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Decolonizing Development:The Political and Cultural Locations of Nationalism and National Self-determination (The Case of Oromia) January 4, 2015

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 Decolonising Development:The Political and Cultural Locations of   Nationalism and National Self-determination (the Case of Oromia)

Several scholars have argued that national self-determination is a claim for cultural independence and that nationalism in general is based on the right to cultural autonomy, right to a culture. In the Oromo context, national self-determination is about the representation of collective identity and dignity. It is the demand of the Oromo people to govern themselves. Practically, this can be interpreted as let us be governed by people who are like us, people of our nationality or people who accept and respect our value system. For the last hundred years and so, the Oromo nation has suffered from Abyssinian expansionism, social, ecological and economic destruction and continuous and intensive cultural and physical genocide. The Abyssinians and Oromians connections have been the coloniser (refers to the former) and the colonised (refers to the latter) relationships. Contrary to the Ethiopianist discourse, they have not developed a common unifying identity, social and political system. While the Abyssinians feel a sense of glory of their kings, warlords and dictators, the Oromians feel victimisation to these rulers, so they have not emerged a common ancestry, culture and collective memory, which can result in common ‘Ethiopian’ identity. From the perspective of Oromo social construction, the present Ethiopian domination over Oromia is a continuation of what pervious generations of Oromo nation had experienced. Thus, the Oromo people, sees the present political arrangement as illegitimate because it is a rule by the people who have engaged in destroying them. So, they claim not only cultural but also political independence. Oromo nationalism is also very democratic. It follows the UN principles of self-determination for the citizens of Oromia, claiming independence from the tyranny of Ethiopian Empire. The latter has been constructed based on Amhara-Tigre nationalism. The Oromo nationalism also offers democratic solutions to the ethnic minorities in the Ethiopian Empire. Scholars of Oromo studies claim that there is fundamental behavioural, linguistic, ethnic and cultural differences between the Abyssinians (northern) and their subjects (Southern). The Oromo, Sidama, Afar and the Ogaden (Ogaden Somalians) nations, beyond their common Cushitic progeny, they have common experiences of victimisation and illegitimately absorbed by Abyssinian southward expansion. Their collective memory of past experiences and present victimisation are making common identity. This identity is a key to understand politics there and to work together for self-determination, to recover their lost humanity.

For the early version of this article, see Temesgen M. Erena, The Political and Cultural Locations National Self – Determination,  Oromia Quarterly, Vol. II, No.2, March 1999; Temesgen, M. Erena, Oromia: The Nation and the Politics of National Self – Determination, Oromia Quarterly, Vol. I, No.2, December 1997, ISSN 1460-1346.

Man knows himself only insofar as he knows the world, and becomes aware of the world only in himself, and of himself only in it. Every new object, well observed, opens a new organ in ourselves.

-Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen, VI Build therefore your own world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Introduction

The passions of national freedom and national interest are probably the strongest in the whole political spectrum that characterises the present world. Kellas (1998) holds that it is stronger than the passions aroused by religion, class, individual or group interest. This passion is not all futile, either. In Gellener’s (1983) understanding, nationalism has been considered as essential to the establishment of a modern industrial society. According to Smith (1991), it is ‘the sole vision and rationale of political solidarity.’ For Kellas (1998), it provides legitimacy to the state, and inspires its citizens to feel an emotional attachment towards it. It can be a source of creativity in the arts, and enterprise in the economy. Its power to mobilise political engagement is unrivalled, particularly in the vital activity of nation building. It is intimately linked with the operation of popular democracy. Indeed, the global pattern is a mosaic of political drives, economic interests, linguistic pride, cultural imperatives, psychological needs and nations seeking identity. These factors are manifesting as a powerful staying power in a modern Africa, either. As European colonialism and socialism melted away, the perpetual existence of the backlash against ‘neo-colonial’ colony colonialism and the reviving of national selfdom become more and more significant in social and political dynamics of contemporary multi-ethno-nation African societies. The African experience is motivated by the same aspirations as that of elsewhere. At its root is a need for freedom, dignity, for the right of people of distinct social communities to function freely and independently. In this regard, Oromia represents the case of rejuvenating claim for national freedom and the struggle against more than a century old Abyssinian Empire colonialism in Africa. Oromia is a homeland for an Oromo nation, a group of people with a common culture and value system (seera fi aadaa), language ( Afaan Oromo), political institutions (Gadaa), and historical memories and experiences. Oromia is the single largest, homogeneous and endogenous nation in Africa with a population of 40 to 45 million. Both in terms of territorial and population size, more than two-third’s today’s sovereign states that are making members of UN (United Nations) are smaller than Oromia. The Cushite (see Demie, 1998) Oromo people have inhibited their homeland, Oromia, since pre-history and in antiquity were the agents of humanity’s documented Cushitic civilisation in terms of science, technology, art, political and moral philosophy. The links between the Oromo and the ancient civilisations of Babylon, Cush and Egypt has been discussed in Asfaw Beyene (1992) and John Sorenson (1998) scholarly works. Utilising prodigious evidence from history, philosophy, archaeology and linguistics, Diop (1974 and 1991) confirms that the Cushite Egyptian civilisation was emerged from the Cushite civilisations of North East Africa, particularly, the present day Western Sudan and upper Nile Oromia (also known as Cush or Punt). Indeed, except the name of places, saints and prophets, many of the Old Testament and the Holy Koran moral texts are copies of the Oromo moral codes. The formers are written documents while the latter are orally transmitted. Since the late 1880s the Oromo people have disowned their sovereignty. They disowned their autonomous institutions of governance, culture, education, creativity, business, commerce, etc. Thus, they have been claiming for national self-determination, national-self government and the right to their own state and resist the Abyssinian Empire saver (supremacist’s) nationalism. The Oromians are not only against the quality of Ethiopian Empire governance but also against the philosophy on which it is based: domination, dehumanisation, inequality, double standard, hypocrisy, deceit, exclusion, chauvinism, war institution, rent-seeking, extractive state, conservatism, feudalism, Aste fundamentalism (Aste Tewodros, Aste Yohannis, Aste Menelik, Aste Haile Sellasie), etc. The political goal of national self-determination (national self-government) is asserted in the outlook and attitudes of the Oromo political and social organisations. Of course, the Oromo nationalism, which supports the interests and identity of the Oromo people, is a more subtle, complex and widespread phenomenon than common understanding and observation. It is within this context that we are going to discuss the Oromos’ politics of national self-determination and the search for the national homeland, the demand for reinventing a state of their own in the following sections.

Defining Nation, Nationalism and Self- determination

To define nation and nationalism is as Benjamin Akzin (1964, pp. 7-10) discussed five decades ago, to enter into a terminological jungle in which one easily gets lost. Different scholarly disciplines have their own more or less established and more or less peculiar ways of dealing with nation and nationalism. Ideally, our definition of nation and nationalism should be induced of elements of nationalist ideology. Getting at such a definition has confirmed phenomenally strenuous. Hugh Seton-Watson, an authority in this domain, has deduced that ‘no scientific definition’ of a nation can be concocted. All that we can find to say is that a nation exists when significant number of people in a community consider themselves to form a nation, or behave as if they formed one (Seton-Watson, 1982, p.5).Van den Berghe (1981) defines a nation as a politically conscious ethnic group. Several attempts have been made at making a cardinalist definition of the term, pointing out one or more key cultural variables as defining variables. Among those tried are language, religion, common history/descent, ethnicity/race, statehood and common territory (homeland). For a group of people to be termed a nation, its members typically have to share several of these characteristics, although historically, one criterion may have been predominant (for example, language in Germany, or culture and history in France). In the case of Oromo, common language (Afaan Oromo), common territory (Biyya Oromo, dangaa Oromiyaa or Oromia), common historical experiences (victimisation to Ethiopian Empire rules or Abyssinocracy) are particularly very significant. Stalin made his undertaking in 1913. His definition includes four criteria: the members of a nation live under the same economic conditions, on the same territory, speak the same language, and have similar culture and national character (Seton-Watson, 1982, p.14). Neither Ernest Gellner nor Eric Hobsbawn, two influencials, gave definite definitions of the nation in their major achievements. Indeed, they are very hostile towards what they define as nationalism. ‘…For ever single nationalism which has so far raised its ugly head…’ (Gellner, 1983, p.45), this is a Gellner’s conception and sees the world as naturally divided into nations, each with its own individuality. This implies an acceptance of the nationalist self-perception. There are also other conceptualisations. A social anthropologist, Thomas Hylland Eriksen (1992, p. 220) says ‘a nation is an ethnic group whose leaders have either achieved, or aspire to achieve, a state where its cultural group is hegemonic’, Anthony H. Birch (1989, p.6) considers that a nation is best defined as ‘a society which either governs itself today, or has done so in the past, or has a credible claim to do so in the not-too- distant future. Kellas (1998) defines the nation as a group of people who feel themselves to be a community bound together by ties of history, culture and common ancestry. Nations have ‘objective’ characteristics, which may include a territory, a language, a religion, or common descent, and ‘subjective’ characteristics, essentially a people’s awareness of its nationality and affection for it. In the last resort it is ‘the supreme loyalty’ for people who are prepared to die for their nation. The definition of ‘nation’ which we will make use of in the following is one suggested by Anthony D. Smith (1983,pp. 27-109, 1991, p. 14; 1995); a definition mastering well the ‘sounding board’ dimension. Smith here defines a nation as ‘a named human population sharing a historic territory, common myths and historical memories, a mass, public culture, a common economy and common legal rights and duties for all members. A recent definition of Smith holds nationalism, one manifestation of national-self-determination, as ‘an ideological movement for attaining and maintaining autonomy, unity and identity on behalf of a population deemed by some of its members to constitute an actual or potential ‘nation’ (Smith, 1991, p. 73; 1995). For Smith nationalism has a deep ethnic roots and rejuvenates itself in response to global and domestic impulses. While the phenomenon of globalisation and technocratic culture are there, nationalism is an eternal nature and nourishes and propels itself on technocratic innovations. In this context, national self-determination may be defined as many part aspirations of a nation: To be free to freely determine one’s own national identity, culture, including language, education, religion, and form of government, to be free of rule by another ‘nation’, that is to overcome social and political systems of domination and exclusion in which nations other than one’s own wield predominant power. To be free to select its own form of government; and those governed within it have the right of unflagging consent.

Culture and the Politics of Self-determination

Nation, nationalism and national self-determination are commanding attentions. One of the perennial issues within nationalism is whether national self-determination can stand alone, or whether it requires a ‘qualifier’ from within cultural or political ideas or both to clarify its precise cultural and political location. Several scholars have argued that national self-determination is a claim for cultural independence and that nationalism in general is based on the right to cultural independence and that nationalism is based on the right to a culture. Nielson, for example, peers a nation as groups of people whom ‘perceive themselves as having a distinct culture and traditions’, and Tamir presents that a nation is a community in which individuals develop their culture, and they therefore regard their place within a nation as membership in a cultural group. Indeed, she argues that ‘the right to national-self determination stakes a cultural rather than a political claim, namely, it is the right to preserve the existence of a nation as a distinct cultural entity.’ Will the people who demand national self-determination be satisfied with such an arrangement? Tamir gives credence to that the idea of basing the right to self-determination on the right to a culture is the one that has best conformity with a liberal internationalist viewpoint. That is thinkable, but international liberalism is incompetent on this particular matter. A nationalism, which is based on culture and cultural distinctions, was not very long a go. It is a concept that characteristic the thesis of right wing, or romantic theorists such as Herder. Indeed, Herder’s nationalism was not political, and it distrusted a state as something external, mechanical, not emerging spontaneously from the life of the people. Nevertheless, in the Oromo context the claim for national self-determination is a political rather than a cultural one. If we look at the distinction between the two, it would seem that the claim for national self-determination involves more than a demand to be tolerated while the cultural question is. For example, the Catalan’s and Quebecois’ culture and identity have been tolerated and respected to some extent, and yet many of them thought that this did not reflect a situation of self-determination. Indeed, meeting their claim would involve legislation and redefinition of institutions within the state, and perhaps even a new state. In the Oromo case the demand is actually the claim to have control over their lives. This does not mean over every individual’s private life, but over the public aspect of one’s existence, i.e. the system of mutual relationships, which reflect and sustain one’s membership of a certain collective. Here the self is conceptualised within the context of community, but one that has to be real, actual, and functioning and performing. Otherwise these communal ties are too abstract, which makes it impossible for the self to be defined by them. The statement of Cohen has to be recalled: ‘A person does not only need to develop and enjoy his powers. He needs to know who he is, and how his identity connects him with particular others. He must… find something outside himself which he did not create… He must be able to identify himself with some part of objective social reality’ (Cohen, 1988). Moreover, self-realisation, however, cannot be merely a mental situation; thus this community cannot be only cultural. It must be a political situation at least so that, in order for the Oromo people to realise themselves, they must not be dependent on the goodwill of a second party. They then must be certain that their self-realisation in all spheres of life will not be prevented by the Abyssinian government, the TPLF, the Orthodox Church, and so forth. They should therefore be politically active and watch such institutions carefully. In addition, they must participate in politics in order to decide collectively upon public matters, which influence their self-realisation. So the Oromos claim for national-self determination is about the realisation of their potential status, ability and collective character, which may be achieved only through participation in autonomous political institutions. But for more than a century Oromos have been denied access to these institutions, either officially or in practice. In other words, if  Oromos as a nation achieve self-determination they will better able to participate, better represented, better able to deliberate, gain much more control over their life than formerly and more autonomous. The Oromos demand for national self-determination thus, aims at establishing those institutions, which are needed for the realisation of the self-determination. When an Oromo demands national self-determination, he/she is not asserting that he/she would like to control his/her private life, e.g. his/her job, his/her shopping activities, his/her love affairs. Many Oromos do not control these aspects of their lives and yet nevertheless demand national self-determination. But the same principle also applies to cultural life. The Oromos may be allowed more-or-less to use their language, have their own newspapers and theatre, and the freedom of worship, etc. which are making cultural freedom. Actually, these rights are hardly exist at present. But when they claim national self-determination they are not only referring to these aspects of life, as political community: they want to be able to form and choose among and vote for the Oromo political parties, to observe the Oromo constitutional laws, to pay taxes to an Oromo authority, and to have a history (and indeed, myth) of independent Oromo state, from which their identity and self-determination can derive. Thus, the Oromo’s Declaration for Independence will emphasise parliamentary participation and the need to form a constitution, rather than cultural activities. In general the Oromos demand for national self-determination entails that the individuals in this nation should be citizens, engaged in politics as members of a community committed to the realisation of certain (their own) common goods, rather than participating as individuals who seek their self-interests, as it is implied by the right- to- culture school of thought and Liberal Internationalists. Perhaps for this reason Margalit and Halbertal revise the right-to- culture argument, arguing that the right is to a certain culture rather than to culture. A certain culture, then, becomes a common good. And yet, this is not enough, because they still regard the common good in cultural rather than political terms: ‘shared values and symbols… are meant to serve as the focus for citizens’ identification with the state, as well as the sources of their willingness to defend it even at the risk of their lives (Margalit and Halbertal, 1994). Why, then, do theories adhere to the culture discourse? Of course, for most of the Western theorists, the term national self-determination is affiliated to the strive to become part of humanity, to regain the human condition of autonomy; it is adjoined to the struggle to be part of the free world, of the more progressive forces; it is seen as decolonisation, as civilisation, as an attempt made to become part of the world of liberty, rights, and justice. But, it is seen as part of centrifugal forces, from the centre to the global, universalism or what Lane (1974) calls as ‘total situation’ or citizenship based on individual freedom and social justice. These theorists, therefore, universalise the notion of national self-determination: they make it part of liberalism. The liberals’ universal approach tends to be uniformist. This makes a society rootless and a citizen far removed from those who control his/her destiny. On the other hand, the notion as it is put forward and used by the Oromos that the demand for national self-determination is also centripetal, from the global and the greater units to the smaller ones. These groups demand the disengagement from the ‘other’, the global, the colonist, even from other humanity, by asserting that ‘we are not merely the essential equal and part of humanity, but rather we are also different and distinct: we have our own political identity, which we want to preserve, sustain, and establish institutionally, like the Scottish vision in multi-nation state Europe. This is the language of liberation from colonisation. It is also the language of particularisation within the universal or the global, and it seems that the uniformist approach is not sensitive enough to the real Oromos problems. Thus, the Oromos quest for self-determination involves the ultimate goal of particularism (its own unique space), reinventing the Oromia State, owning the national homeland. Of course, in a heterogeneous society of the Ethiopian Empire, though uniformity may simplify system of control, social justice will not be attained in one vast monolithic block of oppressed by colonial legislation, bureaucrats and its armies. An important work of Professor Asafa Jalata, an authority in the study of Oromo nationalism kindly quoted as’ The Oromo question involves both colonialism and ethno nationalism. Ethiopian colonialism has been imposed by global capitalism on the Oromo nation. Ethiopians, both Amharas and Tigrayans, through establishing settler colonialism in Oromia, have systematically killed millions of Oromo and expropriated their lands and other resources from the last decades of the nineteenth century until today. Ethiopian colonialists already destroyed the people called Agaw by taking their lands, systematically killing them, and assimilating the survivors. They attempt to do the same thing to the Oromo by destroying the Oromo national movement, confiscating Oromo lands, and forcing the remaining Oromo into ‘settlement villages’ or (reservations). Many times, some Oromo organisations attempted to democratize Ethiopia so that the Oromo would achieve equal citizenship rights and maintain their ethno cultural identity. Determined to maintain their colonial domination and to destroy the Oromo cultural personality through ethnocide or assimilation, Ethiopian colonialists destroyed or suppressed those Oromo political forces that attempted to transform Ethiopia into a multinational democratic society. Therefore, most Oromos are convinced that their rights and freedom cannot be obtained and respected without creating their own state, or state that they can create as equal partners with other ethno national groups interested in forming a multinational democratic society to promote ethno cultural diversity and human freedom. Hence, Oromo nationalism is an ideology of the subjugated Oromo who seek human rights, freedom, justice, and democracy’ (Jalata, 1997). In fact social justice can be attained when and only when the oppressed majority able to rule its homeland. The Oromos work for national self-determination is the great humanist and historical task in terms of Freire (1993) argument ‘To liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any ‘attempt to soften the power of the oppressor in difference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifest itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this.’ In this context, for Oromos in order to have the continued opportunity to express their ‘generosity,’ the Habasha colonist must perpetuate injustice, too. Tyranny is the permanent fount of this ‘generosity,’ that sustains at the price of death, dehumanisation, despair and poverty. ‘True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity.’ (Freire, 1993). For further discussions on Oromo nationalism, universalism, globalism, Ethiopianist discourses and Oromo Nationalism, see Sorenson (1998) and Sisai Ibssa (1998).

Concluding Thoughts

Man as a social animal always seeks his own territory and belongings to a social group in which his identity and sense of community is observed and respected. In the defence of the cause for social justice and social ecology, these are basic tenets to backlash against the danger of the rhetoric of universalism, polyarchy and false perspectives of social uniformity, which appear to appreciate the social problems from a single privileged point. Georg Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind ( New York, 1967 edition), in his famous philosophical discussion of the relationship between ‘lordship and bondage’ maintained that a single consciousness could know itself only through another, even in a condition of totally unequal power relationship. According to this philosophical model, the lord (the oppressor) is lord only through the relationship with a bondservant (the oppressed, the one whose humanity is stolen). In the relationship, however, the other is annulled. The self of the mastery, the lord, derives from the conquest and negation of the servant, the bond. Only recognition of the selfhood of the other permits for its annulations. Thus, lordship covertly recognises the separate identity of the dominated. They are normally equal selves locked into unequal hierarchy. Metaphorically, Hegel’s dialectics of lordship and bondage is very important to understand the Ethiopian domination over Oromia. However, in the Ethiopianist discourse, the essential equality of the selves has been escaped totally. Rather, the persisting hierarchy has taken for granted. According to Sorenson (1998), Ethiopianist scholars like Clapham, Sven Rubenson and Levine because of their attachment to one version of the Ethiopian past and present make them either or unwilling to engage with the full complexity of the problem. From this point of view, to accept the unchanging polarity of Ethiopia and Oromia in the lordship-bondage relationship is to succumb to a structure of Ethiopian aggression and colonialism. The Oromians demand for national self-determination is, however, the civilised step out of the polarity upon which the coercive hierarchy relies, it is the collective political demand, as its main purpose is to achieve the good of the social whole, humanisation, the essential liberation of the Oromo national identity, dignity and the reinvention of Oromia as a sovereign state. The Abyssinian occupation of Oromia, the existence of the Abyssinian Rule, war-lordism and their armies in Oromia and the making of Finfinnee their garrison station, the centre of their crowds is not only an act of conquest, aggression and colonialism but also, from Oromo perspective, such elements are symbols of bondage and slavery that negate the Oromo selfhood as equal essential. For the last over hundred years, the Oromo nation has disowned selfhood, its own state or administration, and lived as a bondage of Abyssinia. The Abyssinian administration which has undermined the Oromo national traditions, exploited it economically, and maintained order through mechanical and repressive means- such a nation actually must seek national self-determination to foster within its politics, to bring dignity, justice, freedom and democracy and to survival as essential equal, as a nation and as part of humanity and its civilisation. It is necessary for Oromians to build the world of their own, a world which make them capable to sustain as a group of human people. They must able to liberate themselves and the violent, the oppressor too. In this context, the Oromo issue is a test case to the deceptive ‘democracy world-wide’ which is being advocated in the USA foreign policy and manipulated by the neo-nafxanyas (see Ibssa, 1998). It is a challenge to contemporary theories of democracy and polyarchy (Robinson, 1997) and actors of post cold war Ethiopian politics who simply take for granted that the boundaries and powers of political community in the ‘Horn’ have already been settled. Thanks to the dedicated works of human rights activists, particularly the OSG (the Oromia Support Group) and its UK based publication, Sagalee Haaraa, we have been well informed on plights of human population and their environment in the entire region. We are interested to recommend this publication to all actors of the region. In this context, we are confident to say that Ethiopian democracy rhetoric or federalism sham politics is nothing more than a fig leaf, covering up the continuation of an extraction of the ‘politics of the belly’, in terms of Bayart (1993) from ‘prudish eye of the West.’ Its democratic rhetoric is a new type of rent seeking (extracting economic rent). By making believe, it enables the collection of international aid that includes diplomatic, military and humanitarian. It enables the seizure of the resources of the modern economy for the benefit of the Tigrayan elites. The situation is not in democracy’s favour, rather it is a situation that the Tyranny is retaining control over the security forces, economic rents and the support of the West. Such manipulation is not new for Africa. Menilik, Haile sellassie, Mengistu, Mobutu, Biya, Senghor and Diouf did the same thing either in Ethiopia or elsewhere in the continent at one time or another. The Quote from Bayart’s (1993) African analyis comes to our mind ‘…The support of western powers and multilateral institutions of Bretton Woods and the Vatcan, who despite having waved the flag of democratic conditionality and respect for human rights, have not dared to pursue such sentiments to their logical conclusion and have continued to think in terms of ‘Mobutu or Chaos’ where Gorbachev given up saying ‘Ceaucescu or chaos’…’. Indeed, very recently, we have read the deceptive descriptions to neo-Mobutu, neo-Mengistu, etc.: democratic, new generation, confident and pragmatic, etc. Sadly, everything changes so that everything stays the same. Nevertheless, the oppressed Oromos are not passive objects, either. They have not allowed themselves to be ‘captured’, as in the past they have demonstrated their historical ability to resist dehumanisation, despair and poverty, and predictably will continue to resist until the justice will come to them. An everyday Oromo coins the following: ‘Victory to the Oromo people! Oromia shall be free!’ We feel moral and social responsibility to support the just cause of fellow humanity.

Listen to Oromo Voice Radio (OVR) Broadcast Afaan Oromo interviews with Dr. Almayayyoo Birru on topic of Self-determination:

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/oromo-freedom-from-what-and-for-what-part-1/

http://gadaa.com/oduu/4613/2010/06/27/on-the-question-of-nationalities-in-ethiopia/

 

‘External self-determination, in particular, seems to carry dual meaning. On the one hand it is taken to mean full independent statehood, while on the other hand it is taken to mean external recognition by other states within the
international community.’

http://bemis.org.uk/docs/redefining-self-determination.pdf

 

‘Every individual/group possesses a moral right to secede. The burden of proof rests with the opponents of secession.’ 

This article is mainly credited to Oromia Quarterly 1997 & 1999.

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2015 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2015. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Government media in Ethiopia vs Scholars view of development: A stand-off paradox August 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Colonizing Structure, Development & Change, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Free development vs authoritarian model, Illicit financial outflows from Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land Grabs in Oromia, Youth Unemployment.
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Government  media in Ethiopia vs Scholars view of development: A stand-off paradox

Ameyu Etana*

 

 

 

 

 

It has been more than a decade since DEVELOPMENT became a buzzword in Ethiopian Radio  and Television Agency. As ERTA is a pro-government media and  sponsored by the state, there is a strong probability to be under the guise of social responsibility theory when addressing issues. As it is common of using development journalism as an instrument in developmental states, likewise, the Ethiopian government is using media as a big power to making the public participating in development.  Television Agency (ERTA) and other media that are pro-government but run under the auspices of private media. Regrettably, probably, it is the most abused and corrupted word beyond what one could imagine. A name developmentalist came to develop a negative connotation for a journalist in Ethiopia. Quite number of academic researches has been done on the single nationwide media in Ethiopia, however; very little of them adduced and proved the professional nature of political power house of Ethiopian government, ERTA.

Ethiopia, a nation came to be a laboratory of political economy is a dish for choose and pick philosophy of politics. The political economy of Ethiopia is democratic developmental state. By their nature such states are repressive. And there has never been a country both democratic and developmental at a time except Ethiopia. Nevertheless, it seems, what we are seeing is not in accord with the political economy.

The Ethiopian government adopted United Nations General Assembly Resolution 41/128:1986. Alike, the right to development is one of the bill rights that had been included in the federal constitution of Ethiopia. Article 43 of FDRE constitution could depict this. To the contrary, mostly, what has been written and what has been practiced seems contradict each other.

As we know, what Ethiopian Television, Ethiopian Radio, Ethiopian Herald, Addis Zemen, Bariisaa, Ethiopian News Agency, Walta Information Center and other government driven media and/or news agency in Ethiopia and other whose names called under the guise of private but pro-government media view development as econometric (statistics use to view development e.g. economic development) view of development. As a result, any report that put Ethiopian development in number presumed to have high political benefit and get the major attention as it makes a headline. Infrastructure, number of investors, their capital, the KM of a road built, export and import quantities, number of graduates, number of higher institutions, and others are mostly at the desk of those media institution. Hence, what is seen is not the human side but the growth side as it uses to be.

Since the philosophy of state media in Ethiopia is development journalism, though wrongly interpreted, the issue of development vastly and exhaustively reported in a form of news, program, documentary, and other types of reports. However, most news are just a report as they lack interpretation while the journalist acts as a conduit than the one who produce it. I.e. Ethiopia is amongst the fastest growing economy in the world though third of its population lives in absolute poverty. In addition, there is been a big unequal economic distribution in the country and unemployment is getting higher albeit it is repeatedly told it is non-oil economy. If so, what is the benefit of jobless growth? Moreover, indigenous knowledge is ignored at the same time modern technology is also getting little attention by farmers, which is discrepancy right now in the country. As the journalism model, those media were supposed to critically examine and meticulously analyze issue that matters most to the people than merely reporting it.

The people of the country have long experienced the use of development for propaganda. Owing to this, it is difficult to identify the real concept of development in the mind of citizens. This resembles the sedative nature of the media in the country. Recently, journalists of Oromia Radio and Television Journalists (ORTO) did a deliberation on the controversial master plan of Addis Ababa, however, regrettably, they got an axe for the mere fact they did speak their mind. Hence, we can say that development is like politics in Ethiopia as it is untouched area to be opened for deliberation.

After all what is development? What scholars say about development? 

Several scholars held a debate for decades on what development is until they came to, probably; seems agree as it is all about human development. Lamentably, as Rita Abrahamsen puts it in her book called Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and Good Governance in Africa the issue of development became politicized, which is unfortunate as the world came to see help poor countries based on their political ideology they might have than favoring solely for being human.

The leading professor Amartya Sen in his book Development as Freedom which was published in 1999 argues development should be seen as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy. He contrasts the view of development with the widely prevalent concentration on the expansion of real income and on economic growth as the characteristics of successful development. Poverty, the flip side of development, means capability deprivation that inhibits citizen’s freedom to live, the reason they value most. As a result, development means an expansion of freedom.

For Amartya Sen Poverty is lack of choice, socioeconomic and political deprivation while development is a freedom or emancipation from poverty, empowerment of the people. Therefore, we simply understand us development is all about a people than merely numbers.

Similarly Michael Todaro in his book Economic Development argues that development must be seen as multidimensional process involving major changes in social structure, popular attitudes, and national institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and the eradication of absolute poverty. And several scholars including Thomas Alan and others believed development is about empowering and emancipating people from the agony that make them suffer most than ignoring their existence.

Having looked at this, inopportunely we see the paradox in Ethiopia. In the name of development people has been ignored freedom; few are benefiting but millions are joining poverty if not struggling to survive. Rather than sensitizing them the media is pursuing sedative under the auspices of development as submissive people at large are being produced in the country seeing that the issue of development became not open for discussion and untouchable. Regrettably, in the name of investment and several projects, millions are being displaced from the land they presumes their only property they got from their forefathers but, are treated like ignorant who could serve nothing for the development. I.e. it is the residents of Addis Ababa that were deliberating over the contentious master plan for days on the lands of farmers surrounding Addis Ababa. How could this be the right way? By no means it is democratic or developmental? It is highly nonsense and absurd but not surprise as it uses to be in the country.

If development is for the people why do ignore them or why to treating them as against development? By its nature development is not merely road or building, it is about mind development. If the big asset for human, which is mind is not well set, how to manage the entire infrastructure? It seems everything is messed up in Ethiopia. Due to this, the wider public is feeling ignorant to the plans and strategies the government drafts each time.

Consequently, here in Ethiopia, under the guise of development thousands get prisoned, displaced, ignored, dehumanized, unnerved, denied capability, bottled in poverty, whereas, few get rich, empowered, emancipate in such a way to fasten andwiden the gap of living standards of citizens, which is shockingly inhuman. Inconveniently, for the development gained it is not the people but a party or officials get recognition as personal cult is common so far.

The other vital issue we should pay attention to is making the people the participant when the plan is drafted which mean making the people the source of development. If doing so, those who decide by themselves become responsible for the accomplishment, which is a big benefit for the ruled and for the ruler. However, this was not happening rather the people are assumed as ignorant mass that could have no role prior to drafting of the plan but after. http://mohiboni.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/government-herd-media-in-ethiopia-and.html

*Ameyu Etana is a journalist in Ethiopia and by now he is a graduate student at Addis Ababa University. Can be reached at: ameyuetana@gmail.com  You can follow and comment on his articles on mohiboni.blogspot.com and mohiboni.wordpress.com. All are encouraged to challenge. Any idea is welcomed as far as it has adduced. 

 

The Inspirational Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom (1918 – 2013) July 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Nelson Mandela, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Self determination, Uncategorized.
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International Nelson Mandela Day

After spending almost three decades as a political prisoner in his own country, Nelson Mandela emerged from his cell and quickly became one of the most revered world leaders.  18th July, Mandel’s Birthday, has been named International Nelson Mandela Day in his honor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taddasaand Mandella

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

 

 

Nelson Mandela was not only a great leader; he was a student of great leadership. As a boy, he was dazzled by stories of African leaders from the 17th and 18th centuries, and he saw himself as part of that grand tradition. He was raised by the Regent of the Tembu tribe, who allowed him to sit in on tribal councils. Mandela once told me that the Regent would never speak until the end, and then he would summarize what had been said and try to form a consensus. When I was working with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, I sat in on many meetings with his own senior team. He would almost always wait until the end to speak and then see if he could forge a consensus. To him that was the African way.

Mandela was not only a student of great leadership; he was intent on creating great African leaders. He believed that there was a dearth of great leaders in Africa, and he was keen on motivating a new generation of leadership for the continent.

I was with Mandela during many meetings with South African and international leaders. Afterwards, he would comment on a leader’s particular style or tactics, or even on what he wore. He would note if a leader was polite or deferential. He did not like leaders who were overly emotional or histrionic. If he described you as “measured,” that was a great compliment. He prized directness. He had no tolerance for leaders who were not honest. And he would sometimes smile ruefully if someone was in over his head.

Mandela believed that African leaders needed to be different than Western leaders. As the head of the African National Congress, and as the president of South Africa, he always sought consensus. He once told me that as a boy he had spent many days herding cattle, and that the way you lead cattle is from behind. By that he meant, you must marshal your forces and make sure that your people are ready to go in the direction where you want to lead them. Mandela led from the front and behind, and it is his spirit that is behind the Young African Leadership Initiative. And on Mandela’s 96th birthday, we get ready to welcome to Washington the 500 YALI Fellows who are the brightest of a new generation of great African leaders.

Mandela understood that leaders are made as well as born, and that circumstances bring forth great leaders. He liked the old English expression about leadership: “Cometh the moment, cometh the man – or the woman.” This is the moment for these young African leaders.

– See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/07/17/nelson-mandela-s-legacy-and-next-generation-great-african-leaders#sthash.oVogppHa.YJ5JRlPJ.dpuf

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Living isn’t just about doing for yourself, but what you do for others as well.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Photo: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." ~ Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace, Madiba.

Photo: "Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.” (Speech to European Parliament, 1990)</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

 

Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress member Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, raise fists upon Mandela’s release from Victor Verster prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Paarl, South Africa.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela at a funeral for 12 people who died during township unrest in Soweto, South Africa, Sept. 20, 1990.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela greets supporters behind the fence in the mining town of Randfontein, west of Johannesburg, Nov. 25, 1993. He toured the area as part of his campaign for the 1994 presidential election.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

President Mandela goes on a walkabout round Trafalgar Square in London on his way to South Africa House, where he made a speech from the balcony.(POOL/AFP/Getty Images),

See more at@http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/nelson-mandela-day-20140718

 

‘Over the years, Mandela’s initial military training and brief stay in Ethiopia received only a scant media coverage. It has been said that Mandela had come face-to-face with death at many junctures in his long life. But had the alleged 1962 assassination attempt in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, succeeded, the world would have been worse off.

gutadinkaA man who single-handedly saved Mandela has recently come forward with his story. Captain Guta Dinka, 78, was one of the two guards assigned to protect the future icon of peace during his training’  in Finfinnee. Read more at  http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3723-captain-guta-dinka-the-man-who-saved-mandela

Photo: Col Fekadu Wakene said Mr Mandela was a good student

Col Fekadu Wakene,  Oromo man

In ‘July 1962, Col Fekadu Wakene taught South African political activist Nelson Mandela the tricks of guerrilla warfare – including how to plant explosives before slipping quietly away into the night.’ BBC

WASHINGTON, DC (VOA, Afaan Oromo) — Prezidaantiin Afrikaa kibbaa duraanii Nelson Maandeellaa umrii isaanii 95tti kamiisa kaleessaa du’an boqotanii jiran.Uummanni addunyaa irra jiru prezidaantii gurraacha Afrikaa kibbaaf isa jalqabaa ta’an kanaaf gadda itti dhaga’ame ibsaa jira.

Namoota hedduu biratti maandelaan Goota.Nama kaka’uumsa qabu nama jabaa fi mul’ata qabu. Yeroo baayyee nama gad of qabu, nama gaarii, amanamaa, nama warra biraafis yaadu.

Ta’uun beekamu. Nelson Mandelaan Adooleessa 18 bara 1918 dhalatanii naannoo dur gurraachonni Afrikaa kibbaa keessa jiraatan Transkei jedhamtu keessatti guddatan.

Nelesen MaandeellaaNelesen Maandeellaa

Bara dargaggummaa isaanii sochii farra Apaartaayiid keessa seenuun paartii Afrikaan Nashinaal Kongrees ykn ANC jedhamutti dabalaman.Bara 1940 ANC keessatti damee dargaggotaaf hogganaa ta’an.

Maandeellaan kooleejii fi mana barnootaa kan seeraa yeroo seenan nama ANC keessaa Oliver Thamboo wajjin turan.

Yeroo jalqabaafiis waajiira gurraachaa kan waa’ee seeraa irratti hojjatu Afrikaa kibbaa keessatti banan.Gurraachootaaf gorsa seeraa baasii tokko malee tola ykn gatii xiqqoo gaafachuun gargaaraa turan.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1804939.html

WASHINGTON,DC — Perzdaantiin Afrikaa Kibbaa ka durii,Nelson Maandellaa nama addunyaan waan hedduun faarsitu.

Akka xiinxalyaan siyaasaa Jawaar Mohaammad yuniversitii New York  jedhetti ammoo wannii Maandellaa jaalataniif “nama kana nama bilisummaa sabaatii fi ummata isaatiif falmeen jaalatama…jaarmiyaa paartii Afrikaa Kibbaa ,ANC jijjiiree paartii ummataa godhee.Ummatii cunqurfamoon addunyaa ammoo isa akka fkn laalan.”
Akka Jawaaritti wanti Maandellaa biyya alaatti akkana jaalataniif bara Maandeellaa hidhaa bahe sunitti:

“Oggaa innii qabsoo san injifannoon irra aanee mana hidhaatii bahu san sodaan guddaan… ummata isaa sun qabatee ummata adii biyya san jiru biyya sanii hari’uu, biiluu bahuu dandahaa  sodaa jettutti jira..sun ammoo hin taane.”

Dubbii tana araaraan fixuutti akka Maandellaan jaalatamu tolche.Gama kaaniin ammoo Maandellaan gaafa leenjii waraanaatiif Finfinnee dhufe jeneraalii waraanaa bara sunii Taaddasaa Birruu jalatti leenjifame.

Itti gaafatamtootii waraana Oromoo ta bara 1960s keessaa tun Jeneraal Taaddasaa  Birruu, Koloneel Fiqaaduu Waakkanneetii,Kumaalaa Fiqaaduu Dibaabaatii fi Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa faan  Perz.Maandellaa leenjisanii nagaa isaallee eegaa bahe.haga Maandellaan Finfinnee jiru sunitti leenjisaa waan hedduun gargaaraa bahan.

Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa  akka Maandellaa ijjeesu sobamulee “sobamuu didee lubbu Maandeellaa oolche.”

Gaafa Maandeellaan leenjii fixatee Afrikaa Kibbaatti deebihullee  kumaalaa Guutaan shugguxii tokkoo fi rasaasa 200 Maandellaa kenne.Jennaan  Maandellaan poolisiin itti dhufnaan shugguxii sun gatee ammallee horii guddaan barbaaduutti jiran.

Gama kaaniin ammoo dhaabi fiilmii Amerikaa baasu Holly Woodii fi ka Afrikaa Kibbaalleen seenaa Maandellaafaa shugguxi Maandellaa ta baddee fi seenaa Oromoota isa waliin turanii irralleetti wa hojjachuutti jira.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1806836.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2013/12/what-mandela-meanttoafricanactivists.html

His Excellency Jacob G Zuma
President
Republic of South Africa
Dear Mr. President:
It is with feelings of great sorrow that we in the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo people at large learned the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela, the first elected President of South Africa and a true freedom -fighting icon. On behalf of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo people, I wish to convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and the people of South Africa during this time of national mourning. The passing of Former President Mandela is a tremendous loss not only to South Africa and Africa alone but to the whole world.
The world and Africa in particular has lost an extraordinary statesman; a true freedom fighter whose moral strength, dedication and determination liberated his people from the evil of apartheid and set a genuine example for the rest of world. This gallant son and leader of Africa, through his unconditional sacrifices and heroism transformed his beloved country, South Africa, into peaceful multiracial nation that continues to serve as an example of a true and genuine national reconciliation in the world.
We, Oromo, have very fond memories of Mr. Mandela’s secret visit to our country in 1962, where he was hosted by General Taddasa Biru, an Oromo hero, founder of the OLF and leader who was murdered by the Ethiopian regime in 1975, while in struggle for the liberation of his own people. General Taddasa Biru trained and prepared Mr. Mandela for armed struggle. Because of this connection in particular, Mr. Nelson Mandela has become a source of inspiration for those of us struggling for freedom, equality, peace and reconciliation. We will greatly miss this freedom icon and giant son of Africa.
History will remember President Nelson Mandela as a great man and hero. Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on and inspire generations to come.
At this moment, our prayers are with the people of South Africa and President Mandela’s family in particular and we hope that they will find strength and solace to overcome their sorrow during this period of deep grief.

May his soul rest in eternal peace!
Yours Sincerely,

Dawud Ibsa
Chairman
Oromo Libertion Front– National Council

http://ethiofreespeech.blogspot.no/2013/12/olf-sends-condolence-letter-on-mandela.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

The Oromo Studies Association (OSA) is profoundly saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was a father, a husband, a statesman, a global hero, an anti-apartheid symbol, an advocate of human rights, and a fearless fighter of discrimination. He fought for the equal right of the black people in Apartheid South Africa, and paid a heavy price for the freedom of his people. He was condemned to a 27-year imprisonment. Despite the prison ordeals, he defended his dignity, civility, discipline, principle, and emerged a better human being. Eventually, he led a pariah state to a new chapter of peace with itself and the world. A passionate and forgiving man, he built a common home for blacks and white races – making animosity between the once sworn enemies a matter of history. Today, the rainbow nation is a model for a racial equality and tolerance. Added to his popularity and grace was his decision to limit his presidency to one term in the continent often incumbents die in the office or removed by coup.

Gadaa.com
Mr Mandela with His Oromo Trainer, General Tadesse Biru. (Photo: Public Domain)

Mandela was a prisoner of conscience, but he was a free man at last. Today, there are tens of thousands of Oromo prisoners of conscience in Ethiopian prisons. Mandela was once considered a terrorist. Today, the Ethiopian government often labels one who advocates for the rights of the Oromo people as a terrorist. It is against this background that Mandela’s universal message of justice has a strong resonance in the Oromo nation, a nation trying to overcome a century of discrimination, oppression, marginalization, exploitation, and occupation.

The Oromo nation had a historical connection to a man who changed the world through his words and actions. He inspired General Taddasa  Birru, a man who ignited the struggle of the Oromo people for freedom and equality. The Oromo nation takes pride in teaching a military science and training Mandela needed to spark the struggle of the people of South Africa. Mandela cut his teeth under General Taddasa Birru and Capt. Fekadu Wakane. The Oromo nation also foiled an assassination attempt against the life of Nelson Mandela. Captain Dinka Guta is still a living witness for that. We are also happy that Dr. Neville Alexander, a son of an Oromo slave, fought for the independence of the people of South Africa, and imprisoned with Mandela at the same prison.

Mandela has left the world for good; yet he has changed the world for good.  Today, the world is a better place for humanity because of a meaningful life he lived and a remarkable legacy he left behind.  We are grieving his death, but humanity is better off because of his universal message of love, peace, harmony, understanding, human rights, and democracy. Mandela’s struggle against discrimination and oppression will inspire the struggle of the Oromo people and other oppressed peoples around the world.  Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and the people of South Africa during this difficult time.

—————————
Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, signing a condolence book at the Consulate General of South Africa, in Chicago, December 6, 2013.

Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, briefed the staff of the Consulate General of South Africa about the link between the Oromo struggle and the South Africans’ struggle against the Apartheid
—————————

Ibrahim Elemo, M.D, M.P.H

President, the Oromo Studies Association/Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo
E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

December 7, 2013

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

‘May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela!’ Obama

The Oromo nationals with the Oromo flag at the memorial services for Nelson Mandela in Soweto FNB Stadium, South Africa, 10th December 2013.

Qunu, South Africa—Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically-elected president and its most beloved leader, was laid to rest Sunday at a state funeral in the lush green hills he roamed barefoot as a child.

About 4,500 mourners gathered in a giant white tent on the Mandela family compound, where 95 candles—one for each year of Mandela’s life—burned behind his South African flag-draped casket. Family, friends and world leaders recalled Nelson Mandela as disciplined but mischievous, courageous yet humble.

The service concluded a 10-day period of national mourning that included a memorial gathering in Soweto, various concerts and Mandela’s body lying in state for three days in Pretoria. Organizers wanted Sunday’s service to wrap up in two-and-half hours, because a man of Mandela’s stature should be buried at noon, “when the sun is at its highest and the shadow at its shortest,” said African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who served as master of ceremonies.

“Madala, your abundant reserves of love, simplicity, honesty, service, humility, care, courage, foresight, patience, tolerance, equality and justice continually served as a source of enormous strength to many millions of people in South Africa and the world,” said Ahmed Kathrada, who gave the first eulogy, addressing Mandela with the Xhosa word for elder. “You symbolize today, and always will, qualities of collective leadership, reconciliation, unity and forgiveness.”

Kathrada, who spent 26 years in prison with Mandela, choked up several times during his address. “When Walter [former African National Congress Secretary General Sisulu] died, I lost a father,” he said. “When you died, I lost a brother. Now I don’t know who to turn to.”

Guests included luminaries like Price Charles, Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson and African leaders such as Malawi’s President Joyce Banda, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete and Zambia’s former President Kenneth Kaunda.

Mandela’s granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, gave a moving tribute that recalled her grandfather’s humble roots. “He grew up from these rolling hills,” she said. “He went to school barefoot yet he rose to the highest office in the land.”

She depicted Mandela as a stern, but fun-loving and mischievous grandfather who loved telling stories.

“People always talk about his achievements, but he was a lot of fun to be around and he was a great storyteller.” She said he particularly liked to poke fun at himself, recounting a tale he told about trying to pick up a piece of chicken with his fork while at dinner with a girl he was trying to impress and her family. “Every time I stabbed the chicken, it jumped,” Nandi Mandela recalled her grandfather saying with a hearty laughter. “We shall miss your voice, we shall miss your laughter.”

Residents of Qunu and surrounding villages and ordinary South Africans who traveled from all over the country were not permitted inside the tent. Instead, hundreds watched Nandi Mandela and the other speakers on a giant screen set up in a distant field overlooking the Mandela compound, and at other public viewing sites around the country.

Draped in yellow and green Mandela t-shirts and scarves, with small South African flags attached to their hats or behind their ears, they sat quietly and intently, but jumped to their feet ululating and cheering when Mandela’s former praise poet, Zolani Mkiva, offered a rousing introduction to President Jacob Zuma.

The boos that greeted Zuma during a memorial service last week in Soweto were absent Sunday. In his speech, Zuma said Mandela offered, “hope in the place of hopelessness” and promised that South Africans would not abandon the principles that defined Mandela’s life.

“We have to continue building the type of society you worked tirelessly to construct,” Zuma said. “We have to take your legacy forward.”

As they watched the service in the field, mourners recalled how Mandela threw Christmas parties for the children of Qunu and surrounding villages, plying them with shoes, uniforms, and bags for school.

“For a big man like this, he was always there for us,” said Masibulele Magqirha, 42, of Qunu. Magqirha said he grew up playing soccer on the fields where Mandela’s house now stands. And he recalled when his entire soccer team decided they’d go ask Mandela to buy them uniforms.

“He said, ‘What are you doing here?’ But nobody wanted to talk,” Magqirha recalled. “’Gentlemen I’m talking to you, what are you coming here for?’” Mandela said, according to Magqirha. Magqirha finally spoke up: “Tata, please we are here to ask you to buy for us a kit. We are out playing soccer but we don’t have a kit.” Mandela told two team leaders to return the next day, Magqirha said. “When we came back, he said, ‘Tell me, what is your story?’ Are you studying? Please, you must go to school.’”

The next day, Magqirha returned, and was told to hop into a military truck, where he was presented with cleats, socks, shorts and shirts for the entire team.

“Where will we get a person like this again?” he asked.

Following Zuma’s speech, mourners walked behind the giant screen and paused in a vast open field. A young woman sat gazing towards the gravesite, crying. Others stood peering through binoculars towards the Mandela compound. Two police officers took a selfie, the funeral tent in the background. A man raised one fist in the air, holding a poster of Mandela in his other hand, gazing into the distance.

Then two busloads of men from neighboring KwaZulu Natal province, wielding spears and shields, offered a tribute in music and dance to Mandela, gyrating through the field.

Ultimately, Ramaphosa, the master of ceremonies, had to plead with the ancestors for extra time, as the ceremony went about an hour longer than expected. A small, private burial service followed at the family gravesite nearby.

Three helicopters carrying South African flags whizzed by, and military jets passed overhead in tribute as mourners sprinted towards them in a futile dash. A 21-canon salute boomed and smoke filled the village air.

At the Mandela family’s request, the national broadcaster cut the live feed to allow for a private burial. As coverage on the big screen ended, a woman seated in the front row wearing an elegant purple dress raised her hand and waved goodbye.

http://www.channel4.com/news/nelson-mandela-funeral-madiba-live-south-africa-qunu-video

http://www.newsweek.com/mandela-laid-rest-mourners-bid-final-farewell-224567

‘Much of Mandela’s belief system came from his youth in the Xhosa tribe and being raised by a local Thembu King after his own father died. As a boy, he lived in a rondavel — a grass hut — with a dirt floor. He learned to be a shepherd. He fetched water from the spring. He excelled at stick fighting with the other boys. He sat at the feet of old men who told him stories of the brave African princes who ruled South Africa before the coming of the white man. The first time he shook the hand of a white man was when he went off to boarding school. Eventually, little Rolihlahla Mandela would become Nelson Mandela and get a proper Methodist education, but for all his worldliness and his legal training, much of his wisdom and common sense — and joy — came from what he had learned as a young boy in the Transkei. Mandela might have been a more sentimental man if so much had not been taken away from him. His freedom. His ability to choose the path of his life. His eldest son. Two great-grandchildren. Nothing in his life was permanent except the oppression he and his people were under. And everything he might have had he sacrificed to achieve the freedom of his people. But all the crude jailers, tiny cells and bumptious white apartheid leaders could not take away his pride, his dignity and his sense of justice. Even when he had to strip and be hosed down when he first entered Robben Island, he stood straight and did not complain. He refused to be intimidated in any circumstance. I remember interviewing Eddie Daniels, a 5-ft. 3-in. mixed-race freedom fighter who was in cell block B with Mandela on the island; Eddie recalled how anytime he felt demoralized, he would just have to see the 6-ft. 2-in. Mandela walking tall through the courtyard and he would feel revived. Eddie wept as he told me how when he fell ill, Mandela — “Nelson Mandela, my leader!” — came into his cell and crouched down to wash out his pail of vomit and blood and excrement. I always thought that in a free and nonracial South Africa, Mandela would have been a small-town lawyer, content to be a local grandee. This great, historic revolutionary was in many ways a natural conservative. He did not believe in change for change’s sake. But one thing turned him into a revolutionary, and that was the pernicious system of racial oppression he experienced as a young man in Johannesburg. When people spat on him in buses, when shopkeepers turned him away, when whites treated him as if he could not read or write, that changed him irrevocably. For deep in his bones was a basic sense of fairness: he simply could not abide injustice. If he, Nelson Mandela, the son of a chief, tall, handsome and educated, could be treated as subhuman, then what about the millions who had nothing like his advantages? “That is not right,” he would sometimes say to me about something as mundane as a plane flight’s being canceled or as large as a world leader’s policies, but that simple phrase — that is not right — underlay everything he did, everything he sacrificed for and everything he accomplished.’

Read more: Nelson Mandela Dead at 95 | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2013/12/05/nelson-mandela-1918-2013-remembering-an-icon-of-freedom/#ixzz2nfn3oxN0

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Haile Selassie and American Missionaries: Inadvertent Agents of Oromo Identity in Ethiopia June 29, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Dictatorship, Free development vs authoritarian model, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo Identity, Oromo Protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The extents and dimensions of poverty in Ethiopia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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 Odaa Oromoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1941 Selassie passed a decree to ban the Oromo language,  [Afan Oromoo]. His bias against the Oromo became readily apparent when he went so far as to forbid them from speaking their own language. The emperor followed this in 1944 with Decree Number 3, which required all missionaries to teach in Amharic, despite the fact that the majority of the Oromo and other ethnic minorities did not speak the language. According to the decree, The general language of instruction throughout Ethiopia shall be the Amharic Language, which language all missionaries will be expected to learn.  Selassieís government entrenched the Abyssinian culture further by making Amharic the national language of Ethiopia in 1955. During the early 1970 the regime recognized and used four other languages (Tigrinya, Tigre, Somali, and Afar) but not Oromoo afan, thereby demonstrating the leaderís level of disdain for the Oromo.

The concept of Oromo peace also influenced their beliefs regarding the social development of humanity (finna), which they believed passed through five stages to reach the nagaa oromoo. They called the first stage the gabbina, where humanity learned from their past mistakes to create the gada system. After this stage they progressed to the ballina, which involved greater cooperation between them and increased wealth. The badhaadha marked the third stage, where unity and tranquility persisted among the Oromo, which pleased Waqa. After humanity had made peace with itself, it next made peace with nature, represented by the hoormaata stage. Finally, the daaga was the level on which humans integrated all lessons learned from previous stages in order to live in perfect harmony.

 

 

 

Haile Selassie and American Missionaries: Inadvertent
Agents of Oromo Identity in Ethiopia (Thesis)

By Horace Eric Gilchrist

The  thesis analyzes the dynamics among the Ethiopian government under Emperor Haile Selassie, American Protestant missionaries, and the Oromo during the period of  1960-1975. The thesis argues that Selassie and the missionaries had different agendas for helping the Oromo and shows how this resulted in political and social outcomes which neither the missionaries nor emperor intended to create. One such consequence was the
evolution and entrenchment of the Oromo sense of identity. Using the unpublished records of the Christian Missionary Fellowship (CMF) the thesis examines the efforts of this particular mission and that of its counterpart, the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) of which more is known. The speeches and decrees of Haile Selassie and other government officials have also been helpful in this study, and for the Oromo particular, the thesis has had to rely
on published works by the Oromo themselves.

The government of Haile Selassie and the CMF had different views on the proper role of missionary work in Ethiopia.   Selassie saw the missionariesí role as being utilitarian, aiding his overall objective of the unification of Ethiopia. However, the CMF saw their primary goal as spiritual, saving the Oromo from a  life of sin through the acceptance of Christianity. Neither agenda had as its primary goal elevating the depressed sociopolitical and economic levels of the Oromo society. The question arises regarding the success of the CMF in evangelizing to the Oromo and the extent to which the Oromo benefited from CMF efforts. Related to this is the manner in which the Amhara-dominated government and Ethiopian Orthodox Church responded to the success of the CMF.

Findings of the Thesis

‘No unified Ethiopian society existed prior to the late nineteenth century and that the Oromo and Abyssinians had separate and distinct societies during this period. Abyssinians developed a unique sociopolitical culture which differed fundamentally from those of most Africans. Cushitic-speaking humans occupied the area of modern Ethiopia for thousands of years. The Abyssinians traced their heritage back before the time of ancient Egyptians, with roots outside of Africa. Around 1,000 BC Arabic-speaking people, the Sabeans, invaded Ethiopia.’

‘The governing system of the Oromo reflected the society’s openness and flexibility, which contrasted with the Abyssiniansí rigid and autocratic government system. The Oromo clearly placed a value on individual liberty and freedom, which was reflected in their political organizations and social customs. Their acceptance and incorporation of other ethnicities reflected the societyís mutability; they also saw themselves not as a unified nation but as individual federations with a common culture.’
‘The Oromo held religious beliefs as complex as the Abyssinians’ beliefs. Contrary to traditional scholarship, the Oromo practiced a monotheistic religion distinct from Christianity and Islam long before they came into contact with Abyssinians and Westerners.  The Oromo believed in a sky god, Waqa, whom they believed created the universe and, like many pre-Christian societies, the Oromo held a pantheistic belief that Waqa resided in all living things yet remained a distinct entity. The Oromo also had Jesus and Abraham figures, known as Orma: a demigod and son of Waqa, whom the Oromo saw as their progenitor. Orma set down Waqaís law to the abbaa muudaa (father anointed), who acted as the chief priest of the religion. The similarities with Christianityshould be noted: first, Waqa functioning as God the father, Orma as the Son, and finally a figure similar Abraham in the form of the abbaa muudaa. The complexity of the Oromo religion went beyond monotheism. The Oromo also believed in a complex theological system, with many similarities to Christianity. According to their tradition, their god created spirits, known as ayaana, who could be evil or good. However, they did not have the concept of a devil (setana) until the advent of Christianity. Some scholars might describe the Oromo concept of ayaana as a simple pagan belief, yet they resembled Christianity’s angels and functioned in a similar intercessory role for the Oromo as did angels with the Christian god.The Oromo also believed in a divine moral code (saffu), created by Waqa, which guided all things in nature (uuma), and the saffu served to achieve and maintain earthly peace called nagaa oromoo. This moral concept of nagaa oromoo carried over into the Oromo belief in cooperation with each other so that they never formed alliances with non-Oromo against other Oromo groups.’
‘The concept of Oromo peace also influenced their beliefs regarding the social development of humanity (finna), which they believed passed through five stages to reach the nagaa oromoo. They called the first stage the gabbina, where humanity learned from their past mistakes to create the gada system. After this stage they progressed to the ballina, which involved greater cooperation between them and increased wealth. The badhaadha marked the third stage, where unity and tranquility persisted among the Oromo, which pleased Waqa. After humanity had made peace with itself, it next made peace with nature, represented by the hoormaata stage. Finally, the daaga was the level on which humans integrated all lessons learned from previous stages in order to live in perfect harmony.’
‘The Oromo developed a religious class as complex and distinct as Orthodox Christian priests. Oromo called their priests qaallu, and choose them at birth, the position passing from father to son. These priests acted as intercessors for the Oromo with the ayaana and Waqa much like Orthodox priest did for the Abyssinians. Unlike the Orthodox priests, the Oromo priests did not live apart from the people. They also had prophets, called ragas, who foretold the future. Religious historians called ayaantus committed to memory all significant religious and social events in Oromo society.53 Finally, the abbaa muuda acted as the patriarch or pontifical figure in the Oromo qaallu system. The Oromo believed that he obtained his powers directly from Orma. Certain Oromo subgroups such as the Matcha Oromo made yearly pilgrimages to the abbaa muuda to seek blessings.’

‘Several important factors characterized Oromo political, social, and religious life. First, the Oromo clearly valued societal openness and flexibility over a rigid hierarchical society like that of the Abyssinians, and their willingness to incorporate other ethnicities into their groups is one proof of this. Likewise, the Oromo felt closely connected to nature with their religious beliefs and practices. Unlike Orthodox Christianity, which had an elaborate system focused on clergy, the Oromo religion centered on the individual. These religious beliefs easily meshed with their democratic practices, similar to Protestant Christianityís closeness to liberal democracy in the United States and other Western nations. This contrasted sharply with Orthodox Christianity, which matched more with the Abyssinian feudalistic governing system.’

‘The Oromo and Abyssinians possessed distinct cultures with different religious practices prior to the late nineteenth century. No unified Ethiopian nation existed during this period, except as represented by Abyssinian culture. Hierarchical political and religious structures characterized the Abyssinian culture, while democratic political and religious structures marked the Oromo culture.’

‘Abyssinians commenced the political unification of Ethiopia in the middle of the nineteenth century by destroying the sociopolitical and religious institutions of the Oromo. In 1852 the Amhara, under Dejazmatch Kassa (who later became Emperor Tewodros), defeated the most powerful Oromo city-state controlled by Ras Ali.
Within three years Dejazmatch Kassa conquered all of his Tigrean and Amhara rival leaders and assumed the title of Emperor of Ethiopia. Once the Abyssinians had unified the country, they initiated political and religious procedures to pacify other ethnic groups, including the Oromo. Emperor Menelik II (1885-1913) destroyed the Oromo gada system, replacing it with the military feudal structure known as nafxanya. Abyssinian soldiers confiscated the Oromo land and turned the Oromo into gabbars (peasants), who began to pay a feudal homage to their new conquerors by contributing one third of their crops and paying a monetary tax.’
‘The Orthodox Church played a key role in the pacification of the Oromo in the twentieth century. Emperor Menelik II initiated this campaign through a mass Christianization process in Oromo areas. He used his soldiers to conquer the Oromo, made them all Orthodox Christians by imperial decree, and then sent Orthodox priests to pacify his newly conquered subjects with religion. He also supported the construction of Orthodox churches throughout the conquered Oromo territory; he accomplished this by granting bala gults (feudal grants) to the Orthodox priests with Oromo peasants on the land. Meanwhile, all Oromo had to attend Orthodox services conducted entirely in Geíez, the ancient Abyssinian language that most Amhara and Tigreans did not understand. Like most imperial powers, the Abyssinian rulers naturally sought to make their language and religion the dominating one. Although to date the governmentís efforts at colonization had been more haphazard than coordinated, they achieved results. By the beginning of the twentieth century the Abyssinians had made significant inroads into destroying Oromo culture and creating in them a new Ethiopian identity.’

‘Haile Selassie’s ascendancy to the throne marked the beginning of perfected efforts by the Abyssinian government to pacify the Oromo. Selassie wanted to create a unified Ethiopian state under his control and devised several means to accomplish this goal.Through a project called Teklay Gizat (pulling together) he attempted to manufacture an Ethiopian identity with a campaign of uniting all disparate peoples. Selassie’s effort to centralize his power and create a new national identity manifested in many forms. In his philosophical outlook the Abyssinian culture, particularly that of the Amhara and Orthodox Christianity, represented his concept of Ethiopia and, under him, being Ethiopian became synonymous with accepting his view of Abyssinian culture. The emperor expressed this sentiment in public speeches throughout his reign. In a 1959 college speech Selassie clearly expressed this sentiment: The Amhara race must know that it has an obligation on its part to work in the technical field no matter at what level. To preserve the heritage of one’s honor and culture. This statement indicates that, for Selassie, being Ethiopian meant being Amhara. The emperor continued to express the belief that being an Amhara Orthodox Christian represented the qualities of Ethiopians when he stated on 15 January 1965, Ethiopia, an island of Christianity, has made her own distinctive contribution to the Christian faith; forever since her conversion to Christianity she has remained faithful, her age-old ties with the apostolic church uninterrupted. This shows that Selassie believed that Orthodox Christianity represented all of Ethiopia’s peoples and their non-Christian religions. In his Ethiopia, no room existed for people who did not assimilate to the Abyssinian culture and religion.

‘Selassieís attempt to create a national Ethiopian identity appeared harmless on the surface but, in fact, he took the nafxanya system to its logical conclusion by destroying the traditional Oromo provinces and creating new ones controlled by military governors. He employed a technique that communist governments would later use to pacify ethnically diverse populations: He forcibly split up the Oromo and other ethnic groups.Selassie also continued Menelikís policies of church building and forced conversions in conquered Oromo areas.These policies helped to weaken substantially the political cohesiveness of Oromo communities.’
‘The Ethiopian government enacted legislative policies to weaken the Oromo politically as well. In 1941 Selassie passed a decree to ban the Oromo language, Oromoo afan. His bias against the Oromo became readily apparent when he went so far as to forbid them from speaking their own language. The emperor followed this in 1944 with Decree Number 3, which required all missionaries to teach in Amharic, despite the fact that the majority of the Oromo and other ethnic minorities did not speak the language.  According to the decree, ìThe general language of instruction throughout Ethiopia shall be the Amharic Language, which language all missionaries will be expected to learn.î15 Selassieís government entrenched the Abyssinian culture further by making Amharic the national language of Ethiopia in 1955. During the early 1970 the regime recognized and used four other languages (Tigrinya, Tigre, Somali, and Afar) but not Oromoo afan, thereby demonstrating the leaderís level of disdain for the Oromo.’

‘In its continued effort to unify Ethiopia, Selassie’s government actively limited the political activities of the Oromo. The regime provided the Oromo only limited participation in the government. The Oromo officials selected by Selassie to work in the public service were those who had completely abandoned their culture and adopted that of the Amhara. One such person was Major General Mulugeta Bulli, an Oromo balabat, who became Minister of National Community Development.  Selassie was an autocratic constitutional monarch who tolerated no political opposition, not least from the Oromo. After several coup attempts in the 1960s, primarily by Amhara officials and some Oromo, Selassie further restrained the advancement of the Oromo even the assimilated ones. In 1966 he banned the Oromo political party, Macha Tulama Association, and harassed its leaders with imprisonments and executions. In one episode the government jailed one hundred party members and executed two of them (General Taddesse Birru and Lieutenant Mamno Mazamir) on grounds of subversion in spite of the fact that, earlier that year, they had helped to put down an actual coup attempt by Amharic officials. The regime also executed leading Oromo intellectuals and human rights advocates, including Marno Mazamir, the author of an Oromo book; also executed was Haile Mariam Gamada, a famous lawyer.’

‘Imperial authorities also used social neglect to subjugate the Oromo. The government failed to provide adequate educational facilities for the Oromo, while encouraging them and other minorities to help themselves. In a speech on education in 1962 Selassie stated, ìAnd similarly if you [Ethiopia’s non-Amhara ethnic groups] continue to consult one another and strive to get rid of the other handicaps, say problems of obtaining clean water, better roads, and sanitation for your community, you will find that the accomplishment within your capacity. This indicates that Selassie did not feel personally responsible for providing even basic social services to the Oromo in the manner that most governments provide for their citizens. The regime required all teachers to instruct students only in Amharic, ensuring that Amhara teachers made no effort to be culturally sensitive or accommodating to Oromo children. Statistical data from the Selassie era show the harmful effect that the policy of social neglect had on the Oromo, educational reforms benefiting the Abyssinian elite only. For example, sometime in 1947 Selassie created an education tax via Proclamation 94, and the Abyssinian elite managed to ensure that Oromo peasants paid most of it. This policy resulted in Oromo peasants paying for Abyssinian childrenís education to the detriment of their own. Nearly 88% of Oromo school children between the ages of seven and twelve years did not attend school, as well as 97% of those in the age range of thirteen to eighteen years. In the 1960s the majority (83%) of Oromo children who attended school dropped out by sixth grade.The result of all this was that the Oromo had limited opportunities for basic employment and for secondary and college education. By 1974 0nly 10% college age Oromo students were enrolled in Ethiopia’s universities.’

‘The government of Haile Selassie also failed to provide economic opportunities to the Oromo. Subsistence feudal agriculture formed the basis of the Ethiopian economy from its earliest history through the 1960s, with Amhara aristocrats benefiting from the labor performed by peasants on their land. The Selassie administration consisted primarily of nobles who came from this feudal tradition and had no incentive to alter the system. By the late 1960s 60% of Oromo farmers remained in a feudal system of land tenure because Selassie failed to dismantle it, contributing to the economic disparity endured by the Oromo by allowing Abyssinian nobles to avoid government taxes, while the peasants paid them.Earlier, in 1942, he had issued Proclamation 8, which established land taxes that were paid primarily by the Oromo peasants.Proclamation 60 of 1944 set out details of an income tax but, when the Abyssinian nobles refused to pay, the emperor substituted it with a regressive tax on labor and rented land that, once again, placed the onus on Oromo peasants.All major industrial projects were in areas dominated primarily by the Amhara.’

‘ Haile Selassie bore a great deal of responsibility for the poor conditions of the Oromo people, even if he was not directly involved with all of the policies. Although he ascended to power as a modernizer, he readily sacrificed true reforms for political convenience. For example, in 1924 he attempted to abolish the slave trade by making it a capital crime, but he did not enforce this law, and he allowed the problem to continue well into the late 1960s.  The emperor also demonstrated his exclusive commitment to himself by his failure to enforce his own tax codes on the Abyssinian nobles, and he personally oversaw most of his governmental initiatives through the 1960s. For example, he reportedly used merit to appoint all government ministers, and he personally chose 1,000 them.’

‘The successive policies of the Abyssinian governments through the 1960s require some comment. The evidence presented thus far shows that Abyssinian rulers were determined to form a unified state under their domination and used Orthodox Christianity as one means to subjugate non-Semitic speakers such as the Oromo. Haile Selassie perfected the system of colonization through the use of legal measures, political repression, and socioeconomic neglect to subdue such peoples, and he supported and established the notion of accepting Orthodox Christianity and the Abyssinian culture of the Amhara as the prerequisite for being Ethiopian. His governmentís actions allowed no room for groups such as the Oromo to retain their cultural identity and still be Ethiopian. One would expect the oppressed people to respond to this assault on their culture in a negative manner, and there is no doubt that the Oromo viewed the Orthodox Church as a tool of their subjugation. Indeed, they did respond in a negative way to this onslaught of Abyssinian culture.’

‘During the 1900s to the 1940s the Oromo reacted to Abyssinian imperialism by applying their traditional societal flexibility, which allowed them to adapt easily to new situations. Most non-Muslim Oromo accepted the mass conversion to Orthodox Christianity and wore circles around their neck to symbolize their acquiescence.
However, American Protestant missionaries witnessed many Oromo, including those of Wollega, practicing their traditional religion in secret. Christian missionaries in the 1960s testified that ìwhile most Oromo feigned adherence to the Orthodox religion, they secretly worshiped other spirits. Some Oromo attempted genuinely to accept Christianity on their own terms. Among such converts was the religious scholar Onesimos, who translated the Bible into Oromoo. The Oromo elite also responded to the political domination by taking Amharic names and cooperating with the local Abyssinian officials. However, as before, the Abyssinian rulers responded negatively by limiting the advancement of Oromo officials because of the fear that this would help to promote a sense of a national identity. Had the Amhara-dominated government approached the Oromo in a different manner, taking into account the Oromo traditional societal flexibility, the outcome might have been different. The Selassie governmentís negative response to the attempts of the Oromo to adapt their system subtly, while retaining some cultural independence, caused them to become more militant in their actions. Their dissatisfaction with Selassieís regime manifested in the form of several peasants revolts.’

‘The Raya Oromo initially revolted in 1935 in response to the brutal tactics of Selassie’s military governor, Ras Mulugeta, as he attempted to force them into the national army.With the initiation of the Italian Invasion in 1936, another group of Oromo, who described themselves as the Western Oromo Confederation, declared their independence from the Ethiopian government. Eventually, Selassie defeated the two groups, but the fact that the Oromo had rebelled at all indicated their level of  frustration with the government. Many Oromo cooperated with the Italians during their occupation because the Italians reorganized Ethiopiaís provinces along linguistic lines and constructed mosques for Oromo Muslims.The negative feelings and actions of the Oromo toward the Abyssinian government intensified as the twentieth century progressed; by the 1960s, peasants became increasingly belligerent toward the Selassie regime. The Oromo peasant populace became enraged by the blatant disparity between themselves and the Amhara elites, including the heavy taxes that they paid without tangible socioeconomic benefits.Oromo simply had no land on which to live or farm because of the pro-Amhara policies of Haile Selassie. In a series of revolts starting in 1963 in the province of Bale, Oromo peasants unleashed their anger on the central government over its increased property taxes and favoritism toward Amhara Christians. The assimilated Oromo elite responded to the tactics of the imperial authorities by developing sociopolitical organizations that instilled a sense of a national Oromo identity that transcended their traditional divisions. The small number of Oromo who managed to achieve positions in government organizations, such as the civil and military services, felt disenfranchised by the Ethiopian government. Oromo civil servants and military officers could expect to achieve only nominal advancement in the imperial government, from which they obviously felt a certain amount of alienation. The disgruntled assimilated Oromo started to form self-help groups to provide political expression and to help their communities to advance. Activists formed organizations such as Arfannn Qallo, Biftu Ganamo, and the Macha Tulama Self Help Association, which sought to improve Oromo communities. The Macha Tulama became the most important and influential of the self-help organizations in expressing the political angst of the Oromo elite. On 24 January 1963 the Macha Tulama organization emerged from three older groups with the goal of creating educational, medical, and religious facilities for the Oromo.’

‘Ethiopia experienced a colonial period that mirrored the rest of Africa in terms of duration and tactics. The major difference was that the Ethiopian colonial system originated with Africans (the Abyssinians) colonizing other Africans (the Oromo). The issues of ethnic and national identity that plagued colonial Africa with the creation of artificial nations that had no historical basis also plagued Ethiopia and continue to plague it…..The study demonstrates that Ethiopian historiography should be reexamined to understand the true dynamics that led to the creation of this state. The traditional scholarly approach of regarding Ethiopia as a monolithic culture centered on Abyssinian society has proven inadequate to understand the sociopolitical conflicts that trouble modern Ethiopia. Only through examining all of Ethiopiaís ethnic groups and their interactions with one another can Ethiopian historiography be advanced.’

– You can read the full  thesis @ http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/ir/bitstream/1840.16/844/1/etd.pdf

 

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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O

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

China, African governments, Debt & Corruption May 12, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa and debt, Africa Rising, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Food Production, Free development vs authoritarian model, International Trade, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, No to land grabs in Oromia, Theory of Development, Youth Unemployment.
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The message is that African leaders now have licence to oppress their people, clean their national treasuries; and generally rob, loot, rape and plunder because their new masters will not hold them to account on how well or how badly they treat their subjects.http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/The-Chinese-did-not-come-here-on-charity/-/440808/2312172/-/11rv0rwz/-/index.html

 

http://allafrica.com/stories/201405081353.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

‘Debt and Corruption are an awful mix: The appetite for debt by African governments is particularly concerning given that there does not appear to be any serious action to end the gross mismanagement of public funds. Getting into debt only makes sense if you plan to use the money properly. But if substantial sums of money end up in the pockets of faceless politicians, then Africa is ransoming future earnings with no future benefits. This is self-sabotage at its best. There is no need to belabour the point. Don’t take on billions of dollars of debt if corruption is still an untamed beast…the consequences for Africa’s economy and people will be dire….. ‘Many of the Chinese contracts in Africa lay down that repayments be made in natural resources, with complex institutional contracts that make repayments unpredictable in financial terms’. [2] How can we be comfortable with our governments getting into deals into the billions of dollars and yet these are shrouded in mystery? With no information at hand, we do not really know how deep of a hole we’re digging for ourselves.’

Step away from the debt plate Africa, you need to watch what you’re eating

POSTED ON MAY 12, 2014 @http://anzetsewere.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/step-away-from-the-debt-plate-africa-you-need-to-watch-what-youre-eating/

 

Africa is bingeing on debt and risks overeating at the buffet of financial offers from China, India, Brazil and many others. Kenya just recently signed a series of financial agreements worth billions with China during Prime Minister Lee Keqiang’s visit to the country this last weekend making it clear that we live in a multipolar world. In this new world order Africa is spoilt for choice with regard to who to partner with to fund development. But we (Africa) seem to have an insatiable appetite for this new money and do not seem to be fully aware of the implications of accepting all these tasty offers of cash. We also don’t seem to be thinking about whether we can, or how we can absorb these volumes of cash. Don’t get me wrong, Africa’s excitement at promises of billions apparently with ‘no conditions’ is understandable. Having spent the past decades grovelling at the doors of donors and investors from Europe and North America, many Africans felt we were giving away our pride for monies tied to what many felt were onerous conditions. So now, we are whistling our way to the bank with our new financials ‘partners’.

But is this truly smart? The reality is that all borrowing has conditions. So allow me to digress briefly and go slightly further with this point. China enjoys talking about about how it provides money with ‘no conditions’, but closer analysis reveals that this is not strictly true. The Chinese government, like any other government, will protect its investments; investments made almost exclusively with African governments…which seems to suggest that if China has to back up (even unpopular or despotic) African governments to protect its investments, it will. Look at the incriminating allegations that China funded Mugabe’s election ‘victory’ last year. Documents from Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organization suggest that the success of Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, ‘reflected direct intervention by the Chinese Communist Party’. (See more here and here). Perhaps for Zimbabwe the conditions that make China feel most secure in its investments is if Mugabe is in power. So maybe there are some conditions tied to money from China. The point I’m making is that it is important Africans analyse reality and not get spellbound by the rhetoric. But that is an aside; let’s get to the real problems behind Africa’s debt binge

1. We don’t really know the scale of the debt we’re getting into

By ‘we’ I mean Africans not on the inside corridors of power, but on whose behalf these deals are being made. It is absolute madness that in the case of countries such as China, we actually don’t know how much debt we’re getting into. Over the weekend Kenya and China signed several agreements but, ‘The two leaders did not disclose the actual financial value of most of the agreements and protocols signed but their aides said the deals run into billions of Kenya shillings.’[1] Why the secrecy? How much of this money from China is grants vs debt? What are the interest rates (there are references to ‘concessional loans’ but that’s about it), what are the terms of repayment, what are the penalties for defaulting? Also bear in mind that in the past, ‘Many of the Chinese contracts in Africa lay down that repayments be made in natural resources, with complex institutional contracts that make repayments unpredictable in financial terms’. [2] How can we be comfortable with our governments getting into deals into the billions of dollars and yet these are shrouded in mystery? With no information at hand, we do not really know how deep of a hole we’re digging for ourselves.

2. Do we have the absorptive capacity to handle all this money?

We are getting into debt to fund numerous development projects that range from infrastructure to agriculture, to security and wildlife but, pray tell, do we have the absorptive capacity to soak up these billions? Because whether we can absorb the money or not, we will be paying it back. Absorptive capacity here relates to the macro and micro constraints that recipient countries face in using resources, in this case money, effectively.[3] Does Africa have the physical, intellectual and systems-related infrastructure, expertise and culture to competently implement all these projects? For example, do county governments have the technical savoir faire to implement agriculture projects worth millions? One of the issues of serious concern is that investment in educational infrastructure rarely features prominently in these deals. There are very limited (if any) provisions for building the educational capacity of African countries especially at tertiary and vocational levels. So great, we’re getting money to build railways, but how many Africans can be effectively put to task on this, especially at managerial positions? Bear in mind that already, with regards to China, Africa has fallen into a trap where, 1) China is allowed to bring in Chinese nationals to provide labour and, 2) When African labour is used, it is cheap, unskilled labour.[4] This situation is untenable. Africa should be using every single government- funded project to hire Africans and build the capacity of Africans to do the job competently in the future. Africa cannot continue to so fundamentally rely on outsiders to do the basics for us such as building roads. But sadly, African countries seem to be happy with outsourcing all the large-scale projects, sometimes back to companies from the country that gave us the loans in the first place. This leads to the next point.

3. With limited absorptive capacity, Africa will continue to outsource big contracts

Africa is not being very bright. We get loans then outsource the implementation of the projects back to companies from the donor country. In short, we’re paying China to pay itself. Why? Generally however, using outsourcing as the default strategy for large-scale project implementation is problematic in at least two ways: 1) It hides and exacerbates Africa’s skills deficit and, 2) It pumps money out of the country. The first point is obvious, if we continue to rely on others to build our roads, we will continue to lack the skillsets and capacity to competently build and maintain our roads ourselves. But since the roads are being built, we never feel the weight of our incompetence in this area and therefore have no sense urgency to rectify this problem. Secondly, companies implementing projects in Africa make a profit then expatriate the profit. So we’re getting into debt and then haemorrhaging some of that expensive money out of the continent through outsourcing. This makes no long-term sense. Ideally we should use local contractors to implement projects however, as elucidated in point 2, we do not seem to have sufficient volumes of companies capable of absorbing this workload. But rather than fix that, African governments go to the default setting labelled ‘outsource’. We’re getting into a vicious cycle as follows: We don’t have the capacity to implement large-scale projects → we outsource but fail to ensure skills transfer → exacerbates the skills deficit → we don’t have the capacity to implement large-scale projects. African governments should essentially use the development projects led by non-Africans as structured training opportunities for newly qualified professionals as well as building more seasoned professionals into the management structure of projects.

4. Debt and Corruption are an awful mix

The appetite for debt by African governments is particularly concerning given that there does not appear to be any serious action to end the gross mismanagement of public funds. Getting into debt only makes sense if you plan to use the money properly. But if substantial sums of money end up in the pockets of faceless politicians, then Africa is ransoming future earnings with no future benefits. This is self-sabotage at its best. There is no need to belabour the point. Don’t take on billions of dollars of debt if corruption is still an untamed beast…the consequences for Africa’s economy and people will be dire.

5. Overleveraged?

This issue relates to point number 1. There is limited information on the scale of the debt Africa is getting into with certain parties so at what point will we in Africa know when we’re overleveraged? It seems like the answer to that is ‘not any time soon’. The scary part is that some African governments seem to think debt will fix all our problems with Heads of States expecting hearty praise when they secure even more debt for the continent. It is true that structures such as the Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF) exist which seek to stop lenders from lending more money to countries that have exceeded their debt ceilings. But, ‘to work well, the DSF needs close co-ordination between all creditors. This is hard enough to do between public and private lenders from the traditional partners, but is even more difficult with the new lenders [such as China].[5],[6]Sadly, African countries do not seem to be keen on tabulating public debt figures at either national or pan African levels, and sharing them.

Read more from the original sourcce: http://anzetsewere.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/step-away-from-the-debt-plate-africa-you-need-to-watch-what-youre-eating/

 

Protests, State Violence, and the Manufacture of Dissent in Ethiopia May 6, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, America, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, 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, Hetosa, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Meroetic Oromo, No to land grabs in Oromia, NO to the Evictions of Oromo Nationals from Finfinnee (Central Oromia), Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo Culture, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo Protests, Oromo Protests in Ambo, 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, Oromummaa, 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, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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Two things happened simultaneously on May 1st, both involving the U.S. State Department and its relation to Ethiopia. Thing one was the State Department’s news program, Voice of America, broadcasting its brief account of Ethiopian security forces firing upon student demonstrations the previous day (April 30) at three universities resulting in 17 dead and many wounded. Thing two was the Secretary of State John Kerry in Ethiopia giving a speech full of praise for Ethiopia’s rapid economic development as well as the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership in addressing the violence against civilians in neighboring Sudan and Somalia. Apparently, Kerry was unaware that the day before, just a two-hour’s drive down the road from where he was speaking, America’s supposed partner, the Ethiopian government, had committed acts of violence against its citizens. In fact, thousands of individuals at universities and in cities across the Oromia region of Ethiopia had been protesting for days, and as the journalist Mohammed Ademo’s article for Think Africa pointed out on Tuesday (August 29), what they were protesting was precisely the consequences of the rapid economic development and foreign direct investment that Kerry praised in his speech – the eviction and displacement of tenant farmers and poor people due to the expansion of the capital city Addis Ababa into the Oromia region.

We might observe a contradiction here within the same State Department. While the State Department’s news program laments an event and clearly points to the root cause, the State Department’s secretary appears ignorant of the event and also strangely unable to discern the causes of ethnic unrest across Africa. An Al Jazeera op-ed responding to Kerry’s speech suggests that the United States fails to see the contradiction in its policy that talks about democracy and human rights but in practice emphasizes security for foreign direct investment (as per the State Department’s own report on such investment in Ethiopia published shortly before Kerry’s visit.) Noticeably, two contradictory ideas are coming out of the State Department simultaneously. What do we make of that contradiction?

Before I answer that question, I might add on to this strange state of affairs by pointing out that Kerry did criticize the Ethiopian government for using repressive tactics against its journalists — the famous Zone 9 bloggers — but what strikes me is that at the very moment that Kerry criticizes the state of journalism in Ethiopia, the mainstream American news outlets such as CNN, National Public Radio, and the NY Times have for a long time neglected to give any serious coverage of the issues within Ethiopia and in fact did not report on the student demonstrations. The only American media mention of the recent student demonstrations and deaths is a very brief Associated Press article that appeared the day after Kerry’s speech (May 2) and that article embarrassingly gets its facts wrong about what happened and why. Such poor journalism is increasingly perceived to be the norm of America’s once celebrated media whose many factual inaccuracies and lack of any genuine will to truth arguably contributed to the Iraq War back in 2003. Curiously, the only news organization in America that did its job (the VOA) is the news organization intended to serve communities outside of America. Moreover, the VOA is part of the very same “department” that Kerry heads. The quality of mainstream American media coverage might seem excusable if it weren’t for the fact that BBC covered these tragic events in Ethiopia reasonably well, first on its radio program immediately after the massacre (May 1st) and then more comprehensively on its website the following day.

Theory Teacher's Blog

Two things happened simultaneously on May 1st, both involving the U.S. State Department and its relation to Ethiopia. Thing one was the State Department’s news program, Voice of America, broadcasting its brief account of Ethiopian security forces firing upon student demonstrations the previous day (April 30) at three universities resulting in 17 dead and many wounded. Thing two was the Secretary of State John Kerry in Ethiopia giving a speech full of praise for Ethiopia’s rapid economic development as well as the U.S.-Ethiopia partnership in addressing the violence against civilians in neighboring Sudan and Somalia. Apparently, Kerry was unaware that the day before, just a two-hour’s drive down the road from where he was speaking, America’s supposed partner, the Ethiopian government, had committed acts of violence against its citizens. In fact, thousands of individuals at universities and in cities across the Oromia region of Ethiopia had been protesting for days, and as the journalist…

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Statement of Oromo Community Organizations in the U.S. and Oromo Studies Association (OSA) to condemn the heinous crimes committed against defenseless and innocent Oromo University students and those who joined their just movements in solidarity May 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinne is Oromia's land, Finfinnee, Finfinnee is the Capital City of Oromia, Free development vs authoritarian model, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Hetosa, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., 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, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromia Support Group, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromia wide Oromo Universtiy students Protested Addis Ababa Expansion Master Plan, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, 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, Oromummaa, Say no to the expansions of Addis Ababa, Self determination, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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Ibsa Ijjannoo Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo fi Waldaalee Hawaasa Oromoo Ameerikaa Kaabaa: Ijjechaa Barattootaa Oromootiif Ummata Oromoo Ilaalchisee | Statement of Oromo Community Organizations in the U.S. and Oromo Studies Association (OSA)
Posted: Caamsaa/May 3, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

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We, Oromo Community Organizations in USA, and OSA jointly prepared this press statement in Afaan Oromoo to condemn the heinous crimes committed against defenseless and innocent Oromo University students and those who joined their just movements in solidarity. We also expressed our readiness to stand in solidarity with the Oromo University Students and the ‪#‎OromoProtests‬. We ask the Ethiopian regime to unconditionally release the hundreds of University Students detained by the Federal Security Forces and bring to justice those who ordered the use of live bullets to put down the protest. We ask the Oromo in Diaspora to protest in all major cities where the Oromo live in large numbers and fund raise money to support the victims of the massacre and affected families by covering some of their medical and miscellaneous expenses. We have formed a National committee to coordinate the fund raising activities during rallies and at prayer places (Mosques, Churches). This is a work in progress and seek your support as we go forward. We strongly believed that the regime can only be defeated through concerted and sustained resistance movements which requires our collective material and intellectual resources. The Oromo must be ready to pay the utmost sacrifices the struggle demands to free our nation and heal the broken hearts of its oppressed masses.
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Ibsa Ijjannoo Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo fi Waldaalee Hawaasa Oromoo Ameerikaa Kaabaa: Ijjechaa Barattootaa Oromootiif Ummata Oromoo Ilaalchisee

Seensa:
Nuuti Waldaleen Hawaasa Oromoo Ameerikaa Kaabaa keessaa tiif Waldaan Qorannoo Oromoo yeroo ammaan kanaa mootummaa abbaa irree Impaayeera Itoophiyaatiin sochii mormii barattoota Yunivarsittii, barattoota mana barumsaa sadarkaa adda addaa fi ummmata Oromoo dhaamsuuf jechaa ijjechaa garaa hammeennaan barattoota irratti raawwatameen lubbuun barataa hedduu dhabamuun haalaan nu gaddisiise jira.

Mootummaan Itoophiyaa mootummaa mirga ummattoota Itoophiyaa hiree ofii ofiin murteeffachuu humnaan ittisee karaa seeraan alaatiin angoo siyaasaa ofii dheerrafachuuf tattafataa jiruudha. Mootummaa Itoophiyaa TPLFn durfamu jalatti waggoottan 23 dabran keessatti ummatii Oromoo hiree siyaasaa biyya isaa irratti wal-qixxummaan murtessuu dhabee, akka bineensa bosonaa mootummaan yeroo fedhutti ijjeessu ta’ee jira. Ummatii Oromoo mirga bilisummaan gurmaa’uu, dhaabbata siyaasa fedhu deeggaru, mirgaa odeeffannoo walabaa midiyaa walabaa irraa argachuu, hiriira nagaa bahuu dhorkamee biyya isaa irratti lammii lammaffaa fi garboota ta’anii jiraachaa jiru. Haallii Sabii Oromoo tiif ummattootii Itoophiyaa biro keessa jiran gonkummaa fudhatama kan hin qabneef jijjiramuu kan qabuudha.

Guyyaa hardhaa Camsaa 2, 2014 walga’ii hatattamaa Waldaaleen Hawaasa Oromoo Ameerikaa Kaabaa tiif Waldaan Qorannoo Oromoo godheen ibsa ijjannoo waloo kana baafne jirra. Ibsii ijjannoo kun deeggarsa hawaasi Oromoo biyya alaa keessa jiru sochii didda gabrummaa fi fincila barattoota Oromoo Yunivarsitii Oromiyaa/biyyoleessa keessa jiraniif qabnu muldhisuudhaaf kan qophaa’eedha.

Ibsa Ijjannoo:

1. Gocha farrummaa ummataa Oromotiif qabu irraa kan ka’e mootummaan Itoophiyaa Ijjechaa seeraan alaa barattoota Oromoo tiif ummata Oromoo hiriira nagaa bahe irratti raawwate cimsinee kan balaaleffannu ta’u keenna ibsina. Ijjeechaa garaa hammeennaan barattoota Oromoo irratti raawwatameef hoggantoota mootummaa abbaa irreetiin ala qaamnii biraa itti gaafatamu akka hin jirre amanna. Ijjechaan bara baraan dhala Oromoo irratti raawwatamu gocha fixiinsa sanyii Oromoo ta’uuti hubbanna. Hoggantootii mootummaan Itoophiyaa TPLFn durfamu Dhiiga ilmaan Oromoo jissuu irraa akka of-qusatan akkeekkachiifna.

2. Maqaa misooma qindomina qabuu fiduuf jechuudhaan tarsiisoo mootummaan abbaa irree lafa Oromoo ummata Oromoo irraa buqqisuudhaan deeggartootaa fi abbaa fedheef kennuuf maqaa “Addis Ababa and Oromiya Special Zone Joint Development Master Plan” jedhuun moggaase raawwii isaaf tattafachaa jiru cimsinee kan balaleeffannu ta’uu ibsina. Karoorrii kun akkuma ummata Oromoo biyya keessa jiruuf dhimmii kun kallatiin ilaalu biratti fudhatama hin qabne, nu Oromoota biyya ambaa jiraannu birattis akka fudhatama hin qabne ibsuu barbaanna. Mootummaan abbaa irree Impaayeera Itoophiyaa qondaaltoota siyaasaa isaa ijjechaa ilmaan Oromoo keessatti kallatiin qooda qaban hatattamaan too’annoo jala oolanii gara seeraati akka dhiihatan akka godhu akkeekachiifna. Galmaa’an gahuu kaayyoo kanatiif dhaabbileen mirga dhala namaatiif falman hudumtuu mootummaa Itoophiyaa irratti akka dhiibbaa godhan gaafanna. Gochaan ummata Oromotiif ummattoota biroo Itoophiyaa Keessa jiran ukkamsuudhaaf mootummaan Itoophiyaan yeroo yerooti fudhatamaa jiru, fixiinsa sanyii namaa akka ta’e hubatamee qaamnii dhimmii Kun ilaalu kan akka International Criminal Court (ICC) qorannoo shakkamtoota yakka kanaa gara seeraati dhiheessuuf barbaachisu amumma akka eegalan gaafanna.

3. Maatii Wareegamtoota ilmaan Oromoo ijjechaa mootummaan TPLFn raawwatameen dhuman hundaaf gadda guddaa nutti nagahame ibsina. Dhiigii ilmaan Oromoo dhiiga bineensa bosonaa akka hin taane hubannee gumaa isaanii deebisuudhaaf qabsoo gaggeeffamu keessatti deeggarsa nurra barbaadamu godhuudhaaf qophii ta’uu keenna ibsina. Gaddii keessan gadda keennaaf gadda ummata Oromoo cufaa. Kanaafuu,gadda keessan isan waliin dhaabbanne isin sabbarsiisuuf qophii ta’uu keenna ibsina. Galatii ilmaan Oromoo qabsoo mirgaa Oromootiif kufanii bilisummaa saba Oromootiif walabummaa Oromiyaa callaa akka ta’e hubbanna.

4. Barattoota hidhaman hundaa haala duree tokko malee akka gad dhiifaman cimsinee gaafanna. Hidhaamtoota Siyaasa mana hidhaa Impaayeera Itoophiyaa keessa jiran maraa akka gad dhiifaman cimsinee gaafanna. Ummatii Oromoo Ameerikaa kaabaa keessa jiraannu qabsoo haqaa Oromoo keessatti ummata Oromoo biyya jiru cinaa jiraachuu keenna yeroon mirkaneessinu ammaan kana jennee amanna.

Qabsa’aan ni kufa, Qabsoon itti fufa!

Tokkummaan Ummata Oromoo haa jabaatu!

Ibsa Waloo Waldaalee Oromoo armaan gadiiti maqaan tarreeffame:
1. Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo
2. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo Chicago
3. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo Ohio
4. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo Michigan
5. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo Nashville fi Memphis, Tennessee
6. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo Kentucky
7. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo Seattle
8. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo South Dakota
9. Waldaa Manguddoo Oromoo Minnesota
10. Waldaa Hawaasa Oromoo Denver

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The Quest for Oromo’s Indigenous Knowledge and Institutions April 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Abbush Zallaqaa, Afaan Publication, Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Finfinnee, Free development vs authoritarian model, Gadaa System, Haile Fida, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Oral Historian, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromummaa, Self determination, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Toltu Tufa, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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By Iddoosaa Ejjetaa, Ph.D.*

 

The classical definition of knowledge was given by Plato as “justified true belief.” There are many philosophical theories to explain knowledge. The online Oxford dictionaries define knowledge as a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject [online]. The same source explain knowledge that can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic. According to Stanley Cavell, “Knowing and Acknowledging” the “knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.” I am not here to write the theory of knowledge, but trying to bring the human society acknowledgement and recognition for the Oromoo nation’s indigenous knowledge.

The Oromoo Gadaa System (OGS) is an indigenous knowledge reserve institution of the Oromoo nation. It is an organic system, which is self-refining every eight years (in two four-year terms) to meet the needs of the society. The OGS is a well-structured and organized indigenous knowledge reserve that encompasses social, political, economic and military institutions that operate mainly based on self-reliance principles while Oromummaa is an act of embracing these institutions and applying the indigenous knowledge to manifest an authentic Oromoo’s cultural and national identity.

The essence of scientific education is to understand Mother Nature, daachee haadha marggoo, and human experience in relation to Mother Nature. Through scientific education we can ask questions and try to investigate or do research to find out the facts and report the new knowledge about the subject. For example, who is responsible for the creation of human being, other living and non-living things as a part of the whole nature? What if I told you that the answer to the question is Mother Nature? I guess, you would not be satisfied with the answer because it leads to another subsequent philosophical questions such as who is responsible for the creation of the Mother Nature. Again, what if I told you the answer is a God? This time, probably you would be settled and agree with me. But how do you know for sure that it is a God who is responsible for the creation of nature?

I have thought deeply about these questions and tried to find the best possible answers. I would like to share the final answer with you later on if you continue the journey with me through reading and thinking about the perplexities of human life experience.

The purpose of this paper is to share my points of view with you and highlight that the Oromoo Gadaa System is the prima source of Oromo indigenous knowledge reserve that every Oromoo person should safeguard it and reclaim it as a shared-value that can be manifested through applied Oromoo knowledge and life experience, which is often called Oromummaa. Hence, the Oromoo Qubee generation are highly encouraged to embark their scientific studies and discoveries on our forefathers’ indigenous knowledge and bring it to light to show the world that our forefathers had made significant contribution to human society and civilization by creating and developing a comprehensive and complex democratic system: the Oromoo Gadaa System and its Institutions. For the qubee Oromoo generation, I would say they have a gold mining opportunity on their own backyards and they have to go for it.

Oromoo’s Indigenous Knowledge

Indigenous knowledge is local by nature. It is primarily based on social skills and production techniques. Both social skills and production techniques employ indigenous knowledge that in turn involves the process of life-long learning and teaching. The Oromoo Gadaa System provides such indigenous knowledge reserve so as to enable the new generation to learn from and teach the generations to come. For example, Oromummaa is a social skill. The Oromoo children learn social skills: respect, love, sympathy, empathy, ethics (Safuu), sharing, helping others, communications, etc from their parents and through well-organized Gadaa institutions such as the Age group (Hiriyyaa) and Qalluu.

Like every society, the Oromoo Gadaa Society had engaged in production of goods and services for long time or millenniums. They have millennium years of farming and animal husbandry experience and knowledge. The Oromoo farmers were the first people who domesticated barley as cereal crop in the region and a coffee plant and used the coffee beans in the world. This means the Oromoo farmers had possessed a primary indigenous knowledge about these crops. This indigenous knowledge reserve, however, needs a substantial effort in the field of scientific research and documentation for learning and teaching purposes by present and future Oromoo generations.

The lack of self-ruling political right in Ethiopian Empire and the decline of the Oromoo Gadaa System of Self-governance lead to the deterioration of the Indigenous knowledge and Institutions. In addition, the absence of curiosities from the Oromoo educated class for long time and self-inflicted prejudices against Oromoo indigenous knowledge had played a significant role on its underdevelopment. The educated class is the first social group who run away from their villages and turn their back to their culture and traditional ways of life. Consequently they find themselves in the garrison cities where almost everything is imitation of modernity that has no root in the local culture or traditions. Moreover, the educated elites had been played an agent role to introduce exogenous values including foreign religion, culture of conspicuous consumption and other copy-cut life styles from the West, and Middle-East world.

As I mentioned above, because of the lack of basic human right the Oromoo as a nation has no formal indigenous institutions yet. Instead, the institutions are maintained by the Oromoo Gadaa fathers and mothers who have been serving as Oromo indigenous knowledge reserve as institution. . This means the Qubee generation scientific research and discoveries are highly dependent on the existence of Gadaa Oromoo fathers and mothers (abbootii Gadaa Oromoo) and time because if they die the institutions and knowledge will die with them. For many of them, a biological time is about running out now. One day they will leave us for good. So it is responsibilities and sacred duties of this generation to secure and backup these precious indigenous “documents” that had been inherited form the previous generations.

As JF Kennedy said, the purpose of education is to advance human knowledge and dissemination of truth. However, contrary he said, the education system in Ethiopia has been harboring ignorance, distortion and denial of the truth that effectively disabled the process of learning, thinking and bringing positive changes to our society. So I suggest to the new generation regardless of their ethnic and cultural background to use the best three doses of pills/prescription for ignorance, distortion and denial of history. They are: genuine education, genuine education, and genuine education (3-GE). Through genuine education one can learn the true essence of love (jaalala), which is unselfishness, the creator, and creatures, uumaa fi uumammaa.

Generally, indigenous knowledge (IK) are the outcome of true and genuine collective human experience. It could be knowledge about culture, tradition, history, philosophy, belief system, art, farming, biodiversity, medicine, family, economic distribution, etc. The Oromoo Gadaa System is one of such collective human experience that need to be learned as universal value to human society and pass down to the next generations.

The Predicaments of Indigenous Knowledge in Ethiopia Politically speaking, Ethiopia as a nation had never been colonized and maintained its independence while all African countries had been colonized by European states. To some extent, this is true. Practically, however, the Ethiopian Empire State had been constructed and maintained by European states and continued to operate under indirect-colonialism of Anglo-American and European States. Like all African Republics or States, the Ethiopia’s government structure, military structure, religious institutions, political and social, educational, and legal systems are highly influenced mainly by Anglo-American and European institutions including British, France, Italian, Germany, American, Japan, China, etc. Consequently, indigenous knowledge had been systematically marginalized and ignored, unfairly criticized as primitive, static and simple idea by semi-literate domestic elites or agents of exogenous institutions.

These exogenous institutions such as the Orthodox Coptic Church officials (clergy/priests) and collusion of feudal neftenyaa and self-serving local balabats in Ethiopia, for instance, had played a key role in dismantling indigenous institutions, discrediting and condemning indigenous knowledge and even blessing Menelik’s genocidal and unjust war against our people and indigenous people of the south. Here one must note that the local Oromoo balabats had played a primary role in sponsoring, defending and assigning a commanding site Oromoland to the Orthodox Churches in Oromiyaa today. In addition to the neftenyaa system, these social class is accountable historically for the decline of the Oromoo Gadaa System and underdevelopment of its Institutions. Beside this, at present the decedent of these social class still maintained their loyalty to the Orthodox Church and Ethiopia’s empire state. Some individuals even have been involving in the Oromoo liberation struggle by dressing a sheep skin to saboteur the genuine aspiration of Oromians for freedom and independence. This author suspect that this very social class had contributed to the weakness of Oromia liberation camp.

The Impacts of Church Education on Indigenous knowledge

The Orthodox Coptic church jealously dominated the education system in Ethiopia. The Orthodox Coptic Church in Ethiopia had provided training in reading and writing in Ge’ez and Amarigna (Amharic) at primary school level to limited areas and people of the country. To summarize the church education in Ethiopia: elementary pupils had to learn to read, write, and recite the Dawit Medgem (Psalms of David). There are 15 sections, called negus (kings), which normally took two years to master. Next they learned to sing kum zema (church hymns), which took four years, and msaewait zema (advanced singing), which took an additional year to learn. Liturgical dancing and systrum holding required three years. Qine (poetry) and law required five years to learn. The interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Apostles’ Creed, took four years on average, while the interpretation of the works of learned monks and priests took three years. When a student knew the psalms by heart, he had mastered the “house of reading” and was now considered an elementary school graduate. As one can see there is no a single grain of indigenous knowledge or belief system had been taught by the Orthodox Church.

The Orthodox Coptic Tewahido Church is considered by government as indigenous institution, when it is imported and imposed on native culture. Both religions Christian and Islam were imported and imposed on native population, such as the early Christianized ethnic Tigray and Amhara and then ethnic Oromoo, Sidama, and other people of the south, by few clergies and foreign religious crusaders. These institutions had replaced the indigenous belief system, institutions and knowledge over time. As a result, the majority, if not the entire population, ethnic Tigray and Amhara believe that Bible is the source of their history and culture. As one can easily understand, the people of Tigray and Amhara have lived far more years than the bible does, which is two thousand years. As people who residing in East Africa, the Tigray and Amhara people must have had indigenous culture and knowledge. What are they?

Despite the claim of three thousand years history of civilization, Ethiopians exposed to non-church education or modern education in 1920s. The ministry of education established in 1930s. Secondary schools established in 1940s, and higher education, Addis Ababa University, established in 1960s. In similar way, the modern education system had also failed in teaching and conducting research on indigenous knowledge so as to integrate it into the modern education. As a result, creativity, inventions and innovations have seen as odd culture to our society. On the contrary, receiving aid, economic migration, conspicuous consumption of imported goods including education and dependency on Western advanced societies or institutions have become a culture.

Therefore, it is up to the Habesha (Tigre and Amhara), the Oromoo and other ethnic groups of the new generation to dig deep down to find out their respective indigenous knowledge that deep rooted in their culture and traditions and pass down from one generation to other generations by their native ancestors if any and re-evaluate the existing very controversial written history, which is biased and by large based on fiction history. The cycle of self-discrimination must end by the new generation. By doing this they can find shared human values that would allow them to live in peace without disrespecting one another as good neighbors and citizens of their respective nation. So one must understand that no one would agree on imported history that was written by the followers and supporters of Christianity crusaders, war lords, kings, dictators and agents of the Western discriminatory and racist institutions of the time as shared human value and history of our respective people in our time. The time and world have changed forever.

The present suspicion, political conflicts and all forms of problems in our region will not be solved without recognizing and applying indigenous knowledge. The lasting resolutions for the problems can be achieved if every member of our society or nation adults learn and teach their younger generation good social skills, which are critical to successfully functioning society. Basic social skills enable adults and children to know what to say, how to make good choices, and how to behave in adverse situations. The extent to which young people possess good social skills can influence their adult behavior in decision making, conflict management and problem solving. Social skills are also linked to the quality of the school environment. The Church and modern education in Ethiopia, unfortunately, had been denying members of our society these good basic skills such as respect, appreciation, empathy, apology, truthfulness, positive attitude about others, etc. Instead, the system allowed social ignorance such disrespect, occupational despise, ethnic chauvinism, fear, the divine right of the kings and honor for ruling class. As a result, the Ethiopian empire has produced highly educated class like Dr. Getachew Haile without basic and good social skills; it seems that he passed through poor socialization as one can understand the meaning of his name, ‘lord of …power’, which is false-self has given to him by his parents
and trying his best to make them proud by being discourteous and rude to the Oromoo people. Dr. Getachew Haile, be nice!

The black people or African descents are subject to institutional discrimination and racism more than any other races in the world including the holy land- Israel and Saud Arabia. Do you know why? The reasons can be many, but one of the reasons is imitation of ideas. The black people are the most imitating of other societies’ idea. They did not protect and develop their own indigenous institutions (political, religious, cultural and socio-economic institutions) to shape their lifestyle and influence others. No other nations are imitating Africans’ culture, religion, lifestyles but the Africans tend to imitate others about everything that life needs. Some African or extremists trying to be more imitator and more knowledgeable about the culture, religion and ideology than the original inventor or creator of the idea. It is understandable that human being has ability to imitate and all cultures imitate ideas from original culture. The question I would like ask the readers is why the changes are in one direction only. Why African descents imitate ideas of the other culture when the other culture do not imitate the African idea or world view?

For example, black Africans including Ethiopians has been pretending as if they have better known about the Jesus of Nazareth more than the Israelis and Prophet Muhammad more than the Arabs; Marxism and Leninism or communism more than Russians; democracy more than Americans and Western societies. These blind optimists about other’s idea are cynical at the same time about their own indigenous knowledge; they are willing to abuse, jail, torture and murder their own innocent people for the authenticity of imported ideas, religious and political ideology. In the case of Ethiopia, the king Menelik II and Yohanness II – holy war and wildish conquests were a case in point. They had imitated from the history of European middle-age idea of religious crusaders and empire builders. The Abyssinian kings had been acted as proxy war lords of European colonial powers and committed incalculable atrocity against the Oromo people and other black people in East Africa. In addition, these Abyssinian kingdom were one of the worst Africa’s kingdoms who sold Africans, their own race, to British, Arabs and other European white race for the exchange of European firearms to conquer the land of other nations and subjugate the people and build the empirical institutions based on European ideas and political model. What most disgracing is when people like Dr. Getachew Haile and his like trying to keep the truth elusive and misrepresent the history of the black people and glorifying the history of the White colonial proxy war lords like Menelik II as great black king, who was cowardly cut women’s breast, mutilate men’s hand and embarrassingly sold his own black race to the European white race.

In conclusion, the quest for truth shall continue by present and future Oromo generations. The root cause for conflicts in Africa is an imported knowledge and imitation of ideas. In many cases, imitation represent a false-self or an act to hiding a true-self. Discriminatory and racist attitude against black people had been partly brought up by European’s colonial power proxy war lords in Africa such as Menelik II of Abyssinia/Ethiopia kingdom. Although most black people tend to cherish and assimilate their cultural identity into the Middle-Eastern and Western cultural identity and ways of life, the very culture of the societies they imitating have been reciprocating or holding discrimination against them based on race, stereotypes and historical disadvantages. Institutional racism still exist and there are also significant number of individuals who think that Africans have not yet acquired culture and civilization. The imitation of others’ ideas, belief system and political institutions by Africans including my fellow Oromoo has kept the racist believes alive. It is suffice to mention the 2013 incidents against African immigrants in Saud Arabia and recently in Israel. The majority of Africans believed that embracing Christianity and Islam would lead to heaven via holy land. Unfortunately, it turned out differently; they end up in hell in the holy land. So, the lasting solution would be revitalizing indigenous knowledge and institutions that demands for real efforts, courage and sacrifices. As to the Oromo’s quest for indigenous knowledge and institutions, revitalization of the Gadaa Republic of Oromia and its institutions would be the lasting solution for century old colonial extraction, subjugation and embarrassment.
___________________
* About the author: Iddoosaa Ejjetaa, Ph.D., native to Oromiyaa, Ethiopia. Independent and Naturalist Thinker; An activist and advocator for the revitalization of Authentic Oromummaa, Oromoo Indigenous knowledge and institutions, and for the formation of Biyyaa Abbaa Gadaa,Oromiyaa-The Gadaa Republic of Oromia.

Read more @
http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/the-quest-for-oromos-indigenous-knowledge-and-institutions/

Oromia Media Network Launch — Live! March 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Music, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Hadiya and the Omo Valley, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, Ideas, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????Oromia Media Network

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Oromia Media Network Launch — Live! 1st March 2014

Millions of Oromos now have the chance to enjoy quality media focusing on the needs and aspirations of the Oromo people.

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https://www.oromiamedia.org/donorship/

“The Oromia Media Network (OMN) is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit news enterprise whose mission is to produce original and citizen-driven reporting on Oromia, the largest and most populous state in Ethiopia. OMN seeks to offer thought-provoking, contextual, and nuanced coverage of critical public interest issues thereby bringing much needed attention to under-reported stories in the region. Our goal is to create a strong and sustainable multilingual newsroom that will serve as a reliable source of information about the Oromo people, the Ethiopian state, and the greater Horn of Africa region. ” – http://www.oromiamedia.org/

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

Africa: Legacy of Pre-colonial Empires and Colonialism March 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dhaqaba Ebba, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Hadiya, Hadiya and the Omo Valley, Haile Fida, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Language and Development, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, South Sudan, Specialization, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Youth Unemployment.
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‘Our knowledge of the nature of identity relations in pre-colonial Africa is less than complete. However, there is little doubt that many parts of the continent were torn apart by various wars, during that era. Many of the pre-colonial wars revolved around state formation, empire building, slave raids, and control over resources and trade routs. The slave raiding and looting empires and kingdoms, including those of the 19th century, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations. It is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss in detail the nature of pre-colonial empires in Africa. The examples of the Abyssinian Empire and the Mahdiyya state in Sudan provide a glimpse of the impacts of pre-colonial empires on the prevailing problems in inter-identity relations. The Abyssinian Empire, for example, is credited for creating the modern Ethiopian state during the second half of the 19th century and defending it from European colonialism. However, it also left behind a deeply divided country where the populations in the newly incorporated southern parts of the country were ravaged by slave raids and lootings and, in many cases, reduced into landless tenants, who tilled the land for northern landlords (Pankhurst, 1968). The Empire also established a hierarchy of cultures where the non-Abyssinian cultures in the newly incorporated territories were placed in a subordinate position. There are claims, for instance, that it was not permissible to publish, preach, teach or broadcast in Oromiya [Afaan Oromo] (language of the Oromo people) in Ethiopia until the end of the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie (Baxter, 1978, 228). It requires a great deal of sensitivity to teach Ethiopian history in the country’s schools, since the empire-builders of the 19th century are heroes to some identities while they are viewed as villains who brought destruction and oppression by others. Similarly, Sudan’s Mahdiyya state, which professed Arab identity and was supported by slave raiding communities, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations, which still plague the country (Francis Deng, 2010).’ pp 10-12

Diversity Management in Africa: Findings from the African Peer Review Mechanism
and a Framework for Analysis and Policy-Making , 2011.

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

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No Oromo has constitutional or legal protection from the cruelty of the TPLF/EPRDF regime.
A country is not about its leaders but of its people. It goes without saying that the people are the symbolic mirror of their nation. That is exactly why foreigners particularly the development partners assess and evaluate a nation through its people. In other words, a happy people are citizen of not only a peaceful and happy nation but one which accepts the principles of democracy, rule of law and human and people’s right. On the contrast, heartbroken, timid and unhappy people are subjects of dictatorial, callous and brutal regimes. Such people are robbed of their humanity and identity through systematic harassment, intimidation, unlawful detention, extra judicial killing and disappearances by the leaders who transformed themselves into creators of human life or lords. The largest oromo nation in Ethiopia through the 22years of TPLF/EPRDF repressive leadership has turned into a nation sobbing in the dark. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. All it takes is a closer look at any Oromos in the face. The story is the same on all the faces: fear, uncertainty, and an unquenchable thirst for freedom. The disturbing melody of the sobs in the dark echo the rhythmic desire to break free from TPLF dictatorial shackles.
The Horn African region of the Ethiopia is home to just 90 million people, it is also home to one of the world’s most ruthless, and eccentric, tyrannical regime .TPLF/EPRDF is ruling the nation particularly the Oromos with an iron fist for the past two decades and yet moving on. Today dissents in Oromia are frequently harassed, arrested, tortured, murdered and put through sham trials, while the people are kept in a constant state of terror through tight media control, as repeatedly reported by several human rights groups. It has been long time since the Woyane government bans most foreign journalists and human rights organizations and NGOs from operating in the country for the aim of hiding its brutal governance from the world. While the people in Ethiopia are being in terrorized by TPLF gangs, the western powers are yet looking at the country as a very strategic place to fight the so called terrorism in horn African region. But In today’s Ethiopia; as an Oromo, No one can speak out against the dictatorship in that country. You can be killed. You can be arrested. You can be kept in prison for a long time. Or you can disappear in thin air. Nobody will help. Intimidations, looting Oromo resources and evicting Oromos from their farm lands have become the order of the day everywhere across Oromia.
No Oromo has constitutional or legal protection from the killing machinery of the TPLF securities. The recent murdering of Tesfahun Chemeda in kallitti prison is a case book of the current Circumstance.
The So called EPRDF constitution, as all Ethiopian constitutions had always been under the previous Ethiopian regimes, is prepared not to give legal protections to the Oromo people, but to be used against the Oromo people. Prisons in the Ethiopia have become the last home to Oromo nationalists, human right activists or political opponent of the regime. Yet the international community is either not interested or have ignored the numerous Human Right abuses in Ethiopia simply because, they think there is stability in the country. Is there no stability in North Korea? I don’t understand why the international community playing double standard with dining and wining with Ethiopian brutal dictators while trying to internationally isolate other dictators. For crying out loud, all dictators are dangerous to humanity and shaking their hands is even taboo much more doing business with them.
Without the support of the USA and EU, major pillars of the regime would have collapsed. Because one reason why TPLF is sustaining in power is through the budgetary support and development funding of the EU, the United States and offered diplomatic validation by the corrupted African Union. Foremost, the US and EU as the largest partners are responsible for funding the regime’s sustainability and its senseless brutality against ordinary citizens. They would have the capacity to disrupt the economic might of this regime without negatively impacting ordinary citizens, and their failure to do so is directly responsible for the loss of many innocent lives, the torture of many and other grievous human rights abuses. Helping dictators while they butcher our people is what I cannot understand. What I want to notify here is, on the way of struggling for freedom it is very essential to call on the western powers to stop the support they are rendering to dictators in the name of fighting the so called terrorism in Horn Africa, otherwise it will remain an obstacle for the struggle.
Holding elections alone does not make a country democratic. Where there is no an independent media, an independent judiciary (for the rule of law), an independent central bank, an independent electoral commission (for a free and fair vote); neutral and professional security forces; and an autonomous (not a rubber stamp) parliament, no one should expect that the pseudo election will remove TPLF from power. The so-called “Ethiopian constitution” is a façade that is not worth the paper which it is written on. It does not impose the rule of law; and does not effectively limit governmental power. No form of dissent is tolerated in the country.
As my understanding and as we have observed for more than two decades, it is unthinkable to remove TPLF regime without a military struggle or without popular Uprisings. They are staying, staying, and staying in power – 10, 20, 22 and may be 30 or 40 years. They have developed the mentality of staying on power as their own family and ethnic property. So that they are grooming their clans, their wives, sons, cats, dogs and even goats to succeed them. They are simply the worst mafia regime and the most politically intolerant in the Africa. It is impossible to remove them electorally because we have been witnessing that the electoral system is fundamentally flawed and indomitably skewed in favor them. Every gesture and every words coming from TPLF gangs in the last several years have confirmed that to remove them by election is nothing but like to dream in daylight.
The late dictator “Meles Zenawi” had once said that TPLF “shall rule for a thousand years”, asserting that elections SHALL NOT remove his government. He also said: “the group who want the power must go the forest and fight to achieve power”. Therefore, taking part in Pseudo election will have no impact on reducing the pain of the oppressed people. Evidently, the opposition and civil societies have been rendered severely impotent, as any form of dissent attracts the ultimate penalty in Ethiopia. Furthermore, we are watching that this regime is intensifying its repression of democracy each day, and ruling strictly through the instrument of paralyzing fear and the practice of brutality against ordinary citizens.
As we are learning from history, Dictators are not in a business of allowing election that could remove them from their thrones. The only way to remove this TPLF dictatorship is through a military force, popular uprising, or a rebel insurgency: Egypt (2011), Ivory Coast (2011), Tunisia (2011), Libya (2011), Rwanda (1994), Somalia (1991), Liberia (1999), etc. A high time to fire up resistance to the TPLF killings and resource plundering in Oromia, is now. To overthrow this brutal TPLF dictatorship and to end the 22 years of our pain, it is a must to begin the resistance with a nationwide show of defiance including distributing postures of resistance against their brutality across Oromia and the country. Once a national campaign of defiance begins, it will be easy to see how the TPLF regime will crumble like a sand castle. Besides, we the Oromo Diaspora need to work on strengthening the struggle by any means we can. It is the responsibility of the Diaspora to advance the Oromo cause, and at the same time to determine how our efforts can be aided by the international community. As well, it is a time for every freedom thirsty Oromo to take part in supporting our organization Oromo liberation Front by any means we can.
These days, TPLF regime is standing on one foot and removing it is easier than it appears. Let all oppressed nations organize for the final push to liberty. The biggest fear of Woyane regime is people being organized and armed with weapons of unity, knowledge, courage, vigilance, and justice. What is needed is a unified, dedicated struggle for justice and sincerity. Oromo’s are tired of the dying, the arrests, the detentions, the torture, the brutality and the forced disappearances. This should come to an end! DEATH FOR TPLF LEADERES ,.long live FOR OROMIYA
_____________________________________
The author, ROBA PAWELOS, can be reached by bora1273@yahoo.com
http://oromiatimes.org/2014/03/13/no-oromo-has-constitutional-or-legal-protection-from-the-cruelty-of-the-tplfeprdf-regime-roba-pawelos/
‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”. Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.
If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.
Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.’…………………………………………………

A number of African governments accused of human rights abuses have turned to public relations companies to salvage the image of their countries.

The BBC’s Focus on Africa magazine asked two experts whether “reputation management” is mostly a cover-up for bad governance.

NO: Thor Halvorssen is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum.

Thor Halvorssen has published extensively on the subject of lobbying
For Public Relations (PR) companies and their government clients, “reputation management” can be a euphemism of the worst sort. In many cases across Africa, it often means whitewashing the human rights violations of despotic regimes with fluff journalism and, just as easily, serving as personal PR agents for rulers and their corrupt family members.

But they also help governments drown out criticism, often branding dissidents, democratic opponents and critics as criminals, terrorists or extremists.

Today, with the preponderance of social media, anyone with an opinion, a smart phone and a Facebook account can present their views to an audience potentially as large as any major political campaign can attract.

This has raised citizen journalism to a level of influence unknown previously. Yet, this communication revolution has also resulted in despotic governments smearing not just human rights advocates, but individuals with blogs as well as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts. This undermines the power and integrity of social media.

And as PR firms help regimes “astroturf” with fake social media accounts, they do more damage than just muddling legitimate criticism with false comments and tweets linking back to positive content – they also make the general public sceptical about social media.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations. But PR professionals who spin for them should be exposed as amoral.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations”

For instance, Qorvis Communications, a PR and lobbying firm in the United States, represents Equatorial Guinea – among other allegedly repressive governments – for a reported $55,000 a month. The firm is said to have amassed more than $100 million by helping their clients with “reputation management”.

By burying opposing public opinions or spinning false, positive stories of stability and economic growth on behalf of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s brutal regime, the firm is seriously hampering the progress of human rights in the country.

In response, Qorvis says that customers with troublesome human rights records are a very small part of its client base, and that these governments are using Qorvis as a means to be heard in the “court of public opinion”.

Washington Media Group, another American PR firm, was hired in 2010 by the Tunisian government. The autocracy was subsequently described in various media outlets as a “stable democracy” and a “peaceful, Islamic country with a terrific story to share with the world”. Only after the regime’s snipers began picking off protesters did Washington Media Group end its $420,000 contract.

‘Limited engagement’
When a PR firm spins a dictator’s story, it does not just present a different viewpoint, as the firm might want you to believe; rather, it undermines the resources from which people can draw opinions. If a website or magazine commends the government, how is an average citizen to know for certain if the information is accurate or true?

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Teodoro Obiang Nguema is accused of leading a brutal regime in Equatorial Guinea
Many firms that operate, or have done, on behalf of kleptocracies in Africa are based not only in the US but also in the United Kingdom. They include Bell Pottinger (Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt), Brown Lloyd James (Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya) and Hill & Knowlton (Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda).

There are likely many more that continue to do this work under the cover of corporate secrecy. When firms get caught or criticised for their activities many say it is “limited engagement” for only a few months or that the task only involved “tourism” or “economic progress”.

If, for instance, a firm served the questionable government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo they would probably insist they are “consultants” helping to create “economic opportunity” and, no doubt, providing a “guiding hand” to the current president as he improves the lot of the Congolese poor.

Yet the spin doctors most probably ignore the fact that President Joseph Kabila’s security forces killed Floribert Chebeya, arguably the DR Congo’s leading human rights defender, and likely “disappeared” his driver (he is still missing). Only after an international uproar were the policemen directly responsible for the killing brought to justice.

Meanwhile, political opponents routinely disappear, journalists are arrested for criticising the government and any comprehensive human rights report contains appalling anecdotes and painful analysis about a country with little judicial independence and respect for the rule of law.

PR agents do not create “economic opportunities” – they alter reality so that certain deals and foreign aid can flow faster and in larger quantities – all the while being rewarded handsomely.

‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”.

Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.

If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.

Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15109351

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The Oromo are the second largest indigenous population in Africa March 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, African Beat, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Development, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Fatuma Roba, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Nubia, OMN, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Saudi Arabia, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized.
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Hard roads to freedom: The Oromo fight for recognition in their new home
refugeeweek

 

‘We have to tell people we are the second largest indigenous population in Africa
because nobody knows about us.’O

refugeeweekhttp://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/hard-roads-to-freedom-the-oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home/

 

http://advocacy4oromia.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home.pdf

 

The tyranny of experts vs the real cause of poverty:The unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights March 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Poverty, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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How development experts have empowered dictators and helped to trap millions and millions of people in poverty

“Ethiopia, for example, reaps money and plaudits from development giants such as the Gates Foundation while remaining a bastion of authoritarian rule. Economic growth and other positive development outcomes in such states are a mirage, the author argues. His central claim is that no matter how much international aid is poured in, the lives of citizens won’t durably improve without freedom.” -SARAH CHAYES, Book Review, Wall Street Journal

‘The international professionals perpetrate an illusion that poverty is purely a technical problem, distracting attention away from the real cause: the unchecked power of the state against poor people without rights. The dictators whom experts are advising are not the solution — they are the problem. The individual economic and political rights crucial to development include all those we take for granted at home, such as the right to your own property, the right to trade with whomever you wish, the right to protest bad government actions (don’t burn down our houses!), and the right to vote for politicians who do beneficial actions (clean our water!). Technical experts in development sometimes concede some rights and deny others, which disrespects rights for what they are: unalienable. The Uganda story shows the Mubende farmers’ lack of both economic rights (rights to their own property) and political rights (prevented at gunpoint from protesting). The tyranny of experts that neglects rights is first of all a moral tragedy. It reflects a double standard in which we respect rights for the world’s rich — is it conceivable that we would forget these farmers if the story had happened in Ohio? — but not for the poor.
The technocratic approach of dictators advised by experts is also a pragmatic tragedy, because it does not actually work to end poverty.  New research by economists on history and modern experience suggest that free individuals with political and economic rights make up remarkably successful problem-solving systems. Such systems based on rights reward a decentralized array of people: Economic entrepreneurs with property rights get to keep the rewards of solving the problems of their consumers. Political entrepreneurs at many government levels and in many departments get rewarded with a longer tenure in office if they solve the citizens’ problems, and they are driven out of office if they don’t. …Focusing on rights yields two perspectives on how development success happens. First, societies that have already attained individual freedom are likely to have already escaped poverty. Economists have gone back deep into our own history to confirm this widely-accepted story for how we in the West escaped our own poverty, but we seem unwilling to consider that the same story could play out in the rest of the world. Second, societies in which there is a positive change in in freedom will likely see a positive change in prosperity (ergo, rapid economic growth and fall in poverty). So what should we do about rights for the poor? Possible starting places for Western policy changes are to not fund dictators, to not support projects that torch farms, to not break promises to investigate rights abuses, and to not let us forget such abuses and missing investigations. But obsessing too much on the “what should we do?” question should not hand the agenda back to the same technical experts who have showed so little interest in the rights of the poor in the first place. The danger of such a tyranny of experts is illustrated by a long history of politicians using technical poverty debates as an excuse to avoid debating rights for the poor. The danger of such a tyranny of experts is illustrated by a long history of politicians using technical poverty debates as an excuse to avoid debating rights for the poor.’ – Read the details and analysis at the original source: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/03/10/the_new_tyranny

Book Review: ‘The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor’ by William Easterly

dictatorsThe notion of development assistance was born in a period of unabashed racism.

By SARAH CHAYES

March 7, 2014 (The Wall Street Journal) — Why does poverty persist across so much of the world, despite billions of dollars in international aid and the efforts of armies of development professionals? That is the question that William Easterly explores in “The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor.” His answer: a lack of respect for liberty—not just on the part of governments of impoverished countries but also, more provocatively, on the part of the would-be developers themselves.

Mr. Easterly, an economics professor at New York University, joins other students of international aid in decrying the preference for technical fixes when the political structures of recipient states are built to deny political participation and economic opportunity to most of their citizens. “The technocratic illusion,” he writes, “is that poverty results from a shortage of expertise, whereas poverty is really about a shortage of rights.”

Ethiopia, for example, reaps money and plaudits from development giants such as the Gates Foundation while remaining a bastion of authoritarian rule. Economic growth and other positive development outcomes in such states are a mirage, the author argues. His central claim is that no matter how much international aid is poured in, the lives of citizens won’t durably improve without freedom.

Mr. Easterly recalls that the very notion of development assistance was born in a period of unabashed racism, out of a conjunction of two opposing demands. One was the need for late colonial empires to provide a different rationale than racial superiority for their continued domination of the Third World. The other was the desire of Third World leaders to legitimize seizing authoritarian power themselves.

Touting the virtues of development designed by “experts” and delivered by autocrats proved to be a useful strategy for both camps. “Sun Yat-sen,” writes Mr. Easterly of China in 1924, “suggested the idea of technocratic development to resist European imperialism in China, while at the same time in Versailles, the Allies suggested technocratic development to expand European imperialism in Africa.” And, a few decades later, “the new African leaders found state-led technocratic development to be a justification for their own aspirations to unchecked power.”

This marriage of convenience may have sabotaged democracy’s chances of emerging from the rubble of empire, Mr. Easterly suggests, drawing on evidence from China, Colombia and West Africa. The bias in favor of technocratic fixes, and against fundamental political reform, has certainly helped enable autocratic regimes, which, now as then, capture development aid like any other rent. In Yemen, for example, before counterterrorism security cooperation grew to its current scale, aid was a key source of funding for the Ali Abdullah Saleh regime.

Mr. Easterly’s alternative to the autocrat-driven, technocratic model of development is simple: Apply abroad what we know has worked at home—bottom-up solutions, a free flow of ideas leading to innovative experiments and democratic politics. His positive examples aren’t drawn from the international-assistance realm but rather from the organic emergence of economic prosperity in such environments as 12th-century Italian city-states or the Korean auto industry. Hyundai’s rise is presented as an example of an efficient division of labor engineered almost as a matter of course by free-market forces. Unable to farm his infertile land, Chung Ju Yung, who liked tinkering with cars, set up as a mechanic, thereby exchanging “his problem-solving talents . . . for the problem-solving talents of others in producing food for him.” He would go on to found Hyundai.

Mr. Easterly is hardly the first to criticize the international-development community for its avoidance of politics and fixation on technical solutions. But his belabored insistence that freedom and democracy are the only reliable paths to economic prosperity is too general and thus not very helpful for anyone thinking seriously about how to reform development assistance. While he is right to castigate the many aid efforts undertaken in autocratic contexts, few serious Western development professionals today actively promote dictatorship. Indeed, acceptance of much of Mr. Easterly’s reasoning has driven, from the 1990s on, a sharp increase in support for grass-roots development and democratization efforts.

But Mr. Easterly fails to acknowledge such evolutions. And he thereby misses an opportunity to highlight the obstacles that this approach, in turn, has encountered: the tendency of such grass-roots organizations to respond to the desires of donors rather than their own constituencies, their inability to live up to outsize expectations or, when successful, their tendency to suffer repression at the hands of authoritarian states. Nor does Mr. Easterly contend in detail with the fundamental question raised by his book: What explains the persistence of such a “momentous double standard on rights for the West and not for the Rest?”

Some explanations do emerge in passing. Geostrategic priorities, for example, have impelled the U.S. to use foreign aid to reward autocratic allies in the fights against Communism and terrorism. Racism, blatant or otherwise, has made Westerners doubt non-white non-Westerners’ desire for rights and ability to handle them. The desire to self-perpetuate has also been a powerful motive to stick to the status quo for an industry as large as international assistance—a motive Mr. Easterly doesn’t emphasize. Challenging entrenched power structures is a good way to get thrown out of a country, as a number of democracy-promotion organizations recently learned in Egypt.

Apart from these gaps, and the book’s lack of explicit recommendations, its analysis raises some philosophical problems. It draws too sharp an opposition between individualism and collective values. By depicting a global “East” caught in a feedback loop of autocracy and “collectivist values,” Mr. Easterly falls into Samuel Huntingtonesque generalizations. Similarly, he seems to suggest that geography and climate predisposed the Southern Hemisphere to slave-based or extractive economies.

The generalizations, moreover, evade a lot of contrary nuance. The Nordic countries are widely seen as more respectful of community values than the U.S. or Britain. And many of their health and development outcomes outstrip ours. Some might argue that these are smaller, more homogeneous societies, but so are some of the negative examples of “collectivist values” that Mr. Easterly cites, such as the “Maghribi” network, a 10th-century Cairo-based Jewish trading community. And the world economic meltdown of 2008, with devastating development effects for tens of millions, was the result not of excessively collectivist values but the reverse. Poor development outcomes, in other words, aren’t only a matter of rights, as Mr. Easterly argues. At issue is also the distribution of power—justice as well as liberty.

The book’s argument about the power of freedom and democracy to beget development is made by way of a vast historical tableau. From the 12th-century Italian city-states, the narrative winds past the slave trade, expounds the virtues of migration, explores the ideas of Adam Smith and ruminates on the structure of technological innovation. Supporting anecdotes include a Senegalese religious trading community, the Korean automotive industry and an evolving Manhattan neighborhood.

It is hard to trust an author to command such a welter of detail. And indeed, the result is too often haphazard, self-contradictory or erroneous. For example, while the Maghribi traders are said to demonstrate self-sabotaging collectivist values, the Mourides, a modern Somali religious brotherhood that is organized along nearly the same principles, is cited to illustrate the virtues of migration. The Korean auto industry, depicted as embodying “the amazing potentials of specialization and trade,” emerged under an autocratic government applying protectionist laws.

By my count, finally, about 15% of Mr. Easterly’s text recaps what was just said or announces items from later chapters. Subheadings like “Another Key Moment in This Book” suggest an argument that isn’t tight enough to convince on its own merits. And that’s too bad. Mr. Easterly calls for a profound overhaul of the way powerful nations conceive of and implement aid—and, more important, of the broader foreign-policy decision-making of which aid is a component. That change is needed. It’s just not clear this book is crisp or cogent enough to help advance it.

Ms. Chayes is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

To buy this book Click Here

http://ayyaantuu.com/articles/book-review-the-tyranny-of-experts-economists-dictators-and-the-forgotten-rights-of-the-poor-by-william-easterly/

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

Silence and pain: Ethiopia’s human rights record in the Ogaden February 2, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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Repression in the Ogaden is mainly carried out by the notorious Liyu Police; this is a locally recruited force that has been widely condemned for the repressive methods that it uses.
This is how the force is described by Human Rights Watch:[6]
“Ethiopian authorities created the Liyu (“special” in Amharic) police in the Somali region in 2007 when an armed conflict between the insurgent Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the government escalated. By 2008 the Liyu police became a prominent counterinsurgency force recruited and led by the regional security chief at that time, Abdi Mohammed Omar (known as “Abdi Illey”), who is now the president of Somali Regional State.
The Liyu police have been implicated in numerous serious abuses against civilians throughout the Somali region in the context of counterinsurgency operations. The legal status of the force is unclear, but credible sources have informed Human Rights Watch that members have received training, uniforms, arms, and salaries from the Ethiopian government via the regional authorities.”
In January 2013 it was reported that the Liyu police numbered between 10,000 and 14,000. The force was accused of numerous human rights abuses and summary executions.[7] The Guardian newspaper reported that it had seen an internal British government document, from the Department for International Development, indicating that there were plans to spend £13m–15m of aid money on the force as part of a five year “peace-building” programme. The report was denied by the British government, which said all funding would go via United Nations agencies and not through the Ethiopian authorities.[8]
Despite these assurances concern about the behaviour of the Liyu police remains. The testimony below and the reports of atrocities carried out in recent weeks indicate these are well placed.
Testimony of Captain Hassan Mohammed Abdi aka Hassan Afo, a former member of the Liyu Police, who was active with the force in Degehbur Province. June 2012.
“In Balidhuure village (Eastern Degehbur Province) located in between Gurdumi and Koore, a Liyu police unit that left from Aware and commanded by Major Kidinbir rounded up and finally driven away most of the people that lived in the area. Among them was a disabled man who walks with a stick named Ina-Yul-yul or the son of Yul-yul. Not far from the village of Balidhuure, the handicapped man, Ina-Yul-yul could not continue walking. One of the Liyu policemen noticed this and he informed Major Kidinbir by radio. Major Kidinbir said, “He can’t walk? Then kill him where he is at right now.” That’s how Ina-Yulyul was shot and killed. He was killed because of one of his brothers was among the ONLF fighters.”
Reports of human rights atrocities committed in the Ogaden Region over the previous month.
25/12/13: In Guna’gado district of Degahbur province, at least 25 civilians were detained and 25,000 Ethiopian birr was stolen from them
5/1/14: In Gasaangas in Hamara district 5 civilians are unlawfully detained. They were: Hassan Geday, Hassan Nour Moalim Ibrahim, Rukiya Moalim Ibraahin, Anbiya Sheikh Mohammed and Nafis.
5/1/14: In Dhuhun a girl named, Halimo Duulane was detained .
10/1/14: In Eastern Iimay, Fadumo Wacdi Ahmed, Sa’ada Hassan and Gordo Abdi God were detained by the Ethiopian Security Forces.
10/1/14,In Guna’gado, Mohammed Isse Gu’had was tortured, detained and his 11 camels were stolen.
3/1/14: Hamuud-ka, in Fiq Province, the security forces detained Mohammed Ibrahim.
5/1/14: Ya’hob Village in Fiq Province, the security forced killed in a cold-blood Abdullahi Lo’bari in cold blood and injured Ahmed Hassan Awl.
5/1/14: Hamaro in Nogob Province, the security forces detained several people : Mohammed Abdi Rahman Omar, Abdirahman Bade, Ta’kal Yousouf and Ina-Barud.
Annex
Amnesty International on Ethiopia’s Ogaden region[9]
In September, the government and the ONLF briefly entered into peace talks with a view to ending the two-decade long conflict in the Somali region. However, the talks stalled in October. The army, and its proxy militia, the Liyu police, faced repeated allegations of human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions, and rape. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees were widely reported. None of the allegations was investigated and access to the region remained severely restricted. In June, UN employee Abdirahman Sheikh Hassan was found guilty of terrorism offences over alleged links to the ONLF, and sentenced to seven years and eight months’ imprisonment. He was arrested in July 2011 after negotiating with the ONLF over the release of two abducted UN World Food Programme workers.

Human Rights Watch on Ethiopia’s Ogaden region
ETHIOPIA: UPR SUBMISSION SEPTEMBER 2013 [10]
http://martinplaut.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/silence-and-pain-ethiopias-human-rights-record-in-the-ogaden/

 

 

 

Related References:

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/us-congress-takes-a-historic-stance-against-land-grabs-related-forced-evictions-in-ethiopia/

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/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-pe/?relatedposts_exclude=1589

 

martinplaut

Silence and pain: human rights in the Ogaden

Martin Plaut

Introduction

The Ogaden is Ethiopia’s dark, dirty secret. It is far from prying international eyes, where almost anything can be done to anyone the government does not like.

The Ogaden was conquered and forcibly incorporated into Ethiopia by Emperor Menelik II in the last quarter of the 19th century. Its Somali speaking, almost exclusively Muslim community, never really accepted an Ethiopian identity. In 1977 it was the scene of an international conflict, as Somali President Siad Barre attempted to wrest the region from Ethiopia. The Soviet Union poured arms and Cuban troops into Ethiopia and the invasion was halted. The Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) has been fighting the Ethiopian government since 1995, and local people have been caught up in the conflict.

Oagen 1The Ethiopian authorities have sealed off the region to international journalists.

As Human Rights Watch wrote as…

View original post 3,314 more words

African Poors: Poverty, Failed Aid & Extractive Institutions January 28, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Climate Change, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Food Production, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land Grabs in Africa, Nelson Mandela, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Theory of Development, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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‘Recognising that poor countries are poor because they have extractive institutions helps us understand how best to help them. It also casts a different light on the idea of foreign aid. We do not argue for its reduction. Even if a huge amount of aid is siphoned off by the powerful, the cash can still do a lot of good. It can put roofs on schools, lay roads or build wells. Giving money can feed the hungry, and help the sick — but it does not free people from the institutions that make them hungry and sick in the first place. It doesn’t free them from the system which saps their opportunities and incentives. When aid is given to governments that preside over extractive institutions, it can be at best irrelevant, at worst downright counter-productive. Aid to Angola, for example, is likely to help the president’s daughter rather than the average citizen. Many kleptocratic dictators such as Congo’s Mobutu Sese Seko have been propped up by foreign aid. And it wasn’t foreign aid that helped to undermine the apartheid regime in South Africa and got Nelson Mandela out of prison, but international sanctions. Those sanctions came from pressure on governments — including the British government — that would have preferred not to see them implemented. Today it is no different. Governments don’t like cutting their ties to dictators who open doors for international business, or help their geopolitical agendas. Pressure needs to come from citizens who do care enough about international development to force politicians to overcome the easy temptation of short-run political expediency. Making institutions more inclusive is about changing the politics of a society to empower the poor — the empowerment of those disenfranchised, excluded and often repressed by those monopolising power.’ –Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson,  The Spectator magazine, 25th January 2014

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson in their articles in  The Spectator put forward the following interesting analysis  regarding what is really at stake and leading issues in Africa’s development problems. They brought to our attentions why aid has failed and proposed how the predicaments can be tackled:-

David Cameron speaks compellingly about international aid. Eradicating poverty, he says, means certain institutional changes: rights for women and minorities, a free media and integrity in government. It means the freedom to participate in society and have a say over how your country is run. We wholeheartedly agree and were flattered to see the Prime Minister tell this magazine that he is ‘obsessed’ by our book on the subject, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. But diagnosing a problem is one thing; fixing it another. And we don’t yet see the political will — in Britain or elsewhere — that could turn this analysis into a practical agenda.

The British government is strikingly generous in foreign aid donations. It spent £8.7 billion on foreign aid in 2012 — which is 0.56 per cent of national income. This is to rise to £11.7 billion, or 0.7 per cent of national income, next year. But if money alone were the solution we would be along the road not just to ameliorating the lives of poor people today but ending poverty for ever.

The idea that large donations can remedy poverty has dominated the theory of economic development — and the thinking in many international aid agencies and governments — since the 1950s. And how have the results been? Not so good, actually. Millions have moved out of abject poverty around the world over the past six decades, but that has had little to do with foreign aid. Rather, it is due to economic growth in countries in Asia which received little aid. The World Bank has calculated that between 1981 and 2010, the number of poor people in the world fell by about 700 million — and that in China over the same period, the number of poor people fell by 627 million.

In the meantime, more than a quarter of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa are poorer now than in 1960 — with no sign that foreign aid, however substantive, will end poverty there. Last year, perhaps the most striking illustration came from Liberia, which has received massive amounts of aid for a decade. In 2011, according to the OECD, official development aid to Liberia totalled $765 million, and made up 73 per cent of its gross national income. The sum was even larger in 2010. But last year every one of the 25,000 students who took the exam to enter the University of Liberia failed. All of the aid is still failing to provide a decent education to Liberians.

One could imagine that many factors have kept sub-Saharan Africa poor — famines, civil wars. But huge aid flows appear to have done little to change the development trajectories of poor countries, particularly in Africa. Why? As we spell out in our book, this is not to do with a vicious circle of poverty, waiting to be broken by foreign money. Poverty is instead created by economic institutions that systematically block the incentives and opportunities of poor people to make things better for themselves, their neighbours and their country.

Let us take for Exhibit A the system of apartheid in South Africa, which Nelson Mandela dedicated himself to abolishing. In essence, apartheid was a set of economic institutions — rules that governed what people could or could not do, their opportunities and their incentives. In 1913, the South African government declared that 93 per cent of South Africa was the ‘white economy’, while 7 per cent was for blacks (who constituted about 70 per cent of the population). Blacks had to have a pass, a sort of internal passport, to travel to the white economy. They could not own property or start a business there. By the 1920s the ‘Colour Bar’ banned blacks from undertaking any skilled or professional occupation. The only jobs blacks could take in the white economy were as unskilled workers on farms, in mines or as servants for white people. Such economic institutions, which we call ‘extractive’, sap the incentives and opportunities of the vast mass of the population and thereby keep a society poor.

The people in poor countries have the same aspirations as those in rich countries — to have the same chances and opportunities, good health care, clean running water in their homes and high-quality schools for their children. The problem is that their aspirations are blocked today — as the aspirations of black people were in apartheid South Africa — by extractive institutions. The poor don’t pull themselves out of poverty, because the basic ability to do so is denied them. You could see this in the protests behind the Arab Spring: those in Cairo’s Tahrir Square spoke in one voice about the corruption of the government, its inability to deliver public services and the lack of equality of opportunity. Poverty in Egypt cannot be eradicated with a bit more aid. As the protestors recognised, the economic impediments they faced stemmed from the way political power was exercised and monopolised by a narrow elite.

This is by no means a phenomenon confined to the Arab world. That the poor people in poor countries themselves understand their predicament is well illustrated by the World Bank’s multi-country project ‘Voices of the Poor’. One message that persistently comes across is that poor people feel powerless — as one person in Jamaica put it, ‘Poverty is like living in jail, living under bondage, waiting to be free.’ Another from Nigeria put it like this: ‘If you want to do something and have no power to do it, it is talauchi [poverty].’ Like black people in South Africa before 1994, poor people are trapped within extractive economic institutions.

But it is not just the poor who are thus trapped. By throwing away a huge amount of potential talent and energy, the entire society condemns itself to poverty.

The key to understanding and solving the problem of world poverty is to recognise not just that poverty is created and sustained by extractive institutions — but to appreciate why the situation arises in he first place. Again, South Africa’s experience is instructive. Apartheid was set up by whites for the benefit of whites. This happened because it was the whites who monopolised political power, just as they did economic opportunities and resources. These monopolies impoverished blacks and created probably the world’s most unequal country — but the system did allow whites to become as prosperous as people in developed countries.

The logic of poverty is similar everywhere. To understand Syria’s enduring poverty, you could do worse than start with the richest man in Syria, Rami Makhlouf. He is the cousin of President Bashar al-Assad and controls a series of government-created monopolies. He is an example of what are known in Syria as ‘abna al-sulta’, ‘sons of power’.

To understand Angola’s endemic poverty, consider its richest woman, Isabel dos Santos, billionaire daughter of the long-serving president. A recent investigation by Forbes magazine into her fortune concluded, ‘As best as we can trace, every major Angolan investment held by dos Santos stems either from taking a chunk of a company that wants to do business in the country or from a stroke of the president’s pen that cut her into the action.’ She does all this while, according to the World Bank, only a quarter of Angolans had access to electricity in 2009 and a third are living on incomes of less than $2 a day.

Recognising that poor countries are poor because they have extractive institutions helps us understand how best to help them. It also casts a different light on the idea of foreign aid. We do not argue for its reduction. Even if a huge amount of aid is siphoned off by the powerful, the cash can still do a lot of good. It can put roofs on schools, lay roads or build wells. Giving money can feed the hungry, and help the sick — but it does not free people from the institutions that make them hungry and sick in the first place. It doesn’t free them from the system which saps their opportunities and incentives. When aid is given to governments that preside over extractive institutions, it can be at best irrelevant, at worst downright counter-productive. Aid to Angola, for example, is likely to help the president’s daughter rather than the average citizen.

Many kleptocratic dictators such as Congo’s Mobutu Sese Seko have been propped up by foreign aid. And it wasn’t foreign aid that helped to undermine the apartheid regime in South Africa and got Nelson Mandela out of prison, but international sanctions. Those sanctions came from pressure on governments — including the British government — that would have preferred not to see them implemented.

Today it is no different. Governments don’t like cutting their ties to dictators who open doors for international business, or help their geopolitical agendas. Pressure needs to come from citizens who do care enough about international development to force politicians to overcome the easy temptation of short-run political expediency.

Making institutions more inclusive is about changing the politics of a society to empower the poor — the empowerment of those disenfranchised, excluded and often repressed by those monopolising power. Aid can help. But it needs to be used in such a way as to help civil society mobilise collectively, find a voice and get involved with decision-making. It needs to help manufacture inclusion.

This brings us back to David Cameron. When answering a question at New York University almost two years ago, he put it perfectly. ‘There is a huge agenda here,’ he said. It is time to ‘stop speaking simply about the quantity of aid’ and ‘start talking about what I call the “golden thread”.’ This, he explained, is his idea that long-term development through aid only happens if there is a ‘golden thread’ of stable government, lack of corruption, human rights, the rule of law and transparent information.

As the Prime Minister says, this is a very different thing to setting an aid spending target. Promoting his golden thread means using not just aid but diplomatic relations to encourage reform in the many parts of the world that remain in the grip of extractive institutions. It means using financial and diplomatic clout (and Britain has plenty of both) to help create room for inclusive institutions to grow. This may be a hard task — far harder than writing a cheque. But it is the surest way to make poverty history.

Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson are the authors of Why Nations Fail, which David Cameron last week declared one of his five favourite books of all time.
Read the full text of this article @:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9121361/why-aid-fails/

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 25 January 2014

Further references:

Amartya Sen: Poverty and the Tolerance of the Intolerable

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/economics/amartya-sen-poverty-and-the-tolerance-of-the-intolerable/#.UuhQB9LFLf9

http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/publiclecturesandevents/20130122_1830_povertyToleranceIntolerable.mp3

 

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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

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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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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

Economy: South Africa At Top Of wealth List For Africa, Ethiopia At Very Bottom January 8, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Oromummaa, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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Ethiopian is among the poorest  in Africa, while South Africa tops the continent’s list of wealth per capita, a new survey released on Tuesday showed.

South Africa’s wealth per person last year was $11,310, according to research by consultancy New World Wealth, which has offices in the UK and South Africa. South Africa’s wealth per person grew 169% from $4,200 in 2000. Ethiopia’s wealth per capita last year stood at $260.

This was  very far lower than that of Zimbabwe ($570), Tanzania ($450), Mozambique ($430) and Uganda ($360).
Wealth per capita is a measure of the net assets held by individuals including real estate, shares, business interests and intangibles, while excluding primary residences, according to the research released on Tuesday.

Libya ($11,040 wealth per capita), Tunisia ($8,400), Algeria ($6,250), Morocco ($5,780) and Egypt ($4,350) rank high on the list. Namibia, with per capita wealth of $10,500, and Botswana at $6,580 were among the top-ranked countries in Africa last year. This was, however, well below the global average of $27,600 and a fraction of that of the top-ranked countries such as Switzerland and Australia with wealth per capita of more than $250,000. When it comes to fastest-growing countries by economic growth per capita from 2000 to 2012, Angola tops the continental list, followed by Ghana and Zambia.

http://www.bdlive.co.za/economy/2014/01/08/sa-at-top-of-wealth-list-for-africa-zimbabwe-near-bottom

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/ethiopiathe-precarious-balance-of-economic-productutivity-and-corrupt-governance-ethiopia-amongst-worlds-least-competitive-countries/

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/01/daily-chart-3?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/dc/vi/topgrowers2014

http://issuu.com/world.bank.publications/docs/9780821396162

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The People Of South Sudan Deserve Better: Warlords Unfit To Mediate In South Sudan January 7, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, ICC, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, South Sudan, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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‘Ethiopia, like Uganda and the CAR, has a government that came to power through the use of military force. For over twenty years Ethiopia’s ruling party has used the army to suppress the political opposition while periodically rigging elections to remain in power.President Museveni and the IGAD leaders are not only supporting President Kiir, they are supporting themselves. The undemocratic way in which President Kiir runs the state and the SPLM is no different from how President Omar al Bashir runs Sudan, President Museveni rules Uganda, President Kabila stumbles along in the DRC and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn controls Ethiopia. They are not the right people to act as mediators.’ -Alex Obote-Odora, Consultant in International Criminal Law and Policy, Stockholm.
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The world’s newest nation, lies in a dangerous neighbourhood. It is surrounded by countries with leaders who are warlords, dictators and/or indicted for war crimes by the ICC.

These leaders have regrouped under the regional body IGAD. They blindly support President Kiir without first examining the root causes of the conflict and determining which party is at fault.

South Sudan needs honest brokers from amongst past and present leaders with high moral standing who respect human values—not the current tainted IGAD leaders.

The international community must not allow leaders investigated by the ICC for violations of serious international crimes to pretend to act like peace brokers. The people of South Sudan deserve better.

South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, lies in a dangerous neighbourhood. The ‘old’ Sudan, its most important and strategic neighbour, is headed by General Omar al-Bashir, an indicted war criminal at the International Criminal Court (ICC). He is busy pursuing his brand of peace with President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

South Sudan is one of the few countries he can visit without fear of arrest and transfer to the ICC. The Darfur conflict remains unresolved as women and children continue to be killed by his army and proxy militias.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is another unstable neighbour. The state is kept afloat by the United Nations peace-keeping force.

President Kabila faces a plethora of armed opposition groups; he used the ICC to get rid of his political opponents while protecting his soldiers and political allies from investigations and prosecutions. Since 1996, over five millions Congolese are believed killed by his army and by proxy militias of the governments of neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda.

The ICC is currently investigating situations in the DRC. Only a few weeks ago, one of the armed militias attempted, without success, to seize power by force in Kinshasa. In the process, many civilians were killed.

President Museveni, who seized political power in Uganda in 1986, has supervised the slaughter of more than 500,000 civilians in the various wars he has fought from Luwero, through eastern to northern Uganda. Outside Uganda, commanding the Uganda Peoples Defence Force (UPDF), President Museveni is responsible for many more civilians murders carried out by his soldiers and proxy militias in the DRC, South Sudan and the CAR.

Like General Kabila of DRC, General Museveni has also used the ICC to solve some of his political problems while fiercely defending members of the UPDF from investigation and prosecution by the ICC.

South Sudan’s other neighbour, the Central African Republic (CAR), is currently being ‘ruled’ by a war lord who cannot provide security even in the country’s capital, Bangui. The French and AU soldiers are responsible for keeping him in power.

Ethiopia, like Uganda and the CAR, has a government that came to power through the use of military force. For over twenty years Ethiopia’s ruling party has used the army to suppress the political opposition while periodically rigging elections to remain in power.

Like South Sudan, the so-called ‘liberation armies’ in Uganda, DRC and Ethiopia have transformed into ruling political parties without discarding their undemocratic and dictatorial tendencies.

The Kenyan situation is different from the traditional military regimes, but their leaders are currently facing charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC for the mass murders that took place after the 2007 presidential elections.

These leaders have regrouped under the Inter-Government Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional body in Eastern Africa. On 27 December 2013, at a meeting in Nairobi, primarily because of their track record, the IGAD leaders squandered an opportunity to demonstrate neutrality when they blindly supported President Kiir against Dr Riech Machar without first examining the root causes of the conflict and determining which party is at fault.

By issuing threats and taking sides with the principal antagonists, the IGAD leaders demonstrated their common dictatorial credentials and democratic deficit.

There is still a way out of the South Sudan political crisis which unfortunately is being addressed by military means. For a credible and lasting peace in South Sudan, individuals with high moral standing who respect human values from amongst past and present leaders need to be considered for appointment as mediators by the AU or the UN. South Sudan needs honest brokers and not the current tainted IGAD leaders.

One of the persons who enjoys respect from the antagonists is Kenya’s former foreign minister Mr Kilonzo Musyoka. He was a key player in the negotiations leading to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAP) that led to the creation of the Republic of South Sudan. Similarly, General Daniel Opande, another impartial participant at the negotiations leading to the CAP, is neutral and generally respected by the antagonists.

Former OAU Secretary General, Salim A Salim is another suitable candidate He has an excellent track record for tackling difficult problems during his tenure. Ghana’s former President Kuffor is yet another candidate with respectable democratic credentials.

Africa is not short of talented mediators. It is unreasonable for the AU to send war mongers to negotiate peace. What the AU and the UN can do for South Sudan is to look at stable countries with democratic credentials like Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Senegal or Tanzania and tap mediators from any of those countries.

On the other hand, it is neither shameful nor un-African to go outside the African continent and seek the best peace mediators from any part of the world. There are many competent and credible mediators in the Nordic region with excellent track record. They can provide the much needed neutrality in the Great Lakes Region in peace-making.

Occasionally mistakes are made and it is only natural to correct past mistakes. It was, for example, an error for the UN to request President Museveni to mediate in the South Sudan conflict. Uganda is already too involved in South Sudan going back to the mysterious death of John Garang. Uganda should be kept out of the South Sudan conflict.

President Museveni is neither an honest broker nor does he have democratic credentials. He is simply one of the many war lords on the Africa continent who has used force to achieve and retain political power. Over the years, he has tried to re-brand himself as a statesman but deep down, he remains a war lord.

Both his NRM and the SPLM are ‘liberation’ armies that failed to successfully transition to multi-party politics which accepts the separation of party and state. The NRM and the SPLM have remained undemocratic, dictatorial and has continued to use force, rig elections and retain power.

What Dr Machar demands in South Sudan is similar to demands made by Dr Kizza Besigye in Uganda: seeking reform of the electoral commission, an establishment of an impartial police force and an army with a national outlook. Instead, President Museveni has consistently threatened, arrested, tortured and detained Dr Besigye and other national politicians opposed to his regime. President Kiir is following his many bad examples.

President Museveni and the IGAD leaders are not only supporting President Kiir, they are supporting themselves. The undemocratic way in which President Kiir runs the state and the SPLM is no different from how President Omar al Bashir runs Sudan, President Museveni rules Uganda, President Kabila stumbles along in the DRC and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn controls Ethiopia. They are not the right people to act as mediators.

The international community must not allow leaders from the ‘ICC states’ that is, Uganda, Kenya, DRC, CAR, Sudan—countries that are currently being investigated by the ICC for violations of serious international crimes—to pretend to act like peaceful leaders seeking peace in that troubled country. The people of South Sudan deserve better.
Read  more at the original text @ http://naiforum.org/2014/01/warlords-unfit-to-mediate-in-south-sudan/

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South Sudan: Unmasked Wounds December 30, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dictatorship, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Language and Development, 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, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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“The elites inherited vast natural wealth and boundless international good will following the historic referendum, but they squandered both. They lapsed into a culture of corruption, conspicuous personal consumption and tribalistic political machinations. They have not been serious about democratization, institution-building or even the most basic service delivery, which they have preferred to outsource to foreign relief agencies. African leaders — backed by the United States and United Nations — have taken key steps toward pressuring South Sudan’s leaders to stop the war. But the deeper responsibility for creating a South Sudanese nation at peace with itself lies with the country’s own leaders.” -Abdul Mohammed and Alex de Waal, WP Opinions.

There is an opportunity to halt South Sudan’s slide into war and state failure, but it must be seized within days or it will be lost. This requires the leaders of South Sudan to rise above narrow, tribalistic, zero-sum politics and develop a national program. President Salva Kiir and other members of the country’s political elite — in government and in opposition, inside South Sudan and in the diaspora — must respond to this challenge now or go down in history as having betrayed their people.

Nine years ago, on Jan. 9, 2005, the Sudanese government and the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed a historic peace accord that brought an end to more than 20 years of war between northern and southern Sudan. That agreement culminated in a referendum, held from Jan. 9 to Jan. 15, 2011, in which the southern Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for independence. Africa and the international community welcomed the new Republic of South Sudan, hopeful that it would put this history of strife and suffering behind it.

But the peace agreement and the show of unity around independence masked many unhealed wounds. During those long years of civil war, the South Sudanese weren’t united, and their divisions exploded into a bloody internecine conflict in 1991 after SPLM officers challenged the leadership of Col. John Garang . The strife became a tribal war, mainly between ethnic Dinka and ethnic Nuer , involving massacres of civilians on both sides and mass starvation. The atrocities left deep scars.

For the following decade, leaders of churches and civil society and friends from abroad, including U.S. representatives, undertook a painstaking effort at “people-to-people peace” among South Sudanese communities. This task was incomplete when the 2005 north-south peace agreement was signed. Amid the euphoria of that peace and the work of reconstructing a war-ravaged land, President Kiir, who took over after Garang died in a helicopter crash in July 2005 , neglected to continue the necessary work of reconciliation. Instead, the wait for independence and plentiful oil revenues maintained a semblance of unity.

It is those unhealed wounds that are tearing South Sudan apart today.

Two years after achieving independence, a political dispute between President Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar erupted into the open. Kiir dismissed Machar and most of his cabinet. Two weeks ago, this dispute suddenly mutated from a contest over votes in the ruling bodies of the SPLM into a terrifyingly violent tribal conflict. The speed and vigor of ethnic mobilization not only threatens a widening war but also jeopardizes the very viability of the South Sudanese state.

African and international mediators are in a race against time to stem this tide. Once the political dispute descends completely into a fight for communal survival, foreign leverage disappears. Ethiopia and Kenya, acting on behalf of African nations, took key steps at a summit in Nairobi Friday to try to stop further violence. They called for a cease-fire and for the rights of 11 high-level political leaders arrested by the government to be respected. (Two were released on Saturday.) They affirmed the core African principles: no unconstitutional change in government and South Sudan must build a viable state. President Kiir stays, but he must negotiate.

Stopping the shooting is the immediate priority. But the mediators should not be content with patching together a ruling coalition and returning to business as usual in advance of scheduled elections in 2015. A power-sharing formula could become just another division of the spoils, and elections could become another exercise in ethnic division.

For too long, South Sudan’s leaders evaded their responsibilities by blaming their woes on the war and oppressive policies of the government in Khartoum. Now, having joined the club of nations, they must play by its rules. The United States, having given South Sudan the benefit of many doubts, is threatening to withhold aid if power is seized or held by force. That is quite correct. Any political process must take into account South Sudan’s unique and painful history. The biggest task is an all-inclusive national discussion on what it means to be a nation. The political elites should listen to the wisdom of pastors and civil society leaders, who are insisting that the politicians return to the path of dialogue and healing. The road to a viable state lies in national reconciliation.

The elites inherited vast natural wealth and boundless international good will following the historic referendum, but they squandered both. They lapsed into a culture of corruption, conspicuous personal consumption and tribalistic political machinations. They have not been serious about democratization, institution-building or even the most basic service delivery, which they have preferred to outsource to foreign relief agencies. Read the details in the following site:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/south-sudan-must-resolve-ethnic-conflicts-to-be-a-nation-at-peace/2013/12/29/65115c10-709f-11e3-8b3f-b1666705ca3b_story.html

Two weeks ago fighting broke out in Juba, the capital of the east African country that won independence from Sudan hardly two years ago. The violence quickly spread across the country, leaving at least 1,000 people dead. More than 100,000 are reportedly displaced, many seeking refuge in UN camps.High winds could slow Toronto’s ice storm recoveryVideo: High winds could slow Toronto’s ice storm recovery Toronto doing its best to restore power: Rob FordVideo: Toronto doing its best to restore power: Rob Ford It has also raised fears of an all-out civil war between the main Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups. “Political issues and tribalism are being used to pit South Sudanese against each other as our leaders fight for power,” Jal says. “Our country’s leadership hangs in the balance and ordinary citizens are paying for it with their lives.” “This is how genocide begins,” he adds.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/12/29/torontos_south_sudanese_community_urges_end_to_killing.html

South Sudan on the verge of civil war

http://www.theafricareport.com/East-Horn-Africa/south-sudan-on-the-verge-of-civil-war.html#.UrUykXHvJ4M.twitter

 

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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

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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

 

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Africa: The Time is not for Currency Unions December 9, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Corruption, Development, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Oromia, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Uncategorized.
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“If a region as rich as the euro zone has struggled to cope with such pressures, the likelihood that the poorer and less well-governed places hoping to adopt the eco could is tiny.”

‘Under the proposal an initial group of six countries will adopt the eco by 2015 (see map). Five years later the members of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (known as UEMOA, its French acronym), which currently share a currency called the West African CFA franc, are to adopt the eco too, creating a currency union of over 300m people. West African politicians are pushing for further integration because they, like most economists, argue that the single currency for UEMOA has been a qualified success. UEMOA member states are more fiscally disciplined than their neighbours outside the currency zone, says Cécile Couharde of the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. The French government currently underwrites the West African CFA franc by guaranteeing to convert it to euros at a ratio of one to 0.0015. That has provided a stability rare in African currencies. Monetary unions also simplify trade: UEMOA has more intraregional trade than any other region in Africa, according to an IMF paper. But the currency union has downsides. UEMOA economies move at different speeds. According to research by Romain Houssa, at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, economic changes are poorly correlated between member states. From 2007 to 2012, the IMF found, the correlation between the business cycle of Senegal, a country with strong trade links outside the zone, and the other countries in UEMOA was almost zero. Consequently, a UEMOA-wide interest rate is not ideal: as in the euro zone, some countries end up with the wrong rate. And an inflexible exchange rate makes economic adjustment difficult. From 2000 to 2012 average annual growth in output in UEMOA countries was about half that of comparable sub-Saharan economies, according to Gianluigi Giorgioni of Liverpool University. Whereas UEMOA’s currency union has drawbacks, the proposed eco zone may have fatal flaws. It would encompass even more economic diversity. Nigeria in particular stands out. Its economy is huge by its neighbours’ standards. UEMOA’s GDP is about $75 billion; Nigeria’s is about $260 billion. The GDP of the next-biggest economy in the region, Ghana, is about $40 billion. And the Nigerian economy is unusual. Unlike most other West African countries it is heavily dependent on oil, which accounts for over a third of output, according to data from the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. IMF research shows that Nigeria’s balance of trade tends to move in the opposite direction to its neighbours’—they are largely importers of oil. During periods of high oil prices Nigeria may push for interest-rate rises. That would be disastrous for other eco-zone economies, which are likely to be gasping for lower rates. To make matters worse the eco might be vulnerable to speculative attack. France would be unlikely to guarantee it, reckons Mr Giorgioni, as the liabilities would be large and the countries involved are not former French colonies. Without such support, investors would be nervous. Any fiscal laxity would be punished. If a region as rich as the euro zone has struggled to cope with such pressures, the likelihood that the poorer and less well-governed places hoping to adopt the eco could is tiny.’

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21591246-continent-mulls-merging-currencies-ever-closer

“In the run-up to achieving a common currency, the East African Community (EAC) nations aim to harmonise monetary and fiscal policies and establish a common central bank. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda already present their budgets simultaneously every June. The plan by the region of about 135 million people, a new frontier for oil and gas exploration, is also meant to draw foreign investment and wean EAC countries off external aid. “The promise of economic development and prosperity hinges on our integration,” said Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. “Businesses will find more freedom to trade and invest more widely, and foreign investors will find additional, irresistible reasons to pitch tent in our region,” said Kenyatta, leader of the biggest economy in east Africa.Kenyatta, who is due to face trial at the International Criminal Court on crimes against humanity charges in February, took over the chairmanship of the bloc from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, hosting the summit.Kenya has launched a $13.8 billion Chinese-built railway that aims to cut transport costs, part of regional plans that also include building new ports and railways. Landlocked Uganda and Kenya have discovered oil, while Tanzania has vast natural gas reserves, which require improved infrastructure and foreign investment so they can be exploited. Tanzania, where the bloc’s secretariat is based, has complained that it has been sidelined in discussions to plan these projects, but Kenyatta said the EAC was still united. Kenneth Kitariko, chief executive officer at African Alliance Uganda, an investment advisory firm, said the monetary union would boost efficiency in the region’s economy estimated at about $85 billion in combined gross domestic product.”In a monetary union, the absence of currency risk provides a greater incentive to trade,” he said.Kitariko said, however, that achieving a successful monetary union would require convergence of the union’s economies, hinting that some challenges lay ahead.”Adjusting to a single monetary and exchange rate policy is an inescapable feature of monetary union … but this will take time and may be painful for some,” he said, referring to the fact that some countries may struggle to meet agreed benchmarks.” http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/11/east-african-nations-agree-monetary-union-20131130175336476127.html

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Ethiopia’s Land Grabs And Endangered Communities: The Indigenous People Excluded from ‘Rapid Growth’ November 11, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dictatorship, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Land Grabs in Africa, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Theory of Development, Tyranny.
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OThe ethnic communities living along Ethiopia’s Omo River and depend on annual flooding to practice flood retreat cultivation for their survival and livelihood. Credit: Ed McKenna/IPS

The ethnic communities living along Ethiopia’s Omo River and depend on annual flooding to practice flood retreat cultivation for their survival and livelihood. Credit: Ed McKenna/IPS

‘The government already has trouble managing hunger and poverty [among] its citizenry. By taking over land and water resources in the Omo Valley, it is creating a new class of ‘internal refugees’ who will no longer be self-sufficient.’

OMO VALLEY, Ethiopia, Nov 11 2013 (IPS) – As the construction of a major transmission line to export electricity generated from one of Ethiopia’s major hydropower projects gets underway, there are growing concerns that pastoralist communities living in the region are under threat.

The Gibe III dam, which will generate 1,800 megawatts (MW), is being built in southeast Ethiopia on the Omo River at a cost of 1.7 billion dollars. It is expected to earn the government over 400 million dollars annually from power exports. On completion in 2015 it will be the world’s fourth-largest dam.

“We are being told to stop moving with our cattle, to stop wearing our traditional dressand to sell our cattle. Cattle and movement is everything to the Mursi.” — Mursi elder
But the dam is expected to debilitate the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of indigenous communities in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo Valley and those living around Kenya’s Lake Turkana who depend on the Omo River.

The Bodi, Daasanach, Kara, Mursi, Kwegu and Nyangatom ethnic communities who live along the Omo River depend on its annual flooding to practice flood-retreat cultivation for their survival and livelihoods.

But the semi-nomadic Mursi ethnic community are being resettled as part of the Ethiopian government’s villagisation programme to make room for a large sugar plantation, which will turn roaming pastoralists into sedentary farmers. The hundreds of kilometres of irrigation canals currently being dug to divert the Omo River’s waters to feed these large plantations will make it impossible for the indigenous communities to live as they have always done.

“We are being told that our land is private property. We are very worried about our survival as we are being forced to move where there is no water, grass or crops,” a Mursi community member told IPS.

The Omo Valley is set to become a powerhouse of large commercial farming irrigated by the Gibe III dam. To date 445,000 hectares have been allocated to Malaysian, Indian and other foreign companies to grow sugar, biofuels, cereals and other crops.

“The Gibe III will worsen poverty for the most vulnerable. The government already has trouble managing hunger and poverty [among] its citizenry. By taking over land and water resources in the Omo Valley, it is creating a new class of ‘internal refugees’ who will no longer be self-sufficient,” Lori Pottinger from environmental NGO International Rivers told IPS.

Top global financiers, including the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), have committed 1.2 billion dollars to a 1,070 km high-voltage line that will run from Wolayta-Sodo in Ethiopia to Suswa, 100 km northwest of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The transmission line, powered by Ethiopia’s Gibe III, will connect the country’s electrical grid with Kenya and will have a capacity to carry 2,000 MW between the two countries.

According to the AfDB, it will promote renewable power generation, regional cooperation, and will ensure access to reliable and affordable energy to around 870,000 households by 2018.

According to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s economy is set to maintain a growth rate of 11 percent in 2014. Fully exploiting its massive water resources to generate a hydropower potential of up to 45,000 MW in order to sell surplus electricity to its neighbours is central to Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation plan, a five-year plan to develop the country’s economy.

The Horn of Africa nation currently generates 2,000 MW from six hydroelectric dams and invests more of its resources in hydropower than any other country in Africa – one third of its total GNP of about 77 billion dollars.

According to a World Bank report published in 2010, only 17 percent of Ethiopia’s 84.7 million people had access to electricity at the time of the report. By 2018, 100 percent of the population will have access to power, according to state power provider Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO).

“We are helping mitigate climate risk of fossil fuel consumption and also reduce rampant deforestation rates in Ethiopia. Hydropower will benefit our development,” Miheret Debebe, chief executive officer of EEPCO, told IPS.

The Ethiopian government insists that the welfare of pastoralist communities being resettled is a priority and that they will benefit from developments in the Omo Valley. “We are working hard to safeguard them and help them to adapt to the changing conditions,” government spokesperson Shimeles Kemal told IPS.

However, there are concerns that ethnic groups like the Mursi are not being consulted about their changing future. “If we resist resettlement we will be arrested,” a Mursi elder told IPS.

“We fear for the future. Our way of life is under threat. We are being told to stop moving with our cattle, to stop wearing our traditional dress and to sell our cattle. Cattle and movement is everything to the Mursi.”

The importance of ensuring that benefits from Ethiopia’s national development projects do not come at a price of endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands pastoralist tribes is critical said Ben Braga, president of the World Water Council. Braga decried governments that failed to compensate communities like the Mursi as displacement of surrounding communities is always an inevitable consequence of major dams that need plenty of advanced planning to avoid emergencies.

“How can we compensate these people so that the majority of the country can benefit from electricity? There is a need for better compensatory mechanisms to ensure that benefits are shared and that all stakeholders are included in consultations prior to construction,” he told IPS.

Read more at the original source:http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/11/ethiopias-indigenous-excluded-from-rapid-growth/?utm_source=ipsnews&utm_medium=twitter

‘Foreign investors are taking as much as they can from an impoverished nation, including its crops, land and the hard work of an Ethiopian population, to serve their own interests above others. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 14.56 million hectares of Ethiopia’s 100 million hectare land mass is arable land, most of it cultivated by small hold, subsistence farmers. International investors have taken note and are rushing to this country, once synonymous with starvation, to take advantage of the government’s new push to improve its agricultural production capacity. But many fear the government’s sale of arable land to foreign nationals will create a modern form of agricultural colonialism. One such arrangement, launched in 2009 under Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah initiative and forming part of a $100-million investment scheme in Ethiopian agriculture, had farmers grow teff (a North African cereal grass), white wheat, maize and white sorghum, among other crops, before these were exported back to the Gulf region. The Economist referred to it as an instance of a “powerful but contentious trend sweeping the poor world”, further saying that countries which export capital but import food are outsourcing farm production to countries that need capital but which have land to spare. According to Human Rights Watch, in less than five years Ethiopia has approved more than 800 foreign-financed agricultural projects. The watchdog group further said that from 2008 to 2011, the Ethiopian government leased out no less than 3.8 million hectares to foreign investors, displacing local inhabitants and resulting in tens of thousands of internally displaced persons who are often forced to migrate to urban areas. The majority of land acquisitions occur in government-to-government deals. In the past, Saudi officials and closely tied sovereign wealth funds negotiated with former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, while presently, such discussions take place with the ruling coalition of his successor, Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe. Supporters argue that such deals increase production efficiency and improve economic outlooks but only if investors are willing to pay a fair price. In 2011, Oxfam reported that Middle Eastern and Far Eastern investors were purchasing plots in developing countries, including Ethiopia, for as little as $1 per hectare. That same year, Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc leased 10,000 hectares for a bargain price of $9.42 per hectare annually for the next 60 years. (Saudi Star, a food company owned by Ethiopian and Saudi Arabian billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi, and which forms part of the Derba group, produces sugar, rice and edible oil. The company is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.) Advocacy groups from Spain and the US commented that the government sponsored deal had caused human rights violations as well as the forceful relocation of hundreds of thousands of residents, including the Nuek and Anuak indigenous groups. The government retorted by saying that the resettlement plan was acted out voluntarily on behalf of residents. Saudi Star claims that it acted in good faith and that the benefits of the land deal – including improvements to regional infrastructure – outweighed the consequences, despite scepticism. Fikru Desalegn, former State Minister of Capacity Building in the Ethiopian federal government and current CEO of Saudi Star, played down the negative connotations associated with the controversial foreign investment. He said there was “nobody in the 10,000 hectares” and that the company had “not paid any compensation” but that the possibility of employment opening up would “teach the public it is very useful for them”. In July 2012, the Derba Group announced plans for an additional 300,000-hectare development project in the fertile region of Gambela. While no figures have been released, industry experts suspect that the lease was contracted below cost, generating approximately $923 million per annum for the consortium. The company intends to export the majority of the crops harvested, with 45 percent destined for Jeddah.’ http://www.ventures-africa.com/2013/11/land-grabs-in-africa-a-double-edged-sword/?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer675be&utm_medium=twitter

 

‘From Senegal in West Africa to Ethiopia in the Horn, and down to Mozambique in the South, land considered idle and available has changed hands, with profound implications for local people and the environment. With estimates ranging from 56 to 227 million hectares globally (with 60-70% of this in Africa), what is clear is a rapid transformation of landholding and agricultural systems has taken place in the past five to 10 years. Underpinning these deals is the longstanding failure of many African states to recognise, in law and practice, the customary land rightsof existing farming households and communities, and the perpetuation of the colonial legal codes that centralise control over such lands in the hands of the state as trustee of all unregistered property. And it’s not just African land and water that are now so desirable for international investors, but also the growing African consumer market. In the face of growing urbanisation and consumer demand in Africa’s cities, the challenge is to scale up production and connect small farmers to markets, lest the benefits of rising food demand in Africa’s cities be netted by importers and foreign supermarkets. The land grab raises questions not only about land rights and transparency in investment, but also what constitutes inclusive agricultural development and how to bring it about.’ Read further @http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jan/23/land-deals-africa-farming-investment?CMP=twt_gu

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2013 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2013. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

The New Scramble for Africa: Poverty, Guns And The Weapons Market September 15, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Uncategorized.
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The world  OutLine states  Africa  is going to spend over $20bn on defence projects over the coming decade. ‘As the European defence market becomes ever more bereft of big spenders and Asian markets face strong competition from China, Africa’s 54 states will make the last major geopolitical frontier for defence companies.’ It has been reported that whilst  for various reasons there is undoubtedly significant  demand for the latest  weaponry in the region,  large-scale arms contracts  do raise questions over the future of a continent already stricken with poverty and permanent violence. It is well known  Africa is run by dictators and human rights abusers. Defence contractors with out doubt  are always  looking to  maximize  profits and increase their trade,  however, it is not clear whether ethical considerations will be in place  in providing such  weapons  in the continent run by unaccountable politicians and unelected tyrants engaging in militarism, e.g Ethiopia, Rwanda and Sudan. It is worrying  that scarce   public  money will continue to  be diverted from social and economic investment and  wasted into arms deals. ‘The UN has warned that 22 of the 24 lowest Human Development Index nations are in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in some instances GDP per capita is less than $200 a year. However, pumping aid into the region is not necessarily the answer. A 2005 report suggested that a staggering proportion of the $500bn of aid sent to Africa over the last forty years has been embezzled through corrupt institutions; the so-called ‘leaky begging bowl’. It would be interesting to know how much of this will fund armaments over the next decade.’ http://theworldoutline.com/2013/09/africa/

 

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/

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