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Chatham House Prize: Abiy Ahmed is nominated for his efforts to transform civic leadership and advance plural politics and free speech in Ethiopia, as well as for ending decades of hostility with Eritrea, progressing gender equality and injecting hope for a more peaceful and integrated Horn of Africa. July 20, 2019

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Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Abiy Ahmed is nominated for his efforts to transform civic leadership and advance plural politics and free speech in Ethiopia, as well as for ending decades of hostility with Eritrea, progressing gender equality and injecting hope for a more peaceful and integrated Horn of Africa.

Abiy Ahmed

Within months of coming to power, Abiy Ahmed sought to rehabilitate Ethiopia’s decades-old authoritarian regime – releasing thousands of political prisoners, decriminalizing opposition groups and initiating reforms to repressive laws. He also appointed a gender-balanced cabinet along with the country’s first female head of state and first female president of the supreme court. Under Abiy, Ethiopia has moved from being one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists to a country with growing press freedom.

The prime minister’s swift action to bring about peaceful relations with Eritrea paid immediate dividends, bringing neighbouring countries into the fold and boosting plans for regional integration. The speed at which he opened civic space and moved to dismantle the politics of animosity and suspicion in the sub-region has been striking given Ethiopia’s entrenched political, security and economic challenges. He has fostered optimism about his potential to help develop good governance and effect positive change in national, regional and global affairs.

Abiy Ahmed’s dramatic appearance on the political scene in 2018, and the once unimaginable achievements registered within such a short period, make him a source of hope for the youth in Ethiopia and throughout Africa, the youngest continent in the world. He has become one of the new faces of African leadership – one that promotes ethical leadership, rights and freedoms, despite the risks this incurs, and his actions deserve recognition on the international stage.

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Chatham House Prize 2019 Nominees19 July 2019

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Ethiopia: Communities in diaspora held massive rally to show their support for PM Abiy Ahmed’s reform July 11, 2019

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FP: Abiy Ahmed’s Reforms Have Unleashed Forces He Can No Longer Control July 6, 2019

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“Too little attention was paid to characters like Asaminew, who were licensed to act from expanding islands of power amid the breakdown of party structure and control.”

FOREIGN POLICY DISPATCH

Abiy Ahmed’s Reforms Have Unleashed Forces He Can No Longer Control

Ethiopia’s prime minister oversaw the chaotic release of thousands of prisoners, including many ethnonationalist militants. His amnesty may now be coming back to haunt him.

BY NIZAR MANEK | JULY 4, 2019

Members of the army carry a coffin covered with the Ethiopian flag in Addis Ababa on June 25, in preparation for the funeral service of the Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Force, Seare Mekonnen, who was assassinated on June 22.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia—Former comrades in arms described retired Brig. Gen. Asaminew Tsige, who was shot dead on June 24, as a mediocre soldier and a poor administrator. Asaminew was gunned down by government forces two days after allegedly masterminding the assassination of three senior officials of Ethiopia’s Amhara state, including its president—events labeled part of “an orchestrated coup attempt” by the Ethiopian prime minister’s office.

Asaminew had a long history in Ethiopian military circles—and in rebel movements. He was an ex-rebel fighter in the Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement in the struggle that in 1991 felled the Derg, a Marxist junta that preceded Ethiopia’s current ruling system. Asaminew met in 2009 with leaders of the banned opposition movement Ginbot 7 in Dubai, according to members of that movement. On April 24, 2009, the National Intelligence and Security Service and Federal Police Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force arrested 35 people allegedly involved in plotting a coup against Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s government; most were members of the military or the police. Asaminew was one of them, and he was imprisoned for nearly a decade.

Last February, Asaminew emerged from prison, having allegedly faced solitary confinement and torture, among tens of thousands of prisoners released following a 12-point reform plan handed down by Ethiopia’s ruling politburo in December 2017.

The effort to release and reintegrate former rebels who had once sought to overthrow the federal government was widely hailed as a bold reform effort. But it  has also unleashed forces that Abiy may no longer be able to control.Under Abiy Ahmed, who became Ethiopia’s new leader in April 2018, Asaminew was honorably retired with full pension rights—and he was appointed by Amhara state later that year to head its administration and security bureau. The effort to release and reintegrate former rebels who had once sought to overthrow the federal government was widely hailed as a bold reform effort. But as the high-profile June 22 killings have shown, that policy has also unleashed forces that Abiy may no longer be able to control.

Tremors have already rippled through the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF), the federal army, whose manpower mirrors the ethnic makeup of the country’s ruling coalition and has been increasingly involved in internal peacekeeping amid innumerable conflicts that have over the last year turned Ethiopia into the world’s largest source for internally displaced persons associated with conflict.


Abiy has brokered an anarchic political opening, leading the four branches of the ethnically-based ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)—Tigrayans, Oromos, Amharas, and ethnic groups from the south—to undertake a grandiose personnel restructuring and rebranding. Asaminew’s own appointment to the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) central committee in October 2018 was part of that trend.

According to security insiders, Asaminew relied on hardliners affiliated with the Amhara Democratic Forces Movement, who, after returning from Eritrea amid an historic peace deal between the two countries, agreed last November to merge with the ADP. One of his two deputies in the Amhara security bureau, Alehubel Amare, had fled to Eritrea and formed the ADFM with other military defectors after the alleged coup plot of 2009, and another, the retired Brigadier-General Tefera Mamo, had been imprisoned with Asaminew.

Abiy’s intention was, in December 2018, to broker a merger between the ADP (which is part of the EPRDF) and the more radical National Movement of Amhara, or NAMA (which is not). This trend was replicated in Abiy’s native region of Oromia with a planned merger between the Oromo Democratic Front, an opposition movement returning from exile, with Abiy’s own Oromo Democratic Party, which is part of the EPRDF.

Just as the communist nomenklatura in the former Soviet republics survived through adopting nationalist rhetoric when the Soviet Union began to face a crisis due to rising regional nationalism, the EPRDF’s ADP absorbed existing undercurrents of radical Amhara ethnonationalism in an effort to refurbish its damaged credentials

Just as the communist nomenklatura in the former Soviet republics survived through adopting nationalist rhetoric when the Soviet Union began to face a crisis due to rising regional nationalism, the EPRDF’s ADP absorbed existing undercurrents of radical Amhara ethnonationalism in an effort to refurbish its damaged credentials

 by appeasing hard-liners in advance of competitive elections intended for 2020.

This ethnonationalist revival in a federal state has unleashed pre-Derg forces seeking to revive a world of feuding dynasties and provincial lords with their own armies competing for dominance based on who has the most weapons while seeking incorporation of so-called ancestral lands into Amhara state, including irredentist claims in other regional states and even in neighboring Sudan.

Prior to his death, Asaminew was overall commander of Amhara state’s special police forces, police, and militia, over which he had direct influence; he did not have a command role in the ENDF. Such militias historically played a pivotal role in Ethiopia’s internal security during the era of princes, between the 18th and 19th centuries, during which nobles had their own militias from their respective communities to defend their territory and security in the absence of any effective central authority.

They were also present during the Red Terror under the Derg, when so-called people’s militias were established largely from the peasantry and empowered to act against so-called anti-revolutionary individuals and groups. In Amhara state, after the Eritrean-Ethiopian War of 1998-2000, residents of North Gondar and the military and police faced attacks from insurgents linked with Eritrean-supported groups. As a result, militias were increasingly entrusted to operate at the grassroots level as local first responders to lawlessness.

The ADP selected Asaminew to its central committee as part of a pivot toward the incorporation of returning opposition forces. The party’s decision to then crown Asaminew as the head of Amhara state’s administration and security bureau—a role accountable to the regional president and supervising all regional security organs—was seen as a way of absorbing and neutralizing hard-liners. But it ended up fueling a bitter power struggle at the core of a fragmenting EPRDF and threatening the survival of the federal coalition’s constituent branches.

Fractious forms of ethnonationalism are now emerging all across Ethiopia—a country of more than 80 ethnic groups—raising the perilous prospect of a Yugoslav-style breakup.

Fractious forms of ethnonationalism are now emerging all across Ethiopia—a country of more than 80 ethnic groups—raising the perilous prospect of a Yugoslav-style breakup.

 Mutual animosity between regional states is contributing to a national crisis, with a race to strengthen regional security forces amid rising distrust of federal forces—similar to the distrust of the Serb-dominated Yugoslav National Army by Slovenes and Croats in the early 1990s, as they built up their own territorial defense forces.

As regional nationalism grows, competing irredentist claims are on the rise. One of Amhara state’s borders is with Tigray state. Amhara nationalists want to reclaim the districts of Wolkait and Raya, which they say were annexed to Tigray after the Tigrayan-led EPRDF came to power. Amhara nationalists also want part of Oromia, Al-Fashaga in Sudan, and the federal capital, Addis Ababa—and NAMA labels the EPRDF’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front (which governs Tigray) as a “terrorist group,” according to Christian Tadele, a NAMA politburo member—riling neighboring Tigrayan nationalists.

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አንተ አልቻልክም: አዎ አንተ አትችልም!በሰይፍ መቅላት፣ረግጦ መግዛት… April 13, 2019

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#አንተ_አልቻልክም ::

አዎ አንተ አትችልም!
በሰይፍ መቅላት፣
ረግጦ መግዛት…. አልቻልክም፤
አንተ እጅ መቁረጥ፣
እግር መንሳት.. አልቻልክም፤
ዘር ማጥፋት፣
ደሃን መግፋት…. ፈጽሞውኑ አልቻልክም፤
የኔን ተቀበል ያንተን ወዲያ ጣል፤
በአንተ ወርቅ እኔ ልድመቅ ማለት፤
ምን በወጣህ አንተ አትችልም፤
ስለዚህ አንተ አልቻልክም::
ጀግናን በስቅላት፣ ገሎ ለጅብ መስጠት
40 ምሁር ከወደቁበት አንስቶ ማክበር እንጂ 60 ምሁር ባንዴ መቅበር እንዴት ይቻልሃል? አትችልም!
ለመላው አፍሪካ መስራት እንጂ ምስኪኑን የኤርትራ ህዝብ መውጋት አይሆንልህም::
ማስታረቅ እንጂ ማራራቅ፤
ወንድም ህዝብ ደም ይፍሰስ አትልም!
ስለዚህ አልቻልክም::
የእናቶችን እንባ ማበስ እንጂ የራሔልን እንባ ማፍሰስ፤
የልጅ እሬሳ ላይ አስቀምጦ በሰደፍ አናቷን ማፍረስ፤
አንተ አይሆንልህም አመድ አፋሽ ቢያረጉህም::
የችሎታ ስሌቱ ይሄ ለሆነ ህዝብ አንተ አትችልም::
በቃ አትችልማ!!!
ሞታቸውን የሚጠባበቁትን ከእስር ለቀሃል::
ስለዚህ አልቻልክም:: ምክንያቱም ጀግንነት ለእነሱ መግደል ነዋ!
የተበተኑትን ከአለም ዙርያ ሰብሰበሃል፤
በፍቅር አቅፈህ አብረህ አልቅሰሃል፤
ያለመዱትን? የማያዉቁትን?
ስለሆነም አልቻልክም::
ለአህያ ማር እየሰጠህ አስቸግረሃል፤
አህያ የለመደችው ሳር እንጂ ማር አይጥማትም፤
ስለዚህ ችሎታ ይጎለሃል::
ፒንሳ የልህም፣ የሃይላንድ ዉሃ የለህም፤
የምድር ስር ጉድጓድ፣ጫለማ ቤት የለህም፤
ማስፈራርያ አውሬ የለህም፤
ሽንት የምትሸና የመብራቱ ልጅ የለችህም፤
ታዲያ ችሎታህ ምኑ ጋር ነው???
ሚድያውን ማፈን፣ የባለጌን አፍ መድፈን፤
እጅግ ተስኖሃል:: ስለዚህ አንተ ሳትቀር ባደባባይ ይሰድቡሃል::
ያሻቸውን ይጽፋሉ ይናገራሉ፤ሲሻቸው ይሰለፋሉ፤ ሲሻቸው ይሸልላሉ(አንተምላይ ሳይቀር)
“ሰማይ አይታረስ ንጉስ አይከሰስ ” ሲል ለኖረ ሰው፤
ለገዢዎች የአምልኮ ስግደት ሲሰግድ ለኖረ ህዝብ፤
የአጋዚን ዱላ ለጠገበ ሰውነት ይሄ እንዴት ይሰማሟል???
ስለዚህ አትችልም ይለሃል::
እጅ መንሻ ሲሰጥ ለኖረ ጉቦ ለለመደ፤
ሌባ ይጥፋ ስትል ሀገሩን የካደ፤
ባዕድ ነው ለሱ፣ የችሎታ ማነስ፣ ባህሉን የናደ::
እሱ ችሎት ለኖረው አንተ ምን አነካከህ?
ከባለቤቱ ያወቀ ቡዳ ነው እየሞተ ያገኛታል መተው ነበረብህ::
እኔ ልንገርህ ዶ/ር አብይ አንተ አትችልም!
ብዙ ሚሊዮን ህዝብ መምራት እንጂ ብዙ ሚሊዮን እብድ መንዳት አትችልም!
via OJA

A Review of Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed’s Achievements At One Year in Office/ The African Exponent March 31, 2019

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A Review of Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed’s Achievements At One Year in Office

Abiy Ahmed and One Year of Redefining Ethiopia

Amenna Dayo, The African Exponent, 27 March 2019

On a scale of one to ten, how do you rate PM Abiy Ahmed?

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, will clock one year in office on the 2nd of April, 2019.At just 42-years-old, the ever-smiling prime minister sits on the helm of affairs of one of Africa’s greatest countries and chairs both the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP).

Prior to his inauguration, critics had doubted his capability to steer a country like Ethiopia and stabilize the EPRDF, which consists of four political parties, namely Tigray People’s Liberation Front, Amhara Democratic Party, Oromo Democratic Party, and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement.There is no doubt that he has surprised the world.The “RD” in EPRDF which stands for Revolutionary and Democracy is no doubt the blueprint of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the last twelve months of ruling Ethiopia.

During his time, he has done a lot in reforming the country and re-defining governance. This has also been reflected in the entire region as he has been dubbed ‘the unifier’ and ‘transformer’.Even his opponents will admit that he has done well since coming into office.

Below are a few of Abiy’s achievements in less than one year since becoming prime minister of Ethiopia.

1. Signing peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea

True to his word, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed signed a peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea in July, putting to an end two decades of bitter relations. He promised to withdraw Ethiopian forces from the borders and end the killings. In December, barely five months after the peace deal was signed, Ethiopia concluded all arrangements and withdrew its troops from the Ethiopian-Eritrean boarders.

2. Adopted the Visa on arrival policy for Africans across the continent

In line with the African Union’s decision to improve Regional Integration in the continent and while other Africa leaders were still dragging their feet one step forward and two steps back, Ethiopia adopted the Visa on Arrival policy for Africans across the continent.

3. Re-positioned Ethiopian Airlines

He re-positioned Ethiopian Airlines, making the current best airline and one of the biggest Pan-African brands in Africa.

4. Made peace with Somalia

He reconciled his country with Somalia after 41 years and flights to the neighboring country resumed after four decades.

5. Reduced the cabinet size of the country, with more women added

In what was the first in Africa, he reduced his cabinet members to just 20 and surprised the world when he released the list to reveal that ten out of the twenty ministers were women.

6. Ethiopia got its first female president

Ethiopia currently has the only female president in Africa after the Prime Minister appointed Mrs. Sahle Work-Zewde for the position of president in October. It was swiftly passed by the parliament.

7. Ahmed is on a monthly salary of $300

During a speech in October, the Prime Minister again shocked the world when he revealed that he was on a monthly salary of $300. African leaders hid their heads in shame when they saw this because some of them earn as much as $591,871.68 annually as their official salary.

8. Lifted the ban on political exiles

He promised to reach out to opposition both home and abroad, and this he did. In November, he lifted the ban on Berhanu Nega – who had been exiled for many years because of his critical views of the former regime. Nega finally returned to Ethiopia, a signal of Abiy Ahmed’s sweeping democratic reforms.

9. Peacemaker in the Horn of Africa

He made himself an emissary in the Horn of Africa and has successfully united the region. The United Nations arms embargo and sanctions on Eritrea was lifted after Abiy Ahmed organized reconciliation between the country and its neighbors with which it was in conflict.

10. Leading a fast-growing economy

Ethiopia was rated as one of the fastest growing economies in 2018.

HRW: Interview: Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions February 23, 2019

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Interview: Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years

Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions

Amy Braunschweiger,  Senior Web Communications Manager, HRW and Felix Horne, Senior Researcher, Horn of Africa, HRW

After more than two years of protests, power changed hands in Ethiopia last April. Under the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia is shedding its reputation as a country that tortures detainees and spies on its citizens. The authorities have released thousands of political prisoners and dismissed some abusive security force officers. The decades-long conflict with neighboring Eritrea came to an end. And for the first time in eight years, Human Rights Watch staff who cover Ethiopia were permitted to visit the country. Senior Researcher Felix Horne talks with Amy Braunschweiger about these exciting steps forward, as well as his concerns about rising tensions among ethnic groups in the country’s rural areas.

Abiy Ahmed, newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia, is sworn in at the House of Peoples' Representatives in Addis Ababa, April 2, 2018. © 2018 Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Abiy Ahmed, newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia, is sworn in at the House of Peoples’ Representatives in Addis Ababa, April 2, 2018.  © 2018 Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

How has Ethiopia changed since you were last there?

Addis Ababa, the capital, has changed so much. Unlike before, modern asphalt roads are everywhere, there are freeways, tall, modern shiny buildings, lots of new restaurants, and a light rail system. It used to smell of smoke, from people burning wood to prepare food, but that smell is now gone. People seemed to feel much more free to express their opinions. They were speaking very openly about sensitive subjects in public spaces, cafes, and mini buses. That’s not the Addis I knew, where everyone was looking over their shoulder to see who was eavesdropping.

You went specifically for a workshop on rebuilding civil society. What did you learn?

Under the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation, civil society groups working on human rights issues in Ethiopia was decimated. Most nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were closed. Others had their bank accounts frozen. But a new law was passed earlier this month. It eliminates most of the draconian restrictions from previous legislation. The new agency registering NGOs needs to get up and running and that will take time, but we hope NGOs will be able to register soon, which will open up possibilities for funding. Then they can document abuses and advocate for respect for human rights, which is critical ahead of the May 2020 elections.

What was the workshop like?

There was a feeling of newfound optimism there. Still, it was starkly evident the extent to which civil society working on human rights has been decimated since the Charities and Societies Proclamation was passed 10 years ago. It will clearly take time for the sector to recover.

At the workshop, international and Ethiopian NGOs, such as the Human Rights Council of Ethiopia and the Consortium of Ethiopian Rights Organizations, discussed advocacy strategies and research gaps, and talked about economic, social, and cultural rights. It was a chance for everyone to get together in person. There were people there who I knew quite well but had never actually met. It was nice to put faces to names.

Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. © 2011 Tom Cochrem/Getty Images

Did anything surprise you?

Some of the activists organized a press conference at the end of the workshop, and I honestly didn’t expect much media interest. But 60 journalists showed up, and most were from the state media. When I talked about how it was our first visa in eight years, there was applause. They asked questions about what work we planned to do in Ethiopia and if we’d open up an office there.

State media never covered our work in the past, and that has clearly changed. But media is still publishing a pro-government prospective. For example, we spoke about all the great reforms happening, and we also talked about our concerns. But most of the media never reported on the concerns.

I have this memory from the press conference, when, among the microphones was one from ETV, which is the main state broadcaster, and next to it was one from OMN, the Oromia Media Network, which used to be banned in Ethiopia. The former government went to great lengths to jam OMN’s television broadcasts and had unfairly charged it under the counterterrorism law. It was great to see them side-to-side and a powerful image of change in the media landscape.

Over the past few years, there have been simmering ethnic tensions across Ethiopia. Where do these tensions now stand?

In Addis, things are good. There’s lots of optimism. But outside the capital – and I’ve been in regular contact with people around the country since Abiy came to power – it’s almost the exact opposite.

Previously, the ruling coalition’s direction was implemented from the highest-level officials down to the villages. An expansive network of intelligence at every level meant the government knew everything, allowing it to suppress any emerging threats to its power and control. The government also used other strategies to stem criticism, including force.

But that system in many places has all but broken down, as people associated with serious abuses, or those not loyal to the current government, have been purged. There is little governance happening at local levels, and local security officials are often ineffectual, allowing some vigilante groups to take control. At the same time, people are feeling newly empowered to speak openly after years of suppression, and many have longstanding grievances over land, border demarcations, access to state resources, and perceived discrimination against their ethnic group.

June 15, 2016 Report

“Such a Brutal Crackdown”

Killings and Arrests in Response to Ethiopia’s Oromo Protests

Unfortunately, institutions that would normally resolve those grievances – the judiciary, parliament, the Human Rights Commission — aren’t yet seen as independent or capable of doing so.

All this is happening at the same time as a massive influx of firearms into the country, many from Sudan. It’s a dangerous mix.

What does this look like on the ground?

The ethnic tensions play out in different ways. In some places, you see young armed gang members stopping cars and demanding payments, smuggling goods, controlling regional trade. There has been open fighting in other places, and the Ethiopian army has recently been engaged in clashes with the Oromo Liberation Front forces. The OLF was welcomed back into the country, but some of its members weren’t willing to disarm or reintegrate into government security forces.

What’s really worrying is that this violence could just be the tip of the iceberg. Around the boundary between the Tigray and Amhara regions, both sides are engaging in war-like rhetoric and heavily arming themselves. If open fighting broke out between those regions, it would affect the whole country. Yet there has been notable silence from Abiy around this and other emerging conflicts around the country.

Some of the challenges facing the government are inevitable in transitioning from an authoritarian government to a fledgling democracy. But restoring law and order doesn’t seem to be high on the government agenda. Officials don’t seem to be taking these risks seriously. Eighty-five percent of Ethiopians are rural, mostly small-scale farmers or pastoralists who need grazing land and water for their animals. If there is widespread conflict, if they’re displaced, or if they can’t plant or harvest because of fighting, the humanitarian consequences would be dire.

1
The Ethiopian government is forcibly displacing indigenous pastoral communities in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo valley without adequate consultation or compensation to make way for state-run sugar plantations and the construction of Africa’s highest dam, the Gibe III hydropower project. The Lower Omo valley, one of the most remote and culturally diverse areas on the planet, is home to around 200,000 people from eight unique agro-pastoral communities who have lived there for as long as anyone can remember. Their way of life and their identity is linked to the land and access to the Omo River.

What about the problem of internal displacement?

There are over two million internally displaced people in Ethiopia. This includes 1.4 million new displaced people in the first half of 2018 alone – the largest internal displacement of people in the world during that time period. A changing climate brought increased drought and variability of rains, causing the displacement of pastoralists who didn’t have enough grazing for their animals. But most of those displaced were fleeing armed conflict. In many places along the 800 kilometer boundary between the Oromia and Somali regions, groups, many of them armed, violently removed people from their lands. Because these places are remote, it’s difficult to provide food and other types of humanitarian aid there.

We are worried the government may be forcing internally displaced people back to their lands before it’s safe. Recently, about 900,000 people from the Gedeo ethnic group were forced to flee their lands in the country’s coffee-growing south by the Guji Oromo ethnic group. But the spike in the number of those displaced embarrassed the government, so local officials pressured them to move back in part by telling humanitarian groups – which were feeding the Gedeo – to only provide them food in the places they had fled. Many Gedeo went back because of the pressure, even though for many there is nothing to return to or they feel it is still unsafe.

October 19, 2010 Report

Development without Freedom

How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia

Using aid to control people’s movement was a strategy the former government regularly deployed. It’s concerning to see it being used again in Abiy’s Ethiopia.

How will these factors play into Ethiopia’s 2020 election?

In the past, Ethiopia’s elections were riddled with irregularities, with the government “winning” over 99.6 percent of federal parliamentary seats in 2010 and all 547 seats in 2015 election. Expectations are high that the 2020 elections will be different.

But lots of important issues about the upcoming elections aren’t being addressed. Key elements for an environment conducive to credible elections, like an independent media, fair registration procedures, and a vibrant civil society, just aren’t in place. Opposition parties, many of which only existed outside of Ethiopia for many years, are starting from scratch. An oft-delayed census, historically controversial in Ethiopia, has still not taken place.

Many people are quietly asking if the elections should be postponed. The ruling party and most opposition parties have not sought a postponement because they all think they will do well. And many of the youth – those who joined the protests that brought about the changes over the past year – don’t feel represented by the existing parties. Combine all this with the current ethnic tensions and the security void, and it’s a potential powder keg.

How does all of this affect your work?

In the past, we never were able to get the government’s perspective on the abuses taking place. We always reached out to officials but got nothing back, which denied them an opportunity to tell their side of the story. I’m hoping this new government will continue to give our researchers visas and be responsive to meeting and discussing our findings. We hope we will also be able to do more research on the ground in Ethiopia, and tackle issues that were previously off limits because of access and security constraints. We also look forward to working more openly with local civil society groups and activists as the sector rebuilds itself. After many years stuck on the outside, there’s lots to do, and we intend to be there to do it.

BBC: Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed: The leader promising to heal a nation January 3, 2019

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Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed: The leader promising to heal a nation

BBC, 3 January 2019

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (C) greets a child as he arrives to welcome Eritrea's President at the airport in Gondar, nothern Ethiopia, on November 9, 2018

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been widely praised for introducing sweeping reforms aimed at ending political repression, writes BBC Africa editor Fergal Keane after visiting the country.

The crowd at the airport in Jimma in Ethiopia’s Oromia region was handpicked and universally rapturous.

But these were not the praise-singing party hacks who so often grace the arrivals and departures of powerful men in Africa.

Men and women, old, young and very young – beaming babies were held above the crowd – had gathered to witness the arrival of a political sensation.

“We are so very happy,” an elderly man shouted to me above the sound of the military band, “it is like a renaissance. We have waited so long for this.”

Shift from autocracy

Then Abiy Ahmed was among us, descending the steps of his plane to delighted cheers, testing the nerves of his security detail as he reached into the crowd to kiss a baby here, embrace an old man there.

I was conscious of an extraordinary fusion between the driven energy of an individual and the hope of a nation. Africa has rarely seen anyone like him.

Cheering supporters of PM Abiy
Image captionPro-democracy activists have welcomed the changes in Ethiopia

At 42 he is the youngest leader on the continent but his impact is far greater than his age suggests.

When the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition elected him prime minister nine months ago the country, Africa’s second largest in terms of population with more than 100 million people, shifted decisively from a long period of autocracy.

He ended a 20-year conflict with neighbouring Eritrea, freed thousands of political prisoners, unfettered the media and appointed women to half the cabinet posts.

Parliament also accepted his female nominees for president and head of the supreme court.

On top of that, he asked a dissident leader to return from exile in the United States to run the electoral commission.

Quote: Thousands, if not millions, of people paid [a heavy price] to see this kind of change in this country

The pace of change has delighted pro-democracy activists and thrown more reactionary elements off balance.

Fourteen years ago, Birtukan Mideksa spent 18 months in prison as leader of an opposition party before leaving for exile in the US.

She was as surprised as most observers when Mr Abiy invited her to return and chair the National Election Board.

“Thousands, if not millions, of people paid [a heavy price] to see this kind of change in this country… to see this opening,” Ms Birtukan told me.

“To have a former opposition leader, former dissident, to lead an institution with significant independence of action… means a lot.

“For those people who paid a price in the process, it’s really significant,” Ms Birtukan added.

‘Use ideas not weapons’

But change has inevitably emphasised the significant challenges still facing Mr Abiy.

When I caught up with him at a graduation ceremony for medical students in Jimma he appealed to them to “use ideas not weapons” and to follow the example of a nation like Japan, which recovered from World War Two to build a sophisticated economy.


Key facts: Abiy Ahmed

Abiy Ahmed
  • Born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother on 15 August 1976
  • Speaks fluent Afan Oromo, Amharic, Tigrinya and English
  • Joined the armed struggle against the Marxist Derg regime in 1990
  • Served as a UN peacekeeper in Rwanda in 1995
  • Entered politics in 2010
  • Briefly served as minister of science and technology in 2016
  • Became prime minister in April 2018

Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in the world but still has a vast number of unemployed young people.

This is both a reservoir of potential talent and potential dissent if Mr Abiy’s moves to liberalise the economy and tackle corruption do not succeed swiftly.

The prime minister was addressing the graduates in Jimma against a backdrop of deepening ethnic conflicts across the country.

Ethiopia has more than 80 different ethnic groups.

The divisions are old and deep rooted, but they flared up with a new intensity in the first half of last year when 1.4 million people were forced to flee ethnic conflict in the west of the country, according to the UN.

Chart showing the ethnic make-up of Ethiopia

Overall, some 2.8 million people have been uprooted from their homes in recent years. The other major concern is the fighting on the borders of the Oromia and Somali regions.

Over decades, the central government used force and a whole battery of repressive legislation to quell ethnic unrest.

Predictably, this merely gave an impression of national cohesion while unaddressed grievances festered. They erupted into protest in 2016.

‘Steel in Abiy’s voice’

Demonstrations by members of the Oromo community – Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group – precipitated the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the election of Mr Abiy.

Mr Abiy is the first leader to come from the Oromo community but has stressed that he is a leader for all Ethiopians.

Map showing Ethiopia's regions

When I caught up with him in Jimma I asked if he was the man to unite an increasingly divided country.

He was being ushered away from the crowds by his guards but the question made him pause.

Looking around he caught my eye and shouted above the noise: “Of course I am. No doubt about it!” There was steel in the voice. And then the smile returned.

Last month, Mr Abiy established a reconciliation commission to deal with some of the issues.

This may provide an outlet for the airing of uncomfortable truths about the past but the greater challenge is the federal constitution which divides regional government along ethnic lines.

Respecting ethnic rights while fostering the idea of a nation will demand considerable political and legal sure-footedness.

Presentational grey line

Abiy’s reforms in 2018

Celebrations as border is reopened
Image captionPeople celebrated as the land border between Ethiopia and Eritrea was reopened
  • May – frees thousands of political detainees
  • June – lifts state of emergency
  • July – alongside the Eritrean president declares the end of war between the two nations
  • September – reopens land border with Eritrea
  • October – appoints women to half of ministerial posts
  • November – appoints ex-opposition leader to head electoral commission
Presentational grey line

In the Tigray region, in the north, there have been ominous stirrings.

Although Tigrayans compose only a small percentage of the population they dominated the previous government.

In recent months, prominent Tigrayans in the army, security services, as well as business figures, have been accused of human rights abuses and corruption.

Travelling in Tigray one frequently hears concerns about the alleged marginalisation of the once-powerful group.

Quote: "He represents the kind of tendency to gloss over things... to try to telescope decades into months, years, to rush things"

A former communications minister, Getachew Reda, told me he thought Tigrayans were being turned into scapegoats.

It was as if only Tigrayan leaders were responsible for past abuses under the ruling coalition, he said.

Although still calling himself a friend of Mr Abiy he believes the young leader risks creating a failed state.

“He symbolises the kind of ambition, the kind of courage to storm the heavens that youth would represent.

“But he also represents the kind of tendency to gloss over things, the kind of tendency to try to telescope decades into months, years… to rush things.”

For the moment Mr Abiy has the momentum and no shortage of energy.

Posters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are seen on a tuc-tuc in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 07, 2018
Image captionPrime Minister Abiy Ahmed plans to steer the nation to elections in 2020

Even in Tigray, the ordinary citizens I spoke to saw him as an inspirational figure.

Elsa Tesfaye is a small-holder farmer who lives close to the border with Eritrea and lost a brother to the war between the two nations.

For her Mr Abiy is the man who brought peace “and I thank him for that”.

‘Revivalist preacher’

She worries about ethnic divisions and whether her son – an engineering student – will be able to work in other parts of the country if the situation deteriorates.

“[The reforms] are great. But it still needs a bit of work. If ethnic conflict… and hate could be removed I would be satisfied.”

Mr Abiy is a devout Pentecostal Christian and there is something of the revivalist preacher in the way he evangelises for his vision. He has the energy, the passion and the certainty.

The question is whether he can prevent an escalation of conflicts without resorting to the repressive methods of the past, and maintain his reformist momentum up to the next elections in 2020.

Presentational grey line

Read more about Ethiopia’s reforms:

Presentational grey line

Before he left Jimma I managed to speak with Mr Abiy again.

He greeted me with a traditional embrace and kiss. This was Mr Abiy being the consummate politician.

The world should look at the example of Ethiopia, he told me, to see how people can live together in peace. Given the vast numbers of displaced it seemed more a statement of ambition than reflective of any current reality.

But on the central question of reform he was adamant.

“Would anything stop you?” I asked.

“Not at all,” he replied with a vehemence that left no room for doubt.

Related from Oromian Economist Sources:-

Abiy Ahmed: The Ethiopian Prime Minister who captured Africa’s imagination, CNN

Click here to read Analysis by Farai Sevenzo, CNN

BBC: Letter from Africa: Africa’s history makers in 2018 December 26, 2018

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Letter from Africa: Africa’s history makers in 2018

BBC, 26 December 2018

Screen grab of PM doing press-ups
Image captionEthiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed got soldiers who had threatened him to do press-ups

In our series of letters from African writers, Ghanaian journalist Elizabeth Ohene looks back at some of the big events on the continent in 2018.

It has been a year where one is tempted to invoke the “always something new out of Africa” theory.

It is not every day you have a prime minister leading a group of soldiers into doing press-ups, particularly not when the armed soldiers had tried to force their way into the compound of the prime minister to protest against unpaid wages.

It is the type of scenario that used to end up in coups in the old days.

But Abiy Ahmed has been doing the seemingly impossible ever since he unexpectedly became prime minister of Ethiopia in April.

He is 42-years-old, and currently Africa’s youngest leader.

Quote: In diplomatic relations, the prime minister did the equivalent of making the sun rise from the west

There is nothing predictable about the man and how he has set about doing his job.

Ethiopia had been seen by critics as an authoritarian state that brushed off criticism and remained an implacable foe to neighbour Eritrea.

But within a few months of taking office, Mr Abiy had lifted the state of emergency, released thousands of political prisoners, allowed dissidents to return home and unblocked hundreds of websites and TV channels.

Peace with long-time foe

Just as people were digesting the dizzying changes on the domestic front, the prime minister, in the sphere of diplomatic relations, did the equivalent of making the sun rise from the west.

He ended the state of war with Eritrea by agreeing to give up disputed border territory thereby normalising relations with the long-time foe.

The new president standing with the prime miniser
Image captionSahle-Work Zewde is Ethiopia’s ceremonial head of state, while Abiy Ahmed (r) holds political power

This came in an unexpected visit to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, and publicly holding hands with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki to declare the end of the two-decade old war.

Women in power

Flights and telephone communications have been restored and there has been an outbreak of love between the two nations that has stunned the world.

And if anyone thought there had been enough surprises, in October, Mr Abiy appointed women to half of all cabinet posts.

If that does not sound impressive enough, there were other changes. Ethiopia now has a female president (Sahle-Work Zewde), a female head of the Supreme Court (Meaza Ashenafi), a female head of the electoral commission (Birtukan Mideksa), and the official spokesperson of the government is a woman (Billene Aster Seyoum).

South Africa was another country which saw a major change of leadership, but the optimism that came with the accession of Cyril Ramaphosa to the presidency has fizzled out. |Click here to read the full text at BBC

AFRICAN LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE: BREAKING: PRIME MINISTER ABIY AHMED EMERGES AFRICAN OF THE YEAR 2018 December 15, 2018

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BREAKING: PRIME MINISTER ABIY AHMED EMERGES AFRICAN OF THE YEAR 2018

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards committee has unveiled the winners for different categories in the just concluded polls for the African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards 2018, with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed resoundingly emerging as the African of the Year 2018, with over 85% of total votes/submissions.  

The keenly contested poll, across 7 different categories, attracted 123,446 votes on our website, 33,000 entries across our social media platforms, and 3400 submissions from both our emails and offline hard copy submissions. Winners shall be decorated and presented with the instruments of honour on the 22nd February 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa, at a colourful ceremony that shall attract a wide spectrum of African policy, diplomatic and business leaders. The winners were unveiled by the Publisher of the Magazine Mr. Ken Giami, at the UK Head Office of the group, after the awards committee working with the editorial team concluded the collation of both online and offline votes and submissions from the over 1 million subscribers / followership base of the publication.

The final winners are:

African of the Year 2018:

H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Ethiopia – winner

African Female Leader of the Year 2018:

Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Sec. Gen. UN, Nigeria

ALM Person of the Year 2018-Educational Development

Mohammed Indimi, Oriental Energy, Nigeria – Winner

ALM Person of the Year 2018 – Employment Generation

AtikuAbubakar, Nigeria – Winner

ALM Person of the Year 2018 – Political Leadership

President John PombeMagufuli, President of Tanzania – Winner

ALM Person of the Year 2018 – Philanthropy & Charitable Contributions to Society

Tony Elumelu, Heirs Holding, Nigeria – Winner

ALM Young Person of the Year 2018

Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Minister of Investment, Trade & Industry, Botswana- Winner

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year Awards, which has become the leading vote-based third-party endorsement in the continent, recorded an upsurge of 20% votes from the African Diaspora this year.   In addition to the winners, a special ALM Commendation citation shall be presented to the most distinguished runners up, which includes:

African of the Year Commendation citation:

H.E. SeretseKhama Ian Khama, former President of Botswana

African Female Leader of the Year Commendation citation:

H.E GraçaMachel DBE, South Africa,

ALM Person of the Year -Educational Development Commendation Citaton

Fred Swaniker, African Leadership development Academy, Ghana

ALM Person of the Year Employment Generation Commendation citation

Christo Wiese, Shoprite, South Africa

ALM Person of the Year  – Political Leadership Commendation citation

H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana

ALM Person of the Year  – Philanthropy & Charitable Contributions to Society Commendation citation

Mohamed Al Kettani – CEO Attijariwafa Bank, Morocco,

ALM Young Person of the Year Commendation citation

SanguDelle, CEO, Golden Palm investment, Ghana

The Publisher, Mr. Giami, maintained that, all the nominees are deserving of the crown -considering their personal contributions to the continent’s growth and development. In his words, ” the nominees have demonstrated great faith in the Africa project, and are ‘walking their talk’ in their communities. They all are true lovers of Africa, determinedly contributing, sometimes amidst very difficult circumstances, but undoubtedly making their communities a better place for its people. ” –

The African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year which is in its 7th year, is an annual award reserved for distinguished Africans, who are considered to have blazed the trail in the year under review. A shortlist of nominees are selected from results gathered via a Call for nomination – traditionally promoted via a paid online and offline campaigns across the continent, Europe, and the Americas. The call for nomination is the first step in a multi-phased process.

This year, the selection committee considered, among others, four broad themes: – Africans whose activities, policies and actions have contributed to ‘Investments into Africa’s young people, jobs & wealth creation; promotion sustainable peace & development, delivering of democratic values; & the promotion of Africa’s image globally’; in arriving at their decisions. Sustainable peace is a precursor to development in the continent, hence the need to encourage state and non state actors to contribute towards the pursuit of sustainable peace on the continent.

About African Leadership Magazine:

The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (UK) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom. The magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective; while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today.

Since its maiden edition, African Leadership Magazine has grown to become a leading pan-African flagship leadership-focused publication read by over 1, 000, 000 targeted international investors, business executives, government policy makers, and multilateral agencies across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Europe, and the US. It is distributed at major international and African Leadership events around the world. The magazine has over 900,000 subscribers/Followers on Facebook and a virile readership on other social media platforms. It is a niche and unbiased African voice born out of a desire to ameliorate a lot of Africans by focusing on individuals and corporates that are known for their legacy-based approach to leadership.

New African magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Africans, #AbiyAhmed November 30, 2018

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Gender parity in New African magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Africans

 New African APO

For the first time since publishing the list, there is an equal amount of men and women featuring in this year’s one hundred

Nigerians once again dominate this year’s list in terms of entries, followed by Kenyans; For the first time the list is gender balanced; Four covers featuring Mo Salah, Bogolo Joy Kenewendo, Denis Mukwege and Ahmed Abiy.

For the first time since publishing the list, there is an equal amount of men and women featuring in this year’s one hundred. Although this year’s listing is dominated by entries from Nigeria and Kenya, outstanding personalities from several other African countries are also featured.

The December issue is published with four different covers featuring: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Abiy, arguably Africa’s person of the year; the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner DR Congo’s Dr Denis Mukwege;  Botswana’s 32-year old Minister of Trade  Investment  Bogolo Joy Kenewendo; and Egypt’s soccer superstar, Mo Salah whose influence goes well beyond football.

The annual list has become an industry and the magazine readers’ much-awaited collation – revealing Africans who contributed in shaping the African narrative in the concluding year and envisaged to play a big role in the coming year, both on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Collated by and from its global network of correspondents and industry insiders, this year’s listing consists of some regular names, and some of them returning for the second, even third year. The final 2018 tally sees a drop in the number of entries for politicians, but an increase in the Arts and culture section at 16 and 22 entries respectively.

When whittling down the nominees and choosing our hundred, we ended with an equal number of women and men

In terms of countries, entries are led by Nigeria with18 names followed by Kenya (11) South Africa (10) Egypt (8) and Ethiopia (7).

“One yardstick which we often employ when coming up with the final list is to emphasise that influence is not about popularity and popularity is not always influential. The influencer’s impact on public, social and political discourse, however, is what largely helps us determine their influence. Most importantly we focus mainly on people who have been influential for Africa’s good,” says reGina Jane Jere – Editor of the magazine’s sister publication – New African Woman, who leads and oversees the 100 Most Influential Africans project.

With many reports indicating how gender parity improves the quality of governance and accelerates development, and in a year that has seen the emboldening of gender issues, with countries such Ethiopia even taking a lead in achieving gender parity in Cabinet, and appointing its first ever female President under its new reformist Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, the magazine felt it apt to produced a 50/50 ratio in this year’s list. According to the editor of the magazine, Anver Versi, this happened as much by chance as it did by design. “When whittling down the nominees and choosing our hundred, we ended with an equal number of women and men. That was the premise of this year’s ranking but it happened naturally!”

One other outstanding feature of this year’s list is the increased inclusion of people of African descent making their mark at a global level in the African Diaspora. “This is a clear indication of the wealth of talent that our continent possesses and shows that given the slightest opportunity, our men and women can eclipse their peers worldwide in their chosen fields of endeavor,” explains Versi.

Also of note is the inclusion of men and women in the seemingly unglamorous fields such as conservation and climate change, whose work is often overlooked by the media.

The December issue of New African is available on newsstands in 75 countries and via the app store and the magazine’s digital channels.

To read this month’s edition and our full archives shop at: shop.exacteditions.com/new-african

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of New African Magazine.

Media Contact:regina@icpublications.com

Click here to read at APO

Ethiopia’s New Leader Relies on Support from Youth November 3, 2018

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7 million strong freedom-loving #Oromo have converged onHulluuqoo Kormaa, Dirree Masqalaa (Meskel Square) in Finfinnee to welcom OLF leaders, 15 sept. 2018#OromoProtests, Oromo students movement for freedom

Ethiopia’s New leader Relies on Support from Youth

Reuters


They were tortured for their political beliefs. They saw friends shot dead by security forces. They were forced to cut their hair and give up other cultural traditions. This year, they say, they caused a revolution.

Young men from Ethiopia’s Oromo, the country’s largest ethnic group, proudly declare “we won” when describing their role in the rise of 42-year-old reformer Abiy Ahmed, also an Oromo, to become prime minister.

Across the Oromiya region, many of those young men claiming victory now want Abiy to deliver – and fast. The “Qeerroo”, an Oromo term meaning “bachelor” adopted by politically active young men, are demanding answers.

Will there be justice for friends who died during strikes and protests over the past three years? Will their rights as Oromos be respected? When will Abiy’s pledges of change help their impoverished communities?

Whether Abiy can answer those demands without favouring his home region over the rest of the country will dictate whether the young men remain an asset to him or become a dangerous liability. Before he came to power, the Oromo youths had already demonstrated they could shut down parts of the country with protests and strikes, and that pressure on the ruling EPRDF culminated in the resignation of Abiy’s predecessor in February.

Even as they celebrate Abiy, the Oromo youth are still frustrated with life under the EPRDF, a one-time Marxist-Leninist movement which has controlled nearly every aspect of Ethiopians’ lives since seizing power 27 years ago.

Frustration has spilled into violence. In September, Oromo youths were reported by Amnesty International to have carried out deadly mob attacks on other ethnic groups near Addis Ababa. Police said 28 died.

Elsewhere in Oromiya, young men are starting to challenge the state. They want local officials sacked and have booed them out of rallies.

“I appreciate Abiy for the reform he brought, and blame him for not removing those corrupt and evil killers from their positions and bringing them to court,” said unemployed accountant Dambal Dejene, 26, at a rally in the town of Woliso.

Abiy became prime minister in April after the EPRDF decided reforms were essential for its survival.

His appointment was a small step towards breaking the power of the Tigrayan elite who have controlled the state since they took power in 1991 and founded the EPRDF as a coalition with other ethnic political parties.

Youths wearing traditional Oromo costumes attend an Oromo Liberation Front rally asked what they want from the government, more than a dozen young Oromo men told Reuters:

“Freedom.”

“No more torture.”

“Justice.”

“Economic opportunity. Jobs.”

“End to corruption and unfair land deals.”

“Respect for our culture. Dignity.”

“Democracy.”

“Free and fair elections.”

A man wearing traditional Oromo costume rides a horse during an Oromo Liberation Front rally.

Abiy announced reforms several months ago but these have stalled in part due to a spike in ethnic violence.

More than one million people have been forced to flee their homes since Abiy took office. In the most serious violence, Oromo communities have clashed with other groups.

Acknowledging a breakdown of the rule of law, the EPRDF said last month: “Anarchy is witnessed in the country.” In a speech to parliament, Abiy said: “Lawlessness is the norm these days. It is something that is testing the government.” He has reshuffled his cabinet and formed a “Ministry of Peace”.

Gelana Emana (right), 36, the leader of a group of politically active youth from the Oromo ethnic group, sits in a cafe with fellow activists Alemu Kumarra (center), 26, and Dinaol Dandaa, 27.

Some young Oromos seem emboldened to settle old ethnic scores, said Felix Horne, Ethiopia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Since Abiy came to power, things have changed,” he said. “The ethno-nationalist narrative is much more dominant than it used to be … a lot of the young Oromos are not willing to take ‘second place’,” Horne said.

“The youth have already shown that they can be very influential. How they choose to be influential is an important question,” said a senior western diplomat in Addis Ababa. “Their support, or non-support, for the reform agenda will directly impact how quickly and how well the reform agenda succeeds.”

Abiy’s chief of staff, Fitsum Arega, did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokesman for Abiy’s political party said changes were needed at the grassroots.

“Anyone who was slapping you, shouting at you, seeing that face may dissatisfy the people. We feel it,” said Taye Dendea, public affairs head for the Oromo Democratic Party.

He requested patience from the youths while the ruling coalition implements change.

Magarsa Kanaa teaches in his classroom.

But like many young Oromos, Magarsa Kanaa, a 28-year-old teacher, said he is still very upset at the crimes committed by security forces against his friends.

He named one who was shot dead at a protest last year, and said he and other young men “are starting a committee to seek justice for him and other guys”.

Magarsa Kanaa stands on a hill.

Proud to be wearing his hair in an Afro, he spoke bitterly of how the government had not allowed Oromos to practice their culture. Men his age, he explained, like to wear their hair in the shape of the “Odaa”, the Oromo word for the sycamore tree that is significant as the site of rituals and meetings to resolve disputes.

Instead, he said: “We were forced to cut our hair.”

Activist Jawar Mohammed promotes an “Oromo first” ideology. Click here for the images

The 32-year-old with 1.4 million Facebook followers returned to Ethiopia in August from the United States. He told Reuters that although he used social media to coordinate Oromo youths in strikes and protests, he also “built a solid ground network” in every town in the region. Jawar is the movement’s hero.

“Jawar Mohammed is my pride,” said Dambal, the accountant. “He took the Oromo struggle to the next level. We were lacking someone to lead the youth … he made us line up all together all over Oromiya and win.”

Interviewed in a villa in Addis Ababa surrounded by bodyguards provided by the government, Jawar justified Oromo nationalism: “When the state particularly represses an ethnic identity, you are forced to defend it.”

But his “Qeerroo” are disciplined, he said, and will stick to non-violent resistance.

At a rally in the town of Kemise, north of the capital, Jawar told thousands of young men chanting “Qeerroo’s Father is here!”: “Obey Abiy. Don’t be emotional in order to help the reforms.” But on social media, his language is often less restrained.

Speaking to Reuters, he argued that Ethiopia is experiencing a “promising and terrifying” moment where the “power of the people” is rising and the state’s legitimacy has collapsed.

“People power” – particularly from the Oromo – is a strength for Abiy, but rebuilding and controlling the state is an urgent problem, Jawar said.

“If (Abiy) doesn’t move quickly to take full control of state power, so that he can use it to answer some of the demands of the youth … these people will turn against him.

“They think this is their government … So it’s just a ticking time bomb. We’ve gotta move fast,” he said, referencing elections that are due in 2020. He said Abiy “has good intentions, but he has no plan, no deadline.”

Older Oromo politicians agree.

“The youth moved the struggle we have been undertaking for the last 50 years one step forward,” said Merera Gudina, 62, leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress. “The PM makes a lot of promises. If he cannot walk his talk, then he’ll face the youth, definitely.”

Macron hails reformist Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed on first Europe trip. France/Ethiopie: Emmanuel Macron salue les réformes menées par Abiy Ahmed October 30, 2018

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Ministirri Muummee Dr. Abiy Ahimad affeerraa pirezidantiin Faransaay Imaanu’eel Maakroon isaaniif taasisaniin kaleessa Faransaay turtii taasisaniiru.

Jarman: MM Abiy walgahii Compact with Africa irratti hirmaataa jiru, BBC Afaan Oromoo

ለ ጠ/ሚ አብይ አህመድ ከፖለቲካ በፊት ሰውነት ይቀድማል፡ ከምርጫ በላይ መሳም ይበልጣል. ሰው ሰው የሚሸት መሪ .


 

Macron hails reformist Ethiopia PM on first Europe trip

French president Emmanuel Macron (R) and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed are both keen to present themselves as reformist leaders

 

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday hailed “unprecedented” moves by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to transform his country as the young African leader makes his first trip to Europe.

Abiy, 42, has won global praise for forging peace with neighbouring Eritrea, announcing economic reforms and reaching out to dissidents, but is grappling with bloody ethnic disputes which have displaced some 1.4 million people.

Macron offered “all my support and that of France” in reforming Ethiopia and “in calming domestic tensions”, telling Abiy at a press conference in Paris: “You have here a country which loves yours but also admires the transformation you are carrying out”.

“I know how much he has risked to see these reforms through and how much these reforms are fraught with difficulties, but also how much Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has chosen a courageous path,” Macron told reporters.

“The political, economic, social and cultural transformation that you are in the process of carrying out and that you’ve committed to in Ethiopia is unprecedented,” added Macron, another leader keen to present himself as a reformer.

Abiy vowed to tackle the violence gripping Ethiopia, saying it would be resolved through “greater peace-building in the whole country”.

“The communal conflicts cannot undo the reform agenda,” he added, arguing that economic reforms would help end the violence by bringing greater prosperity.

“The reform process is contributing to greater peace in the country,” he said.

Analysts see no single cause for the killing that has stretched from the countryside to the capital and left scores of Ethiopians dead.

But they say Abiy, who inherited a vast, ethnically diverse nation used to the iron-fisted rule of his predecessors, has his work cut out for him as he seeks to impose his leadership without tipping into authoritarianism.

French officials signed a string of cooperation deals with their counterparts from Africa’s second most populous nation, in areas ranging from transport and energy to culture.

French experts are set to advise Ethiopian officials on how to open the national palace, dating back to the rule of Haile Selassie who was emperor until 1974, to tourists.


Related, Oromian Economist sources,

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has started his tour of Europe. He will start in France where he will meet with President Emmanuel Macron. Ahmed will then proceed to Germany to attend the G-20 meeting. CGTN’s Girum Chala has more


 

France/Ethiopie: Emmanuel Macron salue les réformes menées par Abiy Ahmed


Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday arrived in Germany on the second leg of his three cities Europe tour.

He was received by German’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Prime Minister is expected to have bilateral discuss with Merkel shortly.

The Premier will address 25,000 Ethiopians drawn from different European countries in Frankfurt tomorrow.

Moreover, he will attend the second edition of the Compact with Africa (CwA) meeting schedule to take place later today. At least 12 African heads of state will also attend the event.

The CwA was initiated under the German G20 Presidency to promote private investment in Africa, including in infrastructure.

The CwA’s primary objective is to increase attractiveness of private investment through substantial improvements of the macro, business and financing frameworks.

It brings together reform-minded African countries, international organizations and bilateral partners from G20 and beyond to coordinate country-specific reform agendas, support respective policy measures and advertise investment opportunities to private investors.

The initiative is demand-driven and open to all African countries. Since its launch in 2017, the CwA has sparked great interest.

So far, 11 African countries have joined the initiative- Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia. Click here to read from the source, Fana


ETHIOPIA: PM DR. ABIY AHMED’S DOWNSIZED CABINET SEES RECORD 50 PER CENT WOMEN MINISTERS INCLUDING THE COUNTRY’S FIRST WOMAN DEFENSE MINISTER FROM HISTORICALLY THE OPPRESSED THE AFAR NATION October 16, 2018

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Itoophiyaan ministiroota haaraa muudde 20 keessaa 10 dubartoota

Ministirri Muummee miseensota kaabinee 20 akka muudamaniif mana maree bakka bu’oota ummataatti dhiheessan keessaa walakkaan isaanii dubartoota tahuun barame.

Ulaagaan hoggantoonni muudaman kunneen ittiin filatamanis ga’umsa isaanii qofa akka ta’e Ministirri Muummee Dr. Abiy Ahimad himaniiru, BBC Afaan Oromoo 


 

Ethiopia’s new cabinet is now a record 50 percent female, including the country’s first woman defence minister, after legislators unanimously approved the nominations put forward by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Al Jazeera News


NEWS UPDATE: PM ABIY AHMED’S DOWNSIZED CABINET SEES 50 PER CENT WOMEN MINISTERS ASSUME KEY POSITIONS,  

 

Addis Abeba, Oct. 16/2018 – For the second time since becoming Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed formed a new cabinet today. But unlike the first one, PM Abiy has downsized the number of ministers from 28 to 20 and equalized the gender composition to 50% women and 50% men; he also gave key positions, such as minister of peace and defense, to women ministers, a move applauded by many.

The prime minister presented his new cabinet members to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) this morning, and secured the house’s unanimous approval for the new draft bill No. 1097/2018, authorizing the power and responsibilities the new executive organ.

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Breaking:PM due to announce his new cabinet. The new ministerial portfolio will have a record number of female ministers consisting 10 out of the 20 ministers. This include the position of ministry of defense, which will be held by a woman for the first time in history

Accordingly the following are list of the ten women ministers

Muferiat Kamil -Minister of Peace

Aisha Mohammed – Minister of Defense

Adanech Abebe – Minister of Revenue

Fetlework Gebregziabher – Minister of Trade and Industry

Dagmawit Mogess – Minister of Transport

Hirut Woldemariam (PhD) – Minister of Science and Higher education

Yalem Tsegaye Assfaw -Minister of Women’s’, Children’s’ and Youth

Ergoge Tesfaye (PhD) -Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

Hirut Kassaw (PhD) -Minister of Culture and Tourism

Fitsum Assefa (PhD) – Minister of Planning and Development Commission

The following are list of the ten men ministers

Workneh Gebeyehu (PhD) – Minister of Foreign Affairs

Ahmed Shide -Minister of Finance and Economy

Umer Hussien – Minister of Agriculture

Amir Aman (PhD) – Minister of Health

Dr Getahun Mekuria -Minister of Innovation and Technology

Engineer Seleshi Bekele (eng.) Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity

Jantirar Abay -Minister of Urban Development and Construction

Samuel Hurko (PhD) – Minister of Mines and Petroleum

Berhanu Tsegaye – Attorney General with the Rank of a Minister

Tilaye Gete (PhD) – Minister of Education


In addition to appointing the reshuffled cabinet, the new draft bill No. 1097/2018 mandated the new ministry of peace to be led by former house speaker Muferiat Kamil to oversee the National Intelligence & security Service (NISS); Information Network Security Agency (INSA); Federal Police Commission; & Finance Security & Information Center; National Disaster Risk Management Commission; the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs; Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute; and the Main Department For Immigration & Nationality Affairs. Ministry of Peace will also assume the roles and responsibilities of former Federal & Pastoralist Development Affairs.

The bill also placed the following agencies under the auspices of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR): Ethiopian News Agency (ENA); Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA); Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA); Federal anti corruption commission; & Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Breaking:HPR speaker Muferiat Kamil will assume the new ministerial portfolio, Ministry of Peace; Workneh Gebeyehu will remain as minister of Foreign Affairs; and Ahmed Shide will become minister at Ministry of Finance,where he was a state minister before moving to communication pic.twitter.com/nZJ6Cuur8l

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Addis Standard@addisstandard

Breaking: PM dissolved the Government Communication Affairs Office, which was led by Ahmed Shide with ministerial portfolio and instated it under the Prime Minister’s office. Ahmed Shide will be announced the new minister of finance. Parliament is in session. pic.twitter.com/39ia7v17y5

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The other major reshuffle is the dissolving of the Federal Government Communication Affairs office led by Ahmed Shide with ministerial portfolio. GCAO is no more and its mandate is restructured as press secretariat under the prime minister’s office. AS


Read more from the Oromian Economist sources:-


Women win half of Ethiopia’s cabinet roles in reshuffle

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed creates new peace ministry in the latest in a string of changes, The Guardian

Jawar Mohammed’s red-carpet return signals Ethiopia’s political sea change October 14, 2018

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Two years ago, the state branded him a terrorist. Now, after years in exile, activist Jawar Mohammed is back – and determined to see democracy in his country

A man holds an Oromo Liberation Front flag as people in Addis Ababa celebrate the triumphant return of Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed
 A man holds an Oromo Liberation Front flag as people in Addis Ababa celebrate the triumphant return of Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Jawar Mohammed never travels alone. When the US-based Ethiopian activist returned to his home country on 5 August, he was treated like royalty. A posse of sharply suited young men hovered by him at all times. Jeeps carrying security guards patrolled his hotel in central Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. Supporters from the provinces arrived in droves to pay their respects. Over the course of a two-week visit he held about 25 to 30 meetings a day, according to an exhausted aide.

After meeting with the Guardian in his hotel suite he rushed off to give a lecture at the capital’s main university, entourage in tow.

Nothing demonstrated the breathtaking transformation in Ethiopian politics over the past four months quite like the red-carpeted return of a figure who was once the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) most wanted man.

From a studio in Minneapolis, where he founded the controversial Oromia Media Network, Jawar has spent the past decade agitating over social media for political change back home in Ethiopia, which he left as a scholarship student in 2003. This was his first time in Ethiopia since 2008.

Jawar Mohammed, U.S.-based Oromo activist and leader of the Oromo Protest, addresses a news conference upon arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia August 5, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
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 Jawar Mohammed addresses a news conference upon arriving in Addis Ababa in August. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

So effective was he as an activist that by late 2016, as anti-government protests billowed across the country compelling the EPRDF to impose a state of emergency, the Oromia Media Network was labelled a terrorist organisation and Jawar accused of crimes against the constitution.

By early 2018 the revolutionary fervour had grown so loud that Hailemariam Desalegn was forced to resign as prime minister, paving the way for his enormously popular successor Abiy Ahmed, a young reformist from Oromia, Jawar’s home and the country’s largest and most populous region.

The Oromia Media Network, along with some smaller outlets and activists, has used social media to devastating effect over the past few years, coordinating boycotts and demonstrations and bringing Ethiopia’s large and often brutal security apparatus close to its knees.

“We used social media and formal media so effectively that the state was completely overwhelmed,” Jawar says. “The only option they had was to face reform or accept full revolution.”

During the course of a triumphant homecoming, the former terrorist (charges were dropped in May) toured the country, mostly around Oromia, where he was welcomed by vast and jubilant crowds. On his first day he led a tub-thumping rally in the capital’s main concert hall.

Later he travelled to Ambo, the epicentre of the Oromo protest movement – a struggle for political freedom and for greater ethnic representation in federal structures, which Jawar played a main role in orchestrating. Tens of thousands arrived to greet him, more than when Abiy visited the town shortly after his inauguration in April.

As Jawar had promised his supporters – mostly young, politically active Oromo men known as the Qeerroo – he took off his shoes and walked prophet-like through the streets of the city. He then planted a tree at the site where a young man was killed by security forces nearly 15 years ago, long before the rise of the movement that threw him into the national spotlight.

“They used to make me so happy and proud with what they did,” he said of Ambo’s Qeerroo. “So I told them: ‘One day I will come to your city and show my respect by walking barefoot.’ That day came and I had to deliver.”

Few doubt the importance of Jawar in recent Ethiopian history. Perhaps more than any other single individual, he took the once-marginal politics of Oromo nationalism and made it mainstream. Today, Oromos – the country’s largest ethnic group – dominate the highest offices of state, and Jawar enjoys significant personal influence over the country’s new leaders, including Abiy himself.

In a recent interview with local media he claimed – to the dismay of many Ethiopians – that the country now effectively has two governments: one led by Abiy, the other by the Qeerroo. This puts him in a position of extraordinary responsibility, since he is “one of the Qeerroo” and “a significant portion of the country listens to me”, he admits.

Many are uncomfortable with the whiff of demagoguery that accompanies Jawar. One Ethiopian journalist (who asked to remain anonymous) notes his “Trumpian sense of truth when inconvenient facts surface”.

He has been accused of inflating the numbers of protesters killed by security forces and, infamously, telling his followers (73,000 on Twitter and more than 1.4m on Facebook) that army helicopters fired live bullets at civilians during the tragic stampede that occurred during an Oromo cultural festival in October 2016. Independent journalists present confirmed this did not happen. He has a history of smearing journalists he disagrees with as government “agents”.

He has also been accused of inciting ethnic and religious violence. In a 2013 video, for example, he is heard saying: “My village is 99% Muslim. If someone speaks against us, we cut his throat with a machete.” Jawar says the clip was doctored, adding that he would not say such a thing because his father was a Muslim and his mother a Christian.

In recent years, he has whipped up his supporters against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, the once dominant ethnic Tigrayan wing of the ruling coalition, which critics argue led to attacks against Tigrayan civilians as well as those of other ethnic groups. Jawar says that he has long sought to steer his supporters towards “non-violent resistance”, and adds that “even when TPLF was in power and actively killing our civilians we ensured Tigrayan civilians were not subject to attacks”.

These days, Jawar comes across as a more moderate and conciliatory figure. He says he plans for the Oromia Media Network to set up offices across Ethiopia and become a professionalised outfit. He points to the BBC and NPR as models. He insists he has no intention to enter formal politics, preferring to remain an activist.

“I want to help us in the next couple of years transition to democracy. And for that I want to use my influence over the population so that they can calm down, contain themselves, and ensure peace while the political leadership works out arrangements for transition,” Jawar says.

The last point is especially significant. In recent weeks instability across Ethiopia has escalated sharply, especially in his own region. The day after his interview with the Guardian a rally in the town of Shashamene turned violent, as a crowd of Jawar followers publicly hung a man they suspected of carrying a bomb. Two more died in the carnage that followed. Many Ethiopians blame him for the unrest, and he was compelled to cancel the rest of his tour.

Jawar nonetheless remains optimistic about the country’s future, and about the prospect of a peaceful politics free from violent expressions of ethnic identity. “I do believe if we democratise the Ethiopian state – allowing people of all ethnicities to participate in the political process and to get a fair share of power and wealth – there is a possibility the next generation will be proud Oromo and proud Ethiopian at the same time. I think that is possible.”

  • This story was amended on 21 August to include a response from Jawar Mohammed and to clarify claims against his organisation.


Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed: Lessons for Nigeria, New Telegraph August 1, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed: Lessons for Nigeria


 


Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed: Lessons for Nigeria

Good governance exemplars in Africa continue to evolve, even if slowly. An African country, Ethiopia, has the youngest democratically elected Head of State on the continent; who happens also to be one of the 20 youngest Heads of State in the world. Africa should be proud. Yet it seems Africa failed to take sufficient notice.

In the past 18 months, Africa has seen 15 leadership changes averaging approximately one per month. One of the remarkable transition was in Ethiopia. Its run up was not seamless, but the end result is predictably remarkable. Ethiopia’s leadership evolution started with the former Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, who decided to step aside in the aftermath of mass protests on the streets of Ethiopia, and evident failure to quell the restiveness, despite deploying various drastic measures. In surrendering power, he yielded to the voice of reason and democratic dictates.

In stepping aside, Desalegn was cognizant that such gesture had the capacity to create the political and conciliatory space required to bring about new solutions and certainly stem the bloodletting and wanton killing of Ethiopian defenseless civilians from Oromo ethnic stock, who would not stop protesting.

By resigning, the former Prime Minister gave Ethiopia a new lease of life to move forward. In comparative terms and given African realities, he deserves credit. After all, when last did an African Head of State willingly resign from office. Robert Mugabe and Jacob Zuma remain very awkward examples. Desalegn leaving stoke the embers of effective succession planning amidst conflict.

Inevitably, the question became who will replace him? Who will the nation accept? And had the capacity and persona to quell turmoil and rally the nation to reconciliation and healing? The lot fell on Dr. Abiy Ahmed, who was chosen by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, as its Chairman with 108 of 180 possible votes. Ethiopia’s ruling party is made up of four ethnic parties including Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation, (OPDO), Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM); the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Indisputably, with Abiy Ahmed’s emergence, Ethiopia struck the proverbial gold and netted four giant birds with one cage. First, Ahmed is of the Oromo ethnic stock, which has been at the root of the antigovernment protests.

The Oromos are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia constituting about 34% of the country’s 100 million population, but have never ruled the country. They have accused the government repeatedly of neglect and humiliation. Now, their son, who interestingly was the chairperson of the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO), is now the Prime Minister. Psychologically, his emergence ought to solve at least half of the problem, or nothing else will.

Ahmed is a pacifist thrown up by conflict. He is also a paradox. In him, Ethiopia has her first Muslim Prime Minister who interestingly, hails from a home with a Muslim father and a Christian mother. Suffice to say that while he checks off on both boxes, he had consistently identified with his Muslim roots. This latter disposition underlines his broad acceptability. But there’s more to his bonafides.

Ahmed arrived at his new job, wellschooled and with the requisite expertise. He served as a former Minister of Science and Technology under Desalegn, he just completed his doctorate in peace and security from Addis Ababa University in 2017 and comes from a military/intelligence background where he last ranked as a colonel in the Ethiopian army. Add to that the fact that he speaks fluent English and three Ethiopian languages, you find sufficient expertise written all over him. He possesses the skill and grit that is of immediate need to Ethiopia. Also, you have a Prime Minister with all expertise at 42. He’s dynamic, energetic, thinking and the youngest in the continent. He is well-equipped to drive an already progressive Ethiopia to the next level. Ethiopians must be beating their chest in cheers to such a win.

There is much for Nigeria to learn if she truly yearns for a way forward. Hardly in our national history have we been as divided along ethnic lines as today. There are alleged cases of ethnic cleansing going on in some states including Benue, Taraba and Zamfara under the watch of the government, yet the troubling silence from quarters that should defend justifies Nigerians’ suspicion of conspiracy.

Nigeria is not officially at war, but the number of deaths recorded from the killing of the Fulani herdsmen in the last three years is more than enough casualties for most wars. In the face of these all, and with the latest killing in Plateau State, President Muhammadu Buhari continue to give credence to criticisms that he is incapable of finding solutions to Nigeria’s problems. Even changing cabinet members or appointees who have failed in their responsibility seems too arduous. Increasingly, there is pressure for the President to resign both from those who mean well and those who are purely politicking. However, if the President truly cares about Nigeria, he knows the choice to make.

For Nigerian youths who are getting ready to contest elective positions on the basis of the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill allowing them to do so now that the bill have been passed into law, becomes imperative. Age is not necessarily the problem. It’s about competence and experience. Look at Ahmed. He served previously as minister and led his own party before becoming the Prime Minister. He was close to power and understood the challenges; now his experience is evident in his reforms. He’s taking the bold step of putting a limit to the tenure of Prime Ministers, which was hitherto unchecked. There’s great optimism in Addis Ababa that the right man is on the saddle.

Look at Emmanuel Macron: he served first as minister; formed and led his own party with which he became the President. We witnessed his meetings with President Donald Trump a few weeks ago in the U.S. He bossed it despite being 32 years younger than Trump.

If you’re serious about taking back your country, chat little about age on Facebook and go to work. Form your party or join existing ones. Reform them to suit modern ideologies and lead them. Stay genuinely close to power. Fight for the Youth Minister position to be truly yours first. Fight for a percentage of National Assembly positions in your party. Slowly, you will take over. Nobody will hand you power, there’s no free lunch anywhere. Being young will never win you an election; there must be a story to your youth that stands you out, something that clearly defines you and that can easily predict what the future will be with you. You must be strategic fellow young people.

A look at Ethiopia’s party structure reveals something interesting. In all the parties, there are four ethnic/regional parties that form the coalition. Leaders of each party stand the chance of becoming the next Prime Minister. In the Nigerian context, that should mean there will be a leader for the Northern group in APC, PDP and all other parties, same for Middle Belt, South-East, South-South and the West. With the regional leaders, you already know who is likely to emerge as the President and begin to fight early if that choice will not do the country any good. It does look like a great example but it reminds us one thing, we can’t escape restructuring for Nigeria to become functional. Ethiopia looks set to continue in its development trajectory especially in infrastructure.

Despite the protest against the previous government and internet shut down, the country continued to implement her development plan building top infrastructure for its cities. Every visit to Ethiopia, offers one the chance of encountering incremental development, especially in infrastructure. Recently, Ethiopia opened Africa’s first energy plant that converts trash into electricity.

It will incinerate 80 per cent of Addis Ababa’s waste and supply electricity to 30 per cent of its household. It will also recover 30 million litres of water and averting the release of 1.2 million tons of carbon emissions. It was opened casually. The Prime Minister didn’t even attend. Such a project in Nigeria will leave the Presidency on the brink of inviting God to physically attend the lavish commissioning. Ethiopia is leading; Nigeria, when will you Arise?


 

•Udeh is a Research Associate at Selonnes Consult Ltd; Obaze is MD/CEO Selonnes Consult Ltd


 

OMN: Simannaa MM Dr. Abiy Ahmad fi Perz. Lammaa Magarsaa (Minnesota), Little Oromia. Welcoming H.E. PR. OF ETHIOPIA DR. ABIY AHMED AND H. E. PZ. OF OROMIA DR. LAMMAA MAGARSAA July 30, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

OMN: Welcoming H.E. PR. OF ETHIOPIA DR. ABIY AHMED AND H. E. PZ. OF OROMIA DR. LAMMAA MAGARSAA

Photos: Ethiopians turn up in thousands to meet PM in Minnesota

Thousands of Ethiopians in the United States’ city of Minnesota packed the Target Center to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Clad in bright national and traditional colours, the crowd packed the center long before the arrival of the PM and his team. Abiy’s call for peace and unity of Ethiopians has been a common message on his tour and he was supposed to reiterate that message.

The PM and his entourage comprising the Foreign Affairs Minister, Information Minister and President of the Oromia regional state arrived in the state for the final leg of Abiy’s diaspora tour.

The tour took him first to Washington DC – where he held high-level political and economic meetings before addressing the Ethiopian diaspora. Next stop was in Los Angeles before arriving in Minnesota on Monday.

Photos courtesy TargetCenterMN and Opride [Mohammed Ademo, a pro-democracy activist]

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Tsedale Lemma@tselemma

If you can’t understand & try to accept the collective images coming out of as the image of , you will have failed the mini litmus test of understanding the Ethiopia to come; the Ethiopia we will be negotiating to build & the Ethiopia we will be settling for.

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Awol Allo@awolallo

So proud of Minnesota (aka little Oromia) right now. Thus far, it is looking like a showpiece of diversity, inclusion, and tolerance. I hope it ends that way – as an outstanding example of the type.

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Mohammed Ademo

@OPride

PM Abiy Ahmed and his delegation landed at Minneapolis International Airport for the final leg of a three-state diaspora tour. He was welcomed by members of the community and prominent individuals, inc. @Jawar_Mohammed

 


Daawwannaa Ameerikaa Kan Muummicha Ministeeraa Abiy Ahimed fi Dr. Lammaa Magarsaa

 

 

MPR News: Photos: Thousands welcome Ethiopian prime minister to Minneapolis

 

Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed cheer.
Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wave Ethiopian and American flags while waiting for him to speak inside Target Center in Minneapolis on Monday, July 30, 2018. Evan Frost | MPR News
Yusuf Ahmed lowers his glasses to peer at the stage.
2Yusuf Ahmed lowers his glasses to peer at the stage before Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks. Evan Frost | MPR News
Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wave flags.
3Supporters of the prime minister wave flags from the VIP section as he takes the stage. Evan Frost | MPR News
The floor of Target Center in Minneapolis is filled.
4The floor of Target Center in Minneapolis is filled with supporters. Prime Minister Ahmed was scheduled to appear at 2:30 p.m. but did not show up until nearly 5 p.m. Evan Frost | MPR News
Two attendees dance with the flag of the Oromo people.
5Two attendees dance with the flag of the Oromo people in the crowded arena. Evan Frost | MPR News
People carry giant Ethiopian and Oromo flags around.
6People carry giant Ethiopian and Oromo flags around the floor of Target Center. Evan Frost | MPR News
Rado Ali cheers for the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
7Rado Ali cheers for Prime Minister Ahmed during his speech. Evan Frost | MPR News
Attendees wave flags before Abiy Ahmed's speech.
8Attendees of a speech by Prime Minister Ahmed wave flags and cheer before he takes the stage. Evan Frost | MPR News
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
9Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other government officials look out at the crowd inside Target Center. Evan Frost | MPR News
Dancers perform on stage for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
10Dancers perform on stage for Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed. Evan Frost | MPR Newshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyPz89iAAtshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbXFMPM3qJI

Oromo do not want to be called Ethiopia but Oromiyaa. But they value peace and stability more than anything else July 29, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Oromo revolution is primarily to have free and stable Oromiyaa

Obbo Ibsaa Guutamaa


Secularism is Oromo political culture and tradition: Up until Haile Sillaasee, one church and government used to share power, economy and social practices. Darg and Wayyaanee did not have legal share in church affairs. But just like the emperor they appointed head of the Orthodox Church. Though it is said religion does not interfere in state matters both did not abandon heritage. PM Abiy is reverting to the past and eulogizing the two religions. He claimed everything fell apart because they lost credibility. Gadaa system believed in separation of state and religion. Abbaa Gadaa did not have power over faith of the high priest (Qaalluu) Abbaa Muudaa. It is the same for Abbaa Muudaa over politics. Just like, political culture, economy and social affairs all practices of Ethiopian government and that of Oromiyaa are different. The eldest religion “Waaqeffannaa” belongs to the Oromo, that will be an answer for those that ask why PM did not mention them like he did the others. Secularism should not be expected from Ethiopian state. Looked from principles of human rights country and governance belongs to all that live in it. Those that believe and do not believe have equal claims. Faith is private. That is why creating conditions in which all live without discrimination are necessary. The PM, when he talked about Ethiopia from the time it was called Abyssinia did not mention about the “Oromo Question”, which is thorn in Ethiopia ‘s hind. It seems he has forgotten that that was the cause for coming about of the change. That is why Nafxanyaa remnants and underlings say, “Racist, ethnic federalism, demarcations by language, separatist, etc. and badmouth Oromo nationalists. But Oromo are not spoiled culture and they do not return insult for insult. However, Nafxanyaa system will never again reign over Oromiyaa until the last Oromo with liberated mind remains. They have to know that there is nothing wrong with ethnic independence or federalism rather than braying as if they got something out of the ordinary. Peoples of the region worry about peace, freedom, equality and stability not about names of countries like Oromiyaa or Ethiopia. Some persons speaking in Amharic always want to impose their own thinking with a voice that seem that of feudalism from beyond its grave. They never ask what the others want. Oromo do not want to be called Ethiopia but Oromiyaa. But they value peace and stability more than anything else. How do anti-people elements reconcile their archaic thinking with that position? Oromo wish the people of the world respect each other’s differences and live in peace and develop together. Oromo revolution is primarily to have free and stable Oromiyaa. Saying Oromo is sovereign over Oromia does not mean Oromo revolution is out to destroy peace stability and development of the region. Just like it brought the present change with blood and sweat, it is duty bound to strengthen unity and prosperity of the region by cooperating in bringing about free and equal African people to the stage. No one can deny them this right or make Oromiyaa their fiefdom without their will. But first the Oromo nation have to establish its own identity and strong rear. Even if he is leaning towards Ethiopia Dr. Abiy is the first ruler of Ethiopia to promise stablishing supremacy of the law and a system of fair and free elections. As long as that is his objective and making effort to implement it supporting him is to one’s own advantage. Without fear or threat, like he said to raise arms on each other when it is possible to discuss peacefully is absurd. At an era when the strong are preparing on how to conduct war from the outer space and raise its standard, saying armed struggle is out of fashion may be true for the oppressor; for the oppressed it would remain as current as ever. On this we go separate ways with the Doctor. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu! Unless he gives priority to his blessed objectives of supremacy of the law fast, with present conditions there is much to be worrisome for all. For issues concerning peoples’ rights he has to be supported in every possible way. Otherwise, saying give him time only, could mean denying oneself time. It has to be thought over.

Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!


 

Related:

I found this comment by @Guma Teressa on my Timeline worth bringing to the front door.

“It’s shocking to hear PM Dr. Abiy declare that there should only be Ethiopian diaspora community and diaspora soccer federation organized under the banner of “Ethiopia”, and implicitly dismisses Oromo communities and soccer federation.
Is that why he snubbed OSA’s invitation?
He will pay dearly, politically speaking, for this embarrassing statement. He should know better! No one ought to explain to him the reason why Oromos had to establish their own communities and soccer federation. The irony of all this is he belongs to “Oromo People’s Democratic Organization”. Why the hell he joined OPDO if he is so averse to ethnicity?
If he continues to make this kind of nonsensical attack on the social and academic spaces Oromo people created for self-preservation, his base will soon crumble and the hyenas will devour him for dinner.
Do not patronize Oromo institutions, Dr. Abiy!!!!”

 

 

Actually very annoying, still in 21st century the Oromo people are being forced or seduced to give up themselves and be something else. The PM’s idea of preaching Ethiopianism to everyone to bring all people together as its an identity in everyone’s blood and culture is wrong. Rather than part of people identity Ethiopism has been an artificial method of rule that imposed on the majority of nations nationalities in the empire. It is only to make occupation and exploitation simple and centralized. It is a good idea to bring people together on mutual interests. Rather than imposing his way of unity that has been adopted from the northern, he has to first speak to each nations and ask them how they think and wish to come together. He has to learn national self determination ideals. Free world is not like his Ethiopia’s federal government. People like the Oromo have got the advantage of living in free and democratic world and organized themselves not on Ethiopianism model but as Oromo nation. For Oromo people in diaspora, Ethiopian community around is practically an Amhara community. They respect the way others organizing themselves. They respect their own independent community as well. A call give yourself and join the assimilation is not acceptable. As a democratic leader, to reach to the Oromo people the pm has to go where communities of Oromo are and assure them what he can offer them. The pm to be successful in organizing diverse nations has to look at Euro zone nations (Common currency, common national bank, free movement of people with politically independent nations). Why is it a problem to have separate Oromo and other communities as far as it is the peoples will to do? In Britain, the 4 nations that make the United Kingdom: Scotland, Welsh, English and Irish do compete in world and European cups as independent countries. It has not reduced the Union. Actually reduced mistrust and increased the recognition of each other and cooperation. The best, functional and true form of unity is recognizing the nationhood and identity of the Oromo and the like as they are. The people have already recognized themselves in such way. Try to impose something which is not acceptable to them is disunity and finally the end of the empire. Ethiopia will join dead empires: Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Roman Empire, the Scramble for Africa,ect… The New Nation Oromia will play Germany and win World Cup like Croatia.

The Guardian (The Observer): Ethiopia hails its charismatic young leader as a peacemaker July 15, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia hails its charismatic young leader as a peacemaker

Abiy Ahmed is being compared with Mandela and Gorbachev. Can he help transform a region beset by war, tyranny and poverty?
Dancers welcome Eritrea’s leader, Isaias Afwerki, to Addis Ababa.
 Dancers welcome Eritrea’s leader, Isaias Afwerki, to Addis Ababa. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

The flags of the two nations flew bright and sharp. The two leaders waved at the happy crowds. The formal meetings overran, amid ostentatious displays of bonhomie. Even the hatchet-faced security officials appeared relaxed.

The meeting of Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s 41-year-old prime minister, and Isaias Afwerki, the 71-year-old president of Eritrea, in Addis Ababa on Saturday left seasoned Africa observers gasping for breath.

“The pace of this is simply astounding,” said Omar S Mahmood, of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies in Ethiopia’s booming capital.

The meeting between Abiy and Isaias concluded an intense bout of diplomacy that appears to have ended one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. “Words cannot express the joy we are feeling now,” Isaias said, as he had lunch with Abiy. “We are one people. Whoever forgets that does not understand our situation.”

Many Ethiopians expressed their exhilaration on social media. “The events of these past … days between Ethiopia and Eritrea are like the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only amplified 1,000 times,” Samson Haileyesus wrote on Facebook. The reaction in Eritrea has been equally ecstatic.

Analysts say such hyperbole may be justified. The bid for peace with Eritrea is just the latest in a series of efforts that may bring revolutionary reform to Africa’s second most populous nation, transform a region and ​​​send shockwaves from the Mediterranean to the Cape of Good Hope.

Since coming to power in April, Abiy has electrified Ethiopia with his informal style, charisma and energy, earning comparisons with Nelson Mandela, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama and Mikhail Gorbachev. He has reshuffled his cabinet, fired a series of controversial and hitherto untouchable civil servants, including the head of Ethiopia’s prison service, lifted bans on websites and other media, freed thousands of political prisoners, ordered the partial privatisation of massive state-owned companies, ended a state of emergency imposed to quell widespread unrest and removed three opposition groups from a list of “terrorist” organisations.

Nic Cheeseman, an expert in African politics at Birmingham University, said Abiy’s extraordinary campaign ​was a test of the argument that only repressive government can guarantee the levels of ​development so desperately needed across Africa​.

Despite an International Monetary Fund forecast predicting that Ethiopia, which has relied on a centralised economic model and political repression​ for decades, would be the fastest-growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, even the officially sanctioned press has admitted the country’s serious difficulties.

Isaias, centre left, and Ethiopia’s president, Abiy Ahmed, centre, greet each other at the airport.
 Isaias, centre left, and Ethiopia’s president, Abiy Ahmed, centre, greet each other at the airport. Photograph: Mulugeta Ayene/AP

There is a shortage of foreign currency, growing inequality, a lack of jobs for a huge number of graduates, environmental damage, ethnic tensions and deep hunger for change.

Different interest groups have come together in recent years to constitute a powerful groundswell of discontent, with widespread anti-government protests led by young people. At least 70% of the population is below the age of 30.

“Ethiopia was on the edge of the abyss. They have realised they cannot continue in the same old way. Only an advanced democratic system would prevent the country coming to pieces and a disaster that Africa has never seen before,” said Andargachew Tsege, a British citizen unexpectedly pardoned in May after four years on death row on terrorism charges. Abiy invited Tsege, who was abducted by Ethiopian security services four years ago, to a meeting two days after his release.​ They spoke for 90 minutes​.

​No one claims that Isaias, the “hard and rigid” ruler of Eritrea since 1991, ​has much in the way of new ideas. A nation of about 5.1 million people, Eritrea is the only African country where elections are not held. As many as 5,000 Eritreans flee their country every month, notably to avoid indefinite military conscription. Many head to Europe. The economy ​has flatlined for decades​. The UN has accused the regime of crimes against humanity.

“The entire history of [Isaias] is as a ruthless Marxist-Leninist … Enemies were shot and killed. Economically, his position has always been: we are completely self-reliant. Is this guy going to become a happy-clappy liberal? It ​is possible he wants to be Eritrea’s Mandela but ​seems unlikely,” said Martin Plaut, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London.

Once a province of Ethiopia that comprised its entire coastline on the Red Sea, Eritrea voted to leave in 1993 after a decades-long, bloody struggle.

The thaw began last month when Abiy said he would abide by a UN-backed ruling and hand back to Eritrea disputed territory. Analysts say conflicts across the region fuelled by the rift are now likely to die down.

For the moment Abiy’s ​reforms have popular support, and the crucial backing of much of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the rebel coalition that came to power in 1991.

But there is resistance. Last month, a grenade was thrown at a rally organised to showcase support for the reforms in Addis Ababa’s vast Meskel Square. Two died. “Love always wins … To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded,” Abiy said after the attack.

​Much depends on the determination of the Ethiopian leader. ​ Seen as a relative outsider before being picked for the top job by the EPRDF council​, Abiy is the first leader from Ethiopia’s largest ethnic community, the Oromo, who have complained for decades of economic, cultural and political marginalisation. The EPRDF is split by battles between four ethnically based parties as well as fierce competition between institutions and individuals.

Born in western Ethiopia, Abiy joined the resistance against the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as a teenager before enlisting in the armed forces. After a stint running Ethiopia’s cyberintelligence service, he entered politics eight years ago and rose rapidly up the ranks of the Oromo faction of the EPRDF, which has historically been at odds with the Tigrayans, who compose only 6% of the total population but have long had disproportionate political and commercial influence.​ In a major break with precedent, Abiy has been pictured with his wife and daughters, whom he has publicly thanked for their support.

As Abiy’s reforms gather momentum, the risks rise too. “Democracy can be achieved through benevolent leadership, but it can only be consolidated through democratic institutions. What we are seeing now is more of a personality-cult kind of movement,” said Mekonnen Mengesha, a lecturer at Wolkite University.

​Like other African countries– such as Kenya and Zimbabwe just over a decade ago​ – ​Ethiopia has seen previous efforts to reform its closed, autocratic system​ that have not ended happily.

“It’s really exciting and great news, but Abiy has not done anything that really threatens the regime​,” said Cheeseman​. ​“And​ until a government is actually faced with losing power you don’t know what will happen.”


More from Oromian Economist Sources:

Why the Eritrea-Ethiopia peace is good for African politics

The peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia is a radical act that will have an impact on all of East Africa. Click here to read


The Guardian: ‘These changes are unprecedented’: how Abiy is upending Ethiopian politics July 9, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

New PM has electrified country with his informal style, charisma and energy

Abiy Ahmed attends a rally during his visit to Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethiopia
 Abiy Ahmed: ‘To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded.’ Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, has accelerated a radical reform programme that is overturning politics in the vast, strategically significant African country.

Since coming to power as prime minister in April, Abiy has electrified Ethiopia with his informal style, charisma and energy, earning comparisons to Nelson Mandela, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama and Mikhail Gorbachev.

The 42-year-old – who took power following the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Haile Mmariam Dessalegn – has so far reshuffled his cabinet, fired a series of controversial and hitherto untouchable civil servants, reached out to hostile neighbours and rivals, lifted bans on websites and other media, freed thousands of political prisoners, ordered the partial privatisation of massive state-owned companies and ended a state of emergency imposed to quell widespread unrest.

In recent days, Abiy fired the head of Ethiopia’s prison service after repeated allegations of widespread torture, and removed three opposition groups from its lists of “terrorist” organisations.

On Sunday, the former soldier met president Isaiah Afwerki of Eritrea in a bid to end one of Africa’s longest running conflicts. The two men hugged and laughed in scenes unthinkable just months ago.

“You don’t want to exaggerate but for Ethiopia, a country where everything has been done in a very prescriptive, slow and managed way, these changes are unprecedented,” said Ahmed Soliman, an expert in East African politics at London’s Chatham House. “His main task is to satisfy all expectations of all groups in a huge and diverse country. That’s impossible but he’s trying to do so with some gusto.”

The Addis Ababa-based Reporter described “the spectre of catastrophe hanging over Ethiopia” and called on the new prime minister to pull the nation “back from the brink”.

Ethiopia is facing a critical shortage of foreign currency, only temporarily solved by an infusion of cash from the United Arab Emirates. There is growing inequality, a shortage of jobs for a huge number of graduates, significant environmental damage, ethnic tensions and a hunger for change.

Different interest groups have come together in recent years to constitute a powerful groundswell of discontent, with widespread anti-government protests led by young people. At least 70% of the population is below the age of 30.

“The youth [are] the active force behind the country’s growth. Now there must be a new model to make Ethiopia progress economically by creating more job opportunities for the youth while respecting political and civil rights,” said Befeqadu Hailu, a 37-year-old blogger jailed repeatedly for his pro-democracy writings.

Abiy has apologised for previous abuses and promised an end to the harassment.

“I have always lived in fear but I feel less threatened when I write than I did before,” Hailu said. “It’s not only his word … the moment he spoke those words the security personnel down to the local levels have changed.”

But not all back Abiy’s efforts. Last month, a grenade was thrown at a rally organised to showcase popular support for the reforms in Addis Ababa’s vast Meskel Square, where many among the tens of thousands supporters wore clothes displaying the new prime minister’s image and carried signs saying “one love, one Ethiopia”. Two people died and more than 150 were injured in the blast and the stampede that followed.

“Love always wins. Killing others is a defeat. To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded,” Abiy said in an address shortly after the attack.

Officials said there had been other efforts to disrupt the rally, including a power outage and a partial shutdown of the phone network. At least 30 civilians and nine police officers were arrested.

Since Abiy took power, there have been “organised attempts to cause economic harm, create inflation[ary] flare-up and disrupt the service delivery of public enterprises”, state media said.

One possible culprit could be a hardline element within Ethiopia’s powerful security services – Abiy has replaced military heads with civilians and admitted past human rights abuses. Another could be a faction opposed to the effort to find peace with Eritrea.

Strafor, a US-based consultancy, said the perpetrators of the “amateurish” attack were more likely to be from one of Ethiopia’s restive regions.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the rebel coalition that ousted the Derg military regime in 1991, is split by factional battles between four ethnically based parties as well as fierce competition between institutions and individuals.

Tigrayans, an ethnic community centred in the north of Ethiopia, make up about 6% of the population but are generally considered to dominate the political and business elite.

Abiy was seen as a relative political outsider before being picked for the top job by the EPRDF council. He is the first leader from Ethiopia’s largest ethnic community, the Oromo, who have complained for decades of economic, cultural and political marginalisation.

Born in western Ethiopia, Abiy joined the resistance against the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as a teenager before enlisting in the armed forces, reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He has a doctorate in peace and security studies. After a stint running Ethiopia’s cyberintelligence service, he entered politics eight years ago and rose rapidly up the ranks of the Oromo faction of the EPRDF, which has historically been at odds with the Tigrayans.

Analysts say Abiy’s mixed Christian and Muslim background, and fluency in three of the country’s main languages allow the new leader to bridge communal and sectarian divides. He has also reached out to women, making an unprecedented mention of his wife and mother in his acceptance speech.

One personal acquaintance described the new prime minister as “always looking ahead for the future”.

“He is also a good listener but with a bit of headstrong attitude towards people who don’t deliver,” said Yosef Tiruneh, a communications specialist who worked under Abiy at the science and technology ministry.

Tiruneh, said shelves of books on religion, philosophy and science filled Abiy’s office. “He is physically active and very well organised … He did not have a secretary because he wanted his office to be accessible. His office door was literally never closed.”

Andargachew Tsege, a British citizen unexpectedly pardoned in May after four years on death row on alleged terrorism charges, said Abiy was “very intelligent and a quick learner” who was committed to democratisation.

“Abiy invited me to meet him two days after my release. We spoke for 90 minutes and a lot of issues were discussed. It was a meeting of minds. This guy means business,” Tsege, who was abducted by Ethiopian security services while in transit in Yemen four years ago, said.

But some point out that the autocratic nature of decision-making in Ethiopia has yet to change, even if Abiy is using his new powers to reform.

“The country is still being led by one person and his cabinet,” said Tigist Mengistu, an executive in Addis Ababa. “Sadly we have been there for 27 years and we want that to change. It is bad for a country as diverse as Ethiopia,” she said.

Additional reporting by Hadra Ahmed in Addis Ababa


Related from Oromian Economist Sources:

Ethiopia, Eritrea to normalise relations after historic meeting

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his country would normalise relations with neighbouring Eritrea following an historic meeting with President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara on Sunday, ….

yahoo.com

Ethiopia: Millions of people gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and across the country to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda. #March4Abiy #AbiyAhmed #Ethiopia #OromoProtests June 23, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abiy  #Ethiopia #OromoProtests ,n 23 June  2018.png

OMN Finfinnee: Gabaasa hiriiraa deeggarsaa (Wax2018)

Millions of people gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and across the country to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda. #March4Abiy #AbiyAhmed #Ethiopia #OromoProtests

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abiy #AbiyAhmed #Ethiopia #OromoProtests.png

 

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abiy  #Ethiopia #OromoProtests on 23 June  2018.png

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abi

Dozens injured in a deadly blast at a support rally for Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed, OP

 

AMHARIC PROGRAMOMN: ሰበር ዜና (LIVE) Jun 2, 2018

MM Abiy Ahimad: ‘Yaadni hammeenyaa keessan isiiniif hin milkoofne’, BBC Afaan Oromoo

Ethiopia: NEWS: PM ABIY AHMED FORMS HIS NEW CABINET; PARLIAMENT ELECTS NEW SPEAKER. Muummichi Ministeraa, Dr Abiyyi Ahmad, kaabinee haarawa dhaabaniiru. April 19, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Dr. Abiy Ahmed and daughters in Oromo national, as he sworn as Ethiopia prime minister, 2nd April 2017

NEWS: PM ABIY AHMED FORMS HIS NEW CABINET; PARLIAMENT ELECTS NEW SPEAKER

In a related development, the parliament has elected a new speaker, replacing Aba Dulla Gemeda, who was the speaker for the last six years. Accordingly, Muferait Kemil, former Minister at the Women Affairs Ministry, is now the new speaker of the House of people’s Representatives, making her the first female speaker of the house.  Her appointment will also make the position of both the speaker and the deputy to be held by women. Shitaye Menale is the deputy speaker. AS

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has today formed his new cabinet members. The Prime minister presented sixteen names, of which ten are new names for ministerial positions, while the six were recycled from one ministry to another.

However, all members of Parliament who were given the chance to ask questions have expressed their concerns, reservations and objections to the proposed list on various grounds. Among the reservations expressed by MPs is the lack of women members of cabinet. Out of the sixteen, there are four women cabinet members, higher proportion compared to previous experiences.  They are: Hirut Woldemariam (PhD), Minister of Works & Social Affairs; Yalem Tsegaye, Minister of Women and Children Affairs; Ouba Mohammed, Minister of Communications & Technology; and Fozia Amin, Minister Culture and Tourism.

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Update – List of new cabinet members presented by PM approved by the majority MPs. Two of the 16 new members of the news cabinet are absent and the 14 have just been sworn in. pic.twitter.com/kbQumrx56H

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Today’s major change is the appointment of Teshome Toga 👇, Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the EU to become minister at Public Enterprises ministry. He replaced Dr. Girma Amente, who is now the Head of the urban development and housing bureau of the regional state. pic.twitter.com/alOQiKn3wc

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The other concern raised by an MP was the replacement of Dr. Girma Amente from the Ministry of State Enterprises by Teshome Toga, who was Ethiopia’s Ambassador the EU. The MP defended Dr. Girma’s track record at the Enterprise said she objected his replacement. Dr. Girma moved to lead the urban development and housing bureau of the Oromia regional state.

But the most critical argument raised by three different MPs is the decision to merge Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources with the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery. MPs expressed their concerns that given the abundance resources of livestock and fishery in the country, the sector needs its own ministry. In addition, an MP also raised concern that the attempt was previously tried but has failed. The decision to merge the two was however approved by the house. Accordingly, Shiferaw Shigute, deputy chairman of SEPM and Secretariat of the EPRDF will be the new minister leading the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock Resources.

Addis Standard@addisstandard

PM defending the decision to merge; he said Livestock and Fishery, led by Prof. Fekadu Beyene, was performing 56% of its capacity. He also said the merge was not at the expense of Livestock & Fishery. The decision is approved by majority vote; 3 against, & 1 abstain pic.twitter.com/VgdyuoSs6w

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Update: MPs are questioning, expressing reservations and their oppositions to the list of new cabinet members introduced by the PM on various grounds including an opposition against the decision to remove Dr. Girma Amente from Public Enterprises ministry. pic.twitter.com/0iuEYjGRRY

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After responses by PM Abiy Ahmed to the questions and concerns raised by MPs, the parliament has approved the new cabinet members who were sworn in before end of the 21st regular session of the parliament.

Accordingly, the new list of members of the Prime Minister’s cabinet is comprised of the following sixteen ministers:

– Shiferaw Shigute, Minister of Agriculture & Livestock Resources

– Siraj Fegessa, minister of Transport

– Brehanu Tsegaye, Attorney General

– Ubah Mohammed, Minister of Communications & Technology

– Teshome Toga, Minister of State Enterprises

– Hirut Woldemariam (PhD), Minister of Works & Social Affairs

– Amir Aman (PhD), Minister of Health

– Meles Alemu, Minister of Mines & Energy

– Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD), Minister of Industry

– Ahmed Shidie, Minister of Government Communications

– Motuma Mekassa, Minister of Defense

– Fozia Amin, Minister of Culture & Tourism

– Umar Hussien, Director General of Revenues & Customs Authority

– Yealem Tsegaye, Minister of Youth & Women

– Melaku Aebel, Minister of Trade

– Janterar Abay, Minister of Urban Development & Construction

For live update from the parliament’s session and background information on some of the appointees, please refer to the following thread:

Addis Standard@addisstandard

Good AM! ‘s PM is to announce a limited number of cabinet reshuffle. Based on info confirmed by AS, the following people will take new positions. Comm’n Affairs Minister replacing Dr. Negeri Lencho will be Ahmed Shide of Ethio-Somali People’s Democratic Party


Related (Oromian Economist Sources):-

Manni Maree muudama kaabinee haaraa Dr. Abiy dhiyeessan raggaasise

Muummichi Ministeraa, Dr Abiyyi Ahmad, kaabinee haarawa dhaabaniiru. Kaabinoota kana keessatti Ob Umar Huseen, itti-aanaa pirezidaantii Oromiyaa, Daayireektara Gaaliiwwanii fi Gumruuka Itoophiyaa ta’udhaan muudamaniiru. Waajjirri galiin biyyattii kan Woyyaaneen keessatti goobdeedha. Akkasumas, Ob Mootummaa Maqaasaa Ministera Raayyaa Ittisaa ta’aniiru. Kunis laakkofsa Oromoota Komaand Poostii keessa jiran lama godheera. Ob Biraanuu Tsaggaayees Abbaa Alangaa Itoophiyaa ta’aniiru. Wolumaa galatti angoon sadeen kunniin yeroo kanatti ijoodha.

Gama birataiin Ob Abbaadulaa Gammadaa aangoo afyaa’ummaa gadi lakkisaniiru.

Guutuaa namoota akka haaratti Dr Abiyyi gara kaabinee isaatti fide ykn bakka woljijjiiree:

1. Obbo Shifarraa Shugguxee – Ministeeraa Qonnaa fi Qabeenyaa beelladaa
2. Obbo Siraaj Fageessaa – Ministeera Geejjibaa
3. Dr. Hiruut W/Maariyaam – Ministeera Dhimma Hojjetaa fi Hawaasummaa
4. Amb. Tashoomaa Togaa – Ministeera Dhaabbilee Misoomaa Mootummaa
5. Obbo Umar Huseen – Dareektara Ol. Abbaa Taayitaa Galii fi Gumuruk Itiyoophiyaa
6. Aaddee Uubaa Mohaammad – Ministeera qunnamtii fi Odeeffannoo
7. Dr. Ambaachaw Makonnin – Ministeera Indaastirri
8. Obbo Mootummaa Maqaasaa – Ministeera Raayyaa Ittisaa biyyaa
9. Aaddee Fooziyaa Alii – Ministeera Aadaa fi Turiizimii
10. Obbo Ahmad Sheedii – Ministeera Dhimmoota Komunishinii Mootummaa Federaalaa
11. Obbo Janxirar Abbaayigzaaw – Ministeera Misooma Magaalaa fi Manneeni
12. Obbo Mallasaa Alamuu – Ministeera Albudaa fi Inarjii
13. Obbo Birhaanuu Tsaggaayee – Abbaa Alangaa waliigalaa Federaalaa
14. Aaddee Yalam Tsagayee -Ministeera dhimma dubartoota fi Daa’imanii
15. Obbo Malakuu Atbal – Ministeera Daldalaa
16. Dr. Amir Aman – Ministeera Eegumsa fayyaa

የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶክተር አብይ አህመድ ሙሉ የካቢኔ አባላት ዝርዝር


Kaabinee Guutuu M/Minsteeraa Dr.Abiy Ahimad Kan Har’aa Dabalatee
==========================
1-ደመቀ መኮንን- ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር
2-ወርቅነህ ገበየሁ- የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር
3-ሞቱማ መቃሳ- የመከላከያ ሚኒስትር
4-ታገሰ ጫፎ -የፐብሊክ ሰርቪስና እና የሰው ሀብት ልማት ሚኒስትር
5-አብርሃም ተከስተ- የገንዘብና ኢኮኖሚ ትብብር ሚኒስትር
6-ከበደ ጫኔ- የፌዴራል ጉዳዮች እና የአርብቶ አደር አካባቢዎችልማት ሚኒስትር
7-መላኩ አለበል- የንግድ ሚኒስትር
8-ኡባ መሀመድ- የኮሙኒኬሽንና ኢንፎርሜሽንና ቴክኖሎጂ ሚኒስትር
9-አምባቸው መኮንን- የኢንዱስትሪ ሚኒስትር
10-ሂሩት ወልደማሪያም- የሠራተኛና ማህበራዊ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር
11-ሽፈራሁ ሸጉጤ- የግብርናና እንስሳት ሀብት ሚኒስትር
12-ጌታሁን መኩሪያ- የሳይንስና ቴክኖሎጂ ሚኒስትር
13-ሲራጅ ፈጌሳ- ትራንስፖርት ሚኒስትር
14-ጃንጥራር አባይ- የከተማ ልማትና ቤቶች ሚኒስትር
15-አይሻ መሐመድ- የግንባታ ሚኒስትር
16-ስለሽ በቀለ- የውሃ፣ መስኖና እና የኤሌክትሪክ ሚኒስትር
17-መለሰ አለሙ- የማዕድን፣ የነዳጅ እና የተፈጥሮ ጋዝ ሚኒስትር
18-ገመዶ ዳሌ- የአካባቢ ጥበቃ፣ ደን እና የአየር ንብረት ለውጥ ሚኒስትር
19-ጥላዬ ጌቴ- የትምህርት ሚኒስትር
20-ይናገር ደሴ- የብሔራዊ ፕላን ኮሚሽን ኮሚሽነር
21-አሚር አማን- የጤና ጥበቃ ሚኒስትር
22-ተሾመ ቶጋ -የመንግስት የልማት ድርጅቶች ሚኒስትር
23 ብርሃኑ ፀጋዬ- ጠቅላይ አቃቤ ህግ
24-ፎዚያ አሚን- የባህል እና ቱሪዝም ሚኒስትር
25-ያለም ፀጋዬ- የሴቶችና የህፃናት ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር
26-እርስቱ ይርዳው- የወጣትና ስፖርት ሚኒስትር
27-ኡመር ሁሴን -የኢትዮጵያ ገቢዎችና ጉምሩክ ባለሥልጣን
28 አስመላሽ ወልደስላሴ- በህዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤትየመንግስት ተጠሪ ሚኒስትር
29- አህመድ ሸዴ- የመንግስት ኮሙኒኬሽን ጉዳዮች ጽህፈት ቤት ኃላፊ ሚኒስትር

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር አብይ አህመድ ለፌዴራል መንግስት የስራ ኃላፊዎች ሹመት ሰጡ


የኢፌዲሪ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶክተር አብይ አህመድ ለፌዴራል መንግስት የስራ ኃላፊዎች ሹመት ሰጥተዋል፡፡

በዚሁ መሰረት ሹመት የተሰጣቸው የፌዴራል መንግስት የስራ ኃላፊዎች

1-ወ/ሮ ፈትለወርቅ ገብረእግዚአብሄር በሚኒስትር ማዕረግ የዴምክራሲ ስርዓት ግንባታ ማስተባበሪያ ማዕከል ዋና አስተባባሪ

2-ወ/ሮ ደሚቱ ሀምቢሳ የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ጽህፈት ቤት ኃላፊና የካቢኔ ጉዳዮች ሚንስትር

3-አቶ አባዱላ ገመዳ የጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ የብሄራዊ ደህንነት ጉዳዮች አማካሪ ሚንስትር

4-አቶ አህመድ አብተው በሚንስትር ማእረግ የፖሊሲ ጥናትና ምርምር ማዕከል ዋና ዳይሬክተር

5-አቶ ሞገስ ባልቻ በጠቅላይ ሚንስትር ጽህፈት ቤት በሚንስትር ማዕረግ የዴሞክራሲ ሥርዓት ግንባታ ማስተባበሪያ ማዕከል የጥናትና ፐብሊኬሽን ዘርፍ አስተባባሪ

6-አቶ ዓለምነው መኮንን በሚንስትር ማዕረግ የመለስ ዜናዊ አመራር አካዳሚ ፕሬዚዳንት

7- ዶ/ር በቀለ ቡላዶ የብረታብረትና ኢንጂነሪንግ ኮርፖሬሽን ዋና ዳይሬክተር

8- አቶ ተመስገን ጥሩነህ የኢንፎርሜሽን መረብ ደህንነት ኤጀንሲ ዋና ዳይሬክተር

9- አቶ ያሬድ ዘሪሁን የፌዴራል ፖሊስ ኪሚሽን ኮሚሽነር ጀኔራል በመሆን ከሚያዝያ 11፡2010 ዓ.ም ጀምሮ የተሾሙ ሲሆን የተሰጠው ሹመት የት/ት ዝግጅትና የፖለቲካ አመራር ብቃትን ከግምት ያስገባ መሆኑ ተገልጿል፡፡


Mootummaan Naannoo Oromiyaa muudama haaromsaa eeglame cimsa jedhe taasise

Tarreeffama muudama fuula facebook kan Waajira Dhimmoota Komunikeeshinii Mootummaa Naannoo Oromiyaa irratti ba’e akka agrsiisutti muudamni kun gaggeessitoota sadrkaa mootummaa naannoofi federaalaatti walitti fiduun kan gurmaa’edha.

Akka ibsa Obbo Addisuu Araggaa Qixxeessaa, Hogganaan Biiroo Dhimmoota Komunikeshinii Mootummaa Naannoo Oromiyaa fuula facebook isaaniirratti maxxansanitti muudamni taasifame kun fayyadamummaa ummata naannichaa boqonnaa haaraatti ceesisuuf qabsoo eegalame itti fufsiisuuf jedhameera.

Akka Obbo addisuun barreessanitti haala yeroo ammaa naannoo Oromiyaa keessaa jiru yaada keessa galchuun ramaddii hoggansaa gaggeeffame kun dhimmoota gurguddoo sadi yaada keessa galchee kan raawwaatamedha jedhu .

Isaanis dandeettii raawwachiisummaa mootummaa cimsuudhaan rakkoo bulchiinsa gaariifi kenniinsa tajaajilaa hiikuu, sadarkaa federaalaatti gahee hoggansaa qabnu gahumsa ol’aanaadhaan bahachuuf hoggansa Mootummaa Federalaatiif gumaachuufi hirmaannaa dubartootni, dargaggootniifi hayyootni hoggansa keessati qaban cimsuudha.

Aadde Adaanach Abeebee, Kantiibaa Magaalaa Adaamaa gara I/G/ Waajjira Dh.D.U.O G/Galeessaatti fiduufi Aadde Caaltuu Saanii kan Kantiibaa Magaalaa Laga Xaafoo Laga Daadhii turte gara Hoggantuu Abbaa Taayitaa Galiiwwanii Oromiyaa fiduun hirmaannaa dubartootaa cimsuuf kan jedhameef fakkeenyadha.

Kanaaf, Aadde Xayibaa Hasan kan Kantiibaa Magaalaa Shaashamannee turte gara sadarkaa Pirezidaantii I/Aantuu MNO fiduu dabalatee tarreeffama muudama haarawaa kana keessatti hirmaaannaan durbartootaafi dargaggootaa gara hooggansa jajjabootti fiduun mullateera.

Torban darbes Caffeen Oromiyaa Yaa’ii Idileesaatiin raawwii hojii erga gamagamee booda kan Mana Murtii Ol Anaa Oromiyaafi OBN dabalatee muudama gara garaa kennuun isaa ni yaadatama.


Muudama


Mootummaan Naannoo Oromiyaa sochii haaromsaa eeglame cimsee itti fufuun fayyadamummaa ummata naannoo keenyaa boqonnaa haaraatti ceesisuuf qabsoo eegale cimsee itti fufee jira. Haaluma kanaan yeroo ammaa kana boqonnaa qabsoo irra geenye yaada keessa galchuun ramaddii hoggansaa irra deebiin geggeessee jira. Ramaddiin hoggansaa yeroo ammaatti geggeeffame kun dhimmoota gurguddoo armaan gadii yaada keessa galchee kan raawwaatamedha . Tokkoffaa, dandeettii raawwachiisummaa mootummaa cimsuudhaan rakkoo bulchiinsa gaarii fi kenniinsa tajaajilaa hiikuudha. Kanaafuu, hoggansa gahumsaa fi kutannoo ol’aanaa qabu sadarkaa adda addaatti ramaduun sochii haaromsaa sadarkaa naannoottii calqabame finiinsuun itti fufsiisuudha. Lammaffaa sadarkaa federaalaatti gahee hoggansaa qabnu gahumsa ol’aanaadhaan bahachuuf hoggansa Mootummaa Federalaatiif gumaachuu yaada keessa kan galchedha. Sadaffaa hirmaannaa dubartootni, dargaggootnii fi hayyootni hoggansa keessati qaban cimsuu yaada keessa galchee kan raawatamedha. Ramaddiin Hoggansaa irra deebiin geggeeffamu kun sadarkaa hundatti cimee kan itti fufu ta’a. Haaluma kanaan Muudamni armaan gadii kennamee jira:-

1.Aadde Xayibaa Hasan (Pirezidaantii I/Aantuu MNO)
2.Dr. Girmaa Amantee ( Hogganaa Biiroo Misooma Magaalaa fi Manneenii Oromiyaa)
3.Aadde Adaanach Abeebee (I/G/ Waajjira Dh.D.U.O G/Galeessaa
4.Obbo Addisuu Araggaa (I/G Siyaasaa fi Ijaarsa Baadiyyaa waajjira Dh.D.U.O Giddu Galeessaa)
5.Obbo Kaffaaloo Ayyaanaa(I/G Siyaasaa fi Ijaarsa Magaalaa Waajjira Dh.D.U.O g/galeessaa)
6.Dr. Nagarii Leencoo (Hogganaa Biiroo Dhimmoota Komunikeshinii Mootummaa Naannoo Oromiyaa)
7.Obbo Asaggid Geetaachoo (I/G Waajjira Pirezidaantii MNO)
8.Aadde Caaltuu Saanii (Hoggantuu Abbaa Taayitaa Galiiwwanii Oromiyaa)
9.Dr. Milkeessaa Miidhagaa (Hogganaa Biiroo Dargaggootaa fi Ispoortii Oromiyaa)
10.Dr. Alamuu Simee (Hogganaa Biiroo Bishaan, Albuudaa fi Inarjii Oromiyaa)
11.Obbo Siisaay Gammachuu Daayirektera Ejensii Misooma fi Babal’ina Industurii Oromiyaa)
12.Aadde Habiibaa Siraaj (Kantiibaa Magaalaa Laga Xaafoo Laga Daadhii)
13.Aadde Ilfinash Bayeechaa Galataa (Kantiibaa Magaalaa Adaamaa)
14. Aadde Zeeyanabaa Adam ( Kantiibaa Magaalaa Asallaa)
15. Obbo Mohaammad Kamaal ( Bulchaa Godina Arsii Lixaa)
16. Obbo Lalisaa Waaqwayyaa (Bulchaa Godina Wallaga Lixaa)
17. Obbo Caalii Beenyaa ( I/A Kantiibaa Magaalaa Buraayyuu)
18. Obbo Dastaa Bukuluu (Kantiibaa Magaalaa Shaashamannee)
19. Obbo Kabaa Hundee( I/A hogganaa Biiroo Dhimma dargaggoo fi Ispoortii)
20. Obbo Asaffaa Kumsaa (Hogganaa Intarpiraazii dizaayiniii Hojiiwwan Ijaarsa Bishaanii Oromiyaa)
21. Obbo Abarraa Buunnoo (Bulchaa Godina Gujii Lixaa)
22. Obbo Nabiyyuu Dhabsuu (Bulchaa Godina Qeellam Wallaggaa)
23. Obbo Boggaalaa Shuumaa(Kantiibaa Magaalaa Naqamtee)