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The media’s crisis on Ethiopia August 4, 2020

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The media’s crisis on Ethiopia

BYAyantu Ayana, Africa Is a Country

Western media coverage of Ethiopia’s political crisis turns a blind eye to the grassroots movement behind the protests.

Image credit Carsten ten Brink via Flickr CC.

Ethiopia is facing a turbulent political period of unrest ignited by the shooting death on June 29 of a beloved and iconic Oromo musician and activist, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. Assassinated in the capital, Addis Ababa, Haacaaluu played a pivotal role providing inspiration and vision for the youth movement in 2014-2018 that forced a peaceful change at the top of Ethiopia’s ruling party in 2018.

In April 2018 in an internal party election of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Hailemariam Desalegn was succeeded by Abiy Ahmed. The latter embarked on a reform process which was supposed to address contradictions exposed within Ethiopian society and politics by the protests, especially the need for domestic economic reforms and breathing life into the federal character of the Ethiopian state. Abiy has since dismantled the EPRDF and formed a unitary party, the Prosperity Party (PP).

The news of Haacaaluu’s death shook a country already despairing of a smooth transition to democracy. It touched off widespread grassroots protests in the Oromia region, the largest and most populous of Ethiopia’s 10 federal states. Police responded with a brutal crackdown starting with firing live ammunition into crowds of mourners. Immediately a sweep of Oromo individuals and institutions followed. At the time of writing more than 300 people have been killed, many more injured by security forces in the aftermath of the assassination. Three weeks ago, government sources reported that more than 7,000 people have been detained. Although updated figures have since not been released, detention rates remain high and schools emptied by COVID-19 are now prisons.

The first taken were well-known opposition leaders Bekele Gerba and Jawar Mohammed, along with 35 others. Jawar’s arrest was particularly dramatic because, despite his stated skepticism, he was considered an early ally of Abiy. The next day after Jawar’s arrest, police ransacked and closed the Oromia Media Network (OMN), a popular alternative to government-controlled sources of information for millions of people in Afaan Oromo, a language spoken by about half of the country’s population. The OMN was established in 2013 by journalists and activists living abroad, and Jawar became its second Executive Director in the US. After Abiy became a prime minister, Jawar returned to Ethiopia.

Unfortunately, international English language media coverage of the unfolding crisis in Ethiopia has presented a single, incomplete narrative to explain the conflict. Major news outlets, such as Associated Press, Washington Post, and WSJ represented the crisis by attributing it to “ethnic” tension, using terms such as “violent mobs” and “vandalism.” Some outlets insinuate that the current catastrophe is a byproduct of the country’s “ethnic federal system.” TIME conspicuously implicated the country’s constitution because it “divides Ethiopia into ethnically based territories.”

In Ethiopia’s existing political landscape, a fraction of the approximately 20% of the population who are urban elites blame the constitution for the current tensions and want to dismantle the components that protect the rights of named regional states. They want the resource base to be treated as a centrally controlled asset they can exploit.  The model of multinational federalism created regional states from national/linguistic/cultural groups as semi-autonomous entities to cooperate in federal arrangement. This decision was the result of long resistance to autocratic centralized military rule. It retains a strong support among rural producers (at least 80% of the population).  They want rights to develop the lands they consider their birthright and to protect them from unsustainable development by urban elites controlled from Addis Ababa. Yet mainstream media coverage presumes that nationality-based territories protected in the constitution contribute to the unrest rather than provide a solution.

Ethiopia is on the brink of chaos, perhaps even at great risk for a devastating civil war, primarily due to Abiy’s attempts to subvert the existing constitutional arrangement. Most Ethiopians do not support the imposition of further centralization from Addis Ababa. By turning a blind eye to the mounting grassroots resistance, media coverage fails to provide the kind of complete picture or balance necessary to understand the crisis.

Media coverage of Ethiopia needs to acknowledge those who support the sort of regional state autonomy based on linguistic/cultural groups that is enshrined as “multinational federalism” in the Ethiopian constitution of 1995.  When Abiy stepped into the political opening created by the youth resistance, he explicitly promised to deliver the transition to democracy via free and fair elections that the previous regime had failed to deliver. The US, the EU, and other international bodies accepted and praised him for his commitment to democratic transition.

However, the basic demands of the grassroots movement have been deliberately dismissed. The marginalized groups are again disappointed.  Furthermore, Abiy has commanded an active campaign to delegitimize the peaceful protests and the youth who led them. His government encourages the maligning, denigrating, and targeting of Oromo youth categorically. Over the last two years and increasingly in the aftermath of the assassination, state media have continuously referred to them as “violent,” “hate-driven,” and violent mobs driving “inter-ethnic” conflict. They are now being scapegoated for the recent unrest. Both domestic and international media outlets have magnified this narrative.

With Abiy’s about-face, the glimmer of hope, presented by what was to be a transformative transition to participatory democracy, has now flickered and disappeared. In fact, while urging the youth movement and Oromo leaders to “give him time,” the prime minister has taken giant steps away from democratization.

Over the last year and half, while virtually all media reporting on Ethiopia centered around vanity projects which placed the Prime Minister in the limelight, his government has imposed a state of emergency and military command with severe restrictions on citizens in parts of Oromia where his policies enjoy little or no support. Forces under his direct control carry out extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, house burnings, displacement, and other human rights abuses in these dissident areas as documented by human rights groups such as Amnesty International.

Media reporting has missed how Abiy’s persistent steps have subverted the goals of the grassroots movement. In October 2019, for example, Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize, winning laudatory media coverage. He also dramatically acted to dismantle the ruling coalition party, EPRDF, which provided the underpinning to multinational federalism. In an affront to the spirit of federalism he announced the creation of a single national party.

This move was universally unpopular with the youth movement as a betrayal of the promises of democracy. The ensuing region-wide youth demonstrations, in which 86 people died, were blamed on Jawar, noting his large following among the youth. He had spoken out publicly against Abiy’s political move against federalism by forming a single party. But media reports, and even human rights groups, missed this wider context of youth vexation over Abiy’s betrayal.

Remarkably, people managed to hang onto hope as they anticipated elections. A key to that constant reminder of hope was the music of Haacaaluu on everyone’s playlist, singing about what was possible if they peacefully harnessed their energy and looked to a future of unity. He embodied the grassroots. He himself had urged the youth to be patient with Abiy and to wait for him to get them to elections so that they could realize their desire to transition into a decentralized (multinational) federal system.

Haacaaluu’s assassination removed a safeguard against despair, not only for Oromo, but for other people brought forcibly into Ethiopia and marginalized thereafter. They all anticipated a change away from oppressive economic, political, and cultural structures.

Abiy’s return to authoritarian rule has re-ignited the #OromoProtests movement. His brutal response in suppressing the protests threatens to destabilize the country and the region. Yet the media claim that Abiy has “transcended” ethnic politics, missing many complexities, including a rise in incendiary historical narratives coming from his office and amplified on state and establishment media that pits national groups against each other. Following the assassination, media coverage has missed the scale and motivations for the ongoing government crackdown against anyone who does not agree with Abiy’s agenda. Journalists have presented simplistic narratives that suggest a personal conflict between Abiy and Jawar, reducing an extremely complex story involving much of the grassroots, who are entirely erased from coverage. By including the view from the grassroots, media outlets can deliver a more complete and balanced account of this volatile and fragile moment in Ethiopia.

UNPO: Oromo: Dr Geleta’s Daughter Calls for Urgent Support of the German Government July 24, 2020

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Jul 23, 2020

Oromo: Dr Geleta’s Daughter Calls for Urgent Support of the German Government


In a letter addressed to the German government, Bonsitu Shigut, the daughter of Dr Shigut Geleta – Chair of the OLF and UNPO Presidency Member – has asked for urgent international support to end the arbitrary arrest of her father. Dr Geleta has been jailed by Ethiopian security forces without a court order or warrant by Ethiopian federal security force on 3 July 2020 in Addis Ababa. Since then, his family has not been able to determine his whereabouts and has no information about his well-being. This was his second imprisonment in which the arresting officers did not have a warrant.

Bonsitu highlighted that her father has been working hard to foster a strong cooperation with a multitude of other oppressed ethnic groups in Ethiopia while also actively engaging with many notable human rights organisations. “Since his return to Ethiopia, my father has dedicated his efforts exclusively to peaceful and democratically motivated causes. Despite all of this, he was arrested without a court order or warrant”. Bonsitu’s letter recalls that Dr Geleta requires daily medication, without which his health condition in prison could deteriorate quickly.

Below is a letter signed by Ms Bonsitu Shigut

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is Bonsitu Shigut. I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and moved to Germany with my family when I was seven months old. I am a German citizen; I have completed my secondary school and university education in Germany, and currently I am working and reside in Munich, Bavaria. I am writing you this letter to act your part  for the release of my father, Dr. Shigut Geleta, member of the OLF, who was arrested unlawfully by the Ethiopian security forces on 03.07.20.

After assassination of the prominent Oromo singer Hacaaluu Hundessa on 29.06.20, massive protests broke out throughout the country. The Ethiopian security forces were unable to contain the people’s anger despite the widespread unlawful imprisonment of innocent individuals and mass killings. 

My father had been jailed previously, in February 2020 he was arrested without a court order or warrant by Ethiopian federal security forces. This episode is his second round of imprisonments (Friday, 03.07.20 during the evening hours he was taken away from his home by the security forces), the process of imprisonments happened as previous one without court order or warrant. Despite intensive actions of searching to determine whereabouts (embassy, security forces, his organizations…). I Myself and other family members have been unable to determine the place of his detention.

Due to his medical condition (daily medication use) me as his daughter and other family members are devastated by all the process. Our daily question was did he get his medication daily? How is it his physical condition? How is it his emotional status? ….My father has been an active member of the Oromo Liberation Front for a long time, and has been in charge of all diplomatic matters for the organizations internally and externally. In September 2018, when the Oromo Liberation Front returned back to Ethiopia it was primarily to focus on the federal elections through democratic process and peaceful manner, originally planned for late 2020.

It has always been the OLF’s conviction that democratic elections will only be realized in a healthy political environment that allows peaceful collaboration with other political parties and the incumbent administration. Therefore, the organization has always made it clear that it does not condone any form of violence and has distanced itself from those to believe otherwise. With its return, the OLF intentionally sought out a peaceful path into Ethiopian democracy. As a result, my father Dr. Shigut Geleta has worked hard to foster a strong cooperation with a multitude of other oppressed ethnic groups in Ethiopia while also actively engaging with many notable human rights organisations.

His objective has been to establish the foundations that will eventually lead the Oromo people into a free and democratic future. Since his return to Ethiopia, my father has dedicated his efforts exclusively to peaceful and democratically motivated causes. Despite all of this, he was arrested without a court order or warrant. I am worrying  for the safety of my father due to the blatant aggression and cruelty security forces have exhibited towards innocent civilians, and the rapidly rising death toll in the country. Ethiopia’s terrible record of human rights violations and the torture of detainees and prisoners is widely known.

We, the family of Dr. Geleta, have been unable to obtain any information about where he has been detained and what condition he is in. His daily medication need is also another independent factor of humanity. For us, Dr. Shigut Geleta is not merely an innocent member of the OLF, but a beloved husband and father first. We fear that the dictatorial administration of Dr. Abiy Ahmed poses an immediate threat to his life and us, the family, call on you to stand with us and to demand the immediate release of my father Dr. Shigut Geleta, a German citizen.

Sincerely,

Bonsitu Shigut

#OromoProtests 2020 peacefully solidarity rally in London 17 July 202 July 17, 2020

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Oromia (Ethiopia): The Violence in Oromia is Violence against Oromos: It is not Violence by Oromos. July 13, 2020

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The Violence in Oromia is Violence against Oromos: It is not Violence by Oromos.

By Dr. Barii Ayano

1. It is a known fact that there is ongoing violence in Oromia, and hundreds of people have been killed and many more were wounded. According to the PP regime, the death toll is 239. Other sources claim the regime’s figure underestimates the number of the victims. State violence is being committed every day and innocent Oromos getting killed every day. 2. The overwhelming majority of the victims are Oromos. The armed mercenaries of the PP regime are still killing Oromos every day. Thus, the Oromos are protesting across the world against the mass murder and mass arrests of Oromos civilians in different parts of Oromia. Of course, the state sponsored murderers’ victims include non-Oromos living in Oromia. But they should be counted as the only victims of violence in Oromia. Oromo victims are not counted by chauvinists. 3. The regime confirms the death of civilians in Oromia, but it is branding the victims as mainly non-Oromos living in Oromia for political expedience. The chauvinist elites and their media are also propagating the same conspiracy theory. They want to frame the crisis in Oromia as the violence committed by Oromos against others, which is completely false. The chauvinists did the same thing during the crisis that ensued after the assassination attempt on Jawar. Abiy Ahmed discredited such claim by coming out with the breakdown of the data of the victims, which proved to be most of the victims were Oromos. The current violence is not different, but Abiy is blaming Oromos, and he is on board with chauvinists. 4. Oromos have been disarmed in different of Oromia for decades. The TPLF-led EPRDF regime disarmed Oromos numerous times. Abiy Ahmed led regime did the same, and the new regime even went as far as banning agricultural tools in Hararghe. Simply put, Oromos are disarmed. They don’t have guns to commit large scale gun violence. The murders in Oromia are being committed by the mercenaries of the PP regime and the chauvinists themselves. Chauvinists in Oromia are armed to their teeth. They have been arming themselves, particularly during the last 2 years. It was almost daily news to witness the confiscations of illegal arms and ammunitions being delivered to Addis Ababa and other parts of Oromia. Oromia Police even discovered large quantities guns and ammunitions hoarded in Orthodox Churches in several parts of Oromia. The chauvinists in Oromia have the capacity to commit large scale murders using gun violence. 5. Oromos need to strongly fight the agenda of Abiy Ahmed and chauvinists that try to brand violence against Oromos as violence committed by Oromos. As it did before, the regime won’t release the ethnic breakdown of the victims now since it has the agenda to tarnish the image of Oromos. We need to gather information and debunk the false claims of the regime and its chauvinist supporters. Simply put, the Oromos are most of the victims of state violence and violence by armed chauvinists. When it comes to the properties damaged, Oromos also suffered the consequences. I think the PP regime’s cadres and security agents might have their hands in damaging properties. They are preparing documentaries to blame it on the Oromos now. They were designing this scheme before it occurred. The PP regime and its chauvinist supporters had streamlined plans of what to do after they got Hacalu murdered. Damaging properties is part of their cruel and dirty game. Don’t let the chauvinists own the narrative of the crisis.Let us own the narrative to build bridge between Oromos and other people. We are all victims of the machinations of the chauvinist PP regime.

WARDHEER NEWS: ETHIOPIA: DR. ABIY: FRAGILE AND DROWNING IN HIS OWN THEORY July 9, 2020

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DR. ABIY: FRAGILE AND DROWNING IN HIS OWN THEORY

By Faisal A. Roble, Wardheer News, July 8, 2020

Within two years since he became the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed appears to have lost the support of his Oromo core constituency. The recent arrests of prominent Oromo leaders and intellectuals (Jawar Mohamed and Dr. Bekale Garba and others) as well as the reported resignation of Lemma Megarsa from the post of Minister of Defense does not bode well for the future of Dr. Abiy.

PM Abiy Ahmed

Early signs of his downward slide to the abys is marked by his abrupt and less thoughtful response to his critic who challenged his maltreatment of the Oromo question: “If they cut my flesh, they would find out that the blood in me is pure Oromo” emotionally said Abiy.  Such a tantrum and personalized response from a Prime Minister of 110 million country is emblematic of his desperation to win back the Oromo masses.

As his critics allege, the Prime Minister’s thinning political muscle is attributed to his “Medemer” (in Amharic, synergy in unity) philosophy which seeks to minimize the prominence of ethnic diversity as a legitimate and logical tool to resolve historical injustices in Ethiopia. Instead, Dr. Abiy prefers to create a new Ethiopia where Ethnic sentiments are whipped out, thus closing safe spaces for ethnic groups to navigate, are closed in favor of creating a single-story Ethiopia (read Chimamanda Adichie’s accounts on the dangers of a single-story narrative).  

In many ways, Dr. Abiy is travelling a similar route traveled by the likes of Mao Zedong and Kim El-Sung, or even Mengistu Haile Marriam. These autocrats tried to replace objective historical narratives with ample safe spaces for their respective groups in their countries with their own socially engineered single-story narrative. To his premature demise, Dr. Abiy is doing the same.  

If not a pie in the sky, it is a monumental task to reimagine or sustain in its archaic shape the Ethiopian empire or what some critics call the Menelik project, the only empire in sub-Sahar Africa.  That is where he lost track and begun a fast-paced down spiral to the abyss in a short period of time.

Reforming Ethiopia has not been an easy task. Since emperor Haile Selassie proclaimed an imperial constitution in 1931, which revised the medieval rule of Fetha Negast, and in 1955 to modernize its parliament to annex Eritrea, subsequent administrations with different ideologies tried to reform the empire but to no avail; Mengistu Haile Mariam tried his own version of socialism under Ethiopia Tikdom; Meles Zenawi tried to establish a Tigran oligarchy in the name of federalism. In both cases, the empire, and the people inside it were massacred and subjected to genocide in the case of Somalis.

Dr. Abiy is one of a long line of rulers trying to reimagine the empire, only this time with his peculiar philosophy called “Medemer,” which embraced imperial history and symbols of oppression, his critics argue, without consulting or giving due respect to competing viewpoints presented by those conquered. Like his predecessors, he violently violated a federal constitution that he had inherited for the sole aim of extending his rule.

If any, “Medemer” has exposed Dr. Abiy’s fragility and hastened the waning of his influence within his own Oromo or other nationalities. Intellectually, he fumbled when he blamed Ethiopia’s political ills on imported concepts such as class struggle, regional, ethnic, or gender divisions. Without these foreign concepts, argues Dr. Abiy, Ethiopian peoples are one family.

One encounters in “medemer” lines very similar to 18th century’s Henri de Saint-Simo’s Utopian philosophy – even naiver than that. Dr. Abiy wishes away societal raptures that existed since the inception of the empire. In so doing, he negates established social science theories by arguing that without imported western philosophies, Ethiopia would have been a one family entity.

Such a naive believe and distorted world outlook led him to try to coerce Oromo, Somali, or other politicians in the regions to abandon their age-old political questions in favor of reviving a single idyllic but unattainable “one Ethiopian narrative.”

Akin to the late Maputo Sese Sseko’s Authenticity philosophy, Abiy’s “Medemer” purports to replace western philosophy with an “Ethiopianist philosophy.” By Western philosophy, he means the use of class struggle, identity consciousness, gender, and regional issues. He therefore negates the need for safe spaces for different social groups to navigate both as groups and as individuals.

Inspired by his mother’s dream that Abiy is the “7th Negus,” he takes his role in Ethiopian politics as a messianic assignment.  Any force that stands in the way of such a celestial arrival of the “7th Negus” is doomed to burn in hail or in Ethiopian prisons.

Losing Global Support

As the news about the current political crisis spreads, Dr. Abiy is losing the admiration and adulation that led him to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace. Many of the Non-Profit groups and opinion makers that had lobbied on his behave have abandoned him. The International Crisis Group, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have all assess his autocratic rule with unkind eyes.

Also, most of Arab nations who were initially infatuated with his first year in office and kindly opened their thick wallets reportedly are leaving his circle. The squabble over the utilization of the Nile water by Ethiopia and Egypt do not help. The conflict over the Nile does not help either. As to the Western, they unofficially abandoned him.  Neither does his racist comments about Black and Jews in the era of George Floyd help.

 In a recent interview that Ambassador Shinn gave to Aljazeera, he stated that the US is not happy about the autocratic trend the country is taking under Dr. Abiy. Served as the US Ambassador to Ethiopian between 1996 and 1999, Ambassador Shinn is a keen observer of the politics of the Horn of Africa.

PM Abiy with President Afwerki

Then there is the Isaias Afwerki factor. President Afwerki’s success to be sitting on the front driver’s seat in the affairs of Ethiopia is a sign to show that Dr. Abiy’s government is a failed state. In other words, when the very country that has been seeking your demise is your protectorate, it is obvious how precarious the rule of Dr. Abiy is.

Writing on and listening to Ethiopians in the diaspora with keen interest in the last 30 years, many, more so Amharas in the diaspora, see President Afwerki as the eternal enemy of their country, no matter what shape Ethiopia takes. That is, whether Ethiopia is a federal, democratic, or authoritarian state, Afwerki is still their enemy, this group believes. After all, he seceded two ports (Meswa and Asab) from “the motherland,” they argue, and rendered this110 the country a virtual landlocked. They see no room for forgiveness.

Arresting and allegedly beating the most prominent and political dissident of the Amhara extraction, Lidatu Ayalow, following the arrests of Jawar Mohamed and Dr. Bakale Garba, is tantamount to pouring benzene into a blazing fire. Neither does reported Eritrean commands in Addis Ababa and Adama cool off the political temperature.

One may wonder, therefore, why Dr. Abiy is not distancing himself from Afwerki. Pragmatic politics dictates him to not create an enemy out of Afwerki. But at the same time friending his is a huge liability.

President Afwerki is neither a friend nor a foe to any political leader in the Horn of Africa region, and more so to Ethiopia. In the eyes of many Ethiopians, Afwerki is the devil that you do not want to be with or against. To borrow what the late Dr. Ali Mazrui said about the complex influence of the Buganda tribe in Uganda’s politics, that “ you can’t rule Uganda with or without the Buganda,” one can say about Afwerik’s factor in Ethiopian politics. Dr. Abiy cannot rule Ethiopia with or without Afwerki. Because of that, Abiy is a hostage to Afwerki whether he recognizes it or not.

Without securing the support of Oromo and other ethnic groups plus the dicey Afwerki factor, tough days are ahead of Dr. Abiy. Some even predict that his reign may not last long. His weakening of the power grip is hastened by naked ploy to framing and arresting opposition groups for trumped up treason crimes, when what they did is nothing but carrying out peaceful political activities, symbolizes the beginning of a rough road that leads to hell.

Faisal A. Roble
Email: faisalroble19@gmail.com
———–
Faisal Roble, a writer, political analyst and a former Editor-in-Chief of WardheerNews, is mainly interested in the Horn of Africa region. He is currently the Principal Planner for the City of Los Angeles in charge of Master Planning, Economic Development and Project Implementation Division

የአርትስት ሃጫሉ ሁንዴሳ ፖለቲካዊ ግድያ እንድምታ እና ቀጣዩ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ የትግል ምዕራፍ #HacaaluuHundeessaa #OromoProtests July 7, 2020

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ODEESSA=======Bilxiginnaan damee Oromiyaa (kan Afaan Oromoo dubbattu) walgahii godhattee waan armaan gadii murteeffatte. 1. Miidiyaa mootummaa fi kan Nafxanyootaa hunda fayyadamuun akka mormiin Oromiyaa keessaa toyannoo jaraa jala ooletti fakkeessanii ololuu, 2. Ajjeechaa fi hidhaa miseensa mormitootaa fi aktivistoota mootummaa qeeqan irratti godhamu jabeessanii itti fufuu, 3. Paartii Bilxiginnaa keessatti Oromoota waan mootummaan godhaa jiru kana irratti mormii calaqqisan qabanii hidhuu,4. Hacaaluun kan ajjeefame mooraadhuma qabsoo Oromootiin kan jedhuun Oromootti gara galchanii olola sobaatiin Nafxanyoota gaafatama jalaa baasuu5. Manguddoota Oromoo keessaa dantaadhaan salphaatti bitaman funaananii masaraa geessuun MM waliin footoo kaasanii ittiin Oromoo afanfaajjessuu, hamilee cabsuu. Ummanni keenya waan kana dursee itti dammaquun summii diinnni biiftu kamuu ofirraa haxaawee qabsoo isaa finiinsuu irratti akka fuulleffatu dhaamna.Qajeelcha:========1ffaa. Ummanni Oromoo guutuu Oromiyaa keessa jiruu fi kan ala jiru hunduu afaan faajjii ummata keenyarratti hojjetamaa jiru hubatee akka ummanni keenya hinburjaajofne godhuudhan qabsoo isaa kan karaa nagayaa itti fufuu qaba.2ffaa. Jaarsoliin biyyaa Oromoo shira ummata keenyarratti dalagamaa jiru hubachuudhan meeshaa diinaa akka hintaane gaafanna.3ffaa. Dabballoonni jaraa kan ummata keenya keessa faca’anii shira kanarratti hirmaachaa jiran akka karaa diinaa kanarraa deebi’an cimsinee nigaafanna. Warra kana gochuu dides ummanni keenya xireeffatee hariiroo hawaasummaa fi diinagdee isaan faana qabu akka dhaabuf dirqamu hubatamuu qaba.4ffaa. Afaan faajjifi olola mediyaa mootummaa harka jiruu fi mediyaa nafxanyootatiin ummata keenyarratti godhamuudhaf deemaa jiru ofirraa qoluudhaf mediyaalen Oromooti fi aktivistoonni Oromoo gocha diinaa kanarratti akka xiyeeffatan nigaafanna.5ffaa. Qabsoo karaa nagayaa ummanni keenya jalqabe hamma sirni nafxanyaa akka haaratti nurraatti ijaaramaa jiru ofirraa buqqifnutti kan itti fufu ta’uun hubatamee ummanni keenya tokkoomee akka falmatu ni gaafanna.

Dr. Birhaana Masqal irraa, karaa Awash post

Aljazeera: Haacaaluu Hundeessa: The protest singer who became an Oromo icon #HaacaaluuHundeessa July 4, 2020

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Popular protest singer Haacaaluu Hundeessa, whose killing earlier this week sparked deadly unrest, was one of Ethiopia’s biggest music stars whose popular songs galvanised the youth of country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo. Click here to read the full article

The 34-year-old’s music gave voice to Oromos’ widespread sense of economic and political marginalisation during years of protests that in 2018 led to the downfall of Ethiopia’s government, sweeping Abiy Ahmed – the country’s first Oromo prime minister – to power.

“He is somebody who is seen as icon for the more than 50 million Oromos who live in Ethiopia and across Africa,” Awol Allo, senior lecturer of law at Keele University in England, told Al Jazeera, describing him as “a towering musical genius”.

Haacaaluu sang in the Oromo language but his lyrics about yearning for freedom and exhorting Ethiopians to solve their problems touched a chord more broadly.

His first album was released in 2009, after he had served five years in prison for his political activism. It was during that time when he wrote most of his songs, according to a profile in O Pride, an Oromo magazine.

His second album two years later was a hit on Amazon, but it was his single “Maalan Jira?” (What fate is mine?), released just before a wave of government-backed evictions began around the capital, Addis Ababa, in 2015, that became a rallying cry.

The song has been viewed more than three million times on YouTube.

As the government wavered, in 2017 he released Jirra, a defiant cry meaning “We Are Here” – that has become a greeting among Oromo youth. That December, he sang at a star-studded concert in Addis Ababa to raise money for displaced Oromo families.

“When people were out on the street being shot at and being killed, he comforted the Oromo people with his songs of revolution, love and resistance to the system that oppressed [them],” Tsedale Lemma, editor-in-chief of the Addis Standard publication, told Al Jazeera.

“He leaves behind a legacy of a man [who] is the institution of the consciousness of the Oromo people,” she said, noting that he embodied the struggle of his people “for equality and justice”

Over the next two years, the protests spread far beyond the Oromia region, meeting a bloody response from security forces. About 30,000 people were jailed, including activists, writers and opposition leaders.

Eventually, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned in February 2018 – unprecedented in Ethiopian history. Abiy, whose father is Oromo, was appointed prime minister instead.

Abiy released the political prisoners, unbanned many political parties and promised free and fair elections.

But some Oromo say they are still suffering government persecution – part of the region is under federal military control.

Haacaaluu was shot dead in Addis Ababa on Monday by unknown gunmen and buried on Thursday at a church in Ambo, his hometown about 100km (60 miles) west of Addis Ababa.

“He was a true freedom fighter,” Belay Aqenaw, the funeral’s organiser, said in a speech. “He was a singer who raised our spirits.”

Haacaaluu’s murder sparked protests in the capital and across the Oromia region which surrounds Addis Ababa.

Oromia regional police said on Thursday that 87 people, including four of the region’s police officers, had been killed over the last three days, with 76 seriously injured.

In a separate statement, Addis Ababa’s police said 10 people had been killed in the capital over that period, including two officers, which raises the total official toll to 97.

Related:

Can Ethiopia bridge its ethnic divide?

The killing of an ethnic Oromo singer-activist has led to days of violence in Ethiopia. Click here to read the full article

BBC: Hachalu Hundessa – Ethiopia’s murdered musician who sang for freedom

Hachalu on a horse commemorating Oromo horsemen who fought and defeated Italy on the Battle of Adwa in 1896 - March 2019

More than 80 people have been killed in two days of unrest in Ethiopia following the killing of prominent singer Hachalu Hundessa.

The 34-year-old had emerged as a powerful political voice of the Oromo ethnic group, and had made many enemies during his musical career.

Two suspects were arrested after he was shot dead while driving in the capital, Addis Ababa on Monday evening. However, police have not yet revealed a motive for the killing and no charges have been brought against the suspects.

Hachalu’s funeral has taken place in his hometown of Ambo.

BBC Afaan Oromoo’s Bekele Atoma writes about the musician who was a thorn in the flesh of successive governments. Click here to read the full article

Bloomberg: Ethiopia’s Nobel Winner Can’t Rest on His Laurels

No clampdown on communications can conceal the fact that Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, is struggling to calm his own people. Click to read the article

#OromoProtests 2020 Global Solidarity Rally in London #HacaaluuHundeessaa July 3, 2020

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Join #OromoProtests Oromo resources

The Following is Peaceful Solidarity Rally in London videos

#OromoProtests global solidarity rally, London 3 July 2020

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Protest against Ethiopian government takes over Downtown intersection, OHIO

#Oromia: A New Phase of #OromoRevolution Tsegaye Ararssa #HacaaluuHundeessaa July 1, 2020

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A New Phase of #OromoRevolution,

By Dr. Tsegaye Ararssa #HacaaluuHundeessaa

As of yesterday, the struggle has entered a new phase. We now brace ourselves for a comprehensive set of protest measures as of this morning.A state-wide protest rallies are hoped to be staged from today on. It’s hoped that these protest measures will extend to other parts of the country as well.

The demands to be tabled are:

1. To give a dignified burial for Haacaaluu in Finfinnee–and that, after a proper examination of the cause of his death, identification of the assassins, and taking genuine measures for ensuring (legal, administrative, and political) accountability for the assassination;

2. To release all political prisoners including the leaders (e.g. Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, Hamza Borana, etc) and numerous other protesters arrested yestetday;3. Release the journalists, reporters, and other staff members of the Oromia Media Network (OMN) including its Executive Director, Girma Gutema;

4. Release the security personnel in charge of the security of the OMN premises and the residence of Jawar Mohammed; and

5. Take decisive measures to remove all historical relics of empire such as statues, flags, and symbols that insult the pluralist and federalist sensibilities of Oromos and all other nations in the country;

6. Stop the use of the media (conventional as well as social) to attack, misrepresent, and provoke the Oromo and the other ‘others’ of Ethiopia;

7. Stop the use of repressive military tactics that are deployed to terrorize, intimidate, and humiliate the people into submission;

8. Withdraw the military from the civilian lives of the local population;9. Start a genuinely inclusive discussion with all parties towards restoring constitutional rule, federalism, and rule of law, in a framework that eyes an election before the expiry of the term in October 2020.

10. Ensure that proper remedial measures are taken in order to redress victims of human rights violations in the past two years.Oromos from all walks of life shall be taking part in yhe protest measures. #Oromia_Protests_2020.

#Oromia: Artist Hacaaluu Hundeessaa, the prominent #Oromo singer, songwriter, is assassinated on Monday 29 June 2020 in Finfinnee

Ethiopia: Popular musician’s killing must be fully investigated

Oromia: Dirmannaa Iyya Koyyee: Lafti keenya lafee keenya. Lafeen keenya ammoo alagaaf hin kennamu. #OromPotests underway in towns of Oromia against illegal mega buildings and settlements on Oromo farm lands. #QeerrooPower March 7, 2019

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Lafti keenya lafee keenya. Lafeen keenya ammoo alagaaf hin kennamu. Kooyyee Facceen Oromiyaa dha. Mootummaan Oromiyaa bulchuu qaba. #QeerrooPower

Qeerroo Shashee

Hiriirri nagaa Oromiyaa keessatti magaalootaa fi bakka heddutti geggefamaa oolera. Amma gaaffiiwwan ka’an deebii quubsa argatanitti akka itti fufuf qeerroon beeksisaniru. Hiriirri kun kaleessa Koyyee Facceetti akka calqabe beekamee jira.

Bakkawwan hiriirri nagaa har’a itti geggeefamaa oolan Kessaa kan odeeffannoo qabnu:
Aqaaqii, Awwadaay, Adaabbaa, Adaamaa, Asallaa, Adaabbaa, Ajjee, Asaboot, Baalee Roobee, Baddeessaa, Baroodaa, Boolloo, Bulbulaa, Ciroo, Dannab Guddoo, Diksiis, Dirree Incinnii, Dirree Dhawaa, Doobbaa, Gudar, Gindhiir, Galamsoo, Gursum, Haramayaa, Hirna, Holotaa, Koyyee, Mi’essoo, Qaallittii, Qullubbii, Qilinxoo, Sandaaboo (Jimmaa), Walisoo, Walloo Kamisee, Shashaamannee, Sulultaa, Universitii Jimmaa, Xuulloo, Watar

Ethiopia’s Oromia hit by protests over Addis Ababa housing project, Africa News


Finfinne, the capital of Oromia is not negotiable’ say the Qeerroo/Qarree in Gudar
Roobee
Malkaa Jabduu
Asaboot
Asallaa


Harargee Lixaa, Galamsoo
Jimma University
Harargee Bahaa, Qullubbii
Walloo, Kamisee
Ciroo
Adaamaa

Holataa
Gidhir
Koyyee Faccee
Koyyee Faccee
Xuulloo, Harargee Lixaa
Sandaaboo, Jimmaa
Haramaayaa
Buraayyuu, Malkaa Gafarsaa
Dodolaa
Qilinxoo
Gursum
Dirree Incinnii
Adaabbaa
Boolloo
Baddeessaa
Awwadaay
Barooda
Doobbaa, Harargee Lixaa
Watar, Harargee Bahaa


በኦሮሚያ የተቃውሞ ሰልፎች እየተካሄዱ ነው
የአዲስ አበባ መስተደድር በትናንትናው ዕለት ከ51 ሺህ በላይ የጋራ መኖርያ ቤቶችን በዕጣ ማስተላለፉን ተከትሎ በኦሮሚያ ክልል የተለያዩ ከተሞች የተቃውሞ ሰልፎች በመካሄድ ላይ ይገኛሉ።
የተቃውሞ ሰልፎቹ በሻሸመኔ፣ በጅማ፣ በአዳማ፣ በባሌ ሮቤ፣ በጭሮ፣ በሻምቡ፣ በአሰላ፣ በአጄ፣ በአዳባ፣ በጉደር፣ በሂርና፣ በከሚሴ(ወሎ)፣ በቁሉቢና በመሳሰሉት ከተሞች በመካሄድ ላይ ይገኛሉ።
ተቃውሞው ከመስተዳድሩ ወሰን ውጭ የነበሩና አርሶ አደሮችን በማፈናቀል በኮዬ ፈጬ፣ በቦሌ አራብሳና ቱሉ ዲምቱ በመሳሰሉ አከባቢዎች የተገነቡት የጋራ መኖርያ ቤቶች እየቀረበባቸው የነበረው ቅሬታ ተገቢው ምላሽ ሳይሰጥበት በዕጣ ለማስተላለፍ መወሰኑ እንደሆነ ታውቋል።
መስተዳድሩ የተወሰኑ የጋራ መኖርያ ቤቶችን ያለዕጣ ለተፈናቃዮች እና ቤተሰቦቻቸው ማስተላለፉን ቢገልፅም ሕገ መንግሥታዊው የወሰን ጉዳይ እልባት ባላገኘበት ሁኔታ በድንገት መፈጸሙ የሕዝቡን ቁጣ ቀስቅሷል።
በተለይ የኦሮሚያ ክልል መንግሥት አርሶ አደሮቹ በግፍ በተፈናቀሉበት ወቅትም ሆነ አሁን በሁነቱ ላይ እንደውጭ ተመልካች ዝምታን መምረጡ ብዙዎችን ያነጋገረ ጉዳይ ሆኗል። አስቸኳይ የመፍትሔ እርምጃ ካልተወሰደም ሁኔታው ተባብሶ ወደ አደገኛ አቅጣጫ ሊሄድ እንደሚችል ሁኔታዎች እያመለከቱ ይገኛሉ። ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ የኦሮሚያ ክልላዊ መንግሥት በተከሰተው ሁኔታና በአዲስ አበባ ጉዳይ ላይ በዛሬው ዕለት መግለጫ ሊሰጥ ይችላል ተብሎ ይጠበቃል። Source: Gulale Post

MULTIPLE PROTESTS ACROSS OROMIA REGION IN WAKE OF CONDO HOUSES DISTRIBUTION BY ADDIS ABEBA CITY ADMIN, Hayalnesh Gezahegn – addisstandard News,  March 7, 2019

Dejene Tafa, center, first secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) joined protesters today near Koye Feche site

Thousands of demonstrators in several cities and towns across the Oromia regional state have taken to the streets today. The protests were triggered after the Addis Ababa City Administration Savings & Houses Development Enterprise (AASHDE) handed over thousands of condominium houses located both in the city, and in Oromia regional state special zone.

Addis Standard confirmed from local security and police officers that protests took place in the following cities: Adama, Shashemene, in western Arsi, oromia regional state; Bale Robe and Assela in south east Oromia; as well as Haramara in eastern Oromia regional state. A report by the BBCAmharic said protests have taken place in in ten cities across the region.

Demonstrators are protesting AASHDE’s decision to hand over thousands of condominium houses using a computerized lottery draw without the involvement the Oromia regional state, which has administrative jurisdiction of the site where Koye Feche one and two condominiums are located at. Some 7,127 people were given condominium unites of studio, one and two bedroom apartments built on a vast plot of land which used to a farmland.

Partial view of the condominium housing in Koye Feche. Photo: Social media

The winners of yesterday’s lottery draw were those who were registered for the housing under the saving schemes commonly known as 20/80 and 40/60 in which they were asked to save 20% for studio, one and two bedroom apartments and the government promised to help with the remaining 80%. The same mechanisms were applied for those who could save 40%.

Would be home owners were also told that if they saved 100%, they would be automatically entitled for the apartments. But the scheme has already left many dissatisfied as the mayor’s office recently scraped that and said the administration would stick to the original saving mechanism of 20/80 and 40/60.

The winners who got the apartments located in Koye Feche one and two sites, located in the southern outskirt of the city of Addis Abeba, some 20 km into the Oromia regional state administrative border in Akaki/Kality area, are those who are under the 20/80 saving scheme. While the apartments with three bedrooms are located in various condominium sites mostly in Addis Abeba.

Koye Feche is located in one of the eight zonal towns surrounding Addis Abeba which were established by the Oromia Regional State under the administrative name of “Oromia regional State Special Zone Surrounding Finfinne” in 2008.

Now, protesters are saying the Addis Abeba city administration is acting outside of its jurisdiction and without involving Oromia regional government. Many are carrying banners reading “our land is our bones,” “Koye Feche is in Oromia”, and “No to the master plan,” the later in reference to the infamous city master plan which wanted to expand the city of Addis Abeba into the surrounding Oromia region towns and cities. Although it was later scarped, the master plan was one of the immediate causes that triggered the sustained three years protest in Oromia regional state.

Koye Feche site one and two is only one of the multiple condominium sites built by Addis Abeba city administration on sites located in various places within the Oromia special zone over the last ten years.

However, the administrative procedure in which the lands were taken from the farmers and the inadequate compensations paid afterwards, the shocking details of which were revealed by a former federal official, drew severe criticisms in recent years as hundreds of thousands of farmers were left itching to have ends met.

During the lottery ceremony yesterday, Takele Uma, deputy mayor of Addis Abeba, said that families of displaced farmers were included in the housing distribution without the lottery draw. “We would like to say that your pain is ours, especially those of you who have lost your farmlands in order to clear for these [housing] projects and were exposed for economic and social crisis,” Takele said. However, Takele did not explain what has been done both by city authorities and the regional state to include those who have been dispossessed for little compensations. Several people at Koye Feche one and two sites and at Bole Arabssa site, a site for another massive condominium project, who spoke to OBN said they have been contacted neither by city administration officials nor by officials from the Oromia regional state special zone. Addis Standard’s attempts to reach both officials since yesterday has been to no avail.

So far both city officials and officials from the Oromia regional state did not release statements on the protests whereas online activists are calling for more protests tomorrow especially in Ambo and its environs. AS

BBC Afaan Oromoo: Qonnaan bultoota Koyyee Faccee fi Boolee Arraabsaa: ‘Lafa keenyas dhabnee ijoolleen keenyas daandii irratti hafte’

ስለ ፊንፊኔ/አዲስ አበባ አንዳንድ ነጥቦች (በድጋሚ) 
By Tsegaye Ararssa
==============
በፊንፊኔ ላይ የሚደረግ ማንኛውም ውይይት፣ ከዚህ በታች የተዘረዘሩትን ነጥቦች ታሳቢ ቢያደርግ ፍሬያማና ውጤታማ ይሆናል። እነዚህን ታሳቢ ባናደርግ፣ ውይይቱም ፍሬ-ቢስ፣ ፖለቲካውም ውጤት አልባ ሆኖ ይቀጥላል።

1. መልክዓ-ምድራዊ ተጠየቅም (the geographic logic)፣ የታሪክ ማስረጃውም፣ የአገሪቱ የሕግ ድንጋጌዎችም፣ ፊንፊኔ የኦሮምያ መሆኗን ይመሰክርሉ።

ፊንፊኔ የኦሮሚያ ከተማ ነች።

ከዚህም ባሻገር፣ የኦሮሚያ መንግሥት ዋና ከተማ፣ የፌደራል መንግሥቱም መቀመጫ ነች። ከተለያዩ የኢትዮጵያ ክፍሎች በተለያየ ወቅትና ምክንያት፣ ለተለያየ ዓላማ፣ የፈለሱ ነዋሪዎችን የያዘች፣ የህዝቦች መዲና፣ እና የንግድና የፖለቲካም ማዕከል መሆኗም ይታወቃል። በማንኛውም ከተማዋን በሚመለከት ውይይት ውስጥ፣ ይሄ ታሳቢ ሊሆን ይገባል።

2. በታሪክም፣ በመልክዓ-ምድራዊ ተጠየቅም፣ ሆነ በሕግ፣ ፊንፊኔ በኦሮሚያ ክልል የምትገኝ የፌደራል መንግሥቱ መቀመጫ ነች እንጂ እራሷን የቻለች ክልል አይደለችም።

የፌደራል መንግሥቱ መቀመጫ ነች ሲባል፣ የፌደራል መንግስቱ ተቃማት ጽሕፈት ቤቶች ሥራቸውን በዋናነት የሚያከናውኑባት ከተማ ናት ማለት ነው።

በተደጋጋሚ የምናየው ከተማይቱን እንደ ክልል የመቁጠር ስህተት ሊታረም ይገባዋል። አገሪቱ በሽግግር ጊዜ በቻርተር በተዳደረችበት ዘመን (ከ1983-1987 ዓም፣ ወይም እኤአ ከ1991-1995) እራሷን የቻለች ክልል የነበረች ቢሆንም ሕገመንግሥቱ ከፀናበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ ይሄ ክልልነት አብቅቷል።

አሁንም (በታከለ ኡማ አስተዳደር ሥር እየተሞከረ እንዳለው)፣ ከተማዋን ከኦሮሚያ ለመንጠቅ በማሰብ ብቻ፣ (“ብራስልስን እንደ ሞዴል ወስደን) እራሷን የቻለች ከተማ-ክልል (city-state) እናድርጋት” የሚለው አካሄድ ሊታረም ይገባል።

በመሆኑም፣ ፊንፊኔ በኦሮሚያ ክልል ውስጥ የምትገኝ፣ የኦሮሚያ ከተማ የሆነች፣ የፌደራል መንግሥቱ መቀመጫ ነች። በቃ።

3. የከተማው አስተዳደር ተጠሪነቱ (በቅድሚያ ለኦሮሚያ መሆን ሲገባው፣ ሕገመንግሥቱ ሲረቀቅ በተፈፀመ ስህተት ምክንያት) ለፌደራል መንግሥት የሆነና እራሱን በቻርተር የሚያስተዳድር የከተማ አስተዳደር (municipality) ነው። ተጠሪነቱ (በስህተት) ለፌደራል መንግስቱ (ብቻ) መሆኑ ግን፣ ከተማዋ ከኦሮሚያ ውጭ የሆነች ራስ-ገዝ ከተማ ነች፣ ወይም የፌደራሉ መንግሥት ይዞታ የሆነች ከተማ ነች ማለት አይደለም።

4. አንዳንዶች አልፎ አልፎ ለመከራከር እንደሚዳዱት፣ የከተማው አስተዳደር ተጠሪነቱ ለፌደራል መንግሥት በመሆኑ ብቻ ከክልሎች (ማለትም ከኦሮሚያ) ነፃ የሆነች የፌደራል ግዛት (Federal District, or Federal Capital Territory) አያደርጋትም፣ አላደረጋትም። በነገራችን ላይ፣ በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ አንድም የአገሪቱ ክፍል በቀጥታ ‘የፌደራል ግዛት’ ተብሎ በሕገመንግሥቱም ሆነ በሌላ ከዛ ወዲህ በወጣ ህግ፣ ወይም በሌላ ህጋዊ አስገዳጅነት ባለው ስምምነት የተሰየመ አካባቢ የለም። ከተማዋ የፌደራል መንግሥት መቀመጫ ስትደረግም እንኳን ይህ የተፈፀመው፣ ጥልቀት ባለው ውይይት፣ ወግ ባለው ድርድርና፣ በውል ሳይሆን እንዲሁ ከቀድሞ ዘመን በተወረሰ ልማዳዊ ተጠየቅ ብቻ ነው። የፌደራል መንግሥቱ ‘መቀመጫ የት ይሁን?’ የሚለው ጥያቄ፣ ዛሬም ቢሆን እንደ አዲስ ተነስቶ ውይይት ቢደረግበትም ለአገሪቱ ሰላምና መረጋጋት ብዙ ፋይዳ ይኖረዋል። በዘረፋ የተያዘ ቋሚ ንብረት ላይ ብዙ መቆየት ባለቤት አያደርግምና፣ ባለቤቱ ጥያቄውን ባነሳ ቁጥር ከመበርገግና ሰላም ከማጣትም ያድናል።

5. የከተማው ነዋሪዎች ባለሙሉ መብት ዜጎች ናቸው፤ ሆነውም ይቀጥላሉ። እራሳቸውንም፣ በመረጡት ተወካይ የማስተዳደር መብት አላቸው። (ይሄ ማንም የማይነፍጋቸው [እና ማንም የማይቸራቸው] ሕገመንግሥታዊ መብታቸው ነው።) በፌደራል ፓርላማ ውስጥ ባሉት ተወካዮቻቸው በኩልም አገሪቱን ከሌሎች ሕዝቦች ጋር በጋራ ያስተዳድራሉ።

‘አልተወከልንም’ የሚለው የዘወትር አነጋገር፣ ፍፁም ስህተት ብቻ ሳይሆን፣ ለማምታታት የተፈጠረ የፖለቲካ ግነት (political hyperbole) ነው። እውነቱ ግን፣ የከተማው ነዋሪ፣ በተወካዮች ምክር ቤት ውስጥ፣ በ23 ወይም 24 ድምፅ ተወክሎአል። በከተማው ምክር ቤትም እንዲሁ ሙሉ ውክልና አለው (ያው፣ ተመራጮቹ በዴሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ ያልተመረጡ መሆናቸው፣ እንደሌሎቹ ክልሎች ተወካዮች ሀሉ፣ የተመራጮቹ ትክክለኛ ሕዝባዊ ውክልናቸው ጥያቄ ውስጥ የሚገባ ቢሆንም!)

በተጨማሪም፣ ነዋሪዎቿ የየብሔራቸውን የወል መብትና ጥቅም ለማስከበር የሚያስችል ውክልና በፌደሬሽን ምክር ቤት ውስጥ ባሉ፣ የሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ብሔር፣ ብሔረሰብና ሕዝቦች ተወካዮች ተወክለዋል። በመሆኑም፣ በከተማዋ ውስጥ የሚኖሩ አማሮች እንደ አማራ፣ ኦሮሞዎች እንደ ኦሮሞ፣ ጉራጌዎች እንደ ጉራጌ፣ ስልጤዎች እንደ ስልጤ፣ ተጋሩ እንደተጋሩ፣ ወዘተ፣ ለቁጥራቸው ተመጣጣኝ በሆነ መንገድ ተወክለው አሉ። እርግጥ፣ የፌደሬሽን ምክር ቤት አባላት ምርጫ፣ እስካሁን ሲደረግ እንደቆየው፣ በክልሎች ምክር ቤት ከሚሆን ይልቅ በቀጥታ በሕዝብ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ ውክልናው የተሻለ ይሆን ነበር። ነገር ግን እስካሁን ባለው አሰራርም ቢሆን ማንም በፌደሬሽን ምክር ቤት ውስጥ ያልተወከለ ብሔር እስከሌለ ድረስ–ሁሉም ብሔር በምክር ቤቱ ውስጥ ተወክሏል ባልን መጠን የከተማይቱ ነዋሪዎችም ተወክለዋልና–‘የከተማዋ ነዋሪዎች አልተወከሉም ብሎ ማለት ብዙ ርቀት የሚያስኬድ ክርክር አይሆንም። ብሔር የሌለው የከተማ ነዋሪ የለምና። ከብዙ ብሔር የተወለደም ሰው እንኳን ቢኖር፣ ባለብዙ ብሔር ሆኖ በብዙ ተወካዮች ይወከል ይሆናል እንጂ፣ ሳይወከል የሚቀርበት ምንም ዓይነት ሁኔታ የለም። (በመሆኑም፣ አንዳንዴ በውሸት ‘ብሔር የለንም’ በማለት፣ ሌላ ጊዜ ደግሞ ‘እንደ ብሔር፣ ወይም በወል እንደ ሕዝብ፣ አልተውከልንም’ እያሉ አቅል-የለሽ ጩኸት ማሰማት፣ ተራ የፖለቲካ መደዴነት ነው።)

የከተማው ሕዝብ እንደ ግለሰብ ዜጋም፣ እንደ ህዝብም (በወል) ሙሉ መብት ያለው ሕዝብ ነው። ከተማዋ፣ በእርግጥም የአገሪቱ ሕዝቦች ሁሉ መዲና በመሆኗ እውነተኛ የሕብራዊነት(የብዝሓነት) ተምሳሌት ሆና መኖር ትችላለች፣ ልትሆንም ይገባል። ከዚህ ይልቅ፣ በአንድ ብሔር ማንነት ልክ በተሰራ አፋኝ ኢትዮጵያዊነት ጭምብል ሥር ተደብቆ፣ ‘እኔ ኢትዮጵያዊ ነኝ እንጂ ብሔር የለኝም’ እያሉ መመፃደቅና ‘ያው…ብሔር አለኝ ግን በብሔሬ አትጥሩኝ’ ማለት ተገቢ አይሆንም። (ይሄ የከተማዋ ‘በረራ’ነት አሉባልታም የበረከተው እንደዚህ ዓይነት ወገኖች ብቻ መሆኑም ይሄንን በግልፅ የሚያሳይ ይመስለኛል።)

6. ፊንፊኔ የኦሮሚያ ከተማ ነች ማለት፣ ኦሮሞ ያልሆነ ሰው በእኩልነት አይኖርባትም ማለት አይደለም። እንዲህ ሊባል አይገባም። ተብሎም አያውቅም። እንዲህ ያለ አስተሳሰብ፣ በሕግም በፖለቲካ ሥነምግባርም ዓይን ሲታይ ነውር የሆነና መቼም ቢሆን፣ በፍፁም ሊስተናገድ የማይገባው አስተሳሰብ ነው። (ታድያ፣ በሌሎች ላይ–በተለይ በከተማው ባለቤት በሆኑ ሕዝቦች ላይ–የበላይ ሆኖ ለመኖርና ያልተገባ መብት [privilege] መጠየቅም እንደዚሁ ነውር ነውና፣ ይሄም አብሮት ሊወገዝ ይገባዋል።)

ይሄ የከተማዋን የኦሮሚያ መሆን ተቀብሎ እንደ ባለ ሙሉ መብት ዜጋ፣ በእኩልነት ተከብሮ መኖር ማለት፣ በተጨባጭ ሲታይ ምን ማለት ነው ቢባል፣ የከተማው አስተዳደር ተጠሪነቱ ለኦሮሚያም ይሆናል ማለት ነው እንጂ፣ ነዋሪው ሁሉ በግድ ኦሮምኛ ተናጋሪ ይደረጋል ማለት አይደለም። ነገር ግን፣ ለምሳሌ የከተማው መስተዳድር የሥራ ቋንቋ አማርኛና ኦሮምኛ ቢሆን ለአሰራር ቅልጥፍና ጠቃሚነት አለው፣ ለኦሮሞ ነዋሪዎችና ለክልሉም ተገቢውን አክብሮት መስጠትን ያሳያል። እንደእውነቱ ከሆነ ይሄን ማድረግ፣ ከከተማው ህሕብራዊነት አንፃር፣ ሌሎች ቋንቋዎችንም የስራ ቋንቋ ለማድረግ መንገድን አመላካች ነው። በኔ ምርጫ ቢሆን፣ ፊንፊኔ፣ የሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች መናኸሪያ በመሆኗ የከተማው መስተዳድር የሥራ ቋንቋ፣ ሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ቋንቋዎች ቢሆኑ ይሻላል እላለሁ። አዲሱና እውነተኛው ሁሉን አቃፊ ኢትዮጵያዊነትም በዚህ ሕብራዊ ቀመር ላይ ይመሠረታልና። በዛ ላይ፣ እራሱን እንግዳ ተቀባይ ብሎ ከሚያንቆለጳጵስና ለውጭ አገር ቋንቋዎች እንኳን መስሪያ ቤቶቹን፣ ሕጎቹን፣ የልጆቹን ትምህርት ቤቶች እና የግል ጓዳውን ጭምር (በቴሌቪዥን ለሚተላለፉ የውጭ ፕሮግራሞች) ክፍት አድርጎ ለሚኖር ማሕበረሰብ፣ ‘የራሱ የሆኑ’ ሕዝቦችን ቋንቋዎች በሥራ ቋንቋነት አለመቀበል ግብዝነት ይሆንበታል።

እነዚህን ነጥቦች ታሳቢ አድርገን ብንወያይ ወደፊት ልንራመድ የምንችል ይመስለኛል። ኬልሆነ ግን…

HRW: Interview: Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions February 23, 2019

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Interview: Ethiopia Lets in Human Rights Watch for First Time in 8 Years

Genuine Progress on Rights, Yet Ethnic Tensions Loom in Rural Regions

Amy Braunschweiger,  Senior Web Communications Manager, HRW and Felix Horne, Senior Researcher, Horn of Africa, HRW

After more than two years of protests, power changed hands in Ethiopia last April. Under the new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia is shedding its reputation as a country that tortures detainees and spies on its citizens. The authorities have released thousands of political prisoners and dismissed some abusive security force officers. The decades-long conflict with neighboring Eritrea came to an end. And for the first time in eight years, Human Rights Watch staff who cover Ethiopia were permitted to visit the country. Senior Researcher Felix Horne talks with Amy Braunschweiger about these exciting steps forward, as well as his concerns about rising tensions among ethnic groups in the country’s rural areas.

Abiy Ahmed, newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia, is sworn in at the House of Peoples' Representatives in Addis Ababa, April 2, 2018. © 2018 Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Abiy Ahmed, newly elected prime minister of Ethiopia, is sworn in at the House of Peoples’ Representatives in Addis Ababa, April 2, 2018.  © 2018 Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

How has Ethiopia changed since you were last there?

Addis Ababa, the capital, has changed so much. Unlike before, modern asphalt roads are everywhere, there are freeways, tall, modern shiny buildings, lots of new restaurants, and a light rail system. It used to smell of smoke, from people burning wood to prepare food, but that smell is now gone. People seemed to feel much more free to express their opinions. They were speaking very openly about sensitive subjects in public spaces, cafes, and mini buses. That’s not the Addis I knew, where everyone was looking over their shoulder to see who was eavesdropping.

You went specifically for a workshop on rebuilding civil society. What did you learn?

Under the 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation, civil society groups working on human rights issues in Ethiopia was decimated. Most nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) were closed. Others had their bank accounts frozen. But a new law was passed earlier this month. It eliminates most of the draconian restrictions from previous legislation. The new agency registering NGOs needs to get up and running and that will take time, but we hope NGOs will be able to register soon, which will open up possibilities for funding. Then they can document abuses and advocate for respect for human rights, which is critical ahead of the May 2020 elections.

What was the workshop like?

There was a feeling of newfound optimism there. Still, it was starkly evident the extent to which civil society working on human rights has been decimated since the Charities and Societies Proclamation was passed 10 years ago. It will clearly take time for the sector to recover.

At the workshop, international and Ethiopian NGOs, such as the Human Rights Council of Ethiopia and the Consortium of Ethiopian Rights Organizations, discussed advocacy strategies and research gaps, and talked about economic, social, and cultural rights. It was a chance for everyone to get together in person. There were people there who I knew quite well but had never actually met. It was nice to put faces to names.

Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Newspaper readers at Arat Kilo, a square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. © 2011 Tom Cochrem/Getty Images

Did anything surprise you?

Some of the activists organized a press conference at the end of the workshop, and I honestly didn’t expect much media interest. But 60 journalists showed up, and most were from the state media. When I talked about how it was our first visa in eight years, there was applause. They asked questions about what work we planned to do in Ethiopia and if we’d open up an office there.

State media never covered our work in the past, and that has clearly changed. But media is still publishing a pro-government prospective. For example, we spoke about all the great reforms happening, and we also talked about our concerns. But most of the media never reported on the concerns.

I have this memory from the press conference, when, among the microphones was one from ETV, which is the main state broadcaster, and next to it was one from OMN, the Oromia Media Network, which used to be banned in Ethiopia. The former government went to great lengths to jam OMN’s television broadcasts and had unfairly charged it under the counterterrorism law. It was great to see them side-to-side and a powerful image of change in the media landscape.

Over the past few years, there have been simmering ethnic tensions across Ethiopia. Where do these tensions now stand?

In Addis, things are good. There’s lots of optimism. But outside the capital – and I’ve been in regular contact with people around the country since Abiy came to power – it’s almost the exact opposite.

Previously, the ruling coalition’s direction was implemented from the highest-level officials down to the villages. An expansive network of intelligence at every level meant the government knew everything, allowing it to suppress any emerging threats to its power and control. The government also used other strategies to stem criticism, including force.

But that system in many places has all but broken down, as people associated with serious abuses, or those not loyal to the current government, have been purged. There is little governance happening at local levels, and local security officials are often ineffectual, allowing some vigilante groups to take control. At the same time, people are feeling newly empowered to speak openly after years of suppression, and many have longstanding grievances over land, border demarcations, access to state resources, and perceived discrimination against their ethnic group.

June 15, 2016 Report

“Such a Brutal Crackdown”

Killings and Arrests in Response to Ethiopia’s Oromo Protests

Unfortunately, institutions that would normally resolve those grievances – the judiciary, parliament, the Human Rights Commission — aren’t yet seen as independent or capable of doing so.

All this is happening at the same time as a massive influx of firearms into the country, many from Sudan. It’s a dangerous mix.

What does this look like on the ground?

The ethnic tensions play out in different ways. In some places, you see young armed gang members stopping cars and demanding payments, smuggling goods, controlling regional trade. There has been open fighting in other places, and the Ethiopian army has recently been engaged in clashes with the Oromo Liberation Front forces. The OLF was welcomed back into the country, but some of its members weren’t willing to disarm or reintegrate into government security forces.

What’s really worrying is that this violence could just be the tip of the iceberg. Around the boundary between the Tigray and Amhara regions, both sides are engaging in war-like rhetoric and heavily arming themselves. If open fighting broke out between those regions, it would affect the whole country. Yet there has been notable silence from Abiy around this and other emerging conflicts around the country.

Some of the challenges facing the government are inevitable in transitioning from an authoritarian government to a fledgling democracy. But restoring law and order doesn’t seem to be high on the government agenda. Officials don’t seem to be taking these risks seriously. Eighty-five percent of Ethiopians are rural, mostly small-scale farmers or pastoralists who need grazing land and water for their animals. If there is widespread conflict, if they’re displaced, or if they can’t plant or harvest because of fighting, the humanitarian consequences would be dire.

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The Ethiopian government is forcibly displacing indigenous pastoral communities in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo valley without adequate consultation or compensation to make way for state-run sugar plantations and the construction of Africa’s highest dam, the Gibe III hydropower project. The Lower Omo valley, one of the most remote and culturally diverse areas on the planet, is home to around 200,000 people from eight unique agro-pastoral communities who have lived there for as long as anyone can remember. Their way of life and their identity is linked to the land and access to the Omo River.

What about the problem of internal displacement?

There are over two million internally displaced people in Ethiopia. This includes 1.4 million new displaced people in the first half of 2018 alone – the largest internal displacement of people in the world during that time period. A changing climate brought increased drought and variability of rains, causing the displacement of pastoralists who didn’t have enough grazing for their animals. But most of those displaced were fleeing armed conflict. In many places along the 800 kilometer boundary between the Oromia and Somali regions, groups, many of them armed, violently removed people from their lands. Because these places are remote, it’s difficult to provide food and other types of humanitarian aid there.

We are worried the government may be forcing internally displaced people back to their lands before it’s safe. Recently, about 900,000 people from the Gedeo ethnic group were forced to flee their lands in the country’s coffee-growing south by the Guji Oromo ethnic group. But the spike in the number of those displaced embarrassed the government, so local officials pressured them to move back in part by telling humanitarian groups – which were feeding the Gedeo – to only provide them food in the places they had fled. Many Gedeo went back because of the pressure, even though for many there is nothing to return to or they feel it is still unsafe.

October 19, 2010 Report

Development without Freedom

How Aid Underwrites Repression in Ethiopia

Using aid to control people’s movement was a strategy the former government regularly deployed. It’s concerning to see it being used again in Abiy’s Ethiopia.

How will these factors play into Ethiopia’s 2020 election?

In the past, Ethiopia’s elections were riddled with irregularities, with the government “winning” over 99.6 percent of federal parliamentary seats in 2010 and all 547 seats in 2015 election. Expectations are high that the 2020 elections will be different.

But lots of important issues about the upcoming elections aren’t being addressed. Key elements for an environment conducive to credible elections, like an independent media, fair registration procedures, and a vibrant civil society, just aren’t in place. Opposition parties, many of which only existed outside of Ethiopia for many years, are starting from scratch. An oft-delayed census, historically controversial in Ethiopia, has still not taken place.

Many people are quietly asking if the elections should be postponed. The ruling party and most opposition parties have not sought a postponement because they all think they will do well. And many of the youth – those who joined the protests that brought about the changes over the past year – don’t feel represented by the existing parties. Combine all this with the current ethnic tensions and the security void, and it’s a potential powder keg.

How does all of this affect your work?

In the past, we never were able to get the government’s perspective on the abuses taking place. We always reached out to officials but got nothing back, which denied them an opportunity to tell their side of the story. I’m hoping this new government will continue to give our researchers visas and be responsive to meeting and discussing our findings. We hope we will also be able to do more research on the ground in Ethiopia, and tackle issues that were previously off limits because of access and security constraints. We also look forward to working more openly with local civil society groups and activists as the sector rebuilds itself. After many years stuck on the outside, there’s lots to do, and we intend to be there to do it.

PM Abiy Ahmed has been named a global thinker by the Foreign Policy (FP) magazine. January 25, 2019

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Abiy Ahmed PRIME MINISTER OF ETHIOPIA

Lauren Tamaki illustration for Foreign Policy

In less than a year in office, Abiy Ahmed has already made history in Ethiopia by forging peace with its neighbor Eritrea. The move reunited families and reopened long-dormant trade networks. Now Abiy is focused on healing Ethiopia’s own divisions, and his status as the country’s first leader from the restive Oromia region has given many of his constituents hope that he’ll succeed.

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

FP  Global Thinkers  2016: The challengers, FEYISA LILESA

Both the rise of PM Abiy Ahmed and Athlete Feyisa Lilesa’s protest on global stages have been the consequences of #OromoProtests, Qeerroo Revolution.

Jawar Mohammed’s red-carpet return signals Ethiopia’s political sea change October 14, 2018

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Two years ago, the state branded him a terrorist. Now, after years in exile, activist Jawar Mohammed is back – and determined to see democracy in his country

A man holds an Oromo Liberation Front flag as people in Addis Ababa celebrate the triumphant return of Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed
 A man holds an Oromo Liberation Front flag as people in Addis Ababa celebrate the triumphant return of Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Jawar Mohammed never travels alone. When the US-based Ethiopian activist returned to his home country on 5 August, he was treated like royalty. A posse of sharply suited young men hovered by him at all times. Jeeps carrying security guards patrolled his hotel in central Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. Supporters from the provinces arrived in droves to pay their respects. Over the course of a two-week visit he held about 25 to 30 meetings a day, according to an exhausted aide.

After meeting with the Guardian in his hotel suite he rushed off to give a lecture at the capital’s main university, entourage in tow.

Nothing demonstrated the breathtaking transformation in Ethiopian politics over the past four months quite like the red-carpeted return of a figure who was once the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) most wanted man.

From a studio in Minneapolis, where he founded the controversial Oromia Media Network, Jawar has spent the past decade agitating over social media for political change back home in Ethiopia, which he left as a scholarship student in 2003. This was his first time in Ethiopia since 2008.

Jawar Mohammed, U.S.-based Oromo activist and leader of the Oromo Protest, addresses a news conference upon arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia August 5, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
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 Jawar Mohammed addresses a news conference upon arriving in Addis Ababa in August. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

So effective was he as an activist that by late 2016, as anti-government protests billowed across the country compelling the EPRDF to impose a state of emergency, the Oromia Media Network was labelled a terrorist organisation and Jawar accused of crimes against the constitution.

By early 2018 the revolutionary fervour had grown so loud that Hailemariam Desalegn was forced to resign as prime minister, paving the way for his enormously popular successor Abiy Ahmed, a young reformist from Oromia, Jawar’s home and the country’s largest and most populous region.

The Oromia Media Network, along with some smaller outlets and activists, has used social media to devastating effect over the past few years, coordinating boycotts and demonstrations and bringing Ethiopia’s large and often brutal security apparatus close to its knees.

“We used social media and formal media so effectively that the state was completely overwhelmed,” Jawar says. “The only option they had was to face reform or accept full revolution.”

During the course of a triumphant homecoming, the former terrorist (charges were dropped in May) toured the country, mostly around Oromia, where he was welcomed by vast and jubilant crowds. On his first day he led a tub-thumping rally in the capital’s main concert hall.

Later he travelled to Ambo, the epicentre of the Oromo protest movement – a struggle for political freedom and for greater ethnic representation in federal structures, which Jawar played a main role in orchestrating. Tens of thousands arrived to greet him, more than when Abiy visited the town shortly after his inauguration in April.

As Jawar had promised his supporters – mostly young, politically active Oromo men known as the Qeerroo – he took off his shoes and walked prophet-like through the streets of the city. He then planted a tree at the site where a young man was killed by security forces nearly 15 years ago, long before the rise of the movement that threw him into the national spotlight.

“They used to make me so happy and proud with what they did,” he said of Ambo’s Qeerroo. “So I told them: ‘One day I will come to your city and show my respect by walking barefoot.’ That day came and I had to deliver.”

Few doubt the importance of Jawar in recent Ethiopian history. Perhaps more than any other single individual, he took the once-marginal politics of Oromo nationalism and made it mainstream. Today, Oromos – the country’s largest ethnic group – dominate the highest offices of state, and Jawar enjoys significant personal influence over the country’s new leaders, including Abiy himself.

In a recent interview with local media he claimed – to the dismay of many Ethiopians – that the country now effectively has two governments: one led by Abiy, the other by the Qeerroo. This puts him in a position of extraordinary responsibility, since he is “one of the Qeerroo” and “a significant portion of the country listens to me”, he admits.

Many are uncomfortable with the whiff of demagoguery that accompanies Jawar. One Ethiopian journalist (who asked to remain anonymous) notes his “Trumpian sense of truth when inconvenient facts surface”.

He has been accused of inflating the numbers of protesters killed by security forces and, infamously, telling his followers (73,000 on Twitter and more than 1.4m on Facebook) that army helicopters fired live bullets at civilians during the tragic stampede that occurred during an Oromo cultural festival in October 2016. Independent journalists present confirmed this did not happen. He has a history of smearing journalists he disagrees with as government “agents”.

He has also been accused of inciting ethnic and religious violence. In a 2013 video, for example, he is heard saying: “My village is 99% Muslim. If someone speaks against us, we cut his throat with a machete.” Jawar says the clip was doctored, adding that he would not say such a thing because his father was a Muslim and his mother a Christian.

In recent years, he has whipped up his supporters against the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, the once dominant ethnic Tigrayan wing of the ruling coalition, which critics argue led to attacks against Tigrayan civilians as well as those of other ethnic groups. Jawar says that he has long sought to steer his supporters towards “non-violent resistance”, and adds that “even when TPLF was in power and actively killing our civilians we ensured Tigrayan civilians were not subject to attacks”.

These days, Jawar comes across as a more moderate and conciliatory figure. He says he plans for the Oromia Media Network to set up offices across Ethiopia and become a professionalised outfit. He points to the BBC and NPR as models. He insists he has no intention to enter formal politics, preferring to remain an activist.

“I want to help us in the next couple of years transition to democracy. And for that I want to use my influence over the population so that they can calm down, contain themselves, and ensure peace while the political leadership works out arrangements for transition,” Jawar says.

The last point is especially significant. In recent weeks instability across Ethiopia has escalated sharply, especially in his own region. The day after his interview with the Guardian a rally in the town of Shashamene turned violent, as a crowd of Jawar followers publicly hung a man they suspected of carrying a bomb. Two more died in the carnage that followed. Many Ethiopians blame him for the unrest, and he was compelled to cancel the rest of his tour.

Jawar nonetheless remains optimistic about the country’s future, and about the prospect of a peaceful politics free from violent expressions of ethnic identity. “I do believe if we democratise the Ethiopian state – allowing people of all ethnicities to participate in the political process and to get a fair share of power and wealth – there is a possibility the next generation will be proud Oromo and proud Ethiopian at the same time. I think that is possible.”

  • This story was amended on 21 August to include a response from Jawar Mohammed and to clarify claims against his organisation.


OMN: Simannaa MM Dr. Abiy Ahmad fi Perz. Lammaa Magarsaa (Minnesota), Little Oromia. Welcoming H.E. PR. OF ETHIOPIA DR. ABIY AHMED AND H. E. PZ. OF OROMIA DR. LAMMAA MAGARSAA July 30, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

OMN: Welcoming H.E. PR. OF ETHIOPIA DR. ABIY AHMED AND H. E. PZ. OF OROMIA DR. LAMMAA MAGARSAA

Photos: Ethiopians turn up in thousands to meet PM in Minnesota

Thousands of Ethiopians in the United States’ city of Minnesota packed the Target Center to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Clad in bright national and traditional colours, the crowd packed the center long before the arrival of the PM and his team. Abiy’s call for peace and unity of Ethiopians has been a common message on his tour and he was supposed to reiterate that message.

The PM and his entourage comprising the Foreign Affairs Minister, Information Minister and President of the Oromia regional state arrived in the state for the final leg of Abiy’s diaspora tour.

The tour took him first to Washington DC – where he held high-level political and economic meetings before addressing the Ethiopian diaspora. Next stop was in Los Angeles before arriving in Minnesota on Monday.

Photos courtesy TargetCenterMN and Opride [Mohammed Ademo, a pro-democracy activist]

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Tsedale Lemma@tselemma

If you can’t understand & try to accept the collective images coming out of as the image of , you will have failed the mini litmus test of understanding the Ethiopia to come; the Ethiopia we will be negotiating to build & the Ethiopia we will be settling for.

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Awol Allo@awolallo

So proud of Minnesota (aka little Oromia) right now. Thus far, it is looking like a showpiece of diversity, inclusion, and tolerance. I hope it ends that way – as an outstanding example of the type.

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Mohammed Ademo

@OPride

PM Abiy Ahmed and his delegation landed at Minneapolis International Airport for the final leg of a three-state diaspora tour. He was welcomed by members of the community and prominent individuals, inc. @Jawar_Mohammed

 


Daawwannaa Ameerikaa Kan Muummicha Ministeeraa Abiy Ahimed fi Dr. Lammaa Magarsaa

 

 

MPR News: Photos: Thousands welcome Ethiopian prime minister to Minneapolis

 

Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed cheer.
Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wave Ethiopian and American flags while waiting for him to speak inside Target Center in Minneapolis on Monday, July 30, 2018. Evan Frost | MPR News
Yusuf Ahmed lowers his glasses to peer at the stage.
2Yusuf Ahmed lowers his glasses to peer at the stage before Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks. Evan Frost | MPR News
Supporters of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wave flags.
3Supporters of the prime minister wave flags from the VIP section as he takes the stage. Evan Frost | MPR News
The floor of Target Center in Minneapolis is filled.
4The floor of Target Center in Minneapolis is filled with supporters. Prime Minister Ahmed was scheduled to appear at 2:30 p.m. but did not show up until nearly 5 p.m. Evan Frost | MPR News
Two attendees dance with the flag of the Oromo people.
5Two attendees dance with the flag of the Oromo people in the crowded arena. Evan Frost | MPR News
People carry giant Ethiopian and Oromo flags around.
6People carry giant Ethiopian and Oromo flags around the floor of Target Center. Evan Frost | MPR News
Rado Ali cheers for the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
7Rado Ali cheers for Prime Minister Ahmed during his speech. Evan Frost | MPR News
Attendees wave flags before Abiy Ahmed's speech.
8Attendees of a speech by Prime Minister Ahmed wave flags and cheer before he takes the stage. Evan Frost | MPR News
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
9Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other government officials look out at the crowd inside Target Center. Evan Frost | MPR News
Dancers perform on stage for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
10Dancers perform on stage for Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed. Evan Frost | MPR Newshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyPz89iAAtshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbXFMPM3qJI

Oromo do not want to be called Ethiopia but Oromiyaa. But they value peace and stability more than anything else July 29, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Oromo revolution is primarily to have free and stable Oromiyaa

Obbo Ibsaa Guutamaa


Secularism is Oromo political culture and tradition: Up until Haile Sillaasee, one church and government used to share power, economy and social practices. Darg and Wayyaanee did not have legal share in church affairs. But just like the emperor they appointed head of the Orthodox Church. Though it is said religion does not interfere in state matters both did not abandon heritage. PM Abiy is reverting to the past and eulogizing the two religions. He claimed everything fell apart because they lost credibility. Gadaa system believed in separation of state and religion. Abbaa Gadaa did not have power over faith of the high priest (Qaalluu) Abbaa Muudaa. It is the same for Abbaa Muudaa over politics. Just like, political culture, economy and social affairs all practices of Ethiopian government and that of Oromiyaa are different. The eldest religion “Waaqeffannaa” belongs to the Oromo, that will be an answer for those that ask why PM did not mention them like he did the others. Secularism should not be expected from Ethiopian state. Looked from principles of human rights country and governance belongs to all that live in it. Those that believe and do not believe have equal claims. Faith is private. That is why creating conditions in which all live without discrimination are necessary. The PM, when he talked about Ethiopia from the time it was called Abyssinia did not mention about the “Oromo Question”, which is thorn in Ethiopia ‘s hind. It seems he has forgotten that that was the cause for coming about of the change. That is why Nafxanyaa remnants and underlings say, “Racist, ethnic federalism, demarcations by language, separatist, etc. and badmouth Oromo nationalists. But Oromo are not spoiled culture and they do not return insult for insult. However, Nafxanyaa system will never again reign over Oromiyaa until the last Oromo with liberated mind remains. They have to know that there is nothing wrong with ethnic independence or federalism rather than braying as if they got something out of the ordinary. Peoples of the region worry about peace, freedom, equality and stability not about names of countries like Oromiyaa or Ethiopia. Some persons speaking in Amharic always want to impose their own thinking with a voice that seem that of feudalism from beyond its grave. They never ask what the others want. Oromo do not want to be called Ethiopia but Oromiyaa. But they value peace and stability more than anything else. How do anti-people elements reconcile their archaic thinking with that position? Oromo wish the people of the world respect each other’s differences and live in peace and develop together. Oromo revolution is primarily to have free and stable Oromiyaa. Saying Oromo is sovereign over Oromia does not mean Oromo revolution is out to destroy peace stability and development of the region. Just like it brought the present change with blood and sweat, it is duty bound to strengthen unity and prosperity of the region by cooperating in bringing about free and equal African people to the stage. No one can deny them this right or make Oromiyaa their fiefdom without their will. But first the Oromo nation have to establish its own identity and strong rear. Even if he is leaning towards Ethiopia Dr. Abiy is the first ruler of Ethiopia to promise stablishing supremacy of the law and a system of fair and free elections. As long as that is his objective and making effort to implement it supporting him is to one’s own advantage. Without fear or threat, like he said to raise arms on each other when it is possible to discuss peacefully is absurd. At an era when the strong are preparing on how to conduct war from the outer space and raise its standard, saying armed struggle is out of fashion may be true for the oppressor; for the oppressed it would remain as current as ever. On this we go separate ways with the Doctor. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu! Unless he gives priority to his blessed objectives of supremacy of the law fast, with present conditions there is much to be worrisome for all. For issues concerning peoples’ rights he has to be supported in every possible way. Otherwise, saying give him time only, could mean denying oneself time. It has to be thought over.

Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!


 

Related:

I found this comment by @Guma Teressa on my Timeline worth bringing to the front door.

“It’s shocking to hear PM Dr. Abiy declare that there should only be Ethiopian diaspora community and diaspora soccer federation organized under the banner of “Ethiopia”, and implicitly dismisses Oromo communities and soccer federation.
Is that why he snubbed OSA’s invitation?
He will pay dearly, politically speaking, for this embarrassing statement. He should know better! No one ought to explain to him the reason why Oromos had to establish their own communities and soccer federation. The irony of all this is he belongs to “Oromo People’s Democratic Organization”. Why the hell he joined OPDO if he is so averse to ethnicity?
If he continues to make this kind of nonsensical attack on the social and academic spaces Oromo people created for self-preservation, his base will soon crumble and the hyenas will devour him for dinner.
Do not patronize Oromo institutions, Dr. Abiy!!!!”

 

 

Actually very annoying, still in 21st century the Oromo people are being forced or seduced to give up themselves and be something else. The PM’s idea of preaching Ethiopianism to everyone to bring all people together as its an identity in everyone’s blood and culture is wrong. Rather than part of people identity Ethiopism has been an artificial method of rule that imposed on the majority of nations nationalities in the empire. It is only to make occupation and exploitation simple and centralized. It is a good idea to bring people together on mutual interests. Rather than imposing his way of unity that has been adopted from the northern, he has to first speak to each nations and ask them how they think and wish to come together. He has to learn national self determination ideals. Free world is not like his Ethiopia’s federal government. People like the Oromo have got the advantage of living in free and democratic world and organized themselves not on Ethiopianism model but as Oromo nation. For Oromo people in diaspora, Ethiopian community around is practically an Amhara community. They respect the way others organizing themselves. They respect their own independent community as well. A call give yourself and join the assimilation is not acceptable. As a democratic leader, to reach to the Oromo people the pm has to go where communities of Oromo are and assure them what he can offer them. The pm to be successful in organizing diverse nations has to look at Euro zone nations (Common currency, common national bank, free movement of people with politically independent nations). Why is it a problem to have separate Oromo and other communities as far as it is the peoples will to do? In Britain, the 4 nations that make the United Kingdom: Scotland, Welsh, English and Irish do compete in world and European cups as independent countries. It has not reduced the Union. Actually reduced mistrust and increased the recognition of each other and cooperation. The best, functional and true form of unity is recognizing the nationhood and identity of the Oromo and the like as they are. The people have already recognized themselves in such way. Try to impose something which is not acceptable to them is disunity and finally the end of the empire. Ethiopia will join dead empires: Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Roman Empire, the Scramble for Africa,ect… The New Nation Oromia will play Germany and win World Cup like Croatia.

The Guardian (The Observer): Ethiopia hails its charismatic young leader as a peacemaker July 15, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia hails its charismatic young leader as a peacemaker

Abiy Ahmed is being compared with Mandela and Gorbachev. Can he help transform a region beset by war, tyranny and poverty?
Dancers welcome Eritrea’s leader, Isaias Afwerki, to Addis Ababa.
 Dancers welcome Eritrea’s leader, Isaias Afwerki, to Addis Ababa. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

The flags of the two nations flew bright and sharp. The two leaders waved at the happy crowds. The formal meetings overran, amid ostentatious displays of bonhomie. Even the hatchet-faced security officials appeared relaxed.

The meeting of Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s 41-year-old prime minister, and Isaias Afwerki, the 71-year-old president of Eritrea, in Addis Ababa on Saturday left seasoned Africa observers gasping for breath.

“The pace of this is simply astounding,” said Omar S Mahmood, of the Institute for Peace and Security Studies in Ethiopia’s booming capital.

The meeting between Abiy and Isaias concluded an intense bout of diplomacy that appears to have ended one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. “Words cannot express the joy we are feeling now,” Isaias said, as he had lunch with Abiy. “We are one people. Whoever forgets that does not understand our situation.”

Many Ethiopians expressed their exhilaration on social media. “The events of these past … days between Ethiopia and Eritrea are like the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only amplified 1,000 times,” Samson Haileyesus wrote on Facebook. The reaction in Eritrea has been equally ecstatic.

Analysts say such hyperbole may be justified. The bid for peace with Eritrea is just the latest in a series of efforts that may bring revolutionary reform to Africa’s second most populous nation, transform a region and ​​​send shockwaves from the Mediterranean to the Cape of Good Hope.

Since coming to power in April, Abiy has electrified Ethiopia with his informal style, charisma and energy, earning comparisons with Nelson Mandela, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama and Mikhail Gorbachev. He has reshuffled his cabinet, fired a series of controversial and hitherto untouchable civil servants, including the head of Ethiopia’s prison service, lifted bans on websites and other media, freed thousands of political prisoners, ordered the partial privatisation of massive state-owned companies, ended a state of emergency imposed to quell widespread unrest and removed three opposition groups from a list of “terrorist” organisations.

Nic Cheeseman, an expert in African politics at Birmingham University, said Abiy’s extraordinary campaign ​was a test of the argument that only repressive government can guarantee the levels of ​development so desperately needed across Africa​.

Despite an International Monetary Fund forecast predicting that Ethiopia, which has relied on a centralised economic model and political repression​ for decades, would be the fastest-growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, even the officially sanctioned press has admitted the country’s serious difficulties.

Isaias, centre left, and Ethiopia’s president, Abiy Ahmed, centre, greet each other at the airport.
 Isaias, centre left, and Ethiopia’s president, Abiy Ahmed, centre, greet each other at the airport. Photograph: Mulugeta Ayene/AP

There is a shortage of foreign currency, growing inequality, a lack of jobs for a huge number of graduates, environmental damage, ethnic tensions and deep hunger for change.

Different interest groups have come together in recent years to constitute a powerful groundswell of discontent, with widespread anti-government protests led by young people. At least 70% of the population is below the age of 30.

“Ethiopia was on the edge of the abyss. They have realised they cannot continue in the same old way. Only an advanced democratic system would prevent the country coming to pieces and a disaster that Africa has never seen before,” said Andargachew Tsege, a British citizen unexpectedly pardoned in May after four years on death row on terrorism charges. Abiy invited Tsege, who was abducted by Ethiopian security services four years ago, to a meeting two days after his release.​ They spoke for 90 minutes​.

​No one claims that Isaias, the “hard and rigid” ruler of Eritrea since 1991, ​has much in the way of new ideas. A nation of about 5.1 million people, Eritrea is the only African country where elections are not held. As many as 5,000 Eritreans flee their country every month, notably to avoid indefinite military conscription. Many head to Europe. The economy ​has flatlined for decades​. The UN has accused the regime of crimes against humanity.

“The entire history of [Isaias] is as a ruthless Marxist-Leninist … Enemies were shot and killed. Economically, his position has always been: we are completely self-reliant. Is this guy going to become a happy-clappy liberal? It ​is possible he wants to be Eritrea’s Mandela but ​seems unlikely,” said Martin Plaut, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London.

Once a province of Ethiopia that comprised its entire coastline on the Red Sea, Eritrea voted to leave in 1993 after a decades-long, bloody struggle.

The thaw began last month when Abiy said he would abide by a UN-backed ruling and hand back to Eritrea disputed territory. Analysts say conflicts across the region fuelled by the rift are now likely to die down.

For the moment Abiy’s ​reforms have popular support, and the crucial backing of much of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, the rebel coalition that came to power in 1991.

But there is resistance. Last month, a grenade was thrown at a rally organised to showcase support for the reforms in Addis Ababa’s vast Meskel Square. Two died. “Love always wins … To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded,” Abiy said after the attack.

​Much depends on the determination of the Ethiopian leader. ​ Seen as a relative outsider before being picked for the top job by the EPRDF council​, Abiy is the first leader from Ethiopia’s largest ethnic community, the Oromo, who have complained for decades of economic, cultural and political marginalisation. The EPRDF is split by battles between four ethnically based parties as well as fierce competition between institutions and individuals.

Born in western Ethiopia, Abiy joined the resistance against the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as a teenager before enlisting in the armed forces. After a stint running Ethiopia’s cyberintelligence service, he entered politics eight years ago and rose rapidly up the ranks of the Oromo faction of the EPRDF, which has historically been at odds with the Tigrayans, who compose only 6% of the total population but have long had disproportionate political and commercial influence.​ In a major break with precedent, Abiy has been pictured with his wife and daughters, whom he has publicly thanked for their support.

As Abiy’s reforms gather momentum, the risks rise too. “Democracy can be achieved through benevolent leadership, but it can only be consolidated through democratic institutions. What we are seeing now is more of a personality-cult kind of movement,” said Mekonnen Mengesha, a lecturer at Wolkite University.

​Like other African countries– such as Kenya and Zimbabwe just over a decade ago​ – ​Ethiopia has seen previous efforts to reform its closed, autocratic system​ that have not ended happily.

“It’s really exciting and great news, but Abiy has not done anything that really threatens the regime​,” said Cheeseman​. ​“And​ until a government is actually faced with losing power you don’t know what will happen.”


More from Oromian Economist Sources:

Why the Eritrea-Ethiopia peace is good for African politics

The peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia is a radical act that will have an impact on all of East Africa. Click here to read


The Guardian: ‘These changes are unprecedented’: how Abiy is upending Ethiopian politics July 9, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

New PM has electrified country with his informal style, charisma and energy

Abiy Ahmed attends a rally during his visit to Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethiopia
 Abiy Ahmed: ‘To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded.’ Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, has accelerated a radical reform programme that is overturning politics in the vast, strategically significant African country.

Since coming to power as prime minister in April, Abiy has electrified Ethiopia with his informal style, charisma and energy, earning comparisons to Nelson Mandela, Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama and Mikhail Gorbachev.

The 42-year-old – who took power following the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Haile Mmariam Dessalegn – has so far reshuffled his cabinet, fired a series of controversial and hitherto untouchable civil servants, reached out to hostile neighbours and rivals, lifted bans on websites and other media, freed thousands of political prisoners, ordered the partial privatisation of massive state-owned companies and ended a state of emergency imposed to quell widespread unrest.

In recent days, Abiy fired the head of Ethiopia’s prison service after repeated allegations of widespread torture, and removed three opposition groups from its lists of “terrorist” organisations.

On Sunday, the former soldier met president Isaiah Afwerki of Eritrea in a bid to end one of Africa’s longest running conflicts. The two men hugged and laughed in scenes unthinkable just months ago.

“You don’t want to exaggerate but for Ethiopia, a country where everything has been done in a very prescriptive, slow and managed way, these changes are unprecedented,” said Ahmed Soliman, an expert in East African politics at London’s Chatham House. “His main task is to satisfy all expectations of all groups in a huge and diverse country. That’s impossible but he’s trying to do so with some gusto.”

The Addis Ababa-based Reporter described “the spectre of catastrophe hanging over Ethiopia” and called on the new prime minister to pull the nation “back from the brink”.

Ethiopia is facing a critical shortage of foreign currency, only temporarily solved by an infusion of cash from the United Arab Emirates. There is growing inequality, a shortage of jobs for a huge number of graduates, significant environmental damage, ethnic tensions and a hunger for change.

Different interest groups have come together in recent years to constitute a powerful groundswell of discontent, with widespread anti-government protests led by young people. At least 70% of the population is below the age of 30.

“The youth [are] the active force behind the country’s growth. Now there must be a new model to make Ethiopia progress economically by creating more job opportunities for the youth while respecting political and civil rights,” said Befeqadu Hailu, a 37-year-old blogger jailed repeatedly for his pro-democracy writings.

Abiy has apologised for previous abuses and promised an end to the harassment.

“I have always lived in fear but I feel less threatened when I write than I did before,” Hailu said. “It’s not only his word … the moment he spoke those words the security personnel down to the local levels have changed.”

But not all back Abiy’s efforts. Last month, a grenade was thrown at a rally organised to showcase popular support for the reforms in Addis Ababa’s vast Meskel Square, where many among the tens of thousands supporters wore clothes displaying the new prime minister’s image and carried signs saying “one love, one Ethiopia”. Two people died and more than 150 were injured in the blast and the stampede that followed.

“Love always wins. Killing others is a defeat. To those who tried to divide us, I want to tell you that you have not succeeded,” Abiy said in an address shortly after the attack.

Officials said there had been other efforts to disrupt the rally, including a power outage and a partial shutdown of the phone network. At least 30 civilians and nine police officers were arrested.

Since Abiy took power, there have been “organised attempts to cause economic harm, create inflation[ary] flare-up and disrupt the service delivery of public enterprises”, state media said.

One possible culprit could be a hardline element within Ethiopia’s powerful security services – Abiy has replaced military heads with civilians and admitted past human rights abuses. Another could be a faction opposed to the effort to find peace with Eritrea.

Strafor, a US-based consultancy, said the perpetrators of the “amateurish” attack were more likely to be from one of Ethiopia’s restive regions.

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the rebel coalition that ousted the Derg military regime in 1991, is split by factional battles between four ethnically based parties as well as fierce competition between institutions and individuals.

Tigrayans, an ethnic community centred in the north of Ethiopia, make up about 6% of the population but are generally considered to dominate the political and business elite.

Abiy was seen as a relative political outsider before being picked for the top job by the EPRDF council. He is the first leader from Ethiopia’s largest ethnic community, the Oromo, who have complained for decades of economic, cultural and political marginalisation.

Born in western Ethiopia, Abiy joined the resistance against the regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as a teenager before enlisting in the armed forces, reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He has a doctorate in peace and security studies. After a stint running Ethiopia’s cyberintelligence service, he entered politics eight years ago and rose rapidly up the ranks of the Oromo faction of the EPRDF, which has historically been at odds with the Tigrayans.

Analysts say Abiy’s mixed Christian and Muslim background, and fluency in three of the country’s main languages allow the new leader to bridge communal and sectarian divides. He has also reached out to women, making an unprecedented mention of his wife and mother in his acceptance speech.

One personal acquaintance described the new prime minister as “always looking ahead for the future”.

“He is also a good listener but with a bit of headstrong attitude towards people who don’t deliver,” said Yosef Tiruneh, a communications specialist who worked under Abiy at the science and technology ministry.

Tiruneh, said shelves of books on religion, philosophy and science filled Abiy’s office. “He is physically active and very well organised … He did not have a secretary because he wanted his office to be accessible. His office door was literally never closed.”

Andargachew Tsege, a British citizen unexpectedly pardoned in May after four years on death row on alleged terrorism charges, said Abiy was “very intelligent and a quick learner” who was committed to democratisation.

“Abiy invited me to meet him two days after my release. We spoke for 90 minutes and a lot of issues were discussed. It was a meeting of minds. This guy means business,” Tsege, who was abducted by Ethiopian security services while in transit in Yemen four years ago, said.

But some point out that the autocratic nature of decision-making in Ethiopia has yet to change, even if Abiy is using his new powers to reform.

“The country is still being led by one person and his cabinet,” said Tigist Mengistu, an executive in Addis Ababa. “Sadly we have been there for 27 years and we want that to change. It is bad for a country as diverse as Ethiopia,” she said.

Additional reporting by Hadra Ahmed in Addis Ababa


Related from Oromian Economist Sources:

Ethiopia, Eritrea to normalise relations after historic meeting

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said his country would normalise relations with neighbouring Eritrea following an historic meeting with President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara on Sunday, ….

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ETHIOPIA: ADDIS STANDARD: THE INTERVIEW: “THERE ARE GOING TO BE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO EMBRACE THIS CHANGE AND PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO RESIST IT,” MIKE RAYNOR, US AMBASSADOR TO ETHIOPIA July 3, 2018

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Ambassador Mike Raynor joined the State Department in 1988, and is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor. He has been Director of the Bureau of Human Resources’ Office of Career Development and Assignments since September 2016. From August 2015 to August 2016, he served as Assistant Chief of Mission in Kabul, with responsibility for the embassy’s foreign assistance, counter-narcotics, and law enforcement portfolios as well as its consular, management, and security functions. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Benin from 2012 to 2015. From 2010 to 2012, he served as Executive Director of the Bureau of African Affairs, following two years as the Deputy Executive Director. He has spent much of his career in Africa, including as management officer in Harare, Windhoek, Conakry, and Djibouti, and as General Services Officer in Brazzaville. He also served as Zimbabwe desk officer in the Bureau of African Affairs, Special Assistant and Legislative Management Officer in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, and Consular Officer in Luxembourg.  Ambassador Raynor arrived in Ethiopia to assume his role in September 2017. 

Addis Standard’s Ephream Seleshi sat down with Ambassador Raynor for this exclusive interview, only the second Ambassador Raynor has given to media since he moved to Ethiopia. Excerpts:


Addis Standard: [Given how things have changed within the last three months]  do you think Ethiopia has avoided danger or just delayed it?

Ambassador Raynor: I wouldn’t have really characterized it that way. What I would say is that Ethiopia has created amazing opportunities. I think I understand your question and if I take us back to when former prime minister Hailemariam [Desalegn] announced his resignation and, by the way, I just want to say that that was an extraordinary moment in Ethiopian history and, frankly, in world history, that he took that moment to articulate a vision that governance is not about having power or holding onto power but to do what you think is right for your country and people; and at that moment he decided that the right thing to do was to step back in a way that he thought would accelerate reforms and I thought that was an amazing gesture and I thought it created amazing opportunities and that’s what I mean when I say that it seems to be a moment of opportunity. After that resignation we watched how the EPRDF decided what to do with that opportunity, watched the people of Ethiopia debate what to do with that opportunity and to us it has created a moment of great opportunity and real change and that’s something we find very exciting.

AS: [The release of thousands of prisoners is one of the changes EPRDF is conducting since the resignation of former Prime Minister Hailemariam. But the issue of justice to those wronged by the same government is missing from the reformed EPRDF.] Will your country put efforts to help or even pressure the Ethiopian government to give justice for these prisoners? 

One of the most consequential things that has happened in recent months has been the release of so many prisoners, I mean thousands of prisoners. That there were thousands of prisoners to be released is, of course, an extraordinary thing in its own right. But I’ll say that I have met with a number of them and it’s been a really inspirational thing. And what I have found consistently with the ones I’ve met, and obviously I’ve only met a small subset but it included some very prominent thinkers in terms of the political opposition and as you said people who paid an extraordinary price for the courage of their convictions, and the thing that struck me about them is that they were looking ahead. They were looking to where they wanted this country to go. They were talking to us about what they thought we might be able to do to support that and they were talking about what they themselves were planning to do. Issues of justice for them, you know, that’s a difficult issue. I feel I’d be a little presumptuous to say exactly how that should play out and that’s something that I think is very specific to individual cultures, individual people, individual histories. I think it is something that needs to be discussed openly and I think it is something that the Ethiopian people and the government need to think about and figure out the right way forward. Where on the spectrum Ethiopia falls in terms of justice, in terms of reconciliation, I think these are very specific questions that only Ethiopians can answer.

AS: How did the protests of the past four years affect the US’ engagement with Ethiopia both diplomatically and in terms of development projects that are funded by the US?

I can probably speak best about the nine months I’ve been here. And so if I may, I’ll just constrain my answer to my own personal experience. I arrived at a moment when the previous state of emergency had just been lifted. It was the aftermath of a period of great unrest in the country. And I found the country to be rather pessimistic, the people to be rather pessimistic, rather shaken by what they had been going through over the previous months. As a representative of the US government, I had to figure out what to do with that reality. We decided a couple of things. One is that we decided that we’d reinforce the fact that we’re friends with this country and we are friends with the people of this country. And we want what’s best for this country as a partner. We want it for the sake of Ethiopia, but we also want it for the sake of the US. We have very strong areas of collaboration; the development of this country, the economic growth of this country, the education, the food security also our partnership in helping to create political and peace-keeping solutions to some of the strains the region faces as well. It’s been a long standing partnership and a longstanding and important relationship. But we felt that it was being undercut by the fact that the Ethiopian people were growing increasingly dissatisfied with their own governments. So, these were conversations we had very frankly with the government of Ethiopia. You’ll have seen that the day after Prime Minister Hailemariam resigned and the re-imposition of the state of emergency, the day after that we put out a public statement that was quite forceful in expressing concern, because we felt Ethiopia had reached a moment of opportunity and we wanted to express our hope that Ethiopia would benefit from that opportunity. So in the context of a longstanding and important relationship and a true friendship with this country we were doing what we could to encourage what we felt was necessary for this country to be stable and prosperous going forward which was greater political freedoms.

AS: Fast forward to the past three months, many are convinced that the US was one of those countries that have unambiguously supported the nomination of Dr. Abiy Ahmed to the position of prime minister of Ethiopia. Why was that?

Let me say that we didn’t exactly do that. One of the things we have to do is respect the fact that it is up to Ethiopians to decide what their leadership is going to be. What we did was articulate a vision for the kind of outcome we wished for Ethiopia which was an outcome that felt credible to the people that felt inclusive to the fullest extent that current political realities would have allowed. So that was the context within which we watched, with great interest, the EPRDF choose Dr. Abiy as the new prime minister and we regarded that as  an expression of the Ethiopian people through their own engagement but also the EPRDF in its selection process as an expression of the desire for change and we welcomed that.

AS: So, in a way, your country believed all of these, the desire for change, the opening up of new opportunities and the people’s will was encapsulated by the nomination of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia?

I think that is very, very well put. We spend a lot of our time dealing with the government and other partners, but we also spend a lot of our time talking to Ethiopians. Ultimately, as much as anything, my job here is to build those connections, to build those bridges between the American people and the Ethiopian people and in doing so we felt and we perceived the desire for change. And I think in the aftermath of the selection of Prime Minister Abiy, we’ve seen what felt like a fundamental reset in the atmosphere of this country, one of more optimism and hope and one of more enthusiasm. To us, once again, this seems to be an expression, to some extent, the desire of the people for change being perceived to be becoming a reality.

AS: But there were [still are] many who were discontented at the nomination and selection of Prime Minister Abiy. It is believed that most of these people are wither members of the TPLF or its sympathizers; in fact there were rumors that some have written to the US government opposing this. Can you confirm and if so, what was your reaction?

First I have to say I did not receive any communications from the TPLF of any kind, much less one expressing any particular opinion about that. I think the question sort of suggests a greater role of the United States in this process than we would have played. Again, we were observing this process play out. We articulated a general vision of our desire or improved governance, for improved rights, for improved inclusiveness and then we stepped back and we watched that process play out. You mentioned that certain elements of Ethiopian governance and society are less comfortable with changes than others. I think that’s fair and that’s natural. Change is stressful. Even positive change can require adjustment from people. And people who are uncomfortable with this change, I think that’s part of human nature and I think what’s happening and what’s important to be happening is that that’s provoking dialogue, that’s provoking discussions within the EPRDF, within the society more broadly about where this change is going to take people and for us that feels healthy, that feels democratic. So, it’s something we welcome.

AS: But given the entrenched interest of those who are discontent with the change many express concern that it could pose a danger to the opportunities that we now see. Do you share this concern?

I don’t perceive danger. As I said I perceive dialogue and discussion and I perceive people working through how they feel about what’s happening in this country. To be honest with you, the winds of change in this country, the dynamism and the momentum that [Prime Minister] Abiy has already created seem quite strong. We are not perceiving any efforts or anything we regard as fundamentally putting this trajectory at risk. That said, obviously there are going to be different views, and there are going to be people who are going to embrace this change and people who are going to resist it. I think part of the democratic process is to discuss all of these things, work through them, try to get as much buy in as the government can for the changes they are pursuing. I think [what is] an important element of democracy is the winners win but they still represent everyone in the country, even people who might feel like they lost. So everything the government can do to embrace the totality of what’s happening in this country and to be as responsive and representative of as many people as possible, I think would be a healthy thing. But again, we see that happening in the context of the trajectory of very positive and very dynamic change.

AS: Do you believe elections are due then?

Well, they’re due on their schedule. I think we are due municipal elections some time fairly soon in the next year or so and certainly we are due the general elections in 2020. One of the things we’ve seen with Prime Minister Abiy is that he has set a tone of political inclusiveness. He’s reaching out to the diaspora, he’s reaching out to the opposition, he’s reaching out to people that had previously been branded as terrorists many of whom had taken up residence in the United States. So, how that plays out between now and 2020 is something, I think, we’ll be very interested to watch. But we very much welcome the tone of political inclusiveness, the notion that the political opposition isn’t the enemy- they’re the competition. I think that is a very healthy construct and I think it’s something that creates real possibility for more inclusive political process leading up to the 2020 elections.

AS: Currently the Ethiopian parliament is 100% controlled by the ruling EPRDF and there are sweeping changes being approved by the same parliament. Don’t you think that puts the Ethiopian people at a major disadvantage, that they might not have a voice in some of these changes being undertaken by the parliament?

I think it remains to be seen how it plays out. But, I have to say that although I understand that there is a lot of Ethiopians who feel any solution that is within the EPRDF is suspicious, I have to say that we are seeing enormous change within the ERPDF. Prime Minister Abiy is within the EPRDF and he’s articulating a vision of reform and political inclusiveness that, I think, really creates opportunities that can go well beyond EPRDF. And so I think, change is a process. I think change need not be destabilizing or disruptive. I think it can sometimes take time and I think it can sometimes take more time than some people would like. But I think we have to acknowledge that we have seen enormous change in a very brief amount of time since Prime Minister Abiy was selected. That, to me, creates possibilities for further political reform to come.

AS: How will these changes or reforms affect the US’ involvement particularly in supporting the civil society, human rights organizations and media freedom in the country?

Well, we have long had the position that we wished for greater freedom for civil society. An engaged, dynamic civil society informs governance as well or better than any other single element of society. We feel that by cutting itself off from as dynamic a civil society as possible, through the CSO law for example, the Ethiopian government has robbed itself of resources that could have informed and improved governance decisions. We very much would welcome in the coming days efforts to address the constrains on civil society. We have many civil society partners here but I’ll tell you that relative to other countries where I have served we have fewer and they are less empowered than we would like to see. We are hoping that changes in the days ahead.

AS: Tensions are flaring up in many parts of Ethiopia; the inter-ethnic dynamics is experiencing strains. What would you say should be done to avert the kinds of violence we saw in recent weeks in places like Hawassa and Sodo in the south?

Thank you, it’s a really important question and it’s a central question. Frankly it is one we are grappling with trying to get our own understanding of. We are outsiders and what we are seeing are dynamics that have existed in some form or another for centuries in some cases. We are very saddened by the ethnic unrest that has flared in numerous areas of Ethiopia. It’s not new, unfortunately, but it seems to persist and there has been a flare up of late. Anytime we see Ethiopians against Ethiopians causing destruction, causing harm, causing death, it feels like a very sad thing and it feels like it’s not taking the country forward. I think it is something that the government has to engage on, it is engaging on. My only thought is that perhaps civil society, community leaders, religious leaders can encourage a bit of patience, can encourage a bit of hope, can encourage a bit of pride, if I may put it, in the fact that Ethiopia is an amazing country and the Ethiopian people are amazing people. And if they can accentuate the strength that Ethiopia has and the strength and the bonds that Ethiopians have and perhaps they can say “this is not a great time to be tearing the country or each other apart. This is a time to be coming together. This is a time to be supporting the change underway. This is a time to be supporting each other.” I don’t have the standing to give that message in the way that Ethiopian civil society and leaders do. But I think it is an important aspect of what’s going on now to encourage that sort of frame of mind.

AS: Lets move to recent developments between Eritrea and Ethiopia. How does your country view Ethiopia’s willingness to fully implement the Algiers agreement and the EEBC’s ruling?

Well, it was yet another extraordinary thing that Prime Minister Abiy has done. It was a fundamental reset, as, again, he has done in many other aspects of his announcements on political, economic areas as well. It created, again, opportunity where it seemed like it might not exist and people wondered when it might happen. So it was an enormously important gesture. Both his initial speech when he was sworn in at parliament when he expressed in general terms his desire for reconciliation with Eritrea and more recently his announcement of respect for the Algiers Agreement, a really consequential development which has since been reciprocated by the government of Eritrea’s decision to send a delegation to Ethiopia for talks. The United States has put out a public statement from the White House embracing this development and encouraging next steps. It is a really consequential issue. This disagreement, this problem between these two countries has been good for neither of these countries, it has not been good for the region. If these countries can get past it, it’ll be good for their economies, it’ll be good for their societies, it’ll be good for the stability of the region. So if we can get there, it’ll be hugely consequential and we strongly encourage both governments to persist in trying to reach that outcome.

AS: Obviously, there will be a lot of diplomatic shuttle to further consolidate these changes. Is the US planning to be a part of it?

Well, we have said to both parties, and publicly, and continue to say that we are available to play that role. Back in the day of the Algiers Agreement the United States was formally a guarantor; we had a structural role established at the point that the agreement was made. We have encouraged this outcome for sometime with both governments and in doing so we have said ‘If you collaboratively feel there is a role that the US can constructively play, we’ll do everything we can to support that’. We have not been asked in any form or way to play any sort of role in that process. But if we are, we would look very strongly at doing everything we can to respond favorably.

AS: Do you think there should be further measures the Ethiopian government could take in order to avoid the odds against any conflict between the two countries during this period of transition? 

I think at this point the two parties need to sit down. If such steps are identified then we would hope that both countries would do what they could to build confidence and to do so in a way that seems responsive to the other party’s concerns. In terms of what those specific steps might be, it would be premature and presumptuous for me to suggest anything. I think that has to be an outcome of discussions between the two governments.

AS: Many analysts are asserting that the increase in pressure from the US played a role in pressuring Ethiopia to make this decision. What are your comments about that?

While that might seem flattering in a way, I think it overstates things. I think we’ve played a constructive role. As I said, we’ve had engagements with both countries for a number of months now encouraging this outcome. That predates Prime Minister Abiy, but certainly includes the time and period he came to power. But, I think Dr. Abiy came to power with very clear ideas of what he wanted to do and what his priorities would be. From the moment he addressed the parliament upon being sworn in, he had articulated reconciliation with Eritrea as being among those priorities. What you’re seeing here is the Ethiopian government driving this process and deciding to make it a priority.

AS: Your top Africa diplomat, Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, has been to Eritrea and discussed with the Eritrean government and did the same here in Ethiopia. What was the immediate purpose of his visit?

Exactly what I said-encouraging both sides to look for possible ways to come together. Pure and simple.

AS: Is the US engaged with Eritrea in trying to bring about democratic change in the country?

We are very much interested in having Eritrea become a constructive actor in the region and a good neighbor. We are very hopeful that this can be an outcome of this process. We are looking very much to encourage both sides to find common ground to move to a place where both countries are engaging with each other and with the region in ways that build up the region and themselves. That, I think, is a really possible outcome thanks to these recent developments.

AS: In his speech on Eritrean Martyr’s day on June 20 President Isaias Afeworki placed a lot of the blame for the acrimony between Ethiopia and Eritrea on, among others, the ‘defunct policies’ of the US government. What’s your reaction to that?

I am really not going to react to that. The president of Eritrea is, certainly, free to speak his mind. He did so in the context of expressing a desire to come together with Ethiopia to find a way forward. To us that’s the important part of his message and the important part of where we are right now.

AS: Does that mean the US sees a democratic Eritrea with Isaias Afeworki at its helm?

At this point I’d have to refer you to my counterpart in Eritrea if you’d like the conversation to be about US policy towards Eritrea. I represent our government in Ethiopia and I don’t really have a whole lot to add to what we’ve already been discussing in that regard. I am not going to talk about bilateral relations between the US and a country I’m not accredited to. But I’ll say, once again, that we are extremely encouraged to see these two parties talking to each other and planning to get together. That is really the main takeaway and an exciting one.

AS: What kind of Ethiopian influence does the US want to see in East Africa?

I think we see it. We see in Ethiopia as a country that engages in multiple ways to try to bring stability and harmony and commonality of purpose to a really volatile and troubled region. It’s an important role that Ethiopia plays politically and it’s an important role that Ethiopia plays in terms of its peace-keeping engagements. We are proud to support Ethiopia in those efforts. We confer with them frequently on next steps. But in terms of the broad desire the US has with regards of the Ethiopian region, it is to find ways to support what Ethiopia already does, which is try to be a very constructive actor in a challenging area.

AS: Ethiopia recently signed an agreement with DP World and Somaliland to acquire 19% of the port of Berbera. How does the US see that?

We don’t really have a view on that. Ethiopia has to figure out what makes sense for its own interests and for the relationships it maintains in the region. But it is not the sort of thing  that the US government would stake out a particular position on.

AS: How does the US react to the recent geopolitical shifts in alliances happening in the Horn of Africa due to the Qatar crisis?

Again, it is something that goes a little bit beyond my direct engagement. But I think as with all engagement between nations, everyone benefits when that engagement is transparent and when it reflects mutual interest. And I hope that as the countries of the Horn including Ethiopia engage with Gulf States as any other states that’ll play out in a way that helps bring about a region that is harmonious, stable, prosperous and has as much of a commonality of purpose as possible. How that plays out in terms of the Gulf States in the region is something I really can’t speak to in much more detail.

AS: There are many military outposts in the Horn of Africa, especially in Djibouti. Do you think Ethiopia should have a say in the decisions to establish military installations in its vicinity?

I think any neighbors need to be in a position they can talk to each other about developments in the countries that might impact each other. I think that happens. I think Ethiopia has frank and ongoing relationships with all of its neighbors and I imagine that part of those discussions touch on the area you are referring to.

AS: Lets’ get back to Ethiopian politics. How does the US view the struggle by the Ethiopian youth, especially the youth in Oromia and Amhara regional states, that brought in the new administration and the political change we are witnessing today?

I think we are not the first to figure out that one of the biggest challenges and one of the biggest opportunities in front of Ethiopia right now is a very large, very dynamic, very motivated youth population. Depending on how you define youth, doesn’t matter, we’re still talking about tens of millions of people. And I think you’re right. I think that one of the reasons that Prime Minister Abiy is in power today is because he was listening to the youth and he was learning from the youth and he was thinking about how to be responsive to the youth. So, I think it  is one of the biggest challenges Ethiopia faces right now. You’ve got a young population that wants to be politically empowered, that wants to be economically empowered. But I think if you unleash the potential of Ethiopia’s youth, you’ll strengthen this country immeasurably.

AS: There are many Ethiopian activists in the United States such as Jawar Mohammed, who actively affected many of the outcomes that we’re seeing now. First, what do you think of the roles played by these activists? And because many of these activists have been a thorn in the side of previous Ethiopian administrations, has there ever been a request for any one of them to be deported to Ethiopia, as some people in Ethiopia have publicly suggested?

Again this is one of the areas where what Prime Minister Abiy is doing is extraordinary in its vision and its potential for impact. I grew up in the Washington DC. area and I know that the Ethiopian population in the United States is extremely smart, dynamic, thoughtful, successful and interested and committed to the welfare of Ethiopia. So, what we have here, again I’m gonna get back to it, is opportunity. Dr. Abiy is reaching out to these people. He’s encouraging them to bring their expertise, their resources, the values they have developed both as Ethiopians and as Americans to bear on this country’s development. It’s a really exciting possibility and it’s a really an aspect of the Ethiopian strength that, I think, can be tapped more fully. So, it’s another aspect of everything going on today that we are encouraged by.

AS: Finally, what message would you pass to the people of Ethiopia?

Thank you. I guess I’d say a couple of things. First I’d say that myself as a person and the country I represent, the United States, feel really excited and hopeful right now about Ethiopia. We are really inspired by the pace of change and by the scope of change. They’re going to face a lot of challenges, the Ethiopian people and the Ethiopian government. This is a very big, very rich, very complicated, very dynamic country. It’s not going to be easy to address some of the political challenges, some of the economic challenges, some of the security challenges, some of the justice challenges that we have been talking about throughout this. But, I guess I’d say a couple of things. For everything that we, as Americans, worry about Ethiopia’s future, we’ve heard Dr. Abiy articulate a vision and a path toward resolution. And that, I think, is important. I think we feel that we’re hearing in Ethiopian leadership a government that understands the will of the people, understand the needs of its people and is working to address those. That’s encouraging from where we sit. I guess the last thing I’d say is that I’d ask the Ethiopian people to think about what they might be able to do to support. Back in the 1960s we had a president named John F. Kennedy and he had a very famous quote: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’. That’s a quote that Americans love because it talks about the shared responsibility, the reciprocal relationship between the governed and the governing. I think this is an interesting moment for Ethiopians to think about things in terms like that. To think about not just the grievances they might have, the frustrations they might have, the historical divisions they might feel and want to express but to put all of that aside and say ‘this is an amazing moment of opportunity, that I don’t think any Ethiopians saw six months ago!’. And to think about how they can contribute to this opportunity and to move their country forward. AS


 

Ethiopia: Millions of people gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and across the country to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda. #March4Abiy #AbiyAhmed #Ethiopia #OromoProtests June 23, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abiy  #Ethiopia #OromoProtests ,n 23 June  2018.png

OMN Finfinnee: Gabaasa hiriiraa deeggarsaa (Wax2018)

Millions of people gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and across the country to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s reform agenda. #March4Abiy #AbiyAhmed #Ethiopia #OromoProtests

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abiy #AbiyAhmed #Ethiopia #OromoProtests.png

 

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abiy  #Ethiopia #OromoProtests on 23 June  2018.png

Millions have gathered at Hulluuqo kormaa (Meskel square), in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) to take part in a peaceful solidarity rally in support of PM Abiy Ahmed's reform agenda. #March4Abi

Dozens injured in a deadly blast at a support rally for Ethiopia’s PM Abiy Ahmed, OP

 

AMHARIC PROGRAMOMN: ሰበር ዜና (LIVE) Jun 2, 2018

MM Abiy Ahimad: ‘Yaadni hammeenyaa keessan isiiniif hin milkoofne’, BBC Afaan Oromoo

The Oromo Movement and Ethiopian Border-making using Social Media April 19, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist
The Oromo Movement and Ethiopian Border-making using Social Media

The Oromo people have had a long and turbulent struggle in Ethiopia. This ethnic majority have been persecuted over decades for sustaining their culture their language, traditions, and rituals, at times through systematic violence by the ruling regime. This has led to a large number of Oromo people fleeing the country and seeking asylum across the world. The Oromos, while restricted in self-determination in their homeland, have become visible through their activism on social media sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter. This has led the Ethiopian state to mark some of them as terrorists and block their online accounts due to their significant and growing influence on social media today. Within this context, this chapter critically examines the role of social media in the Oromo social movement and offers a framework to assess their impact. This framework includes, 1) border-making within urban and digital geographies, 2)
networks of digital Oromo activism, and 3) the creative insurgency of the Oromo movement.
By applying this framework, we can assess the complexities surrounding the Ethiopian digital political culture. The Oromo people have indeed reinvented themselves and their histories through digital platforms, at times creating moral dilemmas about group identity that can serve as a barrier to inclusion.  –
by Payal Arora, Erasmus University Rotterdam

The Oromo Movement and Ethiopian… (PDF Download Available).  The full article available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324538195_The_Oromo_Movement_and_Ethiopian_Border-making_using_Social_Media

Can Ethiopia’s first Oromo prime minister pull the nation back from the brink of civil war? – New Statesman March 30, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Abiy Ahmed in 2017

Can Ethiopia’s first Oromo prime minister pull the nation back from the brink of civil war?

by Martin Plaut*, New Statesman, 29 March 2018

Abiy Ahmed has come to power following a period of intense unrest and violence.

 

For months now, Ethiopia has been trembling on the brink of a civil war. Anti-government protests that began in 2015 over land rights broadened into mass protests over political and human rights. The government responded with waves of arrest, punctuated by hundreds of killings. Then, last month, the government announced a six-month state of emergency.

In the middle of February, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn finally threw in the towel and resigned. For weeks, the country has been without a leader. Now, finally, a brief announcement on state television has declared that Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has voted in Abiy Ahmed as new prime minister.

But Ahmed is something of an outsider; a member of the Oromo, who – despite being the country’s largest ethic group, at 34 per cent of the population – have never held power in Ethiopia’s modern history. Living in the centre and south of Ethiopia they were forcibly incorporated into the empire during the reign of Menelik II (1889-1913). Using imported firearms, Menelik embarked on a program of military conquest that more than doubled the size of his domain. Despite their numbers, the Oromo were routinely discriminated again: being referred to by the derogatory term of “galla” which suggested pagan, savage, or even slave.

The problems of ethnicity were supposedly eliminated in 1991 when rebels of the Tigray People’s Liberation Movement swept to power in Addis Ababa. Under the brilliant, but ruthless, Meles Zenawi a new system of “ethnic federalism” was introduced. Each ethnic group was encouraged to develop local self-government, while being guaranteed representation at the centre.

A system of ethnic parties was established and nurtured. These came together in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a coalition of four political movements.

But there was a strong belief that behind each party stood a representative of the Tigrayan minority, which controlled the coalition with a rod of iron.

Gradually, however, each of the four constituent parties has developed its own political culture. Abiy Ahmed emerged as a key player in what became known as “Team Lemma”, which has been steering change in recent months. The team resisted Tigrayan hegemony in order to transform EPRDF from within, while at the same time governing Oromia legitimately and serving local needs.

It would appear that this has now finally succeeded. Some cast doubt on Ahmed’s ability to lead this complex transformation, pointing out that he is well connected to the security services. Others suggest that his mixed religious background — he has a Christian mother and a Muslim father — his education, and his fluency in Amharic, Oromo, and Tigrinya as making him well qualified for the job.


*Martin Plaut is a fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. He is the author of Understanding Eritrea and, with Paul Holden, the author of Who Rules South Africa?

 

Related (Oromian Economist sources) :

Irrespective of whichever media outlet’s one may read, the following five key connections are either implied or purposely made about the connection between the election of Dr. Abiy and demands of the Oromo people. And they are all wrong.

Dr. Abiy Ahmed is an Oromo, But he is not Oromo Prime Minister!

I did not like how the election of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as the chairman of the EPRDF and as the Prime Minister designate of Ethiopia, pending approval by the Parliament, is being framed and set up by both local and international media and the implication of his election on the demands of the Oromo people in Ethiopia.

Irrespective of whichever media outlet’s one may read, the following five key connections are either implied or purposely made about the connection between the election of Dr. Abiy and demands of the Oromo people. And they are all wrong.

1. Dr. Abiy was not elected to represent the Oromo people. He is an Ethiopian Prime Minister representing the entirety of the Ethiopian people including the Oromo people. The Oromo people did not nominate or elect him to represent them in the Office of the Prime Minister. He is elected as an individual, possibly, representing the OPDO, the Oromo wing of the EPRDF. Therefore, it is wrong to assume that Dr. Abiy is becoming the chairman of the EPRDF and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia by representing the Oromo people.

2. Dr. Abiy was not elected to calm down and sooth the Oromo people and the Oromo protests. To begin with, the demands of the Oromo people was not to elect Dr. Abiy to the office of the prime minister. Second, it is wrong to assume that the Oromo people will be calmed down and being soothed by the election of an Oromo individual to the office of the Prime Minister unless the office Dr. Abiy represents, the Office of Ethiopian Prime Minister, responds to the demands of the Oromo people and all the demands of the #OromoProtests are addressed. In fact, the Oromo protests will continue their struggle until the political, economic and social exclusion and marginalization of the Oromo people in Ethiopia ends. The Oromo people knows he is an Oromo but he does not represent the interests of the Oromo people alone. As a Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy represents the interests of all Ethiopian people. The Oromo people will not expect either specific favor other than what he could do for all Ethiopia’s or being disappointed if he fails to deliver any of his promises. But, with Dr. Abiy in the office of the Prime Minister, the Oromo people will work with him to end those marginalization and exclusions. The same holds true about the demands of all other Ethiopian people. Simply put, the struggle will continue including by working with him to address the demands of our people for justice, equality and freedom.

3. Dr. Abiy’s success or failure as the Prime Minister is not Oromo people’s success or failure. Dr. Abiy’s success or failure as the Prime Minister is just that. It is his individual success or failure. The Oromo people will not be praised for his success nor condemned because of his failures. But, will I be, as an Oromo, happy at his success? Triple Yes! Yes! And Yes! In fact, I will do everything in my power for him to succeed to advance the causes of equality, justice and freedom in Ethiopia. I believe the Oromo people, the same as all other Ethiopians, will do the same and work hard for his success. Other than that, attributing his failure or success to the Oromo people will be totally wrong.

4. Dr. Abiy, as an individual, is not a superman to do miracle in solving Ethiopia’s multifaceted problems. Rather, his administration, the ministerial cabinet and other executive authorities he appoints, the support of progressive forces in the EPRDF, and the support his administration gets from the Ethiopian public including from those in the opposition will determine whether his administration succeeds or fails. Therefore, instead of focusing what Dr. Abiy could do or not do, let’s look into what we could do both as an individual and as group to help him and his administration bring the much needed transformative regime change in Ethiopia.

5. Dr. Abiy is not an Oromo Prime Minister. He is an Ethiopian Prime Minister. Designating him as an Oromo Prime Minister is a tacit attempt to imply that the Oromo people assumed political power in Ethiopia. That is simply wrong. The Oromo people, together with other Ethiopians, are struggling to establish the government of the people for the people by the people in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian people’s political power to elect and remove from office their representatives through democratic elections are not yet to be secured or even formally acknowledge by the current Ethiopian regime. Therefore, implying as if the election of Dr. Abiy signifies the transfer of the political power to the Oromo people is totally wrong.

I hope both the international and local media will not make these and similar mistakes as they continue to report on this issue.

 

ቄሮዎች ስለ ዶ/ር አብይ ምርጫ ምን ይላሉ?

ባለፉት ሁለት ዓመታት በኦሮሚያ በሚደረጉ ተቃውሞዎች እና አድማዎች ጉልህ ተሳትፎ የነበራቸው “ቄሮ” በሚል መጠሪያ የሚታወቁት በወጣት የዕድሜ ክልል ያሉ የክልሉ ነዋሪዎች ናቸው፡፡ ከጥያቄዎቻቸው መካከል የኦሮሞ ብሔር በፌደራል ስርዓቱ ውስጥ ተገቢውን ቦታ ማግኘት አለበት የሚለው አንዱ ነው፡፡ የዶ/ር አብይ አህመድ ምርጫ ጥያቄያቸውን የመለሰ ይሆን?

ODF Statement on the election of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as Chairman of Ethiopia’s ruling party

 

 

 

 

Global Oromo Rally Against Ethiopia’s Fascist Regime. #OromoProtests March 24, 2018

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Rally-March for oromo lives in Washington DC, Maryland & Virigina area

Hiriira mormii Hawaasa Oromoo Washington DC tiin geggeeffamee:

Hiriira Mormii Hawaasa Oromoo Biyya Netherlands,Magaalaa The Hague 2018

The Oromo community in the UK Rally

 

 

 

The Oromo community in France Rally

 

‘Fight for democracy in Ethiopia continues’ – U.S. Congress to vote on H. Res. 128. Click here to read at Africa  news

SPILLOVER: Ethiopia’s political crisis is now spilling over into Kenya’s borders. – Quartz Africa #MoyaleMassacre March 20, 2018

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SPILLOVER:  Ethiopia’s political crisis is now spilling over into Kenya’s borders

The refugees fled the restive Oromia region following a botched military operation targeting members of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front. During a raid on the villages, the government said faulty intelligence led soldiers to “mistakenly” kill nine civilians and injure 12 others. Since then, the unrest and fear has forced thousands—including 600 expectant mothers, disabled, and elderly persons—to flee into the border town of Moyale in Kenya and establish makeshift camps. The UN refugee agency said it was difficult to assess how many more people had fled since many were being housed by friends and relatives.

The outbreak of violence comes weeks after the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s council imposed a six-month a state of emergency amid mass anti-government protests. The grassroots opposition to the government largely stemmed from the Oromos and Amharas, who for over two years now have decried systematic exclusion, land grabs by the minority Tigray-dominated state, besides limited representation in senior government posts.

The government reacted to these protests with force, drawing sharp criticism from its allies in the West. The unrest also jeopardized the nation’s booming economy and its place as an important center for global apparel sourcing.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Representatives from @UNHCR_KENYA, @UNICEFKenya, WFP, @IFRCAfrica, Refugee Affairs Secretariat and Kenya , visit Moyale to see first-hand the situation of the over 9000 displaced persons from Ethiopia.

In January, in a move described as a salve for the Oromo, the government announced it would close an infamous detention center and release political prisoners, including those awaiting trial. And in a corollary gesture, prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigned in mid-February, opening up a succession game and bitter internal wrangles. Opposition figures insisted that tepid reforms or half-hearted concessions won’t solve the country’s problems, calling for the system of governance to be overhauled.

The EPRDF is set to meet soon to choose its next leader. Chris Suckling, a senior analyst with IHS Markit, says Abiy Ahmed who leads the Oromo party that makes up the ruling alliance “is the most likely successor as prime minister.” Suckling said Ahmed was a favorite given his close relationship with Oromo youth and the country’s political and security agencies.

In Moyale, meanwhile, the displaced refugees continue to arrive daily, narrating stories of horror from the villages straddling the border on the other side.


Related (Oromian Economist sources):

 

 

Ethiopia crisis is ‘the beginning of the end of autocracy’ – Kenyan security expert. Africa News March 19, 2018

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Ethiopia crisis is 'the beginning of the end of autocracy' - Kenyan security expert

ETHIOPIA

A Kenyan conflict analysis resolution expert says Kenya must employ diplomatic channels to help Ethiopia out of the current political crisis it finds itself in.

According to Hassan Khannenje, the current state of affairs was just a matter of time after decades of iron fist rule by the Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Speaking on a political talk show hosted by NTV Kenya channel he stressed that Ethiopia was nearing the end of authoritarian rule. “I don’t see the current Ethiopian crisis as the beginning of democracy (actually) I see it as the beginning of the end of autocracy.

Ever since the days of Hailesellasie to Mengistu Hailemariam and then after he was overthrown (really), there has never been a debate in Ethiopia or political space, essentially it has been a police state.

“Ever since the days of Hailesellasie to Mengistu Hailemariam and then after he was overthrown (really), there has never been a debate in Ethiopia or political space, essentially it has been a police state,” he stressed.

He averred that in the absence of a substantive head of government, i.e. a Prime Minister, the country was confused, adding that the state of emergency did not help matters because it is often used to repress opposition groups.

“And this is a culmination of many years of autocracy and authoritarianism. Now, in the absence of the Prime Minister at the moment or at least the state control of power in certain places, a lot of time the opposition tends to suffer, it gets scapegoated, it gets repressed.

“… the Oromo being the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and having been resistant to the status quo for many years, of course they are going kto get the first flak. Now, Kenya had seen this coming and we cannot pretend we were unaware of the goings on in Ethiopia.

Kenya until recently had not actively waded into the Ethiopian situation. The recent influx of thousands of refugees following a botched military operation in the border town of Moyale has forced the media to discuss Ethiopia.

“This was bound to happen sooner or later and what I am hoping is our Minister of Foreign Affairs or Interior have a moral bust approach both diplomatically with Ethiopia to make sure that thing does not overflow.

“But also to use its influence on the current rulers within at least on the Ethiopian circles, at least, to try and calm things down. Today Ethiopia needs help. They are still trying to figure out a direction where to go from here, they are confused,” he said.

 

‘Freedom!’: the mysterious movement that brought Ethiopia to a standstill.- The Guardian March 13, 2018

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Qeerroo – young Oromo activists – drove the mass strike that helped topple the prime minister of one of Africa’s most autocratic governments

Supporters of Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress, celebrate his release from prison, in Adama, Ethiopia on 14 February 2018.
 Supporters of Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress, celebrate his release from prison, in Adama, February 2018. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters


Today, Desalegn is a banker. But once he was a Qeerroo: a young, energetic and unmarried man from Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, bound by what he calls a “responsibility to defend the people”.

Twelve years ago he helped organise mass protests against an election result he and many others believed the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) had rigged. This landed him in prison, along with thousands of others, on terrorism charges.

Since then he has married and, like many of his generation in Ethiopia, mostly avoided politics. That was until 12 February, when he joined almost everyone in the town of Adama, and in many others cities across the region of Oromia, in a strike calling for the release of opposition leaders and an end to authoritarianism.

The boycott, which lasted three days and brought much of central Ethiopia to a standstill, culminated on 13 February with the release of Bekele Gerba, a prominent Oromo politician who lives in Adama, and, within 48 hours, the sudden resignation of Ethiopia’s beleaguered prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn. The shaken federal government then declared a nationwide state-of-emergency on 15 February, the second in as many years.

“It was a total shutdown,” says Desalegn, of the strike in Adama. “Almost everybody took part – including government offices. You wouldn’t have even been able to find a shoeshine boy here.”

For him and many other residents of Adama, about 90km south-east of the capital, Addis Ababa, there is only one explanation for how a normally quiescent town finally joined the uprising that has billowed across much of Oromia and other parts of Ethiopia since late 2014: the Qeerroo.

Police fire tear gas to disperse protesters during the Oromo festival of Irreecha, in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, in October, 2016
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 Police fire teargas to disperse protesters during the Oromo festival of Irreecha, in Bishoftu, October 2016. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Who the Qeerroo are, and how they have helped bring one of Africa’s strongest and most autocratic governments to its knees, is only dimly understood.

In traditional Oromo culture the term denotes a young bachelor. But today it has broader connotations, symbolising both the Oromo movement – a struggle for more political freedom and for greater ethnic representation in federal structures – and an entire generation of newly assertive Ethiopian youth.

“They are the voice of the people,” explains Debela, a 32-year-old taxi driver in Adama who says he is too old to be one but that he supports their cause. “They are the vanguard of the Oromo revolution.”

The term’s resurgence also reflects the nature of Oromo identity today, which has grown much stronger since Ethiopia’s distinct model of ethnically based federalism was established by the EPRDF in 1994.

“In the past even to be seen as Oromo was a crime,” says Desalegn, of the ethnic assimilation policies pursued by the two preceding Ethiopian regimes, imperial and communist. “But now people are proud to be Oromo … So the Qeerroos are emboldened.”

As the Oromo movement has grown in confidence in recent years, so the role of the Qeerroo in orchestrating unrest has increasingly drawn the attention of officials.

At the start of the year police announced plans to investigate and crack down on the Qeerroo, arguing that it was a clandestine group bent on destabilising the country and seizing control of local government offices. Party sympathisers accused members of being terrorists.

Bekele Gerba waves to his supporters after his release from prison in Adama, Ethiopia on 13 February 2018.
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 Bekele Gerba waves to his supporters after his release from prison in Adama, on 13 February. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Though many dispute this characterisation, few doubt the underground strength of the Qeerroo today.

Since the previous state of emergency was lifted last August, Qeerroo networks have been behind multiple strikes and protests in different parts of Oromia, despite obstacles like the total shutdown of mobile internet in all areas beyond the capital since the end of last year.

Bekele Gerba, the opposition leader, credits the Qeerroo with securing his release from prison, and for sending hundreds of well-wishers to his home in Adama in the aftermath. But like many older activists, he confesses to limited knowledge of how they organise themselves.

“I only became aware of them relatively recently,” he says. “We don’t know who the leadership is and we don’t know if they have a central command.”

But in a recent interview with the Guardian, two local leaders in Adama, Haile and Abiy (not their real names), shed light on their methods.

According to the two men, who are both in their late 20s, each district of the city has one Qeerroo leader, with at least 20 subordinates, all of whom are responsible for disseminating messages and information about upcoming strikes.

They say their networks have become better organised in recent months, explaining that there is now a hierarchical command chain and even a single leader for the whole of Oromia. “This gives us discipline and allows us to speak with one voice,” says Abiy.

Their job has become more difficult in the absence of the internet.

“With social media you can disseminate the message in seconds,” says Abiy. “Now it can take two weeks, going from door to door.” Instead of using WhatsApp and Facebook, they now distribute paper flyers, especially on university campuses.

The role of Oromo activists among the diaspora, especially those in the US, also remains crucial, despite the shutdown.

Zecharias Zelalem, an Ethiopian journalist based in Canada, argues that it is thanks to prominent social media activists that the Qeerroo have acquired the political heft that youth movements in other parts of the country still lack. He highlights in particular the work of Jawar Mohammed, the controversial founder of the Minnesota-based Oromia Media Network (which is banned in Ethiopia), in amplifying the voice of the Qeerroo even when internet is down.

“[Jawar] gives us political analyses and advice,” Haile explains. “He can get access to information even from inside the government, which he shares with the Qeerroos. We evaluate it and then decide whether to act on it.”

He and Abiy both dismiss the assumption, widespread in Ethiopia, that Jawar remote-controls the protests. “The Qeerroos are like a football team,” counters Haile. “Jawar may be the goalkeeper – helping and advising – but we are the strikers.”

Supporters of Bekele Gerba, secretary general of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), chant slogans to celebrate Gerba’s release from prison
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 Supporters of Bekele Gerba chant slogans to celebrate Gerba’s release from prison. Photograph: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

The reimposition of the state-of-emergency has angered many Qeerroos in Adama and elsewhere in Oromia, where the move was widely seen as heavy-handed bid to reverse the protesters’ momentum.

Some analysts fear further repression will push members of a still mostly peaceful political movement towards violence and extremism.

Many in the government, as well as in other parts of the country, worry about a rise in ethnically motivated attacks, on people and property, and especially on ethnic Tigrayans, who make up about 6% of the population but are generally considered to dominate politics and business.

Late last year federal troops were dispatched to university campuses, in large part due to escalating ethnic violence, which included several deaths. There were reports of similar incidents during protests throughout the past month.

Jibril Ummar, a local businessman and activist, says that he and others tried to ensure the protests in Adama were peaceful, calming down overexcited young men who wanted to damage property and attack non-Oromos.

“It worries me,” he admits. “There’s a lack of maturity. When you are emotional you put the struggle in jeopardy.”

Gerba says he worries about violence, too, including of the ethnic kind. “We know for sure that Tigrayans are targeted most, across the country. This concerns me very much and it is something that has to be worked on.”

In the coming days the EPRDF will decide on a new prime minister, and many hope it will be someone from the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), the Oromo wing of the ruling coalition.

This might placate some of the Qeerroo, at least in the short term. But it is unlikely to be enough on its own to dampen the anger.

“When we are married we will retire from the Qeerroo,” says Haile. “But we will never do that until we get our freedom.”

 

 

 

 

Fascist Ethiopia’s regime arrests critical blogger and professor of Ambo University, Seyoum Teshome. #FreeSeyoumTeshome March 10, 2018

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Ethiopia arrests critical blogger Seyoum Teshome, CPJ

Police patrol in Addis Ababa. Security officers detained a critical blogger near the Woliso campus of Ethiopia's Ambo University. (Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

(CPJ, Nairobi, March 9, 2018)–Ethiopian authorities should immediately release Seyoum Teshome, who publishes the Ethiothinktank blog, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Security forces yesterday arrested Seyoum at his home near the Woliso campus of Ambo University, where he lectures, according to witnesses who spoke with Voice of America and Deutsche Welle. The reason for his arrest and his whereabouts are not known, according to reports and a statement by the Swiss-based Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia.

Seyoum has been critical in his blog of a six-month state of emergency Ethiopia declared in February. Under the state of emergency, authorities can carry out arrests and searches without warrant and close down media stations, according to a report by the state-owned Ethiopian News Agency.

“Ethiopia cannot again use the cloak of a national emergency to round up journalists and stifle critical voices,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “This is the second time that authorities ignored due process to detain Seyoum Teshome. He should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Seyoum was arrested in October 2016, days before a previous state of emergency was declared, according to CPJ research.


More, Oromian Economist  and Africa News sources:

 

Ethiopian blogger critical of gov’t rearrested by security forces, Africa News

Ethiopian blogger critical of gov't rearrested by security forces

ETHIOPIA

The crackdown on dissent in Ethiopia under the state of emergency has intensified in the Oromiya region with several arrests made on Thursday morning.

Some of the notable personalities who have been arrested include a university lecturer and blogger, Seyoum Teshome, who is a vocal critic of the government.

DW Amharic confirmed Teshome’s arrest saying he was picked up from his home by security forces at 9am local time.

– DWAmharic confirmed blogger & univ. lecturer has been taken by security forces from his house in Woliso at 9AM local time today. This will be the 2nd time he is targeted by security forces during a . He has been tortured during the 1st. https://twitter.com/dw_amharic/status/971753526819983361 

Teshome was previously targeted in the state of emergency that was imposed last year. In a recent blogpost on a think tank he runs, Teshome urges those resisting the regime to take up self defence strategies.

Facebook blocks Ethiopian activist for ‘posting too fast

Did you hear how the government claimed they have decided to close down Makelawi torture chamber? Guess what? They are using it for the new round of political prisoners. This is Abdurehman Yuya, an employee of Oromia Insurance. He was arrested today and taken to Maekelawi. pic.twitter.com/FqU8MalkNd

Ambo University teacher and blogger Seyoum Teshome is also likely taken to Makelawi

His arrest had been reported by an online activist, Jawar Mohammed who was recently blocked by Facebook over hyperactivity. Jawar has been updating his followers on Twitter about ongoing arrests in the region, indicating that the military has detained some senior police officers from Oromiya region.

The government has been struggling to impose the state of emergency in several parts of the country, with the defence minister admitting that a number of security forces have been attacked and their weapons confiscated.

East Walaga Zone Police Commande Chala Tesemma has been arrested by the command post. Previously mayor of Nekemte and deputy administrator of the zone have been arrested. The TPLF leaders are obviously aiming to dismantle OPDO’s structure and OPDO leaders signed their own demise

BREAKING: Deputy Commissioner of Oromia Police in charge of the riot squad ( adma betagn) has been arrested by military in Harar and taken to Eastern Command military camp.

 


 


 

 

Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Law: A Tool to Stifle Dissent, OAKLAND Institute March 10, 2018

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Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Law: A Tool to Stifle Dissent

 

Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Law: A Tool to Stifle Dissent, authored by lawyers from leading international law firms, provides an in-depth and damning analysis of Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. The report examines how the law, enacted in 2009, is a tool of repression, designed and used by the Ethiopian Government to silence its critics.

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DownloadPDF (size: 0.19 MB)Press Release

Ethiopia must probe and prosecute culprits of recent killings: U.N. – Africa News March 9, 2018

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Ethiopia must probe and prosecute culprits of recent killings: U.N.

ETHIOPIA

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has expressed concern over the reinstatement of a state of emergency (SOE) in Ethiopia – the second in the last two years.

Zeid was delivering his remarks on global update of human rights concerns at the 37th seccion of the Human Rights Council on March 7, 2018.

Whiles applauding reforms started announced in January 2018 and which was being rolled out by way of prisoner releases, the U.N. human rights chief said recent reports of killings needed to be investigated and perpetrators brought to book.

I am concerned about the declaration of a second State of Emergency last month. Reforms can only be carried out successfully through truly inclusive dialogue and political processes.

“In Ethiopia, I welcome the release of more than 7,000 detainees in January and February, including several high profile figures.

“I urge the authorities to investigate and prosecute those responsible for recent killings in the country, and I reiterate my request for access to affected regions,” he said.

He also weighed in on the need for government to commit to reforms and to do so in the spirit of inclusive dialogue. The country is currently under a six-month state of emergency imposed to quell spreading violence. The government has admitted a violent fightback of the measure especially in the Oromia region.

The SOE was imposed barely twenty four hours after the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. The ruling EPRDF is set to pick his successor over the weekend. Desalegn who took the post in 2015 says his decision is to allow the party to fully pursue reforms.

“I am concerned about the declaration of a second State of Emergency last month. Reforms can only be carried out successfully through truly inclusive dialogue and political processes,” Zeid who visited Ethiopia last year stressed.


related (Oromian  Economist Sources):

Ethiopia activists activate shutdown in Oromia to protest emergency rule- Africa News #OromoProtests March 5, 2018

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ETHIOPIA

Most towns across the Oromia regional state in Ethiopia are observing a three-day social shutdown called by online activists and youth in the state popularly referred to a Qeerroo.

Videos posted online show closed shops and offices in towns whiles there is no signs of transport activities. The move is to protest a state of emergency decree imposed by government on February 16.

It was controversially ratified by the parliament last Friday even though activists continue to claim it failed to garner the necessary figures. The speaker of parliament has since apologized for the mix up in computing the votes.

Today’s shutdown was expected after a lead online activist, Jawar Mohammed, served notice of the action via his social media handles. This message of March 3, 2018 read as follows:

NOTICE: As you all have seen, the illegitimate and unnecessary state of emergency declared by the TPLF military leaders have failed to secure 2/3 support in parliament. The regime has been given two days to officially announce SOE has been revoked and return the army to its barrack.

“That deadline passes tomorrow, Sunday March 4, 2018. If the regime fails to publicly announce revocation of the SOE, a three day strike will start on Monday March 5, 2018. Business, government offices, and ll roads will be closed. As usual medical facilities are excepted.

“Therefore, all are advised to quickly conclude their travel by Sunday afternoon and remain where they are for the next 3 days.”

The Oromia region has been the heartbeat of anti-government protests that started in 2015 through 2016 till a state or emergency was declared in October that year. The measure was lifted in August 2017 but has been reinstated six-months on in a security move according to the government.


Related:

Magaalaaleen Oromiyaa Maal Keessa Oolan? – VOA Afaan Oromoo

Ethiopians strike over state of emergency- Daily Mail

NEWS: MORE THAN A DOZEN KILLED BY SECURITY FORCES IN ETHIOPIA’S OROMIA; REGION HIT BY YET ANOTHER BOYCOTT

Tajaajjilli geejjibaa magaalaa Finfinnee galuufi bahu adda cite

Ethiopia state of emergency vote failed – U.S. congressman insists March 5, 2018

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Ethiopia state of emergency vote failed – U.S. congressman insists

Ethiopia state of emergency vote failed – U.S. congressman insists

ETHIOPIA

A United States Congressman has waded into the controversy surrounding the March 2 state of emergency ratification by parliament.

According to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the vote failed because the government failed to get the necessary votes. He, however, quoted initial vote tally that saud 346 votes were in favour lesser that the 359 votes required.

The speaker of parliament, Abadula Gemeda, was forced to apologize over mix-up with figures he announced earlier. He mistakenly said 229 votes was required to attain two-thirds of the 539 seats.

Speaking to state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday, Abadula said 395 was the correct number of votes in favour of the legislation.

Ethiopia government imposed a state of emergency on February 16 with the view to curb rising insecurity. The measure was imposed by the Council of Ministers and by law needed ratification by parliament within a two-week period.

The House of People’s Representatives was summoned to an emergency session to debate and vote on the issue. That 88 MPs opted to vote against the measure was seen as a big boost for people who continue to protest the emergency rule.

Dana Rohrabacher is a Republican lawmaker representing California’s 48th congressional district. He is a former speechwriter for President Reagan. He has been vocal about political ongoings in Ethiopia.

He recently insinuated that Ethiopia’s dominant party, the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) was on its way out of power. ‘Game Over TPLF,’ he said in a February 21 tweet which incidentally mentioned three people including a famed Ethiopian activist, Jawar Mohammed.

The other two were the Eritrean ambassador to Japan and one Neamin Zeleke, an expert on political and security ongoings in the Horn of Africa region.


Related:

The controversial Ethiopia’s regime Sate of Emergency (SOE) failed to get the required support of not less than two-thirds of the 547 MPs entitled to vote. Paarlaamaan Labsii Muddamaa Kuffise – Oromian Economist

The controversial Ethiopia’s regime Sate of Emergency (SOE) failed to get the required support of not less than two-thirds of the 547 MPs entitled to vote. Paarlaamaan Labsii Muddamaa Kuffise March 2, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Paarlaamaan Labsii Muddamaa Kuffise – OMN 

The controvehttps://www.oromiamedia.org/2018/03/03/omn-paarlaamaan-labsii-muddamaa-kuffise-live-bit-2-2018/rsial Ethiopia’s regime Sate of Emergency (SOE) is rejected. It is failed  to get the required 2/3 majority support of its MPs entitled to vote. Only 346 of the 539 active MPs voted yes. It requires at least the yes votes  of 365 MPs.   

According to Dr. Tsegaye Ararsa (legal expert):

SOE can be effective only if it is approved “by two-thirds majority vote of the members of THE HOUSE OF PEOPLES’ REPRESENTATIVES”(Art 93(2)). The total number of members is 547. The members currently active are 539 (Listen to the Speaker’s statement). Two-thirds of 547 is 364.6. Two-thirds of 537 is 359.3. The total number of MPs that voted today are 346 (listen to Speaker’s statement on the floor). What is required is 364. If it has to be counted out of the active members, the minimum required is 359. Consequently, the draft did not get the minimum required. That is why it is of no effect.

Ethiopia political uncertainty and Oromo persecution disturbing – Australian MP, Africa News March 1, 2018

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Ethiopia political uncertainty and Oromo persecution disturbing – Australian MP

ETHIOPIA

An Australian legislator has warned that Ethiopia’s current political situation could have wider implications for the Horn of Africa region, for Africa and to an extent the world.

According to Anthony Byrne, a Federal Member for Holt in Victoria, Ethiopia was undergoing a period of political transition that has an uncertain end.

In a ten-minute address delivered in the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament, Byrne dispelled the idea that Africa was far from Australia and its business should be left to it to handle.

There is a fairly substantial transition that is occuring at the present period of time. We are not exactly sure where that will lead to, but that does have an impact on Africa, it does have an impact on the security of the country.

“Some, (deputy speaker), will say what happens in Africa does not affect our country, that is just not true, I mean, Africa is a growing – series of countries that will have an increasing say in world affairs.

“And so what does happen in Ethiopia regardless of how far away people think it is does have an impact and ultimately will have an impact on this country and what happens to the Ethiopian government.

“There is a fairly substantial transition that is occuring at the present period of time. We are not exactly sure where that will lead to, but that does have an impact on Africa, it does have an impact on the security of the country,” he said.

He continued that Ethiopian politics had an impact on the diaspora communities in Australia stressing that it could have, “depending on what the outcome is, quite a destabilizing impact on those countries within Africa.”

His February 26, 2018 address to the parliament was pinned on what he said were ‘ongoing persecution of the Oromo peoples in Ethiopia.’ He called on the Ethiopian regime to halt persecutions of the Oromos whiles pledging to represent their interests as best as possible.

“I’d urge the Ethiopian government and will continue to rise on behalf of the Oromo community in my constituency and elsewhere in Victoria in this country to cease the ongoing persecution of the Oromo peoples in Ethiopia.

“And I will continue to work with Oromo leaders in Victoria and overseas to continue to highlight their concerns.”

Anthony was elected as the Federal Member for Holt in a by-election in 1999, and re-elected in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013. He is known for his stands on human rights issues and inclusive societies.

You can watch his full address to parliament

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fanthonybyrne%2Fvideos%2F1608055619280738%2F&show_text=0&width=560

‘Game Over,’ U.S. Congressman jabs Ethiopia’s TPLF | Africanews https://fb.me/7xArg1XeU 

‘Game Over,’ U.S. Congressman jabs Ethiopia’s TPLF

‘Game Over TPLF,’ the Congressman said in a tweet.

africanews.com

U.S. ‘strongly disagrees’ with Ethiopia state of emergency

Don’t underestimate Ethiopia’s crisis, Mail & Guardian

Norway concerned over State of Emergency in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden

The Long-Running Headache of Minority Rule in Ethiopia, World View

Oromia: #OromoProtests in Naqamtee (Nekemte) city amid state of emergency, chanted “down down TPLF”.  Dhaloota garaan fincile sossobbaan hin dhaabu February 27, 2018

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Nekemt protests
Picture from the protest scene in Nekemt. Source : ESAT

borkena.com, February 26, 2018


As the state of emergency (SoE) which was decreed a day after Hailemariam Desalegn’s resignation enters its eleventh day today, residents of Nekemte took to the street en masse to oppose government’s move to restrict freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

No details are available so far regarding casualty so far. However, an intense gunshot is heard in un Unverified video footage shared on social media.

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Protestors demanded the withdrawal of federal security forces from the region and chanted “Down, down Woyane”, “Down, down TPLF” which is a call for an end to the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front Government, as many Ethiopians in the opposition call it.

Pictures shared on social media from citizen activists show roads closed with big rocks and tire burning.

A reception program for released Oromo Federalist Congress leaders including Merera Gudina was organized in the city’s stadium. However, it was canceled after federal security forces detained Merera Gudina and his colleagues in Gute town, just twenty kilometers outside of Nekemete. The opposition leaders were forced to return to the capital Addis Ababa.

The Nekemte protest today seem to be triggered by government action over the weekend, according to local media sources who claim to have insider information.

Last week, there was protest a protest in Wolkite town, south-west of Addis Ababa, and federal security forces were deployed to quell it down.

Over the weekend, fans of Bahir Dar City and Dessie city soccer teams chanted anti-government slogans specifically targeting TPLF.

SoE banned freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, among other things. Activists and politicians alike were warning the government that SoE would rather accentuate the crisis in the country.

One of the protestant churches in Ethiopia,Mekane Eyesus, issued a statement over the weekend calling for the government to repeal the SoE decree.

Last week, the United States embassy in Addis Ababa issued a statement to express “strong” disagreement with the SoE. The European Union on its part advised to make the SoE brief and focus on dialogue with stakeholders.

Theoretically, the SoE was supposed to be approved by the parliament before its implementation. However, the government has bypassed that part of the procedure claiming that it is unable to maintain order and “rule of law” through the regular law enforcement procedures. Today, the government has called the parliament,which is in recess for one month, for an emergency meeting.

For the opposition, SoE is meant to rescue crumbling TPLF power which has lost legitmacy long time ago.


   More from   Oromian Economist social media sources:-

Dhaloota garaan fincile sossobbaan hin dhaabu

 

 

 

Lets recap how things came to this stage in Western Oromia

– Saturday morning Feb 24, Dambi Dollo, a certain young man was announcing a call for religious conference scheduled for the coming week. Agazi soldiers catch the guy and begin beating him. Elders in the area rush to the scene and try to explain to the soldiers. They too got beaten. Crowd began gathering around and soldiers opened fire killing 1 and wounding 8 others.

– Saturday afternoon Feb 24, leaders of Oromo Federalist Congress who were recently released from prison were heading to Nekemte per invitation from local elders. They had been visiting several towns in previous days with no problem. Locals in Nekemte had secured permit from city administration and reserved the stadium. The leaders heading to Nekemte asked high officials in Finfine and have been told there is no problem with their visit. In fact they were provided with police escort. But 5 Km outside Nekemte a convoy of special forces blocked the road and prevented them from proceeding to the city. They forced them to sleep in the wilderness and turned them back to the capital the next day.
– Sunday Feb 25 Morning- When people of Nekemte woke up and began walking to their jobs , they came under attack from federal police and soldiers. They began beating young and old. The city, still angry about unjustified cancellation of the OFC event a day earlier, erupted in protest against the beating on streets. The protest continued till today. At least one person have been killed and over 10 injured.
-Conclusion: The regime purposely instigated the conflict to justify this state state of emergency that is being rejected even by its foreign supporters. If the regime thinks this is the right course, well let it try. But the best thing for all concerned is to cancel the SOE and sit down with opposition to chart transitional government. Any attempt at further crackdown will only speed up its downfall.


“Oromoon waliif gaachana” Baqqalaa Garbaa Calliyatti

Humnoota Federaalaatu Uummata Nagaa Irratti Haleellaa Oofa: Itti Gaaftamaa Waajjira Kantiibaa Dambi Dolloo

Ethiopia: Political tensions are at a knife-edge, and the future stability of the country and its prospects for development hang in the balance. February 27, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia is at the precipice

 SHANNON EBRAHIM,  IOL,  26 FEBRUARY

Police officers walk among civilians at the Meskel Square in Addis Ababa. Picture: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters
Never have the stakes in Ethiopia been so high – political tensions are at a knife-edge, and the future stability of the country and its prospects for development hang in the balance.
Up until the last few weeks, most of the country’s opposition leaders and many of their supporters have been locked up as political prisoners. But with the groundswell of popular discontent and burgeoning street protests, the government was compelled to release more than 6 000 political prisoners last month, another 700 two weeks ago, and a further 1 500 on Wednesday. Famous journalists Eskinder Nega and Andualem Arage, as well as prominent Oromo opposition leaders Bekele Gerba and Merera Gudina were among those recently released.
The glue that has held the autocratic ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) together is finally becoming unstuck. The EPRDF has ruled as a multiethnic coalition since 1991 and includes four ethnically based parties.
The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is the party which has dominated the coalition for more than two decades despite the fact that Tigrayans account for only 6% of the population. The TPLF was the ethnic guerrilla organisation that brought Meles Zenawi to power in 1991, toppling the communist dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam. Zenawi governed for 21 years until his death in 2012, and while he pushed the country’s developmental agenda forward, he was accused of authoritarian tendencies and presiding over extensive human rights abuses.
The popularity of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) within the ruling coalition has continued to rise to the detriment of the TPLF. The Oromos are the most populous ethnic group in the country, based in the largest and richest region – Oromia. The Oromos have historically complained of political marginalisation. The OPDO has been perceived in some quarters as having been a puppet of the TPLF.
The third ruling coalition partner is the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), representing the Amhara which are the country’s second-largest ethnic group, which has also historically complained that they are under-represented in the corridors of power. The fourth coalition partner is the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM).
The governing coalition started to lose its grip on power in the face mass of protests following the 2015 elections which the opposition claimed were rigged. The government responded with repression by passing restrictive laws, intimidating and imprisoning the opposition, independent media, and civil society leaders. While political adversaries were crushed, the government tried to co-opt the elites.
Hundreds of people were killed in the ensuing two years of protests that rocked the two most populous provinces of Oromia and Amhara. The situation became so grave that the presidents of the two provinces recently announced that they supported the protests, and demanded an end to Tigrayan dominance.
Ethiopia has now reached a point of no return. Even the usually quiet suburbs in the capital occupied by the business and political elite have been rocked by protests. Prime Minister Hailemariam announced on February 15th that he was stepping down in order to create political space, something unprecedented in modern day Ethiopia. Actually, he had been instructed by his party to step down after the EPRDF’s executive committee blamed the current leadership for its poor governance, the unrest and failing to protect civilians.
Former Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn announces his resignation during a press conference in Addis Ababa. Picture: AP 
The unravelling of the EPRDF’s grip on power was too much for the old guard who supported the declaration of a six-month state of emergency which was imposed a day after the PM’s resignation. Far from regaining control, the security measures only served to embolden protesters demanding the release of all political prisoners and fresh democratic elections.
The potential for chaos and ethnic bloodshed in the country is real, and Ethiopia needs a political way out of this crisis. There seems to be only one way forward – for the ruling coalition to call early elections ahead of 2020. Elections would reduce tension and marginalise the extremists that threaten to let the genie of ethnic violence out of the bottle. The caveat, of course, is that they would have to be free and fair.

If Ethiopia is to preserve and build on the developmental milestones it has achieved, it needs to start the process of political rebuilding in order to regain the confidence of the electorate. The window of opportunity to find a peaceful solution could close very quickly, which requires visionary leadership to chart a new path forward.


Related:

Africa’s power shuffle is a renewal, not a revolution. The ruling elite has engineered a personnel change in the interest of self-preservation says Financial Times #Ethiopia February 25, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Zenawi the tyrant still rules after death
angela-merkel-refused-a-handshake-when-faced-hailemariam-dessalegn-no-photo-opportunity-for-the-fascist-in-finfinne-oromia-ethiopia-october-11-2016-africa-visit
Africa’s power shuffle is a renewal, not a revolution. The ruling elite has engineered a personnel change in the interest of self-preservation

DAVID PILLING, FT, 21 February 2018

Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn quit last week after years of public protest against the regime and open discord within the coalition  It is tempting to call it an “African spring”. In a matter of months, in countries as disparate as Angola and Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and South Africa, entrenched leaders have been falling like ninepins. Last week, it was the turn of the Ethiopian prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, who quit after years of public protest against the regime and increasingly open discord within the coalition that has run the country since 1991. His sudden departure came just a day after, half a continent away, Jacob Zuma finally agreed to resign as president of South Africa to make way for Cyril Ramaphosa. Those dramatic events followed the even more unexpected fall of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, who many thought would die of old age before he was pushed from office. Instead, he took the hint that it was time to go when tanks rolled on to the streets of Harare last November. And just two months before that, in an orchestrated but still highly significant change of leadership in Angola, João Lourenço took over as president from José Eduardo dos Santos, whose 38 years in charge beat Mr Mugabe’s stint by a year. What on earth is going on? Should African leaders be shaking in their boots as renewal sweeps across the continent? Africa, as people repeatedly point out, is not a country. It is a complex continent of diverse nations whose histories, languages and political cultures make them hard to meaningfully compare. There is no reason to believe that events in one have any connection to happenings in another. Yet that doesn’t mean there are no common themes. After all, countries in entirely different continents — take the Philippines, Hungary and the US — may be prone to the same forces of populism or nationalism. One thing Angola, Ethiopia, South Africa and Zimbabwe have in common is they are run by liberation parties that have ossified in power for between a quarter and a half a century. In Angola, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola has run the country since the Portuguese left in 1975. In Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF, which led the armed struggle against white minority rule, has been in power since 1980. Similarly, Mr Desalegn’s Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front has ruled since 1991, although he has been prime minister only since the death of Meles Zenawi in 2012. And in South Africa, yet another liberation movement, the African National Congress, has dominated power since apartheid crumbled in 1994. In each case, these liberation parties are seeking to renew themselves after a generation or more in charge. The transition from exile to government has not always been easy. Power means money. In the case of Angola, huge oil exports and massive Chinese investments have meant a bonanza for the top party cadres, especially for anyone bearing the name dos Santos. In Zimbabwe, socialist rhetoric yielded to the reality of a destroyed economy for the many and rich pickings for a few party hacks loyal to Mr Mugabe. In South Africa, too, particularly in the Zuma years, the righteous task of spreading wealth to the black majority morphed into the less righteous one of spreading it to an ANC-connected black elite. Change now is partly driven by the pent-up frustration of the millions left out. The public has found its voice, pushing the ruling elite to shuffle leaders in the cause of survival. In South Africa, by far the most democratic of the four, ANC support has skidded in successive elections and the party has lost control of four of the country’s most important cities. But even in the other three countries, where elections are far more controlled, opposition forces have found a way to express themselves, both through the ballot box and on the streets. Will new leaders bring genuine change? In Ethiopia, Mr Desalegn’s resignation was followed by the imposition of a state of emergency, hardly a sign of democratic opening. In Angola and Zimbabwe, the ruling parties have probably done enough to present the semblance of a new direction, though whether that translates into more inclusive policies is not yet clear. In South Africa, Mr Ramaphosa is seeking more than cosmetic changes in the interests of restoring both the ANC’s moral and electoral standing. Still, in each country the ruling elite has engineered a personnel change in the interest of self-preservation. More than revolutions from below, they are party reorganisations from above. Other leaders on the continent will be watching, some fearfully. But “African spring” does not capture what is going on. You could call it instead the season of the palace coup.


Related (Oromian Economist sources):

In this video Hailemariam Desalegn admitted  that he is making decisions without all the facts.

Oromia: DHAAMSA QEEROO IRRAA. #OromoProtests  February 24, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

DHAAMSA QEEROO IRRAA 


Peresedantii Mootummaa Xoophiyaatii
Af-Yaa’ii Mana Mare Bakka Bu’ootaa Ummaataa Xoophiyaatiif
Koree ministiroota zoophiyaatiif
Mana Marii Bakka Bu’ootaa Ummaataa Xoophiyaatiif
Dh.D.U.O Tiif
Geggeessitota Sadarkaa Adda Addaatiif
Saba Ballaa Uummata Oromootiif
Qeerroo Naannoo Oromiyaatiif
Fannoo Naannoo Amaraatiif
Zermaa Ummatoota Kibbaa Guraageetiif
Wadala Ummatoota Kibbaatiif
Nabiroo Ummatoota Kibbaatiif
Raayyaa Ittisa Biyyaatiif



Dhimmi isaa: Labsii Yeroo Muddamaa Kan Ilaalatu


Barri hedduun darbaniiru, jechootni akka nadhii dammaa dhamdhamaa tolaanii fi urgaa foolii bookaa qaban waa’ee tokkummaa biyyaa xoophiyaa faarsan baayyeen taphatamaniiru, faarfatamaniiru akkasumas walaloon, Og-barruu fi wellistoonni bayyeen faaruu meshaalee muuziqaa aadaa fi ammyyaan dabalame sirbaniiru waa’ee tokkumma xoophiyaa. Kana duwwaa miti gotootni bayyee aarsaa heddu kaffalaniiru waa’ee tokkumaa xoophiyaatiif. Ammas yeroon dabaree nuuf laattee tookkuma keenya akka mirkaneessinuuf qeerroon Oromiyaa qaamota armaan oliitiif hundaaf waamicha gochaa jirti. 


1. Perezedaantii mootummaa xoophiyaatiif


Yeroo kumaatamni du’ee, kumaatamni mana hidhaatti dararamuu fi Kumatamni biyyaa tokkummaan xoophiyaa kessatti faarsamu kessatti qe’ee, sabni guddaan salphate fi qabeenya isaa irraa buqqa’ee beelaaf hongeen dararamu hin dubbanne, akka perezendaantii biyyaa tokkottillee miti akka nama dhuunfaa tokkoottillee yaada kee hin ibsanne. Yoo aangoon siharkaa jiraattee maaf midhamtu, maaf dararamtu jechuudhaa yoo baatteyyuu as baatee baga duutan , baga qe’ee fi qabeenya keeessan irraa buqaatan osoo jeette nutti tola akka qeerrooti. Silaa maal buuftaa miti waa’ee labsii muddamaa kana irratti waa jechuu kee barbaanna akka lubbuun jirtuu fi hin jirre baruuf. Ta’uu yoo baate reeffa Perezendaantii ta’ee biyya bulchaa jiruu jechuu genus book irraatti si galmeessina. mee onnee godhu, jiraachuun garaa duwwaaf miti, barri dhufee darba seenaa garuu baraan jiraatti.


2. Af-yaa’ii mana mare bakka bu’oota uummataatiif


Gaafa mootiin fari’oo saba israa’el waanjoo garbummaa jalatti waggaa hedduu rakkisaa ture Museetu ka’e . Ulee Museen harkatti qabatee ture saba israa’eeliin garbummaa mootii fari’oonii, loltuu fari’ooni fi bishaanii nyaatamuu galaana diimaa jalaa isaan baase malee garbummaaf yokkiin du’aaf isaan hin laanne. Sobaaf muka walitti hin rukkuttin uleen siharka jirtu yeroo tokkoo fi isa xumuraaf dhimmaa haabaastu , uummata bakka buutee jirtuuf sagalee haa dhageesistu.


3. Koree Ministiroota xoophiyaatiif


Seenaa daba dalaguuf demaa jirtu, nama ni dagoggortu, dogoggara keessaniif immoo qeerroon garaa dhiifamaa qabdi, tarkaanfii fudhachuuf deemaa jirtan kanarraa yoo debitan fi jijjirama siyaasaa fi sirna dimokiraasii hundeen isaa heeraa fi seeraan ol aantummaan isaa mirkanaa’ee akkasumas biyyaa walqituummaan lammiilee keessatti mirkanaa’ee ijaaruuf waadaa seenuun har’uma hojiitti yoo jijjiirtan qeerroonii fi uummanni oromoo afaanuma haak jedhee isin tufuuf ka’een isin degera isin waliin guddina xoophiyaa haaromteef hojjeta. Yoo ta’uu baatee fi humna waaraanaa abdachuun labsii kana uummata nagayaa irratti garee faayyidaa dhuunfaa isaa eeggachuuf carraaqu waliin taatan, waraanni isin ittin boontan kun harki caalaan dhaloota qubee fi qeerroo akka ta’e isin hubachiisuun barbaanna. 


4. Mana Marii Bakka Bu’ootaa Ummaataa Xoophiyaatiif


Uummanni xoophiyaa:


a. Qotee bulaan barressuuf fi dubbisuu hin dandeenye beekumsa naaf ta’i, naaf barreessi naaf dubbissi ,beekumsa naaf ta’i naaf dubbadhu jedhee isin filatee hin dagatiinaa adaraa abba keessannii, adaraa harmee fi adaraa biyyaa.
b. Qaro dhabeenyiin qaroo naaf ta’aa naqaraa, karoo hin qabuu qaroo naaf ta’aa jedhee isin filatee hin dagatiinaa. Adaraa qaroo, argaa ilaalaa murtee kennaa
c. Qoomaa hir’uu bakkan fiiguu dadhabetti fiigii naaf qabi, jedhee sagalee siniif kennee hin daagatiinaa.
Walumaagalatti isin afaan uummataati afaan saba balaati sammuu uummata keessaniin yaadaa. Afaan uummata keessaaniin dubbadha. Rakkoon fi gadadoo uummata keessanii hin dagatiinaa. Nidagattu jennee hin yaadnu haadha fi abbaa ilmoo isaanii ol adeemtoota qeerroo fi qarree dabtaaraa fi qalama qabataniif ganama mana bahanii osoo manatti hin deebiin hafan. Qeerroo fi qeerre fulbaana birraa bariite nagaa dhaammatanii digirri fideen dhufa jechuun waadaa seenanii garaa unirsiitii deeman garuu reeffi isaanii manatti galu. Qabsoon qeerroo homaa kaayyoo kan biraa hin qabu innis tokkoo fi tokkodha. gochaalee armaan olitti caqafaman hanbisuun xoobiyaa biyya dimokiraasii fi biyya walqixxummaan lammiilee keeessatti mirkanaa’ee taasisuu qofadha. Kanaafu uummata bakka buutan dagattanii afaan badii hin ta’iinaa jetti qeeroon.


5. Dh.D.U.O fi Geggeessitota Sadarkaa Adda Addaatiif


Isiniif ergaa gabaabduu fi ijoo taate qabna. Dhuguma qaama uumata oromoo geggeessu yoo taatanii fi boor uummata oromoo waliin biyya geggeessina jettanii abdii qabdu ta’e labsii muddamaa kan gonkuma hin fudhatiinaa, yoo diddee kan murtooftu taate illee hojirra oolmaa isaa irraatti akka qooda hin fudhanne uummata oromoo waliin gumaa taatu of eeggannoo godhaa. Kun akkeekkachiisa uummanni oromoo marti fi qeerroon yeroo xumuraaf isinii kennudha .
Hubachiisa: Mootummaan garboomfataan sadarkaa addunyaatti caaasaa mataa isaatiin biyyaa yokkin saba tokkoo kolonii jala galfatee hin beeku. Kun dhugaa qorannoon mirkanaa’edha. Garuu dabalee bitamtuutti fayyadamuun bandaa warra jedhaman jechuudha, garboomsuu ni danda’a . isin garuu gocha akkasiif karaa fi garaa akka hin laanne abdii qabna nuti qeerroon.


6. Saba Ballaa Uummata Oromootiif 


Labsiin muddamaa kun labsii duguuggaa sanyii ittin raawwachuuf labsame dha. Uummanni oromoo rooroo ofirra qolachuus ni baaka. Nuti oromoo akka beeknutti uummata yeroo obboleessi isaa du’u irraa dheessu, yeroo ilmoo isaa birratti duutu irratti ilaalu miti saba wal irratti du’u male. Kanaafuu labsiin muddamaa kun humnaan nurratti kan labsamu yoo ta’e afaan tokkoon yaada tokkoon xiqqaa fi gudda , dhalaa fi dhiira, qeesii fi sheekii osoon hin jedhiin akka ofirra mormitan dhaamsa isinii dabarsina. Qeerroo egeree biyya irraa akka hin hafne abdii uummata oromoo mara irraa qabana.


7. Fannoo,Zarmaa,wadala fi Nabirootiif 


Nuti keessatuu qaama qabsoo bilisummaati. Biyyi xoophiyaa kun boor nu eeggati, mana keenya booriiti akkasumas biyya nuti kunuunsinee dhaloota nuti aanuuf keninu nudha abdiin biyyaa. Biyya lama hin qabdu boor yoo feene kan dhiifnee demnu miti. Biyya tokkitti qabdu kana immo yeroo gartuun fedhii dhuunfaa isaaf kallatti isatti tale irra yoo barbaade heera fi seera baasee yoo fedhi immoo diigee akka shaqaxaa mummata isaa aangoo harkaa qabuu fayyadamee daldalu teenyee hin ilaalu. Afaan tokkoon aagoon kan uummataati jedha yoo fedhe immoo aangoo siyaasaa haa hafuuti aangoo uumamaa fi mirga namoomaa illee nurraa muulqee uummata balla dararu kana afaan tokkofon kaanee yoo labsiin kun hojiitti jijjiirame mormuu fi yeroo xumuraaf ofirraa fonqolchinuf dursitanii qophii ballaa fi tarsiimoon degerame akka gootan qeerroon dhaamsa isiniif dabarsina. Waliin biyya dimokraasii fi dinagdeen badhaate xoophiyaa haaraa ijaarra.


8. Raayyaa Ittisa Biyyaatiif


Dhumarratti raayyaan itti biyyaa uummata keessaa kan walitti qabame ( ijaarame) uumata isaaf kan hojetu, daangaa biyya isaa diina alaa irraa akka eegu nageenya uumata isaa geeguu dangaa biyya fi gammojjii keessa beelaa fi dheebuu obsuun akka eegan qeeroo sirritti beekti. Haala michataa keessa akka hin jirre ni beekna. Haata’u harmee isaanii ji’a sagal garaatti baatte ciniinsifatte deesse fi abbayyee isaanii marrummaan hidhate isaan guddise , obboleeyyan isaanii waliin tiruu takka boraafatanii dhalatan, qotee bulaa fi daldalaa dafqa isaa cobsee hojjetee mindaa isiniif kaffalu, barataa baradheen bor matii koo fi biyya koof bu’aa buusa jedhee xaaru irra irraatti akka afaan qawween hin dorsisne fi dhukaafne qeerron abdi qabna. Garuu tarii hubannaa fi hariitti dagattanii dogoggora seenaa keessa akka hin seenne qeerroon waamicha isiniif goona. Mootiin ni mo’a ni kufas uummanni garuu ni jira gara kaayyoo keessa dagattaniif harkaa abba irree ta’uu uumata harka duwwaa irraatti ol aantummaa qawwee akka hin agarsiifne irraa deebinee waamicha isiniif goona.
Hubachiisa: Qaama dhimmi ilaaluuf
Keessumaa warri qeerroo xiqqisitanii yaaddan,qeerroo booda uummata ballatu jira, kaan kaan yoo hafe iyyuu humna waraana isin itti biyya bulchina jetteanii abdatan gariin qeeroodha. Ilaallataa lolaa.
Dhugaa qabna ni injifanna!!!!!!!!! injifannoon kan uumataati ballaati.


Qeerroo irraa 


Galagalcha.


Dr. Mahammad Hassan (Ciro) 0911865071
Awwal Mahaammad (Ciro) 0924620033
Aliyyii Kaliifaa (Doobbaa) 0910336695
Fooziyaa Amiin (Bookee) 0911219219
Caaltuu Saanii (Habroo) 0911075558
Dassaaleny Dhugumaa(O/Bultum) 0912008135
Jibriil Yuyyaa (Masalaa) 0912308272
Kimiyaa Jundii (Habroo) 0910033517
Awwal (A/Xuulloo Hirna) 0924620033/0929105631
#Qaama dhimmi ilaalu hundaaf


ክፍት ደብዳቤ ለህዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት አባላት በሙሉ
ከኦሮሞ ቄሮ የተላለፈ ጥሪ



ከሁሉም አስቀድመን ባላችሁበት ሰላምታ ይድረሳችሁ።

ሁላችንም እንደሚናውቀው የኦሮሞ ቄሮዎች ህይውታችንን መስዋዕት አዲርገን የኦሮሞ ህዝብ መብትና ብሄርቤረሰቦች እኩልነት የተረገጋጠባትን ኢትዮጽያ ለመመስረት ሰላማዊ ትግል እያደረግን ነው። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ሰላማዊ ትግል ይህችን አገር እየቀየራት ይገኛል።

ይሁን እንጅ አንባገነን የሆኑ የTPLF ጥቂት ኮንትሮባንዲስቶች ቡድን አገሪቷን ለማዝረፍ በተሃድሶ መሪዎች ና በቄሮ የተዘጋባቸዉን የዝርፍያ መንገድ መልሰዉ ለመቆጣጠር ፣ አገርቷን በጦር ሀይል ለማቆጠጣር አስቻኳይ ግዜ አወጅ እያዋጁ ይገኛሉ። ይሄ አዋጅ በማንኛውም ሁኔታ ተቀባይነት አይኖረዉም።

የተከበራችሁ የህዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት አባላት ኮንትሮባንድስቶች አገሪቷን ለመበዝበዝ እና ለመበታተን በኦሮሞ ህዝብና በመላው ብሄርቤረሰቦች ላይ የታዋጀ አዋጅ እንዲሰረዝ የበኩላችሁን የዜግነት ግደታ በመወጣት አገሪቷን ከዉድቀት እና ከመበታተን እንድታድኑ የኦሮሞ ቄሮ በዚህ ደብዳቤ ጥሪያችንን እናስተላልፋለን።

ከዚህ እልፎ አዋጁ የሚጸድቅ ከሆነ የኦሮሞ ቄሮና ህዝብ የአፀፋ ምላሽ ተጠያቂዎቹ TPLF ና የህዝብ ተወካዮች ምክር ቤት አባላት መሆናችሁን እናሳስባለን።

ከሰላምታጋር
የኦሮሞ ቄሮ


Related article in Oromian Economist, click here

Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses Overbroad, Vague Provisions Undercut Rights says Human Rights Watch #OromoProtests February 24, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistHRW

Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses

Overbroad, Vague Provisions Undercut Rights

Human Rights Watch, 23 February 2018

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus calls on the Fascist Ethiopia’s regime (TPLF) to reverse the state of emergency.የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ መልዕክት February 24, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church

(ይህ የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ መልዕክት ነው)

ለኢትዮጵያ ፌዴራላዊ ዲሞክራቲክ ሪፓብሊክ መንግስት፤ የካቲት 15-2010 ዓ.ም
ለመላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች፤
ለተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች ፤
ለሕዝበ-ምዕመናን በሙሉ፤
የሀገራችንን ወቅታዊ ሁኔታ በሚመለከት ከኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ የቀረበ ጥሪ፤
እንደሚታወቀው፣ ቤተ ክርስቲያን ከነገድ ሁሉ፤ ከቋንቋም ሁሉ፣ ከወገንም ሁሉ፣ ከሕዝብም ሁሉ በክርስቶስ ኢየሱስ የተዋጁ ምዕመናን አንድነት ናት፤ የእምነቷ መሠረት የሆነው መጽሐፍ ቅዱስ፣ ቤተክርስቲያንም ሆነች መንግስታት ከእግዚአብሔር የተሰጣቸውን ሕዝቡን በታማኝነትና በጽድቅ የማገልገል ታላቅ ኃላፊነትና አደራ በሚገባ መወጣት እንዳለባቸው በአጽንኦት ያስተምራል፡፡ ስለሆነም ቤተ ክርስቲያን በዚህ ምድር የእግዚአብሔር መንግስት እንደራሴ እንደመሆኗ፤ ሕዝቦችም ሆኑ መንግስታት የሚጠበቅባቸውን ኃላፊነት በፈርሃ እግዚአብሔር በመልካም ሁኔታ እንዲወጡ የማስተማር፣ የመምከርና የማሳሰብ፣ ግዴታ አለባት፡፡
ይህን ታላቅ አደራ ከመወጣት አኳያ የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ ሁኔታዎችን ስታጤን፣ ሀገራችን ኢትዮጵያ አሁን የምትገኝበት ሁኔታ በእጅጉ አሳሳቢ መሆኑን ትገነዘባለች፤ ከሰብኣዊ መብት አያያዝ፣ ከዲሞክራሲ፣ ከፍትህ፣ እና ከመልካም አስተዳደር ጋር በተያያዙ ጉዳዮች ዙሪያ በተለያዩ አካባቢዎች በመንግስትና በህዝቡ መካከል የከረረ አለመግባባት መታየት ከጀመረ ውሎ ያደረ ሲሆን ካለፉት ሁለት አመታት ወዲህ ደግሞ ህዝቡ፤ በተለይም ወጣቱ ትውልድ በሰላማዊ ሰልፍና አንዳንዴም ሀይል በተቀላቀለበት መልኩ ወደ አደባባይ በመውጣት ተቃውሞውን ሲገልጽ መቆየቱ ይታወቃል፤ በእነዚህም እንቅስቃሴዎች መነሻነት በጸጥታ ሀይሎችና በህዝቡ መካከል በተፈጠሩ ተደጋጋሚ ግጭቶች እጅግ በሚያሳዝን ሁኔታ የብዙ ሰዎች ህይወት ጠፍቷል፣ ብዙዎች ለአካል ጉዳት ተዳርገዋል፣ በርካታ ንብረቶችም ወድመዋል፡፡
የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ የህብረተሰቡ አካል እንደመሆኗ መጠን ይህ አሳዛኝ ሁኔታ በተለያዩ ክልሎች መከሰት ከጀመረበት ወቅት አንስቶ ፍትህ የሰፈነበት እርቅና ሰላም እንዲወርድ በጸሎት እግዚአብሔር አምላኳን ስትማጸን የቆየች ከመሆኑም በላይ መንግስት ህዝቡ ለሚያቀርባቸው ጥያቄዎች ተገቢና ፍትሃዊ ምላሽ በአፋጣኝ እንዲሰጥ፣ ህዝቡም ጥያቄውን በሰላማዊ መንገድ ብቻ እንዲያቀርብ ጥሪዋን በተናጠል፣ እንዲሁም ከሌሎች የሃይማኖት ተቋማት ጋር በመሆን ስታቀርብ ቆይታለች፤ መንግስትም ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ ራሱን በመገምገምና የችግሮችን ምንጮች በመለየት መላውን የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ይቅርታ ከመጠየቅም አልፎ በህዝቡ ጥያቄ መሠረት የፖለቲካ እስረኞችን መፍታት መጀመሩ የሚያስግነው ነው፡፡ በቀጣይነትም፣ መንግሥትም ሆነ የሚመለከታቸው ሁሉ የሀገር አንድነትና የሕዝቡ ሠላም ይበልጥ በአስተማማኝ ሁኔታ እንዲገነባ በጋራ መግባባት ላይ መስርቶ መሥራት ስለሚያስፈልግ፣ የኢትዮጵያ ወንጌላዊት ቤተ ክርስቲያን መካነ ኢየሱስ የሚከተለውን ጥሪ በከፍተኛ አክብሮትና በታላቅ ትህትና ታቀርባለች፡-
ሀ. ለኢፌዲሪ መንግስት
1. የማንኛውም መንግስት የህልውና ምንጭና መሰረት ሀገርና ሕዝቡ እንደሆነ የሚያጠያይቅ አይደለም፤ ስለሆነም ገዢው ፓርቲም ሆነ የኢፌዲሪ መንግስት ከማንኛውም ፖለቲካዊ አስተሳሳቡም ሆነ እቅዱ ይልቅ ለሀገር ሰላም፣ ለሕዝቡ ደህንነትና አንድነት ቅድሚያ እንዲሰጥ፤
2. ኢትዮጵያ ሀገራችን ሰላሟ ተረጋግጦ እንድትቅጥል፣ ሕዝቦችዋም በአንድነትና በእኩልነት ተባብረውና ተጋግዘው በፍቅር የመኖር ነባር እሴታቸውን አጎልበተው እንዲቀጥሉ ለማድረግ የሚቻለው ሀገራዊ የጋራ መግባባት ሲኖር በመሆኑ፣ የተለያየ ግንዛቤና አመለካከት አለን የሚሉ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች/ፓርቲዎች፣ ሲቪል ማህበራት፣ ምሁራን፣ ታዋቂ ግለሰቦች፣ የኃይማኖት መሪዎችና የሀገር ሽማግሌዎች የሚሳተፉበት የጋራ መድረክ በማመቻቸት መንግስት ታሪካዊ ኃላፊነቱን እንዲወጣ፤
3. ቤተክርስቲያኒቱ ሰሞኑን ሀገሪቱ ለሁለተኛ ጊዜ በአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ ሥር እንድትተዳደር መደረጉ የፈነጠቀውን የሠላምና የመግባባት ተስፋ አደብዝዞ ሀገሪቱን ይበልጥ አሳሳቢ በሆነ ውስብስብ ችግር ውስጥ ሊያስገባት ይችል ይሆን የሚል ሥጋት ስላሳደረባት፣
3.1 መንግስት ያሉትን ሁኔታዎች በጥልቀት አጢኖ ቢቻል አዋጁን ማንሳት በሚቻልበት መንገድ ላይ እንደገና እንዲመክር፤
3.2 አዋጁ ሥራ ላይ ይዋል ከተባለ ደግሞ በአፈጻጸሙ ወቅት የዜጎች መሰረታዊ መብትና ሰብዓዊ ክብር እንዳይነካ ብርቱ ጥንቃቄ እንዲደረግ፤
4. መንግስት መልካም አስተዳደርን ለማስፈን፣ የሃሳብ ልዩነቶችን በሰላማዊ ውይይትና ድርድር ለማስተናገድ እንዲሁም ከፖለቲካ አስተሳሰብ ጋር በተያያዘ የታሰሩትን እስረኞች በመፍታት ለሕዝቡ ጥያቄ መስጠት የጀመረውን ተግባራዊ ምላሽ አጠናክሮ እንዲቀጥል፤
ለ. ለተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች
1. ከላይ በተራ ቁጥር ሀ.1 እንደተጠቀሰው፣ የግልም ሆነ የቡድን ፖለቲካዊ አስተሳሰቦችን በነጻነት ለማራመድና ተወዳድሮ በማሸነፍና በመሸነፍ ሥርዓት ውስጥ ውጤታማ መሆን የሚቻለው ሀገርና ሕዝብ ሲኖር እንደሆነ የሚያጠያይቅ አይደለም፤ ስለሆነም ሁሉም ተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ሀገሪቱ አሁን ከገባችበት ችግር እንድትወጣ ከየራሳቸው መርህና ፍላጎት ይልቅ ለሀገር ሰላም፣ ለሕዝቡ ደህንነትና አንድነት ቅድሚያ እንዲሰጡ፤
2. የሃሳብ ልዩነቶችን በሰላማዊ ውይይትና በድርድር የማራመድ፣ ለጋራ መግባባትና ለሰላም መስፈን የበኩላቸውን አዎንታዊ አስተዋፅዖ እንዲያደርጉና ቁርጠኝነት እንዲያሳዩ፤

ሐ. ለመላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ
1. መላው የሃገራችን ሕዝቦች በተለይም ወጣቱ ትውልድ ነገ የሚረከባት ሀገር የተጎሳቆለች እንዳትሆን፣ ያለውን ጥያቄ ሁሉ በከፍተኛ የሀላፊነት ስሜትና የዜግነት ዲሲፕሊን በሰላማዊ መንገድ ብቻ እንዲያቀርብ፣ በተጨማሪም አሁን መንግስት በተለያዩ ዘርፎች እየወሰደ ያለውን የለውጥ ርምጃ በትዕግስት እንዲከታተል፣ ሁከት ተስፋፍቶ በሀገሪቱ ያለዉ ውጥረት እንዳይባባስ ብርቱ ጥንቃቄ እንዲያደርግ፤
2. አሁን አልፎ አልፎ የሚታዩት ብሄር-ተኮር ግጭቶች አደገኛ አዝማሚያ ስለሆኑ፤ ከጥንት ጀምሮ የቆየው አብሮነት፣ ተግባብቶና ተጋግዞ በፍቅር የመኖርን አኩሪ ኢትዮጵያዊ እሴት/ባህል ከመቼውም ጊዜ ይበልጥ እንዲያዳብረውና እንደ ዓይኑ ብሌን እንዲጠብቅ፤

መ. ለመላው ሕዝበ-ምዕመናን
እኛ፣ የብዙ ብሄር-ብሄረሰቦች እናት የሆነችው ኢትዮጵያ ሀገራችን በማንኛውም አስቸጋሪ ሁኔታ ውስጥ ብትሆን ጠባቂና ታዳጊዋ ልዑል እግዚአብሔር እንደሆነ በጽኑ እናምናለን፤ በመሆኑም፡-
1. በሀገራችን ፍርድ እንደ ውኃ ፅድቅም እንደማይደርቅ ፈሳሽ እስኪሆን ድረስ ምዕመናን ሁሉ በትጋት በጾምና በጸሎት እግዚአብሔርን እንዲማጸኑ፤(2ዜና 7፡14፣ አሞ. 5፡24)
2. ምዕመናን ሁሉ የምድር ጨው፣ የዓለም ብርሃን፣ እንዲሁም የሰላም መልዕክተኞች እንደመሆናቸው፣ የማስታረቅ ተልዕኮአቸውን እንዲወጡ፤ (ማቴ 5፡13-16)
3. ምዕመናን ክርስቲያናዊ የዜግነት ግዴታቸውን በየተሰማሩበት መስክ በመወጣት ክርስቲያናዊ አርአያነታቸውን እንዲያሳዩ፤
ቤተክርስቲያን ጥሪዋን በአጽንኦት ታስተላልፋለች፡፡
ስለዚህ ከላይ ጥሪ የተደረገላችሁ አካላት በሙሉ እንዲሁም ሲቪል ማህበራትና የሀገር ሽማግሌዎች ለዚህ ብርቱ ሀገራዊ ጉዳይ ልዩ ትኩረትና ቅድሚያ በመስጠት እንድትመክሩበት፣ በኢትዮጵያዊ የመቻቻል መንፈስ እጅ ለእጅ ተያይዛችሁ የሚሊዮኖች የጋራ መኖሪያ የሆነችውን ውድ ሀገራችንን ከተጋረጠባት አደጋ እንድትታደጉ ቤተክርስቲያኒቱ ከአደራ ጭምር ጥሪዋን በትህትና ታስተላልፋለች፡፡
እግዚአብሔር አምላካችን፣
ሃገራችንን ይባርክ፣ ይጠብቅ፣
ፊቱንም ያብራላት፣ ጸጋውንም ያብዛላት፣
ፊቱን ይመልስላት፣ ሰላሙንም አብዝቶ ይስጣት፡፡
አሜን!

Don’t underestimate Ethiopia’s crisis, Mail & Guardian February 23, 2018

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Oppressed: Oromo mourn the hundreds of people killed by Ethiopia’s security forces in the 2016 Irreecha massacre (Tiksa Negeri, Reuters)
Oppressed: Oromo mourn the hundreds of people killed by Ethiopia’s security forces in the 2016 Irreecha massacre (Tiksa Negeri, Reuters)

For the past four years, ever since the first serious rumblings of discontent began, it has been difficult to appreciate the scale of the political crisis in Ethiopia.

Africa’s second-most populous country maintains an extraordinarily tight grip on information. Local journalists are routinely harassed, intimidated and censored, and foreign journalists are closely watched and prevented from going anywhere too sensitive. Local nongovernmental organisations and opposition parties operate under similar restrictions: under draconian laws, NGOs must tow the government line or risk losing their operating licences; opposition sympathisers are locked up in their thousands.

The international NGOs and think-tanks that operate in Ethiopia are complicit in maintaining the veil of silence. Many agree to refrain from any criticism of the Ethiopian regime in exchange for unfettered access to the African Union, which is based in Addis Ababa. Others turn a blind eye to the government’s routine human rights abuses because of its relatively good record on delivering socioeconomic development — although that record has been called into question by the sheer volume of protest action over the past few years.

In this climate, building an accurate picture of the unrest — and getting any of the usual suspects in the international community to raise the alarm — becomes nearly impossible.

There were plenty of clues, however, that not all was right. The odd massacre made international headlines — such as the dozens, perhaps hundreds, mowed down by security forces at an Oromo religious festival in October 2016. Reports of co-ordinated protests across the restive Oromia and Amhara regions suggested that resistance to the regime ran far deeper and was much better co-ordinated than the government was willing to admit.

Now, the political crisis has exploded into the open, with the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn — always little more than temporary successor to Meles Zenawi, who died in 2012 — and the imposition of Ethiopia’s second state of emergency in under two years.

This new state of emergency, valid for six months pending parliamentary approval, will give sweeping powers of search and arrest to the security forces and restrict freedom of movement, protest and association. It gives licence for another crackdown on all forms of political opposition.

In this context, it is clear that recent political reform, including the release of hundreds of political prisoners, was not a symptom of more progressive policies but the desperate act of a government increasingly fearful for its very survival.

But the rapturous reception received by the freed opposition leaders, especially the Oromo Federalist Congress’s Merera Gudina and Bekele Gerba, seems to have convinced the hardliners in the country’s ruling coalition to remove the velvet glove and revert to the iron fist, which has served the regime so well for so long.

Now the country waits to see who will replace Desalegn. In another bid to placate protesters, it is almost certain to be someone from the Oromo region, either Lemma Megersa or Abiy Ahmed — both senior officials in the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation, one of the four ethnically based parties that make up the ruling coalition. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group but have been long marginalised both economically and politically.

Somehow, the new prime minister will have to find a way to balance the demands of the protesters, who will expect immediate, demonstrable change, with the needs of the powerful securocrats in the ruling coalition who are manoeuvring for their own political futures, especially senior figures in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, who have long monopolised power and are not anxious to share.

“Whoever ascends to the top post will have much to prove but they should begin by following the advice of the United States embassy in Addis Ababa, which warned recently that the answer to growing unrest is ‘greater freedom, not less’,” wrote Mohammed Ademo, founder and editor of OPride.com, for African Arguments. “Indeed, Ethiopia sorely needs national reconciliation and an all-inclusive dialogue, and the next leader must act swiftly to make good on pledges of widening the democratic space.”

The alternative is too frightening to contemplate.

“[The ruling coalition] is at a historic crossroads and the options are clear. It can choose to genuinely reform or it can implode under the weight of a bitter power struggle and popular discontent,” said Ademo.

Meles ZenawiHailemariam DesalegnEthiopiaAfrican UnionOromo Liberation Front


Related (Oromian Economist findings):

Ethiopia: New State of Emergency Risks Renewed Abuses

Overbroad, Vague Provisions Undercut Rights,  HRW

Does Ethiopia’s New State of Emergency Dash Hopes for Reform?, Human Rights Watch

‘Game Over,’ U.S. Congressman jabs Ethiopia’s TPLF, Africa News

U.S. condemns crackdown in Ethiopia as political crisis deepens

Ethiopia: Mass protests ‘rooted in country’s history’, Al Jazeera

OMN Insight: Conversation with Jawar Mohammed on Ethiopian Political Crisis (Feb 21, 2018)

የኢትዮጲያ ሕዝብ በህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ላይ የአስቸኳይ ግዜ አዋጅ ማወጅ አለበት! 

Global community responds to Ethiopia’s political uncertainties

 Ethiopia: Final days of the TPLF regime

Where is Ethiopia heading after Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s surprise resignation?

Ethiopia’s Great Rift

OPINION: CAN ETHIOPIA OVERCOME ITS CRISIS AND BE A NORMAL COUNTRY?

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ETHIOPIA? STATE OF EMERGENCY, PROTESTS AND POLITICAL CRISIS EXPLAINED

Ethiopia crisis needs reforms not emergency rule – E.U. warns govt

Ethiopia’s next Prime Minister

With nobody in charge, Ethiopia declares a state of emergency, The Economist

የኢትዮጲያ ሕዝብ በህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ላይ የአስቸኳይ ግዜ አዋጅ ማወጅ አለበት! 

First a concession, then a crackdown. The ruling party’s divisions over how to respond to growing revolt are on show

«የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጁ የሰብዓዊ መብቶችን ይገድባል»ጀርመን 

የጀርመን ውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር ሰላማዊ ለውጥ እና አስፈላጊ ማሻሻያ የሚያመጣው ከሚመለከታቸው የፖለቲካ አካላት ጋር አካታች እና ሰፊ ውይይት ብቻ እንደሆነ እናምናለን ብሏል። መሥሪያ ቤቱ እንዳለው እንዲሕ አይነቱ ውይይት ለኢትዮጵያ ዘላቂ ውስጣዊ ሰላም እና መረጋጋት መንገድ ይጠርጋል።

Statement of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union on the situation in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden

Governments Call for Ethiopia to Revoke its State of Emergency

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden February 23, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Ethiopia’s reinstatement of state of emergency worries Sweden

A blue field with a yellow Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag.

(Africa News) — Sweden says it is concerned about Ethiopia’s reinstatement of a state of emergency (SOE) in the midst of reform efforts initiated by government.

Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister, Margot Wallstrom, in a tweet said as an ally, Sweden was ‘following development in Ethiopia closely.’

Continued reform efforts, inclusive dialogue, respect for rule of law and human rights, including freedom of expression should be a priority, her tweet further tasked the government.

Following development in Ethiopia closely. As a long-time partner, Swe is concerned about reinstatement of the SoE. Continued reform efforts, inclusive dialogue, respect for rule of law and human rights, including freedom of expression should be a priority.

The February 16 state of emergency was imposed after a meeting of Council of Ministers supposedly to curb spreading violence across the country. It is the second such measure in the last two years.

The country spent the the first eight months of 2017 under a SOE imposed in October 2016. The recent measure was declared barely 24 hours after PM Hailemariam Desalegn resigned his post. The ruling coalition is set to name his successor at a Congress.

Most western allies including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany have all spoken on the move, tasking the government to soldier on with political reforms and respect for the rights of opponents.