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Kello Media: A virtual forum on Human Rights in Oromia/ Ethiopia June 29, 2020

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Partial lists of confirmed Oromo civilians killed by Ethiopia’s regime security forces in 2020 June 7, 2020

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#HappeningUnderNobelLaurate

#HappeningUnderNobelLaurate @AbiyAhmedAli

The partial lists of confirmed Oromo civilians killed by Ethiopia’s regime security forces from 1st January to 3rd June 2020:-

This was Aanaa Mohammedsham age 15. He was gunned down last night in Qobo town, East Hararge. He was driving the three legs bajaj when soldiers of the newly deployed Liyu Police shot him. He succumbed to his wounds later. https://www.facebook.com/Jawarmd/posts/10105488077056383

Diinaa’ol Nagaasaa jedhama. Humnoota mootummaatiin eda halkan Ambotti rasaasan rukutame

More reports on human rights violations against Oromo people in Oromia (Ethiopia)

These are some of the political prisoners currently held with no charge, in Borana Zone alone. Imagine how large the number could be in the entire regional state!

====••••======
Maqaa hidhamtoota #Godina_Booranaa keessaa ka nama garii kunooti. Nami maqaa hin argatin kan irra guddaa

AANAA MOOYYALEE

(Dira Mooyyaleefi dira Tuqaa irraa (
1.Dooyyoo Iyyaa
2.Malataa Waaqoo
3.Galgaloo Xunii
4.Xummee Shoobaa
5.Luuccaa Malataa
6.Kanuu Guyyoo
7.Baatii Kanuu
8.Bulee Boruu (Oromia police)
9.Haroo Abduuba-
10.Halkanoo Baddoolee

AANAA GUCHII

11.Obaa Gufuu
12.Kiyyaa Liiban
13.Darmii Guyyoo Liiban (University student)
14.Bonayyaa Duuba
15;Kiyyaa Guyyyoo libaan
16;Finina Abduba
17.Abduba Galgalo Areeroo
18.Dabasoo Faqee Huqqaa
19.Qucee Kusaare
20;Galgaloo Halakee Jibichoo (University student)
21.Kateeloo Shanee
22.Bonayyaa Duubaa
23;Temesgen
24.Boochola Guyyoo
25.Diida Goollichaa
26.Halkanoo Gurraacha Jaatanii
27.Kanaa Goollichaa
28.Biqilaa Tarreessaa

AANAA TALTALLEE

29.B/sa Galgaloo Taarii
30.Guyyoo Shamee
31.Kiyyaa Duuba Guyyoo
32.Diida Aagaa Burraa (University student)
33.B/sa Diida Moluu
34.Maammadi Dheengee Boruu
35.Barraaqoo Gurroo Boruu
36.Galma Moluu Shootii
40.Barsiisaa #Galgaloo_Taarii
41.Barsiisaa Diqqaa Duubaa Dooyyoo
42.Dargaggoo Saara Guduroo

AANAA YAABALLOO

43.Goolee Adaanoo (Oromia Police @Moyale)
44.Abbaa Gadaa Dr Jaldeessaa Guyyoo
45. Goreessaa Guyyoo Liiban (Lawyer)
46. Galgaloo Saaraa
47. Waariyoo Dabbasoo
48. Kanuu Jirmoo Galgaloo
49. Guyyoo Duubaa

AANAA DIRREE

59.Galma Kanaa
51.Guyyoo Galma
52.Kateeloo Gufuu
53.Waariyoo Liiban
54.Guyyoo Moluu
55.Abkunuu Xuunnee
56.Carfii Kasulee
57.Gurraale Diidaa-
58.Diqqaa Waariyoo

AANAA EELWAYYEE

59.Daalacha Baggajjaa
60.Daalacha Abbaa Ruufaa
61.Barcii Qancoorro
62.Carii Duuba Bantee
63.Ijoollen Bilisoo Soraa

AANAA MIYOO
(Magaalaa Hiddii Lolaafi Magaalaa Bokkuu Luboomaa irraa)

64.Galma Bonayyaa
65.Mallichaa Roobaa
66.Galgaloo Moluu
67..Galata Kuulaa
68.Jamaal Kuulaa
69.Galma Liiban
79.Guyoo Dooyyo
71.Haawwoo Guyyoo
72. Kiyyaa Liiban

AANAA DUBLUQII

73.Milkii Dooyyoo
74.Soraa Galgaloo
75 Abdurhaman Warquu
76.Liiban Jaatanii
77.Saara Katanoo

AANAA DHAAS
(Magaalaa Borbor irraa)

78.Turaa Gurraachaa (cabine member)
79.Barcii Abgudoo
80.Bonayyaa Caaccicha (Elder above 60s)
81.Guyyoo Balaambal (cabine member)

AANAA DHAASiifi Miyoo
(Ganda Bokkuufi Goorilee irraa)

82..Nuuraa Bonayyaa Godana
83.Dabboo Bonayyaa Godana
84.Xummee Bonayyaa Godana
85.Elemaa Bonayyaa Godana
86.Adii Bonayyaa Godanaa
87.Diida Waariyoo Godaanaa
88. Kiyyaa Waariyoo Godaanaa
89.Jiloo Waariyoo Halake
90.Roobaa Waariyoo Halake
91.Kiyyaa Waariyoo Halake
92. Xummee Cuurii Dooyyoo
93.Qaballee Diidaa
94.Saasii Diidaa
95.Abduuba Halakee
96.Huqqaa Mataa
97.Xummee Huqqaa
98.Qaallicha Jiloo Guyyoo
99.Guyyoo Jiloo
190.Qumbii Bulee
101.Kiyyaa Bulee Jaarsoo
102.Obaa Dhalee
103.Saara Bilaalaa
104.Jiloo Huqqaa Boruu
105.Galmoo Huqqaa Boruu
106.Qabballee Jaarsoo Halake
107.Tuuraa Jaarsoo
108.Diidaa Waariyoo
109.Diidaa Waariyoo
110.Diida Goollichaa
111.Saaroo Boruu
112.Guyyoo Boruu
113.Lookoo Boruu
114.Kana Mallicha
115.Biduu Jaarso
116.Bulee Jaarsoo Huqqa
117.Jaatanii Galgaloo Gaayoo
118.Bagajjaa Galgaloo Gaayo
119.Kottobbo Galgalo Gaayo
120.Rooba Liiban
121.Galmoo Tuukkisaa
122.Tuukkisaa Liiban
123.Jaatanii Soraa Taadhicha
124.Dullachaa Soraa Taadhicha
125.Diimaa Soraa Taadhicha
126.Dooyyoo Abduuba
127.Shunaa Diidaa
128.Dheengee Dalacha
129.Xummee Taarii
130.Abduuba Jiloo
131.Diidoo Boruu Dhaddacha
132.Diida Dooyyo Baddoolicha
133.Rooba Dabbasoo Roobaa
134.Qaallicha Jiloo Guyyoo
135.Diida Goollicha Qancoorro
136.Qumbii Halake
137.Boora Kuula Boruu
138.Daalacha Galgaloo
139.Qaallicha Diqqa
140.Godaanaa Soraa Boru
141.Taarii Guyyoo
142.Miyoo Diidaa
143.Caaccuu Liiban
144.Diimaa Mallichaa
145.Jaatani Sora
146.Abduba Halake Shonee
147.Barsiisaa Boruu Bukkee
148.Dheengee Goollichaa

AANAA AREEROO

149.Gurraachaa Galgaloo Guyyoo
150.Roobaa Galma Adii
151.Daraaraa Huseen Jaarsoo
152.Jaldeessa Mallichaa
153.Kiyyaa dhakaa Tuundhaa
154.Kana Galmaa
156.Huseen Dooyyoo Waariyoo
157. Huseen Kottolaa

AANAA WAACILLEE

158.Qallaa Kuulii
159.Boru xachee
160.Boru Bulee

Godina Guji Lixa, Aana Dugda Daawwa, Magaalaa Fincaawaa, mana hidha Qabalee keessatti dararama jiranu kan armaan gadiiti:-
1) Maammush(Gujii) Gammade
2) Dullacha Qadiida
3) Konso Dukkalle
4) Gammachuu Baqqala
5) Caala Toleera
6) Yahiqoob (Godaana) Uddo
7) Duuba Komoodo
8) Adoola (Quxxisu) Bariiso
9) Shaaqqole Boneyya
10) Duube Adula
11) Eebbisa Koronto
12) Kuukkuu Soraa
13) Ashulee Kabbadaa
14) Quraa Bursaano
15) Astar Bursaano
16) Bollee Goobana
17) Muluu Jiloo
18) Ushukka Leqqo
19) Meseret Elema
20) Xumme Jiloo
21) Areero Galma
22) Abram Jilo


Gootiti OROMOO
Weelliftu seenaa kamaal waan hidhamteef sagalee yaa taanuf
Qarreen tuni weelliftuu qofaa miti qabsooftuu gabrummaa saba ishee hin dandeenye akka taate hundi keenya ni beekna bara 2016 gaafa irreecha hora bishooftuutitti oromoon dhume sana akkuma argitan waltajjii irratti mallattoo diddaa gabrummaa agarsiisun nama gabrumma saba isheetif sagalee dhageessisaa turteedha, gaafa ajjeechaan jawaar irratti yaalames nama qarree fi qeerroo oromoo biraa hin hafne anis jawaar waliin wareegamuun qaba jechuun nama lubbuu ishee hin qusanneedha walumaagalatti seenaan oromoo biraa haftee hin beektu

https://www.facebook.com/awol.mustefa/posts/2993229280763555

#በአቢዮት_ካሳዬ የሚመራው ብልፅግና የሚባል የሽፍታ ቡድን ስብስብ በዜጎች ላይ እያደረሰ ያለው ግፍ በደል ተመልከቱ




Baqqalaa Bidiraa miseensa Adda Bilisummaa Oromooti. Yeroo darbe Jaal Abdii Raggaasaa gaafachuu deemee hidhame. Akkuma baheen mana isaa keessatti https://www.facebook.com/awol.mustefa/videos/2993215454098271/

Ethiopia’s security forces accused of torture, evictions and killings – The Guardian report May 29, 2020

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Ethiopia’s security forces accused of torture, evictions and killings – report

Prime minister Abiy Ahmed has been lauded for his democratic reforms. But Amnesty International are now urging him to investigate allegations of serious human rights abuses

A man waves an Oromo flag

A man waves an Oromo flag as people from the community gather in Addis Ababa in October 2019, on the eve of Irreecha, their thanksgiving festival. Photograph: Yonas Tadesse/AFP Tom Gardner in Addis Ababa Published on Fri 29 May 2020 06.15 BST

Ethiopia’s Nobel peace prize-winning prime minister Abiy Ahmed has been urged to investigate allegations that state security forces have committed a raft of serious human rights abuses including torture and unlawful killings since he came to power in 2018.

According to a report by Amnesty International, published on Friday, Ethiopia’s military and police in its two most populous regions arbitrarily detained more than 10,000 people, summarily evicted whole families from their homes – some of which were burnt and destroyed – and in some cases were complicit in inter-communal violence targeting minorities.

Federal authorities have not responded to the report, which focuses on the period between January and December 2019 in the regions of Amhara and Oromia.

“Given the gravity and the duration [of the period in which abuses were reported] I cannot believe top officials are not aware of what was happening,” the report’s author, Fisseha Tekle, told the Guardian. “And if they are not then it is a dereliction of duty.”

In Oromia, security forces are waging a counter-insurgency campaign against rebels from the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), an armed guerrilla movement demanding more autonomy for Oromos, which returned from exile in 2018 after Abiy removed it from Ethiopia’s list of terrorist organisations.

The move was part of a package of democratic reforms which won the prime minister widespread acclaim and, along with making peace with neighbouring Eritrea, secured him the Nobel peace prize last year. Shortly after becoming prime minister Abiy also confessed that security officials had in the past committed torture, and promised to ensure the sector was fully accountable in the future. 

But the OLA has since returned to armed conflict, and accuses the government of failing to deliver its promises of more democracy and self-rule for Oromos. 

Fighting in western and southern parts of Oromia has involved targeted killings of local officials and community leaders and what the UN has described as “serious human rights violations”. In Oromia’s Guji district the unrest had driven 80,000 people from their homes by the start of this year.

Amnesty said it had a list of 39 people suspected of supporting the OLA who had been unlawfully executed in two parts of Guji since January 2019. It also said that on a single day in December 2018, soldiers from the federal military killed 13 people in the town of Finchawa in West Guji. One of those killed was an old woman selling milk on the street, according to an eyewitness who spoke to Amnesty.

Security forces are estimated to have detained more than 10,000 men and women suspected of supporting or working for the OLA, among other abuses documented by the organisation.

Many were detained for several months without being charged, in violation of both national and international human rights laws, under conditions which at times amounted to torture, the report found. Detainees were made to undergo two months of “training” in subjects such as constitutionalism, the rule of law and the history of the Oromo people’s struggle. 

In Amhara, according to the report, regional police, militia and local vigilante groups engaged in targeted attacks on ethnic Qemant, a minority group demanding more autonomy, in inter-communal violence which resulted in at least 130 deaths last year. In January 2019, at least 58 people were reportedly killed in less than 24 hours and buried in mass graves. 

Nobody has yet been held accountable for the atrocity.

Amnesty said it had sought responses to its findings from nine government offices including the defence ministry and the attorney-general’s office but had only received a response from Amhara’s regional security bureau, which denied that state security forces had been involved in any atrocities. Suspicion and fear linger as Ethiopia’s campus wars go quietRead more

The rights group called on the government to carry out full investigations into human rights violations and to order security forces to stop carrying out unlawful executions, arbitrary arrests and detention, as well as forced evictions and destruction of property belonging to people suspected of supporting opposition political parties or armed groups.

In February last year the former head of the Ethiopian army said it had embarked on “deep institutional reform” as part of the democratic changes sweeping the nation.

The head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, Daniel Bekele, told the Guardian: “While the Amnesty findings and ongoing reports of killings and arrests in parts of Oromia region should be taken seriously and fully investigated, it is also important to understand the complex nature of the security operations where armed groups are seriously destabilising the affected areas.”

The prime minister’s office said it would put the Guardian’s request for official comment to the peace ministry, which did not respond in time for publication.

More from Oromian Economist Sources:

Oromia: Arbitrary Arrests and Extra-Judicial Killings of Political Dissents Continued in Ethiopia May 27, 2020

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Oromia: Arbitrary Arrests and Extra-Judicial Killings of Political Dissents Continued in Ethiopia

According to HRLHA’s Urgent Appeal, no progress to arrest of political dissents in Oromia. “Arbitrary arrest and forced disappearance of political dissents have been escalating throughout Oromia region compared to other regions of the country at this critical moment when the danger of Corona virus is highly threatening the country.”

HRLHA also revealed the details of many innocent citizens, supporters and members of the two vanguard oppositions namely Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)
who have been languishing in different known and unknown detention centers for several months.

“Hundreds have been mercilessly killed and even some of them were denied burial and eaten by hyena,” says the appeal.

According to the HRLHA’s argent appeal, journalists of Sagalee Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo (Voice of Oromo Youth for Freedom) among others, Adugna Kesso and Gada Bulti; as well as Oromia News Network (ONN) journalists Dasu Dula and Wako Nole were arbitrarily arrested, denied safeguards of due process of law and remain suffering behind the Bar.

It also added that top OLF leadership and senior members such as Kayyo Fufa, Yaasoo Kabada, Dandi Gabroshe, Efrem Geleta, Mo’a Abdisa, Tariku Abdisa, Bayana Ruda (Prof), Aliyi Yusuf, Abdi Ragassa, Batire File, Gada Gabisa, Blisumma Ararsa, Olika Chali etc have been languishing in known and unknown prisons for several months without charge.

This Urgent Appeal addresses recent detailed arbitrary arrests, extra judicial killings and physical assaults where each cases are substantiated by photograph and important facts of the violations.

Source: advocacy4oromia

Mohammedamin Siraj brutally murdered and thrown in the bush

On Thursday, May 14th, 2020, Mohammedamin Siraj was abducted by the Ethiopian government securities from his office in Harar city. He was an employee of Oromia cooperative work office of eastern Hararge province (waldaya Hojii gamtaa Oromiyaa godina Haragee bahaa). He was arrested under a pretext of ‘quarantining for suspicion of contracting #COVID-19’; which turned out to be an outright lie; brutally murdered and thrown his body out in the bush around Babile town. After few days of disappearance, on Monday 18th of May, local farmers found a leftover of a human remains partially eaten by scavengers and reported the scene to the police. Later that day, the police buried a partially scavenged body without a proper investigation and consent of his family.

Mohammedamin Siraj was a brave soul. He was an outspoken critic of the government. He has never been silenced to speak out against the injustice perpetrated to the Oromoo people from the successive Ethiopian regimes. Because of that, he had suffered numerous intimidation, death threats, tortures and detentions.

Mohammedamin Siraj was born in Galamso town of eastern Oromia; graduated from Jimma university. He was a family man and he is a father of two minor children. 

OMN:Oduu Guyyaa Caamsaa 27,2020https://www.facebook.com/OromiaMedia/videos/3100735399947554/

Kun oduu akkaan gaddisiisaadha.
Hayimaanot Badhaadhaa,mormaa fi laphee ishii irra sibiilaan waraanamtee ajjeefamte.

Hayimaanot barattuu digirii lammaffaa hospitaala addaa “Black lionl” keessatti, barnoota digrii lammaffaaf qorannoorra turtee dha.
Haymaanot Shamarree Oromiyaa, Adaamaa kan waggaa 27 turte.
Haga yoonaatti ajjeechaa kanaaf waanti ifatti himame hin jiru.

Poolisiin garuu akka himetti,Hayimaanot, bakka lama waraanamtee ajjeefamuu mirkaneeffatee jira.
Uumaan maatii ishiif obsa, lubbuu wareegamteef boqonnaa haa kennu.
RIP😭!

Magaalaa #DambiDoolloo ti mucaa Kaayyoo Abboosee jedhamu erga qabanii mooraa waraana keessatti hidhanii ji’a lama (2) ol ta’ee jira, har’a ganama raasaan tumanii ajjeessanii.

DW: በኦሮሚያ ክልል የምዕራብ ወለጋው የጸጥታ ችግር እና የነዋሪዎች አቤቱታ

በምዕራብ ወለጋ ዞን ላሎ አሳቢ ወረዳ ከባለፈው ማክሰኞ አንስቶ የመንግስት በጸጥታ ሐይሎች በወሰዱት እርምጃ   በላሎ አሳቢ ስር በሚገኙ   በዋንጆ፣ኬላይ እና ጃርሶ ዳሞታ በተባሉ ስፍራዎች አምስት ሰዎች ህይወት ማለፉን የአካባቢው ነዋሪዎች ተናግረዋል፡፡

በምዕራብ ወለጋ ዞን ላሎ አሳቢ ወረዳ ከባለፈው ማክሰኞ አንስቶ የመንግስት በጸጥታ ሐይሎች በወሰዱት እርምጃ   በላሎ አሳቢ ስር በሚገኙ   በዋንጆ፣ኬላይ እና ጃርሶ ዳሞታ በተባሉ ስፍራዎች አምስት ሰዎች ህይወት ማለፉን የአካባቢው ነዋሪዎች ተናግረዋል፡፡  የንግድ ድርጅቶችን ጨምሮ አራት መኖሪያ ቤቶችም መቃጠላቸውን የአካባቢው  ነዋሪዎች አክለዋል፡፡ የምዐራብ ወለጋ ዞን ዋና አስተዳዳሪ አቶ ኤሊያ ኡመታ በበኩላቸው መንግስት በአካባቢው የህግ የበላይነት በማስከበር ላይ ይገኛል ብለዋል፡፡ የመንግሰት ጸጥታ ሀይሎች ህግን ከማስከበር ውጭ  በነዋሪው ላይ ያደረሱት ጉዳት እንደሌለም አክለዋል፡፡ በመንግስት ጸጥታ ኃይሎች እና ሸማቂዎች መካካል በነበረው ግጭት ምክንያት ጉዳት የደረሰባቸው ካለም አጣርተን ይፋ እናደርጋለን ብለዋል፡፡

ከምዕራብ ወለጋ ዞን  ግምቢ ከተማ በ23 ኪ.ሜ ርቀት ላይ በሚትገኘው ላሎ አሳቢ ወረዳ  ከሸማቂዎች ጋር ግንኙነት አላችሁ በማለት የመንግስት ጸጥታ ሀይሎች በወረዳዋ ውስጥ በሚትገኙ ወንጆ በተባለች ስፋራ በተለያዩ የስራ ዘርፍ በተሰማሩ ግለሰቦች ላይ ጉዳት ማድረሱን ነዋሪቹ ገልጸዋል፡፡ አንድ ስማቸው እዲገለጽ ያልፈለጉ   በላሎ አሳቢ ወረዳ ዋንጆ ከተማ ነዋሪ  የመንግስት ጸጥታ ሀይሎች አደረሱት ባሉት ጥቃት በዋንጆ ከተማ ብቻ የሶስት የሰዎች ህይወት ሲያልፍ  አራት ቤቶች ደግሞ ተቃጥለዋል፡፡

…ድርጊቱ የተፈጸመው በምዕራብ ወለጋ ዞን ላሎ አሳቢ ወረዳ ዋንጆ ከተማ ነው፡፡ ታጠቃዎችን ትቀልባላቹ፣ደብቃቹል፣ መረጃም  አቀብላቹል ተብለው ሰላማዊ ሰው ማሰር፣ ቤት ማቃጠል እና በሰዎች ላይ ከፈተኛ ድብደባ አድረሰዋል፡፡ በሰላም ወጥቶ በሰላም መግባት አሳሳቢ በሆኔ ሁኔታ ውስጥ ነው ህዝቡ ያለው፡፡ ቤት ከተቃጠለበቸው መካከልም አቶ ደሳለኝ የተባሉ ሀኪም ሲሆኑ ክሊኒክም ነበራቸው፡፡ አቶ ከፍያለው እና አቶ ኪዳኑ  የሚባሉ ደግሞ በንግድ ስራ የተሰማራ ሲሆኑ ቤታቸውና ያለቸውን ቡና ሳይቀር  ተቃጥለባቸዋል፡፡ ከሞቱት መካካልም አቶ አበያ ቀልበሳ የእንስሳት ሀኪም የነበሩ  ፣አቶ ጋማችስ ጫላ፣  ወጣት መርጋ የተባለውም  የዋንጆ ከተማ  ነዋሪና  ተማሪ የነበረ ሲሆን kትናት በስቲያ  ስራተ ቀብራቸው ተፈጽመዋል፡፡ ፣ቃኖ ኤፍረም የተባለው ደግሞ  በላሎ አሳቢ ወረዳ ጃርሶ ዳሞታ ቀበሌ ነዋሪና ዘምድ ለመጠየቅ ወደ ዋንጆ እያቀና ባለበት ሰዓት ነበር የተገደለው፣   አንዲት ሴትም  ትናት ጠዋት በላሎ አሳቢ ኬላይ በተባለ ስፋራ ህይወቷ አልፏል ፡፡ ከሟቶቹ መካከል ቃኖ ኤፍረም የተባለው  የወለጋ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ሶስተኛ ዓመት ተማሪ እንደነበርም ተናግረዋል፡፡

በከተማው በንግድ ስራ የተሰማሩ ሌላው የላሉ አሳቢ ነዋሪ  ሸማቂዎችን በገንዘብ ትደግፋለ ተብለው ቤታቸው እና ሱቃቸውም መቃጠሉን ተናግረዋል፡፡ ….  እኔ በንግድ ስራ ነው የሚተዳደረው ያለኝን ንብረት በሙሉ ነው ያቀጠሉብኝ ያለኝም ሱቅናና አንድ መኪና ሙሉ ንብረት አቃጥለዋል፡፡  ሰላማዊ ሰው ይደበድባሉ፣ሸኔ አለ እያሉ ያስረራራሉ ለዚህ ነው አካባቢውን ለቀን የሸሸነው፡፡ አሁን በርካታ ሰዎች ቤታቸውን ለቀው ወደ ሌላ አካባቢ እየሸሹ ነው፡፡

የምዕራብ ወለጋ ዞን ዋና አስተዳዳሪ አቶ ኤሊያስ ኡመታ በዚው ጉዳይ ላይ በሰጡት ማብራሪያ  በአካባቢው የመንግስት ጸጥታ ሐይል ህግን ለማስከበር ከተሰማራ ረጅም ጊዜ እንደሆነ  ተናግረዋል፡፡ በአካባውም የተሰማራው የመንገስት ወታሮች  እና በሸማቂዎች መካካል በተለያዩ  ስፋራዎች ሰሞኑን  ግጭቶች እንደነበሩ የገለጹ ሲሆን ሰላማዊ ሰዎች በመንግስት ጸጥታ ሀይሎች  ስለመሞታቸውና ቤት ስለመቃጡም ደግሞ የተጣራ መረጃ የለንም ብለዋል፡፡  

በአካባቢው ያለውን ችግር ሰላማዊ መንገድ መፍታት ባለ መቻሉ መንግስት እርምጃ እየወሰደ መሆኑን ኃላፊው ጠቆመዋል፡፡ በምዕራብ ወለጋ እና ሌሎችም አካባቢዎች  ከዚህ ቀደም መንግስት በአካባው ሰላም ለማስፍን ሲባል ለሶስት ወራት ያህል  የስልክና ኢንተርኔት አገልግሎት አቋርጦ እንደነበረም የሚታወስ ነው፡፡

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Urgent open letter to the Ethiopian government, the @WHO and international community. #coronavirus crisis @hrw April 9, 2020

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Urgent open letter to the Ethiopian government, the @WHO and international community. #coronavirus crisis @hrw

 Advocacy4oromia APR 8

The Ethiopian Government should be part of the World Community in Fighting Against COVID-19 and Respecting Human Rights of the Citizens

We, Oromo Civic, Professional, and Faith-based organizations in Diaspora write this letter out of grave concern that COVID-19 might cause preventable loss of lives in Oromia and the whole of Ethiopia upon all political prisoners, temporarily displaced persons such as refugee and homeless peoples who are extremely vulnerable because of their unhealthy living conditions. We are also concerned by the damages that could be done by the movement of the military personnel and the continued deployment of the illegal command posts in several Oromia regions during this period of fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic. At this critical global health emergency, deployment of the military should be to contain the COVID-19, not to harass, kill, displace and plunder the citizens.

COVID-19 is unprecedented pandemic, and it exerts multifaceted threats. We have no cure or vaccination for this highly contagious disease. The only tool we have is prevention and mitigation. Prevention strategies are complex, and they take place at different levels and require coordinated efforts. This necessitates the government and the public to go extra miles. The WHO recommended prevention strategies are social distancing and personal hygiene. Social distancing means being two meters apart from each other, avoiding public meetings, and restricting travels. But the Ethiopian prisons are overcrowded with political prisoners and luck clean water. These conditions put the prisoners and the general public in unnecessary public health risks.

Moreover, the ruling Prosperity Party of Prime Minister Abiy is continuously holding public meetings and forcing people to attend in Oromia Regional State, in packed halls with thousands of people for political orientation. This is neglecting or prudently violating the global health guideline- one of which is social distancing. Such action is deliberately or negligently exposing the people to the deadly virus. This tantamount to genocide.

Ethiopia also has historical practices where the movement of soldiers unwittingly led to the spread of infectious diseases from one place to another and transmitted disease-causing agents. At this time, the Ethiopian army is deployed to several regions and is serving in the command posts.

For over a year, Western and Southern Oromia zones are under illegal command posts or martial law. The soldiers of the command posts are engaged in killings, imprisoning, and harassing civilians. In those regions, farming, businesses, schooling, and other activities are either entirely stopped or significantly disrupted, and the condition has subjected the people to live in poverty and malnutrition.

Poverty and food insecurity also make people vulnerable to infections. Hence, the illegal command post has created unhealthy social conditions and generated unnecessary risks to the transmission of COVID-19. From the zones ruled by the martial law and others, people who feared the atrocities of the Ethiopian security forces are massively fleeing from their homes to major cities. Many of them are now in cities and live in overcrowded housing or homeless. In the last twenty years in Finfinne/Addis Ababa area, the Oromo people have been evicted massively from their homes with little or no compensation, and many of them are now homeless.

Resulted from the Ethiopian government’s divide and rule policies, over two million Oromos have been evicted from their homes. Most of them live in overcrowded housing, and others are homeless. Homelessness and overcrowded housing are major risk factors for COVID-19. The Ethiopian public health action plans to contain the COVID-19 needs to include housing the homeless people and respecting human rights principles.

The widespread human rights violations are causing people to flee from their homes and displacing them locally and making them international refugees. The movement of the armed forces and the displacement of civilian populations are creating fertile grounds for the transmission of COVID-19 and putting the local and global communities at risk.

Breaking the chain of transmission of infections is possible only if we effectively communicate the risk of transmissions and preventive strategies. The significance of effective communication during emergency and epidemics are well known, and the WHO gives specific guidelines. During an emergency, the information should be delivered by the most trusted institution. Mixing politics and public health is counterproductive. However, in Ethiopia, politicians are mixing their party’s political agendas with health information. Some of the Ethiopian government political figures on their Facebook pages describe their political opponents as “the Coronavirus”. The political figures who openly use detestable languages also deliberately misinforms the public. Mixing politics and health education compounded with inaccurate messaging repeal those who do not adhere to party politics and make health education ineffective. At this critical juncture mixing politics and health education and giving misinformation is counterproductive. Health education should have primacy over political indoctrination.

COVID-19 does not discriminate between the supporters of different political parties, languages, religions, and ethnic-national-race groups. In such understanding, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate ceasefire among all parties involved in armed conflict. We know that human rights violations, war, and armed conflict have exposed our people to famine and HIV/AIDS. We urge the Ethiopian government to settle the political differences with the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) peacefully and focus on the common enemy-the the disease-causing agent. Evidence-based public health policy directions in prevention and mitigating COVID-19 suggest the need for coordinated and multilateral efforts. Highly credible sources suggest that holding back this deadly virus is on the hand of the public, and everyone need to play their parts. This necessitates the need to build the social, economic, political, and cultural capacities of a group of people and individuals. Developing these capacities requires advancing individuals and group rights and communities’ capacity to prevent and mitigate the problem.

We, therefore, urge the Ethiopian government to respect human rights principles, release political prisoners, remove the command posts and protect vulnerable population groups such refugees, those internally displaced, and homeless individuals from the spread of COVID-19. We call upon the Ethiopian government to immediately take the following critical public health measures:

  • Release all political prisoners.
  • Make prison cells are consistent with the WHO recommended social distancing principles.
  • Lift the martial law in the Oromia Regional State because it hinders people from leading a healthy life and playing their role to contain and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Stop all forms of human rights violations because it kills the aspiration of people to understand and solve problems.
  • Stop displacing people locally or making them international refugees,
  • Stop armed conflict and settle political differences with the OLA by a peaceful means.
  • Overcrowded housing and homelessness are the manifestations of the ill-planned policy, and the government needs to strive to correct those wrongs.
  • Stop holding public political meetings, because most of them do not fulfill the principle of social spacing
  • Stop harassing and threatening independent mass media, including Oromia Media Network and Oromia News Network and let information to freely flow in Oromia.

Respectfully,

Oromia Global Forum: A consortium of Oromo Civic, Professional and Faith-Based Organizations
Signatories:
Advocacy4Oromia
Bilal Oromo Dawa Center
Canaan Oromo Evangelical Church
Charismatic International Fellowship Church
Global Gumii Oromia
Global Oromo Advocacy Group
Global Waaqeffannaa Council
Horn of Africa Genocide Watch
Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa
International Oromo Women’s Organization
International Qeerroo Support Group
Mana Kiristaanaa Fayyisaa Addunyaa
Oromo Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
Oromo Communities’ Association of North America
Oromo Evangelical Lutheran Church of Washington DC Metropolitan Area
Oromo Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society
Oromo Human Rights and Relief Organization
Oromo Legacy, Leadership and Advocacy Association
Oromo Lutheran Church of Baltimore
Oromo Parliamentarians Council
Oromo Studies Association
Oromia Support Group
Tawfiq Islamic Center
Union of Oromo Communities in Canada
United Oromo Evangelical Church
Washington DC Metropolitan Oromo SDA Church
CC:
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
Director of World Health Organization (WHO)
Avenue Appia 20 1211, Geneva
Telephone: +41-22-7912111
World Health Organization – Regional Office for Africa
Cité du Djoué, P.O.Box 06 Brazzaville Republic of Congo
Telephone: +(47 241) 39402 Fax: +(47 241) 39503
Email: afrgocom@who.int CC: chaibf@who.int
harrism@who.int jasarevict@who.int
GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
The US Department of State (USA)
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada)
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (UK) Minister for
Foreign Affairs (Sweden)
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Norway)
Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (France)
Federal Foreign Office (Germany)
HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS
UN Human Rights Council
Africa Union (AU)
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Council of Europe,
UN Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
MEDIA AND NEWS GROUPS
Oromia News Network
Oromia Media Network
Hegeree News Network
Radio Sagalee Walabummaa Oromiyaa
VOA Afaan Oromoo Program
BBC Afaan Oromo Program
Addis Standard
Aljazeera English
DW-Amharic
The Washington Post
New York Times
The Guardian
Reuters

This is only in Ethiopia: One of political prisoners camps in Western Oromia, city of Naqamtee. April 6, 2020

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https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1141663796220658&id=100011311443078

Oromo political prisoners in Western Oromia, city of Naqamtee, Jato camp, image taken by camera, 5th April 2020 and posted on social media.

HRW: Ethiopia: Communications Shutdown Takes Heavy Toll Restore Internet, Phone Services in Oromia March 13, 2020

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Ethiopia: Communications Shutdown Takes Heavy Toll

Restore Internet, Phone Services in Oromia

Mimiyo Fikadu, 38, taxi driver, browses through the internet using his Ethio-telecom service as he waits for his customers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
Mimiyo Fikadu, 38, taxi driver, browses through the internet using his Ethio-telecom service as he waits for his customers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 12, 2019.  © REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

(Nairobi, March) – The Ethiopian government should immediately lift the shutdown of internet and phone communications in the Oromia region. The two-month-long shutdown has prevented families from communicating, disrupted life-saving services, and contributed to an information blackout during government counterinsurgency operations in the area.

Since January 3, 2020, the authorities have disconnected mobile phone networks, landlines, and internet services in western Oromia’s Kellem Wellega, West Wellega, and Horo Gudru Wellega zones. In East Wellega, residents reported that the internet and social media services were blocked, with text and cell service available only in major towns. The shutdown has been imposed in areas under federal military control and comes amid reports of government military operations against the armed wing of the once-banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The media have credibly reported human rights abuses, including accounts of killings and mass detentions by government forces.

“The Ethiopian government’s blanket shutdown of communications in Oromia is taking a disproportionate toll on the population and should be lifted immediately,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The restrictions affect essential services, reporting on critical events, and human rights investigations, and could risk making an already bad humanitarian situation even worse.”

Under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, communication blackouts without government justifications has become routine during social and political unrest, Human Rights Watch said.

A ruling party regional spokesman told the media in January that the communications shutdown had “no relationship” to the military operations but then said that it had contributed to the operation’s success. The federal government offered no explanation for the shutdown until February 3, when Abiy told parliament that restrictions were in place in western Oromia for “security reasons.”

International human rights law protects the right of people to freely seek, receive, and provide information and ideas through all media, including the internet. Security-related restrictions must be law-based and a necessary and proportionate response to a specific security concern. A lack of government transparency regarding communication shutdowns and their length invites abuse, Human Rights Watch said.

Four humanitarian agencies operating in the affected zones told Human Rights Watch that their activities were considerably hampered because they could not get critical information on the humanitarian and security situation. One aid worker said that health care services were also affected, with doctors and ambulances unable to communicate with patients. 

The communications blackout was also affecting people outside these areas who are desperate for news of their loved ones. One Addis Ababa resident told Human Rights Watch: “Prior to the blackout, I was able to communicate with my mom almost every day. She lives alone. Now that internet and phone services are blocked, I worry very much.”

One university lecturer described the effects of the shutdown on his students: “PhD students are worried about the how this will impact their final dissertations and tests. They don’t have access to the online materials and the library doesn’t have hard copies of the research or the books they need.”

Students whose families have been affected by the communications shutdown and the military operations have held sporadic protests on some university campuses. On January 10, at Bule Hora University, security forces fired live ammunition at protesting students. Three witnesses to the crackdown, including one who went to the hospital after the incident, said that one student had been shot dead and at least a dozen injured. “Many students at Bule Hora are from [the Wellega zones] and were not able to contact their families,” one witness said. “Some students were hit or beaten after confrontations with security forces.” 

In 2019, Ethiopia shut down the internet eight times during public protests and unnecessarily around national exams. Following the June 22 assassinations of five high-level government officials, which the government linked to an alleged failed coup attempt in the Amhara region, the government imposed an internet blackout across the country. The internet was only completely restored on July 2. At the time of the shutdown, the government gave no explanation or indication of when the service would be restored.

In August, Abiy told the media that he would switch off the internet “forever” if deadly unrest prompted by online incitement continued, asserting that the internet was “neither water nor air,” and thus not an essential right.

In January, the Ethiopian government introduced a hate speech and disinformation law that could have a chilling effect on free expression and access to information online. Overbroad and vague language in the law may facilitate misuse by authorities who may use the law to justify blanket internet and network shutdowns.

Communications shutdowns violate multiple rights, Human Rights Watch said. In their 2015 Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Responses to Conflict Situations,United Nations experts and rapporteurs stated that even in times of conflict, the use of communication “kill switches” (i.e., shutting down entire parts of communications systems) can never be justified under human rights law.

During a visit to Ethiopia in December, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, expressed his concerns that the Ethiopian government’s use of internet shutdowns occurred “without constraint under law or policy.” In a 2017 report, Kaye wrote that network shutdowns fail to meet the standard of necessity and that governments need to demonstrate that any shutdown would not only be necessary, but would achieve its stated purpose since shutdowns often have the opposite effect. “It has been found that maintaining network connectivity may mitigate public safety concerns and help restore public order,” he stated.

Instead of indefinite, blanket shutdowns and repressing peaceful dissent, Ethiopian authorities should use the media to provide transparent information that can discourage violence and direct security forces to act according to international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said.

“The lack of transparency and failure to explain these shutdowns only furthers the perception that they are meant to suppress public criticism of the government,” Bader said. “Amid ongoing unrest and ahead of critical national elections, the government should be seeking to maintain internet and phone communications to ease public safety concerns, not increase them.”

Read Related article: Oromia’s Ambo city: ‘From freedom to repression under Abiy Ahmed’

Oromia’s Ambo city: ‘From freedom to repression under Abiy Ahmed’ March 13, 2020

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Ethiopia’s Ambo city: ‘From freedom to repression under Abiy Ahmed’

By Bekele Atoma, BBC Afaan Oromoo, 12 March 2020

People gather for the rally of Ethiopia's new Prime Minister in Ambo, about 120km west of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 11, 2018
Image captionAbiy Ahmed drew a huge crowd when he visited Ambo city in his first week in office

Under Ethiopian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Abiy Ahmed, the city of Ambo has turned from being a symbol of freedom into a symbol of repression, as the security forces try to curb the growth of ethnically inspired rebel and opposition groups that threaten his “coming together” vision.

Ambo, which has a large student population because of its university, was at the centre of mass protests that saw Mr Abiy rise to power in April 2018 with a promise to end decades of authoritarian rule in a nation with more than 100 million people belonging to at least 80 ethnic groups.Getty ImagesAmbo is where we are going to build the statue of our liberty, our New York”Abiy Ahmed
Ethiopia’s prime minister

Most of Ambo’s residents are Oromos – and the protests were largely driven by anger that despite being Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, they were marginalised from political and economic power, with no Oromo ever serving as prime minister.

Acknowledging Ambo’s role in bringing about change during a visit to the city within days of becoming the first Oromo to hold the prime minister’s post, Mr Abiy said: “Ambo is where we are going to build the statue of our liberty, our New York.”

At a fund-raising event in February 2019, the prime minister sold his watch for 5m birr (about $155,000, £120,000) to kick-start development in the city.

It was a further indication of the huge political significance he attached to Ambo, traditionally regarded as a stronghold of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a former rebel group which laid down arms following peace talks with Mr Abiy.

People fill the road after the rally of Ethiopia's new Prime Minister in Ambo, about 120km west of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on April 11, 2018
Image captionStudents were at the forefront of demands for change

But a year later, there are few signs of development in Ambo, which is about 100km (60 miles) west of the capital Addis Ababa. Instead, residents are once again complaining of a return of police brutality, with young men being randomly beaten up or detained as they go about their daily lives.

‘I was lucky’

I witnessed some of this during a visit to Ambo.

In one instance about six policemen forced two young men to kneel in front of pedestrians, before kicking them and hitting them with sticks.

In another instance, two young men were forcibly taken to a police station. Their elbows were tied behind their backs. One of them pleaded, in vain, with the officers to untie him.

No-one dared to intervene for fear that the police would assault them too.BekeleBBCI saw policemen walk around with scissors, giving haircuts to young men perceived to have long hair or afros”Bekele Atoma
BBC journalist

The policemen were from the regional force – and their numbers were swelled last Sunday when hundreds more graduated, raising fears that the crackdown will intensify ahead of the general election slated for August. That is the first time that Mr Abiy will face the voters since the ruling coalition chose him as prime minister to order to quell the nationwide protests.

I also saw policemen walking around Ambo with scissors, giving haircuts on the spot to young men whom they perceive to have long hair or afros.

They considered my hair to be an afro but I was lucky – they let me off with a warning to chop it off myself, which I did not do as I was going to leave Ambo in two days’ time.

‘I was unable to access the internet’

Police just assume that men with such looks are troublemakers and supporters of rebel leader Kumsa Diriba, who they see as a major threat to western Oromia’s stability and Mr Abiy’s vision of forcing a new sense of national unity, known as “coming together” .

Kumsaa Diriba
Image captionRebel commander Kumsa Diriba refuses to make peace with the government

Having spurned Mr Abiy’s peace overtures in 2018, Mr Kumsa, who is also known as Jaal Maro, is continuing to push for the “liberation” of Oromia from his forest hideout in the remote west.

He split from the OLF, the biggest Oromo rebel group, after it decided to turn into a political party, taking with him an unspecified number of fighters under his command.

The government suspects that Mr Kumsa’s rebels have infiltrated Ambo, and were responsible for the bomb blast at a pro-Abiy rally held last month to show that the prime minister still commands significant support in the city.

The rebels, via their supporters and anonymous accounts, have also been slowly gaining a profile on social media in an attempt to raise discontent against the government, especially through the circulation of the names of victims of alleged brutality by the security forces.

The government’s attempt to keep a lid on dissent has led to frequent internet shutdowns in much of western Oromia since January, and in some areas people cannot even make or receive phone calls. This is despite the fact that Mr Abiy has promised to liberalise the telecom sector and end the monopoly of state-owned Ethio Telecom.

Presentational grey line

Read more about Ethiopia:

Presentational grey line

In an interview with BBC Afaan Oromoo, the deputy chief of staff of Ethiopia’s Defence Force, Gen Berhanu Jula, hinted that the shutdowns were linked to military operations to dismantle camps under Mr Kumsa’s control, while a senior official of Mr Abiy’s newly formed Prosperity Party (PP), Taye Dendea, denied that innocent people were victims of the security force operation.

“The government has no reason to target civilians, we care about our people more than anyone else,” Mr Taye told BBC Afaan Oromoo.

In Ambo, I was unable to access the internet over my mobile phone throughout my three-week stay. On the two occasions I went to an internet cafe, it had poor broadband connection and I had to wait for a long time before I could check my emails and social media accounts.

Residents suspect that apart from government concerns about the rebels, the shutdowns are intended to limit political campaigning and starve young people of news ahead of the general election.

Residents point out that Jawar Mohammed – who is probably the most prominent and controversial Ethiopian social media activist – is now also making life difficult for the prime minister.

Jawar Mohammed (C), a member of the Oromo ethnic group who has been a public critic of Abiy, addresses supporters that had gathered outside his home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa after he accused security forces of trying to orchestrate an attack against him October 24, 2019
Image captionSocial media activist Jawar Mohammed has joined an opposition party

When exiled in the US, Mr Jawar used Facebook effectively to get Oromos on to the streets to rise against the former government.

Having returned to Ethiopia after Mr Abiy took power, he briefly became a supporter of the prime minister but is now a fierce opponent.

Nobel laureate booed

Mr Jawar put out a video on Facebook soon after Mr Abiy was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October, accusing the government of trying to remove his guards from his home in Addis Ababa as part of a ploy to orchestrate an attack on him.

Despite government denials of any such plan, Mr Jawar’s supporters staged protests against Mr Abiy in parts of Oromia – in one instance, burning copies of the prime minister’s newly published book, which outlines his “coming together” vision.

When Mr Abiy subsequently visited Ambo for a meeting with selected guests in a hotel, pro-Jawar youths staged a protest and booed the prime minister, who had been awarded the Nobel prize for his “decisive initiative” to end the border conflict with Eritrea, and for the “important reforms” he had initiated in Ethiopia with a pledge to “strengthen democracy”.Abiy AhmedGetty ImagesKey facts: Abiy Ahmed

  • Bornto a Muslim father and a Christian mother on 15 August 1976
  • Joinedthe armed struggle against the Marxist Derg regime in 1990
  • Servedas a UN peacekeeper in Rwanda in 1995
  • Enteredpolitics in 2010
  • Becameprime minister in 2018
  • Wonthe Nobel Peace Prize in 2019

Source: BBC

Mr Jawar has joined the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), which has formed an alliance with the OLF and the Oromo National Party (ONP) to contest the election on what is expected to be a strong ethno-nationalist ticket.

In Oromia, it is likely to pose the biggest electoral challenge to Mr Abiy’s PP, which was launched in December after a merger of eight of the nine regional parties which make up Ethiopia’s ruling coalition.

Mr Abiy hopes that the PP will foster national unity and keep ethnic nationalism in check.

Chart showing the ethnic make-up of Ethiopia

But he has taken a huge risk as the mass protests that propelled him to power were not just about political freedom – but also about the right of each group to express their ethnic identities more freely and to have greater autonomy for their regions.

So, as far as ethno-nationalists in Ambo and elsewhere in Oromia are concerned, Mr Abiy has sold out.

Worrying for the Nobel laureate, Defence Minister Lemma Megersa, a fellow Oromo with political clout, also expressed doubts about the PP’s formation in November, though party officials say he and Mr Abiy have been ironing out their differences since then.

“The merger is not right and timely, as we are in transition, we are on borrowed time. Dissolving the regional party to which the public entrusted their demands is betraying them,” Mr Lemma said at the time.

For Mr Abiy’s supporters, he offers the best hope of getting Ethiopia’s myriad ethnic groups to work together, and avoid the country’s disintegration.

They are confident that he will demonstrate his popularity by leading the PP to victory in the election, though its legitimacy is bound to be questioned if the crackdown in Ambo continues.

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Media captionWhat was Ethiopia’s PM like as a child?

Related article from Oromia Economist sources:

New York Times: With Many Dents to Its Image, Nobel Peace Prize Is Hit With a Few More

Myanmar’s onetime champion of democracy and Ethiopia’s prime minister join a roster of figures who, one way or another, have given the Nobel Peace Prize a contentious image.

The Reform, the Philosopher King, and the Oromo Struggle

‘Myanmar’s onetime champion of democracy and Ethiopia’s prime minister join a roster of figures who, one way or another, have given the Nobel Peace Prize a contentious image.’ The New York Times March 13, 2020

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With Many Dents to Its Image, Nobel Peace Prize Is Hit With a Few More

By Rick Gladstone, The New York Times, Dec. 11, 2019

Myanmar’s onetime champion of democracy and Ethiopia’s prime minister join a roster of figures who, one way or another, have given the Nobel Peace Prize a contentious image.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, second from left, received the Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, second from left, received the Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday.Credit…Erik Valestrand/Getty Images

The Nobel Peace Prize has long been contentious, beginning with its origins in the will of Alfred Nobel, the 19th-century inventor of dynamite. But it is extraordinary that two winners are almost simultaneously battling accusations of behavior that is widely regarded as antithetical to the spirit and purpose of the award, first given in 1901.

On Wednesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar leader who won the prize in 1991, appeared before the International Court of Justice and denied accusations that her government had committed genocide against the Rohingya minority. Her defense of Myanmar at the court was a jarring contrast to her onetime identity as an intrepid champion of human rights and democracy.

And on Tuesday, the 2019 winner, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, facing accusations of a heavy-handed crackdown on political protests, skipped a news conference after his acceptance speech.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, center, delivered a denial at the International Court of Justice on Wednesday that her government had engaged in genocide against the Rohingya minority.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, center, delivered a denial at the International Court of Justice on Wednesday that her government had engaged in genocide against the Rohingya minority.Credit…Koen Van Weel/EPA, via Shutterstock

In some years, critics have questioned the worthiness of winners without marquee accomplishments — like the 2012 award to the European Union, for example, or the 2009 award to President Barack Obama, just months into his first term.

In other instances — perhaps most famously the 1973 award to Henry A. Kissinger and his North Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, as the Vietnam War was still raging — the track records of winners have been ridiculed. (The singer Tom Lehrer famously said that the choice of Mr. Kissinger had rendered political satire obsolete.)

In the case of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, some critics have suggested that the criteria for selecting winners should be reassessed — including the possibility that the honor could be rescinded. Such questions are inherent to the prize regardless who is chosen, said Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, a professor at Indiana University who has written about the prize’s history.

“The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize has always been fraught with peril, subject to the current drift of public opinion and political and nationalistic motives and prejudices,” Dr. Gunderman said.

“Like all human judgments, the Nobel committee’s decisions are prone to error,” he said. “It should do the best it can and then live with the consequences.”

Here are some other notably contentious Nobel Peace Prize nominees and winners:

Joseph Stalin was nominated for a Nobel prize in 1945 and in 1948.
Joseph Stalin was nominated for a Nobel prize in 1945 and in 1948.Credit…Keystone/Getty Images

Adolf Hitler was nominated in 1939 by a member of Sweden’s Parliament, E.G.C. Brandt, who apparently meant it as a satire against the leader of Nazi Germany, and never intended the choice to be seriously considered. But the nomination created such outrage that it was quickly withdrawn.

Joseph Stalin, Hitler’s nemesis and the leader of the Soviet Communist Party, was nominated twice — in 1945 and 1948 — for his efforts to end World War II. Despite Stalin’s murderous purges and pogroms, those nominations were taken in earnest.

Secretary of State Cordell Hull in 1939.
Secretary of State Cordell Hull in 1939.Credit…Associated Press

The American statesmen Cordell Hull won in 1945 for his role in establishing the United Nations. Six years earlier, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of state, he took steps that led Roosevelt to deny permission for 950 Jewish refugees aboard the liner St. Louis, fleeing Nazi persecution, to seek asylum in the United States.

Many of the passengers on the trip, known as the Voyage of the Damned, later died in the Holocaust.

Yasir Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.
Yasir Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.Credit…Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization shared the 1994 prize with the Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres for the Oslo Accords, still widely regarded as the basis for a peace process. But many critics assailed the choice of Mr. Arafat because of his role in acts of terrorism against Israelis.

Le Duc Tho, center left, and Henry Kissinger, center right, during a meeting days before signing a cease-fire agreement in 1973.
Le Duc Tho, center left, and Henry Kissinger, center right, during a meeting days before signing a cease-fire agreement in 1973.Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The 1973 prize was awarded to Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and the North Vietnam statesman Le Duc Tho for having negotiated a cease-fire in the Vietnam War.

Many critics of the war — which would not be over for two more years — ridiculed the choice of Mr. Kissinger, and his Vietnamese counterpart refused to accept the award on grounds that the United States had violated the cease-fire.

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Peace Prize. She received it in 1991, not 1994.In Collecting Nobel Prize, Ethiopia’s Leader Plans to Sidestep MediaAung San Suu Kyi Defends Myanmar Against Rohingya Genocide AccusationsSurprise Nobel for Obama Stirs Praise and Doubts

“A short reflection from my observations in Western Oromia” March 4, 2020

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“A short reflection from my observations in Western Oromia”
__________________________________
“Over the last 10 days, during a travel for academic purposes, I got a chance to visit some districts in Western Oromia, mainly West Shawa and East Wallaga zones but talked to people from West and Qellam Wallaga zones as well.
1) In contrast to what a high-level government official tried to defend on Aljazeera (Upfront program) last month, internet access is blocked beginning from 5 km to the West of Addis Ababa all up to Qellam Wallaga, bordering Gambella region. Universities, government offices, private institutions and individuals are victims of this internet blackout/cut off.
2) Telephone: There is no any telephone access in all the four zones of Wallaga except Nekemte town. People cannot communicate news of critical/urgent matters including death of family members.
3) Security: The society lives under a state of anarchism in what is traditionally called “where elephants fight, only the grass suffers”. Insurgency and counter-insurgency have destabilised the region putting the civilians amidst despair, frustration, uncertainty and insecurity. Killings, disappearance, detention and destruction of properties have been used as mechanisms of intimidation, punishment and psychological torture.
4) Food insecurity, economic crisis foreseen: Under contexts of crisis like this, it is not difficult to imagine how business and agriculture are affected. Productive sector of the population (youth) either flee to other places in fear of detention and military crackdown or already joined insurgents. OR those capable of cultivating their farms are not able to do so because of insecurity. Therefore, poverty, economic crisis and famine are not far from happening.

What should be done?
First and foremost, conflicting parties should value the life of the citizens and come to negotiating table. There has never been, and can never be possible to win a war by destroying the mass.”
Asebe Regassa

OROMIA (ETHIOPIA): URGENT ACTION: OROMO OPPOSITION LEADER AT RISK OF TORTURE March 3, 2020

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URGENT ACTION: OROMO OPPOSITION LEADER AT RISK OF TORTURE

Ethiopian authorities detained the leader of the Oromo Liberation Front, Abdi Regassa, on 29 February 2020. He was held incommunicado for 72 hours and remains imprisoned without charges. Mr Abdi Regassa has been held in detention for reasons that remain unknown. He has not been informed of the charges against him.

Under international human rights standards, anyone who is arrested or detained must be informed of the reasons why they are being deprived of their liberty at the time of their arrest. International standards also require that individuals are brought before a judge promptly after arrest or detention. However, based on the information available to Advocacy for Oromia, as of 29 February the authorities had not formally informed Mr Abdi Regassa of the grounds for his detention nor had they brought him before a court.

Furthermore, authorities did not provide Mr Abdi with access to his family or a phone call until 72 hours after his detention. People held in custody are entitled to notify a third person that they have been detained. Ethiopian authorities have imprisoned, harassed and intimidated Oromo politicians and activists for more than fifteen decades due to their political activism. We believe that such detention without access to the outside world facilitates torture.

The Ethiopian security forces picked Mr Abdi from his home after he returned home with the OLF leadership on Sept 15, 2018. Mr Abdi is a selfless man who chose to give all he has for Oromo cause for more than thirty years. Advocacy for Oromia affirms Mr Abdi Regassa is a prisoner of conscience who was imprisoned solely for remains committed to the Oromo cause.

Reports suggest he may have been tortured while in detention, something Advocacy for Oromia has not been able to verify in a context where the judiciary are fully controlled by the Executive. Advocacy for Oromia requests the government to unconditional release and access to legal counsel and family while in custody. Mr Abdi doesn’t belong in jail. Mr Abdi is an Oromo hero; he is the future of Oromo leadership.

PLEASE TAKE ACTION

Mass mobilisation is needed to ensure that the Ethiopian authorities release him, and refrain from potentially taking actions that may amount to ill-treatment against him. Please show your SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT for him in every way you can: changing your social media profile, and campaigning for justice. If you are in Oromia, show up at the police station. Be peaceful. Have his picture. Demand his release. If you are elsewhere, use your social media platforms and demand that justice be done.

Free Abdi Ragassa, now!

Ethiopia: Police must account for missing Oromo opposition leader

Amnesty International, 3 March 2020

The police must account for the whereabouts of Abdi Regassa – a senior member of the opposition political party Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – who remains missing after security officers in Addis Ababa broke into his home and arrested him alongside eight other party members on 29 February.

The other eight party members were released later the same day, but Abdi Regassa was not. He may have been subjected to enforced disappearance and is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. The police have denied they are still holding him according to his lawyer and family members.The police deny that they have him yet he was last seen in their custody and there is no evidence that he has been released. Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

“Abdi Regassa’s family and lawyers have spent the last couple of days frantically searching police stations and detention centres across Addis Ababa in an attempt to locate him,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“The police deny that they have him yet he was last seen in their custody and there is no evidence that he has been released. This is understandably causing his family considerable anxiety and distress.”The authorities must come clean and immediately disclose his whereabouts and allow him access to his family and lawyer. Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

In the early hours of 29 February, security officers stormed a guest house in the southern part of Addis Ababa where five senior members of the OLF and four supporters were staying. All nine were arrested and taken to the local police station.

The OLF members were then split into two groups; the first group of six were moved to the Addis Ababa Police Commission and eventually released within 24 hours of arrest.

The second group of three, comprising Abdi Regassa and Mikael Gobena, both members of OLF’s Executive Committee, and Kenessa Ayana, a member of OLF’s Central Committee, were taken to an unmarked unofficial detention compound around the 6 Kilo area in Addis Ababa. While Mikael Gobena and Kenessa Ayana were released within 24 hours of arrest, the police continued to detain Abdi Regassa, the two told Amnesty International.The Ethiopian authorities must stop arbitrarily arresting and detaining opposition figures. They must immediately disclose Abdi Regassa’s whereabouts, charge him with a recognisable crime under the law or release him without further delay. Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

The police confiscated the mobile phones, driving licenses, passports and bank ATM cards of all the OLF members before releasing them, leaving them stranded.

“The Ethiopian authorities must stop arbitrarily arresting and detaining opposition figures. They must immediately disclose Abdi Regassa’s whereabouts, charge him with a recognisable crime under the law or release him without further delay,” said Seif Magango.

Jaal #Abdii_Ragaasaa waajjira Poolisii Burrayuu Aanaa 3 ( kan Buufata Fayyaa Burraayuu cinaatti argamutti) hidhamee jira. Mana murtiitti dhieesuunis beelama guyyaa 14 itti gaafatanii jiru.

Dhimma Jaal Abdii Ragaasaa sobaan yakkuun kallatiin kan qabate Dambalaash G/Mikaaelfi Shimalis Abdiisaa ta’uu dubatamaa jira. Qaamni qoratus Komishini Poolisii Oromiyaarraa kan nama Araarsaa Mardaasaan ramadame akka ta”e dha.

Ajajaan Poolisii Burraayuu aanaa 3 kan ta’e I/A/Inspeekteraa Koodee jedhamu, kallatiin hidhamtoota fannisee dararuutti himatu namooti kananaan dura hidhamanii turan.

Namni kuniifi Saajiin Hayilee namni jedhamu qabannaa hidhamtootaa irratti Komishiner Solomoon Taadasaa yeroo darbe ajjeefame waliin akka wal dhabaa turaniifi ajaja isaa malee nama hidhanii dararaa akka turan Uummata Burraayyuutu ragaa baha.

Yeroo ammaa kana Magaalaan Buraayyuu Gantaanamoo mootummaa Bilxiginnaa jedhamuun yaamamaa jirti.

ኦሮሞ ወዳጅ የለውም!!

ዛሬ ሰንበት March 1 2020 የOLF አመራር አባላትን የመታሰር ዜና ሰምቼ አዝኜ ዋልኩ። ይህ ድርጊት የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት በOLF ጉዳይ ስጋት እና ፍርሃት ውስጥ እንደገባ ጠቁሞኛል። ሌላ ምንም ትርጉም ሊሰጠኝ አልቻለም።

አብዲ ረጋሳ፣ ሚካኤል ቦረን፣ የዲ፣ ዶክተር ሽጉጥ ገለታ እና ከኒሳ አያናን በአካል አውቃቸዋለሁ። ምርጥ ጉዋደኞቼም ናቸው። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ የወለዳቸው ጀግና ታጋዮች መሆናቸውንም አውቃለሁ። ማለትም ሙሉ ህይወታቸውን ለኦሮሞ ህዝብ የሰዉ ናቸው። ገመቹ አለምክንያት ሰባት ወራት መታሰሩን ስናስብ ነገሩ ያሳስባል።

ለአብነት ሚካኤል ቦረን ወያኔ ስልጣን ላይ እያለ ከኤርትራ እየተወረወረ – ኦሮሚያ ገብቶ ተልእኮ የሚፈጽም “ጀግና” እንደነበር አውቃለሁ።

“ሚካኤልን እጁን ይዘው ወደ እስር ቤት ወሰዱት” የሚል ዜና ስሰማ ተደብቄ ማቀርቀሬን አልደብቅም። ሚካኤል ማንም እጁን ይዞ እስር ቤት የሚልከው ታጋይ አልነበረም።

የከኒሳ አያና ታሪክ የተለየ ነው። ሙሉ መጽሃፍ ይወጣዋል። የዲ እና ዶክተር ሽጉጥ ህይወታቸው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ክብር ሆኖ ኖሮአል። የሚያውቅ ያውቀዋል።

እንዲህ ያሉ ታጋዮች እንደ በግ እየተጎተቱ ሲታሰሩ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ እንደ ሽኮኮ ጸሎት ዝምታውን እና ትካዜውን ከቀጠለ የመደፈር ዳርቻውን ያጣል። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ቢተባበር ምንም ነገር ማድረግ እየቻለ ልቡ ተከፋፍሎ ማየትን የመሰለ አሰቃቂ ነገር የለም።

አዲሱ አረጋ (ነፍጠኛን ለማስደሰት) አምቦ ላይ እኔን ሲሰድብ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ኦሮሚያን ያንቀጠቀጠ አስደንጋጭ ምላሽ እንደሰጠው ይታወሳል። በአንጻሩ ኮሎኔል ገመቹ አያና ሲታሰር ግን የኦሮሞ ዝምታ አስደንግጦኛል። አሳፍሮኛል። ከገመቹ እና ከሚካኤል ቦረን ጋር ስወዳደር እኔ ባዶ ነኝ። ከአብዲ ረጋሳ እና ከከኒሳ ጋር ስወዳደር እኔ ማንም አይደለሁም። እነዚህ (ታሰሩ – ተፈቱ) የሚባሉ ታጋዮች በአስተዋጾአቸው ከጃዋር መሃመድ ወይም ከበቀለ ገርባ በላይ እንጂ በታች አይደሉም። በአጋጣሚ ግን ስማቸው ብዙም ሳይታወቅ ቆይቶ ሊሆን ይችላል።

ኦሮሞ የራሱን ጀግኖች ካላከበረ በተመሳሳይ የአገዛዝ አዙሪት ውስጥ መሽከርከሩ ሊቀጥል እንደሚችል ይሰማኛል!

ብታምኑም ባታምኑም በዚህ ዘመን የኦሮሞ ህዝብ በፕላኔታችን ላይ “ወዳጅ አገር” የለውም። የኦሮሞ ወዳጅ ራሱ ኦሮሞ ብቻ ነው። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ቀንደኛ ጠላት ደግሞ “የከርሰ ምድር’ እና “የከርሰ ሰማይ” ሃብቱ ነው።

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the Brutal Killing of Defenseless Oromos in Wallagga and Gujii Zones Of Oromia Regional State February 2, 2020

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Ethiopia: An Open Letter to the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the Brutal Killing of Defenseless Oromos in Wallagga and Gujii Zones Of Oromia Regional State

The HRLHA

February l, 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

The Human Rights League Of the Horn Of Africa (HRLHA) is writing this letter out Of a grave concern about the brutal killings of defenseless Oromos in Wallagga and Gujji in the Western and Southern parts of Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia that have occurred for over a year since the government deployed federal military under the undeclared command post to those zones.

The HRLHA has started receiving daily reports from its informants of extrajudicial killings, rapes, torture, beatings, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and destruction of property that have happened and been reported in the past eight months in Wallagga and Gujji zones of Oromia. The sadistic brutal murdering of innocent Oromos indiscriminately in Wallagga and Gujji zones of Oromia Regional State on street are very disheartening not only to the families of the deceased but equally to all Oromo nationals and other citizens across the country.

Regarding the human rights abuses in Wallagga and Gujji zones, the HRLHA has written a letter to higher Officials at both federal and regional levels about its concerns and urged them to address the threatening human rights situation in the ‘Command Post’ zones before it is too late. Yet, no significant action has been taken up till now to improve the fragile human rights situation in those areas. HRLHA has reported several times on Human rights infringements in those zones and urged the government to halt using excessive force against the civilians by the Oromia regional special force and federal military.

Dear Prime Minister,

The recent reports coming from West Wallagga zone indicate the deteriorating security and human rights abuse of civilians is worse than before; and now, since telephone and internet network services have been shut down on January 04, 2020, there has been an effective cover up of horrific human rights violations in Wallagga Zone.

The internet and telephone shutdown in Wallagga by the government makes the human rights situation more complicated. Internet and telephone shutdown curb the freedom of the press, an important component of freedom of speech and expression. The shutdown also violated the Ethiopian constitution. After the shutdown of communication in Wallagga, it is being widely reported by different media that the federal military, for which you are commander-in-chief, is perpetrating extra-judicial killings, mass arrests, forced displacements, and forced disappearance of civilians.

Dear Prime Minister,

Why would innocent Wallagga and Gujji Oromos be murdered on a regular basis by federal military for over a year on the streets and in their homes? Since you are the commander in Chief and the only custodian of Ethiopians including the Oromo nation constitutionally, you ought to give the answer to the public. The worry is that since the shutdown of communications from Wallagga zone beginning on January 4, 2020, the intensity of brutality has escalated and over 150 Oromos were cold-bloodedly killed- 60 innocent Oromos were massacred in one day and dumped in Anfillo district. Fearing further executions by the federal military, Other thousands are migrating to neighboring region (Gambela) and country (South Sudan) leaving their livelihoods behind. Dear prime Minister, Today, many Oromo youths, the Qeerroos and Qarrees who had contributed to fighting against injustice in Ethiopia and brought change in the country are being detained by your government security on the pretext Of supporting opposition political organizations. Many of the detainees are charged under the Ethiopian draconian anti-terrorist proclamation of 2009. Charging the detainees with the 2009 anti-terrorist proclamation contradicts your promises in speeches you made on different stages including at the Ethiopian parliament meeting. The HRLHA would like to State clearly to your government that What has been happening at your government presently is a clear indication where the state has failed to protect and insure the basic and fundamental rights of the people enshrined in Ethiopian constitution and international human rights standards that Ethiopia is signatory. Instead, it has sponsored crimes against humanity. The Ethiopian government completely denies such reports of human rights abuses under command post operations claiming that the command post is in place only “to maintain peace and order” where the Oromo Liberation Army is operating. The Oromo Liberation army is Operating in Wallagga and Guji zones of Oromia after the negotiation has failed to disarm peacefully. However, there has been no independent investigation and media coverage that verified governments claim.

Related from Oromian Economist sources:-

Ethiopia’s week of human rights caution and kidnap, insecurity protests, Africa News

AI: The return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters is a worrying signal in Ethiopia January 28, 2020

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Ethiopia: Authorities crack down on opposition supporters with mass arrests

27 January 2020

Amnesty International has confirmed that at least 75 supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) were arrested over the weekend from various places in different parts of Oromia Regional State, as Ethiopian authorities intensify the crackdown on dissenting political views ahead of the general elections.The return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters is a worrying signal in Ethiopia. Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa

“The return of mass arrests of opposition activists and supporters is a worrying signal in Ethiopia. These sweeping arrests risk undermining the rights to freedom of expression and association ahead of the 2020 elections,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

Arrests took place across the state including in Finchawa town in West Guji Zone of Oromia, and Shambu town in Horo-Guduru Wallaga Zone of Oromia.These sweeping arrests risk undermining the rights to freedom of expression and association ahead of the 2020 elections. Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa

Among those arrested was Chaltu Takele, a prominent political activist. Police broke into her parents’ home in Shambu town, Horo-Guduru Wellaga at 5am on 26 January and arrested her. She is detained at the Shambu Police Station.

Chaltu Takele spent more than eight years in prison between 2008 and 2016 after being accused of being a member of the Oromo Liberation Front, which the Ethiopian government had listed as a “terrorist organization”. The Ethiopian Parliament delisted OLF and other political opposition groups from being proscribed terrorist groups in 2018. Chaltu was also arrested and briefly detained in 2017, and again 2019 while she was pregnant.

The weekend arrests are the latest in a long line of mass arrests of opposition activists. The Ethiopian police and military have been rounding up people for “rehabilitation training” since February 2019. After spending time in various military and police detention centres, most were released between September and November 2019.

Related from Oromian Economist Sources:-

Rakkoo nageenya Oromiyaa keessaa balaaleffachuuf hawaasni Oromoo Waashingitan DCtti hiriira mormii gaggeessan

የፍትህ ሰቆቃ – በኢትዮጵያ ሲፈሙ በነበሩ የሰብዓዊ መብት ጥሰቶች ዙሪያ የተሰራ ዶክመንተሪ Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s crime against humanity, documentary December 12, 2018

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Oromia: Kantiibaa Mooyyalee: “Magaala Mooyyalee keessaa uummanni ganda afurii buqqa’eera”, BBC Afaan Oromoo November 19, 2018

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“Magaala Mooyyalee keessaa uummanni ganda afurii buqqa’eera”, BBC Afaan Oromoo,  16 Sadaasa 2018

Rakkoo nageenyaa magaalaa Mooyyalee keessatti Dilbata darbee eegalee lubbuun namootaa akka darbuufi baayyeenis akka madaa’aniif sababa ta’e hanga har’aatti tasgabbii waara’aa hin arganne.

Jiraataan maagaalichaa tokko haalli magaalattiin itti jirtu BBC Afaan Oromootti akka himanitti, sochiin daldalaafi hojiin hedduu hin mullatu.

Namoonni gara waaree boodaa gadi ba’ani miillaan wayita deeman mullatan malee konkolaataafi baajaajiin socho’aa akka hin jirre dubbata jiraataan kun.

Guyyoota darbanirra har’a nagaadha jedhaniyyu jiraataan kun gara saatii afuriitti humni ittisaa nama tokkotti dhukaasanii madeessaniiru jedha.

Waraanni ittisa biyyaa baay’inaan daandiirratti mullachuu himanii jiraattonni gandoota Qabbanaa, Maddoo Miigoo, Shawaa Barrii, Barbaree, Ganda 01 guutummaan guutuutti buqqa’aniiru jedhe jirataan magaalaa Mooyyalee kun.

Jiraataan kun humni ittisa biyyaa guyyaa kaleessaa uummata keenya haadhaa oole jedhee uummanni komee kaasuus dubbateera. Akka ragaatti kan uummanni dhiyeesses namoonni lama jalaa du’uu akka ta’e ibseera jiraataan kun.

Kantiibaan magaalaa Mooyyalee Obbo Fugicha Dheenge kaleessa galgala irraa eegalee dhukaasni akka hin jirre dubbatanii, “Magaala Mooyyalee keessaa uummatni ganda afurii buqqa’eera. Namootni buqqa’an mootummaadhaan deeggaramaa hin jiran” jedhan.

Lubbuun namootaa hedduu darbuu, kaan madaa’uu akkasumas qabeenyi gubachuu dubbatanii miidhaan qaqabe hanga kanaati jedhanii gabaasuudhaaf garuu koreen dura qoratee adda baasuu qaba jedhan Obbo Fugichaan.

Kantiibaan Mooyyalee kun akka jedhanitti meeshaa humni poolisii Addaa naannoo Somaalee hidhatan kun ciccimaa waan ta’eefis, humni ittisa biyyaa hanga barbaadameen gidduu seenee tasgabeessuun hin milkoofne jedhaniiru.

Rakkoon kun kan baroota darban furmaata osoo argachuu malanii awwaalamanii turanitu hanga guyyaa harraatti rakkoo nageenyaa ta’ee waggaa darbe irraa kaasee magaalattiin nagaan irraa fagaachuu dubbatan.

Kana furuudhaaf, tokkummaadhaan ta’anii hojjenaan furmaata ni argama jedhanii, yeroo ammaa kana ammoo namoota buqqa’aniif deggersa nyaataafi qorichaa waan barbaachisuf qaamni danda’u akka nuuf birmatu jechuun gaafataniiru.

Waldhabdee erga gaafa Dilbataa eegale as lubbuun namoota hedduu darbeera, madoonis ni jiru.

‘Haleellaa Mooyyaleetti Ta’een Lubbuun Namoota 4 Darbeera’ Hospitaala Mooyyalee, VOA AFAAN OROMOO

OMN, Arreessa Boorana! Liibani haga Mooyyale! 

Ethiopia: Shocking news of the unfolding TPLF’s corruption, crimes and political scandal November 14, 2018

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Shocking news of the unfolding TPLF’s corruption, crimes and political scandal in Ethiopia 

Recap of Monday’s shocking news of the unfolding TPLF’s corruption, crimes and political scandal in #Ethiopia via Mohammed Ademo, Executive director of Oromia Broadcast Network (OBN) :

♦ 63 suspects accused of corruption and human rights abuses appeared in court on Monday. 27 of the detainees, including former METEC deputy CEO B/Gen. Tena Kurunde, are accused of years of embezzlement at the state-owned conglomerate; whereas 36 are former officials at the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), federal and Addis Ababa police officers, and prison administration officials implicated in egregious rights violations.

♦- Per Addis Fortune, one of the suspects brought before the judge today was a spouse of Yared Zerihun, former deputy head of NISS. She’s accused of (attempt) to help her husband flee arrest.

♦- A federal judge on Monday evening denied all of the suspects the right to bail. Investigators were granted 14 days to finish investigation/file charges. More arrests (reportedly higher up the chain) are expected in the days (and weeks) ahead.

♦- Ethiopia’s Attorney General @BerhanuTsegaye alleges senior leaders of NISS orchestrated the Meskel Square plot to kill PM Abiy Ahmed in June using paid Oromo agents. Pretext: The killing of the PM, an ethnic Oromo, by an Oromo would give the impression that his own constituents did not support him.

♦- A five-month long investigation by the AG’s office uncovered 7 CIA blacksite-style secret prisons (villas and houses) across Addis Ababa that were used by NISS agents to torture victims —particularly terrorism suspects and political opponents — in order to extract false confessions.

♦- Opposition party members were tortured at the 7 secret dungeons until they withdrew their memberships. Those who refused were severely beaten. Some died from the torture. Suspects were forced to confess to owning illegal weapons and to sign documents admitting to various crimes.

♦- Torture methods: Electric shock, pulling male genitals with pins or hanging bottle waters on them, rape, hanging suspects on a tree and beating them, tying naked suspects to trees and leaving them in the forest overnight, waterboarding, pulling fingernails, putting pen in suspects noses, etc.

♦- Suspects were held alongside wild beasts. Female interrogators peed on the faces of male suspects. Detainees were routinely forced to drink a pee and gang raped. Victims were denied medical attention for life threatening injuries. Some were amputated, paralyzed as a result.

♦- On METEC: internal and external procurement, $2 billions worth in 6yrs, made without any formal bidding. Traffickers, who are relatives of government officials and who were paid commission, intervened in procurement decisions at times demanding and forcing a 400 % price increase.

♦- METEC imported used cranes from Singapore and China without any bidding (ጨረታ). One of the five cranes is now being used by an individual. Individuals, companies and merchants known as “affiliates” were routinely called by phone to purchase materials at highly inflated prices.

♦- METEC purchased two old ships valued at $3.3 million from Ethiopian Shipping Lines at a reduced price…to use the ships to transport heavy metals. It renovated the ships at the cost of 513 million birr. But the ships may have been used to transport weapons and other contraband between Somalia and Iran.

♦- The Ethiopian flag bearing ships apparently had temporary permits only to move between ports for maintenance. Yet they made several unauthorized and illegal voyages, including to China, for unknown missions. METEC eventually sold the ships for $2.6 million but the money was never deposited into the company’s corporate account.

♦- METEC allegedly purchased a number of airplanes without any formal bid. The private rides were used by government officials, primarily METEC chair Gen. Kinfe Dagnew. At least one of the airplane is now untraceable. The extravagant purchase left the state-owned corporation at least 24 million birr in the red.

♦- In sum, the detained METEC officials are suspected of money laundering, illegal hotel purchase, organized corruption and other grand thefts. In court, the suspects reportedly complained they were arrested without a court warrant after being called to attend a meeting. During a subsequent operation, police recovered bombs, other weapons, house deeds and car titles. Many incl. Kinfe are still on the loose.

*Folks, this is but the tip of the iceberg of the heinous rights abuses, grand national theft and institutionalized robbery. More scary, mind-numbing and dizzying details expected to come to light as the investigation unfolds. Buckle up..!

More from Oromian Economist sources:-

Dokumantarrii Addaa gocha Malaamaltummaa hooggantoonni METEC raawwatan kan agarsiisuu dhiyaachaa jira Daawwadhaa.
OBN Sagalee Uummataa!



Over 40 officials of corruption riddled METEC, members of intelligence under arrest

Meejar Jenaraal Kinfee Daanyaw to’annoo jala oolanii Finfinnee dhufaa jiru, BBC AFAAN OOROMOO

Meejer Jeneraal Kinfee Daanyew

Daarektarri Olaanaa duraanii Korporeeshinii Sibiilaafi Injiinaringii (MeTEC) Meejar Janaraal Kinfee Daanyaw to’annaa jala oolan.

Erga to’annaa jala oolfamanii booda gara Finfinnee fidamuu isaanii miidiyaan biyya keessaa gabaasanii jiru.

Aanga’aan kun naannoo Tigiraay bakka Humaraa jedhamutti wayita to’annoo jala oolchan miidiyaan biyyaalessaa ETV’n kallattiin tamsaasee jira.

Hojii Korporeeshinichaa waliin walqabateen kan shakkaman Daarekteerichi gama Lixa Tigiraayitti kan argamtu Baataar bakka jedhamtutti tumsa hawwaasaafi humna ittisaatiin ture kan to’annaa jala oolan.

Guyyaa kaleessaa Abbaan Alangaa Mootummaa Federaalaa saamicha maallaqaa guddaatiin kan shakkaman gaggeessitoota ol aanoo MeTEC  namoota 27 akkasumas ogeessota to’annoo jala oolfamuu ibsa kennee ture.

Presentational grey line

Akka Abbaan Alangaa Federaalaa Kaleessa jedhetti ‘METEC’ birrii biiliyoona 37 oliin dorgommii caalbaasii malee biyya alaatii bittaa raawwateera.

Adeemsi bittaa kun hariiroo faayidaa dhuunfaafi firummaan kan raawwatame ta’uus himaniiru.

Bittaan kun gatii meeshaalee hanga dachaa 400tti guddisuun kan raawwatame ta’uus qorannoon argamuu himaniiru.

Bittaan biyya keessaas dhaabbilee hoogganoota ‘METEC’ waliin hidhata michummaa fi firummaa qaban irraa caal-baasii malee raawwatame jedhan Obbo Birhaanuun.

Dooniiwwan lama Abbaay fi Andinnat jedhaman waggoota baay’eef tajaajiluu isaaniirraa kan ka’e faayidaa kennuu hin qaban jedhamee dhaabbata biyya alaaf wayita gurguramuf jedhutti ‘METEC’ sibiila dooniiwanii caccabsee fayyadamuuf gaaffii dhiyeessee dooniiwwan lamaan bituu himaniiru.

Boodas dooniwwan kanneen caccabsee sibila isaa itti fayyadamuu dhiisuun dooniwwan kanaan hojii daldalaa seeraan alaa hojjechuun maallaqa doolaara kuma dhibba shan galii argatullee maallaqichi mootummaaf galii hin taanes jedhaniiru.

Kana malees bittaawwan xiyyaaraa fi hoteelootaa irrattis yakkawwan hojjetamusaani abbaan alangaa federaalaa himan.

Dhaabbatichi xiyyaara tajaajilaa ala ta’an shan kaampanii biyya Israa’el irraa bitee Afran isaanii hojiin ala ta’anii dhaabatani kan jiran yoo ta’u tokko eessa akka jiru hin beekamu jedhan Obbo Birhaanuun.

Yakkawwan malaammaltumaa kunneenin walqabatees namootni 27 to’annoo jal oolaniiru jedhan.

Yakkawwan kunneenin walqabate shakkamtootni biyya keessatti dhokatan fi gara biyya biraatti baqatanis ni jiru kan jedhan Obbo Birhaanu Tsagaaye hojiin namoota kunneen to’annoo jala oolchus hojjetamaa jira jedhan.

Kanneen biyya keessa bakka garagaraa dhokatanii jiranis to’annoo jala akka oolfaman himaniiru.

Kan biyya alaatti argaman to’annoo jala oolchuuf biyyaalee keessa jiran waliin dubbataa jirra, biyyaaleenis dabarsanii nuuf kennuuf waadaa galaniiru jedhan Obbo Birhaanuu Tsagaaye.

Yakkawwan kunneenin walqabatee konkolaataawwan, kaartaan manaa, eyyamawwan daldalaa, meeshaaleen waraanaa fi sanadootni biroos to’annoo jala oolaniiru jedhan.

To’annaa jala oolun namoota kunneeni dhimma sabummaa namootaa walin hidhata kan hin qabne akka ta’es Obbo Birhaanu Tsagaaye himaniiru.

Yakkamtoota kanneen qabanii seeratti dhiyeessuuf hawaasni akka tumsus gaafatanii jiru.

Ethiopia Violence A Concern Despite Reform Promises, – Human Rights Watch August 16, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia Violence A Concern Despite Reform Promises

Government Should Address Killings in Somali and Oromia Regions



Read Related Articles from Oromian Economist  sources:

Ethiopia: Abusive police unit must be stopped, – Amnesty  International

The spectre haunting Ethiopia: Unbridled torture, impunity in Somali region,– The East African

 

Ethiopia: At least 37 people killed and more than 44 wounded after attack by the Liyu police in at least three separate localities in Eastern Hararghe zone of the Oromia State. Over 30,000 Oromos displaced from Djibouti.August 13, 2018,  Oromian Economist

HARARHGE :
This week at least 50 people have been killed and tens of thousands are displaced and are once again facing catastrophic situations in East Hararghe zone. They need different humanitarian support. Among these a top urgent is medical support. I demand Federal Ministry of Health and Oromia Regional Health Bureau to provide immediate medical assistance to those injured and internally displaced in different districts of East Hararghe Zone of Oromia National Regional State. – Oromo Federalist Congress

The US State Department has accused Ethiopia of serious violations of human rights April 20, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

 

 The US State Department has accused Ethiopia of serious violations of human rights


Breaking/Ethiopia Latest: The US State Department has accused Ethiopia of serious violations of human rights


(OiPlatform, April 20, 2018): The United States State Department report has accused Ethiopia of serious violations of human rights.  According to the report, “arbitrary deprivation of life, disappearances, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by security forces; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention by security forces; denial of a fair public trial; infringement of privacy rights; restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, internet, assembly, association, and movement are some of the most significant human rights issues in the country. The report underlines that human rights violators act with impunity: “The government generally did not take steps to prosecute or otherwise punish officials who committed human rights abuses…. Impunity was a problem; there was an extremely limited number of prosecutions of security force members or officials for human rights abuses during the year.”

The Department had also accused Ethiopia of similar violations in its report published in March 2017. In that report, it was indicated that Arbitrary Deprivation of Life and other unlawful or politically motivated killings, disappearance, torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary arrest or detention, denial of fair public trial, arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, freedom of speech and press, freedom of movement, internally displaced persons, protection of refugees, and stateless persons, corruption and lack of transparency in government etc were some of the major problems in the country.

 

On April 10, 2018, the US Congress passed a resolution (Resolution 128) without objections calling for respect for human rights, rule of law and democracy in Ethiopia.  In summary, the resolution calls for “lifting of the state of emergency; ending the use of excessive force by security forces; investigating the killings and excessive use of force that took place as a result of protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions; releasing dissidents, activists, and journalists who have been imprisoned for exercising constitutional rights;…” The resolution also calls on the government “to repeal proclamations that can be used to harass or prohibit funding for organizations that investigate human rights violations, engage in peaceful political dissent, or advocate for greater political freedoms; prohibit those displaced from their land from seeking judicial redress; permit the detention of peaceful protesters and political opponents who legally exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association; and limit peaceful nonprofit operations in Ethiopia.” The resolution also urges: “(1) protesters in Ethiopia to refrain from violence and from encouragement or acceptance of violence in demonstrations, and (2) all armed factions to cease their conflict with the Ethiopian government and engage in peaceful negotiations.”

 

Human Rights groups have been highlighting the dire human rights conditions in Ethiopia. In its 2017/2018 report Amnesty International found out that Torture and other ill-treatment, Arbitrary arrests and detentions, Unfair trials, restriction on Freedom of expression, Extrajudicial executions, Impunity of the police and army.

 

Human Rights Watch also, said, the brutality of security forces, forced displacement, lack of freedom of expression and association, the prevalence of torture and arbitrary detention, are some of the major problems that Ethiopians face in the hand of their own government.

 

Ethiopia has just elected a new prime minister who is from Oromo, the hotbed of the protests in the past three years. The new prime minister promised change. On April 19, 2018, the prime minister nominated his new cabinet members who were confirmed by the parliament. Six ministers from the predecessor have kept their ministerial positions, even though some of them were moved to another department.

Ethiopia: The US Congress unanimously passed H. Res 128 – Resolution Supporting Respect for Human Rights and inclusive governance in Ethiopia. H. Res 128 SAGALEE GUUTUUN DARBEE JIRA April 11, 2018

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U.S. Congress slaps Ethiopian govt with H. Res. 128, activists celebrate

ETHIOPIA

The United States Congress on Tuesday passed a human rights-centered resolution against the Ethiopian government amongst others calling for the respect of human rights and inclusive governance.

Despite a late pushback led by one Senator Inhofe – a known ally of the government, to get Congress to reject the resolution, the motion according to Congress records did not even need to be voted upon as it adopted by voice vote.

Republican Cloakroom

@RepCloakroom

H. Res. 128 was adopted by voice

Congressmen and women took turns to give brief comments about the importance of the resolution with each touching on the political crisis that has rocked the country. Others also pointed to the cost in terms of human lives and loss of properties as a result of government highhandedness and an ever-shrinking democratic space.

A Summary of the resolution by Congress policy website stated as follows:

“H. Res. 128 recognizes Ethiopia’s efforts to promote regional peace and security, and its partnership with the U.S. to combat terrorism, promote economic growth, and address health challenges. In addition, the resolution expresses concern about human rights abuses and contracting democratic space, and condemns excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces.

“The resolution calls on the Government of Ethiopia to lift the state of emergency, end the use of excessive force, release wrongfully imprisoned protesters, and improve transparency, while at the same time urging protesters and opposition groups to use peaceful discussion and avoid incitement.

“The resolution calls on the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development to cooperate and strengthen ties with Ethiopia, condemn human rights abuses, and promote accountability.”

Below are some reactions of activists on social media

Jawar Mohammed

@Jawar_Mohammed

Great News: US Congress passed

Fasika@Fasikini

Thank you Congressman Smith, Coffman, Bacon and all your colleagues who supported
Ethiopians are greatful to have you as an ally.@RepMikeCoffman @RepChrisSmith @RepDonBacon @EA_CivicCouncil @CohenOnAfrica @AmsaluKassaw @ras_araya @LulitMesfin1 @NeaminZeleke @hrw

Mohammed Ademo

@OPride

Breaking: Despite a last minute push by Sen. @JimInhofe @RepGaramendi and lobby, House Resolution 128 passed without objections. Congrats to @QabbaneeDC @Seenaoromia @OromoAdvocates and all other diaspora groups and allies— @oak_institute @hrw—who worked so hard on it. https://twitter.com/OPride/status/983755772587859968 

Engidu Woldie@EngiduWoldie

BREAKING
Congress passed H. Res. 128, a resolution for the respect of human rights and inclusive governance in

 

AI ETHIOPIA URGENT ACTION: TWO MEN HELD FOR CRITICIZING THE GOVERNMENT (ETHIOPIA: UA 62.18) March 20, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Amnesty International

URGENT ACTION: TWO MEN HELD FOR CRITICIZING THE GOVERNMENT (ETHIOPIA: UA 62.18)  03/19/2018


Seyoum Teshome and Taye Dendea were both arrested from their homes in March for publicly criticizing the Ethiopian government during the State of Emergency.

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Seyoum Teshome and Taye Dendea were both arrested from their homes in March for publicly criticizing the Ethiopian government during the State of Emergency.

1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

  • Calling on the Ethiopian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release both Seyoum and Taye, as they have been detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling on them to ensure that, pending their release, the two men are granted access to both their lawyers and families; and
  • Urging them to ensure that the provisions of the State of Emergency Proclamation comply with international and regional human rights law and standards.

Contact these two officials by 30 April, 2018:

Federal Attorney General
Getachew Ambaye
Jomo Kenyatta St.
P.O. Box 1370
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Email: justabr@ethionet.et
Salutation: Dear Attorney General                

Ambassador Kassa Tekleberhan
Embassy of Ethiopia
3506 International Drive, NW, Washington DC 20008
Tel: 202 364 1200
Email: ethiopia@ethiopianembassy.org
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION

Click here to let us know if you took action on this case! This is Urgent Action 62.18

Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the actions taken on each case—letters, emails, calls and tweets—and use that information in our advocacy.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

Eritrea to Ethiopia: Deal with your security crisis, stop chasing scapegoats. Africa News March 20, 2018

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Eritrea to Ethiopia: Deal with your security crisis, stop chasing scapegoats

ERITREA

Eritrea says Ethiopia must move to deal with its chronic internal security crisis instead of finding scapegoats from outside.

This is the position of Information Minister Yemane Gebremeskel in a response to an email query by the Bloomberg magazine. Ethiopian authorities were reported over the weekend to have said neighbouring Eritrea was partly to blame for its internal security headache.

“The regime is desperately trying to deflect attention from its intractable domestic crisis — of its own making — and find external scapegoats,” Yemane said describing the claims as false and one that did not merit a serious response.

The state-owned Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation late last week quoted the federal police chief as saying Eritrea was trying to destabilize the country by sponsoring anti-peace forces.

Ethiopia is currently under a six-month state of emergency imposed on February 16, 2018. It followed the resignation of Prime Minisiter Hailemariam Desalegn, barely 24-hours earlier.

The government said it was necessary in the wake of spreading violence across the country. The measure was controversially ratified by the parliament in early March in a vote fraught with claims of rigging.

It is not the first time that Ethiopia has accused Eritrea of such acts, neither is it the first time Eritrea is rejecting such claims. The two continue to trade blows over a border demarcation process which dates back to 2002.

Eritrea achieved independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after decades of armed struggle. In 1998, the two neighbouring countries fought a two-year long war over their disputed border which claimed the lives of at least 70,000.

The two countries have had tense relations as a peace deal signed in 2000 to end the war has never been fully implemented.

Ethiopia-Eritrea borderline tensions puts regional stability at risk – EU | Africanews http://www.africanews.com/2017/04/13/ethiopia-eritrea-borderline-tensions-puts-regional-stability-at-risk-eu/ 

Ethiopia-Eritrea borderline tensions puts regional stability at risk – EU

On April 13, 2002, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) communicated its decision to officially demarcate the border between the State …

africanews.com


 

Ethiopians online laud Oromia official detained for tough talk against military | Africanews. #MoyaleMassacre #OromoProtests March 16, 2018

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Ethiopians online laud Oromia official detained for tough talk against military

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopians on Twitter are reacting to the news on Thursday that a top official of the Oromia regional state had been detained by authorities for criticizing the army over recent killings in the town of Molaye.

Taye Dendea, a lawyer and head of the Oromia regional state’s justice bureau’s communication and PR department told the VOA Amharic service that he did not believe that the army’s killing of civilians in Molaye was a mistake.

Local media and online activists confirmed his arrest, stressing that he was not a stranger jails. He has previously served three and seven years on charges that he belonged to the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) during his varsity years between 2003 and 2016.

Ethiopian tweeps, meanwhile, continue to laud him for his firm stance on the security crisis that has rocked Oromia state amid a controversial February 16 nationwide state of emergency imposed ostensibly to quell spreading violence.

Taye Dendea a communication head for Oromia justice office, was arrested today. Taye is a renowned activist who has been in prison for 10 years before he was released in 2015.

has the heart of a lion. He spent a third of his life in prison but that didn’t stop him from speaking truth to power. He will not be cowed into silence. Release him and bring the perpetrators of the to justice.

Taye Dendea, head PR for justice bureau, is reportedly arrested. He was a show case of OPDO reforming. Taye had been arrested twice, suspected of being OLF member and served 3yrs & 7 yrs prison terms previously. in action in .

Freedom struggle obviously has prices like death, imprisonment & exile. But it is heart bleeding to see individuals like pay unfair toll of the price. 10+ yrs imprisonment & going back again?… Hey freedom I hope you really worth this.

*Ahm 😟
You know this federal republic is terminally ill when the Oromia region’s (the republic’s biggest bloc) justice bureau PR head is picked up by fed. security under the guise of SoE & the Oromia Media Network can’t say a beep in its mid day bulletin. Read ‘s lips

Pls read *Oromia Media Netwrok (🙈) as *Oromia Broadcasting Netwrok (OBN), which is the regional state’s broadcaster! (I didnt make that mistake, my fingers did).
😂😂😂

Oromo’s most fearless human rights defender, activist and OPDO official, has been detained by brutal regime in Addis. @hrw@amnesty

Under administration, once if you are political prisoner you will never set free rather u are recycled. 😠😧

Taye Dendana region Justice Bureau Communication Head arrested for 3rd time! He denounce the on interview with @VOAAmharic ! https://twitter.com/Soli_GM/status/974179284217720832 

The Addis Standard portal in its report on the arrest noted that this is the third time Taye has been detained.“It took Taye a total of 16 years to graduate with his first degree in Law before he joined the Oromia justice bureau in 2017,” the report added.

Under the rules of the Command Post, it is illegal to criticize the SOE. He is not the first Oromia state official to be picked. Reports indicate that deputy police commissioner of the state, chief administrator of East Hararghe and Mayor of the town of Nekemt, among others are in detention.

Another prominent person held by the authorities is blogger and lecturer, Seyoum Teshome, whose writings criticized the SOE. He is currently held at the Maekelawi prison in Addis Ababa – after a court gave police two weeks to establish a case against him.

The Moyale incident has led to a humanitarian situation in the border town with Kenya. Over 8,000 people – mostly women and children have fled to Kenya. The state-run EBC also confirmed that 39,000 people had been displaced.

 


Related from Oromian Economist Sources:

Hogganaan kominikeeshinii biiroo haqaa Oromiyaa obbo Taayyee Danda’a hidhaman.– BBC Afaan Oromoo, 15 Bitooteessa 2018

Obbo Taayyee Danda'a

Itti gaafatamaan Kominikeeshinii Biiroo Haqaa Oromiyaa Obbo Taayyee Danda’a har’a ganama hidhamuun dhagahame.

Namoonni argan BBC’tti akka dubbatanitti har’a ganama magaalaa Finfinnee kutaa magaalaa Gullallee naannawa mana jireenya isaanii Addisuu Gabayaa jedhamuuti poolisoota federaalaa hidhataniin to’annaa jala oolan.

Haati warraa isaanii addee Sintaayyoo Alamaayyoonis hidhamuu isaanii mirkaneessaniiru.

”Qabamuu isaa dhagaheera, eessa akka geessan hin beeku, Konkolaataan isaa karra irra dhaabatti ture, gaggeesseen biraa deebi’e.”

Ammaaf eessa akka geeffaman wanti beekame hin jiru.

Labsii Yeroo muddamaa keessatti ogeeyyiin Komunikeeshinii dhimma nageenyaa irratti miidiyaaleef ibsa akka hin kennine ni dhorka.

Haa ta’u malee, ammaaf sababa maaliin akka hidhaman wanti ifa ta’e hin jiru.

Obbo Taayyee Danda’aan dhiyeenya ajjeechaa Mooyyaleetti humnoonni waraanaa lammiilee nagaa irratti raawwatan miidiyaalee ala jiranif yeroo dubbatan biiroon isaanii dogongoraan raawwate jedhee akka hin amanne dubbataniiru.

Obbo Taayyee Danda’a kanaan duras yeroo barumsarra turanitti yeroo adda addaattii waggaa dheeraaf hidhaarra turan.

 

 


Obbo Taayyee Danda’aa Eessatti Akka Hidhaman Barbaannee Dhabne: Maatii.- VOA Afaan Oromoo

NEWS: ETHIOPIA SECURITY DETAIN COMMUNICATION AND PR HEAD OF OROMIA JUSTICE BUREAU, MOVE SIGNALS GROWING CRACKDOWN AGAINST THE REGION.- Addis Standard

Ethiopia: Human Rights Watch (HRW) World Report 2018 January 21, 2018

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 Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Attendees of Irreecha 2017 in Bishoftu, HRW 2018 world report.png

Attendees at the Irreecha festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on October 1, 2017. Irreecha is the most important festival for Ethiopia’s Oromo people. One year earlier at Irreecha hundreds died following security force mishandling of the large crowd. © 2017 Reuters /Tiksa

Ethiopia made little progress in 2017 on much-needed human rights reforms. Instead, it used a prolonged state of emergency, security force abuses, and repressive laws to continue suppressing basic rights and freedoms.

The 10-month state of emergency, first declared in October 2016, brought mass arrests, mistreatment in detention, and unreasonable limitations on freedom of assembly, expression, and association. While abusive and overly broad, the state of emergency gave the government a period of relative calm that it could have used to address grievances raised repeatedly by protesters.

However, the government did not address the human rights concerns that protesters raised, including the closing of political space, brutality of security forces, and forced displacement. Instead, authorities in late 2016 and 2017 announced anti- corruption reforms, cabinet reshuffles, a dialogue with what was left of opposition political parties, youth job creation, and commitments to entrench “good governance.”

Ethiopia continues to have a closed political space. The ruling coalition has 100 percent of federal and regional parliamentary seats. Broad restrictions on civil society and independent media, decimation of independent political parties, harassment and arbitrary detention of those who do not actively support the government, severely limited space for dissenting voices.

Despite repeated promises to investigate abuses, the government has not credibly done so, underscoring the need for international investigations. The government-affiliated Human Rights Commission is not sufficiently independent and its investigations consistently lack credibility.

Ethiopian government and security officials should act with restraint and take concrete steps to prevent injuries and deaths at this year’s Irreecha festival on October 1, 2017.

State of Emergency

Ethiopia spent much of 2017 under a state of emergency first imposed in October 2016 following a year of popular protests, renewed for four months in March, and lifted on August 4. Security forces responded to the protests with lethal force, killing over 1,ooo protesters and detaining tens of thousands more.

The state of emergency’s implementing directive prescribed draconian and overly broad restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and assembly across the country, and signaled an increasingly militarized response to the situation. The directive banned all protests without government permission and permitted arrest without court order in “a place assigned by the command post until the end of the state of emergency” and permitted “rehabilitation”—a euphemism for short-term detention that often involves forced physical exercise.

During the state of emergency military were deployed in much larger numbers across Oromia and Amhara regions, and security forces arbitrarily detained over 21,000 people in these “rehabilitation camps” according to government figures. Detainees reported harsh physical punishment and indoctrination in government policies. Places of detention included prisons, military camps, and other makeshift facilities. Some reported torture. Artists, politicians, and journalists were tried on politically motivated charges.

Dr. Merera Gudina, the chair of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), a legally registered political opposition party, was charged with “outrages against the constitution” in March. He joins many other major OFC members on trial on politically motivated charges, including deputy chairman Bekele Gerba. At time of writing, at least 8,000 people arrested during the state of emergency remain in detention, according to government figures.

Freedom of Expression and Association

The state tightly controls the media landscape, a reality exacerbated during the state of emergency, making it challenging for Ethiopians to access information that is independent of government perspectives. Many journalists are forced to choose between self-censorship, harassment and arrest, or exile. At least 85 journalists have fled into exile since 2010, including at least six in 2017.

Ethiopia: 2017 in numbers

Scores of journalists, including Eskinder Nega and Woubshet Taye, remain jailed under Ethiopia’s anti- terrorism law.

In addition to threats against journalists, tactics used to restrict independent media include harassing advertisers, printing presses, and distributors.

Absent a vibrant independent domestic media, social media and diaspora television stations continue to play key roles in disseminating information. The government increased its efforts to restrict access to social media and diaspora media in 2017, banning the watching of diaspora television under the state of emergency, jamming radio and television broadcasts, targeting sources and family members of diaspora journalists. In April, two of the main diaspora television stations—Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and the Oromia Media Network (OMN)—were charged under the repressive anti-terrorism law. Executive director of OMN, Jawar Mohammed, was also charged under the criminal code in April.

The government regularly restricts access to social media apps and some websites with content that challenges the government’s narrative on key issues. During particularly sensitive times, such as during June’s national exams when the government feared an exam leak, the government blocked access to the internet completely.

The 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law) continues to severely curtail the ability of independent nongovernmental organizations. The law bars work on human rights, governance, conflict resolution and advocacy on the rights of women, children, and people with disabilities by organizations that receive more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign sources.

Torture and Arbitrary Detention

Arbitrary detention and torture continue to be major problems in Ethiopia. Ethiopian security personnel, including plainclothes security and intelligence officials, federal police, special police, and military, frequently tortured and otherwise ill-treated political detainees held in official and secret detention centers, to coerce confessions or the provision of information.

Many of those arrested since the 2015/2016 protests or during the 2017 state of emergency said they were tortured in detention, including in military camps. Several women alleged that security forces raped or sexually assaulted them while they were in detention. There is little indication that security personnel are being investigated or punished for any serious abuses. Former security personnel, including military, have described using torture as a technique to extract information.

There are serious due process concerns and concerns about the independence of the judiciary on politically sensitive cases. Outside Addis Ababa, many detainees are not charged and are rarely taken to court.

Individuals peacefully expressing dissent are often charged under the repressive anti-terrorism law and accused of belonging to one of three domestic groups that the government has designated as terrorist organizations. The charges carry punishments up to life in prison. Acquittals are rare, and courts frequently ignore complaints of torture by detainees. Hundreds of individuals, including opposition politicians, protesters, journalists and artists, are presently on trial under the anti-terrorism law.

The government has not permitted the United Nation’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to investigate allegations despite requests from the UN body in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2015.

Somali Region Security Force Abuses

Serious abuses continue to be committed by the Somali Region’s notoriously abusive Liyu police. Throughout 2017, communities in the neighboring Oromia regional state reported frequent armed attacks on their homes by individuals believed to be from the Somali Region’s Liyu police. Residents reported killings, assaults, looting of property, and displacement. Several Somali communities reported reprisal attacks carried out by unknown Oromo individuals. Human Rights Watch is not aware of any efforts by the federal government to stop these incursions. Several hundred thousand people have been internally displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict.

The Liyu police were formed in 2008 and have a murky legal mandate but in practice report to Abdi Mahmoud Omar (also known as “Abdi Illey”) the president of the Somali Regional State, and have been implicated in numerous alleged extrajudicial killings as well as incidents of torture, rape, and attacks on civilians accused of proving support to the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). No meaningful investigations have been undertaken into any of these alleged abuses in the Somali Regional State.

Abdi Illey’s intolerance for dissent extends beyond Ethiopia, and family members of Ethiopian Somalis living outside of the country are frequently targeted in the Somali Region. Family members of diaspora have been arbitrarily detained, harassed, and had their property confiscated after their relatives in the diaspora attended protests or were critical of Abdi Illey in social media posts.

Key International Actors

Despite its deteriorating human rights record, Ethiopia continues to enjoy strong support from foreign donors and most of its regional neighbors, due to its role as host of the African Union and as a strategic regional player, its contributions to UN peacekeeping, regional counterterrorism efforts, its migration partnerships with Western countries, and its stated progress on development indicators. Ethiopia is also a country of origin, transit, and host for large numbers of migrants and refugees.

Both the European Parliament and US Senate and House of Representatives have denounced Ethiopia’s human rights record. The European Parliament urged the establishment of a UN-led mechanism to investigate the killings of protesters since 2015 and to release all political prisoners. In April, European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis visited Ethiopia, underscoring EU concern over Ethiopia’s human rights situation. Other donors, including the World Bank, have continued business as usual without publicly raising concerns.

Ethiopia is a member of both the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council. Despite these roles, Ethiopia has a history of non-cooperation with UN special mechanisms. Other than the UN special rapporteur on Eritrea, no special rapporteur has been permitted to visit since 2006. The rapporteurs on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly, among others, all have outstanding requests to visit the country.


Attendees of Irreecha 2017 in Bishoftu, HRW 2018 world reportHirmaattota Ayyaana Irreechaa Onkoloolessa 1, 2017 Bishooftuu, Itoophiyaa. Ayyaanni Irreecha uummata Oromoo Itoophiyaatif ayyaana addaati. Ayyaana Irreecha waggaa tokko dura kabajame irraatti humnootni tikaa tuutaa uummata jeequurran kan ka’e namootni dhibbootan lakkayaman du’anii ture.

© 2017 Reuters /Tiksa


Qabinsa mirga namoomaaf haaromsa haalaan barbaachisu gochuu irratti Itoophiyaan bara 2017 keessa waa xinnoo dalagde. Inumayyuu mirgoota bu’uuraafi bilisummmaa laammiileeshii humnaan ukkaamsuu itti fufuuf jecha labsi yeroo muddamaa, haleellaa humnoota tikaafi seerota ukkaamsoo fayyadamaa turte.

Labsiin yeroo muddamaa ji’oota 10f turefi baatii Onkoloolessa 2016 keessa labsame hidhaa jumlaafi mana hidhaatti dararamuu fidee ture.  Mirgoota akka hiriira nagaa bayuu, mirga yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuufi mirga ijaaramuu irrattis dhorkaaa hin barbaachisne kaayee ture.  Labsiin muddamaa sun gar-malee baldhaafi sirna malee kan dhimmi itti bayame ta’us mootummaa biyya bulchuuf yeroo tasgabbii silaa komii mormitootni kaasaa turan itti furu kenneefii ture.

Haata’u malee mootummaan Itoophiyaa gaaffilee mormitootaa kan akka cufinsa dirree siyaasaa, haleellaa gara jabeenyaa humnoota tikaafi humnaan qeyee ofiirraa buqqa’uufaa hin furre. Gaaffilee mormitootaa kana deebisuurra aangawoonni mootummaa jijjiirraa farra-malaammaltummaa, jijjiirraa kaabineefii haasawaa paartilee mormituu hafan wajjiin gochuuf, carraa hojii dargaggootaaf uumuufii ‘’bulchiinsa gaarii’’ fiduuf kutannoon akka hojjatan dhuma 2016 fi 2017ti beeksisanii turan.

Itoophiyaan ammas dirree siyaasaa akkuma cuftetti jirti. Walta’insi paartii biyya bulchuu teessoo mana maree bakka bu’oota uummataa naannoofi federaalaa 100% dhuunffatee jira. Dhorkaan guddaan dhaabbilee siviilii fi midiyaarra kaayame, dhabbilee mormituu ofiin dhaabbatan dadhabsiisuun, hidhaafi dararaan namoota mootummaa deeggaruu didan irra gahu dirree sagalee mormii garmalee dhiphisee/cufee jira.

Yeroo heddu yakkoota kana qorachuuf waadaa galus, mootummaan qorannoo amanamaa gochuu dhabuun ammas barbaachisummaa qorannoo idil-adunyaa cimsee agarsiisa.  Komishiniin mirga namoomaa Itoophiyaa hirkattummaa mootummaarraa bilisa waan hin taaneef qarannoon dhaabni kun godhu amanamummaa qabaatee hin beeku.

Labsii yeroo muddamaa

Harka caalaa bara 2017 Itoophiyaan labsii muddama jalatti dabarsite. Labsiin kun Onkoloolessa 2016 yeroo mormiin guddaan turetti labsamee ture. Labsichi Bitootessaa 2017 ji’a afuriif itti dabalamee haaromfamee, Hagayya 4, 2017 kaafame. Humnootni tikaa humna garmalee fayyadamuun namoota kuma tokkoo (1000) ol ajjeesaniiru. Namoota kuma kurnaniin lakkaayaman ammo hidhaatti guuraniiru.

Seerri labsi muddamaa hojiirra oolchuuf itti dabalamee baye biyyattii guutuu keessatti mirgoota akka yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuu, hiriira nagaa bayuufi ijaaramuu irratti dhorkaafi ukkaamsaa garmalee baldhaa kaayee. Tarkaanfiin kunimmoo rakkinoota mudatan humna waraanaan furuuf kallattii mootummaan kaayame agarsiisa. Seerichi hanga labsiin kun ka’utti mormii heeyyama mootumma hin arganne mara dhorkuun iddoolee labsiin kun murteesseetti ajaja mana murtii malee namoota hidhuus heeyyamee ture. Itti dabaluunis ‘’haaromsa’’- hidhaa yeroo gabaaba kan hojii humnaa dirqiin hojjachuu of-keessaa qabu heeyyame.

Yeroo labsii muddamaa sanitti humnootni waraanaa baayyinaan naannolee Oromiyaafi Amaaraa keessatti bobbaafamuun akka istaatistiksii mootummichaatti namoota kuma digdamii tokkoo (21,000) ol seeraan ala kaampiiwwaan haaromsa garaagaraatti hidhanii turan. Hidhamtoonni hedduun adabbii qaamaa hamaaf saaxilamuu isaaniifi imaammata mootummaa fudhachuuf waadaa galuun dirqii ta’uu dubbataniiru. Iddooleen namoonni kun itti hidhaman: kaampii waraanaa, maneen hidhaafi maneen yeroo gabaabaaf ijaaraman keessatti ture. Hidhamtoonni dararaafi reebichi hamaan mana hidhatti nurra gayeera jedhanis muraasa miti.  Aartistoonni, hoggantoonni paartilee mormituufi gaazexeessitoonni yakka siyaasa bu’uura godhateen himataman.

Dr Mararaa Guddinaa, dura taa’aan paartii kongiresii federaalistii Oromoo- Paartii seeraan galmayee,’’baatii Bitootessaa keessa sirna heeraa mootummaa cabsuutiin himatame. Inni hoggantoota paartii koongiresii federelaastii Oromoo kan akka itti aanaa paartichaa Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaafaatti dabalamuun himanni siyaasaa bu’uureffate irratti baname. Yeroo gabaasni kun barraayetti, akka istaatistiksii mootummaatti namoota yeroo labsii muddama qabamannii hidhaman keessaa 8000 ammayyu mana hidhaa jiru.

Mirga yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuufi mirga ijaaramuu

Miidiyaan marti to’annoo mootumma jalatti kufaniiru. Towannoon kun yeroo labsii muddamaattimmo garmalee jabaate. Sababa kanaaf lammiileen biyyattii odeeffannoo piroopaagaandaa mootummaarra bilisa ta’e argachuuf garmalee rakkisaa ture. Filannoon gaazexeessitoonni hedduun qaban yookan ofiin of-laguu ykn hojjatanii reebamuufi hidhamuu ykn ammo biyyaa bayuu qofa ture. Bara 2010 as qofa gaazexeessitoonni 85 Itoophiyaarra baqatanii bayaniiru. Kana keessaa yooxiqqaate gaazexeessitoonni 6 bara 2017 baqatanii bayan.  Gaazeexeessitoonni danuun kan akka Iskindir Naggaaffi Wubishat Tayyeefaa hanga ammaatti labsii farra shorrorkeessumman yakkamanii mana hidhaa tursiifamaniiru. Gazexeessitoota dararuun alattis dhaabilee beeksisaa, maxxansaafi raabsaa doorsisuun tooftaalee dhaabbilee miidiyaale bilisaaratti dhiibbaan godhamuudha. Dhabamsiifamuu dhaabbilee miidiyaa biyya keessaa irraa kan ka’e miidiyaan hawaasaafi dhaabileen televiziyoonaa diyaaspooraa odeeffanno daddabarsuu keessatti shoora ol-aanaa taphataniiru. Motummaan yaalii towannoo dhabbilee televiziyoona diyaaspooraafi midiyaalee hawaasa 2017 keessa jabeessuun, yeroo labsii muddamaatti televiziyoonota diyaaspora ilaalu dhorkee ture. Dabalataanis raadiyoofi televiziyoonota diyaaspooraa ugguruun akkasumas maatii gaazexeessitoota fi madden odeeffannoo doorsisaa ture.  Ebla, 2017 dhaabbileen televiziyoonotaa diyaaspoora lamaan- Oromiya miidiyaa Netwoorki (OMN) fi ESAT, labsii ukkaamsa farra shorrerkussummaatiin himatamaniiru. Daarektarrii OMN, Jawaar Mohaammedis ji’a Eblaa, 2017 keessa seera yakkaatiin himatameera.

Mootummaan yeruma mara qaqqabinsa aappii miidiyaalee hawaasaafi marsariitota ilaalcha mootumiichaa faalleessan ugguraa ture. Yeroolee murteessoo akka yeroo qorumsa biyyoleessaafaa miliqee bayuu qorumsaa sodaachuun mootummaan intarneeta guutumatti uggureera.

Labsiin dhaabilee arjoominaafi siiviiki bara 2009 baye (CSO) ammayyu humna dhaabbilee miti mootummaa bilisa ta’anii hudhee qabee jira. Labsichi hojiiwwaan akka mirga namoomaa, bulchiinsa gaarii, walitti bu’insa furuufi dhaabblee mirga dubartootaa, daa’iimmaniifi qaama miidhamtootaaf bajata 10% ol biyya alaati argatanii dhorkee jira.

Reebichaafi dararaa mana hidhaa keessatti

Hidhaan seeraan alaafi reebichi mana hidhaa keessaati godhamu ammayyu rakkoo guddaa Itoophiyaati. Humnootni tikaa mootummaa, poolisiin federaalaa, humnootni basaastuu wayyaa siviilii uffatan dabalatee, poolisiin addaa fi raayyaan ittisa biyyaa hidhamtoota siyaasa mana hidhaa ifaa fi dhoksaa keessaatti yeroo heddu reebuun odeeffannoo humnaan irraa fuudhaniiru.

Namoonni baayyeen hiriira mormii bara 2015/2016 manneen hidhaafi kaampilee waraanaa garaagaraatti hidhaman akkasumas kanneen yeroo labsii muddamaa 2017 hidhaman maneen hidhaa keessaatti reebichiifi dararaan irra gayuu dubbatu. Dubartoonni heddu maneen hidhaa kessaatti humnoota tikaatiin gudeedamuufi reebamuu himatu. Humnootni tikaa yakka akkana raawwatan seeratti dhiyaachuu isaanii ragaan muldhatu hin jiru. Namoonni dur humna tikaa keessa hojjatan manneen hidhaa keessatti reebichaafi dararaan ragaa funaanaa turuu isaanii raga bayaniiru.

Dhiimmootaa siyaasaa hamoo irratti walabummaan mana murtiifii adeemsi seeraa baayyee yaaddessaadha. Manneen sirreessaa Finfinneen alaa jiran keessaati hidhamtoonni hin himataman, mana murtiittis hin dhiyaatan. Namonni karaa nagaa sagalee mormii dhiyeessan yeroo heddu labsii farra shorreerkeessummaan yakkamu. Miseensa dhaabbilee mootummaan shorreerkeessitoota jedhee labseeti jechuunis ni himatamu.  Murtiin adabbii himannaa akkanaa irratti darbu hanga hidhaa umurii guutuutti. Himannaa addaan kutuun hin baramne. Hidhamtoonni yakki reebichaa mana hidhaa keessatti nurra gayeera jedhanii yeroo himatan manni murti irra deddeebiin gurra duuchatee bira darbaa jira. Namoonni dhibbootaan lakkayaman, hoggantoonni paartilee mormituu, hirmaattoonni hiriira nagaa, aartitstoonniifi gaazexeessitoonni labsi farra shorrorkeessummaan yakkamanii mana hidhaatti dararamaa jiru.

Qaamnii mootummoota gamtoomanii hidhaa seeraan alaa qoratu bara 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 fi 2015 irra deddeebiin himannaa kanarratti qorannoo gaaggeessuuf gaafatus mootummaan dhorkee jira.

Dhiittaa mirgaa Poolisiin Addaa Somaalee raawwatu

Poolisiin naannoo Somaalee dhiittaan mirgaa garmaleen beekamu ammas yakkoota hamaa dalaguu akkuma itti fufetti jira. Hawasni naannoo Oromiyaa daangaa naannoo Somaaleerra jiraatan irra deddeebiin humnoota poolisii addaa naannoo Somaleeti jedhamaniin haleelamuu himaniiru. Hawaasni daangaarra jiratan kun ajjeechana, lollii, saamichi qabeenyaafi qeyeerraa buqqayuun akka irra gaye himatu. Hawaasni Somaalees haleellaan haaloo bayumsaa humnoota Oromoo hin beekamneen irratti fudhatamu dubbatu. Hiyumaan raayitswoch yaalii mootummaan federaala haleellaa daangaarra kana dhaabuuf godhe homaayyu hin agarre. Namootni kuma dhibbootaan lakkaayaman sababa walitti bu’insa daangaarraatti deemaa jiruu kanaan qe’eefi qabeenya isaanirraa buqqayaniiru.

Poolisiin addaa naannoo Somaalee kun bara 2008 kan hundeeffame yoo ta’u itti gaafatama seeraa ifa hin taaneen socho’u. Garuummoo qabatamaan pirezideentii mootummaa naannoo Somaalee kan ta’e Abdi Mohamud Omariif abboomamu. Humnootni poolisii addaa kun yeroo garaagaraatti ajjeechaa seeraan alaa, reebichaafi dubartoota gudeeduun akkasumas uummata nagaa humna waraanaa Ogaaden deggaruun shakkaman rukutuun himatamu. Yakkoota gurguddoo humnootni kun naannoo Somaalee keessatti raawwatan jedhamanii himataman qorachuuf yaaliin hiika qabeessi godhame tokkoyyuu hin jiru.

Fedhiin Abdi Illeeyn mormitoota isaa ukkamsuuf qabu daangaa Itoophiyaa qofa keessatti kan daangeffame miti. Lammileen Somalee Itoophiyaa biyya alaa jiraataniis hiriira nagaa erga bayanii ykn barreeffamoota Abdi Illeey qeeqan miidiyaa hawaasa irratti yoo barreessan maatiin isaanii naanno Somalee jiraatan seeraan ala hidhamaniiru, reebamaniiru, qabeenyi isaaniis saaamameera.

Qooda dhaabbilee Idil-Adunyaa murteessoo

Qabinsi mirga namoomaa Itoophiya baayye badaa ta’ullee biyyattiin gargaarsa arjoota biyya alaafi gargaarsa biyyoota ollaa guddaa argachaa jirti. Saababiin gargaarsi kun itti fufee keessa muraasni: biyyattiin teessoo gamtaa Afrikaa ta’uusheefi taarsimoo naannawaa saniitti shoora murteessa waan taphattuuf, qaama nagaa eegsistuu mootummoota gamtoomanii waan taateef, waraanna farra-shorrorkeessitoota naannoo gaanfa Afrikaa keessatti sababa hirmaattuuf, dhimma baqattootaa irratti mootummoota dhiyaa faana michuummaan waan hojjattuufi guddina misooma gaalmeessite jedhamuufi. Itoophiyaan madda, karaafi buufata baqattoota hedduutis.

Paarlaamaan Awurooppaa, manni maree bakka bu’oota fi seenetiin Ameerikaa qabinsa mirga namoomaa Itoophiyaa balaaleffataniiru. Paarlaamaan Awuroppaa ajeechaa mormitoota bara 2015 eegale rawwate irratti qorannoon qaama mootummoota gamtoomaniin durfamuun akka godhamuuf hidhamtoonni siyaasa marti akka hiikaman waamicha godhee ture. Baatii Eblaa keessa bakka bu’aan dame mirga namoomaa gamtaa Awuroppaa addaa Istaavros Lambridinis Itoophiyaa deemee daawwachuun yaaddoo gamtaan Awurooppaa qabinsa mirga namoomaa Itoophiya irratti qabu mirkaneesseera. Dhaabbilen idil-adunyaa kanneen akka Baankii Adunyaa dhiittaa mirga namooma biyyattii irratti ifaan ifatti yaaddoo tokkollee otoo hin ibsiin hojii isaanii idilee itti fufanii jiru.

Itoophiyaan miseensa mana maree nageenyaafi mirga namoomaa Mootummoota gamtoomaniiti. Ta’ullee adeemsa addaa mootummoota gamtoomanii waliin hojjachuu akka diddeetti jirti. Erga raappoortarri addaa Eertiraa 2006 biyyattii seenee as gareen addaa mootummoota gamtoomanii tokkollee Itoophiyaa seenee qorachuuf heeyyama mootummaa hin arganne. Raapportaroonni reebichaa, mirga yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuufi hiriira nagaa gaggeessuu biyyatti daawwachuuf yeroo garaa garaatti akka fedhan gaafatanii jiru.


Ethiopia’s decision on ‘political prisoners’ in context January 11, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Ethiopia’s decision on ‘political prisoners’ in context

By , Al Jazeera, 10 January 2018

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia [Tiksa Negeri/Reuters]


On January 3, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn made two major announcements: his government will release political prisoners and close down a notorious detention centre at the heart of Ethiopia’s capital,widely known as a torture chamber for dissidents and government opponents. Desalegn announced the decision as part of a wider package of reforms aimed at fostering national reconciliation and widening the democratic space.

Rights groups welcomed the announcement as “an important step toward ending long-standing political repression and human rights abuse in the country” while others saw the move as a significant concession to the relentless protests of the last two years by the Oromos and Amharas – the two largest ethnic groups in the country.

As local and international media began to scrutinise the rationale, implications and consequences of the announcement, most of the commentary focused on Ethiopia’s perceived admission that there are political prisoners in the country. US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce even issued a statement praising Ethiopia for “finally acknowledg[ing] that it holds political prisoners.”

Shortly after the announcement, however, the government distanced itself from this interpretation by emphasising the fact that the prime minister never used the term “political prisoners” in his initial statement.

Indeed, Desalegn only referred to “political leaders and individuals whose crimes have resulted in court convictions or have resulted in their ongoing prosecution under the country’s law,” in his statement and never gave a clear indication as to which prisoners will be eligible for release.

Ethiopia’s political prisoners

The Ethiopian government has always denied consistent and widespread reports by human rights groups that it holds political prisoners. Like his predecessor, the late Meles Zenawi, who adamantly denied politicising the legal system to stifle dissent and opposition, Desalegn has also repeatedly dismissed the suggestion that Ethiopia is holding political prisoners.

Shortly after he took power in 2012, Al Jazeera’s Jane Dutton asked Desalegn if he intends to “confront” the legacy of political repression he inherited from Zenawi and take steps to release the “thousands of [political opposition] languishing in jail”. Desalegn said, “There are no political opposition that are languishing in prison.”

In May 2015, shortly before the country’s national election in which the ruling party won 100 percent of seats both at the national and regional levels, Al Jazeera’s Martine Dennisasked Desalegn about the imprisonment of “record number of journalists” to which he replied “these are not journalists …The moment you join a terrorist group, you become a blogger”.

There can be no justification to hold some political prisoners or journalists, bloggers and scholars while releasing high-profile leaders of political parties.

No sitting government would publicly admit to holding political prisoners, and – even after last week’s announcement – Ethiopian government still appears to be refusing to do so. But evidence suggests that very few governments in the world today hold more political prisoners than Ethiopia.

Since assuming power, the government frequently used the legal system to lock up members and leaders of the opposition. Indeed, the courts served as potent instruments of repression and power consolidation second only to the military-security apparatus.

Since the early days of the regime and particularly following the adoption of the country’s notorious anti-terrorism law in 2009, there has been a frightening politicisation of the legal system and the administration of justice. With or without disguise, Ethiopia used its courts and other institutions of justice to harass, intimidate, and eliminate political opposition from the political space.

In the early days of the regime, several members of opposition parties have been held in detention centres throughout the country without charges, particularly in the Oromia regional state. Actual or suspected members of the Oromo Liberation Front have been arrested in mass and detained without charges. More than two decades later, the whereabouts of several individuals including prominent Oromo politicians such as Nadhi Gamada and Bekele Dawano are still unknown.

Following the contested election in 2005, the government rounded up leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) who made significant electoral gains that denied the incumbent its majority. Since the government adopted its notorious anti-terror legislation, more than 1,000 people including opposition political leaders, journalists, bloggers, activists, scholars, and religious figures, have been charged with terror-related crimes. It is estimated that tens of thousands of individuals are currently in jail because of the government’s intolerance to dissenting views.

What makes these individuals political prisoners is not their innocence or guilt but the fact that their arrest, prosecution, and conviction were purely motivated by political ambitions as opposed to normative concerns with the rule of law and justice. In other words, the legal process is set in motion not for the determination of guilt and innocence but for political expedience, to pursue the dual goal of delegitimising political foes and physically eliminating them from the political space.

While the Ethiopian government still appears to be refusing the mere existence of thousands of political prisoners in the country, last week’s announcement, however incomplete, is a step in the right direction.

The closure of the infamous torture chamber commonly known as Maikalawi is another welcome development that signals a departure from the repressive practices of the past. But it needs to be noted that the prime minister did not admit that his government used the prison as a torture centre. He instead noted that the prison will be closed and turned in to a museum as result of its role in past atrocities.

Yet there are many credible reports (pdf) showing that opposition politicians, protest organisers, journalists, suspected dissenters and other voices critical of the government are taken to Maikalawi and subjected to torture or other forms of inhuman and degrading treatment under the rule of the current regime.

The real reasons behind the announcement

The decision to release political prisoners and close down the detention centre is a compromise between the four political parties that make up the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition. But understanding the political considerations behind the announcement requires a proper understanding and appreciation of the two central issues: the constitutive and operational logic of the EPRDF and the nature of the crisis destabilising the country for well over two years.

EPRDF is the brainchild of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a Marxist-Leninist movement that fought to liberate the Tigray ethnic group, which comprise six percent of Ethiopia’s more than 100 million people. In the final days of Ethiopia’s civil war, the TPLF orchestrated the creation of three satellite parties – Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) – that ostensibly represent their respective ethnic groups.

The TPLF assembled these puppet organisations to consolidate its grip on power. They helped broaden TPLF’s appeal beyond Tigray and bolster its political legitimacy while also enabling it to smother real opposition from autonomous parties such as the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the All Amhara Peoples Organization (AAPO).

For 26 years, TPLF used this vassal configuration to dominate all aspects of the country’s political life, while mercilessly muzzling dissenting voices both from within and outside the party. The discontent and suffering that have been simmering underground for decades exploded into the open in November of 2015 when Oromos, the largest ethnic group in the country, took to the streets in protest.

In July of 2016, the Amharas, the second-largest ethnic group in the country, joined the protest, creating a nationwide protest movement that reconfigured the political landscape and brought the government to its knees.

The protests not only exposed the structural anomalies at the heart of Ethiopia’s political system, but also brought about a significant reconfiguration of the asymmetric relationship between the four parties that make up the EPRDF. TPLF lost its absolute power within the coalition as its junior partners began to reinvent themselves and side with their respective people.

This is particularly evident in Oromia, where the new leadership of the region refused to play second fiddle. OPDO began to flex its muscles, knowing full well that as the party with the most seats in parliament, and the largest population, it can cripple the government. In a major break, the new leaders of OPDO began protesting the disproportionate and indiscriminate policing, harassment, imprisonment, and torture of Oromos by security forces.

In a joint press statement of the four parties that make up the ruling coalition, Lemma Megersa, the leader of OPDO and the president of Oromia regional state, characterised Maikalawi as “a site in which our citizens have been castrated for years“. Megersa, a transformational figure with a distinct ability to appeal to people across competing nationalist narratives and fault lines that divide Ethiopian politics, went on to argue that “while it is one thing to close it down, it is important that we look at the justice sector more broadly, from investigation to prosecution, trial, and sentencing.”

While the proposed package of reforms are in the interests of the OPDO and ANDM, it is not clear to what extent the other parties, particularly the TPLF, which still controls the intelligence, the military and the federal police, is genuinely committed to enforcing measures, which, if fully implemented, would ultimately reduce its influence within the coalition, the government and the state more generally.

TPLF’s hegemonic status depends on fostering hostility and division, not national reconciliation and democratisation. Indeed, just three days after the announcement, the Federal Police announced a “deep investigation” into “Qeerroo Oromo” (Oromo youth) movement, a decision which collides head-on with the party’s stated goals of national reconciliation and democratisation.

The government acknowledges the unprecedented nature of the crisis facing the country and rightly identifies national reconciliation and widening the democratic space as two of the most significant policy objectives necessary to save the country from plunging into the abyss. However, the government cannot pursue these goals while at the same time proposing measures in conflict with these imperatives.

The government must come to terms with the transformations of the last two years and open up the political process for all voices that seek a hearing and bodies that seek visibility. This means adopting the broadest possible definition of political prisoners and releasing all those whose arrest, detention, prosecution, and conviction have been driven by political considerations.

There can be no justification to hold some political prisoners or journalists, bloggers and scholars while releasing high-profile leaders of political parties. If there is any lesson the government can learn from the protests of the last two years, it is that more repression will only escalate the crisis, not contain or avert it.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

What's fuelling protests in Ethiopia?

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What’s fuelling protests in Ethiopia?


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

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


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

Origins of Unrest

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

Government Response to Unrest

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

Conclusion

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

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


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

 


 

Genocide in plain sight: TPLF’s (mass-) red-terror against the Oromo people. #Prevent #Genocide December 25, 2017

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Genocide in plain sight: TPLF’s (mass-) red-terror against the Oromo people

 By Aba Orma

The Ethiopian Somali state liyuu police force well trained by TPLF to kill Ogaden and Oromo civilians

The TPLF/EPRDF government has orchestrated genocide against the Oromo people with the help of TPLF’s Janjaweed, the Somali para-commando known as the “Liyu Police”. Even the ruling party admitted to that. Then why is the world community silent and allowed the regime to commit genocide after genocide against the peoples in Ethiopia?  Are they afraid that declaring such will collapse the TPLF/EPRDF government and that in turn will bring chaos to the country like that of South Sudan? America is once again knowingly or unknowingly failing to stop genocide in Ethiopia. The alternative to America’s inaction is even much costly in human lives and stability of the Horn of Africa. Whether they like it or not, it is paramount to address and redress the Oromo quest for self-determination to bring peace and stability in the region.

TPLF spokpersons and representatives always represented the Oromo killings and genocide in simplistic terms as ethnic/border conflicts whereas the truth is they are the instigators. Under normal circumstances, governments spin and twist facts to fit their narratives. Medias and observers seek facts and correct spins toward justice. In the Oromo case, the TPLF government spins and the West accepts that as facts and spread it further and provides financial and military supports.

“Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group”. The violence in Oromia meets the criteria of genocide because it is racially based. The Liyu Police that TPLF generals trained, armed and advised from Somali ethnic group massacred, burned houses, confiscated properties, and displaced more than 700,000 Oromos from their homes in an ethnic cleansing. The West has spoken for much less scale of displacement and massacre as genocide.

The Oromos should not expect Colin Powel of South Sudan to rise for them or actor George Cooney to speak up on behalf of Oromos. They have only themselves and heroes like athlete Feyisa Lelisa and artist Hachalu Megersa amongst us who are willing to risk everything and speak up heroes.

If the Oromo activism we see today had started five years ago, it would have matured, crystalized and would have made a larger impact today. But we are where we are and the time is short. Without any more delay the Oromo activists put aside their difference must come together and have a unified voice to speak up for their brothers and sisters in peril.

The Oromo people had had enough and are rising up in Unisom from all corners of Oromia. From East Oromia to West Oromia, from South Oromia to North Oromia to central Oromia to change this rotten system and replace it with a bright, tolerant, and democratic system.   The OPDO seems to have discovered its voice and forced by people’s fundamental human rights question started to challenge the TPLF supremacy. We should all applaud for the courage they have shown us so far and at the same time make it clear to them that the relative support they are getting from their people is not here to stay if they don’t continue to stand up for the people and stop the genocide against their people, stop the exploitation of Oromia to build and rebuild Tigray, and restore the fundamental rights of the Oromo people: the right to self-determination.

The usual TPLF machination is not acceptable. Any cosmetics changes are not acceptable to the Oromo people. Expelling and courting few corrupted TPLF members in the name of reform is not acceptable. The acceptable outcome is a total and complete accountability for each and every innocent life taken away under their command, complete and total surrender of Oromia to the Oromo people.

Any short-hand settlement with the TPLF group will not solve the problem except exposes the inferiority of OPDO to the minority Tigray group with super-size power over the Federal government. It will ignite intensified resistance to the regime and OPDO. The rank-and-file of OPDO who witnessed the horror against their people closely are echoing the Oromo people’s question. Lemma and his young team of leaders have only one choice, to stand with their people to the end. Capitulating to this group with the push of the old guards that spoiled TPLF brats and got them to where they are today is a gigantic mistake of historical proportion.

The Oromo people expect to the minimum, in order of importance, the following condition to be met before any kind of arrangement or agreement with the TPLF group:

  1. Prime Minster H/Mariam Desalegne is incompetent and no more viable to lead the federal government and must resign from his post immediately. He failed the Oromo people when he intentionally chose to ignore the genocide against them and choose to speak selectively on the wrongful death of 31 Somali. The Parliament appoints a new prime minster with its full power.
  2. Every non-Oromo TPLF/Agazi army should leave Oromia and the internal security must be left to the Oromia police. The Oromo members of the army are organized under the command of Oromo generals. Agazi and its TPLF generals led genocide against the Oromo people.
  3. Immediate resettlement of the more than 700,000 Oromos displaced by the “Liyu Police”.
  4. Oromia state government must form an independent commission to investigate and bring to justice the people responsible for the Irreechaa Massacre, the Cheelenko Massacre, and TPLF’s Janjaweed, the Liyu Police.
  5. The composition of the country’s army and its leaders must be proportional to the population
  6. All illegally appropriated lands in the name of investment back to the people.
  7. All political prisoners must be released without any precondition
  8. The Oromia state must take charge of all prisons in Oromia. No Oromo should go to prison outside Oromia.

Any machination and hand twisting will only expose the true power of OPDO as a representative of the largest people in the country and consolidates the struggle in one and only one direction. The independence of Oromia!

ONLF and OLF Holds the Ethiopian government and its ruling Coalition Parties as solely responsible for the mass killings of Oromo and Somali peoples December 22, 2017

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ONLF and OLF Holds the Ethiopian government and its ruling Coalition Parties as solely responsible for the mass killings of Oromo and Somali peoples

Joint Statement by Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)

December 21, 2017

The Ethiopian government has been systematically instigating conflict between and within nations in Ethiopia to divert the attention of the stakeholders from its failing rule for the last two years. Although, the Ethiopian government has continually employed divide-and-rule tactics across the country by systematically instigating and promoting civil war among the nations; such war is specifically orchestrated between the Ogaden Somali and the Oromo nations, under the stage management of both Federal government security apparatus, and agents of both regional states.

Such Machiavellian policies of the ruling regime and its regional collaborators has costed both communities, countless lives, and it is affecting not only Oromo people and Somali people in Ethiopia, but also spreading across borders in the Horn of Africa, from Djibouti to Somalia and Kenya. Today, the situation is rapidly deteriorating as hundreds of civilians are massacred. Left unaddressed, the conflict will undoubtedly lead the two fraternal communities to a horrific civil war. Furthermore, if the
Ethiopian regime is left to succeed, such a war inevitably will cost millions of lives with dire consequences for both communities and the communities of wider Horn of Africa.

Cognizant of the fact that, the unfolding tragedies are meticulously masterminded and implemented under the leadership of the regime with the objective of staying in power, employing divide and rule methods as means of governance; the ONLF and OLF holds the Ethiopian regime and the ruling EPRDF party as solely responsible for the crimes committed against both peoples and the wider peoples of Ethiopia. Therefore, we urge the regime to unconditionally and immediately stop such criminal practices.

Furthermore, both fronts request the AU, EU the UN and the international community to urgently start an independent international investigation into the unfolding tragic and continuous massacres of civilians in both sides; that is to date worsening in the entire Somali-Oromia borders including, the other parts of Ethiopia; to be able to bring those responsible for such abhorring crimes to an international tribunal.

The OLF and ONLF call upon the Somali and Oromo people, to stop being used as agents of EPRDF regime to aide it to commit crimes against each other. ONLF and OLF further call upon the traditional elders, civil society, religious leaders, political organisations and intellectuals of both communities to come together and fight this menace against the wellbeing of both nations. ONLF and OLF also call upon all organisations, civil societies and communities in Ethiopia to condemn the current barbarous acts and desist from talking part in it.

OLF and ONLF also call upon media sources to both locally and internationally to expose this heinous crime and avoid fanning the conflict further and report responsibly.
The Oromo, Somalis and the other nations of the Horn of Africa will always remain neighbours; hence those who want to destroy the centuries old fraternal relationships between all communities in the Horn of Africa and Ethiopia are doomed to fail.

Finally, instigating ghastly killings and decapitation of the Civilians in Ogaden Somali and Oromia will never compromise our fraternity and never deviate us from our struggle for Freedom and Self-Determination.

Peace shall prevail!
Issued by The OLF and ONLF on December 21, 2017


Related:-

OLF logo

Ethiopian government’s attempt to blame the victims (the Oromo people) unravels TPLF’s war plans on Oromo people


It has now been more than a year since the Ethiopian government, controlled by the Tigrai People Liberation Front (TPLF), clearly and openly declared a war on Oromo people. In addition, the TPLF government has also promoted conflict between the Oromo people and its neighbors, which have lived together in peace, love and mutual respect for decades.

This TPLF orchestrated conflicts has caused a huge crisis on the life, property and overall wellbeing of hundreds-of-thousandth of Oromo people. In fact, the Ethiopian military generals and leaders have planned, trained and deployed the Somali special forces (aka Liyu Police) to carry-out the killings of the Oromo people and destruction of their homes. As a result of this war, hundredthof-thousandth of Oromos were either killed, wounded, their homes and properties were completely destroyed or displaced. While these all heinous acts have been taking place on Oromo farmers, the TPLF government has never had any saying.

The war currently declared on the Oromo people by TPLF and the Somali regional government is a well-researched and planned war for a long time. To make sure that their plans are being executed, first, they disarmed the Oromo farmers and made them defenseless. After they disarmed the Oromo farmers, TPLF ordered their well-trained and armed Liyu police to carry-out the killings, including kids and women, destroying their homes and confiscating their properties.

As one might recall that Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) has exposed the secret plan of TPLF to open war on Oromos from Eastern to all the way to the Southern Oromia border, which covers a
distance of over 1000km. Not only OLF exposed TPLF’s plan, it has also warned those who were playing political games to stop their evil act before it resulted in such a tremendous crisis. We have also pre-informed the secret plan of TPLF to the world community as well as to the Ethiopian people.

The main purpose of TPLF’s current war is to weaken the Oromo, stop the Oromo Youth-led movement for freedom and overall the Oromo people’s struggle for Freedom and justice. In addition, this is a strategy to divert the real demand of the people and maintain their power and continue their exploitation. Therefore, TPLF and their agents are the main actors of these conflicts. Nonetheless, TPLF’s strategy of promoting conflict between the regions will neither bring a shortterm nor a long-term peace to the country as well as to the region.

While conflicts were taking place in the Eastern, South Eastern and Southern Oromia for over a year, the Ethiopian government has never taken any action to resolve the issue. Contrary to this, TPLF government has trained, armed and deployed the Somali region special forces to perpetrate havoc on the Oromo farmers along the border. Though the Oromo People living along the border have requested the government to secure their peace and defend them against the perpetrators, the Ethiopian government instead continues to support Liyu police with military equipment as well as logistics. As a result, over 700,000 Oromos were displaced from their lands and their homes were burned down. The Ethiopian government did not offer any support to these displaced people.

Perhaps, the burden was left to the Oromo people themselves. Similarly, when many Oromo were massacred at Calanqo, Daaroo Labuu at a place called Hawwii Guddinaa and in many more places, we haven’t heard any press release or any condemnation of the perpetrators from the Ethiopian government, further confirming that the life of the Oromo people worth nothing for the Ethiopian government.

Contrary to these war crimes taking place on Oromo people, we have observed when the Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariya Dessalegn in his December 17, 2017 press statement, trying to make the Oromo people accountable for the crimes that their military force and Liyu police have done. The Prime minister’s attempt to blame the victims here instead of the killer, Liyu police and military forces, is rather disgraceful. The prime minister would have asked himself, before reading his shameful statement, questions such as who started this war? Where was the war started and why? and try to get the answers.

As head of a state, the prime minister should have rather admitted the crisis and assure the people that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. At the same time, he should have also assured the Oromo people that his government will maintain their peace. But the prime minister’s statement was completely the opposite, trying hard to make the Oromo people accountable for the heinous crime done by the Liyu Police. Such Ethiopian government’s betrayal of the Oromo people has been observed on multiple occasions and thus, we should expect neither any justice nor any support from the Ethiopian government.

Therefore; The Oromo people must understand that it is their right to defend themselves from the war currently declared on them from multiple fronts by TPLF government and its agents. While admiring the generous support that the Oromo mass was giving to its fellow citizens, OLF wants to stress that there is no one for Oromo other than Oromo and nothing is more evident for this than what is currently happening in Oromia. Therefore, such support for our people must be strengthened and continue.

OLF also call upon all Oromo in diaspora to feel the pains and the crisis that the Oromo people are going through in Oromia and work hard to expose the evil acts of TPLF to the international community, and also continue to support our people. It is equally important to make sure that the support that you contribute is in fact reaches the people in need.

The Oromo people and the Somali people have lived together for so long without any issues. However, now the Liyu police and the TPLFgovernment are orchestrating a conflict between these people. We want to renew our call to our brotherly Somali people to let work together to thwart the TPLF’s evil plan.

Lastly, trying to blame the Oromo people, victims of the Liyu police, instead of the perpetrators will never solve the problems. Furthermore, the heinous killings and displacement taking place on Oromo people will not stop by simply blaming on the so-called corruption and illegal trading (contraband) that is taking place in the country. These excuses will never let the Ethiopian government be free from accountability. OLF strongly condemns those who are involved in planning, organizing, and commanding the military and Liyu police forces to open war on Oromo people, those who involved in the killings and displacement of peaceful Oromo and the Somali people. 

In addition, the international community should know that ethnic cleaning is taking place in Oromia by the Ethiopian government and its surrogate Somali National government. Keeping silent, in another term, is giving a license for the Ethiopian government to continue killing and displacement of the Oromo people. Thus, OLF call upon the international community to immediately take appropriate action to stop the ethnic cleaning, establish independent enquiry to the killings and attacks that is taking place right now in Oromia-Ethiopia before it is too late.

Victory to the Oromo People

Oromo Liberation Front

December , 2017


 

Oromo group decries ‘ongoing genocide’ in Ethiopia November 20, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Horn of Africa Affairs, Human Rights, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Oromo group decries ‘ongoing genocide’ in Ethiopia

New group wants Americans to more forcefully oppose alleged abuses in Ethiopia.
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ERIN ADLER, STAR TRIBUNELeft to right: Amy Bergquist, Advocates for Human Rights staff attorney joins Husen Beriso, Endris Hundissa, Kathleen Seestadt, Nagessa Oddo Dube, Genemo Uka and Amsalu Mayessa, all members of the United Oromo Voices group. A panel discussion will focus on publicizing the plight of the Oromo people, including ongoing alleged human rights violations that some say the U.S. government ignores while continuing to support Ethioipia. Oromia is a region of Ethiopia and Oromos are an oppressed ethnic minority.

A new group dedicated to raising awareness of human rights violations in Ethiopia against the Oromo — an Ethiopian ethnic minority with a significant Minnesota presence — held its first event Sunday in Minneapolis.

More than 70 people crowded into Norway House to hear the “Ethiopia to Minnesota” speakers panel, sponsored by United Oromo Voices, a coalition formed about six months ago.

Panelists spoke about Ethiopia’s history and ethnic groups, its current government and ideas for how the country can change.

“We need Americans to understand us, to push their representatives to [be a] voice for the Oromos to stop the ongoing genocide,” said Nagessa Oddo Dube, a United Oromo Voices member.

Minnesota has the largest concentration of Oromos in the United States. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, making up between 33 and 50 percent of the country’s population.

The state demographer’s office says 8,500 Oromos live here, but the Oromo Cultural Institute of Minnesota believes the number is much higher. Oromos are often mistaken for Somalis in Minnesota and thus not very visible, Dube said.

Dube recounted how he survived years of persecution in Ethiopia as an Oromo activist, including repeated arrests, beatings, threats and a murder attempt.

Ethiopian security forces have killed more than 400 protesters and others and arrested tens of thousands more during widespread protests in the Oromia region since November 2015, according to Human Rights Watch.

United Oromo Voices aims to inform Americans that Ethiopia is the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid among low-income countries, funds they say support a government that terrorizes the Oromos by unlawfully arresting them, imprisoning, torturing and even killing them.

The St. Paul-based Center for Victims of Torture sees more Oromos than any other ethnicity, said Curt Goering, the center’s executive director.

Staff there treat torture victims’ physical wounds — broken bones and perforated eardrums — and provide counseling for the psychological ones, Goering said.

“It gives you some sense of the magnitude of the severity of the human rights violations,” Goering said on the panel.

Sen. John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin, attended the discussion to show support for the Oromo, many of whom are his constituents, he said.

“My neighbors are Oromo, my best friends are Oromo,” said Hoffman, who authored a Minnesota Senate resolution in 2014 calling out Ethiopia for killing 85 college students.

Pending resolutions in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives condemn the Ethiopian government’s human rights violations — including allegedly killing hundreds and arresting thousands of dissidents, journalists and other civilians — and demand political prisoners’ release.

Kathleen Seestadt, an event organizer and group member, has been working with the Oromo community since 2001. The night was a success, especially because many non-Oromos showed up, she said.

“The real challenge is to get people who don’t know the Oromos [to come],” Seestadt said.


Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF)’s another genocide plan (state terrorism). Wal-gahiin Mana-maree nageenya biyyoolessaatiin taa’ame shoroorka’u TPLF mul’isa. November 13, 2017

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

TPLF Ethiopia regime federal security officers conduct mass torture in Kilinto and Maikelawi jails.png

AS EXCLUSIVE: DOCUMENT PRESENTED AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING REVEALS ETHIOPIA FACING ALARMING MULTI-FRONT CRISIS

Addis Standard, 12 November 2017

Major points discussed in the document include:

  • The country’s federal system is facing imminent threat
  • Security breakdown contributing to rising public anxiety
  • Immeasurable human and material cost caused by recent conflicts
  • Absence of rule of law prevalent
  • Security crisis negatively impacting the economy
  • Diminishing foreign aid due to human rights related concerns
  • Crippling effect on the tourism industry as well as hurting the country’s image
  • Security crisis curtailing the ability of the security establishment to discharge its constitutional 

Although It Mentions Egypt And Eritrea As Two Foreign Agitators, The Document Squarely Blames The Crisis On The “Internal Vulnerability” Of Current Leadership

It proposes the establishment of a joint command post/joint committee between the federal and regional security establishment 

 

Addis Abeba, November 12/2017 – A document assessing the current security and political situation in Ethiopia and was presented at the National Security Council meeting, held on Friday Oct. 10/2017, revealed in detail that Ethiopia was currently confronted with alarming level of multi-front crisis.

The meeting was held at the office of PM Hailemariam Desalegn and was attended by Siraj Fegessa, minister of defense & head of the National Security Council, General Samora Yenus, chief of staff of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces and other high level federal intelligence and defense officials, presidents of regional states and their security officials, as well as federal and regional state senior members of the police and the militia.

The document, which was jointly prepared by the country’s intelligence and defense officials, and was viewed exclusively by Addis Standard, reveals that the current security crisis, which was exacerbated by the prevalent of “absence of rule law”, was the most serious of all threats the country was facing as of late. It blames that”lawlessness” and “dissent” were alarmingly taking national forms by expanding throughout the country, threatening the federal system. Such incidents, according to the document, were fueling public anxiety and loss of confidence in the government.

“Genocide” 

But the most disturbing detail in the document was the part in which it discussed the recent violence in several towns and villages within the Ethio-Somali and Oromia regional states, which resulted in the death of unknown numbers of civilians and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Oromos from the Ethio-Somali regional state as well as hundreds of Ethio-Somalis from towns in Oromia regional state.

The document described the situation as having “resulted in genocide and mass displacement of people; witnessed inhuman and atrocious killings of civilians; and created a moral and psychological scar among the victims.”  It further said that this incident revealed the presence and prevalence of an “unnamed terrorist organization which “has not taken responsibility” for the crimes committed. “The people have lost trust in their constitutional right to move freely and live peacefully.”

The document also mentioned the proliferation of arms within the country and its nature in changing hands among various ‘agent provocateurs’.  The combined effect of this was crippling the country’s security apparatus to discharge its constitutional duty because it was engaged in “putting conflicts sprouting in several places under control”.

Economy & tourism 

The economy is severely hurting, according the document, and the flow of foreign currency was drying. Foreign aid, too, was diminishing due to conditions attached to human rights abuses, and the country’s tourism was significantly affected and its image tainted. But most alarmingly, the document admitted that domestic investment was facing heavy challenges and unprecedented level of capital flight by those who have already invested in the country was seen recently. The economy was also affected by stockpiling of commodities as well as the proliferation of money laundering by increasing numbers of individuals; and it admitted that the country’s taxation system was unable to collect due taxes to help the economy, which was also hit by “illegal export of prohibited commodities” through organized illegal traders.

Blame on leadership

The document mentions Eritrea and Egypt as well as the presence of a coordinated cyber propaganda as fueling tensions within the country; but at the same time it puts the blame on the vulnerability of  the political leadership and its inability to address public grievances in the last two and half years. It also points fingers at the direct involvement of the leadership in recent conflicts. Instead of guiding the public and the youth to productive ways of live, it says, the leadership was involved in guiding them to dissent and destruction, immersing itself in a zero sum game. “The problem is political”, it says, and “it can only be solved politically.”

Joint command post/joint committee

But its recommendation is an establishment of a joint command post (sometimes referred in the document as mere “joint committee”) between the federal and regional security establishments.

The immediate aim of this joint command post/joint committee was highlighted in eight different points. This include the work that needed to be done to secure the free movement of people from places to places; securing major roads throughout the country on 24 hour bases of patrolling; bringing to justice those who were involved in recent conflicts; prohibiting of illegal rallies; rehabilitation of displaced Ethiopians back to their homes; strict control of anti-public armed forces; control of the movement of illegal arms, human trafficking as well as contraband trades; as well as strengthening of the security apparatus at every level.

This joint command post/joint committee, would be organizing a monthly joint meeting between federal and regional security establishment after/on the second week of every month; and it would be submitting its reports directly to the Prime Minister’s office.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, which last for several hours, Siraj Fegessa said that a consensus  between federal and regional states was reached to coordinate the security establishment of both to tackle the growing security crisis. “We have evaluated the security risk in the country which has been recurring since last year and we have prepared a detailed plan to control the situation,” Siraj was quoted by a local newspaper as saying . “We met with the stakeholders since we have to work together.”

Addis Standard received further information that there would be additional similar meetings to hammer out more details on the document, which was distributed as a working paper to everyone who participated in the meeting held at the PM’s office on Friday.

AS


Click here to read related article from OE sources: Ethiopia: Government-Fuelled Conflict & the Need for Unity




Wal-gahiin Mana-maree nageenya biyyoolessaatiin taa’ame shoroorka’u TPLF mul’isa.

Awash Post, Sadaasa, 12, Bara 2017


Manni-Maree nageenyaa biyyoolessaa jeeqamuu, nagaa fi tasgabbii dhabuu biyyattii irratti marii taasisee jira. Keessattu haala naannoo Oromiyaa keesssa jiru irratti mariin kan xiyyeeffate. Mariin kunis kan gaggeeffame waajjira Minstera Muummee Haayilamaariyaam Dassaalanyitti ture. Walitti qabaan mana mari nageenyaa Muummichi Ministera HD fi Ministerri Ittisaa biyyaa fi hogganaa Mana-maree Nageenyaa obbo Siiraaj Fageessaatin gaggeeffameera. Humnoonni nageenyaa federaalaa fi naannoo, pireezdaantonni naannolee, koomishinaroonni poolisii fi ajajoonni Raayyaa Ittisaa biyyaa marii kana irraa qooda fudhataniiru.

Marii ol’aantummaa isaani kabjsiisuu fi qor-qalbii isaani tasgabbeessu raawwachuu irraa woyyaanonni takkaa duubatti hin jenne. Barbaachisummaan marii kanaas nagaa fi tasgabbiin Oromiyatti qixa barbaadamuun argamuu dhabuu fi karoora nageenyaa kallattii funduraa irratti kaayuudha. Ajandaan dhoksaa marichaas sochii fi gaaffi ummanni Oromoo dhimma abbaa biyyummaa fi dimokraasii irratti kaasaa jiru humnaan danquuf kan kiyyeeffameedha. Qaamolee nageenya federaalaa fi naannoo diriirsuun sagalee ummataa ukkaamsuudha. Qor-qalbii qeerroo fi dhageetti bulchiinsa haaraa OPDO’s cabsuu ni barbaadu.
Haa ta’uu malee ummanni Oromoo sodaa marii nageenyaati miti; labsiin hatattamaa fi ajajni garee komaandi postitiin baati 10f kennamaa ture gaafi fi fedhii ummataa dhaabuu akka hin dandeenye ifa. Hidhaa, tumaa fi dhiigni balbala Oromoo hundatti dhangala’aa ture qabsoo cimse malee tasuma hin gufachiifne. Marii fi konfiransii nageenyaa jechuun qabeenya ummataa fi mootummaa qisaasuu irra gaafi fi yaada ummataa dhaga’uun furmaata waaraa ture. Kana gochuuf woyyaaneen ijaa fi gurra hin arganne. Tuffiin cimaanis keessaa isaaniti belbela. BMNO fi hawaasa bal’aa wajjiin dhimma furmaata ta’uu malu: hidhamaa hiikuu, kan ajjeefamani, qe’ee fi qabeenya irraa buqqa’aniif beenyaa barbaachisu kaffaluu irratti ifaan mari’achuu male. Gochaan hammeenyummaa fi gar-jabeenyaa poolisii federaalaa, Agaazii fi woraanna ittisa biyyaatin ummata Oromoo irratti raawwataa turanif ummataa fi bulchiinsa naannootiin kabaja woyyaaneen barbaaddu mulqamuunis mata dhukkubbi cimaa itti ta’eera.

Qaamolee nageenya naannoo fi federaalaatiin rukutamuu, butamuu fi ajjeefamuun ummata Oromoo haaraa hin turre. Sirna bulchiinsa woyyaanee keessatti Oromoon kanuma keessumeessaa, argaa fi dhaga’aa as gahe. Mariin Manni-maree Nageenyaa biyyaalessaa kaleessa gaggeesse kan calqabaatis miti. Erga labsiin mana marii nageenya biyyoolessa hundeessuu lakk.257/2001 bahee amata 16 ta’eera. Labsichi duras kallattii fi al-kallattiin hojima irra ture. Yeroo rakkoo fi nagaatis dhimmuma itti bahaa turan. Kanaaf maqaa wal-gahii, marii fi konfaransitin shirri qabsoo Oromoo danquuf taasifamu hundi nageenyaa fi tasgabbi biyyaas hin fidu; falmii fi qabsoo ummata Oromootis tasuma gufachiisuu hin danda’u.

Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s regime Agazi forces continue with mass killings in Oromia (Ethiopia): At least 10 killed and 20 wounded in Ambo. #OromoProtests October 28, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Click here for In Pictures: Candlelight vigil held in Oromia for Ambo’s slain Oromos /October 27, 2017 by  Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com


 Students in Oromia held a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the Oromos slain in Ambo on October 26, 2017. The killings of at least 10 Oromos came after the Ethiopia’s Woyane military invaded Ambo over an incident involving the fair distribution of sugar in Ambo and the surrounding region. Here are some photos from the event; we’ll bring you more photos of similar events in the future.

 https://www.facebook.com/Amanshafo/posts/1571497892896466

What can Ambo learn from India’s 1919 Amritsar; reflection on Woyane’s weakness, its use of military

10 killed as Ethiopia forces clash with protesters in Oromia | Africanews

 https://www.facebook.com/tsegaye.ararssa/posts/842149935946015

Open Democracy: “Ethnic clashes” in Ethiopia: setting the record straight October 24, 2017

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

 

“Ethnic clashes” in Ethiopia: setting the record straight

First there are the undisputed events. Then there are the media reactions, and these – apart from a few rare exceptions, among them some of Ethiopia’s private media – have been perplexing.

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at a ress conference in Addis Ababa, October 2016. Michael Kappeler/Press Association. All rights reserved.

In their intensity, scale and duration, the big demonstrations of 2015 and 2016 in the country’s most populous states (or regions), Oromya and Amhara, showed the level of rejection of the ruling power. After a respite attributable to the declaration of the state of emergency, they have recently flared up again in Oromya. Furthermore, the so-called “ethnic clashes” in Oromya and in the Somali Regional State suggest that the same ruling power is now coming apart.

Let us briefly recapitulate from the beginning:

– The population of the border zone between the two federal states of Oromya and Somali has long been mixed, with recurrent conflicts over resources, in particular between pastoralists for access to grazing land and water. Sometimes violent, these disputes were generally settled by traditional mechanisms of mediation.

– In 2004, a referendum was held in 420 municipalities (kebele) of this border zone, to decide which region they should belong to. 80% voted to be part of Oromya. However, this preference was never enacted on the ground.

– In 2007, the ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front), a secessionist movement that is the embodiment of Somali irredentism in Ethiopia, attacked an oilfield and killed 74 people, seven of them Chinese.

– The government then decided, as it were, to subcontract the struggle against the ONLF by setting up, training and equipping the only regional armed force in the whole federal state of Ethiopia, the Liyu Police. According to sources, this force now consists of between 25,000 and 45,000 men, as compared with the federal army’s slightly over 200,000.

– Gradually, the Liyu Police extended its field of action to the fight against Al Shabaab in Somalia, supporting the regular Ethiopian army that had been operating there since late 2006.

– International organisations have regularly denounced the multiple and serious human rights violations committed by the Liyu Police in its counterinsurgency actions.

– A few years earlier, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, better known as Abdi Illey, a former electrician turned minor security service officer in the region, had begun a lightning rise through the political ranks: Member of Parliament, head of the regional security services and, in 2010, President of the Region, all with the decisive support of local top brass.

– Shortly before his death in 2012, the country’s all-powerful premier Meles Zenawi seems to have realised his mistake. He considered dismissing Abdi Illey and bringing the force that had become his praetorian guard, the Liyu Police, back into line. It is not known whether in the end he was unwilling or unable to achieve this.

– In October 2015, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn was planning the same move, but was forced to backpedal within just a few days. In explanation, he cited the force’s fundamental role in the fight against the ONLF. In reality, however, the pressure from Abdi Illey’s military backers in particular was too great, and he also made it clear that if he was dismissed, the Liyu Police would continue to obey him and him alone.

– In October 2016, the government justified its declaration of the state of emergency by the need to end protest in Oromya and Amhara state. The task of implementing the measure was assigned to a “Command Post” that was de facto under the control of the heads of the army and the security services. In reality, the country’s entire administration was “militarised”. In particular, authority over all the armed structures of each of the country’s nine states (regional police, security, militias, etc.), shifted from their governments to the Command Post and therefore – at least on paper – to the Liyu Police as well.

– Two months later, i.e. while the state of emergency was in full swing, the Liyu Police carried out its first significant raid in Oromya, and such raids proliferated in the months that followed. Hundreds were killed. According to the Oromo government spokesman, Adissu Arega, “overall, some 416,807 Oromo have been displaced this year alone in a series of attacks by the Somali region’s Special Police Force” (Associated Press, 17/09/2017) – it is not clear whether the year in question refers to the western or Ethiopian calendar (the period between 10 September 2016 and 2017). The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies stated (30/09/2017) that the  ethnic clashes have led to the displacement of more than 45,000 households (225,000 people)”, though without specifying the period concerned. In any case, it is the largest forced population displacement since the one that followed the end of the war with Eritrea (1998-2000).

– For a long time, the Oromo government spokesman remained vague about the perpetrators of these raids, describing them simply as “armed men”, which can mean anyone in an area where carrying a weapon is common. He claimed that their objective is twofold: plunder and at least symbolic annexation, since they raise the Somali flag in place of the Oromo flag (Addis Standard, 14/09/2017).

– The tension escalated after the arrest by the Liyu Police and subsequent murder of two Oromo officials (denied by the Somali government spokesman) followed, perhaps in direct response, by a massacre of 18 to 32 people (depending on the sources), the large majority of them Somali, in Awaday in Oromya. Ethnic cleansing was unleashed, essentially in Oromya since, according to the federal government spokesman, 70,000 Oromos and 392 Somalis have been “displaced”, once again with no clear identification of the period involved (The Reporter, 7/10/2017)

– Interviews with “displaced” Oromos confirm that their departure was mostly forced by Somali officials: Liyu Police, Somali militias, local authorities. Some even report that their Somali neighbours tried their best to protect them. On the other hand, there is no reliable information on what role, if any, their Oromo counterparts may have played in the expulsion of Somalis from Oromya.

– On either side, the Somali and Oromo spokesmen are engaged in a war of words, but the leaders of the two states remain silent. On the Somali side, there are claims of “mass killings and torching of villages” by members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF, a long-standing armed secessionist movement, described as “terrorist” by Addis-Abeba) “in coordination with officials of the Oromo regional state”, the latter having “direct links” with the former (Voice of America, 12/09/17). But no proof has been forthcoming. On the Oromo side, the finger was eventually pointed directly at the Liyu Police and the Somali militia, but the Somali authorities are never implicated (Associated Press, 14/09/2017).

“Border disputes”

In response to these indisputably documented events, the media reactions – apart from a few rare exceptions, among them some of Ethiopia’s private media – have been perplexing. First, a long absence of information. Then a one sentence summary: “the events triggering the recent violence between Oromo and Somali remain unclear” (Africa News, 7/10/2017). Overall, these events are presented as a resurgence of ordinary “clashes”, as “tribal border conflict”, “fighting between two ethnic groups”, “interethnic violence”, motivated by a long tradition of “territorial competition which often leads to disputes and conflicts over resources, including wells and grazing land” (BBC, 18/09/2017), in short just another revival of the old conflicts typical of border zones.

As if, one fine morning, for no particular reason, a few overexcited Oromos had decided to turn on their Somali neighbours, and vice versa, to act out an ancient and unresolved “ethnic conflict”.  This account of things has one essential outcome: these events are attributed to ancestral tribal urges, responsibility for them to unstable locals, and the regional or federal authorities are ultimately exonerated from all responsibility other than their failure to contain the violence. And though the role of the Liyu Police in the raids and expulsions is sometimes mentioned, nobody points out the obvious: they can only act on the orders of the Somali authorities, and therefore of Abdi Illey in person.

However, the Ethiopian authorities have adopted precisely the same position. First, months of deafening silence. Then, at the end of April, news of the signature of an agreement between Oromya President Lemma Megersa and Abdi Illey, “to bring an end to the hostilities stemmed from the recent border disputes” (Ethiopian Herald, 21/04/2017), hostilities to which no high-ranking official had previously referred. Lemma’s declaration on this occasion – “it is unacceptable to fuel unrest in the pretext of border dispute” – can be interpreted as a veiled criticism of the Somali authorities. Abdi Illey denied all direct responsibility, likewise turning it back on “those who instigate violence in these two states”. We know what became of this agreement.

It was not until 16 September, by which time the “displaced” could be counted in tens – and even hundreds – of thousands, and the dead in hundreds, that a leading political figure took a position on the events. Given the gravity of the situation, it was expected that the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, would prove energetic and lay down the law. In fact, his words were vague, timorous and sounded like a confession of impotence. At “a meeting with community elders, tribal and religious leaders” of the two states concerned, in other words without their respective leaders, he began by refraining from a precise assessment of the crisis, despite the fact that he should undoubtedly be familiar with all its ins and outs. He couldn’t do differently: this deliberate omission was his only way to avoid recognising that the situation had moved beyond his control.

According to agency reports (Africa News and Fana, 17-18/09/2017), he stuck to the story that a “boundary dispute arose between the regional states”, resulting in “clashes” between “feuding parties”. At no point would any member of the government say anything more explicit. In his speech to Parliament on 9 October, President of the Republic Mulatu Teshome again spoke of “rabble-rousers who have triggered violence in both regions” (Walta, 9/10/17). Even Lemma Megersa would reduce the “conflict” to the “criminal activities of some individuals” (Walta, 18/09/2017).

“Organized groups”

Sole slim exception: government spokesman Negeri Lencho’s acknowledgement that those “displaced” from the Somali region had not been driven out by the Somali people, but by “some organized groups” (The Reporter, 7/10/2017). For his part, the Oromo government spokesman implicated only the Liyu Police, never the Somali authorities, let alone Abdi Illey.

True, Hailemariam announced that the government would send federal police to patrol the main roads, “the deployment of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to investigate rights violation in the conflict” and humanitarian aid for “displaced persons”. He added that he would do everything to “disarm weapons in the area of the conflict” and that “security forces of both regional states will withdraw from the conflict areas”, thereby equating the Somali region’s seasoned military force with Oromya’s simple regional police force. However, the essence of the message sounded like a cry for help addressed to “civil society”: “the Premier called on all stakeholders to assist the government’s efforts to resolve the boundary dispute” (Fana, 18/09/2017). In short, the federal authority, at least in public, exonerated the main instigator and actor of this unprecedented crisis – the Somali authorities – and assigned responsibility equally to unspecified Oromo and Somali actors.

Except when the Somali spokesman went a step too far, just three days after Hailemariam, this time in the presence of the Presidents of both regions, had declared that “the ongoing efforts to fully stop the border conflict need to be further consolidated” (Walta, 5/10/2017). Speaking on behalf of the “regional state” and the “traditional leaders”, the spokesman wrote, under the headline “Oromo People’s War on Ethiopian Somalis”, that  “Oromo is going forcibly for land expansion and creating relationship to neighboring sea ports such as Somaliland and Somalia for importing heavy weapons for federal government destruction which Somali region become the only existing barrier confronted”. He continued: “Ethiopian Somalis opposed Oromo illegal upraising and re-establishing cruel Derg regime and also violating federal system and the supremacy of constitution. This illegal upraising was aimed to collapse current federal government”.[1] The government responded that “the statement violates the federal government’s direction” and threatens the  “sustainable peace and security of the nation” (Addis Standard, 8/10/2017). Ultimately, according to a recent story in The Reporter (07/10/2017), “Somali-Oromya conflict persists”.

Ethno-nationalism

To understand why, two factors need to be highlighted. The first, to put it succinctly, is that ethno-nationalism is intensifying to the point of detonation, triggering centrifugal forces in the federal system of power. Like it or not, the regional authorities are increasingly asserting their autonomy vis-à-vis the federal centre – Addis Ababa – where the Tigrayan elite has long played a disproportionate role and kept them too long under its control.

As a result, this federal centre is disintegrating. [2] Not only is emancipation supported by numerous Oromos and Amharas, as well as others, but many want to go much further. It is no accident that the slogan that dominated their protests in 2015-16, and again this year, is “Down Woyane!”, a Tigrinya word that has come to refer to Tigrayan power.

This ethno-nationalism is particularly strong in Oromya. The region was subjugated by force, then quasi colonised, in the last era of Ethiopian feudalism. The ethnic Oromo party, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), was for a long time swallowed up by the TPLF (Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front), to the point that it was not until 2015 that it was able to elect its own leaders without external pressure. Finally, the top-down, authoritarian mode of development has gone down particularly badly here. As Ethiopia’s richest region, Oromya has been heavily affected by the brutal eviction of small farmers, with derisory compensation, to make way for investors (“land grabbing”).

Within this general context, the Somali state has followed the same trajectory, but with its own characteristics and objectives. No other state has seen anything like the rise of Abdi Illey and the Liyu Police: none of them is led by such an all-powerful figure, supported by this kind of regional armed force. It was a development that faced opposition from the federal authority, but in vain since the latter was overmatched, as events have shown: the support of part of the military top brass, especially within the command responsible for Somalian operations and at the head of the military security service – at daggers drawn with its civilian counterpart – and probably also the support of part of the TPLF.

Three factors are at work. First, Abdi Illey and the Liyu Police have become irreplaceable in the overcoming of any armed dissidence  – the ONLF is now only a shadow of its former self – and in the war against Al Shabab in Somalia itself. It is equally indispensable in the iron grip it maintains over the Somali state: not a hint of protest is tolerated there. Irreplaceable, but also a threat: Abdi Illey makes no secret of the fact that the Liyu Police answers to him and him alone, and that its destiny is indissociably bound up with his own.

Next, the business links between the leading clans and this military group are as profitable as they are interwoven, entailing above all the smuggling of khat, technology products such as mobile phones or household electric appliances, arms, and even basic food products. And finally, they are now coupled with a shared political goal.

The Somali authority justifies itself by claiming to be “the only existing barrier” against those who, “violating federal system and the supremacy of constitution”,seek “to collapse current federal government”. The first target here is obviously the Oromo authority: overtaken by “narrow nationalism” and ultimately in sympathy with the OLF, it is claimed to seek nothing less than “federal government destruction”.

Flawed federal system

By posing as the keeper of the flame, Abdi Illey gains the support of anyone opposed to reform of the federal system. The flaws of the federal system have been at the heart of the protests that have been raging for three years, in particular among the Oromos and Amharas. To redress them is deemed inevitable and urgent by the reformist section of the leadership, even within the TPLF. Opposition to reform, Abdi Illey’s support, comes first from the military group mentioned above, essentially Tigrayan, unlike moderately or unequivocally reformist senior officers, including army chief Samora Yunus and head of the civilian security services Getachew Assefa, both pillars of Tigrayan power.  However, this support probably also encompasses a fringe of the Tigrayan ruling elite, which is ready to fight – by force if necessary – for the status quo, i.e. the reestablishment of a highly centralised authority de factounder Tigrayan dominance.

Numerous websites that say out loud what is being said in private in certain TPLF circles call for this approach. They claim that the protests are being surreptitiously stage-managed by foreign countries – headed by Egypt and Eritrea – who want “Ethiopia to break up into fiefdoms”. They argue, for example, that “the state of emergency should have been kept for a few more years”. “Unless the government in Ethiopia makes a major policy change towards domestic security, things will get worst and the integrity of Ethiopia will be in danger.”[3] The proliferation of gestures of friendship made by the Somali authorities to the Tigrayan population is obviously no coincidence.

This state of affairs explains why Abdi Illey retains a sufficiently free hand to advance his own pawns, including his pursuit of the ancestral goal of Somali expansionism. In so doing, he serves the aspirations of his supporters, who do not shy away from worst-case political scenarios. Weakening the new Oromo leadership, markedly more nationalist and therefore autonomous than its predecessors, by showing that it is unable to protect its population. Proving that the federal authority is incapable of containing protest and, beyond this, maintaining law and order. With the implication that law and order must be reinstated at any price, and the subtext that if the government does not do it, others will have to do it in their place.

However, the attempt to discredit the Oromo leadership seems to be coming back to bite its promoters. According to reports, chants of “Lemma Megersa is our president!” were heard at the most recent demonstrations in Oromya, though this has not been confirmed. In any case, the slogan “Down Woyane!” continues to dominate.

In the eyes of the demonstrators or Oromo’s “displaced persons”, there is no doubt that behind the Somali authorities and the Liyu Police, it is the TPLF that is pulling the strings (Le Monde, 13/10/17). In this view, the manoeuvre is yet another version of the so-called “triangulation” operations the Front uses to set the Oromo against the Somali, in order to defuse the tension between itself and the Oromo. Oromo opposition websites have always advanced this thesis: Abdi Illey and the Liyu Police are TPLF creations, toeing the TPLF line to the letter; the leadership of the Liyu Police includes numerous Tigrayan officers.

The reality is more complex. First “the” TPLF no longer exists as a homogeneous organisation: Tigrayan domination within the EPRDF has eroded, the military and security command has become more independent of political authority, and is moreover deeply divided. Abdi Illey has a hold over the federal authority and the military and security apparatus because his armed support is irreplaceable and answerable only to him. Reciprocally, those forces, including the group closest to him, have a hold over him, because the Liyu Police could not operate without the support, at least material, they provide. Neither is subordinate to the other. They are bound together by a convergence of political, military and material interests, and reciprocal support.

The most powerful wave of protests since its instatement (the demonstrations of 2015-16 in Oromya and the Amhara Region) threw the ruling power into disarray for months. However, it eventually found the necessary inner resources to respond, albeit after months of internal prevarications and rifts, and albeit by largely handing over control to the military and security forces.

But the state of emergency would seem to have brought no more than a respite: after a marked reduction in the intensity and scale of protest, it has just resumed on a large scale, as evidenced by the wave of demonstrations in Oromya since 10 October. More significant still: “Local officials and police officers either joined the protests or were submerged by it.”[4] And while a consultation process was undertaken with the opposition, its scope is unknown and its outcomes so far unseen.

In response to an “ethnic conflict” which, in reality, is nothing less than armed aggression by one federation state within another, triggering ethnic cleansing on an unprecedented scale, the federal authority initially remained silent. When it finally took a stance, it was so far from reality that it was little more than an admission of its powerlessness to play one of its fundamental roles: to impose a minimum of respect for the constitution on one of the federal states, at least by preventing its aggression.

Why? The federal government executes the decisions of the Executive Committee of the EPRDF, where the four major ethnic parties – Oromo, Amhara, South, Tigrayan – have equal representation. It is hard to believe that a majority of the Executive Committee wouldn’t be aware of the danger and wouldn’t like to bring Abdi Illey back into line. The most plausible explanation is that even if it has the will, it no longer has the means, because it has had to give way to at least a part of the military and security apparatus that opposes such a move.

Power shifts

It was known that the power balance between the politicians and the military/security apparatus had shifted in favour of the latter, in particular with the declaration of the state of emergency. There were questions about whether ethnic nationalism had also penetrated the ranks of the military/security forces and hence undermined their cohesion. There is now reason to wonder not only about their degree of autonomy and ethnic cohesion but also the scale of their divisions, and even their internal conflicts over how to respond to the many-sided crisis that Ethiopia faces. In these circumstances, can the regime still count on the use of force as the ultimate guarantor of its survival?

Behind an appearance of normality, based on the continuing day-to-day operation of the state apparatus, there lurks a question: are the political and executive federal institutions simply in a deep slumber, or already plunged in an irreversible coma?

The more the four major ethnic parties that form the dominant coalition play their own cards, the emptier the shared pot becomes, and the greater the fragmentation of the federal authority responsible for supranational interests.

The OPDO is looking at the possibility of the resignation of some of its senior officials after its strongman, Abadula Gemeda, stood down from his post of Speaker of the House of Representatives, on the grounds that “my peoples and party were disrespected” (AFP, 14/10/2017). If he doesn’t go back on his protest gesture, with almost no precedent in the recent Ethiopian history, this bluntly means: the leading coalition being incapable of fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the Oromo, to the point that Oromya’s elementary right to be protected is flouted, why continue to support this impotent structure by remaining one of its key figures? But taking into account the very role of the Speaker, this gesture is more symbolic than consequential. From what is known, Abadula remains a member of OPDO’s Central Committee, so de facto its bigwig.

But if the OPDO were to formally distance itself by the resignation of some top officials from key posts, as internally discussed, what would remain of the coalition’s legitimacy if a nation that accounts for more than a third of the country’s total population were no longer represented?

In these circumstances, the Amhara party, the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), could be a key player. Amid the multiple faultlines that divide both the EPRDF and each of its components, three clusters can be identified: OPDO, ANDM, and an alliance of the “peripheries”, i.e. TPLF and the South, which are attempting to win over other peripheral nations. Historically, there has been a longstanding rivalry between Amhara and Tigrayans, but – as fellow Abyssinians sharing the same culture and Coptic religion – they would bury the hatchet when they perceived an Oromo threat. Will this alliance continue, or will ANDM join forces with OPDO? And if so, at what price?

Four scenarios

At least four scenarios merit consideration. The EPRDF is in the midst of preparations for its next Congress, set for March 2018. The first possibility is that it reaches an agreement on a way out of the crisis that is sufficiently substantive, credible, innovative and unifying to defuse at least the most radical opposition and to rally the various ethnic governing elites. Its primary focus will need to be a response to the eternal “national question”, or rather the “nationalities question”.

To this end, the only road to success is for the ANDM and OPDO to join forces, acquire allies among Tigrayans and Southerners in the upper levels of the EPRDF, perhaps also take advantage of their majority in the Parliament, and begin to establish a remodelled federal system consistent with the spirit and the letter of the constitution.

To do so, they could capitalize on two strengths. First, the unprecedented size and scale of the popular protest. Second, even the most activist of the younger generation have at least until now largely proved their non-violence and that they are not lured with a call to arms like the revolutionaries of the 70’s and 80’s, while they could have plenty of reasons and opportunities to do so.

If this were to fail, even leading lights of the EPRDF have been predicting for years where the country might be headed: towards a Yugoslavian scenario. That’s the second scenario.

However, a third scenario is possible, arising from a relative balance of forces: none of the elements in place – the civil opposition or the regime as a whole, the federal centre or the centrifugal ethnic forces, the “reformists” or the “hardliners” – would be strong or determined enough to get the upper hand. The power system would continue to stumble along, the country would more or less hold together, and thus the key problems would remain if not deepen.

Unless – fourth scenario – the military decided that it could and should take responsibility for countering the remodelling of the federal system, the risk of a Yugoslavian outcome, or the decay of the regime. Which raises another question: the military as a whole, or one of its factions?


[1] https://www.facebook.com/idi.s.osman/posts/1587956397936631

[2] See for example R. Lefort, Ethiopia’s crisis. Things fall apart: will the centre hold? 19 November 2016, https://www.opendemocracy.net/ren-lefort/ethiopia-s-crisis

[3] http://www.tigraionline.com/articles/oromo-demo-ethiopia-1017.html

[4]https://www.facebook.com/danielberhane.ethiopia/posts/10155967606239880

 

HRW: Ethiopia: Exercise Restraint at Upcoming Irreecha Festival. International Inquiry Needed into Deaths at 2016 Event September 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Human Rights Watch on Human Rights Violations Against Oromo People by TPLF Ethiopia, Irreecha, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

HRW

Ethiopia: Exercise Restraint at Upcoming Festival

International Inquiry Needed into Deaths at 2016 Event

Human Rights Watch, 19 September 2017

HRW: The Long Arm of Ethiopia Reaches for Those Who Fled September 21, 2017

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The Long Arm of Ethiopia Reaches for Those Who Fled

Ethiopia’s Refugees Unsafe in Kenya and Elsewhere

Ethiopia’s economic growth hides fears and repression in one-party rule September 21, 2017

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Ethiopia’s economic growth hides fears and repression in one-party rule

By Graham Peebles, September 19, 2017


Scan the mainstream media for news about Ethiopia and discover headline after headline describing the country’s economic successes: double-digit economic growth, foreign investment and aspirations to become a middle-income country by 2030. Ethiopia, we are told, is a functioning democracy, an African tiger economy and an important ally of Western governments.

According to such eminent sources as the BBC, CNN, the World Bank and the US State Department, Ethiopia is an African success story; a beacon of stability and growing prosperity in a region of dysfunctional states. Dig a little deeper, speak to Ethiopians inside the country or within the diaspora and a different, darker image surfaces: A violent picture of brutal state suppression, state corruption, widespread human rights violations and increasing levels of hardship as the cost of living escalates.

For a country to be regarded as broadly democratic a series of foundational pillars and interconnected principles are required to exist and be in operation: the observation of human rights, political pluralism, a flourishing independent media, an autonomous judiciary and police force, a vibrant civil society and a pervasive atmosphere of tolerance, inclusion and freedom. Where these are found to be absent so too is democracy.

The Ethiopian government – the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) maintains that it governs in accordance with democratic ideals: a brief overview of their methods however makes clear this is far from the truth. The EPRDF rules in a highly suppressive manner and has created an atmosphere of fear and suspicion throughout the country, employing a largely uneducated security apparatus to keep the increasingly mobilized populace in order, and a state-run judiciary to lock troublemakers away.

Political dissent is all but outlawed, and should protestors take to the streets they are shot at, beaten and/or arbitrarily arrested; opposition leaders are imprisoned, branded terrorists, intimidated and persecuted; all major media outlets as well as the sole telecommunications company are state owned or controlled — outspoken journalists are routinely jailed, trade unions are controlled by the government, and humanitarian aid, including food and fertilizer, is distributed on a partisan basis, as are employment opportunities and university places. Refuse to pledge allegiance to the EPRDF and see that job offer withdrawn, the seeds, fertilizer and humanitarian support withheld.

In justification of this tyrannical rule, the government states that Ethiopia is an evolving democracy, that change takes time and that economic growth is their primary concern and not the annoying niceties of universal human rights law, much of which is written into the liberally worded, systematically ignored constitution. And whilst the EPRDF commits wide-ranging human rights violations, and acts of state terrorism, the country’s major donors, America, Britain and the European Union, remain virtually silent. Indeed their irresponsible actions go beyond mere silence — they promote the fictitious image of democracy and stability in Ethiopia, and in some cases conspire with the regime against opposition party activists, as many believe the UK has done in the case of Tadesse Kersmo, a British citizen and leading member of the opposition party Ginbot 7 – Movement for Unity and Democracy in Ethiopia. He was recently arrested at Heathrow on vague terrorism charges, as well as Andargachew Tsege another British citizen. Tsege was kidnapped while transiting through Sanaan airport in Yemen, and rendered to Ethiopia as part of a brutal crackdown on political opponents and civil rights activists. He has been imprisoned inside Ethiopia ever since, and the British government, to their utter shame, has said little and done nothing.

Development aid from these and other benefactors, including the World Bank, flows through and supports “a virtual one-party state with a deplorable human rights record,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) states in its aptly named report, Development without Freedom. The Ethiopian government’s “practices include jailing and silencing critics and media, enacting laws to undermine human rights activity, and hobbling the political opposition.”

Who benefits?

In 1995 the then Prime Minister Meles Zenawi stated that the plan was for Ethiopia to “sustain current double-digit rates of growth for the next 15 years so that by 2025 we become a middle-income country.” And they would achieve this in a manner that would “allow us to have zero net carbon emissions by 2030.” Economic reforms and growth controlled by a highly centralized political system, mirroring, many have suggested, the methodology of China, is the EPRDF’s approach. It is largely Chinese money and organization that has built the new dams, roads and railways. Industrial parks have sprung up offering new jobs at increased wages, and the government plans to build another nine such facilities. But manufacturing is a tiny part of the country’s economy: almost 85% of the workforce is employed in agriculture, which accounts for 41% of GDP, coffee being the main export.

Certainly there have been some economic achievements over the past 25 years and the country’s carbon emissions during the period 1999 to 2012, have, according to the World Bank, remained static. This is indeed positive, as is the commitment to hydro, geothermal, wind and solar power. Overall unemployment has fallen slightly to 19.8% (from 2009 when it was 20.4%), but 50% of young people remain unemployed, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the famous ‘double-digit growth rates’, has been consistently high, averaging 11.35% in the years since 2010, according to Trading Economic, although this dropped to 8% in 2015/16. The UN relates that there has also been substantial progress in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals, particularly relating to those living in extreme poverty. This figure has fallen from 45% in 1995/6 to 30%.

Whilst these figures and the commitment of sustained investment are encouraging, no level of economic growth, green or otherwise, can justify violent, suppressive governance, as is being perpetrated in Ethiopia, and a nation’s GDP is only one measure of a country’s health, and a narrow one at that. It reveals nothing of the political landscape, the human rights conditions under which people are forced to live, the dire levels of poverty or where any new wealth has settled. Many claim ‘crony capitalism’ abounds in Ethiopia, that the principle beneficiaries of economic growth have been government members and close supporters and people from Tigray, the regional home of the majority of the government and senior members of the armed forces.

Desperate for change

With a population of almost 100 million, Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa after Nigeria. And with a population growth rate at a tad under 3% it’s growing apace (in the EU e.g. its 0.23%, the US 0.81%), meaning over the coming five years the country will have 25 million more people to feed.

The median age is a mere 17 years of age (44% are under 14), life expectancy is just 67 years of age (158th out of 198 countries) and the country (according to the US State Department) is still regarded as one of the 10 poorest nations in the world, with some of the lowest per capita income figures on the planet – just $590 (World Bank): it’s hard to live on $49 a month anywhere. The combination of low income, low life expectancy and poor education levels – only 39% of adults are literate and 85% of rural youth don’t complete primary school – means that Ethiopia is ranked 174th (of 198 countries) on the United Nations Human Development Index.

None of this, plus other stark details of daily life, the inflated cost of living for example, increased taxes, or the lowest level of Internet access in Africa – just 3.7%, is featured in the country’s routinely championed GDP figures. Headline numbers which mean nothing to the majority of people: most can barely feed themselves and their families, are increasingly angry at the level of state suppression and live in fear of government retribution should they dare to express dissent. As HRW correctly states, “visitors and diplomats alike are impressed with the double-digit economic growth, the progress on development indicators, and the apparent political stability. But in many ways, this is a smokescreen: many Ethiopians live in fear.”

Fear that has kept the people silent and cowering for years, but, encouraged by movements elsewhere, long-held frustration and anger spilled over in 2015 and 2016, when large-scale demonstrations erupted. Unprecedented demonstrations that followed hard on the heel of elections in May 2015, which, despite widespread discontent with the ruling party saw the EPRDF miraculously win 100% of the seats in both the federal and regional parliaments.

Thousands marched; firstly in the Oromia region than in parts of Amhara (areas that constitute the two largest ethnic groups in the country), until in October, after scores of people were killed in a stampede at Bishoftu in Oromia, a State of Emergency was announced by the ruling regime. Extreme measures of control were contained in the clampdown that lasted for 10 months. Draconian rules, which undermined the rights of free expression and peaceful assembly, and prohibited any association with groups labeled terrorist organizations, such as independent media stations, ESAT TV and Radio and the Oromia Media Network. Break the rules and face up to five years in jail, where torture is commonplace.

HRW made clear that the Directive, which was lifted in August, went “far beyond what is permissible under international human rights law,” and “signaled a continuation of the militarized response” that characterized the government’s reaction to people’s legitimate grievances, peacefully expressed. Tens of thousands of protestors, including opposition party leaders, were arrested and detained without due process. Hundreds of people killed, many more beaten by security forces that act with total impunity. None of this is contained in the World Bank data, the IMF forecasts or the BBC news headlines, nor is the state terrorism taking place in the Ogaden region and elsewhere, where murder and false imprisonment of pastoralists is routine and women tell of multiple rapes at the hands of soldiers and the quasi Para-military group the Liyu Police.

Ethiopia desperately needs a renaissance, true development built on a firm foundation of human rights, inclusion and political pluralism. Human development that caters to the needs of all its citizens, not economic growth based on a prescribed outdated, unjust economic model, which inevitably benefits a few, strengthens inequality and fosters corruption.

Far from building a democratic society in which freedoms are observed and valued, an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and inhibition has been cultivated by the EPRDF government, a brutal regime that is determined to maintain power, no matter the cost to the people of Ethiopia, the vast majority of whom are desperate for democratic change.

Graham Peebles is a freelance writer. He can be reached at: graham@thecreatetrust.org  

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

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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

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

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

 

By Sally Hayden, This Is Place,  20 June 2017

 

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch: the map-maker’s mission

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

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

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

DIASPORA’S DATABASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FACEBOOK LEADS TO JAIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COST OF FREE THINKING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


 

HRW: UN Rights Council should address DR Congo, Turkey, and Ethiopia June 17, 2017

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In Ethiopia, a state of emergency has been in place since October, following a year of protests where around 1000 were killed by security forces, tens of thousands detained, and key opposition figures charged under the antiterrorism law. Restrictions have resulted in a cessation of protests for now, providing a window of opportunity for the government, but there is little sign that they are moving to implement human rights reforms. Ethiopia has ignored repeated calls for international investigations, saying it can investigate itself, but recent investigations by the Human Rights Commission have not met even the most basic standards of impartiality, underlining the need for an international investigation.

 


UN Rights Council should address DR Congo, Turkey, and Ethiopia; Greece should not block EU attention to human rights in China

HRW, 16 June 2017

Item 4 General Debate


GPI 2017: Peacefulness in Africa deteriorates to worst level in almost a decade. Ethiopia suffered the biggest deterioration (both within SSA and globally) June 14, 2017

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More than half of all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) saw their level of peacefulness deteriorate in 2017. Out of the five countries with the largest deteriorations worldwide, four were in SSA.

SSA’s level of peacefulness, as measured by the 2017 Global Peace Index (GPI) regional score, deteriorated to its worst level since 2008. Although the region recorded notable annual improvements between 2011 and 2013, SSA’s GPI score has been consecutively worsening for the past four years, albeit by different magnitudes.

 Despite the fact that the trend for the safety & security and ongoing conflict GPI domains has been improving since 2008, the deterioration in the overall score since this reference year has been driven by a worsening trend in the militarisation domain. The reason behind this becomes clear when we disaggregate these domains by their respective GPI indicators; with access to small arms, military expenditure and UN peacekeeping funding being the ones that deteriorated the most since 2008. Political Terror is another indicator that deteriorated significantly during this time. Notable improvements were however recorded in the indicators for political instability and the deaths from conflict, although the indicator for intensity of conflict has been worsening since 2013.
Ethiopia suffered the biggest deterioration (both within SSA and globally). This was reflected in a sharp worsening of the indicators measuring internal peace levels, leading Ethiopia to suffer a 16 rank deterioration: falling from 118th to 134th.  Read more at: Vision of Humanity: Peacefulness in Africa deteriorates to worst level in almost a decade

Human Rights violations in Ethiopia must be investigated by independent body, rights group April 27, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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ETHIOPIA: How Long the International Community Should Entreat the Rejection of an Independent Investigation into Human Rights Abuses in Ethiopia

HRLHA Press Release

April 23, 2017

The international community finally realized that the Ethiopian government was using democracy as a facade to dehumanize its citizens. Since the current government of Ethiopia came to power in 1991, six international treaties have been signed and ratified by the government, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – at which the Ethiopian government’s security is mostly accused more than any dictator country in the world. This means, from a total of thirteen international treaties, Ethiopia had ratified eight, out of which two were signed during the Military Derg era.

It has not been easy for the international community to accept that a country, such as Ethiopia – which signed and ratified a number of international human rights treaties – has the moral to breach the norms of each treaty and commits massacres against its citizens. The ingenuity of the Ethiopian government has become to be known to the international community very lately, beginning from the land-grab-related human rights violations of the 2010’s in Gambela, Oromia, Benishangul – as reported by human rights organizations, such as HRW, AI and HRLHA and the Oakland Institute … thanks to the outcry of national, regional and international human rights organizations to expose the hidden agenda of the Ethiopian government. Though, reports on Ethiopia’s human rights violations spread all over, Ethiopia was elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011 for a three-year term. After the completion of the first three-year term, it was also reelected on October 28, 2015 for another three-year term. To be legible for the election, the candidate State’s contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights are considered.

The current Ethiopian government began destabilizing the nations and nationalities in the country as it seized power in 1991. The two biggest nations, the Oromo and the Amhara – were the most targeted. Over the course of the first twenty-three years (1991-2014), hundreds of thousands of prominent citizens, political party leaders, members and supporters, journalists, union leaders and members have been killed, forced to disappear, imprisoned and forced to exile. The undisclosed tragedy in the country for so long has started to attract the international attention only in March 2014 when Oromo university students protested against the “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” – which had continually taken place for over four months at which Oromos of all walks of life participated. During the crackdowns on the protests, over 81 Oromos of age 7-81 had been brutally murdered by Ethiopian government’s murderers. The so-called “Addis Ababa Master Plan” was designed to annex 36 Oromo towns evicting an estimated of over three-million Oromo farmers without consultation and compensation. The “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” dispute reignited in November 2015 throughout Oromia and lasted for almost a year until the October 2, 2016 massacre – the incident which changed the peaceful protests to violent. During the protests – which had taken place for almost a year (November 2015 – October 2016) in Oromia Regional State, over 2000 Oromos had been killed by the Ethiopian government’s killing squad known as the Agazi force.

October 2, 2016 was the Oromo Irreecha/Thanksgiving day in which over four-million Oromos had come to gather from all corners of the Oromia Regional State to celebrate at Bishoftu where the government’s Agazi killing squad massacred peaceful people – at which over 700 people were killed through stampede and gunshots from the ground – and supported by air attack. October 2, 2016 was the game changer in the history of the Oromo struggle for self-determination, democracy and justice. The peaceful protest was changed into violent all over the Oromia Regional State. Several government-owned and government-linked properties were destroyed.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Dessalegn gave a permission to its killers – deployed all over the Oromia Regional State – to take all necessary actions against the uprising, and several thousand Oromos were killed, imprisoned and forcefully disappeared. To calm down the violent actions in the region, the government of Ethiopia declared a State of Emergency on October 8, 2016. After the State of Emergency was declared, many expected the situation could improve. However, the government’s killing squads deployed deep into Oromia villages used the opportunity to kill more Oromos at their homes, at their neighborhoods during day and night times, raped women and girls in front of their families, and looted valuable properties.

For example,

(1) Hailu Ephrem , the sixteen-year-old boy and Ibsa Runde, seventeen-year-old boy, had been killed, simply in their daily routine like any other playing in their area. They had been killed for no apparent reason except the psychopathic killing machines called Agazi had to kill Oromos to satisfy their masters’ order. The mother of Hailu Ephrem, Mrs Tadelu Tamama, a mother from Dembidolo, Welega (Oromia region of Ethiopia) told VOA Afaan Oromo service radio, “After the soldiers shot and killed my son in front of me ‘They told me to sit down on my dead son’s body’.”

(2) On November 6, 2016 at 5:00am, three brothers – Marabu Jamalo, Abdissa Jamalo and Tola Jamalo – were shot dead by the TPLF killing squad (Agazi force) in their home in Easter Arsi Zone in Shirka district. Their father Mr. Jamalo Hussein said “my children have been killed by the fascist government killing squad, Agazi, not because they stole or did anything wrong, but only because they are Oromos ” – told to HRLHA reporter in the area.

Such crimes are widespread all over Oromia and Amhara regional states, especially at night, and are being perpetrated on an ever-increasing scale and as part of the State of Emergency policy. There is also evidence of the government targeting special groups, such as youth, educated citizens and journalists in those regions. With such criminal records for over two decades, Ethiopia was elected to the other UN subsidiary organization , UN Security Council, on June 28, 2016. This was a period when the Ethiopian government had massacred several Oromos simply because they expressed their grievances in peaceful protest. Regarding this unfair election, the HRLHA expressed its concerns to the President of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft in its press release “THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED FOR MASSACRING ITS PEOPLE.”

Ethiopia, a country with high human rights violations – has been allowed to be elected to both the United Nations Human Rights Council and United Nations Security Council positions, the positions which require respect/protect and promote human rights at the global level, and maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights.

In the past two years, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and some government offices requested the Ethiopian government to allow access to independent investigations to assess the human rights violations in the country. Requests for independent investigations of the human rights violations in Ethiopia came from the following agencies:

# Agencies Date
Europe an Parliament resolution on Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP)) 19.1.2016
UN experts call for international commission to help investigate systematic violence … GENEVA (10 October2016)
UN rights office urges Ethiopia to ensure independent probe of reported violations in Oromia region 19 August 2016
Press Statement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Human Rights Situation in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Date: 02 September 2016

However, the Ethiopian government has rejected the call of the international community for independent investigations into Ethiopia human rights crises in the past two years. The Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), who visited Ethiopia recently also released a statement calling for an independent investigation into 2 October 2016 killings that claimed the lives of at least 52 people, according to the government media, or over 700 people, according to HRLHA and other reports.

However, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn again rejected the call for external investigations by saying “Ethiopia’s sovereignty should be respected,” according the BBC report on April 18, 2016. PM Hailemariam pointed out that the Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission is an independent institution in the country with whom his government must relay and could be strengthened. He clearly underlined his government’s position for peace, democracy and fundamental rights of the Ethiopians. In his interview with BBC, the PM of Ethiopia said “Ethiopia does not need independent investigator as far as Ethiopia is an independent country.” The government of Ethiopia is committed to continue suppressing all kinds of freedom and democracy in the country. It is unfortunate that Ethiopians could not detach themselves from dictatorial regimes for over a century, “History repeats itself,” again and again.

Therefore, the HRLHA would like to call upon donor governments and international government agencies to take all necessary and decisive measures against the Ethiopian government to respect international human rights and humanitarian laws, and all human rights treats it signed and ratified.

HRLHA Press Release

April 23, 2017

The international community finally realized that the Ethiopian government was using democracy as a facade to dehumanize its citizens. Since the current government of Ethiopia came to power in 1991, six international treaties have been signed and ratified by the government, including the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – at which the Ethiopian government’s security is mostly accused more than any dictator country in the world. This means, from a total of thirteen international treaties, Ethiopia had ratified eight, out of which two were signed during the Military Derg era.

It has not been easy for the international community to accept that a country, such as Ethiopia – which signed and ratified a number of international human rights treaties – has the moral to breach the norms of each treaty and commits massacres against its citizens. The ingenuity of the Ethiopian government has become to be known to the international community very lately, beginning from the land-grab-related human rights violations of the 2010’s in Gambela, Oromia, Benishangul – as reported by human rights organizations, such as HRW, AI and HRLHA and the Oakland Institute … thanks to the outcry of national, regional and international human rights organizations to expose the hidden agenda of the Ethiopian government. Though, reports on Ethiopia’s human rights violations spread all over, Ethiopia was elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011 for a three-year term. After the completion of the first three-year term, it was also reelected on October 28, 2015 for another three-year term. To be legible for the election, the candidate State’s contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights are considered.

The current Ethiopian government began destabilizing the nations and nationalities in the country as it seized power in 1991. The two biggest nations, the Oromo and the Amhara – were the most targeted. Over the course of the first twenty-three years (1991-2014), hundreds of thousands of prominent citizens, political party leaders, members and supporters, journalists, union leaders and members have been killed, forced to disappear, imprisoned and forced to exile. The undisclosed tragedy in the country for so long has started to attract the international attention only in March 2014 when Oromo university students protested against the “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” – which had continually taken place for over four months at which Oromos of all walks of life participated. During the crackdowns on the protests, over 81 Oromos of age 7-81 had been brutally murdered by Ethiopian government’s murderers. The so-called “Addis Ababa Master Plan” was designed to annex 36 Oromo towns evicting an estimated of over three-million Oromo farmers without consultation and compensation. The “Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan” dispute reignited in November 2015 throughout Oromia and lasted for almost a year until the October 2, 2016 massacre – the incident which changed the peaceful protests to violent. During the protests – which had taken place for almost a year (November 2015 – October 2016) in Oromia Regional State, over 2000 Oromos had been killed by the Ethiopian government’s killing squad known as the Agazi force.

October 2, 2016 was the Oromo Irreecha/Thanksgiving day in which over four-million Oromos had come to gather from all corners of the Oromia Regional State to celebrate at Bishoftu where the government’s Agazi killing squad massacred peaceful people – at which over 700 people were killed through stampede and gunshots from the ground – and supported by air attack. October 2, 2016 was the game changer in the history of the Oromo struggle for self-determination, democracy and justice. The peaceful protest was changed into violent all over the Oromia Regional State. Several government-owned and government-linked properties were destroyed.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Dessalegn gave a permission to its killers – deployed all over the Oromia Regional State – to take all necessary actions against the uprising, and several thousand Oromos were killed, imprisoned and forcefully disappeared. To calm down the violent actions in the region, the government of Ethiopia declared a State of Emergency on October 8, 2016. After the State of Emergency was declared, many expected the situation could improve. However, the government’s killing squads deployed deep into Oromia villages used the opportunity to kill more Oromos at their homes, at their neighborhoods during day and night times, raped women and girls in front of their families, and looted valuable properties.

For example,

(1) Hailu Ephrem , the sixteen-year-old boy and Ibsa Runde, seventeen-year-old boy, had been killed, simply in their daily routine like any other playing in their area. They had been killed for no apparent reason except the psychopathic killing machines called Agazi had to kill Oromos to satisfy their masters’ order. The mother of Hailu Ephrem, Mrs Tadelu Tamama, a mother from Dembidolo, Welega (Oromia region of Ethiopia) told VOA Afaan Oromo service radio, “After the soldiers shot and killed my son in front of me ‘They told me to sit down on my dead son’s body’.”

(2) On November 6, 2016 at 5:00am, three brothers – Marabu Jamalo, Abdissa Jamalo and Tola Jamalo – were shot dead by the TPLF killing squad (Agazi force) in their home in Easter Arsi Zone in Shirka district. Their father Mr. Jamalo Hussein said “my children have been killed by the fascist government killing squad, Agazi, not because they stole or did anything wrong, but only because they are Oromos ” – told to HRLHA reporter in the area.

Such crimes are widespread all over Oromia and Amhara regional states, especially at night, and are being perpetrated on an ever-increasing scale and as part of the State of Emergency policy. There is also evidence of the government targeting special groups, such as youth, educated citizens and journalists in those regions. With such criminal records for over two decades, Ethiopia was elected to the other UN subsidiary organization , UN Security Council, on June 28, 2016. This was a period when the Ethiopian government had massacred several Oromos simply because they expressed their grievances in peaceful protest. Regarding this unfair election, the HRLHA expressed its concerns to the President of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft in its press release “THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE REWARDED FOR MASSACRING ITS PEOPLE.”

Ethiopia, a country with high human rights violations – has been allowed to be elected to both the United Nations Human Rights Council and United Nations Security Council positions, the positions which require respect/protect and promote human rights at the global level, and maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations and cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights.

In the past two years, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and some government offices requested the Ethiopian government to allow access to independent investigations to assess the human rights violations in the country. Requests for independent investigations of the human rights violations in Ethiopia came from the following agencies:

# Agencies Date
Europe an Parliament resolution on Ethiopia (2016/2520(RSP)) 19.1.2016
UN experts call for international commission to help investigate systematic violence … GENEVA (10 October2016)
UN rights office urges Ethiopia to ensure independent probe of reported violations in Oromia region 19 August 2016
Press Statement of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Human Rights Situation in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Date: 02 September 2016

However, the Ethiopian government has rejected the call of the international community for independent investigations into Ethiopia human rights crises in the past two years. The Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES), who visited Ethiopia recently also released a statement calling for an independent investigation into 2 October 2016 killings that claimed the lives of at least 52 people, according to the government media, or over 700 people, according to HRLHA and other reports.

However, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn again rejected the call for external investigations by saying “Ethiopia’s sovereignty should be respected,” according the BBC report on April 18, 2016. PM Hailemariam pointed out that the Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission is an independent institution in the country with whom his government must relay and could be strengthened. He clearly underlined his government’s position for peace, democracy and fundamental rights of the Ethiopians. In his interview with BBC, the PM of Ethiopia said “Ethiopia does not need independent investigator as far as Ethiopia is an independent country.” The government of Ethiopia is committed to continue suppressing all kinds of freedom and democracy in the country. It is unfortunate that Ethiopians could not detach themselves from dictatorial regimes for over a century, “History repeats itself,” again and again.

Therefore, the HRLHA would like to call upon donor governments and international government agencies to take all necessary and decisive measures against the Ethiopian government to respect international human rights and humanitarian laws, and all human rights treats it signed and ratified.

Fear of Investigation: What Does Ethiopia’s Government Have to Hide? April 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Fear of Investigation: What Does Ethiopia’s Government Have to Hide?

 

In February 2016, an 18-year-old student who I will call Tolessa and two friends took part in their first protest, in Oromia’s East Hararghe zone. As the crowd moved forward, they were met by a line of regional police, federal police and the army. Shortly thereafter and without warning, security forces fired live ammunition into the crowd hitting Tolessa four times. Miraculously he survived. But his two friends were not so lucky.

I first interviewed him in April 2016 for the Human Rights Watch June 2016 report on abuses during the first six months of the Oromo protests. Several days ago, Tolessa got in touch with me again to update me on his condition.

I spoke to him around the time that Ethiopia’s national Human Rights Commission submitted an oral report to parliament on the protests. This was the Commission’s second report to parliament, covering the protests between June and September in parts of Oromia, Amhara, and SNNPR regions. The Commission found that 669 people were killed, including 63 members of the security forces, and concluded – once again – that security forces had taken “proportionate measures in most areas.”

While many will focus on the death toll, the commission’s conclusion that the use of force was mostly proportionate and appropriate is in stark contrast to the descriptions of victims like Tolessa, and at odds with the findings of other independent investigators. At this stage, the grounds for the commission’s conclusion are unclear, since no written report has yet been published.

In its first oral report to parliament, in June, the commission similarly concluded that the level of force used by federal security forces in Oromia was proportionate. The written version of this report was only made public this week, 10 months later. In the 92 page English version [134 pages in Amharic] there is no mention of security forces firing on protesters, mass arrests, torture in detention, or any one of a slew of other abuses that have been widely reported.

Instead, the commission largely describes violence committed by protesters as described to the commission members by local government officials, security forces, and elders. It parrots the government’s narrative, making many references to Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) involvement, but never provides any evidence for this allegation. It references interviews with detainees, but otherwise fails to describe the commission’s methodology, including how many protesters, victims, and witnesses its members interviewed.

It’s quite possible that many protesters and victims of security force abuses would not speak to the commission because of the widespread perception that it has no independence from the government. Independence is crucial for any successful national human rights commission, and the Ethiopian institution has failed to meet this bar for many years. I know first-hand that it is not difficult to find protesters willing to share their experiences.

Armed security officials watch as protesters stage a protest against government during the Irreechaa cultural festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on October 02, 2016.

Armed security officials watch as protesters stage a protest against government during the Irreechaa cultural festival in Bishoftu, Ethiopia on October 02, 2016.

Aside from the commission’s activities, there is no domestic scrutiny of security force abuses. The members of parliament are all from the ruling party and affiliates. The judiciary lacks independence on politically motivated cases. Various courts have consistently refused to investigate mounting allegations of torture from detainees. Harassment, prosecutions, and swathes of restrictions have stifled independent media and nongovernmental organizations. In this situation, the commission and other “independent” institutions like the ombudsmen could play a vital role in scrutinizing abuse by Ethiopia’s security forces, but they too are apparently hamstrung by government influence.

The government consistently tries to frame the protests as the result of lack of “good governance” and youth unemployment. Yet one of the most common slogans heard on the streets of Oromia and Amhara, particularly in the later months of the protests, was a call to respect human rights, stop shooting protesters, and stop imprisoning students. The patterns of abuse documented by several human rights groups in Oromia  during various periods, including the 2005 pre-election period and between 2011-2014 are strikingly similar.  In each case, the government ignored calls for independent investigations, denied the allegations, and claimed they were politically motivated. These longstanding patterns of abuse against those who challenge the government, committed with complete impunity, are key to understanding the levels of anger fueling protests in the streets of Oromia over the last 18 months. And Oromia isn’t the only place in Ethiopia that has experienced serious rights violations by security forces – sometimes repeatedly – without meaningful investigations.

In Gambella, Human Rights Watch documented possible crimes against humanity by the Ethiopian army in 2003 and 2004, including extrajudicial executions, rape, and torture. In the Somali Regional State (SRS), the Ethiopian military committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity between mid-2007 and 2008 during their counterinsurgency campaign against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). The government-allied Liyu police have subsequently committed numerous extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and other attacks on civilians in SRS. Instead of permitting independent investigators to come in, the Ethiopian government consistently shuts the door and insists that Ethiopian institutions, such as the Human Rights Commission, can do the job.

I asked Tolessa his view of the commission. He said it’s “just another arm of the government,” and noted that the its head, Dr Addisu Gebregziabher, was previously chair of the National Electoral Board, another body with questionable independence. While the commission’s lack of independence is hardly newsworthy, it does underscore the need for independent, international scrutiny of Ethiopia’s rights record, especially given the government’s dubious claims that the commission’s investigations are credible. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn reiterated this claim during an April 18 interview with the BBC, rejecting calls for a UN investigation into the protests by stating that Ethiopia is “an independent country that can investigate its own cases.” Yet these repeated refusals beg the question: if the security forces acted appropriately, then what is the government trying to hide?

Ethiopia is currently a member of both the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council, which requires it to uphold the “highest standards of human rights.” Yet the government repeatedly rejects efforts to hold it to account, refusing entry to all UN special rapporteurs since 2007, except the Special Rapporteur on Eritrea. There are many outstanding requests from these UN monitors – on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly, among others. Recent calls by the United Nations top human rights official, the African Commission, the European parliament, and some members of United States Congress, for international investigations have all been dismissed. The government also avoids judicial scrutiny at the highest level as it is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ethiopia is certainly not alone in disliking international scrutiny of its rights record, yet many countries recognize that there are benefits to cooperation, particularly if there is genuine commitment to transparency, accountability, and improving human rights. Ethiopia’s continuous refusals call into question all of these commitments, instead making clear that it is not willing to stop using excessive force against protesters or torturing dissenters into silence.

Human Rights Watch research in many countries has demonstrated that a decision to ignore atrocities and reinforce a culture of impunity carries a high price, and merely encourages future abuses, which  should concern investors, diplomats, and others concerned about the long-term stability of Ethiopia following almost 18 months of bloody turmoil. An international investigation would be a first important step in ending Ethiopia’s culture of impunity and would send a powerful and overdue message to the Ethiopian government that its security forces cannot shoot and kill peaceful protesters with impunity. And it would send an important message to victims like Tolessa that their pleas for justice are being heard.