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#Prevent #Genocide! The UN is silent on the Ethiopia’s regime’s continuation with genocidal mass killings, displacements, mass arrests and torturing of Oromo people. November 25, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Horn of Africa Affairs, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

As over 610,000 Rohingya people have been displaced, the UN report details ‘devastating cruelty’ against Rohingya population http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=56103. While   over  690,000 Oromo people have been displaced from Eastern Ethiopia  by the coordinated TPLF Ethiopia’s regime’s cruel forces, the UN and the International Community are silent.  Millions  of Oromo people, children, women, elders, young and adults have been evicted from their homes through systematic land grabs, ethnic cleansing and direct wars declared on them. Thousands killed and over a quarter million are in Ethiopia’s regime’s torture camps. The genocide war against Oromo people is in its full swing and unstopped on daily basis.

The UN is silent as over 45 million Oromo people are subjected to genocide

The internally displaced Oromo people are suffering  without food and shelter.

 

(OPride) — Emails between senior Ethiopian government officials, obtained exclusively by OPride, shed new lights on the state-run Ethio Telecom’s abrupt decision to halt the text-to-give campaign launched by Oromia State in September. The disclosures also pinpoint the key government officials behind the action.

“Help rehabilitate our people displaced from the Ethiopian Somali region by texting “O” to 700 to give 5 birr,” Addisu Arega, the spokesperson for Oromia State, announced on Sep. 28, 2017 via Facebook and Twitter. “We thank Ethio Telecom for their huge support in setting up the campaign free of charge.”

However, the campaign that was meant to raise relief funds for the more than half a million Oromos displaced from the Somali Regional State lasted a mere five hours.



የተባበሩት መንግሥታት ከኢትዮ ሱማሌ በግፍ ለተፈናቀሉት ህዝቦችን መርዳት እንደለበት ዶ/ር ነጋሶ ጊዳዳ ጠየቁ።


በኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ ታይቶ በማይታወቅ ሁኔታ ከግማሽ ሚሊየን ህዝብ በላይ ተፋናቅሎ ከራሱ መንግሥት ጭምር በቂ እርዳታ ሳያገኝ መቅረቱ በጣም አሳዘኝ ብቻም ሳይሆን አሳፋሪም ነው። ኦሮሚያ ክልል የኢትዮጵያ አካል እንዳልሆነ ነገር ፌዴራል መንግሥት ዝምታ ከመምረጥ አልፎ በቴሌ በኩል የተጀመረው የsms እንዲቋረጥ አድርጎዋል።
ኢትዮጵያ የጎረቤት ሀገር ስደተኞችን ተቀብላ በማስተናገድ ቀዳሚ ነኝ እያለች በምትገልጽበት ወቅት ላይ የራሷ ዜጎች እንዲህ ትኩረት መነፈጋቸው ትርፉ ትዝብት ነው። ለኦሮሞና ለኦሮሚያ መንግስት ትልቅ መልዕክት አስተላልፏል። የፖለቲካ የበላይነት ከሌለህ ዋጋ እንደሌለ።
ዶ.ር ነጋሶ ግዳዳ UN እስካሁን ምንም እርዳታ አለማድረጉን ጠቅሶ የሚመለከተው አካል ግፊት ማድረግ አንደለበት አሳስቧል። በመሆኑም በሀገር ውስጥና በውጭ የሚኖሩ ኢትዮጵያዊያን በሰላማዊ ሰልፍ በደብዳቤና በተለያዩ ማህበራዊ ሚዲያ ግፊት ማድረግ አለባቸው።

 

on 23 December 2017 the fascist TPLF forces attacked Oromo residence in Borana, Southern Oromia and killed 13 and wounded over 23 Oromo nationals.

VOA Afaan Oromoo akka gabaasetti: Boorana, Aanaa Areeroo Keessatti Liyyu Poolisii fi Humna Federaalaatiin Halellaa Geggeessame Jedhameen Namoonni Garii Du’anii Kaan Madaawan

Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s regime Agazi forces continue with mass killings in Oromia (Ethiopia): At least 10 killed and 20 wounded in Ambo. #OromoProtests, read in Oromian EconomistOctober 28, 2017

Oromo group decries ‘ongoing genocide’ in Ethiopia

Ethiopia: The Never Ending Horror Against the Oromo Nation

The peaceful street protests in Oromia that shook Ethopia for over one year (November 2015-October 2016) turned violent after the reckless action by the government when its military attacked civilians and murdered over 700 at the Oromo Irrecha Festival  on October 2, 2016.

The  fascistic action of the Ethiopian government turned a peaceful protest into a violent one  in which many people were killed and government property was destroyed by the angry protesters.

The TPLF/EPRDF government declared a six- month state of emergency- later extended to ten months- on October 8, 2016 with the pretext of calming the violence in Oromia. During the  State of Emergency, the government killing squad members were deployed in all villages of the Oromia Regional state where they committed killings, kidnappings, and arrests during the ten months of the State of Emergency.


Under the State of Emergency, the TPLF/ EPRDF government- trained  Liyu Police led by the killing  Squad Agazi  were deployed  along  the long border  between Somali and Oromia regional states and occupied 32 districts of Oromo land from the  south Borana zone to the northeast  Hararge zone; many people were killed from both sides. During the six- month war between the federal government force backed Liyu Police and Oromo farmers  over 500 people have been killed, and many other Oromos have been forcefully kidnapped  and taken to Somali Region.


Ethiopia: Government-Fuelled Conflict & the Need for Unity

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

Successive Ethiopian regimes have never displayed humanity or respect for Oromo and denied opportunities to build their social, economic, political, cultural and organizational infrastructures. In all spheres of life, discrimination, subjugation, repression and exploitation of all forms were applied. Everything possible was done to destroy Oromo identity – culture, language, custom, tradition, name and origin. In short, the leaders of Ethiopian empire maintained the general policy of genocide against the Oromo people.

Current state terrorism (by TPLF junta):

Reduction project of TPLF is on track with multiple fronts. Here is the TPLF slogan: We, TPLF or Tigrean sons and daughters, will reduce the number of Oromo from 40 million to the minority group without their awareness and knowledge of the world.”

  • Through Massacre and Displacement example recent action in Eastern Oromia, thousands of silent death across Oromia in the night, in detention camp and special torture branch in Meqelle (Tigrai).
  • Through targeted shootout on the street, by kidnapping and mutagenic process
  • Through indirect actions (denying well-functioning health care system and inhibiting economic empowerment).

Humiliation project of TPLF: Here is the TPLF Motto: We, TPLF- or Tigrean sons and daughters, have to show to the Ethiopian empire nations that we are unbeatable masters.

  • Through imprisoning and torturing
  • Through land grab
  • Through culturing puppets, traitors, servants and opportunistic individual

Powerless unity project of TPLF: Here is the TPLF plan: Especially to deny Oromo people the powerful unity and strong organization we TPLF-staff or Tigrean sons and daughters have to work tirelessly.  Source: Ethiopian Empire Policies are Fecal Occult Blood, While Their Actions are Considerably Hemorrhagic, by Dr. B. K. Deressa in Kichuu inf

 


The regime’s officials and armed forces engaged in systematic looting of Oromo resources, economic corruption, black markets in commodities and foreign exchanges.  click here to  read THE SOUR TASTE OF SUGAR IN ETHIOPIA

Click here to read the case of  TPLF Ethiopia’s Regime Money Laundering Activities & Its Networks 

 


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Godina Baalee, Aanaa Gaasaratti, lafeeleen namoota dhibba tokkoo argame July 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Genocide, Hetosa, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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Godina Baalee, Aanaa Gaasaratti, lafeeleen namoota dhiiba tokkoo olii argame. Skeletons of  more than 100 human bodies found buried together in Bale, Gaasara district, Dambal locality, Oromia

OMN

(OMN:Oduu Adol.09, 2015): Godina Baalee aanaa Gaasaraa magaalaa Danbal ganda Askaalatti, lafeen namoota 60 ol ta’an, jumlaadhaan boolla tokkotti awwaalaman argamuun dhagahame.

Jiraattonni naannichaa akka jedhanitti,ammayyuu lafeen namoota heddu argamuu nutti himuun, gochaan raawwatame kun, sirna bulchiinsa mootummaa kam keessa akka ta’e, haga ammatti wanti beekkame hin jiru.

Godina Baalee,aanaa Gaasaraa magaalaa Danbal araddaa Askaala ykn Hirbaayyee jedhamutti, lafeen namoota 60 jumlaadhaan ajjeefamanii boolla tokkotti awwaalaman, guyyaa kaleessaa jechuun Adoolessa 8 bara 2015tti, argamuu isaa jiraattonni kun OMN tti kan himan.

Jiraataan magaalaa Danbal akka jedhanitti, lafee namootaa hedduu jimlaadhaan awwaalaman kana, ija isaaniitiin arguu nutti himuun, yoomiif eennuun, gochaan kun akka raawwatame hin beeknu jedhan.

Lafeen namoota jimlaadhaan boolla tokkotti awwaalamanii turan kun, namoonni naannawa san jiraatan osoo karaa deeman kan argan yoo ta’u, ammas lafeen namoota awwaalamanii, laakkofsaan hedduu akka ta’ellee namni kun ibsaniiru.

Akka namni kun nuuf himanitti, gochaan raawwatame kun, sirna bulchiinsa mootummaa kam keessa akka ta’e haga ammatti wanti beekkame hin jiru.
Haata’u malee, lafee namoota argamee kanarraa hubachuun akka danda’ametti, awwaalcha baroota dhihoo kan fakkaatuudha jedhan.

Jiraattonni aanaa Gaasaraa magaalaa Danbal akka jedhanitti, lafeen namoota jimlaadhaan boolla tokkotti awwalamanii argaman kunniin, namoota umriidhaan gaheessa ta’aniidha.
Wanatoonni raawwatamee ture kun, naannawaa isaanitti yeroo jalqabaa akka ta’e kan nutti himan namni kun, gochaa raawwatamee ture kana akka qorataniif, gara bulchiinsa aanichaatti ibsuu isaanillee dubbatan.

Ji’a Adoolessaa bara 2014 darbes, godina Harargee Bahaa magaalaa Harar araddaa Hammarreessatti, lafeen namoota jumlaadhaan ajjeefamanii awwalaman keessaa 400 kan ta’an, deeggartoota Adda bilisummaa Oromoo akka ta’an, jiraattota naannichaa waabeeffachuun gabaasuun keenya ni yaadatama.

Keessahuu bara 1998 hanga 2000tti, yeroo Itoophiyaa fi Eritraan waraana irra turanitti, dargaaggootaa fi manguddoota Oromoo, Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo deeggartu jechuun, naannoo Jijjigaa fi Soomali-land irraa, mootummaa Itoophiyaatiin qabamanii kan hidhaman oggaa ta’u,nyaata fi dhugaatii dhorkamuun lubbuun isaanii gaaga’amuun, jiraattoonni kun dabalanii saaxiluusaanii wayituma san gabaasuun keenya kan yaadatamudha.

Gabaasaan Usmaan Ukkumee ti.

ETHIOPIA: Political Violence Intensifies as the fifth Sham Election Approaches February 17, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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HRLHA FineHRLHA Urgent Action

February 16, 2015

According to a schedule released by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia, citizens will go to the polls to elect a new government on 24 May 2015. It will be Ethiopia’s fifth national election since EPRDF came to power in 1991.

In connection with the coming National Election of Ethiopia, the ruling EPRDF government has begun to wage a widespread campaign to secure again the 99.6% of parliamentarian seats it has controlled since 2010- the seats it acquired by electoral fraud.  As the election date of May 2015 approaches, the government of Ethiopia has unabashedly continued its systematic violence against opposition political parties’ leaders, members, and supporters.  Candidates of the opposition political parties are the major targets in all regional states in the country including the capital city, Finfinne/Addis Ababa.    For example, the information that the HRLHA has obtained through its correspondents indicates that hundreds of election candidates of the opposition OFC (Oromo Federalist Congress) party from most zones of Oromia Regional State have been arrested and sent to prisons.

In the most recent wave of arrests and imprisonments that has been going on since the first week of January, 2015 and which has touched almost all corners of Oromia, hundreds of OFC party leaders, members and supporters from all walks of life have been taken from their homes and work places and sent to prison.

According to the HRLHA reporter, in this particular political violence by the ruling party against the OFC party leaders, members and supporters in western Oromia zone Qellem, Dabidolo and Gambit districts, in the eastern Wallagga zone Guduru, Nunu Qumbq, and Wama Haagaloo districts, in the Eastern Oromia Zone in the Western Hararge zone in Masala district, in the Southern Oromia zone in Robe – Bale town Regional State of Oromia have been taken to prison.

The HRLHA reporter has managed to obtain the names of the following few OFC leaders   currently held in prison: 1, Mr. Dula Maatiyoos, chairman of the OFC political party in Qelem district, 2. Mr. Abiyot Tadesse, Chairman of the OFC political party in Dambi Dollo district, 3. Mr Zelalam Shuma, chairman of the OFC political party in Sayyo district, and 4. Mr. Mezgebu Tolessa, chairman of the OFC in Gidami district.

The HRLHA strongly condemns the EPRDF government’s move towards the systematic elimination of the opposition parties from the coming election in order to control again all parliamentarians’ seats for itself as has happened in the previous four elections. It should be remembered that the EPRDF has claimed victory in the elections of 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010- ever since the fall of the military/ Derg regime of 1991 and the adoption of a new constitution in August 1995.

The HRLHA calls on the Western allies of the ruling TPLF/EPRDF party as well as regional and international diplomatic, development and donor agencies to put pressure on the Ethiopian government and demand an immediate halt to this extra-judicial and unconstitutional act of violence and the unconditional release of those innocent citizens whose arrests and imprisonment are purely political. It also calls on those bodies to put additional pressure on the ruling TPLD/EPRDF party to organize a truly free and fair election, and prepare itself to participate accordingly.

This UA is copied to:

 Current Membership of the Human Rights Council

 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)
Tel.: +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-mail: opcat@ohchr.org
Internet: http://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
Short Echalar Julie A
shortJA@state.gov

 U.S. Department of State
Trim, Vernelle X
Ethiopian desk officer
trimvx@state.gov

 Amnesty International – London
Claire Beston
Claire Beston” <claire.beston@amnesty.org>,

 Human Rights Watch
Felix Hor
“Felix Horne” <hornef@hrw.org>,

POVERTY – Introduction December 25, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Poor, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Poverty, The State of Food Insecurity in Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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OPovertyPoverty

‘Poverty is not merely going hungry; it means lack of resources like land or education to make out a living; means lack of employment; means lack of access to some basic needs of life like health services, education, food etc., means lack of voice to be heard and ability to influence the formulation of policies or implementation of programs by the government.

Poverty may also be understood as an aspect of unequal social status and inequitable social relationships, experienced as social exclusion, dependency, and diminished capacity to participate, or to develop meaningful connections with other people in society. This is of considerable relevance to the Indian situation. …Dominant sections of ethnicity in the society controls the political conditions and assets, depriving the marginalized from having access to these economic assets. ‘

Definition : Poverty is a situation where the individual or community lack the resources, ability to meet the basic needs of life.

Relative Poverty: Refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

Penury : Extreme poverty.

Absolute Poverty: is destitution wherein one lacks basic human needs including clean water, food, clothing, shelter, health cover and education.

The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms. According to them, the poverty is classified into:

Extreme Poverty : Living on less than US $1.25 per day
Moderate Poverty : Living on less than US $2 a day

Am an aspirant too

Definition : Poverty is a situation where the individual or community lack the resources, ability to meet the basic needs of life.

Relative Poverty: Refers to lacking a usual or socially acceptable level of resources or income as compared with others within a society or country.

Penury : Extreme poverty.

Absolute Poverty: is destitution wherein one lacks basic human needs including clean water, food, clothing, shelter, health cover and education.

The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms. According to them, the poverty is classified into:

  • Extreme Poverty : Living on less than US $1.25 per day
  • Moderate Poverty : Living on less than US $2 a day

World Bank has stated that fighting with poverty is at the core of its work.

According to the definition of poverty by the World Bank, the poor are classified as:

  • Subjugate Poor : People with per capita consumption expenditure as…

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Oromo: “For a people facing complete erasure, survival itself is a revolutionary act”, IOYA’s Former President Ayantu Tibeso at the Macha-Tulama Association’s 50th Anniversary Celebration August 7, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Ayantu Tibeso, Colonizing Structure, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Finfinnee n Kan Oromoo ti, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Language and Development, Macha & Tulama Association, Musicians and the Performance of Oromo Nationalism, Nimoonaa Tilahun, Oromians Protests, Oromo Protests in Ambo, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tyranny, Undemocratic governance in Africa, Waldaa Maccaa fi Tulamaa.
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O

 

 

 

 

The fact that we are gathered here today to honor the founding of Macha Tulama 50 years ago speaks to the fact that despite all odds, we, as a people are survivors. Ethiopian history is full of attempts to annihilate the Oromo—culturally, politically, socially, economically, in all and every ways possible.Oromos — cast as foreign, aliens to their own lands, have been the targets of the entire infrastructure of the Ethiopian state since their violent incorporation. Our identity, primarily language, religion and belief systems and cultural heritage have been the main targets of wanton destruction.   Oromo and its personhood were already demonized, characterized as embodiments of all that is inferior, shameful and subhuman from the beginning. Oromo people were economically and politically exploited, dominated and alienated.

Ayantu Tibeso

The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide: The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans – Wallaga 1992-93 July 28, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Colonizing Structure, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Hetosa, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, No to land grabs in Oromia, No to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Omo Valley, Oromia Support Group, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromian Voices, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Protests, Oromo students movement, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromo University students and their national demands, Stop evicting Oromo people from Cities, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide

(Part One)

The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans – Wallaga 1992-93

By  Mekuria Bulcha*

 

“…. many of us lost our parents and relatives and were cared for by the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) for our survival and wellbeing. With the support of the international community and Oromos abroad, some 1,700 of us have been taken care of in exile in the Blue Nile Province of the Sudan. … The ORA gave us the chance to survive” (from a letter by “Raagaa”, one of the ORA children 1993).

“The life of those of us who did not experience the sweet love of parents, but had known only an organization [ORA] was devastated when the organization collapsed; we were left alone without relations. There are many who shared my misfortune; regrettably the whereabouts of many of them remains a mystery” (from an interview by the author with another former ORA child, Leensaa, March 2014).

“We appeal to you to do all you can to shed light upon the fate of the more than 1,600 children from ORA camp in Kobor. Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra and all others?” (from a letter sent by the teachers and pupils of Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule to Dr. Klaus Kinkel, German Minister of Foreign Affairs, November 2, 1992)

Introduction

The three quotations presented above are from documents used in writing this article and reflect, in one way or another, the fate of about 1,700 Oromo children who were looked after by the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) in the refugee camps of Yabus, Damazin and Bikoree in the late 1980s. The first quote is from a letter written by one of the ORA children to the ORA office in Germany after he escaped from the Dhidheessa concentration camp in 1993. “Ragaa” is a fictive name as the letter writer lives in Ethiopia. The second quote is from an interview with Leensa Getaachoo who was one of the ORA orphans. First incarcerated at the age of ten in 1994, she had been in seven Ethiopian prisons before she fled from Ethiopia in 2000. A brief account of her more than a decade-long odyssey across three continents and her sojourn in six countries in search of a safe haven is included in the last section of this article. The last quotation is from a letter written by students and teachers of a school in Germany appealing to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help them find out the whereabouts of the ORA orphans. Their school supported the ORA project materially and the pupils were pen friends with the ORA children.

The main purpose of this article is to shed light on what happened to the ORA children in western Oromia during the summer months of 1992. Associating them with the Oromo Liberation (OLF), the Tigrayan Liberation Front (TPLF) imprisoned hundreds of them in 1992 and 1993 along with thousands of Oromo civilians and OLF fighters in the Dhidheessa concentration camp. Although I knew that many of the ORA children were imprisoned, I only got a hint of the full magnitude of the crime committed against themlast year when I came across a report written in 1996 by the UK based Oromia Support Group (OSG Press Release No. 13, 1996). The OSG wrote about the flight of the ORA children and their guardians chased by the TPLF forces. The report noted that“After three weeks on the run, with rain, mud, hunger and sleeping rough in the bush, the remaining 600 or so children were attacked in the Gunfi area.…. Local informants claim that the fleeing children were hunted like kurupé, a small antelope which leaps to see its way while fleeing through tall vegetation.” (Emphasis mine) This reminded me of what I read about the now extinct indigenous inhabitants of the island of Tasmania. They were hunted and killed by white settlers just like wild game and were exterminated. It is embarrassing that we have failed to record the story of the ORA children properly during the last twenty-two years. However, I believe that it is our obligation to record their story now and bring it to the attention of particularly the Oromo people. As the first two quotations above indicate, most of the children were parentless; the majority had no families to remember them. It is our duty to remember them by recording their story.

An inquiry into the intention of the crime is another aim of the article. The crime was carried out systematically and over a long period of time. The question is: why? Why did the TPLF forces chase children and adolescents for over three months and capture or kill them, when they knew that they were unarmed youth and that the adults accompanying them were not fighters but their guardians? Based on information gathered through interviews and the description of the manner in which the TPLF security forces have treated them inside and outside the concentration camps, the article will argue that politicide,[1] was perpetrated against the ORA orphans. The TPLF was in an open war with the OLF when the children were massacred in the summer months of 1992.  Consequently, it wouldn’t be farfetched to argue, as I will do in this article, that the atrocities committed by the TPLF against the ORA children and their guardians constitute a war crime.

Thirdly, the article will show that the persecution of the ORA children was a springboard for the TPLF policy of liquidating those individuals and groups its makers see as bearers of the seeds of Oromo nationalism, and that this has culminated in the current widespread war against Oromo students. I will describe, albeit briefly, the case of other Oromo children and youth who have been accused of “supporting” the OLF or branded as “terrorists” and treated with incredible cruelty.The many crackdowns on Oromo students during the past fifteen years, including the ongoing war against secondary school and university students throughout Oromia, which I will discuss in another forthcoming article, are guided by the same odious policy which led to the massacre and imprisonment of the ORA orphans. Based on my readings of its cruel treatment of the educated Oromo youth, my assessment of the main objective of the TPLF regime’s policy has been to deprive the Oromo nation of its current and future leaders. In short, what has been going on in Oromia since 1992 is clearly politicide. Oppressive Latin American dictatorships, which were led by military generals such Augusto Pinochet in Chile from 1973 to 1999, and Jorge Rafael Videla, Leopoldo Galtieri and others in Argentina between 1975 and 1983. Although not widely known and acknowledged, the politicide carried out against Oromo intellectuals, businessmen and students—who are often labelled by the TPLF regime as “OLF supporters” or “terrorists”—surpasses in its ferocity that of the Latin American dictators against the so-called communists. Its treatment of its Oromo victims is in many ways “dirtier” than the “Dirty Wars” which the Argentinian military dictators carried out against left wing politicians and others between 1975 and 1983. Politicide takes on genocidal characteristics when carried out against members of an ethnic, linguistic or “racial” community. The policy of the Tigrayan ruling elites against the Oromo displays these characteristics.

Sources of information

The article is based on information collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources comprise

  1. correspondence which I had with a former teacher and head of the ORA children’s project who was also with the children during their flight from the TPLF in western Oromia,
  2. written and telephone interviews with two former ORA children who live in an African country and one who lives in England,
  3. telephone interviews conducted with Oromos who were imprisoned by the Ethiopian regime in the 1990s. These Oromos, who are now scattered across different countries in Africa, North America and Europe and who know what happened to the children during the second half of 1992 or later.

I have consulted reports and documents from the archives of ORA as a secondary source of information.  These include a short letter written in Afaan Oromoo by one of the ORA children who were deported to the Dhidheessa concentration camp in June 1992. He escaped from the concentration camp in 1993 and found his way to Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) from where he wrote the letter to the ORA office in Germany. The letter was translated into English by Tarfa Dibaba. The other secondary source of information, an OSG (Oromia Support Group) report, was based on interviews with the surviving children, teachers, guardians and local Oromo population of western Oromia in 1996. The third document used here is a short article based on an interview given in 1994 by a former prisoner of the Dhidheessa concentration camp. The interview was in Afaan Oromoo and was translated to English by Yoseph Taera & Kathrin Schmitt and published as “An EPRDF Prison Camp from Inside” (see Oromo Commentary, Vol. VI (1), 1994). The informant was a detainee at the Dhidheessa concentration camp. Other documents obtained from the ORA archives in Germany include most of the photos used in the article, and a copy of the letter written by the teachers and pupils of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule of the city of Springe in Germany to the German Minister for Foreign Affairs in November 1992 mentioned above. The article has three short parts including this one. The second part will discuss imprisonment and death in the Dhidheessa concentration camp. The third part consists of short life stories of some of the children, both dead and alive.

The Oromo Relief Association: Its Origins and Objectives

The Oromo Relief Association (ORA) had its origin in a clandestine committee created during the dark days of the so-called Red Terror which was unleashed by the Dergue (the Ethiopian Military Regime) and devoured thousands of the educated youth in Ethiopia in 1977-78. The objective of the committee was to assist families whose breadwinners were jailed, had “disappeared” or had been killed. The committee was known as “Funding-raising Committee”, and functioned mainly in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). Oromo government employees and businessmen made contributions to assist the work of the clandestine committee. [2]

When it was formally established abroad in 1979, one of the objectives of ORA was to assist in bringing up the children of those Oromos who had died or were imprisoned because of their role in the national struggle for freedom. ORA provided humanitarian assistance to needy people in the OLF-held areas and offered medical and social service for Oromo refugees in the neighboring countries of the Horn of Africa. The Sudan was one of the countries in which the association was established and was recognized by its government.

ORA’s humanitarian activities in the Sudan

I visited the ORA offices in both Khartoum and Damazin in the Sudan for the first time in November 1981. From December 1982 to February 1983 I was again in the Sudan and could see the progress which the association was making in providing crucially needed services to Oromo refugee communities settled in the Blue Nile Province of the Sudan. In all the places I visited in the Sudan, the largest concentration of Oromo refugees was in Yabus, a district located south of Kurmuk town near the Ethiopian border.

Picture 1: The head of ORA, Fakadu Waaqjiraa in the ORA office in Khartoum, Sudan; Photo: Mekuria Bulcha, November 1981

Being one of the remotest districts in the Sudan, Yabus lacked not only a clinic and a school, but also all means of communication including roads. In February 1983, I presented a report entitled “Some Notes on the Conditions of Oromo, Berta and other Refugees in the Kurmuk District of the Blue Nile Province, Republic of Sudan” (Bulcha, 1983) to the UNHCR and NGOs in Khartoum, to raise awareness about the problems which were facing Oromo refugees in the remote districts of Sudan’s Blue Nile Province, particularly the health problems and high death rate among children. I also pointed out that the only organization which was assisting the refugees in the province was the ORA, and that it had almost no resources at its disposal to support even its staff. The UNHCR and NGOs responded positively to my short report. The UNHCR sent a staff member to Damazin and followed up the problem. Among NGOs was Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders, who participated in providing medical service to Oromo refugees and the ORA children whose stories are given in this article. Researchers from Europe and the US were also in the region and to conduct further studies of the problem facing Oromo refugees.[3] The reportwas also presented during workshops organized by ORA support committees in some European countries.

Picture: 2. On the Road from Yabus to Darsumma near the Ethiopian boarder in 1983; Yabus was inaccessible by vehicle during the rainy season and barely accessible even during the dry season. The Toyota Land Cruiser was a donation from the ORA Support Committee in Holland and was fitted with spare parts for the rough terrain. The person standing farthest from the camera is the late ‘Goota Bobbaas’ Bunee (d.1991) veteran of both the Maccaa Tuulama Association and the OLF. Photo: Mekuria Bulcha, February 1983.

Picture: 3. a group of Oromo refugees in Yabus in 1983. Stranded in the middle of nowhere in inaccessible border areas, hundreds of Oromo refugees were suffering from hunger and diseases when I visited Yabus in 1983. Malaria and diarrheal diseases were taking their toll particularly among the children. Photo: Mekuria Bulcha, February 1983

Through hard work and assistance from Oromo Support Committees in Europe and the US, the ORA was able assist Oromo refugees in the Horn of Africa, particularly in the Sudan. Through its children’s program, the association provided education to young refugees, and took care of parentless children in shelters it had built in the Sudan (see Tarfa Dibaaba’s book: It is a Long Way: A Reflection on the History of the Oromo Relief Association (2011).

Picture 4a (Above Left): Tarfa Dibaba former head of ORA office in Germany and coordinator of ORA activities abroad at a school event in Oldenburg, Germany, talking about ORA and its activities;

Picture 4b (Right): Relief shipments with clothing, school material, toys, sports equipment and musical instruments for the ORA children in the Sudan arriving at the ORA office in Delmenhost, Germany.

Picture 5 Right: A child getting treatment with glucose under the shade of a tree in Yabus. Her name is Berhane; she fled to the Sudan with her parents and their neighbors who were displaced from Kusaayee, a village west of the town of Gidaami by the resettlement program of the Dergue. Berhane was only about 6 years old but in the picture she looks like an adult because of severe malnutrition. The ORA medical staff saved the lives of many children and adults in the remote refugee settlement of Yabus (Photo: Arfaasee Gammada, 1985)

Pcture 6 Left: Members of ORA-Germany Arfaasee Gammada and Gerda Klein, both of them trained nurses, in Yabus in 1985

The social backgrounds of the ORA children

As described in the first two quotations at the beginning of this article many of the children, who were supported and educated by ORA in its children centers in Yabus, Damazin and Bikoree in the Sudan, were parentless. They lost their parents and relatives during the Dergue period. Most of them were small when they came to the ORA camps. For example, the record shows that of the 244 children who fled Yabus to Damazin, 24 percent were between six and ten years old, 67 percent were between 11 and 15, and 9 percent from 15 to 17 years old (source:ORAdocuments, Berlin, Germany).

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Pictures 7a & 7b: Some of the ORA children in Yabus and in Damazin in the late 1980s (Photo: Tarfa Dibaba). 

Picture8a Picture8b

Picture 8a & 8b:  Some of the smallest ORA children in Yabus in 1988: In the forefront are the ‘inseparable sisters’ Sadiyyaa and Nuuriyya Tolasaa (see also 8b above, Photo: Tarfa Dibaba). Many of these children were viciously killed, imprisoned and tortured by TPLF’s forces in the 1990s.

The 1989 flight from Yabus

Quoting Amanda Heslop and Rachel Pounds of the London-based agency “Health Unlimited,” who were working as volunteers in Yabus as a teacher and a nurse respectively when it was attacked by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the New African (April, 1990) wrote “In mid-December 1989, Oromo children started arriving in an Oromo refugee camp in Damazin, Central Sudan in a severe state of malnutrition and shock. The New African added “They were orphaned children who, among 6,000 Oromo refugees, had fled from the South Sudanese town of Yabus”. According to another source (Dhaabaa, November 21, 2013) some of the children were moved to Damazin and the rest were sent to Bikoree when Yabus was attacked by the SPLA. The SPLA was fighting the Sudanese army and was backed by units of the Ethiopian army when it attacked Yabus.

Picture9Picture 9: The 244 children who fled from Yabus to Damazin in December 1989 were quartered in tents on their arrival. The tents and other ORA properties including trucks and large amounts of food in store were confiscated by the Sudanese government in 1992 supporting the Tigrayan regime in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). The tents were donated by the German Ministry for Development Aid. Photo Tarfa Dibaba

The children who were in the ORA children’s camps in the Sudan in the mid-1980s returned home in 1992. According to the ORA, the first batch of its1033 children returned to Oromia from Bikoree in early 1992. They were joined in May 1992 by 691 children from Damazin.  In addition to the 1,724 returnees from the Sudan, there were over 300 children in two camps—one in Caanqaa and the other Mummee Dhoqsaa in OLF controlled areas (source: Dhaaba as above). 

Following the demise of the Dergue regime, “Those from Bikore, aged 12-18, were moved to Asosa in 1991. Because of the poor security situation there, they were moved to a site near Mendi (Wallaga) for one year. Nearby clashes between the OLF and the TPLF forced them to be moved around April/May 1992 to Kobor, 10-20 km in the direction of Asosa from Begi” town. Soon after, “the 5-15 year olds” from Damazin also arrived in Kobor (OSG Press Release, No. 13, 1996).

“We were all full of joy to be back in our country”

Research on international migration shows that, irrespective of age, sex and profession, a spiritual and physical return to the lands of their ancestors is uppermost in the minds of most of those who find themselves outside of their homeland against their wishes. Indeed, the ORA children must have been very happy to return to their homeland. The parents of many of them had sacrificed their lives fighting for its freedom. In a letter he wrote to ORA-Germany, Raagaa, who escaped from the Dhidheessa concentration camp explained,

When the situation seemed favorable to move back to our country, arrangements were made to take us back to our home areas of western Wallaga. … First, we were taken to Mendi and from there to Begi. We did not see anything of the fighting between the TPLF and the OLF. We did not know anything about the problem. We did not see any armed units on the way. We enjoyed a short-lived peaceful time. We continued our regular lessons under shady trees and in small village schools and spent most of the time outside enjoying the cool climate of our country. We were all full of joy to be back in our country (emphasis mine).

Raagaa belongs to the batch of children who returned from Bikoree in early 1992. The joy he described above did not last long. Those who returned from Damazin in May 1992 did not get a chance to experience even the short-lived peaceful life that the returnees from Bikoree experienced. Their dream of a happy life in a free homeland was shattered by terror perpetrated by enemy forces who occupied their homeland. The children were deprived not only the right to live and grow in freedom and happiness in their ancestral homeland, but many of them were also deprived of the right to life itself.

A walk into a death trap

The return of the ORA children from Damazin to Oromia coincided with the encampment of the OLF forces which was mediated by representatives of the US and Eritrean governments and signed by the OLF and the TPLF, preparing the ground for elections planned to take place in June 1992. But that did not happen. As we all know, following the withdrawal of the OLF from the local elections scheduled for the third week of June, its camps were attacked by the TPLF soldiers, who were not encamped like those of the OLF.

Regrettably, it was not the peace and happiness for which the children were longing, but violence, horror and death that was waiting for them at home in the shape of a new enemy that had occupied it. Ironically, from the relative security in refugee camps in the Sudan, they walked into a death trap laid out by the TPLF-led regime in their homeland. The shelters for the children at Gabaa Jimaata (for those from Bikoree) and at Ganda Qondaala (for those from Damazin)—both near Kobor—were attacked as if they too were OLF camps. So were the smaller shelters at Mummee Dhoqsaa and Caanqaa. The fact that the shelters were both homes and schools for children was known to the public. This was not hidden from the TPLF troops. They would have been informed, not only by their intelligence agents, but were in the area for weeks before they started their murderous attack on the children. In other words, the assaults on the shelters were carried out with the intent of harming the children. At that time of the attack, 1,724 children who returned from the Sudan and 22 who joined them at home (altogether 1,746 children) lived with their 37 caretakers and 35 teachers in the two ORA children centers mentioned above. In addition, the two smaller centers at Caanqaa and Mummee Dhoqsaa run by the OLF, housed and supported about 300 internally displaced, poor or parentless children. All in all the assault targeted over 2000 children. According to Dhaabaa (November 21, 2013), at that time the children were receiving training in different skills in addition to the education given in public schools.

Describing what had happened to the children he had bravely tried to protect from the TPLF killers during their three-month long bewildering flight, Dhaaba (November 21, 2013) wrote,

Ijoolleen mirga namummaa, kabaja ijoollummaa isaani illee utuu hinsafeeffatamin addamsuun, irratti dhukaasuun, madaa’uu fi ajjeefamun akkasumas hidhaatti guuramuun carraa isaanii tahe”

Translated into English the statement reads,

“The children were denied human rights; they were hunted, shot at, wounded and killed. Those who were captured were dragged into prison in violation of ethics that ought to be respected. That became their fate.”

Picture10

Picture 10: A classroom in a school ran by ORA for refugee children in Damazin

As reflected in the eager faces of these pupils, children in refugee camps often have an amazing thirst for education. They see in it a better future. Regrettably, the life of these knowledge thirsty ORA children was cut short by the TPLF regime. They lacked protection, parental, organizational and legal. Photo: Tarfa Dibaba, 1988

 Picture11

Picture 11Obbo Shifarraa was one of the assistant teachers and caretaker of ORA children in the ORA school in Damazin 

ORA and the OLF ran schools which taught classes up to grade six. This was also the case in areas under OLF control inside Oromia. It was here that together with the literacy classes that were given to Oromo refugees in different places in the Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia and elsewhere that the qubee based educational system adopted by all school Oromia in 1992 was laid down.

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Picture 12: Shows a classroom in Bikoree in 1990. It is difficult to say how many of these lovely kids were killed during the June-July 1992 TPLF onslaught or died in Dhidheessa concentration camp later. (Photo: Tarfa Dibaba)

Through Forests and Marshlands and Over Mountains with Killers on their Heels

Dhaba reported that they, the teachers and caretakers (hereafter the guardians), fled with the children into the Charphaa forest. From there, they sent some of the children away to Gidaami and some of them to Begi to look for relatives or hide among the local population. The TPLF forces arrived after sometime and opened fire on the group. In the shooting that followed some of the children were killed or injured. The children and their guardians fled from Carphaa to the Gaara Arbaa mountain range. Helped with information about the whereabouts of the TPLF forces provided by the sympathetic local population, they had been hitherto ahead of their hunters. However, soon aftertwo days after their arrival in Gaara Arbaa area, they detected that the TPLF fighters were building a ring around the forest wherein they were hiding. The children were forced to rush down the hillsides towardthe Dabus River. As the month of June is part of the season when the rainfalls are the heaviest, the valley had turned into a marshland and was covered with impenetrable tall elephant grass. Fleeing on foot through thewild and impenetrable vegetation was taxing. Blood-thirsty insects swarmed in the tall grass making travel through them immensely difficult and unbearable even to the most experienced adults: they had to fight off biting insects and struggle to walk through the grass at the same time. The children and their guardians found the Dabus was in full flood and unfordable on foot. Fortunately there were canoes owned by the locals. However, they carried only 2 or 3 individuals at a time. Therefore, it took many hours filled with fear and anxiety to take the children to the other side.  After ten days, the children and their caretakers came to Mummee Dhoqsaa on the banks of the Dillaa River, a tributary of the Dabus after ten days (Dhaabaa, December 9, 2013).

The Dillaa was also in flood and, as the children were trying to cross under similar stress and circumstances (as when they crossed the Dabus), the TPLF, whose soldiers were still on their heels opened fire on them in the Gunfi area. According the OSG report mentioned above, an unknown number of children were killed or wounded and some were captured by the soldiers. The rest were separated and scattered in different directions. Dhaabaa reported (December 9, 2013) that a clinic in Gunfi (where children who were suffering from malaria and other diseases were getting medication) was surrounded by the TPLF soldiers who opened fire on them. Although caretakers were assigned and had accompanied each group (Dhaabaa, see above) it is difficult to say how many of the children were able to escape the TPLF troops as they continued to chase and capture or kill them for many weeks.

Picture13Picture 13: Some of the ORA teenagers in Bikoree, Sudan, having a good time together in 1990. This and the other pictures taken in exile show that that the children were well cared for by ORA. Photo: Tarfa Dibaba

As mentioned above, there is no doubt that the TPLF forces knew that those who were fleeing from them were children, as well as their caretakers and teachers, and not Oromo soldiers or fighters. Although they might have been “carrying out” orders from above, they behaved monstrously as though the children they were chasing and killing were not human beings like themselves. It seems that they captured, persecuted or killed the children as a matter of duty.

Killed by TPLF bullets or taken by floods while fleeing from them

Nobody knows how many of the ORAchildren were killed or captured and imprisoned by the TPLF.  Different incidents are mentioned by the sources in which the children incurred casualties at the initial stage of their flight. According Abdalla Suleeman, a former OLF fighter, in one attack at a place called Yaa’a Masaraa near Kobor in Begi district over 30 children were killed when the TPLF forces bombed a building in which the fleeing children took shelter. He also mentions that many children had also drowned when the pursuing forces opened fire on them on the banks of the Dabus River (personal communication, March 2013). One of the eyewitness-accounts of the TPLF assault was given by a 13-year old girl, “Milkii” (fictive name as she is married and lives in Oromia now). Milkii was among the group of children who were sent in the direction of Mendi in the north. Although wounded when her group was attacked on the banks of the Dabus River, she was lucky to escape together with her 11-year brother and many of her companions. Regrettably, it was not all the children in her group who had that luck. She said that between 35 and 40 children in her cohort were killed on the riverbank or drowned while trying to cross to the other side seeking safety.

Since we do not have any other eyewitness of the incident described above, we have to accept Milkii’s account with caution. This, not because I believe she is telling lies, but because of the situation under which she had made the observation. However, it is important to note that other sources also indicate that a number of the ORA children had drowned while crossing the Dabus River or its tributaries.The OSG, for example, mentions that about 20 children had drowned while Dhaabaa mentions only one child who died in such an accident. Since the children were dispersed and fled in different directions, nobody seems to know how many of them had drowned or were killed during the flight. It is also difficult to verify whether the sources are referring to the same or to different incidents. In general, given the information we have, it is impossible to account for the fate of the majority of the 1,724 children who returned home, nor of the 300 who were in the Caanqaa and Mummee Dhoqsaa shelters when the TPLF attacked them in June 1992. However, regarding the number of children killed by the TPLFforces,the OSG (Press Release no. 13, August 1996: 17) wrote that “Between 170 and 200 bodies of children were found.” The OSG indicated that the figures were based on “Interviews with surviving children, teachers and carers, and interviews with residents in Wollega province over the last twelve months”. In short, although wecannot confirm the death statistics given above, there is no doubt that many of the ORA children were killed during their three-month long vicious pursuit and assault by the TPLF forces. Among those who were gunned down by the TPLF forces were the three boys—Tolina Waaqjiraa, Duula Tafarraa and Sagantaa Useen—mentioned in the letter cited at the beginning of the article (Dhaabaa, December 9, 2013). As mentioned above, over 300 children were captured and imprisoned in the Dhidheessa concentration camp. As will be revealed in the next part of this article, many died there from hunger, diseases and torture.

Crime against guardians and sympathetic local Oromo population

Noteworthy aspects of the flight of the ORA children were the courage that their guardians—their teachers and caretakers—had shown in protecting them as well as the support given them by the inhabitants of the districts they traversed. The price which both the guardians and many sympathetic peasants have paid to protect and support the children was high. Some were killed during the flight. It seems many were also caught and imprisoned. Among the children’s guardians who were killed were Abbaa Jambaree and Adabaa Imaanaa. The killing of the physically handicapped Adabaa Imaanaa was carried out with barbaric brutality. Dhabaa wrote (November 21, 2013) that

Adabaa Imaanaa was a guardian of the ORA children starting in Bikoree until the time of the TPLF assault. As he couldn’t walk, I got help from the people who gave us a mule to be used by him during flight from the assaulters. We were followed by the enemy from place to place and arrived in Mummee Dhoksaa on the banks of the Dillaa Gogolaa. After sometime we were surrounded by the enemy. They opened gunfire on us. One of the children’s caretakers, Abba Jambaree was killed. We managed to cross the river by canoes. Since his mule was frightened by the gunfire, panicked and galloped away, we sent away Adaba Imaanaa to limp to his village hiding from the enemy. When I went to his village later and I heard from his neighbors that he had reached his village with difficulty. But the TPLF agents had traced him, surrounded his house, took him out and killed him in late 1992.

However, in spite of the risks involved, the Oromo inhabitants of the districts through which the children passed, sheltered, fed, and directed them to the safest routes, informing them about the whereabouts of the TPLF forces. They had also volunteered to receive and hide those children whom the ORA staff were forced to place in their guardianship. The generosity shown to the fleeing children and their guardians by the inhabitants of the many villages through which theypassed, did not go unpunished by the TPLF. According Dhaabaa (November 21, 2013), the first person to be accused of helping the ORA children was a priest the village of Gabaa Jimaata mentioned above. His name was Abbabaa. He was dragged out of his house by the TPLF soldiers and shot in cold blood. A farmer called GaaddisaaDaaphoo was killed for feeding the children and their guardians in Harrojjii, a village in which they stayed during their flight.

It is difficult to imagine the hate that makes people commit such atrocities. Why did they kill, for example, a physically handicapped old man? Is it because he was an Oromo? What did the Oromo do to them? How can one hate a people amongst whom one lives in such a manner? Some probable answers to these questions will be discussed in the forthcoming part of this article.

[1] Politicide” means “a crime committed with intention on political grounds.” More fully, it is a deliberate killing or physical destruction of a group who form (or whose members share a distinctive characteristic of) a political movement.
[2] I was a contributor for a short time before I left the Ethiopia in September 1977.
[3] See for example, Virginia Lulling, “Oromo Refugees in a Sudanese Town”, Journal of Northeast African Studies, 8(2&3), 1996;

 

*Mekuria Bulcha, PhD and Professor of Sociology, is an author of widely read books and articles. His most recent book, Contours of the Emergent and Ancient Oromo Nation, is published by CASAS (Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society), Cape Town, South Africa, in 2011. He was also the founder and publisher of The Oromo Commentary (1990-1999).

 

The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide

(Part Two)

Deportation and Death in the Dhidheessa Concentration Camp

By  Mekuria Bulcha*

Introduction

In the first part of this article, published on this website on June 22, 2014 under the title “The Name of the Abominable Crime is Politicide: The Mass Massacre and Imprisonment of ORA Orphans – Wallaga 1992-93,” I described the humanitarian activities of the Oromo Relief Association (ORA) among Oromo refugees in the Sudan in the 1980s and discussed the repatriation of some 1700 orphans, who were taken care of by the association, to Oromia in 1992. As I mentioned in the article, the initial TPLF onslaughts on the fleeing ORA children and their guardians took about three months. The different sources that I consulted indicated that between 170 and 200 children were hunted down and killed or drowned in flight. In addition, an unknown number of their guardians—as well as inhabitants of the districts through which they passed who helped during their flight—were killed during the onslaught. At the start of the onslaught about 300 children were captured and sent to the Dhidheessa concentration camp.

Deportation, torture, and political indoctrination

As mentioned before, most of the children were either placed in the care of the people or were sent away to look for relatives before their teachers and caretakers scattered to hide or flee back to the Sudan to seek refuge. However, the TPLF search for ORA children continued for more than a year after the initial onslaught came to an end.  Apparently, many of the children who escaped the TPLF-forces’ bullets, and who were not arrested during the onslaught were traced, arrested and sent to jail. One of the survivors H.S. (who lives in a country neighboring with Ethiopia) told me:

I was about eight [years] old when the TPLF attacked us. I fled with the other children and adults in our camp.  After sometime, we smaller children, who were unable to keep pace with the rest in the flight, were given to families in different villages along the route. I was placed with a family in a village called Gaara Arbaa. Two of my shelter mates, Kuusaa and Dingata, were also placed in the neighborhood in the same village. However, after a few weeks, the TPLF found and captured us and took us first to Begi town and then to the Dhidheessa prison camp.

Consequently, the number of the ORA children who ended up in the TPLF jails and died whilst kept captive remains unknown. The limited information I could gather confirms that, generally, the children were treated with cruelty in the concentration camp.  In his letter to ORA (see the first part of the article), Raagaa mentions the names of some of the friends he left behind in the Dhidheessa concentration camp grieving that,

The fate of those children mentioned in this note, many hundreds of them, is that they were accused by the TPLF that they were brought up by the OLF and as such need to go through “re-education programs” of the TPLF. Can anybody imagine the children would fight the EPRDF/TPLF back? The truth is the children did not understand anything about the war.

Concerning the TPLF “re-education program,” another informant has also reported that “frequently the children are asked about their attitude towards the EPRDF” and that their “hands are fettered behind their backs” during the interrogations and that “the children’s skin was cut and wounded around their wrists from the rope” with which they were tied. To change their “political attitude,” the TPLF forced the children to participate in a “political education.” The OLF was demonized and the participants (prisoners) were instructed about the “crimes it had committed” and were made to shout anti-OLF slogans at the top of their voices.

The so-called political education was forced not only on the ORA children who were detained in the Dhidheessa concentration camp but also on the tens of thousands of Oromo prisoners kept in the numerous open and secret prison camps run by the TPLF regime in the early 1990s. One of the prisoners forced to experience the TPLF “political education” was Jamal. He was imprisoned in the Hurso concentration camp, outside of the eastern Oromo city of Dire Dawa. Jamal escaped from Hurso and fled to Djibouti in 1993.In August 1997, whilst in Djibouti, he met the two Swiss journalists Bruna Bossati and Peter Niggli as well as the late Lydia Namarraa of the ORA (UK) and told them about his own experience of the “political education” that was given by the TPLF cadres to Oromo prisoners as follows:

The lessons [were] given by the OPDO [and] were supervised by armed TPLF soldiers. The prisoners were instructed that the OLF was a criminal organization with a misguided anti-democratic program directed against the people. The teachers measured the success of their efforts by the enthusiasm with which their ‘pupils’ shouted slogans such as:  “The OLF kills and slaughters the people” and “We will destroy the OLF.”

Jamal said “Whoever didn’t agree with the slogans was forced to stand up and repeat them at the top of his voice.” Those who showed insufficient enthusiasm were punished. They were beaten. Any resistance, according to Jamal, would have risked death (see Bruna Fossati, Lydia Namarra & Peter Niggli, The New Rulers of Ethiopia and the Persecution of the Oromo Frankfurt am Main: Evangelischer Pressedienst, 1996, Nr. 45e , p. 25). The treatment of the imprisoned ORA orphans followed the same pattern. However, reports indicate that there were those among the ORA children imprisoned in Dhidheessa who resisted the intimidation of the TPLF “political educators,” thus risking their lives. Tarfa Dibaba notes that one of the survivors of the Dhidheessa concentration camp whom he met in Khartoum in 1998 told him about one of the ORA children who was hung upside down during one of the sessions of the TPLF political education and was ordered to tell its other participants to “give up” the idea that “Oromia shall be free.” But the boy was not intimidated into following the order. He refused to tell his prison mates anything nor did he repeat anti-OLF slogans. He paid with his life. He was tortured and left hanging upside down and died in the same position in the evening. According to the same source the boy was about 13 years old. An OPDO-TPLF militia participated in his torture.  Another report (Dhaabaa, January 7, 2014) indicates a boy called Simeesso was also killed in the circumstances similar to the above. The report also mentions the names of two other ORA children, Soreessaa and Asabo, who were tortured for showing similar resistance. It is reported that these two adolescents were separated from the other children and were taken away. Nobody knows what happened thereafter.

When a prisoner is “taken away” by the security agents of the TPLF regime, it can mean two things: either execution or solitary confinement in another section of the prison camp, or transfer to another prison in another part of the country. As noted by a former prisoner, Magarsaa Dame who escaped from a firing squad in March 1995 (see the Amharic Weekly Urjii Newspaper, March 1995), prisoners were taken out of the Dhidheessa concentration camp, executed and their bodies left in the open to be devoured by wild beasts. According to another former inmate (see Schmitt & Taera, “An EPRDF Prison Camp from Inside”, Oromo Commentary IV (1), 1994), the Dhidheessa camp constituted several prisons, some of which were open for inspection by international human rights organizations such as the Red Cross, while others, such as the so-called Korea Sefer, were secret. He said that some of the ORA children were kept in a secret prison “separate from others.” He reported that,

In December 1992, for instance, about 40 children were locked up in a very narrow dark room [and] those kids, who become ill, physically or psychologically, due to the hot climate of the Dhidheessa lowlands and torture, are not given medical treatment (Taera & Schmitt, as above 1994: 25).

According to the same source, the argument of the camp authorities for denying the children medication was that the children were not ill but that their problems were “related to their political attitude towards the EPRDF” (Taera & Schmitt, as above 1994: 25). “Political attitude” stands here for affiliation with the OLF and animosity toward the EPRDF (TPLF).

In the “Korea Sefer” and the other sections of the camp, untreated wounds caused by torture inflicted by the TPLF thugs and their OPDO prisoners of war, thirst and hunger, and above all, contagious diseases which flourished in the overcrowded filthy prison rooms, also caused the death of many prisoners. In the interview he gave in 1993, a former prisoner from Dhidheessa (as above Taera and Schmitt 1994: 25) explained,

In the so-called Korea Sefer section of concentration camp where the ORA children were kept, the prisoners are not allowed to go out to urinate, they do not get water to drink and are not allowed to wash themselves and their clothing. They are not allowed to go out to get fresh air. On a very narrow space many people are locked up with almost no possibility to move, heavily guarded from outside. As the consequence of the abhorrent sanitary conditions that prevailed in the concentration camp there were cases of typhoid fever. Since there are few facilities for washing, many prisoners are also suffering from lice.

However, there is no information whether the two boys mentioned above were taken to a firing squad or to another prison within or outside of the Dhidheessa concentration camp. Describing (in his letter mentioned in the first part of this article) the barbarisms to which he was exposed in the Dhidheessa concentration camp, Raagaa wrote:

I escaped from one oppressor and fell into the hands of another oppressorWhen one oppressor is replaced by another oppressor life begins to be miserable. To adjust oneself from an Amhara military oppressor [the Dergue] to a crueler regime of a Tigre oppressor is not an easy case.

Obviously it was not. It is impossible to expect human being to adjust to the cruel treatment which the ORA children received in the hands of the agents of the current regime. As Raagaa’s description of the prison conditions suggests, it is plausible to assume that many of them might have not survived imprisonment in Dhidheessa.

Many have pains in their hearts and their feelings …
Some died like insects”

The words in the sub-title, above, are from Raagaa’s letter. The horrendous atrocities which, according Raagaa and the other sources cited here, the ORA children and apparently Oromo prisoners in general were made to endure in the Dhidheessa prison camp, are painful even to imagine. However, no information is available about the exact number of those who died from diseases, hunger and torture in the filthy concentration camp. Malaria, in particular, seems to have taken its toll.In the letter, Raagaa expressed the inhumanity he saw and the pains he felt as follows:

Those of us who were detained were between 10 and 16 years of age. Many of us became ill from malaria and lack of food. Many of us were sick from diseases that affect children. Many have pains in their hearts and in their feelings. The worst sight which I will not forget is when the kids got sick from malaria and became crazy and talked nonsense. When their condition became serious their hands and legs were tied and they were made to lie on bare ground to keep them silent. During these hours nobody attended them and gave them medicine. Some died like insects. I do not know how many. I can only remember few of the names of the children I stayed all those days, weeks and months. I and these children have nothing to do with the political and military problems [of the TPLF and OLF]…. How can they do such things to children? Nobody can imagine this (Translated from Afaan Oromoo by Tarfa Dibaba. Emphasis mine)

Phrases such the “children became insane,” “have pain in their hearts” and “died like insects” indicate the excruciating pain felt and the unspeakable suffering the children experienced in the prison camp. Raagaa mentions with grief Maritu (female), Waanca (female), Burqaa Nagaasaa (male), Guutuu Injigu (male), Iddoosaa Ammayuu (male), Saloome Abdiisa (female), Galaanee Taariku (female), Aster (female), Almash (female) and Mitiku Abdallah (male) as some of the many former friends and playmates he left behind in the Dhidheessa concentration camp in the conditions described above. The camps in which the TPLF regime incarcerated tens of thousands of Oromos, irrespective age, were death camps. According to Susan Pollock (see “Ethiopia: A Tragedy in the Making”, Oromo Commentary, Vol. VI, no.1, 1996), 3000 men, women and children had died in four of the TPLF regime’s concentration camps from malaria, diseases and lack of food.  Dhidheessa was one of these camps. A former prisoner from the Dhidheessa concentration camp has described the conditions that resulted in the death of inmates in the following words.

Many prisoners had lost their lives or become mentally ill as a consequence of illness or maltreatment in the camp. Extremely bad is the situation of the OLF fighters who were disabled in the fight against the Dergue and in the conflict with the EPRDF. Among them, there are many who are blind, and some have lost their arms and legs. They are not offered any support although they are in the most terrible conditions in the camp since they are not able to wash themselves or their clothes or to go to the latrine without help of others. They suffer from unimaginable dirt and lice. (Taera & Schmitt, 1994: 25)

The horrific maltreatment described above was not limited to the inmates of the Dhidheessa prison. Similar conditions prevailed in the many hidden and official concentration camps which had been erected all over the Oromo country by the TPLF in 1992 and after.

Rape crime against imprisoned children

In an article published on Gadaa.com on May 28, 2013 I described that rape has been one of the dehumanizing torture-methods that are routinely used against Oromo detainees in the TPLF-run prisons in Oromia. The Dhidheessa concentration camp was no exception. One of my informants, Dhaabaa (December 4, 2013), gives the names of 10 of the ORA female children (the names are withheld here) who became pregnant in Dhidheessa prison after being raped by TPLF prison guards.  These, it seems, were only some among the many children who were exposed to this outrageous crime in prison. According to the same source, the father of one of the girls (name withheld) committed suicide on hearing that his child had been raped by guards in the concentration camp.The sources also indicate that some of the adolescent girls were forced to marry TPLF soldiers.

“Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra?”

As indicated above, nobody knew what exactly had happened to the ORA children and their guardians once they were back in their homeland. Therefore the story described in this article is sad news to everyone who knew them or was involved in helping them.  The inquiry “Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra and the others?” which was raised by the teachers and pupils of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule of city of Springe in Germany in their letter reproduced below was not answered. They were the only people who tried to find out what had happened to the children after they returned to their homeland in the spring months of 1992. They appealed to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, the German Commission for UNESCO and the UNCHR Branch Office for Germany, to speak for and protect the ORA children. The following is the content of their letter addressed to Dr. Claus Kinkel the German Minister of Foreign Affairs dated November 2, 1992.  I have reproduced its content unabridged in order to give the reader a grasp of the concern of the letter writers and the relations that existed between them the children in question.

Dear Dr. Kinkel,

We are deeply concerned about the fate of 1,600 Oromo orphans in Kobor near Begi in West-Wollega/Ethiopia. We have not received any information from the children’s camp there since July of this year, when Ethiopian government troops marched into West Wollega and also Begi. The ‘Oromo Relief Association’ (ORA) in Addis Ababa, which has been looking after and feeding these children for many years, was unable to establish contact to the camp.

In February 1985, our school organised an African Day with the Ethiopian teacher Terfa Dibaba. In this context we got to know about the starvation and civil war in his homeland and about the work of the indigenous refugee relief organisation ‘Oromo Relief Association’ (ORA). Since that time our school has continuously traced the work of ORA for parentless refugee children. We received oral and written reports and photographs regarding the opening of the refugee settlement in Yabus/Sudan, the opening of the children’s camp in Damazin/Sudan in early 1988, the day-to-day, medical and educational care for the orphans by the devoted and unpaid work of the ORA staff. The pupils, their parents and the teaching staff of our school have organised relief shipments with clothing, school material, toys, sports equipment and musical instruments since 1988.

The number of children in Damazin was increasing, and therefore, ORA opened another camp in Bikore/Sudan in 1990. The last time we received photographs, a letter and some children’s drawings was in August 1991. Duula Tafarra, a 12-year-old boy, closed his letter with the words: “Nagaa nu hundaaf haa tahuGARA JERMANII“. It means “To Germany: Peace be with us all” (emphasis mine).

In spring 1992 the children from Damazin and Bikore could return to their homeland Ethiopia. Our last relief shipment included, amongst other things, 200 notebooks, into which our pupils wrote – in view of the return: “I wish you peace and a good future in your homeland.” “Yeroo biyyakeetti galtu, nagaa fi hegeree gaarii akka argattun siifi hawwa.

In the meantime, we have received information about several incidents of brutal attacks by Ethiopian government troops (EPRDF) against the Oromo population. The election observers, who were assigned to the regional elections in the Oromo regions of Ethiopia by your Ministry in June this year [1992], told us that they had been asked by the parents of arrested children [not ORA’s] to speak up for their release. Now we heard that in July minors from the ORA camp in Kobor have been arrested [also] and deported to the EPRDF camp in Didessa. Is this information correct? Are they 250, as we heard, or are they more?

We appeal to you to do all you can to shed light upon the fate of the more than 1,600 children from the ORA camp in Kobor. Where are Sagantaa Useen, Tolina Waaqjiraa and Duulaa Tafarra and all the others? Please take action to protect these children. Please try to arrange for the 1,600 Oromo orphans to be returned to the care of their previous guardians and teachers and make sure they can be supplied by the relief organisation ORA as before.

Yours faithfully

For the teaching staff of the Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule: J. Brennecke, Headmaster, and [14 signatures of teachers], Representing the pupils of the Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule [5 Signatures]

(The letter is translated from German by Kathrin Taera, November, 2013)

Duulaa and his group returned to Oromia in May 1992 and their camp was attacked in June that year. He wrote the letter (below) on behalf of the ORA children in Damazin.

Date 13-7-1991

From the [ORA] School in Damazin,

To pupils [of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule, Springe) in Germany,

First of all we send you our greetings. How are you? We are well. We who are greeting you are the Oromo children at the school in Damazin. We will like to inform you that we have received the gifts such as balls and other sport materials you sent us and that we are using them. We are happy with the gifts and thank for your generosity. [We] the Oromo children who fled from [our] country and are in Damazin in the Sudan are given the opportunity to learn [and we are happy about that]

We urge you to write to us. He who wrote this letter is Duulaa Tafara. He is in grade five and is 12 years old. May peace be with all of us!

(The letter is translated from Afaan Oromoo by the author)[1]

Regrettably, Duulaa and his friends were deprived not only the peace which he wished for all, but also of the right to life. As I have mentioned in the first part of this article, Duula and his two school (camp) mates mentioned in the letter by the pupils and teachers of Heinrich-Gobel-Realschule, were among the victims of the TPLF assault on the ORA orphans. Tolina Waaqjiraa was killed on the first day when the TPLF forces opened fire on their camp in June 1992. Duula Tafarra and Saganta Usen were killed by the same force in the Carphaa forest where they took shelter with other children after their camp was attacked (Dhaabaa, December 9, 2013).

Notwithstanding the praiseworthy efforts of the pupils and teachers of the Heinrich-Goebel-Realschule, it seems that, neither the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor the officials of the two UN organizations who had received their appeal letters, took the initiative to confront either the late Mr. Meles Zenawi or his regime to find out the whereabouts of the ORA children in 1992 or after. It is unlikely, therefore, that the authors of the letter were informed about what had happened to the children. To my knowledge, this article is, regrettably, the first response to the enquiries they raised twenty-two years ago.

ora-kidsPhoto  (Left) This photo is said to be that of Duula Tafarra, Saganta Usen, and Tolina Waaqjiraa. The person (Dhaabaa) who sent it me did not identify who is who in the photo. The only thing he said he knew is that the photo is that of the three boys taken together. I have included the picture here hoping that someone who knew them can help us to identify them.

The case of Duula, Saganta and Tolina reflects not only the fate of many of the ORA children, but also of the numerous other unnamed Oromo children who perished inside and outside the TPLF regime’s concentration camps during the last two decades.

 

A case of politicide

The sources indicate that the ORA children were very conscious of their identity and were, above all, eager to repatriate and live in their homeland in peace. An Oromo scholar who knew the ORA children in the Sudan (mail communication with Asafa Dibaba, July 4, 2014) wrote,

I lived in Damazin two and half decades ago and together with Nagaasaa [killed in 1992 in a battle with the TPLF] I used to visit the children in Bikoree from time to time. The children were, as far as I remember, between 7 and 15 years and most of them had passed the Gammee age group (0 to 8 years). Their knowledge of Oromo history and culture was beyond expectation. Their knowledge of makmaaksa (folktales), riddles hibboo (riddles) and the flora and fauna of Oromia was also remarkable. The children narrated their family histories and genealogy as if they were growing up in family homes with their parents and grandparents. Although their education was based on a curriculum that followed by schools in Ethiopia, it reflected the cultural and education programs laid down by the OLF. They used to tell me that their hope was to return to an independent and Oromia to grow up and serve their people (freely translated from Afaan Oromoo by the author).

Once they started an open war with the OLF, the TPLF leaders did not want to leave the ORA children in peace. The fact that the said children were brought up by an organization which was associated with the OLF was enough for the TPLF to see them as potential enemies and persecute them. Its argument about “political education” mentioned above indicates that the ORA children were seen as “carriers” of Oromo nationalism, a “problem” which the TPLF leaders associate with the OLF. In his letter to ORA mentioned above Raagaa noted,

We [the ORA children] were accused by the TPLF of being brought up and educated by the OLF. Can anybody imagine the children would fight the EPRDF/TPLF back? The truth is the children did not understand anything about the war.

The three-month long pursuit of the fleeing children by the TPLF troops in the summer of 1992 and the search for children who were entrusted to the local households in western Wallaga by their guardians indicates that the children were, as indicated above, seen as bearers of the seeds of Oromo nationalism and the OLF aspiration of establishing an independent state. Therefore, I will argue that the TPLF believed that their best course of action was to exorcise the ideas and inspirations with which they believed the Oromo children were imbued (through their association with the OLF) before these spread among the Oromo youth at large.The so-called political education was, for example,to brainwash and make them subjects loyal to the TPLF-led regime. Those who were resistant to the process were eliminated physically.

In general, the intention behind the atrocious massacre committed by the TPLF-led regime against the ORA children and the murderous crackdowns which it has been conducting currently against Oromo high school, college and university students during the last fifteen years can been seen as a policy of politicide with the aim of nipping Oromo nationalism in the bud. As the comments which were repeatedly made on many occasions by the late Meles Zenawi reflected, the TPLF saw in any and every socially and politically conscious Oromo, a potential member or sympathizer of the OLF. It is common knowledge that tens of thousands of Oromos who were labelled as such have been in one way or another victimized by the TPLF-led regime. Therefore, its criminal actions against the ORA orphans in the 1990s and against Oromo students during the last fifteen years are hardly surprising.

Children labelled “terrorists” and killed by the TPLF

Associating and killing of Oromo children by the TPLF-led regime did not stop with the assault on the ORA orphans in western Oromia. Many Oromo children were detained and killed in other places for the same reasons. The Oromia Support Group (OSG Press Release No. 13, 1996) notes that in 1996 the government forces killed Usen Kaallu, aged 12, Badiri Shaza, also aged 12, Awal Saani, aged 13 and Awal Idire, aged 16 years old in Tukaana village near the town of Gasera in Bale in the southeast. Their “crime” was tattooing the initials “ABO” (the Oromo version of OLF) on their hands. It seems that, not knowing the consequences, schoolchildren have been tattooing the initials on their bodies or embroidering them on their capsand clothes in many places throughout the Oromo country. The same report indicates, for example, that seven other children between the ages of 12 and 14 years of age were imprisoned, accused of committing similar “crimes” in the nearby Dabool village at the same time. The report gives their names and ages as Muyidin Haj Useen (14), Kaliil Useen (13), Eliyas Haj Abdo (12), Idris Aman (13), Qadiro Useen (12) and Shitta Usman (12). However, the report does not indicate how long they were imprisoned nor any details about what had happened to them in prison or afterwards.

After the al Qaida 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, the TPLF-regime changed the characterization of its “Oromo enemies,” including schoolchildren was changed from members or supporters of the “OLF” to “terrorists.” The Human Rights Watch (HRW, 2005) wrote that “In early 2004, police in Dembi Dollo, arrested a twelve-year-old schoolboy and imprisoned him after discovering that he had tattooed ‘ABO’, the Afaan Oromoo acronym for ‘OLF’, onto his hand.” His father told HRW that

They [the police] said he was a terrorist.  They said he was a supporter of the OLF.  The child’s family petitioned the local authorities and secured his release after two weeks of detention, but the police continued to follow and harass the boy until the family was forced to send him to live with relatives in Addis Ababa.

The HRW notes that between 2001 and 2005, “At least twenty other children under the age of fifteen have been imprisoned for similar reasons in Dembi Dollo alone” (emphasis mine). Furthermore, a relative of a boy who was arrested in 2003 told a HRW reporter, “I had an eleven-year old relative who wrote ‘ABO’ on the blackboard at school. He was dragged off to the police station and imprisoned there.  They released him after several days because there was “too much noise about it” from the local people who were affronted by the imprisonment of an 11-year-old child.  However, the HWR writes that the “child also experienced problems with the police after his release and eventually left [home] to live with relatives in Canada.” The TPLF regime did not see the 11 year old boy as a child but as an enemy—a terrorist and a supporter of the OLF.

There are international conventions signed by the UN member-states to prevent genocide and other crimes against humanity of which the 1948 Human Rights Convention was the first. Regrettably, however, the conventions did not end the evil which was the cause for the origins of the convention—the evil which is epitomized by the acts of Adolf Hitler and his cronies.As mentioned in the first part of this article, the telling metaphor “hunted like kurupé” (used by Oromo peasants to describe the predicament of the fleeing children they had witnessed) reveals not only the physical movement called forth by the existential instinct to escape from life-threatening danger, but also the horror and angst the children felt as a consequence of the unconcealed vicious intentions of the armed units who were chasing them from one district to another, shooting at them and wounding or killing them. Notwithstanding the size of the affected population, the cruelty reflected in the assault on the ORA children brings to mind the evil deeds of the Nazis against Jews, and in particular, incidents which Serge Klarsfeld (2010) describes in his book French Children of the Holocaust—a Memorial concerning deportation to death camps. In his descriptions of some of the incidents, Klarsfeld reveals how Jewish children who attempted to escape deportation were callously shot down by the Gestapo as though they were not human beings. Even the TPLF action against the local peasants who helped the fleeing ORA children and their guardians was reminiscent of what Nazi thugs did to those who tried to rescue the European Jews and their children from deportation to the concentration camps. The nature of the evil, the intent to harm their victims with impunity which underpinned the actions of the TPLF forces, reflects a shocking similarity with the murderous behavior of the Nazi criminals. Nothing is as evil as treating human-beings as wild game as the TPLF forces did to the ORA children.

Disturbing silence over crimes against humanity

As noted by the famous physicist Albert Einstein “The world is too dangerous to live in – not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who stand by and let them” (cited in S. Bruchfeld & P. Levine, Tell Ye Your Children: A Book about the Holocaust in Europe 1933-1945, Revised Edition, 2012, p. 14).

It would not be an exaggeration to construe that today the world has become too dangerous for the Oromo to live in.  Whether it is at war or at “peace” with the Oromo and the other oppressed peoples in Ethiopia, the TPLF regime has been committing crimes against them and “against humanity” during the last twenty-three years.

A crime against humanity targets a given group and is carried out as a “widespread and systematic” violation of their human rights. By definition, crime against humanity differs from war crime in that it occurs not only in the context of war, but also in times of peace. Under international law, examples of war crimes include, among others, the persecution and deportation of the civilian population of an occupied territory, and the murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war. (See for example Gary Solis,The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War (2010: 301: 3). By and large, all the crimes mentioned here have been committed against the Oromo children. The crimes which were committed against Oromo prisoners in general (see my articles from May 28 and July 31 in Gadaa.comor Ayyaantuu.com) are acts that appear in the definition of crimes against humanity in the ICC Statute of 1998 and in other international conventions on human rights. In short, one can say that the characteristic elements of war crime and crime against humanity overlap clearly in the persecution of the Oromo children by the TPLF. A war situation prevailed between the OLF and the TPLF forces when the children were attacked and killed. The children were unarmed and non-combatants. However, the TPLF forces chased and killed or captured the children with the intention of harming them. The TPLF associated the children with the OLF and attacked, captured and incarcerated hundreds of them in a concentration camp. Many of them were denied the right to life. The ORA, an internationally known and supported humanitarian organization, was banned, and its properties were confiscated. The foundation it had laid for the physical and intellectual development of the orphans was destroyed.  Consequently, as I will describe in the third and last part of this article later, the life chances of those who survived the assault and imprisonment were shattered.

Regrettably, there is an ominous silence, not only over the less known massacre of the ORA children described in this and the first part of this article, but also on the many well recorded crimes committed by the TPLF-led regime against humanity during the last two decades. In August 1943, Fl. Hällzon, editor of the Swedish newspaper Hemmets Vän, frustrated by the continued silence over the holocaust, wrote that

The mass graves of Jews cry out to the world; yes, they scream, and the screams pierce the skies up to God in Heaven. Woe betide Germany and those responsible when the bloody crops are harvested. Woe betide the world, which through its sins has participated in this blood-soaked crime being committed in our days (F. Hällson, Hemmets Vän, August 1943, cited in Bruchfeld & Levine, as above, 2012: 60).

Implicit in Hällson’s frustration was that the silence over the Holocaust was not because of lack of information, but his country’s lack of the will to save the Jews. As reflected in the heroic deeds of Raul Wallenberg between July and December 1944, the Swedes finally acted to save the Jews, but it was too late. By then millions of Jews had been killed. The Nazis were defeated by the allied forces in 1945 and the leading holocaust criminals were also brought to justice.

Whether it could have been possible for the international community to intervene and save more Jews before 1944-45 or not remains a controversial issue. However, the type of problems that could have hindered international intervention against the Nazi onslaught on the European Jews do not exist today. The UN was established to end human rights violations. The purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the UN member states signed is to safeguard the right of every human being to life, liberty and security of person. Therefore, the silence of the international organizations over the atrocities committed against the Oromo is as frustrating— if not more so—than that over the fate of the Jews in the early 1940s. I am not saying that the Oromo are being killed on the same scale or at the same speed as the Jews were in the 1940s, but that the plight and fate of the tens of thousands Oromos who were incarcerated in the prison camps bear similarities with that of the millions of Jews who perished in the Nazi concentration camps. The congestion, the lice and the rats, the filth and diseases, the dearth of medical care and the lack of food and water which the Oromo prisoners (including the ORA children) suffered and died of in the outrageous concentration camps run by the TPLF regime bear striking similarities with the conditions associated with the Nazi concentration camps. As the recent excavation by a Turkish construction firm near a previous site of the TPLF concentration camp Hamaressa revealed, mass graves of Oromo victims bear signs of the crimes committed by the present regime. As it was with the Jews in the 1930s and 40s, the Oromo are being persecuted today because of their ethnic identity. The policy of the TPLF regime regarding the Oromo reflects elements of the Nazi policy of destroying a group based on race or nationality. The difference is that the Nazis believed they would solve what they called the Jew problem with the annihilation of the entire population of European Jews while the TPLF leaders intend to solve the Oromo “problem” with elimination of the politically conscious class of the Oromo population. Hitler’s policy was to rule a Europe “free” from Jews. He conducted genocide. The TPLF policy is to destroy current and future Oromo leaders and to become the rulers of the Oromo people. They have been committing politicide. As stated in the Hizbaawi Adera (The People’s Trust), the official quarterly of the ruling party TPLF/EPRDF, their policy is to eliminate Oromo intellectuals and businessmen who are labelled as the “enemy of Revolutionary Democracy.” They argued,

Higher echelon intellectuals and big business people are narrow-minded. Their aspiration is to become a ruling class only to serve their own self-interests. They are so greedy that they want to “eat” alone. As they are desperate, they can be violent. … Unless the narrow nationalists are eliminated, democracy and development cannot be achieved in Ethiopia (see Hizbaawi Adera, Vol. 4, no. 7, 1996, emphasis mine)

Tens of thousands of Oromo intellectuals, journalists, teachers, students, businessmen and their families have been the victims of this policy. One may argue that the crime against the ORA children was committed in a remote part of the country and was unknown. But, in general, the silence over the crimes committed against the Oromo was not due to lack of information. There are numerous, reliable reports by local and international human rights organizations such as the Human RightsLeague of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA), the Oromia Support Group (OSG), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI) which indicate that the TPLF leaders and their security forces have been serial abusers during the last twenty-three years. The crimes which have been committed against the Oromo were systematically conducted and widespread. In other words, we are not talking about sporadic cases of rape, rare cases of mass killings, or occasional disappearances of few individuals, but crimes that have been consistently committed all over the Oromo country for more than two decades. The extra-judicial killings which the TPLF forces carried out in Oromia have involved not just a few men and women, but thousands of individuals. They have been the outcomes of an official policy which has been systematically implemented to terrorize and subjugate the entire Oromo nation of more than thirty-five million members.

Concluding remarks

The atrocities described in this article constitute what the international human rights statutes define both as war crimes and as crimes against humanity. Yet the international organizations and governments of democratic states have continued to conduct business with the TPLF-led regime as usual. I will say more on the role of bystanders regarding the violation of human rights by the TPLF-led regime in the third part of this article. It suffices to note here that, in general, the international organizations’ silence over the crimes committed by the Ethiopian regime is alarming. It is alarming because it makes the UN and its conventions irrelevant in the eyes of millions of people. It is important to note that the silence over the April-May 2014 massacre of Oromo students is particularly shocking to many observers, particularly among the Oromo. This is particularly so because the students were killed while participating in peaceful demonstrations to oppose the government plan to expand the city of Finfinnee (the indigenous Oromo name of Addis Ababa) thereby forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of Oromo families. In addition, Finfinnee, which serves as the capital city of both Oromia and of the Federal state of Ethiopia, is also the diplomatic headquarters of the continent of Africa. The headquarters of the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the embassies of UN member states, and the headquarters of the African Union (AU) are located in the city. Given the proximity of the “place of crime” to the seats of the representatives of international organization and states, the total silence over the atrocities committed by the Ethiopian regime is both astonishing and offensive to many people worldwide. Regrettably, the Oromo predicament is being repeatedly ignored by the entire diplomatic community their city is hosting.

By and large, the situation created by the recent mass massacre and widespread persecution of Oromo students has led to a new development in current Oromo affairs. The incident has made it clear to every Oromo that the survival of his/her community is under serious threat. This new insight has brought Oromos together everywhere to protest against the anti-Oromo policies of the Ethiopian government. This is a positive sign. It is also encouraging to witness that in some places like Minneapolis in US and in Canberra in Australia, Oromo communities have been able to solicit the support of important politicians and national political institutions to voice their protests against human rights violations in Oromia. These international responses will help considerably and should be stepped up and continued. However, it is not enough by itself to solve the Oromo problem or remove the regime from power. It is a deadly illusion to expect that foreign pressure would bring down the TPLF-led regime. We know that there is no interest among the great powers to do that. The Oromo themselves must do that. Therefore, there is the need for a strong Oromo organization that can strengthen the Oromo struggle for freedom at all levels, both at home and abroad, to ensure the survival of the nation. Needless to say, the recent reunification of the two OLF factions can be seen as a promising development in this regard and it is expected that other Oromo organizations will follow suit.

________________

[1] My gratitude is to the long-time Chairperson of the German ORA Support Committee to Rüdiger Jentsch and Obbo Shorroo Gemechu for sending me copies of this and other documents regarding the ORA children).

 

*Mekuria Bulcha, PhD and Professor of Sociology, is an author of widely read books and articles. His most recent book, Contours of the Emergent and Ancient Oromo Nation, is published by CASAS (Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society), Cape Town, South Africa, in 2011. He was also the founder and publisher of The Oromo Commentary (1990-1999).

Read @http://ayyaantuu.com/articles/deportation-and-death-in-the-dhidheessa-concentration-camp/

 

How not to make a master plan June 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Amane Badhaso, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Finfinnee n Kan Oromoo ti, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Language and Development, Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, Nimoonaa Tilahun, No to land grabs in Oromia, No to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Ogaden, OMN, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Protests, Oromo Protests in Ambo, Oromo students movement, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromo University students and their national demands, Poverty, Say no to the expansions of Addis Ababa, Sidama, State of Oromia, Stop evicting Oromo people from Cities, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The extents and dimensions of poverty in Ethiopia, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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‘The master plan is the master killer.’- #OromoProtests

HOW NOT TO MAKE A MASTER PLAN

By Ezana Haddis, Special to Addis Standard
In mid-2012 theAddisAbeba City Administration (AACA) has organized a project office called “Addis Ababa City Planning Project Office” and tasked it to prepare a city development plan that it claimed would work for the coming ten years. In the middle of the process, however, the Project Office was givenanadditional mandate of preparing a plan that instead should suit a metropolitan level. It was then that the project expanded its planning boundary toincludethe whole surrounding area ofAddisAbeba – covering as far as 40 to 100 kilometers in an area as big as 1.1 million hectares of land. As these surroundings belong toandare administered by the Oromia National Regional State (ONRS) a supervisory body from theregionwas established to oversee the activities of the project office. It comprised big namesincludingAbdulaziz Mohammed, deputy president oftheONRS andAsterMamo, deputy prime minister in the governance and reform cluster.The Project Office had also brought on board people from the Oromia Urban Planning Institute.Many of the Oromia regional state senior officials were enthusiastic about the idea of organizing a joint metropolitan plan and the project office was re-named ‘Addis Abeba and the Surrounding Oromia Special Zone Integrated Development Plan Project Office’.One of the achievements of Abbaaduula Gammadaa’s tenure as president of ONRS was the amalgamation in 2008 of Addis Abeba/Finfinne surrounding districts and municipalities into a single Special Zone found within 30 kilometers radius of the city of Addis Abeba. Immediately after the establishment of the Special Zone, ONRS commissioned a Regional Plan that was finalized in 2010. The Oromia regional state officials had offered this regional plan to be incorporated with the proposed metropolitan plan commissioned by the AACA.

What went wrong, where and when?

The grand plan that was warmly welcomed by ONRS senior officials failed to attract the same reception from the lower and mid-level political leadership of the Special Zone as well as local governments within the zone. Most of them were skeptical and some viewed it as an effort to annex the Special Zone of Oromia into Addis Abeba. There were few incidents where Oromia regional state officials refused to cooperate with the Project Office in making information necessary for the planning process easily accessible.

The Project Office, too, has done little to establish trust among the Special Zone and ONRS mid and lower level officials. Trust between the two had reached rock-bottom when the Project Office developed what it said was a spatial plan without involving mayors of the municipalities as well as other officials in the metropolitan area and relevant regional and Special Zone officials. In June 2013 the Project Office unveiled a readymade draft metropolitan plan in Adama town, 100km east of Addis Abeba and the capital of the ONRS, that determined, among others, the locations of waste treatment, landfill sites, industrial zones, and transportation corridors. Once again the draft metropolitan plan was welcomed by the top Oromia regional state leadership; but it left the rank and file officials disgruntled. Most of them considered it (perhaps rightly) as a violation of their autonomy. However, since the top leadership has given the grand plan its blessings the Project Office went ahead with it. Things went vividly out of control during a meeting between officials of the Oromia regional state and the Addis Abeba city administration representatives held in Adama town on March 26 and April 12-13.The questions raised in these meetings revealed that the Project Office has failed to build trust on the motive of the Master Plan let alone actively involve the ONRS officials in the planning process.

How not to make a Master Plan

What happened with the preparation of this master plan was an approach that gave strategic  planning and political inclusiveness a zero chance. Five fundamental problems highlight the plan.

First, this master planning approach viewed planning as a mere technocratic process and the planner as the chief architect of the spatial area that comes up with a readymade blueprint that everyone is expected to accept.

Strategic spatial planning is as much of a political process as it is professional; it requires the active involvement of political leadership, major urban or regional actors-including the private sector, community organizations and civil society groups. In addition, the planner’s role should mainly be as a facilitator and a negotiator among the diverse actors who have conflicting (and competing) interests.

There was groundbreaking effort to shift urban planning culture to a more strategic and inclusive approach in the 2002-12 City Development Plan of Addis Abeba. In the two year planning process, for example, over 150 workshops and consultative meetings with a wide range of stakeholders, including a city exhibition and public forum, were organized. That is something the current master plan project lacked; it has organized not more than nine consultative workshops.

A grand plan such as this need to be owned as much by politicians and their constituency as by professional urban planners. The only way to do this is if the authorities and the public were involved actively in the planning process.  Nevertheless, the Project Office single-handedly decided where to locate the waste treatment, the land fill site or the industrial zone with no formal consent from the respective local government officials who are supposedly the elected representatives of the constituencies in the areas affected by the plan. It was a planning process that gave way to the infamous planning syndrome known as Not in My Backyard (NIMBY). When a planner decides to put a waste treatment in one district, the least s/he needs to do is negotiate with the respective district authorities on how to mitigate the negative externalities. With the new master plan, nothing of this happened, compromising the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of the Oromia regional state and the Special Zone to make decisions that affect their constituency.

Second, it failed to secure the legitimacy for joint planning. The reason for the suspicion by many low and middle level officials of the ONRS is twofold. The first one is metropolitan planning in Ethiopia is unheard of and Addis Abeba’s administrative boundary has been expanding for the last century, in which the latest one has more than doubled its jurisdiction in 1994. It is, therefore, totally understandable if ONRS officials and concerned citizens fear the encroachment of the Special Zone by the capital city. The second reason is the project office kept most of the process secrete.

Third, amalgamation of municipalities into one gargantuan metropolitan government has lost credence since the late 1980s and new forms of metropolitan cooperation are promoted in lieu of annexation. However, the project office failed in clarifying its intention and mobilizing support from the Oromia region officials and other stakeholders due to its closed door planning process.

Fourth, and the major limitation of the process is the composition of the planning office. As it was mentioned above the project office was initially commissioned by AACA to prepare a city development plan for Addis Abeba. The same planning team was tasked to develop a metropolitan plan with the exception of the recruitment of a handful of former Oromia Urban Planning Institute staff. Less than 10 planners from close to 80 technical staff of the project office cannot ensure Oromia’s interest, the largest and most populous region of the country, in the metropolitan plan. The majorities of the planning team members are born in Addis Abeba or have lived in the city for long or were former staff members of the Addis Abeba city administration, which makes them perfect candidates for sentimental compromise against the interests of the Oromia region.

And finally, the top leadership of ONRS welcomed the draft metropolitan plan regardless of opposition from their subordinates as well as the wider public. The stubbornness of the ruling party, which is seen in other policy arena, was also visible in this planning process. The government, rather than accommodating the reservation of various individuals and groups on the plan or on its motive, chose to label those who complained against the plan as working for the so-called obscure “anti-peace agents”. This was the major reason that led to the widespread protest in many Universities and several towns in Oromia, which claimed the lives of eleven people by the account of the government (other sources put the death as high as 49) and resulted in countless property damages. (Please see A new master plan:Complicated-turned-deadly).

he way out

Many people may believe it may be already too late. But there are things one can do to reverse courses. The first step is to establish a taskforce, which comprises ONRS officials, Special Zone officials, Mayors of the eight municipalities of the Special zone together with the Regional Urban Planning Institute planners or commissioned consultants, to review the draft metropolitan and suggest recommendations that ensure Oromia’s interest. This taskforce in turn needs to consult with the civil society, the private sector, opposition party members, residents of the Special zone, University students and other concerned bodies in its reviewing process. The second and perhaps the most important one, is clarifying the provisions of Art. 49(5) of the country’s constitution by a federal proclamation before signing the metropolitan plan into a law; the metropolitan plan need to be used as an instrument to materialize the constitutional provision of the country. Third, and most sensitive, should be bringing before justice those who ordered the killings of the students who were protesting against the plan as well as those who executed the orders.

Oromia:Ethiopia crackdown on student protests taints higher education success May 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aid to Africa, Corruption, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Finfinnee n Kan Oromoo ti, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, No to the Addis Ababa Master Plan, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromian Voices, Oromians Protests, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Protests, Oromo Protests in Ambo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromo University students and their national demands, Say no to the expansions of Addis Ababa, State of Oromia, Stop evicting Oromo people from Cities, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny.
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The Guardian

Any system which crushes its brightest should not be considered a success….The Ethiopian government likes to trumpet its higher education system to its western aid backers as a crowning success of its development policy. As billions in foreign aid are spent annually on Ethiopia, the west must be more cognisant of the fact that this money helps reinforce a government which cuts down those who dare to speak out against it.

Ethiopia crackdown on student protests taints higher education success

Western backers of the Ethiopian education system should not ignore reports of violent clashes on university campuses
MDG : Ethiopi : Student protest in Ambo

Oromia, Ethiopia, where at least three dozen people were reportedly shot dead by security forces during student protests

Over the past 15 years, Ethiopia has become home to one of the world’s fastest-growing higher education systems. Increasing the number of graduates in the country is a key component of the government’s industrialisation strategy and part of its ambitious plan to become a middle-income country by 2025. Since the 1990s, when there were just two public universities, almost 30 new institutions have sprung up.

 

On the face of it, this is good news for ordinary Ethiopians. But dig a little deeper and tales abound of students required to join one of the three government parties, with reports of restricted curricula, classroom spies and crackdowns on student protests commonplace at universities.The Ethiopian government likes to trumpet its higher education system to its western aid backers as a crowning success of its development policy. As billions in foreign aid are spent annually on Ethiopia, the west must be more cognisant of the fact that this money helps reinforce a government which cuts down those who dare to speak out against it.

 

Nowhere has this been more evident than in Ambo in Oromia state. On 25 April, protests against government plans to bring parts the town under the administrative jurisdiction of the capital, Addis Ababa, began at Ambo University. By the following Tuesday, as protests spread to the town and other areas of Oromia, dozens of demonstrators had been killed in clashes with government forces, according to witnesses.

 

As Ethiopia experiences rapid economic expansion, its government plans to grow the capital out rather than up, and this involves annexing parts of the surrounding Oromia state. An official communique from the government absolved it of all responsibility for the clashes, claiming that just eight people had been killed and alleging that the violence had been coordinated by a few rogue anti-peace forces. The government maintains that it is attempting to extend Addis Ababa’s services to Oromia through its expansion of the city limits.

 

However, Oromia opposition figures tell a different story. On 2 May, the nationalist organisation the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) issued a press release that condemned the “barbaric and egregious killing of innocent Oromo university students who have peacefully demanded the regime to halt the displacement of Oromo farmers from their ancestral land, and the inclusion of Oromo cities and surrounding localities under Finfinnee [Addis Ababa] administration under the pretext of development”. The Addis Ababa regime dismisses the OLA as a terrorist organisation.

 

While news of the killing of unarmed protesters has caused great concern among many Ethiopians, there has been little coverage overseas. The government maintains strict control over the domestic media; indeed, it frequently ranks as one of the world’s chief jailers of journalists, and it is not easy to come by independent reporting of events in the country.

 

Nevertheless, the government’s communique does run contrary to reports by the few international media that did cover the attacks in Ambo, which placed the blame firmly on government forces.

 

The BBC reported that a witness in Ambo saw more than 20 bodies on the street, while Voice of America (VOA) reported that at least 17 protesters were killed by “elite security forces” on three campuses in Oromia. Local residents maintain that the figure [of those killed] was much higher.

 

These reports, while difficult to corroborate, have been backed up by Human Rights Watch, which issued a statement saying that “security forces have responded [to the protests] by shooting at and beating peaceful protesters in Ambo, Nekemte, Jimma, and other towns with unconfirmed reports from witnesses of dozens of casualties”. One university lecturer said he had been “rescued from the live ammunition”, and that it was the “vampires – the so-called federal police” who fired on the crowds.

 

The Ethiopian government likes to trumpet its higher education system to its western aid backers as a crowning success of its development policy. As billions in foreign aid are spent annually on Ethiopia, the west must be more cognisant of the fact that this money helps reinforce a government which cuts down those who dare to speak out against it.

 

Inevitably, continued support for such an oppressive regime justifies its brutal silencing of dissent. Yes, the higher education system has grown exponentially over the past 15 years but the oppression and killing of innocent students cannot be considered an achievement. Any system which crushes its brightest should not be considered a success.

Paul O’Keeffe is a doctoral fellow at La Sapienza University of Rome, where he focuses on the higher education

system in Ethiopia

 

Read more @http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/may/22/ethiopia-crackdown-student-protest-education

Ethiopia’s Land & Water Grabs Devastate Communities: New Satellite Imagery Shows Extensive Clearance of Land Used By Indigenous People to Make Way for State-Run Sugar Plantations February 25, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Environment, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Hadiya, Human Traffickings, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kambata, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sidama, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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‘Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to 200,000 agro-pastoralists, is under development for sugar plantations and processing. The early stages of the development have resulted in the loss of land and livelihoods for thousands of Ethiopia’s most vulnerable citizens. The future of 500,000 agro-pastoralists in Ethiopia and Kenya is at risk.’ – Human Rights Watch
http://www.hrw.org/node/123131

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-pottinger/ethiopia-pushes-river-bas_b_4811584.html

(Nairobi) – New satellite imagery shows extensive clearance of land used by indigenous groups to make way for state-run sugar plantations in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley, Human Rights Watch and International Rivers said today. Virtually all of the traditional lands of the 7,000-member Bodi indigenous group have been cleared in the last 15 months, without adequate consultation or compensation. Human Rights Watch has also documented the forced resettlement of some indigenous people in the area.

The land clearing is part of a broader Ethiopian government development scheme in the Omo Valley, a United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, including dam construction, sugar plantations, and commercial agriculture. The project will consume the vast majority of the water in the Omo River basin, potentially devastating the livelihoods of the 500,000 indigenous people in Ethiopia and neighboring Kenya who directly or indirectly rely on the Omo’s waters for their livelihoods.

“Ethiopia can develop its land and resources but it shouldn’t run roughshod over the rights of its indigenous communities,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The people who rely on the land for their livelihoods have the right to compensation and the right to reject plans that will completely transform their lives.”

A prerequisite to the government’s development plans for the Lower Omo Valley is the relocation of 150,000 indigenous people who live in the vicinity of the sugar plantations into permanent sedentary villages under the government’s deeply unpopular “villagization” program. Under this program, people are to be moved into sedentary villages and provided with schools, clinics, and other infrastructure. As has been seen in other parts of Ethiopia, these movements are not all voluntary.
Satellite images analyzed by Human Rights Watch show devastating changes to the Lower Omo Valley between November 2010 and January 2013, with large areas originally used for grazing cleared of all vegetation and new roads and irrigation canals crisscrossing the valley. Lands critical for the livelihoods of the agro-pastoralist Bodi and Mursi peoples have been cleared for the sugar plantations. These changes are happening without their consent or compensation, local people told Human Rights Watch. Governments have a duty to consult and cooperate with indigenous people to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources.

The imagery also shows the impact of a rudimentary dam built in July 2012 that diverted the waters of the Omo River into the sugar plantations. Water rapidly built up behind the shoddily built mud structure before breaking it twice. The reservoir created behind the dam forced approximately 200 Bodi families to flee to high ground, leaving behind their crops and their homes.

In a 2012 report Human Rights Watchwarned of the risk to livelihoods and potential for increased conflict and food insecurity if the government continued to clear the land. The report also documented how government security forces used violence and intimidation to make communities in the Lower Omo Valley relocate from their traditional lands, threatening their entire way of life with no compensation or choice of alternative livelihoods.

The development in the Lower Omo Valley depends on the construction upstream of a much larger hydropower dam – the Gibe III, which will regulate river flows to support year-round commercial agriculture.

A new film produced by International Rivers, “A Cascade of Development on the Omo River,” reveals how and why the Gibe III will cause hydrological havoc on both sides of the Kenya-Ethiopia border. Most significantly, the changes in river flow caused by the dam and associated irrigated plantations could cause a huge drop in the water levels of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake and another UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lake Turkana receives 90 percent of its water from the Omo River and is projected to drop by about two meters during the initial filling of the dam, which is estimated to begin around May 2014. If current plans to create new plantations continue to move forward, the lake could drop as much as 16 to 22 meters. The average depth of the lake is just 31 meters.

The river flow past the Gibe III will be almost completely blocked beginning in 2014. According to government documents, it will take up to three years to fill the reservoir, during which the Omo River’s annual flow could drop by as much as 70 percent. After this initial shock, regular dam operations will further devastate ecosystems and local livelihoods. Changes to the river’s flooding regime will harm agricultural yields, prevent the replenishment of important grazing areas, and reduce fish populations, all critical resources for livelihoods of certain indigenous groups.

The government of Ethiopia should halt development of the sugar plantations and the water offtakes until affected indigenous communities have been properly consulted and give their free, prior, and informed consent to the developments, Human Rights Watch and International Rivers said. The impact of all planned developments in the Omo/Turkana basin on indigenous people’s livelihoods should be assessed through a transparent, independent impact assessment process.

“If Ethiopia continues to bulldoze ahead with these developments, it will devastate the livelihoods of half a million people who depend on the Omo River,” said Lori Pottinger, head of International Rivers’ Ethiopia program. “It doesn’t have to be this way – Ethiopia has options for managing this river more sustainably, and pursuing developments that won’t harm the people who call this watershed home.”

Background
Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley is one of the most isolated and underdeveloped areas in East Africa. At least eight different groups call the Omo River Valley home and the livelihood of each of these groups is intimately tied to the Omo River and the surrounding lands. Many of the indigenous people that inhabit the valley are agro-pastoralist, growing crops along the Omo River and grazing cattle.

In 2010, Ethiopia announced plans for the construction of Africa’s tallest dam, the 1,870 megawatt Gibe III dam on the Omo River. Controversy has dogged the Gibe III dam ever since. Of all the major funders who considered the dam, only China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) provided financing (the World Bank, African Development Bank, and European Investment Bank all declined to fund it, though the World Bank and African Development Bank have financed related power lines).

The Ethiopian government announced even more ambitious plans for the region in 2011, including the development of at least 245,000 hectares of irrigated state-run sugar plantations. Downstream, the water-intensive sugar plantations, will depend on irrigation canals. Although there have been some independent assessments of the Gibe dam project and its impact on river flow and Lake Turkana, to date the Ethiopian government has not published any environmental or social impact assessments for the sugar plantations and other commercial agricultural developments in the Omo valley.

According to the regional government plan for villagization in Lower Omo, the World Bank-supported Pastoral Community Development Project (PCDP) is funding some of the infrastructure in the new villages. Despite concerns over human rights abuses associated with the villagization program that were communicated to Bank management, in December 2013 the World Bank Board approved funding of the third phase of the PCDP III. PCDP III ostensibly provides much-needed services to pastoral communities throughout Ethiopia, but according to government documents PCDP also pays for infrastructure being used in the sedentary villages that pastoralists are being moved to.

The United States Congress in January included language in the 2014 Appropriations Act that puts conditions on US development assistance in the Lower Omo Valley requiring that there should be consultation with local communities; that the assistance “supports initiatives of local communities to improve their livelihoods”; and that no activities should be supported that directly or indirectly involve forced evictions.

However other donors have not publicly raised concerns about Ethiopia’s Lower Omo development plans. Justine Greening, the British Secretary of State for International Development, in 2012 stated that her Department for International Development (DFID) was not able to “substantiate the human rights concerns” in the Lower Omo Valley despite DFID officials hearing these concerns directly from impacted communities in January 2012.

Ethiopia: Land, Water Grabs Devastate Communities | Human Rights Watch

http://www.hrw.org

http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/02/18/ethiopia-land-water-grabs-devastate-communities

Africa: Agribusiness Feeds the Rich; Small Farmers Feed the Rest February 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Climate Change, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Domestic Workers, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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“Agribusiness feeds the rich; small farmers feed the rest. Yet we have a strong interest in feeding the world and are concerned that food conferences dominated by agribusiness directly threaten our ability to produce affordable, healthy, local food.Solving world hunger is not about industrial agriculture producing more food – our global experience of the green revolution has shown that the drive towards this industrial model has only increased the gap between the rich and the poor. Feeding the world is about increasing access to resources like land and water, so that people have the means to feed themselves, their families and their communities. Small family farms produce the majority of food on the planet – 70% of the world’s food supply! If conferences, like this one, exclude the voice of small farmers, then the debate about feeding the world is dominated by the rich and the solutions proposed will only feed their profits.”
A farming revolution is under way in Africa, pushed by giant corporations and the UK’s aid budget. It will surely be good for the global economy, writes Sophie Morlin-Yron, but will Africa’s small farmers see the benefit?

Many millions of small farmers that were once merely poor, will be propelled into destitution, the chaff of a neoliberal market revolution as pitiless as it is powerful.
World leaders in agriculture and development gathered in London last week at the The Economist’s ‘Feeding the World Summit’ to discuss global solutions to tackling Africa’s food security crisis.

At the event, which cost between £700 and £1,000 to attend, industry leaders spoke of new innovations and initiatives which would help fight poverty, world hunger and malnutrition, and transform the lives of millions of farmers worldwide.

Just one farmer

But there was only one farmer among the speakers, Rose Adongo, with barely a handful more in the audience. A Ugandan beef and honey farmer, Adongo was unimpressed by the technical solutions offered by the corporate speakers.

For her, the main issue was land ownership for farmers – and desperately needed changes in Ugandan law, under which women have no right to land ownership even though 80% of the country’s farmers are women, and they produce 60% of the food.

If only a woman could own land – currently passed down from father to son “she can produce more food”. Besides that she wanted cheaper fertilisers and an end to the desperate toil of hand working in the fields. Much of the land is currently plowed by hand which “can take weeks to do”.

Among the excluded …

But many were excluded from the event – and desperately wanted their voices to be heard. Among them was Jyoti Fernandes, from The Landworkers’ Alliance (member of La Via Campesina), a producer-led organisation representing small-scale agroecological producers in the UK.

“Agribusiness feeds the rich; small farmers feed the rest”, she said. “None of our members could afford to attend the Feeding the World Summit.

“Yet we have a strong interest in feeding the world and are concerned that food conferences dominated by agribusiness directly threaten our ability to produce affordable, healthy, local food.

Solving world hunger, she insisted, “is not about industrial agriculture producing more food – our global experience of the green revolution has shown that the drive towards this industrial model has only increased the gap between the rich and the poor.”

Improving access to land and water

“Feeding the world is about increasing access to resources like land and water, so that people have the means to feed themselves, their families and their communities.

“Small family farms produce the majority of food on the planet – 70% of the world’s food supply! If conferences, like this one, exclude the voice of small farmers, then the debate about feeding the world is dominated by the rich and the solutions proposed will only feed their profits.”

As Graciela Romero of War on Want commented in The Ecologist last week, it is that small farmers are feeding the world – not corporations:

“Millions of small-scale farmers produce 70% of the world’s food. Yet they remain excluded and forgotten from exchanges which affect their livelihoods or concern how to end world hunger.”

Private investment

Among the 27 speakers at the event were Nestlé Head of Agriculture Hans Joehr, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, Cargill Vice-Chairman Paul Conway, UN Secretary General for Food Security and Nutrition David Nabarro, and representatives from the World Food Program and World Vision.

And despite the involvement of some NGOs, academics UN officials, the main topic of discussion was private sector investment in agriculture.

Lynne Featherstone, a junior UK minister for International Development, said the way forward is newly developed efficient fertilisers, pest tolerant crops and private sector investment:

“There is substantial room for improvement, and helping farmers increase productivity while consuming fewer inputs is a priority. With partners such as CGIAR we have developed more efficient fertilisers and pest tolerant crop varieties.”

UK spending £280m to support private sector engagement

She also outlined the Government plans to invest £280m from its aid budget funding in businesses and organisations under the Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (AFNC).

This private sector initiative – which has also involves 14 Governments – ostensibly aims to lift 50 million people in Africa out of poverty by 2022, by attracting more private investment in agriculture. Featherstone explained the rationale:

“Economic growth in these countries is best achieved through agricultural growth, which has the power of raising incomes and getting people out of poverty. And the private sector can catalyse that agricultural growth with sustainable agricultural investment.”

But is it really about land grabs?

But critics fear that is has rather more to do with getting governments on-side so corporations can carry out land grabs – taking the best watered and most fertile land away from African farmers and delivering it up to investors to plant cash crops across the continent, while turning once independent small farmers into a a proletarian underclass of landless plantation workers and rootless urban workers.

Paulus Verschuren, Special Envoy on Food and Nutrition Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands attempted to strike a balance:

“We are not going to fix the zero-hunger challenge without involving the private sector, but we need to set the criteria for these transformational partnerships. They need to have a business outcome and a development outcome.”

Corporations keen to help small farmers …

Representatives of major food corporations also insisted that they wanted to work with small farmers and help them to produce their crops efficiently while meeting development objectives.

Nestlé’s Corporate Head of Agriculture, Hans Jöhr, claimed to be willing to work with small farmers as well as large to fulfil development objectives and improving resource efficiency:

“The issue of feeding the world has to been seen in perspective of rural development, and not only technology”, he said. “And it’s definitely not about talking small versus big farmers, I think that was really the yesterday talk. It’s about people, individuals, it’s about farmers.

We cannot go on polluting and destroying

“So in this meeting about farmers, when we are talking about farmers, we are going back to what we have listened to, the restrictions we all face in business is natural resources, natural capital. It’s not only about the land, it’s mainly about water.

“This leads us to looking into production systems and methods and understanding that we cannot continue to go on with polluting destroying and depleting natural resources and with wasting them.

“Farmers who don’t know how to farm waste a tremendous amount of natural resources and agricultural materials because they don’t know how to store, and are not linked to an outlet to markets. That means that we have to help them better understand the production systems.”

Productivity must be raised

Vice Chairman of Cargill, Paul Conway, emphasised the importance of secure land ownership: “The number one thing here isn’t technology, it isn’t finance, it’s security of tenure of the land, which is absolutely critical.”

And Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant played down the importance of genetic modification in improving crop yields in Africa, from 20 bushels of grain per hectare to India’s typical level of 100 bushels.

“There is no reason Africa shouldn’t be close to India, it’s all small-holder agriculture. Why is it 20 today and not 90? Now forget biotech, that’s eminently achievable with some sensible husbandry and land reform ownership, the tools are in hand today.”

“We have set goals to double yields in the next 30 years with a third less water, agriculture gets through an enormous amount of water. The first 70 per cent of which goes to agriculture, the next 30 per cent goes to Coke, Pepsi, swimming pools and everything you drink and all of industry, and that isn’t sustainable.

We believe our sole focus on agriculture is vital as the world looks to produce enough nutritious food to feed a growing population while conserving, or even decreasing, the use of precious natural inputs such as land, water and energy.”

Farmers ‘invisible and irrelevant’

But Mariam Mayet, Director of African Safety for Biosafety – which campaigns against genetic engineering, privatisation, industrialisation and private sector control of African agriculture – was not convinced.

To the constellation of famous speakers and corporate representatives, she said, small farmers were a simple obstruction to progress:

“We know that all of African farmers are invisible and irrelevant to those at this summit. These producers are seen as inefficient and backwards, and if they have any role at all, it is to be forced out of agriculture to becoming mere passive consumers of industrial food products.

“Africa is seen as a possible new frontier to make profits, with an eye on land, food and biofuels in particular.

“The recent investment wave must be understood in the context of consolidation of a global food regime dominated by large corporations in input supply such as seed and agrochemicals especially, but also increasingly in processing, storage, trading and distribution.

“Currently African food security rests fundamentally on small-scale and localised production. The majority of the African population continue to rely on agriculture as an important, if not the main, source of income and livelihoods.”

Can the chasm be bridged?

If we take the sentiments expressed by corporate bosses at face value – and why not? – then we do not see any overt determination to destroy Africa’s small farmers. On the contrary, they want to help them to farm better, more productively and efficiently, and more profitably.

And perhaps we should not be surprised. After all that suits their interests, to have a growing and prosperous farming sector in Africa that can both buy their products and produce reliable surpluses for sale on global food markets.

The rather harder question is, what about those farmers who lack the technical or entrepreneurial ability, the education, the desire, the extent of land, the security of land tenure, to join that profitable export-oriented sector? And who simply want to carry on as mainly subsistence farmers, supporting their families, producing only small surpluses for local sale?

The small subsistence farmer has no place

Stop and think about it, and the answer is obvious. They have no place in the new vision of agriculture that is sweeping across the continent, with the generous support of British aid money.

Their role in this process is to be forced off their land – whether expelled by force or by market forces – and deliver it up to their more successful neighbour, the corporation, the urban agricultural entrepreneur, to farm it at profit for the market.

And then, either to leave their village homes and join the displaced masses in Africa’s growing cities, or to stay on as landless workers, serving their new masters.

This all represents ‘economic progress’ and increases in net production. But look behind the warm words – and many millions of small farmers that were once merely poor, will be propelled into destitution, the chaff of a neoliberal market revolution as pitiless as it is powerful.

Is this really how the UK’s aid funds should be invested?

Sophie Morlin-Yron is a freelance journalist.

Oliver Tickell edits The Ecologis

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2287243/africas_farm_revolution_who_will_benefit.html

 

A landmark G8 initiative to boost agriculture and relieve poverty has been damned as a new form of colonialism after African governments agreed to change seed, land and tax laws to favour private investors over small farmers.

Ten countries made more than 200 policy commitments, including changes to laws and regulations after giant agribusinesses were granted unprecedented access to decision-makers over the past two years.

The pledges will make it easier for companies to do business in Africathrough the easing of export controls and tax laws, and through governments ringfencing huge chunks of land for investment.

The Ethiopian government has said it will “refine” its land law to encourage long-term land leases and strengthen the enforcement of commercial farm contracts. In Malawi, the government has promised to set aside 200,000 hectares of prime land for commercial investors by 2015, and in Ghana, 10,000 hectares will be made available for investment by the end of next year. In Nigeria, promises include the privatisation of power companies.

A Guardian analysis of companies’ plans under the initiative suggests dozens of investments are for non-food crops, including cotton, biofuels and rubber, or for projects explicitly targeting export markets.

Companies were invited to the table through the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition initiative that pledges to accelerate agricultural production and lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2022.

But small farmers, who are supposed to be the main beneficiaries of the programme, have been shut out of the negotiations.

Olivier de Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said governments had been making promises to investors “completely behind the screen”, with “no long-term view about the future of smallholder farmers” and without their participation.

He described Africa as the last frontier for large-scale commercialfarming. “There’s a struggle for land, for investment, for seed systems, and first and foremost there’s a struggle for political influence,” he said.

Zitto Kabwe, the chairman of the Tanzanian parliament’s public accountscommittee, said he was “completely against” the commitments his government has made to bolster private investment in seeds.

“By introducing this market, farmers will have to depend on imported seeds. This will definitely affect small farmers. It will also kill innovation at the local level. We have seen this with manufacturing,” he said.

“It will be like colonialism. Farmers will not be able to farm until they import, linking farmers to [the] vulnerability of international prices. Big companies will benefit. We should not allow that.”

Tanzania’s tax commitments would also benefit companies rather than small farmers, he said, adding that the changes proposed would have to go through parliament. “The executive cannot just commit to these changes. These are sensitive issues. There has to be enough debate,” he said.

Million Belay, the head of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), said the initiative could spell disaster for small farmers in Africa. “It clearly puts seed production and distribution in the hands of companies,” he said.

“The trend is for companies to say they cannot invest in Africa without new laws … Yes, agriculture needs investment, but that shouldn’t be used as an excuse to bring greater control over farmers’ lives.

“More than any other time in history, the African food production system is being challenged. More than any other time in history outside forces are deciding the future of our farming systems.”

AFSA has also denounced the G8 initiative as ushering in a new wave of colonialism on the continent.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/feb/18/g8-new-alliance-condemned-new-colonialism

Stop Clearing Oromo from their Land in the Name of Boosting Economic Development: Who Will Stand for the Oromo People Living on the Outskirts of Finfinnee? February 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Climate Change, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Food Production, Gadaa System, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Ideas, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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It is to be recalled that Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) was founded as the present capital city the so called Ethiopian in 1886 by a man called Minilik II. During this time, the area was inhabited by the Oromo people and the area was almost covered with natural forest. Initially the Shawa government made it seat at Ankober. Hence, before the founding of Finfinee as a political and economic capital of the king, all the areas within the present Finfinnee and the surround areas was free like any other Oromia lands. However, after 1886 the Semitic people from the northern segments and others had taken the land and the Oromo people who were used to live in these areas were forced lost their land through time.

For example, according to Central Statistics Agency of Ethiopia (2007) Out of the 2,738,248 100% total population living in Finfinnee, the total number of the Oromo people living in the city was only 534,255 (19.51%). Since its founding as a capital, Finfinnee remained the capital city for the successive Ethiopian regimes (Menilik II, Lij Eyassu, Zawuditu, Hailesillasse I, Mengistu, Melles and HaileMariam). Through time, the number of inhabitants increased and urbanization expanded greatly. The deliberate and implicitly planned mission and decision of the Semitic people to erase any sign of Oromo history from Finfinnee was started during the forcefully integration of Oromo people into Ethiopia as second-class citizens and the process has continued in the present government.

Different people mostly from the northern part of the so called Ethiopia have come from the various ethnic groups come and settled in the capital owing to its supper suitable agro-climatic and exploit the natural within the outside today’s Finfinne from the near distance in the name of work and investment. Where did those Oromo farmers go when Finfinnee became the property of new invaders? Be in mind that the Oromo’s are pushed to the peripheral areas of the capital and the number of Oromo people inhabitants decreased from time to time, as the above data depicts. The indigenous people of the land were pushed out one after the other and were replaced by the invaders from the north. What is happening to the Oromo people living on the outskirt of Finfinne today? It is simply the continuation of a process, which had resulted in a massive displacement of an indigenous Oromo people.

B. The New Master Plan of Fifinnee and Areas to be Incorporated

For the last 100 or so years the Master Plan of Finfinnee city was revised several times. The recent proposal of preparing new Master Plan for City administration that planned to incorporates all the towns and districts lying within the range of 1 hour commuting distance from the Finfinnee, justifies the blatant violation of the constitution and their voracious appetite to systematically replacing resource and land deficient people to these fertile lands owned by the Oromo people. According to the proposed plan of established the “Integrated Regional Development Plan”, an additional 36 towns and 17 districts currently administered by the Oromia regional State will be merged with Finfinnee so that the right of the land use will be determined by the central mayor .

The new Master Plan was intended to incorporate Oromia’s land locating in 100kms around the Finfinnee city. According to Ethiopia Government preparation, the following 36 Towns and 17 Districts are included in the newly planned Master plan. (See the figure 1.)

Some of the Towns are: Adama, Sodere, Mojo, Wenji Adama, Ejere, Alem Tena, Koka, Adulala, Bushoftu, Dukem, Gelen, Akaki Beseka, Godino, Chefe Donsa, Sebeta , Sendafa, Milkewa, Wendoda, Sirti, Duber,Gorfo, Chancho, Mulo, Debra,Muger , Ulo, Adis Alem, Holota, Burayu,Debre Genet, Illu Teji, Tefki, Sebeta, Boneya, Melka Kunture and etc.
Some of the Districts areas are: Adama, Dodota, Bora, Lome, Liben chukala, Adea (around Bushoftu), Akaki, Gimbichu, Bereh(around Sebeta), Aleltu, Jida, Sulultu, Ejere, Welmera, Illu, Sebeta Hawas and etc.
Today, when the world is concerned about preserving ecology and wild life in their natural habitat, it is an Ethiopian Government that is clearing an indigenous Oromo people from their home Land in the name of inequitable Economic Development. Hence, who should stand and speak for these innocent people and argue to preserve the right of the extremely vulnerable Oromo people living in the proposed territories and to preserve the indigenous Oromo people, culture, Languages and etc. Otherwise sooner than latter these great people will be marginalized and lost their identities.

Finfinee
Figure 1: The newly Developed and proposed Master Plan of the tomorrow’s Finfinne over the coming 25 years

C. The Agenda behind the “Integrated Regional Development Plan (IRDP)”

An office called “Addis Ababa and the surrounding Oromia Integrated Development Plan” prepared an International and National Conference on June 2013 at Adama Town, Galma Abba Gadaa. The Objective of organizing the conference of the top ranking government cadres (mostly OPDO’s) was to work on the manifesting of the proposed Integrated Regional Development Plan (IRDP) and prepare the cadre’s to work on the people.

On the Conference, it was stated that, the Purposes of the “IRDP” are:

Instrumental to unleashing Regional Development Potentials
Enables localities addressing their mutual development challenges
Enables localities addressing their mutual development challenges
Strengthens complementarities and interconnection of localities
These purposes can be the explicit or clear objectives of the plan. However, the plan have hidden or implicit agenda. Systematically bringing the land under their custody so that, it will sooner or later scramble among their impoverished people in their region. For example, the Finfinnee City Administration and Finfinnee Special Zone can address their mutual development challenges without being incorporated into one master plan. However, the Master plan is not prepared on mutual benefit as the plan is solely prepared by Finfinnee City Administration, despite the name of the office. Hence, though development is boldly emphasized, the main purpose seems to clear the Oromo farmers from their lands in the name of unfair Economic Development.

It was also stated that the Pillars of the Integrated Regional Development Plan are:

Regional Infrastructure Networks
Natural Resource and Environment Stewardship
Cross – Boundary Investments/ e.g FDI)
Joint Regional Projects
However, there seem hidden agenda behind these pillars. For example, in the name of cross-Boundary Investments, local Oromo farmers are going to lose their land for the so-called “investors” and under the pretext of promoting national economy through FDI initiatives In addition, if the plan is going to be realized natural and environmental degradation is inevitable.

In addition, the Basic Principles of the Integrated Regional Development Plan are:

Ensuring Mutual Benefits
A joint development Framework – not a substitute for local plans
An Integrated Regional Plan voluntarily accepted by participating partners
Differences resolved through negotiation and under in-win scenario
Nevertheless, the plan will not ensure a mutual benefit at it is largely intended to displace Oromo farmers from their land. In additions, the populations of the two areas are not homogenous. Hence, they have no common interest. Even though it is said the “IRDP’ will be voluntarily accepted by participating partners, the top cadres in Oromia themselves have strongly opposed the plan on the conference. Beside, the implicit objective of the plan is to remove/avoid the differences in language and culture there by to plant “Ethiopianism or Tigreans” on Oromo land. The plan is intended to say good bye to Oromo Culture and language. The other thing is that the differences between Oromo and others cannot be resolved as it is intended to eradicate Oromo identity, culture and language. As we know from history, Oromo’s never compromised on these issues. Hence, if the plan is to be implemented, peaceful co-existence may not be there.

D. Problems that may come because of the Integrated Regional Development Plan

As different sources shown, many Oromo’s living in Special Zone has already lost their land in the name of foreign direct investment and land grasping. This is because of several fa3ctories are constructed in the special zone by taking the Lands from local Oromo farmers. It is not new to see Oromo labor workers or guards in their own land. Family members are highly displaced by this measure. Many went to street. Not only the displaced Oromos damaged by this. It is said chemical coming out of the factories are also hurting the health of the remaining Oromos. It is said that “In Central Oromia, thousands of people and their livestock died due to the industrial pollution directly released to rivers and lakes.”

Taking the above as an experience, there also different reasons why the newly Master plan of Finfinne should not be implemented on Oromo people. Some of the reasons are:

1. It will bring Extreme Poverty: It is inevitable that the local Oromo farmers lost their land in the name of investment and urbanization. This means that the Oromos are systematically cleaned from their own land, as they were cleaned from Finfinnee in earlier days. Hence, the local farmers lose their land which is part of their permanent asset. After the lose their land, the farmers will going to work for 300 birrr in the factory or serve as house servant or home guard, which is already started. By doing so, the farmers face extreme poverty. In addition, the gap between rich and poor will very high. For example, one writer described the impact of “investment” saying:

“The current regime has sold out more than 3 million hectares of fertile land to the foreigner investors after forcefully displacing Oromo farmers from their ancestral land. The grabbing of land ended the indigenous people without shelter and foods. This displacement of the Oromo people accompanied by limitless human rights violations set the Oromo to be the vast number of immigrants in the Horn of Africa.”

2. Family displacement and disintegration: Members of a family will be displaced and disintegrated as a result of loosing their land. In addition, the workers of Finfinnee special zone will be displaced as they are working in Afan Oromo.

3. Abuse of constitutional rights: After long year of struggle and sacrifice of thousands of Life, Afan Oromo given constitution right to be used in administration, school and other sectors in Oromia region. This is one of the basic objectives that Oromos has been struggling. However, if the master plan is going to be implemented, working language of Finfinnee City, Amharic, is going to be used in the areas. By doing so, the local people will be forced to learn new language to use it for different purpose. The measure will take back Oromo to the “Atse” region. The Federal Constitution states “Every people, nation and nationality have the right to speak, to write and to develop their own language, as well as to express, to develop and to promote their culture and history.Article 39” will be clearly violated. The Oromo living in Finfinnee Special Zone will lose the rights that the FDRE constitution guarantees them.

4. Academic and psychological impacts on Oromo students: If the newly proposed master plan of Finfinnee City is going to be implemented, Oromo students living in the surrounding area will attend their education in Amharic, which is second language to the students. It is strongly argued that using the native languages of students as a medium of instruction is a decisive factor for effective learning However, this situation, failure to give a role to native languages and largely depending on second/foreign language instruction, brought various difficulties to students. The students are expected to entangle not only with learning the subject matters but also the language itself. It also creates difficulty to students in expressing themselves and as a result it limits their classroom participation as there is fear of making mistakes. In addition, it is a barrier to smooth classroom communication. It is also argued that use of a second/foreign language in education negatively affects the ability and the ease with which knowledge is acquired by students. It also affects the performance of students and creates difficulties in developing their cognitive skills. Moreover, giving low status to native languages of students in educational setting leads to marginalization of majority of the citizens from active engagement in the development arena. In general, the master plan will have negative impacts on Oromo students in various academic aspects.

5. Impact on Identity and Culture of Local Oromo People: The new plan will make Oromos to lose their identity and culture, like the previous regimes did. This is because people having different identity and culture are going to settle on Oromo land. The settlers will push out the Oromo identity and replace by their own. The Oromo’s will have very limited opportunity to exercise their cultural value and linguistic form. The language and cultural development will be also hampered by the new plan.

6. Economic impact: If the master plan is going to be realized, the Finfinnee City Adminstration will control all economic aspects of the areas. The income that is collected from different factories will be taken. The Oromiya government will loose great income to Finfinnee city administration.

7. Impact on Natural Resource and Environment: As the result of the plan, there will be overspread ground and surface water pollution. In addition, there will be severe deforestation and natural resource depletion.

8. Cutting Oromia into East and West Regions: The new Master Plan of Finfinne city will cut the current Oromia into two parts i.e. Eastern and Western. This is because the Central and great part of Oromia is proposed to be taken and incorporated into Finfinnee. Hence, the Central part that joins East and West will be taken.

D. What Should be done to Save the Oromo People around Finfinnee

As shown above, the master plan is so disadvantage for Oromia. In general, if we see the plan, it will affect local Oromo people in various aspects. However, the government who is supposed to represent the Oromo people is unable to see the danger. So we kindly ask the Oromos at home and Diaspora and other concerned bodies to forward ways and mechanisms to stop the intended plan. We ask the Oromo people and international communities, who will stand for the Oromo’s living around Finfinnee??

If we read an honest history of the present and past Governments of Ethiopia, we would conclude that the present Government is truly facing a difficult dilemma. At the dawn of the 21st century, we can neither run away from ourselves nor hide our realities. We have to face our generation and the historical realities of our time. It is undeniable that today, people demand respect for their human and national rights. Above all, people will not rest until their identity and their sovereignty over what is theirs is ensured. These are the peoples’ most burning issues. They realize that they have to make utmost effort of their own. It is within the context of the above-mentioned framework that the Oromo people resolutely demand their rights and freedom. It is to those who want to deny the rights and freedoms of the people that we are most bitterly opposed. It is a crime to deny the national identity and sovereignty of a people no matter how sophisticated the tactics used to do so. It is equally wrong to see the national desire of a people from a selfish perspective. It is based on the above concepts and precepts that the Oromo people continue their unceasing and bitter struggle against being treated as second class citizens. We know that our struggle is just for it is motivated by our desire to preserve our dignity and identity as a people.

We, the sons and daughters of the Oromo people, strenuously oppose the implementation of new Master Plan for Finfinne administration because we fully understand the historical development of the desire of other people to displace the Oromo people in order to benefit the non-Oromo new comers and their lackeys in this country. This highly orchestrated conspiracy, the present Oromo generation shall not tolerate at any cost. It will steadfastly and resolutely resist the conspiracy.

We also request international communities to put pressure on FDRE/TPLF Government and Finfinnee City Administration to stop the proposed Master Plan, which directly or indirectly harm the Oromo people.

We call on the Federal Government of Ethiopia, House of Peoples’ Representatives, the Federation Council, the Oromia Council to stop clearing Oromo people from their home Land in the name of inequitable Development and replacing others on their land.

Please generate comments as many as possible on what should be done about the plan.

May Waaq Gurraacha help us!

From: Sabbontoota Oromoo, Oromia.

We are always Oromo First!!!!

Sabbontoota Oromo can be reached at sabboontotaaoromo@yahoo.in

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/stop-clearing-oromo-from-their-land-in-the-name-of-boosting-economic-development/?fb_action_ids=10152023934163952&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B454544934645241%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

 

Ethiopia: Raya under destruction

by Teumay Debesay | February 13, 2014
rayaRaya refers a tract of land stretching from Ala wuha in the south to Alaje in the north. That is bigger than Adwa and Axum awrajas combined. Historically, this is where the Weyane rebellion started in 1928 as a spontaneous reaction to a repressive system of the time. Originating in their present day Kobo wereda, the revolt would quickly spread to cover the entire Raya and Wejerat provinces. Later, the inhabitants of Enderta joined the revolt and a sort of quasi-organized alliance was formed after a decade of Raya and Wejerat rebellion. This alliance, Weyane, would emerge so potent that by its heyday it practically liberated the provinces of Raya, Wejerat and Enderta. The imperial government with the support of British Air force resorted to aerial bombardment of the rebel held areas which caused a wide-spread damage, including complete erasure of villages. However, the most detrimental factor that actually caused the demise of Weyane was to come from none other than Adwa people. In 1943, Dejazmach Gebrehiwot Meshesha along with a dozen of Adwans exploited the trust vested on them to assassinate the leaders of the Weyane movement. This is significant for in the Ethiopian tradition, at least until then, if one manages to kill the leader one will win the battle. Meshesha and co. breach of the traditional trust and value was so venomous that even to this date mistrust and resentment runs high in Raya. It is to be noted that if not for Meshesha of Adwa, the people were in a very strong bargaining position and if one has to look how similar revolts in Bale and other regions were resolved, the rebels demand for better governance was within reach. As a thank you for their contribution, Meshesha and his fellow Adwans were rewarded heavily by Haileselasse while a series of punitive attacks continued on the ‘originators’ of Weyane and ultimately Raya was divided between Wollo and Tigray.
When the TPLF started the armed insurrection in Ethiopia, it took little time to transform itself as an Adwa-only club by the same inherited act of treachery. The legacy of resentment that Meshesha and co. left means TPLF-Adwa had hard time to set foot in Raya. Hence, they needed to come up with a trick and did it so by cosmetically inserting the word Weyane in the Tigrigna version of its name. Taken with the harsher realities under DERG, Rayans reluctantly sided with TPLF on the principle of the lesser devil. Soon, tens of thousands of Raya youth joined the TPLF, including forming the majority and the backbone of Hadush “Hayelom” Ariaya’s fighting force that brought the little known“Hayelom” into prominence. However, if the experience of my village is anything, it is fair to conclude that almost all the Raya recruits ended up as cannon fodders. Those who survived, especially the independent and rational ones, would have never escaped the Meles-Sebhat death squad. In Raya, for example, it is not uncommon to talk to your relative TPLF fighter over the phone in the morning only to be notified of his death of “natural” consequences on the same day. I will say more on the motives next time. But for now, I want to draw your attention to the following Table, which is taken from the 1994 and 2007 population census of Ethiopia. I think this illustrates how the Raya and Adwa are faring under the TPLF-Adwa administration.
Table 1: Population of Raya and Adwa awraja towns in 1994 and 2007 census

Clearly, 7 towns (Robit, Gobiye, Waja, Mersa, Korem, Wedisemro, Chelena) of Raya from the total 11, i.e., 64% of the town that existed in the 1994 Census Ethiopia have died or are dying.  Well, with Adwa awraja towns the figures show a hard-to-believe growth registering as ridiculous as 1033% for Gerhusenay, Idegaarbi(377%), Nebelet(266%); even noticeable is the emergence of a novel city (Diobdibo) in the 2007 census, attesting to the developmental and modernization campaigns  in Adwa rural areas as well. The bar graph of the rate at which towns are expanding (Adwa) or shrinking (Raya) shown below can only be a proof that in the so-called Tigray “killil” both, depending on the area, de-constructive and constructive policies are in operation. To the unsuspecting, it may occur that this might have to do with the pre-1991 TPLF bandit caused civil war. However, it is not quite so for, for instance, there was no single bomb that was dropped on Adwa towns nor was a confrontation in populated areas in the entire Adwa awraja. There was insignificant causality as far as the civilian population of Adwa is concerned for the TPLF military engagement tactic in Adwa/Axum area was totally different from the rest awrajas. For example, Korem town alone might have received far more arial bombardment than the entire Adwa awraja. From SehulMikael (the Godfather of Ethiopia’s disintegration), to Meshesha-Sebhat-Meles-Sebhat(again), there exist very little dissimilarity.Raya-under-destruction2Right now, Alamata, the only remaining city not to die fast enough as Adwans would have liked to see, is under open destruction. The residents never complained on the absence of developmental activity but never expected that the Adwa administration of the city will come-up with a destruction agenda. Surprised by the revelation, the unsuspecting residents went to Mekelle to air their grievances in the hope that the big men there might be rational and take proper action. However, Abay Woldu’s administration did not give it a second to listen; just ordered more Bulldozers, armored tanks and a battalion to effectively carry out the planned destruction. Worse, those who complained the demolishing of their belonging are rounded-up and now languish in Adwa operated secret Tigrayan jails
Reference:

  1. Central Statistical Authority Ethiopia: The 1994 populaion and Housing Census of Ethiopia. Results for Tigray region, Volume 1, Statistical report.Table 2.2, Page 11
  2. Central Statistical Authority Ethiopia: The 1994 populaion and Housing Census of Ethiopia. Results for Amhara Region, Volume 1, Statistical report.Table 2.2, Page 13
  3. The 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Statistical Report for Tigray Region, Table 2.1, page 7
  4. The 2007 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Statistical Report for Amhara Region, Table 2.2, page 11

http://ethiofreespeech.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/ethiopia-raya-under-destruction.html?spref=fb

One hundred books to read. #09: Animal Farm January 26, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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The novel opens with the animals’ plot to overthrow their human master, Jones, with the argument that man exploits animals to serve only his own interests, and he furthermore “consumes without producing”. The revolt is successful and a new order is established in which the animals agree that they “must not come to resemble [man]. Do not adopt his vices… no animal must ever tyrannize over his own kind”, and there the story really begins.

What starts off as a logical distribution of labour based on the animals’ strengths and weaknesses inevitably leads to the formation of a hierarchy. In this case, the pigs come out on top and they use a variety of cunning and disturbing schemes to wield and maintain power.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

They encourage the other workers to engage in idealisation-devaluation behaviour whereby good things are due to the leader and bad things are attributed to enemies (perceived or real). They blatantly change the Commandments (rules for living) to suit themselves by exploiting the other animals’ inferior literacy skills and memory. They also use the fear of Jones’ return to keep the workers obedient. The story takes a more violent turn when one of the pigs rears a litter of newborn puppies for the sole purpose of eliminating political rivals and all other would-be revolutionaries.

The well-ordered flow of the story is testament to Orwell’s writing ability but also demonstrates how natural the progression seems to be from dictatorship to revolution to idealised society to new dictatorship. He skilfully uses the animals’ concern at the discrepancies between the vision for Animal Farm and its reality, as well as several unforeseen events occurring outside of the farm, as the driving force for the pigs’ totalitarian propaganda. The mixture of inside and outside influences that could destroy the regime are dealt with swiftly and ruthlessly.

What is so clever about the story is that although it is very clearly about humans’ desire for and abuse of power, the use of animals gives the impression of being a simpler story; animals have simpler motives and simpler relationships. This helps in explaining in a succinct and sensible manner how the pigs are able to maintain their grip on power and hoodwink the other animals into believing this is for the good of everyone.

Warning: the following paragraph describes how the story ends.

The story ends with the pigs, having broken all of the original Commandments, adopting the very human traits of management and organisation of the farm, and enjoying the majority of the food output while not producing any food themselves. This is echoed by the eerie imagery of the pigs walking on their hind legs and playing cards with human farmers of neighbouring properties. In the final scene, the two species (at this point equals at the apex of the hierarchy) accuse each other of cheating at cards, suggesting that the desire for power knows no bounds, and that shared power inevitably leads to one trying to outrank the other through all possible means.http://anastasiafontaine.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/one-hundred-books-to-read-09-animal-farm/



Anastasia Fontaine

Animal Farm is what every serious novel should be: it is short but has interesting themes which are explained well.  Although supposed to parallel the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, it works equally well to describe the pursuit of power in the general sense.

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Oromia Speaks:The Ethiopian Empire State and International Human Rights Laws January 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Nelson Mandela, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Theory of Development, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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The Empire States of Ethiopia is a product of colonial conquest. Ethiopia is formed during the 19the century colonial scramble for Africa after the Abyssinian State, the only Black colonial power that took part in the colonial partition of Africa, conquered the Oromos, Sidamas, Ogadenese and other present day Southern Ethiopian peoples. Because of the conquest, the Oromos and other subject peoples were forcefully incorporated into Abyssinia, which was later on renamed Ethiopia.

As an outcome of a colonial conquest, the essence of the Ethiopian Empire State is the deprivation, oppression, subjugation and exploitation of the conquered peoples’ national, political, civic, cultural, social and economic rights. Stated differently, the defining characteristics of the Ethiopian Empire state, since its formation up to present, are the denial of national rights, human rights, and freedoms to the Oromo and other subject peoples. Furthermore, as the old adage goes, “a nation that oppresses others it not itself a free nation,” the successive Ethiopian regimes did not also respect the human rights and freedoms of its citizens, the Abyssinians.

The successive Ethiopian regimes’ stance on ratification of or accession to International Instruments designed for the promotion and protection of human rights corroborates the Ethiopian Empire State’s long-standing anti-human rights policies. It is a fact of history that the Ethiopian regime led by the late Emperor Haile Sillassie was among few states that did not sign/ratify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The Emperor Haile Sillassie regime, which was laboring in consolidation of the colonial conquests and Amharization of the conquered peoples, was engaged in gross violation of human rights, including practice of slavery and servitude failed to sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that, among others, abolished slavery and servitude and set standard for human rights protection.

It is instructive to note that, the Emperor Haile Sillassie regime declined from signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with, among others, the then minority apartheid regime of South Africa, the other notorious regime for being anti-human rights. The Ethiopian regime led by Emperor Haile Sillassie became Member of the United Nations on 13 November 1945, but it did not become a party to any Intentional Human Rights Conventions.

A military regime, known as Dergue, led by Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam overthrew Emperor Haile Sillaasie’s regime in 1974. As far as respect for human rights and accession to Intentional Human Rights Conventions is concerned, the Dergue regime continued its predecessor’s anti-human rights policy and practice. The Military regime did not become a party to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that have entered into force in 1976.

However, apparently following its patron the now defunct Soviet Union, the Ethiopian Military regime became a party to International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 23 June 1976, Convention on the Elimination of All Form of Discrimination against Women, 10 September 1981, and Convention on the Rights of the Child, 14 May 1991.

It is a mockery that the Ethiopian Military regime that failed to be a party to International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, became a party to International Conventions that prohibit racial discrimination, discrimination against women and the Conventions on the Rights of the Child. Unlike the incumbent Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front, (TPLF) led Ethiopian regime, the two preceding Ethiopian regimes did not pretend to be champions of human rights and stayed out of the International Instruments and Mechanisms made and established for ensuring the protections of Human Rights and freedoms.

As a result of the proposal and strong push made in 1991-92 by Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) group who were then a member of Ethiopian Transitional Government, the current Ethiopian regime of TPLF was forced to depart from the positions held by its predecessors and has acceded to the following international human rights treaties: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 11 June 1993, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 11 June 1993, and Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment, 13 March 1994,

Apparently, accession to International Human Rights Treaties were one of the decisions the TPLF regime made as soon as it came to power as a consequence of two significant factors: (1) the proposal and the push the OLF group made to accept ICCPR and ICESCR and (2) the attempt the TPLF Regime made to please its foreign donors. However, the regime’s gross and appalling human rights violation records in the last fourteen years prove a contrary intention. Stated differently, the TPLF regime’s human rights record proves that the TPLF regime’s position on human rights is not any better, if not worse, than its predecessors that were not parties to the International Human Rights Covenants.

The TPLF regime’s engagement in a gross human rights violation of Oromos and other people is being recognized not only by reputable international non-governmental organizations that monitor states’ compliance with international human rights laws, but also by State Members of the United Nations, including the Untied States of America.
Read more from original source@ http://www.oromoliberationfront.org/Publications/OSvol11Art1003.htm
Oromia Speaks Vol. 11 Issue 1

Further References:

‘Article 2, paragraph 2 of the ICESCR obliges each State Party to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the Covenant are exercised without discrimination as to, inter alia, ethnic origin. In practice, however, the Government of Ethiopia directly and indirectly discriminates against several disadvantaged ethnic groups, including but  not limited to the Oromo and the Anuak.’ –http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/docs/ngos/AHR_Ethiopia_CESCR48.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cHBNsqKWnM

http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2005/05/09/suppressing-dissent

http://www.unpo.org/article/16330

http://oromochurchdc.com/joomla259/index.php/ct-menu-item-9/ct-menu-item-11

http://www.oromo.org/

http://www.oromo.org/OSG/pr_49.pdf

http://gadaa.com/GadaaTube/8569/2013/08/03/oromo-rally-against-ethiopias-human-rights-violations-land-grabbing-reports-from-opride-com-voa-lagatafo-studio-and-citizen-journalists/

http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2013/country-chapters/ethiopia

Source: Genocide Watch

http://www.genocidewatch.org/alerts/countriesatrisk2012.html

“Ethiopia history” even as a term continues to be controversial for what has been written so far is based on the idealized views of the leaders and covers only the positive deeds. Many argue history making is a societal issue and involves both positive and negative deeds. The lessons learnt from past history is the single most important benefit of having history. Since  Ethiopian history does not acknowledge the negative deeds in the past  and does not serve this important benefit  many fail to acknowledge it as their history. It is largely based on “what is good for me by choice should be good for you by force and if you don’t obey you don’t belong”. It is based on systematic exclusion and pushing faraway deviant groups as a strategy to pull them in.
This strategy has been designed in a way that it imposes the culture and identity of one group putting in charge generation from the same group to defend it. The assignment of assimilating the others far deep inside and very fast is high on their agenda. However as the history that is systematically constructed to keep the supremacy of one group, it is dressed with myths and far reaching legends which are closely connected to supernatural power and symbolized places. The legend queen Sheba and her mythological relation with King Solomon signifies the same and leaders of the Solomonic dynasty  systematically traced their decadency from this legend to load unshakable leadership on the society. The general population in the country, regardless of their ethnicity and religion, obeyed the rules in the chain for violation of their leadership is considered violation of the supernatural power. Societal and individual development in the country has also been stacked in theological stage as the result of this leadership techniques and many issues received their analysis from creationist and supernatural relation perspective even till today.
The radical lefts group that emerged in the 1960s questioned the validity of this connections, between leaders and the supernatural power and whether their leadership is really sacred, however not many extended the question to the sacred history of the country till very recently. Although, the history of the country is more of sacred and holly as some described and describing it, it has caused many dangers that deserve attentions. Over 80 ethnic groups in the country had pain in relation to Ethiopian state formation, Minlik II and subsequent leaders and not few grew up hearing  those mind shaking pains. Now wonder that this generation can extend questioning the relationship between leaders and supernatural power to the meanings attached to  the entire Ethiopian history and that already happened. This questioning nudes the false statues of Ethiopian history.
There is no doubt that this same act can cause a strong pain on those who nurtured that Ethiopian history has been crafted in a way that serves their personal interest and they should die to defend and maintain their supremacy in the country. As a response to this socialization call, the right wingers are now wagging a movement which can be equated to naked politics, not body based but evidence dressing. The couple of writings I am reading in the news paper, on blogs and social medias reflect this and they are all naked from evidence. They most often try to attack individuals, they publicly discuss how to physically attack people who nudes the history they were socialized to defend and die for, they misname institutions and personalities and assassinate characters, they try to divide and rule over members of movements based on their religion and place of origin and even aiming to oppose people and place name changes and removing monuments constructed to signify the injustice done on ethnic groups by Minilk II. For me this is doing nothing butter and different from their fathers and forefathers and by this techniques all they can achieve and some already achieved is losing their readers and followers. This is also equivalent to trying to attract attention by standing naked.I would like to argue evidence is the best weapon to win public opinion and attentions in this globalized world and standing, jumping and running naked may not help much and there is no much place for them as the son of the 19th century king in Ethiopia now because few (themselves) recalls that and if other do, that brings bad memory. So they better get dressed well with evidence to attract at least their own attentions.

http://birhanumegersalenjiso.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/nuding-ethiopian-history-and-naked.html

The Human Right Issues and Violations in the Horn of Africa,Ethiopia-Oromia

 The modern concept of human rights is rooted in the experiences of ‘legal lawlessness’ when crimes were committed with the authorization of the law, and when some human beings were denied their status as such. An answer to these experiences was the emergence of the international human rights law. The main aim of this branch of international law is to prevent broad violations of fundamental rights from recurring in the future. Appreciating the worth of every human being, the international community decided to eliminate elements that could destroy the individual person, but also to create the conditions that would enable him or her to develop and flourish. Accordingly, the Preambles to the International Bill of Rights  provide that the “foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” is the “inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”. (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966). However, the dictator government of Ethiopia otherwise known TPLF is unable in the enforcement of these rights and remain a headache,mainly due to technical blockades; lack of effective institutions or the existence of weak institutions only; and lack of political will to implement human rights with differing degrees. Therefore asking your rights in Ethiopia will either lead you to be imprisoned or counted you as anti-government.
Instability in  Horn of Africa and TPLF
The current crisis in the Horn of Africa is, on the one hand, a struggle between oppressed people who are fighting for self-determination and, on the other hand, the regime of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that is trying to impose its rule by force.
The regime has set loose war, hunger, poverty, and disease to ransack the country. In particular, the regime has been and is systematically violating human rights of the Oromo and other peoples of in the country as well and the neighborings too.
The OLF also believes in peace, democracy and development . As the main organ that is championing the right of self-determination of the Oromo people, it fully realizes the present day global reality. It affirms that the international community does have legitimate concern and interest in political stability and economic development of the Horn of Africa. Moreover, the OLF is cognizant of the fact that the day of carving spheres of influence and promoting clients in superpower rivalry has given way to globalization. Further, the OLF firmly believes in the immediate termination of the vicious cycle of political conflicts, economic backwardness, environmental degradation, natural and man-made disasters that today ravage the peoples of the Horn of Africa.
(http://www.oromoliberationfront.org/PressReleaseArchive/Articles/Liberating.htm)
Human Right Issue in Ethiopia
Allegations of arbitrary detention, torture, and other ill-treatment at the hands of Ethiopianpolice and other security forces are not new. But since the disputed 2005 elections, the Ethiopian government has intensified restrictions on freedom of expression, association,and assembly, deploying a range of measures to clamp down on dissent. These include arresting and detaining political opposition figures, journalists, and other independent voices, and implementing laws that severely restrict independent human rights monitoring and press freedom.
Since 2009 a new law, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, has become a particularly potent instrument to restrict free speech. The law’s provision undermine basic legal safeguards against prolonged pre-charge detention and unfair trials. In this context, Maekelawi has become an important site for the detention and investigation of some of the most politically sensitive cases.
Many detainees accused of offenses under the law—including some of Ethiopia’s most prominent political prisoners—have been detained in the Maekelawi facility as their cases were investigated or prepared for trial (Human Rights Watch, 2013). As a result of enforcement of the FDRE Proclamation 621/2009 that has been intended to impose superior regulation of charities, the party leaders decide who should receive and who should not receive the emergency support at grassroots level in the respective community.
Older Oormo people are usually victims of this type of abuse because of their allegiances to the values of the Oromo Gadaa system, that promotes respect and dignity to people in difficult situation. In so doing, technically, the authorities decide who should die from and who should survive the hunger.
http://www.minorityvoices.org/news.php/fr/1381/ethiopiauk-oromo-rally-in-london
Endless focus on Oromos by TPLF, why?
The Oromo people constitute the single largest national groups in the Ethiopia empire and the horn of Africa with the total of over 40 million people. The number of the oromo people and the geographical location of their country Oromia make the oromo country ( Oromia) the heart of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian empire mainly survives on the economic resources of Oromia. Although the Oromo people are one of the most impoverished and terrorized indigenous people .Recognizing that Oromia is the richest and largest populous state, the Tigrayan led Ethiopia government has been using collective violence to dominate, control and exploit Oromia which the key in controlling the Ethiopia government has been using political economy. Understanding the situation in Oromia helps in generalizing what is going through the country (Hassen,2011).
The Oromo people are just arrested and accused of being a member or supporter or sympathiser of the Oromo liberation struggle. To the Ethiopian government authorities, every Oromo appears to be a member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a political organisation struggling for the socio-economic, cultural and political rights of the Oromo people. One has to prove he/she is not a member or supporter of the OLF in order to live in relative peace. The safest proof is one and only one – to become a member of the EPRDF, the ruling party;failure to proove non-affiliation with OLF or any attempt to remain politically indifferent has come to be dangerous in Ethiopia for every ordinary Oromo. Business persons are systematically eliminated from investment and small scale business if they fail to be members of the ruling party in any case. Every student in college or university is required to secure membership of the ruling party at the campus in order for her/him to get job in public institutions or to run private business after completion of the study. The situation is worse for the rural people whereby farmers are required to be members of and demonstrate allegiance to the EPRDF in order to get agricultural inputs and/or have their children learn in school without assault by the government security.
It always seems impossible until it is done – Nelson Mandela

http://ethiofreespeech.blogspot.no/2014/01/the-human-right-issues-and-violations.html

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/the-ever-increasing-crime-of-tplfeprdf-brutal-regime/?fb_action_ids=501287476649048&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B438867419546098%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Ethiopia: land of slavery & brutality – the League of Nations, Geneva 1935

An old Abyssinian was shooting with the sight adjusted at more than a thousand
metres. I said to the Dedjiajmatch [dejazmach] that the bullets might fall on the mountain
and kill someone. He burst out laughing and said, “What does it matter if they
do? There is nobody here but Shangalla [shankilla]”.’

Friends at ER:

The above quote was an extract from a document or a memorandum presented by the Italian Government delineating the reasons for the expulsion of Ethiopia from the League of Nations, the forerunner of today’s United Nations Organisation. The main point of their argument was the condition of slavery and gebbar (a slave-like system) to which Abyssinia/Ethiopia had reduced its subject populations in the southern half of its empire, while pillaging their lands.

The change of political masters in Addis Ababa has so far been a mere case of taking turns at abusing the populations of these same southern provinces of Ethiopia to benefit the gun-toting invaders from the “Habesha highlands” of northern Ethiopia (Tigre-Woyane at the moment).

In this light, you may find the following document of great historical significance. It also provides an insight into the unchanged modus operandi of all Ethiopian regimes before or since.

Here is the complete document….

“Geneva, September 11th , 1935. Official No. C.340.M.171.1935.VII.

(I) CONDITIONAL ADMISSION OF ETHIOPIA TO THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.

As regards the condition required by Article I of the Covenant [accord]
regarding effective guarantees of a sincere intention to observe international
obligations, the Sub-committee pointed out that, in the past, Ethiopia had not
fully observed her international engagements. During the discussion it was
stressed how difficult it was to reconcile Ethiopia’s demand with the
circumstance that Ethiopia, once admitted to the league, might sit in judgement
on countries under mandate, more civilised than Ethiopia herself and not
stained with the disgrace of slavery…

(II) POLITICAL STRUCTURE AND CONDITIONS OF ETHIOPIA IN RELATION TO ARTICLE I OF
THE COVENANT [of the League of Nations].

(Summary):

Clear distinction between the Abyssinian State and the territories conquered by
it. Difference of religion, language, history, race, and political and social
structure. Negus’s domination over non-Abyssinian populations. The gebbar
system (a form of slavery) applied to subject populations. The Ethiopian
Government’s responsibility for the decimation of the subject populations.
Ethiopia’s incapacity to possess a colony.

ABYSSINIA AND HER “COLONIES”: DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE ABYSSINIAN STATE AND THE
CONQUERED TERRITORIES.

On this subject it is first of all necessary to obtain a fundamental idea of
the position. It is commonly said that Ethiopia is a national State in Africa
which forms a single unit. Nothing could be further from the facts. The
Ethiopian State, in its present form, is composed of two regions which are
clearly distinct both geographically and politically.

(i) The old Abyssinian State, consisting of the regions inhabited mainly by
Abyssinian populations speaking kindred languages derived from Southern Arabic.
But the old Abyssinian State itself could not be called a national State,
because even in those regions there are considerable non-Abyssinian minorities,
such as the Agau in the Tsana and Nile regions, the Falasha of Semien,
professing the Jewish religion …and others. Nevertheless, their common
allegiance to the dynasty of the House of Solomon, and the fact that for ages
they [peoples of the northern half of Ethiopia] had belonged to the same group
of States, have to a certain extent welded all these regions into a political
unit which, though rough and shapeless in structure, might have a position of
its own in the composition of present-day Ethiopia.

This Abyssinian State has well-defined and exact historical, geographical and ethnical boundaries. On the west, towards the Nile basin, and on the east, towards Danakil, the frontier of
the Abyssinian State coincided with the edge of the plateau. The Abyssinians, a
mountain people, are clearly distinguished by race, language and religion from
the populations which inhabit the torrid Danakil plain and the valleys sloping
down towards the Sudan.

To the south, the boundary of the Abyssinian State was marked by the course of
the Blue Nile as far as its confluence with the Adabai, by the watershed
between the Blue Nile and the Awash, and by the course of the river Awash as
far as its entry into the Danakil plain. The territories beyond these
boundaries, in the south, are inhabited by non-Abyssinian populations which,
throughout the centuries of their history, have been traditional enemies of the
Abyssinian State.

(ii) The non-Abyssinian areas recently conquered by the arms of the Negus
Menelik.-Beyond the confines of this nucleus of the Abyssinian State there
were, until forty years ago, other native States, some of which have a long
historical tradition of independence. Among the principal may be mentioned the
Emirate of Harrar, which comprised the regions between the river Awash, the
Webi Shebeli, and the south-eastern edge of the plateau, having the inhabitants
of Ogaden as tributaries.

The Emirate of Harrar is a Moslem State which was
ruled for centuries by the dynasty of its Emirs, and was the cultural and
religious centre of Islam in South-East Africa. The continuous relations
maintained by the Emirate with the Arab countries of the Levant had brought
that state up to a level of civilisation far superior to that of Abyssinia. We
need only mention the fact that, even to-day, Harrar is the only town in the
territory of the present Ethiopian State which is built of masonry and is not
composed of huts hovels made of branches, apart from few buildings in Addis
Ababa.

In the south-west, the kingdom of kafa was founded by the western Sidama
peoples. The political and social constitution of this kingdom and its history
(which comprises at least 600 years of independence, from the fourteenth
century to the Abyssinian conquest) form the subject of various well-known
works published only recently; and, not to quote Italian writers, we need only
refer to the voluminous work of the Austrian traveller Franz Bieber.
In the south, there is the kingdom of Wollamo, founded by the Sidama
populations of the Omo. How this peaceful little agricultural State was
devastated and destroyed by the Abyssinians is described in a work by a
Frenchman, M Vanderheym, which is nothing les than an indictment of the
Abyssinian State.

In the west, there is the Sultanate of Jimma, a Moslem State that became a
centre in Westrn Ethiopia towards which Moslem currents flowed from Harrar and
Egypt. Under the patriarchal administration of its sultans of the local
dynasty, Jimma had reached a high degree of economic prosperity, which it
retained, being the only Moslem State remaining independent of the Abyssinians
until the Negus annexed it to Ethiopia a few months ago.

The Abyssinian State is completely different in every respect from these vast
“colonies” which it has recently acquired:

(a) In religion, because the Abyssinians are Monophysite Christians, whereas
the Somali, Harrari, [deleted] [Oromo], Sidama are largely Moslem, and in part
still pagan;

(b) In language, because the Abyssinians speak Amharic and Tigrai (Semitic
languages), whereas in the conquered regions the languages spoken are totally
different from the Abyssinian languages, but are interrelated among
themselves-e.g.-Galla [Oromo], Somali, Kafi, Wolamo, etc.;

(c) In political and social structure, because the Abyssinian State is based on
the feudal system, whereas the Emirate of Harrar was organised on the model of
the States of the Arabian peninsula, and the Sidama States have a highly
centralised organisation of their own;

(d) In race, because the Abyssinians are Semiticised people, whereas the [deleted],
Sidama, Somali, Tishana, Yambo and the rest are Cushitic and Nilotic peoples;

(e) In history, because the Emirate of Harrar, for instance, has for centuries
waged relentless warfare against the Abyssinian State. Indeed, this warfare
might be said to constitute the whole history of Abyssinia itself; records of
it existed from at least the fourteenth century onwards. The Abyssinian
domination constitutes, in fact, the subjugation of a conquered people by its
age-long enemy.

DOMINATION OF THE NEGUS OVER NON-ABYSSINIAN POPULATIONS.

The Abyssinian domination in the conquered countries takes concrete form in the
slave trade and the so-called gebbar system. The slave trade will be considered
below. It should be pointed out here, however, that the slave trade is due not
only to a desire for gain, but also to the idea, deep-rooted in the
Abyssinians’ mind, that their victories have left them absolute masters of
populations which, in their eyes, are no more than human cattle.

This conception of the Abyssinians is confirmed b a typical incident narrated by Sir
Arnold Hodson in his work Where the Lion Reigns (page 41): ‘An old Abyssinian
was shooting with the sight adjusted at more than a thousand metres. I said to
the Dedjiajmatch [dejazmach] that the bullets might fall on the mountain and kill someone.
He burst out laughing and said, “What does it matter if they do? There is
nobody here but Shangalla [shankilla]”‘ (Shangalla is the name given by the Abyssinians to
the Nilotic peoples).

The gebbar system is a form of slavery, and is regarded as such by European
writers and travellers. In each of the countries conquered and annexed by
Abyssinia, a body of Abyssinian troops is stationed, comprising the soldiers
themselves and their families. The inhabitants of the conquered country are
registered in families by the Abyssinian chiefs, and to every family of
Abyssinians settled in the country there is assigned one or more families of
the conquered as gebbar. The gebbar family is obliged to support the Abyssinian
family; it gives that family its own lands, builds and maintains the huts in
which it lives, cultivate the fields, grazes the cattle, and carries out every
kind of work and performs all possible services for the Abyssinian family. All
this is done without any remuneration, merely in token of the perpetual
servitude resulting from the defeat sustained thirty years ago. It amounts to
what Anglo-Indians are accustomed to call “the law of the jungle”.

The gebbar can never obtain freedom from their chains, even by ransom. They must not leave
the land assigned for their work, and, if they run away, they themselves are
subject to the terrible punishment which are inflicted in Ethiopia, and to
which we shall refer shortly, while their village is bound to supply the
Abyssinians with another family to be reduced to the condition of gebbar, in
place of the fugitive family.

As to the effects of slavery and the gebbar system, all who know the facts are
agreed: the non-Abyssinian regions of Ethiopia are becoming a vast desert.
Every Abyssinian chief sent to those parts finds it necessary on his arrival to
provide himself with slaves and his soldiers’ families with gebbar. And when he
leaves the conquered countries to be transferred elsewhere, he takes away with
him, and allow his soldiers to take away with them, the greatest possible
number of slaves and gebbar to be employed at his new residence. This constant
draining of the population of the subject territories is particularly terrible,
because the slaves and gabbar are decimated, during the long journeys, by
hunger, thirst and ill-treatment from their Abyssinian masters. We quote
evidence from non-Italian sources.

Sir Arnold Hodson (Seven Years in Southern Abyssinia, London, 1927, page 146)
writes of Kafa: ‘There has recently been a change of Governors in Kafa, and, as
usual, the outgoing official was taking away as much as he could in goods and
slaves’. … Thus the population of Kafa, which Cardinal Gugliemo Massaja
estimated at a million and a half before the Abyssinian conquest, is now
reduced to 20,000. Again, whereas Vittorio Bottego estimated the population of
the Burji in 1895 at 200,000, there are now no more than 15,000 people in the
region. And Sir Arnold Hodson, who was Consul at Gardulla, not far from Burji,
writes as follows (Seven Years in Southern Abyssinia, page 102): ‘Burji had
been sadly devastated quite recently, and very few natives were left there. The
responsibility for this rests with a former Governor of Sidamo, named Ato
Finkabo, who appears to have carried on a very flourishing business in slaves
from these parts. In fact, he became so enterprising that most of the natives
who were left fled to Conso and Boran to escape falling into his clutches’.
George Montandon calculates (Au pays des Ghimirra, page 223) that the
population of Ghimirra has declined in a few years from 110,000 to 10,000.

The responsibility of the Addis Ababa Government for this incredible state of
affairs in the non-Abyssinian areas of the south is particularly great, because
it has compelled some of the more warlike non-Abyssinian peoples to arm
themselves in defence of their lives and liberty; and theses foreign peoples,
having acquired arms and ammunition, have in their turn become slave-raiders,
preying upon the unarmed neighbouring tribes, and so have increased the
destruction and the scourge of slavery.

In conclusion we need only quote …Major M Darley, who has had a very long
experience of Ethiopian affairs, and who wrote in 1926, three years after
Abyssinia’s entry into the League (Slaves and Ivory, page 34): ‘Abyssinia
should be the heart of North-East Africa, but all the veins or roads, which
should supply the rest of the starving body with nourishment, are blocked by
the Abyssinian policy, abysmal and suicidal, of depopulation, retrogression and
racial extermination’.

It will thus be seen that the Ethiopian State, administratively and politically
disorganised as It is, carries the dire effects of its domination (slavery and
gebbar) into vast regions of East Africa which were conquered by the arms of
the Negus only a few years ago. It is surely in the interests of civilisation
that the Harrari, [deleted] [Oromo], Somali, Sidama, and other peoples which have
for centuries formed separate national entities, should be removed from
Abyssinian oppression. To effect an immediate settlement of this grave problem
is, indeed, to act in conformity with the spirit of the covenant, which
requires that colonisation should be carried out only by advanced States which
are in a position to ensure the development and welfare of the native
peoples…

The documents show:

(a) That Ethiopia recognises slavery as a legal condition;

(b) That raids for the capture of individuals for purposes of slavery are
continuing on a large scale, especially in the southern and western regions of
Ethiopia;

(c) That the slave trade is still practiced;

(d) that the Ethiopian Government participates directly in the slave trade by
accepting slaves in payment of taxes and allowing detachments of regular troops
to capture new slaves;

(e) That, in addition to slavery proper, there exists the institution known as
“gebbar”, to which the population of non-Ethiopian [sic] regions are subject,
and which is a form of servitude akin to slavery;

(f) That the Ethiopian Government has taken no account of the recommendations
made to it by the committee of Experts on slavery, more particularly as regards
the abolition o the legal status of slave, as appears further from the report
submitted to the League of Nations in May 1935…

By her conduct, Ethiopia has openly placed herself outside the covenant of the
League and has rendered herself unworthy of the trust placed in her when she
was admitted to membership. Italy, rising up against such an intolerable
situation, is defending her security, her rights and her dignity. She is also
defending the prestige and good name of the League of Nations.”

http://www.ethiopianewsforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=60396

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/eleanor-ross/ethiopia-human-rights_b_4649953.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Copyright © OromianEconomist 2014 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

The genocidal Ethiopia and Its Janjaweed Style Liyu Police: The Killings of 59 Oromo Men, Women and Children, The Wounding of 42 Others, the Confiscation of Property and the Forcible Removal of People from Their Ancestral Land in Eastern Oromia January 19, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Food Production, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Nelson Mandela, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Slavery, South Sudan, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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5 comments

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Oromo Studies Association’s (OSA’s) Letter to U.S. Secretary of State on the Killings of 59 and Wounding of 42 Oromos in Eastern Oromia by Ethiopian-Trained “Liyu Police”:

January 17, 2014

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, DC20520

Subject: The killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others, the confiscation of property and the forcible removal of people from their ancestral land in eastern Ethiopia

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Oromo Studies Association, an independent scholarly, multi-disciplinary, non-profit organization based in North American. My purpose is to bring to your attention and to protest on behalf of the members of OSA a crime committed against the Oromo in Eastern Ethiopia, that is, the killings of 59 Oromo men, women and children, the wounding of 42 others and the confiscation/destruction of property with an estimated value of Eth$14,726,000 in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. These acts of extreme and unprovoked violence, killings, violent wounding, burning of houses and confiscation of cattle and other property of the Oromo citizens in eastern Oromia zone, were committed by Ethiopian government-trained special Somali militia forces known as “Liyu Police” (translation: Special Police Force). The Ethiopian regime arms Somali in that region while disarming Oromo farmers. These actions of deliberately arming one people while equally deliberately disarming the other and, thus, by creating conflict between formerly closely related people – groups who have lived peacefully as neighbors for centuries – goes beyond abdicating governmental responsibility. It is a heinous crime that this government commits against peoples within its jurisdictional borders. The world regards these victims as citizens of Ethiopia, but they are being seriously mistreated with no proper defense available.

In the past several months, there has been a new wave of killing of Oromo nationals in particular who reside in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Targeted Oromo victims suffer also the confiscation of their property and removal by the thousand of residents from their ancestral lands. This is a miserable new policy which constitutes nothing less than a strategy for creating a blood feud between the two culturally related people, namely, the Oromo and Somali in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. In the sacred land of their birth, Oromo children, women and unarmed men are killed systematically by Ethiopian government Special Police forces. Once the slaughter is completed, these government-equipped forces then callously deny their victims even decent burial, which, in itself, is a crime against humanity.

The Ethiopian government is responsible for inflicting a great deal of harm and damage on defenseless Oromo peasants through this practice of arming Somali against disarmed Oromo farmers by building special police force comprised of Somalis. This appears to be a continuation of the callously inhuman policy of the Ethiopian regime that led to the removal of Oromo peasants from seven major ancestral regions covering extensive territories in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. Most OSA members are Oromo Americans, who closely follow events in the region and whose findings are confirmed by the reports of pain and suffering of their families – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, relatives and friends – who were killed, wounded and displaced, and whose livelihood was destroyed by Ethiopian government Special Police forces made up of Somali armed by the regime.

The Oromo Studies Association, OSA, was established 26 years ago by international scholars from around the globe to promote studies related and relevant to the Oromo and other peoples in the Horn of Africa. In its attempt to create academic forums where ideas and research findings about the Oromo and other people of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa are freely discussed, OSA has established a peer-reviewed Journal of Oromo Studies, other periodic publications, as well as organizing regular mid-year and annual conferences. OSA has been involved in building a knowledge base for creating a democratic future for the peoples of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. In our scholarly organization Somali and Oromo scholars work together. The Journal of Oromo Studies publishes research papers on Somali studies. Our goal is to strengthen historical relations between the two related peoples.

You may be surprised to learn that Oromia, the Oromo regional state in Ethiopia, is the largest, the richest and the most densely populated regional state in Ethiopia. Because the Oromo constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia – and in the entire region – they are regarded as the greatest threat to the ruling minority group, dominated by members historically affiliated with the Tigrayan Liberation Front (TPLF). The current government is dominated by Tigrayans persons whose ethnicity represents less than seven percent of the population of Ethiopia. Current Ethiopian government policies, which target populations on the basis of ethnicity, are best understood in light of a history of ethnic politics and ethnic discrimination. Arming Somalis to destroy Oromo in order to confiscate their lands and other resources continues ethnic politics in its most brutal form.

Oromo do not have powerful friends in the western world who bring the injustices that they suffer to the attention of international community. The Oromo Studies Association requests that you respond to our voice as a voice of conscience uttered to the international community. We urge that you immediately put pressure on the Ethiopian regime to desist from driving Oromo out their ancestral land in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia. We request that the State Department under your able leadership look into this critical matter take effective action while there is time to reverse a criminal policy and save the lives and livelihood of vulnerable populations in Eastern Ethiopia.

In the light of the issue raised which is only the most recent of an ongoing series of violent attacks on Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone during 2013, the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) urgently requests that the State Department utilize its good offices to seek justice by putting pressure on the Ethiopian government to:

• Stop immediately the Liyu Police attacks on Oromo farmers in the eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Return, without delay, those who were forcibly driven from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Bring to speedy trial those who ordered the Liyu Police force to attack, killing 59 defenseless Oromo children, men and women and wounding 42 others while confiscating or destroying property estimated at Eth$14,726,000.

• Pay compensation for the lives lost and the property confiscated from those defenseless Oromo farmers in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia.

• Urge the Ethiopian government officials to stop the forcible removal of thousands of Oromo farmers from their ancestral lands in eastern Oromia zone of Ethiopia and make sure that such measures will never be repeated in Oromia or other parts of Ethiopia.

• Advise the leaders of the Ethiopian government to abandon the cruel and crude policy of disarming Oromo while unleashing the special police force on defenseless children, men and women.

• Strongly urge the leaders of the Ethiopian government to respect and implement the provisions in their own Constitution, which officially guarantees respect for human rights and democratic governance.

The Oromo Studies Association requests that the State Department, under your leadership, set an example by taking the above measures in a timely fashion.

You have an extraordinary opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions of Oromo and other people in Ethiopia. Our scholarly association appreciates your good efforts in this regard.

Sincerely,

Ibrahim Elemo, President
Oromo Studies Association
P.O.Box: 6541
Minneapolis, MN 55406-0541
E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

CC:
Ambassador Girma Birru
Embassy of FDRE, Washington, D.C
3506 International Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General
Office of the Secretary General of United Nations
885 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10017, USA

Mr. David Cameron, Prime Minister of UK
10 Downing Street, London, UK

The Hon. Tony Abbott, MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23953/2014/01/19/oromo-studies-associations-osas-letter-to-u-s-secretary-of-state-on-the-killings-of-59-and-wounding-of-42-oromos-in-eastern-oromia-by-ethiopian-trained-liyu-police/#.Uts92fi_TfU.facebook

Liyu Police is Ethiopia’s (TPLF’s) style of  Janjaweed to conduct genocide against the Oromo people.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1003597/Janjaweed

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2014 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014. All rights reserved. Disclaimer

Incarnating Abyssinian Genocidal Hitlers through music January 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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4 comments

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‘Tedy Afro, for the past few years, has been deliberately resurrecting some dead zombies, and he is making money and fame out of such dirty and unethical work. The two great Zombies that he resurrected so far are Emperor Menelik and King Hailesilassie. Anytime some one resurrect the dead, a lot of questions crop up; from political to ethical. Is there any moral guide that stops musicians from reanimating worst dictators and mercenaries? What is the political significance of reincarnating a barbaric mass killer like Menelik for Ethiopian people at this time? As a matter of fact, Tedy started his career from the very beginning by glorifying King Hailessilassie. This is the same king who watched in silence as millions of Ethiopians perish during the 1973 famine. …The musical piece Tedy composed for the late monarch seems to have rallied the majority of feudal elements who during the reign of king Hailessilassie lived on the bloods and sweats of the Ethiopian poor. Now that Tedy wrote lyrics and composed music for the great zombie of all time (Menelik), he qualify to be recognized as an entrepreneur who lives on the fame of dead monarchies. He is making himself name and money off the dead dictators. By doing so he successfully milked those Abyssinians who always dreamt the second coming of Hailesilassie and Menelik, but immensely disrespected millions Ethiopians who suffered in the hand of these dictators.

One may ask him/herself  what objective the young artist might have on his mind when he composed the Tikur Sew lyrics for Menelik.  We know that Menelik is not Tikur. That is to say he is not Tikur by choice, by his own preference. Menelik is not a ‘black man’ because he rejected his blackness. You don’t need any other witness other than Menelik himself to prove that he wasn’t black.  Shame on you Tedy; you tried your best to twist history just in the same way many Debteras did in the past Ethiopian history. Unfortunately, what you tried to reverse is irreversible.  Historians have documented it very well. You cannot make Menelik to be proud of his blackness. Menelik dismissed it in public. He told the whole world that he is Caucasian, not black. ‘I am not a Negro at all; I am a Caucasian’ , Emperor Menelik told the West Indian pan-Africanist Benito Sylvian who had come to Addis Ababa to solicit the Emperor’s leadership in a society for the ‘Amelioration of the Negro race.’ Haile Sellassie confirmed that view in a declaration to Chief H. O. Davis, a well-known Nigerian nationalist, stating that the Ethiopians did not regard themselves as Africans, but as ‘a mixed Hamito-Semitic people.(See John H. Spencer, Ethiopia at Bay (1984), p. 306.) With regard to the great purpose that music plays to bring people together and minimize tension among ethnic lines, Tedy’s recent Album played the exact opposite. Oromo youth around the world have taken to facebook and other Medias to boycott the album which glorifies a mercenary who butchered our forefathers and mothers. This album is more dividing than healing Ethiopian people. In particular it is an insult to Oromo nation and Southern Nations and Nationalities. It is a complete disregard to the lives of those who were massacred by the invading army of Menelik.  It is an insult to the entire Oromo nation and South Nations who survived the genocide Abyssinian Army perpetrated against us.   It is an outrageous act of praising a criminal who inhumanly butchered millions of children, women and innocent men.’

http://shagarindex.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/reincarnating-menilik-just-one-step-away-from-repeating-genocide/

Reincarnating Menilik? Just one step away from repeating genocide.

As hardliner Abyssinian commemorate centennial of Emperor Menilik II, the conquered Nations and Nationalities mark 100 years of colonial subjugation under successive Abyssinian rulers.

Abyssinian commemorate the epoch when their beloved emperor( Emiye Menelik –  literally translated as ‘mother Menilik’)annexed free people into his Empire.  Towards the end of 19 century, Emperor Menilik led Abyssinian’s   murderous colonial   army into the lands of Oromo, Somali,  Sidama, Kambata, Walayita,Gambella and other Nations and Nationalities.  Armed to the teeth with latest European arms, the army of Menelik annihilated millions of natives who were armed only with wooden spears. In over a decade of armed resistance, most nations and nationals outside Abyssinia proper fall under the army of Menilik.  In this colonial campaign Menilik army killed more than 5 million innocent civilians in Oromo land alone. Those who survived death were taken into captivity and sold into slavery. The remaining population were dispossessed of their lands and reduced into serfs to labor on the lands distributed to Menelik’s nobility, army and priests- until freed by death.

anole3

AANOLEE MARTYS MEMORIAL MONUMENT

The brutalities of Emperor Menilik and his army were unseen and have no parallel in the African continent. The Harma Muraa( breast cutting) and Harka Mura( arms chopping) at Aanolee in Arsi region of Oromia epitomize the  cruelty and barbarity of Menilik’s army, while it also captures the greatest  human tragedy that Empire builder had carried out in expanding their empire. Today, in Oromia region, monuments are being built in memory of millions of innocent civilians murdered by Menilik and his Army. (Aanole Martyrs memorial monument and cultural center)

Photo

This very week, those who share the legacy of Menilik commemorated 100 year anniversary of Menilik in the heart of Oromia, SHAGGAR( Addis Ababa as colonialists call it). This very land where they celebrate the event is the land confiscated by Menilik from Oromo peasants and distributed to Abyssinian Orthodox church. ( click here to watch the commemoration event).  Traditionally, Orthodox Church priests were/are legitimisers of the Abyssinian throne. The Tabot( tablet) followed the army of Menilik everywhere they fought the conquered people. As such, after the conquest of free nation was completed, the Orthodox Church was granted 1/3 of every inch of the conquered land as it’s fiefdom along with the conquered peasantry as its own property.  The Orthodox priest also played essential role as ideologues of the colonial undertaking of Abyssinia. (Follow this link to read more about the role of Orthodox Church in Abyssinian politics).

For Oromo Nation and other conquered people who survived the brutalities of Menilik and his army, this hardliner Abyssinian are opening our wounds afresh. They are boldly telling us that they have no respect for the millions killed brutally during Minilk’s colonial campaign. They are re-victimizing and insulting those who survived the heinous genocide carried out by Menilik and his army. There seems nothing will stop them from repeating Menilik’s heinous crime if they get the chance.

http://shagarindex.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/reincarnating-menilik-just-one-step-away-from-repeating-genocide/

Regardless of this evil forces shameless attempt to reincarnate Africa’s Hitler as  a benevolent Emperor,  for Oromo Nation and other conquered Nation and Nationality in the Ethiopian Empire, Menilik will remain a BULGU, a murderer, a villain , a butcher, and  a genocidal Emperor.

I summarized my comment by this African proverb. “Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter”. Jailers will continue to criminalize the innocent until free people stand up against them. The conquerors will continue to tell their glory until the conquered stands up and stop them. Free Nation Shall Prevail. Oromia Shall Be Free!

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/duguuggaan-sanyii-minilik-oromoorratti-oofe-waraana-qulqulluudha/

Oromo as a victim of hate crime at homeland and abroad

By Hara Olani 

In its broad meaning, hate crime is a category of crime used to describe bias-motivated violence: “assault, injury and murder on the basis of certain personal or group characteristics that include different appearance, different color, different religion, different nationality, different identity, etc.

For more than a century, the Oromo in Ethiopian empire specifically targeted and injured, killed, forced to flee their homeland, and even continuously abused verbally abroad by Ethiopian politicians, media, activists, and individuals that think being a true Ethiopian is being denying oneself’s identity.

Since the Oromo nation failed under Abyssinian oppression, the hate towards Oromo are planned, politically motivated and kept in place by the successive regimes that ruled that empire and including the current TPLF lead killer regime.

In a meaning to hate crime, Oromo are targeted and still a target of hate crime in a meaning more than their personal characteristics, appearance, color, nationality, language and religion. Oromo are a victim of hate crime in a Ethiopian related identity just because of what they are. This showed again and again openly and the fresh “I am Oromo first” sentence created anger and violence from narrow minded Ethiopians who used to disrespect Oromo.

As racist anti-black bias was the most frequently reported hate crime motivation in the USA even in 2011 for example, for more than a century long time frame being an Oromo is just away to be abused verbally by non-disciplined Ethiopians and to the worst killed, tortured, and disappeared by regimes that ruled the empire one after the other including the current once.

A serious hate crime against oromo in Ethiopia is clearly motivated by racial and it is involving violence. It is happening for long and continued today with out certain limits. It is more sad that the Oromo nation that is a back bone of that old empire but yet the identity of the Oromo people’s identity kept denied by narrow minded Ethiopians who deny the truth behind Oromo nation and the make up of the Ethiopian Empire. The hate crime against innocent Oromo caused social unrest, and a significant and wide-ranging psychological consequences on Oromo, not only upon the direct victim but also on other oppressed people in that uncivilized empire.

The hate crime that victimized millions over the century and continued today, is clearly planned. It is a politically motivated act and violence by oppressors, and organized officially and non-officially, measured its success and changes its form based on different factors. That is why today we can see the hate crime towards Oromo by narrow minded Ethiopians, made its way all long and continued even in the western democratic society member Ethiopians. There for, it can be taken as a crime that is organized by hate group that attacks Oromo and Oromummaa in every way possible in the Empire or out side. But is is really funny that even these groups that have common interest in attacking Oromo and Oromummaa are enemies to each other and made common bed when comes to such matter.

A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of others that are targeted. Accordingly, the hate group which currently targeted Oromo and Oromummaa at home and abroad, took a primary purpose of promoting animosity, hostility, and malice against oromo identity, language, culture, political organizations, associations, intellectuals, etc.

Like before currently, any thing that promote Oromo nation became a victim of these hate groups that includes the current killer regime in Ethiopia, those oppositions calling themselves they struggle for freedom and democracy in Ethiopia, opposition groups calling them selves freedom fighters of Ethiopian people, the so called activists, politicians, journalists, media, PC desk top heroes and heroine. Even though they have some thing to struggle for against each other but they showed unity in hating Oromo and Oromummaa. They cooperate successfully in advertising the hate towards Oromo nation in all costs of their activity.

If we try to see at least few examples that shows how Oromo are targeted inside that Empire, Oromo students are targeted and imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, killed and dismissed from their study at different levels, just because of they born Oromo and showed respect to their own identity than the identity others dreaming fro them. Many Oromo business men and women ended up in Prison from their own business as one of the hate crime objective towards Oromo, is to weaken the economy to the root level. Due to such police, it became clear that today others controlled all the business going inside Oromia. The Oromo farmers missed and continuously missing their piece of land under the so called investment with out any sufficient compensation. Oromo intellectuals lead a life in prison as the government planned it purposely to discourage the Oromo young generation. Even those Oromo politicians who are trying the way they think they can solve the problem of that empire, ended up in prison for the crime they never planned and did, even never thought.

Oromia as one of the state in the federal government that seems another way to strength the exploitation of oromia, Oromia contributed the largest GDP to the economy of that empire. But one can clearly see that most of the cities and villages in Oromia purposefully denied basic infrastructures and lagging behind of time. According to the new report from Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), out of a list of 528 political prisoners, the Oromo constituted almost 90% of the new statistics.

One can say only the lucky once has made away to escape the hate crime showering on Oromo in Ethiopia and just the luckiest once to westerns since many are still suffering in East African countries and Arab countries. But In reality, even those who made to westerns, faced another front line of hate crime from narrow minded Ethiopians who continued to deny Oromo’s self identity and never wants to hear about Oromo and Oromia. But wants to impose their own identity on others.

The hate group that is a fruit of century long hate towards Oromo in Ethiopian empire, continued to victimize Oromo even in western society. They wanted the Oromo to deny themselves and they condemn Oromo when the Oromo say what they are in public or private. But this is just a selfish dream that will never be fulfilled because Oromo can’t deny themselves.

From activist and journalist Jawar Mohammed’s “I am Oromo first” to “we are oromo we are not ethiopians” of the protesters against violence against Oromo refugees in different countries, the anger, insult and verbal abuse that came out of habesha related media, politician, activists, journalists and individuals was clearly showed what does it mean being an Ethiopian according to them and also showed the future of that empire . The reality is that, the Ethiopia they dream of such character is good for nobody including for themselves. All this confirm that the hate crime involved killing, imprisoning, torturing of Oromo in Ethiopia took another form in dyaspora. It involves verbal violence.

Verbal violence is often a substitute for real violence and that the verbalization of hate has the potential to incite people who are incapable of distinguishing between real and verbal violence to engage in actual violence. These hate crimes against Oromo and Oromummaa have been conducted by internate hate groups and few Ethiopian media which are infected by Oromophobia.

Internate hate groups are hate groups that spread their messages by word of mouth or through the distribution of flyers and pamphlets in addition to electronic transmissions of sounds and images. The internet has been a boom for hate groups in general but specifically the narrow minded Ethiopian dyasporas have effectively used and using the internet targeting Oromo and Oromummaa and interms of organizing the hate crime against Oromo refugees. The plan was to silence the Oromo refugees about their identity but the failed plan doubled their anger and hate towards Oromo nation in general.

Today hate websites, social network groups, blogs, news groups, you tube, video sites, and TV under the arm band of “Emiye Ethiopia” became common and actively participating in advocating the hate groups organized to attack the Oromo people and nation verbally.

As the use of internet continues to grow among the Ethiopian dyaspora society, the narrow minded ethiopians have found “effective” and new ways to seek validation for their hateful agendas towards Oromo and oromo nation.

As the great African leader, the most inspiring leader for equality and justice, Nelson Mandela said “….people learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes from naturally to the human heart than its opposite”, thus let us work together to stop the hate crimes against the Oromo people in their own country and outside. The Oromo people respect their own identity and they respect identity of others too.

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/oromo-victim-hate-crime-homeland-abroad/

“Wa’ee Finfinnen Menelikiin qabamuu, Oromoo tokko ‘Inxooxxoo dhaabatani’ jedhee kan aarii isaa geerarsaan dhageessise dhaloota dhalootatti darbee jira. Geerarsisaa akkas jedha:

Inxooxxo dhaabatanii
Caffee gadi ilaaluun hafe
Finifinnee loon geesaani
Hora obaasuun hafe
Tulluu Daalattii irraatti
Yaaiin Gullallee hafe
Gafarsattii darbanii
Qoraan cabsachuun hafe
Hurufa Boombii irraatti
Jabbiilee yaasuun hafe
Bara jarrii dhufani
Loon keenyas indhumani
Eddaa Mashashaan dhufee
Birmadummaanis hafe! ”
http://www.voicefinfinne.org/AfaanOromo/Seenaa/mb_ao.html

“Members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group are celebrating online after the Heineken beer company announced that its Ethiopian franchise would cancel sponsorship of pop star Teddy Afro.

The Bedele beer company dropped its support for Teddy Afro’s upcoming national tour on Thursday, though it did not give a reason. Ethiopian Oromos have been campaigning to boycott the beer over controversial statements allegedly made by the entertainer. Oromos were outraged after he allegedly praised Emperor Menelik II, a 19th-century ruler who some see as a unifier and who placed territories belonging to Oromo and other groups under centralised rule. The magazine quoted Teddy Afro as saying, “For me, Menelik’s unification campaign was a holy war”. The artist’s most recent album also has a song dedicated to the emperor, among other popular historical leaders. Teddy Afro says the quote was falsely attributed to him, writing on Facebook, “Under circumstances unbeknownst to me and due to the error of the magazine, my photo was printed along side a different quote which is not in line with my belief or journey…. The magazine has issued a correction and apologized to us for its error.” Some expressed doubt that the comment was an error. Many celebrated the news from Heineken online, while some said they would not be satisfied without an apology from the singer.”

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201401032207-0023290

The sources suggest that more than 90 percent of the Maji or Dizi, about 80 percent of the Gimira, between third thirds and three quarter of the Kaficho and about half of the Oromo population had lost their lives as the consequence of the conquest and colonisation The small kingdom of Walaita also lost a large proportion of its inhabitants. An Abyssinian expedition in 1894 slaughtered about 119,000 men,women and children (Prouty, 1986:115) in less than two weeks.

Secondly, to spread terror among real and potential enemies, the Abyssinian forces committed acts of mass murder and mutilation against the different peoples they conquered. Here, unlike in the north, mutilation included even women. In that respect the best-known case was the mass mutilation of the Arsi Oromo during the wars of conquest fought from 1882 to 1886. What was remarkable here is that mutilation did not stop with Abyssinian victory at the battle of Azule in 1886 that cost the lives over 12,000 Oromo fighters (Haji, 1995; Zewde, 1991: 63). Weeks after the Arsi were defeated at battle of Azule, the commander of the conquering forces, Ras Darge Sahle Selassie, ordered thousands of Oromos to gather at a place called Anole. Thousands came obeying the order and were killed or mutilated – the men of their hands and the women of their breasts (Haji, 1995: 15-16).

According to (De Salviac, 1901:349-354 During the protracted war of conquest and the pacification that lasted for several decades, vast amounts of property belonging to the conquered peoples was confiscated or destroyed, and millions of head of livestock were looted. Tens of thousands of captives were deported and sold into slavery. The conduct of Abyssinian armies invading a land is simply barbaric. As the fire begins, surprised men in the huts or in the fields are three quarter massacred and horribly mutilated; the women, the children and many men are reduced to captivity. General Walde Gabriel was for a long time held in check, he had cut the right wrist of 400 notable Oromo in one day alone.  In these great expeditions (war), the generals have right to be preceded by eight drummers (negarit); the Nugus has 24 of them. The number is  trumpets is unlimited, Menelik brought back 10,000 oxen, and several thousands of slaves form just one campaign, not including the booty of subordinate officers. The number of heads of cattle captured in one expedition sometimes rises to 100,000; we have seen our eyes some of these glorious ones mutilated. In his hours of reflexion the general, almost a centenarian, believed seeing the specter of these 400 heroes, pursuing him with their reproach. The Nugus, whom I had asked the number of dead, had his guard of the seal make an inventory; each chief told how many victims their men had. Finally I had a total of 96,000 men killed and taken prisoners. I have seen Abyssinians escort string of prisoners; women, and children, making them carry the bloody stripped skins  of their husbands or their fathers. I have seen, and the Nugus (Menelik) had to make an edict  to prevent the atrocities, Abyssinian solders pull away infant from the breast and throw them in the field, in order to unload off the mother the weight which would have obstructed her from continuing  on the road all the way to the country. Page 354.

It was reported that in 1912, about 40,000 of the Gimira were rounded up and taken to the north, and that half of them died on the way while the rest were sold as slaves and scattered within and outside the Ethiopian empire (Pankhurst, 1968: 107).

While, in the case of the Arsi Oromo, both resistance and surrender to the conquering forces led to mass murder and mutilation, the initial passive incorporation of the Gimira and Maji/Dizi expedited their enslavement and mass deportation from their land (Hodson, 1927: 02). Writing about the Maji/Dizi, the German anthropologist Eike Haberland (1984: 47) notes that before the arrival of the Amhara troops in the 1890s and the subsequent forced incorporation of the Dizi into the Ethiopian empire, the Dizi probably numbered between 50,000 and 100,000.

Bulatovich referred to the one-sidedness of the killing he had witnessed. An expedition which would have cost any European power millions, was carried out by the Abyssinians almost free, if you don’t count several hundred men killed and several thou sands cartridges shot ([1898], 2000: 381). .Bulatovich,the Menelik punishments against Oromo even peace time.

Judicial System and Procedure

The exercise of judicial functions rests partly in the emperor and commanders of regions and districts, and partly in the people itself.

Each leader has the right to judge and punish his subordinates, and each individual person has the same right over his servants.

In the forty-fourth chapter, it talks about imperial power. The time of appearance of this book coincides with the apogee of imperial power.

Crimes and punishments are as follows:

1) State crime — capital punishment (in very rare cases); cutting off the right hand and left leg; most often, putting inchains and life imprisonment.

2) Insulting majesty — cutting out the tongue.

3) Murder — the murderer is given to the family of the person killed, who kill him in the same manner that he killed.

4) Robbery — capital punishment (in this way, Emperor Menelik eliminated robbery, which formerly was very widespread).

5) Insulting a personality by action or word 104 — monetary fine.

6) Fraud — monetary fine.

7) Accidental manslaughter — monetary fine from 50 to 1,000 talers.

8) Non-performance of instruction of the government — monetary fine and flogging.

9) Criminal breach of trust — removal from job, putting into chains, monetary fine, confiscation of property. The imposition of punishments by separate individuals goes in the following steps:

1) Each private individual in relationship to servants and minor commanders have the right to throw someone into chains for an indeterminate time and to impose 25 lashes by birch rods (kurbach).

2) The commander of a marketplace can impose monetary fines and flogging with whip (jiraf) up to 8 lashes.

3) The commander of an area — cutting off hands, up to 50 lashes (jiraf), and monetary fine.

4) Afa-negus — cutting off hands, up to 75 lashes (jiraf), and monetary fine.

5) The emperor — capital punishment, up to 100 lashes (jiraf), monetary fine, and life imprisonment. Capital punishment is carried out by hanging, or, in case of murder, it is carried out by relatives in the same manner in which the murderer killed. When the murderer is sentenced, he is given over to the relatives, who take him outside town and kill him. Very often, this task is entrusted to a child. Bulatovich,

http://oromiatimes.org/2014/01/04/evidence-meneliks-genocide-against-oromo-and-other-nations/



Koreen bakka bu’oota dhaabbilee barnoota ol’aanoo Bulchiinsa Mootummaa Naannoo Oromiyaatii fi Obbo Johan Doyer,General Manager of Heineken Ethiopiaf xalayaa barreesse. Guyyaa Mudde 30,bara 2013. barreefame Bulchiinsa Mootummaa Naannoo Oromiyaatiif/BMNOf/. Finfinnee Dhimmi Isaa:-Faarfannaa waggaa dhibbaffaa Miniliik Oromoo fi Oromiyaa irratti gaggeeffamuuf deemu ittisuuf. – Nuti kanneen maqaa fi mallatoon keenya armaan gaditti eerame dhimma atattamaa kana bakkaan ga’uuf bakka buutota dhaabbilee barnoota ol’aanoo irraa koree ariifachiisaa ta’uun muudamnee jirra. -Iyyannoon kun ariifachiisaa ta’uu irra darbee qaama dhimmi isaa ilaallatu hundaan furmaata yeroo hin kennine kan barbaadu ta’uu dursnee jabinaan hubachiisuu barbaanna. Dhimmi harma muraa ayyolee Oromoo fi harka muraa abbootii Oromoo namticha mootii ofiin jedhu Miniliik 2ffaan gochi gara jabinaa Oromoota irratti gaggeeffamaa ture seenaa yeroo dhiyoo fi Oromoota biratti yoomuu kan hin dagatamne ta’uu isaa duubatti deebinee seenaa wal barsiisuu otoo hin ta’iin wal yaadachiisuun qofti ga’aa fakkaata. Kun ammo kan akka Oromoottiis ta’ee akka namaatti boqonnaa nama hin kennine ta’uu isaa namni akka namaatti yaadu hubachuu dhiba jennee hin amannu. Egaa dabni yeroo dheeraaf gaggeeffamaa ture kun akkanaan otoo jiru Oromoota biratti waan dagatame fi dhokate fakkeessuun namoonni hawwii bulchiinsa namticha kanaa qabanii figochaa isaa kanaaf deeggarsa fi gammachuu qaban har’a kabaja ykn faarfannaa waggaa dhibbaffaa mootii Miniliik jechuun Oromoo fi Oromiyaa irra naanna’uun maqaa konsertiin ispoonsarummaa waarshaa biiraa baddalleen wal ta’uun faarfachuuf qophii xumuranii akka jiran kan eenyu jalaa iyyuu hin dhokannee fi ifatti hubatamaa jiru dha. Kun immoo uummata miidhame isaa kana seenaaf jedhee qabatee obsaan taa’e kana madaa isaa yeroo irratti gammachuun faarfatan callisee obsaan dhaggeeffata jedhanii yaaduun ykn eeguun gara laafina irra tufii ta’uu hunda keenya jalaa waan dhokatu hin fakkaatu. Tarii gochaan maal dhibdiin ykn maaltu dhufaan gaggeeffamuuf jiru kun mootummaa ykn sirni biyya bulchaa jiru addattu mootummaan naannoo Oromiyaa akkamiin irraa callisee ilaala? kan jedhu gaaffii uummata Oromoo ta’uus, gochaan kun uummata Oromoo saboota kaan waliin kabajaa fi obsaan jiraachaa jiru seenaa badaa kana myeroo irratti faarfamu of irraa ittisuun waan dirquuf kallattii hin barbaachisne qabachuun dirqama ta’uun hundi keenya hubachuu feesisa. Kanaaf,qaamni dhimmi isaa ilaallatu hundi addatti mootummaan naannoo Oromiyaa gaaffii keenya kaanf deebii kennuu qofaa otoo hin ta’iin, akka abbaa dhimmaattiis hal dureen fuula dura dhaabbachuun gochaan kun Oromiyaa irratti gonkumaa akka hin dandahamiin jabinaan ittisuun akka irraa eeggamu hubachiifna.Gaaffiin karaa seera qabeessaan eegale kun gama qaama dhimmi ilaallatu hundaatti marsaa marsaan haga bulchiinsa aanaatti itti fufuun deebii akka argatu qabsoon ykn gaaffiin keenya akka itti fufuus gamanumaa hubachiisuu irra dabree gaaffiin karaa seeraa fi mirgaan gaafatamaa jiru kun atattamaan furmaata argatee warri gochaa kanaaf tirtiraniis addatti weellisaa Teedii Afroo fi waarshaa biiraa Baddallee gochaa isaanii kana irraa dhaabbatanii seera fuula duratti yoo hin dhiyaannee fi gochaa isaanii tuffiin itti fufanii argaman Oromoon kamuu kanaa ol obsa kan hin qabne ta’uu hubatamee miidhama ga’u kamiifuu gaafatamaan sirna biyya bulchaa jiru addatti mootummaan bulchiinsa naannoo Oromiyaa,Waarshaa biiraa Baddallee fi weellisaa Teedii Afroo akkasumaas kanneen duubaan deeggarsa gochaa jiran hundaa akka ta’e jabeessinee hubachiifna.

Maqaa fi Mallattoo………..

Mudde,bara 2013. Koree bakka bu’oota dhaabbilee barnoota ol’aanoo Bulchiinsa naannoo Oromiyaaf

http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3729-political-layers-behind-teddy-afro-and-boycottbedele

(OPride) – A recent social media campaignagainst Ethiopia’s Heineken-owned Bedele Brewery, over its planned sponsorship of a yearlong musical tour for controversial Amharic singer Tewdros Kassahun, has forced the premium beer maker to drop the agreement.
In a span of two weeks, the campaign rallied more than 42,000 supporters on Facebook pressuring Heineken NV to issue a statement saying, “we are not going to pursue the sponsorship contract” with Kassahun.
Kassahun’s unexamined adoration and immortalization of past Ethiopian rulers is popularly seen as offensive and deluded among the Oromo and other nations in Ethiopia’s south. As such, Heineken’s sponsorship of Kassahun, who is better known as Teddy Afro, was widely viewed as a complicit attempt to revive a historical injury among those forcibly incorporated into Abyssinia during Menelik’s 19th century southward imperial expansion.

The anger against Teddy reached fever pitch mid-December after a local magazine published, but later retracted, Teddy’s comments condoning Menelik’s war of conquest as a “holy war.” The social media-based activists said the music tour which was scheduled to start on Jan. 11 in Oromia, the Oromo homeland, amounted to inviting victims of Menelik’s deadly campaign to a dance-party on their ancestors’ graveyard.

Teddy’s crude comments were not surprising per se, but the tour served as a reminder of his scurrilous behavior and bold insolence toward Oromo history. In a statement celebrating the group’s triumph, the #BoycottBedele campaign noted,Dire Dawa, where the tour was scheduled to taper off, is “only miles away from the grave at Calanqo” where according to eyewitness accounts “the blood of Oromos (killed at the battle) gushed like a river.”

After stopping the multi-million sponsorship, the campaigners posed a series of questions that are likely linger in the minds of this generation: what does Teddy’s tour got to do with love? How does lionizing and glorifying someone of Menilik’s statue ever meet the minimum threshold for a tour meant to promote love?  Has Teddy ever thought of honoring the victims over the killer?

Beyond its momentous victory, the swift social mobilization and reverberation of the campaign offers a menu of lessons. First, notwithstanding the schism of diaspora politics, it proved how vociferously and in unison the Oromo people could stand together against a brick wall of historical injustice. The novelized assumption of political disunity among the Oromo saw its self-rectification which was inimical to a flaw in speculation.

The Oromo youth, who came together and stood up to powerful political and business interests, passed a “litmus taste” by turning Teddy’s ostentatious “journey of love” into a “walk of shame.” Menilik’s brutal campaign epitomizes one of the most callous acts of pain in Oromo history and the history of Ethiopia’s southern nations and nationalities. While much of Menelik’s brutality is obscured by the battle of Adwa, in which Ethiopian forces defeated Italy in 1896, no other Ethiopian ruler represents such a savage face of repression for the Oromo.

In one of the first acts of acknowledgement, the Oromia Regional Government erected a memorial statue in 2009 to honor victims of Menelik’s genocidal campaign at Anole and Calanqo. In 1886, at the Anole gathering called to make peace with Arsi Oromos after a deadly battle at Azule, Menelik’s forces cut off Oromo women’s breasts and men’s hands amputated. One of the harshest chapters in Ethiopia’s tortuous history, Anole stands as a single most traumatic event for the Oromo.

Which road to love: denial or repentance?

Now that the euphoria and disappointment over #BoycottBedele’s victory is over, in order to move the conversation beyond individuals and historical figures, it is important to take up the underlying issues at the core of the debate.

As hopeless as it looks given the current political climate, there’s a greater need for reconciliation and healing. However, it’s even more important to note that such an endeavor presupposes not a stingy denial, but an active repentance and acknowledgement from those who were historically privileged.

The events of last two weeks offer ominous prospects. Posing as academics, journalists and historians, revivalists of Menilik’s vision offered a wide range of views in different forums. On the face of it, the diversity of perspectives and robust discussions of issues is crucial. However, much of the commentary focused on downplaying or outright denial of Menilik’s murderous expansion and the consequent extermination of the Oromo and other southern people.

In addition, using their media establishments and vocal presence on social media, they sought to control the direction of the discourse by portraying all debates on past injustices as a fair game. Even more appalling, they tried to draw a false parallel between Menelik’s colonial project and a phenomenon known as the Oromo expansion. The later historical event refers to a period in 16th century described by historians as a return of Cushitic Oromos to their roots.

As sober and at times poignant as some of the denials get, much has also been uncovered from a group whose basis of reaction was a simple ignorance and emotional ambition to keep the phantom of the “highland kingdom” alive, even in this century.

Tabling the issue of past injustices for debate does great disservice to the millions of victims. Nonetheless, this benign question begs for a sober consideration by Menilikian revivalists: which road takes to reconciliation in Ethiopia – denial or acknowledgement of historical injustice?

Freedom of speech and customary laws against heinous crimes

One form of denial was disguised and masqueraded under the posture of “freedom of speech.” Teddy’s fans were quick to point out that the cancellation of his contract sat a dangerous precedent on free speech. But the reactionary gate keepers and vanguards of hallow Ethiopianism didn’t wait too long to accuse Oromo activists as separatists, secessionists and other labels, essentially for exercising their inalienable freedom of speech.

Alarming hate speeches, some only marginally short of a declaration of war, were hurled at Oromo activists under the camouflage of free expression. Some liberal Ethiopianists even sought to turn Teddy and his fans into martyrs for freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is a universal right for all but why did a simple act of campaigning to stop the continuation of historical injustices warrant so many tantrums and whining?

Let us examine similar cases and interpretations elsewhere with regards to the denial of historical injustices.

The nature and degree of atrocities committed by Menilik, even if not of similar proportion, in some ways resembles the Jewish holocaust that took place in Germany. Absent a robust media spotlight, the inherent socio-political fragility and efforts to obfuscate the facts by varnishing rosy layers over traumatic events make the former far less glaring. Notwithstanding the ongoing bid to contain the bad publicity generated by the campaign, the grief stands, the wound itches and the trauma resonates across Oromos from all walks of life.

Across continental Europe, the denial of the holocaust constitutes a legal and moral offense penalized by applicable criminal laws. For instance, in Austria, under the 1945 criminal statute, which was amended in 1992, the denial of the Holocaust is punishable by a prison term of up to ten years. In 2006, in one of the most publicized cases, an Austrian court convicted David Irving, a British writer, for Holocaust denial and sentenced him to three years in prison.

Similarly, in France, Robert Faurisson a professor of literature) was convicted in 1991 for contesting that holocaust doesn’t constitute a crime against humanity under a French criminal law.

Faurisson subsequently appealed his case before the UN Human Rights Committee (a quasi- judicial body with the mandate to monitor international human rights) by contending that the law curtails his right to freedom of expression and academic freedom. The Committee upheld the legality of the French legislation by noting that France’s introduction of the law was intended to serve the struggle against racism. From Spain to Germany there are simply a plethora of examples to prove that laws criminalizing the denial of historical injustice are not in violation of the normative framework of freedom of expression.

Jurisprudentially speaking, freedom of speech is not and has never been an absolute right. It has a number of justifiable and legitimate exceptions. Article 8(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights, one of the most progressive protection instruments, stipulates similar kinds of grounds limiting the bounds of freedom of speech. Article 29(6) of Ethiopian constitution, in theory, sets a fine limit on freedom of speech to protect against injury to others’ human dignity. In the eyes of most Oromos, nothing is more injurious and offensive than the denial of historical injustice perpetrated by Menilik and his successors.

In fact, Menilik’s atrocities could easily be placed under crimes against humanity and war crimes. For those who argue that violence during Menelik’s time was the order of the day, it is enough to note that several international customary laws that regulate heinous crimes were fully operational dating back a century ago. In addition, no law bars the retroactive regulation of these crimes. For example, after WWII, at the Nuremberg Trials for German war criminals the terms laid down in the 1907 Hague Convention were retroactively used in sync with other laws and customs of war.

Ultimately, whether justice is administered or not, Menilik’s atrocities in the south cannot be cherry-picked for expedient political goals. Efforts to disassociate Menilik’s brutal war from the normative framework of customary rules of crimes against humanity and war crimes are shallow and obloquies.

In a specific reference to the non-limitation statute regarding crimes against humanity, article 28 of the current the Ethiopian Constitution gives a weighty tone to the intolerance of the law toward past perpetrators and their current idolizers.

Besides these legal regulations, the recognition of Menilik’s brutality by Oromia regional government itself speaks volume. The inference is clear: honoring the Oromo martyrdom at Anole and Calanqo with a memorial statue is a first important step in the establishment of a historical and legal truth.

The ramification is that any act of idolizing and glorifying the past injustice is offensive to the Oromo people. If justice was administered as per applicable local and international laws, Teddy and the Menilikians have no legitimate right to glorify these injustices.

Yet, much more remains for young generation of Oromos to continue to deconstruct Ethiopia’s fictionalized history and reconstruct Oromo historical narratives in order to reclaim their agency.

The Imbroglio of Ethiopian Emperor and Theory of State-Formation

In response to the campaign, in sync with Teddy’s hagiography, several pundits tried to cast Ethiopian emperors as unifiers and state builders. Some even went so far as to equate Menelik with American unionists. They alleged that state-formation normally exhibits and comes at the cost of violence and war. And that Ethiopia’s was no exception to this rule. A quick glance at the theory of state-building might help these pseudo scholars out of their confusion. Hobbes’s and Locke’s “social contract theory” presupposes the existence of “State of Nature”, where individuals are entitled to an absolute right, including even the right to kill each other over fulfillments of their interests.

According to Hobbe’s, in this state of nature which solemnly favors the most powerful group only the strongest survives. The society has to come together under a “covenant” and agree to voluntarily pass over their authority to a sovereign body, which is duly authorized to look over all members of a society pursuant to “the contract or the agreement.”

Here, such a covenant presupposes a voluntary and consensual agreement as opposed to a brutal and targeted massacre of specific groups in the society. This is how a supposedly unorganized society (living in a state of nature) is legitimately and sanely metamorphosed into a modern polity or nation-state. Seen through this lens, the glorification of Menilik as a nation builder – as often shamelessly claimed by neo-feudalists – is utterly ridiculous and a gross distortion of reality.

Instead, Menilik’s brutal killings and imperialistic expansion illustrates the gloomy shadow of the “State of Nature.” Menelik and his successors never tried to create a polity based on a social contract. In many respects, Ethiopia is still a continuation of its imperial past – stuck in Hobbe’s state of nature.

That is why pro-Menilik activists and those with unexamined and superfluous knowledge of history continue to suppress efforts to reform and redefine the notion of home and national state in Ethiopia.

Dream as they might, the era of monopoly over historical facts is long gone, never to return. Oromo people have reclaimed much that has been lost and now own their narratives. The successful execution of #BoycottBedele campaign is but a dramatic example of a resurgent voice that no amount of hullabaloo can dwarf.

*Henok G.Gabisa is a Visiting International Law Fellow at Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington Virginia. He can be reached atGabisaH@wlu.edu

The real Hero

Inni kunis ilma Geexeen deesse akkuma Asaffaa Sharoo Lammii.
Minilik and Hayile Sellassee did never fought Italians, as dictators just claimed the credit.

Here is the real man, the real hero, Who made real fight and defeated Italians at Adowa in 1896.

Mohammed Ali (King Mika’el, 1850- 1918), an Oromo, was born in Wollo. His father was Imam Ali Abba Bula and his mother was aadde Geexee. Mohammed Ali was a relative of Queen Worqitu of Wollo. He was the father of Iyasu. Mohammed Ali Abba Bula (Ras/King Mika’el) led the feared Oromo cavalry against the invading Italians at the Battle of Adowa. An Italian brigade began a fighting retreat towards the main Italian positions. However, the brigade inadvertently marched into a narrow valley where Ras Mika’el’s cavalry slaughtered them while shouting “Reap! Reap!” (Ebalgume! Ebalgume!). The remains of the brigade’s commander were never found. ‘Negus Mikael (Ali) of Wollo—-father of Lij Iyasu V—-lead a fearless and feared Oromo cavalry of fighters in the Battle of Adwa in 1896, wiping out an entire Italian brigade.)’ http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com/post/12623441087/zulu-rose-ras-mikael-ali-of-wollo-and-the

George Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley, Campaign of Adowa (1902), quoted in Lewis, Fashoda, p. 118.
He was the founder of Dessie (Deessee) as his Oromo capital.

Photo: Inni kunis ilma Geexeen deesse akkuma Asaffaa Sharoo Lammii.<br /><br /><br />
Minilik and Hayile Sellassee did never fought Italians, as dictators just claimed the credit.</p><br /><br />
<p>Here is the real man, the real hero, Who made real fight and defeated Italians at Adowa in 1886.</p><br /><br />
<p>Mohammed Ali (King Mika'el, 1850- 1918), an Oromo, was born in Wollo. His father was Imam Ali Abba Bula and his mother was aadde Geexee. Mohammed Ali was a relative of Queen Worqitu of Wollo. He was the father of Iyasu. Mohammed Ali Abba Bula (Ras/King Mika'el) led the feared Oromo cavalry against the invading Italians at the Battle of Adowa. An Italian brigade began a fighting retreat towards the main Italian positions. However, the brigade inadvertently marched into a narrow valley where Ras Mika'el's cavalry slaughtered them while shouting "Reap! Reap!" (Ebalgume! Ebalgume!). The remains of the brigade's commander were never found. 'Negus Mikael (Ali) of Wollo—-father of Lij Iyasu V—-lead a fearless and feared Oromo cavalry of fighters in the Battle of Adwa in 1896, wiping out an entire Italian brigade.)' http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com/post/12623441087/zulu-rose-ras-mikael-ali-of-wollo-and-the</p><br /><br />
<p>George Fitz-Hardinge Berkeley, Campaign of Adowa (1902), quoted in Lewis, Fashoda, p. 118.<br /><br /><br />
He was the founder of Dessie (Deessee) as his  Oromo capital.

http://diasporicroots.tumblr.com/post/12623441087/zulu-rose-ras-mikael-ali-of-wollo-and-the

Copyright © OromianEconomist 2013 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

‘For history students, the coagulation of Menelikites, with their core extreme ideology of “Galla Geday” (Oromo Killer) is identical to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the USA. Following the Civil War, the US Congress directed reconstruction of the war torn states and the society. In the South, the policies of Reconstruction aimed at extending the rights of blacks. However, the policy also injured the moral of the slave-owners, giving rise to the KKK, which immediately began organizing to perpetrate systematic violence in opposition to the new social order. KKK unleashed terror against former slaves, but also Northern teachers, judges, and politicians. Historians see the creation of KKK as a true sign of the death of slavery. The “Galla Geday” of Ethiopia, with a minute scale and unlikely chance to grow to any capacity of treat, also marks the beginning of the end of Amhara supremacy. This unheard of celebration of a death instead of a birth of an emperor has become a new motto, a new uniting slogan of Menelik’s ethnic tribe that suffered great defeats economically and politically over the last few decades, just like the KKK advocated a wave of dogma to affirm the existence and interest of slave owners. The profligate claim to greatness by way of a brutal emperor fails to serve good for Ethiopia simply because the wounds of Menelik’s barbaric expansion are not allowed to heal for good. It also cultivates and grows hate among peoples.’http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/new-statue-for-menelik/

Nuding Ethiopian History and the Naked Political Reply from Right Wingers

http ://birhanumegersalenjiso.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/nuding-ethiopian-history-and-naked.html?spref=fb

The Strange Twist in Amhara Politics: Rehabilitating Past Tyrants

shaggar

article1There are people who thrive on the fame of the dead. Indeed there are people who thrive on the noxious fumes of dead zombies. One such person is Tedy Afro who continued living on the dead spirit of Abyssinian worst dictators. This article is in response to Teddy Afro’s latest Album, the album which Tedy wrongly labeled Tikur Sew.  My intention is not to educate Tedy or any other Habesha musician. The objective of this article is to indicate how Tedy abused music and also how he wronged the late Emperor Menelik II by mislabelling the Caucasian Emperor as a black man.

Purpose of music

Humanity employed music for several purposes, positive as well as negative. Music has been part of human experience in every culture and society since time immemorial. From the earliest cultures of humankind until now music has been used to express a wide range of human…

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A Call for an End to Ethiopia’s Endless Violence Against Oromo Nation January 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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The following is an Urgent Action statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA). HRLHA is a nonpolitical organization (with the UN Economic and Social Council – (ECOSOC) Consultative Status), which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. January 12, 2014. Press Release.
http://gadaa.com/oduu/23826/2014/01/13/ethiopia-a-call-for-an-end-to-the-endless-violence-against-oromo-nationals/

In the past twenty-two years, the peoples of Ethiopia and the outside world have witnessed the EPRDF Government’s incarceration of hundreds of thousands of Oromo Nationals from all walks of life in jails, unofficial detention centers and concentration camps simply for allegedly being members or supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and some other opposition political organizations. Due to the inappropriate and inhuman treatments by the government security members, hundreds of Oromos have died, suffered from physical disabilities resulting from tortures, and most of those who were taken to court were given harsh sentences, including life in prison and capital punishments or death penalty. Oromo intellectuals, businessmen, and the members of legally operating Oromo parties (for example, the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM)) have been among the victims of the EPRDF/TPLF Government’s suppressive political system. The most worrisome is that the Oromo youth, who were even born after the EPRDF/TPLF government came to power, have become the major victims of the Government’s brutalities under the same allegations of supporting and/or sympathizing with Oromo opposition political organizations. In the past decade or so, thousands of young Oromo students of universities, colleges, high schools and intermediate academic institutions have been criminalized for allegedly being member or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front. A lot of them have killed and tortured, and thousands are still languishing behind bars, while thousands others have been banned from being part of any level of educational opportunities; and, as a result, they have become jobless, homeless, etc. Tenth of thousands have fled their homeland and become refugees in neighboring countries.

In the same manner and for the same reasons, the most recent cases of arrests and imprisonments have taken place in Gujjii Zone of Oromia State. According to the HRLHA’s informant in Gujii, more than 45 Oromo nationals have been arrested by the Federal police forces without court warrant at different times since August 25, 2013 to December 2013. This was mainly in the districts of Gorodolo, Girja and Bore of the Gujjii Zone. Most of the victims of these most recent extrajudicial actions have reportedly been taken a detention centre in Negele Town. Victims of this particular operation include members of the legally operating opposition Oromo political party of the Federalist Congress (OFC), as well as high school teachers, students of elementary and high schools, college and university students in various parts of the Gujjii Zone.

According to reports obtained by HRLHA, on August 25, 2013, the federal police arrested 8 college students from Harekello town in Goro-Dola district; and on the following day, police searched houses of many residents of the town without court warrant, and arrested another 3 more people. Among them was a high school teacher called Gobena Gemeda. The alleged reason for the arrest, detention, and search of homes in this particular campaign was the distribution and posting of leaflets in the town with contents condemning the discrimination of the government against the Gujjii Oromos. Among those who were arrested and detained, 6 people, including kedir A/ Bundha, Gobena Gemeda and Shako Bura, were released after a week; while the following five students are still in detention center in Negele Prison, according to the information HRLHA has obtained.

Imprisoned Oromo Nationals
Imprisoned Oromo Nationals
The legally registered Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) officials and cadres, who were genuinely working for their people on behalf of their party, were also accused of allegedly being sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and arrested in Adolla town in Gujjii and in Bule Hora district of Borana Zone. Among them was Mr. Borama Jano, elected parliament member from the districts of Bore and Anna-Sorra. He was arrested on November 15, 2013, and is still detained at Adolla Police Station. Two OFC organizing cadres – Mr. Hirbaayyee Galgalo and Uturaa Adulaa – were arrested in Bulehora Wereda of Borena Zone in December 2013.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these Oromo nationals who have been picked up arbitrarily from different places at different times and are being held at various detention centers. The Ethiopian government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens, who were suspected of supporting, sympathizing with and/or being members of the opposition political organizations. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other secret detention centers.

The HRLHA calls upon the Ethiopia Government to refrain from systematically eliminating the young generation of Oromo nationals and respect all international human rights standards in general, and of civil and political rights of the citizens it has signed in particular. HRLHA demands that the Ethiopian Government unconditionally release those arrested most recently as well as all other political detainees.

HRLHA also calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand the immediate halt of such kinds of extra-judicial actions against one’s own citizens, and release the detainees without any preconditions.

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

Gadaa.comExpressing concerns regarding the apprehension and fear of torture of the citizens who are being held in different detention centers, including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;

Gadaa.comRequesting to refrain from detaining, harassing, discriminating against Oromo Nationals;

Gadaa.comUrging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners;

Gadaa.comAlso, send your concerns to diplomatic representatives in Ethiopia – who are accredited to your country.

• Office of Prime Minister of Ethiopia
P.O. Box – 1031, Addis Ababa
Telephone – +251 155 20 44; +251 111 32 41
Fax – +251 155 20 30; +251 155 20 20

• Office of Min. of Justice
P.O. Box 1370, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251 11 551 77 75; +251 11 552 08 74
Email: ministry-justice@telecom.net.et

——-
Cc:

Office of the 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.org

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
Tel: + 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
Fax: + 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53

U.S. Department of State
Tom Fcansky – Foreign Affairs Officer
Washington, D.C. 20037
Tel: +1-202-261-8009
Fax: +1-202-261-8197
Email: TOfcansky@aol.com

Amnesty International – London
Tom Gibson
Telephone: +44-20-74135500
Fax number: +44-20-79561157
Email: TGibson@amnesty.org

Human Rights Watch – New York
Leslie Lefkow
lefkowl@hrw.org; rawlenb@hrw.org
Tel: +1-212-290-4700
Fax:+1-212-736-1300
Email: hrwnyc@hrw.org

http://www.unpo.org/article/16742

http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/afr250112011en.pdf

OUTCOME OF PERSECUTION IN ETHIOPIA: 3,000 TO 5,000 OROMO HOMELESS KIDS IN HARGEISA

Outside downtown Hargeisa’s central market

No matter how prosperous Somaliland might become, it’s doubtful that any of that good fortune will trickle down to Hargeisa’s homeless children—young outcasts living completely on their own who are at best ignored and at worst abused and treated like vermin. They are a near-constant presence, crawling around the shadows of alleys and squares in a city where poverty and wealth butt heads on nearly every street corner: shiny new office blocks sit beside ancient shacks, currency traders have set up open-air stands where they display piles of cash, Hyundais brush past donkeys down the city’s sole paved street.

Behind that street is a café that serves up coffee and soup to midmorning breakfasters. This is where I first met Mohamed. “Salam,” he said quietly after I introduced myself.

Mohamed told me that if he sleeps too close to the skyscraper that shields him from the light of dawn, a security guard beats him with an acacia branch until he bleeds. I noticed that he had an old lemonade bottle tucked under his filthy sweatshirt. It was filled with glue, perhaps the only escape he has from his harsh existence. He took huffs every few minutes as he spoke to me: “I could stop. I could definitely stop. But it’s hard… And why?”

According to the Hargeisa Child Protection Network, there are 3,000 to 5,000 homeless youth in the city, most of whom are Oromo migrants from Ethiopia. Around 200 a year complete the voyage through Somaliland and across the Gulf of Aden into Yemen, where they attempt to cross the border to Saudi Arabia and find work; many more don’t make it.

For more than four decades the Oromo have been fleeing persecution in Ethiopia, where they have long been politically marginalized. Mohamed arrived in Somaliland as part of this ongoing migration. Five years ago, he told me, his family made the 500-mile trek from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to Hargeisa. The Somaliland government claims up to 80,000 illegal immigrants—mostly Ethiopians—reside in its territory. Many of them trickled in through the giant border of Ogaden, a vast, dusty outback on the edge of Ethiopia’s Somali Region (the easternmost of the country’s nine ethnic divisions, which, as the name implies, is mostly populated by ethnic Somalis). Some travel in cars arranged by fixers. Others make the long journey on foot. Almost all won’t make it past the border without a bribe. Given their options, a few bucks for freedom seemed liked the best deal for Mohamed’s family. But after their migration, things only got worse.

A short time after his family arrived in Somaliland—he’s not sure exactly when—Mohamed’s father died of tuberculosis. Quickly running out of options, he left his mother in a border town called Borama to try to eke out a living, working whatever job was available some 90 miles away in Hargeisa.

Instead Mohamed ended up where he is now, wandering around the city with his friends and fellow Ethiopian migrants Mukhtar and Hamza (all three have adopted Muslim-sounding names to better blend into the local population). Their days mostly consist of shining shoes for 500 Somaliland shillings (seven cents) a pop and taking many breaks in between jobs to sniff glue.

On a good day, the boys will combine their meager earnings and pay to sleep on the floors of migrant camps on the outskirts of town, where persecuted people from all over East Africa live in corrugated shanties in the desert. If they don’t shine enough shoes, it’s back to the storm drain. “I live in the walls,” Mukhtar said. “No one knows me.”

Though they fled Ethiopia to escape persecution, the Oromo migrants often endure even worse treatment in Hargeisa. The first time I met Mohamed’s friend Hamza he was plodding through the crowd at an outdoor restaurant, offering shoe shines in the midday sun. An older man dressed in a cream apparatchik suit like a James Bond villain sitting next to me shouted at the child, who cowered, turned, and ran away. “Fucking kids,” he said to me in perfect English. “God can provide for them.”

Mohamed poses for the camera while Ibrahim takes a hit from a glue bottle behind him.

Mohamed poses for the camera while Ibrahim takes a hit from a glue bottle behind him.

Reports by the local press on Hargeisa’s growing homeless- youth population have done nothing to help the kids’ reputation. The authorities have told journalists that street kids are the city’s gravest security threat amid a backdrop of tables covered with gruesome shivs, shanks, and machetes supposedly confiscated from the wily urchins. “The grown-up street children have become the new gangsters,” local police chief Mohamed Ismail Hirsi told the IRIN news agency in 2009.

Officials are similarly apathetic to the notion of helping the young migrants get out of their rut, likely because Somaliland and Somalia are already dealing with enough horrific humanitarian crises without having to worry about another country’s displaced people—in 2012, the number of Somalis fleeing their own country topped a million.

Somaliland boasts “a vibrant traditional social-welfare support system,” according to its National Vision 2030 plan—a grand scheme unveiled in 2012 that aims to continue to improve the region’s standard of living. The plan also acknowledges that “there are, however, times when vulnerable groups such as street children, displaced people, young children, and mothers are excluded from traditional social safety nets [and] the government… has a responsibility to intervene.” So far, the only evidence that the government intends to follow through with the plan is a struggling 400-capacity orphanage in Hargeisa. Unsurprisingly, government officials in Somaliland refused repeated requests for comment on this issue or any other issues pertaining to this article.

At the Somaliland government’s last count, in 2008, the region’s population was 3.5 million, but with so many people flooding in from the south and Ethiopia each year, it’s impossible to say how many hundreds of thousands more live there now. It’s hard to assign all the blame to the burgeoning nation’s embattled and overwhelmed authorities; there’s simply no room and too few resources to think too deeply about glue-addicted kids roaming the streets.

One claim that the government can’t make is that these kids have chosen to live in squalor; for them, there are no viable alternatives. Somaliland offers no government-funded public education—schools are generally run by NGOs, and other private groups rarely accept Oromo children as students. Even if they did, enrollment would be a nightmare because the vast majority of these kids are without identification, homes, or relatives living nearby. They’re often left on their own to scratch out an existence in a city that hates them and offers them next to nothing.

Ismail Yahye, who works for the Save the Children campaign, used to be a Somaliland street kid himself. He despairs at the pipe dreams they are fed before relocating from Ethiopia—many leave home believing the rumors about how life is so much better in Somaliland.

“The main reasons they come here are for economic prosperity and job opportunities,” he said. “They pay bribes at the border and come by foot. They can’t return. They’re trapped.”

The Hargeisa Child Protection Network reports that 88 percent of the city’s homeless children have suffered some form of sexual abuse or harassment. All of the boys I met denied having been raped or abused during their time on the streets, but my fixer told me he strongly believed that they were too ashamed and scared to admit to any such incidents.

In this very unfriendly and inhospitable city, a Somali American named Shafi is one of the few residents who goes out of his way to help the kids. In another life, Shafi was a drug dealer in Buffalo, New York, a job that landed him in prison before he cleaned up his act and decided to return to the city of his birth to do good. Now he provides Hargeisa’s street urchins with the occasional meal, helps them organize games of soccer or basketball, and finds safe places where they can stay at night. But he is only one man and knows he can’t save them all. Most still end up sleeping in the drains, left to die of starvation or diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid fever. “I’ve carried quite a few dead children through these streets,” he told me.

Many kids earn small amounts of cash doing menial tasks like shoe-shining and washing cars. Others find work running alcohol, which is illegal in the Muslim state. If you ever find yourself at a party in one of Hargeisa’s sprawling, plush villas, chances are the gin in your gimlet was smuggled into the country by a kid who sleeps in a gutter.

It was with Shafi’s help that I was first able to meet Hargeisa’s Oromo children. He told me the best place to find them was around the convenience stores they visit daily to buy fresh glue. On our first attempt and without much searching, Shafi and I found a couple of kids who appeared to be homeless hanging out in an alley near a school. We spoke with them for a bit, and when I felt that everyone was comfortable I pulled out my camera. Before I could take their photos, a guy who said he was an off-duty cop appeared out of nowhere. He approached us, shouting at me in gravelly Somali and quickly confiscating the bottles of glue from the kids.

“He called you a pedophile,” Shafi translated, adding that it would benefit me to reimburse the boys for their stolen solvents.

After the cop left, one of the boys grew somber. “I hope I stop using,” he said. As he spoke I noticed the painful sores etched across his face. “I just miss my family. I haven’t seen them in years. I’m alone and no one helps me.”

The stigma that surrounds these children is such that even those trying to help them are treated with suspicion—as are reporters hoping to tell their story, as I found out the hard way one night while Shafi and I were trying to track down Mohamed and his friends.

It was a typical breezy fall evening, full of the usual scenes: men sipping tea and debating loudly, women and children hustling soup and camel meat, a mess of car horns cleaving the air. Shafi was sure the kids were nearby, but that didn’t mean much because they usually try to remain hidden so as not to cause a scene.

It didn’t take much time to spot Hamza’s tattered bootleg Barcelona soccer jersey peeking out from behind the edge of a wall. As we approached, more kids appeared from behind parked cars and emerged from alleys, and some even popped out of a nearby storm drain. Within minutes more than two dozen homeless children had surrounded us, clamoring for cash and posing for pictures. An empty square in the middle of town had suddenly transformed into a glue-sniffers’ agora.

Our time with the kids didn’t last long. A couple minutes later an old man who was lounging outside a nearby café decided he’d had enough, sprung to his feet, walked over to us, and began hitting me and the kids with his walking stick.

Some of the children scattered. Others stayed, presumably with the hope that holding out for the payout from the Western journalist would be worth the licks. In a surreal moment, as the old man continued to swing his stick and scream, one boy, who said his name was Hussein, walked over and, huffing on his glue pot, told me about his hopes and dreams. “I want to be a doctor,” he said, staggering about and staring straight through me. “Sometimes I dream when I get hungry. But there’s no food here, no help. I expected a better life. I don’t now. But sometimes, I wish.”

Just then, a scuffle broke out—the old man had lured a couple of his friends into the argument, and they came to the collective decision to grab me and smash my camera. Shafi and my driver, Mohammed, struggled to hold them back.

Two cops arrived on the scene soon after the scuffle. Instead of punishing the old man for attacking the kids and trying to destroy my camera, they dragged me off to a festering cinder-block carcass covered in graffiti that serves as the local jail.

“You cannot photograph the children without their permission,” the more senior cop said, pointing to my camera. “They do not want you to photograph them.”

Shafi translated as I tried to explain to the policeman that that the kids were clearly desperate forsomeone to be interested in their plight, and that they were even posing for pictures. That’s when I stopped, realizing that the subject wasn’t up for debate. It was clear that writing about or photographing these street children was taboo.

In the end, I compromised by deleting most of the photos I had taken and then sat in a corner of the jail while my driver, Mohammed, and my captors read one another’s horoscopes outside the gates.

A couple hours later I was released. Mohammed was waiting for me outside, and he immediately pulled me aside to tell me something that I had already accepted the moment I entered the jail: my reporting on the children had come to an end.

Mohammed looked unnerved. “We can leave now, Insha’Allah… The kids thing is over. They are invisible.” http://danieltadesse.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/outcome-of-persecution-in-ethiopia-3000-to-5000-oromo-homeless-kids-in-hargeisa/

In its January 6, 2014  Urgent Action and Appeale, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)  has also expresses its deep concern about the safety of civilians in South Sudan – who have been trapped in the conflict zone between the government troops and the opposition group militia led by former Vice President Riek Machar- since mid-December 2013. The original conflict broke out between President Salva Kiir’s SPLA government forces and rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar around the strategically located town of Bor on December 15, 2013; it quickly spread out from Bor to the north to Unity State and south to the Central Equatoria State, where the capital city, Juba, is located.

Since the conflict broke out, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed and more than 300,000 displaced according to reports by HRLHA’s informants in Juba. Social services and basic necessity supplies for communities are almost paralyzed while tribal tensions and localized conflicts are on the rise.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa calls upon the United Nations (UN), African Unity (AU) and sub-regional organizations to work together to halt the current crisis and rescue the youngest country before it escalates into an uncontrollable civil war. The HRLHA also calls upon the two opponents to resume immediate direct talks to resolve their differences thorough negotiation. http://gadaa.com/oduu/23816/2014/01/12/hrlha-on-south-sudan-immediate-action-needed-to-rescue-the-youngest-country-from-collapse/

 A meeting on Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia took place at the House Commons, UK.

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2014 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Maaf Adamfamee Maaliif Dhaaname January 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dictatorship, Human Rights, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/the-tyrannic-ethiopian-regim-is-accountable-for-the-death-of-a-political-prisoner-and-prisoner-of-conscience-oromo-national-engineer-tesfahun-chemeda/

Copyright © OromianEconomist 2014 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

Freedom Is Sweet December 27, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Culture, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Language and Development, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, Theory of Development, Uncategorized.
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“Freedom is Sweet” is taken from the speech made by Inga Peulich MLC , Parliamentary Secretary for Education at Oromia @ Federation Square, Melbourne Australia on 22nd of December 2013. The festival aims to bring Oromo people together, irrespective of age, gender and belief, to help promote self-empowerment. It also seek to educate the public on the lifestyle, culture and ethics of members of the Australian Oromo community. Furthermore, it’s a time to celebrate and commemorate the beauty of Australian Oromo culture and to promote both multiculturalism and diversity across Australia.
The celebration of Oromia at Federation Square marks the beginning of yet another exciting year of events that aim to bring the case of the Oromo cause.

Oromo Displacement Past & Present December 12, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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From slavery to freedom:the Oromo slave children of Lovedale, prosopography and profiles
Sandra Carolyn Teresa Rowoldt Shell
Student number: RWLSAN002
A dissertation submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Historical Studies
Faculty of the Humanities
University of Cape Town
2013
https://www.academia.edu/3760219/From_slavery_to_freedom_the_Oromo_slave_children_of_Lovedale_prosopography_and_profiles

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14357121?SThisFB

http://oromocommentary.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/machbuba-an-oromo-slave-girl-who-won-the-heart-of-a-german-prince.pdf

Related Articles:

During Ethiopian colonial expansion, Oromia, “the charming Oromo land, [would] be ploughed by the iron and the fire; flooded with blood and the orgy of pillage” (de Salviac, 2005 [1901]: 349). Calling this event as “the theatre of a great massacre,” Martial De Salviac (2005 [1901]: 349) states, “The conduct of Abyssinian armies invading a land is simply barbaric. They contrive a sudden irruption, more often at night. At daybreak, the fire begins; surprised men in the huts or in the fields are three quarter massacred and horribly mutilated; the women and the children and many men are reduced to captivity; the soldiers lead the frightened herds toward the camp, take away the grain and the flour which they load on the shoulders of their prisoners spurred on by blows of the whip, destroy the harvest, then, glutted with booty and intoxicated with blood, go to walk a bit further from the devastation. That is what they call ‘civilizing a land.'” The Oromo oral history also testifies that Ethiopians/Abyssinians destroyed and looted the resources of Oromia, and committed genocide on the Oromo people through massacre, slavery, depopulation, cutting hands, famine, and diseases during and after the colonization of Oromia.

According to Martial de Salviac (2005 [1901]: 350), “With equal arms, the Abyssinia [would] never [conquer] an inch of land. With the power of firearms imported from Europe, Menelik [Abyssinian warlord] began a murderous revenge.” The colonization of Oromia involved human tragedy and destruction: “The Abyssinian, in bloody raids, operated by surprise, mowed down without pity, in the country of the Oromo population, a mournful harvest of slaves for which the Muslims were thirsty and whom they bought at very high price. An Oromo child [boy] would cost up to 800 francs in Cairo; an Oromo girl would well be worth two thousand francs in Constantinople” (de Salviac, 2005 [1901]: 28). The Ethiopian/Abyssinian government massacred half of the Oromo population (five million out of ten million) and their leadership during its colonial expansion (de Salviac, 2005 [1901]: 608, 278; Bulatovich, 2000: 66-68). According to Alexander Bulatovich (2000: 68-69), “The dreadful annihilation of more than half of the population during the conquest took away from the [Oromo] all possibilities of thinking about any sort of uprising . . . Without a doubt, the [Oromo], with their least five million population, occupying the best land, all speaking one language, could represent a tremendous force if united.” The destruction of Oromo lives and institutions…

See the full content of this document

http://law-journals-books.vlex.com/vid/oromo-democracy-classical-civilization-411848362

‘The study confirms that there is clear nexus between authoritarian rule,
man-made famines, and genocide in Ethiopia.’

http://www.codesria.org/IMG/pdf/Mekuria_Bulcha.pdf

 

Copyright © OromianEconomist 2013 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

The Oromo, Gadaa/Siqqee Democracy and The Liberation Of Ethiopia Colonial Subjects December 5, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Development, Gadaa System, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Governance System, Theory of Development, Uncategorized.
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This paper explores the potential role of the Gadaa/Siqqee system of Oromo democracy in the development of a democratic multinational liberation movement of the colonized nations within the Ethiopian Empire in order to dismantle the Tigrayan- led Ethiopian terrorist government and replace it with a sovereign multinational democratic state in the Horn of Africa based on the principles of indigenous democracy. After a brief introduction, this study describes the presence of a democratic, Siqqee/Gadaa administration among the Oromo in the Horn of Africa in the
16th and 17th centuries and the subsequent changes that made them vulnerable to colonization. It further examines the essence and main characteristics of Gadaa/Siqqee, showing that it provides a contrasting political philosophy to the authoritarian rule of the Ethiopian Empire. The study shows that in the face of oppression and exploitation the Oromo people have struggled to preserve and redevelop their indigenous democracy, written records of which go back to the 16th century, long before European nations embraced the principles of democratic governance. It also explains how it can be adapted to the current condition of the colonized nations within the Ethiopian Empire in order to revitalize the quest for national self- determination and democracy and to build a sovereign democratic state in a multinational context. Furthermore, the piece asserts that this struggle is truly a diffi cult one in the 21st century as the process of globalization is intensifi ed and regional and local cultures are being suppressed under the pressure of dominating cultures.
Asafa Jalata, Professor, Department of Sociology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

Harwood Schaffer, Research Assistant Professor, Agricultural Policy Analysis Centre, The University of Tennessee

Read the full article from the following:

http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1104&context=asafa_jalata

http://works.bepress.com/asafa_jalata/63/

http://oromiatimes.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/fulltext.pdf

Copyright © 2013 & Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013, all rights are reserved. Disclaimer.

The Hidden Systematic Physical and Cultural Genocide Against the Oromo People: Who Is Responsible? July 22, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation.
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Conversation on Oromo Identity, Knowledge and the Colonizing  Structure

On July 4th, Oromians gathered in Minnesota to celebrate the 50th Golden Jubilee of artist Ali Birra. As a lifelong friend and compatriot, Dr. Gemechu Megerssa was in the U.S. to be a part of this celebration. He was also the keynote speaker. Prior to the celebration, Oromians and caught up with   Dr. Gemechu and engaged him in a conversation about his work and life. He generously shared with them the wealth of knowledge he has gained as an Anthropologist over the last 40 years. Dr. Gemechu discusses  effects of State sponsored violence on indigenous Oromo  nation,  their cultural heritage, legacy of systematized Abyssinian supremacy, and the historical portrayal of the Oromo in the Ethiopian State. http://www.gulelepost.com/2013/07/19/the-year-of-discovery-and-self-recovery/

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The Unravelling of a Colonized Mind by Jana-Rae Yerxa March 24, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Development, Humanity and Social Civilization, Ideas, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. African Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, Uncategorized.
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The Unravelling of a Colonized Mind by Jana-Rae Yerxa.

Sure everybody struggles. But to be born an Indigenous person, you are born into struggle. My struggle. Your struggle. Our struggle. The colonial struggle. There are many layers to this struggle. For the longest time, I didn’t even know what the true struggle was about yet I couldn’t escape it. It consumed me. Colonialism, as I have been forced to discover, is like a cancer. But instead of the cells in your body betraying itself, the thoughts in your mind work against you and eat you up from the inside out. You’re like the walking dead and you don’t even know it because you are so blinded. You can’t see the truth.

Here are some of the perverted ways colonialism infects the mind:
• With a colonized mind, I hate being Indian.
• With a colonized mind, I accept that I am Indian because that’s who the colonizer told me I am.
• With a colonized mind, I don’t understand that I am Anishinaabe.
• With a colonized mind, I believe I am inferior to the white race.
• With a colonized mind, I wish I was white.
• With a colonized mind, I draw pictures of my family with peach coloured skin, blonde hair and blue eyes because I’ve internalized that this is the ideal, what looks good and what is beautiful.
• With a colonized mind, I keep my feelings of inferiority to white people a secret from others and even from myself.
• With a colonized mind, I try diligently to mirror white people as closely as I possibly can.
• With a colonized mind, I desperately want to be accepted by white people.
• With a colonized mind, to gain the acceptance of white people, I will detach myself from all that does not mirror acceptable “white” standards, whether it is how one dresses, one speaks, or one looks.
• With a colonized mind, I feel as though I am swearing when I say “white people” in front of white people.
• With a colonized mind, I believe there is no racism.
• With a colonized mind, I believe that racism does not impact me.
• With a colonized mind, I deny my heritage and proudly say, “We are all just people.”
• With a colonized mind, when discussing issues pertaining to race, I try desperately not to offend white people.
• With a colonized mind, I do not know who I am.
• With a colonized mind, I believe I know who I am and do not understand that this isn’t so because I’ve become the distorted image of who the colonizer wants me to be and remain unaware of this reality.
• With a colonized mind, I could care less about history and think that our history don’t matter.
• With a colonized mind, I do not understand how the history created the present.
• With a colonized mind, I do not see how I have been brainwashed to be an active participant in my own dehumanization and the dehumanization of my people.
• With a colonized mind, I do not recognize how others dehumanize me and my people.
• With a colonized mind, I devalue the ways of my people- their ways of seeing, their ways of knowing, their ways of living, their ways of being.
• With a colonized mind, I cannot speak the language of my ancestors and do not care that this is so.
• With a colonized mind, I am unaware of how colonization has impacted my ancestors, my community, my family, and myself.
• With a colonized mind, I think that my people are a bunch of lazy, drunk, stupid Indians.
• With a colonized mind, I discredit my own people.
• With a colonized mind, I think that I am better than ‘those Indians’.
• With a colonized mind, I will silently watch my people be victimized.
• With a colonized mind, I will victimize my own people.
• With a colonized mind, I will defend those that perpetrate against my people.
• With a colonized mind, I will hide behind false notions of tradition entrenched with Euro-western shame and shame my own people re-creating more barriers amongst us.
• With a colonized mind, I tolerate our women being raped and beaten.
• With a colonized mind, I tolerate our children being raised without their fathers.
• With a colonized mind, I feel threatened when someone else, who is Anishinaabe, achieves something great because I feel jealous and wish it was me.
• With a colonized mind, when I see an Anishinaabe person working towards bettering their life, because my of my own insecurities, I accuse them of thinking they are ‘so good now’.
• With a colonized mind, I am unaware that I was set up to hate myself.
• With a colonized mind, I do not think critically about the world.
• With a colonized mind, I believe in merit and do not recognize unearned colonial privilege.
• With a colonized mind, I ignorantly believe that my ways of seeing, living and believing were all decided by me when in reality everything was and is decided for me.
• With a colonized mind, I am lost.
• With a colonized mind, I do not care about the land.
• With a colonized mind, I believe that freedom is a gift that can be bestowed upon me by the colonizer.
• With a colonized mind, I believe that I am powerless and act accordingly.
• With a colonized mind, I do not have a true, authentic voice.
• With a colonized mind, I live defeat.
• With a colonized mind, I will remain a victim of history.
• With a colonized mind, I will pass self-hatred on to my children.
• With a colonized mind, I do not understand the term “self-responsibility.”
• With a colonized mind, I do not recognize that I have choice and do not have to fatalistically accept oppressive, colonial realities.
• With a colonized mind, I do not see that I am a person of worth.
• With a colonized mind, I do not know I am powerful.

The colonial struggle, as I said earlier, has many layers. I am no longer being eaten from the inside. Yet it is no less painful. What is different today is that I am connected to a true source of power that was always there. It’s like my friend once said, “I come from a distinguished people whose legacy shines on me like the sun.” I now understand this and it is because of this understanding that my mind and my soul are freer than they have ever been. It is because of that gift- that awakening which came through struggle- that I will proudly continue to struggle for freedom. My freedom. Your freedom. Our freedom.

Jana-Rae Yerxa, is Anishinaabe from Little Eagle and Couchiching First Nation and belongs to the Sturgeon clan. Activist. Social Worker. Former professor. Current student. She is committed to furthering her understanding of Anishinaabe identity and resurgence as well as deconstructing Indigenous/settler relations in the contexts of colonization and decolonization. Jana-Rae is currently enrolled in the Indigenous Governance Program at University of Victoria.

http://lateralloveaustralia.com/2013/03/14/the-unravelling-of-a-colonized-mind-by-jana-rae-yerxa/

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/oromia-first-oromias-community-and-global-awareness-in-the-making/

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2014 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2014. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.