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Smith Resolution on Ethiopian Human Rights Advances From Committee July 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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News Item: Smith Resolution on Ethiopian Human Rights Advances From Committee

27 July 2017

Today, the full House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to advance a resolution, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), highlighting the human rights violations of the Ethiopian government, and offering a blueprint to create a government better designed to serve the interests of the Ethiopian people.

The resolution, which passed without objection, also calls on the U.S. government to implement Magnitsky Act sanctions, targeting the individuals within the Ethiopian government who are the cause of the horrific abuses.

The State Department’s current human rights report on Ethiopia notes, “[t]he most significant human rights problems were security forces’ use of excessive force and arbitrary arrest in response to the protests, politically motivated prosecutions, and continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs.”

H. Res. 128, is like a mirror held up to the Government of Ethiopia on how others see them, and it is intended to encourage them to move on the reforms they agree they need to enact,” said Smith, Chair of the House panel on Africa. “For the past 12 years, my staff and I have visited Ethiopia, spoken with Ethiopian officials, talked to a wide variety of members of the Ethiopia Diaspora and discussed the situation in Ethiopia with advocates and victims of government human rights violations.  Our efforts are not a response merely to government critics, but rather a realistic assessment of the urgent need to end very damaging and in some cases inexcusable actions by the government or those who act as their agents.”

H. Res. 128, entitled “Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia,” condemns the human rights abuses of Ethiopia and calls on the Ethiopian government to:

  • lift the state of emergency;
  • end the use of excessive force by security forces;
  • investigate the killings and excessive use of force that took place as a result of protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions;
  • release dissidents, activists, and journalists who have been imprisoned for exercising constitutional rights;
  • respect the right to peaceful assembly and guarantee freedom of the press;
  • engage in open consultations with citizens regarding its development strategy;
  • allow a United Nations rapporteur to conduct an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia;
  • address the grievances brought forward by representatives of registered opposition parties;
  • hold accountable those responsible for killing, torturing and detaining innocent civilians who exercised their constitutional rights; and
  • investigate and report on the circumstances surrounding the September 3, 2016, shootings and fire at Qilinto Prison, the deaths of persons in attendance at the annual Irreecha festivities at Lake Hora near Bishoftu on October 2, 2016, and the ongoing killings of civilians over several years in the Somali Regional State by police.

It is important to note that this resolution does not call for sanctions on the Government of Ethiopia, but it does call for the use of existing mechanisms to sanction individuals who torture or otherwise deny their countrymen their human and civil rights,” said Smith.

Smith has chaired three hearings on Ethiopia, the most recent of which looked into the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ethiopia and was titled “Ethiopia After Meles: The Future of Democracy and Human Rights.”


Itoophiyaa keessatti akkaataa qabiinsa mirga dhala namaa fooyyeesuudhaa wixineen seeraa miseensonni mana maree Yunaaytid Isteets dhiheessan manichaaf akka dhihaatu fi sagaleen irratti kennamu koreen dhimmoota biyyoota alaa waligalteera gahe.

Financialization Has Turned the Global Economy Into a House of Cards July 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in 10 best Youtube videos, 25 killer Websites that make you cleverer, Kan dubbifnerra walii qooduuf.
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Financialization Has Turned the Global Economy Into a House of Cards: An Interview With Gerald Epstein

Sunday, July 23, 2017By C.J. Polychroniou, Truthout | Interview


Contemporary capitalism revolves around neoliberalism, globalization and financialization, with the latter being the dominant force in this triad. Yet, there is still confusion about the nature and dynamics of financialization, including its impact on the economy. What is clear, however, is that capitalism has become quite prone to regular and systemic crises under financialization as the system now thrives ever increasingly on debt and quick profits. In this interview, professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Gerald Epstein, a leading authority on financialization, sheds light on finance capital and why it needs to be brought under control.

… [F]inancialization can lead to economic expansion or stagnation, depending on the relative size of these factors. But it almost always increases inequality. In addition, it almost always leads to financial instability and even crises.

Source: Truth Out.  Click here to read the full article.

VOA: East African Refugees Make Indefinite Home for Themselves in Indonesia July 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Pasar Minggu Baru is a quiet, leafy neighborhood for refugees and asylum seekers, whose paths to there have been long and fraught, South Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2017. (K. Varagur)

Pasar Minggu Baru is a quiet, leafy neighborhood for refugees and asylum seekers, whose paths to there have been long and fraught, South Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2017. (K. Varagur)

Ranna, 24, an Oromo Ethiopian woman, is not only a third-generation refugee, but also a two-time refugee. Indonesia, which is home now, is the second place to which she has been displaced in her young life.

She was born in Saudi Arabia because her mother, the daughter of a prominent dissident, fled Ethiopia before her birth. But that country did not recognize asylum-seekers and she was officially stateless. After a brief interlude in Ethiopia, where she was deported to at age 16 and where she earned a bachelor’s degree, she was again forced to flee during a government crackdown on Oromo activists in 2015.

After a harrowing interlude in Djibouti, where she says Oromo asylum-seekers were being rounded up and deported because of an agreement with the Ethiopian government, Ranna’s smuggler booked her, her mother and her brother on a flight to Indonesia. It was a country where they knew no one and did not speak the language.

Pasar Minggu Baru abuts a commuter rail line, South Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2017. (K. Varagur)

Pasar Minggu Baru abuts a commuter rail line, South Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2017. (K. Varagur)

They were granted refugee status within a year and able to make a home in Pasar Minggu Baru, a South Jakarta neighborhood that abuts a commuter train line and station. Over the last three years, the neighborhood has come to house an enclave of East African refugees and asylum-seekers, some of whom arrived, like Ranna, through unscrupulous smugglers. Others got stuck in transit when Australia blocked maritime refugee arrivals in 2014.

East African asylum seekers face years-long wait times to even be granted refugee status in Indonesia, according to Trish Cameron, an independent refugee lawyer based in Jakarta. And if that happens, they face even longer wait times for resettlement out of Indonesia — if they are resettled at all, which is not a given, especially as developed countries have closed their doors in recent years.

“There’s not really anywhere to go right now,” said Ranna.

Pasar Minggu Baru community

There are about 200 Oromo refugees in Jakarta, according to Cameron, and “hundreds” of East African refugees in Pasar Minggu Baru. Ranna said she finds it quite safe.

An alleyway in Pasar Minggu Baur, which is home to many East African refugees, South Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2017. (K. Varagur)

An alleyway in Pasar Minggu Baur, which is home to many East African refugees, South Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2017. (K. Varagur)

“They don’t make you feel like a stranger, maybe because refugees have been hosted here for a long time,” said Ranna. There also is a small Arab market nearby, a happy coincidence because her family speaks Arabic from their time in Saudi Arabia.

Although Ranna has been a Muslim her whole life, she began wearing a headscarf only when she moved to Jakarta, out of respect, she said, for her neighbors.

About 16 percent of the 14,093 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR Indonesia are from East Africa, said Mitra Salima Suryono, a spokesperson for the agency. Most are from Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, plus a handful from Eritrea, Uganda and Mozambique.

Today, Ranna volunteers intensively as a translator — she is fluent in Oromo, Arabic, Amharic and English, and is now conversational in Bahasa Indonesia — to help asylum-seekers in her community prepare for their interviews.

Oromo unrest

The Oromo people are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, split about evenly between Muslims and Christians [Ethiopian Orthodox and Protestant], and account for about one-third of the country’s population.

The protests that began in 2015 grew out of a grass-roots movement led by students in the Oromia region. There also is a history of armed struggle for self-determination, however, led by the Oromo Liberation Front, an opposition group formed in 1973 after a military coup. The government has outlawed the OLF as a terrorist organization and blames anti-government protests on OLF and other groups that it labels “anti-peace elements.”

Ranna’s grandfather was a member of OLF and was the earliest family member to flee Ethiopia as a refugee. Although Ranna came to her homeland only as a young adult, she quickly picked up the nationalist energy that ran through her family. She became a prominent student activist and public health official, and was in her first year of medical school when she had to leave for Indonesia.

“There is grief inside me whenever I think about our people,” said Ranna. “Even in my short time there I could see how wrong it was.”

She spent a night in jail (“it felt like a year”) for her activism, but her middle brother suffered a worse fate before he could flee: He simply disappeared.

Human Rights Watch says more than 800 protesters have been killed since the unrest began in November 2015 and thousands more people have been arrested.

In December 2016, the Ethiopian government announced it would release nearly 10,000 people detained for “rehabilitation.”

Ranna’s youngest brother had just finished 10th grade when they fled, and in him, she sees signs of the aimless boredom that is now typical of the refugee experience in Indonesia, where refugees cannot legally work or attend school. Her mother has diabetes, and is in and out of hospitals.

She still manages to make spongy injera bread in their makeshift house. Ranna herself has acute anxiety and trouble sleeping at night, bearing, as she does, the weight of her family and community, and extant fears about the Ethiopian state.

Ranna doesn’t regret her activism, even as she and her family prepare for an indefinite stay in Indonesia. “I couldn’t see people dying in front of me and do nothing,” she said. “I could not.”