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WHAT DOES UNREST IN OROMIA SIGNIFY? – IDA, Africa Watch December 25, 2017

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WHAT DOES UNREST IN OROMIA SIGNIFY?
By Dr. Stephanie M. Burchard*, The Institute for Defense Analyses , Africa Watch


In mid-December, a series of violent clashes between ethnic Oromo and ethnic Somalis in the Oromia region of Ethiopia resulted in at least 61 fatalities. This outbreak of violence followed the deaths
of 16 protesters who were shot by state security forces on December 12 in Chelenko, located east of Mulu in [Eastern] Oromia. Ethiopia was previously under a state of emergency from October 2016 to August
2017 in response to waves of protest that originated in Oromia and swept the country beginning in 2014. What is driving the recent spate of violence in Oromia, and is it indicative of potential larger unrest?

Origins of Unrest

Despite commonalities in language, religion, and culture, Oromo and ethnic Somalis have experienced
intermittent conflict for at least the past 25 years. Their two regional states, Oromia and Somali, share a border that is poorly demarcated. Much of the conflict between the Oromo and Somali groups has historically centered on access to resources and land.
Both ethnic groups complain about being marginalized by the Ethiopian government, which has been
dominated by the Tigray ethnic group. Ethiopia is ethnically heterogeneous, with more than 80 recognized ethnic groups. The Tigray are one of Ethiopia’s smaller ethnic groups, representing about 6 percent of the total population.
The members of the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, which comprises an estimated 35 percent to 40 percent of the population, feel particularly underrepresented by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.
Although tensions between the Oromo and ethnic Somalis are long-standing, the most recent conflict needs to be contextualized against the backdrop of previous unrest in Oromia that began in 2014. After the announcement of a development scheme in 2014 (detailed in the August 25, 2016, issue of Africa Watch) that would have enabled the government to incorporate parts of Oromia into the capital city, Addis Ababa, protests broke out across Oromia.
During the initial phases of the project, Oromo leaders accused the government of taking over land and forcibly evicting families. Protests continued and the grievances expanded to include concerns over human rights abuses, political representation, and limitations placed on freedom of expression. The government ultimately abandoned its expansion plan in January 2016 in response to the unrest, but anti-government protests continued to spread to the Amhara community, Ethiopia’s second largest ethnic group, and the capital. The government imposed a state of emergency in October 2016.
Current Conflict Details are sparse about the most recent clashes, but reports indicate that members from the Oromo ethnic group were killed first, which then triggered reprisal killings of ethnic Somalis. The clashes are alleged to involve the Somali Special Police, the Liyu. The Liyu are a paramilitary group created by the government in the mid-2000s to deal with a previous secessionist group located in the Somali region, the Ogaden National Liberation Front. The Liyu have been accused of using excessive force and engaging in extrajudicial killings. Coincidentally, in October, government forces
were accused of killing four people in Oromia who were protesting the delivery of a shipment of arms to the Liyu.
While some are attempting to define the recent clashes as primarily ethnic in nature, activists in Oromia claim that the involvement of the Liyu indicates that it is actually state-sponsored violence.
The opinions expressed in these commentaries are those of the authors and should not be viewed
as representing the official position of the Institute for Defense Analyses or its sponsors.
Links to web sites are for informational purposes only and not an endorsement.
The December 2017 clashes appear to be part of an escalation of violence and protest in the region. From
October 1 to November 30, around 118 violent events took place in Oromia, almost 50 percent of which were protests.
An estimated 200 fatalities occurred and tens of thousands are believed to have been displaced. This increase in violence follows a lull from April to July. Roughly 30 percent of all conflict activity in 2017 has involved the Liyu in some capacity; almost 50 percent has involved state security forces
(military or police).

Government Response to Unrest

The Ethiopian government responded to the 2014 Oromia security situation with a heavy hand. Ethiopian police were responsible for hundreds of deaths during protests from 2014 to 2016. In 2016, at the height of the conflict, more than 1,000 fatalities were reported in Oromia. The government arrested protesters en masse and attempted to control the flow of information into and out of Oromia. During the state of emergency, at least 29,000 persons were arrested, many of whom are still awaiting trial. The government arrested scores of journalists and frequently jammed nonstate news sources to prevent them from broadcasting. According to Human Rights Watch, the government also routinely cut cell phone service in areas where the military was deployed, presumably to prevent information about the military’s actions from being publicized widely.

Conclusion

The Ethiopian government announced in August 2017 that it was lifting the state of emergency due to an
improved security situation, but recent events suggest a resurgence of violence and protest in Oromia. The uptick in violence may signal the beginning of renewed unrest in Ethiopia. This should serve as a reminder that the core issues underlying the previous unrest, namely state repression and political representation, were never adequately addressed.

Click here to read more in PDF: WHAT DOES UNREST IN OROMIA SIGNIFY? Africa Watch, December-21-2017-vol17 (1)


*Dr. Stephanie M. Burchard is a Research Staff Member in the Africa Program at the Institute for Defense Analyses.

 


 

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The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa: The Ethiopia’s regime Crimes Against Humanity in Oromia Needs Urgent World Community Action. #Prevent #Genocide December 13, 2017

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Ethiopia: Crimes Against Humanity in Oromia Needs Urgent World Community Action

HRLHA  Urgent Action

Dec 13, 2017

For Immediate Release


The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly condemns the brutality of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front / Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (TPLF/EPRDF) Government’s military force who massacred 15 Oromo farmers who were harvesting their crops on 10 Dec, 2017 in Chalanko district, EasternHararge zone. This comes after two weeks of the TPLF/EPRDF  commanders restarting fresh attacks on Oromos living in border areas near Somali State in which over sixty Oromos were killed  in two weeks- since the last week of Nov 2017 to the present- in Arero district (Borana zone), Cinakseen (Easter Hararge zone) ,and Bordode(Western Hararge zone).  Currently the TPLF/EPRDF led Ethiopian government has deployed thousands of heavily armed military forces all over Oromia regional, state zones and committed extrajudicial killings, and detentions in Kelem and HoroGuduru, western Oromia zone, in Bale, Arsi, Guji and Borana in southern Oromia zones and in Ambo, Walisso,  and Yaya Gullale Central Oromia, Shewa zones.

Among the recent Victimsof  theTPLF/EPRDF military forces:

# Name Zone/District Date of Attack Status
1 TajuYasy East Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
2 AbdiSaliIbro Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
3 Mhamed Abdela Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
4 SaniYuya Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
5 AbdelaYisak Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
6 Abdumalik Uso Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
7 Haru Hasen Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
8 Fesal Yisak Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
9 Michael Abdo Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
10 Mumeadam Hasen Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
11 Tofik Abdo Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
12 Sali Hasen Hararge/Chalanko Dec 10, 2017 Killed
13 Sabaoy Haji Sani, (7th grde student) West Harage/ Hawigudina district Dec 7, 2017 Killed
14 Jamal Hasan  (Milicia) West Harage/ Hawigudina district Dec 7, 2017 Killed
15 three people, no names Borana/Moyale Dec 7, 2017 Killed
16 Hasan Basaa Guji/BuleHora Dec 6, 2017 Killed
17 Kadiro Geda Guji/BuleHora Killed
18 13 people Borana/Arero Nov. 24, 2017 Killed
19 Dejen Belachew Shewa/Yayagullale Nov, 23, 2017 Killed
20 Dirriba Hailu Shewa/YayaGullale Nov, 23, 2017 Killed
21 Girma Shifera Shewa/Yayagullale Nov, 23, 2017 Injured
22 Adane Tibabu Shewa/Yayaullale Nov, 23, 2017 Injured
23 Insa Megersa Shewa/Yayagullale Nov, 23, 2017 Injured

HRLHA has expressed its concerns several times to the world community in general, to Western donor governments (the USA, the UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden), governmental agencies (UN, EU & AU) in particular regarding the  systematic and planned killings targeting educated  Oromo men and women, outstanding university students, Oromo nationalists by the Ethiopian government killing squad, Agazi force which has been deployed by the government deep into community villages  of Oromia.

Advancing its plan of systematic killings of Oromos, the TPLF/EPRDF  government trained another group of killers,  the Liyu Police in Somali Regional State, Eastern neighbor state of Oromia  and deployed them along the border between Oromia and Somali State where they have killed thousands of innocent Oromo  farmers-since 2011 to the present- invading the border Oromo areas. The well trained and armed Liyu Police led by TPLF/EPRDF commanders entered into the OromiaState territory from East and West  Hararge, Bale, Borana, Guji Zones and killed, evicted, abducted Oromos and occupied some areas in Bale, Hararge, Borana and Guji areas permanently. Oromos and Somali are, respectively, the two largest regions in the country by area size, sharing a border of over 1,400 km (870 miles). The attacks of the Liyu Police on Oromos took place not only across the border, they also killed many Oromos living in Somali Regional State towns of Jigjiga, Wuchale, Gode, forcefully disappeared over two hundred Oromo business men and women and displaced over seven hundred  thousand (700,000) others including women, children and seniors.

The  700,000 evicted Oromos from the Somali Regional Statepushed out by the government of Somali state have been deported to Oromiaand are currently suffering in different concentration camps, including in Hamaressain Harar town, Dirredawa and other areas. They are mostly without shelter, and food and are in poor health.

Sadly enough, these displaced Oromos did not get the attention of the TPLF/EPRDF government and did not  receive any humanitarian aid from the federal government of Ethiopia and other sister federal states or from international donor governments and organizations in the past over six months. They depended only on their fellow Oromo brothers and sisters. The Federal Government of Ethiopia which highly depends on Oromia resources (about 70%) for its annual income has failed to provide even emergency  funding to Oromos who have been displaced and chased from Somali Regional State leaving behind their all belongings. The TPLF/EPRDF government and the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO),  the  member  of ruling party, the EPRDF deliberately hides the suffering of 700,000 displaced Oromos from the world society, a move equal to genocide.

Based on the violations against the Oromo nation by the Ethiopian government  over the past twenty-five tears, the HRLHAhas found that the serious gross human rights violations committed by the Ethiopia Government against the Oromo nation since 1991 to the present constitute  crimes against humanity under international law. Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack or individual attacks directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The crimes against humanity act include: a) forced population transfers and deportation, b) murder, c) rape and other sexual violence, and d) persecution as defined by the Rome Statute  article 7 of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the ad hoc international criminal courts.

Background:

The World community has witnessed in the past four or more years, since the Oromo mass movement had begun in 2014 to the present,that the Ethiopian people in general and the Oromo people in particular have suffered or are still suffering  under the EPRDF government:

  1. Over4500 Oromos, from young to old, have been brutalized, tens of thousands have been incarcerated and other thousands have been forcefully disappeared during the Oromo protests and over 700 hundred were massacred on October 2, 2016 at the Irrecha Oromo thanksgiving Festival
  2. For the past 26 years, the world has seen that this Ethiopian government does not believe in finding peaceful and sustainable solutions through negotiations with opposition political organizations or in finding solutions for the grievances of the people.
  3. The EPRDF government pretends in front of the world community it is practicing democracy, while the facts on the ground show that the Ethiopian government is committing a crime, a systematic campaign against Oromos that causes human suffering, or death on a large scale-a crime against humanity.

Therefore, the HRLHA urges the international community to act collectively in a timely and decisive manner – through the UN Security Council and in accordance with the UN charter on a case-by – case basis to stop the human tragedy in Oromia, Ethiopia.

The international communities and agencies (AU, EU & UN) can play a decisive role by doing the following:

  • Provide humanitarian aid to the displaced 700,000Oromos immediately to save the life of the people before it is too late
  • Put pressure on the TPLF/EPRDF government to allow neutral investigators to probe into the human rights crisis in the country as a precursor to international community intervention
  • Put pressure on the Ethiopian government to release all political prisoners in the country
  • Intervene to stop crimes against humanity by the Ethiopian military force using the principles of R2P adopted in 2005 by the UN General Assembly
  • Demand thatthe Ethiopian government return its military forces back to their camps from Oromia villages and towns

Copied To:

  • UN Human Rights Council
    OHCHR address: 
    Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
    Palais Wilson
    52 rue des Pâquis
    CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Africa Union (AU)
    African Union Headquarters
    P.O. Box 3243 | Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area) | W21K19 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax: (251) 11 551 78 44Webmaster: webmaster@africa-union.org
  • The US Department of State
    WASHINGTON, D.C. HEADQUARTERS
    (202) 895-3500
    OFMInfo@state.gov
    Office of Foreign Missions
    2201 C Street NW
    Room 2236
    Washington, D.C. 20520
    Customer Service Center
    3507 International Place NW
    Washington, D.C. 20522-3303
  • UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
    Parliamentary
    House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
    Tel: 020 7219 4055
    Fax: 020 7219 5851
    Email: hammondp@parliament.ukDepartmentalStreet,(DepartmentalStreet???)
    London, SW1A 2AH
    Tel: 020 7008 1500
    Email: fcocorrespondence@fco.gov.uk
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs (Norway)
    His Excellency BørgeBrende
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    E-mail: post@mfa.no
    Phone: + 47 23 95 00 00
    Address: 7. juniplassen 1, N-0032 Oslo


    Related articles (Oromian Economist Sources):

 

Oromia: #CalanqooMassacre, Calii Calanqoo 2ffaa: The number of  civilians killed by fascist Ethiopia’s (TPLF) security forces in Calanqoo (Chelenko) town, Meettaa district in east Haraghe zone of Oromia state has risen to 20;  more than a dozen were also wounded, many of whom are in critical condition

Democracy Now: Reports: Ethiopian Forces Crack Down on Oromo Protests, Killing up to 15

Opride: Ethiopia: Oromia hit by fresh #OromoProtests in response to state-sponsored killings

Ethiopia faces social media blackout after new ethnic unrest

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Ethiopia has been suffering from a super centralized TPLF autocratic, barbaric and terroristic rule.  October 9, 2017

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, Ethiopian Empire, Ethnic Cleansing, Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights.
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For the last 26 years, Ethiopia has been suffering from a super centralized TPLF autocratic, barbaric and terroristic rule.

It is beyond dispute that the recent event witnessed in Eastern and Southern Oromia is nothing but TPLF’s last ditch futile effort at the triangulation and expansion of the conflict in the face of the ongoing broad based and persistent opposition to its repression. The Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama, Gurage, Wolayita and the other Ethiopian peoples are saying NO, in one voice, to the decades of repressions, killings, incarcerations, humiliations, displacements and robberies of their resources by the TPLF junta. The Ethiopian people are rising in unison to break out of the shackles of slavery and fear the TPLF has put them in.

It is a well established fact TPLF’s longstanding strategy of diffusing bipolar conflicts between itself and the Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama or Gurage people –just to mention the major heavy weights in Ethiopian politics in terms of shear demographic size – is triangulation of the conflict. For instance, the TPLF always attempts to add a front to the real conflict between itself and the Oromo people and between itself and the Amhara people by inciting (fabricating) conflict between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Based on this strategy, the TPLF has been attempting incessantly for the last 26 years to incite conflicts mainly between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Fortunately, the diabolical efforts by the TPLF has been rendered for the most part pre-emptively ineffective thanks to the long history of peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.

Moreover, the massive demonstrations held in Oromia and Amhara States over the recent years put, in no uncertain terms, the final nail to the coffin of this TPLF’s savage strategy triangulating the conflict as TPLF-Oromo-Amhara conflict. The dumb-founded TPLF was left with nothing but to whisk a few bribed Somali elders carrying a “10 million birr donation check” to Mekele instructing them to tell the people of Tigray that they are not alone in this and that the Somali people are by their side. This was intended not only to calm the Tigray people who have been growing increasingly isolated, nervous and uncomfortable by the latest cascades of erratic and impulsive reactions by the TPLF to suppress the popular demands but it was also to officially declare that the efforts to triangulate the conflict is moving East. It is obvious that since the strategy of triangulation of the TPLF-Oromo people bipolar conflict or TPLF-Amhara people bipolar conflict has been dealt a final blow, TPLF was forced to play what it thought was its next best card from the few diminishing cards left in its hands. In a very interesting twist of events, Seye Abraha, a rebel commander-turned-defense minister who was a member of the Politburo of the TPLF and who is believed to be one of the main authors and architects of the TPLF war doctrine went to the same place, Easter Ethiopia, in 1991 in relation to the TPLF-Oromo conflict and bragged something to the effect of “…TPLF can create a war let alone winning a war….” Fast forward – we are here today. Alas, terrorist TPLF is at it again – trying to transplant the vortex of conflict at Oromia-Somali border in order to open a new front on the Oromo people for being on the forefront of the struggle of the Ethiopian people for peace, freedom, justice and democracy. So it is evidently clear that what we are seeing unfolding right in front of our eyes in Eastern Oromia today is nothing but that strategy of the triangulation of conflict at work.


The Culprit is the TPLF – Not Ethnic Federalism 

By Aklilu Bekele,


The current horrendous situation the barbaric and kleptomaniac dictatorial TPLF regime has put Ethiopian in has brought the debate on ethnic based federalism back into the spotlight. Nowadays, barely a minute goes by without hearing or seeing the opponents of the ethnic based form of federalism in Ethiopia attempting to pound on ethnic federalism to gain the maximum political capital possible out of the bad situations and the suffering of the innocent victims of the TPLF led state terrorism. The veteran as well as the newly minted opponents of ethnic federalism are shouting at the height of their voices using any platform they can find that the ongoing war perpetuated by the TPLF regime against the Oromo people, particularly in Eastern and Southeastern Oromia, is yet another irrefutable proof for the failure of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia. They even go as far as arguing that ethnic federalism has failed in Ethiopia in and of itself out of its own shear weight and inherent nature and not because of the failure of the TPLF to implement it whole-heartedly. The way the opponents are trying to frame the debate betrays their frantic jubilant mood as if their longstanding dream had come true.

Before I delve into the counter arguments made by the proponents of ethnic federalism, allow me to throw in a few sentences about the war the TPLF is waging against the Ethiopian people of Oromo origin in Eastern Oromia. It is beyond dispute that the recent event witnessed in Eastern and Southern Oromia is nothing but TPLF’s last ditch futile effort at the triangulation and expansion of the conflict in the face of the ongoing broad based and persistent opposition to its repression. The Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama, Gurage, Wolayita and the other Ethiopian peoples are saying NO, in one voice, to the decades of repressions, killings, incarcerations, humiliations, displacements and robberies of their resources by the TPLF junta. The Ethiopian people are rising in unison to break out of the shackles of slavery and fear the TPLF has put them in.

It is a well established fact TPLF’s longstanding strategy of diffusing bipolar conflicts between itself and the Oromo, Amhara, Somali, Sidama or Gurage people –just to mention the major heavy weights in Ethiopian politics in terms of shear demographic size – is triangulation of the conflict. For instance, the TPLF always attempts to add a front to the real conflict between itself and the Oromo people and between itself and the Amhara people by inciting (fabricating) conflict between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Based on this strategy, the TPLF has been attempting incessantly for the last 26 years to incite conflicts mainly between the Oromo and Amhara peoples. Fortunately, the diabolical efforts by the TPLF has been rendered for the most part pre-emptively ineffective thanks to the long history of peaceful coexistence between the two peoples.

Moreover, the massive demonstrations held in Oromia and Amhara States over the recent years put, in no uncertain terms, the final nail to the coffin of this TPLF’s savage strategy triangulating the conflict as TPLF-Oromo-Amhara conflict. The dumb-founded TPLF was left with nothing but to whisk a few bribed Somali elders carrying a “10 million birr donation check” to Mekele instructing them to tell the people of Tigray that they are not alone in this and that the Somali people are by their side. This was intended not only to calm the Tigray people who have been growing increasingly isolated, nervous and uncomfortable by the latest cascades of erratic and impulsive reactions by the TPLF to suppress the popular demands but it was also to officially declare that the efforts to triangulate the conflict is moving East. It is obvious that since the strategy of triangulation of the TPLF-Oromo people bipolar conflict or TPLF-Amhara people bipolar conflict has been dealt a final blow, TPLF was forced to play what it thought was its next best card from the few diminishing cards left in its hands. In a very interesting twist of events, Seye Abraha, a rebel commander-turned-defense minister who was a member of the Politburo of the TPLF and who is believed to be one of the main authors and architects of the TPLF war doctrine went to the same place, Easter Ethiopia, in 1991 in relation to the TPLF-Oromo conflict and bragged something to the effect of “…TPLF can create a war let alone winning a war….” Fast forward – we are here today. Alas, terrorist TPLF is at it again – trying to transplant the vortex of conflict at Oromia-Somali border in order to open a new front on the Oromo people for being on the forefront of the struggle of the Ethiopian people for peace, freedom, justice and democracy. So it is evidently clear that what we are seeing unfolding right in front of our eyes in Eastern Oromia today is nothing but that strategy of the triangulation of conflict at work.

Apologies for digressing more than I initially wanted. Going back to my main theme of this writing, the proponents of ethnic federalism are also making their point by arguing that what is certain to have failed in Ethiopia is not the ethnic federalism form of state but the absolute centralism that has bedeviled Ethiopia for over a century. They argue that the absolute unitary dictatorship (one language and one religion policy, among others) had been tried fiercely and in earnest (whole-heartedly with absolute commitment, giving it all they had and to the fullest extent possible) in Ethiopia from Menilik to Haile Selassie to Mengistu for over a century but it failed and failed miserably. The TPLF has continued the same old tired unitary militaristic dictatorship with a thinly veiled facade of federalism. If there is anything that makes the TPLF regime different from its predecessors, it is its pretension and con artistry to create an illusion of change by marginally changing the form without changing the substance an iota, none whatsoever.

Ethiopia has never tried federalism of any form nor democracy in its history. How can we conclude that something has failed when we have not tried it whole-heartedly in the first place? What type of experimentation is that? I believe the opponents of ethnic federalism know very well that what exists in today’s Ethiopia is not any form of federalism but an absolutely centralized TPLF dictatorship. They are blaming the form instead of the substance. They are attempting to use the current TPLF war on the Oromo people in Eastern and other parts of Oromia as an opportune moment and the casus belli for the war they have already declared anyway on ethnic federalism. It is hard to fathom but one dares to ponder that the opponents of ethnic federalism are so gullible that they would believe that Ethiopia’s multifaceted and multilayered complicated problems would vanish in one day were the TPLF take off its veil of fake federalism and come out naked for what it truly is; namely, the worst dictatorial centralist regime Ethiopia has ever known. The elaborate TPLF spy network that has been installed throughout Ethiopia spanning from the TPLF politburo all the way down to the infamous one-to-five (1-2-5) structure is an irrefutable testimony to the absolute dictatorial centralism under which the TPLF regime has been ruling and plundering the Ethiopian people since it controlled the state power in May 1991. This is the truth in the today’s Ethiopia.
However, the truth doesn’t matter for the opponents. They have the propensity to kick the truth aside if it is doesn’t serve their political purposes. Their untenable and feeble argument about the failure of federalism (whatever its form may be) in Ethiopia falls flat in the face of the reality on the ground in Ethiopia. The reality in Ethiopia has been out there for everyone to see with his/her naked eyes without any need for a visual aid. For the last 26 years, Ethiopia has been suffering from a super centralized TPLF autocratic, barbaric and terroristic rule.

The opponents’ argument makes sense if and only if we accept a hypothetical premise that Ethiopia has had a democratic system for the last 26 years. Otherwise, how can we blame ethnic federalism as the cause of the crises we are seeing unfolding in Ethiopia today or for the last 26 years for that matter because federalism never works without democracy? If we don’t accept the premise that Ethiopia is a democracy today, then blaming ethnic federalism for the country’s crises is not only absurd but it is also like indicting someone who has nothing to do with the crime. In fact, pointing finger to the ethnic federalism is in tune with what the terrorist TPLF propagandists are attempting in vain these days to hoodwink and make us believe with a vivid intent of deflecting the focus away from the real issue – themselves. In a nutshell, the opponents’ argument doesn’t stand to reason nor to any meaningful scrutiny. It is rather an intentional misrepresentation of the facts on the ground in order to divert our attention away from the real problems the country has been facing and their immediate and longstanding causes.

Just for the sake of argument, let us assume that what the opponents say is true and agree to abandon our efforts to institute a genuine ethnic federalism in Ethiopia. If that is the case, then it automatically begets that we have to also abandon our struggle for democracy because democracy has also failed in Ethiopia today. I hope the opponents would not argue with the same zeal as they do against ethnic federalism that democracy is flourishing in Ethiopia under the TPLF rule. If the opponents are arguing that the democratic experimentation has succeeded but it is only the ethnic federalism that has failed in Ethiopia today, then it is worth considering going to other forms of federal systems.

However, if the opponents of ethnic federalism agree that democracy has also failed in Ethiopia today, then there is a fallacy in their argument because true federalism (whatever its form may be) cannot be implemented without democracy. Democracy is an essential pre-requisite for any form of federalism. If the opponents of ethnic federalism accept the premise that democratization has failed in the TPLF ruled Ethiopia, are they also telling us with the same breath to forgo our struggle for democracy and leave Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people at the mercy of the barbaric, plunderous terrorist TPLF? Otherwise, if they accept the glaring truth that there is no democracy in Ethiopia, then they have to shift their accusing fingers to the failure of the democratization process and the TPLF instead of the non-existent ethnic federalism. There is an Amharic saying that goes something like ‘searching for dung where no cow has been”.

I would like to conclude by stating the obvious at the risk of sounding redundant and repetitive. The reality is that what have failed in Ethiopia over and over again for over a century are dictatorship and centralism. Ethnic federalism is the only realistic antidote not only for the birth defect and chronic ailments Ethiopia has been suffering from since its inception but for its unique multicultural nature and its recorded history of ethnic repression as well. We understand that the pre-TPLF Ethiopia for which the opponents of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia are nostalgic was a heaven for them but that doesn’t mean it was the same for everyone. The pre-TPLF and the TPLF Ethiopia is the same hell for the majority of the Ethiopian people. We, in the freedom camp, are striving to create an Ethiopia that is free, fair and just, an Ethiopia that treats all its citizens equal, an Ethiopia that is democratic, multicultural and ethnic federalist that we all call home and be proud of.

Six Major National and Regional Unintended Policy Consequences of the Invasion of the Eastern and Southern Oromia by the Somali Liyu Police, i.e., the Somali Janjaweed Militia August 31, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

Six Major National and Regional Unintended Policy Consequences of the Invasion of the Eastern and Southern Oromia by the Somali Liyu Police, i.e., the Somali Janjaweed Militia


By Dr.  Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni


 

1. The TPLF/EPRDF government’s arming and creation of well trained and well-armed local militias for smaller ethnic minorities groups like Afar, Somali, Benishangul and few others with the sole purpose of attacking the Oromo and the Amhara; and the disarming of the two major ethnic groups, the Oromo and the Amhara, will have lasting peace and security implication for Ethiopia and the rest of Horn of Africa. The TPLF/EPRDF government will come out of this war as weak, cunning, untrusted and very hated by all Ethiopians.

2. The invasion of Eastern and Southern Oromia by the Somali Liyu Police and the politically calculated passivity by other Ethiopians mainly in Addis Ababa and the Amhara region will send strong signal to the Oromo people that the Ethiopian nationalism and patriotism is dead and the country is on the verge of dismemberment; and the Oromo people will be unlikely to participate in any national self-defense effort under the Ethiopian umbrella from now on be it on the Eritrean front or the Sudan front or even invasion by country’s like Egypt.

3. The Somali Liyu Police invasion of Eastern and Southern Oromia orchestrated and aided by the TPLF/EPRDF and the so called Ethiopian defense force will lead to the breakup of the Ethiopian Defense force along ethnic lines or regiments that will not trust and coordinate with each other. No young Oromo who observe the present actions of those now leading the Ethiopian National Defense Force will ever trust and be loyal to the command structure of the Ethiopian Defense Force since it will be perceived as not having the best interests, mainly the peace and security, of the Oromo people.
4. The Somali Liyu Police invasion of in Eastern and Southern Oromia and its attack on unarmed civilians will lead to regional arms race within Ethiopia where every ethnic group will race to arm itself and establish its own popular self-defense forces against any potential attacks similar to the attack and invasion the Somali militias are conducting daily in Oromia.

5. The Somali Liyu Police invasion and the failure of the Ethiopian Federal government to do anything to defend the unarmed Oromo civilians from attack will send strong signal to the international businesses, development and security partners of Ethiopia that the country is unstable, ripe for sudden ethnic conflicts and civil war which will make it very high-risk country to do business in.

6. The creation of Somali Liyu Police in Ethiopia certainly will trigger Horn of Africa wide regional instability by encouraging the creation of similar armed Somali militia groups in Kenya and Djibouti with similar objectives to accomplish the greater Somalia agenda by seceding the Somali speaking part of Kenya and Djibouti.


Related:

Ethiopia’s Somali Region: Political Marketplace for Tigray Military Commanders

Analysis: History repeating itself in the Horn of Africa: Is the crime in Darfur being replicated in Eastern and Southern Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia? – http://addisstandard.com/analysis-history-repeating-horn-africa-crime-darfur-replicated-eastern-southern-oromia-regional-state-ethiopia/

ETHIOPIA: FASCIST TPLF’S PROXY WAR THROUGH THE LIYU POLICE

Conversations in Ideas: Liyu Police and the Oromia-Ogaden Border Conflict

 

Ethiopia’s Somali Region: Political Marketplace for Tigray Military Commanders August 29, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Ethiopia’s Somali Region: Political Marketplace for Tigray Military Commanders


By Karamarda Group


Crime against humanity suspect, President of Ethiopian Somali Regional State Abdi Mohamud Omar
Alex De Waal, in his book titled, The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa, Money, War and the Business of Power describes; political market place is a contemporary system of government in which politics is conducted as the exchange of political services or loyalty for payment or license. The Horn of Africa is advanced and militarized political market place, characterized by pervasive rent-seeking and monetized patronage, with violence routinely used as a tool for extracting rent. This is absolutely true none other than the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Today, The Somali Region of Ethiopia is profitable market place for military commanders of the Ethiopian defense Force. Though, the monopoly of the Somali region political and economy was in the making for quite some time, yet the different branches of the federal government offices such as the federal affair’s, the Federal intelligence and ministry of defense used to compete to seek rent in the Somali Region. However, since the death of Meles, no one has absolute authority as Meles did to manage the day-to-day operations. Hence, various military and civilian Tigrai powerful political individuals have bargained and created a competitive political structure to govern different Regions. The prime minster, an otherwise a decent man is merely a symbolic figure put there to create the image of a non Tigrayan figurehead for political consumption. As such the Ethiopian defense forces under the leadership of General Samora has come out as a winner to seek rent and be a caretaker for the Somali Region. The General has mandated, the commander in Chief of the 4th Brigade, Let. General Abraha to be the de facto ruler of the Somali Region. General Abraha has in return supporting Abdi Mohamud Omer to serve as the political manager for the Somali Region.
Abdi Mohamud Omer is neither a Somali nationalist who bargain in the interest of the Somali people in the so-called ethnic federal system of Ethiopia nor a unionist with a vison of prompting centralized united Ethiopian ideology. He is an opportunist who is obsessed with reading and understanding the psyche and mood of the Tigrai military commanders and act upon what he considers will gain him sympathy and loyalty. He is also a ruthless paranoid and a cruel administrator who will do anything to get the coerced adulation of the entire Somali population in the region and beyond. In doing so, he managed to create a one-man state; he has absolute arbitrary power to kill, jail, invades any community or region and has offered in return for loyalty the entire Somali Region budget in the Ethiopian political market place.
The hallmark of Abdi Mohamed administration is to terrorize the Somali People; creating one of the biggest mass incarcerations in the Somali Region called “Jail Ogaden”. Killing thousands of innocent man, women and children in the name of supporting the rebels, forced an educated mass to migrated and abandon their homes, mascaraed family remembers of those who opposed him from far and could directly retaliate against them.
Abdi Mohamed Omer have auctioned out a number of policy gains by previous Somali region leaders and politicians that had huge sentimental value for the Somali people, though these changes did not made any difference for Tigrai military leader’s political capital, he used it to attest his allegiance, For example, he made a change to resemble the Somali region flag to that of Tigrai Region by totally removing the Somali identity, he changed Thursday and Friday being the holidays for the Somali region people, denying the Somali ordinary citizens to spent time with their families and opportunity to attend Friday prayers. Yet He traded the Somali people lands to Afar region without any due process as long as it is prolonging his tenure. However, the main and most significant plunder by Tigrai leaders under Abdi tutelage is the visible and hidden financial robbery of the Somali Region budget and revenue. The looting is well-designed scheme undertaking for quite some time to create a centralization economy and power. To illuminate this system that permitted the monopoly of power and economy, (one man –state), one has to look at how Abdi is tasked to cleverly organize the different administrative structures to make sure they serve him and his patronage.
Administration: Abdi Mohamed administration by design operates under strict kin (blood) and mirage arrangements. He has fired or jailed every Somali person with conscious and dignity and replaced them with his family members, the inexperienced youth and aficionado members of the society. He has recruited his clan and immediate family members from diaspora and the region to run the day today activities. Here is the list of family members in key positions;
* His First wife, Safiya Mohamed Mohamud is a Member of the federal Parliament from Jarar Zone
* Khadar Abdi , brother of the second wife and Abdi Ilay brother in-low, Minster of Trade and head of the Party ,the most powerful man next to Abdi
* Iliyas Abdi, brother of the second wife and Abdi Ilay brother in-low. Vice- minister of Water resources
* Sucad Ahmed, Vice president, Minster of natural resources and Chairman of ESDA board, Married to Abdi Ilay cousin and commander of Presidential security
* Yasiin Omer, minster of the revenue
* Deeq Labagole, an MP from Mersin and Minster of Labor
* Yasiin Abdiwaris an MP from Kabridahar and Minster of security
* Farhan Mahamud Minster of Information
* Nasradin Anab, Head of the design enterprise
* Mohamed Shugri head of the finance for Liyu police
* Mohamed Maki, Purchasing enterprise for the Liyu police
* Lubi Kariye head of PSNP
* Bashir Waal head of the Diaspora office
The Liyu police: is the pillar of Abdi’s administration and the most brutal and vicious force ever operated in the Somali Region. Initially, the TPLF formed the Liyu police as a counter insurgency force against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a group fighting for self-determination for the Somali region. These force estimated to be around 40, 000 have been terrorizing the civilian population in the Somali region and Somali Border towns without impunity since 2008.
As any Somali leader, he used the clan card to recruit and mobilize the force. Initially, the Liyu police leaders were hired from close and trusted other sub clans to makeup the gap and implement the project; currently all of the former leaders of Liyu police are in jail Ogaden replaced by his close family members. Some of the current Leaders of the force are ex-members of ONLF and family members of Abdi Ilay who shifted alliance when he came to power. The Liyu police are more than a militia force;
* It is an entry point for Abdi Ilay administration. Currently, all administrative and judicial leaders at all level (sub- district, district and zonal) are from Liyu police.
* A revenue collectors; income and asset tax is collected by Liyu police all over the Somali region.
* A business enterprise; the Liyu police have a number of enterprise organization that are contracting to build roads, houses and other services.
* Housing Development agency
* Water work construction Enterprise
* Construction & Procurement special police Enterprise
In the past two years, the Liyu police have extended their rent seeking violence in the Somali Republic regions of Puntland, Somaliland, Galmudug and now in the Oromo region to gain loyalty, payment and license to continue killing innocent people. ……… Here are the top Liyu police militia leaders that are close family members of Abdi;
* General Abdiraham Labagole , Commander in Chief of the Liyu Police
* General Abdi Adan Waris, second in Command of the Liyu police
* Colonel Deeq Bujo
* Colonel Sh Mukhtar Subane
* Colonel Nasradin Canab
* Colonel Sanyare
* Colonel farahmahad
* Colonel Deeg Jeri
* Colonel Yasiin Abdiwaris
* Colonel Nasra Hassan
Elder’s council: Elders in the Somali community play a crucial role in managing public affairs, perceptions and providing support and legitimacy for leaders and institutions. They are highly respected and viewed as guardians of peace, resources and Welfare of their perspective communities. In the Somali Region, there has always been established traditional elders leaders and council in every clan and sub clan. Yet, Abdi Mohamed had created his own elders council (known by locals as the Liyu police elders council) sidelining those traditional elders who are not in agreement with his way of doing things. This tension is very noticeable particularly in Jigjiga zone where Garad Kulmiye Gard Mohamed Gard Dool, suldan Abdirahman suldan Bade, Garad Abdimaalik (Janan) Garad Osman, in Shinle zone Ugaas Mustafa Mohamed and many others are homebound and nonfunctional. This new elder council is led by his uncle and counselor colonel Ciro.
Media: in Somali region, there is no independent media what so ever, print, radio or TV. The only Media enterprise is Abdi Ilay’s TV, Radio and website managed by Ilay’s cousin, the information minister. It is another important instrument in creating the one man state and the Abdi’s utopia propaganda. More often, his media is also used to convey messages of intimidation for diaspora decedents. In the midst of extreme and severe drought in the region, with cost of millions of Birr, the media enterprise in 2016 has summoned a huge number of Somali musicians from diaspora to stay for almost a year in Jigjiga and sing songs of prosperity, Abdi’s talent and leadership and security and safety of the Somali Region.
Economic and financial monopoly:
He also altered the entire revenue collection, budgetary planning and finical system to benefit him and the Tigrai military leaders. Currently, the budget is planned purely based on estimated amount of revenue collection. For example, when the budget is put together, the administration in Jigjiga without any consideration of resources or ability of a district to pay will assign a figure. Then the district administration will coerce the elders, small business and the handful government employees to contribute. If the district could not meet the revenue request, elders will gather their clan and sub-clan to collect, sheep, goat, camel etc. just like they are paying blood or dia. If the district could not meet the request, they will not receive the allocated food aid. Furthermore, for the first time in the history of Somali region routine tax is collected in rural area from owning livestock. For example, if of someone has a 100 camel, he will be required to pay random amount as tax without any documentation or knowledge how often the tax will be collected. All of the many collected as tax are used to bribe military commanders so that he stays in power.
Contracts and business Licenses: in order to be able to do a business in the Somali Region whether by acquiring license or to set up a company to bid in the contracts, one has to be able to be part of an association. These associations have to be approved by the administration and often managed by assigned individuals based on the value and importance of the association. Abdi and his family members are involved in every big business in the Somali region, to mention a few;
* The Oil Factory, Jigjiga
* The Meat Factory in Dhagxle
* Cement Factory in DiriDawa
* The Khat export, taken away from Zuhura
* The soft drink import, taken away from Zuhara and others
* The contract to build the new Kabri-Dahar airport
* The contract to build the new presidential Palace
Conclusions
The risk of empowering Abdi Mohamed without any checks and balances in the Somali region and beyond worries not only the Somali population, but also the bordering regions of Oromia, Somalia and the Ethiopian central intelligence. The increase in number and operations of the Liyu police beyond its original intent creates uneasiness within the intelligence community. As the Liyu police increase in number, their role in rent seeking in Somalia and now in Oromo region expands, Abdi Mohamed believes his bargaining power increases as well. He has positioned himself as indispensable and the intelligence community knows that the one clan militia with such a large amount of resources and weapons could instantly join the rebel group if Abdi feels threatened or they want to clampdown the power of his militia.
In the absence of strong Somali government, and the new and fragile South Sudan, the TPLF military commanders found themselves not only in international peacekeeping but also in high yield rent seeking operations and are making fortunes. Yet, for those commanders who did not join in the highly paid UN blue helmet, such as General Abarah and others, they expanded their share of rent seeking in the peripheral lands of Somali, Binshangul and Gambela. The income inequality, the Tigray domination of every sector, nepotism and lack of press and freedom of speech will lead to the escalation of the Oromo and Amara protests and shows signs of spreading to Somali and other regions.

Ali Abdi
Karamarda Group
Executive Committee
The Karamarda Group is a group of Somali Regional State citizens who are interested in promoting Democracy and Good Governance in the Somali Region of Ethiopia and could be reached at karamardagroup@gmail.com


 

The Securitization of political life in the Horn of Africa August 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Horn of Africa Affairs, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

Conversation in Ideas: The Securitization of political life in the Horn of Africa