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OPINION: DECOLONIZING ETHIOPIAN STUDIES December 1, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Addis Standard

OPINION: DECOLONIZING ETHIOPIAN STUDIES

 

Photo from the Addis Abeba Ethnographic Museum

One of the dilemmas of studying contemporary Africa is the issue of researching the continent with terms and ideologies that were born outside the continent and outside African languages. When the scramble for Africa began, and European powers needed legitimacy to push for colonization, Phrenological works and Social Darwinist ideas became central to this effort for legitimacy. Consequently, in the early 20th century, ethnographic works developed which show the persistence of Eurocentric ideas in the research undertaken at the time. For example, structural functionalist anthropology that existed in pure form up to the 1930s and 1940s include scholars such as Malinowski and Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard[1] who inscribed Africa into a literary colonial culture and legacy. Such works simplified cultures and societies; they operated on the assumption that cultures are bounded-entities that could be studied and limited to a single book. This simplification of cultures, among other issues, explained the simplification of Africans, their languages and their customs, convincing colonialists of the need to ‘civilize’ them. These works portrayed Africa as disease ridden, poverty-stricken, uncivilized, illiterate, and pagan, with Europe as its successful inverse. Though discourses of ‘Africa rising’ and ‘Ethiopian renaissance’ are slowly coming to the fore, the persistent image of Africa as a trouble-child traces its roots from the continuation of the image of pre-colonial Africa.[2]

Post-independence, most African states were called upon to “exercise all aspects of modern sovereignty at once”.[3]From the 1960s up-to the 1980s, new independent African states tried to develop their countries autonomously based on ‘developmentalism’ and state socialism, but were dismantled later by the collapse of the USSR, US imperialism and influence of other prior colonizers in the 70s. From the 80s onward, structural adjustment plans enforced by the IMF and the World Bank forced most countries to open up their economies as well as several other sectors to the global market. There was no question to the premise that Africa must follow Europe. In addition to this, except for secession movements that later engulfed the continent, there were few who questioned the existence of the nation state as bound to borders, adopted from the Berlin-West Africa conference.[4] In several ways, Europe remained central to the political, and socio-economic narrative of post-independence African countries.

Europe as an idea has thus become an essential part of studying the African continent. It is, however, inadequate.[5] The global significance of Europe is clear. But it is also important to acknowledge that non-European sources of knowledge, leadership, political and economic ideals are as significant and important in the African continent. In terms of knowledge production, this inevitable yet inadequate nature of Europe to study Africa has been recently challenged by decolonizing movements emerging from Africa as well as Europe itself. I do not refer to the colonial independence movements from the past, but student led movements such as the Rhodes Must Fall campaign, which originated  at the University of Cape Town and spread to European universities such as Oxford, challenging the production, ownership and studying of Africa through the glorification of European ideas, and at times at the risk of ignoring the faults of these European scholars.

I will proceed to present the complexities of studying Ethiopia and how even a country that allegedly wasn’t colonized needs to embark upon similar attempts at decolonization.

Language and Ethiopian Studies

Parallel to the anthropologists of pre-colonial Africa, Ethiopia has had its fair share of European scholars attempting to study it. (An example is Eike Haberland, who misrepresents and essentializes “the Galla” at a time when the Imperial Southern Marches were in full swing.[6]) The difference is that as home-grown systems of Ethiopian education were not centered on Europe or done through European languages; they have had no place in Ethiopia’s scholarly world – i.e., until late 20th century[7]. Further, Ethiopia’s sovereignty also led to its subsequent removal from contributing meaningfully to scholarship on African history, or African studies. Whereas, independence allowed Ethiopians to continue using their own languages to write, discuss, and evaluate their history, it also hindered the spread of their knowledge into other countries. The knowledge produced by most Ethiopian scholars is thus to-date limited to the nation. This means that subsequently, what Ethiopians write does not receive as much credit on the global scale because of the language barrier. Even if the narrative of their history, lives, and society differs vastly from common Eurocentric narratives, they are made voiceless because they do not write in English or French or say, German.

It also goes the other way that Ethiopian scholars, to be read and to find jobs, have to write in English, or French. This spreads into the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, the most important secular institute of Ethiopian epistemology. One would assume, at least for the Ethiopian studies based in Ethiopia, that Ethiopian languages be at the front of the scholarship being produced about Ethiopia. But no, that is far from the reality. The trouble here is that the foundation of the Ethiopian Studies initially took place outside of Ethiopia, to this- Ullendorf accredits Hiob Ludolf as the founder of Ethiopian Studies, and its foundation in Ethiopia is accredited to Richard Pankhurst. While it is important to acknowledge the strides taken in the field of Ethiopian studies from abroad and with the contribution of foreign scholars, the critique of this paper is precisely that Ethiopians seem to have little agency in the institute that studies them and takes them as the center of analysis. While Hiob Ludolf must be noted in his opening of the IES in Europe, it should also be as commonly known that it was an Ethiopian monk who taught him what he knows about Ethiopia, namely Aba Gorgorious.

Globally acclaimed works on Ethiopians are rarely written in Ethiopian languages. Languages carry culture and engraved with in them are the history, priorities, aspirations and fabric of the society they emerge from. Studying a society through the lens of foreign languages has troubling implications. Primarily, one will certainly fail to understand fully how a given society understands itself. Using European ideals and languages changes the basic way of how we understand ourselves; almost always, it forces us to accept that we are trying to be like Europe. It is why it may be necessary to also create room for Ethiopian, or other African ways of describing, labeling, and categorizing ideas.

Ethiopian Studies in this regard has yet to face resistance from Ethiopians. The resistance I mention has several unanswered questions to it: primarily, what would a resistance look like in Ethiopian Studies and where could it get inspiration from? I am primarily discussing a break from the exclusion of Ethiopian languages in journals, publications, research and methodologies. Further, another problem is that Europeans having authority over scholarship produced about Ethiopia means that Ethiopians are constantly looking to the West as the source of Ethiopian knowledge. At what point does it become necessary to question where the agency and ownership of Ethiopians is in the knowledge produced about them?

For example Ethiopia’s Axumite civilization is a key point on which foreign and vernacular narratives of Ethiopian history diverge, but where the European interpretation has dominated the field. Foreign scholars have stated boldly that indigenous Ethiopians were invaded by Arabians;[8] which must explain why Ethiopians were able to design their own written forms of languages, and adopt Christianity among other aspects of their civilization. This narrative is singularly the most Euro-centrist way of studying Ethiopia.[9] A land of black Africans who have achieved equal, if not greater, in their history stands to shake the core belief that white-Europe is the epitome of human civilization. Representing discomfort at all cost, Ethiopians are thus presented as not entirely black, with Arab features, and not appearing ‘African enough’. The silver lining of this is, ‘they must have been foreign to Africa. They could not have achieved this without foreigners helping them’.

Such discourses continue in scholarship and engagement with Ethiopia today. One way scholarship on Ethiopian studies remains problematic is that a large number of non-Ethiopian Ethiopianist scholars do not wholly understand Ethiopian languages. Yet, most have been confident in their ability to translate, or write books based on works written in these same languages. The dilemma is precisely that there is an asymmetry of ignorance, the idea that students can study Africa through European ideals and languages but Europeans do not have to use African ideals and language to study the same continent. This allows for an unchecked interpretation of Ethiopian history, politics and society. Because of the global attention papers written in European languages get, it is now a trend to simply ignore Ethiopian scholarship. Further, not only is the product of Ethiopians disregarded, it trickles down to entirely disregarding the guardians of Ethiopian history, Ethiopians themselves.  On numerous occasions, I have sat through discussions about Ethiopia with non Ethiopian scholars invited on the panels of globally influential institutes; with Ethiopianists who have little to no understanding of any of the country’s major languages and who boldly assert, at times, laughable claims about the country. For example, at an Oxford University seminar, a renowned European scholar confidently stated that the Ethiopian holiday Buhe was the equivalent of Halloween.

What is apparent here is that Ethiopian scholars, both traditional and contemporary scholars, and Ethiopians themselves have been pushed to the margins of Ethiopian studies, forcing the scholarly work to revolve around European ideals, writers and scholars which is also vastly incomprehensible to the average Ethiopian. Shouldn’t Ethiopian Studies be attributed to Ethiopian scholars instead of Europeans (some of whom never even set foot in Ethiopia)? By this I mean, Ethiopian Studies Institutes should also strive to be understood as primarily shaped and influenced by Ethiopians and Ethiopian languages, feature more Ethiopians in directorial positions, encourage European scholars to learn Ethiopian languages and cite more Ethiopian scholars, encourage joint research projects with Ethiopians in the leading roles, translate all publications of Ethiopian Studies journals into Amharic and other languages, and provide open source and affordable access to research articles/books for Ethiopians in Ethiopia. What use is the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, if it remains primarily a European dominated field far removed from the lives of the subjects of the institute? This is of course a problem of the social sciences in the Western world in general; and a question I cannot answer in this article. What is the place of vernacular views in the ways Ethiopia is represented globally?

Any place to begin?

Agreeably, there are barriers to the development and dominance of Ethiopian languages and ideas in Ethiopian studies. As a keen observer  and Ethiopianist scholar, Michael Kebede posits, where should the decolonization effortbegin? Which institution? Should one language have primacy? How to allocate scarce resources between Ethiopia’s many languages? How to deal with the dominance of Amharic in Ethiopian-produced literature? Who will pay for the effort? Or is it a question of a redirection of existing resources? Is there a resource scarcity problem? Does funding decide the response to your proposal?

If history is to be studied by using ‘Europe’ as the thematic subject, then we should be able to find space for other cultures that do not fit into such categories. There should be space for non-European terminologies and languages to study the continent. And in the case of Ethiopia, it is crucial to be able to write a paper in, say, Amharic and present one’s work on a global scale as that is as important and is even closer to the subjects studied, as compared to French or English or Italian works. It is one thing to have escaped direct colonization, but it is also important to strive to have freedom in our ability to produce knowledge based on the people’s interpretations and ideals of what is important to them. Ideally, one of the many end goals is to have equal say in contemporary scholarly work as provisioned and written by Ethiopians in the various Ethiopian languages. It is simply not adequate to use Europe to study Ethiopia, or other African countries. AS


ED’s Note: Hewan Semon can be reached at hewanmarye15@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer’s and do not necessarily
reflect the editorial of Addis Standard.


 Endnote

[1] Malinowski and Evans-Pritchard’s works are central in structural functionalist anthropology. Some of their works include, Argonauts of the Wesern Pacific, see Malinowski, Bronislaw, 1978, London : Routledge, Ebook 1978 and The Nuer, see Evans-Pritchard, E. E. (Edward Evan), Oxford University Press, Alexander Street Press, 1940, respectively.

 [2] This discussion relies heavily on V. Y. Mudimbe’s The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988).

 [3] Herbst, Jeffrey, States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 2000, p 130.

 [4] Herbst, Jeffrey, ‘Responding to State Failure in Africa,’ International Security 21, 3 (1996), p 122. (Pan Africanists such as Nkrumah wanted to get beyond the nation-state, without being secessionists.)

 [5] Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2000, p 4.

[6] Messay Kebede’s 2003 article is a work to consider reading if one wants to see how European scholars have, at times, through racist narratives tried to define Ethiopian history.

[7] Yirga Gelaw’s recent book Native Colonialism discusses this particular evolution of Eurocentrism in Ethiopian Studies, from the point of view of Ethiopian agency in this. Gelaw, Yirga. Native Colonialism. 2017. Red Sea Press.

[8] Among the few that argue for this point are Ullendorf, The Ethiopians, Budge

[9] Kebede, Messay. ‘Eurocentrism and Ethiopian Historiography: Deconstructing Semitization’, Vol 1, No.1, 2003.

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COMMENTARY: WAS/IS THERE ETHNIC CONFLICT/ VIOLENCE IN ETHIOPIA? November 29, 2017

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

In this regard, two particularly serious events require investigation by an independent international body. The recent displacement of more than 150,000 and the killings of hundreds of members of the Oromo community might fall within the international legal definition of ethnic cleansing.[1] The other one is the extended displacement, population engineering and death of thousands of members of the Amhara community of Wolqait. This has all the traits and features of slow motion genocide.[2] These two, perhaps among many others, cannot be ignored by the international community as the usual ‘ethnic conflict’; they are atypical in scale, precision, latitude and nature of execution. To discount them is not only to implicitly condone these heinous acts, but also to buoy others to act with impunity. As all justice loving people applauded the recent conviction of the “the butcher of Srebrenica,” Ratko Mladić, former Bosnian Serb general, by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in the Bosnian genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the international community must also track other Mladic’s in various parts of the world and bring them to justice.


 Even though more than eighty ethnic groups make-up the country’s hundred million population, key structural, administrative and command and control positions are overwhelmingly reserved for members of the Tigray Peopele’s Liberation Front (TPLF), that claims to represent less than 6% of the country’s multi-ethnic population. This lack of national character and national allegiance within the military and security apparatus lends itself to a conclusion that these institutions are subordinates of and only loyal to the minority ruling elites.

 


 

COMMENTARY: WAS/IS THERE ETHNIC CONFLICT/ VIOLENCE IN ETHIOPIA?

By Alem Mamo, for Addis Standard November 27,  2017



Conceivably, if there is a single most important question that requires in depth interrogation in the present political atmosphere of Ethiopia it is this one: was/is there ethnic conflict in Ethiopia? Though it seems straightforward enough, it is an enormous research question that necessitates proper scrutiny and systemic analysis. Moreover, to provide an honest and somehow adequate answer to this crucial question it is important that both the past and the present be examined without indulging in sensationalism and one-dimensional political melodrama. But why ask this question now? Expressly, it is now more than two decades since the current federal political configuration has ‘commendably resolved’ all the lingering issues associated with ‘nations and nationalities.’ Well, the concise answer is contrary to this claim of ‘achievement.’ There is a persistent political revolt across the country rebuffing the government’s assertion that the ‘ethnic question’ has been ‘put to rest’ through the federal constitution and delineation of boundaries on linguistic as well as ethnic lines.

Furthermore, in recent instances some senior government officials, both at a national and regional levels, political groups, media outlets and individual commentators are chillingly pronouncing the current political and security environment in the country as an apocalypse of ‘ethnic conflict,’ ‘ethnic cleansing’ and even ‘genocide.’ This message is communicated sometimes with implicit and other times explicit countenance of mass ethnic violence that has taken place. Often these terms are used interchangeably, as if they are one and the same.  Indeed, these three different classifications of conflict and violence demand careful conflict analysis methods before reaching a conclusion as to whether or not they have occurred. Most importantly, those who claim they have occurred should know the seriousness of the matter and at least endeavor to present qualitative and quantitative evidence that supports their assertion. Additionally, if in fact these claims are true, they must be put in the right context and their dynamics and nature (who, when, what and where) should be mapped and considered judiciously.

What is more disconcerting is the casual and banal use of theses terms without providing any background analysis or supporting data. This is particularly troubling because it is emanating from those who should be more responsible, cautious and disciplined in their evaluation, deliberation and communication with the public. Unfortunately, they are evoking these words in a way one would comment on spectator sports matches. The misuse, misinterpretation and exploitation of terms such as ‘ethnic conflict’, ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘genocide’ for the purpose of inverted victim-hood narrative is repugnant and should not be tolerated. This reality reflects grave moral and ethical decay among the political class.

Meanwhile a different form of quandary lurks within academic circles in the study of ethnic conflict, ethnic violence and related inquiry. This is deeply ingrained assumption among academia, ‘experts’ and policy makers is the hypothesis that state ethnic groups are primordial entities who are inherently bound for conflict, animosity and violence against each other rather than coexistence and congruence. This presupposition remains entrenched within ethnic and ethnic conflict studies programs across universities and college campuses. This is not to say, however, that there are no conflicts and violence between and among different ethnic groups. Indeed, they occur on different scales and magnitude, sometimes with a devastating effect, other times with a mild skirmishes and sporadic confrontations.

The problem is the mindset and pre-concluded notion of the inevitability of ethnic groups engaging in ‘old rivalry,’ which finds its roots in the legacy of colonialism slavery and apartheid. Furthermore, there are more ethnic studies and ethnic conflict studies programs in the West (focused on Africa and the “third world”) than in the regions where the ‘problem’ exists. In fact, in the Western academic institutions these programs have exploded over the last twenty or so years. This has led to a ‘confirmation bias,’ which is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and evoke information in a way that validates one’s pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses while offering unreasonably less consideration to evidence that challenges or contradicts it. This is perhaps the most persistent mistake conflict studies professionals make during a conflict analysis process.

In an academic sense there are four school of thoughts in understanding of ethnic identity and its potential for conflict. The primordial school of thought explicates ethnicity as a fixed characteristic of individuals and communities. Additionally, for primordialists, ethnicity is embedded in inherited biological attributes, a long history of practicing cultural differences, or both. Ethnic identity is unique in its intensity and strength and as an existential feature defining individual self-identification and communal distinctiveness. The psychocultural orientation of ethnicity offers deep cultural and psychological roots which shape the groups’ shared world views. Hence, ethnic identity cannot be changed, only made more tolerant and open-minded. Promoters of a different school of thought, called as social constructivism, emphasize the social nature of ethnic identity. In their assessment, ethnicity is neither immovable nor entirely open. Thus, ethnic identity is created by social exchanges between individuals and groups and stays beyond a person’s choice. For instrumentalists, ethnicity is a product of personal choice and mostly neutral from the situational circumstances or the existence of cultural and biological traits.

The most potent ingredient in a politically motivated ethnic violence is the construction and promotion of hateful narratives against an ethnic group or more than one ethnic group. Stories, songs, literature mixed with myth, and history serve as a mobilizing propaganda campaign strategy as well as dehumanizing the ‘other’ to the point that justifies killing or harming. In the same way these stories of dehumanization are transmitted intergenerationally to keep the hate message alive. There are groups and individuals at the highest leadership positions involved in such a dangerous and divisive campaign against more than one ethnic group. In fact, this reckless venture continues to be employed as a political tactic and strategy to retain hold on power.

In this regard, two particularly serious events require investigation by an independent international body. The recent displacement of more than 150,000 and the killings of hundreds of members of the Oromo community might fall within the international legal definition of ethnic cleansing.[1] The other one is the extended displacement, population engineering and death of thousands of members of the Amhara community of Wolqait. This has all the traits and features of slow motion genocide.[2] These two, perhaps among many others, cannot be ignored by the international community as the usual ‘ethnic conflict’; they are atypical in scale, precision, latitude and nature of execution. To discount them is not only to implicitly condone these heinous acts, but also to buoy others to act with impunity. As all justice loving people applauded the recent conviction of the “the butcher of Srebrenica,” Ratko Mladić, former Bosnian Serb general, by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in the Bosnian genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, the international community must also track other Mladic’s in various parts of the world and bring them to justice.

When analyzing the conflict and violence dynamics in Ethiopia, we encounter one incontrovertible detail which gives credence to the ‘ethnic conflict’ argument. That is the militarization of ethnicity and the ethnicization of the military. This is particularly factual for the ethnic party directly associated with the ruling elite. Reminiscence of the guerrilla years, all units of the army and security reflect ethnic hegemony. This way of structuring the military is the most troubling feature of the political dynamic in the country. Even though more than eighty ethnic groups make-up the country’s hundred million population, key structural, administrative and command and control positions are overwhelmingly reserved for members of the Tigray Peopele’s Liberation Front (TPLF), that claims to represent less than 6% of the country’s multi-ethnic population. This lack of national character and national allegiance within the military and security apparatus lends itself to a conclusion that these institutions are subordinates of and only loyal to the minority ruling elites.

In addition, the presence and involvement of federal and regional paramilitary groups with a sworn loyalty to their ethnic parties in quashing popular uprisings and revolts demanding change appears to be an affirmation that government backed institutional ethnic violence is taking place. Since these groups are organized by and report to their ethnic military and political power command, it is safe to say the violence contains an ethnic element. The conventional rationale for such violence is often the fear of a minority that the majority will abuse power to the disadvantage of the minority in the political arrangement. While this analysis is true for much of ethnic conflict/violence in various parts of the world, the minority-majority dynamics is set up in reverse in Ethiopia. In other words, the minority group controls the political and economic power, while the majority is marginalized.

As of late, non-conformist and independent leadership within the political landscape of the country is making an appearance. Inter-ethnic collaboration inside the country and within the diaspora both at a community and political party levels is gathering momentum. All in all, despite the weight of injustice and the pain of oppression, there is some modest wind of hope and optimism blowing on the majestic mountains, valleys and farmlands. Hope and optimism, the unbreakable spirit of the people that broke the back of European fascism, is  once again ready to fight for its freedom, be it against external threat or homegrown transgressions.

It is clear that regional ethnic parties that make up the ruling EPRDF do suffer from authenticity and credibility deficits due to the original nature of their creations. Both the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) didn’t come to being through an organic process. They were formed by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) during the civil war. In recent months, these two groups have shown a very practical as well as psychological (symbolic) demonstration of unity and leadership to their constituencies and the entire country. Given the fact that trust between authority and citizenry is often absent in Ethiopian governance structure, ANDM and OPDO must travel a great length before they gain the full trust and support of the people. In return, the people of Ethiopia must offer them the benefit of the doubt and give them sometime to prove themselves.

Justifiably, the majority of the Ethiopian public views the military, the police and security apparatus as a threat rather than a protection. In addition, the lack of unifying symbols and expressions, such as a national flag or national anthem, have resulted in the use of competing symbols rather than commonly shared ones, further dividing the society not only on a substantive level but also at a symbolic level.

In an apparently leaked document entitled ‘Security situation analysis,’ a little-known body called the National Security Council derided that the country’s political, social and economic order is unraveling and inter-ethnic violence including genocide is “threatening” the country’s very existence. Unfortunately, this rather alarming assessment doesn’t substantiate, quantify or offer any background analysis about this gloomy situation. The reports claim that “genocide has taken place in the eastern part of the country” is obviously startling, but lack of further investigation by an independent international body is equally disturbing.

In contextualizing and analyzing the current dynamics in Ethiopia, it is safe to say that there is no mass inter-ethnic violence. However, there is unambiguous evidence that federal and state level institutions, such as the military, special units and regional police forces with an ethnic administrative and structural commands have been used to target ethnic groups.  This should make the identification, investigation and prosecution of the responsible individuals much easier than mass ethnic conflict.

History’s pitfalls and blood stains are not unique to Ethiopia. They are the tragic scars and contours that mark the nation. Some of the terrains of our past show the blood-stained footprints of our ancestors. However, the prejudice and injustice of our past must not serve to engineer the suffering of our present. Thus, the study and honest interrogation of the past will obviously bring discomfort and pain. We must look at them, touch them, and feel them. This, all of us to face and do by unlocking our hearts and making it our collective tragedy. Most importantly these experiences, however painful, are sacred pages of our history and they should be treated as such. Any meditative calculation to use them as political stock to build division between groups and sustain a grip on power is not only dangerous, it also falls outside the moral decency and cultural norms of the people of this land. The seeds of division and hate, in spite of how deep they were planted and how loud they were propagated, they failed to sow permanent discord between communities with shared history and experience. For that we as people should be proud.

Despite the uncomfortable and at times painful chapters of the country’s history, people across this land have kept their decency and sanity. Never in this country’s history has an ethnic group mobilized to wage a war or terrorized another ethnic group. Yes, state armies and groups manipulated by elites past and present have executed the desire and agenda of the ruling class. But there was no deep rooted, hate-filled animosity that indented neighbor against neighbor, village against village or community against community. Not for lack of trying by the elites, but by people’s rejection of hate and division. Ultimately, the people must join together to build a shared future.


ED’s Note: The writer can be reached at Alem6711@gmail.com. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the editorial of Addis Standard.


[1] A United Nations Commission of Experts mandated to look into violations of international humanitarian law committed in the former Yugoslavia defined ethnic cleansing in its interim report as “… rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area.” In its final report, the same Commission described ethnic cleansing as “… a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.”

[2] See United Nations definition of genocide: http://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/genocide.html.

Oromo group decries ‘ongoing genocide’ in Ethiopia November 20, 2017

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

Oromo group decries ‘ongoing genocide’ in Ethiopia

New group wants Americans to more forcefully oppose alleged abuses in Ethiopia.
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ERIN ADLER, STAR TRIBUNELeft to right: Amy Bergquist, Advocates for Human Rights staff attorney joins Husen Beriso, Endris Hundissa, Kathleen Seestadt, Nagessa Oddo Dube, Genemo Uka and Amsalu Mayessa, all members of the United Oromo Voices group. A panel discussion will focus on publicizing the plight of the Oromo people, including ongoing alleged human rights violations that some say the U.S. government ignores while continuing to support Ethioipia. Oromia is a region of Ethiopia and Oromos are an oppressed ethnic minority.

A new group dedicated to raising awareness of human rights violations in Ethiopia against the Oromo — an Ethiopian ethnic minority with a significant Minnesota presence — held its first event Sunday in Minneapolis.

More than 70 people crowded into Norway House to hear the “Ethiopia to Minnesota” speakers panel, sponsored by United Oromo Voices, a coalition formed about six months ago.

Panelists spoke about Ethiopia’s history and ethnic groups, its current government and ideas for how the country can change.

“We need Americans to understand us, to push their representatives to [be a] voice for the Oromos to stop the ongoing genocide,” said Nagessa Oddo Dube, a United Oromo Voices member.

Minnesota has the largest concentration of Oromos in the United States. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, making up between 33 and 50 percent of the country’s population.

The state demographer’s office says 8,500 Oromos live here, but the Oromo Cultural Institute of Minnesota believes the number is much higher. Oromos are often mistaken for Somalis in Minnesota and thus not very visible, Dube said.

Dube recounted how he survived years of persecution in Ethiopia as an Oromo activist, including repeated arrests, beatings, threats and a murder attempt.

Ethiopian security forces have killed more than 400 protesters and others and arrested tens of thousands more during widespread protests in the Oromia region since November 2015, according to Human Rights Watch.

United Oromo Voices aims to inform Americans that Ethiopia is the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid among low-income countries, funds they say support a government that terrorizes the Oromos by unlawfully arresting them, imprisoning, torturing and even killing them.

The St. Paul-based Center for Victims of Torture sees more Oromos than any other ethnicity, said Curt Goering, the center’s executive director.

Staff there treat torture victims’ physical wounds — broken bones and perforated eardrums — and provide counseling for the psychological ones, Goering said.

“It gives you some sense of the magnitude of the severity of the human rights violations,” Goering said on the panel.

Sen. John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin, attended the discussion to show support for the Oromo, many of whom are his constituents, he said.

“My neighbors are Oromo, my best friends are Oromo,” said Hoffman, who authored a Minnesota Senate resolution in 2014 calling out Ethiopia for killing 85 college students.

Pending resolutions in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives condemn the Ethiopian government’s human rights violations — including allegedly killing hundreds and arresting thousands of dissidents, journalists and other civilians — and demand political prisoners’ release.

Kathleen Seestadt, an event organizer and group member, has been working with the Oromo community since 2001. The night was a success, especially because many non-Oromos showed up, she said.

“The real challenge is to get people who don’t know the Oromos [to come],” Seestadt said.


The Oromo Alternative: Freedom, Equality, Justice and Dignity in a Participatory Democracy November 19, 2017

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

The Oromo Alternative: Freedom, Equality, Justice and Dignity in a Participatory Democracy

By Ezekiel Gebissa & Jawar Mohammed, Horn Arguments,  November 17, 2017


 

The Oromo Protest, approaching its fourth year, is now an established historical fact as an Oromia-wide, yearlong resistance movement involving the entire Oromo population. Despite frustrating obstacles to the attainment of its broad goals, the resistance has had many successes. It has rocked an entrenched authoritarian political system to its roots, nibbling down the Ethiopian federal government to paralysis and compelling the Oromia regional government to embrace the demands of the Oromo people. It has exposed the inequities of an economic system purported to be on an inexorable trajectory of growth and broad-based benefits for all citizens. The Ethiopian military, the third largest in Africa, deployed extensively to put down the resistance, was shown to be impotent against unarmed but determined protestors. In sum, the Oromo Protest, an epochal event in Ethiopia’s history, has occasioned the rise of an emergent Oromo nation and a resurgent Oromo nationalism.

In the last half century, the goals of Oromo nationalists have always been the same as the political demands of other Ethiopians. But when the Oromo raise them, they invariably evoke a rhetorical question: “What do the Oromo really want?” This is not an honest query but a mischievous scheme designed to marginalize the Oromo nation, disparage Oromo political demands, and criminalize the Oromo nationalist movement. It is a ploy employed by Ethiopia’s powerholders to make the Oromo the perpetual outsider and cast the Oromo national movement into a subversive nationalism.

Within the framework of this ploy, Oromo nationalism is consistently labeled as a separatist movement that injects discord into domestic politics and threatens the stability of the existing state system in the Horn. In scholarly literature, Oromo nationalists are depicted as disciples of Eritrean secessionists whose objective is the dismemberment of the Ethiopian state. In Ethiopian popular consciousness, Oromo nationalists came to represent a relic of the era of liberation movements who, unlike the levelheaded “democrats” of our time, want to tear down the state, subvert democracy, thwart development and disrupt peace. Simply put, Oromo nationalism was rendered a genie that should be kept inside the bottle.

The eminent British anthropologist Paul Baxter observed this phenomenon nearly forty years ago. In a definitive article published 1978, “Ethiopia’s Unacknowledged Problem: The Oromo,” he wrote:

The efflorescence of feelings of common nationhood and of aspirations for self-determination among the Oromo has not been much commented upon. Yet the problem of the Oromo people has been a major and central one in the Ethiopian Empire ever since it was created by Minilik in the last two decades of the nineteenth century.  If the Oromo people only obtain a portion of the freedoms which they seek then the balance of political power in Ethiopia will be completely altered. If the Oromo act with unity they must necessarily constitute a powerful force.

For the next four decades, even though both the Oromo nation and Oromo nationalism continued to play a critical role in matters of war and peace, in the formation and fall of regimes, and in the quest for equality and justice, the Oromo question remained Ethiopia’s unacknowledged problem that must be confined the periphery of Ethiopian politics.

Ethiopia’s Unacknowledged Problem

The contemporary Oromo struggle emerged during the revolutionary fervor of the late 1960s as a movement against national and class oppression. During this time, the impoverished, overtaxed and landless Oromo peasants Bale presented their grievances in an armed rebellion, the Bale Rebellion, which lasted several years. Oromo elite who served in the imperial regime as civilian and military officials, realizing that their place was always subordinate to the dominant Amhara, started to join the nationalist camp. In 1963, their dissatisfaction coalesced into an organized movement with the establishment of the Mecha Tulama Self-help Association (MTA).

By the late 1960s, the Bale rebellion had been quelled and the MTA had been outlawed by the imperial government. In response, Oromo nationalists founded a political organization named the Ethiopian National Liberation Front (ENLF) in 1971.  Led by Hajji Hussien Sorra, one of the leaders of Bale rebellion, the ENLF’s declared objective was to overthrow Haile Sellassi’s “feudal regime” and to create a “progressive republic” based on a decentralized union comprised of autonomous regions. Specifically, it supported land distribution to peasants, freedom of the press, release of political prisoners and the right to organize political parties and professional associations. Put succinctly, the focus of the Oromo nationalists during this period was on the restoration of human dignity for an Oromo and respect for the identity of the nation.

In the 1970s, the Ethiopian Student Movement (ESM) became the locus of opposition political activities against the imperial government. Oromo nationalists were not just members of the ESM unions but also served in various leadership roles. In these capacities, they participated in the articulation of the two major political questions, encapsulated in the motto of “land to the tiller” and “the question of nationalities,” that have since shaped Ethiopian politics. These same political demands that animated the ESM also galvanized Oromo nationalists.

The twin questions of land and identity culminated in the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974. During the early phases of the revolution, Oromo nationalists gave critical support to the Derg government for issuing the Land Nationalization Proclamation of 1975 and introducing various measures to allow cultural expressions of the various nationalities of Ethiopia. Many Oromo nationalists became leaders of the various political parties of the time including the All Ethiopia Socialist Union or Me’ison (Haile Fida) and the Revolutionary Struggle of Ethiopia’s Oppressed or Eche’at (Baro Tumsa) and the League of the Proletariat or Wez Liig (Senay Likki). Once the Derg consolidated its power, it made any talk of the nationalities question a treasonable crime. Oromo nationalists in urban centers were subsequently imprisoned, tortured and killed. Oromo farmers in the eastern region were labelled collaborators of the Said Barre regime, rounded up indiscriminately and summarily executed.

In the aftermath of this unparalleled brutality, some Oromo nationalists joined the armed struggle in the Chercher highlands in the East. At the same time, Oromo nationalist intellectuals framed Oromo nationalist goals in terms of freedom from the Amhara nafxanya class who had oppressed and persecuted Oromo peasants and from the descendants of the nafxanya in urban areas who kept Oromo professionals in perpetual second class status. As Leenco Lata, a leading leader of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) put it in a recent interview on ESAT, “framing the Oromo national question as a colonial question was necessary because Oromoness itself was threatened with extinction by the assimilationist policies of the imperial regime.”  The political program that was sketched in the context of a worldview shaped by the prevailing realities of the time culminated in the regime change of 1991.

In the 1990s, the Oromo struggle began to move away from the guerilla movement posture it had for decade to a mass movement on Ethiopia’s national political stage. Within the framework of the language-based federal structure, the use of the Oromo language as the working language in Oromia and the use of Latin script in writing in Afaan Oromo, the Oromo people gradually overcame the cultural domination of the era of assimilation and came to realize that they have a common destiny as a unified nation. This sense of unity was reinforced by protest songs, resistance literature, cultural performances and a public display of new symbols of national pride. The annual Irreecha festival, celebrated in Bishoftu from the early 1990s onwards, became a manifestation an Oromo cultural renaissance and a nationalist struggle that had entered a more mature stage of political evolution.

By 2000, Oromo cultural consciousness, resulting from cultural renaissance and mounting deprivation caused by the barefaced exploitation of the Woyyane era, began to coalesce as an organized collective action. The forest fire of 2000 in Bale and opposition to the relocation of the capital of Oromia from Addis Ababa to Adama in 2003 prefigured a more powerful and resilient civic action that erupted a decade later in 2014. This was the university student-led protests opposing the planned implementation of the now infamous Addis Ababa and Surrounding Oromia Special Region Integrated Development Master Plan.

Since 2014, despite ebbs and flows, the Oromo protest has continued to this day. Even though this epochal phenomenon has yet to achieve its goals, it has incontrovertibly changed the face of Ethiopian politics permanently. With the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) ending its quarter century long drama of dissimulation and promoting the longstanding agenda of Oromo nationalist movement, Oromo nationalism become the leitmotif of politics in Oromia and in Ethiopia. As such, the fate of the Ethiopian polity is now inextricably linked with answering the Oromo demands for freedom, equality and justice. Ethiopia’s unacknowledged problem has been acknowledged as Ethiopia’s political problem that can no longer be externalized or pushed to the periphery.

Oromo Protest, an Oromo Renaissance

The Oromo Protest, the current stage of the long Oromo struggle, is characterized by fast, aggressive, sharp-paced resistance actions that took advantage of technology, artistic expressions and the ingenuity of organizers. Tech-savvy activists creatively employed new communication technologies—especially social media via the Internet—for the mobilization of collective action and the subsequent creation, organization, and implementation of tactical moves in pursuit of strategic goals. They were able to use the Internet to initiate and organize a broad spectrum of activities, including consumer boycotts, public protests, stay-at-home strikes, and demonstrations.

In addition to organizing and implementing collective actions on the ground in Oromia, social media technologies were used to coordinate transnational actions between activists in the diaspora and their counterparts at home. The technologies were used in promoting a sense of community and collective identity among Oromo society, creating less-confined political spaces, establishing connections with other social movements, and publicizing the Oromo cause to gain support from the global community.

One of the internal characteristics of the Oromo protests is the activists’ devotion to planning and execution of sophisticated civil actions. The activists created symbols, notably the crossed hands over the head, and employed new methods, tactics and actions which were quickly adopted by protestors in major cities, towns and villages across Oromia. Though Oromia-wide in scope, the network of activists who organized and led the protests remained invisible to the regime’s security apparatus. Unable to pin-down the organization and leadership of the protests, the regime resorted to a dragnet approach which landed leading Oromo political leaders in jail and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Oromo in concentration camps. Thousands more were forced into exile while thousands more were summarily executed by security forces acting with impunity.

Their sacrifices are not in vain. The Oromo Protest has ended the era of secretly-conceived, elite-directed and vertically-implemented bad policies. Confronting the regime with waves of demonstrations and insisting to have a voice in their government, the protestors have impressed on the current and future powerholders the true meaning of the principle of popular sovereignty. Streaming into the streets for nearly a year in the face of a heavily armed military that has no qualms raining bullets on unarmed citizens, the Oromo protesters have shown the futility of the use of brute force against a conscious and determined citizenry. Demanding respect for the constitution, the federal arrangement, and the rule of law, the protestors have defended the gains of the Oromo national movement.

Until the Oromo Protest, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) managed to remain in power by dividing the Oromo people into supporters of the “good” OPDO who are pro-peace, pro-democracy and pro-development “patriots” and of the “evil” OLF who are anti-peace, anti-democracy and anti-development “terrorists.” These dichotomies have now dissolved. The political rhetoric of the current OPDO leaders is indistinguishable from those of an OLF nationalist whom they have despised for a quarter century. Oromia government officials and diaspora-based activists now speak with one voice about the future. This signifies the convergence of Oromo interests and an emerging consensus in addressing the longstanding and current demands the Oromo people.

The apparent unity purpose among Oromo political forces is one of the enduring legacies of the Oromo Protest. Oromo demands are no longer the pawn of the competing positions enunciated in political programs. Through the slogans, chants, placards, speeches, songs and other forms of expression, the Oromo protestors have re-articulated the longstanding Oromo quest for self-determination. At this stage of the struggle, the Oromo people demand positive liberty, the freedom to exercise democratic rights, constitutional rule, respect for human rights and the right to live in peace. They also demand negative liberty or freedom from violence, authoritarian rule, deprivation, arbitrary detention, torture and murder by security forces.

Rearticulated as such it is clear that the longstanding demands of the Oromo people for self-determination are not antagonistic to the demands of all peoples in Ethiopia. They are not only the same demands as other peoples of Ethiopia but also consistent with the rights that are enumerated in the Ethiopian constitution and in notable international human rights declarations and convents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). By expressing Oromo demands so clearly and unambiguously, the Oromo protestors have rendered ineffective the TPLF’s tactic of presenting Oromo demands as a plot designed to dismember and destroy the Ethiopian state.

The Oromo Protest’s immediate impact is on the Oromia government leaders. At least three cases exemplify the new leaders’ transformation. First, when Lemma Megersa, President of the Oromia region, decided to stay away from the Irreecha celebrations of 2017, he showed a rare political acumen of exercising leadership by refraining from acting impulsively. Second, during the celebrations at Lake Arsadi, Burayuu and in other places all over Oromia, the Oromia police acted in the best police tradition that the force’s mission is “to protect and serve.” Third, after the Liyu Police of the Somali region engineered the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Oromo from the Somali region, the regional government quickly organized a relief effort to attend to the needs of the displaced. The senior leader of the OPDO, Abba Duulaa Gammada, realizing that his seat of power wasn’t matched by the authority to effect change, resigned in protest. In recent weeks, the new leaders have foiled the plot to instigate conflict between the Amhara and Oromo people and helped diffuse public fear of an impending inter-ethnic conflict by holding a solidarity conference in with the people of the people of the Amhara region.

It is true that the current OPDO leaders were forced by the resilience and determination of the Oromo Protest to respond to popular demands. Regardless, they made the right decision in choosing to heed the people’s voice, embrace the protestors’ vision and desist from doing more harm. Beyond these overall adjustments, the specific actions they made since the Ireecha festival of 2017 are important not just in resolving existing problems but also in terms of their implications for the future. A leader avoiding an opportunity to bask in limelight is a first in Ethiopia. A police force exercising restraint not to shoot at protestors sets a precedent that will be a model of police behavior in the future. A high level official giving up power rather than continue to be a hatchet man presages a new era in Ethiopian politics. The ‘reformed’ OPDO is an unmistakable example of the institutionalization Oromo nationalism.

The Oromo Protest has also reshaped Oromo nationalism forcing its intellectual leaders to reckon the many lost opportunities, strategic blunders, and self-destructive initiatives that have obviated progress toward self-determination. There is now an emerging Oromo nationalism that is pragmatic and is oriented towards solving the problems of everyday life. It is nationalism that is not and cannot be depicted as destructive, dystopian and iconoclastic. It is nationalism that is rational and has a responsible approach to nation-building. No longer the pariah in Ethiopian politics, the new generation of Oromo nationalists is now a positive force for desirable change and for devising workable solutions for Ethiopia’s future.

The Oromo Protest has shown that the force that poses a threat to the unity of Ethiopians is not the Oromo demand for self-determination, which in fact is the ultimate exercise of democratic rights, but a government that is committed to perpetuating a single group’s domination of the state by pitting against each other the various nations and nationalities in the country. The solution to the country’s ills cannot be achieved by denying the right to choose one’s ethnonational identity. The future of unity lies in the construction of a genuine multinational federation based on equality, justice, human dignity and constitutional rule. This is the Oromo alternative vision to a workable social contract for a future of peace and prosperity.

The Oromo Alternative

Nearly forty years after Paul Baxter bemoaned Oromo political marginalization and lack of unity among them, in 2012, the eminent University of Chicago sociologist, the late Donald Levine, expressed optimism about the role of the Oromo in Ethiopia in an article entitled “the Oromo vision could electrify Ethiopia.” He writes:

Oromo leaders could promote wider understanding of the democratic ethos of the remarkable political Gada system and invite themselves more robustly into the Ethiopian center, with a vigorous campaign to reform democratic procedures, protect human rights, and guarantee civil liberties for ALL Ethiopians. Such a role would be in keeping with the expansive project of the Oromo people and their most salient traditional virtues.”

The Oromo vision that Levine proposed for Ethiopia is precisely the vision that the Oromo Protest has put forth. It is a vision of a freedom, equality, justice and dignity in a participatory democracy. What makes it so compelling is that it is shaped by Oromo indigenous knowledge traditions rather by transplanted ideologies or borrowed experiences that have thus far proven to produce only failed experiments and false starts for positive change. The Oromo vision reaffirms Oromo democratic ethos, notions of inclusive economic development, principles of peace-maintenance and respect for human rights rather than by opposition to the now defunct Ethiopian colonialism. As such, it offers a refreshing alternative to the current one-party dictatorship and holds out a realistic hope for attaining a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Ethiopia.

In addition, Oromo nationalism is no longer an urban-centered movement led by a handful of elites but a broad-based social movement involving Oromos from all walks of life. Protests occurred in all of the twenty-one zones of Oromia and in over 200 cities and numerous villages. The absence of a distinct class of elite leaders did not result in chaos and the reign of unruliness in Oromia during the protests. Despite the effort to fan inter-ethnic suspicion and instigate conflict, the protest exercised great restraint not to let emotions run high and create a circumstance where non-Oromo citizens in Oromia could be harmed. By acting responsibly, the protestors have shown that Oromo nationalism isn’t a negative nationalism that poses a threat to non-Oromo or to Ethiopia’s unity but a movement rooted in the Oromo tradition of social inclusiveness, tolerance and willingness to relate to non-Oromo on the basis of common humanity.

These are positive reasons as to why non-Oromo Ethiopians should find a more reliable, stable, and enduring partner in Oromo leaders to create people-based solidarity against domination. Because of the new realities in Ethiopia, solidarity is now possible on the basis of broadly shared democratic, cultural and geographic values. The majority of Ethiopians are members of a national community of the badly governed. The risk of not having solidarity is too grave and the penalty of refusing to forge one too high. That imposes the moral imperative of seeking solidarity based not on ill-defined uniformity or uncritical acceptance of the other but on common ground and common purpose, and mutual acceptance of each other’s differences, and a willingness to tolerate each other’s excesses. It is solidarity for a more positive future which envisions a shared commitment to the ideals of democracy, human rights, government accountability and transparency and other ideas of both positive and negative freedoms.

Even governments who have interest in the Horn of Africa region should find in the Oromo a more credible and better alternative to the incumbent regime to stabilize the region. This is not to suggest that the Oromo cause should be subservient to the needs of the rest of the world, but a simple statement that the Oromo peoples’ quest for fundamental human rights, rooted in its own heritage and traditional values, is not antithetical to international principles that have avoided conflict and sustained peace in the world. Oromo nationalist leaders realize that the Oromo cause is more attainable if it is aligned with the needs of the international community.

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF)’s another genocide plan (state terrorism). Wal-gahiin Mana-maree nageenya biyyoolessaatiin taa’ame shoroorka’u TPLF mul’isa. November 13, 2017

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

TPLF Ethiopia regime federal security officers conduct mass torture in Kilinto and Maikelawi jails.png

AS EXCLUSIVE: DOCUMENT PRESENTED AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING REVEALS ETHIOPIA FACING ALARMING MULTI-FRONT CRISIS

Addis Standard, 12 November 2017

Major points discussed in the document include:

  • The country’s federal system is facing imminent threat
  • Security breakdown contributing to rising public anxiety
  • Immeasurable human and material cost caused by recent conflicts
  • Absence of rule of law prevalent
  • Security crisis negatively impacting the economy
  • Diminishing foreign aid due to human rights related concerns
  • Crippling effect on the tourism industry as well as hurting the country’s image
  • Security crisis curtailing the ability of the security establishment to discharge its constitutional 

Although It Mentions Egypt And Eritrea As Two Foreign Agitators, The Document Squarely Blames The Crisis On The “Internal Vulnerability” Of Current Leadership

It proposes the establishment of a joint command post/joint committee between the federal and regional security establishment 

 

Addis Abeba, November 12/2017 – A document assessing the current security and political situation in Ethiopia and was presented at the National Security Council meeting, held on Friday Oct. 10/2017, revealed in detail that Ethiopia was currently confronted with alarming level of multi-front crisis.

The meeting was held at the office of PM Hailemariam Desalegn and was attended by Siraj Fegessa, minister of defense & head of the National Security Council, General Samora Yenus, chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and other high level federal intelligence and defense officials, presidents of regional states and their security officials, as well as federal and regional state senior members of the police and the militia.

The document, which was jointly prepared by the country’s intelligence and defense officials, and was viewed exclusively by Addis Standard, reveals that the current security crisis, which was exacerbated by the prevalent of “absence of rule law”, was the most serious of all threats the country was facing as of late. It blames that”lawlessness” and “dissent” were alarmingly taking national forms by expanding throughout the country, threatening the federal system. Such incidents, according to the document, were fueling public anxiety and loss of confidence in the government.

“Genocide” 

But the most disturbing detail in the document was the part in which it discussed the recent violence in several towns and villages within the Ethio-Somali and Oromia regional states, which resulted in the death of unknown numbers of civilians and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Oromos from the Ethio-Somali regional state as well as hundreds of Ethio-Somalis from towns in Oromia regional state.

The document described the situation as having “resulted in genocide and mass displacement of people; witnessed inhuman and atrocious killings of civilians; and created a moral and psychological scar among the victims.”  It further said that this incident revealed the presence and prevalence of an “unnamed terrorist organization which “has not taken responsibility” for the crimes committed. “The people have lost trust in their constitutional right to move freely and live peacefully.”

The document also mentioned the proliferation of arms within the country and its nature in changing hands among various ‘agent provocateurs’.  The combined effect of this was crippling the country’s security apparatus to discharge its constitutional duty because it was engaged in “putting conflicts sprouting in several places under control”.

Economy & tourism 

The economy is severely hurting, according the document, and the flow of foreign currency was drying. Foreign aid, too, was diminishing due to conditions attached to human rights abuses, and the country’s tourism was significantly affected and its image tainted. But most alarmingly, the document admitted that domestic investment was facing heavy challenges and unprecedented level of capital flight by those who have already invested in the country was seen recently. The economy was also affected by stockpiling of commodities as well as the proliferation of money laundering by increasing numbers of individuals; and it admitted that the country’s taxation system was unable to collect due taxes to help the economy, which was also hit by “illegal export of prohibited commodities” through organized illegal traders.

Blame on leadership

The document mentions Eritrea and Egypt as well as the presence of a coordinated cyber propaganda as fueling tensions within the country; but at the same time it puts the blame on the vulnerability of  the political leadership and its inability to address public grievances in the last two and half years. It also points fingers at the direct involvement of the leadership in recent conflicts. Instead of guiding the public and the youth to productive ways of live, it says, the leadership was involved in guiding them to dissent and destruction, immersing itself in a zero sum game. “The problem is political”, it says, and “it can only be solved politically.”

Joint command post/joint committee

But its recommendation is an establishment of a joint command post (sometimes referred in the document as mere “joint committee”) between the federal and regional security establishments.

The immediate aim of this joint command post/joint committee was highlighted in eight different points. This include the work that needed to be done to secure the free movement of people from places to places; securing major roads throughout the country on 24 hour bases of patrolling; bringing to justice those who were involved in recent conflicts; prohibiting of illegal rallies; rehabilitation of displaced Ethiopians back to their homes; strict control of anti-public armed forces; control of the movement of illegal arms, human trafficking as well as contraband trades; as well as strengthening of the security apparatus at every level.

This joint command post/joint committee, would be organizing a monthly joint meeting between federal and regional security establishment after/on the second week of every month; and it would be submitting its reports directly to the Prime Minister’s office.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, which last for several hours, Siraj Fegessa said that a consensus  between federal and regional states was reached to coordinate the security establishment of both to tackle the growing security crisis. “We have evaluated the security risk in the country which has been recurring since last year and we have prepared a detailed plan to control the situation,” Siraj was quoted by a local newspaper as saying . “We met with the stakeholders since we have to work together.”

Addis Standard received further information that there would be additional similar meetings to hammer out more details on the document, which was distributed as a working paper to everyone who participated in the meeting held at the PM’s office on Friday.

AS


Click here to read related article from OE sources: Ethiopia: Government-Fuelled Conflict & the Need for Unity




Wal-gahiin Mana-maree nageenya biyyoolessaatiin taa’ame shoroorka’u TPLF mul’isa.

Awash Post, Sadaasa, 12, Bara 2017


Manni-Maree nageenyaa biyyoolessaa jeeqamuu, nagaa fi tasgabbii dhabuu biyyattii irratti marii taasisee jira. Keessattu haala naannoo Oromiyaa keesssa jiru irratti mariin kan xiyyeeffate. Mariin kunis kan gaggeeffame waajjira Minstera Muummee Haayilamaariyaam Dassaalanyitti ture. Walitti qabaan mana mari nageenyaa Muummichi Ministera HD fi Ministerri Ittisaa biyyaa fi hogganaa Mana-maree Nageenyaa obbo Siiraaj Fageessaatin gaggeeffameera. Humnoonni nageenyaa federaalaa fi naannoo, pireezdaantonni naannolee, koomishinaroonni poolisii fi ajajoonni Raayyaa Ittisaa biyyaa marii kana irraa qooda fudhataniiru.

Marii ol’aantummaa isaani kabjsiisuu fi qor-qalbii isaani tasgabbeessu raawwachuu irraa woyyaanonni takkaa duubatti hin jenne. Barbaachisummaan marii kanaas nagaa fi tasgabbiin Oromiyatti qixa barbaadamuun argamuu dhabuu fi karoora nageenyaa kallattii funduraa irratti kaayuudha. Ajandaan dhoksaa marichaas sochii fi gaaffi ummanni Oromoo dhimma abbaa biyyummaa fi dimokraasii irratti kaasaa jiru humnaan danquuf kan kiyyeeffameedha. Qaamolee nageenya federaalaa fi naannoo diriirsuun sagalee ummataa ukkaamsuudha. Qor-qalbii qeerroo fi dhageetti bulchiinsa haaraa OPDO’s cabsuu ni barbaadu.
Haa ta’uu malee ummanni Oromoo sodaa marii nageenyaati miti; labsiin hatattamaa fi ajajni garee komaandi postitiin baati 10f kennamaa ture gaafi fi fedhii ummataa dhaabuu akka hin dandeenye ifa. Hidhaa, tumaa fi dhiigni balbala Oromoo hundatti dhangala’aa ture qabsoo cimse malee tasuma hin gufachiifne. Marii fi konfiransii nageenyaa jechuun qabeenya ummataa fi mootummaa qisaasuu irra gaafi fi yaada ummataa dhaga’uun furmaata waaraa ture. Kana gochuuf woyyaaneen ijaa fi gurra hin arganne. Tuffiin cimaanis keessaa isaaniti belbela. BMNO fi hawaasa bal’aa wajjiin dhimma furmaata ta’uu malu: hidhamaa hiikuu, kan ajjeefamani, qe’ee fi qabeenya irraa buqqa’aniif beenyaa barbaachisu kaffaluu irratti ifaan mari’achuu male. Gochaan hammeenyummaa fi gar-jabeenyaa poolisii federaalaa, Agaazii fi woraanna ittisa biyyaatin ummata Oromoo irratti raawwataa turanif ummataa fi bulchiinsa naannootiin kabaja woyyaaneen barbaaddu mulqamuunis mata dhukkubbi cimaa itti ta’eera.

Qaamolee nageenya naannoo fi federaalaatiin rukutamuu, butamuu fi ajjeefamuun ummata Oromoo haaraa hin turre. Sirna bulchiinsa woyyaanee keessatti Oromoon kanuma keessumeessaa, argaa fi dhaga’aa as gahe. Mariin Manni-maree Nageenyaa biyyaalessaa kaleessa gaggeesse kan calqabaatis miti. Erga labsiin mana marii nageenya biyyoolessa hundeessuu lakk.257/2001 bahee amata 16 ta’eera. Labsichi duras kallattii fi al-kallattiin hojima irra ture. Yeroo rakkoo fi nagaatis dhimmuma itti bahaa turan. Kanaaf maqaa wal-gahii, marii fi konfaransitin shirri qabsoo Oromoo danquuf taasifamu hundi nageenyaa fi tasgabbi biyyaas hin fidu; falmii fi qabsoo ummata Oromootis tasuma gufachiisuu hin danda’u.

It is a mistake to ignore the emancipatory potential of the Oromo movement November 11, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Oromian Affairs, Oromian Voices, Oromians Protests, Uncategorized.
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A post written by someone named Wond Wossen about what’s currently transpiring in Ethiopia has been circulating on my social media sphere (find the link to his post at the bottom of this page). Upon seeing it I could not help but write another perspective because the points raised by Wond Wossen are not only problematic but also commonly expressed. I find many problems with his analysis.
Let me just mention a few:
Like most political analyses on Ethiopia, Wond Wossen makes the grave mistake of centering elites at the expense of ordinary people’s movement for justice. He frames what’s happening in Ethiopia today as a simple struggle between two factions of the same ruling elite. In doing so, he has completely erased the struggle that the Oromo people have been waging for decades. For the past 50 years, Oromos have been articulating and demanding for a transformation of Ethiopia’s political, social and economic and cultural space. More recently, the Oromo protests from 2014 onwards has brought to the fore the most pressing issues not only in Oromia but across Ethiopia—issues of land grab, unjust imprisonment, economic marginalization, denial of civil liberties, repression of all sorts, lack of political representation, nepotism and corruption and so on. For three consecutive years, Oromo people have been demonstrating against a violent regime and forcing it to contend with their demands. Remember, the cancellation of the Master plan?
Wond Wossen, like so many Ethiopian analysts, fails to recognize the emancipatory potential the Oromo movement has not only for the region but also for Ethiopia at large. Not only does he completely dismiss the just Oromo movement, he also reduces the Oromo public to mere cheerleaders for power. He seems to suggest that the only thing the wider Oromo public—whether in the diaspora or in Ethiopia — are interested in is to see some Oromo faces in what he considers to be “powerful positions” in the federal government. He could not be more wrong. Oromo people have not been dying en masse so that some Oromo person will hold an important position within the current system. They continue to risk their lives to transform the social, political and economic culture of Ethiopia. They have been risking their lives to end economic, political and social marginalization. He does not seem to know much about the historical relationship between OPDO and the Oromo public. In so far as Oromo people are rallying behind the new OPDO leadership, it is cautiously, as artist Jambo Jote told top ranking members of OPDO at a gathering last week. Unlike what Wond Wossen suggests, the Oromo public is not going to settle for mere cosmetic changes. They have not been dying on the streets to see some OPDO faces in power while they are ripped from their lands, their family, friends and comrades languishing in prison and their political life reduced to rubber stamping 100% wins for EPRDF. Whatever new rhetoric and project OPDO has developed it can be understood only in the context of the Oromo movement. OPDO leaders did not wake up one morning and thought, “today, we have to challenge the TPLF for federal power”.
Sadly, Wond Wossen is not alone in erasing the potential of Oromo movements to transform Ethiopia’s long-standing authoritarian political culture and establishment. This is actually part and parcel of the problem Oromo people have with the Ethiopian state infrastructure—which dismisses Oromo aspirations, contributions, values, institutions, and political traditions. What is even sadder is this erasure is happening at a time when the Oromo people’s movement, and others that for now go unnoticed, may well be in the process of transforming the country right before our eyes.
Many analysts on Ethiopia seem to think that these lofty principles such as democracy, equality and justice will come about when supposed political parties from Ethiopia and the diaspora get together and “negotiate” on how to put the country “on the path of democracy and stability.” Wond Wossen mistakenly assumes that democracy is a top down process, arrived at after a meeting or series of meetings in American or European capitals. Isn’t that exactly how we got into the mess we are in right now? Democracy is not something that is given from above; it is the product of a balance of social forces and comes about in a given society through particular processes. Democracy, contrary to what Wond Wossen suggests, doesn’t come about because TPLF or OPDO gathers a crowd and tells them they are now free. Or because TPLF sits down with OLF and G7 and whoever else and decides to share a piece of the pie.
Wond Wossen also completely misses the fact that competition between various elites has the potential to open up space for democratic processes to emerge. The best example is when the OPDO started standing up for itself; it opened up all sorts of spaces and possibilities. Make no mistake; this is not because the OPDO has overnight transformed itself into a beacon of democracy and justice. For example, the relationship between Oromia Police and the citizens have changed dramatically. Whereas the police used to unleash violence on protesters, now they take pictures with them and there is an expectation that they will protect protesters, not shoot at them. This is something unheard of in the entirety of the EPRDF rule. Wond Wossen suggests that the Oromia Regional government returned grabbed land to its rightful owners to score points against the TPLF. In reality, one of the major demands of the Oromo protests was the issue of land grab. If OPDO is returning stolen land back to the people, it is because that is what the people have been demanding. If he thinks this is all about scoring a point, he should ask himself why the regional government could not return land in 2006 or 2012. In the same vein, he also misconstrues the actions the regional government is taking against the vast network of contraband trades in the region as mere retaliation against TPLF. However, the heart of the matter is that the contraband trade is the manifestation of the economic marginalization the people are fighting in the region. For example, Oromo Khat farmers have been impoverished while there is a flourishing multimillion-dollar Khat trade in the region. Same thing can be said about Coffee and other commodities. So, targeting the contraband trade is ensuring that the region’s people benefit from their labor. Whether or not OPDO also manages to score a point against TPLF is secondary. The point here is that political elites don’t do things out of the kindness of their hearts; they take decisive actions when there is a demand from below requiring them to act. Political situations create conditions for particular kinds of policies or actions to be taken. In doing so, they determine what is politically advantageous for them in the changing context and what is not.
Another very good example of what I am talking about can be seen in the arena of freedom of expression. On OBN, the regional State controlled media; viewers are now consuming content that would have been considered taboo just a year ago. The Oromo Federalist Congress recently held a press conference on OBN; the network is creating space for Oromo intellectuals and activists to hold hours long discussions on the most sensitive political questions. In an unprecedented gathering with top OPDO officials, some of the most critical Oromo artists expressed their opinions freely on the draconian censorship of their art. In response, Lemma Megerssa declared that the era of censorship of Oromo art has come to an end. Within days, songs that were hitherto banned from the regional TV network were on air to the delight of millions. The point here is not that certain songs were played or that interviews were held and etc. I am also not here to glorify the regional government. I am merely trying to underscore the fact that certain political conditions create space for democracy and freedom of expression among other things. This is not a gift the ‘elite’ give to the people. To think so is a huge mistake. We must see these things in light of the protests and the demands that the Oromo people continue to place upon the system. We also have to appreciate the domino effect and emancipatory potential that this will have for the rest of Ethiopia.
Needless to say, to reduce the entirety of what is happening in Ethiopia today, as a struggle between TPLF and OPDO is not only to miss the point but also to be incredibly shortsighted and miss major developments that are happening right below the surface. Unfortunately, for people who are used to viewing political change only coming from Addis and radiating to the “periphery” it must be unfathomable that Oromos, and others in the margins are transforming Ethiopia from the ‘regions’.
Here’s Wond Wossen’s post https://www.facebook.com/wondwosenn…


Ethiopia: Government-Fuelled Conflict & the Need for Unity November 10, 2017

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

Despite the governments claims to the contrary, Ethiopia is essentially a one-party state in which power is monopolized by the EPRDF, which despite claiming to be a democratic coalition, is in fact a dictatorship ruled by men from Tigray under the TPLF banner. It is an illegitimate government supported by the West, – America, Britain and the European Union (EU) being the largest benefactors – politically and economically. With the exception of the EU, these powers not only remain silent in the face of State Terrorism, but also spread Ethiopian propaganda through the mainstream media and act in collusion with the EPRDF in relation for example, to the arrest of opposition party leaders. Instead of supporting the ruling party, donors should be applying pressure on it to respect human rights and adhere to the democratic principles laid out in the country’s constitution. Their silence and dishonesty makes them complicit in the crimes of the government, which are heinous and widespread.

Ethiopia: Government-Fuelled Conflict & the Need for Unity


In an attempt to distract attention from unprecedented protests and widespread discontent, the Ethiopian Government has engineered a series of violent ethnic conflicts in the country. The regime blames regional parliaments and historic territorial grievances for the unrest, but Ethiopians at home and abroad lay the responsibility firmly at the door of the ruling party who, it’s claimed, are manipulating events.

Ancient ethnic disputes and long-forgotten wounds are being inflamed: since August hundreds of innocent people have been killed, thousands are displaced, and are now homeless and afraid. The perpetrators of the violence as well as the victims are puppets in the Theatre of Division being orchestrated by the politicians in Addis Ababa and the military men.

The ruling party first tried to inflame relations between Christians and Muslims; now they have intensified their long-term plan to divide the country’s ethnic groups. In addition to turning attention away from activists’ and opposition parties demands, their aim appears to be drive a wedge of suspicion and anger between communities and present the demonstrations as local disputes rooted in ancient ethnic feuds.

Since late 2015 unprecedented numbers of people have taken to the streets in towns and cities across the two most populated regions – Oromia and Amhara. The government reacted with intolerance and violence to this democratic outrage; hundreds were killed by security forces, thousands arrested without charge.

Unable to stop the protests and unwilling to enter into discussions with opposition groups, in October 2016, the ruling party imposed a six-month State of Emergency. The directive, which contravened a range of International laws and human rights conventions was eventually lifted in August 2017. Protests resumed virtually immediately, and, not surprisingly have been met with the same unbridled violence as before. The paranoid politicians in Addis Ababa fail to realize that with every protestor they kill, beat and arrest, anger towards their brutal rule intensifies resolve hardens.

The democratic genie is well and truly out of the bottle of suppression in Ethiopia. The people sense that this is the time for change and they will no longer be silenced.

Regime Duplicity

Ethiopia is divided into 11 regions including the capital, Addis Ababa. The government, as well as senior members of the military and judiciary, is dominated by men from Tigray, a small area in the North-East of the country. In 1995, four years after taking power, the EPRDF initiated a policy of Ethnic Federalism. Compulsory ID cards were introduced in which family ethnicity is registered. By forcing individuals (many of whom have mixed heritage) to choose an ethnic group, the scheme strengthened ethnicity and with it social division; many believe this was the intention.

Although people from different ethnic groups commonly populate regions, Ethnic Federalist policy allows for minorities to rule their own regions, fuelling resentment amongst majority groups. Segregated schools based on ethnicity have developed, regional languages are encouraged, flags flown, separate court systems and police forces allowed to evolve.

It doesn’t’t take much to irritate historic ethnic wounds, and the ruling party is adept at it. They have employed the media to stir up trouble, reminding people of past ethnic conflicts, rubbing salt into old wounds. Members of the security forces have been utilized to carry out attacks masquerading as civilians, resulting in eruptions between various ethnic groups; principally ethnic Somalis living in the Ogaden region and people in Oromia, as well as between Oromos and Amharas.

The border between Oromia and the Ogaden region is the longest in the country. It has been the subject of tensions for years, tensions that have proved ripe for orchestrating conflict between the two groups. Soldiers from the Liyu Police, a quasi-paramilitary group that has carried out terrible atrocities (such as indiscriminate killings, gang rapes, arbitrary arrests and torture) within the Ogaden region for years, have been sent into neighboring Oromia towns (dressed as civilians) to murder Oromo people. Retaliation by armed Oromos on ethnic Somalis followed.

As well as dozens of deaths, The Guardian reports that, “Residents on the Oromo side [of the border with the Ogaden] also reported widespread rapes and said they had found ID cards belonging to members of the controversial Somali special police, known as the “Liyu”, among the remains of the dead.” The Liyu Police take their orders from the Ethiopian military in the Ogaden region, and the Regional president Abdi Mohamoud Omar controls the military. In another highly provocative act in August he announced that all Oromo people should leave the Ogaden; Liyu police rooted out Oromos and drove them from the area.

The violent incidents along the Oromia-Ogaden border as well as elsewhere in the country have resulted in thousands being displaced. In the area around Harar in Oromia the Economist relates that nearly 70,000 have sought shelter just “east of the city. Several thousand more are huddling in a makeshift camp in the West. Most are Oromos.”

The Prime-Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn has blamed the regional administrations for the conflicts, declaring The Guardian records, that, “The problems have no relation to ethnic conflicts. It is our lower political leadership that commands these actions,” and these bodies, he asks us to believe, are acting totally independently of their federal masters. This is something few local people accept; most, if not all believe that the EPRDF initiated the violence “to weaken Oromo resistance to the central government.” Resistance to the EPRDF is not limited to the Oromos: the majority of the population is desperate for change. People want the regime to step down, for ‘open and fair’ democratic elections to be held in which all parties can take part, for political prisoners to be freed, for human rights to be observed and for the constitution (a liberally worded dusty document the EPRDF drafted) to be adhered to.

The need for unity

Despite the governments claims to the contrary, Ethiopia is essentially a one-party state in which power is monopolized by the EPRDF, which despite claiming to be a democratic coalition, is in fact a dictatorship ruled by men from Tigray under the TPLF banner. It is an illegitimate government supported by the West, – America, Britain and the European Union (EU) being the largest benefactors – politically and economically. With the exception of the EU, these powers not only remain silent in the face of State Terrorism, but also spread Ethiopian propaganda through the mainstream media and act in collusion with the EPRDF in relation for example, to the arrest of opposition party leaders.

Instead of supporting the ruling party, donors should be applying pressure on it to respect human rights and adhere to the democratic principles laid out in the country’s constitution. Their silence and dishonesty makes them complicit in the crimes of the government, which are heinous and widespread.

The EPRDF regime is a life-sapping cancer at the heart of the Ethiopia; it has exercised a vicious grip on the country for the last 25 years, but now there are signs that their hold on power is weakening. In addition to huge demonstrations (that would have been unheard of just a few years ago), opposition parties based outside the country have been forming alliances and a number of high-level regime resignations have taken place.

While there are a few voices among opposition groups calling for an armed uprising, the majority recognizes that the most powerful weapon against the government is unity and collective action. When the people unite, there is nothing they cannot achieve; the ruling party knows and fears this, which is why they have enforced policies that cultivate division. In the face of recent ethnic conflicts the need for unity is greater than ever, and all efforts must be made to bring people together in the pursuit of freedom and democratic change.

Ethiopia has been suffering from a super centralized TPLF autocratic, barbaric and terroristic rule.  October 9, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethiopian Empire, Ethnic Cleansing, Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights.
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For the last 26 years, Ethiopia has been suffering from a super centralized TPLF autocratic, barbaric and terroristic rule.

It is beyond dispute that the recent event witnessed in Eastern and Southern Oromia is nothing but TPLF’s last ditch futile effort at the triangulation and expansion of the conflict in the face of the ongoing broad based and persistent opposition to its repression. The Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama, Gurage, Wolayita and the other Ethiopian peoples are saying NO, in one voice, to the decades of repressions, killings, incarcerations, humiliations, displacements and robberies of their resources by the TPLF junta. The Ethiopian people are rising in unison to break out of the shackles of slavery and fear the TPLF has put them in.

It is a well established fact TPLF’s longstanding strategy of diffusing bipolar conflicts between itself and the Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama or Gurage people –just to mention the major heavy weights in Ethiopian politics in terms of shear demographic size – is triangulation of the conflict. For instance, the TPLF always attempts to add a front to the real conflict between itself and the Oromo people and between itself and the Amhara people by inciting (fabricating) conflict between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Based on this strategy, the TPLF has been attempting incessantly for the last 26 years to incite conflicts mainly between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Fortunately, the diabolical efforts by the TPLF has been rendered for the most part pre-emptively ineffective thanks to the long history of peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.

Moreover, the massive demonstrations held in Oromia and Amhara States over the recent years put, in no uncertain terms, the final nail to the coffin of this TPLF’s savage strategy triangulating the conflict as TPLF-Oromo-Amhara conflict. The dumb-founded TPLF was left with nothing but to whisk a few bribed Somali elders carrying a “10 million birr donation check” to Mekele instructing them to tell the people of Tigray that they are not alone in this and that the Somali people are by their side. This was intended not only to calm the Tigray people who have been growing increasingly isolated, nervous and uncomfortable by the latest cascades of erratic and impulsive reactions by the TPLF to suppress the popular demands but it was also to officially declare that the efforts to triangulate the conflict is moving East. It is obvious that since the strategy of triangulation of the TPLF-Oromo people bipolar conflict or TPLF-Amhara people bipolar conflict has been dealt a final blow, TPLF was forced to play what it thought was its next best card from the few diminishing cards left in its hands. In a very interesting twist of events, Seye Abraha, a rebel commander-turned-defense minister who was a member of the Politburo of the TPLF and who is believed to be one of the main authors and architects of the TPLF war doctrine went to the same place, Easter Ethiopia, in 1991 in relation to the TPLF-Oromo conflict and bragged something to the effect of “…TPLF can create a war let alone winning a war….” Fast forward – we are here today. Alas, terrorist TPLF is at it again – trying to transplant the vortex of conflict at Oromia-Somali border in order to open a new front on the Oromo people for being on the forefront of the struggle of the Ethiopian people for peace, freedom, justice and democracy. So it is evidently clear that what we are seeing unfolding right in front of our eyes in Eastern Oromia today is nothing but that strategy of the triangulation of conflict at work.


The Culprit is the TPLF – Not Ethnic Federalism 

By Aklilu Bekele,


The current horrendous situation the barbaric and kleptomaniac dictatorial TPLF regime has put Ethiopian in has brought the debate on ethnic based federalism back into the spotlight. Nowadays, barely a minute goes by without hearing or seeing the opponents of the ethnic based form of federalism in Ethiopia attempting to pound on ethnic federalism to gain the maximum political capital possible out of the bad situations and the suffering of the innocent victims of the TPLF led state terrorism. The veteran as well as the newly minted opponents of ethnic federalism are shouting at the height of their voices using any platform they can find that the ongoing war perpetuated by the TPLF regime against the Oromo people, particularly in Eastern and Southeastern Oromia, is yet another irrefutable proof for the failure of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia. They even go as far as arguing that ethnic federalism has failed in Ethiopia in and of itself out of its own shear weight and inherent nature and not because of the failure of the TPLF to implement it whole-heartedly. The way the opponents are trying to frame the debate betrays their frantic jubilant mood as if their longstanding dream had come true.

Before I delve into the counter arguments made by the proponents of ethnic federalism, allow me to throw in a few sentences about the war the TPLF is waging against the Ethiopian people of Oromo origin in Eastern Oromia. It is beyond dispute that the recent event witnessed in Eastern and Southern Oromia is nothing but TPLF’s last ditch futile effort at the triangulation and expansion of the conflict in the face of the ongoing broad based and persistent opposition to its repression. The Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama, Gurage, Wolayita and the other Ethiopian peoples are saying NO, in one voice, to the decades of repressions, killings, incarcerations, humiliations, displacements and robberies of their resources by the TPLF junta. The Ethiopian people are rising in unison to break out of the shackles of slavery and fear the TPLF has put them in.

It is a well established fact TPLF’s longstanding strategy of diffusing bipolar conflicts between itself and the Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama or Gurage people –just to mention the major heavy weights in Ethiopian politics in terms of shear demographic size – is triangulation of the conflict. For instance, the TPLF always attempts to add a front to the real conflict between itself and the Oromo people and between itself and the Amhara people by inciting (fabricating) conflict between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Based on this strategy, the TPLF has been attempting incessantly for the last 26 years to incite conflicts mainly between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Fortunately, the diabolical efforts by the TPLF has been rendered for the most part pre-emptively ineffective thanks to the long history of peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.

Moreover, the massive demonstrations held in Oromia and Amhara States over the recent years put, in no uncertain terms, the final nail to the coffin of this TPLF’s savage strategy triangulating the conflict as TPLF-Oromo-Amhara conflict. The dumb-founded TPLF was left with nothing but to whisk a few bribed Somali elders carrying a “10 million birr donation check” to Mekele instructing them to tell the people of Tigray that they are not alone in this and that the Somali people are by their side. This was intended not only to calm the Tigray people who have been growing increasingly isolated, nervous and uncomfortable by the latest cascades of erratic and impulsive reactions by the TPLF to suppress the popular demands but it was also to officially declare that the efforts to triangulate the conflict is moving East. It is obvious that since the strategy of triangulation of the TPLF-Oromo people bipolar conflict or TPLF-Amhara people bipolar conflict has been dealt a final blow, TPLF was forced to play what it thought was its next best card from the few diminishing cards left in its hands. In a very interesting twist of events, Seye Abraha, a rebel commander-turned-defense minister who was a member of the Politburo of the TPLF and who is believed to be one of the main authors and architects of the TPLF war doctrine went to the same place, Easter Ethiopia, in 1991 in relation to the TPLF-Oromo conflict and bragged something to the effect of “…TPLF can create a war let alone winning a war….” Fast forward – we are here today. Alas, terrorist TPLF is at it again – trying to transplant the vortex of conflict at Oromia-Somali border in order to open a new front on the Oromo people for being on the forefront of the struggle of the Ethiopian people for peace, freedom, justice and democracy. So it is evidently clear that what we are seeing unfolding right in front of our eyes in Eastern Oromia today is nothing but that strategy of the triangulation of conflict at work.

Apologies for digressing more than I initially wanted. Going back to my main theme of this writing, the proponents of ethnic federalism are also making their point by arguing that what is certain to have failed in Ethiopia is not the ethnic federalism form of state but the absolute centralism that has bedeviled Ethiopia for over a century. They argue that the absolute unitary dictatorship (one language and one religion policy, among others) had been tried fiercely and in earnest (whole-heartedly with absolute commitment, giving it all they had and to the fullest extent possible) in Ethiopia from Menilik to Haile Selassie to Mengistu for over a century but it failed and failed miserably. The TPLF has continued the same old tired unitary militaristic dictatorship with a thinly veiled facade of federalism. If there is anything that makes the TPLF regime different from its predecessors, it is its pretension and con artistry to create an illusion of change by marginally changing the form without changing the substance an iota, none whatsoever.

Ethiopia has never tried federalism of any form nor democracy in its history. How can we conclude that something has failed when we have not tried it whole-heartedly in the first place? What type of experimentation is that? I believe the opponents of ethnic federalism know very well that what exists in today’s Ethiopia is not any form of federalism but an absolutely centralized TPLF dictatorship. They are blaming the form instead of the substance. They are attempting to use the current TPLF war on the Oromo people in Eastern and other parts of Oromia as an opportune moment and the casus belli for the war they have already declared anyway on ethnic federalism. It is hard to fathom but one dares to ponder that the opponents of ethnic federalism are so gullible that they would believe that Ethiopia’s multifaceted and multilayered complicated problems would vanish in one day were the TPLF take off its veil of fake federalism and come out naked for what it truly is; namely, the worst dictatorial centralist regime Ethiopia has ever known. The elaborate TPLF spy network that has been installed throughout Ethiopia spanning from the TPLF politburo all the way down to the infamous one-to-five (1-2-5) structure is an irrefutable testimony to the absolute dictatorial centralism under which the TPLF regime has been ruling and plundering the Ethiopian people since it controlled the state power in May 1991. This is the truth in the today’s Ethiopia.
However, the truth doesn’t matter for the opponents. They have the propensity to kick the truth aside if it is doesn’t serve their political purposes. Their untenable and feeble argument about the failure of federalism (whatever its form may be) in Ethiopia falls flat in the face of the reality on the ground in Ethiopia. The reality in Ethiopia has been out there for everyone to see with his/her naked eyes without any need for a visual aid. For the last 26 years, Ethiopia has been suffering from a super centralized TPLF autocratic, barbaric and terroristic rule.

The opponents’ argument makes sense if and only if we accept a hypothetical premise that Ethiopia has had a democratic system for the last 26 years. Otherwise, how can we blame ethnic federalism as the cause of the crises we are seeing unfolding in Ethiopia today or for the last 26 years for that matter because federalism never works without democracy? If we don’t accept the premise that Ethiopia is a democracy today, then blaming ethnic federalism for the country’s crises is not only absurd but it is also like indicting someone who has nothing to do with the crime. In fact, pointing finger to the ethnic federalism is in tune with what the terrorist TPLF propagandists are attempting in vain these days to hoodwink and make us believe with a vivid intent of deflecting the focus away from the real issue – themselves. In a nutshell, the opponents’ argument doesn’t stand to reason nor to any meaningful scrutiny. It is rather an intentional misrepresentation of the facts on the ground in order to divert our attention away from the real problems the country has been facing and their immediate and longstanding causes.

Just for the sake of argument, let us assume that what the opponents say is true and agree to abandon our efforts to institute a genuine ethnic federalism in Ethiopia. If that is the case, then it automatically begets that we have to also abandon our struggle for democracy because democracy has also failed in Ethiopia today. I hope the opponents would not argue with the same zeal as they do against ethnic federalism that democracy is flourishing in Ethiopia under the TPLF rule. If the opponents are arguing that the democratic experimentation has succeeded but it is only the ethnic federalism that has failed in Ethiopia today, then it is worth considering going to other forms of federal systems.

However, if the opponents of ethnic federalism agree that democracy has also failed in Ethiopia today, then there is a fallacy in their argument because true federalism (whatever its form may be) cannot be implemented without democracy. Democracy is an essential pre-requisite for any form of federalism. If the opponents of ethnic federalism accept the premise that democratization has failed in the TPLF ruled Ethiopia, are they also telling us with the same breath to forgo our struggle for democracy and leave Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people at the mercy of the barbaric, plunderous terrorist TPLF? Otherwise, if they accept the glaring truth that there is no democracy in Ethiopia, then they have to shift their accusing fingers to the failure of the democratization process and the TPLF instead of the non-existent ethnic federalism. There is an Amharic saying that goes something like ‘searching for dung where no cow has been”.

I would like to conclude by stating the obvious at the risk of sounding redundant and repetitive. The reality is that what have failed in Ethiopia over and over again for over a century are dictatorship and centralism. Ethnic federalism is the only realistic antidote not only for the birth defect and chronic ailments Ethiopia has been suffering from since its inception but for its unique multicultural nature and its recorded history of ethnic repression as well. We understand that the pre-TPLF Ethiopia for which the opponents of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia are nostalgic was a heaven for them but that doesn’t mean it was the same for everyone. The pre-TPLF and the TPLF Ethiopia is the same hell for the majority of the Ethiopian people. We, in the freedom camp, are striving to create an Ethiopia that is free, fair and just, an Ethiopia that treats all its citizens equal, an Ethiopia that is democratic, multicultural and ethnic federalist that we all call home and be proud of.

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

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

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

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

Escalating Tensions

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

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

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

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

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

Signs of Collapse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Divided elites

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

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

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

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

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

Precipitating factors

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

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

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

Growing fragility

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

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

Political fragmentation

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

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

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

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

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

Call for action

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

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

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

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

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


 

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

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

HRW

The Long Arm of Ethiopia Reaches for Those Who Fled

Ethiopia’s Refugees Unsafe in Kenya and Elsewhere

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

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Uncategorized.
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clashes

Addis Abeba, September 01/2017 – Intense fighting between the Ethiopian Somali and the Oromo ethnic groups in the eastern Ethiopia has left “more than 30 people”, including “more than a dozen army members”, dead and several others injured, Addis Standard learned.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Related:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Illegal detention and refoulement of Somali refugee to Ethiopia

31 August 2017

 


Photo courtesy of the Horn Observer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ONLF calls upon:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The press release is downloadable by clicking here.

Somalia: Will the Real Farmaajo Please Stand Up? June 2, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethiopian Empire, Ethnic Cleansing, Somalia.
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The recent visit by newly-elected President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, can be considered as unusual, not because the relations between the two countries soured in the aftermath of his election, but because he subtly campaigned for an anti-Ethiopian slogan on the eve of the 8 February presidential elections in Mogadishu. His supporters and many other Somalis had anticipated that Farmaajo would delay an early political engagement with the current Ethiopian regime led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)/The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Farmaajo’s visit culminated in a press conference held together with the Ethiopian Prime Minister HailemariamDesalegn.

When one combines the discursive analysis with a psychosomatic assessment on the video clip of the press conference in Addis Ababa, it can be observed from the faces of the once overconfident TPLF/EPRDF policy-makers that they appear to be anxious about another – in addition to Eritrea, or even South Sudan or the Sudan – critical political façade from Mogadishu. This does not mean that they are unaware that Mogadishu government remains utterly toothless, but a small amount of criticism towards their behaviour and practices in the Horn in general and Somalia in particular stemmingfrom the new team in the Villa Somalia would add an insult to theinjury. Therefore, the approach from which the TPLF/EPRDF policy-makers could benefit most at this time is through appeasing Farmaajo and making him sleep with friendly but forged overdose diplomatic gesture.The speeches made in the news conference indicated that the TPLF/EPRDF regime in Ethiopia were not only sceptical about the new development in Mogadishu, but they were wary about what Farmaajo would put on the table. However, upon assessing him closely, they seem to have found out that he is not the man they feared.

The TPLF/EPRDF policy-makers were expecting Ethiopia to be the first country to which Farmaajo was to travel following his election. Instead, Addis Ababa became the seventh after Riyadh, Nairobi, Abu Dhabi, Djibouti, Aman and Ankara, in the capital cities that he visited thus far. The wide public support the Somali public welcomed Farmaajo’s election, which was itself a reaction towards the detested regime of Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, has revealed to the TPLF/EPRDF policy-makers that they could not dictate, as they had done with the corrupt regime of Hassan Sheikh, with their own terms what they need from Somalia. Hence the importance to find a new route out of the anxiety in the TPLF/EPRDF inner circle generated by the Farmaajo’s unexpected election. I still recall vividlyafter the previous president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud went to Jigjiga unannounced in early August last year, I met Farmaajo, sipping a tea at Sarova Panafric Hotel in one cool Nairobi afternoon. After reading to him my take on the visit from my mobile phone, I looked Farmaajo and saw his reaction was mild.

Influential Somali opinion makers have every reason to be a bit sceptical of any dealings with Ethiopia, but one has todraw to their attention to the fact that there is no such an ‘Ethiopia’ at the moment. The TPLF/EPRDF regime is currently in a weakposition, insofar as it suffers from internal power struggles exacerbated by the increasing Oromo and Amhara dissents. Historically, for so long, the Ethiopian political order hasbeen dependent for existence and survival on the character of a powerful ruler. Upon the death of the former Tigray rebel leader Meles Zenawi, the TPLF/EPRDF central committee failed to come up with a powerful successor at par with the deceased leader from the Tigray political actors within the ruling party. No need to note that HailemariamDesalegn is another DaherRayaale (the former accidental Somaliland president); Desalegnwas chosen to create a balance between the two Tigray groups vying for power tiresomely during the post-Zenawi period. Be that as it may, Ethiopia is still under the state of emergency that was declared in October last year as a result of riots instigated by the Master Plan project which attempted to displace a significant number of Oromos from their farming lands on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. The Oromo uprising, supported by Amhara unrest, created a confusion and chaos within the TPLF/EPRDF, leading to accusations and counter-accusations as reported by the suppressed print media.

Tourists and travellers are still cautioned not to venture into Amhara and Oromo regions unless that is necessary. The only region the TPLF/EPRDF authorities effectively (remote)-controls from Addis Ababa is the Somali region which, because of the divisive clan-based politics, they were able dividing the Somalis along clan, even sub-clan or sub-subclan lines in order to fish out from their persistent power and resource contestation. Consequently, the Somali region is next to Tigray region, which many (but not all) are obedient to the TPLF/EPRDF regime due to ethnic affiliation with the TPLF. This does not imply that people in the Somali region support the regime; they are on the contrary waiting for a momentum to articulate their own self-determination as was nearly achieved but missed in late 1994. In Addis Ababa last year, when I asked about the appalling human rights situation in the Somali region, several TPLF/EPRDF regime advisers told me they would kick out the Somali region’s monocratic president Abdi Mohamed Omar, known as ‘Abdi Ileey’, but they expressed a fear that his replacement may open a Pandora’s box. This is a clear testimony that, insofar as they keep a tight grip on the region, they would be fine with the open-ended oppression. However, they could not apply this harsh policy to the Amhara or Oromo regions where people are more united and politically well-informed in the Ethiopian politics than the pastoralist clanically-divided (mostly) nomadic Somalis in the region. When I visited Jigjiga in April last year, I felt amused that the peculiar yet parochial question was: which sub-clan is larger than that or this to cut the larger cake from the regional state?.

Reflecting on these empirical localised internal political nuances, the Somali-Ethiopian relations in the broader geopolitics or biopolitics warranta very close but critical re-reading to envisage Addis Ababa’s future manoeuvres in Somalia. Unlike foreign policies of the successive Somalia regimes, which have often been inconsistent, incoherent, incomprehensive and unclear, the TPLF/EPRDF foreign policy changes as the need emerge. It comes as no surprise that both political (and military) culture of the TPLF/EPRDF draws from a reformed rational political calculation that solicits to buy a brief interval in every time of transition. It seems on the surface that this philosophy is based on ‘do this now, but do the other with the right time’.

Farmaajo and his team do not seem to understand the fragile situation of the Ethiopian regime, let alone what is going on the inner circle or the behind-the-scenes. Most strikingly, they appear unable to read the subtle ways the history is profoundly manipulated to construct or craft something meaningful out of it. For instance, one wonders why Farmaajo’s team did not raise their concerns when the TPLF/EPRDF cadres put on his back during the press conference this clear message: ‘Welcome to Ethiopia, the Land of Origins’, which literally means ‘welcome to your land of origins’. From the Ethiopian ‘highlander’ historical point of view, Somalis are considered as were part and parcel of the Ethiopian Empire through the ages. One could recall Emperor Haile Selassie’s famous speech in QabriDaharre in 1956, in which he boldly stated to his audience that Somalis and Ethiopians are the same, since ‘we drank water drawn from the same river’. The Ethiopian Herald published at the time some Somali elders kissing his hand with scornful manner unaccustomed to then proud Somalis. Several highlander Ethiopian historians and other Ethiopianists stick to this day to the notion that Somalis were once part of Ethiopian Empire, which is a false premise that can be counter-checked with available archaeological evidence and historical findings that Afar, Oromo, Saho, Somali and other lowland ethnic communities in the Horn of Africa had been the founders and defenders of the Adal and Ujuuraan sultanates well before the Abyssinian intrusion in 1887.

Mohamed Haji Ingiriis

Mohamed Haji Ingiriis a Somali scholar studying Somali history at the University of Oxford. He can be reached at: ingiriis@yahoo.com

Oakland Institute: World Bank Fuels Land Grabs in Africa Through Shadowy Financial Sector Investments May 4, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia.
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“Tens of millions of hectares of land on the African continent have been grabbed by foreign investors in recent years. This has led to loss of life, land, and livelihoods for millions, and threatened the very survival of entire communities and indigenous groups,” commented Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute. “The World Bank must acknowledge that this is not development. It is not poverty reduction. These are investments for corporate profits that exploit and displace people.”



In Africa, the investigation uncovered 11 projects backed by IFC clients that have transferred approximately 700,000 hectares of land to foreign investors. The projects include agribusiness concessions in the Gambela region of Ethiopia that were cleared of their indigenous inhabitants during a massive forcible population transfer campaign in the area; oil palm plantations in Gabon that have destroyed 19,000 hectares of rainforest and infringed on the customary land rights of local communities; and a gold mine in Guinea that led to the violent forced eviction of 380 families.  

“These projects are antithetical to the World Bank’s mission of fighting poverty through sustainable development,” said David Pred, Managing Director of Inclusive Development International.



World Bank Fuels Land Grabs in Africa Through Shadowy Financial Sector Investments

May 1, 2017


World Bank fuels land grabs in Africa through shadowy financial sector investments


Oakland, CA—The World Bank Group has indirectly financed some of Africa’s most notorious land grabs, according to a report by a group of international development watchdogs. The World Bank’s private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is enabling and profiting from these projects by outsourcing its development funds to the financial sector.

Unjust Enrichment: How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in AfricaThe report, Unjust Enrichment: How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in Africa, was released today by Inclusive Development International, Bank Information Center, Accountability Counsel, Urgewald and the Oakland Institute.

“Pouring money into commercial banks that are driven only by profit motivations is not the way to foster sustainable development,” said Marc Ona Essangui, Executive Director of Brainforest and winner of the Goldman environmental prize in 2009. “In Gabon, this development model has instead enabled a massive expansion of industrial palm oil, which threatens our food security and the ecological balance of Congo Basin’s ancient rainforests.”

“Tens of millions of hectares of land on the African continent have been grabbed by foreign investors in recent years. This has led to loss of life, land, and livelihoods for millions, and threatened the very survival of entire communities and indigenous groups,” commented Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute. “The World Bank must acknowledge that this is not development. It is not poverty reduction. These are investments for corporate profits that exploit and displace people.”

The report is based on a yearlong investigation conducted by Inclusive Development International, which found that IFC-supported commercial banks and private equity funds have financed projects across the world that have forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of people and caused widespread deforestation and environmental damage. In Africa, the investigation uncovered 11 projects backed by IFC clients that have transferred approximately 700,000 hectares of land to foreign investors.

The projects include agribusiness concessions in the Gambela region of Ethiopia that were cleared of their indigenous inhabitants during a massive forcible population transfer campaign in the area; oil palm plantations in Gabon that have destroyed 19,000 hectares of rainforest and infringed on the customary land rights of local communities; and a gold mine in Guinea that led to the violent forced eviction of 380 families.

“These projects are antithetical to the World Bank’s mission of fighting poverty through sustainable development,” said David Pred, Managing Director of Inclusive Development International. “They also make a mockery of the IFC’s social and environmental Performance Standards, which are supposed to be the rules of the road for the private sector activities that the IFC’s intermediaries support.”

The report is the fourth of the investigative series Outsourcing Development: Lifting the Veil on the World Bank’s Lending Through Financial Intermediaries, which follows the trail of IFC money and examines at how it impacts communities around the world.

Inclusive Development International’s yearlong investigation uncovered 134 harmful or risky projects financed by 29 IFC financial-sector clients. These projects are found in 28 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. A database of the findings can be found here.

In response to the concerns raised in the Outsourcing Development investigation and by the IFC’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, IFC Executive Vice President Philippe Le Houérou recently acknowledged the need for the World Bank Group member to re-examine its work with financial institutions. In a blog post from April 10, Le Houérou wrote that the IFC would make “some important additional improvements to the way we work,” by scaling back the IFC’s high-risk investments in financial institutions, increasing its oversight of financial intermediary clients and bringing more transparency to these investments, among other commitments.

The IFC has also exited investments in banks highlighted by the Outsourcing Development investigation, including ICICI and Kotak Mahindra in India and BDO Unibank in the Philippines.

“We welcome the IFC’s new commitments to encourage a more responsible banking system by increasing its oversight and capacity building of financial sector-clients moving forward,” said Pred. “However, rather than simply divest, we want to see the IFC work with its clients to redress the serious harms that communities have suffered as a result of the irresponsible investments that we have brought to light.”

“IFC’s collusion in land-grabbing in Africa is deeply shocking, so its pledge to reduce high risk lending to banks is welcome, said Kate Geary, Forest Campaign Manager for Bank Information Centre Europe. “But how can we be sure when there is no disclosure of where over 90 per cent of IFC’s money invested through third parties ends up? The IFC’s financial sector clients must come clean about projects they are financing so they can be held accountable to their commitments to invest responsibly.”

Financial-sector lending represents a dramatic shift in how the IFC does business. After decades of lending directly to companies and projects, the World Bank Group member now provides the bulk of its funds to for-profit financial institutions, which invest the money as they see fit, with little apparent oversight. Between 2011 and 2015, the IFC provided $40 billion to financial intermediaries such as commercial banks and private equity funds. Other development finance institutions have followed suit.


Unjust Enrichment: How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in Africa is available at:

https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/unjust-enrichment-ifc-profits-land-grabbing-africa

The Outsourcing Development series is available at: http://www.inclusivedevelopment.net/outsourcing-development

A database of IFC Financial Intermediary sub-Investments with serious social, environmental and human rights risks and impacts is available at:

https://goo.gl/UZ90PI

For more information, please contact:

David Pred, Managing Director of Inclusive Development International: +1 917-280-2705; david@inclusivedevelopment.net; Twitter: @preddavid

Kate Geary, Forest Campaign Manager at BIC Europe: +44 7393 189175; kgeary@bankinformationcenter.org

Moritz Schröder, Communications Director at Urgewald: +49 17664079965, moritz@urgewald.org

Kindra Mohr, Policy Director at Accountability Counsel: +1 202-742-5804, kindra@accountabilitycounsel.org, Twitter: @AccountCounsel

Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute: +1 510-469-5228; amittal@oaklandinstitute.org, Twitter: @MittalOak


 

Quartz Africa: Ethiopia’s humans rights problems may tank its ambition to become a global apparel center May 4, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model.
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Ethiopia’s humans rights problems may tank its ambition to become a global apparel center

BY Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, 4 May 2017

Ethiopia wants companies that make clothes to view it as one of the world’s most hospitable places to operate. Low employee wages and cheap power have led foreign companies to gravitate towards the Horn of Africa nation in recent years. The government recognizes the strategic importance of garment and textile making, and has continued to invest in the sector by constructing large industrial parks like the Hawassa Industrial Park.

But its land and human rights problems could jeopardize that ambition, according to a new report from risk consultancy firm Verisk Maplecroft. Protests over land reform and political participation have rocked the country since 2015, leading to the reported death of hundreds of people and the detention of tens of thousands of others.

“The sector remains exposed to a host of political, social and environmental risks,” says Emma Gordon, a senior Africa analyst with Verisk. And “many of these issues are unlikely to be resolved over the coming five to ten years.”

These concerns could affect the cotton industry, and limit the opportunity to expand sustainable production. The persistence of child labor, water pollution, the exposure of workers to harmful chemicals, and the possibility of resumption of protests also pose a threat.

Ethiopia is one several east African countries—including Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania—identified as an important center for apparel sourcing. In a 2015 survey by global management company McKinsey, Ethiopia appeared as one of the top countries worldwide where companies wanted to source their garments from in the next five years.

Retail giants such as H&M, Primark, and Tesco have sourced or established textile factories in Ethiopia to diversify from Asian markets like China and Bangladesh. The footwear industry in Ethiopia is also growing, with the Huajian Group, the Chinese manufacturer that produces Ivanka Trump’s shoe brand, talking about plans to move production to Ethiopia.

Industrial parks in Ethiopia
Industrial parks in Ethiopia (Courtesy/ Verisk Maplecroft)

These operations could be undermined by the political and social protests. The demonstrations began over plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa into neighboring towns and villages populated by members of the Oromo community—the country’s largest ethnic group. Although the Tigray-dominated government canceled the plans, protests escalated.

At the height of the protests in August and September 2016, flower farms and foreign commercial properties worth millions were burnt. The government responded by quashing the protests, shutting down the internet, and instituted a state of emergency in October that has lasted to date.

Gordon says that given that the “underlying drivers” of the protests have not been addressed, it is “highly likely that similar protests will erupt again.”

Land problems are also expected to intensify as drought ravages the country. Last week, the government announced that 7.7 million people were in need of emergency food aid. While the economy depends on agriculture, just 5% of the country’s land is irrigated, according to the United States Agency for International Development. The competition over fertile land as well as the government’s controversial plan to lease large swaths of land to foreign investors and private interests could jeopardize prospects for companies interested in doing business in Ethiopia.

“Investors are likely to become increasingly unpopular in the communities that they rely on for both their security and their workforces,” Gordon said.


 

Fascism: Genocide: TPLF Ethiopia: Prompting conflict among Neighboring Nations does not rescue the stumbling Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s regime from defeat January 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocide, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

OMN: English News ( January 18, 2017)


OLF logo

 

Prompting conflict among Neighboring Nations does not rescue the stumbling TPLF regime from defeat (OLF Statement)

Conflict

The Ethiopian empire was founded not based on the will of its nations and nationalities. It was formed by force by elites from the north with help of the European powers. Since its formation, Ethiopia has never respected the interests of other nationalities in the empire. Today, as in the past, the empire is serving only elites from the Tigray, particularly TPLF and members of its pseudo organizations, while majority of ordinary people from other nationalities, particularly the Oromos, are languishing under its tyranny. Subsequently, the economic, socio-cultural and political exploitations have continued unabated. Tired of such tyranny, the Oromo revolutionaries and the youth has stepped up an uprising that has engulfed the entire nation since 2014. Though the responses of the TPLF security forces were brutal, killing hundreds of peaceful protesters and detaining tens of thousands, the protest has continued and even expanded to the Amhara regional state and to the southern Nations and Nationalities regional state.

Desperate to control the people’s uprising, TPLF first declared a command post rule and then a state of emergency. However, neither of the command post nor the state of emergency has stopped the protest as TPLF hopes. Today, there is no political order in the country especially in Oromia and Amhara regional states. Failed to control the situation in the country, TPLF and its pseudo allies used various strategies to silence people’s quest for freedom and democracy. Since clinch on power, TPLF has been instigating a conflict along national and religion lines. Interestingly, after selfinstigating conflict using its undercover security agents, often it presents itself as a mediator while supporting one group with all sorts of logistics up to militarization. Subsequently, TPLF uses this self-instigated conflict as a propaganda on its statecontrol media to tell the people that TPLF is the best, perhaps the only, remedy for the state to continue as a nation. These are among the strategies that this minority group uses to stay on power. Contrary to this fact the TPLF and its dictatorial rule that are destroying the integrity of the country it claims to maintain.

In Oromia, there are countless instances where TPLF intentionally created a conflict between Oromos and other ethnic groups such as Somali. The current “Oromo -Somali conflict” in East and west Hararge, Bale, Borena and Guji zones seem unique in its nature from previous incidents. A well-trained special police forces (aka Liyu police) solely composed of ethnic Somalis are the fore front of the conflict. This conflict, perhaps a war, has been going on for now three weeks and hundreds of innocent Oromo people have been killed by this special police forces.

Although these special forces are composed of carefully selected ethnic Somalis, it is commanded by a TPLF general Abrhaa Qurater and is also enforced by TPLF Agazi Special Force. The Ethiopian government, as usual, is trying to divert this war as if it is just a conflict between Oromo and Somali farmers. Unlike previous conflicts, this is a large-scale war encompassing East and West Hararge, Bale, Borena and Gujii zones. It is also worth noting here that this Somali special forces are trained by Britain for a so called counter insurgency. The UK- and US-governments also finance the training and supported with all the logistics, which are now murdering innocent Oromo farmers in the East, south-east and southern Oromia bordering the Somali regional state. The TPLF government is using this special police forces, trained supposedly for counter insurgency, to raid just unarmed Oromo farmers. It not a simple conflict to ransack cattle and camels, as TPLF tried to present, however, it a war of ethnic cleansing by a well-trained police forces. Not only those directly involved in the war but also those who trained and armed them will be responsible for such atrocity on hundreds of innocent people.

Our people are fighting back with what they have, but one should note that these are a well-trained and armed forces. Thus, they need support from all Oromos in Oromia and across the globe. This is the time that we standup for the right cause, and show our support for those in dire need, putting aside our little differences. Thus, we call upon all Oromo in Oromia and in diaspora to stand with those who are facing the TPLF special forces with bare hand. The only ever lasting solution we have at stake now is to remove TPLF from power for once and for all. This is possible only when we all united and act as one people for one goal, remove TPLF, the killer of our people. We also call upon all Oromos who are currently serving at various posts in police and military camps of the TPLF to turn their weapons against the enemy of your people.

Those who supported the TPLF killing machinery financially as well as in logistics will not escape from accountability. Thus, we call upon the Western governments, specially the government of USA and UK who financially sponsored the training of such killing machinery should immediately withdraw their support and held the TPLF government accountable for all the killings and destruction. Finally, we would like to call upon all people in Ethiopian to stand together to bring an end to the TPLF tyranny.

Victory to the Oromo people!
Oromo Liberation Front
January 21, 2017

Read more in Amharic,  Afaan Oromoo and English


Related videos and articles:-

 

https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=DjFbRM68ml4

 

Gaaddisa RAABAA DOORII (LIVE) Amajjii 17, 2017, Qabxiin Marii: Weerara Liyyuu Poolisii Oromoo Irratti Bane.

OMN: ODUU (Amajjii 18,2017)

OMN: ከቀድሞው የሶማሌ ክልል ፕሬዚዳንት ልዩ አማካሪ ከአቶ አብዱላሂ ሁሴን የተደረገ ቃለመጠይቅ


Abdi Illey’s recent attacks on Oromian territories with TPLF Generals

 

(Ayyaantuu News):There has been frequent, but in fact subsequent, attacks launched by what is called the Liyu Police Force of the Somali Regional State on different districts of Oromia along the South, South east and east particularly along the Hararghe, Bale and Borana lowlands. More than 200 people are estimated to have been killed so far. The Liyu Police, as commanded by the psychopath Abdi Illey did repeatedly commit war crimes and crimes against humanity on civilians in the Ogaden region. Most of the units of the Liyu police are said to have been recruited from Illey’s own clan. After he established the murderous militia group and took the command and control of it, Mr. Illey has literally turned himself into a war lord. He never gives sh* about what the officials at the federal gov’t had to say. It’s even with in the public domain that he spitted on the face of the puppet prime minister HMD in Jigjiga while he was there as a ‘guest of honor’ during the celebration day of what they call “nations and nationalities day” in 2013. While even most of the cabinet ministers of the federal government go on the routine per diem scales on trips to foreign countries, Abdi Illy makes it so differently. The man even contracts and commissions top security guards while reserving hotel rooms in some of the top hotels of the cities he goes for trip to.

2/3: “Liyu police” is an equivalent of the Janjaweed militia in the Sudan (Arabic: جنجويد) but armed by the TPLF to raid districts in Oromia

In this short commentary, I argue that Abdi Illey’s recent attack on the Oromo territories is part of his strategy to “take back” the land he lost during the backdoor deal with the TPLF Generals.
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The land dispute with Afar Regional State
It has been a matter of generic knowledge among the public that the Afar-Issa-Somali conflict over land was the cause for the dismissal for three-fourth of government cabinet members in the Somali regional State a couple of years back. At the heart of the conflict lies, as the Afar diaspora network claims, the Somali-Issa militia forces did expand their control into the heart of the Afar land reaching to the banks of the Awash River and the strategic highway linking Addis Ababa to the port cities of Assab and Djibouti. Apparently, the dispute was halted by TPLF’s interventionist deal that favored the position of the Afar. But insider informants had it that the TPLF-imposed decision to seal the deal favoring the position of the Afar asymmetrically divided the 12-membered cabinet of the Somali Regional State into a fiercely fighting group of 4 to 8 members. Accordingly, 8 of the 12 cabinet members including the then vice-president did reject the decision while 4 of them (including the president Abdi Illey) accepted the TPLF-imposed decision. But the whole saga then went astray so much so that the 8 cabinet members in the Somali Regional State who opposed the move had to be all fired out to implement the land dispute deal proposed by the TPLF, at the end of the day. Abdi Illey’s 4-membered group in the cabinet, a minority by any democratic sense, had to turn victorious by firing all the 8 others (including the vice-president) because Abdi Illey & co had the keen supported from TPLF Generals. What is more??
Why the TPLF wanted to favor the Afar in the tribal land dispute/conflict?
For the TPLF, the Afar region is just part of the greater Tigray it envisions. If article 39 of Ethiopia’s facade federalism is to be first invoked by the TPLF (the maker and its breaker) any time it reads greater risk in the wider Ethiopian politics, Tigreay will secede taking Afar along with it — we all know it and they all know it too. Tigreans have not only political and economic supremacy in the Afar areas but they even dominate the urban culture in there – much like the Amhara do in Oromia due to the lingering legacy of the imperial era and that of the derg. Most businesses in the Afar towns are owned by business men of Tigray origin who are affiliates of the TPLF, more often than not. So, for the TPLF, it’s a natural instinct choice for any land dispute deal between the Afar and the Somali being sealed in favor of the former. But more importantly, the TPLF can make sure that the later won’t lose the land it claimed or at least be compensated for it by what could possibly be paid by a party that had no involvement either in the conflict or in the deal to seal it at the end of the day. Here is where Abdi Illey’s attack on Oromia, as supported by the TPLF Generals comes in. He has already been declared as “the best person of the year” by the TPLF’s mouth piece called “Tigraionline.com”. Sooner or later, we will be told that some remote territories disputed among some tribal pastoralists of the Oromo and Somali have been given to the later. And that seals the backdoor deal between Abdi Illey and the TPLF Generals.

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So what?
It’s conceivable that the OPDO are neither aware of it nor capable of stopping this deal. They are created to contradict the Oromo in the very first place. While the Liyu police not only raids Oromo villages crossing borders but also killing their cadre sitting in office, the OPDO did nothing other than dialing on the old digits of the Arat kilo palace. The response was loud and clear though: ‘the number you calling doesn’t exist’. But they are still calling….so amazing…….
.
So, the public should defend itself against these TPLF’s mercenary group called Liyu police by all means possible. We believe semi-organic bodies like the Oromia Police shall stand by the side of the public. We will overcome this dirty war of the TPLF too!
la luta continua vitoria e certa!!!

Ethiopia is one of the 19 poorest, unhappiest, unhealthiest, and most dangerous countries in the world November 8, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Development, Development & Change, Development Studies, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model.
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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistEthiopia's regime crimes in OgadenMore reinforcement of Ethiopia's regime fascist ( Agazi) soldiers arrived in Begi, West Walaga, Oromia, 29 July  2016. p2Grand #OromoProtests, Grand ‪#‎OromoProtests‬ full scale Military massacre  has been conducted by Ethiopia's fascsit regimei n Naqamte, East Walaga. 6 August 2016 pctureSuruma people of the Omo Valley are being tortured by  fascist Ethiopia (Agazi) forces because  they protested their land being taken for Sugar  plantationEthiopia's scores in freedom in the world  2016, freedom House World Report, January 2016.Agazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015to-have-facebook-is-illegal-in-ethiopia


The Independent: The 19 poorest, unhappiest, unhealthiest, and most dangerous nations in the world

(Comoros, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Libya, Niger, Guinea, Pakistan, Burundi, Angola, Mauritania, Iraq,  Chad, DR Congo,  Sudan, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Yemen).


Many of the countries that feature toward the bottom end of the index have been hit hard by wars and outbreaks of disease.

The countries are generally lacking in strong economies, governments, and education systems.


The Legatum Institute, a London based research institute released its 10th annual global Prosperity Index, a huge survey that ranks the most prosperous countries in the world, on Thursday 3rd November 2016.

Prosperity may mostly be used to talk about money, but the Legatum Institute thinks there is more to it than that.

The organisation compared 104 separate variables to come up with its list. These variables include traditional indicators like per-capita gross domestic product and the number of people in full-time work, but also more interesting areas such as social tolerance and how good a nation’s internet is.

The variables are then split into nine subindexes: economic quality, business environment, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, social capital, and natural environment.

We’ve already shown you the 25 countries that the Prosperity Index rated as the most prosperous, or in other words, the happiest, wealthiest, and most crime-free places on earth. Now it’s time to look at the countries at the other end of the list.

Many of the countries that feature toward the bottom end of the index have been hit hard by wars and outbreaks of disease. They are generally lacking in strong economies, governments, and education systems.

We’ve taken the bottom 19 countries from the Legatum Institute’s index and ranked them in reverse order, where No. 1 represents the “least prosperous” country.

The index looked at the 149 countries in the world that have the most available data. As a result, it should be noted that certain prominent countries, including Syria and North Korea, do not feature because of a lack of available data.

19. Comoros — The tiny island nation of the Comoros is pretty safe in the grand scheme of things, ranking 69th out of 149 countries. However, it ranks as one of the least prosperous nations thanks to bottom 20 scores in five of nine subindexes, including being 135th in the entrepreneurship subindex.

18. Ethiopia — Ethiopia scored pretty well in some subindexes, but low levels of entrepreneurship and opportunity, and a bad score in the education subindex mean that the Legatum Institute ranks it as one of the 20 least prosperous countries on Earth.

ethiopia-getty.jpg
(Getty Images)

17. Liberia — It was hit badly by 2014’s Ebola virus epidemic, and almost 5,000 people were killed in the country. As a result Liberia’s score in the health subindex was in the bottom five, its worst individual subindex score.

16. Mali — While it scored in the top 100 nations for personal freedom and social capital, Mali was pushed down the Prosperity Index by having a bottom five education score.

15. Nigeria — Nigeria may have one of Africa’s most powerful economies, but it scored pretty poorly in all nine subindexes, with its lowest rank being in safety and security, reflecting the presence of militant groups like Boko Haram and the Niger Delta Avengers.

nigeria-crisis.jpg

14. Libya — After the ousting of brutal dictator Muammar Gaddafi, it was hoped that Libya would prosper, but a power vacuum and years of fighting have ravaged the country. The Legatum Institute puts it in the bottom 10 for personal freedom, governance, and entrepreneurship.

13. Niger — Niger faces similar problems to Nigeria when it comes to terrorist groups like Boko Haram, although it scores relatively highly (87th) for safety and security. Its worst individual subindex score came in education, where it was 3rd last.

12. Guinea — Despite a natural environment ranking in the top 60 globally, terrible scores for health and education keep Guinea’s overall ranking incredibly low, making it the 12th least prosperous nation surveyed.

11. Pakistan — Despite having fairly good scores for both economy and governance, Pakistan was ranked as one of the seven most unsafe countries on Earth. It has the worst natural environment of any nation, according to the Legatum Institute.

pakistan-sectarian-killings2.jpg

10. Burundi — Improving its position from the 5th least prosperous nation in 2015, Burundi’s top score came for personal freedom (101 out of 149). It was dead last when it comes to social capital.

9. Angola — Angola, on Africa’s south west coast, is oil rich, but not at all prosperous, according to the Legatum Institute. It is in the bottom 20 countries in all nine subindexes.

8. Mauritania — The North African country has a pretty good score for social capital (it’s 82nd out of 142 countries) but is in the bottom 15 for six of the 15 sub-indexes, meaning that it comfortably makes our list as one of the least prosperous countries on Earth.

7. Iraq — As one of the areas occupied by ISIS, it is not hugely surprising to see Iraq rank in the bottom three of the safety and security subindex. Despite ranking in the top 100 in one subindex — social capital — Iraq ranks 143rd out of the 149 countries surveyed.

iraq-smoke.jpg

6. Chad — In 2014, only the Central African Republic was less prosperous than Chad. Last year it was the 4th least prosperous, but it has improved its position again this year. It’s highest subindex score came for natural environment.

5. Democratic Republic of Congo — Citizens in the Democratic Republic of Congo have to contend with the country being ranked as the second most unsafe country in the whole Prosperity Index. Its top subindex score was 131st in social capital.

4. Sudan — Sudan has fallen from 134th last year to 145th now. The country’s citizens are the second-least free of any in the Prosperity Index, and it ranks in the bottom ten for all but two subindexes.

south-sudan1.jpg

3. Central African Republic — As its name suggests, the country is located in the heart of Africa. The nation has improved its standing from least prosperous in 2015 to 3rd least this year, despite ranking in the bottom 10 in all but one subindex.

2. Afghanistan — Ravaged by war for decades, it is perhaps unsurprising that Afghanistan ranked as having the worst personal freedom of all countries surveyed, and the third-worst for governance. These factors, combined with poor scores across the board make it second-least prosperous of any country surveyed, the same position as 2015.

1. Yemen — Devastated by civil war, Yemen is dead last in the economy, entrepreneurship, and governance subindexes, second last in social capital, and in the bottom three for personal freedom.


Click here to read on the 25 richest, healthiest, happiest, and most advanced countries in the world

The Oakland Institute: Miracle or mirage? Manufacturing hunger and poverty in Ethiopia September 27, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Oakland Institute

miracle-or-mirage-manufacturing-hunger-and-poverty-in-ethiopia-study-of-the-oakland-institute

Miracle or mirage? manufacturing hunger and poverty in Ethiopia


Oakland Institute, 27 September 2016

 


As months of protest and civil unrest hurl Ethiopia into a severe political crisis, a new report from the Oakland Institute debunks the myth that the country is the new “African Lion.” Miracle or Mirage? Manufacturing Hunger and Poverty in Ethiopia exposes how authoritarian development schemes have perpetuated cycles of poverty, food insecurity, and marginalized the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

A key government objective is to make Ethiopia one of the largest sugar producers in the world. Several sugar expansion plans are underway, including the colossal Kuraz Project in the Lower Omo Valley, which will include up to five sugar factories and 150,000 hectares of sugarcane plantations that rely on Gibe III Dam for irrigation. Studies show that Gibe III could reduce the Omo River flow by as much as 70 percent, threatening the livelihoods of 200,000 Ethiopians and 300,000 Kenyans who depend on the downstream water flow for herding, fishing, and flood-recession agriculture.

Miracle or Mirage? offers lessons from the deadly impact of sugar and cotton plantations in the Awash Valley in the Afar Region, established in the 1950s. The projects drastically reduced land and water availability for people and cattle, undermined food security, destroyed key drought coping mechanisms, and stirred up violent conflicts between different groups over the remaining resources. The establishment of plantations was a critical factor in the 1972-1973 famine, resulting in the deaths of nearly 200,000 Afar people. These findings raise serious questions about the government’s logic behind sugar expansion, with $11.2 billion to be invested by 2020, and much more for irrigation schemes and dams – Gibe III alone cost Ethiopia $1.8 billion.

Using quantitative evidence, the report also details how plantations established in the Awash Valley have been far less profitable than pastoralist livestock production, while carrying massive environmental costs including the depletion of vital water resources.

miracle-or-mirage-manufacturing-hunger-and-poverty-in-ethiopia-study-of-the-oakland-institute-p2

Seeker Daily: Ethiopia Is On The Brink Of Collapse. Here’s Why September 2, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Ethiopian regime guilty of crime against humanity

 

WP: The tyrannic/fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) doesn’t want you to know these things are happening in the country August 19, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Dictatorship, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

World Views and Analysis: Ethiopia doesn’t want you to know these things are happening in the country

August 19, 2016


 

Ethiopians wait to fill water cans in February during the recent drought. With the return of the rains, however, have come flooding and disease — something the government is reluctant to discuss. (Aida Muluneh for The Washington Post)

Ethiopians wait to fill water cans in February during the recent drought. With the return of the rains, however, have come flooding and disease — something the government is reluctant to discuss. (Aida Muluneh for The Washington Post)

 

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — After going through its worst drought in 50 years, Ethiopia is again seeing rain. In fact, in some places, it’s falling too hard and has set off floods.

So while the number of people requiring food aid has dropped slightly from 10.2 million in January to 9.7 million, according to the latest figures, there is a new threat of disease in a population weakened by drought.

Measles, meningitis, malaria and scabies are on the rise. And most seriously, there has been an outbreak of something mysteriously called “AWD,” according to the Humanitarian Requirements Document, issued by the government and humanitarian agencies on Aug. 13.

“There is a high risk that AWD can spread to all regions with high speed as there is a frequent population movement between Addis Ababa and other regions,” it warned.

The letters stand for acute watery diarrhea. It is a potentially fatal condition caused by water infected with the vibrio cholera bacterium. Everywhere else in the world it is simply called cholera.

But not in Ethiopia, where international humanitarian organizations privately admit that they are only allowed to call it AWD and are not permitted to publish the number of people affected.

The government is apparently concerned about the international impact if news of a significant cholera outbreak were to get out, even though the disease is not unusual in East Africa.

This means that, hypothetically, when refugees from South Sudan with cholera flee across the border into Ethiopia, they suddenly have AWD instead.

In a similar manner, exactly one year ago, when aid organizations started sounding the alarm bells over the failed rains, government officials were divided over whether they would call it a drought and appeal for international aid.

 

Police break up anti-government protest in Ethiopian capital

Play Video0:57
Hundreds of protesters on Saturday clashed with police in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa after campaigners called for nationwide protests due to what they say is an unfair distribution of wealth in the country. (Reuters)

The narrative for Ethiopia in 2015 was a successful nation with double-digit growth, and the government did not want to bring back memories of the 1980s drought that killed hundreds of thousands and left the country forever associated with famine.

“We don’t use the f-word,” explained an aid worker to me back in September, referring to famine.

Like many of its neighbors in the region, Ethiopia has some issues with freedom of expression and is very keen about how it is perceived abroad. While the country has many developmental successes to celebrate, its current sensitivity suggests it will be some time before this close U.S. ally resembles the democracy it has long claimed to be.

Ultimately, the government recognized there was a drought and made an international appeal for aid. The systems put into place over the years prevented the drought from turning into a humanitarian catastrophe — for which the country has earned praise from its international partners.

In the same manner, even though it doesn’t call it cholera, the government is still waging a vigorous campaign to educate people on how to avoid AWD, by boiling water and washing their hands.

Yet this sensitivity to bad news extends to the economic realm as well. Critics have often criticized Ethiopia’s decade of reported strong growth as being the product of cooked numbers. The government does seem to produce rosier figures than international institutions.

After the drought, the International Monetary Fund predicted in Aprilthat growth would drop from 10.2 percent in 2015 to just 4.5 percent in 2016.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, maintained, however, that growth would be a robust 8.5 percent, despite the falling agriculture productivity and decreased export earnings.

In the political realm, news of unrest and protests is suppressed. During a weekend of demonstrations on Aug. 6 and 7, the Internet was cut, making it difficult to find out what happened.

Human rights organizations, opposition parties and media tried to piece together the toll from the deadly demonstrations, which according to Amnesty International may have been up to 100.

The United Nations has called for international observers to carry out an investigation in the affected regions, which the government has strongly rejected even as it has dismissed estimates of casualties without providing any of its own.

“That is one of the factors we are struggling against with this government, the blockade of information,” complained Beyene Petros, the chairman of a coalition of opposition parties. “Journalists cannot go and verify. We cannot do that.”

Local journalists are heavily constrained, and as Felix Horne of Human Rights Watch points out, Ethiopia is one of the biggest jailers of journalists on the continent.

“Limitations on independent media, jamming of television and radio signals, and recent blocking of social media all point to a government afraid to allow its citizens access to independent information,” he said.

Foreign journalists do not fare much better, especially if they attempt to venture out of the capital to do their reporting.

In March, the New York Times and Bloomberg correspondents were detained by police while trying to report on the disturbances in the Oromo Region.

They were sent back to Addis Ababa and held overnight in a local prison before being interrogated and released.

In a similar fashion, a television crew with American Public Broadcasting Service was detained on Aug. 8 south of the capital trying to do a story on the drought conditions.

They and their Ethiopian fixer — an accredited journalist in her own right — were released after 24 hours, and they were told not to do any reporting outside of Addis.

In both cases the journalists were all accredited by the Government Communication Affairs Office, with credentials that are supposed to extend the breadth of the country but in practice are widely ignored by local officials.

The government spokesman, Getachew Reda, has dismissed the allegations about the information crackdown in the country and in recent appearances on the Al Jazeera network he maintained that there are no obstacles to information in Ethiopia.

“This country is open for business, it’s open for the international community, people have every right to collect whatever information they want,” he said.


 

The tyrannic/fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) doesn’t want you to know these things are happening in the country, click here and read more at Washington Post


 

AFAR PEOPLE IN ETHIOPIA FACING UNPRECEDENTED CATASTROPHIC SITUATION April 22, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Afar, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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Odaa OromooAfar woman

AFAR, ARDUF

 


AFARS FACING UNPRECEDENTED CATASTROPHIC SITUATION


PRESS RELEASE


Currently, the Afar people in Ethiopia are facing disastrous, appalling and unprecedented dreadful famine catastrophe. The famine was not only caused by lack of rain, drought, climate change and effect of El Niño weather conditions as they claim but, it was a result of TPLF/EPRDF corruption, failure of strategies and policies, bad governance, human rights violations, unlawful land grabbing, forcible removal and eviction of Afar People from their traditional grazing land. They were driven away from the banks of Awash River which has been the lifeline of the Afar population that depend on it for survival since time immemorial to make place for the sugar plantations and large-scale agricultural projects owned by TPLF and foreign multinational corporations, companies and investors.

First, the Afar people saying that since 2012, they have been calling on the Federal and Regional Governments to find solution for the water shortages, environmental degradation, destruction of pastors and grazing resources, drying up of the Awash River problems that caused by damming of the Awash River by the regime, nevertheless their appeal and call fell on deaf ear.

Second it is a well-documented fact is that both the Ex-President and the current President of the Afar region, Ex- and current Federal Communication Affairs Office Minister have deliberately and blindly denied the existence of the famine in Ethiopia during 2013-2015.

Third, it is irrefutable fact is that TPLF/ ANDP or “ADE as it is known locally” purposely failed to recognise, acknowledge and to declare the famine on time. They even refused to call publically on the international Community for emergency humanitarian assistance to help the affected peoples in the country.

Additional fact is that, instead of helping the affected peoples by the famine, Federal Government Communication Affairs Office Minister Redwan Hussein blamed and accused the Afar pastoralists for the death of their livestock in order to cover his Government’s forcible removal of Afar pastoralists from their traditional grazing land on the Awash River banks to make away for TPLF, Foreign Multinational Corporations’ and Investors owned large scale Projects. The famine created by TPLF/EPRDF has already caused too many catastrophic problems for the Afar, such as food insecurity, water crisis, widespread malnutrition, health problem and unprecedented death of their livestock. As a result, the Afar have severely suffered.
In addition to the unprecedented famine that was worsened by the policies of the regime the TPLF has developed the following plans to systematically exterminate the Afar in Ethiopia:-

  • Unlawful land grabbing and enforced eviction from their land
  • Removing them from the Awash River banks forcibly
  • Transferring parts of Afar land to the Somali tribe called Issa to create endless conflict between them in coordination with Issa dominated regime of Djibouti for its interests.
  • Instigating conflicts between the Afar and their neighbouring peoples
  • Removing Afar from all mineralised areas of Afar land
  • Appointing uneducated, unskilled, inexperienced and corrupted individuals as Afar region officials to serve the interest of TPLF.
  • Creating tribalism, mistrust and division between the ruling mafia and the Afar society;
  • Controlling Afar region economic, political, social and cultural affairs by appointed Tigray Security Advisors or Counsellor, locally known as Ammakari

Any person who disagrees or rejects ANDP (QADE) TPLF (WAYANE) order is called anti peace element and sympathizer with ARDUF then; he/she is arrested and imprisoned arbitrarily. Today, the Afar region does not have a legitimate political authority accountable to the Afar. It is ruled by TPLF former fighters who are member of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF). Their main duty, obligation and responsibility is only to serve their master not the Afar people, as they appointed by TPLF not by the Afar people, they are only accountable and answerable to the TPLF.
As a result of TPLF racially motivated discriminatory politics and policies the Peoples of Ethiopia in all regions are all facing increasing political oppression, economic marginalisation, and social exclusion, gross violation of human rights, horrible famine and internal displacement. The regime continues to unlawfully kill, systematically repress and arbitrarily arrest people in the regions of Oromia, Ogaden, Sidama, Amhara and Gambella in general and in the districts of Konso, Qimant, Humera, Tsegede and Wolkait in particular who fight for their basic human rights.

ARDUF condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrifying famine crimes of killings, displacement and forcible removal from their ancestral land committed by TPLF regime on the Afar people in particular; and against other peoples in Ethiopia in general.

ARDUF calls on all Ethiopian opposition forces, civil societies, human rights defenders and journalists to reject and denounce the politics of divide and rule by an iron fist and oppression of TPLF/EPRDF and support a democratic armed struggle to eliminate the fascist regime and to establish a genuine Democratic Federalism based on the rule of law in Ethiopia.

Long live the Victory of ARDUF & Ethiopian Peoples

Military Command Centre (MCC)
Information Desk of ARDUF
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF)


 

AS: FROM SURVIVANCE ALL THE WAY TO RECONSTRUCTION: THE OROMO PURSUIT OF EQUALIBERTY. #OromoProtests April 21, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo.
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FROM SURVIVANCE ALL THE WAY TO RECONSTRUCTION: THE OROMO PURSUIT OF EQUALIBERTY

http://addisstandard.com/from-survivance-all-the-way-to-reconstruction-the-oromo-pursuit-of-equaliberty/#_ftn2

Ethiopia: Unconditionally Release the Sidama Political Prisoners April 18, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Sidama.
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Odaa OromooSidama Nation Flag

 

Unconditionally Release the Sidama Political Prisoners

 

SNLF Press Release, April 2016

The following Sidama scholars and businessmen have been kidnapped by the security forces of the TPLF led government of Ethiopia and are currently languishing in the most notorious prison of the country known as ‘Maikelawi’ in the country’s capital Finfinnee (Addis Ababa):

1) Solomon Naayu (A Business Person)
2) Desalegn Meessa (A Professor at Wolayita Sodo Univeristy)
3) Girma Dishe (A Busienss Person)
4) Shura Kachara (A Business Person)
5 Debebe Daaka (A Business person)

In stark violation of their human rights, some of them have been in detention since November 2015 while others have been incarcerated since early 2016 without any trial. They have been tortured repeatedly to extract confession on crimes they never committed. The reasons given by the Ethiopian security forces for their detention and torture are extremely bizarre. They range from visiting the Oromia region repeatedly during the Oromo protests to receiving telephone calls from their relatives in Diaspora and having some anti-government ideas in their minds.

The TPLF/EPRDF led government of Ethiopia continues to grossly abusing the human rights of the Sidama people and other citizens with impunity for two decades and a half in contempt to its international commitments and the constitution of the country drawn by the regime itself. The aforementioned Sidama people had never committed any crime. Their only crime is being the members of the Sidama society.

The Sidama people and the Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF) categorically condemns their unlawful detention and torture and demands their immediate and unconditional release.

The SNLF also calls on the international community, the United Nations, the African Union and all human rights organizations to put pressure on the TPLF led regime of Ethiopia to respect basic human and democratic rights of the citizens of the country. The SNLF also calls upon all subjugated nations’ and peoples’ opposition groups and peoples of Ethiopia to be unconditionally united to fight the regime collectively oppressing all with varying degrees.

May Justice and Liberty belong to all Mankind

The Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF)

April 2016

Oromo TV: OFC-ISG Birhanu Lenjiso lecturing on Land grab in Oromia (Ethiopia). #OromoProtests April 12, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia.
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Odaa OromooEthiopian-land-giveawayTigrean Neftengna's land grabbing and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocideTigrean Neftengna's land grabbing2 and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocide

 

UNDP: Multidimensional Poverty Index: Ethiopia has the second highest percentage of people who are MPI poor in the world: of Ten Poorest Countries in The World (All in #Africa) – MPI 2015 Ranking April 10, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Ethiopia the least competitive in the Global Competitiveness Index, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model, Growth and Inequqlity, Poverty, The extents and dimensions of poverty in Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoo

Multidimensional Poverty Index: Ethiopia has the second highest percentage of people who are MPI poor in the world: of Ten Poorest Countries in The World (All in #Africa) – MPI 2015 Ranking

According to UNDP Ethiopia is the second poorest country in the world


 

population in multidimensional povertyEthiopia, who servives in trashAfrica is still struggling with poverty


 

‘Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices—as they acquire more capabilities and enjoy more opportunities to use those capabilities. But human development is also the objective, so it is both a process and an outcome. Human development implies that people must influence the process that shapes their lives. In all this, economic growth is an important means to human development, but not the goal. Human development is development of the people through building human capabilities, for the people by improving their lives and by the people through active participation in the processes that shape their lives. It is broader than other approaches, such as the human resource approach, the basic needs approach and the human welfare approach.’ -UNDP 2015 Report

 


Ethiopia’s HDI value for 2014 is 0.442— which put the country in the low human development category— positioning it at 174 out of 188 countries and territories.

In Ethiopia 88.2 percent of the population (78,887 thousand people) are multidimensionally poor while an additional 6.7 percent live near multidimensional poverty (6,016 thousand people). The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in Ethiopia, which is the average of deprivation scores experienced by people in multidimensional poverty, is 60.9 percent. The MPI, which is the share of the population that is multidimensionally poor, adjusted by the intensity of the deprivations, is 0.537. Rwanda and Uganda have MPIs of 0.352 and 0.359 respectively. Ethiopia, UNDP country notes

 


 

(Sunday Adelaja’s Blog) — When Poverty and non-existent double digit growth met face-to-Face at a dumpster site called KORA in Ethiopia. As we speak, thousands of people in Addis Ababa survive from the leftover “food” dumped in such dumpsters. People, in fact, used to call them “Dumpster Dieters”. They are either the byproducts or victims of the cooked economic figures. You be the judge!

Yet the new measurement known as the Multidimensional Poverty Index, or MPI, that will replace the Human Poverty index in the United Nations’ annual Human Development Report says that Ethiopia has the second highest percentage of people who are MPI poor in the world, with only the west African nation of Niger fairing worse. You probably heard that Ethiopia has been a fast growing economy in the content recording very high growth rate not just in Africa but the world as well.

This comes as more international analysts have also began to question the accuracy of the Meles government’s double digit economic growth claims and similar disputed government statistics referred by institutions like the IMF. The list starts with the poorest.

  1. Niger
  2. Ethiopia
  3. Mali
  4. Burkina Faso
  5. Burundi
  6. Somalia
  7. Central African Republic
  8. Liberia
  9. Guinea
  10. Sierra Leone

What is the MPI?

People living in poverty are affected by more than just income. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) complements a traditional focus on income to reflect the deprivations that a poor person faces all at once with respect to education, health and living standard. It assesses poverty at the individual level, with poor persons being those who are multiply deprived, and the extent of their poverty being measured by therange of their deprivations.

 

Why is the MPI useful?

According to the UNDP report, the MPI is a high resolution lens on poverty – it shows the nature of poverty better than income alone. Knowing not just who is poor but how they are poor is essential for effective humandevelopment programs and policies. This straightforward yet rigorous index allows governments and other policymakers to understand the various sources of poverty for a region, population group, or nation and target their humandevelopment plans accordingly. The index can also be used to show shifts in the composition of poverty over time so that progress, or the lack of it, can be monitored.

The MPI goes beyond previous international measures of poverty to:

  • Show all the deprivations that impact someone’s life at the same time – so it can inform a holistic response.

  • Identify the poorest people. Such information is vital to target people living in poverty so they benefit from key interventions.

  • Show which deprivations are most common in different regions and among different groups, so that resources can be allocated and policies designed to address their particular needs.

  • Reflect the results of effective policy interventions quickly. Because the MPI measures outcomes directly, it will immediately reflect changes such as school enrolment, whereas it can take time for this to affect income.

AI: Violation of Oromo Human Rights in Ethiopia April 9, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report.
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Odaa OromooOSAAmnesty Internationaltweet tweet #OromoProtestsThe Economist on #OromoProtestsBecause I am Oromo

@OSA London Conference @London School of EConomics on Violation of Oromo Human Rights in Ethiopia, by Patricia Bartley, Amnesty International UK, Ethiopia Country Coordinator; 3rd April 2016.

 

Governance: Ethiopia’s clampdown on dissent tests ethnic federal structure. #KonsoProtests #OromoProtests April 8, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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Odaa OromooKonso People Protests the tyranny of  fascist TPLF Ethiopia's regime, 8 March 2016

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Ethiopia’s clampdown on dissent tests ethnic federal structure


Protests sparked by the arrest of Konso leader Kala Gezahegn underlined growing tensions between Ethiopia’s central government and many ethnic populations


 

BY William Davison, The Guardian,  Global development,  8 April 2016

 

 

Kala Gezahegn, the leader of the Konso people, addresses a crowd
Kala Gezahegn, the traditional leader of Ethiopia’s Konso people.
Kala Gezahegn, the leader of the Konso people, addresses a crowd. His arrest highlighted growing tensions in Ethiopia between state power and ethnic groups’ desire for autonomy. Photograph: Courtesy of Kasaye Soka


 

Nothing seemed amiss when an Ethiopian government vehicle arrived to collect the traditional leader of the Konso people for a meeting in March. But instead of being taken to discuss his community’s requests for more autonomy, Kala Gezahegn was arrested.

Kala’s detention marked a low point in fraught relations between the Konso in southern Ethiopia and the regional authorities in the state capital, Hawassa. Five years ago, the Konso lost their right to self-govern, and growing tensions since then mirror discontent in other parts of Ethiopia.

The 1995 constitution in Africa’s second most populous country allows different ethnic groups to self-govern and protects their languages and culture under a system called ethnic federalism. The largest ethnicities – such as the approximately 35 million-strong Oromo – have their own regional states, while some smaller groups administer zones within regions, as the Konso effectively used to do.

Many of Ethiopia’s ethnic identities, which number more than 80, were suppressed during the imperial and national-socialist eras that preceded the federal system.

What happened in Konso followed demonstrations and killings by security forces in Oromia, the most populous region. A rights group says 266 people have been killed since mid-November during protests over injustice and marginalisation.

Demonstrations were sparked by a government plan to integrate the development of Addis Ababa and surrounding areas of Oromia. After fierce opposition from the Oromo, that scheme was shelved in January, but protests have continued, fuelled by anger over alleged killings, beatings and arrests.

In Amhara, a large region north of Addis Ababa, there was violence late last year related to the Qemant group’s almost decade-old claim for recognition as a group with constitutional rights. The fact that the Qemant rejected a territorial offer from the authorities, saying it was too small, may have provoked local Amhara people. In December, federal security forces were dispatched to contain escalating communal violence.

In Konso, after Kala and other leaders were locked up, thousands took to the streets to protest. During clashes with police on 13 March, three people were killed, and now the dispute seems entrenched.
Women at Fasha market in Ethiopia’s Konso region. Photograph: Grant Rooney/Alamy
The crux of the issue is a 2011 decision to include the Konso – which is in the multi-ethnic Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) and has 250,000 people – in the newly created Segen zone, thereby removing their right to self-rule. That decision was taken without consultation and resulted in worsening public services and unresponsive courts, says Kambiro Aylate, a member of a committee chosen to represent the community’s demands.

 

The budget for Konso’s government was reduced by 15%, says Orkissa Orno, another committee member. “The Konso people used their rights to ask for a different administrative structure,” he says.

In a recent interview, prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn blamed the unrest in Oromia on high youth unemployment and a “lack of good governance”, a line echoed by officials in other regions.

Kifle Gebremariam, the deputy president of the SNNPR, said the Konso leaders were arrested on suspicion of maladministration and corruption, issues “completely different” from the political question.

Kifle added that discussions had been held with residents about the status of the administration. “The regional government, including the president, gave them the right response, but they are not peacefully accepting this.”

Kala’s supporters dispute that account, although there have been signs of compromise, with the traditional leader permitted to take part in recent negotiations.

Concerns over the federal system’s ability to withstand such strains are not new. For example, southern groups such as the Wolayta were involved in violent clashes before they were granted their own zone in 2000.

In 2009, the International Crisis Group wrote in a report (pdf): “Ethnic federalism has not dampened conflict, but rather increased competition among groups that vie over land and natural resources, as well as administrative boundaries and government budgets.”

 

Officials have argued for decades that the focus on minority rights has been integral to an unprecedented period of peace and development.

Assefa Fiseha, a federalism expert at Addis Ababa University, agrees the system has brought stability to a country threatened with fragmentation in the early 1990s after ethno-nationalist rebellions overthrew a military regime.

But a lack of democratisation and centralised economic decision-making works against local autonomy and exacerbates grievances, according to Assefa.

“The regional states, as agents of the regional people, have to be consulted on whatever development project the federal government wants to undertake,” he says.

In fact, the government appears to have been moving in the opposite direction, as its legitimacy depends on economic growth and improving social services and infrastructure.

National projects – 175,000 hectares (430,000 acres) of state-owned sugar plantations in the ethnically rich south Omo area, for instance – are designed, implemented and owned by federal agencies.

The now scrapped integrated Oromia-Addis Ababa plan is another example, as it was developed without scrutiny by “key stakeholders” in the Oromia government, Addis Ababa city and the federal parliament, Assefa says.

One reason for quick decisions in a devolved federation is that the political positions of Ethiopia’s diverse communities are filtered through a rigid ruling coalition.

Along with allied parties, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front won every federal and regional legislative seat in May’s elections, extending its control of all tiers of government.

The EPRDF has held power for 25 years, partly by building a popular base of millions of farmers and demanding strict obedience to party doctrine and policy, but some say this is now changing.

The wave of protests, so soon after the landslide election victory, shows that the “dominant party system is facing problems”, Assefa says.

“Growing ethno-nationalism, centralised policymaking and the failure to provide space for political dissent combined together make a perfect storm for violence.”


 

Read more at:-

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/apr/08/ethiopia-clampdown-dissent-ethnic-federal-structure?CMP=share_btn_fb#_=_


 

Ethiopia: The failed State’s Collapsing Economy April 8, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model.
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Odaa OromooThe TPLF Corruption network

Ethiopia: Double Digit Growth or Collapsing Economy?

Analysis by  Andualem Sisay,  All Africa, 8 April 2016


 

Ethiopian government’s increasing reliance on foreign loans is posing a serious risk of economic collapse, a renowned economist has revealed.

“Take for instance China, which has loaned over $17 billion to the Ethiopian government for infrastructure projects. Our total investment is 40 per cent of the GDP. Our saving is between 10-20 per cent of the GDP.

“We import $13 billion and export $3 billion. They are the ones who are filling all these deficit gaps,” said Dr Alemayehu Geda.

The Addis Ababa and London universities don was presenting his paper on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Ethiopia and Credit Financing.

“What will happen if they stopped such financing tomorrow? What if, for instance, the Chinese government tomorrow says sell for me Ethio Telecom or sell to me Ethiopian Airlines or give me some share or buy my aeroplanes, or I will stop such credit financing?

Strategic items

“The country will collapse, I guarantee you,” he said.

Dr Alemayehu went on: “About 77 per cent of our imports are strategic items. Fuel only has 25 per cent share of the total import. As a result, even if we want to reduce these imports, we can’t. Ethiopia needs to minimise strategic vulnerability.”

The don elaborated giving the example of how the Koreans mitigated against such dependency risks when they used to source 75 per cent of their imports from the US some decades ago.

Dr Alemayehu presented his paper in Addis Ababa at the launch of a two-year 12 series of public dialogue by the Forum for Social Studies – a local civil society, partially financed by the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID).

 

“The Koreans came out of such vulnerability risk after analysing their situation properly, discussing the issue with their intellectuals and setting long term plans,” he said, advising the Ethiopian government to invest in quality education, skilled labour and improve the negotiations capacity as well as have in place a well-designed policy.

Last decade

Official estimates have shown the Ethiopian economy growing by double digits annually for about a decade now, a figure that has highly been doubted by independent scholars.

The Addis government has been applauded for growing the country’s GDP by around 10 per cent per year for the last decade.

In his paper, Dr Alemayehu indicated that Ethiopia’s external loan included $17.6 billion from China for various infrastructure developments, around $3 billion from Turkish and close to $1 billion from Indian governments.

The World Bank’s data shows that from 2012 – 2016, Ethiopia has taken a total loan of close to $6 billion from the global lender. Last year, Ethiopia for the first time, joined Euro Bond and accessed $1.5 billion.

In addition to loans, reports show that some $3 billion annually came to the country in the form of aid from donors.

Have declined

Ethiopia’s exports have declined from around $3 billion last year to around $2.5 billion this year, as revealed in the recent six-month report of the prime minister to the parliament.

Even though tax collection has been growing by an average of 20 per cent annually over the past five years, Ethiopia’s tax to GDP ratio still stands at 13 per cent, which is less than the around 16 per cent of the sub-Saharan average.

Last year, Ethiopia collected around $6 billion from tax, including $25 million recovered from contraband traders. The figure could have been raised by at least $3 billion had it not been for the generous tax incentives the country has provided to investors, according to latest report of the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority (ERCA).

In only nine months of Ethiopia’s last budget (July 8, 2014 – July 7, 2015), the country provided tax incentives of around $2.4 billion to investors, by exempting them from customs and excise duties and withholding, VAT and surtaxes, according to ERCA’s report.

Financial integrity

A financial integrity report last December indicated that around $2 billion was leaving Ethiopia every year through mis-invoicing and other tax frauds.

When it comes to the FDI coming from China, India and Turkey, close to 71 per cent of their investments in Ethiopia were in the manufacturing sector.

However, job creation, technology transfer and export contribution were insignificant for Ethiopia, which has over an 90 million population dominated by the youth. The country has about 16 per cent unemployment rate, according to Dr Alemayehu.

Between 2003-2012, there were 93 Chinese companies that had reportedly invested $600 million, creating around 69,000 permanent and 79,000 temporary jobs for Ethiopians. There was little contribution to technology transfer and foreign currency generation through the exportation of their products.

According to Dr Alemayehu’s paper, during the same period, Indian investments in Ethiopia created 24,000 and 26,000 permanent and temporary jobs respectively, while 341 Turkish companies operating in Ethiopia created a total of 50,000 jobs.

Though much was being talked about Chinese investments growing in Africa, the Asian giant had less than 4 per cent of total share of FDI on the continent, out of the total stock of $554 billion worth in 2010. Most of the investments in Africa were still dominated by the Western companies, according to Dr Alemayehu.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn recently told the local media that Ethiopia’s GDP growth was not expected to record a double digit this year and would likely drop to around 7 per cent.

However, his special economic adviser with a ministerial docket, Dr Arkebe Equbay, reportedly told Bloomberg media that the economy was expected to grow by 11 per cent this year.

Foreign debts

The government was now expected to deal with puzzles such as why the economic performance was not as good as in the previous years, with all the generous incentives to investors and huge infrastructure investments mainly dependent on local and external loans?

How to repay its local and foreign debts before the lenders force the government to cede shares in its highly protected businesses, such as, Ethio Telecom, Ethiopian Airlines, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Insurance Corporation and Ethiopian Shipping Lines is, for sure, the elephant in the room.

But the big question is: How soon will these issues get the attention of a government pre-occupied with trying to feed about a dozen million people affected by drought and dealing with political unrest and conflicts mainly in Oromia and Gondar area of Amhara Region?


 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201604080259.html

Ethiopia – #OromoProtests and Ethiopian Repression: Overview March 28, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooGadaa.com and finfinnee Tribune#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in EthiopiaAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015#OromoProtests‬ (1st March 2016) in Qarsaa town. Oromo nationals Muraadii and Kadir Siraj Ahmed killed by AgaziStop killing Oromo StudentsSuruma people of the Omo Valley are being tortured by  fascist Ethiopia (Agazi) forces because  they protested their land being taken for Sugar  plantationOromo people mourn a suspected protester who was allegedly shot dead by Ethiopian security forces, Oromia, Dec. 2015Women mourn during the funeral ceremony of a primary school teacher who family members said was shot dead by military forces during protests in Oromia#OromoProtests iconic picture#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally, South Africa, 1st Feb. 2016


Ethiopia – Oromo Protests and Ethiopian Repression: Overview

By Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com |Bitootessa/March 28, 2016


 

The current round of Oromo protests is a continuation of previous peaceful protests against the government’s illegal land grabbing. The Ethiopian government massacred over 78 university students in Ambo in 2014 but left their questions unanswered. The current protests ask the same unanswered questions but they also raise deeper grievances and longstanding issues of injustice, identity and fundamental human rights. They particularly focus on the brutalities of the last 25 years of totalitarian repression to which the international community has turned a blind eye.

Ethiopia and the World

Ethiopia is a darling of both the West and the East of the now unidentifiable Cold War divide. In the West, Ethiopia is praised for being a key ally in the war on terror and for hosting refugees. In the East and the Middle East, she is celebrated for opening up the country for land grabbing.

Both sides applaud Ethiopia for creating the fastest growing economy in Africa and for allowing their banks and companies access to land and investment for economic development.

What is hidden in the praise for hosting refugees is the mind-boggling number of refugees that Ethiopia herself produces by turning the country into a bloodbath for dissidents. What is hidden is that some of those who flee atrocity cannot make it to asylum or resettlement because the Ethiopian regime hunts them down and captures them, because they are eaten by wild animals, or because they drown in oceans and big seas in their desperate attempt to reach safety.

What is hidden in the praise for Ethiopia’s alliance against terrorism is the barbaric terrorism of the Ethiopian state itself. What is hidden is that Ethiopia uses its anti-terrorism proclamation as a weapon for silencing any form of dissent. What is hidden is that many thousands of innocent political opponents, journalists, artist, musicians and peaceful protestors are marked as terrorists and beaten, jailed, tortured, killed, or otherwise exiled.

What is drowned out in the applause of economic development is the staggering human cost of land grabbing and the brute bestiality of Ethiopian state terrorism to snuff out indigenous land claims. The savage massacre of thousands of innocent indigenous peoples in Gambella, Ogaden, Oromia, Tepi, and Wolkayet are only a few examples of genocidal ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity that the Ethiopian government commits in the name of development.

Social Engineering: Minoritizing the Majority

Ethiopia is an incredibly diverse multinational and multi-faith state of 100 million people. The Ethiopian government is admired for its bold attempt at ethnic federalism in order to address the controversial national question and foster democratic relations among its diverse polity.

What is hidden, however, is that the so-called ethnic federalism is a sham and the incredibly beautiful diversity is eclipsed by the totalitarian repression of a single-party dominated by a handful of elite, namely the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), from a minority national group from Tigray.

What is hidden is that this minority clique from Tigray clings on to power by pitting nations against nations, by muzzling free expression, and by jailing, killing and exiling its political opponents. What is hidden is that this repressive clique used iron fist over the last 25 years to entrench its exclusive empire. What is hidden is the extreme greed and lust for power that put a tight absolute control of the country in the hands of a few hand-picked TPLF members.

What is hidden is that Tigray, the nation from which the TPLF clique hails, makes only 6% of Ethiopia’s population but this clique takes exclusive absolute control over the politics, economy, military and media of the entire country. What is hidden is that Oromos constitute 90% of political prisoners while they are only 40% (close to 40 million) of Ethiopia’s population.

What is hidden is that the late Meles Zenawi, the architect of the current TPLF Empire, had vowed to destroy those he considered major threats, particularly the two most populous nations, Oromos and Ahmaras. He vowed to reduce Oromos to a minority because of their numerous population and their crucial demographic, geographic, and geopolitical centrality for the entire Horn of Africa region. As for Amharas, he vowed to break their dominance because he fostered vengeance against them for what he saw as their former ruling-elite chauvinism.

What is deeply hidden is that his policy of destruction is being carried out through the social engineering of mass evictions of people from ancestral lands, mass massacre of those who resist, permanent mass exile of those who manage to escape, mass incarceration and genocidal ethnic cleansing of those who remain. What is hidden is that fertile land from which indigenous peoples are massacred or illegally evicted without compensation is given to TPLF members or leased to foreign investors for some ridiculous 99 years. What is hidden is this silent TPLF take over, TPLF turning itself into a majority though social engineering and political vote-rigging.

What is not so hidden is that the shameless declaration of 100% election victory (read 0% dissent tolerance) in May 2015 by the cliquish ruling party is a suicidal pill at the culmination of its lust for power. What is not so hidden is that this victory is an utter failure incurred through merciless killing, jailing and harassment of people and broad-day robbery of their ballots. What is not hidden is that the 100% victory of 2015 is the grand finale of the 2005 election where this clique massacred over 200 opposition party protestors and robbed them of their election wins.

Troubling Impunity

One thing is deeply troubling: the TPLF clique is committing all the mind-boggling atrocities with utter impunity under the watching eyes of a world that fails to take any meaningful action to stop the carnage. What is troubling is that tyranny is rewarded as good governance, emboldening the regime to continue with its genocide and ethnic cleansing. What is troubling is Ethiopia’s economic development is celebrated even as its most vulnerable children are exposed to famine.

What has become obvious, however, is that all the praised economic development has not spared the cliquish regime from begging food aid for 20 million of its fellow citizens facing starvation. What is so obvious is that, although drought may be the result of El Nino and climate change, food scarcity is the result of the greedy clique gobbling up the wealth of the entire nation.

Impunity or not, the people seem to have discarded the regime. The peace-loving ordinary people of Ethiopia, people renowned for their strong forbearance and unlimited patience, have now run out of patience. These law-abiding people are confronted by a totalitarian clique that refuses to abide by any law, including its own constitution. The people have now said: enough is enough!

The peaceful protest triggered in the largest and most populous nation of Oromia is spreading to the entire country. People are turning its claim of 100% election victory inside out. They are demonstrating their overwhelming rejection.

Focus on Oromo Protests

March 12, 2016 marks exactly four months of the ongoing Oromo peaceful protests which started on November 12, 2015. The protests have rocked every corner of Oromia and they are spreading to other parts of Ethiopia. They started in response to the illegal land grabbing by the government, which left millions of indigenous Oromo farmers landless and homeless. This was in utter violation of their constitutional rights and fundamental human rights.

Primary and high school students, the children of the farmers who felt the pinch, started the peaceful protests which quickly engulfed the entire state of Oromia. Instead of listening to their legitimate grievances, however, the Ethiopian government responded by unleashing its military forces and mercilessly beating and killing unarmed peaceful protestors. Marking an entire nation as terrorist and turning its defence forces against its own citizens, the government dissolved civilian administration and imposed a martial law. The besieged state of Oromia is now ruled by eight of the country’s top war generals under the central command post of the Prime Minister.

Soldiers are now ravaging the Oromo communities. Over 450 peaceful protestors have been massacred, including many children and pregnant women. The death toll continues to rise as bodies are still being discovered in the ditches, forests and rivers. Mothers are killed while protecting their children. Elders as old as 80 are killed alongside children as young as 2. Many thousands are savagely beaten and maimed. Over 12, 000 are jailed and tortured. Mostly young students are being targeted. Soldiers are regularly breaking into university dormitories, beating students and raping young women. They are regularly breaking into private homes, beating men and raping women in front of their families. Girls as young as 12 are gang raped by soldiers.

The carnage continues today, four months into the protests. Ongoing appeals to donor nations resulted in some public condemnations of the atrocities but fell short of taking meaningful action. Sadly, western governments have pushed human rights and justice to the back burner, prioritizing security and the economy.

Please share this information with all who care about human lives and human rights. The claims made here are all documented in the accompanying Info Kit [pdf file] for your reference.


 

Info-Kit-Updated-18-03-16


 

http://gadaa.com/oduu/31687/2016/03/28/ethiopia-oromo-protests-and-ethiopian-repression-overview/

HORN OF AFRICA (ETHIOPIA): RESOLUTION OF THE FIRST CONGRESS OF PEOPLES ALLIANCE FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY (PAFD) March 27, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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Odaa OromooPAFD NEWSPeoples alliances for freedom and democracy, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa

Peoples alliances for freedom and democracy, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa p1

 

Peoples Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) held its first successful general congress from March 21st to 25th 2016 in Eritrean capital, Asmara. The Congress has discussed the status of our collective struggle in particular, the current situation in Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa and the world in details.

PAFD is a political alliance united for the struggle to free the oppressed peoples in Ethiopia and it was established on the 23rd of October 2015 in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, by five different political organizations, namely – Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM), the Gambela People’s Liberation Movement (GPLM), the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF) and representatives from women and youth. The Alliance is determined to uproot the current oppressive minority regime in order to safeguard and advance peoples’ rights to exercise genuine self-determination.

The situation in Ethiopian Empire is deteriorating day by day whereby the dictatorial Ethiopian regime led by TPLF/EPRDF’s government is evicting, harassing, imprisoning civilians without due process of law and intensifying wonton killings.

The military and security apparatus of the government is firing on peaceful demonstrators in most parts of the country, in general, and in Oromia region in particular. Denial of political rights of people has already led to mass uprising in different parts of the county, in general, as we speak. In its attempt to suppress the peaceful resistances and struggle, the TPLF/EPRDF’s government resorted to responding to peoples’ peaceful quest with violence and declared martial law.

Additionally, its response is also become evident as it is implementing various forms of brutalizing methods. It also continuously uproots people from their ancestral lands deploying excessive force and killing innocent civilians including children and pregnant women. Regardless of strong people’s opposition and international criticism to such illegal and inhumane policy, the regime, continues with implementing its harsh policy using international aids as a political weapon.

The regime continues to violet freedom of press, policy of land grabbing, exploitation of natural resources, instigating conflicts among different nations and nationalities to insure its grab on power.

After hearing report from temporary committee formed on founding conference, the chairmen of the five organizations and the participants of the general congress have discussed and analyzed the success, weakness, opportunities and possible threat the alliance might be facing during the course of its operational activities. After deliberation on founding documents, future political, diplomatic and military activities, the congress has ratified PAFD’s working documents.

The General congress also discussed and strategized about the future direction of the Alliance’s activities and clearly instructed its executive committee and all other functional bodies.

The General congress also elected its chairman, two vice chairmen, executive committee members and head of different functional bodies to carry out the operational tasks of the Alliance. After assessing the current situation of the Ethiopian Empire, the Horn of Africa and wider global affairs the PAFD’s General Congress calls upon:

  • The peoples of our member organizations to be unconditionally united to resist and intensify their legitimate struggle to achieve their unalienable rights denied to them by successive Ethiopian rulers including the current one.
  • The Ethiopian Regime to unconditionally stop killing of unarmed innocent civilians, imprisoning without due process of law, looting natural resources of oppressed nations and people and media blockage.
  • The military and security apparatus to stop killing of innocent civilians and we urge it to stand with people to end the TPLF/EPRDF’s brutal rule.
  • All political organizations in the Ethiopian Empire to stand shoulder to shoulder to fight the dictatorial regime in unison. Furthermore, PAFD invites all opposition groups who are struggling for freedom, justice, equality and democracy to unconditionally join the Alliance.
  • The international community to respect the wishes, desires and the rights of all the nations and peoples in Ethiopia, and stop supporting the dictatorial regime before the current situation becomes totally uncontrollable.
  • We also ask the international community to exert their influence in bringing those responsible massacring innocent civilians to justice.

Finally, PAFD strongly condemns the illegal use of aid given to the people who are in great need, and preventing them from acquiring other means by blocking trade and denying access to all humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, we condemn soliciting aid for regime’s political purposes created by evicting indigenous peoples from their fertile land and chartering it to the so called foreign and ruling class investors.

Peace, Democracy, Freedom and Genuine rights of peoples to Self determination!

Peoples Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD)

March 25, 2016


 

Murtii fi Kutannoolee Kora 1ffaa Tumsa Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii(PAFD) Tumsi Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii(PAFD) kora jalqabaa  Bitootessa 21 hanga 25 bara 2016 magaalaa Asmaraa Eertiraatti, gaggeeffatee milkiin xumuratee jira.

Kori kun haala qabsoo waloo irratti, haala yeroo ammaa Itoophiya keessaa, haala Godinaa Gaanfa Afrikaa fi kan idil addunyaarratti bal’inaan mari’ateera. Tumsi Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii, qabsoo ummatoota cunqurfamoo Itoophiyaa bilisa baasuuf gaggeeffamu waloon finiinsuuf tumsa siyaasaa Onkoloolessa 23 bara 2015 magaalaa guddoo Noorweey, Oslootti dhaabbolee siyaasaa adda addaa Shan:- Sochii Bilisummaa Ummatoota Benishaangul(BPLM), Sochii Bilisummaa Ummatoota Gaambeellaa(GPLM), Adda Bilisummaa Biyyoolessaa Ogaadeen(ONLF), Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo (OLF) fi Adda Bilisummaa Biyyoolessa Sidaamaa(SNLF), bakka bu’oota dubartootaa fi dargaggootaan bu’ureeffame dha.

Tumsi kun sirna cunqursaa murna abbaa irree wayta ammaa aangoorra jiru hundeen buqqisuudhaan ummatoonni akka mirgoota isaanii kabajsiifatanii fi hiree murteeffannaa isaanii guutuutti fiixa baafatan dandeessisuuf jabinaan hojjeta. Haalli impaayera Itoophiyaa keessaa guyyaa irraa gara guyyaatti hammaataa kan jiru yoo tahu, sirni cunqursaa Itoophiya, mootummaa TPLF/EPRD’n durfamu lammiilee siviilii dachee isaaniirraa buqqisaa, hiraarsaa, seeraan ala hidhaa fi tahe jedhee ajjeechaa jumlaa irratti raawwatu bal’inaan itti fufee argama. Humnoonni waraanaa fi tikaa mootummaa naannolee biyyatii hedduu keessatti addatti ammoo naannoo Oromiyaatti lammiilee hiriira nagaa bahanirratti rasaasa dhukaasaa jiru. Mirga siyaasaa waakkatamuun ummatootni waliigala naannolee biyyattii heddutti akka fincilan taasisee waytuma Korri kun gaggeeffamaa jirru kanattuullee diddaatu deemaa jira. Mootummaan TPLF/EPRDF diddaa fi qabsoo karaa nagaa gaggeeffamaa jiru ukkaamsuuf akka furmaataatti kan fudhate ummatoota karaa nagaa gaaffii dhiyeessan irratti tarkaanfii suukaneessaa fudhachuu fi bulchiinsa waraanaa jala galchuun hacuucuu dha. Dabalataanis, tooftaaleen yakka hammeenyaa sirnichi itti fayyadamaa jiru garaagaraatis deebisaa gaaffii ummatootaaf laataa jiru ifatti agarsisu. Daa’immanii fi dubartoota ulfaa dabalatee lammiilee fayyaaleyyii gara-jabinaan ajjeesuu fi humnatti dhimma bahee lafa akaakilee-abaabilee isaaniirraa buqqisuus akka itti fufee jira. Imaammata gocha seeraan alaa fi yakka namoom-dhaba tarkaanfachiisaa jiruun ummatoota biyyattiirraa mormii jabaan irratti gaggeeffamus, qeeqni jabaan hawaasa addunyaarraa isa mudatus sirnichi, imaammata hammeenyaa hojiirra oolchuu itti fufuudhaan gargaarsa addunyaarraa argatu akka meeshaa siyaasaatti dhimma bahaatuma jira.

Imaammata gocha seeraan alaa fi yakka namoom-dhaba tarkaanfachiisaa jiruun ummatoota biyyattiirraa mormii jabaan irratti gaggeeffamus, qeeqni jabaan hawaasa addunyaarraa isa mudatus sirnichi, imaammata hammeenyaa hojiirra oolchuu itti fufuudhaan gargaarsa addunyaarraa argatu akka meeshaa siyaasaatti dhimma bahaatuma jira. Sirni wayyaanee mirga bilisummaa Pireesii sarbuu, imaammata saamicha lafaa fi saamicha qabeenya uumamaa akkasumas aangoorra of tursuuf sabootaa fi sab-lammoota jidduutti shira xaxee walitti bu’iinsa dhalchuus itti fufe malee hin dhaabne. Korri 1ffaa Tumsa Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii, gaabaasa Koreen yeroo konfaransii bu’uursaarratti filame dhiyeesse erga dhaggeeffatee booda, dura taa’onni dhaabbilee Shananii fi hirmaattonni korichaa milkaayina, dadhabina, hiree fi dhimmoota adeemsa hojiilee tumsichaa keessatti gufuu uumuu malanirratti marii fi xiinxala bal’aa gaggeessaniiru. Barruulee bu’uuraa haala hegeree sochiilee siyaasaa, dippiloomaasii fi waraanaa ilaalchisuun dhiyaatan irratti mariin gaggeeffamee wal hubannaarra erga gahameen booda, korichi dokmantii hojii kan Tumsa Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii raggaasee jira. Korri waliigalaa kun kana malees kallattii hojiilee tumsichaa kan fuula duraa irratti mari’achuun tarsiimoo kan baafate yoo tahu, koree hoji-raawwachiiftuu fi qaamota tumsichaa biroo hundaafis qajeelfama dabarsee jira. Korri waliigalaa kun dura taa’aa, Itti aanoota dura taa’aa Lama, miseensota Koree hoji-raawwachiiftuu fi hogganoota qaamota tumsichaa hojiif dhaabbatan adda addaas akka hojiilee tumsichaa raawwataniif filee jira. Korri kun haala impaayera Itoophiyaa wayta ammaa, godinaa Gaanfa Afrikaa fi idil addunyaa erga xiinxaleen booda, waamicha qabsoo itti aanu dabarse. Ummatoonni dhaabolee miseensa Tumsichaa, mirgoota isaanii mootummaa amma aangoorra jiru dabalatee mootummoota Itoophiyaa dhufaa-dabraan sarbamaa jiran gonfachuuf haal-duree tokko malee tokkoomuun diddaa fi qabsoo itti jiran akka finiinsan, Mootummaan Itoophiyaa lammiilee siviilii harka duwwaa gaaffii mirgaa dhiyeessaa jiran ajjeesuu, seeraan ala hidhuu, qabeenya uumamaa sabootaa fi sab-lammiilee saamuu fi mancaasuu akkasumas miidiyaalee ugguruu daddaffiin akka dhaabu, Humnoonni waraanaa fi tikaa sirnichaatis lammiilee fayyaaleyyii ajjeesuu akka dhaabanii fi sirna bulchiinsa TPLF/ EPRDFtti xumura gochuuf ummata waliin akka hiriiran, Dhaabbileen siyaasaa Impaayera Itoophiyaa keessa jiran hundumtuu harka walqabachuudhaan tokkummaan sirna abbaa irreerratti akka qabsaawan, kanatti dabalees, gareeleen mormitootaa bilisummaa, walqixxummaa, haqaa fi dimokraasii dhugoomsuuf qabsaawaa jiran marti akka tumsichatti makaman Tumsi Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii waamicha isaa dabarsa.

Hawaasni addunyaa hawwii, fedhii fi mirga sabootaa fi ummatoota Itoophiyaa keessaa hunda akka kabajuu fi haalli ammaan tana biyyattii keessaa gara tohannoon alatti hin tarkaanfatin, sirna abbaa irree deeggaruu akka dhaaban Tumsi Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii waamicha isaa dabarsa. Kana malees tumsi kun, hawaasni addunya kanneen lammiilee siviilii ajjeesuun gaafatamoo tahan fuula seeraatti akka dhihaataniif dhiibbaa barbaachisu akka taasisan gaafata. Maayiirratti, Tumsi Ummatootaa Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii gargaarsa ummatoota rakkoof saaxilamaniif kennamu seeraan ala itti fayyadamuu fi ummatootni miidhaan irra gahe hojjatanii akka of hin gargaarreef qoqqobbiin daldala mootummaan irra kaa’amee, akkasumas, gargaarsa namoomaa irratti uggura kaa’ame gadi jabeessee balaaleffata. Kana malees, gargaarsa ummatootaaf kenname dantaa siyaasaa irra oolfachuudhaan lammiileen lafa gabbataa qabeeya akaakilee-abaabilee isaanii taherraa buqqisuu fi invastaroota alaa dhufan jedhamanii fi sirnicha waliin hidhata qabanitti gurguraa jirus jabeessee balaaleffanna.

Nagaa, Dimokraasii fi Mirga Haqaa Ummatootaa kan Hiree Murteeffannaa!

Tumsa Ummatootaa kan Bilisummaa fi Dimokraasii(PAFD)

Bitootesssa 15, 2016

Asmaraa, Eertiraa

Waajjira Pireeziidiyemii

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የህዝቦች ትብብር ሇነጻነትና ሇዲሞክራሲ(PAFD) 1 ኛ ጉባዔ ውሳኔ

የህዝቦች ትብብር ሇነጻነትና ሇዲሞክራሲ(PAFD) የመጀመሪያውን የተሳካ ጠቅሊሊ ጉባዔ ከመጋቢት 21 እስከ 25 ቀን 2016ዓም በኤርትራ ርዕሰ-መዲና፡ ኣስመራ ኣካሂዷሌ። ጉባዔው በተሇይ ወቅታዊ የጋራ ትግሌ ሊይ፣ በኣሁኑ ወቅት በኢትዮጵያ ባሇው ሁኔታ ፣ በኣፍሪካ ቀንድ ቀጣናና ኣሇምኣቀፍ ሁኔታ ሊይ በስፋት ተወያይቷሌ። የህዝቦች ትብብር ሇነጻነትና ሇዲሞክራሲ የኢትዮጵያን ህዝቦች ነጻ ሇማውጣት እየተካሄዯ ያሇውን የነጻነትና የዲሞክራሲ ትግሌ በጋራ ሇማፋፋም ጥቅምት 23 ቀን 2015ዓም በኦስል ከተማ ከኣምስት የፖሇቲካ ድርጅቶች ማሇትም፥ የቤኒሻንጉሌ ህዝቦች ነጻነት ንቅናቄ(ቤህነን)፣ የጋምቤሊ ህዝቦች ነጻነት ንቅናቄ(ጋህነን)፣ የኦጋዴን ብሄራዊ ነጻነት ግንባር (ኦብነግ)፣ የኦሮሞ ነጻነት ግንባር(ኦነግ) እና የሲዳማ ብሄራዊ ነጻነት ግንባር(ሲብነግ) ተወካዮች፣ በድርጅቶቹ የሴቶችና ወጣቶች ተወካዮች የተመሰረተ ነው። ይህ ትብብር ሰሌጣን ሊይ ያሇውን ኣምባገነን ስርዓት ብማስወገድ ዝቦች መብቶቻቸውን ኣስከብረውና የራሳቸውን እድሌ በራስ የመወሰን መብታቸውን እውን እንዲያዯርጉ በጥንካሬ ይሰራሌ’’። በኢትዮጵያ ኢምፓዬር ውስጥ ያሇው ሁኔታ ከቀን ወዯ ቀን እየከፋ በመሄድ ሊይ ሲሆን፥ በህወሃት/ኢህኣዴግ የሚመራው የሃገሪቷ ኣምባገነን ስርዓት ንጹሃን ዜጎችን ከመሬታቸው ማፈናቀሌን፣ ማንገሊታቱን፣ በህገ-ወጥ ሁኔታ ማሰሩና ሆን ብል በጅምሊ መግዯለን ኣጠናክሯሌ። የመንግስት ጦር ሃይሌና ዯህንነቶች በበርካታ የኣጋሪቱ ኣካባቢዎች በተሊይም ዯግሞ በኦሮሚያ ሰሌፍ በወጡ ዜጎች ሊይ ጥይት አያዘነቡ ነው። ህዝቦች የፖሇቲካ መብቶቻቸዋን መነገፋቸው ባጠቃሊይ በኣያላ የሃገሪቷ ኣካባቢዎች ህዝባዊ ቁጣና ኣመጽን ወሌዶ ጉባኤው እየተወያየ ባሇበት ጊዜ እንኩዋ ኣመጹ እየተካሄዯ ይገኛሌ። የህወሃት/ኢህኣዴግ መንግስት በሰሊማዊ መንገድ እየተካሄዯ ያሇውን ተቃውሞና ኣመጽ ሇማፈን እንዯመፍትሄ ብል አየወሰዯ ያሇው በሰሊማዊ መንገድ ጥያቄ ባቀረቡት ሊይ ኣረመኔያዊ እርምጃ መውሰድና በጦር ኣስተዳዯር ስር ኣስገብቶ እንግሌት መፈጸምን ነው። በተጨማሪም ስርዓቱ እየተጠቀመባቸው ያለት የተሇያዩ ዘግናኝ እርምጃዎች የመንግስቱን ክፋት በግሌጽ ያሳያለ። ህጻናትና ነፍሰ-ጡር ሴቶችን ጨምሮ ንጹሃን ዜጎችን በመግዯሌና ሃይሌ በመጠቀም ከኣያት-ቀድመ ኣያት መሬታቸው ሊይ ማፈናቀለንም ቀጥሎሌ። እያራመዯ ባሇው ህገ-ወጥና ኢ-ሰብዓዊ ድርጊቶች አንዲሁም በሚከተሇው ፖሉሲ ከሃገሪቷ ህዝቦች የበረታ ተቃውሞ ቢካሄድበትም፥ ከኣሇም ማህበረሰብ ውግዘት ቢገጥመውም ስርዓቱ እኩይ ፖሉሲውን ስራ ሊይ ማዋለን አንዯቀጠሇ ነው። ከኣሇምኣቀፍ ኣካሊት የሚያገኘውን እርዳታም እንዯፖሇቲካ መሳሪያ መጠቀሙን ቀጥሎሌ። ይህ የትብብሩ ጠቅሊሊ ጉባዔ በመስራች ኮንፈረሱ ሊይ የተቋቋመው ጊዜያዊ ኮሚቴ ያቀረበውን ሪፖርት ካዳመጠ በኋሊ የኣምስቱም ድርጅቶች ሉቃነመናብርትና የጉባዔው ተካፋዮች የትብብሩ ስራዎች ስኬቶች፣ ድክመቶን፣ እድልችና እንቅፋት ሉሆኑ ይችሊለ በተባለ ሁኔታዎች ሊይ ውይይትና ግምገማ ኣካሂዯዋሌ።

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Al Jazeera: Africa (Oromia): Ethiopia’s Oromo people demand equal rights in protests. #OromoProtests March 27, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia#OromoProtests, Australia, Oromo solidarity rally, 17 March 2016#OromoProtests in Adaabbaa, Arsi, Oromia, March 2016. This is Abbaas Roobaa Bulloo, 16 year old boy killed by fascist TPLF Agazi forces.#OromoProtests global solidarity rally organised by the Australian Oromo community in Melbourne, 10 March 2016 p2No To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Oromo people demand equal rights in protests

Largest ethnic group in Ethiopia continues to rally against the government despite crackdown.

By Charles Stratford, Al Jazeera

 

 https://youtu.be/TJOh1y7J72I

Wolonkomi, Ethiopia – Six-year-old Abi Turi and her nine-year-old brother Dereje have not been attending classes in Wolonkomi.

Their school was closed in January as the Ethiopian government began what its critics call a crackdown on protests by the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group.

It is uncertain how many people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters since November, when a series of demonstrations began.

Local estimates put the figure at between 80 and above 200. The New York-based Human Rights Watch has said that more than 200 people may have died in about six months, a figure the government denies.

“With regards to allegations from human rights groups or self-styled human rights protectors, the numbers they come with, the stories they often paint, are mostly plucked out thin air,” Getachew Reda, the information minister, told Al Jazeera.

Abi and Dereje’s mother was among those shot in January. She was hit by a bullet in the neck. Despite receiving medical treatment, she died of her wounds in March.

“The little girl cries and keeps asking where her mother is. We feel her pain,” said the children’s grandfather Kena Turi, a farmer. “The older one cried when his mother was shot and died, but now it seems he understands she’s gone.”

Oromo students began rallying to protest against a government plan they said was intended to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa, the capital, into Oromia’s farmland.

Protests continue

Oromia is the country’s largest region, and many there believe the government did not want to redevelop services and roads, but that it was engaged in a landgrab.

Though the government shelved its “Integrated Development Master Plan” due to the tension, protests continued as the Oromo called for equal rights.

In February, another anti-government rally turned violent. Nagase Arasa, 15, and her eight-year-old brother Elias say they were shot in their legs while a demonstration happened near their home.


READ MORE: Oromo protests continue amid harsh crackdown


“I was in the back yard walking to the house when I was shot,” Nagase told Al Jazeera.

“My brother was in the house. I couldn’t walk I was bleeding. Then I was hit again when I was on the ground I felt the pain then my brother came to help me and he was shot too.”

Ethiopia has an ethnically-based federal system that gives a degree of self-rule to the Oromo people.

But the Oromo opposition, some of whose members have been detained, says the system has been corrupted by the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.

A ‘marginalised’ community

Merera Gudina, an Oromo politician, said that members of his community feel marginalised — excluded from cultural activities, discriminated against because of their different language, and not consulted in political or economic decisions.

With double-digit growth over the last decade, Ethiopia has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, but the majority of the Oromo remain poor.

“Until the Oromo’s get their proper place in this country I don’t think it [dissent] is going to go. The government wants to rule in the old way; people are resisting being ruled in the old way,” Gudina said.


READ MORE: Ethiopia accused on bloody crackdown


Reporting and recording human rights abuses is also risky, activists told Al Jazeera. Local and foreign journalists said attempts were made to intimidate them, with some detained.

Al Jazeera spoke with local reporters who said they were too afraid to even try and cover the issue.

“It’s very dangerous. Everybody is living in fear. They imprison people every day. People have disappeared. Doing this work is like selling my life,” a human rights activist told Al Jazeera, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Government rejects claims

Kumlachew Dagne, a human rights lawyer, said there was a need for “public forums and consultation for debates on public policy issues” to allow for different views to be heard. He added that the protesters who were injured or killed had not been armed.

“Many of those people were killed after the protests took place many of the people were shot in the back some were shot in the head, which shows that these people were not armed,” he said.

“They were peaceful demonstrators. That is consistent with reports we had from victims’ families.”

The government rejects such claims as exaggerated or fabricated.

“People, whether they are civilians or security officials who have been involved in an excessive use of force, will be held responsible,” Reda said.

He said the government would consult with the Oromo people and “address the underlying problems”.


 

Read more at:-

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/ethiopia-oromo-people-demand-equal-rights-protests-160326061204927.html


 

Bloomberg Business: The Shadow Over Ethiopia’s Construction Boom. #OromoProtests March 21, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooEthiopian-land-giveawaySay no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

The Shadow Over Ethiopia’s Construction Boom

By William Davison, Bloomberg Business, 21 March 2016

Oromo farmer on his farmland under land grabs

  • Building glut seen fueling biggest political crisis in decade
  • Fatal land protests near capital have raged since November

(Bloomberg business) — When Ethiopian farmer Mulugeta Mezemir ceded his land three years ago to property developers on the fringes of the expanding capital, Addis Ababa, he felt he had no choice.

A gated community with white picket fences and mock Roman pillars built by Country Club Developers now occupies the fields he tilled in Legetafo, Oromia region, after the 60-year-old said local government officials convinced him to accept an offer or face expropriation. He took the cash and vacated the land, which in Ethiopia is all state-owned.

“We were sad, but we thought at the time that they were going to take the land for free,” said Mulugeta, a father of 12, while feeding hay to cattle a few meters from foundations for the next phase of housing. “We thought it was better to take whatever they were paying.”

As Ethiopia, which the International Monetary Fund estimates saw 8.7 percent economic growth in the last fiscal year, undergoes a construction boom, complaints over evictions and unfair compensation have fomented the country’s most serious domestic political crisis in a decade.

Fatal Protests

In protests by the largest ethnic group, the Oromo, that began in November, security forces allegedly shot dead as many as 266 demonstrators, according to the Kenya-based Ethiopian Human Rights Project. The government says many people died, including security officers, without giving a toll. Foreign investors including Dangote Cement Plc had property damaged.

Ethiopian Communication Minister Getachew Reda said protesters were in part angry at “some crooked officials” who have been “lining their pockets by manipulating” land deals around the capital. Property developers CCD followed legal procedures, paid standard rates of compensation and employed many members of farmers’ families, according to Tedros Messele, a member of the company’s management team.

Cases such as Mulugeta’s have been a growing trend on the outskirts of the capital over the past two decades, said Nemera Mamo, an economist at Sussex University in England. No recent, independent studies have been conducted into how many people have been affected.

‘Beggars, Laborers’

“The booming construction industry has contributed to Addis Ababa’s rapid expansion that’s dispossessed many poor farmers and turned them into beggars and daily laborers,” Nemera said. “The Oromo protest movement opposes the mass eviction of poor farmers.”

Ethiopia’s state-heavy model seeks to industrialize the impoverished nation within a decade by improving infrastructure and combining investment with cheap labor, land and water to produce higher-value goods. Projects for what the IMF calls African’s fastest-growing economy include the continent’s largest hydropower dam, railways and the building of 700,000 low-cost apartments by 2020.

Construction accounted for more than half of all industry in the fiscal year that ended in July after it grew an annual 37 percent, according to National Bank of Ethiopia data. Industry comprised 15 percent of output.

Domestic Supply

Investors such as Diageo Plc, the world’s largest liquor maker, and Unilever Plc are tapping into the expansion by building Ethiopian facilities. Citizens of Africa’s second-most populous nation are using money earned there or abroad to build residences, malls and offices.

The ruling party hasn’t kept pace with the boom by improving governance and the ability of domestic manufacturers to supply the industry, said Tsedeke Yihune, who owns Flintstone Engineering, an Ethiopian contractor that’s built upmarket housing and African Union offices.

“Construction has not been used as it was supposed to, as a means of building domestic capacity, building good governance, as well as delivering the government’s development agenda,” Tsedeke said in an interview in the capital.

More than 70 percent of construction materials are imported, including cables, steel, ceramics, locks, furniture and electrical fittings, Tsedeke said. Ethiopia’s trade deficit increased by $3 billion to $14.5 billion last fiscal year.

Government Spending

Addis Ababa-based Orchid Business Group is another recipient of government capital spending, which the IMF says could double to almost $15 billion a year by 2020. Orchid’s projects include one with Italy’s Salini Impregilo SpA building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, said Hailealem Worku, the construction and engineering head.

Cement plants built by companies including Dangote have made Ethiopia self-sufficient in the material, while manufacturing incentives means glass, paint and steel factories will play a bigger role soon, Hailealem said.

The government wants to improve regulations and change attitudes so contractors boost their skills and ethics, Construction Minister Ambachew Mekonnen said in an interview. “The construction industry suffers from a lack of good governance,” he said.

In Legetafo, Mulugeta was paid 17 birr ($0.80) a square meter in compensation. Meanwhile, people were bidding as much as 355,555 birr per meter to rent land in Addis Ababa last year. Mulugeta used the 200,000 birr he received for the plot for expenses including renting more farmland. Two of his children now work as CCD cleaners, earning 40 birr a day.

“We are getting deeper into poverty,” he said.


 

Oromo: Ethiopia’s Construction Boom Marred by Evictions and Unrest

http://unpo.org/article/19034

 

Oromia (#OromoProtests): Partial list of Oromos mainly students that have been killed by Ethiopian regime police, security agents, Special and armed force during peaceful demonstration of last three months (updated stand. March. 2016) March 18, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Genocide, Oromia, Oromia News.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests iconic pictureOromo Woman confronts Agazi in CalanqooWomen mourn during the funeral ceremony of a primary school teacher who family members said was shot dead by military forces during protests in OromiaHanna doja. Oromo child, 1st grade student in Kombolcha, Horroo Guduruu, Oromia. Attacked  by Ethiopian regime fascist  forces on 31st December  2015Sabboona Oromoo Baayyisaa Taaddasaa#OromoProtests global solidarity rally organised by the Australian Oromo community in Melbourne, 10 March 2016 p2

Partial list of Oromos mainly students that have been killed by Ethiopian regime police, security agents, Special and armed force during peaceful demonstration of last three months (updated stand. March. 2016)

cropped-qeerroo-edit.jpgPartial list of Oromos mainly students that have been killed by Ethiopian regime police, security agents, Special and armed force during peaceful demonstration of last three months (updated stand. March. 2016)

partial-list-of-oromos-mainly-students-that-have-been-killed-by-ethiopian-regime-police

Related report:-

EHRP-OromoProtests-100-Days-of-Public-Protests

 

 

ABC News: Right Group:Oromia: #OromoProtests: Ethiopia’s security forces carrying out serious rights abuses, killings and rapes in clashes with protesters in Oromia

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/abc-news-right-group-oromia-oromoprotests-ethiopias-security-forces-carrying-out-serious-rights-abuses-killings-and-rapes-in-clashes-with-protesters-in-oromia/

OMN: Collaborative public forum by Oromo Community of MN March 17, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom.
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Odaa Oromoo

 

Gambella: My Father, Who Dared to Defend Land Rights March 10, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Gambella, Land Grabs in Africa.
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Odaa OromooFTOakland Institute

 

My Father, Who Dared to Defend Land Rights


Financial Times &  Oakland Institute,  9 March 2016


 

 

Sir, Your Big Read article, “The billionaire’s farm” (March 2), captures well the ramifications of the takeover of land and natural resources on the most marginalised communities in Ethiopia, a destination for many of the foreign investors. The devastating impact is way too personal for some of us.

Okello Akway Ochalla, mentioned in the article, is my father. He was kidnapped and then renditioned to Ethiopia and has been languishing in jail for two years, charged as a terrorist. His crime being — having witnessed the massacre of his people in 2003 as the governor of Gambella, having had to flee the country since he feared for his own life, having been separated from his family — my sister and I spent half of our lives as refugees in Kenya, before coming to the US in 2013 — that he dared to advocate for the human rights of the people of Gambella and the Anuak community.

On March 7, a final verdict was expected in my father’s case and yet once again to break his spirit, the verdict has been postponed to April 6. The strongest evidence the court has against my father is his own confession. A confession obtained, as my father explained in his closing statement, “after being kidnapped and suffering in detention for more than three months without any defence lawyer and communication with anyone”. He added: “The defence statement was made to look as if it was voluntarily submitted to the court… at the time I was giving the statement to the police, I was in an environment where the police investigator had put the pistol on the table in front of me and I was being tortured.”

If anyone cares to read the evidence brought forward by the defence and my father’s closing argument, it is obvious that the crime committed by my father is one of dissent and that he has committed no terrorist activities. His dissent challenges the continued suffering of Anuak people and the theft of natural resources such as our land, rivers and forests, which is igniting social and political conflict. My father is no terrorist. A good man, a good father and a good leader, my father is a land rights defender!

In the light of the excellent coverage by the FT, my sincere hope is that big donors to Ethiopia, including the US, the UK and the World Bank, will reconsider the impact of this land rush on families such as mine and urge the Ethiopian government to release my father.

Obok Akway Ochalla
Spokane, WA, US

Africa On The Move: The Struggle of the Oromo People & Its Movement March 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooAfrica On The Move, Blog talk radio

 

(Blog Talk Radio) — Join “Africa On The Move,’ as we engage in a ‘live’ Pan-African discussion on ‘The Struggle of the Oromo Peoople & Its Movement.’ Members of the Oromo’s Movement will share their realities on what is happening to their people inside Ethiopia and Africa ….Why are there mass killings within their community? Come and join us today, Sunday, March 6, 2016, from 7 – 9 p.m. est., by dialing in at (323) 679-0841 or go online.  the following invited gursts are:  Mr. Daniel Dafa, Professor Asafia Jalata, Mrs. Lali Galan, Mr. Zel Negassa and Mr. Hakeem Landry.  Blog Talk Radio

 

 

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ETHIOPIA: A BLESSING OR A CURSE? March 7, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Development Studies, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooAddis Standard

 

The TPLF Corruption network

OPINION: FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN ETHIOPIA: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?


By J. Bonsa, PhD,   ADDISSTANDARD,   MARCH 03, 2016 


 

In conflict prone contexts, foreign investors, especially whose actions while entering a given country were not subject to checks and balances, may undermine political stability and fuel social unrest.Depending on the level of accountability in the recipient country, foreign direct investment (FDI) could be a blessing or a curse.

In this piece, I will attempt to highlight Ethiopia’s political economy and the setting for the operations of foreign investors.

 

Peculiar political context

Notwithstanding the announcement of a 100% electoral victory by the ruling EPRDF, the fact remains that Ethiopia has never had a fully representative government. This rather unique situation means it is naïve to discuss Ethiopia’s current affairs by applying standard rhetoric.Doing so fails to capture the peculiarity of the situation on the ground. For instance, familiar phrases such as“dictatorial regime” or “totalitarian government” do not fully capture the essence of the current political system in Ethiopia.

 

The key to understand the strange nature of the ERPDF government, a coalition of four parties, is to recognize it as a system of “internal colonial rule” led by one powerful party, the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).It is a conspicuous knowledge held by many that EPRDF essentially means TPLF.

 

The loyalty towards TPLF of Ethiopia’s military and security apparatus has remained the only source of EPRDF’s strength and tight grip on power. Without further ado it is suffice to mention that the country’s army generals and high ranking officers hail from Tigray, the geographic location home to TPLF. In turn the army’s brutal efficiency in military and security command system has earned the TPLF an extraordinary reputation and near complete political upper hand in the eyes of the other three parties within the coalition.

 

Technically that leaves Ethiopia with a reverse political system: the world is familiar with majority-rule and minority-rights, Ethiopia’s, on the other hand,is a political system without even some majority-rights. Today’s TPLF dominated EPRDF needed to be certain that the majority would not have the bare minimum of rights, because, if allowed, this might eventually lead to the emergence of democracy.

 

Business as unusual

The political and military power disparity favoring a single party has also caused divergences in economic and domestic private investment opportunities. This resulted in the emergence of domestic crony capitalism of the ugliest type. Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT), the acronym that has more than 50 companies under its control, owns its presence and dominance to the growing trend of domestic crony capitalism.

 

In the last 25 years EFFORT has emerged as the most powerful domestic business conglomerate controlling the commanding heights of the Ethiopian economy. Its monopoly on the Ethiopian economy ranges from heavy engineering, construction, import and exports (of key capital and raw materials including fertilizers on which all Ethiopian farmers rely) to freight and passenger transport, wholesale and retail distributions. And yet, there is little information about EFFORT that is available for the general public.

 

It is a misnomer to describe EFFORT as a business group “affiliated to the government”. But Ethiopians know that the same groups of people who occupy government positions are also owners of the companies under EFFORT.

 

And as of late another unlikely business monopoly has emerged in the form of the military establishment, the same military whose top leadership is either loyal to or under the indirect control of TPLF. METeC, a company run by the national army, is having an elaborate business interest from production of computers and flat screen TVs to heavy metals, car assembly and hotels. Once again, there is no or little information available to the public on the exact nature of METeC’s business empire.

 

The dark horse

It is within this political reality that one needs to look into the economic aspects, including the manner by which the EPRDF led government is regulating the flow of FDI. It is a public knowledge that cronyism has, by and large, emerged as the trade mark of EPRDF’s economic governance over the past two decades, including its deals with foreign companies operating in the country.

 

As of this writing, news is coming that protesters in Guji zone of southern Ethiopia and Dembi Delo of western Ethiopia are targeting the two gold mines in the area owned by the MIDROC Ethiopia Investment Group. To understand this boiling public frustration, it is important to acknowledge that the people of Ethiopia have no knowledge about how these two gold mines were sold to MEDROC in the first place, and to evaluate whether the people in the areas where the natural resources are being ferociously extracted have stood to benefit from it in any way. It is also important to know that the name MIDROC stands for Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies, a name that implies nothing about the nature of the vast business functioning under its umbrella. For Many Ethiopians, therefore,MIDROC is the dark horse that appeared on the scene from nowhere but spread itself in all sectors of the Ethiopian economy at alarming pace.

 

For much of the first decade under EPRDF’s rule, Ethiopia suffered a serious setback in attracting foreign investment. Foreign investors were cautious (rightly), observing the unhealthy governance system as a risk not worth taking. However, during those days, MIDROC Ethiopia was often presented as a cover up to entice other foreign investors, giving the impression that the EPRDF regime was trustworthy and foreign investment was safe to flow in. That, and its sworn allegiance to the ruling party in power, gave MIDROC the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled access to Ethiopia’s natural resources. This was done primarily because the EPRDF could count on MIDROC as a foreign investor. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development once reported that about 60 per cent of the overall foreign direct investment approved in Ethiopia was related to MIDROC.

 

MEDROC’s expansions began with acquisitions of many previous public enterprises – manufacturing branches, state farms, gold mines, and other mineral resources mostly outside of public scrutiny. MIDROC is most commonly associated with land grabs in many parts of Oromiya, at the heart of Addis Abeba and Gambella, causing havocs through evictions of millions of households from their ancestral lands.

 

The other murky deals

The contradictions in Ethiopia’s business environment are rather perplexing. On the one hand the TPLF dominated regime in Addis Abeba has a very hostile attitude to private domestic investors. Ethiopia has remained at the bottom of World Bank’s country ranks in ease of doing business, ranking 146th out of 189 countries in 2015. But EFFORT, METeC and MDROC business empires and their affiliates are exempt from such restrictions and the little private businesses in the country have to survive the three to make a meaningful economic gain.

 

On the other hand Ethiopia is known for making extraordinary concessions to attract foreign investors, particularly during the last decade. Here is the question – why such officious treatmentfor foreign investors when private business are forced to eat dirt? The answer lies in the assumption that the government often acts in the interest of domestic cronies – foreign investors are needed to camouflage EFFORT’s aggressive expansions. The deals to couple EFFORT with foreign businesses are surrounded by dark secrets; details are unavailable to the general public. Foreign investors have often been lured into joint ventures with party owned or affiliated local companies. The recent US$30 million worth deal between a local pharmaceutical company owned by EFFORT and a foreign company symbolizes that assertion. The overlap between the operations of domestic oligopolistic companies and their foreign counterparts is so much that it is difficult to know where one ends and the other begins.

 

The recent fall out between the government in Ethiopia and the Karuturi Global Ltd has revealed the murky nature of foreign investment deals in Ethiopia that prompted many to summarize “in Ethiopia, foreign investment is a fancy word for stealing land”. In 2010, Karuturi Global Ltd was given a concession to develop 300, 000 hectares of agricultural land in Gambella. However, in Dec. 2015, the deal collapsed when the Agricultural Ministry’s land investment agency “cancelled the concession on the grounds that by 2012 Karuturi had developed only 1,200 hectares of land within the initial two year period of the contract.” There is a lot more into this fall out than meet the eye, least the fate of the hundreds of thousands of indigenous people who were forced to give up their lands to give way to a deal they know nothing about.

 

But one of the most unsettling details to emerge out of this fiasco was the claim by Karuturi Global Ltd management that the land was forced upon them by the local authorities despite their insistence otherwise. At first glance this may sound awkward, as if the foreign investor and the Ethiopian authorities switched sides in the process of bargaining. However, for someone who is familiar with the shrewd operations of doing business in Ethiopia it is easy to know why Ethiopian officials were forcing the foreign investor to take 30 times more than it said it could handle. One plausible explanation held by many is that since enough land grabbing had already been done by the cronies during the previous decades, authorities found it prudent to frame a foreign investor as a vehicle to continue land expropriation.

 

In the wake of a possible persistence of protests by Ethiopians, protesters’ targeted attacks against foreign companies operating in Ethiopia may come as sheer anarchic for outsiders. But as long as the people of Ethiopia are kept in the dark as to the nature of the real deals between foreign companies and a government flawed by asymmetrical party coalition (deals that symbolize a life deprived of its means and style),incidents of targeted public outrage against selected foreign companies should not come as a shock.

 

The same explanation holds true for the land expropriations for flower farms and industrial parks in Oromiya, particularly in the vicinity of Addis Abeba. It is for such reasons that the infamous Addis Abeba Master Plan was formulated, eyeing 20 times more land that would be transformed into wasteful industrial parks all in the name of attracting foreign investment the nature of it is kept secret from the very people it greatly affects.

 

ED’s Note: J. Bonsa is an economist by training. He can be reached atdinade0612@gmail.com. The opinions expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial principles of Addis Standard.


Opinion: Foreign investment in Ethiopia: a blessing or a curse?


 

Genocide in Ethiopia: Fascist Ethiopia’s Regime (TPLF) land robbery and its barbarism against Lower Omo Basin People. #OromoProtests #Africa March 6, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Land Grabs in Africa, Omo, Omo Valley.
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Suruma people of the Omo Valley are being tortured by fascist Ethiopia (Agazi) forces because they protested their land being taken for Sugar plantationSuruma people of the Omo Valley are being tortured by fascist Ethiopia (Agazi) foreces because they protested their land being taken for Sugar plantation Suruma people of the Omo Valley are being tortured by fascist Ethiopia (Agazi) forces because they protested their land being taken for Sugar plantation. p2Suruma people of the Omo Valley are being tortured by fascist Ethiopia (Agazi) forces because they protested their land being taken for Sugar plantation. p3


 

Oromia: For development’s sake? Land grabbing and the Oromo People in Ethiopia March 6, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromo.
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Odaa OromooNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopiaoromoprotests-tweet-and-share1Gaaffiiwwan yeroo ammaa

#OromoProtests: Why Ethiopia’s Largest Ethnic Group is Demonstrating February 27, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

Oromo Protests: Why Ethiopia’s Largest Ethnic Group is Demonstrating

Oromo people mourn a suspected protester who was allegedly shot dead by Ethiopian security forces, Oromia, Dec. 2015

(Newsweek, 26 Feb. 2016) — Since the Ethiopian government announced plans to expand the territory of the capital Addis Ababa in April 2014, the country’s largest region, Oromia, has been racked with protests that have led to hundreds of deaths.

Oromia, which completely surrounds the capital of the Horn of Africa country, is home to the Oromo ethnic group. Oromos constitute the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, yet members of the community claim to havesuffered systematic discrimination and oppression at the hands of Ethiopia’s federal government.

Newsweek explains who the Oromo are, why they are protesting and how the Ethiopian government is responding.

Who are the Oromos?

More than one in three Ethiopians hails from the Oromo ethnic group: Oromos constituted more than 25 million of the total 74 million population at the last census in 2007 (the population of Ethiopia has since grown to almost 100 million). The Oromo have their own language and culture distinct from the Amharic language, which is employed as Ethiopia’s official dialect.

The Oromo have been subject to human rights violations and discrimination under three successive regimes in Ethiopia, according to a 2009 report by U.S.-based Advocates for Human Rights group: the Abyssinian Empire under Haile Selassie, dissolved in 1974; the Marxist Derg military junta that seized power in 1974 and ruled until 1991; and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, established in 1991 and existing until the present.

Oromo language was sidelined and not taught in schools for much of the 20th century and Oromo activists were often tortured or disappeared. A 2009 report by the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) stated that 594 extra-judicial killings and 43 disappearances of Oromos were recorded between 2005 and 2008 by an Oromo activist group. The ethnic group have clashed with the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in power since 1991; an Amnesty International report in October 2014 stated that at least 5,000 Oromos were arrested between 2011 and 2014 on the basis of opposition to the government.

Why have Oromos protested against the Addis Ababa master plan?

According to the Ethiopian government, the Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan proposed to expand the capital’s territory in order to bring better services and greater economic opportunities to the rural areas surrounding Addis. For the Oromos, however, the plan constituted an attempted land grab that could result in the forced eviction of Oromo farmers and the loss of valuable arable land in a country regularly plagued by drought.

Protests began in Oromia immediately after the plan was announced—at least nine students were killed in April and May 2014, according to the government, although eyewitnesses said the total was at least 47. The most recent round of protests began in November 2015 and have spread across the entirety of the vast Oromia region. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported in January that at least 140 protesters had been killed in demonstrations after heavy-handed crackdowns by security forces.

The Ethiopian government announced later in January that it was abandoning the Addis expansion plans after the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO)—the ruling party in Oromia and a member of the governing EPRDF coalition—dropped its support for the scheme. Yet despite that, the crackdown has continued: HRW’s latest update on February 22 cited claims from activists that more than 200 protesters had been killed, with security forces allegedly firing on peaceful protesters and thousands detained without trial.

ethiopian-prime-minister-hailemariam-desalegn-addresses-u.n.-summit.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, pictured addressing a U.N. summit in New York, September 25, 2015, has vowed to crack down on “destructive forces” the government says are hijacking Oromo protests.ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS

How have the government responded to Oromo protests?

The EPRDF has come down hard on protesters, claiming that “destructive forces”—including groups designated as terrorist organizations by the Ethiopian government—are hijacking the protests for their own means. Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian prime minister, said in December 2015 that protesters had burned down government properties and killed security forces, and that “merciless legitimate action” would be taken against those causing disorder.

In a statement sent to Newsweek on February 23, the Ethiopian embassy in London said that the claims made in HRW’s February report were based on “malicious statements, false accusations and unsubstantiated allegations from opposition propaganda materials.” The embassy claimed that the Addis expansion plans were dropped after “extensive public consultations” and an investigation into killings and destruction of property was underway.

Are Oromos seeking secession from Ethiopia?

One of the designated terrorist organizations accused of involvement in the protests by the Ethiopian government is the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The group wasestablished in 1973 to campaign for the Oromo’s right to self-determination. The OLF is now based out of Washington, D.C. and any accusations of its involvement in the Oromo protests is a means of “criminalizing protesters,” according to Etana Habte, Ethiopian author and PhD candidate at SOAS University of London. “I don’t believe the OLF has very significant influence on this protest,” says Habte. “[Claims the OLF is involved] have not any relevance or grain of truth within itself. Oromo protests are fundamentally peaceful and it carries a legitimate question.”

Habte claims that what the Oromo are seeking is self-determination, not secession.Article 39 of Ethiopia’s 1994 constitution affords “every nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia” the “unrestricted right to self-determination up to secession.” What the Oromo are asking for, says Habte, is a greater say in how their region is governed. “Oromos understand Oromia as their own territory where they have an absolute and constitutional right to self-rule,” says Habte. “The Oromo protests don’t ask for anything more than [what is provided by] the constitution.”


http://europe.newsweek.com/oromo-protests-why-ethiopias-biggest-ethnic-group-demonstrating-430793?rm=eu