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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.

 

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US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert. #Oromia. #Africa May 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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???????????US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert

 

(Oromia Press) US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert

The State Department recommends U.S. citizens maintain a high level of security awareness during the electoral period and avoid political rallies, polling centers, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind as instances of unrest can occur. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Although there have been no specific incidents of violence targeting U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and stay current with media coverage of local events. Election results are scheduled to be announced June 22, 2015.

During previous elections, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) required all diplomats and international organization staff living in Addis Ababa to receive an official pass from the MFA if they planned to travel outside of Addis Ababa during the election season. While not in effect this election, the U.S. Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens to be aware of election sensitivities. We especially recommend avoiding public polling stations on the day of the election, including schools and other public buildings. In Addis Ababa alone there will be nearly 1,600 polling stations – roughly one polling station for every kilometer.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ethiopia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at travel.state.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to enroll directly.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Ethiopia. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa is located at Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014. The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached by telephone: +251-111-306000 or e-mail at consacs@state.gov, and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +251-111-306911 or 011-130-6000 and ask to speak with the duty officer

– See more at: http://www.oromiapress.com/us-gov-ethiopia-travel-alert/#sthash.pL12WAJ2.dpuf

 

Why are African citizens leaving their countries ? Xenophobia – Mediterranean Sea – Killing in Libya… April 30, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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OEthiopia is the one of the lowest in social Progress 2015Oromo refugees in Yemen

When we are condemning J-Zuma and his fellow Zwelithini‘s statement, we must not skip the fundamental question of “why are citizens running away from their countries in Africa? Why Zimbabweans, Nigerian, Mozambicans etc. are so many in South Africa? What Malian, Senegalese, Eritreans… are doing on the Mediterranean Sea? What Ethiopian, Eritreans… are looking for in Libya on their way to cross the sea? And Why African Leaders and institutions are silence on these questions? Close to 2000 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean to Europe this year only, many times more than during the same period in 2014…

Many in our continent, many of our leaders and institutions know the answers to these questions. Unfortunately, there are no actions being taken to resolve them; there are not even any honest acknowledgements of the problem; rather we are served with empty diplomatic statements everyday with no decisive action for change. We are turning around and the situation is getting worse.

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/if-ethiopias-economy-is-so-vibrant-why-are-young-people-leaving/

assodesire

President Jacob Zuma, reacting to criticisms from African countries over the xenophobic violence against foreigners in South Africa recently declared: “Why are their citizens not in their countries? Why are they in South Africa? This is an unacceptable statement from a leader of a big country, and made in a very wrong time. We all know that the xenophobic violence started last month after the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini said that “foreigners should pack their belongings and leave the country”.

In that context, President Zuma’s declaration this week is a dangerous move that can be understood by those South African involved in the violence as a justification of their evil actions… This is really unfortunate especially as it is coming from an African Union member that is investing and doing business in most of African countries.

Wrong timing again because South Africa is due to host the 25th

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Freedom House: U.S. Wrong to Endorse Ethiopia’s Elections. #Africa #Oromia April 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Sham elections, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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OFreedom HouseEthiopia's scores on freedom

“Under Secretary Sherman’s comments today were woefully ignorant and counter-productive,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president of Freedom House. “Ethiopia remains one of the most undemocratic countries in Africa. By calling these elections credible, Sherman has tacitly endorsed the Ethiopian government’s complete disregard for the democratic rights of its citizens. This will only bolster the government’s confidence to continue its crackdown on dissenting voices.”

https://freedomhouse.org/article/us-wrong-endorse-ethiopias-elections#

U.S. Wrong to Endorse Ethiopia’s Elections

(Frredom House, Washington,  April 16, 2015)

In response to today’s comments by Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, in which she referred to Ethiopia as a democracy and the country’s upcoming elections free, fair, and credible, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Under Secretary Sherman’s comments today were woefully ignorant and counter-productive,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president of Freedom House. “Ethiopia remains one of the most undemocratic countries in Africa. By calling these elections credible, Sherman has tacitly endorsed the Ethiopian government’s complete disregard for the democratic rights of its citizens. This will only bolster the government’s confidence to continue its crackdown on dissenting voices.”

Background: 
Since coming into power in the early 1990s, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has dominated politics through a combination of political cooptation and harassment. The country experienced a degree of democratization through the early 2000’s, culminating in the most competitive elections in the county’s history in 2005. Since these elections, the EPRDF has restricted political pluralism and used draconian legislation to crack down on the political opposition, civil society organizations, and independent media. In the 2010, EPRDF and its allies won 546 out of 547 parliamentary seats.

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2014.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and Instagram. Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feedsnewsletter and our blog.

https://freedomhouse.org/article/us-wrong-endorse-ethiopias-elections#

EB ONLY
April 20, 2015

Ethiopians dispute US official’s assessment of their ‘democracy’

#EthiopianDemocracy101ForWendySherman trends as netizens condemn State Department official’s remarks.

U.S Department of State Endorsing of Upcoming Elections: Denial and Disrespect

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)

Human rights League of the Horn of AfricaHRLHA Statement:

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly opposes to the position that the U.S State Department has taken in regards to the upcoming Ethiopian election and the overall democratization process in the country in the past twenty-four years; and describes the comments by the Under  Secretary of State as a sign of disrespect for ordinary citizens of Ethiopia and disregard for the human miseries that hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian have gone through under the EPRDF/TPLF-led government.

The HRLHA has no doubt at all that the U.S Government in general and U.S  Department of State in particular, with the biggest and highly staffed of all Western embassies in Ethiopia, are very well aware of the political realities that have been prevailing in the country over the past two decades. An excellent proof is the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices that is issued annually by the US Department of State itself. Suppressions and denials of fundamental human rights in Ethiopia under the EPRDF/TPLF Government were being reported on by various human rights and humanitarian as well as government and diplomatic agencies; and, based on the facts revealed in such reports, the Ethiopian Government has repeatedly been ranked as the worst both at the regional and global levels.

In a country that has witnessed the highest number of political incarceration in its history, where unarmed students and other civilians were gunned down in hundreds simply because they attempted to exercise some of their fundamental rights, in “one of the ten most censored countries” where the existence of independent media has become impossible and, as a result, press freedom has been curtailed completely, where all sorts of socio-economic rights have been tied to political sympathy and supports, it would be an insult and disrespect to its ordinary citizens, and a disregard for the precious lives of innocent people that have been taken away by brutal hands to say that such a country is a democracy, and that the upcoming elections would be free and fair while intimidations and harassments of opposition candidates, as well as potential voters, were taking place out in the field even while the Under Secretary of State was making the comments. While encouraging the most repressive government and governing party towards becoming more dictatorial, the Under-Secretary of State’s comments discourage and undermine the sacrifices that the Ethiopian peoples have paid and are still paying to realize their century-old dream of building free and democratic country.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) requests that the Under Secretary of State retract the wrong comments and apologize to the Ethiopian peoples. It also urges the U.S State Department to recognize and acknowledge the realities in Ethiopia and use the close ties that exists between the two governments to put pressure on the ruling EPRDF/TPLF party so that it allows the implementation of a genuine democracy.

http://www.ayyaantuu.net/u-s-department-of-state-endorsing-of-upcoming-elections-denial-and-disrespect/

 

Western Governments’ Aid Is Funding Human Rights Repression In Ethiopia. #Oromia. #Africa April 4, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report.
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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

Western Governments’ Aid is Funding Human Rights Repression in Ethiopia

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) Presented by Garoma B. Wakessa, Executive Director OSA Mid-Year Conference at Maximilians-University, Germany March 28-29, 2015. After its first year of being in power, the TPLF government made its next step the weakening and/or eliminating of all independent opposition political organizations in the country. To pretend that it was democratizing the country, the TPLF signed five international human rights documents from 1991 to 2014. These include the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. Despite this, it is widely known that the TPLF has tortured many of its citizens ever since it assumed power and has continued that to the present day. The TPLF Government adopted a new constitution in 1995; based on this constitution, it formed new federal states.The new Ethiopian constitution is full of spurious democratic sentiments and human rights terms meant to inspire the people of Ethiopia and the world community. The TPLF’s pretentious promise to march towards democracy has enabled it to receive praise from people inside and outside including donor countries and organizations. The TPLF government has managed somehow to maintain a façade of credibility with Western governments including those of the USA and the UK, who have supported them since 1991. From 1991 onwards, the TPLF militia has been fully equipped with the UK government, equipment that the TPLF security force has used for intensive killings, abductions, and disappearances of a vast number of people. The victims were Oromo, Ogaden, Sidama peoples and others whom the TPLF suspected of being members, supporters or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). TPLF high officials to ordinary level cadres in the various regional states have engaged in enriching themselves and their family members by looting and embezzling public wealth and properties, raping young women in the occupied areas of the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia, and committing many other forms of corruption. The TPLF government declared, in 2004[1], an investment policy that resulted in the eviction of indigenous peoples from their lands and livelihoods. Ethiopia is receiving a significant aid package estimated at one-third of its annual budget from donor governments and governmental ganizations each year. The donations pouring into Ethiopian Government banks are in the name of development, humanitarian and security aid. The Ethiopian government is using these development aids to suppress political dissent, freedom of expression and assemblies. Human rights campaigners have repeatedly urged donor governments to ensure that their aid Money is utilized in an accountable and transparent manner- not for political repression. However, the Ethiopian government has boldly rejected even measured criticism of its human rights record with sweeping, contemptuous denials. Donor governments have appeared reluctant to challenge the Ethiopian government’s complete refusal to engage in constructive dialog about the donor government’s many human rights-related failings. Western governments have been too timid to challenge the government publicly. Instead, their aid policies are influenced by Ethiopia’s perceived status as the most stable country in the Horn of Africa and made Ethiopia their friend to fight the “global war on terrorism.” The development project funded by the UK government and run by the World Bank has been used for a violent resettlement program in Ethiopia. Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) is the primary sponsor of the World Bank’s foreign aid initiative, supposedly set up to improve basic health, education, and public services in Ethiopia[2]. Those who attempted to oppose or resist evictions were murdered and/or jailed by the TPLF[3]. European Union (EU) is also working with the government of Ethiopia on several development programs. The partnership between Ethiopia and the EU is based on the African-EU strategic partnership[4] which gives emphasis to Peace and security and good governance and human rights. Regarding the governance and human rights under the strategic priority (b) it says,” the promotion of democratic governance and human rights constitutes a central feature of the Africa-EU dialog and partnership”. Moreover, the Cotonou/city of Benin agreement defines relations between the EU and Africa collectively, and between the EU and ACP countries. Based on this policy, EU and Ethiopia signed in Nairobi on June 19, 2014 European Union aid in favor of Ethiopia in an amount of 745.2 million EUR to be made available to Ethiopia for the period 2014-2020 based on Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement which is to provide the basis for political relations and dialogue between Ethiopia and the EU. By providing help to the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia, the EU has breached:

  1. The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, a joint Africa-EU strategy policy adopted in Lisbon in 2007/ Lisbon, 9 December 2007 16344/07.”[5]
  2. EU International Cooperation and Development policy which is primarily based on good governance and respect for human rights, their national country’s laws and international human rights standards,[6]

The giving away of Oromo land in the name of investment also includes Addis Ababa, the capital city situated at the center of Oromia Regional State. More than 30,000 Oromos were evicted by the TPLF/EPRDF Government from their lands and livelihoods in the areas around the capital city and suburbs. Their lands have been given to the TPLF officials, members and loyal cadres over the past 24 years. The TPLF government prepared a plan called “ Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” in 2013/2014, a project that aimed at annexing about 36 towns and surrounding villages into Addis Ababa. The project was challenged by the Oromo People’s Democracy Organization/OPDO in March 2014 in the seminar given to the members how to implement the project. The challenge was first supported by Oromo students in different universities, colleges and high schools in Oromia. The resistance then spread to Oromo farmers, Oromo intellectuals in all corners of Oromia Regional State and Oromo nationals living in different parts of the world. TPLF Agazi snipers brutalized More than seventy Oromo students from among the peaceful protestors. The “Addis Ababa integrated master plan”threatens to evict more than two million farmers from around the capital city. More than five thousand Oromos from all walks of life were imprisoned in different parts of Oromia Regional State. The inhuman military actions and crackdowns by the TPLF government against peaceful protestors were condemned by various international media such as the BBC[7], human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the HRLHA[8]. The government admitted that it killed nine of them[9]. As well, more than seventy Oromo youths were brutalized. The HRLHA believes that the gross human rights violations committed by the TPLF government in the past 24 years against Oromo, Ogaden, Gambella, Sidama and others were pre-planned and intentional. The TPLF killed, tortured, and kidnapped and disappeared thousands of Oromo nationals, Ogaden and other nationals simply because of their resources and ethnic backgrounds. The recent research conducted by Amnesty International and released under the title “Because I am Oromo”: SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIA’ [10], confirms that people in Ethiopia who belongs to other ethnic groups have been the victims of the TPLF. The TPLF’s inhuman actions against the citizens are clearly genocide, a crime against humanity[11]and an ethnic cleansing, acts, that breach domestic and international laws, and all international treaties the government of Ethiopia has signed and ratified. We at HRLHA firmly believe that the TPLF government leaders are accountable as a group and as individuals for the crimes they have committed and are committing against Oromos and others. Therefore, the HRLHA calls upon EU member donor states, investors and Organizations reassess their relationship with the Ethiopia TPLF/EPRDF government for its persistent brutal, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against innocent and unarmed civilians and refrain themselves from helping the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia. Recommendations:

  1. Western Government donors should abide by their development and aid policy which says “no democracy, no aid”. The EU must respect its “Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, a joint Africa-EU strategy policy adopted in Lisbon in 2007/ Lisbon, 9 December 2007 16344/07.”[12]
  2. The EU must abide by the Cotonou partnership agreement EU International Cooperation and Development policy which is primarily based on good governance and respect for human rights, their national country’s laws and international human rights standards,[13]

[1] http://unctad.org/en/docs/iteiia20042_en.pdf [2] http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/uk-government-accused-sponsoring-human-rights-abuses-ethiopia-0 [3] Genocide Watch, http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopia.htmlGenocid, -The Oakland Institute ,Engineering Ethnic Conflict,http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/Report_EngineeringEthnicConflict.pdf [4] http://www.afmeurope.org/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/12/2014-2020_NIPprogramme_ethiopia_en.pdf, [5]http://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/documents/press_corner/nip_11th_edf_ethiopia_signed.pdf [6] http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/acp/overview/documents/devco-cotonou-consol-europe-aid-2012_en.pdf [7] Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27251331 [8] Ambo Under Siege, http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287, and Region-Wide, Heaeavy-Handed Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters, Http://Www.Humanrightsleague.Org/?P=14668 [9] BBC TV Reported, Https://Www.Youtube.Com/Watch?V=Cynywxtulig [10] Ethiopia: ‘Because I Am Oromo’: Sweeping Repression In The Oromia Region Of Ethiopia, Http://Www.Amnesty.Org/En/Library/Info/Afr25/006/2014/En [11] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Articles 6&7,http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/InternationalCriminalCourt.aspx [12]http://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/documents/press_corner/nip_11th_edf_ethiopia_signed.pdf [13] http://ecdpm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014-European-Parliament-Political-Dialogue-Human-Rights-Article8-Cotonou-Agreement1.pdf   http://www.ayyaantuu.net/western-governments-aid-is-funding-human-rights-repression-in-ethiopia/

Oromo TV: Presentation About Human Rights Abuses In Ethiopia March 8, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in 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, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report.
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Human Rights Brief: Oromo: HRLHA Plea for Release of Detained Peaceful Protestors March 5, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in 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, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa.
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OHuman rights briefOromo village

Oromo: HRLHA Plea for Release of Detained Peaceful Protestors

From March to April 2014, members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, engaged in peaceful protests in opposition to the Ethiopian government’s implementation of the “Integrated Regional Development Plan” (Master Plan). The Oromo believe that the Master Plan violates Articles 39 and 47 in the Ethiopian Constitution, by altering administrative boundaries around the city of Addis Ababa, the Oromia State’s and the federal government’s capital. The Oromo fear they will be excluded from the development plans and that this will lead to the expropriation of their farmlands.

In response to these protests, the Ethiopian government has detained or imprisoned thousands of Oromo nationals. In a January 2005 appeal, theHuman Rights League of the Horn

of Africa (HRLHA) claimed that the Ethiopian government is breaching the State’s Constitution and several international treaties by depriving the Oromo prisoners of their liberty. Amnesty International reports that some protestors have also been victims of “enforced disappearance, repeated torture, and unlawful state killings as part of the government’s incessant attempts to crush dissent.”

Under the Ethiopian Constitution, citizens possess the rights to liberty and due process, including the right not to be illegally detained. Article 17 forbids deprivation of liberty, arrest, or detention, except in accordance with the law. Further, Article 19 provides that a person has the right to be arraigned within forty-eight hours of his or her arrest. However, according to the HRLHA, a group of at least twenty-six Oromo prisoners were illegally detained for over ninety-nine days following the protests. The HRHLA claims that these detentions were illegal because the prisoners were arrested without warrants, and because they did not appear before a judge within forty-eight hours of their arrest. The Ethiopian authorities’ actions also disregard the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which requires that no one be subject to arbitrary arrest, and that those arrested be promptly brought before a judge. Ethiopia signed and ratified the ICCPR in 1993, and is thus bound to uphold the treaty.

Additionally, the Ethiopian Constitution deems torture and unusual punishment illegal and inhumane. According to Article 18, every citizen has the right not to be exposed to cruel, inhuman, or degrading behavior. Amnesty International reports that certain non-violent Oromo protestors suffered exactly this treatment, including a teacher who was stabbed in the eye with a bayonet for refusing to teach government propaganda to his students, and a young girl who had hot coals poured onto her stomach because her torturers believed her father was a political dissident. Amnesty International further recounts other instances of prisoners being tortured through electric shock, burnings, and rape. If these reports are an accurate account of the government’s actions, the Ethiopian authorities are not only acting contrary to their constitution, but also contrary to the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). According to Article 2 of the CAT, a State Member must actively prevent torture in its territory, without exception. In addition, an order from a high public authority cannot be used as justification if torture is indeed used. Ethiopia ratified the CAT in 1994, and is thus obligated to uphold and protect its principles.

The HRLHA pleads that the Ethiopian government release imprisoned Oromo protesters. This would ensure that the intrinsic human rights of the Oromo people, guaranteed by the Ethiopian Constitution and several international treaties ratified by Ethiopia would finally be upheld. Furthermore, it would restore peace to and diminish the fear among other Oromo people who have abandoned their normal routines in the wake of government pressure, and have fled Ethiopia or have gone into hiding.

*The Human Rights Brief is a student-run publication at American University Washington College of Law (WCL). Founded in 1994 as a publication of the school’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the publication has approximately 4,000 subscribers in over 130 countries.

 http://hrbrief.org/2015/02/oromo-hrlha-plea-for-release-of-detained-peaceful-protestors/

Yakka Godina Gujiitti Oromoorratti raawwatame: Genocidal Crimes Conducted Against Guji Oromo March 4, 2015

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, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Guji.
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Yakka Godina Gujiitti Oromoorratti raawwatame

 

Ummanni Oromoo erge humna waranaatin bittaa alagaa jalatti kufee kaasee ajjeechaa dabalatee yakki suukaneessaan bifa hedduu irratti raawwatamaa har’a gahe. Kanuma bara bittaa murna bicuu TPLF/EPRDF yoo ilaalle baroota kurna lamaan dabran keessa yeroo fi bakkoota adda addaatti ajjeechaan jumlaa, toorchariin namoom-dhabaan, saamichii fi qabeenya barbadeessuu raawwatame tarrifamee kan dhumu miti. Mootummaan wayyaanee borumtaa aangootti bahee kaasee miseensotaa fi deeggartoota ABO kan jedhuun sabboontota Oromoo hammana hin jedhamnerratti yakka suukaneessaa bifa hedduu raawwachuun gamatti miidhaa kana ijaa-gurra addunyaarraa balleessuuf dhoksuuf shira dabalataa xaxuun beekkama.

Dhugaan qal’attus hin cittu akkuma jedhan garuu dhugaan saba Oromoo barootaaf gabroomfattootaan ukkaamsamuuf tattaafatamaa bahe akka diinnonni yaadanitti awwaalamee hafuu hin dandeenye. Kanaaf ammoo ajjeechaan gaara Suufii, lafeen ilmaan Oromoo Hammarreessatti mul’atee fi gochaalee wayyaanee fakkaatoo addunyaaf ifa bahan tuquun ni danda’ama. Haalli quunnamtii fi fageenyaa ture ajjechaa saba Oromoorratti raawwatamu waggootaaf haa tursu malee, yeroo isaa eegee haqi ummata kanaa akka ifa bahu, dabi wayyaanee akka saaxilamu odeessi har’a nu dhaqqabu kanuma dhugoomsa.

Haaluma walfakkaatuun sirni nama-nyaataa wayyaanee bara 1994 hanga 2010tti Kibba Oromiyaa Godina Gujiitti ilmaan Oromoo hedduu maqaa ABO waliin hidhata qabaachuutiin yakkee dararaa hamtuuf saaxilaa erga baheen booda ajjeesuu gabaasni dhihoo kana nu dhaqqabe ni addeessa. Kana ragaadhaan dhugoomsuufis eenyummaa fi teessoo ilmaan Oromoo badii malee mootummaa wayyaanetiin ajjeefaman yeroo gabaabduu dura harka keenya seenee isinii dhiyeessina.

  1. Obboo Guyyee Xelxelaa – Ona Malkaa Sooddaa ganda daada odaa budhii
  2. Rashiid Baallii -Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Burii Ejersaaa
  3. Naasin Alii – Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Burii Ejersaa/Kilkille/
  4. Boruu Duubee – Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Burii Ejersaa/Waaccuu diinaa/
  5. Qajeelaa abbaa Daroo – Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Ceekkata kojo’aa
  6. Kuusoyi Roobee – Ona Adoolaa shaakkisoo – ganda Magaadoo
  7. Guyyee Dhugoo – Ona Malkaa Sooddaa – ganda daada odaa budati
  8. Dhugoo Guyyee – Ona Oddoo shaakkisoo – magaalaa shaakkisoo
  9. Dhaddacha Figiiguu – Ona Malkaa sooddaa -ganda daada odaa budhuttii
  10. Taakkalaa – Ona Malkaa Sooddaa – ganda Malkaa Sooddaa
  11. Aadamaa – Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Burii Ejersaaa
  12. Shaaroo – Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Burii Ejersaaa
  13. Efreem Adoolaa Ona Sabbaa boruu – ganda Harragessee
  14. Shaambal Odaa – Ona Sabbaa boruu – ganda Siree buqqeettii
  15. Galgaloo Biilee – Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Burii Karroo
  16. Samarroo Gannaalee – Ona Oddoo shaakkisoo – ganda magaadoo
  17. Dastaa Dhaddachaa – Ona Oddoo shaakkisoo – ganda magaadoo
  18. Aadan Gujii – Ona sabbaa boruu – ganda Haroo garrii
  19. Boruu Sheekoo – Ona Oddoo shaakkisoo – ganda Walaaboo
  20. Hasan Huseen – kan wayyaaneen reeffa isaa mana waliin gubde
  21. Halloo Badhoo – abbaa ijoollee jahaa wayyaaneen haala sukaneessaan ajjeese
  22. Uqubaay – Adoolaa
  23. Ilaalaa Kaffalaa – abbaa maatii saddeetii
  24. Milkeessaa Gadaa
  25. Jaarsoo Boruu
  26. Yohaannis
  27. Sulee Baallee
  28. Kadir Koottee
  29. Abdataa Dalloo fi
  30. Lataa Sabaa kanneen jedhaman warreen sirna wayyaanetiin ajjeefamanii dha.

Lammiileen Oromoo jiraattota Godina Gujii tahan olitti maqaan isaanii tarrifame kunneen abbootii warraa maatii qaban yoo tahan, mootummaa wayyaanetiin Oromummaa isaanii qofaan yakkamanii ajjeefamuurraa maatiin isaan jiraachisan rakkoo hamtuuf saaxilamaniiru. Akka ragaan nu gahe addeessutti maatiin ilmaan Oromoo badii malee murna faashistii tahe kanaan ajjeefamanii faffaca’uu fi hiyyoomachuudhaan gadadoof affeeramanii haala akkaan yaaddessaa keessa jiru.

Mootummaan wayyaanee ilmaan Oromoo ABO waliin hidhaata qabaachudhaanii fi Oromummaa isaanii qofaan yakkee rasaasaa fi hiraara  bifa adda addaa irraa gahee lubbuu galaafachuutti dabalee kanneen miidhaa qaamaa fi qor-qalbiif saaxilamanis lakkoofsi isaanii hammana kan jedhamu miti. Sabboontonni Oromoo kumoota hedduun lakkaawaman har’allee haqa Oromoof dhaabbachuu isaaniitiin humnoota sirnichaatiin rasaasaan reebamanii miidhaa ulfaataaf saaxilamaaru.

Ragaadhuma Godina Gujiirraa argame olitti tuqne waabeffannee yoo ilaalle ilmaan Oromoo cubbuu dalagan tokkollee odoo hin qabaatin Oromoo tahanii dhalachuu isaanii qofaaf mootummaa diina Oromoo tahe, Wayyaaneedhaan waraanni, poolisii fi tikni itti bobbaafamee rasaasaan reebamanii madeeffaman, qaamaa hir’atanii fi qabeenyi saamame hedduu dha. Kanneen keessaa muraasni isaan armaan gadii ti:-

  1. Birbirsa Baanataa – ganda Ejersaa – kan rasaasaan dhawamee qaamaa hir’ate
  2. Uddeessa Caaccuu – ganda haadhaa gord – rasaasa wayyaaneen madeeffame.
  3. Mitikkuu Roobee – haadha gord – ni madeessan
  4. Baallii Ideemaa – ganda Burii Ejersaaa ni madeessan
  5. Jamaal Baallii – ganda Burii Ejersaaa – ni madeessan.
  6. Quxxun Waaree – ganda Burii Ejersaa ni maddeessan
  7. Godona Gannaalee – ganda Burii Ejersaa ni madeessan
  8. Goluu Saafayii – ganda Burii Ejersaa ni madeessan
  9. Hareedii Saafayi – ganda Gooroo doolaa – ni madeessan
  10. Boraamee Bariisoo – ganda Hirmaayee – ni madeessan
  11. Waaqoo Uddoo – ganda Malkaa Sooddaa – ni madeessan
  12. Shushugoo Hadaa – ganda Burii Ejersaa – ni madeessan
  13. Badiriyaa haadha obsaa.-ganda Burii Ejersaaa-ni madeessan.
  14. Aashaa Abbaa Baalee – ganda Haadha diimaa – ni madeessan
  15. Rooduu Dhaddachaa – ganda Daada Odaa budhuu – ni madeessan
  16. Useenii Baallii – ganda Burii Ejersaa – ni madeessan
  17. Goobanaa Waaqoo – ganda Burii Ejersaa – ni madeessan
  18. Bay’ootee Waallee – ganda Ceekataa kojo’aa – ni madeessan
  19. Turee Waaccuu – ganda Burii Ejersaa – ni madeessan
  20. Basaayee Jiloo – Ceekataa – ni madeessan
  21. Yaasiin Waaqoo – ganda Burii Karroo – ni madeessan
  22. Shakkamaa Waaqoo – ganda Burii Karroo – ni madeessan
  23. Toree Useen – ganda Burii Karroo – ni madeessan
  24. Soraa Useen – ganda Burii Karroo – ni madeessan
  25. Bunoo Adoolaa – ganda Burii Karroo – ni madeessan
  26. Roobaa Adulaa – ganda Daada Odaa budhu – ni madeessan
  27. Elemaa Xeendhee – ganda Galabaa – ni madeessan
  28. Qumbii Shundhaa – ganda Burii Ejersaa – ni madeessan
  29. Odaa Xeeloo – ganda Daada Odaa budhuu – ni madeessan
  30. Jaarsoo Saafayi – ganda Galabaa – ni madeessan
  31. Roobee Godaanaa – ganda Galabaa – ni madeessan
  32. Iyyaasuu Basaayee – ganda Adoolaa waayyuu – kan madeeffame akkasumas
  33. Machaawaa Turee – ganda Galabaa – qabeenya qabu hunda ABO jechuun saaman
  34. Bonayyaa Waaqoo – ganda Galabaa – qabeenya qabu hunda kan ABO jechuun saaman
  35. Boruu Duubaa – Halloo madheedhee – qabeenya qabu maraa ni saaman
  36. Asaffaa Dhaddachaa – ganda Gooroo doolaa – qabeenya qabu maraa saaman
  37. Bookkiyyee Baallii – ganda Burii Ejersaaa – qabeenya qabu mara irraa saaman
  38. Muttarii Addoo – ganda Burii Ejersaa – qabeenya qabu maraa saaman
  39. Baatii Guyyee – ganda Burii Ejersaa mootummaa wayyaaneetiin saamaman
  40. Geetuu Dukkallee – ganda Burii Ejersaa fi
  41. Shifarraa Yembee – ganda Bulee horaarraa warreen wayyaanedhaan saamamani.

Walumaagalatti egaa sabboontonni Oromoo Godina Gujiitti maqaa ABO waliin hidhata qabaachutiin ykn Oromummaa isaanii qofaan yakkamanii gara jabinaan ajjeefaman, miidhaa qaamaa fi qor-qalbiif saaxilamanii fi saamamanii hiyyoomfaman dhugaan oolee bulus awwalamuu waan hin dandeenyeef, amma ifa bahee beekkame. Miidhaa fi roorroon kun har’allee Godina Gujii dabalatee guutummaa Oromiyaa keessatti ilmaan Oromoorratti itti fufiinsaan babal’atee raawwatamaara. Kunis waa lama akeeka.

Inni duraa diinni kooraa akaakilee-abaabilee isaa kaleessa dhaale Oromiyaa gabroomfataa jiru, murni wayyaanee, Oromoorratti yakka raawwachuutti quufuu dhabee awwaaluudhaan yakka dachaa raawwachuun jibbaa fi tuffii saba keenyaaf qabu agarsiisuu itti fufuu isaa ti. Inni lammaffaan ammoo dhaamsa gochaan diinaa kun nu ilmaan Oromoo har’a lubbuun lafa kanarratti hafnee jirruuf dabarsuu dha.

Gochaan hammeenyaa diinni Oromoorratti raawwataa bahee fi ammas itti jiru kun, ilmaan Oromoo ajjeefamuu, rasaasaan reebamuu, hidhamanii dararamuu fi saamamanii hiyyoomsamuu jalaa bahuu kan danda’an yoo didatan qofa tahuu dhaamsa nuuf dabarseera. Akka sabaatti mataa walitti qabannee, gurra walii laannee, jaarmayaa keenya jabeeffannee tokkummaadhaan diinaan “Si gaha” jennuun malee falli rakkoo kana keessaa ittiin baanu gara biraan hin jiru.

Kanuma waliin ammoo sabboontonni Oromoo Oromummaan yakkamanii hiraarfamuun dhaabbachuu qaba jechuun wareegama qaalii baasan daandii gatii lubbuu itti baasanii nuuf saaqaniin dhaamsi nuuf dabrsan ijoon Oromoon biyyasaarratti kabajaa fi bilisummaan jiraachuuf furmaanni qabu roorroo diinaa gootummaan dura dhaabbachuu tahuu isaa ti.

Maarree, nuti dhaloonni Oromo ammaa, gumaa ilmaan Oromoo badii malee mootummaa wayyaaneetiin roorroof saaxilamanii baasuuf hammam of qopheessine, hammamis qooda lammummaa keenyaa bahataa jirraa ofis walis haa gaafannu. Ajjeechaa, hidhaa, saamichaa fi dararaa ummata keenyarratti sirnoota gabromfatoon barootaaf walitti fufiinsaan gaggeeffamaa jiru kanatti xumura gochuufis qooda lammummaa dachaan bahachuun sabaa fi biyya keenya roorroo wayyaanee jalaa bilisa baasuun seenaa hin irraanfatamne galmeessinee dabruuf bakkayyuu haa warraaqnuun dhaamsa keenya.

Injifannoo Ummata Oromoof!

SBO

Oromia: Oromos face chilling oppression in Ethiopia. #Africa March 1, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Afar, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Ogaden, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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OTimes of Oman

Oromos face chilling oppression in Ethiopia

DEBASISH MITRA, Times of Oman,  28 Feb. 2015

In Ethiopia they live like animals, relentlessly persecuted, hunted down like games, killed at will and incarcerated en masse. No mercy is shown even to women and children. They are the Oromos — the largest ethnic group, the most marginalised in Ethiopia and arguably one among the most oppressed people in our planet. Despite their numerical majority, the Oromos, much like the Palestinians, are facing xenophobic oppression.

Amnesty International’s report on the state of existence of the Oromos, published last year, has been damning. It painted a chilling picture of the brutality unleashed by Ethiopian government on the hapless community to which the country’s President, Mulatu Teshome, belongs. The rights group, based in London, said: “At least 5,000 Oromos have been arrested based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government”. And most of them have been “subjected to treatment amounting to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”.

Amnesty researcher Claire Beston has been scathing. She said, “The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality. This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region”. Beston, in her report, said in no uncertain terms that she saw “signs of torture, including scars and burns, as well as missing fingers, ears and teeth” on those Oromos she interviewed.

The scenario in the country is perhaps far more terrifying. The United States, in its 2013 Human Rights Report, has pointed out that at least 70,000 persons, including some 2,500 women and nearly 600 children are incarcerated with their mothers, in severely overcrowded six federal and 120 regional prisons. “There also were many unofficial detention centres throughout the country, including in Dedessa, Bir Sheleko, Tolay, Hormat, Blate, Tatek, Jijiga, Holeta, and Senkele,” the report added further.

Plurality, respect for basic democratic values and tolerance for dissent have never been the fortes for which Ethiopia is known in the world. It is for reasons on the contrary the country has already earned a massive notoriety internationally. Corruptions are rampant and behind the façade of development the government in Ethiopia is infamous for selling out the country to the western world and foreign corporations and, of course, for its blatant violation of basic human rights.

What defines Ethiopia today is the greed and corruption of its politicians, especially those in power. The brazenness with which the government is trying to sell out Omo Valley to foreign corporation is a shame and a heinous crime. Twice the size of France and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Omo Valley is known as the ‘cradle of mankind’ which, according to ancient-origins.net, has the world’s largest alkaline lake as well as the world’s largest permanent desert lake.

The Ecologist says, Lake Turkana in Omo Valley was a prehistoric centre for early hominids. Some 20,000 fossil specimens have been collected from the Turkana Basin. Anthropological digs have led to the discovery of important fossilised remains, most notably, the skeleton of the Turkana Boy, (or Nariokotome Boy). Finding Turkana Boy was one of the most spectacular discoveries in palaeoanthropology.  His reconstruction comes from the almost perfectly preserved skeleton found in 1984 at Nariokotome near Lake Turkana.

Discovery of the fossilised Turkana Boy, aged between seven and fifteen who lived approximately 1.6 million years ago was a milestone in the study of our origin and ancestry. Yet, to the corrupt, shameless and avaricious Ethiopian government it is of no significance. And neither is the welfare of the indigenous people of the valley who are believed to be the living descendants of the early hominids.

Alas! Ethiopian government wants to sell out this important archaeological treasure trove to foreign corporations where they want to develop sugar, cotton and biofuel plantations. A shameless land grab is underway in Omo Valley where hundreds of more fossilised skeletons of our forefathers are expected to be found and retrieved.

Misrule, human rights violations, hubris, arrogance and corruption plagues Ethiopia. Continuous demagoguery against the Oromos has made Ethiopia sit atop a huge mound of gun powder waiting for a spark to explode. The Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the armed wing of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is getting ready for yet another armed struggle to overthrow the present political dispensation in power.

And given the history of insurgency in Ethiopia the country today seems to be heading fast towards a fresh bout of armed insurrection.

A low intensity struggle has already started as the Oromos are no more in mood to take the oppression, they are in no mood to suffer in silence their marginalisation. The ethnic fire the Ethiopian government has been stoking is gradually turning into an inferno.

We know human stupidity is endless and that of Ethiopia is infinite and dark. It cannot achieve growth and progress keeping its people delegitimised and aggrieved. The oppressed and tortured shall one day erupt to claim what legitimately belongs to them as well.

http://www.timesofoman.com/Columns/2752/Article-Oromos-face-chilling-oppression-in-Ethiopia?fb_action_ids=10205209354127404&fb_action_types=og.shares&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B952978248045661%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.shares%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D#

The author is the Opinion Editor of Times of Oman. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman. He can be reached at opinioneditor@timesofoman.com

The World Bank should fully address serious human rights issues raised by the bank’s internal investigation into a project in #Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the bank’s vice president for #Africa February 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Poor, Aid to Africa, 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, Gambella, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Land and resource Rights, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia, World Bank.
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World Banka: Address Ethiopia Findings
Response to Inquiry Dismissive of Abuses
The new village of Bildak in Ethiopia's Gambella region, which the semi-nomadic Nuer who were forcibly transferred there quickly abandoned in May 2011 because there was no water source for their cattle.
The new village of Bildak in Ethiopia’s Gambella region, which the semi-nomadic Nuer who were forcibly transferred there quickly abandoned in May 2011 because there was no water source for their cattle. © 2011 Human Rights Watch
The Inspection Panel’s report shows that the World Bank has largely ignored human rights risks evident in its projects in Ethiopia. The bank has the opportunity and responsibility to adjust course on its Ethiopia programming and provide redress to those who were harmed. But management’s Action Plan achieves neither of these goals. – Jessica Evans, senior international financial institutions researcher

( FEBRUARY 23, 2015, Washington, DC) – The World Bank should fully address serious human rights issues raised by the bank’s internal investigation into a project in Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the bank’s vice president for Africa. The bank’s response to the investigation findings attempts to distance the bank from the many problems confirmed by the investigation and should be revised. The World Bank board of directors is to consider the investigation report and management’s response, which includes an Action Plan, on February 26, 2015.

The Inspection Panel, the World Bank’s independent accountability mechanism, found that the bank violated its own policies in Ethiopia. The investigation was prompted by a formal complaint brought by refugees from Ethiopia’s Gambella region concerning the Promoting Basic Services (PBS) projects funded by the World Bank, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the African Development Bank, and several other donors.

“The Inspection Panel’s report shows that the World Bank has largely ignored human rights risks evident in its projects in Ethiopia,” said Jessica Evans, senior international financial institutions researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The bank has the opportunity and responsibility to adjust course on its Ethiopia programming and provide redress to those who were harmed. But management’s Action Plan achieves neither of these goals.”

The report, leaked to the media in January, determinedthat “there is an operational link” between the World Bank projects in Ethiopia and a government relocation program known as “villagization.” It concluded that the bank had violated its policy that is intended to protect indigenous peoples’ rights. It also found that the bank “did not carry out the required full risk analysis, nor were its mitigation measures adequate to manage the concurrent rollout of the villagisation programme.” These findings should prompt the World Bank and other donors to take all necessary measures to prevent and address links between its programs and abusive government initiatives, Human Rights Watch said.

Rather than taking on these important findings and applying lessons learned, World Bank management has drafted an Action Plan that merely reinforces its problematic current course, Human Rights Watch said. The Action Plan emphasizes the role of programs designed to mobilize communities to engage in local government’s decisions without addressing the significant risks people take in speaking critically.

The Inspection Panel also found that the bank did not take the necessary steps to mitigate the risk presented by Ethiopia’s 2009 law on civil society organizations. The law prohibits human rights organizations in Ethiopia from receiving more than 10 percent of their funding from foreign sources. As a result of the law, most independent Ethiopian civil society organizations working on human rights issues have had to discontinue their work.

The plan also pledges to enhance the capacity of local government staff to comply with the bank’s policies and to provide complaint resolution mechanisms without addressing the role of the local government in human rights abuses. This continues an approach of seeing the officials implicated in human rights abuses as a source of potential resolution, Human Rights Watch said. Management has also concluded, contrary to the Inspection Panel, that the World Bank is adequately complying with the bank’s policy to protect the rights of indigenous peoples.

Human Rights Watch research into the first year of the villagization program in the western Gambella region found that people were forced to move into the government’s new villages. Human Rights Watch found that the relocation was accompanied by serious abuses, including intimidation, assaults, and arbitrary arrests by security officials, and contributed to the loss of livelihoods for the people forced to move. While the Ethiopian government has officially finished its villagization program in Gambella, it is forcibly evicting communities in other regions, including indigenous people, ostensibly for development projects such as large-scale agriculture projects.

Donors to the Ethiopia Promoting Basic Services Program, including the World Bank and the UK, have repeatedly denied any link between their programs and problematic government programs like villagization.

Human Rights Watch has long raised concerns over inadequate monitoring and the risks of misuse of development assistance in Ethiopia. In 2010 Human Rights Watch documented the government’s use of donor-supported resources and aid to consolidate the power of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Government officials discriminated on the basis of real and perceived political opinion in distributing resources, including access to donor-supported programs, salaries, and training opportunities. Donors have never systematically investigated these risks to their programming, much less addressed them.

The Inspection Panel report is the first donor mechanism that has investigated the donor’s approach to risk assessment in Ethiopia. Although the Inspection Panel adopted a narrow view of its mandate and decided explicitly to exclude human rights violations, its findings underscore the need for donors to considerably enhance and broaden their risk assessment processes in Ethiopia. These processes are crucial for ensuring that their programs advance the social and economic rights of the people they are intended to benefit, without violating their human rights. Management’s response misrepresents the panel’s view of its mandate, erroneously concurring “with the panel’s conclusion that the harm alleged in the Request cannot be attributed to the Project” – the Inspection Panel report makes no such sweeping conclusion.

“The bank directors should send management’s response and Action Plan back and insist on a plan that addresses the Inspection Panel’s findings and the concerns of the people who sought the inquiry,” Evans said. “A meaningful Action Plan should address the program in question, bank-lending in Ethiopia more broadly, and how to apply lessons from these mistakes to all bank programing in high-risk, repressive environments around the world.”

The Action Plan should include provisions for high-level dialogue between the bank and the Ethiopian government to address key human rights issues that are obstacles to effective development, Human Rights Watch said. These issues include forced evictions and development-related displacement, restrictions on civil society, including attacks on independent groups and journalists, discriminatory practices, and violations ofindigenous peoples’ rights.

The plan should include provisions for identifying and mitigating all human rights risks and adverse impacts at the project level, and for independent monitoring to make sure these concerns are fully addressed. The plan should also include provisions for people affected by projects to be involved in projects from their conception and remedies for people negatively affected by bank projects.

Given the climate of fear and repression in Ethiopia, Gambella residents who brought the complaint to the bank and have taken refuge in South Sudan and Kenya are unlikely to feel safe returning home. In light of this, the Action Plan should address their most urgent needs abroad, including education and livelihood opportunities, Human Rights Watch said.

The Inspection Panel’s findings also have wider implications for donor programming in Ethiopia. Donors’ current appraisal methods do not consider human rights and other risks from their programs. The panel highlighted particular problems with budget support or block grants that cannot be tracked at the local level.

“The Inspection Panel report illustrates the perils of unaccountable budget support in Ethiopia,” Evans said. “Donors should implement programs that ensure that Ethiopia’s neediest participate in and have access to the benefits of donor aid.”

http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/02/23/world-bank-address-ethiopia-findings

 

FEBRUARY 23, 2015

Dear Vice President Diop,

As you are aware, Human Rights Watch has researched and documented human rights violations that the government of Ethiopia has committed in the course of its “villagization” program in both Gambella and in the Lower Omo valley. We have also reported on the links between villagization and the various iterations of the World Bank’s Promoting/ Protection of Basic Services projects. With this in mind, I write to you as your staff are working to prepare an action plan responding to the Inspection Panel’s findings of non-compliance in its Ethiopia investigation.

We urge you to ensure that World Bank management responds to the Inspection Panel findings comprehensively in its action plan. Human Rights Watch has been profoundly disappointed by the lack of constructive engagement of World Bank management on the problems of villagization in Ethiopia and its unwillingness to work to address a range of human rights risks in its programming. The concerns raised in the Investigation Panel’s report are an opportunity to adjust management’s course on its Ethiopia programming and address these issues.

We believe the Action Plan should include a commitment to:

1.    Enhance Management’s High Level Dialogue with the Ethiopian Government

Whenever World Bank staff, particularly you or President Kim, meet with the Ethiopian government, we urge you to raise the continuing negative impact that several Ethiopian government policies and practices are having on development efforts.

First, forced evictions and development-related displacement continues to have serious negative effects on communities in various parts of the country, well beyond Gambella. While the government has officially finished its villagization program, it continues to forcibly evict people, including indigenous peoples, from their land ostensibly for development projects, including large-scale agriculture, including for sugar plantation development in the Lower Omo Valley. Bank staff should work with other donors to highlight problems with ongoing practices, as well as pointing to key standards (which should include the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement, and standards and jurisprudence of the African regional human rights institutions). While we recognize bank management has discussed some concerns about villagization before and supported the development of standards for involuntary resettlement, relying on the Bank’s safeguards, dialogue needs to recognize the problems with the existing practices and advise on how to address them.

Second, it is crucial that the Bank asserts the importance of civic participation and social accountability for effective development. This means consistently raising concerns, and urging reforms of the Ethiopian government’s Charities and Societies Proclamation and Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which have had such a devastating impact on the ability of Ethiopians to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. It is also crucial that the Bank and other donors press the Ethiopian government to reverse the practices of arbitrary arrest and detention, and politically motivated prosecutions of independent journalists, activists, and opposition party members including media reporting on problematic “development” initiatives. Independent nongovernmental organizations and media are essential for accountability, and these repressive policies undermine both civic participation and social accountability.

Third, you should raise concerns over discriminatory practices in the country, both on the basis of ethnic background and political opinion. President Kim has spoken passionately about the scourge of discrimination. This should translate into a dialogue with the government not only about how discrimination is wrong, but how it undermines development. Human Rights Watch and others have documented discriminatory practices against individuals not supporting the ruling party in the distribution of the benefits of development, including access to agricultural inputs like seeds and fertilizers, micro-credit loans and job opportunities. In this context, bank management should highlight these ongoing discriminatory practices, including against those who do not support the ruling party and against indigenous groups in areas where villagization occurred including Gambella and the Lower Omo valley.

Finally, it is essential that Ethiopia respect and protect the rights of indigenous peoples. You may want to consider the work of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which has on several occasions discussed indigenous rights within the African context. The African Commission’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations/ Communities has suggested that, in determining whether groups fall within the definition of indigenous peoples, the:

focus should be on … self-definition as indigenous and distinctly different from other groups within a state; on a special attachment to and use of their traditional land whereby their ancestral land and territory has a fundamental importance for their collective physical and cultural survival as peoples; on an experience of subjugation, marginalization, dispossession, exclusion or discrimination because these people have different cultures, ways of life or modes of production than the national hegemonic and dominant model.

The Commission has helpfully addressed common misconceptions regarding indigenous peoples in Africa, paraphrased in attachment 1.

2.    Address Risks at the Project Level

The report of the Inspection Panel shows that the World Bank needs to have systems in place to analyze and avoid or mitigate the above and other human rights risks linked to its projects in Ethiopia. The Bank should acknowledge that the repressive environment in Ethiopia requires an entirely different approach to participation and social accountability. It should work with other donors to develop creative methods for participation that avoid risks of reprisals against those who express dissent and to encourage fearful individuals to use mechanisms and institutions that ensure participation and accountability, free of intimidation and fear. In recognition of the difficulties of ensuring participation and effective, secure avenues for accountability, the Bank should routinely identify security risks for project-affected persons including the risk of reprisal if individuals criticize a project or oppose resettlement.

Considering the high-risk environment, World Bank management should explicitly report to the board on how it has analyzed and addressed all risks of social and human rights impacts in each project in Ethiopia at least annually. Such a report should outline how management has addressed security risks, risks of all forms of discrimination, potential obstacles to participation and accountability, and risks related to land rights or forced evictions, as well as any other potential adverse social or human rights impact.

The World Bank should also ensure that it comprehensively complies with its Indigenous Peoples’ policy in all projects in which indigenous peoples stand to be impacted, directly or indirectly. Compliance needs to go beyond consulting with indigenous peoples in the course of undertaking a social impact assessment, and instead involve comprehensive participation of indigenous peoples in all bank-projects that affect them beginning at the project proposal stage and throughout the entire project cycle. The World Bank should only proceed with projects that affect indigenous peoples with their free, prior, and informed consent as provided by international law.

Furthermore, the bank should require independent third party monitoring and independent grievance redress mechanisms for all of its projects in Ethiopia. Until the environment for independent organizations, including nongovernmental organizations and the media, improves substantially, there is little opportunity for individuals to report problems with World Bank projects. Many of the existing grievance redress mechanisms lack independence from the government or, equally important, are perceived to lack independence.

While the bank has championed its “social accountability mechanisms” in Ethiopia, we question the effectiveness of these mechanisms within the current repressive environment. Statements from the requesters indicate that they would never utilize such mechanisms because of government involvement, and the Bank should heed these concerns. Unfortunately, to date, the bank does not appear to have addressed the question of how these mechanisms can be effective within the current repressive environment. The World Bank needs to find alternative, effective mechanisms to supervise its projects and permit people to safely complain about grievances.

Finally, in accordance with the World Bank’s commitment to and expertise regarding fiscal transparency and accountability, management should only support projects for which funds can be tracked. Tracking the funding is necessary for tracking the full impacts of a World Bank-financed project. It is also particularly relevant considering the bank’s decision not to provide direct budget support to Ethiopia because of the high-risk environment. The Inspection Panel pointed to the challenge of tracking PBS’ financing, in particular, because the government did not share key financial information. This is immensely problematic and should be promptly remedied.

3.    Provide the Requesters with a Remedy

The requesters have proposed measures to remedy the problems they highlighted in their complaint and a strong Action Plan is needed to address these concerns, which Human Rights Watch supports. I attach their letter for ease of reference.

The Action Plan should provide effective development and much-needed basic services to the people of Gambella, free of the requirement to be supportive of the ruling party. As indigenous people, the requesters should be partners in the World Bank’s development initiatives, which includes the right to be meaningfully consulted and for development projects to only go forward with their consent, free of any intimidation.

Given the climate of fear and repression that exists in Ethiopia, it is unlikely that many requesters will feel safe to return home to Gambella. In light of this, the Action Plan should address some of the most urgent needs of the requesters in the refugee communities including the lack of education and livelihood opportunities.

Finally, we urge the World Bank management to present the final Action Plan to the requesters in person in Kenya and South Sudan, comprehensively explaining it and responding to the requestors’ letter.

Thank you for considering our recommendations. I would be most happy to discuss them with you or your staff further. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Jessica Evans

Senior Advocate on International Financial Institutions

Business and Human Rights Division

Human Rights Watch

Annex 1

The African Commission’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations / Communities has debunked several misconceptions regarding indigenous peoples in Africa:

Misconception 1: To protect the rights of indigenous peoples gives special rights to some ethnic groups over and above the rights of all other groups.

Certain groups face discrimination because of their particular culture, mode of production, and marginalized position within the state. The protection of their rights is a legitimate call to alleviate this particular form of discrimination. It is not about special rights.

Misconception 2: Indigenous is not applicable in Africa as “all Africans are indigenous.”

There is no question that Africans are indigenous to Africa in the sense that they were there before the European colonialists arrived and that they were subject to subordination during colonialism. When some particular marginalized groups use the term “indigenous” to describe themselves, they use the modern analytical form (which does not merely focus on aboriginality) in an attempt to draw attention to and alleviate the particular form of discrimination they suffer from. They do not use the term in order to deny other Africans their legitimate claim to belong to Africa and identify as such.

Misconception 3: Talking about indigenous rights will lead to tribalism and ethnic conflicts.

Giving recognition to all groups, respecting their differences and allowing them all to flourish does not lead to conflict, it prevents conflict. What creates conflict is when certain dominant groups force a contrived “unity” that only reflects perspectives and interests of powerful groups within a given state, and which seeks to prevent weaker marginal groups from voicing their unique concerns and perspectives. Conflicts do not arise because people demand their rights but because their rights are violated. Protecting the human rights of particularly discriminated groups should not be seen as tribalism and disruption of national unity. On the contrary, it should be welcomed as an interesting and much needed opportunity in the African human rights arena to discuss ways of developing African multicultural democracies based on the respect and contribution of all ethnic groups.

Source: Paraphrased from Report of the African Commission’s Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities, Adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 34th Ordinary Session, November 6-20, 2003.

http://www.hrw.org/node/132912

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Tyrannic Ethiopia: Flagrant Human Rights Abuse against Oromo Nationals Continues, HRLHA Urgent Action February 2, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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ETHIOPIA: Flagrant Human Rights Abuse against Oromo Nationals Continues

HRLHA FineHRLHA Urgent Action

Feb 01, 2015

For immediate Release

It is cruel, brutal and inhumane to hang any person for any wrongdoing particularly in Ethiopia, a country that claims democracy is its core principle of governance. The execution of Ketama Wubetu and his friend by Ethiopian solders- by hanging on a fence- on December 09, 2014 in Salale zone of Dera District in the regional State of Oromia was barbaric.  If the hanged men were members of an opposition group fighting against the government, once they were captured they should have been brought to justice.

Sadly enough, the government soldiers shamelessly displayed the bodies of these two Oromo nationals to the public- including children. This kind of inhuman and fascistic action will not solve the political crisis in the country. Rather, it will complicate and escalate it to another level. The fascistic action committed against the two Oromo nationals by the government army clearly shows that justice in the country is dysfunctional and symbolic.

Gootota Oromoo Wayyaaneen Qaltee Bakka gabaatti fannifte-Gocha faashistii xaaliyaanii fi hayila Sillaasen kan Wal fakkaatu-1.25.15By doing this the Ethiopian Government has blatantly violated international humanitarian law and international human rights law principles including international human rights standards.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa highly condemns the federal armed force, as well the Oromia regional state militia, for their fascistic acts against these two individuals and calls upon the Ethiopian government to bring the killers to justice. The Government of Ethiopia should also explain the situation to the world community particularly to the UN Human Rights Council that it is a member of.

The HRLHA calls upon regional and international donors, UN member states and Organizations to take measurable steps against the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF government for its persistent brutal, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against civilians. It also urges all national, regional and international diplomats, donor countries and organizations and human rights groups to join hands in putting pressure on the Ethiopian government so that it invites immediately neutral body to investigate the human rights situation in the country.

BACKGROUNDS:

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has reported (May 1st and 13th, 2014, urgent actions, www.humanrightleague.org) on the heavy-handed crackdown of the Ethiopian Federal Government’s Agazi Special Squad and the resultant extra-judicial killings of 34 (thirty-four) Oromo nationals, and the arrests and detentions of hundreds of others. Amnesty International in its most recent report on Ethiopia – “Because I am Oromo – Sweeping repression in the Oromia region of Ethiopia” – has exposed how Oromo nationals have been regularly subjected to arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without charge, enforced disappearance, repeated torture and unlawful state killings as part of the government’s incessant attempts to crush dissent.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Amharic, or your own language expressing:

  • explanation for its brutal and fascistic action against citizens and invite immediately nutria body for investigation
  • the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that the killers are brought to justice immediately

Send Your Concerns to:

  • His Excellency: Mr. Haila Mariam Dessalegn – Prime Minister of Ethiopia

P.O.Box – 1031 Addis Ababa
Telephone – +251 155 20 44; +251 111 32 41
Fax – +251 155 20 30 , +251 15520

  • Office ofOromiya National Regional State President Office

Telephone –   0115510455

  • Office of the Ministry of Justice of Ethiopia

PO Box 1370, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Fax: +251 11 5517775; +251 11 5520874 Email: ministry-justice@telecom.net.et

Copied To:

  • Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Fax: + 41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters) E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr

  • Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD)
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
    Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis
    CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)
    : +41 22 917 97 06
    Fax: +41 22 917 90 08
    E-mail: cat@ohchr.org
  • Secretariat contact details

Secretariat of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)

Mailing address
UNOG-OHCHR
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Tel:  +41 22 917 97 44
Fax: +41 22 917 90 22

E-mailopcat@ohchr.org
Internethttp://www.ohchr.org

  • Committee on Enforced Disappearance (CED)
    Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD)
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
    Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis
    CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)

Mailing address
UNOG-OHCHR
CH-1211 Geneva 10 (Switzerland)

Tel.: +41 22 917 92 56
Fax: +41 22 917 90 08
E-mail: ced@ohchr.org

  • Office of the UNHCR

Telephone: 41 22 739 8111
Fax: 41 22 739 7377
Po Box: 2500
Geneva, Switzerland

  • African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)

48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.
Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764
E-mail: achpr@achpr.org
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

  • Council of Europe

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
+ 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
+ 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53

  • U.S. Department of State

Laura Hruby
Ethiopia Desk Officer
U.S. State Department
HrubyLP@state.gov
Tel: (202) 647-6473

  • Amnesty International – London

Claire Beston
Claire Beston” <claire.beston@amnesty.org>,

  • Human Rights Watch

Felix Hor
“Felix Horne” <hornef@hrw.org>

 

Source: http://ayyaantuu.com/human-rights/ethiopia-flagrant-human-rights-abuse-against-oromo-nationals-continues/

Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 January 29, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia.
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Ohrwlogo

 

‘Many governments have responded to the turmoil by downplaying or abandoning human rights. Governments directly affected by the ferment are often eager for an excuse to suppress popular pressure for democratic change. Other influential governments are frequently more comfortable falling back on familiar relationships with autocrats than contending with the uncertainty of popular rule. Some of these governments continue to raise human rights concerns, but many appear to have concluded that today’s serious security threats must take precedence over human rights. In this difficult moment, they seem to argue, human rights must be put on the back burner, a luxury for less trying times. That subordination of human rights is not only wrong, but also shortsighted and counterproductive. Human rights violations played a major role in spawning or aggravating most of today’s crises. Protecting human rights and enabling people to have a say in how their governments address the crises will be key to their resolution. Particularly in periods of challenges and difficult choices, human rights are an essential compass for political action. ‘ in Tyranny’s False Comfort, http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/essays/tyranny-false-comfort?page=1 

 

‘Ethiopia Hopes that Ethiopia’s government would ease its crackdown on dissent ahead of the May 2015 elections were dashed in 2014.’

 

‘In April and May, protests erupted in towns throughout the region of Oromia against the planned expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into Oromia. Security personnel used excessive force, including live ammunition, against protesters in several cities. At least several dozen people were confirmed dead and hundreds were arrested. Many of them remain in custody without charge. Restrictions on human rights monitoring and on independent media make it difficult to ascertain the precise extent of casualties and arrests. Foreign journalists who attempted to reach the demonstrations were turned away or detained by security personnel. Ethnic Oromos make up approximately 45 percent of Ethiopia’s population and are often arbitrarily arrested and accused of belonging to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).’

 

Ethiopia Hopes that Ethiopia’s government would ease its crackdown on dissent ahead of the May 2015 elections were dashed in 2014. Instead the government continued to use arbitrary arrests and prosecutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and supporters of opposition political parties; police responded to peaceful protests with excessive force; and there was no indication of any government willingness to amend repressive legislation that was increasingly condemned for violating international standards, including at Ethiopia’s Universal Periodic Review at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly Security forces have harassed and detained leaders and supporters of Ethiopian opposition parties. In July, leaders of the Semawayi (“Blue”) Party, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), and the Arena Tigray Party were arrested. At time of writing, they had not been charged but remained in detention. The Semawayi Party’s attempts to hold protests were regularly blocked in 2014. Its applications to hold demonstrations were denied at least three times and organizers were arrested. Over the course of the year, authorities repeatedly harassed, threatened, and detained party leaders. In June, Andargachew Tsige, a British citizen and secretary general of the Ginbot 7 organization, a group banned for advocating armed overthrow of the government, was deported to Ethiopia from Yemen while in transit. The transfer violated international law prohibitions against sending someone to a country where they are likely to face torture or other mistreatment. Tsige had twice been sentenced to death in absentia for his involvement with Ginbot 7. He was detained incommunicado in Ethiopia without access to family members, legal counsel, or United Kingdom consular officials for more than six weeks. He remains in detention in an unknown location. Protests by members of some Muslim communities against perceived government interference in their religious affairs continued in 2014, albeit with less frequency. As in 2013, these protests were met by excessive force and arbitrary arrests from security forces. The trials continue of the 29 protest leaders who were arrested and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation in July 2012.

In April and May, protests erupted in towns throughout the region of Oromia against the planned expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into Oromia. Security personnel used excessive force, including live ammunition, against protesters in several cities. At least several dozen people were confirmed dead and hundreds were arrested. Many of them remain in custody without charge. Restrictions on human rights monitoring and on independent media make it difficult to ascertain the precise extent of casualties and arrests. Foreign journalists who attempted to reach the demonstrations were turned away or detained by security personnel. Ethnic Oromos make up approximately 45 percent of Ethiopia’s population and are often arbitrarily arrested and accused of belonging to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Freedom of Association The Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law), enacted in 2009, has severely curtailed the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations to work on human rights. The law bars work on human rights, good governance, conflict resolution, and advocacy on the rights of women, children and people with disabilities if organizations receive more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign sources. The law was more rigorously enforced in 2014. In March, Ethiopia was approved for membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which promotes transparency on oil, gas, and mining revenues, despite the requirement for candidate countries to make a commitment to meaningful participation of independent groups in public debate on natural resource management. Ethiopia’s previous application was denied in 2010 based on concerns over the CSO law. Freedom of Expression Media remain under a government stranglehold, with many journalists having to choose between self-censorship, harassment and arrest, or exile. In 2014, dozens of journalists and bloggers fled the country following threats. In August 2014, the owners of six private newspapers were charged following a lengthy campaign of threats and harassment against their publications. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ethiopia is one of three countries in the world with the highest number of journalists in exile. Since 2009, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation has been used to target political opponents, stifle dissent, and silence journalists. In July, Ethiopia charged 10 bloggers and journalists known as the Zone 9 Collective under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation after they spent over 80 days in pre-charge detention. The charges included having links to banned opposition groups and trying to violently overthrow the government. The bloggers regularly wrote about current events in Ethiopia. Among the evidence cited was attending a digital security training course in Kenya and the use of “security in-a-box”-a publicly available training tool used by advocates and human rights defenders. Due process concerns have marred the court proceedings. Other journalists convicted under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation-including Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu, and Woubshet Taye-remain in prison. The government continues to block even mildly critical web pages and blogs. The majority of opposition media websites are blocked and media outlets regularly limit their criticism of government in order to be able to work in the country. The government regularly monitors and records telephone calls, particularly international calls, among family members and friends. Such recordings are often played during interrogations in which detainees are accused of belonging to banned organizations. Mobile networks have been shut down during peaceful protests and protesters’ locations identified using information from their mobile phones. The government has monitored digital communications using highly intrusive spyware that monitors all activity on an individual’s computer, including logging of keystrokes and recording of skype calls. The government’s monopoly over all mobile and Internet services through its sole, state-owned telecom operator, Ethio Telecom, facilitates abuse of surveillance powers. Abuses of Migrant Workers Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians continue to pursue economic opportunities in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and other Gulf countries, risking mistreatment from human traffickers along the migration routes. In Yemen, migrants have been taken captive by traffickers in order to extort large sums of money from their family members. In late 2013 and early 2014, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, mainly Ethiopians, were detained and deported from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia. Saudi security forces and civilians attacked Ethiopians, prompting restrictions on migration to certain countries.

Forced Displacement

Both the government of Ethiopia and the donor community failed to adequately investigate allegations of abuses associated with Ethiopia’s “villagization program.” Under this program, 1.5 million rural people were planned to be relocated, ostensibly to improve their access to basic services. Some relocations during the program’s first year in Gambella region were accompanied by violence, including beatings, arbitrary arrests, and insufficient consultation and compensation. A 2013 complaint to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel from Ethiopian refugees, the institution’s independent accountability mechanism, continues to be investigated. Ethiopian refugees alleged that the bank violated its own policies on indigenous people and involuntary resettlement in the manner a national program was implemented in Gambella. In July, a UK court ruled that allegations that the UK Department for International Development (DFID) did not adequately assess evidence of human rights violations in the villagization program deserved a full judicial review. The judicial review had yet to be heard at time of writing. Ethiopia is continuing to develop sugar plantations in the Lower Omo Valley, clearing 245,000 hectares of land that is home to 200,000 indigenous people. Indigenous people continue to be displaced without appropriate consultation or compensation. Households have found their grazing land cleared to make way for state-run sugar plantations, and access to the Omo River, used for growing food, restricted. Individuals who have questioned the development plans face arrest and harassment. Local and foreign journalists have been restricted from accessing the Omo Valley to cover these issues.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHLGBT Rights

Ethiopia’s criminal code punishes consensual adult same-sex relations with up to 15 years in prison. In March, Ethiopia’s lawmakers proposed legislation that would make same-sex conduct a non-pardonable offense, thereby ensuring that LGBT people convicted under the law could not be granted early leave from prison. However, in April the government dropped the proposed legislation.

Ethiopia came for Universal Periodic Review in May 2014, and they rejected all recommendations to decriminalize same-sex conduct and to take measures to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Key International Actors

Ethiopia continues to enjoy unquestioned support from foreign donors and most of its regional neighbors, based on its role as host of the African Union (AU); its contribution to UN peacekeeping, security and aid partnerships with Western countries; and its stated progress on development indicators. Its relations with Egypt are strained due to Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, which will divert water from the Nile and is due to be completed in 2018. In 2014, Ethiopia negotiated between warring parties in South Sudan, and its troops maintained calm in the disputed Abyei Region. Ethiopia continues to deploy its troops inside Somalia; they were included in the AU mission as of January. Ethiopia is one of the largest recipients of donor aid in Africa, receiving almost US$4 billion in 2014, which amounted to approximately 45 percent of its budget. Donors remain muted in their criticism of Ethiopia’s human rights record and took little meaningful action to investigate allegations of abuses. Donors, including the World Bank, have yet to take the necessary measures to ensure that their development aid does not contribute to or exacerbate human rights problems in Ethiopia. Ethiopia rejected recommendations to amend the CSO law and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation that several countries made during the examination of its rights record under the Universal Periodic Review in May.

Read full report at:

http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/wr2015_web.pdf

Oromo: Thousands of Nationals Detained for Protesting Against Government Decisions. #Africa. #Oromia January 8, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo).
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OThousand Oromos detained in 2014 protests

 

 

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa released an appeal that describes the crackdown on the Oromo community, which has been particularly significant in the last 10 months, after the protests, held in March and April 2014, against the annexation of some Oromo towns to the territory of Addis Ababa. The organization highlighted in particular, the situation of a group of 26 prisoners, who have been illegally detained, beaten, tortured and deprived of their few belongings.

 

Below is the Appeal from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, also available in .pdf format:

Since the March-April 2014 crackdowns against the peaceful Oromo protesters who have protested against the Ethiopian Federal Government’s plan of annexation of 36 small Oromia towns to the capital city of Addis Ababa under the pretext of the “Addis Ababa Integrated Plan”, thousands of Oromo nationals from all walks of life from all corners of Oromia regional state including Wollo Oromo’s in Amhara regional state have been detained or imprisoned. Some have disappeared and many have been murdered by a special commando group called “the Agiazi force”. The “The Agiazi” force is still chasing down and arresting Oromo nationals who participated in the March-April, 2014 peaceful protests. Fearing the persecution of the Ethiopian government, hundreds of students did not return to the universities, colleges and high schools; most of them have left for the neighboring states of Somaliland and Puntiland of Somalia where they remain at high risk for their safety. Wollo Oromos who are living in Ahmara regional state of Oromia special Zone are also among the victims of the EPRDF government. Hundreds of Wollo Oromos have been detained because of their connection with the peaceful protests of March-April 2014.  The EPRDF government has detained many Oromo nationals in Wollo Oromia special Zone under the pretext of being members or supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), as prisoners’ voices from Dessie/Wollo prison have revealed.

From among the many Oromos who were picked from different districts and places from Wollo Oromia special Zone in Amhara regional state in April 2014, the HRLHA reporter in the area has received a document which shows that 26 Oromo prisoners pleaded to the South Wollo High Court that they were illegally  detained first in Kamise  town military  camp for 36 days, Kombolcha  town Police Station for 27 Days, and Dessie city higher 5 Police Station for 10 days- places where they were severely tortured and then transferred to Dessie Prison in July 2014.  According to the document, they were picked up   from three different districts and different places by federal police and severely beaten and tortured at different military camps and police stations and their belongings including cash and mobile telephones were taken by their torturers. In their appeal letter to the South Wollo high court they demanded

1.            Justice and release from the prison because they had been arrested without court warrant and didn’t appear in front of the court for more than eight months- which violates the Ethiopian constitution.

2.            The return of their belongings, including 1000 – 5000 Eth Birr and their mobile phones. […]

 

The Ethiopian Government for the past 23 years has continually breached:

1.            the 1995 Constitution of Ethiopia Articles 14-19  by arresting citizens without court warrant, used torture and inhumane degrading treatments and deprived citizens of their livelihoods and generally discriminated against Oromo nationals

2.              international  treaties  it has signed and ratified

2.1.         CAT –Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatments or Punishment (1994)

2.2.         CCPR – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1991)

2.3.         CESCR  – International Covenants on Economic, Social  and Cultural Rights (1991) and

2.4.         CERD – International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1976)

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly condemns the irresponsible actions of the Ethiopian Government and its agents for their inhumane treatments of citizens. The government should be held accountable for failing its duty and responsibility to protect and promote human rights in its territory.

The HRLHA calls upon regional and international donor States and Organizations to take measurable steps against the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF government for its persistent brutal, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against innocent and unarmed civilians.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Amharic, or your own language expressing:

– for the immediate and unconditional release of prisoners illegally detained and pay compensation

–  urging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners,

 

For further information on the detainees and on where to address the concerns, please see the attachedfile.

Source: http://unpo.org/article/17822

Repressive Ethiopia comes out as the worst place in #Africa for internet freedom. #BecauseIAmOromo December 21, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in 10 best Youtube videos, Afar, Africa, African Internet Censorship, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Internet Freedom, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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OEnemies of Internetinternet freedom

http://mashable.com/2014/12/17/internet-freedom-countries/

 

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and founder of the Web Foundation, has called for the Internet to be recognised as a basic human right.  Sir Tim noted that in our increasingly unequal world, the Web has the potential to be a great equalizer, but only “if we hardwire the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, affordable access and net neutrality into the rules of the game.”

In order to reverse this slide and leverage the power of technology to fight inequality, the Web Foundation is calling on policymakers to:

  • Accelerate progress towards universal access by increasing access to affordable Internet and ensuring that everyone can use the Web all of the time, safely, freely and privately.
  • Level the playing field by preventing price discrimination in Internet traffic, and treating the Internet like any other public utility.
  • Invest in high-quality public education for all to ensure that technological progress doesn’t leave some groups behind.
  • Promote participation in democracy and protect freedom of opinion by reversing the erosion of press freedom and civil liberties, using the Web to increase government transparency, and protecting the freedoms of speech, association, and privacy.
  • Create opportunities for women and poor and marginalised groups by investing more in ICTs to overcome key barriers in health, education, agriculture and gender equity.

http://thewebindex.org/blog/recognise-the-internet-as-a-human-right-says-sir-tim-berners-lee-as-he-launches-annual-web-index/

Internet freedom in Africa: Ethiopia and The Gambia most repressive; South Africa and Kenya freest

  ChristineMungaihttp://www.mgafrica.com/article/2014-12-11-internet-freedom-in-africa-ethiopia-and-the-gambia-most-repressive-south-africa-and-kenya-freest/

ETHIOPIA, The Gambia and Sudan are some of the most repressive places in Africa for online freedom, a new report by watchdog organisation Freedom House indicates, while South Africa and Kenya are the among the most free for internet users in the continent.

But the 12 African countries surveyed show a worrying trend – the majority are becoming more repressive compared to last year. Just South Africa – the best ranked – Kenya, Uganda and Malawi have maintained the same score as last year; Nigeria, Angola, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Ethiopia have deteriorated. Zambia and The Gambia are new entrants on the list this year.

The negative trajectory in internet freedom is mirrored around the world – the report states that in 36 of the 65 countries surveyed, internet freedom scores have become worse, as governments become increasingly nervous about their national security, and more sophisticated in surveillance and control.

“Very few countries registered any gains in internet freedom, and the improvements that were recorded largely reflected less vigorous application of existing internet controls compared with the previous year, rather than genuinely new and positive steps taken [by governments],” the report states.

Although most African countries do not explicitly censor content much, there has been an increasingly harsh manner in which users are targeted for the things they say online – in some countries, Freedom House reports, “the penalties for online expression are worse than those for similar actions offline”.

A higher score means a more repressive environment. Source: Freedom House

In July 2013, for example, the Gambian government passed amendments to the Information and Communication Act that specifically criminalised the use of the internet to criticise, impersonate, or spread false news about public officials. Anyone found guilty could face up to 15 years in prison, fines of roughly $100,000, or both—significantly harsher punishments than what the criminal code prescribes for the equivalent offenses offline.

The report reveals that breaches in cybersecurity are also eroding freedom, as government critics and human rights organisations are subject to increasingly sophisticated and personalised malware attacks, documented in 32 of the 65 countries examined.

Low internet penetration, state monopoly

Ethiopia comes out as the worst place in Africa for internet freedom. In the first place, lack of telecoms infrastructure, government monopoly and oppressive regulation means that internet penetration is just 2%, one of the lowest in Africa.

A law enacted in November 2013 gives the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) carte blanche to inspect private online activities without oversight. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and CNN were inaccessible for 12 hours in July 2013, while the number of permanently blocked webpages also increased.

In the Gambia, as well as setting out punitive new laws, internet cafe registration regulations were tightened in September 2013, requiring operators to provide thorough details for a license, as well as mandating the physical layout of cafes and the signs that must be displayed.

In Nigeria too, cybercafés have to keep a log of their customers – although the mobile revolution means that these attempts at controlling internet use will become increasingly irrelevant.

But if you can’t control access, then persecution and punishment becomes the next measure – and African governments show remarkable sophistication here.

In Ethiopia, the government launched high-tech surveillance malware against several online journalists in the Ethiopian diaspora and dissidents in exile; six bloggers of the prominent Zone9 blogging collective were arrested in April 2014 on charges of terrorism.

This year shows a more repressive environment than last year in many countries. Source: Freedom House

The same was observed in Angola, where “insider sources” affirmed that a German company had assisted the Angolan military intelligence in installing a sophisticated communications monitoring system on a military base, the report states. Further evidence, as of November 2013, found that at least one major ISP hosts a spyware system directly on its server.

In Rwanda, a growing number of independent online news outlets and opposition blogs were intermittently inaccessible in Rwanda in the past year. The Law Relating to the Interception of Communications enacted in October authorised high-ranking security officials to monitor email and telephone conversations of individuals considered potential threats to “public security”.

In Sudan, a localised internet service disruption in June and a nationwide blackout in September corresponded with large anti-government protests; the blackouts were reportedly directed by the government.

Even in the countries ranked as relatively free, harassment and intimidation of journalists and bloggers – and even ordinary citizens – is a widespread form of internet control. In Malawi online journalists are “periodically detained and prosecuted for articles posted on news websites”.

Most recently, Justice Mponda,  a correspondent for the online publication Malawi Voice, was arrested in November 2013 for allegedly “intimidating the royal family” in an investigative story about former President Banda’s connection to the theft of millions of Malawian kwacha from government coffers in a scandal known as “Cashgate.”  He was later acquitted.

Mugabe’s digital ‘death’

But it’s Zimbabwe that has had some of the most bizarre persecutions. An editor at the Sunday Mail state newspaper, Edmund Kudakwashe Kudzayi, was arrested in June on accusations of running the Baba Jukwa Facebook account, an activist page of over half a million followers harshly critical of the government. In July, the government took down the facebook page, and Kudzayi’s case remains unresolved.

It gets crazier – in January 2014, teenage Facebook user Gumisai Manduwa was arrested for allegedly insulting the president after he posted on his Facebook page that President Mugabe “had died and was being preserved in a freezer.” Manduwa was released on bail two days after his arrest. His case remains on the court’s docket as of mid-2014.

And another court case, this one against 21-year old Shantel Rusike is still being dragged through the magistrate courts in Bulawayo as of mid-2014.

Rusike was arrested on December 24, 2012 and held for four days after she was reported to the police for sending an image depicting President Mugabe “in a nude state” via WhatsApp on her mobile phone. Rusike faces charges of “causing hatred, contempt or ridicule of the president”.

Ethiopia
2013                                                                        2014
Internet Freedom Status                   Not Free                                                                Not Free

Obstacles to Access (0-25)                22                                                                                23
Limits on Content (0-35)                  28                                                                               28
Violations of User Rights (0-40)      29                                                                               29
TOTAL* (0-100)                                  79                                                                               80
* 0=most free, 100=least free

Population: 89.2 million

Internet Penetration 2013:  2 percent
Social Media/ICT Apps Blocked: Yes
Political/Social Content Blocked: Yes
Bloggers/ICT Users Arrested: Yes
Press Freedom 2014 Status: Not Free
Key Developments: May 2013 – May 2014
• Telecom services worsened, characterized by frequently dropped phone calls, prolonged internet service interruptions, and slow response times to service failures (see Obstacles to Access).
• Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and CNN were inaccessible for 12 hours in July 2013, while the
number of permanently blocked webpages also increased (see Limits on Content).
• A law enacted in November 2013 gives the Information Network Security Agency (INSA)
carte blanche to inspect private online activities without oversight (see Violations of User
Rights).
• The government launched sophisticated surveillance malware against several online journalists
in the Ethiopian diaspora and dissidents in exile (see Violations of User Rights).
• Six bloggers of the prominent Zone9 blogging collective were arrested in April 2014 on
charges of terrorism (see Violations of User Rights).

Introduction
Ethiopia continues to have one of the lowest rates of internet and mobile phone connectivity in the world, as meager infrastructure, government monopoly over the telecommunications sector, and obstructive telecom policies have significantly hindered the growth of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the country. Coupled with highly repressive laws and tactics aimed at restricting freedom of expression and access to information, internet freedom in Ethiopia is consistently rated the worst in sub-Saharan Africa and among the worst in the world.
Despite the country’s extremely poor telecommunications services and a largely disconnected population, Ethiopia is also known as one of the first African countries to censor the internet, beginning in 2006 with opposition blogs.1. Since then, internet censorship has become pervasive and systematic through the use of highly sophisticated tools that block and filter internet content and monitor user activity. The majority of blocked websites feature critical news and opposition viewpoints run by individuals and organizations based mostly in the diaspora. Surveillance of mobile phone and internet networks is systematic and widespread, enabled by Chinese-made technology that allows for the interception of SMS text messages, recording of phone calls, and centralized monitoring of online activities. The government also employs commentators and trolls to proactively manipulate the online news and information landscape.
During the report’s coverage period, internet freedom in Ethiopia worsened due to increasing restrictions on access to social media and communications tools, such as Storify, and the temporary blocking of Facebook and Twitter in July 2013. A new law passed in November 2013 gave the Information Network Security Agency (INSA) carte blanche to track private online communications and investigate electronic devices without oversight. In addition, a number of diaspora journalists and exiled dissidents were targeted with surveillance malware, demonstrating a growing level of sophistication in the government’s effort to silence critical voices that extends beyond the country’s borders.
In 2014, the Ethiopian authorities increased their crackdown against bloggers and online journalists, using the country’s harsh laws to prosecute individuals for their online activities and quash dissent. Most alarmingly, six bloggers from the critical Zone9 blogging collective and three journalists associated with Zone9 were arrested in late April 2014 on charges of terrorism, which, under the Telecom Fraud Offenses Law and anti-terrorism proclamation, can entail a sentence of up to 20 years in prison if the bloggers are found guilty. The Zone9 case was repeatedly stalled by the courts throughout 2014, leaving the bloggers in pre-trial detention for over six months as of late-2014. Meanwhile, two online radio journalists were arrested and detained for a week without charges in August 2013, and the prominent dissident blogger, Eskinder Nega, and award-winning journalist, Reeyot Alemu, continue to serve lengthy prison sentences, despite international pressure for their release. The overall crackdown has had a major chilling effect on internet freedom and freedom of expression in the country, leading to increasing levels of self-censorship among online journalists, bloggers, and ordinary users alike.

Obstacles to Access
In 2013 and 2014, access to ICTs in Ethiopia remained extremely limited, hampered by slow speeds and the state’s tight grip on the telecom sector. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), internet penetration stood at a mere 1.9 percent in 2013, up from 1.5 percent in 2012. Only 0.25 percent of the population had access to fixed-broadband internet, increasing from 0.01 percent in 2012.Ethiopians had more access to mobile phone services, with mobile phone penetration rates increasing from 22 percent in 2012 to 27 percent in 2013 though such access rates still lag behind a regional average of 80 percent. Meanwhile, less than 5 percent of the population has a mobile-broadband subscription. Radio remains the principal mass medium through which most Ethiopians stay informed. While access to the internet via mobile phones increased slightly in the last year, prohibitively expensive mobile data packages still posed a significant financial obstacle for the majority of the population in Ethiopia, where per capita income in 2013 stood at US$470.8 Ethiopia’s telecom market is very unsaturated due to monopolistic control, providing customers with few options at arbitrary prices. Prices are set by the state-controlled Ethio Telecom and kept artificially high. As of mid-2014, monthly packages cost between ETB 200 and 3,000 (US$10 to $150) for 1 to 30 GB of 3G mobile services.

The computer remains the most practical option for going online, though in 2014, personal computers are still prohibitively expensive. The combined cost of purchasing a computer, initiating an internet connection, and paying usage charges makes internet access beyond the reach of most Ethiopians. Consequently, only 2 percent of Ethiopian households had internet access in their homes in 2013. The majority of internet users rely on cybercafes to log online, leading to a growth of
cybercafes in recent years, particularly in large cities. A typical internet user in Addis Ababa pays between ETB 5 and 7 (US$0.25 to $0.35) for an hour of access. Because of the scarcity of internet cafes outside urban areas, however, rates in rural cybercafes are more expensive.
For the few Ethiopians who can access the internet, connection speeds are known to be painstakingly slow. For years, logging into an email account and opening a single message could take as long as six minutes at a standard cybercafe with broadband in the capital city.12 According to May 2014 data from Akamai’s “State of the Internet” report, Ethiopia has an average connection speed of 1.2 Mbps (compared to a global average of 3.9 Mbps). Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s broadband adoption (characterized by connection speeds greater than 4 Mbps) is less than 3 percent,14 while the country’s narrowband adoption (connection speed below 256 Kbps) is about 20 percent among those with access. Numerous users reported that internet and text messaging speeds were extremely slow during the coverage period, with services completely unavailable at times. Frequent electricity outages are also a contributing factor to poor telecom services. Despite reports of massive investments from Chinese telecom companies in recent years,17 Ethiopia’s telecommunications infrastructure is among the least developed in Africa and is almost entirely absent from rural areas, where about 85 percent of the population resides. The country is connected to the international internet via satellite, a fiber-optic cable that passes through Sudan and connects to its international gateway, and the SEACOM cable that connects through Djibouti to an international undersea cable. In an effort to expand connectivity, the government has reportedly installed several
thousand kilometers of fiber-optic cable throughout the country over the past few years. Construction of the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) was completed and launched in July 2010, but its effects on Ethiopia have yet to be seen as of mid-2014. The space for independent initiatives in the ICT sector, entrepreneurial or otherwise, is extremely
limited, with state-owned Ethio Telecom holding a firm monopoly over internet and mobile phone services in the country. Consequently, all connections to the international internet are completely centralized via Ethio Telecom, enabling the government to cut off the internet at will. As a result, the internet research company Renesys classified Ethiopia “as being at severe risk of Internet disconnection,” alongside Syria, Uzbekistan, and Yemen in a February 2014 assessment. During the coverage period, one Renesys report found that 40 percent of Ethiopia’s networks were down for a few hours on July 18, 2013 as a result of a disruption on the SEACOM network, though the exact reason for the disruption was unknown. In September 2013, a number of cybercafe owners in Ethiopia reported an increasing trend of unpredictable internet connections and speeds beginning in June that resulted in a significant decline in business, with internet connections reported as unavailable for up to 15 days in a month. Mobile phone networks—also completely centralized under Ethio Telecom—are similarly vulnerable to service disruptions and shutdowns by the government, which often occur during politically sensitive times. During the coverage period, there were frequent reports of dropped cell phone and landline calls, complete network blackouts in many parts of the country, and overlapping voices in calls. The latter phenomenon led people to suspect government engagement in a widespread eavesdropping scheme (see “Violations of User Rights” for details on surveillance). Meanwhile, cybercafes are subject to onerous requirements under the 2002 Telecommunications
(Amendment) Proclamation, which requires cybercafe owners to obtain an operating license with Ethio Telecom via a murky process that can take months. During the coverage period, Ethio Telecom began enforcing its licensing  requirements more strictly in response to the increasing spread of cybercafes, reportedly penalizing Muslim cafe owners more harshly. Violations of the stringent requirements, such as a prohibition on providing Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services, entail criminal liability. Despite repeated international pressure to liberalize telecommunications in Ethiopia, the government
has not eased its grip on the sector. In June 2013, the prime minister publicly affirmed that the government would maintain a monopoly over the country’s telecoms. In the meantime, China has emerged as a key investor and contractor in Ethiopia’s telecommunications industry, and in July 2013, the government signed a US$1.6 billion agreement with the Chinese telecom companies,
Zhongxing Telecommunication Corporation (ZTE) and Huawei, to upgrade its broadband network to 4G in Addis Ababa and expand 3G across the country. The networks built by the Chinese firms have been criticized for their high costs and poor service, though the partnership has enabled Ethiopia’s authoritarian leaders to maintain their hold over the telecom sector. Furthermore, the contracts   have led to increasing fears that the Chinese may also be assisting the authorities in developing more robust internet and mobile phone censorship and surveillance capacities.
The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) and the Ethiopian Telecommunications Agency (ETA) are the primary regulatory bodies overseeing the telecommunications sector. These two organizations were established as autonomous federal agencies, but both are highly controlled government bodies.
Limits on Content
During the coverage period, over a hundred websites remained inaccessible in Ethiopia, with a greater number of online tools and services targeted for blocking. A June 2014 report affirmed the government’s efforts to recruit and train progovernment citizens to attack politically objectionable content online.
The Ethiopian government imposes nationwide, politically motivated internet blocking and filtering that tends to tighten ahead of sensitive political events. The majority of blocked websites are those that feature opposition or critical content run by individuals or organizations based in the country or the diaspora. The government’s approach to internet filtering generally entails hindering access to a list of specific internet protocol (IP) addresses or domain names at the level of the Ethio Telecom-controlled international gateway. A more sophisticated strategy of blocking websites based on a keyword in the URL path, known as deep-packet inspection (DPI),  was detected in May 2012 when the Tor network—an online tool that enables users to browse anonymously—was blocked. In January 2014, an independent test conducted by a researcher based in the country found 120 unique URLs that were inaccessible in the country, 62 of which were Ethiopian news websites, 14 of which were political party websites,  of which were blogs, and 7 of which were television and online
radio websites. During the test, some websites opened at the first attempt but were inaccessible when refreshed. The test also found that select tools and services on Google’s Android operating system on smart phones were inaccessible at irregular intervals but for unclear reasons. A separate test on over 1,400 URLs between July and August 2013 by the OpenNet Initiative in partnership withHuman Rights Watch similarly found 62 websites blocked altogether and numerous others intermittently inaccessible. International news outlets were increasingly targeted for censorship. Al Arabiya, a Saudi Arabia-based media outlet, and both of Al Jazeera’s Arabic and English websites were intermittently blocked during the coverage period. In July 2013, websites belonging to Yahoo and CNN were reportedly inaccessible for about 12 hours. Facebook and Twitter were also targets of the short-term July 2013 blocking. There was no evident impetus or reason for the short-term blocking, and other major services such as Gmail and new outlets such as the New York Times remained accessible. Nevertheless, the incident further increased worries over reports of government plans to block popular social media tools completely. Facebook and Twitter platforms were otherwise generally accessible, although some individual Facebook groups belonging to opposition individuals remained blocked altogether, particularly when accessed via the unencrypted (http://) URL pathway. Meanwhile, the social media curation tool Storify—first blocked in July 201241—remained blocked during the coverage period, while the URL shortening tool Bit.ly was inexplicably blocked in late 2013.
In the past few years, the authorities have become more sophisticated in their censorship techniques, electing to block select webpages as opposed to entire websites. Critical online news articles are usually targeted, such as an August 2012 Forbes article titled, “Requiem for a Reprobate Ethiopian Tyrant Should Not Be Lionized,” which was blocked for criticizing the local and global praise of the former prime minister’s debatable economic growth achievements; the article remained blocked as of June 2014.44 A July 2013 YouTube video of the anti government Muslim protests that occurred from 2012-13 was also blocked as of late 2013.
International blog-hosting platforms such as Blogspot have been frequently blocked since the disputed parliamentary elections of 2005, during which the opposition used online communication tools to organize and disseminate information that was critical of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. In 2007, the government instituted a blanket block on the domainnames of two popular blog-hosting websites, Blogspot and Nazret, though the authorities have
since become more sophisticated in their censorship techniques, now blocking select pages such as the Zone9 independent blog hosted on Blogspot, as opposed to the entire blogging platform. Nazret, however, remained completely blocked as of June 2014. Circumvention strategies have also been targeted, with the term “proxy” yielding no search results on Google, according to an independent source. Meanwhile, the terms “sex” or “porn” are still searchable.
In addition to increasing blocks of online content, politically objectionable content is often targeted for removal, often by way of threats from security officials who personally seek out users and bloggers to instruct them to take down certain content, particularly critical content on Facebook. The growing practice suggests that at least some voices within Ethiopia’s small online community are being closely monitored. Some restrictions are also placed on mobile phones, such as the  requirement for a text message to obtain prior approval from Ethio Telecom if it is to be sent to more than ten recipients. A bulk text message sent without prior approval is automatically blocked. There are no procedures for determining which websites are blocked or why, which precludes any avenues for appeal. There are no published lists of blocked websites or publicly available criteria for how such decisions are made, and users are met with an error message when trying to access
blocked content. This lack of transparency is exacerbated by the government’s continued denial of its censorship efforts. Meanwhile, the decision-making process does not appear to be controlled by a single entity, as various government bodies—including the Information Network Security Agency (INSA), Ethio Telecom, and the ministry of ICT—seem to be implementing their own lists, contributing to a phenomenon of inconsistent blocking. Lack of adequate funding is a significant challenge for independent online media in Ethiopia, as fear of government pressure dissuades local businesses from advertising with politically critical websites. Local newspapers and web outlets receive their news and information from regime critics and opposition organizations in the diaspora. While the domestic Ethiopian blogosphere has been expanding, most blogging activity on Ethiopian issues still originates in the diaspora. Few Ethiopian journalists work for both the domestic print media and overseas online outlets due to the threat of repercussions. Increasing repression against journalists and bloggers has had a major chilling effect on expression online, particularly following the arrest of the Zone9 bloggers in April 2014 (see “Violations of User Rights”). Fear of pervasive surveillance has led to widespread self-censorship, and many bloggers publish anonymously to avoid reprisals. Notably, users on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter seem to practice a lower degree of self-censorship, which may be due to poor awareness of privacy settings, or the perception that posts on social media are anonymous or more secure. Despite extremely low levels of internet access, the authorities employ progovernment commentators and trolls to proactively manipulate the online news and information landscape. Acrimonious exchanges between commentators on apologist websites and an array of diaspora critics and opposition figures have become common in online political debates. There was a noticeable increase in the number of progovernment commentators during the coverage period, as confirmed in a June 2014 report by the Ethiopian Satellite Television Service (ESAT) that detailed the government’s efforts to recruit and train progovernment citizens to attack politically objectionable content online. According to the ESAT report, hundreds of bloggers who report directly to government officials had been trained on how to post progovernment comments and criticize antigovernment articles on social  media platforms. As the country prepares for the upcoming 2015 National Election, the state media has stepped up its campaign against the press in general and the use of social media in particular, claiming that foreign agents and terrorists are using social media to destabilize the country. Consequently, many civil society groups based in the country are wary of mobilizing against the government, and calls for protest come mostly from the Ethiopian diaspora rather than from local activists who fear the government’s violent crackdowns against protest movements. Nevertheless, over the past few years, Facebook has become one of the most popular mediums through which Ethiopians share and consume information. Social media services have also become significant platforms for political deliberation and social justice campaigns. For example, in September 2013, a group of young Ethiopian bloggers and activists based in Addis Ababa launched a Facebook and Twitter campaign on the occasion of Ethiopia’s New Year celebration to share their vision of a better Ethiopia, using the hashtag #EthiopianDream.52 In November 2013, Ethiopians responded to the Saudi government’s crackdown on undocumented Ethiopian immigrants in Saudi Arabia by organizing the online campaign, #SomeoneTellSaudiArabia, to protest the abusive treatment of Ethiopian immigrants. Netizen activism was particularly pronounced and widespread following the arrest of six Zone9 bloggers and three journalists for their alleged affiliation with the Zone9 collective (see “Violations of User Rights”). Ethiopian bloggers and social media users flocked online to spread the #FreeZone-9Bloggers hashtag in a campaign that quickly swept across the social media sphere and garnered

widespread support from around the world. Within five days, the #FreeZone9Bloggers hashtag had been tweeted more than 8,000 times. Unfortunately, the international campaign elicited no response from the government, and the imprisoned bloggers and journalists are still awaiting trial on charges of terrorism as of late-2014.

Violations of User Rights 
During the coverage period, the Ethiopian government’s already limited space for online expression continued to deteriorate alongside its poor treatment of journalists. A new proclamation passed in November 2013 empowered INSA with sweeping surveillance capabilities without judicial oversight. Sophisticated malware was launched against online radio journalists and dissidents in exile, while repression against bloggers and ICT users in the country increased notably. Six bloggers of the critical Zone9 blogging collective were arrested for their alleged terrorist activities. The 1995 Ethiopian constitution guarantees freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and access to information, while also prohibiting censorship. These constitutional guarantees are affirmed in the 2008 Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation, known as the press law, which also provides certain protections for media workers, such as prohibiting the pre-trial detention of journalists. Nevertheless, the press law also includes problematic provisions that contradict  constitutional protections and restrict free expression. For example, media outlets are required to obtain licenses to operate through an onerous registration process that applies to all outlets, regardless of size, though it is uncertain whether the press law’s broad language encompasses online media. Penalties for violating the registration requirement and other restrictions on content, such as defamation, involve high fines and up to two and three years in prison, respectively.
In September 2012, the government codified specific restrictions on various telecommunications activities through the passage of the Telecom Fraud Offences law,  which revised a 1996 law that had placed bans on certain communication applications, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)60— including Skype and Google Voice—call back services, and internet-based fax services. Under the new law, the penalties under the preexisting ban were toughened, increasing the fine and maximum prison sentence from five to eight years for offending service providers, and penalizing users with
three months to two years in prison. The law also added the requirement for all individuals to register their telecommunications equipment—including smart phones—with the government, which security officials typically enforce by confiscating ICT equipment when a registration permit cannot be furnished at security checkpoints, according to sources in the country.

Most alarmingly, the Telecom Fraud Offences law extended the violations and penalties defined in the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and 2004 Criminal Code to electronic communications, which are broadly defined yet explicitly include both mobile phone and internet services. The anti-terrorism legislation prescribes prison sentences of up to 20 years for the publication of statements that can be understood as a direct or indirect encouragement of terrorism, vaguely defined.64 Meanwhile, the criminal code holds any “author, originator or publisher” criminally liable for content allegedly linked to offenses such as treason, espionage, or incitement, which carries with it the penalty of up to life imprisonment or death. The criminal code also penalizes the publication of a “false rumor” with up to three years in prison. In 2014, the Ethiopian authorities increased their crackdown against bloggers and online journalists, using the country’s harsh laws to prosecute individuals for their online activities and silence dissent. Most alarmingly, six bloggers from the critical Zone9 blogging collective and three journalists associated with Zone9 were arrested in late April 2014 on charges of terrorism. They were accused of “working with foreign organizations that claim to be human rights activists… and receiving finance to
incite public violence through social media,”  though the arrests had occurred just days following Zone9’s Facebook post announcing plans to resume its activism. The blogging collective had been inactive for seven months as a result of “a considerable amount of surveillance and harassment” the bloggers had suffered at the hands of security agents for their writings and social media activism. Despite widespread international condemnation of the Zone9 arrests, the detainees were denied bail in August and remained in jail as of fall 2014, awaiting trial. Meanwhile, the well-known dissident journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega is still carrying out an 18-year prison sentence handed down in July 2012 under the anti-terrorism law. Numerous other journalists and media outlets—both online and print—were targeted for arrest and prosecutions during the coverage period, including Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed who were arrested in August 2013 for their work with the online radio station, Radio Bilal, which is known for its extensive coverage of the 2012-13 anti government protests organized by Ethiopian Muslims.

They were released after being held for a week without charges,71 but the arrests were in keeping with the government’s concerted efforts to silence the protests. Given the high degree of online repression in Ethiopia, some political commentators use proxy servers and anonymizing tools to hide their identities when publishing online and to circumvent filtering, though the ability to communicate anonymously has become more difficult. The Tor Network anonymizing tool was blocked in May 2012, confirming that the government has deployed deep-packet inspection technology, and Google searches of the term “proxy” mysteriously yield no results. Anonymity is further compromised by strict SIM card registration requirements. Upon purchase of a SIM card through Ethio Telecom or an authorized reseller, individuals must provide their full name, address, government-issued identification number, and a passport-sized photograph. Ethio Telecom’s database of SIM registrants enables the government to cut-off the SIM cards belonging to targeted individuals and to restrict those individuals from registering for new SIM cards. Internet subscribers are also required to register their personal details, including their home address, with the government. In 2013, an inside informant leaked worrying details of potential draft legislation that seeks to mandate real-name registration for all internet users in Ethiopia, though there are no further
details of this development as of mid-2014. Government surveillance of online and mobile phone communications is pervasive in Ethiopia, and evidence has emerged in recent years that reveal the scale of such practices. According to 2014
Human Rights Watch research, there are strong indications that the government has deployed a centralized monitoring system from the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE, known as ZXMT, to monitor phone lines and various types of communications, including mobile phone networks and the internet.73 Known for its use by repressive regimes in Libya and Iran, ZXMT enables deep-packet inspection (DPI) of internet traffic across the Ethio Telecom network and has the ability to intercept emails and web chats. Another ZTE technology, known as ZSmart, is a customer management database installed at Ethio Telecom that provides the government with full access to user information and the ability to intercept SMS text messages and record phone conversations. ZSmart also allows security officials to locate targeted individuals through real-time geolocation tracking of mobile phones. While the extent to which the government has made use of the full range of ZTE’s sophisticated surveillance systems is unclear, the authorities frequently present intercepted emails and phone calls as evidence during trials against journalists and bloggers or during interrogations as a scare tactic. In November 2013, a new Cyber Security Law expanded the surveillance powers of the Information Network Security Agency (INSA)—the government body established in 2011 to preside overcurity of the country’s critical communications infrastructure. According to reports, the law states that “social media outlets, blogs and other internet related media have great capabilities to instigate war, to damage the country’s image and create havoc in the economic atmosphere of the country”—
setting the logic for expanding INSA’s duties to include developing offensive cyber capabilities and ICT tools. The proclamation also empowers INSA to investigate computers, networks, internet, radio, television, and social media platforms “for any possible damage to the country’s social, economic, political and psychological well being.” INSA reportedly uses sophisticated spyware, such as the commercial toolkit FinFisher—a device that can secretly monitor computers by turning on webcams, record everything a user types with a key logger, and intercept Skype calls—to target dissidents and supposed threats. A leaked document confirmed that the UK-based company, Gamma International, had provided Ethio Telecom with the FinFisher surveillance toolkit at some point between April and July 2012.80 In addition, research conducted by Citizen Lab in March 2013 worryingly found evidence of an Ethio Telecom-initiated  inSpy campaign launched against users that employed pictures of the exiled prodemocracy group, Ginbot 7, as bait. There has been an increasing trend of exiled dissidents targeted with surveillance malware in the past few years. In April 2013, Tadesse Kersmo, a senior member of Ginbot-7 living in exile in the United Kingdom since 2009, came across the above-mentioned Citizen Lab FinSpy report and noticed that one of the spyware campaign’s bait was a picture of himself. He contacted Citizen Lab to have his computer examined and found that FinSpy had been active on his computer over two days in June 2012. The spyware may have transmitted any or all of Kersmo’s emails, chats, Skype calls, files, and web searches to a server based in Ethiopia, which could have provided the authorities with names of contacts, colleagues, and family members still living in the country. In February 2014, Privacy International filed a criminal complaint to the UK’s National Cyber Crime Unit on Kersmo’s behalf, urging them to investigate the potential unlawful interception of communications.
In the same month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a similar suit in the United States on behalf of another Ethiopian dissident (and American citizen) identified publicly under the pseudonym Mr. Kidane. Kidane’s computer had also been found infected with the FinSpy malware sometime between late October 2012 and March 2013, which had secretly recorded dozens of his Skype calls, copied emails he had sent, and logged a web search conducted by his son on the history of sports medicine for a school research project.86 The FinSpy IP address was linked to a server belonging to
Ethio Telecom. Recent Citizen Lab research published in February 2014 uncovered the use of Remote Control System
(RCS) spyware against two employees of the diaspora-run independent satellite television, radio, and online news media outlet, Ethiopian Satellite Television Service (ESAT), based in Alexandria, VA.87 Made by the Italian company Hacking Team, RCS spyware is advertised as “offensive technology” sold exclusively to law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world, and has the ability to steal files and passwords, and intercept Skype calls/chats. 88 While Hacking Team claims that they do not deal with “repressive regimes,” the RCS virus sent via sophisticated bait to the two ESAT employees made it clear that the attack was targeted, and researchers have strong suspicions of the Ethiopian government’s  involvement.
While the government’s stronghold over the Ethiopian ICT sector enables it to proactively monitor users, its access to user activity and information is less direct at cybercafes. For a period following the 2005 elections, cybercafe owners were required to keep a register of their clients, but the requirement has not been enforced since mid-2010.91 Nevertheless, some cybercafe operators revealed that they are required to report any “unusual behavior” to security officials, and officials often visit cybercafes (sometimes in plainclothes) to ask questions about specific users or monitor user activity themselves.
Government security agents frequently harass and intimidate bloggers, online journalists, and ordinary users for their online activities. Independent bloggers are often summoned by the authorities to be warned against discussing certain topics online, while activists claim that they are consistently threatened by state security agents for their online activism. Bloggers from Zone9, for example, reported suffering a considerable amount of harassment for their work, leading them to go silent for several months. Shortly after the blog announced on Facebook that it was resuming activities in April 2014, six Zone9 bloggers were arrested and sent to a federal detention center in Addis Ababa where the torture of detainees is reportedly common. The active Gmail accounts belonging to several of the Zone9 bloggers94 while in detention suggests that they may have been forced give their passwords to security officials against their will.

Read more @ https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/FOTN_2014_Full_Report_compressedv2_0.pdf

ETHIOPIA: ‘BECAUSE I AM OROMO’: SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIA

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR25/006/2014/en

OLF: Appeal Letter to #UN General Secretary Mr. Ban Ki Moon. #Oromia. #Africa December 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, National Self- Determination, OLF, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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OBecause I am Oromo

 

olf_statement

His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations Secretary-General
Office of the Secretary General of United Nations
885 Second Avenue
United Nations Headquarters
Room DHL-1B-154
New York, NY 10017
Fax +1 212-963-4879

Your Excellency

I write on behalf of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) to bring to your kind attention the plight of the Oromo people and to ask you to request the Security Council of the United Nations to treat the matter as a priority, to condemn the lawless atrocities by the Ethiopian regime, adopt appropriate actions to bring perpetrators to account, and safeguard the wellbeing of the Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia.

In the land of their birth, the Oromo, who constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia, are denied the most basic democratic right to organize freely and legally and express their political opinion. We do not know any country in the world, expect Ethiopia, where 35 million Oromo people are denied the right to have their own newspapers, to elect their own leaders and support an organization of their choice. Today, it is a serious crime, even punishable by death, to support independent Oromo organizations, such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), internationally recognized organization, which jointly ruled Ethiopia with the TPLF in 1991/92. Supporters of the OLF and other independent organizations are harassed, detained for years without charge and their property confiscated without due process. Your Excellency, there is no doubt that the OLF enjoys support from the majority of the Oromo population. The current Ethiopian regime is dominated and controlled by the ruling Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF represents less than seven percent of the population of Ethiopia. The TPLF, which fears the Oromo numerical voting power in any free and fair election, has directed multi-faceted attack on the Oromo political organizations, cultural institutions, educational establishments, the press and the killings of Oromo men and women, young and old, truly reaching a very dangerous proportion. This has to stop before it is too late. Today in Ethiopia all independent Oromo organizations are crippled and our people’s legal newspapers and magazines closed down. Even the Matcha and Tulama Association, a civic association, which was established in 1963 was closed down, its leaders detained and its property confiscated. We believe the TPLF dominated Ethiopian government deliberately targets the Oromo for persecution. This has been well documented by several human rights organizations, including the Ethiopian Human Rights League, European Parliament, Human Rights Watch/Africa, and Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, Oromia Support Group and the State Department Annual Human Rights Report. The very recent 156 page Amnesty International October 2014 report clearly demonstrates that the TPLF dominated Ethiopian regime deliberately targets the Oromo population for persecution. This attack on the Oromo must be stopped before it is too late.
The Amnesty International, AI, report contains graphic accounts of arassment, intimidation, arbitrary and indefinite detention in formal and secret detention centres, extra-judicial killings and disappearances of innocent civilians on mere suspicion of individuals for sympathies with the Oromo Liberation Front. Collective punishment sometimes punishing entire neighbourhoods and penalising a close relative in place of a suspect, and mutilation and rape in detention are also common place in Oromia.
Peaceful demonstrators are wantonly beaten, tortured and mutilated, and many suspects indefinitely disappeared. The AI report is thoroughly detailed and it is based on information gathered in real time from real victims past and present, and from close family and friends of victims and from observers on the ground. The report provides specific cases that constitute crimes against humanity and violation of international law against arbitrary and cruel punishment. Whilst the report brings forth the regime’s
arbitrary and lawless behaviour, it must be said that it only scratches the surface, as the reality is even much worse.
There is no question that details unearthed by AI constitute extra-judicial killings and violations of international law. If disputed, the facts can be verified but the regime has to agree and guarantee another neutral investigation. The fact remains that the Oromo people and indeed all the different population groups in Ethiopia are undergoing a harrowing experience under abject misrule with no respite. What is happening in Ethiopia that AI report brought forth is a denial of basic freedoms including freedom to organise, freedom of expression, freedom to life and personal security, the freedom to be judged and the freedom to take part in decisions over ones affairs. As experience somewhere showed such lawlessness by governing elites lead to complete breakdowns and increased violence leading to even worse mass suffering and deaths and engulfing ever wider areas within the country and beyond. On experience of similar tragedies elsewhere including Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the behaviour of the current Ethiopian regime constitute a clear and present threat to international peace and security, which should not be ignored.
Your Excellency, my people were brought under Ethiopian domination through violent conquest during the Scramble for Africa and made part of the expanded Empire of Ethiopia. My organisation was forced to resort to armed resistance to regain Oromo people’s national rights only after the previous imperial regime adopted violent repression to Oromo attempts at peaceful processes to regain their basic human and democratic rights. The military dictatorship that replaced the imperial regime in 1974 initially raised hopes for a democratic alternative but soon snuffed the life out of any such hopes by instituting an intolerant one party dictatorship that respected no law, trampled elementary democratic practices and denied our people’s right to determine its destiny. The violation of basic human rights by that regime was also well documented by AI and many other human rights organisations.
My organization the OLF and the core of the present regime the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front, TPLF, were during the Marxist military regime on the same side opposing and exposing the lawlessness and excesses of that regime, and they solemnly committed themselves to institute a democratic future for all the oppressed peoples in Ethiopia. They also agreed to recognise their respective peoples’ rights to decide their own affairs and to freely determine their future destiny. They were partners also in organising a transitional programme enshrined in a charter which guaranteed basic liberties for the individual and self-determination of peoples including the Oromo.
According to the transitional programme, all peoples in Ethiopia would govern their affairs and participate in central government on equal basis. The process meant to guarantee equality and a level playing field for all parties with stake in the process. Unfortunately, within less than two years of the transitional exercise, the TPLF and its stalking-horse the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF, systematically drove all autonomous organisations out of the transitional process and ever since running a one party dictatorship. While opposition parties are registered in name, in an echo of practices in eastern European countries during the Cold War, their members face constant intimidation, harassment and repression and their political activities severely curbed. Similarly, the regime in Ethiopia does not tolerate any criticism of its arbitrary actions, not even a peaceful demonstration by the affected people. The peaceful protests in Oromia at the beginning of the current year 2014 was triggered by the regime’s arbitrary plans to extend the city limits of Addis Ababa against the wishes of the Oromo people, when, as witnessed, the regime unleashing severe repression firing live ammunition on peaceful demonstrators killing many, and detention, torture and disappearance of many more.
Your Excellency, there are undeniable changes from the era of the imperial rule and the Marxist military regime when the very name Oromo and Oromia were outlawed. However, mere facade of federal framework on paper that the current regime boasts does not amount to a real change. The trampling of basic human and democratic rights and the denial of our people’s right to decide their own affairs is fraught with further resentment and resistance. As the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine. That is why we call on Your Excellency to bring the ever deteriorating situation in Ethiopia to the attention of the Security Council asking them to adopt measures that impress on the TPLF/EPRDF regime to uphold basic freedoms including freedom of expression, organisation, peaceful demonstration, and respect for the national rights of the Oromo people.
It will be recalled that the regime in Ethiopia has on several occasions during the past two decades organised sham elections to justify its misrule. However, far from giving it legitimacy, the charade has only deepened the mistrust and scorn of the Oromo and all other peoples and political players in Ethiopia. Regardless, the regime is again busy to run a similar election in 2015. The result is of course simple to predict. In view of the total obliteration of any meaningful competitors, the TPLF/EPRDF will retain power and the status quo will be maintained. This is an opportunity for the Security Council to
act to prevent maintenance of the status quo, which would speed a slide down the treacherous trail trekked in the past by similar tyrannical regimes in Sierra Leone, Somalia, Liberia and Syria with ruinous consequences. Your kind and swift action is much appreciated.

More @ https://oromianeconomist.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/appeal-letteer-to-un-general-secretary-mr-ban-ki-moon-12-11-2014.pdf

The Pro-Democracy Opposition Party in Ethiopia, Medrek, Holds Rare Rally in Finfinnee. #Oromia. #Africa. #Ethiopia December 14, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in 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, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Medrek, No to land grabs in Oromia, No to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromo students protests.
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“Dargaggoonni kun Imaanaa guddaatu isin irra jira.Hacuucamuu sodaattanii biyya irraa hin godaaninaa.Jaalala uummataa qabaadhaa. Walii galtee qabaadhaa. Ani amma milli koo tokko gara boollaati. Isin garuu uummata keessan haqaan tajaajiluuf humnaa fi kutannoo cimaa qabaachuu qabdu!!!” Obbo Bulchaa Dammaqsaa

 

The only pro-democracy Opposition Coalition Party in Ethiopia, Medrek, held a rare rally in Finfinne (Addis Ababa) on Dec. 14, 2014.  According to the reports, thousands of rally goers chanted slogans in Afan Oromo, English and Amharic languages demanding the TPLF-led Ethiopian regime free Oromo political prisoners, journalists and other political prisoners. Some of the slogans included: “Free Bekele Gerba!” – “Free Oromo Students!” – “Stop Land-Grabbing” – and “Free Journalists!”

At the rally, senior leaders of Medrek gave rousing speeches; speakers included: Dr. Beyene Petros (the Coalition’s President), Mr. Bulcha Demeksa (Chairman Emeritus of the Oromo Federalist Congress/OFC – one of the political organizations in the pro-democracy Medrek), Mr. Tilahun Endeshaw of the Ethiopian Social Democratic Federal Party/ESDFP, and Mr. Desta Dinka (Leader of the Medrek Youth).

 

 

Medrek Pro-Democracy & Justice Rally in Finfinnee/ Oromia (Dec. 14, 2014)

MedrekRally Dec 2014 6MedrekRally Dec 2014 7

 

 

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014 3

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014 8

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014 4 Merera

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014 4 Bulcha

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014 4

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014 4 Bulcha2

MedrekRally Dec 2014 5MedrekRally Dec 2014 10

 

MedrekRally Dec 2014 11

http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2014/12/first-look-in-pictures-medrekrally-the-only-pro-democracy-opposition-party-in-ethiopia-medrek-holds-rare-rally-in-the-capital/

 

Hiriira Nagaa Guyyaa Har’aa Magaalaa Finfinneetti Adeemsifame

Gabaasa Qeerroo Mudde 14,2014

Guyyaa har’aa dhaabni mormitootaa OFC magaalaa Finfinneetti hirira baheen dhaadannoolee hedduu dhageessisaa kan oole namoota 2000 ol kan hirmaachise, gana sa’a 3:00 irraa eegalee uummani Oromoo hangi dhagayee fi Qeerroon tumsa kanaaf irratti hirmaachuu dhaan dhaadannoolee waraabbii irratti mul’atan kanaa gadii irratti kan argamuudha,

-Mootummaan wayyaanee dhimma amantaa keessa hin seenin,

-Hidhamtootni siyaasaa haa gadhiifaman

-Baqqalaa Garbaa haa hiikamu

-Maqaa filannootiin uummata hiraarsuun haa dhaabbatu,

-Sobaan uummata yakkuun haa dhaabbatu,

-Afaan oromoo afaan federaalaa haa tahu,

-Saamtotni mootummaa seeratti haa dhiyaatan,

-Boordiin filannoo mootummaa irraa walaba haa tahu,

fi kkf dhageessisuudhaan hanga sa’a 7:00tti adeemsifamee jira, waraabbii dabalataa fi odeessa kana ilaallatu biroo argamuun walitti deebina!

Human Rights Day Message:United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s message for Human Rights Day 10 December 2014. #Oromia. #Africa December 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), National Self- Determination, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo University students and their national demands.
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O

 

International Human Rights Day  marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Crafted in the shadow of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II, the Declaration gave the world the vision it needed to stand up to fear and the blueprint it craved to build a safer and more just world.  Its single premise is:   “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

 

Human Rights Day Message:United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s message for Human Rights Day 10 December 2014.

 

In observing Human Rights Day, its important to  highlight the horrific going on in 2014 in our world. The following document is the summary of horrific repression going on against Oromo people by tyrannic Ethiopian  regime:

http://www.amnesty.nl/sites/default/files/public/because_i_am_oromo.pdf

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/?s=because+I+am+Oromo&searchbutton=go%21

Ethiopia is one of 10 least connected in the digital world in mobile phone and internet use. #Africa November 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in 25 killer Websites that make you cleverer, Africa, African Internet Censorship, Ethiopia & World Press Index 2014, Facebook and Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Global Innovation Index, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa.
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OEthiopiadisconnected

 

Denmark, Korea And Sweden are the world’s most digitally connected countries while Ethiopia is one of 10 least connected

internet_wallpaper

 

 

 

 

 

November 26, 2014 (The Telegraph) — Denmark has been named the world’s “most connected” country based on mobile phone and internet use.

Scandinavia dominated this year’s rankings, with Sweden in third place, followed by Iceland in fourth, Norway sixth and Finland eighth. Britain came fifth.

They were compiled as part of a report by the International Telecommunication Union – theInformation and Communication Technology Development Index (IDI), which rates 166 countries according to their level of access to, use of and skills in using information and communication technology.

Hong Kong was the ninth most connected country, coming in ahead of Japan in 11th place, while Luxembourg completed the top 10.

Other countries in the top 30 included the US (which ranked 14th), Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, Germany, France, New Zealand, Estonia and Macau, as well the principalities of Andorra and Monaco.

The 10 least connected countries were all in Africa, with the Central African Republic being the worst, followed by Niger, Chad, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

All countries were shown to have improved their IDI values in the last year, while the nations with the “most dynamic” improvement in ranking included the United Arab Emirates, Fiji, Cape Verde, Thailand, Oman, Qatar, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Georgia. Improvements were said to have been driven mostly by better wireless broadband connection.

Europe proved to be the most connected region, scooping up eight of the top 10 rankings, while Africa had the lowest regional ranking. The continent, however, did show a mobile broadband growth rate of more than 40 per cent in 2014 on last year.

Nearly three billion people globally will be using the internet by the end of this year, up by nearly 40 per cent on last year. But 450 million people still don’t live within reach of a mobile signal, while 4.3 billion people are not connected to the internet – with 90 per cent of those living in developing countries, the report said.

Earlier this year, Telegraph Travel’s technology expert Donald Strachan outlined the “world’s Wi-Fi-friendliest cities”, featuring various countries from the top 40 of this year’s IDI report.

Connecting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki is password-free and easy thanks to a network of hotspots in public buildings, civic squares and even on some buses and trams around the city.

Hong Kong, “one of the world’s most futuristic cities”, was said to be generous with free internet access in public areas. There are several free Wi-Fi networks, the key ones being GovWiFi (at parks, libraries, public buildings, ferry terminals and more) and MTR WiFi, which provides 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi per device up to five times every day at MTR stations.

Taipei offers 30 days of free access to a national, government-backed network of over 5,000 hotpsots. Hundreds of these free iTaiwan hotspots are available throughout the Taiwanese capital.

Macau was noted for its WiFiGo service which offers free internet for visitors every day between 8am and 1am. The network has around 150 hotspots, meaning there’s usually Wi-Fi close by, including at ports, museums and tourist information centres.

Other major cities with free public Wi-Fi access include New York, Paris and Perth, Australia, as well as Florence and Tel Aviv, which has eighty hotspots dotted around its centre.

Access to free Wi-Fi has been an increasingly important factor for travellers around the world, especially when booking a hotel. Britain’s hotels were found to be among the worst in Europe for free Wi-Fi access, while the two best performing cities were both Swedish – Malmö and Gothenburg, where 98 per cent and 96 per cent of hotels were found to offer free Wi-Fi, a survey by the travel search engine KAYAK earlier this year revealed.

A new website aiming to help travellers in the search for free and fast wireless internet access was introduced earlier this year.Hotewifitest.com lets hotel guests test the speed of their internet connection, and then stores the results for others to view. It also records whether the Wi-Fi is free or comes at a price.

Several airports around the world also offer free Wi-Fi services, with Dallas-Forth Worth in Texas being among the best, providing free Wi-Fi in all five of its terminals since 2012. Since upgrading its former paid network, the number of daily Wi-Fi connections has risen from 2,000 to 55,000. Helsinki Airport, Singapore’s Changi Airport, Seoul’s Incheon Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol complete the world’s top five for airport Wi-Fi quality.

Earlier this year, Britain’s biggest airports have been criticised for failing to provide passengers with unlimited Wi-Fi access.

None of Britain’s six busiest airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Edinburgh and Luton – offer unlimited free internet access, according to a study by Skyscanner, the flight comparison website.

Source: The Telegraph

http://www.traveller.com.au/denmark-korea-sweden-the-worlds-most-connected-country-11uwmr

 

 

 

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Finfinneen Handhuura Oromiyaa Taatullee Addis Ababaan Godaannisa Gabrummaati, Jafer Ali November 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Daraartuu Abdataa, 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, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Finfinnee n Kan Oromoo ti, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Jafer Ali, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromia, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa.
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Finfinneen Handhuura Oromiyaa Taatullee Addis Ababaan Godaannisa Gabrummaati | Jafer Ali

Qabeenya uumaa hunda keeysaa bu’urri guddaanii fii fiinxeen lafa hoggaa tahu oromooniis qabeenya uumaan badhaafame keeysaa guddichi lafuma isaati.Lafti oromoo bal’ina isii caalaa gabbatuu fii ameeytii tahuu isiitiin beekkamti. Magariisa tahuu daran tan qabeenya bishaaniitiin badhaate tahuu isiitiin jaalatamti. Gubbaa isii qofa osoo hintahin keeysi isiitiis albuda garagaraatiin kan duroome akka tahe niamanama. Dur irraa jalqabee masaanuun ollaa weeraraaf ittiduuluuniis kanumaafi.

Bar dhibbee 19ffa keeysa eega biiyti oromoo kiyyoo Miniliik 2fa jala kufte irraa eegalee, lafti namaa wajjiin weerartoota habashaatiif  hiramtee, abbaan biyyaa lafuma isaa irratti sirna gabbaar ja’amee beekkamuun ciisanyaa ykn hojjataa qonnaa tahuun yaadannoo jaarraa dabreeti.

Warraaqsa ummatoota Ethiopia kan bara 1974 irratti lafti tan qotee bulaa akka taatu labsamuun abbootii lafaa hiddaan buqqaasullee mootummaan dargii ifumaafuu abbaa lafaa haaraya itti tahuudhaan qoteebulaan ciisanyaa mootummaa malee abbaa lafaa akka hintahin shalaguun nama hindhibu. Oromoo laalchiseetiis dhugaadhaa dargiin ummata oromoo qilleensa irrattillee tahu, akka sabaati beekuudhaaf dirqamullee lafa isaa
(oromiyaa) beekuudhaaf ammoo osoo hudhamuuti kufa ka’insa hinqabne kufuu mudate.

Seenaa empaayera kanaa keeysatti juuzni biraa guddaan jijjiirama mootummaa kan bara 1991 hoggaa tahu hunda dura ammoo geeddarama mootummaa malee geeddarama sirna siyaasaa akka hintahin jala muramuudha qaba. Haatahu malee sabni oromoo kan gaafa dargii qilleensa irratti beekkamuu ture mootumma kana jalatti lafti isaatiis OROMIYAA ja’amtee seeraan beekkamuu dandeeyseeti jirti. Kuniis gumaata mootummaan kun oromoof arjoome osoo hintahin bu’aa dhiiga gootota orommoti.

Lafti oromiyaa akka waliigalaatti seeraan beekkamtee daangawuun waan tokko tahee, mootummaan mooteeqorkeen kun rakkoollee tokko tokko uumuuf ykn habaqaaluuf tattaafachuun isaa ammoo hinoolamne. Fakkeenyaaf daangaa sabaa fii sablammootaa kanneen oromiyaa daandeysan hunda irratti jechuun nidandayamaa, bakka takka takkatti ona (aanaa) tokko tokko, baka gariitti ammaas araddaalee hedduu abboommee laguudhaan akka Oromiyaa waliin gaafii daangaa keeysa galan taasisaati as afe. Kanneen keeysaahiif magaalota akka Dirree Dhawaa, Harar, Jijjiga, Moyyaaleefii Awaash faa maqaa dhahuun nidandayama. Bifa kanaan naannoo hundaan lafa Oromyaa kottoonfachiisuun shira mootummaa kanaa kan fuulduraas Oromoo fii sabaa sablammoota walgalaafachiisuuf karoorfamee bal’inaan itti hojjatamaa jiru hoggaa tahu tooftaan biraa ammaas tan magaalaa finfinnee irratti xiyyeefatte tana tahuu isiiti.

Maggaalaan Finfinnee hundeeyfamuma isii irraa kaaftee kan bu’uramte akkuma magaalota biraa kanneen Oromiyaa keeysatti arkaman hundaatti qubsuma weerartootaa hoggaa taatu barreeysitoota seenaa birattiis magaalota batalaa ykn mishigii ja’amaniiti beekkaman. Kana jechuuniis bara weerara miniliik keeysa lafa nafxanyootni ummata naannawaa humnaan buqqaasanii qubatan hoggaa tahan lakkuma qubsumti tun babal’achaa deemtuuniis magaalawaa deemuu isaanii caalaa ummata Oromoo daran madditti dhiibaa akka dhufan qabeentaa ummata magaalotaa kanaa kan ammallee calaqqisu irraa hubachuun nidandayama.

Magaalaan finfinneetiis qubsuma miniliikii fii ashkaroota isaa taatee eega bu’uramtee as bara baraan babal’achaa dhufuun isii hangam takka ummata oromoo madditti dhiibaa akka dhufte shalaguun nama hindhibu. Kana jechuun magaalaan takka eega hundooyte hinguddtin jechuu akka hintahin osoo hindagatamin wayta bal’attu kana ammoo ummata naannawaa buqqaasuudha balaan isii. babal’atinsa magaalaa keeysattiis qubsumti naannawaa akka dhunfatamtu kanuma eeggamu tahullee, warra buqqa’u san kafaltii gayaa kennuudhaan osoo raaw’atamee dandamata ture. Mootummaan wayyaanee jalqabuma irraahuu lafti kan mootummaati je’ee seeruun isaa saamichuma lafaa kanaaf ifqopheeysuu isaa akka tahe hubachuun nidandayama. Wayta magaalaan finfinnee babal’attu qotee bulaa naannawaa hiyyummaaf saaxiluu daran abbootiin qabeenyaa kanneen lafa tana horataniis galtuu alagaa tahuu isaaniiti balaan lamadaa. Akkaataa kanaan wayta magaalaan tun lafa dabalachaa babal’attu hunda oromoo qofa osoo hintahin oromummaaniis waliin haxaawamtee akka madditti bahaa deemtuus dagatamuu hinqabu. Fakkeenyaaf magaalaa finfinnee tan handhura oromiyaa tiifii maqaafillee tahu galma mootummaa oromiyaa taate tana keeysatii afaan hujii afaan amaaraa hoggaa tahu magaalota amma ammatamuuf deeman kanneen akka laga xaafoo keeysattiis guyyaa bulchiinsa finfinnee jala kufan irraa jalqabee afaan oromoo afaan hujii fii barnootaa tahuun akka hafu irra daddeebinee sodaachuutu nurraa eeggama. Magaalaan finfinnee duriis tahe arraa fii boruus handhura oromiyaa tahuun isii hafuu baattullee, hamma dhunfata oromiyaa jala ooltee oromo oromoo shurufkooytutti ammoo addis ababaan godaannisa gabrummaati wanni jennuufiis tanaafi.

Guddinni finfinnee kan oromoo madditti dhiibaa adeemsifamu kun galmi isaa lakkuma deemuun gama kaabaatiin naannoo amaaraatiin fii gama kibbaatiin ammaas naannoo ummatoota kibbaatiin waliin tuquudhaan oromiyaa amma jirtu tana baka lamatti fottoysuu irratti kan xiyyeefate taachaa shalaguuniis gamnummaadha. Gaafas kutaa walloo kan amma naannoo amaaraa jalatti buluu wajjiin oromiyaa guddittii takka tahuun hafee oromiyaa xixiqqoo sadihiifii sanii ol uumuuf akka yaaddamaa jiruus hubachuun nidandayama. Kuniis bulchiinsa qofa osoohintahin ilaalcha sammuu tiifii sabboonummaa oromootiis qoqqooduu fii darachiisuuf akka tahe shalaguun nama hindhibu.

Walumaagalatti shira mootummaan habashaa dhufaa fii dabraan saganteeyfatee saba kanaan oggolchuuf tattaafatuuf oromoon yoomiyyuu taanaan duuyda shiireysee bitamee hinbeeku. Lolli walloo, kan arsiitii fii calanqootiis kanuma mirkaneeysa. Fincilli barattoota oromoo kan amma masrer planii wayyaannee kana mormuudhaan qabsiifamees ittifufa diddaa abrummaa kan oromoon bara baraan gaggeeysaa ture hoggaa tahu wareegamtootni fincila kanaatiis gootota yoomiyyuu seenaan faarsuu akka taham ragaa bahuun barbaada.

Jafer Ali
Gaazexeysaa fii kitaabsaa
20 Cam, 2014, California USA

In Defense of the Latest Amnesty International (AI) report Repression in the Oromia, Begna Dugassa, Ph.D November 15, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amane Badhaso, 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, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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OBecause I am Oromo

 

Begna Dugassa, Ph.D
Email: begna.dugassa@gmail.com

 
Secretary General of the Amnesty International
Amnesty International Ltd
Peter Benenson House
1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW
United Kingdom

 
Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam
Minster of Federal Affairs
P.O. Box 5718
Finfinee (Addis Ababa)
Getachew Ambaye
Minister of Justice
P.O. Box 1370
Finfinee (Addis Ababa)
Ethiopia
November 12, 2014
Subject: In Defense of the Latest Amnesty International (AI) report Repression in the Oromia

 

 

 

Dear the Secretary General & the Minsters of the Ethiopian Federal Government:

I am writing this letter to defend the latest Amnesty International (AI) report BECAUSE I AM OROMO’ Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia1 from the attacks and mischaracterizations of the Ethiopian government presented on BBC Radio and other media outlets. I believe I am entitled to do this for four reasons.

The first reason is, I was born and raised in Oromia among the followers of the Oromo indigenous religion– Waqefaata. I have witnessed human violations perpetuated by consecutive Ethiopian regimes. During the Haile Selassie regime, I witnessed my family members giving a quarter of their harvests to the Abyssinians and paying taxation without representation in the government. I witnessed many Oromo family members tried not to allow baptizing their children in the Abyssinian Orthodox Church. In the belief that if someone first goes through the Waqefaata ceremony known as Amachisa, the person will remain Waqefaata, my community members developed strategy to take their children through the indigenous ceremony first. Accordingly, in the Amachisa ceremony I got the name Tolera = things are good. After that, they had me baptized because the Oromo people were forced to baptize their children in the Orthodox Church. In the ceremony of baptism they gave me a name Gebre Giyorgis = the slave of George. I leave it to the readers to compare the differences in meaning between the two names.

I heard many stories about many innocent Oromo persons being charged with the crimes they did not commit. In most cases it was to free the Abyssinians from crimes they had committed. There is a case that I well knew- about an Oromo person being penalized for referring to the Supreme Court judge as (አንች=anchi) ‘you’, a term used in Amharic in reference to women,-instead of (እርስዎ=irswo) ‘you’ used in reference to the higher officials. The person did not use the term አንች (anchi) to undermine the Supreme Court. The reason was that he did not fully understand the Amharic language. This means that the Oromo people’s cultural rights are regularly violated and such violations are legal. As the UN document clearly states “human rights are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent”; the rights of the Oromo people to social, economic, political and cultural rights are being violated and this is clearly demonstrated in this case of a person being penalized for making a grammar mistake.

— Full Document in PDF

http://ayyaantuu.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/In-Support-Amensty-International-Report-A.pdf

Amnesty International’s report titled, “‘Because I Am Oromo’: A Sweeping Repression in Oromia …” can be accessed here.

Amnesty International’s Report: “Because I Am Oromo”: A Sweeping Repression in Oromia November 14, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Afar, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Ogaden, Oromia, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, Tyranny.
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AmnestyFullReport2014

“Because I am Oromo”: A Sweeping Repression in Oromia… full report @:http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR25/006/2014/en

SUMMARY: REPRESSION OF DISSENT IN OROMIA
“I was arrested for about eight months. Some school students had been arrested, so their  classmates had a demonstration to ask where they were and for them to be released. I was accused of organising the demonstration because the government said my father supported the OLF so I did too and therefore I must be the one who is  organising the students.”
Young man from Dodola Woreda, Bale Zone1

The anticipation and repression of dissent in Oromia manifests in many ways. The below are some of  the numerous and varied individual stories contained in this report:
A student told Amnesty International how he was detained and tortured in Maikelawi Federal Police detention centre because a business plan he had prepared for a competition was alleged to be underpinned by political motivations. A singer told how he had been detained, tortured and forced to agree to only sing in praise of the government in the future. A school girl told Amnesty International how she was detained because she refused to give false testimony against someone else. A former teacher showed Amnesty International where he had been stabbed and blinded in one eye with a bayonet during torture in detention because he had refused to ‘teach’ his students propaganda about the achievements of the ruling political party as he had been ordered
to do. A midwife was arrested for delivering the baby of a woman who was married to an alleged member of  the Oromo Liberation Front. A young girl told Amnesty International how she had successively lost both parents  and four brothers through death in detention, arrest or disappearance until, aged 16, she was left alone caring  for two young siblings. An agricultural expert employed by the government told how he was arrested on the  accusation he had incited a series of demonstrations staged by hundreds of farmers in his area, because his  job involved presenting the grievances of the farmers to the government.

In April and May 2014, protests broke out across Oromia against a proposed ‘Integrated Master Plan’ to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia regional territory. The protests were led by students, though many other people participated. Security services, comprised of  federal police and the military special forces, responded to the protests with unnecessary and excessive force, firing live ammunition on peaceful protestors in a number of locations and  beating hundreds of peaceful protestors and bystanders, resulting in dozens of deaths and  scores of injuries. In the wake of the protests, thousands of people were arrested.
These incidents were far from being unprecedented in Oromia. They were the latest and  bloodiest in a long pattern of the suppression – sometimes pre-emptive and often brutal – of even suggestions of dissent in the region.  The Government of Ethiopia is hostile to dissent, wherever and however it manifests, and also shows hostility to influential individuals or groups not affiliated to the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) political party. The government has used arbitrary arrest and detention, often without charge, to suppress suggestions of dissent in many parts of the country. But this hostility, and the resulting acts of suppression, have  manifested often and at scale in Oromia.  A number of former detainees, as well as former officials, have observed that Oromos make up  a high proportion of the prison population in federal prisons and in the Federal Police Crime  Investigation and Forensic Sector, commonly known as Maikelawi, in Addis Ababa, where  prisoners of conscience and others subject to politically-motivated detention are often detained when first arrested. Oromos also constitute a high proportion of Ethiopian refugees.  According to a 2012 Inter-Censal Population Survey, the Oromo constituted 35.3% of  Ethiopia’s population. However, this numerical size alone does not account for the high  proportion of Oromos in the country’s prisons, or the proportion of Oromos among Ethiopians  fleeing the country. Oromia and the Oromo have long been subject to repression based on a widespread imputed opposition to the EPRDF which, in conjunction with the size of the  population, is taken as posing a potential political threat to the government. Between 2011 and 2014, at least 5,000 Oromos have been arrested as a result of their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government, based on their manifestation of  dissenting opinions, exercise of freedom of expression or their imputed political opinion. These included thousands of peaceful protestors and hundreds of political opposition members, but also hundreds of other individuals from all walks of life – students,  pharmacists, civil servants, singers, business people and people expressing their Oromo cultural heritage – arrested based on the expression of dissenting opinions or their suspected opposition to the government. Due to restrictions on human rights reporting, independent journalism and information exchange in Ethiopia, as well as a lack of transparency on detention practices, it is possible there are many additional cases that have not been reported or documented. In the cases known to Amnesty International, the majority of those arrested were detained without charge or trial for some or all of their detention, for weeks,
months or years – a system apparently intended to warn, punish punish or silence them, from which justice is often absent.
Openly dissenting individuals have been arrested in large numbers. Thousands of Oromos have been arrested for participating in peaceful protests on a range of issues. Large-scale arrests were seen during the protests against the ‘Master Plan’ in 2014 and during a series of  protests staged in 2012-13 by the Muslim community   in Oromia and other parts of the  country against alleged government interference in Islamic affairs. In addition, Oromos have  been arrested for participation in peaceful protests over job opportunities, forced evictions,  the price of fertilizer, students’ rights, the teaching of the Oromo language and the arrest or extra-judicial executions of farmers, students, children and others targeted for expressing  dissent, participation in peaceful protests or based on their imputed political opinion. Between 2011 and 2014, peaceful protests have witnessed several incidents of the alleged use of unnecessary and excessive force by security services against unarmed protestors. 
  Hundreds of members of legally-registered opposition political parties have also been arrested in large sweeps that took place in 2011 and in 2014, as well as in individual incidents. 

In addition to targeting openly dissenting groups, the government also anticipates dissent  amongst certain groups and individuals, and interprets certain actions as signs of dissent.  Students in Oromia report that there are high levels of surveillance for signs of dissent or political activity among the student body in schools and universities. Students have been  arrested based on their actual or suspected political opinion, for refusing to join the ruling party or their participation in student societies, which are treated with hostility on the  suspicion that they are underpinned by political motivations. Hundreds of students have also been arrested for participation in peaceful protests.

Expressions of Oromo culture and heritage have been interpreted as manifestations of  dissent, and the government has also shown signs of fearing cultural expression as a potential catalyst for opposition to the government. Oromo singers, writers and poets have been arrested for allegedly criticising the government and/or inciting people through their work. People wearing traditional Oromo clothing have been arrested on the accusation that this demonstrated a political agenda. Hundreds of people have been arrested at Oromo traditional festivals.

Members of these groups – opposition political parties, student groups, peaceful protestors, people promoting Oromo culture and people in positions the government believes could have influence on their communities – are treated with hostility not only due to their own actual or perceived dissenting behaviour, but also due to their perceived potential to act as a conduit  or catalyst for further dissent. A number of people arrested for actual or suspected dissent  told Amnesty International they were accused of the ‘incitement’ of others to oppose the government.

The majority of actual or suspected dissenters who had been arrested in Oromia interviewed  by Amnesty International were accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – the armed group that has fought a long-term low-level insurgency in the region, which was proscribed as a terrorist organization by the Ethiopian parliament in June 2011. The accusation of OLF support has often been used as a pretext to silence individuals openly  exercising dissenting behaviour such as membership of an opposition political party or  participation in a peaceful protest. However, in addition to targeting demonstrators, students, members of opposition political parties and people celebrating Oromo culture based on their  actual or imputed political opinion, the government frequently demonstrates that it  anticipates dissenting political opinion widely among the population of Oromia. People from all walks of life are regularly arrested based only on their suspected political opinion – on the  accusation they support the OLF. Amnesty International interviewed medical professionals, business owners, farmers, teachers, employees of international NGOs and many others who  had been arrested based on this accusation in recent years. These arrests were often based on suspicion alone, with little or no supporting evidence.

Certain behaviour arouses suspicion, such as refusal to join the ruling political party or  movement around or in and out of the region. Some people ‘inherit’ suspicion from their  parents or other family members. Expressions of dissenting opinions within the Oromo party  in the ruling coalition – the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) – have also been responded to with the accusation that the dissenter supports the OLF. Family members have also been arrested in lieu of somebody else wanted for actual or suspected dissenting behaviour, a form of collective punishment illegal under international law. 

In some of these cases too, the accusation of OLF support and arrest on that basis appears to be a pretext used to warn, control or punish signs of ‘political disobedience’ and people who have influence over others and are not members of the ruling political party. But the constant  repetition of the allegation suggests the government continues to anticipate a level of  sympathy for the OLF amongst the Oromo population writ large. Further, the government  appears to also believe that the OLF is behind many signs of peaceful dissent in the region.

However, in numerous cases, the accusation of supporting the OLF and the resulting arrest  do not ever translate into a criminal charge. The majority of all people interviewed by  Amnesty International who had been arrested for their actual or suspected dissenting behaviour or political opinion said that they were detained without being charged, tried or  going to court to review the legality of their detention, in some cases for months or years. Frequently, therefore, the alleged support for the OLF  remains unsubstantiated and unproven. Often, it is merely an informal allegation made during the course of interrogation. Further, questions asked of actual or suspected dissenters by interrogators in detention also suggest that the exercise of certain legal rights  –for example, participation in a peaceful protest – is taken as evidence of OLF support.  A number of people interviewed by Amnesty International had been subjected to repeated arrest on the  same allegation of  of being  anti-government or   of OLF support, without ever being charged. 

Amnesty International interviewed around 150 Oromos who were targeted for actual or  suspected dissent. Of those who were arrested on these bases, the majority said they were subjected to arbitrary detention without judicial review, charge or trial, for some or all of the period of their detention, for periods ranging from several days to several years. In the majority of those cases, the individual said they were arbitrarily detained for the entire duration of their detention. In fewer cases, though still reported by a notable number of interviewees, the detainee was held arbitrarily – without charge or being brought before a court – during an initial period that again ranged from a number of weeks to a number of  years, before the detainee was eventually brought before a court.

A high proportion of people interviewed by Amnesty International were also held  incommunicado – denied access to legal representation and family members and contact with the outside world – for some or all of their period of detention. In many of these cases, the detention amounted to enforced disappearance, such as where lack of access to legal counsel and family members and lack of information on the detainee’s fate or whereabouts placed a detainee outside the protection of the law. them again. The family continued to be ignorant of their fate and did not know whether they  were alive or dead.Many people reported to Amnesty International that, after their family members had been arrested, they had never heard from.

Arrests of actual or suspected dissenters in Oromia reported to Amnesty International were  made by local and federal police, the federal military and intelligence officers, often without  a warrant. Detainees were held in Kebele, Woreda and Zonal3 detention centres, police stations, regional and federal prisons. However, a large proportion of former detainees interviewed by Amnesty International were detained in unofficial places of detention, mostly  in military camps throughout the region. In some cases apparently considered more serious, detainees were transferred to Maikelawi in Addis Ababa. Arbitrary detention without charge or trial was reported in all of these places of detention.

Almost all people interviewed by Amnesty International who had been detained in military camps or other unofficial places of detention said their detention was not subject to any form of judicial review. All detainees in military camps in Oromia nterviewed by Amnesty International experienced some violations of the rights and protections of due process and a high proportion of all interviewees who had been detained in a military camp reported torture, including rape, and other ill-treatment.
Actual or suspected dissenters have been subjected to torture in federal and regional detention centres and prisons, police stations, including Maikelawi, military camps and other  unofficial places of detention. The majority of former detainees interviewed by Amnesty  International, arrested based on their actual or imputed political opinion, reported that they had been subjected to treatment amounting to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in most cases repeatedly, while in detention or had been subjected to treatment that amounts to torture or ill-treatment in and around their homes. Frequently reported methods of torture were beating, particularly with fists, rubber batons, wooden or metal sticks or gun butts, kicking, tying in contorted stress positions often in conjunction with beating on the soles of the feet, electric shocks, mock execution or death threats involving a gun, beating with electric wire, burning, including with heated metal or molten plastic, chaining or tying hands or ankles together for extended periods (up to several months), rape, including gang rape, and extended solitary confinement. Former detainees repeatedly said that they  were coerced, in many cases under torture or the threat of torture, to provide a statement or confession or incriminating evidence against others.
Accounts of former detainees interviewed by Amnesty International consistently demonstrate that conditions in detention in regional and federal police stations, regional and federal prisons, military camps and other unofficial places of detention, violate international law and  national and international standards. Cases of death in detention were reported to Amnesty  International by former fellow detainees or family members of detainees. These deaths were  reported to result from torture, poor detention conditions and lack of medical assistance.  Some of these cases may amount to extra-judicial executions, where the detainees died as a result of torture or the intentional deprivation of food or medical assistance. 

There is no transparency or oversight of this system of arbitrary detention, and no independent investigation of allegations of torture and other violations in detention. No independent human rights organizations that monitor and publically document violations have access to detention centres in Ethiopia.

In numerous cases, former detainees interviewed by Amnesty International also said their release from arbitrary detention was premised on their agreement to a set of arbitrary  conditions unlawfully imposed by their captors rather than by any judicial procedure, and  many of which entailed foregoing the exercise of other human rights, such as those to the freedoms of expression, association and movement. Failure to uphold the conditions, detainees were told, could lead to re-arrest or worse. Regularly cited conditions included: not participating in demonstrations or other gatherings, political meetings or student activities; not meeting with more than two or three individuals at one time; not having any contact with certain people, including spouses or family members wanted by the authorities for alleged dissenting behaviour; or not leaving the area where they lived without seeking permission from local authorities. For a number of people interviewed by Amnesty International, it was the difficulty of complying with these conditions and the restricting impact they had on their  lives, or fear of the consequences if they failed to comply, intentionally or unintentionally, that caused them to flee the country.
The testimonies of people interviewed by Amnesty International, as well as information received from a number of other sources and legal documents seen by the organization, indicate a number of fair trial rights are regularly violated in cases of actual or suspected  Oromo dissenters that have gone to court, including the rights to a public hearing, to not be  compelled to incriminate oneself, to be tried without undue delay and the right to presumption of innocence. Amnesty International has also documented cases in which the lawful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, or other protected human rights, is cited as evidence of illegal support for the OLF in trials. Amnesty International also received dozens of reports of actual or suspected dissenters being
killed by security services, in the context of security services’ response to protests, during the  arrests of actual or suspected dissidents, and while in detention. Some of these killings may  amount to extra-judicial executions. A multiplicity of both regional and federal actors are involved in committing human rights violations against actual or suspected dissenters in Oromia, including civilian administrative  officials, local police, federal police, local militia, federal military and intelligence services,
with cooperation between the different entities, including between the regional and federal levels.
Because of the many restrictions on human rights organizations and on the freedoms of  association and expression in Ethiopia, arrests and detentions are under-reported and almost no sources exist to assist detainees and their families in accessing justice and pressing for  remedies and accountability for human rights violations.

The violations documented in this report take place in an environment of almost complete impunity for the perpetrators. Interviewees regularly told Amnesty International that it was either not possible or that there was no point in trying to complain, seek answers or seek justice in cases of enforced disappearance, torture, possible extra-judicial execution or other violations. Many feared repercussions for asking. Some were arrested when they did ask about a relative’s fate or whereabouts.
As Ethiopia heads towards general elections in 2015, it is likely that the government’s efforts to suppress dissent, including through the use of arbitrary arrest and detention and other  violations, will continue unabated and may even increase. The Ethiopian government must take a number of urgent and substantial measures to ensure no-one is arrested, detained, charged, tried, convicted or sentenced on account of the peaceful exercise of their rights to the freedoms of expression, association and assembly, including the right to peacefully assemble to protest, or based on their imputed political opinion; to end unlawful practices of arbitrary detention without charge or trial, incommunicado detention without access to the outside world, detention in unofficial detention centres, and enforced disappearance; and to address the prevalence of torture and other ill-treatment in Ethiopia’s detention centres. All allegations of torture, incidents involving allegations of the unnecessary or excessive use of force by security services against peaceful protestors, and all suspected cases of extra-judicial executions must be urgently and
properly investigated. Access to all prisons and other places of detention and to all prisoners should be extended to appropriate independent, non-governmental bodies, including international human rights bodies.
Donors with existing funding programmes working with federal and regional police, with the military or with the prison system, should carry out thorough and impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations within those institutions, to ensure their funding is not contributing to the commission of human rights violations. Further, the international community should accord the situation in Ethiopia the highest possible level of scrutiny. Existing domestic investigative and accountability mechanisms have proved not capable of carrying out investigations that are independent, adequate, prompt, open to public scrutiny and which sufficiently involve victims. Therefore, due to the  apparent existence of an entrenched pattern of violations in Ethiopia and due to concerns over the impartiality of established domestic investigative procedures, there is a substantial
and urgent need for intervention by regional and international human rights bodies to conduct independent investigations into allegations of widespread human rights violations in Oromia, as well as the rest of Ethiopia. Investigations should be pursued through the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry, fact-finding mission or comparable procedure, comprised of independent international experts, under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council or the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 

See full report @ http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR25/006/2014/en/539616af-0dc6-43dd-8a4f-34e77ffb461c/afr250062014en.pdf

Amnesty International’s report titled, “‘Because I Am Oromo’: A Sweeping Repression in Oromia …” can be accessed here.

Read also other media sources reporting:

 

OMN: Interview with Amnesty International Researcher Claire Beston – Part 2

 

OMN: Interview with Amnesty International Researcher Claire Beston – Part 1

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/2499696.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

http://http://unpo.org/article.php?id=17650

http://http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/28/ethiopia-torture-oromo-group-amnestry-rape-killings

 

http://http://m.voanews.com/a/amnesty-ethiopia-systematically-repressing-oromo/2498866.html

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-29799484

http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2014/10/full-report-amnesty-internationals-because-i-am-oromo-a-sweeping-repression-in-oromia/

http://www.tesfanews.net/amnesty-says-ethiopia-detains-5000-oromos-illegally-since-2011/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-27/amnesty-says-ethiopia-detains-5-000-oromos-illegally-since-2011.html

http://ayyaantuu.com/human-rights/amnesty-ethiopia-systematically-repressing-oromo/

http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/586125

http://mobi.iafrica.com/world-news/2014/10/28/ethiopia-torturing-ethnic-group/

http://www.warscapes.com/opinion/oromoprotests-perspective

http://news.yahoo.com/ethiopia-torturing-opposition-ethnic-group-amnesty-100724983.html

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/10/28/ethiopia-oromo-amnesty.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812850/Thousands-Ethiopians-tortured-brutal-government-security-forces-Britain-hands-1-BILLION-aid-money.html

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4250755.ece

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article52880

http://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/297457/etiopia-acusada-de-perseguir-a-etnia-oromo

http://www.afriqueexpansion.com/depeches-afp/17872-lethiopie-torture-et-execute-les-oromo-accuses-dopposition-au-gouvernement-amnesty.html

http://lepersoneeladignita.corriere.it/2014/10/28/etiopia-persecuzione-senza-fine-ai-da

http://maliactu.net/lethiopie-torture-les-oromo-les-accusant-dopposition-au-gouvernement/

http://www.kleinezeitung.at/nachrichten/politik/3783541/aethiopien-geht-gnadenlos-gegen-o

https://www.es.amnesty.org/noticias/noticias/articulo/el-estado-detiene-tortura-y-mata-a-personas-de-etnia-oromo-en-su-implacable-represion-de-la-diside/

http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/internacionales/amnistia-internacional-denuncia-la-persecucion-de-la-etnia-oromo-en-etiopia/20141028/nota/2481622.aspx

http://www.tribune.com.ng/news/world-news/item/19982-ethiopia-targets-largest-ethnic-group-for-link-to-rebels-amnesty-says

Does British aid to Africa help the powerful more than the poor?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/ethiopia/11198471/Does-British-aid-to-Africa-help-the-powerful-more-than-the-poor.html

 

Ethiopian regimes (past & present) have committed genocide against the Oromo people: 28TH OSA ANNUAL CONFERENCE PRESENTATION BY HABTAMU DUGO November 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Amane Badhaso, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ayantu Tibeso, 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, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Oromians Protests, Oromo, Oromo Nation.
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See also Amnesty International report:

ETHIOPIA: ‘BECAUSE I AM OROMO’: SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIA @

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR25/006/2014/en

 

Cooperation with the Regime Hostile to the Peoples’ of Ethiopia is Against the Principles of International Law (A Statement by the Oromo Liberation Front in Support of Report of Amnesty International on Human Rights Violation Against the Oromo People) November 10, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Because I am Oromo, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
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Cooperation with the Regime Hostile to the Peoples’ of Ethiopia is Against the Principles of International Law

(A Statement by the Oromo Liberation Front in Support of Report of Amnesty International on Human Rights Violation Against the Oromo People)

OROMO LIBERATION FRONT

Date: 10-11-14    No.: 004/stm-abo/2014
In the history of shocking tortures of dictatorial regimes against the peoples ruled under their iron fist, the Ethiopian government cruelty is unparalleled. Since its ascension to power by force in 1991, the Ethiopian government’s records of human rights violations through extraordinary killings, forced disappearances, massive imprisonments, displacements and other means of suppression against the Oromo people is incalculable. The world has repeatedly witnessed that the incumbent regime of Ethiopia is a government that has adopted a policy of ruling by violence, and commit harsh and cruel actions flagrantly.

Although the political objective of the Oromo Liberation Front is primarily to achieve and protect the rights of the Oromo people, it has never remained silent when other oppressed peoples of the Ethiopian empire were attacked by the regime. It has confronted the regime, exposed and denounced its maltreatment and gross human rights abuses. The Oromo Liberation Front has accomplished its duty by repeatedly exposing and denouncing the brutal annihilation committed against the Sidama, Gambela, Ogadenia, Amhara and other peoples and also asked those powers assisting this government to stop and re-evaluate their policies and relations with such government. The Oromo Liberation Front will continue to do so. However, lack of adequate response and action from outside for the cry and appeals of these oppressed peoples fighting for democracy and liberty has encouraged the TPLF Government to continue its brutal actions against these peoples and still it has intensified state terrorism.

It is to be recalled that on October 28, 2014 the international human rights organization, Amnesty International, exposed and released a report on a gross human rights violations specifically focusing on the Oromo that has been committed by the TPLF government. The Oromo Liberation Front would like to thank Amnesty International in general, and the head of this report Mrs. Claire Beston in particular, for releasing this genuine and detailed report.

The Oromo Liberation Front understands that the investigation and compiling of this gross human rights violations has been conducted under difficult circumstances where the government of Ethiopia never allows such inquiry. Because of this, though Amnesty International has worked hard under such difficult situation and revealed the suffering of the Oromo people, the Oromo Liberation Front would like to inform the international public that the gross human rights violations committed by TPLF government against the Oromo people is by far larger, wide and shocking in scope than the report of Amnesty International.

Nowadays, no one knows how many prison cells exist in the empire state of Ethiopia. However, even if the places and the number of the prisons are not exactly known, the peoples in Ethiopia know very well that there are a number of secret prison cells in different parts of the country. In particular, members of the Oromo nationals who are suspected having link with the Oromo Liberation Front have been detained in prison cells outside Oromia so as to distance them from their relatives. Most of these Oromo nationals are detained in the region of TPLF, Tigray, and mistreated by TPLF loyalists who are purely Tigrayans.

In addition to mass killings, the TPLF government torture the Oromos psychologically, mutilate men’s sex organs, extract their teeth, rape Oromo girls and women, detain the Oromos in extremely hot and cold rooms, shower boiled and cold water on their body. They shoot and kill one Oromo in front of the other, and commit so many other types of torture in order to force the Oromo to refrain from demanding and exercising their rights. Arbitrary killings, mass detention and eviction of the oppressed peoples in general, and the Oromo in particular, from their ancestral land are the crimes against humanity that are blatantly committed and known to everyone.

These crimes have been committed for the last 23 years in front of the Western and Eastern diplomats, the African diplomats, and regional and international human rights organizations. It is sad that when all these gross human rights violations are committed in front of them, including the DAG and African Union (AU) – all of them remained silent. When such International entities are silent on such criminal acts, the peoples in Ethiopia are forced to raise questions, such as what are the meanings of good governance, democracy, and human rights that these institutions and organizations are talking about.

Consequently, based on the existing reality, the Oromo Liberation Front would like to pass the following messages:

1. Advocates of all human rights have a moral responsibility to thoroughly investigate and work on exposing and reporting the ongoing brutal actions by the Ethiopian government;

2. The diplomatic communities of different countries, including African diplomats, should not be silent on the brutal actions committed against the oppressed peoples of Ethiopia in general, and the most targeted Oromo people in particular. They should expose and put pressure on the TPF government to stop its inhuman actions;

3. Above all the African Union(AU) and DAG should stop their attempt to conceal the reality of the Oromo people, and they should work on stopping the inhuman actions of the TPLF regime;

4. The Oromo Liberation Front also calls on local and international media to assess the injustice that the TPLF government commit against the oppressed peoples of the empire state of Ethiopia and disclose it to the international public;

5. There are no peoples unaffected under the brutal and hostile regime of Ethiopia. All the peoples have faced their children detained, their properties confiscated and displaced from their ancestral land. Therefore, the Oromo Liberation Front would like to remind the oppressed peoples in Ethiopia that the only means to remove the dictatorial rule of the TPLF is a concerted action. The success of the Oromo liberation struggle paves way for the success of all other peoples; hence, the Oromo Liberation Front calls for other peoples in Ethiopia to cooperate with the Oromo people to remove this brutal regime of the TPLF;

6. The Oromo people: you are the prime victim, and you know more than anybody else that the Ethiopian government categorized you as its main enemy. Although others understand that great majority of you have been impoverished and subjected to harsh rule during the whole reign of the TPLF government, it is only if you step up the struggle for your rights that others extend their hand. Therefore, you should understand that there is no other way than intensifying your struggle, and we call for strengthening your resolve and unity for the struggle. You should understand that there is no alien who will willingly lose its advantage to protect your rights;

7. In addition, the Oromo Liberation Front calls on the Oromos in the Diaspora, to energetically appeal to different governments, human rights organizations, donors and organizations based on Amnesty International report and expose that the Oromo people are suffering under the TPLF regime and deserve attention to end this agony.

Victory to the Oromo People!

Oromo Liberation Front

November 10, 2014

 

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR25/006/2014/en/539616af-0dc6-43dd-8a4f-34e77ffb461c/afr250062014en.pdf

 

 

 

Mootummaa Itophiyaa Ummata Diina Godhate Tumsuun Fallaa Seera Addunya ti

(Ibsa ABO Gabaasaa Amnesty International Deggaruun)

ADDA BILISUMMAA OROMOO

Guyyaa: 10-11-14   Lakk.: 004/stm-abo/2014

Mootummoota darara suukanneessaan ummatoota humnaan bulchan irratti raawwatan keessaa mootummaa Wayyaanee kan dursu hin jiru. Dhufaatii isaa bara 1991 irraa eegalee waggoota aangoo irra ture kanneen keessatti kan ifatti fixee fi dhoksaan dhabamsiise, jireenya irraa mancaasee kadhattummaaf dabarse kenne lakkoobsaan kaa’uun mootummaa abbaa irree kanaafuu hin laaffatu. Mootummaa “Humnaan bitaa jiraatuu” imaammata godhatuun raggaafatee bittaa isaa gara jabinaan itti fufee jiru, gochaa suukanneessaa fi faashistummaa raawwadhus “maaltu ana gaafata?” tuffii jedhuun ifatti raawwatu addunyaan irra deddeebi’ee kan ifatti arge dha.

ABOn mirgi ummatni Oromoo akka kabajamuuf durummaan qabsaa’uun akeeka isaa tahullee yeroon inni itti miidhaan ummatoota cunqorfamoo Empaayera Itophiyaa irra geessifamu dantaan sobamee callisuun bira hin tarre. Dura dhaabbatuun balaaleffateera. Saaxiluun abaareera. Fixiinsa gara jabinaa fi diinummaa ummatoota Sidaamaa, Gambeellaa, Ogadeniyaa fi Amaara dabalatee kanneen biro irratti raawwatame ifatti balaaleffatuun kanneen mootummaa shororkeessaa kana duuba goruun jajjabeessanii fi tumsan akka hariiroo isaanii gamaaggaman yaadachiisuun gahee isaa bahatee jira. Fuula duraafis kun kan itti fufu taha. Haa tahu malee iyyatni ummatoota cunqurfamoo bilisummaa fi dimokraasiif falmanii hawaasa addunyaa irraa deebii fi tarkaanfiin quubsaa fudhatamuu dhabuun mootummaan Wayyaanee sodaan alatti tarkaanfii suukanneessaa ummatoota irratti fudhatu akka itti fufuuf onnachiisee shororkeessummaa moootummaan durfamu akka itti fufetti jira.

Onkoloolessa 28, 2014 dhaabbatni mirga namoomaa Amnesty International dalagaa faashistummaa ummata Oromoo irratti xiyyeeffate mootummaan Wayyaanee raawwatu saxiluun gabaasa dhiheesuun kan yaadatamu dha. Amnesty International gabaasa kana dhiheesuu isaatiif galata guddaa jedhan. Addatti ammo itti mataa gabaasa kanaa Mrs. Kleer Bestonf ABO galata kenna.

Gabaasi dhihaate kunis haala ulfaataa bakka mootummaan qorannoo bifa kanaa geggeessuuf hin haayyamne jalatti kan adeemsifame tahuun hubannoo ABO ti. Kanaaf, haala ulfaataa jalatti hojjatuudhaan dhugaa ummata Oromoo hanga kana ifa gochuun kan galatoomfamu tahullee dalagaan suukanneessaa fi gara jabinaa ummata Oromoo irratti raawwatame kana irra guddaa, bal’aa fi suukanneessaa ta-huu ABOn hubachiisuu fedha.

Wayta ammaa kana Empaayera Itopiyaa keessa manneen hidhaa meeqa akka jiran kan beeku hin jiru. Kanneen ifatti beekamaniin alatti manneen hidhaa dhoksaa baay’inni fi bakki isaanii hin beekamne naannoolee hedduu keessa jiraachuun kan ummata bal’inaan beekkamu dha. Addatti ammoo ilmaan Oromoo ABOf hojjataa jirtan jechuun hidhaman ummata isaanii irraa fageessuuf manneen hi-dhaa naannoo dhuunfaa mootummaa Wayyaanee tahe keessatti tolfame, kanneen hidhaman amanamoo isaaniin alatti kan biraa arguu hin dandeenye Tigraayitti dabarsuun irratti roorrisaa akka jiran ifatti beekama.

Manneen hidhaa keessatti dalagaalee sukanneessaa Amnesty International himeen olitti raawwataman jiraachuu kanneen akka tasaa hidhaa Wayyaanee keessaa ba-hanii lubbuun jiran hedduu ragaaf dhiheessuutu danda’ama. Jumulaan ajjeesuu caalaatti kan qor-qalbii hidhamaa fi ummataa miidhaa jiru ummatni mirga isaatiif akka hin falmanneef “jiilchuu qabna” yaada jedhuun jumulaan gudeeddii raaw-watuu, dhiira kolaasuu, ilkee irraa fixuu, qaamaa hir’isuu fi gochaalee kan biroo as irratti ibsuun ulfaatu manneen hidhaa Wayyaanee keessatti ilmaan ummatoota cunqurfamoo addatti ammo lammiilee Oromoo irratti raawwatamaa jira.

Ummatoota cunqurfamoo addatti ummata Oromoo jumulaan fixuu, hidhuu, lafa isaa irraa beenyaan alatti buqqaasuudhaan ari’uun gochaa ifatti raawwatamu eenyuyyuu argaa turee fi jiru dha. Diplomaatota biyyoota Dhihaa fi Bahaa, Diplomaatota Afrikaa, dhaabbattoota mirga namoomaaf falman hunda duratti waggoota 23 dabraniif raawwatamaa har’a gahe. DAG fi Tokkummaa Afriikaa (AU) dabalatee qaamotni kanneen hundi osoo fuula isaanii duratti kun hundi raawwatamuu callisanii ilaaluun dhimma ummatoota miidhaan irra gahaa jiru hunda kan aja’ibe dha. Gocha kana irratti erga callifamee bulchiinsa gaarii fi mir-gi dimokraasii baanan hiikti isaa maal jechuu akka tahe hanga gaafatuu fi huba-tuu irratti rakkoo itti uumu gahe.

Waan taheef haala qabatamaa fi ifatti mul’atu kana irratti hundaa’ee ABOn:

1. Jaarmayaaleen mirga dhala namaaf falman tarkaanfii shororkeessummaa mootummaan geggeeffamaa jiru kana qoratuun ifa gochuun gaafatama na-moomaa irra jiru tahuu beekuun qoratuun haqa jiru akka ifa godhuu irratti hojjatan;

2. Diploomaatotni biyyoota gara garaa fi Afriikaa dalagaa faashistummaa um-matoota cunqurfamoo addatti ammo ummata Oromoo irratti xiyyeef-fatamee mootummaa Itophiyaan adeemsifamaa jiru kana callisanii ilaaluu dhiisanii akka saaxilanii fi dhaabsisuuf dhiibbaa barbaachisu akka taasisan;

3. Hundaan olitti ammoo Tokkummaan Afriikaa (AU) fi DAG dhugaa jiru dhoksuuf tattaafatuu dhiisanii daba kana daangessuu irratti akka hojjatan;

4. Midiyaaleen daba ummatoota cunqurfamoo irratti raawwatamaa jiru kana gadi faginaan hubatuu fi qoratuun hawaasa addunyaa akka dhaqqabsiisan ABOn waamicha dabarsaaf;

5. Ummatoota cunqurfamoo Itophiyaa keessaa bittaa Wayyaanee gara jabinaa fi diinummaan guutameen kan ilmaan isaa hin dhabiin, qabeenyi isaa hin saamamiin, qe’ee isaa irraa hin ari’amiinii fi hin hidhamiin hin jiru. Kanaaf, kana hubatuun ummatootni cunqurfamoo mootummaa Abbaa Irree kana of irraa jijjiiruuf falli jiru qabsoo qofa tahuu beekuun akka mootummaa kana irratti jabinaan qabsoo isaanii itti fufan ABO yaadachiisa. Milkaa’uun QBO milkaa’ina isaaniif kan xurree saaqu tahuu hubatuun ummata Oromoo wali-in akka dhaabbatan waamicha isaa dabarsaaf;

6. Ummatoota Itophiyaa keessaa mootummaan Itophiyaan akka diina duraatti fudhatamuun miidhaan ol aanaa sirra gahaa akka jiru sihi abbaa dhimmaa ummata Oromoo caalaa kan beekuu fi hubatu hin jiru. Waggoota bittaa Wayyaanee keessatti harka guddeessaan hiyyummaatti ittifamtee kadhaan jiraachuu dirqamaa akka jirtu kan biraa siif argullee akka kee itti dhaga’amuu dhiisuu mala. “Abbaan iyyate Ollaan dirmata” waan taheef qabsoo itti jirtu jabeessuun alatti daandiin biraa akka hin jirre hubatuun qabsoo kee akka finiinsitu. Alagaan kamuu dantaa isaa dura dhimma keef akka hin dhaabbanne hubadhu. Kan mirga Abbaa biyyummaa fi dimokraasii si gonfachiisu jaarmayaa kee ABO kallacha godhatuun falmaa kee itti fufuu tahuu ABO irra deebi’ee yaadachiisa;

7. Kanatti dabaluun lammiileen Oromoo biyyoota ambaa gara garaa keessa ji-raatan, akkasumas jaarmayaaleen mirga namoomaa fi gargaarsaa miidhaa Oromoo irra gahaa jiru kan Amnesty International ifa godhe kana qabatuun sagalee ummataa tahuun mootummootaa fi dhaabbiilee adda addaatti akka iyyata ummata Oromoo dhiheessitan ABOn waamicha isaa isiniif dhi-heessa.

Injifannoo Ummata Oromoof!

Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo

Sadaasa 10, 2014

 

Africa: Of the AU’s Itchy Bottom and Smelly Fingers November 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans.
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???????????Land grab inOromiaBecause I am Oromo

Africa: Of the AU’s Itchy Bottom and Smelly Fingers

OPINION

http://allafrica.com/stories/201411020126.html?

Listen to this African Union – if you go to bed with dogs then you will wake up with flies!

Africans revere wise-saying and proverbs. I am African and the AU is as African as it can get. So, surely the regional body must listen up when I introduce my ranting with yet another popular saying – He who goes to bed with an itchy bottom wakes up with smelly fingers.

Does the AU have smelly fingers?

Yes! I will tell you why.

The majestic African Union, formerly the Organisation of African Unity has been sitting in the bosom of the tyrant, quietly hiding its shame from the world as one of its very own perfects the art of torture and repression.

The AU sits in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It glows and gloats about being the regional master for a liberal and fairly democratic Africa while its host, the Ethiopian regime has thrived over decades stifling descent and beating to a pulp the people of Oromia region.

The Oromo from Ethiopia’s Oromia region are a sad story of cruelty and gross human rights violations that has persisted unabated for years.

There is no sugar-coating the testimonies of brutality that flow from generations of Oromo descent.

As you read this, you may need to quickly grab a copy of a report that has just been released by Amnesty International on the plight of the Oromo of Oromia region in Ethiopia.

The report Because I am Oromo is a summary of human ruthlessness at its worst. It reads like a rendition from the slavery years when Africa was wilting under the colonialism invasion, only that this time, the perpetrator is African.

It is a scenario that is all too familiar with the region. A regime in power aspires to stay in power and clamps down on any voice of dissent especially from within. If the dissenter is a community, then woe unto them because the regime will victimise the community from generation to generation and make it a crime to be born in such.

And to imagine that this is something that the African Union is aware of and has been aware of ever since and yet still persists is sacrilegious to say the least.

Because I am Oromo is a painful walk into the reality of the sufferings of one of the biggest ethnic communities in Ethiopia for the mere reason of dissenting with the government.

This reality is beyond comprehension because sadly, torture to the Oromo almost comes as second nature, thanks to an oppressive regime.

“We interviewed former detainees with missing fingers, ears and teeth, damaged eyes and scars on every part of their body due to beating, burning and stabbing – all of which they said were the result of torture,” said Claire Beston of Amnesty International.

Claire was referring to the myriads of real-life testimonies given to the researchers on condition of anonymity.

In Oromia it seems, almost every house-hold of the Oromo has experienced the wrath of torture and police brutality.

In the streets and in the village squares in the Oromia region sits the shadows of men and women who have been physically brutalised and maimed while emotionally and psychologically scarred for life in the hands of Ethiopian security forces.

When I speak of torture, I speak of state-sanctioned gang rapes to both men and women, electrical shocks, water-barding, thorough beatings, detentions without trial, forced disappearances and arbitrary killings that continue with shocking impunity. And this list is not exhaustive of the actual violations as detailed in the report.

The profiles of brutality are vast in Because I am Oromo. Infact, Amnesty International says they spoke to more than 240 victims of this brutality in a period of one year.

It is these heart-wrenching testimonies and the impunity of how the violation is meted that leaves a real bad taste in my mouth when I think of the AU sitting pretty in its headquarters in Addis Ababa as if absolutely nothing wrong is going on in its backyard.

The truth is that the people of Oromia region have been under siege for almost three decades now. The OAU knew this and the AU knows it too for they are one and the same, right?

So when the AU focusses the world’s attention to the many wonderful things that the continent seems to be getting right and totally ignores the situation of the Oromo people its pretence stinks to the high moon of repression.

Somebody please tell the AU that with every sip of Ethiopian coffee they take from their air-conditioned Chinese-built headquarters, the blood of the Oromos is spilling on the floor under their feet, enlivened by the silence they have mastered over the atrocities committed by the Ethiopia government against the Oromo community.

Somebody tell the AU that its emblem and its flag, and its national anthem means absolutely nothing to the children of the continent for as long as the children of Oromia weep at the graves of their executed fathers and quiver at the feet of their physically tortured and traumatised mothers.

Somebody tell the AU, that the Clarion call – ” Oh sons and daughters of Africa, flesh of the sky and flesh of the sun, let us make Africa the tree of life” is utterly nonsensical if it does not flinch as the sons and daughters of Oromia are crushed under the whims of repression.

Somebody, please remind the AU that Africa’s children do not give up on liberty struggles. They, as member states, never gave up on the colonial liberation struggles so why do they imagine that the people of Oromia are any different?

Like I have said, there is blood on the floor of the AU as Africa’s leaders meet to deliberate and panel beat the continent to shape and as they do it sleeping on the bed of the hospitality of the Ethiopian government, they know that they sleep with an itch in their bottoms which they cannot ignore for they will surely wake up with smelly fingers!

Read more @ http://allafrica.com/stories/201411020126.html?fb_action_ids=10202895379612299%2C868268729858897&fb_action_types=og.shares

 

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/amnesty-internationals-report-because-i-am-oromo-a-sweeping-repression-in-oromia/