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The Hill: USA doesn’t need Ethiopia in its war on terror in the Horn of Africa May 6, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Union Mission in Somalia.
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    US doesn’t need Ethiopia in its war on              terror in the Horn of Africa

 Earlier this month, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the Middle East and Africa to       “reaffirm key U.S. military alliances” and engage with strategic partners.” Mattis only visited   the tiny nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa where the U.S. maintains its largest military   base. Ethiopia was conspicuously absent from the “strategic partner” lineup.
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Tyrannic Ethiopian Regime Wins Misplaced Praise from U.S. | Freedom House. #Africa July 28, 2015

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???????????Freedom HouseEthiopia's scores on freedomObama's Africa Tour

In response to President Obama describing Ethiopia’s government as democratically elected, during his visit to the country, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“President Obama unfortunately was fundamentally wrong in his comments about the parliamentary elections Ethiopia held in May, in which the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) won every seat,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “Calling Ethiopia’s government democratically elected lowers the standards for democracy and undermines the courageous work of so many Ethiopians who fight to realize a just and democratic society.”

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

https://freedomhouse.org/article/ethiopia-wins-misplaced-praise-us#.Vbebj7NVikp

Africa: Obama criticised for calling Ethiopia’s government ‘democratically elected’ July 28, 2015

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While US president calls for end of crackdown on political and press freedom, his comments on Hailemariam administration are widely condemned

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Obama's Africa TourOromoProtests against genocidal TPLF Ethiopia3. 19 June 2015

‘Critics accused Obama of granting legitimacy to the regime. Reeyot Alemu, a columnist released earlier this month after four years in jail on terrorism charges, said: “It’s not ‘democratically elected’ because there was only government media and people did not get enough information.

“They also arrested many opposition leaders and journalists. They won the election by using human rights violations. How can it be democratically elected? It is completely false. I wish Barack Obama had sent a strong message.”

Bekele Nega, general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress, representing Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, said: “I don’t know if democracy means robbing people’s vote and robbing their election result? They have killed people and they have taken the ballot box with them in organised fraud.”

Nega claimed his party found some of its votes thrown down a toilet, while at one polling station its victory by 800 votes to 40 was reversed to a 40-800 defeat. “I wonder if people could tolerate this in America or Britain or wherever? Is this the meaning of democracy in America? We are very sorry that Mr Obama’s comment on our election is really supporting dictators. We know the US is always looking after its own interests and will take over on the military side, sending our people to Somalia.”’

Barack Obama has been criticised by opposition groups and journalists in Ethiopia after referring to the country’s government as “democratically elected”, with one human rights watchdog describing the statement as “shocking”.

The US president was speaking at a joint press conference with Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian prime minister, after the two leaders held talks in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Although Obama said he had raised issues of good governance – “I don’t bite my tongue too much when it comes to these issues” – he also insisted: “We are opposed to any group that is promoting the violent overthrow of a government, including the government of Ethiopia, that has been democratically elected.”

Answering questions from journalists later, Obama repeated the phrase: “We are very mindful of Ethiopia’s history – the hardships that this country has gone through. It has been relatively recently in which the constitution that was formed and the elections put forward a democratically elected government.”

Hailemariam’s party and its allies won 100% of seats in parliament two months ago. The opposition alleged the government had used authoritarian tactics to secure victory, including intimidation, arrests and violently breaking up rallies. At the time, the US said it remained “deeply concerned” by restrictions on civil society, media, opposition parties and independent voices and views.

But Ethiopia remains a key security ally for the US in the fight against the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab. It has also become an economic battleground with China, which has delivered huge infrastructure projects in Africa’s second most populous nation.

Critics accused Obama of granting legitimacy to the regime. Reeyot Alemu, a columnist released earlier this month after four years in jail on terrorism charges, said: “It’s not ‘democratically elected’ because there was only government media and people did not get enough information.

“They also arrested many opposition leaders and journalists. They won the election by using human rights violations. How can it be democratically elected? It is completely false. I wish Barack Obama had sent a strong message.”

Bekele Nega, general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress, representing Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, said: “I don’t know if democracy means robbing people’s vote and robbing their election result? They have killed people and they have taken the ballot box with them in organised fraud.”

Nega claimed his party found some of its votes thrown down a toilet, while at one polling station its victory by 800 votes to 40 was reversed to a 40-800 defeat. “I wonder if people could tolerate this in America or Britain or wherever? Is this the meaning of democracy in America? We are very sorry that Mr Obama’s comment on our election is really supporting dictators. We know the US is always looking after its own interests and will take over on the military side, sending our people to Somalia.”

Ethiopia: President Obama Should Urge Changes to Help Civil Society, Political Opposition July 24, 2015

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Freedom House

Ethiopia's scores on freedom

 

 

 

(Freedom House) — As President Obama prepares to visit Ethiopia next week, Freedom House has prepared policy recommendations for the White House, highlighting Ethiopia’s undermining of civil society, independent media, and the political opposition:

“The political environment during parliamentary elections held in May included arrest, harassment and intimidation of opposition members and supporters,” the letter says. “Apart from seriously eroding citizens’ faith in any prospect of an inclusive political framework, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s entrenched control over all levers of political power sends a strong signal that all avenues of legitimate dissent are closed, fomenting resentment that could lead to violent extremism.”

“Freedom House recommends that President Obama urge the Government of Ethiopia to undertake a comprehensive review of the country’s civil society and anti-terrorism laws and to release imprisoned journalists and peaceful political activists.”

Read the policy reccomendations below.

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.


Ethiopia: Policy Recommendations, July 2015

Background

In 2009, the Ethiopian Parliament passed the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP), tightly restricting Ethiopian civil society organizations (CSOs). This includes limiting the amount of foreign funding that organizations are allowed to receive to 10 percent. Legislation passed in 2009, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) has been extensively used to silence critical voices including independent journalists and members of opposition political parties. These laws coupled with other government policies seriously limit the ability for independent voices to be heard.

Political Space and Inclusive Political Process

In May, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) conducted another tightly controlled national election and won all seats in both federal and regional legislatures. The political environment included the widespread arrest, harassment and intimidation of opposition members and supporters. Apart from seriously eroding citizens’ faith in any prospect of an inclusive political framework, EPRDF’s control of all levers of political power sends a strong signal that all avenues of legitimate dissent are closed, fomenting resentment that could lead to violent extremism. The rise in politically motivated killings of opposition activists after announcement of the election results in May and June (seven reported cases) shows that local officials believe that a total win for EPRDF means no space for opposition. Freedom House therefore recommends that during his visit, President Obama:

  • Urge the Ethiopian government to release members and supporters of opposition political parties imprisoned as a result of their peaceful political activities.
  • Encourage the Ethiopian government to undertake a thorough review of electoral laws and institutions to allow for a meaningful engagement of civil society in voters’ education and election observation activities.
  • Call on the Ethiopian authorities to take measures to address the concerns being raised by the country’s Muslim population. A positive first step in this direction could be releasing representatives of the Muslim community that have been in prison since 2012 being tried under the ATP.

Civil Society and Media

The CSP has effectively decimated human rights groups in Ethiopia. While the stated purpose of the CSP is ‘to aid and facilitate the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the development of the country,’ it has actually forced at least 10 prominent human rights and democracy promotion organizations to abandon their mandates in order to continue receiving foreign funding while others were forced to scale back their operations significantly. As a direct result of the CSP, Ethiopia’s leading human rights NGO, Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO, now HRCO), had to close 9 of its 12 regional offices and cut 85 percent of its staff. The Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association (EWLA), another prominent group, cut nearly 70 percent of its staff. Authorities also froze the bank accounts of these groups. In addition to the severe restrictions the CSP imposes on funding and human rights work, the dysfunctional legal framework it put in place is actively undermining the role of civil society in development. A 2014 performance audit conducted by the Federal Auditor General found that more than 85 percent of NGOs were not able to comply with one or more of the expenditure and reporting requirements. The Director of the Charities and Societies Agency, the government agency in charge of regulating NGOs, told parliament that if his agency were to enforce the CSP as written, all NGOs would have closed. During President Obama’s visit to Ethiopia, Freedom House recommends that he:

  • Urge the government of Ethiopia to undertake a comprehensive review of the CSP and the eight implementation guidelines (directives) that limit access to international funding for human rights organizations and their abilities to form networks and consortia.
  • In the short term, seek ways of making U.S. government funding accessible to Ethiopian human rights groups by setting up a special ‘human rights and civil society’ fund that is not subject to the 10 percent foreign funding cap. The European Union successfully negotiated such an arrangement with the Ethiopian government.
  • Welcome the recent release of five journalists and bloggers and call for the release of the remaining 11 journalists and bloggers as well as scores of peaceful opposition activists who are currently in prison.
  • Meet with human rights defenders, civil society activists and recently released journalists and bloggers as a demonstration of U.S government support and solidarity to their cause.

Human Rights and National Security

After Ethiopia’s most competitive elections in 2005 concluded with violence and the detention of hundreds of opposition members and civil society leaders, EPRDF moved to systematize the tools of political control through a series of restrictive legislation backed by intense crackdown on media and civil society intended to silence perceived opponents and critics. As a result, the operational space for legitimate opposition, independent media and human rights activists has been seriously constrained. The ATP is being used to pursue vigorous prosecution of opposition party members and journalists.

The excesses of Ethiopia’s counter-terrorism operations that include arbitrary arrests, widespread practice of torture, alarming trends of disregard to due process rights of detainees and excessive pre-trial detention have stifled legitimate dissent and created a profound climate of fear. Lack of accountability of security forces is exacerbated by a judiciary that is largely subservient to the executive and lacks institutional autonomy to exercise effective oversight and enforcement of constitutionally guaranteed human rights protections. Freedom House therefore recommends that President Obama:

  • Urge the Ethiopian government to review the provisions of the ATP that lay out an overbroad definition of legitimate activities of journalists and political activists as acts of terror.
  • Call on Ethiopian authorities to adhere to national and international standards of due process and fair trial in their treatment of detainees under the ATP; and establish an effective mechanism of accountability for law enforcement officials who commit human rights violations.
  • Offer US technical assistance in reviewing the ATP to bring it up to international standards, and train law enforcement and judicial personnel in international human rights principles and prudent counter-terrorism techniques.
  • Reiterate the need for civil society to be considered a partner rather than an obstacle in counter-terrorism efforts and stress the role civil society can play in addressing the underlying challenges and gaps that drive extremism.

Support for Human Rights and Democracy Promotion

Given the highly repressive political environment in Ethiopia, it is admittedly difficult to support those who risk their lives to promote democracy and human rights. But it is not impossible, and if such groups are to survive in Ethiopia, they need outside support. Even a small increase in democracy and human rights assistance can have an enormous impact in ensuring that local civil society is able defend the fundamental rights of all Ethiopians. Freedom House recommends that the Obama Administration:

  • Increase USAID’s democracy, human rights, and governance (DRG) budget for Ethiopia to support programs that aim to strengthen independent media and investigative journalism in an effort to stem growing trends of official corruption and other human rights abuses. The current obligated amount of $350,000 for DRG represents only 1.68 percent of the Agency’s obligated total funding for Ethiopia. Expand USAID programming to cover much needed capacity building support in digital security and human rights monitoring to civil society and digital activists.

Minnesota Congressional Leaders Call on President to Prioritize Human Rights on Trip to Kenya and Ethiopia July 23, 2015

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???????????Representing Minnesota

Minnesota Congressional Leaders Call on President to Prioritize Human Rights on Trip to Kenya and Ethiopia

 July 23, 2015

Keith Ellison

Press Release

WASHINGTON—Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN), and Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Tim Walz (D-MN) sent a letter today calling on President Barack Obama to prioritize human rights during his upcoming trip to Kenya and Ethiopia.

The text of the letter is below and a signed copy can be found here.

Dear President Obama,

We write to urge you to prioritize human rights during your upcoming visit to Kenya and Ethiopia. Minnesota is home to a large Ethiopian and Somali diaspora that adds rich cultural diversity to our state. We are proud to represent them and ask that when you visit Africa you address issues of concern for our Ethiopian and Somali communities. Specifically, we ask that you urge the Kenyan government to prevent discrimination against Somalis and call on the Ethiopian government to address reports of troubling human rights abuses.

After nearly two decades of violence and famine, Somalia is making steady progress towards stability. A provisional constitution and the political will for progress have helped Somalia reestablish a central government. The United States has provided critical assistance, enabling Somalia to make security gains against the terrorist group al-Shabaab. Despite important progress, recent terrorist attacks in Mogadishu and Garissa, Kenya remind us that Somalia still faces enormous challenges. Kenya has been deeply impacted by the instability in Somalia; Kenya is home to more than 350,000 Somali refugees, and al-Shabaab continues to pose a security threat to the region.

As the Kenyan government continues to battle the threat of terrorism, Somali refugees in Kenya are often targeted for detention or deportation, and Somali neighborhoods are frequently raided by Kenyan military and police forces. Recently, Kenya temporarily suspended the licenses of 13 Somali money remittance firms. While the licenses have been restored, the threat of disruption in remittance services remains. Cutting off remittance services compounds the humanitarian crisis being face by Somalis in their home country.  This could reverse the limited gains that the Somali government and the international community have made against al Shabaab and lead to increased terrorist activity in Somalia and the greater Horn of Africa.  We ask that you raise these issues during your visit.

In Ethiopia, we ask that you urge Prime Minister Desalegn take stronger action to improve human rights. Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights have documented the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on freedom of the press, arbitrary arrests, politically-motivated prosecutions, and the use of excessive force by security forces. While we are happy to hear that the Ethiopian government has released five journalists from detention, legislation restricting nongovernmental activity remains in place and is contrary to international standards. We also urge you to address the very serious concerns that have been brought to us by Ogaden and Oromo groups. As the first U.S. President to visit Ethiopia, this is a historic opportunity for you to press for meaningful and long-lasting change.

We urge you to use your time in Kenya and Ethiopia to persuade policy makers to prevent discrimination and prioritize human rights. Thank you for your commitment to improving economic growth and security in Africa.

Sincerely,

Read more at:-

http://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/minnesota-congressional-leaders-call-on-president-to-prioritize-human

http://www.omnnorway.org/#!Minnesota-Congressional-Leaders-Call-on-President-to-Prioritize-Human-Rights-on-Trip-to-Kenya-and-Ethiopia/c8bg/55b140960cf25466c2a7b8f2

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA): An Open Letter to President Barak Obama on his Ethiopia Visit. Liigiin Mirga Ilmaan namaa kan gaanfa Afrikaa, Daawwii Obaamaa balaaleeffate. July 19, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Oromia, US-Africa Summit.
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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

July 18, 2015

An Open Letter to President Barak Obama on his Ethiopia Visit

Dear Mr. President Obama,

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa wants to express its deep concern about what it regards as the wrong decision made by you and your staff in making a formal visit to Ethiopia in late July 2015. This will make you the first US leader to break the US promise not to reward dictators. History teaches us that the American constitution of 1787 is the world’s first democratic constitution, a landmark document of the Western World which protects the rights of all citizens in the USA. The following examples show America’s great support of human rights: During the First World War, America entered the war against Germany in 1917 to protect the world- as President Woodrow Wilson put it, “Making the World Safe for Democracy”. Later, Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of President Roosevelt and a human rightschampion, drafted in 1948 an internationally accepted human rights bill, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These and other democratic activities have made America a champion of democracy all over the world that all Americans should be proud of.

Mr. President,

Your decision to visit human rights perpetrators in Ethiopia contradicts your country’s democratic tradition. It also disrespects the Ethiopian nations and nationalities who are under the subjugation of the EPRDF/TPLF government.

Mr. President,

We can witness today the government of Ethiopia making a lot of noise about the flourishing of democracy in that country. The reality on the ground shows that the undemocratic behavior of the regime has been overshadowed by the apparently “democratic” and anti-terrorism façade that the regime has demonstrated for the past twenty-four years. During those years, thousands were killed, abducted, kidnaped, and imprisoned by this government because they simply tried to exercise their fundamental rights, such as free speech and expression, freedom of association and religion. University students, journalists, human rights activists, opposition political party members and their supporters, and farmers have been the major victims in Ethiopia.

When the EPRDF/TPLF Government took power in 1991 in Ethiopia, there were high expectations from both local and international communities that there would be an improvement in the human rights situation in Ethiopia from previous regimes. Contrary to everyone’s expectations, however, human rights abuses in Ethiopia worsened. The human rights violations in Ethiopia has been widely reported by local, regional and international human rights organizations as well as some Western governmental agencies including the US State Department’s yearly human rights reports.

Today, in Ethiopia political extra-judicial killings, kidnappings and disappearances, mass arrests and imprisonments- without warrants- in horrible prison conditions, extended imprisonment without trials, torture, denials and delaying of justice, discrimination in resource allocations and implementations, biased educational and development policies, denials of employment and job promotion opportunities and/or the misuse of coercive political tools are rampant. Social crises in Ethiopia are becoming deeper and deeper, while the socioeconomic gap between the favored (the politically affiliated groups and individuals) and the disfavored is getting wider and wider. For the majority of Ethiopians, life has become unbearable. It has even become very difficult for civil servants, the middle class, to support their families.

Mr. President,

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa strictly opposes your visit to Ethiopia. As the president of the country where democracy emerged and respect for human rights was first realized, we believe it would be immoral of you to reward human rights violators. We urge that you withdraw from your decision to visit Ethiopia.

HRLHA is a non-political organization (with the UN Economic and Social Council – (ECOSOC) Consultative Status) which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa.

Liigiin Mirga Ilmaan namaa kan gaanfa Afrikaa,Daawwii Obaamaa balaaleeffate .

OMN

(OMN:Oduu Adol.19, 2015): Daawwannaa Pirezidaantiin Ameerikaa Itoophiyaatti gochuuf karoorfatan, liigiin mirga ilmaan namaa kan gaanfa Afrikaa cimsee akka mormu, Xalayayaa kaleessa liigiin kun Prezidaanti Obaamaaf ergeen beekiseera.
Imala dawwannaa Pirezidaantiin Ameerikaa Itoophiyaa dhaquuf jedhame ilaalchise, liigiin mirga ilmaan namaa kan gaanfa Afrikaa mata duree, “Pirezidaanti Obaamaan daawwanna isaan Itoophiya dhaqanii ilaaluuf deeman, damboobaa Dimookiraasii Ameerikaatiif qaaniifi Arrabsoodha” jedhuun Pireezidaantichaaf erguun, imala Obamaan gara Itoophiyaatti fuullefate balaaleffateera.
Liigiin mirga ilmaan namaa kan damee ganfa Afrikaa kun xalayaa Pirezidaanti Obaamaaf kaleessa barreesseen akka jedhetti, murtee Obaamaafi waa’iloonni hojii isaa, akka Obaamaan Itoophiyaa daawwatan muteeffame sun dogongoraafi akka Liigi mirga ilmaan namaa gaddisiisee himeera. Liingiin mirga ilmaan namaa kan gaafa Afrikaa kun itti dabaluun xalayaa Obaamaaf barreesseen akka jedhetti, waadaa Ameerikaan duraan abbootii irree akka hin gargaarreef seentee turte, pireezidaantii Ameerikaa ta’uun yeroo jalqabaatiif kan cabse Obaamaadha jedheera.
Bara 1787 Ameerikaan seera dimokiraatawa tumattee mirga lammii isii ittiin kabachiisuufi biyyoota lixaatiifille fakkeenna guddaa akka taate turte osoo beekamu, gochi Obaamaan amma raawwatuuf deemu kun aadaa dimookiraasii Ameerikaa kan faallessu akka ta’e, liigiin mirga ilmaan namaa kun xalayaa Obaamaaf ergeen himeera.
Liigiin mirga ilmaan namaa kan gaafa Afrikaa kun dabalee xalayaa bareesseen waan jedhe, daawwannaan Obaamaan Itoophiyatti fuulleffate kun, seeraafi danboobaa dimookiraasii Ameerikaa kan faallessu qofa osoo hin taane, sabaafi sab-lammoota Itoophiyaa hacuuccaa TPLF-Woyyaanee jala jiraniif akka tuffiitti ilaalama jedheera.
Woyyaaneen Itoophiyaa biyya dimimokiraatawa fakkeessuuf irra dibaa jiraatulle, haqani jiru garuu, lammiileen hidhamaa, ajjeefama, butamaa, biyyaa baafamaafi ukkaamfamaa akka jiranii Liigiin kun himee, keessumattu miidhaan hamaan baratoonni yuniversiitii, gaazexeessitoota, dura bu’oota amataalee, dhaabbileefi namoota mirga ilmaan namaatiif dubbatan, dhaabbilee siyaasaa mormituufi miseensotaafi deergatoota isaanii, akkasuma qonnaan bultoonni yeroo ammaa bulchiinsa mootummaa Woyyaaneetiin dararamaa akka jiran Xalayaa mormii Liigiin kun Obaamaaf bareesserraa hubachuun danda’ameera.
Daani’eel Bariisoo Areeriitu gabaase.

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The Tyrannic Ethiopian Regime is Accountable for the Death of a Political Prisoner And Prisoner of Conscience, Oromo National, Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda August 27, 2013

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The tyrannic and minority rule of TPLF  Ethiopian government has been conducting genocidal killings against the majority (the Oromo people), nations and nationalities in Southern  and Eastern Ethiopia. In its policies and strategies of  Nazi and Apartheid style, it has mainly targeting the Oromo who make more than 40% of  the population of the Horn of Africa. Engineer Tesfahun Chemada Gurmeessaa is the latest victim of  TPLF’s planned and systematic genocide going on. Ethiopian empire (Horn of African) is one of the least developed, economically very impoverished and marginalized in the world. It is the most world food aid dependent region. The tyrannic and corrupt regime in its statistical lies and paper growth has reported that it has registered the fastest economic growth in Africa. Practical observation on the ground indicates the opposite (it is poverty alone that is  growing). The politically motivated sectarian regime actually destroys the very scarce and rare  resources the region holds and the dynamics of the society (Oromo and other non-Tigrayan) that it has put under its genocidal target : engineers, teachers, graduate students, the writers, the farmers, business men and women, the natural forest (the ecosystem) and the ancient  human culture of the region.

The followings are republications  among the latest  petitions  initiated and open letters made by concerned citizens and Oromo human rights advocates  in the calls for the reversal of the ongoing crime against humanity. For further details and actions please refer to the original sources as they are acknowledged in this page.  

Dear President Barack Obama,

The #Oromo People < http://www.oromo.org/enocide-against-the-oromo-people-of-thiopia.html&gt; are the single largest Nation in the Horn of Africa under the brutal rule of successive Ethiopian rulers nearly for a century & half now. At this very moment, the current EPRDF regime, which controls Ethiopia for the last 22 years, has intensified the killing, detaining, displacing, expelling our people from every sectors of our society, from all corners of our country for no tangible reasons, but simply due to politics of fear and an excuse for extension of its ruling terms under various pretext.

Dear Mr. President,

In history, our people have never had such tactical gross abhorrent human rights violations of the highest order in any past Ethiopian successive governments that parallel to the current EPRDF tyrannical regime in part due to the shielding effect of present day Geopolitical dynamics.
Time and again, many peasants, students, skilled professionals, journalists, Artists, prominent nationalists, even Government ministers, and local and International activists have tried to demonstrate,  petition and  stage worldwide rallies to the Whitehouse and other Government and NGO institutions in various occasions in several countries to demand on Ethiopian Govt. to stop atrocities, but no concrete response was achieved yet.

There is no particular crime that our people have committed to suffer from such purposefully calculated heinous crimes by the ruling party against innocent civilians. Despite out loud preaches of Modern Democracy all over the world, our people are still well silenced and voiceless under gunpoint not to demand or petition their Govt. and no words from independent major world media outlets to expose these crimes and brutalities committed by this regime.Our people have been denied the right to collect and rest the bodies of their family members, relatives or friends who are victims of the Ethiopian Govt. The very recent cases in point among many others, are the refusal by the Govt. of the bodies of victims of Kofale Massacre & that of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, who was subjected to refoulement from Kenya to Ethiopia in few years back and killed this August 2013 in the notorious Kaliti Prison. Instead of allowing the family burry their son, the Govt. agents took his sister to jail accusing her of publicising Engineer Chemeda’s news of death at their hands.

Dear Obama,

We  hereby so kindly seeking your urgent support in voicing our strongest objection & hold the Ethiopian ruling EPRDF accountable for all its inhuman actions and atrocities being committed under various excuses and urge this regime to respect the rule of law, human rights & Democracy in Ethiopia. There will be no time that our people seek urgent help from USG and International communities than right now! Enough is better than over, justice, peace and democracy for the Oromo & other nationalities in the Horn of Africa shall prevail.

Therefore; we,  the undersigned individuals, would like to request your highest Office and all whom this may concern to influence the Ethiopian Govt. to respect the basic human & constitutional rights, stop genocide on peaceful people & obey rule of law to eventually transition itself from absolute Dictatorship to Democratic form of Government.

Thanks for your precious Mr. President,

Thanks everyone for taking your time to sign, share (on social media) & forwarding to friends.

Sincerely,

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/202/786/158/stop-atrocities-in-ethiopia/?taf_id=9925175&cid=fb_na

The HRLHA Statement

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa strongly condemns the atrocious torture and inhuman treatment by the Ethiopian government against its citizens and hold it accountable for the death of a political prisoner and prisoner of conscience Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda on August 24, 2013 in Kaliti prison.

HRLHA informants confirmed that Engineer Chemed died in Kaliti Penitentiary due to the severe torture inflicted on him while he was in different detentions centers from 2007 until the day he died. We also protest the fact that he was denied medical treatment by the government.

Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, an Oromo national, was handed over by Kenyan authorities to Ethiopian Security agents in April 2007 from where he had granted a refugee status from UNHCR in Kenya after he had fled to Kenya to escape persecution by the EPRDF government of Ethiopia.

Engineer Tasfahun Chemeda was one of the 15 Oromo nationals who was sentenced to life in prison in 2010 by the Ethiopian court http://humanrightsleague.com/2010/07/a-call-for-the-reversal-of-the-racial-politically-motivated-and-discriminatory-sentence-by-a-court-in-ethiopia/ for his activism and political beliefs that were different from the ruling EPRDF government of Ethiopia.The Ethiopian Government is accountable for Torturing Mr. Chemeda in prison, thereby violating the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, an agreement which Ethiopia signed and ratified in 1994 For denying Engineer Tesfahun medical treatment, violating the rights of prisoners which are clearly stated in international law and International covenants on civil and political rights article 10(1) “. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person”. and Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Rights of Persons Held in Custody and Convicted Prisoners article 21 (1) “All persons held in custody and persons imprisoned upon conviction and sentencing have the right to treatments respecting their human dignity”.

By handing over the Oromo refugees and others, the Kenyan Government is also breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary laws.

Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185,) the Kenyan Government has the obligation not to return a person to a place where they will face torture or ill-treatment.
Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides: No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa calls upon the Ethiopian authorities to immediately carry out an independent investigation into Engineer Tesfahun’s death, including whether torture played a part in his death, and disclose to the public anyone found responsible and bring that person to justice. The HRLHA also calls upon the Western political allies of the TPLF/EPRDF Government of Ethiopia to exert pressures so that it is forced to turn around and start working on the genuine democratization of the country, halting the systematic elimination of citizens who demand basic rights and fundamental freedoms,

Finally we extend our condolences to Tesfahun’s family and friends in their time of grief as well as all Ethiopians who have been falsely accused, illegally detained or wrongly killed at the hands of a brutal and hypocritical regime. Engineer Tesfahun is just one of thousands of victims of the EPRDF government’s campaign of violence, repression and efforts to curtail basic freedoms and fundamental rights of Ethiopians at all costs.
http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/ethiopia-the-government-is-accountable-for-the-death-of-a-political-prisoner-at-an-ethiopian-jail/

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/ethiopia-the-government-is-accountable-for-the-death-of-a-political-prisoner-at-an-ethiopian-jail/

The following is an open letter of the Oromia Support Group in Australia (OSGA) to Hon. Kevin Rudd, Australian PM, on the death in Ethiopian custody of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya.

——————-

Oromia Support Group in Australia

P.O. Box 38

Noble Park, 3174, Vic

E-mail: info@osgaustralia.com

Date: August 26th 2013

Open letter

Death in Ethiopian custody of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya

To: Honourable Kevin Rudd,

Australian Prime Minister

It is with sadness and anger that Oromia Support Australia Inc. OSGA reports the death of a young Oromo in Kaliti prison, Ethiopia, on 24 August, 2013. Tesfahun Chemeda was a student activist in Ethiopia and a political asylum seeker among refugees in Kenya, where he was granted refugee status by UNHCR. He was arrested with a colleague, Mesfin Abebe, by Kenyan ‘anti-terrorist police’ on 2 April 2007.

Although cleared by the anti-terrorist unit and by the FBI, the men were subject to refoulement to Ethiopia at the request of the Ethiopian authorities. UNHCR, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya and the Kenyan Human Rights Commission were told in court, after their application for habeas corpus that the men had been returned to Ethiopia, whereas they remained in custody in Kenya for at least two more days after the court hearing.

Tesfahun and Mesfin disappeared in detention in Ethiopia until charged with terrorist offences in December 2008. They were sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2010. [1] (Mesfin’s death sentence was later commuted.)

Tesfahun was transferred from Zeway prison to Kaliti, where he had been held in solitary confinement for nearly two years before he was killed. [2]

This is not the first time young Oromo men and women have been killed in detention. For example, Alemayehu Garba, partially paralysed with polio, was shot dead with 18 others in Kaliti prison in November 2005. [3]

Refoulement of UNHCR-recognised refugees from Sudan, Djibouti and Somaliland continues. [4]

How long must we wait for Australian Government and other western governments to stop maintaining the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in power? Over one third of Ethiopia’s budget is in foreign aid. Ethiopia receives more aid from the Australia than any other country in the Africa.

It is a shocking state of affairs and an appalling way to spend Australian taxpayers’ money. Oromia Support Group in Australia Inc. tired of hearing from officials that they take every opportunity to engage with representatives of the Ethiopian government at the highest level to express their serious concerns about human rights abuses and lack of democratic progress in Ethiopia.

We have been hearing this for years. When are we going to see an effective response by those who control Ethiopia’s purse strings?

If Australia is so committed to providing aid to Ethiopia, than at least we should insist on it being contingent on real, measurable benchmarks of human rights and democratisation and not the desk-based studies of government-controlled data which support the status quo in Ethiopia.

This should be backed by effective sanctions so that members of the Ethiopian government are prevented from travelling to Australia and other western countries and investing in property and businesses outside of Ethiopia.

Unless meaningful sanctions are applied, growing disaffection with the west, previously noted by former US Ambassador Yamamoto, is likely to mature further. Under the oppression of the Ethiopian regime, opposition voices are becoming more likely to find expression in the very movements which the support of Ethiopia, because of its cooperation in the ‘war on terror’, is meant to avoid.

The authoritarian regime in Ethiopia is a major cause of instability affecting the whole of the Horn of Africa. Supporting it and investing in it is a short-sighted policy.

Yours sincerely,

Marama F. Qufi

Chairperson,Oromia Support Group in Australia Inc.

(For Dr Trevor Trueman, Chair, Oromia Support Group)

——-

[1] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_46.pdf, pp.43-44.

[2] http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3701-oromo-activist-tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence

[3] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22

[4] For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained in Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from Hargeisa on 23 Novermber 2012 and imprisoned in Jigjiga, Somali Region, Ethiopia.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Dr. Trueman’s Letter to the British Government

Mark Simmonds MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth
Affairs (Africa)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London SW1A 2AH
25 August 2013

Open letter
Death in Ethiopian custody of Tesfahun Chemeda, after refoulement from Kenya

Dear Minister,

It is with sadness and anger that I report the death of a young Oromo in Kaliti prison, Ethiopia, on 24 August, yesterday. Tesfahun Chemeda was a student activist in Ethiopia and a political activist among refugees in Kenya, where he was granted refugee status by UNHCR. He was arrested with a colleague, Mesfin Abebe, by Kenyan anti-terrorist police on 2 April 2007.

Although cleared by the anti-terrorist unit and by the FBI, the men were subject to refoulement to Ethiopia at the request of the
Ethiopian authorities. UNHCR, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya and the KenyanHuman Rights Commission were told in court, after their application for habeas corpus, that the men had been returned to thiopia, whereas they remained in custody in Kenya for at least two more days after the court hearing.
Tesfahun and Mesfin disappeared in detention in Ethiopia until charged with terrorist offences in December 2008. They were sentenced to lifebimprisonment in March 2010. [1] (Mesfin’s death sentence was later
commuted.)
Tesfahun was transferred from Zeway prison to Kaliti, where he had been held in solitary confinement for nearly two years before he was killed.[2]
This is not the first time young Oromo men have been killed in detention. For example, Alemayehu Garba, partially paralysed with
polio, was shot dead with 18 others in Kaliti prison in November 2005.[3] Refoulement of UNHCR-recognised refugees from Djibouti and Somaliland continues.[4]

How long must we wait for Her Majesty’s Government and other western governments to stop maintaining the EPRDF in power? Over one third of Ethiopia’s budget is in foreign aid. Ethiopia receives more aid from the UK than any other country in the world.

It is a shocking state of affairs and an appalling way to spend UK taxpayers’ money. I am tired of hearing from Ministers and officials
that they take every opportunity to engage with representatives of the Ethiopian government at the highest level to express their serious concerns about human rights abuses and lack of democratic progress in Ethiopia.

I have been hearing this for over twenty years. When are we going to see an effective response by those who control Ethiopia’s purse strings?
If the UK is so wedded to providing aid to Ethiopia, than at least we should insist on it being contingent on real, measurable benchmarks of human rights and democratisation and not the desk-based studies of government-controlled data which support the status quo in Ethiopia.
This should be backed by effective sanctions so that members of the Ethiopian government are prevented from travelling to the UK and America and investing in property and businesses outside of Ethiopia.
Unless meaningful sanctions are applied, growing disaffection with the west, previously noted by former US Ambassador Yamamoto, is likely to mature further. Under the oppression of the Ethiopian regime, opposition voices are becoming more likely to find expression in the very movements which the support of Ethiopia, because of its cooperation in the ‘war on terror’, is meant to avoid.

The authoritarian regime in Ethiopia is a major cause of instability affecting the whole of the Horn of Africa. Supporting it and investing in it is a short-sighted policy.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Trevor Trueman, Chair, Oromia Support Group.

http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_46.pdf, pp.43-44.
http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3701-oromo-activist-tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence
http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22
4 For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained in Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from Hargeisa on 23 Novermber 2012 and imprisoned in Jigjiga, Somali Region, Ethiopia. Tesfahun-chemeda-dies-in-prison-while-serving-life-sentence

[3] http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_43.pdf, p.22

[4] For example, Badassa Geleta was among 18 refugees returned to Ethiopia from Djibouti on 31 December 2012 and detained i Dire Dawa. He was awaiting resettlement in Canada. Riyana Abdurahman, a 23 year-old teacher, was abducted from   Somali Land.                        http://qeerroo.org/2013/08/26/death-in-ethiopian-custody-of-tesfahun-chemeda-after-refoulement-from-kenya-open-letter-of-dr-trevor-trueman-of-osg-to-uks-parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state-for-foreign-and-co/

OLF Statement on the death of Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda  and His Short Biography

Engineer Tesfahun was born in 1976 from his father Mr. Chemeda Gurmessa and his mother Mrs. Giddinesh Benya at Harbu village, Guduru district, eastern Wallaga, western Oromia. He was lucky enough to get the slim chance of going to school for his likes under the occupation. He completed his school starting at Looyaa, then Fincha’aa and at Shambo in 1996. His remarkably high scoreenabled him to join the university in Finfinne (Addis Abeba) where he graduated with BSc in Civil Engineering in 2001. Subsequently:

1. Sept. 2004–Jan 2005 – he worked as unit manager for the maintenance of Arsi-Bale road project run by Oromia Rural Road Maintenance Authority and Ethio-Italian Company.
2. Worked at Degele-Birbirsa RR50 project in Salle-Nonno District in extreme South-west of Ilu-Abba-Bore Zone
3. Worked on four simultaneous road projects for settlements; Kone-Chawwaqaa, Baddallee-Kolosirri, Gachi-Chate and Yanfa-Ballattii
4. Worked as a project manager for Chawwaqa district head office construction in Ilu-Harari.
5. Oct. 2001–July 2003 site engineer for Siree-Nunu-Arjo Rural Road of Wallaga district.

Because of the policy of persecution andsurveillance imposed on him, like any educated and entrepreneurial Oromo class as per TPLF’s standing policy, he decided to flee to Kenya for his safety. He sought protection from the UNHCR office in Nairobi explaining his position, and got accepted and recognized as a refugee. However, for unknown reasons, he and his colleague in skill and refugee life, Mesfin Abebe Abdisa, were arrested and eventually handed over to the Ethiopian authorities by the Kenyan counterpart on April 27, 2007, due to the agreement between the two countries.

Ethiopia, being a member of the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT), formed under the auspices U.S. that includes Uganda and Kenya as well, continues to abduct Oromo refugees from the neighbouring countries where they sought UN protection, under the pretext of anti-terrorism. The two innocent victims Tesfahun and Mesfin were handed over to the Ethiopian authorities who took them handcuffed and blindfolded at 2:00AM local time on May 12, 2007, purportedly to have them investigated for terrorism at the JATT Main Investigation Branch in Finfinne (Addis Abeba).

From Apr. 27 to May 12, 2007, before handing them over, they were interrogated at the Kenyan National Bureau of Investigation near Tirm Valley by American agents and Kenyan Anti-Terror Police Unit. The Kenyan officer Mr Francis, who led the investigation, concluded the innocence of these two victims and requested the Kenyan authority to immediately let them free. However, another Kenyan CID agent Ms. Lelian, who is suspected of having close connection with the Ethiopian agents, opposed the decision and facilitated the handing over of these two innocent victims.

Once in the hands of the Ethiopian agents, they were taken to the notorious dark Central Investigation compound, known as Ma’ikelawii, where they were interrogated under severe torture for a year and a quarter.

Engineer Tesfahun was then presented before a court of magistrates of all Tigrian nationals in Jul. 2008, who passed the life sentence on him on March 31, 2010. The two were subsequently moved from the maximum security prison to an unknown destination for the pretext of planning to escape. They were taken for further torture in another underground location by a squad directly commanded by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. It was only since last three months that they were returned to Qallitti main prison. The beating was so severe that the engineer repeatedly requested and needed medical treatment which he was of course denied and eventually succumbed to the torture impact yesterday Aug. 24, 2013. He became the latest victim of the vicious systematic genocide against the Oromo.

Regarding the fate of these two engineers, the OLF strongly believes that the way Kenyan authorities have been handing over innocent Oromo refugees to the anti-Oromo Ethiopian criminal regime is against the relevant international conventions. We strongly request the Kenyan government to desist from this practice of the last 22 years of handing over innocent Oromo victims who seek refuge in their country. The Kenyan government cannot avoid sharing the responsibility of such murders of innocent people who they hand over to the notorious regime that is well known for its anti Oromo campaign.

The OLF extends its heartfelt condolence to the family relatives and friends of Engineer Tefahun and calls on the Oromo people to double the struggle for freedom as the only way to be free of such persecutions.

http://gadaa.com/oduu/21361/2013/08/25/olf-statement-on-eng-tesfahun-chemedas-death-in-the-notorious-tplfeprdf-prison-of-qaallittii/

Oromia Times

Godina Dhihaa Oromiyaa bakkotaa gara garaatti sabboontotni ilmaan Oromoo ajjeechaa suukkaaneessaa mootuummaan Wayyaanee EPRDF hayyuu Oromoo Injinner Tasfahun Camadaa irratti raawwatamettii gadda guddaa itti dhaga’amee, ibsachuun

Anotaa gara garaa keessatti Hagaayyaa 25/2013 irraa egaluun reeffaa gooticha Injiner Tasfahun Camadaa eegaa turan. Keessaattuu Magaalaa Amboo, Gudarii , Geedoo fi Hanga Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaaggaa Anaa Guduruutti sabboontotni Oromoo
reeffaa gootichaa Oromoo walqindeessuun simmannaaf egaa kan turan ta’uu gabaasi Qeerroo naannicha irraa beeksisa.

Awwaalchaa gooticha Oromoo Injineer Tafahun Camadaan walqabatee mootummaan Wayyaanee humna waaraanaa bobbaasuun uummata sodaachisuuf yaaluun, reeffii isaas guyyaa uummataan simatamuuf waan eegamaa tureef mootummaan Wayyaanee ta’e jedhee halkan akka darbuu fi maatii isaan akka dhaqabu taasise.Haalli kunis bakkaa hundatti sammuu uummataa keessaatti hadhaa kana hin jedhamne fi kulkkulfannaa uumee jira.

Sirni gaggeessaa awwaalcha hayyuu fi goota Oromoo Injiiner Tasfaahuu Camadaa Hagayya 26,2014 godina dhalotaa isaa Onaa Guduruu keessaatti ganda Harbuu iddoo jedhamu itti bakkaa hiriyoonnii isaa , sabboontotni Oromoo,Qeerroowwaan,dargaggoonnii Oromoo, Baratootni Oromoo dhaabbiilee barnotaa garaagaraa irraa boqonnaaf galanii jiran bakkoota garaagaraa irraa walitti dhammaachuun sirna awwaalcha gooticha Oromoo Enjineer Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti argamuun marartoo fi jaalala goota kanaaf qaban agarsiisuun kabajaan aduunyaa kana irraa gaggefame.

Sirna sana irrattis haala sagalee jabaan fi dhadhannoon hangana hin jedhamneen Ummaannii fi sabboontotni dargaggoonnii Oromoo dhadannoowwaan argaman gadii dhageesisan.

1.Tasfaahuun hin dunee ummataa Oromoof jedhetu wareegame,
2. Wareegama hayyuu keenyaan bilisummaan uummataa keenyaa ni mirkana’a!!
3, Qabsoo hayyuun Oromoo Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti, wareegamee fiixaan ni baafna.
4, Wayyaaneen diinaa uummataa keenyaati!!
5, Gumaan Hayyuu Oromoo Tasfahuun Camadaa irree qeerrootiin ni baafama!!
6, Diinni goota keenyaa qabsaa’aa kuffisuus qabsoon inni egalee hin kufuu itti fufaa kan jedhuu fi Walaloo fi seenaan Hayyuu Oromoo Injiineer Tasfahuun Camadaa uummataaf dubbifamuun haala aja’inbsiisaa ta’een sirni awwaalchaa isaa rawwate.

Walumaa galattii sirna awwaalchaa enjiiner Tasfahuun Camadaa irraatti kutaalee Oromiyaa gara dhihaa fi magaalota Finfinnee Adaamaa dabalatee Uummaannii Oromoo tilmaamaan 10,000 olitti lakkaa’amani tu irraatti kan argamee fi dargaggoonnii hedduun waraanaa Wayyaaneetiin utuu achii hin ga’iin karaattii kan dhorkamuun deebifaman ta’uu odeessii nu qaqqabee jiruu ifaa godhee jira.

Kana malees, Caasaaleen Qeerroo kan Godinotaa Lixaa Shawaa, Jimmaa, Iluu Abbaa Booraa , fi Godina kibbaa lixaa Shawaa erga gootichi Oromoo hayyuun ija uummataa ta’ee kun wareegamuu dhaga’anii gaddaa guddaa isaanitti dhaga’ame ibsachaa guyyaa sirni awwaalcha isaa rawwatamee bakkuma jiranitti maadheewwan walitti dhufuun dungoo qabsiifachuun sirna awwalchaa kana hirmaachuun gadda isaanii waliif ibsuun qabsoo gootni Oromoo kun irraatti wareegamee galmaan ga’uuf waadaa isaanii haaromsan.
Sirna Awwalchaa Gooticha Oromoo Injiineer Tasfahuun Camadaa ilaalchisuun gabaasni Qeerroo Oromiyaa gara gara irraa itti fufa.

Qbasa’an Kufus Qabsoon ittii Fufa!.

http://oromiatimes.org/2013/08/27/kabajaa-bifa-addaa-ummati-oromoo-taasiseefiin-sirni-awwaalicha-gootichi-oromoo-injiner-tasfahun-camadaan-lafa-dhaloota-isaatti-raawwate/

VOA Afaan Oromoo News

http://cdnbakmi.kaltura.com/p/1175831/sp/117583100/serveFlavor/entryId/1_bry1ym51/flavorId/1_zcbs8gfy/name/a.mp3

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/audio/audio/319438.html