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Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) forces suppressing new protests in Amhara: gunfire, deaths reported January 25, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Ethiopia army suppressing new protests in Amhara: gunfire, deaths reported

ETHIOPIA

Local media portals are reporting violent protests in Ethiopia’s northern Amhara region. The protest in the town of Kobo is against an earlier deadly crackdown that killed seven people in the town of Woldiya last Sunday.

The Addis Standard and Addis Gazetta portals report that the clashes started on Wednesday leading to the burning of government offices and other public properties.

The heavy military presence in the region and the sound of gunshots suggest that live bullets are being discharged. There are no official casualties reported from the incident even though journalists said three people have been killed.

Public protest and deadly crackdown undergoing in Kobbo, north east of Amhara, undergoing. Reports are coming out that Fed forces are using live ammunition against unarmed protestors.

The earlier protest which resulted in the Kobo round of protests was in Woldiya during the Epiphany celebrations, according to the United Nations human rights office, the military fired live bullets to prevent young people from chanting anti-government slogans.

Seven people are said to have died whiles dozens got injured in the ensuing clashes. Kobo is located about 50 km from Woldiya.

-Some reports indicate that there have been civilian deaths during protests that began yesterday in town, northern Wollo zone of the regional state. The incident follows the weekend killing of civilians in , 50 km from Kobo. pic.twitter.com/tLbpq7ZlPN

This pictures were posted on @addisgazetta and reportedly show the aftermath of the protests in , denouncing the killing . Also, according to journalist @Belay_Ma, “government offices were burnt”, “shops [are] closed” and “gunfire [can[ still be heard in the town.” pic.twitter.com/2uQoVW2WB0

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Amhara along with Oromia region were the main centers of anti-government protest that shook the country in 2015 and through the better part of 2016.

To quell the violent protests, Addis Ababa imposed a nationwide state-of-emergency in October 2016. The measure was lifted in August 2017. Parts of the country have been rocked by deadly protests since the measure was lifted.


Related from Oromian Economist sources:-

Uprising in Kobo, regime forces are using military helicopters


BBC: ስማቸው እንዲጠቀስ ያልፈለጉ የቆቦ ከተማ ቀበሌ 01 ነዋሪ፤ ከትናንት ጀምሮ በነበረው ግጭት አንድ ታዳጊን ጨምሮ በርካቶች መገደላቸውን ለቢቢሲ ተናግረዋል።

የሟቾችን ቁጥር በተመለከተ ያገኘናቸው መረጃዎች የተለያዩ ሲሆኑ ከሆስፒታል ምንጮች ለማረጋገጥ ያደረግነው ጥረት አልተሳካም።

እንደ ነዋሪዎች ከሆነ ግን ቢያንስ ሶስት እና ከዚያ በላይ ሰዎች ተገድለዋል። በጸጥታ ኃይል አባላት ላይም ጉዳት መድረሱን ነዋሪዎች ጨምረው ተናግረዋል።

ያነጋገርናቸው ሌላኛው የቆቦ ነዋሪ የግጭቱን መነሻ ሲያስረዱ፤ ”በወልዲያ ከተማ የተፈጸመው ግድያ ቆቦ ውስጥ ከፍተኛ ውጥረትን ፈጥሮ ነበር። ይህ በእንዲህ እያለ ንብረታችን ሊዘረፍ ወይም ሊወድምብን ይችላል ብለው የሰጉ ሰዎች ንግድ ቤቶቻቸውን በመዝጋት ንብረት ለማሸሽ ሞክረው ነበር። አንዳንድ ወጣቶችም ‘እዚህ ምንም ሳይፈጠር እንዴት ይህን ታደርጋላችሁ’ ብለው መጠየቃቸውን ተከትሎ ግርግር ተፈጠረ ከዚያም ወደ ግጭት አመራ” ሲሉ ያስረዳሉ።

በከተማዋ ተቃውሞ የተጀመረው ትናንት ከቀኑ 8 ሰዓት ጀምሮ እንደነበር እና ተቃውሞው ወደ ግጭት ተሸጋግሮ የንግድ ቤቶችን እና የመንግሥት መስሪያ ቤቶችን ማቃጠል የተጀመረው ግን 10 ሰዓት አካባቢ መሆኑን ከከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች መረዳት ችለናል።

ዛሬ ሐሙስ እሰከ ጠዋቱ 3 ሰዓት ድረስ ከተማዋ ምንም እንኳን ውጥረት ውስጥ ብትቆይም ግጭት አልነበረም የሚሉት ሌላው ነዋሪ ”ከ3 ሰዓት በኋላ ግን በርካታ ወጣቶች ዘለቀ እርሻ ልማት ወደሚባል ድርጅት በመሄድ በድርጅቱ ቅጥር ግቢ ውስጥ የነበሩ ትራክተሮችንና የእርሻ መሳሪያዎችን አወደሙ። ከዚህ በተጨማሪም የድረጅቱ ህንጻ ላይም ጉዳት ደርሷል” ሲሉ ያስረዳሉ።

እንደ ነዋሪዎቹ አባባል የእርሻ ድርጅቱ የጥቃቱ ኢላማ የሆነው ”ከአርሶ አደሩ በርካታ ሄክታር መሬት ተነጥቆ ለዘለቀ እርሻ ልማት ድርጅት ተሰጥቷል የሚል ቅሬታ በመኖሩ ነው” ሲሉ ተናግረዋል።

ከዘለቀ እርሻ ልማት ድርጅት በተጨማሪ ኪወ የእርሻ ልማት እና ባለቤትነቱ የሆላንዳውያን የሆነ ሌላ የእርሻ ልማት ድርጅቶች ላይ ጉዳት መድረሱን የኪወ እርሻ ልማት ባለቤት ለቢቢሲ ተናግረዋል


BBC:  ”ወንድሜን በአምስት ጥይት በሳስተው ነው የገደሉት”

በወልዲያ ከተማ በጥምቀት በዓል ማግስት የተከሰተውን ተቃውሞ ተከትሎ የፀጥታ ኃይሎች በወሰዱት እርምጃ በርካቶች ህይወታቸውን ማጣታቸው ይታወቃል።

መንግሥት የሟቾች ቁጥር ሰባት ነው ቢልም ያነጋገርናቸው የከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች ግን የሟቾችን እና የቁስለኞችን ቁጥር ከፍ ያደርጉታል።

ከከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች እንደሰማነው ከሟቾቹ መካከል አዛውንቶች እና እድሚያቸው በአስራዎቹ መጀመሪያ ላይ የሚገኙ ሁለት ታዳጊዎች ይገኙበታል።

ESAT: One of the thirteen people shot and killed by TPLF security forces on Epiphany day religious festival in Woldia, a town on a major transportation route in Northern Ethiopia, was shot five times.


VOA: በሞያሌ መከላከያ ፖሊስ አንድ ሰው ገድሎ ሦስት ማቁሰሉን የከተማው አስተዳደር አስታወቀ


UNPO: Ethiopia: HRLHA Calls for Genuine Solution to Crisis in Ethiopia January 25, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistUNPOHuman rights League of the Horn of Africa
 

Ethiopia: HRLHA Calls for Genuine Solution to Crisis in Ethiopia


Photo Courtesy of Andrew Heavens@Flickr

By  UNPO, Jan 23, 2018

On 21 January 2018, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) released an urgent action statement calling for more disclosure and action from Ethiopia’s government, in light of the recent release of political prisoners. Although praising the release of 115 federal inmates, including OFC Leader Dr. Merera Gudina, HRLHA views this as ‘picking a few individual grains out of a ton’. The government declared the release was to create a national consensus and widen the political space however, HRLHA states that this is not a likely result unless other more concrete measures are implemented. 

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has continued to deny the holding of political prisoners and the use of torture in centres such as Maikelawi detention centre, known as Ethiopia’s Guantanamo.

The situation is particularly severe in the Oromia Regional State, where political uprising has been met with military action and the region is under the complete control of the Federal Military Force ‘National Security Council’. Since this military takeover, many youth have been detained due to their participation in protests, an action that contradicts the government’s efforts to ‘create a national consensus’.

The HRLHA made a series of recommendations in this release calling for the government of Ethiopia to take steps towards full disclosure and transparency of the number of forcibly disappeared and political prisoners held in federal prisons, military camps and underground prisons. A recommendation for the government to invite all stakeholders to genuine and inclusive dialogue to promote a national consensus among Ethiopian citizens.

 

Read the urgent action statement from HRLHA here.

The entire document is also available in PDF format here: The Chronic, Political, Economical and Social Crisis in Ethiopia Needs A Genuine Solution

 

Ethiopia: Detention of Indigenous Leaders Continues January 25, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistOakland Institute

The Release of Ethiopian Political Prisoners: Stifled Voices amidst False Promises

  • “We must always remember the people outside of Addis, from marginalized communities, who are in jail for standing up and resisting government programs that took away their land.”

  • “Those who have been forgotten, whose voices are not being heard, and who are behind bars for speaking out on behalf of their people. People in Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, the Lower Omo Valley, and other places, who still remain invisible.”

For years, the Ethiopian government has denied that there are political prisoners in the country. This is despite its consistent use of the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle dissent and detain thousands of politicians, journalists, religious and indigenous leaders, and students.

“2015—Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at NY event on industrialization in Africa.”. On January 3, 2018 Prime Minister Desalegn announced that the government would release all Ethiopian political prisoners and close the notorious Maekelawi police station. Credit: UNIDO (CC BY-ND 2.0)
“2015—Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at NY event on industrialization in Africa.” On January 3, 2018 Prime Minister Desalegn announced that the government would release all Ethiopian political prisoners and close the notorious Maekelawi police station. Credit: UNIDO (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Thus, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s recent announcement that some political prisoners would be released, sparked a mixture of relief and confusion: relief that the government was finally acknowledging and releasing political prisoners in the country; and confusion over who would be freed, and what the announcement really meant.

Uncertainty Continues after Prime Minister Desalegn’s Announcement

“The government says it will close Maekelawi, but this closure doesn’t stop the current government from torturing people.”

This uncertainty has continued. A week after the announcement, prominent Ethiopian political prisoner Bekele Gerba was sentenced to an additional six months in jail for singing a protest song during his court proceedings. Gerba, the Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested in his home in December 2015, just months after spending four years in prison for meeting with Amnesty International researchers. Gerba was granted bail in October 30, 2017, but it was revoked two days later.

Then on January 15, it was announced that charges against 528 persons currently in detention would be dropped. Most of them, including prominent political prisoner Merera Gudina, appear to have been released on January 17.

Detention of Indigenous Leaders Continues

  • “The government says it will close Maekelawi, but this closure doesn’t stop the current government from torturing people. The torture that has taken place there was not only during the Derg, it’s under this regime too.”

However, this is not the time to celebrate given that thousands of others remain in jail. Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law and other draconian legislation like its civil society proclamation are still in place and widely used to intimidate and repress.

Most importantly, the repressive system is not just about barring political freedom; to a large extent, it is about ensuring the control of a minority over the resources of the country and the benefits of the economic development. Many political prisoners in Ethiopia are not just members of opposition political parties but ordinary citizens who oppose the grabbing of their land and natural resources by the government.

Many are members of indigenous communities such as the Anuak, Bodi, Mursi, and other marginalized groups who spoke up against land grabbing and for the rights of their people to decent livelihoods and life with dignity. Thousands are still being held by the regime in facilities across the country though the actual number is unknown given the general opacity surrounding such matters.

Closure of Maekelawi Prison Doesn’t Guarantee End of Torture

  • “There has been public resistance in Ethiopia, and I think this pressure made them release this statement. They want people to calm down. But what the people of Ethiopia need is freedom and absolute change in the political arena. They need something practical – not just theory and words. They need democracy, they need to have the right to use their land, they need their voices to be heard.”

“I hope they release my father, and that my family, and all the other families affected by this government, can finally come together again. I hope this will help heal the wounds of Ethiopia.”

We must also scrutinize the Prime Minister’s announcement to close the notorious Maekelawi police station. The government said this closure is because Maekelawi was used as a place of torture under the previous Derg regime, insinuating that torture no longer takes place there. But, as numerous studies have documented, torture is rampant at Maekelawi and prisons across Ethiopia and, as stated below by those who have suffered at the hands of this government, its closure does nothing to guarantee that these abuses will halt.

In the course of the Oakland Institute’s work on land rights and development issues in Ethiopia, we have met or come to know many of the victims of this repressive system. We reached out to several current and past Ethiopian political prisoners and their families to hear their perspectives on the recent announcements made by the government. We share and amplify their voices here, and echo their calls for justice. Given the ongoing threats to themselves and their families, names have been withheld to protect their identities.