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Petitioning the Ethiopian Government and United Nations Security Council: Stop Unspeakable Abuses, Prevent Deportation of Oromo September 19, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethnic Cleansing, Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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There should be no place for state-sponsored armed gangs terrorizing people in eastern Ethiopia, killing and displacing thousands – and we are asking for your help to try and stop it.

In today’s world we like to believe that governments don’t use mercenaries to wage covert wars against their own citizens.  We like to think that ethnic cleansing does not happen because leaders cannot keep their evil deeds secret. Anyone with an iPhone can capture them and broadcast them around the world.

What we like to think is a bit passé is happening. The Ethiopian government, using a shadowy armed gang called Liyyu Hayil (Special Forces), has been terrorizing people in the Somali and Oromia regional state of Ethiopia.

The Liyyu Hayil has been terrorizing and killing Somali people within the Somali National Regional State of Ethiopia since 2008.  It has extended its death mission to the Oromia Regional State, the largest and most populous in the Ethiopian federation. Nearly 500,000 Oromo residents of the Somali region have been forced to leave their homes and deported to the Oromia region.

Sign this petition urging the Ethiopian government to disband the Liyyu Hayil and stop the heinous atrocities immediately.

The atrocities of the Liyyu Hayil has been documented by in Human Rights Watch reports and media outlets, including the GuardianAllAfricaOPrideInternational media outlets, and media organizations and activists abroad have reported on the situation.

My colleagues and I have signed an open letter to raise awareness about the ethnic-cleansing in-the-making. This week, 55,000 have been rounded up, loaded on trucks and dumped off in the territory of the Oromia region.

Sign this petition to join us in urging the international community to prevent the deportation of Oromo that is already underway.

Thank you!

This petition will be delivered to:

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Morning Star: The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks September 7, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks

The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks
          BY Najat Hamza
The Ethiopian Government Proxy war Retaliation against Oromo: Boarder Attacks
It is very hard to shed light on a human suffering when the world is bombarded with one tragic human history after another. The world has become a show case for various forms of violence, famine, indifference, greed and pure hate. It seems like mother nature has joined the destructive trends by unleashing the worst weather disasters known to us in recent years with more devastation to come. However, all of us come from a home, a place, people we call our own, my own place is Oromia. Oromia is a country fighting to survive. My people, Oromo have been fighting to restore their dignity and self-worth for generations under various Ethiopian regimes. The last 25 years under the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front is no different. We have fought to advance our right to life, to equality, to justice and to democracy on our own land and the fight still rages on.
In recent years Oromo people have resisted the dictatorial regime of Ethiopian in every way they can and still up in arms with it. People have taken it to the streets, they have boycotted government programs, markets, public meetings and tax hikes to show their dissent. The Ethiopian government answered their legitimate demands with more death, torture, disappearances, incarcerations, displacements and denial of necessities. These measures are taken against the Oromo people as an attempt to salience us once and for all. It is hard to care about one issue, in the world filled with nothing but chaos, nonetheless it is about unnecessary human suffering.
The complacency of Western government in this validated violence against the Oromo people and other ethnic groups all over Ethiopia will not be overlooked. The western enablers of a rotten regime unleashing unimaginable suffering on its own people is perplexing to say the least. It raises questions like, what is the geopolitical gain of the West for the complacency of this violence against innocent people? What does each Western country gain for turning a blind eye in this ethnic cleansing? How could one advocate for human rights and democracy and enable such a regime all at the same time? And many more questions that are even more harder to understand.
The boarder attack wages all over Oromia particularly East and West Hararge region is the result of retaliation against people who simply asked for their right to be respected. They are paying with their lives, limbs, incarcerations, rapes, displacements and hunger simply because they dared to ask for their God given rights. How can any of us show indifference to our brothers and sisters along the Oromian boarders while bullets rain on them daily? What would take for Oromo people to say we are in this together, we have to stand together, we must fight together and we will win together? Do we sit and wait for the bullets to come to each of our door steps to care? The suffering of one Oromo person is not enough to sound an alarm for those of us near and far? Why are Oromos on the boarder dying? You know why? Because they spoke for all of us, for Oromia, for each acre of land that makes Oromia a country that it is, that is why they are being sprayed with bullets.
The political differences between us about how to get to the mountain top should not be a hindering force for our progress nor should it be a catalyst for indifference. The current artificial bickering among us, character assassinations, name callings, and all destructive agendas will not allow us to serve the ultimate goal. The goal is to see a country we all call home from vultures of every kind past, present and the future. The goal is secure our home, so that generations that come after us will not be prosecuted simply for who they are. You can disagree, debate, and even walk away from ideas but what you should not do is turn it into smear campaign. It helps no one, particularly those we suppose to assist. Those who are standing in front of fire with their bodies to die for the same ideas we cannot even agree on.
The confusion of diaspora politics is having some effect in the way we respond to tragedies as they unfold. We suppose to help with, funds, advocacy and being moral supporters for the real heroes back home fighting for their survival. What are we doing we cannot contribute the bare minimum? What the use of our elaborate ideas if can turn to something practical that could help our people? Who is the hero? Who is dying? Why are they dying? What is our call? How do we serve the purpose? In what way can we serve the purpose? These are the questions we should ask ourselves, we are fortunate enough to be in someone else’s country, enjoying peace. We can use this advantage to help our people in an impactful way.
Oromia does not need leadership, a mouthpiece, or self-serving individuals from diaspora. What they need is a support system from us. A support system that can deliver financial, moral and political on the ground. They need a ground to stand on, to fight their own fight. We can be their ground, we can be their support, as soon as we understand it is never about us. It has always been about those who refuse to run from their country and fight try to make it better. It is about the Oromo people in Oromia. What are you going to do about that?

Related:

Najat Hamza speaking to Aljazera about the state sponsored political crackdown or Severe measure on peaceful protesters in ETHIOPIA , On Oromo people and many others ,We thank you for an amazing explanation of the crackdown by Ethiopian government within very short time!


UNPO: Oromo: Charge of Seven Artists with Terrorism further Threatens Freedom of Expression in Ethiopia September 7, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist
Free Oromo music artists

Oromo: Charge of Seven Artists with Terrorism further Threatens Freedom of Expression in Ethiopia


Photo courtesy of Seenaa Solomoon in ‘Ramacii Rincice’

 

The arrest and charge of seven artists in Ethiopia with terrorism in June 2017 constitutes yet another example of the Ethiopian government’s disregard for freedom of expression. Especially members of the Oromo community and artists criticising the government such as singer Teddy Afro have systematically been the victims of harassment by Ethiopian authorities, including being prevented from performing or even being arrested. The UNPO condemns these actions and calls for the charges against the seven artists currently held in custody to be dropped.

 

Below is an article published by Freemuse:

Ethiopian authorities charged seven artists – musicians and dancers – with terrorism in late June 2017 for producing and uploading “inciting” political songs and videos, according to media reports. Freemuse is concerned about the charges and the continued erosion of freedom of expression in Ethiopia, especially of the Oromo people, the largest ethnic group in the country.

Freemuse is also alarmed by the wide latitudes Ethiopian authorities have taken during the recently lifted ten-month-long state of emergency put in place in response to protests stemming from the government’s plan, announced in 2014, to expand capital city Addis Ababa into farm lands in the Oromia region, the country’s largest region and home to the Oromo people.

“What is happening in Ethiopia is not a spin off from the recent protests and uprising, but rather is about a government clampdown on the artistic community in general and of Oromo artists in particular. We call on national authorities to drop the charges on the seven artists and protect all peoples’ right to freedom of expression, including expressions critical of governments,” Freemuse Executive Director Dr Srirak Plipat said.

The seven artists – Seenaa Solomon, Elias Kiflu, Gemechis Abera, Oliyad Bekele, Ifa Gemechu, Tamiru Keneni and Moebul Misganu – were arrested in December 2016 and held in Maekelawi Prison, which Global Voices reports is notorious for its torture practices. Misganu had been arrested before in 2014 in connection to student protests in Oromia and was released in 2016.

More recently, the BBC reported that Ethiopian police stopped the formal launch of singer Tewodros Kassahun’s, who performs as Teddy Afro, latest album without any official reason, preventing event organisers from entering the venue and demanding a permit. His new album, released in May, has become Ethiopia’s fastest selling album and topped Billboard’s world album chart.

Additionally, his Ethiopian New Year’s Eve concert scheduled for 11 September this year was cancelled for the third consecutive year, according to non-profit Music in Africa Foundation.

Teddy Afro is no stranger to controversy as he first drew negative attention from authorities in 2005 when he released his third album which contained songs critical of the government that became anthems for protest movements.

In 2008, he was imprisoned for a hit-and-run accident in a case that he claims was politically motivated and was released in 2009, after serving 18 months of a two-year sentence.

Freemuse has registered over the years several attacks and forms of harassment on Oromo artists, including the imprisonment, beatings and forced exile of artists, as well as the banning of music and shutdown of studios.

Walaloo BAQQALAA GARBAA mana hidhaa Qilinxoo irraa erge August 16, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Baqqalaa Garbaa.
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Walaloo BAQQALAA GARBAA mana hidhaa Qilinxoo irraa erge


Daandiin keenya qoreen guutee
Duugdi keenya ulee quuftee
Abdiin osoo hin dhalatin
Ifa hin argin
Nurkaa duute.
Haata’uyyuu malee ni deemnaa hin dhaabbannu
Miilli nu bututes nuti abdii hin kutannu
Biyya hawwa keenyaa
Hin hankaaknu hin geenya
Karaa dheeraa sana
Bu’aa ba’ii sana
Dheebotaa beela’aa
Kukkufnee kaka’aa
Imimmaan lolaasaa
Dhiiga dhangalaasaa
Dukkana kaleessaa qabsoodhaan ibsinee
Ifa boruu arguuf har’arra dhaabbannee
Kunoo ilaalaa jirra biiftuu ba’uuf jirtu
Urjiin bilisummaa yommuu calaqqiftu.


Politics of Death: The map maker who finds the bodies in Ethiopia’s land battle June 22, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #ABCDeebisaa, #OromoProtests, #SidamaProtests.
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Politics of Death: The map maker who finds the bodies in Ethiopia’s land battle

 

By Sally Hayden, This Is Place,  20 June 2017

 

A man at a funeral holds up the portrait of Tesfu Tadese Biru, 32, a construction engineer who died during a stampede after police fired warning shots at an anti-government protest in Bishoftu during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Denkaka Kebele, Ethiopia, October 3, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo


Academic Endalk Chala has been mapping the deaths of men and women killed in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, since violence erupted in November 2015By Sally Hayden


LONDON, June 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It was late 2015 when Endalk Chala began documenting deaths in his home country of Ethiopia, scouring Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to piece together who had died and where.

Chala comes from Ginchi, a town 72 km (45 miles) from Addis Ababa where protests began in November 2015, initially over a government plan to allocate large swathes of farmland to the capital city for urban development.

The plan would have displaced thousands of Oromo farmers, the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia.

“There were reports that people were killed in the protests and no one was reporting about it. No one cared who these people are,” Chala told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

“The information was all over the internet, not well organised. I just wanted to give perspective.”

While the land re-allocation project was officially scrapped by authorities, protests and conflict reignited over the continued arrest and jailing of opposition demonstrators with full-scale protests over everything from Facebook to economics.

Several hundred protesters were killed in the 11 months to October 2016 when the government declared a state of emergency and shut down communications, including the internet.

More than 50 people died at a single demonstration that month, after a stampede was triggered by police use of teargas to disperse anti-government protesters at a religious festival.

Watch: the map-maker’s mission

Witnesses also reported security forces firing live rounds into crowds of protesters at multiple locations.

A government report presented to parliament in April acknowledged a death toll 669 people – 33 of them security personnel – although activists believe it could be much higher.

For the government shutting off the internet for periods all but ended online contact across Ethiopia, leaving it to the Ethiopian diasporas to pull together the facts.

DIASPORA’S DATABASE

Enter Chala, a PhD student in Oregon, the United States, who decided to log every death he could on an interactive map, inspired by a similar Palestinian project.

“I started to collect the information from the internet: Facebook, Twitter and blogs. And I started to contact the people who had put that information out,” he said.

Once word spread that Chala was collating the deaths, Ethiopian friends and activists began to send details, including photographs of those injured and killed. They contacted Chala via social media and instant messaging applications like Viber.

Chala learned that Ethiopians in rural areas were driving miles to put evidence of the killings online, but he still feared there were information black holes.

Click here to see map WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC IMAGES OF VIOLENCE AND DEATH 

In its report of 669 deaths presented to parliament, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission – which works for the government – blamed protesters for damaging land and property.

In the report, seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Commission said the disturbances had damaged public services, private property and government institutions. It also cited harm to investment and development infrastructure.

However the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, criticised the government for a lack of accountability and called for access to protest sites.

Neither the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission nor the Ethiopian government responded to requests for comment.

FACEBOOK LEADS TO JAIL

In a country where fear of reprisals is common place, it is easier for those living outside Ethiopia to speak out, said Felix Horne, Ethiopia researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Any time victims of human rights abuses share information with outside groups, with journalists – either domestic or international – there’s often repercussions, quite often from local security officials,” he said.

Protesters run from tear gas being fired by police during Irreecha, the thanks giving festival of the Oromo people in Bishoftu town of Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri – RTSQE9N

Horne said Facebook was a key source of information in the early stages of the protests but this was quickly seized on by the government and security officials checked students’ phones.

Last month, an opposition politician was sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison because of comments he wrote on Facebook.

Horne, whose organisation also attempted to document the deaths, agreed that numbers are important for accountability, but said a focus on the death toll alone can be de-humanising.

“We’ve talked to so many people who were shot by security forces. Many of them children. Many of them students. The numbers sort of dehumanises these individuals.”

COST OF FREE THINKING

Benta, a 29-year-old veterinarian and former government employee who took part in the protests, saw nine people shot.

Speaking to the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Kenya, his new home, he recalled how a soldier fired directly on a car in Aje town, West Arsi on Feb. 15 last year. Five people were shot, two died and three were wounded, he said.

Olympic silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa makes a gesture while crossing the finish line at the Rio Olympics to protest Ethiopia’s treatment of his ethnic group, the Oromo people on August 21, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Six months later, on Aug. 6, Benta was participating in another protest in Shashamane in the Oromia region, when he saw four people shot. He says he was detained and tortured for nearly two months and has now made a new life in Nairobi.

“If you’re expressing your freedom, you’ll be shot, and if you’re asking for your rights, you’ll be detained,” he said.

Chala said bullet wounds were the most common injuries visible on the photos that flooded in to him from Ethiopia and the brutality he witnessed has stayed with him.

“It really hit me very hard,” he said.

“People will forget. They’ll bottleneck their emotions and grievances and the government will just extend and buy some time, and there will be another bubble sometime in the future. That’s a vicious circle.”


This is part of our series The Politics of Death”, reporting a global wave of violence against communities fighting for their lands. To find out why, read the full story here.


 

Global Voices: Ethiopian Protester Sentenced to Six Years Behind Bars for Facebook Posts May 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Because I am Oromo.
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Ethiopian Protester Sentenced to Six Years Behind Bars for Facebook Posts

Yonatan Tesfaye. Photo shared on Twitter by Eyasped Tesfaye @eyasped

This week in Ethiopia, two prominent human rights advocates and critics of the ruling government were given long-term prison sentences for “incitement” on Facebook.

On May 25, Yonatan Tesfaye was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for “inciting” antigovernment protests in nine Facebook updates.

Breaking: fed court sentenced former oppos’n Blue party PR head to six years & 3 months in jail for terrorism

The 30-year-old activist has been an outspoken opponent of government’s violent response to the popular protest movement that has challenged Ethiopia’s ruling party and government since 2015. Yonatan had previously served as a press officer for the leading opposition Blue Party before resigning in 2015.

Yonatan was jailed for nine Facebook posts that expressed solidarity with the protesters, called for open dialogue and pleaded for an end to the violence.

The day before his sentencing, Yonatan’s former colleague Getachew Shiferaw, was found guilty of inciting violence for a private message he sent to colleagues through his Facebook messenger app. The former editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper Negere Ethiopia, Getachew was sentenced to one year and six months in prison:

Breaking- court sentenced , editor-in-chief of Negere Ethiopia NP, to 1yr & half in jail, time he already served

The Facebook message that allegedly contained inciting content made reference to a heckling incident targeting late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at a 2012 symposium in Washington, D.C. In the message Getachew wrote, “since the political space in Ethiopia is closed heckling Ethiopian authorities on public events [sic] should be a standard practice.”

These cases are among many others of less well-known citizens who have spoken out against the regime’s violent targeting of protesters demanding protections for land rights and other fundamental freedoms. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 800 people have died at the hands of Ethiopian police, and thousands of political opponents have been imprisoned and tortured during the protests.

Facebook is a key tool for activists — and law enforcement

Facebook, along with other social media platforms, has had a central role in interactions between authorities and protesters. Ethiopian authorities have blamed social media for waves of protests that began in April 2014 and have continued ever since. In October 2016, Facebook was blocked in Ethiopia as part of the government’s state of emergency. But activists — and likely Ethiopian law enforcement — have continued to use the platform via VPN.

Although it is difficult to know the precise number of detainees, dozens of arrests appear to have been triggered by a person posting, liking or sharing a post on Facebook. Others have been arrested for communicating with diaspora-based activists through Facebook messages.

These cases have been compounded by an increasingly common practice in which Ethiopian authorities demand that detainees divulge their Facebook logins and passwords. In some cases, people have been arrested before being charged, forced to hand over their Facebook credentials, and then charged based on what authorities find in their accounts.

Police will arrest activists, force them to hand over their Facebook credentials, and then charge them based on what they find in their private message logs.

Getachew was charged with “inciting violence” after he was forced to give his username and password of his Facebook page. The private chat texts on his Facebook message were presented as evidence in his charge sheet.

Whatever the court decides, friends and family members of Yonatan and Getachew wanted the case to end. So, they would learn their fate, to take their fight to the next stage. But their case, like so many others court cases, had been delayed.

In Ethiopia, it is not uncommon for court cases involving bloggers journalists and politicians to take longer than other cases. This causes exhaustion for defendants and brings pain to their loved ones.

Yonatan and Getachew each spent 18 months in jail before they learned their fate. They were brought before the court at least a dozen times. Their private Facebook accounts were laid bare by authorities. Judges failed to appear in court, and police failed to bring defendants to court on their trial days, causing their cases to drag on for 18 months.

Facebook has been a critical platform for Ethiopian activists and rights advocates working to document and communicate human rights violations. This makes the experience of Yonatan and Getachew an especially chilling story for Ethiopians.

Ethiopia: human rights defender condemns deadliest mass murder in Oromia. #IrreechaaMassacre #OromoProtests October 3, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

 

Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

 

 

ethiopia-regime-conducted-mass-killing-at-irreecha-cultural-festival-2nd-october-2016-bishoftu-oromia-irreeechamassacre

Ethiopia: human rights defender condemns deadliest mass murder in Oromia #IrreechaaMassacre  #OromoProtests


Ethiopia: Deadliest TPLF/EPRDF Mass Murder In Oromia

HRLHA Urgent Action


October 2, 2016


The HRLHA deeply condemn the mass murder by the Ethiopian government  sponsored killing squad Agazi force near Bishoftu, Oromia  where over 4,000,000 Oromos were gathered  to celebrate the Irrecha annual festival , the Oromo thanksgiving day on October 2, 2016.

The attack by the killing squad Agazi  which was supported by helicopter from the air has left at least 300 civilians dead on the spot and thousands  wounded and has been taken to hospitals in Bishoftu and Addis Ababa, 40 km away from the place of mass murder took place. According the HRLHA informants from the place, the dead bodies were everywhere on the ground around the Hora Arsadi, the area of the irrecha festival

The October 2, 2016 mass murder would be one of the highest tolls for a single day in Oromia  since 10 months the Oromo protest has begun in November 2015

The HRLHA calls on the world governments and donor organizations to condemn the barbaric acts of government sponsored killing squad Agazi force against Oromo civilians and put pressure on the TPLF/EPRDF government to allow swiftly neutral body to investigate this horrific action of this dictatorial government sponcered killing squads..

The HRLHA will continue updating the fast growing number of the victims from around  the  area.

Warning!!

Note: The following pictures are extremely graphics. Proceed with procuation

All photos were taken from social media, names are not identified

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Read Related at OE: 

Irreecha Massacre: Bishoftu Massacre: Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Oromia (Ethiopia) on the peaceful Irreecha ceremony- Oromo thanksgiving day, 2nd October 2016 where over 4 million celebrating the Oromo National Cultural Day at Horaa Harsadii, Bishoftu, Oromia.

It is time to report the truth about Ethiopia! August 24, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

time

Ever since the great Ethiopian Athlete Feyissa Lelisa crossed his hand in solidarity of Oromo Protests and highlighted his governments human rights violation of Oromos, Amharas and other ethnic groups. We read and saw a lot of commentaries and stories about his courageous act. Then we heard from Western media outlets how Ethiopian government spokesman Getachew Reda gave them his word that if Lelisa return, he will be treated as a hero. This might be seen as a positive and good move by the government of Ethiopia but only gullible journalists or intentional overlooks will believe this as even close to the truth.

Almost most of the people who lived in Ethiopia under the current government or was once lived and emigrated from the country know how this will play if he returns. If he return, yes the government will celebrate him in public, heck they might even put him in…

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Statement of Oromo American National Foundation (OANF) on the Massacre of Oromo Youth by TPLF/EPDRF Regime December 17, 2015

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???????????#OromoPRotests tweet and shareStop killing Oromo StudentsOromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....

Statement of Oromo American National Foundation (OANF) on the Massacre of Oromo Youth by TPLF/EPDRF Regime

 

The monsters in the Tigre ruling goons committed an odious and grisly massacre on Oromo youth who were peacefully demonstrating against the expulsion of Oromo farmers from their ancestral lands. The demonic thugs spilt the blood of courageous Oromo youth who had fortitude and backbone of steel to resist the ravenous land-grabs from Oromo farmers in the vicinities of Finfinnee/Addis Ababa! The bloodbath of our youth and other innocent victims of their crime will not be forgotten or forgiven! The roaring wave of the spilt blood of Oromo youth will drown them and the next generation of our gallant fighters will avenge the dastardly acts of the TPLF henchmen and their Oromo quislings!

These rapacious vultures have sold already millions of acres of Oromo lands to foreign speculators and to their own supporters that have come from their desolate land in Tigre province! They are hoodwinking the international community and other citizens of the Empire that Finfinnee/Addis Ababa is becoming overcrowded and congested due to population influx from the far-flung of the decaying Empire and to rectify the growth of the Capital city, they want to evict Oromo Farmers and confiscate their lands outside of the Capital City limits to build, a modern metropolis! They call their devilish scheme “The Integrated Regional Development Master Plan”

The Oromo Youngsters showed them the courage and lessons in honoring the sacred lands by paying the ultimate sacrifices of dying in the fields of battle against the rodents who came to dig into our sacred Dachee (sacred lands) that for centuries has been the inheritances of the Gulalee, Gaalan, Ekaa,Mettaa and other clans of the Oromo Nation!

The brutality and grotesque acts of these intruders eclipses civilized international standard of crowd control! They used live bullets to quell teenagers whose only weapons were their love of their lands and Oromo farmers who have been forcefully evicted from their farms! Wayannee’s vulgar acts of expelling Oromo peasants from their ancestral lands will be defended to the last drops of our blood! The smoldering anger of the Oromo nation will devour Wayannee thugs and their Oromo collaborators, and the inviolability of our sacred lands will be honored by continuous resistance and sacrifices of a new generation of Oromo youth.

In the depth of their protest lies the beauty of their youth and love of their Nation. They had no fear of death—it was and is an honor for them to fight the barbarians who came to claim Oromo lands under various pretexts! They paid the ultimate martyrdom for their country without the privilege to know that they were beautiful young men and women whose promises were to grow-up and be exemplary citizens as well as to love their lands and Oromummaa. They fought a fearless fight with courage and valor!

Their resistance and martyrdom made them the stars of our Oromia sky, the succeeding generation to this struggle will inherit and defend their dignity in martyrdom and our youthful fallen angels will be honored with badge of courage and reverence to and of heroes! Dry your eyes friends, their souls are soaring because they died for unbound freedom of farmers and all other Oromo citizens. We must draw upon their courage and confront the Tigre leeches and their Oromo collaborators who oppressor our Nation!
Brothers and sisters, the vultures whose decaying Empire is crumbling will not stop their ravenous plunder of our lands, we need to be united and confront the barbarians, the dawn of our freedom will come, and the sun will rise on our struggle against these depraved criminals!

For now, we need to reckon with the supreme sacrifices of our best and brightest youth, shut their gazed eyes of death down, and honor them with grace— to die for ones cause is an honor and privilege!

Oromo-American National Foundation (OANF) condemns the vile and gruesome massacres of Oromo Youth by the TPLF regime, we make an earnest appeal to all international community and other citizens of the Empire for solidarity and express their utter disgust and denounce the Wayannee massacres of Oromo youth!

It’s been said that cowards die a thousand times while a hero dies only once—it is the ignoble coward’s fear of the Oromo nation that will die a thousand times ! The Oromo youth’s valiant courage, to confront the Wayannee’s ghoulish act without fear is a testament to the heroic ethos of Oromo élans who continue to confront the Tigre thugs and their Oromo traitors all-over Oromia undaunted!

The revolting massacre of our youth is our anguish, but in any struggle, lives will be lost. The struggle and its glory, like a diamond will sparkle, and the memory will live in the villages, farm fields, valleys, and mountains of Oromia for generation to come! The best, the brightest and the courageous will continue to be martyred for the dignity of our nation. We inherit our courage to confront the enemy from our forefathers and mothers! Oromia with its brave sons and daughters will be defended with a revolutionary zeal! All the spilled blood of Oromo martyrs will soak the fertile farm soil of Oromia to rise up like the seeds of spring to bloom our farm lands, hills and magnificent valleys of Oromia to urge us to fight-on! The Wayannee lunatics and their Oromo collaborators hoped to kill our nobility and the splendor of our youth. Lunatic may kill an Oromo revolutionary, but they cannot kill the revolutionary idea of free Oromia! The idea of free Oromia will never die! A new generation of gallant Oromo youth will pick-up the torch for the next thousand years or till Oromia becomes a freeland!

Hence the struggle to free Oromia will continue and these new generation of Oromo youngsters are willing to pay any price, confront any foe, engage friends and allies of our cause until the political, cultural and social conditions of our people is emancipated! And so, all the Oromo youth and countless Oromo martyrs, we are proud that in this struggle, your valiant life will be celebrated, your heritage be honored.

Today, it is the Oromo people, once they’ve done with the Oromo, other citizens of the Empire will be next! We appeal for solidarity from all citizens of the Empire in general and to the 2nd largest ethnic group of the Empire—the Amhara citizens in particular.

Pastor Martin Niemöller, a German anti-Nazi theologian/activist during WWII, lamented the following observation regarding the complicity of German protestant churches through their silences about the Nazi atrocities:

In Germany they first came for the communist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist

Then they came for the Jews, I didn’t speak up because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a protestant.
Then they came for me – and by that time no one was left to speak up. !
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. the distinguished African American theologian and civil rights activists of the 1950 and 60’s in the Jim Crow South of the United States, said in his letter from Birmingham Jail, “injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere”

William Ernest Henley, an influential British poet of Victorian era wrote an inspirational poem titled “Invictus” or unconquered as testimony to one’s responsibility to one’s destiny and freedom. We dedicate a version of this poem to the Oromo youth who are refusing to be bowed to the Wayannee monstrosity!

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed
I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul

Oromo-American National Foundation (OANF)

Some version of this statement was issued in May 2014 when the wicked Wayannee slaughtered Oromo Youth.

Oromia/Ethiopia: Oromo children are brutalized by Aga’azy squads deployed by the TPLF for ethnic cleansing: The continuation of gross human rights violations in State of Oromia, violations that have regularly occurred since 1991 when the TPLF/EPRDF came into power: The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa expresses its grave concern December 6, 2015

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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of AfricaStop killing Oromo Students

#OromoLivesMatters!Ethiopia's regime atrocity against Oromo people

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

 

HRLHA Urgent ActionDecember 05, 2015For Immediate ReleaseThe Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa 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 school children 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, 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.

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  • UNESCO Headquarters Paris.
    7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP France
    1, rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15 France
    General phone:
    +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00
    http://www.unesco.org
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)- Africa Department
    7 place Fontenoy,75352
    Paris 07 SP
    France
    General phone:
    +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00
    Website: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/africa-department/
  • UNESCO AFRICA RIGIONAL OFFICE
    MR.JOSEPH NGU
    Director
    UNESCO Office in Abuja
    Mail: j.ngu(at)unesco.org
    Tel: +251 11 5445284
    Fax: +251 11 5514936
  • 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@ohchr.org this e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Office of the UNHCR
    Telephone: 41 22 739 8111
    Fax: 41 22 739 7377
    Po Box: 2500
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • African Commission on Human and Peoples‘ Rights (ACHPR)
    48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia.
    Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764
    E-mail: achpr@achpr.org
  • Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
    Council of Europe
    F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE
    + 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21
    + 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53
    Contact us by email
  • U.S. Department of State
    Laura Hruby
    Ethiopia Desk Officer
    U.S. State Department
    HrubyLP@state.gov
    Tel: (202) 647-6473

[1] Ethiopians Constitution of 1995; http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/Proclamation%20no.1-1995.pdf

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/

Hayyuun Aadaa fi Argaa-Dhageettii Oromoo Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo dhabaman October 11, 2015

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

Hayyuu Aadaa fi Argaa-Dhageettii Oromoo Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo

Dhaamsa hatattamaa ilmaan Oromoo hundaaf Nairobii irraa

Obboo Dabbasaa Guyyoo ykn obboo Abbaa Liban Dabbasaa Guyyoo ji’a dabre guyyaa 27.9.15 ayyaana irreechaa Nairobi ti kabajame oole irraatti argamuun eebbisanii sirna ayyanicha akka rawatameen gara manaa galee booda akkuma gadi baheen osoo manatti hin deebi’in haga har’aa achi buutee isaa nama himu hin garre bakkootaa jiran hunda laallamee polisaa fi chief tis gabaafamee waatakko hin garre.

Kaanaaf diinaan ukkanfamuu malaa waan tahamuu qabu irratti dirmadhaa.

(Sagalee Bilisummaa Oromoo – Onkoloolessa 10, 2015)

OMN: Oduu Onk. 9, 2015 – Argaa fi dhageettii seenaa Oromoo yeroo dheeraaf barsiisaa kan turan, Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo, dhiheenna kana, Keeniyaa magaalaa Naayiroobii keessaa, dhabamuun himame.

Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo ayyaana Irreechaa gaafa Fulbaana 27 bara 2015 magaalaa Naayiroobii keessatti kabajamee ture irratti argamuun, gorsa adda addaa baqqattoota Oromoof kennaa kan turan yoo ta’u, erga sirni ayyaanichaa xumuramee booda haga ammaatti gara mana isaanitti kan hin deebine ta’uun himamee jira.

Fira Obbo Dabbasaa Guyyoo kan ta’an, Obbo Shaamil Alii akka nuuf himanitti, ayyaana Irreechaa kabajamee ture irraa qooda fudhataa kan turan ta’uu nutti himuun, ayyana sana booda haga ammaatti bakki isaan jiran kan hin beekne ta’uu dubbatan.

Dhabamiinsa Obbo Dabbasaa ilaalchisee, waldaa Hawaasa baqqattoota Oromoo Keeniyaa fi, waajjiraalee buufata poolisii biyyattii heddutti iyyachuu isaanillee Obbo Shaamili ibsanii jiru.

 READ THE FULL STORY (OromiaMedia.org)

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/10/hayyuun-aadaa-fi-argaa-dhageettii-oromoo-obbo-dabbasaa-dhabaman/

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RELATED: Abbaa Liban Dabbasaa Guyyoo on the Oromo Gadaa Civilization:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gaLlm7r7bw

Oromia: Baqqalaa Garbaa Woyyaaneen maaliif hiitee akkas itti taphatte? September 8, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Baqqalaa Garbaa, Because I am Oromo.
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Baqqalaa Garbaa Woyyaaneen maaliif hiitee akkas itti taphatte?

Awash Post, Birraa (September) 8 Bara 2015

 

Abdii Gammachuu: Bilisummaan nuti laga, gaaraafi daggala keessa barbaannu daandii Finfinnee, Amboofi Adaamaa irra jirti. Nuti onnee hidhamuufi mindaa baatii muraasaa dhabuuf qophoofte qabna taanaan.

Hedduun keenya ob.Baqqalaa Garbaa osoo inni hinhidhamin dura irra jireessatti oduudhaan beekna. Yeroo inni mana hidhaa tureefi mana murtii deddeebi’us daran isa barre, waa’ee isaa kan odeeffamus hanga tokko dhageenye. Baqqalaa qajeelatti kan barre, akka yaada namoota hedduutti, erga inni mana hidhaatii bayee asi.

Ob. Baqqalaan sabboonaa Oromoo isa dhugaati. Isa waan itti amanu hojjatuufi isa saba isaaf jedhee lubbuu isaafi jireenya maatii isaa hallayyaa irraan tiratu. Baqqalaan nama rakkoo Oromoo hubatuufi nama ammas daandiin hallayyaa rakoofi qaanii kana keessaa ittiin baanu itti mul’atu. Baqqalaan sabboonaa figoota Oromoo qofa osoo hintaane gamnaafi nama siyaasni galeef. Egaa Woyyaaneen murataafi dhimma oromoo irraa akkas dubbataa kana kan ganna hedduuf nurraa hiitee dararaa turte. Oromoof namni gaariin hinbarakatu. Kan mataa olqabate, dhugaa qabatee waa’ee saba isaan quuqamaa dubbate mootummaan usee hin ilaalu. Namni ummtaaf firaa mootummaaf diina. Mootummaan yeroo hunda isa ummnni jaalatuufi abdatu kan hidhee itti taphatu. Kan abshaalummaafi bilchinaan fundura isaa dhabbate mootummaan ilkaan itti qarate.

Woyyaaneen dhaadannoo keenya hindhageettu, bookkisa keenyas akka sodachisaatti hinfudhattu. Hunda tuffatti. Kolfaa bira dabarti. Kan isii sodaachisu, hirriba malee halkan guutuu isii teessisu, isa mataa gadi qabatee, tarsiimoofi tooftaa isii qajeellotti hubatee, dadhabinaafi cimina isiis gargar baafatee, tooftaa tolfatee harka garaa jalaan isii balleessuu hujii godhateedha. Isa alaa bookisuufi geerraru osoo hintaane xiinxanaa keessaatitu nuballeessa, umrii keenya gabaabsa jedhaniiti kan hedduu sodaatan. Mallas Zeenaawiis yeroo lubbuun jirutti namootuma ykn gareedhuma akkanaa irraa fagotti uf tiksaa ture. Hundaafis dhaamee kan darbe kanuma. Baqqalaan leenca Finfinnee keessatti gogaa hoolaa uffatee fundura isaanii dhaabbate ta’uu mootummaan hubate; mirkaneeffate. Bofni mataa olqabate rukutamuu hinqabuu? Yeroo isaanitti hinfudhanne. Akuma innuu irra deddeebi’ee dubbate, ragaa sobaa wolitti qabatanii, mana hidhaa Kangaroo uumatanii murtii hamaa Baqqalaa irratti dabarsan.

Yaanni cimaan qawwee caala

Baqqalaa waan hanga ammaatti raawwatee miti kan rakkoo kana hundaaf isa saaxile, akka amantaa kootti. Humna (potential) fi yaada (idea) inni qabuudha mootummaan qaxxaamura guddaa akka isarra kaayu kan godhe.  Dhugumatti yaanni nama kanaafi dandeettiin isaa, deeggarsa ummata bal’aa argate taanaan, gaaga’amni inni sirna abbaa irree kana irraan gayu salphaa hinta’u. Hubannoofi amantaan mootummichaas kanuma.

Mootumichi nama ummata ufjala hiriirsu, nama hawaasa onnachiisuu, isa tooftaa tarsiimoo isaanii jalaa ittiin fashaleessu qabatee mul’atu tasa arguu hinfedhu. Mormituun heddu. Hooggantoonni paartilee mormitootaas baay’ina dhaabilee siyaasaa yoo caalan malee hinhanqatan.  Dhaabuma Baqqalaan keessa jiru keessatti kan isaa olitti angoo qabu jira. Hoogganoota heddu, Dr. Mararaaas dabalatee,  hireen harka mootummaa kanaatti mana hidhaatti tortoruu isaan hinmudanne. Baqqalaan, hundi beektu,  dhaabicha keessatti nama lammaffaati. Tapha dirree siyaasa irratti, biyyuma abbaa irree keessattis, dhaaba seeraan galmaayee socho’u tokko keessatti nama sadarkaa ol’aanaa irra jiru sababuma xiqqoon (sanuu uumanii) mana hidhaatti galchanii duubaan namatti cufuun kasaaraa siyaasaa heddu akka qabu ykn fiduu malu tilmaamama. Mootummaan Itoophiyaas gaafa Baqqalaa Garbaa hidhuuf murteessu kuni jalaa hindhokanne.  Garuu, mootummaan maaliif Baqqalaa hidhuuf murteesse? Deebiin gabaabaan mootummaan filannoo ufii baduu ykn Baqqalaa balleessuu irra gayuu isaa agarra. Namni qawwee mitii shimala cimaa hinqabne tokko akkam akkasitti mootummaadhaan sodaatama jedchuun keessan hinhafu. Maaliif jennaan yeroo heddu hedduun keenya kan namni dhuunfaas ta’ee mootummaan baay’ee sodaatu qawweedha jennee waan amannuuf. Dhuguma qawween waan sodaatamu. Dhimmi Baqqalaa qawween alatti wonti sodaatamu heddu akka jiru ifatti mul’ise; hubannoofi amantaa keenya kan  hanga ammaa qabnu hanga  tokkos ta’u irra debinee akka gamaaggamnu osoo nuhindirqin hinhafne. Yaanni namoota irraa dhagayamaarus kanuma calaqqisa.

Yaanni cimaan qawweefi boombii akka caalu dhagayuu hinoolle. Viktor Huugoon wanni tokko woraana addunyaa hunda caalu yaada yeroon isaa geette jechuu isaa quba qabduu? Baqqalaan Garbaa yaada yeroon isaa geette qabateeti kan socho’u: hundi keenya dandii Finfinnee, Amboo, Adaamaa, Naqamte, Ciroo, Roobee, Jimma, Asallaafi Yaaballoo irratti akka tokkotti  mootummaa nu saamu, nu ajjeesuufi nubuqqisu afoo dhaabbachuu qabna jechuun isaa. Heedduu keenyatti yaanni kuni kan hojjatu fakkaatee hinmul’atu. Mootumichi garuu yaanni kuni hundarra hedduu hamaa fi yaada yeroon isaa geette ta’uu qajeelchee beeka. Mallas Zeenaawii kan angoo barbaaduufi isa haqa isaa gafatuuf mirga gaara bahuu ykn dagallatti galuu malee mirga haqa isaa daandii Finfinnee, Amboofi Adaamaa irratti gafachuu hinlaanne. Diinni karaa ittiin injifatan namatti mul’isaa? Hattuun faana waan hattee namatti argisiistii? Dhimmoonni biraa akkuma jiranitti ta’ee, jechummaan Mallas suni karaa ittiin qabsoofnee mirga keenna argannuu waan nutti himu heddu ufkeessaa qaba; qalbiidhaan yoo waa xiinxalluu kan dandeennu ta’e. Haga ammaatti iccitiin dubbii kanaa kan galeef Baqqalaafi namoota muraasa qofaaf. Hedduun qabsaawota keenyaa dirree diinni itti naaf bayi jedhu irratti kan argamuu fedhan. Kuni namoota tokko tokkotti gootummaa fakkaatuu nimala. Akka tarsiimootti garuu, kuni isa injifannotti nama geessuu miti. Sun Zuun, abbaa tarsiimoo kan jedhamu, diina keessan kallattiin dhaqaa rukutaa hinjenne. Kan inni addunyaa gorse dadhabina diinaa gargar baasaa san booda bakka qaawwalti jirtuun seenaa rukutaadha.

Eenyummaa Baqqalaafi balaa inni sirnicha irraan gayuu danda’u qajeelatti kan hubate mootummaan, bitaa fi mirga erga ilaalee booda, nama akkanaa ummata keessatti gadi lakkisuu mannaa itti cufanii iyyiisnsa Dayaaspooraa,  balaaleffannaa mootummoota dhihaa fi jaarmayaalee mirga namaaf falman keessummeessuu woyyaa filate.  Santu irra laafaa ta’eeti kan Woyyaanetti mul’ate. Waan dogoggoraanis hinfakkaatu. Kanneen eenyummaa Baqqalaa akka gaaritti hubataniif tankaarfiin isaanii sirriidha. Kabajaa mirga bineensotaafi jettee bofa si’idduuf jiru ufitti hindhiistu. Woyyaanetti iyyiinsa Dayaaspooraa ilkaan hinqabneefi balaaleffannaa jaarmayaalee mirga namaaf falman irraa balaan Baqqalaa gessu  hedduu guddaafi yaachisaa itti ta’e. Kanaaf kan jiruu isaa irraa buqqisanii Zuwaayitti dabarsan.

Murannoon waan itti amane qabachuufi onneedhaan daandii Oromoo nibaasa jedhe irra dhaabbachuu qofaa miti kan Baqqalaa Garbaa adda godhu. Haala amma keessa jirru kanatti daandii Oromoo rakkoo keessaa baasuufi qabsoo deemsisu akka gaaritti adda baafata. Tooftaa diinaa nihubata. Tarsiimoon balaan sabicharra gayaa jiru ittiin qolachuun danda’amus akka dansatti itti mul’ata. Karaan rakkoo keessaa ittiin baanu heddu akka jirus irra deddeebi’ee dubbata. Inni garuu kan irra gabaabaafi baasii (lubbuufi qabeenyaanis) irra xiqqaa gaafatu akka filmaata jalqabaatti fudhata. Karaan rakkoo keessaa ittiin baanu heddu. Ta’us, inni qoree hinqabne, kan gufuun hindanqamne tokkollee hinjiru. Karaa gabaabaaf isa gufuun itti hinheddummaanne adda baafachuufi filachuun gamnummaadha. Karaa kiyya malee daandiin biraa hinjiru jechaa wolafoo dhaabachuudha kan umrii qabsoo dheeresse; inuma bakka tokko tokkotti kan ummata qilee irraa balleesse. Hubannaa siyaasa sadarkaa kanaa qabaachuun mootummatti  amuummachuudha. Kanaafis Baqqalaan qarriffaa diinaa keessa seene.

Gaarummaan Baqqalaa heddu. Namni haasawa Baqqalaa Garbaa tibbana godhaa ture dhaggeeffate cimina nama kanaa heddu hubata. Gama kootiin namni danddeettii haasawa isaa hindinqisiifanne heddu na hinqunnamne. Akka nama hundaa galautti, haasawuu qofa osoo hintaane sadarkaan ufitti amaniinsa isaa hedduu guddaadha. Nama siyaasa tokko irraas kan eeggamu qabxiin tokko kana. Nama danddeettii gudada qabu , nama dubbatee nama amansiisu, haasawaan nama harkisu Woyyaaneen arguu hinfeetu; keessattuu yoo namni suni Oromoo ta’e. Baqqalaan akkas yaadaan, jechaan, gochaan hedduu cimaa ta’ee mul’achuun isaa qorra sodaa worra angoo irra jirutti gadi lakkise; isaan roqomsiise. Gara sababuma hinjirreen harkaafi miila sabboonaa Oromoo kana xaxuutti isaan geesse.

Qabsoon karaa nagaa Oromoof ni hojjata

Mootummaan namoota akka Baqqalaa kanniin qawwee mitii dullaa sona qabu hinqabne kan akkas sodaatuuf waa malee miti. Yaanni Baqqalaan faati deemaniin, qawwee kan caaluufi samuufi onnee namaa keessatti facaafamee hidda godhannaan kufaatii guddaa kan qaqqabsiisu ta’uu isaa sa’aa kanatti mootummichi hunda keenya irra hubateera. Ummanni Oromoo bilchaateera. Kana booda dhaaba siyaasa kamiinuu irraa kan eeggamu ummata ijaaruufi hujii irratti bobbaasuu qofa. Kuni osoo gamtaan ykn wolhubannaan ta’ee irra bayeessa. Yoo kuun kana jedhu inni kuun kun hinta’u jedhee wolbushessuun hujii wolharkaa balleessuu fi gara diigamiinsaatti wolgessuudha. Kan argaafi taajjabaa turres kanuma. Oromoon waanuma  fedhe haajedhuu, karaa kamiinuu haasocho’uu, harka duwwaas taanaan, tarsiimoofi tooftaa isaa hanga tokko sirreeffatee, waanuma jedhu san hujitti geeddarraan waan fedhu akka salphatti akka argatu diinni qajeelchee bareera. Yoo bartoonni Amboo ka’an hangam ardiin akka sochootu, Woyyaaneen akkam akka dhamaatu hundi beektu. Osoo wonti akkasii bakka hundatti yeroo tokkotti, kuni ijaarsa siyaasaafi qindoomina guddaa gaafata malee waan hindanda’amu jedhamee bira darbamuu miti, osoo ta’ee maaltu akka dhufuu danda’u tilmaamaa. Addurreef harki lachuu mirga. Wanti kumee hedduuf hawwine balbaluma jirti. Maaliif karaa ufitti dheeressina, dararaa ufitti heddumeessina garuu?

Baqqalaan qabsaayaa Oromoo dhugaa ta’uu fi kallattiin qabsoo isaa kan deemsisu ta’uu isaatiif ragaan addaa barbaannu hinjiru; gochi mootummaa ragaa guddaadha. Yaada gaarii qabaachuufi karaa sirrii irra jiraachuun qofti gayaa miti, garuu. Yaannis hujitti jijjiiramuu qaba. Daandii sirrii irra dhaabbachuun konkolaataan rukutamutti nama geessa; tankaarfachuudha falli. Milkaayinni yaada Baqqalaafi garee isaa guutummatti kan hundaayu tokkoon tokkoo keenyaa hangam isaan deeggarre ykn bira dhaabbanne waan jedhu irratti. Yoo shakkiidhuma qabsoon karaa nagaa eessayyuu hingeettu jedhuun xaxamnee, waa’ema gaaga’ama 1992 nurra gaye akka ragaatti qabanee,  filannoon hatamuu irraas dubbataatuma yoo  kan  jiraannuu, Oromoo , eessayyuu hingeennu. Tasa waan yaannu hinargannu. Qabsoon karaa nagaa, akkuma hayyonni heddu irratti wolii galan waan gatii malee geggeffamuu miti. Gatiin kafalamuu qaba. Gatiin kafalamus qaaliidha. Mootummaa abbaa irree gara nyaattoo ykn mararfannaa tokko hinqabne wajjiin wol’aansotti jirra kana hindagatinaa. Erga bara 1992 kaasee gatiin kafalamaatuma jira. Gahaa ta’uu dhabuu isaa bira rakkoon kan jiru. Oromoon baatii baatitti kumaatamaan hidhamnaan, kumaatamaan ajjeeffamnaan, kumatamaan saamamnaa haqaafi bilisummaan sahuu hawwinu wonti harka ummataatti hingalleef tokko hinjiru.

Oromoodha hanga ammaatti humna isaa xiqqeessuufi namaa gadii uftaasisuu kan hayyame. Baqqalaan daandii Finfinnee irratti mirga koo nitikfadha jechuun isaa akka badii guddaatti ilaallamuu qofa osoo hintaane akka duumessa balaa roobuuf deemuuttis fudhatame, mootummaadhaan. Onneedhaan, ufitti amaniinsa sadarkaa ol’anaatiin mirga kootiif asumaa dubbadha, asuma keessattis haqa kootiif falmadha jechuu isaati kan dubbii itti dhale. Yeroo heddu nama akkas jajjabaatee isaan afoo dhaabbatu worri Woyyaanee nisodaachisu, nidoorsisu tooftaa adda addaan akka biyya irraa baqatu taasisu. Namoota heddu irratti tooftaan kuni yoo hojjatu argina. Yaaliin kuni hundi nama hincal’isiisu ykn gara baqaatti hingeessu taanaan tankarfiin itti aanuu kanuma Baqqalaa Garbaa irratti fudhatame. Oromoon nama  diina afoo dhaabbatee hanga dhumaatti falmatuun malee isa akka sinbiraa darbata takkaan gir jedhee biyya irraa baduun miti kan bilisoomu. Namoota  murannoo akkanaa qaban rakkoofi gufuu heddutu mudata. Obsaafi cicha sadarkaa ol’aanaa waan qabaniif malee namoonni kunniin dur harka laatan ykn baqatan ture. Yeroo dheeraadhaaf Baqqalaa hidhanii dararuudhaan yaaliin Baqqalaa rifaasisuufi ummatas (miseensotaafi deeggartoota) biraa bittinsuu gahaan godhameera. Itti milkaayanii garuu? Ammati hinmilkoofne. Erga Baqqalaan hidhaa bayee kan taajjabne, gama hamilee Baqqalaa cabsuufi yaadaa inni durii kaasee qabate gachisiisuutiin mootummaa kasaaraa guddatu mudate. Gara boodaatti karoorri inni Baqqalaafi fakkaattota isaaf qabu maal akka ta’e kan arginu ta’a.

Qabsoon Oromoo yadaafi mul’ata haarawaa barbaaddi

Mooraa Oromootti namni yaada haarawa qabu hedduu barbaadamaa ta’utu irra jira; rakkoo hedduufi wolxaxaa ta’e  qabna waan ta’eef. Yaanni rakkoo Oromoof furmaata argamsiisuu malu kallattii hunadaa burqutu irra jira. Hujii hojjatamu hunda keessatti, qabsoo bilisummaas dabalatee, woldorgommiin yaadaa jirachuu qaba. Akkamitti bilisoomna? Tarsiimoo, daandiifi tooftaa kamtu dafee bakka hawwinuun nugaya? Gara boodaatti Oromoon yoo daandii kam qabate naannoo Gafa Afrikaatti irra fayyadamaa ta’a? Yaadota ijoo kanniin irratti namoonni beekumsa qaban, kallattii qilleensa keessaafi alaa hubataa, yaada bifa wolirraa hincinneen burqisiisuu qaban. Wonti nama gaddisiisu garuu, namni tokko bilchina yaadaafi siyaasaa hangamuu cimaa ta’e haaqabaatuu, keessumattuu yaanni isaa kan yeroo heddu odeeffamuun adda ta’e taanaan, balaaleffanna guddatu isa mudata.

Namni tokko hangamuu beekaa ykn yaanni isaa cimaa yoo ta’e bakka deeggarsi ummataa bira hinjirretti eessayyuu hingayu; hinmilkaayu. Namni Oromoof qabsaaya jedhu kamuu kan deeggaramuu qabu cimina yaada isaatiin. Kanniin yaada burqisiisan, hangamuu yaanni isaanii adda ta’ee haa mul’atuu,  jajjabeeffamuufi kabajamuu qaban. Deeggarsi, wolbiradhaabbannaafi woliif birmannaan naannoofi wolbeekumsaan osoo hintaane cimina yaadaa qofarratti kan hundaaye ta’uu qaba. Miseensa ykn deeggaraa dhaaba tokkoo wan taaneef qofa yaada gaarii  kallattii biraatii bubbisu yoo kan tuffannuu rakkoo woggaa dhibbaaf yomuu fala hinargannu. Nuti garuu namoota yaada haarawa ykn waan fala ta’u  qabna jedhan nituffanna, maqaan adda addaas itti laatna. Hamileen isaanii rukutama; akka dheessanii  manatti galan taasifama. Akkanatti wolqancarsine. Gocha dadhabaa akkanaan mootummaa goobsine. Ufis dadhabsiifnee ummatas dukkana hamaa keessatti hanbisne.

Rakkoo keessa jirru kana keessaa bayuuf ilaalcha wolii kabajuun dirqii ta’a. Yoo danda’ame ammoo ifatti yaadaanis ta’ee human qabnuun woliif birmachuu, wolcinaa dhabbachuu qabna. Yeroo karaan haqaa kiyya, kan isin bilisoomsus anuma jedhamu dabreera. Hundi oromoo yaada bilisummatti nugeessu minjala irra kaayuu qaba; ifaaf bilisatti. Kan irra baasu, hedduu funduratti nutankaarfachiisu filachuun kan sabboontota hundaati.  Hedduuun keenya yaada caalaa ta’es hinomishnu. Kanuma durii irratti kan mataa woldhukkubsinu.  Ugginee mootummaa abbaa irree afos hindhabbannu. Hidhamuufi lubbuu dhabuufis ufqopheessinu. Namoonni heddu hidhamuuf mitii mindaa baatii tokkoo dhabuuf qophii miti. Xiqqaachuu namoota murannoo qabaniiti kan qabsoo saba kanaa akkas lafarra harkise, saba guddaa kanas kan dukkana gabrummaafi hiyyummaa keessatti hanbise. Bilisummaan nuti laga, gaaraafi daggala keessa barbaannu daandii Finfinnee, Amboofi Adaamaa irra jirti. Nuti onnee tumamuu, hidhamuufi mindaa baatii muraasaa dhabuuf qophoofte qabna taanaan. Dirqama nurraa eeggamu bayuu dadhabnee Woyyaaneen ‘akkana, akkas’ nugoote jedhaa woggaa 25’f jiraanne.

http://www.awashpost.com/2015/09/08/baqqalaa-garbaa-woyyaaneen-maaliif-hiitee-akkas-itti-taphatte/

OROMO: UNREPRESENTED NATIONS, AND PEOPLES ORGANIZATION, RESOLUTION July 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo Nation, UNPO.
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???????????UNPO

 

The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was established in 1973/1974 by Oromo nationalists in the heart of Oromia, Finfinne (Addis Ababa) to exercise the Oromo people’s inalienable right to national self-determination to terminate a century of oppression and exploitation, and to form independent republic of Oromia, or where possible, a political union with other peoples based on equality, respect for mutual interests and the principle of voluntary association. Today OLF has grown and expanded to all parts of Oromo land (Oromia). During the last 40 years, the organization has transformed itself to one of the leading political force in the region. It has brought about or influenced several positive changes in the Oromo society where it has the unparalleled support from all sectors of the population.

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The Oromo constitute more than 40% of Ethiopia’s projected 98.9 Million inhabitants. Oromos maintain distinct and homogenous culture and common language, history, descent, and separate territory from Abyssinians who created the Ethiopian empire state. During their long history, the Oromos developed their own cultural, social and political system known as the Gadaa system. The Gadaa is a democratic political and social institution that governed the life of every individual in the society for life long until it was systematically suppressed by the occupiers.

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The UNPO General Assembly,

Underlining the persistent violation of human rights in Oromia, Ethiopia that includes arbitrary killings, disappearance, torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces, life-threatening prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pre-trial detention, privacy rights including illegal searches; land grabbing, restrictions on academic freedom, restrictions on freedom of assembly and association, freedom of expression and movement; alleged interference in religious affairs, violence and discrimination against women and abuse of children.

Realizing similar reports showing a systematic nature of human rights violations targeting particular people, the Oromo having been the main victim over many years. The Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), a UN organ, in 1997 stated that “ … military and police forces have been systematically targeting certain ethnic groups, in particular the Anuak and the Oromo peoples, and [further asserting the prevalence of] summary executions, rape of women and girls, arbitrary detention, torture, humiliations and destruction of property and crops of members of those communities.”

Reflecting on Human rights researcher Professor Tronvoll Kjetill ‘s well-founded claim about a systematic flagrance of human rights in Ethiopia. His study asserts ethnic identity in Ethiopia as a political stigma. Based on primary data mined from major human rights organizations and country reports spanning over ten years he has to say, “from 1995 to 2005, the majority of the reported human rights violations in Ethiopia have occurred in the Oromia regional state, [adding that in all those] years but one, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary arrests have been reported, [and that no any] other regional state has such a consistency of reported human rights violation during this time period.”

Giving consideration to a recent report corroborating these systematic violations. In March 2014, Human Rights Watch‘s report under the title “They Know Everything We do: Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia” which highlighted that the government in its pursuit of restricting the rights of the citizens to “freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly[ through the application of repressive laws] to decimate civil society organizations and independent media and target individuals with politically motivated prosecutions, [that the Oromo people] particularly affected, with the ruling party using the fear of the ongoing but limited insurgency

Remembering the adoption of very aggressive and unpopular laws such as the press proclamation, the Charity and Civic society Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism proclamation followed by persistent charges brought against members of the free press and opposition figures,

Noting the situation regarding human rights, the rule of law, democracy and governance in all countries of the Horn of Africa has been of great concern to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), African Union (AU), European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) for many years;

Whereas there are credible reports of arbitrary arrests, forced labour, torture and maltreatment of prisoners, as well as persecution of journalists and political repression in the region,

Referring to the Genocide Watch report released on 12th of March 2013 that considered Ethiopia has already reached Stage 7, genocidal massacres, against many of its peoples, including the Anuak, Ogadeni, Oromo and Omos, Amnesty International report of October 2014 that indicated a widespread and systematic repression of the Oromo people2 . As the title of the report itself convenes for special concern, saying: “Sweeping repression in the Oromia region of Ethiopia” only “BECAUSE I AM AN OROMO” , the recorded 61 deaths and 903 wounded of Oromo mainly students during peaceful protests in April/May 2014 against the drafted Addis Ababa Master Plan4 and

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Reaffirming the US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 on Ethiopia “Prison and pre-trial detention centre conditions remained harsh and in some cases life threatening” and the deep concern of the UN Committee Against Torture in its 2010 report about “the routine use of torture” by police, prison officers, and other members of the security forces–including the military–against political dissidents and opposition party members, students, alleged terrorists,…”. The recorded death of student Nuredin Hassen, Galana Nadhii and Nimona Tilahun after severe torture indicates that no any tendency of improvement in maltreating of the prisoners.

Regretting that the EPRDF demonstrated its continued dominance in nationwide elections for local and city council positions held in 2013 and National Election held in May 2015. EPRDF affiliated parties won all but five of approximately 3.6 million seats; 33 opposition parties boycotted the elections. It also fully controlled and declared a landslide victory of the May 2015 National Election.

Understanding further that in its latest report the Committee to Protect Journalists, based on empirical evidence, put Ethiopia the fourth worst place in the world for journalists and one of “the 10 most censored countries” and “ the top 10 worst jailers of journalists worldwide.”

Considering 17 Oromo journalists that have been fired from Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO) since June 25, 2014 Proclaiming the adoption of the National Policy on Women (1993) and the National Action Plan on Gender Equality (2006-2010) and some commendable provisions of the National Constitution discrimination and sexual violence against Oromo women in Ethiopia is still widespread5 , notably in rural areas.

Emphasising to take all necessary measures to ensure any violence against women is prosecuted and punish adequately and that the victims have immediate means of redress and protection, by the CEDAW Committee 2004 recommendation. More generally, to ensure that all the CEDAW Committee 2004 recommendations be fully implemented

Affirming the Human and democratic rights enshrined in the constitution of Federal Republic of Ethiopia that grants the citizen to practise,

Fully believing the international community has a conventional moral duty to inquire the Ethiopian government to a bid to its constitution and international bill of rights it signed,

Appreciating the right groups such as AI, Human Rights Watch, HRLHA, Genocide Watch, OSG, OSGA and etc. that operated under significant government restrictions and managed to outreach the curtailed atrocities committed by EPRDF regime. a ruling regime that remains in power for 25 years by blocking every opportunity of transformation to genuine democracy and blatant disregard and denial for free and fair election.

Condemning boundless human atrocities such as extrajudicial killings, Disappearance, Torture, arbitrary arrests of innocent people, prolonged detention without trial, sexual violence, eviction from their land6 committed by Ethiopian government,

Expresses its grave concern at the continuing imprisonment Oromo students, journalist and political leaders, without having been tried by a court of law, and demands the immediate releases;

Therefore, we, the UNPO General Assembly:

  1. Solemnly affirms that the government of Ethiopia is systematically committing massive human rights violations against the Oromo people
  2. Requests to ensure that those responsible for killings, beatings, torture and other grave human rights violations be brought to justice
  3. Calls upon the Ethiopian government to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of media and freedom of conscience;
  4. Calls on the EU, UN, AU and democratic governments to reconsider their approach to Ethiopia if no progress is made towards compliance with the essential elements of various international agreements in particular on core human rights issues such as access to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to visit prisons, release of the political prisoners and etc.;
  5. Deplores the unlawful use of lethal force by the government security force. A sexual violation that destabilise the family and eviction of the Oromo from their ancestral land that is designed to uproot the indigenous people.
  6. Condemns the ever more frequent attacks of armed forces, Police and security agents on peaceful demonstrators.
  7. Insists that in the wake of participation by the European Union and international community in resolving the political problem of the country
  8. Urges the Ethiopian authorities to review the press law, Civil Society Law and Anti-Terrorist proclamation adopted in 2009
  9. Urges the Ethiopian authorities to investigate the allegations of harassment and arbitrary arrests affecting the opposition and civil society organisations and to bring those responsible to trial;
  10. Urge and Encourages Ethiopian authorities to release Oromo political prisoners languishing in prisons for many years unconditionally
  11. Instructs UNPO its President to forward this resolution to the Ethiopian government, to the Council, the Commission and Parliament of EU, to the PanAfrican Parliament and the Executive Council of the African Union, to UN and some democratic governments.

 

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Scientific Research: Colonialism of Mind: Deterrent of Social Transformation, The Experiences of Oromo People in Ethiopia June 30, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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???????????Tigrean Neftengna's land grabbing3 and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocide

 

Colonialism of Mind: Deterrent of Social Transformation

 By Begna F. Dugassa, Sociology Mind 2011. Vol.1, No.2, 55-64 Copyright © 2011 SciRes

ABSTRACT

An educational system and its curricula are shaped by the culture and epistemology in which it is embedded. It is influenced by the societal knowledge, but it also instrumental in shaping the knowledge of the society. Culture influences learning style. Based on cultural diversities and social needs, different societies have distinct curricula. As such, Oromo students ought to be taught now to interrogate the colonial epistemology and ideology as well schooled in the ways of dismantling the hegemony. However, in many cases, they are simply taught to reproduce the knowledge, culture, power structure, thinking and the worldview of colonizers. This means that education, which is supposed to be about critical inquiry and social transformation has been used to indoctrinate or brainwash some students. Such colonial educational curricula have invalidated the knowledge of indigenous Oromo people and compromised their needs. This type of education system, instead of empowering the students and their society, has incapacitated them. For the Oromo people, such curricula have distorted their history, image, identity, and damaged their social fabric. In this paper I argue that, colonial knowledge and education system is not in a position to bring about social transformation among Oromo people; on the contrary it disrupts their peace (nagaa), health (fayya) and (tasgabii) social order.
Colonialism of Mind, Deterrent of Social Transformation

From Oh No! to Oromo! White Supremacy and Colonialism in the 21st Century June 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia.
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We spoke today with Ms. Veta Byrd-Perez of WhenAndWhereIEnter.org about the on-going struggle of African women in Latin America, and with Dr. Fido Ebba about the Oromo people in East Africa all in the context of what continues to be misrepresentations of White supremacist symbolism and violence.

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The Politics of Representation and State Violence in Ethiopia: The Oromo Colonial Experience June 11, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia.
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???????????

The Politics of Representation and State Violence in Ethiopia: The Oromo Colonial Experience

Published by oromopress on Jun 10, 2015
Authors: Gemetchu Megerssa & Aneesa Kassam. Scanned by Oromo Press staff with the permission of one of the authors (Dr Gemetchu Megerssa).
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Déjà vu in Ethiopia’s May 24, 2015 Sham Elections: Marred by rampant electoral fraud, malpractice and violence by the ruling TPLF to stay on and maintain the 24 years tyrannic rules May 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Sham elections.
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???????????TPLF in electoral fraud, 24 May 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Video: Oromo University Students Rally Against Vote Rigging in Oromia (Ethiopia)

“90% of MEDREK election observers in Oromia are harassed & aren’t on election observarion.”

-Obbo Bekele Naga

“BREAKING NEWS | OFC/Medrek Leaders Report Election Irregularities (OMN).”

“Merera Gudina (PhD), a candidate of MEDREK, told Fortune that observers of his party are being massively harassed. .”
-Addis Fortune

In Hadia Zone, Mehar Kerga-“Ha” Polling Station,the ballot box got moved to a nearby health centre due to power outage.

Deja vu in 2015 Ethiopian Elections
https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/omn-oduu-amma-nu-gahe/
https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/marii-filannoo-caamsaa-242015/
https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/omn-london-election-special-part1/
https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/omn-london-election-special-part2/

VOA: Mr. Elias Hadero, Hadiya National & Medrek Candidate in Southern Region, Claims Vote Rigging.

 VOA: Mr. Elias Hadero, a Hadiya National and a Regional Parliament candidate of the Ethiopian Social Democracy-Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Union (a Medrek party), explains the vote rigging in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region.    http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/05/voa-mr-elias-hadero-hadiya-national-medrek-candidate-in-southern-region-claims-vote-rigging/

-Souce: Caamsaa/May 25, 2015 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

VOA Afaan Oromoo: Guyyaa Filannoo (Qophii Addaa)

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/2788607.html
http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/05/voa-afaan-oromoo-guyyaa-filannoo-qophii-addaa/

Oduu Owwituu!!! Oduu Owwituu!!!!!! ================================ ////////Filannoon osoo hin jalqabamiin xumurameeee!!!!!!//////// Godina Harargee Bahaa Aanaa Giraawaa Araddaa Raasaa Nagayaa je’amanitti filannoon…xumuramee tahu maddeen oduu gabaasan.

Naannoo oromiyaatti Godina Harargee Bahaa aanaa Giraawaa araddaa Raasaa nagayaa Akka maddeen keenya nuf gabaasanit Hawaasa naannichaa humna waraansatin eega waliti qaban booda Kaardi filannoo eega irra sasaaban booda Wanta irraa hafe nutu guuta jechuun ummanni gara mana isaati akka gale beekun dandayameera . Mootummaan wayyaane yeroon filannoo osoo hin gahiin humna woraana issat fayadamuudhan Gandoota baadiyyaa adda addaati gochoota akkas ni geggeeysa jedhame kan sodaatama ture yommuu tahu , akkuma jedhameeti Haraarge bahaa Aanaa Giraawwa ganda raasaa keeysati filannoon yeroo isaa male akka geggeeyfame xumurame madden keenya nuf gabaasaniiru . Akkasumaas bifuma walfakkaatuun Naanoo oromiyaa Godina Arsii Aanaa Balee Ganda Xaqqetti Waraqaan Kaardi filannoo Qaamota mootumaatin haawaasa doorsisuudhan kaardi filannoo hunda isaan irra guurani akkaxumuran madden gaabasiniiru .

Roorroo Falmataa Roobsan

ODUU GADDAA AKKA ODUUN NU GAHE IBSUTTI HOJJATTOONNI FILANNICHAA SEERA QABSISOOTA TURAN AKKA IBSANITTI MAGAALAA DIRRE DHAWAATTI HARKA 100%90 MADAREK TAHUU YEMUU ARGAN HOJJATTOOTUMA ISAANII WAAMANII WARAQAA 300 IRRATTI OFUMAA MALLEEFFATANII SANDUUQA KEESSA GALCHAN JEDHAN ODUU 100%100tti DHUGAA TAHEEDHA OF QOPHEESSAA KAN LAMMIIF HADOODDAN WANTI TOLAAN DHUFTU HIN JIRTU

– Social Network ( Facebook)

No Democracy in Ethiopia. No fair and free election in Ethiopia.   Caamsaa 24/2015 Mooraan Yuunibarsiitii Jimmaa, Mattuu, Wallaggaa, Amboo, fi Dirree Dawaa addatti humni waraanaa guddaan itti seenee jira.

Caamsaa 24/2015 Gabaasa Qeerroo Jimmaa,img101861

Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo barruulee warraaqsaa belbetuu qabxiiwwaan armaan gadii of irraa qabduu Mooraalee Yuunibarsiitii biyyaatti hundarra facaasuun mootummaa Wayyaanee raafama guddaa keessa galche jira. waraanni wayyaanees bifa lamaan mooraa Yuunibarsiitii seenaa jira, inni tokko uffata sivilii uffachuun, inni lammaffaa immoo hidhannoodhan, barruulee qeerroon facaasaa jiruu adamsuufis lafa waranni kun hin seeniin hin jiru, qabxiiwwaan barruu qeerroo irra jiru muraasni isaa: 1. Dimookiraasiin hin jiru, filannoon hin jiru (No Democracy in Ethiopia and no fair and free election in Ethiopia) 2. Gaaffii mirga abbaa biyyummaa uummata Oromoof deebiin kennamuu qaba. 3. Ilmaan Oromoo jumlaan hidhaman gaaffii tokko malee hiikamuu qabu. 4. Mootummaan Ce’umsaa hundeeffamee, filmaanni demookiraatawaa ta’ee fi haqaa fi bilisa irratti hundaa’ee akka gaggeeffamu jabeessinee gaafatna. 5. Nuti Qeerroon dargaggootni barattootni Oromoo bilisummaa fi dimookiraasii barbaadna, hanga Oromoon bilisoomuu fi Oromiyaan Walaboomtutti FDG jabaatee itti fufa. 6. Waranni nagaa biyyaa,fi daangaa biyyaa eeguuf ijaarame malee dhaaba siyaasaa tokkitti EPRDF/TPLF eeguuf hundeeffame diigamuu qaba. 7. Humni waraanaa Mooraa Yuunibarsiitii seenee barattoota gooluun yakka. waraannii uummata keenya irra qubsiifame kaafamuu qaba, barruun jedhuu mooraalee dhaabbilee barnootatti raamsuun wal qabatee wayyaaneen lafa seentuu dhabuun humna waraanaa guddaa mooraalee Yuunibarsiitiitti ol seensisuuf dirqamtee jiraachuun gabaafame.. gabaasaan itti fufa!!

Ethiopia’s May 24, 2015 election in Oromia Special Zones near Finfinnee voters were not allowed their phones

https://www.cpj.org/blog/2015/05/with-limited-independent-press-ethiopians-left-vot.php

UNPO: European Parliament Discusses Situation in Ethiopia ahead of 24 May Election: Is the EU Evaluating an Ambiguous Tradeoff? #Ogaden #Oromia May 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Sham elections, UNPO.
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???????????UNPO

European Parliament Discusses Situation in Ethiopia ahead of 24 May Election: Is the EU Evaluating an Ambiguous Tradeoff?

UNPO, 22 May 2015

EU

On 20 May 2015, the situation in Ethiopia ahead of the 24 May parliamentary election was discussed during the European Parliament’s monthly plenary session in Strasbourg. After an introductory statement on the EU’s policy towards Ethiopia by Commissioner Christos Stylianides, speaking on behalf of EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, MEPs from across Europe and the political spectrum were given the opportunity to express their point of view on the issue. While several MEPs expressed deep concern for the human rights situation in Ethiopia, especially in the Ogaden region, and argued that the EU should make better use of its power and funds, others underlined the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the country, considered to be a cornerstone for stability in the Horn of Africa. Overall, the debate largely reflected the EU’s dilemma of a constant tradeoff between economic/security related interests and its core values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. 

That Ethiopia is an important partner to the European Union, especially thanks to the stabilising role it plays in the Horn of Africa and in countering religious extremists such as Al Shaabab, is hardly any breaking news. Neither is the important progress the country has made in terms of economic development in recent years. And yet, this is what the statement of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini emphasised, while also, albeit rather softly, approaching the problems surrounding the upcoming Ethiopian election. While recognising that 24 May will not signify a victory for pluralist democracy with a free and fair plebiscite, the statement continued by stressing that the EU has raised its concerns with the Ethiopian government and that democratic transition always takes time.

Among the MEPs participating in the debate, Davor Ivo Stier (EPP), Miroslav Piotrovski (ECR), Cécile Kyenge (S&D), Lidia Senra Rodriguez (GUE), Jordi Sebastiá (EFA/Greens), Bogdan Wenta (EPP), Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD), Josef Weidenholzer (S&D),  Alessia Mosca (S&D), Julie Ward (S&D) and Ana Gomes (S&D) expressed great concern with regards to the human rights situation in the country, referring to, amongst others, the appalling statistics on imprisoned and exiled journalists and the difficulties faced by opposition groups who had tried to register for the elections. Many of the aforementioned also highlighted the fact that the previous elections, in 2005 and 2010 respectively, to which the EU had sent election observation missions, had been declared ‘not fair’ – a criticism bluntly rejected by Ethiopia.

The alarming situation in the Ogaden region, where trade and humanitarian embargos, accompanied by severe repression and human rights violations, including systematic rape, are severely affecting the population, was raised by Julie Ward, Ana Gomes, Josef Weidenholzer and Jordi Sebastiá. Well informed about the dynamics in the Horn of Africa, they warned that the situation in Ethiopia is all but stable; on the contrary the Ethiopian Government’s repressive policies are providing fertile ground for extremists to operate on.

Moreover, many of the interventions echoed that the EU and its Member States should be bolder in conditioning development funds to Ethiopia on the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Also highlighted was the importance of carefully monitoring these funds and making sure that they are actually used for development projects, rather than to finance crackdown on dissidents and political opposition movements. In this context, it was recommended that the EU issue a statement ahead of the elections, or immediately after, stating clearly that it does not consider these elections a manifestation of democracy.

Another line of argument was maintained by MEPs Louis Michel (ALDE), James Carver (EFDD), Marie-Christine Arnautu (non-attached) and Steeve Briois (non-attached), who argued that although the EU should encourage Ethiopia to adhere to international human rights standards, the first priorities should be to keep a good relationship with the government and put even more emphasis of the question of regional stability.

Following the heated debate the ball was passed back to the Commission for the HR/VP’s response:  whereas the EU will continue to engage in development efforts, it will also work towards strengthening human rights, and deepen its engagement to promote long-term democratisation in Ethiopia. This seemingly vague approach shows that the EU is currently facing a moral dilemma with regards to Ethiopia, whereby the economic and security interests at stake allow for a rather relaxed attitude towards Ethiopia even, if it is clear that the latter does not adhere to the Union’s core values of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, including minority rights.

Nevertheless, the announcement made during the Plenary session of HR/VP Mogherini’s intention to travel to Ethiopia in the near future could be seen as an opportunity for the EU to take a firmer stance on the human rights dimension of its relations with Ethiopia under the Cotonou Agreement, and to pressure for the embargo to be lifted and for international NGOs and journalists to be allowed access to the Ogaden region. Although it might be economically beneficial for the EU to maintain its soft approach to Ethiopia in the short term, UNPO firmly holds that the only way to achieve long-term stability and prosperity is through the unconditional fulfilment of the human rights of all Ethiopians, including the Ogaden and Oromo people.

You can access the list of speakers and the video of their statement on the European Parliament’s website(the discussion on the situation in Ethiopia started at 17:10).

Photo courtesy of Gerry Balding@flickr

http://unpo.org/article/18233

Oromia: SBO: Oduu Filannoo Wayyaanee, Caamsaa 20, 2015 May 21, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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???????????sbo

 

Mootummaan Wayyaanee filannoo isaa Caamsaa 24, 2015 Dilbata dhufu geggeeffatuun walqabatee Oromiyaa keessatti iddoowwan Fincilli ummataa ni dhoha jedhee sodaatutti karaa ittiinan dhaamsuu danda’a jedhu humna waraanaatti dabalatee karoora biraa baafatee socho’aa jiraachuun isaa saaxilame.

Filannoon kun filannoo dimokraatawaa, bilisaa fi haqummaa kan hin qabne, ulaagaa filannoo addunyaan beekuu kan hin guutnee fi taajjabdootni idil addunyaa tokkollee kan irratti hin argamne filmaata fakkeessii fi waliin dhahaa tahuun isaa yoo beekamu, mootummaan Wayyaanee filannichaan booda diddaan ummatootaa akka hin dhalanne, addatti ammoo Oromiyaa keessatti Fincilli ummataa fi dargaggootaa ka’uu danda’a sodaa jedhuun diddaa dhalatu dhaamsuuf humna waraanaa, poolisaa fi humnoota tikaa bobbaafatee jirutti dabalee karaa ittiin diddaan kun hin babal’anne tooftaa ittiinan dhaamsa jedhu kan biraa lafa kaawwatee socho’aa jiraachuu Maddeen Oduu SBO saaxilaniiru.

Haaluma kanaan mootummaan abbaa irree fi goolessaan Wayyaanee Oromiyaa keessaa bakkoota fincilli ummataa fi dargaggootaan ka’uu danda’a jedhee sodaataa jiru Dhiha Shawaa, Baha Wallaggaa, Naqamtee fi naannoo ishee, Lixa Wallaggaa D.Doolloo fi naannoo isheetti akkuma adeemsi filannoo xumurameen naannolee kanatti mo’amneerra jedhee labsuun diddaan ummata Oromoo akka hin kaane, bakkoota biraattis fincilli ummataa fi dargaggootaan akka hin qabsiifamne ukkaamsee hambisuuf karoorfatee akka jiru maddeen SBO ifa godhanii jiran.

Filannoo kanaan walqabatee naannolee kanatti mormii ummataa dhalatuu malu tooftaa kanaan ukkaamsinaan bakkoota biratti fincilli hin dhalatu, hin babal’atu, salphaatti filannoo keenya milkii fi injifannoo paartii IHADGn xumurachuu dandeenya jechuun itti amantaan socho’aa jiraachuun isaanii saaxilameera.

Oromiyaa keessattis haa ta’u, naannolee empaayerattii hunda keessatti mootummaan Wayyaanee/IHADG filannoo kana waliin dhahee, korojoo hatee, ummatas doorsisee fi tokko shaneen walitti hidhee akkuma duraanii injifannoo kijibaa labsachuun isaa waan dirree jiru, shakkii tokkollee kan hin qabne ta’uu kan hubachiisan maddeen SBO, karoorri Oromiyaa keessatti fincila ummataa dhaamsuuf Dhiha Shawaa, Baha Wallaggaa, Naqamtee, D.Doolloo fi bakkoota biraatti baafamee jiru kan mul’isu, sagalee ummataa ukkaamsuuf shira olaanaa xaxamaa jiru ta’uun isaa akkuma jirutti ta’ee, mormitootni barcuma lama, shan ykn kudhan argatanii paarlamaa galanii teenyaan isaan gaha jechuu akka ta’e kan mul’isuu dha jedhaniiru.

Kanas ta’e sanas filannoo waliin dhahaa sirna mootummaa Wayyaanee jalatti geggeeffamuun murna shiftaa aangoo humna qawween qabate Wayyaanee aangoo irraa kaasanii sagalee ummataa, waan ummatni fedhu argamsiisuun akka hin danda’amne sabboontotni Oromoo yaada agabaastota SBOf kennaniin mul’isuun, mormitootni maqaa Oromoon jiran barcuma murtooftuu argatanii paarlamaa seenanii taa’uun rakkoo fi gidiraa sirna cunqursaa ummata Oromoo irratti barootaaf jiraate furuu akka hin dandeenye, kaleessas akka hin danda’amiin addeessaniiru.

Kanaaf ummatni Oromoo, ka’imman Oromoo waca filannoo kanaan dahatee deemaa jiruun osoo hin dagamne, keessaa fi alatti irree isaa gamteeffachuun bilisummaa fi mirga abbaa biyyummaa isaa dhugoomfachuuf qabsoo isaa caalaatti jabeeffatee, FDG bifa gara garaan deemaa jirus daran babal’isee finiinsuu akka qabu sabboontotni Oromoo dhaamsa isaanii dabarsanii jiru.

Addi Bilisummaa Oromoo (ABO)n filannoo Wayyaanee kana ilaalchisuun ibsa Caamsaa 18,2015 baaseen, Filannoon Caamsaa 24, 2015nitti baallamamee jiru Wayyaanee aangomsuun alatti faydaa biraa ummatootaaf argamsiisu tokkollee akka hin qabne ifa gochuun, ummatni Oromoo haqa kana hubatuun furaan dhibdee isaa qabsoon malee kan hin argamne tahuu beekee, filannoo kijibaan akka hin dagamne, mirgaa fi bilisummaa isaa qabsoo isaan gonfachuuf jabaatee akka warraaqu ibsa kanaan yaamicha isaa dabarsee jira.

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/05/sbo-oduu-filannoo-wayyaanee-caamsaa-20-2015/

Oromo TV: Amy Bergquist the Advocates for Human Rights Regarding Oromo Refugees in Yemen May 20, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromo Refugees in Yemen.
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???????????Oromo refugees in Yemen

 

 

As Ethiopia votes, what’s ‘free and fair’ got to do with it? May 18, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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???????????Ethiopia's scores on freedom

As Ethiopia votes, what’s ‘free and fair’ got to do with it?

By Terrence Lyons, The Washington Post

Ethiopia, Washington’s security partner and Africa’s second most populous country, is scheduled to hold national elections on May 24. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allied parties won 99.6 percent of the seats in the last round of elections in 2010. There is no doubt that the ruling party will win again.

The party has ruled since 1991 when it seized power following a prolonged civil war. It dominates all major political, economic, and social institutions, has virtually eliminated independent political space, and opposition parties are fractured and harassed. Ethiopia has jailed more journalists than any other country in Africa.

The EPRDF is an extremely strong and effective authoritarian party. Yet Wendy Sherman, the Under Secretary of Political Affairs in the Department of State, recently said, “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair and credible.” What roles do elections play in authoritarian states and what, if anything, do they have to do with “free, fair, and credible” standards?

Part of the answer is to recognize that elections and political parties in autocratic states play different roles than they do in democratic states. Electoral processes are used by authoritarian regimes to consolidate power and to demonstrate the ruling party’s dominance, as argued by scholars of comparative politics such as Schedler and Gandhi and Lust-Okar. Research by Geddes shows that single-party authoritarian regimes tend to be more stable and last longer than military or personalistic ones. Strong partiesmanage instability by encouraging intra-elite compromise, co-opting opposition, and institutionalizing incentives to reward loyalty. Elections and strong political parties thereby contribute to “authoritarian resilience,” as scholars note with reference to China, Iran and Syria, and Zimbabwe.

Non-competitive elections are common in authoritarian states and incumbents often win by incredible margins. In Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir won 94 percent of the vote in April 2015 elections, Uzbek President Islam Karimov over 90 percent in March 2015, and Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev 97 percent in April 2015. Rwandan President PaulKagame, when asked if his 93 percent landslide in 2010 represented the will of the people, reportedly answered: “So, 93 percent – I wonder why it wasn’t higher than that?” The EPRDF’s 99.6 percent victory in 2010 createdcredibility problems in North American and European capitals where diplomats often asked, “Couldn’t they have just won by 60 or 75 percent?” But the point of elections under authoritarian rule is not to obtain a working majority or to win international approval. The purpose is to dominate domestic politics completely and thereby deter any leader from thinking he or she could challenge ruling party successfully. The dramatic, overwhelming victories send an important domestic message of strength and power, even as they strain credibility abroad.

The EPRDF recognizes the dangers it faces from competitive elections and that it democratizes at its peril. In 2005 Ethiopia held competitive elections, complete with significant opposition participation, major rallies, and televised debates. According to official results, the opposition’s share of seats in parliament increased from 12 to 172, representing 31 percent of the total. The opposition parties swept all the seats in Addis Ababa and many cabinet ministers and high-ranking officials lost their positions. This shift represented the potential for an important advance in democratization and a major break in the ruling party’s domination.

Members of the opposition, however, refused to accept the results and claimed that massive fraud had denied them outright victory. Some opposition leaders boycotted the parliament. Post-election demonstrations turned violent and were brutally put down by the Ethiopian military, leaving nearly 200 dead and an estimated 30,000 arrested. The 2005 election began with a democratic opening but ended with what the Department of State characterized as the criminalization of dissent.

In the aftermath of the 2005 crisis, the EPRDF responded by demonstrating its extraordinary strength in using the levers of state power and its considerable organizational capacities to control all aspects of political life. New laws largely eliminated civil society institutions and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation has been used against journalists and other critics. Just before a visit by Secretary of State Kerry in April 2014, the regime arrested a group of young bloggers who called themselves Zone Nine and charged them with terrorism. Washington recently urged Addis Ababa “to refrain from using its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation as a mechanism to curb the free exchange of ideas.”

As a consequence of its restrictions on politics over the past decade, the ruling party has little to worry about with regard to the opposition parties competing in the upcoming elections. The limits on formal political competition have made social mobilization outside of the electoral process more important. A series of non-violent protests in 2012 by Ethiopian Muslims provided an important model of sustained, peaceful social mobilization. The regime arrested the movement’s leadership and has tried to link the protests to external enemies and terrorism. In 2014, the security services quickly suppressed demonstrations on university campuses by Oromos, highlighting the historical sense of marginalization perceived by many in Ethiopia’s single largest ethnic group. In April 2015, a government organized rally to mourn the killing of Ethiopian migrants in Libya by the Islamic State (ISIS) ended with arrests and clashes between security forces and protestors. The Ethiopian regime has managed each of these challenges without significant difficulty but the underlying grievances remain.

blob:https%3A//www.youtube.com/4b8fffcb-345b-4b23-b7b3-e2a218263c28

Editor’s Note: This video contains graphic content. Clashes broke out in Addis Ababa at a government-organized demonstration against the killing of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State militants in Libya.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/05/18/as-ethiopia-votes-whats-free-and-fair-got-to-do-with-it/

Related: Widespread brutalities of the Ethiopian government against the Oromo people in different parts of the State of Oromia, Oromian Economists May 17, 2015 Report

Human rights organization appeals to UNHCR for lifesaving assistance to #Oromo refugees in Yemen. #Africa. #UN May 18, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Oromo Refugees in Yemen.
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???????????Oromo refugees in Yemen

Human rights organization appeals to UNHCR for lifesaving assistance to Oromo refugees in Yemen

Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

The following is a statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA), “a non-political and nonpartisan organization which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the peoples of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. HRLHA is aimed at defending fundamental human rights, including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and organization. It is also aimed at raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and that of others. It has intended to work on the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.”

——-

May 16, 2015

HRLHA’s Appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

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

Attention To:
Mr Amin Awad
Middle East and North Africa Bureau
UNHCR, Geneva

Dear Mr. Guterres,

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa/HRLHA is very concerned about the current humanitarian crisis in the Republic of Yemen following the internal conflicts and political instabilities that have broken down the social services in the country. Many nongovernmental and humanitarian organizations are reporting that the crisis in Yemen has highly affected refugees and asylum seekers who came from the Horn of Africa to Yemen to escape the volatile situations in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and other places. Among the most vulnerable are Oromo refugees and asylum seekers residing in Sanaa, Aden and other areas in Yemen.

According to the letter disseminated by the Oromo refugee community in Aden-Yemen under the heading “Only Oromo refugees are still caught up under the fire and critical circumstance and also expecting an imminent danger”, Oromo refugees are desperately seeking attention and lifesaving assistance of the UNHCR. The UNHCR’s Middle East and North Africa branch office confirmed its commitment to providing life–saving assistance for the needy people under its strategy’s priority: “UNHCR’s strategic priorities in 2015 are: to deliver innovative operational responses, including lifesaving assistance; to ensure protection for all people of concern with a particular focus on the most vulnerable, especially those in urban areas; to seek durable solutions, including resettlement as a protection tool; and to continue to respond to ongoing emergencies.” (UNHCR, Middle East and North Africa – http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4a02db416.html)

Dear Mr. Guterres,

HRLHA, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported and are still reporting that the Oromos are fleeing their country to escape persecutions by the current Ethiopian government led by the TPLF/EPRDF. The recent research document released by Amnesty International – “Because I am Oromo” – Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia – exposes that how Oromos have been regularly subjected to arbitrary arrests, prolonged detentions without charges, enforced disappearances, repeated tortures and unlawful state killings since 1991, when the current Ethiopian government came into power, as part of the government’s incessant attempts to crush dissidents.

Dear Mr. Guterres,

Thousands from other nations and nationalities in Ethiopia have also been killed, kidnapped and arrested by the TPLF/EPRDF government because of exercising their fundamental rights or holding political opinions different from TPLF/EPRDF’s political agenda.

Therefore, the HRLHA politely urges the UNHCR to:

1. Provide food and shelter assistance to vulnerable Oromo and other refugees in Yemen

2. Move them to safer neighboring countries in the Middle East or beyond.

Sincerely,

Garoma B. Wakessa
Director, HRLHA

Contact Addresses:
– 994 Pharmacy Avenue, M1R 2G7 Toronto Ontario, Canada
– Tel:- (416) 492 2506 or (647) 280 7062
– E-Mail:- hrldirector@mail.org
– Web site:- www.humanrightsleague.org

The Global African: Land Grabs in Ethiopia & The Legacy of Belgian Colonization May 18, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Land Grabs in Oromia, Omo Valley.
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???????????Land grab inOromia

The Global African looks at land theft in Ethiopia & the connection between Belgian colonization and HIV in the Congo.

 

Bio

Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a columnist, activist, author and labor organizer. He is the executive assistant to the national vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees. Bill is an editorial board member of BlackComentator.com, as well as the chairman of the Retail Justice Alliance. He is also the co-author of “Solidarity Divided”; and the author of the newly released book, ‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions . He is a co-founder of the Center for Labor Renewal, and has served as President of TransAfrica Forum and was formerly the Education Director and later Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO.

Transcript:

 

 

BILL FLETCHER, HOST, THE GLOBAL AFRICAN: Today on The Global African, we’ll talk about the legacy of Belgian colonization in the Congo and a recent report on land grabs in Ethiopia.That’s today on The Global African. I’m your host, Bill Fletcher. Thanks for joining us again. And don’t go anywhere.

~~~FLETCHER: According to a new report from the Oakland Institute entitled We Say the Land Is Not Yours, the government of Ethiopia has been forcibly removing many Ethiopians from their native lands through a so-called village-ization program. The program, supposedly intended to modernize the East African nation, has sold off millions of hectares of land to foreign investors. These investors, often large-scale agriculture companies, are buying very valuable land at a cheap price. Instead of cultivating land and producing food for the people, most of the yields are being used to export to other nations.After being forced off their land, natives are cut off from access to fertile land, health care, and educational opportunity, languishing in poverty.The country’s villagization program has faced allegations in the past of torture, political coercion, imprisonment, rapes, and disappearances against those attempting to form resistance.We’re joined now with our guest from the Oakland Institute in California, Anuradha Mittal, who is the executive director and founder of the institute, which aims to create opportunity for public participation and democratic debates on key issues worldwide. Under her leadership, the Institute has unveiled land investment deals in Africa and around the world.Thank you very much for joining us on the program.ANURADHA MITTAL, EXEC. DIR., OAKLAND INSTITUTE: Thanks for having me.FLETCHER: So I just read this report that you issued concerning land theft in Ethiopia. And I had not seen anything about this in the mainstream media. And I was curious. Let’s start with how did you uncover this situation and what brought it to your attention.MITTAL: Well, in the case of Ethiopia we at the Institute have been working since 2007, 2008, when we were contacted by the communities both within Ethiopia as well as people who are now in the diaspora, people who have been forced to live in exile, who have fled the country because of the political oppression. And what we started hearing about was that in the name of development, vast tracts of land are being cleared where ethnic groups, indigenous communities have been living as agropasturalists, or growing their food, or using the forest for their medicines, for their farms.And with this displacement, you’re seeing large-scale plantations of cotton, of sugarcane coming into being in the name of development, that this will lead Ethiopia to the next century and make it a renaissance state.So we were really concerned by the kind of displacement that is happening. The government plans to give away 7 million hectares of land, leading to the displacement of over 1.5 million people. And there’s no consultation, there is no free prior informed consent. The way communities are being moved is through forced displacement, and we were very concerned about it.FLETCHER: When the Ethiopian regime that currently is in power took over in the ’90s, overthrowing Mengistu, their program seems to be completely antithetical to what we’re witnessing right now, where the regime seems to be serving the interests of global agricultural capitalists.MITTAL: You’re right on, I mean, what had happened earlier, the so-called villagization, when people were forced off their lands and the so-called villages were supposed to be created where better social services would be provided. And that was challenged. But not today. It is the same pretext that is being used that better social services would be provided, better education opportunities would be provided to communities who are being moved. And so this is the whole rhetoric of development. But our research on the ground shows that the lands which have been cleared, actually then given away to foreign investors who are coming in from India, from Malaysia, from Turkey and just about everywhere, especially in areas such as Gambela or Lower Omo, and leading to forcible displacement of people.The other shocking thing, Bill, that–I think it’s important to remember is that this kind of development, which leads to eviction of people against their choice from their homes and lands, is happening thanks to donor countries. It is happening because it has the blessings of financial institutions such as the World Bank.FLETCHER: I’d like you to explain that a little bit more. Why–what are the, what’s the interest of the World Bank in all of this?MITTAL: Well first of all, there is this belief that large-scale plantations, large-scale agriculture will lead to development and the benefits of which will somehow trickle down to those at the bottom. We have seen that trickle-down does not really ever happen.Secondly, you have these loans that are being provided. When you look at Ethiopia, over 60 percent of its budget comes from outside. Some of the key donors are United States, United Kingdom, the World Bank.And also we have another relationship. In the United States, Ethiopia is our closest ally in Africa. It is our ally in the war on terrorism. So we tend to turn a blind eye to the repression that is happening on the ground.FLETCHER: Is there an ethnic side to what’s going on? That is, are there certain ethnic groups in Ethiopia that are disproportionately affected by this? Or is this pretty much across the board?MITTAL: Well, this is happening across the board, and it’s happening to the ones who are in minority. So, for instance, in Lower Omo you have the Bodis, the Suris, the Mursis, the Nyangatoms, the Hamars who are being impacted. In case of Gambela, Anuaks are predominantly targeted. So it is a country which is ruled by a minority, the Highlanders, or the Tigrayans. And their control is being maintained through political and economic repression by displacing people from their lands, which makes their livelihoods even more difficult. And secondly, it helps to control the country politically and stay in power.FLETCHER: There’s two questions here. One is: what is happening to the populations that are being displaced? In similar situations around the world, there’s a tendency for people to move into the urban centers. Is that what’s happening here? Are people leaving the country? And the second question is about resistance. What kind of resistance is building?MITTAL: Well, both are great questions. I think Ethiopia is a little bit unique, because given the kind of political oppression you have, given there is no political space to be able to speak out as you hear from the testimonies presented in the report, which we basically felt we had to do because our fieldwork, when we have put out in reports, has been challenged by the Ethiopian government, and this time we could say it is not some Western NGO challenging the Ethiopian government, these are the voices of people within Ethiopia.So it is a very, very dire situation.In terms of resistance, again, when we look around the world, given we work around the world, we see resistance on the ground, but it is pretty appalling. In Ethiopia, again, because of the lack of civil society, lack of freedom of media, and the fact that you can be arrested, the fact that Ethiopian security forces are not just arresting people within Ethiopia, but taking away people from Kenya and South Sudan who might have challenged government’s policies, we are finding very little resistance on the ground.The resistance is more of having the courage to storytell groups such as Human Rights Watch or tell groups like the Oakland Institute what the reality is on the ground. So the resistance is of people who refuse to give up and refuse to move from their lands. And in return they’re facing persecution, they’re facing arrest, intimidation, beatings. You know, the prisons of Ethiopia are full of people who have challenged government’s development strategy.FLETCHER: Is there any sense of global support for the peoples that are facing these evictions? Or are they pretty much on their own?MITTAL: Well, I think more and more of the world knows what is happening in Ethiopia. There are groups from International Rivers, Human Rights Watch, Oakland Institute, Survival International who have been supporting the communities on the ground who have been putting out information to inform and educate. For instance, the U.S. Congress just recently deferred–UK’s development agency stopped financing PBS, the program for basic services, which was linked to the villagization scheme of the Ethiopian government. So this pressure from outside is resulting in kind of taking away some of the resources from the Ethiopian government that is financing and is facilitating displacement of people.But, of course, a lot of work remains to be done. Because of our research, it was exposed by Channel 4 in Sweden that H&M was sourcing its cotton from Lower Omo, these plantations which have come into being by displacing indigenous agropasturalists from Lower Omo. And because of the pressure, H&M had to announce that they would not source cotton from Lower Omo. So I think it is very important to keep spreading the word, to keep educating, and to keep exposing that development strategy which is based on a denial of human rights–and not just denial, but abuse of human rights cannot be a development strategy for any nation.FLETCHER: Ms. Mittal, thank you very, very much.MITTAL: Thank you. Pleasure to speak with you.FLETCHER: Absolutely. I look forward to it in the future.MITTAL: Same here. Take care. Bye-bye.FLETCHER: Bye-bye, now.And thank you for joining us for this segment of The Global African. I’m your host, Bill Fletcher. And we’ll be back in a moment, so don’t go anywhere.

~~~FLETCHER: One of the greatest holocausts of the 19th century, indeed of all time, was the murder of 10 million Congolese when the Congo, then known as the Congo Free State, was the personal property of King Leopold of Belgium–more than 10 million Congolese murdered in order to enrich this monarch of Europe.The legacy of that holocaust lives with us today and is detailed in an excellent piece by Dr. Lawrence Brown. The impact of that holocaust and the colonization of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo resulted in conditions that were fertile for the development of what came to be known as HIV and AIDS. HIV-AIDS first surfaces in what is now Kinshasa, which was at that time, in the 1920s, Leopoldville, in 1920, and spread as a result of the practices that were carried out by the Belgians as they tore the country apart.The Ghost of Leopold Still Haunts Us is the title of an essay written by our next guest, Dr. Lawrence Brown from Morgan State University, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management.Dr. Brown, thank you for joining us again.DR. LAWRENCE BROWN, ASST. PROF., DEPT. HEALTH POLICY AND MGMT, NSU: Absolutely. Pleasure to be here.FLETCHER: Great. I was really struck by this article. It’s the connection that you make between Belgian colonialism and the development of AIDS. I had not seen anything like that before. And it was so different from the conspiracy theory pieces that people read, the utter denial that we see. What inspired you to write it?BROWN: Absolutely. I really had been doing a lot of thinking and studying around colonization, how that impacted health of populations and how enslavement, how these historical traumas impact the health of populations. So when I ran across this article that basically found the authors conducting a genetic analysis of the virus itself and tracking it down, through this sort of forensic process, to Kinshasa in the 1920s, I was really fascinated, because I had been looking at the Democratic Republic of Congo and its history. And so when I ran across the article and I began to read it, I noticed the word Belgium really didn’t come up in the article at all. And I was familiar with Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost, and the story of how King Leopold and his Force Publique, this military regiment, had brought such terror and devastation to the Congolese populations, killing up to 10 million of the Congolese people, that I was really fascinated by the sheer absence of the mention of Belgian colonization.So that got my mind to thinking, and I decided I needed to write something to sort of understand, help people understand how the social determinants of health would have impacted the development and the ignition of HIV.FLETCHER: And you’re describing the Congo Holocaust.BROWN: Essentially, yes.FLETCHER: I mean, more people were killed in what was then the Congo Free State, right?BROWN: Right. It started out as the Congo Free State.FLETCHER: ‘Cause it was the personal property of King Leopold.BROWN: Absolutely. King Leopold II of Belgium.FLETCHER: That’s right.BROWN: He owned it for about 26 years.FLETCHER: That’s right. More people were killed there than the Nazis killed in their Holocaust.BROWN: Absolutely. It was terrible.FLETCHER: Now, one of the things that I was struck by then is that there are those that have tried to dismiss the issue of HIV and AIDS as being related to a virus by simply saying that it’s because of poverty.BROWN: Right.FLETCHER: President Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, was one who was very much in that direction. But you’re making a very different argument.BROWN: Absolutely. You know, the World Health Organization defines social determinants of health as the conditions in which we live, play, work, and pray. And so the social determinants of health help contribute to a disease’s spread, how it evolves, how it is able to infect and spread among human populations.And so what happened in the Belgian Congo in the 1920s is that–this article says it started in 1920s in Kinshasa. So it gives us a starting point. So we know, for instance, that the CIA starts in 1947, so the CIA didn’t create this virus. We know that certain things–we can basically say we can rule out some of the conspiracies based on this analysis.But what we do need to know and figure out is that in the ’20s it wasn’t called Kinshasa, it was called Leopoldville.FLETCHER: That’s right.BROWN: This was part of King Leopold’s domain and the Belgians’ domain by the 1920s. They had built an extensive railway system in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as we know it today, using free African labor–or forced African labor of the Congolese. They had thousands and ten thousands of men and women carrying the supplies and materials that were needed to create this railroad. They had folks who lived and died under the strain of the push to create this sort of transportation. And the railroads were used to extract ivory, and then rubber, from which King Leopold II became rich, to extract those resources from the African people.And so in the article it mentions that having this railway was critical to the spread of the virus because it allowed the transportation from places like Kinshasa, as we know it today, to /kəngɑːli/ and different cities within the nation. And so, understanding that the railways did help the spread of the virus is important, but it’s also important to understand the forced African labor that was used to build that railway and to transport the laborers, even later, after the real railroad was built, along those railways, so the transportation of people back and forth, all in the service of colonization.FLETCHER: Let me go back for a second, 1920 Leopoldville, when they say that that’s when HIV-AIDS emerged. It didn’t pop out of the air.BROWN: No.FLETCHER: So what happened?BROWN: Well, you have the animal-to-human transmission. It’s just like we’ve been talking about the Ebola virus recently, a zoonotic disease that emerges out of animal-human contact. So, in this case the theory is that chimpanzee meat in some form or fashion was consumed by an African Congolese, and thereby transmitting the simian form of that virus.Well, how might that have happened? People in that region maybe had been eating that meat on and off for several hundreds of years. They’d known how to eat that meat very properly, cooked it quite well. But under the conditions that the Belgians were putting the Congolese under, they totally disrupted the Congolese food supply to such that witnesses say that laborers were starving because they couldn’t grow their own food. So now they’re importing food from Belgium, they’re importing food so that the Congolese can eat other people’s food to survive, but they’re sending them into the forest to go and extract rubber down from the vines, they’re sending them into the forest, and folks have to climb up the trees to extract this rubber from the tree, many of them falling asleep and dying or injuring themselves in the process. And so, in this environment of extreme hunger, I could see someone saying, I don’t have anything to eat right now, maybe there is a dead chimpanzee somewhere, I’m going to take that and not cook it properly because I’m so hungry under these conditions, and then you have the transmission from animal to human in this case.FLETCHER: Fascinating. So forgive the very basic questions, but I’m not a scientist. Nineteen-twenty.BROWN: Right.FLETCHER: Okay. Then it seems to emerge publicly around 1980.BROWN: Right. So where was the virus hiding?FLETCHER: Where was a virus? Right.BROWN: Well, you know, I think that from what we understand there, really sort of this article gives three primary vectors. We’re talking about the railway that we talked about earlier. It allows for humans to travel up–the host for the virus to travel across the country, transmitting the virus. It talks about–so you have host, you have the transportation.Then you also have another vector they talk about, commercial sex workers, and so what we know as or what people commonly referred to as prostitutes. And so there are Congolese scholars that say, well, even the commercial sex work is rooted in colonization, because the Belgians would take Congolese women and exploit them in various ways. They would exploit them in terms of helping–using them to please the workers in vile ways. They would use women to–they took some of them as their second wives in the Congo Free State and later the Belgian Congo. So they perverted the very being and the spirit of the Congolese women, and as such created a sort of commercial sex work industry that allowed the virus to sort of proliferate originally.Now, in terms of spreading beyond the borders, the analysis basically says that by the ’60s or ’70s there were Haitian workers that were working in the Belgian Congo. And by the ’60s, of course, the Congo becomes Zaire under Mobutu. And so the Haitian workers working there, professionals, they go back to Haiti having contracted the virus, and then maybe a few Haitians go to New York or go to the United States, and the virus sort of emerges there in the 1980s. But it had been sort of percolating all along. I think you see in the medical literature there were people dying that they can sort of trace back and say, this was probably the disease. In the ’60s and ’70s they were starting to see something’s going on and it’s not right.FLETCHER: But what did the Belgians see between 1920 and 1960, when the Congo became independent? Is there any evidence that they even noticed that there was a problem?BROWN: I don’t think they knew that there was a specific problem with this particular disease. Now, they did have public health campaigns to help stop, like, sleeping disease and other diseases that are infectious diseases that were there at the time.Now, the important thing to know is that they were reusing syringes to sort of inoculate people against certain diseases that they knew about at the time. And so, inadvertently, I believe, you’re reusing needles, and that could have helped proliferate the spread of the virus as well at the time. So those are the kind of dynamics that even in terms of the colonial public health system, the Belgians could have played a role in terms of helping to proliferate the virus. So, whether it’s the colonial public health system, whether it’s animal-to-human transmission, whether it’s commercial sex workers or the railroads, the Belgian colonization system, first with King Leopold and then under the Belgian government, played a role in the transmission of this disease.FLETCHER: When the Belgians left the Congo in 1960, they did nothing to help in any kind of transition. They were trying to actually Balkanize the Congo, as you know, the whole fight around the Katanga province and trying to separate it off. There’s no indication that there was–I’m assuming that there was no indication of any effort to deal with any medical issues when they moved out.BROWN: Yeah, not to my knowledge. But the Belgian government did collaborate with the CIA in terms of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo. So the Belgian government plays a very powerful role, in terms of even after they leave, determining, charting the future course of the Democratic Republic of Congo, so that it’s much more likely to move in a less Pan-African direction and more so in a much more brutal dictator direction.And why is that important? Of course, if you have someone who’s in your stead managing in a neocolonial arrangement, that continues the facilitation of extracting resources from the country. And so you have critical minerals that are predominant all over the country–copper, diamonds, or coltan that’s in our smart phones and cell phones, right? And so people are fighting over those resources today. There’s been a tremendous civil war that’s been going on. Up to 5 million Congolese people have been killed in this civil war.And you see under King Leopold people’s hands being cut off because they didn’t produce enough rubber. And then in this civil war you see sort of the same thing, people’s hands being cut off as a form of punishment. And it sort of–you know, we look at how people tend to reproduce the trauma that they have experienced under these sort of extreme, harsh forms of brutalization and oppression. And that’s what I think is important to know is that so much of what’s going on in the Congo today finds its root in that period when King Leopold II–.FLETCHER: Dr. Brown, thank you very much for joining us on The Global African.BROWN: My pleasure.FLETCHER: And thank you for joining us for this episode of The Global African. I’m your host, Bill Fletcher. And we’ll see you next time.

End

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BEKELE GERBA SPEAKS! May 17, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo.
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Addis Standard – I would like to congratulate you for being a free man at last. But what was it like to be in prison?

 

Bekele Gerba – Prison is not a place one appreciates to be. But I think it is also the other way of life as an Ethiopian; unfortunately it has become the fate of many of our people. You will find a lot of students, youngsters, brothers and sisters, sons and fathers, husbands and wives. Especially when it comes to the Oromo, they are there in great numbers. Therefore going there or being there was a very good experience by itself because you will understand the agony and the hardship our people are facing at the moment. There are lots of problems there too, from the type of food people eat to the type of bed they sleep on. But there are a lot of things to learn from them so I think for me it has been a place of training.
What was your everyday life like and what was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was the first one year and two months when I was kept in maximum security in Kality prison. The room was very small and the type of people we were with are regarded as deadly criminals in this country; they fight and even the police are scared of them. Sometimes they use drugs and they fight easily with anybody. It is a very difficult place. After being there for a year and two months I was sent to Ziway. Ziway is a place where people who come from the countryside are always kept; people who are economically not well off, mainly people who are allegedly suspected of having links with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). And most of them are Oromos there.
There is this popular term that says ‘the prisons in Ethiopia speak Afaan Oromo.’ Is it what you are confirming to me now?
Exactly. If you take away the large number of thieves (the most popular crime there [in Ziway] is theft – and say may be out of 5000 or 6000 prisoners there about 3000 or 4000 thieves) and if you take away those people who are suspected of corruption, very few in number in fact, the rest you can say they are all Afaan Oromo speakers.

inside 3
How did that make you feel as a politician whose party represents the Oromo and as an Oromo?
In one way I am very glad to be there because I felt myself sharing the agony of my own people. How am I different from those people? Those people went to prison because they demanded their rights; I was also there because I demanded my rights. In this country I thought that the Oromos are being excluded from the political and from the economic spheres or participation, something I always object. Therefore I am very glad to be there. I remember the first day I went to the court before my arrest just to see how the court was proceeding when about 500 or 600 Oromos were imprisoned and then taken to the court. I went there as a party member to witness and to see what was going on around. I felt very badly because I saw the prosecutors organizing false evidences; they were calling upon people and they were giving them orientations to testify against people whom they didn’t know at all, whom they have never seen before. I was sad and I called some media that day and gave a brief interview. I think it was after the airing of that interview that the government started following me in order to stop what I was doing. But since I was the spokesman of my party that was the job given to me – to give press conferences or sometimes press releases of what was going on around the party and anything related to the Oromo people. But after I went to prison I was relieved because I had to experience the agony of my people; I had to share their pain and I am glad for that.
Going by your own explanation, if living the pain and agony of your fellow countrymen brought you relief, how did that affect your other life that you stood for? You had a family, you had a political life, and you had a career that you had to leave behind.
Like anybody else, like a human being, when you miss your family of course you feel sad. But my family is no different from other peoples’ family. For example there is a family that I know, the husband was in prison and when he was released the wife was taken to prison. Their children are growing up without a father at one time and a mother at another; my children are no better than these. And if only my family, if only a group of people enjoy normal life and the great majority are not doing the same, I think your happiness or your joy cannot be complete. Of course when I first went there I thought my family would be affected very badly but they are very courageous and they were very supportive psychologically. They were very strong and thanks to many Oromos my children did not quit school and my family has not suffered as such economically.
Your daughter Bontu gave an interview to Afuraa Biyyaa radio station once and told the station you were suffering from ill health. Walk me through that. What happened? How did you maintain your health afterwards?
During the first two three days soon after I was taken to Ma’ekelawi [prison] I started having severe headache and the nurses told me that my blood pressure was high. I had never had that experience before. I was then taken to the Police Hospital and was diagnosed with the same thing; the nurses told me that I looked like a chronic hypertensive patient. I have not had that kind of medical history. Since then until I came out of the prison a few days ago, my blood pressure has been on the rise; I think may be because of the tension, I don’t know. But I am happy that after I was released I am quite okay. I haven’t taken any medication or I have not consulted any physician since my release; I feel I am healthy.

Inside 1
What did help you maintain your everyday sanity when you were there? Was it your interaction with other inmates? Did you have access to books?
The first year was a very difficult time and we have not had enough books and we didn’t know how to smuggle books or any magazines or anything to be read. We have not had any relations with the police; that was a very difficult time until we adjusted ourselves to the prison situations. But later on we started having some books to read that some friends brought for us. We started reading and on a small scale started writing, although it was very difficult to get it out because every three weeks or so the prison police would conduct a search and take away anything that is written; that was the difficult part of it. But after I went to the prison in Ziway I had a chance to meet senior people from the army and from the air force who were accused of staging a coup. Those are people like General Tefera and General Asamenew who were taken to Ziway together. We stayed together and they are very understanding people; they like reading, they like discussions and I enjoyed the discussions. We shared books; we read whatever books we could lay our hands on. That helped me to squeeze through all these bad times.
Moving out of your time in prison, can you tell me what it was like growing up as Bekele Gerba, an Oromo child?
Surprisingly the place I was born and raised is a typical monolingual area. All the people around, all the shop owners or all the government employees and all the school staff speak only one single language, Afaan Oromo. It is a very special place I can say even by Oromia standards. Therefore I didn’t know whether there was any kind of difference between one ethnic group and the other or if there was any kind of oppression elsewhere. But when you go to colleges and universities you will begin to realize there are various ethnic groups and there are various things you will find difficult to tolerate. When I went to the big towns like Addis Abeba and I speak my own language in a taxi or in a bus people turn around and take a look at me; that was when I started to get surprised. And then the consciousness, the social consciousness – not as such political – the reality makes you a bit conscious. However I have not had any bad experience until I graduated from university and went to Wolega again as a high school teacher. And I like speaking languages; I am an outgoing person. I have no problem living with other ethnic group members. But it is later on that I came to understand that there is something wrong going on against the ethnic group I came from.
Is that what drove you to get involved in politics?
Yes. Even in my employment for about 25 years I had never been involved in politics. I was simply an academician and I thought that politics was not a job for everyone. I am a teacher and if I am a good teacher in my profession I thought that will do and that was that. But gradually I found out that my peoples’ grievance is not addressed in a way that it should be. So I thought I could get involved in politics to contribute my share. I don’t know whether I had done anything or had made any change because before I could do anything substantial I was taken to prison. My life experience as a politician is not more than three years.
But within that short period as a politician, I think it was during the 2010 election debate that in a rather succinct argument you spoke about the use and abuse of land distribution and said land was used to advance political causes. What made you take that very strong stand against the ruling party?
You know land is the most important resource in this country, not only in this country but everywhere. It is this resource that everybody who comes to power tries to get control of. If you simply open your eyes and look at what happens around Addis Abeba, then you will see how people are being evicted, and how other people who cannot explain where they get that amount of money from are being catapulted overnight into so much wealth. From my own experience I had a lot of friends who were brought up with me, who had been teachers with me yesterday but who had a lot of money today. That’s okay if it is a legal one.
Realizing that I tried to make a kind of taxonomy, a kind of classification, even though I cannot recall it perfectly now. Accordingly our level of citizenship is divided into various categories. There are people who when they travel around they see a land their eyes fell on and feel like having it and who can have it. Whoever is born and brought there they don’t care. So they can evict everybody and they can sell or hand it over to their friends. I call these people first class citizens. And many of these people are who claim themselves to have liberated us by struggling for 17 years. But what they did not do is liberate these poor farmers; in fact in this regard the Dergue did better for me because it took the land from the landlords and distributed it to the poor farmers, to the tillers. But this time it is the other way round.
And then there are others – regional officials like if you take the Oromia cabinet members, or the SNNPR cabinet members or the Amhara if you like – they can be categorized as second class citizens. They have their power to take any land they wish but there is a power above them. Frankly this power is the power of the TPLF who are the first class citizens. Second class citizens can sell and give but there are others above them who will watch them and who will control them. And then there are the lower hierarchies like the municipalities, for example, or like the Zonal administrators. They have also the same power but above them they know that there are two more hierarchies and may be sometimes they can be accountable. They know that whatever is remaining from the top two, they will get some amount.
And then there are others who do not own anything, who do not own any land but who just look and witness what is going on around, but who are quiet, who are made to become voiceless, who cannot do anything – like the civil servants. And finally the last one is the farmer. He is the farmer who is being looted, who is being evicted, but if at all something happens, like if the country is at war with neighboring countries or with any enemy, these are the people who are called upon to die for this land, a the land for which they don’t have any power on, for the land from which they can be evicted any time. It is the sons and daughters of these people who are going to the warfront and pay with their dear lives. But on the ground they have nothing. For example if you go around Addis Abeba and take a look at someone who is guarding a building and then ask who that man is, he will immediately tell you he was born and brought up there. And he will tell you that it was his land on which that huge building is built. These are mainly Oromos by the way.

 

Inside 2
Were you speaking that because the majority of this case is happening in and around lands predominantly belonging to the Oromos or was it because it is a trend that represents the rest of the country?
The pattern is all the same. In the name of investment people are being evicted in the South, in Amhara or even in Tigray regions. What makes Oromia very different is that the land is very close to the center and the investors, these high officials and the government representatives, all these wealthy people want to dwell around it; they want the area very much. The land is very nice, the location is very good, and the weather is good. So everyone puts his eyes on it. Otherwise the trend is all the same everywhere.

But the government argues it is offering compensations…

 

What does compensation mean? How much money is enough for someone who is evicted forever? Not only him but his children, his grandchildren and the next generation? What makes this very difficult is these people don’t have any profession other than farming. They don’t have any other skill. So how much compensation is enough for these people?
Speaking of which, last year in May a number of University students were killed, imprisoned and have disappeared, I am sure you have heard about it, because they were protesting against the Addis Abeba Master plan, which wanted to include around eight peripheral localities known as the Oromia Region Special Zone. What was your take on that? How did you react when you heard about it?
This is obviously a crime. A massive crime has been committed, and people must be accountable for it. The students did not die in vain for me. They paid sacrifices in order to protect the constitution of this country which says each of the nine regions and the two city administrations has specific boundaries. Addis Abeba has its boundary too. Even though it has not been demarcated on the ground, it was a boundary which is lesser than what it was during the Dergue and greater than what it was during Hailesellasie regime. This was how it was agreed upon during the Transitional Government [24 years ago]. But today the outskirts have turned into Addis Abeba. On daily basis massive farmlands of the farmers are being included into the boundaries of Addis Abeba. So, when I say these students didn’t die in vain, I meant that it was simply to protect the constitution. The Vatican City State is in Rome but the Vatican City state cannot say I have to expand into Rome. That is not possible.
For me the idea is not to expand Addis Abeba as such; it is not to turn it into a beautiful or into a modern city but to change the social structure of Addis Abeba and its vicinity. By doing this what will happen is the language spoken around those areas will change. If you take Dukem, Legatafo, Burayu, Legedadhi or Sululta not long ago, may be some ten years ago, Afaan Oromo used to be the main language. But this doesn’t exist any longer. That is what I call language shift. There is a shift when you change the population, when you change the social structure, then the culture and the language will be destroyed. This is how the Australian Aborigines lost their languages, lost their identity, lost their history, and lost everything. This is how Red Indians in North America lost their identity, lost their language and lost everything. I think for me this is not different. Even though we live in the same country, and we call ourselves Ethiopians – and for me I call myself as an Ethiopian and as an Oromo at the same time – the idea is grave. Javier Perez De Cuellar, the former UN Secretary General in his writing entitled “Our Creative Diversity” wrote: “Put a people in chains, strip them, plug up their mouths, they are still free. Take away their jobs, their passport, the tables they eat on, the bed they sleep in, they are still rich. A people become poor and enslaved when they are robbed of the tongue left to them by their ancestors, they are lost forever.” No one likes to be lost forever.

 

Inside 4
But the argument from the ruling party and sympathizers of the plan is that they need to do whatever they are doing because Addis Abeba is also the capital of the federal government, the seat of the AU and of the ECA, you if like. How do you react to that argument?

 

Why so much focus on developing Addis Abeba only? Why is that? Why not Bahir Dar? Why not Hawassa why not Mekele? Why is the focus on Addis Abeba? And why is Addis Abeba so much concerned about the development of Oromia? When you say it is the capital of the country do you mean it is the seat of the diplomatic community? and the federal government? It is not only because of the diplomats and the civil services in the federal government that Addis Abeba is expanding. It is because of various reasons, one of which is perception – people think they are safe in Addis Abeba than any other cities in the regions. But we can work on that, the government can work on developing other cities. There is no problem in doing that. The other problem is it is not only because Addis Abeba is the capital of the federal government, it is a self-administered, a self-chartered city. It is regarded as having a status of a region. But regions, as I said earlier, have their own borders. That is all. If the constitution is no longer working, then Addis Abeba can expand indefinitely. Otherwise you cannot cut some part of Tigray and hand it over to Amhara and cut some part of Afar and hand it over to the Somali. Constitutionally it has been made impossible. That is it. No single region should be allowed to trespass that. The third is why is Addis Abeba concerned about the plan? Where is the regional government if Addis Abeba is making a plan for Oromia?

 

Do you think this dilemma traces its root from the very federal system the country says it is following? What, in your opinion, does the federal system currently in use in Ethiopia mean to the ordinary people? Do you think it is losing its relevance beyond being a toll deployed to serve political ends? Or as a famous Oromo legal expert once said, I quote: “beyond dishes, dances and dresses”? What does it represent?

 

Constitutionally this country is a federal country but as many people think, this is not a gift from the ruling EPRDF. Federalism evolved or it came out of the situation that existed 24 years ago. Twenty four years ago there were about 17 armed groups actively engaged in rebellion, with all their weapons and strongholds. So when the Dergue collapsed there was no way out of the political deadlock except to go for federalism because everyone could have gone home on his own way; the Oromos had the OLF, the Ogadens have the ONLF and so on. So except federalism no other kind of government was possible.

 

I think it is an argument that Leenco Lataa recently wrote in one of the local newspapers published here. That said how do you evaluate the last 24 years? Has the country lived up to the federalism arrangement? Where did the county perform best, if there is any, and where did it lag behind?
I have not read what Leenco has written. But it is true that federalism was dictated by the situation at the time. But since then what’shappening is its concept and practice is being eroded on a daily basis. If you look at regions I don’t think they are even electing their own rulers. Practically I think the country is as unitary and as centralized as it has been before. There was one big man, the late Prime Minister [Meles Zenawi] who used to appoint regional officials without the consent of the people of the regions, who used to transfer them to the federal government as he likes. That was what was happening and continued to this day. In federalism you plan your own way, levy taxes in your own way, you execute it in your own way; your priority is different from the federal government or other regions. That is not what’s happening now, but if you take Addis Abeba city for example, which is also the seat of the Oromia regional state, in the name of self-administered city its officials singlehandedly decide on the fate of the city and its areas. For them the creation of the Addis Abeba recreational ground in Burayu may be a high priority. But for the Oromia region to which the area belongs to a school of high standard may be its priority. But as things are happening now the federal government plans by itself and executes by its own finance. That is not true federalism.

 

So you are firmly implying that the federal system the country is following now was dictated by the existing circumstances 24 years ago but fell short of its purpose?

 

Yes it didn’t serve its purpose. I am saying this because we know so many people who were elected by their constituencies, but who are moved from power by the federal government. To bring another example, in March 2011 about one thousand Oromos were taken to the Ma’ekelawi prison in Addis Abeba but the Oromia regional state didn’t know; they didn’t have any knowledge of the Oromos taken by federal security agents from every corner of Oromia. Here is when one should ask what is this regional government doing? Did the regional government invite the federal government to come and act on its behalf to bring these people to justice? Are they incapable of bringing them to justice in their own region? So what is federalism?
Let’s talk about ethnic federalism. Do you think there is a deliberate misrepresentation and exploitation of what ethnic federalism stands for? An exploitation by the powers that be of deploying the concept as a means to prolong their time in power, and a deliberate attempt by people who advocate for the so called unity using the side effects of ethnic federalism?

 

People say ethnic federalism doesn’t take us anywhere. But I simply say that the ethnic federalism that came about 24 years ago because of the situation we were in is a necessary evil that we cannot avoid. Because our identity, our language, our culture has been denied for many years before that and it is only through this way that we can promote our language, our culture, and our identity. But it is true that it is a very broad topic but I don’t believe in the idea of the unionists because on party level, for example within Medrek, there were various ethnic based parties like the Arena Tigray. You know if you scratch any party you will find out that the issue of ethnicity is underlined but by the name it implies something else, just like we have the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Does it mean it is federal? Does it mean it is democratic? There is nothing in a name. Therefore for me every party in this country is an ethnic based party. I am not saying it’s a bad thing; it becomes bad when one ethnic group becomes a foe to another.
Politically, it becomes bad when it is used as a tool of repression against others; when it is imposed. When somebody imposes his own agenda on another, then the problem comes. If you say don’t speak your language speak only mine then here comes the problem.
But willingly I can learn your language and you can learn mine. For example people complain that we are not able to work in the regions because we don’t know the language. In the first place you are there because you want to sell your knowledge, your skill and your service, is that not? If I went to Tigray to sell my knowledge, my skill or to sell my expertise then I have to interact with the people who want to be served in the language they understand. Nobody is disallowed to work there. But the only thing is serve these people in the language they understand. Otherwise if I am an Oromo and if I want to go to Tigray and ask all the Tigray people to speak Afaan Oromo, I think that is crazy and it should be addressed. This is a situation that often goes wrong. But people love their language very much, they want to promote their culture, they want their identity very much. If there is another mechanism by which this can be addressed, such as by geographic kind of federalism, that is okay.

 

Does this reinforce your belief in a just ethnic federalism system that this country has to wake up to one day?
Yes and we have to appreciate our diversity. Look, if we are of the same age, wearing the same clothes, of the same height, of the same color, eat the same food, and dance the same way to the same music this world would be nasty, it would be really ugly! Very ugly! We don’t want to turn this earth into hell. We want our diversity. We want other people to sing in their own way, speak in their own language, to wear different kinds of dresses. I think the idea of trying to bring everything into one is not a sane idea.
I would like to ask you the next question as someone who is an Oromo politician. Currently there are at least two predominant Oromo discourses. The first is the discourse for secessionism, although it’s a discourse that looked as if it was losing ground since the split within the former administration of the OLF, many people think it has surfaced again when the “Oromo first” debate came about in the recent past. The second is the Oromo discourse supporting a greater autonomy within the federal government – a better way of federalism that gives the Oromo a greater say in their affairs. For this group secessionism is no longer the call of the day. Where does Bekele Gerba stand? What do you see as a better way forward for the Oromo people?
Well my stand is very clear in this issue. I always say that first the rights of the Oromo should be respected. The Oromos are located in the middle of this country; they have formed this country, they are part of this country, they will remain in this country. You cannot think about Ethiopia without the presence of the Oromos. They have sustained it and they are in the center of this massive land. Therefore I think what is very important is that their rights is respected; there should be no compromise. If so I can boldly say from what I have seen and experienced that the Oromos are not after secession. But the problem is when the situation continues like it is now; when the exploitation, the eviction, the attempt to assimilate, to destroy their language, to destroy their culture, to destroy their identity goes on in such a way I think people may think otherwise. It is true that people who are following this very closely may assume the situation is getting desperate. But for me it’s not that desperate and I still believe that things can be put in the right track, and the wrongs can be righted. If we start righting the wrongs, then I think the question of an independent Oromia or an independent land will not be a very serious issue.

 

But it is exactly what many Oromos feel is not happening. For them this very grim situation the country keeps on generating has continued. Reports indicate that the exile of the Oromo has continued en mass as we speak; the jailing, the killing, the mysterious disappearance of University students just a year ago didn’t help either. Don’t you think this makes the secessionism discourse to gain momentum? As someone who has been in the center of the politics in the country do you see there is still hope for peaceful struggle for the rights and respect of the Oromo? Is there a room for that? Does the political space allow for that to exist?

 

Inside 5
There is a challenge. But I think there is still hope. I always believe that things can change gradually. Because of the culture we were in for hundreds, or may be thousands of years, we used to think changing a government is only possible by violence, or armed struggle. But I think that time has passed now; it is possible to change regimes and to confront governments by peaceful means of struggle. If people are very much committed to peaceful struggle, I think the situation will change and the government must exploit this situation – meaning that, as an opposition,we are very helpful, we can contribute much. Going to the jungle and destroying everything, crashing everything and building it when you come back again as new doesn’t take this country anywhere. And if the current leadership was wise, they could have designed many ways in which armed struggle in the future would not be a possibility. But I don’t think they are smart. The legacy now is that people are still toying with armed struggle. Ten years ago when the opposition, Kinijit, won Addis Abeba and much of the country, things would have changed a lot had they been given what was theirs at that time. People would begin to trust that it is possible to change regimes without war, thorough the ballot box, and the political tradition itself would have been one step forward. But we lost that. We lost that chance because of the power mongering attitude of the ruling EPRDF; we lost that big chance.

 

But don’t you think the refusal of the opposition to get into the parliament itself has contributed?
But they [the opposition] had pieces of information about Addis Abeba at that time that all the treasury that used to belong to Addis Abeba city administration were handed over to the federal government including transport facilities; the state capital of Oromia was called back again and Oromia was to tax the city. So it was because of what the EPRDF did that the opposition refused to accept the city. I am not saying they did a good job, or the right thing; I think they could have taken the challenge. All I am saying is it was because of what EPRDF did that everything turned into ashes and the possibility of changing regimes and leadership in this country through the ballot box failed.

 

Ethiopia is about a month away from holding yet another general election. Do you think elections for a country like Ethiopia are a means of sustaining power for those who have it; for the sake of the L word – legitimacy, as many argue? Or do you believe it is a means to change the political order peacefully?
From the experience we have so far I don’t think EPRDF is ready to give power anytime. If you look at what they are doing now in terms of the use of media space, they allocated 500 hours, but they designed it in a way that they can take a bulk or the large share once again. In the last election [in 2010] 10 million ETB was allocated to all the parties out of which 9.5 million went back to the EPRDF and 300, 000 ETB went to EDP. Do you believe if I tell you that we received just 3,600 ETB? That was about 175 Euros. This time they have allocated 30 million ETB and if you ask around you may find out that more than twenty something millions of it went back to the pocket of EPRDF again.
Soyou are saying holding elections is just another way of legitimizing the time in power?
That is it. It is already a foregone conclusion. For me EPRDF has already won. I think there is very little thing we expect from this election.
So what does it mean to be in an opposition party trying to survive under such circumstances? What makes your party decide to exist all together?
The objective of a political party is not only to seize power. If you can get the wrongs to be corrected by the ruling party that is already something; if you can do it yourself that is even better. But if you cannot do it and someone does it then that is also fine. Therefore we will try to contribute our best in this regard, irrespective of the hard situations we find ourselves in; there is no way out. We don’t want to go to armed struggle; we don’t want to show on television Ethiopians killing Ethiopians for power. So even though pursuing peaceful struggle is very difficult I personally always appreciated the likes of Mahatma Gandhi; I have always appreciated the struggles of people like Martin Luther King and I think we have to continue that way. Rome was not built in one day.

 

How did your prison experience change your political determination? Did it reshape you in any way? Will you go back practicing politics again?
I think I am stronger than I was when I went to prison; I consider myself more prepared and stronger than before. And I can never be out of politics; I don’t want to be out of politics.
When you were handed the eight year sentence back in 2012, you made a speech that became a symbol of the rally behind the ‘free Bekele Gerba’ campaign. In this speech you said that if you were to ask an apology you would ask it from the “Almighty” and, I quote: “from my people for failing to speak to the depth of their suffering in the interest of the co-existence of people.” Don’t you think it’s exactly this attitude of putting the “interest of the co-existence of people” at the expense of the suffering of others that is sustaining repression in this country? That people like you keep silent for the sake of co-existence?
If you see what is happening in this country by members or group of people coming from certain ethnic groups against other ethnic groups you will be very sad. But these people should live together. This peaceful co-existence can be built if I have some share; if you and the others have some share as well. Personally, for example, I cannot speak everything that I saw of what happened to the Oromos at some point in this prison known as Kilinto; it was really very sad. Well coordinated and against one single ethnic group of prisoners, who are not able to defend themselves – both by the police, by the officials, by fellow prisoners, virtually everybody other than members of that ethnic group. But you don’t speak everything and at the same time you don’t generalize too because if TPLF has done something bad it doesn’t mean the whole Tigraians are like that. At the end these people have to live together. The TPLF may not be there after some point, but these people must continue to live together, so we should not put that kind of animosity among people. So there are times when you don’t speak everything. That was the idea; it is only for peaceful co-existence of these people. I did nothing for my own benefit and I am not scared for my life if I have spoken everything; I have not addressed it very well only because I want these people to co-exist. That is it.

 

Currently there are many political activists who are behind bars, and as many are exiled. Some of these youngsters are the same people who looked up to you as a role model. What do you say to them? How should they continue to be the voice for those who are rendered voiceless? What advice do you give them because many of them are the same young activists who spoke for you when you couldn’t from your prison cell? What words of wisdom do you share with them?
First I would like to thank everyone who supported me, who supported my family, who demanded my release, and who never forgot the cause for which I was there…I would like to thank them all. But at the same time you know doing politics in Ethiopia is a very difficult task, because the politics is, whether we like it or not, geared in such a way that it is ethnically motivated. Everybody tries to see everything from his ethnic group point of view.
Is that a bad thing?
No, it is not bad. It becomes bad when what you want to achieve is at the expense of other ethnic groups. There should not be any hidden agenda that will exclude the other ethnic groups; whether we like it or not every group, every individual wants his right as we want ours. It is only by self-respect that we can maintain peace and brotherhood in this country. Now you may ask if there is peace in this country. The fact that the guns are silent, the fact that there is no war going on in the country doesn’t necessarily mean that it is as such very peaceful. We are carrying around so many things that can ignite any time. So the young generation must think about its future. This young generation should not listen if they hear these old politicians of the 1960s or 1950s who are old professors and who wrote many things and researched around but who do not contribute to the peaceful co-existence of the people of this country. They are gone, their time is gone and their time is going. But the young generation must think about its own future. And that future should be based on the idea that all should respect one another. We should respect one another. The right of one group or one ethnic group or one community depends also on the right of the other ethnic group. If there is injustice somewhere it will affect justice everywhere. When the Amharas are attacked the Oromos, the Tigraians, the Sidamas, the Somalis and so on must act. That’s what I believe in.

 

Photo: Addis Standard

http://addisstandard.com/bekele-gerba-speaks/

Urgent Concern for Oromo Refugees in Yemen, Libya and South Africa May 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Human Rights.
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???????????Oromo refugees in Yemen

Urgent Concern for Oromo Refugees in

Yemen, Libya and South Africa

 

Date: May 14, 2015

Mr. António Guterres,
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Switzerland

Re: Urgent Concern for Oromo Refugees in Yemen, Libya and South Africa  

Your Excellency Mr. Guterres,

We, members of the Oromo Community Associations, civic and professional organizations in the United States write this urgent letter to you to bring to your attention and seek your immediate intervention on behalf of the Oromo refugees and asylums seekers currently stranded and exposed to violence in Yemen, Libya and South Africa. We are shocked by the news of barbaric execution of 28 Ethiopian refugees (including many Oromo) by ISIS in Libya on April 19, 2015.  We strongly condemn this inhuman act. We are also distressed by the news of hundreds of refugees who died last month while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa to southern Europe. Many Oromo refugees are also caught up in the violent conflict in Yemen and the anti-immigrant violence in South Africa at the same time.

Like many immigrants, these Oromo refugees and asylum seekers have no safe place to return to.  They fled from their homes in Ethiopia due to political imprisonment and brutal killings. They were seeking relief from repression at home and hoping to reach a safe place. But now many of them are caught in another violent situation and continue to suffer without any support. Many have already died in transition or in refugee camps. Our heart is bleeding by the horror that our brothers and sisters are experiencing in Libya, Yemen and South Africa.

At the same time, their immediate relatives, including children and aged parents, are brutalized by a repressive regime in Ethiopia. The Oromo people have been subjected to widespread and systematic human rights violations and killings at home in Ethiopia for several years. Systematic and sustained repressive actions such as targeted killings, abductions and disappearances, unlawful imprisonments and torture against the Oromo people have been widespread for over two decades. The Ethiopian government denies the Oromo and other peoples the freedom of association, press and free expression, although these rights are enshrined in its constitution. Several members of opposition political groups and journalists, professors and students are routinely detained, imprisoned or ‘disappeared’ (killed in hidden detentions places). Oromo leaders who genuinely defend the rights of the community are marginalized and stifled in political decision-making process or intimidated, arbitrarily detained and subjected cruel treatments. Several international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and International Crisis Group have widely documented and archived numerous cases of such state-sponsored atrocities over the years.

Dear Mr. Guterres,

We, the undersigned, members of the Oromo community associations, civic and professional organization in the United States, respectfully appeal to you for urgent intervention to save the lives of the suffering Oromo refugees in Libya, Yemen and South Africa. To alleviate their suffering and save their lives,

  • We request urgent relief supply to those stranded refugees in Libya and Yemen.
  • Urge the South African government to provide adequate protection to refugees and asylum seekers, and end the anti-immigrant violence immediately.

We would also like to draw your attention to the tragic political repression in Ethiopia that is contributing to the displacement of thousands of young people and their flight to refugee camps. To minimize the displacement of farmers, workers, students and professionals, we call upon you to use the diplomatic and political influence of your office and put adequate pressure on the government of Ethiopia:

  • To stop its intimidation, acts of violence, arrests and killing of innocent people, and respect their basic human and civil rights.
  • To establish an independent and credible commission of inquiry to investigate the violence perpetrated against students over the last year and recommend remedial measures to help the victims and their relatives.
  • To stop harassing and intimidating innocent citizens and end political repression and the violations of human rights.
  • To remove from office and bring to justice corrupt officials who threaten and intimidate the people and contribute to their displacement.
  • To release all journalists, student protestors and all political prisoners unconditionally.

We hope you will act promptly and save the lives of many refugees and asylum seekers, and urge Ethiopian government to change its repressive policy that is driving people from their homes to refugee camps.

 

Respectfully,

  1. The Oromo Community of Atlanta, Georgia
  2. The Oromo Community of Arizona
  3. The Oromo Community of Boston, MA
  4. The Oromo Community of Chicago, Illinois
  5. The Oromo Community of Columbus, Ohio
  6. The Oromo Community of Dallas, Texas
  7. The Oromo Community of Denver, Colorado
  8. The Oromo Community of Huston, Texas
  9. The Oromo Community of Kentucky
  10. The Oromo Community of Los Angeles, California
  11. The Oromo Community of Memphis, Tennessee
  12. The Oromo Community of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota
  13. The Oromo Community Association of Michigan
  14. The Oromo Community of Nashville, Tennessee
  15. The Oromo Community of New Jersey
  16. The Oromo Diaspora Association of New York
  17. The Oromo Community of Northern California
  18. The Oromo Community of Pennsylvania
  19. The Oromo Community of Portland, Oregon
  20. The Oromo Community of San Diego, California
  21. The Oromo Community of Seattle, Washington
  22. The Oromo Community of South Dakota
  23. The Oromo Community of Utah
  24. The Oromo Community Organization of Washington, DC Metropolitan Area

C.C:

E. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General
The United Nations
New York. NY 10017
E-mail: Inquiries@UN.Org
Fax: 212-963-7055

US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert. #Oromia. #Africa May 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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???????????US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert

 

(Oromia Press) US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert

The State Department recommends U.S. citizens maintain a high level of security awareness during the electoral period and avoid political rallies, polling centers, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind as instances of unrest can occur. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Although there have been no specific incidents of violence targeting U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and stay current with media coverage of local events. Election results are scheduled to be announced June 22, 2015.

During previous elections, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) required all diplomats and international organization staff living in Addis Ababa to receive an official pass from the MFA if they planned to travel outside of Addis Ababa during the election season. While not in effect this election, the U.S. Embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens to be aware of election sensitivities. We especially recommend avoiding public polling stations on the day of the election, including schools and other public buildings. In Addis Ababa alone there will be nearly 1,600 polling stations – roughly one polling station for every kilometer.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ethiopia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at travel.state.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to enroll directly.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Ethiopia. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa is located at Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014. The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached by telephone: +251-111-306000 or e-mail at consacs@state.gov, and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +251-111-306911 or 011-130-6000 and ask to speak with the duty officer

– See more at: http://www.oromiapress.com/us-gov-ethiopia-travel-alert/#sthash.pL12WAJ2.dpuf

 

Oromia Support Group Australia Appeal for Urgent Action Regarding the Kidnapping And Disappearance of Two Oromo civilians By The Ethiopian Security Forces. May 9, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Kidnapped and disappearance of Oromo civilians, Oromia Support Group, Oromia Support Group Australia.
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O

Ethiopia: Kidnapped And Disappearance of Oromo Civilians

OSGA Asxaa

Oromia Support Group Australia Appeal for Urgent Action:

To: Committee on Enforced Disappearances and Committee against Torture

Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD)
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland)

Ethiopia: Kidnapped and disappearance of Oromo civilians Magarsa Mashsha And Urgessa Damana:

Oromia Support Group Australia Inc. (OSGA) expresses its deep concern regarding the kidnapping a nd disappear an ce of two Oromo civilians by the Ethiopian security forces. Mr Magarsa Mashasha Ayansa was kidnapped and diapere d on April 23rd, 7pm local tim e while Urgessa Damana was on May 4th, 2015. Mr Magarsa, community health worker, a student of Ambo University is the local area resident. He was kidnapped by Ethiopian security forces from the country’s central city Fifinna (Addis Ababa) – Bole area – while he was on a trip for his personal business. In a similar situation, Mr Urgessa Damana a former Rift Valley University Student and resident of Ambo town also captured on 4th of May 2015 by Ethiopian security forces. Since then the whereabouts of theses Oromo civilians remained unknown.

OSGA believes that th e Ethiopian government conduct violated the fundamental rights. The right to freedom from torture and the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Per sons under Any Form of Detention and Imprisonment including the UN Standard Minimum Treatment of Prisoners is entirely denied. We are concerned that this pattern will continue to worsen.

We respectfully believe that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD) has a duty to use its diplomatic relationships with the reciprocal expectation of protecting human rights and legitimate democratic governance. These accusations reveal serious violations of human rights and legal process, and without external accountability, many vulnerable people will suffer in the country.

We, therefore, urge you to:

1. Request the Ethiopian Government to reveal the whereabouts of these two Oromo civilians and immediate and unconditional release of them including all
political prisoners under their captivity.

2. Request to investigate, amongst other things, actions taken by the Ethiopian
Government security forces in the state of Oromia and the suffering of Oromo
civilians in hundreds of official and hidden torture chambers.

3. Raise this case with the international community and other relevant
United Nation bodies. Stress the righ t to remedy, restitution,
compensation, non-repetition, and punishment of the perpetrators, in line
with the UN Guidelines on the right to treat.

We denounce the attacks on peoples who are exercising their fundamental and democratic rights.

Thanks for considering of OSGA appeal
Oromia Support Group Australia

Read More:-  osga-appeal-for-urgent-action-on-the-disapperances-of-mr-magarsa-and-urgessa-may-8th-2015-photo-include

More than 50 #Oromo students arrested by Ethiopia’s tyrannic TPLF regime in Ambo, Oromia; 20 being tortured May 9, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo).
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OHuman rights League of the Horn of Africa

More than 50 Oromo students arrested by Ethiopia’s tyrannic TPLF regime in Ambo, Oromia; 20 being tortured

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

——-

Ethiopia: The Endless Violence against Oromo Nationals Continues

Fear of Torture | HRLHA Urgent Action

For Immediate Release

May 7, 2015

Harassment and intimidation through arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and disappearances have continued unabated in Ambo and the surrounding areas against Oromo youth and intellectuals since the crackdown of last year (April 2014), when more than 79 Oromos, mostly youth, were killed by members of the federal security force.

According to HRLHA correspondents in Ambo, the major targets of this most recent government-sponsored violence were Ambo University and high schools Oromo students in Ambo town. In this incident, which started on April 20, 2015, more than 50 university and high school students were arrested; more than 20 were severely beaten by the security force and taken to the Ambo General Hospital for treatment.

Although it has been difficult to identify everyone by their names, HRLHA correspondents have confirmed that the following were among the arrestees:

AmboArrests_HRLHA1

AmboArrests_HRLHA2

kidnappings and disappearances of Oromo students

Those who were badly beaten and are being hospitalized in the Ambo General Hospital:

AmboArrests_HRLHA4

According to HRLHA reporters, the arrests were made to clear out supporters and members of the other political organizations running for the 5th General Election to be held May 24, 2015. The EPRDF, led by the late Meles Zenawi, claimed victory in the General Elections of 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. The TPLF/EPRDF government of Ethiopia has started a campaign of intimidation against its opponents. Extrajudicial arrests and imprisonments, particularly in the regional state of Oromia, the most populous region in the country, began late October 2014.

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 at police stations and unknown detention centers. 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 suspected of supporting, sympathizing with and/or being members of the opposition political organizations. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopia’s official prisons and other secret detention centers.

HRLHA calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand the immediate halt to such extrajudicial actions against one’s own citizens, and the unconditional release of the detainees.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its officials as swiftly as possible, written in English, Ahmaric, or your own language. The following are suggested:

– Indicate your concern about citizens being tortured in different detention centers, including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;

– Urge the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that detainees will be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners, and that their whereabouts be disclosed, and

– Make sure the coming May 24, 2015 election is fair and free

Read full the statement in the following links:

The Endless Violence against Oromo Nationals Continues, HRLHA Report, 7th May 2015

‘My Home, My Land’- Land Grabs and Development Lies. #Africa. #Oromia May 7, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Land Grabs in Oromia, Omo Valley.
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???????????Land grab inOromia

 

My Home, My Land

My Home, My Land is a graphic representation of much of the Oakland Institute’s work on land grabs. Illustrated by the Institute’s Intern Scholar, Abner Hauge, this publication dismantles the many myths promoted by so-called donor countries, development agencies, and corporations about the positive effects of foreign direct investments through large-scale land acquisitions.

Over the past seven years, the Oakland Institute has exposed the actual impact of the land grabs on indigenous, pastoralist, and smallholder farming families around the world. The powerful illustrations of My Home, My Land remind us of the beauty and complexity of the world’s ecosystems and indigenous cultures, and call upon us to take action now to stop exploitative land grabs internationally. My Home, My Land

http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/my-home-my-land

Macha-Tulama-USA: Urgent Letter to #UNHCR About Conditions of Refugees in Libya, Yemen & South Africa May 5, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Macha & Tulama Association.
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???????????Machaa Tuulamaa in USA

 

May 3, 2015

Mr. António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500 CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt Switzerland

Your Excellency Mr. Guterres,

The Board of Directors of the Macha-Tulama Association, USA, is writing this urgent letter to bring to your attention about the suffering of thousands of Oromo refugees and other nationals in Yemen, South Africa, Libya as well as in the Middle East and Africa. Among these refugees were individuals who were killed or beheaded by terrorists and other criminal elements. Furthermore, the most vulnerable elements of these refugees such as the sick, women, children and elderly are dying every day. At this moment no calling is more urgent and noble and no responsibility greater for the leadership of UNHCR than trying its very best for saving the lives of thousands of Oromo refugees and others who are trapped among warring factions in Yemen and attacked by terrorists in Libya and burned by criminals in South Africa.

The Macha-Tulama Association (MTA) is a non-profit organization legally registered in the United States of America for advancing the objective for which the main MTA was established in Oromia (Ethiopia) in 1963. For your information, the Oromo constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia. And yet, they are political minority in that country. Consequently, successive Ethiopian governments, including the present one, have banned MTA, the only civic institution of the Oromo people in the Ethiopian Empire. The MTA envisioned mobilizing Oromo citizens for fighting illiteracy, diseases, constructing schools, building roads and clinics, promoting Oromo self-consciousness, and reviving Oromo language, culture and history. It also struggled to restore the human dignity and inalienable rights of the Oromo people that have been suppressed by successive Ethiopian regimes.

Continuing the policies of the previous regimes of Ethiopia, the current minority Ethiopian government has intensified political repression as well as land-grabbing and transferring other economic resources of the Oromo and other peoples to the current government officials, their supporters and foreign corporations. It is the Ethiopian government’s policy of illegal land grabbing and political persecution of the Oromo and others that have forced the young, old, women and children to flee from their fatherland and get exposed to dangerous conditions in foreign lands. Oromo refugees and other nationals who have been forced to leave their homeland by the political and economic repression of the current minority Ethiopian government are exposed to gross human rights violations and terrorism. These refugees have been forced to flee from their homeland in order to seek protection from persecution, arbitrary imprisonment, torture and extra-judicial killings because of their ethno-national and religious identities, political opinions and their economic resources. According to Amnesty International report, entitled ‘Because I am Oromo: Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, between 2011 and 2014 at least 5000 Oromo were arrested, tortured, and faced extra-judicial executions because of being Oromo, and for also peacefully demonstrating against the regime’s land grabbing policies and the so-called Addis Ababa Master Plan that has been intended to evict millions of Oromo farmers from their prime land around Addis Ababa (Finfinnee), the capital city of the Ethiopian Empire.

Unfortunately, global powers and international financial institutions indirectly finance the gross violations of human rights of the Oromo and other people claiming that the current minority Ethiopian government is “democratic” and promotes “development.” For the Oromo and other people who have been terrorized and evicted from their ancestral lands, the claims of democracy and development are just propaganda ploys. In fact, the policies of this dictatorial regime are exposing the Oromo and others to unimaginable misery. When the people have resisted illegal removal from their ancestral lands, the current Ethiopian government’s police force and soldiers have beaten and detained them without trial, and many have been killed. It was for the purpose of saving their lives that thousands of Oromo and others have fled from Ethiopia to foreign lands. However, those who fled to South Africa, Yemen and Libya have faced torture, looting, and burning; they have been also beheaded, raped, tortured and killed by criminal elements and extremists. (Please see the following sites and videos for further information). http://www.ayyaantuu.net/ethiopia-muslim-martyr-among-those-killed-by-isis/; http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/20/south-africa-xenophobic-violencemigrant-workers-apartheid; http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/terrorism-security/2015/0420/Islamic-Statemurders-30-African-migrants-in-Libya-while-up-to-700-died-off-coast-video

Particularly, there are thousands Oromo refugees in Yemen alone in areas including Sana, Eden and other refugee camps. The current political crises and turmoil in Yemen has put the lives of these refugees in a very dangerous condition. These refugees are trapped among warring factions without any help from international and regional organizations such as yours. Many of these refugees have been raped, imprisoned, wounded or killed. They are also exposed to terrorists, fundamentalists, slavers and human traffickers. We are gravely concerned about the deteriorating conditions of Oromo and other refugees in Yemen, South Africa and Libya. These refugees are concentrated in camps and other places without adequate food, shelter and medical services. Therefore, we appeal to the UNHCR and your leadership to take the following urgent actions:

• First, we request that the UNHCR demand that the governments in Yemen, Libya and South Africa provide protection for Oromo and other refugees who have sought protection and safety in their countries.

• Second, we request that the UNHCR provide material support urgently for those Oromo refugees and others who are trapped among warring factions, especially in Yemen.

• Third, we appeal to the UNHCR to arrange suitable conditions with other countries for these refugees to have an opportunity for permanent settlement in third countries.

• Fourth, we request that the UNHCR seeks permanent solutions through the United Nations for eliminating political and economic conditions that have produced tens of thousands of Oromo and other refugees from Ethiopia.

• Fifth, we request that the UNHCR persuade big powers and international financial institutions not to finance the Ethiopian government’s policy of land grabbing, which has evicted tens of thousands of Oromo nationals and others from their ancestral lands.

We believe that as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the principal voice on refugee issues, you have an extraordinary opportunity to alleviate the incredible human sufferings of the Oromo and other refugees in Yemen, Libya and South Africa and in other countries. We urgently request you to take a concrete measure that will save the lives of Oromo and other refugees who are trapped among warring factions in Yemen. Additionally we request you to urge the government officials of Libya and South Africa to protect Oromo and other nationals in their countries. Finally, we thank you for your interest in the wellbeing of the Oromo and other refugees from Ethiopia and for taking concrete actions to protect them.

Sincerely,

Abera Tefera,

For the Board of Directors of the Macha-Tulama Association, USA

 

CC:

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon,

U.N. Secretary-General

The United Nations, New York.

NY 10017 Fax: 212-963-7055

E-mail: Inquiries@UN.Org

 

 

His Excellency John Kerry

US Secretary of State

Washington, D.C.20520

E-mail: Secretary@state.gov

 

European Union

Fax: +32-2-285-73 97 / 81

E-mail: public.info@consilium.eu.int

 

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 350 Arlington,

VA 22202-3711

Fax: (703) 769-4241

E-mail: uscri@uscridc.org

Amnesty International International Secretariat

1 Easton Street

London

WC1X0DW,

UK

Fax: +44-207-956-1157

E-mail: contactus@amnesty.org

Human Rights Watch

Rory Mungoven Global Advocacy Director

350 Fifth Avenue,

34th floor New York,

NY 10118-3299

USA Fax: 212-736-130

 

LetterToUNHCR_5-3-2015

Elections, Ethiopian style. #Africa. #Oromia May 5, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Sham elections, The Ethiopian government’s systematic repression of independent media, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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Ojimma

Opinion: Elections, Ethiopian style

By Felix Horne, Horn of Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

Since the last election, the ruling party has exerted more control and increased its repression of basic liberties.

Dissent of any type, particularly in rural areas, is dealt with harshly. The long-standing 5:1 system of grassroots surveillance – under which one individual is responsible for monitoring the activities of five households – has let local officials clamp down on dissent before it spreads beyond the household level.

This is what an election campaign looks like in Ethiopia, where the ruling coalition took 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats in the last national elections, in 2010.

Jirata, who asked that his real name not be used, is a 19-year-old student who was campaigning for a legally registered opposition party recently, when security officials arrested him.

They told him that he was working for a “terrorist group” that sought to forcibly bring down the government. He was badly beaten over the course of three nights and released on the condition that he end his involvement in politics. He is still limping from his injuries, and he told me he no longer has any interest in getting involved in politics. He says he will vote for the government party “because life is easier that way”.

Jirata was working for an Oromo party, representing an ethnic group long targeted by the government. But as Ethiopians go to the polls in late May, the prospects for opposition parties to fully and fairly campaign are grim.

Since the last election, the ruling party has only exerted more control and increased its widespread repression of basic liberties, including the rights to free expression, assembly, and association.

The courts provide no justice in cases of political importance. While election day is unpredictable, it’s clear that the avenues by which opposition parties can fully function and citizens can engage on political issues are largely closed.

While there are 75 registered opposition groups, several of the largest parties have talked of boycotting the elections because of flawed electoral processes. Challenges with registering candidates, acquiring the funds they are legally entitled to, mobilising their supporters, and keeping their members out of prison have taken their toll.

In short, there is limited space for government critics to play a peaceful and constructive role.

Suppression of non-governmental voices

The Ethiopian media provides little coverage of relevant political issues ahead of the election since what vestiges of independent media existed have largely been eliminated since 2010.

Reporters critical of the government are regularly harassed, threatened and detained. In 2014 alone, over 30 journalists fled Ethiopia and at least six publications were closed down.

Sources providing information to media and human rights groups are regularly targeted. Many diaspora media websites, while heavily politicised, remain blocked in Ethiopia. Journalists must choose between self-censorship, harassment, imprisonment, and exile.

The situation hasn’t been much better for opposition parties that want to organise peaceful protests and rallies ahead of the election. The Semayawi party (Blue Party), for example, is one of the newcomers in Ethiopia’s electoral landscape, and since 2013 has tried to hold regular and peaceful issue-based protests.

Protesters and organisers have frequently been arrested and harassed, their equipment has been confiscated, and permits unfairly denied. One of their leaders is on trial on trumped-up terrorism charges.

The lone opposition parliament member is not running this time due to a split in his party, the Union of Democracy and Justice, in which Ethiopia’s national electoral board played favourites. The net effect is that the government awarded the party name to an offshoot of the party that is more closely aligned to government policies and interests.

No dissent allowed

There are few ways for Ethiopians to peacefully express dissent or to contribute to the national political dialogue. Dissent of any type, particularly in rural areas, is dealt with harshly. The long-standing 5:1 system of grassroots surveillance – under which one individual is responsible for monitoring the activities of five households – has let local officials clamp down on dissent before it spreads beyond the household level.Telephone surveillance is commonplace, and the ongoing trial of a group of bloggers called Zone 9 has resulted in increased self-censorship online.

In short, there is limited space for government critics to play a peaceful and constructive role. The only international observers to the election will be the African Union. The European Union is not sending observers, noting that Ethiopia has not implemented recommendations by previous election observers. As Human Rights Watch documented after the 2010 elections, those who complain about election irregularities risk arrest and harassment.

“If we have an issue with government where do we go?” an Ethiopian who lives in a rural area recently told me, summing it up: “There is no media that will write our story, there are no more organisations that work on issues that the government does not like, if we take to the streets we are arrested, and if we go to their office to question we are called terrorists. If we go to the courts, there is no independence – we go to jail. There are no large opposition parties to vote for in the election, and even if there were, if we vote for them our lives then become very difficult. So what can we do? The elections are just another sign of our repression.”

Felix Horne is a Horn of Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/04/elections-ethiopian-style-150430084220440.html

Why are African citizens leaving their countries ? Xenophobia – Mediterranean Sea – Killing in Libya… April 30, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, The 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, The Mass Massacre & Imprisonment of ORA Orphans, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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OEthiopia is the one of the lowest in social Progress 2015Oromo refugees in Yemen

When we are condemning J-Zuma and his fellow Zwelithini‘s statement, we must not skip the fundamental question of “why are citizens running away from their countries in Africa? Why Zimbabweans, Nigerian, Mozambicans etc. are so many in South Africa? What Malian, Senegalese, Eritreans… are doing on the Mediterranean Sea? What Ethiopian, Eritreans… are looking for in Libya on their way to cross the sea? And Why African Leaders and institutions are silence on these questions? Close to 2000 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean to Europe this year only, many times more than during the same period in 2014…

Many in our continent, many of our leaders and institutions know the answers to these questions. Unfortunately, there are no actions being taken to resolve them; there are not even any honest acknowledgements of the problem; rather we are served with empty diplomatic statements everyday with no decisive action for change. We are turning around and the situation is getting worse.

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/if-ethiopias-economy-is-so-vibrant-why-are-young-people-leaving/

assodesire

President Jacob Zuma, reacting to criticisms from African countries over the xenophobic violence against foreigners in South Africa recently declared: “Why are their citizens not in their countries? Why are they in South Africa? This is an unacceptable statement from a leader of a big country, and made in a very wrong time. We all know that the xenophobic violence started last month after the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini said that “foreigners should pack their belongings and leave the country”.

In that context, President Zuma’s declaration this week is a dangerous move that can be understood by those South African involved in the violence as a justification of their evil actions… This is really unfortunate especially as it is coming from an African Union member that is investing and doing business in most of African countries.

Wrong timing again because South Africa is due to host the 25th

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The Tyrannic Ethiopian Government is Responsible for the Inhuman Treatments against Ethiopian Refugees and Asylum Seekers around the World April 26, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Genocidal Master plan of Ethiopia, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Nimoona Xilahuun Imaanaa, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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The Ethiopian Government is Responsible for the Inhuman Treatments against Ethiopian Refugees and Asylum Seekers around the World

HRLHA Press Release
25th April 2015
Human rights League of the Horn of Africa
The  Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa has been greatly saddened by the cold-blooded killing of 30 Christian Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers in the past week  in Libya by a group called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/ ISIS. The HRLHA also highly concerned about thousands of Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers living in different parts of Yemen were victimized due to the political crises in  Yemen  and hundreds have suffered in South Africa because of the unprecedented actions taken by a gang opposing refugees and asylum seekers in the country.  The suppressive policy  of the EPRDF/TPLF government  has forced millions of Ethiopians to flee their country in the past twenty-four years. The mass influx of Ethiopian citizens into neighboring countries every year has been due to the EPRDF/TPLF policy of denying its citizens their socioeconomic and political rights. They have also fled out of fear of political persecution and detention.  It has been repeatedly reported by human rights organizations, humanitarian and other non – governmental organizations that Ethiopia is producing a large number of refugees, estimated at over two hundred fifty thousand every year.
The HRLHA calls upon the Ethiopian government to unconditionally release the detained citizens and allow those who have been injured during the clash with police to get medical treatment.In connection with the incident that took place in Libya, on April 22, 2015 tens of thousands of Ethiopians marched on government- organized rallies against the killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya. However, with the demonstrators’ angry expressions were directed at the authorities, the police used tear gas against them and hundreds of people were beaten on the street and arrested. On the 23rd and 24th of April 2015 others were picked up from their homes and taken to unknown destinations according to the HRLHA reporter in Addis Ababa.
Recommendations:
  1. The Ethiopian government must stop political suppression in the country and respect the human rights treaties it signed and ratified
  2. The Ethiopian Government must provide the necessary lifesaving help to those Ethiopians stuck in crises in the asylum countries of Yemen, South Africa and others.
  3. The EPRDF/TPLF government must release journalists, opposition political party members, and others held in Ethiopian prisons and respect their right to exercise their basic and fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of Ethiopia and international standard of human rights instruments.

AmnestyInternationalReport_BecauseIAmOromo014

Africa paying a blind eye to xenophobia April 25, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia.
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OBecause I am OromoFeatured Image -- 5695

‘Colonial laws and practices have not imposed themselves on the independent Africa; the real and biggest problem has been the unwillingness of the current African leadership to change and/ or repeal the many unjust colonial laws. If anything, colonial laws and practices have either at worst been maintained to protect whites and the black African elite interests or at best been adapted to suit the needs of the African leadership, needs of ruling tribes or clans or nations at the expense of all others….If there is anything that Africa should learn from the latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa, it is that the continent has yet to command its independence and seriously address tribal prejudice and stereotypes. Governments continue to show little or no interest in respecting people and dealing with simmering internal social injustices. African independence has perpetually shown no empathy towards any black communities carrying a different social identification from those wielding authority. Historically, we have struggled with accommodating internal diversity.

The starting point towards correcting one’s mistakes is owning them. Africa needs to stop hiding behind colonialism and accept most of the problems we face today are our internal creation and only we can make the necessary changes required. Africans can conveniently blame colonialism all they want but the majority of conflicts between nations and communities show more internal prejudice and less external intervention as the cause.’

Mthwakazi Independent

If there is anything that Africa should learn from the latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa, it is that the continent has yet to command its independence and seriously address tribal prejudice and stereotypes. Governments continue to show little or no interest in respecting people and dealing with simmering internal social injustices. African independence has perpetually shown no empathy towards any black communities carrying a different social identification from those wielding authority. Historically, we have struggled with accommodating internal diversity.

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Letter to UN from Oromo Community in Seattle on Plight of Oromo Refugees in Yemen: Open letter to UNHCR from the Oromo Community Services of Seattle (OCSS). #Oromia. #Africa. #UN. April 21, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Because I am Oromo, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia.
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???????????Oromo refugees in Yemen

Letter to UN from Oromo Community in Seattle on Plight of Refugees in Yemen

Open letter to UNHCR from the Oromo Community Services of Seattle (OCSS)

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Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Switzerland

Dear Commissioner Guterres,

We, the Oromo Community in Seattle*, are writing this letter to express our deep concern and dismay regarding the inhuman suffering of Oromo refugees in Yemen. Thousands of Oromo refugees have fled their homeland to neighboring countries, including Yemen, seeking protection from persecutions, large-scale arbitrary detentions, disappearances, tortures and extra-judicial killings they would be subjected to from the Ethiopian government due to their ethnic identity and political opinions. According to the Amnesty Internationalreport ‘Because I am Oromo’ – Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia, that was released on October 2014, between 2011 and 2014, at least 5000 Oromo have been arrested, tortured, and faced extra-judicial executions due to their peaceful opposition to the government. This report is self-evident that Oromo were forced to escape to rescue their lives from possible harassment of the Ethiopian government.

Currently, it is estimated that over ten thousands Oromo refuges reside in refugee camps in Yemen, including Sana and Eden. The current political turmoil in Yemen put the refugees’ lives in dire situation. Reports reaching us from Yemen indicate that refugees are trapped with no help in situation beyond their control. We have also received a report that a number of Oromo refugees have been killed, and some of them wounded by the flying bullets and indiscriminate ongoing fighting due to lack of adequate protection. Lives that they clenched to save are again put them in grave danger.

We are gravely concerned about the deteriorating condition of Oromo refugees in Yemen unless your leadership and international community intervene as soon as possible, and necessary steps are taken immediately to save the lives of the refugees. Oromo refugees in Yemen are also suffering from lack of food, shelter and medical care. Furthermore, the Ethiopian government security agents follow Oromo refugees and abduct some individuals using the current political crisis as an opportunity. This situation also jeopardizes the safety of the refugees.

We believe that, at this critical juncture, your leadership and the active engagement of the international community could mean the difference between life and death for many Oromo refugees. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948 and 1951, have articles that recognize the rights for refugees. Any country that has signed these declarations is obliged to respect them. When every letter of these declarations violated, member countries of the UN and humanitarian organizations should not keep silent.

Your Excellency,

We strongly believe that as a UN refugee agency, you are sanctioned to making a lasting impact on the lives of refugees and other displaced communities around the world by focusing on the basic needs and rights for refugees – like shelter, water, food, safety and protection from harm. Silence about the dire situation of Oromo refugees in Yemen is not only inhuman, but it is also a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of the 1951 UN Convention, the 1967 Protocol Relating to Status of Refugees, and the UN General Assembly Resolution 2198 (XXI).

It is a duty of the United Nations High Commissioners for Human Rights, UNHCR and the international community to take a swift action to rescue the refugees whose lives and freedom have fallen in a grave danger. We earnestly demand the UNHCR and member nations to extend their humanitarian assistance so as to find a way in which the refugees could be rescued from that imminent humanitarian disaster that may result in carnage. We believe Oromo refugees, as any other people in the world, are entitled to get protection and humanitarian from the UNHCR and governments that signed 1951 Geneva Convention.

We, therefore, appeal to the UNHCR, all UN member nations and other humanitarian organizations to put all necessary pressure on the governments and groups to refrain from violating the rights of refugees in Yemen and territories under their control. As the current situation in Yemen exposes Oromo refugees to further threats, we demand respectfully the UNHCR Office to find urgently durable solutions in which the lives of the refugees can be saved. We also request urgent medical care, food and shelter for Oromo refugees in Yemen.

Sincerely Yours,

Oromo Community Services of Seattle

C.C:

H. E. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General
The United Nations
New York. NY 10017
E-mail: Inquiries@UN.Org
Fax: 212-963-7055

U.S. Secretary of State
John Kerry
Washington, DC 20520
E-mail: Secretary@state.gov

European Union
E-mail: public.info@consilium.eu.int
Fax: Fax (32-2) 285 73 97 / 81

U.S. Committee for Refugees
1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-347-3507
Fax: 202-347-3418
E-mail: uscr@irsa-uscr.org

Amnesty International
International Secretariat
1 Easton Street
London
WC1X 0DW, UK
Fax: +44-20-79561157

Human Rights Watch
Rory Mungoven
Global Advocacy Director
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
Tel: 1-(212) 290-4700
Fax: 1-(212) 736-1300

———–
* Oromo Community Services of Seattle
Address: 7058 32nd Avenue S. Suite # 101 – Seattle, WA 98118
Tel: (206) 251-1789

Oromia (Nuunnuu Qumbaa): 80 farm family heads put in TPLF #Ethiopia’s jail as they resisted land grabs evictions from their home and land: Wallagga,Aanaa Nuunnuu Qubmaa Keessaa, Qe’ee Keenya Irraa Hin Buqqaanu Sababaa Jedhiif Qofa Qonnaan Bultooti Oromoo 80 ol Manneen Hidhaa Gara Garaatti Hidhaman. #Oromo. #Oromia. #Africa April 20, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Because I am Oromo, Ethnic Cleansing, Land Grabs in Oromia, Omo Valley.
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???????????Nuunnuu Qumbaa, District in Western Oromia, WallaggaaLand grab inOromia

Wallagga, Aanaa Nuunnuu Qubmaa Keessaa, Qe’ee Keenya Irraa Hin Buqqaanu Sababaa Jedhiif Qofa Qonnaan Bultooti Oromoo 80 ol Manneen Hidhaa Gara Garaatti Hidhaman

Gabaasa Qeerroo Aanaa Nuunnuu Qumbaa Ebla 20,2015

Because I am OromoWallagga, Aanaa Nuunnuu Qumbaa Ganda qonnaan bultaa Furdisaa lafa qonnaa fi bososna Baanqoo jedhamu mootummaa Wayyaanee investerootaaf hiruu isaa irraan kan ka’e uummanni Oromoo naannichaa diddaa fi falmatnaa dachii isaanii taasisaniin ergamtootaa fi bulchitoota Wayyaanee waliin walitti bu’uu Qeerroon gabaase.

Gaafa Ebla 19,2015 Diddaa uummanni naannoo kanaa kaaseen wal qabatee mootummaan Wayyaanee loltoota isaa Naqamte irraa gara naannichaatti erguun fincila kaafatniittu, dachii mootummaan irraa buqaaa isiniin jedhe irraa ka’uu diddan sababoota jedhuun abbootii warraa kanneen ta’an qonnaan saddeettamaa ol manneen hidhaa beekamtii hin qabne kan akka Waamaa Adaree,magaalaa Nuunnuu, mana hidhaa Jimmaa Arjoo fi Jaatoo Naqamteetti guuramanii hidhamuu isaanii Qeerroon addeessa.

Kanneen keessaa maanguddoonni umuriin bulan lama haalaan miidhamanii mana hidhaa Naqamteetti darbatamanii jiru, kanneen kunis:-

  1. Obo,Qalbeessaa Donee
  2. Obbo, Firrisaa Waakkennee

Jedhaman yeroo ta’an hidhamtoota warreen hafan kaan keessas shamarran Oromoo maatii qonnaan bulaa keessaa akka keessatti argaman gabaasi addeessa.

http://qeerroo.org/2015/04/20/wallaggaaanaa-nuunnuu-qubmaa-keessaa-qeee-keenya-irraa-hin-buqqaanu-sababaa-jedhiif-qofa-qonnaan-bultooti-oromoo-80-ol-manneen-hidhaa-gara-garaatti-hidhaman/

Western Governments’ Aid Is Funding Human Rights Repression In Ethiopia. #Oromia. #Africa April 4, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report.
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???????????Human rights League of the Horn of Africa

Western Governments’ Aid is Funding Human Rights Repression in Ethiopia

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) Presented by Garoma B. Wakessa, Executive Director OSA Mid-Year Conference at Maximilians-University, Germany March 28-29, 2015. After its first year of being in power, the TPLF government made its next step the weakening and/or eliminating of all independent opposition political organizations in the country. To pretend that it was democratizing the country, the TPLF signed five international human rights documents from 1991 to 2014. These include the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. Despite this, it is widely known that the TPLF has tortured many of its citizens ever since it assumed power and has continued that to the present day. The TPLF Government adopted a new constitution in 1995; based on this constitution, it formed new federal states.The new Ethiopian constitution is full of spurious democratic sentiments and human rights terms meant to inspire the people of Ethiopia and the world community. The TPLF’s pretentious promise to march towards democracy has enabled it to receive praise from people inside and outside including donor countries and organizations. The TPLF government has managed somehow to maintain a façade of credibility with Western governments including those of the USA and the UK, who have supported them since 1991. From 1991 onwards, the TPLF militia has been fully equipped with the UK government, equipment that the TPLF security force has used for intensive killings, abductions, and disappearances of a vast number of people. The victims were Oromo, Ogaden, Sidama peoples and others whom the TPLF suspected of being members, supporters or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). TPLF high officials to ordinary level cadres in the various regional states have engaged in enriching themselves and their family members by looting and embezzling public wealth and properties, raping young women in the occupied areas of the nations and nationalities of Ethiopia, and committing many other forms of corruption. The TPLF government declared, in 2004[1], an investment policy that resulted in the eviction of indigenous peoples from their lands and livelihoods. Ethiopia is receiving a significant aid package estimated at one-third of its annual budget from donor governments and governmental ganizations each year. The donations pouring into Ethiopian Government banks are in the name of development, humanitarian and security aid. The Ethiopian government is using these development aids to suppress political dissent, freedom of expression and assemblies. Human rights campaigners have repeatedly urged donor governments to ensure that their aid Money is utilized in an accountable and transparent manner- not for political repression. However, the Ethiopian government has boldly rejected even measured criticism of its human rights record with sweeping, contemptuous denials. Donor governments have appeared reluctant to challenge the Ethiopian government’s complete refusal to engage in constructive dialog about the donor government’s many human rights-related failings. Western governments have been too timid to challenge the government publicly. Instead, their aid policies are influenced by Ethiopia’s perceived status as the most stable country in the Horn of Africa and made Ethiopia their friend to fight the “global war on terrorism.” The development project funded by the UK government and run by the World Bank has been used for a violent resettlement program in Ethiopia. Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) is the primary sponsor of the World Bank’s foreign aid initiative, supposedly set up to improve basic health, education, and public services in Ethiopia[2]. Those who attempted to oppose or resist evictions were murdered and/or jailed by the TPLF[3]. European Union (EU) is also working with the government of Ethiopia on several development programs. The partnership between Ethiopia and the EU is based on the African-EU strategic partnership[4] which gives emphasis to Peace and security and good governance and human rights. Regarding the governance and human rights under the strategic priority (b) it says,” the promotion of democratic governance and human rights constitutes a central feature of the Africa-EU dialog and partnership”. Moreover, the Cotonou/city of Benin agreement defines relations between the EU and Africa collectively, and between the EU and ACP countries. Based on this policy, EU and Ethiopia signed in Nairobi on June 19, 2014 European Union aid in favor of Ethiopia in an amount of 745.2 million EUR to be made available to Ethiopia for the period 2014-2020 based on Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement which is to provide the basis for political relations and dialogue between Ethiopia and the EU. By providing help to the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia, the EU has breached:

  1. The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, a joint Africa-EU strategy policy adopted in Lisbon in 2007/ Lisbon, 9 December 2007 16344/07.”[5]
  2. EU International Cooperation and Development policy which is primarily based on good governance and respect for human rights, their national country’s laws and international human rights standards,[6]

The giving away of Oromo land in the name of investment also includes Addis Ababa, the capital city situated at the center of Oromia Regional State. More than 30,000 Oromos were evicted by the TPLF/EPRDF Government from their lands and livelihoods in the areas around the capital city and suburbs. Their lands have been given to the TPLF officials, members and loyal cadres over the past 24 years. The TPLF government prepared a plan called “ Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” in 2013/2014, a project that aimed at annexing about 36 towns and surrounding villages into Addis Ababa. The project was challenged by the Oromo People’s Democracy Organization/OPDO in March 2014 in the seminar given to the members how to implement the project. The challenge was first supported by Oromo students in different universities, colleges and high schools in Oromia. The resistance then spread to Oromo farmers, Oromo intellectuals in all corners of Oromia Regional State and Oromo nationals living in different parts of the world. TPLF Agazi snipers brutalized More than seventy Oromo students from among the peaceful protestors. The “Addis Ababa integrated master plan”threatens to evict more than two million farmers from around the capital city. More than five thousand Oromos from all walks of life were imprisoned in different parts of Oromia Regional State. The inhuman military actions and crackdowns by the TPLF government against peaceful protestors were condemned by various international media such as the BBC[7], human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the HRLHA[8]. The government admitted that it killed nine of them[9]. As well, more than seventy Oromo youths were brutalized. The HRLHA believes that the gross human rights violations committed by the TPLF government in the past 24 years against Oromo, Ogaden, Gambella, Sidama and others were pre-planned and intentional. The TPLF killed, tortured, and kidnapped and disappeared thousands of Oromo nationals, Ogaden and other nationals simply because of their resources and ethnic backgrounds. The recent research conducted by Amnesty International and released under the title “Because I am Oromo”: SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIA’ [10], confirms that people in Ethiopia who belongs to other ethnic groups have been the victims of the TPLF. The TPLF’s inhuman actions against the citizens are clearly genocide, a crime against humanity[11]and an ethnic cleansing, acts, that breach domestic and international laws, and all international treaties the government of Ethiopia has signed and ratified. We at HRLHA firmly believe that the TPLF government leaders are accountable as a group and as individuals for the crimes they have committed and are committing against Oromos and others. Therefore, the HRLHA calls upon EU member donor states, investors and Organizations reassess their relationship with the Ethiopia TPLF/EPRDF government for its persistent brutal, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against innocent and unarmed civilians and refrain themselves from helping the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia. Recommendations:

  1. Western Government donors should abide by their development and aid policy which says “no democracy, no aid”. The EU must respect its “Africa-EU Strategic Partnership, a joint Africa-EU strategy policy adopted in Lisbon in 2007/ Lisbon, 9 December 2007 16344/07.”[12]
  2. The EU must abide by the Cotonou partnership agreement EU International Cooperation and Development policy which is primarily based on good governance and respect for human rights, their national country’s laws and international human rights standards,[13]

[1] http://unctad.org/en/docs/iteiia20042_en.pdf [2] http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/uk-government-accused-sponsoring-human-rights-abuses-ethiopia-0 [3] Genocide Watch, http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopia.htmlGenocid, -The Oakland Institute ,Engineering Ethnic Conflict,http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/Report_EngineeringEthnicConflict.pdf [4] http://www.afmeurope.org/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/12/2014-2020_NIPprogramme_ethiopia_en.pdf, [5]http://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/documents/press_corner/nip_11th_edf_ethiopia_signed.pdf [6] http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/where/acp/overview/documents/devco-cotonou-consol-europe-aid-2012_en.pdf [7] Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27251331 [8] Ambo Under Siege, http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287, and Region-Wide, Heaeavy-Handed Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters, Http://Www.Humanrightsleague.Org/?P=14668 [9] BBC TV Reported, Https://Www.Youtube.Com/Watch?V=Cynywxtulig [10] Ethiopia: ‘Because I Am Oromo’: Sweeping Repression In The Oromia Region Of Ethiopia, Http://Www.Amnesty.Org/En/Library/Info/Afr25/006/2014/En [11] Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Articles 6&7,http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/InternationalCriminalCourt.aspx [12]http://www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/documents/press_corner/nip_11th_edf_ethiopia_signed.pdf [13] http://ecdpm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014-European-Parliament-Political-Dialogue-Human-Rights-Article8-Cotonou-Agreement1.pdf   http://www.ayyaantuu.net/western-governments-aid-is-funding-human-rights-repression-in-ethiopia/

Prof. Habtamu Dugo Introduces the Oromo People at the ASA’s Conference (Indianapolis, Nov. 2014). #Oromia. #Africa March 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Because I am Oromo, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Fordi jeg er oromo, Jen & Josh (Ijoollee Amboo), Land Grabs in Oromia, Oromia, Oromia at The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), Oromo Nation, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia.
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