of emergency by four months

Ethiopia’s increasing outmigration highlights wider economic and security problems

Oromo-American Citizen Council (OACC): Extension of the State of Emergency-All is Not Well in Oromia

OMN: Prof. Ezekiel B. Gebissa in conversation with Canada MP Bob Zimmer (March 29, 2017)

Oromia: OMN: Qophii Jiruuf jireenyaa Artist Dirribee Gadaa Bit 28, 2017. OMN: Interview with one of the most creative minds in Oromo music and art, artist singer Dirribee Gadaa

UNPO caught up with Shigut Geleta of the Oromo Liberation Front, one of our speakers at our conference “Women’s Inferno in #Ethiopia” co-organised with the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) and hosted by Liliana Rodrigues MEP (S&D). Mr Geleta highlights his great concern for #women‘s rights in #Ethiopia, as they are the first victims when conflict strikes.

Urgency of Addressing the Plight of Women Belonging to Vulnerable Groups in Ethiopia Highlighted at UNPO EP Conference

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: The global icon of #OromoProtests Olympian Feyisa Lilesa (Fayyisaa Leellisa) wins the New York City 2017 Half Marathon. Mare Dibaba Wins the Lisbon City

Forbes: Ethiopia’s Cruel Con Game

Ethiopia: IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: QOSHE GARBAGE DUMP COLLAPSE: A TRAIL OF CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE AND COUNTLESS VICTIMS

Congressman Urges U.S. to End Alliance with Brutal Ethiopian Regime

HRW: US: Stand Up for Ethiopians as Government Stifles Protests, Jails Journalists Human Rights Watch Statement on Ethiopia to US Congress

Rep. Chris Smith: Ethiopia should acknowledge its challenges and seek reasonable solutions

 

ETHIOPIA: FASCIST TPLF’S PROXY WAR THROUGH THE LIYU POLICE

Liyu police raids in Oromia testing Ethiopia’s semblance of calm

US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor : Ethiopia: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016

Oromo Revolution echoes around the globe

The police brutalities resulted in several deaths. A death toll of 150 was recorded in Ethiopia, 32 in DRC and one in Mali.  To date, not one security agent has been prosecuted for any of the killings in the three countries. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many violations perpetrated against protestors, journalists and media organisations in Africa as reported in the maiden edition of the Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa report by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) compiled for the period July to December 2016.

THE MESSENGER :Ethiopia state media face scrutiny from Facebook fact-checkers

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


 

""

International Human Rights Day  marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Crafted in the shadow of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II, the Declaration gave the world the vision it needed to stand up to fear and the blueprint it craved to build a safer and more just world.  Its single premise is:   “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

 

Human Rights Day Message:United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s message for Human Rights Day 10 December 2014.

 

In observing Human Rights Day, its important to  highlight the horrific going on in 2014 in our world. The following document is the summary of horrific repression going on against Oromo people by tyrannic Ethiopian  regime:

http://www.amnesty.nl/sites/default/files/public/because_i_am_oromo.pdf

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/?s=because+I+am+Oromo&searchbutton=go%21

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignleft wp-image-4426″ src=”https://qeerroo.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/hrlha.jpg?w=151&h=151″ alt=”HRLHA” style=”margin: 0px 7px 2px 0px; padding: 4px; border: none; float: left; display: inline;”>February 26, 2017The  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


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


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


The Final Desperate Emergency Martial Law of Ethiopia and its Implications


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


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


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

 


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

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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


DW: New Ethiopian clampdown

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


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


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


Ibsa Ejjeennoo Barattoota Oromoo Yuuniversiitii Jimmaa,  October 7, 2016


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

 

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

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

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


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

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


UN Human Rights Briefing Note on EthiopiaOctober 7, 2016


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


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


BBC: Are Ethiopian protests a game changer? #OromoProtests


Aljazeera: Oromo protests: Ethiopia unrest resurges after stampede

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


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


Ethiopia Human Rights Abuses Spark U.S. Congressional Action

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


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


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

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


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


ETHIOPIA’S GRADUAL JOURNEY TO THE VERGE OF CRISIS

Lelisa’s Message

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


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

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


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

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

 

 

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

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”

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ODUU:OMN: Oduu (Bit 31 2017)

 https://youtu.be/VxW_cDKQ4Vc

https://www.facebook.com/dammaqaa/posts/1835491683143368

https://www.facebook.com/dachee.bekele/videos/1833471450248040/

Godina Arsii Aanaa Suudee Magaalaa Ashmiira jedhamtu keessaa waraanni TPLF maqaa komaand poostiin dargaggoota bifa haarawaan qabaa jiraachuu Qeeroon gabaase.

Bitootessa 31,2015/ Godina Arsii Aanaa Suudee Magaalaa Ashmiira jedhamtu keessaa dargaggoota bifa haarawaan adamsanii hidhatti guuraa jiru, Guyyaa har’aa jimaata dargaggoota Oromoo humni kumaandi poostitiin daandirraa qabamuun konkolaataa piikaappii poolisii Oromiyaatiin fe’anii kan deemaniin yoo ta’uu yeroo ammaa bakki isaan itti hidhamanii fi sababni qabamaniifis hin beekkamne dargaggoonni hidhamanis maqaan isaanii kan armaan gadii kana, Continue reading

RSWO Bitooteessa 30, 2017 ODUU, QOPHII ADDAA FI DHAAMSA RSWO DHAGEEFFADHAA  https://youtu.be/LkLnmSa8aok

Godina Wallaggaa Magaalaa Najjoo Keessatti FXG Itti Fufe.

Guyyaa har’aa Bitootessa 30,2017 G/W/Liixaa magaalaa Naajjoottii Qeerroon magaalaa Naajjoo Bifa qinda’aa ta’een Warqaa wammichaa qabsoofi
akeekachisaa sirna Wayyaanee akeekachiisu of irraa  qabu  guutuummaa magaalaa Naajjoo maneen namaaf waajjirallee keessaa facaassanii ollanii jiru. Halaa warqaa faca’eerraattii Wayyanneen nasuu guddaa keessa seente humnaa polisii Feederraallaa dabalaata magaalaa naajjoottii bobasanii jiru..
Magaalaan Naajjoos yeroo ammaa kana humnaa warrannaa guutamtee jirttii.  Continue reading

 

Diddaa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo Magaalaa Amboo,FXG Guyyaa Har’aa Bitootessa 30,2017

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Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaggaatti Diddaa Uummataa Jabaachuu Irraan Humnooti Komaand Poostii TPLF Ummata Dararaa Jiru.

Bitootessaa 29/2017 Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaggaatti Diddaa Uummataa fi Qeerroo Dargaggoota Oromoo irraa Sodaaguddaan kan itti bulee mootummaan Wayyaanee maqaa duulaa sakkatta’insaa humna addaa ABO jedhuun uummata hiraarsa jira.
   Haaluma Kanaan  Aanaa Jaardagaa  Jaartee bakka addaa Shullukkee jedhamu keessatti Torbee darbe irraa eegaluun Mootummaan Wayyaanee Waraanaa Komaandii Poostii fi humnoota basaasa isaa uummatatti bobbaasuun  humna Addaa  ABOtu isin waliin jira jechuun sakkatta’insaa humnaa olii uummatarratti gaggeessa kan jiranii fi Uummats hiraarsaa jiraachuun ibsame jira.

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Dargaggoota Oromoo Warshaa Sukkaara Arjoo Dhidheessaa Keessaa Hojjetan 178 Ari’amuu Qeerroon Gabaase.

Bitootessa 28/2017 Godina Wallagga Bahaa Aanaa Jimmaa Arjootti Mootuimmaan Wayyaanee Dargaggoota Oromoo Warshaa Sukkaara Arjoo Dhidheessaa keessa sadarkaa garaagaraa irratti ramadamani Hojjetan 178 hojii irraa Arii’uuf qophii xummuree kan jiru yoo ta’uu, Ilmaan Oromoo 5 immoo Waraana Kokmandii Poostii Wayyaaneetiin ukkaanfamuun Aanaa Jimmaa Arjoo magaalaa Arjoo Awuraajjootti hidhamanii hiraarfamaa jiraachuu maddeen Qeerroo Godina Lixa Oromiyaa gabaasan.
  Ilmaan Oromoo biyyaa abbaa isaanii keessatti Oromummaa  yakkamanii hiraarfamaa jiran kanneen Warshaa Sukkaaras Arjoo Dhidheessaa irraa qabamani hidhaman keessaa kan ammaf maqaan adda bafaman :
1. Dargaggoo Ayyaanaa Badhaasaa
2. Dargaggoo Yooseef Gaarummaa,
3. Dargaggoo Waggaarii Bayyanee
 4. Obboo Iddoosaa Gulummaa
5. Dargaggoo Taamiruu Dajanee kanneen keessatti argaman ukkanfamuun hidhamanii hiraarfamaa jiraachuun ibsamee jira.

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Godina Arsii Aanaa Suudee Magaalaa Darrabbaa Keessaa Manneen Daldalaa Ummataa Waraana TPLFn Cufamaa Jiraachuu Qeerroon Gabaase.

Bitootessa 29,2017, Godina Arsii keessatti manneen daldalaa dhuunfaa cufsiisuun akkuma itti fufetti jira,Godina Arsii Aanaa Suudee magaalaa Darrabbaa keessatti wayyaaneen manneen daldalaa dhuunfaa cufuudhan dirqamaan daldaltoota sabaan Oromoo ta’an dirqamaan gurmaayaa jechuun hojii dhuunfaa isaanii irraa ittisaa jiraachuun beekamee jira.

Bifuma wal fakkaatun Godinuma kana Maagaalaa Eddoo keessattis daldaltoota daldala dhuunfaarratti eeyyama baafatanii daldalan eeyyama haaromsiisaa jechuun manneen isaanii irratti cufuudhaan erga waajiratti waamaniin booda gurmootanii dalaguu qabdu jechuun dirqamaan hojii isaanii irraa ittisaa jiraachunis gabaafamee jira.

ODUU: OMN: Weekly English News March 29, 2017

SONA MIDIYAA OMN: Sona Miidiyaa Bit 30, 2017

ODUU

OMN:Oduu (Bitootessa 29,2017)

Anaa Baabboo Gambeel Godina Wallaggaa Ummataa fi Humna Waraana Wayyaanee Jidduu Walitti Bu’iinsi Jiraachuun Beekame.

Bitootessa 28,2017 /Godina Wallaggaa  Anaa Baaboo Gambeel Keessaattii humni waraana Wayyannee uumataa nagaa gooluu irraan kan ka’e ummanni naannichaa wal gurmeessuun waraanni jiraattoota nagaatti roorrisu akka naannicha gadhiisee bahu yoo gaafatan illee ummata reebuu fi doorsisuun waan itti fufeef jecha gartuun komaandi poostii jedhamu  mormii dhageessisuuf jettu jechuun uummata ba’aaf galla dhowwa jiru.. Magaalaan Baaboo moraa Leenjii warrannaa fakkataa yeroo amma kana uummanii deeme galuuf soda keessa jira…dhimaa kana irraattii Baaboodha nama dubbisunu qaban. Continue reading

Godina Wallaggaa Magaalaa Najjii Keessatti Diddaan Barattoota Oromoo Itti Fufe.

Guyyaa kaleessaa 272017 G/W/Liixaa magaalaa Naajjoottii bartonnii mana barumsaa qopha’insaa Naajjoo Mormii yeroo jalqabanittii humnaa warannaa wayyanneen bitina’anii bartoottii hedduun gara lagaattii baqatanii turan haalumaa kanan bartoottii hedduun guyyaa kalleessa qabamanii mana hiidhaattii geessuun aduu keessa ka’iini reebichaa hammaan irraattii rawwachaa jira. Maatiin bartootaas ta’ee namnnii kammiyyuu hiidhamtoota dubbisuu hin danda’u. Continue reading

ODUU OMN: Oduu (Bit 28, 2017)

Godina wallaggaa bahaa magaalaa Naqamtee Fi Naannoo ishee keessatti waraanni mootummaa abbaa irree Wayyaanee uummata magaalichaa hiraarsaa akka jirutu ibsame.

Bitootessa 26,2017
Mootummaan sirna shiftummaa fi saamichaan hundeen ishee walitti coccoramuun bixxilamte sirni wayyaanee yeroo ammaa guutummaa magaalaa Naqamtee keessa waraana ishee facaasuudhaan uummata bahaa f gala dhorkaa akka jirtullee maddeen gabaasaa jiru.
Addattimmoo wayyaaneen yeroo ammaa waan qabduu fi gad lakkistu wallaaluudhaan uummata magaalichaa nagaan karaarra deemu qabdee ukkaamsuu fi reebuu irratti akka argamtu himame.
Gochi diinummaa kun kutaa magaalaa Naqamtee keessaa Adda durummaan Bakka addaa Muka Haraaraa/Boordii bakka jedhamuu fi Naannoo dargeettii ilmaan oromoo galgala galgala karaarraa qabamuun reebamaa akka jiran maddeen dabaluun gabaasaa jiran.
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Torban kana keessa waraanni wayyaanee kunneen guyyaa sanbata duraa fi sanbata guddaa guutummaa magaalaa Naqamtee dhuunffachuudhaan uummata bahaaf gala dhorkaa jiraachuunis gabaafame.
Irra caalaattimmoo waraanni sirna wayyaanee kunneen shakkii addaa naannoo boordii fi naannoo Mana barumsaa qophaa’ina Naqaqteetii waan qabaniif naannoo sana irra caalaatti dhuunfatanii akka jiranillee maddeen keenya gootowwan qeerroo leeqaa irraa nu qaqqaban ibsanii jiru. Continue reading

OMN: Oduu ( Bit 26, 2017)

ODUUOMN: oduu (Bit 25, 2016)

Amnestii Internaashinaal Waa’ee Mirga Dhala-namaa Oromoo Irratti Kolombiyaa Yunivarsitii Keessatti Kora Qopheesse

https://www.facebook.com/nagessa.oddo/videos/1352841614758988/


Godina Arsii Aanaa Doddolaa Magaalaa Siree Keessaa Manneen Daldalaa Cufamaa Jiru,Sabboontotis Mana Hidhaa Wayyaaneetti Gooramaa Jiraachuu Qeerroon Gabaase.

Bitootessa 23,2017

Godina Arsii Aanaa Doddotaa Magaalaa Siree keessatti manneen Daldalaa ummatarraa cufamaa jiraachuun dhagahamee jira,Ji’oottan dabran kana keessatti godina Arsii magaalota hedduu keessatti manneen daldalaa ummatarraa cufamaa jiraachuu gabaasaa kan turre yoo ta’uu addatti manneen daldalaa ilmaan Oromoo qofarratti fuulleffachuun ummata keenna diinagdeen dadhabsiisuuf akka itti yaadamee godhamas jiru Qeerron gabaasee jira

Godina Arsii Magaalaa Dodolaa keessaa ummata Oromoo mana hidhaatitti guuruun itti fufee jira 21/3/2017 namoota hedduu ummata misoomafii nageenya biyyattiitti buusuu dhoorgaa jirtu jechuudhaan kan hidhaa jiran yoo ta’uu namoota amma waajjira poolisii magaalattii keessatti hidhaman keessaa

  1. Muhaammad Bulloo,
  2. Ahmad Tolaa ,
  3. Ibraahim Muummee,
  4. Safiyyaa H/Jamaal,
  5. Seeyfuu Bakaroo,
  6. Jamaal Abdullaahi,
  7. Yuusuf H/ Amiin,
  8. Shamsuddiin Jeeylaan,
  9. Turaa Kadiiro fi
  10. Ziyaad Aliyyii kan keesatti argaman yoo ta’uu ammas namoota hedduu basaasaa jiraachuun
    gabaafamee jira

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Oromia Media Network: OMN 3rd Year Anniverssary in South Africa (Johannesburg)

Yuunbarsiitii Finfinneetti uummata qosheetti dhumeef guyyaa sadiif nyaata lagannee gaddina jedhee beeksisa baasee, kaaffee barataarraa cufe. Baratoonni hedduunis “gaafa irreechaa yeroo namni hedduun dhume, yoom gadditan? hin ta’u, hin gaddinu! ofii ajjeestanii ofii gadditanii nuun immoo agabuu nun ajjeesinaa!” jedhanii laguu nyaata didan. Mooraanis kunoo maqaa namoota nyaata didanii jechuun, warra ijoollee keessaa gaaffii gaafate maqaa baasee maxxanse.

Qeerroon Bilisummaa Yuniverstii Amboo FDG Itti Fufanii Jiru.

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Testimony of Seenaa Jimjimo, The Suffering of Oromo People

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Ambo never cry again!


The Second Oromo Leadership Convention March 10-12, 2017: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa

WMS students lend hands to Oromo Awareness Project


OMN: Oduu ( Bit 11, 2017)

OMN: oduu (BIT 10, 2017)

Oduu adda addaa Bitootessa 11, 2017

Dargaggoo Oromoo Abbaa Seeraa Hayiluu Kifilee Waraanaa Koomandii Poostii Wayyaaneen Ajjeefame

Image may contain: 1 person, closeupBitootessaa 10/2017 Dargaggoo Oromoo Abbaa Seeraa  Hayiluu Kifilee Waraanaa Koomandii Poostii Wayyaaneen Ajjeefamee Bosona Iluu Abbaa Booraa naannoo Mattuutti gatamee Bitootessa 9/2017  kan argamee yoo ta’uu, Baatii lama fuuldura Ukkaanfamee eessa buuteen isaa kan dhabamee ture ta’uu maddeen Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo Magaalaa Amboo gabaasan.

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Bush fire is ravaging, since yesterday afternoon, places in the cuqqaalaa mountain ranges of the Liiban Cuqqaalaa district in East Shawa zone, in central Oromia. I did also receive this alert yesterday afternoon from other ground sources -but didn’t post while trying to triangulate grounded evidence. Part on these mountain ranges are ancient monasteries of the orthodox church which are home to some of the most revered medieval period christian collections and documents on a small island turf of the church’s remains. We call up on the local authorities to urgently extend their support to the local community in putting off this bush fire.  Via Abbaacabsaa Guutamaa

https://youtu.be/nV1RBGShcsQ


Grand Rally Against Ethiopia’s Repressive Regime, 9 March 2017. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

Hirira Mormii Hawaasni Oromoo Washington DC fi Naannawaashee Taasisaa jiran

Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia Subcommittee Hearing

grand-rally-against-ethiopias-repressive-regime-9-march-2017-oromoprotests-oromorevolution


Calling your Representative about House Resolution 128 Supporting Human Rights and Encouraging Inclusive Governance in Ethiopia

the-hearing-on-house-resolution-128-thursday-march-9-2017-at-2-pm-oromorevolution-oromoprotests

OMN : Oduu (Bit 9 , 2017)

 


Matakkal Naannoo Gaalessaa fi Ganda Qorqaa Keessaa Oromoonni Hedduminaan Qabamaanii Ma’ikelaawwii fi Gariin Ammoo Mana Hidhaa Asotti Guuramaa Jiraachuu Qeerroon Gabaase.

Uummata nagaa qabamanii yeroo hidhaatti darbatamanBitootessa 9,2017/Uumata Orommoo naannoo Matakkal akka Oromiyaa jalatti deebi’uuf jettanii gaaffii kaaftaniittu sababa jedhuun Oromoota dhalootaan Matakkal ta’an qabamanii guyyaa har’aa mana hidhaa Ma’ikelaawwiitti guuramaa jiraachuu Qeerroon gabaase.

Har’a Bitootessa 9,2017 heddummina Oromota Matakkal qabamanii Finfiinnee nama hidhaa Ma’ikelaawwiitti geeffamaa akka jiran beekame.

Kanneen keessaa:-

  1. Kefalew Nigatu Baddeessoo
  2. Habtamuu Bayyanaa Amantee
  3. Jabbeessaa Dheeressa Kabadda
  4. Bilisummaa Dhaabaa Taddesee
  5. Abdisaa Dhiinsaa
  6. Dhugaasaa Baqalaa
  7. Hudansaa Hayiluu
  8. Jabeessa  Akkumaa
  9. Fiqiruu Zallaqaa Wiirtuu
  10. Tesfayee Ababba Gannati
  11. Fayisaa Oljirra

Kanneen jedhaman garii yeroo ta’an hedduun isaanii gabaasa boodaan akka dhaqabsiifamu Qeerroon gabaase.

Haala kana irraa kan ka’u dargaggoonni nannichaa hedduminaan baqatanii yeroo ammaa bosona keessatti diddaa Wayyaanee muldhisaa akka jiranii fi gara qabsoo hidhannootti of gurmeessaa akka jiran beekame. Continue reading


TPLF denied Dr. Merera Gudina bail and remanded him in their notorious custody. Dr. Merera’s statement in Kangaroo court today.

Dr. Mararaa Mirga Wabii akka hin Eegamneef Dhoowamanii jiru. Jedha Oduun.

NEWS: ETHIOPIA’S PROMINENT OPPOSITION LEADER DENIED BAIL

Dr. Merera’s statement in Kangaroo court, 10 March 2017:

 

 

 

 

Mata Duree Oduu Bit 7, 2017

Bob Zimmer, Member of Parliament, Canada, has expressed solidarity for

OMN: Weekly English (March 8, 2017)

ODUU

OMN :Oduu (Bito 8,2017)

 

Godina Wallagga, Magaalaa Naqamtee Keessaa Maqaa Malaammaltummaa fi Hooromsa Jedhuun Hojjettooti Tel Ukkaamfamaa Jiri

Image result for nekemte telecommunication officeBitootessa 7,2017, Godina Wallagga bahaa magaalaa Naqamtee keessaa maqaa malaammaltummaa fi hooromsa jedhuun wal qabatee hojjettoonni waajira teelee magaalaa Naqamtee keessaa heedduminaan ukkaamfamaa akka jiran maddeen Qeerroo Leeqaa gabaasan.
Waajjira teelee kan mootummaa magaalaa Naqamtee keessatti baatii kana keessa sirni saamichaa fi humnaan qabeenyaa uummata oromoon duroome murni bicuu Wayyaanee hojjetoota teelee kan waajjira teelee magaalaa Naqamtee keessaa hojjetan irratti kisaaraa birrii miiliyoona 36 malaammaltummaan hojjetoota kanneen irratti waan argameef jecha heedduminaan hojjettoonni waajjira teelichaa ukkaamfamaa jiraachuu Qeerroon leeqaa gabaasee jira. Continue reading

Waraanni TPLF Godina Arsii Aanaa Roobee Magaalaa Roobee Diida’aa Keessatti Dargaggoota Hidhaa Keessaa Gadhiifaman T-shirt “ Irra Hin Deebi’amu” Jedhu Ifii Qpheessee Itti Hire Uffachuu Diddan Jedhee Qabee Hidhaa Jiraachuun Beekame.

Bitootessa 6,2017

Godina Arsii keessatti kumaand poostiin ummata nagayaa hidhaan dararuu itti fufuun Aanaa Roobee Magaalaa Roobee Diida’aa keessatti namoota Xoollayitti hidhamanii gadhiifaman Sababii namootni hedduun T-shirt Irra hin deebi’amu jedhuufii barruulee Wayyaaneen itti hirte gubanii fi balfa keessatti darbaniif jecha Namoota gara dhibbaaf Shantamaa 150 ta’an Gamoo 2020 Opin Kolleejjii keessatti hiitee erga dararuu eegaltee torbaan gahaa jira,Yeroo ammaa haalli ummanni magaalattii keessa jiru baay’ee yaaddessaa ta’uun dhagayamaa jira. Continue reading

Qerroo Iluu against TPLF tyranny and its economic corruption. 5 March 2017. #OromoRevolution


Qeerroon Iluu Abbaa Booraa Qabeenya Mahammad Alaamuddiin kan ta’ee fi qonna jirbii Alaamuddiin kan Gambeela keessatti argamu irraa konkolaataa jirbii fe’isa guutuu fe’ee gara Finfinneetti adeemaa ture irratti tarkaanfii fudhatan. konkolaataa qabeenya M. Alaamuddiin kana irratti tarkaanfii kan fudhatame Magaalaa Mattuu keessatti, Bitootessa 4 bara 2017 galgala ture.
Tarkaanfii kanaan, jirbiin fe’amee ture akka hin jirre taasifamee barbadaaweera. Kinkolaatichi garu, birmaannaa hidhattoota diinaa Mattuu qubattee jirtuun, badii irraa hafee jira.

qerroo-iluu-against-tplf-tyranny-and-its-economic-corruption-5-march-2017-oromorevolution


The 3rd anniversary of Oromia Media Network. Mayor of Seattle congratulated the success of OMN. 4 March 2017

the-3rd-anniversary-of-oromia-media-network-mayor-of-seattle-congratulated-the-success-of-omncorriporate-seal-of-the-city-of-seattle

Thank you Mayor Ed Murray & City of Seattle for recognizing Oromia Media Network. In democracy the press is celebrated while the tyrants in Ethiopia try to suppress OMN by filing bogus charges.


Kantiibaan magaalaa Seattle Waggaa sadaffaa OMN ilaalchisuun xalayaa barreessan. Toban Wayyaaneen himata sobaatin OMN yakkuh yaaltetti warri mi’aa miidiyaa beeku akkanaan kabajaa agarsiisa. Jawar Mohammed

happy-birthday-to-omn-march-4-2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asoosaa Keessatti FXG Barattootaan Galgala Kana Dhohee Jiraachuu Qeerroon Gabaase.

Qeerroo diddaaBitootessa 2,2017/ Darara humnaan olii Yuunibarsiitii keessatti irra gahaa jiru barattoonni Yuunibarsiitii Asoosaa Balaaleffachuuf humni Waraanaa nu hin daangessu jedhan haaluma kaleessaan walqabatee amma galgala kana ijollee mana amantaatii osoo galaa jiranii karaa nagaan, mirgi keenya nuuf haakabajamu, gaaffiinkeenya nuuf haa deebi’u jedhanii sagalee dhageessifachaa jiran irratti dhukaasa banuudhaan, barattoota kumaatamatti lakkaawwaman walitti qabdee jirti, barataama mooraa keessa soso’us qabdee itti dabalaa jirti, yeroo ammaa kanatti waraanni Wayyaanee fardasaanii yaabanii waliif gadi utaalaa jiru, barattoota kana maal gochuuf akka jedhan hinbeekamin jira. Continue reading

 

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Internet: connectivity is the cornerstone to the development of digital economy in Africa March 31, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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How Connectivity Can Change the Future for African Countries


 Media Planet– In an increasingly global world, one of the most important assets for people can be narrowed down to one thing: connectivity. The direct and indirect impacts of connectivity for parts of the world that are struggling economically cannot be overstated, and organizations like Huawei, a network and telecommunications company, are driving growth in African markets, particularly in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

CONNECTED: In Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa, individuals travel to internet cafes to get online.

Helping the economy

“Growing evidence suggests that broadband can boost GDP incomes, helping combat poverty and hunger,” says Phoebe Huang, public affairs manager for Huawei in Africa. “The innovation efficiency of countries with higher broadband penetration is 15 times that of countries with lower broadband penetration. Broadband development also influences productivity: specifically, it can lead to an increase of 5 percent in manufacturing, 20 percent in information services, and 10 percent in services. In addition, broadband development will create more job opportunities. A 10 percent increase in broadband penetration increases the employment rate by 2 to 3 percent.”

The value of connectivity, particularly in developing countries, is multifactorial and significant. For instance, the ability to access the internet and connect with others allows children to study, health care professionals to communicate, and the public to keep informed on important local developments. It has the ability to foster ideas, collaboration and growth. A technology infrastructure is also a job creator; not only are workers needed to manage retail sales, there’s a whole system of building and maintenance created once a geographical area is more connected.

Creating new jobs

“Huawei has been in Africa for more than 17 years, so we really see ourselves as an African company. We have created thousands of jobs — today we have more than 7,000 employees in Africa,” says Roland Sladek, vice president of international media affairs at Huawei.

“We hope to bridge the digital divide and build a better connected world. We are focused on connecting people to people, people to things and things to things. We are improving the broadband penetration in Africa.”

“We continuously leverage our global innovation capabilities and cooperate with governments,
customers and industrial partners to increase the telecom network coverage significantly to achieve a win-win cooperation,” says Huang. “We believe that connectivity is the cornerstone to the development of digital economy in Africa.”

A long-term investment

Sladek believes that now is a key time to address the need for this connectivity; it
has never been as cost effective as it is now to create high quality, yet affordable devices.

“We are today the third-largest smartphone vendor in the world — we’ve launched some really cutting-edge models,” says Sladek. “Africa is an important market, first because it’s one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world, and secondly because there’s a rising middle class in Africa who want a good phone for a good price. African consumers also tend to be more open-minded regarding brands — they’re not wedded to Apple, for instance.”

Investing into telecommunications networks is a long-term commitment, and more and more countries are not only aware of this commitment — they see it as a long-term goal, even keeping in mind that some economies may be growing slower than they have previously due to external factors. In spite of this fact, by 2020 mobile data traffic in Africa is expected to increase by at least 15 times in high traffic areas.

“We hope to bridge the digital divide and build a better connected world,” says Huang. “We are focused on connecting people to people, people to things and things to things. We are improving the broadband penetration in Africa.”

“If you don’t invest today in your own telecomm infrastructure network, tomorrow you will have no business,” says Sladek. “Huawei lays today the foundation of Africa’s future.”


 

Ethiopia’s increasing outmigration highlights wider economic and security problems March 31, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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89% of Ethiopians who migrated to Yemen in January 2017 identified themselves as Oromo


The current domestic tensions and political repression plaguing the country are other key factors driving Ethiopian migration. They stem from the ongoing tensions between the majority Oromo ethnic population and the ruling Tigrayans, which boiled over into major protests in November 2015 over the Oromo’s perceived political and economic marginalisation. The government responded by cracking down on protesters and anyone believed to be involved. Since the initial clampdown, Human Rights Watch has recorded the killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces and the arbitrary detention of tens of thousands more. The state of emergency imposed by the government in October 2016 has also led to further restrictions on the media and political opposition parties.
The government is unwilling to engage in serious dialogue with opposition groups, so these tensions will likely continue to propel migration from the country. The ethnicity of these migrants tellingly reflects Ethiopia’s domestic politics: for example, 89% of Ethiopians who migrated to Yemen in January 2017 identified themselves as Oromo. This speaks to the influence of internal tensions on outward migration flows and reflects an ongoing trend, as Oromo comprise a growing proportion of the Ethiopians migrating.

 

Ethiopia’s domestic issues must be addressed in order to stem the increasing flow of people out of the country.


The IISS Voices blog features timely comment and analysis on international affairs and security

Ethiopian migrants

By Anastasia Voronkova, Editor, Armed Conflict Survey; Research Fellow for Armed Conflict and Armed Conflict Database, and Caitlin Vito, Coordinator, Office of the Director of Studies


Ethiopia is a major source country of migrants. A lack of economic opportunities, demographic challenges, food insecurity and rising domestic tensions are all contributing to significant numbers of Ethiopians being on the move.

Although the country has been one of Africa’s top-performing economies for the past ten years and a regular recipient of foreign aid and investment, the general population still faces widespread unemployment and a lack of economic opportunities. Around 20 million Ethiopians live below the poverty line, so economic opportunity abroad continues to be a major driving force for migration. Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population of just over 100 million – of which more than 60% are under the age of 24 – exacerbates the difficulty of securing sustainable livelihoods, leading many to seek opportunity elsewhere. Compounding these economic and demographic challenges are the current drought and famine devastating parts of the Horn of Africa. The resulting severe food insecurity is forcing many Ethiopians to uproot themselves to find subsistence.

The current domestic tensions and political repression plaguing the country are other key factors driving Ethiopian migration. They stem from the ongoing tensions between the majority Oromo ethnic population and the ruling Tigrayans, which boiled over into major protests in November 2015 over the Oromo’s perceived political and economic marginalisation. The government responded by cracking down on protesters and anyone believed to be involved. Since the initial clampdown, Human Rights Watch has recorded the killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces and the arbitrary detention of tens of thousands more. The state of emergency imposed by the government in October 2016 has also led to further restrictions on the media and political opposition parties.

Although major protests seem to have subsided for now, grievances over disputed land and a lack of political freedom persist. The government is unwilling to engage in serious dialogue with opposition groups, so these tensions will likely continue to propel migration from the country. The ethnicity of these migrants tellingly reflects Ethiopia’s domestic politics: for example, 89% of Ethiopians who migrated to Yemen in January 2017 identified themselves as Oromo. This speaks to the influence of internal tensions on outward migration flows and reflects an ongoing trend, as Oromo comprise a growing proportion of the Ethiopians migrating.

Many Ethiopians, especially younger generations, transit primarily through Yemen but also Djibouti, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya in search of economic opportunities in the Middle East. A recent report published by the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat highlights that around 15,000 people a year, mostly Ethiopians, use the so-called ‘southern’ migration route from the Horn of Africa to South Africa, which is regarded as relatively economically prosperous. The research also notes that migrant smuggling along the southern route is consistently high. Most Ethiopian migrants, particularly those travelling via Kenya and Tanzania, use a smuggler or broker to facilitate parts of their journey. Such smuggling activities are reported to be frequently accompanied by violence, kidnappings and exploitation.

Children and women workers in Ethiopia

Although Ethiopia is a key participant in the EU’s Migration Partnership Framework – aimed at addressing the challenges of managing migration along the Central Mediterranean Route (via Libya to Europe), as well as supporting returns and better border management – major obstacles remain in terms of improving security, and solving the political and economic crises in the region that are contributing to unprecedented flows of irregular migrants. As the experience of regional neighbours, Mali and Libya in particular, demonstrates, ‘breaking the business model of smugglers’ – one of the goals of the Migration Partnership Framework – can be especially difficult when state weakness, a near absence of central government and the resulting spaces with limited governance – foment insecurity, making it easier for smuggling, criminal and armed networks to operate with greater power and determination, on a larger scale and to their advantage. More economic opportunities must be created for the growing youth populations in Ethiopia and beyond. Enabling them to engage more directly in economic life and developing employment opportunities, while also helping to address underlying political tensions, would reduce the incentive to leave and the risk of being lured into illegal networks.

This will be a hugely difficult task, the implementation of which is likely to proceed at a very slow pace. While the government is making efforts to increase employment, through programmes such as its Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II 2015–16 to 2019–20), which injects funding into major infrastructure projects, it must ensure that the fruits of these projects trickle down and are not held by government elites. Donor aid to increase employment must also be used more effectively. This will require better governance at the national level and the empowerment of local authorities to ensure that robust mechanisms are in place to hold officials accountable.


This post originally appeared in the Armed Conflict Database (ACD), which provides monitoring, data and analysis on armed conflicts worldwide, ranging from rebellions and insurgencies to civil wars and inter-state conflicts.

Oromo-American Citizen Council (OACC): Extension of the State of Emergency-All is Not Well in Oromia March 31, 2017

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Press Release: Oromo-American Citizen Council (OACC)

For immediate release: March 30, 2017


Extension of the State of Emergency-All is Not Well in Oromia


On October 8, 2016, in the wake of the 2016 October Irrecha Massacre, the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency for a period of six months. Today, by a unanimous vote, the pseudo-parliament has extended the declaration for 4 months. This is a clear indication that all is not well in Ethiopia.

Following the state of Emergency, most areas of Oromia and some areas in the Amhara state were virtually put under a military rule called a Command Post. Under the rule of the Command Post, the previous serious human rights violations in Oromia were further intensified and caused an alarming and untold misery on the people.

Today, by and large, Oromia is turned into one big prison camp. State structures are overtaken by a military rule, and special paramilitary Agazi force comprising mainly of Tigrean are terrorizing the population. Anybody could be jailed and tortured at any time for just being born an Oromo. Schools, public services, Commerce, farms, and all other trades and vocations were disrupted. People lived in the last six months under a constant fear of imprisonment, torture and execution.

It is this state of affairs that the Ethiopian pseudo parliament today prolonged for six more months. Even before the declaration of the state of emergency, Ethiopia was not by any stretch of imagination a democratic state where the rights of the population were respected. With the introduction of the State of Emergency, however, things just went from bad to worse. Furthermore, the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances, tortures and imprisonment were simply normalized and legalized.

In today’s Ethiopia, the state of emergency has become the new normal. The prolonging of this perverse repression and torturous situation will have its toll and a long lasting consequence. In order to normalize its brutal repression, the government tries to dismiss the Oromo Protest as triggered by outside forces, and itself as efficient enforcer of law and order. Additionally, it tries to normalize it by portraying the state of emergency as a needed temporary measure.

However much the government tries to justify its brute actions and normalize its violence, the Oromo and other peoples of Ethiopia will not accept this state of affair and live in their own land as animals in a cage. What exists in Ethiopia today is not normal, and it is the moral obligation of everyone to resist and bring an end to it.

Oromo-American Citizens Council (OACC) is a Minnesota non-profit organization established and functioning since 2002. We are made up of Oromo-Americans and others who are concerned about Oromo issues. Among others, we advocate for equal rights of Oromos in Ethiopia, expose human rights violations, and help initiate dialogue and reconciliation among various Ethiopian groups.

LSE Book Review: The Despot’s Accomplice: How The West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy by Brian Klaas March 30, 2017

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In The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of DemocracyBrian Klaas provides a frontline account of the contemporary history of democracy, the current state of democracy promotion and the fundamental flaws in the West’s approach. This dynamic book offers convincing insight into the impact of current policy and proposals for future strategies that should be required reading for policymakers and practitioners engaged in democracy promotion, recommends Robert Ledger.

If you are interested in this review, you may also like to read an interview with Brian Klaas, reposted on LSE RB in October 2016, and listen to a podcast recording of his LSE lecture from 13 October 2016.

The Despot’s Accomplice: How The West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy. Brian Klaas. Hurst. 2016.

Find this book: amazon-logo

The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy, Brian Klaas’s new book, is an engaging account of the contemporary history of democracy, its promotion and the flaws in the West’s approach. Drawing on first-hand experience and interviews, the book provides insights into the impact of current policy as well as proposals as to how this strategy could be altered.

An academic at the London School of Economics, Klaas has also acted as an election monitor in a variety of locations and worked with a number of NGOs. This experience provides the core material for The Despot’s Accomplice, which contains extensive research and is written in a lively and highly readable style. As such, it will be enjoyed by the general reader as well as by university students and specialists. Klaas combines personal observation with astute political analysis. Many of the book’s insights are also gleaned from interviews with both high profile and lesser known figures, including former Thai Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, and a former Belarussian Presidential candidate, Mikalai Statkevich, as well as other key actors in Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar. These interviews are a key feature of the book.

The structure of The Despot’s Accomplice includes an overview of democracy promotion, followed by several thematic chapters based around policy recommendations. The first section charts the recent history of the apparently unstoppable rise of the democratic ideal. Following the end of the Cold War, democracies proliferated across the world and the West helped facilitate this trend through its democracy promotion policies. The EU, for instance, tied democratic reform to access to its markets and regional development funds. One key case study given to illustrate this point is Latvia. Klaas outlines how until recently the tiny Baltic state was under the authoritarian control of the Soviet Union and the KGB. Since independence in 1991, the country has made the transition to become a lively liberal democracy, incentivised by EU accession, which it achieved in 2004. Comparing the Baltic country’s current situation within the EU with its Soviet past is instructive, and has been brought into sharper focus in light of Russia’s recent belligerence towards its ‘near abroad’.

Today, however, this process appears to have stalled or even to be in retreat. The Despot’s Accomplice identifies a number of policy mistakes that have made matters worse: for instance, waging war to impose democracy in the Middle East; tolerating authoritarianism in the hope that autocrats can be cajoled into reform; and generally giving legitimacy to ‘counterfeit’ democracies. Klaas outlines the West’s baleful habit of branding elections partly ‘free and fair’, when in reality they are often neither. Klaas describes why this trend is so critical:

Democracy’s core attributes do affect daily life considerably. The aspirations of billions of people hinge upon this seemingly academic debate. Democracy, in its essence, has fundamental advantages over dictatorship. Consolidated democracies spawn more economic opportunity, enjoy better physical security and are bastions of greater justice (219).

Image Credit: (HOGRE CCO)

Readers familiar with the subject will be keenly aware of the shadow imposed by China and Russia on democracy promotion, covered in the chapter titled ‘The Bear and the Dragon’. The influence of these two powers is impeding democratisation, while the ‘Beijing Consensus’ – aid not tied to democratic or institutional reform – is providing an alternative option for authoritarian regimes in need of cash. The impact of this trend is being seen in many regions, an apt example here being Thailand. As a result, the resolve of Western policymakers – desperate to maintain influence – towards democracy promotion is waning. As Klaas forcefully argues, this is a mistake: ‘Global democracy is in decline. As a result, the world is becoming less stable, less prosperous, and vastly more dangerous’ (213).

The recommendations found in The Despot’s Accomplice offer a fascinating and innovative approach to this topic. These include pragmatism, such as offering a ruling despot a ‘way out’ if they have lost an election and fear retribution from the victor. Klaas describes how often there is no incentive for despots to relinquish power; in fact, the opposite is usually true. Other chapters feature practical suggestions like encouraging a new regime to include elements of the old one. The West should also not directly interfere with elections and should concentrate its resources on reformers as opposed to wasting money on counterfeit democrats.

Another theme identified in the book is that the West, in order to convincingly promote democratic norms, has to lead by example (177-80). Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the recent Presidential elections in the United States. Across the Western world, a deluge of propaganda, opinion being prioritised over facts as well as the ‘fake news’ phenomenon are all discrediting democratic practices. Cries of hypocrisy strengthen the narrative provided by the likes of Russia.

However, the most thought-provoking chapter concerns the idea of a ‘League of Democracies’ (152-60). This would entail an apolitical trading area of consolidated democracies, membership of which would be contingent on democratic behaviour and standards. Although this proposal would be fiendishly difficult to put into practice, linkage with economic incentivisation is a key reason why democracies proliferated in the 1990s.

The very notion of democracy promotion by the West has proven controversial in recent years and readers may not agree with all of Klaas’s principles. Nevertheless, as the world drifts further into an era guided by narrow self-interest and Realpolitik, the overarching argument here is convincing. Democracies form a more stable international system, a so-called ‘democratic zone of peace’. Working out how to encourage democratic transition and consolidation is crucial.

There are numerous books on the West’s strategy towards democracy promotion. Others highlight different approaches, such as a security focus, the importance of regional peace as a precursor to democracy, reducing corruption or building institutions alongside democracy. The Despot’s Accomplice has a different emphasis, providing a number of thought-provoking policy principles. Klaas’s dynamic new book is as vital as it is timely, and should be required reading for foreign ministries engaged, however notionally, in democracy promotion.


Robert Ledger has a PhD from Queen Mary University London in political science, his thesis examining the influence of liberal economic ideas on the Thatcher government, and an MA in International Relations from Brunel University. He has worked in Brussels and Berlin for the European Stability Initiative – a think tank – on EU enlargement and human rights issues. He has published widely on European and British politics, edited the Journal of International Relations Research and is also a regular contributor to Global Risk Insights, a political risk group. Read more reviews by Robert Ledger.

Note: This review gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics. 

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) extends its state of emergency by four months March 30, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Al Jazeera : Ethiopia extends state of emergency by four months

Opposition parties complain that the emergency is being used to clamp down on their members and activities.


The country’s ruling coalition is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who accounts for only 6 percent of the population [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]
The country’s ruling coalition is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who accounts for only 6 percent of the population [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

The Ethiopian parliament has extended by four months a state of emergency it declared six months ago after almost a year of often violent anti-government demonstrations.

The widely expected extension comes amid reports of continued violence and anti-government activities in some rural areas.

At least 500 people were killed by security forces during the year of protests, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch group – a figure the government later echoed.

“We still have some anti-peace elements that are active and want to capitalise on disputes that arise among regional states in the country,” Ethiopia’s defence minister, Siraj Fegessa, told MPs when he called on them to approve the extension on Thursday.

“In addition, some leaders of the violent acts that we witnessed before are still at large and are disseminating wrong information to incite violence.”

Opposition parties complain that the emergency powers are being used to clamp down on their members and activities, especially in rural regions far from the capital, Addis Ababa.

The state of emergency, declared on October 9, was a reaction to protests that were especially persistent in the Oromia region. Many members of the Oromo ethnic group say they are marginalised and that they do not have access to political power, something the government denies.

OPINION: The Oromo protests have changed Ethiopia

A wave of anger was triggered by a development scheme for Addis Ababa, which would have seen its boundaries extended into Oromia. Demonstrators saw it as a land grab that would force farmers off their land.

The protests soon spread to the Amhara region in the north, where locals argued that decades-old federal boundaries had cut off many ethnic Amharas from the region.

Crushed to death

Map of Oromia region in Ethiopia [Al Jazeera]

The Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups together make up about 60 percent of Ethiopia’s population.

The country’s ruling coalition, which has been in power for a quarter of a century, is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who make up six percent of the population.

Tensions reached an all-time high after a stampede in which at least 52 people were crushed to death fleeing security forces at a protest that grew out of a religious festival in the town of Bishoftu on October 2nd.

In the following days, rioters torched several mostly foreign-owned factories and other buildings that they claimed were built on seized land.

The government, though, blamed rebel groups and foreign-based dissidents for stoking the violence.

The state of emergency initially included curfews, social media blocks, restrictions on opposition party activity and a ban on diplomats traveling more than 40 kilometres outside the capital without approval.

Authorities arrested over 11,000 people during its first month.

Some provisions of the state of emergency were relaxed on March 15th, two weeks prior to Thursday’s announced extension. Arrests and searches without court orders were stopped, and restrictions on radio, television and theatre were dropped.

Protesters run from tear gas being fired by police during Irreecha, the religious festival in Bishoftu where at least 52 people died [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Aster Gannoo: Pioneer Afaan Oromo Literature developer, teacher, writer and translator March 30, 2017

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Aster Gannoo, dubartii Oromoo bara 1894 keessa afaan Oromootin kitaaba barreessite

Aster Gannoo, dubartii Oromoo bara 1894 keessa afaan Oromootin kitaaba barreessite


References 

Adwa and Abyssinia’s Participation in the Scramble for Africa: Does that have relevance to the ongoing Oromo protests? March 29, 2017

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Adwa and Abyssinia’s Participation in the Scramble for Africa:

Does that Have Relevance to the Ongoing Oromo Protests?

 

By Mekuria Bulcha, PhD, Professor


Whenever an Oromo scholar or politician mentions Menelik or his conquest of Oromia, the scathing criticism that meets him or her is that history is irrelevant for the current crisis.  They are often advised to stop looking backwards and to focus on the future.  Meanwhile, the irony is that in the lead up to and weeks after the 121st anniversary of the Battle of Adwa, many Ethiopian scholars and politicians have been engaged in intense debate about this event. In fact, I am all for a debate about Ethiopian history; however, I was surprised when I read an article written by Teshome Borago entitled “Adwa: When Oromos fought Italy as Abyssinians” published on the Ethiomedia webpage on March 3, 2017. Borago wrote the article to commemorate the anniversary of Ethiopia’s victory over Italian forces at Adwa in 1896.  By and large, he talks about the victory of Adwa as an example of unity among the peoples of Ethiopia and calls on the peoples of Ethiopia to keep up that spirit of unity. But, the problem is that he did not stop there; he used the Oromo contribution to the victory at Adwa obliquely as a pretext to question the validity of Oromo grievances voiced by the ongoing protests. He laments the “new generation” Oromos’ failure to appreciate their forefathers’ contributions to the Adwa victory, and for not respecting the spirit of Adwa which was Ethiopian unity. He refers to their protests as an effort made in defense of “tribalism”. My criticism is that, using the victory of Adwa as a point of departure, Borago distorts not only Oromo and Ethiopian history, but also misrepresents the motives of the ongoing Oromo protests. Borago is not the only writer who has been labelling the Oromo struggle for freedom as a manifestation of “tribalism”, or to criticize Oromo views about Menelik and the creation of the Ethiopian state. There are dozens of commentators who, like him, have been distorting Oromo history and demonizing Oromo politics and scholarship. Haile Larebo has been one of the most vocal representatives of this group.

The views which are expressed in both Borago’s article and Larebo’s story about the Battle of Adwa, which was broadcast on March 22, 2017 on Aronios Radio are the points of departure for this article.  The purpose of the article is to critically assess the meanings of the Battle of Adwa for the Oromo and other non-Abyssinian peoples who were conquered and forcibly incorporated into the Ethiopian Empire by Menelik. The following questions will guide my discussion: (a) what were the conditions under which the Oromo and the other non-Abyssinian peoples participated in the Battle of Adwa? (b) What “benefits” did they derive from the victory at Adwa? (c) In what ways was the Battle of Adwa a turning point in Abyssinia’s participation in the Scramble for Africa? (d) What was the relationship between the peoples of the south including the Oromo and the Abyssinian state before and after Adwa?

Menelik’s army at Adwa: freemen, gabbars, captives and slaves

As Wendy James has aptly pointed out, “without the contributions of Ethiopia’s southern peoples, whose sweat and blood go unrecorded in Ethiopianist annals, the Battle of Adwa in 1896 might not have been won and Menelik II might not have gone on to build his empire.”[1] Obviously, one of those peoples were the Oromo. I am not denying Oromo contribution to the Ethiopian victory over the Italians at Adwa. My critique concerns the representation of the conditions under which their contribution occurred. I argue that Oromo human and material resources were not “contributed” voluntarily as Borago and Larebo want us to believe. By and large, they were robbed. To start, as Harold Marcus has stated, “Menelik had exploited the south and the south-west to purchase weapons.” He was “indirectly Ethiopia’s greatest slave entrepreneur and received the bulk of the proceeds” from the slave trade. Marcus wrote that being a Christian Menelik was not directly involved in the trade, but “Many slaves were however supplied by him.”[2] The “human merchandize” used in that trade were Oromos and others who were captured his conquest of the south. Pankhurst has also stated that “the supply of slaves was…swollen by large numbers of prisoners captured during Menelik’s southern campaigns.”[3] The evidence is extensive to present in this short article, but it is important to not here that Menelik covered in part the cost of the firearms used at Adwa with revenue from the export of human merchandize.

What is also equally important to understand is that the fighters who marched north carrying those firearms were not all freemen, but also a motley of captives, gabbars and slaves, including thousands of women. Most of them were Oromo, Walaita, Kambata and Gurage and were from territories which were conquered a decade or a few years prior to the Battle of Adwa.  They were used not only as fighters, but also providers of the services that made the fighting possible. They were bearers of firearms and supplies; they cooked for the fighters and looked after the horses and mules used by the fighters.  In this connection, a remarkable story emerges if we look closely at the case of Walaita which was conquered in 1894 just two years before the Battle. It is also interesting to note that Borago who writes that “several kingdoms volunteered and mobilized from every region in Ethiopia to fight at the Battle of Adwa” claims Walaita ethnicity.  According to archival evidence collected by the historian Tsehai Berhane-Selassie, one of the aims of the expedition against Walaita was slave raiding. She noted that it was carried out in order to replenish depleted manpower because of the severe famine of 1889-92, to pay outstanding debts to arms dealers, and to finance the impending war against the Italians.[4] Describing the battle the French business agent Gaston Vanderheym who accompanied Menelik on his campaign against the Walaita, expressed the “crushing effects” of newly acquired guns on the southern conquests as “some kind of infernal hunting were human beings rather than animals served as game” and “where no distinction was made between fighters and civilians.”[5] Prouty notes that according Menelik’s own chronicler, 118,987 Walaita were killed and 18,000 were enslaved. The King of Walaita Tona was wounded and captured and his kingdom was destroyed.[6] Martial de Salviac wrote that the captives were made to march in a single line in front of Menelik who “chose the most robust and had a cross marked on their hands with a sharp object.”[7] In fact, Menelik not only enslaved thousands of Walaita, he also drove 36,000 head of looted cattle all the way to Shawa. Two years later, the captives were used to transport food, weapons, ammunition from Shawa to Adwa in 1896.

The united country called Ethiopia, which according to Larebo and Borago existed centuries before Adwa, is a myth. The fact is that when he turned north to meet the Italians at Adwa, Menelik was in the midst of the conquest of the south. The entire Macha region – the Gibe and Leeqa states – was annexed only in 1886. Arsi was conquered in 1886 and Hararge in 1887. As indicated above, Walaita was conquered in 1894. The sores inflicted by the atrocities committed against the Oromo at Anole and Calanqoo in 1886 and 1887 by the conquering Abyssinian forces were still bleeding. Even Wallo’s conquest in the north was completed in 1878 after years of fierce battles between Menelik (then King of Shawa) and Emperor Yohannes IV on one side and the Wallo Oromo on the other.  What is most remarkable is Larebo’s assertion that the Ethiopian people were united from corner to corner at the time of Adwa. In his interview on Radio Atronos, he posits that there was not a single village in Ethiopia which did not send fighters to Adwa. The absurdity of this proposition is that the Gujii and Borana Oromo and more than 80 percent of what is today the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SSNP), Gambella, Benishangul, Ogaden were outside the reach of Menelik’s empire. Needless to stress that Larebo’s assertions are not true because the country not only lacked unity, but, geographically, Ethiopia as we know it today did not exist at that point.

Indeed, the Ethiopian empire was defended by the blood and bones of Oromo fighters, but their blood was shed not for love of country as Larebo and others would have us believe. While the Abyssinians were defending their freedom, the Oromo had no freedom to defend against the Italians. They had lost it to the Abyssinians during the preceding decade.  Their land was an Abyssinian colony. The “contribution” they were forced to make to the war effort saved the Abyssinians from European colonialism, but it did not help them to regain their own independence. There is no indication that they were beneficiaries of the victory over the Italians. In fact, as I will explain later, their contribution to the victory had reinforced colonial Abyssinian rule which Menelik had imposed on them a decade or two prior to the Battle of Adwa.

Ironically, like the naftanya elite, Borago and Larebo have few sympathetic words for the Oromo and the other conquered peoples of Ethiopia. It seems that they saw nothing wrong or immoral in the atrocities committed against them when they lay claim on Oromo loyalty to Menelik. They want the Oromo to see Menelik as their hero and an icon of their resistance against racism and colonialism. The Oromo admit that their forefathers had fought and defeated the Italian army together with Abyssinians. However, the war was not a joint undertaking, but an Abyssinian war with Italy. The Oromo were used as means to defend Abyssinia’s independence.  Few believe Larebo’s repetitious story about Menelik being the defender of the black race against white colonizers. As the Oromo scholar Tsegaye Araarsa has expressed the matter, to call the empire built by Menelik the beacon of black freedom is a blatant “distortion of history intended to galvanize legitimacy for his rule.”[8] It is a deceitful attempt to cleanse the history of the atrocious conquest from the stains of blood with which it was smeared. Given the great harm his conquest had inflicted upon them, one must be contemptuous of the Oromo to expect them to honor Menelik as their hero.  I know that there are Oromos who take pride in the valor which their forefathers had shown at Adwa, but I have also seen their pride giving way to bitterness as soon as they discover the “rewards” they had received for their heroic contributions to that victory. Several years ago one of the Oromo admirers of Menelik II sent me a note and a picture of the Oromo cavalry who fought at Adwa.

Portrait of Oromo cavalry at Adwa


My friend who is an ardent “pan-Ethiopianist” was exhilarated when he read about the valor of Oromo fighters at the battle of Adwa in a book he came across. In the note he mentioned Fitawrari Gebeyehu as one of the heroes who made the victory at Adwa possible. Gebeyehu died in action leading the troops under his command in the forefront of the battle. However, he felt offended when he reflected on the fact that Gebeyehu’s name is rarely mentioned and his ethnic identity obscured by Ethiopian historiographers. He lamented, “The sad thing however is that Gebeyehu’s father’s name, Gurmu, is never mentioned in the history books. One day we will all be free from this and that type of racism little or big and the real patriots will be celebrated by all Ethiopians.” Gurmu is not a “genuine” Abyssinian name. However, Gebeyehu was not the only Oromo who was denied his social identity in Ethiopian history in that manner. Many Oromos who contributed to the defense of Abyssinia’s or Ethiopia’s independence were treated in that way. Even the ethnic origin of Haile Selassie’s grandfather was concealed. The reason was that the Abyssinian ruling elite were reluctant to recognize Oromos as partners in the making of Abyssinian-cum-Ethiopian history. As Hassen Hussein and Mohammed Ademo have expressed Gebeyehu’s “disappearance from Ethiopian history parallels the erasure of his people’s contributions from the country’s official historiography.” As the two authors have stated, “This is the root of Oromo ambivalence toward Ethiopia: the Oromo are good enough to fight and die for Ethiopia, but not live in it with their full dignity and identity.”[9] This also underpins the lukewarm Oromo attitude toward the history of Adwa.

That the role of Oromo fighters was crucial for Menelik’s victory at Adwa is undeniable, but the victory did not help them as a people in any manner. It is remarkable that Borago and Larebo who come from conquered and marginalized peoples in the south, the Walaita and Hadiya respectively, could miss the cause of the unenthusiastic Oromo feeling toward Ethiopia and “Ethiopiawinnet”. Presenting Oromo forefathers as significant players in defense of the Abyssinian Empire does not change that reality or disprove the fact that the empire was a colonial creation and the Oromo are its colonial subjects. The point is, the Oromo did not fight at Adwa as ethnic Abyssinians or citizens of Abyssinia as Borago and other commentators try to suggest. They fought for their colonizers. They were not the first people to fight a war for their enemies. Colonized peoples had done that throughout history. For example, over 1,355,300 Africans fought for the British in WWII.[10] They did not become Englishmen because of their contributions to British victory in that war.  They returned home and struggled for their independence. The Oromo have not been silent subjects because of the victory at the Battle of Adwa. Although their struggle has been sporadic, as reflected in the current uprising, the hope for independence is alive and strong.

Did the Abyssinians participate in the Scramble for Africa?

Teshome Borago is suggesting that a “united Ethiopia” was in place long before Adwa when he says “One has to wonder, how could [did] we win unless a multiethnic Ethiopian nation existed long before the so-called ‘Abyssinian colonization’? How can we defeat a European superpower without sharing a sense of common identity and destiny?” With these rhetorical questions he joins the numerous Habesha politicians and scholars who deny Abyssinia’s participation in the Scramble for Africa in the late nineteenth century. Concerning Abyssinia’s conquest and colonization of the Oromo and the other peoples in the south, the attitude of Habesha politicians’ and scholars’ is like that of climate change deniers. They ignore volumes of historical and scientific evidence that prove the reality of what they deny. However, to answer Borago’s questions, a multi-ethnic Abyssinian state and nation existed for sure long before the Scramble for Africa. Its main ethnic constituents were the Amhara and the Tigrayans with Agaw, Qimant, Falasha and Shinasha ethnicities. Its territorial base was, to a large extent, the current Amhara and Tigray Regional States and parts of highland Eritrea. One sees them as an Ethiopian nation since Abyssinia and Ethiopia often are interchangeably used.  In contrast, the Ethiopian nation Borago has in mind did not exist before Adwa and is not a reality even today. The reality Borago will not acknowledge is that in the Horn of Africa, there were nations like the Oromo, the Sidama, the Walaita, the Afar, Somali and the Kaficho that existed parallel to and independent from Abyssinia. The victory at Adwa not only saved Abyssinia from European colonization, it also encouraged Menelik to continue, with renewed vigour, the colonization of the rest of the Oromo territory and the greater part of what is now south and southwest Ethiopia. I will present, below, a summary of evidence gleaned from the works of scholars on Abyssinia’s colonial exploits during the Scramble for African. I will use “imperial ambitions”, “ideology” and “possession of firearms” as guiding themes to identify the parity of Abyssinia’s participation in the Scramble for Africa with that of the European imperialist powers of the day.

Imperial ambitions: The evidence for Abyssinian imperial ambitions is reflected in Menelik’s letter to European heads of state wherein he states “if Powers at a distance come forward to partition Africa between them … I do not intend to be an indifferent spectator.”[11] In the words of Gebru Tareke, impelled by “the appearance of European colonialist in the region”,[12] Menelik “embarked on a much larger scale of colonization in the 1880s” than what had been attempted previously. Bahiru Tafla wrote also that it was “European colonial acquisition in Africa [which] awakened imperialist interest in the minds of the Ethiopian rulers of the late nineteenth century.”[13] The influence of European imperialism on Menelik is articulated further by Elspeth Huxley who figuratively states that “the Abyssinians had caught a severe attack of the prevailing imperialist fever” and they “were the only Africans to join the scramble for Africa.”[14] In his Ethiopia: The Last Frontiers, John Markakis writes that Abyssinia “competed successfully in the imperialist partition of the region [Horn of Africa]. Not a victim but a participant in the ‘scramble’, Ethiopia doubled its territory and population in a burst of expansionist energy, and thereafter proudly styled itself the ‘Ethiopian Empire’. He notes that “the title [‘Empire’] is not a misnomer, since Ethiopia’s rulers governed their new possessions more or less the same way and for similar ends as other imperial powers were doing. The people who took the pride in calling themselves Ethiopians were known also as Abyssinians (Habesha).” He states that “Today’s ruling elite frown at the use of this name because it obstructs their effort to forge an inclusive Ethiopian national identity.”[15]Here, it is interesting to note that the Abyssinian use the term today, particularly in the diaspora, to differentiate themselves from other black peoples. When used as such, it has racial underpinnings as indicated by Hussein and Ademo in their article mentioned above.

Ideology: Asserting the colonial ideological factor in the creation of the Abyssinian empire, the conflict researcher Christian Scherrer notes that “European and Abyssinian colonialism occurred simultaneously, pursued similar interests, albeit from differing socio-economic bases, and this was reinforced by comparable colonial ideologies of the idea of empire and notion of ‘civilizing mission’ and the exploitation of the subjugated peoples.”[16] Writing on the ideological underpinnings of Menelik’s colonial conquests, Gebru Tareke, a historian from the north, has also stated that the Abyssinian ruling elite acted like the white colonial rulers in the rest of Africa. The language they used when describing their colonial subjects did not differ from the language the European colonialists were using. It was a language which was infused with stereotypes, prejudices and paternalism. He adds, “They [the Abyssinian elite] tried much like the European colonisers of their time, to justify the exploitability, and moral validity of occupation.” They “looked upon and treated the indigenous people as backward.”[17] One can add here that stereotypes and ethnic slurs about the Oromo, popular in Habesha discourse are the product of this colonial ideology.

Military technology: Obviously firearms were the other crucial elements in making the imperial colonial penetration of the African continent in the nineteenth century possible. Therefore, drawing parallels between the Abyssinian and European and Abyssinian colonial expansion during the Scramble, Margery Perham notes “The speed with which this great extension of the empire was made ….is explained by the …firearms which the emperor [Menelik] was obtaining from France and Italy. This same superiority was carrying the European powers at the same speed at the same time from the coast into the heart of Africa.”[18] The Swedish historian Norberg also says that “using the same military technology as the European powers”,[19] Menelik managed not only to conquer the neighbouring African territories, but was also able to garrison them with large forces called naftanya who controlled and lived on the conquered populations. As suggested by Richard Caulk, “the system of near serfdom imposed on wide areas of the south by the end of the nineteenth century could have not been maintained had the newcomers not been so differently armed.[20] The historian Darkwah notes that “Menelik succeeded in keeping the arms out of the reach of the [Oromo] enemy. He did this by imposing a strict control over the movement of firearms into his tributary territories and the lands beyond his frontiers.”[21]

Menelik was not a manufacturer of firearms, but was a keen importer of them. The bulk of firearms in his arsenal numbered around 25,000 in 1878.  According to Luckman and Bekele, he was able to import over one million rifles, a quantity of Hotchkiss guns and artillery pieces between 1880 and 1900.[22] For that purpose, he used more than a dozen French and Italian commercial agents and suppliers of firearms. In addition, European states were also supplying him with modern weapons in an attempt to use him as a proxy in their colonial scheme in northeast Africa.[23] As I will explain below, the support Menelik received from European powers in his Scramble for colonies was not limited to firearms; military training and diplomacy were also included.

Europeans in the making of the Ethiopian empire

The other dimension of the history of Abyssinia’s conquest of the south, which is bypassed silently by Ethiopian historiographers and is denied incessantly by Habesha politicians, is the involvement of European fortune seekers and mercenaries in the making of Menelik’s Empire. There is no research on how many Europeans were in his service but, whatever their number might have been, the role they played in his conquest of the south must have been significant.  Darkwah notes that “in 1877 a Frenchman named Pottier was employed in training a group of Shewan youths in European military techniques. Another Frenchman, Pino, was a regular officer in the army which was commanded by Ras Gobana. Swiss engineers, Alfred Ilg and Zemmerman were employed on, among other things, building bridges across the Awash and other rivers to facilitate movement.”[24]According to Chris Prouty, Colonel Artamonov together with other Europeans was attached to the forces commanded by Ras Tasamma Nadew in Ilu Abbabor. He adds that even Count Nicholas Leontiev, a colonel in the Russian army, was a commander of a force which was sent to conquer the southwest in the 1890s. Another Russian officer, Baron Chedeuvre was Leontiev’s second-in-command during the expedition. Several French and Russian medical officers were also attached to the Abyssinian forces, particularly those which were led by Menelik and European commanders. The Russian Cossack Captain Alexander Bulatovich wrote that with him, there were Lieutenants Davydov, Kokhovskiy and Arnoldi along with a command of Cossacks who had finished their term of service” and who were received in audience by Menelik and took leave from him and returned to Russia in June 1898.[25]

Several advisors helped Menelik in different fields to build his Empire. The Swiss engineer, Alfred Ilg had served him in a variety of capacities including diplomatic contacts for 27 years. The Italians made not only material but also diplomatic contributions that enabled Menelik to compete effectively in the scramble for colonies. The idea and the contents of the circular letter which Menelik sent to European heads of state in 1891 delineating his territorial claims came, for example, from the Italian Prime Minister Francesco Crispi himself. Menelik was advised to send the letter to European heads of state because the European powers were about to meet in Paris and establish the boundaries of their colonies in Africa. The territories which were defined in the letter the Italians drafted for Menelik to claim extended “as far as Khartoum and to Lake Nyanza beyond the land of the Galla [Oromo].” [26]The territories were those which the Italians were planning to claim for themselves through Menelik as their proxy. However, the European support in firearms and diplomacy given to Menelik was a double-edged sword. It helped him to conquer the Oromo and amass resources to defeat the Italians at Adwa. That said, the conclusion we can draw is that Abyssinia’s participation in the Scramble for Africa is crystal clear. As the historian Haggai Erlich succinctly stated, “While rebuffing imperialism successfully in the north, Ethiopia managed to practice it in the south.”[27] It was also based on what is outlined above that Bonnie Holcomb and Sisai Ibssa have eloquently described the Abyssinian conquest of the south as manifestation of “dependent colonialism” and its outcome the “invention of Ethiopia”.[28] By that they meant the direct and indirect meshing of Abyssinian and European interests in the making of the Abyssinian-cum-Ethiopian Empire. Thus, notwithstanding the inconclusive arguments being orchestrated by denialists, the historical facts lead to the unescapable conclusion that Abyssinia was an active participant in the Scramble for Africa.

Where colonialism did not have race or color

Based on what I have described above, it is logical to construe that colonialism had no specific color or nationality in the Horn of Africa – its color was white and black and its nationality English, French, Italian or Abyssinian. The difference is in the degree of brutality used against the colonized peoples and the severity of exploitation exercised in the colonies. The intensity of demonizing Oromo scholars, activists and politicians who write and speak about the colonization of Oromia and the cacophony of denials expressed in the flora of written and oral commentaries will not change this historical truth.

That a black African force had defeated a white European army at Adwa in 1896 is beyond doubt. But, the representation of Adwa as an anti-colonial war and an African victory over colonialism is an atrocious lie. Indeed, Adwa was a turning point in the Scramble for colonies in the Horn of Africa; Menelik relinquished the role he was playing as an Italian proxy at the battle of Adwa, retained for himself the territories he had hitherto conquered using the firearms he had acquired partly from the Italians, with the understanding that they would be partners in the ownership of the territories he was conquering. He became a member of the colonialist club in his own right. In short, as colonialism lost its color at Adwa, military might became the decisive factor in the share of the African cake. The European mass media of the time reported that fact. The Spectator of 27 February 1897, for example, reflected the British view of the matter stating that, although Menelik, his queen, and his generals care little for human life, “this native dynasty of dark men,” nominally Christian is “orderly enough to be received into intercourse with Europe.” The European colonial powers recognized ‘the dynasty of dark men’, as their junior partner in the scramble for colonies. Soon after Adwa, both Britain and France negotiated and signed agreements that delineated the colonial borders with Abyssinia.

The whole story about the battle of Adwa is not written yet. Its bright side has been illuminated time and again. But its ugly sides are deliberately concealed from proper scrutiny or distorted by self-appointed “gurus” of Ethiopian history with Professor Haile Larebo as their outstanding representative. In the following paragraphs, I will describe briefly some of the non-glamorous sides of the victory at Adwa, namely, the ‘recruitment’ of colonial subjects for the war efforts, their treatment in the aftermath of Adwa, and the atrocious treatment of black (Eritrean) prisoners of war.

The circumstances, under which the peoples of the south, such as the Oromo, who were conquered in the 1880s, and the Walaita, who were conquered by Menelik two years before the battle of Adwa, were made to march north and participate in the battle, remains uninvestigated. Did they march north to fight against Italian colonialism voluntarily? What had happened to them after the war? These questions are never raised or answered in the story. Were they rewarded for their contributions in the victory over the Italians? I will not delve into details, but the answer is a definitive ‘No’! They were, as indicated in the case of the Walaita, captives who were forced to march north and became cannon-fodder. The reward for those who had survived the war and returned home must have varied depending on their status. The probability for those who were slaves to remain as such was almost hundred percent. The probability that some were sold by their masters to cover expenses on their southward journey after the war or afterwards was significant. Thus, the Oromo, the Sidama and Walaita, who participated in the battle of Adwa, did not win any victory over colonialism for themselves. They helped a black colonialist to defeat a white colonialist in a war over colonies. They did not defend themselves or their peoples against the colonialists. They fought for their enemy and strengthened the grip of black imperialism on themselves by defeating its white Italian antagonist. It was after Adwa that Menelik imposed the notorious gabbar system on the conquered south. Slavery and the slave trade became even more rampant thereafter with the conquest of the rest of the south and southwest which became hunting grounds for captives and ivory.[29] Ironically, it was the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1936 which brought the outrageous institution and evil trade in human beings to an end. To suggest that it was a “united Ethiopia” that fought the Battle of Adwa or Ethiopia was united because of the victory achieved at Adwa is a charade.

In the interview he gave on March 22, 2017 to Radio Atronos, Larebo calls Menelik the most democratic emperor in world history and that Ethiopia was blessed to have had him as their ruler. However, this “most democratic” emperor had no mercy for black prisoners of war. In his book From Menelik to Haile Selassie II, (was used a history text book in grades four through seven in the 1960s in Ethiopia) the historian Tekle Tsadiq Mekuriya notes that “Menelik released the Italian and Arab [presumably Libyan] prisoners of war and gave them food and drinks, but he ordered with the approval of the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Abuna Matewos, the mutilation of Eritreans caught fighting on the Italian side.”[30]According to another source, “The Italians taken prisoner were treated well but Ethiopian [Eritrean] troops (around 800) who had fought for the Italians were mutilated with their right hands and left feet being cut off.”[31] Where is the saint-like character Professor Larebo ascribes to Menelik? The cruelty with which the Eritreans were treated was similar to the crime committed against thousands of Oromo men and women whose arms and breasts were hacked off by the order of Menelik’s paternal uncle Ras Darge ten years earlier at Anole, in Arsi. The difference was that the Eritreans were Italian colonial soldiers while the Oromo were unarmed men and women who were invited to a meeting, which appeared to be for peacemaking, by Ras Darge many months after the Battle of Azule in September 1886. In that battle with the invading Abyssinian forces the Arsi Oromo lost some 12,000 warriors and were defeated.

(To continue)

[1]James, W. “Preface” in Donham, D. & James, W. (eds.), The Southern Marches of Imperial Ethiopia: Essays in History and Social Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986, p. xiv.

[2] Marcus, H. The Life and Times of Menelik II: Ethiopia 1844-1913. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1975: 140, 73

[3] Pankhurs, R.  Economic History of Ethiopia, 1800-1935. Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University press, 1968: 102.

[4] Berhane-Selassie, T. “Menelik II: Conquest and Consolidation of Southern Provinces”, B.A. Thesis, History Department, Addis Ababa University, 1969.

[5] Cited in  Prouty, C. Empress Taytu and Menelik II: Ethiopia 1883-1910, Trenton, NJ: The Red Sea Press, 1996

[6] Prouty, C. ibid. p. 115

[7] De Salviac, M. An Ancient People in the State of Menelik: the Oromo, Great African Nation. Translated into English by Ayalew Kanno. 1901/2006: 354-355

[8] Araarsa, Tsegaye, Facebook post on March 1, 2016

[9] Hussein, H. & Mohammed Ademo, M. “Ethiopia’s Original Sin”, World Policy Journal, Vol. XXXIII, No. 3, World Policy Institute, Fall 2016

[10] Plaut, M. “The Africans who fought in WWII, BBC November 9, 2009.

[11] Marcus, H. ibid.

[12] Tareke, Gebru. Ethiopia: Power and Protest. Lawrenceville, N.J: The Red Sea Press, 1996:40

[13] Bairu Tafla, in Asmé, 1905 [1987: 405, fn. 584]

[14] Huxley,  E. White Man’s Country: Lord Delamere and the Making of Kenya, 1967: 38-9

[15]Markakis, M. Ethiopia: The Last Frontiers, James Currey, New York, 2011, pp. 3-4.

[16] Scherrer, C.  “Analysis and Background to the refugee Crisis: The Unsolved Oromo Question”, in Scherrer, C. & Bulcha, M. War Against the Oromo and Mass Exodus From Ethiopia: Voices of Oromo Refugees in Kenya and the Sudan, 2002, p. 27

[17]Tareke, Gebru, ibid. p. 71

[18] Perham, M. (1969). The Government of Ethiopia, London: Faber and Faber, 1969: 294

[19] Norberg, V. H. “Swedes as a Pawn in Haile Selassie’s Foreign Policy: 1924-1952”, in Modern Ethiopia, Tubiana, J. (ed.), Rotterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1980:328

[20] Caulk. R. “Firearms and Princely Power in Ethiopia in the Nineteenth Century”, Journal of African History, XIII (4)

[21] Darkwah, R.H.K. Shewa, Menelik and the Ethiopian Empire, 1813-1889, London: Heinemann.  1975: 207.

[22] Luckman, R. & Bekele, D. “Foreign Powers and Militarism in the Horn of Africa”, Review of African Economy”, No. 30, 1984.

[23] Pankhurst, R.  Economic History of Ethiopia, 1800-1935. Addis Ababa, 1968: 21.

[24] Darkwah, R.H.K. ibid. pp. 58-9.

[25] Bulatovich A. Ethiopia Through Russian Eyes: A Country in Transition, 1896-1898, translated and edited by Richard Seltzer, Lawrenceville, N.J: The Red Sea Press. Two volumes combined in the English translation, 1900/2000: 162

[26] Marcus, H. ibid. p.124

[27] Cited in Markakis, J. ibid. p. 3.

[28] Holcomb, B. & Ibssa, S. (1990). The Invention of Ethiopia: The Making of a Dependent Colonial State in Northeast Africa, Trenton, N.J.: The Red Sea Press.

[29] See Darley, H. 1926. Slaves and Ivory: A Record of Adventure and Exploration in the Unknown Sudan, and Among the Abyssinian Slave-Raiders, for a vivid description of slave raiding by the conquerors in these areas in the 1920s.

[30] Tekle-Tsadik Mekuriya, The History of Ethiopia: From Emperor Tewodros to Emperor Haile Selassie. In Amharic. Addis Ababa: Berhan ena Selam, Printing Press. 7th Edition, 1961 Eth. C (1968). p. 98.

[31] See Dugdale-Pointon, T. Battle of Adwa, 1-2 March 1896, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_adwa.html, 19 February 2009. Accessed on 12 March 2017

Oromia: OMN: Qophii Jiruuf jireenyaa Artist Dirribee Gadaa Bit 28, 2017. OMN: Interview with one of the most creative minds in Oromo music and art, artist singer Dirribee Gadaa March 29, 2017

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JIRUU FI JIREENYAA

OMN: Artisti Dirribee Gadaa (Bit 28, 2017)

 

 

 

 

AI: ETHIOPIA TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT: License to torture March 29, 2017

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A license to torture

Seyoum Teshome is a professor at a university in Ethiopia and writes to fight the spread of fear that has engulfed his country as a result of an increasingly repressive administration. In September 2016, Seyoum was arrested and charged with incitement to violence against the state. In this blog, he describes the treatment of prisoners in one of Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centres, where he was detained further to his arrest. Thousands of Ethiopians like Seyoum have been arrested and tortured in rehabilitation centres since the state of emergency was imposed in October 2016.

It was around 6:30 am on 30 September 2016 when I was rudely awakened by loud knocks on my door and someone shouting out my name. Peeping through the keyhole, I saw around 10 local police officers. Some of them were staring at the door while others were guarding the corridor.

I said to myself, “Yap! At last…here you go, they have come for you!”

One of them asked if I was Mr Seyoum Teshome to which I replied in the affirmative. They said they wanted to talk to me for a moment, so I opened the door. They showed me a court warrant which gave them permission to search my house. The warrant indicated that I had illegal weapons and pamphlets to incite violence against the government.

Accused without evidence

After searching my entire house and despite finding no signs of the said items, they arrested and took me to a local police station. They also carried off my laptop, smartphone, notebooks and some papers. Confident that they hadn’t found the items mentioned in the court warrant, I was certain of my release. However, three hours later, I found myself being interrogated by a local public prosecutor and two police investigators. The interrogation eventually led to the commencement of a legal charge.

I was scheduled to sit a PhD entry exam on 2 October 2017 at Addis Ababa University, something I had been working towards for a very long time. Throughout the interrogation, my pleas for the case to be hastened so that I wouldn’t miss the rare opportunity to pursue a PhD course fell on deaf ears. My colleagues had provided a car and allowance fee for a police officer to go with me to the university so that I could sit the exam. This is a standard procedure. Yet on that day, they were not willing to lend me a hand. I was stuck in pre-trial detention due to Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and missed my chance.

Little did I know that, in just 12 hours, I would be the state’s guest for merely expressing my opinion.
Seyoum Teshome

The day before my arrest, I had given an interview to Deutche Welle-Amharic radio station about the nation-wide teachers meeting where I commented that, in Ethiopia, expressing one’s own opinion could lead to arrest, exile or possibly death. Little did I know that, in just 12 hours, I would be the state’s guest for merely expressing my opinion.

On 3 October 2016, I was presented in court. I was accused of writing articles and posts on social media sites aiming to incite violence against the government. In addition to the two notebooks and papers they had taken from my house, the investigator had also printed 61 pages of the 58 articles I posted on the Horn Affairs website that year. In total, they brought more than 200 pages of written and printed writings as evidence to support their allegations. I denied all the charges.

Another court session was scheduled in 10 days to allow the police to conclude their investigations. The 10 days lapsed and the police requested an additional seven days to complete their investigations on me while denying me bail.

On 20 October 2016, a jury found there was no evidence to support the police department’s claims. I thought the matter was over but I was immediately accused of contravening the State of Emergency that had been declared on 9 October 2017. A piece of paper with some writing on it was presented as evidence to support the charge.

Barely survived

The Police initially took me to Tolay Military Camp and later transferred me, together with others arrested, to Woliso Woreda Police Station in central Ethiopia, outside Addis Ababa.  We were shoved into a 3×5 metres squared detention room where we joined more than 45 other people already there. It was very hard to find a place to sit. I survived suffocation by breathing through a hole beneath the door. After that terrible night, I was taken back to Tolay where I stayed until 21 December, 2016 – 56 days after my arrest.

Access to food in the first 20 days was limited. We were made to walk while crouching with our hands behind our heads. We also walked barefoot to and from the toilet and dining areas. Due to this treatment, three of my fellow detainees suffered cardiac arrest. I don’t know whether or not they survived. I also heard that a woman’s pregnancy was terminated.

Every day, a police officer came to our room and called out the names of detainees to be taken for the so-called “investigation.”  When they returned, the detainees had downtrodden faces and horrible wounds on their backs and legs.  Waiting for one’s name to be called was agony.

The healing wound on the back of Seyoum’s leg after being beaten with wood and plastic sticks while in detention.

It took eight days before my name was finally called. I sat in front of five investigators flanked on either side by two others. While I was being interrogated, detainees in another room were being beaten. I could hear them crying and begging their torturers to stop.

Moved by what I had witnessed, I decided to secretly gather the detainees’ information. It didn’t take long before I was discovered by the authorities. On a hot afternoon, they came to my room and called my name. A group of investigators ruthlessly began beating me, to the point where I fainted three times. The beatings were unbearable so I finally confessed to collecting information in the camp. The chief investigator was then called in so that I could also confess to him.

Undeterred

By then, I had gained enough strength to renounce my earlier confessions which angered   the Chief Investigator very much. He drew a pistol and threatened to kill me for making a fool out of them. I stretched turned around and spread my arms wide.  Then, I said, “Fear of death doesn’t make me confess against myself! Go ahead, shoot!”

Amazingly, the commander ordered me to go to my room and take a shower. I didn’t believe it. I still don’t. I quickly ran off. I was released a little over two weeks later.

Though I finally left Tolay, those memories and emotions are still with me. Though I am still afraid of another arbitrary arrest and being sent back to prison, what I fear more is the totalitarian state that complete denies freedom. . While there, I told myself that, if I made it out, I would raise international awareness on the government’s outrageous treatment of prisoners.

I will continue to do so as long as Tolay exists.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: TOURISM IN PROTEST-RIDDEN ETHIOPIA IS HURTING; REVIVING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN UNVEILING A LOGO March 28, 2017

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NEWS ANALYSIS: TOURISM IN PROTEST-RIDDEN ETHIOPIA IS HURTING; REVIVING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN UNVEILING A LOGO

Fitsum Abera, Addis Standard, 27 March 2017


Last week on March 22, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who also chairs the Ethiopian Tourism Transformation Council, officially introduced the Amharic version of Ethiopia’s new tourism logo ‘Ethiopia, Land of Origins’. It is now called Midre Kedemt in Amharic.

The Prime Minister unveiled the Amharic version of the new logo while attending the fourth regular meeting of the Council, which was established three years ago in March 2014 along with the Ethiopian Tourism Organization. Reason? To transform the country’s ailing tourism industry.

A sign of urgency to reboot the country’s tourism industry plagued by, among others, poor tourism infrastructure and absence of meaningful coordination, both the Council and the Organization were established following a regulation issued by the Council of Ministers (CoM) in August 2013.

The ups and downs

Tourism in Ethiopia has been witnessing an increasing- if modest- growth since the country officially opened its doors to foreign tourists in 1963.  According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MOCT), the most significant dip in the number of foreigners visiting Ethiopia happened during the 17 years in power of the military Derg regime from 1974 to 1991.  Since then, following the coming into power of the incumbent in 1991, the numbers have shown a steady growth from 64,000 to 750,000 during the 2014/15 fiscal year.

That was until November 2015, when anti-government protests that would grip the country throughout 2016 first started, an unexpected turn of an event both the Council and the Organization seemed not prepared to handle.

“That [the time the protests began] was when we started to notice the difference,” says a tour operator who requested anonymity.  “More and more clients began asking questions about security as the [protests] got international press coverage. Pretty soon the low season was upon us and the number of tourists plummeted as we [feared]. But we didn’t expect that more than 95% of our bookings for the high season would end up being canceled.”

The high season in Ethiopia typically starts in September, when the main rainy season is over; and it ends around February when it becomes too hot to take tourists to famous destinations such as the Danakil depression.

Encouraged by the steady inflow of tourists before the start of the protests, our source invested in two 4WD cars. “We bought two cars towards the end of the last fiscal year,” he explained. “We borrowed money from a bank and invested some from our own accounts. But there are no tourists now and we can’t even rent the cars to business tourists coming to Addis Abeba. We don’t know what to do. We are just paying rent, maintaining a small staff and hoping for the best at the moment.”

Although order seemed to have returned following the declaration of the current state of emergency in October last year, and “we are getting more requests now than before, it is not enough to maintain our business,” our source worries. “If things continue at this rate, we will be forced to close down. We picked a bad time to expand our business.” He also said most of their clients come from abroad after communicating with them via the internet, which suffered its own share misfortune as the country shut down internet following protests. Walk in and domestic clients account only for less than 2% of their total bookings, he said.

His frustrations are shared by many tour and travel companies that joined the market recently. Not only tour operators but those working in the transport sector were affected as well, according to Getnet Asefa, a freelance driver/guide. Getnet, who used to make an average 500birr (around $21) per day as a freelance guide, says he is now considering a change in career. “Last year at this time, I worked at least 4 days a week,” he says, “Now getting tourism work has become very difficult. Some of my friends have started working as taxi drivers. At this point, we don’t know what is going to happen next and that is scary.”

Embassy travel warnings aren’t helping the matter, either. The United States traveling warning, issued in Dec. 2016, and the United Kingdom foreign travel advice, updated most recently in Jan. 2017, are still in effect. In fact, the only country that has lifted its travel ban is Germany. But even that excludes traveling to North Gondar, an area located in a region where most tourist detestations are found.

The effect is also felt among tour and travel agencies that on the surface seemed to be doing well. “We are concerned that the company won’t survive this year,” says Yenealem Getachew, managing director of Horizon Ethiopia Tour and Travel plc. “We don’t expect to be reimbursed for our losses. But we do have many commitments. For example, we have to pay profit tax at the end of the year. Some of us have bank loans. When you have a debt to service, that is the first thing you want to take care of. If you can’t do that, you start to lay off employees.”

Yenealem said his company has asked the government for help but they “still haven’t got a response. I think they are more concerned about companies with physical damage. They don’t seem to grasp that without clients we tour operators get nothing.”

In late Oct. 2016, Ethiopia Ministry of Culture and Tourism, MOCT, has established a command post to assess the damage the industry sustained as well as to ensure the “safety of tourists”. “We went to see the damage caused by the protesters,” Tewedros Derbew, Tourist Services Competence and grading directorate director at the ministry and head of the committee, told Addis Standard. “We called the owners for a meeting to discuss how to help them as well as to offer moral support. We have now sent a report to the investment commission detailing their losses. We have also distributed questionnaires to tour operators but we haven’t received their responses yet.”

Tewedros admits “the industry has been severely affected. There is no question about that.” But contrary to the actors in the industry say, he insists “no tour and travel company was forced or threatened to close down or let go of its employees because of it.”

The opposite of…

In late 2015, around the same time the protests began, MOCT announced that it wanted to “triple the number of foreign visitors, to more than 2.5 million, by 2020”, and make Ethiopia become one of Africa’s top five tourist destinations.

In a stark difference to what the actors in the industry and several reports say in post-protest Ethiopia, in a January 2017 report to the house of people’s representatives, Hirut Woldemariam, the new minister at the ministry of culture and tourism, reported that despite the current state of emergency 300,000 tourists have visited the country during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, generating $872 revenue to the country.

But as in every sector, data for this sector is prepared by the government itself. If one goes by Hirut’s numbers above for example, more tourists have visited Ethiopia during its turbulent year than in its years of peace. In Oct. 2015, one month before the start of the protests, the same ministry said that during the 2014/15 fiscal year, 750,000 tourists have visited Ethiopia, fetching in $2.9 billion income to the county. That figure is close to the $3b the government expected to earn from the industry by the end of its first Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) in 2015.

Other hurdles

In Oct. 2016, Lonely Planet has rated Ethiopia 10th out of the “Top Ten Countries to visit in 2017.” But, that announcement seemed to contribute little when it comes to shaking off Ethiopia’s image in the aftermath of the widely reported yearlong protests.

“Image is everything for a country’s tourism sector,” one expert says. “We had just managed to overcome decades of bad publicity caused by famines and violent regime changes. [As of late] Ethiopia had been named one of the emerging tourist destinations. The country’s overall infrastructure was getting better. Then this [the protest] happens. It will take a long time to recover from the effects of the unrest. It is difficult to predict just how long.”

Other issues many tour operators cite in relation to the decline in tourism are the substandard services and accommodations, inadequate maintenance given to tourism infrastructure and destinations, and the lack of communication between tour operators and government agencies.

“Take Lalibela for example. It looks exactly the way it did 10 years ago but the entrance fee has increased,” says Yenealem. “Our hotel bookings are dropped with little to no notice when there are big events like Epiphany in Gondar. The local guides monopolize any work to be done on the sites [including] increasing entrance and guide fees at will and they chase away anyone who refuses to have a guide.”

Lots of plans

In addition to the five-year plan by the MOCT, in September 2016, The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has handed over Ethiopia’s Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (STMP) 2015-2025 to the then minister of tourism and culture, Ayisha Mohammed Mussa. It targets to lift the number of international visitors to five million in the year 2025. The projected income from the industry to increase from ETB14.197 billion in 2012 to ETB180 billion in 2015. The corresponding number of jobs in the tourism sector will increase from 985, 500 to 4.8 million, according to the document.

As part of its several initiatives to revive the industry, as of last week, the Ethiopian Tourism Organization is organizing a series of workshops in several cities in North America including New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

ETO has also recently signed, for an undisclosed amount of money, an agreement with New York-based CornerSun, a tourism marketing and public relations firm to “represent and promote Ethiopia” to travel trade and media throughout the United States and Canada. Since it was formed in 2014, the organization, led by an industry veteran Solomon Tadesse, has spent more time and resource to promote Ethiopia by participating in various fairs and exhibitions outside the country.

With all that said and all the inconsistencies considered, however, tour operators worry that the number of tourists visiting Ethiopia will continue falling short than both the five year plan by the ministry and ECA’s STMP have anticipated.

Last week and this week, while Solomon Tadesse, along with a group of hotels as well as tour and travel company owners, is doing a three-city roadshow in the Americas, some tourists who want to take chances to visit Ethiopia signed onto Lonely Planet’s online forums to complain about complicated visa requirements at Ethiopian embassies abroad and a steep rise in domestic flight fare by the state monopoly, Ethiopian Airlines, an indication that beyond the protest-tainted image the industry is facing as of late tourists are also dealing with other problems that are equally urgent; but problems that are less the focus of the endless plans to revive the sector, including a new logo. AS 

Nineteen African countries are facing acute levels of food insecurity. Ten of those countries are experiencing internal conflict. March 28, 2017

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Acute Food Insecurity and Conflict in Africa

By the Africa Center for Strategic Studies

February 17, 2017

Acute food insecurity and conflict in Africa by Africa Center for Strategic Studies


Nineteen African countries are facing acute levels of food insecurity. Ten of those countries are experiencing internal conflict.
Nineteen African countries are facing acute levels of food insecurity. Ten of those countries are experiencing internal conflict.
Click on image to download as PDF.


Historic droughts in East and Southern Africa have caused food prices to skyrocket to record levels, doubling the price of staple cereals in some areas. The areas of greatest food insecurity, however, are those affected by conflict. An arc of conflict-affected countries, largely overlapping regions of greatest food insecurity, spans the center of the continent from Somalia to Mali. In addition to disrupting production, conflict undercuts markets that would normally bring food to areas of greatest shortage. In some places, conflict prevents even conducting a full assessment of the level of food insecurity. And because countries in conflict lack the resilience or coping mechanisms of more stable areas, their food crises tend to last longer and have more lasting impact. In short:
Nineteen African countries are facing crisis, emergency, or catastrophic levels of food insecurity
Ten of those countries are experiencing civil conflict
Eight of those ten countries are autocracies
Those eight are also the source of 82 percent of the 18.5 million Africans that are internally displaced or refugees


 

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Africans are rising – we can hold our leaders to account and build a better kind of future March 28, 2017

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Africans are rising – we can hold our leaders to account and build a better kind of future


Africans rising
Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity is officially launching on 25 May. Illustration: Sarah Walsh

The expression “Africa rising” was popularised by the Economist and focuses on GDP growth. The growing middle class and major increases in foreign direct investment all pointed to Africa being a prime investment destination and the promised return-on-investment levels that City bankers could only dream of since the collapse of the Asian tigers.

But while GDP has been rising across Africa, Africans themselves have been sinking – into deepening inequality, increasing corruption, shrinking civic space and in low lying areas, literally due to climate change.

This is why 272 people from 44 African countries (and the diaspora) founded Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity, in August last year, out of a deep desire to rewrite the rising narrative. The vision is a decentralised, citizen-owned future. Social inclusion, peace and shared prosperity are the key touch points of this new pan-African movement.

Africa is a rich continent. It has been impoverished by colonialism, slavery and now by new forms of economic injustice. We can’t undo history and the mess that we find ourselves in but we refuse to allow our political and business leaders to blame everything on colonialism.

History is not to blame for the human rights violations happening right now, for the gender inequality, for using fossil fuels when we have some of the best conditions for renewable energy. These wrongs are current and Africans Rising is about calling out our leaders on these failures and building a better, more just, more peaceful and sustainable Africa.

On 25 May – commonly know as Africa Day and officially as African Liberation Day – there will be a series of actions and events across the continent to mark the launch of the movement. We chose that day so that we can remind ourselves, our leaders and the world that we are tired of waiting for that liberation to be delivered. And to show them that we are prepared to take action and hold political and business leaders accountable and reinvigorate the journey to that better life for all.

Red is the colour of the launch, primarily to commemorate the blood that was spilt for the freedom of the peoples of Africa (and reminding our leaders that what is asked of them today is much less than what was asked from leaders in our anti-colonial struggles). Secondly, red signifies that Africa is bleeding its wealth on a daily basis through illicit financial outflows. Thirdly, we want to remind all Africans that whatever our beliefs and origins, we all have the same blood and, we have to work together for peace and justice.

Africans Rising is a catalysing movement and the launch will amplify existing struggles. If you are addressing violence against women for instance, you can use #25May2017 to advance your demands or other struggles at local or national level.

On the evening of 25 May, we’re calling on people to switch off their lights between 7pm and 8pm and to light a candle. This is for two reasons. One is to recognise there are still millions of Africans living in absolute energy poverty, which has consequences for education, health and economic activity. Even though Africa is blessed with some of the best renewable energy resources, we have hardly begun to harness these to lift our people out of energy poverty and create decent jobs. Secondly, the candles are a signal to our leaders, who do not have the political courage to lead in the way that we need them to, that we will not allow them to destroy the futures of current and forthcoming generations.

At the launch events all over the continent on 25 May, people will read out the Kilimanjaro declaration and pledge that: “We are Africans and we are rising for justice, peace and dignity”.

Young people are at the centre of Africans Rising, and were the majority at the conference in Arusha, Tanzania that gave birth to the movement. We are one of the youngest continents in terms of our demographic profile but we have some of the oldest leaders. If political leaders were honest with themselves many would acknowledge that they’ve been in power for far too long. They’ve run out of fresh ideas. We need to make way for younger people who have new perspectives on the problems facing the world.

We are building pan-African solidarity. When there is a crisis of humanity in Africa, either through manmade or natural disasters, the first people to step forward and offer solidarity often are people from outside the continent. Valued though those expressions of solidarity are by the victims of injustice, this allows our governments to cry imperialism and foreign interference.

There are devastating human rights violations happening in many countries including Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon and in my own country, South Africa. While we have a wonderful constitution for which so many people gave their lives, we still see protesting workers killed.

Supporters of president-elect Adama Barrow celebrate his inauguration at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal after President Yahya Jammeh, who has led the government for 23 years, refused to stand down.
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Supporters celebrate his inauguration of president-elect Adama Barrow at Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal after President Yahya Jammeh, who has led the government for 23 years, refused to stand down. Photograph: Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

Africans Rising is about deepening solidarity across the continent. We must step up and be the first to speak out against human rights violations.

Even though we have not yet formally launched, Africans Rising has already responded to crises with a solidarity mission to the Gambia, after the long-serving president refused to accept electoral defeat and a fact-finding mission to Cameroon to investigate a brutal state crackdown on protests by minority Anglophone communities.

We are committed ethically as well as tactically to peace. The Kilimanjaro declaration explicitly commits us to non-violent means of resisting injustices. But we believe peaceful civil disobedience is the right of citizens when governments refuse to listen or to act in the interests of the people.

That doesn’t mean we won’t engage in conventional dialogue with governments. We will, but we won’t do so believing that merely meeting with government is going to deliver the changes we need, quickly enough to improve the lot of our people.

We are building a movement that aims to finish the journey of true African liberation, for which so many people laid down their lives in the struggle against colonialism and since. We refuse to accept that all that blood was spilt for the difficult lives people live every day on the continent. The struggle continues!

DW: Africa’s new sovereign debt crisis March 25, 2017

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Africa’s new sovereign debt crisis


Mail & Guardian Africa, 21 March 2017


Mozambique is the first major African nation in recent times to become unable to meet obligations to international creditors

A decade after the last major debt write-down, African states are again in difficulties. (DW/M. Sampaio)
A decade after the last major debt write-down, African states are again in difficulties. (DW/M. Sampaio)

Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 group of the world’s most influential industrialised and emerging economies met in Baden Baden, Germany on the 17/18 March. The German NGO Erlassjahr.de (Jubilee Germany), which campaigns for debt relief, saw this as an opportunity to draw attention to the growing debt problems of many developing countries. The NGO has identified as many as 40 African countries which are showing signs of heavy indebtedness.

“This is not surprising because today’s economic indicators are telling a story very similar to the situation in the late 1970s and early 1980s which led to the Third World debt crisis,” said Jürgen Kaiser, political coordinator at Jubilee Germany. In the wealthy industrialised countries, interest rates are very low, but in Africa investors can fetch returns of between seven and 15 percent.  This leads to large capital flows from the North to the South.

The debt trap: declining commodity prices
“The low interest rates encourage countries to take out big loans which they then have difficulty paying back,” Kaiser said. The situation becomes particularly precarious when commodity prices fall. This leads to a subsequent decline in tax revenue in economies that are dependent on oil, natural gas, coal or other raw materials.

This latest debt crisis may come as a surprise to some people because numerous developing countries had a large share of their debts written down under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.  However, commentators who were convinced at the time that that this initiative launched by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the G-8 group of leading industrialised nations, including Germany, would solve the developing nations’ debts problems turned out to be wrong.

Mozambique insolvent again despite debt relief
Figures released by Jubilee Germany show how unsustainable the HIPC initiative was. Among the 40 African states where the indebtedness indicators were flashing red, 26 went through the HIPC program. One of those countries was Mozambique. In January 2017, the country ceased paying back its debts on time. In 2012, Mozambique’s obligations to its creditors amounted to 40 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), they now total 130 percent. Banks and investment funds were keen to lend Mozambique money believing it would be safe because the country possesses huge reserves of coal and natural gas. Those investors have been left empty-handed.

Debt explosion in Angola, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa
“Mozambique is a very dramatic case. It is the first country to cease repayments in such an abrupt significant manner since HIPC debt relief,” said Jürgen Kaiser. “But countries such as Gambia or Ghana, which also have an abundance of natural resources, are in a very critical situation as well. Senegal, which does not have much in the way of natural resources, is also in difficulties once again,” he added.

On analysing World Bank data of African nations’ indebtedness with foreign countries, it quickly becomes apparent that a large number of African economies have recently acquired dramatic levels of new debt. Between 2005 and 2015 – the most recent year for which figure are available – Angola, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa have witnessed a threefold increase in their debt levels. Smaller countries such as Cape Verde also borrowed fresh capital during this time frame.

The solution: international insolvency proceedings?
Currently there is no internationally recognised set of proceedings to settle the affairs of a country which has become insolvent. Many countries have such mechanisms for individuals and companies, but all attempts to create insolvency proceedings for sovereign states have been blocked by a lobby consisting of banks and nation states.

IMF Managing Director Anne Kruger proposed the creation of a Sovereign Debt Restructuring Mechanism in 2001. It would have been administered by the IMF, but the proposal was blocked by the United States. It wasn’t the only proposal. In 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution “towards the establishment of a multilateral legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring processes.” There were 124 votes in favor, 41 abstentions and 11 votes against. This resolution was non-binding and the chances of it being implemented are slim. One of the 11 states that voted against it was Germany.

“That could have been a mechanism that could have helped us move forward right now,” said Jürgen Kaiser referring to Africa’s present debt crisis. “Insolvency proceedings would mean that it wouldn’t be just the creditors who would decide when debts should written down on or not. In the past that practice has led to debt relief being dispensed too late, on too small a scale, or not at all.

Sovereign debt restructuring was not on the agenda of the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers at the weekend, but if more developing countries follow Mozambique’s example and default on loan repayments, then it could be that G-20 will be forced to tackle the issue of debts levels.

The Guardian: Ethiopia’s deadly rubbish dump landslide was down to politics, not providence March 25, 2017

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Fadila Bargicho believes divine intervention saved the life of one of her two sons when a landfill site collapsed near Addis Ababa. The reality is more prosaic

A rescue worker holds a photo of missing children following the fatal landslide at the Reppi rubbish dump on the outskirts of Addis Ababa
A rescue worker holds a photo of missing children following the fatal landslide at the Reppi rubbish dump on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

It was only a misplaced shoe that prevented Fadila Bargicho from losing a second child when an avalanche of rubbish crushed makeshift houses, killing at least 113 people in Addis Ababa earlier this month.

An impatient Ayider Habesha, nine, had left his older brother searching for his footwear. He headed to religious lessons in a hut next to the towering dump. Ayider was buried alive with his six classmates and teacher when a chunk of the open landfill gave way on the evening of 11 March. His body was recovered two days later.

While Bargicho sees divine intervention at play in the incident, the collapse at Reppi landfill was an avoidable, manmade disaster.

In 2011, the French development agency (AFD) gave Addis Ababa’s government 34.6m euros (£17.3m) to close and rehabilitate Reppi and build a new landfill site at Sendafa, about 25 miles outside the capital in Oromia state.

Oromia has been engulfed by violence since November 2015. The unrest has been fuelled by concerns over a masterplan to integrate the development of Addis Ababa – a metropolis of about 5 million people – with surrounding Oromo areas. While federal officials insist the blueprint would mean harmonious progress, activists cast it as another land grab that would mean the eviction of thousands more Oromo farmers as the capital expands.

The AFD funding also covers retraining for the hundreds of people who picked through the waste at Reppi for valuable items, some of whom died in the landslide.

Police and rescue workers watch as excavators dig in search of missing people at the Reppi rubbish dump in Addis Ababa
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Police and rescue workers watch as excavators dig in search of missing people at the Reppi rubbish dump in Addis Ababa. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

When Reppi was established in the 1960s, it was in the countryside. Now it is surrounded by shops and houses, which have encroached on an expanding rubbish mountain.

Rubbish started being sent to Sendafa, rather than Reppi, in January last year. But operations were suspended seven months later after protests by local farmers, who said the Sendafa site was poisoning water and killing livestock.

The trucks returned to Reppi, where rubbish had been dumped without being treated, compacted or otherwise managed for half a century. Authorities knew Reppi was unstable and over capacity when they resumed operations, according to Nega Fantahun, the head of the city government’s solid waste recycling and disposal project office, the responsible agency.

“One cause is the return to Reppi. It’s not the only reason, but it’s one cause, one reason, it aggravates it,” he says of the landslide.

The government hasn’t given up on Sendafa, a joint initiative of the city and Oromia region. But activity at the fenced-off site is limited to work on buildings and other infrastructure. Black sheeting covers a shallow bulge of rubbish to try to reduce the smell. An eight-metre high net was constructed to prevent waste blowing on to adjacent farmland but, when a gust of wind arrives, several plastic scraps soar into the air and tumble over the fence into the fields.

In rolling farmland next to the landfill, local opposition to the project is fierce. Gemechu Tefera, 40, a farmer, says maggots from the landfill have ruined food, cattle have died from toxic water, and a dog brought a human hand back from the site. Consultation was so inadequate that residents thought the site would become an airport, the group claims. “If they come again they will have to go through us. We will continue protesting. They will have to kill us first,” says Tefera.

The French financing included Sendafa’s construction and the closure of 19 hectares (about 47 acres) of Reppi’s 36 hectares between 2011 and 2013. Eventually, the plan is to transform the toxic site into a park. Seven hectares have been set aside for a separately funded $120m (£96m) waste-to energy plantowned by the state electricity company, which could deal with 75% of the city’s rubbish when it becomes operational later this year.

The AFD is waiting for notification from the city government to begin rehabilitating the remaining section of Reppi. That will only begin once the site is no longer being used for dumping, says Shayan Kassim, project manager at the French agency’s Addis Ababa regional office.

According to Kassim, consultants reported that the performance at Sendafa of the city’s contractor, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, was satisfactory and there were no irregularities in dealing with the impact on the community. Vinci worked with AFD and the authorities on improving Sendafa for a year after completion, and the government is undertaking more work following storms that caused some leakage into the nearby environment, he says.

The local administration responsible for the new landfill’s location supports the farmers’ pollution claims. Shimallis Abbabaa Jimaa took over as head of Bereke district government last year after the protests. He produced an October 2016 report from Oromia’s government that concluded water in a local well was not potable and the cause could be a river polluted by seepage from Sendafa. The area had been earmarked by the region as a productive cropping area and should not have been selected for waste disposal, says Jimaa.

The promised improvements could mean local acceptance of Sendafa but, given the strength of the resistance, that seems unlikely, he says. “No one agreed with the project so they rose in revolt.”


 

UNPO: Urgency of Addressing the Plight of Women Belonging to Vulnerable Groups in Ethiopia Highlighted at UNPO EP Conference March 24, 2017

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Urgency of Addressing the Plight of Women Belonging to Vulnerable Groups in Ethiopia Highlighted at UNPO EP Conference


After welcoming speakers and participants from across the globe, the conference’s host, MEP Liliana Rodrigues, opened the event by expressing that the responsibility to stop the atrocities in Ethiopia belongs to us all: “We are here to help break the silence.” Dr Shigut Geleta, of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), reminded the audience that large donors, such as the European Union and the United States, continue to provide substantial aid to Ethiopia despite the country’s heinous human rights record. Dr Geleta emphasised that this aid has been crucial in maintaining the ruling coalition’s stranglehold on political power in Ethiopia.

Continuing off of this point, Mr Denboba Natie, an executive committee member of the Sidama National Liberation Front, raised the question of how marginalised communities can make their struggle known when internationally sponsored funds are flowing into the authoritarian regime, contributing to their repression. For a moment of reflection, Mr Natie asked the entire conference to stand in silence to honour the pain and sacrifices of these subjugated peoples and of the women and girls who have been victims of gender-based and sexual trauma in Ethiopia. UNPO Secretary General Marino Busdachin made reference to the array of issues affecting these regions, such as land-grabbing, eviction, poverty and extrajudicial killings, ultimately declaring that “enough is enough.”

To open the first panel, a statement by Graham Peebles, freelance writer and director of The Create Trust, was read by moderator and UNPO Programme Officer Julie Duval. Mr Peebles’ statement drew attention to a number of worrying issues in Ethiopia – the lack of independent media sources, the stifling of any political dissent, the routine sexual abuse and rape of imprisoned women – all of which contribute to the precarious condition of human rights for marginalised populations. Ms Ajo Agwa of the Gambella People’s Liberation Movement and the Gambella Women’s Association gave a poignant overview of the ongoing violence in her region, where public schools and medical clinics are looted, children are abducted and civilians are massacred by assailants clad in military uniforms under the guise of enforcing protection along the border with South Sudan.

The testimony of Ms Dinknesh Dheressa, Chairwoman of the International Oromo Women’s Organization, highlighted the extreme level of state violence in Oromiya, where government security forces have repeatedly “used live ammunition to disperse protests.”

Mr Garad Mursal, Director of the African Rights Monitor, stated that “civilians in Ogaden, Oromiya, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Sidama have been subjected to mass murder, torture and rape” by the Ethiopian government and their allies. Mr Mursal explained that due to the famine and the cholera epidemic in the Ogaden region, entire villages of Somalis are being wiped out and yet the Ethiopian government continues to prioritise economic development over fundamental human rights. Following Mr Mursal’s speech, a clip of Mr Peebles’ short documentary entitled Ogaden: Ethiopia’s Hidden Shame was shown in which Somali women give first-hand accounts of the sexual violence and torture they endured at the hands of Ethiopian security forces.

The second panel focussed more exclusively on women’s rights and sexual violence. Mrs Rodrigues reminded the audience that Ethiopia is hardly a unique case when it comes to sexual abuse and rape being used as a weapon of war. She called for accountability measures to be enacted by the Ethiopian government to guarantee that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice, but also to provide physical and psychological care for victims of sexual trauma. Significantly, Mrs Rodrigues emphasised that there must be liability where foreign aid is concerned, and she urged the European Union to put Ethiopia at the top of its agenda.

MEP Julie Ward (S&D) succinctly but powerfully intoned that “The root cause of violence against women and girls is inequality.” In considering the effects of how widespread sexual violence has contributed to the devastation of marginalised communities in Ethiopia, Ms Ward stressed that as a war tactic, mass rape is constitutive of genocide and ethnic cleansing. She further declared it “absolutely wrong that EU aid money should be in any way complicit in these human rights violations and crimes of sexual violence”.

Oromo medical doctor Dr Baro Keno Deressa reiterated Ms Ward’s statements about rape being used as a tool of war in Ethiopia, where sexual violence is used strategically to terrorise and ultimately destroy marginalised communities. He maintained that “it is a violation of human rights when women are not given the right to plan their own families”. Moreover, women from these regions are deliberately excluded from the women’s empowerment programmes touted by the Ethiopian government as a model of their progress. Both Dr Deressa and Ms Mariam Ali, an activist currently studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, asserted that rape has become institutionalised in Ethiopia.

In closing the second panel, Ms Ali provided a summary of facts about the situation in the Ogaden region, including that the Ethiopian army’s blockade has kept independent journalists and medical officials from entering the region. The population is being starved by a “man-made famine”, and Ms Ali affirms that women are subjected to near-constant rape and torture. Ms Ali ended her speech by addressing these brutal human rights violations with a Somali proverb, “Dhiiga kuma dhaqaaqo?” which translates to “Does your blood not move?”

Mrs Rodrigues and Ms Duval gave the final remarks, addressing both the general human rights situation in Ethiopia and the particular burden born by women from marginalised regions. Mrs Rodrigues underlined once again that action must be taken to see that international funds are solely being used in a fashion that supports human rights and ensures women’s rights. Overall, the conference provided a distinct opportunity for representatives of marginalised groups in the regions of Oromiya, Ogaden, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Sidama to speak directly to Members of the European Parliament and recount their experiences to a wider audience of human rights activists and civil society actors. A fruitful exchange of views following the official programme brought this important event to a close and allowed representatives from the media, academia, political decision-makers, as well as representatives of civil society and diplomatic missions to engage in a lively discussion.

 

Click here to find the conference declaration and here to find more photos of the event

IFEX: The police brutalities resulted in several deaths: A death toll of 150 was recorded in Ethiopia, 32 in DRC and one in Mali. March 24, 2017

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In this photo taken on 2 October 2016, Ethiopian soldiers try to stop protesters in Bishoftu, Ethiopia
In this photo taken on 2 October 2016, Ethiopian soldiers try to stop protesters in Bishoftu, Ethiopia

AP Photo


This statement was originally published on africafex.org on 21 March 2017.


A total of 183 deaths were recorded from July to December 2016 following clashes between protestors and security agents in three countries – Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mali.

In each of the three countries, security agents used excessive force to disperse protestors who were demonstrating against specific issues in their respective countries. The police brutalities resulted in several deaths. A death toll of 150 was recorded in Ethiopia, 32 in DRC and one in Mali.

To date, not one security agent has been prosecuted for any of the killings in the three countries.

Unfortunately, this is just one of the many violations perpetrated against protestors, journalists and media organisations in Africa as reported in the maiden edition of the Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa report by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) compiled for the period July to December 2016.

The periodic Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa Report is an intervention by AFEX that seeks to monitor and report on FOE violations (including violations against freedom of assembly and association) and other developments in Africa for the timely intervention by appropriate stakeholders.

Over the six-month period, 63 incidents of violation were recorded in 19 countries across the African continent. State security apparatus were the main perpetrators of the violations. Together, they were responsible for 57 percent (36) of the 63 violations.

State security agents were not only responsible for the killing of the 183 protestors in the three countries; they were also the perpetrators of all 19 incidents of arrests and detentions in 10 of the 19 countries covered in the report. in addition, five out of six media organisations were shut down by state security agents.

State officials were also found to be perpetrators of media and FOE rights violations both online and offline. Of the 63 violations, 10 were carried out by/on the orders of state officials. Thus, state actors were generally the main perpetrators of the various violations reported in the Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa report.

Sadly, only seven out of 63 recorded violations received some form of redress actions.

For the full report on the types of violations cited, other perpetrators, the 19 countries monitored and the targets of the violations, click here.


 

UNDP: Human Development Report 2016: Left behind and unable to catch up: systemic discrimination against women, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, among others. Ethiopia ranks 174th out of 188 countries March 23, 2017

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Human Development Report 2016: Human Development for Everyone


It is time to face up to deep-rooted barriers to development


“In order to advance, we need to examine more closely not just what has been achieved, but also who has been excluded and why.” – Selim Jahan

“By eliminating deep, persistent, discriminatory social norms and laws, and addressing the unequal access to political participation, which have hindered progress for so many, poverty can be eradicated and a peaceful, just, and sustainable development can be achieved for all.” – Helen Clark


UNDP Report 2017, key principles to achieve human development to everyone


Beyond averages—using the family of human development indices

Human development is about improving the life chances of individuals. However, the measures used to monitor progress in human development often cover only countries and not individuals or groups. Disaggregated measures are therefore needed that show who is deprived, where they live and the nature of their deprivations. National, subregional and regional Human Development Reports have identified deprivations by analysing data disaggregated by age, gender, subnational units, ethnicity and other parameters. Disaggregating and analysing the family of human development indices— the Human Development Index (HDI), the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), the Gender Development Index (GDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)— are early steps towards quantifying the scale of deprivations globally.


Collective capabilities—helping marginalized groups

Human development is not only a matter of promoting the freedoms that individuals have and have reason to choose and value. It is also a matter of promoting the freedoms of groups or collective entities. Individuals are not the only unit of moral concern; structures of living together are, too. The failure to explicitly include them in evaluating the state of affairs leads to the loss of important information.


Ethiopia ranks 174th out of 188 countries in the latest UNDP Human Development Report (published 21st March 2017). Ethiopia’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2015 is 0.448, which put the country in the low human development category. According to the report, Ethiopia’s 2015 HDI of 0.448 is below the average of 0.497 for countries in the low human development group and below the average of 0.523 for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Top 10 countries on the Human development index are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland and Canada.


Click here to explore more on International Human Development Indicators 2016 report

Oromia Media Network: OMN 3rd Year Anniverssary in South Africa (Johannesburg) March 23, 2017

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Kabaja ayyaana OMN waggaa 3ffaa, Afrikaa Kibbaa haala gaaariin geggeeffame.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/

 

 

 

Oromia: Oromo Fashion Show on Siiqqee Power Concert March 22, 2017

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Click here to read on: Ateetee:The divinity for motherhood and fecundity in Oromo mythology

IRIN: Ethiopia in 2017: New drought: 15.9m people in famine crisis March 19, 2017

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Farmers, traders and consumers across East and Southern Africa are feeling the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that have scorched harvests and ruined livelihoods.

Ethiopia: The strongest El Niño phenomenon on record led to an extreme drought in 2016, with 10.2 million in need of food aid. A new drought means 2017 could be just as dire, throwing an additional 5.7 million people into crisis. Farmers and herders found their resilience tested to the limit last year. They have very limited resources left to cope with the current crisis. More at IRIN: Drought in Africa.

OCHA: Ethiopia: New drought puts recovery and neighbouring countries at risk

 

2016 was a challenging year for Ethiopia. But 2017 could be equally dire, as the country has been hit by a new drought. As 2.4 million farmers and herders cannot sustainably practice their livelihoods and reinvigorate their already drought-stricken farms, the new drought is throwing an additional 5.7 million people into crisis.

At the launch of the Humanitarian Requirements Document, UN Humanitarian Chief Stephen O’Brien called for US$948 million to meet people’s survival and livelihoods needs in 2017.

“We need to act now before it is too late,” he said. “We have no time to lose. Livestock are already dying, pastoralists and farmers are already fleeing their homes in search of water and pasture, and hunger and malnutrition levels will rise soon if assistance does not arrive on time.”


Source: 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document

Back-to-back cycles of poor or non-existent rainfall since 2015, coupled with the strongest El Niño on record, led to Ethiopia’s worst drought in decades. The new drought has hit southern and eastern regions, and pastoralists and farmers are fleeing their homes to find water and pasture.

The new drought extends beyond Ethiopia’s borders—in Kenya and Somalia, it has already pushed 1.3 million people and 5 million people into hunger, respectively. Severe water and pasture shortages in Somalia have resulted in livestock deaths, disrupted livelihoods and caused massive food shortages.

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: The global icon of #OromoProtests Olympian Feyisa Lilesa (Fayyisaa Leellisa) wins the New York City 2017 Half Marathon. Mare Dibaba Wins the Lisbon City. March 19, 2017

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Feyisa Lilesa wins the  2017 United Airlines New York City Half Marathon while American Molly Huddle defended her women’s title.   

Feyisa Lilesa makes Oromo protests symbol after winning New York City half marathon.

      Running Magazine: Feyisa Lilesa                  continues to protest home government,    this time at NYC Half

 Feyisa Lilesa, who is now living in the United States following his performance at the Rio Olympics, won the United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday. Again, the Olympic marathon silver medallist, who is Ethiopian, crossed his wrists above his head, forming an “X,” in solidarity with the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa. It’s not the first, or second, time that Lilesa has performed such a gesture.

RELATED: FULL recap: United Airlines NYC Half (including Canadian results).

 

 Excluding Sunday’s performance, Lilesa has on two previous notable occasions performed what is part of the Oromo protests since the Olympics including at the Honolulu Marathon and the Houston Half-Marathon. The 27-year-old did not return to Ethiopia after the Olympics fearing for his life because of the finish line act. The long-distance specialist is currently residing in Flagstaff, Ariz. with his family recently relocating to the United States on Valentine’s Day.

According to CNN, there have been protests across Ethiopia “since April of 2014 against systematic marginalization and persecution of ethnic Oromos.” The protests can be sourced to the territorial limits of the capital city Addis Ababa extending into neighboring Oromo villages displacing residents. In 2016, Ethiopian security forces “killed hundreds and detained tens of thousands of protesters in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara regions,” according to Human Rights Watch. The government told Lilesa that it would be safe to return home.

As seen a recent feature in the New York Times, Lilesa has received a green card as a permanent resident in the United States “for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business and sports.” Lilesa’s finish line protests have led other runners, including several in Canada, to cross their wrists above their head at the finish line of races.

Video

On Sunday, Lilesa and Scotland’s Callum Hawkins were side-by-side entering the finishing stretch towards Wall Street. Lilesa won by four seconds in 1:00:04, his first victory since the 2016 Tokyo Marathon. In the women’s race, there was also a tight finish as American Molly Huddle completed the NYC Half three-peat bettering Emily Sisson in 1:08:19 to 1:08:21. The two are training partners and reside in Providence, R.I. (Huddle is married to former Canadian middle-distance specialist Kurt Benninger.)

““I never would have thought I could come back here and win three times,” Huddle said in a New York Road Runners (NYRR) release. “I remember the first win was such a surprise for me, and last year we ran so fast. I just feel really lucky to have won a third time. Every time is really difficult with an international field. New York Road Runners brings in some of the best of the best. Some people are in marathon buildups but some people were really gearing up for this race. I feel like it was a really cool win, and just contributes to my enthusiasm for New York.”

Rachel Cliff (1:12:07) for eighth and Eric Gillis (1:03:49) in 16th were the top Canadians in the race that featured more than 20,000 runners.


 

Ethiopia: List of Fascsit TPLF Military and Intelligence officers involved in planning and commanding the Somali region Liyu Police mercenary paramilitary conducting genocide against the Oromo People March 19, 2017

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List of TPLF Military and Intelligence officers involved in planning and commanding the Somali region Liyu Police mercenary paramilitary


1. Col. Gebremedihin Gebre, Shhinelle Zone Coordinator and deputy commander of Somali Special Forces
2 Col. Fiseha, chief of intelligence of somali regional government, specializing particularly in Oromos and Oromia issue, also heads and supervises Fefem zone security
3. Col. Gitet Tesfaye , coordinates and leads disputed borders issue and security
4. Major Desalegn Haddish, Babile front intelligence chief
5 Major Abraha Sisay, heads training of mercenaries and somali recruits at Bobas training center
6 Brigadier General Hadgu Belay, advisor to the president of Somali region on security and organizational affairs on security at regional government level
7 Col. Gebretensae, heads and coordinates Somali militias organization Oromo mercenaries working with the TPLF officials
1. Lieutenant Hassan Ali, former member of defense forces of Ethiopia, now commands a Liyu Police unit consisting 120 members at attacking Erer district( wereda)
2. Captain Mohammed Ibrahim, with a unit of 120 members at Babile front( WEREDA)
3 Sergeant Usman Mohammed, Garalencha district
4 Sergeant Jibril Ahmed spies on Oromo militia in Gursum district, to Fafam direction
5 Sergeant Mohamed Usman, Raqe, Meyu Muluke areas military operations
6 Sergeant Fuad Aliyi, Chinaksen district
* The Liyu Police and Somali region militia are organized in 26 regiment each consisting up to 500 personnel.


 

GLOBAL EMERGENCY PLEA FOR THE DROUGHT STRICKEN AREAS OF EASTERN AFRICA March 18, 2017

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AN URGENT PLEA!
Hello dear esteemed managerial staffs, Risk-taking and Committed Journalists and Thoughtful and Truthful Reporters of Global Media Outlets!
Today, I kindly call up on and humanely urge you, to search, research and report on the case of drought weakening and dismantling almost all parts of Eastern Africa. Literature and memories have it that, though the intensity and severity might differ, almost all countries in this part of the world is facing some amount of pressure from drastic factors of Climate Change. Particularly, these regions are suffering from A Very Rapid Desertification locally and irreversible Global Warming universally since the last three decades. It is very sad that, we have multitudes of witnesses and plentiful of testimonies also that the deep-rooted Poverty, ever growing and rampant Corruption and other pertinent problems of Good Governance make the issue under a multidimensional media’s spotlight. This is why, this area is literally dubbed ‘a hell on the face of the planet earth’.
Recently, I, personally, observed the case of Borana, Gabra, Garri, Guji, Gedio, Sidama, Western Arsi and Eastern Shawa communities in Central and Southern Ethiopia, Northern Kenya and South-Western Somalia. More or less, people of these areas lived up experiencing droughts in the past. In these vicinity all in pastoral, agro-pastoral and agricultural settings they saw the taste of desert somehow. I also, personally have seen it. Bitterly faced it. Kept living being affected by it. I admit that I have seen peoples’ livelihood shifted, villages abandoned, children drawn out of schools, old men engaged in hard and unsafe work, pregnant women traveling long journeys in search for a can of drinking water and lives perished in vain and lost in the perching wilderness- all because of severe drought. Nevertheless, unlike the drought we are accustomed to know, this year round it is different completely. There is no place unaffected. No loopholes to take refuge for the herds and shepherds.
For instance, in the case of Borana Zone there has been no rain for the two consecutive normal rainy seasons. No fodder and water for animal consumption in any part of this area let it be Liban, Dirre, Malbe, Golbo, Sakhu or Waso. Now as we speak, in Borana, the drought is so much severe than its former status that let alone livestocks, human lives are at stake and at unredeemable risk if we fail to react as soon as we can. FYI, a rumor is being aired that quite a number of people have been died of hunger in Sakhu (Marsabit) county, around Magado in Dirre Woreda, Chari in Elwaye Woreda and some are on their deathbed around remote parts of the province where trucks can not easily travel and distribute the life’s essentials like water and food. The case of Liban areas, that is the worst case scenario though we need more details to cover much on the matter later on.
Anyway, this challenge has persisted long enough (more than consecutive 8 months now) in this area to render all community members helpless and hopeless; whether they are/were rich or poor, young or old, men or women, educated or non-educated. In these all periods of drought, the urban elites and youth groups from these communities have tried their best in easying the matter. They tried their best. They have raised funds at different levels and tried to help the drought stricken community members. Their vigor and hope is now fading. Therefore, they are pleading with the Global Communities. They say in unison, “We appreciate all efforts done by our fellow humans to help our pastoral community, in standing by our side and restoring the livelihood of rural dwellers which is very worse in comparison to towns’. Not only in the past, but also we have seen many individuals and groups supporting the rural people along with us. However, the drought is still being more severe than any time before. Despite the willingness of many Voluntary Aid Organizations and Emergency Projects to share what they have there is a huge gap in provision. We all know that, the Humanitarian Aids Organizations aim to save the lives and give us supplementary and temporal handouts at least. Unfortunately, most of them could not manage to do that because of the lack of tangible information on the ground. Leaders tend to talk about Resilience and Sustainability than our immediate need right now. We want sustainability as any other nations in the world. But now, our urgent need is food, water and medicine for survival.” They also asserted, “The governments, various social groups and stakeholders shall not keep silent on us because we’re on the brink of death. Mass death!’

Ethiopia: IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: QOSHE GARBAGE DUMP COLLAPSE: A TRAIL OF CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE AND COUNTLESS VICTIMS March 18, 2017

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IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: QOSHE GARBAGE DUMP COLLAPSE: A TRAIL OF CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE AND COUNTLESS VICTIMS


Mahlet Fasil,  Addis Standard, March 17, 2017 


For the second time in less than six months, the Ethiopian ruling party EPRDF-dominated parliament has declared a three-day nationwide mourning. This time it is for the victims of a devastating collapse of a mountain of solid waste located 13 km southwest of the capital Addis Abeba on Saturday, March 9.

More excavators arriving

As late as Wednesday and Thursday more excavators were arriving

The story of the growing numbers of Ethiopians (115 as of yet) who died buried under a pile of Addis Abeba’s solid waste first broke nearly 12 hours after it struck. For such a story about Ethiopia’s “forsaken” [“we are the forsaken; why would anyone care, right?”], it was neither surprising nor unexpected.

In the shadow of death

Officially known as “Reppi” landfill (commonly called by its local name Qoshe in Amharic) the area is a mountain of an open dumpsite where millions of tons of solid waste collected from the sprawling capital, home to some four to five million inhabitants, has simply been disposed off for more than half a century.

Established 54 years ago, and occupying 37ha surface area, Qoshe is not your ideal landfill. For starters, its surroundings on all four sides is home to both plastic makeshift shelters and poorly constructed mud & wood houses that shelter hundreds of people, a figure by far bigger than what the government admits as ‘houses’ with registered title deeds; and unlike repeated media reports that followed the tragic incident, the residents of the plastic makeshift and mud & wood houses are not all rubbish scavengers. “I work at the Ethiopian electric power corporation,” said Alemayehu Teklu, a father of four who, as of this writing, is still looking for his three children and his wife. “Only my first born son survived because he was not at home the night the garbage mountain caved in.”

Alemayehu and his family resettled in the area ten years ago when several shanty towns were demolished in many parts of Addis Abeba city to give way to new high rising buildings. “We had a two bedroom old house near Kazanchis that belonged to the families of my wife. The Kebele administrators had told us we should evacuate in two months but our house was demolished within three weeks after we were served with the notice,” Alemayehu said, “we were paid 70,000 birr [roughly $2, 500 in today’s exchange rate] as value for our house and were told we would be given a plot in one of the outskirts of the city. No one ever responded to our repeated pleas afterward and I settled my family here after buying the plot for 10, 000 birr.” Struggling to contain his tears, Alemayehu said: “we are the forsaken; why would anyone care, right?”

Living under a pile of waste

The people living around Qoshe are not only waste pickers who come from the city

The massive scale of decades-old evictions of the poor from the center of the city, which is, by all measures, a corruption-infested practice by city administration officials, means there are countless stories similar to Alemayehu’s. None of the dozen interviewees approached by Addis Standard say they become residents of an area surrounding a mountain of waste by choice. These include Mintiwab Gushe, a mother of four who lived in the area for the last 35 years, gave birth to all her children in the same mud & wood house they now remain buried under. Mintiwab is unable to compose herself to talk. And others, such as Gurmu Kidane and his now missing family of two have come to Qoshe as recently as June 2016, when more than 200 special police task force units have started demolishing houses in Nefas Silk Lafto Kifle Ketema in western Addis Abeba, which city authorities claimed were built illegally since 2005. “My family and I came here after losing our house because my sister who got a new condominium unit and had rented her house here in Qoshe gave it to me so I can shelter my family,” said Gurmu. He owns a cement mixer and lives off renting it to construction sites. His 16 years old daughter and his wife are now among the missing.

But the area surrounding Qoshe is not just home to the 200 or so households known to the city Administration; there are at least “500 households most of which also rent additional quarters to tenants,” said a young man who wants to remain anonymous. Here is where the story of Hadya Hassan, 72, fits. She rented her house to 13 different people who came from different parts of the country in search of labor. They are unregistered anywhere hence unknown to city officials. “We have been submitting requests to be relocated to our respective Kebele officials for years. Today, they came to see us mourn,” Hadiya told Addis Standard.

More unregistred tenants also lived in Qoshe

A sign posted at a tent erected to mourn the victims show the presence of unregistered tenants

Haunted by collect and dump

Until 2014, Qoshe has consolidated its notoriety as the only open dumpsite that outlived its original purpose. For 54 years, it served as a dumpsite while having no facilities such as fences, drainage systems, odor control, or recycling methods.

“The present method of disposal is crude open dumping: hauling the wastes by truck, spreading and leveling by bulldozer and compacting by compactor or bulldozer,” admitted a research overview paper commissioned by the Addis Abeba City Administration in 2010 and was delivered to the UN Habitat. It also estimated that about 200,000 tons of waste was annually produced in Addis Abeba alone, of which 76% is generated from domestic households.

The ten-years-old commissioned review is an early sign that city authorities have long been haunted by the black mountain of dumpsite they have created half a century ago and have subsequently failed to manage properly. Nor have they been short of policy recommendations from think-tank organizations funded by foreign governments.  “Adequate planning of waste management is essential if communities and regions are to successfully address the challenge of a sustainable development, including resource conservation, climate protection, and pollution prevention,” reads one such action brief written in 2010 and was partially funded by the German government’s ministry of education.

The Addis Abeba City Government Cleaning Management Agency, an agency accountable to the city administration, began taking the ensuing disaster at Qoshe a little more seriously around 2009, according to an official in the agency who spoke to Addis Standard but wants to remain anonymous because “now is a sensitive time.”

“At that time, authorities have begun to discuss selecting alternative sites and the closure and eventual transformation into a public park of Qoshe. Project proposals were submitted to several donors to conduct feasibility studies to open a modern dumpsite, which would also be used to generate green energy,” he said. Several donors, including the US, have responded positively and have provided large amounts of grants to the city administration,” he said, without mentioning the exact amount of money. “It was a lot.”

This was followed by a binge of workshops, both by the city administration and donors, research works, study tours to foreign capitals for high-level city officials including the Mayor, Diriba Kuma, and proposals on alternative sites and type of a state-of-the-art dumpsite.

As the spree of talks and workshops began to take shape, in a process the details of which is shrouded in backdoor negotiations, in 2012 the Addis Abeba city administration decided to obtain 136ha land in Sendafa, some 30km northeast of Addis Abeba, and is home to hundreds of farmers. As of now, Addis Standard is not able to verify the availability of documents, if any, detailing the process and eventual decision by the city administration to acquire this plot of land in Sendafa.

Be that as it may, with a US$337 million grant secured from the French government, and a  project office assigned to do the job – Addis Abeba Waste Recycling & Disposal Project Office – the city administration looked poised to turn Sendafa Sanitary Landfill become everything Qoshe was not in more than 50 years of its history.

Sendafa Sanitary Landfill had a US$27.6 million initial budget; it is supposedly guided by an elaborated Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report;  it had a 40 million birr [roughly US$1.8 million] compensation scheme for the farmers to be displaced by the project; it was benefiting from the rich experience of VINCI Grands Projets, a French construction company (coincidence?); it was to be assisted by four separate waste transfer stations for preliminary treatment of waste; and city officials determined to change the city’s face defiled by the solid waste its residents keep on producing and dumping carelessly.  Sendafa Sanitary Landfill had everything to become a modern-day landfill.

Simultaneously, city administration officials have assigned a US$158 million for a project to turn Qoshe into a 50mw waste-to-energy plant and have awarded the contract to the UK-based Cambridge Industries; this was to be followed by yet another ambitious work to turn Qoshe into a green public park. This plan to green Qoshe was receiving institutional guidance, including from the Addis Abeba University (AAU) and the Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center and Network (HoARE&N).

If the French government came to the financial rescue of the Sendafa Sanitary Landfill, turning Qoshe into a waste-to-energy plant and a green park is enjoying a large sum of donors’ money Ethiopia is receiving in grants as part of its newly designed ClimateResilient Green Economy (CRGE) planned to last for 20 years at cost of US$150 billion. One of the four pillars stated in this new lucrative project is the government’s wish to expand “electricity generation form renewable energy for domestic and regional markets.” Among the major contributors to this project are the United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs) and OECD countries.

However, reminiscent of delays the Sendafa Sendafa Sanitary Landfill experienced, the Qoshe waste-to-energy project has already missed its opening deadline several times.

What really went wrong?

Delayed as it may, Sendafa Sanitary Landfill opened in February 2016; Qoshe took its first break in 53 years. But six months into its service, Sendafa Sanitary Landfill imploded, leaving Addis Abeba to explode with its waste.

In July 2016, farmers living in and around the new landfill have forced garbage trucks to stop dumping the city’s unsorted, crude waste in the landfill.

At the heart of the matter is the US$27.6 worth landfill which looked nowhere close to its plans on paper. “VINCI Grands Projets was paid may be half of the initial amount it won the contract for and even that, it was done in bits and pieces with several delays. The company was also not able to receive the hard currency it needed to import some of the equipment it badly needed” said a project team member at the Addis Abeba Waste Recycling & Disposal Project Office, who also spoke to Addis Standard on conditions that he remains anonymous. “And yet authorities from the city administration have rushed the opening of the landfill before it was fully completed.”

A-household-next-to-the-smaller-pits-of-toxic-fluids-Sendafa-Landfill-768x576

in Less than six months, households in Sendafa were exposed to toxic fluid

Addis Standard is unable to hear from VINCI Grands Projets representatives because its office is nowhere to be found in the addresses it listed was its location: “Sendafa Subcity – Woreda 13 and Yeka Subcity – Woreda 13 (Ayat Village Zone 06) Legetafo road.” And there is no registered telephone line under the company, or at the very least, operators at the state owned telecom giant are not aware of it.

But that doesn’t change the fact that Sendafa Sanitary Landfill was not only incomplete when it started receiving the city’s solid waste, but also none of the four waste transfer stations incorporated in the plan were built. These were sites designed to serve as preliminary waste treatment sites and were planned to be built simultaneously in four separate sites including Akaki sub city and Reppi itself.

“And yet, in Oct. 2016, the Addis Ababa City Government Cleaning Management Agency spent close to US$5 million to purchase 25 compactors and ten road sweepers designed to be given to all sub-cities to boost the existing, old compactors in order to dispose off the city’s waste in an efficient manner at the designated waste transfer sites. This was the second time the agency made such huge investment to buy compactors. Already in 2012, it bought 19 compactors at a cost of US$3.9 million; almost all of them were sitting idle by the time Sendafa Sanitary Landfill was opened,” our source at the Agency said.

Having consumed millions of dollars, but being not much of use in a city that never knew how to sort its garbage, Sendafa was quickly becoming just another Qoshe and the farmers were a storm in wait.

Sendafa-Landfill-A-truck-was-pushing-the-pile-of-trash-

A truck pushing the pile of trash in the new Sendafa Sanitary Landfill

Under-compensated (of the 40 million birr originally assigned as compensations package, an official from the Solid Waste Recycling and Disposal project Office admitted having disbursed only 25 million – but the actual payment is even less than five million birr); dispossessed of their land; lied to as they were told their land was needed for future construction of an airport; and forced to live near a landfill that already started to stink, the Sendafa farmers have refused to accept nothing less than the total closure of the landfill.

And as the yearlong anti-government protests that started in Nov. 2015 continued to gather momentum, questions also began popping up; questions that probe the tumultuous power the city of Addis Abeba exercises over its surrounding villages administratively belonging to the Oromia regional state. Authorities both from the city administration and the Oromia regional state were locked in last minute discussions to avoid the fallout, and find ways to re-open a US$27 million worth new landfill, to no avail.

A City threatened by trash

A city threatned by trash

As the pile of solid waste threatened Addis Abeba in the middle of the summer rainy season, the city administration decided to quietly reopen Qoshe.

Not the old Qoshe anymore

But in the six months since Qoshe was going through its eventual closure, Reppi as an area has completely changed. The real estate market in its surroundings, hyper inflated by the promise of a future public park and the ever increasing land value in Addis Abeba, has boomed. Construction sites near Qoshe have mushroomed, and bulldozing excavators have begun working aggressively for several projects the poor residents of the area know nothing about. “One day before the collapse of the trash, several bulldozers were ploughing the earth for what one of the operators carelessly told us was an ‘important government project’,” said Gebresselasie Mekuria, a resident at the western end of Qoshe landfill. “The smell was getting worse and we have filled our complaints to the Kebele officials asking them to relocate us; they responded to us as if we were mad people; as if living in this hell on earth is our preordained destiny.”

Meanwhile, while the planned constriction of the 50mw waste-to-energy plant is still ongoing, the plan for earlier promises to turn Qoshe into a green public park has stalled. With the collapse of the black mountain, its residents are now left with nothing but unknown numbers of victims.

Qoshe waste-to-energy plant

The new waste-to-energey plant from outside

For the hundreds of these people who lived in the shadow of death, death is a routine exercise; and every time it happens, it leaves in its devastating wake a trail of lives altered forever. That is what happened on Saturday night to Bethlehem Yared, 16, who feels the burden of not been able to save her six years old brother who “decided to hide under the sofa when I ran for my life and asked him to follow me; I had to leave him behind”. Another one, Ayalew Negussie, who survived with his family, is deeply disoriented because “I lost all of my neighbors and friends whom I knew longer than I knew my children”; and Bedria Jibril, who is unable to “think anymore” after losing everything she has in less than 25 minutes. “I only left the house to buy milk for my one-year-old son and when I came back, I couldn’t find where my house was; I lost my husband and my two children all in less than 25 minutes.”

The collapse of this mountain of waste also deprived a means of income to no less than 300 waste pickers who scour it every day. Some of these are residents of the area, but many come from the city in search of something valuable, including food.

 Qoshe is not new to life-devouring accidents. In 2015, a flashflood had displaced more than 70 households, many of which are plastic makeshift; in 2014, shortly before the closure of the dumpsite, a small collapse triggered by waste pickers had killed about 13 of them.

But on Saturday March 9, the black mountain of dirt finally decided to end sheltering the people who have taken refuge in it from a city that loathes them but loves their labor. Sadly, their story is not only a story of a waste mountain that collapsed on them, but has a trail of corruption and criminal negligence that left  survivors with nothing but counting the bodies of their loved ones. AS


Additional reseach by Selam Ayalew from Addis Abeba University (AAU) 

Unmarked Photos: Addis Standard

HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE ELECTION OF THE NEXT WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL: PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY NOW March 18, 2017

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE ELECTION OF THE NEXT DIRECTOR-GENERAL: PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY NOW

BY , Oneill Institute, 15 March 2017

 

I believe that human rights, and the right to health in particular, should be a top priority of and guiding principle for the next WHO Director-General, whom the world’s health ministers will choose at the World Health Assembly in May. Human rights, after all, encompass the values needed to achieve health for all and health justice, such as equity, non-discrimination, universality, participation, and accountability. They are legally binding precepts. Above all, they embrace human dignity, and the utmost respect for all people in health systems and health-related decisions. They embody the notion of people-centered health services.

This importance demands electing to the post a credible and strong leader on human rights, someone with a history of fighting injustice, of opposing human rights violations, of standing up for the marginalized and oppressed, of resisting political, corporate, or other interests that stand in the way of human rights. This centrality of human rights means electing an individual willing to stand against forces and policies that tolerate or even perpetuate discrimination, or that let political or other concerns override the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, political opponents, or anyone else. It entails appointing a person who views organizations fighting for human rights as partners, even when their own governments may oppose them.

Three candidates remain in the race to be the next WHO Director-General: Tedros Adhanom, David Nabarro, and Sania Nishtar. All candidates should be accountable for their past support of human rights, and outline their plans for furthering human rights around the world if chosen to lead WHO. While it is important for all candidates to do this, one candidate in particular ought to provide a detailed public account of where he stands, and has stood, on human rights. Having spent more than a decade as a cabinet minister in a government that has committed large-scale human rights abuses, Dr. Tedros must make clear his position and intention.

Dr. Tedros served as Minister of Health of Ethiopia from 2005 through 2012, when he became Minister of Foreign Affairs, remaining in the post until a cabinet reshuffle last November. He was, and remains, a member of the Central Committee of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), long the country’s dominant political party, of the more select, nine-member TPLF Executive Committee, and of the Executive Committee of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the ruling coalition.

Some background on human rights in Ethiopia is in order. It is a country where the ruling coalition won all 547 seats in its most recent (2015) parliamentary election, which surely says much more about the state of democracy than the government’s popularity. Freedom House rates Ethiopia as “not free,” ranking it below than many other of the “not free” countries (p. 18) and with one of the world’s largest declines in freedom over the past decade (p. 10).

In its World Report 2017, Human Rights Watch calls the media in Ethiopia “under government stranglehold,” with at least 75 journalists fleeing into exile since 2010, and others arrested. A 2009 law “continues to severely curtail the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations.” Security forces “frequently” torture political detainees, of whom there are many. Over the past decade, Ethiopia has denied entry to all UN human rights special rapporteurs, other than on Eritrea.

The Ethiopian government’s repressive ways gained international prominence at the Rio Olympics last summer. As he crossed the finish line, winning the silver medal, Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms as a symbol of protest against the government’s violent response to protests in the Ethiopia’s Oromia region. Two months earlier, Human Rights Watch had released a report detailing the government’s violent response to the protests, the most recent round of which began in November 2015. They broke out in response to the government clearing land for an investment project. This fed into wider fears about farmers being displaced without adequate consultation or compensation as part of a master plan to massively expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa, the capital, into the neighboring Oromia region. Adding fuel to the protests were environmental and other local concerns, and longer-standing grievances among members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, of political, economic, and cultural marginalizationAmnesty International reported that least 800 protesters had been killed by the end of 2016.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a blog on its official website in October 2016 (when Dr. Tedros was still Foreign Minister) in response to Human Rights Watch’s reporting on Ethiopia. The piece accuses Human Rights Watch of baseless allegations, intentionally misleading its audience, and propagating “scare stories.” It focuses on the NGO’s response to an October stampede during an anti-government protest at an annual festival in Oromia, though addresses Human Rights Watch’s reporting in Ethiopia more generally. Yet Human Rights Watch is widely recognized to employ a gold standard of research. The above-mentioned report, for example, was based on more than 125 interviews, “court documents, photos, videos and various secondary material, including academic articles and reports from nongovernmental organizations, and information collected by other credible experts and independent human rights investigators.” All material in the report was verified by two or more independent sources.

In light of Ethiopia’s severe human rights abuses and Dr. Tedros’s prominent position within the ruling party and the government, a natural question becomes: What was his role in the country’s systematic abuses of human rights?

I do not know the answer, or the veracity of other charges that Ethiopian diaspora organizations have lodged. In his role in the TPLF and ERPDF power structures, is it possible that he tried to change things from the inside, using his position of power within the government to oppose the government’s repression?

What we do know, though, based on the independent reports of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the U.S. State Department, and others, is that the human rights situation in Ethiopia is dire. And Dr. Tedros has long been an important member of the government.

Dr. Tedros has committed to an open and transparent approach to running WHO. Now is the time for him to demonstrate this commitment, publicly addressing the concerns about human rights during his time in the Ethiopian government, and his role, including as a member of the power structures of the ruling party and coalition. States should evaluate his answers carefully and in light of other evidence.

States should also consider whether regardless of Dr. Tedros’s actions within the government – perhaps unless he vigorously fought against rights-abusive policies from the inside – the mere fact of having served (particularly for a considerable length of time) in a high-level post of a government that perpetuates such severe human rights abuses should be an automatic disqualifier from any international leadership position. Would electing someone put forward by such a government, particularly someone who has long served in that government, in some way represent the international community endorsing, accepting, the legitimacy of that government and its policies, and diminish the importance we ascribe to human rights?

We live in an era where human rights remain under great threat. Especially at such times as these, it is vital that states vote for a candidate whose record and integrity will enable them to lead WHO into a new era of health and human rights.

Scholars At Risk Net Work: Release Scholar-Activist Bekele Gerba March 16, 2017

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Release Scholar-Activist Bekele Gerba

March 16, 2017 – Scholars at Risk (SAR) is concerned over the arrest and ongoing incommunicado detention of Professor Bekele Gerba, a foreign language professor at Addis Ababa University and the deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), who is facing terrorism-related charges that apparently stem from his peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association.

SAR understands that on December 23, 2015, Ethiopian federal security forces arrested Professor Gerba, a prominent Oromo rights activist, after entering and searching his home. His arrest occurred against a backdrop of protests and intensifying clashes between the Ethiopian government and supporters of the rights of the Oromo minority, over the government’s renewed implementation of its “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan.” Sources suggest that Professor Gerba’s arrest was a reaction to the protests taking place across the Oromia region.

Upon his arrest, Professor Gerba’s family and witnesses were reportedly told that he would be taken to Maekalawi prison, where they could visit him in 24 hours. The day he was scheduled to appear in court, however, Professor Gerba allegedly disappeared and has since been held incommunicado. SAR understands that on April 22, 2016, an Ethiopian court brought terrorism-related charges against Professor Gerba and 21 others in connection with the protests. Prosecutors have since presented as evidence videos of a speech Professor Gerba gave at an August 2015 conference organized by the Oromo Studies Association and a December 2015 interview with a foreign-based, Ethiopian media outlet. SAR further understands that Professor Gerba has reported that he and his co-defendants have suffered ill-treatment during their detention.

SAR calls for emails, letters, and faxes respectfully urging the authorities to release and drop all charges against Professor Gerba; or, pending this, to ensure his well-being while in custody, including access to legal counsel and family, and to ensure that his case proceeds in a manner consistent with Ethiopia’s obligations under international law, in particular internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and free expression.

Click here for the full text: Release Scholar-Activist Bekele Gerba

UNPO: A report on human rights in Ethiopia, shedding light on the worrying situation of the Oromo and Ogadeni peoples. March 16, 2017

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Those living in the Ogaden and Oromia regions are most vulnerable to the State-sponsored persecution. Protests in Oromia were violently repressed by the government since they started in April 2014, and continue to be. “Jail Ogaden” holds thousands of prisoners of conscience in overcrowding conditions and unhygienic facilities. Rape is systematically used as a weapon by the government and local polices such as the Liyu Police, combined with other forms of torture. And those are just a handful of examples. UNPO Report, Human Rights in Ethiopia


UNPO Releases Report on Human Rights in Ethiopia

Photo courtesy of Andrew Heavens @Flickr

UNPO has released a report on human rights in Ethiopia, shedding light on the worrying situation of the Oromo and Ogadeni peoples. While international partners tend to hail Ethiopia as an African democratic role model and a beacon of stability and hope in an otherwise troubled region, the fundamental rights of the country’s unrepresented continue to be violated on a daily basis. With the support of major international donors such as the European Union, Addis Ababa increasingly prioritises strong economic growth, development and a high degree of enforced political stability at the expense of human rights and civil liberties.

Ethiopia’s economy has been growing steadily in recent years, boasting a small emerging middle class and receiving continuously-increasing foreign investment. The country is seen as a key ally by Western powers in the fight against terrorism and the regulation of international migration. Meanwhile, Ethiopia remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with a third of the population living in abject poverty and the country’s regime is also one of the African continent’s most authoritarian in character, cracking down mercilessly on those who voice dissent.

Those living in the Ogaden and Oromia regions are most vulnerable to the State-sponsored persecution. Protests in Oromia were violently repressed by the government since they started in April 2014, and continue to be. “Jail Ogaden” holds thousands of prisoners of conscience in overcrowding conditions and unhygienic facilities. Rape is systematically used as a weapon by the government and local polices such as the Liyu Police, combined with other forms of torture. And those are just a handful of examples.

As of March 2017, 300 people have died of hunger and cholera in the Ogaden region, because of the restrictions imposed by the Ethiopian government. Limitations on freedom of movement bars access to healthcare facilities and the trade embargo causes critical food shortages. UNPO calls on the international community to play its role in safeguarding human rights by putting an end to the financial flows fueling the Ethiopian State’s oppression and intimidation of the most vulnerable among its population.

To view and download the report, please click hereUNPO Report, Human Rights in Ethiopia

Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum Press Release March 16, 2017

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Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum Press Release
Date: 16th of March, 2017    Ref: OSSF/01/17


For immediate release


Since November 2016, i.e., for the last five months, the murderous Liyu Police forces, commanded by the President of the Somali Regional State, have been undertaking border raids and attacks against civilians in the Oromia region, in the process killing and displacing many people. The attack is launched on five Oromia zones and 14 districts bordering the Somali region. At least 200 civilians have been killed and many others injured in the attacks according to reports. These senseless attacks were ordered by the TPLF as part of its strategy to weaken the popular uprising underway in Oromia against the minority ruling clique. TPLF has been trying to portray the conflict it maneuvered between the brotherly Somali and Oromo peoples as a dispute between the two regions over the ownership of border towns and localities, a dispute that has been settled through public referenda in 2005/6. The two neighboring ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully for centuries and have a culture of resolving disputes through established traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. Without the sinister hands of the TPLF, this conflict would not have even started. TPLF is hiding in plain sight and should understand that such mischief will not absolve it from the crimes it continues to commit against both the Oromo and Somali people.

The atrocities committed by the Liyu Police did not start with defenseless Oromos. These merchants of death and destruction have been terrorizing their own Somali people for the last ten years at the behest of their TPLF masters. They have committed numerous grave human right violations inside the Somali region and even as far beyond as Somalia with gruesome executions, rape, and burning of villages being their distinctive trademarks.

We at the Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum hereby condemn this TPLF-engineered reckless conflict which led to the bloodshed of our brotherly peoples. We urge the brotherly Somali and Oromo peoples to stand in solidarity and deny the TPLF the pleasure of achieving the division and animosity it aspires to sow between our people. The ongoing conflict is not a war between Oromos and Somalis. It is a proxy war orchestrated by the TPLF against Oromos through the Liyu Police which is an auxiliary instrument of repression by the desperate minority regime. United, we will overcome TPLF’s 26 years of oppression and mayhem.

Victory to the oppressed Oromo and Somali people!

With profound regards!
Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum

Addressed to: All Ethiopians, Oromos, Somalis and the international press

Representative signatories:
 Geresu Tufa
 Mohamed Hassan
 Najat Hamza
 Nagessa Oddo Dube
 Jemal-Dirie Kalif
 Jawar Mohammed
 Abdullahi Hussein
 Dahabe M. Abdella
 Tibebu Sime
 Hadi Luqman
 Girma Gutema
 Solomon Ungashe
 Tsegaye Ararsa
 Gadissa Abrahim
 Eda’o Dawano
 Latu Bushan
 Aman Maldewo
 Endiris Negewo

WP: Analysis: Ethiopia boasts about its economic progress. The body count at a garbage dump tells another story. March 16, 2017

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This year has not been kind to Ethiopia, including widespread popular unrest, drought in many parts of the country, a cholera outbreak and stampede at a culture festival. Yet the deaths at the Addis Ababa landfill on Saturday stands out as a sobering counterpoint to the country’s boasts of economic progress.
…But 30 percent of Ethiopia’s population still lives below the poverty line.
“These people, including many women and children, had no option but to live and work in such a hazardous environment because of the government’s failure to protect their right to adequate housing, and decent work.” – WP

 Ethiopia boasts about its economic progress. The body count at a garbage dump tells another story.


Three days of national mourning began Wednesday for the victims of a catastrophic landslide at the Ethiopian capital’s main garbage dump that left at least 113 bodies buried under a wall of trash and dirt, mostly women and children.

This year has not been kind to Ethiopia, including widespread popular unrest, drought in many parts of the country, a cholera outbreak and stampede at a culture festival. Yet the deaths at the Addis Ababa landfill on Saturday stands out as a sobering counterpoint to the country’s boasts of economic progress.

Ethiopia’s government for the last decade has tried to put behind the familiar cliches in Western minds of famine and poverty. The numbers help their case. Ethiopia has one of the best-performing economies in Africa. But 30 percent of Ethiopia’s population still lives below the poverty line.

The changes are especially apparent in Addis Ababa, which was once little more than an overgrown village with a few government buildings. The city is now sprouting with glass and metal skyscrapers ringed by affluent new neighborhoods catering to an emerging middle class.

But the landfill tragedy is a reminder that the slums and shantytowns are still there, too. One of them was built amid the artificial mountain of garbage, where people scrap out a living combing through the refuse. Late Saturday, they heard a roaring sound. The garbage mountain suddenly gave way, sweeping away makeshift homes and burying dozens.

The growth of the capital has often outstripped efforts to manage it, creating hazards like the half-century-old landfill of Reppi, also known as Koshe or dirt in Ethiopia’s Amharic language.

Located southwest of the city, just a 15-minute drive from the embassy-filled neighborhood of Old Airport that is also home to the city’s best international school, this mountain of trash is now surrounded by housing developments.

Here, hundreds of men, women and children known as “scratchers” comb through the daily trash deliveries from the rest of the city, squabbling over the highly prized refuse from the wealthier neighborhoods that yield the most valuable castoffs or the best food. Overhead birds circle the more than 70-acre site, waiting for their own turn on this artificial mountain of trash.

Even before the latest collapse claimed dozens of lives, injuries and deaths from the settling trash or the bulldozers were common in this area, which is often a first port of arrival for immigrants from the countryside.

There was an attempt recently to close down the Koshe dump. But protesters from the surrounding Oromo region blocked garbage trucks heading for a new site.

In sharply worded statement Monday, Amnesty International held the government responsible for this “totally preventable disaster,” saying that the government was aware it was at full capacity but used it anyway and allowed people to build their huts on the garbage.

“These people, including many women and children, had no option but to live and work in such a hazardous environment because of the government’s failure to protect their right to adequate housing, and decent work.”

An estimated 300 people scavenge through the rubbish mountain at any given time and it is feared that the death toll could keep rising. The tally of dead rose sharply Wednesday from 72 to at least 113, an Addis Ababa official, Dagmawit Moges, told the Associated Press.

The government has announced the relocation of at least 300 people living on the site as well as compensation for the families. There have been scuffles though between residents and rescue workers, claiming they are not doing enough.

In the days since the landslide, there has been a heavy security presence at the site.

There has been no official reason for what caused the landslide, though the site’s overcapacity and the strain of accepting every day more garbage from the city’s estimated 3.5 million residents could be part of it.

Some residents have also claimed that the trash mountain was destabilized by a small foreign-funded biogas facility on the site to harvest methane gas and part of a years-long (and so far unsuccessful) effort to eventually close down the landfill — an accusation denied by the government.

Next to the festering, unstable landfill, that represents everything wrong with waste disposal across Africa and the developing world, is a project that could hopefully become a symbol of the continent’s future.

The Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC): Landmark resolutions March 16, 2017

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Press Release                 For Immediate Release       March 14, 2017


The Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC) held its second meeting in the City of Washington, District of Columbia, March 10 – 12, 2017.  The Convention was opened with the blessing of representatives of the main religious groups in Oromo society and concluded after successfully deliberating on the current situation in Oromia and passing landmark resolutions that affirm the unity of all Oromo and underscore the need to strengthen institutions of democracy.

This Convention was attended by over 600 religious, civic and community leaders from across North America and other parts of the world, political organizations, professional and civil societies, artists, businessmen, scholars, veterans of the struggle and Oromo notables who have contributed to the advancement of the Oromo cause in their respective fields.

Considering the gravity of the deteriorating situation in Oromia and the tremendous suffering that the state of emergency has imposed on our people, the Convention focused on taking action.

1. Based on the proposal recommended by the Task Force on Humanitarian Assistance, the Convention established a non-governmental organization known as HIRPHA International (Humanitarian Initiative to Relieve the Plight in the Horn of Africa) to assist in the effort deliver coordinated and efficient aid to the victims of the Ethiopian government.

2. Accepting the proposal of the Task Force on Diplomacy and Advocacy, the Convention established a research and policy center that will assist the efforts to conduct diplomatic action in a strategic and coordinated manner with the view to assisting the struggle to end tyrannical rule in Ethiopia. This center will be named Organized Diplomacy and Advocacy Action in the Horn of Africa (ODAAHA).

3. Recognizing that the Task Force of Experts presented revised documents known as the Declaration of Oromo Unity and National Aspirations and Oromo Charter of Freedom, Justice, Dignity and Human Rights reflect the views of the delegates regarding the foundation of Oromo unity and a common ground for political action, the Convention adopted the revised documents as its official documents.

4. Recognizing that the need for further discussions to internalize the contents of these documents, the Convention recommended them to Oromo communities around the world for studying and discussions. The Task Force of Experts was named as a Commission of Experts to spearhead the effort.

Considering that the Oromo struggle needs robust, functioning and autonomous democratic and civil society institutions, the Convention discussed new agendas proposed by the OLC Executive Committee. The new agenda emphasized the need for enhancing women’s participation and youth engagement in the Oromo nation’s future and initiated an effort to create professional associations.

After thoroughly discussing two concept papers, the delegates recommended launching a community-wide conversation with a view of taking concrete steps to enhance women and youth participation in Oromo affairs within a reasonable period.

Recognizing the demand of the Oromo people, the Convention stressed the importance of the unity of purpose among Oromo political organizations for the success of our people’s struggle. The participants recommended to all political parties to continue to work together to find ways to mobilize our people for the bitter struggle ahead and redouble efforts to expand the arena of interparty collaboration, build democratic institutions, and fortify self-rule capabilities.

Recognizing the gravity of the time, Convention participants decided to increase their support for the Oromo struggle and to join hands in solidarity with all freedom loving peoples to fight against the repressive TPLF regime. In view of the continued suffering of our people, the Convention, once again, condemns in the strongest of terms the continued killings, mass incarcerations, enforced disappearances, and persecution of Oromo. The delegates also demanded an immediate end to the State of Emergency that has made life impossible for our compatriots.

Concerned with the continued impunity of the Ethiopian regime, the Convention, once again, calls upon the international community to live up to its commitment not to “never again” allow mass killings from occurring again by demanding the establishment of an independent and thorough investigation into the mass killings, especially at the Irreecha festival on October 2, 2016, and the other crimes perpetrated by Ethiopian security forces against innocent people.

Finally, the Oromo Leadership Convention extends its call to all peoples in Ethiopia to redouble their efforts to end totalitarian rule in the country.

March 12, 2017

City of WASHINGTON, District of Columbia

 OFFICIAL DOCUMENT 


 

VOA Afaan Oromoo, Bitootessa 16, 2017

 

Hirbuu Oromoo’ galmee Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Amerikaa, Verjiiniyatti taa’an irratti walii galan ‘dhiyootti’ maxxansanii baasan


Hirbuu Oromoo, galmee Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo irratti walii galan dhiyoottuu maxxansanii baasan.

Korii guddaan, Yaa’ii Hooggansaa Oromoo Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC) kun ta asiin dura Amerikaa,Atlaantaatti taa’anitti aanee dhufe.

Korii Amerikaa godina Verjiiniyaa Bitootessa 10-12, 2017 Verjiiniyaa magalaa Kiristiyaal Sitii keessa taa’e. Akka warrii qopheesse jedhutti nama 600 caalutti itti dhufe.

Kaayoon isaa akka koree yaa’ii tana kopheessite keessaa Dr.Izqiheel Gabbisaa yuniversitii Kaateringi ka Mishigen jirtu keessaa dubbatetti ummata Oromoo biyya keessaa fi biyya alaatti rakkoo gugurdoo keessa jiru gargaarsa ilmaan namaatii fi gama siyaasaalleen gargaaraa tokkummaa Oromoo ijaaruu fi jabeessuu dhaaba dhaabuu.

Akkuma kanaan Yaa’iin tun dhaaba HIRPHA International (Humanitarian Initiative to Relieve the Plight in the Horn of Africa) jedhu ka nama mootummaan Itoophiyaatiin Afrikaa gama Gaafaa keessaa miidhame gargaarsa qindaahee kennuun qagaraafuu.

Rakkoo Oromoo sadarkaa biyya alaatti himuufiitii ykn gama diplomaasiitiin ammoo yaada gama Koreen Qindeessituutin dhiyaatee dameen qorannoo fi himaammataa hujii diplosamasii hojjachaa mootummaa abbaa irraa akka koreen jettutti Itoophiyaa irratti qabsaahuu.

Tanaafuu Afrikaa gama Gaafaa keessatti damee Organized Diplomacy and Advocacy Action in the Horn of Africa (ODAAHA) yayyaban.

3.Tana maleellee galmee yaada Koree Qindeessituutin dhiyaatte jedhan Declaration of Oromo Unity and National Aspirations and Oromo Charter of Freedom,Justice, Dignity and Human Rights jedhuun tokkummaa Oromoo jabeesitu jedhan yayyaban.

Hujii tanaaf koree yaada galmeelee tana keessatti dhiyaate hawaasa Oromoo addunyaatiin geettu yayyabame.

Galmeeleen dhiyaatan kun dhiyoottuu maxxansanii baasan.Hujii tana Koree Qineessituu miseena 17 qabdutti hojjata.

Akka Dr.Izqiheel jedhutit galmeen Chaarterii Hirbuu Oromoo tun ta kabaja mirga namaa eeguu fi falmituuf taati.

Yaa’iin tun tana maleellee, dhaabbilee hawaaaa hiree ufii ufiin murteeffatuu fi dimokiraatawa qabaachuuf qooda dubartootaa fi ijoolleen kahimaa sadarkaa addunyaatti yayyabuuf wali gale jedha Dr.Izqiheel.


The Second Oromo Leadership Convention March 10-12, 2017: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa

Data Science: 10+2 Data Science Methods that Every Data Scientist Should Know March 15, 2017

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12 Statistical and Machine Learning Methods that Every Data Scientist Should Know

 

  1. Statistical Hypothesis Testing (t-test, chi-squared test & ANOVA)
  2. Multiple Regression (Linear Models)
  3. General Linear Models (GLM: Logistic Regression, Poisson Regression)
  4. Random Forest
  5. Xgboost (eXtreme Gradient Boosted Trees)
  6. Deep Learning
  7. Bayesian Modeling with MCMC
  8. word2vec
  9. K-means Clustering
  10. Graph Theory & Network Analysis

Ethiopia (Tyranny): TPLF/EPRDF’s Regime Relegates Majority to A Second Citizenship Whilst Facilitating their Death March 14, 2017

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Press Releaseby Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom  and Democracy (PAFD)

March 14, 2017


In Ethiopia, once again, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunties, uncles, grannies and grandads have painlessly perished under the rubble of rubbish dump landslide in the outskirt ghetto of the capital. Once again, one of the darkest days repeated in different form on a different segment of the society. Once again, the peoples of Ethiopia are mourning for the tragic death of several dozen, in addition to ongoing execution of the Oromo and the rest peoples of Ethiopia by terrorizing TPLF’s security apparatuses under its draconian State of Emergency; death of Ogaden Somali people who’re left to die from preventable Cholera epidemic; and the ongoing suffering of Gambella children who’re routinely abducted by the foreign forces and the civilians who are killed by the said invaders without the protection of TPLF’s authorities who call themselves government.

The PAFD’s member originations, on behalf of their respective nations send their deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of such tragedies. We know that there is no accountable government or institution to be held into account; although we never stop pushing with our demand for the TPLF’s regime to be held responsible. We’ve also learnt that, hundreds have been left homeless when their substandard and dilapidated houses, which they call it, a home has been buried under tons of negligently dumped garbage landslide. TPLF’s regime has ignored a repeated advice of the experts to do something about the garbage, preferring to focus on executing civilians instead.

Therefore, the death of more than 68 people in the said landslide at a huge garbage dump on the outskirt of the Ethiopian capital (Finfinnee/Addis Ababa) on the night of March 11, 2017 is, a clear case of dereliction of duty by the Ethiopian TPLF’s dictatorial regime. Further reports also indicate that, several dozen are still missing; and the subjects are said to be some of those who have been neglected by the ruling TPLF/EPRDF in the last 26 years of its reign; whereas the rest of the victims were some of those who have been uprooted from their ancestral lands from the outskirts of Fifinnee (Oromia) to vacate it for TPLF’s generals and politicians to trade with their lands under pretexts of investment. In either case, however, the regime in power is responsible.

The subjects are ended up with such brutish and unforgiving death. We, in PAFD are deeply touched with such unsettling incidents mainly affected the subjugated and disregarded groups of society by the regime in power. We urge the peoples of Ethiopia to stand hand in hand and support the victims during such harrowing process of transition to their contexts of normality. Meanwhile, the regime in power must be wholly condemned for failing to provide the citizens with the elementary protection in the outskirt of the capital from where it exploits their resources without regards to their safety and wellbeing. The PAFD also urges all nations and peoples of Ethiopia to unite in fighting the brutalizing regime to bring about genuine change in Ethiopian politico-economic and social landscape thereby to be able to stop such negligence of unrepresentative TPLF’s government who has proved its inaptness in the last 26 years.

Finally, the TPLF’s dictatorial government must be held into account for its failure to protect the citizens; urged to unconditionally compensate the families of this tragic incident for negligently causing the death and destruction of their lives and livelihoods.

May the soul of those who have died and are needlessly dying due to TPLF’s deliberate negligence and because of the ongoing operation of security apparatuses all over the country rest in peace. The PAFD never rests until justice prevails on behalf of all its stakeholders and the rest of subjugated peoples of Ethiopia.


Related articles:

AI: Ethiopia: Government failures: The death of more than 60 people in a landslide at a vast rubbish dump is a clear case of dereliction of duty by the Ethiopian authorities

 

Al Jazeera: Death toll soars to 82 in Addis Ababa rubbish landslide

Scuffles break out in Ethiopia as bereaved families accuse rescue workers of delays after rubbish collapse kills scores.

The Guardian: ‘It’s life and death’: how the growth of Addis Ababa has sparked ethnic tensions

AI: Ethiopia: Government failures: The death of more than 60 people in a landslide at a vast rubbish dump is a clear case of dereliction of duty by the Ethiopian authorities March 14, 2017

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Ethiopia: Government failures to blame for dozens of deaths at rubbish dump


Amnesty International, 13 March 2017


The death of more than 60 people in a landslide at a vast rubbish dump on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital over the weekend is a clear case of dereliction of duty by the Ethiopian authorities, said Amnesty International today.

Dozens are still missing since the landslide at the 36-hectare Repi municipal dumpsite in Addis Ababa on 11 March, and many families have been left homeless after their makeshift houses were buried under tonnes of waste.

“The Ethiopian government is fully responsible for this totally preventable disaster. It was aware that the landfill was full to capacity but continued to use it regardless. It also let hundreds of people continue to live in close proximity to it,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The Ethiopian government is fully responsible for this totally preventable disaster. It was aware that the landfill was full to capacity but continued to use it regardless
Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

 

“These people, including many women and children, had no option but to live and work in such a hazardous environment because of the government’s failure to protect their right to adequate housing, and decent work.”

Now in its fifth decade, Repi – also known as Koshe, which means “dust” – is the oldest landfill in Addis Ababa, a city of more than 3.6 million people. More than 150 people were at the site when the landslide happened. Many of them had been scavenging items for sale while others lived there permanently, in unsafe makeshift housing.

“The government must do everything in its power to account for all those who are missing, provide survivors with adequate alternative housing, and safe and healthy working conditions,” said Muthoni Wanyeki.

“It must also ensure that a full-fledged inquiry is held to determine the specific causes of the landslide, and hold the individual officials responsible to account.”

The Trash kills: Addis Ababa (Koshe landfill): Ethiopia: Massive garbage landslide kills over 48 and the death toll is rising.Bakka kosiin itti gatamu Qoshee jedhamu kan Finfinneetti argamu kanatti balaa sigigaachuu tuulaa balfa kanaatiin hanga ammaatti namoonni 48 lubbuun kan darban yoo ta’u hedduusi barbaaduutti jiran March 12, 2017

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Ethiopians who survive on trash

 Ethiopia rubbish landslide kills 48 in Addis Ababa

 BBC, 12 March 2017

Addis Ababa: Massive garbage landslide kills dozens

Dozens missing after huge landslide at decades-old landfill site near the capital buries squatters’ makeshift homes.

ALJAZEERA,  12 March 2017


 About 150 people were at the site when the landslide struck on Sunday [AP]

At least 46 people have been killed and dozens are missing after a landslide struck at a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital.

The landslide late on Saturday levelled more than 30 makeshift homes of squatters living inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, said Dagmawit Moges, head of the city’s communications bureau.

Moges said most of the dead were women and children, and more bodies were expected to be found in the coming hours.

It was not immediately clear what caused Saturday night’s disaster. “We expect the number of victims to increase because the landslide covered a relatively large area,” he said.

The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital’s garbage for more than 50 years.

About 150 people were at the site when the landslide occurred, resident Assefa Teklemahimanot told The Associated Press news agency, adding dozens were still missing.

Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment.

Many people at the site had been scavenging items to make a living, but others live at the landfill because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive there.

“My house was right inside there,” said a shaken Tebeju Asres, pointing to where one of the excavators was digging in deep, black mud. “My mother and three of my sisters were there when the landslide happened. Now I don’t know the fate of all of them.”

The resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months likely caused the landslide, Assefa said.

Dumping had stopped in recent years, but it resumed after farmers in a nearby restive region where a new garbage landfill complex was being built blocked dumping in their area.


 

Smaller landslides have occurred at the Koshe landfill in the past two years, Assefa said.

“In the long run, we will conduct a resettling programme to relocate people who live in and around the landfill,” the Addis Ababa mayor said.

About 500 waste-pickers are believed to work at the landfill every day, sorting through the debris from the capital’s estimated four million residents. City officials say close to 300,000 tonnes of waste are collected each year from the capital, most of it dumped at the landfill.

Since 2010, city officials have warned the site was running out of room for trash.

City officials in recent years have been trying to turn the garbage into a source of clean energy with a $120mn investment. The Koshe waste-to-energy facility, which has been under construction since 2013, is expected to generate 50 megawatts of electricity upon completion.

Residents grieve as bodies are recovered at the scene of a garbage landslide on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa [Elias Meseret/AP]

At the end of her journey to trace the life of a typical flip-flop – from oilfield to factory to street to trash – Caroline Knowles was confronted with the Ethiopian capital’s largest landfill site …

At the end of her journey to trace the life of a typical flip-flop – from oilfield to factory to street to trash – Caroline Knowles was confronted with the Ethiopian capital’s largest landfill site …


 

The Second Oromo Leadership Convention March 10-12, 2017: Yaa’ii Hooggansa Oromoo Isa Lammaffaa March 12, 2017

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Yaa’iin Hoogganoota Oromoo tan hayyoonni Oromo addunyaa guutu irra irratti argaman akka gaariitti deema jiritti. Yaa’iin tun murtiilee gurguddoo dhimma Oromo walii galaa irratti murtaawaa jira. Nageenyaafi naamuusni walgahii tana akkaan eegamaadha. Ilmaan Oromo garaa qulqulluun waliin maryataa jiran. Kun Seenaa Ummata Oromo keessatti kan duraati. Qabsoon teenya waggooti dheeraa booda Dhaloota Haarawaa, warra rakkoof gadadoo sabni keenya keessa jiruuf fala barbaadan biyya keessaaf biyya alaattillee uumamtee jirti. Kana Oromon bakka jirutti mataa ol qabate ittin dhaadachuu qaba. Yaa’iin kunis akka injifannoon xumuuramu abdii keenya. Baga Gammaddan. Haqa Qabna Ni Moona!!!

https://www.facebook.com/OromiaMedia/videos/1897123027167222/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WMS students lend hands to Oromo Awareness Project March 11, 2017

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WMS students lend hands to Oromo Awareness Project

WORTHINGTON — Worthington Middle School students came together Friday afternoon to make bracelets as a way to support the Oromo Awareness Project.

 

The Oromo Awareness Project is an effort led by WMS student and Oromo eighth-grader Chaltu Uli, who hopes to bring awareness to the community about injustice happening in her home country of Ethiopia — specifically with the Oromo people.

The Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, have developed their own cultural, social and political system throughout history that differs from the rest of the country, which is governed by the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF has stepped over human rights and silenced any entity or individuals who don’t support its leadership, creating an environment of crisis in Ethiopia. There is constant confrontation currently taking place between the TPLF and the Oromo people that has resulted in significant loss of life.

Initially, Uli handed out letters during Worthington’s International Festival in which she shared her story and the situation in Ethiopia.

“The letter had a good response among some but she wanted to make it bigger, and so we thought, ‘What we can do to get the word out?’ said Kelly Moon, English immersion teacher at WMS. “And what actions do we want people to have in response to the letter?”

Moon was able to answer those questions while attending a student council leadership conference at which she connected with More Believe, a multimedia organization that helps companies promote their causes. Although the company agreed to produce the video for an affordable price, Moon still needed to come up with an idea to finance the video.

“The video is basically going to be about her story and what is happening in Ethiopia,” Moon said. “In order to make that video, we need the funds to create it.”

Uli and part of her family came to the United States in 2014 to flee the violence taking place in their country. However, her mother and youngest sister are still in Ethiopia.

“I have family there, so I am really concerned for them because there are really bad things happening there,” Uli said.

Despite the difficult situations she has had to overcome, Uli has been able to learn English and adapt to her new environment. She still worries, though, about the injustice happening in her native land.

Moon and Uli came up with the idea of creating bracelets and will sell them in the community to raise funds for the video. The student-made bracelets have four beads that represent the Oromo flag. Along with the bracelet, a short description of the meaning of each color is written on the back of the packaging.

Students will sell the bracelets, and a $500 goal has been set.

Moon explained that students are still deciding how to proceed after video is made. Possibilities include approaching legislators or donating funds to an organization, among others.

“We are still trying to figure out which avenues are going to be legitimate — like if it’s going to be donation, where is that money going to go where it will actually help and not just be incorrectly used,” Moon said.

Uli explained that her ultimate goal with the project is to bring awareness to government officials so they take action in helping the Oromo people.

“If they want they can donate money, but more importantly, we want them to contact the government and tell them about the Oromo people and what is happening in Ethiopia,” Uli said. “In the end, our goal is to make the government aware and to take action.”

Moon noted that although the project is focused on the Oromo, she hopes people will be more empathetic with refugees — or any individual who arrives in the country who is running from violence.

“I think when you know somebody’s story, it puts a face to the issue,” Moon said. “it’s not longer just an issue or problem “


 

HRW: US: Stand Up for Ethiopians as Government Stifles Protests, Jails Journalists Human Rights Watch Statement on Ethiopia to US Congress March 10, 2017

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US: Stand Up for Ethiopians as Government Stifles Protests, Jails Journalists

Human Rights Watch Statement on Ethiopia to US Congress

HRW, 9 March 2017


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Human Rights Watch Statement to US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, members of the Subcommittee: thank you for holding this important hearing on the current situation in Ethiopia and for inviting me to testify. I am pleased to be a part of it.

Ethiopia is a country of dual realities. Visitors and diplomats alike are impressed with the double-digit economic growth, the progress on development indicators, and the apparent political stability. But in many ways, this is a smokescreen: many Ethiopians live in fear. The current government – the only one since 1991 – runs the country with an almost complete grip on power, controlling almost all aspects of political, public, and even much private life. Pervasive telephone and online surveillance and an intricate network of informants allow the government to quickly curb any threats to its control; it silences critical voices through the use of arbitrary arrests and politically motivated prosecutions. These actions also prevent critical and divergent views as many who may be impacted by these harsh policies fear repercussions.

Ethiopia remains among Africa’s leading jailors of journalists. If you are or you seek to be an independent Ethiopian journalist you must choose between self-censorship, harassment, and possible arrest, or living in exile. The government blocks websites critical of the authorities and sometimes blocks the internet completely. Independent radio and television stations are regularly jammed. In short, the state tightly controls the media landscape, making it extremely challenging for Ethiopians to access information that is independent of government perspectives. As a result, Voice of America, which broadcasts in three Ethiopian languages, has become an increasingly important source of information for many Ethiopians but the government has, at times, obstructed its broadcasts as well.

Independent civil society groups face overwhelming obstructions. The 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation has made obtaining foreign funding nearly impossible for groups working on human rights, good governance, and advocacy. Leading members of the human rights movement have been forced to flee abroad and many organizations have stopped working on human rights and good governance to avoid problems.

There have also been serious restrictions on opposition political parties. This led to the ruling coalition in the May 2015 election winning 100 percent of the seats in the federal and regional parliaments. This is despite evident anti-government sentiments in much of the country, as the protests would later illustrate. Arbitrary dentition of members and supporters, politically motivated criminal charges, and restrictions on financing ensures that opposition parties are constrained and largely ineffective.

The state systematically ensures that many of the country’s 100 million citizens are dependent on the government for their livelihoods, food security and economic future. It controls the benefits of development including access to seeds, fertilizers, jobs, health care, and humanitarian assistance, even when funded by the US or other donors. While US-funded development assistance contributes to much-needed poverty reduction efforts, it also adds to the repressive capacity of the government by bolstering Ethiopians’ reliance on the government for their livelihoods and ultimately for their survival.

There is no evidence that the ruling party rigs elections – they don’t need to. The population’s dependence on the ruling party and the limits on opposition parties leaves many citizens, particularly in rural areas, little choice but to support the ruling party come election time. As one farmer in the Amhara region told me in July 2014, “we do not like this government, but we always vote for them. We have to because we get our seeds and fertilizer from them. During times of drought, we get food aid from them. If we don’t vote for them, we can’t eat.” He went on to tell me about his neighbor who voted for the opposition in the 2010 election and shortly thereafter was denied food aid, was denied treatment at a government health clinic, and eventually was displaced from his land for an investment project run by a government cadre.

The justice system provides no check on the government. Courts have shown little independence during politically charged trials. Many opposition politicians, journalists, and activists have been convicted under the repressive 2009 anti-terrorism law and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Acquittals are rare, credible evidence is often not presented, and trials are marred by numerous due process concerns. Mistreatment and torture are common in Ethiopia’s many places of detention. Just two weeks ago, Dr. Merera Gudina , the chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), a legally registered political opposition party, was charged with “outrages against the constitution.” A former fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Merera joins many other senior opposition leaders currently facing politically motivated criminal charges. Among those presently standing trial is OFC deputy chairman Bekele Gerba. Prosecutors included as ostensible evidence of his crimes a video of Bekele at an August 2016 conference here in Washington, DC, where he spoke of the importance of nonviolence and commitment to the electoral process. Like Merera, he has been a moderate voice of dissent in a highly polarized political landscape.

This begs the question: what avenues are left in Ethiopia to express dissent, to question government policies or to voice concern over abusive practices and how can the United States help strengthen free expression and association rights in Ethiopia?

I speak to you to today 16 months after large-scale and unprecedented protests started in Ethiopia’s largest region of Oromia in November 2015, spreading to the Amhara region in July 2016. Ethiopian military forces and police cracked down on these largely peaceful demonstrations, killing hundreds and detaining tens of thousands. The protests were a predictable response to the systematic and calculated suppression of fundamental rights and freedoms.

On October 2, the protest movement took a devastating turn. In Bishoftu in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, security forces mishandled a large crowd at the Irreecha cultural event causing a stampede that killed scores of people as they fled security forces. In the days that followed, angry mobs of youth destroyed government buildings and private property. Ethiopia was on the brink of chaos. One week after the Irreecha tragedy the government announced a state of emergency that remains in place. It prescribed sweeping and vaguely worded restrictions on a broad range of actions undermining rights to free expression, association, and peaceful assembly. It goes far beyond what is permissible under international human rights law and signaled a continuation of the militarized response to the expression of grievances. While the state of emergency has halted both the destruction of properties and the protests themselves, underlying grievances remain. No one should deny there are serious risks that more unrest could occur.

Since imposing the state of emergency, the Ethiopian government has repeatedly committed publicly to undertake “deep reform” and engage in dialogue with opposition parties to address grievances. In short, the authorities are saying the right things. But the only changes the government has made so far are largely cosmetic and fall dramatically short of the protesters’ calls for the protection of basic human rights.

The continuation of the state of emergency – furthering crushing the space for free expression and divergent views of governance – is not conducive for the open dialogue that is needed to address Ethiopia’s ongoing crisis. The government announced that it arrested over 20,000 people since the state of emergency began, although there has been little corroboration of these numbers, which could be higher. These mass arrests along with politically motivated trials of key opposition leaders, reinforces the message that the government is continuing along the path of suppressing dissent by force and not engaging in genuine and meaningful dialogue with opposition groups.

The Ethiopian government’s responses to all of these abuses have been consistent. The allegations are routinely denied without meaningful investigation, the government claiming they are politically motivated, while simultaneously restricting access for independent media and human rights investigators. In a report to parliament last June, the Ethiopia Human Rights Commission, a government body, concluded that the level of force used by federal security forces was proportionate to the risk they faced from protesters. This is contrary to all available evidence, including that contained in the US State Department’s recently released Human Rights Country Report for Ethiopia. No one has seen a written version of the Commission’s report that would justify such a conclusion.

While we are speaking today about the lack of accountability over the brutal crackdown in Oromia and Amhara regions over the last 16 months, Ethiopians in other regions have also been victims of serious abuses, most often without any meaningful investigations by the government. For example, Human Rights Watch documented possible crimes against humanity committed by the Ethiopian army in 2003 and 2004 in the Gambella region. There was no credible investigation into the extrajudicial executions, rape, and torture. In Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State, the Ethiopian military committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity between mid-2007 and 2008 during their counterinsurgency campaign against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). The Liyu police, a paramilitary force formed in 2008 that reports to the president of the Somali Regional State, have been implicated in numerous extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and attacks on civilians accused of backing the ONLF. No meaningful investigations have been undertaken into any of these alleged abuses in the Somali Regional State.

International scrutiny of Ethiopia’s rights record has also been lacking despite its June election to the UN Security Council, and its membership on the UN Human Rights Council – which requires it to uphold the “highest standards of human rights” and cooperate with UN monitors. Ethiopia has refused entry to all UN special rapporteurs since 2007, except the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea. There are outstanding requests from the special rapporteurs on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly, among others. In total, 11 UN Special Rapporteurs have outstanding requests for access to Ethiopia.

Despite abundant evidence of serious and growing repression by the Ethiopian government, particularly since the 2005 election, the US government has been a muted critic. Quiet diplomacy proven ineffectual and has coincided with the dramatic downward spiral in human rights and a serious constriction of political space that has led to the crisis Ethiopia is in today. It is time for a new US approach to Ethiopia in which Congress can play a leadership role in seeking a more balanced policy and requiring more deliberate oversight as it has done in other countries in crisis, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt.

As a starting point, members of Congress should speak out strongly and publicly against abuses by the Ethiopian government. House Resolution 128 and the resolutions introduced last year are steps in the right direction and contain many important elements. While non-binding, they are impactful because they let the Ethiopian government know there are repercussions for brutality against their own citizens – brutality that undermines US priorities in the Horn of Africa, including security, development, and economic growth. These partnerships are dependent on long-term stability in Ethiopia. Opposition to the ruling party’s repressive rule – as witnessed in the last 16 months – is a glaring indication that Ethiopia’s governance model marked by lack of respect for basic rights, is incapable of ensuring that stability.

International legitimacy is very important to the Ethiopian government – it wants to be a key player on the international stage and condemnation of its human rights record contradicts that image. So consistent, sustained and vocal pressure is critical.

It is crucial that the US makes it clear that if Ethiopia is going to remain a strong US partner it needs to open up legitimate political space and allow for critical voices to be heard. To begin with, members of Congress can and should call for the release of all political prisoners, including those like Bekele and Merera who should be part of any credible dialogue between the government and opposition parties. Members of Congress should also call for the release of all journalists unjustly jailed and call for the repeal or substantial amendment of repressive laws used to stifle critical voices. Any meetings with the Ethiopian ambassador to the US should include these points, as should any meetings with other Ethiopian officials, whether in DC or elsewhere. As the FY18 budget process gets underway, US support to the Ethiopian government should be conditioned on making progress in these and other areas of concern.

Members of Congress should use available opportunities to tell Ethiopia to stop hiding its own human rights record from international scrutiny. As a member of both the Human Rights Council and the Security Council, Ethiopia should cooperate fully with UN special mechanisms, in particular the rapporteurs on peaceful assembly and torture.

As expressed in House Resolution 128, members of Congress should reiterate the call of the UN high commissioner for human rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and others for an independent international investigation into the crackdown in Oromia and Amhara regions. Such action will send a powerful message to the Ethiopian government that its security forces cannot shoot and kill peaceful protesters with impunity. It will also send an important message to the victims and families, that their pleas for justice are being heard.

I’ll close by saying that I am aware of concerns expressed by some in the administration – and even here in Congress – that a more public stance on Ethiopia’s domestic situation might undermine the bilateral partnership between Addis Ababa and Washington – including cooperation on development, security and peacekeeping. But the United States has often underestimated its own leverage and been overly cautious as a result. Some of Ethiopia’s international partners have made strong public statements in the last year and these statements have not undermined their strategic partnerships. Far from it. The US may need Ethiopia – but Ethiopia needs the US too. The US should send a strong signal of support to the many Ethiopian citizens and Ethiopian Americans who seek the protection of their rights, greater political space, and democracy but whose fight for dignity and freedom has been crushed time and again through brutal force.

Thank you.


Related articles:

Terrence Lyons, Testimony for hearing entitled Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia

Seenaa Jimjimoo, Testimony for hearing entitled Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia

Tewodrose Tirfe, Testimony for hearing entitled Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia

Abaguya Ayele Deki, Testimony for hearing entitled Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia

Yoseph Tafari, Testimony for hearing entitled Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia

Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia Subcommittee Hearing March 9, 2017

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Democracy Under Threat in Ethiopia

Webcast

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “Ethiopia has long been an important ally, providing effective peacekeepers and collaborating in the War on Terror.  However, increasingly repressive policies have diminished political space and threaten to radicalize not only the political opposition but also civil society by frustrating their ability to exercise their rights under law.  This hearing will examine the current situation in Ethiopia with an eye toward developing policies to help this nation to reverse an increasingly tense situation in the troubled Horn of Africa.”

Witnesses

Panel I

Terrence Lyons, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution
George Mason University
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Felix Horne
Senior Researcher
Horn of Africa
Human Rights Watch
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Panel II

Ms. Seenaa Jimjimo
President
Coalition of Oromo Advocates for Human Rights and Democracy
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Tewodrose Tirfe
Co-Founder
Amhara Association of America
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Guya Abaguya Deki
Representative
Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

Mr. Yoseph Tafari
Co-Founder
Ethiopian Drought Relief Aid of Colorado
[full text of statement]
[truth in testimony form]

 

***Any changes to the witness list will be reflected above.

 

 

Hirira Mormii Hawaasni Oromoo Washington DC fi Naannawaashee Taasisaa jiran

 

WEF: How to grow old like an athlete March 9, 2017

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How to grow old like an athlete

Ageing is not a fixed process – we can change its trajectory


By James Hewitt, WEF, Head of Science & Innovation, Hintsa Performance

Published  Thursday 2 February 2017


Driving an F1 car is not a particularly healthy thing to do… I want to live a quality life when I’m old, and not suffer from horribly degenerated discs.

—Four-Time Formula One World Champion, Sebastian Vettel

The question of how to maximise ‘health span’ – the period of life during which we are generally healthy and free from serious disease – is increasingly prevalent both in and out of sport.

Global average lifespan doubled during the 20th Century, and this trend continues. Someone who is 50 today could expect to live until they are 83. A baby born in 2007 in the US, UK, Japan, Italy, Germany, France or Canada has a 50% chance of living until they are over 100.

It’s likely that we will live and work for more years than any generation before us. For many, this will be a necessity as much as a choice, as the increasing social costs of an ageing population are pushing back retirement age in many countries. These changes will have significant economic, social and psychological impacts, but one of the key questions we need to ask concerns the kind of life we’re hoping for, over this time course.

Lifespan or ‘health-span’

Different parts of our body and brain mature at different rates, so it’s very difficult to say what human ‘peak age’ might be. However, it’s clear that the first phase of life is dominated by growth, while declines become more apparent in the second half.

Many of us assume that the ageing process is a fixed process, that we reach our peak then begin an irreversible decline. This hasn’t stopped an entire industry from trying to make an impact, though.

The global market for anti-aging products, technologies and services is expected to grow from $282 billion in 2015, to $331 billion in 2020.

It seems that many of us would prefer to ‘die young as late as possible’, but while we’re living longer, we’re living ‘sicker’.

Sport as a laboratory

Studying ageing is a challenge, because as we get older, the number of confounding factors in observational research increases. The longer we live, the more choices we make, the wider variety of environments, stimuli and stresses we are exposed to. This can distort results, making it difficult to discern the difference between natural declines in health and performance from deteriorations that occur as a result of lifestyle factors and poor choices.

In contrast, the world of sport represents a fascinating ‘laboratory’ for studying human potential in the absence of sedentary behaviour. In athletic competition, cardiovascular, respiratory, neuromuscular as well as cognitive systems must all work well individually, and as a system, making it one of the best testing grounds for how our body and brain should work together at their best.

Physical inactivity is a primary cause of many of the chronic ailments which afflict an ageing population, but the high levels of physical activity among masters athletes mean that they should be free from many of the negative effects of sedentary behaviour. Any declines in athletic performance mirror the changes in the body and mind that occur as we age, rather than being a result of inactivity or other intervening lifestyle factors.

The performance of masters athletes can provide us with a biological model to understand what healthy, optimum aging looks like.

—Inherent ageing in humans: The case for studying master athletes: Editorial

Compressed ageing

The performance changes in masters sporting events display a ‘curvilenear,’ rather than linear, pattern. Instead of reaching a peak in their 30s, before experiencing an inexorable and linear decline, masters athletes retain close-to-peak performance for much longer, experiencing a gentler decline, followed by a rapid drop-off in the latter part of life.

In July 2016, 85 year-old Hiroo Tanaka, from Japan, ran the 100 metres in 15.19 seconds.

The findings among masters athletes reflect the aim that many of us have: maximise ‘healthspan’ by reaching a peak, then maintaining our health, physical and cognitive capacities for as long as we can, compressing ill health into as short a period as possible.

Maximise growth, minimise decay

If you’re younger than 35, there is still time to maximise ‘peak’ health and fitness. Ideally, you should aim to start from as high a point as possible, before the influence of ‘decay’ becomes more pronounced. However, if you’re older than 35, significant improvements are still possible.

It’s never too late to change your trajectory for the better. Studies have demonstrated that even 90 year-olds can improve their strength and power, with the appropriate training regimen and significant benefits are possible from relatively small ‘doses’ of physical activity.

Movement is medicine

Physical activity sets off a cascade of ‘signals’ which, if repeated, improve the function of our body and brain, diminishing the risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders, reducing anxiety and enhancing concentration and attention.

Movement is medicine. The benefits of physical activity far outweigh the possibility of adverse outcomes in almost every population, and increasing your levels of physical activity is one of the few interventions that has been demonstrated as beneficial across age-ranges, ethnic groups, and spectrums of physical ability.

Physical activity levels in our leisure time have remained relatively constant over the past few decades. However, sedentary activities at home, such as watching TV or consuming other media, coupled with technological advances in the workplace, mean that we spend a lot more time sitting over the course of an average week than we used to.

As our weekly minutes of physical activity decreases, risk of premature death significantly increases. There seems to be a dose-response association between total sitting time and the risk of dying from anything. In contrast, simply moving more, and moving more regularly, has a powerful influence on reducing the risk of disease, death and improving quality of life.

Does regular exercise let us get away with slumping at our desks?

The benefits of regular exercise are widely known, but even for physically active knowledge workers, morning exercise regimens are typically followed by extended periods of sedentary time, in the office, during commutes and at home. Unfortunately, it appears that we can’t ‘out-exercise’ our desk-jockey lifestyles.

In 2009, researchers studied 17,013 people aged between 18-90 years old. They found a dose-response relationship between sitting time and dying from anything. More significantly, they also found that this risk was independent of overall physical activity levels. It doesn’t matter how active you are. If you sit down for long periods, you are increasing your risk for chronic disease.

These findings have been supported by a number of other studies. Those of us sitting for 11 hours or more, per day, are at the greatest risk, regardless of how much physical activity we do.

Sitting for six hours per day, versus three hours, significantly elevates our risk of death, especially from cardiovascular disease, in both men and women.

—Leisure time spent sitting in relation to total mortality in a prospective cohort of US adults

Many physical activity programmes fail because their goals are too ambitious. The key is to start doing something. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of ‘good enough’. The following four actions may provide you with some ideas about where to begin. (It’s recommended to consult a medical professional before starting a new exercise programme.)

1) Move more. Take a moment and consider how long you spend sitting each day. Simply moving more, and moving more regularly throughout the day, even if you have to set an alarm to remind yourself to stand up and walk around now and again, can have a powerful influence on reducing the risk of disease, death and improving quality of life.

2) Move slow. Aiming to accumulate 10,000 steps each day has become a common means to increase daily physical activity. While some studies have not been supportive, many have demonstrated that increasing step count, and trying to integrate additional steps into your day to reach the 10,000 target, can be beneficial in terms of increasing physical activity and health.

3) Move fast. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves repeated bouts of high-intensity effort, followed by varied recovery times. A typical HIIT session could last between 20 and 60 minutes, but even shorter sessions have been demonstrated to be beneficial. A 2012 study among healthy, but sedentary men and women, demonstrated that 10-minute high-intensity cycling sessions, repeated three times per week for six weeks, improved health and fitness markers, including a 28% increase in insulin sensitivity and 12-15% improvement in VO2 max.

4) Move heavy. After turning 50, muscle mass begins to decrease at a rate of 1-2% per year, and muscle strength declines at 1.5–5% per year. Having more functional muscle may be associated with a ‘whole-body neuro-protective effect’ and while more research is required, muscular strength appears to play an important and independent role in the prevention of cardiovascular heart disease. Being in the top 25% of muscle mass for your age-group appears to be a significant positive predictor of longevity. Peak muscle power is an important predictor of how well we’ll function in old-age. Try to include resistance training as part of your life, at least two-times per week. This could involve completing 8-12 repetitions, of 8-10 different exercises, that target all major muscle groups.