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Ethiopia: IOLAC Commentary: The Constitution should be interpreted, if at all, to re-constitute, co-govern & co-conduct a post-COVID-19 national election May 18, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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A commentary submitted to Addis Standard on behalf of International Oromo Lawyers Association (IOLA). Click the link to read

https://addisstandard.com/commentary-the-constitution-should-be-interpreted-if-at-all-to-re-constitute-co-govern-co-conduct-a-post-covid-19-national-election-iola/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Region in danger: Saving Oromiyaa is in the interest of the world May 10, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Region in danger: Saving Oromiyaa is in the interest of the world. Colonialism is refusing to go away from Oromiyaa. Oromo land and resources are still in the hands of alien government or its agents. Gleam of hope that has come increasing ever after fall of the last emperor has never been under so much threat of extinction as the present. Reversal of all the gains of half a century is underway. Supporting one of theirs to power made the matter worse than when power was in the hands of aliens. Culling of Oromo youth is going on daily to deny Oromiyaa stable, strong organization and leadership. Oromo nationalists are being accused of provoking killings of the youth and grieving of mothers in anticipation of own more plans ahead. This should have been an era when past oppressed and oppressors reconcile and build new relations, not campaigning to retake what the oppressor lost. Sovereignty belongs to all peoples not to old Ethiopia. To whine about it is not the wisest thing to do for it amounts to call for arms. Whatever was left of EPRDF was entrusted to what was referred to as “Team Lammaa” till power is transferred to peoples peacefully. That trust is betrayed with the trustee dashing peoples’ hopes. The Oromo nationalist that gave his name to the team, Lammaa Magarsaa is not tolerated even for his grief to a compatriot to be aired. This is never done in democratic country. How can one trust the establishment which has no harmony even between its functionaries? Over all, present attitudes of politicians of empire Ethiopia does not give hope for any meaningful relation, rather eminent danger is looming over her. All nations, nationalities and peoples of the region have to build together a new sovereign union of the willing and equal, not a chip of Old Nafxanyaa empire Ethiopia. It is their sovereignty not of a myth that peoples should uphold. Oromiyaa will never give up her sovereignty again and be governable without Oromo expressed free will.
Temperature and craving for power of some is high, rationality is getting zero. Concern for peoples’ interest is at its lowest. All are unable to relate today with yesterdays. The road taken to reach here has its own irreversible history. It is only if we could accept that reality that we can talk about togetherness of today and tomorrow. Still there are Amharic speaking groups that are clinging to old Ethiopia and are refusing genuine federal system which only could cement relations of colonies and their former colonizers. That constitution is not a gift like all in the past but a result of blood and sweat of the oppressed. Today the oppressed cannot cite that right without getting barrages of verbal attacks branding them as “Zaranyaa”; imprisonments and killings from Amharic speaking organizations and the rulers. Many contemptuous demands are being forwarded as if they can pass without a fight back, as in the dark yesteryears. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu.
Until consensus is achieved, the Oromo says let us sleep over it and group or individual does not say I know all for you and decide. Now strange thing is happening; to force his own will on them PP chairman has started threatening the opposition and calling names. He is probably seriously taking that he has divine mandate to lead the empire. What does rebuke and warning a senior freedom fighter in public for politely presented opinion imply? As heir to an autocracy, reverting to tradition seems inevitable and that is force not will of the ruled. That seems the way resolving the present cris is going to be tried. There is no article to twist for face saving; a lame duck illegitimate government cannot meddle with the constitution. Unprecedented arrogance and furry cannot cover the shortfall. It is good to realize that uncontrolled power leads to absolute power which in turn leads to downfall. The empire is going berserk; it is getting more dangerous than COVID 19.
It requires selfless group to avert the danger. Some fails to understand that there is no force in the empire that can now try to impose its will on others and expect to remain unscathed. On the contrary no one will be spared from hurting by the resulting chaos and destruction. Losers from democratic transformation are trying hard to destabilize Oromiyaa in perpetuity because of its potentials to bring peace, freedom, equality and stability to the region. When push comes to shove Oromo will have the least to lose. Preparing to face the worst could save not only the nation but also the region as well. That is why we say, “Saving Oromiyaa is in the interest of the world”. For the sake of peace, let all beseech the PM to save his furry and bow for reason and look for solution with all others not only the Neo-Nafxanyaa. Any aggressor Virus or Human shall be defeated by cooperation of forces of peace and freedom. Oromiyaan haa

Ibsaa Guutamaa

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2953339398093263&id=100002516941123

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2922381564514994&id=100002295369234

HRW: Ethiopia: Free Speech at Risk Amid Covid-19New Emergency Law Raises Concerns of Further Arrests, Prosecutions May 7, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Ethiopia: Free Speech at Risk Amid Covid-19

New Emergency Law Raises Concerns of Further Arrests, Prosecutions click the link to read from Human Rights Watch https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/06/ethiopia-free-speech-risk-amid-covid-19

And viewpoint from the Ethiopia Insight: From his pulpit, amid a crisis, Abiy regally dismisses all opponents

Itti dabaleesi, ajjeechaa daguugsa sanyii Oromoo irratti raawwachaa jiru raadyoo kana irra caqasaahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjJQ0MaUleQ&fbclid=IwAR0pUTr4X3R9DjCRgZRN4peN_nZNGu28HNaM3RatlSSmJ4iC1qGpxXBxXTI

Miseensota KFO irratti hidhan hammata jira
https://www.facebook.com/turune.gamtaa/posts/239495730706785

Ethiopia: Empire political crisis or constitutional crisis? May 4, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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When we talk of Oromiyaa we talk about the once upon a time free and independent country where many come to visit, trade with or take residence in it. One for which millions gave their lives in her defense. Country of heroines and heroes and numerous braves. And at another time a dependent one that lost its independence with neighboring African countries like, Jibuuti, Somalia, the Sudan etc. As a dependent country it has no choice than giving its freedom and the best it had for the invaders. A proud people which were reduced to serfdom overnight. With the invader many came to enjoy what Oromo have lost. Now informally the occupation seems to end. There are many descendants of the occupier and those engaged in different trades that came with its permission left behind and live in peace with natives. They have the right to live where they found themselves provided, they obey Oromo laws and become no tool of external force. The same is advised to Oromo that live in other countries. There are many Oromo and others that took citizenship or residence of other countries of the world and claim equal rights with those that were there before them. Such Oromo cannot be loyal to Oromiyaa as much as they are for their new country. The same have to apply to aliens living in Oromiyaa as well. There shall be no especial treatment because they are Habashaa or not.

Every time we look into Oromo problem let us not shy from looking deep into nature of the society. There is no other society in the surrounding that has more uniting ingredients than the Oromo. Despite, dialect variations for staying apart forced on them for more than a hundred years it did not take them much to catch up to each other in communication. That indicates how deep their history, culture, tradition and language were. They had not only physical distance for that long but they were forced to forget their identity and erase all that remind them about it. Their land was taken away from them but they didn’t lose its memory by clinging on it. It is the love and reverence they have for land and the natural environment that they did not run away from it even under cruel serfdom. Though legally disowned they kept it as a part of their bone. That is probably why they say “Lafti keenya lafee keenya” (Our land is our bone). And that is why evicting them is genocidal. All that is memory left from the humiliation as a result of continuous dehumanization and brainwashing.

The brainwashing has left some damages on individual outlook on existence. Some have taken that their being free human beings is done with. Those are the types Malcom X calls “House Niger”. No one can convince them of having different existence from their masters. They spend their day barking at Oromo nationalists spiting all distorted information they are stuffed with by their mentors. The second are those that believe in having separate history from the colonizer but have no confidence to stand alone without being surrounded by spirit of their old masters. These seem under strong “Digimti” (spell) of Daftaraa. The third are proud “Birmaduu”, that have self-confidence with liberated mind and take Oromummaa as their only guiding principle. They believe in the right of all nations to national self-determination up to and including independence. They believe in unity of free Africans with them in it as equals.

So far there is no Oromo political organization that has articulated the vision of Oromo nation better than the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The OLF, at the very beginning of its creation did not envisage only Independent Republic Oromiyaa but also the possibility of the willing, to form a union based on principles of equality, freedom and democracy. That is the vision the enemy hates to this day; the confidence of the Oromo to be independent and their claim of unity on the basis of equality and freedom. They do not believe that Oromo have any land to declare independent and people with right to be free. They have such ridiculous

thought which are often expressed by Habashaa in particular Amaaraa activists. Oromo modesty not to claim more is not appreciated by aggressors that keep on pushing them. The Oromo say, “Haqaa guddaan udaan fidaa” (too much wiping brings down shit).

The Oromo need the original OLF that speaks for them and them alone, without divided allegiance. Oromo cannot rely on organizations or individuals with divided loyalty. Even all other organizations with Oromo names that joined the opposite camp will be listened to if there is one strong party loyal only to Oromummaa. Aliens are afraid of Oromo because of their numbers and their resources and their culture of tolerance and Safuu (ethical values). They do not believe even those that joined them for they could not understand what is there they don’t have they want to get from them? That is why their service time is usually short and humiliating. The genocide on Oromo and the curving out urban centers from their surrounding rural area of the national state by all colonial governments is to reduce their numbers. That was how one leader of EPRDF publicly vowed to turn majority into minority. Therefore, not only with aliens they embraced, they work on setting Oromoo against Oromoo on character, tribe, creed etc. But because Oromo have several means of handling contradictions like araaraa and ilaa fi Ilaamee it will be a waste of effort for divisive elements.

When it comes to present day Ethiopian empire, on the ground Oromo relation with Ethiopia did not conceptually change from the day of the emperors. With peoples struggle the federal constitution is proclaimed. Some adjustments were made to administrative superstructure based on it. Legally the federal system is not fully practiced. However, most parts of Oromiyaa have come under one state administration. But they are governed by agents of neo-colonial government. They are allowed to use their language for work and education. Now the pending question is about the federation which if not solved in time could have far reaching consequence for peace of the region. Progressive forces have accepted sovereignty of nations, nationalities and peoples of the empire. They are only the ones that give power to any one individual or group. Source of sovereignty used to be seat of power or throne. That is gone with old Ethiopia, trying to bring it back remains wish of reactionaries.

Now the Ethiopian EPRDF is replaced by another Ethiopian party, prosperity Party (PP) which did not dare to call itself Ethiopian openly. It is to fool nationalists, otherwise it is not less Ethiopian than its mother organization if not more. It wants to say I am Oromo in Oromiyaa, Amaaraa in Amaaraa etc. Attitude of its leader is worrying. He is envious of his authority to Biblical proportion. He dislikes Oromo organization, Oromo investors and Oromo youth and Oromo elders as meddlers in his assumed power base. It was his party that called those elders ungrateful for allowing them walk home before their death. He also expressed his disgust with Oromo elders who “avoid death for themselves but push the young to die”. He is afraid of their experience and wisdom which they can impart to the young, Qeerroo nemesis of his party.

Persecution of educated Oromo, investors and “the petty bourgeois” is EPRDF policy he has implemented starting from very young age. That is what is feared, that the chicken may come home to roost. That was the agenda for collecting “birds of the same feather” from low and highland to form Prosperity. He with his peers had taken many ups downs, spent much blood and sweat but to destroy Oromummaa but did not succeed. At an era when majority is unemployed, when life became mor frightening than death, when threat became useless, when world information is in everybody’s pocket, what sort of contempt is it, to think of forcing Oromummaa on its knees? This is the time to sit down and assess oneself. Oromoo are not what they were, now they have started thinking not only about freedom of oneself alone, but also that of neighbors as well. The Oromo are merciful they know how to forgive those that erred against them. One can present

oneself without holding grudge and being transparent. The Oromo are now too politically conscious to be fooled by alien and “bandaa” propaganda. One has to stand for justice which is the way of freedom or with injustice which is the way of enslavement; there is no middle way. The way of justice is the only way that takes out Ethiopia from perennial crisis.

The present Ethiopian government will be the last government to practice old Ethiopian political tradition. Ethiopian government had never been democratic or could it soon become. EPRDF tried to pretend as one but failed. It cheated on the constitution, used the process it provided but short-circuited it. The outcome was a dictatorial government. Dr. Abiy cannot be different for he came to power using the same procedure. Though he cannot change the nature of the system that caused his rise, he had so many pressures, like those that supported him to come to power, relations he formed with international community, prophesy he may still think will materialize, and the Nobel prize he won, those made him act differently so far from his predecessors. But since the infrastructure he is using is dictatorial he cannot help acting that way. One should not criticize him for being dictator but for pretending not to be one. Let him be whatever he likes, but let him make stop to summary killings of Oromo, be impartial and secular in governing, sincerely believe in the rule of law, unless it is an ongoing project, he should not plan new one.

Therefore, all talks about the constitution and his power expiring are untraditional and unprecedented political exercise by those fledgling dictators called opposition. The solution is not looking for face-saving device but to act like dictator he is. He has to suspend the constitution, dissolve parliament and rule alone till next election. Since he cannot stay in power in that way for long, he has to set election in short time. Proving his being Nobel Laurette, he may act like a magnanimous monarch, by giving back power to peoples of Ethiopian empire; let them do whatever they like with it, thereby decolonizing Ethiopia. Oromo struggle for national self-determination will then get final rest by signing a treaty with new Ethiopia. By withdrawing from the election, he can he can use the opportunity to correct mistakes he possibly did in the past years. He will then remain celebrated.

Political crises are not strange for Ethiopia. Whenever the throne shakes crisis was resolved by force. All Ethiopian leaders from Tedros to the present lived and ended with crisis. Some of them claimed to have written constitution for name sake. But no one of them respected those and entered into crisis because of them. Therefore, what one encounters in Ethiopia is political crisis not constitutional because there was no tradition of rule of law. It was over confidence, over ambitiousness, over greediness and contempt for the people they govern that tempts leaders to ignore human and Devine laws, leading to crisis. Today, raising constitutional shortcoming as cause of crisis is to give it weight among international legal community who may not believe their Nobel laurate would make the other silly errors. If not for that the attempt will be made to resolve the crisis by force as usual only to lead to another crisis.

Trying to control Oromiyaa from the center had made them overlook fifty years of struggle causing withdrawal of people’s support and fueling Oromummaa. Oromummaa that became a formidable challenge to all colonial thinkers and reactionaries is young and indomitable result of Oromo civilization renaissance. It was crisis forced by Oromummaa that gave birth to the present government. Fed up of too much oppression the people rose in unison and launched what was known as Oromo Protest. They asked in one voice for trampling on birth rights and plunder of resources to stop and asserted “Oromiyaa belongs to the Oromo”. As long as human rights are not respected no one can sit on other’s shoulder in peace.

When they saw that the EPRDF government cannot stand against it, and that the Protest also lacks leadership Oromo within EPRDF known as “Team Lammaa” joined the people’s protest. By that action it was able to provide leadership and divert it from its victorious course. With that it forced EPRDF change its leaders. The changed government instead of responding to peoples’ grievances started to mend the empire and making it conducive to mount. It rather began to suppress Oromo more, raising up and dusting those they defeated with fifty years of struggle and honoring; getting rid of wealthy Oromo and impoverishing them. Just as usual it started to kill Oromoo nationalists summarily, harming and imprisoning. Camouflaged as Oromo, it is trying to accomplish what TPLF failed to do. The Oromo matter thus went back where it started. Believing the changed government supported change favorable to the people, many nationalists that used to exert pressure on OLA group that remained in the mountains to join peaceful struggle; more of those are now sending warning not to take a foot. Killings because one is Oromo alone has brought that change of sides.

All rulers after the emperor are autocratic at heart though they have constitutions for face-saving in relation with third parties and also deceive the fool. They never even tried to imitate pretention of TPLF to simulate democracy, because they chose to become continuation of Minilik’s old Ethiopia. Though their heart knows the truth, Amharic speaking Nafxanyaa system hopefuls started to protest declared Oromo taking over Ethiopian power without hiding his backbone. They said Oromo has no legitimacy to be “taranyaa” or next in line. The same group accuse Oromo of being “zaranyaa”. Zaranya is one favoring only own nationality. What can we call them opposing Oromo taking power as Ethiopian? Internationalist? In that case “zaranyaa” could mean one who refuses to submit to Amaaraa superiority. If that is so, Oromo nationalist will be proud to attach that adjective to their being. When they say “Zaranyaa” from Nafxanyaa camp all have to know that it is a code word for Oromo.

Knowingly or unknowingly there is nothing the changed leader did not do to empower them. Unless the empire is dismantled and replaced by union of the willing all that come to power cannot abandon the objective of keeping their old colonies under them. On paper they have pretended of assuring the colonies of equal treatment by forming federal system and recognition of the right to national self-determination. But their nature does not allow them to carry that promise through. Therefore, the colonies are not de facto federated states but second-class members. Power people relations in Ethiopia remained as they were under the emperors. The political crisis talked much about therefore, remains internal affairs for the Habashaa. To associate with non- Ethiopians, they have to erase from their mind Ethiopian superiority. If they like to live together, they need to accept that superiority is something to be shared among all peoples. Nations, nationalities and people have sovereignty in their areas. Federal government will have such sovereign power that they agree to give it from their own. Any declaration contradicting this is unconstitutional and violation of peoples’ rights. The Oromo individuals in government are only Habashaa made and have the same colonial mentality. It is their ambivalent position that is bringing havoc on Oromo nation. The have made themselves straw and straw has no embers.

In Ethiopia written constitutions began as gifts from rulers and went on till this present constitution. Justice was also assumed to flow down from above. The “Federal” constitution is also a gift from rulers though Oromo freedom fighters had initially contributed to the idea before they were betrayed. It was the thought in Transitional Charter that fertilized the constitution. Despite that, for the sake of peace they have taken it as starting point to end hundred years of subjugation. Therefore, it is assumed that forces representing Ethiopia

and all old colonies have to sit down and negotiate on how to implement it. As to the crisis facing the present government, they need to settle it by themselves whether politically or by force as was their tradition.

The controversy on legitimacy of the present government is only hangover from old Ethiopian kingdom mixed with modern aspiration of constitutionalism. It does not reflect this period of liberation movements or the New World Order. Now the game is changed. It should have been how to make peoples that had been oppressed for more than a hundred years and those that had been oppressing them live together in harmony, not about who among the groups aspiring for power according to the old system, shall we raise and pull down. We should not look for panacea only in the constitution given us by TPLF/EPRDF but in what the just solution should be? Principle of the constitution had problem it aimed at to solve. Suggestion expected should not fall short of that. Trying to renew Old Ethiopia system would also be inviting trouble from majority. The way of the present transitional government did not produce the expected result. Therefore, a method of transferring power to peoples’ representatives the soonest possible has to be devised. To find solution before more blood is spilt is wisdom. It requires good faith and selflessness. That will settle, let us hope, problems inherited from old Ethiopia once for all. The non-Ethiopians will negotiate with any ones saved from the political and Corona crisis. Until then they have to keep safe from COVID 19 and also be ready to defend their freedom as not to be fooled again. They have to consider using all forms of resistance, civil disobedience, withholding taxes etc. and making Oromiyaa ungovernable without will Oromiyaans. For now, Oromiyaa demands withdrawal of all alien forces and bringing to justice those that killed any unarmed human being. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!

Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents! Oromiyaan haa jiraa

Ibsaa Guutama

May 2020

Click the link to read http://gubirmans.com/category/yaada-opinion/

Yaadannoo Qaaqee April 29, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Soressa Hundera ogeessa fayyaati. #Qellem Wallaggaa magaalaa Qaaqeetti yeroo qabame sana haala ture akkasiin ibsa.

QAAQEE— Harroojjii Hoboo (Yaadannoo koo)

[seenaa kana ji’a ja’a duran yaadannoodhumaaf barreesse. Garuu hin maxxansine. Mee yoo waan ilmi Oromoo tokko lixa Oromiyaatti argu keessaa waan xiqqoo irraa hubachuu dandeessaniif jedheen har’a maxxansuuf murteesse. Seenicha amman danda’etti gaggabaabsee barreessuu waanin yaaleef otuu hin nuffiin obsaan dubbisaa xumuraa]

Guyyaa: Adoolessa 11, bara 2011 ALHtti, yokiin immoo Adoolessa 18, 2019 ALGtti, aduu Kamisaarra ture. Guyyaa sana 11-11-11 jedheen akka salphaatti yaadachaa ture. Sa’aatiin waareerra naannoo 7:30 ta’eera. Laaqana koo nyaadheen mana galee taa’aa jira. Kootii diimaa gad dheeraa duubarraan hidhaa qabu, surree jiinsii bifa booraa qabu, akkasumas kophee ol dheeraa wayiin uffadhee jira. Sa’aatiin bakka hojiitti deebi’uu koo ga’eera. Garuu ani manan taa’aa jira. Ana malees hiriyoonni koo lama anaa wajjiin mana keessa taa’uutti jiru.

Akkan gara hojiitti hin deebine kan na godhe sababa lamatu jira. Tokko, guyyaan sun ganamaa kaasee guyyaa jireenyi koo itti dhiphuun guutame ture. “Har’a in duuta. Har’a kan si ajjeesee daandiirratti si gatee deemu dhufee jira.” na jedhaa ture keessi koo. Ganama ergan kutaa yaalii deddeebii (OPD) seenee kaasee amman laaqana ba’uutti maal akkan ta’e hin beeku; harki koo ni hollata. Kobbee qabadhee dhukkubsataaf qoricha barreessuun baay’ee natti ulfaataa ture. Takka gad ba’een bakka ijoolleen ‘staff’ koo walitti qabamanii haasa’an deema. Takka immoo ol galeen teessuma kutaa koorra taa’ee gomma. Kana hundasaa sababan akkas dhiphadhuuf baruu hin dandeenye.
Sababni koo lammataa, humni waraanaa mootummaa magaalaa xiqqoo ani ani keessaa hojii hojjedhu (Harroojjii) seenee ummata wal ga’ii yaasee waan jiruuf dhukkubsataan gara mana yaalaa dhufaa hin jiru. Bira darbanii mana yaalaan dhaqa jechuun hin yaadamu. Kan laga keessa dhokatee nu bira ga’e qofatu dhufee yaalamaa ture. Kanaafuu, xiqqoo afuura baafadhee, warri waraanaa kunis galaa waan jiraniif isaanis dabarseen deema jedheen taa’aa jira.

Otuma teenyee hiriyoota koo sana faana haasofnuu konkolaataan sadii balbala mana koo irra dhufee dhaabbate. Ani silas guyyaa sana guutuu qaamni koo dilallaa’ee ture. Hiriyoonni koo sun garuu ni rifatani. “Maalinni? maaliif asitti dhaaban?…Soore siif dhume….” jedhani. Hubadhaa: bakka sanatti namni heeruu deemee si kenneera taanaan yokiin immoo waraanuma mootummaa agarteetta taanaan ni rifatta. Yakka waan hojjetteef otuu hin taane, waan reebamuun kee hin oolleeef. Ni reebamta, ni hidhamta, yoo dubbiin kee shakkii qabaatemmoo ni ajjeefamta.

Bakkuman jiru taa’een babalarraan bakkeetti gad ilaale. Waraanni konkolaataa sanarra jiru baay’eedha. Humna addaa Oromiyaa fi raayyaa ittisa biyyaati wal makee jira. Meeshaan konkolaataa sanarratti hidhamee jiru kilaashii isaan baattatan sana malee kan ani maqaa beekuu fi hin beekne baay’eetu jiru. Diishqaa kan jedhan kan teessuma kaameraa fakkaatu of jalaa qabu tokko, bireenii isa miilla lama qabu lama, kan tumtoo moonyee fakkaatu sana tokko tu jira. Konkolaataan tokko 3F, tokko Ambulaansii waajjira Fannoo Diimaa, tokkommoo konkolaataa bulchiinsa aanaa ture. Kun hunduu waraana amma humnisaanii baachuu danda’u baatanii ana ogeessa fayyaa buufata sanaa hojjetu qabuuf dhufame.

Konkolaataa sanarraa akkuma harca’aniin, namni lama kara bitaa mana koo, lama kara mirgaarra fiigaa borootti darbani. Namni sadii immoo kallattiima fuula duraan dhufani. Hiriyoonni koo sun warra fuul duraan dhufaa jiran sana gaafa argan, “fiignuu? Sooressa maaliif teessee nu nyaachifta hin arreedduu boroodhaan baanaa” na jedhani. Ani garuu gogeeman isaan ilaala. Isaan warra duraan dhufe sana malee warra lama lamatti hiramanii mana koo karaa bitaa fi mirgaan itti marsan hin agarre. Ani garuu sanas argeera. Otuun hin agarre ta’ees, rasaasa caalaa akkan hin fiigne bareechee waanin beekuuf fiiguuf yaalii hin taasisu.
“Warra manaa buna haa dhugnukaa!” na jedhe warra sadan duraan dhufan keessaa inni uffata siivilii uffatee ture. Namni kun hoji geggeessaa komaandi-poostii aanichaa fi bulchaa aanaa yeroofii (kan KP) ture.
“Tole, nooraa seenaa ni dhugnaa”n jedhe isa duraan balballi tokkichi qofti banamee ture isa tokkos itti dabalee banaa.
“Sooressaan si’ii?”
“Eeyyee ana”
“Hojiin kee maali? Hakiimiidhaa?”
“Eeyyee”
“Kottu si barbaadnee”
“Tole” jedheen lafaa ka’e. Achuma dhaabadheen, “Garuu maaliif na barbaaddani?”n jedhe.
“Kottu isa dhiisiitii booda haasoftaa” na jedhe dheekkamsaan lafaa na kaasee. Waraanni isa faana jiran lamman cancala qawwee banatanii jiru. Harka koo na qabee bakkee na baase.

“Garuu, kan mana keessatti hafe jiraa?’ jedhee mana keessa gad ilaale mormasaa of duuba dabsee. Ijoollee sana lammantu jira. Manni koo dhiphoodha. Siree koo, firaashii qalloo lafa buutu biroo fi teessuma afur qofatu mul’ata. Namni bakka biroo bakka dhokachuu danda’u hin qabu. Akkasaan yaadanii fi dhaga’anii dhufanitti anatu waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo waamee guyya guyyaan mana kootti afeera, anatu isaan yaala, anatu isaan gargaara.

Gaafan gad ba’u konkolaataa isaanii sana sadan irratti meeshaalee waraanaa ajaa’ibsiisoo amma gararraatti barreesse sanan arge. Waraanni warri kaan, suuqa manoota mana kootti aananii jiranii qabatanii, garii da’oo goranii, gariin immoo akka meeshaa dhukaasaaf sirreeffatanitti konkolaataa bira dhadhaabatanii jiru. “Amma kun hundi anuma qabuuf guuramanii dhufan mitii?’n jedhe sammuu kootti. Akkan du’i naaf kaadhimamteettu ganama qalbiin koo natti himte. Amma sodaa otuu hin taane, miira boonuutu natti dhaga’amaa jira. Sooressaan namni tokko harka tokkoon rarraasee qabee gabaa Qaaqee dhaqachuu danda’u akkas baay’atanii qabuunuu natti tole. Ani nama qal’oo kilogiraama 57 ti. ‘Daampelii’ hin kaasu. Sa’aatii boqonnaa kootti kitaaban dubbisa. Ogummaa Ispoortiis baay’ee hin qabu. Qaama koo keessaa buqqee mataa koo qofatu guddaadha. Akkan du’a deemaa jiru garuu nan beeka. Kanin kana beekuuf, namni deemee heeruu si kennu akka ati qallabduu waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo taateettidha. Nama akkasiimmo inuma ajjeesu. Beekamaadha. Kanaafin akkan dirree du’aa deemaa jiru beeke.
“Kottuu kana yaabi” jedhee qubasaa gara 3F sanaatti qabe.
“Maaliif? Eessan dhaqa?”n jedhe. Kana dubbadhee otuun afaanii hin raawwatiin duuba kootii sagalee qawwee ‘kash kash’ jedhu dhaga’e. Waraana na duubaan jirutu Cancala sirreeffachaa jira.

“Mooji keeti? Yaabi amma” na jedhe. [Asitti arrabsoo na jedhamee fi taatee ta’e miiran amma keessa jiruun barreessuun natti ulfaata. Hiriyoonni koo in boo’an. Kurfiin immoo kellaa buufata fayyaa jala daa’imtee yeroo foqoqaa waaqatti harkashee ol facaaftu konkolaataarra taa’ee fageenyarraa nan arga.] Kanumaan daandii Qaaqeetti geessu qabannee, konkolaataa sana lamaan gidduu na galchanii na fuudhanii ka’ani. Anis, daandii Qaaqeerra na fuudhanii ka’uunsaanii na hidhuuf malee waan biroof ta’uu dhiisuu mala jedhee jajjabinni xiqqoon natti uumame. Jajjabinni koo kun garuu sodaa dhale. Duraan du’aan ture, amma abdii jireenyaa horadheen sodaa jalqabe.

Deemsa konkolaataan daqiiqaa digdama hin caallee booda bakka “Karra Waddeessaa” jedhamu geenye. Bakka kanatti, daandiin Harroojjiirraa gara Qaaqeetti geessuu fi kan Qotaa bakka jedhamurraa Qaaqeetti geessu walitti makama. Daandii kallattiin Qaaqee nu geessu dhiisanii dalga daandii Qotaa geessurra na fuudhanii ka’ani. Qotaa sana kaambii waraanaa yeroofii tu jira. Achi ga’uuf immoo bosona Gumaa Guddaa fi bu’aa ba’ii fi tabba homtuu si hin agarre dabarteeti. Daandii gara Qotaa geessu kanarra na fuudhanii ka’uunsaanii ammoo abdii sila na keessatti uumamtee turte na keessatti ajjeeste. Amma kana deemsisanii naa raawwachuuf kan jedhu natti dhaga’ame. Ani ilma sooressaa miti. Hojii mootummaa hojjechuufin deeme. Dirqama mootummaan ogummaa koon akkan raawwadhuuf natti kenne fudhadheen buufata sanatti ramadame. Obbolaan koo fi firoonni koo Naqamtee fi Finfinneerraa, harmeen koo fi abbaan koo Giddarraa “goda sanaa dhiisii ba’i. Hojiin sun sitti hafuusaa wayya nageenya keef sodaanne” yeroo naan jedhan deebiin koo, “ani hojii mootummaan hojjechaa jira. Dirqama koon alatti hojii siyaa hojjedhu hin qabu. Kanaafuu, homaa naaf hin sodaatiinaa” kan jedhu ture.

Dhuguma immo otuun otuu hojii hawaasni ragaa naaf ba’u hojjedhuu bifa akkasiin nan shakkama jedhee hin tilmaamne. Qaaman waliin hojjedhus bifa akkas jedhee oduu sobaa deemee haasa’ee itti na basaasa jedhee hin yaadne. Hundaaf jaalalan qaba; nama hin cufu. Yoo namni na cufes itti hin qabamu, ittis haasa’ee hin dhiphisu.
Daandii qotaa geessu sana qabannee, bakka Aallee Gumaa jedhamu gaafa geenyu, waraana keessaa tokko dugda konkolaataarra bakkan taa’ee jirutti siqee na bukkee ‘ispoondaa’ konkolaataarra gad taa’e.

“Hakiimii jaal ebelu akkam?” na jedhe maqaa miseensota Waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo ani dhaga’ee beeku keessaa tokko waamee. Homaa hin deebifneef, nan callise.
Ammas qolee koo rukutee, “Mootummaan kan as si kaa’e akka hawaasa yaaltuufi. Kana ni beektaa?” na jedhe. Baay’ee ija babaasa. Gaafan ilaalu, morma narraa gatuuf waan ariifate natti fakkaat. Garuu, abdiin waan na keessatti gogeef sodaa koo awwaaleen jira. Jiraachuu nan barbaada. Garuu, carraa jiraachuu dhabuu kootti gaddaan ija diimeffadhee callisee isa ilaale.

“Gidaamii deemtee jaal ebeluu yaalte. Jimmaa Horroo deemtee jaal ebeluu yaalte. Nan sobee?” na jedhe ammas maqaa miseensota waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo lama waamee. Namoota inni jedhu kana ani haasaa miidiyaa hawaasaarraa jedhamuunin dhaga’a malee eenyummaa isaaniis, bifa isaaniis hin beeku. Garuu, akka miidiyaa hawaasaarraa haasa’amutti jarri kun hooggansa olaanaa waraana Bilisummaa Oromoo keessaa qabu. Garuu ammas namichaaf homaa hin deebifneef.

Afaan Amaariffaatiin, “Eenyu haadha kee tuffattee na jalaa callifta hin dubbattuuy?” jedhee kaballaa humna cimaan fuula kootti erge. Kaballichi garuu na bira kutee uuruu qawwee waraana biroo na dubaan taa’ee jiru harkasaan rukute.

Na’een ture. Garuu, sichuu rasaasatu na eeggatawoo kan jedhu sammuu kootti dhufnaanin jajjabaadhe.
“Oduu durii haasa’aa jirtamoo?”n jedhe gaafan afaan banadhu.
“Ii? Oduu durii?” jedhe akka seequu ta’ee.
“Eeyyee. Namoota ati amma jettu anuu hin beeku. Kanaafin jedhe”n jedhe. Jajjabinni koo murannoo koorraa hin maddine. Dhugaa akkan qabu nan beeka. Dhugaa koo namni na dhaggeeffatu garuu akka hin jirre quban qaba. Kanaafin callisee ture.

“Konkolaataa dhaabikaa. Asuma mitiiree?’ jedhe waraana nu faana jiran keessaa inni tokko mormasaa gara konkolaachisaatti achi dheeressee.

Bakki sun bosonaan uffifameera. Biyyoo yeroo daandiin sun qotame diigamee tuulamee taa’uu fi dhagaa caccabaa qofatu jira. Namni biroon homtillee hin jiru. Konkolaataan sadanuu dhaabataniiru. Ija kootiin fageenyatti biyyoo tuulamaa sana akka awwaalcha koottin ilaale. Harmeen koo bakkan itti gatame hin argiin hafuusheetu natti dhaga’amuu eegale. Obbolaan koo, firoonni koo, jaalaleen koo hunduu karaa eegaa hafuusaaniitiigaa jedhee imimmaan ija na guute. Boo’icha miti, xiiqiidha. Mormi koo gorora liqimsuu dadhabe. Bosona sana keessaa waaqni karoora diinaa fashaleessu yoo naaf owwaate maal ta’a? Silaa dhugaa koo in argaa jedheen bosonicha keessa ija abdiin ilaalaa daandiirraa gadi na maqsani.

[Ammas bakka kanatti waan ta’e baay’eesaa miiran amma keessa jiruun seenessuu hin danda’u]
“Amma maal jettee turte? Jaal ebeluu, jaal ebeluufaa hin beeku. Oduu duriidha moo maal naan jette?” jedhe waraanni sila na qorachaa ture sun natti garagalee. Alaalarraa gama keessatti mana qorqoorroo tokko kan ‘kushinaa’n biraa aartun arga. Otuu mana warra keenyaa ta’een jedha yaada kootti. Fira tokkoyyu bakka sanaa hin qabu. Yoo jiraates akkaataa du’a koo gabaasa malee homaa naaf gochuu hin danda’u. Garuu, Oromo hunda fira koo jechaan jiraachaa ture.

“Eeyyee. ‘Indihum’ dhugaa tokko sitti himuu? Buufata fayyaa keenyaan alatti waraana miti, nama dhuunfaaf lilmoo tokko kennee yoon beeka ta’e hawaasicha duratti baasaatii na ajjeesaa”n jedhe. Kun dhugaa ani qabu yeroo hima tokkoon gudunfamtuudha. Dhugaa kana dubbadhee deemuun barbaade. Yeroon kana dubbadhu ajajaan isaaniis, warri kaanis na dhaggeeffatu turani. Kanuma gidduutti bilbilli wayii ajajaa sanaaf bilbilame. Eenyu akka itti bilbile beekuu baadhus, bilbilichi qaama isaan hoogganurraa akka ta’e ni akeeka. “Ol deebisaa Qaaqee geeffamaa” jedhe ajajichi bilbilicha haasa’ee erga raawwatee.

Baaltiin geeffame soba ta’uusaa mirkaneeffatan ta’ee hin beeku.

Waaqa ani bosona kana keessaa naaf birmadhuu karoorasaanii fashalsi jedhetu naaf owwaate ta’ees hin beeku.

Anatu akka dhuunfaatti waan isaan tilmaamanii dhufa ta’ee waanin itti hin argamiiniif isaan marare ta’ees hin beeku. Kaambi Qotaa sa’aa tokkoof na tursanii gara mana hidhaa Qaaqeetti na geessani. [Turtii koo ji’a tokkoo fi guyyaa 5 mana hidhaa Qaaqee keessatti maal akka fakkaatu yeroo biroo nan barreessa. Har’aaf kanuman isiniif qooduu fedha. Waaqni bowwaa kam keessaayyu yoo waammatan garuu dhugaa qabaannaan namaaf dhaga’a. Hunda caalaa dhugaa koo fi watwaannaa ani otuun sagalee koo hin baasiin waaqatti boo’e akka na baasetti amana. Hundaafuu bagan jiraadhee har’a gahe. Jiraachuu kootti gammadeera. Ammoo seenaa kana bu’aa polotikaa biroof akka sin hin oolfanne abdiin qaba. Kun yaadannoo kooti. Seenaa dhugaadha.

Galatoomaa!

Fuulaa Facebook Lammii Beenyaa irraa.

FP: How the Economy Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic April 28, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/04/15/how-the-economy-will-look-after-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

Ethiopia: News: Wife sheds light on husband’s ordeal in security crack down – Addis Standard April 24, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
4 comments

https://addisstandard.com/news-wife-sheds-light-on-husbands-ordeal-in-security-crack-down/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Ethiopia: Thugs Don’t get Constitutional-Democratic Reasonings; they get civil action! April 22, 2020

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Thugs Don’t get Constitutional-Democratic Reasonings; they get civil action! By Dr. Tsegaye Ararssa

For over two years now, we have been tracking the regime’s unconstitutional, illegal, and illegitimate measures, discourses, and processes and critiquing them as such, hoping that the government will at least account for them. However, Abiy’s regime proved to be completely impervious to criticisms based on the imperatives of constitutional democracy.

Increasingly, it became clear that Abiy’s government is a completely lawless regime that doesn’t even know that there is a limit, constitutional-legal or otherwise, to its power. In its total lack of self-awareness, it proved to be a regime that doesn’t even care to enforce rule BY law, let alone rule OF law.

The critical-oppositional challenge presented to them from our part was motivated by the desire to achieve a ‘transition to democracy’ (mainly of the liberal-constitutional type). In a stark contrast to this, the regime’s aim (stated explicitly on several ocassions) is a ‘return’ to the glory of the olden days. In various speeches and statements, official and quasi-official, there is a pronounced desire for a ‘nostalgic memorialization’ of the imperial past, a desire to restore the anti-democratic, authoritarian, and violent structures of the Ethiopian state. In deed, there seems to be a resurgent fascination with violent repression of rights and defiance of all constitutional-legal ethos circumscribing the exercise of public power.

In the last two years, the regime has consistently attacked, formally and informally, all the constitutional-democratic principles that could have facilitated the ‘transition to democracy.’

The first principle attacked was the principle of democracy and popular sovereignty under art 8 of the FDRE Constitution. This is done by undermining the sovereignty and collective rights of groups through an unconstitutional border commission. The principle of democracy (art 8 was further flaunted by postponing election even under an electoral board manned exclusively by the stooges and supporters of Abiy’s party.

The second principle completely defied was that of constitutionalism and constitutional supremacy (art 9). The rule by command post (without even a declaration of emergency), the dissolution of the parliamentary majority party (EPRDF) and its replacement with a new party (EPP) that is not yet set up in accordance with the requirements of the régime’s own electoral law are only two examples of a raft of unconstitutional acts.

The Sidama people’s quest for self-rule as a regional state, validated by a popular referendum, is still not honored in practice even months after the referendum result was officially publicized by the electoral board. The suppression of the constitutional demands of the Walaita and at least 10 other nations for statehood is also an example of defying and undermining the constitutional order.

The third principle similarly defied is that of sanctity of human rights (under art 10). By putting several regions under an undeclared state of emergency (aka rule by command post), the regime has been virtually conducting war against civilian populations, especially in Oromia and the SNNPRS. In the process, summary executions, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, illegal detentions, tortures, arsons, rapes, and various other brutalities are (still being) committed on a massive scale without accounting for any of these violations or for the ‘wars’ on peoples (thereby also defying the principle of accountability and transparency of government under art 12).

The last principle the regime flaunted unscrupulously, also very much in discussion in these spaces today, is the principle of secularism (art 11). For the last two years, Abiy’s government has been acting almost like a theocratic government that ignored: a) the separation of state and church; b) the multiconfessional nature of the society; c) the equality of all religions before the law; and d) freedom of religion of every individual in the polity.

All these blatant acts of violence and authoritarian repressions have been very well documented. Critical reports have been published by various rights organizations, activists, journalusts, and scholars.

To date, the regime is progressively becoming more and more bluntly authoritarian. Censures by opposition political leaders, activists, and journalists also continued to rise. The regime is forging ahead in spite of the criticism partly because of uncritical international support (motivated mainly by concerns for strategic geopolitical interests), partly because of specific local circumstances, but chiefly because of the incongruence between the level at which the regime operates and the level at which critical engagement is undertaken in order to interrupt, correct, and monitor the rogue practices in the process.

As indicated at the start, the criticism hasn’t penetrated the regime yet. Not at a level that is politically significant. It seems to me that there has to be a change of register if the criticism is going to have a bite. I will deal with the specifics of the how in subsequent posts.

One thing is obvious, though: a reactionary government of thugs, impostors, and criminals operating lawlessly cannot be countered successfully through criticisms grounded in the imperatives of (liberal) constitutional democracy.

#Abiy_to_the_abyss!
#PPCriminals_and_thugs_to_jail!
#Civil_Action_needed!

Jawar Mohammed: Dr Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni itti gaafatamummaa konsulaa Los Angeles irraa kaafamuun ijoo marii guyyaa kaleessaa turte . Dubbii isaa irratti qabxii muraasa jedheen bal’ootti dabra. April 21, 2020

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Dr Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni itti gaafatamummaa konsulaa Los Angeles irraa kaafamuun ijoo marii guyyaa kaleessaa turte . Dubbii isaa irratti qabxii muraasa jedheen bal’ootti dabra.

1) Dr Brehanemeskel mootummaatti dabalamuun sirrii ture. Warri bifa garagaraan qabsootti hirmaachaa turre ‘mootummaa cehuumsaa’ kana waan dandeenyu hundaan gargaaruu qabnaan ejjannoo hedduu keenyaa ture.

2) Ramaddiin isatti kennamte kan isaaf maltu hin turre. Namni hedduun waan beeku hin se’u malee namni kun diplomaatii ol’aanaa ogummaa yeroo dheeraa qabuudha. Filannoo bara 2005/1997 booda ajjeechaa Mallasaan ummata irratti geggeesse mormuun hamma gadi lakkisutti Ethiopian Mission @UN kan New York keessatti argamutti doplmaatii olaanaa ture. Erga mormii dhiisee bahee ammoo barnoota seeraa isaa itti fufuun JD( (Doctor of Jurisprudence)isaa Minnesotaatti fudhate. Abukaatoo seeraa ta’ee yeroo hojjatu qabsoo geggeeffamaa ture keessatti gahee inni taphachaa ture namuutu beeka natti fakkaata. Kana wanniin tarreesseef isa faarsuufi miti. Durumaa, itti gaafatamummaa isaan hin malle fudhachuun tuffatamuu fiduu hin oolle jechuufi. Embaasilee Itoophiyaa kan kaadreen guutamte keessa namoonni hamma isaa barnootaafii muuxannoo qaban hagoodha. Isa garuu ambaasaadaraawuu quudhuufi dhabaniit konsular godhan.Sa’a abbaan gaafa cabse …

3) Erga hojii san eegalee booda mootummaa kana defend gochuuf jecha gochoonnif jechoonni faallaa qabsoo Oromoo inni fayyadamaa ture gaarii miti. Kana innis warri hafanis irraa baratu jedheen abdadha. Bararaa ooli allaatti duuti lafa. Aangoo feene argannuus booddeen teenya Oromoofi Oromiyaadha.

4) Namni kun kan ari’ame sababa lammummaa isaatiin jedhan. Soba. Gaafa muudamus lammummaa biyya alaa akka qabu ni beekan; akka beekan ammoo warra muude waliin yeroo sanitti haasoyne waan turreef dubbiin tunis kaatee rakkoo hin qabu jedhameet godhame. Har’a sababa ittiin ari’an argachuuf gadi baasan ( lammummaan tun Oromootuma laallatti fakkaata malee masaraa kan guutee jiru warra passport biyya alaa baadhatee jiru bar).

5) Barruu isaa keessatti akka waan ormi shiraan isa ariisisee qofatti kaaye. Ormi isa dabalatee Oromoota biraa jibbuun dhoksaa miti. Garuu ormi nama hamma isaa beekkamtii qabu mariifi hayyama muummichaatiin alatti ni taasisuun hin fakkaatu. Murtiin isa muuduutuu ministeera haajaa alaatiin akka hin turin nan yaadadha. Har’as ministeera haajaa alaatu qofaatti godheen hin fakkaatu.

Amma dubbii waliigalaatti haa deebinu. Ari’amuun Birhaanasqalis ta’ee nama biraa nu ajaa’ibuu hin qabu. Yoo waggaa dabre kana gara mootummaan kun itti deemaa jiru xiyyeeffannoon hin hordofin malee. Warra alaa itti makame dhiisii kan core ta’aniiyyuu haxaayamanii jiran. Lammaa Magarasaa, Warqinaa Gabayyoo, Warquu Gaachanaa, Birhaanuu Xaggaayee, Xayyibaa Hasan, Milkeessaa Miidhagaa, Baacaa Ginaa kkf heddu tarreessuun ni danda’ama. Damee waraanaafi tikaa keessaa dhibbaatamaan itti gaafatamummaa irraa mulqamaa jira. Warra dhiibamaa jiru kanaaf tokko tokkoon sababa adda addaa tarreeffamaa ture. Garuu walitti qabanii patern jiru xiinxalan malee hiikkaa guutuu ( full picture) argachuun hin danda’amu.

Akka kiyyatti, kaayyoofi tarsiimoon Bilxiginnaa ilaalcha, dantaafi eenyummaa Oromootiin fundamentally waan wal falleessuuf, namonni xiqqoma miira Oromummaa qaban, saba kanaaf naatoo qaban, himata seenaa Oromoo ( narrative) amanan, oolee bula malee sirna kana keessa hin turan. Takkaa ni ari’amu ykn ofiif keessaa bahu. Akeekni Bilxiginnaa utubalee ( pillars) lama qaba. Kan duraa unitary state ijaaruudha. Kan lammataa sirna diinaggee neoliberal uumuudha. Bilxiginnaan sirna federaalaafi parliamentary kana diiguun sirna unitary kan presidential ta’e jaaruu akka kaayyafatte yeroo himnu namni heddu hin amanne ture. Amma ifa ta’e natti fakkaata. Sirna federaalaa diiganii sirna unitary ta’een bakka buusuun olaantummaa hawaasummaa, aadaafi eenyummaa garee duraanuu sirnicha harkaa qabu jabeessa. Hiree saboonni akka Oromoo walqixxummaa horachuuf qaban cufa. Kanaafuu yaaliin sirna federaalaa diiguu ( jecha biraan Oromiyaa diiguu) Oromoota, kan miseensa paartiifi ilaalcha kamiiyyuu qaban biratti fudhatama hin argatu.

Akeekni lammataa Bilxiginnaa, sirna diinaggee neoliberal ta’e jaaruudha. Sirni diinaggee kun motorri guddina diinaggee dureeyyota jedheet ka’a. Shoorri mootummaa isaan jajjabeessudha.( Haasaa MM Abiy gaafa paartii isaaniitif galii walitti qabuuf galma barkumeetti qophaaye irratti dubbatan dhaggeeffadhaa). Adaduma dureeyyonni daran qabeenya horatan, galiin isaanirraa harca’u ( trickle down) hiyyeessaafis hiree bana jedha. Sirna diinaggee kun gartuulee dursanii qabeenya harkaa qaban daran yennaa duroomsu, gartuulee adeemsa seenaa keessatti hirmaannaa diinaggee irraa dhiibaman daran hiyyoomsa. Oromoon biyya kana keessatti hirmaannaa diinaggee keessaa dhiibamee turuu isaa waan waakkatamuu miti. Sirna diinnaggee neoliberal kana keessatti Oromoon daran hiyyooma. Fakkeenyaaf akeeka imaammata diinaggee neoliberal kana keessaa hangafti privatization dha. Privatization yeroo jennu, kampaaniilee harka mootummaatti hafan gurguruu qofa miti. Lafti, albuudni, kan biraa dhiisi tajaajilli mootummaatuu gara dhuunfaatti naanneeffama.

Qabeenya ummataafi mootummaa gurgurtaan dhuunfatti dabran kana eenyutu bitachuu danda’a? Gartuulee dursee qabeenya ( capital) harkaa qabuufi waahillaan biyya alaa qabuudha. Biyya kana miliyeenaroota 2,300 ta’antu jira jedhama. kana keessaa Oromoonni dhibbeentaa 5% dha. Kana jechuun gaafa qabeenyi ummataafi mootummaa gurguramu harka eenyu akka seenu tilmaamuun ifa. Qabeenyi harka Oromootti hafe tokkichi lafa. Ammatti sodaatanii afaan keessa haa qabatan malee, imaammanni neoliberal Bilxiginnaan hordoftu lafti akka gurguramtu kaaya. San jechuun lafa cicciramtee harka qonnaan bulaa Oromootti hafes abbootii qabeenyaaf dabarfama. Akeeka kana namni Oromoo xiqqoma of beeku akka dhuunfaafi walootti ( saba) fudhachuu hin danda’u.

Waliigalatti, kaayyoofi akeekni Bilxiginnaa lamaan, unitary state fi neoliberal economic policy, dantaa waloofi dhuunfaa Oromootaa kallaattiidhaan kan faalleessuudha. Abiy fi warreen yaada kanaan deeman dura Oromoo sobnee sossobnee kaayyoo kana hojitti hiikna jedhanii abdachaa turan. Garuu, dursa mormiin keessumaan itti dhooye. Warreen keessoon dura dhaabbate dhiibanii caldhisuu yaalan. Hin milkoofne. Dubbiin ummata walgeessee paartiin sun osoo lafa hin qabatanin samirratti rarraatee hafuu hubatan. Yeroo ammaa kaayyoon isaanii fudhatama ummataa ( popular legitimacy) argachuu akka hin dandeenye jala muranii abdii kutaniiru. Kanaaf aangorra turuufi akeeka isaanii hojitti hiikuuf gartuu lamatti fayyadamuu barbaadu; gareen tokko warra akeekni unitary state fi neoliberal economy fayyaduu danda’uudha. Gareen lammataa Oromoota yakka amma dura ummata irratti hojjataniin sabaan tufamanii jirani. Waggaa dabre kana namoota OPDO duraanii Wayyaanee waliin ummata keenya akka malee midhaa turanii haaromsaan harca’an gandaa hamma federaalaatti wanni ol dachaasaniif kanaafi.

Gama Oromooti amma tooftaa sobuufi sossubuu san akka hin hojjanne hubatanii tooftaa bituufi dhiituutti ( cooptation and coercion) cehaa jiru. Commercialization and Militarization akka tooftaatti baafataniiru. Kanaaf ammoo namoota amamansiisuu waan hin dandeenyeef maallaqa paartii, kan mootummaafi garagaarsa alaatiin bitatanii hiriirfachuu barbaadu. Warra didee mormu ammoo humna waraanaan cabsanii afaan qabsiisuun tooftaa lammataati.

Waliigalatti kaayyoon Bilxiginnaafi dantaan dhuunfaafi sabaa Oromoo ( individual and collective interest) waliif faallaadha. Waliin deemuu hin danda’an. Paartii Bilxiginnaa kan fayyadus kan irraa fayyadamus gartuulee unitary state fi neoliberal economic policy irraa fayyadamuu danda’an qofaadha. Kunnin ammoo warra Itoophiyaa dullattii keessatti faayidaa siyaasaa, hawaasummaafi diinaggee argatee kuufateedha. kan kuufatan san daran guddifachuuf imaammanni Bilxiginnaa isaan fayyada. Gareeleen seenaa keessatti saamamaa, dhiibamaa, hiyyoomfamaa as gahan daran balbalti itti cufama.

Oromoofi saboota kaayyoon Bilxiginnaa miidhu kana mallaqaan bituufi humnaan butuchuun yeroof hojjachuu mala. Garuu bu’aan ( consequences) kaayyoo isaanii walfaalleessuu ( contradiction) biyya kanaa daran kan bal’suufi, paartii Bilxiginnaa tanas ummata Oromoofi saboota cunqurfamoon daran kan adda fageessuudha. Adaduma walduradhaabbannaan Oromoofi mootummaa/ paartii biyya bulchuu hammaataa deemuun Oromoonni bitamaniis ta’ee butuchamanii sirnicha keessatti hafan dhiibbaa gamalamee hamaa keessa galu. Ummanni akka gantuutti farrajee dhiibbaa hawaasummaa irraan gaha. Warri aangoo harkaa qabu ammoo ija shakkiin laala. Turee-bulee takkaa ofiif keessaa bahu, takkaahuu ni darbatamu jechuudha.

Dhumarratti, gorsi namoota mooraa qabsoo Oromoo keessaa sirna kanatti makamaniif ani qabu; kaleessa makamuun keessan sirrii ture. Namuu ilmaan Abbaa Gadaatu aangotti dhufee waan taheef haa gargagaarru jedhamaa ture. Har’as abdii yoo hin kutatiniifi mala biraa dhabdanii keessuma turuu barbaadan nan hubadha. Garuu hanga sirnicha kana keessa jirtanitti Oromoo hin miidhinaa, faallaa dantaa saba kanaa hin dhaabbatinaa. Ajjeechaa ilmaan Oromoo keessatti hin hirmaatinaa. Dantaa yeroof jettanii adeemsa saba kana qoqqooduu keessatti hin hirmaatinaa. Hanga guyyaan gahee keessaa baatanii ykn ari’amtanii of eeggannoon hojii ogummaa keessanii hojjadhaa.

Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni: ይድረስ በእኔ ላይ በዘረኞቹ እና ሸፍጠኞቹ አሃዳዊያን በተከፈተው መጠነ ሰፊ ሀሰተኛ ፕሮፖጋንዳ ግር ላላችሁ ወገኖች በሙሉ April 21, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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ይድረስ በእኔ ላይ በዘረኞቹ እና ሸፍጠኞቹ አሃዳዊያን በተከፈተው መጠነ ሰፊ ሀሰተኛ ፕሮፖጋንዳ ግር ላላችሁ ወገኖች በሙሉ፣
Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni

I/ የሃሰት ፕሮፖጋንዳው አላማ

1. ሰሞኑን የአሃዳዊያኖቹ ነባር እና ከለውጡ ወዲህ የተፈለፈሉ እንደ ኢትዮ 360 ያሉ ውሸታሞች እና በተለያዩ ስሞች የሚጠሩ የጩኸት ተቀባይ ጭፍሮቻቸው በአዲስ መልክ በእኔ እና በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ላይ የጀመሩት ስም የማጥፋት እና ዘረኛ ፕሮፖጋንዳቸው ተጧጥፎ ቀጥሏል።

2. የዚህ የጥላቻ እና የእኔን መልካም ስም ጭቃ የመቀባት ዘመቻው ዋና አላማ፣ በሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊያን ዘንድ(በተለይም ደግሞ በአማርኛ ተናጋሪ ወገኖቻችን ዘንድ) የሚሰሙ እና የሚደመጡ፣ እጅግ በጣም ጥቂት የብሄር ፖለቲካ ድንበር ተሻጋሪ የሆኑ የኦሮሞ ሙሁራንን ስም በማጠለሸት እና ራሳቸው የተዘፈቁበትን የዘረኝነት መርዝ በመቀባት፣ የኦሮሞን ህዝብ የፍትህ ፣ የእኩልነት እና የሪዕት ጥያቄዎችን ገልብጦ “የተረኝነት” እና “የዘረኝነት” ጥያቄ በማስመሰል እና የኦሮሞ ህዝብ የእኩልነት፣ የፍትህ እና የሪዕት ጥያቄዎች “ኢትዮጵያን አፍርሶ ነፃ አገር በማቋቋም” ሳይሆን “በኢትዮጵያ ጥላ ውስጥ እንዲፈቱ” የሚጥሩ እንደ እኔ ያሉ እውነተኛ ኦሮሞ ኢትዮጵያዊያንን “ዘረኛ እና ተረኛ” የሚል ቅፅል ስም በመሰጠት በአማሪኛ ተናጋሪው ዘንድ እንዳይደመጡ ፣ ጥርጣሬ መፍጠር እና ተቀባይነት እንዳያገኙ ለማድረግ የሚደረግ ከንቱ እና ባዶ ጩኸት ነው።

3. እነዚህ የአገር ነቀዞች፣ ዘረኞች እና ሸፍጠኞች ከዚህ በፊት በእኔ መሰል ቀደምት አገር ወዳዶች እና እኩልነት ፈላጊ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ላይ ባካሄዱት ዘረኛ እና ስም የማጥፋት ዘመቻ ፌዴሬሽን ብቻ የጠየቁትን የኤርትራን ህዝብ ጥያቄ “መሬቱን እንጂ ህዝቡን አንፈልግም እያሉ” ገፍተው ኢትዮጵያን ባህር በር አልባ አገር አድርገዋል። የትግራይን ህዝብ ጠልተው፣ ህወሃትን ወልደዋል። ለኦሮሞ ህዝብ ትምህርት በአማርኛ(በኦሮሚኛ አይደለም) ይዳረስ ብለው የተነሱትን እነ ጄኔራል ታደሰ ብሩን እና የመጫና ቱለማ የኦሮሞ መሪዎችን ገለው፣ የኦሮሞ ነፃነት ግንባር ወልደዋል። ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ አንድነት እና እኩልነት ይታገሉ የነበሩትን እንደ እነ ኃይሌ ፊዳ እና ዶ/ር ሰናይ ልኬ አይነት ሰዎችን በልተው፣ ደርግን አፍርተዋል። በኦጋዴን፣ በሲዳማ፣ በጋምቤላ ወዘተ እነዚህ ጭፍን እና ዘረኛ አሃዳዊያን በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ላይ በፈፀሙት ወንጀል እና ጥፋት አሁን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ አንድነት እና እኩልነት አጥቶ በህይወት እና በንዋይ ከፍተኛ ዋጋ እየከፈለ ይገኛል።

4. በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ግንባር ቀደም መሪነት በመጣው የአሁኑ ለውጥ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ የእኩልነት፣ የፍትህ እና የርዕት ጥያቄዎች ምላሽ ካላገኙ እና አገርቷ አሁን ባለችበት ሁኔታ በሌላ አብዮት ወይም የእርስ በእርስ ጦርነት ውስጥ ከተዘፈቀች፣ የኢትዮጵያ እንደ አገር መቀጠል አደጋ ላይ እንደሚወድቅ በቅን ልቦና ነገሮችን ለምያስተውል ኢትዮጵያዊ ሁሉ የአደባባይ ምስጥር ነው። የእኔ ይህን ለውጥ መደገፍ እና ሌሎች ለውጡን እንዲደግፉ ማበረታታትም ብቸኛው ምክንያትም፣ ይህንኑ አገራዊ አደጋ እና ስጋት ለማስቀረት እና ለሁሉም እኩል የሆነች ኢትዮጵያን መገንባት ነው።

5. በተቃራኒው፣ በደርግ እና በህወሃት ዘመን ከአገር ፈርጥጠው አሜርካ እና አውሮፖ የከረሙት፣ እንዲሁም በኢትዮጵያ አሸልበው ከሞት የነቁት አሃዳዊያን ዓላማ ለሁሉም እኩል የሆነች ኢትዮጵያን መገንባት ሳይሆን የአፄ ኃይለስላሴን ኢትዮጵያ ከመቃብር አውጥቶ፣ ሰማንያ ከመቶ የሚሆነውን አማርኛ ተናጋሪ ያልሆነውን የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ጨፍልቆ ወይም አግሎ የአንድ ቋንቋ፣ የአንድ ባህል ወዘተ ኢትዮጵያን መልሶ መገንባት ነው።

6. እነኝህ ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያን፣ ቅዠታቸውን ለማሳካት የአማራ እና የኢትዮጵያን ካርዶች እየቀያየሩ ይጫወታሉ። በአንድ በኩል የአማራው ህዝብ ጠበቃ በመምሰል እና የአማራውን ህዝብ ከሌላው ኢትዮጵያዊ (በተለይም ከኦሮሞው ህዝብ) ለመለየት፣ አማራ ተጨቆነ የምትል ነጠላ ዜማ ያዜማሉ። በአማራ ክልል ስማቸውም፣ ስራቸውም፣ ዘፈናቸውም ይኸው ብቻ ነው።

7. በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ ኦሮሚያ (አዲስ አበባን ጨምሮ) ሲደርሱ ዞር ብለው በኢትዮጵያ አንድነት የሚያምኑ ከሌላ ብሄር የመጡ አማርኛ ተናጋሪ ወገኖችን ለማጃጃል ኢትዮጵያ የምትል ካርድ ይመዙና “ኢትዮጵያ ወይም ሞት” እያሉ የዓዞ እምባ ያለቅሳሉ ። ከዚያም አልፈው ይህንኑ እስስታዊ ባህሪያቸውን ለመሸፈን፣ እነዚህ ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያ አዲስ አበባን ጨምሮ በሌሎች የኦሮሚያ ከተሞች፣ በሃረሪ፣ እና በደቡብ ኢትዮጵያ የተለያዩ የዳቦ ስሞችን ይጠቀማሉ። እንደ ጥንብ አንሳ ሰፊረውበት የሚበሉት እና አግተውት ከሌላው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ጋር ልያባሉት እና ለእኩይ ዓላማቸው እንደ ዱላ ሊጠቀሙበት የሚያደራጁት ግን በነዚህ አከባቢዎች የሚኖሩትን አማርኛ ተናጋሪውን ህዝብ ብቻ ነው።

8. የእነዚህ ዘረኛ አሃዳዊያ ብቸኛ ግብ ግን፣ የአማራ ህዝብን ጥቅም ማስከበር ወይም የኢትዮጵያን አንድነት ማስጠበቅ ሳይሆን፣ በኦሮሚያ፣ በደቡብ፣ በሶማሌ፣ በአፋር፣ በጋንቤላ እና በቤኒ ሻንጉል ክልሎች በአፄ ኃይለስላሴ ጊዜ የተፈጠሩ አማርኛ ተናጋሪ ከተሞችን ይዞ እና እንደገና አደራጅቶ፣ አማርኛ ብቻ ተናጋሪ ኢትዮጵያን እንደገና መፍጠር ነው።

9. ለዚህ ነው “ኦሮሚኛ ከአማርኛ ጋር የኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራል መንግስት የስራ ቋንቋ ይሁን፣ የብሄር ብሄረሰቦች እኩልነት ይከበር፣” እያልን የምንናገረውን እንደ እኔ ያሉ ተራማጅ አስተሳሰብ ያላቸውን የኦሮሞ ኢትዮጵያዊ ሙሁራንን “ተረኛ እና ዘረኛ” ብለው፣ የራሳቸውን ትክክለኛ ስም ለእኛ ለመስጠት የሚዳዳቸው።

10. ሰሞኑንም በእኔ ላይ የተከፈተው የጥላቻ እና ስም የማጥፋት ዘመቻ ዓላማም፣ እንደ እኔ አይነት ተራማጅ አስተሳሰብ ያላቸውን ሰዎች መጥቃት፣ ይህንኑ አንድ ቋንቋ፣ አንድ ባህል፣ አንድ ሃይማኖት ያላት Assimilationist ኢትዮጵያን የመፍጠር ቅዠታቸውን ያሳካልናል የሚል ሌላ ቅዠት ነው። አለበለዚያ፣ በኢትዮጵያም ሆነ በአሜርካ በስመ ጥሩ እና ታዋቂ ዩንቨርሲቲዎች ያገኘሁት እውቀት እና በስመ ጥሩ ተቋማት(የኢትዮጵያ ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚንስቴር እና የተባበሩት መንግስታት ድርጅትን ጨምሮ) ያገኘኋቸው የስራ ልምዶች እና መልካም ስሞች፣ በእነርሱ የቁራ ጩኸት እንደማይጎድፉ፣ ወይም እነርሱ በጩኸት ብዛት ስላላባቸው የእኔ እውቀት እንደማይተን ባወቁ ነበር።

11. እኔ በኦሮሞ ህዝብም ሆነ በተቀረው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ (አማርኛ ተናጋሪ ወገኖቼን ጨምሮ) ዘንድ ያለኝ መልካም ስም የተገነባው ለበርካታ አመታት የኦሮሞን ህዝብ የእኩልነት፣ የፍትህ እና የርዕትህ ጥያቄዎችን ሳልሸቃቅጥ፣ በቅድመ አያቶቼ እና ከኦሮሞ ህዝብ እንዲሁም ከሌሎች የኢትዮጵያ ህዝቦች አብራክ በወጡ ጀግኖች አባቶቻችን በተገነባችው ኢትዮጵያ አንድነት እና ሉዓላዊነት ላይ ሳላመቻምች ግልፅ እና በእውነት ላይ የተመሰረተ አቋም በጊዜውም፣ ያለጊዜው በጥናት አራምድ ስለነበረ ነው።

12. መልካም ስሜ እና በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ዘንድ ያለኝ መወደድ እና ተቀባይነት እንደ ወደረኞቼ ስም፣ በህዝብ ገንዘብ ስርቆት የተገዛ፣ ወይም የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ ደም በማፋሰስ እና በማባላት በደም በተጨማለቀ እጆች የተገነባ ስም ሳይሆን፣ የእግዚኣብሄር ፀጋ በዝቶልኝ ከልብ በእውነት እና በእውቀት ለህዝብ እና ለአገር ከመስራት የመጣ ነው። ባለፉት በርካታ ዓመታት፣ ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ባበረከትኩት አስተዋፆ የጎዳሁት ራሴን እና ቤተሰቤን ብቻ ነው። ከዚያ ውጭ የአንድም ሰው ሆነ የማንም ቡድን ዕዳ የለብኝም። የእኔ እና የቤተሰቤ ጉዳት እንዳለ ሆኖ፣ በእኔ አስተዋፆ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ከተጠቀመ፣ እኔም ሆንኩኝ ቤተሰቤ እንደ ትርፍ እንቆጥረዋለን።

II /የአሃዳዊያን የጦርነቱ ሞዴል እና የተራማጅ ኃይሎች ማሸነፊያ መንገድ፣

13. ሶስት ነገር ብዬ ፁሁፎን አጠቃልላለሁ። እነዚህ ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያን፣ በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ አንዳይሰፍን እና ኢትዮጵያ የሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊያን የእኩል አገር እንዳትሆን ሶስት ጣምራ ጦርነቶችን እያካሄዱ መሆኑን መላው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ተገንዝቦ ከነዚህ ዘረኞች እና ሸፍጠኞች እራሱን መከላከል አለበት።

14. በተለይም ደግሞ፣ የነዚህ ጦርነቶች ጦር ሜዳ እንዲሆን የዘረኞቹ ግንባር ቀደም ጠላት ተደርጎ የተፈረጀው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ቀጥዬ በማስቀምጣቸው በሶስቱም የጦርነት ዘርፎች አሸናፊ ሆኖ ለመውጣት፣ ራሱንም ሆነ በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት እና ፍትህ እንዲሰፍን የሚታገሉ ኢትዮጵያዊያንን አደራጅቶ፣ በተቀናጀ እና በተማከለ መልኩ ጦርነቱን አሸንፎ፣ አዲስቷን ኢትዮጵያን ለመገንባት መነሳት አለበት።

15. እነዚህ ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያን የአንድ ቋንቋ፣ የአንድ ባህል እና የአንድ ሃይማኖት የበላይነት የተረጋገጠበት ኢትዮጵያን ለመፍጠር ባላቸው ከንቱ ቅዠቶች የተለሟቸው እና በግልፅ እያካሄዱ ያሉት ሶስት ጣምራ ጦርነቶች የሚከተሉት ናቸው።

15. 1/ አንደኛው የኣሃዳዊያኑ የጦርነት ስልት በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እንዲሰፍን የሚታገሉ የለውጥ መሪዎችን፣ ሙሁራንን፣ አክቲቭስቶችን፣ ባለሃብቶችን፣ እና እንደ ኦሮሞ፣ ሲዳማ ወዘተ ያሉ ህዝቦችን በቀጥታ ማጥቃት(Direct Violence) አንዱና ዋነኛው የትግል ስልት ነው። እነዚህ ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያን በቀጥታ በሚያካሄዲት ጦርነት(Direct war) ለእኩልነት፣ ለፍትህ እና ለርዕትህ የሚታገሉ በለውጥ አመራሩ ውስጥ ባሉ ሰዎች፣ ተራማጅ ቡድኖችን እና ህዝቦችን 1ኛ) ዘረኛ፣ 2ኛ) ተረኛ፣ 3ኛ) ጠባብ፣ ጎጠኛ፣ ጎሰኛ፣ 4ኛ) ፀረ ኢትዮጵያ እያሉ ስም ማጥፋት እና በአካል ማጥቃትን ይጨምራል። በእኔም ላይ የተከፈተው ዘመቻ የዚሁ ቀጥተኛ ጦርነት አካል ነው። ለዚሁ አላማም ወደ መቶ የሚሆኑ ስም ማጥፊያ፣ ውሸት እና ጥላቻ ማምረቻ የፕሮፖጋንዳ ሚዲያዎችን አቋቁመዋል። በኦሮሚያ ያሉ አማርኛ ተናጋሪዎችን እያደራጁ እና ከኦሮሞ ህዝብ ጋር ማጋጨት እና ማባላት ላለፉት ሁለት ዓመታት በግልፅም፣ በስውርም ሲሰሩት የነበሩ የዚህ ቀጥተኛ ጦርነት(direct violence) አካል ናቸው። በአማራ፣ በኦሮሚያ እና በሲዳማ የተከሰቱት ግድያዎች የነዚህ ዘረኞች እና ሴረኞች የቀጥታ ጥቃት(direct violence) ውጤት ነው።ለውጡ ሙሉ በሙሉ ተቀልብሶ የፖለቲካ እና የፀጥታ መዋቅሩ በነዚህ አሃዳዊያን እጅ ከወደቀ፣ በኢትዮጵያ ከ1966ቱ አብዮት ማግስት ከነበረው የነጭ ሽብር እና የቀይ ሽብር እልቂት የከፋ ዕልቂት በኢትዮጵያ እንደሚፈጠር፣ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ጠንቅቆ ማወቅ አለበት። በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እንዲሰፍን የሚታገሉ የለውጥ ኃይሎችን አሰባስቦ ማደራጀት እና ኢትዮጵያን ወደ ፊት ማራመድ እና ከነዚህ ሴረኞች የእልቂት ድግስ ማዳን፣ የሁሉም አገር ወዳድ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ቅዳሚ ተግባር መሆን አለበት።

15. 2/ ሁለተኛው የሴረኞቹ አሃዳዊያን ጦርነት፣ በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እንዲሰፍን በሚታገሉ እንደ ኦሮሞ፣ ሶማሌ፣ ሲዳማ እና ሌሎች ኢትዮጵያዊያን ላይ መዋቅራዊ የሆነ ጦርነት (structural war) ማካሄድ ነው።

የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ፣ በተለይም አሁን የመጣውን ለውጥ በግንባር ቀደምትነት የመራው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ማወቅ ያለበት፣ አሁን ያለችው ኢትዮጵያ፣ የደርግ እና የህወሃት መንግስታት መጥተው ይሂዱ እንጂ፣ በአፄ ኃይለስላሴ ዘመን በተገነባው ቢሮክራሲ፣ የከተማ መዋቅር፣ የሃይማኖት ተቋማት መዋቅር፣ የኢኮኖሚ መዋቅር፣ የባህል መዋቅሮች፣ የሚዲያ መዋቅሮች እና የመንግስት መዋቅሮች ላይ የቆመች ነች።

እነዚህ ሁሉ መዋቅሮች(structures and institutions) ደግሞ የተሞሉት እና ተጠፍንገው የተያዙት በኢትዮጵያ ህዝቦች፣ ቋንቋዎች፣ ባህሎች እና ታርኮች እኩልነት በማያምኑ፣ በኢትዮጵያ ህዝቦች መካከል ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እነዲሰፍን በማይፈልጉ፣ ፀረ ኢትዮጵያ እና ፀረ እኩልነት፣ ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያን ነው።

አሁን ከለውጡ ማግስት፣ እነዚህ አሃዳዊያን እና ተከታዮቻቸው፣ በደርግ እና በህወሃት ዘመን ካደቡበት ቦታዎች ሁሉ ለውጡ ባመጣው ቀዳዳ እና ዕድል ከተሰባሰቡ በኋላ፣ ከአገር ውስጥ እና ከውጭ አገር፣ ያለ ያሌለ ኃይላቸውን አስተባብረው የአፄ ኃለስላሴውን ዘመን መዋቅሮች activate በማድረግ ፣ በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እንዲመጣ በታገለው ሰፊው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ላይ መጠነ ሰፊ መዋቅራዊ ጦርነት(structural war) ከፍተዋል።

አሁን ከለውጡ በኋላ ያሉትን የኢትዮጵያ መዋቅሮች ስነልቦና አስተውሎ ላየ፣ ከአፄ ኃይለስለሴ ጊዜ በባሰ ሁኔታ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ቢሮክራሲ፣ የከተሞች መዋቅር፣ የሃይማኖት ተቋማት፣ የባህል ተቋማት፣ የኢኮኖሚ ተቋማት፣ እና የፖላቲካ ተቋማት ከአንድ ቋንቋ እና ባህል ውጭ ያሉት ወደ ሰማንያ ከመቶ የሚሆኑ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝቦች የሚገለሉበት (discriminate የሚሆኑበት) እና የሚገፉበት (unwelcome) የሚደረጉበት አዝማሚያ በከፍተኛ ደረጃ እየተቀናጀ እና የተደራጀ መዋቅራዊ ዘመቻ (structured compaign) ፣ ትልቅ ገንዘብ እና የሰው ኃይል ተመድቦላቸው እየተካሄደ መሆኑ ለማንም ግልፅ ነው።

ለምሳሌ፣ በነዚህ ፀረ -እኩልነት እና ፀረ-ኢትዮጵያ አሃዳዊያን በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ላይ የሚደረጉትን ” የኦሮሞ ዘረኞች እና ተረኞች ላይ የተከፈተ መዋቅራዊ ጦርነት” ብለው በሰየሙት መዋቅራዊ ጦርነት (structural war) ባህሪ እንመልከት። የጦርነቱ ትርክት የተቃኘው፣ “ኢትዮጵያ በወሮሞዎች ተወራለች” በማለት ነው። የወረራ ትርክቱ የተቀዳው አባ ባህሬ የሚባል መነኩሴ በ16ኛ መቶ ክፍለ ዘመን ኦሮሞ፣ መዳ ወላቡ ከሚባል ውሃ ውስጥ ወቶ ኢትዮጵያን ወረራት ከሚል ሃሰተኛ ተረት ነው። አሃዳዊያኑ አሁን “ዘረኞች እና ተረኞች” ኢትዮጵያን ወረሩ ሲሉ ከአራት መቶ አመት በላይ የቆየውን የኦሮሞ ጥላቻ ለመቀስቀስ እና ኦሮሞ በኢትዮጵያ መጤና ባለአገር አይደለም ለማለት እንጂ የጠቅላይ ሚንስትር አብይ መንግስት ጎንደር እና ጎጃም የሾመው አንድም ኦሮሞ ያሌለ መሆኑን ሁሉም አሳምረው ያውቃል። ቢኖርም እንኳ፣ ደጉ እና ጨዋው የጎንደር እና የጎጃም ህዝብ ግድ የለውም።

የአሃዳዊያኑ “የዘረኞች እና የተረኞች ጦርነት” የኦሮሞ ህዝብ በኢትዮጵያ የመንግስት ቢሮክራሲ፣ የፖላቲካ መዋቅር ፣ የኢኮኖሚ መዋቅር፣ የኃይማኖት መዋቅር፣ የባህል መዋቅር እና የሚዲያ መዋቅር ውስጥ ምንም አይነት ውክልና እንዳይኖረው ማድረግ ነው። አሃዳዊያኑ በዚህም ሂደት በሚያደርጉት systemic ጦርነት የመጀመሪያው ግብ፣ የኦሮሞ ህዝብም ሆነ ከኢትዮጵያ መዋቅሮች ተገሎ የቆየው ሰማንያ ከመቶ የሚሆነውን የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ ከስረዓቱ አግሎ ማቆየት ሲሆን፣ ሁለተኛው ግብ ይህ ህዝብ የጠቅላይ ሚንስትር አብይ መንግስት የእኩልነት፣ የፍትህ እና የርዕትህ ጥያቄዎችን አልመለሰም ብሎ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ የህዝብ ድጋፍ እንዲያጡ፣ እና መንግስታቸው ተዳክሞ እንዲወድቅ፣ ይጥራሉ። አንዳንዶች ይህን የአሃዳዊያን መዋቅራዊ ጦርነት( structural war) የአፄ ምንልክን ፖሮጀክት መጨረስ ይሉታል።

በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እንዲሰፍን የሚታገሉ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ይህን መዋቅራዊ ጦርነት ለማሸነፍ አሃዳዊያን የሞሉበትን እና ያበሰበሱትን ያረጀ አግላይ መዋቅር(old and discriminatory governance software) ለማስተካከል ከመጣር፣ አሮጌውን መዋቅር ከነትብታቡ ቆሻሻ መጣያ ውሥጥ ጥሎ፣ አዲስ እና ሁሉን አቀፍ ለ21ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን የሚመጥን መዋቅር (new and all inclusive governance software) በአገርቷ ላይ እንደ አዲስ መጫን ነው። በ1966ቱ እና በ1983ቱ ለውጦች አሮጌውን የአፄ ኃይለስላሴ Imperial Ethiopianን መዋቅሮች ጠጋግኖ እና ጉልቻ(ሰው) ቀያይሮ ኢትዮጵያን ለማስተዳደር መጣር፣ ኢትዮጵያን የበለጠ አዳከማት፣ አፈራረሳት እንጂ አላሳደጋትም። የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብም ሆነ የኢትዮጵያ የለውጥ ኃይሎች ቀጣይ ዓላማ ይህንኑ የአስተዳደር software መቀየር መሆን አለበት።

15. 3/ ሶስተኛው የዘረኛና የሸፍጠኛው የአሃዳዊያን ጣምራ ጦርነት በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ በሚፈልጉ ተራማጅ (progressive) ኢትዮጵያዊያን ላይ የስነ ልቦና እና የባህል ጦርነት (cultural war) ማካሄድ ነው። ይህ ባህላዊ ጦርነት የሚካሄደው በተራ ተከታዮቻቸው ውስጥ አሃዳዊያኑ የሚያካሄዱት ዘረኝነት እና አግላይነትን ባህላዊ እንዲሆን እና ቅቡልነት እንዲኖረው በማድረግ ነው። ለምሳሌ፣ በተራው ተከታዮቻቸው ዘንድ የአሃዳዊያኑን ቋንቋ መናገር ኢትዮጵያዊ የሚያስብል እና ተናጋሪው የሚኮራበት ሲሆን፣ ሌሎች እንደ ኦሮሚኛ፣ ሲዳሚኛ እና ሶማልኛ የመሳሰሉትን ቋንቋዎች መናገር ደግሞ ዘረኝነት እና ተናጋሪውን የሚያሸማቅቁ እንዲሆኑ ማድረግ ነው።

በሌላ በኩል ለምሳሌ የኢትዮጵያ ብሄር፣ ብሄረሰቦችን እኩልነት የሚናገሩ ከሉ ” እባክህ ሰው ሁን” ይላሉ። ይህ ማለት ከእነርሱ ብሄር ውጭ ያለው ሌላው ብሄር ሰው አይደለም ማለት ነው። ዘረኞቹ አሃዳዊያን ይቺን “እባክህ ሰው ሁን” የምትለውን ትርክት የቀዱት ከነጭ ዘረኞች መፅሃፍ ነው። ነጮች ጥቁሮችን በባርነት ሲሸጡ፣ የዋሁ ተራ ነጭ ህዝብ የጥቁሮችን ባርነት እንዲቀበል እና የባርያው ስረዓት እንዲቀጥል፣ ጥቁሮች ሰው አይደሉም ወይም ሙሉ ሰው አይደሉምሉ የሚለው አመለካከት ባህል እንዲሆን አድርገው ነበር። በነጩ ብቻ ሳይሆን በመላው አለም ጥቁሮችን የመናቁ እና የመጥላቱ አመለካከት አለም አቀፋዊ የሆነው ከዚሁ ነጮች ከፈጠሩት በጥቁር ህዝብ ላይ ከተፈጠረ ባህላዊ ጦርነት(cultural war) ነው። የእኛዎቹ እንጭጭ አሃዳዊ ዘረኞችም ይህን ነጮቹ ዘርተው መንቀል ያቃታቸውን የባህል ጦርነት (cultural violence) ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በመዝራት የዋሁን የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ እርስ በርሱ ልያባሉት ሌት ተቀን ይጥራሉ።

በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እንዲሰፍን የሚታገሉ ተራማጅ እና የለውጥ ኃይሎች የነዚህን ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያን ግልፅ እና ስውር ጦርነቶች በየደረጃው በመለየት እና ስር ሳይሰዱ ማፍረስ አለባቸው። ከላይ ካስቀመጥኩት አሃዳዎያኑ ከከፈቱብን ጦርነቶች ከመጀመርያው ቀጥተኛ ጦርነት(direct war) ውጭ ያሉት መዋቅራዊ(structural) እና ባህላዊ (cultural) ጦርነቶች በአብዛኛው ህዝባችን ዘንድ በደንብ የማይስተዋሉ፣ በግልፅ ቶሎ የማይታዩ፣ ነገር ግን ህዝባችንን ከስሩ ነቅለው ያጠፉ እና እያጠፉ ያሉ የኣሃዳዊያኑ ዘረኛ መዋቅሮች ናቸው። እነዚህን አግላይ እና ዘረኛ መዋቅሮች አፍርሶ፣ በሌላ ለሁሉም የእኩል በሆነ እና ሁሉን አቃፊ መዋቅር የመተካት ድርሻ የዘረኛ አሃዳዊያኑ ሳይሆን ለእኩልነት፣ ለፍትህ፣ እና ለርዕትህ የሚታገሉት ተራማጅ ኢትዮጵያዊያ እና የለውጥ ኃይሎች ግንባር ቀደም ስራ እና ኃላፊነት ነው። ሃላፍነታቸውንም መወጣት አለባቸው። የመኖር እና ያለመኖር ግዴታቸውም ነው።

በሌላ በኩል፣ እነዚህ ዘረኛ ኣሃዳዊያን ፀረ እኩልነት ብቻ ሳይሆኑ ፀረ ኢትዮጵያ አንድነት ስለሆኑ፣ ተራማጅ እና ለእኩልነት የቆሙ የለውጥ ኃይሎች ለረጅም ጊዜ የነዚህ ኃይሎች መቀለጃ የሆነውን የኢትዮጵያን ካርድ እና የኢትዮጵያን ስም ከእነኚህ ዘረኛ እና ሸፍጠኛ አሃዳዊያን እጅ መቀማት አለበት። የኢትዮጵያ ስም በማይገባቸው እና በማይገባቸው እጅ መቀለጃ መሆን የለበትም። የኢትዮጵያን ስም በሚገባቸው እና በሚገባቸው እጅ የማኖሪያው እና ሱሙን እንደገና ማደሻው ጊዜው አሁን ነው።

III/ ማጠቃለያ፣

16. ለማጠቃለል ያህል፣ ሰሞኑን ለአንድ ሳምንት፣ ሌሎቹም ባለፉት ሁለት አመታት የዘረኝነታቸው እና የስም ማጥፋት ዘመቻ ዒላማቸው ያደረጉኝ በግል ስለሚያውቁኝ አይደለም። አንዳቸውንም በአካል አላውቅም። አያውቁኝም። ነገር ግን እነዚህ ቡድኖች፣ የዘረኛው እና ሸፍጠኛው አሃዳዊያኑ ወታደሮች እና ወሮ በሎች ናቸው። ስንቅ እና ትጥቅ የሚሰፉሩላቸው እነዚሁ ይህ ለውጥ እንዲደናቀፍ፣ ወይም እንዲጠለፍ የሚሹ፣ እንዲሁም በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ ላይ የተመሰረተ ስረዓት እንዲፈጠር ፈፅሞ የማይሹ አሃዳዊያን ናቸው። ጦርነቱም፣ በእኔ በግሌ ላይ ብቻ ሳይሆን፣ በኢትዮጵያ እኩልነት፣ ፍትህ እና ርዕትህ እንዲሰፊን በሚታገሉ ተራማጅ እና የለውጥ ኃይሎች ሁሉ ላይ ነው። ትግሉ ይቀጥላል። ለውጡም አይቀለበስም። እንደምናሸንፍም ጥርጥር የለውም። በሰላም ቆዩኝ። መልካም የትንሳኤ በዓል!!!

Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni

Guyyaa Yaadannoo Gootota Oromoo Baga Ittiin Isin Gahe! Happy Oromo Martyrs Memorial Day, 15 April. #OromoMartyrsDay April 15, 2020

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#OromoMartyrsDay #GuyyaaGoototaOromoo

Human Capital in Ethiopia April 9, 2020

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Despite the sharp improvements, human development indicators in Ethiopia remained low. In 2016, only 26 percent of births happened in a health facility (in the five years preceding the survey) and less than 40 percent of children had received all basic vaccinations. Only one in three
children 15-24-years-old had completed primary school, and over 25 percent of age-eligible children were not in school. As a result, Ethiopia ranks relatively low on the Human Capital Index.

With a HCI of 0.38, Ethiopian children born today can expect, as future
workers, to attain 38 percent of their potential productivity. With a score of 0.38, Ethiopia ranks 135th out of 157 countries. Relative to the comparator countries, Ethiopia scores at par with Uganda, better than Mozambique (0.36) and Rwanda (0.37), and worse than Tanzania (0.40) and Myanmar (0.47). Relative to its overall rank (135), Ethiopia scores lower on learning-adjusted years of school (4.5 years) and share of children not stunted (62 percent). Ethiopia however overperforms relative to its income level: Given GDP per capita, the human capital index in Ethiopia is higher what would be expected, reflecting the Government’s large investments in the health and education sectors.

During the October 2018 Annual Meetings, the World Bank launched the Human Capital Index. The Human Capital Index (HCI) is designed to capture the amount of human capital a child born today could expect to attain by age 18. The HCI has three components: (i) Survival, measured by the under-five mortality rate; (ii) Expected years of learning-adjusted school, measured by the quantity of education a child can expect to attain by age 18, corrected by a measure of learning quality-proxied by student achievement tests; and (iii) Health, measured by the stunting rate of
children under five and the probability of a 15-year-old surviving until age 60. The health and education components of the index are combined in a way that reflects their contribution to worker productivity, based on evidence from rigorous micro-econometric empirical studies. The resulting index ranges between 0 and 1. A country in which a child born today can expect to achieve both full health (no stunting and 100 percent adult survival) and full education potential (14 years of high-quality school by age 18) will score a value of 1 on the index. Therefore, a score of, for
instance, 0.5 signals that the productivity as a future worker for a child born today is 50 percent below what could have been achieved with complete education and full health.

Click here to read the World Bank’s ETHIOPIA POVERTY ASSESSMENT

World Bank (2020). Ethiopia Poverty Assessment: Harnessing Continued
Growth for Accelerated Poverty Reduction. Washington DC. © World Bank

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

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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.

Respectfully,

Oromia Global Forum: A consortium of Oromo Civic, Professional and Faith-Based Organizations
Signatories:
Advocacy4Oromia
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
CC:
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
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
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)
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS
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
MEDIA AND NEWS GROUPS
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
DW-Amharic
The Washington Post
New York Times
The Guardian
Reuters

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

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Medical colonialism in Africa is not new April 9, 2020

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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.

https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/indepth/opinion/medical-colonialism-africa-200406103819617.html?__twitter_impression=true

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

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https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/indepth/opinion/free-market-deepen-coronavirus-crisis-200408122743522.html?__twitter_impression=true

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

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https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1141663796220658&id=100011311443078

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

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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

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Press briefing note on Ethiopia

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

Location: Geneva 

Date: 27 March 2020

Subject:Ethiopia

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.

ENDS

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

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#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.       

https://www.accessnow.org/keepiton-internet-shutdowns-during-covid-19-will-help-spread-the-virus/

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2569991819952244/permalink/2677066759244749/?sfnsn=scwspmo&extid=0uCJRre7p6lgiThI&d=n&vh=e

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

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

https://www.voanews.com/africa/rights-group-condemns-internet-shutdown-ethiopia-points-threats-coronavirus-spread?amp&__twitter_impression=true

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

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

https://addisstandard.com/special-edition-failed-politics-and-deception-behind-the-crisis-in-western-and-southern-oromia/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

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

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How do you become infected with the coronavirus?

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-22/how-do-you-get-infected-with-the-coronavirus

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

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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

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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.

Finally,

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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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 

KEN FRIBERG PHOTOGRAPHYZubeda Chaffe.TEXT SIZEEMAILPRINTMORE Gail Rosenblum@GROSENBLUM

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

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“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

OROMIA (ETHIOPIA): URGENT ACTION: OROMO OPPOSITION LEADER AT RISK OF TORTURE March 3, 2020

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URGENT ACTION: OROMO OPPOSITION LEADER AT RISK OF TORTURE

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.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

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

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

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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

HRW WORLD REPORT 2020

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

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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

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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

The HRLHA

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.