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

Posted by OromianEconomist in US-Africa Summit.
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Freedom House

Ethiopia's scores on freedom




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

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

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

Read the policy reccomendations below.

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

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

Ethiopia: Policy Recommendations, July 2015


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

Political Space and Inclusive Political Process

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

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

Civil Society and Media

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

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

Human Rights and National Security

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

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

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

Support for Human Rights and Democracy Promotion

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

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

Oromia: Macha-Tulama Association Requests President Obama to Rethink Visit to Tyrannical, Undemocratic Ethiopia July 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????Machaa Tuulamaa in USA


The following is a letter to President Obama from the Macha-Tulama Association-USA, Inc.


Macha-Tulama Association – USA, Inc
811 Upshur ST NW
Washington, DC 20011

July 2, 2015

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500

Your Excellency President Obama,

The Board of Directors of the Macha-Tulama Association (MTA), U.S.A., is writing this urgent letter regarding your plan to visit Ethiopia in July 2015. The MTA is a non-profit organization incorporated in the U.S.A. because it was banned in Ethiopia. It advocates for human rights and for social justice for the Oromo and others in the Horn of Africa and beyond. For almost a quarter of a century, Ethiopia has been ruled by the Tigre People’s Liberation Front, which calls itself the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front. This minority regime has been engaging in sham elections, which are elections only in name. The regime disregards all the principles and practices of democracy in spite of its pretension to be democratic since 1991. The regime’s promise of democratization by restructuring the state, liberalizing the economy, and respecting and protecting human rights has been subverted. While claiming to be a democratic government in order to receive ‘development aid’ and to gain political legitimacy, this regime has killed, imprisoned and tortured the Oromo and other ethno-national groups who have struggled for democracy, national self-determination, human rights, and social justice. In fact, the Oromo people have been mainly targeted for elimination and repression because they are the largest national group in Ethiopia, and they have started to recover, manifest, and exercise their rights to culture, history, and language, which have been repressed by the state of Ethiopia for over a century.

According to a recent Amnesty International report, entitled ‘Because I am Oromo: Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia,’ between 2011 and 2014 alone, at least 5000 Oromo were arrested, tortured, and sentenced with 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, intended to evict millions of Oromo farmers from their homelands in and around Addis Ababa (which the Oromo call Finfinnee), the capital city of Ethiopia. Since 1992, several human rights organizations have been reporting that Oromo prisoners have been predominantly populated Ethiopian prisons and other detention places. As a result these prisons and concentration camps speak Afaan Oromo (the Oromo language), as testified by many nonOromo prisoners.

Mr. President,

It is with shock and profound sadness that we received the message of your intention to visit Ethiopia in July. As the leader of a great country that subscribes to the principles of democracy and fundamental rights and liberties for all human beings, and as the leader of a country whose foreign policy in principle is committed to promoting the ideals of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy around the world, we believe your visit will send a wrong message to the regime and its likes across the globe that they can get away with grotesque violations of human and democratic rights as long as they remain ‘strategic allies’ to the United States.

Mr. President,

Because of these reasons, we earnestly request that you rethink your intention to visit Ethiopia. We believe your visit to the country also sends three messages: First, it encourages the Ethiopian government to continue intensifying its repressive policies. If your government continues to support and finance the regime regardless of what it does, the regime will see no reasons for changing its violent and dictatorial policies. Second, your visit to Ethiopia demonstrates to the affected people that the United States government only gives lip service to democracy and human rights while supporting the dictatorial minority regime of Ethiopia. To the 90 million people who are facing massive human rights violations in Ethiopia, particularly to the over forty million Oromo, your visit will mean that the U.S.A. does not care for the aspiration to live in a free, open, and democratic society. Your visit will also mean that human rights and democratic self-governance are not part of the list of U.S. priorities in Africa and beyond. Third, it convinces the people in Ethiopia and beyond that your policy is not different from some of your officials, such as Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, who recently undermined the process of democratization in Ethiopia by endorsing the regime’s record whose democracy, she said, is ‘improving.’ The Undersecretary has been roundly criticized, and we believe, rightly so.

In closing, we would like to bring to your attention that when, in July 2009, you visited Ghana, you made a speech in which you promised that the U.S.A. does not, and will not, support dictatorship and strongmen, and that you seek to assist the development of “strong and sustainable democratic governments” everywhere in Africa. We believe it is only appropriate now to request that you do not ignore your commitment and promise of that historic speech you made in Accra, Ghana, by visiting Ethiopia, the graveyard and prison house of thousands of men and women who have been killed, imprisoned, tortured, maimed, and disfigured only because they have aspired to exercise their God-given rights and to live in a democracy by demanding national self-determination and democratic rights in their own country.


Asafa Jalata, PhD.,
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Macha-Tulama Association &
Professor of Sociology and Global and Africana Studies


British Ambassor: Ethiopian election results bad for democracy July 3, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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British Ambassor: Ethiopian election results bad for democracy


Ambassador Greg Dorey is the British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti (non-resident) and British Permanent Representative to the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa

July 3, 2015 Ethiopia (Horn Affairs) — Britain’s Ambassador said: “It is starting to sound as if the ruling party and its allies will have a 100 percent of the seats in parliament. And I think that is not good for democracy; that is what you get in places like North Korea. But actually in Ethiopia you need some diversity of opinion in parliament.”

The Ambassador made the remark during an interview with the English-weekly The Reporter. The interview, published in the weekend, was conducted days before the officially announcement of final election results last Friday. Nonetheless, a total win by the ruling party EPRDF and its allies was widely expected since the last week of May.

The Ambassador’s remark came at about the same time British Foreign Minister issued a strong statement regarding Andargachew Tsige‘s case.

Western diplomats in Addis Ababa, unlike elsewhere,  seldom remark on domestic politics, especially since the 2005 post-election crisis that impacted relations with a couple of diplomatic missions.

Here is the Ambassador’s comment:

Question: What is your take on the recent election in which the ruling party won all the 547 seats in parliament? Would you characterize it as free, fair and credible?

Ambassador Greg Dorey:

For More Visit:  http://www.Ayyaantuu.net

Africa: Obama’s Visit To Ethiopia Sparks Controversy, Concerns Nigeria Was Snubbed July 2, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Corruption in Africa, Free development vs authoritarian model.
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President of the United States Barack Obama

Activists and some media organizations have expressed concern that President of the United States, Barack Obama, will visit Ethiopia but not Nigeria during his Africa trip next month. Many have pointed out that Nigeria just experienced an historic democratic transfer of power while Ethiopia has a deplorable human rights record.

In addition to the recent democratic transfer of power Nigeria plays a crucial role in African security and is the US’s largest trading partner on the continent. The US also announced a 5 million dollar commitment to Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.

According to Nii Akuetteh, an independent Africa analyst, who spoke with SaharaReporters, people should not see President Obama’s decision as “a huge slap in the face to Nigeria.”

Mr. Akuetteh said that “planning a presidential trip abroad is extremely cumbersome” and “one month is too short notice to prep a major trip like this.” He also said that “many in Washington DC would not admit it but they are happy that [former President] Jonathan is no longer in power” and that Obama would not have planned for a trip to Nigeria if he was in power.

President Obama plans to visit Kenya, the country of his father’s birth, for a global entrepreneurship summit before flying to Ethiopia. It should also be noted that Kenya has an abysmal human rights record, with police death squads and ethnic discrimination against Somali communities routine.

Mr. Akuetteh stated that “as an activist I am not happy when the United States supports dictators or that President Obama is visiting the Ethiopian regime” however “my reading of the trip is that President Obama is going to meet with African Union leaders, which happens to be located in Addis Ababa.”

The White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, said something similar that Obama “will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit by strengthening ties with our African partners and highlighting America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa.”

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, will visit President Obama in mid-July during his first official visit as President to the United States. It is expected that President Obama and President Buhari will discuss security, terrorism, and trade between the two countries.


Obama’s plan to visit Ethiopia criticised as ‘gift’ for repressive government June 24, 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, Free development vs authoritarian model.
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Obama’s plan to visit Ethiopia criticised as ‘gift’ for repressive government

Activists express anger at US president’s trip to country widely criticised for human right abuses. Global Voices report

Barack Obama during a to Wajir in Kenya, close to the Ethiopian border, before he was elected US president in 2008.
Barack Obama during a to Wajir in Kenya, close to the Ethiopian border, before he was elected US president in 2008. Photograph: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Barack Obama’s decision to visit Ethiopia has shocked human rights activists, who say the visit sends the wrong message to a repressive government widely accused of clamping down on dissent.

A White House statement said Obama will visit the east African country for meetings with government officials as part of his last African trip as president. As well as meeting the leadership of the African Union, the visit will form part of US efforts to strengthen economic growth, democratic institutions and improve security in the region.

But as activists and social media users have been making clear, Ethiopia’s track record on human rights and democracy is deeply troubling.

In its 2014 report, Human Rights Watch noted that Ethiopia increasingly clamps down on the freedoms of its citizens “using repressive laws to constrain civil society and independent media, and target individuals with politically motivated prosecutions”.

Last month, Ethiopians voted in parliamentary elections which were widely denounced as unfair. Though the African Union declared that the vote was peaceful, they fell short of using the words “free and fair”.

While the US state department has expressed concerns about restrictions on civil society, media, opposition parties, and independent voices, Ethiopia remains a significant recipient of foreign aid money and security support.

On Twitter Hannah McNeish, a freelance journalist , juxtaposed last month’s suspicious elections results with the White House’s decision to honour Ethiopia with an official visit:


Power: A curse to a nation but A drug to a Leader May 31, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Corruption in Africa, Sham elections.
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???????????TPLF in electoral fraud, 24 May 2015Is the age of Africa's political big man nearing an end

A letter from former U.S. Senate candidate Prof. Mohammed Tahiro to U.S. President Barack Obama regarding Ethiopia’s General Election, which was held on 24 May 2015. May 29, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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???????????Deja vu in 2015 Ethiopian ElectionsTPLF in electoral fraud, 24 May 2015

The following is a letter from former U.S. Senate candidate Prof. Mohammed Tahiro to U.S. President Barack Obama regarding Ethiopia’s General Election, which was held on 24 May 2015:-

Professor Tahiro's letter to President ObamaProfessor Tahiro's letter1 to President Obama


Mohammed Tahiro

May 27, 2015

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President, Thank you for the opportunity to write to you on an issue that is important to me as well as the United States. Ethiopia held regional and parliamentary elections for the fifth time under the current Constitution on Sunday, May 24, 2015. Unlike previous elections, the current election was conducted in the absence of international observers. The African Union sent fifty six observers to monitor elections with over forty five thousand polling stations. The 2005 and 2010 elections were marred with serious allegations of vote rigging by the ruling EPRDF. The European Union and international human rights organizations had condemned the practices of the Ethiopian government as fraudulent and undemocratic. In 2010, the ruling party declared itself winner of 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats; out of a total of 547 seats, only 1 seat went to an opposition politician. Many people believe this alone is evidence enough to indict the government as illegitimate. In the years and months leading up to the current election, the government had allegedly been engaged in open prosecutions of opposition party leaders and supporters. There are credible reports of political killings throughout the country. In Oromia State, opposition leaders were detained, tortured, and some allegedly killed by an unpopular government determined to staying power. Allegations of widespread vote rigging have also been reported in Gondar and throughout the northern counties as well as the South. Opposition parties allege the Ethiopian Electoral Board is staffed by government operatives with the sole purpose of putting its seal of approval on a preordained outcome. Mr. President, diaspora-based independent media outlets, such as the Oromia Media Network (OMN) and others, have been reporting claims of harassment and abuses against opposition leaders and supporters perpetrated by the government. Entrenched political and economic interests are testing the legendary decency of the Ethiopian people. Contempt for the people and the rule of law has been the hallmark of this government. Their refusal to yield to the will of the people has nudged the country one step closer to a civil conflict. As an American, I believe supporting true democracy in Ethiopia is in the long term strategic interest of the United States. In the election held last Sunday, the ruling party printed the ballots, took possession of the ballots, manned the polling stations, and counted cast ballots. This is not a democratic process by any measure. MEDREK, a coalition of main opposition parties, has declared the election fraudulent and that it will not accept the outcome. The people of Ethiopia are demanding fair elections. Fair elections mean guaranteeing the integrity of the process. To that end, I’m asking you, Mr. president, to support the initiative to hold new elections in twenty four months, with at least one international observer from the United States, the United Nations, or the European union manning every polling station. Until such time as Ethiopia is ready to have an independent election commission, it’s only fair that the elections be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. only then, can we even come close to guaranteeing the integrity of the process.

Thank you for your consideration and I eagerly await your response.

Most Respectfully,

Mohammed Abbajebel Tahiro

Former U.S. Senate Candidate for the State of Texas

UNPO: Election Delays Stable, Secure and Democratic Future for Ethiopia May 28, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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Election Delays Stable, Secure and Democratic Future for Ethiopia


UNPO, 24 May

Deja vu in 2015 Ethiopian Elections

Almost 37 million Ethiopians had registered to cast their ballots in Ethiopia’s parliamentary and regional elections which took place on Sunday 24 May 2015. Although the results will only be announced in June, history shows that the only winner will be the long-ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), led by incumbent Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn: the party is expected to “win” nearly all – if not all – of the 547 seats in parliament and thus form the Government. Since 2005 the EPRDF has engaged in repressing any dissent and political opposition in Ethiopia, cracking down on independent media and civil society organizations, while charging government critics under harsh anti-terrorism laws. This has left the country without any viable counter voice to the ruling party and resulted in highly controlled political participation – something which according to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Sidama Liberation Front (SLF) is reflected in Sunday’s “fake” election.

In 2010, the EPRDF won 99.6% of the parliamentary seats, with various election observation missions (EOMs), including that of the European Union, saying the election was marred by intimidations and harassment of opposition activists. Human Rights Watch stated that the victory was the “culmination of the government’s five-year strategy of systematically closing down space for political dissent and independent criticism”. Such allegations were repeated on the occasion of this year’s election, which was the first since the death of former PM Meles Zenawi, the man who transformed the EPRDF into a powerful political organisation, while completely disregarding international standards for democratic governance and respect for human rights. The Government has denied any allegations of misconduct and accused the opposition, as well as its archenemy Eritrea, of plotting a disruption of the vote. Just before the elections, PM Desalegn claimed: “We remain vigilant and confident that the general election will be peaceful, free and fair, notwithstanding destabilisation attempts that may be tried by Eritrea or its local emissaries, which we will respond to with stern measures”.

The National Election Board of Ethiopia claims that the environment created for political parties this year was exceptional. However, the only international body present to monitor the electoral process was the African Union, the headquarters of which is based in Addis Abeba. The European Union and the United States, which monitored the 2005 and 2010 elections, did not participated this time, and their recommendations from the previous years remain largely ignored. It should also be noted that already before the Election Day, human rights groups claimed on Saturday 23 May that the polls could not be free or fair due to a lack of freedom of speech and participation byindependent media.

According to Al Jazeera, the voting process itself was smooth but the fractured opposition has complained of irregularities in the run-up to the election and of harassment and intimidation of their supporters. Furthermore, opposition groups also complained that several of their members were detained. Despite all these allegations, on the day of the election, the African Union’s EOM stated that the electoral process was held in an “orderly manner”. The polls closed at 6 pm on Sunday, but the final results will only be released by the National Electoral Board after 22 June 2015.

In a joint statement released the day after the elections, the Ogaden National Liberation Front, the Oromo Liberation Front and the Sidama Liberation Front put forth that the elections were not an expression of the democratic will of all the people, and that the preparation, the process and the final results of this election were and will be intentionally flawed. Therefore, according to international standards,  the election process cannot be considered free, fair and impartial. The three liberation fronts also argue that is not an accident that the international community opted out of observing this election, and instead purposely kept away to avoid legitimising this fake excercise of democracy. The complete statement is available here.

As highlighted during the latest in a series of conferences organised by UNPO, entitled “Cartoon Democracy: Authoritarian Rule and Elections in Ethiopia”, UNPO deeply regrets that ethnic and political opposition groups in Ethiopia were once again deprived of their basic right to freely participate in determining the future course of their country. This should serve as a wake-up call for the EU, US and UK – the three largest development donors to Ethiopia – to better monitor and condition how their funds are being spent and to increase their support to democracy and human rights. Otherwise, the much praised stability of Ethiopia is very much at risk.


Oromia: Gabaasa Addaa Filannoo Itiyoophiyaa Caamsaa 24 Bara 2015: The Opposition Has Dismissed Ethiopia’s Sham Elections Results Citing They Are Rigged. May 28, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromia, Sham elections.
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???????????nu haateeraa


SBO: Caamsaa 27, 2015 – Oduu, Filannoo kijibaa Wayyaaneen walqabatee FDG Oromiyaa keessatti deemaa jiru irratti gabaasa bal’aa, akkasumas dhimmuma kanaan walqabatee gaaffii fi deebii dargaggoo Dachaasaa Lammii waliin


Video: Medrek Opposition Leaders Present Evidence of Electoral Fraud in Favor of EPRDF


VOA Afaan Oromoo: Medrek Leaders Give Press Conference on the Election Outcome.

Filannoo Ethiopia caamsaa 24,2015 gaggeeffame irratti paartiin MADREK bu’aa sagalichaa akka hin fudhanne Caamsaa 27 bara 2015 gaasexessitootaaf ifa gochaa ture.Innis, filannichi wayita gaggaffamaa ture rakkoo deggertootaa fi taajjabdoota keenya irra ga’e akka nuuf ilaalamuu fi filannoon naannoo hatameefi burjaajeffame kanatti akka irra deebi’amu jedhan.




Tensions rise up after Ethiopian election


In Bule Hora university, ethnic Oromo students broke through security and closed the polling station citing ”no need to vote if it will not be counted properly”.

Two Observers killed in Kofele Arsi and Ambo , also over 500 Obsrvers are jailed.

About 85% of nearly 36 million Ethiopians casted their votes, says the National Election board of the country. The board has said the election was peaceful, free and fair. The only international observer, the African Union mission, on its part has said the election has met their standards.

Addis Ababa remains largely calm following Election Day, yesterday. Security has clashed with protesters in Oromia, the largest and most populous state that has seen large pro-opposition rallies over the last weeks. At least one killed in Midakengi district of west Shewa in election related violence.

Compared to the rest of the country, turnout was low in Addis Ababa and there are many reports of voter intimidation, observers harassment, and other irregularities. In places where results are announced, the incumbent regime has won most of the votes. The opposition has dismissed these results citing they are rigged.

In Oromia region, the situation is very tense. In West Shewa zone that had seen large crowds of demonstrations in support of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and a stronghold, there has been number of incidents of disputes and conflicts. In some places such as Gudar, dispute between observers, between voters and observers, voters and reps of election board escalated to confrontation. In other places such as Gindeberet, local militia opened fire on the local voters harming some of them.

Eye witness are reporting reinforcement and deployment of large regime security forces to districts such as Cheliya, Ambo, Toke-Kutaye, Bako, Jeldu, Dandi, Gindeberet and Midakengi. These areas had also seen widespread protests last year against the Addis Ababa master plan.

The opposition bloc Medrek has claimed that over 90% of its observers were chased away from polling stations by security of the ruling party. According to reports over the last hours, situation remains very tense after one individual was killed in Arsi zone, another one also was killed in Hadiya in SNNPR.

In Bule Hora university, ethnic Oromo students broke through security and closed the polling station citing ”no need to vote if it will not be counted properly”.

The Ethiopian regime has already declared it is a winner through its affiliated websites and openly on its state radio. The regime will likely continue its 99.6% share of the parliament, even more if not.  — Korma

Ethiopia’s May 24 Parliamentary and Regional Elections May 27, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Sham elections.
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Ethiopia’s May 24 Parliamentary and Regional Elections

US Gov – Ethiopia Travel Alert

Press Statement

Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 27, 2015

The United States commends the people of Ethiopia for their civic participation in generally peaceful parliamentary and regional elections on May 24. We acknowledge the National Electoral Board’s organizational efforts and the African Union’s role as the only international observer mission on the ground. We also note the importance of the nine televised party debates as progress in fostering open public discussion of the challenges facing the country. We encourage all candidates, political parties and their supporters to resolve any outstanding differences or concerns peacefully in accordance with Ethiopia’s constitution and laws.

The United States remains deeply concerned by continued restrictions on civil society, media, opposition parties, and independent voices and views. We regret that U.S. diplomats were denied accreditation as election observers and prohibited from formally observing Ethiopia’s electoral process. Apart from the election observation mission fielded by the African Union, there were no international observer missions on the ground in Ethiopia. We are also troubled that opposition party observers were reportedly prevented from observing the electoral process in some locations.

A free and vibrant media, space for civil society organizations to work on democracy and human rights concerns, opposition parties able to operate without impediment, and a diversity of international and domestic election observers are essential components for free and fair elections. The imprisonment and intimidation of journalists, restrictions on NGO activities, interference with peaceful opposition party activities, and government actions to restrict political space in the lead-up to election day are inconsistent with these democratic processes and norms.

The United States has a broad and strong partnership with Ethiopia and its people. We remain committed to working with the Ethiopian Government and its people to strengthen Ethiopia’s democratic institutions, improve press freedom, and promote a more open political environment consistent with Ethiopia’s international human rights obligations.

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

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)


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


– 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


OLF Statement: The Ethiopian sham election serves only the dictatorial government. #Oromia. #Africa May 24, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, OMN, Oromia, Sham elections.
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OLF Statement: The Ethiopian sham election serves only the dictatorial government

  The Ethiopian sham election serves only the dictatorial government OLF logo
The Tigray dictatorial ruling class was built on excessive military power. The regime indulged the country into extreme poverty. The corruption of the ruling class was one of the main machinery that put the country into the highest level of economic inequalities where the few members of the ruling class became the richest and the majority of the citizens are unable to even earn their daily bread. This high level of inequality resulted into absolute poverty, migration and loss of lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Today hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian people are living in hunger and insecurity in their own country. Some are cherished in Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea while they were trying to escape from unfair and abusive government. For the last 24 years, since the Tigray ruling class came to power, the corruption, displacement of people and human rights abuses have increased with the tremendous speed. This misery darken the political space and eradicated people’s hope for democracy. The Ethiopian people have been denied political freedom and rights of expression of their opinions. In this current regime, it is a crime to have different political opinion rather than supporting the Tigray ruling class’s party. The Ethiopian regime recorded highest level of Human rights abuses, killings, and intimidations not only in African continent but also in the world. The Tigray ruling class came to power with military force; it has built its dictatorial regime on military power and will continue to do so. One party dictatorship rule was the vision they had from the very beginning. They proved their vision within the last 24 years. In the future, they want to rule Ethiopia under one party dictatorship rule. The Tigray ruling class never listened to the Ethiopian people, nor willing to listen in the future. The responses to peoples’ questions were imprisonments, tortures and killings. The main priority for the Tigray ruling class is to stay on power. One of the strategy they designed to stay on power is to carry out fake election every five years. The last four elections proved that the ruling class is the most dictatorial regime on the planet. This 5th election that will take place on May 24, 2015 is not different from the previous elections. This election will not make any change to the political system and democracy in the country but it is only to renew the power of the ruling class for the next 5 years. This election is not democratic and not expected to fulfil the interest of the Ethiopian people. The election board is established by the current ruling class; the so called participating political parties are not treated fairly; the members of the opposition parties are arrested, harassed and beaten; the election process do not follow the democratic principle. Therefore, one can easily to judge the outcome of such unfair and sham election. The Ethiopian people was struggling for peace and democracy for several years. Among the people struggling for their rights the Oromo people was on the forefront. The Oromo people was struggling for many years and made huge sacrifices to regain their freedom and democracy. The Oromo people is not struggling to gain nominal seats in dictatorial government system but to become free from a century long political, economic and social domination. This objective cannot be achieved through participating in the election organised by the dictatorial ruling class. Particularly to the Oromo youngsters and students, you have made significant sacrifices to move the Oromo struggle forward. In order to make your sacrifices yield a fruit, you must continue your struggle for freedom and democracy. Participating in this fake election means that you forget the sacrifices your brothers and sisters made. Participating in this election means that you’re building the power of your perpetrators. From many years’ experience, the OLF knows the plan and behaviour the Tigray ruling class. The OLF knows that this regime is not prepared to leave its position even if they lose the election, which is unlikely within the current election process. Therefore, the OLF wants to inform the Ethiopian people in general and the Oromo people in particular, that this election stands only to serve the Tigray ruling class and to keep them in power for the next 5 years. This election does not fulfils the interest the Ethiopian people and do not lead to peace, stability and economic development of the country. The OLF wants to remind the Oromo and other people in Ethiopia that it should not mislead by this sham election. Particularly to the Oromo people, you are the first target of the Tigray ruling class. The power and strength of this regime works against you. So the OLF remind you to stay away from any activity, including the current election that build the Tigray regime and keep them in power. Victory to the Oromo people! Oromo Liberation Front May 23, 2015

Filannoon Fakkeessaa fi Kijibaa Abbootii Irree malee Ummatoota hin Fayyadu.

Filannoon Fakkeessaa fi Kijibaa Abbootii Irree malee Ummatoota hin Fayyadu. Bittaan gita bittoota Tigraay ummatootaa Itophiyaa irratti humna qawween of irroomse Itophiyaa tarree biyyoota hiyyeeyyii keessaa baasuu hin dandeenye. Kadhaa gargaarsa alagaa irraa argamuun jireessuu keessaa baasuu dadhabee har’as taanaan Impaayerittiin hiriira biyyoota gargaarsaan jiraatan keessatti akka hiriirtetti jirti. Saaminsi daangaa dhabe murna aangoo irra jiruun adeemsifamu abbootii aangoo duroomsee lammiilee sadarkaa of jiraachisuu dadhabuu fi abdii dhabuu irraa, kanneen osoo jireenya barbaadanii galaana keessatti dhuman, biyyoota gara garaa keessatti haala suukanneessaa fi gaddisiisaan ajjeefaman lakkoobsi guddaa dha. Bilisa tahanii gurmaa’uun, yaada qaban ibsatuun guutummaatti yakkatti fudhatamee hidhaa, ajjeechaa fi roorroo gosa gara garaa lammiilee irraan gahuun Itophiyaan biyyoota Afriikaa irra dabree sadarkaa addunyaatti iyyuu tarree duraa keessatti argamuun haala qabatamaa biyyattii keessaa ibsa. Saaminsi, cunqursaan, buqqa’insi fi dhiittaan mirga dhala namaa waggoota 24 dabraniif adeemsifamee fi sadarkaan har’a irra gahe egeree biyyattii kan dukkaneesse, ummatoota kan abdii dhabsiise dha. Wayyaaneen qawween dhufe. Qawweenis jiraate. Fuula duras Itophiyaa abbaa irrummaa paartii tokkoo jala tursuun murtii isaa bosonaa qabatee dhufe tahuun kan shakkamu miti. Ammas kana ifaan labsatee jira. Mootummaan Wayyaanee, ummatootni maal barbaadan? maal gaafataa jiran? Maalis hawwan? jedhee yaada ummatootaa hubatee gaaffii isaaniif deebii kennuuf kan fedhii hin qabne tahuu irraa gaaffiin ummatootaa deebii hin argatiin jiran. Kan Wayyaaneetti fardii, akkaataa itti aangoo humnaan argate tiksatuu danda’u irratti bobba’uu qofa. Waan taheef aangoo isaatti iggitii godhatuuf mala adda addaatti fayyadama. Tooftaalee aangoo irra ittiin of tursuuf itti gargaaramaa turee fi jiru keessaa filannoon kijibaa waggaa shan shanitti adeemsifamu isa tokko. Filannoon Caamsaa 24, 2015 itti baallamamee jirus Wayyaanee aangomsuun alatti faydaa biraa argamsiisu hin qabu. Sababootni isaas haalli filannoon kun ittiin adeemsifamu kan ulaagaa filannoo dimokraatwaa hin guutne tahuu qofa osoo hin taane murni Wayyaanee sagalee ummataan aangoo kan gadi hin dhiisne tahuu murteeffatuu irraa ti. Filannoon 5ffaa kun filannoota kanaan duraa irraas addummaa hin qabu. Kan filannoo kana mataa itti tahuun geggeessaa jiru boordiin filannoo kan sirnichaan sirnichaaf utubame dha. Kana waliin dorsisii fi dinniinni, hidhaa fi dhaaninsi mootummaa Wayyaaneen ummatoota irratti raawwatamaa jiru nageenya isaa kan gaaffii jala galche, bilisummaa isaa haqee sodaa itti bulche dha. ABOn akeekaa fi amala Wayyaanee bareechee waan beekuuf, akkasumas, itti bahi filannoo iftoomina hin qabnee, haqa irratti hin hundoofnee fi dimokraatawaa hin taanee maal akka tahu waan hubatuuf filannoo Caamsaa 24, 2015 hawwii fi fedhiin ummatootaa ittiin guutamaa irraa hin eegu. Kana irraa ka’uudhaanis yeroo gara garaatti ummatootni Itophiyaa addatti ammo ummatni Oromoo filannoo fakkeessii Wayyaanee akka lagatu waamichaa kan dabarsaa ture. Har’a Itophiyaa keessatti jibbinsa Wayyaanee fi sirna cunqursaa Wayyaaneen durfamu irraa ummatootni qabsoo hadhaawaa geggeessaa fi gaaffiilee adda addaa kaasaa jiran. Kanneen sirnicha irratti mormii finiinsaa jiran keessaa ummatni Oromoo durummaan hiriiree argama. Ummatni Oromoo kan ilmaan isaa wareegaa jiru, qabeenya isaa itti dhabaa fi baqaaf saaxilamee mankaraaruu irratti argamu, filannoo kijibaa keessatti hirmaatee barcuma lamaas tahe kudha lama argatuuf miti. Rakkoo siyaasaa, dinagdee fi hawaasummaa jaarraa tokkoo oliif irratti saare dhabamee walabummaan isaa dhugoomee bilisa tahee jiraachuufi. Akeeknii fi hawwiin ummata Oromoo kun ammoo filannoo sirna abbaa irrummaa jalatti geggeeffamuun tasa hin argamu. Waan taheef ummatni Oromoo haqa kana hubatuun furaan dhibdee isaa qabsoon malee kan hin argamne tahuu beekee, filannoo kijibaan akka hin dagamne ABO irra deebi’ee gadi jabeessee hubachiisuu fedha. Filannoo kana keessatti hirmaatuun mootummaa irratti qabsaawaa jiru seeressuu qofa taha. Filannoo mootummaa farra ummata Oromoo irroomsu keessatti qooda fudhatuun haada sirnichi mormatti nu kaa’ee jiru ofitti jabeessuu qofa taha. Addatti ammo dargaggoon Oromoo qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo fuula dura tarkaanfachiisuu keessatti wareegamni baasaa turtanii fi jirtan akka firii godhatu dandeessisuuf Fincila Diddaa Gabrummaa jabeessuun filmaata isa duraa akka tahetti itti fufsiisuun murteessaa dha. Morkaa fi xiqiin ykn jibbiinsa Wayyaanee qofa irraa ka’uun filannoo kijibaa jala gugatuun wareegama kanaan dura baafame irratti bishaan naquu taha. Waan taheef ummatni keenya sochii aangoo mootummaa Wayyaanee seeressuu kamuu lagatuun mirga isaa qabsoo isaan harka galfatuuf akka qabsoo isaa finiinsu ABO gadi jabeessee waamicha isaa haaromsa. Injifatnoo Ummata Oromoof! Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo Caamsaa 18, 2015




Ethiopia’s election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance. The international community must challenge Ethiopia’s oppressive regime by funding local human rights and democracy groups May 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections, The Tyranny of Ethiopia.
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???????????TPLF's sham elections

Ethiopia’s election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance

‘Ethiopia’s elections are just an exercise in controlled political participation.’
Jason Mosley

On Sunday, millions of Ethiopians will line up at polling stations to participate in Africa’s largest exercise of political theatre. A decade-long campaign by Ethiopia’s government to silence dissent forcibly has left the country without a viable political opposition, without independent media, and without public challenges to the ruling party’s ideology.

For most Ethiopians, these elections are a non-event.

The one potential dividend of these sham polls, however, is the international attention they will garner for the government’s growing political repression. The blatant disregard for internationally recognised standards for free and fair elections just might convince Ethiopia’s largest donors that it is time to rethink their relationship with an increasingly authoritarian government.

As long as democratic governance and respect for human rights are pushed aside by donors in favour of economic development and security cooperation, Ethiopia’s long-term stability is at serious risk.

Since 2005, the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) has cracked down on independent media and human rights groups.

In 2009, parliament passed the charities and societies proclamation, which placed restrictive regulations on non-government organisations, including limitations on foreign funding. Today,only a handful of these groups exist, and most are struggling to survive.

The preferred government strategy for eliminating independent media is to file criminal charges against publishers, and to impose hefty fines and prison terms. When lawsuits do not succeed, the government simply arrests journalists, as occurred last year when bloggers and journalists affiliated with the Zone 9 blogging collective were apprehended. The group remains imprisoned and charged as terrorists.

Post-election, the EPRDF, secure in its hold on power, might be willing to allow a small degree of dissent: Ethiopian officials are increasingly wary of reactions by the international community to the crackdown on critics and in 2013 published a national human rights action plan.

Global development podcast What causes conflict and how can it be resolved? – podcast
From the ready availability of weapons to the marginalisation of women, many factors can push a population towards conflict
The US, UK and European Union – Ethiopia’s largest donors – need to increase their support for democracy and human rights because much can be done right now.

Despite years of political repression, a new generation of human rights defenders is slowly emerging. The Zone 9 bloggers represented this new generation, using new technologies to educate fellow Ethiopians on exercising and defending their rights.

The human rights and democracy groups that remain are finding creative ways to conduct their work. This includes working with traditional development organisations, which the government generally tolerates, or focusing on seemingly apolitical issues, such as government accountability and corruption, that are important in strengthening Ethiopia’s democracy.

Donor countries fall short in their support for these groups. In the US, President Barack Obama’s latest budget request includes some $400m (£257m) in assistance to Ethiopia – but only $2m of it is for democracy and human rights programming.

The UK is equally parsimonious in democracy support. One reason is that the EPRDF makes it difficult for domestic groups to accept outside aid.

Donors could take concrete action right now. First, supporting off-shore programming allows activists to travel outside Ethiopia to get technical and strategic advice. Second, donors’ strategies for Ethiopia should include funds specifically dedicated to strengthening independent media outlets and journalists; the EU intends to take this step after the election.

Placards belonging to protestors outside the Foreign Commonwealth Office to demand the immediate release of UK citizen, Andargachew Tsege, who is being held in incommunicado detention in Ethiopia, having been kidnapped in Yemen in June 2014. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
A poster demanding the release of UK citizen Andargachew Tsege, who was kidnapped in Yemen last June and is being held in Ethiopia. Photograph: Stephen Chung/Alamy
Also, donors can find ways around foreign funding restrictions by pushing for the creation of funding pools considered local under Ethiopian law. The EU did this in 2011, when it created the Civil Society Fund, providing assistance to local human rights and democracy groups. The US should use its economic and diplomatic leverage to do likewise, a move that would provide a much-needed lifeline for these groups.

Greater funding for human rights will be vital for Ethiopian activists, whose reach has been limited by the charities and societies proclamation.

Before that came into being six years ago, the country’s leading human rights organisation, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), operated with a budget of $400,000 and 60 employees.

Today, its budget is less than half that figure, and staffing is down 80%. The only thing keeping EHRCO alive is financial aid from the EU Civil Society Fund.

Ethiopia receives nearly $4bn in official development assistance. This is more than any other country in Africa and makes up a significant portion of the government’s annual budget. If the US, UK, EU and Canada coordinated policies, Ethiopia would have to respond to their human rights and democracy concerns.

Ethiopia’s election should be a wake-up call for the international community. With each successive election that does not allow genuine choice, both apathy and resentment grow, and Ethiopia risks falling prey to the same instability that has plagued its neighbours.

Daniel Calingaert is executive vice-president of Freedom House. Kellen McClure is an advocacy officer in its Africa programmes.



What’s at stake when Ethiopians vote in May 2015

Even by Ethiopia’s own standard, the 2015 elections appear to be far less competitive than the last two polls. The country’s one-time vocal opposition is all but decimated, in part because of their own undoing but largely due to the ever-tightening political space and the lack of freedom to organize.


Amnesty International: Ethiopia: Onslaught on human rights ahead of elections. #Africa. #Oromia May 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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???????????Because I am Oromo

Ethiopia: Onslaught on human rights ahead of elections

Amnesty International, 22 May 2015

The run-up to Ethiopia’s elections on Sunday has been marred by gross, systematic and wide-spread violations of ordinary Ethiopians’ human rights, says Amnesty International.

“The lead-up up to the elections has seen an onslaught on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. This onslaught undermines the right to participation in public affairs freely and without fear as the government has clamped down on all forms of legitimate dissent,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The Ethiopian authorities have jailed large numbers of members of legally registered opposition political parties, journalists, bloggers and protesters. They have also used a combination of harassment and repressive legislation to repress independent media and civil society.

The lead-up up to the elections has seen an onslaught on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. This onslaught undermines the right to participation in public affairs freely and without fear as the government has clamped down on all forms of legitimate dissent.
Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

In the run-up to Sunday’s elections, opposition political party members report increased restrictions on their activities. The Semayawi (Blue) Party informed Amnesty International that more than half of their candidates had their registration cancelled by the National Electoral Board. Out of 400 candidates registered for the House of Peoples Representatives, only 139 will be able to stand in the elections.

On 19 May, Bekele Gerba and other members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)-Medrek were campaigning in Oromia Region when police and local security officers beat, arrested and detained them for a couple of hours.

On 12 May, security officers arrested two campaigners and three supporters of the Blue Party who were putting up campaign posters in the capital Addis Ababa. They were released on bail after four days in detention.

In March, three armed security officers in Tigray Region severely beat Koshi Hiluf Kahisay, a member of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (EFDUD) Arena-Medrek. Koshi Hiluf Kahisay had previously received several verbal warnings from security officials to leave the party or face the consequences.

In January, the police violently dispersed peaceful protesters in Addis Ababa during an event organized by the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ). Police beat demonstrators with batons, sticks and iron rods on the head, face, hands and legs, seriously injuring more than 20 of them.

At least 17 journalists, including Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu and Wubishet Taye, have been arrested and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP), and sentenced to between three and 18 years in prison. Many journalists have fled to neighboring countries because they are afraid of intimidation, harassment and attracting politically motivated criminal charges.

Civil society’s ability to participate in election observation has been restricted under the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP) to only Ethiopian mass based organizations aligned with the ruling political party.

Amnesty International calls on the Africa Union Election Observation Mission (AU EOM) currently in Ethiopia to assess and speak to the broader human rights context around the elections in both their public and private reporting. It also calls on the AU EOM to provide concrete recommendations to address the gross, systematic and widespread nature of violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly which have undermined the right to participate in public affairs freely and without fear.

“The African Union’s election observers have a responsibility to pay attention to human rights violations specific to the elections as well as more broadly,” said Wanyeki. “The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights protects the right of Ethiopians to freely participate in their government. This right has been seriously undermined by violations of other civil and political rights in the lead-up to the elections.”


Amnesty International has been monitoring, documenting and reporting on the human rights situation in Ethiopia for more than four decades.

Since the country’s last elections in 2010, the organization has documented arbitrary and politically motivated arrests and detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, as well as gross, systematic and wide-spread violations of the rights to freedom of expression and association.


Related: AmnestyInternationalReport_BecauseIAmOromo014

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

UNPO, 22 May 2015


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


Ethiopia: Elections Signal Need for U.S. Policy Change. #Africa. #Oromia May 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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???????????Freedom HouseEthiopia's scores on freedom

Ethiopia: Elections Signal Need for U.S. Policy Change

Freedom House, Washington, May 21, 2015

In advance of Ethiopia’s elections scheduled for May 24, Freedom House issued the following statement and policy recommendations:

“The Ethiopian government’s disregard for international standards for free and fair elections as it prepared for voting should convince the United States that it must rethink and shift its relationship with that government,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “For Ethiopia to represent a stable, reliable ally in the region, U.S. security and economic assistance must be accompanied by Obama administration strongly urging it take tangible steps to strengthen civil society’s voice, good governance, and democracy.”

Policy Recommendations 

  • Reallocate a portion of the economic and security assistance to programs dedicated to supporting democracy.
  • Push for creation of a special U.S. fund that could become a source of outside support for Ethiopian human rights and democracy groups.
  • Regularly request that visiting U.S. officials obtain access to detention centers where journalists, human rights defenders and other political prisoners are being held.
  • Pursue a strict application of all laws and regulations, including the Leahy Law, that ensure security assistance does not go to perpetrators of human rights abuses.
  • Include in the USAID country development strategy clear guidance on the importance of supporting independent media in Ethiopia, to promote freedom of expression, ensure accountability of government, and fight corruption.

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2014.

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


Oromia: Oromo Federalist Congress: Obbo. Baqqalaa Nagaa Campaign Rally for OFC/Medrek in Bule Hora southern Oromia May 20, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Sham elections.
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???????????OFC MEDREK’S Election Symbol (Five Fingers with the Open Palm'High Five Goes Viral1OFC MEDREK’S Election Symbol (Five Fingers with the Open Palm'High Five Goes Viral   The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC/Medrek) campaign tour has continued in south and south western Oromia. On the 19th and 20th May 2015 , the campaign tour made a stop at Beddelle  in Illuu Abbaa Boora,  South Western Oromia (led by Baqqalaa Garbaa) and in Shaakkiso & Bule Hora in Guji/Borana, Southern Oromia (led by Baqqalaa Nagaa).Yet again, the OFC rally drew massive turnouts in thousands as  potential voters, who braved the constant harassment and intimidation of Ethiopia’s tyrannic  TPLF regime to express their solidarity with OFC/Medrek.  https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/omn-oduu-caamsaa-19-2015/ Here are some of the pictures from Bule Hora  viral in social  media:-   Deeggarsi Caamsaa 19 fi 20 bara 2015 Magaalaa Bulee Horaatti Barreessaa Olaanaa Koongirensii Federaalawaa Oromoo Obbo Baqqalaa Naggaaf Godhamaa Ture Hedduu Kan Nama Gammachiisuu fi Nama Boonsu Dha.     Oromo Federalist  Congress rally in a Southern Oromia town of Bule Hora Oromo Federalist  Congress rally in a Southern Oromia town of Bule Hora Led by Baqqalaa Nagaa on 19 May 2015

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/omn-duula-filannoo-kfoofc-caamsaa-20-2015/Oromo Federalist  Congress rally1 in a Southern Oromia town of Bule Hora Led by Baqqalaa Nagaa on 19 May 2015     https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/omn-oduu-caamsaa-19-2015/   Godina Wallaggaa Aanaalee Jimmaa Arjoo fi Waayyuu Qilxuu Keessatti Diddaan Uummataa Jabinaan Itti Fufe,Ummannis Wagahii Duula Filatnoo Wayyaanee Guututti Lagate. May 20, 2015 Gabaasa Qeerroo Caamsaa 19,2015 Naqamte

Godina Wallaggaa Aanaalee Jimmaa Arjoo gandoota Waayyuu Qilxuu,Kamisa Beeraa fi aanaa Nuunnuu Qumbaa ganda Bildiimmaa Qexxoo keessatti guyyaa kaleessaa uummati bakkeewwan kana jiraatu Wayyaanee fi jala deemtotashee OPDOtti waaroo salphinaa uffisan Onaa Jimmaa Arjoottis ta’e walii gala biyyattiitti filmaata sobaa geggeessituuf mootummaan Wayyaaneen tokkoshaneen nafiladhaa jedhus falmii jabaan uummata irraa itti ka’aa jira. Jimmaa Arjoo gandoota Waayyuu Qilxuu fi Kamisa beeraatti uumnata bobbaasee wayita Mootummaan Wayyaaneen akka hayyudureen tokko Shane’s isinitti agarsiisutti nufiladhaa yeroo jedhu uummati walgahii harkatti fashaleessuun kaabinoota haalaan naasuun akka rifatan Qeerroo Jimma arjoo gabaasee jira. Oduu walfakkaatuun achuma ollichatti kan argamu aanaa nuunnuu qumbaa ganda Bildiimmaa qexoorraas uumnati biyyi tokko shaneen filannoo geggeessitu addunyaa kanarraa dhaga’amee hin beeku jechuun FDG Wayyaanerratti waan dhageessisaniif yeroo ammaa kana namni bakka bakkatti sosso’uuf rakkoo guddaa keessa akka jiran Qeerroon gabaasa.


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.


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.


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

Freedom House: U.S. Wrong to Endorse Ethiopia’s Elections. #Africa #Oromia April 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Ethnic Cleansing, Free development vs authoritarian model, Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia: Amnesty International Report, Sham elections, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia.
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OFreedom HouseEthiopia's scores on freedom

“Under Secretary Sherman’s comments today were woefully ignorant and counter-productive,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president of Freedom House. “Ethiopia remains one of the most undemocratic countries in Africa. By calling these elections credible, Sherman has tacitly endorsed the Ethiopian government’s complete disregard for the democratic rights of its citizens. This will only bolster the government’s confidence to continue its crackdown on dissenting voices.”


U.S. Wrong to Endorse Ethiopia’s Elections

(Frredom House, Washington,  April 16, 2015)

In response to today’s comments by Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, in which she referred to Ethiopia as a democracy and the country’s upcoming elections free, fair, and credible, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Under Secretary Sherman’s comments today were woefully ignorant and counter-productive,” said Daniel Calingaert, executive vice president of Freedom House. “Ethiopia remains one of the most undemocratic countries in Africa. By calling these elections credible, Sherman has tacitly endorsed the Ethiopian government’s complete disregard for the democratic rights of its citizens. This will only bolster the government’s confidence to continue its crackdown on dissenting voices.”

Since coming into power in the early 1990s, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has dominated politics through a combination of political cooptation and harassment. The country experienced a degree of democratization through the early 2000’s, culminating in the most competitive elections in the county’s history in 2005. Since these elections, the EPRDF has restricted political pluralism and used draconian legislation to crack down on the political opposition, civil society organizations, and independent media. In the 2010, EPRDF and its allies won 546 out of 547 parliamentary seats.

Ethiopia is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2014.

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

Join us on Facebook and Twitter (freedomhousedc) and Instagram. Stay up to date with Freedom House’s latest news and events by signing up for our RSS feedsnewsletter and our blog.


April 20, 2015

Ethiopians dispute US official’s assessment of their ‘democracy’

#EthiopianDemocracy101ForWendySherman trends as netizens condemn State Department official’s remarks.

U.S Department of State Endorsing of Upcoming Elections: Denial and Disrespect

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)

Human rights League of the Horn of AfricaHRLHA Statement:

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly opposes to the position that the U.S State Department has taken in regards to the upcoming Ethiopian election and the overall democratization process in the country in the past twenty-four years; and describes the comments by the Under  Secretary of State as a sign of disrespect for ordinary citizens of Ethiopia and disregard for the human miseries that hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian have gone through under the EPRDF/TPLF-led government.

The HRLHA has no doubt at all that the U.S Government in general and U.S  Department of State in particular, with the biggest and highly staffed of all Western embassies in Ethiopia, are very well aware of the political realities that have been prevailing in the country over the past two decades. An excellent proof is the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices that is issued annually by the US Department of State itself. Suppressions and denials of fundamental human rights in Ethiopia under the EPRDF/TPLF Government were being reported on by various human rights and humanitarian as well as government and diplomatic agencies; and, based on the facts revealed in such reports, the Ethiopian Government has repeatedly been ranked as the worst both at the regional and global levels.

In a country that has witnessed the highest number of political incarceration in its history, where unarmed students and other civilians were gunned down in hundreds simply because they attempted to exercise some of their fundamental rights, in “one of the ten most censored countries” where the existence of independent media has become impossible and, as a result, press freedom has been curtailed completely, where all sorts of socio-economic rights have been tied to political sympathy and supports, it would be an insult and disrespect to its ordinary citizens, and a disregard for the precious lives of innocent people that have been taken away by brutal hands to say that such a country is a democracy, and that the upcoming elections would be free and fair while intimidations and harassments of opposition candidates, as well as potential voters, were taking place out in the field even while the Under Secretary of State was making the comments. While encouraging the most repressive government and governing party towards becoming more dictatorial, the Under-Secretary of State’s comments discourage and undermine the sacrifices that the Ethiopian peoples have paid and are still paying to realize their century-old dream of building free and democratic country.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) requests that the Under Secretary of State retract the wrong comments and apologize to the Ethiopian peoples. It also urges the U.S State Department to recognize and acknowledge the realities in Ethiopia and use the close ties that exists between the two governments to put pressure on the ruling EPRDF/TPLF party so that it allows the implementation of a genuine democracy.