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Human Rights Watch World Report 2019: Ethiopia: Events of 2018 January 17, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Abiy Ahmed, newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia, is sworn in at the House of Peoples’ Representatives in Addis Ababa, April 2, 2018. © 2018 Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

አማርኛ  English Oromo

After years of widespread protests against government policies, and brutal security force repression, the human rights landscape transformed in 2018 after Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in April. The government lifted the state of emergency in June and released thousands of political prisoners from detention, including journalists and key opposition leaders such as Eskinder Nega and Merera Gudina. The government lifted restrictions on access to the internet, admitted that security forces relied on torture, committed to legal reforms of repressive laws and introduced numerous other reforms, paving the way for improved respect for human rights.

In July, Ethiopia and Eritrea resolved a decades-long stalemate, signed a peace agreement and agreed to implement the 2002 international boundary commission decision. Relations between the countries had been violent or frozen since their troops clashed in the border town of Badme in 1998.

Parliament lifted the ban on three opposition groups, Ginbot 7, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in June. The government had used the proscription as a pretext for brutal crackdowns on opposition members, activists, and journalists suspected of affiliation with the groups. Many members of these and other groups are now returning to Ethiopia from exile.

With the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)  controlling 100 percent of the seats in parliament, the institutional and legal impediments for sustained political space remain a challenge. Accountability for years of abuses, including torture and extrajudicial killings, and opening the space for political parties and civil society remain significant challenges for the new administration. There are indications that the reform process may ultimately be hindered by a lack of independent institutions to carry forward changes.

In September, security forces shot and killed five people during demonstrations in the capital Addis Ababa. Protestors criticized the government for not protecting citizens from forced displacement and ethnically-based attacks, particularly allegations of rape and killings in Oromia earlier in the month. Ongoing ethnic violence and internal displacement continue to put lives at risk. More than 2 million people are internally displaced due to intercommunal conflicts and violence, at times involving regional state and local security forces.

Freedom of Expression and Association

Ethiopia released journalists who had been wrongfully detained or convicted on politically motivated charges, including prominent writers such as Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye, after more than six years in jail. The federal Attorney General’s Office dropped all pending charges against bloggers, journalists and diaspora-based media organizations, including the Zone 9 bloggers, Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), and Oromia Media Network (OMN), which had previously faced charges of violence inciting for criticizing the government.  

OMN and ESAT television stations reopened in Addis Ababa in June, following calls by Prime Minister Abiy for diaspora-based television stations to return. Additionally, the government lifted obstructions to access to more than 250 websites. The restriction on access to the internet and mobile applications introduced during the 2015 protests was also lifted.

Many of Ethiopia’s repressive laws used to silence dissent and restrict citizens’ meaningful engagement—including the Charities and Societies Proclamation, the Media Law, and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation—were being revised at time of writing.

Impunity, Torture, and Arbitrary Detention

Government officials often dismissed allegations of torture, contrary to credible evidence. But in a July speech to parliament, Abiy admitted that the government used torture and other unlawful techniques on suspects, acknowledging that such techniques amounted to terrorism by the state.

Earlier this year, Ethiopia closed Makaelawi detention center, known for torture and mistreatment of political prisoners. After media reported significant complaints of abuse from prisoners in other federal detention centers, the federal Attorney General’s Office dismissed administrators of five facilities in July but they did not face criminal charges. Many detention centers run by regional administrations, some well-known for ill-treatment, rape, torture, and lack of access to medical and legal aid, remain unaffected by the reform efforts.

In July, the federal attorney general told media that there would be investigations into torture and mistreatment in detention facilities. In November, a number of high-ranking security officials were arrested due to their alleged involvement in human rights abuses in detention, according to the attorney general. They had not yet been charged at time of writing.

The government did not take any steps to carry out investigations into the killings over 1,000 protesters by security forces during widespread protests in 2015 and 2016 in Oromia and other regions. Even though the legal and justice reform council under the Attorney General’s Office announced that judicial independence is a key area of reform, Human Rights Watch is not aware of any concrete steps taken at either the federal or regional level. Courts continue to implement political decisions of the executive branch.

Abuses in Somali Region

In August, Mustapha Omer, an outspoken critic of Somali region’s authoritarian leadership, was appointed regional president in place of Abdi Mohamoud Omar, known as Abdi Illey, who presided over a regime of abuses, especially since 2007, when armed conflict escalated between the insurgent Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and Ethiopia’s Defense Force.

All sides committed war crimes between mid-2007 and early 2008, and the Ethiopian armed forces were responsible for crimes against humanity, including executions, torture, rape and forced displacement. 

Ethiopian authorities created the Liyu (“special” in Amharic) police, which by 2008 had become a prominent counterinsurgency force reporting to Abdi Illey, regional security chief at the time, who went on to serve as the regional president for eight years. Liyu police continued to commit abuses in the region and, at times, killings in neighboring Oromia regional state.

Abdi Illey resigned and was arrested in August, two weeks after Liyu police and youth loyal to him attacked residents and burned property in the regional capital, Jijiga. He remains in government custody but has not been charged. Police head Abdirahman Abdillahi Burale (known as Abdirahman Labagole) resigned in August, but despite evidence of his involvement in committing human rights abuses, Abdirahman Labagole and other members of the Ethiopian army or Liyu police implicated in abuses against civilians have not faced any charges. 

In Jail Ogden, a regional detention facility administered in part by Liyu police, prisoners were tortured, with no access to adequate medical care, family, lawyers, or even, at times, food. After the July publication of a Human Rights Watch report, many prisoners were released from Jail Ogaden. The prison was closed in August.

Internal Displacement

Ethiopia has over 2 million internally displaced people, including almost 1 million displaced in April and June due to inter-communal conflict between Guji and Gedio communities in Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). In early August, at least 145,000 more people were displaced in Somali and Oromia regional states due to renewed fighting. In September, ethnic violence displaced an estimated 15,000 people from the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Despite signs of possible clashes, the government failed to prevent attacks, resulting in further displacement. Except for humanitarian aid, Human Rights Watch is not aware of sustainable federal government efforts to address internal displacement and inter-ethnic violence. 

Key International Actors 

Ethiopia won international acclaim for its reform agenda this year and continues to enjoy strong support from foreign donors and most of its regional neighbors, due to its role as host of the African Union, its contributions to UN peacekeeping, regional counterterrorism efforts, and migration partnerships with Western countries.

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein visited Ethiopia in April, and conducted meetings with released political prisoners and government officials. He underlined the importance of making greater efforts to ensure the independence of the government-affiliated human rights commission.

In April, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution encouraging Ethiopia’s government to increase respect for human rights, rule of law, and democracy. The US maintained its support for Ethiopia and announced that it supports the ongoing reform efforts.

Despite its role as a member of both the UN Security Council and, until the end of 2018, the UN Human Rights Council, Ethiopia maintains its history of non-cooperation with UN mechanisms. Other than the UN special rapporteur on Eritrea, no special rapporteur has been permitted to visit since 2006. The rapporteurs on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly, among others, all have outstanding requests to visit the country. 

Ethiopia has been inconsistent on human rights-related issues on a number of country situations on the Security Council. It failed to support a long-awaited arms embargo on South Sudan in July. And while voting in favor of a chemical weapons probe in Syria, Ethiopia did not support a March Security Council briefing by the high commissioner for human rights on the situation in Syria.

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Imaammata mootummaan hordofuufii ukkamsa hamaa qaamolee nageenyaan qaqqabu irratti mormiin waggootaaf erga godhamee booda qabinsi mirga namoomaa Itoophiyaa ji’a Ebla, erga Dr Abiy Ahmed muummicha ministeeraa ta’erraa kaasee hundeen jijjiirameera. Mootummaan ji’a waxabajjii keessa labsii yeroo muddamaa kaasuun Dr Mararaa Guddinaafii Iskindir Naggaa dabalatee hidhamtoota siyaasaafi gaazexeessitoota kumootaan lakkaayaman mana hidhaatii gadi dhiiseera. Dabalataaniis ukkaamsa internetaa kaaseera. Humnootni tikaa dirqiin jecha fuudhaa turuu amanuun seerota hedduu haaromsuuf kutannoon kan hojjatu ta’u beeksiseera. Haaromsa heddu calqabuunis qabinsa mirga namoomaa haalaan fooyyessuuf karaa saaqeera.

Ji’a Adoolessaa keessa Itoophiyaafii Ertiraan wal-dhabdee waggoottan kurnan darbaniif turan furuun waliigaltee nagaa buusuu mallatteessuun murtee komishinii daangaa Idil-addunyaa kan bara 2002 murtaayee hojiirra oolchuuf walii galaniiru. Walittii dhufeenyii biyyoottan lameenii erga loltoonni gamlameenii magaala daangaa Baadimmee jedhamtutti bara 1998titti walitti bu’anii kaasee qunnaamtii baayyee qorraafii kan lolaa ture.

Paarlaamaan biyyattii ji’a waxabajjii keessa walgayuun qoqqobbii paartilee mormituu sadan: Adda Bilisummaa Oromo (ABO), Adda Bilisa Baasaa Ogadenii (ONLF) fii Ginboot torba irratti labsee ture kaaseera. Mootummichi maqaa badii ittisuu jedhu fayyadamuun paartilee mormituu, aktivistootaafii gaazexeessitoota partilee kanneeniin hidhata qabu jedhamanii shakkamman irratti haleellaa gara-jabeenyaan guutame raawwachaa ture. Paartileen kunneeniifi kan biroos yeroo ammaa kanatti biyyaa ambaatii gara biyyaatti galaa jiru.

Paartiin biyya bulchu Addi Dimokratawaa Warraaqsa Uummattoota Itoophiyaa  (ADWUI)n teessoo paarlaamaa biyyattii dhibbeentaa guutuu (100%) dhuunfachuu irraan kan ka’e jijjiirama siyaasaa kana itti fufsiisuu irratti dhaabbileefi seerotni jiran danqaa ta’anii itti fufu. Reebichaafi ajjechaa murtii malee raawwate dabalatee, dhiittaa mirgaa woggoottan hedduuf raawwataniif itti gaafatammumma fiduu, akkasumas dirree siyaasaa paartilee siyaasaafi dhaabbilee siviiliitiif  banuun ammayyuu qormaata bulchiinsa haaraa kana hudhanii qaban keessa jiru. Inumayyuu jijjiiramni deemaa jiru kun dhabinsa dhabbilee bilisa ta’anii irraa kan ka’e dhumarratti gufachuu akka dandda’u wantootni akeekan jiru.

Hiriira nagaa magaala guddittii Finffinneetti Fulbaana darbe godhame irratti namootni shan rasaasa humnoonnii tikaa dhukaasaniin dhayamanii lubbuun darbaniiru. Mormitoonni haleellaa sanyii irrati xiiyyeeffatee, humnaan qeyeerraa buqqayuufi keessattuu ajjechaafi gudeeddaa calqaba ji’a fulbaanaa irratti naannoo Oromiyaa keessatti raawwateef mootummaan eegumsa hin goone  jechuun qeeqani. Haleellaan sanyii irratti xiyyeeffateefi buqqaatiin biyya keessa lubbuu namootaa balaaf saaxiluu akkuma itti fufetti jira. Walitti bu’insa hawaasaa yeroo tokko tokkoo humnootni tikaa naannoofi mootummaaleen naannoo harka keessaa qaban irraan kan ka’e lammiileen miliyoona lamaa olitti lakkayaman qeyeefi qabeenya isaniirraa

Mirga gurmaayuufi yaada ofii bilissaan ibsachuu

Itoophiyaaan gaazexeessitoota sirna-malee hidhamaniifii kaka’umsa siyaasaan himataman kan akka Iskindir Naggaafi Wubishat Taayyeefaa kan waggaa jahaaf hidhaman of keessaa qaban gadhiifteerti. Abbaan Alangaa federaalaa himannaa biloogaroota, gaazexeessitoota, dhaabbilee miidiyaa biyya ambaa mandheeffatanii kan akka OMN if ESAT kan duraan jeequmsa kakaasuun himataman hunda addaan kuteera.

Waamicha muummee ministeera Itoophiyaa Dr Abiy Ahmediif owwaachuun dhabbileen midiyaa OMN fi ESAT ji’a waxabajjii keessa wajjira isaanii Finffinneetti banataniiru. Itti dabaluunis mootummaan Itoophiyaa qoqqoobbii marsariitiiwwaan dhibba lamaafi shantama irra ture kaaseera. Hiriira mormii bara 2015 boodaa ukkamsi interneetaafii aappii moobayilaa irra tures kaafamera.

Seerotnii Itoophiyaa mormii ukkamsuufii walqunnamtii lammiilee danquuf bahan labsii dhabbilee arjoominaafi hawaasotaa, labsii miidiyaafi labsii farra shororkeessummaa dabalatee hedduun isaanii yeroo barreeffamni qophayuttii fooyya’aa jiru.

Reebicha, roorroofi hidhaa seer-malee

Ragaaleen amansiisoon heddu jiraatanus aangawoonnii mootummaa rebichi hidhamtoota irratti raawwachuu waakkachaa turan. Muummichi ministeera Dr Abiy Ahmed reebichii fi malleen seeraan alaa hedduun shakkamtoota irratti raawwatamaa turuu amanuun gochoonni kunnen shorrorkeessummaa mootummaan raawwate jechuun ibsaniiru.

Calqaba bara kana irrattii Itoophiyaan mana hidhaa maa’ikalaawwii jedhamu kan hidhamtootni siyaasaa hedduun keessatti reebamaa turuu beekamu cufteerti.

Adoolessa darbe keessa miidiyaleen gabaasaa dhiittaa mirgaa mana hidhaatti hidhamtoota irra gaye hidhamtoota achi turan gaafachuun erga gabaasanii boodaa Abbaan Alangaa bulchitoota manneen hidhaa federaala shan hojirraa ari’eera. Garuu haga yoonaa jarreen kun seeratti dhiyaatanii yakkaan hin himatamne. Manneen hidhaa mootummaa naannolee jalatti bulan gariin isaanii reebicha, gudeeddaa, qabinsa ilma namaaf hin malle, akkasumas gargaarsa fayyaafi ogeessa seeraa hidhamtootaaf hin kennine hedduun ammallee jijjirama deemaa jiruun hin tuqamne.

Abbaan Alangaa Federaalaa ji’a Adoolessaa keessaa qabinsa badaafii reebichaa mana hidhaattii hidhamtoota irra gaye irratti qorannoon gaggeeffamu jiraachuu miidiyaati himee ture. Ji’a Sadaasaa keessa ammoo aangawota tikaa olaanoo murtaayan kan dhiittaa mirga namooma mana hidhaa keessatti raawwachuun shakkaman toyannaa jala oolchuu ibse. Haga guyyaa barreeffamni kun qophaayeetti garuu himatni jara kana irratti baname hin jiru.

Hiriirota mormii bara 2015 fi 2016 guutuu Oromiyaafii naannoolee biroo keessatti adeemsifame irrattii ajjeechaa namootaa kuma tokkoo olii (1000) humnootni tikaa raawwatan irratti qorannoo gaggeessuuf tarkaanfiin mootummaan fudhate homtuu hin jiru. Manni maree jijjirama seeraafii haqaa kan Abbaa alangaa federaalaa jala jiru bilisummaan manneen murtii ijoo jijjirama kanaa ta’uu ibsullee tarkaanfiin qabatamaan manneen murtii federaalaas ta’ee kan naannoo irratti dhufe jiraachuu Human raayits woch quba hin qabu. Ammallee manneen murtii murtee siyaasaa qaama seera raawwachiistuun murtaaye hojiitti hiikaa jiru.

Dhiittaa mirgaa naannoo Somalee

Musxfaa Omar kan bulchinsa abbaa hirree naannoo Somaalee ifatti mormuun beekamu pirezideentii Naannoo Somalee ta’uun Abdii Mohaammed Omer kan Abdi Illey jedhamuun beekamu bakka bu’ee muudame. Pirezideentiin duraanii Abdii Illeeyn keessattuu bara 2007 yeroo lolli humna riphee lolaa Adda Bilisa Baasaa Ogaadeeniifi humna waraanaa Itoophiyaa gidduutti banamee kaasee naannicha dhiittaa mirgaa hamaa jalatti bulchaa ture.

Gidduu bara 2007 hanga calqaba bara 2008tiitti gareen lachuu yakka waraanaa raawwataniiru. Humni waraanaa Itoophiyaammoo addatti gudeeddaa, qeyeerra uummata buqqaasuu, ajjeechaafi reebichaan yakka sanyii namaa irratti

raawwateera.

Aangawonni Itoophiyaa polisii addaa  ijaaruun bara 2008 irraa kaase humni kun itti waamama Abdii Illeey kan yeroo sanitti naannoo Somaalee waggaa saddeettiif bulchaa ture jala galuun humna deebisee waraanu ta’eera. Gareen polishing addaa kun dhiittaa mirgaa hamaa naannichaafi naannolee ollaa akka Oromiyaa keessattis raawwachu ittuma fufee ture.

Poolisiin addaafi dargaggoonnnii Abdii Illeeytiif ajajamoo ta’an jiraattota magaala Jigjigaafi qabeenya isaanii erga haleelanii booda ji’a Hagayyaa keessa aangoo gadhiisuun towannoo jala oolee jira. Ammayyuu towannoo mootummaa jala jiraatus himanni irratti hin banamiin jira. Ajajaan poolisii addaa Somaalee Abdillahii Burraalee maqaa Abdirhaman Labagoolee jedhamuun beekamu ji’a Hagayyaa keessa aangoo isaa gadhiiseera. Abdillahiifi miseensonnii poolisii addaa Somalee akkasumas raayyaan ittisa biyyaa Itoophiyaa dhiittaa mirgaa namoomaa geessisaa turuu isaanii ragaan danuun jiraatus himannii tokkollee irratti hin banamne.

Manni hidhaa naannoo Somalee hidhaa Ogaadeen jedhamu kan poolisii addaa Somaleen bulaa ture keessatti hidhamtoonni reebamaa turan. Yaalii fayyaa gayaas argataa hinturre. Gargaarsa abukaattoofi daawwannaa maatii dhorkamuurra darbanii nyaatallee dhorkamanii adabamaa turan. Maxxansa Hiyumaans raayits woch ji’a Adoolessaa keessa baase booda hidhamtootni mana hidhaa Ogaden hedduun gadhiifamaniiru. Manni hidhaa Ogaadenis ji’a Hagayyaa keessa cufameera.

Buqqayinsa biyya keessaa

Itoophiyaa keessa ummanni miliyoona lamaa ol-ta’u qeyeefi qabeenya isaarra buqqayee jira. Kana keessa miliyoonni tokko ji’a Eebla haga Waxabajjii qofattii walitti bu’insa hawaasa Geediyoofi Gujii naannoo uummattoota kibbaafi Oromiyaatiin kan buqqayaniidha. Lolli deebi’ee ka’uu irraan kan ka’e baatii Hagayyaa qofa keessa ummannii 145,000 ol ta’u naannoo Somaleefi Oromiyaa keessaa buqqyaniiru.

Naannawaa Finfinneettis walitti bu’insa sabootaa mudateen ji’a Fulbaanaa keessa namoonni kuma kudha shanitti tilmaamaman buqqaafamaniiru. Walitti bu’insi akkasii ka’uu akka danda’u mallattoolen muldhatanus mootummaan balaa kana hambisuu waan hanqateef buqqayinsa hedduuf sababa ta’eera. Gargaarsa namoomaa irraan kan hafe buqqayinsaafi walitti bu’insa sabootaa kanneenif furmaata waaraa buusuu irratti tarkaanffiin mootummaan federaalaa fudhate jiraachuu Hiyumaan raayits woch quba hin qabu.

Taphattoota Idil-Adunyaa ijoo

Itoophiyaan jijjiirama bara kana gaggeessiteen deeggarsa idil-adunyaa

argachuun gargaarsa dhabbilee arjaa, biyyoota ollaa argachuu ittii fuftee jirti. Gamtaa Afrikaaf teessoo ta’uusheefi humna nagaa eegsiistu mootummoota gamtoomanii keessatti hirmaannaa qabduun akkasumas ittisa shorrorkeessumaa naannichaa kessatti qooda qabduufii dhimma baqattootaa irrattiis michuu warra dhiyaa waan taateef gargaarsa addaa argachaa jirti.

Komishinarrii mirga namoomaa mootummoota gamtoomanii duraanii Zeyid Raad Al Huseen Eebla darbe Itoophiyaa daawwachuun hidhamtoota duraaniifii aangawoota

mootummaa waliin mariyataniiru. Haasawaa isaanii keessatti komishinii mirga namoomaa Itoophiyaa mootummaa faana hidhata qabu jijjiiruun dhaabbata bilisaa fi amanamaa gochuun haalaan akka barbaachisu jabeessanii dubbataniiru.

Manni maree bakka bu’oota  Ameerikaa ji’a Eebla keessa wixinee mirga namoomaa, olaantummaa seeraafi dimokiraasii Itoophiyaa deeggaru dabarsee ture. Ameerikaan deeggarsa Itoophiyaaf gootuu jabeessuun jijjiirama deemaa jiru akka deeggartus ibsiteerti.

Itoophiyaan miseensa mana maree mootummoota gamtoomaniifi miseensa mana maree mirga namoomaa mootummoota gamtoomanii taatus seenaa gareelee mootummoota gamtomanii faana hojjachuu didduu itti fuftee jirti.

Erga bara 2006 raappoortara addaa Ertiraa Itoophiyaa deemee as gareen raappoortara mootummoota gamtoomanii addaa tokkolle Itoophiyaa seenuuf haayyama hin arganne. Raappoortaroonni reebichaa, bilisummaan of ibsuu, bilisummaan gurmayuufaa Itoophiyaa daawwachuuf gaaffiin dhiyeessan ammallee deebii hin arganne.

Mana maree mootummoota gamtoomanii kessatti Itoophiyaan qabinsa mirga namoomaa biyyootaa heddu ilaalchisee dhaabbiin calaqqisiistu burjaajayaadha. Qoqqobbii meeshalee waraanaa Sudaan kibbaa irra kayamuuf yeroo dheeraaf eegamaa ture deeggaruu diddeetti. Siiriyaa keessatti haleellaan keemikaalaa raawwachuu isaa akka qoratamu ammoo deeggarsa kenniteerti. Ibsa manni maree mootummoota gamtoomanii ji’a Bitootessaa keessaa haalaa qabinsa mirga namoomaa Siiriyaa irratti baases otoo hin deeggariin hafteerti.

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