Advertisements
jump to navigation

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) extends its state of emergency by four months March 30, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
4 comments

Al Jazeera : Ethiopia extends state of emergency by four months

Opposition parties complain that the emergency is being used to clamp down on their members and activities.


The country’s ruling coalition is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who accounts for only 6 percent of the population [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]
The country’s ruling coalition is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who accounts for only 6 percent of the population [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

The Ethiopian parliament has extended by four months a state of emergency it declared six months ago after almost a year of often violent anti-government demonstrations.

The widely expected extension comes amid reports of continued violence and anti-government activities in some rural areas.

At least 500 people were killed by security forces during the year of protests, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch group – a figure the government later echoed.

“We still have some anti-peace elements that are active and want to capitalise on disputes that arise among regional states in the country,” Ethiopia’s defence minister, Siraj Fegessa, told MPs when he called on them to approve the extension on Thursday.

“In addition, some leaders of the violent acts that we witnessed before are still at large and are disseminating wrong information to incite violence.”

Opposition parties complain that the emergency powers are being used to clamp down on their members and activities, especially in rural regions far from the capital, Addis Ababa.

The state of emergency, declared on October 9, was a reaction to protests that were especially persistent in the Oromia region. Many members of the Oromo ethnic group say they are marginalised and that they do not have access to political power, something the government denies.

OPINION: The Oromo protests have changed Ethiopia

A wave of anger was triggered by a development scheme for Addis Ababa, which would have seen its boundaries extended into Oromia. Demonstrators saw it as a land grab that would force farmers off their land.

The protests soon spread to the Amhara region in the north, where locals argued that decades-old federal boundaries had cut off many ethnic Amharas from the region.

Crushed to death

Map of Oromia region in Ethiopia [Al Jazeera]

The Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups together make up about 60 percent of Ethiopia’s population.

The country’s ruling coalition, which has been in power for a quarter of a century, is controlled primarily by the Tigray ethnic group, who make up six percent of the population.

Tensions reached an all-time high after a stampede in which at least 52 people were crushed to death fleeing security forces at a protest that grew out of a religious festival in the town of Bishoftu on October 2nd.

In the following days, rioters torched several mostly foreign-owned factories and other buildings that they claimed were built on seized land.

The government, though, blamed rebel groups and foreign-based dissidents for stoking the violence.

The state of emergency initially included curfews, social media blocks, restrictions on opposition party activity and a ban on diplomats traveling more than 40 kilometres outside the capital without approval.

Authorities arrested over 11,000 people during its first month.

Some provisions of the state of emergency were relaxed on March 15th, two weeks prior to Thursday’s announced extension. Arrests and searches without court orders were stopped, and restrictions on radio, television and theatre were dropped.

Protesters run from tear gas being fired by police during Irreecha, the religious festival in Bishoftu where at least 52 people died [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Advertisements

The #OromoProtests have changed Ethiopia November 22, 2016

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

Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

oromoprotests-one-year-on-struggle-november-2015-2016an-oromo-youth-hero-shanted-down-down-woyane-on-the-face-of-mass-killers-tplf-agazi-at-bishoftu-2nd-october-2016-oromoprotestsirreecha-malkaa-birraa-2016-at-horaa-harsadii-bishoftuu-oromia-this-brave-oromo-woman-is-one-of-the-murdered-by-fascist-tplf-ethiopia-2nd-october-2016Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado in solidarity with Oromo protests at the global Solidarity Rally in Denver, USA. 29 August 2016 p2

The Oromo protests have changed Ethiopia

The struggle of the Oromo people has finally come to the attention of the global public conscience.

 irreecha-malkaa-2016-bishoftu-horaa-harsadi-oromia-oromoprotests
Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia


By Awol Allo, Al Jazeera

November 12 marked the first anniversary of the Oromo Protests, a non-institutional and anti-authoritarian movement calling for an end to decades of systemic exclusion and subordination of the Oromo.

Although the protests were sparked by a government plan to expand the territorial and administrative limits of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, into neighbouring Oromo towns and villages, they were manifestations of long-simmering ethnic discontents buried beneath the surface.

Inside Story – What’s fuelling protests in Ethiopia?

The Oromo are the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and East Africa, comprising more than 35 percent of Ethiopia’s 100 million people. Yet, Oromos have been the object of discriminatory and disproportionate surveillance, policing, prosecution and imprisonment under the guise of security and economic development.

The year-long protests, which brought decades of hidden suffering and abuse to the Ethiopian streets, were held under what Human Rights Watch described as a “near-total closure of political space”.

As the protests grew in magnitude and intensity, the government responded with overwhelming and disproportionate force, unleashing what Amnesty international called “a vicious cycle of protests and totally avoidable bloodshed”.

The failure of the government to respond to long-standing grievances and the deployment of disproportionate violence which killed hundreds, exacerbated the tension, transforming what was a single-issue protest into a formidable mass anti-authoritarian movement.

The protests reached a turning point on August 6, 2016, when hundreds of thousands of people marched in more than 200 towns and cities to resist the government’s draconian and ever-escalating repression.

Another milestone came on October 2, 2016, when security forces fired tear gas and live bullets on a crowd of over two million people gathered to celebrate Irreecha, a cultural festival in which Oromos from all walks of life congregate to celebrate life and nature. While the government acknowledged the deaths of 52 people, local reports have put the number in the hundreds.

State of emergency

On October 9, 2016, the government declared a state of emergency, giving security forces and the army new sweeping powers in one of the most censored countries in the world, where the security apparatus is already extensive and permeates all levels of social structures, including individual households.

The government blocked mobile internet, restricted social media, banned protests, closed down broadcast and print media, including the influential Addis Standard magazine, and imposed draconian restrictions on all political freedoms. In its recent report analysing the effect of the emergency, Human Rights Watch described the measures as the securitisation of legitimate grievances.

Suddenly, the Oromo story moved from the periphery of Ethiopia’s political discourse to the centre.

According to the government’s own figures, more than 11,000 people have been arrested since the emergency was imposed.

Under international law, states can impose restrictions on the exercise of rights and freedoms “in times of public emergency threatening the life of the nation”. However, a state of emergency does not give the government carte blanche to do as it pleases.

Governments can only take those measures that are necessary and proportionate to the threat. The measures being taken by the Ethiopian state go far beyond what is required by the exigencies of the circumstances.

In the name of economic development and national security, it established a permanent state of emergency to obscure its lack of democratic mandate, making “development” and “security” the ultimate standards of the regime’s legitimacy.

Oromo Protests at Rio Olympics

The protests rose to global prominence when Feyisa Lilesa, an ethnic Oromo marathon runner, crossed his wrists above his head in an “X”, a gesture that came to define the Oromo protests, as he crossed the finishing line at the Rio Olympics to win the silver medal.

If the Oromo protests are a battle of ideas, a contest between those who seek equal opportunity and those who deny these opportunities to all but a few, a conflict between bullets and freedom songs, it was also a battle for the control of the narrative.

Ethiopia declares state of emergency as protests continue

Unequal access to education and the means of narrative production excluded the Oromo from mainstream knowledge frameworks, rendering them invisible and unnoticeable, and condemning their culture and identity to a precarious subterranean existence. The Rio Olympics reconfigured this dynamic.

Lilesa’s decisive intervention at one of the world’s biggest stages drew overdue attention to the story of oppression that remained largely invisible to mainstream media.

Suddenly, the Oromo story moved from the periphery of Ethiopia’s political discourse to the centre. As the news media filtered the Oromo story into the global public conscience via Lilesa’s expression of solidarity, it provided a revealing perspective on the fiction underneath the country’s reputation as a beacon of stability and an economic success story.

Achievements

This movement has already changed Ethiopia forever. It brought about a change of attitude and discourse in the Ethiopian society, repudiating the ideological proclivities and policies of the state. It enabled the society to see the government, its institutions, its symbols and its western enablers differently.

Topics that used to be considered taboo only a year ago, such as the supremacy of ethnic Tigrean elites, are no longer off limits. In short, it enabled suffering to speak.

A year after the protests erupted, and after hundreds of funerals were held, what remains uppermost in the memory of the protesters is not the dead. It is not even the bereaved. It is the stubborn persistence of the Qabso – struggle – in the face of great sacrifice, and the defiant and unrelenting call for equality and justice.

The government knows that it walked right up to the edge of the precipice. But, if it fails to address the grievances of protesters, if it continues to ignore the social fabric ripped apart by policies of divide and rule, if it does not provide justice to the inconsolable grief of parents whose children were shot by security forces, and the quiet but intensely agitated youth who have become the beating hearts of this defiant generation, it may plunge into it.

Awol Allo is Lecturer in Law at Keele University, UK.

Al Jazeera: Ethiopia ‘ruthlessly targeted’ Oromo ethnic group, report finds. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution October 30, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
8 comments
Odaa OromooOromianEconomistOromo are ancient people Africa (Oromia, kemet)

Former detainees describe beatings, electric shocks and gang rape, according to Amnesty International report


Ethiopia has “ruthlessly targeted” and tortured thousands of people belonging to its largest ethnic group for perceived opposition to the government, rights group Amnesty International said in a report released Tuesday.

The report, based on over 200 testimonies, said at least 5,000 members of the Oromo ethnic group, which has a distinct language and accounts for over 30 percent of the country’s population, had been arrested between 2011 and 2014 for their “actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government.”

“The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” said Amnesty International researcher Claire Beston.

The rights group said those arrested included students and civil servants. They were detained based on their expression of cultural heritage such as wearing clothes in colors considered to be symbols of Oromo resistance – red and green – or alleged chanting of political slogans.

Oromia, the largest state in Ethiopia, has long had a difficult relationship with the central government in Addis Ababa. A movement has been growing there for independence. And the government has outlawed a secessionist group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which has fought for self-determination for over 40 years.

Since 1992, the OLF has waged a low-level armed struggle against the Ethiopian government, which has accused the group of carrying out a series of bombings throughout the country.

Amnesty said that the majority of Oromo people targeted are accused of supporting the OLF, but that the “allegation is frequently unproven” and that it is “merely a pretext to silence critical voices and justify repression.”

“The report tends to confirm the claims that diaspora-based Oromo activists have been making for some time now,” Michael Woldemariam, a professor of international relations and political science at Boston University, told Al Jazeera. “What it does do, however, is provide a wealth of detail and empirical material that lends credibility to claims we have heard before.”

Missing fingers, ears, teeth

Former detainees – who fled the country and were interviewed by Amnesty in neighboring Kenya, Somaliland and Uganda – described torture, “including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic, and rape, including gang rape,” Amnesty said.

Although the majority of former detainees interviewed said they never went to court, many alleged they were tortured to extract a confession.

“We interviewed former detainees with missing fingers, ears and teeth, damaged eyes and scars on every part of their body due to beating, burning and stabbing – all of which they said were the result of torture,” said Beston.

Redwan Hussein, Ethiopia’s government spokesman, “categorically denied” the report’s findings. He accused Amnesty of having an ulterior agenda and of repeating old allegations.

“It (Amnesty) has been hell-bent on tarnishing Ethiopia’s image again and again,” he told Agence France-Press.

The report also documented protests that erupted in April and May over a plan to expand the capital Addis Abba into Oromia territory. It said that protests were met with “unnecessary and excessive force,” which included “firing live ammunition on peaceful protestors” and “beating hundreds of peaceful protesters and bystanders,” resulting in “dozens of deaths and scores of injuries.”

Oromo singers, writers and poets have been arrested for allegedly criticizing the government or inciting people through their work. Amnesty said they, along with student groups, protesters and people promoting Oromo culture, are treated with hostility because of their “perceived potential to act as a conduit or catalyst for further dissent.”

Al Jazeera and wire services. Philip J. Victor contributed to this report. 


 

Al Jazeera Stream: Protests and state violence: Felix Horne, HRW, and President Jimmy Carter speak on #OromoProtests June 23, 2016

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

Odaa OromooAljazeera logo

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201606212349-0025233

Al Jazeera: Politics, War & Conflict in Ethiopia: ‘Ethiopia is boiling’ May 8, 2016

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

Odaa Oromoo

Abdirahman Mahdi of ONLF: ‘Ethiopia is boiling’

Senior leader of Ethiopia’s Somali rebel group discusses a growing alliance of groups seeking self-determination.

Al Jazeera, 07 May 2016

Abdirahman Mahdi of ONLF

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2016/05/ethnic-somali-abdirahman-mahdi-onlf-ethiopia-boiling-160507083254836.html


Ethiopia, Africa’s oldest independent country, is one of the West’s closest allies in the Horn of Africa.

Bordering Kenya, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia, this vast nation is home to about 80 different ethnic groups, many with their own languages and customs.

Despite Ethiopia’s demographic diversity, the country’s power structure in mainly centralised in its capital Addis Ababa, located in the heart of the country.

And this is resented by some of Ethiopia’s many different ethnic groups.

To the far east of the country lies Ethiopia’s Somali region. The people there have Ethiopian nationality but identify as Somalis. Many there say that their desperately poor region is starved of resources.

This has led some to rise up and challenge the government.

Self-determination struggle

A movement for self-determination for Ogaden, which is officially known as the Somali region, led by the Ogaden National Liberation Force (ONLF), began in the mid-1980s. ONLF took up arms a decade later.

Their attacks led the Ethiopian government to send in troops and to carry out what many describe as a brutal crackdown on the some five million ethnic Somalis who live in this arid region.

Thousands of people have died in a struggle that few outsiders are allowed to witness. It’s an invisible conflict that has cost lives and livelihoods, and despite several rounds of talks in recent years, has no end in sight.

After decades of conflict with little or no progress, should ONLF give up their fight?

“How long did South Africa [take to] defeat Apartheid? When you are fighting for your rights, time is not an issue,” Abdirahman Mahdi, a founding member and the foreign secretary of ONLF, tells Al Jazeera.

The only policy in the Somali region they have is to dominate it, to exploit the oil, to consider the people as just a nuisance, and to exploit our resources and kill our people. Even if they allowed 10% of our rights in 1994, this fighting would not have started.

Abdirahman Mahdi, founding member and foreign secretary of the Ogaden National Liberation Force (ONLF)

“My father was fighting for our rights and my children will fight for our rights. So for us, justice is the only solution – there is no other way.”

Madhi denies that ONLF wants to secede from Ethiopia and claims this is “a misconception that’s being propagated by the Ethiopian regime”.

ONLF’s fight, he says, is about seeking the “right to decide our future”.

The movement wants the “right to self-determination, including even leaving the country”. ONLF “cannot decide what the Somali people want. What we are saying is let them be given their right to decide.”

He says: “Free choice is not secession; free choice means you can choose the right to live together in peace and dignity.”

ONLF’s fight is not with federalism nor with ethnicity, Madhi says. “The issue is when one group wants to dominate the rest of the people in Ethiopia. So we are going to dismantle that.”

Madhi speaks of the marginalisation of Ethiopia’s Somali region. “[Until] recently, we had only one secondary school after 100 years of Ethiopian occupation, we had one hospital … Our women have no maternity services.”

The region, he says, suffers from a brutal trade and aid embargo and a military occupation, which he alleges has resulted in the rape of 30% of the region’s women and more than 30,000 detentions.

“How can you develop people you are raping?” he asks.

Madhi says ONLF is an Africanist movement, the struggle is expanding and the group is now working with other ethnic groups in the country by staging “peaceful mass demonstrations”.

“Our alliance is now expanding,” he says. “Like the Arab Spring, we are going to start insurrection all over the place. Ethiopia is now boiling … The regime is now in disarray; they’re divided. The people of Ethiopia have now risen up. They want their rights. We are tired of one clique dominating the rest of Ethiopia.”

On Talk to Al Jazeera, Madhi discusses the future and vision of ONLF, the criticism that he is out of touch with the needs and situation of the people in Ethiopia’s Somali region now that he lives abroad, and he responds to allegations of human rights abuses committed by ONLF and that the group is armed and trained by Eritrea.


http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2016/05/ethnic-somali-abdirahman-mahdi-onlf-ethiopia-boiling-160507083254836.html

We Appreciate Al Jazeera for Airing Oromo’s Persecution in Ethiopia July 7, 2013

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

Petitioning Al Jazeera The Stream/English http://stream.aljazeera.com/

Al Jazeera The Stream/English: We Appreciate Al Jazeera for Airing Oromo’s Persecution in Ethiopia

Dawaa Oromoo

Oromo, a single largest [over 40 million population] ethnic group in Ethiopia, is under repression of successive Ethiopian regimes for more than a century. Generally speaking, Ethiopia is a prison of Oromo people. Over the last 130 years, in Ethiopia, the power is under two minority ethnic groups [namely, the Amhara and Tigre]. The Oromo and other southern nations (Ogaden, Gambela, Afar, Sidama, etc) repressed by the northern, better known as Abyssinian [Amhara and Tigre] regimes. The Oromo people are uniquely targeted by consecutive Ethiopian regimes because of its resources, geographic strategy, and fear from its majority in number.

Oromos are languishing countless human right abuses and yet untold stories of persecution. As human right activists, we are advocating for the God’s given right to human being and its dignity as the United Nations identified in its The Universal Declaration of Human Rights :
“Whereas 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,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,”
We are witnessing the fate of Oromo under the successive Ethiopian regimes since it becomes our crucial concern. True media like Al Jazeera should be appreciated to show the countless untold stories committed against Oromo people. In Ethiopia, there are more than 25,000 political prisoners, of which 90% are Oromo prisoners.
According to Oromo Support Group (OSG), a non-political organization which attempts to raise awareness of human rights abuses in Ethiopia, as of May 2012, it has reported 4,407 extra-judicial killings and 992 disappearances of civilians suspected of supporting groups opposing the government where most of these are Oromo.
The current regime has sold out more than 3 million hectares of fertile land to the foreigner investors after forcedly displacing Oromo farmers from their ancestral land. These grabbing of land ended the indigenous people without shelter and foods. This displacement of the Oromo people accompanied by limitless human right violations set the Oromo to be the vast number of immigrants in the horn of Africa.

Currently, there are situations that engaged in genocidal cleansing in East Hararge zone of Oromia by the armed forces of the Ethiopian regime. In Central Oromia, thousands of people and their livestock died due to the industrial pollution directly released to rivers and lakes. Forests including a UNESCO’s registered and privileged as diversity of living habitat located in Ilu Aba Bora zone of Oromia are dismantled by the TPLF’s company (EFFERT).

Successive Ethiopian regimes developed lofty discriminations that mainly targeted Oromo people. This trend apparently observed among, both the past and current, Ethiopian regimes and affiliates. Since the current regime is reassuring the subjugation, marginalization and repression policy of the old regime, both systems are incorporate and consent among each other on the Oromo cause.

We very appreciated your recently casted story “Oromo Seek Justice in Ethiopia” on June 25th, 2013.

There are countless human right abuses completed against Oromo. We urge all media like Al Jazeera to dig out and show to the world. We believe Al Jazeera Stream will continue to be the voice of voice less people. We thank all the Al Jazeera teams.

Please, click here to sign the petition: