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OPED Kenya must protect refugees who fled brutal military attacks in Ethiopia.- Amnesty International #MoyaleMassacre #Prevent #Genocide May 29, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistAmnesty International


OPED Kenya must protect refugees who fled brutal military attacks in Ethiopia


 

Ayantu, a 53-year-old mother of seven, had just finished preparing lunch for her children when military personnel surrounded her village. They pulled everyone out of their homes and asked them to reveal members of ‘shiftas’ – the informal name for members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), an opposition group outlawed in Ethiopia.

For residents of Argale, an Oromo village in Ethiopia’s Moyale District, this kind of terrifying harassment had become normal. But this time it was different. Just four days earlier, on 10 March 2018, nine people had been “mistakenly” shot dead – and 15 others injured – by military officers in the nearby Shawa Bare village. These attacks prompted the Oromo people in Tuka, Argale, Madiambo and Chamuq villages to flee into Kenya by the thousands.

In January, her husband was arrested, alongside three other men. She has no idea what happened to him, or where he is now.
53-year old Ethiopian mother of seven

For Ayantu and others, such attacks have been the order of the day for the last 20 years. Mid last year, she watched as military officers shot dead her uncle for challenging their attacks and harassment at a village meeting. And in January, her husband was arrested, alongside three other men. She has no idea what happened to him, or where he is now.

For Godana, a 52-year-old man from Tuka village, the scars from his encounter with the military are etched deep within his soul, and on his body. His abdomen and back have burn marks from attacks suffered, also for speaking up against the military harassment.

The military officers dug a hole in the ground, tied my hands and placed me in it, leaving me in the scorching sun for a whole day.
52 year old Ethiopian Refugee from Tuka Village

“The military officers dug a hole in the ground, tied my hands and placed me in it, leaving me in the scorching sun for a whole day,” he recounted painfully. His wife was kicked by the soldiers as she tried to prevent them from arresting him, resulting in the loss of a pregnancy.

But in Kenya the peace and security they sought remains elusive.

Ethiopian government officials visited Moyale on 20th March, accompanied by local Kenyan leaders, to persuade the refugees to return home. Kenya’s Governor for Marsabit County also visited the makeshift refugee settlements in his county in April and urged the refugees to return home, or be relocated to the Kakuma refugee camp, more than 1,000km away. He claimed that refugees were stretching local security and health services. Local clan elders have also reported that they have received calls from their counterparts in Ethiopia urging them to tell refugees to go back home.

But in Kenya the peace and security they sought remains elusive.

Kenya’s national government is not acting any differently. Its Refugee Affairs Secretariat (RAS), the department that deals with refugees, withdrew its registration officers from Marsabit County in April, in effect denying new arrivals the opportunity to be registered as refugees. The deputy county commissioner also stopped coordinating humanitarian agencies, disrupting the provision of essential services.

While about 4,000 refugees voluntarily returned home after the swearing in of the new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the remaining 6,000 still fear for their safety if they return home. The Moyale District in Ethiopia continues to experience armed skirmishes that are causing refugees to fear for their safety and lives, therefore deterring them from returning home.

Having signed and ratified international treaties concerning refugees, the Kenyan government is obliged to continue providing asylum and protection to the Ethiopian refugees in Moyale until they feel that they can safely go back home. Kenya must not push refugee back by making life difficult for them in Kenya. The risk of serious human rights violations in Ethiopia is still very real.

The Kenya government must do all it can to support the Ethiopian refugees, including by facilitating their registration and coordinating humanitarian services to ensure they have access to adequate food, shelter and health services.

The Kenya government must also facilitate their social and economic integration to enable the refugees to live a normal life in safety and dignity.

This article was first published in the EastAfrican


 

Related (Oromian Economist sources):

UNPO: Oromo: Refugees Condemned to Hardship and Uncertainty in Kenya

SPILLOVER: Ethiopia’s political crisis is now spilling over into Kenya’s borders. – Quartz Africa #MoyaleMassacre

#MoyaleMassacre: Indiscriminate Mass Murder in Moyale, Southern Oromia Carried out by the fascist Ethiopia’s TPLF Regime. #Prevent #Genocide

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War Crimes: Crimes Against Humanity: Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s militarism and its Janjaweed style Liyu Police continue with genocide mass killings in Oromia. #Cinaaqsan #Baatee May 27, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

tplf-ethiopias-federal-army-abbay-tsehaye-and-samora-yunus-are-architects-of-the-ongoing-ethnic-cleansing-against-oromo-in-south-and-eastern-oromiaNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

Click here for OMN News on attacks in Cinaaqsan: Oduu Caamsaa 26, 2018

At least four killed, 250 homes burned in renewed Somali Liyu Police attacks inside Oromia


(OPride)—At least four people were killed and five others wounded in renewed cross-border attacks this week by the Ethiopian Somali State Liyu Police in Oromia’s East Hararghe zone. More than 250 houses were razed to the ground and hundreds of civilians are internally displaced, according to locals and media reports.

Oromia and the Somali state share a nearly 900 miles-long porous border. The latest incursions by the Somali paramilitary force into the Cinaksan district, which straddles the common border, is testing Ethiopia’s uneasy calm.

Local residents say the highly coördinated attacks are part of a territorial expansion policy by the president of Somali regional state, Abdi Mohamud Omar, better known as Abdi Illey.

Nearly 30 schools remain closed since the attacks began on May 23 and the learning and teaching process has been disrupted, according to the Voice of America’s Afaan Oromoo program.

Last year, similar raids and cross-border attacks along the Oromia-Somali border by the Liyu police led to the displacement of more than 1.6 million people, mostly ethnic Oromos. Ethiopian authorities blamed the unprecedented violence on rent-seekers and corrupt officials involved in a lucrative contraband trade.

Ethiopia is under a six-month-long state of emergency, which was declared in February ostensibly due to fear of inter-ethnic clashes. The emergency decree was supposed to protect civilians and restore peace and stability following years of unrest. The measure specifically called for the deployment of the federal army in conflict hotspots along the Somali-Oromia border. It also forbids local police and armed militias from operating near the common border.

The ongoing Liyu police attacks inside Oromia are in clear violation of the martial law. However, residents of the Cinaksan district say the military Command Post has failed to stop the attacks by Liyu Police. In an interview with the state-run Oromia Broadcasting Network on Saturday, Dr. Negeri Lencho, the spokesperson for Oromia State, acknowledged the ongoing conflict, as well as the loss of lives on both sides and the destruction of properties.

He lamented that the attackers continue to regroup and rearm themselves even after they are demobilized. He also noted that certain forces continue to secretly supply the Liyu police with weapons reinforcement without specifying.

Lencho said Oromia is monitoring the armed incursion closely and have raised concerns with relevant authorities. He vowed to hold the perpetrators accountable and alluded to plans for people-to-people dialogue to maintain cordial and longstanding Oromo-Somali bonds.

Cinaksan district official, Abdulqadir Dasi, on Friday told VOA the situation is “beyond the control of local authorities” and that his office is appealing to Oromia and federal officials for intervention. People in the affected areas voted to be in Oromia in the 2004 referendum and the counties have been under Oromia’s administration for more than ten years, according to Dasi.

Despite public appeals for peace and reconciliation from Oromia State president Lemma Megersa and Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Liyu Police continues to attack Oromo civilians. In his first official act following with his inauguration on April 2, Abiy traveled to Jijiga, the Somali state capital, to defuse ethnic tensions and confer with Abdi Illey. The leaders vowed to end the attack on civilians, initiate communal dialogue and help resettle those displaced in the 2017 violence. Yet armed incursions and cross-border raids continue to occur in many parts of Oromia, most recently in southern Ethiopia’s Moyale district.

Activists now say Abiy’s gesture to prioritize peace and reconciliation was misunderstood and that it is time for the prime minister to pursue “justice” in order to tame Abdi Illey and the Liyu police. The former intelligence officer, Abdi Illey, is implicated in egregious human rights violations in the Somali region, where he has ruled with an iron-fist as the quintessential Big Man since 2010.

Oromo and Somali activists say the renewed Liyu Police attacks led by Abdi Illey and his associates in the military-security apparatus or the deep state are meant to undermine the new prime minister. Regional officials say, unless it is quickly contained, the attacks will used to create a pretext for the extension of the emergency decree in August. Somali activists calling for the removal of Abdi Illey from power have been protesting for weeks.

Similar attacks on civilians and episodes of violence have been reported in the Wollo zone of Oromia region as well. Oromo activists allege the attack is being launched by the Afar State’s police forces.
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More (Oromian Economist sources):

OMN: Weera Baatee, Wallo ( Caamsaa 26, 2018)

Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles

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

Cinaaqsan Xumura Gaafata!
Aanaa Cinaaqsan bara dheeraaf rakkoon ture. Lubbuu lammiilee hedduutu bade. Madaa san hin irraanfanne. Kan caalatti nama gubu dubbichi ammas xumura dhabuu isaa ti. Obsi daangaa qaba. Bakka ta’etti dhaabuun dirqama. Amma gatiin barbaachisu kanfalamee dubbiin sun xumura argatuu qaba!
Gama biraatin dubbii ballisanii laaluu barbaachisa. Gaafa dubbiin tokko ka’u nami cufti isuma qofa dhaadhessuun hin ta’u. Waa baayyee wal faana hoofuu barbaachisa. Namooti gariin “otoo ummati cinaaqsan dhumaa jiruu waan faalama naannoo dubbatuun hin ta’u” jedhu. Kun sirrii miti. Hojiin abbaa qabaatuu qaba. Namuu waan itti bobba’e raawwatuu qaba. Dubbii faalama naannoo xinneessuun hin ta’u. Rasaasi nama har’a jiru ajjeesa. Faalami naannoo garuu dhaloota ajjeesee sanyii balleessa. Kanaaf rakkoo har’aa qolataa rakkoo boruufis yaaduun dirqama. Wal hubatuu barbaachisa! – Taye Dendea

Amanti Abdisa Jigi kidnapped by fascist TPLF forces on 20 August 2000 and missing since then: Amanti is an Oromo national, Environmental Consultant, a graduate of Finfinnee (Addis ababa University) and University of East Anglia May 25, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Amanti Abdisa Jigi

Oromo national and Environmental Sciences Expert, Amanti Abdisa Jigi (BA, MSC) has been missing since  20 August 2000.

Amanti was born in 1970 in Mana Sibuu, Wallagaa, Oromia. After completing his primary and secondary education in Wallagaa, he joined Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) University and did his undergraduate degree in Geography. He then worked for the Ethiopian government in the Ministry of Urban Planning in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). After leaving the bureaucratic service, he became active in the plight of his people and joined the Oromo Relief Association (ORA). While working with the  NGO, Amanti was in charge of ORA’s Emergency Relief Division.

Amanti was then offered a scholarship to pursue postgraduate study at the University of East Anglia in  in the United Kingdom. After completing his  MSc in Environmental Sciences he returned to Ethiopia and found himself jobless. While he had been engaged in study overseas, the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) had been banned by the Ethiopian government. Despite his disappointment, he continued his work in environmental protection as a consultant for various organizations including the Ethiopian Environmental Non-Governmental Organization (EENGO).

On the 20th of August 2000, Amanti was scheduled to attend an environmental conference in Nairobi, Kenya. He was listed as a passenger on the Kenyan Airways manifest list, and was escorted to the airport by his friends and family. Amanti boarded the plane, only to discover it was being delayed for fifteen minutes due to what was described as security issues. In the presence of scores of witnesses of various nationalities, Ethiopian Airport Security removed Amanti from the plane. After a series of inquiries were initiated by both his family and friends, it was determined that Amanti had indeed been abducted by Ethiopia’s  government (TPLF) forces. He has not been seen since.


 

UNPO: Oromo: Refugees Condemned to Hardship and Uncertainty in Kenya May 24, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist


Oromo: Refugees Condemned to Hardship and Uncertainty in Kenya

 


Having escaped from State repression in Ethiopia, refugees coming from the region of Oromia suffer from deprivation and apprehension as they try to rebuild their lives across the border. Their situation is a direct consequence of a conflict that has seen the Oromo community in Ethiopia suffer from fundamental rights restrictions and severe human rights violations, something that has particularly been voiced by this community through massive protests since 2014.

The article blow was published by allafrica.com:

Two months ago, Kote Adi fled Moyale, Ethiopia, after government soldiers there opened fire on civilians, killing at least nine. Kote and his pregnant wife found shelter in a tent in northeastern Kenya’s Dambala Fachana refugee camp, but weeks of heavy rain have displaced them again.

“Our plastic shelters were flooded with water,” said Kote Adi, who is settling into a new tent site on higher ground.

Hardship and uncertainty haunt him and thousands of others who’ve left Moyale, a market town straddling the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, and its surroundings in Ethiopia’s Oromia region for safety in Kenya. Some are staying with relatives and friends, or in makeshift camps scattered across the normally arid Marsabit County.

Roughly 3,350 of them, including Kote Adi, have found at least temporary security by registering with the United Nations as refugees at Dambala Fachana. Lacking most of their belongings and normal routines, vulnerable to food shortages and illness, they have no idea when they might be able to safely go home.

Political and ethnic rifts keep them away. Ethiopia’s government blamed the March 10 civilian deaths on faulty intelligence, saying soldiers had been deployed to subdue militants from the nationalist Oromo Liberation Front. The Oromia region has been a hotbed of unrest, with ethnic Oromos long complaining of underrepresentation in government and lack of economic opportunities. Nearly three years of their mass anti-government protests led Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to step down in mid-February.

With Oromia native Abdiya Ahmed Ali’s April 2 installation as prime minister, some of the displaced ethnic Oromos made their way home to Moyale.

Some discovered their dwellings had been looted.

“When I went back, the door was broken. … None of my stuff was there,” Abdiya Gelma told VOA in a phone interview, ticking off missing items including her bed, kitchen utensils and a rug. Now she and her child are staying with relatives.

Returnees also found an intensified military presence, Abdiya Gelma and several others told VOA. She said she saw security troops beating a youth who displayed the Oromo Liberation Front’s red-and-green flag.

Moyale remains tense after more rounds of violence. A grenade exploded at a bus station April 17, killing at least three people. Gunfire broke out May 6 between Oromo and Garre ethnic groups, provoked by the Ethiopian Somali Region’s paramilitary force firing on a local police station, a resident told the Addis Standard. That regional force is part of the federal Command Post that has implemented a national state of emergency since then-prime minister Desalegn’s resignation Feb. 15.

The border town “is so volatile. Our neighbors who went back to Moyale are coming back again” to Dambala Fachana, refugee Kote Adi told VOA.

He and Nagelle Kote are staying put in the camp for now, Kote Adi said.

Nagelle is his second wife; his other wife and their seven children, along with his mother, remain in Yabelo, an Ethiopian city about 210 kilometers northwest of Moyale.

“I wasn’t able to contact my family there because of road closures and [poor] phone connections,” Kote Adi said, adding that he and Nagelle escaped Moyale on foot.

Now he and Nagelle have an infant daughter, Tiya. She’s among at least 20 newborns in the camp, her father said. More than 600 pregnant women were among the 9,700 asylum seekers arriving in northern Kenya from Ethiopia’s Oromia region, the U.N. Refugee Agency reported in mid-March.

Kote Adi operated a cattle-trading business just outside Moyale; now he has become a day laborer. He earns 100 shillings a day, but spends up to 60 shillings on the round-trip travel to a construction site two hours away.

“It is the only way I can help my wife,” Kote Adi said, explaining that the extra money goes toward supplementing the rice, maize, sugar and milk rations provided by aid organizations such as the UN, its World Food Program and the Kenya Red Cross.

Conditions have become more challenging with recent heavy rains, which give rise to flooding, more mosquitoes and higher risks of malaria and water-borne ailments.

“The area we live in is [near] a forest infested with mosquitoes, where you hear lions roaring all night,” Kote Adi said.

He estimated his was among 31 households affected by flooding. Yvonne Ndege, a U.N. Refugee Agency spokeswoman, did not give VOA a number but said in an email that heavy rains affected “few refugee families” among the nearly 1,400 households registered with the camp. All were transferred to higher ground.

Ndege added that relief workers were taking “precautionary measures to improve sanitation and hygiene.”

Emergency funds have been “diverted from other refugee operations in Kenya” home to Dadaab and its five camps, another UNHCR spokeswoman, Rose Ogola, said an email to VOA. She said U.N. agencies, along with NGOs, were assessing humanitarian needs, developing a budget and would seek donations. These would support an estimated 5,000 asylum seekers at Dambala Fachana and also the Somare camp near Moyale for six months.

Meanwhile, local volunteers such as Abdiya Golicha, a Marsabit County resident, are trying to assist the displaced in and around Dambala Fachana. She has repeatedly visited the camp with donations.

At first, “the kids didn’t even have shoes or clothing. We bought these for them,” Abdiya Golicha told VOA. She said local residents provided food and other basics until aid agencies could get set up. Volunteers also helped erect the plastic tents that shelter the displaced.

“We received them respectfully, because we are one people,” Abdiya Golicha said. “We speak the same language, although we’re divided by a [national] border.”

Photo courtesy of flicker.com/oromiamovies

Africa Rising Debt: Irresponsible spenders, corruption, the looting machine and illicit financial outflows May 23, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistThe TPLF Corruption network

A study of 39 African countries from 1970 to 2010 found that for every dollar borrowed, up to 63 cents left the continent within five years. The money is often siphoned out as private assets, suggests Léonce Ndikumana, one of the researchers, based at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Some banks seem more interested in juicy fees than good governance.
China’s involvement in Africa has made it harder to assess the situation. Countries such as Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville have taken out opaque loans from Chinese companies. Angola has borrowed more than $19bn from China since 2004, mostly secured against oil. Such loans often have built-in clauses to review repayments as prices fluctuate, says Deborah Brautigam of the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. But there is little precedent for restructuring Chinese loans. Nor is China a full member of the Paris Club, which co-ordinates the actions of creditors when things go wrong.
Though much of the money borrowed by states comes from foreign investors, some is provided by local banks. They find it easier to buy government bills than to assess the reliability of businesses or homebuyers. Moody’s, a ratings agency, estimates that African banks’ exposure to sovereign debt is often 150% of their equity. So a sovereign-debt crisis could fast turn into a banking one.


Africa in the red: Increasing debt in many African countries is a cause for worry

Unfortunately the keenest borrowers are also feckless spenders

The Economist


“A FOOL’S bargain.” That is how Idriss Déby, Chad’s president, now describes the state oil company’s decision to borrow $1.4bn from Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss commodities trader, in 2014. The loan was to be repaid with future sales of crude, then trading above $100 a barrel. But two years later, as the price dived, debt payments were swallowing 85% of Chad’s dwindling oil revenue. For weeks schools have been closed and hospitals paralysed, as workers strike against austerity. On February 21st, after fractious talks, Chad and Glencore agreed to restructure the deal.

Chad’s woes recall an earlier era, when African economies groaned beneath unpayable debts. By the mid-1990s much of the continent was frozen out of the global financial system. The solution, reached in 2005, was for rich countries to forgive the debts that so-called “heavily indebted poor countries”, 30 of which were in Africa, owed to the World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank. With new loans and better policies, many of these countries turned their economies around. By 2012 the median debt level in sub-Saharan Africa (as defined by the IMF) fell to just 30% of GDP. Today the median debt level is over 50% of GDP. That is low by international standards, but interest rates are generally higher for African countries, which collect relatively little tax. Economic growth slowed in response to lower commodity prices. As a consequence, there is much less revenue to service debts. The pace of borrowing has picked up. The IMF reckons that five sub-Saharan African countries are already in “debt distress”, with nine more at high risk of joining them. Lending to Africa surged after the financial crisis, when interest rates in rich countries sank to historic lows. Fund managers chased the high yields of African government bonds and the profits from a commodities boom. The biggest lenders to Africa had long been Western governments. But since 2006, 16 African countries have sold their first dollar-denominated bonds to foreign investors. Interest rates in the rich world remain low, so several countries are scrambling back to the market this year. Senegal’s $2.2bn Eurobond was five times oversubscribed on March 6th. Borrowing makes sense for poor countries if it finances things like roads, schools and hospitals, which improve welfare and support economic growth. But the keenest borrowers in Africa are also feckless spenders. Take Ghana, which racked up debt as it ran an average annual budget deficit of 10% from 2012 to 2016. When a new government entered office last year, it found a $1.6bn “hole” in the budget. The new chairman of the state cocoa board found that a $1.8bn loan meant to fund cocoa production in 2017 was “all gone”.

Ghana got a three-year loan of $918m from the IMF in 2015, ensuring a degree of transparency. Commercial loans are easier to hide. In Mozambique, three state-owned companies borrowed $2bn in deals arranged by European banks. Most of this was done in secret. The proceeds were squandered on overpriced security gear and a bogus fleet of trawlers. An audit could not trace $500m. The once-buoyant economy sank and Mozambique defaulted on its debt last year.

Leveraged corruption

A study of 39 African countries from 1970 to 2010 found that for every dollar borrowed, up to 63 cents left the continent within five years. The money is often siphoned out as private assets, suggests Léonce Ndikumana, one of the researchers, based at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Some banks seem more interested in juicy fees than good governance. China’s involvement in Africa has made it harder to assess the situation. Countries such as Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville have taken out opaque loans from Chinese companies. Angola has borrowed more than $19bn from China since 2004, mostly secured against oil. Such loans often have built-in clauses to review repayments as prices fluctuate, says Deborah Brautigam of the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University. But there is little precedent for restructuring Chinese loans. Nor is China a full member of the Paris Club, which co-ordinates the actions of creditors when things go wrong. Though much of the money borrowed by states comes from foreign investors, some is provided by local banks. They find it easier to buy government bills than to assess the reliability of businesses or homebuyers. Moody’s, a ratings agency, estimates that African banks’ exposure to sovereign debt is often 150% of their equity. So a sovereign-debt crisis could fast turn into a banking one. Disaster can still be averted in most African countries. Abebe Shimeles of the African Development Bank warns against sudden spending cuts, which would leave half-finished infrastructure projects to rust. Research from the IMF suggests that the least costly way to deal with fiscal imbalances in Africa is to raise meagre tax-to-GDP ratios, which have crept up by just a couple of percentage points this century. Other proposals aim to make lenders share more risk with borrowers by, for example, linking interest payments to growth or commodity prices. Some suggest changing laws in America and Britain, where most debt is issued, so that countries are not liable for loans agreed to by leaders acting without due authority. Organisations such as the IMF could be more robust, speaking out early when countries seem to be in a downward debt spiral. As it is, the costs of bad borrowing rarely fall on leaders or their lenders, which often makes politicians borrow (and steal) more. “It’s the common man that actually bears the brunt,” says Bernard Anaba of the Integrated Social Development Centre, a Ghanaian advocacy group. The people of Chad, now paying for Mr Déby’s foolish bargain, would surely agree.-  For more click here for  The Economist



Related (Oromian Economist Sources):


ECONOMIC COMMENTARY: THE DEBT CHALLENGE TO AFRICAN GROWTH,    


What are the main disadvantages of FDI in local developing economies? -Research gate


Corruption is a major contributor to Africa’s stunted development.-Afro Barometer

By corroding and weakening governance institutions and the democratic values of human rights, gender equality, justice, and the rule of law, it has hindered the continent’s progress toward peace and prosperity. A 2002 AU study estimated that Africa loses about $150 billion annually to corruption. Illicit financial outflows, particularly in the extractive industry, cost the continent about $50 billion per annum – far exceeding the official development assistance that African countries receive from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries ($27.5 billion in 2016).


Africa’s Looting Machine: Warlords, Tycoons, Smugglers and the Systematic Theft of Africa’s Wealth review – ‘the raping of a continent’

What are the main disadvantages of FDI in local developing economies? -Research gate May 21, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

According to the theory of decapitalization of local economies, the host country does not benefit from the capital investment by the multinational company as majority of the capitals in the form of profits is transferred to the home countries of MNCs for investment. Click here to read more…

How valuable is foreign investment for a developing economy?

The Oromo Question and the Answer it Requires May 19, 2018

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Odaa Oromoo

oromianeconomist


The Oromo Question and the Answer it Requires


Every Nation and nationality under the empire is yearning for freedom from oppression probably except Tigray, which has freed itself but exported colonizer to others. It is half a century since the Oromo started struggle for liberation. The Amaaraa also have started to struggle for their unity and identity. Shekechoo, Sidaamaa and Gambeela were mowed down for demanding their denied rights. The blood of the massacred is still crying for justice to their respective nations. All others have unsatisfied grievances, which could explode at any time. Priority for the majority now is not collective concern but attending their immediate individual pain. There are those who do not feel the pain of each nationality they have collaborated in causing. They still want everyone to entertain their worst days under empire system as the good old days. But who are these people that want to impose on others their own dreams. Now every decision has to be made by one concerned. If there are common problems it needs the will of everybody to participate in the deliberation as equals. And every participant has a veto power on own interest. Therefore, the regional problem can be solved if only there are no self-appointed persons or groups that claim to have prerogative. Peoples have to meet directly. To talk about Oromiyaa, it will be good to understand the Oromo question, which is defined only by the Oromo for any possible negotiation.

Oromo question is about regaining the sovereignty on their country Oromiyaa and the human rights they were denied by alien war campaign. Sovereignty here means the supreme power and full right a nation has on own people and land, resources over and below ground and the natural environment in one’s territory, free from alien interference. By human rights here it is meant the recognition of a person for being human according to Gadaa constitution and laws, UN Charter and world conventions. A body that administers this interest on behalf of the Oromo nation is Oromiyaa state. The Oromiyaa state is led by a government formed for a limited period through election conducted according to the law. The government will have Caffee or a legislative Assembly, Office of the Luba with executive power and hierarchical bureaucracy filled with officials and professional workers used by the Luba office

The Oromo nation was deprived of its sovereignty in the 19th century, during the period imperialists shared out Africa among themselves, in the campaign known as “The Scramble for Africa”. The imperialist then took Ethiopia differently from other African countries for different geopolitical reasons. That was how they allowed Ethiopia/Abyssinia to invade independent countries around her and join their colonizers list. To enable her do that Italy, France, Britain and Russia provided her with massive weapons and military experts. Let alone dare crossing their boundary it was not able even to think, when both Oromiyaa and Ethiopia were armed with traditional weapons. It was after gaining weapons of mass destruction of the time that Oromiyaa was occupied and the Oromo turned into nation of serfs or “ciisanya. “Ciisanya” was a person having only one smoke emitting tukul and his labor freely exploited. Many of Oromo nationals were sold abroad and many boys and girls were taken home.

It was from among those they took home that they raised to high ranks changing their birth names and hiding their fathers’ names. Ras Mokonin, Fitiraarii Habtagorgis, Dajjaach Baalchaa, Fitiraarii Gabayyoo, Dajjaach Gabramaariyam etc. were Ethiopian officers known for their bravery and intelligence. Because it could expose Oromummaa their birth name and fathers’ name were never heard. Though his father’s name was never exposed Baalchaa’s name was left as it was give in “haammachiisaa” by Oromo Qaalluu after birth because he failed to fulfil the criteria priests wanted. Gathering captives and “ciisanya” they involved them in wars that does not concern them. Those that survived were never given equal treatment with their Ethiopian peers. Oromummaa was not a source of pride. Not only that of those recruited history of the Oromo nation as a whole was buried. Amaaraa language, culture and history was imposed on Oromo in Oromiyaa. Not only being sovereign, it even tried Oromo identity to be forgotten by generation that comes after occupation. World technological development brought changes to Oromo view of themselves. It raised the question, “who are we?” and surged forward with Oromummaa. With research and oral tradition, they got at home, they were able to learn that their fathers did not submit without resistance. With that they came across many Oromo heroes and heroines’ names in North, South, East, West and Center. They even came to know that there were many braves among enslaved Oromo with no match. Thus, they found evidences that the Oromo were not by nature cowards and ignorant as the enemy tried to inculcate in them. But for not knowing how to express it together, Oromo oppression has reached a point of exploding from over suppression. They now believed that Waaq did not create the Oromo to be servants for the Habashaa but were subdued by force. With that Oromo youth of the 60s were able to communicate and get closer. For the first time in order to present Oromoo oppression they were able to come out with a political organization with program. The organization they came out with was called Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). As a pioneer OLF contributed much to the political consciousness of the Oromo. But it is staggering before reaching its goal for several different reasons. Political leadership or political organization is required to articulate people’s grievances in a systematic way.

People’s oppression does not stop because leadership did not reach in time. Because OLF got weak many groups watching the growing oppression started to get organized to stand against it. Even the enemy camp started to create organizations for the Oromo to cool down their anger and derail their liberation struggle. One that came out viable among them was that created by Tigray group the OPDO. There are also Oromo groups that that accepted the Ethiopian Constitution and organized under it as Opposition. All those are not able to replace Kaayyoo laid down by OLF. But it is said, “one leaps the way one was hurt”. Oppression of the people has increased and reached intolerable level. But deciding to die defending themselves against evil all the people rose in unison with rage. It embraced all that came to it in support. The people were not as divided as organizations formed in their name. All that came to them were made part and parcel of the people. Taking the initial Kaayyoo put down by OLF and strengthening their unity more than ever marched together like they did in the 15-16th century. With that it has brought in enemy’s camp change that was never seen before. Oromo son has climbed to Ethiopian Empire power without being asked to drop his Oromummaa. Now the Ethiopians have no time to argue about profile but are looking for any one that they could set against Tigrean over lordship. Oromummaa is not contemptible for the time as long as their other criteria to be Ethiopian Chief is met.

Oromo people did not go into struggle with full force but had been warming up for it. Now they are moving in toto raising their arms to regain what had been snatched away from them. All have started to get together in social groups to practice Gadaa system to acquaint themselves with past challenges and knowledge. That is one of the symptoms for Gadaa returning with renewal. It will be inevitable that OLF will also get out of the quagmire it was thrown into and be part of people’s movement to reach its goal. Then all that left it would return. Oromo objective of independence and freedom will also hit its goal. Oromo means people. People do not shun people. Just like their name they will live in peace and happiness with all. Bickering over small dispute has to stop. Any arising problem will be resolved with “ilaa fi Ilaamee’ (art of dialogue). Oromo democracy is not democracy that majority imposes its will on minority. All decisions were passed only with consensus. It is such characteristic that makes it different from hither to existing democracies. Th Oromo believe that even the smallest community like Baiso, Karo, Kwegu, Maawoo etc. with population from 500-100 have their own territory and deserve respect and protection from bigger neighbors. The Oromo have no hatred for aliens but for abuses. It assures all that dictatorship will not be born from Gadaa heritage but democracy.

Liberation of Oromo means liberation of all its neighbors and beyond. Oromo hirelings being used as instrument of oppression by the colonizer will stop only then. It took the enemy long time to recognize the name “Oromo”. However, but when they talk about Ethiopia among themselves, even though they have proclaimed in their laws they won’t include Oromo and other colonies in their thoughts. Even if they include they take them only as something like star orchid. At heart, they know that Oromo are not Ethiopians. To mention few instances, in his letter of 29 October, 1862 to Queen Victoria, Teedros took Oromo being aliens on the same level with Turks. Minilik presented himself in his “Treaty of Addis Ababa” as Emperor of Ethiopia and “Oromo” countries. Whom do they want to tell them than their hero butcher kings. The Habashaa ruling class have used the Oromo for over hundred years. Oromiyaa became base for life of this ruling class. Oromo’s coming out with question of sovereignty threatened their luxurious life style. It is when plundering by force as usual is becoming impossible that they started to change tactics.

Now they are saying, in building the empire, the serfs and slaves and the masters have equal accountability and responsibility. Taking away all their land, denying their identity and oppressing and abusing them for over a century is forgotten. Discrimination between Ethiopia and Oromo country they call “Gaallaa Mareet” is taken as never existed. They chose narrating false history over asking for pardon for wrongs done and offering for discussion on future relations. Even had the story was true, it cannot over ride t a birth right; the present generation can say, “I will not live with anyone without my free will”. There had been no relation formed based on free will between Ethiopia and Oromiyaa so far. It is another question to say it can be formed in times ahead? Unless we bring to the same level our understanding for political concepts, democracy, bilisummaa and equality it will be difficult to create accord. The Habashaa conquered Oromiyaa after bloody war and kept it in the same way. Do they want to repeat that again? Time has changed, arrogance and greed has to be curbed for safe passage.

The Oromo know themselves as a nation whose identity is different from Ethiopians and that Ethiopia occupied them breaking them by force. Ethiopian registry also knows Oromiyaa as their “Qiny gizaat” (Colony). Present Ethiopian groupings do not want to visit their archives for verification. Oromiyaa for them is part and parcel of Ethiopia from time immemorial. Wrong premises lead to wrong conclusion, that is their problem. They are presenting descendants of early occupiers of Oromiyaa and those that went to Oromiyaa for different reasons and are living among the natives without communal territory. What they fail to understand is that immigrants do not have the legal right to deny sovereignty of natives on their country. The Oromo look upon persons willing to live with them as their own offspring. Except for the ungrateful few with nostalgia for Nafxanyaa system majority live in peace sharing whatever the environ offers them. There had been no threat to life and property of peaceful residents of Oromiyaa greater than that to the natives. Unless one alienates oneself nobody even notices that one is alien. Those that think differently are only those that hope return of Nafxanyaa system. That has now become history. Ethiopians have their own country as Oromiyaans have their own. If they go to each other’s countries it is required to live according to law of country they went to.

There are some that had been away from their country for a long time and speak Amharic and claim to be educated campaigning against Oromiyaa and the Oromo. They say to have made so many studies among them about governance and languages. Their study showed them that Oromo is not a nation; there is no something called Oromo country or Oromiyaa; that Qubee is not more convenient than “Fidal”. The whole issue is about business. If Oromiyaa remains subservient to Ethiopia they can get especial treatments through their connections; for those that have patented works especially on improved “Fidel” and Amharic language Oromiyaa staying under Ethiopia opens for them bigger market than in the mother country alone. They have already concluded that unless Amharic get superiority, they cannot break through the Qubee wall. The worst thing about these people is that they are appealing to Amaaraa nationalism for their own individual benefit. It is not their concern if Amaaraa and Oromo clash for they will not share the pain from distance. They cling to “Ethiopia name” because they are not sure to which nationality they belong except for being distant descendants of the colonial army commonly known as Nafxanyaa and having hatred for the Oromo.

Present conditions in the Ethiopian Empire are not the same with the past. The previous leaders lost the rein to internal struggle and are staggering unable to control even their surroundings. However, the stand many of them have on the empire is no different from the far past. One that mounted on the saddle of empire and is troubling people for last three decades ago is group of Tigrean ruling class. Because of its selfishness let alone sharing power with Amaaraa as before, they have looted what it had, and also put under question ownership on its surrounding area. The greater part of Ethiopia is Amaara. It was Amaaraa that completed empire building started by Yohaannis. Amaaraa could not save even Tigray while crying for Ethiopia. Its destiny is not becoming better than the colonies. Its rage on junior partner can be clearly seen.

It has become over four decades since Oromoo raised questions of sovereignty and reclaiming rights taken away from them. They use armed and political struggle for the purpose. Nature forces neighboring African peoples to live adjacently forever. For this reason, Oromo have repeatedly made statements that they give priority for resolving conflicts peacefully. However, they will never give up willingly their birth rights and their country. They will decide without alien interference on relations they will have with neighbors and on the way, they choose to live. That is why they are paying dear to get the right of nations for national self-determination realized. They will continue paying more sacrifice to guard what so far are achieved to respect the memory of those that paid their lives for them. There are those whose guts have melted, that say how long should blood flow, rather better to take whatever the enemy throws for us and live. One will not prefer begging what belongs to one from aliens over dying, unless one has birth defect. Some are born without honor and have no principle and know no “safuu’ to be trustworthy. They never complete what they started for they have no commitment for any cause.

As an organization the struggle that OLF wages first is to give Oromo rights mentioned above; then it is to establish independent republic Oromiyaa. However, it believes that it is the sole right of the Oromo people to decide on the way they want to lead their lives in the future. It is possible that different Oromo groups can have different suggestions. Therefore, all have the chance to present own suggestions for the people to choose from alternates. Be them aliens or friends they have legal obligation to abide by people’s free will. To stand against people practicing this right will be taken as arrogance and criminal act. As long as any people believe in their unity and ask to live together no one has the right to stand against them. It may be proper to ask how those who had been together go apart and what type of preparation is required? But that should not be actions which block the right of national self-determination.

The Oromo will not give consideration for those that try to make them doubt their choice and separate identity in alien language by calling them “Zaranyaa and gosanyaa” (racist and tribalistic”). For Oromo independence is a right. They will not give attention to those that do not respect for this right. Those that want to reimpose Ethiopian superiority on them are enemies. To ask for creating relations is one thing; but those that start with propaganda that Oromo interest is wrong has to ask themselves as to who they are to say that? For Habashaa to present themselves as having rights to decide on how Oromo has to lead their lives is only arrogance. Even if they take the existing federal system it will be with Oromiyaa state not with stronger federal hand. This may not go down with chauvinists. The existing constitution also needs to be renegotiated.

OPDO leaders said they have addiction to Ethiopia. Though they did not express it in this way there could be others that have similar addictions. Those that have addiction must be left alone to quench their craving or put in rehabilitation but should not be condemned. If supremacy of the law is guaranteed and the right to free self-expression is recognized for all, there is nothing that necessitates fighting. It will be good for all if there is condition in which one can go around and peacefully express oneself and share ideas with people. Those are all in the constitution of the empire. For this reason, the solution available is facilitating for practicing rights of assembly, freedom of self-expression and speech. If there is one that says that one will not solve problems unless blood is spilt he/she is insane. And if one says one will not recognize group rights one is only a warmonger. He is one that thinks Oromo cannot choke in return if choked. Oromo love peace. But they will not submit to one that denies them the right of sovereignty over their country and their identity.

According to the law EPRDF is one of the Ethiopian parties. It claimed to be elected by people and is in power. Since it represents the force that occupies Oromiyaa, its chairman being Oromo does not erase EPRDF being the enemy. For Oromo question to get answer it is the one with whom to negotiate and as well as against whom to struggle. It will be advantageous if the Ethiopian Empire can hold fair and free elections. It is easier to negotiate with democrats than with dictators. However, empires have never been democratized but dismantled. Ethiopian state had been around for a long period. But its system was a system lead by one monarch. Though that was changed the system that came after it however they pretend to come through election they were administration of one party. Those parties are controlled by one individual. The present party EPRDF could not free itself from Habashaa political culture. One that created it and have real power is an organization that abandoned Habashaa tradition called TPLF (Wayyaanee). TPLF/EPRDF jeopardized the general election and also turned the party into one-man dictatorial rule. Therefore, what they call democracy is fake. Because they are not willing to dismantle the empire they cannot democratize. The people are waging a movement that will uproot oppression once and for all for they can no more bear it. With that skirmish is happening in the organization. It has appointed a person who came with popular pressure as its chairman and the Prime Minister as well.

Peoples of the empire are not asking about the next election. All want the PM to chase out TPLF before that. To demand for chasing out TPLF means demanding to dismantle EPRDF. There are those that are preparing to turn Ethiopia to the days of the emperor believing that to be inevitable. A big Tawaahido monk even dared to come out cursing article 39 of the constitution. That means the oppressed that reached here paying sacrifice that demanded blood that flowed like flood are being looked upon with contempt. Therefore, it is only the struggle the Oromo started towards liberation that can give hope to peoples of the empire’s dream for democracy. Autocratic and democratic systems do not fit into each other. Unless people who desire to live in democratic system with equality denounce autocratic rule the two systems cannot exist side by side in the same camp. If all people could wage internal democratic struggle it would be easier for democrats to unite. It would only be deceiving oneself to talk about freedom and equality with dictatorial mentality.

If peoples of Africa strengthen their unity they can be hope for each other and all black race. It is essential to recognize that groups have their own culture, tradition, language and style of life. To separate and adopt elements that connect us and those that make it essential to depend on each other, will strengthen not weaken us. To make acceptance of equality of peoples a priority can serve as starting point of unity. One putting the other under control without his will, deceit, lack of transparency in relations between each other could only keep us apart rather than pulling us together. We can get solutions in common only if we can put issues that relate to history of the Ethiopian empire on the table and ask what is better for us? Otherwise the benefit of trying to present the history in distorted way would only lead to mistrust.

Today’s freedom could stop carried over yesterday’s slavery but cannot go back and erase it. Those that were master and slave recognize each other’s yester day’s status. To say a house that the slave built for the master and master lived collecting rents on it, is our common home that we built for each other will be naked foolery. It cannot be denied that the slave has put his blood and sweat into it. But blood and sweat is not paid for benefit of the slave but of the master. Today the master is in problem because the slave rebelled. As a result, he has started to say that they did both right and wrong together and have equal responsibility and accountability with intention of sabotaging the freedom the slave almost grasped. For that the master is trying to present as evidence the different wars the slave participated in and demonstrated gallantry. The slave participated in those wars not from love of a country but was driven to them by force. Let as see one of those wars:

Oromiyaa, Tuulama to Booranaa was occupied 1886-1896. The Battle of Adwa was in 1896. It is unlikely to say in ten years she was molded into Ethiopia and entered into battle travelling over thousand miles over whelmed with love of country. Wounds inflicted on the Oromo and others did not heal and people did not come out from trauma of war by that time. Whatever done was done by the slave drivers whip from behind. Oromo say, “Sirba Giddii kan mangistii” (Forced dance of the government) when forced to do what they are not willing to do. Minilik and Italians were then contemporary colonizers. They had different agreement between them. Abrogating treaties and clash between forces are not new for the world. What is new is the clash being between a black technologically backward country and technologically advanced white country. Both have recruited black fighters from countries they recently colonized. When on the Ethiopian side the colonizer and the colonized are both black notwithstanding color discrimination on Ethiopian slaves; on the Italian side the colonizer is white the colonized is black. The era was when blacks who were sold earlier and scattered all over the world were raising their heads and seeds of pan Africanism were being sawn; and Africa was being shared out among imperialists. To see defeat of the white was joy for all of them. It lifted the morale of those that fell under slavery. Mistaking the true nature of the conflict many took it as anti-colonial war against a colonizer.

The Battle of Adwa as being source of pride for black race it has also some covered up shameful deeds for the black. All captives of Minilik’s war with southern peoples like the Oromo were turned slaves and used as pack animals and domestic servants for Habashaa warriors. One can only imagine the abuse on those pretty little girls by them. White captives from the Battle of Adwa, were handled with care and respect, while a hand and a leg of each black captive were amputated and left in the field without any help. That they were crying for water until death put them to rest is documented in registry of history. That was not strange practice for rulers of Ethiopia. Teedros and Yohaannis had also done that on the Oromo. That was on text books of Ethiopian students, like “Ethiopian history” by Taklatsaadiq Mekuria. Minilik had cut breast and hand of Oromo he defeated on tree branches on road side. The Annolee and Asulee case can be cited among others. These days there are those that demand the destruction of memorial for victims of Harma Muraa Harka Muraa of Annolee. Why didn’t they destroy all these years the memorial erected in the center of Oromiyaa for the person who committed all the crimes. Are they not remembering him for achievement of that deed? How can such double standard be corrected?

How can a mentally sane person be proud of the likes of Minilik that committed genocide? Unless it was by force, how can one imagine the possibility of Oromo marching in the campaign that he was leading? That has now turned history. It does not change the life we are leading now and that of the future. We better try building trust. To lie to each other on identity of Oromo can be obstacle for that. There for if Ethiopians could keep their history to themselves, and stop irritating the others, they can negotiate on things that are useful for both sides. Otherwise, can’t it show that bringing their man-eater kings and praising on square common to all indicate that their offspring as well have similar cruelty characteristics? Oromo can have relations only with those that come for peace and reconciliation holding green grass.

After his defeat at the battle of Maycawu Haayila Sillaasee complained in his book that “Gallaas (Oromo) attacked us from the back”. Does that show love for Ethiopia? Modern Ethiopia is country of Amaaraa and Tigree yesterday and today as well. If one focus and listen when descendants of Nafxanyaa discuss about “being Ethiopian” at all times one could prove that. Their heroes are the likes of Minilik and Teedros persons that mowed down the Oromo and humiliated the survivors. Whenever they celebrate their anniversaries, it is a little short of tears as if these kings were dead only recently. With that we also get the opportunity to mourn our compatriots they mowed down. Their activists wrap themselves with the banner that the army of genocide was flying when it invaded Oromiyaa and expect the Oromo to march with them. We do not share, one country, one flag, common heroes, one common history to be proud of together and we do not have common feelings with which we could cherish the same past memories. Not only as class but also as nations, we lived as, enslaver and enslaved; ruler and ruled and oppressor and oppressed. However, we have lived together known each other’s ins and outs to some extent. We have lived together as individual friends and wife and husband; In general, even if you call us “Aramanee” (Heathen) many of us have the same religion with you. Could all those become bridges for future intercourse? Even if they could, they will not be reasons for continuing sucking our blood. For all purposes, let us put aside our vengeance and try as equal African peoples and form relations of which the black be proud of. Oromo do not discriminate human beings for skin color. But they say, “Hokkoon gara ofiitt haatii.” (The hoe throws towards herself).

Above it is tried to show our difference and our commonality. If we could stop trying inserting lies into our relations, there could be lots that enable us understand each other. For example, we are in the same geographical area with the same climate and weather. Those could sometimes get sever and unless tackled together it can be difficult to do it alone. We have rivers that flow to each other. It can be beneficial to use them with joint plan. We can pass through difficulties in our region if we recognize and respect each other’s rights and interests. When the Oromo say something why should Amaaric speaker jump to say “I know for you?” Unless one become them, can’t there be development? Can’t there be relations unless one is them? Can’t they exist unless they exploit Oromiyaa? If peace is wanted in the region they have to change old thinking. Oromo question is for regaining their stripped sovereignty and rights and live with abundance and happiness. Those could happen only if they could realize their right of nations to national self-determination up to and including independence without any obstacle put on their way. The questions what types of relations will they have with neighbors and with whom will they live forming union are questions that should come only after that? Let them be free first.

Some quarters have started to flatter the Oromo. They do not see Oromo actions as they are but interpret them to fit their interest. They push the Oromo to see the world not as it is but as they want it to be seen. For this reason, if Oromo raise questions outside criteria they put down for them they are given adjectives like narrow, tribalistic, secessionist or terrorist. From among them TPLF/EPRDF proclaimed OLF terrorist. Since then it is imprisoning, torturing, killing and abusing any Oromo that it hates as member of OLF. That is why the Tigree official stood witness of all prisons speaking afaan Oromo. Though what surprised him was the failure of the assimilation policy. The mark of all enemies of Oromo is condemning and demonizing OLF. That is why they attack it from all direction through inlets they get in order to keep it weak and divided. With stick and carrot, they have caused few dropouts from among malignant tumors of national struggle. There are still those who lament about the drama TPLF performed twenty-five years ago concerning massacres of Arbagugguu and Baddannoo despite individual Amaaraa that witnessed the act standing witness that OLF had no hand in them. This could also be TPLF tactic for diversion of the issue. Whatever they do, Oromo do something because they believe in it and will brag about it; hiding is safuu. The weaklings in OLF, unable to stand against enemy machinations with discipline are seen falling under them. OLF is an organization formed with the will of patriots and heroes and heroines. It should not be assessed by wavering, dishonorable cadres that have abandoned the Kaayyoo. There are those that intentionally or from ignorance want to divert the objectives of OLF taking these cadres as a reason. The true OLF is revolutionary. It will not turn back from advancing Oromo interest. Oromo independence, unity of Africa, and peace and calmness of the world are always its objectives. Long live Oromiyaa! Let Bilisummaa flourish!

Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty, equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our forefathers!

Ibsaa Guutama
May 2018



 Related article:

THE OROMO NATIONAL MOVEMENT AND GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION

Article by Professor  Asafa Jalata  published in European Scientific Journal,  Vol 12, No 5 (2016) 
The Oromo National Movement And Gross Human Rights Violations in the Age of Globalization, click here to read in PDF.

Oromia (Finfinnee): Walaloo Qophii Lotorii Tomboolaa “Lammiin Lammiif” jadhurratti Daa’ima Fenet Gizaachootiin dhihaate. – OBN May 14, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

 

Gaafii fi Deebii itti aanaa dura ta’aa Kongirasii Federaalawaa Oromoo, Obboo Baqqalaa Garbaa wajjin geggeeffame daawwadhaa.- VOA AFAAN OROMOO (JOURNALIST JALLANNEE GAMMADAA) INTERVIEWED BAQQALAA GARBAA, UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR AND DEPUTY LEADER OF OFC May 12, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Bekele gerba speaks

 

 

Healthy Man Lost His Both Legs to Torture in Ethiopian Prison

Bekele Gerba gave an interview to Voice of America Afaan Oromoo service about his experiences in Ethiopian prison. Mr Gerba touched on his unwavering philosophy and commitment to peaceful civil resistance which he believes has brought about significant changes in Ethiopian political arena. He also elaborated his hope in the future Ethiopian politics, mentioning his party’s (Oromo Federalist Congress, a party of which he deputy chairman) progress of continuing struggle for freedom, peace and prosperity of Ethiopia.

Asked about his view on philosophy of standing at odds with the normalized brutality, “There is nothing fulfilling as standing for freedom even in the worst of times“.

He narrated several politically motivated injustices done to him and his compatriots ranging from defaming, insult, beating and tortures to death.One of the stories he has spoken about amounts to crime against humanity. A story of a young man whose both legs are amputated after he had sustained a terminal injury to his one leg.

He was beaten and tortured, as a result of which one of his legs was deemed to be of no use and hence has to be amputated. He was admitted to a health facility for surgery and for an unknown reason he woke up from the anesthesia devoid of his healthy leg as it was amputated. He was later admitted for surgical removal of his maimed leg and he became without legs.

Mr Gerba didn’t specify the name of the prisoner or the health facility where the procedure was done.

What makes it inhumane again is that he wasn’t even fortunate to be benefited from the government’s amnesty but rather sentenced to life in prison.

You can listen to the full interview here

Related:-

Atlantic Council:- In February 2018, Eskinder Nega (left), a prominent Ethiopian journalist and blogger, and Bekele Gerba (right), the deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, an Ethiopian opposition party, were released from prison. They were jailed for years under the country’s anti-terrorism laws. During a live conversation at the Atlantic Council, Eskinder and Bekele underscored the imperative of non-violence in Ethiopia’s struggle for political reform and the pursuit of democracy.

 

 

 

Ethiopia: The regime said it canceled recently renewed controversial license of MIDROC Gold, the largest gold mine in Guji after protesters in Oromia took to the streets for the last ten days. INJIFANNOO! May 9, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistSheik Mohammed Al Amoudi and MIDROC Gold Mine in Southern Oromia, Guji zone, uses Hydrogen Cyanide and other highly toxic chemicals and caused serious damage to environment and human


 

 

Protest in Adola town on May 08/2018


Ethiopia’s Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoMPNG) said it cancelled recently renewed controversial license of MIDROC Gold, the largest gold mine in Ethiopia after protesters took to the streets for the last ten days.  Today’s decision by the ministry followed the killing of two protesters yesterday by the Oromia regional state’s security forces in the town of Shakiso in Guji zone of the Oromia regional state in southern Ethiopia.  A third, businessman named Shakiso Guta was also killed by security forces while driving to the city of Adola, according to activists.

The ministry renewed the license for Ethiopia’s largest gold mine owned by MEDROC Gold and is located in Lege Dembi, Shakiso Weredas of Guji zone in Oromia regional state, around two weeks ago.  The protests  erupted last week in Shakiso and Adola towns and their environs following news of the renewal of the gold mine’s license for another ten years by the Ministry .The license has been suspended last year after similar protests erupted.

Several subsequent media reports, including one by the Oromia Broadcasting Network, and the BBCAmharic servicerevealed grave health crisis among the community including birth defects, respiratory problems and miscarriages, which the locals blame were caused by the gold mine’s two decades discharges of toxic substances including, cyanide.

 

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Residents of Shakiso, a town in Guji Zone, Region in southern , complain of various sufferings: from birth defect to gradual disability, due to toxic waste of cyanide coming from Lega Denbi gold mine, owned by of Sheik Al-‘Amoudi https://www.bbc.com/amharic/news-42266025 

The ministry said the license will remain suspended until after an independent study involving several stakeholders is conducted in to the allegations of the health crisis. Over the weekend, Motuma Mekassa, who was the minister of MoMPNG when the license was renewed and who is currently the minister of defense, went to the area to discuss with the locals about their concerns. But the meeting ended without results.

 

Last week, Dr. Negeri Lencho, communication head of the Oromia regional state, said that “any investment should be there to  help the people, not hurt them.” He also said the regional government will not work against the demands of the people.

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Residents of Shakiso, a town in Guji Zone, Region in southern , complain of various sufferings: from birth defect to gradual disability, due to toxic waste of cyanide coming from Lega Denbi gold mine, owned by of Sheik Al-‘Amoudi https://www.bbc.com/amharic/news-42266025  pic.twitter.com/mm7SdHbl3I

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Good AM !
Dr. Negeri said this in response to the ongoing public protest in Zone after the fed. gov renewed MIDROC Gold’s license. The people living in the area are suffering a health crisis, including severe birth defects, caused by the gold mine’s use of cyanide pic.twitter.com/ZjDa1wJyJV

View image on Twitter

MIDROC Gold was established in the late 1990s by Sheik Mohammed Al-Amoudi, the Ethiopian born Saudi billionaire currently imprisoned in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. MIDROC contributed 98%  of the share while the government owned the remaining two percent share through Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED). MIDROC then took a 20-year concession under registered license name of ‘Midroc Lege Dembi Gold Mining’ for a US$172 million and started production and export in 1998. According to information obtained from its website in the first ten years of its registration the company has extracted 34,000kg of gold from the site and  earned about US$500 million.  AS


AS ED’s note: This story has been corrected to amend the US$ 500 billion by US$500 million


More, Oromian Economist source:-

Midroc Gold mining contract for Lege Dembi site has been suspended. This is a late decision. It should have never been renewed at first place leading to death and injury of protesters. Now the following steps need to be taken.

1- Domestic and international experts should undertake independent and impartial investigation to determine whether the company has used chemicals that are causing damage to human, plant and animals health in the area. The mine should stop operation and remain sealed to ensure they do not tamper with evidence. Experts should make public the process and result of their investigation.

2- Once experts make their finding public, if and its very likely Midroc is found in violation, the contract should be cancelled, the company’s property confiscated and legal action must be taken against the owner and managers. Government of Oromia State should take over the mine, develop it by-itself or contract it to responsible and efficient company. In either case local residents affected by the mine should be given significant share to ensure future generations are cared for.

3- Immediate and independent investigation should be launched on other mines, farms and factories owned and operated by Midroc for causing harm to environment and public health. There is already widespread complaint. If the company is found in violation, its property shall be confiscated and the company/ managers must be brought to court.

4- it is strongly suspected that Midroc acquired Lege Dembi, other mining sites and farm lands in corruption. Investigation should be launched to weed out such corruption and publish those involved. Midroc has long been accused of being king of corruption, hence it should be used as example for other companies.

5- lawyers working on lawsuits against Midroc for harm it caused should intensify and expand their work. The public should provide them with necessary support.

La Aluta Continua!!
#QeerrooPower


INJIFANNOO! MIDROC hojii warqii baasuu Laga Dambii akka dhaabu murtaa’ee jira jedhan. Amma wanti itti aanuu qabu

1- Ogeeyyiin biyya keessaafi alaa ( domestic and international) walabummaadhaan qorannoo akka geggeessan gochuu. Qorannoon adeemsaafi itti bahi isaa ifatti ummataaf dhihaachuu

2- Itti bahi ogeeyyotaa faalama kan uume MIDROC ta’uu erga mirkaneessanii booda iddoon albuudaa sun irraa fuudhamee, kubbaaniyyaa biraatiif ykn harka MNO akka galu gochuu. Invastarri dhuunfaas ta’ee mootummaan ( state) omisha kan itti fufu yoo ta’e ummanni naannawa sanii kan miidhamee jiru qabeenya sanirraa hamma murtaa’e share kennamuufi abbaan qabeenyummaanitti fufa qabu akka argatan gochuu. Hubadhaa miidhaan keemikaalli kun geessisu dhaloota dhalootatti dabra. Kanaafuu dhaloonni boruutis waan itti wal’aanamuufi tajaajilamu kaayuufi barbaachisa.

3- Kubbaaniyyaa albuudaa, qonnaa, simintoofi horiisaa MIDROC harkaa qabu hunda irratti qorannoon saffisaa godhamuu qaba

4- Mallammaltummaa albuunni Laga Dambiifi qabeenyi Oromiyaa biroo yeroo MIDROC’tti dabarfamuuf saniis as raaw’atame irratti qorannaan walabaa ( independent investigation) geggeeffamuu qaba. malaalmmaltummaan hojjatame yoo qorannaa kanaan ragaan mirkanaa’e MIDROC fi qondaalonni mootummaa yakka kana keessatti hirmaatan saaxila bahanii adabamuu qabu.

5. Ogeeyyonni seeraa Oromoo hojii haqa lammiilee keenya miidhamanii baasuuf eegalan cimsuun MIDROC fi mootummaa federaalaa irratti himata banuu qabu. Kanarratti ammoo ummanni keenya biyy keessaafi alaa tumsa barbaachisaa godhuufi qaba.

Qabsoon itti fufa!!

Why Dictators Love Development Statistics. They’re an easily faked way to score international points.- The New Republic May 6, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomistcan you believe statistics of Ethiopia

The problem with using statistics to sing the praises of autocracy is that collecting verifiable data inside closed societies is nearly impossible. From Ethiopia to Kazakhstan, the data that “proves” that an authoritarian regime is doing good is often produced by that very same regime.

Once regime-produced data makes it into the world’s most trusted indexes, authoritarians and their unintentional supporters use these numbers in their propaganda, which hampers efforts to promote human rights.

When Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi died in 2012, Bill Gates led a chorus of Western praise for his development efforts, praising Zenawi for bringing millions out of poverty and ignoring his near-total censorship or his massacre of hundreds of protestors. The Economist and the The New York Review of Books have since pointed out that the Ethiopian regime fabricates development statistics.


Why Dictators Love Development Statistics

They’re an easily faked way to score international points.


 

Exchanges at the Organization of American States usually don’t do well on YouTube. But when the Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs brought up Venezuela’s crackdown on dissent last summer, Venezuelan representative Delcy Rodríguez scored surprise points with a rebuttal citing the United Nations’ 2016 Human Development Index, which ranks Venezuela 59 spots higher than Honduras. Crackdown or no crackdown, “Venezuela does not demonstrate such terrifying statistics,” she said, in an exchange that soon went viral on Spanish-speaking social media. It was a win for the Maduro regime, and the key to victory was trusted U.N. data.

For those of us working to advance human rights, such episodes are becoming frustratingly familiar. From the development initiatives of Jeffrey Sachs and Bill Gates, to Tony Blair’s despotic partnerships or Tom Friedman championing Chinese autocracy in The New York Times, the last two decades have seen political concerns repeatedly sidelined by development statistics. The classic defense of dictatorship is that without the messy constraints of free elections, free press, and free protests, autocrats can quickly tear down old cities to build efficient new ones, dam rivers to provide electricity, and lift millions out of poverty.

The problem with using statistics to sing the praises of autocracy is that collecting verifiable data inside closed societies is nearly impossible. From Ethiopia to Kazakhstan, the data that “proves” that an authoritarian regime is doing good is often produced by that very same regime.

A handful of organizations power the global industry of statistics collection, including the World Bank, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum. Each of these organizations conduct large-scale socio-economic surveys, where researchers want to include as many countries as possible. However, many of these countries—93 of them, comprising nearly 4 billion people, according to the Human Rights Foundation—are ruled by authoritarian regimes that typically block impartial investigators from entering their borders. Often, data collectors are forced to work with the strongmen in charge.

For Bahrain, the World Economic Forum receives most of its data from surveys given to government officials at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, who conduct them and give the results back to Geneva. In WEF’s analysis from that point, outliers may be cast out or excluded with data modeling, but the foundational numbers remain entirely a creation of the dictatorship.

UNESCO representatives say that in the case of Cuba, they use the regime’s education numbers in compiling their reports. There is no on-the-ground verification for these often-encouraging figures. Meanwhile, a former treasury official from Uzbekistan said that visits from international data collectors were highly choreographed, and that the regime was easily able to control survey outcomes.

When surveys don’t go according to plan, dictators can simply shut polling down. Gallup World Poll director Jon Clifton, when I called him up as part of a Human Rights Foundation interview several years ago, recalled a time when the company’s researchers had collected data in one African country, only to have their equipment seized at the airport on the way out.

Still, no one wants blank countries on their world maps. “Ultimately, organizations need to produce some kind of data,” Clifton said. “Even if it’s not terribly good, they still need data.”

But the development reports using such numbers also wind up giving them institutional legitimacy, in ways that can affect huge decisions in aid and trade. World Bank data in particular, as one 2012 study observed, is promoted in media outlets as a reputable guide for global investment, and has inspired reforms as countries seek to climb the rankings. UNESCO’s numbers go into the World Development Report (World Bank) and the Human Development Index (UNDP), where they serve, in UNESCO’s own words, to “benchmark progress towards national and international targets.” The educational components of the Sustainable Development Goals—which guide and inspire do-gooders and impact investors across the planet—are measured with UNESCO data. Statistics flow directly from many dictatorial governments to UNESCO and then into the SDG reports.

Once regime-produced data makes it into the world’s most trusted indexes, authoritarians and their unintentional supporters use these numbers in their propaganda, which hampers efforts to promote human rights.

When Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi died in 2012, Bill Gates led a chorus of Western praise for his development efforts, praising Zenawi for bringing millions out of poverty and ignoring his near-total censorship or his massacre of hundreds of protestors. The Economist and the The New York Review of Books have since pointed out that the Ethiopian regime fabricates development statistics.

Halfway across the globe in Venezuela, the late Hugo Chávez built a global reputation as the people’s president, proudly flaunting statistics showing his administration had reduced poverty by 50 percent. In 2014, Chavismo heir Nicolás Maduro justified his crackdown on dissent—torturing and kidnapping student protesters—in a New York Times op-ed citing data showing that his regime “consistently reduced inequality,” “reduced poverty enormously,” and “improved citizens’ lives over all.” The source of that data? The U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, which used Millennium Development Goal data—which came directly from the regime’s own statisticians.

In Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev’s dictatorship has used economic growth data to convince the world that it is a thriving, effective government with a robust investment climate. The World Economic Forum, among others, gave the Azeri regime a platform to talk about its financial success—which is used to whitewash crimes ranging from the jailing of dissidents to the theft of billions.

Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame’s human rights violations are legion: the assassination of critical journalists, sponsorship of death squads in the Congolese jungle, the use of international hitmen, and the jailing of political opponents. Despite all this, supporters ranging from Bill Clinton to Jeffrey Sachs breathlessly praise his leadership and economic success. When Kagame “won” 99 percent of the presidential vote a few months ago, the international community was quick to call that political data into question. But Rwanda’s literacy rates, life expectancy, and economic growth numbers continue to be taken at face value.

This near-universal lack of skepticism is hard to explain, especially since the problem isn’t new. In 1987, two Soviet economists published an article called Lukavaya Tsifra(“cunning numbers”) which demonstrated that between 1928 and 1985, the USSR’s GDP had grown over ten times slower than reported by the regime’s Central Statistical Administration. They showed that the regime’s “official” economic data was being falsified to whitewash human suffering.

In 2014, researchers at Bucknell compared satellite images of nighttime lights over time (a proxy for economic activity) to reported GDP growth to show that dictatorships, on average, exaggerate economic growth significantly more than democratic governments. Others have taken up this subject, too­—two examples being development historian Morten Jerven’s Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do About It and economist Bill Easterly’s The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor. But these analyses have not fundamentally changed how people use development data.

When used by universities and research institutions, socio-economic data sets guide our fundamental understanding of the world. When used by policy makers, philanthropists, and bankers, they steer billions of dollars of aid and investment. Often, the reason data from dictators remains unchallenged is that so many economists, financiers, diplomats, and donors rely on it to do their jobs.

But without more rigorous inquiry into the origin and quality of socio-economic data, the grim reality of dictatorship often remains obscured. Beyond that, intellectuals and world leaders might do well reflect on their worship of development numbers over human rights concerns.

After all, even if the data behind the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals could be verified, what do they signify if not a single one mentions the words individual rights, civil liberties, or democracy—even once? Numbers aren’t always as simple or as neutral as they seem.


MIDROC Gold Mine in Southern Oromia, Guji zone, uses Hydrogen Cyanide and other highly toxic chemicals and caused serious damage to environment and human life with no economic benefits to the people of the area May 1, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi and MIDROC Gold Mine in   Southern  Oromia,  Guji zone, uses Hydrogen Cyanide and other highly toxic chemicals and caused serious damage to environment and human life.png

Hayyamni warshaa warqii MIDROC haaromsamuunsaa komii kaaseera.- BBC Afaan Oromoo

Mormiin hawaasaa haarayoomuu heeyyama MIDROC GOLD Laga-danbiitiin wal qabatee guyyaa kaleessaa eegale har’as cimee itti fufeera.- OMN

Godina Gujii Lixaa Magaalaa Malkaa Sooddaa naannoo laga Okkotee bakka kuusaan Warqii laga Danbii calalamutti sochiin Warraaqsa FXG

ኦዶ ሻኪሶ: ወርቅ ‘መርዝ’ የሆነባት ምድር (BBC)



“Development by dispossession?” A reappraisal of the Adola Gold Mine in southern Ethiopia

by Asebe Regassa Debelo


Extractive industries are perceived as pathways to accelerated development particularly in developing countries for their contribution to earning foreign currency. During the colonial period in Africa, these industries remained the bases of colonial economy and at the same time symbols of labor exploitation, displacement, and oppression of native people. While these industries were long established in central and southern Africa, it is an emerging sector in Eastern Africa. The discovery of oil in the Turkana region of Northern Kenya and the prospect of oil/gas in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo belt and Ogaden region in addition to the extensive gold mining, renders an analysis of the policy dimension of extractive industries critical. This paper, therefore, assesses some controversial dimensions of extractive industries by taking the case of Adola gold mining in southern Ethiopia. The data for this brief paper was mainly drawn from the personal observations and interviews with local communities and some online resources.[1]

Adola gold mining and its exclusionist approaches

Adola gold mine that is currently owned by the MIDROC PLC through concession is the largest gold mine in Ethiopia with an average annual production of 4.5 tones of gold.[2] After getting the concession from Ethiopian Mineral Resources Development Corporation (EMRDC) in 1997, the MIDROC Gold PLC has expanded at the expense of artisanal miners and local Guji Oromo through its ever-expanding enclosures. Enclosures often entail exclusion of certain group not only from physical access to resources but also by limiting their ability to use the resources. That means, enclosures disempower groups who previously been using the resources by disconnecting them from their economic, socio-cultural and spiritual ties to the land. Although the private conglomerate company operates the enclosure for the Adola gold mining, there are much in common with the previous regimes as far as exclusion and displacement of local communities is concerned.

According to local informants, the Adola gold mining belt, which consists of several mining sites was first discovered in 1930s but was not fully developed until the Italian invasion (1936-1941). The Italians pursued the exploration of new sites and expanded the existing mining sites during the five years period and laid a strong foundation for the imperial regime which aggressively embarked on gold mining as the main source of revenue after 1941.

Since its inception in the 1930s and continuing under the imperial and military regimes, the gold mine was operated through a harsh approach of labor conscription, displacement of local communities and expropriation of artisanal miners. In reminisces about the harshness of the work environment, elders in Shakiso refer to instances where people convicted of crimes and resistance against the imperial and military regimes were used as laborers in the mine as a form of punishment. Likewise, the indigenous Guji Oromo were displaced from the area and their lands would be claimed by the state and later the conglomerate company as a mining frontier.

Exclusion and grievances

As indicated earlier, the Adola gold mine was established in the absence of consultation of local communities and without any compensation for the loss of their livelihoods and their ancestral lands. Local communities complain that despite the change in regimes, Adola gold mine has functioned through coercive and exploitative methods with no significant difference between the Italian invaders and the successive Ethiopian regimes when it comes to exclusion and restriction of the people from their customary lands.

However, popular uprisings and protests were infrequent during the previous regimes perhaps for different reasons. First, the level of political consciousness of the local communities in claiming for their entitlement to the resources had not been strong until 1990s. The political transformation in the country in the post-1991 period coupled with the massive expansion of the gold mine following its transfer to the private company have raised the awareness and grievances of the local Guji Oromo on the basis of claim of entitlement to the natural resource and discontent towards the impacts of the mining industry.

Recently, the activities of the MIDROC Gold mine led to popular protests in Guji zone that became part of the large scale protests that broke out in 2015. Local communities claim that despite being the country’s largest gold mine, the contribution of MIDROC Gold in Adola (or commonly called Laga Dambi gold mine) has been insignificant to the economic and social developments of the local people. Rather, they claim that the toxic chemicals from the project pollute their water grounds and also the displacement of local people and artisanal miners is another aspect of local discontent. As a result, protest erupted in 2009 in few secondary schools in Guji zone and soon spread to many schools in the zone.

According to a report from US embassy leaked to Wikileaks, the protest initially erupted when residents of Shakiso district in Guji Zone accused Laga Dembi Mine, of releasing toxic chemical waste into a nearby river, causing illness to people and animals in the area.[3] The local people tried to seek administrative solution to the problem by submitting petition to local government arguing that a second gold mine should not be given to MIDROC before it cleans the toxic waste that it has released from Lega Dembi, and the company compensates the community. Nevertheless, according to local informants and the source from Wikileaks, the local government authorities resorted to mass arrests of protesters and halted the ongoing investigation into the toxic dumping. The incident resulted in the detention of hundreds of students, and members of opposition parties.

The government and the conglomerate company used strategy of appeasement by promising different social services and financial gift to the local people. In January 2010, Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi, owner of MIDROC, Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Mines and Energy, and Aba Dula Gemeda, President of Oromiya Region visited Shakiso to appease the community. Sheikh Al Amoudi granted 15 million Birr (USD 1,125,000) for the 15 Weredas (districts) in Guji Zone to be used for community development.[4] According to local residents, the meeting was not open to all residents of the area; rather, handpicked residents attended and thanked the visitors for the attention they gave to their community. Although the protest was put down through a combination of force and the promised remuneration from the owner of MIDROC Gold mine, the underlying grievances never went away and meshed into the protests that broke out in November 2015.

Environmental pollution was not the only source of discontent of the local communities. Since its inception in 1930s, the bulk of the employees of the gold mine are from other regions. While lack of education was used as pretext for exclusion of the Guji Oromo from employment under the previous regimes, the MIDROC gold mine uses “security” to rationalize its preference for non-indigenous labour. In any case however, the exclusion of local communities from different levels of employment is evident.

Moreover, discontent also arose from unfulfilled promises from the government and the MIRDOC Gold Mine owner in terms of provision of social services such as road, schools, hospitals and drinking water for the community. In over 80 years of gold mining in the region, no investments in significant social services have been made to either compensate locals for the loss of their livelihoods or as a trickledown effect of the revenue from mining activities, the figure that is not very clear to many stakeholders. The town of Adola, which the imperial regime re-named as Kibre-Mengist for its source of gold, did not have tap water and electricity until a few years ago. Still today, the town and its surrounding community suffer from access to basic social services such as hospitals.

The continued displacement and encroachment on the livelihoods of artisanal miners is also another source of discontent that has fed into recent protests. For example, the MIDROC Gold mine “discovered” new gold deposit in Sakaro area, only 3km from Laga Dambi site in 2009.[5] In the same year, it signed a ten-years concession agreement with the Ministry of Mines and Energy to utilize the deposit and continued further explorations.[6] MIDROC’s concessions for further exploration led to the increased enclosure of grazing lands, farmlands and artisanal mining sites leading to displacement and restriction of access rights for local communities. Accordingly, the massive land appropriation by the company, lack of transparency in the revenue, absence of clear corporate social responsibility, continued environmental pollution from the toxic dumping into rivers, and exclusion of local community from employment became rallying points in the protests that broke out here in 2015.

Conclusion

Ethiopia has recently embarked on a program of economic diversification to transform itself into a middle-income economy. In this regard, extractive industries such as gold and other minerals, and gas and oil explorations have received growing attention from the government. The privatization of gold mining, particularly the transfer of the Laga Dambi (Adola) gold mine to the MIDROC Gold Mine could be viewed as a component of the economic liberalization since the 1990s. However, there are concerns on the part of local government authorities, members of opposition and the local community at large that the right to mine gold has been granted to MIDROC without clearly stipulating corporate social responsibility guidelines. In addition, the company’s mining activities have led to the dumping of toxic chemicals and the lack of compensation for the local community. Therefore, the existing pattern of resource extraction, exclusion of local communities and absence of positive trickledown effects is potentially conflict prone and bodes ill for the future, unless appropriate policy frameworks are put in place and genuinely implemented.

Policy recommendations 

The following policy recommendations can be used as entry points:

  • Institutionalizing corporate social responsibility: Ethiopia lacks clear policy and guidelines for holding investors accountable with regards to what they ought to provide to local communities who might be directly or indirectly affected by their companies. Investors often promise some social services as a form of humanitarian or charity provision rather than as part of their responsibility. Therefore, the government should make it clear that the MIDROC Gold Mine has such social responsibilities and the company should be held accountable. For example, the 15 million birr promised (“given”) to the 15 districts was only a symbolic gesture probably intended to appease the people, and was not a fulfillment company’s social responsibility.
  • Participatory approaches: The Adola gold mine was exclusionist from its inception. Nominal participation that involves the cooptation of local elites will not guarantee sustainable peace and harmonious co-existence between the company and local communities. The youth is much more conscious of its rights and not easily coopted. Therefore consultations and participation of the affected communities should be taken seriously.
  • Transparency in revenue: The federal government should work towards formulating and implementing clear and transparent guidelines governing how revenue from mining operations are to be shared between different tiers of government. These policies should ensure that a part of the revenue is utilized to provide social services to local communities.
  • MIDROC Gold Mine should prioritize employment opportunities of local communities and also empower them through trainings so that they would be competent enough to work in the company.
  • Environmental protection protocol: Environmental pollution is emerging as a major issue in the country. The MIDROC Gold Mine is not an exception. There are reports that its toxic chemicals have polluted rivers and claimed the lives of hundreds of cattle and caused health problems to humans.[7] Therefore, the federal government, Oromia regional state and MIDROC should work together to alleviate pollution effects.
  • Compensation: The establishment of Adola Gold mining has led to the displacement of local communities, restriction of access to their ancestral lands and changes in their livelihoods. Affected people were not compensated. Therefore, proper compensation mechanism should be put in place for the affected people. These mechanisms should be implemented before providing further concessions to MIDR.

Asebe Regassa Debelo is Assistant Professor of Development Studies at Institute of Indigenous Studies, Dilla University, Ethiopia. He may be reached at  aseberegassa@yahoo.com

Sources

[1] The fieldwork which this article draws on was carried out between October 2014 and June 2015. Interviews and observations were carried out in this period of time.

[2] http://allafrica.com/stories/201405260440.html

[3]Oromia-Ethiopia: Wikileaks – Govt’s Crackdown on Oromo on Behalf of MIDROC Gold During Shakiso/Guji Protests of 2009 (first posted on Finfinne Tribune and Gadaa.com on September 15, 2011).

[4] Ibid

[5] http://allafrica.com/stories/201405260440.html

[6] Ibid.

[7] Oromia-Ethiopia: Wikileaks – Govt’s Crackdown on Oromo on Behalf of MIDROC Gold During Shakiso/Guji Protests of 2009 (first posted on Finfinne Tribune and Gadaa.com on September 15, 2011).


Click here to read OROMIA’s MINERAL WEALTH: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

በኦሮሚያ ክልል ጉጂ ዞን ለገ-ደንቢ (Lege Dembi) እና ሳካሮ (Sakaro) በሚባሉ አከባቢዎች ከሚገኙት የሜድሮክ (MIDROC) ወርቅ ማውጫዎች የሚወጣው መርዛማ የሆነ ኬሚካል በአከባቢው ነዋሪዎች፣ እንስሳት እና ስነ-ምህዳር ላይ የከፋ ጉዳት እያስከተለ ይገኛል፡፡

ፎቶ፦ በመንገዱ በስተግራ ያለው ውሃ በኬሚካል የተበከለ ነው! Photo Credit ©Gaurdian

የአዶላ ሆስፒታል ሜዲካል ዳይሬክተር የሆኑት ዶ/ር ቡሻ ባላኮ ለOBN በሰጡት አስተያየት ከፋብሪካው የሚወጣው መርዛማ ኬሚካል በሰውና እንስሳት ፅንስና አወላለድ ላይ ከፍተኛ ጉዳት አስከትሏል፡፡ ለምሳሌ ባሳለፍነው የፈረንጆች አመት (2017) ብቻ ከ157 በላይ ህፃናት ገና በእናታቸው ማህፀን ውስጥ (በፅንስ) እንዳሉ መሞታቸውን ዳይሬክተሩ ገልፀዋል፡፡ በተለይ የአከባቢው እናቶች ከፅንስ ማስወረድ ጋር ተያይዞ ባጋጠማቸው የስነ-ልቦና ችግር ምክንያት እስከሚወልዱ ድረስ እርግዝናቸውን እንደሚደብቁ ተገልጿል፡፡

Photo Credit: ©Social Media

በተመሣሣይ አንድ በቢቢሲ የቀረበ ጥናታዊ ዘገባ የተጠቀሰው መርዜማ ኬሚካል በቤት እንስሳት ፅንስና አወላለድ ላይ ከፍተኛ ጉዳት እያስከተለ መሆኑን ገልጿል፡፡ ይህ የሜድሮክ የወርቅ ማውጫ ባለፈው አመት ኮንትራቱ የተጠናቀቀ ቢሆንም ሰሞኑን ውሉን በአስር (10) ዓመት እንዲያራዝም ተፈቅዶለታል፡፡ በመሆኑም በአከባቢው ማህብረሰብ፣ እንስሳትና ስነ-ምህዳር ላይ ሲደርስ የነበረው ጉዳት ለአስር አመት እንዲቀጥል ተወስኗል፡፡ በዛሬው ዕለት የአከባቢው ነዋሪዎች ይህን ሃላፊነት የጎደለው ውሳኔ በመቃውም የተቃውሞ ሰልፍ አድርገዋል፡፡ ጥያቄው በአስቸኳይ ምላሽ የማያገኝ ከሆነ የነዋሪዎቹ ተቃውሞ የሚቀጥል ይሆናል፡፡

የሜድሮክ (MIDROC) ወርቅ ማውጫዎች ኮንትራት መራዘምን በመቃወም የተካሄደ የተቃውሞ ሰልፍ Photo Credit @ Social Media

የልማት፥ ዴሞክራሲ፥ ሀገር ሆነ መንግስት ትርጉምና ፋይዳ ሰውና ሰው ብቻ ነው፡፡ የሰው ልጅን ሰብዓዊ መብትና ክብር የሚፃረር ተቋም ሆነ አሰራር ትርጉም-አልባ፥ ፋይዳ-ቢስ ነው፡፡ የወርቅ ማዕድኑን ለማውጣት ጥቅም ላይ የሚውለው መርዛማ ኬሚካል በለገ-ደንቢ እና ሳካሮ የሚገኙ እናቶችን ፅንስ እያስወረደ ነው፡፡ በእርግጥ ወርቅ ውድ ማዕድን ነው! ነገር ግን፣ ምንም ያህል ውድ ቢሆን ከሰው ልጅ ህይወት አይበልጥም፡፡ ያለ ምንም ለውጥ የድርጅቱን ኮንትራት በአስር አመት እንዲራዘም የፈቀደው የመንግስት አካል ከሰው ይልቅ ለወርቅ ዋጋ መስጠቱን በግልፅ ይጠቁማል፡፡ ሆኖም ግን፣ ለአከባቢው ወላጆች ልጆቻቸው ከወርቅ በላይ ውድ ናቸው፡፡ በመሆኑም በኬሚካሉ ምክንያት የእናቶች መሃፀን ከሚዘጋ ወርቅ ማውጫው ቢዘጋ ይመርጣሉ፡፡


OMN : Gabaasa addaa : Hayyama Albuudaa Dhaabbata MIDROC Gold haaromsuuf murteerra gahamuu laalchisee..Mud 1/2018