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ONLF: Press release on the conflict between Somalis and Oromos created by TPLF. September 17, 2017

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

 

Press release on the conflict between Somalis and Oromos created by TPLF

September 16, 2017


TPLF regime has created deadly conflict between Somali and Oromo nations in Ethiopia. Hundreds of innocent civilians have been reported dead and many others have been displaced.

The cause of the conflict is not about land dispute as the regime and its puppet administrations claim.

The TPLF regime in Addis Ababa has been working to instigate violence and hostility between the two fraternal nations by using the puppet administrations in Somali and Oromo regions. The purpose of this action is to weaken the struggle of these nations and to divert them from their strategic goals.

The regime in Addis Ababa is well known for creating conflicts and hostilities between nations in order to redirect the attacks from freedom and democratic organisations and diminish the effects of the countrywide people’s uprising against the minority TPLF regime.

Somali and Oromo nations are under TPLF rule and they fight for their rights, they have a long history of cooperation and coexistence. Therefore, both nations are reminded to understand that this violence has been instigated by the TPLF regime to thwart their struggles to achieve their goals and thus, to sabotage the popular uprising in many parts of Ethiopia.

Therefore, ONLF calls upon Somali and Oromo nations to stop immediately this hostility between them and to respect each other and live peacefully side by side as they used to be for centuries.

ONLF also calls upon political organisations, civil society organisations and intellectuals of both nations which are against the divide and rule policy of TPLF to work hard toward easing of the fighting and the hostility.
ONLF strongly condemns the Ethiopian government for creating hostility between neighbourly nations and calls upon the international community to make the TPLF regime accountable for war crimes and the crimes against humanity.

Ogaden National Liberation Front ( ONLF)


 

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ANALYSIS: RISING DEATH TOLL, DISPLACEMENT AND PROTESTS IN EAST, SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST ETHIOPIA. WHAT LIES BENEATH? September 14, 2017

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Thousands of Oromo are displaced from their homes in eastern Ethiopia

Liyat Fekade

Addis Abeba, September 13/2017 – Increasing numbers of civilian casualties due to military actions in parts of east, south and south east Ethiopia over the last weeks has now led to fresh protests, more deaths and displacements in several places in eastern Ethiopia.

On the other hand, federal and regional authorities have gone from denial to pointing fingers at one another to explain the root cause of what is visibly becoming an alarming breach of peace and stability in many areas bordering the Oromia and Somali regional states.

In the past few months, Addis Standard has been reporting on several incidents of raids by armed men who casually cross from the Somali regional state to villages and towns under the administrative jurisdiction of the Oromia regional state.

Addis Standard interviewed local residents in several towns and villages, including Chinakson, Mieso, Deder and Gursum in east and west Hararghe; Moyale, Liben and Gumii Edelo in Guji Zone in southern Ethiopia; as well as in Sewena, Meda Wolabu and Dawe Serer woredas (district zones) in Bale, south east Ethiopia, on several occasions since March 2017.  Almost all the people interviewed say armed men who are members of the “Liyu police” force were often the culprits of cross border raids that ends in the death of civilians.

Contentious border issues

The boundary between the two neighboring regional states has been a hotly contested affair since Ethiopia became a federal state in 1995.  In Oct. 2004 the two regions have conducted a border referendum, which was held to determine the residents’ choice for administrative status of villages and towns located adjacent the two regional states.

The referendum was conducted in 420 Kebeles located in 12 different Woredas across five zones of the Somali Regional state. According to the official results of the referendum, residents in close to 80% of the disputed areas have voted to be under the administration of the Oromia regional state. But claims alleging voting irregularities persist. And subsequent ethnic conflicts have led to the displacement in late 2004 and early 2005 of more than 80,000 people on both sides.

Although clashes of various degrees, particularly between the Borana Oromo and the Garii communities (often triggered by meager resources, such as shortage of water and pasture where available,) have remained the hallmark between the two communities in Moyale and its environs, locals in various places claim cross border raids by armed men became much more frequent and have contributed in fueling these conflicts, especially after the establishment of the “Liyu Police” in April 2007.

In March 2017, as attacks against civilians intensified and were solely blamed on border disputes, Addisu Arega Kitessa, head of the Oromia government communication affairs office, said the result of the referendum were “final” and will not be altered.  Addisu also blamed the “raids by armed men” as economic in nature. “After attacking the areas, these armed militiamen engage in looting of properties.”

And in April 2017 Abdi Mohamud Omar, a.k.a, Abdi Illey, and Lemma Megerssa, presidents of Somali and Oromia regional states respectively, have signed an agreement to end “border hostilities”. Three months later on August 19, the Oromia regional state said that as part of that agreement, of the 68 contested towns and villages between the two regions, 48 were returned to be under the administration of the Oromia regional state. And that “border issues were resolved and peace was restored.”

Recent escalation 

As of late however, the somewhat sporadic military raids due to border and economic issues and have not only intensified but took a different shape.

Usman Omar, one of the eight local elders who traveled to Addis Abeba from East Hararghe Zone, Gursum Woreda to file complaints at the federal house of federation warned in an exclusive interview with Addis Standard that “the situation in the region [was] very bad…we have been under the Oromia Regional state since the 2004 border referendum [because] we [chose] to but we are forced to pay a heavy sacrifice for that.” By the time the elders were in Addis Abeba looking for answers, an attack by armed men has left seven civilians dead in Chinakson in east Hararghe and its environs. Chinakson has always been under the Oromia regional state and local residents do not believe the attack was motivated by a “non-existing border conflict.”

Blames, more deaths, displacement and protests

Residents in all these areas who either contacted or were interviewed by Addis Standard speak in unison and anger regarding the role of the “Liyu police” in fueling the conflict. However, despite growing pressures both from the residents and online Oromo activists, officials from the Oromia regional state have refrained from pointing fingers at this paramilitary elite force, until Tuesday September 12 that is.

On Monday September 11, Selama Mohammed, Gursum woreda administrator, and Mohammed Abdurahman, former security affairs deputy head of Deder town in east Hararghe, as well as a Tajudin Jamal, a member of the Oromia police in Harar, were taken from their car while en route to Harar from Jijiga, the capital of the Somali regional state. According to the locals, they were taken to a police station by members of the Somali police force together with “Liyu police”. Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal were found dead in Bombas, half way between Harar and Jijiga, while Mohammed Abdurahman got hurt while escaping. He is now admitted to Dil Chora referral hospital in Dire Dawa.

The incident triggered mass protests in several cities on Tuesday, the sternest being in Deder and Gursum, the later where Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal were known by the locals as “men of the people”, according to Abdi Dulee Mohammad, a resident of the town who spoke to Addis Standard by phone. Protesters were chanting “down, down Woyane,” the Tigriyna term used to refer to TPLF, the all too powerful member of Ethiopia’s ruling party EPRDF. “The young people who went out to the streets to protest know that “Liyu Police” is the creation of TPLF as a gift to Abdi Illey. We all know that,” Abdi Dulee said.

According to Abdi Dulee, the locals have increasingly become resentful of the extrajudicial stretch by members of the “Liyu Police.” “Sometimes girls as young as 12 are taken by these men even in peace times,” he said, “there is a lot of anger and no peace will come unless they are removed.”

The “Liyu police” was created in 2008 to operate in the Somali Regional State (SRS) which had its own regular police force of its own. Its creation preceded an attack in 2007 by the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA), the armed wing of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in a Chinese oil field that killed 74 members of the federal army and nine Chinese engineers.

(ED’s Note: For more on the dynamics involving the role of “Liyu Police”, please read this analysis  published on Addis Standard as part of our continuous coverage).

 But, the role of the “Liyu police” came to another twist when online activists posted an ID card of a captured armed man called Shune Kherow Abdi, who is described on the ID as a member of the National Army of the neighboring Republic of Somalia. The information was later on confirmed by Addisu Arega Kitessa, head of the Oromia government communication affairs office, who posted the ID with short note saying that the person is indeed a member of the Somalia National Army.

“This incident not only complicates matters but also calls for a careful reading of the dynamics of the conflict in the area that involves more than 1000 km shared border between the two regional states in Ethiopia,” said a political science professor at the Addis Abeba University (AAU), who wants to remain anonymous. According to him, the creation of “Liyu Police” has “outlived its purpose, if there were any. It is time the federal government revisits the presence of such police force in the region not only because members of the “Liyu Police” are repeatedly accused of rights violations previously in Ogaden and now in Oromia,  but also because of the regional dynamics and Ethiopia’s relationship with the neighboring Somalia.”

Blames and counter blames

Officials from the Somali regional state do not only loath allowing access to mainstream media but also maintain a habit of selectively granting access to pro-government journalists, bloggers  and commentators to disseminate choreographed information. Our repeated attempt to get interviews in the past two weeks bore no result so far.

But on Tuesday Sep. 12, the VOA Amharic held a rare interview with Edris Ismael Abdi, head of the Somali regional state Communication Bureau.  What he said during the interview gave many a chill.

Edris Ismael Abdi was not only willing to provide adequate response to the questions, but threw alarming accusations of mass killings and torching of villages orchestrated by what he claimed were members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in coordination with officials of the Oromia regional state and Oromo online activists, particularly Jawar Mohammed. Edris also personally criticized Addisu Arega Kitessa of partnering with OLF and Jawar to “destabilize Ethiopia”. He also accused Addisu of “forging evidence” in reference to the ID card; and went on to accuse the Oromia regional state of being staffed by “officials who sympathize with OLF’s ideology.”

However, Edris’s tirade fell flat when asked if he was willing to provide solid evidence. “I don’t have it compiled at the moment,” he said, but insisted “their deeds bear witness.” He also said he can provide evidence of captured rebels who were held under police custody.

Addisu on his part countered the statement from Edris and spoke about the “negative role” being played by members of the “Liyu Police.” This was the first time Addisu spoke of the involvement by the “Liyu police”. “What is happening is not what Edris said was happening. Members of the “Liyu police” are crossing over to villages under the administration of the Oromia regional state and are attacking civilians. The people are witnesses for this.”  He also denied that there were areas where the OLF was active. “We are conducting investigations and are compiling a detailed report which will be released in the near future.”

Addisu further explained about the progress of redrawing contested areas, which were the sources of previous conflicts. Later on, he wrote on his Facebook page with a link to the VOA interview and said: “It’s surprising to hear my friend Edris Ismael Abdi…is trying to defend Shune Kherow Abdi, a soldier from Somalia Republic captured in Moyale while killing innocent people. I hope this irresponsible statement is not an official statement from Somali National Regional State Government. It rather seems Edris Ismael’s personal opinion.”

But on Wednesday September 13, the Somali Regional state communication affairs bureau proved Addisu wrong when they posted on their official Facebook page a contemptuous statement accusing the Oromia regional state of having direct links with the OLF, an organization labeled by the federal government as a terrorist organization.

“This is a troubling turn of event”, said our interviewee from the AAU, who has written several academic papers on the fault lines of Ethiopia’s federalism.  “Whoever did that knows that this is an accusation the federal government will not take lightly given past experiences. They know that every Oromo dissenting voice within the country has been dealt a severe blow in the pretext of membership to OLF. So, if you are not concerned by this turn of event so far, you should now.”

Today afternoon, Addisu issued his response in his personal Facebook page in which he expressed his frustrations about, among others, the use of poor and inflammatory language in the statement from the Somali regional state, which “helps nothing but further fuel the situation.”

More death and displacement

Protests have taken place in several cities in eastern Hararghe yesterday and to a lesser extent today. Although reports indicate of heavy causalities, the exact numbers are hard to come by. According to Addisu, 18 people – 12 from Somali and 6 from the Oromo ethnic groups – were killed in just one day yesterday during a protest by angry local residents in Awoday, a commercial city in eastern Hararghe. The protesters took to the street after news of the killing of Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal came out, according to Addisu.  Some 200 suspects were placed under police custody.

On Friday September 01 residents of Mieso town, west Hararghe zone, took matters into their own hands and engaged in a daylong fighting with members of the “Liyu Police”. The clash left “more than 30 people”, including “more than a dozen army members”, dead and several others injured.  “We couldn’t take the killings our men, the raping of our girls and the lootings of our cattle by bandits openly supported by the Liyu Police,” wrote Abdulatif Kererro, a resident of the town in a message sent to Addis Standard.

As chain of similar events followed, a fighting between local residents and what they continued insisting were members of the “Liyu police” quickly spread to the south and south eastern Ethiopia and has claimed unknown numbers of lives.

The youth in Moyale town of Guji zone, 795 km south of Addis Abeba, have come out en mass to fight against the taking of “our holy sites,” according to one resident. “For example, Gofa and Ia’ee are among our nine Tulas (deep wells) taken by the Garee community – a Somali pastoralist clan.” According to him, the taking over of these areas were not entirely driven by the Garee, “who lived alongside us for generations and, who, despite occasional competition for resource, never touched our sacred places,” rather, he says, it was “orchestrated and supported by the “Liyu police” and members of militia belonging to the Somali regional state for sheer reason of capitalizing on chaos.”   Relative calm has returned since the last “three days,” he said.

But one cannot say the same about eastern Ethiopia. Yesterday, around 600 ethnic Oromo residents of Tog Wajale (Wachale) in eastern Ethiopia towards the border with the Republic of Somalia, as well as hundreds from Jijiga town, the capital of the Somali regional state, were forced to flee their homes. Some have made it to Harar while others are arriving in several places such as Gursum in east Hararghe to take refugee.

The displacement has continued throughout today with some of the displaced telling disturbing stories of mutilation and killing of a woman and detention of men, according to DW Amharic.

The federal government has deployed members of the federal army in parts of eastern and western Hararghe as well as Jijiga. But the displacement has continued with thousands more said to have already been on the road.

Our interviewee from the AAU concurs with the decision by the federal government to send federal army members, but he is critical of the “root cause of the problem, which is the presence of a special force in a fragile region and the hope that it will serve as checks and balances – it is delusional. You cannot maintain peace and stability by a proxy force which operates in impunity.”

Other Ethiopians have taken to Facebook to denounce the special elite force. “The Ethiopian government can no longer justify the continued existence of the paramilitary force called ‘Liyu Police,’” wrote Awol Kassim Allo, a lecturer of law at Keele University. “There can be no legitimate reason for a country that plays an active part in regional and global peacekeeping operations to keep its own peace with a notorious paramilitary force known for its lethal ferocity.”

Although many, including Abdi Dulee and the professor from AAU, agree that removing the “Liyu Polcie’ may be the solution, other critiques are skeptical of the federal government’s willingness to do just that. “The federal government instigated the conflict to compromise Lemma [Megerssa], divert attention and consolidate the minority coalition,” wrote one such critique in a message. “The escalation would legitimize the federal government’s intervention in the person of Samora Yenus, [the federal army chief]. This would discredit OPDO, emboldens the military and equates Oromia, the biggest and largest national state with an aspiration to be a mainstream political force with Ethiopian Somali state, Ethiopia’s Chechnya.” He said he believed the federal government was “behind the escalation and the calculated neglect of the crisis.”

On Friday September 08, during a New Year press conference, Dr. Negeri Lencho, head of the federal communication affairs bureau, admitted that “there were other forces” operating in some parts within the two regional states. “We have information that recently lives were lost in some areas due to fresh conflicts. These fresh conflicts have nothing to do with border issues between the two regional states. Our information is that officials from both regional states are working on implementing to resolve the border issues. However, there are some instigation by some forces assigned by unknown actors,” Dr. Negeri said. He also said the federal government has placed the situation “under control.” But events in eastern Ethiopia until the publishing of this article prove him wrong. AS 

Related:-

 

Conversations in Ideas: Liyu Police and the Oromia-Ogaden Border Conflict August 28, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethiopia: Elders From East Hararghe Call for an End to ‘Liyu Police Anarchy’ in Oromia – Stay-At-Home Strike Spreads Through the Region

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) paramilitary forces (Liyu Police) continues with its ethnic cleansing and genocide against Oromo people

IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: THE STATE OF EMERGENCY IS OVER BUT THE FATE OF THOUSANDS HANGS INSIDE ETHIOPIA’S POLITICIZED COURT ROOMS, UNLAWFULLY August 22, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Uncategorized.
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female prisosners 1

Among the thousands facing criminal charges in the wake of the SoE are these group of women in Assela town. 

Liyat Fekade

Addis Abeba, August 22/2017 – On Friday August 04, members of the Ethiopian parliament have reconvened after having been called off their summer recess. Of the three topics they reconvened to discuss was the lifting of the ten month old State of Emergency (SoE), first declared on Oct. 08 2016.

Briefing the members of parliament (MPs) on the need to lift the SoE, Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa, who is also the secretariat of the command post established to oversee the implementations of the SoE, said that the country was experiencing a return to normalcy as compared to the months and days prior to the declaration of the emergency decree, hence the need to lift the SoE.

However, almost as news besides the lifting of the SoE, Siraj Fegessa told the lawmakers that there were 7, 737 individuals who were facing legal actions in different courts in the country after having been charged with criminal offenses. According to Siraj, 4, 136 of these people were from the Oromia regional state, the epicenter of the 2016 yearlong anti-government protests; 1, 888 from the Amhara regional state, which followed suit six months into the protests in Oromia; 1, 166 from the less publicized protest-hit areas in the Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Regional state (SNNPR); and 547  from the capital Addis Abeba.

It was a déjà vu

Ethiopians are acutely familiar with the government’s intuitive response of mass detention that quickly follows popular anti-government protests. Tens of thousands of Ethiopians from all walks of life had ended up in the country’s military camps, prisons wards and temporary detention facilities in the post 2005 general elections, in which close to 200 protesters were also gunned down in the streets of the capital by fully armed security forces.

 

female prisosners

These detainees include students, mothers and in some instances, government employees 

Reminiscent of that recent past, 24,799 Ethiopians were detained in two rounds during in the first few weeks into the October SoE, according to the government’s own account. However, countless others were already detained in the lead up to October 2016, which brought the number of those detained to over 27, 000.

Grieving in Ethiopia’s politicized court rooms

It is worth mentioning here that the 7, 737 people who are now facing charges of serious criminal offenses, including but not limited to outrage against the constitutional order, is a number three times higher than the 2, 449 individuals that Siraj Fegessa said would be brought to face justice on Dec. 17, 2016.

In what could safely be considered as politically motivated act, the federal Supreme Court has “placed considerable pressures on courts and prisons authorities in Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s regional states to bring thousands of detainees to Addis Abeba for them to be tried with terrorism offenses,” a senior judge in Adama, 100 km south of Addis Abeba, told Addis Standard.

A somewhat similar incident in post-2005 elections played a significant role in forcing the then president of the Oromia Regional State Supreme court, Teshale Aberra, into exile.

Teshale

Judge Teshale Abera is now living in exile

Speaking from his exile in the UK, Teshale told Addis Standard that in 2005, the rift between him and the federal Supreme Court widened when the later requested him to facilitate the trials of some 18,000 detainees who were transported to several detention facilities in Oromia regional state after having been detained in the capital Addis Abeba. “Because the case concerned protesters who supported the opposition CUD, which won all the 23 seats allocated to the city of Addis Abeba in the federal parliament, and because many of the judges who were presiding in the federal courts in the capital were ethnic Amharas, authorities at the federal Supreme Court believed that the trial would lack judicial impartiality from the judges,” Teshale said. “This was a clear case of politically motivated decision, which I refused to accept.”

Teshale’s experience in 2005 remained a perpetual stain in judicial procedures in Ethiopia, leaving the fate of hundreds of Ethiopians detained during protest-crackdowns and subsequently prosecuted hanging in the country’s politicized court rooms.

For starters, detainees are often brought to the capital from all corners of the country to face terrorism charges. This practice often exposes  detainees to extrajudicial brutalities, including torture, inside prison facilities in the capital, especially the notorious Ma’ekelawi prison, where hundreds are forced to spend months on end without any due legal process. It also leaves detainees isolated from family members, thereby denying them of adequate legal representations.

A data available on newly established tracking website documents the number of people brought from different parts of the country and are facing terrorism charges in the capital, which shows a recent sharp increase since Ethiopia first introduced the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP) in 2009.

 

Nigist

The iconic picture of activist Nigist Yirga wearing a t-shirt with a text “The People of Amhara are not terrorists”

Of the close to 900 cases of terrorism (most of which is related to people who were brought from different parts of the country), a particular case in point is the case of six detainees who were brought to the capital after having been arrested in north Gonder and Bahir Dar of the Amhara Regional state.  Activist Nigist Yirga, known by her iconic protest picture captured during last year’s protests in Amhara regional state with a text “The People of Amhara are not terrorists”, is facing terrorism charges along with Alemneh Wase Gebre Mariam, Tewdros Telay, Awoke Abate, Belayneh Alemneh, & Yared Girma in the federal high court 4th criminal bench here in the capital.  A recent short animation video produced by the Ethiopia Human Rights Project (EHRP) sheds light on the disturbing abuse Nigist Yirga sustained while she was held in Ma’ekelawi.

However, Nigist’s case – neither her arrest nor the prison abuses she is subjected to – is by no means an isolated one. On July 25/2017, the families of Ayele Beyene, who died while in police custody at Qilinto prison, a maximum prison facility on the southern outskirt of Addis Abeba, have received and buried his body in his home town in Gidami, east Wallaga zone of western Ethiopia. After having spent months at Ma’ekelawi following their arrest in October 2016, Ayele and seven others with him were charged on May 10 with terror related as well as criminal offenses.

Ayele

Ayele Beyene died while in police custody. He was detained in Oct. 2016 and was only charged in May 2017.

Delegation of federal courts jurisdiction

Perhaps beyond and above this disturbing practice is the constitutional legality of transferring detainees from other parts of the country to face terrorism charges in the capital Addis Abeba. The federal Constitution and the criminal justice policy (adopted in 2011) highly centralize criminal law, i.e. investigation and prosecution of crimes, under the federal government. It is a legal practice which relegates regional states in a federated Ethiopia to depend on the federal government concerning criminal matters that are political in nature, in particular terrorism related offenses.

Currently, there are two tiered courts both at the federal and state levels in Ethiopia: the Federal Supreme Court, (Federal High and First Instance Courts), and the State Supreme Court, (State High and First-Instance Courts). Article 80 of the federal constitution clearly stipulates that State Supreme Courts have the highest and final judicial power over State matters. Quote: “They shall also exercise the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Court [by delegation]. State High Courts shall, in addition to State jurisdiction, exercise the jurisdiction of the Federal First-Instance Court.” In other words, although the legislative criminal power has been centralized by the Federal Government in Ethiopia and has been ferociously applied to punish dissenting , it is, at the same time, decentralized in terms of its execution and adjudication by doctrine of delegation, at least on paper.

According to Yohannes Bekele (name changed), a former public prosecutor who is currently an attorney and counselor at law, there are two arguments to be made on the issue of criminal jurisdiction.  The first is that all cases arising from the Federal Criminal Code should be the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Courts in line with Art. 3(1) of the Federal Court Proclamation No. 25/96. “This is the common argument the federal government criminal investigation and prosecution organs use when they want to investigate a crime of their interest”, Yohannes told Addis Standard.

The second argument is that the Regional State courts are empowered to hear cases other than the ones exhaustively reckoned under Article 4 of Federal Courts Proclamation. These are cases related to, among others, offenses against the constitutional order or against the internal security of the state; offenses against foreign states, against the law of nations, against the fiscal and economic interests of the Federal Government, as well as offenses regarding counterfeit currency, and forgery of instruments of the Federal Government.

Teshale on his part believes that if regional courts can take up cases as grave as these ones, “there should be no question about their ability to preside over terrorism cases.”

Terrorism related offenses

Despite the constitution however, Article 31 of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation solely sanctioned the Federal High Court and the Federal Supreme Courts to have jurisdictions over terrorism related offenses. This proclamation does not incorporate a delegation clause to regional courts, giving federal courts the exclusive mandate to preside over terrorism cases brought against defendants who come from all parts of the country.

This, in and of itself, raises several concerns. The most alarming is the issues of access to justice. “Many of the suspects, especially those from Oromia and the southern regional state, do not have translation facilities during interrogations while in prison and during the hearing procedures,” said the senior judge in Adama, who wants to remain anonymous.

The issue of access to justice was one of the many concerns Addis Standard raised in its extensive coverage on Ma’ekelawi prison ward.  To quote one of the interviewees then: “The fact that detainees come from afar disconnects them from their family and their support system thereof. But more importantly such distance from one’s place of residence becomes a barrier to access to justice. Physical distance, cultural distance, and linguistic distance are the three major barriers to access to justice.”

In a 2014 research paper submitted to the Addis Abeba University (AAU) titled Criminal Jurisdiction of State Court under FDRE Constitution, Abdi Gurmessa, a law graduate, stated that the current trend of centralization of criminal law and policy in the federal government is not effective when tested in light of the guiding principles of the distribution of powers, the principle of subsidiarity and the experiences of other federations. Centralized criminal law, according to Abdi, has an “adverse effect on the regional autonomy of the states”, and prohibits regional states from exercising the right to self-determination in the context of criminal laws.

This judicial overreach by the federal court was raised during a preliminary objection in one of the high profile terrorism charges in recent history of the country involving the Federal Attorney General vs. Gurmessa Ayano et al (including prominent politician Bekele Gerba).  In a debate the later have since lost to the former, the defense team have argued on lack of jurisdiction of the federal court and said that the case could be tried by the Oromia Regional State Supreme court through delegation pursuant to the constitution. Their objection was dismissed by the federal court citing Article 31 of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; the case continued to be tried at the federal high court 4th criminal bench where it reached a curious stage.

‘Sharp departure’

However, in what is seen by many as a ‘sharp departure’ from what was expected, a complaint was lodged by the executive of the Oromia regional state sometime between November and December 2016 at the federal Supreme Court to block possible additional terrorism indictments against hundreds of individuals detained in the wake of the 2016 protest. (Gurmessa Ayano et.al were detained in the beginning of the protests in Dec. 2015, as are several others).

Subsequently, the federal Supreme Court has granted a rare delegation to the Oromia Supreme court to look into the cases involving the 4, 136 people who are now facing criminal charges in eleven different courts within the regional state, according to the judge in Adama. “It was a chance for these people to avoid terrorism indictments,” he said, “we are now working even in weekends to facilitate speedy trials.” Some of these courts where the hearings are taking place include courts in Dambi Dollo and Gimbi in western Ethiopia, Asella and Adama in south east, Batu (Ziway) and Shashemene in west Arsi, as well as Bale Robe and Yabello in south eastern Ethiopia, according to him.

letter

Copy of a letter exclusively received by Addis Standard showing the federal Supreme court’s delegation

Too little too late?

Despite this positive turn of event, however, the lingering detention and trial not only of the 4, 136 in Oromia, but also the rest in Amhara, SNNPR and Addis Abeba after the state of emergency was declared over defies constitutionalism.

The federal constitution under Article 22 provides protection under “Non-Retroactivity of Criminal Law.’ Art.22/1: “No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offense on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offense at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed on any person than the one that was applicable at the time when the criminal offense was committed.”  Art.22/2: “Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-Article 1 of this Article, a law promulgated subsequent to the commission of the offense shall apply if it is advantageous to the accused or convicted person.”

“If the newly enacted law [that ostensibly repealed the SoE] is advantageous to those people who are accused of violating a repealed law, the new law will be implemented,” wrote Zelalem Kibret, a lecturer of law before he was dismissed by the Ambo University following his arrest as part of the Zone9 blogging collective, from which he was later on acquitted. In a series of twitter post shortly after the SoE was declared over, Zelalem wrote, “The State of Emergency decree criminalizes many trivial things that thousands were convicted of [or] are currently accused of. However, the State lifted the [SoE] by another proclamation, hence since the subsequent repeal is obviously advantageous to the incarcerated, it [would] get precedence in its application. As a result, all the cases invoking the SoE decree must be dropped and all awaiting and convicted prisoners must be released,” Zelalem said.

It is an optimism that Nigist Yirga, 24, and her co-defendants, as well as hundreds of others facing similar fate, could use following the lifting of the SoE on Aug. 04. But Ethiopians know that it may be too little too late. On August 18th, the Federal High Court 4th criminal bench has once again, and after several protracted hearings, failed to deliver a key a verdict on whether Nigist Yirga et.al have a case to defend; like several other cases, the court adjourned the next hearing to October 31/2017 after its summer recess. AS


Ed’s Note: Kiya Tsegaye, Addis Standard’s legal affairs researcher, contributed to this story

Photos: Social Media

Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum Press Release March 16, 2017

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Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum Press Release
Date: 16th of March, 2017    Ref: OSSF/01/17


For immediate release


Since November 2016, i.e., for the last five months, the murderous Liyu Police forces, commanded by the President of the Somali Regional State, have been undertaking border raids and attacks against civilians in the Oromia region, in the process killing and displacing many people. The attack is launched on five Oromia zones and 14 districts bordering the Somali region. At least 200 civilians have been killed and many others injured in the attacks according to reports. These senseless attacks were ordered by the TPLF as part of its strategy to weaken the popular uprising underway in Oromia against the minority ruling clique. TPLF has been trying to portray the conflict it maneuvered between the brotherly Somali and Oromo peoples as a dispute between the two regions over the ownership of border towns and localities, a dispute that has been settled through public referenda in 2005/6. The two neighboring ethnic groups have co-existed peacefully for centuries and have a culture of resolving disputes through established traditional conflict resolution mechanisms. Without the sinister hands of the TPLF, this conflict would not have even started. TPLF is hiding in plain sight and should understand that such mischief will not absolve it from the crimes it continues to commit against both the Oromo and Somali people.

The atrocities committed by the Liyu Police did not start with defenseless Oromos. These merchants of death and destruction have been terrorizing their own Somali people for the last ten years at the behest of their TPLF masters. They have committed numerous grave human right violations inside the Somali region and even as far beyond as Somalia with gruesome executions, rape, and burning of villages being their distinctive trademarks.

We at the Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum hereby condemn this TPLF-engineered reckless conflict which led to the bloodshed of our brotherly peoples. We urge the brotherly Somali and Oromo peoples to stand in solidarity and deny the TPLF the pleasure of achieving the division and animosity it aspires to sow between our people. The ongoing conflict is not a war between Oromos and Somalis. It is a proxy war orchestrated by the TPLF against Oromos through the Liyu Police which is an auxiliary instrument of repression by the desperate minority regime. United, we will overcome TPLF’s 26 years of oppression and mayhem.

Victory to the oppressed Oromo and Somali people!

With profound regards!
Oromo-Somali Solidarity Forum

Addressed to: All Ethiopians, Oromos, Somalis and the international press

Representative signatories:
 Geresu Tufa
 Mohamed Hassan
 Najat Hamza
 Nagessa Oddo Dube
 Jemal-Dirie Kalif
 Jawar Mohammed
 Abdullahi Hussein
 Dahabe M. Abdella
 Tibebu Sime
 Hadi Luqman
 Girma Gutema
 Solomon Ungashe
 Tsegaye Ararsa
 Gadissa Abrahim
 Eda’o Dawano
 Latu Bushan
 Aman Maldewo
 Endiris Negewo

TRT World: Insight: State of Emergency in Ethiopia December 12, 2016

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

 

WESTERN DONORS SHOULD END THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE FASCIST/ TYRANNIC REGIME IN ETHIOPIA August 11, 2016

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

#OromoProtests, #GrandOromiaProtests, 6 August 2016, all over Oromia. Dhaadannoo. p6


Dictators are in a constant battle of gaining meaning to their existence by denying meaningful life to others. Through its atrocious actions and inactions, the TPLF/EPRDF has taken the animosity between itself and the people of Ethiopia to another threshold. It has completely lost the shred of legitimacy it had in few quarters when assuming power in 1991.
It is incumbent on us – the people – to struggle for the restoration of our humanity and dignity. Although the primary responsibility to liberate ourselves rests upon us, we should not underestimate the role of the international community in this life-and-death situation. Since November 2015, over 600 people have been killed, thousands wounded, and tens of thousands imprisoned in Oromia, by government forces, while protesting peacefully. Over 100 people have been killed in Oromia and Amhara regions only during the last weekend.

Most of the financial aid is given in the name of development and social services. While the dictators in Ethiopia are busy killing and detaining innocent people across Oromia and Amhara regions – not doing development or running social services – the World Bank is busy processing 1.2 billion USD in new aid for the regime.

It should be noted that, following the bloody 2005 elections during which about 200 people were killed by government forces, the Bank introduced a slightly tightened control system, which it has progressively loosened. Through the Program-for-Results Financing (PforR), it is currently implementing a scheme that is consequentially similar to the direct budget support it used to run before the 2005 elections. The “Results” in the “PforR” is to be confirmed by a mere report by the government, and the World Bank has no verification system of its own. The effect is that the regime will be able to divert the fund away from the intended purposes, including using it for enforcing tyranny.

To aid the government of Ethiopia in this time, when it is perpetrating a brutal crackdown against peaceful protesters, is an antithesis of development/public service and painful for the people suffering under the current regime. Remember, actions become eventful not only in themselves but also in relation to the context in which they take place. On both sides of the actions, there are human beings – those who stand with the authoritarian regime to enforce repression and those who suffer the consequences.

It is unfortunate and outrageous that the international donor community has refused to seriously consider the plight of the oppressed and continued to offer diplomatic, financial, and military aid to the oppressor. By doing so, the donor community supported dictatorship and serious human rights violations and deferred the dawn of freedom against the oppressed. They chose to support an authoritarian, minority regime in contradiction with the values they ostensibly advocate for – hypocrisy can only start to explain this blatant contradiction. It is unfortunate that the people of Ethiopia will have to put up with this agonizing reality.

It has been repeatedly said that dictators do not learn from history and, I add, hypocrites do not learn from history either. Allies of the TPLF/EPRDF regime are in a moral bankruptcy, with alarming consequences. We hold them morally responsible for sustained repression of the people of Ethiopia. Those who continue to directly and indirectly support a regime that kills, maims, and tortures innocent people will be held responsible in the court of public opinion and leave a bloody history for generations to come.

The delay of freedom and justice is very costly to all the oppressed people of Ethiopia, the cohorts of the regime, and the world at large. However, the quest for these virtuous goals will continue and, no matter how long it takes, will ultimately hit its desired destination. Then comes a time when redressing current moral bankruptcy of the international community becomes impossible. Nonetheless, today has offered non-ignorable options for all to consider seriously.

Out of faith in the inner sincerity of human beings and humanity’s united yearning for liberty and justice, I appeal to the citizens and tax payers of Western donor countries to hold their governments accountable and demand an end to financial, diplomatic, and military support to the authoritarian regime of Ethiopia, which is turning the country into war zone. Behold donors and Western allies of the minority regime, the struggle in Ethiopia may soon enter a massively new phase.

YEROOBLOG

By Gutu Olana
Dictators are in a constant battle of gaining meaning to their existence by denying meaningful life to others. Through its atrocious actions and inactions, the TPLF/EPRDF has taken the animosity between itself and the people of Ethiopia to another threshold. It has completely lost the shred of legitimacy it had in few quarters when assuming power in 1991.

It is incumbent on us – the people – to struggle for the restoration of our humanity and dignity. Although the primary responsibility to liberate ourselves rests upon us, we should not underestimate the role of the international community in this life-and-death situation. Since November 2015, over 600 people have been killed, thousands wounded, and tens of thousands imprisoned in Oromia, by government forces, while protesting peacefully. Over 100 people have been killed in Oromia and Amhara regions only during the last weekend.

Most of the financial aid is…

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Civil Disobedience Can Be A Potent Weapon To Dismantle Fascist TPLF’s Abyssinian Empire December 1, 2015

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Civil Disobedience Can Be A Potent Weapon To Dismantle TPLF’s Abyssinian Empire

  By Denboba Natie
Civil disobedience is a potent weapon in the hands of those who understand how to use it’ M. Coxall 2015.
I’m Created Equal….No Less No More!
Oromo student protest at Haromaya University, Oromia, on 30 November 2015. The peaceful protesters ruthlessly attacked by TPLF (Agazi) fascist Ethiopian regime forces.Oromo students Protests, Western Oromia, Mandii, Najjoo, Jaarsoo,....Oromo Students Protests, Gincii, Central Oromia, Nov. 12, 2015Oromo Students protest @ Ambo, Oromia 25th November 2015 picture1OromoProtests, Naqamtee, Oromia, November 27, 2015Oromo Students protest @ Mandii, Western Oromia 25th November 2015 picture1
Obboloota Keenya Yunivarsitii Haroomaayaati Guyyaa Har'aa (Sadaasa 30, 2015) Harka Mootummaa Faashistii Wayyaaneeti Dhuman akkasumas Lixa Oromiyaati Hidhaa fi Reebicha suukkaneessaan Dararamaa Jiranu yaadachaa Sagalee Isaanii Taanee Addunyaat Haa Iyyinu !

Haromaya University on November 30, 2015. Let us be the voice of the voiceless Oromo peaceful protesters. Their voice is stifled by fascist TPLF regime again. Time to act by Oromo around the world!
People are differently nurtured in different parts of the world although their biological element known as DNA is over 99.5% the same. Nurturing is the basis for peoples’ way of understanding the world around them. History shows that largely, peoples’ attitudes, behaviours and practices have been socially constructed and deconstructed, shaped and reshaped throughout several centuries. Moreover, our collective and individual beings are shaped with our self-awareness as an individual or community. In psychology also, self-awareness is defined as metacognition, awareness of one’s own ability to reasonably and logically assert realities. In humans, metacognition and other advanced cognitive skills, such as social intelligence, planning and reasoning, are all thought to depend on a region of brain known as the prefrontal cortex. Therefore, we, humans became different from the animals only with the power of our brain and the ability of reasoning and self-awareness which distinguish us from most other earthly species.
We are all created equal and thus deserve our inalienable rights enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration and the 18th century American Independence documents as described:-We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the concerned of the governed.
Contrary to the above, there are groups of morally corrupt and politically and economically powerful individuals who ascribe inferiority to the ruled. They dictate the majority that they are created special and given omnipotent power to rule over the others. This is why there are socially fabricated royalty, super rich, corporate management, and ruling politicians. Such morally corrupt, self-appointed persons make up rules and regulations to impose them on their likes. They do so for their own egocentrism by keeping the majorities as simple usable tools – in spite of the fact that their likes equally deserve dignity and respect, and share the same human needs such as physiological, safety, social esteem, cognitive and self-actualisation needs; in addition, these individuals deprive the rest of the Mankind of basic needs, including the pursuit of happiness, aspiration and hope.
The inhumane practices of the rulers and business corporations have been in place since time immemorial although their barbarism become more sophisticated as European modernisation became a reality. Notwithstanding such abhorring crimes of slavery committed by Europeans, Americans and Arabians since the 16th century; regardless the European technological advancements, slavery has increased exponentially since the mid1750s to 1800s with scope and dimension under the infamous name known as industrial revolution. My personal opinion is not that the industrial revolution has been bad for mankind. I rather argue that this progress has brought its own evils with it. During this period, the sophistication of strategizing the enslavement of the majority under guise of civilisation and capitalism, whilst keeping the ruled majority silent, ended up with the enslavement of the dummies; in the same period the number of the prisoners of conscience increased significantly too. One of famous American Black Civil rights movement leaders defies the silence of the majority as; ‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’ Martin Luther King Jr. 1929 – 1968.
Human brain power has got the capacity of either positively or negatively impacting human endeavours. History tells us that this capacity has shaped and unshaped social evolution throughout millennia; therefore humans judge any people or any society, based on their individual or collective contributions and actions to their likes. Ever since humans exist in the form of social entity, some groups of people or individuals have viciously treated their kinds, while within the egalitarian societies people have peacefully and fraternally coexisted with one another and in full agreement with the nature and natural orders. Several establishments across History have repeatedly demonstrated their viciousness by viciously treating their subjects and by erroneously recording and promoting their accounts of history which emphasise their own nobility and superiority, thereby preaching the inferiority of their subjects. Howard Zinn, an authoritative American historian professor advises about such flaws of histories and their repugnant roles in the society as follows:-“I’m worried that students will take their obedient place in society and look to become successful cogs in the wheel – let the wheel spin them around as it wants without taking a look at what they’re doing. I’m concerned that students not become passive acceptors of the official doctrine that’s handed down to them from the White House, the media, textbooks, teachers and preachers”.
Human species with capacity to make fair choice and ability to empathise the sufferings of their likes regrettably switch their positive natural abilities to greed, which takes at times diabolic proportions, and to vicious inhumanity and in this manner they do cause further misery to their kinds. These groups of people create extremely repressive regulations, policies and legislations, which they blatantly impose on the systematically silenced majority, who on most occasions obey without any question. And this has been an ongoing exercise of those who have appointed themselves to be the sole beneficiaries of wealth, greed and social hierarchy since time immemorial. Besides, no person on planet has been given such rights by birth as we saw it from the above argument. Neither royalty nor secret societies nor anyone else has been naturally endowed with such right to be a vicious ruler rejoicing with the sufferings of his likes. Evidences reveal that it’s those who are the ruled ones who allow such systems to evolve from century to century as their minds are increasingly obscured as a result of century’s old bombardments with lies and deceits geared to coerce them to accept the imposed inferiority.
A famous singer, Bob Marley, rightly puts this: ‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds! (Bob Marley 1945 – 1981)’. This has been substantiated by Marcus Garvey as follows: ‘Liberate the minds of men and ultimately you will liberate the bodies of men, (Marcus Garvey 1887 – 1940)). They both agree with one fundamental fact, namely that people must liberate themselves from various forms of injustice imposed on them by simply rejecting such rules.
The first and foremost priority is unambiguously understanding that no one on planet has got any right under whatsoever definition to oppress people individually or collectively or to impose their rules on them due to their military superiority and financial power- with money expropriated from the wealth of the majority. The next step is understanding the power of unity and having unity of purpose. Cognizant of their fundamental rights, if those who are oppressed are united and agree to persistently and unanimously demand their own rights, those who might impose their will on majority will have no choice apart from unwillingly surrendering. However, as mentioned above, it is imperative to acknowledge that those, who are in power, have got weapons and use them against the majority. They have got money and Media machineries and others governmental apparatuses through which they can systematically impose their evil will. More essentially, they might have already systematically brainwashed the majority with lies and deceptive mantras of generations to obscure historical reality. Regardless, if once such erroneous assertions and beliefs of the majority change and the clouds of falsehood diminish, history will inevitably change. Once the majority wake up and understand that no one has got God-given right to rule over them with iron fist from generation to generation, no rulers on planet can stop such wave of united movement.
Throughout Human History, the frustration of the extremely dissatisfied, disillusioned and oppressed citizens has always resulted in some kinds of public reaction. Such reactions, in the best case take the form of civil disobedience (CD) and the others take some form of an armed struggle. As M. Maxall, 2015, analyses it in more extreme cases, CD results in bloody revolution or what modern politicians prefer to call it ‘Terrorism’. Therefore, civil disobedience is an inevitable human reaction to unacceptably imposed oppression by the oppressors in any part of the world. Effectively utilised, CD has brought down governments and even empires, overturned despots of all levels globally, won great civil and human rights victories throughout centuries, driven the engine of human development and brought dignity and power to the people of the world (M. Maxall 2015).
Using CD as a method of forcing government to listen to people’s voice or removing authoritarian rulers from power will undoubtedly have a phenomenal effectiveness. Another famous intellectual and campaigner of civil rights stresses that no one should remain silent while their rights are stifled and they are oppressed for the sake of peace and security‘You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom’. ‘Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to… (Malcolm X, 1925 – 1965).
Emphatically Rejecting Oppression until Asserting Own Rights 
Preparing to embark on CD needs minimum or no external resources. All the mass need to do is psychologically and mentally feel liberated and freed. They have to believe that they are exonerated from the prisoning systems. It is all about believing that the mass is not any more the slave of the government or corporations and that no one has got right to brutalise and continually enslave them. The oppressed and subjugated subjects need only an internal strength and understanding of the reality on the ground. They must be prepared to continually and in unison demand their unalienable rights whether the regime in power is likely to shoot and kill or intimidate them by any possible means. Often CD can be conducted in a peaceful and in a very discrete manner without even the regime in power or its loyalists understating what is going on. Neither weapons nor expensive means of communications are necessary to conduct CD.  Always preparing to conduct CD on non-violent basis will be the most potent weapon as stated by Gandhi:- ‘Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It’s the mightier than the mightiest Weapon of destruction devised by theingenuity of Man’ (Mahatma Gandhi, 1869 -1948).
Deeply articulating the fact that no one has got right to exploit the resources of the majority, whilst the majorities are left with little or no choice but suffer the consequences, plays a crucial role in bringing together those who are victimised. Once courageous and determined individuals or groups of peoples come together, their unity triggers waves of CD movements with common vision and understanding, who are therefore able to stand own grounds whilst demanding these universal and unalienable rights to equality. No one has got any rights to prevent us from demanding these rights, as a famous American novelist stated: ‘No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow, Alice Walker).
As I have mentioned above, among the various methods of unanimously rejecting the rules of dictators or corporations, the most efficient, cost effective, simple and potent weapon the oppressed can use against their rulers is CD. Effectively used CD can easily shake the foundations of any oppressor in any part of the world. CD manifests itself by unanimously rejecting any regime wherever it might be, whenever possible. CD is nothing but mere refusal to obey governmental demands or commands; it is a nonviolent and usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government or removing the government. It is entirely non-violent, and this is the reason it ismore potent than any form of manmade weapons. A famous American intellectual, professor, historian, playwright and human rights activists emphasises the importance of this as follows:-
‘The most formidable military machine depends ultimately on obedience of its soldiers, the most powerful corporation becomes helpless when its workers stop working, when its customers refuse to buy its products. The strike, the boycott, the refusal to serve, the ability to paralyse the functioning of a complex social structure, these remain potent weapons against the most fearsome state or corporate power’, (Howard Zinn, 1922 – 2010).   
Effectively used CD obliges the rulers to understand that their subjects are not dummies any longer; thus the rulers will be forced to relinquish their power in order for the majority to decide their ways out of the difficulties. One of the America’s novelists agree with this as follows:-‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t possess it anymore’ (Alice Walker, American novelist)
Although those who have placed themselves in upper social strata or hierarchy dictate their accounts of history and stories, philosophically their place in history is inferior, as they utterly lack the key elements that make us humane. They are short of the key humane element which makes us feel and empathise the sufferings of the others. They rejoice when they bomb innocent children and civilian with nuclear and others forms of WMD. This is the reason why sadly those who are in power dictate false accounts of everything to hoodwink their subjects in order for them to exploit their subjects – ignorant of historical realities. Howard Zinn states the above argument as follows: –“History is important. If you don’t know history it is as if you were born yesterday. And if you were born yesterday, anybody up there in a position of power can tell you anything, and you have no way of checking up on it”. Human histories are recorded and maintained depending on individual region’s or country’s contexts although the following is a universally binding declaration. Orally narrated histories of traditional societies are much more reliable than the written and serve as valuable in their objective as the written accounts. The question is whether the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are respected in any part of the world
Box 1. Excerpts from ‘UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.
Article 1.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 27.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Courageous and Bold Move is Essential whilst affecting CD.
The reason why we need CD is simply because those whose rights are violated by those officials or corporations must unite and demand them. The oppressed subjects must defy the current repressive and exploitative orders, either in Ethiopia or worldwide; the universally self-appointed elites who call themselves the rescuers and governors of our planet must be met with CD, i.e. the most effective manner to have them removed. We should not fear any person on planet as long as we stand for genuine cause and aforementioned universally acknowledged rights. One icon of our century’s struggle for freedom and resistance and renowned African statesman states that we must win over our fear whilst standing for our fundamental rights: ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear, (Nelson Mandela 1918 -2013)
Box 2 Some of Key Reasons Initiating Civil Disobedience
Persistent and blatant abuse of power in a number of ways by government officials.
Controlling of civilians by spying on citizens via state and corporation censorship.
Manipulation of public opinion with lies, deceits and obfuscations.
Disallowing room for a political rights and kidnapping and torturing those who choose to be involved.
Morally, economically and ethically corrupt government officials.
Detention without trials only using kangaroo courts for show trails.
Collective punishment of given ethnic groups or nationals for their political views/economic interests of the rulers.
Massacre and genocide of given ethnic nationals or groups of people for their political views.
Rigging election and promoting state terrorism whilst covering up official misdeeds.
Deliberately and systematically impoverishing given ethnic nationals by expropriating their natural resources.
Targeting given ethnic nationals for belonging to given ethnic identity or nationals therefore torturing and mass imprisoning them.
Denial of justice and arbitrarily arresting non-combatant civilians to keep them jailed for years/decades.
Suppression of dissent voices and misuses of police and army power to stifle citizens and keep them silenced.
Discrimination against certain groups or ethnic nationals for their political and economic importance.
Theft of citizens’ property to enrich politicians and their loyalists.
Blackmailing of dissents and human rights activist by authorities.
Institutional incompetence and negligence of authorities.
Disrespect of citizens and repeated hypocrisy… and more.
Since time immemorial, Mankind has experienced rewarding progress and advancement, but at the same time IT continues to suffer ever worsening and appalling evils, troubles and ills. This is because man’s problems are man-caused therefore potentially easily resolvable matters. We must fight and overcome manmade injustice that humans imposed on their kinds. We must challenge and overcome man’s capacity of causing deliberate harm to his/her likes. The most effective means of achieving this is CD.
Understanding the World: prerequisite to effectively conduct CD while not expecting any good from big Evils
History affirms that the largest part of human decadence is ascribed to European and American colonial expansionists who have in massive scale developed the concept of humans’ inferiority or superiority and thereby played a key role in advancing concomitant human sufferings. In addition to simple economic and political superiority, these groups of peoples created weapons of mass destruction and continually experimented them all over the world. For instance, to such evil and inhumane competitions is due the notorious Chernobyl’s 1986 nuclear disaster where over a million civilians have been affected. The worst and inherently inhumane examples were the two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9, 1945), resulting in the death of over 300.000 and consequently over a million civilians and children in the following two decades.
The current ongoing global instabilities are mainly ascribed to West in general and to America’s politicians and corporations in particular. These groups of international and regional powerful economic and military giants and their networks don’t want their dummies to know this fact. This is why they have placed themselves in charge of our society. These are the politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television channels who dominate our ideas so that they will be secure in their power. They didn’t need soldiers patrolling our streets until they have fabricated boggy men known as terrorists to stifle our freedom of expression and assembly. They made us dummies that can easily be controlled so that the mass remains subservient enslaved and conformist. This is why we sit down in front of television sets glued to their endless and deceptive propagandas. The majority of world peoples became addicted to celebrity culture and fizzy yet literally poisonous drinks massively produced by the corporations in addition to junk meals by McDonald’s, KFC, etc. The same trend is being used by all the regimes of the world, including in the Ethiopian empire. Clear understanding of the anatomy of global rulers and their corporations enables the majority to be united in order for them to effectively and successfully conduct CD.
Particular Case of the Ethiopian Empire
When it comes to the Ethiopian empire, it is essential to note that the mentees of American and European colonisers have caused similar sufferings to all the subjugated nations that are found at their disposal. They have crushed dissents of various ethnic nationals who demanded their collective rights. They have demonised such dissents whilst encouraging and praising subservience. The survival of this colonial state has been stitched together by lies and subterfuges. Its history dictates the hegemony of the rulers and the subjugation and the ensuing blackmailing of those who demand their rights. Although historians and social justice activists strongly believe that ‘Dissent is the highest form of patriotism’ and that silence is equivalent to dead walking, while something important to humanity is at stake, Ethiopian TPLF’s regime remain as adamant as all its predecessors.
Those courageous social justice advocates suggest CD as a means of achieving social justice and equality for all – by conquering our fear and uniting with purpose in the following manners: – “CD is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders…and millions have been killed because of this obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves… (and) the grand thieves are running the country. That’s our problem”. (Howard Zinn)
In the Ethiopian empire, the above account is absolutely correct, and this will never stop unless we prevent the criminals, who call themselves ‘government’, from incriminating innocent majority, impoverishing and enslaving them all. No one has given TPLF’s barbaric regime any rights under whatsoever definition to sell the Sidama land, the lands of the Oromo, Gambela, Ogaden, Afar, Gedeo and other subjugated nations. It is us, the majority who are allowing the regime to freely continue with their criminal acts against the interests of the mass.
Where CD can begin?
CD can begin at home. Stop having any deal with your neighbour, who might be known to you and others for his/her part in torturing and brutalising innocent citizens and expropriating their resources whilst impoverishing them. Systematically stop cooperating with your family member who might have a link with the brutalising regime. Stop allying your pure conscience with the regime whose hands are dirtied with the blood of the innocents. Refuse attending their weddings and funerals. Stop visiting these groups of criminals whilst they are ill, either at home or in hospitals. Systematically stop buying their products and selling yours to them. Stop befriending with such groups of worst quislings.
Never hesitate to surreptitiously offer the necessary support to dissent and never think that it is none of your business. After all, the pain of one person who is targeted today by the regime’ssecurity and army will be yours tomorrow or after tomorrow, if you remain silent today. But if you are courageously and defiantly involved, the regime, though unwillingly, will stop individually targeting innocent civilians or nations’ peoples for their being who they are. If so, the CD will be unanimous. Never think that you don’t have a weapon. Your unity, determination, and indefatigable approach, your effort to underscore of your own rights and your preparedness to persistently demand them is your formidable and lethal weapon. The rulers know this fact, therefore they don’t want you to know about it.
To be able to persistently reclaim your rights until you assert them, unity with likeminded is paramount. Explicitly and implicitly plan your actions and strategize your methods. If the majority can do so, they can easily incapacitate the capability of any brutal regime, let alone the minority of TPLF’s increasingly wobbling bunches of criminal mafias. One of the distinguished Indian human rights activists and author, Arundhati Roy, emphasises about this as follows:-
“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” Arundhati Roy, April 2003, War Talk’
It is nearly 25 years since the current brutal regime has assumed power and promised millions of lies and deceitful projects none of which has materialised. Therefore, the only way for the empire’s subjects is standing on own ground and rejecting the regime. The regime has got a lot of weapons, but we have to understand that our weapons are much mightier than theirs. Therefore, open your mind; wake up from your hibernation to reclaim your dignity and pride as a fellow respected human being who has got his own life, aspiration, hope, and dream. These all are denied to all captives of Ethiopian empire by the vicious incumbent. To reclaim your rights, the most potent and long lasting method is CD. If CD progresses, other means of struggle, involving the use of arms, will also have further leverages in their momentum to successfully accomplish their part.
Begin it at home, from your neighbours, colleagues, classmates and friends. Completely, yet surreptitiously ostracise all inhumane members of regime’s criminal networks.
By Denboba Natie,  01 December 2015
References
  1. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxznlv13ZW4
  3. Asmal et al 2003, Nelson Mandela in his words, Little Brown, UK
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.
  5. http://www.history.co.uk/biographies/mahatma-gandhi
  6. http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/malcolm-x
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Walker
  8. http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/marcus-garvey
  9. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002490/bio
  10. Coxall (2015), Civil Disobedience, a practical guide.
  11. http://www.ejcancer.com/article/S0959-8049(02)00764-5/abstract
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki
  13. http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/news/remembering-hiroshima
  14. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/6134.Arundhati_Roy

Ethiopia: Early Warning Project identifies countries most at risk for state-led mass killing. Ethiopia making the top 15th in the list September 21, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????Tigrean Neftengna's land grabbing and the Addis Ababa Master plan for Oormo genocide

Report:-Which Countries Are Most Likely to Suffer Onsets of State-Led Mass Killing in 2015?

Sep 21, 2015

Read at:-

http://www.earlywarningproject.com/2015/09/18/2015-statistical-risk-assessment

“JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND EQUALITY FOR MAJENGER AND ALL NILOTIC PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA” June 23, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley.
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“JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND EQUALITY FOR MAJENGER AND ALL NILOTIC PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA”

Gambella
Press Release
May 22nd 2015, Gambella

Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) strongly condemns the TPLF/EPRDF killings of the Mezenger people of Southwest Ethiopia. The massacre of Mezenger people has now escalated and spread to all neighbouring villages of Sheka, Surma, Bench and Menit tribes in the Southern Nations Nationalities and People Regional State. The massacre is jointly carried out by the federal police forces, ENDF (Ethiopian National Defence Force) and the illegal settlers (highlanders) in Teppi and Metti towns Godere Zone of the Gambella region. It has started in September 2014 and so far no investigation and action taken against the perpetrators to stop the massacre. Since January 2015 the killing intensified and all villages of Majengirs and neighbouring villages destroyed and all people from these villages went into bush leaving behind their belongings without anything to support their livelihood. However, attempted to return home from the bush is killed, chanting that the monkey has come home to live with human beings.

As our sources from the ground indicates so far more than 120 Mezenger are reported dead and the killing is indiscriminate against children, women and men. It is a systematic genocide to exterminate the Mezenger people, as many of their educated ones were packed into prison without any trial in the court. To weaken the power of Mezenger people, the police forces from the local community were disarmed and they were replaced with ENDF to manoeuvre the plan successfully and take over the land from Mezenger people. In addition to this the Kwegu and Hamer people are being displaced from their land and many more killed by the Ethiopian government because of sugar plantation project of Hailemariam Desalegn. Likewise, the Hamer tribe is now engaged in full scale war with the government soldiers in resistance to land grabbing and forced displacements.

The sugar plantation project in the South Omo zone has been carried out without the consultation of local community. The people of Southern Ethiopian should not be deceived by the leadership of the current prime minister because he is from the region. As he was baptized by the deceased Prime Minister Meles for the post he should be known for his hatred against the indigenous Nilotes in the southern region for which he can manipulate the system and exterminate the tribes.

The people of Majengers and other Nilotic people of South west Ethiopian have been in constant conflicts and frustration with the Ethiopian government and illegal settlers from the north, and the loss of land has been in alarming rates as clearing of the forests by commercial investors and the illegal settlers continue to surge. Since EPRDF took over, the Mezenger people were killed in 1993, 2001 and the current one of 2014/2015. The current massacre is worst of all kind as it has devastated and destroyed the properties of people and forced people to flee their land.

GNUM will continue to fight for justice, equality and freedom of the indigenous Nilotes to ensure their full recognition and identity in their land. The TPLF/EPRDF government is a racist government that puts ethnic conflicts as means to prosper its own people to settle in the southwest regions. It is a government that cares only for its citizens from Tigrai region, and it should be resisted strongly by all means as racist and divisive.

GNUM also call upon the international community to investigate the killings of Majengers and other Nilotic people of southwest Ethiopia through their body, and force the perpetrators to be brought to justice. We call upon all the donors to withhold their funds from the TPLF government to make sure their funds are not used to perpetuate the killings against the innocent indigenous populations. Further, we also strongly ask the international community to analyse and make serious investigation toward the root cause of the increasing killings against the indigenous populations in Southwest Ethiopia and come up with strong recommendations and actions for maximum self determination as the only lasting solution to protect the life of the indigenous populations.

Therefore, GNUM would like to call upon all the indigenous Nilotes to unite themselves as one people and resist and fight the racist TPLF/EPRF government to protect their land.

In conclusion the Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) will continue it struggle for all people of Gambella and all the South-western Nilotes to ensure freedom, liberty, justice, security and prosperity are brought to people in their God given lands.

“All Nilotic People Should Stand Together and Fight As One to Overthrow TPLF/EPRDF Government from Their Land”

Gambella Nilotes United Movement/Army

Central Committee

Our contact:                   gambellagnuma@yahoo.com   OR

gambellagnuma@gmail.com

http://www.ayyaantuu.net/justice-freedom-and-equality-for-majenger-and-all-nilotic-people-of-ethiopia/

UNPO Report on Ogaden persecution in Ethiopia November 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Aid to Africa, Amnesty International's Report: Because I Am Oromo, Colonizing Structure, 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, Ogaden, Oromia, The Tyranny of TPLF Ethiopia, Uncategorized, UNPO.
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UNPO Publishes Report on Ogaden persecution in Ethiopia

In recent years the Ogaden people in Eastern Ethiopia have increasingly suffered various human rights abuses as the Ethiopian State continues its mission of ethnic oppression.

These violations of human rights often compound the current humanitarian crisis that is developing in the region; with foreign aid funds supporting a state that actively deters humanitarian organisations from operating in the Ogaden region.

To help increase awareness about the worsening situation for the Ogaden people, UNPO has published abackground report outlining some of the major human rights that currently exist.

This report focuses on many of the Ogaden people’s civil and political rights that have been violated by the Ethiopian Government, and puts them into the broader context of the general state of human rights compliance throughout the whole country.

Cause for serious concern continues to be the suppression of the free media and freedom of expression within Ethiopia. Silencing the voices of those willing voice concerns of state suppression means that the outside world is never likely to know the full scale of rights violations that are taking place within the country.

Of further concern to international law is the occurrence of extra-territorial activity of the Ethiopian State in both targeting political opposition and persecuting the Ogaden people. The fact that these actions have now begun to span borders makes it even harder to encourage transparency on the issues.

For a full copy of the report click @

http://unpo.org/downloads/1088.pdf

OromianEconomist.UNPO.OgadenReport1088