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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook is a key tool for activists — and law enforcement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gendered Impacts of Large-scale Land Acquisitions in States of Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz May 26, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Gendered Impacts of Large-scale Land Acquisitions in Western Ethiopia

Author: Forests and Livelihoods: Assessment, Research and Engagement (FLARE)

Date: May 24, 2017


This study presents the results of a comparative assessment of the effects of four cases of land transactions in western Ethiopia in the states of Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz. The study contributes to the larger body of research on large-scale land transactions. It does so through a particular focus on how these transactions are affecting women and women’s livelihoods in comparison to those of men.

  • Key Findings
  • Related Analyses

The study identifies four consistent outcomes across the studied cases:

(1) They reduced available land and parcel sizes for agricultural households;

(2) They reduced available grazing area, livestock holdings, milk consumption/sale, and availability of other livestock products;

(3) They prompted out-migration and increased labor requirements from women who came to manage both their normal domestic chores but also had to take address new tasks outside the home;

(4) Finally, they reduced available forest area and forest products such as firewood and non-timber goods, again increasing the labor burden of women. Preliminary evidence of changes in nutrition and diets point to an important avenue for future research.

Gendered impacts of large-scale land acquisitions in States Oromia and Benishangule -Gumuz

– See more at: http://rightsandresources.org/en/publication/gendered-impacts-large-scale-land-acquisitions-western-ethiopia/#.WSiVbVTytdg

Bipartisan Resolution Calling on Ethiopia to Respect Human Rights, Open Democratic Space May 25, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) today introduced a Senate resolution condemning excessive use of force by Ethiopian security forces that led to hundreds of deaths last year, and calling on the Ethiopian government to release all political opposition, dissidents, activists, and journalists and to respect the rights enshrined in its constitution.

“As the Ethiopian government continues to stall on making progress on human rights and democratic reform, it is critical that the United States remains vocal in condemning Ethiopia’s human rights abuses against its own people,” said Rubio, chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee on human rights and civilian security. “I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to urge the Ethiopian government to respect the rule of law and prioritize human rights and political reforms.”

“The Ethiopian government must make progress on respecting human rights and democratic freedoms.  I am deeply troubled by the arrest and ongoing detention of a number of prominent opposition political figures.  The fact that we have partnered with the Ethiopian government on counterterrorism does not mean that we will stay silent when it abuses its own people,” said Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “On the contrary, our partnership means that we must speak out when innocent people are detained, and laws are used to stifle legitimate political dissent.”

The resolution notes that hundreds of people have been killed and thousands were arrested during the course of the protests in Ethiopia. To date, there has not been a credible accounting for security forces’ excesses.

Joining Rubio and Cardin as original cosponsors of the resolution are Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).


USA on Ethiopia, senate resolution

Wixineen Seeraa Haaraan Seenaateroonni US Dhiheessan Qaamota Lammiiwwan Itoophiyaa Irratti Dhiitaa Mirgaa Hamaa Geechisan Irra Qoqqobbin Akka Kaayamu Gaafata.


OMN: Oduu (Caamsaa 18, 2017)

 

Oromia: #OromoProtests:#OromoRevolution: Gabaasa Fincila Xumura Garbummaa (FXG) Oromiyaa 2017 (May) May 25, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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 Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

oromoprotests-one-year-on-struggle-november-2015-2016oromorevolution-oromoprotests

Oromo Protests defend Oromo National Interest

#OromoPRotests tweet and share#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

https://videopress.com/embed/Kv0UV52t?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

scotiabank-toronto-waterfront-half-marathon-winner-kinde-asafa-showing-the-protest-juster

an-oromo-youth-hero-shanted-down-down-woyane-on-the-face-of-mass-killers-tplf-agazi-at-bishoftu-2nd-october-2016-oromoprotestsFeyisa Lelisa Rio Olympian and world icon of #OromoProtestsQuebec City Marathon winner, Oromo athlete, Ebisa Ejigu, replicates Rio Olympic medallist’s #OromoProtests. p3Athlete Fraol Ebissa Won the Germany 10Km race and shows his solidarity with #OromoProtests. 4 September 2016. p2oromo-athlete-tamiru-demisse-center-reacts-after-the-final-of-mens-1500m-of-the-rio-2016-paralympicoromo-oromo-athletes-tamiru-demisse-c-megersa-tasisa-l-and-sport-journalist-adugna-angasu-r-who-are-in-rio-de-janeiro-brazil-for-the-paralympic-2016-show-solidarity-in-a-world-stage-to-oromoathlete-hajin-tola-winner-of-mississauga-canken-5k-race-protests-in-support-of-ethiopias-oromo-peopleathlete-hirut-guangul-joined-the-brave-movement-as-she-won-the-womens-marathon-and-in-solidarity-with-oromoprotests-25-september-2016-this-video-is-viral-on-social-media-in-her-adoration
Oromo Students protest @ Mandii, Western Oromia 25th November 2015Oromo Students protest @ Ambo, Oromia 25th November 2015 picture1

Gaaffiiwwan yeroo ammaastop killing Oromo People#GrandOromoProtests 6 August 2016, in Oromia including in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa), the capital.


Oromo Olympic marathon athlete Fayyisaa Lalisaa in the social and international media. #OrompProtests global icon. p7

the-heroes-said-down-down-wayyane-down-on-2nd-october-2016-at-irreecha-bishoftu-to-protests-mass-killings-p2oromorevolution-thefinalmarchforfreedomoromoprotests-and-fascist-tplfs-human-rights-violations-anaginst-civilians-2016-bbc-sources

Gincii, Amboo, Jalduu, Gudar, Giddaa Ayyaanaa, Mandii, Najjoo, Laaloo Assaabii, Jaarsoo, Gullisoo, Bojjii, Gujii,Dambi Doolloo, Gimbii, Naqamtee, Buraayyuu, sabbataa, Dirree Incinnii, Adaamaa, Harammayyaa, Mattuu, Baale (Robee), Madda Walabu, Walliisoo, Tulluu Boolloo, Sulultaa (Caancoo), Horroo Guduruu, Buuraayyuu, Dirree Dhawaa, Calanqoo, Ada’aa Bargaa, Baddannoo, Holootaa, Shaashee, Awaday (E. Harargee), Hara Qallo (Goro Dola, Gujii), Gaasaraa (Baalee), Bulee Hora, Jimmaa, Arjo, Heebantuu, Giddaa Ayyaanaa ,Kiiramuu, Ciroo, Dodolaa, Anfilloo (Mugii), Walqixxee, Diillaa, Bishooftuu, Finfinnee,  Yuniversiitii Finfinnee, Geedoo, Asallaa,  Shaambuu, Agaarfaa, Sibuu Siree, Kotobee, Wacaalee, Saalaalee, Machaaraa, Ammayyaa, Tokkee  Kuttaayee, Innaangoo, Baabbichaa, Laaloo Qilee, Hiddii Lolaa, .Mugii, Arsi Nagallee, Baabbichaa, Shukutee,  Baakkoo Tibbee, Jalduu, Gindoo, Buun’dho Beddellee, Grawwaa, Gaara Mul’ataa, Qarsaa, Qobboo (Dardar, Eastern Oromia), Sinaanaa (Baalee), Jimmaa Arjoo, Bojjii, Kombolcha,  Aggaaroo,Tajji (Iluu), Qilxuu Kaarraa, Baabboo Gambel, Daawoo,Tulu Milki (Warra Jarso), Hirnaa, Xuulloo,  Masalaa, Galamso, Bordode, Mi’esso, Waheel, Diggaa, Arjoo Guddattuu, Guraawa, waamaa Adaree, Shabee Somboo, Limmuu Saqaa, Amuruu (Agamsa), Daroo Labuu (Gaadulloo), Yaabelloo, Aliboo (Jaartee Jardagoo), Saasigga, Magaalaa Dafinoo, Dhumugaa, Daroo Labuu (Buraysaa) Begii (Kobor), Mardida Halo Guba (Daroo Labuu), Qassoo, Bonayyaa Boshee, Baalee  (Dalloo Mannaa), Jimmaa Raaree (Magaalaa Gobaan), Nophaa (Iluu), Bordoddee, Togowacaalee, Dooguu, Metekel (Wanbara), Asaasaa, Waabee, Heeraroo, Doguu, Quufanziq (Dadar), Boku Luboma (Miyo, Borana), Eddoo, Dirree (Ada’aa), Qilxuu Kaarraa, Shebel town, Bate, Walanchiti, Warra Jiruu,  Boolee Bulbulaa, Diilallaa, Gannat Haaraa (dodolaa)……………



 

 

Amajjii (January): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 ……2017

Gurraandhala (February) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28…..2017

Bitootessa ( March): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31……..2017

Ebla (April): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30…… 2017

Caamsaa (May): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, ……….2017


 

Down! down! Down With Wayyanee! Down TPLF!

https://videopress.com/embed/Kv0UV52t?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

https://youtu.be/D5YauwAQTgU

#OromoProtests: International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis Worsens

#OromoProtests. International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis Worsensfreedom-in-the-world-2017-ethiopia-profile-not-free-and-deteriorating-situation

Ethiopia received a downward trend arrow due to the security forces’ disproportionate and often violent response to massive, primarily peaceful antigovernment protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions, as well as an emergency declaration in October that gave the military sweeping powers to crack down on freedoms of expression and association.

Ethiopia's scores in freedom in the world 2016, freedom House World Report, January 2016.

Ethiopian regime guilty of crime against humanity

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution Report 1-30 April 2017

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-31 March  2017

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-28 February 2017

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-31 January 2017

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-31 December 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-30 November 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution  report  1 – 31 October 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests report 1- 30 September 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests report 1- 31 August 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests Updates, 1st July – 31st July 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests Updates, 1st June – 30 June 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 31st May 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 30 April 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 31st March, 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, November 2015- February 29, 2016



For Latest News click here for OromianEconomistonfacebook

#OromoProtests twitter


HRC35: Addressing the pervasive human rights crisis in Ethiopia.

Fragile States Index (FSI) 2017: Ethiopia: The Most-worsened Country Over The Past Year

Rubio, Cardin Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Calling on Ethiopia to Respect Human Rights, Open Democratic SpaceMAY 17 2017

HRW: European Parliament Demands Investigation Into Ethiopia Killings. #OromoProtes

UNPO: European Parliament Resolution Condemns Crackdown on Civil Society in Ethiopia

Why I run: I will continue to protest until the Oromo people in Ethiopia gain their freedom.

Surveillance and State Control in Ethiopia

U.N. RENEWS CALLS TO INVESTIGATE DEADLY ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS IN ETHIOPIA

Feyisa Lilesa urges world to do more to help the Oromo people (via Newsweek)

The Hill: USA doesn’t need Ethiopia in its war on terror in the Horn of Africa

WHO Director General Nominee Tedros Adhanom Represents Ethiopia’s Repressive Regime. #WHA70

AP News: UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF: ETHIOPIA BLOCKED ACCESS TO PROTEST AREAS

 

Quartz Africa: Ethiopia’s humans rights problems may tank its ambition to become a global apparel center

Genocide Watch: Land Grabbing and Violations of Human Rights in Ethiopia

ESPN The Magazine: Why Olympic Silver Medalist Feyisa Lilesa Didn’t Go Home

Scholars at Risk Network: Release and drop charges against Dr. Merera Gudina

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

TV Link: Why the Oromo People Are Fleeing Ethiopia

Fear of Investigation: What Does Ethiopia’s Government Have to Hide?

London Marathon favourite Feyisa Lilesa amazing protest. #OromoProtests

#OromoJustice in Ethiopia: Pass HR 128

Why Is Western Media Ignoring Ongoing Atrocity In Ethiopia?

UNPO: Oromo: Violent Oppression and Disregard for Human Rights Continue as State of Emergency Gets Prolonged

Ethiopia extends emergency as old antagonisms fester

The Ethiopian state of emergency that was declared October 2016 continues to fuel outward displacement, and Ethiopian asylum seekers interviewed in Yemen, are increasingly referring to the unrest as a key reason for their migration out of the country.

 

OSA 2017: Oromo Studies Association Mid-Year Conference: Social Media and Social Movements: Leadership,Transnationalism and the Oromo Quest for Transformation

Fascist Ethiopia: Would Extending the State of Emergency solve grievances of citizens?

 

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) extends its state of emergency by four months

Ethiopia’s increasing outmigration highlights wider economic and security problems

Oromo-American Citizen Council (OACC): Extension of the State of Emergency-All is Not Well in Oromia

OMN: Prof. Ezekiel B. Gebissa in conversation with Canada MP Bob Zimmer (March 29, 2017)

Oromia: OMN: Qophii Jiruuf jireenyaa Artist Dirribee Gadaa Bit 28, 2017. OMN: Interview with one of the most creative minds in Oromo music and art, artist singer Dirribee Gadaa

UNPO caught up with Shigut Geleta of the Oromo Liberation Front, one of our speakers at our conference “Women’s Inferno in #Ethiopia” co-organised with the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) and hosted by Liliana Rodrigues MEP (S&D). Mr Geleta highlights his great concern for #women‘s rights in #Ethiopia, as they are the first victims when conflict strikes.

Urgency of Addressing the Plight of Women Belonging to Vulnerable Groups in Ethiopia Highlighted at UNPO EP Conference

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: The global icon of #OromoProtests Olympian Feyisa Lilesa (Fayyisaa Leellisa) wins the New York City 2017 Half Marathon. Mare Dibaba Wins the Lisbon City

Forbes: Ethiopia’s Cruel Con Game

Ethiopia: IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: QOSHE GARBAGE DUMP COLLAPSE: A TRAIL OF CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE AND COUNTLESS VICTIMS

Congressman Urges U.S. to End Alliance with Brutal Ethiopian Regime

HRW: US: Stand Up for Ethiopians as Government Stifles Protests, Jails Journalists Human Rights Watch Statement on Ethiopia to US Congress

Rep. Chris Smith: Ethiopia should acknowledge its challenges and seek reasonable solutions

 

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

Liyu police raids in Oromia testing Ethiopia’s semblance of calm

US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor : Ethiopia: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016

Oromo Revolution echoes around the globe

The police brutalities resulted in several deaths. A death toll of 150 was recorded in Ethiopia, 32 in DRC and one in Mali.  To date, not one security agent has been prosecuted for any of the killings in the three countries. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many violations perpetrated against protestors, journalists and media organisations in Africa as reported in the maiden edition of the Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa report by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) compiled for the period July to December 2016.

THE MESSENGER :Ethiopia state media face scrutiny from Facebook fact-checkers

OMN: Weerara Poolisii Addaa ilaalchisee Dhaabbileen Siyaasaa Oromoo maal jedhu?

ETHIOPIA:  The Ethiopian Government is Plotting a War Among  the Nations and Nationalities in Ethiopia

 

HRLHA Press Release


 

""

International Human Rights Day  marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Crafted in the shadow of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II, the Declaration gave the world the vision it needed to stand up to fear and the blueprint it craved to build a safer and more just world.  Its single premise is:   “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

 

Human Rights Day Message:United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s message for Human Rights Day 10 December 2014.

 

In observing Human Rights Day, its important to  highlight the horrific going on in 2014 in our world. The following document is the summary of horrific repression going on against Oromo people by tyrannic Ethiopian  regime:

http://www.amnesty.nl/sites/default/files/public/because_i_am_oromo.pdf

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/?s=because+I+am+Oromo&searchbutton=go%21

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignleft wp-image-4426″ src=”https://qeerroo.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/hrlha.jpg?w=151&h=151″ alt=”HRLHA” style=”margin: 0px 7px 2px 0px; padding: 4px; border: none; float: left; display: inline;”>February 26, 2017The  Ethiopian Somali Liyu Police led by the Ethiopian Federal government’s killing squad have been engaged in a cruel war for the past six months against the Oromo nation in fifteen districts of Oromia.   The Oromia districts that have been invaded by the two aforementioned forces are in east and east- west Hararge Zone, Eastern Oromia,  Guji,  Borana and  Bale, South Oromia zones, Southern Oromia of Oromia Regional State.


Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2017: Ethiopia Profile: Not free and in downward trends with political rights and civil liberties: Aggregate score of 12/100

UNPO: Oromo: Political Conviction Endures, while Communities Refuse to be Stifled

How should the US react to human rights abuses in Ethiopia?

Real Media Press: WHY IS ETHIOPIA’S SITUATION THE MOST UNDER-REPORTED CONFLICT IN THE WORLD?

Ethiopia: War Crimes Against the Oromo Nation in Ethiopia

African Studies Centre Leiden: ASCL worried about Ethiopian political scientist Dr Merera Gudina

Ethiopia in Crisis: What is going on now in Oromia is a massacre in the name of emergency, terrorising civilian populations

Stop Genocide Against the Oromo People: The Whole of Oromia Must Act to Stop the Agazi and Liyu Police Terror in Hararge, Bale, Borana and Gujii

IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report: War Crimes: Crimes Against Humanity: The genocide against Oromo people involving Ethiopia’s Somali region police (Liyu Police), a segment of fascist TPLF’s Agazi forces

Fascism: Corruption: TPLF Ethiopia: Inside the Controversial EFFORT

AI: ETHIOPIA TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT: The torturous fields of Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centre

The NY Times: OLYMPICS: Feyisa Lilesa, Marathoner in Exile, Finds Refuge in Arizona


The hero, the legend and the thinker: Oromo Athlete Feyisa Lilesa’s spectacular finish at Aramco Houston Half Marathon January 16, 2017

THE INTEREST THAT IS NOT SO SPECIAL: ADDIS ABEBA, OROMIA, AND ETHIOPIA

 

 

Mail & Guardian Africa: Ethiopia’s political ripple a big test for infrastructure-led Chinese approach

BBC: Oromia: No regrets for Ethiopia’s Olympic protester. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

Free Dr. Merera Gudina And All Political Prisoners In Ethiopia

Oromia: Human Rights League New Year’s Message: “It always Seems Dark Until the Sun Rises”

Oromia (Africa): Oromo Person of The Year 2016: The Qubee Generation. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

BBC: Africa’s top hashtags of 2016: #OromoProtests and #AmharaProtests

 Stop Your madness with Masterplan and Resolve the Master Problem

Hof-Land: Ausgestoßene im eigenen Land

ETHIOPIA: THE STATE OF EMERGENCY CANNOT BECOME THE NORM

Samantha Power, the Unites States ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has called for the release of a leading Ethiopian opposition member, Bekele Gerba

HRW: The Year in Human Rights Videos

WP: A state of emergency has brought calm to Ethiopia. But don’t be fooled.

THE HUMAN COST OF ETHIOPIA’S SWEEPING STATE OF EMERGENCY: “I NEVER WANTED TO SEE TOMORROW”

In his interview with VOA, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Tom Malinowski discussed the current Ethiopian situation and his concerns regarding human right protection. He said, “It’s a very difficult situation. The country is under a state of emergency, and a state of emergency by definition means that certain rights are suspended. Due process is suspended. And however much the government may feel that the state of emergency has brought calm temporarily to the country, it also brings with it certain risks. It risks adding a new layer of grievances to those grievances that initially led people in Oromia and Amhara to come out onto the streets. At first they were concerned about land seizures and lack of jobs and representation, all of which the government has acknowledge to be real and legitimate. But now they’re also upset about the arrests and the violence. And the longer this continues, the more those grievances are likely to build. At the same time, it risks giving greater power to the security apparatus in a way that could delay the introduction of the reforms that the Prime Minister and the government have, to their great credit, said are necessary.” Listen the first part of VOA interview at: http://bit.ly/2h3kmYO https://www.facebook.com/us.emb.addisababa/posts/1372399152802454


 

Ana Gomes (MEP): Ethiopia: Arrest of Dr. Merera Gudina – Annual report on Human Rights and Democracy

Africa News: EU parliament writes to Ethiopian president over detained Oromo leader, Professor Merera Gudina

AU expresses concern about upcoming Summit in restive Ethiopia

Africa News: Oromia’s Olympic athlete, Feyisa Lilesa, has been named among the 2016 top 100 global thinkers by the Foreign Policy (FP) magazine.

EurActive: EU: Commission to Ethiopia: ‘start addressing legitimate grievances of your people’December 2, 2016

 

The Independent: Ethiopian opposition leader testifies to EU over lack of political freedoms – and is immediately arrested upon his return. European politicians ‘shocked’ by arrest of Merera Gudina

BBC: Ethiopian opposition leader arrested after Europe trip

WP: Ethiopia arrests top Oromo opposition politician after Europe Parliament speech

Ethiopian Opposition Leader from Restive Region Arrested


One Year Anniversary of Oromo Protests Against Land Grabs


Africa Times: #Oromo news network in U.S. works to defeat Ethiopia’s media blackout


#OromoRevolution Australian MP Andrew Wilkie the parliament speaking about the of Oromo people

https://youtu.be/mmhJ1EevSqQ


OROMIA: OMN: Gaafiif Deebii Gammadaa Waariyoo Down Down Wayane TPLF Jechuun Kan Beekamu. #OromoProtests


The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia


Ethiopia: State of Emergency Used as Systematic State Repression in Ethiopia HRLHA Press Release


Open Democracy: Ethiopia’s crisis: Things fall apart: Will the centre hold? By RENÉ LEFORT 19 November 2016


Why is the Ethiopian diaspora so influential?

The Oromo protests have changed Ethiopia

The struggle of the Oromo people has finally come to the attention of the global public conscience.

 

Newsweek: ETHIOPIA: OROMO POLITICIAN ARRESTED AFTER SPEAKING TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT


#OromoProtests: A year on struggle: This is a video made by Swedish students in Skara about the protests going on in Ethiopia. #OromoRevolution

Pambazuka News: Some thoughts on the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia. #Oromorotests #OromoRevolution

HRW: Will Ethiopia’s Year-Long Crackdown End?

Need for Meaningful Reforms, Accountability

Olympics dissident: Ethiopia could ‘become another Libya’

AI: Ethiopia: After a year of protests, time to address grave human rights concerns


Crossing Arms: The Plight and Protest of the Oromo in Ethiopia


State of emergency: Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s government command post soldiers raping and killing


The Final Desperate Emergency Martial Law of Ethiopia and its Implications


“Open Letter to Government of Ethiopia” From Lotte Leicht, EU Director, Human Rights Watch. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution #Africa


Global Journalist: Ethiopia’s State of Emergency & #OromoProtests


One Of The World’s Best Long Distance Runners Is Now Running For His Life

 


HRW: Ethiopia: State of Emergency Risks New Abuses: Directive Codifies Vague, Overbroad Restrictions. 

 An Ethiopian government directive under a state of emergency contains overly broad and vague provisions that risk triggering a human rights crisis, Human Rights Watch said  in a legal analysis. The government should promptly repeal or revise all elements of the directive that are contrary to international law.  31 October  2016.


 Ethiopia’s state of emergency silences aid workers — and some of their work


Venture Africa: WHY THE ‘PLANNED’ HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN ETHIOPIA SHOULD BE A GLOBAL CONCERN. #OromoProtests


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkNRF-erHls

Al Jazeera: Ethiopia ‘ruthlessly targeted’ Oromo ethnic group, report finds.

Ethiopia’s Regime Faces Precarious Times As Diaspora Plans for the Future


AI: Ethiopia: Draconian measures will escalate the deepening crisis. #OromoProtests


How Ethiopia’s State of Emergency affects Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Emergency Declared in Ethiopia but the decree means nothing to those who have lived with inhumanity worse than death.


Ethiopia’s crisis is a result of decades of land disputes and ethnic power battles


DW: New Ethiopian clampdown

Ethiopia’s state of emergency could trigger civil war and food shortage


The National Interest: Ethiopia Opens a Pandora’s Box of Ethnic Tensions


Oromia: Yakka Waraanaa Ummata Oromoo Irratti Gaggeeffama Jiru Ilaalchisuun Ibsa Gamtaa Barattoota Oromoo (Oromo Student Union )


Ibsa Ejjeennoo Barattoota Oromoo Yuuniversiitii Jimmaa,  October 7, 2016


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

 

Gabaasaa qindaawaa armaan gadii kan nama balaa san irraa hafeen nuu dhihaate kana obsaan dubbisaa. Sana booda wanti kaleessa Hora Haarsadeetti tahe maal akka fakkaatu hubannoo gahaa horattu.
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
“Kan dhagaa darbaate ummata miti. Yeroo dheeraaf mormiin walitti fufinsaan deemaa ture. Waanuma godhan dhaban. Gubbaan helekoopitara nurra naanneessaa turan. Helekoopitarri marsaa duraa ergaa baga geessan jedhu gubbaa gad facaasaa ture. Sun kan akeekkameef ayyaana ummataaf yaadamee miti. Sodaachisaaf ture. Yeroo helekopitarichi nurratti gad siqee naannawuu umman guutuun harka wal qaxxaamursuun mallattoo didda itti agarsiisaa ture. Haalichi cimee itti fufe. Mormiin bifa adda ta’een deeme. Qeerroon guutummaan iddoo silaa Opdof isaan qabachiisu barbaadan dursite ganamumaan waan qabatteef kallattii dhaban. Karaa mormii ittiin qabaneessan dhaban. Midiyaaleen addunyaas ta’e isaan biyya keessaa bifa danda’aniin haalicha waraabaa turan. Guutummaan mormii waan tureef kallattiin dabarsu hin dandeenye. Fuuldura keenyatti faranjoota heedduu argaa ture. Waraabaa turan.

Midiyaaleen alaa carraa nu bira ga’uu hin arganneef malee gara ummata mormii irra jiruutti seenuun jiddu jidduun gaafiif deebii taasisaa turan. Qeerroon sodaa tokkoon alatti isaanitti himaa ture. Manguddoonnis akkasuma himaa turan. Mootumma shiftaa kana hin barbaannu,opdo hin barbaannu,ofiin of bulchina jechaanii ture. Ammas mormiin cimaa dhufe. Ummanni kallattii hundaan gara irreechaatti dhufu mormii dhaggeesisaa dhufa. Sagantaa gaggeeffachuu taasuma isaan hin dandeenye. Haalli kun hedduu isaan aarse. Ni boba’an. Naannolee adda addaatii qarshii kanfalaniif ummanni isaan geejibbaan fidatanis isaanitti gara gale. Mormiin liqimfamee mormitti seene. Woyaneen waan qabdee gad dhiiftu dhabde. Poolisoonni jidduu ummataa dhaabde hidhannoo hin qaban. Agaazii gara duubaatiin dhaabdee jirti. Booda irra as ba’an malee tasuma hin mul’atan ture.

Adaduma baayinni ummata gara horaa dhufu dabaluun mormiin haala duraanii caale cime. Dirreen irreechaa dirree mormii qofa taate. Kanatu isaan dhukkubse. Ummanni miliyoona heddu dirree irreechaa irratti bakka miidiyaaleen addunyaa baay’een argamanitti isaan salphise. Kanaaf maratan. Summii saamii irraan helekopitaraan gad roobsan. Ummata joonjesan. Sab booda dirreen aaraan guutamte. Agaaziin iddoo jirtuu as baate. Rasaasaan dha’amuu ummata arguu qofa taate. Boolla meetira 10-15 gad fagaatutu jidduu waraanaaf ummataa jira. Boolla kanatti baayee fixan. Lakkofsi ummata dhumee hedduu dabaluu danda’a. Rasaasa isaanii cinatti boollichis isaaniif tumseera.”
Yaya Beshir irraa


Human Rights Watch: Q&A: Recent Events and Deaths at the Irreecha Festival in Ethiopia

The genocidal massacres of Oromos at the Irreechaa Fesival: The lies of the Tigre-led Ethiopian government


UN Human Rights Briefing Note on EthiopiaOctober 7, 2016


Indian Professor in Ethiopia: An Appeal to the International Community about Human Rights Situation. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution


African Arguments: Ethiopia: How popular uprising became the only option. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution


BBC: Are Ethiopian protests a game changer? #OromoProtests


Aljazeera: Oromo protests: Ethiopia unrest resurges after stampede

VOA: Ethiopia Protests Continue Despite Call for Calm. #OromoProtests #Bishoftu Massacre


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


Ethiopia Human Rights Abuses Spark U.S. Congressional Action

Oakland Institute: After Irreechaa Tragedy, the US Must Take Action for Human Rights in Ethiopia


Ana Gomez, MEP, Statement at European Union regarding the mass killings conducted by fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) at Irreecha Oromo National Cultural celebration event in Bishoftu, Oromia where over 4 million people congregate on 2nd October 2016


Risk Advisory: Ethiopia | Assessment of government stability amid ongoing protests

The Ethiopian government is looking increasingly unstable, and the security environment in Ethiopia is looking more dangerous.


This is Africa: Ethiopia at a crossroads: apartheid, civil war or reconciliation?


ETHIOPIA’S GRADUAL JOURNEY TO THE VERGE OF CRISIS

Lelisa’s Message

A wave of protest in Ethiopia highlights the country’s history of exploitation and dispossession.


Click here  to read Daily Maverick: Ethiopia Mourns– but mourns what, exactly?

The Economist: The downside of authoritarian development: Ethiopia cracks down on protest: Once a darling of investors and development economists, repressive Ethiopia is sliding towards chaos


CCTV America: Who are Ethiopia’s Oromo and what’s behind the wave of protests in the country?

“Internet mobile irrati fayadamuuf mali argameera… akkas agodhani qeeroon Setting..more network….mobile network… access network name…. harka mirgara + kan jedhu tuqu… name kanjedhu … et.wap… APN… et.wap…. proxy…10.204.189.211… port…9028…. authentication… PAP or CHAP kan jedhu guutu… kana booda qeerroon mirgaan galte Mobile jam Tplf irraa hanu… sanan fayadama jira amaan kana.” #OromoRevolution.

 

 

For those following the Feyisa Lilesa and in Ethiopia: Sifan Hassan on his demonstration – “He’s my hero.”

For those following the Feyisa Lilesa and in Ethiopia: Sifan Hassan on his demonstration – “He’s my hero.”

Athlete Sifan Hassan, the European champion – “I’m Oromo and Feyisa is my hero”

https://www.facebook.com/v2.3/plugins/post.php?app_id=249643311490&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2FSh-3BhStODe.js%3Fversion%3D42%23cb%3Df2de287767684ac%26domain%3Dorom

Fayyisaa Leellisaa goota Oromoo


 

Qeerroon Godina Arsii Lixaa Aanaa Gadab Asaasaatti FXG Itti Fufan.

Caamsaa 24,2017/ Godina Arsii Lixaa Aanaa Gadab Asaasaatti Gareen Ispoortii Bulchiinsa magaalaa Asaasaa Shaampiyoonaa liigii kilaboota Oromiyaa ta’uun gara liigii biyyoolessaatti darbee jira.kanumaan wal qabatee Qeerroon Dargaggoonni Oromoo Daandii Magaalattii guutudhaan  NI MOONA TOKKUMMAAN NI MOONA YOOMUMAA NIMOONA TOKKUMMAN ENSHUSHEEN DAANGAA OROMOO LIXXU IRRA IJJATTEE MORMA ISHEEN KUTTUU jechaa ooluu maddeen keenya magaalaa Asaasaa irraa gabaasanii jiru. Continue reading

“NU DHISAA” Irreessa Barattooti Oromoo Yuniversitii Bulee Horaa Kabajatan Irratti Mootummaan TPLF Tear-Gas Itti Gadhiise.

https://videopress.com/embed/l4wGKOuZ?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dambi Dolloo irra rasaasatu heddummatee,
Kan gootaa hin beeknuu basaastuu lama galaafatee


‘Breaking: Abera Bulcha, the TPLF mercenary who last years gunned down young student named Iyasu Solomon in Yemalogi Walal district of Qellam Wallaga province has been killed tonight. His brother also sustained serious injury. This is the 3rd security official to be killed in Qellam Walaga province in the last few months.
========
Bitamaan Wayyaanee Abarraa Bulchaa jedhamu kan bara darbe Godina Qeellam Wallaggaa Aaana Yamaalogi Walal keessatti barataa Iyyaasuu Solomoon ajjeese galgala kana tarkaanfii irratti fudhatameen yeroo ajjefamu obboleessi isaas madayee jira. Baatilee sadan darbe keessatti basaasota ilmaan Oromoo ficcisiisan kan godina Qeellam keessatti haleelaman keessaa Abarraan nama sadaffaati.’ Jawar Mohammed


 

Wixineen Labsii Keeyyata 49(5) hiikuuf qophaaye dantaa Oromiyaan Finfinnee irrraa qabdu kan dhabamsiisu malee kan eegsisu miti. A leaked legislative document: TPLF’s baby candy for Oromia: Is it the question of Freedom or Question of Addis Ababa


 

SQ-Sagalee Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo,Caamsaa 9,2017

 

 

 

 

 

Oromia: Irreecha Arfaasaa: Irreecha Oromo Spring Celebrations: Ayyaani Irreecha Arfaasaa Oromoo haala ho’aa fi gammachiisaan Baatii Caamsaa Bara 2017 kabajamee jira May 25, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha Arfaasaa.
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Dressed in cultural costumes, the Oromo people   revel in the return of spring by visiting the ancient sites including   at Bulee Horaa, Southern  Oromia.

Ayyaanni Irreecha (irreessa) Arfaasaa bara kanaa, bara 6411 A.L.O.,  Bulee Horaatti ummata Oromootiin Caamsaa kana  haala gaariin kabajamee jira.

 

 

 

 


Related:

Irreechaa Arfaasaa: Oromo Festival of Good Spirit – celebrated in Australia

#IrreechaaArfaasaa-Oromo Festival of Good Spirit (Irreecha Arfaasaa) celebrated at Mount Dandenong, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia .

 

HRC35: Addressing the pervasive human rights crisis in Ethiopia. May 25, 2017

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HRC35: Addressing the pervasive human rights crisis in Ethiopia

 


 

Your Excellency,

 

To Permanent Representatives of

Members and Observer States of the

UN Human Rights Council

Geneva, 25 May 2017

 

RE: Addressing the pervasive human rights crisis in Ethiopia

Your Excellency,

The undersigned civil society organisations write to draw your attention to persistent and grave violations of human rights in Ethiopia and the pressing need to support the establishment of an independent, impartial and international investigation into atrocities committed by security forces to suppress peaceful protests and independent dissent.

As the UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC) prepares to convene for its 35th session from 6 – 23 June 2017, we urge your delegation to prioritise and address through joint statements the ongoing human rights crisis in Ethiopia.

In the wake of unprecedented, mass protests that erupted in November 2015 in Oromia, Amhara, and the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNPR) regional states, Ethiopian authorities routinely responded to legitimate and largely peaceful expressions of dissent with excessive and unnecessary force. As a result, over 800 protesters have been killed, thousands of political activists, human rights defenders, journalists and protesters have been arrested, and in October 2016, the Ethiopian Government declared a six-month nationwide State of Emergency, that was extended for an additional four months on 30 March 2017 after some restrictions were lifted.

The State of Emergency directives give sweeping powers to a Command Post, which has been appointed by the House of People’s Representatives to enforce the decree, including the suspension of fundamental and non-derogable rights protected by the Ethiopian Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and other international human rights treaties to which Ethiopia is party. More information on the human rights violations occurring under the current State of Emergency is included in the Annex at the end of this letter.

Lack of independent investigations

Few effective avenues to pursue accountability for abuses exist in Ethiopia, given the lack of independence of the judiciary – the ruling EPRDF coalition and allied parties control all 547 seats in Parliament.

Ethiopia’s National Human Rights Commission, which has a mandate to investigate rights violations, concluded in its June 2016 oral report to Parliament that the lethal force used by security forces in Oromia was proportionate to the risk they faced from the protesters. The written Amharic version of the report was only recently made public, and there are long-standing concerns about the impartiality and research methodology of the Commission. On 18 April 2017, the Commission submitted its second oral report to Parliament on the protests, which found that 669 people were killed, including 63 members of the security forces, and concluded that security forces had taken “proportionate measures in most areas.”  Both reports are in stark contrast with the findings of other national and international organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions has rated the Commission as B, meaning the latter has failed to meet fully the Paris Principles.

Refusal to cooperate with regional and international mechanisms

In response to the recent crackdown, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has called for “access for independent observers to the country to assess the human rights situation”, and recently renewed his call for access to the country during a visit to the capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s government, however, has rejected the call, citing its own investigation conducted by its Commission. UN Special Procedures have also made similar calls.

In November 2016, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights adopted a resolution calling for an international, independent, and impartial investigation into allegations of the use of excessive and unnecessary lethal force by security forces to disperse and suppress peaceful protests. Recent European parliament and US Congressional resolutions have also called for independent investigations. The Ethiopian embassy in Belgium dismissed the European Parliament’s resolution citing its own Commission’s investigations into the protests.

As a member of the UN HRC, Ethiopia has an obligation to “uphold the highest standards” of human rights, and “fully cooperate” with the Council and its mechanisms (GA Resolution 60/251, OP 9), yet there are outstanding requests for access from Special Procedures, including from the special rapporteurs on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly, among others.

Recommendations

During the upcoming 35th session of the UN HRC, we urge your delegation to make joint and individual statements reinforcing and building upon the expressions of concern by the High Commissioner, UN Special Procedures, and others.

Specifically, the undersigned organisations request your delegation to publicly urge Ethiopia to:

    1. urgently allow access to an international, thorough, independent, impartial and transparent investigation into all of the deaths resulting from alleged excessive use of force by the security forces, and other violations of human rights in the context of the protests;
    2. respond favourably to country visit requests by UN Special Procedures,
    3. immediately and unconditionally release journalists, human rights defenders, political opposition leaders and members as well as protesters arbitrarily detained during and in the aftermath of the protests;
    4. ensure that those responsible for human rights violations are prosecuted in proceedings which comply with international law and standards on fair trials; and
    5. fully comply with its international legal obligations and commitments including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and its own Constitution.

With assurances of our highest consideration,

Sincerely,

Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

Civil Rights Defenders

DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)

Ethiopia Human Rights Project

Freedom House

Front Line Defenders

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect

Human Rights Watch

International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

International Service for Human Rights

Reporters Without Borders

World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

https://ahrethio.org/2017/05/25/hrc35-addressing-the-pervasive-human-rights-crisis-in-ethiopia/

 

ANNEX: BACKGROUND

A repressive legal framework

The legal framework in Ethiopia restricts the enjoyment of civil and political rights, and therefore the activity of the political opposition, civil society, and independent media in the country.

The Charities and Societies Proclamation (2009) caps foreign funding at 10% for non-governmental organisations working on human rights, good governance, justice, rule of law and conflict resolution. The law has decimated civil society and human rights activism in the country. Currently, a handful of independent human rights organisations continue to operate, but with great difficulty.

The Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (2009) has been used repeatedly to silence critical voices. Political opposition party leaders and members, people involved in public protests, religious freedom advocates and journalists have been arrested and charged under this law. Both laws are a matter of great concern and have been repeatedly raised in international forums, including at Ethiopia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2014.

Overarching restrictions under the State of Emergency

The State of Emergency directives restrict the organisation of political campaigns, demonstrations, and any communication that may cause “public disturbance.” It also bans communications with foreign governments and NGOs that may undermine ‘national sovereignty, constitutional order and security’, and the right to disseminate information through traditional and social media. Additionally, the Command Post was given sweeping powers to arbitrarily arrest and detain individuals without due process.

A few weeks before the State of Emergency was extended by an additional four months, the government announced it was lifting some of these restrictions, including the Command Post’s power to arbitrarily arrest people or conduct property searches without warrants, curfews, and certain restrictions regarding sharing of information online and offline.

Despite some improvements in internet access since mobile data services were restored throughout parts of the country on 2 December 2016, social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter remain inaccessible except through VPNs.

Mass arrests

Since the declaration of the State of Emergency, the Command Post announced that tens of thousands have been arbitrarily arrested and transported to different detention centers throughout the country. Most of the detainees were held for a period of around three months in Awash, Alage, Bir Sheleko, and Tolay police and military camps. In November 2016, authorities announced the release of 11,607 people who were detained under the State of Emergency following “rehabilitation training programs.” One month later, authorities announced they were releasing an additional 9,800 detainees.  Former detainees have reported being subjected to torture, harsh prison conditions, and other forms of ill treatment. In late March 2017, the Command Post announced through state media that 4,996 of the 26,130 people detained for allegedly taking part in protests would be brought to court.

Continued targeting of the political opposition, the media and civil society

According to the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia, three of Ethiopia’s main opposition parties, the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ), Blue Party, and All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) have claimed that a large number of their members were targeted by Command Post and arbitrarily arrested.

On 30 October 2016, Dr. Merera Gudina, a professor and prominent opposition leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress was arrested after his return from Brussels where he provided testimony on the current political crisis to some members of the European Parliament and described human rights violations being committed in Ethiopia. On 3 March 2017, prosecutors formally charged Dr. Merera with a bid to “dismantle or disrupt social, economic and political activity for political, religious and ideological aim […] under the guise of political party leadership”. Dr. Merera was also accused of meeting with an organisation designated as a terrorist group contravening restrictions contained in the State of Emergency directives.

Members of the Wolqait Identity Committee, including Colonel Demeqe Zewude, have also faced allegedly politically motivated criminal charges under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Their attempted arrest sparked protests in the Amhara capital of Gondar in August 2016.

On 18 November 2016, journalists Elias Gebru and Ananiya Sori were arrested by security forces, according to the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia. Both were reportedly arrested in relation to their criticism of government policies and actions. Ananiya was released on 13 March 2017. At the time of writing, Elias is still being held in prison without due process of law.

On 6 April 2017, Ethiopia’s Supreme Court ruled that two bloggers from the Zone 9 collective previously acquitted of terrorism charge should be tried instead on charges of inciting violence through their writing. If convicted of the charge, Atnaf Berhane and Natnael Feleke would face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. The court also upheld the lower court’s acquittal of two other Zone 9 bloggers, Soleyana S Gebremichael and Abel Wabella.


 

Surveillance and State Control in Ethiopia May 21, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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A small Tigray elite dominates a political system that formally derives its legitimacy from ethnoregional autonomy and representation. This has fueled resentment and discontent in many parts of the country. As a result, the government fears that any space for autonomous civic action could spark further mobilization and unrest, potentially triggering defections within the ruling apparatus.


The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front came to power in 1991 as an insurgent coalition intent on transforming Ethiopia’s politics and economy. Over the past two decades, the government’s heavy-handed approach has fostered significant regional and ethnic discontent.

TACTICS

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) came to power in 1991 as an insurgent coalition intent on transforming Ethiopia’s politics and economy. Over the past two decades, the government’s heavy-handed approach has fostered significant regional and ethnic discontent. As the EPRDF’s grip on power has weakened, it has moved to further close political and civic space. Two laws adopted in 2009—the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation—decimated the country’s already weak human rights community. The government’s crackdown has also extended to development and humanitarian groups, which have been targeted with burdensome funding regulations and government harassment.

The closing of civic space in Ethiopia has the following key features:

  • Harsh restrictions on foreign funding for civil society organizations working on a wide range of politically related issues.
  • Violent repression of civic mobilization in the name of counterterrorism and anti-extremism.
  • Efforts to bring all independent civil society groups—including development and humanitarian actors—in line with the government’s national development policy.

Civil Society Growth Amid Constraints

A History of Repression

While Ethiopia has a long history of mutual self-help organizations and informal community groups, the formal nongovernmental sector has historically been weak and marked by adversarial relations with the state.407Any autonomy enjoyed by civil society during the reign of emperor Haile Selassie was severely restricted after the Marxist Derg regime assumed power in 1974. State authorities closed down or co-opted almost all independent professional organizations and interest groups, including traditional associations in rural areas. Those organizations that survived state repression focused on providing emergency relief services. However, the famines of the 1970s and 1980s forced the Derg leadership to open the door to international assistance, triggering an influx of foreign NGOs that often relied on local partners to facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid.408

Ethiopia’s NGO sector expanded rapidly during the brief period of political liberalization that followed the EPRDF’s ascent to power. As aid flowed into the country to support the political transition, new professional associations and development organizations emerged, as well as a handful of advocacy groups.409 The Ethiopian Teachers Association took an active role in challenging the government’s education reforms. Traditional associations such as the Mekane Yesus church in western Oromia and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region added human rights components to their community work, and student activism flourished.410At the same time, most civil society organizations had relatively limited resources and capacity, and their impact on state policy remained marginal. Given Ethiopia’s dire humanitarian situation after years of civil war, many groups continued to focus on service delivery and relief efforts.411 Those that ventured into advocacy typically worked on relatively safe issues such as children’s and women’s rights and operated within existing policy frameworks.412

Continued Government Suspicion

Despite efforts at liberalization, the EPRDF remained suspicious of independent media and civil society. Beginning in the early 1990s, the government sought to bring independent trade unions under EPRDF control by replacing government critics with party loyalists. The Ethiopian Teachers Association and the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions—both of which had been critical of the government’s reforms—experienced sustained harassment. The president of the teachers association was convicted of armed conspiracy in 1996, and the confederation chairman fled the country in 1997. State officials also set up a rival teachers association of the same name that was staffed exclusively with EPRDF supporters.413

The lack of a comprehensive legal framework governing civil society created additional barriers for nongovernmental groups, with some being arbitrarily denied registration for having ostensibly political goals. For instance, the ruling party characterized the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, the country’s most prominent human rights monitoring group, as a partisan political movement affiliated with the Amhara-dominated opposition, rejected its application for registration, and temporarily blocked the organization’s bank account.414 When prominent intellectuals and professionals from Addis Ababa’s Oromo community formed the Human Rights League in 1996, the group’s leaders were promptly arrested for being supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front—although their case never went to trial.415

Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the civil society sector as a whole remained vulnerable to state control. Most civil society organizations were led by urban elites and lacked a strong grassroots base. Many did not have a significant presence beyond the capital and in rural areas. This provided fodder for government accusations of parasitism and rent-seeking. Distrust among NGOs also stood in the way of forming sector-specific coalitions and consortiums that could have maximized their outreach and impact. At the same time, the government rarely consulted civil society organizations in its policy formulation processes.416 Beginning in 2003, it began to consider restrictions on foreign funding of civil society organizations, arguing that external funding for political and rights advocacy amounted to illegitimate meddling in the country’s internal affairs.417

Narrowing of Political Space

The 2005 Postelection Crisis

The 2005 election proved to be a turning point for Ethiopian civil society. The run-up to the election witnessed unprecedented displays of political competition and opposition party coordination. Civil society organizations sponsored televised debates on public policy issues and sued the government to be allowed to monitor the polls.418 Early election results indicated that the opposition coalition had made unexpected gains, suggesting a win of more than 180 parliamentary seats. When official tallies indicated that the ruling party had won, the largest opposition coalition refused to concede defeat. They alleged that the ruling party had stolen the election, while the EPRDF claimed that opposition parties had conspired to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means. The ensuing standoff continued for months, with violence erupting between protesters and security forces across the country.419

In this climate of intense polarization, government authorities accused civil society organizations that had monitored the polls and conducted voter education efforts of sparking unrest and inciting violence.420 Even before the election, the government had ordered representatives of highly visible international organizations providing democracy and governance aid to leave the country, including the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute. Surprised by the outpouring of opposition support, EPRDF officials concluded that foreign-funded human rights groups and independent media outlets had coordinated with the opposition to undermine the ruling party.421

Yet the EPRDF did not immediately move to impose legal restrictions on civil society. Rather, the clampdown unfolded in two main phases. In the immediate aftermath of the election, the EPRDF was in crisis mode. Its initial efforts centered on quelling opposition protests and consolidating power ahead of the 2008 local elections. Approximately 20,000 protesters and as many as 150 opposition leaders, activists, and journalists were arrested, and numerous independent newspapers and magazines were shut down.422 Two well-known human rights lawyers, Daniel Bekele and Netsanet Demisse, were among the first to be charged with conspiracy and incitement to overthrow the government. In 2007, both were sentenced to two and a half years in prison.423

The EPRDF introduced a series of laws that specifically targeted activities that had facilitated widespread popular mobilization during the previous election cycle.

The EPRDF viewed the opposition’s success as an existential threat to its own survival and to the ethnic federation it had constructed. Starting in 2005, the party leadership embarked on a massive party rebuilding effort, investing significant resources in expanding local party structures and bringing the rural population back into the party’s fold.424 It strengthened its control over local administrative units (kebele) that have the capacity to monitor households and restrict access to government services.425 Party membership increased from 760,000 in 2005 to more than 4 million in 2008. The government also passed electoral reforms that ensured the EPRDF’s dominance in the 2008 polls. For example, it drastically increased the number of local council seats, which made it impossible for any but the largest parties to field enough candidates to seize control of the councils. These efforts paid off: in 2008 the EPRDF won virtually all the local council seats. Together with the revival of mass associations and youth cooperatives, these reforms effectively incorporated millions of Ethiopians into EPRDF structures and government organizations.426

Institutionalization of Legal Restrictions

The second phase of the crackdown began as the 2010 general election drew near. Aiming to prevent a repeat of the 2005 crisis, the EPRDF introduced a series of laws that specifically targeted activities that had facilitated widespread popular mobilization during the previous election cycle: independent media publishing, civil society advocacy and monitoring, free public debate, and opposition party coordination. The Mass Media and Freedom of Information Proclamation, passed in December 2008, allowed prosecutors to stop any print publication that threatened national security concerns or the public order—a provision that has been used to target independent newspapers. In addition, the law criminalized the “defamation” of legislative, executive, or judiciary authorities and raised defamation fines to about $10,000.427

In February 2009, the government adopted the Proclamation for the Registration and Regulation of Charities and Societies (referred to hereafter as the Charities and Societies Proclamation), the first comprehensive law governing Ethiopian nongovernmental organizations. While civil society organizations were allowed to contribute to the draft proclamation, they had little meaningful influence over the final version.428 The law imposed a wide range of burdens on civil society. Most important, it divided all civil society organizations into three categories: Ethiopian charities and societies, Ethiopian resident charities and societies, and foreign charities and societies. The first category comprises all NGOs that receive at least 90 percent of their funding from domestic sources, and only these groups are allowed to work on “the advancement of human and democratic rights; the promotion of equality of nations, nationalities and peoples and that of gender and religion; the promotion of the rights of the disabled and children’s rights; the promotion of conflict resolution or reconciliation; and the promotion of the efficiency of the justice and law enforcement services.”429 This means that any organization that receives significant outside funding is effectively barred from a wide range of advocacy, peacebuilding, and rights-focused activities. The government justified this provision as necessary to ensure that organizations working on political issues are “Ethiopian in character” and, in an apparent nod to Russia, to prevent “color revolutionaries” from trying to overthrow the regime.430

For many Ethiopian civil society organizations, this provision was devastating. Given the dearth of domestic funding sources, they had relied almost exclusively on external aid. They had few alternative options; the Ethiopian government was unlikely to fund any advocacy efforts or politically related programs. In addition, the proclamation specified that any charity or society could allocate no more than 30 percent of its budget to administrative activities—while classifying an unusually wide range of expenditures as administrative costs.431 As a result, organizations were forced to count basic operational expenses—including staff allowances and benefits, monitoring and evaluation expenditures, and travel and training costs—as administrative overheads, triggering widespread pushback.432

The 2009 Anti-Terrorism Proclamation also had a debilitating effect on civil society and independent media. Like similar legislation around the world, the law includes extremely broad definitions of terrorist activity and material support for terrorism and imposes long prison sentences and even the death penalty for a wide range of crimes.433 The law’s vague language grants authorities the power to prosecute journalists who publish articles about protest movements, armed opposition groups, or any other individuals deemed as terrorist or anti-peace.434 Rights advocates also found themselves at risk of prosecution for carrying out or supporting terrorist acts.435 The law was particularly pernicious given the Ethiopian government’s extensive capacity to monitor citizen communications, including mobile phones and landlines.436 Since coming into force, the law has been broadly applied in criminal cases involving opposition politicians, activists, and journalists, even though credible evidence of communication with or support for terrorist groups is almost never provided. The judicial system lacks the independence and capacity to push back against abusive applications of the law.437

Repression in the Name of National Security

Targeting of Activists for Security-Related Offenses

With this restrictive legal framework in place, government authorities had new tools at their disposal to suppress civic activism and independent media in moments of crisis. Two key patterns have emerged over the past six years. First, the EPRDF has relied on its almost complete control over radio, television, and print media to cast pro-democracy and human rights activists as terrorists and foreign agents, tapping into popular fears of Islamic radicalism, foreign intervention, and ethnic strife. For example, after the U.S. Department of State issued its 2009 Human Rights Country Report on Ethiopia, the state-controlled Ethiopian Television Agency broadcast a three-part series accusing several Ethiopian human rights groups of supplying false information to the U.S. government in exchange for support.438 Media outlets also regularly blame foreign powers and organizations for stirring domestic unrest and use this alleged interference to justify extrajudicial action.439

These prosecutions had a chilling effect on the country’s online activists and remaining independent reporters—at least sixty journalists have fled the country since 2010.

Second, the government has used court proceedings to selectively intimidate and silence high-profile activists, reporters, and civil society leaders, typically based on alleged national security threats. For example, following repeated demonstrations by Ethiopia’s Muslim community against government interference in religious affairs between 2012 and 2014, Ethiopia’s Federal High Court convicted the protest leaders on charges of terrorism and conspiracy to create an Islamic state in Ethiopia.440 In the thirteen months before the 2015 polls—the first to be held following former prime minister Meles Zenawi’s death in 2012—journalists also witnessed escalating harassment by security and judicial officials.441 In April 2014, this campaign culminated in the arrest of three journalists and six bloggers from the Zone 9 blogging collective, who were convicted under the criminal code and the antiterrorism law for having links to banned opposition groups and attempting to violently overthrow the government.”442 In August 2014, an additional six newspapers and magazines were charged with encouraging terrorism, among other charges.443 These prosecutions had a chilling effect on the country’s online activists and remaining independent reporters—at least sixty journalists have fled the country since 2010.444 Security forces have also arrested and detained rights activists and lawyers who defend political prisoners, often without formally charging them with crimes.445

Extension of Rural Surveillance and Control

At the same time, the state’s extensive administrative apparatus has continued to subject citizens in rural areas to threats and detention, creating a pervasive climate of fear. The state’s surveillance capacities at the local level have stifled civic activism and dissent in many places without the need for violent repression.446 The EPRDF has relied on a pre-existing system of local governance that existed under the Derg regime to extend government control. Officially, Ethiopian officials insist that these local-level institutions are voluntary associations formed in regions like Oromia in order to advance rural agriculture and development. However, human rights organizations report that they are often used to monitor citizens’ activities, report incidents of dissent, and selectively withhold government benefits.447Attesting to this dramatic closing of civic and political space, the EPRDF and its affiliates claimed 99.6 and 100 percent of parliamentary seats in 2010 and 2015, respectively. These overwhelming majorities signaled political continuity after the upheaval that followed the 2005 polls and Zenawi’s sudden death, reminding the party’s rank and file that defection was pointless given that the EPRDF still controlled all access to public office.448

Citizens have nevertheless continued to mobilize, as evidenced by the widespread antigovernment protests that broke out in the Oromia and Amhara regions in 2015 and 2016. The government’s response to these outbursts of citizen discontent has been violent suppression: security forces arrested more than 11,000 people over the course of one month and killed at least 500.449 Once again, authorities have claimed that demonstrators are part of banned opposition groups in order to delegitimize the protests. The current state of emergency, declared in October 2016 and extended repeatedly since then, has imposed additional barriers on freedoms of assembly, association, and expression. The implementing directive initially restricted access to and usage of social media and banned communication with so-called terrorist and anti-peace groups as well as contact with foreign governments and NGOs that could affect “security, sovereignty and the constitutional order.”450 It also allowed the army to be deployed across the country for a period of at least six months. The government has blamed human rights groups seeking to document violations by security forces for stirring up unrest and has denounced diaspora groups for spreading misinformation about the government’s response to the protests.451

Support for Mass-Based and Development Associations

In contrast to its crackdown on independent groups, the EPRDF government has encouraged the growth of mass-based and state-supported development associations as a more authentic expression of grassroots activism. While these organizations have traditionally focused on development and service delivery, the government elevated their role with respect to governance and rights advocacy after the 2005 election—just as it began cracking down on independent media and civic activism. Most mass-based associations have their roots in the armed struggle against the Derg regime. For example, the Women’s Association of Tigray can be traced back to the Women’s Committee of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, established in 1976.452 The structures of these associations typically extend from the national level down to the regional, district (woreda), and village (kebele)levels, providing a wide societal reach. Development associations, on the other hand, are membership organizations that focus on promoting local development in their respective areas of operation.453 In Ethiopia, each regional state has its own development association, such as the Tigray Development Association and the Oromo Development Association.

Both mass-based and development associations generally lack political independence and financial and technical capacity.454 They tend to collaborate closely with sector ministries and bureaus, and government bodies often view them as implementing agencies rather than independent actors that represent the interests of their members.455 For example, owing to their presence in remote rural areas, mass-based organizations have played an important role in recruiting new party members and mobilizing EPRDF support ahead of local and national elections.456 In contrast, the few remaining independent trade unions and professional societies have experienced continued harassment and government interference. For example, the government has refused to register the National Teachers Association, which was forced to hand over its property, assets, and name to the government-aligned Ethiopian Teachers Association. Security agents have subjected the association’s members to surveillance and harassment.457The Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions, the Ethiopian Bar Association, and the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists Association have faced similar attacks.

DRIVERS

The Ethiopian government’s efforts to restrict civil society are a function of the EPRDF’s doctrine of revolutionary democracy, state-led development agenda, and struggle for political survival. Despite the party’s control over state institutions, the country’s political structure remains fundamentally fragile. A small Tigray elite dominates a political system that formally derives its legitimacy from ethnoregional autonomy and representation. This has fueled resentment and discontent in many parts of the country. As a result, the government fears that any space for autonomous civic action could spark further mobilization and unrest, potentially triggering defections within the ruling apparatus. The opposition’s unexpected gains in the 2005 election in particular sparked a renewed effort to consolidate party control by eliminating or co-opting alternative centers of power.

The EPRDF’s Ideological Underpinnings

The EPRDF was formed as a political coalition between different ethnic-based liberation fronts that had fought Mengistu Haile Mariam’s military regime. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which had led the insurgency under the command of Zenawi, recognized that transitioning from a rebel movement to a national government would require the support of the country’s many ethnic groups. At the same time, Zenawi sought to preserve the Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s highly hierarchical structure. He and his allies were trained in Marxist ideology and rejected liberal democracy as a viable political model to achieve economic and political transformation.458 Instead, they conceived of the EPRDF as a Leninist vanguard party that rules on behalf of the rural masses. While the party adapted to the end of the Cold War by retreating from an explicitly socialist approach, it retained its core—though ambiguously defined—doctrine of revolutionary democracy, which stresses grassroots participation via mass organizations and party cells. Political competition and interest representation occur under the mantle of the vanguard party. As a result, even in the 1990s, the party had limited interest in encouraging the expansion of an independent civil society, which it considered an urban and elite-driven phenomenon with limited transformative potential.

The EPRDF’s pursuit of rapid economic development further reinforced the government’s efforts to extend its control over the civic sphere. The EPRDF came to power with a vision of itself as the only actor that could effectively tackle the country’s underdevelopment. Other societal actors—including civil society—had to be subordinated to the government’s modernization and industrialization efforts. Party leaders viewed development NGOs as opportunists who sought out foreign money to fund their inflated salaries and expenses without serving the public interest. They also blamed them for fostering aid dependence at the expense of long-term development and argued that their funding streams and activities should be subjected to greater government control.459 According to the EPRDF model, the development state not only intervenes in the economy, but “also has a role in guiding ‘appropriate’ citizen behavior and constructing useful social networks” that advance the national development agenda.460 Local kebele and sub-kebele administrative structures have been imposed from above both as tools of development and mechanisms of political control.461 This approach has gone hand in hand with a dramatic expansion of public goods and services meant to ensure continued popular support—particularly in light of growing ethnoregional discontent.462

A Contested Political Settlement

At the core of the EPRDF’s efforts to suffocate independent civil society lies the fear of further antiregime mobilization. Despite the government’s developmental success record, its position of power remains fundamentally fragile, owing primarily to the internal contradictions of the EPRDF regime. After coming to power, the EPRDF instituted a complex system of ethnic federalism that granted an unprecedented degree of political autonomy and representation on the basis of ethnicity. The EPRDF’s ascent was celebrated as the liberation of Ethiopia’s nations and nationalities from decades of centralized rule. The party also formally committed to multiparty elections and political pluralism.

However, these constitutional guarantees have not resulted in an actual decentralization of executive power.463 Instead, the state has become increasingly intertwined with the ruling party, and political and economic power has gradually become concentrated in the hands of a small elite. Ethiopia’s regions are governed by ethnoregional parties that are de facto subordinate branches of the EPRDF—which remains dominated by the ethnic Tigray, who make up only 6 percent of Ethiopia’s total population. Party leaders know that if the EPRDF were to open space for civic mobilization, it could mean the end of Tigray rule. The opposition’s unexpected gains in the 2005 election justified these fears. Throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s, Ethiopia had held regular elections, but the hegemony of the ruling EPRDF was never threatened. The opposition remained divided, and the ruling party used coercive means and its incumbency advantage to prevent rival parties from participating on a level playing field.464 When political space temporarily opened up in the lead-up to the 2005 polls and opposition actors unified, the EPRDF’s grip on power proved to be tenuous. As a result, the EPRDF under the leadership of Zenawi embarked on a de facto restoration of the one-party state.

After having eliminated the immediate threat of the political opposition, the government’s attention turned to civil society and the media. The ruling party’s continued control and legitimacy depends on regulating access to information and channeling civic activism through party and state structures. The fact that civil society organizations had monitored the 2005 elections, conducted voter education efforts, and condemned the security forces’ subsequent crackdown only reinforced the government’s view that advocacy organizations were partisan actors allied with opposition forces and set on upending EPRDF rule. As a result, most civil society organizations were not surprised when the government moved to enact further NGO restrictions ahead of the 2010 polls, even though many had not anticipated just how stifling the legislation would be.465 In sum, the EPRDF has compensated for vulnerabilities of the current political settlement by continuously extending the party’s control over Ethiopian society; any alternative space—whether in the political sphere or in civil society—could potentially emerge as a challenge to its continued authority.466

IMPACT

The political and legal changes introduced between the 2005 and 2010 elections had a profound impact on Ethiopian civil society. The total number of active organizations has shrunk, and many groups have been forced to shift their focus from political and rights-based work to development and service delivery in order to keep receiving foreign funding. As a result, there are very few advocacy and human rights monitoring groups left in the country. Initially, development organizations did not feel affected by the new legal regime. However, government-imposed budget specifications have forced them to abandon certain activities and have hindered the formation and operation of civil society networks and umbrella organizations.

Consequences of the Crackdown

Shrinking of the Human Rights Community

The Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation had a dramatic impact on human rights work in Ethiopia. The circle of active and professional human rights organizations was already small before the laws were passed. These groups, which were mostly established during the 1990s, provided legal aid and civic education, monitored elections and human rights violations, and advocated for the rights of minorities, women, and other vulnerable groups. Many were focused on single issues, such as voter education, religious freedom, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and women’s rights.

The restrictions on foreign funding caused a near cessation of independent advocacy activities.

After the Charities and Societies Proclamation took effect, human rights and conflict resolution organizations faced a stark choice: they could either try to continue their work, which meant they would have to raise 90 percent of their funding from domestic sources, or register as resident charities and shift toward more politically neutral development and relief work. Given the lack of domestic funding sources, the restrictions on foreign funding caused a near cessation of independent advocacy activities. Many organizations opted to change their focus, knowing that they would not be able to sustain their work without international support.467 For example, local and international organizations such as Mercy Corps, Pact Ethiopia, Action for Development, and the Oromia Pastoralist Association abandoned their conflict resolution work and reduced their support for local peace committees.468 Those that lacked the resources and human capacity to retrain their staff and develop new programming shut down their operations altogether. Others fled the country in fear of prosecution under the antiterrorism law.469 The result was a rapid decline in the number of active human rights organizations in the country. Only around 10 percent of the 125 previously existing local rights groups reregistered under the new law.470

Reduced Capacity for Advocacy, Outreach, and Assistance

A small number of organizations—including the Ethiopian Bar Association, the Human Rights and Peace Center, the Human Rights Council (HRCO; previously the Ethiopian Human Rights Council), and the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA)—chose to reregister as Ethiopian charities and societies to continue their work. These groups have faced a dearth of domestic funding, which has forced them to scale back their work. While community-based giving is common across Ethiopia, there is no strong tradition of donating to charitable organizations. Organizations have struggled to raise money through membership fees and fund-raising events.471 As noted above, the Charities and Societies Proclamation imposed additional hurdles by giving the Charities and Societies Agency the power to deny or delay any fund-raising or income-generation proposals.472 The law also prohibits anonymous donations, which means that citizens who donate to human rights groups face potential political repercussions.473 To make matters more difficult, the agency froze the bank accounts of both the HRCO and EWLA after the law had been passed, depriving them of their accumulated savings.474

Faced with harassment and funding cuts, human rights organizations had to disband key training and assistance programs. For example, the HRCO had previously conducted human rights education seminars and workshops that aimed to raise awareness of human rights standards among public servants, police officers, and judicial officials. Despite initial skepticism, participation in these workshops was on the rise before the passage of the Charities and Societies Proclamation: in 2009, a total of 1,034 officials took part.475 After the law was passed, the organization’s budget shrank from $351,000 in 2008 to $26,300 in 2011, forcing it to disband the program.476 Another civil society initiative to establish child protection units at police stations was similarly suspended.477 EWLA—the only major NGO advocating for women’s rights and gender equality at the national level—has had to abandon key areas of work. The association had provided free legal aid to more than 17,000 women and established an emergency hotline for women that received 7,332 calls in the first eight months of its existence.478 After the Charities and Societies Proclamation was passed, EWLA was forced to cut 70 percent of its staff, shut down its hotline, and give up most of its public education work, continuing to provide only a small amount of free legal aid using volunteers.479

Reduction in Human Rights Monitoring

It has also become much more difficult for local and international groups to accurately document human rights violations and security force abuses. Before 2009, the HRCO monitored and documented human rights violations through twelve branch offices across Ethiopia. It was the only civil society group conducting extensive field investigations, including in high-risk areas.480 After the enactment of the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, half of the organization’s staff—including the director—left the country in fear of government reprisals. The organization was forced to close nine of its twelve branch offices, which curtailed its ability to effectively collect information and communicate with victims of human rights abuses.481 The number of field investigators decreased from seventeen to four, dramatically limiting the organization’s reach. Increased government harassment makes the work of the remaining investigators more difficult and dangerous.482

International organizations that could complement domestic monitoring efforts have been barred from entering the country or accessing certain regions. The International Red Cross was expelled from the Ogaden region in 2007 for allegedly aiding separatist forces, and Médecins sans Frontières has been denied access to certain areas.483 Ethiopian officials have denied entry to Human Rights Watch researchers and prevented Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights, and the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (among others) from opening offices in Ethiopia. The government has then used their absence from the ground to deny the legitimacy of their reports.484

Those who tried to systematically collect information faced government surveillance, threats, and repression.

As a result of these restrictions, it has become increasingly difficult to undertake independent investigations into human rights abuses and monitor the government’s use of international donor funds.485 This became evident during the recent suppression of antigovernment protesters in Oromia and Amhara. As demonstrations broke out in Oromia in 2015, there were few independent analysts on the ground who could corroborate reports of security force abuses.486 Those who tried to systematically collect information faced government surveillance, threats, and repression. In the summer of 2016, four of the HRCO’s members were arrested and detained, likely because they were documenting the crackdown on antiregime demonstrators.487Government restrictions on Ethiopian NGOs have impeded their ability to prepare and submit parallel reports to international human rights treaty bodies.488 The Ethiopian diaspora has attempted to fill this gap by gathering information remotely through their contacts in the country.489

Faced with criticisms, the Ethiopian government has highlighted its own human rights institution, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, which was created in 2000 and has been tasked with monitoring and raising awareness of human rights issues in the country. However, the commission lacks the technical and financial capacity to effectively carry out its mandate. It has yet to publish a single report detailing human rights violations in the country.490 In fact, it has at times been used to counteract the work of independent civil society organizations.491 For example, in 2016, the commission denied allegations made by civil society groups that Ethiopian security forces had used excessive force against demonstrators and declared the government’s response to have been “proportional.”492

Barriers to Election Monitoring and Voter Education

Independent civil society groups have also been forced to strike election monitoring and voter education from their mandates. Ahead of the 2005 elections, civil society organizations conducted civic and voter education efforts across the country. International donors allocated $6.2 million to support a free and fair electoral process, which included $1.6 million for twenty-four Ethiopian NGOs to provide information about the polls to voters.493 The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia initially barred most civic groups from observing the election, but national courts reversed the board’s decisions shortly before the vote. Despite the lateness of the court decision, the HRCO sent out 1,550 observers on polling day to monitor the vote.494

The 2010 and 2015 parliamentary elections occurred in an entirely different context. Ahead of the 2010 polls, independent groups struggled to obtain the necessary accreditation from the electoral board to monitor the elections or conduct voter outreach. For example, the HRCO was asked to remove both election observation and voter education from its statute to reregister with the government.495 The Ethiopian Civil Society Network for Elections, which consisted of twenty-four member groups, was dissolved.496The InterAfrica Group, which played a key role in organizing public debates in the run-up to the 2005 election, had shifted toward other activities and receded from the public eye.497

The Charities and Societies Proclamation encourages mass-based organizations to “actively participate in the process of strengthening democratization and election,” observe the electoral process, and cooperate with electoral organs.498 However, as noted above, these organizations remain closely aligned with the ruling party. The largest authorized domestic election observation group to monitor the 2010 polls, the Consortium of Ethiopian Civil Societies for Election Observation, is a case in point: it found the elections to be free and fair, despite a 99.6 percent victory by the ruling party.499 In contrast, the EU Election Observation Mission stated that the elections fell short of international standards.500Since the 2010 election, the only international observers to monitor Ethiopian elections have been from the African Union. The EU declined to take part after its previous recommendations were rejected by the Ethiopian government.501 Meanwhile, voter education has been taken over by the electoral board, which lacks independence from the government. In 2015, the board launched its voter education campaign just days before the election and limited its efforts to instructing citizens on how to find polling stations and complete their ballots.502

New Constraints for Development Work

Initially, development organizations did not feel particularly affected by the new legal framework.503 A key feature of the Charities and Societies Proclamation is that it treats rights advocacy and development work as distinct areas of activity. While organizations working on issues such as gender equality, children’s rights, and minority protection are prohibited from receiving foreign funding, the same restriction does not apply to development aid and humanitarian organizations. Indeed, the total number of organizations involved in development and service delivery grew in the six years following the enactment of the law.504

However, the government’s new funding rules and the overall shrinking of civic space have nevertheless constrained their work. First, the government’s bifurcation of Ethiopian civil society organizations failed to take into account that many aid organizations over the past few decades have embraced a rights-based approach to development that focuses on the connections between poverty, political marginalization, and discrimination. These groups were forced to abandon their work on national policy questions and shift toward more apolitical and service-oriented activities. The fear of criminal prosecutions for infringements of the NGO law reinforced this trend: many NGOs began practicing self-censorship and refraining from any open criticism of government policies to avoid administrative or legal reprisals.505

Second, the Charities and Societies Proclamation prohibits any organization from spending more than 30 percent of their budgets on administrative costs.506 Government officials justified this provision—what became known as the 70/30 regulation—as a mechanism to ensure that the majority of project funding reaches the intended beneficiaries rather than going toward excessive overhead costs. Yet for many organizations, the government’s expansive definition of administrative overhead meant that they could not comply with the requirement without drastically reducing the scope of their work. Expenses they considered critical to project implementation—such as staff allowances, travel and trainings costs, monitoring and evaluation expenses, and vehicle purchases—suddenly counted as administrative costs. Many organizations noted that spending on vehicles, fuel, and driver salaries was essential to maintaining project sites in remote rural areas. For example, health organizations providing mobile outreach services, trainings for health extensions workers, and clinical mentorship suddenly had to classify all of their core activities as administrative expenses.507 The guideline proved particularly challenging for civil society networks and umbrella groups that aimed to enhance individual member organizations’ influence and shape national policy discussions. Under the new guideline, these networks are no longer allowed to engage in advocacy work and can only finance their work through member contributions.508

Adaptation Strategies

Shift Toward Development and Service Provision Activities

To survive in the new legal and political environment, the majority of Ethiopian civil society organizations have chosen to shift their activities toward technical development and local service delivery work, moving away from any issues that could be construed as politically sensitive. A 2011 survey of thirty-two NGOs conducted by the Taskforce for Enabling Environment for Civil Society in Ethiopia found that 70 percent of development organizations and 44 percent of human rights organizations changed their organizational mandates and activities in order to preserve their access to foreign funding.509

Some organizations were able to simply rebrand stigmatized activities in a way that made them more palatable to government officials. They did so by removing any references to rights or governance from their mission statements, funding applications, and activity reports. Most international organizations successfully reregistered using the same tactic.510 For example, the pre-2010 mission statement of Action Aid’s Ethiopia branch was titled Rights to End Poverty and noted their work with excluded populations “to eradicate absolute poverty, inequality and denial of rights.” In response to the new law, the group changed its mission to ensuring “that poor people effectively participate and make decisions in the eradication of their own poverty and their well-being generally.”511

To survive in the new legal and political environment, the majority of Ethiopian civil society organizations have chosen to shift their activities toward technical development and local service delivery work.

Other groups had to undergo a more radical restructuring process. A significant shift in mandate and programming was feasible only for larger organizations that had sufficient human resources.512 For example, the prominent human rights organization Action Professionals’ Association for the People completely reoriented its mission toward providing socioeconomic services for the poor, producing research, and conducting capacity development activities. The Organization for Social Justice Ethiopia renamed itself the Organization for Social Development and shifted from human rights and voter education to corporate social responsibility. The Ethiopian Arbitration and Conciliation Center stopped providing conflict resolution and arbitration and began focusing on capacity building and judicial training.513

The abandonment of the rights-based focus has had a significant impact on the Ethiopian development landscape. Moving away from the underlying drivers of marginalization, many organizations have ceased their awareness-raising, advocacy, and training activities. For example, NGOs that previously worked on child trafficking, child labor, and juvenile justice had to abandon their focus on children’s rights and focus instead on livelihood improvements and direct support to orphans and vulnerable children.514The Forum on Street Children Ethiopia, which had sponsored child protection units in police stations and trained justice sector officials on children’s rights, ceased its child protection activities at the end of 2010.515Resident charities that have nevertheless engaged in gender equality, children’s rights, and justice sector reform have received official warnings from the government.516 Foreign-funded organizations are also barred from working on women’s rights and gender equality, meaning that they no longer advocate for policy and legal reforms on key issues such as female genital mutilation, unsafe abortions, and childhood marriage.517 On the other hand, those organizations that successfully shifted their work to purely developmental activities have continued to collaborate closely with government agencies at the national and regional levels and maintain fruitful working relationships.518

Compliance and Resistance in Response to the 70/30 Guideline

Adaptation to the 70/30 rule proved to be another significant challenge for the sector. Organizations undertook different measures to ensure their compliance, including cutting down on staff training and salaries, giving up capacity-building and training activities, reducing the frequency of field visits, or refocusing their work on urban or semi-urban areas.519 In addition, many groups had to drastically reduce their expenditures on monitoring and evaluation, which in turn made them less attractive partners for international donors.520 According to civil society representatives working in education, health, gender equality, and food security, the overall impact of the 70/30 directive was a decrease in the quality of service delivery and an inability to meet donor expectations with respect to project design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.521

After extensive domestic and international pressure, the government agreed to amend the 70/30 guideline in 2015. The regulation now classifies salaries, transportation costs, and training-related expenses as operational rather than administrative expenses. However, the majority of Ethiopian civil society organizations still struggle to fulfill the requirements. While the Charities and Societies Agency has been slow and inconsistent in enforcing the law, it has repeatedly closed down organizations that have failed to comply. In June 2016, the agency announced that it had shut down more than 200 NGOs over the previous nine months. The announcement followed a new directive imposing additional penalties for noncompliance with the Charities and Societies Proclamation.522 The effort may have been triggered by the Federal Auditor General’s performance audit of the agency, which found evidence of widespread inefficiencies and weak enforcement.523

Working Under the Radar

The few Ethiopian human rights groups that remain active in the country have struggled to survive. Raising local funding has proven particularly difficult. Before the Charities and Societies Proclamation came into force, the HRCO successfully negotiated with its international funders to invest some of the organization’s core funding into a property that could generate rental income for the organization.524 Other groups have organized film screenings or music evenings. However, such efforts have raised only small amounts that fail to cover even basic operating expenses.525 In addition, applications to the Charities and Societies Agency for proposed fund-raising activities have often been met with delays, forcing organizations to cancel planned events.526 As noted above, all active human rights groups have adjusted to the new context by further downsizing their activities and disbanding central areas of work.527

The primary survival strategy has been to carve out space at the local level, with the support of international donors. For example, the EU successfully negotiated exemptions in the government’s restrictive legal framework that allow limited amounts of international funding to flow to Ethiopian charities and societies, in spite of the 10 percent foreign funding limit. While these funding arrangements depend on the approval of Ethiopian authorities, they have ensured the survival of organizations like the HRCO, Vision Ethiopian Congress for Democracy, and EWLA that would otherwise most likely have vanished.528 However, receiving aid through government-approved channels has not protected these groups from harassment by security officials. Most recently, in October 2016, security agents raided an HRCO’s organizational fund-raiser—which had earlier been authorized by government authorities—and briefly detained the organization’s leaders before releasing them with a warning not to criticize the government.529 A number of regional organizations registered with local sector offices have been able to continue their work on gender equality, children’s and disability rights, and the rights of the elderly. For example, the Amhara Women’s Association has continued to focus on gender-based violence and the prevention of female genital mutilation. However, these types of regional organizations tend to have limited resources, which reduces their scope for action.530

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES

Similarly as in the case of Egypt, U.S. and European security interests have constrained Western responses to shrinking civic space in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government’s successful development track record has further complicated international pushback. European and U.S. leaders have primarily engaged in quiet diplomacy rather than public shaming of Ethiopian authorities. They have focused their behind-the-scenes pressure on short-term issues on which they felt tangible progress could be achieved, such as the release of political prisoners. Lastly, they have generally not used overseas development assistance or security cooperation as tools to gain leverage, even though the EU managed to renegotiate assistance modalities to channel limited amounts of funding to embattled civil society organizations.

Competing Economic and Security Interests

International responses to the closing of space for civil society in Ethiopia have to be understood in the context of Ethiopia’s broader relationship to Western donor governments. In recent years, Ethiopia has been one of the largest African country recipients of overseas development assistance, receiving an average of $3.5 billion from international donors.531 However, although the Ethiopian government is highly dependent on external development assistance, Western governments have been hesitant to use this leverage to push back against repressive efforts in the country for several reasons.

First, Ethiopia’s status as a security and counterterrorism partner has made the country relatively impervious to external conditionality. The Ethiopian government has built an international reputation as an anchor of stability in a fragile region.532 The Ethiopian National Defense Forces have a played a key role in the fight against Al-Shabaab in Somalia and served as peacekeepers in the disputed Abyei area between Sudan and South Sudan. From 2011 to 2016, the U.S. military also used an Ethiopian base to launch unmanned aerial vehicles assigned to counterterrorism operations in East Africa.533 The EU, on the other hand, has relied on Ethiopia to stem the flow of migrants from East Africa and the Horn of Africa.534 Western governments fear that heightened pressure could destabilize the Ethiopian government, thereby creating further instability in the Horn of Africa.535Second, Ethiopian leaders have been highly effective at warding off international pressure by highlighting the government’s commitment to economic development and its substantial developmental track record, as well as by threatening to turn further toward China in the event of Western funding cuts. Third, international donors have been unwilling to cut their humanitarian and development assistance out of concern that such a drastic step would only end up hurting the country’s poorest populations, which are already vulnerable to drought and famine.

Behind-the-Scenes Pressure Against the Charities and Societies Proclamation

In 2008, news of the draft Charities and Societies Proclamation triggered international diplomatic pressure behind the scenes. International partners privately lobbied the Ethiopian government to remove some of the law’s harshest provisions. Throughout the drafting process, Western governments showcased an unusual degree of unity and coordination in condemning the law. Delegations from the EU, the United States, and the United Kingdom (UK) expressed their concern over the legislation during high-level meetings with Ethiopia’s prime minister and Ministry of Justice officials.536For example, the assistant secretary for democracy, human rights, and labor traveled to Ethiopia to share U.S. concerns with Zenawi, raising issues such as the 10 percent cap on foreign funding and the limit on administrative overhead.537 However, these efforts did not significantly impact the final proclamation. The government agreed to a few amendments but retained the core features of the law. At the same time, it publicly accused the international community of illegitimate meddling.538

The international reaction to the passing of the law was timid. In a presidential declaration, the EU welcomed the “thorough exchanges of views” it had with the Ethiopian government regarding the law.539 It neither condemned the law nor asked for its repeal. The statement stood in contrast to the EU’s significantly stronger criticism of the 2006 Russian NGO law and similarly repressive legislation passed in Zimbabwe in 2004.540 Moreover, the European Commission simultaneously announced 250 million euros in additional assistance for the Ethiopian government. On the U.S. side, the Department of State issued a public statement of concern.541 Various high-level U.S. officials subsequently raised the issue of the shrinking civic space in meetings with their Ethiopian counterparts, but they rarely addressed the question in public.

Shift to New Funding Modalities

After the law’s passage, Western governments shifted their focus from lobbying to adaptation. The Civil Society Sub Group of the Development Assistance Group—a network of bilateral and multilateral donors established in 2001—set up a monitoring system to track the enforcement of the Charities and Societies Proclamation and collect systematic evidence on the challenges faced by civil society organizations. In addition, the group funded an Adaptation Facility to help Ethiopian civil society groups adjust to the new legal environment.542 The first part of this project was funded by USAID, whereas the second part was funded by a group of donors that included the Swedish International Development Agency, Irish Aid, the Danish and Dutch embassies, and the Canadian International Development Agency and was executed by a local CSO Taskforce.543

The EU also successfully pushed for an exemption from the Charities and Societies Proclamation. Thanks to the Cotonou Agreement—a treaty that obliges EU partner countries to more fully involve nonstate actors in development and policy planning—the EU convinced Ethiopian authorities to label the EU’s Civil Society Fund a domestic funding source. As a result of this exemption, the EU was able to keep funding civil society groups engaged in human rights and advocacy work, which would otherwise have been be barred from raising more than 10 percent of their budget from foreign sources.544 Between 2006 and 2012, the Civil Society Fund dispensed 14.9 million euros in small grants and capacity-building support to more than 250 Ethiopian civil society organizations.545 In 2012, the EU launched a second incarnation of the fund that allocated an additional 12 million euros to Ethiopian NGOs.546 As part of the agreement, Ethiopian government authorities participate in the funding allocation decisions and therefore exercise some degree of control over the process. The program has nevertheless benefited a few organizations working directly on democracy and rights, including the HRCO, EWLA, the Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations, and the Vision Ethiopian Congress for Democracy. In addition, the EU has channeled grants to Ethiopian NGOs through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.547

The U.S. government has struggled to continue its democracy assistance activities in the country. USAID initially continued funding the United Nations Development Program’s Democratic Institutions Program, which provided technical capacity building to Ethiopian governmental institutions, including the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Yet it phased out its support after the Electoral Board denied civil society groups the right to provide voter education ahead of the 2010 elections.548 The National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute did not resume their in-country activities after having been expelled from the country in 2005.549 However, the National Endowment for Democracy has continued disbursing small discretionary grants to Ethiopian civil society organizations, including the Vision Ethiopian Congress for Democracy, the Forum for Social Studies, and the Peace and Development Center (see Figure 6).550

Quiet Diplomacy

At the diplomatic level, both the EU and United States continued to address the human rights situation in Ethiopia privately and within the framework of high-level meetings and formal political dialogues with the Ethiopian government. Their efforts centered primarily on monitoring the impact of the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation and its use against journalists, opposition activists, and religious leaders. U.S. officials raised these issues in meetings of the U.S.-Ethiopian bilateral Democracy, Governance, and Human Rights Working Group.551 EU officials also regularly discussed the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation during its Article 8 dialogues with the Ethiopian government. These dialogues derive their name from Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement, which requires the EU and its development partners to “regularly engage” in dialogue about democracy and human rights.552

This type of quiet diplomacy led to little political change. The Ethiopian government adopted a highly formalistic approach to dialogue that provided few opportunities for a genuine debate on governance and human rights. On the EU side, the Article 8 dialogues were hampered by the lack of political engagement by member states and the absence of verifiable human rights benchmarks.553 International lobbying efforts proved most effective when they centered on specific cases, such as the release of political prisoners. For example, U.S. officials privately urged the government to cease the harassment and detention of opposition party supporters, which may have contributed to the release and pardon of a number of opposition leaders and journalists.554 Similarly, the EU expressed strong concern about the fate of the Zone 9 bloggers, who were imprisoned in 2014 and ultimately released in 2015 shortly after Obama’s visit.555

Yet high-level public pressure remained rare, even as the human rights situation in Ethiopia deteriorated further. Several prominent U.S. officials glossed over Ethiopia’s backsliding on democracy in public statements. The former under secretary of state for political affairs, Wendy Sherman, caused a small stir among human rights organizations in 2015 when she referred to Ethiopia as “a democracy that is moving forward” and asserted that Ethiopia was willing to “make every election better than the last one in being inclusive” and “[make] sure everybody’s rights are respected.”556Obama faced a similar backlash in 2015 when he became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia—the same year that the EPRDF claimed to have won all 547 parliamentary seats in a landslide victory. During his visit, Obama called Ethiopia’s government “democratically elected,” seemingly legitimizing the flawed elections.557 While praising Ethiopia as an “outstanding” partner in the war on terror, he privately pressed Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn for improvements on human rights and political freedoms.558 Faced with criticism, the Obama administration argued that raising the profile of governance concerns during a high-level meeting would be more effective than sidelining the Ethiopian government.559 As in the case of Russia and Egypt, Obama’s team thus prioritized what they termed “principled engagement” over punitive diplomacy.560

Continued Aid Flows

While the United States and European countries have engaged Ethiopian authorities on democracy and human rights issues in public statements and private meetings, they have not applied any significant financial or economic sanctions to pressure the Ethiopian government to open up political space. U.S. aid to Ethiopia has fluctuated greatly over the years, but it has generally not been subject to conditions relating to democracy and human rights. The Security Assistance Monitor reports that the United States has provided between $300 million and $900 million in economic aid and between $1 million and $25 million in security aid to Ethiopia every year since 2003.561 While Ethiopia’s access to foreign military financing and military education and training funds has been subject to certifications from the secretary of state that Ethiopia has improved along various political indicators, U.S. support for peacekeeping, counterterrorism, and other defense operations is exempt from such certifications.562

In Europe, the Nordic countries and the European Parliament have been the most vocal and public advocates for greater European conditionality toward Ethiopia. In January 2013, the European Parliament passed a resolution imploring the European Commission and other international donors to make military and development assistance to Ethiopia contingent on political reforms, including “the repeal or amendment of the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.”563However, these efforts have translated into few tangible changes in assistance modalities. For example, the EU has never activated Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement to suspend development aid to Ethiopia over democracy and governance concerns.564 After the Ethiopian government’s 2005 postelection crackdown, the EU did cancel its direct budget support to Ethiopia’s national treasury.565 Yet it redirected the funds to the World Bank’s Protection of Basic Services program in Ethiopia, which later came under fire from human rights organizations for enabling the EPRDF’s human rights abuses.566 The EU also approved a “middle-sized” governance incentive tranche—meant to incentivize and reward political reform—even as the country experienced a significant tightening of civic and political space.567 Ethiopia stands out as the only low-income African country other than The Gambia where the European Development Fund has not named democratic governance as a “focal area.”568 Between 2005 and 2014, the EU allocated only 3 percent of its total EU aid to Ethiopia to support governance reform programs.569

The United Kingdom, another major source of economic and military assistance for Ethiopia, has not significantly changed its policy toward Ethiopia since the crackdown on civil society intensified in 2009. In recent years, Ethiopia has consistently been among the top five recipients of British development aid. In fact, between 2015 and 2016, Ethiopia moved up from being the UK’s third-highest aid recipient (313 million pounds) to being the UK’s second-highest aid recipient (388 million pounds), with only Pakistan receiving more aid.570 In the past, UK aid has come under fire for allegedly supporting human rights abuses by the Ethiopian government, as in the case of Mr. O, an Ethiopian farmer who filed a suit against the UK Department for International Development for indirectly funding a “villagization” program in which Ethiopian security forces displaced hundreds of Ethiopian villagers.571

As noted in the introduction, the reluctance to use political conditionality partly stems from donors’ desire to support the Ethiopian government’s development efforts and concerns that increased pressure in the form of financial and development penalties would only hurt the most marginalized and impoverished Ethiopians.572 Donor governments also worry that isolating the Ethiopian government could further increase China’s influence in the country—particularly since the EPRDF already views Chinese investment as an important alternative to Western support.573 They point to existing evidence that democratic conditionality rarely works.574 Moreover, the belief that sustainable democracy in fact requires economic development and political stability remains prevalent among many donors, reinforced by multiple short-term incentives to continue diplomatic and assistance cooperation around counterterrorism and migration management.

Weak Responses to the Current Crisis

The disjunction between Western countries’ aid relationship to the Ethiopian government and concerns over increasing repression in the country became even more apparent during the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on protesters in 2015 and 2016. On the one hand, the frequency of high-level statements and condemnations increased. The European Parliament repeatedly issued strong statements criticizing the EPRDF’s handling of the protests. In January 2016, it passed another resolution calling on the EU to link its development cooperation with Ethiopia to democratic reform commitments and mitigate the “negative impact of displacement within EU-funded development projects.”575 In 2016, the EU delegation in Addis Ababa and various EU member states cosponsored a joint mission to Ethiopia’s Oromia region to conduct field visits, meet with stakeholders, and evaluate the human rights situation of protestors targeted by Ethiopian security forces. Similarly, twelve U.S. senators in April 2016 introduced a resolution condemning the use of violence against protesters and civil society and calling on the secretary of state to review U.S. security assistance to Ethiopia.576

At the same time, U.S. and EU officials have given no indication of a broader policy shift. In November 2015, the EU and Ethiopia signed a Declaration on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility, which allocates further financial support to the Ethiopian government to manage migration flows in the Horn of Africa.577 On the sidelines of the European Development Days in June 2016, EU leaders and the Ethiopian prime minister signed a joint declaration, Towards an EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement, which sets up a comprehensive process of cooperation along shared interests, including counterterrorism, trade, migration and economic development.578 While the initiative includes annual consultations on human rights and governance, it remains to be seen whether they will serve as an effective forum to challenge Ethiopian officials on the shrinking of civic space. After meeting Desalegn in March 2017, the EU’s high representative, Federica Mogherini, did not address the ongoing state of emergency in Ethiopia, and even praised the government’s establishment of a dialogue with the opposition.579 For now, it seems that the EU will continue to embrace quiet diplomacy while refraining from applying public pressure or conditionality, while the new U.S. administration has given no indication of a shift in approach.

NOTES

407 Jeffrey Clark, “Civil Society, NGOs, and Development in Ethiopia: A Snapshot View,” World Bank, June 30, 2000, http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/611131468773954100/Civil-society-NGOs-and-development-in-Ethiopia-a-snapshot-view, 1.

408 Clark, “Civil Society, NGOs, and Development in Ethiopia,” 4.

409 Sisay Alemahu Yeshanew, “CSO Law in Ethiopia: Considering Its Constraints and Consequences,” Journal of Civil Society 8, no. 4 (2012): 372.

410 . Ben Rawlence and Leslie Lefkow, “‘One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure’: Violations of Freedom of Expression and Association in Ethiopia,” Human Rights Watch, March 2010, https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/ethiopia0310webwcover.pdf.

411 . Clark, “Civil Society, NGOs, and Development in Ethiopia,” 5–6.

412 . Bahru Zwede and Siegfried Pausewang, eds., Ethiopia: The Challenge of Democracy From Below (Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute, 2002), 109.

413 . Abadir M. Ibrahim, The Role of Civil Society in Africa’s Quest for Democratization (Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2016), 137; and “Ethiopia: The Curtailment of Rights,” Human Rights Watch, December 9, 1997, https://www.hrw.org/report/1997/12/09/ethiopia-curtailment-rights.

414 Zwede and Pausewang, Ethiopia, 110.

415 Siegfried Pausewang and Günter Schröder, “Ethiopia,” in Encyclopedia of Human Rights,ed. David P Forsythe(New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 161.

416 . Zwede and Pausewang, Ethiopia, 109.

417 . Debebe Hailegebriel, “Ethiopia,” International Journal for Not-for-Profit Law 12, no. 2 (February 2010).

418 . Terrence Lyons, “Ethiopia in 2005: The Beginning of a Transition?,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, January 20, 2006, https://www.csis.org/analysis/africa-notes-ethiopia-2005-beginning-transition-january-2006, 3.

419 Jon Abbink, “Discomfiture of Democracy? The 2005 Election Crisis in Ethiopia and Its Aftermath,” African Affairs 105, no. 419 (2006): 174–99.

420 . Lovise Aalen and Kjetil Tronvoll, “The End of Democracy? Curtailing Political and Civil Rights in Ethiopia,” Review of Political Economy 36,no. 120 (2009): 193–207.

421 Interview with specialist on civil society in Ethiopia, January 9, 2016.

422 Simegnish Yekoye Mengesha, “Silencing Dissent,” Journal of Democracy 27, no. 1 (January 2016): 90.

423 Ibid., 90.

424 . Sarah Vaughan, “Revolutionary Democratic State-Building: Party, State and People in the EPRDF’s Ethiopia,” Journal of Eastern African Studies 5, no. 4 (2011): 633.

425 . Aalen and Tronvoll, “The End of Democracy?,” 203.

426 . Vaughan, “Revolutionary Democratic State-Building,” 634.

427 Mengesha, “Silencing Dissent,” 92.

428 Hailegebriel, “Ethiopia.”

429 . “Civic Freedom Monitor: Ethiopia,” International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), last updated October 27, 2016, http://www.icnl.org/research/monitor/ethiopia.html; and “Ethiopia: Proclamation No. 621/2009 of 2009, Charities and Societies Proclamation,” Federal Negarit Gazeta, February 13, 2009, http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ba7a0cb2.html.

430 Dereje Feyissa, “Aid Negotiation: The Uneasy “Partnership” Between EPRDF and the Donors,” in Reconfiguring Ethiopia: The Politics of Authoritarian Reform,eds. Jon Abbink and Tobias Hagman (New York: Routledge, 2013), 208–9.

431 . “Civic Freedom Monitor: Ethiopia,” ICNL.

432 . Berhanu Denu and Ato Getachew Zewdie, “Impact of the Guideline to Determine Charities’ and Societies’ Operational and Administrative Costs (70/30 Guideline)—Phase III,” Development Assistance Group Ethiopia, September 2013, http://esap2.org.et/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Report-10_7030-Phase-III_Sep2013.pdf.

433 . Lewis Gordon, Sean Sullivan, and Sonal Mittal, “Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Law: A Tool to Stifle Dissent,” Oakland Institute, January 2015, 9.

434 “One Hundred Ways,” Human Rights Watch.

435 . Gordon, Sullivan, and Mittal, “Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Law,” 9.

436 . Hilary Matfess, “Rwanda and Ethiopia: Developmental Authoritarianism and the New Politics of African Strong Men,” African Studies Review 58, no. 2 (September 2015): 194.

437 Leonardo R. Arriola and Terrence Lyons, “The 100% Election,” Journal of Democracy 27, no. 1 (January 2016): 82.

438 “One Hundred Ways,” Human Rights Watch.

439 “Ethiopia Blames ‘Foreign Enemies’ for Stoking Unrest,” Al Jazeera,October 10, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/10/ethiopia-blames-foreign-enemies-stoking-unrest-161010100148946.html.

440 . Awol Allo, “Ethiopia Politicizes Courts to Strangle Dissent,” Al Jazeera America,July 10, 2015, http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/7/ethiopia-politicizes-courts-to-strangle-dissent.html.

441 Shannon Orcutt, “Caught Up in Bitter Contests: Human Rights Defenders Working in the Context of Elections in Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi and Uganda,” East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), Human Rights House, September 2015, https://www.defenddefenders.org/2015/09/caught-up-in-bitter-contests-report-on-human-rights-defenders-working-in-the-context-of-elections/, 18.

442 Agence France-Presse, “Ethiopian Bloggers and Journalists Charged With Terrorism,” Guardian, July 18, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/ethiopian-bloggers-journalists-zone-nine-charged-terrorism-ginbot-7.

443 . Orcutt, “Caught Up in Bitter Contests,” 18.

444 Ibid., 19; Mengesha, “Silencing Dissent,” 89; and “Journalism is Not a Crime: Violations of Media Freedoms in Ethiopia,”Human Rights Watch, January 2015, https://www.hrw.org/report/2015/01/21/journalism-not-crime/violations-media-freedoms-ethiopia.

445 . Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ethiopia,” U.S. Department of State, March 11, 2010, https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135953.htm.

446 . “‘One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure,’” Human Rights Watch.

447 “Suppressing Dissent: Human Rights Abuses and Political Repression in Ethiopia’s Oromia Region,” Human Rights Watch, May 9, 2005, https://www.hrw.org/report/2005/05/09/suppressing-dissent/human-rights-abuses-and-political-repression-ethiopias-oromia.

448 Arriola and Lyons, “The 100% Election,” 85.

449 “Ethiopia Extends State of Emergency by Four Months,” Al Jazeera,March 30, 2017, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/ethiopia-extends-state-emergency-months-170330110807086.html.

450 “Legal Analysis of Ethiopia’s State of Emergency,” Human Rights Watch, October 30, 2016, https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/10/30/legal-analysis-ethiopias-state-emergency.

451 . See, for example, “Human Rights Watch Encourages Opposition Violence in Ethiopia,” Official Blog of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, October 22, 2016, https://mfaethiopiablog.wordpress.com/2016/10/22/human-rights-watch-encourages-opposition-violence-in-ethiopia-article-drtedros/.

452 Tracking Trends in Ethiopia’s Civil Society (TECS), “Mass Based Societies in Ethiopia: Prospects and Challenges,” Development Assistance Group Ethiopia, March 2012, http://www.dagethiopia.org/new/images/DAG_DOCS/TECS_Policy_Brief_MBS_Final_English_2April12.pdf, 16.

453 . Gebre Yntiso, Debebe Haile-Gebriel, and Kelkilachew Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia—Update Mapping,” Ethiopia–European Union Civil Society Fund and Civil Society Support Programme, March 2015, 66.

454 TECS, “Mass Based Societies in Ethiopia,” 23.

455 Ibid.

456 Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash, “Hands Off My Regime!,” 29.

457 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ethiopia,” U.S. Department of State, February 27, 2014, https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220113.htm.

458 . Arriola and Lyons, “The 100% Election,” 79.

459 . Feyissa, “Aid Negotation,” 209.

460 Matfess, “Rwanda and Ethiopia,” 186.

461 “‘One Hundred Ways of Putting Pressure,’” Human Rights Watch.

462 Meles Zenawi, “States and Markets: Neoliberal Limitations and the Case for a Developmental State,” in Good Growth and Governance in Africa: Rethinking Development Strategies, eds. Akbar Noman, Kwesi Botchwey, Howard Stein, and Joseph E. Stiglitz(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

463 Tobias Hagmann and Jon Abbink, “The Politics of Authoritarian Reform in Ethiopia, 1991 to 2012,” in Reconfiguring Ethiopia, 3.

464 Pausewang and Schröder, “Ethiopia,” 160.

465 . Author interview with specialist on civil society in Ethiopia, January 9, 2016.

466 Feyissa, “Aid Negotiation,” 214.

467 “Stifling Human Rights Work: The Impact of Civil Society Legislation in Ethiopia,” Amnesty International, March 2012, http://files.amnesty.org/archives/afr250022012eng.pdf, 12.

468 Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 43.

469 Author interview with specialist on civil society in Ethiopia, January 9, 2016.

470 Dupuy, Ron, and Prakash, “Hands Off My Regime!,” 15.

471 “The Impact of the CSO Proclamation on the Human Rights Council,” Human Rights Council (HRC), July 2011, https://www.ehrco.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/impact_of_the_cso_proclamation_on_hrco.pdf, 8.

472 . Ibid., 4.

473 . Ibid.

474 . Amnesty International, CIVICUS, and Human Rights Watch, “Ethiopia: Supreme Court Ruling Marks a Further Erosion of Human Rights Work,” joint public statement, Human Rights Watch, October 19, 2012, https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/10/19/ethiopia-supreme-court-ruling-marks-further-erosion-human-rights-work.

475 “The Impact of the CSO Proclamation,” HRC, 12.

476 . Ibid., 9, 12.

477 . HRC et al., “Joint UPR Submission by the Ethiopian CSO Taskforce: Human Rights Council (HRC), Vision Ethiopia Congress for Democracy (VECOD), Ethiopian Human Rights Service (EHRS), Ye Ethiopia Ye Fiteh Seratoch Ma’ekel (Center for Legal Pluralism in Ethiopia,” UPR Info, September 2013, https://www.upr-info.org/sites/default/files/document/ethiopia/session_19_-_april_2014/js6_upr19_eth_e_main.pdf, 5.

478 . “Stifling Human Rights Work,” Amnesty International,26.

479 Ibid.,13.

480 Ibid., 24.

481 . “The Impact of the CSO Proclamation,” HRC, 9.

482 Ibid.

483 . Xan Rice “UN Fears Humanitarian Crisis in Remote Ethiopian Region,” Guardian, September 20, 2007, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/sep/20/internationalaidanddevelopment.internationalnews.

484 Addis Standard, “Ethiopia: The Slow Death of a Civilian Government and the Rise of a Military Might,” AllAfrica, January 24, 2017, http://allafrica.com/stories/201701240915.html.

485 Kenneth Roth, “Ethiopia: Development Assistance Group Should Address Human Rights in Ethiopia” (letter to Kenichi Ohashi, Ethiopia country director for the World Bank), Human Rights Watch, December 17, 2010, https://www.hrw.org/news/2010/12/17/ethiopia-development-assistance-group-should-address-human-rights-ethiopia.

486 “140th Special Report (Executive Summary),” HRC, March 14, 2016, https://ehrco.org/2016/03/140th-special-report-executive-summary/.

487 “Ethiopia: Civil Society Groups Urge International Investigation Into Ongoing Human Rights Violations,” press release, Amnesty International, August 30, 2016, https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2016/08/ethiopia-civil-society-groups-urge-international-investigation-into-ongoing-human-rights-violations/.

488 . Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 43.

489 “Ethiopia’s Compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities” (submitted to the 16th Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, August 15–September 2, 2016), Advocates for Human Rights, http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/uploads/ethiopian_-_crpd_-_july_2016.pdf.

490 HRC et al., “Joint UPR Submission,” 2.

491 Addis Standard, “Ethiopia: The Slow Death of a Civilian Government.”

492 . Ibid.

493 “Ethiopia: The 15 May 2005 Elections and Human Rights,” Amnesty International, April 2005, http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/42ae98270.pdf, 6.

494 . “The Impact of the CSO Proclamation,” HRC, 13.

495 . “Stifling Human Rights Work,” Amnesty International,18.

496 . Dupuy, Ron, Prakash, “Hands Off My Regime!,” 16.

497 Addis Standard, “Ethiopia: The Slow Death of a Civilian Government.”

498 . “Charities and Societies Proclamation,” Federal Negarit Gazeta.

499 . “Coalition of Civil Societies Says Ethiopia’s Elections Fair, Democratic,” Xinhua,May 25, 2010, http://en.people.cn/90001/90777/90855/6997960.html.

500 . European Union Election Observation Mission to Ethiopia, “Final Report on the House of People’s Representatives and State Council Elections,” Election Observation and Democracy Support, May 2010, http://www.eods.eu/library/EUEOM%20FR%20ETHIOPIA%2008.11.2010_en.pdf.

501 Marthe van der Wolf, “No Western Observers for Ethiopian Elections,” Voice of America,May 20, 2015, http://www.voanews.com/a/no-western-observers-for-ethiopian-elections/2779335.html.

502 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, “2010 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ethiopia,” U.S. Department of State, April 8, 2011, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154346.htm.

503 Interview with Ethiopian civil society activist, January 9, 2017.

504 Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 14.

505 Barbara Unmüßig et al., “Closure of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Office in Ethiopia,” Heinrich Böll Stiftung, November 29, 2012, https://us.boell.org/2012/11/29/closure-heinrich-boll-foundation-office-ethiopia-democracy.

506 Denu and Zewdie, “Impact of the Guideline.”

507 . TECS, “On CHSOs Engaged in the Health Sector,” Development Assistance Group Ethiopia, December 2013, http://www.dagethiopia.org/new/images/DAG_DOCS/TECS_Information_Bulletin_10_CSOs_in_health_sector.pdf.

508 TECS, “Impact of the Proclamation and Guidelines on Consortia (Networks),” Development Assistance Group Ethiopia, August 2013, http://dagethiopia.org/new/images/DAG_DOCS/Policy_Brief_6_Consortia_August_2013.pdf.

509 Dupuy, Ron and Prakash, “Hands Off My Regime!,” 16.

510 . Ibid., 17.

511 . Ibid., 18.

512 . Ibid., 11.

513 . Ibid., 18.

514 TECS, “Charities Working With Children,” Development Assistance Group Ethiopia, August 2014, http://esap2.org.et/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Policy-Brief-13-Children-August-2014.pdf.

515 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011: Ethiopia,” U.S. Department of State, May 24, 2012, https://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186196.htm.

516 . Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 43.

517 “Stifling Human Rights Work,” Amnesty International, 22.

518 . TECS, “Charities Working With Children.”

519 Hiwot Getachew Gebreyohannes, “The Challenges and Prospects of ChSA ‘70/30 Guideline’ Implementation on the Performance of NGOs in Ethiopia: A Case Study of Food for the Hungry/Ethiopia (FH/Ethiopia)” (master’s thesis, School of Management Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University, April 2016), http://repository.smuc.edu.et/bitstream/123456789/1433/1/Hiwot%20Getachew.pdf, 22–23; and Denu and Zewdie, “Impact of the Guideline.”

520 Berhanu Denu and Ato Getachew Zewdie, “Early Evidence of the Impact of the 70/30 Guideline to Determine Operational and Administrative Costs (Guideline 2/2003 EC) Phase II,” Development Assistance Group Ethiopia, http://www.dagethiopia.org/new/images/DAG_DOCS/Policy_Brief_5_70_30_phase_II_April_2013.pdf.

521 Ibid.

522 Yoseph Badwaza, “Ethiopia: Attack on Civil Society Escalates as Dissent Spreads,” Freedom House, July 22, 2016, https://freedomhouse.org/blog/ethiopia-attack-civil-society-escalates-dissent-spreads.

523 Author interview with specialist on civil society in Ethiopia, January 9, 2016.

524 Ibid.

525 Ibid.

526 . CIVICUS, EHAHRDO and HRC, “Joint NGO Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review,” CIVICUS, September 16, 2013, http://www.civicus.org/images/CIVICUS_EHAHRDP_HRCO_Joint_Ethiopia_UPR_Submission.pdf, 4.

527 “Stifling Human Rights Work,” Amnesty International,5.

528 . Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011: Ethiopia”; and Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 76.

529 . “Ethiopia Undermines Financial Support for Human Rights Groups,” Freedom House, October 24, 2016; and interview with specialist on human rights in Ethiopia, November 25, 2016.

530 . Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 69.

531 Luis Flores, “Development Aid to Ethiopia: Overlooking Violence, Marginalization, and Political Repression,” Oakland Institute, 2013, https://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/OI_Brief_Development_Aid_Ethiopia.pdf, 1.

532 . Awol Allo, “Ethiopia’s Unprecedented Nationwide Oromo Protests: Who, What, Why?,” African Arguments, August 6, 2016, http://africanarguments.org/2016/08/06/ethiopias-unprecedented-nationwide-oromo-protests-who-what-why/.

533 “US Shuts Down Drone Base in Ethiopia,” BBC, January 4, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-35220279.

534 . James Jeffrey, “Europe Pays Out to Keep a Lid on Ethiopia Migration,” IRIN,October 24, 2016, https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2016/10/24/europe-pays-out-keep-lid-ethiopia-migration.

535 . Interview with specialist on human rights in Ethiopia, November 25, 2016.

536 . Hailegebriel, “Ethiopia.”

537 Alphia Zoyab, “Criminalizing Humanitarian Aid—Ethiopia’s Controversial New Law,” International Affairs Review, December 7, 2008, http://www.iar-gwu.org/node/50.

538 Hailegebriel, “Ethiopia.”

539 “Declaration by the Presidency on Behalf of the EU on the Adoption of the Charities and Societies Proclamation by the House of Peoples’ Representatives of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,” press release, Council of the European Union, January 30, 2009, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_PESC-09-7_en.htm.

540 . Lotte Leicht and Georgette Gagnon, “Letter to the European Union on Their Disappointing Reaction to the Ethiopian NGO Law,” Human Rights Watch, February 10, 2009, https://www.hrw.org/news/2009/02/10/letter-european-union-their-disappointing-reaction-ethiopian-ngo-law.

541 Robert Wood, “New Ethiopian Law Restricts NGO Activities,” press statement, U.S. Department of State, January 8, 2009, https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/01/113692.htm.

542 ICNL, “The NGO Legal Enabling Environment Program (LEEP): Quarterly Programmatic Report, July–September 2009,” U.S. Agency for International Development, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pdacp042.pdf, 3; and Hailegebriel, “Ethiopia.”

543 . Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 14, 48.

544 “About CSF,” Ethiopia–European Union Civil Society Fund, http://csf2.org/?q=content/about-csf; and “Answer Given by High Representative/Vice-President on Behalf of the Commission,” European Parliament, March 9, 2012, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2012-001616&language=EN; “Annual Action Programme 2011 Covered by the Country Strategy Paper 2008–2013 for the European Development Fund in Ethiopia,” Germany Trade and Invest, https://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Content/DE/Trade/Fachdaten/PRO/2011/10/P19726.pdf?v=6; Max Hennion et al., “Evaluation of the Commission of the European Union’s Co-Operation With Ethiopia,” European Commission, January 2012, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/evaluation/evaluation_reports/reports/2012/1301_vol1_en.pdf.

545 “Quarterly Newsletter of the EU Delegation to Ethiopia (July-October 2016),” Delegation of the EU to Ethiopia, November 2, 2016, https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ethiopia/13782/quarterly-newsletter-of-the-eu-delegation-to-ethiopia-july—october-2016_en; and “Supporting Non-State Actors, Building Partnerships,” Ethiopia–European Union Civil Society Fund, http://csf2.org/sites/default/files/CSF%20BROCHURE%20Jun%2021-FINAL.pdf.

546 “About CSF,” Ethiopia–European Union Civil Society Fund.

547 Karen Del Biondo, “Multiple Principals, Multiple Agents: EU and US Democracy Assistance in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, December 2014, http://cddrl.fsi.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/del_biondo_1_final.pdf, 19; and Yntiso, Haile-Gebriel, and Ali, “Non-State Actors in Ethiopia,” 55.

548 Ibid., 18.

549 Ibid.

550 “Ethiopia 2015,” National Endowment for Democracy, http://www.ned.org/region/africa/ethiopia-2015/.

551 . “U.S. and Ethiopia Hold 6th Bilateral Democracy, Governance and Human Rights Working Group in Addis Ababa,” press release, U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, March 30, 2016, https://ethiopia.usembassy.gov/pr_2016_20.html.

552 “Answer Given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on Behalf of the Commission,” European Parliament, November 9, 2012, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2012-008050&language=EN; “Answer Given by High Representative/Vice-President Ashton on Behalf of the Commission,” and European Parliament, March 9, 2012, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2012-001616&language=EN.

553 Federica Petrucci et al., “Thematic Evaluation of the European Commission Support to Respect of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Including Solidarity with Victims of Repression),” European Commission, December 2011, http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/evaluation/evaluation_reports/reports/2011/1298_vol1_en.pdf, 49.

554 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Ethiopia.”

555 . “Answer Given by Vice-President Mogherini on Behalf of the Commission,” European Parliament, September 11, 2015, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2015-008413&language=EN.

556 “Press Availability by Wendy R. Sherman,” U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, April 16, 2015, https://ethiopia.usembassy.gov/wendy-sherman-foreign-minister.html; “The United States’ Irresponsible Praise of Ethiopia’s Regime,” Washington Post,April 30, 2015, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ethiopias-wrong-turn/2015/04/30/e170d29c-ed1f-11e4-a55f-38924fca94f9_story.html; Mohammed Ademo, “US Official Praises Ethiopian ‘Democracy,’ Rest of World Begs to Differ,” The Scrutineer (blog), Al Jazeera America,April 18, 2015, http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2015/4/18/us-official-praises-ethiopian-democracy-us-begs-to-differ.html.

557 . “Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia in Joint Press Conference,” White House, July 27, 2015, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/27/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-hailemariam-desalegn-ethiopia.

558 . Katrina Manson, “Barack Obama Urges Ethiopia to Improve Political Freedoms,” Financial Times, July 27, 2015, https://www.ft.com/content/fcd537c2-346d-11e5-b05b-b01debd57852.

559 . Edward-Isaac Dovere, “Obama Differs From Top Aides Over Ethiopia’s Democracy,” Politico,July 27, 2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/obama-differs-from-top-aides-over-ethiopias-democracy-120657.

560 . Richard Youngs, “The End of Democratic Conditionality: Good Riddance?,” FRIDE, September 2010, http://fride.org/descarga/WP102_The_end_democratic_conditionality_ENG_set10.pdf, 3.

561 “Security Aid: Ethiopia, 2000–2016,” Security Assistance Monitor, http://securityassistance.org/data/program/military/Ethiopia/1996/2016/is_all/Global.

562 Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, H.R. 2055, 112th Cong. (2011), https://www.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/house-bill/2055; Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, H.R. 3547, 113th Cong. (2013), https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/3547; Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, H.R. 83, 113th Cong. (2013), https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/83/text; Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, H.R. 2029, 114th Cong. (2015), https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2029/text.

563 . European Parliament, Resolution of 15 January 2013 on EU Strategy for the Horn of Africa, 2012/2026(INI), January 15, 2013, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2013-0006&language=EN&ring=A7-2012-0408.

564 Karen Del Biondo and Jan Orbie, “The European Commission’s Implementation of Budget Support and the Governance Incentive Tranche in Ethiopia: Democracy Promoter or Developmental Donor?,” Third World Quarterly 35, no. 3 (2014).

565 Ibid.

566 “Development Without Freedom: How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia,”Human Rights Watch, October 19, 2010, https://www.hrw.org/report/2010/10/19/development-without-freedom/how-aid-underwrites-repression-ethiopia; and Helen Epstein, “Why Are We Funding Abuse in Ethiopia?” New York Review of Books, March 14, 2013, http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2013/03/14/why-are-we-funding-abuse-ethiopia/.

567 . Del Biondo and Orbie, “The European Commission’s Implementation of Budget Support and the Governance Incentive Tranche in Ethiopia.”

568 Christine Hackenesch, “Good Governance in EU External Relations: What Role for Development Policy in a Changing International Context?,” Directorate-General for External Policies, European Parliament, July 2016, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/578012/EXPO_STU(2016)578012_EN.pdf.

569 Ibid.

570 . UK Aid Development tracker, https://devtracker.dfid.gov.uk/; and “Ethiopia Is Top UK Aid Recipient,” Voice of America, February 28, 2011, http://www.voanews.com/a/ethiopia-is-top-uk-aid-recipient-117204413/157544.html.

571 Claire Provost, “Ethiopia’s Rights Abuses ‘Being Ignored by US and UK Aid Agencies,’” Guardian,July 17, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/jul/17/ethiopia-rights-abuses-us-uk-aid-agencies; and David Smith, “’Britain Is Supporting a Dictatorship in Ethiopia,’” Guardian, July 6, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/06/britain-supporting-dictatorship-in-ethiopia.

572 . William Easterly and Laura Freschi, “Why Are We Supporting Repression in Ethiopia?,” New York Review of Books,November 15, 2010, http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2010/11/15/why-are-we-supporting-repression-ethiopia/.

573 . David H. Shinn, “The Evolution of China-Ethiopia Relations,” This Is Africa, March 31, 2015, http://www.thisisafricaonline.com/News/The-evolution-of-China-Ethiopia-relations?ct=true.

574 . Youngs, “The End of Democratic Conditionality.”

575 European Parliament, Resolution of 21 January 2016 on the Situation in Ethiopia, 2016/2520(RSP), January 21, 2016, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P8-TA-2016-0023+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN.

576 “Cardin, Rubio, Colleagues Condemn Ethiopia’s Crackdown on Civil Society,” press release, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, April 20, 2016, https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/ranking/release/cardin-rubio-colleagues-condemn-ethiopias-crackdown-on-civil-society-.

577 . “European Union and Ethiopia Sign Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility,” press release, European Commission, November 11, 2015, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-6050_en.htm.

578 “Ethiopia, EU Sign Joint Declaration Towards Strategic Engagement,” Ethiopian News Agency, June 15, 2016, http://www.ena.gov.et/en/index.php/politics/item/1495-ethiopia-eu-sign-joint-declaration-towards-strategic-engagement

579 “HRVP Federica Mogherini Meets Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegm,” press release, European Union External Action, March 17, 2017, https://eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/22980/hrvp-federica-mogherini-meets-ethiopian-prime-minister-hailemariam-desalegn_en.

End of document

Why I run: I will continue to protest until the Oromo people in Ethiopia gain their freedom. May 20, 2017

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Why I run 


I will continue to protest until the Oromo people in Ethiopia gain their freedom.


 ALJAZEERA ENGLISH, 19 May 2017
Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia crosses his wrists in solidarity with the Oromo people after crossing the finish line at the 2016 Rio Olympics [Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha]
Feyisa Lilesa of Ethiopia crosses his wrists in solidarity with the Oromo people after crossing the finish line at the 2016 Rio Olympics [Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha]

by 

Feyisa Lilesa is a long-distance runner from Ethiopia and a member of the Oromo people.

My name is Feyisa Lilesa. I am an exiled marathon runner from Ethiopia.

I have not been back to my country since winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games last August. In Rio, as I approached the finish line, I crossed my wrists above my head in solidarity with the men, women and children who have died fighting for their rights and those who are still suffering under the brutal regime in Ethiopia.

It was a sign of nonviolent resistance used by protesters in my native Oromia region, the largest of Ethiopia’s nine ethnic-based states.

Much has changed since my Olympic protest in Rio. I now live and train in exile in the United States. Last February, I was reunited with my wife and two children.

Meanwhile, despite the global spotlight my protest attracted, the killings, imprisonment and harassment of my people by Ethiopian security forces have only worsened.

This is why I continue to protest, after every race and at every media event.

In a few days, the World Health Organization (WHO) member states will elect a new director general at the 70th World Health Assembly. One of the top three candidates is Tedros Adhanom, current special adviser to the Ethiopian prime minister and Ethiopia’s former foreign and health minister. Adhanom is travelling the world discussing human rights (while comically admitting Ethiopia’s record is “not perfect“) as part of his campaign to lead WHO.

Adhanom is one of the chief architects of Ethiopia’s repressive regime. He has been a cabinet minister for more than a decade. In 2015 and 2016, according to human rights organisations security forces killed hundreds of peaceful protesters; the number in my opinion might be more than 1000. Adhanom, then the country’s foreign minister, downplayed the extent of the problem and denounced even the scant international scrutiny of Ethiopia’s human rights record.

In an op-ed last October, Adhanom targeted Human Rights Watch – blaming the New York-based nonprofit and the Ethiopian diaspora for whipping up anti-government protests. Having systematically decimated domestic opposition, the civil society and independent press, this was part of his regime’s attempt to intimidate and silence critics abroad. Like the government he served, which spends millions of dollars on lobbying to shore up international support, Adhanom has turned to PR agencies to whitewash his image.

Adhanom is now travelling around the world hypocritically talking about health as a human right. But when he was health minister, his office refused to acknowledge large cholera outbreaks, which cost many lives. Today Ethiopia is also covering up yet another cholera outbreak, using the euphemism of acute watery diarrhoea.

Adhanom has also been touting his success with Ethiopia’s national Health Extension Program. I have friends who worked as extension workers and know communities that were supposed to benefit from this much-hyped initiative. Particularly in Oromo areas, the services never reached the people who needed them the most.

OPINION: The Oromo protests have changed Ethiopia

In some towns, poorly supplied health centres were built and extension workers with 10th grade education – who had only a year of medical training – were assigned to staff the facilities.

However, the poor training, distance the workers had to travel to get to the satellite offices and the lack of medical equipment and supplies meant the majority still don’t have access to quality health services. Moreover, admission into the programme requires party membership and mandatory political indoctrination.

In other words, Adhanom’s health ministry used the donor-funded health extension programme as a coercive political recruitment tool for the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). In some cases, people were denied access or were asked to join EPRDF in order to access even the measly services provided by extension workers.

That is not all. Ethiopia has gained international praise for reaching the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. However, in Oromia today, babies often still die in great numbers from preventable diseases like diarrhoea. The true child mortality rate is never recorded since the statistics are falsified with the aim of meeting global development goals and keeping foreign aid coming. This practice has so far escaped international scrutiny given the lack of independent press, organised opposition and robust civil society in Ethiopia.

After years of authoritarian backsliding, Ethiopia is now effectively a military state, ruled by a Command Post that was setup to oversee the country’s now 8-month-long state of emergency, declared in October.

Despite these crimes, there is still an opportunity for Adhanom and the Ethiopian regime to do the right thing.

First, the martial law must be immediately lifted and protesters, journalists, opposition leaders and civil society members must be released from jail. Specifically, Oromo opposition leaders Bekele Gerba, Merera Gudina and their colleagues, must be released without further delay. Authorities must also allow independent investigation, including by UN Special Rapporteurs on torture and assembly, into human rights violations and the killings of protesters.

Second, instead of blaming the diaspora and neighbouring countries for the deepening political crisis, authorities must meet the protesters demands for a free and fair Ethiopia. That entails opening up the political environment and allowing the country’s 100 million citizens to elect their leaders – ending the hegemony of Adhanom’s Tigrayan ethnic group.

Finally, Adhanom – still a special adviser to the Ethiopian prime minister – must withdraw from the election for director general of the WHO and issue a formal apology to the Ethiopian people, the African Union and human rights groups for trying to divert attention from the crimes he and his government have committed over the last two decades and a half.

International civil society groups, the media and WHO member states face a unique opportunity to send a clear message that human rights matter. And perpetrators and enablers of atrocious crimes cannot be rewarded for their complacence in the face of egregious right abuses. Member states must reject Adhanom’s candidacy and demand that Ethiopia stops covering up water-borne diseases and be transparent about its record of child mortality and other key indicators.

I look forward to one day returning home to run across the blood red soil of my homeland. However, until the Oromo people gain their freedom, I will continue to protest in solidarity.  

Feyisa Lilesa is a long-distance runner from Ethiopia and a member of the Oromo people.


 

UNPO: European Parliament Resolution Condemns Crackdown on Civil Society in Ethiopia May 19, 2017

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European Parliament Resolution Condemns Crackdown on Civil Society in Ethiopia

UNPO, 18 May 2o17


 

Photo credit: Antoine Lemonnier via Foter.com CC BY-NC-SA

On 18 May 2017, the European Parliament passed a resolution on Ethiopia, drawing attention to the violent crackdown on civil society in the country and shedding light more particularly on the case of Oromo opposition politician Dr Merera Gudina, still behind bars. The resolution urges the Ethiopian government to end the state of emergency and the restrictions it entails, as well as to stop using anti-terrorism legislation to suppress peaceful opposition. The European Union (EU) High Representative is called to “put pressure on the Ethiopian government” for it to allowan independent investigation into the killings of protesters. The current humanitarian crisis affecting the Ogaden region and beyond is also tackled in the document.

The last eight months have been a synonym of political repression and humanitarian distress for Ethiopia’s most vulnerable peoples and particularly for the inhabitants of Oromia and Ogaden. On 8 October 2016, in response to ongoing protests after the Irrecha massacre of 2 October, during which 600 demonstrators were killed, the Ethiopian government declared a six-month state of emergency for Oromia. In the following week alone, the Ethiopian authorities had already arrested more than 1,600 people, mainly from the Oromia and Amhara regions. At the end of March 2017, the government announced an extension of the state of emergency by four months.

One emblematic case of the violent crackdown on human rights and civil liberties in the country is the arrest, on 1 December 2016, of Dr Merera Gudina, a high-level Oromo opposition politician, shortly after his return to Ethiopia. In his speech from 9 November in the European Parliament, Dr Gudina had roundly condemned the arrests that followed the institution of the state of emergency. On 23 February 2017, Dr Merera Gudina was charged with terrorism by Ethiopian prosecutors and since then he remains in jail, along with other political leaders, journalists and prominent elders.

Along with a dire human rights situation, the people from the region of Ogaden and beyond face a life-threatening crisis involving a devastating wave of deaths due to a cholera epidemic and famine. Due to this, since November 2016, it is estimated that 2,000 people have died in the remote rural areas of Ogaden.

During the debate that preceded the vote, MEPs raised their concerns over the recent events in Oromia and the overall human rights and humanitarian situation in the country. The text was supported by six parliamentary groups and authored by more than 90 MEPs.

A little bit more than a year after the last European Parliament resolution on Ethiopia, UNPO is glad to see that the MEPs are keeping up their efforts to bring up the plights of the Ethiopian peoples in the hemicycle. More than ever, our organization is committed to pursue its work with its Members, partners and decision-makers to urge Ethiopia to guarantee the protection of the human rights of its citizens, especially those who are the most vulnerable.

You can access the resolution by clicking here.

To watch the video of the plenary debate, please click here.

To read Human Rights Watch’s article on this topic, please click here.


 

HRW: European Parliament Demands Investigation Into Ethiopia Killings. #OromoProtes May 19, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests.
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European Parliament Demands Investigation Into Ethiopia Killings

Resolution Calls for Urgent UN Inquiry Into Protester Deaths and Detention

Oromia Media Network (OMN) 3rd Year Anniversary, Little Oromia (Minnesota), Minneapolis May 15, 2017

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OMN: Gratitude to German people & Government (Caamsaa 3, 2017)

 

OMN: Tumsa Hundeeffama waggaa 3ffaa OMN, Manchester, UK ( Caamsaa 8, 2017)

Hanisha Solomon: New Oromo Music: Geerarsa May 6, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Muscians and the Performance Of Oromo Nationalism, Music, Oromo Music.
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AP News: UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF: ETHIOPIA BLOCKED ACCESS TO PROTEST AREAS May 4, 2017

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Zeid expressed alarm at the “extremely large number” of arrests and said some charges against those detained “may be misplaced.”He asked that U.N. staffers be allowed to visit the areas of unrest. “We may then perhaps provide a list to the government and ask for specific releases” of people detained, Zeid said. “This requires more attention.”


AP Photo
AP Photo/STR

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopian officials have blocked United Nations access to areas that experienced deadly protests during one of the country’s most violent periods in recent memory, the U.N. human rights chief said Thursday.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein spoke during a three-day visit to the East African nation at the government’s invitation. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has rejected United Nations and other outside requests to investigate the months of anti-government protests demanding more political freedoms.

The government has said at least 669 people were killed and largely blames the political opposition for the unrest. Opposition figures and human rights groups say security forces killed protesters, while the government has called security forces’ response “proportionate.”

More than 26,000 people were detained amid the protests, and Ethiopia in October declared a state of emergency that recently was extended.

Zeid expressed alarm at the “extremely large number” of arrests and said some charges against those detained “may be misplaced.”

He asked that U.N. staffers be allowed to visit the areas of unrest. “We may then perhaps provide a list to the government and ask for specific releases” of people detained, Zeid said. “This requires more attention.”

The human rights chief also expressed concern about anti-terrorism laws in Ethiopia, saying that “an excessively broad definition of terrorism may be misused against journalists, bloggers and members of opposition parties.”

Earlier Thursday, Zeid addressed the crisis in neighboring South Sudan, saying up to 50,000 civilians in the country’s Upper Nile region are at imminent risk of human rights violations as government troops close in.

Many civilians in Aburoc town, some of whom recently fled a military attack on nearby Kodok town, are ethnic Shilluk and have faced a sharp rise in government attacks as South Sudan’s civil war continues.

Zeid said military commanders on both sides show little regard for protecting civilians.

Separately, the U.N. humanitarian affairs agency said roughly 100,000 civilians have been displaced after a South Sudan government offensive in the Jonglei region.

Army spokesman Santo Domic Chol did not comment on fighting in either location but said government attacks on civilians “didn’t make sense” because civilians are not armed.


Associated Press writer Justin Lynch in Nairobi, Kenya contributed.




Daily Mail: UN rights chief urges Ethiopia to free prisoners after protests


At a press conference, Zeid said he was concerned about the mass arrests last year during protests driven by discontent among the country’s two largest ethnic groups, which left hundreds dead.

“The extremely large number of arrests, over 26,000, suggests it is unlikely rule of law guarantees have been observed in every case,” Zeid said.

“I am requesting the government to consider, if possible, the release of a number of individuals whose arrest or conviction appears to have been motivated by fear of criticism rather than evidence of intent to spark violent overthrow,” he said.  – More at Daily Mail.


 

NewsweeK: U.N. Renews Calls to Investigate Deadly Anti-Government Protests in Ethiopia

The U.N. has renewed calls to the Ethiopian government to let human rights officials conduct independent investigations into allegations of abuses by security forces against protesters in the country in 2015 and 2016.


Wixineen Labsii Keeyyata 49(5) hiikuuf qophaaye dantaa Oromiyaan Finfinnee irrraa qabdu kan dhabamsiisu malee kan eegsisu miti. A leaked legislative document: TPLF’s baby candy for Oromia: Is it the question of Freedom or Question of Addis Ababa May 3, 2017

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A leaked legislative document: TPLF’s baby candy for Oromia: Is it the question of Freedom or Question of Addis Ababa

http://www.satenaw.com


‘Wixinee seeraa ka dantaa addaa Oromon Finfinne irraa qabu ilaalchise dhiyaate balaa guddaa baate jira. Dangerous dha! Gabaabaatti: wixineen sun Oromoo, Oromummaa fi Biyya Oromoo walitti qabee gurgura!’ – Ogeessa Seenaa Henok G. Gabisa irraa


Wixineen Labsii Keeyyata 49(5) hiikuuf qophaaye dantaa Oromiyaan Finfinnee irrraa qabdu kan dhabamsiisu malee kan eegsisu miti.

Jawar Mohammed


Wixineen Labsii Keeyyata 49(5) hiikuuf qophaaye dantaa Oromiyaan Finfinnee irrraa qabdu kan dhabamsiisu malee kan eegsisu miti. (Ani hanqina wixinee kana airratti qabxiilee muraasa kaaseera. Ogeeyyonni seeraa keenyas sirritti xiinxalaatii ummata hubachiisaa maaloo)

Qorannoo ka’uumsaa ( Concept Paper) dhimma dantaa addaa Oromiyaan Fifninnee irraa qabdu hojitti hiikuuf gara mootummaa naannoo Oromiyaan qophaaye ilaallee jirra. Akkasumas wixinee Labsii , heera mootummaa federaalaa keewwata 49(5) irra kaayame hiikuuf qophaayes agarree jirra. Wanni hubannes

1. Wixineen labsii kun qorannoo ka’uumsaa irratti hundaayee qophaaye. Qorannoon kun abbaa biyyaa Finfinnee Oromoo tahuu ragaa gahaadhaan dhiheessee jira.
2. Wixineen labsii kun Afaan Oromoo afaan hojiifi barnoota bulchiinsa Finfinne akka tahu lafa kaaya. Kunis dansaadha.
3. GARUU gaafii abbaa biyyummaa Oromoon gaafatuuf dantaa addaa Oromiyaan ni qabdi jedhamee heera federaalaa keewwata 49(5) irra kaayameef deebii hin qabu. Akka waan hariiroon Finfinnee Oromoo ishii keessa jiraatanii qofatti lafa kaaya. Fakkeenyaaf eenyummaa isaanii tursuuf mirgi hojjachuu, afaan ofii dubbachuu, maqaaleen gandootaa kan duritti deebi’uu faa tarreessa. Kun dogonora guddaadha. Heerri mootummaa kan jedhu Oromiyaan dantaa addaa qabdiidha. Oromoonni Finfinneekeessa jiraatan akka jiraataa kamiittuu mirgafi tajaajila isaan barbaachisu argatu. Tajaajila addaa yoo isaan barbaachise jiraattonni sun akkuma saboota biroo bulchiinsa magaalatti gaafachuun kabachiifatu. Kun waan keewwata 49(5) walqabate homaatuu hin qabu. Dantaan addaa Oromiyaa kan kabachiifamu Oromiyaan akka qaama tokkotti bulchiinsa Finfinnee waliin hariiroo yoo uumteedha. Hubadhaa, keewwata san keessatti ‘dantaa Oromoo’ jechuurra dantaa Oromiyaa waan jedhameeftu jira. Oromiyaan caasaa mootummaa Oromoonni dantaa waloo isaanii ittiin qindeeffachuuf jaaraniidha. Naannolee ollaa waliinis tahee mootummaa federaalaa waliin dantaa Oromoo kan qindeessuu Oromiyaadha. Dantaa Oromoon Finfinnee irraa qabu mootummaa Oromiyaatitu kabachiisaa jechuudha. Kanaaf keewwanni kun kan hiikkamuu qabu dantaan Oromiyaan Finfinnee irraa qabdu maali? Akkamiin hojitti hiikama kan jedhuuni. Fakkeenyaaf bulchiinsa Finfinnee keessatti bakki 25% Oromootaan haa qabamu jedha. Alaa yoo laalan waan gaarii fakkaata. Hubadhaa yaanni kun kan dhufe ummata Finfinnee keessaa harki 25% Oromoodha yaada jedhurraayi. Maarree akkas taanaan Oromoo kennaa addaa osoo hin barbaachisin filannoodhaan harka san inuma argata. Maarree maalif dantaa Oromiyaa dhiisanii dantaa Oromoota Finfinnee keessaa jedhanii hiikuu barbaadan? Oromoonni Finfinnee keessaa naannawa takk qofa hin jiraatan. Eenyummaan isaanitis kan hundaa hin beekkamu. Kanaaf of qindeessanii mirgaaf dantaa isaaniitif falmachuuf ni rakkisa. Kanaaf dantaa waloo Oromoota sanii kan bif milkaayeen geggeessuu danda’u caasaa mootummaati, mootummaa Oromiyaa. Kan diduudhaaf jecha Gumiin Oromoota Finfinnee ni dhaabbata jedha. Kuni qoosaadha. Biyya federaalaa keessatti sabni caasaa mootummaatin malee afooshaa ( civic society) dhaan mirga hin kabachiifatu.
4. Akka faaydaa addaa Oromiyaa jedhamee kaayame kan koflaa tokko naannoon Oromiyaa waajjiroota Finfinnee keessaa qabaachuuf mirga qabu jedha. Finfinneen teessoo mootummaa Oromiyaa tahuu heerri naannichaa ni kaaya. Kana jechuun waajjira hamma barbaadde ni qabaatti. Maarree labsii kana keessatti maalif kaayame? Ittiin nu sossobuufi.
5. Dhimma hamaan biraa Oromoota hiddaan Finfinnee ta’aniif mirgi addaa kennama jedha. Hubadhaa Oromoo Finfinnee keessaa erga hiddaan buqqaasanii gadaan meeqa lakkaayameera.
6. Daangaa Finfinnee marii bulchiinsa magaalattiifi Oromiyaatin gara fuulduraa daangeffama jedha. Bandhinniifi daangaan Finfinnee waggoota 22 dura gaafa heerii mootummaa tumamu murtaayee jira. Kanaafuu daangaa gaafas murtaaye sanirra deemanii dhagaa dhaabuu malee wanti gara fuulduraatti bulchiinsi Finfinnee mari’atan hin jiru. Yaanni kun kan dhufe daangaa seeraan ala waggota dabran babaldhifame san dhugeeffachuufi lafa biraas itti dabalachuufi.

Waliigalatti wixineen kun abbaa biyyummaa Oromoon Finfinnee irraa qabu deebisuu dhiisaatii ‘dantaa addaa’ xiqqoo heerri mootummaa kaaye sanuu ni faallessa. Yoo dhugaan labsii mirgaafi dantaa Oromoo kabachiisu baasuu barbaadan qabxiilee armaan gadii mamii malee afaan qajeellootiin lafa kaayuu qaban.

1. Yoo xiqqaate Oromiyaan Finfinneen, akkuma Hararaiifi Dirree Dhawaa, bulchiinsa walootiin bulchuu qabdi.
2. Galii Finfinneen argattu irraa dhibbeentaan seeraan murtaa’u Oromiyaaf galuu qaba
3. Imaammata fayyadama lafaa, kunuunsa naannoofi hawaasummaa irratti Oromiyaan veto power qabaachuu qabdi.
4. Afaan Oromoo afaan hojiifi barnootaa sadarkaafi manneen barnootaa hundaa ta’uu qaba.
5. Itti fayyadama bishaanii, kuusaa kosiifi kanneen biroo irraa Finfinneen Oromiyaaf kaffaluu qabdi.

Labsiin qabxiilee kana hin hammanne mirgaafi dantaa Oromoo dhiibuuf kan qophaaye ta’uun beekkamuun sabni keenya falmii cimaadhaan dura dhaabbatee akkuma maastar Pilaaniifi labsii magaalota Oromiyaa sanitti haqsiisuuf qophaayuu qaba.

Concept Paper
https://drive.google.com/open…
Draft Proclamation
https://drive.google.com/…/0BygoyxL0MrF-UURCZlNmNFhHc…/view…

“Wantoota gaggaarii wixineen labsi dantaa addaa Oromiyaa qabate fudhannee kan hafe booda itti dabalanna” yaada jedhun argaa jira. Kuni dogonora cimaadha. Hubadhaa wanni haasa’aa jirru waa’ee heera mootummaa hiikuuti. Heerri tumamu tokko takka jallannaan deebisanii qajeelchuun laaftuu miti. Gaafa heerri ammaa kun bahu mirga abbaa biyyummaa Oromoon Finfinnee irraa qabu guututti mirkaneessun magaalattin Oromiyaa jalatti akka bultu gochurra gara “dantaa addaatti” gadi hirdhise. Har’a kunoo mee dantuma addaa sanuu nuuf kabajaa jechuuf dirqamnee jirra. Haaluma kanaan faaydaalee bubuutuu qalbii nama hawwataniif jecha labsiin dantaa addaa Oromiyaa heeraan kaayame guututti hin kabachiifne yoo fudhanne, boru bubuutuu waadaa galamte san nuuf laadha jennee kadhachuuf dirqamna. Kanaaf labsiin bahu dantaa Oromiyaan Finfinnee irraa qabdu guututti kan eegsisu ta’uu baannaan keeyyanni 49(5) osoo hin hiikkamne hafuu wayya. Keessattuu aangon Finfinnee bulchuufi galii isii qooddachuu Oromiyaaf laatamuu baannaan labsiin kun wixineema ta’ee hafuu qaba malee raggaasifamuu hin qabu. Qondaalonni labsii kanarratti dalagaa jiran takkaa onnatanii fooyyessuu ykn dhiisanii keessaa bahuu qaban. San didanii itti fufnaan ummanni isaan nyaachuuf jira.” – Jawar Mohammed

OPDO should walk away from signing any surrender agreement on Addis Ababa short of full Ownership Rights of the Oromo people on that city!

By Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni


1. What is the current status of Addis Ababa?

For an outsider, Addis Ababa is the seat of the Ethiopian federal government. It is also the host city of the Headquarters of the African Union (AU), formerly the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and other international organizations, and diplomatic mission numbering over one hundred twenty embassies and consulates making it the diplomatic capital of Africa with the potential to become one of the leading world metropolis.

However, this very rosy picture becomes more murky and troublesome when one looks into the domestic sides of Addis Ababa. The domestic picture of Addis Ababa is in stark contrast to what it claims to portray itself nationally and globally. It is one of the most segregationist and discriminatory city in the world. It is built on evicting and dispossessing the Oromo people of their ancestral land through the war of conquest, and a predatory land grab policy that evicted and dispossessed the land belonging to the Oromo people.

In 1843, Major William C. Harris, the Head of United Kingdom’s Delegation who visited Ethiopia during that time and stayed with an Amhara warlords of the day vividly recorded in his book “The Highlands of Aethiopia (1844, Vols. I-III)” his eyewitness description of the carnage, the savagery, and the barbarity of those warlords on Oromo residents of Finfinnee. Major Harris’s Book Vol. II (p. 185-198) accounts on how tens of thousands of Oromo peaceful and unarmed residents of Finfinnee were massacred and destroyed by a European armed savages and warlords through its war of looting expeditions. In 1887, Addis Ababa was built on the graves of those brave Oromo heroes and heroines.

This agony of Oromo forefathers on whose grave Addis Ababa is built is the everyday agony and brutalizing memory every Oromo youth carries in his heart and lives with every single day. It is the cause for which every single Oromo will fight for and die for until the ownership rights of the Oromo people on Addis Ababa is fully and completely restored and respected.

Fast forward, over the last 25 years alone, Addis Ababa evicted close to one million Oromo residents from Oromo districts surrounding Addis Ababa silently and incrementally through systematic and consistent military style operations. In his Book “ The Meles Legacy: Addis Ababa, the Ownerless city”, Erimias Legesse, the Former State Minister for Ethiopian Government’s Spokesperson Office, accounted over 10 years he was in the Addis Ababa City Council alone, close to 150,000 Oromo families were evicted from their land, and their whereabouts are unknown.
When the recent French supported Addis Ababa Master Plan slated to evict twelve million Oromos in ten years’ time from 36 cities and seventeen woredas in Central Oromia zones was announced it triggered the memories of 1840- 1887 all over again. The Oromo people protested and drew the battle lines not to be played again.

2. How is the EPRDF handling question of the Oromo people over Addis Ababa?

In spite of the war of conquest partly mentioned above, no other Ethiopian regimes formally questioned the ownership rights of the Oromo people on Addis Ababa, since its creation in 1887, except the current EPRDF government of Ethiopia.

Let’s recap this. Under all previous Ethiopian regimes, including that of Emperor Menelik II, Lij Iyasu, Queen Zewiditu, Emperor Haile-Selassie, and the military regimes of General Teferi Bantii & Colonel Mengistu Haile-Mariam, the status of Addis Ababa as the seat of the central government and its status as the Capital City of Shewa Province has never been disputed or questioned or even debated!

Administratively, the Municipality of Addis Ababa was reporting to Menagesha Awraja, an area that covers pretty much the current Special Oromia Zone surrounding Addis Ababa. Menagesha Awraja in turn was reporting to the Shewa Province which in turn reports to the Ethiopian central government. At no time in its history was Addis Ababa separated from Shewa Province and placed under the political control of the Ethiopian central government let alone becoming a separate region except in the last 25 years.

The project of separating Addis Ababa from the Oromia State and that of the Oromo people started rolling as soon as the current government took the state power from the Derg Regime in 1991. As soon as it assumed the state power, the government of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi established Addis Ababa as a separate region, calling it Region 14, by proclamation No.7/ 1992 in 1992. Article 49 sub article 5 of the current federal constitution simply adopted the watered down version of this proclamation.

To avoid immediate backlash from the Oromo people, the newly crowned rebels recognized “the political rights and special interests of the Oromo people and region 4 over Addis Ababa” under Article 65 of Proclamation No.7/1992. The political rights and special interests of the Oromo people enshrined under this proclamation has never been legal elaborated or even get discussed. In short, Proclamation 7/1992 denied the Oromo population of the former Shewa Province their city in the name of self-administration, and the entire Oromo people the right to administer one of their city and the loss of the heartland of Oromia and their capital city with stroke of a pen.

In a further strategy to weaken the Oromo people’s ownership rights on Addis Ababa and empower Addis Ababa as a colonial enclave, the EPRDF government divided and disenfranchised Shewa Oromo population in the former Shewa Province into five zones which now includes West Shewa, North Shewa, South West Shewa, East Shewa, and the Special Oromia Zone surrounding Addis Ababa. A small part of the old Shewa province is also redistricted under the Amhara National Regional State with Debre Berhan as its zonal capital.

This strategy, which seems to have worked well until the #OromoProtests, was to divide and give the OPDO boys small balls for each one of them in their respective zones so that they will take off their eyes from the bigger ball while the big guys will play the national political and economic tournament with perfection with the bigger ball in Addis Ababa. The EPRDF sold this poly of creating six zones out of the previously one and very strong Shewa province as an administrative convenience for these newly created zones. In reality, none of the newly created zones gained any politically and economic advantage in the last 25 years except being weakened, impoverished, disenfranchised and gerrymandered to benefit the predatory beasts in Addis Ababa.

The current so called “talks” on Article 49 sub article 5 of the Federal Constitution’s “special interests clause of Oromia in Addis Ababa” is sequel two of the poly of the EPRDF to finish and perfect what the 19th Century war of conquest failed to do by completely separating Addis Ababa from Oromia and the Oromo people.

3. How is Addis Ababa treating the Oromo people now?

The policies of Addis Ababa toward the Oromo people has always been predatory. Its policies are premised on evicting, dispossessing, displacing and exploiting the Oromo to benefit, make room and place for non-Oromo settlers. Over the last twenty-five years, Addis Ababa is not only displacing and evicting the Oromo people, it is also the prison and torture capital of the Oromo people where all major torture centers and hidden prisons including Ma’ikalawi are located. Some call Addis Ababa the Gitmo of the Oromo people where tens of thousands of Oromos are tortured, killed, and detained.

Politically, economically and socially speaking, except for the nominal claim that Addis Ababa is the capital city of Oromia, Addis Ababa is the antithesis of everything Oromo. There is virtually no Oromo political, economic and cultural presence in Addis Ababa. All political, economic and cultural powers are fully in the hand of the settlers. Despised, marginalized and excluded in their own land, the Oromo people are considered as undesirables and strangers not welcomed in Addis Ababa, and are openly discriminated against.

According to the Addis Ababa City Charter, Amharic is the only official working language of the city. This means Afaan Oromo is legally and factually banned in Addis Ababa. Afaan Oromo speakers neither get employment nor public services this city provides through its public institutions. Afaan Oromo speakers’ political participation in Addis Ababa is unthinkable. Instead, the EPRDF government appoints Amharic speaking Oromo with no political constituency in the city as the Mayor of Addis Ababa to serve as a rubber stamp for the wish and whim of the deep state, and cow the Oromo people through well perfected political fraud.

There is no single Afaan Oromo public school or college in Addis Ababa. There is no single Afaan Oromo print or broadcast media for Afaan Oromo speakers in Addis Ababa. All Addis Ababa-based print and broadcast media outlets, theaters, and cinema centers, youth centers, museums, and city operated social institutions are legally banned from using Afaan Oromo. With the exception occasional translation services in court hearings, there is no single entity that provides even translation or interpretation services for Afaan Oromo speakers. All legal documents and court decisions are issued only in Amharic.

In fact, since the environment of discrimination is so pervasive and heavy, almost all private businesses and social institutions including churches, banks, hospitals, clinics, hotels, cafés, retail and wholesale shops conducts all their businesses only Amharic. One hardly finds Afaan Oromo speaking businesses or churches in Addis Ababa.

For Afaan Oromo speaking citizens of Addis Ababa, Oromo refugees in New York or Washington DC or Minneapolis have more self-worth and rights than Afaan Oromo speakers in Addis Ababa. Oromo speaker in Washington DC, New York or Minneapolis can get interpretation services in hospitals and other public institutions, a right an Oromo in Addis Ababa could not even contemplate.
Although it might be unfair to blame Addis Ababa for all the misery and ills of the Oromo people, it is fair to say that all the racist and discriminatory policies and laws against the Oromo people by the Ethiopian regimes continue to be hatched and nurtured in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopian government’s monolingual language policies and systemic policies of exclusion and marginalization of the Oromo people from Ethiopia’s economically, politically and social systems are developed and executed with near perfection and exported to the rest of the country from here.

Addis Ababa is a city that aspires to become a global city before it becomes a city to its own people on whose land it is founded. Owing to this discriminatory and segregationist policies, the Oromo people’s relationship with this city is that of love and hate. They love it because they believe it is their city. They hate it because they are being segregated, discriminated and unwelcomed in it.

4. What is the demand of the Oromo people on Addis Ababa?

The demand of the Oromo people on Addis Ababa is simple and straight forward. It is the demand to right the wrongs listed above! It is the demand of ownership right of the Oromo people on their land and their city. It is the demand of the Oromo people to politically administer their city and have a part in its development. It is the demand for the Oromia national regional government to have a taxing power (the power to impose and collect tax) and police power (the power to issue laws and policies and enforce them) on Addis Ababa and to administer it.

Rejection of the Ethiopian government’s aggression and denial of self-governance rights of the Oromo people of themselves and their capital city, Addis Ababa, is at the heart of the #Oromoprotests that is going on for the last two years.

This demand of the Oromo people over Addis Ababa is best encapsulated in the single rallying cry of the #OromoProtests. It says “Finfinneen Handhura Oromiya ti!” in Oromo language. Loosely translated, it means “Addis Ababa is the heart, the umbilical cord & the center of Oromia!” It simply means Addis Ababa is the heartland of Oromia and Oromia’s capital city. The two are inseparable; one and the same! Oromia will not exist without Addis Ababa, and Addis Ababa will not exist without Oromia!

The slogan “Finfinneen Handhura Oromiya ti!” shows the undisputed ownership, full political and economic rights including the police and taxing powers of the Oromia State over Addis Ababa. The slogan shows Addis Ababa is inextricably connected with the dignity and the honor of the Oromo people.

The Oromo people have never ever lost, relinquished, nor abandoned their ownership rights on Addis Ababa, and never will! Not now! The future belongs to the Oromo people to right the wrongs and injustices perpetrated on the Oromo people in Addis Ababa and its surroundings. The OPDO has no political, legal or historical mandate from the Oromo people to sign any form of surrender agreement that undermines, diminishes, compromises or further complicates the fully political, economic and social rights of the Oromo people on Addis Ababa. Not now. Not ever!

5. Why has OPDO no legitimacy to sign the surrender agreement with EPRDF and Addis Ababa Municipality?

OPDO cannot spend the political capital it never had both within the Oromo people and the member organizations of the EPRDF. For the last 27 years of its existence, OPDO was literally homeless and never had a legally recognized capital city to govern the Oromo people.

Most people don’t know this very important fact. OPDO’s boutique offices in Addis Ababa has no legal basis to exist there. Neither the federal government’s constitution nor the charter of Addis Ababa city administration nor the constitution of Oromia recognizes Addis Ababa as the capital city of Oromia. Not even the internal party rules of EPRDF recognizes Addis Ababa as the political capital of OPDO, nominally the ruling party in Oromia.

The EPRDF, mainly the TPLF, decides where the OPDO should be in a given year depending on the political tempo of the Oromo people. Initially, in 1991, OPDO was kept in Addis Ababa because of the pressure from the OLF. Then, after the OLF got weakened, OPDO was sent to Adama. When the pressure mounted on EPRDF/TPLF from Matcha Tullama Self-Help Association, the Oromo students, and OFC, OPDO was returned from Adama to Addis Ababa where it still exists.

Now, the EPRDF and Addis Ababa city powerholders are talking to the OPDO on the “special interests of the Oromo people over Addis Ababa” because of the #OromoProtests while those Oromo leaders who voiced their concern with the Oromo people like Dr. Merara Gudina, Bekele Gerba and tens of thousands other brave Oromo leaders are languishing in prison.

For the EPRDF, OPDO, in spite of the good intentions and brave efforts of some OPDO leaders, are just a front to pursue their selfish economic, political and security interests in Oromia, and use it as a tool to appease the Oromo people when the going gets tough. All well-meaning and enlightened OPDO leaders from top to bottom knows this political reality and fact. And the Oromo people knows it very well.

Therefore, the OPDO has no political and legal mandate of its own to negotiate, compromise and agree to anything fundamental let alone sign off on the surrender agreement of any sort short of the full political, economic and social rights of the Oromo people over Addis Ababa.

If the EPRDF leadership and the powerholders in Addis Ababa want a legitimate and final solution on the question of Addis Ababa and other Oromo issues, please release the Oromo leaders in prison and negotiate with them and other rightfully designated Oromo people’s leaders.

It is important for the EPRDF leadership and the deep state in Addis Ababa to know that their political fraud of separating Addis Ababa from Oromia is dead on arrival. The Oromo people will never ever accept, negotiate or compromise on any gamesmanship and deception short of complete and clearly defined full political, economic, cultural and administrative rights of the Oromo people and Oromia National Regional State over Addis Ababa.


“Finffinnen Magaalaa guddoo Oromiyaatifi teessoo mootummaa federaalaati. Finfinneen teesoo mootummaa Oromiyaati jechuun sirrii miti.” -Dr Birhanu M Lenjiso


‘Finfinnee is an Oromo city; it is the capital of Oromia, it can not be neutral. As such, it will undergo a fundamental change. Anyone who cries foul of the ”special interest” proclamation, specially those within the federal government, should know that the simplest solution to the problem is to change the seat of federal government. How about that? Any attempt to deny or resist changes to the city might very soon turn it into a sieged Balkan town.’- Biyya Oromiyaa


‘If you want to respect the so called ‘special interest’ of Oromia in Finfinnee, start with the simple act of making the Finfinnee City Council accountable to Oromia. Formally recognize the Oromo name of the city and of its sub-cities. Declare Afaan Oromo as one of the working languages of the city. Anything less is a joke. (But then, what of politics in Ethiopia today is not a brutal joke?’ #OromoRevolution – Tsegaye Ararssa


‘Dubbiin tana…heerri mootummaa federaalaa keewwanni 49(5) qabxii ifatti lafa kaaye qaba
– Finfinneen Oromiyaa keessatti argamti
– Dhimma fayyadama qabeenya uumamaafi bulchiinsa waloo irratti hariiroon bulchiinsa Finfinnee fi OROMIYAA seeraan murtaaya jedha. Kana jechuun keewwata kana yeroo labsiidhaan hiikkamu hariiroo bulchiinsa waloo mootummaan naannoo Oromiyaafi bulchiinsi Finfinnee jidduu jiraachuu malutu murtaayuu qaba. Wixineen labsii amma dhihaate garuu hariiroo jiraattota Finfinnee dhalata Oromoo tahaniifi bulchiinsa Finfinnee jidduu jiru kaaya. Wixineen kun keewwata 49(5) waliin hariiroo homaatuu hin qabu. Mirgi Oromoonni Finfinnee keessaa qabaachuu malan heera bulchiinsa Finfinnee fooyyessuun hojitti hiikuun malee mirgaafi dantaa Oromiyaan Finfinnee irraa qabdu jallisuun miti.’ – Naf-tanan Gaadullo


Click here to read: Finfine is the Capital City of Oromia: The Fact that the Special Interest cannot Cloud


 

Abdii Boruu:- Faayidaa Addaa Naannoon Oromiyaa Finfinneerraa qabu laalchisee labsii Wayyaanee


By Abdii Boruutiin*  Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com  May 3, 2017 


Dhiyoo kana faayidaa addaa naannoon Oromiyaa Finfinneerraa qabu ilaalchisee mootummaan Wayyaanee labsii mata dureen isaa የኦሮሚያ ክልል በፊንፊኔ/አዲስ አበባ ላይ ያለውን ሕገ-መንግስታዊ ልዩ ጥቅምን አስመልክቶ የተዘጋጀ የጥናት ሰነድ jedhu tokkos dhiyaatee jira. Labsii gara fuula 14 qabu kana dubbisee hanaga naaf galetti hubadhee jira. Duraan dursee, wanni nama gammachiisu Qabsoon Bilisummaa Oromoo (QBO) fi sochiin uummata Oromoo hangam Wayyaanee irratti dhiibbaa akka godhe fi jilbiifachiisaas akka jiruu dha. Kun ammoo wareegama Sabboontotni Oromoo kaffalanii fi kaffalaas jiraniin waan argameef galannii gootota keenyaa daangaa hin qabu. Asitti aansee wantan wixinee labsii kanarraa hubadhee keessaa qabxiilee tokko tokko kaaseen yaada koo dhiyeessuu yaala.

Wixinee qorannoo sana keessatti akkana jedhamee lafa kaayame:

የጥናት ሰነዱ ዓላማ
2.1. የኦሮሞ ብሄር የሰፈረበት መልክአ ምድር አንድ አካልና እምብርት የሆነችው ፊንፊኔ ታሪካዊ አመሰራረት፣ ነባር ነዋሪዋንና የስሟ ወደ አዲስ አበባ እና የሌሎች ቦታዎች ስያሜዎች መቀየርና መዛባት ፖለቲካዊ ምክንያቶችና ይህም በሚኒሊክ የተስፋፊ ሥርዓት የደረሰውን ጭቆናና የተፈፀመውን ግፍ ለማስገንዘብ፣

Wixinee labsii sana keessatti ammoo akkan jedhamee lafa kaayame:

ስያሜ
1) የከተማው ስም ፊንፊኔ ከአዲስ አበባ ጋር እኩል መጠሪያ ይሆናል፡፡

ስለ ባህላዊና ታሪካዊ ጥቅሞች
1) በከተማ አስተዳደር ውስጥ የሚገኙ የተለያዩ ቦታዎች መጠሪያ ወይም ስያሜዎች በጥንት ስሞቻቸው እንዲጠሩና ተዛብተው እየተጠሩ ያሉት ስሞች እንዲስተካከሉ ይደረጋል፡፡

Mee gara dhimmoota birootti otuu hin seenin dura asumarraa kaanee haa ilaallu. Finifinneen handhuura Oromiyaa ti jedhamee erga amaname fi maqaan kunis sirna weerartuu Minilikiin gara “Addis Abebaa”tti akka jijjiirame erga mirkanaawee; bulchinsa magaalaattii keessatti bakkeewwan (iddoowwan) maqaalee isaanii kan duriitiin akka yaamaman erga murteeffamee; dursee kan ta’uu qabau, maqaan Minilikiin jijjiirame sun deebi’ee maqaa isa uumaatiin “FINFINNEE” dhaan yaamamuu qaba malee, innii hangafti kun dagatamee ykn dhiisamee, maqaaleen bakkeewwanii qofaan jijjiiramuun gahaa miti. Kanaafuu, “የከተማው ስም ፊንፊኔ ከአዲስ አበባ ጋር እኩል መጠሪያ ይሆናል፡፡” kan jedhu fudhatama hin qabu. Otuu seenaan ragaa ta’uu, wanti maqaa koloneeffataatiin yaamamuuf sababni hin jiru jechuu dha.

ወሰን
1) የከተማው ወሰን የከተማው አስተዳደርና የክልሉ መንግስት በሚያደርጉት የጋራ ስምምነት ይወሰናል፡፡

Asirratti wanti ifa ta’e hin jiru. Erga Darguun kufee, Wayyaaneen aangoo qabattee kaasee hanag har’aatti jechuun waggoota 26n dabran kana keessatti Finfinneen seeraa ala uummata Oromoo naannoo ishii jiraatan buqqistee baay’ee babal’attee jirti. Sana birallee dabranii, maqaa Maastar Plaaniitiin fagaatanii deemuuf yaalii godhaa jiru. Egaa, asirratti daangaa isa kamtu murtaa’a? Bulchinsa magaalaattiis ta’ee mootummaan naannoo Oromiyaa ofiin jedhu kun lamaanuu warra fedhii uummata Oromoo kabajanii fi kabachiisanii miti. Isaan lamaanuu tajaajiltoota Wayyaanee ti. Eenyutu eenyu wajjin mari’atee, daangaa kana murteessa? Dhimmi uummata Oromoo hin mari’achiisne fi fedhii isaa hin eegne milkaayuu hin danda’u.

የኦሮሞ ብሔር ተወላጆች መብት
1) በከተማው አስተዳደር ነዋሪ የሆኑ የኦሮሞ ብሔር ተወላጆች በኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሪፐብሊክ ሕገ-መንግስት እና በሌሎች የሀገሪቱ ሕጎች የተከበሩ መብቶች በከተማው ውስጥ የመጠቀም ሙሉ መብት አላቸው፡፡

Kun uummata oromootti qoosuu fi mirga inni biyya abbaa isaarratti qabu gadi xiqqeessuu dha. Duraan sirumaayyuu mirga tokkollee waan hinqabaanneef, amma mee akkuma lammiilee biyya sanaattuu haa laalamu jechuu dhaa?? Dhimmi ijoon dhimma naannoon Oromiyaa ykn ummatni Oromoo Finfinneerraa faayidaa addaa qabaachuu ti malee, kan Oromoo Finfinnee keessa jiraatanii qofaa mitii bar!! Uummatni Oromoo bal’aan Finfinneerraa faayidaa addaa yoo qabaate fi mirgi isaa guutuun yoo kabajame, kan jiraattota Oromoo magaalaa tanaas ni eegama jechuu dha. Maarree, maaliif dhimmicha gadi buusanii akkanatti xiqqeessanii laalu??

ስለ አስተዳደራዊ ጥቅሞች
2) በከተማው መስተዳደር ም/ቤት ውስጥ የኦሮሞ ብሄር ተወላጆች እንደ ከተማው ነዋሪ ያላቸው ውክልና እንደተጠበቀ ሆኖ፣ ከምክር ቤት ወንበር 25% የማያንስ የኦሮሞ ብሄር ተወላጆች ብቻ የሚወከሉበት መቀመጫ ይኖራቸዋል፡፡

Kun baay’ee nama ajaa’iba! Mee hubadhaa, biyyuma abbaa isaa fi handuura biyya isaa keessatti harka afur keessaa harka tokko qofaa (25%) qabaachuun uummata keenya tuffachuu dha. Akkuma saree waan sitti darbinu funaannadhuutii callisi jechuu fakkaata.

6) ፊንፊኔ/አዲስ አበባ የኦሮሚያ ክልላዊ መንግስት ዋና ከተማ ሆና ታገለግላለች፡፡

Finfinneen magaalaa guddoo (hangafa) naannoo Ormiyaa ti erga jedhamee; bulchinsi ishiillee bulchinsa naannoo Oromiyaa jala galuu qaba. Akkanatti mirgi uummattota magaalaa tanaa kan Oromoo hin taane eegamaaf malee, Oromoon achi keessa jiraatan akka saba bicuutti laalamanii mirgi murtaaye tokko isaaniif kennamuun sirrii hin ta’u. Jaalatamus jibbamus, Finfinneen guutumaa guutuutti bulchinsa naannoo Oromiyaa jala galuu qabdi. Finfinneen qaama fi handhuura Oromiyaa erga taatetti, faayidaa addaa wanti jedhu kunuu hin jiru. Fudhatamus dhiisamus dhugaan jiru isa kana.

ስለ ማህበራዊ የአገልግሎት ጥቅሞች
2) ለኦሮሚያ ክልላዊ መንግሥት ኃላፊዎችና ሠራተኞች እንዲሁም የኦሮሞ ተወላጆች የመኖሪያ ቤት በከተማ አስተዳደሩ ከሚገነቡ የጋራ መኖሪያ ቤቶች በ15% ቅድሚያ የማግኘት ወይም የመከራየት መብት ይኖራቸዋል፡፡

Kun maal jechuu akka ta’eyyuu ana naaf hin galu. Dhibbantaa 15 (15%) dursa argachuu jechuun maali? Maaliif hangi kun murtaaye?

11) የከተማው አስተዳድር ለከተማው ህዝብ ከሚያቀርባቸው አገልግሎቶች ጋር በተያያዙ የልማት ሥራዎችን በክልሉ መንግስት ጋር በመመካከርና በመስማማት ሊፈፅም ይችላል፡፡ [sarara anatu itti dabal]

Bulchinsi magaalaa Finfinnee, dhimma akkanaarratti mootummaa naannoo Oromiyaa wajjin mari’achuu fi waliigalteedhaan raawwachuu ni danda’a malee dirqamaa miti jechuu dhaa? Yoo hin barbaadne ofuma isaatiif akka barbaadetti murteessuu ni danda’a jechuu fakkaata. Asirratti fedhiin uummata Oromoo kan hin eegamne yoo ta’e, kun akkamitti laalama?

የኦሮሚያ ክልላዊ መንግስት መብቶች
3) የክልሉ መንግስት የዚህን አዋጅ ማሻሻያ ሀሳብ በማመንጨት ለኢፌዲሪ የሕዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት የማቅረብ መብት ይኖረዋል፡፡ የሕዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤትም ይህን አዋጅ ለማሻሻል ሲፈልግ የክልሉ መንግስት አስተያየት መጠየቅ ይኖርበታል፡፡

Kun sirriitti hubatamuu qaba. Tokkoffaa, mootummaan naannoo Ormiyaa mootummaa walabaa otuu hin taane, kan fedhii Wayyaanee eegaa jiruu dha. Waanuma Wayyaaneen itti himte mirkaneessee isaanumatti deebisee dhiyeessa jechuu dha. Lammaffaa, Wixinee kana (akkuma jiru kanattuu) fooyyessuuf, waan hir’ate guutuuf kan irratti mari’achuu fi yaada dhiyeessuu qaba uummata Oromoo bal’aa dha malee, mootummaa Wayyaanee tajaajiltuu miti. Kun waanuma ofiif karoorfatan murteessuuf deemu malee, fedhii uummata keenyaa eeguuf dantaa akka hin qabne ifatti mul’isa.

Egaa, qabxiilee tokko tokkon kaasuu yaale malee, akka hubannoo kiyyaatitti, walumaagalatti wixinichi hir’ina fi wanta ifa hin taane hedduu ofkeessaa qaba. Gadi fageenyaan hubachuun barbaachisaa dha. Kaayyoon labsii kanaa ammoo sochii uummata keenyaa kan akka ibiddaa boba’aa jiru kana qabaneessuu fi yaada uummata keenyaa karaarraa maqsuuf (attention diversion) waan yaadame malee, kun dhugumatti faayidaa uummatni keenya Finfinneerraa qabu hojiirra oolchuufii miti. Gaafiin uummata Oromoo inni bu’uraas kan akkanatti laayyoodhumatti deebi’uu miti. Gaafiin isaa deebii argachuu kan danda’u, yoo uummatni keenya guutumaa guututti abbaa biyyummaa isaa mirkaneeffate qofaa dha. Kunis wareegama ulfaataa gaafata malee, mirkanaa’uun isaa hin oolu. Injifannoon xumuraa kan uummata Oromoo akka ta’u shakkiin tokko hin jiru.

Galatoomaa!

* Abdii Boruu: aboruu@gmail.com

Genocide Watch: Land Grabbing and Violations of Human Rights in Ethiopia May 2, 2017

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Land Grabbing in Ethiopia

Land Grabbing

Land Grabbing and Violations of Human Rights in Ethiopia

Malkamuu Jaatee, Anywaa Survival Organization

28 January 2016


Introduction

Land grabbing is classically known as the seizing of land by a nation, state or organization, especially illegally or unfairly. It is recently redefined as a large scale acquisition of land through purchases or leases for commercial investment by foreign organizations (6). Both micro and macro scales of land grabbing can result in displacement of indigenous communities and disappearance of their identities over time, because land is not only a fixed asset essential to produce sufficient amount of crop and animal to secure supply of food, but it is the foundation of identities (language, culture, & history) of communities living on the land.

Changes to land use without consultation of traditional owners of the land – mainly by forceful displacement of indigenous peoples, can, in the long-term, result in the disappearance of human communities traditionally identified with that ancestral land. Both expansion of amorphous towns & cities, without meaningful integration of indigenous peoples and large-scale transfers of rural land to investors, are the major political strategies of the current government of Ethiopia under the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) or the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to achieve the target of the systematic eradication of rural communities living around cities and at vicinity of agro-industries, mainly in Oromia and Southern (Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Omo) regions. Conflicts arising from land grabbing have become very complex wars disturbing the daily lives of the oppressed peoples of Ethiopia, because the peoples are undemocratically represented by the regime.

Conflicts arising from land grabbing have become very complex wars disturbing the daily lives of the oppressed peoples of Ethiopia, because the peoples are undemocratically represented by the regime.

The allocation of farmland to investors has been going on in Ethiopia since at least 1995. The years between 2003 and 2007 were the boom years for cut-flower exportation to Europe. Demand for land by foreign investors began to increase sharply since 2006. More than one-third of the land allocated to investors in the ten years period was given out in 2008. Year 2008 was a mad rush of investors to get access to land with many applicants requesting large tracts measuring more than 10,000 hectares (21). About one million hectares of land was transferred to 500 foreign investors in the period between 2003 and 2009. The largest foreign holding is Karuturi Company of India, which has been given 0.3 million hectares of land in Gambella and 11,000 in Bako district of Oromia (21). In 2009 and 2010, about 0.5 million hectares was allocated to investors. The land transferred to investors between 2004 and 2008 was 1.2 million hectares (27).

The land transferred to large-scale investors, without including land already allocated, has been planned to increase from 0.5 million in 2011 to 2.8 million hectares in 2013, and to 3.3 million hectares in 2015 (15 & 16). Total land transferred to investors will measure about 38% of land currently utilized by smallholders (21). Therefore, at least 7 million hectares of agricultural land was transferred to investors between 1995 and 2016. In addition the long-term plan to expand Addis Ababa city administration at 200 kilometers radius was secretly designed by the regime until the hidden plan has made public in 2014.

The impact of land grabbing in Ethiopia is manifested through five interconnected factors that the regime has designed to sustain its military, political and economic powers in order to protect its brutal and savage governance system for the next quarter or half a century. Analytical evaluation of effect of current land grabbing policy indicates destabilization of livelihood assets of rural communities of Oromia and Southern Ethiopia through the following five factors: aggravation of poverty, increase of food insecurity, intensification of conflicts, degradation of ecosystem quality, and deterioration of human rights conditions (13). This review focuses on the human rights violation and its political implications.

1. Deterioration of conditions for basic human rights in Ethiopia

The TPLF regime is escalating its violations of human rights through the implementation of a very dangerous policy of land grabbing in Oromia and Southern Ethiopia. The regime has killed at least 180 innocent Oromo civilians in the last two months (mid November 2015 to mid January 2016), while the Oromo people peacefully protesting against the unfair land use policy. Thanks to the founders of media technologies, reports of human rights violations are daily circulated around the globe at high intensity and are known to the international communities. The regime is accustomed to kill unarmed civilians since it has illegally controlled the capital city of Oromia, Finfinne (Addis Ababa), on May 28, 1991. Between 1994 and 2010, OSG (the Oromo Support Group, a UK-based human rights organization) has reported 4185 instances of extrajudicial killings, and 944 disappearances of civilians suspected of supporting groups opposing the government, a majority of them from the Oromo people (19). The capacity of human rights organization to access data of extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Ethiopia is at most limited to 10% of data recorded by the OSG, because carrying out politically motivated extrajudicial killings in darkness is common in the security system of the regime. Therefore, the number of civilians murdered by the regime, between 1991 and 2016, can be above 56,000 (fifty six thousands) based on a conservative estimation of the recorded extrajudicial killings in Ethiopia.

The violations of civil rights during the process of land grabbing include both direct and systematic crimes against humanity. Human rights violations directly carried out by the regime include physical mistreatment like beating, raping, detaining, torturing and killing during the forced evictions of rural communities from their ancestral land. Survival’s director, Stephen Corry, said that, “The Ethiopian government and its foreign backers are bent on stealing tribal land and destroying livelihoods: they want to reduce self sufficient rural communities to a state of dependency, throw all who disagree into prison, and pretend this is something to do with progress and development” (24). Systematic violations of human rights mainly involve limitation of accessibility to basic human needs through the destruction of livelihood assets of the people. Outcomes of violations of the legitimate rights of indigenous people to access ancestral land are as follows: increase of population living in extreme poverty; reduction of subsistence crop and animal production; unsafe drinking water and shortage of food; poor health conditions; increase of internal displacements and refugees; financial disability to access basic needs; and reduction to the status of forced manual laborer.

The direct human rights violation practices of the regime in Oromia and Southern (Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella and Omo) regions of Ethiopia demonstrate atrocities of the land grabbers. For example, human rights violations in the lower Omo valley are characterized by arbitrary arrests and detentions, beatings and mistreatment, governing through fear and intimidation, and violations of economic, social and cultural rights (11). The government and its police force are cracking down, jailing and torturing indigenous people and raping women in the Omo region that the people do not oppose the land grabs and an interviewee said, “Now the people live in fear – they are afraid of the government” (23). In a report based on more than 100 interviewees in May and June 2011, a victim from Gambella said, “My father was beaten for refusing to go along [to the new village] with some other elders, he said, ‘I was born here – my children were born here – I am too old to move so I will stay,’ but he was beaten by the army with sticks and the butt of a gun, he had to be taken to hospital, and he died because of the beating” (10). About 200 Bodi, 28 Mursi and 20 Suri tribes men and women of Omo region are in jail, and the indigenous people now fear that the security forces may start killing people and they said, “The arrests are a show of force, to intimidate us not to oppose the land grabbing policy: ‘we lived here in peace, in the heart of our land, the place where all of our cattle were grazing during both the rainy and dry seasons; but now, in this place there is a plantation owned by a rich Malaysian company who trained 130 soldiers and armed them with 130 machine guns by the government: if our people oppose the land grabbers, the soldiers are ready to kill us” (22). Since mid November 2015, the regime put Oromia under a martial law. The Oromo people of all age (children, youth, and elderly) and all classes (schoolchildren, university students, peasants, teachers, medical staff, engineers and other civilians) are indiscriminately targeted by the brutal and savage governance of the regime. The special military (Agazi) and the federal police forces of the regime have wantonly killed hundreds of Oromo civilians since April 2014. The regime has declared war on the Oromo people in order to maintain its illegal occupation of Oromia.

The then head of the TPLF regime, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, rejected the critics of land grabbing as ill-informed and he said, “We want to develop our land to feed ourselves rather than admire the beauty of fallow fields while we starve.” Also the head of the government agency responsible for land leasing (Mr. Essayas Kebede) said, “Ethiopia benefits in many ways from land deals that we will receive dollars by exporting food; the farms provide jobs; they import know how; they will help us to boost productivity; and therefore, we will improve food security” (20). However, the institutionalization of corruptions will effectively limit the distribution of investment benefits to the poor people of Ethiopia. For example, between 2000 and 2009, Ethiopia lost US$11.7 billion to illicit financial outflows. The illicit money leaving the economy in 2009 was US$3.26 billion, double of the amount in 2007 and 2008, and greatly exceeds the US$ 2 billion value of total exports of Ethiopia in 2009 (8). Even though the peoples of Ethiopia try, by any means, to fight poverty, the possibility to defeat evil system is full of challenges. The global shadow financial system happily absorbs money that corrupt public officials, tax evaders and abusive multinational corporations siphon away from the peoples of Ethiopia (8). Therefore, the implementation of global land grabbing policies directly limit socio-economic development of the rural communities to access primary human needs – mainly sufficient food, pure & safe water, and adequate house, cloth, & medical services.

Human rights violations directly carried out by the regime include physical mistreatment like beating, raping, detaining, torturing and killing during the forced evictions of rural communities from their ancestral land.

The right to feed households and family is realized in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa with the right to access agricultural land to produce sufficient food through crop and animal productions. Failure of African governments to protect & guarantee sustainable use of land & water, to produce food by subsistence peasants, constitutes a violation of the right to food, because assuring long-term supply of food is part of their obligations in relation to the right to food. The right to adequate food exists when every individual, household or family has achieved physical & economic access to adequate food at all times or means for its procurement. Agricultural investment policy of the TPLF regime encourages export oriented crop production. For example, the Saudi Star produces rice in Ethiopia and export to the Middle East. Karuturi marketing & logistics make no secret of the fact that the investment is commercial that the company will sell its agricultural products to those who pay most (20). But, at least 80% peoples of Ethiopia are very poor to access food economically to buy it, if it is available. Agricultural companies mainly focus on production of commercial crops, because investment on agriculture in remote areas is profit oriented. Therefore, the investment on the production of local stable food crop is very marginal. For example, the investment of Indian agro-companies on food crop is less than 10% (25). The violation of land accessibility rights of rural communities has resulted in increase of starvation rate through dramatic reduction of subsistence crop or/and animal productions. Therefore, the land grabbing policy of the TPLF regime will increase food insecurity.

The right of rural communities to access agricultural land is the most important factor to achieve primary standard of living, because agriculture is the foundation of the livelihood assets of rural communities. Access to land is an essential element of the right to an adequate standard of living and the realization of the right to work (art. 11 and art. 6 ICESCR). Land grabbing leads to forced displacements and refugees. The right to adequate housing is the right to live somewhere in security, peace and dignity (3). The right to housing is directly linked to the right to be protected from forced evictions. For example, the forced displacement of 270,000 indigenous peoples from the western Gambella and Omo regions to new villages by the government of Ethiopia details the involuntary nature of the transfers, loss of livelihoods, deteriorating food situations, and ongoing abuses by the armed forces against the affected people: and that many of the areas from which people are being moved are leased by the government for commercial agricultural development (10 & 11). The violation of the rights to live somewhere in peace is defined as the permanent removals of individuals, families, and/or communities from their homes and/or lands that they occupy, on either a permanent or temporary basis, without offering them appropriate measures of protection (4). Rural communities of the Omo Valley of South Ethiopia are neither ‘backward’ nor in need ‘modernization,’ they are as much a part of the 21st century civilization as the multinationals that seek to appropriate their land; but forcing them to become manual laborers will certainly lead to a drastic reduction in quality of their lives, and condemn them to starvation and destitution like many of their fellow countrymen’ (23). Despite some instances of income improvement by export opportunities, the expansion of world agricultural trade has failed to translate into better living conditions for most of workers on farm in the developing world (12).

Governments and private investors assume rural community accessibility to the job market compensates for the loss of land and livelihoods. However, income derived from daily wages never replaces livelihood assets of rural community, which are constantly and directly derived from land use. For example, some peasants were employed as casual laborers (day laborers) by the coffee plantation following eviction from their land and they received about 1$ per day for a fixed amount of work that they have often completed in two days work (1). Large shares of commercial agriculture jobs are characterized with very poor working conditions mainly very low payment, low-skilled daily work, seasonal fluctuation, without health insurance, very high risk of accidental death without insurance, violence, harassment, and employment of underage children. A young boy is digging up weeds kneeling in the middle of a sugar cane field in blistering temperature of 40 C º, while an Indian worker stands over him to make sure he does not miss any and Red is eight years old and earns 73 pence for one day work, i.e. less than the cost of using pesticides (20). Children attending primary school are significantly decreased in areas of land grabbing. Deputy Head of a school (Tigaba Tekle), near the Karuturi farm said that only 5 out of 60 students are sometimes attending a class, because most of them are working at agricultural fields of Karuturi (20). Land commercialization will never establish sustainable and safe employment opportunities for rural peoples of Oromia & Southern regions, because colonial governance system never takes into consideration security and dignity of oppressed peoples. Therefore, unsustainable and unsafe employment conditions can not compensate loss of livelihoods of rural communities forcefully evicted from ancestral land.

2. Political function of land grabbing policy of the TPLF regime

Governance authorities of imperial, military, and TPLF regimes are highly centralized with absolute land ownership right to sustain rule of dictatorship through chains of colonial agents at regional, provincial, and local levels of Ethiopia. Gebar land tenure system in the South as well as the Rist tenure system of North Ethiopia during imperial regime shows some resemblance to the current land tenure system and with some reservations also it resembles that of the military regime, with the exceptions that the communal Rist system is replaced by the organs of state, i.e. the peasant associations. Land grabbing is the major source of military, political, and economic powers of successive regimes of Ethiopia. Government of Ethiopia (the TPLF regime) is owner of the land, but the rights of individuals and communities are ‘holding (use) rights’ (Proclamation No. 456/200550). Though ethnic equality is now legally recognized, in practice, emergent regions are still politically marginalized and permitted less autonomy, partly due to the federal development strategy, which requires central control of local land resources and changes in livelihoods (14).

Centralization of land governance politics of successive regime of Ethiopia is manifested through the following five levels of land use rights: owner-ship, management, sanction, full accessibility right, & limited accessibility right (Table-1). Land tenure politics of both imperial and military or TPLF regimes are generally sharing similar political goal, i.e. manipulation of land use rights to maintain monopoly of governance powers. The commercialization of land has served as a political advantage for the state, because it enhances greater concentration of authority in the hands of the governors. A woreda (district) or an urban administration shall have the power to expropriate rural or urban landholdings for public purpose where it believes that it should be used for a better development project to be carried out by public entities, private investors, cooperative societies or other organs, or where such expropriation is decided by the appropriate higher regional or federal government organ for the same purpose (Proclamation No. 455/200558).

Table 1: Two types of land use rights in Ethiopia since 1889
Table-1: Two types of land use rights in Ethiopia since 1889

The TPLF regime is intentionally violating the land accessibility right of rural communities of Oromia and Southern Ethiopia to achieve political goals of maintaining its brutal & savage governance system. The regime has already institutionalized practices of human right violations through manipulation of constitution. It formulated politically motivated proclamations to limit humanitarian activities of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) using charities proclamation and to crash political opponents through manipulation of anti-terrorism law in order to protect its monopolistic ownership of military, political, and economic powers (18). The regime is not hesitated to practice arbitrary arrest, long detention, or extrajudicial killings of tens of thousands, and torturing peoples suspected to be supporters of opposition political organizations to sustain fears in civil societies. The regime is systematically escalating the level of insecurity by aggravating poverty, expanding borders of food insecurity, manipulating conflicts, degrading safety of ecosystem, and escalation of violations of human rights in order to produce the poorest of poor peoples mainly in colonized regions of Ethiopia. Thus it is intended to use victims of poverty as political animal through manipulation of land use right. The regime easily regulates support of rural communities for the opposition political parties by threatening subsistence livelihoods of about 80% of 95 million people. The rural communities are directly controlled by the regime and they cannot freely vote opposition political parties during election, because they will be deprived of land use right if they do so.

The regime […] uses food aid as an instrument to achieve political objectives, and to protect its governance powers.

The very existence of governance powers of the regime is possible only with external aids. Foreign aid was essential for birth of the TPLF regime and it is also very essential for growth and expansion of the regime, as oxygen is essential for lung. During the 1974 – 1991 financial, material, & technical supports of the international donor communities were channeled through political NGOs organized by the TPLF to areas under its control to support both military and emergency programs (17). The aids were resulted in increase of peasant-based supports, legitimacy expansion among the civilian population, use of aid resources to support organizational structures, and quantitative capability in feeding the armies (26). Since 1991, the regime received very huge sum of financial aids. It received at least a sum of US $ 50 billion in development aid as of 2015. However, majority of peoples in Ethiopia remained in the most wretched poverty, despite decades of development aids. The regime is manipulating foreign military and development aids as instrument to suppress peaceful transfer of governance powers since 1991 through marginalization of legitimate opposition political parties or fronts. The government of Ethiopia used donor-supported programs, salaries, and training opportunities as political weapons to control the population, punish dissent, and undermine political opponents—both real and perceived, that the local officials deny these people (i.e. supporters of opposition parties) to access seeds and fertilizer, agricultural land, credit, food aid, and other resources for development (9). Policies of aggravating poverty through destruction of livelihoods of rural communities are systematically implemented by the regime to sustain political manipulation of aids, because either emergency or development aids are political instrument of the regime to enforce political support. Therefore, increasing level of poverty is tactical increase of enforcement of peoples electing the regime.

The regime is frequently manipulating food aid distribution to crash supporters of political opponents. It uses food aid as an instrument to achieve political objectives, and to protect its governance powers. Land grabbing policy of the regime is systematically intended to increase size of people dependent on food aids in order to secure political support using food aids. For example: “Despite being surrounded by other communities which are well fed, a village with a population of about 1700 adults is starving. We were told that in the two weeks prior to our team’s arrival 5 adults and 10 children had died. Lying on the floor, too exhausted to stand, and flanked by her three-year-old son whose stomach is bloated by malnutrition, one woman described how her family had not eaten for four days. Another three-year-old boy lay in his grandmother’s lap, listless and barely moving as he stared into space. The grandmother said, we are just waiting on the crop, if we have one meal a day we will survive until the harvest, beyond that there is no hope for us (2).” The affected families were supporters of opposition political party participated in 2010 election in Southern Ethiopia. The regime intentionally increases climate of insecurity and fear in society that for those depend on food aids they must support the ruling party in order to survive threat of systematic assassination. Therefore, political loyalty to the ruling party (the TPLF/EPRDF regime) governs the existence of rural communities of Ethiopia.

3. Conclusion

The review indicates the genocidal plan systematically designed by the TPLF regime using the unfair land use policy as a tool in Oromia and Southern Ethiopia to achieve the political goal of complete ownership of the land through silent eradication of the indigenous communities in the long-term. “Genocide Watch considers Ethiopia to have already reached Stage 7, genocidal massacres, against many of its peoples, including the Anuak, Ogadeni, Oromo, and Omo tribes” (7). The people of Oromia in particular, and all oppressed peoples of Ethiopia in general, are struggling to reverse this policy of systematic genocide waged on them by successive regimes of Ethiopia.

International and local human rights organizations have frequently produced reports of violations of constitutional rights of peoples of Ethiopia… However, the defenders of successive regimes of Ethiopia have not paid attention to any of the independent reports.

The effort of human rights organizations to defend victims of the evil policy of land grabbing in particular, and the politically motivated human rights violations in general, are full of challenges, because the transformation of the global business into unfair economic development is mostly to the advantage of the strongest. Both international and local human rights organizations have frequently produced reports of violations of constitutional rights of peoples of Ethiopia by the TPLF/EPRDF regime since early 1990. However, the international communities and defenders of successive regimes of Ethiopia have not been paid attention to any of the independent reports.

The United Nations in particular, and the international community in general, should actively engage in establishing independent commissions of justice both at regional and global levels to investigate negative effects of unfair land grabs that threaten the existence of indigenous human communities in order to enable victims of land grabbing to access fair justice. I would like to close with a song of King David. “God presides in the great assembly; he gives judgement among the `gods`: How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. They know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.” (Psalm 82: 1 – 5)

Article source: Finfinne Tribune

ESPN The Magazine: Why Olympic Silver Medalist Feyisa Lilesa Didn’t Go Home May 1, 2017

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‘…He isn’t just an athlete anymore but a symbol and a voice.’


A Runner In Exile

After his dramatic protest at the Rio Olympics, Ethiopian marathoner Feyisa Lilesa didn’t feel safe returning home. But even in his new life in America, he can’t be sure what waits for him around the corner.
by Kurt Streeter, EPSN The Magazine, 1st May 2017.

After months of interviews, conference calls across three time zones and multiple trips to Arizona, ESPN’s big feature on Feyisa Lilesa is out. It is the most comprehensive piece on Feyisa Lilesa the athlete, his protest and ongoing efforts to shed light on the Oromo people’s suffering in Ethiopia.Kurt Streeter is an excellent reporter, writer and journalist. He dug deep and asked questions no one did. The result is a story that humanizes Feyisa and the Oromo story itself. Thank you, Kurt!

https://www.facebook.com/naftanan.gadullo.5/posts/412623422452437

Scholars at Risk Network: Release and drop charges against Dr. Merera Gudina May 1, 2017

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Release and drop charges against Dr. Merera Gudina

May 1, 2017 — Scholars at Risk (SAR) is gravely concerned that Dr. Merera Gudina was arrested and is currently facing multiple charges in apparent retaliation for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and association. Dr. Gudina is scheduled to attend his next hearing on May 4, 2017.

SAR understands that on December 1, 2016, Dr. Gudina, a former political science professor at Addis Ababa University, returned to Ethiopia following a trip to Belgium, where he addressed members of the European Union Parliament about alleged human rights violations and the current political crisis in Ethiopia. That day, Ethiopian security officers reportedly arrested Dr. Gudina at his home for “trespassing the state of emergency rules of the country,” – specifically for violating a prohibition on communication with “banned terrorist organisations and anti-peace groups.” He was then brought to Maekelawi Prison, where he was reportedly placed in solitary confinement.

On February 23, 2017, Dr. Gudina was formally charged with violating Articles 27/1, 32/1/A & B, and 238/1 & 2 of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (ECC), which are in connection to accusations that he organized widespread protests in Ethiopia since October 2016 and that he attempted to overthrow Ethiopia’s constitutional order. Dr. Gudina has additionally been charged with violating ECC Article 486/B for “giving a false and damaging statement about the government to the media,” and Article 12/1 of the State of Emergency Proclamation for the Maintenance of Public Peace and Security No.1/2016, which criminalizes contact with individuals designated by the government as terrorists. SAR understands that Dr. Gudina, who has refuted these charges in court, is scheduled to attend his next hearing on May 4, 2017.

SAR calls for emails, letters, and faxes respectfully urging the authorities to release and drop all charges against Dr. Gudina ahead of his next hearing; or, pending this, to ensure his well-being while in custody, including access to legal counsel and family, and his removal from solitary confinement, and to ensure that his case proceeds in a manner consistent with Ethiopia’s obligations under international law, in particular internationally recognized standards of due process, fair trial, and free expression.

Click here for more: Release and drop charges against Dr. Merera Gudina

Photos from Saliha Sami’s upcoming Oromo music video: Diinni fira hintahu May 1, 2017

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The award-winning musician and Oromo recording artist Saliha Sami is working on a new music video;  titled ‘diinni fira hintahu’. The following photos are released from the set of the video production on her Facebook page. Click here for more at Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com.

Oromia: #OromoProtests:#OromoRevolution: Gabaasa Fincila Xumura Garbummaa (FXG) Oromiyaa 2017 (April) April 30, 2017

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 Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

oromoprotests-one-year-on-struggle-november-2015-2016oromorevolution-oromoprotests

Oromo Protests defend Oromo National Interest

#OromoPRotests tweet and share#OromoProtests against the Ethiopian regime fascist tyranny. Join the peaceful movement for justice, democracy, development and freedom of Oromo and other oppressed people in Ethiopia

https://videopress.com/embed/Kv0UV52t?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

scotiabank-toronto-waterfront-half-marathon-winner-kinde-asafa-showing-the-protest-juster

an-oromo-youth-hero-shanted-down-down-woyane-on-the-face-of-mass-killers-tplf-agazi-at-bishoftu-2nd-october-2016-oromoprotestsFeyisa Lelisa Rio Olympian and world icon of #OromoProtestsQuebec City Marathon winner, Oromo athlete, Ebisa Ejigu, replicates Rio Olympic medallist’s #OromoProtests. p3Athlete Fraol Ebissa Won the Germany 10Km race and shows his solidarity with #OromoProtests. 4 September 2016. p2oromo-athlete-tamiru-demisse-center-reacts-after-the-final-of-mens-1500m-of-the-rio-2016-paralympicoromo-oromo-athletes-tamiru-demisse-c-megersa-tasisa-l-and-sport-journalist-adugna-angasu-r-who-are-in-rio-de-janeiro-brazil-for-the-paralympic-2016-show-solidarity-in-a-world-stage-to-oromoathlete-hajin-tola-winner-of-mississauga-canken-5k-race-protests-in-support-of-ethiopias-oromo-peopleathlete-hirut-guangul-joined-the-brave-movement-as-she-won-the-womens-marathon-and-in-solidarity-with-oromoprotests-25-september-2016-this-video-is-viral-on-social-media-in-her-adoration
Oromo Students protest @ Mandii, Western Oromia 25th November 2015Oromo Students protest @ Ambo, Oromia 25th November 2015 picture1

Gaaffiiwwan yeroo ammaastop killing Oromo People#GrandOromoProtests 6 August 2016, in Oromia including in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa), the capital.


Oromo Olympic marathon athlete Fayyisaa Lalisaa in the social and international media. #OrompProtests global icon. p7

the-heroes-said-down-down-wayyane-down-on-2nd-october-2016-at-irreecha-bishoftu-to-protests-mass-killings-p2oromorevolution-thefinalmarchforfreedomoromoprotests-and-fascist-tplfs-human-rights-violations-anaginst-civilians-2016-bbc-sources

Gincii, Amboo, Jalduu, Gudar, Giddaa Ayyaanaa, Mandii, Najjoo, Laaloo Assaabii, Jaarsoo, Gullisoo, Bojjii, Gujii,Dambi Doolloo, Gimbii, Naqamtee, Buraayyuu, sabbataa, Dirree Incinnii, Adaamaa, Harammayyaa, Mattuu, Baale (Robee), Madda Walabu, Walliisoo, Tulluu Boolloo, Sulultaa (Caancoo), Horroo Guduruu, Buuraayyuu, Dirree Dhawaa, Calanqoo, Ada’aa Bargaa, Baddannoo, Holootaa, Shaashee, Awaday (E. Harargee), Hara Qallo (Goro Dola, Gujii), Gaasaraa (Baalee), Bulee Hora, Jimmaa, Arjo, Heebantuu, Giddaa Ayyaanaa ,Kiiramuu, Ciroo, Dodolaa, Anfilloo (Mugii), Walqixxee, Diillaa, Bishooftuu, Finfinnee,  Yuniversiitii Finfinnee, Geedoo, Asallaa,  Shaambuu, Agaarfaa, Sibuu Siree, Kotobee, Wacaalee, Saalaalee, Machaaraa, Ammayyaa, Tokkee  Kuttaayee, Innaangoo, Baabbichaa, Laaloo Qilee, Hiddii Lolaa, .Mugii, Arsi Nagallee, Baabbichaa, Shukutee,  Baakkoo Tibbee, Jalduu, Gindoo, Buun’dho Beddellee, Grawwaa, Gaara Mul’ataa, Qarsaa, Qobboo (Dardar, Eastern Oromia), Sinaanaa (Baalee), Jimmaa Arjoo, Bojjii, Kombolcha,  Aggaaroo,Tajji (Iluu), Qilxuu Kaarraa, Baabboo Gambel, Daawoo,Tulu Milki (Warra Jarso), Hirnaa, Xuulloo,  Masalaa, Galamso, Bordode, Mi’esso, Waheel, Diggaa, Arjoo Guddattuu, Guraawa, waamaa Adaree, Shabee Somboo, Limmuu Saqaa, Amuruu (Agamsa), Daroo Labuu (Gaadulloo), Yaabelloo, Aliboo (Jaartee Jardagoo), Saasigga, Magaalaa Dafinoo, Dhumugaa, Daroo Labuu (Buraysaa) Begii (Kobor), Mardida Halo Guba (Daroo Labuu), Qassoo, Bonayyaa Boshee, Baalee  (Dalloo Mannaa), Jimmaa Raaree (Magaalaa Gobaan), Nophaa (Iluu), Bordoddee, Togowacaalee, Dooguu, Metekel (Wanbara), Asaasaa, Waabee, Heeraroo, Doguu, Quufanziq (Dadar), Boku Luboma (Miyo, Borana), Eddoo, Dirree (Ada’aa), Qilxuu Kaarraa, Shebel town, Bate, Walanchiti, Warra Jiruu,  Boolee Bulbulaa, Diilallaa, Gannat Haaraa (dodolaa)……………



 

 

Amajjii (January): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 ……2017

Gurraandhala (February) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28…..2017

Bitootessa ( March): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31……..2017

Ebla (April): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7, 8, 9,10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30…… 2017


 

Down! down! Down With Wayyanee! Down TPLF!

https://videopress.com/embed/Kv0UV52t?hd=0&autoPlay=0&permalink=0&loop=0

https://youtu.be/D5YauwAQTgU

#OromoProtests: International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis Worsens

#OromoProtests. International Community Alarmed as Ethiopia Crisis Worsensfreedom-in-the-world-2017-ethiopia-profile-not-free-and-deteriorating-situation

Ethiopia received a downward trend arrow due to the security forces’ disproportionate and often violent response to massive, primarily peaceful antigovernment protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions, as well as an emergency declaration in October that gave the military sweeping powers to crack down on freedoms of expression and association.

Ethiopia's scores in freedom in the world 2016, freedom House World Report, January 2016.

Ethiopian regime guilty of crime against humanity

Click here for OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-31 March  2017

Click here for OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-28 February 2017

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-31 January 2017

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-31 December 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution report 1-30 November 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests/ #OromoRevolution  report  1 – 31 October 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests report 1- 30 September 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests report 1- 31 August 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests Updates, 1st July – 31st July 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests Updates, 1st June – 30 June 2016 PDF

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 31st May 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 30 April 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, 1st – 31st March, 2016

Click here for #OromoProtests updates, November 2015- February 29, 2016



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

TV Link: Why the Oromo People Are Fleeing Ethiopia

Fear of Investigation: What Does Ethiopia’s Government Have to Hide?

London Marathon favourite Feyisa Lilesa amazing protest. #OromoProtests

#OromoJustice in Ethiopia: Pass HR 128

Why Is Western Media Ignoring Ongoing Atrocity In Ethiopia?

UNPO: Oromo: Violent Oppression and Disregard for Human Rights Continue as State of Emergency Gets Prolonged

Ethiopia extends emergency as old antagonisms fester

The Ethiopian state of emergency that was declared October 2016 continues to fuel outward displacement, and Ethiopian asylum seekers interviewed in Yemen, are increasingly referring to the unrest as a key reason for their migration out of the country.

 

OSA 2017: Oromo Studies Association Mid-Year Conference: Social Media and Social Movements: Leadership,Transnationalism and the Oromo Quest for Transformation

Fascist Ethiopia: Would Extending the State of Emergency solve grievances of citizens?

 

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) extends its state of emergency by four months

Ethiopia’s increasing outmigration highlights wider economic and security problems

Oromo-American Citizen Council (OACC): Extension of the State of Emergency-All is Not Well in Oromia

OMN: Prof. Ezekiel B. Gebissa in conversation with Canada MP Bob Zimmer (March 29, 2017)

Oromia: OMN: Qophii Jiruuf jireenyaa Artist Dirribee Gadaa Bit 28, 2017. OMN: Interview with one of the most creative minds in Oromo music and art, artist singer Dirribee Gadaa

UNPO caught up with Shigut Geleta of the Oromo Liberation Front, one of our speakers at our conference “Women’s Inferno in #Ethiopia” co-organised with the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) and hosted by Liliana Rodrigues MEP (S&D). Mr Geleta highlights his great concern for #women‘s rights in #Ethiopia, as they are the first victims when conflict strikes.

Urgency of Addressing the Plight of Women Belonging to Vulnerable Groups in Ethiopia Highlighted at UNPO EP Conference

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: The global icon of #OromoProtests Olympian Feyisa Lilesa (Fayyisaa Leellisa) wins the New York City 2017 Half Marathon. Mare Dibaba Wins the Lisbon City

Forbes: Ethiopia’s Cruel Con Game

Ethiopia: IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS: QOSHE GARBAGE DUMP COLLAPSE: A TRAIL OF CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE AND COUNTLESS VICTIMS

Congressman Urges U.S. to End Alliance with Brutal Ethiopian Regime

HRW: US: Stand Up for Ethiopians as Government Stifles Protests, Jails Journalists Human Rights Watch Statement on Ethiopia to US Congress

Rep. Chris Smith: Ethiopia should acknowledge its challenges and seek reasonable solutions

 

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

Liyu police raids in Oromia testing Ethiopia’s semblance of calm

US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor : Ethiopia: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016

Oromo Revolution echoes around the globe

The police brutalities resulted in several deaths. A death toll of 150 was recorded in Ethiopia, 32 in DRC and one in Mali.  To date, not one security agent has been prosecuted for any of the killings in the three countries. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many violations perpetrated against protestors, journalists and media organisations in Africa as reported in the maiden edition of the Freedom of Expression Situation in Africa report by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) compiled for the period July to December 2016.

THE MESSENGER :Ethiopia state media face scrutiny from Facebook fact-checkers

OMN: Weerara Poolisii Addaa ilaalchisee Dhaabbileen Siyaasaa Oromoo maal jedhu?

ETHIOPIA:  The Ethiopian Government is Plotting a War Among  the Nations and Nationalities in Ethiopia

 

HRLHA Press Release


 

""

International Human Rights Day  marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Crafted in the shadow of the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II, the Declaration gave the world the vision it needed to stand up to fear and the blueprint it craved to build a safer and more just world.  Its single premise is:   “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

 

Human Rights Day Message:United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s message for Human Rights Day 10 December 2014.

 

In observing Human Rights Day, its important to  highlight the horrific going on in 2014 in our world. The following document is the summary of horrific repression going on against Oromo people by tyrannic Ethiopian  regime:

http://www.amnesty.nl/sites/default/files/public/because_i_am_oromo.pdf

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/?s=because+I+am+Oromo&searchbutton=go%21

” data-medium-file=”” data-large-file=”” class=”alignleft wp-image-4426″ src=”https://qeerroo.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/hrlha.jpg?w=151&h=151″ alt=”HRLHA” style=”margin: 0px 7px 2px 0px; padding: 4px; border: none; float: left; display: inline;”>February 26, 2017The  Ethiopian Somali Liyu Police led by the Ethiopian Federal government’s killing squad have been engaged in a cruel war for the past six months against the Oromo nation in fifteen districts of Oromia.   The Oromia districts that have been invaded by the two aforementioned forces are in east and east- west Hararge Zone, Eastern Oromia,  Guji,  Borana and  Bale, South Oromia zones, Southern Oromia of Oromia Regional State.


Freedom House: Freedom in the World 2017: Ethiopia Profile: Not free and in downward trends with political rights and civil liberties: Aggregate score of 12/100

UNPO: Oromo: Political Conviction Endures, while Communities Refuse to be Stifled

How should the US react to human rights abuses in Ethiopia?

Real Media Press: WHY IS ETHIOPIA’S SITUATION THE MOST UNDER-REPORTED CONFLICT IN THE WORLD?

Ethiopia: War Crimes Against the Oromo Nation in Ethiopia

African Studies Centre Leiden: ASCL worried about Ethiopian political scientist Dr Merera Gudina

Ethiopia in Crisis: What is going on now in Oromia is a massacre in the name of emergency, terrorising civilian populations

Stop Genocide Against the Oromo People: The Whole of Oromia Must Act to Stop the Agazi and Liyu Police Terror in Hararge, Bale, Borana and Gujii

IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report: War Crimes: Crimes Against Humanity: The genocide against Oromo people involving Ethiopia’s Somali region police (Liyu Police), a segment of fascist TPLF’s Agazi forces

Fascism: Corruption: TPLF Ethiopia: Inside the Controversial EFFORT

AI: ETHIOPIA TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT: The torturous fields of Ethiopia’s rehabilitation centre

The NY Times: OLYMPICS: Feyisa Lilesa, Marathoner in Exile, Finds Refuge in Arizona


The hero, the legend and the thinker: Oromo Athlete Feyisa Lilesa’s spectacular finish at Aramco Houston Half Marathon January 16, 2017

THE INTEREST THAT IS NOT SO SPECIAL: ADDIS ABEBA, OROMIA, AND ETHIOPIA

 

 

Mail & Guardian Africa: Ethiopia’s political ripple a big test for infrastructure-led Chinese approach

BBC: Oromia: No regrets for Ethiopia’s Olympic protester. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

Free Dr. Merera Gudina And All Political Prisoners In Ethiopia

Oromia: Human Rights League New Year’s Message: “It always Seems Dark Until the Sun Rises”

Oromia (Africa): Oromo Person of The Year 2016: The Qubee Generation. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

BBC: Africa’s top hashtags of 2016: #OromoProtests and #AmharaProtests

 Stop Your madness with Masterplan and Resolve the Master Problem

Hof-Land: Ausgestoßene im eigenen Land

ETHIOPIA: THE STATE OF EMERGENCY CANNOT BECOME THE NORM

Samantha Power, the Unites States ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has called for the release of a leading Ethiopian opposition member, Bekele Gerba

HRW: The Year in Human Rights Videos

WP: A state of emergency has brought calm to Ethiopia. But don’t be fooled.

THE HUMAN COST OF ETHIOPIA’S SWEEPING STATE OF EMERGENCY: “I NEVER WANTED TO SEE TOMORROW”

In his interview with VOA, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Tom Malinowski discussed the current Ethiopian situation and his concerns regarding human right protection. He said, “It’s a very difficult situation. The country is under a state of emergency, and a state of emergency by definition means that certain rights are suspended. Due process is suspended. And however much the government may feel that the state of emergency has brought calm temporarily to the country, it also brings with it certain risks. It risks adding a new layer of grievances to those grievances that initially led people in Oromia and Amhara to come out onto the streets. At first they were concerned about land seizures and lack of jobs and representation, all of which the government has acknowledge to be real and legitimate. But now they’re also upset about the arrests and the violence. And the longer this continues, the more those grievances are likely to build. At the same time, it risks giving greater power to the security apparatus in a way that could delay the introduction of the reforms that the Prime Minister and the government have, to their great credit, said are necessary.” Listen the first part of VOA interview at: http://bit.ly/2h3kmYO https://www.facebook.com/us.emb.addisababa/posts/1372399152802454


 

Ana Gomes (MEP): Ethiopia: Arrest of Dr. Merera Gudina – Annual report on Human Rights and Democracy

Africa News: EU parliament writes to Ethiopian president over detained Oromo leader, Professor Merera Gudina

AU expresses concern about upcoming Summit in restive Ethiopia

Africa News: Oromia’s Olympic athlete, Feyisa Lilesa, has been named among the 2016 top 100 global thinkers by the Foreign Policy (FP) magazine.

EurActive: EU: Commission to Ethiopia: ‘start addressing legitimate grievances of your people’December 2, 2016

 

The Independent: Ethiopian opposition leader testifies to EU over lack of political freedoms – and is immediately arrested upon his return. European politicians ‘shocked’ by arrest of Merera Gudina

BBC: Ethiopian opposition leader arrested after Europe trip

WP: Ethiopia arrests top Oromo opposition politician after Europe Parliament speech

Ethiopian Opposition Leader from Restive Region Arrested


One Year Anniversary of Oromo Protests Against Land Grabs


Africa Times: #Oromo news network in U.S. works to defeat Ethiopia’s media blackout


#OromoRevolution Australian MP Andrew Wilkie the parliament speaking about the of Oromo people

https://youtu.be/mmhJ1EevSqQ


OROMIA: OMN: Gaafiif Deebii Gammadaa Waariyoo Down Down Wayane TPLF Jechuun Kan Beekamu. #OromoProtests


The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights: Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Ethiopia


Ethiopia: State of Emergency Used as Systematic State Repression in Ethiopia HRLHA Press Release


Open Democracy: Ethiopia’s crisis: Things fall apart: Will the centre hold? By RENÉ LEFORT 19 November 2016


Why is the Ethiopian diaspora so influential?

The Oromo protests have changed Ethiopia

The struggle of the Oromo people has finally come to the attention of the global public conscience.

 

Newsweek: ETHIOPIA: OROMO POLITICIAN ARRESTED AFTER SPEAKING TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT


#OromoProtests: A year on struggle: This is a video made by Swedish students in Skara about the protests going on in Ethiopia. #OromoRevolution

Pambazuka News: Some thoughts on the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia. #Oromorotests #OromoRevolution

HRW: Will Ethiopia’s Year-Long Crackdown End?

Need for Meaningful Reforms, Accountability

Olympics dissident: Ethiopia could ‘become another Libya’

AI: Ethiopia: After a year of protests, time to address grave human rights concerns


Crossing Arms: The Plight and Protest of the Oromo in Ethiopia


State of emergency: Fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s government command post soldiers raping and killing


The Final Desperate Emergency Martial Law of Ethiopia and its Implications


“Open Letter to Government of Ethiopia” From Lotte Leicht, EU Director, Human Rights Watch. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution #Africa


Global Journalist: Ethiopia’s State of Emergency & #OromoProtests


One Of The World’s Best Long Distance Runners Is Now Running For His Life

 


HRW: Ethiopia: State of Emergency Risks New Abuses: Directive Codifies Vague, Overbroad Restrictions. 

 An Ethiopian government directive under a state of emergency contains overly broad and vague provisions that risk triggering a human rights crisis, Human Rights Watch said  in a legal analysis. The government should promptly repeal or revise all elements of the directive that are contrary to international law.  31 October  2016.


 Ethiopia’s state of emergency silences aid workers — and some of their work


Venture Africa: WHY THE ‘PLANNED’ HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN ETHIOPIA SHOULD BE A GLOBAL CONCERN. #OromoProtests


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkNRF-erHls

Al Jazeera: Ethiopia ‘ruthlessly targeted’ Oromo ethnic group, report finds.

Ethiopia’s Regime Faces Precarious Times As Diaspora Plans for the Future


AI: Ethiopia: Draconian measures will escalate the deepening crisis. #OromoProtests


How Ethiopia’s State of Emergency affects Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Emergency Declared in Ethiopia but the decree means nothing to those who have lived with inhumanity worse than death.


Ethiopia’s crisis is a result of decades of land disputes and ethnic power battles


DW: New Ethiopian clampdown

Ethiopia’s state of emergency could trigger civil war and food shortage


The National Interest: Ethiopia Opens a Pandora’s Box of Ethnic Tensions


Oromia: Yakka Waraanaa Ummata Oromoo Irratti Gaggeeffama Jiru Ilaalchisuun Ibsa Gamtaa Barattoota Oromoo (Oromo Student Union )


Ibsa Ejjeennoo Barattoota Oromoo Yuuniversiitii Jimmaa,  October 7, 2016


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

 

Gabaasaa qindaawaa armaan gadii kan nama balaa san irraa hafeen nuu dhihaate kana obsaan dubbisaa. Sana booda wanti kaleessa Hora Haarsadeetti tahe maal akka fakkaatu hubannoo gahaa horattu.
■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
“Kan dhagaa darbaate ummata miti. Yeroo dheeraaf mormiin walitti fufinsaan deemaa ture. Waanuma godhan dhaban. Gubbaan helekoopitara nurra naanneessaa turan. Helekoopitarri marsaa duraa ergaa baga geessan jedhu gubbaa gad facaasaa ture. Sun kan akeekkameef ayyaana ummataaf yaadamee miti. Sodaachisaaf ture. Yeroo helekopitarichi nurratti gad siqee naannawuu umman guutuun harka wal qaxxaamursuun mallattoo didda itti agarsiisaa ture. Haalichi cimee itti fufe. Mormiin bifa adda ta’een deeme. Qeerroon guutummaan iddoo silaa Opdof isaan qabachiisu barbaadan dursite ganamumaan waan qabatteef kallattii dhaban. Karaa mormii ittiin qabaneessan dhaban. Midiyaaleen addunyaas ta’e isaan biyya keessaa bifa danda’aniin haalicha waraabaa turan. Guutummaan mormii waan tureef kallattiin dabarsu hin dandeenye. Fuuldura keenyatti faranjoota heedduu argaa ture. Waraabaa turan.

Midiyaaleen alaa carraa nu bira ga’uu hin arganneef malee gara ummata mormii irra jiruutti seenuun jiddu jidduun gaafiif deebii taasisaa turan. Qeerroon sodaa tokkoon alatti isaanitti himaa ture. Manguddoonnis akkasuma himaa turan. Mootumma shiftaa kana hin barbaannu,opdo hin barbaannu,ofiin of bulchina jechaanii ture. Ammas mormiin cimaa dhufe. Ummanni kallattii hundaan gara irreechaatti dhufu mormii dhaggeesisaa dhufa. Sagantaa gaggeeffachuu taasuma isaan hin dandeenye. Haalli kun hedduu isaan aarse. Ni boba’an. Naannolee adda addaatii qarshii kanfalaniif ummanni isaan geejibbaan fidatanis isaanitti gara gale. Mormiin liqimfamee mormitti seene. Woyaneen waan qabdee gad dhiiftu dhabde. Poolisoonni jidduu ummataa dhaabde hidhannoo hin qaban. Agaazii gara duubaatiin dhaabdee jirti. Booda irra as ba’an malee tasuma hin mul’atan ture.

Adaduma baayinni ummata gara horaa dhufu dabaluun mormiin haala duraanii caale cime. Dirreen irreechaa dirree mormii qofa taate. Kanatu isaan dhukkubse. Ummanni miliyoona heddu dirree irreechaa irratti bakka miidiyaaleen addunyaa baay’een argamanitti isaan salphise. Kanaaf maratan. Summii saamii irraan helekopitaraan gad roobsan. Ummata joonjesan. Sab booda dirreen aaraan guutamte. Agaaziin iddoo jirtuu as baate. Rasaasaan dha’amuu ummata arguu qofa taate. Boolla meetira 10-15 gad fagaatutu jidduu waraanaaf ummataa jira. Boolla kanatti baayee fixan. Lakkofsi ummata dhumee hedduu dabaluu danda’a. Rasaasa isaanii cinatti boollichis isaaniif tumseera.”
Yaya Beshir irraa


Human Rights Watch: Q&A: Recent Events and Deaths at the Irreecha Festival in Ethiopia

The genocidal massacres of Oromos at the Irreechaa Fesival: The lies of the Tigre-led Ethiopian government


UN Human Rights Briefing Note on EthiopiaOctober 7, 2016


Indian Professor in Ethiopia: An Appeal to the International Community about Human Rights Situation. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution


African Arguments: Ethiopia: How popular uprising became the only option. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution


BBC: Are Ethiopian protests a game changer? #OromoProtests


Aljazeera: Oromo protests: Ethiopia unrest resurges after stampede

VOA: Ethiopia Protests Continue Despite Call for Calm. #OromoProtests #Bishoftu Massacre


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


Ethiopia Human Rights Abuses Spark U.S. Congressional Action

Oakland Institute: After Irreechaa Tragedy, the US Must Take Action for Human Rights in Ethiopia


Ana Gomez, MEP, Statement at European Union regarding the mass killings conducted by fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) at Irreecha Oromo National Cultural celebration event in Bishoftu, Oromia where over 4 million people congregate on 2nd October 2016


Risk Advisory: Ethiopia | Assessment of government stability amid ongoing protests

The Ethiopian government is looking increasingly unstable, and the security environment in Ethiopia is looking more dangerous.


This is Africa: Ethiopia at a crossroads: apartheid, civil war or reconciliation?


ETHIOPIA’S GRADUAL JOURNEY TO THE VERGE OF CRISIS

Lelisa’s Message

A wave of protest in Ethiopia highlights the country’s history of exploitation and dispossession.


Click here  to read Daily Maverick: Ethiopia Mourns– but mourns what, exactly?

The Economist: The downside of authoritarian development: Ethiopia cracks down on protest: Once a darling of investors and development economists, repressive Ethiopia is sliding towards chaos


CCTV America: Who are Ethiopia’s Oromo and what’s behind the wave of protests in the country?

“Internet mobile irrati fayadamuuf mali argameera… akkas agodhani qeeroon Setting..more network….mobile network… access network name…. harka mirgara + kan jedhu tuqu… name kanjedhu … et.wap… APN… et.wap…. proxy…10.204.189.211… port…9028…. authentication… PAP or CHAP kan jedhu guutu… kana booda qeerroon mirgaan galte Mobile jam Tplf irraa hanu… sanan fayadama jira amaan kana.” #OromoRevolution.

 

 

For those following the Feyisa Lilesa and in Ethiopia: Sifan Hassan on his demonstration – “He’s my hero.”

For those following the Feyisa Lilesa and in Ethiopia: Sifan Hassan on his demonstration – “He’s my hero.”

Athlete Sifan Hassan, the European champion – “I’m Oromo and Feyisa is my hero”

https://www.facebook.com/v2.3/plugins/post.php?app_id=249643311490&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter%2Fr%2FSh-3BhStODe.js%3Fversion%3D42%23cb%3Df2de287767684ac%26domain%3Dorom

Fayyisaa Leellisaa goota Oromoo

 

 

 

 

 

The Economist: Africa’s house of cards: Ethiopia enters its seventh month of emergency rule April 24, 2017

Fairfield University students work to free imprisoned Ethiopian professor Bekele Gerba, a peace activist who has translated the works of Martin Luther King

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: Feyisa Lilesa fulfills his promise to protest fascist Ethiopia’s regime at the London Marathon 2017. Kenyan and Oromo athletes dominated both the London and Hamburg Marathon 2017 races.

London Marathon, 23 April 2017, Feyisal Lelisa supporters. #OromoProtests

 

 

Hiriirra Oromoo biyyaa Germany magaalaa Nürnberg guyyaa April. 22.2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ODUU

OMN: Oduu Ebla 6 2017

 

 

 

ODUU

OMN: Weekly English News 5 April 2017

ODUU

OMN: Oduu (Ebla 5,2017)

 

 

ODUU

OMN: Oduu (Ebla 4, 2017)

Godina Lixa Shaggar Aanaa Calliyaatti Barsiisaa Tasfayee Cimdeessaa Waraana Koomandii Poostii Wayyaaneen reebichaan ulfaataan irra gahe.

Ebla 3/2017 Godina Lixa Shaggar Aanaa Calliyaatti Barsiisaa Tasfayee Cimdeessaa Waraana Koomandii Poostii Wayyaaneen reebichaan ulfaataan irra gahee du’aaf jireenya gidduu jiraachuu Maddeen Qeerroo Lixa gabaasan.
Waraanni Koomandii Poostii Wayyaanee Ilmaan Oromoo mooraa mana hidhaa Waraana Wayyaanee Xoollaayi keessatti hidhamanii hiraarfamaa erga turanii boodaa mootummaan wayyaanee maqaa leenjii haaromsaa jedhuun olola kijibaa hidhamtoota hiraarsaa jiruu irratti ofuun waanan jedhee dirqamaan fudhadhu jechechuun eenyuummaa namummaa isaanii kan gaaffiikeessa galchisiisaa ture dhummarratti hidhamtoota keessa muraasa gadi lakkisuun ni yaadatama. Yeroo amma kanattis hidhamtoota hiraarfamaa turanii hiikjaman hordofee yakka ajjeechaa, hidhaa fi reebichaa suukkaneessaa irratti raawwacha jira. Continue reading


 

Godina Wallagga aanaa Kiiramuu ganda Burqaa Soorumaa mana barumsaa Sadarkaa 1ffaa Keessatti FXG Itti Fufuu Qeerroon Gabbaase.

Ebla 3,2017/ Godina Wallagga  aanaa Kiiramuu ganda Burqaa Soorumaa mana barumsaa sad 1ffaa keessatti bitootessa 30  irraa eegalee barattoota mana barumsichaan fxg  mootummaa abbaa hirree mormuu irratti hundaa’e haala ho’aan geggeeffamaa jiraachuusaa Qeerroon araddaa Burqaa Soorumaa ibsan.mana barumsaa kana keessatti fincila geggeeffamaa jiruun Ebla 3, 2017 wayita barattoonni fincila mormii eegalan humni
waraanaa mootummaa Wayyaanee magaalaa Kiiramuurraa gara sana   deemuun barattoota addaan bittinsee erga deebi’ee maatii barattootaa ijoollee isaanii hubachuuf gara sanatti deeman qabachuudhaan fuudhuun gara waajjira poolisii aanaa Kiiramuutti akka deeman gabaafame. Continue reading

 

 

Qeerroon Godina Wallaggaa Aanaa Jaarsoo Magaalaa Jaarsoo Keessatti Barruulee Warraaqsaa Ummataaf Raabsan.

Ebla 3,2017/ Godina Wallaggaa anaa Jaarsoottii Qeerroon magaalaa Jaarsoo warqaa dhadatnoo ykn ibsa ejjennoo 11 qabu guutuuma magaalaatii keessa faca’asnii bulanii jiru maneen barnoota ,wajjirallee Motummaa, maneen uummataa keessa facasaanii jiru Jaala deemtoottii wayyannee OPDOn gochaa kanattii hedduu rifaachun akka saaree maratee walii gaadi fiigaa jirtii. Ibsi ejjennoo sun kan armaan gaddittii.
1 Mirgaa Uummata Oromoo sarbuun haa dhabbatu Continue reading

ODUU

OMN: Oduu Ebla 3, 3017

 

 

 

ODUU

OMN: Oduu (Ebla 2 2017)

#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally in Norway, Oslo, 31st March 2017

OMN: Qophii Addaa. Hiriira mormii Hawaasa Oromoo, Norway, Ebla 7, 2017

TV Link: Why the Oromo People Are Fleeing Ethiopia April 28, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in #OromoProtests, Uncategorized.
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 Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

 Ethiopian demonstrators

Ethiopians Fleeing Human Rights Violations Sparked by Land Use Conflict


Tristan MartinSally Hayden TV Link, April 26, 2017

When marathon silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa crossed the finish line at the Rio Olympics, he crossed his arms above his head in an “X”, a sign of protest against the Ethiopian government’s treatment of his people, the ethnic Oromo.

The champion runner did not return home after the Olympics, fearing for his safety even though the government said he would not be punished.

Feyisa Lilesa
Feyisa Lilesa crosses the finish line of the Men’s Marathon athletics event during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 21, 2016. Lilesa crossed his arms above his head as a protest against the Ethiopian government’s crackdown on political dissent. | ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

“[I knew] I would be jailed or killed if not, I would [never be allowed] out of that country and allowed to participate in any international competition or race at all,” Lilesa told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“I am quite sure those things would happen to me,” he said in a Skype interview from Rio where he has been staying since Monday when the rest of his team mates returned to Ethiopia.

The Oromia region, home to more than 25 million Oromos, has been riven by unrest for months over land rights and allegations of human rights violations.

Lilesa, 26, is one of thousands of Ethiopians estimated by activists to have left the country amid a security crackdown on demonstrations sparked by a conflict over land use policies.

City of Addis Ababa's proposed expansion plan
Map of municipal plans to expand city limits and include some parts of the Oromiya region within the capital city Addis Ababa.

Human Rights Watch estimated 400 demonstrators were killed by security forces between November 2015 and June 2016 during protests triggered by government plans to include some parts of Oromiya within the capital Addis Ababa’s limits.

Victim shot down during protests
Victim shot down during protests. | Oromia Media Network

Up to 100 people were shot in a single weekend in August when security forces also shut down the internet for 48 hours, according to activists.

Thousands more have been arrested, including the prominent Oromo activist Bekele Gerba, who was taken from his home in December.

The government, which disputes the death toll and says the protests are being staged illegally, stoked by rebel groups and overseas-based dissidents, did not respond to several requests by the Thomson Reuters Foundation for a comment.

Lilesa’s fear of being jailed upon his return home reflects the experiences of other Ethiopians who have spoken out against the government.

In the Greek capital Athens, 26-year-old Muaz Mahmud Ayimoo is staying in a cramped apartment with five other Oromo friends who are traveling with him.

A student from Haro Dumal city in Oromiya, Ayimoo was arrested by authorities and imprisoned for a month last November after he attended several non-violent protests along with fellow students.

Conditions for those detained were wretched and abuse was regular, Ayimoo said.

“They used to take us out one by one, torture us with electricity and beat us badly,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Muaz Mahmud Ayimoo
Muaz Mahmud Ayimoo, a 26-year-old Ethiopian refugee is staying in a cramped apartment in Athens with five other Oromo friends who are traveling with him. | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Ayimoo’s family in Ethiopia paid a bribe for his release, later selling everything they had to get him to Europe.

“I can’t go back because I would lose my life,” he said.

Those in Athens are the lucky ones: Ayimoo’s wife and baby girl drowned in April after the boat they were on crossing the Mediterranean from Libya sank, killing hundreds, according to survivors.

“I could hear the screaming of my baby as I fell. I couldn’t save my family,” he said.

Muaz Mahmud Ayimoo shows photograph of his family
Muaz Mahmud Ayimoo shows photograph of his wife and daugther before their boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea. | Thomson Reuters Foundation

Other Ethiopians now following the unrest from abroad include the journalists of the Oromia Media Network, a dissident satellite TV channel broadcasting into Ethiopia in the Oromo language from Minneapolis in the United States, a city home to around 40,000 Oromo.

Jawar Mohammed
Jawar Mohammed, executive director of the Oromia Media Network in Minneapolis. | Thomson Reuters Foundation

“We became part of the whole protester story,” said Jawar Mohammed, executive director of the network, which he said is watched by more than 11 million people in the Middle East and Africa at peak times.

Mohammed also regularly posts updates on his Facebook page, with more than 800,000 followers, about the unrest in his homeland.

Abel Wabella, 30, an activist who wrote for Zone9, a blog which focused on social and civic issues in Ethiopia, was imprisoned between April 2014 and October 2015 in what critics say was an attack on press freedom.

“I think the government is not ready for real reform the people are demanding right now. The people are tired of their false promises and will escalate their resistance,” he said.

 

Top image: Like many Ethiopian protesters across the world, women cross their hands during a protest against human rights violations in Ethiophia’s Oromia region, in front of United Nation’s information center in Pretoria, South Africa. | Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


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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.

The Economist: Africa’s house of cards: Ethiopia enters its seventh month of emergency rule April 24, 2017

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House of cards

 


Its response to the crisis has, therefore, been primarily an economic one. Its top priority is to reduce youth unemployment, of at least 30% in urban areas. It hopes to do so through promoting industrial parks such as the one in the southern town of Awassa, which opened in 2016. It is Africa’s largest and is expected to provide 60,000 jobs. But even the largest industrial parks are still a drop in an ocean of unemployment. And since most of the jobs they provide are low-skilled, they will do little to help the hundreds of thousands of university graduates entering the job market each year. “I’m a graduate in accounting but I work as a hotel cashier,” laments one exasperated Ambo resident.
Alexis de Tocqueville, a 19th-century French historian, argued that the most dangerous time for a bad government is when it begins to reform itself. The EPRDF is not the ancien regime of pre-revolutionary France. But it has taken de Tocqueville’s lesson to heart. It views Ethiopia as a house of cards that might easily topple. So the old model persists: development now, democracy later. 

Africa’s house of cards: Ethiopia enters its seventh month of emergency rule

Development now, democracy later

The Economist

THE three-hour bus-ride to Ambo from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, offers a glimpse into the country’s future. The road is well paved; irrigation ditches and polytunnels criss-cross commercial farmland; electricity lines leap over forested hills. The signal granting access to mobile internet is clear and constant. As the bus pulls into Ambo, a trading centre in Oromia, the largest and most populous of Ethiopia’s nine ethnically based regions, the street is bustling.

But there are signs, too, that not all is well. An army truck rolls down the main road. Federal police surround the entrance to the local university. Unemployed young men playing snooker in bar point at a building across the road: it used to be a bank, but it was burnt down. Three years ago 17 local boys were shot dead by security guards as they protested on the doorstep, the young men say.

Ambo has a reputation for dissent. It was on these streets that protests against authoritarian rule started in 2014 before sweeping across the country. They culminated in the declaration of a six-month state of emergency on October 9th last year.

Students from Ambo University led the charge in opposing a since-shelved plan to expand the capital city into surrounding farmland. Oromo identity is especially powerful here: locals speak angrily about being pushed aside by ethnic Tigrayans, who they say dominate the government despite making up less than 6% of the population.

The country’s leading opposition politician, Merera Gudina—who was charged with inciting terrorism in February and was scheduled to appear in the dock on April 24th—comes from this area. When the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) extended the emergency law for another four months (albeit after watering down its most draconian provisions) on March 30th, it was because of places like Ambo. Hundreds of its citizens have been arrested and subjected to months of “re-education” in military camps. Although stability has more or less returned to Ethiopia there are still young men across Oromia and Amhara, the second-largest region, who talk of protesting once more when the state of emergency is eventually lifted.

Not everyone feels this way. There may have been plenty of raised eyebrows when the prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, told Parliament on March 15th that 82% of Ethiopians wanted the state of emergency extended. But few want a return to disorder, and many admit that further emergency rule might not be so bad. Shopkeepers and restaurant owners in particular recall that businesses—as well as schools—were closed for months during the unrest. “Peace and security is more valuable than anything,” says a weary pharmacist.

Yet the challenge of addressing both the frustrations of angry youngsters and the concerns of anxious property owners is one the EPRDF is struggling to solve. Ethiopia’s economy is still growing at a healthy 7% a year, one of the fastest rates in Africa, even though drought has again hit large parts of the country. Foreign investment, which the government is promoting energetically, has held up surprisingly well. But with political freedom now a thing of the past, the government’s legitimacy rests on it delivering the prosperity it has long promised to all its citizens.

Its response to the crisis has, therefore, been primarily an economic one. Its top priority is to reduce youth unemployment, of at least 30% in urban areas. It hopes to do so through promoting industrial parks such as the one in the southern town of Awassa, which opened in 2016. It is Africa’s largest and is expected to provide 60,000 jobs. But even the largest industrial parks are still a drop in an ocean of unemployment. And since most of the jobs they provide are low-skilled, they will do little to help the hundreds of thousands of university graduates entering the job market each year. “I’m a graduate in accounting but I work as a hotel cashier,” laments one exasperated Ambo resident.

Political reform has been much less of a priority. Only one regional president has lost his job, though many ought to shoulder quite a bit of the blame for the unrest because of poor governance. A cabinet reshuffle in November included some high-profile changes: an Oromo controls the foreign ministry for the first time, for instance. But dialogue with opposition parties has made little progress. They must still ask permission to give a press conference or hold a public meeting. And an expansive anti-terrorism law, which has crimped their activities since 2009, will still be in place even when the last of the emergency provisions are lifted. The government has long promised to tackle corruption, which is the cause of much unhappiness. But there have been no high level prosecutions since October, even though tens of thousands of low-level officials have been sacked.

Alexis de Tocqueville, a 19th-century French historian, argued that the most dangerous time for a bad government is when it begins to reform itself. The EPRDF is not the ancien regime of pre-revolutionary France. But it has taken de Tocqueville’s lesson to heart. It views Ethiopia as a house of cards that might easily topple. So the old model persists: development now, democracy later.


 

Fairfield University students work to free imprisoned Ethiopian professor Bekele Gerba, a peace activist who has translated the works of Martin Luther King April 24, 2017

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CT Post: Fairfield U. students work to free imprisoned Ethiopian professor

 Linda Conner Lambeck, April 21, 2017


FAIRFIELD — Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes baked by Molly McNamee in her Fairfield University town house probably won’t lead to the release of Bekele Gerba, a professor locked away in an Ethiopian prison.

But it will educate more students about the cause.

“Cupcakes are an attention grabber,” said Adrienne Sgarlato, a Fairfield senior from West Caldwell, N.J., said. “College students are always looking for an incentive.”

Attached to each cupcake the students grabbed Friday on their way in and out of the DiMenna Nyselius Library was a fact about Gerba:

“This is Gerba’s second time being imprisoned.”

“It is speculated that Professor Gerba’s arrest was a reaction to the protests taking place across the Oromia region.”

“An Ethiopian court brought terrorism-related charges against Professor Gerba and 21 others in connection with the protests.”

Professor Janie Leatherman, who leads a service learning class called International Human Rights, called the cupcake idea clever.

“When you do work in peace and conflict resolution, you have to think about what kinds of tools you can use that will end up in the hands of those you want to influence,” Leatherman said. “In terms of outreach and advocacy, cupcakes — with a message —is something very indigenous to this community.”

Leatherman’s class devoted a week to educating the larger university community about Gerba, a professor of foreign languages at Addis Ababa University and a peace activist who has translated the works of Martin Luther King into Ethiopian. Gerba was also First Secretary General of the Oromo Federalist Congress, a political party, and his latest arrest came in December 2015. Terrorism charges were later leveled against him.

Other student events included a panel discussion, a research symposium and a celebration of Ethiopian food and music. At every event, a petition the class started calling for Gerba’s release grew longer.

Leatherman consulted with Scholars at Risk, an international advocacy group that works to free educators and others who become political prisoners, before the course began.

Last year, Leatherman taught a class called Politics and Humanitarian Action, that worked to free Mohammad Hossein Rafiee, an imprisoned chemist in Iran. The work included a meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights on Iran, and subsequently a visit to the UN. The class wrote a 50-page case dossier on Rafiee.

Last September, after spending 15 months in prison, Rafiee was released on medical furlough, due to poor health, and was allowed to recuperate at home, without guards.

“We are still concerned about his well-being,” Leatherman said.

She said she believes the work of the class helped elevate the case. And Clare Farne Robinson, an advocacy director for Scholars at Risk, said if it weren’t for the students’ efforts, the case would most likely have missed out on this larger, international audience.

“I am confident that the increased pressure that the students (and others) placed on Iran had a role to play in this,” Robinson said. The class also was in contact with Rafiee’s family, giving them hope.

The 16 students in Leatherman’s current class are hoping for a similar outcome.

“It is not out of reach,” said Jessica Held, an international studies and Spanish major from Pelham, N.Y.

Held said it is important to spread the word.

“People in this class are like-minded,” she said. “There are kids who are not. Who don’t really know as much about world issues.”

McNamee, a junior from Lowell, Mass., said she never knew there were classes like this.

“It’s cool to be working on something that can change another human’s life,” she said.

Leatherman also works with Alfred Babo, a sociology professor, in teaching the class, which touches on the broader topics of human rights and ethnic strife in Ethiopia in addition to fighting specifically for Gerba’s freedom.


 

Oromia: Athletic Nation Report: Feyisa Lilesa fulfills his promise to protest fascist Ethiopia’s regime at the London Marathon 2017. Kenyan and Oromo athletes dominated both the London and Hamburg Marathon 2017 races. April 24, 2017

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Click here to read more on London Marathon 2017 Results: Men and Women’s Top Finishers

Click here to read more on Hamburg Marathon 2017 Results: Men’s and Women’s Top Finishers

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

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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.


 

London Marathon favourite Feyisa Lilesa amazing protest. #OromoProtests April 21, 2017

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 Feyisa Lilesa: I just didn’t have the words to explain to my wife why I’d put her and our children in danger

  • He made a powerful political statement as he crossed the finishing line in Rio
  • The 27-year-old Ethiopian publicised the persecution of the Oromo people 
  • Lilesa is one of the favourites for next Sunday’s London Marathon


It looked innocuous and many did not even know what it meant. After 26 miles of gruelling competition, Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa approached the Sambadrome, Rio’s carnival venue and the Olympic marathon finishing line, in second place.

Then he raised his arms and crossed them. And then again, repeating the gesture all the way over the last 100 metres to the finish line. With an Olympic silver medal secured, celebration might have been expected. But as they watched 6,000 miles away back home, his wife and family were fearing the consequences of that simple act.

Unknown to them, Lilesa, 27, one of the favourites for next Sunday’s London Marathon, had been running with a goal which surpassed the individual glory of winning an Olympic medal. He had told nobody of his plan, not even his wife and family.

Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa made a political statement as he crossed the finishing line in Rio

Ethiopian Feyisa Lilesa made a political statement as he crossed the finishing line in Rio

The crossed arms were a signal of protest about the persecution of his people, the Oromo, in Ethiopia, a country riven by political violence and dispute, where Amnesty International reports at least 800 protesters have been killed. Amnesty has urged the Ethiopian government to end mass arrests and beatings, as well as the unlawful detention of journalists and politicians making the Oromo cause.

‘You can’t even think in your head without feeling suspicious that someone is listening to your thoughts, let alone speaking or telling someone,’ says Lilesa. ‘So I made a decision that I had to keep it to myself. Because if I was to tell someone — even my family — and the word gets out, I would not even be able to go to Rio. So I went there having not told a single person.’

That made his first phone call to his wife, Iftu Mulisa, and children, daughter Soko, five, and son Sora, three, a traumatic affair. While many Oromo people were jubilant their cause was being publicised, his wife was aghast. There was no question in his mind of returning to Ethiopia. However, his family were stuck there.

‘When I first called her I just didn’t have the words to tell her and I didn’t have the words to say to her,’ he says. ‘It was a challenge initially just talking to her and explaining my decision and why I didn’t consult with them.

Lilesa with his wife, daughter Soko, five, and son Sora in their apartment in Arizona

Lilesa with his wife, daughter Soko, five, and son Sora in their apartment in Arizona

‘But she understood the importance of this. The problem in the country has reached every household. They understand the importance and what it means. Their two main differences were that I did not consult with them when I was planning this and not having a concrete plan for them or the future and what might happen to them.

‘This gesture was started by university students and people knew about it. A lot of people were arrested essentially for showing that gesture. Coincidentally, that same day, the government stopped a rally in Addis Ababa. People went home because the city was engulfed by military forces and they happened to be watching TV.

‘The race was being broadcast on state television when it happened, the first time I showed the gesture. But since I kept repeating it, they quickly cut the live transmission and went back to the studio. People understood why the transmission was cut abruptly.

‘Of course my family was scared and they were shocked because they didn’t know what would happen to me. I had fears for my family. But a lot of people were getting killed. I knew it was just a matter of time before it reached my family. It has touched almost every household.

Lilesa's wife was aghast that he had publicised the persecution of the Oromo people

Lilesa’s wife was aghast that he had publicised the persecution of the Oromo people

‘In fact, my brother-in-law was one of the people arrested and taken away from university and he remains in jail to this day. Young people were being killed, elderly were being killed. My friends were in jail and I had other friends who were being killed. So my family also feared the same fate. I feared they would be affected one day and that they had not was just that it was not their turn.

‘But generally at the time, I didn’t really care much about my life and the consequences this would bring to my family, because I knew the fate other people were going through in that country.’

Lilesa knew he needed a medal for his plan to succeed. ‘If I didn’t win a medal no one would have noticed me. No one would have seen my protest. It would not have had the impact. No one would have actually believed my story and I could have potentially returned to Ethiopia and bad things might have happened to me. So winning the medal was part of my plan.’

He was briefly in no man’s land in Rio de Janiero. Though he says many team-mates and officials supported his protest, he was persona non grata. ‘They don’t even want to see my face, so I don’t expect them to allow me to run for the country,’ he says.

The Ethiopian government have encouraged him to return home, saying he would be welcome. He does not believe them. ‘I didn’t have fears about my life but I did have fears that I might not be able to compete,’ he says. ‘I thought this was the end of my career as an athlete.’

The 27-year-old is one of the favourites for next Sunday’s London Marathon

The 27-year-old is one of the favourites for next Sunday’s London Marathon

Fears for his family and career have now been addressed. Ethiopian exiles arranged a flight from Brazil to the US and he is now based in Flagstaff, Arizona, a magnet for top-class distance runners, where he can train properly.

Last month he won the New York Half Marathon in preparation for the London Marathon. More significantly, in February his family were finally permitted to join him in the US.

The reunion was understandably an emotional affair, Soko sprinting into her father’s arms when she finally saw him at the airport. ‘This was very, very important,’ he says. ‘And at least my mind is in one place in the sense that this is one weight lifted off my back. Now that at least I don’t have to worry about the safety of my children.

‘Also, I was living alone and I didn’t have much help. Now that my wife is here she can at least help me with some things I need. But the problem that put me in this position — the problem of my people — remains. My worries and concerns about that remain.’

His protests will continue. He is critical of those icons of Ethiopian athletics, Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele, the latter of whom he will face in London, who he says have benefited from keeping quiet and not criticising the government.

‘I admire Haile as a runner, as champion and as someone who broke a world record,’ says Lilesa. ‘But on the other hand rich people are generally benevolent and they give back to their people and they help the poor. In Ethiopia, the rich people we have are selfish and greedy and they live a parasitic life where they attach themselves to the government.’

A representative of Gebrselassie and Bekele responded by saying that such criticisms did not take account of the complicated and volatile political situation in Ethiopia, where they both still live.

LILESA wants people, especially the British, to know more about the plight of the Oromo in Ethiopia. ‘Our people are being imprisoned, hundreds remain in jail. Others are being killed. Over the past year, people have been dropping like leaves. Others are running away to save their lives — to South Africa — and have died along the way.

‘The Oromo people are the majority in my country. They have a lot resources in terms of the economy. Despite that, we don’t have the political power. They have lost all their freedoms and rights.

‘I want people in England to put pressure on their government because they do provide the biggest amount of aid to the Ethiopian government, to use that leverage not to cosy up to the Ethiopian rulers but to change their behaviour and to allow our people to have their freedom and rights.

‘We don’t hate the people of Ethiopia. Our fight and issues are with the system. What I expressed is based on my experience. I’m speaking about the injustices I saw all my life. The world may not have known… until now.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-4415224/London-Marathon-favourite-Feyisa-Lilesa-amazing-protest.html#ixzz4ePMWijwV
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BBC:  Africa Highlights: Feyisa to protest killings at London Marathon


thiopia elite runner Feyisa Lilesa poses during a photocall for the men"s marathon elite athletes outside Tower Bridge in central London on April 20, 2017 ahead of the upcoming London Marathon

AFP

The athlete says he could be killed if he goes back home

Exiled Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa has vowed to protest against the government at Sunday’s London Marathon, saying “blood is flowing” in his home country.

Feyisa caught the world’s attention when made a protest gesture in solidarity with the Oromo people while crossing the line in the marathon race at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

In an interview with the BBC’s Sport Today, the silver medalist said he did not regret making the gesture.

How can I regret [it]? I come from the people. My people are dying, still. The blood is flowing.”

He added that would not return to Ethiopia while the current government was in power as he would be “automatically” killed, jailed or barred from leaving the country.

Feyisa refused to go back to Ethiopia after the Olympics, despite the government saying he would be welcomed as a hero.

He is currently living in the US with his wife and children on a temporary visa.

In Rio, Feyisa became the first Ethiopian to finish in the top two of a men’s Olympic marathon since 2000, claiming silver behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge.

As he crossed the line, he lifted his arms to form an X above his head, the same gesture used in protests by the Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group, which has suffered a crackdown at the hands of the Ethiopian government.

Feyisa Lilesa

Getty Images

The ‘X’ sign is used as a symbol of protest in Ethiopia

The state-backed Ethiopia Human Rights Commission  said earlier this week that 669 people were killed in protests since November 2015.

The government has blamed the violence on “terrorists”.

A state of emergency has ben in force since last October to curb the unrest.

Read: Endurance test for Feyisa

Oromo Students represent Oromia at York University’s Cultural Showcase April 19, 2017

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Oromia and the Oromo people

 

 

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A mirror Story: The striking similarities of Native American Ordeal and the Oromo people April 16, 2017

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A mirror Story: The striking similarities of Native American Ordeal and the Oromo people
   By Najat Hamza
Najat Hamza

As documented in the archives of history throughout the world, Oromo’s are not the only indigenous people targeted for their land and their identity. This article will be exploring the indigenous people of Americas, the Native Americans in comparison to the Oromo people. Native Americans have their own way of life, culture, tradition, language and indigenous religious beliefs untouched by the outside world. They were communal society in nature. They embraced a philosophy of living in harmony with nature. The land has and still has special place in their spirituality, as something scared, something to be protected and nurtured. Contrary, to their European invaders that viewed the land only from economic points of view.
At the end of 15th century Europeans migrated to the Americas to conquer the land and resources. Their only obstacle was removing the indigenous people off of the land in order to achieve their objectives. However, the special relationship Native Americans had with their land presented a challenge to the new conquerors. The Europeans wanted the land to settle on, to use, to prosper from and to own. Native Americans viewed land as part of their identity, intrinsic in nature and not dependent on economic again or be swayed by it. Thus, the Indian wars spanning decades are part of these two opposing views. The Native Americans put up a fierce resistance against the Europeans and it was apparent to them that were losing. The Europeans could not win by arm forces, so they used the law to achieve their objectives.
The most devastating blow to Native Americans was delivered as a piece of legislature called The Dawes Act of 1887 which allowed for the allotment of tribal land to an individual ownership. When an individual Native American accepts these pieces of land he/she is granted a U.S. citizenship which means they are no longer under the protections of Indian tribal land and jurisdiction. Thus, every U.S citizen has to abide by the law of the land and state laws and regulations as well. This elaborate plan allowed United States government to take control of 90 million acres of Indian land and made 90,000 Indians Landless in their own ancestral land. In 1908 another legislature called the Curtis Act was introduced to the law which delivered the final blow to Native Americans. The Curtis act, basically abolished tribal communal jurisdiction and rendered tribal government useless.
After they have lost control of their lands and their way of life, a war was declared on their identity. In the name of assimilation, Native Americans were forced to assimilate into Europeans ways of life. Children were forcefully removed from their families and communities and sent to Indian boarding schools established by Europeans to be more “civilized.” They were forced to abandon their languages, cultural heritage and their identity. Their elaborate plan worked because we now see people who have lost their pride, sense of identity and a place they once called home. They live as second citizens in their own ancestral land and trying to survive.
In the Native American Story, European settlers took the center stage as an unwelcomed intruder of once pride filled people while in the Oromo Story we have a garden variety of oppressors. All of these oppressors have one characteristics in common, savagery. We can reflect back to the time long before intruders entered Oromo land and remember how our society functioned. We had our own governing system, culture, tradition, language and peace among us. That order and harmony we had among us and our neighbors were disturbed because savages took over our land and our ways of life much like Europeans took over Indian lands. Menelik II created a land reform that suited his special interest and allowed him to ration our land to his officers, generals and whoever he deemed worthy. Our own land was leased to us by appointed people and the church and the reminder was under direct control of this brute.
Every regime that came and left had one form of land reform or another, but one thing is crystal clear, none of those reforms are in the best interest of the Oromo people. Case in point, what is going on with Finfinne’s sounding area special Oromiya zone is no different. I have outlined how an oppressor can hide behind the law to achieve an objective in the Native American story. The current situation in Oromiya is exactly the same. The law should only be considered law if it upholds a high moral value not when it caters to the special few while disregarding others. We have managed to keep our identity, culture and language against all odds. Are we now defeated both in sprit and in strength to allow our enemies to rob us of our land under the guise of development? Are we ready to say that those who wrote history in their own blood, so that you and I can stand tall as Oromos, did so in vein? Are we ready, to give up? If we are anything like our ancestors the answer is Never!
My massage to the TPLF is that, as much as you like to think of yourselves as clever, I would like to say you did not invent the wheel. You have recycled an old idea and trying to paint it new. We recognize your agenda and we are fully aware. You will not win!!! We will prevail!
                               OromoRevolution

World Movement for Democracy: SPOTLIGHT: ETHIOPIA April 16, 2017

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STATUS

Over the past 26 years the Ethiopian government has been dominated by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allies. Meles Zenawi served as president of Ethiopia from 1991 to 1995 and then as prime minister from 1995 until his death in August 2012. His successor, Hailemariam Desalegn, has continued to strengthen his party’s power in the parliament.

Protesters call on the Ethiopian government to respect human rights, Washington DC, USA, 23 September 2006.

Over the last four election cycles, the ruling coalition has consolidated its parliamentarian super majority by alienating opposition parties and progressively closing democratic space in Ethiopia.  As a result, the coalition won all of parliament’s 547 seats during the 2015 election, which was widely criticized for “voter coercion, intimidation, and barriers to registration.” Leading up to the election, numerous opposition party members were harassed, arrested, and even killed. The government continues to use arbitrary arrests and prosecutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and supporters of opposition political parties.

In 2009, the government passed a law that bars civil society organizations that work on human rights, governance, and advocacy from receiving more than 10 percent of their funds from foreign sources. Since most organizations heavily rely on international funding, the law effectively eliminated Ethiopia’s once thriving civil society. Media remains under a government stranglehold, with many journalists having to choose between self-censorship, harassment and arrest, or exile. In 2014, dozens of journalists and bloggers fled the country and six private newspapers closed after a protracted campaign of threats and harassment against them. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ethiopia ranks among the top three countries in the world for the number of journalists in exile.

The last two years have been marked by a further crackdown on freedom of association in response to the mass protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions. Protests erupted in 2015, when the ethnic Oromo population, which accounts for nearly a third of Ethiopia’s total population, pushed back on a proposed city expansion plan that threatened their farmland. Over the past quarter century most of the regions, including Oromia and Amhara, have been left out of the country’s decision-making processes. The protests were a larger demonstration of frustration with the government’s discriminatory treatment of the Oromo people and their exclusion from Ethiopia’s political and economic spheres. Since November 2015, more than 600 protestors have been killed during the demonstrations and thousands more detained. Restrictions on human rights monitoring and on independent media make it difficult to ascertain the precise extent of casualties and arrests.

Despite the crackdown, protests continued, and in response, the government issued an eight-month long state of emergency on October 9, 2016, which suspended constitutionally guaranteed rights and gave sweeping powers to the security sector. Leaders of political parties that represent the region, like the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), have been arrested and accused of being terrorists. Thousands of detainees were subjected to a “rehabilitation programme” conducted by the military during detention. Before release, detainees were required to wear “Never Again” t-shirts during a graduation ceremony, which stood for their ‘promise’ to not protest against the government in the future.  Despite international scrutiny and condemnation for its recent actions, the Ethiopian government has not called off its state of emergency and is moving forward with prosecution of opposition leaders.

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READ MORE ABOUT ETHIOPIA’S POLITICAL PRISONERS.

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INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

Ethiopia protest

In 2010, the UN Committee Against Torture reported it was “deeply concerned” about “numerous, ongoing, and consistent allegations” concerning “the routine use of torture” by police, prison officers, and other members of the security forces against political dissidents and opposition party members. The committee reported such acts frequently occurred with the consent of commanding officers in police stations, jails, military bases, and unofficial or secret places of detention.

In January 2016, the Ethiopian government’s attacks on the right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression prompted the European Parliament to pass a resolution condemning the violent crackdown.  In September 2016, civil society organizations signed on to a joint letter addressed to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) urging it to hold Ethiopia accountable for its numerous rights violations. Both the European Union and the UN have also commented on the crackdown in Ethiopia and called upon the government to practice “restraint” with their security forces.

On September 1, 2016, the African Union (AU) also issued a statement expressing concern about the growing political violence Ethiopia. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, then Chairperson of AU Commission, urged “dialogue among all stakeholders in Ethiopia,” and called for “lasting solutions to the social, political and economic issues motivating the protests.” Despite attempts by the international community to persuade Ethiopia to amend its laws through mechanisms such as the Universal Periodic Review, the government has resisted.

Labsiin Yeroo Atattamaa Haala Itoophiyaa Keessa Jiru Fooyyeessuu Hin Danda’u April 16, 2017

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 Renee Lefort: Labsiin Yeroo Atattamaa Haala Itoophiyaa Keessa Jiru Fooyyeessuu Hin Danda’u


Renee Lefort: Labsiin Yeroo Atattamaa Haala Itoophiyaa Keessa Jiru Fooyyeessuu Hin Danda'u

Renee Lefort: Labsiin Yeroo Atattamaa Haala Itoophiyaa Keessa Jiru Fooyyeessuu Hin Danda’u

Mormiin Oromiyaatti bara 2015 jalqabame gara oggaa tokkoo oliitii biyyaatti raasaa ture booda mootummaan Itoophiyaa Onkoloolssa 9, 2016 labsii yeroo attattamaa ji’a jaha turu labse. Dhiheenya kana immoo ji’a afuriin dheeresse.

Mootummaan jeequmsa ka’ee tasgabeesuu fi nagaha hawwaasaa eegsisuudha murtii kana irra gahuu dubbatus, dhaabbileen mirga dhala namaatii falmanii fi beektoonni baayyen mirga lammiilee ukkaamsuuf itti fayyadamaa jira jedhan.

Labsiin kun fooyyee fideeraa laata? Fundura biyyatiitti bu’aa buuse qabaa? Kana irratti fi walumaagalaa haala siyaasa fi diinagdee biyyattii irratti yaada hayyoonni biyya allaa oggoota dheeraa dha qorannoo geggeessaa turan kennan kunooti.

Gabaasa guutuu kana cuqaasuun dhaggeeffadhaa

Answers Africa: Interesting facts about Oromo ethnic group of Ethiopia April 13, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo.
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Interesting facts about Oromo ethnic group of Ethiopia

Click here  to read at answers Africa

Women News Network: ETHIOPIA: Merciless land grab violence hits women who want peace April 13, 2017

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ETHIOPIA: Merciless land grab violence hits women who want peace

Ethnic Oromo students rally together as they demand the end of foreign land grabs marching with placards on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2014. Image: FlickrCC

(WNN FEATURES) ETHIOPIA, EAST AFRICA: She spoke to me with tears in her eyes describing the calculated execution of her own people.

Even though Atsede Kazachew feels relatively safe as an ethnic Amharic Ethiopian woman living inside the United States, she is grieving for all her fellow ethnic Ethiopians both Amharic and Oromo, who have been mercilessly killed inside her own country.

“There is no one in the United States who understands,” outlined Atsede. “Why? Why?” she asked as her shaking hands were brought close to her face to hide her eyes.

The Irreecha Holy Festival is a hallowed annual celebration for North East Africa’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo people. Bringing together what has been counted as up to two million people, who live near and far away from the city of Bishoftu, the Irreecha Festival is a annual gathering of spiritual, social and religious significance. It is also a time to appreciate life itself as well as a celebration for the upcoming harvest in the rural regions.

Tragically on Sunday October 2, 2016 the event ended in what Ethiopia’s government said was 55 deaths but what locals described as up to .

“The Ethiopian government is engaged in its bloodiest crackdown in a decade, but the scale of this crisis has barely registered internationally…,” outlined UK Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) David Mepham in a June 16, 2016 media release published by the International Business Times.

“For the past seven months, security forces have fired live ammunition into crowds and carried out summary executions…” added Mepham.

So what has the U.S. been doing about the present crisis situation in Ethiopia?

With a long relationship of diplomacy that spans over 100 years beginning in 1903, that builds up the U.S. to consider Ethiopia as an ‘anchor nation’ on the African continent, corrupt politics and long range U.S. investors in the region are an integral part of the problem. All of it works a head in the sand policies that pander to the status of the ‘’quid pro quo’.

Spurred on by what locals described as Ethiopia military members who disrupted the gathering by threatening those who came to attend the holiday event; the then makeshift military threw tear gas and gun shots into the crowd. The voices of many of those who were present described a “massive stampede” ending in numerous deaths.

“This has all been so hard for me to watch,” Atseda outlined as she described what she witnessed on a variety of videos that captured the ongoing government militarization and violence in the region. “And there’s been little to no coverage on this,” she added. “Western media has been ignoring the situation with way too little news stories.”

“Do you think this is also an attempt by the Ethiopian military to commit genocide against the ethnic Oromo people?” I asked.

“Yes,” she answered. The Amharic and the Oromo people have suffered so very much over many years, outlined Atsede. Much of it lately has been about government land grabs, on land that has belonged to the same families for generations, Atsede continued.

The details on the topic of apparent land grabs wasn’t something I knew very much about in the region, even though I’ve been covering international news and land grabs in Asia Pacific and China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, along with the plight of global women and human rights cases, for over a decade.

One lone woman stands out surrounded by men during her march with Ethiopia’a Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), a national self-determination organization that has worked to stop atrocity against rural ethnics inside Ethiopia beginning as far back as 1973. Today the Ethiopian government continues to classify the OLF as a terrorist organization. In this image the look on this unnamed woman’s face says “a-thousand-words.” Image: Jonathan Alpeyrie/Wikimedia Commons

In spite of destructive crackdowns by the government against rural farming communities, numerous ethnic women living inside Ethiopia today are attempting to work toward peace in both the northern and southern regions of the country.

Under conditions of internal national and border conflict, ethnic Ethiopian women can often face pronounced stress under forced relocation, personal contact with unwanted violence including domestic abuse and rape, and discriminatory conditions for their family and children. These deteriorating conditions can also cause destabilization under food insecurity with greater malnutrition.

Increasing land grabs also play an integral part in high levels of stress for women who normally want to live with their family in peace without struggle. But corruption in leadership levels inside Ethiopia are encouraging land acquisitions that ignores the needs of families who have lived on the same land for centuries.

As Ethiopia’s high level business interests continue to be strongly affected by insider deals, under both local and global politics, the way back to peace is becoming more complex and more difficult.

Even foreign government advocacy agencies like the World Bank, DFID, as well as members of the European Union, have suffered from ongoing accusations of political pandering and corrupt practices with large based business interests inside Ethiopia.

With the new release of the film ‘Dead Donkeys / Fear No Hyenas’, by Swedish film director Joakim Demmer, the global public eye is now beginning to open wide in understanding how land grab corruption works throughout the regions of East Africa. Outlining an excruciating story that took seven years to complete, the film is working to expand its audience with an April 2017 Kickstarter campaign.

“Dead Donkeys / Fear No Hyenas was triggered by a seemingly trivial scene at the airport in Addis Ababa, six years back. Waiting for my flight late at night, I happened to see some tired workers at the tarmac who were loading food products on an airplane destined for Europe. At the same time, another team was busy unloading sacks with food aid from a second plane. It took some time to realize the real meaning of it – that this famine struck country, where millions are dependent on food aid, is actually exporting food to the western world,” outlined film director Demmer.

It’s no wonder that anger has spread among Ethiopia’s ethnic farming region.

“The anger also came over the ignorance, cynicism and sometimes pure stupidity of international societies like the EU, DFID, World Bank etc., whose intentions might mostly be good, but in this case, ends up supporting a dictatorship and a disastrous development with our tax money, instead of helping the people…,” adds Demmer during his recent crowdfunding campaign.

“What I found was that lives were being destroyed,” said Demmer in a March 28, 2017 interview with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. “I discovered that the World Bank and other development institutions, financed by tax money, were contributing to these developments in the region. I was ashamed, also ashamed that European and American companies were involved in this.”

“Yes. And yes again,” concurred Atsede in her discussion with me as we talked in person together about big money, vested interests and U.S. investors inside Ethiopia, including other interests coming from the UK, China, Canada, and more.

As regional farmers are pushed from generational land against their will, in what has been expressed as “long term and hard to understand foreign leasing agreements,” ongoing street protests have met numerous acts of severe and lethal violence from government sanctioned security officers.

Ironically some U.S. foreign oil investments in the region vamped up their purchasing with land deals as former U.S. State Department Deputy Secretary Antony Blinken showed approval of the Dijbouti-Ethiopia pipeline project during a press meeting in Ethiopia in February 2016.

As anger among the region’s ethnic population expands, Ethiopia leadership has opted to run its government with a four month April 2017 extension announced as a “State of Emergency” by President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu.

“How long can Ethiopia’s State of Emergency keep the lid on anger?” asks a recent headline in the Guardian News. Land rights, land grabs and the growing anger of the Oromo people is not predicted to stop anytime soon.

The ongoing situation could cost additional lives and heightened violence say numerous human rights and land rights experts.

“The government needs to rein in the security forces, free anyone being held wrongfully, and hold accountable soldiers and police who used excessive force,” outlined Human Rights Watch Deputy Regional Africa Director Leslie Lefko in a HRW report on the situation.

“How can you breathe if you aren’t able to say what you want to say,” echoed Atsede Kazachew. “Instead you get killed.”

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For over a decade United Nations panelist and human rights journalist Lys Anzia has reported news covering the latest on-the-ground conditions for global women. Her written and editing work has appeared on numerous publications including Truthout, Women’s Media Center, CURRENT TV, ReliefWeb, UNESCO, World Bank Publications, Alternet, UN Women, Vital Voices, Huffington Post World, The Guardian News Development Network and Thomson Reuters Foundation Trustlaw, among others. Anzia is also founder of Women News Network (WNN). To see more about global women and news check out and follow @womenadvocates on Twitter.

KP: Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles: Is the crime in Darfur being replicated in Oromia regional state of Ethiopia? April 10, 2017

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Is the crime in Darfur being replicated in Oromia regional state of Ethiopia?
It is saddening to witness repetitions of similar tragic events in history. Recurrences of such dreadful events can even sound farcical when they happen in a very short span of both time and space. This is exactly what is currently happening in the Horn of Africa.  It is barely over a decade since the height of the Darfur genocide.  One would hope that the international community has been well informed to avoid repetition of Darfur like tragedy anywhere in the world.  However, it is depressing to observe that the Darfur crisis is in the process of being replicated in Ethiopia.
In this piece, I will explain how the scale of the crisis unfolding in Ethiopia’s Eastern and Southern regions (and those brewing up in other regions) can have a potential to dwarf the Darfur crisis.  The Janjaweed militia (in the case of Sudan) and the so-called Liyyu police (in the case of Ethiopia) are the catalysts for the crisis in their respective regions. For this reason, I will focus my analysis on explaining missions and functions of these two proxy militias.
Sudan’s Janjaweed – Devils on Horseback
In order to draw a parallel between the Darfur and Eastern Oromia, it would prove useful to recap the Janjaweed story.  Janjaweed literally means devils on horseback presumably because the Janjaweed often arrived riding horses while raiding and wreaking havoc in villages belonging to non-Arab ethnic groups. The origin of Janjaweed is rooted in a long established traditional conflict primarily over natural resources such as grazing rights and water control among the nomadic Arabized and the sedentary non-Arabized ethnic groups in Chad and Sudan. The Janjaweed militia were initially created as a pan-Arab Legion by the late Mohammed Gadafi in 1972 to tilt power balance in favor of the Arabized people of the region.  The key point to note here is that the origin of the Janjaweed as well as the conflict between Arabized and non-Arabized people in the region long predates the Darfur crisis which started in 2003.
The beginning of the Darfur crisis signified a confluence of the traditional conflict between ethnic groups with another strand of conflict in the region – the wider conflict between Sudanese national army and regional liberation movements, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army. The latter was still fighting to liberate what has now become South Sudan. In 2003, the government of Sudan encountered setbacks in its military operations against JEM and SPLA. In its desperate attempt to overcome failures in military front and also cover up for its planned ethnic cleansing in Darfur, the Al-Bashir government applied divide and rule tactic, thereby merging the two strands of the conflicts into one.  This was accomplished by organizing, training, arming and providing all necessary logistical support to the Janjaweed militia of the Arabized ethnic group in Darfur.  This was how Al-Bashir’s government has engineered ethnic cleansing and undertaken genocide in Darfur with a brutal efficiency, using the Janjaweed as a proxy militia group.  The number of people killed in Darfur was estimated to range between 178,000 to 462,000. Human rights groups have documented staggering number of rapes and mass evictions and destructions of livelihoods of millions of people in the region.
Ethiopia’s Liyyu Police – Devils on Armored Vehicles
“Liyyu” is an Amharic expression to mean “special”, so Liyyu police denotes a “special police”.  If the Janjaweed are devils on horseback, then Liyyu police can be described as demons maneuvering armored vehicles.  It is instructive to examine why, where, and when the regime in Addis Abeba has created Liyyu police.
The Liyyu police was created in 2008 in the Somali People’s Regional State of the ethnically constituted federal government of Ethiopia.  It is important to note that like any other regional state, the Somali Regional State (SRS henceforth) has a regular police force of its own.  But why was a special police required only for SRS?
The key point is to recognize that Liyyu police is nothing but only a variant of the usual proxy politics that has riddled Ethiopia’s political affair during the ruling EPRDF era.  This special force has no separate existence and no life of its own as such but it is just a proxy militia purposely created to cover up for human right abuses that was being perpetrated by Ethiopia’s National Defense Force (ENDF) but also planned to be intensified in its battles against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).
The armed wing of ONLF, the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA), has been engaged in armed conflict with ENDF for many years. This conflict reached a turning point in April 2007, when the ONLA raided an oil field and killed 74 ENDF soldiers and nine Chinese engineers.  This was followed by frequent clashes between ONLA and ENDF. The conflicts have led to gross human rights violations in the region at a scale unheard before. In its report of early 2008, the Human Rights Watch accused the ENDF for committing summary executions, torture, and rape in Ogaden and has called for donors to take necessary measures to stop crimes against humanity.
In an article entitled “Talking Peace in the Ogaden: The search for an end to conflict in the Somali Regional State (SRS) in Ethiopia”, author Tobias Hagmann observes that the creation of Liyyu police is essentially “indigenization of confrontation”.  In other words, the government in Ethiopia established Liyyu police to create a façade that human rights violations in Ogaden and its neighboring regional state are “local conflicts”. This was done pretty much in similar fashion with Sudanese government that resorted to countering freedom fighters in Darfur through the Janjaweed militia.  However, unlike the Janjaweed which were already in place, the government in Ethiopia had to assemble the Liyyu police from scratch, applying doggy recruitment methods, including giving prisoners the choice between joining Liyyu police or remaining in jail. The founder and leader of Liyyu Police was none other than the current President of SRS, Abdi Mohammed Omar, known as “Abdi Illey”, who was security chief at the time.
The size of Liyyu militia is estimated to have grown considerably over the years, currently standing at approximately around 42,000. However, any debate over the size of Liyyu police is essentially a superfluous argument, given that there is a very blurred line between ENDF and Liyyu police.  After all, it requires an expert eye to distinguish between the military fatigues of the two groups. It has been proven time and again that ENDF soldiers often get engaged in military actions disguised as Liyyu police by simply changing their military uniform to that of Liyyu police. In fact, it is a misnomer to consider Liyyu police as a unit separately operating with different military command structure within the Ogaden region.  For all intent and purposes, if we ignore niceties, the Liyyu police is a battalion of Ethiopia’s army operating in the region.
Fomenting Inter-Ethnic Conflict
Liyyu police is a special force with a dual purpose.  The first purpose has already highlighted Liyyu as a camouflage for atrocities being committed by ENDF in the SRS, to relegate such atrocities to a “local affair”, as if it is internal conflict between Somalis themselves.
Liyyu’s second purpose is to aggravate the already existing traditional conflicts between Somalis and Oromos over pasture and water resources.  ONLA in Ogaden and Oromo Liberation Army, OLA (the military wing of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front – OLF) have frustrated the Ethiopian army for decades.  While OLA has had support all over Oromia, it has traditionally been most active in Eastern and Southern Oromia – Oromia’s districts bordering with the SRS.
Therefore, the EPRDF government realized that it could ride on existing traditional conflicts through a proxy militia to fight two liberation fronts. This was carbon copy of how things were done in Darfur, indicating how dictators learn from each other. Except that the EPRDF had to create Liyyu police from scratch, it acted in similar fashion with the way the Bashir government used the Janjaweed militia in Darfur.
Oromo and Somali herdsmen have traditionally clashed over grazing and water resources but such conflicts have always short-lived due to effective conflict resolution mechanisms practiced by local elders on both sides. These conflict resolution systems have evolved over centuries of peaceful coexistence between the two communities. The EPRDF government’s divide and rule strategy has long targeted to change this equilibrium, and exploit the existing conflict to its advantage.
Conflicts have traditionally arisen when herds arrived at water holes, leading to confrontations as to whose cattle get served first, essentially a conflict over “resource use”, rather than “resource ownership”. Conflicts flare up often among the youth but they were immediately put under control by the elders. Besides, each side are equally equipped with simple tools such as traditional sticks or simple ammunitions, so there has always been power equilibrium.  But the regime sought an effective means of aggravating these conflicts by transforming them in to a permanent one.
Such manipulation of the situation was done essentially in two ways.  First, supplying deadly modern military equipment, training and military logistics to Liyyu police, thereby destabilizing the existing power balance. Second, and critically, by changing the nature of the conflict from “use rights” to “ownership” of the resource itself.  The conflicts were engineered to be elevated from clashes between individual members of communities to that between Somali and Oromo people at a higher scale.
The seeds for conflicts were sown in the process of redrawing borders along adjacent districts of the Somali and Oromia regional states. In this process, the number of contested Kebeles, the lowest administrative units in Ethiopia, were made to suddenly proliferate.  Over a decade ago, the number of such contested kebeles already escalated to well over 400. In order to resolve disputes between the two regional states, a referendum was held in October 2004 in 420 kebeles along 12 districts or five zones of the Somali Region. The outcome of the referendum was that Oromia won 80% of the disputed kebeles and SRS won the remaining kebeles.  Critically, regardless of the outcome, severe damage was already done to durable good-will in community relationships due to purposeful manipulation of the process by the regime in Addis Abeba before, during and after the referendum.
Once the referendum results were known, all the dark forces bent on divide and rule needed to do was to nudge the Somalis to claim that the vote were rigged during the referendum and hence they should aim to get their territory back by other means, that is to say by force and the Liyyu police was created to do the job.
Since it came into existence, Liyyu’s operations have often overlapped but with varying degrees of intensities across its dual-purposes.  During its first phase, Liyyu police focused on operations within Somali region. These operations had much less to do with fighting ONLA but raiding villages and drying up popular support base of the ONLF, in the process committing gross human rights violations at a massive scale. Human rights organizations have widely documented arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, rapes, tortures and ill-treatment of detainees in the region.
Over the years, however, Liyyu’s operations have increasingly focused on the second pillar of the proxy militia’s mission – cross border raids into Oromia.  However, Liyyu’s frequent raids into Oromia have not received enough attention from human rights organizations and hence atrocities committed by this proxy militia on Oromo communities over a decade or so has not been well documented.  The authorities in Addis Abeba, who have purposefully sown seeds of conflict to aggravate traditional clashes, have often deliberately misreported Liyyu Police raids as “the usual fights” between Oromo and Somali herdsmen but nothing could be further from the truth.
In a desperate attempt to gain popular support from the Somali people, the Liyyu police military adventures have been conducted in the name of regaining territory the SRS lost to Oromia during the referendum of 2004.  The evidence one could adduce for this is that every time Liyyu Police encroached into Oromia and occupied a village, they would immediately hoist the Somali flag as a sign of declaring that territorial gains.  The proxy militia has done so after attacking and killing large number of civilians and displacing thousands of households in numerous districts in Eastern Oromia: Qumbi, Mayu Mulluqe, Goohaa, Seelaa Jaajoo, Miinoo. Liyyu Police overrun the town of Moyale in Southern Oromia resulting in the death of dozens of people and forcing tens of thousands to flee to Kenya. It was reported that during an attack on Moyale town in Southern Oromia “the 4th army division [of ENDF] stationed just two miles outside the town center watched silently as the militia overrun the police station and ransacked the town. Then the militia was allowed safe passage to retreat after looting and burning the town while administrators of the Borana province who protested against the army complacency were thrown to jail.”
Alliances and Counter-Alliances
The Oromo Peaceful protests erupted on 12th November 2015 and then engulfed the nation, spreading to all corners of Oromia like a forest fire.  Oromo Protests ignited Amhara resistance, and then ended up with Oromo-Amhara alliance.  It became commonplace to see solidarity slogans on placards carried by protestors both in Amhara and Oromia. It should be noted that Oromo and Amhara population constitute well over two-third of Ethiopia’s population. It was historical acrimony and rivalry between these two dominant ethnic groups which provided a fertile ground for the divide and rule strategy so intensely practiced by the current regime which is dominated by the TPLF, the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front. The Tigre ethnic group account for less than 6% of Ethiopia’s population.
The Oromo-Amhara solidarity sent shock waves among the Tigrean ruling elites.  The Oromo Protest, Amhara Resistance and other popular protests elsewhere in Ethiopia exposed the fake nature of the coalition in the ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRDF). It has always been an open secret that EPRDF essentially means TPLF (the Tigrean People Liberation Front). The remaining parties, especially the OPDO (Oromo People’s Democratic Party) was cobbled up in haste from prisoners of war when TPLF was approaching Addis Abeba to control power by ousting the military junta back in 1991. However, even the so-called OPDO – lately joined by the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) – felt empowered by the popular protests in their respective regions sending a clear sign that TPLF was about to be left naked with its garbs removed.
Now that the Tigreans realized that they cannot reply on dividing Oromo and Amhara any more, they resorted to another variant of divide and rule – fostering alliance between minorities to withstand the impending solidarity between the two majority ethnic groups. This strategic shift was elucidated by two most senior TPLF veterans, Abay Tsehaye and Seyoum Mesfin, in their two-part interview conducted (in Amharic) with the government affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation. The TPLF-dominated-EPRD’s new strategy was to present the Oromo-Amhara coalition as a threat to the minority ethnic groups, such as Tigre and Somali.  The regime has already experimented pitting minority against majority at different scales: Tigreans against the rest of Ethiopians at national scale, Somali against Oromo at regional scale, and many more similar fabricated divisions at regional and local levels in many communities across Ethiopia.  What is new is the fact that these two relatively separate strands are explicitly brought together and extensively implemented at national scale.
In addition to the interview cited above, one can adduce more evidences to illustrate the new machination by the Tigre and Somali political and security alliance.  For instance, there was an incidence in which Amhara popular uprising caused some ethnic Tigreans to get relocated from the Amhara regional state. What happened next raised eyebrows of many observers: Abdi Mohamoud Omar, SRS President who rules his people with iron fist, declared his cabinet’s endorsement to “donate 10 million birr for displaced innocent Ethiopian people [Tigreans] from Gondar & Bahir Dar cities of the Amhara regional state”.
Further evidence regarding the maneuvering of minority alliance with deadly intent comes from Aigaforum, a TPLF mouthpiece. In an article entitled “Liyyu Police: The Savior”, the website came up with the following jumbled up assertion: “they [Liyyu Police] are from the people and for the people of Somali region; to protect the honor and dignity of their own people and overall Security of the region, and Ethiopia at large. This special force has a mandate primarily to protect the people of [the] region, to secure and stabilize the aged conflict in Somali region of Ethiopia.  This Special force is not like a tribal militia from any specific clan or sub-clan in the region, rather they are holistic and governmental arms —who are well screened, registered and recruited from kebeles and woredas and trained [as per the] standards [of] Ethiopian military training package and armed with modern military equipment. Besides being regional state special forces; they are part and parcel of Ethiopian arm[y].”
In an overzealous effort to glorify the devilish proxy militia, aigaforum inadvertently exposes TPLF by admitting that actually Liyyu Police is part and parcel of the national army, a fact the TPLF politicians have never admitted in public.
Towards full-scale atrocity?
The alliance between Tigre elites and Abdi Mohammed Omar’s cabinet got manifested in the transformation of Liyyu police’s mission from sporadic military excursions to full scale invasion of Oromia. This started by deploying Liyyu police in Oromia to attack and disburse peaceful protestors. For instance, based on eye witness accounts Land-info reported that starting from January 2016 Liyu Police was being used against Oromo demonstrators in many locations, including in Dire Dawa and Bededo.
By the third quarter of 2016, popular protests did not only intensify but literally covered most parts of the country.  However, protests that were inherently peaceful were transformed into confrontations between the protestors and the security forces because the latter have already mowed down the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians during the previous months.  In a desperate attempt to hang onto power, the TPLF dominated regime enacted a State of Emergency (SoE) on October 8, 2016.
An essential component of the SoE is securitization of many regions and transport corridors in Ethiopia.   Particularly, Oromia, the birth place of the latest popular protest, was literally converted into a “high security prison” and Oromos were effectively “put under house arrest”.  Oromia’s regional government was made redundant, being replaced at all levels by Military Command Posts, a form of local and regional government by a committee of armed officers. This was exactly the way it has been for the most part of the previous two decades except that the SoE signaled a temporary move to direct control by the military, abandoning the all too familiar indirect controls through puppet civilian parties such as OPDO.
Soon after the SoE was enacted, Abdi Illey declared an all-out war and the Liyyu Police was unleashed on all fronts along the Oromia and SRS boundary, stretching over a total of close to 1200 km. According to information from the Oromia Regional State, the 14 districts affected in the latest wave of Liyyu Police invasion are: Qumbi, Cinaksan, Midhaga Tola, Gursum, Mayu Muluqe and Babile in East Hararghe; Bordode in West Hararghe; Dawe Sarar, Sawena, Mada Walabu and Rayitu in Bale; Gumi Eldelo and Liban in Guji; and Moyale in Borana.  It is highly significant to note that there is at least 500 km “as the-crow-flies” distance between Qumbi (extreme North East) and Moyale (extreme South West).  Therefore, the sheer number of districts affected, the physical distances between them, and the simultaneous attacks at all fronts indicate that Liyyu’s latest invasion of Oromia is a highly sophisticated and coordinated military adventure which can only be understood as planned by the TPLF-dominated regime’s military central command.
The SoE was enacted with explicit intention of laying information blackout all over Ethiopia, particularly in the highly securitized Oromia Regional State.   For this reason, it is difficult to obtain reliable estimates on victims of Liyyu’s invasion of Oromia.  Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been receiving reports that dozens of casualties have been, including many civilians in Oromia but “[R]estrictions on access have made it difficult to corroborate details.” Locals indicate that Liyyu police have so far killed large numbers of civilians.  Oromo civilians have given up with the hope of getting any meaningful protection from ENDF, given that by now it has become an open secret that the latter is complicit in the invasion.  Consequently, in a desperate act of survival, Oromos have organized a civilian defense force.  Based on incidents of confrontation between Liyyu Police and Oromo civilian defense force around 23rd February 2017 in Southern Oromia, the Human Rights League for Horn of Africa (HRLHA) reported about 500 people were killed, over 200 injured.  If so much destruction has happened in a few days and few districts, then it is possible to imagine that wanton destructions must have been happening during several months of Liyyu police’s occupation in all districts across the long stretch along the Oromia-Somali region boundaries.  Opride, an online media, reported: “Mothers and young girls have been gang raped, according to one Mayu resident, who spoke to OPride by phone. He said the attacking Liyu Police were fully armed and they moved about in armored vehicles brandishing machine guns and other heavy weapons. They stole cattle, goats, camels and other properties.”
Publicity and Accountability
When it comes to publicity and awareness, Darfur and Eastern Oromia can only be contrasted.  Although it did not lead to avoiding large-scale atrocities, the international community got involved in the case of Darfur at much early stage of the crisis.  On the contrary, it is well over a decade now since Abdi Illey’s Liyyu police began rampaging in Ogaden as well as Oromia but the international community has chosen to turn a blind eye to the regional crisis, which has gained momentum and now nearly getting out of control.
Perhaps the reason gross human rights violations by Liyyu Police has been ignored or tolerated by the international community lies in the fact that some donors have been directly implicated in financing and supporting the paramilitary group. For instance, the British Press has repeatedly accused DFID for wasting UK tax payer money on providing training to the Somali Liyyu Police.  Similarly, there are evidences to suggest that the notorious proxy militia has also been funded by the US government.  It is no wonder then that the UK, US, and the rest of the international community have ignored for so long the unruly Liyyu Police’s military adventures in Ogaden and Oromia.
Last week, the HRW released a report entitled Ethiopia: No Justice in Somali Region Killings. This report is timely in raising awareness of the general public as well as drawing the attention of authorities in the UK and the US, who are most directly implicated with financing the militia group.  However, I would hasten to add that what has been lacking is the political will to act and curb the activities of Liyuu police.  Starting from 2008 the HRW has released numerous similar reports but this did not stop the atrocities the paramilitary group is committing from escalating over the years.
The HRW’s report asserting that “Paramilitary Force Killed 21, Detained Dozens, in June 2016”, indicates that the report is anchored on an incident that happened in SRS about ten months ago.  Although the focus of the report was on the particular incident in SRS, it has also highlighted Liyyu Police’s latest atrocities in Oromia.  As indicated in the report, the SoE related movement restrictions means the HRW had to release the report on the incidence in SRS with ten months delay.  Clearly, HRW and other human rights organizations could not undertake any meaningful independent assessment on the damages caused by the latest invasion into Oromia.  The point here is that while HRW has been grabbling with conducting inquiries into a case in which dozens of people were killed or detained in SRS in mid-2016, Liyyu police has killed and abducted hundreds in Oromia since the start of 2017.
The TPLF dominated EPRDF regime in Addis Abeba has long started sowing the seeds of divide and rule strategy coupled with deliberate acts of fomenting conflicts between different communities.  The motivation is pretty clear –it is an act of survival, a minority rule can sustain itself only if it turned other ethnic groups against each other.  The case of Liyyu Police and its latest invasion of Oromia fits into that scheme.
If not addressed timely and decisively, Liyyu Police’s invasion of Oromia has a potential to turn into a full-blown atrocities that is likely to dwarf what happened in Darfur. Clearly, the tell-tale signs are already in place. Genocide Watch, the international alliance to end genocide, states that “Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility (the Janjaweed in Darfur.) Sometimes organization is informal (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants) or decentralized (terrorist groups.) Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Plans are made for genocidal killings.”
In Ethiopia, this situation on the ground is rapidly changing and it requires an urgent response from the international community.
By J. Bonsa (PhD)

Realeted:-

press-statement-on-oromo-massacre-by-ogaden-liyu-militia-final-feb-02-2017-issued-by-sidama-national-liberation-front-snlf-executive-committee

IRIN: Analysis: Ethiopia extends emergency as old antagonisms fester April 9, 2017

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Ethiopia extends emergency as old antagonisms fester

James Jeffrey,  IRIN, 3 April 207


The Ethiopian government has extended a nationwide state of emergency for four months, hailing it as successful in restoring stability after almost a year of popular protests and crackdowns that cost hundreds of lives.