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Oromia: Human Rights Watch: Arrest of Respected Politician Escalating Crisis in Ethiopia January 7, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

Dispatches: Arrest of Respected Politician Escalating Crisis in Ethiopia

By Felix Horne

Free Bekele Gerba

Over the past eight weeks, Ethiopia’s largest region, Oromia, has been hit by a wave of mass protests over the expansion of the municipal boundary of the capital, Addis Ababa. The generally peaceful protests were sparked by fears the expansion will displace ethnic Oromo farmers from their land, the latest in a long list of Oromo grievances against the government.

Security forces have killed at least 140 protesters and injured many more, according to activists, in what may be the biggest crisis to hit Ethiopia since the 2005 election violence.

The crisis has taken another worrying turn: on December 23, the authorities arrested Bekele Gerba, deputy chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), Oromia’s largest legally registered political party. There had been fears he would be re-arrested as the government targets prominent Oromo intellectuals who they feel have influence over the population. He was first taken to the notorious Maekalawi prison, where torture and other ill-treatment are routine. The 54-year-old foreign language professor was reportedly hospitalized shortly after his arrest but his whereabouts are now unknown, raising concerns of an enforced disappearance. Other senior OFC leaders have been arbitrarily arrested in recent weeks or are said to be under virtual house arrest.

This is not the first time Bekele has been arrested. In 2011, he was convicted under Ethiopia’s draconian counterterrorism law of being a member of the banned Oromo Liberation Front – a charge often used to silence politically engaged ethnic Oromos who oppose the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). He spent four years in prison and was only released shortly before the elections last May. The OFC ran candidates but the EPRDF coalition won all 547 parliamentary seats, a stark reflection of the unfair electoral playing field.

Bekele is deeply committed to nonviolence and has consistently advocated that the OFC participate in future elections, despite the EPRDF’s stranglehold on the political landscape.

By treating both opposition politicians and peaceful protesters with an iron fist, the government is closing off ways for Ethiopians to nonviolently express legitimate grievances. This is a dangerous trajectory that could put Ethiopia’s long-term stability at risk.

The Ethiopian government should release unjustly detained opposition figures including Bekele and rein in the excessive use of lethal force by the security forces. They should also allow people to peacefully protest and to express dissent and ensure that farmers and pastoralists are protected from arbitrary or forced displacement without consultation and adequate compensation.

These steps would be an important way to show Oromo protesters that the government is changing tack and is genuinely committed to respecting rights. Without this kind of policy shift, desperate citizens will widen their search for other options for addressing grievances.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/01/07/dispatches-arrest-respected-politician-escalating-crisis-ethiopia

 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: URGENT ACTION:ETHIOPIA: PEACEFUL OROMO PROTESTERS MUST BE RELEASED January 6, 2016

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Odaa OromooAmnesty International

 

Stop killing Oromo StudentsStop Torture#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in EthiopiaHanna doja. Oromo child, 1st grade student in Kombolcha, Horroo Guduruu, Oromia. Attacked by Ethiopian regime fascist forces on 31st December 2015#OromoProtets, Gindo, 12 december 2015#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015OromoProtests against genocidal TPLF Ethiopia2. 19 June 2015

ETHIOPIA: PEACEFUL OROMO PROTESTERS MUST BE RELEASED

By Amnesty International, 6 January 2016, Index number: AFR 25/3148/2016

The Ethiopian authorities arbitrarily arrested a number of peaceful protesters, journalists and opposition party leaders in the context of a brutal crackdown on ongoing protests in the Oromia Region which started in November. Those arrested are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and should be immediately and unconditionally released.

 

View report in English

URGENT ACTION

Demand the Immediate Release of Oromo Peace Activist Bekele Gerba from Ethiopian Prison January 5, 2016

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Odaa Oromoo

Free Bekele Gerba

 

Baqqalaa Garbaa

https://www.change.org/p/demand-oromo-peace-activist-bekele-gerba-s-immediate-release-from-ethiopian-prison

On the evening of Dec 23, 2015, Bekele Gerba, was at home, reading at his desk in the company of his wife and son when armed Ethiopian federal security forces surrounded his home, entered and searched his house against his will, and forcibly arrested him. His family and witnesses were told that he would be taken to Makalawi, an infamous high security prison where they could visit him in 24 hours. But they were not allowed to see him. The day he was scheduled to appear in court, he disappeared. Later, he was taken to a hospital where word got out that he had been beaten to unconsciousness during an interrogation at a military camp. He continues to be denied visitation. Right now, he is being held incommunicado, and we have grave concerns that his health is deteriorating.

Bekele Gerba is the Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress party and a widely respected peace advocate. He is a renowned voice for nonviolence, urging only peaceful forms of resistance to violent oppression in Ethiopia.  He envisions peaceful struggle as the preferred means for attaining democracy, unity, and justice. He has become a significant voice of this generation. 

His arrest late December was not his first. In August 2011, following a meeting with Amnesty International about Ethiopia’s human rights violations, Bekele was imprisoned, charged under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism proclamation and sentenced to eight years. Similarly trumped up charges are frequently used to silence any voice of opposition to the government. He was released in late March 2015 upon appeal, and upon his release, he was invited to the U.S. to deliver keynote remarksat an academic conference.  He spent a week in Washington, meeting with members of the diplomatic community. He met with Congress members, State Department officials, media outlets and human rights groups. He gave an interview to NPR’s Michele Kelemen about the lack of political space in Ethiopia and to Al Jazeera’s The Stream.Recently, he spoke to Al Jazeera about the Ethiopian government’sviolent crackdown on widespread Oromo protests against proposed large-scale land takeovers that will displace millions of farmers.

For most of his life, Bekele was a professor of foreign languages. A few years ago, he declared that he could not simply witness the widespread and systematic oppression, ethnic persecution and grievances of his people, the Oromo, and the Ethiopian government’s merciless targeting and killing of the Oromo. Amnesty International reported, “between 2011 and 2014, at least 5000 Oromos have been arrested based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government.”  Now thousands more are being rounded up and arrested by federal security for participating in peaceful protests.

Please stand with Bekele and join me in signing this petition calling for the immediate release of Bekele Gerba. And please send this petition to your Representatives and Senators.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”- MLK

https://www.change.org/p/demand-oromo-peace-activist-bekele-gerba-s-immediate-release-from-ethiopian-prison

LETTER TO
Pres. Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, UN Amb. Samantha Power, UN General Sec. Ban Ki Moon
Representative Ed Royce
Representative Chris Smith
and 2 others

Oromia: ‎TPLF‬ /EPRDF soldiers killed a six months pregnant ‪‎Oromo woman Shashitu Mekonnin‬ and her sister in law ‪‎QananiFikadu‬ in ‪‎Guduru. They threw their body of the cliff. Relatives thought they ran to other villages to escape but their bodies were found three days later. #OromoProtests December 29, 2015

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Odaa OromooStop killing Oromo StudentsStop TortureAgazi security forces beating Oromo women, children)agazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151

Last week TPLF /EPRDF soldiers killed a six months pregnant Shashitu Mekonnin‬ and her sister in law
‪‎Qanani Fikadu‬ in ‪ ‎Guduru‬ . They threw their body of the cliff. Relatives thought they ran to other villages to escape but their bodies were found three days later.” A witness tells VOA Afaan Oromoo.
“The way the Agazi forces killed two women and a man is very brutal; bodies of the women were left in a trench in the forest after they were executed. Their bodies were found after two days,”Eyewitness source.
The 7 month pregnant victim was named Shashitu Mekonnen. She was 19 and has recently completed 10th grade. Another victim was Qeneni Fikadu, 17 years old. They were shot dead by Agazi forces,
according to the sources.
The victims were buried at Wakiyo Church, the witness said. “It was inhuman to murder women who have nothing to do with the protest,” the witness told. Another victim, Tolossa Lelisa was also killed by Ethiopian security forces in the area.
The source said that security forces kill anyone who trespass the 8:00 PM curfew and throw their bodies into the woods.
“The current situation is not good; schools are closed; government offices were closed; there is no transport service,” the witnesses said. People are grossly arrested, harassed, and killed everywhere in
our Wereda, he said.
The TPLF security forces massacred more than 150 people in Oromia since 12 November 2015.

Addis Gazetta

Oromia: Partial list of Oromos mainly students that have been killed by Ethiopian regime police, security agents, Special and armed force during peaceful demonstration of last three weeks (updated stand. 26 December 2015). #OromoProtests December 29, 2015

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Sabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Dajannee Sarbeessaaagazi-fascist-tplf-ethiopias-forces-attacking-unarmed-and-peaceful-oromoprotests-in-baabichaa-town-central-oromia-w-shawa-december-10-20151Sabboona Oromoo Baayyisaa TaaddasaaStop killing Oromo Students#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

Partial list of Oromos mainly students that have been killed by Ethiopian regime police, security agents, Special and armed force during peaceful demonstration of last three weeks (updated stand. 26 December. 2015)

Click Here-

partial-list-of-oromoos-mainly-students-killed-by-ethiopian-regime-police

 Partial List of Oromoos Mainly Students Killed by Ethiopian regime police

 

Oromo Protests Shed Light On Ethiopia’s Long-Standing Ethnic Tensions. #OromoProtests December 27, 2015

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The grim reality behind 'Ethiopia rise' hypeEthiopia Crisis

Oromo Protests Shed Light On Ethiopia’s Long-Standing Ethnic Tensions

 

Why is Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group also one of the most oppressed? As anti-government demonstrations spread across the Oromia region, and the death toll continues to rise, the Oromo people are asserting their long neglected struggle.Why is Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group also one of the most oppressed? As anti-government demonstrations spread across the Oromia region, and the death toll continues to rise, the Oromo people are asserting their long neglected struggle. Labelled as terrorists and extremists by the government, the diaspora are reaching to the international audience for support.BY SORCHA AMY THOMSON & MACARENA ESPINAR LÓPEZ

Oromo Protest Outside Of Ethiopian Embassy In Israel

(Sahara Reporters) — In Israel, Oromo asylum seekers marched upon the Ethiopian Embassy, asking the compelling question: “UN – where are you?” As part of a wave of similar protests around the world, the demonstration called for intervention in what has been described as Ethiopia’s worst civil conflict in a decade. The rally echoed a series of peaceful demonstrations that have spread throughout Ethiopia’s Oromia region. As the protests escalate, so too does the government’s use of excessive force to crush the dissent.

According to Human Rights Watch around 75 protesters have been killed by Ethiopian security forces since mid-November. Many others have been wounded. Meanwhile, the government reports a starkly contrasting five deaths. Peaceful protests began in schools and universities, but as the government responds with violence, outrage has spread throughout society.

The unrest was sparked by a draft Master Plan designed by the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian current government, which aims to expand the territorial scope of Addis Ababa, into 1.5 million hectares of Oromia land. Since the contentious national elections of 2005, Oromos have borne the harsh consequences of thecountry’s quest for economic growth. In order to meet the demands of Ethiopia’s rapid urbanisation, the government has failed to consult with the affected populations about its annexation of land and mass forced evictions.

Matat Admusu, standing outside the Embassy in Tel Aviv, fears the escalation of the current situation.

Oromo Protest Outside Of Ethiopian Embassy In Israel picture2

“The Oromo people are resisting by peaceful means. But the government is taking action with the military. As the protests continue they are bringing special military from the border into the region, who do not speak the language of our people. Because the government says we are terrorists, they kill us. But the more they kill our people, the angrier we get. The demonstrations are getting bigger. Now the region is full of the military.”

A HISTORY OF POLITICAL REPRESSION

Ethnic Oromos comprise more than 25 million people of the nearly 74 million that constitute the total population of Ethiopia. Despite their number, the ethnic majority are the subjects of state discrimination. Nearly all Oromo cultural organizations are banned, youth unemployment is severe, and the Oromo language, despite being widely spoken throughout the country, is not an official language of Ethiopia. Employment opportunities in the public sector tend to be highly politicised, as the only successful applicants are the ones with strong connections to the ruling elite.

These structural concerns were voiced by the protesters in Tel Aviv: “We are competing with those who speak the official language and we are not given the chance to work in the government or other institutions. There is no place for us in our country, even though we are the majority.”

While the recent uprising was sparked by the government’s land-grab, it comes in the context of a long history of Oromo political repression. The ruling regime is led by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition that has been in power since 1991 and that reflects the long-term domination of the Marxist Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The leading coalition consists of four political parties, including the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO).

However, as one of the protesters in Tel Aviv explained, the OPDO does not address the demands of the people they are supposed to stand for: “It is just symbolic, it is a fake party that is not working for the Oromo. They were born in Oromia but do not represent our plight, and every time there are demonstrations they do not hesitate to kill our people.”

Lacking genuine representation in government, many Oromos are dedicated supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a nationalist political organization, founded in 1973, whose aim is ‘to exercise the Oromo peoples’ inalienable right to national self-determination’. The OLF is labelled as a terrorist group in Ethiopia, which hinders the struggle of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group.

PEACEFUL PROTESTS OR TERRORISM?

Oromo Protest Outside Of Ethiopian Embassy In Israel picture3

On 16 December the Ethiopian state intelligence services issued a statement claiming that the Oromia protesters were planning to “destabilize the country” and that some of them have a “direct link with a group that has been collaborating with other proven terrorist parties.”

Human rights groups are concerned this anti-terror rhetoric will escalate the severe crackdown on the Oromo protesters. “Instead of condemning the unlawful killings by the security forces, […] this statement in effect authorizes the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters,” said Amnesty International.

The Ethiopian government’s disregard for human rights attracted international attention when, in July 2015, Barack Obama became the first sitting US President to visit the country. His visit, highly criticised by Ethiopian activists and international human rights organisations, focused on the country’s increasing strategic importance in the fight against terrorism in the region.

“Ethiopia and the United States share a long friendship,” Obama said. He described the nation as an “outstanding partner” for its contribution to the fight against Islamic extremism in East Africa. He went on to declare his support for the current government, elected in May 2015 with a contested landslide 100% of the vote: “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.”

Obama’s lip-service to Ethiopia’s democracy was the subject of widespread criticism. Bekele Nega, general secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress,voiced the popular outrage: “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. […] 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”.

APPEAL FOR INTERVENTION

While appealing for external assistance, Matat, one of the protesters in Tel Aviv, conveyed that the known strategic value of the Ethiopian government to US interests dampens hopes for effective action.

“The international community only work for their own interests. They have an international military vision. In Somalia and in Sudan, they need the Ethiopian military to support them in the fight against terrorism. So they ignore the innocent people being killed. It is the same military who fights for Western interests on the border that are brought to kill the Oromo people. How can this not attract the international media?”

The resounding silence in the international press reflects the complete absence of independent coverage in Ethiopia.

“The protests in Ethiopia are not reported on national television. If you look at Ethiopian media they talk about development, about new hotels and train lines, not about the plight of the Oromo people”, says Matut.

In an effort to counteract the negative government rhetoric, the protesters across Oromia are reaching out to social media. The Twitter campaign, with the hashtag #OromoProtests, calls for international intervention against the state violence. Images and videos depicting the brutality across the region have successfully spread, prompting the authorities to cut mobile phone coverage in some of the key areas.

UNCERTAIN FUTURE

As the demonstrations continue across the region, it remains unclear if the incumbent regime’s violent crackdown on ethnic Oromos is prompted by deep-rooted sentiments of ethnic supremacy or rather by an attempt to utilise ethnic divisions to crush any perceived dissent. But there is a fear among the Oromo that the current status quo could develop into further violence, fuelled by ethnic divisions.

“It could lead to ethnic conflict. There is tension now. The government is not only suppressing Oromos but other ethnic groups [there are more than 80 ethnic groups in Ethiopia]. The situation is increasing. As people continue to be killed, the protests continue to grow, and after time it could spark uncontrollably. We are afraid of that. Everyone should be afraid of that”, expressed Fikreselassie, a 28-year-old Oromo asylum seeker in Israel.

The characterisation of the Oromo struggle as a terrorist movement and the strategic importance of Ethiopia in the fight against regional Islamic extremism contribute to the deafening silence within the international community regarding the brutal oppression of the Oromo protesters. The UN and civil society institutions must call on the Ethiopian government to restrain from the use of excessive force against demonstrators, take measures to de-escalate the growing tensions, and address the root causes of Ethiopia’s ethnopolitical conflict.

About the writers:

Sorcha Amy Thomson is doing an internship in journalism at Amnesty International Israel.

Macarena Espinar López is carrying out an internship as a caseworker at the African Refugee Development Center. She is also completing her Master’s degree in Global Refugee Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark.

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Oromia/ Ethiopia: Thousands of ‪#‎Oromo‬ nationals are being arrested and in detentions. Their location is unknown. ‪#‎OromoProtests‬ December 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Kidnapped and disappearance of Oromo civilians, Oromo Protests, Oromo students protests, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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Oromia/ Ethiopia: Thousands of ‪#‎Oromo‬ nationals are being arrested and in detentions. Their location is unknown. ‪#‎OromoProtests‬

Gammachuu H. Mariam Oromo youth kidnapped by Agazi

Oromoonni Hedduun Gara Mana Hidhaatti Guuramaa Jiru

Humnoonni mootummaa Oromoota kuma hedduutti lakkaa’aman Fincila Diddaa Gabrummaa(FGD) Oromiyaa keessatti adeemsifaa jiru irratti hirmaataniittu jechuudhaan gara mana hidhaatti guuranii darara jiru. Baratoonnni, barsiisonni, wallistoonni, gaazexeesitoonni, daldaltooni akkasumas quteebultoonni humnoota mootummaan uukkaanfamanii erga fudhatamnii booda reebicha fi miidhaa cimaa irraan gahuun isaan darara jiru. Namoonni ukkaanfaman baay’een isanii eessa akka jiran hinbeekamu. Maatii, firootaniifi hirriyyoonni akka isaan hindubbisne godhamaniiru.

Suraa armaan gadii irratti kan mula’atu Gammachuu Haylamaaram Dinqaa jedhama. Dhalatee kan guddate magaala Ambooti yoommuu ta’u taphataa kubbaa miilaa Magaalaa Burraayyuu ture. Kan jiraatu magaala Sabbataa yeroo ta’u, gaafa 20/12/2015 bakka hojiirraa isa qabanii gara Maa’ikalaawwiit geessanii ergaa dararaa turani booda shoorkeessummaarratti hirmaateetta jechuun himata itti bananiiru

Suraa armaan gadii irratti kan mula’atu hirmaateetta jechuun himata itti bananiiru. Erga qabamee hidhameetii, maatii, firoottanii fi hiriyyoonni isa dubbisuufi haala inni irra jiru beekuu hindandeenye. Gammachuu fi dargaggoonni Oromoo kuma hedduun yeroo amma kanatti mana hidhaa keessatti badii tokko malee, mirga isaanii waan gaafataniif qofa dararama jiru. Hidhaa fi ajjechaan qabsoo Oromoon abbaa biyyummaaf taasisa jiru dubbatti hindeebisu!

 

Source: Oromoonni Hedduun Gara Mana Hidhaatti Guuramaa Jiru

Oromia /Ethiopia: More Victims of Extra-Judicial Killings, Kidnappings, Arrests and Detentions. The Human Rights League has confirmed that deaths resulting from the ongoing crackdown of peaceful protesters in various parts of the state of Oromia has now reached 122, while mass arrests and detentions have also been intensified. December 26, 2015

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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share1Sabboona Oromoo Baayyisaa TaaddasaaStop killing Oromo Students#OromoLivesMatters!Agazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015Baqqalaa Garbaa and Dajanee Xaafaa of Oromo Federalist CongressSabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Dajannee Sarbeessaaoromoprotests-finfinnee-aau-over-kidnapping-of-two-female-students-their-name-is-lomitu-waqbulcho-3rd-year-afan-oromo-hirut-tule-2nd-year-chemical-engineering-18-december-2012Hawi Tazara , our sister, our music, our famous Oromo artist

Oromia Regional State /Ethiopia: More Victims of Extra-Judicial Killings, Kidnappings, Arrests and Detentions

HRLHA Urgent Action

December 25, 2015

imagesThe Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has confirmed that deaths resulting from the ongoing crackdown of peaceful protesters in various parts of the regional state of Oromia has now reached 122, while mass arrests and detentions have also been intensified. Top officials of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) party have been targeted in the most recent cases of kidnappings, arrests and detentions. Accordingly, Mr. Dajane Tafa, Deputy General Secretary of OFC, was kidnapped by federal armed forces and taken away to yet unknown destination yesterday morning, December 24, 2015 around the area known as Giyorgis, in the centre of the Capital Finfinne/Addis Ababa on his way to work. In the same way, Mr. Bekele Garba, Deputy Chairman of the OFC, who spent about four years in jail on fabricated allegations and released recently, was also arrested yesterday afternoon from his home in Adama and taken away also by armed federal forces. HRLHA has been informed that homes of both Mr. Dajane Tafa and Mr. Bekele Garba have been searched for hours; and that of Mr. Bekele Gerba in particular remained invaded and surrounded by the federal armed forces until late in the afternoon.

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Ethiopian Government committed war crimes says Amnesty international representative. #Oromoprotests December 26, 2015

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Civil Rights Defenders: Escalation of Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia Must Stop and an independent investigation is Required. #OromoProtests December 26, 2015

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Escalation of Human Rights Violations in Ethiopia Must Stop and an independent investigation is Required

Ethiopia is once again witnessing another round of mass crackdowns by the authorities as scores of protesters have been killed and hundreds arrested in recent weeks. The government must be held accountable for these murders, provide redress, and most importantly of all allow citizens’ the right to express their grievances and demands.

Students and other members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromos, have been staging protests in many parts of Oromia regional state since mid November 2015. The protests were originally sparked the previous year and resulted in the death and arrest of numerous protestors. The protests arose from a draft plan called the “Addis Ababa and Oromia Special Zone Integrated Master Plan” which protestors insisted would see the displacement of communities and farmers dispossessed them from their lands, without prior consultation and proper compensation.

#OromoProtests, healthcare professionals at Bishoftu hospital saying No! to the Master Plan, 14 December 2014

“Land rights are crucial when it comes the realisation of other human rights especially for people whose economic, social and cultural lives are strongly attached and dependent on the land. In light of this, the students’ demand a constructive consultation process and the initiation of an adequate compensation scheme in Ethiopia as a start when it comes to acknowledging basic rights.” said Robert Hårdh, Executive Director at Civil Rights Defenders

The excessive use of force by armed police and military personnel has inflamed the situation turning the peaceful protests into violent clashes which has subsequently led to death and the destruction of property.

While the main opposition party in the region, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), put the number of people killed at 85, Civil Rights Defenders accessed a list of victims compiled by activists who quoted the numbers at 119. The Government, meanwhile, has vaguely stated the casualties as being “high in numbers.”

Silent protests and sit-ins have continued to materialise in several areas and institutions while house-to-house searches and widespread detentions have taken place throughout the Oromia region, according to local residents. Some students, suspected of taking part in the demonstration, have been reportedly expelled by University administrations although to date this has not been verified by independent sources.

In a late but noteworthy move, the Ethiopian government recently announced that the ‘Master Plan’ would not be implemented without consultation from the public, and even admits that the demonstrators’ have a legitimate right to protest.

Despite this symbolic gesture, senior government officials have also engaged in contradictory provocative rhetoric.

The government is consistently labeling the protestors as having links with “terror groups” with aim of attempting to spark a “revolution.” Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn accused the protesters as being misled by “destructive forces” whose aim is to “destabilise the area.”

Another senior official has likened the protesters to genies “let out by OFC (Oromo Federalist Congress), Ginbot 7 and OLF (Oromo Liberation Front)” that should be put back in the bottle. The later two groups are based outside Ethiopia and have been branded as “terrorists” by the parliament.

Allegations such as these echo previous incidents where the Ethiopian authorities have used the “terror label” to silence critics and civil society groups and thus constitute a worrying development.

The killing of peaceful protestors, harassment and mass arrest of those suspected of organising protests will only harm the already shaky human rights record of Ethiopia. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, which Ethiopia is party to, provide that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly includes the right to participate in peaceful assemblies, meetings, protests, strikes, sit-ins and  demonstrations.

In a further act, which has led to the escalation of the crisis, the government has also attempted to limit the flow of information to and from the areas affected by the protests. In some areas government operatives have been seen removing satellite dishes from the rooftops of private residences.

Last week, the head of the nation’s Broadcast Authority told a parliamentary committee that he has warned media houses to pay attention to the content of their reports of the protests coming out of the Oromia region.

A foreign correspondent based in Addis Ababa recently wrote that a translator who had traveled with him to one of the protest areas was subjected to interrogation and mistreatment. A journalist working for the state owned broadcaster, Fikadu Mirkana, was also arrested during the week. Known for persecuting journalists, few independent reports are available about developments in Ethiopia particularly in times such as this. Social media, particularly Facebook, remains the principal source of information and exchange though the country’s Internet penetration rate is among the lowest in the world.

“The flow of independent information can be an influential tool in avoiding public unrest, while acting as a catalyst in exposing human rights abuses especially in times of protests. Furthermore, denying people access to information contravenes Ethiopia’s obligation to respects citizens’ rights regarding access to information,” added Robert Hårdh

 

http://www.civilrightsdefenders.org/featured/ethiopia-statement-escalation-of-human-rights-violations-must-stop-and-an-independent-investigation-is-required/

 

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UMAN RIGHTS

Ethiopian opposition urges scrutiny of industrial plan

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/ethiopian-opposition-urges-scrutiny-industrial-plan-151225201737029.html

The international community needs to pressure the Ethiopian government to halt land grabs and respect human rights, an opposition party leader has said after two prominent opposition members were arrested for inciting protests in Oromiya earlier this week.

Oromiya is the largest region in Ethiopia. Groups such as the OLF, accuse the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition of marginalising ethnic Oromos.

Bekele Nega, secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), said security forces have killed at least 86 people since protests began earlier this month over government plans to create an investment and industrial zone near the capital, Addis Ababa.

“They have killed 86 and wounded thousands [and are] imprisoning people and political leaders including our vice-chairman Bekele Gerba,” Nega told Al Jazeera.

Merara Gudina, OFC chairman, said police detained Gerba on Friday and the party’s assistant secretary, Dejene Tafa, a day earlier.

“They suspect that our party and some of our members are part of the protest movement, that we have been inciting the demonstrations,” he told Reuters news agency, denying that the OFC had incited violence.

 The protests are being described as some of the biggest in Ethiopia in recent times [Reuters]

“We do not know when Bekele and Dejene will be released or be charged for anything.”

Opposition leaders and activists said the “Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan” designed to merge certain rural areas into Addis Ababa will result in land grabs and the displacement of farmers.

Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s prime minister, told parliament on Friday that people had a legitimate right to oppose Addis Ababa’s plan, but that the government would take “unflinching measures” against those who incite violence.

Hailemariam said “anti-peace forces” had incited violence by spreading false information about the plan.

The government has accused the secessionist Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and opposition group Ginbot 7 of involvement in the protests. Both organisations are regarded by the state as terrorist entities.

Amnesty International, the human rights monitor, said earlier in December that protesters have been labelled “terrorists” by Ethiopian authorities “in an attempt to violently suppress protests against potential land seizures”.

The Ethiopian government has neither released an official death toll nor confirmed how many people were arrested since the protests started.

‘Impartial investigation’ 

Betsate Deneke, the head of the the Human Rights Council (HRCO), said his organisation was currently collecting information on how many were killed and would announce their findings next week.

He told Al Jazeera that HRCO demanded an “impartial investigation into the killings of people” takes place.

Earlier this week, the opposition said the government had rejected, for the second time, an application to hold a public demonstration on December 27 to protest against the Addis Ababa Master Plan.

Four out of five Ethiopians still live in rural areas even though the country has witnessed tremendous growth over the past 10 years.

Ethiopia has also faced significant criticism for forcibly removing tens of thousands of people from their homes to make way for large scale commercial ventures, often to the benefit of foreign investors.

Opposition leaders say some 86 people have been killed over the past four weeks at the hands of security forces [Reuters]

 

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/12/ethiopian-opposition-urges-scrutiny-industrial-plan-151225201737029.html

Oromia: Seenaa Qeerroo Sabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Qaroo Dajanee Sarbeessaa (1998-2015). Dajanee Sarbeessa: A 17 years old multi genius School student with exceptional ability was murdered by Agazi (TPLF Ethiopia’s fascist forces). December 25, 2015

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Odaa Oromoooromoprotests-tweet-and-share1

#OromoLivesMatters!

 

Sabboonaa Oromoo Barataa Dajannee Sarbeessaa

Dajanee Sarbeessaa (1998-2015)

Dajanee Sarbeessaa a bright student  with exceptional ability Killed by Agazi (fascist) Ethiopian regime forces on 4th December 2015

Dajanee Sarbeessaa abbaa isaa obboo Sarbeessa Araddaa fi hadhaa isaa Aaddee Gaaddisee Durreessaa irraa bara 1998 Oromiyaa giddu galaa ganda Abebee Sillaasee fi Gichillaa keessati dhalatee guddate. Dajaneen umuriin isaa hanga barnootaaf ga’uti ganduma dhalate sana  keessatti haadhaa fi abbaa isaa gargaaraa ture. Kana malesi, ganda saanii keessatti taphaa ijoollummaa isaa hirriyita isaa walliin taphachaa dabarse.

Dajaneen akkuma umuriin isaa barnootaaf ga’een bara 2006  waggaa 8’ffaa isaatti gara mana barumsaa ganduma inni keessatti dhallatetti jalqabe. Yeroo sanatti imanaan maatii isaa “Beekaa nuuf ta’ii; harkaa nu qabi; hiyyumaa keessa nu baasi; beekaa lammiif ta’ii!” kan jedhu fudhatee barumsa isa eegale. Akka imaanaa maatii fudhatee qabsoo barnoota isaa eegaleen kutaa 1’ffaa isaa ABC ….fi 123….jechuun eegalun kutaa 1-8 tti qabxii gaarii galmeessisuun itti fufe. Yeroo kana keessattis, daree isaati fi akka waligalati 1’ffa ba’uun qabxii boonsaa galmeessisa ture.

Dandeettii fi Qarummaa

Dajaneen barnoota isaatin cimaa ture. Kana malees, ogummaa waa umuun illee nama gummachaa gaarii mana barumsaa isaa keessati rawwatee ture. Fakkeenyaaf, Dajaneen yeroo kutaa 6’ffa isaa baratu bara 2010tti kallaqoota kanneen akka moodela solarii kan bishaan ho’isuu danda’uu, maykiroskophii fi kitaabaa barattootaf akka yaadaanootti dubbisuuf mijjatu qopheessaa ture. Sababa kanaan dhumaa semistera 2’ffa irraatti badhaasota gosaa ja’aa (6) nama badhaafame ture. Akka kanaan hangaa xummuraa sadarkaa 1’ffaa isaatti badhaasota soddomii lama ol mana baruumsa irraa badhafaame.

Sababa kanaan, Dajaneen kabajaa fi jalaala mana barumsaa qabun qabxii olaana fi ga’uumsa qabun imanaa mana baruumsa fi maatii isaa fudhachuun gara kutaa 9’ffaa bara 2014tti gara mana baruumsa Baantu saddarka lamafaa fi qopha’inatti barrachuu eegale. Achittis semistera 1’ffaa qabxii gaarii ta’ee galmeessun bakka bu’aa mana baruumsa Baantuu ta’uun fillamee gara Adaamaatti dorgomiif dhihaate. Dajaneenis turtii Adaamaa kana torbe tokkof taasisen badhaasa cimiina isaa gonfate;  ergaa debi’ee bodaa immoo qabxii kutaa 9’ffa isaa kan walliigala 1117 Average waliigala 93.5 fiddun akka kutaattis ta’ee akka waliigallatis 1’ffaa ba’uun gara kutaa 10’ffaati bara 2015 darbee barnoota isaa haalaa ho’aan eegale.

Haala kanaan osoo barachaa jiruu dubbiin dhimma master pilani bara 2014 eegale falmii dargaggoo Orommotiin dhorkamee bara kana 2015  ka’uun mormii barattoota Baantu sadarkaa 2’ffa fi qopha’inaa walliin ta’een sagalee isaanii dhageessisaa turan.

Gaafii Barattootaa

Gaaffiin isaanii dhimmii master pilaani nurra haa dhabbatu; lafa keenya irraa hin buqqanu; bara baraan maaliif hidhaan ajjeechan reebichii seerran allaa durrati gaggeefama? jedhaan. Otuu isaan karaa nagaan sagalee isaanii dhaggeesisanu sarroota wayyaanetiin raasasa akka akkayii qammadii xaxaxiisuu irraati roobsan; baratoota baay’een miidhamuun lubbuun isaanii dhaban; Dajaneenis  guyyaa 4 Mudde 2015 lubbuun isaa dabarte.

Qabsa’aan nii du’aa Qabsoon ittii fuffa !

Injifannoon uummata oromoof!

Oromia: Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa fi Obbo Dajanee Xaafaa To’annaa Jala Oolan. Fascist Ethiopian Regime (TPLF) unlawfully Arrested Baqqalaa Garbaa and Dajanee Tafaa of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) December 25, 2015

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Odaa OromooBaqqalaa GarbaaBaqqalaa Garbaa and Dajanee Xaafaa of Oromo Federalist CongressFree Bekele Gerba

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/12/25/omn-oduu-mud-24-2015/

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa , Itti-Aanaa Dura taa’aa KFO/OFC fi Dajanee Xaafaa itti-aanaa barreessaa KFO/OFC guyyaa ardhaa qabamuun Himame. Sochii Uummataatiin kan bararuqe mootummaan Shororkeessaa Woyyaanee hoggantoota gootota ilmaan Oromootaa kana Obboo Baqqalaa Adaammaarraa loltuu Lammii Tigraay qofa 21 qabatee mana marsee qabee gara Maakalaawitti yo geessu Obboo Dajanee Xaafaa ammoo Yuuniverstii Rift Valley bakka inni barsiisurraa qabanii mana geessanii and mana isaa sakatta’anii gara Maakalaawitti geessuun himameera.
Obboo Baqqalaan kanaan durallee woggoota 4 wolakkaa f mana hidhaa kan ture yo ta’u obbo Dajaneenille nama woggaa dheeraaf qabsoo karaa nagaa keessa turee dha. Ob Dajaneen 2005-2010 aanaa callayaarra filatamee paarlaamaa keessa turuun beekkama.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/12/24/omn-oduu-amma-nu-gahe-muddee-242015/

 

 

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa Deebisanii To’annaa Jala Oolan

 

 

Muddee (Dec.) 24, 2015

Kan dhiyeenya mana hidhaa dhaa gad dhiisaman Itti aanaa dura taa’aan kongresa Federaalawaa Oromoo Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa akka lakkoobsa Itiyoopiyaa har’a galgala naannoo Sa’a 12 mana isaanii Adaamaa jiru irraa hunoota mootummaan qabamuu maatiin isaanii nuu mirkaneessaniiru jechuu dhaan barreessaan dhaabichaa Obbo Baqqalaa Nagaa dubbataniiru.

 

Bonnie Holcomb: OSA’s Board Chair – message regarding the unlawful arrest of Bekele Gerba of OFC

Bekele Gerba was arrested last night 7:30 PM local time in Adama by 14 uniformed and armed Federal Police. They came with a paper callng for the arrest of “Bekele Gerba Tuji.” Bekele was reading at his desk in the company of his wife and son. He responded peacefully that this is not his proper name, that he had broken no law and refused to go with them or allow them to search the house. They brought another two intelligence people in civilian clothing who led a search the house without a stated purpose against his objection that his rights were being violated. He was taken by force without a charge in front of his wife, son and three witnesses who were EPRDF members. He was put into the back of a Federal Police vehicle and taken away. At that point his wife was told not to follow them and that she could visit him at the Makelawi prison after 24 hours.

This is the highly-respected man with a reputation of utmost integrity who translated the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr into Oromo language while serving and a prisoner of conscience from 2011-2015. He is an official in the legitimate Oromo opposition party in Ethiopia. He delivered the keynote address at the 2015 Oromo Studies Association calling upon Oromo protest peacefully to assert their rights. I personally accompanied him to visit the State Department Ethiopian Desk officer, State Department Democracy Rights and Labor representative who also reported to the African Desk officer. He spoke with members of the Atlantic Council at a session on August 27, with National Endowment for Democracy, RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, Freedom House, offices of Congressional Representatives from Minnesota and the House Subcommittee on Africa. He was interviewed by NPR and Al Jazeera. At all meetings he spoke clearly about the crisis the Oromo were facing with violation of all rights guaranteed by the Ethiopian constitution, the outright confiscation of land, the closure of all political and social space for expression. He urged support for peaceful demonstration by Oromo in Ethiopia, and received assurances that the United States fully supports democratic expression. Now is the time for all who heard and understood his message to stand in support of Bekele and the Oromo protesters who peacefully demonstrated in response to illegal land seizure and egregious violations of their rights.

http://www.ayyaantuu.net/bonnie-holcomb-osas-board-chair-message-regarding-the-unlawful-arrest-of-bekele-gerba-of-ofc/

 

 

Members of U.S. Congress write to Secretary of State Kerry on #OromoProtests in Ethiopia December 24, 2015

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Odaa OromooRepresenting Minnesotaoromoprotests-tweet-and-share1

Stop killing Oromo StudentsAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Members of U.S. Congress write to Secretary of State Kerry on Oromo Protests in Ethiopia

 #‎OromoProtests‬ US Congress Members Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum & Tom Emmer write letter to U.S. Department of State. Page1#‎OromoProtests‬ US Congress Members Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum & Tom Emmer write letter to U.S. Department of State

The following is a letter written by members of the U.S. Congress: Reps. Keith Ellison (MN), Betty McCollum (MN) and Tom Emmer (MN), to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 24th, 2015

Ellison, McCollum, Emmer Send Letter to Secretary of State Kerry Regarding Protests in Ethiopia

WASHINGTON DC – Reps. Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, and Tom Emmer sent the following letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the student protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia calling for stronger action against human rights violations:

December 23, 2015

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We are writing in regards to the recent student protests in the Oromia region of Ethiopia that have erupted in response to the Ethiopian government’s Master Plan to expand Addis Ababa into surrounding farmland. Minnesota is home to the largest Oromo population in the United States and we have been contacted by hundreds of constituents concerned about the violence and intimidation these protesters have faced from government security forces. We would like to commend you for condemning the recent killings and violence against peaceful Oromo protesters. However, our constituents feel that stronger action is required to address the deteriorating human rights situation in the region.

The United States and Ethiopia have shared a long, fruitful relationship and are partners on a number of issues important to the region. This ongoing relationship, coupled with the extensive foreign assistance that the United States provides Ethiopia each year, should be used to leverage the United States’ position that inclusive democracy be practiced in Ethiopia.

Numerous reports from organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Committee on the Protection of Journalists have revealed the growing practice of government security forces using arbitrary arrests and prosecution to silence journalists and Ethiopian citizens who are simply exercising freedom of expression—a fundamental right and the cornerstone of a democratic society. These individuals are often charged under the draconian 2009 anti-terrorism proclamation. The continued mistreatment and displacement of the Oromo ethnic group in the Oromia region is especially troubling. Furthermore, the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law), enacted in 2009, has made it nearly impossible for non-profits to operate in Ethiopia.

Similar protests last year left dozens of Oromos dead and hundreds arrested. This year, there have already been five officially recorded deaths, although constituents close to the issue have informed us the true number of deaths is much higher with a death toll of at least 75. Recently, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that authorities “will take merciless legitimate action against any force bent on destabilizing the area.” This aggressive approach to peaceful protesters is cause for major concern by the United States and we therefore urge you to engage the Ethiopian leadership in a serious dialogue in order to prevent further loss of life and to ensure that Ethiopia is adhering to democratic principles.

The United States Congress has already sent a strong message regarding Ethiopia’s response to protests. The 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill has provisions to ensure that the U.S. funding to Ethiopia cannot be used to support forced evictions in the country. Furthermore, the bill requires U.S. assistance to be used to support local community initiatives aimed at improving livelihoods and be subject to prior consultation with affected populations. The bill also opposes U.S. funding to international financial institutions such as the World Bank for programs that could lead to forced evictions in Ethiopia.

We respectfully ask you to conduct a full, thorough review of this ongoing situation. We cannot look the other way when our allies are violating the human rights of their citizens. If during your investigation you find violations of the Leahy Law, we ask that you respond by taking appropriate action. Thank you for your attention to this important human rights matter.

Sincerely,

Keith Ellison
Member of Congress

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress

Tom Emmer
Member of Congress

Cc: Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, White House
Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to United Nations
Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee, United States House of Representatives
Congressman Elliot Engel, Ranking member of Foreign Affairs Committee, United States House of Representatives

http://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/ellison-mccollum-emmer-send-letter-to-secretary-of-state-kerry-regarding

Oromia: Famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera feared to be under another torture, activists say. #OromoProtests December 24, 2015

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???????????#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

Stop TortureStop killing Oromo Students

Famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera feared to be under another torture, activists say

Release Hawi, our sister, our music, our famous artistHawi Tazara , our sister, our music, our famous Oromo artist

(December 23, 2015, Finfinne Tribune, Gadaa.com ): According to a media report, the famous Oromo female singer Hawi Tezera was detained and tortured last week by the Ethiopian Federal police after releasing an Afan Oromo single music that’s critical of the Ethiopian government’s affairs, i.e. the Master Plan and the killings following the protests against the Master Plan, in the Federal State of Oromia. The single, which was released on December 15, 2015, was produced using the traditional Oromo protest genre called Geerarsa. Photos of the singer’s tortured body, showing the bruised and swollen areas, are shown here.Report shows Hawi Tezera’s bruised and swollen body from last week’s torture; activists fear she could be tortured again.

Upon the intervention of the Oromian State police, the report adds, Hawi was released from her ordeal only to be imprisoned again over the last few days. Activists fear that she could be tortured again; the Ethiopian government has a record of detaining and torturing dissidents (prisoners of conscience) who oppose its policies using peaceful and Constitutional means.

In addition to Hawi, thousands of Oromos, including a journalist, have been imprisoned across Oromia and Ethiopia over the last week – accused of expressing protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan. According to the protesters, who are using peaceful (nonviolent) means to demonstrate their opposition, millions of Oromo farmers will be evicted from their homesteads, and thousands have already been evicted and have become homeless, through the government’s large-scale land-grab project called the Addis Ababa Master Plan. During the recent wave of arrests, the government has especially targeted Oromo singers and their families/relatives for imprisonment and harassment. It is to be remembered that Oromo male singers Jireenyaa Shifarraa and Bilisummaa Dinquu were reportedly abducted last week by the government forces – after being accused of releasing music that’s critical of the government’s policy in Oromia; photos of Jireenyaa Shifarraa in handcuffs were circulating on social media last week. Read more at:-

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/12/famous-oromo-female-singer-hawi-tezera-feared-to-be-under-another-torture-activists-say/

Ethiopia arrests journalist after channel reports on protests. #OromoProtests December 23, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and shareJournalist Fikadu Mirkana, Oromia TV and Radio

Ethiopia arrests journalist after channel reports on protests

(CPJ, Nairobi, December 22, 2015)–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in Ethiopia to release news anchor Fikadu Mirkana. Fikadu, who works for the state-run broadcaster Oromia Radio and TV, was arrested at his Addis Ababa home on Saturday morning, according to news reports.

CPJ could not determine the reason for Fikadu’s arrest. It comes as Oromia Radio and TV has, in recent weeks, covered protests against a plan to expand the Ethiopian capital, in a move that campaigners say would displace hundreds of thousands of farmers, according to news reports. Dozens of protesters have been killed during clashes with police during the unrest in the regional state of Oromia, according to a Human Rights Watch report.

“Journalists have a vital role to play in ensuring the flow of information, both from the Ethiopian government and also, critically, from those who will be affected by its decisions,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Sue Valentine in New York. “We call on authorities to release Fikadu Mirkana immediately.”

It is not clear where Fikadu is being held and neither his family nor his lawyers have been allowed access to him, an Addis Ababa-based journalist, who has spoken with Fikadu’s family and who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, told CPJ.

The Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian embassy in Nairobi did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for details about Fikadu’s arrest.

In recent weeks, the Ethiopian government has used anti-terror rhetoric against campaigners, with the communications minister, Getachew Reda, branding them “terrorists” and “demonic,” according to a column by Awol Allo, a fellow in human rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science, published Saturday on Al-Jazeera‘s website. This language usually presages a crackdown on dissenters, the column said. Protests in Oromia, a region that stretches across central Ethiopia and is home to a third of the country’s population, have affected at least 30 towns and prompted the arrest of more than 500 people since mid-November, according to news reports.

Ethiopia is the third largest jailer of journalists on the African continent, with at least 10 behind bars on December 1, CPJ’s 2015 prison census shows.

https://cpj.org/2015/12/ethiopia-arrests-journalist-after-channel-reports-.php

 

Koreen Mirga Gaazexeessitotaa (CPJ) Akka Itoophiyaan Gaazexeessaa Fiqaadu Mirkanaa Hiiktu Gaafatte


Journalist Fikadu Mirkana, Oromia TV and Radio

Gaazexeessaa Fiqaaduu Mirkanaa

Gaazexeessaa Fiqaaduu Mirkanaa dhaaba TV fi Raadiyoo Oromiyaatii hojjata.

Akka gabaasa CPJ baaseetti nama kana Muddee 19,2015 ganama Finfinnee qabanii hidhan.Waan gaazexeessaa kana hidhaniif CPJ ammatti beekuu baatullee dhiyoo tana keessaa mormii master pilaanii Finfinnee gabaase.

Sue Valentine, qindeessituu sagantaa CPJ damee Afrikaati,NY jirti.

“Gaazexeessitotii akka ummatii mootummaa fi waluma irrallee odeeffannoo argatu tolchuuf qooda guddaa qaban,”jetti.”

Tanaafuu Fiqaaduu ariitiin hidhaa bahuu qabaa jetti,Sue.Fiqaaduu eessatti akka hidhan akka CPJ-tti maatii fi abukaatoon isaalleen hin beekan jedha CPJ.

CPJ waahee hidhaa gaazexeessaa kanaa bulchoota Itoophiyaa Finfinnee jiranii fi embaasi Naayroobii jiran irraa saatii barbaadetti deebii argachuu hin dandeennee jedha.

Itoophiyaan gaazexeessitota hidhuun akka CPJ-tti Afrikaa keessaa sadarkaa sadaffaa irra jirti.

http://m.voaafaanoromoo.com/a/journalist-fekadu-mirkana-jailed-oromo-ethiopia/3113884.html

Oromia/ Ethiopia: What Is Behind the Oromo Rebellion in Ethiopia? #OromoProtests December 21, 2015

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???????????#OromoProtests @Finfinnee (AAU) over kidnapping of two female students. Their name is Lomitu Waqbulcho ( 3rd year Afan Oromo & Hirut Tule (2nd year Chemical Engineering). 18 December 2015

#OromoPRotests tweet and shareOromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleenAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015OromoProtests @Finfinnee University  Dec. 7, 2015 picture2

The current uprising is a culmination of systematic injustice perpetrated against the Oromo.

As is often the case, oppressors are blind to what they perpetrate on their victims and surprised when the oppressed rise up defiantly.

Even the African Union, with its headquarter in Addis Ababa, while rightly concerned about a potential genocide inBurundi, is conspicuously silent on the massacre taking place against the Oromo right on its doorstep.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yohannes-woldemariam/what-is-behind-the-oromo-_b_8849776.html

World Post: What Is Behind the Oromo Rebellion in Ethiopia?

 

The Ethiopian government is now faced with unprecedented rebellion from the Oromo ethnic group, consisting 35% of the Ethiopia’s population, which it disingenuously claims is inspired by terrorism. The immediate pretext is the Addis Ababa Master Plan encroaching and displacing Oromo farmers, but this masks a deeper grievance which has been brewing for at least two decades under this regime, and for over a century under successive highland Ethiopian rulers. In the following, I will try to provide some context and offer some analysis of the danger Ethiopia and the region are facing.

Background

The late Ethiopian Prime Minster, Meles Zenawi, achieved power in 1991 as “the first among equals” in a ruling coalition. After the 1998-2000 “border war” with Eritrea, he moved to consolidate his power by rewarding loyalists and weakening or imprisoning his rivals. Meles institutionalized one-party rule of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and his Tigrayan inner circle, with the participation of other co-opted ethnic elites who were brought into the ruling alliance under the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

The EPRDF consists of four groups: the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the South Ethiopian Peoples’ Democratic Front (SEPDF) and the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF). The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) decided to withdraw from the EPRDF coalition in 1992 and was pushed out after unsuccessfully trying to assert its independence from the TPLF within the coalition. The role of OPDO, ANDM and SEPDF is simply to rubber stamp TPLF’s agenda. In North American parlance, one can describe the members of OPDO, ANDM and SEPDF as the uncle Toms of Ethiopian society.

Zenawi’s violent crackdown on the 2005 demonstrations protesting the widely believed rigged election was a clear indication of his determination to hang on to power. In the 2010 elections, the EPRDF won 499 out of 547 parliamentary seats — with all but two others going to EPRDF-allied parties — and all but one of 1,904 council seats in regional elections. Despite the semblance of parliamentary rule, those elected were irrelevant to the governance of the country, since the TPLF and PM Zenawi maintained near absolute control over the country’s politics.

If there was any doubt in 2005, in the 2010 and 2015 elections, it became clear that this was a one-party rule with a vengeance, ensuring the triumph of repression, the squashing of dissenting voices and the shutting down of independent media. Elections in Ethiopia are shenanigans to show complete EPRDF control rather than engagement in democracy. There is a clampdown on internet access, and the arrest and sentencing of political opponents and journalists. Even two Swedish journalistsreporting in the Ogaden were imprisoned on terrorism charges.

Succession Not Transition

There was a speculation that Meles’s passing in august 2012
could touch off an internal power struggle expected to take place within the ranks of his loyalists. But the succession of a new prime minister turned out to be an uneventful affair and at least outwardly peaceful. The number of Tigrayans in the cabinet decreased, but key posts remain in the hands of aging Tigrayan loyalists. The talk of “generational change” over the past few years was simply a charade.

Among the exceptions is the current PM Hailemariam Desalegn, the relatively unknown ex-Deputy Prime Minister. Desalegn’s ethnicity gives a superficial semblance of balance and cover for the Tigrayan oligarchy. Desalegn is a Wolayta, a somewhat marginalized ethnicity in the periphery of Ethiopian society, and a born-again Christian in a country where the dominant church is Ethiopian Orthodox. He never participated in the armed struggle that brought the various factions of the EPRDF to power. His status as an outsider was perceived by many to be an asset that gave him broader legitimacy, insulated him from criticism, and allowed him to present himself as an underdog protected from the historical baggage of the Amhara and Tigrayans.

Yet, in his three years in power, Desalegn has announced few new policies. Some suggest that he is a mere figurehead and that real power is still within a core TPLF group shadowing him. In any case, party leaders seem lost without Zenawi. They govern on autopilot, following the vision and templates he left behind. In effect, Zenawi is ruling from the grave. Yet developments like the Oromo uprising expose the limits of ruling from the grave. Regime officials seem confused. Different officials say different things and contradict each other. They look like deer caught in the headlights. As is often the case, oppressors are blind to what they perpetrate on their victims and surprised when the oppressed rise up defiantly.

Resistance to EPRDF Rule

While opposition and discontent have been growing in Ethiopia, the security apparatus is ever vigilant against them . Rioting Muslims were effectively contained. The TPLF marginalized both the legal and the extra-legal opposition, leaving little option but to protest as in the current Oromo uprising. The few co-opted Oromo elites within the EPRDF have little credibility, and protesters scoff at statements coming from Oromo leaders serving the regime.

Other ethnic groups deeply dissatisfied are the Ogadenis, Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz. The Ogaden national liberation Front (ONLF) in Ogaden is waging an insurgency exacerbated by forcible relocations to allow oil and gas exploration. Similar insurgency rages in Oromia led by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Oromia was incorporated into the Ethiopian empire in the 1880s by emperor Menelik IIduring the time the European scramble for Africa was underway.

Resentment to TPLF rule extends even among parts of Tigray, where a part of the population feel left out by the TPLF elites interested only in making money and investing it in the capital or abroad. The EPRDF has unsuccessfully lobbied the U.S. government to label the ONLF and the OLF as terrorist organizations. Nevertheless, the controversial use and abuse of the Anti-Terrorism Law is applied with impunity. The government attributes the ongoing Muslim and Oromo protest to infiltration from Saudi Arabia, Eritrea and the opposition Ginbot 7 movement.

Despite a dishonest attempt to externalize the issue, Ethiopian Muslims, who number anywhere from 40% to 50% of the population, and the Oromo have historically been marginalized, and the protest is very much homegrown and rooted in a long list of grievances.

Ethiopia, the U.S. and its Western Allies

Ethiopia is a key strategic ally for the War on Terror, which insulates it from any UScondemnation. Ethiopia receives the largest aid in Africa — an average $3.3 billionper year. The government abuses aid money to the extent that even government-provided seeds and fertilizer is denied to farmers who are not party members. Regarding the current uprising, the United States has issued a statement of concern. However, the regime itself is noticably unconcerned because it knows these statements by the U.S. are accompanied by little or no action. Even the African Union, with its headquarter in Addis Ababa, while rightly concerned about a potential genocide inBurundi, is conspicuously silent on the massacre taking place against the Oromo right on its doorstep.

The late Zenawi had the wit to position himself as an indispensable ally of the West in the fight against “terrorism.” Ethiopia is seen as a bulwark against extremism and the chaos of Somalia. From the U.S. point of view, Ethiopia is a military bridgehead to contain Al Qaida infiltration in Somalia and even across the Red Sea in Yemen.

International aid subsidizes about 50 % of Ethiopia’s national budget. United Kingdom funding of $4.9billion for a brutal resettlement scheme was only withdrawn this year. Germany continues to aid Ethiopia for “strategic” reasons despite voicing concern about human rights violations. The regime has deepened its economic relationship with China (which is tight-lipped on human rights issues) by utilizing its comparative advantage: capitalizing on the availability of plentiful cheap labor and Chinese subsidies for projects encroaching in Oromia.

The Economy

Zenawi engineered Ethiopia’s success in securing aid from the European Union and the U.S.; he was adept at maneuvering and securing money from Western financial institutions that even his detractors acknowledge. He counted among his admirers big names such as Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard as well as Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics. The country’s rulers have perfected the culture of begging and dependency and are now appealing for a $1.4 billion to feed the 10.2 million drought victims even though they engage in the business of leasing fertile land to foreign investors who export everything they grow. Drought does not have to lead to hunger and famine, if a government plans for it. Poor governments can store grain when there is good harvest in preparation for such emergencies.

Consistent with the notion of state-directed developmentalism espoused by the EPRDF, it aspired to oversee the development of roads, rail, electricity and telecommunications, boasting double-digit growth although the IMF disputes those figures and puts the growth rate at 7.5 per cent . It did succeed in Addis Ababa getting sub-Saharan Africa’s first light-rail network. However, the government’s claim that its socio-economic policies have helped the poor is disputed by critics, who point out that the primary beneficiaries are the political elite and that the gap between the elites and the poor is ever wider. The Oromo uprising is partially resentment over displacement and over environmental damage in the name of development.Corruption is rampant in the country. Theft from state enterprises and participation in the black market, including widespread graft is all too common.

Federalism

Ethiopia under the EPRDF was officially declared a federal state. In states with true federalism, regions enjoy political primacy, as it is they who consciously decide to form the state, unlike centralized states where the constituting units come into being in line with EPRDF administrative requirements from the center. The strong center in Ethiopia never allowed for the true spirit of federalism to emerge. The country could never rid itself of the lingering grievance of the regions, of not getting their share, commensurate with their resources. There is a whole list of such claims, such as, misuse of river waters and cheaply leasing of indigenous land to foreign capitalists, urbanization (as in Addis Ababa’s Master Plan), and increasing Deforestation.

The TPLF military and the future

The Ethiopian military as an institution has acquired unprecedented power. Under any conceivable scenario, the military will continue to be a key and decisive player. Yet, it is not a truly national army; at the officer corps level, it is heavily dominated by Tigreans. Historically, the rank and file soldiers come mostly from the Oromo nation and have been the cannon fodder in the country’s numerous wars under Haile Sellassie, Mengistu Hailemariam, and now under the TPLF dictatorship. There is deep grievance within the army resulting in high profile desertions from the Air Force and other branches.

Control of key economic sectors by the military under the EPRDF have made it difficult to limit its role to a strictly military one. The military’s role has other consequences of spiraling ethnic conflicts which have reached a boiling point in the current uprising. EPRDF rule has engendered profound hatred and resentments among different groups with Ethiopian society and among the former ruling classes of the Amhara ethnic group.

The Ogadenis have a longstanding group grievance that is part and parcel of their indomitable desire for self-determination, which has never been addressed. The current uprising is a culmination of systematic injustice perpetrated against the Oromo. Resistance in Ethiopia in the absence of political space for cross-ethnic alliances is being channeled along ethnic and religious lines, potentially setting the stage for the balkanization of the country. In the 20th century, highland monarchist absolutism, Stalinist dictatorships and today’s make-believe “democratic federalism” may contribute more to fragmentation and dismemberment than nation-building. The legacy of dictatorship, from Menelik II, Haile Selassie, Mengistu Hailemariam to Meles Zenawi has endangered the country.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yohannes-woldemariam/what-is-behind-the-oromo-_b_8849776.html

CRIMES THAT MADE THE OROMO YOUTH REVOLT. #OromoProtests December 20, 2015

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CRIMES THAT MADE THE OROMO YOUTH REVOLT

From the Forest Fires of 2000 to the Conflict over the AAMP in 2014 and Beyond

By Mekuria Bulcha

 

TPLF ETHIOPIA'S CRIMES THAT MADE THE OROMO YOUTH REVOLT

Introduction

Literature on social movements shows that student activism has been a catalyst in regime change in many countries around the world. In Asia and Latin America it had a significant role in the fall of many regimes. In the West, the anti-establishment student movements of the 1960s had significant effects on both national and global politics. The role of student movements in struggles against colonialism in Africa and Asia is also on record. In Ethiopia, a student movement, in the 1960s and early-1970s, was a catalyst for the revolution that led to the downfall of the Haile Selassie regime in 1974. It is common knowledge that Oromo students from high schools, colleges and universities have been expressing grievances and making peaceful demands on behalf of their people, and that the response of the Ethiopian regime has been violent during the last fifteen years. Although the conflict between them has persisted for more than a decade and half, a holistic picture that shows the complexity of the issues which constitute the demands of the Oromo students and the psychology of domination and fear that underpin the repressive responses of the leaders of the TPLF-led regime to the student demands is lacking.[1] This article attempts to fill the gap.

As indicated in the title of the article, the forest fires of 2000 and the AAMP of 2014 are two of the most conspicuous events in a series of incidents which have instigated the Oromo student protests of the last fifteen years. In the article I will show that the two events did not occur in isolation, but were crucial moments in a trajectory of interconnected episodes that have marked the contentious relationship between the Oromo youth and the Ethiopian regime. The word “beyond” in the title of the article indicates an inevitable continuity of conflict between the Oromo people and the Ethiopian regime. To show the complexity of the conflict over Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) the article describes the vicious circle of the tyrannical characteristics inherent in the political culture and predatory behavior of Abyssinian ruling elites, their psychology of fear, and the impunity of their violence against the Oromo people as the cause of the conflict. Indicating that this vicious circle is deeply rooted in the history of the relations between the Oromo people and the Ethiopian state, the article suggests that the conflict may not find resolution short of achievement of full freedom by the Oromo.  Since the initiators and main actors in the ongoing protests against the policies of the Ethiopian regime have been university and high school students as well as primary school-children the terms “youth” and “students” are used interchangeably throughout the article.

The article has 5 sections. The first two parts take up land-ownership and environmental protection as a locus of contention and tensions between the Oromo youth and the TPLF-led regime. Here, the conflict over resources are discussed on two different levels: environmental protection and the right to a homeland.  Putting the conflict on a concrete, cultural level and in an abstract ethical perspective, the first part will examine the incompatibility of the dominating Abyssinian environmentally hostile values and practices with the environment friendly values and practices of the Oromo people. In part 2, the article examines contradictions between the rights of a conquered people and the interests of conquerors: the right to a homeland and its resources on the one hand, and interest in the exploitation of the human and natural resources of a territory on the other. For the present Oromo youth, this involves a birth right to a homeland and an aspiration of preserving its natural resources, and of passing them over to coming generations. The article shows how, having been instigated first by the forest fires which had destroyed over 150,000 hectares of forestland in 2000, the current uprising of the Oromo youth has developed into a movement over the years. According to the Ethiopian Constitution of 1995, all land in Ethiopia (in this case also all Oromo land) belongs to the state. Therefore, any decision about the exploitation of its resources, its administration including the protection of the eco-system, is the prerogative of the guardians of the property of the state. The guardians are the self-appointed TPLF (Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front) leaders. Based on empirical evidence, the article describes the behavior, and the illegal action and predatory behavior of the leaders of the TPLF, as antithetical to the guardianship role which their own constitution confers on them.

The third part deals with the economic policy of the TPLF-led government in relation to its ongoing conflict with the Oromo students. It starts with the massive student protests of 2002. The protests were triggered by a quest for distributive justice and exacerbated by violence which was used by the regime as a solution. The political economy of ethnic-cleansing, which is reflected lately in the attempted implementation of the so-called Addis Ababa Master Plan (AAMP), is explained here. Parts four and five discuss the stratagem used by the Tigrayan leaders of the current Ethiopian regime to stay in power. It shows how George Orwell’s fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four which was published in 1948[2] becomes a reality that affects concretely the lives of tens of thousands of Oromo youth under the present Ethiopian regime. Part four discusses how the fictitious duties of the Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” of the state of “Oceania” (whose role is manufacturing lies) have been adopted by the TPLF-led regime’s ministries of information, propaganda and justice by converting vice into virtue, misrepresenting dictatorship as democracy, demonizing law-abiding citizens as terrorists, falsifying inhabited land as empty and its indigenous populations as squatters. The part discusses the contradictions between the “democratic rights” (which the Ethiopian Constitution purports to grant its citizens) and the vicious treatment which the Oromo are receiving from the TPLF-led regime. Part four explores the consequences of “thought surveillance” conducted in classrooms, lecture halls and on school and university campuses by the TPLF-led regime’s security police in order to “flush out” and persecute suspected holders of dissenting political opinions. The notoriety of the method used by these security agents is analogous to the modus operandi of the “Thought Police” caricatured in George Orwell’s satirical fiction mentioned above.

In its fifth and last part, the article examines briefly Oromo response to the AAMP at home and in the diaspora. It also discusses a new phase which the Oromo struggle has entered because of the dynamics of the contentious interaction between a new generation of Oromo youth, who are determined to restore what their people have been denied under consecutive Ethiopian regimes, and the impunity of the present regime in suppressing them. It raises the deplorable silence of the diplomatic community and the media over the brutal massacre of Oromo youth by its police and military forces in April 2014 and again now, and examines its implications and consequences. In addition, it explores briefly some of the factors that make the Oromo youth movement a dynamic force in advancing the Oromo struggle for freedom to new levels.

Environmental ethics in Oromo and Ethiopian cultures and politics

The contradictions between the autocratic Abyssinian political culture and the Oromogadaa democratic tradition is well-known among researchers and most of the readers of this article are, to some extent, informed. What is not widely known is the incompatibility of the Abyssinian perception of nature with the environment-friendly Oromo culture. The right to homeland for which the Oromo students have been struggling involves two inter-related rights. The first is right to land as property. It concerns both individual and collective rights to land as a resource. In that sense, their struggle is part of the ongoing Oromo struggle against the exploitation of their resources as well as the dispossession and eviction of Oromo farmers.

The second focus of their contention with the Ethiopian regime is the natural environment. From the very beginning, the protection of the environment per se was the concern of the Oromo students. When they came together the first time and approached the government authorities, the aim of the students was to protect Oromo forests against fire. As will be discussed in the next part of this article, the response they received from the TPLF-led regime was conveyed with a violent crackdown on them. It was that violent response which led to the birth of a movement which I call in this article the Oromo Student Movement (OSM). Today, the same movement is rocking the very foundations of the regime which tried to silence its ever-increasing and maturing members. It must be pointed out from the start that the struggle for the environment is inextricably inter-meshed with every aspect of the Oromo struggle that concerns land, including the eviction of Oromo farmers, be it by land-grabbing commercial farmers or urban “property developers.” Thus, as I will explain in the first two parts of this article, the conflict between the Oromo youth and the Ethiopian regime involves the natural environment. It concerns what I will call an “environmental conflict”, and involves a clash between the environmental values the youth have absorbed from their ancestral traditions and the “development” policy of the present Ethiopian regime which reflects in its implementation values and practices that are harmful to the environment.

In order to demonstrate the differences between the values which the Oromo and the Abyssinians give nature, and the connection they have with the eco-system within which they live, I will cite the observations by European travelers in the nineteenth and the early decades of the twentieth centuries. I will start with the fertility and beauty of the Oromo country which was described by travelers in the past and which in fact is also a reflection of the respect and harmony with which the Oromo co-existed with nature. Describing Oromo “communion” with their natural surroundings, the Dutch traveler Juan Schuver who stayed at the court of Jootee Tullu in the summer months of 1881, wrote

[the Oromo] ought to be one of the merriest and happiest of races, living as they do in one of the most fertile countries, to which the Spanish ideal of a happy land ‘plenty of sun and plenty of water’ can be applied, rare in this part of Africa.[3]

He described the landscape of Qellem as “a charming spectacle of verdant landscape,carefully divided into pasture grounds and different coloured fields strewn with yellow huts and granaries, the whole beautifully studded with dark forest-trees, stretched far away to the distant horizon.” Continuing with his comparison of the Oromo country with European landscapes he stated “the whole scene reminded me of the best part of Bohemia”[4] (emphasis mine). Observations made by other travelers such as the French brothers, the researcher Antoine and soldier Arnauld d’Abbadie (who were both in Abyssinia and in the central-western parts of the Oromo country in the 1840s) reflect a harmonious relationship between the Oromo and nature which were strikingly similar to those made by Schuver. Comparing what he saw during his research sojourns among the Oromo of Guduru and the Gibe region between 1843 and 1844 and in 1846 with what he had observed during his longer stay in Abyssinia, Antoine d’Abbadie wrote that “In crossing the River Abbay [Blue Nile] to enter Oromoland, the traveler is struck not only by the abundance of trees, the change in costume and language, but above all by the dispersion of the houses. That is what we see in Europe in Norway, in Westphalia, and with the Basques.”[5] Noting the value which the Oromo give to nature, his brother Arnauld wrote that “no enemy [would dare] to break the branches or fell the trees the Oromo love so much that they plant them near their dwellings, the greenery and shade delight the eyes all over and give the landscape a richness and variety which make it like a garden without boundary.” Describing Oromo “communion” with the ecosystem, he remarked that “Healthful climate, uniform and temperate, fertility of the soil, beauty of the inhabitants, the security in which their houses seem to be suited, makes one dream of remaining in such a beautiful country.”

Travellers who had visited other parts of Oromoland in the nineteenth century had also described what they saw in similar terms. One of them was the British envoy Major W. C. Harris, who was in the Kingdom of Shawa in 1843. Harris accompanied its ruler, Sahle Selassie, in December 1843 during one of his annual raiding expeditions against the neighbouring Tuulama Oromo and described what he saw in the present site of Finfinnee as “the very picture of peace and plenty.” As he put it, what he saw was a panaroma of “high cultivation and snug [inviting, cozy] hamlets”. Describing the harmony he observed between nature and Oromo culture he wrote,

Meadows of the richest green turf, sparkling clear rivulets leaping down in sequestered cascades, with shady groves of the most magnificent juniper lining the slopes, and waving their moss-grown branches above cheerful groups of circular wigwams [houses, homes], surrounded by implements of agriculture, proclaimed a district which had long escaped the hand of wrath.[6]

The most colorful description of Oromia’s pre-colonial natural environment was penned by Martial de Salviac. In his French Academy Prize wining book Les Galla: Grande Nation Africaine published in 1901 in Paris he describes the homeland of the Oromo as a territory where

Green forests thronged with swarms of bees; thick pastures with giant herbs, where peaceful cows with inflated udders graze, where boisterous horses bounce, lambs frolic by the side of their mothers, short-haired and silken little goats of the Orient shine.[7]

De Salviac mentions meadows “variegated with flowers like French countryside” and valleys which “surround clear streams with banks strewn with white lilies and roses” which in turn thrive “under the protection of the acacia trees loaded with bird nests and intermingled with palm trees.” He noted that “thousands of torrents bounce and sing under the tunnels of entwined branches, crestfallen trunks, one close to the other, or between glacial walls with narrow corridors in the depth of the abyss.” He adds “Myriads of birds with brilliant plumage are the ornaments and the life of this pleasant region.”[8]  De Salviac’s description of the Oromo country was colorful but not over-exaggerated. As will be discussed in the second part of this article, the natural environment De Salviac described more than a century ago was destroyed by a system imposed by Abyssinian kings who conquered the Oromo country at the end of the nineteenth century, to build the Ethiopian Empire.

De Salviac mentions that, referring to their political culture, Antoine d’Abbadie had called the Oromo “African conservatives.” Drawing a parallel and underlining his own view that the Oromo are firm environmentalists, De Salviac states that the Oromo are Africa’s conservatives “also from another point of view. Their land is the one from all of Ethiopia which best preserves the gracefulness of nature. The travelers who only go to Addis Ababa would not realize the splendor of the virgin forests which decorate the land.”[9] (italics mine)

Travellers who had visited Oromoland at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century made observations similar to the ones mentioned above. Commenting on the understanding and care with which the Oromo interact with nature, a Russian, Alexander Bulatovich, who  followed the armies of the Abyssinian conqueror Menelik and had seen much of Oromoland at the end of nineteenth century, wrote that the Oromo “loves nature, lives with her, and to him, it seems that she likewise is endowed with a soul.”[10]

In his book Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics: A Study of Oromo Environmental ethic and Modern Issues of Development, Workneh Kelbessa notes  that “The Oromo atraction to the natural environment and recognition of the right of non-human creatures to exist” suggests Oromo “biophilia.” He defines biophilia as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of the ultimate human nature.”[11]

In the traditional Oromo religion God is omnipresent in the form of ayyaanaa or spirit. As perceived by the Oromo, God’s omnipresence is in every living thing; it does not exist in the air separate from nature. Humans and all living things are edowed with ayyaana or a spirit. For a people to live happily, there should exist a balance not only in social relations (relations among humans) but also between the social and the natural world. The sources or foundation of this balance are the safuu and nagaacodes of conduct which, in Oromo thought, define not only relationships between human beings, but also harmony between humans, nature and God.  These codes of conduct constitute the core of the Oromo environmental ethic. In general, ethics denote principles that inform cultures, shape peoples’ values and guide the behaviors and practices of their societies. In many cultures, ethics concern only social relations. In Oromo culture, ethical principles are holistic: the Oromo see immorality not only in harm done to humans; they also consider the ill-treatment of animals and destruction of trees and forests morally problematic.  It goes against the Oromo sense of safuu, which, in Oromo thought, defines the ethical principle that links humans to the living world around them. In other words, the safuu code of conduct is holistic and connotes a culturally expressed respect for all living things. This all-embracing respect is motivated by a number of interconnected concerns: one is philosophical and religious. In the Oromo worldview, there is an inherent worth in all living things because they are endowed with ayyaana as mentioned above.

The Dutch Catholic priest and cultural anthropologist, Father Joseph Van de Loo notes that safuu relates to the individuals sense for well-tempered inter-relations with fellow humans, with Waaqa, with cattle and the environment. He wrote that mishandling animals and disturbing the ecological balance with acts such as felling large trees without reason are considered violations of the safuu moral code.[12]Therefore, the safuu ethic reflects an attitude of “live and let live.” It prescribes respectful co-existence with nature. The message the attitude seems to convey can be interpreted in two ways. First, it seems to says implicitly: “we do not know why the eco-system is what it is; we are not its creators, hence we do not have the right to be its destroyers. We are part of it and must seek to co-exist with the life world that constitutes it. Furthermore, Mother Earth is not to be conquered or dominated but to be revered, protected and enjoyed.” As expressed in an oral poem often recited by Oromo peasants Faarsuu Dachee (Hymn to MotherEarth), the Oromo see themselves as part of Mother Earth and not as beings who are “above” her. Survival is the second concern of the Oromo environmental ethic. Like many indigenous communities around the world, the Oromo understand that their well-being is dependent on a “healthy relationship” between them and the living world around them. Traditionally, plants and animals are protected in Oromia, not only by the safuu code of conduct, but also by an elaborate legal system. These laws are not only remembered, but still exercised in Borana were the gadaa system is functional to some extent. One can only exploit nature provided that the use is reasonable and respectful. There is no doubt that the “charming spectacle of verdant landscape” and the delightful greenery which made the Guduru landscape look “like a garden without boundary,” described by the d’Abbadie brothers described in the early 1840s,  “the meadows of the richest green turf,” the “sparkling clear rivulets leaping down in sequestered cascades” and the “shady groves of the most magnificent juniper lining the slopes” which Harris saw as he looked at the rich scenery of Finfinnee from standing on a hillside during the same period, reflect the environment-friendly nature of Oromo culture.

Oromo adoration of nature is indicated in the manner which they integrate it in their cultural expressions. A large percent of Oromo parents give their children names which connote positive qualities in nature, or are nature “friendly.” The value the Oromo accord to nature is reflected also in numerous sayings and maxims. One of these says is “Biqilaan ilmoo ofti” (“That which grows is one’s offspring”). The maxim denotes the Oromo sense of connectedness to nature and the care and protection which their culture accords plants. The odaa tree symbolizes not only Oromo gadaademocracy, but also Oromo reverence of nature.

The Oromo respect and revere nature for a variety of reasons. As we know, the Oromo irreechabirraa festival or Thanksgiving is unthinkable without its natural “paraphernalia” and “décor.” It cannot be celebrated in a desert, or a place without green grass, or without flowers and plenty of water. It is a festival in which a living culture and nature are inextricably interlaced. It is conducted to celebrate life and thank God for that. Workneh Kelbessa had identified more than eighty plants in two sites, one in Borana and the other in Ilu Abba Bora, where had carried out field research and concludes that the preservation of forests is extremely important to the Oromo for almost an endless number of utilitarian reasons.[13]

The Oromo have a tradition of planting trees. They planted trees on the graves of family members and relatives. In the past, the Abba Muuda, the high priest of the traditional Oromo religion, Waaqeffannaa, advised the multitudes of pilgrims who visited his galmaa (seat) every eighth year to plant trees when they return home. Such trees were seldom cut down. They grew to immense size and remained standing, not only telling the life histories of their planters, but also symbolizing the pilgrimage they had made to the muuda centre on behalf of their clans. My guess, based on casual observation in many parts of Oromia, is that there were in the late 1960s and the 1970s masses of very large trees that were apparently several hundred years old standing majestically in the middle of farms and pastures in the neighborhood of hamlets.. Many of them had cultural significance and have names. They link nature and culture. Besides the five major odaas (Odaa Nabee, Odaa Bultum, Odaa Bulluq,Odaa Robaa and Odaa Bisil), there are thousands of other trees all over Oromia that bear names of persons. [14]   Such trees are not cut because they symbolize the sacredness of nature, have cultural significance or represent memory. They consistitute an ecological heritage of considerable depth and importance. In addition, Workneh Kelbessa notes that

Various informants indicated that trees have aesthetic value. The Oromo believe that some trees satisfy an aesthetic of the sublime and the beautiful. They say that green nature is required for the health of eyes. Beautiful trees around one’s homestead and in open fields also symbolise individual self-images and aspirations.[15]

In general, it seems that a large proportion of the ancient trees are preserved and protected because of what they represent for the Oromo communities. A small survey I have conducted by telephone about trees, the names of which I knew since childhood in the vicinity of Naqamtee, showed that most of them are still existing. Based on that, one may conclude that a large proportion of ancient trees that, as I have indicated above, thrived decades ago scattered across Oromia could also have  escaped the “hand of wrath.” Unfortunately that is not the case with the pristine forests which once covered much of the Oromo territory. As a subjugated people, the Oromo have not been in a position to protect them.

The dualism of culture and nature in Abyssinian culture

As indicated above, the Abyssinians’ informal set of attitudes and behaviour toward nature are quite different from those of the Oromo. While the Oromo worldview is holistic, Abyssinian perception of nature is dualistic. They believe that humanity and the natural living world belong to separate spheres. Their understanding is that God created humans to dominate and exploit the other creatures. Therefore, the safuucode of ethic which the Oromo extend to the relationships between humans and nature is alien to their thought system. In fact, they deride Oromo respect for nature as primitive paganism.  Reckless exploitation of nature is not a sensitive issue in their culture as it is in Oromo traditions. The marked differences between the environment-friendly attitude of the Oromo described above, and the overtly exploitative attitude and behavior of the Abyssinians toward nature had caught the attention of those who visited the region in the past.

Long before Arnauld d’Abbdie’s implicit comparison of what he saw on both sides of the Blue Nile, the predatory characteristics of Abyssinian contact with natural environment were reflected in observations made by two Europeans, Andrea Corsaly, a Florentine merchant, and Francisco Alvarez, a Portuguese priest, who were in Abyssinia in the sixteenth century.[16] The two men were guests at the nomadic “tent capital” of the Abyssinian king. They were astonished by the destruction the king and his entourage were causing on the environment wherever they went. The image which their descriptions of royal entourage portray brings to mind a swarm of locusts that flocked from one green spot to another, destroying the environment and afflicting the human population. Corsaly reported in 1517 that the retinue of the Abyssinian king Lebna-Dengel consisted of hundreds of thousands,  that he did not stay in one place for more than four months or return to the same place in less than ten years. He noted that those who “took part in the expeditions which [often] turned into military raids did not hesitate to plunder or take prisoners.”[17] Those who were taken captives were enslaved. A similar picture of the Abyssinian king’s entourage was portrayed by the Portuguese envoy, Alvarez who arrived in Abyssinia a few years after Corsaly and stayed at the nomadic court of Lebna Dengel for several years, reported that “The Court cannot move with less than 50,000 mules; usually it uses as many as as 177,000.” A century later, the Portuguese Catholic priest Manuel d’Almeida, who stayed in Abyssinia from 1626 to 1633, described the destruction caused by the roving court wherever it had halted. He wrote that the king had stayed in five or six places in 14 years and the resources of each place were totally depleted and its inhabitants impoverished beyond any hope of immediate recovery making the places unattractive destination for the court in the near future.  He wrote that this “has been the custom of this empire” and when the emperor changes these places one would see nothing in those he left, but a land that is totally devoid of trees. The Abyssinian kings, he commented, “choose primarily a place near which firewood is found in plenty, but as they have no method in cutting down forests and groves, the neighbouring hills and valleys are bare in a few years.”[18] By and large, what Corsaly and d’Almeida described were ravenous hordes of predators and destroyers of the environment who, as pointed out by a historian, were constantly on the move “led by the kings, in search of loot.”[19] The driving force behind the royal expeditions was the search for booty in cattle and products for consumption and captives to be channeled into the slave market of the Middle East.  Court chroniclers and historians have ascribed the task of law and order maintenance to the roving tent courts of the Abyssinian kings. Needless to say, ascribing such an honor to bands who plunder, kill, take captives for enslavement, and destroy the environment beyond recognition, is a travesty.

The comments made by the European visitors in the sixteenth century about the behavior of Abyssinian kings are interesting, not only as anecdotes from the Abyssinian history, but also as descriptions of values and behaviors that have persisted for centuries and, in the longue durée, led to the environmental crisis we see in Ethiopia today.  Thus, the behavior of the Abyssinian settlers in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century in Oromia was, in many ways, similar to that of the medieval roving courts of the Abyssinian kings. In the late 1870s, when Menelik conquered the districts of Gullalee, Finfinnee and Ekka, where he built his capital city (Addis Ababa) in the mid-1880s, the surrounding hills were covered with forests of junipers and other indigenous trees and vegetation. But “[a]fter a decade and a half, Finfinnee and the surrounding mountain ranges were reduced to barren land.”[20]Menelik who had already changed the seat of his government three times (Ankober, Liche, and Dildila on the Entotto ranges), was about to continue with the tradition of his ancestors when “[t]he introduction of eucalyptus trees saved the new capital from an already initiated transfer to Addis Alem, some 60 kilometres away to the west.”[21]The eucalyptus trees may have solved Menelik’s firewood problem partially and saved him the trouble of transfering his capital city to a new site, but did not prevent the destruction of forests by the naftanya he had settled in the newly conquered south. The French Catholic missionary and scholar, Martial de Salviac who had observed the behavior of the naftnya in the early days of the colonial conquest wrote,

The Amhara devastate the forests by pulling from it the laths for their houses and make camp fires or firewood for their dwellings. They do not have the foresight to reforest or respect the root of trees, which would grow new off shoots.[22]

Among those who commented on how the Abyssinian settlers in the south related to nature, Martin de Saliaviac was most critical. He pointed out that the Abyssinians are not only  known as “great destroyers of trees,” but are also accused by some people of “exercising barbarity against the forests for the sole pleasure of ravaging”(italics mine). He adds that “All of highland Ethiopia offers bautiful landscapes, pleasant sites, luxuriant prairies, and vigorous vegetation. But there, where the Abyssinians live, their cultivation and pasture ground are surrounded by bare heights [with] naked flanks … stripped off the magnificence of trees.” He wrote that, by contrast, where or when the Oromo were still in control, “nature springs up with superb and luxurious pride.” [23]  Pointing out the laxity of fire management by the Abyssinians, he wrote

the Ayssinians do not care to stop the progress of the fire at the edge of the forests, and I have seen, broken hearted, many trees burn with hives they carried; gigantic conifers, which, for four hundred years, prospered under the wing of the Oromo generations, carbonized and tumbled down, from 50 meters of height, like the steeples of a cathedral whose base had been sapped by a mine. [24]

As another critical observer who had visited parts of the central and eastern Oromo territory in the beginning of the 1930s stated:“The Abyssinians imposed what was, by nature, a deadly and hopeless system” on the people. He summarized the behavior of the agents of the Ethiopian government as “idle and domineering, burning the timber, devouring the crops, taxing the meagre stream of commerce that seeped from outside, enslaving the people.”[25] Thus, Abyssinian conquest and occupation has been harmful not only to Oromo society and culture, but also to nature in Oromia. The eco-system which was fostered for centuries by an environmentally friendly Oromo culture was destroyed gradually by a system which is hostile to the environment. The Christian clergy who accompanied the forces of conquest interpreted the environmentally benign practices of the Oromo as nature worship and cut down revered trees.  Workneh Qalbessa has, for example, reported that in Borana in southern Oromia, the Abyssinian conquerors tried to convert the people to Christianity. However, as most people opposed the new religion the “Abyssinians cut down Dakkii [sacred] trees, burned Galma [the ceremonial places of Waaqeffannaa],and they threw ritual beads into the river. They cut down trees from traditional graves.”[26]

The destruction of the environment under the previous Ethiopian regimes, if not documented exhaustively, was raised by many observers and examined by scholars. Therefore, it suffices here to note that a large part of the Oromo territory was covered by forests when the Abyssinians conquered it at the end of the nineteenth centurty. The rich and bountiful natural environment which the European travellers and missionaries had observed in the Oromo country was still intact. Destruction of the natural environment and the exploitation of the Oromo people were felt soon after the conquest. However, it was estimated that more than forty percent of the forest cover was still undamaged half a century later in the 1950s.

The deforestation of Oromia and degredation of the environment accelerated with the expansion of commercial farming in the 1960s. The land reform of 1975, which abolished the feudal land holding system, did not contribute to the preservation of the natural environment. Land was nationalized, the regime replaced the naftanyalandlords as de facto owner of all land in the country. It used the land for large-scale state farms and settlements schemes for hundreds of thousands of people from the famine-affected regions in northern Ethiopia. Consequently, as the regime cleared hundreds of thousands of hectares of land for state farms and resettlement programs, the depletion of the forest areas in Oromia and the south-west was exacerbated. It was not only the activities of the regime that had been harmful in this case; the behaviour of the settlers was not environment-friendly either. Describing the behavior of northerners who were settled by the Dergue in Metekel north of the Blue Nile in the 1980s, a researcher noted:

The Gumuz retreated to low lying, remote areas within Metekel and across the Blue Nile, and their society turned even more introverted and xenophobic. They were appalled by the highlanders’ destruction of the forest and the wiping out of wild animals. The settlers, who always carried an axe on their shoulders, were said to cut even the tree ‘under which they sit while defecating.’[27]

An axe for a gun

The land reform of 1975 destroyed the natanya (gun-carrier), who carried a gun as a weapon of domination,and brought settlers who carried an axe as a weapon of deforestion. Not only among the Gumuz, but also the Oromoo, settlers with “an axe on their shoulders” became an expression for reckless contact with nature. The settlers cleared not only bushes and woodlands for farming: they cut down trees or burnt prime forests just to get rid of them. Incompatibility between the settlers’ recklessness and Oromo biophilia was inevitable. In one case, the indigenous Oromo population complained to the authorities but did not get their attention. As settlers continued to cut down trees, including those which were used for bee hives, the local population took their own decision and destroyed crop fields planted by the settlers. In Oromo culture, one cannot just pick up an axe and chop down a tree because one gets the opportunity. One has to follow ethical principles handed from Oromo ancestors. What the settlers did violated these principles. At last, the government was forced to resettle the migrants elsewhere. The incident took place during the 1973-74 famine.

The complaints about “axe-carrying settlers” did not find resolution with the end of the 1973-74 famine. The Dergue resettled hundreds of thousands of people in the south-west following the 1984-85 famine. Regarding settlers in the forest areas in Ilu Abba Bora, Alemneh Dejene wrote that, besides clearing for farmlands, the settlers’ habit of cutting trees not only for fuel, house construction and farm equipment, but also “just to get rid of forests” was accelerating deforestation. He reported that “the sights of ‘integrated settlements’ easily stand out throughout Illubabor because they occupy a bare land, one that is devoid of their natural vegetation, and is in the midst of thick forest”[28] Another researcher, Workneh Kelbessa, also notes that “[t]he settlers indiscriminately destroyed natural forests and [wild] coffee  plantations. Millions of trees were cut down …This has led to local climatic changes and soil ersion.”[29] It is interesting to note here that a research committee set up by the Council of Ministers of the military regime also found that the resettlement program was a great menace to the environment.  According to Alemneh Dejene, the warning conclusion of the committee’s report was that, at the ongoing rate of environmental destruction, the resettlement zones of the south-west will degenerate, in less than a decade, to conditions similar to the northern highlands.[30] It seems that the military regime, to which the report was directed, did not consider the content of the report. It was overthrown three years later in 1991.

Ironically, the TPLF-led regime did not learn from the mistakes of its predecessor. The resettlement started under the Dergue did not cease. According to Workneh Kelbessa “About 2000 household heads from the Amhara region have settled in Illu Abba Bora in 1998. They have controlled 2068 hectares of land and destroyed 367 hectares of forests. About 66,000 peasant farmers from the Amhara Region have moved to Wallaga and settled illegally.”[31] This ‘legal’ and illegal settlement has continued since Workneh made the observation cited here. Combined with the lease of the forest land to coffee planters, miners and logging firms, it has brought the few patches of natural forests which existed twenty years ago, not only in the south-west but also in south and central Oromia, to the verge of total destruction.  Today Ethiopia’s annual rate of deforestation is among the top ten countries in the world. A survey conducted by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), noted that Ethiopia’s forest cover decreased from 15.11 million hectares in 1989 to 12.2 million hectares in 2010. That means a decrease by about 20 per cent of the forests that existed when the TPLF came to power in Finfinnee in 1991.  Between 1990 and 2010 Ethiopia lost on average 140,900 hectares of forest  per year meaning around 2,818,000 hectares in total during these ten years. The same source indicates that the rate of deforestation had actually increased to 214,000 hectares per year between 2005 and 2010. Needless to say, the largest part of the destruction had occurred in Oromia, where most of the remaining patches of natural forests exist.

In recent years, the major causes of deforestation in Ethiopia are mentioned by observers as a combination of government development policy, “uncommon” or “mysterious” forest fires, population growth and climate change. A paper presented by Olie Bachie at the 29th Annual Conference of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) held at the Howard University, Washington D.C. in August 2015, reveals an alarming environmental crisis which is now facing Ethiopia and particularly the Regional State of Oromia. It showed that in Oromia, the hills and mountains which, some decades ago, were covered by lush forests and vegetation, are now deforested and barren. The myriads of cooree (small springs), which sparkled from countless groves and everglades and provided fresh water to myriads of hamlets throughout the highlands of Oromia and mingled forming numerous creeks and rivulets, are gone. Ravines, through which creeks and rivulets cascaded throughout the year, and had been the life-sustaining arteries of the eco-system in the past, are today stretches of dry brown earth and rocks. The river banks which were covered by majestic trees, lush vegetation, often decorated by varieties of flowers and teeming with birds, bees, butterflies and other living things, are now bereft of life. De Salviac has noted that “In Oromo regions, covered with forests, the flow of the rivers is quite constant; but there is nothing irregular and more sudden than the regime of torrents, in the deforested parts of Abyssinia.”[32] Regretably, the rich natural environment which European travelers and missionaries such as De Salviac had observed in Oromia in the past has gone. The main tributaries of the Blue Nile such as the Angar, Gudar, Mugar and Dhidheessa which carried large volumes of water throughout the year in the past and which De Salviac had in mind, are reduced to small creeks, particularly during the dry season, today. Although population growth and global climate change have made their contributions, the TPLF-led regime’s land policy must carry a  large share of the blame in causing the impending disaster.  Workineh Kelbessa notes that some of the informants he interviewed for his study mentioned above told him that “if their ancestors were alive, they would commit suicide for they could not lead a happy life on this degraded environment. They would not want to see the present state of the land.”[33] The statements of these Oromo informants may sound exaggerated, but they are important. They reveal their own feelings about the ongoing destruction to the environment that their ancestors had known and cherished. As peasants, whose lives are being adversely affected by the ongoing destruction, they are extremely unhappy and desperate. The preservation of the forest is extremely important to them, but they are powerless to prevent its destruction.  Their voice is not heard. The Tigrayan ruling elite, who are the de facto owners of the natural resources of Oromia today, are interested in the exploitation of the forests. Ecological protection is not in the priority list of their policy of “development”.

Student concern about forest fires that are ruining Oromia

By and large, the TPLF had a tension-filled relationship with the Oromo people from the very moment its forces crossed the Blue Nile and stepped onto Oromo soil in May 1991. However, tension between the regime and Oromo students started to crystallize first in 1998 in connection with the regime’s forcible recruitment of youth (including high-school students) to fight in the Ethio-Eritrean war. The Oromo youth did not see any reason to fight against the Eritreans, arguing that the war was not an Oromo affair.  Not surprisingly, their position on the war was not without repercussions on their lives. Some ended up in jail and others went into exile.

However, the issue which sparked off the first major conflict between the regime and the Oromo youth was an “uncommon” forest fires which devastated large portions of the existing forestlands Oromia in February and March of 2000. The news about the fires reached the public during the second week of February. Ironically, for more than five weeks, the government did not take any concrete action to stop the fires. The students volunteered to fight the fires which were destroying particularly ancient forests in the highlands of Bale and Borana regions. However, the regime did not allow the students to travel to the sites. Its spokesman told the public that the April rains would put out the fires and that therefore he did not see the reason to worry much about the problem. Unsatisfied by this response, the Oromo students at the Addis Ababa University (AAU) took the first step to fight the fires. Hundreds of students from different colleges of the AAU organized themselves and travelled to the Bale and Borana regions where the fires were threatening to consume ancient forests and to destroy rare plant and animal species that are found only here and nowhere else.[34] The concern over the forest-fires was not confined to university campuses, but was also shared by secondary and elementary schools in many parts of Oromia. The students asked the government to act and to put out the fires, but also stated their own readiness to participate in the action. The government authorities did not listen to them. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) research team noted that on March 9, 2000, high school students in Ambo demonstrated after authorities arrested four students who were sent to express their concern about the spreading forest fires and their desire to travel to the sites and help in extinguishing them. In Naqamtee, they staged a demonstration after their request for a letter of support from local officials to travel to the fire sites and participate in putting it out was rejected.  Overall, ignoring the students’ concern about the environment, the TPLF-led regime used violence to silence their voice. In Ambo, its security forces cracked-down on the demonstrators, beating one student to death and wounding nine others. In the same city, 300 civilians were detained following the event. In Naqamtee, several students were wounded by police fire and dozens of them were arrested, jailed and beaten. In Dembi Dollo in western Oromia, a student was killed in a similar chain of events.[35]  The death of these students did not terrorize and silence the Oromo youth. It strengthened their collective will to defend the environment against the reckless destruction caused by the policies of the present rulers of the Ethiopian state as well as to oppose the eviction of the Oromo from land they had inherited from their ancestors. Since the majority of them came from peasant households, the question of land and the environment was a question of life and death to Oromo students.

Dirribee Jifaar: One of the young students killed in 2000 by the Ethiopian police

while demonstrating for the protection of Oromia’s forests

According to researchers from the UN-Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia (UN-EUE), while the regime’s crackdown on the protesting students went on between January and early April 2000, the fire consumed between 150,000 and 200,000 hectares of forests and killed thousands of livestock and wildlife in Bale and Borana alone.[36] In Bale, unique plant and animal species were also destroyed.  The reactions of the Oromo people and the ruling Tigrayan elite to the forest fires reflected the difference in values they give the environment. The UN-EUE report notes that “The effectiveness of the local fighting response and the communities’ willingness to devote time and effort despite endangering their own lives demonstrates the immense value the Ethiopian [in this case the Oromo] people place on land.”[37] In addition, the report indicated that the forest fires had also revealed that it is the communities who live on the land—those who know it, care for it and have an interest in its conservation—who will fulfill the responsibility of ownership.[38] Be it consciously or not, the UN-EUE researchers underline an irony in their conclusion. Although the Oromo are deprived their rights of ownership to their land and forests, yet they were the initiative-takers, while the TPLF-led regime, which in the name of the state, had usurped ownership of the land, was not only letting the fire burn the forests, but was even preventing the students from putting it out. It is no wonder that the authors of the UN-EUE report had recommended that land ownership be taken from the state and given to local communities. The TPLF leaders and their surrogates, the leaders of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), did not share the students’ concern and sense of urgency to put out the fire. The UN-EUE researchers reported that “The fires started at the end of January and raged for three months.” The fires were put out during the first week of April. It is not certain whether they were extinguished by the heavy rains of March 24 and 25 which fell in some areas in Bale and on March 29 and 30 in the Borana and Bale zones, or by the contributions of the tens of thousands of local people, or by the input of international fire-fighter teams from South Africa and Germany who had participated in putting out the fires. However, the UN-EUE report pointed out that “Due to the delay in government’s response and the minimal resources available to it, the most effective fire-fighting tools were community members themselves.”[39] A report from the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC) also acknowledged the significance of the input made by the local population in fighting the forest fires. It did not say much about the input made by state authorities and institutions.[40] Ironically, the regime did not apologize for its own inadequacy to fight the fires, or repent the harm its security forces had inflicted on the students. It blamed the cause of the fires on local inhabitants and kept student leaders in detention. The tension between students and the regime was still high when the summer vacation started in June 2000.

The students were not left alone during their vacation. The agents of the regime followed many of them wherever they went and harassed them. Many of them were arrested or abducted from their parents’ homes and jailed or “disappeared.”  Solidarity with imprisoned and abducted students, and the memory of those who were killed, kept the student grievances alive. Consequently, when they returned from vacation, the students took to the streets in September 2000, demanding the release of their compatriots.[41]  Dozens of people were killed or injured, many were imprisoned, or disappeared between March 2000 and early 2001. By then the pattern of impunity with which the regime reacts to peaceful protests was clear to the students.

An aerial view of the forest fires in the Bale Mountains,

Photo: March 4, 2000. Curtesy of Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC)

Did the silence ‘speak’ the truth?

Forest fires are common in Ethiopia. But there were many things that made the forest fires of 2000 in Oromia, “mysterious,” “controversial” or “uncommon” as many observers had put it. The first question was, who lit the fires? If human hands were behind the fires, who were the culprits of the crime? Writing about “controversy over the origins of the forest fires” the authors of the UN-EUE report noted that “During this study some key informants, including farmers, gave the impression of not wanting to openly comment on the causes of the 2000 forest fires.”[42] The authors added that they “could not collect any valuable information on this obviously politically very sensitive issue as officials and farmers alike were reluctant to provide any information concerning the forest fires.”[43] Why? Why were they unwilling to speak about the fires? Were they afraid? If so of whom or what? The farmers could fear the local officials, but what was the cause of the local officials’ fear? Why was it “politically sensitive” to speak about the forest fires? Why did the regime react brutally when the students took the initiative to put out the forest fires? Was the regime of Meles Zenawi trying to cover-up the cause of the fires? The UN-EUE report does not give any clue as to what can be an answer to any of these questions.  It is silent. Apparently, the silence indicates the truth as its accusing finger is pointing at the regime itself. 

However, as mentioned above, the regime blamed the local people for setting the forests on fire and arrested 146 men: 70 in Bale and 76 in Borana.[44] This parading of an incredible “army of arsonists” by the regime did not convince the people regarding the identity of the culprits. The allegation was that the fires were lit by the agents of the regime to drive away the Oromo Liberation Front’s (OLF) guerrilla fighters from the area. Consequently, the general conclusion was that the regime was covering its own felonious activities by holding innocent civilians responsible. In addition, its attempts to pose as the keeper of law and order, while killing students who demonstrated peacefully to bring the damages of the forest fires to public attention had also exacerbated Oromo distrust of the regime. Furthermore, the negligence of duty reflected in the regime’s failure to put out the fires and protect resources in the Oromo and other territories in the south put under question the currently dominant Tigrayan elite’s legitimacy to rule the country. Thus, as the report by the UN-EUE researchers aptly suggested, the forest fires “exacerbated social tensions that lay dormant beneath the surface of the daily activities of Ethiopian life.” Indeed, as we will see in the next part of this article, that was what has been happening progressively during the last 15 years.

[1] OPride’s article “OPride’s Oromo Person of the Year 2014: Oromo Student Protesters” published on January 1, 2015 is an excellent contribution in this respect. [Online resource] http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/3783-opride-s-oromo-person-of-the-year-2014-oromo-student-protesters
[2] George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel, first published in London by Secker & Warburg in 1949.
[3] Juan Schuver, Juan Maria Schuver’s Travels in Northeast Africa 1880-1883, translated and edited by Wendy James et al., (London: Hakluyt Society, 1884/1996), pp. 76, 51.
[4] Juan Schuver, ibid.
[5] Cited in Mohammed Hassen, “The Significance of Antoine in Oromo Studies”,Journal of Oromo Studies, Volume 14, No. 1, 2007, p. 150
[6] C. W. Harris, The Highlands of Aethiopia, (London: Longmans, 1844), Vol. 2, p. 192.
[7] Martial de Salviac, Les Galla: Grande Nation Africaine, Un Peuple Antique au Pays de Menelik (Paris: H. Oudin, 1901), p. 111.
[8] Ibid. pp. 111-12
[9] Ibid.
[10] Alexander Bulatovich, EthiopiaThroughRussianEyes:A Country in Transition,1896-1898,  (Lawrenceville, N.J: The Red Sea Press, 2000), p. 61
[11] Workneh Kelbessa, Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics: A Study of Oromo Environmental ethic and Modern Issues of Development (Washington, D.C.: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy, 2008). p.123
[12] Joseph Van de Loo, Gujii Oromo Culture in Southern Ethiopia: Religious capabilities in rituals and songs (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1991).
[13] Kelbessa, Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics, p. 131
[14] Some of those I know are Bakkaniisa Robee, Dambii Wandii, Bakkaniisa Qeesee and are found near my birth place.
[15] Workneh Kelbessa, Indigenous and Modern Environmental Ethics, p. 123.
[16] Cited in Y. M. Kobishchanov, “The Gafol Complex in Ethiopian History,” inProceedingsoftheNinthInternationalCongressofEthiopianStudies (Moscow: Nauka Publishers, 1988).
[17] Ibid. p. 103
[18] See Almeida, “The History of High Ethiopia or Abassia”, in SomeRecordsofEthiopia,1593-1646. (Translated and edited by C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford), London: Hakluyt Society. 1954, p. 82
[19] Teshale Tibebu, The making of modern Ethiopia: 1896-1974 (Lawrenceville, NJ: Red Sea Press, 1995), p. 34
[20] Sutuma Waaqo, “Ecological Degradation in Ethiopia”, Oromo Commentary, Vol. IV. No. 1, 1994, p.
[21]  ibid.
[22] De Salviac, ibid. p. 20
[23] Ibid. 20-21
[24] Ibid. p. 120
[25] Evelyn Waugh, Waugh in Abyssinia (London; New York: Longmans, Green, 1936), p. 26.
[26] Workneh Kelbessa, “The Utility of Ethical Dialogue for Marginalized Voices in Africa”, Discussion Paper, 2005, p. 16.
[27] John Markakis, Ethiopia: The Last Two Frontiers, James Curry, 2011, p. 160
[28]  Alemneh Dejene, “Peasants and Environmental Dilemma in Resettlement”, energy and Environmental Policy Center, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Typescript 1989: 7-8
[29] Workneh Kelbessa, ibid. 2011, p. 73
[30] Alemneh Dejene, ibid.
[31] Workneh Kelbessa, ibid.
[32] De Salviac, ibid. p. 122
[33] Workneh Kelbessaa, 2011, ibid.
[34]  Letter from Geresu Tufa to Mekuria, February 2000
[35] Among those who were killed were three high school students, Dirribee Jifaar, a young female student in Dembi Dollo, and Alemu Disaasaa, a teenager from Jimma, were gunned down by government soldiers in April 2000. Another high school student, Getu Dirriba, was beaten to death in a military detention center in Ambo.
[36] In economic terms the damage was estimated by researcher to amount to “The total economic damage caused by the forest fires in Bale and Borana zones of Oromia Region alone amounted to approximately US$ 39 million or 331,179,405 ETB”, Dehassa Lemessa & Mathew Pernault, ibid, pp. 110-111
[37] Ibid. pp. 108-9
[38] Ibid. p. 122.
[39] Ibid. p.108
[40] J. G. Goldmanner, “The Ethiopian Fire Emergency between February and April 2000”, IFFN No. 22, 2000: 2-8.
[41] Oromia Support Group (OSG) Report No. 45
[42] Ibid. p. 98
[43] Ibid. p. 102.
[44] BBC World News, Africa, ”Arrests over Ethiopian forest fires”, February 29, 2000

DW (Oromia): Human Right Watch asks UN and AU to intervene on the current situation of Ethiopia. #OromoProtests December 20, 2015

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HUMAN RIGHTS :Scores dead in Ethiopian protest crackdown, says rights group

A human rights watchdog has reported that 75 people have been killed protesting a government project in the Oromia region.

 Fatal clashes in Ethiopia

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Saturday that at least 75 people had been killed in recent weeks while protesting an urban renewal plan in the Oromo region surrounding the capital, Addis Ababa.

Outcry as Oromo protests in Ethiopia turn violent

Opposition groups say security forces have killed several people during weeks of protests over a government re-zoning plan. Members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group view the plan as an infringement on their rights.

“Police and military forces have fired on demonstrations, killing at least 75 protesters and wounding many others, according to activists,” the human rights watchdog said in a statement.

In November, students peacefully demonstrated against government plans to take over territory in several towns across the region.

However, the unrest was met with a severe response, including government forces using firearms against protesters.

‘Dangerous escalation’

“The Ethiopian government’s response to the Oromo protests has resulted in scores dead and a rapidly rising risk of greater bloodshed,” said HRW’s Deputy Africa Director Leslie Lefkow.

“The government’s labeling of largely peaceful protesters as ‘terrorists’ and deploying military forces is a very dangerous escalation of this volatile situation,” Lefkow added.

Government spokesman Getachew Reda said the “peaceful demonstrations” that began in November escalated into violence, blaming the protesters for “terrorizing the civilians.”

He said only five people had died, dismissing the higher toll reported by activists.

Oromo opposition leader Bekele has announced his support for peaceful protests, according to DPA news agency.

“Grievances have accumulated over the years. Over the evictions, but also over the lack of democracy in this country, the human rights abuses and the level of poverty,” Gerba said in a statement.

Activists in Berlin have protested the Ethiopian government's response to the Oromo protestsActivists in Berlin have protested the Ethiopian government’s response to the Oromo protests

International outcry

The US State Department on Saturday expressed concern over the crackdown, urging the government to allow “peaceful protests.”

“The United States is deeply concerned by the recent clashes in the Oromia region of Ethiopia that reportedly have resulted in the deaths of numerous protesters,” the State Department said in a statement.

http://www.dw.com/en/scores-dead-in-ethiopian-protest-crackdown-says-rights-group/a-18929680?maca=en-Facebook-sharing

Oromia: Ethiopia security forces kill up to 50 people in crackdown on peaceful protests. #OromoProtests December 18, 2015

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???????????The Independent#OromoPRotests tweet and shareAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Ethiopia security forces kill up to 50 people in crackdown on peaceful protests

Independent, 17 December 2015

Attempted land grab by Ethiopian government has led to violence against ethnic group

The violence-torn Horn of Africa is seeing a fresh wave of repression as Ethiopian authorities crack down on protests by the country’s largest ethnic minority.

Human rights groups say an attempted land grab by the federal government has seen violence flare in the Oromia region, with up to 50 protesters killed by security forces so far this month.

Campaigners from the Oromo ethnic group say they have been labelled “terrorists” by Ethiopian authorities as they fight the government’s plan to integrate parts of Oromia into the capital Addis Ababa.

Some Oromo protesters fear that they will be forcibly evicted from their land as part of the rapid expansion of the capital, which they call a federal “master plan”.

The government has claimed that the protesters are planning to “destabilise the country” and that some of them have a “direct link with a group that has been collaborating with other proven terrorist parties”.

International observer groups have condemned the violent crackdown on protest movements, however.

“Instead of condemning the unlawful killings by the security forces, which have seen the deaths of more than 40 people in the last three weeks, this statement in effect authorises excessive use of force against peaceful protesters,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“The suggestion that these Oromo – protesting against a real threat to their livelihoods – are aligned to terrorists will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression for rights activists,” he said.

The latest round of protests, now in their third week, has seen the federal government mobilise its Special Paramilitary Police units from other states, as well as army units, against the ethnic Oromo people, Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group of about 25 million people out of a population of approximately 74 million.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/ethiopia-security-forces-kill-up-to-50-people-in-crackdown-on-peaceful-protests-a6777631.html

Related:-

Protests In Ethiopia Leave Scores Dead

http://saharareporters.com/2015/12/16/protests-ethiopia-leave-scores-dead

 

Ethiopians on Edge as Infrastructure Plan Stirs Protests

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/17/world/africa/ethiopia-addis-ababa-urban-plan-oromia.html?_r=0

Oromia (BBC News): Ethiopia: Amnesty warns against ‘brutal crackdown’ on protesters. #OromoProtests December 17, 2015

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???????????#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleen‪#‎OromoProtests‬ Global Solidarity, Switzerland, 11 December 2015

Ethiopia: Amnesty warns against ‘brutal crackdown’ on protesters

Ethiopian immigrants from the Oromo region in Djibouti on 5 December 2010Image copyrightAFP
Image captionMany Oromo people flee Ethiopia to take refuge in neighbouring states

Anti-terror rhetoric by Ethiopia’s government could escalate into a brutal crackdown on protesters, human rights group Amnesty International has warned.

A plan to expand the capital’s administrative control into the Oromia region has sparked deadly protests.

The government has accused Oromo protestors of links with terrorist groups and trying to topple the state.

Amnesty says the claims aim to justify repression of those protesting against feared land seizures.

The Oromo make up Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group, at about 27 million people.

Oromia is the country’s largest region, surrounding the capital Addis Ababa.

Authorities say five people have died in protests so far, but opposition parties and human rights groups say the number is closer to 40.

Protesters also say they fear cultural persecution if what has been dubbed a “master plan” to integrate parts of Oromia into Addis Ababa go ahead.

‘Chilling’

Some have also raised the prospect that they will be forcibly evicted and their land taken amid the rapid expansion of the capital.

“The suggestion that these Oromo – protesting against a real threat to their livelihoods – are aligned to terrorists will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression for rights activists,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

In April last year the same plan sparked months of student protests.

The government said at the time that 17 people had died in the violence, but human rights groups said that the number was much higher.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35117713?SThisFB

 

Ethiopia: Anti-terror rhetoric will escalate brutal crackdown against Oromo protesters

(Amnesty International Press Release, 16 December 2015)

http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/ethiopia-anti-terror-rhetoric-will-escalate-brutal-crackdown-against-oromo-protesters

Protesters have been labelled ‘terrorists’ by Ethiopian authorities in an attempt to violently suppress protests against potential land seizures, which have already resulted in 40 deaths, said Amnesty International.

A statement issued by state intelligence services today claims that the Oromia protesters were planning to “destabilize the country” and that some of them have a “direct link with a group that has been collaborating with other proven terrorist parties”.

“The suggestion that these Oromo – protesting against a real threat to their livelihoods – are aligned to terrorists will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression for rights activists,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“Instead of condemning the unlawful killings by the security forces, which have seen the deaths of more than 40 people in the last three weeks, this statement in effect authorizes excessive use of force against peaceful protesters.”

The latest round of protests, now in their third week, are against the government’s master plan to integrate parts of Oromia into the capital Addis Ababa.

Similar protests against the master plan in April 2014 resulted in deaths, injuries and mass arrest of the Oromo protesters.

Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation 652/2009, permits the government to use unrestrained force against suspected terrorists, including pre-trial detention of up to four months.

People that have been subject to pre-trial detention under the anti-terrorism law have reported widespread use of torture and ill treatment. All claims of torture and ill treatment should be promptly and independently investigated by the authorities.

“The government should desist from using draconian anti-terrorism measures to quell protests and instead protect its citizen’s right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” said Muthoni Wanyeki.

 

Oromia: Human rights defender says Ethiopian govt’s attacks on Oromo children and youth are cruel, brutal December 16, 2015

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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of AfricahrwlogoStop killing Oromo StudentsAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Human rights defender says Ethiopian govt’s attacks on Oromo children and youth are cruel, brutal

Muddee/December 16, 2015 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

The following is a report by the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) …

—–

Ethiopia: Extreme Cruelties and Brutalities against Oromo Children and Youth

HRLHA Urgent Action

For Immediate Release

The Oromo students’ protests(1), which were re-ignited in November 2015, in opposition to the so called “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” – Ethiopian Federal Government’s plan of systematic ethnic cleansing aimed at the Oromo People, and which spread in a few days to almost all schools and universities in the Regional State of Oromia, have already claimed the lives of dozens of Oromo students; and is threatening hundreds of others. Below in the table is the list of nine Oromo students who have been confirmed dead in the past seven days being shot at and killed in cold-blooded by the Ethiopian armed squad of the Agazi Force:

mass killings and arrests in Oromia by fascist TPLF Ethiopia as of December 15, 2015

Four Oromo youth from Fincha, Horro Guduru: Zarihun Raggassa, Wakjira Gaddisa, Meseret Tilahun (female), and Alemu Likkisa were taken to hospital on the 6th of December 2015, with life-threatening wounds and injuries from shots and assaults; and no words regarding their situations since then.

The unarmed and defenseless Oromo students are facing extreme and fatal brutalities (see below) while staging peaceful protests to seek answers to their legitimate questions regarding the expansion of the city of Addis Ababa without the consultations and consents of the local people, which is likely to cause the evictions of millions of Oromo farmers from their livelihoods. Although there are no confirmed fatalities at this point, about 200 children from Sululta High School, Northern Showa, have been rushed to St. Paul Hospital in the Capital, Addis Ababa, on the 6th of December 2015, after being poisoned in a classroom with yet unknown chemical that was sprayed into the air by the security forces.

Innocent children and youth are being shot at and killed, threatened with mass murders with poisonous chemicals just while attempting to exercise their fundamental rights within the limits of the provisions of both the federal and regional constitutions. The biggest of all ironies is that forces like the federal military, the federal and the regional police, who were established and hired to defend the constitutions of all levels are instead engaged in violating and breaking such legal provisions intended to protect the citizens. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa is receiving continuous and credible reports from different corners of the Regional State of Oromia in Ethiopia that members of TPLF special squad of the Agazi Force as well as the police are taking such fatal actions and assaults in the open air in daylights in front of the local residents in order to terrorize, intimidate and harass the whole communities.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly believes that the Ethiopian Government’s cruel actions against humanity, against its own citizens, are purely genocidal. HRLHA would like to express its deep concerns that, given the situations witnessed in the past seven days, more human casualties could take place; and, therefore, calls for unconditional interference by the world communities in order that such extreme brutalities be stopped before inflicting further losses of lives and other human damages.

The HRLHA is a non-political organization that attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works to defend fundamental human rights, including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works to raise the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and those of others. It encourages respect for laws and due process. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.

– HRLHA

—–
Copied to:

– UNESCO Headquarters
– UNESCO – Africa Department
– UNESCO – Africa Regional Office
– Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
– Office of the UNHCR
– African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
– Council of Europe
– U.S. Department of State – Ethiopia Desk

—–

References:

(1) http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287; http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14668; http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15430; http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15667

—-

Viewer Discretion Advised (Partial List of the Deceased and the Wounded):

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/12/ethiopia-human-rights-defender-says-attacks-on-oromo-children-youth-are-cruel-and-brutal/

Human Rights: Oromia State under Siege December 15, 2015

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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

 

Agazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015Stop killing Oromo StudentsOromo people of  VS Fascist (TPLF) Agazi forces. #OromoProtests. 14 December 2015.

 

Ethiopia: Oromia Regional State under Siege

December 15, 2015 Human Rights
HRLHA Urgent Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

15 December, 2015

The brutal crackdown against Oromoprotesters by the Agazi Special Squad and Liyu Police (literally special police) continues unabated in different parts of the regional state of Oromia. Reports coming from all around Oromia Regional State indicate that Oromia Regional State is already under Command post.

brutalityAccording to information obtained by HRLHA (today) from its correspondents, the Agazi Special Squad has been deployed in Jaldu district, west Shewa with heavily armed vehicles and security forcesengaged in indiscriminately killing and kidnapping the local people from the streets and throwing them into detention centres in the area.

militaryAlthough the protests against thegovernment’s plan to annex some central small towns of Oromia into the Capital Addis Ababa/Finfinne have involved Oromos from all walks of life, age and gender, the prime targets have been children and youth, farmers, university, college, and high school students in particular.

Amongthe many massacred, the HRLHA has received the following names:
Partial List of killed Oromos since protested on 14, November 2015 to present.

(Note: The names of killed Oromos listed in HRLHA’s UA issued on Dec, 8. 2015 also included in this list)

mass killings and arrests in Oromia by fascist TPLF Ethiopia as of December 15, 2015

Since the protest started in different parts of the regional state of Oromia two weeks ago, more than 10,000 Oromos have been arrested and detained from the following areas:West Shewa:Ambo, Gudar, Bako,Ginci, Gindabarat, Jaldu,Skukutee, Xiqur Incini, Gindo, Kachise, Gedo, Babichi,

North Shewa: Kuyyuu, Gabra Gurrachaa, Muka Xurii, Salalee

Southwest Shewa:Waliso, Wanci, Roggee, Ammayyaa

West Wallagaa: Najo, Mandi, Manasibu, Gimbii, Ganjii, Inago, Ayra Guliso, Jarso, Laaloo Asaabii,

Qellem Wallagaa: Jimmaa Horro, Sayyoo, Dambi Dolo, Anfillo, Gidaamii, Begii

Horro Guduru: Fincha

Arsi: Dodolaa,

Bale: Robe, Goba

Oromia: Oromo Protesters’ funeral processions turn into protest as government carries violence to burial grounds December 15, 2015

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???????????Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people

#OromoProtests, Qabosoon itti fufa jedhu aayyoleenAgazi, fascist TPLF Ethiopia's forces attacking unarmed and peaceful #OromoProtests in Baabichaa town central Oromia (w. Shawa) , December 10, 2015

Oromo Protesters’ funeral processions turn into protest as government carries violence to burial grounds

(Finfinne Tribune/ Gadaa.com, Muddee/December 15, 2015 ): The Oromo protests have expand in scope and size to stop, what protesters have put as decades-old marginalization, evictions, and politically-motivated killings and imprisonments of Oromos in Oromia, in addition to stopping the Addis Ababa Master Plan. As the Oromo protests grow in depth and size, Oromo students are joined, according to media reports, by Oromo farmers, teachers, factory workers, medical practitioners, athletes and other sectors of the society to wage the Oromo protests. In response to these Oromo civilian protests, the Ethiopian Federal government has mobilized its Special Paramilitary Police forces from other States, such as the Somali State and the Amhara State, in addition to dispatching mechanized army units to protest areas in Oromia. The government’s heavy-handed response to the escalating Oromo protests have led to the deaths of more than 50 Oromo civilians, as per the latest estimates.

While undertaking this paramilitary-police invasion of the State of Oromia, the Ethiopian government’s officials have taken to airwaves on state-owned media outlets to promise that the Master Plan ‘would be brought forward for public deliberations’ – the government has been promising this for the last year and half, but to no avail; rather, some parts of the Master Plan are said to be already underway. According to observers, this has exacerbated the situation since the Ethiopian government’s officials have blatantly continued to dismiss the ongoing peaceful Oromo protests as legitimate voices of the people saying “NO” to the Master Plan; having been given no other channel for protests, Oromo students in particular, and the Oromo public in general, are paying with their lives to say “NO” to the Master Plan. The government’s heavy-handed response emanates from its basic lack of understanding that the Oromo protests are legitimate broad-based people’s demands for rights; when protest movements reach such a point, no amount of military repression can stop them; rather, each death leads to more affected people to join and continue the protests.

According to new reports, the Ethiopian government has carried the violence into burial grounds: disrupting and harassing, and in some cases, shooting to maim and kill, mourners as they weep for and bury their loved ones. For this reason, funeral processions are no longer sober moments only, but moments to stage protests against the Master Plan and against the killings — and against the overall unjust system the Oromo have been subjected to for far too long — funeral processions have become moments to vow to continue the protests of the martyred. When the government refuses to bring forward those responsible for the killings of the unarmed peacefully-protesting Oromos and when the government refuses to take the ongoing Oromo protests as a “NO” say of the people against the Master Plan, justice becomes carrying the torches of the martyred and moving on the Oromo National protests to their final victory.

The following are photos from some of the funeral services held for the recently killed Oromos. The first segment of this topic was presented here (an excerpt is given below).

http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2015/12/funeral-processions-of-oromo-killed-while-protesting-against-the-master-plan/
Bekele Seboka’s Funeral:
Read more at:-http://gadaa.com/oduu/30725/2015/12/15/oromo-protesters-funeral-processions-turn-into-protest-as-government-carries-violence-to-burial-grounds/

Sirna Awaalcha Sabboonaa Qabsaawaa Qeerroo Oromoo Baayyisaa Taaddasaa: Iyyaa Iyyaa Iyyaa #OromoProtests December 14, 2015

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???????????Sabboona Oromoo Baayyisaa Taaddasaa

Sirni Awaalcha Sabboonaa  Qabsaawaa Dargaggoo Oromoo Baayyisaa Taaddasaa  Mudde 12. 2015 Naannoo Dhaloota isaa lixa shawati Raawate.

Qabsaawan ni kufa Qabsoon itti fufa!

TVOMT

Young Oromo national murdered by fascist (TPLF Ethiopia) Agazi forces.

OBSERVATEURS (France 24): Les Oromos d’Éthiopie se rebellent contre Addis Abeba December 11, 2015

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 Odaa Oromoo

Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.OromoProtests @Geedoo Dec. 8, 2015 pictureOromoProtests @Finfinnee University Dec. 7, 2015#OromoProtests of 7 December 2015

Les Oromos d’Éthiopie se rebellent contre Addis Abeba

OBSERVATEURS,  John B
 http://observers.france24.com/fr/20151211-oromos-ethiopie-rebellent-contre-addis-abeba-manifestations-universite

 Depuis 10 jours, de violents affrontements ont lieu entre les forces de l’ordre et des manifestants dans la région d’Oromia en Éthiopie. Les militants, pour beaucoup des étudiants, dénoncent un projet “d’accaparement des terres” mené par le gouvernement.

Fin novembre, le gouvernement éthiopien a annoncé un plan d’extension de la capitale Addis Abeba, située dans la région d’Oromia. Appelé “Master Plan”, ce projet a pour objectif, selon les autorités éthiopiennes, de contrôler l’expansion rapide des grandes villes pour atténuer l’exode rural. Mais ce projet fait craindre aux habitants un accaparement des terres agricoles. Il avait déjà été annoncé en 2014 et avait alors suscité une vague de manifestations à travers la région, coûtant la vie à 70 étudiants, selon un communiqué de l’association des étudiants de l’Oromia.

Avec près de 25 millions d’habitants, l’Oromia est la région la plus peuplée d’Éthiopie. Les Oromos, l’ethnie majoritaire dans la région, dénoncent depuis plusieurs années leur marginalisation.

 

“Ni les habitants ni le gouvernement de l’Oromia n’ont été concertés”

John B

John B (pseudonyme) est étudiant à Ambo University dans la région d’Oromia. Il était sur le campus durant les premiers jours de la manifestation. Il nous explique ce conflit compliqué entre les Oromos et le gouvernement central.

L’Éthiopie est une République fédérale divisée en neuf régions. Selon la constitution, chaque région à le droit à son propre gouvernement. Mais nous avons un problème dans l’Oromia : la capitale du pays, Addis Abeba, est située dans la région et elle est gouvernée par le gouvernement fédéral.

Il y a toujours eu des différents entre la population d’Oromia et le gouvernement central, mais en Éthiopie, il y est difficile de se rebeller. Le mois dernier, le gouvernement a de nouveau mis sur la table son “Master Plan” . Avec ce projet, le gouvernement veut étendre son contrôle administratif dans l’Oromia. C’est une sorte d’extension d’Addis Abeba.

Mais le “Master Plan” remet totalement en cause notre frontière et nous avons peur que cela passe par un accaparement des terres. Des fermiers oromos pourraient-être expulsés. Ni les habitants ni le gouvernement de l’Oromia n’ont été concertés. C’est pour cette raison que la population manifeste : personne ne veut céder ses terres ! Surtout que nous savons que ce plan de “développement” de la ville ne va bénéficier qu’à une minorité de dirigeants, pas aux habitants oromos.

Selon Bekele Nega, le secrétaire général du Congrès Fédéral d’Oromia [parti d’opposition en Éthiopie], 13 étudiants auraient été tués et une centaine jetés en prison suite aux manifestations. Sur Facebook et Twitter, de nombreuses photos d’étudiants blessés et de policiers armés ont été relayées.

Ce sont les étudiants qui se sont mobilisés en premier. Dans mon université, les manifestations ont commencé la semaine dernière. C’était très pacifique et d’ailleurs, selon la Constitution éthiopienne, nous avons le droit de manifester. Trois jours après le début des manifestations, la police est entrée dans le campus. Les forces de l’ordre se sont montrées très violentes, des étudiants se sont fait frapper, beaucoup avaient du sang sur le visage et les mains. Tout le monde s’est mis à courir. Ceux qui n’ont pas eu le temps de s’échapper ont été arrêtés et emmenés au poste de police.

Les fermiers et les habitants de l’Oromia ont rejoint les manifestations étudiantes. Photo prise à Inango – Oromia.

Je sais que dans d’autres universités, les policiers ont utilisé des armes à feu mais pas dans la mienne. En ce moment il n’y a presque plus personne sur le campus : les étudiants ont peur. Dans d’autres villes, les manifestations continuent et les étudiants ont été rejoints par les habitants et les fermiers. Je n’ai jamais vu un mouvement de contestation si important dans la région.

Les médecins de l’hôpital Jimma dans la ville d’Agaro dans l’Oromia expriment leur soutien aux manifestants.

Le mouvement de contestation ne s’arrête pas aux frontières éthiopiennes. Selon le compte Twitter “Oromo Press”, la communauté oromo aux États-Unis s’est mobilisée ce vendredi pour dénoncer le “Master Plan” et demander l’intervention du président américain.

Le commissaire de police de la région s’est justifié lors d’une conférence de presse la semaine dernière. Selon lui, les manifestants auraient été particulièrement violents. Les forces de l’ordre ne seraient alors intervenues que pour maintenir le calme dans les universités et écoles.

……………………………………………………………………

English Translation (Google)

For 10 days, violent clashes took place between police and protesters in the Oromia region in Ethiopia. The activists, many of them students, denounce a project “land grab” led by the government.In late November, the Ethiopian government has announced a plan to extend the capital Addis Ababa, located in Oromia. Called “Master Plan”, the project aims, according to the Ethiopian authorities to control the rapid expansion of large cities to mitigate the rural exodus. But this project fears the inhabitants a farmland grab. It had already been announced in 2014 and was then sparked a wave of protests across the region, claiming the lives of 70 students, according to a statement of the association of students of theOromia.

With nearly 25 million inhabitants, Oromia is the most populated region of Ethiopia. The Oromos, the largest ethnic group in the region, denounce their marginalization for many years.

 

“Neither the people nor the government of the Oromia have been concerted”

John B

John B (pseudonym) is a student in Ambo University in the Oromia region. He was on campus during the first days of the event. He explains this complicated conflict between the Oromo and the central government.

Ethiopia is a federal republic divided into nine regions.According to the constitution, each region has the right to his own government. But we have a problem in Oromia: the capital, Addis Ababa, is located in the region and it is governed by the federal government.

There have always been different from the population of Oromia and the central government, but in Ethiopia, it is hard to rebel. Last month, the government again put on the table his “Master Plan”. With this project, the government wants to extend its administrative control in the Oromia. This is a kind of extension of Addis Ababa.

But the “Master Plan” runs counter to our border and we fear that it goes through a land grab. Of Oromo farmers could be expelled. Neither the people nor the government of the Oromia have been concerted. This is why the population manifesto: nobody wants to surrender its land!Especially since we know that this plan “development” of the city will benefit only a minority of leaders, not the Oromo people.

According to Bekele Nega, the general secretary of the Federal Congress Oromia [opposition party in Ethiopia], 13 students were killed and hundreds jailed following protests. On Facebook and Twitter, many photos of students injured and armed police were relayed.

These are students who mobilized first. At my university, the demonstrations began last week. It was very peaceful and elsewhere, according to the Ethiopian Constitution, we have the right to demonstrate. Three days after the protests began, the police entered the campus. The security forces have been very violent, students have been hit, many had blood on his face and hands. Everyone started running. Those who have not had time to escape were arrested and taken to the police station.

Farmers and people of Oromia joined student protests.Photo taken at Inango – Oromia.

I know that in other universities, police used firearms but not in mine. Right now there is almost no one on campus: students are afraid. In other cities, the protests continue and the students were joined by local residents and farmers. I have never seen such a large protest movement in the region.

Doctors at the hospital in Jimma town in the Oromia Agaro express their support for protesters.

The protest movement does not stop the Ethiopian border. According to the Twitter account “Oromo Press”, the Oromo community in the US rallied on Friday to denounce the “Master Plan” and request the intervention of US President .

The region’s police commissioner was justified at a press conference last week. He said the demonstrators were particularly violent. The security forces would do that then intervened to maintain calm in universities and schools.


 

 

Oromia/Ethiopia: Human rights defender says attacks on Oromos are ethnic cleansing war crimes. December 9, 2015

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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of AfricaStop killing Oromo StudentsOromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....

Oromia/Ethiopia: Human rights defender says attacks on Oromos are ethnic cleansing war crimes.

 

Oromia/Ethiopia: Region-Wide, Heavy-Handed Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters

HRLHAHRLHA Urgent Action

For Immediate Release

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its grave concern at the continuation of gross human rights violations in Oromia Regional State – violations that have regularly occurred since 1991 when the TPLF/EPRDF came into power.

The most recent heinous crime was committed – and is still being committed – against defenseless schoolchildren protesting against the approval of “the Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” by the Oromia Regional State Parliament a month ago. The peaceful protest involved many elementary school, high school and university students, and civilians. Among them were students in Western Oromia zones: Najo, Nekemt, Mandi high schools, and in other towns, in Central Oromia in Ginchi, Ambo, Addis Ababa high schools and the surrounding towns, Eastern and Southern Oromia zones, in Haromaya, and Bule Hora Universities, and many more schools and universities. In violation of the rights of the citizen to peaceful demonstration enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution(1) [Chapter Two, Article 30 (1) states: “Everyone has the right to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peaceably and unarmed, and to petition. Appropriate regulations may be made in the interest of public convenience relating to the location of open-air meetings and the route of movement of demonstrators or, for the protection of democratic rights, public morality and peace during such a meeting or demonstration.”], students, in all of these places, were severely beaten, imprisoned or even killed.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa emphasizes that the ongoing violence and crimes committed in Oromia Regional State for over two and a half decades by the TPLF perpetrators against the Oromo Nation amount to war crimes, and crimes against humanity – a clear failure of the Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO) authorities, an organization claiming to represent the Oromo Nation. The members of this bogus political organization have proved to be not the Oromo peoples’ true representatives, but rather stand-ins for their real masters who have compromised the interests of the Oromo Nation. The Oromia Regional State authorities/OPDO did not resist the TPLF regime when Oromo children, farmers, intellectuals, members of political organizations were killed, abducted, imprisoned, tortured and evicted from their livelihoods by TPLF security agents in the past two and half decades. Instead, they helped the TPLF regime to control the political and economic resources of the Oromia Regional State. TPLF high officials and ordinary level cadres in Oromia Regional State engaged in enriching themselves and their family members by selling Oromo land, looting and embezzling public wealth and properties in the occupied areas of the Oromo Nation, and committing many other forms of corruption.

Committing atrocities and crimes against humanity are failures to comply with obligations under international law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including the principles of proportionality and discrimination. With many civilians suffering from the crimes and serious violations of human rights, and by not taking any measures to ensure the accountability of those responsible for these crimes and violations, it has become clear that after all these years the so called Oromia Parliament (Caffee Oromiyaa) has betrayed the Oromo people by not protecting them. The OPDO members and the Oromia Parliament (Caffee Oromiyaa) members should not continue in silence while Oromo children are brutalized by Aga’azy squads deployed by the TPLF for ethnic cleansing. The Oromia Parliament(Caffee Oromiyaa) and OPDO have a moral obligation to dissolve their institutions and stand beside their people to resist the TPLF regime’s aggression.

The HRLHA believes that the gross human rights violations committed by the TPLF government, in cooperation with OPDO in the past two and half decades against Oromo Nation, have been pre-planned every time they have happened. TPLF regime security agents imprisoned, killed, tortured, kidnapped, disappeared, and evicted from their ancestral lands thousands of Oromo nationals, simply because of their ethnic backgrounds and to acquire their resources. The TPLF inhuman actions against Oromo civilians are clearly genocidal, a crime against humanity and an ethnic cleansing, which breach domestic and international laws, and all international treaties the government of Ethiopia signed and ratified.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these Oromo nationals who have been arrested without any court warrant and are being held in different police stations, military camps, “Maekelawi” compound, the main federal police investigation center, in Central Addis Ababa and in different unknown places.

Therefore, HRLHA calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand an immediate halt to these extra-judicial actions, terrorizing civilians and the immediate unconditional release of the detainees.

The HRLHA also calls on all human- rights defender non-governmental, civic organizations, its members, supporters and sympathizers to stand beside the HRLHA and provide moral, professional and financial help to bring the dictatorial TPLF government and officials to international justice.

The HRLHA is a non-political organization that attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works to defend fundamental human rights, including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works to raise the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and those of others. It encourages respect for laws and due process. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.

—–
Copied to:

– UNESCO Headquarters
– UNESCO – Africa Department
– UNESCO – Africa Regional Office
– Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
– Office of the UNHCR
– African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
– Council of Europe
– U.S. Department of State – Ethiopia Desk

Human Rights Watch says the bloody crackdown on Oromo protesters must stop. Ajjeechaa Barattoota Oromoo irratti raawwatame Human Rights Watch balaaleeffate. December 7, 2015

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Dispatches: Yet Again, a Bloody Crackdown on Protesters in Ethiopia

DECEMBER 5, 2015  Dispatches

 Felix HorneResearcher, Horn of Africa

(Human Rights Watch (HRW, 5 December 2015): Student protests are spreading throughout Ethiopia’s Oromia region, as people demonstrate against the possibility that Oromo farmers and residents living near the capital, Addis Ababa, could be evicted from their lands without appropriate – or possibly any – compensation. Social media is filled with images of bloodied protesters; there are credible reports of injuries and arrests in a number of towns; and local police have publicly acknowledged that three students have died so far.

Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest against the Ethiopian regime outside the office of Malta's Prime Minister in Valletta June 16, 2014.

The current protests echo the bloody events of April and May 2014, when federal forces fired into groups of largely peaceful Oromo protesters, killing dozens. At least hundreds more students were arrested, and many remain behind bars. Both then and today, the demonstrators are ostensibly protesting the expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into the surrounding Oromia region, which protesters fear will displace Oromo farmers from their land. But these protests are about much more: Many Oromos have felt marginalized and discriminated against by successive Ethiopian governments and have often felt unable to voice their concerns over government policies.

Of the student protesters detained in 2014, some have been released. Those I spoke with told me about the torture they endured as part of interrogations. But countless others remain in detention. Some have been charged under Ethiopia’s draconian counterterrorism law for their role in the protests; others languish without charge in unknown detention centers and military camps throughout Oromia. This week, five students were convicted of terrorism-related offenses for their role in the protests.

There has been no government investigation into the use of live ammunition and excessive force by security personnel last year.

Ethiopia’s tight restrictions on civil society and media make it difficult to corroborate the current, mounting allegations and the exact details of the ongoing protests emerging from towns like Haramaya, Jarso, Walliso, and Robe. The government may think this strategy of silencing bad news is succeeding. But while the fear of threats and harassment means it is often months before victims and witnesses come forward to reveal what happened in their communities, they eventually do, and the truth will emerge.

The government should ensure that the use of excessive force by its security personnel stops immediately. It should then support an independent and impartial inquiry into the conduct of security forces in the current protests – and last year’s as well. Those responsible for serious abuses should be fairly prosecuted. This would be the best way for the Ethiopian government to show its concern about the deaths and injuries inflicted on the students, that it does not condone the use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters, and that those who break the law are appropriately punished.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/12/05/dispatches-yet-again-bloody-crackdown-protesters-ethiopia

Related:-

http://www.tesfanews.net/bloody-crackdown-on-oromo-protesters/

 

ODUU

Ajjeechaa Barattoota Oromoo irratti raawwatame Human Rights Watch balaaleeffate.

OMN:Oduu Mudde 06,2015 Hiriira mormii barattoonni Oromoo karaa nagaatiin bahanirratti, mootummaan Itoophiyaayeroo lammeessoof akka fala hiriira bittineessuutti tarkaanfii dhiiga dhangalaasuu barattoota Oromoorratti fudhachuusaa, dhaabbanni mirgoota Ilmaan namaatiif falmu ‘Human Right Watch’ ‘n ibsa baaseen himeera.

Dhabbanni mirgoota ilmaan namaatiif falmu “Human Right Watch” tarkaanfii ajjeechaa mootummaan Itoophiyaa barattootaafi uummata Oromoorratti fudhachaa jiru balaaleffachuudhaan, Hiriira mormii barattoonni Oromoo karaa nagaatiin bahanirratti

mootummaan Itoophiyaa yeroo lammeessoof akka fala hiriira bittineessuutti tarkaanfii dhiiga

dhangalaasuu barattoota Oromoorratti fudhachuusaa ibsa baaseen balaaleffateera.

lafa qonnaan bultoota Oromoo naannoo Finfinnee jiran beenyaa gayaa maleefi beenyaa malee

qonnaan bultoota irraa fudhatamaa jiraachuusaa ilaalchise, naannoo Oromiyaa iddoo gara

garaa keessatti barattoonni baldhinaa hiriira mormii akka taasisaa jiran ibsi ‘human right watch’

kun mirkaneesseera. Ibsi ‘human right watch’ kun itti dabaluun ‘website’ yookiin toora

interneetii isaarratti akka baasetti, barattoota Oromoo karaa nagaatiin hiriira mormii

bahanirratti, polisoonni Itoophiyaa tarkaanfii gara jabeessa irratti raawwateen, miidiyaaleen

hawaasaa ‘online’ akka ‘face book’ faa suuraalee barattoota mada’anii dhiigaa jiraniifi du’an

naanneessaa jira. Magaalota hedduu keessatti barattoonniifi namoonni hedduun akka

hidhamaaniifi ajjeefaman gabaasa qabatamaan gabaafameera. Gama mootummaatiin garuu,

ajjeecha barattoota sadiinii qofa, qondaalli poolisi naannoo Oromiyaa tokko amanuu isaa ibsi

‘human right watch’ kun addeesseera.

Ibsi Human riht watch kun itti dabaluun akka himetti, bara engedda, 2014 polisoonni federaalaa

Itoophiyaa uummata Oromoo karaa nagaatiin hiriira bahe irratti dhukaasa qawwee itti

roobsuudhaan namoota heddu ajjeesuun, dhibboota ol qabanii hidhuu isaanii ibseera.

Mootummaan Itoophiyaa waanuma duraan bare, yeroo ammaa kanalle barattoota Oromoo

irratti raawwata akka jiru ibsi human right watch kun ibsee, kaayoon hiriira mormii barattoota

Oromoo, babal’insi magaalaa Finfinnee lafa qonnaan bultootaa irraa fudhachuun namoota

hedduu qe’ee isaanirraa buqqisee rakkinyaaf akka saaxilu sodaa qaban ibachuuf akka ta’e,

human right watch ‘n gabaaseera. Hacuuccaafi miidhaan mootummaa Itoophiyaatiin akka

Oromoorra gahaa jiru Oromoonni hedduun baranii mootummaa Itoophiyaa mormaa akka jiran

‘human right watch’ addeesseera.

Barattota bara dhengeddaa mormii master pilaanii Finfinne kanaan walqabatee qabamanii

hidhaman gariin isaanii erga dhaaninsi hamaan ‘torture’ jedhamuufi qorannaa guddaa irratti

gaggeeffameen booda akka gadi dhiifamaniifi lakkoosfaan kan hanga hin beekamne ammalle

mana hidhaa keessatti ugguramanii akka jiran gabaasni ‘human right watch’ kun mul’iseera.

Akka gabaasa kanaatti, Oromoonni bara endendaa maaster pilaanii Finfinnee mormanii

hidhaman gariin isaanii labsii farra shorkeessummaatiin himannaan itti banamuun murteen yoo

itti murteefamu, gariin isaanii himannaan osoo irratti hin banamanin manuma hidhaa kaampii

waraanaa hin beekkamne hedduu keessatti ukkaamfanii dararaan sukkumamaa akka jiran

himeera. Torbaan kanalle barattoota shan hirira irratti hirmaatan mootummaan

shorkeessummaan wal-qabsiisee yakkaa akka jiru gabaasni Human Right watch kun

mudhiseera.

Gocha Ajjeechaafi miidhaa magaalalee Oromiyaa kanneen akka Haramayaa, Jaarsoo, Walisoofi

Roobe keessatti taasifamaa jiru irratti, miidiyaaleen Itoophiyaa akka nama ijaafi gurra hin

qabneetti caldheessaan bira dabruu isaanii, mala ittiin hammeenya dhoksan yoo te’eeyyuu,

yeroodhaaf waan ukkaamsan fakkaata malee dhugaan dhokattee akka hin hafneefi gaafa tokko

goobantee akka mul’attu, akkasuma namoonni gocha akkanaa raawwatanille murtii

madaalawaa argachuun isaanii akka hin oolle gabaasni Human Rights Watch kun himeera.

Daani’eel Bariisootiin.

A Bloody Crackdown on #Oromo Protesters in Ethiopia, Again. #OromoProtests December 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????Say no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people

A Bloody Crackdown on Oromo Protesters in Ethiopia, Again

The resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia
OROMO FIRST. Continued marginalization, discrimination and brutal crackdown against peaceful civilian Oromo protest is fast driving the resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.

By Felix Horne | for Human Rights Watch,

Student protests are spreading throughout Ethiopia’s Oromia region, as people demonstrate against the possibility that Oromo farmers and residents living near the capital, Addis Ababa, could be evicted from their lands without appropriate – or possibly any – compensation. Social media is filled with images of bloodied protesters; there are credible reports of injuries and arrests in a number of towns; and local police have publicly acknowledged that three students have died so far.

The current protests echo the bloody events of April and May 2014, when federal forces fired into groups of largely peaceful Oromo protesters, killing dozens. At least hundreds more students were arrested, and many remain behind bars. Both then and today, the demonstrators are ostensibly protesting the expansion of Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary into the surrounding Oromia region, which protesters fear will displace Oromo farmers from their land. But these protests are about much more: Many Oromos have felt marginalized and discriminated against by successive Ethiopian governments and have often felt unable to voice their concerns over government policies.

Of the student protesters detained in 2014, some have been released. Those I spoke with told me about the torture they endured as part of interrogations. But countless others remain in detention. Some have been charged under Ethiopia’s draconian counterterrorism law for their role in the protests; others languish without charge in unknown detention centers and military camps throughout Oromia. This week, five students were convicted of terrorism-related offenses for their role in the protests.

ALSO READ : Ethiopia at Risk of Disintegration: Oromo Opposition

There has been no government investigation into the use of live ammunition and excessive force by security personnel last year.

Ethiopia’s tight restrictions on civil society and media make it difficult to corroborate the current, mounting allegations and the exact details of the ongoing protests emerging from towns like Haramaya, Jarso, Walliso, and Robe. The government may think this strategy of silencing bad news is succeeding. But while the fear of threats and harassment means it is often months before victims and witnesses come forward to reveal what happened in their communities, they eventually do, and the truth will emerge.

The government should ensure that the use of excessive force by its security personnel stops immediately. It should then support an independent and impartial inquiry into the conduct of security forces in the current protests – and last year’s as well. Those responsible for serious abuses should be fairly prosecuted. This would be the best way for the Ethiopian government to show its concern about the deaths and injuries inflicted on the students, that it does not condone the use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters, and that those who break the law are appropriately punished.

http://www.tesfanews.net/bloody-crackdown-on-oromo-protesters/

UNPO: Oromo: Attack on Protesting Students by Government Forces Caught on Video December 5, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????UNPO

Oromo: Attack on Protesting Students by Government Forces Caught on Video

http://unpo.org/article/18772

 

Citizens from all over Oromia have been protesting for months against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, which would see Oromo farmers around the capital evicted from their land with the city’s expansion. Marches have intensified since the events at Haromaya University last week, where Oromo students, protesting peacefully against the government plans, were shot at by the Ethiopian Federal Police, killing at least three and injuring many more. The attack was recorded on a video, which can be viewed from the link below.

Read the full article from Finfinne Tribune below:

The following video shows as the Ethiopian Federal Police, known as Agazi and part of the elite force of the ruling Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), shooting at Haromaya University’s Oromo students – who were out protesting against the Addis Ababa Master Plan in late November 2015. According to media reports, at least three were killed and many more were wounded. The students were protesting against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, whose goal, they say, is to expand the City of Addis Ababa by many folds by evicting Oromo farmers from their land around the City of Addis Ababa in Oromiyaa. The Oromo people, especially students, have been expressing their protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, ever since it was unveiled by TPLF officials in April 2014. As a result of the Oromiyaa-wide protests against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, over the last year and half, more than a hundred Oromos were killed by the Agazi force, including the four who had been reported dead at the recent Haromaya protest.

 

The students, pronounced dead, and those others protesting, come from all sections and all zones of Oromiyaa for their higher education at Haromaya University.

 

Click here to watch the video of the attack.

Click here to see more photos of the protests.

 

Photo credit: Gadaa.com @Flickr

Oromia: Ummati keenya karaa Adda Addaan Dhumaa jira November 25, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????

Ummati keenya karaa Adda Addaan Dhumaa jira!

Baarentuu Gadaa, ayyaantuu.net

Development aid in Ethiopia is alleged to have been withheld from those opposed to the government. People were forced to vote for itErga guyyaatti 3 ol nyaanna jedhamee Wayyaaneedhaan hololamu eegalee waggoottan 24 darbaniiru. Muummicha ministeeraa wayyaanee kan ture Mallas Zeenaawiirraa eegalee hanga ergamticha har’aa H/Maariyaam Dassaalanyitti guddinarratti guddinni ida’amee, parsantii 11 oliin gudataa jirra jedhamee afarfamaa tureera. Guddinnii fi dhaadannoon waggoottan 24 darbaniif hololamaa ture garuu kunoo dhadhaa abidda bu’e ta’ee hafe. Guddinni gaafa afaan qawweetiin haangottii dhufan irraa eegalanii hololaa turan as buuteen isaa dhabamee ummattoonni biyyattii beelaan mankaraaraa jiru. Impaayeera Itiyoophiyaa keessatti beellii fi gadadaoon babalatee namni miliyoona .15 ol ta’u kan afaaniin qabatee bulu hin qabu. Inni guyyaatti 3 fi sanaa ol nyaata jedhame takkaa dhabee beelaa fi dheebuun harcahaa jira.
Dhugaadha miseensoonni Wayyaanee fi lukkeeleen sirnichaa saamicha fi malaanmaltummaa afaan qawweetiin gaggeessaniin quufanii bulaa jiru.

Ethiopia ‘using aid as a political tool’.
BBC report alleges the government is withholding aidfrom opposition supporters and committing human right abuses

Duroomanii midhaan filatanii nyaatu, wuskii bakka dhaqanitti dhangalaasu,ciree Finfinneetti yoo nyaatan dhayanni isaanii Awuroopaa ta’uu danda’a. Abbaa fooqii hedduutii, makiinaa akka kaalsii miilaatti guyyaa guyyaan jijjiirratu. Warshaaleen biyyattii keessa jiran kan isaaniti. Ummattoonni cunqursaa fi saamicha sirnichaa jala jiran miliyoona 15ni olitti tilmaaman garuu beelaan harcahaa jiru. Qayee fi qabeenyarraa buqqawaa jiru. Biyyaa baqatanii gammoojjii biyya ormaa fi galaanatti dhumaa jiru.Mootummaan Wayyaanee mootummaa gama hedduun ummattoota Impaayeera Itiyoophiyaa keessa jiran, keessumaawuu ummata Oromoo addatti irratti xiyyeeffatee fixaa jiruu dha. Murni saamichaaf umame kun gama tokkoon nama mirga isaa fi lammii isaatiif falme; barattoota qalama malee harkaa hin qabnee dabalatee, sabboontoota rasaasaan karaarratti fixaa jira. Kaan mana hidhaatti guuree, kaan ammoo qayee fi qabeenyarraa buqqisee, carraa hojii fi barnootaa dhorkatee mankaraarsaa jira, biyya dhablee taasisuun kan biyyaa baqachiisee gammoojjii, galaanaa fi kaampii baqattaatti fixes manni haa lakkaawu. Haacaaluu ammoo kunoo amma nama miliyoona 15 ol beeleessee kadhaa fi du’aaf saaxilee jira.
walumaa galattii ummattoonni biyyattii keessumaa Oromoon beelaan, baqaan, rasaasaan , hidhaan goolamaa fi dhumaa jira jechuutu hundarra salphata.

Murni Wayyaanee karaa adda addaan beela nama mil 15 ol miidhaa jiru kana dhoksuuf yaaluus, yeroo kaan ammoo lakkoofsa isaa gadi buusee himuuf carraaqus namni dhumaa, abdiin qotee bulaa fi horsiisee bulaa beeladoonni karraan harcahaa jiru. Akka BBC fi AL-JAZIRA dabalatee miidiyaaleen idil addunyaa hedduu fi dhaabooleen gargaarsaa adda addaa yeroo ammaa kana ifa taasisaa jiranitti impaayeera Itiyoophiyaa Wayyaaneedhaan bulaa jirtu keessatti beelli namoota mili. 15 ol , kan irra jiraan isaa saba Oromoo ta’e akka malee hubaa, lubbuu baasaa jira.

Ummanni Oromoo ummata dachee gabbattuu, lafa sa’aa namaa tolu qabuudha. lafti isaa qonnaaf, horsiisa looniin beekamaa dha, albuudoota adda addaan badhaadhaa dha. Qabeenyi har’a Wayyaaneen qawwee ittiin bitattee ummata keenya fixxuun, fooqii ijaartee ittiin sooramtuun, qabeenyuma dachee Oromoorraa saamichaan argamee dha.

Oromoon abbaan biyyaa garuu bahaa- lixatti kaabaa- kibbatti beelaaf saaxilamaa, baqachiifamaa fi biyya dhablee taasifamaa jira.

Beelli yeroo ammaa kana impaayeera Itiyoophiyaa muudatee sa’aa nama fixaa jiru kun, harki guddaan isaa biyya Oromoo Oromiyaa keessatti balaa gurguddaa dhaqqabsiisaa jira. Wayyaaneen osoo beelli hin jiru, booda ammoo namni beela’e xiqqaadha jettuu Harargeen bahaa- lixatti, rakkoo guddaaf saaxilamee jira. Baalee, Arsii lixaatti Onooti Sulula Riifti vaalii kessa jiran, Shawaa bahaa Ona Boosatii fi, Karrayyuu keessatti, Boorana Gujii fi Walloottii guutummaa guutuutti beelli hammaatee guyyaa guyyaan namni du’aa oola. Beeladoonni akka bahaniin hafaa jiru.

Wayyaaneen akka dhugaan kun gadi hin baaneef dhoksaa turte, yookan xiyyeeffannoo osoo itti hin kenniin haftee jirti. Ammalleen osoo namni fulleettii dhumaa jiru, ifatti lakkoofsa dhugaa himuurra dhaaboolee fi miidiyaalee dhugaa jiru kana dubbatan abaaruu hojii godhattee jirti.
Gabaasa BBCn dhiheesse osoo balaaleeffattuu fi soba jettuu, kanneen akka CCTV, AL-JAZIRA, OMN, fi marsaaleen akka Ayyaantuu fi Gadaa jedhaman dhugaa jiru addunyaaf dhiheessaa jiru. Miidiyaan Wayyaanee kijiba odeessuuf dhaabbate garuu dhihee bari’u misoomni babal’achuu fi diinagdeen guddachuu lallaba. Ammamuu lallabus garuu Inni guyyaatti 3 ol nyaatama jedhamee maqaa misoomaa fi guddinaatiin waggoottan 24n darbaniif hololamaa ture soba ta’uun ifa ta’eera, ija addunyaa duratti saaxilameera. Sirnichi sirna sobaati, sirna sobaan ijaaramee sobaan jiraachaa jiruudha. sirna ta’e jedhee ummata beelaan fixaa jiruu dha.
Sirni Wayyaanee ummata Oromoof diina innikaa dha. Wayyaaneen murna Ummata Oromoorratti haloo qabattee beelassaa fi fixaa jirtuudha. Iddoo beelli kun itti hammaate Harargee, Baalee, Shawaa bahaa Onoota akka karrayyuu,fi Boosati, akkasumas Arsii lixaa, Boorana, Gujii fi Wallootti hatattamaan gargaarsa lubbuu oolchu kennuurra deeggartoota ABOtu naannichatti baayyata sababa jedhuun midhaan dhorkachaa jirti.

ABOn midhaan isinii haa kennu, kan filannoo darberratti filattan OFKOn isin haa dhaqqabu, filannoo darbe irratti nu filachuu diddanii mormitoota filattan, isaan isin haa dhaqqaban jechuun haaloo ummata beele’etti bahaa jirti. Midhaanuma tola oltonni alaa ummata beela’eef erganirratti abbaa tatee deeggartootaa fi mormitoota kiyya jechuun dhimma siyaasaaf olfachaa jirti. Kun yakka, yakka sanyii balleessutii, jeenoosaayidiidha.

Ummata beela’e siysaan qoodanii, deeggaraa fi diina jedhanii beeleessuun yakka yakka caalu, maaf filannoo daberratti nafilachuu didde, maaf sabboonummaa qabaattee jedhanii gargaarsa halagaan alaa kenne jalee ofii qofaaf amma barbaadan kennanii kaaniif harka dachaafachuun hojii gara jabinaa, dinummaa isa dhumaati. Yakka ilmi namaa namarratti ni rawwata jedhamee hin tilmaamnee dha. Wayyaaneen garuu kaayyoo Oromoo dhabamsiisuu qabattee waan deemtuufuu iddoo beelli kun itti hammaate hundattuu yakka raawwachaa jiraachuun ifatti himamaa jira. Kun roorroo guddaadha, roorroo atattamaan fala argachuu qabuudha.
Ummanni keenya; ummanni Oromoo biyyas alas jiru shiraa fi rorroo Wayyaanee beela’aa midhaan dhorkatanii siyaasa ofii dalagachuu kana dura dhaabbachuu qaba. Dhumaatiin lammii keenyaa nutti haa dhagahamu.

Hiriiraan, miidiyaadhaan, dipiloomaasidhaan haala biyya keessa jiru addunyaaf hubachiisuun dirqama namummaas, dirqama lammiitisii. Karaa dandeenyeenis lammiiwwan keenya beelaan harca’aa jiraniif haa owwaannu.

Dhalataan Oromoo kamuu murna aantummaa ummataa hin qabne, murna ummata beel’erratti yakka sanyii balleessuu dalagaa jirtuu tana addunyaaf saaxiluun dirqama. Murna gara jabeettii, murna ofii nyaatee isa hafe beeleessitu, sirna saamichaa, sirna osoo miisooma jettee hololtu ummata biyyattii walakkaa ol beelassitu, sirna nama siyaasaan qoodee midhaan gargaarsaa dhorkattu, murna yakkamtuu akkasii callisanii ilaaluun hamilee / miira namummaa/ dhabuudha. Dhibee lammiitiif quuqamuu dhabuudha, kanarraa ka’uun bakka jirrutti sagalee tokkoon yakka Oromoorratti raawwachaa jiru kana gurra addunyaa haa buusnu.

Ummata keenya du’arraa baraaruuf, yakka irratti dalagamaa jiru dhaabuuf sagalee dhageessisuun dubbii fardiidha!

 

Mootummaan Wayyaanee uummata beelaan dhu’aa jiruuf gargaarsi taasifamaa jira jedhchuun olola eegale.‏

Gabaasa Qeerroo Finfinnee Sadaasa 23,2015

Dhumaatii beelaan uummattoota naannoo roobni hin geenye irra gahaa jiru daa’immaan, haadholii fi horiiwwan yeroo itti wal faana dhumaatii sukkanneessaa irra jiranitti mootummaan Wayyaanee ofii cooma muree guddina biyyaa odeessaa jira.Kan baayee nama gaddisiisu keesssaa naannowwan kun beelli itti hammaatetti nyaataan mootummaan keenya isaan deggeraa jira jechunis miillii fi harki wayyaanee kan taate jaleen OPDO’n miidiyaa irraan oduu sobaa lafa naqaa jirti kan seenan lubbuu kumaan lakkawamaa jiru gaafatullee sobuudhaan uummata beelaan dhumaa jirutti qoosan. Yeroo biyyaaf boo’ichaa wayyaanee fi jala kaattuu sheef garaa guuttachuun nyaattee uummatatti dhaadatti. Kanumaanuu kan walq abate gaaffiii uummanni Baalee aanaalee garagaraa irratti mootummaan maaliif soba gargaarsi godhame nama dhuunfaa irraa kan hafe hin agine kan warra beela’aniif kan jedhanii wayyaanee soba ishee saaxilan yeroo kana gara siyaasatti harkifamanii qabamaa kan jiran jiru. Akkasuma sadaasa 25/2015 yuuniversirii Madda walaabutti barattotni gaaffii kaasan uummata keenya obbolaa keenya beelaan dhumaniif gaddina jedhuu fi akaksuma barattootni moora yuuniversitichaa mootummaa wayyaanee balaaleffatan.

Uummanni keenya osoo beelaan dhumu wayyaaneen aangoo irra jiraatuu hin qabu jechunis barattootni yuuniversitii Bulee horaas barruum facaasan. Yeroo kana gaaffii cinatti dhimma MP waliin wal qabatee gaaffiin mootumman wayyaanee sobeeuummata beelaan dhumaa jiruuf gargaarsi godhamaa jiru kana saaxiluun barattootni gaaffii  kaasaa waan jiraaniif wayita kana wayyanee qixa hundaattuu sodaadhaan kan guutamee jiru tahuun hubatamee jira. Kanaaf gaaffiidhuma kana fakkaatu namoota kaasan hidhuu fi hojii irraa gaggeesuunuu kan itti hammaataa dhufeedha.
Dhimma beela’un dhumaatiin uummata irra gahaa jiruuf gaaffii namootni naannoo Baalee, Harargee irraa kaasaniif toohatamaa hidhamaa jiran gabaasan dubbata.

 

 

 

International Oromo Women’s Organization’s Appeal on the Urgent Case of Mr. Dabasa Guyo’s Disappearance and Other Refugees in Kenya November 23, 2015

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???????????International Oromo Women's Organization
http://www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-includes/js/wp-emoji-release.min.js

 

November 6, 2015

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9022 (particularly for urgent matters)
E-mail: tb-petitions@unhcr.org

Mr. Antonio Guterres United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR)
Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Geneve 2 Depot Suisse
Email: infoDesk@ohchr.org; GUTERR@unhcr.org

The UNHCR Representation in Kenya
PO Box 43801-00100 GPO
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 41 22 739 7280

The President of the Republic of Kenya
President Uhuru Kenyatta

Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 74434 – 00200
Nairobi, Kenya.

The International Committee for Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in Ethiopia
Bole Sub city-, Kebele 12/13, House no. New
P. O. Box 5701
ADDIS ABABA
Phone: (+251 11) 647 83 00
Fax: (+251 11) 647 83 01
Head of delegation: Mr REYNOLDS James

The ICRC regional delegation in Kenya
Denis Pritt Road
P.O. Box 73226 – 00200
NAIROBI
(covers Kenya, Djibouti, Tanzania)
Phone: (+25420) 2723 963 – 4 – 5
Fax: (+25420) 2713003

Head of regional delegation: Mr MEYRAT Thierry
Media contact persons: Ms KILIMO Anne
Phone : (+254 20 2723963
Mobile (+254) 0722 202039
Mr STRAZIUSO Jason
Mobile: (+254) 733 622 026

Subject: Appeal on the urgent case of Mr. Dabasa Guyo’s disappearance and other Refugees in Kenya

Dear All,

I am writing this appeal letter on behalf of the International Oromo Women’s Organization (IOWO), a Non-Profit, Non-governmental Organization established to promote gender equality and be the voice for the voiceless.

The oppressed people in Ethiopia that include the majority of Oromo people fled their home to escape government persecutions, killings, arbitrary arrest, and abductions in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government spearheaded by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), came to power in the early 1990’s. Since that time until present, mass killings, arbitrary arrests, abductions, and evicting people from their home become the day-to-day activities of the government forces. Hundreds and thousands of Oromo and other nationals run away to escape from such government actions.
However, the government security forces hunt refugees in neighboring countries, assassinate or abduct and take back to Ethiopia for further torture and killing.

I.  Few examples of mass killings by Government forces in Ethiopia since TPLF came to power:

• The mass killing of University Students in Ambo and other cities April/ May 2014 on the peaceful demonstration against the expansion of Addis Ababa city to other neighboring Oromia cities, which is still continuing. (BBC News May 2, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27251331).

• The massacre of Muslim peaceful protestors April and August 2013 in Asasa and Kofele, Oromia, killed at least 26. ( Extracted from the report of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation report 19th Session of the UPR Working Group Submitted 16 September 2013)

This is in violation of religious freedom provided in the country’s constitution of 1995 Article 11/3 which states “The state shall not interfere in religious matters and religion shall not interfere in state affairs”.

• The massacre of members of the Suri tribe took place in December 2012, at least 147 Suris killed. (extracted from HRLHA Statement Feb.2013).

• The Massacre of Oromos Gara Sufi in February 2007. The victims age range from 14 years old Ayisha Ali to seventy years old Ahmed Mohamed Kuree. (VOA Afaan Oromo program on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2007).

• The Massacre after 2005 National election, Addis Ababa in which 193 unarmed demonstrators killed (www.abbaymedia.com), BBC News (http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6064638.stm)

• The massacre of Anuak on 13 December 2003. (http://www.abbaymedia.com/pdf/Press_Release/Remembering_the_Anuak_Massacre_of_December_13_2003.pdf),

Human Rights Watch, (https://www.hrw.org/news/2005/03/23/ethiopia-crimes-against-humanity-gambella-region).

• The Locke, Sidama, Massacre 24 May 2002 killing 46 and wounded 44. (OSG No. 38).

• The Massacare of Sheko and Majenger people on 11 March 2002, at least 128 dead. (By Nita Bhalla BBC, Addis Ababa, Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK).

• The Massacre of Addis Ababa University Students of April 18, 2001, in violations of Academic freedom 51 dead and 250 wounded. (BBC news, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/1284608.stm) and (Abbay media, http://abbaymedia.com/remembering-april-2001%E2%80%B2s-massacre-of-ethiopian-students/)

• The Massacare of Babo Gambel village West Wollega on 28 April 1995, 27 people were summarily executed by the EPRDF army in the Babo Gambel village in Jarso District at a places called Shimala Ture and Qiltu near Ganda Sheik in western wollega. (Report from Sue Pollock 13 April
1996 Schottlands National Newspaper PP.10-13).

And others.

II.  Some examples of individuals abducted by Ethiopian Security forces and disappeared or not known their whereabouts.

  • Amanti (Shafee) Abdisaa abducted by Ethiopian Airport security men on August 20, 2000 at Addis Ababa Airport after he boarded the plane for conference in Nairobi representing the Ethiopian Environmental Organization he was working for. (OSG Press Release No.38).
  • Engineer Banti Guddataa Hirpha: Abducted by armed men January 5, 1998 in Addis Ababa around Behere Tsige in his firiend’s house. (OSG press release n. 23).
  • Efrem (Xibabu) Kaba: abducted from Addis Ababa November 17, 2000. (OSG press release n. 39).
  • Lammessa Boru: Arrested on September 17, 1992 near Dembi Dollo by EPRDF soldiers in Toyota land cruiser, later seen in military hospital in Jimma, but disappeared from there since October 23, 1992. (AI Index: AFR 25/06/95)
  • Yosef Ayele Bati: Arrested by unidentified security officer, on November 27, 1992 in Addis Ababa. (Amnesty International: http://bit.ly/yosefbati).
  • Zerihun Kinati Dheressa: Abducted by armed plain clothe men and uniformed police in Addis Ababa on October 17, 1997. (OSG press release 20).

According to different sources:

  • Nadhi Gamada: Detained in 1994 by the Ethiopian security force. Since then his whereabouts is unknown.
  • Jirenya Ayana and Temesgen Adaba: Abducted by government security men when walking near “Urael Church” in Addis Ababa in August 1995 and disappeared.
  • Bekele Dawano Hebano: Disappeared while in detention in 1993.
  • Dachasa (Masfin) Bayana Iticha: Abducted in Addis Ababa around “Mesalemiya” near the City Hotel by government security men in September 1995.
  • Dagaagaa Bayisaa: Abducted in 1993 while traveling by bus between Siree and Nekempt, and last seen in an underground cell at Bakko.
  • Daniel (Ida’aa) Akkummaa: Arrested in Addis Ababa in 1992. Since then his whereabouts is unknown.
  • Dereje Qana’aa: Disappeared in February 19, 1992 from the place he was teaching in Bodji in Wallaga.
  • Mustafa Idris: Disappeared on his way to home from work in Addis Ababa on May 31, 1994.
  • Takele Oljirraa: Abducted by government intelligence men in November 1992, near “Teklehaymanot” area (Addis Ababa), another person detained in 1994 believes he saw Takale in the Kasainchis secret detetion center in Addis Ababa (OSG August 1995 press release report, p. 13).
  • Takalinyi Dago: Abducted from Addis Ababa by the Ethiopian Secret Service, on January 14, 1996.
    Due to such brutal actions of government forces, some escaped and ended up their lives in Ocean/sea, some suffered in Yemen and other countries, and some seeking asylum in Kenya and waiting for the resettlement option in third countries.
    We thank the Kenya government and people for their hospitality. However, the Ethiopian government forces extended their brutal actions in killing or abducting and taking back, torture and put in prison or kill them.

III. Some examples of such Ethiopian government actions mentioned in “AN OPEN PETITION” of the Oromo Refugee community in Kenya to the UNHCR, September 2013, the followings are the victims of killings and abductions by Ethiopian security forces and mercenaries in neighboring countries:

A. OROMO REFUGEES WHO WERE ASSASSINATED BY ETHIOPIAN SECURITY IN KENYA

1. Jatani Ali<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5585src=”http://i2.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Jatani-Ali.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Jatani Ali” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Jatani Ali, Borana, Oromo leader, former Provincial Governor of Borana Province in Southern Oromia, shot dead by the operatives of Tigray People’s Liberation Front Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front (TPLF/EPRDF) in Nairobi on 2nd July, 1992.

2. In 2003, asylum seeker Mr. Halakhe Diidoo was killed by Ethiopian security in the town of Moyale – Kenya as he crossed to seek asylum.

3. In 2004, Mr. Areeroo Galgalo was gunned down in Moyale – Kenya just some 50 metres away from Moyale Police Station as he was heading to seek asylum at the police station.

4. On 4th September 2007, Mr. Gaaromse Abdisaa was shot dead in Moyale town – Kenya while in bid to save his life and seek asylum.

5. 6th November 2007, a group of ten (10) Oromo refugees were attacked in their living apartment in Eastleign Nairobi. At least two were killed on the sport and some injured.

6. On 20th March 2010, Mr. Asefa Alemu Tana, a refugee with UNHCR File No.: Neth 029833/1 was found dead at his home near a bathroom, with deep head injuries. He lived in Huruma with his family members.

7. Mr. Dalacha Golicha<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5586src=”http://i2.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Mr.-DalachaGolicha.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Mr. Dalacha Golicha” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />On 1st February 2013, Mr. Dalacha Golicha a registered asylum seeker with UNHCR appointment letter was shot dead at his home in Huruma Nairobi.

 

 

8. Mr. Mohamed Kedir<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5587src=”http://i1.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Mr.-Mohamed-Kedir.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Mr. Mohamed Kedir” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />On 4th April 2013, Mr. Mohamed Kedir Helgol was shot dead and left in his private car along Eastleign Street. It’s our great belief with no doubt that the killers of Oromo refugee are the Ethiopian secret security agents in Kenya.

 

 

9. In 1994 a twenty four year old Boru was found hanged on a tree at the backyard of the camp. Most Oromos believe that the EPRDF agents killed him.
10. In 1994 an unknown gunman, who is believed to be an EPRDF agent, shot and killed many Oromo refugees inside the refugee camp.

11. In the same year (1994), an Oromo religious man, Sheik Abdusalam Mohammed Madare, was shot and wounded seriously. As a result, many Oromos living in the camp had protested against the discriminative killings of the Oromo refugee.

12. In 1995 three Oromo houses were burnt down in Kakuma camp, where a 5 year old baby girl, Hajo Ibrahim, was killed.

13. N 1996 a frustrated Oromo refugee, who fled from the camp and was found dead in the surrounding area, after half of his body was eaten by scavengers.

14. In 1998 a group of masked gunmen, showered bullets in the Oromo section of the camp for several hours.

15. In 1998 Mr. Rashid Abubaker was found dead in Eastleign by gunmen believed to be EPRDF agents.

16. In 1999 Mr. Sulxan Adem, Awal and Mohammed Seraj were kidnapped by unknown secret agents, and disappeared.

17. On 3rd June, 2000 a young nationalist Abudulwasi Abdulaziz was killed by EPRDF government secret killing square at Juja Road at Pangani. He was a member of Oromo Traditional Band.

18. In the same year (2000) Mr. Alamu a well known and respected Oromo in Dadab, was killed by unidentified people, but it is believed that those killers were assisted by Ethiopian authorities.

19. In the same year (2000), a UNHCR field officer named Shida had found one of the Ethiopian community members who bought a gun to kill the Oromo. She was said to have brought the person to Nairobi so that he would be charged in Kenya for his killing attempt.

20. In the same year (2000), one Oromo refugee was shot and lost one of his limbs.

21. In the same year (2000), in Dadab Mr. Solomon was shot dead.

22. In 2001 Ifrah Hassen was kidnapped in Kakuma by unknown group of people and her whereabouts unknown to this date.

23. In 2001 Mr. Jamal Mussa, Mr. Mohammed Adem and Mr. Mohammed Jamal and Tofik Water all disappeared and their whereabouts are still unknown.

24. In 2001 again the one Oromo refugee was killed by planned car accident, the car was driven by an Ethiopian who is believed to be an Ethiopian government agent.

25. At the beginning of 2002 Awel Mohammed Hussen was kidnapped from Dadab, and then found while he was taken to Dolo Military Camp in Ethiopia where he was killed by EPRDF soldiers two days later.

26. In the same year four Oromo refugees escaped in Kakuma fleeing to Nairobi from planned assassination by EPRDF squad.

27. On 2nd November 2002 Mr. Indalkachaw Teshome Asefa was murdered by Ethiopian security forces in Moyale town.

28. On the same day the body of Oromo women, believed to be murdered by security force was found in the town.

29. In December, 2009 an organized attempt by the Ethiopian government to deport some innocent Oromo refugee community members Mr. Mamed Said a well known elder of the community Mr. Alemu Ware and Yesuf Mohamed was reversed by the help of concerned bodies and the cry of Oromo community members.

B. DEPORTATION OF OROMO REFUGEES WHO LIVES WITH UNHCR MANDATE IN KENYA

1. Mr. Legesse Angessa and Teklu Baleha Dhinsa were abducted from Dhadhab Refugee Camp and deported back to Ethiopia.

2. In 2005, Mr. Liiban Jarso, Olqabaa Lataa and Amansiisa Guutaa (former student from Addis Ababa University) were abducted from Eastleign, Nairobi and unlawfully deported back to Ethiopia. In connection to this and many other disappearances of Oromo refugees, hundreds of Oromo refugees marched into mass demonstration and gathered outside UNHCR office in Nairobi on 27th December 2005 to complain the rise of insecurity and abduction cases instigated by the Ethiopian government and claimed that some had been killed.

The Kenya government authority intervened and the security detectives arrested three Ethiopian men believed to be secret security agents deployed to cause atrocities to Oromo refugees in Kenya. The three; Mr. Tesfaye Alemayo and Lulu were charged and tried before the law court which ruled and ordered their deportation to Ethiopia.

3. Tesfahu Chemeda 3<img class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-5588src=”http://i0.wp.com/www.ayyaantuu.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Tesfahu-Chemeda-3.jpg?resize=100%2C100″ alt=”Tesfahu Chemeda 3″ data-recalc-dims=”1″ />On 27th April 2007 the Kenya terrorist police arrested Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda and Mesfin Abebe from a Nairobi hotel. They lived as recognized refugees since 2005 under the concern of UNHCR mandate. They were charged as suspected terrorist and arraigned before a law court in Nairobi.

Efforts by members of Oromo community, Kenya Human Rights Commission and the UNHCR to prevent their refoulement went to no avail, when on 7th May 2007 during a court hearing of Hebeus Capeaus, Kenyan officials told a local judge, and the two were already deported back to Ethiopia to face terrorism charges.” (Oromo Refugee Committee in Kenya, 2013).

Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda has been killed in Ethiopian prison and Mesfin Abebe is still in prison.

IV. Another example of mass killings in neighboring countries: According to OSA appeal letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Massacre of Oromo Refugees in Bassaso, Puntland (Somalia) on Tuesday December 01, 2009 in which at least 67 lost their lives and hundreds wounded and another time in Bassaso at different place on 02/05/09 mass massacre of 65 were brutally murdered and more than 100 others were injured.

Ethiopian government security force hunting Oromo Refugees anywhere in neighboring countries nonstop.

V. According to the recent HRLHA’s Urgent Action and Appeal of October 25, 2015, 131 Oromo refugees in Kenya targeted to be abducted or assassinated by the TPLF regime. The action started with the first named in the TPLF list, Mr. Dabasa Guyo Safarro, 80 years old, an Oromo cultural legend, resident of Mololongo, Kenya for more than thirty-five (35) years disappeared on September 27, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.

We are highly concerned for Mr. Dabasa Guyyo’s safety and security as well as the security of other 130 Oromo refugees named in the list.

We request President Uhuru Kenyatta and the government of Kenya to protect Oromo refugees in Kenya and stop the Ethiopian government boundary violations and harassing Oromo refugees.

We ask the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to urge the Ethiopian government stop human rights violations and abuse.

We request the ICRC to take urgent action in search of the where about of Mr. Dabasa Guyyo and safe his life.

We request the UNHCR to protect registered refugees and urgently work on their applications to secure asylum request to third countries.

We request the third countries governments and societies to support refugees who are in urgent need of security for their lives in providing asylum and urgent process for their resettlement.

Peace and justice for all,

Yours Sincerely,

Dinknesh Deressa Kitila
International Oromo women’s Organization
Board Director

Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere!!!

Related:-

OMN: Jim Bernholtz’s Appeal on The Disappearance of Dabbasa Guyyo Nov. 14, 2015

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/11/omn-jim-bernholtzs-appeal-on-the-disappearance-of-dabbasa-guyyo-nov-14-2015/

Oromia (Buraayyuu): Burrayyuutti dubartoonni lama ijoollee isaanii waliin hurufatti gataman. November 23, 2015

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???????????Tigrean Neftengna's land grabbing and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocideSay no to the master killer. Addis Ababa master plan is genocidal plan against Oromo people. Say no.

 

(OMN:Oduu Sadaasa 22,2015): Godina addaa naannawa Finfinnee qarqara Magaalaa Burraayyuutti, dubartoonni Oromoo harka qaalleeyyiifi, abbaan warraa sababa dhibee HIV AIDsiitiin irraa du’e, mana godoo keessa jiraatan keessaa ari’amanii ilmaan isaanii waliin daandiirratti akka gataman OMNtti himan.
Godina addaa naannaawa Finfinnee, Magaalaa Burraayyuu keessaa jiraataa kan turte dubartiin Oromoo Caaltuu Deebisaa jedhamtu, abbaa worraa isii dhibee HIV-AIDS’n erga dhabdeen duuba, jireenni itti hammaatee rakkinyaaf akka saaxilamteefi kiraa manaa kafalachuu dadhabuu irraa kan ka’een ijoollee isii lamaan qabattee magaalaa keessaa gara qarqara magaalaatti akka baate OMNtti himteerti. Dubartiin kun, maagaalaa Burraayyuu, qaraqara magaalatti baahuun isii, mana ona barbaaddee itti galuuf akka ta’e dubbarteerti.
Dubartiin Oromoo, Tigist Fantaayee jedhamtu tan lammeessoo ammoo, abbaa manaa isiitiifi ijoollee isii afur woliin kiraa manaa kafalachuu waan dadhabaniif, mana namni ijaarratee keessa hin jiraanne qe’ee eegaafii, mana nama biraa keessa jiraataa akka turaniifi dhumarratti worri mana qe’ee isaaniitti gallaan, carraa Caaltuu Deebisaa akka isaanirra gahe Tigisti dubbatee jirti. Dubartoonni Oromoo harka qalleeyyi ta’an Caaltuufi Tigist mana caakkaa keessatti ijaaramee oneeru, kan waggaa sadiif namni itti hin galitti, waliin akka itti galan Tigisti Faantayee OMNtti himteerti.
Dubartoota Oromoo rakkinni maatii taasisee, miseensi maatiin lamaanii namni saddeeti ji’a torbaaf namni abbaa kanaa osoo hin jedhiniin nageyaan keessa jiraataa turanii, ji’a torbaan dubbaa garuu qaamoleen mootummaa ijaaramanii kanniisa keessatti horsiisuuf matii saniin keessaa bahaa akka jedhaniin Tigisti dubbarteerti.
Durbatoonni Oromoo harka kaleeyyii kunneen kara qaamni dhimmi ilaallatu, bulchiinsa magaalaa Buurraayyuu bira yoo deemanille, “nuttu ajajee keessaa bahaa nuun jechuun, qabanii nu hidhanii qodaa keennaalle alatti darbannaan sodaannee baanee daandiirratti bahuun, ala buluu erga eegalle guyyootaa sadiin lakkosfneerraa” jedhan.
Lafa Oromoo irratti ormi cakkaafi lafa qabatee jiraataa osoo jiru, nuuti daa’immaan Oromoo harkatti baannee daandiirratti gatamuun keennaa guddaa nu gaddiseesee jira” jechuun Tigist Fantaayee dubbateerti.

Daani’eel Bariisoo Areeritu gabaase.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/11/burrayyuutti-dubartoonni-lama-ijoollee-isaanii-waliin-hurufatti-gataman/

 

Biyya itti dhallanne gudanneti abban hirree Ethiopia qabeenyaa keenyaa saamuun itti xiqqaatee maati 6 mana issanii keessa gara bosonaati bineesaaf darbatee jira.Akkuma suuraa issanii armaan gadiiti argitanitti maatiin kun kan jiraachaa turan Burayyuu ganda Malika Gafarsaa Goxii Burqaa Illaala jedhamuu sabaa oromo ta’an irran kan ka’ee daimaa walin lafa ykn mana isan kessaa jiraatan fudhachuudhan gatamanii jiru.

– See more at: http://www.caboowanci.com/2015/11/22/maatin-lamii-oromo-6-bosona-keessati-gatamanii/#sthash.1EpJKlcl.0O9NfIVb.dpuf

Oromo Community Organization (OCO) Appeal Regarding the Disappearance of Mr. Dabassa Guyo November 20, 2015

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???????????Hayyuu Aadaa fi Argaa-Dhageettii Oromoo Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo. photo1

Oromo_Community_Organization_in_DC
November 16, 2015His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta
Office of the President
The Republic of Kenya
Harambee Avenue
P.O. Box 74434 – 00200
Nairobi, Kenya.Appeal Regarding the Disappearance of Mr. Dabassa Guyo

Your Excellency President Kenyatta,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of Washington DC Metro Area. OCO was founded as a non-profit organization with the main objective to help Oromo Diaspora, to promote the development of the Oromo language and culture through education and to advocate for the human rights of the Oromo in Diaspora and their relatives in the Horn of Africa.

It is with great shock that we learned the disappearance of Dabasa Guyo – a prominent Oromo Cultural and religious leader residing in Nairobi, Kenya. Mr. Dabassa Guyo was born and raised in the Borana region of Oromia, Ethiopia. Since the Derg and TPLF governments came to power to the present, hundreds of thousands of Oromo and other nationals have run away from arbitrary detentions, degrading tortures and violent killings in Ethiopia to save their lives by seeking refuge in the Republic of Kenya and other neighboring countries. Mr. Dabassa Guyo, has moved to Kenya several decades ago for his safety and due to the persecution of the Oromo people in Ethiopia. Mr. Guyo has been residing in Nairobi for the last thirty-five years until his sudden and mysterious disappearance on September 27, 2015.

Mr. Guyo is an indigenous Oromo philosopher and cultural expert.  During his entire life, he has been a peacemaker and has developed a philosophy of peaceful living and coexistence among the human race. He has traveled to the United States of America, and several countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America to teach ways of peaceful living and the resurrection of Oromo culture and ancient civilization, including the Gadaa System (Oromo democracy). Mr. Guyo is a founding father of Oromo civic institution known as Argaa-Dhageeti and a walking encyclopedia of the Gadaa System. In particular his profound knowledge of the Gada system – an indigenous Democratic system of governance- has placed him among the few irreplaceable Oromo experts in the Horn of Africa. Over the last three decades, thousands of Oromo refugees have attended his cultural education center in Nairobi, Kenya, to learn about Oromo culture, history and an indigenous religion. His former students are now scattered all over the world. Mr. Dabassa Guyo is a family man and a prominent teacher of the Oromo people.

Mr. Dabasa Guyo took part in the celebration of Irreecha on September 2015- an annual Oromo thanks giving day – where he delivered his annual thanks giving blessings to his fellow Oromo country men. On this day,   he was kidnapped while on his way from the ceremony

We are shocked by his sudden disappearance. Family members, relatives and his formers students have been trying to learn his whereabouts for over six weeks with no results. It is puzzling that someone would attempt to hurt or abduct such a peaceful person and an elder who had been preaching peace all his adult life. But based on a document which the Ethiopian government submitted to your government, which we recently learned from public sources, and other numerous acts of violence that the Ethiopian government has been perpetrating against Oromo refugees in the Horn of Africa, we suspect that Mr. Guyo was abducted by Ethiopian security agents. The letter to your government lists Mr. Guyo at top of 131 Oromo refugees residing in your country whom the Ethiopian government considers terrorists and wants to be repatriated. In fact, threats, illegal and criminal acts of violence against Oromo refugees by the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian government is not new. It has been engaging in terrorizing and killing the Oromo people in general and the Borana Oromo in particular for the last twenty four years. In 1992, the Ethiopian government sent its security agents and assassinated Mr. Jatani (Mebeatsion) Ali, a prominent Oromo and former administrator of the Boraana region in Ethiopia. Furthermore, the government has been sending its security agents to Kenya to abduct other prominent Oromos that it suspects to be national leaders and opinion makers among the Oromo society. For example, Engineer Tesfahun Chamada was abducted, tortured and killed in Ethiopian prison in 2013. We fear that Mr. Guyo may have been a victim of similar act of violence conducted by the Ethiopian government. He may have been abducted to be tortured and killed. Sadly, if our worst fear proves to be true, it will be a huge tragedy and an immense disappointment for the Oromo people and for all peace loving peoples of the world.  In short, it is a great loss to the world’s humanity.

Therefore, we appeal to you, so that you could use your presidential power to find the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Guyo and return him to his peaceful daily life and his family, so that he could continue his contributions to the development of peace-making and education of his people and others about indigenous Oromo civilization. As a longtime resident of your country, Mr. Guyo and his family deserve the highest protection afforded to all refugees under international law.

We request that you and your government protect Oromo refugees in Kenya and stop the Ethiopian government from harassing Oromo refugees and engaging in gross human rights. Particularly, we request you to take urgent actions to find the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Guyo, secure his immediate release and return to his family safely.

Sincerely,

Desta Yebassa, PhD

Board President
Oromo community Organization (OCO)
6212 3rd St NW,
Washington DC 20011
Phone: (office):202-234-1151
(Mobile): 202-422-8971

CC:

Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs
PO Box 56057-00200, Co-operative Bank House, Nairobi

Mr. Antonio Guterres United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR)
Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Geneve 2 Depot Suisse
Email. infoDesk@ohchr.org;GUTERRES@unhcr.org Attention

The UNHCR Representation in Kenya
P.O. Box 43801-00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya
Email: kenna@unhcr.org

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations Office at Geneva 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
E-mail: tb-petitions@ohchr.org

 

Related:

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/11/omn-jim-bernholtzs-appeal-on-the-disappearance-of-dabbasa-guyyo-nov-14-2015/

 

TV4: Journalist Martin Schibbye who was imprisoned in Ethiopia : “I never thought I would see Chala again” November 5, 2015

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???????????Stop Torture

Journalist Martin Schibbye who was imprisoned in Ethiopia together with his colleague Johan Persson heard strange noises.In the next cell was subjected dissident poet and his cellmate Chala Hailu Abata of torture. They got in touch and it was the start of a friendship that eventually took Martin and Chala to Färila in Hälsingland.

http---prima.tv4play.se-multimedia-vman-VMan-P321-VMan-P3218475

Click the following link to listen to:-

http://www.tv4.se/efter-tio/klipp/martin-schibbye-jag-trodde-aldrig-jag-skulle-f%C3%A5-se-chala-igen-3218475?utm_campaign=tv4.se-framework&utm_content=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.tv4.se%2Fefter-tio%2Fklipp%2Fmartin-schibbye-jag-trodde-aldrig-jag-skulle-f%25C3%25A5-se-chala-igen-3218475&utm_medium=facebook-like&utm_source=www.tv4.se

Kenya: Oromo Refugees and Asylum Seekers are at Risk October 27, 2015

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HRLHA

HRLHA’s Urgent Action and Appeal

October 25, 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact Details

Appeal To: The President of the Republic of Kenya 
Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta
President of the Republic of Kenya
Nairobi
Box 74434-00200
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254 203 247000
Your Excellency,

First of all, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its appreciation to the people of Kenya and to its government for their hospitality and kindness towards thousands of Oromo and other refugees and asylum seekers who have fled their homes to escape government persecutions in Ethiopia, and who are now residing in different parts of the Republic of Kenya including in the capital city, Nairobi. Since the early 1990’s, when the TPLF government came to power to the present, hundreds of thousands of Oromo and other nationals have run away from arbitrary detentions, degrading tortures and violent killings in Ethiopia to save their lives by seeking refuge in the Republic of Kenya and other neighboring countries.

However, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern regarding the safety of all Oromo national refugees and asylum seekers presently residing in the Republic of Kenya because of the document it recently received from its informants. The document was written by the Ethiopian Government agency, the so called “Anti-Terrorist Unit”, and sent to the Republic of Kenya Government. It addresses the bi-lateral agreement signed by both countries in 2012.

In this communique, the Ethiopian Government’s “Anti-Terrorist Unit” reminds the Republic of Kenya Government of the bi-lateral agreement made between the two countries in 2012, an agreement that expresses issues of common interest such as terrorism on which both countries should find a common

 

solution. document

The communique discloses the names of 131 Oromo Nationals and their addresses and telephone numbers in Nairobi and in different township areas; the agency claimed the source of its information was the Ethiopian intelligence unit.  In the names listed among the 131 Oromo Nationals in this communique is Mr. Dabassa Guyyo, an Oromo cultural legend who recently disappeared in Nairobi. His name was at the top of the list. (#1).

List of Oromo National Refugees and Asylum seekers in Kenya labeled as terrorists by the so- called “ANTI TERRORIST UNIT”, the Ethiopian Government agent.

No Name Sex No Name Sex
1 Dabasa Guyo M 67 Fawaz Ahmed M
2 Dirirsa Kejela (Wakjira) M 68 Lami Sori M
3 Dachas Roba M 69 Abdo Asabot M
4 Shamil Aliyi M 70 Lenco Eliyas M
5 Keranso Abdisa M 71 Asha Bire F
6 Mahamed Abaye M 72 Faxe Aniya F
7 Gaddisa Lammi M 73 Diribe Gada F
8 Alemayehu Iddosa M 74 Aman Gobena M
9 Tolera Mogasa M 75 Shafis Akil M
10 Shaga Arado M 76 Tajudin Ibrahim M
11 Abdusalam Muktar M 77 Temesgen Kumsa M
12 Galgalo Jilo M 78 Maya Dagale M
13 Fikadu Dirriba M 79 Abdata Saba M
14 Gosaye Anota M 80 Shifera Kumala M
15 Jamal Ibro M 81 Lami Dugasa M
16 Chali Nagasa M 82 Mahadi Harar M
17 Kalil Mohamed M 83 Shamsadi Abdurazak M
18 Mohamed Taha M 84 Godana Nure M
19 Mohamed Zakaria M 85 Hawi Falmata F
20 Mohamed Abdullah M 86 Fardosa Mohamed M
21 Idris Negawo M 87 Fatiya Ame F
22 Shukuri Mohamed M 88 Roba Gada M
23 Buke Chulo M 89 Yomsan Abaye M
24 Abdi Guddina M 90 Mohamed Kedir M
25 Ana Saba M 91 Ayub Hussien M
26 Bahar Harari M 92 Tahir Kadir M
27 Lemo Wariyo M 93 Adele Ahmed M
28 Wayu Malka M 94 Tura Ahmed M
29 Tamam Ahmed M 95 Alemayehu Wallaga M
30 Magarsa Bikila M 96 Chala Ragassa M
31 Galgalo Dhiri M 97 Fira’ol Ambo M
32 Kadir Jale M 98 Hailu Jifara M
33 Falma Roro M 99 Lucho Bayitu M
34 Obsa Lenco M 100 Shifera Biranu M
35 Mustafa Boki M 101 Nuradin Musa M
36 Gugsa Tulu M 102 Mahadi Jundi M
37 Dida Kena’a M 103 Waljira Mangasha M
38 Gaga Jimma M 104 Tiya Nure M
39 Gada Mulatu M 105 Anane Tamiry M
40 Bontu Ambo F 106 Dure Nagasa M
41 Barnan Saba M 107 Dika Godana M
42 Abdi Denge M 108 Dalacha Iddi M
43 Nur Kadir M 109 Galane Dasta F
44 Sa’id Hussein M 110 Alemayehu Kitaw M
45 Berhanu Mulisa (Tola) M 111 Mikael Wallaga M
46 Abdi Hirphasa M 112 Kasu Wallaga M
47 Tolasa Gada M 113 Solomon Wallaga M
48 Aman Samuna M 114 Mohamed Hussein M
49  Bilisumma Hordofa M 115 Birhanu Ambo M
50 Fita Mideksa M 116 Abdurashad Marfo M
51 Abdullah Ahmed M 117 Badhne Kafani M
52 Darara Irbo M 118 Solomon Kebede M
53 Jalata Wallaga M 119 Mekonen Beyene M
54 Milkessa Wakjira M 120 Zalalem Teshome M
55 Sanyi Wallaga M 121 Habib Hussein M
56 Yeron Biru M 122 Abdo Hebo M
57 Daku Gababa M 123 Tahir Hassen M
58 Timaj Taha M 124 Abba Arsiti M
59 Misira Mama M 125 Mohamed  Tahir M
60 Badriya Boro F 126 Abba Hussein M
61 Badriya Nur F 127 Haji Abas M
62 Maksina Amano M 128 Abdullah Hamza M
63 Abdi Ibrahim M 129 Aba Qube M
64 Aliyi Sabit M 130 Haji Hassen kalid M
65 Chala Bultum M 131 Omar Alqadir M
66 Jafar Yusuf M

dabassa_guyyo

The disappearance of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro is disheartening and HRLHA is deeply shocked.

Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro, age 80, a resident of Mololongo, Kenya for more than thirty- five years disappeared on September 27, 2015 in Nairobi.  The HRLHA is highly suspicious that the disappearance of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo  Safarro is connected with the campaign of Ethiopian authorities labelling Oromo refugees in Nairobi as terrorists.  HRLHA also suspect that Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro is being held in Nairobi, or might have been deported to Ethiopia. In either case the Kenyan Authorities have an international legal obligation to not hand over Ethiopian refugee and asylum seekers residing in their territory to the Ethiopian Government and need to disclose the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Goya Safarro to his family and the public- and give the reason for his arrest.

In case Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro has been handed over to Ethiopia, it should be noted that the Ethiopian Government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were involuntarily returned to the country. The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons and sentences them to life in prison, and often imposes the death penalty. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other unofficial or secret detention centers. Under Article 33 (1) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (189 U.N.T.S. 150), to which Kenya is a party, “[n] o contracting state shall expel or forcibly return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his. . . Political opinion.” This obligation, which is also a principle of customary international law, applies to both asylum seekers and refugees, as affirmed by UNHCR’s Executive Committee and the United Nations General Assembly. By deporting refugees, the Republic of Kenya Government will be breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary law.

  1. Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185) to which Kenya agreed in 1997, Kenya has an obligation not to return a person to a place where they 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.
  2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights. We strongly urge the government of Kenya to respect the international treaties and obligations it has signed and ratified.

Therefore, HRLHA would like to draw the attention of Western Governments, the UN Human Rights Council, the EU Human Rights Commission, the African People’s and Human Rights Commission as well as other regional and international human rights organizations and NGOs to these worrisome safety situations of Oromo refugees in the Republic of Kenya and take all necessary actions against:

Background Information:

The Kenyan Government is well known for handing over refugees to the Ethiopian Government by violating the above mentioned international obligations. It is very disheartening to recall that Engineer Tesfahun Chemeda, who was tortured to death on August 24, 2013 in Ethiopia’s grand jail of Kaliti, was handed over to Ethiopian Government Security Agents in 2007 by the Kenyan Government. Tesfahun Chemeda was arrested by the Kenyan anti-terrorist forces, along with his close friend Mesfin Abebe, in 2007 in Nairobi, Kenya, where both had lived as refugees since 2005. Both were later deported to Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Government detained them in an underground jail in a military camp for over one year, during which time they were subjected to severe torture and other types of inhuman treatment until when they were taken to court and changed with terrorism offenses in December 2008. They were eventually sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2010. (Mesfin’s death sentence was later commuted.)

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned for the safety and security of  Mr Dabasa Guyyo Safarro who disappeared in Nairobi on September 27, 2015, whose name along with the above listed refugees was also labeled by the Ethiopian Government as terrorists and  those who are still living in Kenya. It urges the government of Kenya to respect the international treaties and obligations, to not cooperate with the Ethiopian unfounded allegations and disclose the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro. The Kenyan Government should also reject the unfounded allegations of Ethiopian Government against Oromo national refugees and asylum seekers residing in Kenya.

HRLHA requests the governments of the Western countries as well as international organizations to interfere in this matter so that the whereabouts of Mr. Dabassa Guyyo are disclosed and safety and security of the refugees of those currently staying in Kenya are ensured.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

  1. Please send appeals to the President, the Kenyan Parliament and Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kenya and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, or your own language expressing
  2. Urging the authorities of Kenya to ensure that Mr. Dabassa Guyyo Safarro is treated in accordance with regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners
  3. Urging the authorities in Kenya to completely reject the unfounded allegation of the Ethiopian Dictatorial Government about Oromo refugees living in Kenya.

Copied To:

Oromia: Sabboonan Oromoo Barataa Tarreessaa Safaraamooraa Yunivarsiitii Mattuu keessatti Ajjeefame. Oromo national Tarreessaa Safaraa, Engineering student at Mattu University murdered by TPLF/ Ethiopian Security agents on 23rd October 2015 October 24, 2015

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???????????

(Oromedia, Mattuu, 24 Onkoloolessa 2015) Yeroo addaddaatti hidhaa keessatti dararamaa kan ture Barataa Tarreessaa Safaraa Onkololessa 23 galgala mooraa Yunivarsiitii Mattuu keessatti ajjeefamuun gabaasame.

Tarreessaa Safara_nMaddi gabaasaa keenyaa akka himetti, barataan kun yeroo hedduu humnoota tikaatiin hordofamaa ture.

Hiriyyoota isaattis, akka hordofamaa jiru himaa ture.

Tarreessaan eenyuu?

Barataa Tarreessaa Safaraa utuu barnoota idileerra jiruu bara 1999 barataa kutaa 11 ta’ee osoo jiruu yakka shororkeessummaan himatamee murteen waggaa 10 erga itti murtaa’e.  Kanumaan mana hidhaa Maa’ikelaawwii, Qaallittii, Qilinxoo fi Zuwaayitti jijjiiramee hidhamaa ture.

Haataúutii baratan kun yeroo hidhaa keessa turetti, hidhaa fi roorroof otuu hin jilbeeffanne, hiree argametti dhimma bahee beekumsaa fi dandeettii isa aguddifachaa ture.

Wayita mana hidhaa turettis tattaaffii inni waa dubbisee waa barachuuf godhaa ture namooti hedduu dinqisiifachaa kan turan hiriyooti isaa ragaa bahu.

Turtii waggaa jahaa fi ji’a saddet booda mana hidhaa bahe barnoota isaa bara 2007 xumuruun bara kana yuniversiitii Mattuutti ramadamee ture; akkanaan barnootatti deebi’uun hawwiisaa galmaan gahachuuf carraaqqii godheen Yunivarsiitii Mattuu muummee Injiinariingii seene.

Tarreessaa Eenyutu ajjeesee?

Oduun caasaa mootummaa iffaa facaafama ajiru, tarreessaan of ajjeese kan jedhuudha. Haata’uutii, Tarreessan sababa of ajjeesuuf akka hin qabne, kanneen itti dhiyaatan ragaa dha. “Tarreessaan of ajjeese jedhamee himamaa jira; kun waan taúu natti hin fakaatu,” kan jedhe barataan nageenya isaatiif jecha maqaa isaa jijjiiree “Olumaa” nuun jedhee, “Tarreessan kan ajjeefame humnoota tikaatiin; kun shakkii tokko illee hin qabu,” jedheera.

Tarreessaan goota obsa, kutannoo fi qabsoo Oromoof jaalala guddaa qabu, dargaggeessa qaroo ture.

Tarreessaan eessatti dhalate?

Barataa Engineeringii Waggaa 1ffaa kan ture, Tarreessaa Safaraa Lammeessaa Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaggaa Magaalaa Shaambuu dhalate. Yuunivarsiitii Mattuu erga seenees amala gaarii akn qabu, naamusaa fi kabajaan hiriyyoota isaa waliin barumsa isaa hordofaa  ture.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/10/omn-london-oduu-onkololeessa-24-2015/

Humni Tikaa Wayyaanee Barataa Qaroo fi Sabboonaa Tarreessaa Safaraa Yuuniversitii Mattuu Keessatti Ajjeessuun Gabaafame.

Yeroo addaddaatti hidhaa keessatti dararamaa kan ture Barataa Tarreessaa Safaraa Onkololessa 23 galgala mooraa Yunivarsiitii Mattuu keessatti ajjeefamuun gabaasame.

Tarreessaa Safara_nMaddi gabaasaa keenyaa akka himetti, barataan kun yeroo hedduu humnoota tikaatiin hordofamaa ture.

Hiriyyoota isaattis, akka hordofamaa jiru himaa ture.

Tarreessaan eenyuu?

Barataa Tarreessaa Safaraa utuu barnoota idileerra jiruu bara 1999 barataa kutaa 11 ta’ee osoo jiruu yakka shororkeessummaan himatamee murteen waggaa 10 erga itti murtaa’e.  Kanumaan mana hidhaa Maa’ikelaawwii, Qaallittii, Qilinxoo fi Zuwaayitti jijjiiramee hidhamaa ture.

Haataúutii baratan kun yeroo hidhaa keessa turetti, hidhaa fi roorroof otuu hin jilbeeffanne, hiree argametti dhimma bahee beekumsaa fi dandeettii isa aguddifachaa ture.

Wayita mana hidhaa turettis tattaaffii inni waa dubbisee waa barachuuf godhaa ture namooti hedduu dinqisiifachaa kan turan hiriyooti isaa ragaa bahu.

Turtii waggaa jahaa fi ji’a saddet booda mana hidhaa bahe barnoota isaa bara 2007 xumuruun bara kana yuniversiitii Mattuutti ramadamee ture; akkanaan barnootatti deebi’uun hawwiisaa galmaan gahachuuf carraaqqii godheen Yunivarsiitii Mattuu muummee Injiinariingii seene.

Tarreessaa Eenyutu ajjeesee?

Oduun caasaa mootummaa iffaa facaafama ajiru, tarreessaan of ajjeese kan jedhuudha. Haata’uutii, Tarreessan sababa of ajjeesuuf akka hin qabne, kanneen itti dhiyaatan ragaa dha. “Tarreessaan of ajjeese jedhamee himamaa jira; kun waan taúu natti hin fakaatu,” kan jedhe barataan nageenya isaatiif jecha maqaa isaa jijjiiree “Olumaa” nuun jedhee, “Tarreessan kan ajjeefame humnoota tikaatiin; kun shakkii tokko illee hin qabu,” jedheera.

Tarreessaan goota obsa, kutannoo fi qabsoo Oromoof jaalala guddaa qabu, dargaggeessa qaroo ture.

Tarreessaan eessatti dhalate?

Barataa Engineeringii Waggaa 1ffaa kan ture, Tarreessaa Safaraa Lammeessaa Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaggaa Magaalaa Shaambuu dhalate. Yuunivarsiitii Mattuu erga seenees amala gaarii akn qabu, naamusaa fi kabajaan hiriyyoota isaa waliin barumsa isaa hordofaa  ture.

Haata’u malee guyyaa kaleessaa doormii dhabamuun har’a reeffi isaa argame. Ajjeechaan ilmaan Oromoo qaroo ta’an irratti raawwatamu har’as itti fufeera.

Haata’u malee guyyaa kaleessaa doormii dhabamuun har’a reeffi isaa argame. Ajjeechaan ilmaan Oromoo qaroo ta’an irratti raawwatamu har’as itti fufeera.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/10/omn-london-oduu-onkololeessa-24-2015/

UNPO: Oromo: Enforced Disappearance of Prominent Community Leader October 15, 2015

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???????????Hayyuu Aadaa fi Argaa-Dhageettii Oromoo Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo. photo1

Oromo: Enforced Disappearance of Prominent Community Leader

Dabassa Guyo Saffaro, an important member of the Oromo community, with expertise in Oromo culture and cosmology, has been missing since 27 September 2015. He has long been persecuted by the Ethiopian government, and fled to Kenya in the 1970s. He has been living under UNHCR protection in Nairobi since then. His disappearance marks a continuation of the Ethiopian government’s consistent attacks on the Oromo people; his family and friends are calling on international human rights organisations to help the search effort.

Below is an article published by OPride:

A prominent Oromo wisdom keeper, oral historian and spiritual leader, who spent more than 30 years teaching the Oromo culture and cosmology, has been missing since September 27, family and friends said.

Dabassa Guyo Saffaro was born and raised in Yabello, Ethiopia. He moved to Kenya in the early 1970s fleeing political persecution, according to his daughter Darmi. He has since lived in Nairobi at times under the protection of the UNHCR. Guyo was in the process of renewing his expired Kenyan ID and UNHCR travel documents when he vanished.

Darmi, 22, is calling on the UN refugee agency, the Kenyan media, government and lawmakers to help locate her father, whom many describe as a living encyclopedia of Oromo wisdom, cosmology and oral tradition. The family is also asking international human rights organizations, the Oromo diaspora and other indigenous community leaders to help in the search effort and in investigating the circumstances of his disappearance.

“My father is a good man,” Darmi told OPride by phone from Mlolongo, where until recently she lived with Guyo, her two children and two other siblings. “He doesn’t have any quarrels with people. He is the greatest dad in the world.”

About half a dozen of Guyo’s former students contacted by OPride attest to the oral historian’s generosity, gentle spirit and kindness. Asnake Erko is the first of Guyo’s graduates and his former assistant. “I met him in Kenya in early 2000,” Erko told OPride. “Dabasa is a very kind man who shares from what he gets from good Samaritans. He is a man whose knowledge has no limits.”

Erko and nine other Oromo refugees eventually convinced Guyo to start teaching a course on Gadaa and Oromo culture. The effort led to the establishment in 2000 of “Arga Dhageettii Gadaa Oromoo,” an Oromo cultural institute where Guyo continued to teach Oromo culture, spirituality and the Gadaa system until recently.

Guyo was picked up from his residence in Mlolongo, a township outside of Nairobi, on September 25 by his son-in-law, Shamil Ali, and another individual from Kenya’s Oromo community, according to Darmi. He was invited by the community to preside over and perform rituals at an Irreechaa celebration at Nairobi’s City Park on September 27, something he has done every year for decades.

The respected leader reportedly returned to Eastleigh that evening after performing the ritual to spend the night with Ali, Darmi’s ex-husband. Ali says the father of six changed into a regular wardrobe after they got home and stepped outside for what he assumed was a “routine” walk. Ali says he became gradually more concerned when the elder did not return after an hour and as the night began to fall. Guyo was last seen wearing white pants and green sandals.

Darmi thought it was odd — and even uncharacteristic — for Guyo to leave behind all of his belongings and identification cards even if he ventured out for a quick walk. “My father never leaves his bag behind,” said Darmi, adding that her father had lived in Kenya for nearly four decades and knew his way around Eastleigh very well. “I was told Dad left everything of his behind, but still he can’t just get lost like a kid.” Guyo speaks Swahili and Oromo.

Ali and Guyo’s acquaintances in the United States and Europe fear that he might have fallen into the wrong hands, noting that Eastleigh is no longer a friendly neighborhood for immigrants. That the missing elder looks like a Somali in his physical appearance almost doesn’t help in an environment charged with official ethnic profiling, according to Jim Berenholtz, who had known Guyo for more than two decades. In recent years, Kenyan security officials have rounded up immigrants — particularly Somalis — en masse amid a heightened crackdown on those suspected of having links or sympathies for the militant group, Al-Shabab.

Erko and some members of the Oromo diaspora have raised concerns that Ethiopian security forces might have kidnapped Guyo because of his political views. (The Ethiopian intelligence in Kenya has a long history of targeting and kidnapping Oromo nationals in the country.)

Guyo’s family is desperately seeking information about his whereabouts. Ali maintains that he had searched local police stations, jails, hospitals and mortuaries for the missing elder at no avail. Darmi, who is seeking a divorce from Ali, questions some of her ex-husband’s accounts of her father’s unexplained disappearance and she plans to file a separate missing person report this week.

Both say they can’t rule anything out at this point, including a possibility that Ethiopian spies might have kidnapped the spiritual leader. One theory is that Guyo gave an unfavorable speech at Ireechaa and there were spies at the event. Ali also recalls Guyo had in recent months complained about some “pressure” from the Ethiopian embassy in Kenya. Erko and at least two of Guyo’s former acquaintances in the U.S. recall he always had concerns about his safety and had told them unidentified individuals had been nagging him to return to Oromia and teach Gadaa — an offer they say Guyo had repeatedly refused. Those who knew him say Guyo was openly critical of the Ethiopian government and the atrocities it commits against the Oromo people and the systemic repression of their culture. Understandably, there are a lot of speculations about his whereabouts and what might have befallen him. But at this point the family says their best hope is that the elder is indeed in Kenyan or Ethiopian custody.

His former students, including Berenholtz and Erko, say Guyo was a truly gifted orator with a very deep knowledge of the universe and the Oromo Gadaa system. The highly respected seer and mystic was an informant to such prominent anthropologists as Gamachu Magarsa, Paul Baxter and many others who have studied the Gadaa system.

In recent years, Guyo has been working with several globally recognized researchers, anthropologists and other indigenous nations, such as the Mayans, American Indians , Kyrgyz, the Altaic and other indigenous groups to raise awareness about Oromo cosmology and indigenous belief system. Over the past decade, the Oromo wisdom has travelled to the U.S., Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Australia and several European countries to share his wisdom with Oromo expats and other indigenous people.

Erko and others say Guyo had a unique ability to distill complex concepts about astronomy, a sophisticated Oromo calendar and numerology system “and make you sit there (listening) the whole day without even thinking that you were there for a second.” The renowned historian can reference specific dates and historical events from memory in each and every part of Oromia, according to Erko. He also had an unmatched ability to not only interpret but also connect age-old Oromo prophecies with current events.

None of the people we spoke with could conclusively say he’s kidnapped but all point to the history of Ethiopian intelligentsia in targeting such prominent Oromo nationals even beyond its borders. In addition to his lecture at Irreechaa, which his friends say may have drawn the ire of the Ethiopian intelligence, Guyo has been traveling around the world to teach Gadaa and raise awareness about the systemic suppression of Oromo culture and heritage in Ethiopia. Guyo’s disappearance on the same day he spoke at Irreechaa appears to lend some credence to their suspicion.

Anyone with information about Guyo’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact his family or the Oromo community organization in Nairobi. You can also send an anonymous tip to OPride at oromsisblog@gmail.com.

 

Photo credit: Rod Waddington @Flickr

http://unpo.org/article.php?id=18635

Oromia/Human Rights: Ethiopian Government Paramilitary Commits Torture and Rape in Oromia October 13, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

Ethiopian Government Paramilitary Commits Torture and Rape in Oromia

The following is a statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA).

 

HRLHA Urgent Action October 12, 2015

Harassments and intimidations through arbitrary arrests, beatings, torture and rapes were committed in Ada’a Berga district Western Showa Zone of Oromia Regional State against young Oromo nationals on September 24 and 25, 2015. More than 30 young Oromos were picked up from their homes at night by an Oromia paramilitary force. According to HRLHA informants in Ada’a Berga, the major targets of this most recent District Administration officials-sponsored violence were mostly young Oromos working in the Dangote Cement Factory and university students who were there to visit their families in the summer break. HRLHA informants from the area confirmed that this particular operation against young Oromo nationals in Ada’a Barga was led by the local government official obbo Tolera Anbasse. In this incident more than 30 young Oromos (16-25 ages) were arrested; more than 20 were severely beaten by the Oromia Paramilitary and confined in the Ada’a Barga district Police station for three days in violation of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Article 19 (3) “Persons arrested have the right to be brought before a court within 48 hours of their arrest. Such time shall not include the time reasonably required for the journey from the place of arrest to the court. On appearing before a court, they have the right to be given prompt and specific explanation of the reasons for their arrest due to the alleged crime committed”. Although it has been difficult to identify everyone by their names, HRLHA informants have confirmed that the following were among the arrestees:

1) Rabbirraa Gaarradoo
2) Fiqaaduu Amaaraa
3) Tasfaayee Dalasaa
4) Biraanuu siyyumee
5) Tolasaa Guutamaa
6) Muluu Balaachoo
7) Alamuu G/mariyam
8) Abbush Masfiin
9) Daniel Taarraqany
10) Fiqaaduu Tolasaa
11) Biraanuu Dabalaa
12) Katanga Baayyuu
13) Fayyisaa Raggaanee
14) Kaasahun Baqqalaa
15) Alamuu Ajjabii
16) Nuwaay Tasfaayee
17) Lataa Taaddasaa

All arrestees were accused of what the police referred to as “instigating the public against the government.”

When the arrestees were brought to court, one man explained to the court that he had been beaten severely in front of his family members and his wife and his sister age 16 were raped by one of the paramilitary members.

The arrestees showed their scarred backs to the court to indicate the torture inflicted on them by the Paramilitary. Even though the court released all the arrestees on bail the police refused the court order and took them to jail.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these arrested Oromo nationals and urge the Oromia Regional State Government to make sure that the bail conditions granted by the court are respected and release the arrestees unconditionally. HRLHA also urges the Oromia Regional State and the Ethiopian government to bring the torturers and rapists Ethiopian government paramilitary members to justice.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/10/omn-oduu-onk-13-2015/

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/widespread-brutalities-of-the-ethiopian-government-against-the-oromo-people-in-different-parts-of-the-state-of-oromia/

Oromia: The Agony of Oromo athletes under TPLF Ethiopia’s tyranny. #Africa September 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo.
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???????????Stop Torture

Running for their lives, Ethiopians seek a safer track in Washington

Many of the Ethiopian runners belong to the Oromo ethnic group, which accounts for more than one-third of the country’s population, according to the most recent census, making it by far the most populous ethnic group. “Oromo is no good to them,” explained one runner, who was detained three times but never faced charges. 

Oromos hold few positions of power in Ethiopia, and the EPRDF has governed the nation for more than two decades. In May, Ethiopia held its most recent national election, and the EPRDF and its allies swept every one of the 547 parliamentary seats.

“Most of the stories you hear now out of Ethiopia are about this sort of economic growth and development happening,” said Felix Horne, a researcher with the Human Rights Watch, the international watchdog and advocacy group. “But there are real stories about people who aren’t part of that success, who question the government and suffer pain and torture because of it.”

Fleeing persecution in their native country, Ethiopians such as 18-year-old Genet Lire put promising track careers on hold to take refuge in Washington

(The Washington Post) — Genet Lire locked herself in a bathroom stall at Dulles International Airport and hid. The clock was ticking. If she was found, she would have to get on the plane and eventually return home. She feared she surely would be locked up again, probably beaten, and her family terrorized.

The time passed slowly: five minutes, 10, 15, 20. Feet tapped on the tile floor. Doors opened and closed. Every noise and shuffle made Lire’s chest tighten.

This was supposed to be a quick layover. Lire was a 17-year-old sprinter from Ethi­o­pia, here to compete in the junior world championships in Eugene, Ore. But she had no intention of ever reaching the starting line. She and her teammates flew in from Addis Ababa. They rushed to their gate, watched their bags board the big jet, and that’s when Lire saw her chance, slipping away to the bathroom as the flight began to board.

Fleeing persecution in their native country, Ethiopians put promising track careers on hold to take refuge in Washington. Genet Lire cries while looking through an album containing photos of family and friends she left behind in Ethiopia. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

She didn’t know it at the time, but not far from Dulles, in and around the Washington area, there was an entire community of Ethiopian runners in similar situations. They were beaten and persecuted back home, almost all of them for political reasons. They feared for their lives and sought asylum in the United States, most putting their promising running careers on hold for the chance at stable and safe lives.

About three dozen Ethiopian runners have congregated in the Washington area, many in just the past three years, and 12 agreed to share their stories with The Post. Some requested their full names not be used, fearful that their families in Ethiopia would face retribution. The details vary, but some threads are consistent: They all had been imprisoned but never charged with crimes; most used visas they’d received through their track careers to flee; they were all beaten to some degree; and many have struggled to acclimate to a new life, far from family and lacking the time and resources to continue running competitively.

Ethiopian runner Genet Lire's father and mother, center, surrounded by her seven brothers and sisters in front of the family house. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

“They get here and they are physically and emotionally traumatized,” said Kate Sugarman, a Washington physician who has treated many of the runners. “Some of them can’t even run because of the injuries they suffered during their beatings. I think they’ve lost their confidence and arrive here without a lot of hope.”

The runners have varying skill levels, but most are long-distance specialists, having competed in marathons from New York to China. They’ve won big races in Europe and North America and claimed titles across Africa. One man in his mid-20s once completed a marathon in 2 hours 8 minutes. Only two American-born distance runners have ever run faster.

Genet Lire, right, says she misses her friends, seen here, and her family, but she feels that she will have a better life in the United States. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Lire was a rising star back in Ethiopia, a promising sprinter in a nation of distance runners. Less than a month earlier, she had won the national title in the 400 meters, setting an Ethiopian record. A strong showing at the junior world championships last July would’ve been an important stepping stone to representing Ethiopia in the 2016 Olympics.

Instead she sat in the Dulles bathroom, half-scared she would be spotted and half-scared she wouldn’t. All she had were the clothes on her back and a red Adidas backpack. Inside were photos of her family, friends and the life she was escaping. Lire felt she had no choice. She had spent several weeks discussing the trip to America at length with her family, and they all urged her to flee at the first opportunity.

After 30 minutes, Lire cautiously opened the bathroom door. The plane was gone, with her teammates and coaches aboard. She looked around and approached a man with a friendly face.

Genet Lire, holding medal on the right, poses for a photo with her track club. Less than a month before fleeing Ethiopia, she set a national record in the 400 meters. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

In her native Amharic, she said, “Please help me.”

‘You’ll never go anywhere’

In Addis Ababa, Haile Mengasha refused to join the nation’s ruling political coalition — the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) — and said he was detained for a week in 2012. His interrogators repeatedly struck him in the head and held a flame to his feet. It took 11/2 years to raise enough money, but he finally was able to fly to the United States for a half-marathon with no intentions of returning home. The 25-year-old now works in a Washington liquor store and runs when his aching back allows. Mengasha said many days are “dark” and his future uncertain, but that it beats the alternative.

“I’d rather commit suicide in America than return to Ethiopia,” he said.

Lire smiles as she unpacks groceries delivered to her by another Ethiopian runner in Washington. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Others share similar stories. Authorities accused them of spreading propaganda or conspiring against the EPRDF. Most of the runners now living in Washington say they were never politically active back in Ethiopia. They simply refused to join the EPRDF. In some cases, their biggest offense was having relatives who refused to join.

“I told them I don’t support any other government. I just wanted to live by myself,” said one runner who was imprisoned for a week in 2010. “I didn’t have any politics.”

Once detained, most were beaten for days on end. For Tesfaye Dube, it was 10.

“They were coming every single day, beating me, saying, ‘We know what you are doing. You are sabotaging, you’re helping the opposition parties. You have to stop doing that or we’ll kill you,’” Dube recalled.

Genet Lire stretches before training on the track at Sidwell Friends. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

For Taddase Hailu, it was seven.

“In the morning, they’d come to take me to a dark place to beat me,” he said. “I’m never sure I’d live the next day.”

Hailu suffered a stab wound in his lower back, was beaten with a baton and kicked with heavy boots. Worst of all, they targeted his back and Achilles’, which two years later still prevents him from running at peak form.

“They told me, ‘If you can’t run, you’ll never go anywhere,’ ” he said.

Most detainments lasted only a few days or weeks. There were never criminal charges, no due process, attorneys or visitors. Often families were unaware their loved ones had even been imprisoned at all.

Many of the Ethiopian runners belong to the Oromo ethnic group, which accounts for more than one-third of the country’s population, according to the most recent census, making it by far the most populous ethnic group. “Oromo is no good to them,” explained one runner, who was detained three times but never faced charges.

Geent Lire recently had to leave a room she was renting because she couldn’t afford the $400 monthly fee. She’s temporarily living on a pullout sofa in the apartment of her imigration lawyer. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Oromos hold few positions of power in Ethiopia, and the EPRDF has governed the nation for more than two decades. In May, Ethiopia held its most recent national election, and the EPRDF and its allies swept every one of the 547 parliamentary seats.

“Most of the stories you hear now out of Ethiopia are about this sort of economic growth and development happening,” said Felix Horne, a researcher with the Human Rights Watch, the international watchdog and advocacy group. “But there are real stories about people who aren’t part of that success, who question the government and suffer pain and torture because of it.”

A new, and different, home

Lire left the airport with a sympathetic man, who happened to be from Botswana, and began trying to navigate her new life. She was quickly connected with some fellow Ethiopians, nonprofit organizations and a church that offered help.

Ethiopian runner Genet Lire fingers a scar left from a spear thrown by a policeman who had come to arrest her father when she was 8 years-old. Lire did not see a doctor after being hit, but was treated by her mom with herbal medicines. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

For Lire, Washington was nothing like her home, a rural farming community outside a city called Hosaena where her father grew rice and beans. He was part of an opposition party called the Southern Ethiopia Peoples’ Democratic Coalition and faced overt pressure and persecution for years.

Lire remembers one of the first times authorities came for her father. She was just 8, and the entire family was fleeing their home on foot. She sprinted, trying to keep up with her father, and remembers a sudden burst of pain shooting through her body. A spear barely missed her father but struck Lire in the right arm, where a decade later she still bears a scar the size of a tennis ball. She tumbled and became entangled in barbed wire, the metal spikes tearing into her scalp. Her father was carrying Lire’s 3-month-old brother when he tripped and fell. The baby was crushed and died. Lire’s father was taken into custody. He was released after one week but detained many more times in the ensuing years.

Genet Lire filed for asylum six months ago and is still waiting for a response. The process can take months, sometimes more than a year. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

That was around the time Lire started running. Always barefoot, she sprinted everywhere — to school, for chores, around the fields near her home. She won early races wearing flats and a dress and began catching the eyes of local running clubs.

Her running career began garnering attention, and last June, despite being younger than others in the starting blocks, Lire set a national record, running the 400 meters in 51.44 seconds. Her track career was taking off just as she was approaching voting age in Ethiopia. Because she would turn 18 before the national election, she’d been feeling pressure for several months to join the EPRDF. Just like her father, she refused.

“The party is not for the people,” she said.

About three dozen Ethiopian runners have congregated in the Washington area, many in just the past three years. Many ask that their full names not be used, fearful that their families in Ethiopia would face retribution. Here, EB runs in Rock Creek Park. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

She and her family decided that she’d flee Ethiopia at the first opportunity. She won $250 in prize money last May competing at the African Youth Games in Botswana, and she spent half of it on a camera, intent on capturing every facet of her life in Ethiopia. “My history,” she calls it.

Lire didn’t have much time. Last June, just two weeks before the junior world championships in Oregon, she was detained. She recalls a small room, packed with too many people to count — too crowded for everyone to lie down at the same time. Even as plain-clothes security officers made threats about her running career, she knew she was given preferential treatment because of her potential. She was allowed to train in the mornings but was locked up each night, never certain what the next day held, when she’d see her family again or whether she’d be allowed to compete.

Of the Ethiopian runners living in Washington, The Ethipian runners living in Washington have varying skill levels but most are long-distance specialists and have competed in marathons around the world. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Lire made no promises and refused to pledge loyalty to any political party. After 10 days, she was finally released. Three days later, she said goodbye to her family, stuffed her photo album in the red backpack and boarded a plane for the United States.

‘Still happening in my mind’

The transition is never easy. Arriving in the United States might mitigate some fears, but many other issues quickly surface: a complicated legal system, housing, employment, separation from loved ones. It’s no wonder some runners say they dream of being back home.

“My heart is still always with my family,” said Hussen Betusa, 37, who left his wife in Ethiopia after authorities there detained him for 15 days in 2012. “I’d love to go back, but I cannot. They’d kill me.”

After leaving Ethiopia, EB received regular reports from back home that authorities were looking for him and were regularly harassing his family. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

The transplanted Ethiopian runners abscond to the United States for safety more than opportunity. When they arrive, many struggle to assimilate, often navigating a legal maze to seek asylum as they desperately search for day-to-day normalcy.

EB is one of several runners who’s fearful his family will face retribution if he revealed his full name. The 35-year-old was an accomplished runner who raced in the United States, Europe, plus all over Africa. He’d posted impressive wins over competitive fields and cracked 2:15 on his best marathon days. In 2013, EB had just finished a training run in Addis Ababa when he was stopped and beaten on the street. He went to a police station to file a complaint and that’s when he was arrested. He was detained for 10 days — hitting, slapping, yelling.

“The memories — it’s still happening in my mind,” he said.

EB was released and felt he had no choice: He had to leave Addis Ababa as quickly as possible. “If I stay there, maybe I don’t live much longer,” he said.

So he moved to the United States in the summer of 2013 and slowly started adjusting to his new life. He even entered — and won — an East Coast marathon later that year.

But EB felt like he was living in two places: his body in Washington, his heart and mind some 7,100 miles away. He received reports from back home that authorities were looking for him and were regularly harassing his family. They’d visit his younger sister at school, asking, Where is your brother? Are you talking to him? What is he doing?

This 31-year-old marathoner left his oldest child and wife in Ethiopia when he first fled and was able to bring them to the U.S. one year later. 'I get here, and everything is different. It’s not like what I wished in my mind,' he said. 'I thought it’d change my life. It’s not happening. The opportunity is not like that.' Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

In early 2014, he learned that his younger sister had hanged herself, and he blamed the political tormenters for her death. He also blamed himself. “If I was just man enough to face that,” he said, “my sister would still be alive. It was because of me being here.”

He stopped running. He stopped doing much of anything. EB felt hopeless and spent his days contemplating suicide.

EB met with psychologist Sheetal Patel, who specializes in working with torture survivors. He was barely a shadow then. Patel saw a man who wasn’t living and a runner who wasn’t running.

“There were just so many barriers,” Patel said. “He’d said he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t run. He could barely breathe.”

While the trauma is very real and still very present, Patel said some of EB’s wounds were somatic — his quiet voice became almost muted, the words unable to pass through his throat. Slowly, Patel and the physician Sugarman worked with him, encouraging him to talk, to open up, to lace up his running shoes. Sugarman invited him in January to join her running group for a five-kilometer fun run. And then he did 10k, followed by a half-marathon.

An Ethiopian marathoner helps his oldest child learn with his reading. The child, who spoke no English when he arrived, is now the most fluent in his family. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

It’s a slow, difficult process, EB said. He learned long ago something every good marathon runner must accept: there are points along the course where the pain seems unbearable, where every step feels like it’s surely the last. A marathon is about surviving, enduring agony and somehow finding the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

“Even if there’s pain, you learn to keep going,” EB said.

Saying goodbye to family is perhaps the toughest part for the Ethiopians runners. Many were married back home, some had children. One runner, a 31-year-old marathoner, for example, left behind a wife and 16-month-old son.

“I get here, and everything is different. It’s not like what I wished in my mind,” he said. “I thought it’d change my life. It’s not happening. The opportunity is not like that.”

As Ethiopian runners in D.C. learned, even after filing for asylum, a person must wait 150 days before applying for employment in the United States. That amounts to five months of scrounging for food and shelter. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

The distance from his family resulted in depression. He struggled finding work and steady housing. Like many of the runners, he found some assistance from a nonprofit called Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC), which provides transitional housing, legal assistance, health services, counseling and job placement. The organization serves over 300 survivors annually, about 80 percent of whom are Ethio­pian.

“Some people are literally coming to us straight from the shelter or from the street,” said Gizachew Emiru, TASSC’s executive director. “When they come, most of them come with just the clothes they’re wearing. So when they get here, they’re desperate for everything.”

Even after filing for asylum, a person must wait 150 days before applying for employment in the United States. That amounts to five months of scrounging for food, shelter and under-the-table work. The 31-year-old runner, who had competed in Poland, Germany, Austria and Greece, arrived here in 2010 and cleaned houses and worked in hotels.

His asylum was eventually granted, he was permitted to work legally and after three years apart, his family was allowed to join him in the United States. He’s now a line cook at a Marriott hotel and runs nearly six miles to and from his job each day. That 16-month-old baby is now 5 years old and last month attended his first day of kindergarten.

The path ahead

On a recent warm summer morning, Lire, EB and several other Ethiopian runners gathered in Northwest Washington for a short training session behind Coolidge High School. The Black Lion Athletics Club meets several times a week. Founded by Alan Parra, a local immigration attorney who has represented several of the runners, it operates on a shoestring budget and has become a refuge and meeting place for many of the transplanted Ethiopians.

Their coach stood inside the track with a stopwatch and after just a couple of laps, most of the seasoned runners broke into a sweat. As the others slowed, EB kept moving around the track, his gait smooth, graceful and long. He seemed to be smiling, too, looking every bit like a man who could run forever.

He still speaks just a half-notch above a whisper and is still worried about the harassment his family faces back home. But he’s running again and even has plans to compete in a marathon next spring, which would be his first in more than two years.

“Now I am doing okay,” he said.

Her hair tied in a ponytail, Lire was bent at the waist with hands on her knees as she looked down on her shadow and caught her breath. The sweat made the scar on her arm glisten under the sun.

She is now 18 and still adjusting to her new life. Those early days were difficult. Lire bounced among Ethiopian families and even spent a couple of nights sleeping outdoors. She recently had to leave a room she was renting because she couldn’t afford the $400 monthly fee. She’s now temporarily living with Parra, who’s handling her case, sleeping on a pullout sofa in his one-bedroom apartment.

Lire filed for asylum six months ago and is still waiting for a response. The process can take months, sometimes more than a year. Since 2010 the United States has granted asylum status to at least 8,500 immigrants each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. An average of 388 asylum cases were granted from Ethiopia each year, second only to China.

Lire is slowly piecing together her new life. She’s much younger than many of the other relocated torture survivors, so she has few friends here. She misses her family and tears up flipping through her photo album, her “history.” Lire is learning English by watching YouTube videos and listening to Christian radio. Back in Ethiopia, she’d finished the equivalent of the 10th grade, and Parra is trying to place her in school here. He hopes she might soon be able to run track in college, and beyond that, who knows?

“My goal is Olympics,” she said.

Many of the Ethiopian runners circling the Coolidge track have a similar dream — if not Lire’s talent and potential — but no country to represent. The International Association of Athletics Federation, the governing body for track and field, requires athletes to be citizens of a country in order to represent it in competition. If the athlete changes citizenship, there’s typically a one-year waiting period. The runners who’ve been granted asylum fall into a gray area and must wait for five years before they can apply for U.S. citizenship, a lifetime for an elite athlete.

For now, Lire continues training, her immediate and long-term future equally uncertain. She said she’s both grateful and sad to be here. She tries to chat on the telephone with her family once every couple of weeks but doesn’t know when — or if — she’ll see them again. For now, Lire figures, the best she can do is honor their wishes and keep running as fast as she can.

The Standoff in Afar State and the Arbiter from Mekele (TPLF) September 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia.
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The Afar were denied their fundamental right to vote for and elect their representatives and leaders. They are no exception in today’s Ethiopia. That is they have to fight together with the rest of the Ethiopians to dismantle this apartheid regime that has denied them their basic civil and democratic rights.

PRESS RELEASE

Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF)

Over the past one quarter century of its rule the TPLF mafia group has created a number of puppet organizations to represent various national groups in Ethiopia particularly in the so called backward regions of Somali, Ben Shangul, Gambela and Afar. But none is loyal to its masters in Mekele than the Afar regional leaders in Samara, as the regional capital is now known, none is glued as an appendix to TPLF than APDPA or ADE as it is known locally.

This particular relation between TPLF and ADE has its own reasons. Some are historical others are due to the fact that the Afar region occupies in long range strategy of the TPLF. This “QADE” mafia gang originally was part of TPLF itself. They brought them or assigned them into the power by TPLF to make the Afar politically unpredictable, economically weak and infrastructurally underdeveloped, and to impose Tigray ethnic hegemonic control forcibly over the Afar people. The three regional leaders who came with TPLF are Ismail Ali Sirro, Awal Seyoum and Mohamed Anbatta are still in power in the Afar region. One as President, one as Security Official and the third as speaker of the regional Parliament. The longest serving region leader Ismail Ali Sirro is already elected to the National House of Representatives. So by definition he is not liable any more to be President of the Afar region.

The current Executive Committee of the ruling Party (ADNP) has disgracefully failed to elect a new President for the region due to the deep political division and corruption caused by the outgoing puppet President Ismail Ali Sirro who claims that the Afar will be at each other’s throat if he quits. The fact is that the rampant corruption, bad governance, maladministration, discrimination and tribalism policies planted by TPLF in the puppet officials of the Afar region is going to put the Afar region into violent chaos and anarchy, but not because Ismail Ali Sirro is replaced. The Executive Committee left for Mekele as they do every time, they are not able to settle their differences. Every Afar official in Samara has his own lord in Mekele with whom he shares the money he pockets from his corrupt practices. The three puppets are afraid not to be accountable for their crimes, but one day they will have to face the reality. They want to make sure that their cronies are placed in their places. Recently, over a hundred innocent people are arbitrarily and unlawfully arrested in the Afar region because they protested against those practices.

Constitutionally, all federal regional states are equally accountable to the Federal Constitution, while the Afar Regional State is accountable to the Tigrai Regional State and it ruled from Mekele directly. Afar people have no say in deciding their own destiny. It is a fact that, corruption, famine, insecurity and instability which are currently facing the Afar is directly linked to the climate of unethical, unskilled and inexperienced leadership inability of the so called Afar Democratic National Party (ADNP). While the whole Ethiopia and probably the world is worried about the hunger and starvation which killing both the livestock and human beings in the Afar region, the regional officials are in standoff as they were not able to elect the Executive Committee.

They are waiting an arbiter from Mekele to arrive. The Afar were denied their fundamental right to vote for and elect their representatives and leaders. They are no exception in today’s Ethiopia. That is they have to fight together with the rest of the Ethiopians to dismantle this apartheid regime that has denied them their basic civil and democratic rights.

Victory to the Ethiopian people!
Victory to the heroic ARDUF/UGUUGUMO

Military Command Centre (MCC)
Information Desk
Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF)