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Africa News: Ethiopia’s ethnic Oromos, tourists gather for Irreecha 2017 September 30, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Uncategorized.
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[Photos] Ethiopia's ethnic Oromos, tourists gather for Irreecha 2017

ETHIOPIA

The Irreecha festival is an annual thanksgiving festival by Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group. It takes place in the town of Bishoftu – located about 45km away from the capital Addis Ababa.

The 2016 edition was marred by deadly chaos after security operatives were said to have fired live bullets towards protesting participants. Millions of attendees are expected to gather on this occasion at Lake Arsede, Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), and surrounding areas.

Preparations are underway for the weeklong event which starts from October 1 and concludes on or around October 8, in the the Oromia region. We present pictures from preparations thanks to Ethiopian news portal, Addis Standard.

 Related Articles (Oromian Economist Sources):-

https://twitter.com/Abbaacabsa/status/914171824572915717

https://twitter.com/Abbaacabsa/status/914171824572915717

OPRIDE: Oromia gears up for Irreecha 2017: Reports, photos and analysis from Bishoftu

 

 

 

 

Pool Photo

The United States Embassy in Ethiopia has issued a security message for its citizens with respect to Sunday, October 1 Irreecha festival in the Oromia region.

The September 29, 2017 statement titled ‘Security Message for U.S. citizens: Security Awareness in Oromia Region,’ cited the deadly chaos of last year as a key reason for its latest alert.

Millions of people – ethnic Oromos from across the country, around the world and tourists – are expected in the town of Bishoftu – located about 45km from Addis Ababa for the annual thanksgiving ceremony.

The chaos of last year is a major concern for rights groups and political watchers in the region. The Oromo regional authorities a week ago announced that there will be no armed personnel deployed for this year’s session.

The U.S. has in recent past issued alerts for the Oromia region but more to do with supposed ethnic clashes between people in the region and the adjoining Somali region.

The full statement from the embassy read:

“The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that, beginning on October 1 and concluding on or around October 8, the Oromia region will celebrate its annual Irreecha. Millions of attendees are expected to gather on this occasion at Lake Arsede, Bishoftu (Debre Zeit), and surrounding areas.

“Noting that at last year’s Irreecha a tragic stampede resulted in numerous deaths, and given the ongoing potential for civil unrest, the Embassy advises U.S. citizens to postpone travel to Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) and its surrounding areas until after the celebration has concluded.

“Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security,” it concluded.


Ethiopians gather for festival marred by bloodshed

At least 50 Oromo people died last year at the Irreecha festival after police fired tear gas and started a stampede.

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha in 2016 [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

A year ago, Firommisa Darasa barely made it out of Ethiopia‘s Irreecha festival alive, managing to escape from a deep ditch where dozens perished.

The tragedy happened after police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters, sparking a stampede.

Last year’s bloodshed at the annual religious festival held by Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo people, became a turning point in months of anti-government protests that prompted the government to declare a nationwide state of emergency.

While dissatisfaction with Ethiopia’s government still runs deep among the Oromo, last year’s protests have since died down.

Those planning to attend this year’s Irreecha festival say they are hoping for the best when Sunday’s gathering begins in the resort town of Bishoftu, southeast of the capital Addis Ababa.

“I feel fear inside but if I don’t come, the people around me won’t come. This is our ancestral celebration and we will have to keep it,” said one of the festival-goers, 28-year-old Firommisa,

At least 50 killed

The Oromo people began protesting in late 2015, angered by a government proposal to expand Addis Ababa that they feared would deprive them of land without proper compensation.

Those tensions exploded at last year’s Irreecha when activists took to the stage and began shouting anti-government slogans, prompting police to open fire with tear gas.

At least 50 people were killed in the ensuing stampede, according to government figures. Activists put the death toll much higher.

Changes have been made this year at the festival grounds adjacent to a lake in the town 60km southeast of the capital.

A new open-air amphitheatre has been built and cobblestones laid on the ground, while the ditch that claimed so many lives last year has been fenced off.

The presence of armed security forces was seen as exacerbating last year’s chaos, but the Oromia regional government said this year there would be no weapons.

“This year will be different because there will be no political involvement from the government and no security from them as well,” said attendee Dachassa Gosa, 22.

WATCH: Ethiopia’s bereaved families seek justice (2:31)

Irreecha, or thanksgiving, is the most important annual festival of the Oromo people and it celebrates the end of the months-long rainy season and the upcoming harvest.

While traditionally a time to give thanks and pray for prosperity and abundance, it has increasingly been an opportunity for the Oromo to assert their identity and criticise government policies they say marginalise them.

Last year’s deaths re-ignited the protests across the Oromo region, but this time the targets were government and foreign-owned businesses, with several destroyed.

All told, the months of violence left more than 940 people dead, according to the government’s human rights commission, while arrests topped 22,000.

The bloodshed only ended with the declaration of a state of emergency, which was lifted in August.

However many Oromo say their grievances were not addressed and sporadic strikes and protests still occur.

READ MORE: 669 killed in Ethiopia violence since August

US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Ethiopian government to “act with restraint” this time around and to take measures to ensure there is no repeat of last year’s tragedy, while calling for a proper investigation into what happened.

“Certainly, if there were to be a return to what happened at least year’s Irreecha, you would expect that would lead to much wider unrest,” HRW researcher Felix Horne told AFP news agency.

Oftaha Oromoo travelled from a district hours away to join the celebration but expects a more subdued event this weekend.

“Personally I am still angry, but we have to be patient and celebrate,” he said. “This year, we want to remember the people who died.”

Source: AFP news agency

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Statement of International Oromo Lawyers Association In Commemoration Of Irreecha Massacre, 2nd October 2016. September 30, 2017

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International Oromo Lawyers Association (IOLA)  logo

Statement of International Oromo Lawyers Association In Commemoration Of Irrecha Massacre.


It is one year ago that the world witnessed the naked brutality of the TPLF-led Ethiopian regime, when it carried out a large scale massacre against the Oromo people gathered at the annual thanks-giving festival – Ireecha, in Bishoftu, some 45 kilometers, south of the capital.

 

According to reliable information, close to 1000 civilians were killed as a result of combination of stampede and use of life bullets as well as blockade of paths by the security forces. By all accounts, and conclusions by human rights experts, the tragedy was a well-designed and pre-planned government action against the Oromo people, who were already engaged in a year-long peaceful demonstration in the entire Oromia State region, demanding respect for their fundamental human rights.

 

Today, a year later, the government did not carry an investigation nor hold any official accountable for the death of the thousand civilians which resulted from the use of disproportionate use of force. To the contrary, it arrested and detained thousands of Oromo civilians for alleged instigation of disturbances.

 

This year, the festival is going to take place at the usual place following established rituals.  What is now becoming everyone’s worry is that, participants of the festival may try to use the opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the way the government addresses, or failed to address at all, their demand for respect for their fundamental rights, which may be used as a pretext by the security forces to react with a force which is disproportional to the demand and the civilian character of the demanding population.

 

That being the case, IOLA would like to join the international community in general and human rights institutes in particular in expressing its deepest concern regarding the possibility of unrest and subsequent harm to the civilian population during this year’s celebration of Ireecha.

 

It therefore demands that the government should:

  1. Take advance measures to put in place all what is needed for the citizens to peacefully celebrate Ireecha as per established ritual and without disturbances by the security forces;
  2. Ensure that security forces use proportionate force needed to maintain law and order;
  3. Take all the necessary security measures to ensure that the physical safety and security of civilians festival-goers is not compromised;
  4. Remind its security forces and give them clear guidance that Ethiopia is bound by the international Covenants and Conventions it had signed and that they should adhere and properly implement the United Nations Basic Principles on the use of Fire Arms.

 

International Oromo Lawyers Association.

OROMIA: IRREECHAA: THE CHERISHED OROMO HERITAGE AND ITS CHALLENGING TASK September 30, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo, Irreessa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Irreecha Oromo 2014 Hora Harsadii, Oromia

IRREECHAA: THE CHERISHED OROMO HERITAGE AND ITS CHALLENGING TASK

Getaachew Chemeda ( Member: Gadaa Meelbaa)


14440855_1012083622242098_3525717134028063329_nSince time immemorial Oromo men, women, youths, and elders have been rallying together to express thanks and happiness to their Waaqa, who according to the Oromo concept of colour is symbolised by the colour gurraacha, meaning black. By its very original concept the colour gurraacha (black) did not stand for mourning, grief or for the expression of sorrow. It was used to symbolise the invisible supreme power that can do and undo anything anywhere in the universe. Having this narrative tradition in mind, the Oromos have been getting together around rivers or lakes to thank their Waaqa Gurraacha at the end of the rainy season. They strongly believe that, it was Waaqa who delivered them from the restraining rainy season and brought them to the cherished flowery season. This great event, called Irreecha in Afaan Oromoo, is celebrated every year at the end of September or in the first week of October. https://youtu.be/Pk3W49aKXDY

Irreecha holds an important social event in Oromo people’s aspiration for peace, prosperity, abundance, fertility, and a hope for the renewal of a new social life. Like ancient Egyptians who used to celebrate the yearly inundation of the River Nile as a symbol of life giving, Oromos have been celebrating their new year on the side of river banks or lakes which, according to Oromo mythology, is the source of all life. Some of the hymens ancient Egyptians sang while praising the Nile were:

Oh Nile! You rise out of the earth and come to nourish Egypt! You quench the thirsty desert! You bring forth the barley! You create the wheat! You fill the granaries and the storehouses, not forgetting the poor. For You we pluck our harps, for You we sing! [1]                        

                                     Creation Narrative Stories

It was not only the ancient Egyptians or the Oromos who had creation stories in relation to water. In the Japanese telling stories, we find water holding the core of the dawn of creation. First, there was an ocean, out of which the many Japanese Islands were believed to have been created. There was a god known as Izanagi and a goddess Izanami. The gods, as a couple, had three children, of whom the grandson of the Sun Goddess had become the first Emperor of Japan, Nippon, as known to the native population.[2]

The gods used a long spear and stirred up mud at the bottom of the ocean.  It was out of the stirred up mud those more than 6000 Japanese islands were believed to have been created. On the eastern side, out of the glittering Pacific Ocean, the sun rose every morning. It was the cherished sun’s rays which had a big role in illumining, nourishing, and bringing up the Japanese archipelagos to life. This is the Japanese thought of their land, Mount Fuji being the most beautiful and sacred one.[3]

For the Japanese, Japan has not only been their country.  Japan has been their world and their religion. The creation story the people share in common and the passionate love they have for their country has continued to make up the coherent faith of their oneness. And, out of the cherished mythology, they have undoubtedly benefited enormous groundwork principles for their social and technological advancement we are witnessing today.

When we come to the antique Scandinavians of northern Europe, we find similar watery creation stories. In the beginning there was an abyss filled with water. The water froze; and lastly melted down. Out of the melted water, a giant being of human form called Ymir emerged. Thereafter, a man and woman were created out of Ymir’s armpits. In short, this was the beginning of ancient Scandinavian telling stories about the myth of human creation.[4]

The Oromo myth of creation holds the view that water being the source of androgynous being. According to Oromo narration story, by the unfathomable wisdom of Waaqa Gurraacha, the androgyny was divided in to two parts and became male and female. After the division, the two opposite sexes began to live separately on the either side of the river. Though they were able to see each other across the river, they were hampered from joining each other by the overflow of the river.  When the river subsided and sank down into its course, during the flowering season, they were able to cross the river and embraced each other.[5] Here was the point, during the flowering season, according to Oromo belief, when the first gaa’ila  (engagement for marriage) started to blossom.

Many of us may remember when newly married Oromo couples were coming to Irreecha at Hora Harsadii, enforced by nobody but only inspired by the tradition to get the blessings of the hayyuus and Abbaa Gadaas. But that was not performed on October 2, 2016 because of the heinous massacre carried out by the incumbent Ethiopian regime that disrupted the whole process of the ceremony.

Having this entire narrative story in mind, defending and combatting all challenging obstacles and heinous crimes imposed on them, the Oromos have continued to celebrate their yearly thanksgiving Irreecha festival, dressing beautiful national costumes suited for the occasion.

Norms of Irreecha Celebration

Today, at national level, millions of Oromos are celebrating Irreecha Birraa, on the side of Hora Harsadii in Bishooftuu town. At national or local levels, there are traditionally agreed upon norms that govern the whole process of the ceremony from the beginning to the end, which is deeply rooted in the strongly and humanely established Oromo views for peace, love, prosperity, and human dignity. Based on Oromo clans’ successive generation by birth, there are individuals who offer blessings first, second, and so on. This is dually (angafaa fi qixisuu) restructured in Oromo kinship organisations whose function of check and balance has become basic foundation for the indigenous Gadaa  Oromo Democracy to flourish.

The ceremony commences first by offering thanks and greeneries to Waaqa, followed by blessing all creatures of Waaqa to be at peace with each other. They also give admiration and honour to Waaqa’s wisdom who gave them a perfect bliss of land with abundant natural resources. This is one of the inherent reasons why the Oromos are cherishing their ancestral homeland, Oromiyaa (Biyya Oromoo) as part of their natural right, be it in peace or war times.

In the case of Irreecha Birraa, it is the Abbaa Malkaa who ‘opens the door’ of the malkaa (river) by charmingly welcoming those who arrived at the site in peace.[6] Those distinguished hayyuus from senior and junior clans (mana angafaa fi qixisuu) and the Abbaa Gadaa from the incumbent Gadaa party are traditionally honoured to take leading positions in giving thanks and blessings to all. Even the Ayyaantu-Qaalluus, who are believed to be the guardians of the laws of Waaqa and the  custodians of Oromo traditional religion, have no seniority right  to claim either to take the leading position or to give blessings first. They have their own defined time and place to do so. Failure to honestly follow those agreed upon traditional charter, could lead to chaos and eventually to the disintegration of the society. Nevertheless, despite so many apartheid walls erected among Oromo regions by builders of the imperial palace of political Ethiopia (in contradiction to historical Ethiopia), the Oromos are not able to be divided by the walls. They are chiselling down the walls and are patiently moving forward in unison.

         Is Irreecha a Religion?

As common to any Oromo meetings or conferences, thanking Waaqa and blessing each other precede the opening of the agenda of the meetings. There is no exception for the thanksgiving Oromo new year celebration, Irreecha. Since the Oromo name of Waaqa is the centre of Oromo Natural Religion, the solemn invocation of Waaqa at Irreecha or elsewhere cannot be avoided. This is the core issue, the authenticity of Oromo natural religion and Oromo morality that seem to have scared general managers of ‘Revelation Industries’ and their sponsors in Oromia. They are prompted to develop phobic images against essential Oromo values: vilifying, desecrating, defaming, and bedevilling Oromo material and spiritual assets as a whole. Why? The answer is so unilineal, not parallel.

Irreecha has been one of the major Oromo events that distinguishes, makes, and marks the identity of an Oromo personality as a member of the nation.

  • It is a social festival that praises Waaqa who helped them come together in peace and embrace the incoming bright-sunny season.
  • It is a social festival that sees off the out-going rainy season, wishing its recurrent appearance in peace, happiness, abundance, fertility, equality, fraternity and a hope for victory against all forms of evils.  

But, as has obviously been duplicated by foreign media outlets, particularly after the Irreecha massacre of October 2, 2016, there is a clear tendency to look on Irreecha as a ‘religious festival’. It is quite villainous and sinisterial to depict the general Oromo sense of Oromo-self only from a single perspective. Is Habasha’s Inkutatash not Qiddus Yohannes’ religious celebration or is it a new year festival?  Is Tigrian’s Ashanda the worshipping of Churches of Saints or season greetings? Is European Christmas the celebration of Christ’s birth day, or is it the continuation of pre-Christianity European culture of winter solstice celebration?

When it comes to Irreecha Oromo, it is propagated as heathenish or animist religion that makes a tree or a river the centre of worship. This can simply be attested from the recently publicised sub-human propaganda by a self-declared “Prophet” named Suraphael Demise https://youtu.be/u2hrjMaSeqM

We do not understand whether such inconsiderate propaganda is really a reflection from a fully-developed human brain or is it a proxy psychological war sponsored by the monstrous Satan.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           If one wants to talk or know about Oromo religion, it is called Waaqeffanna, not Irreecha. Where is the self-organised Waaqeffannaa religion right now? One may ask the Tigrian Ethiopian regime, sitting in Minilk’s imperial palace; muddling the peoples of that empire,  sponsoring divisive and xenophobic people like Suraphel  Demise.

Waaqeffannaa by its natural origin, contrary to revelationists’ assertions who claimed to have seen visions and heard voices, is neither a claimed vision nor claimed heard voices. Had it been a claimed vision or claimed voices, it could have been dwelling on narrating about a place of everlasting torture or about a place of eternal delight in the afterlife. In the narrative story telling of Waaqeffannaa there were no individuals who did claim any visions or heard voices for its establishment as a religious institution. It emerged naturally out of the organised Oromo people’s activities in the remote antiquity. Henceforth, Waaqeffannaa, as a natural religion, has become the common vision of Oromo people’s common mind. It is free from claiming any received information of the afterlife, be it from the chamber of the sinners or from the chamber of the pious. However, Waaqeffannaa may wonder or speculate what could be happening beyond the veil of a man’s soul (lubbuu) after his dead body was ceremonially buried. Revealed religions claimed and are still claiming that they had unveiled the veil, saw the souls, and heard their voices from chambers of the ‘hell and heaven’.

In its strictest sense, Irreecha is not a religious institution. It is a ritualised social event; certainly, adorned and accompanied by Oromo Natural Religion known as Waaqeffannaa. Waaqeffannaa and Irreecha have been with the Oromos, by the Oromos, and for the Oromos since the dawn of creation long before the conception of revealed religions.

                 The Irreecha Massacre and the “Tasa” Monument

 An attempt to ban the Irreecha festival started the time when Oromos lost their sovereign rights to Abyssinian firearms under the supreme commandship of King Minilk of Shewa. After the Tigrian-led Ethiopian regime took the imperial palace by force in 1991, the orchestration to ban the Irreecha ceremony was concluded. This time, the regime took the first apartheid action by banning the revived Matcha-Tulama Self-Help Association and the freely organised Waaqeffaanaa religious association. Instead of directly banning Irreecha, however, like Matcha-Tulama and Waaqeffanaa, the regime renewed the old Nugus-Orthodox tactics of hijacking anything good of the Oromos and good for the Oromos.

A delegate led by Abba Duulaa Gammadaa, the then president of ‘Oromia Regional State’ was despatched to Hora Harsadii to hijack Irreecha. The delegate failed to accomplish the mission it intended to seal and returned to the palace in dismay. Here was planted the seed of the evil action that took thousands of innocent lives on October 2, 2016 at Hora Harsadii, Bishooftuu.

Ahead of the massacre, the regime meticulously orchestrated provocative tactics that could incite the people against itself. It imposed rules that are too antagonistic to the established Irreecha tradition. When the people reacted to the evil provocation, its ill-behaved security forces started firing life bullets from the ground and from armoured vehicles against millions of celebrants. Military helicopter flew over them spraying teargas on them. On this day, that barbaric action changed the happy Oromo Irreecha event to a bloody grief.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_3miIwY4mQ&t=33s

The regime and its killing forces rejoiced the success of their fascistic actions on human carnages. The regime’s trumpet Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn, was so quick to deny the massacre and said, “No single bullet was heard; but because of stampede about 52 people were killed.” Finally, like Muktar Kadir who thanked the Agazi killing forces, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister thanked the regime’s mercilessly firing forces  https://youtu.be/Q6cSzgiZdc8

To remember the success of their evil plan, the Tigrian-Ethiopian regime erected a very offensive stone they call “Memorial Monument”. A deaf monument, that speaks of nothing about the root cause of the massacre. Sadly, what is inscribed on the monument seems to be articulated in the way it could depict the lost human lives as unworthy ones. It reads in Afaan Oromoo “Tasa Lubbuun Isaanii dabreef, for suddenly passed away lives”

This “Tasa Monument” was erected in a faraway place where the actual massacre did not take place

 Conclusion

The Oromos have tried to do everything positive for Ethiopia. But why are they being reciprocated with negativity for their positive generosity? When the Oromos are coming out for peace, those who are making huge business in the name of “Ethiopia” are incessantly confronting them with vibrant forms of violence, persecution and marginalisation.

 In former days, before Oromo country and their central holy site, Walaabu, had fallen to naftenya’s bayonet, Oromo generations in every Oromo clan were making pilgrimage to Walaabu. The purpose of the journey was more of religious, that they sought the anointment and blessings of Abbaa Muudaa, who was believed  to be the eldest son of Oromo [Orma], the Spiritual Father of the nation holding the centre of Oromo Natural Religion, the belief in Waaqa Tokkicha.[7]

The pilgrims, who were scattered in north-east Africa, representing their clans, used to travel a long journey and arrived at the Muuda site. On their return to their clans, they came back with qumbii (myrrh), which the Abbaa Muuda distributed to them as a symbol of his fatherly holy blessings. This had been considered as dangerous and anti-peace to Abyssinian crosses and crowns. Subsequently, with the invention and consolidation of the ‘New Ethiopia’, qinyi gizaat, (the Amharic version for colonial empire) by King Minilik of Shewa, Oromo’s journey to the Muuda holy site was prohibited. It was finally banned at the beginning of the twentieth century. Huntingford who collected good information from various sources wrote:

”—after the Abyssinian conquest of [Oromia], however, the pilgrimage was forbidden owing to its political and nationalistic influence.—as opportunities for stirring up Oromo patriotism and forming plans of rebellion for men of all the  Oromo tribes met at Walaabu.”[8]

This inhumane and erratic ideology will get nowhere. It is now far from halting down Oromo people’s aspiration for regaining their lost freedom. We, including those in ati-Oromo camps, are daily watching and witnessing the reality on the ground.  The more direct wars and propaganda campaigns are pouring on the Oromos, the more their heroisms are reinvigorated. Irreecha will continue to march forward with its noble objectives of thanksgiving social festivities: vitalising, remaking, and remarking Oromummaa (Oromo-ness).


Related:-

IRREECHA – THE COLORS, THE IDENTITY AND THE PRIDE OF OROMO NATION

Oromia: Farm land grab: Game over for Flora EcoPower September 28, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia, Uncategorized.
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Game over for Flora EcoPower
Africa Intelligence | 22 September 2017 [FR], INDIAN OCEAN NEWSLETTER ISSUE 1458

One final straw for the German company which owns 70,000 ha of land in Oromia has put a definitive end to its Ethiopian adventure.
According to information obtained by the Indian Ocean Newsletter, the oil production and biofuel refining company Flora EcoPower Ethiopia, a subsidiary of the German group Acazis AG, has been ravaged by the fighting between Oromos and Somalis (ION 1457). Despite statements of reassurance from Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the conflict between the two communities is intensifying with each passing day. Already affected by the anti-government demonstrations which have broken out in Oromia National Regional State (ONRS), foreign business operators, like the Saudi-Ethiopian magnate Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi (ION 1421), are now having to deal with ethnic clashes too.
Ethiopia allocated 70,000 ha of land to Flora EcoPower in the region of West Hararghe, which straddles the districts of Daro Lube and Boke, to enable it to produce castor, groundnut and eucalyptus oil. However, this region, where al-Amoudi’s Horizon Plantations Ethiopia is also active, borders onto the Somali National Regional State (SNRS, see here).
Flora EcoPower, which is run by Patrick Bigger and Andreas Burger, has never managed to turn the venture into a success. Subject to insolvency proceedings since July 2015, for many years the company has been trying to attract investment for its farm and refinery, and for a long time thought it would succeed in the case of Herakles Farm. Run by Bruce Wrobel, the company is the public face in Africa of the American investment firm Blackstone Group, founded by Stephen A. Schwarzman.
In 2013, managers from Herakles’ operation in Cameroon came to assess Flora EcoPower’s production resources and its performance, but no partnership ultimately came of it. In the end, Patrick Bigger and Andreas Burger entrusted the running of their oil refinery in Fetachu, near to Harar, to the Ethiopian firm K&S, which is run by Pakistanis from Sudan and Yemen who have already worked in Ethiopia for the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT, a group of companies with links to the EPRDF, Ethiopia’s ruling coalition) and for Al-Habesha Sugar Mills, owned by the Pakistani investor Abdul Majeed Pardesi.


 

https://twitter.com/AnywaaSurvival/status/911221123924332550
Land activists around the world celebrated the news of the collapse of one of the world’s biggest land grabs: the Indian company Karuturi Global Ltd’s 300,000 hectare farmland deal in Ethiopia. 


Referendum Blues: The Issue of an Independent Kurdistan — Aletho News September 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistKurdstan map

 

“Kurds voted in large numbers in an independence referendum in northern Iraq” (voter turnout of aproximately 78%), as explained by Reuters. While simultaneously, Turkey and Iran engaged in war games on the Iraqi border. Iraq’s PM al-Abadi, for his part, ordered the Iraqi army to “protect citizens being threatened and coerced” by triumphant Kurds.

By Dr Can Erimtan | 21st Century Wire | September 26, 2017 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (aka the Prez) and his Justice and Development Party (or AKP) have been steering the state founded by Mustafa Kemal [Atatürk] (1881-1938) into distinctly Islamic waters for quite some time now… and as Turkey houses the largest percentage of Kurds […]

via Referendum Blues: The Issue of an Independent Kurdistan — Aletho News

 

Related:-

Iraqi Kurds Vote to Split From Baghdad in Landmark Independence Referendum – Time

 

ETHIOPIA IS GRAPPLING WITH HEIGHTENED RISK OF STATE COLLAPSE, IT IS TIME FOR ORDERLY TRANSITION   September 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethiopian Empire, Ethnic Cleansing, Horn of Africa Affairs, Uncategorized.
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Thousands of internally displaced Oromos from the recent conflict in eastern Ethiopia remain in temporary shelters

Addis Abeba, September 27/2017 – Ethiopia is fast descending into turmoil as the result of incessant state-sanctioned violence and repression. Popular demands that precipitated a three year-long protest, which started in Oromia in 2014and then spread to the Amhara and other regions, remain unaddressed. The discontent in the two most populous regional states, Oromia and Amhara, home to two-thirds of the country’s population of over 100 million, is deep and widespread. The resulting anxiety, expressed by serious Ethiopia watchers, is confirmed by the country’s leader, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who once warned that the continued protests could push Ethiopia into a situation similar to what has prevailed in neighboring Somalia for the last 26 years: state collapse.

The popular protests signaled a regime in crisis. After ruling for a quarter century, the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), began to exhibit signs of decomposition. Nowhere is this well archived than the reporting by this magazine over the last six years.  The economy, once touted as the envy of the world, started experiencing a downward spiral. Tensions emerged at the highest echelons of the security apparatus with the civilian and military intelligence at loggerheads over the direction of the regime’s response to the protests. Beginning in December 2016, two months into the state of emergency that was declared to suppress the protests, the situation got further complicated with rising tensions between regional states – first between the Amhara and Tigray regions and currently between the Oromia and Somali regional states.

Escalating Tensions

For years, Oromo residents near the regional frontiers have complained of an aggressive attempt by the Somali Regional State to forcefully dispossess their land. Until recently their grievances fell on deaf ears. The conflicts escalated in February and March 2017 as incursions and raids conducted by the Somali Special Police (the Liyu Police), also known as the Liyu Hayil, and militia intensified along the border between the two regional states stretching from Chinaksan in the East (near the border with Somaliland) and Moyale (near the border with Kenya).

Cross-border raids and fighting increased in frequency and intensity in early August and tensions boiled over in mid-September in Oromia’s East Hararghe Zone, where at least 60 people were killed, according to locals. In addition to its assault on Oromo civilians in Oromia, members and sympathizers of the Liyu Police are currently attacking and expelling Oromo residents and merchants from the Somali region.  As a result, hundreds of Oromos have been killed and tens of thousands displaced from their homes in the Somali region. Authorities in the Oromia region have begun sounding alarm about an all-out war of aggression by the notorious Somali Special Police.

In a more ominous development, officials from the two states are engaged in an unprecedented war of words, particularly on social media. Their tangling is not limited to words.  The security organs of the two states have been battling each other over the territories along the common border.

All of this is happening under the watchful eyes of the federal army and security forces, which are now ordered by the Prime Minister to man the common border between the two states and all major roads in Oromia. Oromo residents in the affected areas question the neutrality of the federal army, particularly the impartiality of Tigrean kingmakers in the ruling EPRDF coalition, and not a few accuse them of abetting and enabling the still-ongoing Liyu Police incursions into undisputed Oromo territories.

Critics contend that Tigrayan generals and intelligence officials, the current de facto rulers of Ethiopia, have two overarching objectives for empowering and enabling the Liyu Police and leaders of the Somali region: to cripple the three-year-long Oromo resistance against the EPRDF government, and to undermine, weaken and control the new leaders of the Oromia regional state, who have recently shown some signs of autonomy from the overbearing center. The development risks provoking a total breakdown of law and order on the peripheries, which can gradually creep toward the center—leading to state collapse.

Signs of Collapse

Predicting state collapse, a complex phenomenon with multiple causes and effects, is never easy.  However, those writing on state collapse, such as Caty ClementRobert Rotberg, and Claire Vallings and Magüi Moreno-Torres, agree that the legitimacy, or lack thereof, enjoyed by state institutions and their capacity or failure to deliver the political and economic goods needed by society are the primary indicators. Having refused to open up the political space to allow the population to render judgment on its political legitimacy, the EPRDF regime, in power for over a quarter of a century, had instead sought to predicate its legitimacy on the economy’s exaggerated performance. The resulting political instability now threatens to bring the economy to a standstill.

Many observers in and outside Ethiopia, including current and former Ethiopian officials, have offered a bleak prognosis about the country’s fate. For example, last year the former Chief of Staff of Ethiopian Defense Forces, General Tsadikan G/Tensae, warned that the mass protests in Oromia and Amhara regions in particular and EPRDF’s failure to contain them augurs the onset of a full-fledged political crisis. His colleague, Gen. Abebe Teklehaimanot also expressed similar concern about the country’s prospects for stability unless significant reforms are implemented.

Similarly, a string of international media headlines and expert analyses warn of a growing political crisis. Articles appearing in Open DemocracyForeign Policy JournalForeign Affairs,  and the Guardian, just to mention a few, have joined the chorus about an impending collapse. Perhaps acting out of this fear, Ethiopia declared a state of emergency in October 2016, which lasted for nearly ten months. The declaration was a stunning reversal for Ethiopia’s rulers, who had some success portraying Ethiopia as an island of stability in a troubled region and propagating a myth of “Ethiopia rising.”

Several trend indices point to Ethiopia’s growing state fragility. According to the Fragile State Index, for example, Ethiopia’s fragility has been rising steadily since 2006. The Index of State Weakness designates Ethiopia as one of the world’s critically weak states. Noting the complete lack of political rights, Freedom House has consistently rated Ethiopia as Not Free — with a score of only 14 out of 100 in its 2017 report.

And all states that collapsed had one thing in common: a violent dictatorship locked into a win-lose conflict with a populace determined to untangle the incumbent regime from the reins of power. The breakdown of state-society relations marks a milestone in a trajectory towards state collapse.  Other credible risk assessments underscore this same bleak picture for Ethiopia.

Recently, Christopher Clapham, a long-time Africa watcher, noted that Ethiopia is both the anchor and the main source of the perennial instability that has haunted the Horn of Africa region for decades. Should the Ethiopian state implode, as all indicators point toward, the whole region, where a quarter of a billion souls eke out an already precarious existence, would go down with it.

This is not an implausible scenario. Ethiopia is situated in a region harboring two already collapsed states (Somalia and South Sudan), two failing states (Sudan and Eritrea), and yet another fragile state (Kenya). It also abuts the world’s most volatile region, the Middle East. All of these factors about Ethiopia’s increasing fragility ought to have set off alarm bells in Washington, Brussels, London, and Addis Ababa itself, seat of the African Union.

To be sure, the EPRDF is not the sole culprit for all of Ethiopia’s ills. There are factors beyond its control that contribute to the ongoing political convulsion. One such factor is soaring population growth. Ethiopia’s population has doubled since EPRDF came to power, putting unbearable pressure on the environment and natural resources in a country where backward agriculture is the dominant means of agricultural production. In addition, there are a number of quite contentious issues hampering any consensus among the political class.

Divided elites

Ethiopia’s political class is beholden to deeply divergent diagnoses and remedies to tackle the mounting problems. It doesn’t agree even on such uncomplicated issues as the bases of the country’s statehood. EPRDF is convinced that Ethiopia is a nation of nations. Structuring Ethiopia as a federation of nations, nationalities, and peoples stemmed from this conviction.

The elites of the Oromo and other marginalized groups hold the view that the structuring of Ethiopia as a multinational federation was a positive step but dismiss EPRDF’s federation as bogus. Indeed federalism without democracy is an oxymoron. Their fear is that an undemocratic federation of nations could produce a repeat of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia’s disastrous fates. Members of these groups insist that only democratizing the present federation can avert such eventuality.

Another vocal group, hailing predominantly from the previous ruling elite, rejects the emphasis on Ethiopia’s multinational nature and aspires to forge the country’s numerous ethnic groups into a single Amharic-speaking nation—resurrecting the policies and memories of successive feudal and military regimes that stoked decades of armed conflicts and brought the state at different junctures to the brink of collapse. Since neither of these groups is willing to heed the fears, pains, and perspective of the other, a debate of the deaf has been going on among them for the last three decades.

These contrasting positions come with the dangerous implication of pulling the country in opposite directions. The concern that this configuration of political stands could culminate in ripping Ethiopia apart should not be underestimated.

A successful mobilization by multiple rival groups against a resented centralized power is a harbinger of regime collapse. All indications are that mobilization by both the Oromo and the Amhara, even within the EPRDF, is gathering momentum, thereby exacerbating the regime’s incoherence. To date the protests among the Oromo and Amhara have largely remained peaceful.  However, increased repression has made the breakout of armed insurrection all but certain. Most disconcertingly, regime collapse could easily morph into state collapse in Ethiopia as the regime has intricately tied its fate to the survival of the state.

Precipitating factors

The second most threatening factor is the refusal of the ruling party to institute the reforms demanded by the protesters. When the ruled refuse to live under the old order and rulers are unable to carry on in the old way, breaking out of the impasse could be achieved only by instituting significant reforms. And this is just what the EPRDF has been utterly unable and unwilling to do. Without reforms, the specter of a revolutionary breakdown looms around the horizon.

The excessive securitization of the Ethiopian state to stifle growing dissent is also having two unintended consequences.  First, it is making rising dissent inevitable. Second, ballooning costs of securing the regime could easily bankrupt it. The recent tax-hike, which resulted in one of the first successful attempts at a general strike in decades, presages what is to come.

The main obstacle to instituting any kind of reform is the lack of democracy and honest conversation within the ruling party. The EPRDF is composed of four entities: (1) The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), (2) The Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), (3) The Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and (4) The Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). Of all of these, the TPLF, speaking for the least populous constituency, plays a dominant role, thereby standing the EPRDF pyramid on its apex. The inherent instability of this setup accounts for much of Ethiopia’s fragility than anything else.

Growing fragility

States become susceptible to failure when two factors come into play. The first occurs when rulers lose their mandate to govern and their administration of the affairs of the state becomes illegitimate in the eyes and hearts of a growing sector of the concerned populace. The three-year-long protests in Oromia and Amhara regions bespeak the loss of mandate to govern. The second happens when the rulers’ capacity to keep the governed in tow is exhausted. The failure of the state of emergency to quell the popular appetite for resistance against the system attests to this fact. And there seems to be a dialectical relationship between soliciting legitimacy and seeking domination. As coercion is deployed more frequently, the consent of the ruled plummets, and rulers would be forced to increasingly resort to naked coercion, which further diminishes their legitimacy and necessitates the application of even more coercion.   For the EPRDF regime, more repression is not yielding the anticipated results.

This vicious cycle has characterized EPRDF’s rule ever since it came to power in 1991. It started with a questionable legitimacy, which steadily diminished with each passing decade. In order to make up for this falling legitimacy, EPRDF bolstered and fine-tuned its instruments of coercion and control. The crude application of these tools in the absence of an astute political leadership creates more security problems than it solves. To make matters worse, since the death in 2012 of its strongman, Meles Zenawi, the EPRDF has shown signs of atrophy, discord, and unraveling. In place of the centralized rule that characterized earlier decades, multiple sources of authority are currently vying for influence—at times violently.

Political fragmentation

Within the EPRDF, inter and intra-party relations have broken down. Both ANDM, ruling the Amhara region, and OPDO, ruling Oromia, are pressing for more autonomy from the TPLF-dominated center in a bid to respond to the growing popular chorus to end Tigrean domination of the country’s politics, economy, and security apparatus. The gap between the official rhetoric of the devolution of power and the reality of continuing centralization has undermined the resilience normally accruing to a federal arrangement. At the moment, the system is more brittle than it has ever been. The failure to stop armed incursions into Oromia from the Somali region, which has led to the killing of innocent people and mass expulsion of Oromo civilians from the Somali region, is a worrisome sign of the breakdown of central control.

The Oromo protests happened despite the long running process of extending party control over the populace, which culminated in 1 out of 5 Ethiopians (i.e., 20 million) being harnessed into an elaborate state surveillance system. This level of regime penetration of society is unprecedented in Ethiopian history and quite likely in the entire African Continent. This panoptic surveillance structure, however, proved totally useless in averting mass uprising particularly by the Oromo and the Amhara.

That is why authorities resorted to a state of emergency as part of the regime’s increasing reliance on force and coercion to stay in power. Yet even after martial law was imposed, the rebellious societies remain restive and will likely rise up again. It had to be lifted because it had become ineffectual and a burden. This begs a very important question: What would EPRDF do that it has not done to date in order to contain the imminent mass upsurge?

The incumbent regime shows no indication of heeding and addressing the protesters’ grievances. The regime’s effort to placate the people, including through declarations of war on rampant corruption, abuse of power, problems of good governance, cabinet reshuffles, and promises of “deep renewal” have come to naught. And the kneejerk reaction of violently putting down resistance protests has not worked so far and is unlikely to work in the future. This is what makes state failure in Ethiopia a real possibility.

In addition to the mounting political crisis, Ethiopia also faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe. Drought and famine are back in the headlines: See, for example, the  TelegraphBBCDWWashington PostEuro NewsSave the ChildrenOxfamWorld Food ProgramCBC, and IRC, just to mention a few. According to the United Nations, 20 million are suffering from acute food shortages, and in many places the situation has already developed into a famine. This time the crisis is not affecting the traditional famine-prone regions of northern Ethiopia, but the Eastern and Southern regions.

Call for action

The escalating conflict along the vast border between the Somali and the Oromia states indicates that Ethiopia’s political crisis is showing no sign of abating. Instead, it is deepening. It is almost universally believed among the Oromo that the conflict is not between the two brotherly populations, the Oromo and the Somali. Rather, it is a proxy war waged by the Tigreyan military brass, which practically rules the country, to intimidate the Oromo as well as the new OPDO leaders, who are increasingly asserting their autonomy from the TPLF under whose hegemony they grudgingly toiled the last 26 years. The Liyu Police happened to be another handy element in its toolbox of the strategy of “divide and conquer.”

The conflict between two large states of the Ethiopian federation has worsened the growing fear of state fragility. Ethiopia’s implosion would have catastrophic reverberations not only in the strife-ridden Horn of Africa but for the entire continent and beyond. The combined effect of these crises is bound to affect neighboring states and could reach as far as Europe, where the flood of refugees from the Middle East has already led to the rise of nativist and populist far-right-extremists. Until now, the EPRDF regime has been given the benefit of the doubt by its Western and other backers despite its gross abuse of power and persistent violations of human rights.

What would further destabilization of the Horn, home to a quarter of a billion, do? Africa and the rest of the world cannot afford Ethiopia, with a population of over 100 million, disintegrating into chaos. The EPRDF regime has laid the groundwork for this eventuality by design or default, and its continued hold on state power would only worsen the crisis. This should not be lost on anyone harboring the least goodwill toward Ethiopia, the troubled Horn region and its suffering population.

The international community has a stark choice: either it wakes up to the dangers and saves Ethiopia from collapse, or faces the consequences. Only an orderly transition toward a legitimate and accountable political order could avert the imminent danger of collapse. It is the best way out for the regime. And the international community needs to step up efforts to come face to face with the ensuing reality. The alternative is being swept away by a tidal wave of popular anger that has been building up for 26 years under a brutal, corrupt, and unyielding dictatorship.

The international community can no longer hope that the regime can muddle through these crises as it has always done. This time around the gravity of Ethiopia’s collapse is qualitatively different from previous situations, not to mention deadly serious.  The writing is on the wall: state collapse is on the horizon. AS 


 

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: The Story Of The Only Man Bold Enough To Gap Kipchoge In Berlin September 25, 2017

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Harry Prevor,   Flotrack, Sep 25, 2017

There were 24 talented athletes announced in this year’s Berlin Marathon elite men’s field earlier this month, but most track fans stopped scrolling after three. After all, the ‘script’ of this race was clear: one of Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, or Wilson Kipsang was going to win. And if any of them was to be challenged, the last one would be Kipchoge — the pre-race favorite who had run 2:00:25 in his most recent marathon, although the time was unofficial in terms of world records.So if we were to say that the only runner to challenge Kipchoge with less than 5K to go would be neither Bekele nor Kipsang, but the man listed No. 23 on the elite field list, most track pundits would have been skeptical to say the least. But that was precisely the reason that made Guye Adola’s 2:03:46 marathon debut record for second place in Berlin so special — and what could be an indicator of incredible things to come.

To be fair, Adola didn’t come in to the race penniless — he won the world half marathon bronze medal three years ago, and his half marathon PR of 59:06 was (albeit marginally) faster than that of any of the “Big Three.” But as we’ve learned from Zersenay Tadese, a  half-marathon ace doth not a great marathoner make, so the 26-year-old Adola was expected to go out conservatively in the second pace group for his first-ever marathon, possibly hoping to pick up the scraps for a fourth-place finish.

But that didn’t stop Adola from abandoning conventional wisdom and crossing the half-marathon with group one at a suicidal pace of 61:30, right alongside the Big Three and Vincent Kipruto. Despite his untidy stride, he seemed comfortable, and his strength prevailed once Bekele and Kipruto fell off the pack early.

The true moment of glory for Adola was just after 30K. When Kipsang walked off the course nauseous at the timing mat, the unthinkable had happened — all but one of the Big Three were out, and the marathon debutant was the only runner to remain with Kipchoge with just over 10K to go in the race. As we would soon learn, Adola wasn’t content to simply run with the best — he wanted to dethrone the best, so he made the boldest move in the race to create a two-second gap on Kipchoge with 5K to go. The move sent Twitter into a storm.

The duel was on, and the odds seemed to be stacked against Adola; he ran like a beginner to the roads, drifting alongside Kipchoge rather than in front or behind him, and running wide of every turn despite several mid-race pointers from his competition. The timing of his late-race move will no doubt be questioned for weeks to come, but ultimately Adola had to settle for second in Berlin as Kipchoge played the patient game and drifted past Adola in the final miles.

Though Adola came up just short of the win, he was rewarded with a shiny new 2:03:46 de-facto PR — a mark that would have been an outright PR for all but seven runners in history. Discounting Moses Mosop’s wind-aided Boston run from 2011, his time was also the fastest marathon debut in history, taking that title away from current marathon world-record holder Dennis Kimetto.

He was brash, young, and his run was rife with tactical mistakes. But Guye Adola’s run in Berlin meant much more than his time or place — it could mean the coming of the world’s next great marathoner, and, yes, possibly even the world’s next marathon all-time record holder.


Eliud Kipchoge won the 2017 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:32, coming just short of his goal to break the world record of 2:02:57, set on the German capital course in 2014 by Dennis Kimetto, but outlasting one of the greatest marathon fields ever assembled to prove his status as the best in the world. Runner-up Guye Adola ran 2:03:46 in his debut marathon, the fastest time for a debutante and 10th-fastest time in world history, as top competitors Kenenisa Bekele and Wilson Kipsang dropped out and did not finish the race.

Related:-

A bizarre exchange between Eliud Kipchoge and Guye Adola near the 35K mark of the 2017 Berlin Marathon

Oromia: Ethiopia: Making Sense of the Liyyu Police Aggression September 23, 2017

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

Making Sense of the Liyyu Police Aggression
By Tsegaye R Ararssa, 21 September 2017

1. Introduction

The Liyyu Police aggression in Eastern and South Eastern Oromia has caused the death of hundreds and the displacement of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands. Needless to say, it has immensely exacerbated the already fragile conditions of human security in the region. Human suffering is piling.

The actual impact of the aggression is yet to be accounted for. The real story of the conflict is yet to be told. To date, the aggression has been (mis)conceived by many as an ethnic conflict, a border dispute, a counter-insurgency measure, etc. In part, this is because of the deliberate mischarachterization of the aggression by TPLF as a conflict between ethnic Somalis and ethnic Oromos.

In this piece, I consider the question of how to make sense of this phenomenon. In so doing, I shall try to explore what Abdi Ile’s war is and what it is not. I will also explore the actors and interests involved, the motivations behind their involvement, what challenges there are to solve the problem, and what needs to be done as we look ahead.

2. Making Sense of the Conflict: What it is not

Contrary to what apologists of TPLF say, the atrocities perpetrated by the Liyyu Police are NOT about ethnic conflict. Nor are they about a border conflict. Granted, there have always been low key conflicts among pastoralists living in the border areas. Often, these conflicts are over shared water wells or grazing land. When these occur, elders from both sides of the border (usually the Gurtii from the neighbouring Somali villages and the Abba Gadaas from the neighbouring Oromia villages) settle the disputes in accordance with the traditional laws (known also as Xeer in the Somali region and Seera Aadaa Oromoo in Oromia) of the two groups.

As numerous studies by anthropologists and other social scientists routinely show, such conflicts over shared resources do occur frequently and seasonally, especially in times when drought affects one or the other, or both, sides of the borders.
They are never perceived and performed as border conflicts between Oromia and Somali regions. They never involved regional (and federal) forces with heavily mechanized military facilities. Security forces of the formal sector appear on the scene only when the conflict escalates beyond the capacity of the elders and the local security actors (Peace Committees, local militias, district police, and other law-enforcement agents including the social and district courts). There has never been a time when a mechanized military formation invades local towns; perpetrates unspeakable atrocities on residents (including arbitrary executions, rapes of women and children, forced disappearances, eviction of residents, looting and vandalzing offices of local administration, etc); hoists the Somali region’s flag in the place of Oromia flags in Oromo towns; issues new Somali identity cards; etc. There has never been a time when a paramilitary force brutalized civilian local population claiming that the territory belongs to the Somali, and not to the Oromia, region.

Granted, the inter-state borders in the Ethiopian federation are porous. And that is as it should be. Granted, given most of the borders are drawn top-down (often without any consultation of the consent of the local populations), there are spots where peoples’ settlement pattern do not fit the political map of the regions. There are thus demands for reassignment of people into regions that they have been cut off at the moment of forming the regional self-governments (as per Proclamation No 7/1992) and later sates (as per the provisions of the 1995 constitution).

The fact that the boundaries are not properly delineated at the time the states were constitutionally recognized as such made inter-state and inter-ethnic borders open to adjustments through ad hoc political negotiations and/or decisions, constitutional litigations, and/or referendum. There have been areas between the Somali and Oromia regions where such border-related issues were variably politically negotiated, constitutionally adjudicated, and popularly decided through referenda (in 2004). However, none of these areas were raised even as a pretext for the current Liyyu Police aggression in East and West Hararghe Zones, in Baale Zone, in Gujii Zone, and in Borana Zone. The only towns at issue in the referendum were Mi’essoo (in Hararghe Zone) and Moyyaale (Borana Zone). None of these warranted such a vast aggression that, in time, led to the murder of hundreds of peoples and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of peoples.

Apologists of the TPLF regime in Addis Ababa often invoke the Ethio-Somali war of 1977 to revive a remembered sentiment widely held among the habesha public that there is a covert measure orchestrated by ONLF to satisfy the irredentist dream to secede from Ethiopia and form ‘Greater Somalia’. Given Somalia itself is a failed state whose future is yet uncharted at this point in time; given Somaliland is a quasi-sovereign state waiting to be recognized by the international community; and given the ONLF is denied a space by years of brutal attack by the Ethiopian military and Abdi Ile’s Liyyu Police (especially since 2007/8); any casual observer of the region knows that the Liyyu Police aggression on Oromia has NNOTHING to do with the urge to suppress irredentist movements. Nor does it have any semblance to the ethio-Somalian war of 1977. That it is NOT a war conducted to form ‘Greater Somalia’ (the propaganda in some circles aside) cannot be overstressed.

TPLF seeks to portray this as a counter-insurgency war against the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), operating in the area. It is NOT! It was a memory of a short time ago that Prime Minister Hailemariam and the then spokesperson of the Ethiopian government, Getachew Redda, asserted that “the OLF is dead and buried in Oromia.” These phantoms of OLF and ONLF as ‘terrorist organizations’ are deliberately ‘produced’ at will in order to justify the state violence in the areas.

While the President of the Somali region, Abdi Iley officially talks about border issues as the reason for his soldiers’ aggression, the TPLF government in Addis Ababa claims that the cause of the violence is the existence of “insurgents, terrorists, and extremist forces” bent on destroying “the constitutional order.” (The question to ask in this regard is: if the constitutional is in danger, what then is the Federal Government doing to avert the danger? Of course, the answer is too obvious to need reflection: this is TPLF’s war on Oromos, this time, from the outside in.)

It should also be clear that, contrary to the TPLF propaganda otherwise, this is NOT a counter-terrorist war. If it is a counter-terrorist war, according to law, it is not a regional force that is supposed to act unilaterally to wage war on another region. As per the counter terrorism law and the general principle that terrorism is a matter of national concern, combatting terrorism is primarily the responsibility of Federal Security Forces (Federal Police, Federal Army, and the Federal Intelligence, alias National Security, office).

3. Making Sense of the Conflict II: What it is

If, as we have seen above, the violence is not about inter-ethnic rivalry, border disputes, suppressing irredentism, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, combatting extremism, etc), what then is it about? How should we understand what the conflict is about? First and foremost, one needs to understand the Liyyu Police aggression in juxtaposition with the ongoing Oromo revolution and the political dynamics emerging in Oromia. Pressed by a survival instinct, the ‘ruling party’ in Oromia, OPDO, has started to make a few symbolic concessions (albeit feeble ones at that) to some demands of the Oromo Revolution. Whether OPDO is doing this as a strategy of co-opting the revolution to calm down the region for TPLF rule, or as a populist alignment of interests with the revolution so that they can have a better bargaining capacity vis-à-vis TPLF, or out of a genuine interest to see the just demands of the Oromo be heard and vindicated is rather dubious.

Spearheaded by the Qeerroo Oromiyaa, the Oromo Revolution had demanded, inter alia, autonomy from TPLF in administering the region; more self-rule in the federation and better representation in the country (shared rule), protection from eviction from one’s own land, evacuation of the Agazi from Oromia, withdrawal of the infamous Master Plan, greater representation (cultural, socio-economic, and political) in Finfinnee, implementation of constitutional ‘Special Interest’ (I Article 49(5), land justice for the displaced, linguistic justice for Afaan Oromoo (the demand to make Afaan Oromoo a co-equal working language of the Federal Government), accountability of the federal forces for the Irreechaa Massacre of 2016 and the over 1000 killings since October 2015, release of all political prisoners, etc.

These demands were all made manifest peacefully in demonstrations, boycotts, strikes, and other forms of civil resistance. Very soon, OPDO’s gesture of wanting to address these demands, albeit reluctantly, and its gaining a hearing among some sectors of the Oromo public, started sending shockwaves to the TPLF’s leaders and a measure of tremors in the TPLF patchwork of coalition called EPRDF. The populist rhetoric of the new team of OPDO leaders (of the relatively more visible Lammaa Magarsaa, Dr Abiy Ahmed, and Addisu A Kitessa) started to unsettle the TPLF officials. The gestures towards economic empowerment of the Oromo youth through a program they called ‘The Economic Revolution’ agitated TPLF’s special interest groups (whose largely illicit business empire is based in Oromia). In this new OPDO, the TPLF saw more a threat than an ally who rules Oromia for TPLF. If the Oromo Revolution has to be crushed or tamed somehow, then this OPDO team must be sabotaged, distracted, or removed altogether. Abdi Ile’s war on Oromia, aimed as it was at achieving these goals easily, was TPLF’s response to the threat the Oromo demands posed against their interest in Oromia.

The Liyyu Police aggression should thus be characterized as nothing but a counter-protest war on Oromia. In addition to deflecting the questions being asked, the war is planned as a vengeful act of destabilizing and eventually dismembering Oromia. The TPLF’s portrayal of this as an ethnic clash between Oromos and Somalis was a deliberate act of mischaracterizing and hyping the conflict so that TPLF comes intervene in the name of ensuring peace and security in Oromia (thereby authorizing itself to remove the administration, and decide unilaterally on the boundaries and reconfigure the standing of Oromia as a constituent unit in the Federation in such a way that it benefits the economic and political power of TPLF and embedded Tigrayan elite).

The war conducted by Liyyu Police is TPLF’s usual act of trading in fear and terror. As the major conflict entrepreneur in the Horn of Africa in the last several decades, TPLF has made it a habit to contrive sub-national conflicts and manipulate them to its advantages. It instigates, or directly enacts, violence and creates a narrative that entrenches hostility and mistrust among groups. When the conflict escalates, it acts as a peace-maker and entrenches its presence as a peace keeper. In this way, it circulates hostilities intermittently and manipulates the groups to view each other as permanent enemies.

This rule through fabrication of conflicts is TPLF’s mode of operation as the party that has captured the state that literally embodies the rule of violence. The inaugural violence encoded into the body politic known as the modern Ethiopian state continues to simmer and boil. The State is still saddled with political contradictions that it never found a resolution for. TPLF’s rule, instead of finding the much needed resolution, conserves the contradictions and cashes them out as needed to play groups against each other.

For TPLF, war is—and has always been–a way of doing politics. This war by Abdi Ile now is TPLF’s way of repressing dissident politics through war. One can even go further to say that it is TPLF’s governance style to fabricate contrived, often low key, conflicts as a way of galvanizing (international) legitimacy as a peace-maker.

More concretely, we need to remember that Abdi Ile’s war is TPLF’s method of destabilizing the Oromia regional government in order to undermine its efforts to check contraband trade trafficking in weapons and small arms, illegal export of commodities such as caat, food items, sugar, etc to neighboring countries and importing various other commodities therefrom.

Owing to the heavy investment of TPLF’s economic elite in the region’s illicit trade and trafficking, this can as well be characterized as a war of special interest groups against accountability. The people with these ‘special interests’ are linked to, or are themselves, senior political, intelligence, and military officials.

As such, it is also a war of lawlessness against incipient forces of legality. That is why even the OPDO repeatedly invokes legality, respect for the constitution, and justice as a justification and a vindicating ground in its power struggle with the ‘gentry’ in TPLF’s business, political, and military complex.

To the extent that it is also a war against OPDO, as Abdi Iley makes it look like, the war may be the first signs of a ‘house divided against itself’. It may be the beginning of the end of TPLF and EPRDF as we knew it so far.

From statements by the regime’s propaganda machine (online and offline), TPLF now has developed a distaste for federalism pluralism, and democracy (even as a rhetorical tool). Federalism checks its unbridled power in the regions. The TPLF media machine flirts with the rhetoric of national unity and territorial integrity as more paramount than federalism. The recognition of diversity and the rhetoric of plural (almost consociational) democracy is seen as an obstacle to ‘unipolar rule’ by TPLF as a hegemon.

Seen in this light, Abdi Ile’s war is a war against federalism and the plural democracy it promises in the light of popular demand for democratic self-expression at the regional level.
In the remaining sections, I will explore the actors involved, their interests, and their motivations in greater detail. I will also reflect on what needs to be done to resolve the problem and submit some ‘modest proposals’ for the ‘way forward…..

 

Related articles to read:-

The Wire: Decoding the Eastern Ethiopian Conflict

ANALYSIS: RISING DEATH TOLL, DISPLACEMENT AND PROTESTS IN EAST, SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST ETHIOPIA. WHAT LIES BENEATH?

Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles

“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.”

Oromia: Haala Kabaja Ayyaana Irreecha Malkaa bara 2017 ilaalchisee ibsaafi qajeelfama September 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Uncategorized.
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Haala Kabaja Ayyaana Irreecha Malkaa Hora Harsaditti  bara /2017 ilaalchisee ibsaafi qajeelfama

Tumaa Caffee Gumii Tokkummaa Abbootii Gadaa Oromiyaa kan Fulbaana 06, 2010 teessuma Odaa Bultumitti dhimma Irreechaa ilaalchise baase irratti erga mari’annee booda fudhannee jirra. Abbootiin Gadaatis dhimma kana sirriitti gadi fageessanii erga mari’atanii booda murtii bilchaataafi ejjannoo cimaan gadi bahuu isaaniitiif ni galatoomfanna. Haaluma kanaan ayyaana bara kanaa Qeerroon godinaalee hundaa erga mari’annee booda akkaataa kabaja ayyaana Irreechaa irratti ibsaafi qajeelfama armaan gadii baafnee jirra.

Akkuma nu hundi gaddaan yaadannu irreecha bara dabree irratti yakka seenaan hin irraanfanne nurratti hojjatamee obboleeyyan keenya dhibbaatamaan wareegamanii jiran. Ayyaanni baranaa kan yakka san itti yaadannuudha. Kanaaf waamicha Gumii Abbootii Gadaa fudhachuudhaan;

1) Ayyaanni baranaa kan obboleeyyan keenya bara dabre harka diinaatiin wareegaman itti yaadannu ta’a.

2) Ayyaanni kun nagayaan akka raawwatamuuf waamicha Gumuu Abbootii Gadaa fudhachuun Qeerroon tumsa irraa barbaadamu hunda akka goonu waadaa galla.

3) Ayyaanni kun akkuma aadaan ajajutti abbummaan Gumii Abbootii Gadaa Oromiyaatiin geggeeffamuu qaba.

4) Waltajjiin ayyaanichaa hooggansa Abbootii Gadaa jalatti dargaggoota saba biratti jaal’atamoo ta’aniin geggeeffama. Sagantaan ayyanichaa dursee waliigalteedhaan kan qophaa’u ta’a

5) Yakka bara dabre hojjatameef mootummaan hanga ammaa yakkamaa tokkos adda baasee hin adabne. Haala kana keessatti waltajjii irreechaa irratti qondaalli mootummaa kamiyyuu argamuun miira hirmaattotaa jeequun rakkoo uumuu waan maluuf akka hin argamne cimsinee akeekkachiifna.

6) Poolisiin Oromiyaa, hidhannaa maalee, nagaa fi tasgabbii uummata keenyaa eeguuf, hojii tikaa fi tasgabeessuu seeraan irraa eegamuu dhiibbaa tokko malee gochuutu irraa eegama. Hojii sakatta’iinsaa poolisiin Oromiyaafi namoonni Gumiin Abbootii Gadaa dursee filee leenjisuun geggeeffama. Namoonni kunis mallattoo addaa ittin beekaman laatamuufi qaba.

7) Akkaataan wareegamtoota bara dabree ittiin yaadannu
– Jala bultii ayyaanchiaa irratti sangataan doongoo obsuu mooraa Gumii Abbootii Gadaatti geggeeffama.
– Hirmaattonni wareegamtoota yaadachuudhaaf muraa sabbataa ykn huccuu adii harka mirgaattii hidhatu
– Kaayyoo qabsoo isaan irratti wareegaman bakkaan gahuuf murannoo fi waadaa haaromsuuf sabbata ykn muraa huccuu diimaa mataatti hidhatu
– Waltajjiin yeroo banametti daqiiqaa lamaaf caldhisuudhaan wareegamtoota erga yaadannee booda manguddoon warra wareegameef kadhannaa godhu. Walaloon yaadannoo gootota wareegaman yaadachiisuuf ta’u kan dursee Gumii Abbootii Gadaatiin raggaasifme ni dubbifama.

Haaluma kanaan Qeerroofi uummanni keenya akkuma durii baay’inaan Irreecha baranaa irratti hirmaachuun, gootota bara dabre nu biraa kufan kabajaan yaadachaa, haala Oromiyaafi Oromoo yeroo ammaa mari’achaa, ayyaana qabsoo hadhaawaan as gahe kana daran miira Oromummaatiin akka miidhagsinu waamicha isiniif dhiheessina.

Qeerroo Oromiyaa


 

HRW: Ethiopia: Exercise Restraint at Upcoming Irreecha Festival. International Inquiry Needed into Deaths at 2016 Event September 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Irreecha, Uncategorized.
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HRW

Ethiopia: Exercise Restraint at Upcoming Festival

International Inquiry Needed into Deaths at 2016 Event

Human Rights Watch, 19 September 2017

HRW: The Long Arm of Ethiopia Reaches for Those Who Fled September 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Oromian Affairs, Uncategorized.
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The Long Arm of Ethiopia Reaches for Those Who Fled

Ethiopia’s Refugees Unsafe in Kenya and Elsewhere

Ethiopia’s economic growth hides fears and repression in one-party rule September 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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Ethiopia’s economic growth hides fears and repression in one-party rule

By Graham Peebles, September 19, 2017


Scan the mainstream media for news about Ethiopia and discover headline after headline describing the country’s economic successes: double-digit economic growth, foreign investment and aspirations to become a middle-income country by 2030. Ethiopia, we are told, is a functioning democracy, an African tiger economy and an important ally of Western governments.

According to such eminent sources as the BBC, CNN, the World Bank and the US State Department, Ethiopia is an African success story; a beacon of stability and growing prosperity in a region of dysfunctional states. Dig a little deeper, speak to Ethiopians inside the country or within the diaspora and a different, darker image surfaces: A violent picture of brutal state suppression, state corruption, widespread human rights violations and increasing levels of hardship as the cost of living escalates.

For a country to be regarded as broadly democratic a series of foundational pillars and interconnected principles are required to exist and be in operation: the observation of human rights, political pluralism, a flourishing independent media, an autonomous judiciary and police force, a vibrant civil society and a pervasive atmosphere of tolerance, inclusion and freedom. Where these are found to be absent so too is democracy.

The Ethiopian government – the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) maintains that it governs in accordance with democratic ideals: a brief overview of their methods however makes clear this is far from the truth. The EPRDF rules in a highly suppressive manner and has created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion throughout the country, employing a largely uneducated security apparatus to keep the increasingly mobilized populace in order, and a state-run judiciary to lock troublemakers away.

Political dissent is all but outlawed, and should protestors take to the streets they are shot at, beaten and/or arbitrarily arrested; opposition leaders are imprisoned, branded terrorists, intimidated and persecuted; all major media outlets as well as the sole telecommunications company are state owned or controlled — outspoken journalists are routinely jailed, trade unions are controlled by the government, and humanitarian aid, including food and fertilizer, is distributed on a partisan basis, as are employment opportunities and university places. Refuse to pledge allegiance to the EPRDF and see that job offer withdrawn, the seeds, fertilizer and humanitarian support withheld.

In justification of this tyrannical rule, the government states that Ethiopia is an evolving democracy, that change takes time and that economic growth is their primary concern and not the annoying niceties of universal human rights law, much of which is written into the liberally worded, systematically ignored constitution. And whilst the EPRDF commits wide-ranging human rights violations, and acts of state terrorism, the country’s major donors, America, Britain and the European Union, remain virtually silent. Indeed their irresponsible actions go beyond mere silence — they promote the fictitious image of democracy and stability in Ethiopia, and in some cases conspire with the regime against opposition party activists, as many believe the UK has done in the case of Tadesse Kersmo, a British citizen and leading member of the opposition party Ginbot 7 – Movement for Unity and Democracy in Ethiopia. He was recently arrested at Heathrow on vague terrorism charges, as well as Andargachew Tsege another British citizen. Tsege was kidnapped while transiting through Sanaan airport in Yemen, and rendered to Ethiopia as part of a brutal crackdown on political opponents and civil rights activists. He has been imprisoned inside Ethiopia ever since, and the British government, to their utter shame, has said little and done nothing.

Development aid from these and other benefactors, including the World Bank, flows through and supports “a virtual one-party state with a deplorable human rights record,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) states in its aptly named report, Development without Freedom. The Ethiopian government’s “practices include jailing and silencing critics and media, enacting laws to undermine human rights activity, and hobbling the political opposition.”

Who benefits?

In 1995 the then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi stated that the plan was for Ethiopia to “sustain current double-digit rates of growth for the next 15 years so that by 2025 we become a middle-income country.” And they would achieve this in a manner that would “allow us to have zero net carbon emissions by 2030.” Economic reforms and growth controlled by a highly centralized political system, mirroring, many have suggested, the methodology of China, is the EPRDF’s approach. It is largely Chinese money and organization that has built the new dams, roads and railways. Industrial parks have sprung up offering new jobs at increased wages, and the government plans to build another nine such facilities. But manufacturing is a tiny part of the country’s economy: almost 85% of the workforce is employed in agriculture, which accounts for 41% of GDP, coffee being the main export.

Certainly there have been some economic achievements over the past 25 years and the country’s carbon emissions during the period 1999 to 2012, have, according to the World Bank, remained static. This is indeed positive, as is the commitment to hydro, geothermal, wind and solar power. Overall unemployment has fallen slightly to 19.8% (from 2009 when it was 20.4%), but 50% of young people remain unemployed, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the famous ‘double-digit growth rates’, has been consistently high, averaging 11.35% in the years since 2010, according to Trading Economic, although this dropped to 8% in 2015/16. The UN relates that there has also been substantial progress in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals, particularly relating to those living in extreme poverty. This figure has fallen from 45% in 1995/6 to 30%.

Whilst these figures and the commitment of sustained investment are encouraging, no level of economic growth, green or otherwise, can justify violent, suppressive governance, as is being perpetrated in Ethiopia, and a nation’s GDP is only one measure of a country’s health, and a narrow one at that. It reveals nothing of the political landscape, the human rights conditions under which people are forced to live, the dire levels of poverty or where any new wealth has settled. Many claim ‘crony capitalism’ abounds in Ethiopia, that the principle beneficiaries of economic growth have been government members and close supporters and people from Tigray, the regional home of the majority of the government and senior members of the armed forces.

Desperate for change

With a population of almost 100 million, Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria. And with a population growth rate at a tad under 3% it’s growing apace (in the EU e.g. its 0.23%, the US 0.81%), meaning over the coming five years the country will have 25 million more people to feed.

The median age is a mere 17 years of age (44% are under 14), life expectancy is just 67 years of age (158th out of 198 countries) and the country (according to the US State Department) is still regarded as one of the 10 poorest nations in the world, with some of the lowest per capita income figures on the planet – just $590 (World Bank): it’s hard to live on $49 a month anywhere. The combination of low income, low life expectancy and poor education levels – only 39% of adults are literate and 85% of rural youth don’t complete primary school – means that Ethiopia is ranked 174th (of 198 countries) on the United Nations Human Development Index.

None of this, plus other stark details of daily life, the inflated cost of living for example, increased taxes, or the lowest level of Internet access in Africa – just 3.7%, is featured in the country’s routinely championed GDP figures. Headline numbers which mean nothing to the majority of people: most can barely feed themselves and their families, are increasingly angry at the level of state suppression and live in fear of government retribution should they dare to express dissent. As HRW correctly states, “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.”

Fear that has kept the people silent and cowering for years, but, encouraged by movements elsewhere, long-held frustration and anger spilled over in 2015 and 2016, when large-scale demonstrations erupted. Unprecedented demonstrations that followed hard on the heel of elections in May 2015, which, despite widespread discontent with the ruling party saw the EPRDF miraculously win 100% of the seats in both the federal and regional parliaments.

Thousands marched; firstly in the Oromia region than in parts of Amhara (areas that constitute the two largest ethnic groups in the country), until in October, after scores of people were killed in a stampede at Bishoftu in Oromia, a State of Emergency was announced by the ruling regime. Extreme measures of control were contained in the clampdown that lasted for 10 months. Draconian rules, which undermined the rights of free expression and peaceful assembly, and prohibited any association with groups labeled terrorist organizations, such as independent media stations, ESAT TV and Radio and the Oromia Media Network. Break the rules and face up to five years in jail, where torture is commonplace.

HRW made clear that the Directive, which was lifted in August, went “far beyond what is permissible under international human rights law,” and “signaled a continuation of the militarized response” that characterized the government’s reaction to people’s legitimate grievances, peacefully expressed. Tens of thousands of protestors, including opposition party leaders, were arrested and detained without due process. Hundreds of people killed, many more beaten by security forces that act with total impunity. None of this is contained in the World Bank data, the IMF forecasts or the BBC news headlines, nor is the state terrorism taking place in the Ogaden region and elsewhere, where murder and false imprisonment of pastoralists is routine and women tell of multiple rapes at the hands of soldiers and the quasi Para-military group the Liyu Police.

Ethiopia desperately needs a renaissance, true development built on a firm foundation of human rights, inclusion and political pluralism. Human development that caters to the needs of all its citizens, not economic growth based on a prescribed outdated, unjust economic model, which inevitably benefits a few, strengthens inequality and fosters corruption.

Far from building a democratic society in which freedoms are observed and valued, an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and inhibition has been cultivated by the EPRDF government, a brutal regime that is determined to maintain power, no matter the cost to the people of Ethiopia, the vast majority of whom are desperate for democratic change.

Graham Peebles is a freelance writer. He can be reached at: graham@thecreatetrust.org  

Statement by the U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa on Reports of Ethnic Violence on the Oromia-Somali Border September 19, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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Addis Ababa, September 19, 2017 :– We are disturbed by the troubling reports of ethnic violence and the large-scale displacement of people living along the border between the Oromia and Somali regions, particularly in Hararge, although the details of what is occurring remain unclear.

We urge the Ethiopian government to conduct a transparent investigation into all allegations of violence and to hold those responsible accountable.  At the same time, on the local level, communities must be encouraged and given space to seek peaceful resolutions to the underlying conflicts.

We believe Ethiopia’s future as a strong, prosperous, and democratic nation depends on open and inclusive political dialogue for all Ethiopians, greater government transparency, and strengthening the institutions of democracy and justice.  These recent events underscore the need to make more rapid and concrete progress on reform in these areas.

###

የአሜሪካ ኤምባሲ  በኦሮሚያ-ሶማሌ ድንበር የተከሰተውን የጎሳ ግጭት አስመልክቶ ያወጣው መግለጫ

አዲስ አበባ፤ መስከረም 9፤ 2010 ዓ.ም. – በኦሮሚያ እና ሶማሌ አዋሳኝ አካባቢዎች በተለይም በሐረርጌ  የጎሳ ግጭትን እና የበርካታ ሰዎችን መፈናቀል አስመልክቶ በሚወጡ አሳሳቢ ዘገባዎች ተረብሸናል፤ ምንም እንኳ ዘገባዎቹ ስለሁኔታው ዝርዝር መረጃ ስለማቅረባቸው ግልጽ ባይሆንም፡፡

በመሆኑም የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥት ግጭቱን ግልጽ በሆነ አካሄድ እንዲያጣራ እና አጥፊዎችን ተጠያቂ እንዲያደርግ እንጠይቃለን፡፡ በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ፤ ግጭቱ በተከሰተባቸው አካባቢዎች የሚኖሩ የኅብረተሰብ ክፍሎች ለችግሩ ሰላማዊ መፍትሔ እንዲሹ መበረታታት ይኖርባቸዋል፡፡

ኢትዮጵያ ጠንካራ፤ የበለጸገች እና ዴሞክራሲያዊት ሀገር መሆን የምትችለው፤ ግልጽና ሁሉን አቀፍ የፖለቲካ ውይይት፤ ግልጽ የመንግሥት አሰራር፤ እንዲሁም የዴሞክራሲ እና የፍትህ ተቋማትን ማጠናከር ስትችል እንደሆነ እናምናለን፡፡ የሰሞኑ ሁነቶች በተጠቀሱ ዘርፎች ይበልጥ ፈጣን እና ተጨባጭ ለውጥ አስፈላጊ እንደሆነ አመላካች ናቸው፡፡

###


 

Petitioning the Ethiopian Government and United Nations Security Council: Stop Unspeakable Abuses, Prevent Deportation of Oromo September 19, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethnic Cleansing, Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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There should be no place for state-sponsored armed gangs terrorizing people in eastern Ethiopia, killing and displacing thousands – and we are asking for your help to try and stop it.

In today’s world we like to believe that governments don’t use mercenaries to wage covert wars against their own citizens.  We like to think that ethnic cleansing does not happen because leaders cannot keep their evil deeds secret. Anyone with an iPhone can capture them and broadcast them around the world.

What we like to think is a bit passé is happening. The Ethiopian government, using a shadowy armed gang called Liyyu Hayil (Special Forces), has been terrorizing people in the Somali and Oromia regional state of Ethiopia.

The Liyyu Hayil has been terrorizing and killing Somali people within the Somali National Regional State of Ethiopia since 2008.  It has extended its death mission to the Oromia Regional State, the largest and most populous in the Ethiopian federation. Nearly 500,000 Oromo residents of the Somali region have been forced to leave their homes and deported to the Oromia region.

Sign this petition urging the Ethiopian government to disband the Liyyu Hayil and stop the heinous atrocities immediately.

The atrocities of the Liyyu Hayil has been documented by in Human Rights Watch reports and media outlets, including the GuardianAllAfricaOPrideInternational media outlets, and media organizations and activists abroad have reported on the situation.

My colleagues and I have signed an open letter to raise awareness about the ethnic-cleansing in-the-making. This week, 55,000 have been rounded up, loaded on trucks and dumped off in the territory of the Oromia region.

Sign this petition to join us in urging the international community to prevent the deportation of Oromo that is already underway.

Thank you!

This petition will be delivered to:

Ethiopia: Addressing the alarming conflict in the border areas of Oromia National Regional State and Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State September 18, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia: Addressing the alarming

conflict in the border areas of Oromia National Regional State and Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State

Press Release

Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia

September 14, 2017


Your Excellences,

The General Assembly of the United Nations

United Nations Human Rights Council

African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights

The Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament


Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE) writes to draw your attention to the alarming conflict in the border areas of Oromia National Regional State and Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State that has led to grave violations of human rights; and to call for the establishment of an independent, impartial, and international investigation into the violations being committed in the aforementioned border areas of Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is currently in a highly volatile situation whereby a border dispute in borders of the regional states of Oromia and Ethiopia’s Somali has escalated and claimed the lives of several peaceful civilians. According to AHRE’s source, thousands of civilians are also displaced from the regions because of their ethnicity. A special police force, called Liyu Police, established by the current regional state of Somali is reportedly responsible for the killings of several civilians. Liyu police has a repulsive reputation of committing heinous crimes against civilians, including killings. This is not the first time where conflicts, mainly instigated by border and economic reasons have led to conflicts in the Nation states of Oromia and Ethio-Somali borders.

The Heads of the two regions recently gave conflicting accounts regarding the cause of the incident, one accusing the other. The Communication Minister of Ethiopia Dr. Negeri Lencho said the federal government has taken the situation under control; he admitted to the killings and also said that around 600 civilians are displaced from Jijiga (the capital of the Somali region) and Awoday (a town in Oromia region) and surroundings, but stated that situations are now calming and the displaced residents are now being relocated back to their homes.

However, AHRE has enough evidence that clearly indicates the seriousness of the conflicts; we believe that this could escalate into a violent full-fledged ethnic conflict which could spread to other regions in Ethiopia. We are already aware of similar sporadic ethnic disputes in other regions in Ethiopia. We have received disturbing images, and have been informed that, the police forces instigated and perpetrated the killings; however, it is deliberately being staged to appear as if civilians and anti-peace forces are responsible for the killings.

Therefore, we kindly urge your delegation to look into the situation with utmost consideration and caution; and to immediately set up and send an independent inquiry commission to Ethiopia that investigates the alarming situation and the alleged killings and displacement of innocent civilians.

We also call upon your delegation to urgently demand the government of Ethiopia to:

Call upon the Liyu police to immediately stop killing civilians and ensure that those responsible be brought to justice.

End the border dispute peacefully by bringing both regional offices to come to agreement.

Allow an independent, impartial and thorough inquiry into the alleged killings and displacement.

Collaborate with international institutions and other local stake holders to put an end to the highly alarming conditions in the area, and other regions that are currently facing sporadic ethnic conflicts.

With assurance of your highest consideration,

Sincerely,

Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia

ONLF: Press release on the conflict between Somalis and Oromos created by TPLF. September 17, 2017

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistONLF

 

Press release on the conflict between Somalis and Oromos created by TPLF

September 16, 2017


TPLF regime has created deadly conflict between Somali and Oromo nations in Ethiopia. Hundreds of innocent civilians have been reported dead and many others have been displaced.

The cause of the conflict is not about land dispute as the regime and its puppet administrations claim.

The TPLF regime in Addis Ababa has been working to instigate violence and hostility between the two fraternal nations by using the puppet administrations in Somali and Oromo regions. The purpose of this action is to weaken the struggle of these nations and to divert them from their strategic goals.

The regime in Addis Ababa is well known for creating conflicts and hostilities between nations in order to redirect the attacks from freedom and democratic organisations and diminish the effects of the countrywide people’s uprising against the minority TPLF regime.

Somali and Oromo nations are under TPLF rule and they fight for their rights, they have a long history of cooperation and coexistence. Therefore, both nations are reminded to understand that this violence has been instigated by the TPLF regime to thwart their struggles to achieve their goals and thus, to sabotage the popular uprising in many parts of Ethiopia.

Therefore, ONLF calls upon Somali and Oromo nations to stop immediately this hostility between them and to respect each other and live peacefully side by side as they used to be for centuries.

ONLF also calls upon political organisations, civil society organisations and intellectuals of both nations which are against the divide and rule policy of TPLF to work hard toward easing of the fighting and the hostility.
ONLF strongly condemns the Ethiopian government for creating hostility between neighbourly nations and calls upon the international community to make the TPLF regime accountable for war crimes and the crimes against humanity.

Ogaden National Liberation Front ( ONLF)


 

Relief support for people affected in ongoing conflicts in the border areas between the Oromia and Somali Regions of Ethiopia, which has caused the death of many people, and the displacement of thousands in east, south and South East Ethiopia. September 16, 2017

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Relief fund for displaced people

Relief support for people affected in ongoing conflicts in the border areas between the Oromia and Somali Regions of Ethiopia., which has caused the death of many people, and the displacement of thousands  in east, south and South East Ethiopia.

Your donation will help the displaced and those who lives were adversely affected by the death of income earners of a family, through HIRPHA International.

HIRPHA International is Oromo humanitarian  organization incorporated in the Sate of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 
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ANALYSIS: RISING DEATH TOLL, DISPLACEMENT AND PROTESTS IN EAST, SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST ETHIOPIA. WHAT LIES BENEATH? September 14, 2017

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Thousands of Oromo are displaced from their homes in eastern Ethiopia

Liyat Fekade

Addis Abeba, September 13/2017 – Increasing numbers of civilian casualties due to military actions in parts of east, south and south east Ethiopia over the last weeks has now led to fresh protests, more deaths and displacements in several places in eastern Ethiopia.

On the other hand, federal and regional authorities have gone from denial to pointing fingers at one another to explain the root cause of what is visibly becoming an alarming breach of peace and stability in many areas bordering the Oromia and Somali regional states.

In the past few months, Addis Standard has been reporting on several incidents of raids by armed men who casually cross from the Somali regional state to villages and towns under the administrative jurisdiction of the Oromia regional state.

Addis Standard interviewed local residents in several towns and villages, including Chinakson, Mieso, Deder and Gursum in east and west Hararghe; Moyale, Liben and Gumii Edelo in Guji Zone in southern Ethiopia; as well as in Sewena, Meda Wolabu and Dawe Serer woredas (district zones) in Bale, south east Ethiopia, on several occasions since March 2017.  Almost all the people interviewed say armed men who are members of the “Liyu police” force were often the culprits of cross border raids that ends in the death of civilians.

Contentious border issues

The boundary between the two neighboring regional states has been a hotly contested affair since Ethiopia became a federal state in 1995.  In Oct. 2004 the two regions have conducted a border referendum, which was held to determine the residents’ choice for administrative status of villages and towns located adjacent the two regional states.

The referendum was conducted in 420 Kebeles located in 12 different Woredas across five zones of the Somali Regional state. According to the official results of the referendum, residents in close to 80% of the disputed areas have voted to be under the administration of the Oromia regional state. But claims alleging voting irregularities persist. And subsequent ethnic conflicts have led to the displacement in late 2004 and early 2005 of more than 80,000 people on both sides.

Although clashes of various degrees, particularly between the Borana Oromo and the Garii communities (often triggered by meager resources, such as shortage of water and pasture where available,) have remained the hallmark between the two communities in Moyale and its environs, locals in various places claim cross border raids by armed men became much more frequent and have contributed in fueling these conflicts, especially after the establishment of the “Liyu Police” in April 2007.

In March 2017, as attacks against civilians intensified and were solely blamed on border disputes, Addisu Arega Kitessa, head of the Oromia government communication affairs office, said the result of the referendum were “final” and will not be altered.  Addisu also blamed the “raids by armed men” as economic in nature. “After attacking the areas, these armed militiamen engage in looting of properties.”

And in April 2017 Abdi Mohamud Omar, a.k.a, Abdi Illey, and Lemma Megerssa, presidents of Somali and Oromia regional states respectively, have signed an agreement to end “border hostilities”. Three months later on August 19, the Oromia regional state said that as part of that agreement, of the 68 contested towns and villages between the two regions, 48 were returned to be under the administration of the Oromia regional state. And that “border issues were resolved and peace was restored.”

Recent escalation 

As of late however, the somewhat sporadic military raids due to border and economic issues and have not only intensified but took a different shape.

Usman Omar, one of the eight local elders who traveled to Addis Abeba from East Hararghe Zone, Gursum Woreda to file complaints at the federal house of federation warned in an exclusive interview with Addis Standard that “the situation in the region [was] very bad…we have been under the Oromia Regional state since the 2004 border referendum [because] we [chose] to but we are forced to pay a heavy sacrifice for that.” By the time the elders were in Addis Abeba looking for answers, an attack by armed men has left seven civilians dead in Chinakson in east Hararghe and its environs. Chinakson has always been under the Oromia regional state and local residents do not believe the attack was motivated by a “non-existing border conflict.”

Blames, more deaths, displacement and protests

Residents in all these areas who either contacted or were interviewed by Addis Standard speak in unison and anger regarding the role of the “Liyu police” in fueling the conflict. However, despite growing pressures both from the residents and online Oromo activists, officials from the Oromia regional state have refrained from pointing fingers at this paramilitary elite force, until Tuesday September 12 that is.

On Monday September 11, Selama Mohammed, Gursum woreda administrator, and Mohammed Abdurahman, former security affairs deputy head of Deder town in east Hararghe, as well as a Tajudin Jamal, a member of the Oromia police in Harar, were taken from their car while en route to Harar from Jijiga, the capital of the Somali regional state. According to the locals, they were taken to a police station by members of the Somali police force together with “Liyu police”. Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal were found dead in Bombas, half way between Harar and Jijiga, while Mohammed Abdurahman got hurt while escaping. He is now admitted to Dil Chora referral hospital in Dire Dawa.

The incident triggered mass protests in several cities on Tuesday, the sternest being in Deder and Gursum, the later where Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal were known by the locals as “men of the people”, according to Abdi Dulee Mohammad, a resident of the town who spoke to Addis Standard by phone. Protesters were chanting “down, down Woyane,” the Tigriyna term used to refer to TPLF, the all too powerful member of Ethiopia’s ruling party EPRDF. “The young people who went out to the streets to protest know that “Liyu Police” is the creation of TPLF as a gift to Abdi Illey. We all know that,” Abdi Dulee said.

According to Abdi Dulee, the locals have increasingly become resentful of the extrajudicial stretch by members of the “Liyu Police.” “Sometimes girls as young as 12 are taken by these men even in peace times,” he said, “there is a lot of anger and no peace will come unless they are removed.”

The “Liyu police” was created in 2008 to operate in the Somali Regional State (SRS) which had its own regular police force of its own. Its creation preceded an attack in 2007 by the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA), the armed wing of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in a Chinese oil field that killed 74 members of the federal army and nine Chinese engineers.

(ED’s Note: For more on the dynamics involving the role of “Liyu Police”, please read this analysis  published on Addis Standard as part of our continuous coverage).

 But, the role of the “Liyu police” came to another twist when online activists posted an ID card of a captured armed man called Shune Kherow Abdi, who is described on the ID as a member of the National Army of the neighboring Republic of Somalia. The information was later on confirmed by Addisu Arega Kitessa, head of the Oromia government communication affairs office, who posted the ID with short note saying that the person is indeed a member of the Somalia National Army.

“This incident not only complicates matters but also calls for a careful reading of the dynamics of the conflict in the area that involves more than 1000 km shared border between the two regional states in Ethiopia,” said a political science professor at the Addis Abeba University (AAU), who wants to remain anonymous. According to him, the creation of “Liyu Police” has “outlived its purpose, if there were any. It is time the federal government revisits the presence of such police force in the region not only because members of the “Liyu Police” are repeatedly accused of rights violations previously in Ogaden and now in Oromia,  but also because of the regional dynamics and Ethiopia’s relationship with the neighboring Somalia.”

Blames and counter blames

Officials from the Somali regional state do not only loath allowing access to mainstream media but also maintain a habit of selectively granting access to pro-government journalists, bloggers  and commentators to disseminate choreographed information. Our repeated attempt to get interviews in the past two weeks bore no result so far.

But on Tuesday Sep. 12, the VOA Amharic held a rare interview with Edris Ismael Abdi, head of the Somali regional state Communication Bureau.  What he said during the interview gave many a chill.

Edris Ismael Abdi was not only willing to provide adequate response to the questions, but threw alarming accusations of mass killings and torching of villages orchestrated by what he claimed were members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in coordination with officials of the Oromia regional state and Oromo online activists, particularly Jawar Mohammed. Edris also personally criticized Addisu Arega Kitessa of partnering with OLF and Jawar to “destabilize Ethiopia”. He also accused Addisu of “forging evidence” in reference to the ID card; and went on to accuse the Oromia regional state of being staffed by “officials who sympathize with OLF’s ideology.”

However, Edris’s tirade fell flat when asked if he was willing to provide solid evidence. “I don’t have it compiled at the moment,” he said, but insisted “their deeds bear witness.” He also said he can provide evidence of captured rebels who were held under police custody.

Addisu on his part countered the statement from Edris and spoke about the “negative role” being played by members of the “Liyu Police.” This was the first time Addisu spoke of the involvement by the “Liyu police”. “What is happening is not what Edris said was happening. Members of the “Liyu police” are crossing over to villages under the administration of the Oromia regional state and are attacking civilians. The people are witnesses for this.”  He also denied that there were areas where the OLF was active. “We are conducting investigations and are compiling a detailed report which will be released in the near future.”

Addisu further explained about the progress of redrawing contested areas, which were the sources of previous conflicts. Later on, he wrote on his Facebook page with a link to the VOA interview and said: “It’s surprising to hear my friend Edris Ismael Abdi…is trying to defend Shune Kherow Abdi, a soldier from Somalia Republic captured in Moyale while killing innocent people. I hope this irresponsible statement is not an official statement from Somali National Regional State Government. It rather seems Edris Ismael’s personal opinion.”

But on Wednesday September 13, the Somali Regional state communication affairs bureau proved Addisu wrong when they posted on their official Facebook page a contemptuous statement accusing the Oromia regional state of having direct links with the OLF, an organization labeled by the federal government as a terrorist organization.

“This is a troubling turn of event”, said our interviewee from the AAU, who has written several academic papers on the fault lines of Ethiopia’s federalism.  “Whoever did that knows that this is an accusation the federal government will not take lightly given past experiences. They know that every Oromo dissenting voice within the country has been dealt a severe blow in the pretext of membership to OLF. So, if you are not concerned by this turn of event so far, you should now.”

Today afternoon, Addisu issued his response in his personal Facebook page in which he expressed his frustrations about, among others, the use of poor and inflammatory language in the statement from the Somali regional state, which “helps nothing but further fuel the situation.”

More death and displacement

Protests have taken place in several cities in eastern Hararghe yesterday and to a lesser extent today. Although reports indicate of heavy causalities, the exact numbers are hard to come by. According to Addisu, 18 people – 12 from Somali and 6 from the Oromo ethnic groups – were killed in just one day yesterday during a protest by angry local residents in Awoday, a commercial city in eastern Hararghe. The protesters took to the street after news of the killing of Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal came out, according to Addisu.  Some 200 suspects were placed under police custody.

On Friday September 01 residents of Mieso town, west Hararghe zone, took matters into their own hands and engaged in a daylong fighting with members of the “Liyu Police”. The clash left “more than 30 people”, including “more than a dozen army members”, dead and several others injured.  “We couldn’t take the killings our men, the raping of our girls and the lootings of our cattle by bandits openly supported by the Liyu Police,” wrote Abdulatif Kererro, a resident of the town in a message sent to Addis Standard.

As chain of similar events followed, a fighting between local residents and what they continued insisting were members of the “Liyu police” quickly spread to the south and south eastern Ethiopia and has claimed unknown numbers of lives.

The youth in Moyale town of Guji zone, 795 km south of Addis Abeba, have come out en mass to fight against the taking of “our holy sites,” according to one resident. “For example, Gofa and Ia’ee are among our nine Tulas (deep wells) taken by the Garee community – a Somali pastoralist clan.” According to him, the taking over of these areas were not entirely driven by the Garee, “who lived alongside us for generations and, who, despite occasional competition for resource, never touched our sacred places,” rather, he says, it was “orchestrated and supported by the “Liyu police” and members of militia belonging to the Somali regional state for sheer reason of capitalizing on chaos.”   Relative calm has returned since the last “three days,” he said.

But one cannot say the same about eastern Ethiopia. Yesterday, around 600 ethnic Oromo residents of Tog Wajale (Wachale) in eastern Ethiopia towards the border with the Republic of Somalia, as well as hundreds from Jijiga town, the capital of the Somali regional state, were forced to flee their homes. Some have made it to Harar while others are arriving in several places such as Gursum in east Hararghe to take refugee.

The displacement has continued throughout today with some of the displaced telling disturbing stories of mutilation and killing of a woman and detention of men, according to DW Amharic.

The federal government has deployed members of the federal army in parts of eastern and western Hararghe as well as Jijiga. But the displacement has continued with thousands more said to have already been on the road.

Our interviewee from the AAU concurs with the decision by the federal government to send federal army members, but he is critical of the “root cause of the problem, which is the presence of a special force in a fragile region and the hope that it will serve as checks and balances – it is delusional. You cannot maintain peace and stability by a proxy force which operates in impunity.”

Other Ethiopians have taken to Facebook to denounce the special elite force. “The Ethiopian government can no longer justify the continued existence of the paramilitary force called ‘Liyu Police,’” wrote Awol Kassim Allo, a lecturer of law at Keele University. “There can be no legitimate reason for a country that plays an active part in regional and global peacekeeping operations to keep its own peace with a notorious paramilitary force known for its lethal ferocity.”

Although many, including Abdi Dulee and the professor from AAU, agree that removing the “Liyu Polcie’ may be the solution, other critiques are skeptical of the federal government’s willingness to do just that. “The federal government instigated the conflict to compromise Lemma [Megerssa], divert attention and consolidate the minority coalition,” wrote one such critique in a message. “The escalation would legitimize the federal government’s intervention in the person of Samora Yenus, [the federal army chief]. This would discredit OPDO, emboldens the military and equates Oromia, the biggest and largest national state with an aspiration to be a mainstream political force with Ethiopian Somali state, Ethiopia’s Chechnya.” He said he believed the federal government was “behind the escalation and the calculated neglect of the crisis.”

On Friday September 08, during a New Year press conference, Dr. Negeri Lencho, head of the federal communication affairs bureau, admitted that “there were other forces” operating in some parts within the two regional states. “We have information that recently lives were lost in some areas due to fresh conflicts. These fresh conflicts have nothing to do with border issues between the two regional states. Our information is that officials from both regional states are working on implementing to resolve the border issues. However, there are some instigation by some forces assigned by unknown actors,” Dr. Negeri said. He also said the federal government has placed the situation “under control.” But events in eastern Ethiopia until the publishing of this article prove him wrong. AS 

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The Dictatorial and Predatory Ethiopian TPLF Regime Will Never Succeed in Instigating Conflicts Between The Sisterly Oromo And Sidama Nations! September 13, 2017

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The Dictatorial and Predatory Ethiopian TPLF Regime Will Never Succeed in Instigating Conflicts Between The Sisterly Oromo And Sidama Nations!

SNLF Press Release, 12 September 2017

Sidama Nation Flag

 

The predatory Tigre Ethiopian Empire is crumbling from within and without. It is destroying itself from endemic economic and political corruption from within. The demise of the brutal regime is precipitated from without by the mass uprising of the majority Oromo nation who are demanding an end to the over a century of political and economic marginalization, and restoration of freedom, justice and self-rule in their vast Oromia land. The Oromo uprising has been continuing since 2015.

Instead of answering the legitimate question of the Oromo nation by granting them their inalienable democratic rights to self-determination, the TPLF regime embarked on desperate measures to cling onto illegitimate political power. It has also monopolised the economic aspects of the entire country. The political aspects in Oromia alone included, brutal massacre of over 1,500 peaceful Oromo protesters since 2015; mass imprisonment of over 60,000 Oromo civilians; imprisonments of the entire leadership of the Oromo Federalist Congress including the renowned Professor of Political Science, Marara Gudina and prominent politician, Bekele Gerba, as well as a dozen Sidama political activists including a prominent business person, Solomon Naayu, and Dawassa Daaka, most of whom are languishing in Qilinxo prison today.

When the regime realized its genocidal measures were insufficient to quell the mass uprising engulfing the entire country, it resorted to yet other barbaric measures of divide and rule among the sisterly oppressed nations. First, the TPLF trained, armed, aided and abetted the Somali militia to attack the innocent Oromo civilians causing death of hundreds of our Oromo brothers and sisters and destruction of properties since 2016. Using a mercenary puppet Ogadeni Somali regional renegade leader, the TPLF regime continues to relentlessly instigate conflicts between the two sisterly Ogadeni Somali and the Oromo nations as we speak. The TPLF regime is also perpetrating similar crime by mobilising a similarly downtrodden Gambella civilians to fight the Oromo nation.

Moreover, having failed to stir conflict between the Sidama and Oromo nations, the TPLF recently attempted to ignite instability in the border between the Sidama and Wolayita nations. The regime attempted to sow discord between the two nations over the 6 disputed villages (Kebeles) where the Sidama people lived for hundreds of years in peace with their Wolayita neighbours. The people on both sides understood and rejected the relentless attempt by the TPLF rogue empire to sow seeds of hatred and conflict among the two nations that lived side by side in peace for millennia.

The desperate and crumbling Tigre Ethiopian Empire seems to neither give in to the popular demands nor give up its genocidal acts of stirring conflicts among the various oppressed nations of the south. We also understand that the TPLF regime is instigating such conflicts in northern part of Ethiopia. In the past two months, the TPLF went deep into the eastern Sidama land where the people have lived together with their Oromo neighbours in peace and harmony for generations and attempted to ignite conflicts between the two peoples. TPLF’s attempts to ignite such conflicts between the Sidama and Oromo cousins have been foiled time and again, with wise and sensitive management of these attempts by the elders of both nations. Both nations have time and again rejected the plots of the TPLF regime as they wholly denounce its interference in their affairs.

However, in the past two months, the TPLF managed to cause unnecessary deaths and damage to the properties of the Sidama residents in eastern Sidama by aiding and abetting its local surrogates in Oromia as well as Sidama region to commit crimes against the will of the two sisterly peoples. Dozens of the Sidama citizens have been displaced from their homes.

The primary objective of the TPLF’s primitive divide and rule measures are sustaining the crumbling Tigre Empire by undermining the unity among the oppressed nations of the south. Therefore, the Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF) understands that these measures are, further aimed specifically at weakening the Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD), the political movement that encompasses the Oromo, Sidama, Ogadeni Somali, Gambella and Banishangul and Gumuz nations that accounts for over 60% of the population and 70% of land mass of the empire.  However, we assure the TPLF regime that the unity among the oppressed nations of the south is rock solid, thus will never be dented by its primitive tactics of divide and rule.

Finally, the SNLF unconditionally condemns in the strongest possible terms the barbaric and relentless attempts by the Ethiopian TPLF regime to aid and abet genocide among the oppressed nations of the south. The sisterly Sidama and the Oromo nations will conquer once again any attempt to divide them. Our wise elders will ensure peace, stability and harmony not only between the sisterly Sidama and Oromo nations but among all Cushitic and other oppressed nations of the south and work hand in hand to hasten the demise of the predatory TPLF regime that has been plundering their resources and massacring their peoples for far too long.

Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF),

September 12, 2017

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ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE: THE CURRENT STAGE OF THE TPLF-FASCISTS OF FAKE ETHIOPIA

African News: Ethiopia can’t be trusted to respect rights of any political opponent – group September 13, 2017

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Ethiopia can't be trusted to respect rights of any political opponent – group

ETHIOPIA

Be they internal or external, Ethiopia is no respecter of its political opponents, a Geneva-based rights group has said.

The African Rights Monitor (ARM) group was reacting to the controversial refoulement of Somalian ‘freedom fighter’ Abdikarin Sh. Muse, who was handed over to Ethiopian authorities weeks back.

A statement released by the group on Thursday called for his immediate release and return to Somalia arguing that aside Mogadishu’s breach of international law, they had handed him to a regime known for its highhandedness when it comes to dealing with opponents.

Ethiopia is known to be a country, where freedom and justice is not guaranteed any dissident or political opponent. Mr Abdikarin risks torture and a summary execution.

“Ethiopia is known to be a country, where freedom and justice is not guaranteed any dissident or political opponent. Mr Abdikarin risks torture and a summary execution,” the statement said. It further chastised a purported enemy transfer agreement between the two governments describing it as ‘very alarming.’

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BREAKING: African Rights Monitor condemns the handover of ONLF official to Ethiopia, says he risks torture, execution: statement

The group to which Abdikarin belongs – the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – issued a statement weeks back confirming social media reports of his transfer. The decision sparked outrage in the country bedeviled by Al-Shabaab insurgents.

Despite ONLF describing itself as a liberation group of the Ogaden region, Ethiopia insists that the group is a terrorist organization and by extension, its members are terrorists. Addis Ababa, however, said Abdikarin carries an Ethiopian passport and voluntarily opted to return, claims his family strongly denied.

Whiles accusing Mogadishu of breaching national and international laws, the ONLFin its statement echoed similar sentiments as that of the ARM that ‘the Somali government has forcefully transferred a political refugee to Ethiopia which is known to torture and humiliate its opponents.’

“It has been intimated that Mr. Abdikarin was sacrificed in order ti get political support from the Ethiopian regime. The Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia who is a close relative of the Prime Minister and in-law to the Somali president played a key role in brokering the deal,” the statement said.

ONLF describes itself as “a national liberation organisation that struggles for the rights of the Somali people in Ogaden and has no involvement whatsoever in Somalia’s multifaceted conflict at all.”


 

Oromia: Atheltic Nation Reports: Olympian and the global icon of #OromoProtests Feyisal Lilesa finishes 3rd in his the Great North Run Half Marathon Debut. Sir Mo Farah 1st and Jake Robertson 2nd. September 11, 2017

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistOromo athlete Feyisa Lilesa (the global icon of #OromoProtests) wins the Bogota Half Marathon, 30 July 2017.

 

Olympian and the global icon of #OromoProtests Feyisal Lilesa finishes 3rd in his the Great North Run Debut on 10 September 2017. Sir Mo Farah 1st and Jake Robertson was 2nd.

Oromo Olympian Feyisa Lilesa finishes 3rd in the Great North Run Half Marathon.png

Mo Farah and Feyisa Lilesa to go head-to-head at Great North Run

 

Ethiopia: The Never Ending Horror Against the Oromo Nation September 11, 2017

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Ethiopia: The Never Ending Horror Against the Oromo Nation

Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

Ethiopia is Descending into Civil War

 HRLHA  Urgent Action


Sept  9, 2017

The peaceful street protests in Oromia that shook Ethopia for over one year (November 2015-October 2016) turned violent after the reckless action by the government when its military attacked civilians and murdered over 700 at the Oromo Irrecha Festival  on October 2, 2016.

The  fascistic action of the Ethiopian government turned a peaceful protest into a violent one  in which many people were killed and government property was destroyed by the angry protesters.

The TPLF/EPRDF government declared a six- month state of emergency- later extended to ten months- on October 8, 2016 with the pretext of calming the violence in Oromia. During the  State of Emergency, the government killing squad members were deployed in all villages of the Oromia Regional state where they committed killings, kidnappings, and arrests during the ten months of the State of Emergency.

Under the State of Emergency, the TPLF/ EPRDF government- trained  Liyu Police led by the killing  Squad Agazi  were deployed  along  the long border  between Somali and Oromia regional states and occupied 32 districts of Oromo land from the  south Borana zone to the northeast  Hararge zone; many people were killed from both sides. During the six- month war between the federal government force backed Liyu Police and Oromo farmers  over 500 people have been killed, and many other Oromos have been forcefully kidnapped  and taken to Somali Region.

The border crisis between Somali and Oromia regional states was settled as a result of negotiations between the Oromia and Somali state authorities by annexing  15 Oromia villages into the Somali regional state.

However, two months after the signing of the agreement between the two sides, the pre-planned and  unprecedented war against the Oromo nation was re-aggravated  along the borders of all sides of Oromia by the Ethiopian Federal government- sponsored regional militias. As a result, intense fighting has occurred from mid- August 2017  until this report was compiled   in the Eastern Oromia, Gursum, East Hararge,  Rayitu and Saweena, Bale zone, Chamug Borana zone, Wachile and Moyale Gujji zones- over 56 people have already been killed from both sides.

The HRLHA  informant has also reported similar war is happening on the border of Benshangul in the west, Gambela  in the southwest, Afar in the North. As a result, the Oromo people are currently essentially at war with the Federal government-backed regional militias in all directions.

Horror

The current Oromia Regional State Authorities could not protect their people from the aggression of neighbor states backed by the Federal Killing squads.

The Ethiopian Federal government, which in theory has a state duty and a responsibility to bring peace and harmony among the nations and nationalities in the country, actually instigated the conflict  between Oromia and all its neighboring states. The TPLF/EPRDF government’s  killing squad Agazi force collaborated with the invaders and continued its ruthless repression which will probably drive the country into a full-fledged civil war.The Oromo  farmers, who were disarmed by the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) during the State of emergency,  have no option other than to confront  the attacks perpetrated against them from all directions.

To reverse the shadow of the looming civil war which could result in human tragedy, and atrocity in Ethiopia, the donor governments such as the USA, the UK, Canada, Swedin, Norway and government agencies like the UN, AU and EU  and subsidiary  organizations (African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, EU Human Rights Commission and UN human rights council) have to express their concerns  to the  government of Ethiopia to stop backing small groups from fighting against the largest ethnic group- the Oromos- and instead act responsibly to stabilize the country.

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

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

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

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

Recommendation:

The international communities and agencies can play a decisive role to stop the looming civil war in Oromia/Ethiopia  by::

  • Major donor governments, including the USA, the UK & Canada, Sweden, Norway and Australia should stop funding the authoritarian TPLF/EPRDF government
  • Putting pressure on the government of Ethiopia to respect the principle of  R2P,  and shoulder its primary responsibility to prevent and protect its own citizens against horrific acts
  • Putting pressure on the TPLF/EPRDF government to allow neutral investigators to probe into the political crisis in the country as the precursor to international community intervention

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

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DW: Supporters of independent Kurdistan seek EU backing September 10, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Middle East, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Kurdstan map

Supporters of independent Kurdistan seek EU backing

On 25 September, Iraqi Kurds will vote in an independence referendum. Kurdish leaders a consider state of their own a just reward for their involvement in the fight against IS. Brussels, however, sees things differently.

Iraqi Kurds stand with the flag (Getty Images/AFP/S. Hamed)

In a small room in a generic glass and concrete office building in Brussels, everything has been decked out as you would expect for a historic event. The podium is adorned with Kurdish flags; beside it hangs a map depicting the Kurdish regions in Iraq. Kahraman Evsen, the president of the Kurdish-European Society, is addressing the European press to present the case for an independent Kurdistan.

He takes up his position at the podium, with two colleagues sitting on either side. Solemnly they read out, in Russian, English and Kurdish, a declaration of independence from Iraq that had been signed by 60 Kurdish organizations. The press conference doesn’t go too smoothly, though. Every now and then the microphones cut out and suddenly start buzzing. There’s a permanent background murmur from talkative Kurds in the audience. Meanwhile, the representatives of the international press slouch unenthusiastically in their seats and leave the conference early. Here in Brussels, no one seems that interested in the upcoming referendum.

Kahraman Evsen speaks at the Press Club in Brussels (DW/Daniel Bellut)Kahraman Evsen (center) speaks to reporters and Brussels MEPs about an independent Kurdistan that would occupy northeast Iraq

Kurdistan as reward

Evsen, however, remains undaunted. This charismatic Kurdish-German argues with pathos for the secession of northern Iraq. “The drawing of artificial borders in Iraq a hundred years ago on the basis of the Sykes-Picot Agreement has brought with it, above all, suffering and forced displacement, as well as ethnically and religiously motivated persecution.”

The Peshmerga fighters of northern Iraq have proven to be a powerful bulwark in the fight against the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) terrorist militia – unlike the troops of the Iraqi central government. The Kurds have made many sacrifices and endured many hardships in the process, and now Masoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous region of Kurdistan, is pressing for them to be rewarded. Kahraman Evsen says the Kurds have demonstrated that they are a reliable partner for “the civilized world.” He calls upon the central government of Iraq, Kurdistan’s neighboring countries, Germany, the EU and the United Nations to recognize the result of the referendum.

Read more: Female Kurdish fighters target ‘Islamic State’

Iraqi Kurdish women check their weapons as they prepare to fight IS (Reuters/A. Jadallah)Iraqi Kurds who have fought in the coalition against the ‘Islamic State’ included female fighters, such as Haseba Nauzad (above with weapon).

No backing from the international community

The international community greatly values the Kurdish deployment against IS. However, with the exception of Israel, there is not one single country that supports the independence referendum. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emphasized recently that it was far too early for independence. Iraq’s neighbors, Turkey, Syria and Iran, are concerned that an independent Kurdistan could fuel separatism among their own Kurdish minorities. The Iraqi central government is also opposed, as it is laying claim to the territories liberated by the Peshmerga – after all, the region around Kirkuk is very rich in oil. Another consideration is the fact that the region is inhabited not only by Kurds but also by Turkmens and Arabs.

Kati Piri Brussels parliamentarian from the Netherlands (picture alliance/AA/M. Kamaci )Kati Piri worries that an independent Kurdistan could further destabilize the region

Even the European countries that support the Kurds with arms in the fight against IS have taken a critical position. Kati Piri, a Dutch member of the European Parliament and Middle East expert, explained the EU’s point of view. “In the council for external affairs all 28 EU members have adopted an official position against the referendum. The European states wish to see a united Iraq.”

Piri explained there were concerns that establishing a Kurdish state at this early stage could further destabilize the already fragile region. “In the neighboring countries, Turkey, Iran and Syria, where there are Kurdish minorities, civil wars could break out … Iraq itself could also destabilize, as there are different ethnic groups in the north of Iraq. There are even rival factions among the Kurds.” The Iraqi central state must first consolidate itself before such territorial restructuring could take place, Piri added.

Read more: The Middle East’s complex Kurdish landscape

Has the time come for Kurdish statehood?

Evsen is bewildered by this argument. He believes the reverse is true – that a Kurdish state would stabilize the region. “When was Iraq ever stable? So much blood has been shed in the past between Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. We would establish a reliable, pluralist and secular system that would stabilize Iraq, and that could be a model for the whole region.”

Brüssel / Press Club Brussels Kahraman Evsen (DW/Daniel Bellut)From Evsen’s perspective, an independent Kurdistan would ease tension in the Middle East

The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 that established the borders did not favor the Kurds – they were given no state of their own. More than 100 years later, they are emerging rather better from the upheaval in the Middle East: The Kurds are benefiting from the ongoing chaos in Syria and in Iraq. However, given the united opposition of international community, their dream of an independent Kurdish state could come to nothing once again.

Kahraman Evsen remains unimpressed. “If more than 50 percent vote for independence, the EU and the international community will accept the referendum,” he says. “Anything else would violate the democratic principle.”

Watch video04:30

Turkey: Dreaming of Kurdistan

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Professor Martha Kuwee Kumsa: Unsung heroine and iron lady! September 10, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

Professor Kwee kumsa, inspirational Oromo woman

“Even though my imprisonment was limited to the radius of the prison compound – Ethiopia itself was a giant cell.”

Martha Kuwee Kumsa is an Oromo born in Ethiopia where she worked as a young journalist in the later half of the 70’s. She was separated from her three young toddlers, tortured and thrown in jail where she remained incarcerated without charge or trial for the ten years of the 80’s. She was released and brought to Canada through the intervention of Amnesty International and PEN International. She has chosen social work as her mid life career change and now teaches Social Work at Wilfred Laurier University.


(Jun 17, 2006)
Martha Kuwee Kumsa is standing in front of her social work students at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Out of the corner of one eye, the Ethiopian-born woman catches sight of a man in uniform lingering in the hall. She continues her lecture, but her heart beats faster and her breathing becomes heavier. Then she gets a clear view of the man — and it’s a university security officer, not a soldier come to drag her away. She relaxes.

“It’s amazing how the brain works and the body responds,” the soft-spoken Kumsa says of the triggers she has learned to cope with over the years.

Martha Kuwee Kumsa of Kitchener is at home in Canada, but still has strong feelings about her native Ethiopia. For years she had long dreadlocks, but two months ago she cut them off in a symbolic gesture.

Terror, struggle, pain and grief have all been part of a long journey in which she lost her husband, her home and sense of security.

Two months ago, in an act symbolic of those losses, she lifted her dreadlocks and cut them off.

Kumsa, 51, who now lives in Kitchener, had let her hair grow since moving to Canada and starting work on her PhD. This spring, however, she decided a woman her age shouldn’t have hair down to her buttocks.

Kumsa knows now, however, that there was more to the haircut than that. In Ethiopia, women who cut their hair are often in mourning.Image

Martha Kumsa was born in Dembi Dollo, a small town 800 kilometres southwest of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, near the border of Sudan.

The youngest daughter of a Presbyterian minister, she was named Martha after the Christian nurse who delivered her. The name she holds close to her heart is her middle name, Kuwee, the name of a heroine in Oromo history. But Kumsa wasn’t allowed to go by Kuwee in Ethiopia, where the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the country, are still struggling for equality.

Read more at source: Professor Martha Kuwee Kumsa: Unsung heroine and iron lady!

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Oromia: Ethiopia: NEWS: “LOCAL GOVERNMENT FAILING US” SAY RESIDENTS FRUSTRATED WITH KILLINGS IN MOYALE AS BORDER CONFLICTS INCREASE September 8, 2017

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 Moyale

Addis Standard staffs

Addis Abeba, September 08/2017 – Residents of Ethiopia’s Moyale town, 795 km south of Addis Abeba, in Guji zone, Borena, say both local and regional government officials have “failed us repeatedly” in the face of renewed border incursions followed by attacks by what they described were members of the “Liyu Police”, a special paramilitary force operating within the Ethiopian Somali regional state.

The complaint from residents who talked to Addis Standard came following yesterday’s bloody fighting between the locals and what Addisu Arega, head of communications affairs bureau of the Oromia regional state, said were “armed men who crossed over to the border from the Ethiopian Somali regional state”.

Several people were reported to have been killed during the daylong fighting in Chamuqi woreda in the town of Moyale and its environs. Addisu told DW Amharic that yesterday’s fighting was a “serious conflict” and that causalities were reported, but he said the regional state was not able to verify the number of causalities and the extent of the damage as of yet due to the “ongoing conflict”.

Dube Qajelcha, a resident of Moyale town, told Addis Standard that several accounts from the people around put the number of causalities both from the members of the “Liyu Police” and the locals to more than 30. “Most of the causalities are from the members of the “Liyu police” who were met with resistance from the locals when they crossed to the Chamuqi village,” Dube said.

According to Addisu, the Somali regional state administration had in the past began a project in Chamuqi woreda, which is under the administrative boundaries of the Oromia regional state, but had to stop following negotiations. But armed men from the Somali regional state returned back and tried to waive the Somali regional state’s flag.

Dube Qajelcha said the local youth have taken matters into their own hands and “went to fight against members of the “Liyu Police” who then stared to indiscriminately fire at the locals.”  “Officials of the Oromia regional government knew about this repeated incident in the past but have chosen to ignore it,” he said “they have failed us.”

Another resident of the town who wanted to remain anonymous expressed his anger at the “OPDO leadership who, just a few months ago, were seen shaking hands with officials from the Somali regional state pretending that the problems were resolved.  We all know that the real problem is not a border issue. The real problem is the use of the “Liyu Polcie” by the Somali regional government to loot our cattle, rape our women and kill our men,” he said, “the Oromia regional state know this. We have been telling them since ten years now, but they are unable to deal with our plights.”

Several bodies of dead military men and civilians have littered Oromo social media activists throughout yesterday. And in late afternoon similar conflict erupted in Rayitu Gelbi woreda of Bale zone, south east Ethiopia. According to DW Amharic at least four people were killed in yesterday fighting and the federal army reserve from Ginir, Bale, were seen mobilizing toward the area, DW said quoting eye witnesses.  However, reports indicate the conflict is still ongoing.

The incident is not an isolated one; it is an extension of a growing tension related to border and resource issues between the two regional states but one that is exacerbated by the persistent raid by the members of the “Liyu Police” into towns and villages of areas under the administrative border of the Oromia regional state.

The “Liyu police” is a special police force established in April 2007 following an attack by the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) rebel group on a Chinese oil exploration that killed 74 Ethiopians and nine Chinese workers. However, since its establishment the paramilitary force is repeatedly accused of committing atrocious crimes against civilians with pure impunity.

Mieso 1

On Tuesday this week, Addisu Arega reported that four children were hurt when a hand grenade went off in in Mieso town eastern Ethiopia.  He posted another report on the same day saying armed men who crossed from the Somali regional state have opened fire against civilians in the same town and have wounded two people. On Friday last week another intense fighting between the Ethiopian Somali and the Oromo ethnic groups in the same town and its environs has left “more than 30 people”, including “more than a dozen army members”, dead and several others injured, Addis Standard reported.

eldersThe elders who traveled from East Hararghe Zone

In August, a group of elders who traveled from East Hararghe Zone, Gursum Woreda of the Oromia Regional State to the capital Addis Abeba have called for an end to the “Liyu police anarchy” in areas bordering the Oromia and Somali regional states; and in march 2017 weeks-long cross border incursions by armed militiamen that local say were members of “Liyu Police”  into many localities in eastern and southern part of the Oromia regional state, (bordering the Ethiopian Somali regional state in eastern and south eastern Ethiopia) had left more than 100 civilians dead. AS


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Morning Star: The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks September 7, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks

The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks
          BY Najat Hamza
The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks
It is very hard to shed light on a human suffering when the world is bombarded with one tragic human history after another. The world has become a show case for various forms of violence, famine, indifference, greed and pure hate. It seems like mother nature has joined the destructive trends by unleashing the worst weather disasters known to us in recent years with more devastation to come. However, all of us come from a home, a place, people we call our own, my own place is Oromia. Oromia is a country fighting to survive. My people, Oromo have been fighting to restore their dignity and self-worth for generations under various Ethiopian regimes. The last 25 years under the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front is no different. We have fought to advance our right to life, to equality, to justice and to democracy on our own land and the fight still rages on.
In recent years Oromo people have resisted the dictatorial regime of Ethiopian in every way they can and still up in arms with it. People have taken it to the streets, they have boycotted government programs, markets, public meetings and tax hikes to show their dissent. The Ethiopian government answered their legitimate demands with more death, torture, disappearances, incarcerations, displacements and denial of necessities. These measures are taken against the Oromo people as an attempt to salience us once and for all. It is hard to care about one issue, in the world filled with nothing but chaos, nonetheless it is about unnecessary human suffering.
The complacency of Western government in this validated violence against the Oromo people and other ethnic groups all over Ethiopia will not be overlooked. The western enablers of a rotten regime unleashing unimaginable suffering on its own people is perplexing to say the least. It raises questions like, what is the geopolitical gain of the West for the complacency of this violence against innocent people? What does each Western country gain for turning a blind eye in this ethnic cleansing? How could one advocate for human rights and democracy and enable such a regime all at the same time? And many more questions that are even more harder to understand.
The boarder attack wages all over Oromia particularly East and West Hararge region is the result of retaliation against people who simply asked for their right to be respected. They are paying with their lives, limbs, incarcerations, rapes, displacements and hunger simply because they dared to ask for their God given rights. How can any of us show indifference to our brothers and sisters along the Oromian boarders while bullets rain on them daily? What would take for Oromo people to say we are in this together, we have to stand together, we must fight together and we will win together? Do we sit and wait for the bullets to come to each of our door steps to care? The suffering of one Oromo person is not enough to sound an alarm for those of us near and far? Why are Oromos on the boarder dying? You know why? Because they spoke for all of us, for Oromia, for each acre of land that makes Oromia a country that it is, that is why they are being sprayed with bullets.
The political differences between us about how to get to the mountain top should not be a hindering force for our progress nor should it be a catalyst for indifference. The current artificial bickering among us, character assassinations, name callings, and all destructive agendas will not allow us to serve the ultimate goal. The goal is to see a country we all call home from vultures of every kind past, present and the future. The goal is secure our home, so that generations that come after us will not be prosecuted simply for who they are. You can disagree, debate, and even walk away from ideas but what you should not do is turn it into smear campaign. It helps no one, particularly those we suppose to assist. Those who are standing in front of fire with their bodies to die for the same ideas we cannot even agree on.
The confusion of diaspora politics is having some effect in the way we respond to tragedies as they unfold. We suppose to help with, funds, advocacy and being moral supporters for the real heroes back home fighting for their survival. What are we doing we cannot contribute the bare minimum? What the use of our elaborate ideas if can turn to something practical that could help our people? Who is the hero? Who is dying? Why are they dying? What is our call? How do we serve the purpose? In what way can we serve the purpose? These are the questions we should ask ourselves, we are fortunate enough to be in someone else’s country, enjoying peace. We can use this advantage to help our people in an impactful way.
Oromia does not need leadership, a mouthpiece, or self-serving individuals from diaspora. What they need is a support system from us. A support system that can deliver financial, moral and political on the ground. They need a ground to stand on, to fight their own fight. We can be their ground, we can be their support, as soon as we understand it is never about us. It has always been about those who refuse to run from their country and fight try to make it better. It is about the Oromo people in Oromia. What are you going to do about that?
#EastHararge#WestHararge#Cinaaksan#Mi’eesso #MayyuMulluqe#Babile#Bale#Borana#Wollo#Gujjii#BoarderAttacks

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Najat Hamza speaking to Aljazera about the state sponsored political crackdown or Severe measure on peaceful protesters in ETHIOPIA , On Oromo people and many others ,We thank you for an amazing explanation of the crackdown by Ethiopian government within very short time!


UNPO: Oromo: Charge of Seven Artists with Terrorism further Threatens Freedom of Expression in Ethiopia September 7, 2017

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Free Oromo music artists

Oromo: Charge of Seven Artists with Terrorism further Threatens Freedom of Expression in Ethiopia


Photo courtesy of Seenaa Solomoon in ‘Ramacii Rincice’

 

The arrest and charge of seven artists in Ethiopia with terrorism in June 2017 constitutes yet another example of the Ethiopian government’s disregard for freedom of expression. Especially members of the Oromo community and artists criticising the government such as singer Teddy Afro have systematically been the victims of harassment by Ethiopian authorities, including being prevented from performing or even being arrested. The UNPO condemns these actions and calls for the charges against the seven artists currently held in custody to be dropped.

 

Below is an article published by Freemuse:

Ethiopian authorities charged seven artists – musicians and dancers – with terrorism in late June 2017 for producing and uploading “inciting” political songs and videos, according to media reports. Freemuse is concerned about the charges and the continued erosion of freedom of expression in Ethiopia, especially of the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the country.

Freemuse is also alarmed by the wide latitudes Ethiopian authorities have taken during the recently lifted ten-month-long state of emergency put in place in response to protests stemming from the government’s plan, announced in 2014, to expand capital city Addis Ababa into farm lands in the Oromia region, the country’s largest region and home to the Oromo people.

“What is happening in Ethiopia is not a spin off from the recent protests and uprising, but rather is about a government clampdown on the artistic community in general and of Oromo artists in particular. We call on national authorities to drop the charges on the seven artists and protect all peoples’ right to freedom of expression, including expressions critical of governments,” Freemuse Executive Director Dr Srirak Plipat said.

The seven artists – Seenaa Solomon, Elias Kiflu, Gemechis Abera, Oliyad Bekele, Ifa Gemechu, Tamiru Keneni and Moebul Misganu – were arrested in December 2016 and held in Maekelawi Prison, which Global Voices reports is notorious for its torture practices. Misganu had been arrested before in 2014 in connection to student protests in Oromia and was released in 2016.

More recently, the BBC reported that Ethiopian police stopped the formal launch of singer Tewodros Kassahun’s, who performs as Teddy Afro, latest album without any official reason, preventing event organisers from entering the venue and demanding a permit. His new album, released in May, has become Ethiopia’s fastest selling album and topped Billboard’s world album chart.

Additionally, his Ethiopian New Year’s Eve concert scheduled for 11 September this year was cancelled for the third consecutive year, according to non-profit Music in Africa Foundation.

Teddy Afro is no stranger to controversy as he first drew negative attention from authorities in 2005 when he released his third album which contained songs critical of the government that became anthems for protest movements.

In 2008, he was imprisoned for a hit-and-run accident in a case that he claims was politically motivated and was released in 2009, after serving 18 months of a two-year sentence.

Freemuse has registered over the years several attacks and forms of harassment on Oromo artists, including the imprisonment, beatings and forced exile of artists, as well as the banning of music and shutdown of studios.

Kenya election ruling wins Africans’ admiration September 7, 2017

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 Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

Kenya election ruling wins Africans' admiration

Kenya’s Supreme Court judge chief justice David Maraga (C) presides before delivering the ruling making last month’s presidential election in which Uhuru Kenyatta’s win was declared invalid in Nairobi, Kenya September 1, 2017.Reuters/Baz Ratner


The Kenyan Supreme Court’s decision to scrap last month’s presidential election, has been held up as an example of judicial independence on a continent where judges are often seen as corrupt. Opposion parties across Africa hope the shock overturn will have ripple effects in their own countries.

The court found that the electoral commission “committed irregularities in the transmission of results.”

That was enough to convince a majority in Chief Justice David Maraga’s panel to annul the results of the 8 August election.

“The greatness of a nation lies in its fidelity to its constitution and a strict adherence to the rule of law,” Justice Maraga declared on 1 September when he delivered his shock verdict.

“It’s one of the only times you’ve ever seen a sitting president’s election be overturned by the court of law. This rarely happens,” Nic Cheeseman, a professor of democracy and international development at the University of Birmingham, told RFI.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, after initially welcoming the decision, vowed to “fix” the court if reelected and called Chief Justice Maraga and the other judges crooks.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the election, called the ruling historic and a precedent for the whole of Africa.

“For the first time in the history of African democratisation a ruling has been made by a court nullifying irregular elections of a president,” he said.

His supporters erupted in disbelieving joy at the news, partly because Odinga had previously lost four elections, and cried fraud in all of them.

Previous poll violence

“It’s a proud moment to be Kenyan,” Dennis Owino, a political analyst with Kenya Insights told RFI.

“For a long time, Kenya has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons,” he says, in reference to the violence that marred the presidential polls in 2007 and 2013, as well as last month when at least 24 people were killed, most of them by the security forces.

Kenya’s image then was far removed from its current one as a beacon of democracy.

But the Supreme Court ruling didn’t find favour with everyone.

“The way people voted is what counts, it’s what matters and not more about how the votes are transmitted because it’s clear that Kenyans voted and voted well, and that there was no problem in the voting,” Wahome Thuku, a supporter of the ruling Jubilee Party told RFI.

Kenyatta’s lawyers said the vote overturn was politically motivated and that another round of voting was unnecessary.

“Everyone was in agreement that people voted and that the problem was in the transmission of the votes,” continues Thuku. “Will we have to go to the polls each time there are one or two irregularities?”

Observers criticised

Kenya’s election commission had declared Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes in a poll vetted by the international community. Today those same observers mostly from the US and the EU, are now under scrutiny.

“A lot of the actual process around the election immediately looked like it was better, the machines worked in more constituencies than in 2013,” explains Nic Cheeseman, who monitored the 2013 polls as today.

“It was only later that we started to realise that certain forms weren’t available, that some results were being confirmed without the right forms and that process didn’t appear to be tight that certain concerns began to be expressed,” he says.

Those concerns were taken seriously by the Supreme Court, enough to annul the results.

Several Kenyan papers have since described Justice Maraga as a person of integrity, in stark contrast to the image of coruption that has long plagued the judiciary in Kenya and elsewhere on the African continent.

Ugandan opposition looks to Kenya

In Uganda the fallout from last year’s presidential elections are still being felt in one district in the north, Dokolo, where the outgoing chairman JB Okello Okello lost his seat to the ruling party’s candidate Paul Amoro, in a vote which many say was rigged.

“In respect of Okello Okello versus the electoral commission, it did not meet the expectations of the law that we believe should have been considered and adjudicated over,” Olal Justine, JB Okello Okello’s lawyer told RFI.

Justine says he hopes Uganda will emulate Kenya.

“We hope that what has happened in Kenya should have a positive ripple effect in the region and that those who feel aggrieved should have confidence going to court knowing that they will get justice.”

Kenyatta under fire

Back in Kenya, Kenyatta’s fierce reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision has fueled suspicion that he was complicit in the IEBC’s electoral fraud, says analyst Dennis Owino.

“If indeed the president won the election with clean hands then you’d expect the president to be mad at the IEBC for incompetence, that has cost him the victory.”

Instead that anger is being channeled at the judiciary, retorts Owino.

“He is still rooting for the same IEBC that has been found guilty of running a shambolic election, so in a sense the president is endorsing impunity, he’s endorsing electoral fraud,” he comments.

Although the Supreme Court found that there was sufficient evidence of tampering in the transmission of results to warrant a rerun, it found no misconduct on the part of Kenyatta himself.

The court’s full reasoning won’t be available for another few days. While it has ordered IEBC to organise a fresh poll in 60 days, it has not spelt out its plans for the compositon of the electoral commission this time round.

The opposition says it won’t take part if the IEBC remains the same.

“I think it’s hard to imagine an election in which we change the electoral commission 60 days out and then have a better quality election, I think that just doesn’t seem very likely to me,” reckons Cheeseman.

This uncertainty raises the risk that, if Kenya experiences another bad election, there could be renewed conflict in the courts or on the streets.


 

Statement from Oromo Federalist Congress: የታሪክ ሽሚያ ለማካሄድ ካልሆነ በስተቀር የእሬቻ ሰማዕታት ፓርክ/ሐዉልት በተጠያቂዎች ሊቆም አይገባም፤ በመሬት ጥያቄ ምክንያትም የሰዉ ሕይወት አይቀጠፍም፡፡ September 7, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Oromo Federalist Congress Statement on 7  September  2017, page1.png

Oromo Federalist Congress Statement on 7  September  2017, page2.png

 

የታሪክ ሽሚያ ለማካሄድ ካልሆነ በስተቀር የእሬቻ ሰማዕታት ፓርክ/ሐዉልት በተጠያቂዎች ሊቆም አይገባም፤ በመሬት ጥያቄ ምክንያትም የሰዉ ሕይወት አይቀጠፍም፡፡


ከኦሮሞ ፌዴራላዊ ኮንግሬስ የተሰጠ መግለጫ


መስከረም 22 ቀን 2009 የእሬቻን ባህላዊና ሃይማኖታዊ በዓል ለማክበር በቢሾፍቱ ሆራ አርሰዲ በተሰባሰቡ የኦሮሞ ዜጎች ላይ ሆን ተብሎ በተወሰደ የመንግስት ያልተገባ እርምጃ የብዙ ዜጎች ሕይወት ተሰዉቷል፡፡ አስቀድሞ ሲደረጉ የነበሩ ዝግጅቶች አደጋ ሊያስከትሉ እንደሚችሉ በመጠርጠር ፓርቲያችን፤ የኦሮሞ ፌዴራላዊ ኮንግሬስ “የእሬቻ በዓል የሕዝብ ባህልና ሃይማኖት በጣምራ የሚከበርበት መሆኑ ታዉቆ ማናቸዉም የፖለቲካ ኃይሎች ከዋዜማዉ ጀምሮ ጣልቃ ከመግባት እንዲቆጠቡ አበክረን እናሳስባለን፡፡” የሚል መግለጫ መስከረም 10/2009 ማዉጣታችንን እናስታዉሳለን፡፡
የሰጠነዉ ማሳሰቢያ የመንግስት ባለሥልጣን ሰሚ ጆሮ ባለማግኘቱና ቀደም ሲልም በሕዝብና በገዥዉ ፓርቲ መሀከል የነበረዉ መልካም ያልሆነዉ ግንኙነት ፈጦ ሊወጣ በመቻሉ በተለይም ወጣቱ የተቃዉሞ ድምፅ በማሰማቱ የመንግስት ኃይሎች በታዘዙት መሠረት የኃይል እርምጃ ወስደዋል፡፡ በዚህም የተነሳ ጥቂት በሚባሉ ወጣቶች የተቃዉሞ መፈክር ማንሳት የተነሳ፤ የመንግስት ኃይሎች ኃላፊነት በጎደለዉ ሁኔታ እጅግ ብዙ ሆኖ በተሰበሰበዉና ምንም ማምለጫ መንገድ በሌለዉ ንጹኃን ሕዝብ ላይ የኃይል እርምጃ ተወስዷል፡፡ በዚያ ዓይነት ሁኔታ በሕዝብ ላይ የበቀል እርምጃ መዉሰድ እጅጉን የሚከብድ መሆኑ ማመዛዘን ለሚችል ሰዉ የሚከብድ መሆኑ እየታወቀ፤ ከአቅም በላይ የሆነ እርምጃ በመወሰዱ የብዙ ዜጎቻችን ሕይወት በአሰቃቂ ሁኔታ አልፏል፡፡

የዚህ መግለጫ አስፈላጊነት ደግሞ እነዚያን በግፍ የተገደሉ ዜጎችን ለማስታወስ ሲባል የመታሰቢያ ፓርክ የሚባል ተገቢ ባልሆነ ቦታ ላይ ተገቢ ባልሆነ አካል መሰራቱ ነዉ፡፡ በወቅቱ የተገደሉ ዜጎች ተለይተዉ መላዉ ሕዝብ ባላወቀበትና በገለልተኛ አካል ተጣርቶ በኦሮሞ ሕዝብ ደንብ መሠረት ጉማ ወይም የደም ካሳ ባልተከፈበት ሁኔታ ዉስጥ ሆኖ፤ ገዳዮችና አዛዦቻቸዉ ለፍርድ ሳይቀርቡ ፓርክ ተሰራላቸዉ ሲባል የሟች ቤተሰቦችም ሆኑ መላዉ ሕብረተሰባችን የሚቀበሉት አይደለም፡፡ ምክንያቱ ቀላል ነዉ፡፡ የሰማዕታት ሐዉልትም ሆነ የመታሰቢያ ፓርክ በተጠያቂዎች አይገነባም፡፡ ከኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዴሞክራሲያዊ መንግስትም ሆነ ከኦሮሚያ ብሔራዊ ክልላዊ መንግስታት የሚጠበቅ ነገር ቢኖር የሟቾችን ማንነት በገለልተኛ አካል ይፋ ማድረግ፣ ጉማ ወይም የደም ካሳ መክፈልና ገዳዮችን ለፍርድ ማቅረብ ነዉ፡፡

ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ ተሰራ የተባለዉ የመታሰቢያ ፓርክም ዜጎቹ ከተገደሉበት ቦታ ርቆ መተከሉ የግብር ይዉጣ ሥራ ከመሆኑም በላይ የታሪክ ሽሚያ ለማካሄድ ካልሆነ በስተቀር የእሬቻ የሰማዕታት ሐዉልትም ሆነ ፓርክ በተጠያቂዎች ሊቆም አይገባም እንላለን፡፡ በሌላም በኩል ሕብረተሰቡ እነዚህ የተሰዉ ወገኖች በጥልቅ ሐዘን የሚያስታዉሳቸዉ ከመሆኑም በላይ ስማቸዉንና ምስላቸዉን በዝርዝር ማስቀመጥ ሲገባ እንዲሁ አንድ ቁም ድንጋይ ተክሎ ከጉዳዩ ጋር የማይመስለዉን ሀተታ በጽሑፍ ማስቀመጡ አሳዝኖናል፡፡ ከዚህ ጋርም በፓርኩ የመግቢያ በር ላይ በአፋን ኦሮሞ ተጽፎ የሚገኘዉ “Paarkii Yaadannoo Namoota Ayyanaa Irreechaa Irratti Lubbuun Isaani Tasa Darbe Yaadachuuf Moggaafame” የሚለዉ ዜጎቹ የሞቱት በድንገተኛ ሁኔታ እንደሆነ በጽሑፍ ማስቀመጡ በኦሮሞ ዜጎች መስዋዕትነት ላይ የማፈዝ ያህል ስለሆነ ተጨማሪ የሕዝብና የመንግስት ግጭትን ሳይጋብዝ ከቦታዉ እንዲነሳ እንጠይቃለን፡፡

ከቅርብ ጊዜያት ወዲህ ከኦሮሚያ ክልል ላይ የድንበር ጥያቄ የሚያነሱና በድንበሮች አካባቢ በሚገኙ የኦሮሞ ዜጎች ላይ ጥቃት የሚፈጽሙ ኃይሎች ጉዳይ ከአሳሳቢ ደረጃም ያለፈና የዜጎቻችንን ሕይወት እየቀጠፈ መሆኑን ተገንዝበናል፡፡ ይህ የመሬት ጥያቄ የድንበር አከባቢ ሕዝቦችን በማጋጨት ከፍተኛ የሕይወት መስዋዕትነት እያስከፈለ ይገኛል፡፡ የመሬት ጥያቄዉን አንዳንዴ ሲመለከቱት ኢትዮጵያዊያን በቀጣይ ጊዜያት ዉስጥ አብሮ የመኖር ዕጣ ፋንታቸዉ እያበቃ ያለ ያስመስላል፡፡ ምክንያቱም በምዕራብ፣ በደቡብ ምዕራብና በምስራቅ ኦሮሚያ በኩል የሚገኙት የገዥዉ ፓርቲ ካድሬዎችና ካቢኔዎች የሕዝቦች አብሮነት እንዲያከትም ፍላጎት ያላቸዉ ይመስላሉ፡፡

በድንበር አከባቢ የሚኖሩ ሕዝቦች በግጦሽ ሳር፣ በኩሬ ዉሃ፣ በጠፈ ከብትና በጥቃቅን ነገሮች ሊጋጩ እንደሚችሉና በአከባቢ ሽማግሌዎችና በጎሳ መሪዎች አማካይነት ሊታረቁ እንደሚችሉ፤ እነዚህ የአገር ሽማግሌዎችና የጎሳ መሪዎች ችግሮችን ሲፈቱም እንደነበረ ይታወቃል፡፡ የመሬት ወረራዉና የሰዎች ግድያዉ የኦሮሞን ሕዝብ ቁጥርና የኦሮሚያን የቆዳ ስፋት ለማሳነስ ታቅዶ የተቀመጠዉን እስትራቴጂ ተግባራዊ ለማድረግ እንቅስቃሴ ላይ ያለ ይመስላል፡፡ በተለይም በምስራቅ ኦሮሚያ በኩል በሱማሌ ልዩ ኃይል በኦሮሞ ዜጎች ላይ እየደረሰ ያለዉ ጥቃት እጅጉን ያሳስበናል፡፡
ስለሆነም እንደዚህ ዓይነት የጥቃት እርምጃዎች ለወደፊቱ ኢትዮጵያዊያን አብሮነት የማይፈይድና ወቅትን እየጠበቀ የሚፈነዳ ፈንጂ እየሆነ ስለሚቀጥል የሚመለከታቸዉ የመንግስት አካላትና ሕብረተሰቡ አስፈላጊዉን የዕርምት እርምጃ እንዲወስዱ አበክረን እናሳስባለን፡፡

የኦሮሞ ፌዴራላዊ ኮንግሬስ
ፊንፊኔ፤ ጳጉሜን 2/2009

NEWS: FIRE AT BIGGEST STADIUM CONSTRUCTION SITE IN ETHIOPIA KILLS SEVEN, SEVERELY INJURES ABOUT A DOZEN; NEWS KEPT SECRET September 6, 2017

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Construction site 1

Families of the deceased were offered just 15,000 Birr (about US$640) as compensation while the injured have received medical treatments only   

 

Samuel Bogale

 Addis Abeba, September 5/2017 – A fire that engulfed workers’ dormitory at the construction site of Adey Abeba Stadium, the biggest stadium Ethiopia is constructing, has claimed the lives of seven people so far while almost a dozen were burned severely, the survivors told Addis Standard.

Around 20 day laborers who came from various parts of the country in search of jobs were believed to have been inside their dormitory when the fire broke out on Saturday August 08/2017. Some of them were readying to sleep and others were preparing dinner when a gas cylinder exploded at about 8:00 PM local time.

Officials from the Chinese State Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC), which is constructing the stadium in the capital Addis Abeba (near the Bob Marley Square), have refused to speak about the accident to the press, an silence that led the victims to believe is a deliberate silence to protect the company’s interest and its image.

Desta Zeleke at Menilik Hospital

Desta Zeleke is currently receiving treatment at Menelik II Hospital

Addis Standard has confirmed the incident by visiting Desta Zeleke, one of the dozen badly injured worker who is currently receiving medical treatment at Menelik II Hospital and several other victims who were already discharged from hospitals.

Wondosen Demeke, Omer Abdela and Yalew Tsehaye, who had their legs and hands burned but had already left hospital, told Addis Standard that five of the deceased: Gutema Meshu, Shuferi Abdurahman, Aliye Mohammed, Kediro Midaso and Dita Geleto had come from Torban Hansawe Woreda in Shashemene, 250 km south of Addis Abeba; while two of them: Berihun Belay and Mengistu Dibash, came from Wolo, 508 km north east of Addis Abeba. Their bodies have all been sent to their families.

victims

Wondosen Demeke, Omer Abdela &Yalew Tsehaye are discharged fromthe clinic and they want to go back to their birth places

Alemnew, another laborer who wanted to be identified by his first name only, also confirmed the accident and said it was caused by an explosion from a gas cylinder. He survived unscathed because he “was outside the dormitory” he told Addis Standard. Another victim who was badly injured by the fire is Getachew who left the city and “went to his family,” according to Alemnew. No one knew Getachew’s current location.

Chen, who is the site manager of CSCEC, but only wanted to give his first name, admitted to Addis Standard that the accident has indeed happened but refused to show the place or give more details of the accident. When asked if he was willing to show Addis Standard the scene of the accident, he said it was already “demolished and not safe [to visit].”

The victims were first taken to Haya Hulet health center, a government clinic, but later on they were transferred to various government hospitals. There was also a time lapse, as there were not enough ambulances to take the victims to hospitals.

“It was beyond our capacity to handle so we took many of the victims to Zewditu Memorial Hospital and a few of them to Yekatit 12 and Addis Hiwot Hospitals in a [crowded] ambulance, putting one victim on top of another,” said one of the nurses at the clinic in Haya Hult. The ones admitted to Zewuditu Memorial Hospital were subsequently referred to Menelik II, Dejazmach Balcha Hospitals, and Addis Abeba Burn, Emergency and Trauma (AaBET) Hospital, which is under the administration of St. Paul Hospital.

The seven were pronounced dead in these three different hospitals on various dates. Addis Standard’s several attempts to reach out to the families of the victims were not successful as of the publishing of this story.

Berihun Belay

Berihun Belay came from South Wollo. He is one of the seven victims. He was only 19

Meager or no compensations  

According to the information from some of the victims, the families of the deceased who came all the way from Shashemene and Wollo were promised 15,000 Birr (about US$640) each as compensations package to “avoid controversy and potential lawsuits”, but they declined to accept. In addition to that, they were also offered 4,000 Birr (about US$170) for burial costs, which was what they were paid so far. They used it to cover the cost of transporting the bodies of their loved ones to their respective places of birth.

Chen of CSCEC claims that his company has “given money” to the families of the deceased and is taking care of those who are in hospital and who were already discharged from hospitals after treatment, “even though it is not the responsibility of the company”; but he did not want to disclose the exact amount of money the company paid.

Saturday, September 2, 2017, was the last day of the medical treatment Wendosen, Omer and Yalew were receiving at the Haya Hulet clinic, where Addis Standard met them. They were joined by three of their colleagues who were discharged earlier from Yekatit 12 Hospital. They complained that they were discharged from Yekatit 12 Hospital to return back to their dormitories while the burns on their bodies were still hurting.

Wendosen, Omer and Yalew wanted to leave Addis Abeba on Monday, September 04, 2017 to their birth places after receiving their salaries, but that was not made available to them, Addis Standard has learned. They were told they would get a fixed payment of just 3,000 birr (about US$127) including compensations for their properties lost in the fire.

Work place abuses

According to the victims Addis Standard talked to, currently there are around 800 Ethiopians and close to 200 Chinese construction workers at the site. Among the Ethiopians, around half were living in the compound in 19 dormitories. Each dormitory, about the size of 90m² and is built from corrugated iron, houses 20 people on average. The workers also said that there was no fire distinguisher in and around the dormitories and parts of the dormitories were covered with plastic canvas, which has likely exacerbated the fire.

Dormitories for Chinese workersThe dormitories for Chinese workers are by far better and safe

The story is different for the dormitories accommodating their Chinese co-workers; there, one dormitory hosts a maximum of four Chinese workers and is equipped with fire distinguishers and other safety equipment.

Following the fire accident, many of the dormitories where Ethiopian laborers lived were dismantled without replacements, forcing the laborers to live outside, but with no additional pay to compensate their housing expenses. Their Chinese colleagues were allowed to remain.

The salary of the employees at the construction site ranges from 80 -120 Birr (US$3-5) per day.  Alemnew complains of labor exploitation and says Ethiopian laborers “work the same job [with their Chinese co-workers] every day,” but get paid “way too less.” Other laborers spoke of disputes and other trivial cases for which their salaries are often deducted as punishment.

The Ethiopian laborers are not also provided with construction safety equipment such as proper clothes, shoes and hand gloves. According to the nurse at Haya Hulet clinic, the clinic often treats laborers from the site for injuries both big and small sustained at their work places.

Chen, the project manager, denies that. According to him, the company provides all safety equipment except for “shoes”. The company pays 200 birr (about $US8.5) to each laborer to buy safety shoes for themselves, Chen claims. But many laborers deny receiving neither the money nor the safety shoes. “We only have helmets (and use to get a pair of gloves once a month) but it has been more than two months since we received the last pair of gloves,” said Alemnew.

Adey Abeba Stadium is the biggest stadium Ethiopia is building among a number of other stadiums both in Addis Abeba and in regional cities. Its design has been approved by FIFA standards. In January 2015, a deal was signed between Redwan Hussien, then Ethiopia’s Youths and Sport Minster and Song Sudong, Director of CSCEC, for the later to begin the construction of the stadium in two phases. The first phase of the construction is estimated to consume around 2.4b. Birr.  When completed Adey Abeba Stadium is expected to hold up to 60,000 people. It will also contain other sport facilities such as basketball and volleyball fields as well as an Olympic size swimming pool.

CSCEC has done other big constructions in Ethiopia, including the new AU Headquarters, which was entirely funded by the Chinese government, and the 20-storey building for the headquarters of the National Oil Company (NOC). Currently it is also building the new 46-storey headquarters of the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). AS


Oromia: Ethiopia’s bereaved families seek justice September 5, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

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Bereaved families in Ethiopia are demanding justice for 650 anti-government protesters who were killed last year.

They were from the largest ethnic group, the Oromo, and died during a government crackdown on dissent.

Despite repeated government promises that security forces responsible for civilian deaths will be punished, no one has been charged.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford reports from Addis Ababa.

Trading Economics: Ethiopia Inflation Rate 2006-2017: The highest inflation rate since October of 2015 as food prices went up 13.3 percent September 4, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Economics, Ethiopia the least competitive in the Global Competitiveness Index, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

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Ethiopia: Inflation Rate  2006-2017: Data, Chart, Calendar, Forecast


Consumer prices in Ethiopia increased 10.4 percent year-on-year in August of 2017, following a 9.4 percent increase in July. It is the highest inflation rate since October of 2015 as food prices went up 13.3 percent, above 12.5 percent in July and non-food inflation rose to 7.1 percent from 5.9 percent in July. Inflation Rate in Ethiopia averaged 16.37 percent from 2006 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 64.20 percent in July of 2008 and a record low of -4.10 percent in September of 2009.

 

Ethiopia Inflation Rate
Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2017-07-04 02:55 PM Inflation Rate YoY 8.8% 8.7% 8.9%
2017-08-03 02:30 PM Inflation Rate YoY 9.4% 8.8% 9%
2017-09-04 02:00 PM Inflation Rate YoY 10.4% 9.4% 8.6%
2017-10-10 11:00 AM Inflation Rate YoY 10.4% 7.7%
2017-11-03 11:00 AM Inflation Rate YoY 7.8%
2017-12-05 11:00 AM Inflation Rate YoY 7.9%
Ethiopia Prices Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Inflation Rate 10.40 9.40 64.20 -4.10 percent [+]
Food Inflation 13.30 12.50 16.20 2.81 percent [+]
CPI Transportation 116.00 115.00 116.00 97.60 Index Points [+]
Consumer Price Index Cpi 169.20 167.60 169.20 100.00 Index points [+]

Ethiopia Inflation Rate Notes

In Ethiopia, the inflation rate measures a broad rise or fall in prices that consumers pay for a standard basket of goods. This page provides the latest reported value for – Ethiopia Inflation Rate – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Ethiopia Inflation Rate – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on September of 2017.
Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
10.40 9.40 64.20 -4.10 2006 – 2017 percent Monthly
Inflation Rate by Country
 

Last
Australia 1.90 Jun/17
Brazil 2.71 Jul/17
Canada 1.20 Jul/17
China 1.40 Jul/17
Euro Area 1.50 Aug/17
France 0.90 Aug/17
Germany 1.80 Aug/17
India 2.36 Jul/17
Indonesia 3.82 Aug/17
Italy 1.20 Aug/17
Japan 0.40 Jul/17
Mexico 6.44 Jul/17
Netherlands 1.30 Jul/17
Russia 3.90 Jul/17 
South Korea 2.60 Aug/17
Spain 1.60 Aug/17
Switzerland 0.30 Jul/17
Turkey 9.79 Jul/17
United Kingdom 2.60 Jul/17
United States 1.70 Jul/17

BREAKING NEWS: ANOTHER HEAVY DEATH TOLL FROM A CONFLICT IN EASTERN ETHIOPIA September 2, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Uncategorized.
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Addis Abeba, September 01/2017 – Intense fighting between the Ethiopian Somali and the Oromo ethnic groups in the eastern Ethiopia has left “more than 30 people”, including “more than a dozen army members”, dead and several others injured, Addis Standard learned.

According to three residents of Mieso town, west Hararghe zone, who contacted Addis Standard late this evening, today’s fighting in and around the town was between several members of local residents and heavily armed members of the “Liyu Police”.   “We couldn’t take the killings our men, the raping of our girls and the lootings of our cattle by bandits openly supported by the Liyu Police,” wrote Abdulatif Kererro, a resident of the town in his message. A similar attack has left seven civilians dead last week in Chinakson in east Hararghe and its environs.   

The conflict has been going on for several months now. The local say it is aggravated by the presence of members of Ethiopia’s notorious police force, “Liyu Police,” a special paramilitary elite force accused of its close connection to Abdi Mohamoud Omar, president of the Somali regional state in eastern Ethiopia. Members of the “Liyu Police” are often accused of looting, rape and extrajudicial killings of civilians ever since their establishment in April 2007.

Last week, a group of elders who traveled from East Hararghe Zone, Gursum Woreda of the Oromia Regional State to the capital Addis Abeba have called for an end to the “Liyu police anarchy”.

In march 2017 weeks-long cross border incursions by armed militiamen that local say were members of “Liyu Police”  into many localities in eastern and southern part of the Oromia regional state, (bordering the Ethiopian Somali regional state in eastern and south eastern Ethiopia) had left more than 100 civilians dead.

It is not clear what trigged the latest conflict. But the Oromia regional state bureau head Addisu blamed the reasons for March’s conflict as “border expansion” and “economic” in nature. The clashes happened after incursions by “armed men” from the Somali regional state into towns and villages administratively under the Oromia regional state.  

In April 2017, following several attacks by Liyu police, Abdi Mohamud Omar and Lemma Megerssa, presidents of Somali and Oromia regional states respectively, have signed an agreement to end “border hostilities”. On August 19, the Oromia regional state said that as part of that agreement, of the 68 contested villages between the two regions, 48 have been returned to be under the administration of the Oromia regional state. But the deal doesn’t not seem to hold water.

Today’s heavy clash subsided late this afternoon after the “members of the federal army arrived in the scene”, according to Abdulatif, “but we are not going sit back and see this happen again,” he wrote. AS


Related:-

Oromian EConomist: Six Major National and Regional Unintended Policy Consequences of the Invasion of the Eastern and Southern Oromia by the Somali Liyu Police, i.e., the Somali Janjaweed Militia

Ethiopia’s Somali Region: Political Marketplace for Tigray Military Commanders

Analysis: History repeating itself in the Horn of Africa: Is the crime in Darfur being replicated in Eastern and Southern Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia? – http://addisstandard.com/analysis-history-repeating-horn-africa-crime-darfur-replicated-eastern-southern-oromia-regional-state-ethiopia/

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

Conversations in Ideas: Liyu Police and the Oromia-Ogaden Border Conflict

UNPO: Illegal detention and refoulement of Somali refugee to Ethiopia September 2, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Horn of Africa Affairs, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist
UNPO

Illegal detention and refoulement of Somali refugee to Ethiopia

31 August 2017

 


Photo courtesy of the Horn Observer

On 23 August 2017, a Somali refugee from the Ogaden region, having been living in Mogadishu, Somalia, for three years, was arrested by the regional security of the Galkacyo, Galmudug regional state in central Somalia. Mr Abdikarin Sheikh Muse, also an executive committee member of UNPO Member Ogaden National Liberation Front, was then transferred to Mogadishu and held by the Somali National Security for a few days before being refouled to Ethiopia. This refoulement constitutes a violation of the principles laid out in the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, to which Somalia acceded on 10 October 1978. Ethiopia is known to use torture and intimidation, including by harming members of the family, against its opponents: the transfer of a political refugee by Somalia to Ethiopia therefore disregards his rights to life and freedom and constitutes yet another attempt by Ethiopia to threaten the most vulnerable within its population. The UNPO stands by the ONLF in calling upon the international community to put pressure on Ethiopia to fully respect the rights of Mr Sheikh Muse.

Below is a press release published by the Ogaden National Liberation Front:

The regional security of the Galkacyo, Galmudug regional state in central Somalia detained on August 23, 2017 Mr Abdikarin Sheikh Muse, an Executive committee member of ONLF, who was residing in Mogadishu for the last three years. Mr Abdikarin Sh Muse whole family were wantonly killed by the TPLF led regime of Ethiopia. He went to Galkacyo to bring back his young niece to Mogadishu for medical treatment where he was apprehended and then transferred to Mogadishu and held by NISA, the Somali National Security for few days. The Somali government refused to let relatives of Abdikarin Sh Muse to visit him while claiming that they will release him soon.

After much effort by high level Somali Officers to secure the release Mr Sh. Muse, sources close to the Somali cabinet has informed us that the Somali government has ignored their pleas, and has forcefully handed over Mr Abdikarin Sheikh Muse without his consent to Ethiopia in violation of the principle of non-refoulement laid out in 1951 UN-Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which, in Article 33(1) provides that:

“No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

The Somali government and the current president also violated the Somali constitution which recognises the rights of all Somalis to have the right of abode regardless of which part of the Somali nation they originate.

Thus the Somali government has forcefully transferred a political refuge to Ethiopia which is known to torture and humiliate its opponents.

The direct involvement of both the Somali president and prime minister has been confirmed. It has also been intimated that Mr Abdikarin was sacrificed to Ethiopia in order to get political support from Ethiopia. The Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia who is a close relative of the prime minster and in law to the Somali president played a key role in brokering the deal.

Furthermore, in order to hide their cowardly and immoral act, the Somali regime and the Ethiopian regime resorted to cheap propaganda stunt by claiming that Mr Abdikarin Sh. Muse has an Ethiopian passport and was negotiating with the Ethiopian government by fabricating a false passport from the Ethiopian embassy in Mogadishu and claiming that he was going on his free will to Ethiopia.  In addition, stories about Mr Abdikarin’s involvement with Al-shabab was also fabricated in order to get support from external forces. ONLF is a national liberation organisation that struggles for the rights of the Somali people in Ogaden and has no involvement what-so-ever in Somalia’s multifaceted conflict at all.

The current president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo, and his accomplices, the Prime Minister Mr Hassan Ali Khayre, The National security advisor, Gen. Bashir Mohamed Jamac-Goobe, the Head of NISA Mr. Abdullahi Mohamed Ali “Sanbalolshe” have committed a national crime against the Somali nation and as such will bear the full political and moral consequences of their cowardly act. Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has set a new black record and vile precedence in the history of the Somali nation by becoming the first president of Somalia to hand over a fellow Somalis to the enemy of the Somali nation- the TPLF regime in Ethiopia. This happening shows that Somalia is still not fully sovereign and is under the suzerainty of the TPLF. TPLF is also the enemy to all the peoples in Ethiopia and the source of instability in Horn of Africa!

ONLF members and the Somali people from Ogaden are not a commodity for sale to the TPLF regime in Ethiopia and Somali patriots in all parts of the Somali nation will make sure that all those involved in this case will be made accountable. ONLF will use all available legitimate means at its disposal to protect its rights and its people.

ONLF thanks and commends the progressive forces in Somali who are busy to regain the respect of the Somali nation and the Republic and encourage them to pursue their noble endeavour

ONLF calls upon:

1. All the Somali people in the Horn of Africa to stand by the side of their brethren and hold accountable all that participated in this heinous act intended to damage the sanctity of the unity of Somali nation;

2. The Somalia parliament to take appropriate action against the failed regime of Mr Farmajo and his accomplices who have violated the trust of the Somali people;

3. The UNHRC, ICRC, HRW and the international community to secure the safety and well-being of Mr Abdi-Karin Sh. Muse and pressure Ethiopia to fully respect his human rights as stated in human rights charter and Geneva conventions;

4. All progressive peoples and organisations in the Horn of Africa and the world to condemn this heinous act.

ONLF thanks and commends the progressive forces in Somalia who are actively engaged in regaining the sovereignty of the Somali Republic and encourage them to continue to pursue their noble endeavour.

ONLF will never be deterred by such a cowardly act and will continue to struggle for the right of the Somali people in Ogaden.

The days of TPLF is numbered and those who ally with them are doomed to fail with them.

 

The press release is downloadable by clicking here.

Kenya’s supreme court has annulled last month’s presidential election and called for a new vote — Quartz September 1, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

Kenya’s supreme court has annulled last month’s presidential election and called for a new vote

 

Kenya’s supreme court has declared the results of last month’s presidential election invalid and ordered a new vote. Incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won 54% of the now-nullified vote, defeating opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Chief justice David Maraga said the presidential election held on Aug. 8 “was not conducted in accordance with the constitution… rendering the declared results invalid, null and void.” According to Maraga, the court found “irregularities and illegalities” in the transmission of results. He ordered the electoral commission to hold a fresh presidential election within 60 days.

Cheers outside the courtroom and across Nairobi could be heard, with crowds chanting, “Uhuru must go!”

Odinga, claiming Kenya’s electronic electoral system was hacked to rig the results in favor of Kenyatta, had petitioned the court to examine the election. The electoral commission denied the results were hacked and international observers said they witnessed no signs of manipulation. The court invalidated the election with a majority of five of seven judges. The dissenters, Jackton Ojwang’ and Njoki Ndung’u, said none of the irregularities “occurred deliberately and in bad faith.” The court said it would deliver its full judgment within the next 21 days.

The court’s decision throws Kenya into a state of uncertainty. It’s not clear whether the current members of the electoral commission will need to be replaced. The Nairobi Securities Exchange halted trading for half an hour after an index of its 20 largest companies fell by more than 5%.

Kenya’s sixth election since introducing multi-party democracy in the 1990s, has been marred by widespread public mistrust, fake news, and violence. This is the first time a court has annulled an election in Kenya.

A week before the election, a senior election official was found dead, apparently tortured, outside of Nairobi. After election results were released, police cracked down on protesters in parts of Nairobi and Kisumu, an Odinga stronghold, killing at least 28 Kenyans, including a 10-year old girl and a six-month old baby. Locals and foreign observers worry about a repeat of Kenya’s 2007 election, when disputed results ended in post-election violence that claimed the lives of at least 1,600 people and displaced more than half a million.

Today, Odinga said that the court’s decision was “a first in the history of African democratization.” Odinga, surrounded by supporters in front of the supreme court offices in Nairobi, called the ruling “a triumph for the people of Kenya.” Kenyatta’s lawyer, meanwhile, dismissed the court’s move as a “political decision.”

In other ways, the election was a success. Voter turnout was high, with more than 15 million out of 19.6 million registered voters casting their ballots. Two-thirds of local legislators were voted out, and 25 of 47 governors did not win a second term.

 

Kenya’s supreme court has declared the results of last month’s presidential election invalid and ordered a new vote. Incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta won 54% of the now-nullified vote, defeating opposition leader Raila Odinga. Chief justice David Maraga said the presidential election held on Aug. 8 “was not conducted in accordance with the constitution… rendering the declared…

via Kenya’s supreme court has annulled last month’s presidential election and called for a new vote — Quartz

 

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Ethiopia: Bank Records of Detained Corruption Suspects Shows ‘Dirty Money’ Hidden September 1, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Corruption, Uncategorized.
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 Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

The TPLF Corruption network

Ethiopia: Bank Records of Detained Corruption Suspects Shows ‘Dirty Money’ Hidden

Bank accounts of the 56 corruption suspects in Ethiopia shows a balance of only few dollars
Capital Flight? Bank account records of the 56 corruption suspects who run multi-million dollar projects in Ethiopia shows only a balance of few hundreds of dollars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BY ESAT NEWS


Bank accounts of corruption suspects who run multi-million dollar projects in Ethiopia shows only few thousands of dollars in balances, according to a source, who said the money might have been sent offshore.

The Ethiopian Satellite Television ESAT learnt that the largest money available in the balances of the over 50 suspects was about 15,000 dollars.

The assets and bank accounts of the suspects have been frozen by the authorities when the crackdown against them began last month.

Fifty six businessmen and government officials have so far been put behind bars accused of squandering and pocketing millions of dollars.
Balances on the bank accounts of Aser Construction shows only about 4,500 dollars. Aser is a share company established by a group of engineers, with the main shareholder being Arkebe Oqubay, a member of the inner circle of the TPLF, who, as a board member of the Ethiopian Airlines, has allegedly awarded Aser millions of dollars contracts for the construction of condominiums and other airport constructions.

The accounts of DMC Construction and Yemane Girmay Construction show about 6,500 dollars. DMC Construction, owned by Daniel Mamo, is allegedly a business partner of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who ESAT’s source said has helped Daniel Mamao get the awards of several construction contracts.

The largest balance was on the accounts of Gemshu Beyene Construction, which also owns the Elilly International Hotel in Kazanchis, a company associated with Abadula Gemeda, the Speaker of the House and Sufian Ahmed, the former minister of finance.
Last week a travel ban was imposed on high level TPLF officials, family members and accomplices suspected of embezzlement, according to ESAT’s sources.

The campaign against corruption did not lay a finger on higher officials of the TPLF who are widely accused of pocketing millions of dollars, casting doubt if the regime is really serious about wiping out corruption. Some believe it was just a show while others say it was an indication of the internal crisis within the TPLF.

Transparency International in its recent report says illicit financial flows continues in 2016 and money from corruption could make it even higher. According to Global financial Integrity, Ethiopia lost US$11.7 Billion in Illegal Capital Flight from 2000 through 2009.

Recent studies by Transparency International also show that Ethiopia is among the top ten African countries by cumulative illicit financial flows related to trade mispricing.


Related:

Oromian Economist: TPLF Ethiopia’s Regime Money Laundering Activities & Its Networks