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Ateetee:The divinity for motherhood and fecundity in Oromo mythology December 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ancient African Direct Democracy, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Culture, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Meroetic Oromo, Nubia, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, Sirna Gadaa, State of Oromia, The Goddess of Fecundity, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library.
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O

 

 

 

Yaa Maaraam furootu gahee

Waliin nu Gahee

Emmoo yaa obbolee emmoo

 

 

 

Maaram is believed to be the divinity of women. Maaram was created by Waaqa and
addressed as haadha boor (the mother of ocean). I think this is to indicate that Maaram
came to the Oromo from outside. The Oromo believe that Mooram is the mother of a
child. The Oromo women perform traditional ceremonies in respect of Maaram. It is
believed that Maaram will help barren women to beget a child, and help pregnant
women to give birth to a child. When a woman gives birth to a child Oromo women will
gather and ululate (say ilili ilili). They also prepare porridge, and splash butter. It is
normal for the Oromo to sacrifice an animal during this ceremony. Moreover, Maaram
is worshipped for the health of the environment, animals, human beings and crops.
The Oromo Qoolluu leaders pray to Maaram every two weeks for the continuation of
offspring of humans. Maaram has her own ritual house. Ritual goods include Jaaloo
(earthen caldron), and Qoloo (traditional shirt). It has also madabii (raised platform of
Earth). The dancing ceremony is performed on Tuesdays, Thursdays,. and Saturdays.

Some writers have explained the nature of Ateetee and Maaram. Knutsson states that the  names Ateetee and Maaram are used interchangeably for the same kind of being (Kmitsson 1967,55). Daniel states that  the various songs of Ateetee imply that “[a]teete is a ceremony prepared for Ayyolee, Maaram and Waaqa as thanksgiving by those who have children and a lamentation by the barren women” (Daniel 1984, 111). Bartels, however, questioned this assertion. To the Oromo of Western Matcha, Ateetee is the name of the ritual in which Maaram is invoked (Bartels 1983). Baxter (1979) had similar observation concerning the belief of the Arsi Oromo. For Cerulli, Ateetee is conceived as the goddess of fecundity (Cerulli 1922,127; Harris 1968,50).

– http://www.ossrea.net/publications/images/stories/ossrea/ssrr-19-p-3.pdf

In the traditional Oromo society, women played distinct roles through an institution called the Siiqqee (a symbolic decorated stick given to all women by their mothers upon marriage). This is an exclusively women’s solidarity institution sanctioned by tradition and respected by society. It is a sort of sorority that provides women with channels to participate in village councils, and a cultural vehicle to mobilize en masse against violence and abuse. Infringement of certain rights that women enjoy is regarded as an attack on human rights. In the event of violation of their rights, women take out the Siiqqee and mobilize to fight for the respect of rights, and for any perpetrator of abuse to be tried by society. The use of Siiqqee draws an enormous religious, ritual and moral authority and in the pursuit of peace and social tranquility. According to tradition peace is not merely the absence of war, but a constant state of unity and cooperation among the people as well as harmony with God and nature, with the power to bless or curse. Historically, women as a sector of society were designated as strangers and excluded from the Gadaa structures and rituals, but, they stuck together through the Siiqqee counting on one another within this common sorority. –http://oromowomensinternationalconferenceonline.com/general-information.html

http://http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/interesting-messages-obtained-from-facebook/

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/interesting-messages-obtained-from-facebook/

http://portal.svt.ntnu.no/sites/ices16/Proceedings/Volume%203/Marit%20Tolo%20%C3%98steb%C3%B8%20-%20Wayyuu%20%E2%80%93%20Women%E2%80%99s%20Respect%20and%20Rights.pdf

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gCxLwdmLNMIC&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=siiqqee+Oromo+institution&source=bl&ots=TFj2Y7vo_G&sig=IrqVfrNe8PKIgo2ZCTkL0DtVtJE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=TxSwU8DwBYiK1AWaoYH4BQ&ved=0CCYQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=siiqqee%20Oromo%20institution&f=false

http://www.academia.edu/4604793/Qaallu_Institution_A_theme_in_the_ancient_rock-paintings_of_Hararqee-implications_for_social_semiosis_and_history_of_Ethiopia

http://www.slideshare.net/chalihundu/oromo-peoplehood-historical-and-cultural-overview

http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1080&context=utk_socopubs

http://zelalemkibret.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/jos-volume-4-numbers-12-1997.pdf

Weedduu Maaram / Weedduu Ateetee

(Translation: Zelelaem Aberra Tesfa)

http://www.zelealemaberra.com/?page_id=388

 

In Oromo mythology, the divinity for motherhood and fecundity is Ateetee or Maaram. Maaram or Ateetee is invoked and praised on birth-rituals. In addition, women prepare a feast and invoke Her, praise Her kindness so that they could be fertile, healthy, prosperous, and happy (Bartles, 1990,124; Cerulli 1917, 127, Tilahun Gamta, 2004,101)

Atoomaa hardhoo Maarami!
Maa mukoofna yee!

Yaa Maaram yaa Maaramii,
Wallaalaaf araarami.
Yaa Maaram, yaa kuullee koo,
Kottu taa’i fuullee koo.

Ciniinsuu afaa butuu
Miixuu dagalee butuu
Da’anii mucaa butuu
Iddoo ciniinsuu kee tii
Guddeen kun kan kee ti.

Yaa deessuu waalluu kobe,
Maaramtu boroo gonfe,
Dhirsatu balbalaa kolfe.
Yaa dhabduu waalluu moojoo
Dhirsatu aaree guungume,
Maaramtu boroo sokkee.

Utuun Balasiin ta’e,
Balas Boongaa ta’e,
Dhabaadhaaf mirgan kenna;
ittiin haa doorsifatu.
Utuun Maaramiin ta’e,
Maaram giiftii ta’e,
Dhabduudhaaf ilman kenna,
Dhirsa haadoorsifattu.

Yaa Maaram, yaa Maaramee
Dhabduudhaaf araarami mee.
Yaa Maaram godeettii koo
Yaa dhiiga toleettii koo
Yaa Maaram marmaartuu koo
Yaa hiika gargaartuu koo.
Aayyoleen walii lama
Tokkoo ishee carii gamaa
Tokko ishee asii kana.

Akka abbaa fardaa beeka
Irraangadee kaachisa
Akka abbaa warraa beeka
Niiti deessuu caalchisa
Gaangoo jedhee na cabsee
Gindoo saa nabaachisa
Yaa maaram hundaaf giiftii
Rakkoo kiyya naaf hiiki
Yookaan ilmaa naa kennii,
Beekaattan moggaafadha
Yookaan durba naa kennii
Beektuuttin moggaafadha
Yookaan dua naa kennii
Waayeekoon obbaafadhaa.

Get-together, for today is Maaram
Let us rejoice, throw away the boredom!

O Maaram, O dear Maaram,
Reconcile, with us who lack wisdom.
Maaram with beautiful eyes, O Maaram,
Have a sit, in front of me, please come!

When in pain, the mattress one clutches
When in labour, the wall one clutches
After delivery, a baby one snatches!
In return for your labour pain
Here, the little one is your gain.

O prolific woman, your clothes smell bad,
But Maaram has adorned your backyard,
The husband laughs from the front yard.
O sterile woman, with beautiful dress
Your husband furiously grumbles,
For your backyard, Maaram avoids.

If I were Balas,
That Balas of Boongaa,
To a bad-shooter his trophies I give;
So he could boast about it with relief.
If I were Maaram,
Our great lady Maaram,
A son I would give to the sterile woman,
So she could intimidate her man.

O Maaram, my dear Maaram
Be merciful to the childless.
O Maaram, with beauty and grace
You have revered blood in your face
O Maaram, you are my commuter [between me and God]
My parturifacient mother.
Two kinds of mothers are there
One is far across the river [The biological one]
The other one is the one here. [Maaram]

I know a rider’s thought and will
He gallops down the hill
I know a husband’s thought
He loves the prolific wife the most;
He equates me to a mule, dry and bare
and makes me carry his ploughshare.
O Maaram every women’s’ queen
Resolve this problem for me
Either grant me a baby boy
I call him “he the wise”
Either grant me a baby girl
I call her “she the wise”
Or either give me death
So I could get done with my worries.

 

The following stanza is taken from a birth song:

Odoshaa gofaa ka’u
Sareen agartee laata?
Agartee nyaattee laata?
Dhabduu ishee mucaaf boossu,
Yeelalaa fayyaaf boowu,
Adeemsa mirgaa boowuu
Maareen agartee laata?
Agartee laattee laata?

Ililleen Waaqa akka
Ililcheen Waaqiin kadha;
Gabaa shaqaxxuu faaqi
Anoo sagadduu Waaqi!

Loome qoraan karaa
Yomiree wal agarraa?
Bor guyyaa afaan waaree
Loonee wal agarra.

Garbuu kaballaa tokko
Manteessuun akaawwatte
Kan maseente ittiin horte
Kan deesse lakkaawwatte.

Deessuun akka naan jette
Mucaa koo hinargin jette
Diinqa koo hindarbin jette.
Maali yoon diinqa shee darbee?
Maali yoon mucaa shees argee?
Mucaa sheef argaan laadha
Garaa koof marqaan nyaadha
Jabbisheetu gola miti
Mucasaheen dhora miti.

Yaa dhabduu anaa nyaatu
Ulfooftee gumaa hin nyaannee
Deesse gumaata hindhugne.
Dhagaa kakatta guutuu
Rarra’etu wal baachise
Dhabduun dawuu hinjibbine
Maaramtu wal caalchise

Yaa deessuu waalluu qobe
Ayyaanni boroo gonfe.
Yaa dhabduu waalluu moojoo
Ayyaanni boroo sokke.

Yaa dhabduu masoo dhirsa
Dhirsatu dhaanu hawwee.
Yaa saree eegee dabbasaa
Kan quufee Waaqiin darbata
Kan Maaram namaa gootu
Haati ofii namaa hingootu.
Sibiila mutaa gootee
Kan djiiga mucaa gootee.

Baddaan qullubbii hinqabu
Muree laga dhaabbata
Kan kee dhukkubbii hinqabu
Turtee nama yaadattaa.
Araarfanne yaa maaram
Sirraa deenyee.
Gadi jedheen xaafii haamaa
Ol jedheen Waaqiin waama

An old horse’s rise from the stable,
I wonder if dogs have seen it and been able?
To have eaten it, and then did settle?
Cry of a baby-longing childles
Lament of a health-longing patient
A trophy-longing hunter’s plight
I wonder if Maaree have seen?
If She has seen and granted!

Ululation for Waaqa is a must
I ululate and beseech Waaqa;
Market of the taxing tanner
I am Waaqa’s earnest prayer!

The Loomee firewood of the street
When do you think we could meet?
Tomorrow, around mid-day
We will meet slipping away.

A handful of barley
That a widow parched and eat
the sterile prospered with it
the prolific counted it. [To equally divide.]

You know what the prolific said?
“Do not see my baby.” she said
“Do not enter my inner-room” she said.
What if I enter her inner-room?
What if I see her baby?
To her baby, I give a gift
To my stomach, porridge I eat.
No calf is kept in her inner-room,
She thinks I pine her child, I presume.

What a pity for the sterile lady
She could not get pregnant and eat a hunk of meat
She could not deliver and have showers of gift.
Abundance of rock and escarpment
Is hanging and piling up
The sterile did not hate giving birth
It is Maaram that un equalizes.

The prolific with smelly skirt
Her backyard is full of spirit.
But, the childless in a pretty skirt
Her backyard is devoid of spirit.

The sterile, the husband’s name-sake
The husband wishes to punish her.
O dog with a hairy tail
The over-fed hurls at Waaqa
The favour Maaram does for one
One’s own mother would not do.
She turned iron to needles
She turned blood to a baby that toddles.

The high land does not have onion
They cut and plant in the valley;
Your delay is not offensive
for you compensate gradually.
Reconciliation with you, O Maaram
You gave us deliverance.
I bow down and harvest xaafi [food plant]
I rise up and invoke Waaqi

Iyya Siiqqee

Hoga iyya Siiqqee

Ilmaan hidda Horoo,

Guchuma baattee siida Ateetee
Siiqqeen iyyite seenaaf godaante

Safuuf nagaa waaqa tokkichaan dursa
Na ofkolchaa iyya Siiqqeefan tumsaa
Godaana siiqqeefan imimman robsa!

Safuu! Hoga iyya Siiqqeef
kan mandiisu akka bakakkaa
Safuu! Godaana faana Siiqqeef
Seenaa hin duune, kan hin qabne fakkii fi akka!

Uggum! Hoga iyya Siiqqeef
Iyya eenyummaa – diroon fufe gumaaf birmatu
Uggum! Godaana faana Siiqqeef
Adeemsa seenaa – qaraan-qara hin dhaabbatu

Hoo dhommoqxes Siiqqeen hin cabdu
Harooressa hin haanxoftu – gogdee hin baddu

Ni latti akka coqorsaa – jilbeeffattee dhukaan riqxee
Ni lalisti akka saardoo – margee leensa diroon cobxee
Ni daraarti akka keelloo – kuusaa aadaan booka naqxee

Sarara ulumaa Siiqqeen hareeroo
Hormata eenyummaa seenaa iyya Horoo
Duudhaa ganamaa irkoo fi utubaa boroo
Jandoo baaxii galma suuqa sororoo
Siiqqeen hin baddu dagaleen Gadaa
Kanaaf iyyatti – qabattee guchuuma aadaa!

Kan Waaqni mildhate Ayyaantuun eebbaa
Eenyummaaf birmadhu jamaan kaabaa fi kibbaa
Hoga dabarsaa, bahaa fi lixaa seenaa utubaa
Seenaa iyya Siiqqeef goonni dhiiga roobaa!

Kuusaa Oromummaa fi Hooda Ayyaantuu
Bir’uu eenyummaaf Siiqqeef birmatu!
Gadaan quufaa fi gabbina
Gabbisi ya Waaq, keenniif humna!

Humna Siiqqee kan hin cabne
Humna Gadaa kan hin dabne
Humna Oromummaa kan hin banne
Dilbii- Kuusaa kan hin dhumne
Seenaa boonsaa eenyummaa abdanne!

Gadaan gabbina Siiqqeen hareeroo
Gabbisi yaa waaq nurraa cabsi roorroo!

http://waaqeffannaa.org/iyya-siiqqee/

 

Oromo and Greek based Democracies

By Ibsaa Guutama

This article is for those who did not have the opportunity to know how democracy evolved in human society. Democracy is only one type of government supposedly based on the will of the masses. There had been other types of government like monarchy or aristocracy, dictatorship or autocracy and totalitarian. One can find overlapping characters in all these. So what ever form we may talk about we have to expect element of one in the other. For much, democracy is an ideal type of government but not all proclaimed democracies are fully pro-people. Here the writer is trying to introduce the essence of both Western and Oromo democracy in an easy way.  For those who are well versed in theory and practice of democracy this is an opportunity to enrich this work for the benefit of the youth. In particular the young generation that is showing pride in its historic past from oral tradition if armed with the facts may show more interest and start to inquire about it. To prepare the following information in addition to oral tradition and experience this writer was exposed to, the books: Gadaa and Oromo Demokrasii by Asmirom Laggasaa, The Oromo by De Salviac as translated by  Qannoon, Folk Litrature by Ceruuli, Aadaa Booranaa by Ton Leus, Ethiopia through Russian Eyes by Bulatovich and Wikiipedia from internet  were refered to.

Short note on Western Democracy 
Democracy is a term frequently heard from lips of everyone to express equality, justice and liberty in one word. There are no governments that do not claim to follow democratic principles in their governance. Even totalitarian states call themselves “democratic republics” (probably with exception of fascism) in spite of flagrant violation of their subjects’ rights. Just like true democrats they talk about the inviolability of people’s and human rights and respect for the rule of law and fair and free election.  They claim that it is to protect these rights on behalf of the masses when they take what are inhuman actions for others. Their founding documents are full of borrowed phrases from ideal democracies. Democratic governmental structures are adopted minus their functions from different countries.

Democratic models many emulate are American governmental structure with its system of separation of powers. The functions of legislature, executive and judiciary are separated into three branches in such a way that one can check on excesses of the other to maintain the balance of power. The executive or President and the legislative or members of Congress are elected directly by the people. Members of the Supreme Court are nominated by the president and endorsed by the legislature for life. The other models are Parliamentary Democracy where the executive is elected by the legislature. Those can be its members or non elected persons that are answerable to it. Britain and European governments fall under this. They have mainly different styles of organization. Still others are traditional rulers blended with modern jargons.

All these claim their objective to be safeguarding peoples’ democratic interests. The term democracy is a legacy of ancient Greek city state, Athens. It is derived from Greek demokratia which means government of the people (“demos”, people, and “kratos”, power).  In this aspect “people” for Athens includes only male citizens above 20 years of age. That does not include women, children under 20, those not born in the city state and slaves.

In the city state all those qualified had the right to be present at meetings and participate in deliberations directly. That is why it is now referred to as direct democracy. After many modifications it has reached the present level of modern Western democracy. Here people elect representatives that participate in deliberations on its behalf. The two methods of electing representatives are plurality and proportional voting systems. In the first one with the highest vote is elected even if one represents minority of voters. The second shares votes in proportion of the votes parties got in overall election. Those are the features of modern indirect democracy. In both not all electorates are represented.

Now in most cases men and women above certain age have the right to vote depending on the law of each democratic country. The right to vote for women was achieved, for example, for Switzerland in 1971 on federal level and 1990 at Canton levels. It took a long time and a relentless struggle to attain universal suffrage. Though all accept these basics of democracy the structure and function of elected offices are not yet standardized and methods of elections fall short of including every voter’s voices. For example if hundred people vote for three persons and two of them got thirty votes each and the third one gets forty he/she wins the whole thing. That leaves 60 persons unrepresented. Proportional representation may improve this but cannot totally correct it. Here seats are divided in proportion to votes parties got overall.

For African countries democracy was imposed on them by departing colonial masters that keep on insisting to this day not to abandon it even if it was a fake one. Africans did not participate to construct a government relevant to their culture and tradition. Even those who later wanted to introduce amendments tried to mix the various world systems instead of looking into their own history and tradition and make it reflect national personality or psyche.  As copy and eclectic as it is, it is understood only by elites who themselves are copies of colonial culture.

They rule the way they wanted, constitutions are only window dressings. On the other hand the West had modified the concept of democracy in such a way that it fits their particular national needs not as it was practiced by Athenians or any other pioneer democracies. Therefore there is no one common blueprint for it.

Had it not excluded a segment of the population Athenian democracy could have been an ideal one where the concern of every member is taken care of. Much has been tried to approximate that but the world did not yet achieve flawless democracy. Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address “Government of the people, by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth.” reflects that aspiration. The question to be answered is who are the people that influence decisions, are they really the people or oligarchs?  Though the ideal is not yet achieved there are those that had come nearer and worth emulating. Had Oromo democracy been able to answer that question?

Be as it may there are certain basics that underlie every governance of those that claim to be democratic. Principles like equality, freedom, fair and free election; rule of law and respect for people’s and individual rights run through all of them. Even dictators and totalitarian government claim to apply these principles in their own way.   Thus these are universally accepted principles of governance though malpractice is rampant in so many countries. Ethiopian rulers had tried to adopt constitutionalism under pressure against their established tradition.  The emperor had instituted a semblance of Westminster parliament without political parties. His successor (Darg) had one party state. The next (Wayyaanee) is a pseudo multiparty system but only its party is destined to win.

Be him the last emperor or the two dictators after him used democratic phraseology to cover up their core authoritarian values. Their inherited autocratic practices could not go away. The Habashaa in most part of their own history were ruled by forces that come through coup d’états violently or outlaws overthrowing the preceding government. That was so before they formed the empire and remained so even after it.  All the three came to power overthrowing their predecessors. The first two staged coup d’états the third was an outlaw.

It was not consensus but brut force that kept that highland kingdom together under one crown. Democracy assumes one man one vote in a fair and free election that should be carried out periodically. Democracy is the rule of majority. Who ever gets most of the votes comes to power. In numbers they are the minority in the empire and are scared of others outnumbering them at the ballot box. They have no confidence of winning an election by strength of their platform and performance. Therefore they believe that many opportunities would be at stake if they really change from the old ways bowing down for democratic principles. The situation makes the rulers greedy, self centered, chauvinistic and paranoid that they believe only in their own ways and wisdom and are not permeable to new possibilities.  They do not believe that even their own people would elect them in a democratic election.  That is why human right abuse became their trade mark.

Brief note on Gadaa Democracy 
When one discusses Gadaa it would be preposterous to claim understanding its depth and breadth. It was a highly complicated and sophisticated societal system to be attributed only to few generations. That it has a background of ancient civilizations can be deduced from organization of society, its legal system and patterns of knowledge it emanates. For this reason what this article presents is only a simplistic superficial aspect of it, which yet could give a clue to its democratic legacy. Leaving aside procedures, rituals and the regalia what interests us here is the legal and democratic principles enshrined in it. To discover the truth of it much effort is needed from nationals that so far considered it to be just one among the age grade initiation systems found in so many societies. They have to erase all they learned about the Oromo in colonial schools and start unraveling the truth about this so far neglected great African nation.

Gadaa was an all encompassing national system where by every male of all ages had roles to play in groups based on peerage.  Accordinglly all institutions in society were managed by elected bodies that decide in counsel. Though all activities in general fall under the Gadaa system, it was more visible in its political aspect.  Major divisions to be considered are the temporal and the spiritual institutions and within the temporal one the social and the political functions.  Gadaa is temporal while Qaalluu is spiritual. It is said that the Qaalluu office used to assist in Gadaa operations like elections. But sovereignty is vested in Gadaa Assembly. Therefore Qaalluu as an institution does not interfere in running political affairs of the country.  That means Gadaa was secular. Here we are more interested in Gadaa secular democracy. The social and political aspect of the spiritual institution may worth following for its historical and academic significance.  There are several Oromoo that follow traditional religion to this day.

Gadaa was practiced by the Oromo people from time immemorial. In social aspect male members of society are grouped into age grade “hiriyaa” (peer) system. To simplify, these were Dabbalee from 1-8 years, Foollee or Gaammee 9-24 and Qondaala or Kuusaa 25-33, Raaba didiqqaa 30-38, Raaba Doorii, 38-46 Luba 46-54 and Yuba 55-78 and gadamoojjii or jaarsa above 78 (taken from different regions practice for convenience). Each member of a society had rites to pass through. At each grade there were roles to be played and training to go through.

Activity of a hiriyaa group starts from cradle to calf herding, to different hurdles of fitness that include military training to ruling and counseling the country. It is from these hiriyaa groups that members of national leadership evolve and gradually become Luba, members of the Gadaa ruling group. These leaders in most cases had been leaders of hiriyaa group from the beginning. Women, non naturalized aliens (kan luba hin bahin) and artisans were not included in Gadaa power sharing process.

One Gadaa period is eight years. At the end of that period there used to be great feast. That ceremonial feast was called “Buttaa”. Buttaa also served as measurement of time. To know someone’s age one asks “how many Buttaa did you eat?”  All those who were born during the eight years tell the same age, one, two, three etc.  Buttaa. From that a wise man could tell to which hiriyaa group or Gadaa party one belonged. Five buttaa are slain in one Gadaa cycle of forty years. Those born into each Gadaa are hiriyaa (peers) irrespective of up to eight years possible differences. A boy born at the beginning of the eight years and one born on Buttaa day after eight years are considered to have eaten one Buttaa.

On the political side society is divided into Gadaa of five parties. Members in each Gadaa party were recruited from their own generational age grades. Each Gadaa has a role to play in the political life of the nation depending on the time and level in the Gadaa tier. The oldest group is the Yuba. It is composed of person whose members were in power in previous times. Next is Luba, the ruling party. Below that is the Itmakoo or Raba Doorii (these may have other names with different tribes) juniors that lead in defense and nation building. The next group follows the foot steps of their seniors and engages in different aspects of society appropriate for their ages. Each hiriyaa group maintains close relationship and prepare themselves for the next stage of partisan responsibility. They all elect their leaders. Those at the bottom of the ladder are the dabbalee to whose raising society gives much attention. It is there that the basis of Oromummaa is laid down and hunting for generational leaders start.

At any one period there are three Gadaa levels that engage is serious party work and has conventions or yaa’a. The bottom one is Raabaa Doorii a group that is preparing to take power after eight years (from), the middle one is the Gadaa in power Luba and the last one is the one that leaves office, Yuba. Each Gadaa comes to power after a cycle of forty years. Since there is a party in waiting to replace the other no party can stay in power for more than eight years. No crisis can be obstacle to transfer Baallii for there is a ready made leadership. To transfer Baallii means to transfer authority. As symbol of authority the old Abbaa Gada hands over to the incoming ostrich feather that was in his custody. Each Gadaa proclaims its own constitution and laws. Therefore there is no stagnation in waiting for cumbersome methods of amendments. Even if there is no article to be changed the past law is formally made null and void and proclaimed again as new. The five Gadaa had set names or are called after their leaders.

The highest Assembly of the nation is Caffee or Gumii. The Caffee sits under shade of an Odaa tree. The General Assembly includes all members of the ruling party and any such persons that want to attend it. In this way it is a representative indirect democracy with some elements of direct democracy. Living Abbaa Gadaas and the Yuba can also participate in the assembly. Abbaa Gadaa or Abbaa Bokkuu is the head of the Caffee and the chief executive as well. There is a case where their were two heads of Caffee, one ritual head called Abbaa Bokkuu and another elected head, Abbaa Gadaa. The Luba usually consults “raagaa” wise man or philosopher on the future or consequences of certain decisions. But the raagaa has no power to avert a decision.

In addition to mentioned institutions there are several others that should not escape our attention. For example the institution of clan elders which are hereditary have no place in the Gadaa structure but has important role in organizing and guiding the tribe. Members of Gadaa were recruited (nominated) from tribes they lead. They have ritual symbols and roles to play in cursing and blessing. When Gadaa is the national leadership these ones are tribal ones. It was from among these ones that the colonizers embraced and recruited as agents for all their grassroots activities. In tribal protocol the eldest of the clans is called or seated first. Since tribal structures have already been rendered obsolete it has no nationwide political relevance in modern setting. There is also the Siiqqee institution that gives women social and political authority to some degree. In principle this can be integrated into any modern adaptations.

For the Oromo rights like equality, freedom, fair and free election; rule of law and respect for people’s and individual rights, respect and protection for environment and wild life are inbuilt qualities of Gadaa democracy. All human beings are equal; no one is above the law; discrimination because of origin, color or economic status etc is unjust. Respect for human rights, freedom of expression that are not safuu or morally repulsive, freedom of movement and association are protected by law. Elected officials are loved and respected as long as they serve the people whole heartedly and with the highest morale standard.  An incompetent and corrupt official can be removed from office by the assembly before the expiry of his term of office. In meetings it was preferred if decisions were reached by consensus. Each member of a meeting or assembly has the right of veto to halt a discussion. Once decisions were reached all are required to acclaim and the law becomes sacred.
Gadaa Assembly combines executive, legislative and judiciary powers. Gadaa here is to mean the ruling class as well as the eight years of their rule. Leaders of current Gadaa are called Luba. The outgoing Gadaa which participates as advisors and judges are called Yuba. The Yuba group includes two previous Yuba. Though all powers and responsibility lie with the Luba, Yuba and all living Abbaa Gadaas had also roles to play in matters of law and checking on excesses of Luba and had great influence on all political matters. Full retirement comes three Gadaa after they leave office. From thence they are called gadamoojjii or jarsaa. Another hiriyaa group that is active during a Gadaa period is the Itmakoo or Raaba Doorii with defense as their major activity with their eye on the bokkuu when the time comes.

In Oromo society there was a tendency of the weak to form alliance against the strong. For example grandparents and grandchildren ally against parents. In the same way it is logical for Raabaa Doorii to ally against the strongest institution of the land, Luba. In that way power of Luba can be checked before it gets corrupted and become abusive.

The chief Luba is the Abbaa Bokkuu or Abbaa Gadaa (Hayyuu Fiixee). In places he has two deputies one having greater power than the other. The executive power is held by Salgee, the top nine Luba or six in some places. Those were elites elected by the people for eight years with Abbaa Gadaa as their leader. Committees were usually formed at different levels for different functions. Prerogatives of decision making at each level is known. There will always be consultation before decisions are taken. They were it is believed, those frequent meetings to make seera (law, legislation) that gave rise to Amaara legal term “seeraa” to mean conspiracy.

Abbaa Bokkuu implements what is decided by Salgee. Abbaa Bokkuu’s role as a chief is defined by law. Thus he has internal constraint imposed on him by peers and external ones by Yuba and Raaba Doorii and Caffee periodic assembly that is chaired by Abbaa Seera who is a well respected past Abbaa Gadaa.  The limitation of office term of only eight years for a party is by it self a reason not to get corrupted lest face humiliation with no chance of reelection. Thus Gadaa democratic system was a well balanced system with inbuilt checks and balance mechanism. The Abbaa Gadaa and Luba had assistances called makala (Makkala). Makala kan be compulsory service to Gadaa offices.

Military functions are assigned to Raaba Doorii by law and tradition. But Abbaa Gadaa was commander in chief and only Caffee can declare war. Commanders are appointed by Abbaa Gadaa for each engagement. After a campaign is over the person went back to his normal duties.

But lack of efficient communication and contingent law enforcement mechanism had given rise for Abbaa Duulaas to defy tradition starting in the course of the 16th century.

Some cardinal points of Gadaa system

  1. Gadaa is equal: There should be no one to be denied passing through Gadaa process, elect and be elected when ones turn comes. There should not be partiality or discrimination in services and protections Gadaa provides. Every member has the right to directly or through elected representative be heard in all affairs that affect people’s life; to be equally treated in matters of administration of justice. No one is above the law. No one may be prohibited to attend Gadaa deliberations.
  2. Odaa is equal: Odaa is a national symbol for people’s government, demokratia. It represents freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly, equality of all participants that meet there, freedom of worship, peace and araaraa (reconciliation) and liberty to rest for persons and animals under its shade without worry of being disturbed.
  3. Malkaa is equal: Ford or river crossing (confluence) is open to all for crossing; perform rituals; using water for drinking, washing etc for humans and animals. No one for any one reason can bar any one from using it. Malkaa is a symbol of transiting from status quo to something new.
  4. Market is equal: every one has equal rights to take ones produce to the market and exchange with goods and services that it provides. Every one is free to participate in such exchanges and any trade of ones liking that the market provides
  5. Road is equal: every one is entitled to the right of way; no one can be denied an access from his home to outer world or restricted from using of existing roads like all others; there will not be restriction to the right of travel; no one has the right to close an existing road for own use.

Is there any point that modern society discard from these? So far we have tried simplistic approach to uncover old Gadaa practice. Gadaa was more inclusive in its membership than Greek City state democracy. It involves every member of society to equally participate in all activity of the nation according to generations. All male nationals are grouped into generational hiriyaa and play roles society assigned for them. For this reason the Gadaa system involves all in the process of managing a society. Each division stays in the age grade for eight years before it is initiated into the next level. Probably except kids under nine all elect their leaders through electoral process. Gadaa was a representative democracy with some elements of direct democracy. Anyone that can travel to Caffee Assembly can participate in its deliberations and express ones opinion. That gives it semblance of direct democracy. Gadaa was practiced when Qaalluu institution had significant role in Oromo society and the nation was at a different level of economic and technological development than the present. Taking these variations into account let us see if there are principles that we could salvage for new democratic Oromiyaa.

  1. Societal development takes place on two lines. One is the social age grade system and the other is the party system. One follows the gradual mental and physical development of a child, while the other handles its political development. At stage of adult hood both overlap. In the political aspect society is grouped into five hiriyaa category and a party name is attached to them. Each party takes turn in governing every eight years. A party has to wait for forty years to reign again. All five parties exist at the same time with different roles to play.
  2. In Gadaa executive and legislative functions are combined. Bokkuu and Caffee (Gumii) are the highest authority of the land. Sovereignty lies with the people but expressed through Caffee and Bokkuu.
  3. Decisions are reached by consensus how ever long it may take. That means minority opinion is never neglected.
  4. Abbaa Bokkuu is the commander in chief of the fighting force. Caffee is the only power that can declare war. People love and respect the leaders because of their valor and uprightness not out of fear and threat.
  5. Yuba is the highest advisory body and also heads the supreme court of the land. Its head is the most respected among the living retired Abbaa Gadaas and usually taken as the Supreme Judge (Chief Justice).
  6. Itmakoo/Raaba Doorii is a power in waiting to replace the incumbent Luba. It is responsible for recruiting, training military personnel and conducting war.
  7. Qaalluu is the spiritual leader with some functions concerning elections but never interferes in secular affairs of the Gadaa. Gadaa was a temporal institution.
  8. Women were recognized as subjects of rights through Siiqqee institution. There were also rituals that cannot be performed without them. But full equality was not guaranteed.
  9. The top Gadaa counselors were nine ( Salgee) or Six
  10. The Luba are assisted by unelected official called makala (Aide de camp)
  11. Each Gadaa general assembly convenes at the beginning of its term to declare laws. Then it will assemble in its mid term to make progress report. Then members can be criticized, condemned or uprooted for wrong doings if any. That means electors had the right to recall their representatives for corruptions and abuses. Caffee meetings are open for citizens that can attend.
  12. Raagaa is a wise usually old man or philosopher that can advise on the future
  13. Hayyuu were notables (elites) that can give decisions and counseling on several issues. They were knowledgeable members of the society without any flaw in character.

To summarize, the people are sovereign; representative system mixed with direct democracy were practiced; rulers were elected for a limited term of only eight years; citizens had the right to elect and be elected according to their ages; no one was above the law; people can recall their representative; humans, animals and nature are protected by law; the welfare of children was concern of all members of society; their was majority rule but by making decision by consensus minority views were protected; all human being were equal, ill treatment was abhorred; right to assemble and freedom of expression were protected; right to engage in any trade was protected; right to travel were granted; right to worship was recognized and discrimination based on race, age, gender and economic status are forbidden. There was inbuilt check and balance system in the political process but not so spelled out.

Now, that we have seen a brief introduction to western and ancient Oromo Gadaa democracy, let us try if we can come out with a fitting system for reorganizing modern Oromiya. The system of dividing and managing society into generations is not different from modern world school systems. Children learn what is assigned them according to peerage, “preschool, kindergarten, primary, secondary, college”. This is not far from what they call “dabbalee, Foollee, Gaammee, Raaba etc.” Existing political parties recruit members from this school system. But the Oromo as different as they are, had something to add and their own outlook. Oromo see the system in interrelation with all other societal activities. To pass from one stage to the other are rights of all citizens not of particular classes.

Probably it would be essential to revise certain things and see how they may serve modern society better.  Instead of collectively saying Oromo youth association if one says association of Foollee, Gaammee, Raaba etc it will help to mobilize in unison generation that under stand each other better. It may also give better opportunity to develop future leadership for society. In the past stages in the Gadaa were seen from fathers’ point. For this reason the age at which one has to produce a child was determined. If one is born before that it was bad omen. Now all children should be treated equally and age has to be considered from childrens point. So, age should not be calculated by butta and father’s Gadaa grade, but the exact date of a child’s birth. All those excluded to participate in gadaa activities and elections must now be included to make true that all humanbeing are eqal. This is only the skeleton otherwise social functions require deeper research. During the period of Abbaa Gadaa there was only one Qaalluu, now they are numerous (in addition to those of other religions). In the past we go for pilgrimage only to Abbaa Muudaa now we crossed the sea and added Mecca and Jerusalem etc. After all, what do you think?  This is a big challenge for Oromoo intellectuals. It may require liberating ones mind from the shackles of foreign influences to appreciate what we had. Gadaa is never obsolete but may need refurbishing. Go and make research before responding.

Let us get prepared to be ourselves and show the world that Gadaa still dwells in our minds and body.  This will not be difficult for one who has pride in Oromummaa.

Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!
Ibsaa Guutama
July  2011

http://gubirmans.com/Oromo%20and%20Greek%20based%20Democracies.html

…The presence of the aged, both men and women who attired in traditional costumes, and carrying ritual sticks—bokkuu and siiqqee—the symbols of power and justice of the gadaa system decorated the march which reflected the authentic Oromo tradition. This authenticity is articulated not only in the words spoken by the elders and sung by the artists but also expressed in the peacefulness of the gathering of millions of people. Oromo nationalism is reviving and thriving in the fertile soil of rich symbolic cultural resources that have come to the open since the 1990s. The array of national symbols such as the odaa tree which decorate the costumes worn by men, women and children, the siiqqee, the bokkuu and other pre-colonial pan-Oromo symbols carried by men and women at the festival represent and reinforce the pride of the nation and unite the multitude gathered for the festival through a common imagery of shared memories, myths and values—in other words the shared structures of feeling.

http://maddawalaabuupress.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/oromo-freedom-from-what-and-for-what.html

 

Related Article:

Safuu, the Oromo moral value and doctrine

by Rundaasaa Asheetee Hundee 

is the principle of deep moral honor and accountability that was fostered by Waaqayyo fearing people of Oromia. “Yoon maqe, Waaqni na arga” is the principle rooted in each Oromo proven to be worthy of wholesomeness, to have virtue, and love other. These type of people have a desire to understand and live by traditional values.

Young Oromo children often spoke about the fundamental principle that telling the truth, respecting nature, being trustworthy, and standing for the right thing is natural to human beings. As an Oromo, we were taught these values and it made us women and men of such noble character.

Not only our characters were shaped by Safuu Oromo, even the process of Seera tumu (law making) was inspired by this principle and the Gadaa system was framed on the basis of Safuu. Basically then, Safuu is the principle of restoration of human dignity in a significant way. Because of Safuu, Birmadummaa and honesty is expected from each Oromo so that we all can live virtuous life of divine purposes.

When the Oromo people lived according to the Gadaa system, they dominated the horn of Africa and established their republic, and the Oromoo Foollee turned into statesmen and defended the norm of Gadaa governance. Because they believed in being honest, true, benevolent and virtuous in doing good to humanity, they demanded no money for their work and time. They worked on their farms but served their country as abbaa Seeraa, abbaa Alangaa, abbaa Caffee, abbaa Bokku and as Hadha sinqee etc..

Because of Safuu, the Oromos are inspired to respect nature and committed to deal justly with humankind! That’s why we are indebted to freedom-loving individuals everywhere who had the integrity necessary to build the foundations of human societies upon safuu’s fundamental moral values. Only in an atmosphere of freedom and trust could values like honesty and integrity truly flourish.

Safuu Oromo therefore is an expectation that people must rise above self-interest and act in the public interest with wisdom and courage both on the national and the local political scene.

One reason for the decline of Safuu in Oromia to day is that people invented new standards that constantly changes and undependable moral conduct. As a result, individuals define good and evil as being adjustable according to each situation but doing so is in direct contrast to the Safuu standard.

The vast majority of so called educated Oromos speak or think based on this mindset where right and wrong are calculated to either remain neutral or to be liked by others at the expenses of own value, the Safuu. In the process, our people lost their ancestral knowledge of what is right and what is wrong and went astray by longings for luxury and leisure that they think will be found in the western world style of living and thinking.

The devastation that comes from such fraudulent life style and self misrepresentation is immeasurable. It leads to a false belief that they can worship anything they want following the rules they set for themselves.

However, the continued survival of a free and open society is dependent upon a high degree of divinely inspired values and moral conduct (safuu), as stated by the Oromo Ayaantus. People must have trust in their institutions and in their leaders. Hence, a great need today is for leadership that exemplifies truth, honesty, and decency in both public and private life.

Honesty is not only the best policy, it is the only policy according to Safuu Oromo.
There are several things we can do to develop SAFUU.

Desire It (Fedhii Safuu horadhu)

Live honest life (hin Maqin)

Be Humble (Fayaalessa ta’i)

Study (Qu’adhu)

Search and ponder on ideas (Yaada xiinxali)
Love nature ( Umaa jaaladhu)

 

Read @ http://advocacy4oromia.org/home/safuu-the-oromo-moral-value-and-doctrine/

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/safuu-the-oromo-moral-value-and-doctrine/

 

 

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Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo):The traditional faith system of the Oromo people August 10, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ancient Egyptian, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Black History, Chiekh Anta Diop, Culture, Development & Change, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Language and Development, Macha & Tulama Association, Meroe, Meroetic Oromo, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, State of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Library, Wisdom.
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Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo), the traditional faith system of the Oromo people, is one version of the monotheistic African Traditional Religion (ATR), where the followers of this faith system do believe in only one Supreme Being. African traditional religion is a term referring to a variety of religious practices of the only ONE African religion, which Oromo believers call Waaqeffannaa (believe in Waaqa, the supreme Being), an indigenous faith system to the continent of Africa. Even though there are different ways of practicing this religion with varieties of rituals, in truth, the different versions of the African religion have got the following commonalities:

 

– Believe in and celebrate a Supreme Being, or a Creator, which is referred to by a myriad of names in various languages as Waaqeffataa Oromo do often say: Waaqa maqaa dhibbaa = God with hundreds of names and Waaqa Afaan dhibbaa = God with hundreds of languages; thus in Afaan Oromoo (in Oromo language) the name of God is Waaqa/Rabbii or Waaqa tokkicha (one god) or Waaqa guraachaa (black God, where black is the symbol for holiness and for the unknown) = the holy God = the black universe (the unknown), whom we should celebrate and love with all our concentration and energy

 

– No written scripture (ATR’s holy texts are mostly oral), but now some people are trying to compose the written scripture based on the Africans’ oral literature.

 

– Living according to the will of the Supreme Being and love also those who do have their own way of surviving by following other belief systems, which are different from that of the Waaqeffannaa. It includes keeping both safuu (virtues) and laguu (vices); i.e. to love safuu as well as to hate and abhor cubbuu (sin).

 

– Correspondence with the Supreme Being in times of a great need (i.e. in times of natural calamities, unexplained deaths) and try to walk always on the karaa nagaa (on the way of peace = on the way of righteousness, on the road of truth).

 

– Having a devout connection with ancestors; in case of Oromo, the ancestors are all ways blessed and celebrated for the good inheritance we got from them, but not worshiped as some people want to mis understand.

 

The word “culture” is most commonly defined as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group; different cultures are the distinct ways that classified people living in different parts of the world, that represented their experiences and acted creatively. African peoples have got our own culture, which distinguish us from other parts of the world, of course also having our own sub-cultures among ourselves. Aadaa Oromoo (Oromo culture) being one part of the Cush culture is one of the sub-cultures within the common African culture, which consists also the faith system of Waaqeffannaa as part and parcel of the Oromo/African culture.

 

Waaqeffannaa’s interaction with other religions

According to the expert opinions written up to now, the concept of monotheism is the whole mark of African Traditional Religion including the faith system of the Cush nations. It seems that this concept of monotheism have moved from Cushitic black Africans (including the Oromo) first to ancient Egypt, secondly, further to Israel of the Bible and lastly to the Arab world of Koran. The experts tell us that Moses was not the first monotheist, but Akhenaten was the first revolutionary monotheist; they even claim that Moses might have been black. It is also argued that Moses was an Egyptian Pharaoh known as Akhenaten before the exodus. Additionally, they do argue that Akhenaten’s monotheism revolution in Egypt was not inspired from inside, but induced from outside by the Cushites, i.e. Akhenaten might have derived his monotheism concept from Africa’s/Oromo’s concept of Waaqa tokkicha in a form of “Waaq humna malee bifa hin qabu (God has no physical form, but power).” This concept may have been misinterpreted so that the other religions later started to talk about God with a physical form.

 

It is also interesting to observe many similarities between some old Egyptian words and Afaan Oromo words; for instance, the similarities of the ancient Egyptian words “Anii and Matii” with the Oromo words of “Ana (Ani) and Maatii.” Anii of Egyptians, which means I (I am who I am), that is equivalent to God is similar to the Oromo word Ani, which also means I and refers to the first person singular (the actor = the main character of GOD). Matii being the designation of God’s congregation and the Oromo word Maatii for the family which is the “congregation” of ani (first person = God) are surprisingly the same. This is only one of many similarities between Oromo and Egypt registered by experts till now. It is not my intention to talk about this historical relationship here, but just to show the relation between Oromo’s traditional religion and the three Abraham religions, even though Judaism is not part of the current religions practiced by the Oromo. It means the new acceptance of both Christianity and Islam by Africans is the coming back of the same belief in Waaqa tokkicha to Africa in different forms.

 

This historical relation between Amantii Oromoo and the two big religions of the world suggests that Waaqeffannaa is the older version of monotheism and humanism. Waaqeffannaa as a faith system and Irreechaa as a major national celebration were part and parcel of Oromo public life. Now, some Oromo nationals prefer the name Amantii Oromo/Amantii Africa to Waaqeffannaa. It is important if we all can agree to call the Oromo traditional religion as Amantii Oromo/Amantii Africa, just like we agreed on calling our language Afaan Oromo and our country Biyya Oromo. So in short, we can say: Our land is Biyya Oromo, our language is Afaan Oromo and our religion is Amantii Oromo. It is known that some people may argue by saying “how can we call it Amantii Oromo, when we do see that more than half of the Oromo nowadays have Christianity and Islam as their religion?” Are Oromo with other first language rather than Afaan Oromo not Oromo, despite their lost Afaan Oromo? Should we say just because of these Oromo, who nowadays speak only English, German, Amharic, etc., that Oromo language is not Afaan Oromo? The same way, it is not logical not to call Oromo religion as Amantii Oromo because of the Oromo who overtook other religions. Actually, the designation Waaqqeffannaa (believing in and living with Waaqa) can also be applied to Christian Oromo and Islam Oromo even though most of the Islam Oromo prefer the name Rabbii to the name Waaqa. They all are believers in Waaqa = God = Allah = Rabbii. Amantii Oromo differs only because of its specificity for it is the older Oromo faith embedded in only Oromo/African culture without any influence from alien culture.

 

The fact to be accepted here is that God is universal even though we call HIM Waaqa, Rabbii or Allah. But, Amantii Oromo is the way how our forefathers believed in this universal Waaqa of humankind. We don’t have God or Waaqa, who is specific only to Oromo/Africa and doesn’t care for other nations. Waaqa is the God of nations. But, we Oromo do have a specific way and culture regarding how we do practice our belief in Waaqa. This way of practicing our faith is what we call Amantii Oromo. Amantii Oromo is simply the Oromo way of practicing the faith in the universal Waaqa. It is part of the Oromo way of dealing with the problems of life (it is part of Aadaa Oromo). Accordingly, aadaa (culture) can also be defined as the way, in which a certain collective or group of people deals with its own life problem.

 

The difference between this Amantii Oromo and the other two big religions practiced by Oromo is that the other two got not only the faith in one God, but also the elements of cultures from the people in which they first emerged. We can see here the Arabs accepted the concept of Waaqa tokkicha while still keeping pre-Mohammad Arab culture in Islam, which is far different from Oromo/from African culture, but Islam practiced by Oromo in Oromia is colored by Arab culture for it is adopted from there. Interestingly, this is the difference between Islam Arab and Islam Oromo; Islam Arabs adopted only the concept of Waaqa tokkicha from Cush of Africa/Egypt/Israel, but don’t seem to exercise alien culture from these areas, whereas Islam Oromo tend to adopt both the faith and the culture from Arabs. Egyptians and Israelis, who accepted the concept of the same Waaqa tokkicha, also do practice their faith being colored by their own previous culture; they don’t seem to practice Cush culture; but again Christianity practiced in Oromia is mostly colored by the culture of the Israelis, the Habeshas as well as by that of the Western world for Christian Oromo tend to adopt not only the faith, but also the alien culture.

 

That is why it is not actually bad that some Oromo nationals accept and believe in the two monotheist religions (Christianity and Islam) per se, but not good is giving more value to the culture of the nations from which the religions come to us, at the cost of the very valuable Aadaa Oromo. Of course, good elements of foreign cultures can be accommodated without damaging the good elements of our own. For instance, the similarity between dibbee Qaallu (Qaallu’s drum) and the beat of Tigrinya music shows how Tegarus have inherited and kept some elements of Oromo’s culture. This can verify that the suggestion of Donald Levine, who in his book called Greater Ethiopia wrote that “Tegarus are part of the Cushites of the Old Testament who denied their identity”, may be true. After all, why do they call their mother Aadde? Where does the name Barentu in Eritrea come from? Are they only inheritance of names or were they part of the lost Oromo/Cush? Anyways, it is good to follow the advice given once by Luba Shamsadin. He said (paraphrased here), when we try to accept religions from other nations, we have to identify and separate “the bone of the fish from the meat”; i.e. we need to identify and leave the unnecessary cultural elements of other nations, which are usually mixed with their religions we Oromo do tend to accept and adopt.

 

So as it is put here in short,

Waaqeffannaa (believe in one Waaqa of the universe) is practiced not only among the Cush nations, but also among almost all African nations. This faith system of Africans including Waaqeffannaa has been devalued as something “paganism, barbarism, religionlessness, uncivilization, Godlessness, animism, primitivism, etc”. The black color, which is the symbol of holiness in Waaqeffannaa was/is demonized as a symbol for Satan. All the blessing ceremonies of Waaqeffannaa and the utensil used for the blessings are condemned as a service, an instrument and worshiping of demons/Satan. Despite this denigration, the current revival of Waaqeffannaa and the celebration of Irreechaa in Oromia can be a good example-setting for the other African nations to revive their hitherto devalued and almost lost culture and religion.

 

To serve this purpose of revival, the right way of Waaqeffannaa (believing in, celebrating of and living with Waaqa) must be cleaned from alien non-constructive elements as well as from non-productive practices and rituals like that of “qaalichaa” (infiltrating idolatry), which are not serving the purpose of Waaqa in our personal or national life. That means, we have to differentiate Waaqeffachuu (realizing God’s purpose in our life) from waaqessuu (serving alien gods). Waaqeffachuu is applying Waaqa’s goodwill in our practical life, whereas waaqessuu is making someone or something be our Waaqa, i.e. practicing idolatry. The Oromo people in general have never had an idol to worship, but always had only one Waaqa to believe in and to celebrate. Of course, there are very few Oromo individuals nowadays tending to practice waaqessuu. Such purification of the African faith system from unimportant and useless elements must be done in all versions of the practices and rituals among all African nations.

 

Concept of God in Waaqeffannaa

To make Waaqeffannaa a little bit clear, here is a short narration about this faith system in practice. Oromo nationals practicing this faith do talk about Waaqa tokkicha, which is one of the evidences for the faith to be monotheism, just as the Christianity and Islam are. The concept of God among these believers is summarized by their usual saying: “Waaq humna malee bifa hin qabu.” These believers do not misinterpret Waaqa tokkicha as an expression of physical form for even the whole nature as a physical form is also an expression of his power. The believers and the Qaalluu or Qaallitti (local spiritual leader) are usually very lovely; specially the leaders are simply like a love in person. All their followers are selfless people full of good deeds and love; they do talk about Waaqa, calling him as abbaa koo (my father), and they usually do pray for children saying: “akka ijoollee keenyaa eebbisuuf abba keenya gaafanna (let’s ask our father to bless our children),” they usually don’t say “abba keenya kadhanna (let’s beg our father).”

 

Whenever they are challenged by life problems, they do assert by saying: “Waaq abbaan keenya eessa dhaqeetu (our God is not far away)”, denoting that Waaqa is always ready to help his children. They some times also talk as prophets in a way: “Abbaan keenya akkas jedha, ani sin wajjin jira, ani nan sin gargaara (our father says, I am with you and I will help you)”. According to them, the spiritual father is Waaqa garaa gurraachaa, i.e. Waaqa with holy heart, symbolized with black color, most of whose holiness is unknown to humans. Knowledgeable believers do tell that the concept “Waaqa gurracha garaa garba (black God with heart like ocean)” actually refers to the unknown future. What Waaqa may bring in the future is unknown, and that is signified by black color. Here, garaa garba is also about the unknown. One couldn’t know what is inside the body of water from afar. This point of view seems to be the reason for the color black in the Oromo tricolor to signify the unknown future.

 

In some regions of Oromia, there are a lot of congregations visited by Oromo at some big houses called gimbi (galma) which have got different names: gimbii diloo, maram, abbaa jama, hiike, etc; the spiritual practices done there include the following: dalaguu (dancing), irreenssa kennu (green leaf as a gift), wareeguu (offerings), hammachiisaa (blessing babies), gashaa (delicious food brought to gimbi), etc. Actually, people go to such gimbi regularly carrying green leaves of Irreensaa. In this culture, green grass or green leaf is a powerful symbol for life and prosperity, and it is an element present in all public rituals of Waaqeffataa Oromo, including funerals and prayers of remembrance, during which grass is spread on the ground or grave. The above listed different names of gimbi are Oromo spiritual holy places and palaces, which are equivalent to temple, church and mosque. In all the places mentioned, everyone prays to Waaqa. The practices mentioned above are just variations of spiritual practice to Waaqa.

 

It is also to be observed among the practicing Waaqeffattaa how balanced is their way of discussion and relationship. During sorts of discussions, they often discuss very wisely. For example, when they give comments, here is a sample of how they do: “Ilaa, kanaa fi sana waan gaarii jette. Haa ta’u malee, kunimmoo otoo akkana ta’e wayya (here and there you said good, but it is better if this one be so and so)”. They do not denigrate the opinion of the other side, but tell the better alternative to the opinion they do disagree with. They do tolerate the mistake of others and just tell the consequence of the mistake. As far as they are concerned, there is always cubbuu (sin) in their consciousness, but no concept for hell or condemnation after death. This simply implies that we all do experience the consequence of our trespasses regarding the safuu (virtues) and laguu (vices) expected from us during our life time.

 

Not to suffer such consequences of cubbuu, Waaqeffattaa Oromo have got a lot of very well said prayers in their practical life activities. The following are very few of the impressive prayers in the day to day life of the Oromo, which need to be presented here as examples. They are usually heard from the believers of Amantii Oromo, and they are almost similar to what the believers in Christianity and Islam do pray, let alone the similarity of the greatly formulated prayers we do hear during Irreechaa celebration with what the Christian Qesis and the Islam Sheiks usually do pray:

 

– Yaa Waaq kan dubbatee nu dubbachiisu fi kan hamaa nutti yaadu nurraa qabbi (God keep us from those who speak evil and make us speak the same).

 

– Yaa Waaq mirga nu oolch (help us to walk on the right way); hamaa nurraa qabi (protect us from evil).

 

– Yaa Rabbii, ilmi ga’e haa fuudhu (Oh God, let the young man be married), dubarri geesse haa heerumtu (let the young woman be married), this prayer shows howimportant family building for human blessing is.

 

– Yaa Waaq, ani galee, kan galee hin rafne narraa qabi; ani rafee kan rafee hin bulle narra qabi (I am now at home to sleep, save me from the evil ones who didn’t yet be at their home and didn’t sleep).

 

– Yaa Waaq galgala koo hin balleessiin (let my old age not be cursed), this is related with the conse -quence of cubbuu. The believers are asking Waaqa to help them stay away from cubbuu so that their “galgala (late age)” will not be bad/painful. Here we see something similar with the native American’s culture. They say: “when you came to this world, you cried and everybody else laughed; live your life so that when you leave this world, you laugh and everyone else cries”; i.e. to say live your life free from cubbuu and its conse -quence (suffering), the life style which leads you to the blessing in your old age.

 

This prayers indicate the fact on the ground how Oromo look at Waaqa and at the human-being. Waaqa is conceived as a holy father with whom we can correspond during our day to day life problems or when ever we face calamities or difficulties for his will is always good, whereas human-beings can be with either bad or good intention in relation to each other. Both Gadaa and Qaalluu institutions look at all individuals as human with equal rights in front of Waaqa; that is why there is no a “respect form” of addressing human-being or God in Afaan Oromo, just as there is non in English language. After losing our sovereignty, the Oromo people had to learn how to “respect” authority figures. For there is no such option in Afaan Oromo, we had to use plural verbs to address the authority figures. Even Abbaa Gadaa (chief of the government) and Abbaa Mudaa (the spiritual leader) were addressed as “ati = you in a singular form,” not as “isin = you in a plural form.” Today, we have to address our fellow human being with certain authority as “isin” to show “respect.” It is not bad if such addressing would have been mutual/symmetrical as for instance it is in German language. But such “respect,” which we are now applying is asymmetrical (only the authority figure is addressed with the “respect” form, whereas the authority figure can address the other person without using the “respect” form. Where it is the reality that we don’t use the “respect” form during addressing our Waaqa, as seen in the above prayers, why should we bother to use it in addressing our fellow human being? It would be better if we leave this culture, which we adopted from others with authoritarian culture in contrast to our own egalitarian one. Our concept of Waaqa doesn’t allow us to behave so submissively to any human being, who is equal to us.

 

Virtues and Vices of Waaqeffannaa

Here in short, safuu (virtue) can be defined as the “to do list” in order to serve Waaqa and to achieve his kaayyoo/goal in our personal and national earthly life; whereas laguu (vice) is the “not to do list” or the taboo, so that we can refrain from doing such activities diverting us from the kaayyoo Waaqa for our life. Cubbuu (sin) then in short includes both not doing the safuu and doing the laguu. Just as an example, if we take bilisummaa (national freedom) as Waaqa’s kaayyoo for the Oromo nation, what are the safuu and the laguu to be respected? If the kaayyoo of Waaqeffannaa is individual healing from any sort of illness, what are the safuu and the laguu, which both the healer and the sick person should respect?

 

In order to look at the virtues and vices of the traditional Oromo/African belief system for our earthly life, let us now try to describe Waaqeffannaa as we experienced it and knew it. Note that all the descriptions and notions we try to put here on paper are based on our own argaa-dhageetti (based on our own perception), which may differ from that of the other Oromo nationals. For instance, we could observe that Oromo is a nation filled with celebrations of eebba (blessing), who do have different celebrations for almost everything and everybody related to our life. For instance, taaboree as a blessing ceremony for young boys; ingiccaa for blessing young girls; ayyaana abbaa for blessing the ancestors for the good inheritance we got from them; ateetee for blessing our women; borantichaa for blessing adult men; jaarii looni for blessing our useful animals; jaarii qe’e or jaarii kosii for blessing our residence area; jaarii midhaani to bless our farms; garanfasa mucucoo as a celebration of the rainy season and, of course, gubaa and irreechaa for celebration of the coming birraa (the coming spring season) etc. We hope that Oromo students of anthropology, sociology and theology will make a scientific research on these blessing ceremonies and tell us the constructive and non-constructive elements of the activities in them.

 

But, let us mention few of the virtues (positive aspects) of Waaqeffannaa in our earthly life time. Here the reference point to judge certain elements as negative or positive is the position of the purpose, which Waaqa do have for our personal and national life, i.e. based on the kaayyoo (goal) our Waaqayyoo do have for us. To elaborate this relationship between kaayyoo and Waaqayyoo, we can ask: is Waaq-aayyoo our ka-ayyoo / is our ka-ayyoo the Waaq-ayyoo? It is about knowing what purpose we do serve in our daily life both cognitively and behaviorally, as individuals or as a nation. Be it that we do think and walk at political, religious or private level, we do try to serve certain purpose in life. In order to identify that purpose, we only need to be conscious about it, reflect on it and ask our selves: whom do we privately or collectively serve in our endeavors? Do we serve Waaqa’s purpose for us or that of the others’? Simply put, which purpose should we serve? Fortunately the hitherto cumulative knowledge and wisdom of different societies in general and that of the Oromo society in particular tell us what we ought to serve: i.e. to serve Waaqa’s purpose which is good for us as an individual and as a collective. This good purpose is given a sacred name and it seems to be what people call the will of Waaqa.

 

As a support for this assertion, we can look at an example written in the Bible of Christians, that states : “God is my objective”. Is this to be understood also as: “my objective is God”? Can we say that our good personal or political purpose is the will of Waaqa, whom we ought to serve? To comprehend this, it is no where clearly written other than in Afaan Oromo. Surprisingly the words kaayyoo and Waaqayyoo in our language do indicate to have the same source. As we know, the short word KA is the name given by our Cushitic ancestors to God and the word aayyoo is, of course, the name given to a mother, who does wish all good things for her children and does plan and try to fulfill it. So KA can be defined as the Supreme Being, which has good purpose for ayyoo’s children. This purpose is the “Goodness” for her children. So KA-ayyoo is God’s will (his good objective to her beloved children). The term Waaqayyo is the short form of waan-KA-ayyoo (what is planned from KA for aayyoo and for her children). So we can see that the good end, we have to serve, can be called kaayyoo from Waaqa. So the will of Waaqa is simply to be defined as the good end we should choose to serve as part of the balanced universe created by HIM.

 

To fulfill this service to the good end, fortunately the best thing we do observe among Waaqeffataa Oromo is the work-ethics they do have to achieve the purpose of Waaqa in their earthly life, specially in the life areas of career and family. They do love to be the best in both life areas; they love their family and most of them are very enthusiastic to be successful in their profession. They usually say “Waaq taa’i taa’i namaan hin jedhin (let HE not make us idle);” simply put, diligence is part of safuu and to be idle and lazy is part of laguu. We know that there are certain contamination from other cultures to be practiced as rituals contradicting this virtue and which are not serving the purpose of Waaqa for us. That is why we do recommend not only the revival of this marvelous belief system, which was the creation of our forefathers, but also we do suggest a necessary reformation to make the faith system to be fit, so that it can help us to cope with the 21st century challenge and situation. Waaqa’s creation and his keeping the balance of the universe is still going on, so that HE demands also a dynamic creative work from his creature, from the human being. Another impressive virtue of Waaqeffannaa necessary to be mentioned is its relation with nature and its persuasion to help us keep the environment healthy; it is the faith system which is simply through and through green.

 

Waaqeffannaa’s position on the life after death

According to this belief system, we all will live further after death as ekeraa (in a form of soul/spirit) with our father, with Waaqa, without any possibility of punishment in hell. We recently read Martial De Salviac’s translated book, in which he wrote “Oromo invariably believe that they will go to heaven.” So, the consequence of our cubbuu is not losing eternal life, but suffering in our earthly life. To Waaqeffataa Oromo, Waaqa is the one who wants us not to do a collective cubbuu, but expects us to protect the balanced nature, in which HIS power is manifested. The wisdom that guides Waaqeffataa Oromo in fulfilling this mission seems to be our arga-dhagetti (believe and act on a principle of reality, i.e. based on what we see and hear).

 

According to argaa-dhageetti, the concepts like “cubbuun ni qabdi (sin has got consequence), cubbuun ni sirriqxi (the consequence of sin can be inherited), cubbu abbaatu eeggata or cubbuu irra abbaatu uf eega (everyone should keep him-/herself from committing sin and everybody is responsible for the consequences of the sin he/she commit)” are nice and practical. What we liked most from the principles of Waaqeffannaa is this concept of cubbuu. The consequences of cubbuu are only to be seen here on this earth, not in the coming life after death. There is no hell that Waaqayyoo has prepared to punish the people with cuubbu. This is hilarious and very healing for those who always have to live with the fear of hell or punishment after death.

 

Another interesting aspect of Waaqeffannaa is that we never heard from the practicing believers that they are believing in the presence of an evil spiritual power in the form of Satan, which acts and lives against the almighty power of Waaqa. Accordingly, there is only one sovereign power doing and undoing all things in a universe, that is Waaqa. Unfortunately, the concept Satan is now already spread among the whole Oromo population as a contamination taken from other religions. Waaqeffataa Oromo do believe that the evil things we do experience in life are due to the imbalance of nature as a result of the unwise or wicked deeds of humans as collective, i.e. it is a human cubbuu with its consequences on the earth. That is why they usually ask their Waaqa for wisdom to keep the balance of nature and that HE lead them to only those with good intention and protect them from those with bad intention, for example, in a prayer like: “yaa Waaq tolaa nutti qabi, hamaa irraa nu eegi (God lead who is good to us and keep away who is evil from us). Here it seems that good is someone, who works to keep the balance of nature; and evil is the contrary.

 

According to the faith system of Waaqeffannaa, there is nothing we have to do now to earn eternal life after death; life after death is simply a free gift we got from our father, Waaqayyoo, whom we just need to celebrate and thank as we do daily and during the yearly celebrations like Irreechaa. We also don’t need a savior, who has to suffer and die for us, so that we can get life after death. The only area where we have to work on is trying to live the quality life (the character of the eternal life) according to the will of Waaqa here on earth. To live this quality life, we need to activate our potentials given to us from Waaqa and then walk on the karaa nagaa towards the kaayyoo Waaqa for our life, being free from cubbuu by keeping both safuu and laguu.

 

Further recommendation

The very important aspect of Waaqeffannaa as part of Oromo/African culture is its principle of argaa-dhaggeetti (it is relatively an evidence based faith system, possibly trying to be free from superstition). This principle is about reading the real situations at hand and finding the appropriate solutions for the situations. Waaqeffannaa teaches that only Waaqa is not prone to change for HE is perfect, but all his creature and all the situations are changing with time; that is why his creative action is still going on and that we also need to be in a position to find new solutions for the changed situations. In short, we need to be situation oriented, time oriented and live accordingly. That means, it is good to know the past version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo/Africa; but better is to live and practice the present version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo; of course the best is to create the most beneficial version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo as well as to inherit it to our coming generation. So let’s learn from the past version, live the present version and love to create the future verion of aadaa Oromo in general, and Amantii Oromo in particular.

 

This article is of course coloured by subjective perceptions, so that Oromo nationals are welcome to complement or contradict it. All the sub-titles given in this article need a further meticulous research and study. Through scientific studies, it can be possible to cleanse Waaqeffa -nnaa from certain meaningless rituals adopted from the other sub-cultures, e.g rituals like that of “qaalichaa” (idolatry), xinqolaa (sorcery), etc, where the practitioners are actually making business in the name of the religion. Waaqeffannaa needs not only revival, but also reformation as part and parcel of the ongoing liberation from such sensless practices. Elements, which are against the will of Waaqa for all human-being in general and for African nations in particular must be removed, so that we can say Waaqa bless Oromia/Africa and then live accordingly. Adopting good elements, which serve the will of Waaqa for us, from other cultures and faiths is not bad as it is usually said: “waan gaariin bade hundi kan Oromo ti” (every good thing lost belongs to Oromo). Again, good and bad is defined from the position of the will of Waaqa for our life, i.e. from the position of his kaayyoo in our life, which is always a good purpose.

 

So, only celebrating the holidays and reviving the religion are not enough, if we want to be fit for the present 21st century situation and for the situation in which our future generation will live. Our forefathers created a faith system as part of the solution to their situation; we also need to do the same. So let’s not try to use the same key used by our forefathers in the past to open doors with totally different keyholes at the present and the future or we don’t need to ride a donkey at this age of driving a limousine; in short we need a right solution for the present and the future situations. Our next generation need to inherit from us the latest and modern model/edition/version of our faith system, Waaqeffannaa, which they also can reform, edit and secure for their children and grand children, so that we human-being continue to be as creative as our father, Waaqa.

 

Let’s give a simple suggestion as an example in the required reforming: why can’t we use bundle of flowers for Irreechaa, instead of only grass used by our forefathers? Why don’t we use water or oil, instead of butter to anoint others during the blessing ceremonies just for the sake of hygiene? Why don’t we use candle light or the modern beautifully colored electric light decorations instead of bonfire during wa-maraa (demera)? etc. Now it is a time to have Waaqeffannaa free from non-productive and untimely elements, so that it will be a faith system, which will be accepted and believed by the enlightened and informed Oromo in particular as well as by Africans in general (so that it will be a faith system serving the will of Waaqa for Oromia in particular, and for Africa in general).

 

Last but not least, Waaqeffataa Oromo need to be creative in realizing the will of Waaqa in our life, which is the only way to “evangelize” and convert others to the “karaa nagaa (to the right way) HE wants us to walk. We need to learn from the past (the known part of life, which is symbolized by white color), live the present (the challenging part of life symblized by red color) and love to know the future (the unknown part of life symbolized by black color). The karaa nagaa at this particular era/time includes the virtue of a passinate struggle in life both individually and collectively, not an attitude of the pacifistic stoicism. Waaqeffannaa doesn’t persuade us to do things to secure life after death, but it tells us that our effort and enthusiasm are part of the safuu we have to keep and implement in order to make our life here on earth the excellent success story.

Read the full article from original source @http://gihonpostsite.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/waaqeffannaa-the-african-traditional-faith-system/

 

 

THE EXPANSION OF THE AMORPHOUS ADDIS ABABA, THE ENDLESS PERSECUTION AND EVICTION OF TULAMA OROMOO April 6, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Free development vs authoritarian model, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo Valley, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tyranny.
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The deliberate expansion of the amorphous city they call “Addis Ababa” is politically created to divide Oromiyaa into east and west sector. It is not a master plan. It is an evil plan mastered to consummate an evil goal.

When we see the history of Abyssinian political philosophy, from which we have a written record, it is entirely based on the philosophy of depriving the Oromos from having any right to homeland. To convert Oromummaa   to Amaarummaa and ultimately to Itiyophiyawwinnet has been the policy in action up to this very day. 

What happened to those Oromos who were living in Finfinnee for centuries? Particular mention has to be made about those Tulama Oromo groups of Gullallee, Eekkaa, Galaan, Aabbuu, Jillee. The answer is very simple: They were mercilessly decimated; their villages burnt down, their pasture and arable lands confiscated and shared among the invading Manzian Nagasii families of whom the Dejazmach Mangasha Seifu and the Ras Birru families were the most notorious ones. Thereafter, the Oromo territory occupied by Matcha-Tulama was officially changed to the expanding Kingdom of Showa, a detached enclave from Gonder, Abyssinia. Finfinnee was given a new colonial name “Addis Ababa”, just like Zimbabwe was changed to Rhodesia, Harare to Salisbury. Under this excruciating condition, the conquered Matcha-Tulama region had to lose its historic significance and had to be involuntarily submitted to the colonial name Showa.

 

 

Among the major Oromo descent groups, the Matcha-Tulama group has got one of the largest populations, stretching on vast area of land in central and western Oromia. As we are able to learn from our fathers, Matcha and Tulama are Borana brothers, being Tulama angafa (first born) and Matcha qixisuu (second born son). As common to all Oromo ethno-history, the tradition that governs the social role of “angafa and qixisuu”, which begins right from the immediate family unit, has a deep genealogical meaning and social role in re-invigorating the solidarity of the nation. From the earliest time of which we have a tradition hanging down to us,

  •  Matcha-Tulama Oromo has had a supreme legislative organ known as  Chaffe.  The Chaffe legislates laws which  will eventually be adopted as  Seera Gadaa

They have a senatorial council known as “Yaa’ii Saglan Booranaa”, in which elected individuals from major clans are represented. The function of Yaa’ii Saglan Booranaa is to deliberate on issues pertaining to regional issues,  resolve inter-clan  disputes and  oversees how interests of each clan in the confederacies  are represented; how local resources are fairly shared and wisely utilised according to the law.

  • These  two northern  Boorana brothers are  historically referred to as Boorana Booroo  or Boorana Kaabaa
  • Among the known five  Oromo Odaas, Odaa Nabee and Odaa Bisil  are found in   Boorana Booroo

However, beginning from the 13th century onward, the Match-Tulama country (Boorana Booroo), adjacent to Abyssinian border, has begun to be ravaged by a group of individuals whose legendary genealogy connects them to a certain King Solomon of non-African origin. They came and settled at a place they call “Manz”.They organised themselves at this place, and started to attack neighbouring villages of Cushitic Oromo family stock of Laaloo, Geeraa and Mammaa. The attacked villages were gradually incorporated into the expanding Manz, which eventually developed to a military outpost known as Showa in the late 18th century. Hereafter, they declared themselves “Ye Negasi Zer, the root of Showa Amhara Dynasty.

After vanquishing Agaw people’s identity and sovereignty on the northern frontier, the Solomonic Negasi Dynasties of Showa intensified their attacks against the Match-Tulama of Borana and the Karrayyu of Barantu Oromos. In such turbulent situation, the rule of yeNegasi Zer entered nineteenth century era, which ushered the era of the Scramble for Africa by European imperialist powers. From Africa, it was only King Minilik of Showa (1866-1889) who was recognised as a partner and invited to attend the Berlin Imperialist Conference of 1884. In this conference, Minilik was represented by his cousin, Ras Mekonnen Tenagneworq Sahile-Sellasie (1852-1906). After completing their mission, King Minilik and the European imperialist powers made concession on border demarcation. After the border demarcation had been completed, a systematic elimination of his prominent general, Ras Goobanaa Daacci (1819-1889), was meticulously carried out.  Minilik was so confident to declare himself Emperor of Ethiopia (1889- 1913).This was the Ethiopia, the first time in the history of the region, that brutally annexed and  included Oromo, Sidama, Walaita, Kaficho, Beneshangul, Gambella, and others  to the  expanding of Abyssinia.

The years 1887-89 were the boiling point for Minilik’s declaration of being “Emperor of Ethiopia, yeItiyophiya Nuguse, nägest.  Why?

  • Because, it was the time when he exterminated the Gullallee Oromo from the marshy-hot spring and pasture land of Finfinnee and collectivised the place under a new colonial name Addis Ababa.
  • Because, it was the time when he built full confidence in himself and built his permanent palace at Dhaqaa Araaraa, a sacred hill, where the evicted Oromos peacefully used to sit together and conduct peaceful deliberation for reconciliation.
  • It was the time when he annexed three-fourth of southern peoples’ territories, including the Oromo territory, to the expanding Showan Dynasty and put under the iron-fist of his inderases(viceroys).
  • It was the time when he assured un-shivering confidence of being continued to be assisted and advised by his European colonial partners: militarily, diplomatically and technically.

Here is the question: What happened to those Oromos who were living in Finfinnee for centuries? Particular mention has to be made about those Tulama Oromo groups of Gullallee, Eekkaa, Galaan, Aabbuu, Jillee. The answer is very simple: They were mercilessly decimated; their villages burnt down, their pasture and arable lands confiscated and shared among the invading Manzian Nagasii families of whom the Dejazmach Mangasha Seifu and the Ras Birru families were the most notorious ones. Thereafter, the Oromo territory occupied by Matcha-Tulama was officially changed to the expanding Kingdom of Showa, a detached enclave from Gonder, Abyssinia. Finfinnee was given a new colonial name “Addis Ababa”, just like Zimbabwe was changed to Rhodesia, Harare to Salisbury. Under this excruciating condition, the conquered Matcha-Tulama region had to lose its historic significance and had to be involuntarily submitted to the colonial name Showa.

In addition to the former derogatory term “Galla”, imposed on the conquered Oromos as a whole, the new regional name of Showa is prefixed to the derogatory term Galla.  Hence, “ye Showa Galla” came into force as a collective insulting name in addressing the whole Oromo of Matcha-Tulama. This clearly justifies the vertical segregation policy of the conquerors for easy identification of who is who in the newly colonised territory.

Using various forms of oppressive models, Abyssinian colonial tactics and strategies have been going on violently and, now entered into the first half of the 21st century. Since the second half of the 19thcentury in particular, the oppressive models have been amassing massive firearms from European colonialist partners, enjoying diplomatic immunities and profitable political advises.

In the late 19th century, one European writer commented that, if the Abyssinians had not been armed and advised by global colonial powers of the day, notably France and Britain, late alone to defeat the ferocious Oromo forces, they could not have even dared to encroach upon the limits of Oromo borders. He wrote what he witnessed the real situation of the time as follows:

Against the Galla [Oromo] Menelik has operated with French technicians, French map-makers, French advice on the management of standing army and more French advice as to building captured provinces with permanent garrison of conscripted colonial troops. The French also armed his troops with firearms, and did much else to organize his campaigns. Menelik was at a work on these adventures as King of Shewa during John’s lifetime; adding to his revenues and conscripting the Oromo were thus conquered by the Amhara for the first time in recorded history during the last thirteen years of the nineteenth Century. Without massive European help the Galla [Oromo] would not have been conquered at all.

The writer further explained what he personally encountered during the campaign in the following unambiguous language:

A large expedition was sent as far South in Arsi as frontier of Kambata to return with100, 000 head of Cattle. The king’s army fought against tribes who have no other weapons but a lance, a knife and shield, while the Amahras always have in their army several thousand rifles, pistols and often a couple cannon.—-Captive able-bodied males and the elderly were killed. The Severity of the Zamacha [campaign] was aimed at the eradication of all resistance. Whenever the army surged forward, there was the utmost devastation. Houses were burned, crops destroyed, and people executed:”

When we see the history of Abyssinian political philosophy, from which we have a written record, it is entirely based on the philosophy of depriving the Oromos from having any right to homeland. To convert Oromummaa   to Amaarummaa and ultimately to Itiyophiyawwinnet has been the policy in action up to this very day. Even though the policy works on all Oromos indiscriminately, the one which has been exercising on the Oromos of Tulama in Finfinnee and surrounding areas has its own unique feature. Some of the unique features are embedded in the formation of “Addis Ababa” itself; as a seat of colonial headquarters with all its oppressive machineries. To have ample space for the settlers, to build army headquarters, to build churches in the name of numerous Saints of Greek and Hebrew origins, to build residences and offices for foreign embassies and missionaries, to build factories and storage houses the crucial demand is land. To fulfil these crucial demands of the customers, helpless Oromo peasants of the area have to be evicted. They have been under routine eviction and land deprivation since the seizure of Burqaa Finfinnee and the establishment of Ethiopian Imperial capital at this place.

It could be incorrect to think of the current TPLF-Arinnet Tigray regime as a detached entity from the whole system of Abyssinian colonial regimes, when we equate what they need against the survival needs of the peoples they generically conquered as “Galla and Shanqilla”. Though since 1991, the Ethiopian imperial system has been overtaken from the Showan Nagasi Dynasty by their junior Tigrean brethren, the life of the colonised Oromo people has been going down from worse to the worst.

What makes TPLF-Arinnet Tigray different from its predecessors is its total monopolisation of resources of the empire, right from the imperial palace to the bottom village levels, from the centre to the periphery. Arable and pasture lands, plain and forest lands, rivers and mining areas are totally under its predatory control. It is routinely evicting peasants from their plots, their only means of existence. They are selling to Chinese, Indians, European, Turkish, Pakistani, Arabians and other companies at the lowest price. In making this huge business, the most preferable area in the empire is Oromoland; of which the land around Finfinee holds rank first.

This politically architected scheme, in the name of investment and development, is daily evicting Oromo peasants around Finfinnee often with meagre or no compensation at all. As a consequence,

  • some of  the evicted families are migrating to cities like Finfinnee and are becoming beggars
  • Some of them are leaving the country for unknown destination and found being refugees in neighbouring countries like Kenya and Yemen.
  • Since most of them who have no any alternative, they remain on the sold land and become daily labourers, earning less than half dollar a day.
  • Farm lands that had been producing sufficient grains of various types are now turned to produce non-edible flowers and toxic chemicals that contaminate rivers and lakes.

The incumbent Ethiopian regime of TPLF-Arinnet Tigray, more than any other imperial regimes of the past, is committed to make the Oromo people an “African Gypsy”. At one time the deceased prime minister of the Empire and EPDRF leader, Meles Zenawi, refers to the Oromos, who are numerically majority ethnic group in the Empire, said, “It is easy to make them a minority”. They are practically showing us the evil mission they vowed to accomplish. When they become rich of the richest in the Empire, the Oromo peasants they are daily uprooting are becoming poor of the poorest, being reduced to beggary and often deprived of burial sites after death. This evil work, as indicated above, has given priorities to sweep off “garbage” around Finfinnee and ultimately to encompass three-fourth of the region of “Showa” as a domain of “non-garbage” dwellers.

As vividly explained above, the Oromo of Tulama, since the onset of colonisation, have begun to be collectively addressed as “ye Showa Galla”. Those who resisted the derogatory name, the eviction, and the slavery system have been inhumanly executed or hanged. Their land and livestock have been confiscated and shared among the well-armed conquering power.

When Minilik invaded the Gullalle Oromo in Finfinnee, for instance, they remarkably resisted to the last minute but finally defeated. Those who remained behind the massacre had no other option except to leave for other regions against their choice. In their new homes, they have been even treated as collaborators of the invading “Showans” by their own kinsmen, calling them “Goobanaa”.Those able-bodied Gullallee, Eekkaa, Galaan, Abbichuu youths were involuntarily conscripted to the colonial army which is typical to all colonial policies. They were forced to go for further campaign to the south, east and west commanded by Showan fitawuraris and dejazmaches

From time to time, all Abyssinian forces, changing forms of their names, swearing in the name of Ethiopian unity and inviolable sovereignty, have never turned down the initial policy of evicting and persecuting the Oromo from their ancestral araddaaAraddaa Oromoo is the embryonic stage whereOromummaa has begun to radiate from. Hence, by virtue of its original formation, now and then, it could not be integrated into the enforced Abyssinian policy of Itiyophiyawwinnet .

Since the enforced policy has shown no visible success for the past 130 years, this time, it has taken on to shoulder the last option of  “sweeping them off” from around what they call “Addis Ababa” as a priority number one. As a consequence, came into being the destruction of Oromo survival relationship with their ancestors’ plot of land. The desecration of their shrines, sacred rivers, sacred mountains and sacred trees of which the case of  Odaa and Burqaa Finfinnee, Dhakaa Araaraa and Caffee Tumaa in the vicinity of Finfinnee are quite enough to mention. TPLF’s long range missile policy of destroying Oromos’ relation to their historic araddaa is not the end. It is just the beginning extrapolated to destroy Biyyoo  Oromoo.

At this critical time, any concerned Oromo should not be oblivious of the dreadful situation going on in Oromiyaa right now; in Finfinnee and surrounding areas in particular. The deliberate expansion of the amorphous city they call “Addis Ababa” is politically architected to divide Oromiyaa into east and west sector. It is not a master plan. It is an evil plan mastered to consummate an evil goal.

At this critical time, may we believe in the “No life after death”?  Rather, may we are for the life right now? Those who are for the life right now are genuinely expected to show discernible power through tangible solidarity to our victimised families at home. Pursuant to our tradition, we have been nurtured learning the wisdom of “Dubbiin haa bultu”.  Now, we should redirect this wisdom to “Dubbiin kun hin bultu”,that we ought to swear by great confidence to move in unison against the inhuman act, endless atrocities and perpetual eviction of our families from their ancestral araddaa.  Thereof, could we recall the intrinsic wisdom of our fathers’ saying “Tokko dhuufuun namummaadha, lama dhuufuun harrummaadha?

Read @ http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/the-expansion-of-the-amorphous-addis-ababa-the-endless-persecution-and-eviction-of-tulama-oromoo/

Urban centers in Oromia:The integration of indigenous Oromo towns into the Ethiopian colonial structure and the formation of garrison and non-garrison cities and towns April 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Colonizing Structure, Finfinnee, Free development vs authoritarian model, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo Valley, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sidama, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Youth Unemployment.
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Since urban areas and cities are primarily populated by Ethiopian colonial settlers and their collaborators, they are the ones who have access to the limited public facilities such as schools and hospitals. Oromo urbanites like the rural counter parts have been exposed to  massive and absolute poverty and have been denied fundamental human rights and needs  that Ron Shiffman (1995, 6-8)  calls subsistence, protection, affection, and understanding. Most Oromos in urban and rural areas have low levels of subsistence because they lack adequate income, enough food, and livable homes. they do not have protection from disease because they are denied adequate access to health and
medical services.They do not have protection from political violence because the Ethiopian state engages in massive human rights violations and state terrorism ( Jalata 2000). Oromos have been ruled by successive authoritarian-terrorist regimes which have exploited and impoverished them by expropriating their resources. ….The Oromos have been prevented from developing autonomous institutions, organizations, culture, and language, and have been subordinated to the
institutions and organizations of the Habasha colonial settlers in their own cities, towns, and homeland.

Read more @http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1052&context=asafa_jalata

Africa Rising: So What? March 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa Rising, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Development, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Food Production, Free development vs authoritarian model, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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This study critically discuses  the “Africa rising” story and the sub-narratives it carries, including the rise of the African woman, the rise of the African middle class and the power of innovation. The articles included inform that, in too many cases, it is not the wider population but small segments and interested parties, such as the local political elite and foreign investors, who are benefiting from economic growth and resource wealth. Social cohesion, political freedom and environmental protection carry little importance in the comforting world of impressive growth statistics. The glamorous images of Africa’s prominent women and rising middle class produced and re-produced in the media prevent the less attractive and more complex stories about ordinary people’s daily struggles from being heard.

GDP tells us nothing about health of an economy, let alone its sustainability and the overall impact on GDP is simply a measure of market consumption, which has been improperly adopted to assess economic performance. Rebuilding Libya after the civil war has been a blessing for its GDP. But does that mean that Libya is on an enviable growth path? When there is only one brick left in a country devastated by war or other disasters, then just making another brick means doubling the economy (100 percent growth). Another problem is the reliability of GDP statistics in Africa.  Economic growth figures for most  African countries are incomplete, thus undermining any generalisation about overall economic performance in the continent. Besides statistical problems, there are important structural reasons why one should be suspicious of  the ‘Africa rising’ mantra. Most fast- growing Africa economies are heavily dependent on exports of commodities.

Read the full articles @:

http://ke.boell.org/sites/default/files/perspectives_feb_2014_web1.pdf

 

 

“About 30% of sub-Saharan Africa’s annual GDP has been moved to secretive tax havens.”

http://www.fairobserver.com/article/africa-illicit-outflow-84931

 

 

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

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.

Ethiopia’s government is using imported technology to spy on the phones and computers of Citizens March 26, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sidama, Slavery, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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Human Rights Watch (HRW) in it recent research report exposes that Ethiopia has built up a large monitoring system for controlling citizens’ network and phone usage.  According to this report the government has a  sole monopoly of  telecommunications and network. And  there is no right constraints that prevent the government from gaining an overview of who have contact with anyone on the phone, sms and internet. The government also saves phone calls on a large scale.  The  authoritarian regime is using imported technology to spy on the phones and computers of its perceived opponents. HRW accuses the government of trying to silence dissent, using software and kit sold by European and Chinese firms. The report says the firms may be guilty of colluding in oppression.

“While monitoring of communications can legitimately be used to combat criminal activity, corruption, and terrorism, in Ethiopia there is little in the way of guidelines or directives on surveillance of communications or use of collected information to ensure such practices are not illegal. In different parts of the world, the rapid growth of information and communications technology has provided new opportunities for individuals to communicate in a manner and at a pace like never before, increasing the space for political discourse and facilitating access to information. However, many Ethiopians have not been able to enjoy these opportunities. Instead, information and

communications technology is being used as yet another method through which the government seeks to exercise complete control over the population, stifling the rights to freedom of expression and association, eroding privacy, and limiting access to information—all of which limit opportunities for expressing contrary opinions and engaging in meaningful debate.”

“Human Rights Watch interviews suggest that a significant number of Oromo individuals have been targeted for unlawful surveillance. Those arrested are invariably accused of being members or supporters of the OLF. In some cases, security officials may have a reasonable suspicion of these  individuals being involved with OLF. But in the majority of cases, Oromos were under surveillance because they were organizing cultural associations or trade unions, were involved in celebrating Oromo culture (through music, art, etc.) or were involved in registered political parties.

“Like the OLF, the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) was initially a political party, but began a low-level armed insurgency in Ethiopia’s Somali region in response to what it perceived to be the EPRDF’s failure to respect regional autonomy, and to consider demands for self-determination. In 2007, the ONLF scaled up armed attacks against government targets and oil exploration sites, triggering a harsh crackdown by the government. As with the government’s counterinsurgency response to the OLF, the Ethiopian security forces have routinely committed abuses against individuals of Somali ethnicity, including arbitrary detentions, torture, and extrajudicial killings,
based on their ethnicity or perceived support for the ONLF.”

“Internet usage in Ethiopia is still in its infancy with less than 1.5 percent of Ethiopians connected to the Internet and fewer than 27,000 broadband subscribers countrywide. By contrast, neighboring Kenya has close to 40 percent access.The majority of Internet users are located in Addis Ababa. According to the ITU, Ethiopia has some of the most expensive broadband in the world. Given these costs, Ethiopians usually access the Internet through the growing number of cybercafés or from their mobile phones.Internet has been available to mobile phone subscribers since 2009.Increasingly available in many of the more expensive hotels and cafes. Connectivity speeds countrywide are quite low, and are prone to frequent outages.”

“State-owned Ethio Telecom is the only telecommunications service provider in Ethiopia. It controls access to the phone network and to the Internet and all phone and Internet traffic must use Ethio Telecom infrastructure. There is no other service provider available in Ethiopia. Ethio Telecom therefore controls access to the Internet backbone that connects Ethiopia to the international Internet. In addition, Internet cafés must apply for a license and purchase service from Ethio Telecom to operate.”

“As Internet access increases, some governments are adopting or compelling use of technologies like “deep packet inspection” (DPI). Deep packet inspection enables the examination of the content of communications (an email or a website) as it is transmitted over an Internet network. Once examined, the communications can be then copied, analyzed, blocked, or even altered. DPI equipment allows Internet service providers—and by extension, governments—to monitor and analyze Internet communications of potentially millions of users in real time. While DPI does have some commercial applications, DPI is also a powerful tool for Internet filtering and blocking and can enable highly intrusive surveillance. Finally, some governments have begun using intrusion software to infiltrate an individual’s computer or mobile phone. Also known as spyware or malware, such software can allow a government to capture passwords (and other text typed into the device), copy or delete files, and even turn on the microphone or camera of the device to eavesdrop. Such software is often unwittingly downloaded when an individual opens a malicious link or file disguised as a legitimate item of interest to the target.”

“The vast majority of the cases documented by Human Rights Watch involving access to phone recordings involved Oromo defendants organizing Oromos in cultural associations, student associations, and trade unions. No credible evidence was presented that would appear to justify their arrest and detention or the accessing of their private phone records. These interrogations took place not only in Addis Ababa, but in numerous police stations and detention centers throughout Oromia and elsewhere in Ethiopia. As described in other publications, the government has gone to great lengths to prevent Oromos and other ethnicities from organizing groups and associations. While the increasing usefulness of the mobile phone to mobilize large groups of people quickly provides opportunities for young people, in particular, to form their own networks, Ethiopia’s monopoly and control over this technology provides Ethiopia with another tool to suppress the formation of these organizations and restrict freedoms of association and peaceful assembly.”

“Ethiopia was the first sub-Saharan African country to begin blocking Internet sites. The first reports of blocked websites appeared in May 2006 when opposition blogs were unavailable, and blocking has become more regular and pervasive ever since. Human Rights Watch and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab conducted testing in-country in July and August of 2013 to assess the availability of 171 different URLs that had a higher likelihood of being blocked, based on past testing, on the Ethio Telecom network. A total of 19 tests were run over seven days to ensure reliability of results.”

Read further @

“They Know Everything We Do”

Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2014/03/25/they-know-everything-we-do-0

http://thefrontierpost.com/article/84793/Ethiopia-uses-foreign-kit-to-spy-on-opponents-HRW/

 

 

 

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

 

Ethiopia: Silence, Pain, Lies and Abductions March 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Africa Rising, African Poor, Colonizing Structure, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Free development vs authoritarian model, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kambata, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sidama, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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O

‘This is a regime whose character has the potential to confuse even Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former Reagan foreign policy advisor, who made a distinction between “authoritarian” and “totalitarian” regimes. In her essay “Dictatorship and Double Standards,” she describes authoritarian dictators as “pragmatic rulers who care about their power and wealth and are indifferent toward ideological issues, even if they pay lip service to some big cause”; while, in contrast, totalitarian leaders are “selfless fanatics who believe in their ideology and are ready to put everything at stake for their ideals”.’

martinplaut

This assessment of the reaction to the article I published on this blog: “Silence and Pain,”  is interesting for its exploration of the relationship between the Ethiopian government and the media, even though it overestimates any influence I may have.

Martin

Source: Muktar M. Omer

Ethiopia: Silence, Pain, Lies and Abductions

March 16, 2014

By Muktar M. Omer

Template denials

The Ethiopian Government, through its foreign ministry,  responded to Martin Plaut’s article “Silence and Pain: Ethiopia’s human rights record in the Ogaden” with the usual feigned shock and template denial that has long characterized the regime’s political personality. It is the established behavior of aggressive and autocratic regimes to discount well-founded reports of human right violations as propaganda constructs of the ‘enemy’. The response from the Foreign Ministry was thus nothing more than a well memorized and rehearsed Ethiopian way of disregarding documented depravities committed by the regime. As usual…

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Africa’s youth and the self-seeking repressive elites March 15, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Finfinnee, Food Production, Human Rights, International Economics, International Trade, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Opportunity Cost, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Poverty, Saudi Arabia, Self determination, Slavery, South Sudan, Specialization, State of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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Oijoolleeoromo

Africa’s youth will protest to remove self-seeking and repressive elites

 

“Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone. ….Short-term greed is, once again, depriving the African populations of the right to share in the continent’s immense riches. No-one can predict the future, but what can be said with certainty is that the possibility of a sustainable long-term and fair development that is currently at hand in Africa is being put at risk. The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest. In the near future, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their mobile phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise and act together to remove self-seeking and repressive elites. But the situation is not hopeless, on the contrary. Civil society is growing stronger in many places in Africa. The internet makes it possible for people to access and disseminate information in an unprecedented way. However, I get really disappointed when I hear all the ingenuous talk about the possibilities to invest and make quick profits in the ‘New Africa’. What is in reality new in the ‘New Africa’? Today, a worker in a Chinese-owned factory in Ethiopia earns one-tenth of the wage of an employee in China. Unless African governments and investors act more responsibly and ensure long-term sustainable construction for people and the environment ‒ which is currently not the case ‒ we must all ask ourselves if we should not use the consumer power we all possess to exert pressure. There are no excuses for letting African populations and their environment once again pay for the global demand for its raw materials and cheap consumer goods.”  – Marika Griehsel, journalist, film-maker and lecturer

“Thousands of people are demonstrating on the streets to protest against low salaries, the highcost of living and an insufficient state safety net. A reaction to austerity measures in Greece? Or a follow-up to the Arab Spring? No, these are protests for greater equality in Sub-Saharan Africa, most recently in Burkina Faso. The widening gap between rich and poor is as troubling in Africa as in the rest of the world. In fact, many Africans believe that inequalities are becoming more marked: A tiny minority is getting richer while the lines of poor people grow out the door. The contrast is all the more striking in Africa since the poverty level has been at a consistently high level for decades, despite the continent’s significant average GDP growth. Some take a plane to get treated for hay fever, while others are pushing up daisies because they can’t afford basic malaria treatment.”

– Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/11/reducing-the-gap-between-africas-rich-and-poor/

 

 

It is now evident that the African ‘lion economies’ have hardly even begun the economic and democratic transformation that is absolutely necessary for the future of the continent.

The largest movement ever in Africa of people from rural to urban areas is now taking place. Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, are among the world’s fastest growing cities.

The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest.

Soon, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise to remove self-seeking and repressive elites.

This piece was written in Namibia, where I was leading a tour around one of Africa’s more stable nations. There are several signs confirming the World Bank’s reclassification of Namibia as a middle-income country, which in turn means that many aid donors, including Sweden, have ended their bilateral cooperation.

I see newly constructed, subsidised single-family homes accessible for low-income families. I drive on good roads and meet many tourists, although this is off-season. I hear about a growing mining sector, new discoveries of natural gas and oil deposits. I read about irregularities committed by people in power, in a reasonably free press whose editors are not thrown into jail. There is free primary level schooling and almost free health care.

Most people I talk to are optimistic. A better future for a majority of Namibians is being envisaged. This is in all probability the result of the country having a small population ‒ just above 2 million ‒ and a functioning infrastructure despite its large area.

In Namibia, economic growth can hopefully be matched by implementing policies for long-term, sustainable social and economic development that will benefit more than the élite.

But Namibia is an exception. Because it is now evident that the African ‘lion economies’ have hardly even begun the economic and democratic transformation that is absolutely necessary for the future of the continent.

Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone.

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, predicts continued high growth rates across Africa with an average of over 6 per cent in 2014. That is of course good news for the continent. Perhaps the best, from a macroeconomic viewpoint, since the 1960s, when many of the former colonies became independent. This growth is mainly driven by the raw material needs of China, India and Brazil.

Meanwhile, the largest movement ever in Africa of people from rural to urban areas is now taking place. Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, are among the world’s fastest growing cities. But, in contrast with China, where the migrants from the rural areas get employment in the manufacturing industry, the urban migrants in Africa end up in the growing slums of the big cities.

In a few places, notably in Ethiopia, manufacturing is beginning to take off. But the wages in the Chinese-owned factories are even lower than in China, while the corporations pay minimal taxes to the Ethiopian state.

Short-term greed is, once again, depriving the African populations of the right to share in the continent’s immense riches. No-one can predict the future, but what can be said with certainty is that the possibility of a sustainable long-term and fair development that is currently at hand in Africa is being put at risk.

The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest. In the near future, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their mobile phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise and act together to remove self-seeking and repressive elites.

But the situation is not hopeless, on the contrary. Civil society is growing stronger in many places in Africa. The internet makes it possible for people to access and disseminate information in an unprecedented way. However, I get really disappointed when I hear all the ingenuous talk about the possibilities to invest and make quick profits in the ‘New Africa’.

What is in reality new in the ‘New Africa’?

Today, a worker in a Chinese-owned factory in Ethiopia earns one-tenth of the wage of an employee in China. Unless African governments and investors act more responsibly and ensure long-term sustainable construction for people and the environment ‒ which is currently not the case ‒ we must all ask ourselves if we should not use the consumer power we all possess to exert pressure.

There are no excuses for letting African populations and their environment once again pay for the global demand for its raw materials and cheap consumer goods.
Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone.

http://naiforum.org/2014/03/africas-youth-will-protest/

The World Bank paints an optimistic picture of African potential, but warns against persistently high inequalities:

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains strong with growth forecasted to be 4.9% in 2013. Almost a third of countries in the region are growing at 6% and more, and African countries are now routinely among the fastest-growing countries in the world […] [however the report] notes that poverty and inequality remain “unacceptably high and the pace of reduction unacceptably slow.” Almost one out of every two Africans lives in extreme poverty today.

Revenue inequality in African towns via French documentation - Public domainhttp://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/11/reducing-the-gap-between-africas-rich-and-poor/

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

Related articles:

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 Universal Declaration of Human Rights March 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Development, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sidama, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: What is it? Who uses it? Why was it created?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere.(http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/history.shtml)

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

http://oneworldrights.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/udhr-article-2/

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

 

Why Should We Protect Endangered Languages? February 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kambata, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Language and Development, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oral Historian, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, 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, State of Oromia, The Oromo Library, Theory of Development, Toltu Tufa, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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Will the speakers, after all, have equal access to the empire or economy? Experience suggests that they don’t; so that for at least one generation, and probably more, they continue to suffer adverse discrimination. The discrimination which had been attached to their language is then converted to a slur on their poverty, their lack of education, their religion, or their personal appearance.  And whose ‘progress’ is being promoted? When society becomes more linguistically integrated, the greater gainers – perhaps the only gainers – may be the existing elite who now have a bigger game of domination to play. The future may even have been misunderstood, and the plans go nowhere. Maybe the minority community holds some of the answers. Is there only one path to a desirable future? Certainly, an autonomous community with its own language may gain little when it comes to dependence on welfare support.
 
In fact, political ‘divisions’ – although potentially an embarrassment for a national government – are very likely essential to the future identity of a community. A surviving minority language is a convenient way of marking and defending this, and tying it up with a massive cultural tradition. Its loss leads simply to oblivion. …‘Why Should We Protect Endangered Languages?’, is that, if we don’t, the communities that speak those languages will vanish, (along with features that make their life distinctive), almost as if they had never been. This is a loss of something valued by its speakers, and hence valuable. And in the general case, there is no corresponding automatic gain. In the general case, such a loss is to be avoided, if at all possible. This is because it makes the world a poorer place, certainly; but above all it is to be be avoided for the sake of the speakers, who stand to lose – in the long term – their very identities, their treasured sense of who they are and where they come from.- http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/why-should-we-protect-endangered-languages

 

 

 

How to end poverty? February 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, 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, Food Production, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Poverty, Self determination, Slavery, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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“Nations fail economically because of extractive institutions. These institutions keep poor countries poor and prevent them from embarking on a path to economic growth. This is true today in Africa, in South America, in Asia, in the Middle East and in some ex-Soviet Union nations. While having very different histories, languages and cultures, poor countries in these regions have similar extractive institutions designed by their elites for enriching themselves and perpetuating their power at the expense of the vast majority of the people on those societies. No meaningful change can be expected in those places until the exclusive extractive institutions, causing the problems in the first place, will become more inclusive.” http://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/how-to-end-poverty/#

“If we are to build grassroots respect for the institutions and processes that constitute democracy,” Mo Ibrahim writes for Project Syndicate, “the state must treat its citizens as real citizens, rather than as subjects. We cannot expect loyalty to an unjust regime. The state and its elites must be subject, in theory and in practice, to the same laws that its poorest citizens are.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mo-ibrahim/africa-needs-rule-of-law_b_4810286.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Otrazhenie

Poverty

I was always wondering about the most effective way to help move billions of people from the rut of poverty to prosperity. More philanthropy from the wealthy nations of the West? As J.W. Smith points it, with the record of corruption within impoverished countries, people will question giving them money as such ‘donations’ rarely ‘reach the target’. Building industries instead? While that approach seems to provide better results (see few examples described by Ray Avery in his book ‘Rabel with a cause‘), it still did not provide a silver bullet solution, as it does not address the roots of poverty and prosperity.

Poverty
From Christian Bowe

In their book ‘Why nations fail?‘, that examines the origin of poverty and prosperity, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson conclusively show that it is man-made political and economic institutions that underlie economic success (or the lack of it). Therefore only the development of inclusive…

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Why States Commit Genocide February 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Dictatorship, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sidama, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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It wasn’t always like this. Before nationalism, empires frequently ruled territory that contained many diverse peoples. The Habsburg family once ruled over the Spanish, Dutch and Austrian nations, along with many of the nations of Latin America. The Romans ruled hundreds of peoples great and small, from Greeks to Gauls to Britons to Iberians to Gallicians to Egyptians to Thracians to Illyrians to Carthaginians to Numidians and on and on. Before nationalism, peoples would rather submit to foreign conquerors than risk the loss of life and limb, and as a result conquerors rarely engaged in genocide except as a means of exacting vengeance on foreign rulers who defied them (as the Mongols and Assyrians were wont to do). Empires often took some of the vanquished as slaves, but rarely did empires kill thousands or millions of defenseless people deliberately and systematically for the sole purpose of decimating another nation. Instead, empires often brought conquered peoples into their trade networks, recruited them into their armies, and, eventually, even granted them citizenship rights. By treating conquered people well, they could in time acquire their loyalty.

Nationalism changed all of that. By placing lexical priority on independence and self-determination, all foreign occupiers become villains regardless of whether they are benign or malevolent in their treatment of the occupied nation. In this day and age, even members of a nation like the Scots, which enjoys spectacularly generous subsidies and full voting rights from the British government in Westminster, desire independence purely on the basis that some Scots are nationalists and believe that nothing less than full self-determination does their nation justice. If good treatment doesn’t buy loyalty, occupiers quickly find that they are without incentives to treat subject peoples well or to attempt to integrate them into their states. Nationalism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy–if occupiers have nothing to gain by offering fair terms of cooperation, they will not offer them, and the subjugation nationalists fear becomes reality precisely because they fear it and refuse to cooperate with the occupier.

The occupier is left with two choices:

Get Out.
Kill Them All.
Often times, occupiers choose to abandon whatever ambitions they might have had and leave in defeat and disgrace. But this doesn’t always happen–some leaders correctly reason that if they could just replace the existing population with their own people, they could pacify the territory and keep the resources it provides. If those leaders have the stomach for it, they will do the following:

Systematically murder the resisting nation.
Colonize the extinct nation’s territory with their own citizens.
Profit.
If we want to prevent genocide, we need to prevent occupiers from having to choose between defeat and genocide.

Why States Commit Genocide

by Benjamin Studebaker

http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2014/02/21/why-states-commit-genocide/

Benjamin Studebaker

We have a very poor understanding of genocide. Genocide is the sort of thing we typically associate with chaotically evil people, people who “just want to watch the world burn” and have no respect or regard for human life. Those who commit genocide are viewed as irrational, irredeemably bad people. I am not convinced by this. This is not to say that I think genocide is defensible or morally justifiable, but I think there are rational, logical reasons that motivate states to commit genocide. I enjoy attempting to theorize rational explanations of seemingly wholly malevolent phenomenon–back in September, I offered a theory of why states sometimes deliberately target civilians in war. Today I’d like to offer a theory of genocide, one that I hope will help us to make better sense of the circumstances that promote genocide and understand how those circumstances might be avoided.

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US Congress Takes a Historic Stance Against Land Grabs-Related Forced Evictions in Ethiopia February 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Food Production, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Omo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromummaa, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Theory of Development, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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???????????The US Congress has acted to prevent aid being used to support the forced evictions of Mursi, Bodi and Kwegu tribes from their ancestral land in Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley.


See the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (p. 1295-1296) @

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20140113/CPRT-113-HPRT-RU00-h3547-hamdt2samdt_xml.pdf

 

Oakland, CA – In a historic move, the US Congress has taken a stance on land grabs-related human rights abuses in Ethiopia. The 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill contains provisions that ensure that US development funds are not used to support forced evictions in Ethiopia.

The bill prevents US assistance from being used to support activities that directly or indirectly involve forced displacement in the Lower Omo and Gambella regions. It further requires US assistance in these areas be used to support local community initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods and be subject to prior consultation with affected populations. The bill goes further and even instructs the directors of international financial institutions to oppose financing for any activities that directly or indirectly involve forced evictions in Ethiopia.

According to Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, “We welcome this move as it aims to address one major flaw of US assistance to Ethiopia. The step taken by the US Congress is very significant, as it signals to both the Ethiopian government and the US administration that turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in the name of development is no longer an option.”

Several reports from the Oakland Institute have raised alarm about the scale, rate, and negative impacts of large-scale land acquisitions in Ethiopia that would result in the forced displacement of over 1.5 million people. This relocation process through the government’s villagization scheme is destroying the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and pastoralist communities. Ethiopian security forces have beaten, arrested, and intimidated individuals who have refused to relocate and free the lands for large-scale agricultural plantations.

Ethiopia’s so-called development programs cannot be carried out without the support of international donors, primarily the US, one of its main donors. Oakland Institute’s on-the-ground research has documented the high toll paid by local people as well as the role of donor countries such as the US in supporting the Ethiopian policy.

This language represents an important first step towards Congress initiating a comprehensive examination of US development practices in Ethiopia. As the oversight authority of the State Department, Congress must now ensure that the law is fully upheld and implemented. This warrants thorough scrutiny of USAID programs to Ethiopia and their contribution to forced resettlements and human rights abuses.

With this bill, USAID, the State Department, as well as the World Bank, will have to reconsider the terms and modalities of the support they provide to the Ethiopian government. According to Frederic Mousseau, Oakland Institute’s Policy Director, “This is a light of hope for the millions of indigenous people in Ethiopia who have sought international support from the international community to recognize their very destruction as communities and people.” Read Further @

http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/press-release-us-congress-takes-historic-stance-against-land-grabs-related-forced-evictions-ethiopia

USAID’s cover-up of Ethiopia abuses overruled by Congress 12 February 2014

The United States Congress has acted to prevent its aid to Ethiopia being used to fund forced evictions of tribal peoples in the south west of the country.

The provisions in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2014 represent a slap in the face for USAID, which last month said that ‘there are no reports of widespread or systematic human rights abuses’ in the region.

In fact, tribes of the Lower Omo Valley are being violently evicted from their villages by the government to make way for lucrative cotton, palm oil, and sugarcane plantations whose irrigation will be made possible by the controversial Gibe III dam. Transferred to designated resettlement areas, the once self-sufficient tribes will be left with no access to their livestock or lands and, consequently, will be unable to sustain themselves. Intimidation tactics, such as rape and beatings, have reportedly been used against those who resist resettlement.

One Mursi man told Survival International, ‘We are waiting to die. We are crying. When the government collects people into one village there will be no place for crops, and my children will be hungry and have no food.’

The Ethiopian government has not consulted any indigenous communities over its aggressive plantation plans in the Omo Valley, and very few were consulted over the construction of the Gibe III dam.

This sugarcane plantation, part of a government sponsored land grab, now occupies land used by tribes of the Lower Omo Valley since time immemorial.

This sugarcane plantation, part of a government sponsored land grab, now occupies land used by tribes of the Lower Omo Valley since time immemorial.
© Ethiopian Sugar Corporation

The region’s top human rights body, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, has written to the Ethiopian government asking it to halt the forced resettlement of the Lower Omo tribes while it investigates Survival’s submission regarding human rights violations in the area.

Ethiopia is one of the biggest recipients of American and British aid through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Although the provisions in the recent spending bill will force USAID to reevaluate the funding given to Ethiopia, it will ultimately be the responsibility of Congress to guarantee that the terms are upheld.

Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This bill is a huge step in the right direction, and shows that USAID’s shameful denials of the human rights abuses being committed in the Lower Omo simply haven’t been believed.

‘American taxpayers want to be sure that their money isn’t going toward the destruction of tribal peoples’ lives. Hopefully the historic provisions in this year’s spending bill will ensure that’s the case. It is now high time that British parliamentarians follow suit and ensure that DFID does not use UK taxpayers’ money to fund human rights violations in the Lower Omo.’ http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/9983

 

Further References on land grabs in Africa

Around 90 percent of the population of 87 million still suffers from numerous deprivations, ranging from insufficient access to education to inadequate health care; average incomes are still well below $1500 a year; and more than 30 million people still face chronic food shortages.

And while there are a number of positive and genuine reasons for the growth spurt – business and legislative reforms, more professional governance, the achievements of a thriving service sector – many critics say that the growth seen in agriculture, which accounts for almost half of Ethiopia’s economic activity and a great deal of its recent success, is actually being driven by an out of control ‘land grab’, as  multinational companies and private speculators vie to lease millions of acres of the country’s most fertile territory from the government at bargain basement prices.

At the ministry of agriculture in Addis Ababa, this land-lease programme is often described as a “win-win” because it brings in new technologies and employment and, supposedly, makes it easier to improve health care, education and other services in rural areas.

“Ethiopia needs to develop to fight poverty, increase food supplies and improve livelihoods and is doing so in a sustainable way,” said one official.

But according to a host of NGO’s and policy advocates, including Oxfam, Human Rights Watch and the Oakland Institute, the true consequences of the land grabs are almost all negative. They say that in order to make such huge areas available for foreign investors to grow foodstuffs and bio-fuels for export – and in direct contravention of Ethiopia’s obligations under international law – the authorities are displacing hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples, abusing their human rights, destroying their traditions, trashing the environment, and making them more dependent on food aid  than ever before.

“The benefits for the local populations are very little,” said renowned Ethiopian sociologist Dessalegn Rahmato. “They’ve taken away their land. They’ve taken away their natural resource, because these investors are clearing the land, destroying the forest, cutting down the trees. The government claims that one of the aims of this investment was to enable local areas to benefit by investing in infrastructure, social services … but these benefits are not included in the contract. It’s only left up to the magnanimity of the investor.”

And those investors, he continued, are simply not interested in anything other than serving their own needs: “They can grow any crop they want, when they want it, they can sell in any market they want, whether it’s a global market or a local market. In fact most of them are not interested in the local markets.”

He cited as an example a massive Saudi-owned plantation in the fertile Gambella region of south west Ethiopia, a prime target area for investors: “They have 10,000 hectares and they are producing rice. This rice is going to be exported to the Middle East, to Saudi Arabia and other places. The local people in that area don’t eat rice.”

But the most controversial element of the government’s programme is known as ‘villagisation’ – the displacement of people from land they have occupied for generations and their subsequent resettlement in artificial communities.

In Gambella, where two ethnic groups, the Anuaks and the Nuers, predominate, it has meant tens of thousands of people have been forced to abandon a traditional way of life. One such is Moot, an Anuak farmer who now lives in a government village far from his home.

“When investors showed up, we were told to pack up our things and to go to the village. If we had decided not to go, they would have destroyed our crops, our houses and our belongings. We couldn’t even claim compensation because the government decided that those lands belonged to the investors. We were scared … if you get upset and say that someone stole your land, you are put in prison. If you complain about being arrested, they will kill you. It’s not our land anymore; we have been deprived of our rights.”

Despite growing internal opposition and international criticism, the Ethiopian government shows no sign of scaling the programme back. According to the Oakland Institute, since 2008, an area the size of France has already been handed over to foreign corporations. Over the next few years an area twice that size is thought to be earmarked for leasing to investors.

So what does all this mean for the people on the ground? In Ethiopia – Land for Sale, filmmakers Veronique Mauduy and Romain Pelleray try and find out.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2014/01/ethiopia-land-sale-20141289498158575.html

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jan/23/land-deals-africa-farming-investment?CMP=twt_gu

Farming and food in Africa and the battle over land, water and resource rights

Africa is being heralded as the new frontier for commercial farming but, as governments and investors sign deals, a counter movement of family farmers is promoting alternative pathways to development.

The International Year of Family Farming is now underway, and never before have family farmers in Africa been more under threat.

Large land deals between African governments and usually foreign (and sometimes domestic) investors have seen swathes of the countryside leased or conceded, often for as much as 50-99 years. 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.

http://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/?p=34552

Oromia: OSGA Invited to the UN to report on human rights abuses February 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromia Support Group Australia, 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, Sirna Gadaa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oromo Democratic system, Uncategorized.
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HCH is working in conjunction with the Oromia Support Group of Australia (OSGA), one of our long standing community partners, to raise urgently required funds toward a unique opportunity to
present serious allegations of human rights abuses in Ethiopia, at the highest level; the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Human rights organisations have long been reporting human rights abuses committed by the Ethiopian government, which include rape, torture, arbitrary detention and kidnapping. OSGA is an Australian based organisation that was established in 2008 to report on and raise awareness of these violations.

They have recently been offered a significant opportunity to send a delegate to the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council’s UPR in April, 2014. There they will present a first-hand account of human rights abuses committed by the Ethiopian government.

This opportunity, to report first-hand accounts of torture, arbitrary imprisonment and rape to senior UN officials, will enable them to forward these concerns to the Ethiopian government during the official UPR process. This process will require the Ethiopian government to answer the accusations.

OSGA is raising urgently needed funds to send a representative from the Ethiopian community in Australia. The estimated total cost is approximately $5,000. If you can help, OSGA can provide a receipt, and will also report on the acquisition of any funds. Any contribution would greatly assist this effort.

If you can contribute, please contact info@osgaustralia

http://crisishub.org.au/osga-invited-un-report-human-rights-abuses?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_campaign=hootsuite

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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???????????urban networks

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

Oromia: The Gadaa System – Why Denied Recognition to Be a World Heritage? February 9, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Culture, Development, Dhaqaba Ebba, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Ideas, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Nelson Mandela, Nubia, Omo, Oral Historian, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, Theory of Development, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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Odaa Oromoo

‘It is quite long overdue to register Gadaa as a world heritage… ‘If it is inscribed as UNESCO’s world heritage it will be the source of historical pride not only for the Oromo people but also for all peoples of Ethiopia, Africa and the whole world at large. It will also be a center of attraction to the world tourists who would come to see and enjoy the Gadaa system’s tangible and intangible values. Tangible heritages are the age old Gadaa centers like; Hora Arsadi, Oda Nabe, Oda Bulluqi, Oda Bultum, Oda Makoo Billi, Gumii Gayyoo in Borana and many others in western, central, eastern and southern #Oromia. It also includes reverences and ornaments of rituals, the Bokku, the Caaccu and Kalacha. Intangible heritages are ideas, thoughts and the worldview of Abba Gadaa elders, women, men and the youth as members of the Gadaa system.’ Read @http://allafrica.com/stories/201209210569.html?page=3

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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The Marks of Aannolee, Azulee, And Chalanqoo/Calanqoo Cannot Be Erased from the Memory of Oromo Generations January 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land Grabs in Africa, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, 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, Slavery, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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The marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo/Calanqoo cannot be erased from the memory of Oromo generations The marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo/Calanqoo cannot be erased from the memory of Oromo generations.
By Leenjiso Horo

The marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo Cannot be erased from the memory of successive Oromo generations and from the history of the Oromo people. These marks are incorporated into our collective memory. For this, centuries may pass, generations may come and go but the crimes of Abyssinia-the mutilation of breasts of women and girls and of the right hands of men and boys at Aannolee and the mass massacres at Azulee and Chalanqoo will not be erased, will never be diminished, and never be forgotten.
Menelik II’s mutilation of breasts of women and girls and of hands of men and boys is the first one in warfare throughout written history-from antiquity to modern times, unless proven to the contray. Those who support Menelik’s genocide at Aannolee, Azulee, and Calanqoo as a “holy war” or as a war of “reunification of Ethiopia” should hold full entitlement to it.
During the campaign of colonization of the south in the late nineteenth-century king Menelik II of Abyssinia exterminated the Oromo population by 50%, Kaficho by 75%, Gimira by 80% and Madii by over 90% (Radio Simbirtu interview with Prof. Mekuria Bulcha, 19 December 2013, part 2). These are genocides of highest proportion. The basic argument of the Abyssinian genocide denials has, however, remained the same as always—it never happened, the term “genocide” does not apply-it is a “reunification of Ethiopia.” Recently, the tactics of denial of genocide has been shifted from “reunification of Ethiopia” to “holy war.”
Abyssinians always avoid public discourse of the genocide at Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo believing that sooner or later in the course of time that generation would pass from the scene and their children would become acculturated and assimilated in the Abyssinian way of life and Abyssinian political thought and then the issue of genocide dies out and will be forgotten. However, what the Abyssinians forgot or failed to understand is that the genocide at Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo shapes not only the outlook of the immediate victims of the generation of the time but also of subsequent generations of the future. It is very important for the descendents of the perpetrators- the deniers of Oromo genocide to engage introspection to face and learn from their own history. It is time for the Nafxanyaas-the deniers of genocide to ask themselves question as to how that gross mass genocide could have occurred, instead of denying it and trying to maintain a false righteous self-image.
The Abyssinians are unable or unwilling to deal with the truth. They have always refused to recognize the crimes committed against the peoples of the south, Oromo included as genocide. Instead they elevated it to the level of a “holy war/qidus xorrinnat”; then took pride in it; identified with it, enthusiastically embraced it, glorified and glamorized it. This campaign is in support of their political and religious elites, scholars, governments, institutions, and individuals those who have been preaching genocide committed against Oromo and the south as a “reunification of Ethiopia.”
The Oromo Genocide and Tigrayans’ attempt to deny it
Today, the Tigrayan regime is behind the discussion of the past genocide to divert attention from itself, while it is committing genocide itself more dangerous than that of the past ones. It has undertaken open and total war campaign against the Oromo people. It is vitally important, therefore, that we should focus our attention on current genocide the Tigrayan regime is committing, while at the same time reminding ourselves the genocide that the Amhara regime of Menelik II committed a century ago. The Amharas have been denying the genocide against the Oromo and other southern peoples that their regime of Menelik II committed and now the Tigrayans are also denying the genocide that their regime is committing.
The Amharas are simply dancing and singing to the ghost of Menelik II but they do not possess the means and capabilities to commit anther genocide. Today, it is the Tigrayan regime led by TPLF that is committing genocidal mass murder against the Oromo people; it is this regime that possesses the means and capabilities to commit genocide. Its means are the army, paramilitary unit, the police force, special police or Liyyuu police, secret state agents, Death Squads, the bureaucratic and judicial system. All of these are already fully utilized for this purpose.
The sudden descend of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) upon Oromiyaa in 1991, set in a rapid motion a process to eliminate any opposition to its rule that culminate in the arrests, tortures and killings. Then since 1992, it has been carrying out a systematic, methodical, pre-planned, and centrally-organized genocidal mass murder against the Oromo people. Meles Zenawi was the notorious architect and organizer of policy of the Oromo genocide with his culprits and other thousands of perpetrators of genocide who are still implementing his policy after his death. His brutality against Oromo people has surpassed that of all his predecessors combined. His regime has erected concentration camps across Oromiyaa, camps such as Hursoo, Bilaattee, Dhidheessaa, Zuwaay, and Qalittii are the well known ones. But numerous other clandestine prison cells where the victims are eliminated have been established across the empire. The regime has openly undertaken a major Oromiyaa-wide persecution of Oromo. Hence Ordinary people, for the first time, being rounded up and sent to these clandestine centers for interrogation through torture. In the torture, few survived and many perished.
The pattern of destruction has been repeated over and over in different parts of Oromiyaa. Many of these repetitive destructions are far from the major cities; such repetition are a centrally design one. Further, reward structure set in place. That reward is geared towards those who implement the policy. The regional governors and officials who refuses to carry out orders to annihilate the Oromo are summarily replaced as disloyal and OLF agent. Community leaders are arrested and persecuted. Many of women, children, and elderly run into forests and deserts to escape slaughter. Today, the Oromo people are in violent historical moment. They are the target of Tigrayan regime for physical extermination and forcible removal from their lands. Hundreds of thousands have been killed; millions have been forced out from their lands and their lands haven been sold or leased to local and multination land-grabbers.
The Tigrayan regime has fully undertaken the implementation of the policy of Oromo extermination since 1992. The Amhara genocidal denialists are fully subscribed to this policy. In the Tigrayan regime’s jails millions of Oromo perished as the result of starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical extermination.
We are the nation of heroes, heroines and victims. We were the victims of genocide yesterday and we are the victims of genocide today. Yesterday, we were victims of genocide under Amhara successive regimes and today, we are victims of genocide under the Tigrayan regime. Indeed, we are a wounded and bled nation in our country by another nation- the Abyssinian nation.
We oftentimes say, never again to genocide in Oromiyaa. We say, the seeds of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo must not be allowed to sprout again in Oromiyaa. And yet it has already sprout; violence is again around us; violence of genocide is still consuming our people. Menelik’s genocide at Aannolee, Azulee and Chalanqoo is reconstructed and renewed by Meles Zenawi and implemented Oromiyaa wide. Hence, the past genocide has now become the present new genocide. Hence, the dead Oromo are still dead; more are still dying; expropriated Oromoland is still expropriated; The pillaging of Oromiyaa is at its height and the colonized Oromiyaa is still colonized.
The way forward
The way forward is Oromo nationalists’ unity and the fight against occupation. For this, it is important to rebuild the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) as superior mighty force both in quantity and quality to protect the population and secure liberation. This enables the nation to drive out the Tigrayan regime and establish independent Democratic Republic of Oromiyaa. Again, it is vitally important to remove Menelik’s statue from Oromiyaa; establish National Genocide Memorial Day for the victims of Aannolee, Azulee and Chalanqoo. This Oromo Genocide Memorial Day should be established and observed annually while we are still fighting for independence. The date and the month must be different from Oromo Martyrs Day/Guyyaa Gootoota Oromoo.
No one escapes from the history of one’s people. For this, we should and must not allow the past to rest and to be forgotten. Every generation must teach the succeeding generation about the past history, their heroes and heroines. The past, the present as well as the future belong to the succeeding generations. Each new generation hold the entitlement of the past and the present. For this, the establishment of the Oromo Genocide Memorial Day is the order of the day that the marks of Aannolee, Azulee, and Chalanqoo Cannot be erased from the memory of successive Oromo generations.
Oromiyaa Shall Be Free!

Read further from its original post @:http://oromiafreevoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-marks-of-aannolee-azulee-and.html?spref=fb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further References:

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.oromo.org/

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

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

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

Source: Genocide Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friends at ER:

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

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

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

Here is the complete document….

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

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

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

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

(Summary):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DOMINATION OF THE NEGUS OVER NON-ABYSSINIAN POPULATIONS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The documents show:

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

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

(c) That the slave trade is still practiced;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch World Report 2014 January 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Human Rights, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Nubia, 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, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Warlords.
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The following is Human Rights Watch World Report 2014 on Ethiopia:

Hopes that Ethiopia’s new leadership would pursue human rights reforms following Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s death in August 2012 have been shattered; there was no tangible change of policy in 2013. Instead, the Ethiopian authorities continue to severely restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, using repressive laws to constrain civil society and independent media, and target individuals with politically motivated prosecutions.

Muslim protests against perceived government interference in their religious affairs were met by security forces with arbitrary arrests and detentions, beatings, and other mistreatment throughout the year. The trial of 29 protest leaders who were arrested in July 2012 has been closed to the public, media, and family members since January. Others convicted under the country’s deeply flawed antiterrorism law—including opposition leaders and four journalists—remain in prison.

Ethiopia’s ambitious development schemes, funded from domestic revenue sources and foreign assistance, sometimes displace indigenous communities without appropriate consultation or any compensation. Security forces have also used violence, threats, and intimidation to force some groups to relocate, such as in the Lower Omo Valley where indigenous people continue to be displaced from their traditional lands, which are earmarked for state-run irrigated sugar plantations.

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly
Since early 2012, members of Ethiopia’s Muslim community—which constitutes at least 30 percent of the country’s population—have organized regular public protests. Demonstrations were triggered by perceived government interference in the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and the Awalia mosque in Addis Ababa.

The government has clamped down heavily on the protests, arbitrarily detaining and beating protesters, including 29 prominent activists and leaders who were arrested in July 2012 and charged in October 2012 under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. In January, the High Court closed those hearings to the public, including media, diplomats, and family members. Some defendants have alleged mistreatment in detention and the trials raise a number of due process concerns, including lack of access to legal counsel for some defendants for almost two months, and erratic access to relatives.

The government has also undermined the defendants’ presumption of innocence by broadcasting inflammatory material and accusations against them on state television. In February, the state-run Ethiopian Television (ETV) broadcast a program called “Jihadawi Harakat” (“Jihad War”) that included footage of at least five of the defendants filmed in pretrial detention. The program equated the Muslim protest movement with Islamist extremist groups, casting the protest leaders as terrorists.

Despite the arrests, protests continued throughout 2013. In early August, protests were organized in the capital, Addis Ababa, as well as in other cities to commemorate Eid al Fitr, the end of Ramadan. Witnesses described a heavy police presence in Addis Ababa, and credible sources said that police used excessive force to disperse the demonstrators and detained hundreds, at least temporarily.

The Semayawi Party (“Blue Party”), a newcomer to Ethiopia’s political scene, held a peaceful protest in June—the first large-scale protest organized by a political opposition party in eight years. A planned protest in August was cancelled when the Blue Party offices were raided by security forces, resulting in the arrest of dozens of people and the confiscation of equipment. The Blue Party had earlier been denied a permit by government to hold the protest.

Arbitrary Detention and Ill-Treatment
Arbitrary detention and ill-treatment in detention continues to be a major problem. Students, members of opposition groups, journalists, peaceful protesters, and others seeking to express their rights to freedom of assembly, expression, or association are frequently detained arbitrarily.

Ill-treatment is often reported by people detained for political reasons, particularly in Addis Ababa’s Federal Police Crime Investigation Center, known as Maekelawi, where most individuals are held during pre-charge or pretrial detention. Abuse and coercion that in some cases amount to torture and other ill-treatment are used to extract information, confessions, and statements from detainees.

Individuals are often denied access to legal counsel, particularly during pre-charge detention. Mistreated detainees have little recourse in the courts and there is no regular access to prisons and detention centers by independent investigators. Although the government-affiliated Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has visited some detainees and detention centers, there is no regular monitoring by any independent human rights or other organizations.

In July, a delegation from the European Parliament was denied access to Kaliti prison in Addis Ababa by Ethiopian authorities, despite having received prior authorization.

Freedom of Expression and Association
Since 2009, when the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO Law) were passed, freedoms of expression and association have been severely restricted in Ethiopia. The CSO law is one of the most draconian laws regulating nongovernmental activity in the world. It bars work on human rights, good governance, conflict resolution, and advocacy on the rights of women, children, and people with disabilities if organizations receive more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign sources.

Ethiopia’s most reputable human rights groups have either dramatically scaled down their operations or removed human rights from their mandates. Several of the country’s most prominent human rights activists have fled the country due to threats.

Ethiopian media remains under a tight government stranglehold, and many journalists practice self-censorship. Webpages and blogs critical of the government are regularly blocked, and foreign radio and TV stations are routinely jammed. Journalists working for independent domestic newspapers continue to face regular harassment and threats.

The Anti-Terrorism Proclamation has been used to target political opponents, stifle dissent, and silence journalists. In May, the Supreme Court upheld the 18-year sentence of journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega Fenta, who was convicted in July 2012 for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and participation in a terrorist organization. Eskinder received the PEN Freedom to Write award in 2012. Reeyot Alemu Gobebo, a journalist for Feteh, was convicted on three counts under the terrorism law for her writings. Her sentence was reduced from 14 to 5 years on appeal, but her appeal of the remaining five-year sentence was dismissed in January. Reeyot was awarded the prestigious 2013 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

Journalists covering the Muslim protests were threatened and arbitrarily detained. Solomon Kebede, chief editor of the now-defunct Yemuslimoch Guday (“Muslim Affairs”), was arrested in January and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Yusuf Getachew, his predecessor, was charged under the same law in 2012. Several other journalists fled Ethiopia in 2013, making it one of the top three countries in the world in terms of the number of journalists in exile.

Forced Displacement Associated with Development Programs
Both the government of Ethiopia and the donor community have failed to adequately investigate allegations of abuses associated with Ethiopia’s “villagization program.” Under this program, 1.5 million rural people are being relocated, ostensibly to improve their access to basic services. However, some of the relocations in the first year of the program in Gambella region were accompanied by violence, including beatings and arbitrary arrests, and insufficient consultation and compensation.

On July 12, the World Bank’s board of executive directors approved the recommendation of the Inspection Panel, the institution’s independent accountability mechanism, to investigate a complaint from ethnic Anuak refugees alleging that the bank violated its own safeguards in Gambella. The investigation was ongoing at time of writing.

Ethiopia is proceeding with development of a sugar plantation in the Lower Omo Valley, clearing 245,000 hectares of land that is home to 200,000 indigenous peoples. Displaced from their ancestral lands, these agro-pastoralists are being moved to permanent villages under the villagization program.

Key International Actors
Ethiopia enjoys warm relations with foreign donors and most of its regional neighbors. Ethiopia has forged strong ties based on its role as the seat of the African Union (AU), its contribution to United Nations peacekeeping, security partnerships with Western nations, and its progress on some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These strong relationships have contributed to the international community’s silence on Ethiopia’s dismal human rights record.

The year 2013 saw Ethiopia continue to play a mediation role between Sudan and South Sudan, while its troops maintained an uneasy calm in the disputed Abyei region. Ethiopia continues to deploy its troops inside Somalia, but outside the AU mission.

Ethiopia also continues to receive significant amounts of donor assistance—almost US$4 billion in 2013. As partners in Ethiopia’s development, donor nations remain muted in their criticism of Ethiopia’s appalling human rights record and are taking little meaningful action to investigate allegations of abuses associated with development programs.

Relations with Egypt worsened in 2013 due to Egyptian concerns that Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam will divert valuable water from the Nile River. An estimated 85 percent of the Nile’s waters originate in the Ethiopian highlands and Egypt is completely dependent on the Nile for all its water needs. At 6,000 megawatts of electricity, the dam will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric project. Construction started in 2012 and the dam is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

In addition to Western donors, China, India, and Brazil are increasingly financing a variety of large-scale development initiatives. Foreign private investment into Ethiopia is increasing with agro-business, hydroelectric, mining, and oil exploration all gaining prominence in 2013. Agro-business investment is coming mainly from India, the Gulf, and the Ethiopian diaspora, attracted to very low land prices and labor costs. As seen in several of Ethiopia’s other large-scale development projects, there is a serious risk of forced displacement of people from their land when some of these programs are implemented. The full text of  the report is available@:

http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/wr2014_web_0.pdf

Indigenous People & Development: Protecting Collective Identities And Rights January 10, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Development, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Self determination, Sirna Gadaa, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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“Indigenous representatives insist that the individualistic view of the world is totally alien to the indigenous ideas of the world, their traditions, their past and their present. An exclusive emphasis on individual rights has not and cannot give effective guarantees for indigenous peoples, who require the simultaneous protection as collectivities
in order to survive and flourish as distinct peoples and cultures. Collective rights emphasise the value of protecting indigenous cultures and existence per se and reject assimilation and integration as valid modes of relating to indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples have stated:
‘The concept of indigenous peoples’ collective rights is of paramount importance. It is the establishment of rights of peoples as groups, and not merely the recognition of individual rights, which is one of the most important purposes of this Declaration. Without this, the Declaration cannot adequately protect our most basic interests. This must not be compromised.’ (UN Sub-Commission, Indigenous Peoples Preparatory Meeting: Comments on the First Revised Text of the Draft Declaration on Rights of  Indigenous Peoples, July 1989.) In contrast, some states use liberal theory in order to reject the notion of collective rights. ‘International instruments generally speak of individual not collective  rights. … Making clear that the rights guaranteed are those of individuals prevents governments or groups of (sic) violating or interfering with them in the name of the greater good of a group or a state … In certain cases, it is entirely appropriate or necessary to refer to indigenous communities or groups, in order to reinforce their individual civil and political rights on the basis of full equality and non-discrimination. But characterising a right as belonging to a community, or collective, rather than an individual, can be and often is construed to
limit the exercise of that right (since only a group can invoke it), and thus may open the door to the denial of the right to the individual. This approach is consistent with the general view of the US, as developed by its domestic experience, that the rights of all people are best assured when the rights of each person are effectively protected.’
In their historical evolution, human rights have been perceived as the rights of individuals against state power.
Opponents of collective rights base their arguments on cosmopolitanism, a theory which advocates for autonomous
individuals who are free from their cultural tradition and can therefore make autonomous decisions, in contrast to the communitarian theory according to which the self has attachments to the culture he/she has grown up in. Liberals argue that the establishment of collective rights will reflect a totalitarian vision of the society and will raise tribalist or nationalistic attitudes. The extensive philosophising on the need for cultural membership and collective rights is generally perceived by international lawyers as very engaging and very relevant to legal debates on claims for collective rights; yet, sometimes it appears to be lagging behind new developments in international law. If
international law is defined as the system of rules and principles that govern international relations (Martin Dixon, Textbook on International Law, 3rd edn, London: Blackstone Press Ltd, 1996, 2), its normative direction on the issue cannot be ignored. The liberal emphasis on the dichotomy between the individual and the state ignores the existence of any intermediate groups. The rejection of collective rights derives from a notion of ‘monotheism of the state’, namely unlimited sovereignty of the state and the view that the state should be the only source of authority in each political system. However, this model appears to be inconsistent with the existing norms of international law as
well as the international political realities. In the post-national state, although sharing the state’s national identity, citizens have in most cases other loyalties as well. These loyalties may lie in groups smaller than the state, such as families, local communities, ethnic, religious and cultural groups, as well as groups bigger than the state, such as regional organisations (e.g. the European Union) or even the international society. All these groups represent a series of multiple loyalties that the individual has and consequently incorporate various cultures that influence
the individual.  International law is in the process of recognising various sub-national groups other than the state. International norms are in the process of expanding the number of entities that enjoy legal personality if only for some purposes. Currently, non-state entities such as inter-governmental organisations, regional organisations, non-self-governing territories, liberation movements and insurgent communities, non-governmental organisations, corporations and autonomous local administrations can act to some extent as agents in the international arena (see Martin Dixon, op cit, 109 110, and lan Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 4th edn, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992, 58-70). International law goes even further and recognises the importance of groups in the life of the individual. The 1989 UNESCO Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore protects the culture of sub-national groups. Also, the Convention on the Rights of the Child states that education must
develop respect for the child’s ‘own cultural identity, language and values’ as well as for ‘the national values of the country in which the child is living’. Although the human rights system gives the central role to the individual, protection is also given to the person as a member of groups, such as the family, ethnic, national, religious and linguistic groups and nations (peoples). Even though most of these provisions establish individual rights or individual rights in collective capacity, their spirit recognises the importance of groups for the individual and prescribes that these groups should be protected. By protecting the various sub-groups that surround the
individual, it appears that international law perceives these groups as forming concentric circles around the person. Apart from having his/her own attributes and choices as an independent agent, the person is also influenced by his/her immediate group (such as the family), peer group (such as the local group), ethnic, religious and cultural group, his/her nation” (peoples), state, continent/region and, finally, loosely by the main culture we all share as citizens of a common world. The closer the circle to the person, the more influence it has on him/her. In order to protect the individual, all the various ‘circles’ loyalties around him/her need to be protected. Thus, international law includes a different set of protection for the individual (by establishing individual rights), but also his/her family, ethnic, cultural or religious group, the society he/she lives in, and finally the culture of his/her continent and the culture of the world itself (by establishing collective rights) (see Ronald Caret, ‘Communality and Existence: The Rights of Groups’, 56 (1993) South California Law Review, 1001 1050). As Waldron argues (in Jeremy Waldron, ‘Minority Cultures and the Cosmopolitan Alternative’ 25 (1995) University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 751–793, as reprinted in Will Kymlicka (ed), The Rights of Minority Cultures, Oxford University Press, 1995, 93-119, 103): ‘Just as the allegedly self-made individual needs to be brought to a proper awareness of[h\s/]her dependence on social, communal and cultural structures, so too in the modern world particular cultures and national communities have an obligation to recognise their dependence on the wider social, political, international and civilisational structures that sustain them.’ ”

– Alexandra Xanthaki, Collective Rights: The Case for Indigenous People, 2000.

The full text can be read @http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/3841/1/1428-1642-1-SM.pdf

‘The concept of collective rights emerged because individual human rights do not guarantee adequate protection forindigenous peoples and other minorities exhibiting collective characteristics. These groups face various threats to their livelihoods, to their environments, to their health and to their security, and their very survival may depend upon the recognition and protection of their collective rights. … Collective rights are intergenerational. Land rights must be understood from this perspective, as present generations have inherited the territory of previous ones, and are obliged to pass it on to future generations. For that reason, indigenous territory should not be classified as property but rather as inheritance or patrimony. In the cosmic vision of many indigenous peoples, territory is not only a physical space but also where productive systems like fishing, hunting, agriculture, extractive activities and so forth are carried out in a self-reliant manner.’

– Friend of The Earth International

http://www.foei.org/en/get-involved/take-action/solidarity-work/collective-rights

http://www.unric.org/en/indigenous-people/27309-individual-vs-collective-rights

http://www.ciemen.org/pdf/ang.PDF

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Nubia and Oromia January 4, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Corruption, Culture, Development, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Social System, 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, The Oromo Democratic system, Tyranny, Uncategorized.
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Brownie: Spending an evening with Oromos

Today was such a pleseant day, i was invited to the Oromo community celebration of the beginning of the new Georgian year 2013. Oromo are the Koshian people of the State of Ethiopia. they are part of the Koshian civilization which Nubians belong to. So they are my cousins.
I have been introduced to the Oromo struggle in 2009, through my work in refugees’ issue in Egypt. One of my colleagues is a great man and he is from Oromo. He taught me about the struggle of his people against the central State in Ethiopia, actually they are sharing some problems with us, as Nubians, the suppression, neglection from the central government and cultural war to omit their deep rooted culture.

Oromo like many ethincities in Africa suffered specially after the colonization, because the colonizers built a wicked conflict in the African context which is the supremacy of a certain people or culture on the rest of the inhabitants of each country, after drawing unnatural borders.That was the case of Rwanda for example and that what lead to the genocide.
This wicked idea was entrenched through all means, political, social, economic and developmental.
Being in the trench of the unprivileged part means suffering by all means, no education, no health care, no development, complicated economic situation and for sure political prosecution if you dared to talk about your people suffering.
It is very problematic that the newly established states in Africa had hard time with the notion of nationalism, that they tried to embrace just one identity, and by that they completely deviated from the African tradition of respecting multiplicity. Africans suffered from the unnatural borders which cut some ethicities into pieces like the Nubian comminty when British cut Nubia into two part by the line of 22 north, which made some Nubians Sudanese and other Egyptians. even in the same states, some governments adopted very selective attitude in applying the notion of nationality, they made a check list and if you do not fit, you will suffer.
and Oromo do not fit, they are simply different.

That what happened to my Oromo-ian friend, he left the homeland, and he is a refugee here in Egypt, suffering from hardship of being a refugee in unwelcoming state like Egypt. but when you see him talking about his struggle you will only see the pride, that black pride which never vanishes.

Oromo people are struggling hard to be recognized and to have their human rights respected.
the Ethiopian state must stop its suppression to the Oromo people.

Respecting different people is essential, multiculturalism and persevering multiplicity is the pillar of any state.
Finally sometimes it is important to see Adhoc, this is a video showing how Oromo raised their flag in the last African cup for football:

Know more about the Oromo struggle  (http://www.oromoliberationfront.org/index.htm)
See the details at original source:
http://atbrownies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/spending-evening-with-oromos.html
By Fatma Emam: http://www.blogger.com/profile/17426809504085760083

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