jump to navigation

Urgent open letter to the Ethiopian government, the @WHO and international community. #coronavirus crisis @hrw April 9, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Urgent open letter to the Ethiopian government, the @WHO and international community. #coronavirus crisis @hrw

 Advocacy4oromia APR 8

The Ethiopian Government should be part of the World Community in Fighting Against COVID-19 and Respecting Human Rights of the Citizens

We, Oromo Civic, Professional, and Faith-based organizations in Diaspora write this letter out of grave concern that COVID-19 might cause preventable loss of lives in Oromia and the whole of Ethiopia upon all political prisoners, temporarily displaced persons such as refugee and homeless peoples who are extremely vulnerable because of their unhealthy living conditions. We are also concerned by the damages that could be done by the movement of the military personnel and the continued deployment of the illegal command posts in several Oromia regions during this period of fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic. At this critical global health emergency, deployment of the military should be to contain the COVID-19, not to harass, kill, displace and plunder the citizens.

COVID-19 is unprecedented pandemic, and it exerts multifaceted threats. We have no cure or vaccination for this highly contagious disease. The only tool we have is prevention and mitigation. Prevention strategies are complex, and they take place at different levels and require coordinated efforts. This necessitates the government and the public to go extra miles. The WHO recommended prevention strategies are social distancing and personal hygiene. Social distancing means being two meters apart from each other, avoiding public meetings, and restricting travels. But the Ethiopian prisons are overcrowded with political prisoners and luck clean water. These conditions put the prisoners and the general public in unnecessary public health risks.

Moreover, the ruling Prosperity Party of Prime Minister Abiy is continuously holding public meetings and forcing people to attend in Oromia Regional State, in packed halls with thousands of people for political orientation. This is neglecting or prudently violating the global health guideline- one of which is social distancing. Such action is deliberately or negligently exposing the people to the deadly virus. This tantamount to genocide.

Ethiopia also has historical practices where the movement of soldiers unwittingly led to the spread of infectious diseases from one place to another and transmitted disease-causing agents. At this time, the Ethiopian army is deployed to several regions and is serving in the command posts.

For over a year, Western and Southern Oromia zones are under illegal command posts or martial law. The soldiers of the command posts are engaged in killings, imprisoning, and harassing civilians. In those regions, farming, businesses, schooling, and other activities are either entirely stopped or significantly disrupted, and the condition has subjected the people to live in poverty and malnutrition.

Poverty and food insecurity also make people vulnerable to infections. Hence, the illegal command post has created unhealthy social conditions and generated unnecessary risks to the transmission of COVID-19. From the zones ruled by the martial law and others, people who feared the atrocities of the Ethiopian security forces are massively fleeing from their homes to major cities. Many of them are now in cities and live in overcrowded housing or homeless. In the last twenty years in Finfinne/Addis Ababa area, the Oromo people have been evicted massively from their homes with little or no compensation, and many of them are now homeless.

Resulted from the Ethiopian government’s divide and rule policies, over two million Oromos have been evicted from their homes. Most of them live in overcrowded housing, and others are homeless. Homelessness and overcrowded housing are major risk factors for COVID-19. The Ethiopian public health action plans to contain the COVID-19 needs to include housing the homeless people and respecting human rights principles.

The widespread human rights violations are causing people to flee from their homes and displacing them locally and making them international refugees. The movement of the armed forces and the displacement of civilian populations are creating fertile grounds for the transmission of COVID-19 and putting the local and global communities at risk.

Breaking the chain of transmission of infections is possible only if we effectively communicate the risk of transmissions and preventive strategies. The significance of effective communication during emergency and epidemics are well known, and the WHO gives specific guidelines. During an emergency, the information should be delivered by the most trusted institution. Mixing politics and public health is counterproductive. However, in Ethiopia, politicians are mixing their party’s political agendas with health information. Some of the Ethiopian government political figures on their Facebook pages describe their political opponents as “the Coronavirus”. The political figures who openly use detestable languages also deliberately misinforms the public. Mixing politics and health education compounded with inaccurate messaging repeal those who do not adhere to party politics and make health education ineffective. At this critical juncture mixing politics and health education and giving misinformation is counterproductive. Health education should have primacy over political indoctrination.

COVID-19 does not discriminate between the supporters of different political parties, languages, religions, and ethnic-national-race groups. In such understanding, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate ceasefire among all parties involved in armed conflict. We know that human rights violations, war, and armed conflict have exposed our people to famine and HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ethiopian government to settle the political differences with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) peacefully and focus on the common enemy-the the disease-causing agent. Evidence-based public health policy directions in prevention and mitigating COVID-19 suggest the need for coordinated and multilateral efforts. Highly credible sources suggest that holding back this deadly virus is on the hand of the public, and everyone need to play their parts. This necessitates the need to build the social, economic, political, and cultural capacities of a group of people and individuals. Developing these capacities requires advancing individuals and group rights and communities’ capacity to prevent and mitigate the problem.

We, therefore, urge the Ethiopian government to respect human rights principles, release political prisoners, remove the command posts and protect vulnerable population groups such refugees, those internally displaced, and homeless individuals from the spread of COVID-19. We call upon the Ethiopian government to immediately take the following critical public health measures:

  • Release all political prisoners.
  • Make prison cells are consistent with the WHO recommended social distancing principles.
  • Lift the martial law in the Oromia Regional State because it hinders people from leading a healthy life and playing their role to contain and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Stop all forms of human rights violations because it kills the aspiration of people to understand and solve problems.
  • Stop displacing people locally or making them international refugees,
  • Stop armed conflict and settle political differences with the OLA by a peaceful means.
  • Overcrowded housing and homelessness are the manifestations of the ill-planned policy, and the government needs to strive to correct those wrongs.
  • Stop holding public political meetings, because most of them do not fulfill the principle of social spacing
  • Stop harassing and threatening independent mass media, including Oromia Media Network and Oromia News Network and let information to freely flow in Oromia.


Oromia Global Forum: A consortium of Oromo Civic, Professional and Faith-Based Organizations
Bilal Oromo Dawa Center
Canaan Oromo Evangelical Church
Charismatic International Fellowship Church
Global Gumii Oromia
Global Oromo Advocacy Group
Global Waaqeffannaa Council
Horn of Africa Genocide Watch
Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa
International Oromo Women’s Organization
International Qeerroo Support Group
Mana Kiristaanaa Fayyisaa Addunyaa
Oromo Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
Oromo Communities’ Association of North America
Oromo Evangelical Lutheran Church of Washington DC Metropolitan Area
Oromo Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society
Oromo Human Rights and Relief Organization
Oromo Legacy, Leadership and Advocacy Association
Oromo Lutheran Church of Baltimore
Oromo Parliamentarians Council
Oromo Studies Association
Oromia Support Group
Tawfiq Islamic Center
Union of Oromo Communities in Canada
United Oromo Evangelical Church
Washington DC Metropolitan Oromo SDA Church
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
Director of World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20 1211, Geneva
Telephone: +41-22-7912111
World Health Organization – Regional Office for Africa
Cité du Djoué, P.O.Box 06 Brazzaville Republic of Congo
Telephone: +(47 241) 39402 Fax: +(47 241) 39503
Email: afrgocom@who.int CC: chaibf@who.int
harrism@who.int jasarevict@who.int
The US Department of State (USA)
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada)
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (UK) Minister for
Foreign Affairs (Sweden)
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Norway)
Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (France)
Federal Foreign Office (Germany)
UN Human Rights Council
Africa Union (AU)
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Council of Europe,
UN Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Oromia News Network
Oromia Media Network
Hegeree News Network
Radio Sagalee Walabummaa Oromiyaa
VOA Afaan Oromoo Program
BBC Afaan Oromo Program
Addis Standard
Aljazeera English
The Washington Post
New York Times
The Guardian

Watch “Sin tuffadhe addunyaa! [by #Lataa Qana’ii Aagaa]” on YouTube April 9, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Medical colonialism in Africa is not new April 9, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Medical colonialism in Africa is not new

Last Wednesday, a French doctor caused controversy when he proposed that vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic be tried on Africans because they lack masks and other personal protective equipment.

By Friday, after widespread accusations of racism, he was forced to apologise for what he then called his “clumsily expressed” remarks. 

But the type of thinking exposed by his words is nothing new. Neither is it exceptional to this doctor. It is part of a trend that for generations has seen the dehumanising of some people because of the superiority complex of others.


The free market will only deepen the coronavirus crisis.We will need a public sector revolution to recover. April 8, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment


This is only in Ethiopia: One of political prisoners camps in Western Oromia, city of Naqamtee. April 6, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
add a comment


Oromo political prisoners in Western Oromia, city of Naqamtee, Jato camp, image taken by camera, 5th April 2020 and posted on social media.

How To Change The World In Three Steps | Toltu Tufa | TEDx Talks April 1, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Press briefing note on #Ethiopia: Concerned by the continued communications shutdown in Oromia in this time of #coronavirus pandemic. And addressed it is also essential that information on the disease is readily available in understandable formats and languages, and information is adapted for people with specific needs March 27, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Press briefing note on Ethiopia

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:  Rupert Colville

Location: Geneva 

Date: 27 March 2020


We are very concerned by the continued communications shutdown in parts of Ethiopia, and more broadly call on all countries to ensure that everyone has ready and unhindered access to the internet and phone services, all the more in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethiopia imposed an Internet and communications blackout on 7 January, citing  security concerns, blocking internet access and phone services in areas under federal military control – namely western Oromia’s Kellem Wellega, West Wellega, and the Horo Gudru Wellega zones. The shutdown coincided with government military operations against the armed wing of the once-banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).

Over the course of the past year, the Ethiopian Government has shut down the internet on a number of occasions, affecting the lives and human rights of the Ethiopians resident in concerned areas: hampering their ability to share and access information or simply to maintain contact with loved ones.

Ethiopia is not the only country to shut down communications links. We urge all governments to immediately end any and all blanket internet and telecommunication shutdowns. Everyone has the right to receive and impart information. Blunt measures such as blanket Internet and telecommunications shutdowns, sometimes for prolonged periods, violate the principles of necessity and proportionality and contravene international law.

Now, amidst the COVID-19 crisis, fact-based and relevant information on the disease and its spread and response must reach all people, without exception.

Authorities, medical professionals and relevant experts must be able to share accurate and vital information with each other and the public about the pandemic.

It is also essential that information on the disease is readily available in understandable formats and languages, and information is adapted for people with specific needs, including the visually and hearing-impaired, and reaches those with limited or no ability to read or no access to technology.


For more information and media requests, please contact: Rupert Colville – + 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org or Jeremy Laurence – + 41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org orLiz Throssell – + 41 22 917 9296 / ethrossell@ohchr.org or Marta Hurtado – + 41 22 917 9466 / mhurtado@ohchr.org  

Tag and share – Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights

#KeepItOn: internet shutdowns during COVID-19 will help spread the virus! #ReconnectTheWestETH March 26, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

#KeepItOn: internet shutdowns during COVID-19 will help spread the virus!

17 MARCH 2020 | 9:27 AMTweetShare

As the world deals with the spread of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”), reliable, correct information is one of the most important tools people have to protect themselves. Access to accurate information will save lives, help us protect ourselves and our loved ones, and allow us to carry on and care for one another in our communities. During this crisis and beyond, an accessible, secure, and open internet will play a significant role in keeping us safe

Attempts by governments to cut or restrict access to the internet, block social media platforms or other communications services, or slow down internet speed deny people access to information, just when it is of paramount importance that we stop the spread of the virus. As part of the global #KeepItOn coalition, we reiterate:  any and all deliberate interference with the right to access and share information — a human right and vital to any public health and humanitarian response to COVID-19 —  must end immediately

#Ethiopia – join the call on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed  to restore access to the internet in the Oromia region 

Since January 2019, Ethiopia has imposed an internet shutdown in the Oromia region, amid conflict between government forces and armed groups. The spread of COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, and Ethiopia has since confirmed several cases. There are already many people in quarantine and self-isolation. Amid fears of the spread of the virus, the government has been publishing content online, and traditional news media outlets are instructing citizens on handwashing and hygiene and other precautionary measures. 

Publishing information online and via the media makes sense, but the government is also denying access to this valuable information to the population affected by internet shutdowns, and as a result, that population may further escalate the spread of the virus. As we have seen in recent days in China, governments can block access to information regarding COVID-19. In blocking such information, there are severe consequences for public health. Unless people take action, these consequences will only get more severe with the passage of time. We therefore call on the government of Ethiopia and particularly Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, to restore free and full access to the internet in the Oromia region immediately and keep it on.       


Ogeeyyiin fayyaa waa’ee Coronavirus maal jedhu? Caqasaa, wal dhageessisaa, waan dhageettanis hojii irra oolchaa. Advice about #corinavirus from Oromo medical experts in Afaan Oromoo March 25, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Ogeeyyiin fayyaa waa’ee Coronavirus maal jedhu? Caqasaa, wal dhageessisaa, waan dhageettanis hojii irra oolchaa


Rights Group Condemns Internet Shutdown in Ethiopia, Points to Threats of Coronavirus Spread  | Voice of America – English March 24, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Rights Group Condemns Internet Shutdown in Ethiopia, Points to Threats of Coronavirus Spread


Addis Standard Special Edition: Failed politics and deception: Behind the crisis in western and southern Oromia March 23, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Ethiopia’s failed politics and deception: Behind the crisis in western and southern Oromia, click the following to read:-


How do you get coronavirus? – Los Angeles Times March 23, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

How do you become infected with the coronavirus?


Millions of Ethiopians Can’t Get COVID-19 News Refusal to Restore Communications Threatens Public Health March 21, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Millions of Ethiopians Can’t Get COVID-19 News

Refusal to Restore Communications Threatens Public Health

Oromia Media Network Statements: Political Intimidations and Harassments Will Not Deter Us! March 19, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

Political Intimidations and Harassments Will Not Deter Us!

OMN statements (For immediate release)

Esteemed audience of OMN

The management of OMN has hereby found it important to publicize the multifaceted intimidations and pressures being exerted on this an historic media which did brand itself as the authentic voice of peoples. Established in March 2014 through grassroots-driven mobilizations and commitments of the Oromo diaspora all over the world, the OMN been championing peoples’ struggle for justice, democracy and freedom in Oromia and the wider Ethiopia. Following the call of the reformist government, at least by the notion of the day, for diaspora-based media houses run by exiled dissidents, OMN-Finfinne was established in August 2018 in Finfinne/Addis Ababa, the capital city of the state of Oromia and also of the federal government in Ethiopia. OMN has since been operating in Ethiopia according to the laws of the land with its headquarters based in Finfinne and branch offices in some major cities/towns in Oromia like Nekemte, Shashemene, Dire Dhawa, Harar, and Bale Robe. The media house has been working hard to contribute its fair share in supporting the positive developments and their subsequent consolidation in the socio-cultural, political and economic arenas during these testing times of so called “transition”.

That said, it’s important to bring to the attentions of our audience and also to the international community that state-led interventions and encroachments into the hitherto widened free media space have become more evident and quite recently, that has even been scaled up making it difficult for independent media houses like the OMN to freely operate in the country. Further more, in what appears to be a systematically maneuvered move taken to build a case against the OMN with an ultimate goal of annihilating it, the Ethiopian government, via its watchdog organization called Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA), has been sending out intimidatory letters, almost all of which being composed based on unfounded allegations.

Complaints and accusations that came to OMN from/via EBA

1-The case of an investigative documentary produced as solicited by the OMN itself on a government official’s involvement in gross human rights violations in Oromia, Ethiopia. The government official’s complaint came via EBA. The OMN then wrote to EBA an extensive response, sufficiently establishing factual accuracies, evidences and content sources questioned by the complaint presenter. The government official who presented his complaints was, and still remains, in a top leadership echelons of the ruling party and EBA dropped the case without any reaction on OMN’s response in a move which looks like was made to protect the government official.

2- The case in which the communications affairs office of the Amhara National Regional State (ANRS) accused the OMN for reporting on events that happened in the regional state. The OMN reported on some lingering conflicts rooted in the judicial demands of some distinct identity groups like the Agaw, the Qumant and Oromo who have been territorially incorporated in the ANRS, according to the existing federalist state structures. The ANRS government’s commitment to address the demands of these identity groups can be rated minimal to none, empirical evidences suggest, and that is precisely what drives these conflicts. The OMN did respond to ANRS’ accusations, using all the evidences available at its disposal, thereby sufficiently establishing the sources of the contents used in our reports. In addition, as part of its regular routines in balancing stories involving counter-claims and/or divergent views, the OMN did write a letter calling the government of the ANRS to send its representatives to our studio and use our media platform to express their version of the account or perspectives on the story. But they ignored the call to come out and express their views about it on the OMN. What can OMN do beyond this?

3-The case in which the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MSHE) filed complaints on OMN reports concerning the problems that Oromo students enrolled in Universities found in ANRS were facing. As in both of the cases above, OMN did defend, providing sufficient evidences, the sources it used in its reports on the matter and the accuracy of the information therein. What’s more, interesting about this case was that an official assigned and sent by the Ministry appeared, twice, on the OMN, as per our invitation, to explain the Ministry’s point of view on the students’ stories we did report on.

4-The other one is the case in which a self-proclaimed religious vanguard organization claiming to be the defender of the “rights and respects” of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (EOTC) accused the OMN of transmitting the opinion of one EOTC follower, in fact himself a preacher for the congregants of the church in some western and southwestern parts of Oromia, who happen to have a differing opinion on the existing administrative structures of the EOTC. This case made it more clearer for the OMN management that accusations sent to us by EBA are politically motivated and hence have realistically little-to-nothing to do with the authority’s legally stated regulatory roles. Look, what OMN did was LIVE transmit Mr Hailemichael’s public speech in Salale, in which he made points counter to the contending others concerning the disputed internal administrative structures of the EOTC, as so known by the public by now and also by then. It’s all known that making opinion is essentially an individual’s entitlement and Mr Hailemichael’s opinion cannot be any different. It therefore has nothing to do with the OMN what so ever. Grossly ignoring this fundamental truth and also turning down OMN management’s well substantiated response letter on the accusations, EBA wrote an unfounded “warning letter” to the OMN. They wrote this letter in a way that exposed their true intentions: politically motivated intimidation and harassment. By copying their unfounded “warning letter” to higher executive offices of the government including to the Offices of the Prime Minister and the National Intelligence and Security Services — offices whose roles are neither directly nor indirectly related to regulating the country’s media landscape — they exposed their politically motivated intentions of intimidating and harassing the OMN and other independent media outlets operating in the country. OMN legal team have already filed an appeal on their politically motivated decision. It should be pointed out here that up until they took a U-turn by writing the said “warning letter”, EBA had been showing good gestures to foster smooth working relations with the OMN — which we now realized was just a pretension. It should also be pointed out that it was only a month or so after EBA’s delegation led by its higher leadership, including the Director General, had a meeting with the OMN management team which was concluded with a pretty much positive spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.

The Latest Hassles and Harassments

We believe that our audiences are closely following the latest rounds of politically motivated intimidations and harassments that OMN had to endure because of a personal opinion of a woman who expressed her idea about cross-cultural marriage, while OMN was doing LIVE transmission, on a public event organized to celebrate the International Women’s Day on March 8. The government, the detractors and the adversaries of this historic Oromo media seem to have joined hands in catching this opportunity to try to destroy the OMN. Here too, there are indicators showing that these multilateral campaigns waged on the OMN are rooted in political motivations. One of such indicators is the uncalled but prompt intervention of the country’s highest executive office, Office of the Prime Minister, in which the press secretary head at the Office, Mr Nigusu Tilahun, sent out an intimidatory message to the OMN last Monday, 9th of March 2020 via one of the ruling-party-affiliated-media outlet called Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC). The Prime Minister Office did this before EBA, the primarily concerned office, made any statement on the matter. It’s pity that media outlets like FBC still work with the government to undertake targeted attacks against independent media like the OMN. We at the OMN pursue the policy of not in any way dwelling on the weaknesses of other outlets in the country’s media landscape. But we realize that there are some media houses legally operating in the country which work to destabilize the country, target specific national groups for their propaganda and hate campaigns, stock conflicts among Ethiopia’s various nations and nationalities and often disseminate false information. Important to be understood at this point in time is the fact that OMN was established as an activist media in the diaspora but now working hard to rebrand itself as an independent media through capacity building and enhanced pursuits of its existing core values: professionalism, performance and passion. OMN did demonstrate, beyond any reasonable doubt, its firm stance and determinations in defending freedom of expression, democracy and justice and will never succumb to harassments and intimidations, never ever flinch back even an inch, because of these latest intimidations and harassments. It will continue undeterred in doing its job by respecting the laws of the land.

Future prospectives

We are often asked why OMN does focus on Oromian affairs. This is also one of the criticisms we receive in EBA’s monitoring and evaluation reports. But we have always unapologetically clear that OMN got a cause, a just cause of defending the truth of the Oromo people which had historically been renilgated to the edges by the ages old sedimented biases that shaped Ethiopia’s media landscape, which in turn was defined by the state-sponsored media outlets that long created an unfairly asymmetrical south-north divide of peoples’ narratives, histories, memories and over all developments in peoples’ cultures and languages. OMN strives to counter these unfair asymmetries rooted in history thereby putting Oromia and the Oromo people on the global epistemological, economic, social and political maps. In short, OMN strives to bring Oromia and the Oromo people to the world and also the world to Oromia and the Oromo people. We at the OMN believe that there is nothing wrong in pursuing this great cause of our people and there even exist a sufficiently virtuous reason to do so. What is more, we focus on Oromian an affair doesn’t mean we never care for other linguistic, cultural and political communities in the Ethiopian federation. We really do and our works on the ground are testaments for our words here. OMN is the only truly multilingual media outlet in the entire history Ethiopia’s private media industry and given the intent, one can argue that it remains so even when compared to the government owned ones. We almost regularly reach out to our audiences in Afaan Oromoo, Amharic, Somali, Wolayita, Sidama, Hadiya and Halaba. We are working to further diversify our services in many more Ethiopian languages. Our Arabic and English services were active in the past. We will reactivate and resume them in the soonest. Our determinations for services in diverse languages emanate from our moral dedications for the fairer share of Ethiopia’s media space by the country’s diverse cultural and linguistic groups. We therefore reject, flat out, the allegations by some pathologically biased mono-lingual media out lets in Ethiopia who paradoxically got the audacity to label the OMN as an “ethnic media” — a term they often employ to confirm their sedimented socio-cultural and political biases and prejudices. For us at the OMN, our works out there really tell who we are and what we are doing. And more importantly in the future too, we are open to all.


We all at the OMN would like to reiterate to our esteemed audiences that we remain firm, as always, in championing freedom, justice and democracy, as appropriate, for diversified society as in Ethiopia — all deliverable within the country’s existing legal and constitutional frameworks. We remain resolute in countering all sorts of historically rooted asymmetries, which still affecting peoples’ lives, putting the larger interests of Oromia and the Oromo people and also the diverse peoples in what’s today the southern Ethiopia. We will not shy away from advocating the political ideals of a democratic multinational federalist dispensation in Ethiopia, for we know that it would be the only viable means to keep together the contemporary Ethiopian state as a single polity. As the track records of our rather bumpy road drives over the last six years also attest, we would like to assure everyone that we continue to navigate the storms our own way, while upholding all the laws of the land in which we operate. We call upon all our audiences everywhere in the world to stand by our side and support us towards this end. We also call upon the Ethiopian government not to work to shrink the space of the free media — for doing that won’t benefit anyone at this point in time. We call upon the government to scale up the positive gains that the country made with this regard. We remain resolute in reminding the government that trying to crackdown on the OMN and other independent media outlets which managed to establish themselves in the hearts and minds of the people on the ground will only badly backfire, because that’s essentially a self-defeating move as has repeatedly been proven in history. We at the OMN would also like to remind some media outlets in Ethiopia that calling a government to crackdown on other media outlets in the country is a suicidal act, at the very least. We call upon such media houses to come to their tranquilized senses and avoid such subservient act of commuting a subtle suicide.

The management of OMN would like to end these statements by extending our heartfelt appreciations for all the media managers, owners and journalists who came out standing in solidarity with the OMN during these testing times, and also in standing firm, against all odds, for the development of the free and independent media environment in this country.

OMN Management
March 2020
Finfinne, Oromia, Ethiopia

HRW: Ethiopia: Communications Shutdown Takes Heavy Toll Restore Internet, Phone Services in Oromia March 13, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Ethiopia: Communications Shutdown Takes Heavy Toll

Restore Internet, Phone Services in Oromia

Mimiyo Fikadu, 38, taxi driver, browses through the internet using his Ethio-telecom service as he waits for his customers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
Mimiyo Fikadu, 38, taxi driver, browses through the internet using his Ethio-telecom service as he waits for his customers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12, 2019.  © REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

(Nairobi, March) – The Ethiopian government should immediately lift the shutdown of internet and phone communications in the Oromia region. The two-month-long shutdown has prevented families from communicating, disrupted life-saving services, and contributed to an information blackout during government counterinsurgency operations in the area.

Since January 3, 2020, the authorities have disconnected mobile phone networks, landlines, and internet services in western Oromia’s Kellem Wellega, West Wellega, and Horo Gudru Wellega zones. In East Wellega, residents reported that the internet and social media services were blocked, with text and cell service available only in major towns. The shutdown has been imposed in areas under federal military control and comes amid reports of government military operations against the armed wing of the once-banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The media have credibly reported human rights abuses, including accounts of killings and mass detentions by government forces.

“The Ethiopian government’s blanket shutdown of communications in Oromia is taking a disproportionate toll on the population and should be lifted immediately,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The restrictions affect essential services, reporting on critical events, and human rights investigations, and could risk making an already bad humanitarian situation even worse.”

Under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, communication blackouts without government justifications has become routine during social and political unrest, Human Rights Watch said.

A ruling party regional spokesman told the media in January that the communications shutdown had “no relationship” to the military operations but then said that it had contributed to the operation’s success. The federal government offered no explanation for the shutdown until February 3, when Abiy told parliament that restrictions were in place in western Oromia for “security reasons.”

International human rights law protects the right of people to freely seek, receive, and provide information and ideas through all media, including the internet. Security-related restrictions must be law-based and a necessary and proportionate response to a specific security concern. A lack of government transparency regarding communication shutdowns and their length invites abuse, Human Rights Watch said.

Four humanitarian agencies operating in the affected zones told Human Rights Watch that their activities were considerably hampered because they could not get critical information on the humanitarian and security situation. One aid worker said that health care services were also affected, with doctors and ambulances unable to communicate with patients. 

The communications blackout was also affecting people outside these areas who are desperate for news of their loved ones. One Addis Ababa resident told Human Rights Watch: “Prior to the blackout, I was able to communicate with my mom almost every day. She lives alone. Now that internet and phone services are blocked, I worry very much.”

One university lecturer described the effects of the shutdown on his students: “PhD students are worried about the how this will impact their final dissertations and tests. They don’t have access to the online materials and the library doesn’t have hard copies of the research or the books they need.”

Students whose families have been affected by the communications shutdown and the military operations have held sporadic protests on some university campuses. On January 10, at Bule Hora University, security forces fired live ammunition at protesting students. Three witnesses to the crackdown, including one who went to the hospital after the incident, said that one student had been shot dead and at least a dozen injured. “Many students at Bule Hora are from [the Wellega zones] and were not able to contact their families,” one witness said. “Some students were hit or beaten after confrontations with security forces.” 

In 2019, Ethiopia shut down the internet eight times during public protests and unnecessarily around national exams. Following the June 22 assassinations of five high-level government officials, which the government linked to an alleged failed coup attempt in the Amhara region, the government imposed an internet blackout across the country. The internet was only completely restored on July 2. At the time of the shutdown, the government gave no explanation or indication of when the service would be restored.

In August, Abiy told the media that he would switch off the internet “forever” if deadly unrest prompted by online incitement continued, asserting that the internet was “neither water nor air,” and thus not an essential right.

In January, the Ethiopian government introduced a hate speech and disinformation law that could have a chilling effect on free expression and access to information online. Overbroad and vague language in the law may facilitate misuse by authorities who may use the law to justify blanket internet and network shutdowns.

Communications shutdowns violate multiple rights, Human Rights Watch said. In their 2015 Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Responses to Conflict Situations,United Nations experts and rapporteurs stated that even in times of conflict, the use of communication “kill switches” (i.e., shutting down entire parts of communications systems) can never be justified under human rights law.

During a visit to Ethiopia in December, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, expressed his concerns that the Ethiopian government’s use of internet shutdowns occurred “without constraint under law or policy.” In a 2017 report, Kaye wrote that network shutdowns fail to meet the standard of necessity and that governments need to demonstrate that any shutdown would not only be necessary, but would achieve its stated purpose since shutdowns often have the opposite effect. “It has been found that maintaining network connectivity may mitigate public safety concerns and help restore public order,” he stated.

Instead of indefinite, blanket shutdowns and repressing peaceful dissent, Ethiopian authorities should use the media to provide transparent information that can discourage violence and direct security forces to act according to international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said.

“The lack of transparency and failure to explain these shutdowns only furthers the perception that they are meant to suppress public criticism of the government,” Bader said. “Amid ongoing unrest and ahead of critical national elections, the government should be seeking to maintain internet and phone communications to ease public safety concerns, not increase them.”

Read Related article: Oromia’s Ambo city: ‘From freedom to repression under Abiy Ahmed’

Oromia’s Ambo city: ‘From freedom to repression under Abiy Ahmed’ March 13, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Ethiopia’s Ambo city: ‘From freedom to repression under Abiy Ahmed’

By Bekele Atoma, BBC Afaan Oromoo, 12 March 2020

People gather for the rally of Ethiopia's new Prime Minister in Ambo, about 120km west of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 11, 2018
Image captionAbiy Ahmed drew a huge crowd when he visited Ambo city in his first week in office

Under Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed, the city of Ambo has turned from being a symbol of freedom into a symbol of repression, as the security forces try to curb the growth of ethnically inspired rebel and opposition groups that threaten his “coming together” vision.

Ambo, which has a large student population because of its university, was at the centre of mass protests that saw Mr Abiy rise to power in April 2018 with a promise to end decades of authoritarian rule in a nation with more than 100 million people belonging to at least 80 ethnic groups.Getty ImagesAmbo is where we are going to build the statue of our liberty, our New York”Abiy Ahmed
Ethiopia’s prime minister

Most of Ambo’s residents are Oromos – and the protests were largely driven by anger that despite being Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, they were marginalised from political and economic power, with no Oromo ever serving as prime minister.

Acknowledging Ambo’s role in bringing about change during a visit to the city within days of becoming the first Oromo to hold the prime minister’s post, Mr Abiy said: “Ambo is where we are going to build the statue of our liberty, our New York.”

At a fund-raising event in February 2019, the prime minister sold his watch for 5m birr (about $155,000, £120,000) to kick-start development in the city.

It was a further indication of the huge political significance he attached to Ambo, traditionally regarded as a stronghold of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a former rebel group which laid down arms following peace talks with Mr Abiy.

People fill the road after the rally of Ethiopia's new Prime Minister in Ambo, about 120km west of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 11, 2018
Image captionStudents were at the forefront of demands for change

But a year later, there are few signs of development in Ambo, which is about 100km (60 miles) west of the capital Addis Ababa. Instead, residents are once again complaining of a return of police brutality, with young men being randomly beaten up or detained as they go about their daily lives.

‘I was lucky’

I witnessed some of this during a visit to Ambo.

In one instance about six policemen forced two young men to kneel in front of pedestrians, before kicking them and hitting them with sticks.

In another instance, two young men were forcibly taken to a police station. Their elbows were tied behind their backs. One of them pleaded, in vain, with the officers to untie him.

No-one dared to intervene for fear that the police would assault them too.BekeleBBCI saw policemen walk around with scissors, giving haircuts to young men perceived to have long hair or afros”Bekele Atoma
BBC journalist

The policemen were from the regional force – and their numbers were swelled last Sunday when hundreds more graduated, raising fears that the crackdown will intensify ahead of the general election slated for August. That is the first time that Mr Abiy will face the voters since the ruling coalition chose him as prime minister to order to quell the nationwide protests.

I also saw policemen walking around Ambo with scissors, giving haircuts on the spot to young men whom they perceive to have long hair or afros.

They considered my hair to be an afro but I was lucky – they let me off with a warning to chop it off myself, which I did not do as I was going to leave Ambo in two days’ time.

‘I was unable to access the internet’

Police just assume that men with such looks are troublemakers and supporters of rebel leader Kumsa Diriba, who they see as a major threat to western Oromia’s stability and Mr Abiy’s vision of forcing a new sense of national unity, known as “coming together” .

Kumsaa Diriba
Image captionRebel commander Kumsa Diriba refuses to make peace with the government

Having spurned Mr Abiy’s peace overtures in 2018, Mr Kumsa, who is also known as Jaal Maro, is continuing to push for the “liberation” of Oromia from his forest hideout in the remote west.

He split from the OLF, the biggest Oromo rebel group, after it decided to turn into a political party, taking with him an unspecified number of fighters under his command.

The government suspects that Mr Kumsa’s rebels have infiltrated Ambo, and were responsible for the bomb blast at a pro-Abiy rally held last month to show that the prime minister still commands significant support in the city.

The rebels, via their supporters and anonymous accounts, have also been slowly gaining a profile on social media in an attempt to raise discontent against the government, especially through the circulation of the names of victims of alleged brutality by the security forces.

The government’s attempt to keep a lid on dissent has led to frequent internet shutdowns in much of western Oromia since January, and in some areas people cannot even make or receive phone calls. This is despite the fact that Mr Abiy has promised to liberalise the telecom sector and end the monopoly of state-owned Ethio Telecom.

Presentational grey line

Read more about Ethiopia:

Presentational grey line

In an interview with BBC Afaan Oromoo, the deputy chief of staff of Ethiopia’s Defence Force, Gen Berhanu Jula, hinted that the shutdowns were linked to military operations to dismantle camps under Mr Kumsa’s control, while a senior official of Mr Abiy’s newly formed Prosperity Party (PP), Taye Dendea, denied that innocent people were victims of the security force operation.

“The government has no reason to target civilians, we care about our people more than anyone else,” Mr Taye told BBC Afaan Oromoo.

In Ambo, I was unable to access the internet over my mobile phone throughout my three-week stay. On the two occasions I went to an internet cafe, it had poor broadband connection and I had to wait for a long time before I could check my emails and social media accounts.

Residents suspect that apart from government concerns about the rebels, the shutdowns are intended to limit political campaigning and starve young people of news ahead of the general election.

Residents point out that Jawar Mohammed – who is probably the most prominent and controversial Ethiopian social media activist – is now also making life difficult for the prime minister.

Jawar Mohammed (C), a member of the Oromo ethnic group who has been a public critic of Abiy, addresses supporters that had gathered outside his home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa after he accused security forces of trying to orchestrate an attack against him October 24, 2019
Image captionSocial media activist Jawar Mohammed has joined an opposition party

When exiled in the US, Mr Jawar used Facebook effectively to get Oromos on to the streets to rise against the former government.

Having returned to Ethiopia after Mr Abiy took power, he briefly became a supporter of the prime minister but is now a fierce opponent.

Nobel laureate booed

Mr Jawar put out a video on Facebook soon after Mr Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October, accusing the government of trying to remove his guards from his home in Addis Ababa as part of a ploy to orchestrate an attack on him.

Despite government denials of any such plan, Mr Jawar’s supporters staged protests against Mr Abiy in parts of Oromia – in one instance, burning copies of the prime minister’s newly published book, which outlines his “coming together” vision.

When Mr Abiy subsequently visited Ambo for a meeting with selected guests in a hotel, pro-Jawar youths staged a protest and booed the prime minister, who had been awarded the Nobel prize for his “decisive initiative” to end the border conflict with Eritrea, and for the “important reforms” he had initiated in Ethiopia with a pledge to “strengthen democracy”.Abiy AhmedGetty ImagesKey facts: Abiy Ahmed

  • Bornto a Muslim father and a Christian mother on 15 August 1976
  • Joinedthe armed struggle against the Marxist Derg regime in 1990
  • Servedas a UN peacekeeper in Rwanda in 1995
  • Enteredpolitics in 2010
  • Becameprime minister in 2018
  • Wonthe Nobel Peace Prize in 2019

Source: BBC

Mr Jawar has joined the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), which has formed an alliance with the OLF and the Oromo National Party (ONP) to contest the election on what is expected to be a strong ethno-nationalist ticket.

In Oromia, it is likely to pose the biggest electoral challenge to Mr Abiy’s PP, which was launched in December after a merger of eight of the nine regional parties which make up Ethiopia’s ruling coalition.

Mr Abiy hopes that the PP will foster national unity and keep ethnic nationalism in check.

Chart showing the ethnic make-up of Ethiopia

But he has taken a huge risk as the mass protests that propelled him to power were not just about political freedom – but also about the right of each group to express their ethnic identities more freely and to have greater autonomy for their regions.

So, as far as ethno-nationalists in Ambo and elsewhere in Oromia are concerned, Mr Abiy has sold out.

Worrying for the Nobel laureate, Defence Minister Lemma Megersa, a fellow Oromo with political clout, also expressed doubts about the PP’s formation in November, though party officials say he and Mr Abiy have been ironing out their differences since then.

“The merger is not right and timely, as we are in transition, we are on borrowed time. Dissolving the regional party to which the public entrusted their demands is betraying them,” Mr Lemma said at the time.

For Mr Abiy’s supporters, he offers the best hope of getting Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups to work together, and avoid the country’s disintegration.

They are confident that he will demonstrate his popularity by leading the PP to victory in the election, though its legitimacy is bound to be questioned if the crackdown in Ambo continues.

You may also want to watch:

Media captionWhat was Ethiopia’s PM like as a child?

Related article from Oromia Economist sources:

New York Times: With Many Dents to Its Image, Nobel Peace Prize Is Hit With a Few More

Myanmar’s onetime champion of democracy and Ethiopia’s prime minister join a roster of figures who, one way or another, have given the Nobel Peace Prize a contentious image.

The Reform, the Philosopher King, and the Oromo Struggle

‘Myanmar’s onetime champion of democracy and Ethiopia’s prime minister join a roster of figures who, one way or another, have given the Nobel Peace Prize a contentious image.’ The New York Times March 13, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

With Many Dents to Its Image, Nobel Peace Prize Is Hit With a Few More

By Rick Gladstone, The New York Times, Dec. 11, 2019

Myanmar’s onetime champion of democracy and Ethiopia’s prime minister join a roster of figures who, one way or another, have given the Nobel Peace Prize a contentious image.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, second from left, received the Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, second from left, received the Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday.Credit…Erik Valestrand/Getty Images

The Nobel Peace Prize has long been contentious, beginning with its origins in the will of Alfred Nobel, the 19th-century inventor of dynamite. But it is extraordinary that two winners are almost simultaneously battling accusations of behavior that is widely regarded as antithetical to the spirit and purpose of the award, first given in 1901.

On Wednesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar leader who won the prize in 1991, appeared before the International Court of Justice and denied accusations that her government had committed genocide against the Rohingya minority. Her defense of Myanmar at the court was a jarring contrast to her onetime identity as an intrepid champion of human rights and democracy.

And on Tuesday, the 2019 winner, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, facing accusations of a heavy-handed crackdown on political protests, skipped a news conference after his acceptance speech.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, center, delivered a denial at the International Court of Justice on Wednesday that her government had engaged in genocide against the Rohingya minority.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, center, delivered a denial at the International Court of Justice on Wednesday that her government had engaged in genocide against the Rohingya minority.Credit…Koen Van Weel/EPA, via Shutterstock

In some years, critics have questioned the worthiness of winners without marquee accomplishments — like the 2012 award to the European Union, for example, or the 2009 award to President Barack Obama, just months into his first term.

In other instances — perhaps most famously the 1973 award to Henry A. Kissinger and his North Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, as the Vietnam War was still raging — the track records of winners have been ridiculed. (The singer Tom Lehrer famously said that the choice of Mr. Kissinger had rendered political satire obsolete.)

In the case of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, some critics have suggested that the criteria for selecting winners should be reassessed — including the possibility that the honor could be rescinded. Such questions are inherent to the prize regardless who is chosen, said Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, a professor at Indiana University who has written about the prize’s history.

“The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize has always been fraught with peril, subject to the current drift of public opinion and political and nationalistic motives and prejudices,” Dr. Gunderman said.

“Like all human judgments, the Nobel committee’s decisions are prone to error,” he said. “It should do the best it can and then live with the consequences.”

Here are some other notably contentious Nobel Peace Prize nominees and winners:

Joseph Stalin was nominated for a Nobel prize in 1945 and in 1948.
Joseph Stalin was nominated for a Nobel prize in 1945 and in 1948.Credit…Keystone/Getty Images

Adolf Hitler was nominated in 1939 by a member of Sweden’s Parliament, E.G.C. Brandt, who apparently meant it as a satire against the leader of Nazi Germany, and never intended the choice to be seriously considered. But the nomination created such outrage that it was quickly withdrawn.

Joseph Stalin, Hitler’s nemesis and the leader of the Soviet Communist Party, was nominated twice — in 1945 and 1948 — for his efforts to end World War II. Despite Stalin’s murderous purges and pogroms, those nominations were taken in earnest.

Secretary of State Cordell Hull in 1939.
Secretary of State Cordell Hull in 1939.Credit…Associated Press

The American statesmen Cordell Hull won in 1945 for his role in establishing the United Nations. Six years earlier, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of state, he took steps that led Roosevelt to deny permission for 950 Jewish refugees aboard the liner St. Louis, fleeing Nazi persecution, to seek asylum in the United States.

Many of the passengers on the trip, known as the Voyage of the Damned, later died in the Holocaust.

Yasir Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.
Yasir Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.Credit…Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization shared the 1994 prize with the Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres for the Oslo Accords, still widely regarded as the basis for a peace process. But many critics assailed the choice of Mr. Arafat because of his role in acts of terrorism against Israelis.

Le Duc Tho, center left, and Henry Kissinger, center right, during a meeting days before signing a cease-fire agreement in 1973.
Le Duc Tho, center left, and Henry Kissinger, center right, during a meeting days before signing a cease-fire agreement in 1973.Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The 1973 prize was awarded to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and the North Vietnam statesman Le Duc Tho for having negotiated a cease-fire in the Vietnam War.

Many critics of the war — which would not be over for two more years — ridiculed the choice of Mr. Kissinger, and his Vietnamese counterpart refused to accept the award on grounds that the United States had violated the cease-fire.

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize. She received it in 1991, not 1994.In Collecting Nobel Prize, Ethiopia’s Leader Plans to Sidestep MediaAung San Suu Kyi Defends Myanmar Against Rohingya Genocide AccusationsSurprise Nobel for Obama Stirs Praise and Doubts

Star Tribune: Minnesota teen beats the odds, dreams of building a school in her native Ethiopia March 8, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Minnesota teen beats the odds, dreams of building a school in her native Ethiopia

On March 19, this 18-year-old will be one of five honorees at the 28th Children’s Defense Fund-MN Beat the Odds celebration.

Star Tribune, *Gail Rosenblum, 6 March 2020 


Zubeda Chaffe, 18, is a typical high school senior in many ways. She played soccer, basketball and ran track, participates in City Wide Student Council and works at the Hennepin County Library with the Teen Tech Squad. But those examples belie the extraordinary effort required of Chaffe to get to this point. At 7, she and her Oromo family fled Ethiopia fearing for their lives. She started school knowing only her name in English. On March 19, Chaffe will be one of five honorees at the 28th Children’s Defense Fund-MN Beat the Odds celebration. A full-time PSEO student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, she shares childhood memories, her take on American kids and her goals after college.

Q: Before your harrowing journey from Ethiopia to the United States, do you have happy memories?

A: I remember that me and my sister used to play with shiny rocks. They were so beautiful. We collected rocks and we played house. I’d go to the lake with my friends to get water and we’d spend the whole day there. I remember watching the cattle with my brothers.

Q: But no school?

A: I was a girl and girls didn’t attend school. Besides, in my village of Welega, there wasn’t a school for kids my age. None of my 11 siblings attended school either, because that was not a goal of life where I lived.

Q: At 7, your world shifted dramatically. What do you remember?

A: My Oromo people are a minority so it wasn’t safe for us in Ethiopia. We first traveled to the capital city of Addis Ababa where we stayed for about six months. Then my father told us we had to flee secretly to Kenya. Two of my siblings and I, all of us under age 8, were put in a truck. There was no other way. Some of the truck drivers were really mean and just gave people water. We had a pretty nice driver. He fed us twice. But we didn’t know if we’d ever see our parents again.

Q: Happily, you were reunited.

A: We were reunited in Kenya where we lived for two and half years, moving constantly, separated, reunited, moving again. We learned basic English in a school there. Finally, we got our visas.

Q: How did you end up in Minnesota and what were your first memories?

A: I have an older brother living here. He wanted us to leave Ethiopia. We arrived in Minnesota on March 18, 2008. It was freezing. I expected more because of the stories I heard about America. I thought there would be kings and queens (laughs). But I was happy to come to America at last.

Q: You began elementary school knowing only the alphabet and how to say your name in English. Did you consider begging your parents to let you stay at home?

A: I had to repeat first grade but I did it and I kept going to school. One of the main reasons my brother brought me to America was to get an education and give back. My family and friends back home don’t have that opportunity. I want to show them it’s possible and I hope that they do not have to move across the world to have such opportunities.

Q: Your Beat the Odds award comes with $5,000 for college. How do you plan to use it?

A: I’m looking at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College. I want to major in global studies, join the United Nations and go back home to Oromia and teach children, maybe open a school. I want to help in any way possible.

Q: The immigration question is front and center in our country’s conversation today. What do you want people to understand about the immigrant experience?

A: Being a refugee, I can understand and empathize with the immigration problems going on today in this country. I’ve faced all of that. Being away from my parents to have a better life than what they had. They had hopes for me in the same way many parents feel when they are apart from their children today. I know the fear. I want people to know who we are, understand our struggles and the fact that we leave our homes and everything behind to find safety.

Q: Do you still have family in Ethiopia? What do they tell you about the political climate there?

A: There’s been an internet shutdown for the past five months due to the election process. I haven’t heard from my extended family. I don’t know if they’re alive.

Q: When you think about the adversity you’ve faced in your life so far, do you ever get frustrated with your peers who complain when they can’t get the newest iPhone?

A: I don’t mean to be rude, but it’s different the way I grew up. I see the American kids and compare myself; their moms are calling to them, “Dinner is ready!” I have to go work for my family’s next meal. I have to compete against people who already know about life here. I’m just trying to catch up. They have to sometimes put their feet in somebody else’s shoes. Sometimes I wish I was an American child whose parents had everything. But I also know that I am blessed to have had the opportunity to experience American culture and mix it with my own.

Q: CDF received more than 300 applications for Beat the Odds candidates, from which only five were selected. That must make you feel pretty good.

A: I was happy and surprised. I didn’t know my story was good enough. But I have actually beat the odds. Now I have to put that in my heart and believe it.

*Gail Rosenblum is editor of the Inspired section. She’s also an author, journalism instructor and public speaker who has worked for newspapers and magazines for nearly 40 years. 

“A short reflection from my observations in Western Oromia” March 4, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
add a comment

“A short reflection from my observations in Western Oromia”
“Over the last 10 days, during a travel for academic purposes, I got a chance to visit some districts in Western Oromia, mainly West Shawa and East Wallaga zones but talked to people from West and Qellam Wallaga zones as well.
1) In contrast to what a high-level government official tried to defend on Aljazeera (Upfront program) last month, internet access is blocked beginning from 5 km to the West of Addis Ababa all up to Qellam Wallaga, bordering Gambella region. Universities, government offices, private institutions and individuals are victims of this internet blackout/cut off.
2) Telephone: There is no any telephone access in all the four zones of Wallaga except Nekemte town. People cannot communicate news of critical/urgent matters including death of family members.
3) Security: The society lives under a state of anarchism in what is traditionally called “where elephants fight, only the grass suffers”. Insurgency and counter-insurgency have destabilised the region putting the civilians amidst despair, frustration, uncertainty and insecurity. Killings, disappearance, detention and destruction of properties have been used as mechanisms of intimidation, punishment and psychological torture.
4) Food insecurity, economic crisis foreseen: Under contexts of crisis like this, it is not difficult to imagine how business and agriculture are affected. Productive sector of the population (youth) either flee to other places in fear of detention and military crackdown or already joined insurgents. OR those capable of cultivating their farms are not able to do so because of insecurity. Therefore, poverty, economic crisis and famine are not far from happening.

What should be done?
First and foremost, conflicting parties should value the life of the citizens and come to negotiating table. There has never been, and can never be possible to win a war by destroying the mass.”
Asebe Regassa


Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment


Ethiopian authorities detained the leader of the Oromo Liberation Front, Abdi Regassa, on 29 February 2020. He was held incommunicado for 72 hours and remains imprisoned without charges. Mr Abdi Regassa has been held in detention for reasons that remain unknown. He has not been informed of the charges against him.

Under international human rights standards, anyone who is arrested or detained must be informed of the reasons why they are being deprived of their liberty at the time of their arrest. International standards also require that individuals are brought before a judge promptly after arrest or detention. However, based on the information available to Advocacy for Oromia, as of 29 February the authorities had not formally informed Mr Abdi Regassa of the grounds for his detention nor had they brought him before a court.

Furthermore, authorities did not provide Mr Abdi with access to his family or a phone call until 72 hours after his detention. People held in custody are entitled to notify a third person that they have been detained. Ethiopian authorities have imprisoned, harassed and intimidated Oromo politicians and activists for more than fifteen decades due to their political activism. We believe that such detention without access to the outside world facilitates torture.

The Ethiopian security forces picked Mr Abdi from his home after he returned home with the OLF leadership on Sept 15, 2018. Mr Abdi is a selfless man who chose to give all he has for Oromo cause for more than thirty years. Advocacy for Oromia affirms Mr Abdi Regassa is a prisoner of conscience who was imprisoned solely for remains committed to the Oromo cause.

Reports suggest he may have been tortured while in detention, something Advocacy for Oromia has not been able to verify in a context where the judiciary are fully controlled by the Executive. Advocacy for Oromia requests the government to unconditional release and access to legal counsel and family while in custody. Mr Abdi doesn’t belong in jail. Mr Abdi is an Oromo hero; he is the future of Oromo leadership.


Mass mobilisation is needed to ensure that the Ethiopian authorities release him, and refrain from potentially taking actions that may amount to ill-treatment against him. Please show your SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT for him in every way you can: changing your social media profile, and campaigning for justice. If you are in Oromia, show up at the police station. Be peaceful. Have his picture. Demand his release. If you are elsewhere, use your social media platforms and demand that justice be done.

Free Abdi Ragassa, now!

Ethiopia: Police must account for missing Oromo opposition leader

Amnesty International, 3 March 2020

The police must account for the whereabouts of Abdi Regassa – a senior member of the opposition political party Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – who remains missing after security officers in Addis Ababa broke into his home and arrested him alongside eight other party members on 29 February.

The other eight party members were released later the same day, but Abdi Regassa was not. He may have been subjected to enforced disappearance and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. The police have denied they are still holding him according to his lawyer and family members.The police deny that they have him yet he was last seen in their custody and there is no evidence that he has been released. Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“Abdi Regassa’s family and lawyers have spent the last couple of days frantically searching police stations and detention centres across Addis Ababa in an attempt to locate him,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“The police deny that they have him yet he was last seen in their custody and there is no evidence that he has been released. This is understandably causing his family considerable anxiety and distress.”The authorities must come clean and immediately disclose his whereabouts and allow him access to his family and lawyer. Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

In the early hours of 29 February, security officers stormed a guest house in the southern part of Addis Ababa where five senior members of the OLF and four supporters were staying. All nine were arrested and taken to the local police station.

The OLF members were then split into two groups; the first group of six were moved to the Addis Ababa Police Commission and eventually released within 24 hours of arrest.

The second group of three, comprising Abdi Regassa and Mikael Gobena, both members of OLF’s Executive Committee, and Kenessa Ayana, a member of OLF’s Central Committee, were taken to an unmarked unofficial detention compound around the 6 Kilo area in Addis Ababa. While Mikael Gobena and Kenessa Ayana were released within 24 hours of arrest, the police continued to detain Abdi Regassa, the two told Amnesty International.The Ethiopian authorities must stop arbitrarily arresting and detaining opposition figures. They must immediately disclose Abdi Regassa’s whereabouts, charge him with a recognisable crime under the law or release him without further delay. Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

The police confiscated the mobile phones, driving licenses, passports and bank ATM cards of all the OLF members before releasing them, leaving them stranded.

“The Ethiopian authorities must stop arbitrarily arresting and detaining opposition figures. They must immediately disclose Abdi Regassa’s whereabouts, charge him with a recognisable crime under the law or release him without further delay,” said Seif Magango.

Jaal #Abdii_Ragaasaa waajjira Poolisii Burrayuu Aanaa 3 ( kan Buufata Fayyaa Burraayuu cinaatti argamutti) hidhamee jira. Mana murtiitti dhieesuunis beelama guyyaa 14 itti gaafatanii jiru.

Dhimma Jaal Abdii Ragaasaa sobaan yakkuun kallatiin kan qabate Dambalaash G/Mikaaelfi Shimalis Abdiisaa ta’uu dubatamaa jira. Qaamni qoratus Komishini Poolisii Oromiyaarraa kan nama Araarsaa Mardaasaan ramadame akka ta”e dha.

Ajajaan Poolisii Burraayuu aanaa 3 kan ta’e I/A/Inspeekteraa Koodee jedhamu, kallatiin hidhamtoota fannisee dararuutti himatu namooti kananaan dura hidhamanii turan.

Namni kuniifi Saajiin Hayilee namni jedhamu qabannaa hidhamtootaa irratti Komishiner Solomoon Taadasaa yeroo darbe ajjeefame waliin akka wal dhabaa turaniifi ajaja isaa malee nama hidhanii dararaa akka turan Uummata Burraayyuutu ragaa baha.

Yeroo ammaa kana Magaalaan Buraayyuu Gantaanamoo mootummaa Bilxiginnaa jedhamuun yaamamaa jirti.

ኦሮሞ ወዳጅ የለውም!!

ዛሬ ሰንበት March 1 2020 የOLF አመራር አባላትን የመታሰር ዜና ሰምቼ አዝኜ ዋልኩ። ይህ ድርጊት የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት በOLF ጉዳይ ስጋት እና ፍርሃት ውስጥ እንደገባ ጠቁሞኛል። ሌላ ምንም ትርጉም ሊሰጠኝ አልቻለም።

አብዲ ረጋሳ፣ ሚካኤል ቦረን፣ የዲ፣ ዶክተር ሽጉጥ ገለታ እና ከኒሳ አያናን በአካል አውቃቸዋለሁ። ምርጥ ጉዋደኞቼም ናቸው። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ የወለዳቸው ጀግና ታጋዮች መሆናቸውንም አውቃለሁ። ማለትም ሙሉ ህይወታቸውን ለኦሮሞ ህዝብ የሰዉ ናቸው። ገመቹ አለምክንያት ሰባት ወራት መታሰሩን ስናስብ ነገሩ ያሳስባል።

ለአብነት ሚካኤል ቦረን ወያኔ ስልጣን ላይ እያለ ከኤርትራ እየተወረወረ – ኦሮሚያ ገብቶ ተልእኮ የሚፈጽም “ጀግና” እንደነበር አውቃለሁ።

“ሚካኤልን እጁን ይዘው ወደ እስር ቤት ወሰዱት” የሚል ዜና ስሰማ ተደብቄ ማቀርቀሬን አልደብቅም። ሚካኤል ማንም እጁን ይዞ እስር ቤት የሚልከው ታጋይ አልነበረም።

የከኒሳ አያና ታሪክ የተለየ ነው። ሙሉ መጽሃፍ ይወጣዋል። የዲ እና ዶክተር ሽጉጥ ህይወታቸው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ክብር ሆኖ ኖሮአል። የሚያውቅ ያውቀዋል።

እንዲህ ያሉ ታጋዮች እንደ በግ እየተጎተቱ ሲታሰሩ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ እንደ ሽኮኮ ጸሎት ዝምታውን እና ትካዜውን ከቀጠለ የመደፈር ዳርቻውን ያጣል። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ቢተባበር ምንም ነገር ማድረግ እየቻለ ልቡ ተከፋፍሎ ማየትን የመሰለ አሰቃቂ ነገር የለም።

አዲሱ አረጋ (ነፍጠኛን ለማስደሰት) አምቦ ላይ እኔን ሲሰድብ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ኦሮሚያን ያንቀጠቀጠ አስደንጋጭ ምላሽ እንደሰጠው ይታወሳል። በአንጻሩ ኮሎኔል ገመቹ አያና ሲታሰር ግን የኦሮሞ ዝምታ አስደንግጦኛል። አሳፍሮኛል። ከገመቹ እና ከሚካኤል ቦረን ጋር ስወዳደር እኔ ባዶ ነኝ። ከአብዲ ረጋሳ እና ከከኒሳ ጋር ስወዳደር እኔ ማንም አይደለሁም። እነዚህ (ታሰሩ – ተፈቱ) የሚባሉ ታጋዮች በአስተዋጾአቸው ከጃዋር መሃመድ ወይም ከበቀለ ገርባ በላይ እንጂ በታች አይደሉም። በአጋጣሚ ግን ስማቸው ብዙም ሳይታወቅ ቆይቶ ሊሆን ይችላል።

ኦሮሞ የራሱን ጀግኖች ካላከበረ በተመሳሳይ የአገዛዝ አዙሪት ውስጥ መሽከርከሩ ሊቀጥል እንደሚችል ይሰማኛል!

ብታምኑም ባታምኑም በዚህ ዘመን የኦሮሞ ህዝብ በፕላኔታችን ላይ “ወዳጅ አገር” የለውም። የኦሮሞ ወዳጅ ራሱ ኦሮሞ ብቻ ነው። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ቀንደኛ ጠላት ደግሞ “የከርሰ ምድር’ እና “የከርሰ ሰማይ” ሃብቱ ነው።

Oromia (Adama): Down Down Abiyyi* Down Down Prosperity* March 2, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Ethiopia Insight: Preaching unity but flying solo, Abiy’s ambition may stall Ethiopia’s transition February 26, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Preaching unity but flying solo, Abiy’s ambition may stall Ethiopia’s transition

Ethiopia Insight, February 25, 2020 by René Lefort

The fatal error of Ethiopia’s acclaimed premier Abiy Ahmed has been to place his standing ahead of his country’s democratic transition.

“God only can save us” is currently a popular phrase in a rural village in North Shoa in Amhara region. “You can rely only on yourself and your arms to protect your environment,” is another

The churches are full. A feeling of insecurity is rife and arms contraband is profitable. At twilight, people rush home and double-lock the door. In this area of this region at least, the omnipotent party-state, pervasive and intrusive since its takeover in 1991, is absent: there are no meetings, no 1-5 system in which one household headed a cell of four neighbours, and no local development work. The village (kebele) chairman’s tasks are confined to delivering documents. He had not held any meeting at the district (wereda) level for more than two months.1 Local development agents are busier trying to solve local conflicts than fulfilling their mission. “We now act like a fire brigade,” one says.2 Local militia are reluctant to be involved in maintaining law and order because of the authorities’ lack of popular legitimacy.

The prevailing popular feeling is fear. Fear because the age-old pyramidal ruling structure has disappeared; besides authority’s absence, the traditional social hierarchy has crumbled. “We cannot even order our own children,” elders complain. Fear because in this unprecedented present and unknown future “something bad could happen” repeat people, even if the area is peaceful, petty crime normal, and the source of these “bad” things unidentified. Most believe some form of armed confrontation is on its way.

In many, if not most parts of Ethiopia, except in Tigray region, the mengist—together the authority, the power exemplified in governance, in the state apparatus and civil servants—has vanished. Amhara region, as a whole, seems severely affected. Areas north-west of Gondar are still lawless, and the Qemant area remains restive after bouts of something close to ethnic cleansing last year. Since Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, Wellega, Guji and Borana zones in Oromia have suffered armed, in some cases ethnic, conflicts and clashes have occurred between Afar and Somali. According to the Attorney General’s Office, at least 1,200 people were killed and more than 1.2 million displaced by violence or the threat of violence over the last Ethiopian calendar year (September 2018-September 2019). The universities have become a cauldron of ethnic hostility, sometimes murderous.

The vacuum at the local level is partially occupied by informal groupings and a kind of community self-regulation. In the same kebele where fear reigns, an informal group of youngsters is headed, de facto, by members of the emerging middle-class in their forties (typically grain merchants, shopkeepers, and so on). What would be considered as the new small-town proletariat, such as young casual labourers, is over-represented in this group. Farmers form less than a third of members. The youngsters are the only body which show some muscle. “We are treated with big respect by the authorities”, they proudly proclaim.

By the same author: Climbing Mount UncertaintyAbiy Ahmed has delighted with bold reforms, but also made three errors.

The weakened authorities, kebele chairman, village militia, wereda officials, have to work through them; traditional authorities such as priests, elders, and model farmers (who worked hand-in-hand with the former ruling power) have been forced to take a backseat. These youths now take care of maintaining basic law and order. They replace local officials in organising new kinds of development work, this time in accordance with unmet community demands, like building a road and a church.  “We support Fano”, they say, but claim to be distinct from that Amhara youth group, probably because it is described variously as a protest movement or a militia.

Discussions about various parts of Oromia offer the same or an even more serious situation. The rise of informal youth groups and their de facto recognition by the authorities is widespread. Given such a power vacuum in governance, their role can be beneficial, but on occasions, they have certainly acted as vigilantes, even as predators. Whatever their state of organisation, their strength makes them a force that cannot be ignored. They will not necessarily shape the transition, but they have the ability to impede it, if they consider it is going too far off their script.

This may not be so clear in urban areas where perception of the situation is affected by an upper-class bias. Addis Ababa and other larger towns are oases where, even if deeply disorganised, higher levels of the state and governance can still more or less operate. In Addis Ababa, indeed, it is largely business-as-usual, except for the crime situation, which is of increasing concern; but even in Addis Ababa, wereda and kebele administrations are more often than not at a virtual standstill. “The state has collapsed” or “Ethiopia is statelessness” is a frequently heard assessment outside these towns.

Vaguely clarifying

Despite their activity, the probability remains high that the millions of youngsters that brought Abiy to power through their protests in 2015-18 will be the real losers in the end. The same people who held to positions in the former ruling party and the state, and instrumentalized these to accumulate wealth, from the top down to the level of kebele chairman, largely remain in situ: the reform process doesn’t affect them, it even supports them. Nothing shows that this oligarchic fortress has been shaken, except for the politically motivated targeting of a few individuals, mostly Tigrayan. Corruption reached an unprecedented level in the last years. If the former senior official quoted in Foreign Policy is right (“Abiy and his colleagues were brought to power less by the street than by the venality of Oromo elites”), then the new ruling power has to return the favour. It is doubtful if the new economic liberalisation, yet to be fully or thoroughly debated, will really tackle the unemployment problem in quick time.

The future of the country essentially remains the exclusive affair of a few powerful political figures through a grand elite bargain in which youngsters had, and are likely to have, no say. The danger, in the short term, is their continuing frustration could lead to even greater focus on ethnic solidarity and mobilisation, and that this will be used by politicians for their own purposes in the federalist-Ethiopianist debate. Youth unemployment and political marginalization remain potential time bombs.

In November, Abiy announced the creation of Prosperity Party, to replace the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in order “to change the form and content of EPRDF to make it fit to the struggle that the time requires”. EPRDF’s ethnic parties coalition had governed the country since 1991 – Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). It had become effectively bankrupt and irreparably divided over the previous years. The foundation of Prosperity Party was a forceful operation to seize control of what remained.

The aim appears to be to re-evaluate the EPRDF’s foundations of ethnic federalism and the developmental state and acquire the support of as many as possible of the perhaps 7 million members of its constituent parties while making up for the exodus of some members by incorporating formerly affiliated ‘agar’ parties, which represent peripheral regions (Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Harari and Somali). It was also intended to provide the prime minister with a functional ruling tool that a paralysed and collapsed EPRDF could no longer be.

This was a major change, a fundamental political clarification. Ethnicity was the foundation of the previously dominant political parties, both inside and outside the EPRDF. Prosperity Party is being structured along a clear political divide, endorsing some main trends of the ‘Ethiopianist’ political current, which had been largely silenced since the beginning of the 1990s. It is aimed particularly at the country’s ethnically mixed cities. Membership is not based on ethnicity—anybody can join whatever his ethnicity and residence, while under EPRDF’s rule one could join only the party of his ethnicity. In the leading organs, the representation of each ethnic group will not be equal as in the EPRDF but probably roughly proportionate to their population.

The political programme of Prosperity Party has yet to be fully defined, but incorporates elements of the traditional EPRDF and anti-ethnic federalist forces, a kind of catch-all hybrid aiming to gather as much as possible under a ‘big tent’ approach. As a result, it still looks somewhat confused and contradictory. It lacks clarity on how it plans to respect both individual and groups rights, on the kind of federalism it will promote, and how it will be nationally and regionally structured to bring together citizenship and ethnic identities. In the economy, its plan for the government to intervene to make up for market shortfalls sounds much like the EPRDF’s approach.

Prosperity Party will operate under the prime minister’s new philosophy of medemer (which translates roughly as ‘synergy’) but this appears to be a set of ethical values that has yet to be concretely translated into a policy or an economic strategy. The core of Abiy’s convictions seems to be shaped by a mix of looking at Ethiopia and the outside world through the lens of his fervent and strict religious beliefs and what he calls Ethiopian philosophy or “Ethiopian values”. He hasn’t publicly detailed their specificities, but, according to members of his entourage, the core is religious. Ninety-nine per cent of Ethiopians belong to a monotheist faith. Is it by chance only that the name Prosperity Party echoes the rising ‘prosperity gospel’ among Christian evangelists?

By the same author: Abiy’s first Q&A raises questionsAbiy Ahmed’s first press conference left some tough questions unanswered

The founders of Prosperity Party strongly reject the EPRDF’s centralism. But, according to new party’s rules, its supreme body, the Executive Committee, has strong rights over the appointment of the heads of its regional branches and their executive power, among others. Time will tell how far a degree of democracy will triumph over the age-old practice of centralisation in Ethiopia. Besides, one wonders how far the support gained by moving closer to Amhara elite positions, by shifting to the more centralist and less ethnic-based federalism sharing it favours, and by giving full membership to the previously affiliated parties, is now being counterbalanced by distancing itself from ethnic nationalisms, which are strongly visible and have never been so powerful.

Prosperity Party’s birth was controversial, with Tigray ruling party questioning its legality. In the EPRDF Executive Committee, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) voted against the dissolution of the coalition. According to different sources in Mekele, who participated in the committee, two heavyweights, Lemma Megersa, Minister of Defence and former president of Oromia, and Muferiat Kamil, chairwoman of the Southern party and Minister of Peace, openly expressed strong reservations and abstained.3 Since then, Abiy’s relationship with the TPLF has deteriorated. The TPLF’s chairman, Debretsion Gebremichael, has said he considered those who created Prosperity Party as “traitors”. Members of another former EPRDF coalition, the former Oromo Democratic Party are divided on the merger; a substantial proportion of the elite among the Oromo people themselves appear to be against it. The support Abiy had in Oromia has shrunk.

Another member of the EPRDF coalition that was dissolved when Prosperity Party was formed was the Amhara Democratic Party, which represented the Amhara people. A significant element of this grouping prefers the opposition National Movement of Amhara’s (NaMA) ethno-nationalist programme. Even among the leaders of the affiliated parties, some have started to fear they will have little weight in Prosperity Party’s leadership due to their probably small representation and the dilution of their regional leadership after their parties disappear in the melting-pot of the national Prosperity Party.

Prosperity Party’s programmatic and organisational blurring, its obvious internal heterogeneity and its awkward position in relation to much present political reality, at odds with the overriding ethno-nationalist push, will all affect its efforts to fill the power vacuum in Addis Ababa and remobilise the party-state apparatus, a precondition to re-establishing law and order. It’s hard to see a clear comparative advantage of the Prosperity Party compared with the EPRDF in this regard, or ways in which the former could succeed where the latter failed. Instead, the signs are it may fall back on repression to beat off the opposition challenge.

Fatal error

The new party is Abiy’s attempt to break the stalemate of the last few years and to resolve the political crisis which has persisted and even deepened since he took office, over the ‘ethnic federalist’ and ‘Ethiopianist’ divide. But for some, his approach is too flexible – he “shifts his loyalty as necessary to serve his interests”, according to academic researcher Mebratu Kelecha in Ethiopia Insight. The result, claims a condemnatory Addis Standard editorial, is that “he has isolated himself from closest allies and a vast political base”.

The best example is Defence Minister Lemma, who was a key player in the recent transition. Abiy, multiple sources say, has systematically undermined Lemma’s positions in the government and the party. The editorial goes on: “Abiy focused on attempts to materialize the transition solo… To say today he is all alone is not an overstatement.” This is far away from the idea of medemer. The editorial concludes that “this is not the time to abandon him”, but fails to offer arguments in his support.

Abiy’s fatal initial error, which has led to many of his other missteps, is to have pursued the wrong objective. Regardless of the fate of his leadership, Abiy should have focused on trying to lead the country to a peaceful and orderly transition in order to give it its best chance of success. Instead, he seems to have deprioritized the transition’s success in favour of becoming the next in a long line of Ethiopian ‘Big Man’ rulers. For example, several high officials and journalists in Mekele and Addis Ababa have reported that during a meeting with around 50 Tigrayan businessmen on 24 November, gathered to start a shuttle diplomacy between him and the TPLF, Abiy said: “I am the leader for the next five years; if I don’t get enough votes in the ballot boxes, I will rig the elections”. His justification: “This is Africa”.

If this is Abiy’s genuine position, it means he is ready to climb to the “Big Man” rank by force if necessary. This tendency left its mark on Abiy’s instrumentalization of the creation of the Prosperity Party, which blurred its positive political aim. Then at least parts of the formal and informal opposition, like the Qeerroo and Fano, could react forcefully too, adding a very perilous factor to the already dangerous situation.

By the same author: Abiy inspires farmers’ revoltEmboldened by national change, rural youth are taking the fight to the local power structure

One example of his personalised approach has been the way Abiy bypasses institutions. If these operated according to the constitution, they would be powerful enough to exert control over his activities. To avoid this, he has created different bodies, for example, the Administrative Boundaries and Identity Issues Commission, usually staffing them on his own recommendations. They largely overlap, and in effect replace, already existing institutions. There was another worrying sign recently of a disregard for constitutionalism when Abiy appointed new ministers rather than recommending them to Parliament. Abiy, in fact, has chosen to build a personalised network through transactional deals, requesting the mediation of elders and religious leaders, or face-to-face dialogue.

He has also followed the example of the TPLF when it took power in 1991. It ostracised the Amhara so as “to end their hegemony”,4 and imposed its own creation, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization, as the representative of the Oromo people. This denied them what some saw as their true representatives from the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), who were part of the transitional government until they clashed with TPLF and were exiled. As a result, the TPLF failed in the vital task of national reconciliation, and this contributed heavily to the problems of the past few years.

In turn, Abiy has allowed the demonization of the TPLF and threatened to strangle the Tigray region it represents, riding a wave of wide criticism, even hatred, and aligning with Amhara and Oromo elites. This has exacerbated ethnic division, exactly the opposite of his motto of medemer. Similarly, in rebalancing (justifiably) the ethnic composition of the state apparatus, particularly the army and the security services, Abiy and his supporters have acted with blind relentlessness, throwing the baby out with the bathwater, overcompensating the Oromo. He is also widely perceived to have appointed a disproportional number of officials sharing his Pentecostalist faith. One close Ethiopian observer of national politics called it an “Evangelical state capture”,5 at least at the top; and there have been increasing criticisms on social media on the weight of these “converted Christians”.

This has affected Abiy’s legitimacy. His original popularity was nurtured by quasi-mystic expectations that he would be the saviour of the country, a messianic tone strengthened by Abiy’s presentation of himself as a prophet. The international media depicted him as an apostle of democracy. Now, critics are emphasising that he was elected without a popular mandate, by only three of the four components of a delegitimized and decaying EPRDF. For the transition to have a chance to succeed, he should have focused on galvanising it, himself remaining aloof so as to position himself as a neutral broker. Instead, he prioritised his personal agenda. And the rallying cry of his new book, ‘Medemer’, hasn’t yet provided an alternative to assemble widespread support, despite being published in Amharic and Afaan Oromo and widely distributed.

Fortress Mekele

An important element in this, at least in the short term, remains the stance of the TPLF, as it offers the most stark denunciation of Abiy’s ruling approach and policies. Popular wisdom claims that the Tigrayan party opposes Abiy’s reformism and is still pushing the image of a dogmatic Marxist-Leninist party, dreaming of revenge and a return to national power, ruling Tigrayans with an iron fist, and doing its best to plunge the whole country into chaos. This is hardly accurate. Certainly, although it achieved undoubted economic and social success over the past two decades, the TPLF bears a huge responsibility, not because it single-handedly created Ethiopia’s problems (it didn’t) but because it failed to do enough to vanquish the age-old demons it inherited, including the infamous “question of nationalities” born of Emperor Menelik II’s southern conquests in the late nineteenth century and raised by the student movement which condemned Amhara domination. Similarly, Meles Zenawi, the TPLF politician who was prime minister from 1995 until his death in 2012, despite de jure devolution, operated a system of age-old authoritarian centralist power, at least after his 2001 purge. The TPLF failed to resolve these, and other issues

Tigrayans are certainly deeply bitter about the way TPLF’s coalition colleagues assisted their stigmatisation and this contributes largely to their retreat to the bunker of Tigray. “Why should I marry a fiancé that cheated on me?” was the headline of an Aiga Forum article. They feel encircled, from the north by ‘Shabia’ in Eritrea; from the south by the Amhara. TPLF propaganda, through its media and in meetings, repeats day after day that the population must mobilise behind it to counter this encirclement. Tigrayans fear a bloody future. But they are probably the only people in Ethiopia today who are sure of their strength, and Tigray is the only region to be peaceful and effectively governed.

The authoritarian stand of the TPLF cadre has evolved, whether willingly or unwillingly. This followed merciless popular criticism of the party in 2017. It meant the TPLF’s six-week-long Central Committee meeting at the end of 2017 was the most self-critical of the assemblies held at that time by the EPRDF’s four components. It launched a reform process which deepened and accelerated after Abiy’s election. Having lost its position and strength in Addis Ababa, with most of its key officials retreating to Mekele, the capital of Tigray, the TPLF knew that it had to regain the full confidence of Tigrayans to reassert itself by considering old popular grievances and the local emerging political forces.

By the same author: Local bosses may fill party-sized holesEthiopia has traditions of local self-government—could they induce voters to look at independent candidates for Parliament?

At the grassroots level, the Front now tries to distance itself from the state. For example, for the first time, it has taken note and begun to implement the request that wereda officials should be selected from the district itself and that their appointment should at least be supported by the population. The possibility of fairer elections for the next parliament is not out of the question. One has to accept that Tigray is the only one of Ethiopia’s nine regions which has started to proceed with the reform process in an orderly fashion. For example, allowing demonstrators to block a road for at least three days to protest against a district restructuring was inconceivable a couple of years ago, as was Tigrayans frequently and loudly criticising TPLF in public spaces.

Indeed, as in the rest of Ethiopia a new generation of ethno-radical activists has emerged, particularly among graduates in the towns. Members of the Tigrayan elite can now have their say through new social media outlet Digital Woyane, and the new parties of Baitona and Third Woyane, the second being even more ethno-nationalist than the first. The name of a soon-to-be established organisation is explicit: the Tigray Independence Party.

The TPLF is dealing with these new more nationalist forces by playing a double game. It gives them some room in order to prove its new openness, while also demonstrating it is sticking to a moderate position vis-à-vis more radical trends; although it has also to take these into account. It may even concede a few constituencies to Baitona in the next election. Yet these ethno-radical movements know where the red lines are: they urge TPLF to assert Tigray’s self-rule, to liberalize the political landscape, and to soften its grip on the economy, but advocate that at this perilous time there is a need to prioritize a common front against Tigray’s adversaries.

Alternatively, Arena and the Tigrayan Democratic Party are distancing themselves from ethnic federalism, and so they are treated as plague carriers. They were probably the target of TPLF leader Debretsion when he denounced the “internal forces that are operating to disturb the peace and the unity of Tigray”, even though the last TPLF extraordinary congress decided that TPLF “should continue to work with all legal oppositions in Tigray”.

The TPLF’s leadership is worried, of course, but appears calm and confident. It affirms that the party is more “cohesive”, “principled” and “experienced” and that the bond between the Front and Tigrayans is stronger than in any other region. They highlight the age-old fighting capacity of Tigray, and note that some of the country’s most skilled former senior military officers are now in the region. When asked about armament, they respond: “don’t worry for that!”. A huge security training campaign is ongoing. A former leading Tigrayan commander summarized: “there is not one army in the whole Horn which can defeat us”.6 They appear to be confident in the systems of resilience that Tigray has built over the years precisely to face the kind of situation it now confronts.

Tigray police parade in Mekele ahead of TPLF’s 45th anniversary; February 7, 2020; social media

The TPLF strategy is threefold, according to senior members. In the first instance to “to maintain peace, security and development in Tigray”, which means to assert the “de facto state” which it has imposed since the end of the 1980s when it started to control the whole region. Secondly, it wants to reach “peaceful coexistence” with Addis Ababa, including, if requested, involvement in key national issues, like security. Taking for granted Abiy’s failure, it also aims “to avoid a situation in which Abiy would take the whole nation down with him”. It is, therefore, working on building an alternative force, coming together “with link-minded political groups”, sticking to the basis of the constitution, ethnic federalism.7

This is rather ironic for a Front which itself did much to “emasculate the federal arrangement”, as one of its historic figures puts it.8 It insists that otherwise all other political, economic, and other issues are negotiable. It believes such an alternative force will not be able to organize formally before the elections, so each ethnic party should campaign under its own flag. The current preparations now underway will, however, lay the foundation for a coalition in the next Parliament.9

The TPLF knows the other ethnic federalist parties remain wary of it due to the repression it waged against them for years. It doesn’t want to appear as the architect of such a coalition. Some of its leading members concede that to regain the confidence of their proposed partners, a sincere and extensive mea culpa is necessary. They are also convinced that a programme stripped back to the pillars of the constitution is not enough to build the coalition. They need to design a framework to engage in fruitful negotiations. They know the best way to attract allies is for Tigray to demonstrate clearly it has reformed; that there will be democratization in Tigray and no ambition for TPLF to recapture its former leading role at the center.

The range and the pace of this and the role of the TPLF in coalition-building are at the core of the present robust debates inside the Front. But the main opinion among the Tigrayan elite, as underlined by a local journalist, appears to be that “the best thing that Tigray can do is to sit out the more and more critical evolution taking place in the rest of Ethiopia”.10 Wait and see: the ball is in the other court.

Appealing for TPLF’s “experience”, last November, Prime Minister Abiy made a clumsy and painful attempt at reconciliation, through the mediation of the group of around fifty Tigrayan businessmen in Addis Ababa. It produced deeper tension. Abiy offered no political arguments, but proposed three options. The first was that the TPLF should merge with Prosperity Party or secondly that it should join Prosperity Party with the same status that the “agar” affiliated parties previously had with EPRDF. A third option was for the TPLF to send, say, ten high-level figures to Addis to work with him. He also proposed that Debretsion could be appointed as Deputy Prime Minister, a role he shared under former premier Hailemariam Desalegn. The TPLF categorically refused. It said it could not compromise over the Prosperity Party program but it was ready to negotiate on national issues, particularly security and the holding of peaceful elections.11

By the same author: Lost in electoral maze under Abiy’s gazeDespite Ethiopia’s challenges, there is little sign of corresponding action from the political elite.

The Prime Minister reacted by threatening a full blockade of Tigray, the cutting of federal funds (around 70 percent of Tigray’s budget), the firing of all Tigrayans in the federal institutions, cutting off all communications between Tigray and the rest of the country and even changing the banknotes. Such “a blockade would be tantamount to a declaration of war”, said a TPLF military figure. “We will not stand idly”.12 We would react with “a military engagement”. Abiy knows that, just as he knows the balance of forces. The federal army without the Tigrayan element of its middle management would find it difficult to operate effectively. A full blockade remains improbable.

On the other side, secession would be endorsed by the Front only if it had no other option, and even that remains highly improbable. Ordinary Tigrayans would never accept it because it is unthinkable for those who see Tigray as the cradle of Ethiopia. Whatever their declaration of loyalty to the TPLF, the Tigrayan business community is mostly invested outside Tigray. Even for strong ethno-nationalists, a secessionist Tigray could be sustainable “only if surrounded by peaceful and friendly states”,13 which would be very unlikely.

TPLFites believes the main risk is of a “Badme scenario”, in which a minor incident led to uncontrolled escalation, as happened in that little-know area to trigger the Ethio-Eritrean war in 1998, rather than any attempt at a blockade. Conversely, they also consider an eventual armed confrontation is looking increasingly likely. For most observers, however, the tension between Tigray and Addis Ababa is secondary, because of the geographical, demographic, and economic marginality of this region. The crucial danger lies at the centre between the two colossi, Oromia and Amhara.

Disintegration or dialogue?

Elections have been scheduled for August 29. The results are unpredictable, to say the least. The relative strengths of Ethiopian nationalists and ethnic federalists remain a subject of speculation, though a majority of observers agree that if the present ratio of force persists, the latter are likely to win. But the margin of victory is debatable and there are major uncertainties. The political landscape remains fluid, and it is far from clear how functional either Prosperity Party or any ethnic coalition will be.

At the grassroots level, former EPRDF cadres, frequently despised, will not get sudden popular support by claiming to be members of Prosperity Party. Previously, candidates were parachuted in their constituencies. This time, local support or at least some meaningful popular acceptance, will be compulsory. The elections, both national and regional, will be locally determined as never before. This raises the question: what weight will the youngsters, the Qeerroo, Fano, etc., bring to the electoral process? And will this be peaceful or violent?

The outcome of the election could be very different in the Amhara and the Oromo regions. In the Amhara region, the rise of the Ethiopianess nationalist discourse fits with the broad political expectation. Everything else is subsidiary. People in the regional kebele mentioned above want a ‘Big Man’. Mengistu Hailemariam is often mentioned with nostalgia. They present an alternative: either Abiy will prove he can re-establish a minimum of security, and they will support him, and the Prosperity Party; if not, they will look for what they call an “Amhara shield”, i.e. vote NaMA.

In Oromia, the quest for authentic self-rule seems to be the overwhelming priority. Discussions between members of the “elite”, national or party leaders, may have been continuous, but little detail has been disclosed. One thing that seems clear is that policy hasn’t been prioritized. Daud Ibsa, the head of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), says: “the policy issue is very secondary… For our people, the first essential and most important issue is to elect their own representatives”. Jawar Mohammed, a leading Oromo activist, says: “there is really no ideological difference between Oromo political parties… just tactical difference”. When a key leader of an Oromo federalist movement was asked about the political content of an agreement just concluded between the Oromo federalist forces, he replied: “it doesn’t matter”.14

By the same author: Localism can edge Ethiopia forwardsTo end paralysis, the political landscape needs to be restructured along ideological lines.

Such comments raise the question: why not a merger of the Oromo federalist parties? OLF, Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and Oromo Nationalist Party (ONP) have just created a Coalition for Democratic Federalism to “jointly field candidates for Oromia regional State Council and to form a national coalition with other parties that share similar programs and operate in different regional states”. According to reports, they plan to form a regional coalition government “based on election results”, with its head, and possibly the future Prime Minister, will be chosen according to the votes. But it remains a coalition, not a merger. A merger would have meant the choice and appointment of a party chairman, but rivalry between the leaders of the parties and Jawar, who is also joining the coalition, meant this was impossible. Nevertheless, they may well deny Abiy a victory even in Oromia.

One possible scenario, widely shared at even a popular level, is that as elections comes closer, the security situation will continue to deteriorate and other problems will inexorably increase. This will end in the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency and the emergence of a new ‘Big Man’, possibly someone other than Abiy, as front man for the federal army. But some sources close to or formerly part of the military high command consider this too optimistic. They claim such a situation would inevitably be preceded by extensive ethnic conflicts. They are convinced that the army would then split along ethnic lines and, if not, wouldn’t be sufficiently numerous to adequately intervene. According to one, this would also be the case if the Prime Minister tried to impose his centralizing agenda.

In fact, already today, parts of Oromia, the Southern region, parts of Amhara, and Benishangul-Gumuz are governed by a Command Post, in effect a kind of state of emergency under which the military have the controlling role. The same is the case along many inter- regional borders. It appears more than half of Ethiopian territory is de facto under the command of the federal army. Besides, it is not altogether happy about the situation. The army is “gutted”, as one security specialist puts it;15 despite extensive changes in commands, it doesn’t consider Abiy respectfully, and he isn’t as confident of his control as he would like.

By the same author: Federalist façade for centralist frontAn incoherent EPRDF staggers on as the PM tries to cobble together a centrist alliance.

There has already been continuing and extensive militarization across the country. In the Amhara kebele mentioned above, the only authority channel which remains effective is the one in charge of security affairs. According to the militia head, previously under the authority of the kebele chairman, the militia apparatus has been “restructured” to be also incorporated into the regional Amhara security system.16 Even one of the de facto leaders of the group of youngsters confesses that he is constantly in touch with this system. Overall, it seems likely that the regional special forces now outnumber the federal army.

An alternative option, frequently mentioned over the last few months, is for a “national dialogue”. The best opportunity for this already passed months ago; now it would be far more difficult to organize. Abiy’s interest in this is also questionable, even though he claims to set great store by dialogue. Nor is there much evidence that the main political forces would support it. Their positions are so irreconcilable that any real agreement looks out of reach. A well-known Ethiopian journalist adds the “essentialist” argument, not rooted in any obviously visible or quantifiable factors, but based on analysis of personalities: political leaders would prefer to sink together rather than to accept the pre-eminence of any one of them.17

Indeed, in the first instance, of course, any such compromise as would be involved in a national dialogue would reflect a balance of forces. Today, both ethno-federalists and Abiy’s centralist followers, proclaim their absolute certainty they are in a majority. And who is mistaken? In fact, none of the leading political personalities have any mandate to decide on the country’s future. In advance of elections, this would be an undemocratic coup de force. It would be ironic if the whole political class, which expresses its support for democracy, forgot that only the electorate can legitimately arbitrate on these crucial issues. It would be to put the cart before the horse.

A national dialogue is needed, however, to focus urgently on one issue: a roadmap for the elections. In addition to the problems outlined, the obstacles facing an acceptable and effective election in August are tremendous: the neutrality of the electoral board and of the state apparatus, the appointing of the 250,000 to 300,000 electoral officials needed, the modalities of a modus vivendi for campaigning, security and other areas. But Prime Minister Abiy remains the only person who is in a position to drive this successfully, and his Western supporters are those who can encourage him decisively to do this.

The West, and above all the U.S., has been giving Abiy unfailing support. Ambassador Michael Raynor calls the Prime Minister a “visionary”. He says: “The United States firmly believes that Ethiopia’s political and economic reforms offer the surest and quickest path to securing the prosperous, stable and politically inclusive future for all Ethiopians”. It may not be clear if the U.S. State Department has a clear strategy regarding Ethiopia but certainly Ambassador Raynor looks like having a free hand to implement his own views.

By the same author: A flicker in the gloomIf Abiy transforms EPRDF into a single party, at least it will offer a possible—albeit still risky—way out of the morass by presenting two distinct choices.

Some of his advisers are privately unequivocal: the aim is to maintain Abiy in power for years at any cost, handling not only Ethiopia but the whole Horn because of its weight in the region. Their vision is Manichean. On the good side, there is Prime Minister Abiy and his followers. On the bad side is ethno-nationalism, an offspring of the archaic “tribalism” which has so deeply hurt Africa. Their rejection is visceral: Jawar Mohammed is evil and, with the Qeerroo, the source of all Ethiopia’s ills; in addition, the TPLF remains a hopeless Marxist-Leninist survivor.

This myopic approach stems first from the assumption that there is no alternative to Abiy to provide what the U.S. and other outside powers value above all: stability. His liberal economic stance is highly welcome at a time when the U.S. has decided to try to counter China in Africa. It is the main trade partner, the main investor and the main lender in Ethiopia. The fact that the U.S. Ambassador is also an Evangelist contributes to allowing his relationship with the premier to develop well beyond the usual diplomatic niceties. The result is that money and experts have poured in “The United States has invested over USD three billion in Ethiopia in the last three years alone”, insists Ambassador Raynor.

Additionally, U.S. officials are “embedded” in key Ethiopian economic ministries, and more widely. Ethiopia has just received pledges of around $6 billion from multilateral creditors, including an exceptionally generous loan of $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund, presumably to shore up Ethiopia’s balance of payments when the birr is floated. Meanwhile, the West turns a blind eye to any abuse of power, or renewed political repression, such as what Amnesty recently called a “intensification of the crackdown on dissenting political views”, not to mention excesses by the federal army, particularly in Wellega, against armed groups with links to OLF.

Abiy seems set to continue on his current track despite the many dangers lurking there because, among other reasons, he can be sure the West will give him carte blanche. But by putting all their eggs in Abiy’s basket, the West is not only closing all other options for itself, it is also threatening its own interests—Ethiopia’s stability. The alternative, a national dialogue to craft an election roadmap, requires Abiy’s full commitment, and he needs all the help he can get if the process is to be successful. His foreign supporters must therefore shift their policies to align with Ethiopian realities and throw their full weight behind getting an effective electoral process, including, of course, putting pressure on Abiy himself. It is high time for both the Prime Minister, and his Western supporters, to do the right thing for the country.

Related articles from Oromian Economist sources:-

Why Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party could be bad news for Ethiopia

The new pan-Ethiopian party created to replace the EPRDF coalition risks bringing the country to the edge of an abyss.

Ethiopia’s naive peacemaking could lead to war


Oromia: Bilxiginnaan Maaster Pilaaniin saamichaa bifa haarawaan qabattee as baate:“Zoonii Diinagdee Addaa Gadaa” jedha maqaansaa: Extensions of the garrison-town-economic-model of Ethiopia February 23, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Awash Post: Bilxiginnaan Maaster Pilaaniin saamichaa bifa haarawaan qabattee as baate. Karoorri haarofni Adaamaa Minjaarii (naannoo Amaaraa) fi godina Guraageen (Na Kibba) walqunnamsiisa. Zooniin diinagdee addaa uumamu kun bulchiinsa Oromiyaan ala ta’a. Oromiyaan qircamuuf! Hanga Oromiyaan diigamtutti jarreen raftee bulaarti hin fakkaatu.

Kan Dr Barii Ayano, professor of economics, barreesse dubbisaa!!!

PP’s Plan of Economic Zones in Oromia a State within a State: Disintegrating & Weakening Oromia

1. A friend inbox me PP’s Cafee Oromia draft a proclamation titled “Wixinee Labsii Zoonii Diinagdee Addaa Gadaa”, which has a theme to create economic zones. I read it thoroughly. It is important to note that the proposed economic zones stretch from Adama to Minjar Shonkoraa and Gurage zone. Thus, it is not limited to the Oromia Regional State. It is another puzzling document that adds to our mistrust of PP leaders’ plans for the Oromia State & the Oromo people.

2. Different countries create economic zones for various reasons. However, the underlying objectives are similar. The special economic zones have sets of business, trade, financial and economic laws that differs from the wider systems of a country. Economic zones also have sets of tax laws and regulations, which are very lax and different from the rest of a country. For instance, China started establishing special economic zones in late 1970s to create two economic systems in the country. The larger China operates under the Central Planned Economy whereas economic zones operated under the liberal market economy like the West. The goal of the two economic system was to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the advanced economies to the economic zones, which have the modus operandi of the Western liberal market economic system. Simply put, the market economy was allowed in the economic zones whereas planned economy operates in the rest of the larger China. The plan worked for China in attracting foreign capital in the form of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which helped China to largely avoid foreign borrowing-dependent economy.

3. When it comes to PP’s plan for the economic zones, it raises more questions than answers. First, the title of the “Zoonii Diinagdee Addaa Gadaa” is literally annoying. I am stating this not based on my opinion but after reading the contents of the draft proclamation. The planned economic zones have nothing to do with the Gadaa culture. The economic zones will be very independent of Oromia Regional State in business, trade, governance, etc. laws and regulations. Simply put, the economic zones will be administered by a board, which will be mandated to administer the economic zones as the board members see fit. The outlying areas (like farmers) that will be included in the economic zones will be subjected to the laws and regulations set up by the board. (I am well versed in the economic zones and their applications in different countries). The planed economic zones of PP will one of the most relaxed economic zones in the world that accord unlimited powers to the board that govern the economic zones. Simply put, the economic zones will be a state within a state, with very little control of the Oromia Region on their modus operandi.

4. The economic zones will be independent and the most economically powerful area in the Oromia Region, which can eventually surpass the already economically powerful Addis Ababa. What is the core purpose of creating an independent economic power within the Oromia Regional State? Why does the border of the economic zones cross all the way to Minjar Shenkora and Gurgage zones? What is the impact of the very large independent and powerful economic zones on the integrity and viability of Oromia as a state? What is the effect of the economic zones on rural Oromia around and within the economic zones? The draft proclamation states the economic zones will have positive impacts on the Oromo people and our cultural ethos. Yet, the economic zones will be governed by independent board members, with the prime duty to attract foreign and local investors. The Oromia Region cannot intervene and enforce pro-Oromo laws and regulations.

5. Whenever we discuss economic matters, our premise should be the fact that our people are predominantly agrarian with rural based economy. An economic model that transforms the livelihood of our people must begin from transforming the mainstay-the dominant-agricultural sector. PP’s economic plans of mega city and economic zones owned by foreigners and the few local rich people won’t improve the living standards of our people. They are just another master plan schemes that will evict Oromo farmers in millions from their ancestral lands. We will end up under the scenario where the top 2% or 1% of the rich, who are connected nepotism and corruption are rampant, owning and dominating the economy. At its core, PP’s economic plan is merely serving the rich. The majority will end up being daily laborers with meager salary that cannot even feed their families. The farmers within the economic zones will be evicted and become landless. (PP’s document itself hints this and glossy over it by stating compensation). There is nothing economically worse for the Oromos or other farmers than losing their ancestral lands. Simply put, we should measure economic progress and development in terms of their contributions to improving the living standards of our people. The proposed economic zones will not improve the living standards of our farmers, who dominate the economy. The few rich, who have access to capital, so-called investors, will get rich; the poor majority will get poorer. There are alternative economic policies that can be drawn that can seriously consider the economic hardships of our people in order to improve their living standards.

6. Politically speaking, the economic zones will create a powerful economic state within Oromia. It will weaken the rest of Oromia in political and economic terms. The economics zones will be more powerful than the other parts of larger Oromia. It also destroys the integrity and viability of Oromia as a state. We can safely conclude that PP’s unitary government plan has the agenda to bank on unitary economic plan. In other words, unitary government will give us unitary economic policy tools that favors the few rich urbanities, with the help of foreign finance. It’s not geared towards addressing the economic plights of the rural majority. The multinational federal system, if it is correctly implemented, will give us decentralized economic system that will consider the real economies on the ground. Banking on mega cities and mega economic zones will not help the majority. They are just extensions of the garrison-town-economic-model of Ethiopia, which has survived for generations by exploiting and extracting resources from the rural sector with very little reciprocated benefits.

7. Theoretically speaking, Ethiopia is heading towards elections in few months. Why do the PP leaders in Oromia come up with large scale mega projects that take years to complete? Where do they get the mandate for the long-term plan on the eve elections? They cannot be taken as economic policy proposals for election campaigns either since the opposition groups can easily dig into them and capitalize on them for their advantages. PP leaders are not drawing economic policies that attract the majority. Giving it a title “Diinagdee Addaa Gadaa” for the proposed economic zones is less than fool hardy. It is insulting our intelligence. We can read their proposal and evaluate its impact on our people in terms of economy, politics, culture, etc. The EPRDF/PP regime never contemplate impact studies of their mega projects. They are addicted to copycat syndrome. Yet, they have the audacity to lecture us that they are building ‘homegrown’ economy.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the Brutal Killing of Defenseless Oromos in Wallagga and Gujii Zones Of Oromia Regional State February 2, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Ethiopia: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the Brutal Killing of Defenseless Oromos in Wallagga and Gujii Zones Of Oromia Regional State


February l, 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

The Human Rights League Of the Horn Of Africa (HRLHA) is writing this letter out Of a grave concern about the brutal killings of defenseless Oromos in Wallagga and Gujji in the Western and Southern parts of Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia that have occurred for over a year since the government deployed federal military under the undeclared command post to those zones.

The HRLHA has started receiving daily reports from its informants of extrajudicial killings, rapes, torture, beatings, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and destruction of property that have happened and been reported in the past eight months in Wallagga and Gujji zones of Oromia. The sadistic brutal murdering of innocent Oromos indiscriminately in Wallagga and Gujji zones of Oromia Regional State on street are very disheartening not only to the families of the deceased but equally to all Oromo nationals and other citizens across the country.

Regarding the human rights abuses in Wallagga and Gujji zones, the HRLHA has written a letter to higher Officials at both federal and regional levels about its concerns and urged them to address the threatening human rights situation in the ‘Command Post’ zones before it is too late. Yet, no significant action has been taken up till now to improve the fragile human rights situation in those areas. HRLHA has reported several times on Human rights infringements in those zones and urged the government to halt using excessive force against the civilians by the Oromia regional special force and federal military.

Dear Prime Minister,

The recent reports coming from West Wallagga zone indicate the deteriorating security and human rights abuse of civilians is worse than before; and now, since telephone and internet network services have been shut down on January 04, 2020, there has been an effective cover up of horrific human rights violations in Wallagga Zone.

The internet and telephone shutdown in Wallagga by the government makes the human rights situation more complicated. Internet and telephone shutdown curb the freedom of the press, an important component of freedom of speech and expression. The shutdown also violated the Ethiopian constitution. After the shutdown of communication in Wallagga, it is being widely reported by different media that the federal military, for which you are commander-in-chief, is perpetrating extra-judicial killings, mass arrests, forced displacements, and forced disappearance of civilians.

Dear Prime Minister,

Why would innocent Wallagga and Gujji Oromos be murdered on a regular basis by federal military for over a year on the streets and in their homes? Since you are the commander in Chief and the only custodian of Ethiopians including the Oromo nation constitutionally, you ought to give the answer to the public. The worry is that since the shutdown of communications from Wallagga zone beginning on January 4, 2020, the intensity of brutality has escalated and over 150 Oromos were cold-bloodedly killed- 60 innocent Oromos were massacred in one day and dumped in Anfillo district. Fearing further executions by the federal military, Other thousands are migrating to neighboring region (Gambela) and country (South Sudan) leaving their livelihoods behind. Dear prime Minister, Today, many Oromo youths, the Qeerroos and Qarrees who had contributed to fighting against injustice in Ethiopia and brought change in the country are being detained by your government security on the pretext Of supporting opposition political organizations. Many of the detainees are charged under the Ethiopian draconian anti-terrorist proclamation of 2009. Charging the detainees with the 2009 anti-terrorist proclamation contradicts your promises in speeches you made on different stages including at the Ethiopian parliament meeting. The HRLHA would like to State clearly to your government that What has been happening at your government presently is a clear indication where the state has failed to protect and insure the basic and fundamental rights of the people enshrined in Ethiopian constitution and international human rights standards that Ethiopia is signatory. Instead, it has sponsored crimes against humanity. The Ethiopian government completely denies such reports of human rights abuses under command post operations claiming that the command post is in place only “to maintain peace and order” where the Oromo Liberation Army is operating. The Oromo Liberation army is Operating in Wallagga and Guji zones of Oromia after the negotiation has failed to disarm peacefully. However, there has been no independent investigation and media coverage that verified governments claim.

Related from Oromian Economist sources:-

Ethiopia’s week of human rights caution and kidnap, insecurity protests, Africa News

AI: The return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters is a worrying signal in Ethiopia January 28, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
1 comment so far

Ethiopia: Authorities crack down on opposition supporters with mass arrests

27 January 2020

Amnesty International has confirmed that at least 75 supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were arrested over the weekend from various places in different parts of Oromia Regional State, as Ethiopian authorities intensify the crackdown on dissenting political views ahead of the general elections.The return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters is a worrying signal in Ethiopia. Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa

“The return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters is a worrying signal in Ethiopia. These sweeping arrests risk undermining the rights to freedom of expression and association ahead of the 2020 elections,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

Arrests took place across the state including in Finchawa town in West Guji Zone of Oromia, and Shambu town in Horo-Guduru Wallaga Zone of Oromia.These sweeping arrests risk undermining the rights to freedom of expression and association ahead of the 2020 elections. Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa

Among those arrested was Chaltu Takele, a prominent political activist. Police broke into her parents’ home in Shambu town, Horo-Guduru Wellaga at 5am on 26 January and arrested her. She is detained at the Shambu Police Station.

Chaltu Takele spent more than eight years in prison between 2008 and 2016 after being accused of being a member of the Oromo Liberation Front, which the Ethiopian government had listed as a “terrorist organization”. The Ethiopian Parliament delisted OLF and other political opposition groups from being proscribed terrorist groups in 2018. Chaltu was also arrested and briefly detained in 2017, and again 2019 while she was pregnant.

The weekend arrests are the latest in a long line of mass arrests of opposition activists. The Ethiopian police and military have been rounding up people for “rehabilitation training” since February 2019. After spending time in various military and police detention centres, most were released between September and November 2019.

Related from Oromian Economist Sources:-

Rakkoo nageenya Oromiyaa keessaa balaaleffachuuf hawaasni Oromoo Waashingitan DCtti hiriira mormii gaggeessan

Reforestation is not necessarily about planting more trees January 19, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

A much less costly way to regenerate our forests and decrease carbon levels is to assist nature to do its job.

by Nikola Alexandre, Al Jazeera 18 Jan 2020

Cattle graze next to a fragment of the Atlantic Forest in Silva Jardim, Brazil on April 18, 2019 [File: AP/Leo Correa]
Cattle graze next to a fragment of the Atlantic Forest in Silva Jardim, Brazil on April 18, 2019 [File: AP/Leo Correa]

Last year, the journal Science published a study that made a bold – and elegantly simple – claim: To mitigate climate change, plant a trillion new trees.

Authored by a team of scientists from various research institutions in Europe and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the study attracted considerable mainstream media coverage.

Soon after, tree-planting initiatives across the globe bloomed. Ethiopia announced it would plant 350 million trees in a single day and India promised to plant 220 million. The US unveiled a plan to establish forests in Asian and African cities. Companies ranging from Biocarbon Engineering to EasyJet to Warner Music turned the spotlights on their tree-planting initiatives.

The excitement was understandable. The idea that we could negate the effects of centuries of deforestation and keep the planet cool enough to survive simply by planting some trees sounded really good.

The study found that a trillion new trees could store 205 billion metric tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of 25 percent of the current atmospheric carbon pool and enough to help keep us under a 1.5-degree Celsius global temperature rise. Climate action, meet your magic bullet.

Yes, we need to plant trees. Close to one billion hectares (2.5 billion acres) globally is estimated to be available for some kind of forest restoration. If only it were that simple.

To succeed in the fight against climate change we have to do two big things: Stop emitting carbon dioxide and remove the excess carbon dioxide we have already emitted. Restoring forests is the best way to do that second part – but not all restoration is created equal.

In the buzz surrounding the study published in Science, what got scant attention was the cost of planting a trillion trees. With conservation needs already facing a $350bn annual gap between what we are spending and what is needed to secure ecosystems, planting and stewarding a trillion new trees will require mobilising huge amounts of money – something the world does not seem brave enough to do. According to the paper, we would have to reforest approximately 0.9 billion hectares (2.2 billion acres) of land – an area the size of China – to reach their magic number, and at an average cost of $3,000 per hectare, the invoice for this gardening project is prohibitively expensive.

But there is a more realistic way to replace the trees we have destroyed: Help nature run its course.

It is a real, science-based strategy known as assisted natural regeneration. It is low-tech, high-yield, highly scalable, and 70 percent cheaper than planting new saplings.

The premise of assisted natural regeneration is that the most economical way to restore and protect forests is to acknowledge nature’s resilience, remove barriers to natural regeneration and – where necessary – accelerate it. Given time, trees regrow and forests come back. Assisted natural regeneration simply supports and accelerates the process. What does it look like in practice?

Examples include stopping fires from burning young trees that are naturally regrowing, dispersing seed mixes in degraded areas close to intact forests, and developing national policies that incentivise intensifying agriculture in some areas in order to let others naturally regenerate.

One of the most exciting assisted natural regeneration strategies is called applied nucleation, also known as “tree islands”, which involves planting only a very small number of trees that attract birds and other seed dispersers, which can spread seeds around the tree islands. Gradually, these tree islands turn into intact forests. 

If it is such an obvious and effective tactic, why has it not caught on yet? First, it does not have the PR appeal of a person lowering a young sapling into the ground. Second, until recently, assisted natural regeneration was not seen as a solution that could work on a large scale. But advances in our ability to model and predict natural processes – and an unlikely and unexpected test case in Brazil – showed otherwise.

Brazil’s Atlantic Forest stretches across 34 million hectares (84 million acres) of the country’s coastal southeast. As large as it is, it is a fraction of what it used to be, having lost nearly three-quarters of its original extent to deforestation.

Over the past two decades, though, rural populations there thinned, with people in farming communities abandoning their land to move to cities to find work, while well-organised local groups ensured enforcement of a Brazilian law aimed at curbing deforestation.

What happened next was remarkable: Between 1996 and 2015, nearly three million hectares (7.4 million acres) of the area was found to have regenerated naturally – without a single sapling being planted.

This did not escape the notice of conservationists. Researchers from the International Institute of Sustainability (IIS) in Rio de Janeiro analysed this regeneration and found that one-third of the degraded Atlantic Forest – some 21.6 million hectares (53.4 million acres) – could eventually be restored if assisted natural regeneration is applied. It was the first real evidence that this method could be scaled up.

Seizing on these findings, Conservation International launched what is on track to be the largest tropical restoration project in history in the Brazilian Amazon. Working with local and international partners, the organisation helped protect and nurture a portion of the Amazon rainforest so it could rebound without interference – and it has started to do so.

Now, Conservation International and IIS are leading efforts to identify other areas of the world where assisted natural regeneration is likely to be ecologically and socially feasible, and it is now estimated that, of the billion or so hectares of forest around the world that have been destroyed or degraded, fully one-third is suitable for assisted natural regeneration.

What that means is that all that land, if protected around the edges from logging, fires, farming and grazing, then left to its own devices, could come back to life – bringing with it all the benefits that forests provide, from water filtration to biodiversity to climate regulation. And that is without threatening food security – critical to our exploding world population – or sticking a single (expensive) sapling in the ground.

So what needs to happen now?

First, the research community must pay closer attention to what nature has been doing for millennia to focus its efforts on actions that support that process.

Second, science and indigenous knowledge must be brought together to show governments where assisted natural regeneration is possible, and inform policies to unlock it.

Third, banking and development communities need to create financial incentives to spur investment in reforestation.

Fourth, corporate actors should put protection above profit so that mistreated land is given space to recover – which in the long run is good for their bottom line.

Let us be clear: Assisted natural regeneration is not the only way forward. We still need to plant new trees where it is necessary, and in ways that respect local ecology and local cultures.

But if we can see to all of the above, Mother Nature will have a much easier time doing what she does best – naturally.

Oromia (Ethiopia): Press releases from The Oromo Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society (OELMS) concerning the military operations in Western Oromia and Gujii January 12, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Press releases from The Oromo Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society (OELMS) concerning the military operations in Western Oromia and Gujii.

‘Karoora dhokataafi ijaarsa seeraa alaan Finfinneefi Amaara waltuqsiisuuf hojjetamaa jira’ January 6, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

BBC Afaan Oromo

Milkeessaa Miidhagaa (PhD): ‘Karoora dhokataafi ijaarsa seeraa alaan Finfinneefi Amaara waltuqsiisuuf hojjetamaa jira’

Karoora dhokataadhaan, qubsuma seeran alaafi ijaarsa seeran alaatiin Finfinneefi naannoo Amaaraa waltuqsiisuuf warri hojjetan ni jiru, jedhan Hoogganaa Biiroo Bulchiinsaafi Itti-fayyadama Lafaa Oromiyaa Milkeessaa Miidhagaa (PhD).

Ijaarsi seeraan alaa Godina Addaa Oromiyaa Naannawa Finfinneetti haala yaaddessaa ta’een dabalaa dhufeera.

Magaalli Finfinnees Amajjii jalqabarratti manneen seeran alaa aanaalee magaalichaafi naanawasheetti ijaaraman diiguu akka jalqabu ibsee ture.

Dhimma weerara lafaafi ijaarsa seeran alaa Godina Addaa keessatti mul’achaa jiru ilaalchisuun Hogganaan Bulchiinsaafi Itti-fayyadama lafaa Oromiyaa Dr. Milkeessaa Miidhagaa BBC waliin turtii taasisaniin, Ijaarsi seeran alaa Naannawa Finfinnee amma sadarkaa yaaddessaarra gaheera jedhan.

Wanti Godina Addaa keessatti ta’aa jiru kuni fedhii siyaasaarraa kan maddeefi galma lakkoofsa jiraattotaa jijjiiruu kan kaayyefate ta’uus himu.

“Wanti naannawaa Finfinneetti ta’aa jiru kuni siyaasa lakkoofsa jiraattotaa sabaan akka caalamu gochuuti.

Adeemsa keessammoo ‘lafti kun kan eenyuuti?’ kan jedhurratti gaaffiin ka’ee abbummaa dhabamsiisuu, aadaa, afaan duguuganii balleessuu kan kaayyefate,” jedhu.

Oduu kana waliin walqabatan biroo filadhaa:

Gochi kun galma siyaasaa qabaachuufi eenyummaa Oromoo dhabamsiisanii kan saba biraatiin bakka buusuu akka kaayyefate Biiroon isaanii qorannoo taasiseen mirkaneefachuus himan.

“Godina Addaatti qaamni ijaarsa seeran alaa irratti bobba’e hiyyeessa miti. Dureessota ergama siyaasaa sana galmaan gahuuf hojjetanitu qarshii guddaa ramadee qubachiisaa, ijaarsisaa jira.

Faddaaltonni ciccimoon ergama seenaa kana raawwachuuf halkaniifi guyyaa hojjetanis jiru,” jedhan.

Ijaarsi kuni erga raawwateen booda namoota rakkatoofi daa’imman qaban itti galchanii yeroo mootumman diigu miidiyaaleerrati iyyuuf akka dhimma itti bahanis himan.

Naannoolee kanneenitti manneen amantaa ijaaruunis karoora weerara lafaa kanaaf qabatanii namoonni kunneen hojjetanis jiru jedhan.

Gochi weerara lafaafi ijaarsa seerana alaa kana keessatti caasaan mootummaa naannoo Oromiyaas faayidaadhaan itti masakamee galma dhokataa diinaa kanaaf tumsuun gocha kana dursanii ittisuu akka hin dandeenyeef danqaa akka ta’es himan.

“Lafti Oromoo hammi kuni yeroo saamamu caasaan mootummaa inuma jira. Taa’etuma ilaala. Caasaa keenyatu keessa galee waliin hojjechaa jira. Kanaaf dhaabuus, dhaabsisuus dadhabne,” jedhan.

Oromiyaa keessa magaalli weerara lafaafi ijaarsa seeran alaa irraa bilisa ta’e akka hin jirres himan.

Manni seeraan alaa si’a torba diigamee ijaarama…

“Namoonni duula ijarsa seeran alaa kanarratti bobba’an ‘manni si’a torba diigamee hin ijaaramne mana miti’ dhaadannoo jedhu qabu. Kanaaf, yeroo diigame deebisanii ijaaru. Si’a torbaffaatti siif mirkanaa’a jedhanii wal onnachiisu. Kuni qorumsa guddaadha” jedhan Dr. Milkeessaan.

Qaama karoora dhoksaa kanaa kan ta’e qubsumni seeraan alaa lafa Oromoo irratti taasifamu kun naannawaa magaalaa Finfinnee qofa osoo hin taane baadiyyaa Oromiyaa keessattis haalaan dabalaa dhufuus eeran.

“Fakkeenyaaf, godina Jimmaa aanaa Sokorruutti tibba kana qubsumni taasifamaa jiru waan hamaadha. Gammoojjii Gibee keessaa Fagoodhaa dhufee namni bayinaan qubachaa jira.

Kana duras lafa Oromoorra qubsiisuun kun Shawaa Lixaa, Horroo Guduruu, Wallagga Bahaa, Iluu Abbaa Booriifi Boorana keessatti baayyee dabaleera,” jedhan.

Naannoo biraarraa qubsummni gara naannoo Oromiyaatti taasifamu kun seera maleessummaa qofa osoo hin taane qubsuma ummataa (Demography) jijjiiraa deema jedhan.

“Bara mootummaa cehumsaa keessa yeroo Taammiraat Laayineeti lafti duwwaan Oromiyaa keessa jiru qoratamee, ummanni gara kaabaa kanarraa dhufee akka irra qubatu gochuun kan eegalame.

Namoonni kunneen bakka bakkatti hidhannoo guutuu waliin qubatu. Bakki itti kana seeratti galchuuf deemamee poolisii keenya ajjeesanifaatu jira,” jedhu.

Waggoota 15 darbe keessa ‘Finfinneen kan Oromoo miti ‘warri jedhanii odeessan karoora dhokataadhaan naannoo Amaaraafi Finfinnee walqunnamsiisuuf hojjechaa jirus jedhan.

“Karoora isaanii ‘Finfinneen kan Oromoo miti’ jedhu sana mirkaneessuuf, qubannaa seeran alaatiin baayina lakkoofsa ummata isaanii dabaluudhan, Godina Addaatti manneen barnootaa Afaan Oromootiin akka hin banamne godhanii Amaaressuudhaan lafa fudhachuuf.

Kanaafimmoo ragaa qabatamaa of harkaa qabna,” jedhan Dr. Milkeessaan.

Karaa Kaaba Baha Finfinneetiin magaalota Lagaxaafoo, Sandaafaa Bakkee, Shanoofi kanneen biroo keessatti ijaarsa seeraan alaafi qubsumaan lafa weeraranii Finfinneefi naannoo Amaaraa waltuqsiisuuf karoora dhoksaan hojjetamu jiraachuus bira geenyeerra jedhan.

“Yoo danda’ameef naannoo Amaaraa Finfinnedhaan waltuqsiisuu kan jedhu Pirojektii jedhu qabu. Waraanni Asaaminoo Tsiggee leenjisaa ture Kanaan dura daangaa Oromiyaa keessa galchee qubachiisuuf yaaleera.

Karaa Kanaan Finfinnee too’anna kan jedhu yaaleera,” jedhan.

Qubannaan karaa kanaan taasifamu ispoonsara godhamee itti yaadamee lafa Oromoo weeraranii Finfinnee kan ofii gochuuf yaadamee pirojektii bocanii hojjechaa turuu ragaa quubsaa argachuu himan Dr. Milkeessaan.

“Lagaxaafoo akkuma darbaniin magaala seeran alaa ‘Arbaa Aratti’ jedhamtu hundeessaniiru. Baadiyyaa keessas akkanumatti itti fufeera.

Caasaan naannoo keenyaammoo waraqaa eenyummaa birriidhaan baasaafii oola. Pirojektiin kun Finfinneedhaa hooggansi siyaasaa kennamaaf.”

“Keessa darbanii lakkoofsa ummataa dabalumaaf yaadamee maallaqni ramadamee ‘Godina Addaatti mana kireefadhaa galaa’ jedhanii hojii demography jijjiruu hojjechaa akka jiran ragaadhaan beekna.

Caasaa Oromiyaammoo malaamaltummaadhaan waan barbaadan goosisu,” jedhan.

Akka angaa’aan kun jedhanitti, halli amma ‘Finfinneen kan keenya’ jechaa ‘aadaafi eenyummaa keenyammoo keessaa dhabneerra’ jennu, waggoota 30 booda Godina Addaattis carraan akkanaa muudachuun waan hin hafnedha jedhan.

Africa News: I did it for Oromo: Jawar Mohammed explains decision to join Ethiopia opposition party January 2, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

I did it for Oromo: Jawar Mohammed explains decision to join Ethiopia opposition party

I did it for Oromo: Jawar Mohammed explains decision to join Ethiopia opposition party


Ethiopia’s prominent activist Jawar Mohammed explained that he joined the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress party (OFC) because of its strong stand on federalism.

Jawar’s membership in OFC comes five months before general elections that will test the popularity of reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the east African nation of more than 100 million people.

“I have been working with the party as a supporter for a long time,” Jawar told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

I will use my influence, network, and experience to help strengthen the party.

“I am attracted to the party because of their clear and strong stand on federalism.”

Jawar and the party are expected to call for greater autonomy for Ethiopia’s regional states, including Oromia, which is the largest and most populous.

‘‘The Oromo objective is very clear. It boils down to self-rule, which can be translated into cultural, political and economic autonomy, having full ownership over the wealth God has given us…also being able to govern our home region by a government elected by the Oromo people.’‘

Bitter ethnic rivalries resulting in violent clashes are one of the most serious challenges to Abiy’s government. More than 1,200 people were killed and more than 1.2 million others displaced in clashes in the country within the past year, Ethiopia’s Attorney General Office disclosed in September. The clashes, most of which took place along ethnic lines, threaten Abiy’s reforms.

Falling out with Abiy

Until recently, Jawar was seen as an ally of the prime minister. When he was living in the U.S. many say Jawar played a key role on social media in mobilizing widespread protests that led the previous prime minister to resign and saw Abiy rise to power in April, 2018.

Last year, Abiy relaxed restrictions on political activists which allowed Jawar and others to return to Ethiopia without fear of arrest.

But recently frictions emerged between Abiy and Jawar. In October Abiy criticized “media personalities with foreign passports” for causing troubles in Ethiopia, a comment widely seen as criticism of Jawar.

A day later, Jawar alleged there were attempts to remove his government-provided security guards and hundreds of his supporters flocked to his residence to offer him protection. Unrest that followed in some parts of the country, mainly Oromia, resulted in the deaths of several dozen people.

Jawar’s plan for 2020

Jawar, owner of the Oromo Media Network which has a television station, website and magazine, has more than 1.7 million followers on Facebook and a large support base in the Oromia region.

“I will use my influence, network, and experience to help strengthen the party,” he said, adding that the party will decide what office he will run for in the upcoming elections in May, 2020.

One last hurdle remains before he can launch a political career, however. Jawar holds U.S. citizenship, which prevents him from being a candidate for office in Ethiopia. He said he has started the process of relinquishing his U.S. passport and regaining his Ethiopian citizenship. He said “it will be completed soon.”

Jawar is seen by many as a polarizing figure. While many in Oromia consider him a hero who pushed hard for change in Ethiopia, others call him an opportunist who is waiting for the right time to assume power.

“Jawar joining the opposition party’s leadership would convert the party into a major political force, as he is popular among Oromo and has considerable ability to influence and mobilize Oromo voters using his various media platforms,” William Davison, International Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Ethiopia, told the AP.

The Nobel Lecture given by the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali December 10, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

The Nobel Lecture given by the 2019 The Nobel Lecture The Nobel Lecture

“Forging A Durable Peace in the Horn of Africa”

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses,

Distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,

Fellow Ethiopians, Fellow Africans, Citizens of the World

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to be here with you, and deeply grateful to the Norwegian Nobel

Committee for recognizing and encouraging my contribution to a peaceful resolution of the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

I accept this award on behalf of Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace. Likewise, I accept this award on behalf of my partner, and comrade-in-peace, President Isaias Afwerki, whose goodwill, trust, and commitment were vital in ending the two-decade deadlock between our countries.

I also accept this award on behalf of Africans and citizens of the world for whom the dream of peace has often turned into a nightmare of war.

Today, I stand here in front of you talking about peace because of fate.

I crawled my way to peace through the dusty trenches of war years ago.

I was a young soldier when war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

I witnessed firsthand the ugliness of war in frontline battles.

There are those who have never seen war but glorify and romanticize it.

They have not seen the fear,

They have not seen the fatigue,

They have not seen the destruction or heartbreak,

Nor have they felt the mournful emptiness of war after the carnage.

War is the epitome of hell for all involved. I know because I have been there and back.

I have seen brothers slaughtering brothers on the battlefield.

I have seen older men, women, and children trembling in terror under the deadly shower of bullets and artillery shells.

You see, I was not only a combatant in war.

I was also a witness to its cruelty and what it can do to people.

War makes for bitter men. Heartless and savage men.

Twenty years ago, I was a radio operator attached to an Ethiopian army unit in the border town of Badme. The town was the flashpoint of the war between the two countries.

I briefly left the foxhole in the hopes of getting a good antenna reception.

It took only but a few minutes. Yet, upon my return, I was horrified to discover that my entire unit had been wiped out in an artillery attack. I still remember my young comrades-in-arms who died on that ill-fated day. I think of their families too.

During the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, an estimated one hundred thousand soldiers and civilians lost their lives. The aftermath of the war also left untold numbers of families broken. It also permanently shattered communities on both sides. Massive destruction of infrastructure further amplified the post-war economic burden.

Socially, the war resulted in mass displacements, loss of livelihoods, deportation and denationalization of citizens. Following the end of active armed conflict in June 2000, Ethiopia and Eritrea remained deadlocked in a stalemate of no-war, no-peace for two decades.

During this period, family units were split over borders, unable to see or talk to each other for years to come.

Tens of thousands of troops remained stationed along both sides of the border. They remained on edge, as did the rest of the country and region. All were worried that any small border clash would flare into a full-blown war once again.

We recognized that while our two nations were stuck on old grievances, the world was shifting rapidly and leaving us behind.

PM Abiy Ahmed

As it was, the war and the stalemate that followed were a threat for regional peace, with fears that a resumption of active combat between Ethiopia and Eritrea would destabilize the entire Horn region.

And so, when I became Prime Minister about 18 months ago, I felt in my heart that ending the uncertainty was necessary. I believed peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea was within reach. I was convinced that the imaginary wall separating our two countries for much too long needed to be torn down.

And in its place, a bridge of friendship, collaboration and goodwill has to be built to last for ages.

That is how I approached the task of building a peace bridge with my partner President Isaias Afwerki. We were both ready to allow peace to flourish and shine through. We resolved to turn our “swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks” for the progress and prosperity of our people.

We understood our nations are not enemies. Instead, we were victims of the common enemy called poverty. We recognized that while our two nations were stuck on old grievances, the world was shifting rapidly and leaving us behind.

We agreed we must work cooperatively for the prosperity of our people and our region.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are reaping our peace dividends. Families separated for over two decades are now united. Diplomatic relations are fully restored. Air and telecommunication services have been reestablished. And our focus has now shifted to developing joint infrastructure projects that will be a critical lever in our economic ambitions. Our commitment to peace between our two countries is iron-clad. One may wonder, how it is that a conflict extending over twenty years, can come to an amicable resolution.

We resolved to turn our “swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks” for the progress and prosperity of our people.

PM Abiy Ahmed

Allow me to share with you a little about the beliefs that guide my actions for peace.

I believe that peace is an affair of the heart. Peace is a labor of love. Sustaining peace is hard work. Yet, we must cherish and nurture it. It takes a few to make war, but it takes a village and a nation to build peace. For me, nurturing peace is like planting and growing trees.

Just like trees need water and good soil to grow, peace requires unwavering commitment, infinite patience, and goodwill to cultivate and harvest its dividends. Peace requires good faith to blossom into prosperity, security, and opportunity.

In the same manner that trees absorb carbon dioxide to give us life and oxygen, peace has the capacity to absorb the suspicion and doubt that may cloud our relationships.

In return, it gives back hope for the future, confidence in ourselves, and faith in humanity. This humanity I speak of, is within all of us. We can cultivate and share it with others if we choose to remove our masks of pride and arrogance.

When our love for humanity outgrows our appreciation of human vanity then the world will know peace. Ultimately, peace requires an enduring vision. And my vision of peace is rooted in the philosophy of Medemer. Medemer, an Amharic word, signifies synergy, convergence, and teamwork for a common destiny. Medemer is a homegrown idea that is reflected in our political, social, and economic life.

I like to think of “Medemer” as a social compact for Ethiopians to build a just, egalitarian, democratic, and humane society by pulling together our resources for our collective survival and prosperity.

In practice, Medemer is about using the best of our past to build a new society and a new civic culture that thrives on tolerance, understanding, and civility.

At its core, Medemer is a covenant of peace that seeks unity in our common humanity. It pursues peace by practicing the values of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and inclusion.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I come from a small town called Beshasha, located in the Oromia region of Western Ethiopia. It is in Beshasha that the seeds of Medemer began to sprout.

Growing up, my parents instilled in me and my siblings, an abiding faith in humanity. Medemer resonates with the proverb, “I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.”

I like to think of “Medemer” as a social compact for Ethiopians to build a just, egalitarian, democratic, and humane society by pulling together our resources for our collective survival and prosperity.

Pm Abiy Ahmed

In my little town, we had no running water, electricity, or paved roads. But we had a lot of love to light up our lives. We were each other’s keepers.

Faith, humility, integrity, patience, gratitude, tenacity, and cooperation coursed like a mighty stream. And we traveled together on three country roads called love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. In the Medemer idea, there is no “Us and Them.”

There is only “US” for “We” are all bound by a shared destiny of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

For the people in the “Land of Origins” and “The 13 Months of Sunshine,” Medemer has always been second nature. Ethiopians maintained peaceful coexistence between the followers of the two great religions because we always came together in faith and worship.

We, Ethiopians, remained independent for thousands of years because we came together to defend our homeland. The beauty of our Ethiopia is its extraordinary diversity.

The inclusiveness of Medemer ensures no one is left behind in our big extended family.

It has also been said, “No man is an island.”

Just the same, no nation is an island. Ethiopia’s Medemer-inspired foreign policy pursues peace through multilateral cooperation and good neighborliness.

We have an old saying: “በሰላም እንድታድር ጎረቤትህ ሰላም ይደር”, “yoo ollaan nagayaan bule, nagaan bulanni.” It is a saying shared in many African languages, which means, “For you to have a peaceful night, your neighbor shall have a peaceful night as well.”

The essence of this proverb guides the strengthening of relations in the region. We now strive to live with our neighbors in peace and harmony. The Horn of Africa today is a region of strategic significance. The global military superpowers are expanding their military presence in the area. Terrorist and extremist groups also seek to establish a foothold. We do not want the Horn to be a battleground for superpowers nor a hideout for the merchants of terror and brokers of despair and misery. We want the Horn of Africa to become a treasury of peace and progress. Indeed, we want the Horn of Africa to become the Horn of Plenty for the rest of the continent.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a global community, we must invest in peace.

Over the past few months, Ethiopia has made historic investments in peace, the returns of which we will see in years to come. We have released all political prisoners. We have shut down detention facilities where torture and vile human rights abuses took place.

Today, Ethiopia is highly regarded for press freedom. It is no more a “jailor of journalists”. Opposition leaders of all political stripes are free to engage in peaceful political activity.

We are creating an Ethiopia that is second to none in its guarantee of freedoms of expression. We have laid the groundwork for genuine multiparty democracy, and we will soon hold a free and fair election.

I truly believe peace is a way of life. War, a form of death and destruction. Peacemakers must teach peace breakers to choose the way of life. To that end, we must help build a world culture of peace. But before there is peace in the world, there must be peace in the heart and mind.

There must be peace in the family, in the neighborhood, in the village, and the towns and cities. There must be peace in and among nations.

Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen:

There is a big price for enduring peace. A famous protest slogan that proclaims, “No justice, no peace,” calls to mind that peace thrives and bears fruit when planted in the soil of justice.

The disregard for human rights has been the source of much strife and conflict in the world. The same holds in our continent, Africa. It is estimated that some 70 percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 30.

Our young men and women are crying out for social and economic justice. They demand equality of opportunity and an end to organized corruption. The youth insist on good governance based on accountability and transparency. If we deny our youth justice, they will reject peace.

Standing on this world stage today, I would like to call upon all my fellow Ethiopians to join hands and help build a country that offers equal justice, equal rights, and equal opportunities for all its citizens. I would like to especially express that we should avoid the path of extremism and division, powered by politics of exclusion. Our accord hangs in the balance of inclusive politics.

The evangelists of hate and division are wreaking havoc in our society using social media. They are preaching the gospel of revenge and retribution on the airwaves.

Together, we must neutralize the toxin of hatred by creating a civic culture of consensus-based democracy, inclusivity, civility, and tolerance based on Medemer principles.

The art of building peace is a synergistic process to change hearts, minds, beliefs and attitudes that never ceases.

It is like the work of struggling farmers in my beloved Ethiopia. Each season they prepare the soil, sow seeds, pull weeds, and control pests. They work the fields from dawn to dusk in good and bad weather. The seasons change, but their work never ends. In the end, they harvest the abundance of their fields. Before we can harvest peace dividends, we must plant seeds of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation in the hearts and minds of our citizens.

We must pull out the weeds of discord, hate, and misunderstanding and toil every day during good and bad days too. I am inspired by a Biblical Scripture which reads: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Equally I am also inspired by a Holy Quran verse which reads: “Humanity is but a single Brotherhood. So, make peace with your Brethren.”

I am committed to toil for peace every single day and in all seasons.

I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper too.

I have promises to keep before I sleep. I have miles to go on the road of peace.

As I conclude, I call upon the international community to join me and my fellow

Ethiopians in our Medemer inspired efforts of building enduring peace andProsperity in the Horn of Africa.

ሰላም ለሁላችንም፤ ለሰላም አርበኖች እንዲሁም ለሰላም ወዳጆች።

I thank you!

Ten Ethiopian oppostion parties agree to work together in 2020 polls December 8, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Ten Ethiopian oppostion parties agree to work together in 2020 polls

Ten Ethiopian oppostion parties agree to work together in 2020 polls

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Africa News


It is a season of political alignments and adjustments in Ethiopia ahead of elections slated for 2020. In the capital Addis Ababa on Friday, ten opposition parties from across the country also announced a plan to work together.

The ten include two former rebel groups that returned from exile in Eritrea taking advantage of the opened political space in the aftermath of the coming into office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Although details of the said agreement remains sketchy, the parties listed as signatories were: Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – the two returnee rebel groups.

Others were: Afar Peoples Liberation Party (APLP), Sidama Peoples Liberation Mov’t (SPLM), Agew National Council (ANC). Kafa Green Party (KGP),Benishangul Gumuz Peoples, Liberation Mov’t (BPLM), Kimant Democratic Party (KDP), Gambella Peoples Liberation Mov’t (GPLM) & Mocha Democratic Party.

The ruling coalition recently metamorphosed into the Prosperity Party with eight parties led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The new national party replaces the disbanded Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF.

The EPRDF’s dissolution was opposed by a key member, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Movement, TPLF, who refused to join what they called an ‘illegal’ merger.

PM Abiy’s party is also rumoured to be split on the new party, proof of that came recently in the open opposition to the Prosperity Party issue by Defence Minister and Abiy’s right hand man Lemma Megerssa.

Related Articles:

Why Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party could be bad news for Ethiopia,

The new pan-Ethiopian party created to replace the EPRDF coalition risks bringing the country to the edge of an abyss. Click here to read the full article

Africa News: Jawar Mohammed, an influential pro-democracy activist in Ethiopia, in diaspora to map out political future December 8, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Ethiopian activist, Jawar Mohammed, in diaspora to map out political future

Ethiopian activist, Jawar Mohammed, in diaspora to map out political future

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Africa News


Jawar Mohammed, an influential pro-democracy activist in Ethiopia is leaving the country 15 months after he returned to the country following years in exile in the United States.

In a Facebook post, Jawar said he was on a mission to go and engage the diaspora on events back home and how to chart a political future.

He specifically mentioned engaging Ethiopians in North America and Europe stressing that it was “ to reengage the diaspora then return the homeland for full scale ground work.”

Jawar’s security was at the center of recent violence across the Oromia region, which incidents led to deaths of 86 people and injuries to scores. Authorities also confirmed the arrest of hundreds in connection to the violence.

Despite being influential in the mass protests that brought Abiy to power in 2018, Jawar and Abiy engaged in public spats around political and security issues.

Abiy’s comments in parliament on media people formenting trouble despite not having Ethiopian citizenship was interpreted by Jawar as a a dig at him. An attempt to withdraw his security detail led to the protests that claimed lives.

Jawar’s full post

After tumultuous past weeks, now I am headed to the diaspora to consult and converse with our communities about whats happening in our homeland and what awaits us ahead.

In towns hall meetings in selected cities in North America and Europe we will be reviewing the course we have traveled thus far, our mistakes and accomplishments. We will brainstorm, debate, plan and strategize our nations path towards the future, election 2020 and beyond.

Since the ‘Oromo First’ campaign days, town-hall discussions have been instrumental settings to draw inspiration, enrich our thoughts with unfiltered feedbacks and energize our base.

We have had continued these tradition of town-hall conversations in Oromia in the last year and half and have been very rewarding in helping us understand the aspirations and views of our communities.

Now its time to reengage the diaspora then return the homeland for full scale ground work. See you in one of the towns.

Prof. Mekuria Bulcha’s Urgent attention!! Neo-Naftanyas at United Nations and Eskender December 8, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Dear OSA members,
We know that the Oromo nation is being demonized daily by neo-naftanyas in the diaspora and their media in the name of the Amhara people. As you can hear in the attached radio interview given by Professor Getachew Haile, now they are accusing our people at the UN. Ironically, the Oromo people are being insulted and wrongly accused than ever before in their history by known Oromo-phobic individuals like Professor Getachew Haile whose hatred, false accusation and demonization of the Oromo people is well documented in his own social media and ”academic” writings. These false accusation should be met in an organized manner in public. Therefore,

I urge Oromo Community members in the US to contact immediately the UN office where Getachew Haile and Eskinder Nega and their associates had been and explain the Oromo view about what is happening in Oromia.
Ask the UN Human Rights Office to conduct an immediate on site investigation of the accusations tabled against Qeerroo/the Oromo nation by Oromo-phobic individual like Professor Getachew Haile. Ask from the UN officials they had met for a copy of their accusation against the qeerroo and the Oromo nation.

Hatemongers should brought before law. They will provoke civil war which could lead to mass killing they wish to occur in Oromia. They think and wish to achieve their objective that way; return to naftanya dominated Ethiopia. NB. They want to create conditions for genocide to occur in Oromia. (for the history of genocide in Ethiopia, I urge you to read my article ”Genocidal Violence in the Making Nation and State in Ethiopia”, published in African Sociological Review, vol. 9, no. 2, in 2005. The article will tell who the genocidal killers were and could be even today in Ethiopia.

We must also demand that the Ethiopian government to a report regarding the accusation tabled against the qeerroo and the Oromo nation.

The neo-naftanya in the diaspora will divide our people along religious lines by accusing the qeerroo as messengers of a Muslim leader. The trick had served them in the past to get assistance from the Christian West. It shouldn’t be allowed now!

I alert Oromo organizations in Europe and around the globe to give attention to the ongoing defamation campaign against the Oromo people. The neo-naftanya are accusing us for crimes their forefathers had committed against the peoples of the South. The Oromo, the Kaficho, Walaita, Gimira, etc. still remember what the armies of Menelik did to their forefathers in the 1880s and 1890s and even later.

I urge Oromo media to deal with the matter with their usual dignified safuu and professional approach. Mind you, it is hooligans not journalists, who are accusing our people on the naftanya media outlets. Ethics, traditional or journalistic, is unknown even to them.
Let us defend the truth, the name and dignity of our people in a dignified manner with evidence. Please spread this information. Truth will prevail as usual!

The Sidama Nation State: The Indigenous Sidama People Overwhelmingly Voted (98.5%) in Public Referendum for Statehood November 24, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment
Map of the Sidama state and the national flag
With Voters turnout of 2,277,063 out of 2,280,147 (99.86%)
2,225,249 people (98.51%) voted for SHAAFEETAA for Sidama statehood

In the public referendum held on 20th November 2019, the Sidama people achieved their long term self-determination demand to form their autonomous Sidama National Regional State.


Oromia: Walalo OMN fi Jawariif baate November 3, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Africa News: Top Ethiopia activist jabs rights chief, lists ‘red lines’ for president November 3, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

Top Ethiopia activist jabs rights chief, lists ‘red lines’ for president

Top Ethiopia activist jabs rights chief, lists 'red lines' for president

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Africa News, 2nd November 2019


Jawar Mohammed, an influential activist in Ethiopia has taken a swipe at the country’s human rights chief and sent a word of caution to the president to prove her impartiality.

In Facebook posts published on Saturday (November 2), Jawar accused Daniel Bekele of impartiality, referencing a tweet by the head of the Ethiopia Human Rights Commission, EHRC.

“Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new, supposedly impartial, human rights commission commissioner who already diagnosed what’s failing Ethiopia before establishing his office,” Jawar’s post read in part.

Bekele’s post was in reference to a news publication in which he explained how Ethiopia’s federal arrangement continually exposed citizens to rights abuses. It has elicited harsh responses on Twitter.

In the case of Jawar’s message to President Sahle-Work Zewde, he wrote a letter which he wrote with reference to late October response by the president to the violent cases of violence in Oromia regional state.

A translation of the president’s two-part tweet of October 30 read: “1/2 When race and religion are used for political purposes, when our innocent citizens are brutally murdered, displaced and wandering, words shorten to express their sadness: Their mourning is the grief of many.

“2/2 A red line that we must flag and honor for the benefit of the nation and the people is violated.”

In what seemed a belated but direct response on the part of Jawar, he listed a number of “red lines” that had been crossed in the past before incidents in Oromia.

Whiles agreeing that the incidents were condemnable, Jawar called on the president to maintain the impartiality that her office is expected of. He also asked that the president should call for independent investigations into the episode.

Jawar’s letter to Ethiopia president Sahle-Work Zewde

Your Excellency President Sahlework,

Thank you for speaking up about this latest tragedy and for stating that a red line was crossed. I agree.

In fact, I believe the red line was crossed multiple times since you came to your office. How come you did not see it when armed militia in Amhara regional state massacred more than 250 minority Gumuz women, men and children just a few months ago? A red line is still being crossed in central Gonder against minority Qimant women, men and children as we speak. Where did this red line go when we have been reporting about both day and night? Does it only exist in Oromia? And should I add what’s happening in the Omo valley?

As head of state, who is occupying an office which is apolitical. The people of Ethiopia hold you at higher standards and expect you to be impartial and non-partisan. What took place in recent days is abhorrent and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible, but it certainly isn’t right for you to engage in selective empathy/selective outrage for political ends.

To that end, myself and I believe millions of Ethiopians expect you and your nonpartisan office to call for independent investigation into all these violence under your presidency where the red line has been crossed time and again. It is long overdue we learnt the hard truth about ourselves.

Further more, it could be helpful for the office of the presidency, as a nonpartisan entity, to organize a national convention to seek lasting solutions for the multitude of crisis we are facing today.

Jawar Mohammed

#IstandwithJawarMohammed: Protests Oromia wide against Ethiopia’s government’s security forces attempts to assassinate Jawar Mohammed, prominent political analyst and director of the Oromia Media Network, independent media. October 24, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.

Massive Protests held Oromia wide including in the state’s capital, Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) against Ethiopia’s government’s security forces attempts to assassinate Jawar Mohammed, a prominent political analyst and the director of the Oromia Media Network, independent media. #IstandwithJawarMohammed

‘A military force came to the residence of Oromo rights activist Jawar Mohammed in the middle of a night and asked his security details to leave their post. The security That suspected a foul play, replied to his commanders order “I will not leave my brother to the animals, if you force me, you have to kill me first” the conversation was captured in the video and shared on Facebook by Jawar himself. There is a lot to unpack here and lot will discussed in the coming days. Yet, the night raids that took many out of their house not to return back, like my dad, will never ever produce anything positive. I am glad he is ok for now and I pray that this will not lead to any blood shed like we witnessed in Amhara region that took the life’s of the president and army chief of staff. I am glad qerro arrived to protect the area but I ask them and the government to exercise restraint and independent body to investigate what happen. it seems this might make some happy but for some that can forecast what it intel, there is nothing good that come out of this derg era foolishness.’ Yadesa Bojia

Oromo youth shout slogans outside Jawar Mohammed's house, an Oromo activist and leader of the Oromo protest in Addis Ababa

At least 400 young men joined the protest at Jawar’s house in the capital Addis Ababa while some two dozen police officers stood nearby [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]
According to Aljazeera Demonstrations spread to other cities in Oromia, the region that was the centre of protests that brought Abiy – the diverse country’s first Oromo leader – to power last year, residents told Reuters news agency.

In a Facebook post, Jawar said police had surrounded his house late on Tuesday and ordered his bodyguards to leave. He added that he did not know who had ordered the deployment of the security officers.

Addis Standard: Protests erupted in several cities and towns across Oromia regional state and various spots surrounding Addis Abeba after Jawar Mohammed, executive director Oromo Media Network (OMN) and prominent activist posted information in his Facebook page that his security detail were told “to pack their stuff and leave the compound quietly without alerting me.”
Jawar has been posting several messages throughout the night including an audio/video purportedly carrying a conversation between his security detail and a third person who Jawar said was a security official. In it, Jawar’s security can be heard saying they will not leave their post in the middle of the night without replacements.



Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
add a comment


Tibba dabre kana walgahii ‘Maddamar’ ilaalchisee Bishooftutti guyyoota lamaaf adeemsifame irratti hirmaadhee ture. Walgahii kanarratti barruulee dhiyaataniifi haala itti adeemsifamee irratti illaalchaafi gorsan qabu battalatti himeen jira. Kan hafes barrudhaan warra dubbiin ilaallatuuf nan erga. Ammas dhimma tokko kan fuulduree sabaafi biyya keenyaaf akkaan murteessaa ta’e irratti yaada, yaaddoofi gorsa dhiheessuun barbaada.

Xumura walgahii kanaa irratti MM Abiy Ahmad argamuun haasaa goolabbii taasasinii jiru. Haasaa kana keessatti dhimmi keessa keessa dubbatamaa ture tokko mirkaneessanii jiru. ADWUI’n diigamee paartiin haaraan akka dhaabbatu. Kana jechuun dhaabni amma gamtaa jaarmayoota saba irraa ijaaramaniin biyya bulchaa jiru diigame dhaaba qeenxee ( unitary) ta’een bakka buufamuuf qophiin akka xumurameedha. Tarlkaanfiin kun ODP, Oromoofi Itoophiyaaf faaydaa qaburra miidhaatu caala yaada jedhun qaba. Kanas akka armaan gadiittin tarreessa.


Jaarmaa ADWUI/EPRDF fi EPP amma dhaabachuu hedu jidduu garaagarummaa gurguddaa lamatu jira. Kan duraa EPRDF tumsa ( alliance/ coalition) yoo ta’u amma tumsi sun walitti baqee/ diigamee/ gara dhaaba qeenxee tokkotti jijjiirama. Kan jechuun dhaabbileen EPRDF irraa jaarame kanneen akka ODP, ADP diigamanii ( dIssolve) dhabamu. Hin jiraatan jechuudha. Garaagarummaan lammataa EPRDF keessatti miseensummaan gareedhaan / sabaani. Kana jechuun jaarmaalee dursee saboota irraa ijaaramantu walitti dhufee tumsa tolfate. Kana jechuun dura akka sabaatti gurmoofteet san booda tumsa walii jaarratta. Kara biraatiin ibsuuf EPRDF keessatti miseensummaan gareen/ sabaan yoo ta’u EPP keessatti dhuunfaa/ matayyaani. Fakkeenyaaf Gammadaan dhaaba Oromoo ODP jedhamutti miseensa ta’eet san booda ODPn EPRDF keessatti Gammadaa bakka bu’a. Gammadaafi Tolaa, Hagos fi Gidey, Difaabachew fi Caanneen dura akka sabaatti ijaaramaniit, jaarmaan sun dantaa isaanii EPRDF keessatti bakka bu’aaf.Dantaa isaaniis akka Oromo, Tigreefi Amaaratti EPRDF keessatti falamatu. Amma garuu Gammadaa, Gidey fi Caanneen suduudaan miseensa EPP ta’u. Achittis dantaa dhuunfaa malee kan waloo bakka hin bu’an. Sababnis akka duritti waloon gurmaa’anii bakka bu’ummaa sabaa fudhatanii waan hin dhaqneef. Gammadafi Tolaan dantaa dhuunfasa isaa malee kan sabaa gareen dhiheessuu hin danda’u.

Jijjiramni EPRDF irraa gara EPP godhamu kun falmaa siyaasaa biyya kana waggota 50f unkuran keessaa gara tokko gora…gara ejjennoo dhaabbileen siyaasaa Amaaraa yeroo dheeraaf qabatamnniitti. Gaafa sirna cunqursaa irratti qabsoon eegale irraa kaasee akkamitti yoo gurmoofne sirna diomokraatawaafi walqixummaa uumna kan jedhu ijoo falmiiti. Akkamitti gurmaayuutu wayya kan jedhu kanaaf yaada lamatu dhiyaachaa ture. Gareen tokko, ummanni biyya kanaa akka walootti cunqurfame. Waloon yoo gurmaa’ee socho’e mirgaafi dantaa waloo san deeffachuu danda’a jedha (There is collective repression. Solution to be sought through collective action towards collective emancipation.). Yaadni lammataa, Itoophiyaa keessatti namoonni gareen/ sabaan osoo hin taane dhuunfaadhaan cunqurfaman, kanaafuu sabaan osoo hin taane dhuunfaadhaan walitti dhufanii jaaramuun mirga namuutuu eegsisuu danda’u kan jedhuudha. Kanneen keessaa qabsoon Oromoo isa duraa fudhattee as geesse. Akka sabaatti cunqurfamne. Akka sabaatti gurmoofnee, akka sabaatti bilisoomna. Yoo tumsa barbaanne ummata cunqurfamee akka sabaatti jaarame waliin guuza waliif baanee humna dabalanna kan jedhuudha. Saboonni cunqurfamoon biyya kanaa hundi yaada gurmaa’ina waloo kana fudhatanii soch’aa as gahan. Kan dhuunfaadhaan gurmaa’uu kana kan dhaadhessu warra Amaaraa ykn Amaarayee ture. Hanga ammaa…

Bu’urri ( foundation) sirna federaalizimii biyya kanaas mirga, dantaafi hariiroo waloo/ gareeti malee kan dhuunfaa miti. Heerri Mootummaa biyyaattii ‘Nuti Sabaafi sablammoonni ummatoonni’ Itoophiyaa jedhee kan calqabu waa malee miti. Yaada ka’uumsaa sirnichaatu sani. Sabaafi sablammoonni boortaa qawweetiin weeraramanii humnaan oggolanii mirga ofiin of bulchii sarbamanii mootummaa Itoophiyaa jalatti galfamanii waan turaniif fincilan. Fincilanii sirna jiddugleessawaa ( centralized administation) diiganii, sirna naannoo isaanii akka ofiin bulchaniifi biyya ammoo waloon bulchan hayyamu, saboonni kun fedhiin walitti dhufanii jaaran jedha yaadni sirni federaalizimii kanaa. Kanaafuu paartiin biyyoolessaa saboonni osoo hin taane namoonni keessatti bakka buufaman yaada bu’uraa sirna federaalizimii biyya kanaa kan faalleessuudha. Kanarratti deebiin kennamaa jiru mootummaafi paartiin adda adda waan ta’uuf ( government and party will be separated) paartiin qinxee ta’us hojmaata bulchiinsa federaalawaa hin miidhu jedhu. Kun dhugaa miti. Biyya amma cehuumsarra jirtu dhiisii kanneen dimokraatawaa ta’anittuu aangoofi caasaa paartii biyya bulchuu kan mootummaa irraa adda baasuun ulfaataadha. Biyya keenyatti ammoo paartiifi mootummaan walitti hirkachuufi makamuu waggoota kurna as deemuuf ittuma fufu. Kanaafuu paartiin jiddugaleessawaa ( centralized) ta’e biyyatti gara bulchiinsa giddugaleessawaatti dhiibuun waan hin oolle. Akkasumas paartiin naannoo bulchu tokko paartii jiddugaleessaa irraa walabaummaa ( autonomy) yoo hin qabaannee bulchiinsa naannoo bifa of dandada’een ( autonomous) geggeessuu hin dnda’u. Autonomy paartii tokkoo autonomy bulchiinsa nnaannoof murteessaadha. Biyya kana keessatti Oromoon akka chaampiyoonaa mirga sabootaafi federaaliziitti laalala. Paartii bu’ura ofiin of bulchuufi federaalizimii faalleessu gaafa qabatee as bahu shakkiifi komaa hamaa kaasuun waan hin oolle.

Falmaan gareen gurmaa’uu moo dhuunfaadhaan jedhu kun kan Itoophiyaa keessaa qofa miti. Warra Lixaa keessas jira. Asiifi achittis warri cunqurfame ( saboonni, dubartoonni, hojjattoonni) gareen gurmaayuu filatu. Sababni isaas mirgi isaanii akka walootti waan sarbameef mirga san deeffachuuf ammoo dhuunfaadhaan humna waan hin qabneef waloon gurmaayanii guuza waliif bahuufi. Warri ol’aantummaa siyaasaafi diinaggee qabu ammoo dhuunfaadhaan/matayyaan gurmaayuu filata. Sababni isaa lama. Kan duraa akka dhuunfaatti qabeenyaafi aangoo guddaa waan qabuuf adeemsa siyaasaa irratti hiyyeessafi cunqurfamaa caalaa salphatti dhiibbaa gochuu danda’a. Kan lammataa siyaasni biyya tokko dhuunfaa qofaan kan gurmaa’amu yoo taate, hiyyeessaafi cunqurfamaan guuza waliif bahee jirbii wal taate arba hiitu waan hin taaneef, humna dureessaafi abbaan aangoon walgitu/morku horachuu hin danda’an. Haala kanaan siyaasaa biyyaa keessatti olaantummaan isaanii akkuma eegametti itti fufa jechuu dha. Kanaafuu atakaaroon mirga waloofi dhuunfaa, waloon gurmaa’uufi dhuunfaan jaaramuu dubbii haasaa qofaa /theory/ miti. Kan dantaati. Filannoon kee hawaasaafi sirna siyaasaa san keessatti gita diinaggeefi aangoo irra geesse irratti hundaa’a. Qabeenyaafi angoon ol’aantummaa yoo qabaatte dhuunfaan gurmaayuu filatta. Qabeenyaafi aangoon dhiibamtee yoo jiraatte waloon filmaata keeti.


Kanarraa kaanee bakka amma Oromoofi Itoophiyaan keessa jirtutti waloon gurmoofnee dantaa teenya deemsifachuu moo dhuunfaadhaan/matayyaan socho’uutu nu baasa? Oromoon diinaggeefi siyaasaan gartuulee isaan dorgomaniin wal qixxaayee jiraa?” Gaafileen Oromoon qabatee ka’e, kan eenyummaa, abbaa biyyummaa, Afaaniifi diinaggee deebi’anii jiruu? Yoo deebi’uu baatan gurmaa’ina dhuunfaatiin deebisuu dandeenyaa? Ana natti hin fakkaatu. Oromoon har’as yoo tarii saamichi waggaa 150 sun irraa laaffateera tahe malee qabeenya isaa irratti abbummaa guutuu horatee, biyyattii keessatti dorgomaa hin taane. Akka hin taanef ammoo sirna, adeemsaafi caaseffama gitabittootaaf haala mijeessuuf tolfametu ammas akka diriiretti jira. Caaseffama kana jijjiiran malee diinaggeen dorgomaa tahuun hin danda’amu. Caaseffama shiraa kana diiguuf ammoo waloon socho’uun dirqama. Gaafii Finfinnees ta’ee kan Afaanis tattaaffii Gammadaafi Gammachuun mata mataan godhaniin osoo hin taane humna waloo Oromootin deebi’uu danda’a. Ammas taanaan Oromoon of diigee akka Itoophiyyaatti jaaramuun faaydaa argatu irra miidhaatu caala.

Adeemsi waloon jaaramuu irra dhuunfaan warra kaanitti makamuu kun miidhaa biraas qaba. ODP akka jaarmaattifi Oromoos akka sabaatti atakaaroo haaraya keessa galchuun humna nu harcaasa. Qoqqodamni bifa kanaa gaafa qabsoon dhalaturraa eegaltee nu miidhaa jirti. Fiigichi Oromoo baqaqsanii kan biraatiin walitti hodhuuf godhamu amma duras baay’ee nu miidhe, ammas hin milkaayu. Dura keessoo ofii cimsanii tokkummaan jaaraniit orma waliin guuza walii bahan.

Jaarmayoota sabaa diiganiii kan namoonni dhuunfaa keessatti miseensoman dhaabuun warra adeemsa seenaa keessatti ol’aantummaa ijaarrateef haala mijeessaaf. Kana jechuun ummatoonni seenaa keessatti cunqurfaman ( historically disadvantaged) jaarama haaraa kana keessatti kanuma haga ammaa qabanuu dhaban malee waan dabalatan hin qabu. Kan faaydaa irraa argatu tokkoffaa gartuu Amaaraati. Akkuma armaan olitti jenne Oromoon akka chaampiyoonaa sirna federaalizimiifi mirga sabootaatti beekama. Paartii biyyooleessaa bu’ura federaalizimii faalleessu kanaan gadi bahuun Oromoo kan hin fayyadne ta’uu qofa osoo hin taane saboota kaawwaniinis walitti nu buusa. Ammaahuu gara Kibbaafi bahaatii komiifi mamiin mumul’achaa jira.


Walitti baquun EPRDF kun dhaabbilee hunda caalaa ODPf rakkoo cimaa qaba. Kan duraa ODPn ammaa/ OPDOn duraanii mooraa qabsoo Oromootti ija shakkiifi jibbiinsaan laalamti. Hamma tokko kan ummata biratti fudhama argatte erga hoggansa Obboo Lammaa Magarsaa jalatti qabsoo Oromoo dhugeeffattee sabboonummaa leellisuu eegaltee asi. Waggoota sadan dabre jaarmaan kun qola durii san muuxatee adda duree qabsoo Oromoo hamma ta’uutti maqaa ofii haaromsuu /rebrand/ of gochuu danda’ee ture. Amma yeroo akka dhaabaatti diigamtee matayyaan jaarmaa biraatti makamtu sabboonummaa Oromoo laaffisuun Itoophiyummaa leellisuuf dirqamte. Kun ammoo Oromoo irraa ishii fageessaa deema. Kunis ODP dhiibbaa gama lamaa itti fiduun garaa sabboontotaafi Itoophiyaanotaatti adda baqaqsa. Yoo tokkummaa eeggattee dhaaba ODP diigdee warra kaaniin walitti baqxe ammoo ammoo ummata ( constituency) ishii irraa adda baasee warra biraatti akka maxxantu godha. Kana jechuun maxxantummaa Tigree irraa gara maxxantummaa Amaaraatti ceeti jechuudha.

Kan lammataa miseensonni ODP hanga ammaa akka sabaatti jaaramanii waan jiraniif EPRDF keessatti akka dirra/block/ tokkoo socho’u. Kun ammoo akka dhaabaattis, akka naannoofi sabaattis dantaa ofii waloon dhiibuuf isaan gargaara. Erga walitti baqanii booddee namuuu dhuunfaan miseensa Koree Hojii Raaw’achiiftuu ykn Jiddu Galeessaa ta’a. Waloon socho’uun hin jiraatu. Rakkoon sadaffaa ishii mudatu filannoodha. ODPn akkanaanuu akka paartii waggoota 27f ummata miidhee waggaa 1 kana amaanaa cehumsaa itti kenname bakkaan gahuu dadhabde filannoo itti aanurratti moo’achuuf hireen ishii dhiphaadha. Gaaf baqxee Oromumaa ofirraa mulqite ammoo daranuu ummata keessaa tufamti. ODPn baqxe Oromiyaa keessatti filannoo dorgomtee moo’achuu dhiisii akka duriitti hatteetuu miliquu hin dandadeessu. Dhaabbilee Oromoo biroo waliin tumsa tolfachuufis ishii rakkisa. Sababnis dhaabni Oromoo kamuu kan dhaaba Oromummaa mulqatee waliin walitti dabalamuuf ummata sodaata. Warri ODPn ammoo erga Itoophiyaanomanii booda dhaaba maqaa sabaan socho’u waliin michoomuun warra kaan muufachiisa. Rakkoon biroo harca’insa humnaa uumamuudha.

Siyaasa cehuumsaa milkiin geggeessuuf dhaaba hogganu qofa osoo hin taane deeggartoota jijjirama hunda mooraa tokkotti walitti qabanii humna cimsachuu gaafata. ODPn humna namaa dandeettiifi fudhatama gahaa qabu akka hin qabne beekkamaadha. Yeroo amma kanatti ajandaa miseensotuma ishii afaanfajjeessufi diigu as baasurra kan humnoota jaarmaya ishiitin ala jiran Oromummaa jiddugaleessa godhattee hawwattee humna ishii ittiin cimsattu ture. Yaadni walitti baquu garuu Oromoota hanga amma ishii gargaaranis kan irraa dhiibuufi dhaabuma san keessaayyuu sabboontota kan moggeessuudha.

Walumaagalatti ODPn akka dhaabaatti walitti baquu kanarraa kasaaraa malee faaydaan argattu hin jiru. Kanaafuu yaadni ODP baqsanii dhaaba Itoophiyaa jaaruu kun dantaa Oromoos ta’ee kan ODP kan jiddu galeessa godhatee miti. Hawwiifi fedhii Muummicha Ministeeraa qofaadha. Siyaasaan uumaa ishiitti dalagaa walooti malee kan dhuunfaa miti. Mul’anniifi ciminni hogganaa barbaachisaa ta’us tarsiimoofi akeekni lafa kaayame dantaa hawaasa ( constituency ) isaa jiddu galeessa godhatee deemuu baannaan fagoo hin tarkaanfatu. Ba’aa itti ta’ee jabinuma hogganaa saniituu laamshessa.

Namni mootummaa kana keessa hoggansarra ture tokko dhiyoo tana osoo waa haasofnu akkana jedhe. “Imammanni, tarsiimoonifi seeronni biyya kanaa hundi nama tokko kan gubbarra jiru san jiddu-galeessa godhatanii bocamu. Namni sun ammoo akka waan hunda beekuufi waggaa 1000 jiraatutti yaadama. Bara TPLF waa hundi fedhiifi hawwii Mallasaa irratti tolfame. Gaafa inni du’u akkuma mana utubaan cabeetti wanni jaaramaa bahe hundi diigamuufi harca’uu eegale” jedhe. Yaadni ODP baqsuu kunis ciminaafi hawwii nama tokkoo kan jiddugaleessa godhate malee dantaa dhaabaa, sabaafi Oromiyaa kan ilaallate natti hin fakkaatu. MM Abiy Ahmad siyaasaa Oromoof haaraadha. Ummanni hanga kanaayyuu kan isa fudhate sababa Obboo Lammaa Magarsaatini. Jechootaafi gochoota erga aangotti dhufee deemsisuunis shakkiin guddaan irratti umamaa jira. Gaafa ODP irraa Oromummaa mulqee deeme shakkiifi hamiin dhugoomaa dhufa. Gaafas saba keessaa of baasa. Biyya sabdaneessaa keessatti Hogganaan ummata keessaa dhufe /constituency/ isaa wayyabaa of cinaa hin hiriirsine biyya bulchuu hin danda’u. Ummata keessaa dhufe /constituency/ isaa kana deebisee dhuunfachuuf humnaan hacuucuuf dirqama.Sun ammoo mukarra taa’anii jirma isaa qottoon of jalatti muruu dha. Mukni jiguu mala. Garuu kophaa miti. Abbichas qabateeti.


Dhaabni ADWUI/EPRDF kun waggoota 28 darbeef biyya bulcheera. Kana jaarame adda durummaan dantaa TPLF deemsisuuf akka ta’e shakkiin hin jiru. Amma haaromuun ykn kan biraan bakka bu’uun dirqama akka ta’e wal nama hin gaafachiisu. Gaafa kuffisuurra cehuumsa kana dhaabnummaan kun akka geggeessu godhamus mudaalee isaa wallaallee miti. ADWUI/EPRDF kuffisuun biyya jigsuu fiduu mala jedhamee waan sodaatameefi. Abdiin ture ADWUI/EPRDF cehumsa kana yeroo geggeessutti ofis haaromsaa deemaadha. Kanaafuu tarkaanfiin ADWUI/EPRDF haaromsuuf godhamu sirriidha. Akkamittiin dhaaba kana haaromsuun barbaachisa kan jedhu garuu sirritti laalamuu qaba. Ka’uumsi isaa rakkoon EPRDF maali? kan jedhu laaludhaan tahuu qaba. ADWUIn Rakkoo bu’uraa 3 qaba. Kan duraa ol’aantummaa garee tokkoo jala jiraachuudha. Kan lammataa abbaa irruumaadha. Kan sadaffaa paartilee naannolee 4 bulchan malee kanneen hafan 5 alatti hambisuudha. Kan ol’aantummaa garee tokko sun jijjirama kanaanuu hamma tokko cabeera. Guututti sirreessuuf paartileen hundi akkaataa constituency isaanitin akka bakka bu’ummaa qabaatan ( proportional representation) gochuudha. Kan abbaa irrummaas amma akka haaratti as deebi’uu eegale malee wayyaayee ture. Furmaanni waaraa dirree siyaasaa bal’ate heeraafi seeraan taliganii filannoo bilisaatti cehuuni. Kan saboota moggaatti dhiibamanii sunis laafaadha. Paartileen naannolee shanan bulchan miseensomanii bakka bu’ummaa baay’ina ummata isaanitiin walgituun sagalee guutuudhaan akka hirmaatan taasisuudha.

Adeemsa ADWUI/EPRDF dimokratessuufi haaromsuu ( democratize & rebrand) bifa salphaadhaan godhamuu danda’u kana dhiisanii gara baqsuutti deemuun tumsa kanaafi dhaabbilee miseensotaafis balaa qaba. Miidhaa dhaabbilee miseensotaatiif qabu ODP akka fakkeenyaatti fudhannee laallee jirra. Yaadni EPRDF walitti baqsuu amma itti deemamaa jiru sabboonummaa sabootaa laaffisanii siyaasaa jiddugaleessummaa ( centrist ) gaggeessuudha. Garuu ammoo sirna federaalaa sabdaneessaa keessatti yeroo abbaan irrummaa jigee dirreen siyaasaa babal’atu sabbonnummaan ukkaamame ture ni dhooha. Kanaaf filannoo yeroo cehuumsaatti jaarmayaalee sabboonummaa dhaadhessantu hiree moohachuu qaba. Keessattuu gaafa dhaabbileen miseensota EPRDF maqaa sabaa ofirraa mulqan sareen sooqiddaan isaan nyaattu hin argamtu. Dadammaqiinsi ummataa cimaan waan jiruufi cehuumsaan humni mootummaa waan laaffatuuf dandeettiin filannoo hatanii injifannoo labsuu hin jiraatu. Yaaliin akkasii jeequmsa hamaa uumuudhaan kufaatii paartii biyya bulchuu yoo saffisiise malee aangoo hin haaromsuuf.

Partii walitti baqfamee amma uumamuuf yaadamu kana dhaabni ABUT/TPLF akka hin seenne beeksiftee jirti. Laaftutti yoo Ilaalan paartiin saba bicuu takka keessaa hafteef homaa hin uumamu fakkaachuu mala. Akkuma naannolee shanan ammaan duraa san ‘agar party’ jedhamtee itti fuftis fakkaachuu mala. Dhugaan akkas miti. Erga jijjiramni kun dhufee TPLF Maqaletti godaantee naannoo Tigray mootummaa federaalaa irraa fageessaa jirti. Wanti Tigraay fi mootummaa federaalaa walitti hidhu ADWUI dha. Gaafa kana keessaa baate wanti walitti hidhu sun cite jechuudha. Ishiinis baatee adabattee hin teessu. Dantaa jiddu galeessaa qabdu eegsifachuufi warra ishiitti roorrisu dadhabsiisuuf humnoota siyaasaa biroo waliin hariiroo cimsiti. Kana ammoo ifaafi lafa jalas ( clandestine) godhuun jeequu dandeessi. Gaafas mootummaan federaalaa Tigray akkamiin too’atee bulchuuf yaada? Akkaminis sochii TPLF humooota siyaasaa biyya keessaafi ollaa waliin gootu dandamachuun danda’ama. Humnaan jilbiifachiifnaan waan hin fakkaanne. TPLF dogongora hoggansi federaalaa raaw’ate fayyadamuun akka ummanni Tigraay hundi balaaf saaxilamee fakkeessuun bifa haaratti fudhatama cimaa horattee jirti. Kanaafuu aggaammii TPLF irratti godhamu kamiyyuu ummanni guutumaan guututti dura dhaabbata. Humna Raayyaa Biyyaan rukunnaanis hin ta’u. Akka odeeffamu osoo hin ta’in RIB ammas olaantummaan harka jaraa jira. Warra gubbaatu tuqame malee jiddugaleessi isaanuma. San qofa miti. Meeshaan waraanaa gurguddaan RIB qabu guututti sadarkaa jedhamutti Tigraay jira. Yaaliin baasuuf godhames TPLFin fashalaayee jira. Kanaafuu mootummaan Geetachoo Asaffaa qabuu dadhabe TPLF humnaan moo’adhee Tigray nan too’adha jechuun waan hin fakkaanne. Kanarra TPLF tumsa paartii biyya bulchuu keessaa baasanii waanuma qabuu hin dandeenyeef jala fiigurra, asuma keessatti dhiibbaa ishii hirdhisaa karkarsaa deemuutu wayya. Inumaatuu TPLF tumsa biyya bulchuu keessa turuun ishii miidhaarra faaydaatu caala. Maalif? TPLF jiraachuun dhiibbaa gara Amaaraan jiru walmadaalchisuuf fayyada.

Saboonni dura moggaatti hambifaman amma paartii baqu kanatti dabalamu jedhameera. Dansaadha. Garuu paartileen kun naannoolee yeroo dheeraaf cunqurfamaniifi saamaman irraa dhufu. Gaafiin isaanii paartii biyya bulchutti haa makamnuu qofaa miti. Naannoo isaanirratti walabummaan ( autonomous) bulchuufi sadarkaa federaalaatti qooda isaaniin malu arkachuudha. Dantaa kana lamaanuu kan eegsisuuf paartii akka sabaatti jaarratanii qaban osoo hin diigin tumsa ( coalition) biyya bulchu keessatti qooda isaanin malu fudhachuudha. Walabummaa isaaniis eegsisanii qooda federaalaas hirmaatu. Gaafa baqan garuu walabummaan akka naannotti qaban kan durii caalaa laaffata. Sadarkaa federaalaatti qondaalonni muraasi aangoon dabalamuufis humni dantaa saba isaniif falmachuu ( bargaining power) ni hirdhata. Kanaafuu dhaabni haaraan baqee EPP tahuuf deemu mirga ofiin of bulchuu saboota kanaa daran laaffisa malee ol hin guddisu. Kun ammoo saboonni yeroo dheeraaf nu waliin cunqurfamanii aantummaa keenya abdachaa turan akka nu komataniifi diinomfatan godha.

RAKKOO SEERAA ( constitutional crisis)

Wanti miseensonnifi hogganoonni ODP sirritti hubachuu qaban tokko gaafa EPRDF dhaamsa tumsaa irraa baqsuun gara dhaaba tokkotti jijjiramu, dura dhaabbilee miseensotaa seeraan diiguun dirqama. Hojamaata EPRDF fi dhaabbilee miseensaa akkasumas heera paartilee biyyatti irraa akka hubannutti, koreen hoji raaw’achiiftuufi koreen jiddugaleessaa dhaabbilee miseensota mari’atee yaada dhaaba diiguufi baqsuu kanarratti yoo waliifgale gara Yaa’ii Dhaabaaf ( General Assembly) dhiheessa. Yaa’iin qaama ol’aanaa dhaabaati. Yaa’iin yaadicha yoo fudhate dhaabni isaanii guyyaa sanirraa eegalee akka diigameefi hoggansis paartilee biroo waliin walitti baqee dhaaba haaraa akka jaaru aangawuu isaa beeksisuun boordii filannoo beeksisa. Gaafa murtiin dabre irraa kaasee dhaabni ODP jedhamu hin jiraatu jechuudha. Filannoo dabre kan sagalee wayyaba qabachuun bulchiinsa gandaa hamma Caffeetti mootummaa jaare Dh. D.U.O/ ODP ta’uun beekamaadha. Amma yeroo dhaabni sun seeraan diigamu hamma dhaabni haaraatti filannoon maanaa ummataa fudhatee mootummaa ijaaru as bahutti mootummaan banaa ta’a jechuudha. Banaa kana cufuuf bulchiinsa itti fufsiisuuf filannoo ariifachiisaa ( snap election) godhuun dirqama. Falli biraa moo mormitoota waliin waliif galanii mootummaa amaanaa ( caretaker government) jaaruudha. Filannoon ariifachiisaa gochuunis ykn mootummaa amaanaa jaaruun xaxaa guddaa qaba. Hubadhaa, dhaaba walitti baqe ijaaruuf kan diigamuu qabu ODP qofa osoo hin taane dhaabbilee naannoolee saglan bulchan cufa. Kana jechuun naannolee saglanittuu takkaa filannoo ariifachiisaa ykn mootummaa amaanaa jaaruun dirqama. San qofa miti. Sadarkaa federaalaattis rakkoo heeraatu uumamuu mala. EPRDF yeroo ammaa tumsa bulchiinsaa (governing coalition) dha. Jechuunis OPDO, ANDM, TPLF fi SEPDM mata mataan naannoo isaanitti sagalee wayyabaa moo’atanii federaalaatti sagalee argatan walitti dabaluun harka wayyabaa ya’enii mootummaa federaalaa bulchuuf aangoo fudhatan. Gaafa dhaabbileen diigaman irraa kaasee hanga dhaabni isaan walitti baqanii dhaaban haarayni filannoo moo’atuutti ammas sadarakaa federalaattis banaa bulchiinsaa ( vacuum) uumama. Kanaafu takkaahuu filannoo ariifachiisaa taasisuu ykn ammoo mootummaa amaanaa jaaruun dirqama ta’uuf deema. Kun ammoo xaxama ( complexity) fi gaaga’ama ( crisis) akkamii uumuu akka malu tilmaamuun nama hin dhibu.


Adeemsi ODP baqsanii dhabamsiisanii paartii Itoophiyaatti liqimsiisuu kun dhaaba saniifi ummata Oromoos akka hin fayyadane, akkasumas paartii biyya bulchuufi biyya kanaafis faaydaa qaburra balaan akka caalu agarsiisuu yaaleen jira. Saboota moggaatti dhiibamanii naannoo ofiirratti mirga ofiin of bulchuu guutuu federaalatti ammoo qooda isaanin malu argachuuf hawwanis daran kan miidhu akka ta’e kaayeera. Maarree falli maali gaafiin jedhuuf ammoo:

Hunda dura ODPn waan ishii miidhuraa of qusachuun humna jabeeffachuudha. Tokkummaa keessoo dhaabaa cimsuun, sabboonummaa ummata ittiin hawwatte jabeeffachuu, humna namaa barateefi fudhatama qabu ( credable) ofitti dabalachuun jabaattee bahuu qabdi. Itti aansuun mooraa Oromoo keessatti walhubannoo ( consensus) uumuun siyaasaa Oromiyaa tasgabbeessuu barbaachisa. Kana keessaa akkuma ammaa Gaaddisa Hogganoota Oromo jalatti jalqabametti filannoon osoo hin dhufin dura mormitoota waliin bu’aan filannoo sanii kan hunda fayyadu ta’uu waliif galuu qabu ( negotiated election and power sharing). Kun ammoo Oromiyaa qofatti osoo hin taane dhaabni naannolee biroo bulchaniifi mormitoonni isaaniis akka raaw’atan jajjabeessuu feesisa. Kun filannoon kan tokko guutuu moo’atee kuun moo’amu ( absolute winners and losers) osoo hin taane kan namuu keessaa waa argatu akka ta’u godha. Kun ammoo jeequmsa filannoo duraafi boodaa hambisuuf fayyada.

EPRDF baqsuu osoo hin taane dimokraatessuutu wayya. Kana jechuun paartileen 4 amma keessaa jiran dabalatee kan naannolee shanan hafanii bifa bakka bu’ummaa ummata isaaniin walgituun ( proportional representation) tolchuudha. Hojmaataafi ilaalcha /ideology/ paartichaa fooyyeessuun akka sirna dimokraasii waliin deemu taasisuudha. Paartileen hundi akka baay’ina ummata bakka bu’anii ( proportional representation) akka hirmaatan gochuun dhaabbilee akka TPLF biraa mormii kaasuu mala. Mormiin akkasii kan dimokraasummaafi walqixummaaf diddaa isaan qaban waan saaxiluuf yaadaan moo’achuun salphaadha. Yeroo ammaa garuu yaada paartilee walitti baqsuu kana walabummaa ( autonomy) dhaabaafi naannoo sarba jedhanii waan dhiheessaniif mormiin isaanii Tigraay qofa osoo hin taane naannolee biroottis naatoofi deeggarsa argachaa jira. Kana dhabsiisuuf EPRDF baqsuu dhiisanii dimokraatessuuttii deebi’uun waa hundaaf fala gaariidha.
Fuulleffannaan ammaa paartii jiru diiganii, paartii haaraa lafaa kaasanii jaaruuf yaaluun xaxama hamaa keessa of galchuun yeroo, humnaafi leeccalloo qisaasurra filannoo itti aanu tokkummaan akkamitti injifanna kan jedhurratti fuulleffachuutu wayya. Kana gochuuf dhaabbilee Oromoo jiddutti waliigaltee uumuun Oromiyaatti filannoon hubaatii tokko malee akka geggeeffamu gochuu; naannoleefi saboota qabsoo keenyaaf firaa keessattis filannoon bifa walhubannaatiin akka geggeeffamu tumsa barbaachisufi gochuufiidha. San booda humnoonni walqixxummaa sabootaatti amananan filannoo nagayaa geggeeffatanii naannoofi federaalaattis sagalee wayyabaa argatu. Paartileen Oromoo sadarkaa nannootti aangoo waliif hiru; federaalaatti firoota qabsoo keenyaa waliin kaadhimamaa tokko dhiheeffatu. San boodas jijjirama heera mootummaas yoo barbaachise sagalee wayyabaa guddaa ( absolute majority) qabatanii itti deemuun fedhiifi dantaa sabaafi sablammootaa guututti cehuun danda’ama.
ODPn paartii qeenxee jaarutti deemnaan dantaa saba keenyaafi wabii umuufi sirna federaalizmii qabsoo ummatootaan jaarame tiiksuun mala biraa dhahuun dirqama. Gaaga’ama siyaasaafi xaxama heeraa mudtauu malu keessatti Oromiyaan jeequmsatti akka hin seenneefi cehuumsi akka hin gufanneef qaama furmaataa ta’uuf ammumaan qophaayuu qabu. Kana jechuun filannoon ariifachiisaan godhamuu malus ta’ee mootummaan amaanaa jaaramu hirmaannaafi hayyama mormitootaa waan gaafatauuf, hirmaannaan kun ammoo jeequmsa osoo hin kaasiin targabbiin akka hojjatamuuf of qopheessuun barbaachisaadha. Filannoo itti aanu irratti dantyaan sabaafi nageenyi biyyaa akka hin miidhamneefis , dhaabbileen siyaasaa Oromoo saffisaan agoobara takka jalatti deebi’uun( walitti baquunis ta’ee tumsa tolfachuun) tarsiimoo filannoofi bulchiinsaa bocachuun humna filannaa ( alternative force) bahuu qabu. Dhaaba akka haaraatti jaaramuwaliinis hariiroo akkami qabaachuu qabna kan jedhu gaaddis Hoggansa Oromoo keessatti mari’achuun ammumaan kallattii kaayuun feesisaadha.

Barruu kana keessatti hangan beekuufi yaada’u irratti hundaayuun qindeessuu yaaleen jira. Barruu kana ergan qopheessee ji’a darbeera. Barreessuu durattiifi boodas qondaalotaafi deeggartoota ODP mari’achiisera. Hogganoota paartilee miseensota EPRDF fi kanneen naannolee shaniis dubbiseera. Wanti nama ajaa’ibu namni yaada dhaabbilee sabaa diiganii baqsanii dhaaba qeenxee kana ijaaruu deeggaru qubaan lakkaayama. Garuu hedduun isaanii mormiif fedhiifi ejjannoo waan hin qabneef caldhisanii ilaaluu jiru. Waan dogongoraa tokko osoo arganii maaltu na dhibeen yookin hogganaa muufachiisuu diddaaf caldhisanii ilaaluun hoggansa san miidhuu malee fayyaduu miti. Yoo danda’an gorsanii karaatti wal deebisuu takkaahuu yaada qaban ifatti dhiheessanii sirreessuuf yaaluun bor gaabbii nama hanqisa. Kanaafuu anis waanin yaadu barruu kanaan dhiheesseera. Yaada kana ifatta maxxansuurra maaf keessaan hin hoggansaaf hin ergine gaafin jedhu ka’uu male. Yaada kana hoggansa dhimmi ilaalu kallattiin ibseefiin ture. Amma ammoo miseensi dhaabaafi ummanni keenya dhimmicha irratti hubannaa gahaa akka argatuuf biraan gahuun barbaachisaa ta’ee natti muldhannaanin maxxansuuf murteesse. Hoggansi ODP mariirra jiru dhimma kana bilcheessee akka laalu abdiin qaba. Waggota muraasa injifannoo itti goonfachaa deemne kana walgorsaa, fi walmormaas ta’u waldhaggeeffachaa as geenye. Waltuffachaafi gurra walirraa cufaa osoo deemnee as hin geenyu ture. Ammas gurra walii laachuuma santu fala natti fakkaata.

Jawar Mohammed
Onkololeessa 17, 2019

Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia has been awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Baga gammaddan, baga gammanne!! Congratulations!! #NobelPrize #NobelPeacePrize October 11, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , ,

Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Prime Minister of Federal Republic of Ethiopia and head of the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) that governs the state of Oromia, wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.

Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s prime minister, wins 2019 Nobel peace prize

Award recognises efforts for peace, in particular in resolving Eritrea border conflict

Abiy Ahmed
 Abiy ended a 20-year military stalemate with Eritrea three months after coming to power in April 2018. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

The prime minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, who forged a peace deal with Eritrea last year, has won the 2019 Nobel peace prize.

The award recognised Abiy’s “efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea”, said Berit Reiss-Andersen, the Norwegian Nobel committee’s chair.

One of Abiy’s biggest achievementssince coming to power in April last year was the peace deal signed three months later, which ended a nearly 20-year military stalemate with Eritrea following their 1998-2000 border war.

Abiy has also pushed through reforms at home, dramatically changing the atmosphere in what was regarded as a repressive state. His public renunciation of past abuses drew a line between his administration and those of his predecessors, as did the appointment of former dissidents and large numbers of women to senior roles.

Abiy said: “I am so humbled and thrilled … thank you very much. It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia, and I can imagine how the rest of Africa’s leaders will take it positively to work on the peace-building process in our continent.”

A pro-Abiy rally in Addis Ababa in June last year.
 A pro-Abiy rally in Addis Ababa in June last year. Photograph: Mulugeta Ayene/AP

Other figures who were considered in the running for this year’s prize included the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.

Ninety-nine Nobel peace prizes have been awarded since 1901, to individuals and 24 organisations. While the other Nobel prize laureates are announced in Stockholm, the peace prize is awarded in the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

Abiy, 43, a former military officer specialising in cyber intelligence, has forged a reputation as a daring leader prepared to take risks to tackle decades-old problems.Timeline

Abiy Ahmed’s achievements


The peace deal with Eritrea surprised and delighted tens of millions of people across east Africa. The conflict had cost both countries dearly in lives and scarce resources, and was a brake on development across much of the volatile region.

Eritrea, which has a population of about 4 million, gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a 30-year guerrilla war.

The Nobel committee acknowledged that “peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone”.

It said that when Abiy “reached out his hand, President Afwerki [of Eritrea] grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries”.

More recently Abiy played a key role in brokering a political deal in neighbouring Sudan that halted a slide into violence after the fall of the veteran dictator Omar al-Bashir, while retaining many of the gains made by pro-democracy protesters.

António Guterres, the UN secretary general, said winds of hope were blowing across Africa.

“This milestone has opened up new opportunities for the region to enjoy security and stability, and Prime Minister Ahmed’s leadership has set a wonderful example for others in and beyond Africa looking to overcome resistance from the past and put people first,” Guterres said.

Abiy Ahmed addresses delegates during the signing of Sudan’s power-sharing deal in Khartoum in August.
 Abiy Ahmed addresses delegates during the signing of Sudan’s power-sharing deal in Khartoum in August. Photograph: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

Abiy, who often relies on bold personal initiatives and charisma to drive change instead of working through government institutions, is the country’s first leader from its largest ethnic community, the Oromo, who have long complained of economic, cultural and political marginalisation.

Domestic reforms have included lifting bans on political parties, releasing imprisoned journalists and sacking a number of previously untouchable officials, some of them accused of torture.Abiy also appointed women to half the ministerial posts in his cabinet.

In Addis Ababa, larged crowds have been welcoming home exiled dissidents. Residents who once feared speaking publicly about politics now talk of little else. Flags and symbols long banned by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) fly across the city.

Other initiatives, such as the planting of millions of trees, have won further international support.

‘Abiy Ahmed is our miracle’: Ethiopia’s democratic awakening

 Read more

Born in western Ethiopia, Abiy joined the resistance against the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as a teenager before enlisting in the armed forces, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. He has a doctorate in peace and security studies.

After a stint running Ethiopia’s cyber intelligence service, he entered politics eight years ago and rose rapidly up the ranks of the Oromo faction of the EPRDF, which has historically been at odds with the Tigrayans.

Analysts say Abiy’s mixed Christian and Muslim background and his fluency in three of the country’s main languages help him to bridge communal and sectarian divides.

Dino Mahtani, a deputy director of International Crisis Group’s Africa programme, said: “Abiy’s award is a reflection of the west’s hope for transformational change in Ethiopia. But peace in Ethiopia is under threat by outbreaks of violence following Abiy’s political liberalisation project that, despite all its good intentions, has also contributed to unleashing centrifugal political forces in the country.”

In an interview with the Guardian shortly after Abiy survived an apparent assassination attempt in 2018, one of his personal acquaintances said the leader was “always looking ahead for the future”. Former colleagues said shelves of books on religion, philosophy and science filled Abiy’s office.

“He is physically active and very well organised … He did not have a secretary because he wanted his office to be accessible. His office door was literally never closed,” one said.

Nobel Peace Prize 2019: Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed wins for role in ending 20-year war with Eritrea, The Independent

Irreecha 2019: The Oromo national and cultural holiday season: Oromians and friends of the Oromo nation in millions celebrating the blessing festival in Oromia and all over the Globe. Over 10 million people attended the events in Finfinnee at Hora Finfinnee, Hulluuqoo Kormaa and in Bishooftuu at Hora Harsadii October 7, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment
Irreecha Brraa 2019, the Oromo Thanksgiving in Finfinnee, the capital city of Oromia, at Hora Finfinnee, Hulluuqoo Kormaa on 5th October 2019.
The largest festival in Africa. over 10 million people attended the event
The colourful #Irreecha2019 eve in Finfinnee, the capital city of Oromia at Hulluuqoo Kormaa, Irreecha Square
Irreecha 2019, Hora Harsadii Bishooftuu, Oromia
Oromo Horse men in Finfinnee in Celebration of Irreecha 2019
Irreecha 2019, Hora Harsadii, Bishooftuu city, Oromia
Irreecha 2019, Hora Harsadii Bishooftuu, Oromia on 6 0ctober 2019
Oromo nation and nations of Oromos’ friends in unity and diversity

Irreecha (Irreessa)  Birraa Oromoo kan Bara 2019 (akka lakkoobsa Oromootti kan Bara 6413)  akka gaariitti karooreffatamee, haala oo’aa fi bareedan Finfinnee (Hora Finfinnee, Hulluuqoo Kormaa) fi Bishooftuu, Hora Harsadiitti nagaan kabajamee jira. Kan Hora Finfinnee sababa Finfinneen dinaan qabamtee turteef waggaa 150f itti irreefachuun dhowwamee ture. Kunoo injifannoon barana itti irreeffatame. Irreecha Finfinnee fi Bishooftuutti namoota milyoona 10 oltu qooda itti fudhate. saboota hedduutu aadaa saanii muli’sun irratti argaman jiru.  Jaalaa, hariiroo fi firummaa Oromoo walii qabanisi ifatti ibsaniiru.

The blessing and colorful Irreecha (Oromo Thanksgivings) event that started in mid August and continue to be celebrated in Birraa (September- October). Over 10 Million people attended Hora Finfinnee in the capital of Oromia on 5th October and Hora Harsadi (in historic Bishoftuu, Oromia) on 6th October 2019. Both events were celebrated beautifully, successfully and peacefully. The Irreecha of love, peace, reconciliation and unity in diversity brought together diverse cultures, people and nations together.  Irreecha is the most important event (season) in Oromo people national and cultural calendar. #Irreecha2019

Here are some of  live  pictures, videos and reports refer to Irreecha Oromo Thanksgiving 2019 (6413 in Oromo Calendar)  Celebrations.

Finfinnee Irreecha 2019
Finfinnee and Oromo, the celebration of Irreecha 2019 at Hora Finfinnee
Irreecha 2019 in Bishooftuu, Hora Harsadii

Irreechi Hora Finfinneetti waggaa 150 booda kabajamaa jira

Irreecha 2019: ‘Oromoon akka galaanaatti dambali’ee Hora lamaanitti nagaan Irreefatee xumure’ BBC Afaan Oromoo

Shimallis qaamolee mikaa’ina Irreechi Finfinneetiif gumaachan galateeffate

Irreecha 2019: Taateewwan shan yaadataman keessaa

Ethiopia’s Oromos mark thanksgiving festival in Addis Ababa for the first time in 150 years, QZ Africa

Ethiopia’s Oromo Celebrate Festival in Addis Amid Tight Security, The New York Times

Irreecha 2019 at Hora Finfinnee the display of Oromo resistance flag, the Oromia national flag, Ethiopia’s multi national federation flag for unity in diversity

In pictures: Ethiopia’s Oromos celebrate thanksgiving, BBC

Woman in traditional costume

Huge crowds turned out in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, as it hosted for the first time in more than a century the annual Irreecha thanksgiving festival of the Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group.

In one Irreecha tradition, freshly cut grass and flowers are placed in water to thank God for the end of the rainy season and the beginning of spring.

People sprinkle water on their bodies as they take part in the Irreecha celebration, the Oromo thanksgiving ceremony in Addis Ababa

There was tight security as hundreds of thousands of people clogged the streets, including Addis Ababa’s main public area, Meskel Square. They chanted, sang and waved flags and flowers.

City officials said they were expecting 10 million people to take part, though the final attendance figures are hard to estimate.

People waving a flag and spraying water

Previously, the annual festival had been celebrated in Bishoftu, 40km (25 miles) away, but similar gatherings have taken place in other parts of Oromia at different times of the year.

The move to the capital, which is surrounded by Oromia, is seen by some as a recognition of Oromo culture by the authorities. For years, Oromo people had complained of cultural and political marginalisation.

But some say it is an attempt by the ruling party to cultivate popular support ahead of next year’s general election, reports the BBC’s Kalkidan Yibeltal.

Crowds in Meskel Square in Addis Ababa

There are thought to be at least 40 million Oromos in Ethiopia, making up more than 30% of the population.

Within the Oromos there are many different traditions associated with where people come from, and Irreecha brings them all together.

The celebration is a chance for people to wear traditional costume.

This man, from the Shoa region, are wearing “Daabe”, made from baboon skin.

Man in traditional costume

The beadwork, known as chelie, that these women are wearing on their foreheads is common to all Oromos, but their clothes are typical of people from the Borena region.

Women in traditional costume

These men made the 400km journey from Bale, in southern Ethiopia, to join in the festivities. Their headscarves, known as ruufa, are worn at any major celebration.

Men in traditional costume

This woman from Hararghe, in the east of Ethiopia, came in the clothes typical of her region.

Woman in traditional costume

A community from Alaba, which is in southern Ethiopia outside of Oromia, also joined in.

An Ethiopian man from the Alaba region dances during the Irreecha celebration

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is himself from Oromia.

He has implemented radical reforms since coming to power last year following protests demanding more rights for ethnic groups.

But despite the move to the capital, the festival comes amid rising political tensions and ethnic rivalries that are dogging Mr Abiy’s administration, our correspondent says.

Young people in traditional costume

Photographs by Yadeta Berhanu (BBC), Amensisa Negera (BBC), Reuters and AFP.