Economic and development analysis: Perspectives on economics, society, development, freedom & social justice. Leading issues in Oromo, Oromia, Africa & world affairs. Oromo News. African News. world News. Views.
It is time to face up to deep-rooted barriers to development
“In order to advance, we need to examine more closely not just what has been achieved, but also who has been excluded and why.” – Selim Jahan
“By eliminating deep, persistent, discriminatory social norms and laws, and addressing the unequal access to political participation, which have hindered progress for so many, poverty can be eradicated and a peaceful, just, and sustainable development can be achieved for all.” – Helen Clark
Beyond averages—using the family of human development indices
Human development is about improving the life chances of individuals. However, the measures used to monitor progress in human development often cover only countries and not individuals or groups. Disaggregated measures are therefore needed that show who is deprived, where they live and the nature of their deprivations. National, subregional and regional Human Development Reports have identified deprivations by analysing data disaggregated by age, gender, subnational units, ethnicity and other parameters. Disaggregating and analysing the family of human development indices— the Human Development Index (HDI), the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), the Gender Development Index (GDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII) and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)— are early steps towards quantifying the scale of deprivations globally.
Collective capabilities—helping marginalized groups
Human development is not only a matter of promoting the freedoms that individuals have and have reason to choose and value. It is also a matter of promoting the freedoms of groups or collective entities. Individuals are not the only unit of moral concern; structures of living together are, too. The failure to explicitly include them in evaluating the state of affairs leads to the loss of important information.
Ethiopia ranks 174th out of 188 countries in the latest UNDP Human Development Report (published 21st March 2017). Ethiopia’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2015 is 0.448, which put the country in the low human development category. According to the report, Ethiopia’s 2015 HDI of 0.448 is below the average of 0.497 for countries in the low human development group and below the average of 0.523 for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Top 10 countries on the Human development index are Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland and Canada.
Farmers, traders and consumers across East and Southern Africa are feeling the impact of consecutive seasons of drought that have scorched harvests and ruined livelihoods.
Ethiopia:The strongest El Niño phenomenon on record led to an extreme drought in 2016, with 10.2 million in need of food aid. A new drought means 2017 could be just as dire, throwing an additional 5.7 million people into crisis. Farmers and herders found their resilience tested to the limit last year. They have very limited resources left to cope with the current crisis. More at IRIN: Drought in Africa.
2016 was a challenging year for Ethiopia. But 2017 could be equally dire, as the country has been hit by a new drought. As 2.4 million farmers and herders cannot sustainably practice their livelihoods and reinvigorate their already drought-stricken farms, the new drought is throwing an additional 5.7 million people into crisis.
At the launch of the Humanitarian Requirements Document, UN Humanitarian Chief Stephen O’Brien called for US$948 million to meet people’s survival and livelihoods needs in 2017.
“We need to act now before it is too late,” he said. “We have no time to lose. Livestock are already dying, pastoralists and farmers are already fleeing their homes in search of water and pasture, and hunger and malnutrition levels will rise soon if assistance does not arrive on time.”
Source: 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document
Back-to-back cycles of poor or non-existent rainfall since 2015, coupled with the strongest El Niño on record, led to Ethiopia’s worst drought in decades. The new drought has hit southern and eastern regions, and pastoralists and farmers are fleeing their homes to find water and pasture.
The new drought extends beyond Ethiopia’s borders—in Kenya and Somalia, it has already pushed 1.3 million people and 5 million people into hunger, respectively. Severe water and pasture shortages in Somalia have resulted in livestock deaths, disrupted livelihoods and caused massive food shortages.
Feyisa Lilesa, who is now living in the United States following his performance at the Rio Olympics, won the United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday. Again, the Olympic marathon silver medallist, who is Ethiopian, crossed his wrists above his head, forming an “X,” in solidarity with the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa. It’s not the first, or second, time that Lilesa has performed such a gesture.
Excluding Sunday’s performance, Lilesa has on two previous notable occasions performed what is part of the Oromo protests since the Olympics including at the Honolulu Marathon and the Houston Half-Marathon. The 27-year-old did not return to Ethiopia after the Olympics fearing for his life because of the finish line act. The long-distance specialist is currently residing in Flagstaff, Ariz. with his family recently relocating to the United States on Valentine’s Day.
According to CNN, there have been protests across Ethiopia “since April of 2014 against systematic marginalization and persecution of ethnic Oromos.” The protests can be sourced to the territorial limits of the capital city Addis Ababa extending into neighboring Oromo villages displacing residents. In 2016, Ethiopian security forces “killed hundreds and detained tens of thousands of protesters in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Amhara regions,” according to Human Rights Watch. The government told Lilesa that it would be safe to return home.
As seen a recent feature in the New York Times, Lilesa has received a green card as a permanent resident in the United States “for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business and sports.” Lilesa’s finish line protests have led other runners, including several in Canada, to cross their wrists above their head at the finish line of races.
On Sunday, Lilesa and Scotland’s Callum Hawkins were side-by-side entering the finishing stretch towards Wall Street. Lilesa won by four seconds in 1:00:04, his first victory since the 2016 Tokyo Marathon. In the women’s race, there was also a tight finish as American Molly Huddle completed the NYC Half three-peat bettering Emily Sisson in 1:08:19 to 1:08:21. The two are training partners and reside in Providence, R.I. (Huddle is married to former Canadian middle-distance specialist Kurt Benninger.)
““I never would have thought I could come back here and win three times,” Huddle said in a New York Road Runners (NYRR) release. “I remember the first win was such a surprise for me, and last year we ran so fast. I just feel really lucky to have won a third time. Every time is really difficult with an international field. New York Road Runners brings in some of the best of the best. Some people are in marathon buildups but some people were really gearing up for this race. I feel like it was a really cool win, and just contributes to my enthusiasm for New York.”
Rachel Cliff (1:12:07) for eighth and Eric Gillis (1:03:49) in 16th were the top Canadians in the race that featured more than 20,000 runners.
1. Col. Gebremedihin Gebre, Shhinelle Zone Coordinator and deputy commander of Somali Special Forces
2 Col. Fiseha, chief of intelligence of somali regional government, specializing particularly in Oromos and Oromia issue, also heads and supervises Fefem zone security
3. Col. Gitet Tesfaye , coordinates and leads disputed borders issue and security
4. Major Desalegn Haddish, Babile front intelligence chief
5 Major Abraha Sisay, heads training of mercenaries and somali recruits at Bobas training center
6 Brigadier General Hadgu Belay, advisor to the president of Somali region on security and organizational affairs on security at regional government level
7 Col. Gebretensae, heads and coordinates Somali militias organization Oromo mercenaries working with the TPLF officials
1. Lieutenant Hassan Ali, former member of defense forces of Ethiopia, now commands a Liyu Police unit consisting 120 members at attacking Erer district( wereda)
2. Captain Mohammed Ibrahim, with a unit of 120 members at Babile front( WEREDA)
3 Sergeant Usman Mohammed, Garalencha district
4 Sergeant Jibril Ahmed spies on Oromo militia in Gursum district, to Fafam direction
5 Sergeant Mohamed Usman, Raqe, Meyu Muluke areas military operations
6 Sergeant Fuad Aliyi, Chinaksen district
* The Liyu Police and Somali region militia are organized in 26 regiment each consisting up to 500 personnel.
Hello dear esteemed managerial staffs, Risk-taking and Committed Journalists and Thoughtful and Truthful Reporters of Global Media Outlets!
Today, I kindly call up on and humanely urge you, to search, research and report on the case of drought weakening and dismantling almost all parts of Eastern Africa. Literature and memories have it that, though the intensity and severity might differ, almost all countries in this part of the world is facing some amount of pressure from drastic factors of Climate Change. Particularly, these regions are suffering from A Very Rapid Desertification locally and irreversible Global Warming universally since the last three decades. It is very sad that, we have multitudes of witnesses and plentiful of testimonies also that the deep-rooted Poverty, ever growing and rampant Corruption and other pertinent problems of Good Governance make the issue under a multidimensional media’s spotlight. This is why, this area is literally dubbed ‘a hell on the face of the planet earth’.
Recently, I, personally, observed the case of Borana, Gabra, Garri, Guji, Gedio, Sidama, Western Arsi and Eastern Shawa communities in Central and Southern Ethiopia, Northern Kenya and South-Western Somalia. More or less, people of these areas lived up experiencing droughts in the past. In these vicinity all in pastoral, agro-pastoral and agricultural settings they saw the taste of desert somehow. I also, personally have seen it. Bitterly faced it. Kept living being affected by it. I admit that I have seen peoples’ livelihood shifted, villages abandoned, children drawn out of schools, old men engaged in hard and unsafe work, pregnant women traveling long journeys in search for a can of drinking water and lives perished in vain and lost in the perching wilderness- all because of severe drought. Nevertheless, unlike the drought we are accustomed to know, this year round it is different completely. There is no place unaffected. No loopholes to take refuge for the herds and shepherds.
For instance, in the case of Borana Zone there has been no rain for the two consecutive normal rainy seasons. No fodder and water for animal consumption in any part of this area let it be Liban, Dirre, Malbe, Golbo, Sakhu or Waso. Now as we speak, in Borana, the drought is so much severe than its former status that let alone livestocks, human lives are at stake and at unredeemable risk if we fail to react as soon as we can. FYI, a rumor is being aired that quite a number of people have been died of hunger in Sakhu (Marsabit) county, around Magado in Dirre Woreda, Chari in Elwaye Woreda and some are on their deathbed around remote parts of the province where trucks can not easily travel and distribute the life’s essentials like water and food. The case of Liban areas, that is the worst case scenario though we need more details to cover much on the matter later on.
Anyway, this challenge has persisted long enough (more than consecutive 8 months now) in this area to render all community members helpless and hopeless; whether they are/were rich or poor, young or old, men or women, educated or non-educated. In these all periods of drought, the urban elites and youth groups from these communities have tried their best in easying the matter. They tried their best. They have raised funds at different levels and tried to help the drought stricken community members. Their vigor and hope is now fading. Therefore, they are pleading with the Global Communities. They say in unison, “We appreciate all efforts done by our fellow humans to help our pastoral community, in standing by our side and restoring the livelihood of rural dwellers which is very worse in comparison to towns’. Not only in the past, but also we have seen many individuals and groups supporting the rural people along with us. However, the drought is still being more severe than any time before. Despite the willingness of many Voluntary Aid Organizations and Emergency Projects to share what they have there is a huge gap in provision. We all know that, the Humanitarian Aids Organizations aim to save the lives and give us supplementary and temporal handouts at least. Unfortunately, most of them could not manage to do that because of the lack of tangible information on the ground. Leaders tend to talk about Resilience and Sustainability than our immediate need right now. We want sustainability as any other nations in the world. But now, our urgent need is food, water and medicine for survival.” They also asserted, “The governments, various social groups and stakeholders shall not keep silent on us because we’re on the brink of death. Mass death!’
For the second time in less than six months, the Ethiopian ruling party EPRDF-dominated parliament has declared a three-day nationwide mourning. This time it is for the victims of a devastating collapse of a mountain of solid waste located 13 km southwest of the capital Addis Abeba on Saturday, March 9.
As late as Wednesday and Thursday more excavators were arriving
The story of the growing numbers of Ethiopians (115 as of yet) who died buried under a pile of Addis Abeba’s solid waste first broke nearly 12 hours after it struck. For such a story about Ethiopia’s “forsaken” [“we are the forsaken; why would anyone care, right?”], it was neither surprising nor unexpected.
In the shadow of death
Officially known as “Reppi” landfill (commonly called by its local name Qoshe in Amharic) the area is a mountain of an open dumpsite where millions of tons of solid waste collected from the sprawling capital, home to some four to five million inhabitants, has simply been disposed off for more than half a century.
Established 54 years ago, and occupying 37ha surface area, Qoshe is not your ideal landfill. For starters, its surroundings on all four sides is home to both plastic makeshift shelters and poorly constructed mud & wood houses that shelter hundreds of people, a figure by far bigger than what the government admits as ‘houses’ with registered title deeds; and unlike repeated media reports that followed the tragic incident, the residents of the plastic makeshift and mud & wood houses are not all rubbish scavengers. “I work at the Ethiopian electric power corporation,” said Alemayehu Teklu, a father of four who, as of this writing, is still looking for his three children and his wife. “Only my first born son survived because he was not at home the night the garbage mountain caved in.”
Alemayehu and his family resettled in the area ten years ago when several shanty towns were demolished in many parts of Addis Abeba city to give way to new high rising buildings. “We had a two bedroom old house near Kazanchis that belonged to the families of my wife. The Kebele administrators had told us we should evacuate in two months but our house was demolished within three weeks after we were served with the notice,” Alemayehu said, “we were paid 70,000 birr [roughly $2, 500 in today’s exchange rate] as value for our house and were told we would be given a plot in one of the outskirts of the city. No one ever responded to our repeated pleas afterward and I settled my family here after buying the plot for 10, 000 birr.” Struggling to contain his tears, Alemayehu said: “we are the forsaken; why would anyone care, right?”
The people living around Qoshe are not only waste pickers who come from the city
The massive scale of decades-old evictions of the poor from the center of the city, which is, by all measures, a corruption-infested practice by city administration officials, means there are countless stories similar to Alemayehu’s. None of the dozen interviewees approached by Addis Standard say they become residents of an area surrounding a mountain of waste by choice. These include Mintiwab Gushe, a mother of four who lived in the area for the last 35 years, gave birth to all her children in the same mud & wood house they now remain buried under. Mintiwab is unable to compose herself to talk. And others, such as Gurmu Kidane and his now missing family of two have come to Qoshe as recently as June 2016, when more than 200 special police task force units have started demolishing houses in Nefas Silk Lafto Kifle Ketema in western Addis Abeba, which city authorities claimed were built illegally since 2005. “My family and I came here after losing our house because my sister who got a new condominium unit and had rented her house here in Qoshe gave it to me so I can shelter my family,” said Gurmu. He owns a cement mixer and lives off renting it to construction sites. His 16 years old daughter and his wife are now among the missing.
But the area surrounding Qoshe is not just home to the 200 or so households known to the city Administration; there are at least “500 households most of which also rent additional quarters to tenants,” said a young man who wants to remain anonymous. Here is where the story of Hadya Hassan, 72, fits. She rented her house to 13 different people who came from different parts of the country in search of labor. They are unregistered anywhere hence unknown to city officials. “We have been submitting requests to be relocated to our respective Kebele officials for years. Today, they came to see us mourn,” Hadiya told Addis Standard.
A sign posted at a tent erected to mourn the victims show the presence of unregistered tenants
Hauntedby collect and dump
Until 2014, Qoshe has consolidated its notoriety as the only open dumpsite that outlived its original purpose. For 54 years, it served as a dumpsite while having no facilities such as fences, drainage systems, odor control, or recycling methods.
“The present method of disposal is crude open dumping: hauling the wastes by truck, spreading and leveling by bulldozer and compacting by compactor or bulldozer,” admitted a research overview paper commissioned by the Addis Abeba City Administration in 2010 and was delivered to the UN Habitat. It also estimated that about 200,000 tons of waste was annually produced in Addis Abeba alone, of which 76% is generated from domestic households.
The ten-years-old commissioned review is an early sign that city authorities have long been haunted by the black mountain of dumpsite they have created half a century ago and have subsequently failed to manage properly. Nor have they been short of policy recommendations from think-tank organizations funded by foreign governments. “Adequate planning of waste management is essential if communities and regions are to successfully address the challenge of a sustainable development, including resource conservation, climate protection, and pollution prevention,” reads one such action brief written in 2010 and was partially funded by the German government’s ministry of education.
The Addis Abeba City Government Cleaning Management Agency, an agency accountable to the city administration, began taking the ensuing disaster at Qoshe a little more seriously around 2009, according to an official in the agency who spoke to Addis Standard but wants to remain anonymous because “now is a sensitive time.”
“At that time, authorities have begun to discuss selecting alternative sites and the closure and eventual transformation into a public park of Qoshe. Project proposals were submitted to several donors to conduct feasibility studies to open a modern dumpsite, which would also be used to generate green energy,” he said. Several donors, including the US, have responded positively and have provided large amounts of grants to the city administration,” he said, without mentioning the exact amount of money. “It was a lot.”
This was followed by a binge of workshops, both by the city administration and donors, research works, study tours to foreign capitals for high-level city officials including the Mayor, Diriba Kuma, and proposals on alternative sites and type of a state-of-the-art dumpsite.
As the spree of talks and workshops began to take shape, in a process the details of which is shrouded in backdoor negotiations, in 2012 the Addis Abeba city administration decided to obtain 136ha land in Sendafa, some 30km northeast of Addis Abeba, and is home to hundreds of farmers. As of now, Addis Standard is not able to verify the availability of documents, if any, detailing the process and eventual decision by the city administration to acquire this plot of land in Sendafa.
Be that as it may, with a US$337 million grant secured from the French government, and a project office assigned to do the job – Addis Abeba Waste Recycling & Disposal Project Office – the city administration looked poised to turn Sendafa Sanitary Landfill become everything Qoshe was not in more than 50 years of its history.
Sendafa Sanitary Landfill had a US$27.6 million initial budget; it is supposedly guided by an elaborated Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report; it had a 40 million birr [roughly US$1.8 million] compensation scheme for the farmers to be displaced by the project; it was benefiting from the rich experience of VINCI Grands Projets, a French construction company (coincidence?); it was to be assisted by four separate waste transfer stations for preliminary treatment of waste; and city officials determined to change the city’s face defiled by the solid waste its residents keep on producing and dumping carelessly. Sendafa Sanitary Landfill had everything to become a modern-day landfill.
Simultaneously, city administration officials have assigned a US$158 million for a project to turn Qoshe into a 50mw waste-to-energy plant and have awarded the contract to the UK-based Cambridge Industries; this was to be followed by yet another ambitious work to turn Qoshe into a green public park. This plan to green Qoshe was receiving institutional guidance, including from the Addis Abeba University (AAU) and the Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center and Network (HoARE&N).
If the French government came to the financial rescue of the Sendafa Sanitary Landfill, turning Qoshe into a waste-to-energy plant and a green park is enjoying a large sum of donors’ money Ethiopia is receiving in grants as part of its newly designed Climate–Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) planned to last for 20 years at cost of US$150 billion. One of the four pillars stated in this new lucrative project is the government’s wish to expand “electricity generation form renewable energy for domestic and regional markets.” Among the major contributors to this project are the United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs) and OECD countries.
However, reminiscent of delays the Sendafa Sendafa Sanitary Landfill experienced, the Qoshe waste-to-energy project has already missed its opening deadline several times.
What really went wrong?
Delayed as it may, Sendafa Sanitary Landfill opened in February 2016; Qoshe took its first break in 53 years. But six months into its service, Sendafa Sanitary Landfill imploded, leaving Addis Abeba to explode with its waste.
At the heart of the matter is the US$27.6 worth landfill which looked nowhere close to its plans on paper. “VINCI Grands Projets was paid may be half of the initial amount it won the contract for and even that, it was done in bits and pieces with several delays. The company was also not able to receive the hard currency it needed to import some of the equipment it badly needed” said a project team member at the Addis Abeba Waste Recycling & Disposal Project Office, who also spoke to Addis Standard on conditions that he remains anonymous. “And yet authorities from the city administration have rushed the opening of the landfill before it was fully completed.”
in Less than six months, households in Sendafa were exposed to toxic fluid
Addis Standard is unable to hear from VINCI Grands Projets representatives because its office is nowhere to be found in the addresses it listed was its location: “Sendafa Subcity – Woreda 13 and Yeka Subcity – Woreda 13 (Ayat Village Zone 06) Legetafo road.” And there is no registered telephone line under the company, or at the very least, operators at the state owned telecom giant are not aware of it.
But that doesn’t change the fact that Sendafa Sanitary Landfill was not only incomplete when it started receiving the city’s solid waste, but also none of the four waste transfer stations incorporated in the plan were built. These were sites designed to serve as preliminary waste treatment sites and were planned to be built simultaneously in four separate sites including Akaki sub city and Reppi itself.
“And yet, in Oct. 2016, the Addis Ababa City Government Cleaning Management Agency spent close to US$5 million to purchase 25 compactors and ten road sweepers designed to be given to all sub-cities to boost the existing, old compactors in order to dispose off the city’s waste in an efficient manner at the designated waste transfer sites. This was the second time the agency made such huge investment to buy compactors. Already in 2012, it bought 19 compactors at a cost of US$3.9 million; almost all of them were sitting idle by the time Sendafa Sanitary Landfill was opened,” our source at the Agency said.
Having consumed millions of dollars, but being not much of use in a city that never knew how to sort its garbage, Sendafa was quickly becoming just another Qoshe and the farmers were a storm in wait.
A truck pushing the pile of trash in the new Sendafa Sanitary Landfill
Under-compensated (of the 40 million birr originally assigned as compensations package, an official from the Solid Waste Recycling and Disposal project Office admitted having disbursed only 25 million – but the actual payment is even less than five million birr); dispossessed of their land; lied to as they were told their land was needed for future construction of an airport; and forced to live near a landfill that already started to stink, the Sendafa farmers have refused to accept nothing less than the total closure of the landfill.
And as the yearlong anti-government protests that started in Nov. 2015 continued to gather momentum, questions also began popping up; questions that probe the tumultuous power the city of Addis Abeba exercises over its surrounding villages administratively belonging to the Oromia regional state. Authorities both from the city administration and the Oromia regional state were locked in last minute discussions to avoid the fallout, and find ways to re-open a US$27 million worth new landfill, to no avail.
A city threatned by trash
As the pile of solid waste threatened Addis Abeba in the middle of the summer rainy season, the city administration decided to quietly reopen Qoshe.
Not the old Qoshe anymore
But in the six months since Qoshe was going through its eventual closure, Reppi as an area has completely changed. The real estate market in its surroundings, hyper inflated by the promise of a future public park and the ever increasing land value in Addis Abeba, has boomed. Construction sites near Qoshe have mushroomed, and bulldozing excavators have begun working aggressively for several projects the poor residents of the area know nothing about. “One day before the collapse of the trash, several bulldozers were ploughing the earth for what one of the operators carelessly told us was an ‘important government project’,” said Gebresselasie Mekuria, a resident at the western end of Qoshe landfill. “The smell was getting worse and we have filled our complaints to the Kebele officials asking them to relocate us; they responded to us as if we were mad people; as if living in this hell on earth is our preordained destiny.”
Meanwhile, while the planned constriction of the 50mw waste-to-energy plant is still ongoing, the plan for earlier promises to turn Qoshe into a green public park has stalled. With the collapse of the black mountain, its residents are now left with nothing but unknown numbers of victims.
The new waste-to-energey plant from outside
For the hundreds of these people who lived in the shadow of death, death is a routine exercise; and every time it happens, it leaves in its devastating wake a trail of lives altered forever. That is what happened on Saturday night to Bethlehem Yared, 16, who feels the burden of not been able to save her six years old brother who “decided to hide under the sofa when I ran for my life and asked him to follow me; I had to leave him behind”. Another one, Ayalew Negussie, who survived with his family, is deeply disoriented because “I lost all of my neighbors and friends whom I knew longer than I knew my children”; and Bedria Jibril, who is unable to “think anymore” after losing everything she has in less than 25 minutes. “I only left the house to buy milk for my one-year-old son and when I came back, I couldn’t find where my house was; I lost my husband and my two children all in less than 25 minutes.”
The collapse of this mountain of waste also deprived a means of income to no less than 300 waste pickers who scour it every day. Some of these are residents of the area, but many come from the city in search of something valuable, including food.
Qoshe is not new to life-devouring accidents. In 2015, a flashflood had displaced more than 70 households, many of which are plastic makeshift; in 2014, shortly before the closure of the dumpsite, a small collapse triggered by waste pickers had killed about 13 of them.
But on Saturday March 9, the black mountain of dirt finally decided to end sheltering the people who have taken refuge in it from a city that loathes them but loves their labor. Sadly, their story is not only a story of a waste mountain that collapsed on them, but has a trail of corruption and criminal negligence that left survivors with nothing but counting the bodies of their loved ones. AS
Additional reseach by Selam Ayalew from Addis Abeba University (AAU)
I believe that human rights, and the right to health in particular, should be a top priority of and guiding principle for the next WHO Director-General, whom the world’s health ministers will choose at the World Health Assembly in May. Human rights, after all, encompass the values needed to achieve health for all and health justice, such as equity, non-discrimination, universality, participation, and accountability. They are legally binding precepts. Above all, they embrace human dignity, and the utmost respect for all people in health systems and health-related decisions. They embody the notion of people-centered health services.
This importance demands electing to the post a credible and strong leader on human rights, someone with a history of fighting injustice, of opposing human rights violations, of standing up for the marginalized and oppressed, of resisting political, corporate, or other interests that stand in the way of human rights. This centrality of human rights means electing an individual willing to stand against forces and policies that tolerate or even perpetuate discrimination, or that let political or other concerns override the rights of women, minorities, immigrants, political opponents, or anyone else. It entails appointing a person who views organizations fighting for human rights as partners, even when their own governments may oppose them.
Three candidates remain in the race to be the next WHO Director-General: Tedros Adhanom, David Nabarro, and Sania Nishtar. All candidates should be accountable for their past support of human rights, and outline their plans for furthering human rights around the world if chosen to lead WHO. While it is important for all candidates to do this, one candidate in particular ought to provide a detailed public account of where he stands, and has stood, on human rights. Having spent more than a decade as a cabinet minister in a government that has committed large-scale human rights abuses, Dr. Tedros must make clear his position and intention.
In its World Report 2017, Human Rights Watch calls the media in Ethiopia “under government stranglehold,” with at least 75 journalists fleeing into exile since 2010, and others arrested. A 2009 law “continues to severely curtail the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations.” Security forces “frequently” torture political detainees, of whom there are many. Over the past decade, Ethiopia has denied entry to all UN human rights special rapporteurs, other than on Eritrea.
The Ethiopian government’s repressive ways gained international prominence at the Rio Olympics last summer. As he crossed the finish line, winning the silver medal, Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms as a symbol of protest against the government’s violent response to protests in the Ethiopia’s Oromia region. Two months earlier, Human Rights Watch had released a report detailing the government’s violent response to the protests, the most recent round of which began in November 2015. They broke out in response to the government clearing land for an investment project. This fed into wider fears about farmers being displaced without adequate consultation or compensation as part of a master plan to massively expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa, the capital, into the neighboring Oromia region. Adding fuel to the protests were environmental and other local concerns, and longer-standing grievances among members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, of political, economic, and cultural marginalization. Amnesty International reported that least 800 protesters had been killed by the end of 2016.
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted a blog on its official website in October 2016 (when Dr. Tedros was still Foreign Minister) in response to Human Rights Watch’s reporting on Ethiopia. The piece accuses Human Rights Watch of baseless allegations, intentionally misleading its audience, and propagating “scare stories.” It focuses on the NGO’s response to an October stampede during an anti-government protest at an annual festival in Oromia, though addresses Human Rights Watch’s reporting in Ethiopia more generally. Yet Human Rights Watch is widely recognized to employ a gold standard of research. The above-mentioned report, for example, was based on more than 125 interviews, “court documents, photos, videos and various secondary material, including academic articles and reports from nongovernmental organizations, and information collected by other credible experts and independent human rights investigators.” All material in the report was verified by two or more independent sources.
In light of Ethiopia’s severe human rights abuses and Dr. Tedros’s prominent position within the ruling party and the government, a natural question becomes: What was his role in the country’s systematic abuses of human rights?
What we do know, though, based on the independent reports of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the U.S. State Department, and others, is that the human rights situation in Ethiopia is dire. And Dr. Tedros has long been an important member of the government.
Dr. Tedros has committed to an open and transparent approach to running WHO. Now is the time for him to demonstrate this commitment, publicly addressing the concerns about human rights during his time in the Ethiopian government, and his role, including as a member of the power structures of the ruling party and coalition. States should evaluate his answers carefully and in light of other evidence.
States should also consider whether regardless of Dr. Tedros’s actions within the government – perhaps unless he vigorously fought against rights-abusive policies from the inside – the mere fact of having served (particularly for a considerable length of time) in a high-level post of a government that perpetuates such severe human rights abuses should be an automatic disqualifier from any international leadership position. Would electing someone put forward by such a government, particularly someone who has long served in that government, in some way represent the international community endorsing, accepting, the legitimacy of that government and its policies, and diminish the importance we ascribe to human rights?
We live in an era where human rights remain under great threat. Especially at such times as these, it is vital that states vote for a candidate whose record and integrity will enable them to lead WHO into a new era of health and human rights.
March 16, 2017 – Scholars at Risk (SAR) is concerned over the arrest and ongoing incommunicado detention of Professor Bekele Gerba, a foreign language professor at Addis Ababa University and the deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), who is facing terrorism-related charges that apparently stem from his peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and association.
SAR understands that on December 23, 2015, Ethiopian federal security forces arrested Professor Gerba, a prominent Oromo rights activist, after entering and searching his home. His arrest occurred against a backdrop of protests and intensifying clashes between the Ethiopian government and supporters of the rights of the Oromo minority, over the government’s renewed implementation of its “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan.” Sources suggest that Professor Gerba’s arrest was a reaction to the protests taking place across the Oromia region.
Upon his arrest, Professor Gerba’s family and witnesses were reportedly told that he would be taken to Maekalawi prison, where they could visit him in 24 hours. The day he was scheduled to appear in court, however, Professor Gerba allegedly disappeared and has since been held incommunicado. SAR understands that on April 22, 2016, an Ethiopian court brought terrorism-related charges against Professor Gerba and 21 others in connection with the protests. Prosecutors have since presented as evidence videos of a speech Professor Gerba gave at an August 2015 conference organized by the Oromo Studies Association and a December 2015 interview with a foreign-based, Ethiopian media outlet. SAR further understands that Professor Gerba has reported that he and his co-defendants have suffered ill-treatment during their detention.
SAR calls for emails, letters, and faxes respectfully urging the authorities to release and drop all charges against Professor Gerba; or, pending this, to ensure his well-being while in custody, including access to legal counsel and family, and to ensure that his case proceeds in a manner consistent with Ethiopia’s obligations under international law, in particular internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and free expression.
UNPO has released a report on human rights in Ethiopia, shedding light on the worrying situation of the Oromo and Ogadeni peoples. While international partners tend to hail Ethiopia as an African democratic role model and a beacon of stability and hope in an otherwise troubled region, the fundamental rights of the country’s unrepresented continue to be violated on a daily basis. With the support of major international donors such as the European Union, Addis Ababa increasingly prioritises strong economic growth, development and a high degree of enforced political stability at the expense of human rights and civil liberties.
Ethiopia’s economy has been growing steadily in recent years, boasting a small emerging middle class and receiving continuously-increasing foreign investment. The country is seen as a key ally by Western powers in the fight against terrorism and the regulation of international migration. Meanwhile, Ethiopia remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with a third of the population living in abject poverty and the country’s regime is also one of the African continent’s most authoritarian in character, cracking down mercilessly on those who voice dissent.
Those living in the Ogaden and Oromia regions are most vulnerable to the State-sponsored persecution. Protests in Oromia were violently repressed by the government since they started in April 2014, and continue to be. “Jail Ogaden” holds thousands of prisoners of conscience in overcrowding conditions and unhygienic facilities. Rape is systematically used as a weapon by the government and local polices such as the Liyu Police, combined with other forms of torture. And those are just a handful of examples.
As of March 2017, 300 people have died of hunger and cholera in the Ogaden region, because of the restrictions imposed by the Ethiopian government. Limitations on freedom of movement bars access to healthcare facilities and the trade embargo causes critical food shortages. UNPO calls on the international community to play its role in safeguarding human rights by putting an end to the financial flows fueling the Ethiopian State’s oppression and intimidation of the most vulnerable among its population.
Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum Press Release
Date: 16th of March, 2017 Ref: OSSF/01/17
For immediate release
Since November 2016, i.e., for the last five months, the murderous Liyu Police forces, commanded by the President of the Somali Regional State, have been undertaking border raids and attacks against civilians in the Oromia region, in the process killing and displacing many people. The attack is launched on five Oromia zones and 14 districts bordering the Somali region. At least 200 civilians have been killed and many others injured in the attacks according to reports. These senseless attacks were ordered by the TPLF as part of its strategy to weaken the popular uprising underway in Oromia against the minority ruling clique. TPLF has been trying to portray the conflict it maneuvered between the brotherly Somali and Oromo peoples as a dispute between the two regions over the ownership of border towns and localities, a dispute that has been settled through public referenda in 2005/6. The two neighboring ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully for centuries and have a culture of resolving disputes through established traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. Without the sinister hands of the TPLF, this conflict would not have even started. TPLF is hiding in plain sight and should understand that such mischief will not absolve it from the crimes it continues to commit against both the Oromo and Somali people.
The atrocities committed by the Liyu Police did not start with defenseless Oromos. These merchants of death and destruction have been terrorizing their own Somali people for the last ten years at the behest of their TPLF masters. They have committed numerous grave human right violations inside the Somali region and even as far beyond as Somalia with gruesome executions, rape, and burning of villages being their distinctive trademarks.
We at the Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum hereby condemn this TPLF-engineered reckless conflict which led to the bloodshed of our brotherly peoples. We urge the brotherly Somali and Oromo peoples to stand in solidarity and deny the TPLF the pleasure of achieving the division and animosity it aspires to sow between our people. The ongoing conflict is not a war between Oromos and Somalis. It is a proxy war orchestrated by the TPLF against Oromos through the Liyu Police which is an auxiliary instrument of repression by the desperate minority regime. United, we will overcome TPLF’s 26 years of oppression and mayhem.
Victory to the oppressed Oromo and Somali people!
With profound regards!
Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum
Addressed to: All Ethiopians, Oromos, Somalis and the international press
This year has not been kind to Ethiopia, including widespread popular unrest, drought in many parts of the country, a cholera outbreak and stampede at a culture festival. Yet the deaths at the Addis Ababa landfill on Saturday stands out as a sobering counterpoint to the country’s boasts of economic progress.
…But 30 percent of Ethiopia’s population still lives below the poverty line.
“These people, including many women and children, had no option but to live and work in such a hazardous environment because of the government’s failure to protect their right to adequate housing, and decent work.” – WP
Rescuers work at the scene of a garbage landslide, on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia on Sunday (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
Three days of national mourning began Wednesday for the victims of a catastrophic landslide at the Ethiopian capital’s main garbage dump that left at least 113 bodies buried under a wall of trash and dirt, mostly women and children.
This year has not been kind to Ethiopia, including widespread popular unrest, drought in many parts of the country, a cholera outbreak and stampede at a culture festival. Yet the deaths at the Addis Ababa landfill on Saturday stands out as a sobering counterpoint to the country’s boasts of economic progress.
Ethiopia’s government for the last decade has tried to put behind the familiar cliches in Western minds of famine and poverty. The numbers help their case. Ethiopia has one of the best-performing economies in Africa. But 30 percent of Ethiopia’s population still lives below the poverty line.
The changes are especially apparent in Addis Ababa, which was once little more than an overgrown village with a few government buildings. The city is now sprouting with glass and metal skyscrapers ringed by affluent new neighborhoods catering to an emerging middle class.
But the landfill tragedy is a reminder that the slums and shantytowns are still there, too. One of them was built amid the artificial mountain of garbage, where people scrap out a living combing through the refuse. Late Saturday, they heard a roaring sound. The garbage mountain suddenly gave way, sweeping away makeshift homes and burying dozens.
The growth of the capital has often outstripped efforts to manage it, creating hazards like the half-century-old landfill of Reppi, also known as Koshe or dirt in Ethiopia’s Amharic language.
Located southwest of the city, just a 15-minute drive from the embassy-filled neighborhood of Old Airport that is also home to the city’s best international school, this mountain of trash is now surrounded by housing developments.
Here, hundreds of men, women and children known as “scratchers” comb through the daily trash deliveries from the rest of the city, squabbling over the highly prized refuse from the wealthier neighborhoods that yield the most valuable castoffs or the best food. Overhead birds circle the more than 70-acre site, waiting for their own turn on this artificial mountain of trash.
Even before the latest collapse claimed dozens of lives, injuries and deaths from the settling trash or the bulldozers were common in this area, which is often a first port of arrival for immigrants from the countryside.
There was an attempt recently to close down the Koshe dump. But protesters from the surrounding Oromo region blocked garbage trucks heading for a new site.
In sharply worded statement Monday, Amnesty International held the government responsible for this “totally preventable disaster,” saying that the government was aware it was at full capacity but used it anyway and allowed people to build their huts on the garbage.
“These people, including many women and children, had no option but to live and work in such a hazardous environment because of the government’s failure to protect their right to adequate housing, and decent work.”
An estimated 300 people scavenge through the rubbish mountain at any given time and it is feared that the death toll could keep rising. The tally of dead rose sharply Wednesday from 72 to at least 113, an Addis Ababa official, Dagmawit Moges, told the Associated Press.
The government has announced the relocation of at least 300 people living on the site as well as compensation for the families. There have been scuffles though between residents and rescue workers, claiming they are not doing enough.
In the days since the landslide, there has been a heavy security presence at the site.
There has been no official reason for what caused the landslide, though the site’s overcapacity and the strain of accepting every day more garbage from the city’s estimated 3.5 million residents could be part of it.
Some residents have also claimed that the trash mountain was destabilized by a small foreign-funded biogas facility on the site to harvest methane gas and part of a years-long (and so far unsuccessful) effort to eventually close down the landfill — an accusation denied by the government.
Next to the festering, unstable landfill, that represents everything wrong with waste disposal across Africa and the developing world, is a project that could hopefully become a symbol of the continent’s future.
Press Release For Immediate Release March 14, 2017
The Oromo Leadership Convention (OLC) held its second meeting in the City of Washington, District of Columbia, March 10 – 12, 2017. The Convention was opened with the blessing of representatives of the main religious groups in Oromo society and concluded after successfully deliberating on the current situation in Oromia and passing landmark resolutions that affirm the unity of all Oromo and underscore the need to strengthen institutions of democracy.
This Convention was attended by over 600 religious, civic and community leaders from across North America and other parts of the world, political organizations, professional and civil societies, artists, businessmen, scholars, veterans of the struggle and Oromo notables who have contributed to the advancement of the Oromo cause in their respective fields.
Considering the gravity of the deteriorating situation in Oromia and the tremendous suffering that the state of emergency has imposed on our people, the Convention focused on taking action.
1. Based on the proposal recommended by the Task Force on Humanitarian Assistance, the Convention established a non-governmental organization known as HIRPHA International (Humanitarian Initiative to Relieve the Plight in the Horn of Africa) to assist in the effort deliver coordinated and efficient aid to the victims of the Ethiopian government.
2. Accepting the proposal of the Task Force on Diplomacy and Advocacy, the Convention established a research and policy center that will assist the efforts to conduct diplomatic action in a strategic and coordinated manner with the view to assisting the struggle to end tyrannical rule in Ethiopia. This center will be named Organized Diplomacy and Advocacy Action in the Horn of Africa (ODAAHA).
3. Recognizing that the Task Force of Experts presented revised documents known as the Declaration of Oromo Unity and National Aspirations and Oromo Charter of Freedom, Justice, Dignity and Human Rights reflect the views of the delegates regarding the foundation of Oromo unity and a common ground for political action, the Convention adopted the revised documents as its official documents.
4. Recognizing that the need for further discussions to internalize the contents of these documents, the Convention recommended them to Oromo communities around the world for studying and discussions. The Task Force of Experts was named as a Commission of Experts to spearhead the effort.
Considering that the Oromo struggle needs robust, functioning and autonomous democratic and civil society institutions, the Convention discussed new agendas proposed by the OLC Executive Committee. The new agenda emphasized the need for enhancing women’s participation and youth engagement in the Oromo nation’s future and initiated an effort to create professional associations.
After thoroughly discussing two concept papers, the delegates recommended launching a community-wide conversation with a view of taking concrete steps to enhance women and youth participation in Oromo affairs within a reasonable period.
Recognizing the demand of the Oromo people, the Convention stressed the importance of the unity of purpose among Oromo political organizations for the success of our people’s struggle. The participants recommended to all political parties to continue to work together to find ways to mobilize our people for the bitter struggle ahead and redouble efforts to expand the arena of interparty collaboration, build democratic institutions, and fortify self-rule capabilities.
Recognizing the gravity of the time, Convention participants decided to increase their support for the Oromo struggle and to join hands in solidarity with all freedom loving peoples to fight against the repressive TPLF regime. In view of the continued suffering of our people, the Convention, once again, condemns in the strongest of terms the continued killings, mass incarcerations, enforced disappearances, and persecution of Oromo. The delegates also demanded an immediate end to the State of Emergency that has made life impossible for our compatriots.
Concerned with the continued impunity of the Ethiopian regime, the Convention, once again, calls upon the international community to live up to its commitment not to “never again” allow mass killings from occurring again by demanding the establishment of an independent and thorough investigation into the mass killings, especially at the Irreecha festival on October 2, 2016, and the other crimes perpetrated by Ethiopian security forces against innocent people.
Finally, the Oromo Leadership Convention extends its call to all peoples in Ethiopia to redouble their efforts to end totalitarian rule in the country.
Kaayoon isaa akka koree yaa’ii tana kopheessite keessaa Dr.Izqiheel Gabbisaa yuniversitii Kaateringi ka Mishigen jirtu keessaa dubbatetti ummata Oromoo biyya keessaa fi biyya alaatti rakkoo gugurdoo keessa jiru gargaarsa ilmaan namaatii fi gama siyaasaalleen gargaaraa tokkummaa Oromoo ijaaruu fi jabeessuu dhaaba dhaabuu.
Akkuma kanaan Yaa’iin tun dhaaba HIRPHA International (Humanitarian Initiative to Relieve the Plight in the Horn of Africa) jedhu ka nama mootummaan Itoophiyaatiin Afrikaa gama Gaafaa keessaa miidhame gargaarsa qindaahee kennuun qagaraafuu.
Tanaafuu Afrikaa gama Gaafaa keessatti damee Organized Diplomacy and Advocacy Action in the Horn of Africa (ODAAHA) yayyaban.
3.Tana maleellee galmee yaada Koree Qindeessituutin dhiyaatte jedhan Declaration of Oromo Unity and National Aspirations and Oromo Charter of Freedom,Justice, Dignity and Human Rights jedhuun tokkummaa Oromoo jabeesitu jedhan yayyaban.
Press Releaseby Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD)
March 14, 2017
In Ethiopia, once again, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunties, uncles, grannies and grandads have painlessly perished under the rubble of rubbish dump landslide in the outskirt ghetto of the capital. Once again, one of the darkest days repeated in different form on a different segment of the society. Once again, the peoples of Ethiopia are mourning for the tragic death of several dozen, in addition to ongoing execution of the Oromo and the rest peoples of Ethiopia by terrorizing TPLF’s security apparatuses under its draconian State of Emergency; death of Ogaden Somali people who’re left to die from preventable Cholera epidemic; and the ongoing suffering of Gambella children who’re routinely abducted by the foreign forces and the civilians who are killed by the said invaders without the protection of TPLF’s authorities who call themselves government.
The PAFD’s member originations, on behalf of their respective nations send their deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of such tragedies. We know that there is no accountable government or institution to be held into account; although we never stop pushing with our demand for the TPLF’s regime to be held responsible. We’ve also learnt that, hundreds have been left homeless when their substandard and dilapidated houses, which they call it, a home has been buried under tons of negligently dumped garbage landslide. TPLF’s regime has ignored a repeated advice of the experts to do something about the garbage, preferring to focus on executing civilians instead.
Therefore, the death of more than 68 people in the said landslide at a huge garbage dump on the outskirt of the Ethiopian capital (Finfinnee/Addis Ababa) on the night of March 11, 2017 is, a clear case of dereliction of duty by the Ethiopian TPLF’s dictatorial regime. Further reports also indicate that, several dozen are still missing; and the subjects are said to be some of those who have been neglected by the ruling TPLF/EPRDF in the last 26 years of its reign; whereas the rest of the victims were some of those who have been uprooted from their ancestral lands from the outskirts of Fifinnee (Oromia) to vacate it for TPLF’s generals and politicians to trade with their lands under pretexts of investment. In either case, however, the regime in power is responsible.
The subjects are ended up with such brutish and unforgiving death. We, in PAFD are deeply touched with such unsettling incidents mainly affected the subjugated and disregarded groups of society by the regime in power. We urge the peoples of Ethiopia to stand hand in hand and support the victims during such harrowing process of transition to their contexts of normality. Meanwhile, the regime in power must be wholly condemned for failing to provide the citizens with the elementary protection in the outskirt of the capital from where it exploits their resources without regards to their safety and wellbeing. The PAFD also urges all nations and peoples of Ethiopia to unite in fighting the brutalizing regime to bring about genuine change in Ethiopian politico-economic and social landscape thereby to be able to stop such negligence of unrepresentative TPLF’s government who has proved its inaptness in the last 26 years.
Finally, the TPLF’s dictatorial government must be held into account for its failure to protect the citizens; urged to unconditionally compensate the families of this tragic incident for negligently causing the death and destruction of their lives and livelihoods.
May the soul of those who have died and are needlessly dying due to TPLF’s deliberate negligence and because of the ongoing operation of security apparatuses all over the country rest in peace. The PAFD never rests until justice prevails on behalf of all its stakeholders and the rest of subjugated peoples of Ethiopia.
The death of more than 60 people in a landslide at a vast rubbish dump on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital over the weekend is a clear case of dereliction of duty by the Ethiopian authorities, said Amnesty International today.
Dozens are still missing since the landslide at the 36-hectare Repi municipal dumpsite in Addis Ababa on 11 March, and many families have been left homeless after their makeshift houses were buried under tonnes of waste.
“The Ethiopian government is fully responsible for this totally preventable disaster. It was aware that the landfill was full to capacity but continued to use it regardless. It also let hundreds of people continue to live in close proximity to it,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
The Ethiopian government is fully responsible for this totally preventable disaster. It was aware that the landfill was full to capacity but continued to use it regardless
“These people, including many women and children, had no option but to live and work in such a hazardous environment because of the government’s failure to protect their right to adequate housing, and decent work.”
Now in its fifth decade, Repi – also known as Koshe, which means “dust” – is the oldest landfill in Addis Ababa, a city of more than 3.6 million people. More than 150 people were at the site when the landslide happened. Many of them had been scavenging items for sale while others lived there permanently, in unsafe makeshift housing.
“The government must do everything in its power to account for all those who are missing, provide survivors with adequate alternative housing, and safe and healthy working conditions,” said Muthoni Wanyeki.
“It must also ensure that a full-fledged inquiry is held to determine the specific causes of the landslide, and hold the individual officials responsible to account.”
About 150 people were at the site when the landslide struck on Sunday [AP]
At least 46 people have been killed and dozens are missing after a landslide struck at a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital.
The landslide late on Saturday levelled more than 30 makeshift homes of squatters living inside the Koshe landfill on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, said Dagmawit Moges, head of the city’s communications bureau.
Moges said most of the dead were women and children, and more bodies were expected to be found in the coming hours.
It was not immediately clear what caused Saturday night’s disaster. “We expect the number of victims to increase because the landslide covered a relatively large area,” he said.
The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital’s garbage for more than 50 years.
About 150 people were at the site when the landslide occurred, resident Assefa Teklemahimanot told The Associated Press news agency, adding dozens were still missing.
Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment.
Many people at the site had been scavenging items to make a living, but others live at the landfill because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive there.
“My house was right inside there,” said a shaken Tebeju Asres, pointing to where one of the excavators was digging in deep, black mud. “My mother and three of my sisters were there when the landslide happened. Now I don’t know the fate of all of them.”
The resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months likely caused the landslide, Assefa said.
Dumping had stopped in recent years, but it resumed after farmers in a nearby restive region where a new garbage landfill complex was being built blocked dumping in their area.
Smaller landslides have occurred at the Koshe landfill in the past two years, Assefa said.
“In the long run, we will conduct a resettling programme to relocate people who live in and around the landfill,” the Addis Ababa mayor said.
About 500 waste-pickers are believed to work at the landfill every day, sorting through the debris from the capital’s estimated four million residents. City officials say close to 300,000 tonnes of waste are collected each year from the capital, most of it dumped at the landfill.
Since 2010, city officials have warned the site was running out of room for trash.
City officials in recent years have been trying to turn the garbage into a source of clean energy with a $120mn investment. The Koshe waste-to-energy facility, which has been under construction since 2013, is expected to generate 50 megawatts of electricity upon completion.
Residents grieve as bodies are recovered at the scene of a garbage landslide on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa [Elias Meseret/AP]
International Human Rights Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Crafted in the shadow of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II, the Declaration gave the world the vision it needed to stand up to fear and the blueprint it craved to build a safer and more just world. Its single premise is: “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
Human Rights Day Message:United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s message for Human Rights Day 10 December 2014.
In observing Human Rights Day, its important to highlight the horrific going on in 2014 in our world. The following document is the summary of horrific repression going on against Oromo people by tyrannic Ethiopian regime:
” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignleft wp-image-4426″ src=”https://qeerroo.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/hrlha.jpg?w=151&h=151″ alt=”HRLHA” style=”margin: 0px 7px 2px 0px; padding: 4px; border: none; float: left; display: inline;”>February 26, 2017The Ethiopian Somali Liyu Police led by the Ethiopian Federal government’s killing squad have been engaged in a cruel war for the past six months against the Oromo nation in fifteen districts of Oromia. The Oromia districts that have been invaded by the two aforementioned forces are in east and east- west Hararge Zone, Eastern Oromia, Guji, Borana and Bale, South Oromia zones, Southern Oromia of Oromia Regional State.
An Ethiopian government directive under a state of emergency contains overly broad and vague provisions that risk triggering a human rights crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a legal analysis. The government should promptly repeal or revise all elements of the directive that are contrary to international law. 31 October 2016.
“Internet mobile irrati fayadamuuf mali argameera… akkas agodhani qeeroon Setting..more network….mobile network… access network name…. harka mirgara + kan jedhu tuqu… name kanjedhu … et.wap… APN… et.wap…. proxy…10.204.189.211… port…9028…. authentication… PAP or CHAP kan jedhu guutu… kana booda qeerroon mirgaan galte Mobile jam Tplf irraa hanu… sanan fayadama jira amaan kana.” #OromoRevolution.
For those following the Feyisa Lilesa and #OromoProtests in Ethiopia: Sifan Hassan on his demonstration – “He’s my hero.”
Bush fire is ravaging, since yesterday afternoon, places in the cuqqaalaa mountain ranges of the Liiban Cuqqaalaa district in East Shawa zone, in central Oromia. I did also receive this alert yesterday afternoon from other ground sources -but didn’t post while trying to triangulate grounded evidence. Part on these mountain ranges are ancient monasteries of the orthodox church which are home to some of the most revered medieval period christian collections and documents on a small island turf of the church’s remains. We call up on the local authorities to urgently extend their support to the local community in putting off this bush fire. Via Abbaacabsaa Guutamaa