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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.


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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.

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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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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.


Norway concerned over State of Emergency in Ethiopia February 23, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Norway concerned over State of Emergency in Ethiopia

‘As a good friend and strategic partner of Ethiopia I was concerned when learning of the re-imposition of a State of Emergency in Ethiopia, so soon after the last State of Emergency was lifted,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The reinstatement of the State of Emergency was introduced 16 February for a period of six months.

‘The sustainable political and economic development as well as stability of Ethiopia is important to Norway. It is essential that the recent State of Emergency will not reduce the Ethiopian government’s commitment to ongoing reform processes, including multiparty dialogue, release of prisoners and the dialogue with civil society. These processes, which aim for a more inclusive political environment, are important for the development of democracy. In this respect, I would urge the government of Ethiopia to implement the State of Emergency in a proportional manner and in respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms,’ said Eriksen Søreide.


Crisis in Ethiopia: elections, and fast! RENÉ LEFORT, Open Democracy February 20, 2018

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Capsizing: The system of government introduced in 1991, and monopolised by Meles Zenawi from the early 2000s, is irremediably dead. It had been in its death-throes since Meles’s sudden demise in 2012. The snap resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on February 15 marked the serving of the official death certificate.

What is urgent is to bring down the tension by focusing the hopes and energies of the activists on a political way out, in the form of a tested, unchallengeable mechanism.

Recently resigned Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn speaking in China, May 15, 2017. Lan Hongguang/Xinhua News Agency/Press Association. All rights reserved.


The crisis in Ethiopia has suddenly gained momentum and reached a tipping point. Things could go either way. The country could dig itself even deeper, with consequences that don’t bear thinking about. Or there could be a broad realisation that Ethiopia is “at the precipice”, bringing a surge of realism and pragmatism that would finally start a process of political rebuilding on solid, inclusive and lasting foundations.

This will require compromise, an attitude that is, to say the least, somewhat unfamiliar in traditional Ethiopian culture. All the actors will have to find a balance between what they would like to get and what they can get, between the short-term and the long-term. But time is short, numbered in weeks, maybe days.

Capsizing

The system of government introduced in 1991, and monopolised by Meles Zenawi from the early 2000s, is irremediably dead. It had been in its death-throes since Meles’s sudden demise in 2012. The snap resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn on February 15 marked the serving of the official death certificate.

He had privately indicated his intention to resign, but not until after the planned spring congress of the governing coalition of the four major ethnic parties: the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organisation (OPDO), the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM).

The reason he gave for his resignation, as “vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy”, is particularly open to question in that he was a well-known reformist. Did he quit because he was pushed or because he had become aware of his powerlessness? In the midst of the worst storm that the country has experienced for decades, he was the official captain of a crew that had become so disparate, divided and disloyal that his vessel was pitching and yawing wildly.

Hailemariam probably did not want to be held responsible in the event that it should capsize. He may also have hoped that his departure would back the ruling coalition into a corner and leave it with no other alternative than to set a course out of the storm and form a new crew capable of following it.

Hegemony?

In parallel with this decline in central power, the respective strength of the coalition’s regional parties, starting with the OPDO, has continued to rise to the detriment of the TPLF, which had dominated the coalition for more than two decades despite the fact that Tigrayans account for only 6% of the nation’s population. And alongside this centrifugal movement, opposition forces – both legal and illegal, national and anchored in the diaspora – were growing in power, after long years of repression had kept them in the wilderness.

As the body politic fragments and levels out, the protests show no sign of abating, mainly in Oromya, even though not a week goes by without its death toll of victims of the security forces. Oromo complaints of marginalisation have gradually shifted towards claims of what they believe they deserve as the country’s most populous and richest region: to be at the top.

The home strike on February 12 and 13 paralysed Oromya as far as the gates of Addis Ababa, demonstrating that a blockade of the capital would not be inconceivable. Unprecedented crowds in multiple cities celebrated the return of the most prominent political prisoners: around 6,000 have been freed since a gradual amnesty announced at the beginning of January. Buoyed up by its successes, the street – at least in Oromya – could misinterpret the disarray of the EPRDF to the point that it could believe itself to have achieved an hegemonic  position that none can deny it.

However, this popular movement, mostly spontaneous and therefore loosely organised, has its shadow side, at least on the margins. While the primary responsibility for the forced displacement of almost a million people – mostly Oromo, a minority Somali – essentially since September 2017, described as “interethnic clashes”, is attributable to the Somali authorities, at grassroots level it has stirred up ethnic tensions that were previously latent, or at most sporadic and sparse.

Ethnic clashes and nationalist hysteria

The frequent claim that multi-ethnic communities have lived in peace for centuries is both true and false. “Ethnic clashes” have always taken place around basic issues: land, pasturage, water. They have flared up with all the major upheavals and subsequent power vacuums of recent decades, such as the agrarian reforms of 1975 and the introduction of the federal system in 1992-1993.

The national parties, mainly OPDO and ANDM, have backed the quest for “national identities” and claims of “national rights” in order to assert themselves vis-à-vis the TPLF and ride the wave of protests. Some of their leaders have even given their imprimatur, at least through inaction, to outbursts of nationalistic hysteria that itself also masks well-known interests, ultimately leading to “ethnic cleansing” accompanied by dispossession and pillaging.

Recently, thousands of Tigrayans, identified with their governing elite, whose powers and resources are disproportionate, were driven out of the Amhara region. Members of the Kemant, a subgroup of the Agwa ethnicity, were massacred there. Students have had to flee their universities to escape a sometimes murderous wave of “ethnic purification”.

“Ethnic clashes” are proliferating. In some cases the regional or local security forces do nothing to stop them. A symptom of this odious climate: on websites accessible in Ethiopia , especially in the comments sections, overtly racist interethnic attacks, which would be an offense anywhere else, are flourishing as never before.

Fundamental divide

Finally, in parallel with this threefold process – disintegration in the system of power, continuing protests with sometimes violent outbursts, and rising ethnic hysteria – a fundamental divide is forming, even if it does not reach the light of day. The ultra-dominant official rhetoric is reformist, founded on a key expression: “deep renewal”. However, websites (like Aigaforum.com or Tigraionline.com) that say out loud what is only whispered in certain circles of the TPLF, insist that the only effect of the government’s acts of appeasement is to make the protesters even more demanding and exacerbate the disorders.

In this view, the only way to put an end to both is to employ every possible means in a trial of strength. In addition, questions remain about some interventions by federal forces – army, police, the elite Agazi unit – carried out without the prior agreement of the regional authorities, a legal requirement, and frequently accompanied by the use of disproportionate violence. These forces are disciplined and battle hardened, so individual excesses or blunders are highly unlikely. These cases of autonomous and brutal conduct, running counter to official policy, are undoubtedly commanded, or at least tolerated, by the heads of these units, although they cannot be unaware that they are an essential contributor to escalations in radicalisation and violence.

How to draw back from the precipice

Drawing back from the “precipice” requires an urgent Copernican revolution. It can be built on four cornerstones.

– Apart from a few very marginal elements, no one fundamentally questions the Constitution. It can therefore provide the frame of reference for any change.

– None of the members of the ruling coalition envisages putting an end to it, however formal and forced its perpetuation may be. They all know that the coalition’s official collapse could devour them all. At least in the short term, it is hard to find any sign of any alternative coalition that could form, let alone govern. If the EPRDF broke up, the probability that Ethiopia would become a “failed state” is very high. However weakened it is, there would still be one hand on the helm.

– At no point, so far, has the spearhead of protest in Oromya, the Queerroo (youth), called for armed struggle. This is a major change: in the history of Ethiopia, power has always come through the barrel of a gun. However, there is a growing radical fringe which believes that taking up arms will be sufficient to put an end to the regime.

– Finally, even the opposition, which was calling for the immediate formation of a transitional government of national unity, has more or less abandoned this demand. It was unrealistic. The EPRDF has just rejected it. If it had agreed, its divisions and the scattered nature of the opposition would have bogged down the formation of such a government in interminable bargaining and one-upmanship and, once in place, would have condemned it to impotence.

However, the longer the power vacuum continues, the closer the “precipice” approaches. Regardless of its divisions, the EPRDF must at all costs make the internal compromises needed to appoint a credible prime minister and government, and then actually support them so that they can take back the helm. Of course, the appointment of Lemma Megersa, although he cannot legally occupy this position, would satisfy Oromo protesters. However, it would require such major concessions in the light of what we know about the balances of power, that another Oromo or Amhara figure, or even a southerner, would seem more feasible, a remake of the compromise reached for Meles Zenawi’s successor.

State of emergency

The proclamation of the state of emergency on February 16 caused an outcry, prompting the US Embassy to issue a statement of a severity unprecedented in contemporary US-Ethiopia relations, almost an ukase (“We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency… (This) undermines recent positive steps…  We strongly urge the government to rethink this approach”).

According to the Minister of Defence, it was decided unanimously by the Council of Ministers, and therefore by its OPDO and ANDM members, who reportedly came on board after first having vigorously rejected it. If this is true, what compromises were required? At present we don’t know the terms, any more than we know what is debated behind the scenes on all the different issues, making the state of emergency just one aspect of a global negotiation. There is still much to play for.

Does it signify that political openings have been rejected and the priority placed on repression, in other words a major victory for the “hardliners”? This will also depend on its scope, those enforcing it and their behaviour. The only indication comes from the official agency press release, which states that the purpose is “to protect freedom of movement and the rights of citizens to live wherever they choose as well as build assets”, in other words first and foremost to put an end to the “ethnic based attacks” mentioned a few lines below.

It is noteworthy that it makes no mention of restrictions on political activities. If, and only if, future information on the state of emergency confirms this analysis, and if, and only if, the federal forces show a minimum of restraint in their behaviour, the government will have taken the decision incumbent on any government facing the risks of an explosion of violent excesses, including ethnic unrest on this scale.

That may perhaps be why OPDO and ANDM, which had condemned the ethnic attacks, was ultimately able to accept the state of emergency. Under these circumstances, it can also be assumed that Parliament might approve it.

However, intervention by the security forces alone will not suffice to prevent this threat if nothing changes elsewhere. They were overwhelmed during the previous state of emergency. Ethiopia has around 15,000 rural communities (kebele), each with a few dozen militiamen. In other words, probably 400,000 armed men who owe their loyalty to the leader of the kebele. There is no proof that these leaders would be willing or able to hold back ethnic attacks perpetrated by a majority of inhabitants.

At this level of crisis – breakdown in the system of government, dispersal and weakness of the legal opposition, protest that is increasingly heated, disparate in its organisation and simultaneously extreme and nebulous in its goals, proliferation of ethnic clashes – it is unrealistic to think that time and resources are sufficient for a big negotiation, a sort of “national conference”, even one that brought together the main stakeholders in and outside the country, to be able to start everything afresh and rebuild a global alternative system step-by-step.

What is urgent is to bring down the tension by focusing the hopes and energies of the activists on a political way out, in the form of a tested, unchallengeable mechanism that will be as speedy, practical and unifying as possible. The mechanism that would meet these criteria is early general elections, held well ahead of the current schedule of spring 2020.

Early general elections

First, they would clarify the political landscape. Each force would be required to present voters with its flagship measures for rebuilding the system of political, economic, military or security power. The goal would not simply be a change of regime. It would include the distribution of powers and resources within the federation, hence the famous “nationalities question” that lies at the heart of the current crisis and for almost two centuries has undermined the capacity of Ethiopians to live together.

Following the elections, this landscape could be structured and hierarchized on clear and transparent foundations, and the inevitable alliances would be formed first around their respective weights and projects. Since these foundational elections would be legislative, Parliament would finally acquire the primary role assigned to it in the Constitution. The verdict of the electorate, founded on universal suffrage, would make the outcome unchallengeable.

Finally, elections would channel protest that is both vigorous and inchoate into a concrete, tangible and decisive goal. The Queerro who favour a shift to armed struggle remain a very small minority, but they have the wind in their sails. All the voices that count in Oromya and in the diaspora continue to call for calm, for patience, arguing that change is now inevitable but needs to be given time. If they are listened to and if, moreover, the undertaking to hold these general elections could reduce the tension, defuse the reasons for protesting and therefore the risks of outbreaks, there would be a greater chance that the most extreme elements would become isolated and ethnic clashes less probable.

Free and fair

However, this scenario can only work on one condition: that these elections are “free and fair”. For this to happen, a supreme authority needs to be established, emanating from all the main stakeholders, whether government, opposition or civil society, in Ethiopia or abroad.

The former head of the military, General Tsadkan, even proposed that, in order to guarantee its independence from the current government, no member of the EPRDF should be able to be part of it, though it would be difficult for the coalition to agree to submit to the authority of a body that would resemble a weapon directed against it.

This authority would be vested with the powers needed to guarantee the ability of all the competitors to organise and express themselves freely, including the power to put on ice laws that contravene it and that it would be formally impossible to repeal rapidly.

Finally, it would set a realistic date for elections.  The oppositions must have a certain amount of time to build their electoral machines, but the date should be as soon as possible. In the meantime, the government would continue to deal with day-to-day matters.

It may be objected that the formation of this supreme authority and its mandate would encounter the same kinds of difficulties as a transitional government. However, there is one big difference in scale and scope: whereas the purpose of the latter would be nothing less than to govern, the former would be restricted to a single goal: to organise and manage elections. Still unrealistic? Possibly, but probably the least unrealistic scenario to enable the country to step back.


Related:

Ethiopia’s Great Rift: Will a power struggle within the ruling party lead to reform — or more repression?

Washington Puts Ethiopia’s Human Rights Abusers on Notice, Tesfa News

Ethiopia: End Game? Having achieved so much through protest, it is unlikely that the Ethiopian people will accept half-hearted reforms.  ,     Oromian Economist     

198 Ways to Fight the T-TPLF’s State of Emergency in Ethiopia and Win, Al Mariam’s Commentaries February 19, 2018

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

198 Ways to Fight the T-TPLF’s State of Emergency in Ethiopia and Win


One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The T-TPLF state of emergency declaration is an unjust law!

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress… If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” — Frederick Douglass, anti-slavery statesman.

The endurance of the Ethiopian people suffering under T-TPLF ethnic apartheid rule has completely vanished. Today, they are on the move agitating and mobilizing for peaceful nonviolent change.

Author’s Note:

Make no mistake about it!

The peaceful struggle for political change in Ethiopia is now in its final and terminal phase.

On February 16, 2018, the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples’ Liberation Front (T-TPLF) declared a war of the people of Ethiopia for the third time since October 2016 by declaring a state of emergency. That is the T-TPLF’s response to the Ethiopian people’s peaceful demands for change.

That declaration of a state of emergency is the T-TPLF’s last hurrah, their curtain call.

But the whole emergency declaration is a crock of horse manure. This is the third emergency declaration since October 2016. The people’s demand did not stop. What is so different now?

The T-TPLF state of emergency declaration should be called by its proper name: License to kill. License to jail. License to torture.

But the T-TPLF has had that license for 27 years. It is nothing new. It changes nothing.

When they T-TPLF massacred thousands of people in October 2016 at the Irrecha Festival, they did not have a declaration of emergency. For 27 years, the T-TPLF has massacred, jailed and tortured hundreds of thousands of innocent Ethiopians without a declaration of emergency.

Do the T-TPLF bosses now believe the people will kneel down to them, kiss their shoes and become their slaves in their ethnic apartheid empire simply because they scribbled a piece of paper with the words, “state of emergency”? That declaration is not worth the paper it is written on.

The fact of the matter is that the T-TPLF bosses today are desperadoes, criminals with no place to run or hide. They are at the end of their ropes, on their last legs. They do not know what to do to continue to cling to power and maintain the ethnic apartheid system they have enjoyed over the past 27 years.

So they try to prove they still have power and they are still the masters of Ethiopia’s 100 million people.

But make no mistake.

The state of emergency declaration is about sending a message to the people of Ethiopia and to the world. It is a message that announces the T-TPLF is making its final stand to cling to power come hell or high water:

The T- TPLF will never, never give up power peacefully and allow a democratic transition in Ethiopia.

The T- TPLF will kill, massacre, jail and torture to crush the people’s demand for peaceful change and cling to power.

The T-TPLF would rather see a civil war than give up power peacefully.

The T-TPLF would rather go down blazing than find peaceful ways of addressing the people’s demands.

The T-TPLF will have it ONLY its way: All for itself and nothing for anyone else. It will be the T-TPLF way of the highway.

The T-TPLF in its emergency declaration is offering the Ethiopian people a stark  choice: Bow your heads, drop down on your knees and live like slaves, or die trying to be free with your nonviolent civil disobedience boots on.

So, the dreaded day has come for the T-TPLF. Ethiopia is at the crossroads and the crosshairs.

The T-TPLF wants an Armageddon.

The people of Ethiopia want peace, truth and reconciliation.

The people have resolved to free themselves of ethnic apartheid rule.

The T-TPLF is determined to keep them under ethnic apartheid rule.

The T-TPLF bosses know the end is near; and they are facing the final curtain.

How so?

The people have met their most formidable enemy. That enemy was hiding within them.

For decades, that enemy dwelled in their hearts, minds and every cell in their bodies.

That enemy goes by the name FEAR.

But the people have conquered FEAR and in so doing conquered the T-TPLF.

Robert Holmes (“The Ethics of Nonviolence”, 2013 at p. 226”), explained it best:

For power dissolves when people lose their fear. You can still kill people who no longer fear you, but you cannot control them. You cannot control dead people. Walk through a cemetery with a bullhorn, if you like. Command people to rise up, clean the streets, pay taxes, report for military duty, and they will ignore you. Political power requires obedience, which is fueled by the fear of pain to be inflicted if you refuse to comply with the will of those who control the instruments of violence. That power evaporates when the people lose their fear…

Simply stated, nonviolent social change by civil disobedience and mass resistance simply means the people have lost their fear of their oppressors.

What is to be done by people who have lost their fear of their oppressors?

What is to be done in the face of T-TPLF’s declaration of state of emergency and beyond?

In 1901, V.I. Lenin wrote a pamphlet entitled, “What Is to Be Done?” (p. 47). He argued the working class will not be politically mobilized into action simply by fighting economic battles over workers’ wages, working conditions and other economic rights. To transform the working class into a potent Marxist political force, Lenin said it would be necessary to form a “vanguard” of dedicated revolutionaries to spread Marxist political ideas among the workers.  He prescribed, “To bring political knowledge to the workers the Social Democrats must go among all classes of the population; they must dispatch units of their army in all directions.”

I say what is good sauce for the goose is good for the gander. The principles that apply to a violent revolution apply equally to a peaceful nonviolent revolution.

The peaceful nonviolent movement led by the “youth vanguard” cannot win the struggle without educating and empowering all segments of Ethiopian society.

The youth vanguard must educate, inform, empower and mobilize all segments of the  population, all members of ethnic groups in their own languages and traditions, all age and faith groups, all members of the professions and trades in the techniques of nonviolent struggle in the fight for democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The time is NOW for the youth vanguards of the Ethiopian peaceful nonviolent revolution to penetrate every nook and cranny of Ethiopian society.

The youth vanguard, above all, must teach and preach ETHIOPIAWINET which is simply defined as LOVE.

The ultimate aim of the Ethiopian struggle must be the victory of ETHIOPIAWINET over ethnic hate and ethnic apartheid system.

Teaching and preaching peaceful change must be made synonymous and go hand in hand with teaching and preaching of  ETHIOPIAWINET way of life.

The youth vanguard must teach and preach the philosophy and practice of nonviolent peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the schools, colleges and universities.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the churches and mosques.

The must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the civil service and bureaucracy.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the armed forces, the police and security forces.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among women and girls.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET to the urban and rural youth.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the tea rooms, restaurants and bars.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the shops and market places.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET in the stadiums and sports fields.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among the elites, the wealthy and privileged.

They must teach and preach peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET among the poor, the powerless and defenseless.

They must teach-in and teach-out peaceful change and ETHIOPIAWINET.

They must preach on and on!

They must be the change they want to see. They must live a life of ETHIOPIAWINET.

I have been teaching and preaching nonviolent social change and promoting truth and reconciliation for over 12 years.

I got involved in the Ethiopian human rights struggle because I was outraged by the Meles Massacres of 2005.

The Meles Massacres stirred deep emotions in me. For the first time in decades, I realized that though I had left Ethiopia, Ethiopia had not left me. The Meles Massacres made me realize that even though I had moved away from Ethiopia permanently, Ethiopia had not moved out of me permanently. It is a feeling that is hard to explain even today. I can only say that the massacre of those unarmed citizens (and the shocking photographs) triggered in me an emotion of volcanic outrage (that some say still flows unabated; I will not argue with them). I was not merely shocked and appalled; I was shaken to the core.

It has been said that in desperate times, we either define the moment or the moment defines us. It was at this time that I resolved to define my moment by using my pen (keyboard) as a weapon of nonviolent resistance against the tyranny of Meles Zenawi and his gang of criminals in designer suits.

I believe it is my moral obligation (and all human beings) to speak up against human rights crimes and agitate for peaceful nonviolent resistance. In my efforts, I have tried to make a small contribution by providing civic education in nonviolent resistance.

Indeed, before Official Day 1 of my involvement in the Ethiopian human rights struggle on July 3, 2006, I wrote a three-part commentary on civil disobedience and nonviolence and its relevance in the struggle for freedom, democracy and human rights in Ethiopia.  I undertook that effort after the Tegbar League Addis Ababa Leadership Committee issued a statement in March 2006 indicating that it

will organize nonviolent actions such as blocking major roads, work slowdowns, boycott of schools, and boycott of products that are produced or sold by EPRDF-affiliated companies. These nonviolent actions are intended to systematically make the country ungovernable and paralyze the Meles regime. There will be no public demonstration and direct confrontation with the blood thirsty Federal Police and Meles Zenawi’s death squad.

To provide intellectual support to Tegbar and spread knowledge about the philosophy and practice of nonviolence and civil disobedience, beginning in April 2006, I issued my series.

In Part I “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (April 23, 2006), I examined the ideas of Henry David Thoreau, who inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King in leading an independence and civil rights movement.

In Part II “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (May 10, 2006), I examined Gandhi’s use of  “Satyagraha,” which he defined as “truth-force,” “love-force” or “soul-force.” In fighting for human dignity of Indians in South Africa and later independence of India. Gandhi’s message to the colonial oppressors of India was simple. “My ambition is no less than to convert the British people through nonviolence, and thus make them see the wrong they have done to India. I do not seek to harm your people.”

In Part III “Of Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence” (May 18, 2006), I examined MLK’s efforts to bring peace, harmony and interracial unity between black and white people in America”.

Over the past decade, I have written dozens of commentaries promoting nonviolent change, truth reconciliation, direct action and have tried to mobilize Ethiopian intellectuals to join me in the effort.

In October 2008, I wrote a commentary entitled, “The political economy of remittances in Ethiopia”. That commentary was in fact an analysis of the billions of dollars Diaspora Ethiopians send back to Ethiopia. I raised a number of questions which focused on the role of remittances in providing economic buoyancy to help keep afloat, support, prolong and entrench the one-party, one-man dictatorship of the T-TPLF in Ethiopia.

I am gratified to learn of recent efforts by an “international task force calling for remittance boycott against regime in Ethiopia.”

In my September 2013, commentary, “The Diplomacy of Nonviolent Change in Ethiopia”, I wrote abut how people lose their fears of oppressive government and muster courage to fight back with civil disobedience. The “diplomacy” of nonviolent change involves the use of  dialogue, negotiations, compromise, bargaining, concessions, accommodations, cooperation and ultimately peace-making and reconciliation.

In my September 2013 commentary , “Interpreting and Living MLK’s Dream”, I discussed Dr. King’s message of hope and redemption for our time and his unlimited imagination and hope in the infinite capacity of humanity to be humane while acutely aware of  “man’s inhumanity to man”.

In 2014, I joined the boycott of Coca Cola Company for its disrespectful and humiliating treatment of the great Ethiopian patriot Teddy Afro. In my June 2014 commentary“Why I am boycotting Ȼoca Ȼola”, I called on my readers to boycott Coca Cola products. I promised then never to touch a Coca Cola product, a promise I have kept to this day.

In my January 2017 New Year message, “Dare to Dream With Me About the New Ethiopia in 2017”, I shared my dreams of the Beloved Ethiopian Community to peacefully emerge from the nightmare of T-TPLF ethnic apartheid rule. Here are a few of those dreams of: ONE Ethiopia at Peace with itself. Ethiopians finding their unity in their humanity instead of their ethnicity. Ethiopians regardless of ethnicity, religion and region subscribing to the creed, “I am my brother’s, my sister’s keeper.” The day when Truth shall rise from the ashes of lies and lead all Ethiopians on the path of reconciliation in Ethiopia. Human rights extinguishing  government wrongs in Ethiopia. True multiparty democracy with iron clad protections for human rights. Learned men and women using their intellectual powers to teach, preach and touch the people. The release all political prisoners.

Above all, I have a dream of the day when Ethiopia’s young people will put their shoulders to the wheel and take full charge of their country’s destiny, leaving behind the politics of hate and ethnicity; turning  their backs on those wallowing in moral bankruptcy and corruption and creating a new politics for a New Ethiopia based on dialogue, negotiation and compromise.

Simply stated, I dream of the New Ethiopia, rising over the horizon in a peaceful revolution, as a shining “city high on top of the African hill”.

In my December 2013 commentary, “Mandela’s Message to Ethiopia’s Youth: Never give up…!” Never give up and keep on trying to build your Beloved Ethiopian Community! Dare to be great. Change yourselves first before you change society. Keep on trying. Come together. Be virtuous. Be patriotic. Be courageous. Dream big. Lead from behind. Be optimistic and determined.  Learn and educate the people.

In my January 2018 commentary, “Unarmed Truth and Unconditional Love (Reconciliation): Dr. Martin Luther King’s Message to Ethiopians Today”, I examined Dr. King’s lifelong message of nonviolence, peace, reconciliation in the context of Ethiopia’s dire crises today and building of a new Beloved Ethiopian Community.

All Ethiopians have a moral and ethical obligation to engage in peaceful, nonviolent change in their motherland

The time has come for all freedom-loving Ethiopians to stand up and be counted. It is time for truth or consequences. We all have a choice to make: Stand with the people of Ethiopia, or by not doing so stand with their oppressors.  It is a choice without moral relativism or ambiguity. One can choose to be part of a 27 year-old problem or part of the solution to usher in the New Ethiopia.

Dr. King said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” He explained, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

The T-TPLF’s state of emergency declaration is an unjust law. It is a law that contravenes God’s law. It violates natural law. It is a government wrong against God-given human rights.

The peaceful, nonviolent struggle in Ethiopia must go on.

We must have Churchillian resolve in our peaceful nonviolent struggle.

Facing an imminent invasion of Britain by the Nazis, Winston Churchill was ready to fight and threw down the gauntlet. “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, and in the air, on the beaches, the landing grounds, in the streets, in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Ethiopians in Ethiopia and in the Diaspora must go on to the end. We must fight the T-TPLF using every weapon of peaceful nonviolent struggle.

We must fight them with civil disobedience and mass resistance in the schools, in the colleges and universities, in the streets, in the urban and rural areas, in places of worship and public gatherings, in every hamlet, village, town and city.

We must fight the T-TPLF in every open and closed political space, in the workspace and even in the prison space. We must fight them in the monkey courts and in the kangaroo parliaments. We must fight them during the day and in the night. We must fight them in the sunshine and in the rain.

Diaspora Ethiopians in the West must do their fair share. We must fight their lobbyist in the halls of Congress and in the White House. We must fight them in the newspapers, on television and radio. We must fight their trolls in cyberspace and social media.

We must fight them, to paraphrase what Churchill said of the Nazis, and carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New Ethiopia, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of all Ethiopian people from the yoke of T-TPLF ethnic apartheid system.

A very special request, my humble plea to all who are engaged in the peaceful struggle – Please no violence

We must not bring ourselves to the level of the T-TPLF.

That is because we have the most powerful weapon in our hand, hearts and minds.

That weapon is nonviolence.

We must not resort to violence against our brothers and sisters, neighbors and compatriots.  Gandhi said, “the strong are never vindictive” and have no need for violence.

We who advocate nonviolent change are strong! In body, spirit and soul.

Let us heed Dr. Martin Luther King’s words:

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness… The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

For 12 years, I have toiled day and night, night and day, to see the daylight, the sunlight of freedom and equal opportunity shine on Ethiopia.

I do not ever want to see Ethiopia full of blind people, blinded by hate and revenge.

My dream is to see Ethiopia blinded by the light of love and of truth.

I have stood with Ethiopia’s young people through thin and thick for a long time

Now I ask them to stand with me in actively practicing NO VIOLENCE. NO DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY. NO REVENGE.

Hate and violence cannot drive out hate and violence out of Ethiopia. Only love, understanding and tolerance can do that.

We are better than the hate mongers, those who use violence to suppress human rights.

Let us become the change we want to see!

============================================================

How can every Ethiopian man, woman and child live up to their moral and ethical obligation to resist T-TPLF tyranny and work for peaceful nonviolent social and political change.

Let me count the ways!

The following document is authored by Prof. Gene Sharp, the “intellectual father of peaceful resistance” and founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study of nonviolent action. Prof. Sharp passed away on January 28, 2018. He has influenced numerous anti-government resistance movements around the world.

PDF copy of the document is also available.

Prof. Sharp prepared the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action to demonstrate that “practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of ‘nonviolent weapons’ at their disposal.” He classified those “weapons” into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention.   

=============  ==============  =================  =============

                                  198 METHODS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

Formal Statements

  1.                    Public Speeches
                      2. Letters of opposition or support
                        3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
                        4. Signed public statements
                        5. Declarations of indictment and intention
                        6. Group or mass petitions

Communications with a Wider Audience

  1.                    Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
                      8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
                        9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
                        10. Newspapers and journals
                        11. Records, radio, and television
                        12. Skywriting and earthwriting

Group Representations

  1.                    Deputations
                      14. Mock awards
                        15. Group lobbying
                        16. Picketing
                        17. Mock elections

Symbolic Public Acts

  1.                    Displays of flags and symbolic colors
                      19. Wearing of symbols
                        20. Prayer and worship
                        21. Delivering symbolic objects
                        22. Protest disrobings
                        23. Destruction of own property
                        24. Symbolic lights
                        25. Displays of portraits
                        26. Paint as protest
                        27. New signs and names
                        28. Symbolic sounds
                        29. Symbolic reclamations
                        30. Rude gestures

Pressures on Individuals

  1.                    “Haunting” officials
                      32. Taunting officials
                        33. Fraternization
                        34. Vigils

Drama and Music

  1.                    Humorous skits and pranks
                      36. Performances of plays and music
                        37. Singing

Processions

  1.                    Marches
                      39. Parades
                        40. Religious processions
                        41. Pilgrimages
                        42. Motorcades

Honoring the Dead

  1.                    Political mourning
                      44. Mock funerals
                        45. Demonstrative funerals
                        46. Homage at burial places

Public Assemblies

  1.                    Assemblies of protest or support
                      48. Protest meetings
                        49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
                        50. Teach-ins

Withdrawal and Renunciation

  1.                    Walk-outs
                      52. Silence
                        53. Renouncing honors
                        54. Turning one’s back

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION

Ostracism of Persons

  1.                    Social boycott
                      56. Selective social boycott
                        57. Lysistratic nonaction
                        58. Excommunication
                        59. Interdict

Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions

  1.                    Suspension of social and sports activities
                      61. Boycott of social affairs
                        62. Student strike
                        63. Social disobedience
                        64. Withdrawal from social institutions

Withdrawal from the Social System

  1.                    Stay-at-home
                      66. Total personal noncooperation
                        67. “Flight” of workers
                        68. Sanctuary
                        69. Collective disappearance
                        70. Protest emigration (hijrat)

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS 
Actions by Consumers

  1.                    Consumers’ boycott
                      72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
                        73. Policy of austerity
                        74. Rent withholding
                        75. Refusal to rent
                        76. National consumers’ boycott
                        77. International consumers’ boycott

Action by Workers and Producers

  1.                    Workmen’s boycott
                      79. Producers’ boycott

Action by Middlemen

  1.                    Suppliers’ and handlers’ boycott

Action by Owners and Management

  1.                    Traders’ boycott
                      82. Refusal to let or sell property
                        83. Lockout
                        84. Refusal of industrial assistance
                        85. Merchants’ “general strike”

Action by Holders of Financial Resources

  1.                    Withdrawal of bank deposits
                      87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
                        88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
                        89. Severance of funds and credit
                        90. Revenue refusal
                        91. Refusal of a government’s money

Action by Governments

  1.                    Domestic embargo
                      93. Blacklisting of traders
                        94. International sellers’ embargo
                        95. International buyers’ embargo
                        96. International trade embargo

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: THE STRIKE 
Symbolic Strikes

  1.                    Protest strike
                      98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)

Agricultural Strikes

  1.                    Peasant strike
                      100. Farm workers’ strike

Strikes by Special Groups

  1.                    Refusal of impressed labor
                      102. Prisoners’ strike
                        103. Craft strike
                        104. Professional strike

Ordinary Industrial Strikes

  1.                    Establishment strike
                      106. Industry strike
                        107. Sympathetic strike

Restricted Strikes

  1.                    Detailed strike
                      109. Bumper strike
                        110. Slowdown strike
                        111. Working-to-rule strike
                        112. Reporting “sick” (sick-in)
                        113. Strike by resignation
                        114. Limited strike
                        115. Selective strike

Multi-Industry Strikes

  1.                    Generalized strike
  2.                    General strike

Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures 

  1.                    Hartal
  2.                    Economic shutdown 

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION 
Rejection of Authority

  1.                    Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
                      121. Refusal of public support
                        122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance

Citizens’ Noncooperation with Government

  1.                    Boycott of legislative bodies
                      124. Boycott of elections
                        125. Boycott of government employment and positions
                        126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
                        127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
                        128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
                        129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
                        130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
                        131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
                        132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions

Citizens’ Alternatives to Obedience

  1.                    Reluctant and slow compliance
                      134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
                        135. Popular nonobedience
                        136. Disguised disobedience
                        137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
                        138. Sitdown
                        139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
                        140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
                        141. Civil disobedience of “illegitimate” laws

Action by Government Personnel

  1.                    Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
                      143. Blocking of lines of command and information
                        144. Stalling and obstruction
                        145. General administrative noncooperation
  2.                    Judicial noncooperation
                      147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
                        148. Mutiny

Domestic Governmental Action

  1.                    Quasi-legal evasions and delays
                      150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

International Governmental Action

  1.                    Changes in diplomatic and other representations
                      152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
                        153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
                        154. Severance of diplomatic relations
                        155. Withdrawal from international organizations
                        156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
                        157. Expulsion from international organizations 

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION 
Psychological Intervention

  1.                    Self-exposure to the elements
                      159. The fast
                                            a) Fast of moral pressure
                                            b) Hunger strike
                                            c) Satyagrahic fast
                        160. Reverse trial
                        161. Nonviolent harassment

Physical Intervention

  1.                    Sit-in
                      163. Stand-in
                        164. Ride-in
                        165. Wade-in
                        166. Mill-in
                        167. Pray-in
                        168. Nonviolent raids
                        169. Nonviolent air raids
                        170. Nonviolent invasion
                        171. Nonviolent interjection
                        172. Nonviolent obstruction
                        173. Nonviolent occupation

Social Intervention

  1.                    Establishing new social patterns
                      175. Overloading of facilities
                        176. Stall-in
                        177. Speak-in
                        178. Guerrilla theater
                        179. Alternative social institutions
                        180. Alternative communication system

Economic Intervention

  1.                    Reverse strike
                      182. Stay-in strike
                        183. Nonviolent land seizure
                        184. Defiance of blockades
                        185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
                        186. Preclusive purchasing
                        187. Seizure of assets
                        188. Dumping
                        189. Selective patronage
                        190. Alternative markets
                        191. Alternative transportation systems
                        192. Alternative economic institutions

Political Intervention

  1.                    Overloading of administrative systems
                      194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
                        195. Seeking imprisonment
                        196. Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws
                        197. Work-on without collaboration
                        198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government

Without doubt, a large number of additional methods have already been used but have not been classified, and a multitude of additional methods will be invented in the future that have the characteristics of the three classes of methods: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation and nonviolent intervention.

It must be clearly understood that the greatest effectiveness is possible when individual methods to be used are selected to implement the previously adopted strategy. It is necessary to know what kind of pressures are to be used before one chooses the precise forms of action that will best apply those pressures.

[1] Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973 and later editions.

====================

Additional resources on the application, techniques and experiences of nonviolent resistance in different countries:

https://www.aeinstein.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/198-Methods.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Handbook-for-Working-With-Activists.compressed.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/50-Crucial-Points-web.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/CANVAS-Core-Curriculum_EN.pdf

http://canvasopedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/MOB_English_May2014.pdf

U.S. ‘strongly disagrees’ with Ethiopia state of emergency February 17, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

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

U.S. 'strongly disagrees' with Ethiopia state of emergency

ETHIOPIA

The United States embassy in Ethiopia said on Saturday it disagreed with the government’s decision to impose a state of emergency to calm political unrest the day after the prime minister’s surprise resignation.

The statement came after the council of ministers imposed yet another six months nationwide state of emergency last night, which defence minister Siraj Fegessa, said would include a ban on protests and publications that incite violence.

‘‘We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression,’‘ the statement said.

We strongly disagree with the Ethiopian government’s decision to impose a state of emergency that includes restrictions on fundamental rights such as assembly and expression.

The prime minister’s resignation followed a wave of strikes and demonstrations successfully demanding the release of more opposition leaders.

‘‘We recognise and share concerns expressed by the government about incidents of violence and loss of life, but firmly believe that the answer is greater freedom, not less,’‘ it said.

Under a previous state of emergency, declared in October 2016 and lasting 10 months, thousands of Ethiopians were arrested by the military.

The current state of emergency has to be approved by the national parliament, which is currently on recess, giving the council 15 days to enforce the emergency rule until parliament reconvenes.

The statement urged the government in Ethiopia “to rethink this approach and identify other means to protect lives and property while preserving, and indeed expanding, the space for meaningful dialogue and political participation that can pave the way to a lasting democracy.”


Related:-

Ethiopia’s authoritarian regime backtracks on reforms. With an economic record at risk, Ethiopia is sacrificing democracy, FT

What triggered unrest in Ethiopia? Al Jazeera

Ethiopia: Final Days of the Regime, Counter Punch

Obboo Baqqalaa Garbaa: Labsiin Yeroo Hatattamaa Qabsoo Uummataa Hin Dhaabu, VOA Afaan Oromoo

Dhaamsa Dr Maraara Qeerroo Hundaaf Guyyaa hardhaa, Kichuu

ANALYSIS: AMID A REVOLUTIONARY STUPOR, ETHIOPIA’S RULING PARTY DUMPS ITS LEADER, AS

Ethiopia 2024 dollar bond hits 6-mth low after PM resigns, Reuters

Reform or repression? Ethiopia ‘faces watershed moment’ after PM resigns, Democracy Digest

Why is Ethiopia in upheaval? This brief history explains a lot, WP

Ethiopia’s Counterproductive State of Emergency, Atlantic Council

 

Déjà vu: Ethiopia’s fascist regime (TPLF) again declares state of emergency to continue with its genocide. U.S. issues Ethiopia alert, warns of tricky security situation February 16, 2018

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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5 comments

Odaa Oromoooromianeconomisttravel-warning-do-not-travel-to-ethiopia-terrorist-tplf-from-tigray-is-killing-people-and-looting-propertiesNo To Fascist TPLF Ethiopia's genocidal militarism and mass killings in Oromia, Ethiopia

Labsiin Yeroo Hatattamaa Labsame Haggamiif Akka Ta’e Hin Ibsamne, VOA Afaan Oromo


State of emergency declared in Ethiopia amid political unrest, The Guardian

Emergency rule imposed by ruling EPRDF coalition following prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s decision to resign

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

Ethiopia has announced a state of emergency after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday announced his intention to step down amid a political crisis in the country.

The ruling EPRDF coalition’s council met on Friday and decided to impose emergency rule for an unspecified period, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. The council “came to the conclusion that imposing emergency rule would be vital to safeguarding the constitutional order of our country”. Further details are expected to be given by the defence minister on Saturday morning.

An opposition leader said earlier on Friday the ruling coalition had lost its authority and that all parties must help map the country’s future.

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said Ethiopia needed a completely new political system after years of unrest. “Ethiopians now need a government that respects their rights, not one that keeps beating and killing them,” he said.

Rights advocates have frequently criticised Ethiopia’s government for mass arrests and long jail terms handed to political opponents and journalists. But more than 6,000 political prisoners have been freed since January as the government has struggled to quell discontent.

The prime minister’s resignation followed a wave of strikes and demonstrations demanding the release of more opposition leaders.



Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM quits, JAZEERA NEWS

Ethiopia's prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests [Tiksa Negeri/Daylife]
Ethiopia’s prime minister resigned on Thursday amid widespread public protests [Tiksa Negeri/Daylife]
Ethiopia has declared a state of emergency, a day after the country’s prime minister abruptly resigned.

The measure was announced on Friday by the Council of Ministers, the Ethiopian government’s cabinet, according to state broadcaster EBC.

Local media said the measure is effective as of Friday, but it was not immediately clear how long it would last.

Quoting an unnamed source “close to the government”, the Addis Standard newspaper reported that the Council was debating whether to make the measure span three or six months.

In August 2017, Ethiopia lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after hundreds of people were killed in anti-government protests demanding wider political freedoms.

Ethiopia’s Oromo and Amhara people – who make up about 61 percent of the country’s population – have staged mass demonstrations since 2015 demanding greater political inclusion and an end to human rights abuses.

Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo rights activist and head of the Oromia Media Network, said the state of emergency declaration was “unnecessary, unhelpful and unwise”.

“The best way to ensure stability at this time is not to declare state of emergency that was tested and failed,” Mohammed wrote on Facebook earlier on Friday.

Felix Horne, a Human Rights Watch researcher on Ethiopia, said during the last state of emergency – the first in 25 years – more than 20,000 people were arrested.

“Those released speak about how it has only angered them further. It didn’t work then, what does [the government] hope to achieve now?” Horne wrote on Twitter.

Political uncertainty

Hailemariam, who has sat at the helm of the Ethiopian government since 2012, announced on Thursday he would be stepping down as prime minister and head of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.

He cited ongoing “unrest and a political crisis” in the country as major factors in his resignation, which he described as “vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy”.

Hailemariam said he will stay on as prime minister in a caretaker capacity, until the EPRDF and the country’s parliament accept his resignation and name a replacement.

READ MORE

Ethiopia ‘at crossroads’ after Hailemariam resignation

The executive committees of both the EPRDF and his own party within the coalition, the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement, have so far accepted his decision to step down.

Tsedale Lemma, editor-in-chief of Addis Standard, said there has been a political struggle within the ruling party since the death of former prime minister, Meles Zenawi, in 2012.

Appointing a new prime minister from within the Oromo community would be “a conciliatory gesture”, Lemma said.

But whomever replaces Hailemariam, she said Ethiopia “needs a very serious political surgery to heal it from its structural [disfunction]”, which would include dismantling repressive laws and strengthening the independence of the judiciary.

Mulatu Gemechu, deputy secretary of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress, said earlier on Friday that Ethiopia needs a new political system after years of unrest.

“Ethiopians now need a government that respects their rights, not one that keeps beating and killing them,” he told Reuters news agency.


MORE ON ETHIOPIA from Al Jazeera

Related:

Ethiopia declares state of emergency after PM’s resignation, Reuters


OMN: GRD – የአስቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ (LIVE) Feb 16, 2018

Regime in just declared new state of emergency for a third time since onset of in early 2015. Regime has already killed thousands, and displaced 3M+ people in Oromia. Now wants to continue the genocide campaigns.  Oromo Press


During the 10 month state of emergency in 2016-2017 over 20k were arrested for no reason. Those released speak about how it has only angered them further. It didn’t work then, what does govt hope to achieve now? Any goodwill from prisoner releases will be gone.  Felix Horne



Ethiopia: End Game? Having achieved so much through protest, it is unlikely that the Ethiopian people will accept half-hearted reforms. #OromoProtests #OromoStrikes February 15, 2018

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Crowds waiting for Bekele Gerba, February 13, 2018

The protest movement playing out in Ethiopia is one of the most consequential conflicts on the African continent – more than any other, it has the potential to upend US policy in the Horn of Africa. It could disrupt counterterrorism efforts in Somalia and reduce the number of peacekeeping troops in South Sudan. But alarmingly, it has barely registered in Washington policy discussions or in the American press.

Ethiopia’s Oromo population is celebrating a victory today that is probably unprecedented in African history. Without extensive violence or bloodshed, and while almost all of its leading voices languished in jail, a grassroots protest movement has managed to force one of the most powerful regimes in Africa to surrender to its demands. As an organized strike involving tens of thousands of Oromo youths drew closer to the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopian authorities agreed to release a host of important political prisoners, including Bekele Gerba, a compelling activist whose release from prison the government has fiercely resisted. (Just the week before, Bekele had been sentenced to an additional half-year behind bars, for the crime of singing a protest song in front a judge.)

In honor of Bekele Gerba’s release, the Oromo strikes were suspended, and the crowds in the street turned jubilant. Then, on February 14, authorities stunned and delighted the protestors further by releasing other extremely prominent dissidents (including among others the blogger Eskindir Nega, opposition leader Andualem Aragie, former Gambella Governor Okello Akway, and the Muslim religious freedom activist Ahmedin Jebel), some of whom had been imprisoned on “terrorism” charges for years.

ETWEET1

Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalagn had promised the release of a large number of political prisoners in early January, and did later release a number of political activists, including opposition leader Merera Gudina. Government officials claimed at the time that the move was intended to widen the political space and foster a genuine dialogue with the political opposition and with the ethnic-based protest movements. But skeptics (including the majority of protestors) saw the move as largely symbolic, and perhaps even calculated to sow discord within the opposition, as some individuals were released and not others, and particularly as the most influential figures remained behind bars.

After the events of February 13 and 14, however, there can be little doubt about the seriousness of the Ethiopian authorities. The severity and persistence of the protest movements have clearly become an existential threat to the regime, and the need to diffuse the protests’ momentum is imperative enough, apparently, to overcome differences of opinion between the so-called “moderate” and “hardliner” factions with the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which is the most powerful faction with the ruling party.

The TPLF’s alarm is well-founded; the only question is whether its belated concessions to the protestors, after years of growing unrest, may be too little, too late. Anger at the perceived economic and political dominance of the small Tigrean ethnic faction is a moving force behind the protests, and the threat of a genocide or other targeted ethnic violence against Tigrean individuals appears to be escalating. Fearful Tigrean citizens have reportedly relocated in large numbers from the Amhara and Oromo regions of the country, and attacks on Tigreans (a rarity in the past) are reported. At the same time, violent clashes between other ethnic groups, particularly the Oromo and Somalis, have dramatically increased. Tensions are high across the board; the protestors are flush with victory; and the newly-released scores of political dissidents may vie for prominence. Is there any chance of the protests subsiding?

Probably not, though it is surely the TPLF’s hope that Bekele Gerba, Ahmedin Jebel, Eskindir Nega and their colleagues will prove to be wise and moderating voices in the coming dialogue. They have in the past not only been decisively less radical, but have been firmly committed to non-violence – unlike the radio and social media personalities, some of the based in the diaspora, that have risen to prominence in their absence and are now driving the opposition discourse in real time.

ETWEET2.1

Having achieved so much through protest, it is unlikely that the Ethiopian people will accept half-hearted reforms. Speculation is rampant, for example, that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalagn – who is not Tigrean but is widely regarded as an instrument of the TPLF elite – will be replaced with an Oromo at the ruling party’s upcoming conference in three weeks’ time. (Lema Megersa, president of the Oromia Regional State, is a prime focus of this speculation.) These rumors are mere speculation, but have taken on the force of expectation, and disappointment could easily lead to another round of protests. Another round of civilian deaths at the hands of Ethiopian security forces, or the declaration of another state of emergency, could have the same effect. Next time, the Ethiopian government’s concessions may not be enough to halt the protests. If dialogue fails, and the security forces are unleashed, the resulting conflict will be bloody and awful – and will certainly not succeed in ending the uprising.

ETWEET3.1

Implications for US Policy

Washington, of course, has every incentive to avoid such a scenario.

The United States has much at stake in Ethiopia, whose troops and cooperation have been essential to Washington’s efforts to stabilize Somalia and South Sudan. American strategy in the Horn of Africa is deeply flawed and is demonstrably failing to achieve its objectives (as the situation in both countries continues to deteriorate). But no alternative policy proposals are on table, and a sudden collapse of Ethiopian capacity to support American policies with African boots on the ground would be catastrophic. The African Union mission in Somalia, already on its last legs, would probably not survive a sudden and wholesale withdrawal of Ethiopian forces – and countless civilian lives in Southern Sudan would be endangered. A disordered Ethiopia is of course more vulnerable to incursions by the al Qaeda-linked Somali terror group, al Shabaab, which has already managed to establish a vibrant offshoot in Kenya amid similar social conditions (a large population of unemployed youths, a disenfranchised and villified Muslim population, and rampant police brutality).

Unfortunately, few countries are more poorly positioned than the United States to play a constructive role in Ethiopia’s future. This stems from Washington’s long history of providing budgetary support to the Ethiopia’s ruling party, the close cooperation between the two countries’ military and intelligence services, and the long-standing refusal of American officials to criticize the human rights record of the regime or to challenge the imprisonment of thousands of civilians.

Washington’s silence on Ethiopia’s deteriorating human rights and security situation is a result of many factors. First and foremost, of course, the Ethiopian regime has served as Washington’s indispensable partner in the “war on terrorism” since the early 2000s. Second, the former prime minister and architect of the ruling party, Meles Zenawi, cultivated warm personal friendships with senior American policymakers who subsequently championed the regime and shield it from public criticism. Third, as is the case in Rwanda, Western policymakers paraded Ethiopia as an “African success story” as a means of facilitating continued aid and investment to the continent, and drawing attention to the human rights narrative was inconvenient. Fourth – and not least important – public criticism of the Ethiopian regime was found by American diplomats not to work very well: over the years it has resulted in numerous journalists, diplomats and American non-governmental organizations being expelled from Ethiopia over the years, without causing a whiff of improvement in the regime’s conduct. And Ethiopia’s ability to restrict access to the African Union (AU headquarters are located in Addis) has led many otherwise reputable analysts and journalists to practice self-censorship. Ethiopia has also proved very willing to retaliate against diplomatic pressure by holding American security interests hostage: in September 2017, for example, when the House Subcommittee on African Affairs attempted to pass a resolution drawing attention to Ethiopia’s human rights abuses, Ethiopia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Girma Birru, visited the Subcommittee members and threatened to withhold counterterror cooperation in Somalia. Faced with this threat, the Subcommittee immediately abandoned the resolution. (The Subcommittee threatened yesterday to bring the resolution to the floor for a vote on February 28, unless the Ethiopian government gives UN investigatory teams access to the country.)

The most credible voices among the protest movement have already condemned US inaction, and would not consent to a dialogue with US officials – indeed, they argue that engaging with Washington would erode their credibility, and they are probably right. Washington can of course attempt to pressure or persuade the TPLF to undertake credible and meaningful reforms – but Washington’s chequered diplomatic history with Addis suggests that such efforts are unlikely to bear fruit. It is also unclear what reforms would appease the public: while there have been calls for Ethiopian security forces to leave the Oromo and Amhara and other regions (including the Somali or “Ogaden” zone), absolutely no one is demanding fresh elections (which have historically been heavily rigged) or other staple democratic measures to restore the peace.

The next month, and days, will be decisive. The Ethiopian regime will either commit to its current course and expand on its commitment to reform, signaling this commitment perhaps by offering the prime ministership to an Oromo leader. Or it will double down on its previous course, and declare a state of emergency. But this would be a deadly decision, as a new state of emergency would surely be regarded by opposition leaders and the protestors as a declaration of war.

Ethiopia’s only hope for peace is a series of rapid and sincere concessions by the TPLF elite, which must certainly involve a meaningful redistribution of political and economic power. The Ethiopian public has tasted its power, and one way or another, the status quo will not survive.

Bronwyn Bruton is deputy director and director of programs and studies in the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. Follow her on Twitter @BronwynBruton.


Related  Articles:

Victory to OromoProtests

Ethiopia: #OromoProtests: Oromia state rocked by protests. Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba freed, Oromia Economist

 

Simannaa obbo Baqqaalaa Garbaa Adaamaa- Obbo Baqqaa is a wise leader, Kichuu

Ethiopia: Top Oromo Opposition Leader Freed from Prison, Democracy NowHEAD LINE FEB 14, 2018

Ethiopia’s Oromia region celebrates release of political detainees, Africa News

Washington puts Ethiopia’s human rights abusers on notice, The Hill

The release of Ethiopian political prisoners, Addis Standard

Ethiopia: The relentless protests that forced the Prime Minister to resign, African Arguments

Ethiopia’s prime minister resigns amid political turmoil, WP

Ethiopia ‘at crossroads’ after Hailemariam resignation, Al Jazeera News

Ethiopia: Prisoner Release Should Be First Step, Freedom House, 14 Feb. 2018

Ethiopia: #OromoProtests: Oromia state rocked by protests. Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba freed. February 13, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Mass protests force Ethiopia to free opposition leader.- The Guardian.

OromiaStrikes

Oromia state rocked by protests and killings amid a 3-day market boycott, OP News


Ethiopia’s Oromia region at standstill as 3-day social shutdown kicks off, Africa News

OMN: Lagannaa Gabaa guyyaa 1ffaa (Gur 12, 2017)

 

Wantii Hundumtuu Uummata Keenyaan Ta’e, Guddaa Galatomaa. Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa


Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba freed.

 

 

 


Ethiopia frees Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba

(OPride) — Ethiopia on Tuesday released prominent Oromo opposition leader Bekele Gerba and six of his Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) colleagues from prison.

Authorities dropped all charges against the freed leaders, a day after a #OromiaStrikes blocked roads and staged rallies bringing the restive Oromia state to a standstill. The news of Bekele’s release was welcomed with warm and spontaneous celebrations across the country.

Bekele, secretary-general of OFC, was arrested in December 2015 at the height of the three-year long Oromo protests. He was initially charged terrorism but his charges were later reduced to criminal offenses for allegedly inciting violence.

“He just walked out of prison. We have confirmed that all charges against him have been dropped,” Mulatu Gemechu, a member of the OFC’s leadership told Reuters.

The other six OFC leaders released today are Gurmessa Ayano, Addisu Bulala, Dajane Xafa, Getu Garuma, Tesfaye Liban and Beyene Ruda.

The move is a response to deepening protests demanding Bekele’s release and part of a promise Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn made last month to build national consensus and widen the democratic space.

 

Ethiopia frees Oromo leader and prisoner of conscience Bekele Gerba

Mohammed Ademo

 @OPride

Ethiopia on Tuesday released prominent Oromo leader Bekele Gerba and six of his Oromo Federalist Congress colleagues from prison and dropped all charges against them, a day after #OromiaStrikes blocked roads and staged rallies across the state.

  1. Bekele Gerba and his colleagues pose for photo shortly after their release from prison earlier today. They’ve been in jail since December 2015. Text on their shirts reads: “Our land is our bone. We won’t be displaced.” A slogan that has been the battle cry of the .

    View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
  2. Breaking: Prominent Oromo opposition leader @BekeleGerba and 6 of his comrades released from prison this morning. They should not have been in jail in the first place but relieved that Bekele can now access critical medical care. Their freedom is welcome. Critical reforms needed.

  3. Fantastic news to hear reports that Bekele Gerba and his colleagues were released today! Their detention encapsulated the many things that are wrong with ’s judiciary. Hoping Bekele can continue his work with OFC without further arrest or threats/harassment from the govt

  4. Bekele Gerba et al’s release is a victory for and the Oromo people as a whole. His release came on the second day of a statewide in the form of market boycott, which has brought the restive Oromia state to a standstill. https://www.opride.com/2018/02/13/ethiopia-oromia-state-rocked-protests-killings-amid-3-day-market-boycott/ 

  5. To afford Bekele and his colleagues a heroic welcome and in recognition of today’s victory, Oromo activists are expected to call for the suspension of on its 3rd and final day tomorrow. A huge devt. as credible sources warn of plans for re-imposition of martial law.

  6. The third day has been suspended in reaction to release of Bekele Gerba and his comrades. The third day will be dedicated to welcoming heroes and cleaning street.

  7. Here are the heroes! Lafti keenya lafee keenya, hin buqqaanu!!

    View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
  8. Shashemene erupts upon hearing release of Bekele Gerba and comrades

    View image on Twitter
  9. Ambo erupts in celebration of victory

    View image on Twitter
  10. What a victory for those youth who relentlessly pursued justice against incredible odds!

    Whats more inspiring than this?

  11. Bekele Gerba, Gurmessa Ayano, Addisu Bulala, Dajane Xafa, Getu Garuma, Tesfaye Liban & Beyene Ruda

  12. This generation of enlightened Oromo youth/Qeerroo are game changers; change makers. free from prison, among others. Freedom is on the horizon 2018.

    View image on Twitter
  13. The protesters that I saw with my own eyes weren’t violent in any way.

    They had clear demands.

    -The end of dictatorship.
    -The immediate release of political prisoners.
    -The cry to end poverty and systemic economic disfranchisement.

  14. Bekele Gerba released from prison amid protests. Hopeful releases will mark a new chapter in Ethiopian politics https://reut.rs/2Hd5br2 

  15. Amazing news this morning. We learn of the release of Bekele Gerba along with his colleagues. Hoping he can continue to work with OFC and his greater people without the fear of being reincarnated, threatened, and harassed by the government.

  16. : The release of Bekele Gerba and six others is great news! Now, this should lead to the unconditional and immediate release of all prisoners of conscience imprisoned for peacefully voicing their dissent with the Ethiopian government.

    View image on Twitter
  17. Bekele Gerba and seven other prisoners of conscience are released from jail. Releasing innocent individuals who should not have been jailed in the first place should not be seen as a favour doled out to them. The government should go further & release all political prisoners.

  18. It will be interesting to watch how OPDO leaders react as their base erodes little by little. Bekele Gerba is a force of nature and has a lot of appeal to a wide base.

  19. Congrats to () organizers and protesters for the release of and other political prisoners. The government is forced to release them because of your consistent works. Thank you!

  20. We are happy to hear the release of opposition figure, Bekele Gerba, who was illegally arrested, prosecuted and harassed for his fight for human right respect and freedom. We well come his release & fight for the cause he was arrested. Congratulations for his family & friends.

    View image on Twitter

 



Ibsa lagannaa gabaa Oromiyaa yeroodhaaf dhaabuu ilaalchisee kenname


Hoggantoota KFO 7 injifannoon erga hiiksiseen booda Qeerroofi Qarreen haala laguun kun itti deemu malu xiinxaleera.
Xinxala kanarratti hundaayuun laguun guyyaa boruu (roobii) akka dhaabbatuufi guyyaa hafte kana hoggantoota injifannoon hidhaa bayan simachuuf, daandii fi magaalota sochiin guyyoota lamaan darbe keessatti ta’e mara qulqulleessuuf akka oolu murteesseera.
Qindeessitionni Qeerroo diddaafi lagannaa gabaa namusa cululuqaafi injifannoo addaan xumurame kanaarratti lammiilee hirmaatan maraaf kabajaa fi dinqisiifanno guddaa akka qabu ibsuu barbaada.

Bilusummaan Uummata Oromoof, Bilisummaan uummattoota Itoophiyaa maraaf.

Qeerroo Oromiyaa

Guraandhala. 13, 2018

 

Congressman Mike Coffman scores ‘hero status’ with local Ethiopians for work on African human rights abuses – Aurora Sentinel February 10, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Coffman scores ‘hero status’ with local Ethiopians for work on African human rights abuses

“This has pretty much elevated Congressman Coffman to hero status,” said Neb Asfaw, an organizer for the Ethiopian community

By KARA MASON, Aurora Sentinel, 8 February 2018

Ethiopia Politicians FreedSupporters of opposition leader Merara Gudina, wait for his release, in Burayu, Ethiopia, Wednesday, Jan. 17 2018. Ethiopia’s top opposition figure and hundreds of others were released from prison on Wednesday as part of the government’s recent pledge to free detained politicians and “widen the democratic space for all” after the worst anti-government protests in a quarter-century. Gudina led the Oromo Federalist Congress party and was arrested a year ago under the country’s state of emergency after he returned from Europe, where he had briefed European lawmakers on widespread and sometimes deadly anti-government protests. (AP Photo/Elias Meseret)


AURORA | The Ethiopian community in Aurora — the largest foreign born population in the city — is praising Congressman Mike Coffman for his work to ensure the Ethiopian government improves its human rights record.

“We hear about these violations on a daily basis now,” said Yoseph Tafari, chairman and co-founder of the Ethiopian American Civil Council. Tafari said of the more recent troubling incidents was in late January where at least seven people were gunned down by government forces for anti-government chants outside a religious celebration in the northern region of the country.

Last week, Coffman invited Tafari and the Ethiopian delegation from Aurora to Washington for a round of negotiations, which Tafari said was successful, especially as the Ethiopian government paid a lobbyist a monthly salary of $150,000 for a year to ultimately defeat a resolution Coffman is carrying that condemns the Ethiopian government for its human rights record.

Coffman is an original co-sponsor of the resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ.

“The Ethiopian Human Rights Council reported 102 deaths by April 2016 and Human Rights Watch subsequently reported that the Ethiopian security forces had killed between 500 and 800 peaceful protesters in the Oromia and Amhara regions by November 2016, and the number is likely higher,” the resolution said.

The resolution, which now has 77 co-sponsors in the House, has been temporarily put on hold as the Ethiopian government has until Feb. 28 to decide whether to let observers from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights into the country.

If the government decides against the option, the resolution will move onto the House floor. It was scheduled for a vote in October, but was delayed after the Ethiopian government threatened to end security cooperation with the U.S. if the resolution was heard on the House floor.

“In a sign of willingness to work with the Ethiopian government and to get the Ethiopian government to release political prisoners, the Majority Leader cancelled the already scheduled vote,” said a news release from Coffman’s office last fall.

The resolution calls on the Ethiopian government to “end the use of excessive force by security forces,” conduct an investigation into killings and excessive force, release political prisoners, guarantee the freedom of the press, and allow the UN to do its own investigation.

Tafari said he felt it was a major indicator that Ethiopia is afraid of the U.S. taking action against the country after hiring a lobbyist to handle the resolution. According to justice department documents, the lobbyist was paid $1.8 million for a year’s worth of work in Washington.

“We need to deal with this one way or another,” Tafari said. “In one sense here is a government that has a sector of the population that doesn’t even have food, but they’re spending $2 million to prevent a resolution from passing through the U.S. Congress. And it’s the taxpayers’ money. They’re clinging to U.S. money (for aide).”

While Coffman is urging the Ethiopian government to do more, there has been some positive progress recently.

“While (the) Ethiopian government’s announcement that it’s releasing political prisoners and closing down one of its torture camps, is a step in the right direction— all human rights violations by the Ethiopian government must come to an end,” Coffman said last month. “The Ethiopian government has engaged in terrorists acts against its own people and such behavior is unacceptable and I will continue, as I have, to make sure that the United States holds the Ethiopian government responsible for all of its promises in respecting the human rights of all of the Ethiopian people.”

Nearly 3,000 Ethiopians call Aurora home, according to the city. And they’ve been paying special attention to the resolution.

“This has pretty much elevated Congressman Coffman to hero status,” said Neb Asfaw, an organizer for the Ethiopian community.

Tafari echoed Asfaw’s comment, saying that for a Democratic-leaning group the Ethiopian community is very fond of Coffman, particularly for how he’s approached issues important to the community, such as the human rights of their home country.

Asfaw said it’s a common conversation throughout the Ethiopian community that if the GOP as a whole approached minorities the way Coffman has, they’d have even more success and support from those communities.

For Asfaw, whatever happens on the resolution —the Ethiopian government allowing for the UN to observe or the resolution reaching the floor — is progress.

“It is extremely positive, the fact that the government drew a line in the sand to make sure that the bill would not pass majority leader’s office and go to to the floor for a vote (is substantial),” he said. “It’s a small step forward either way, we’ve been waiting for a long time. For Congress to look at this and make a demand for better human rights when they (Ethiopia) is considered an ally is a major shift of policy and it’s welcome by many Ethiopians from Aurora and across the country.”

Activists pushed for passage of Ethiopian Human Rights bill in the US Congress February 5, 2018

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Bekele Gerba, a university Professor & one of the prominent political prisoners is in a critical condition denied of medical care in #Ethiopia. #MedicalCare4BekeleGerba #FreeBekeleGerba #OromoProtests @ScholarsAtRisk February 1, 2018

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Free Bekele Gerba and all political prisonners in Ethiopia


Bekele Gerba, a university Professor & one of the prominent political prisoners is in a critical condition denied of medical care in Ethiopia. #MedicalCare4BekeleGerba #FreeBekeleGerba #OromoProtests @ScholarsAtRisk

NEWS: IMPRISONED OPPOSITION LEADER BEKELE GERBA RISKS LOSING LEFT EYE VISION, HIS DISTRAUGHT DAUGHTER SAYS    

Obbo Baqqalaa Garbaa Wal’ansa Fayyaa Dhabuun Nu Gaddisiisa: Maatii, VOA Afaan Oromoo

አቶ በቀለ ገርባ ግራ ዐይናቸው መጎዳቱን ልጃቸው ቦንቱ በቀለ ገለፀች. VOA


#MedicalCare4BekeleGerba: Activists launch online campaign amid jailed leader’s deteriorating health,  OPride 


Ethiopian activists on Thursday launched an online campaign demanding the release of and immediate medical treatment for jailed Oromo opposition leader, Bekele Gerba. The campaign is themed, “Bekele Gerba’s eye is our eye. He won’t lose his sight while we watch idly.”

Bekele, the deputy chairperson of the opposition Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), is at risk of losing his eyesight due to hypertension and other health issues. The Qilinto prison administration, where he has been held since December 2015 accused, among other things, of inciting the #OromoProtests, have refused to allow Bekele to seek medical treatment at a local private clinic despite a referral from government hospital in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Bekele, a champion of nonviolent movement and who during previous prison term translated Martin Luther King’s speeches to Afaan Oromo, was widely expected to be released as part of government amnesty announced last month. However, so far, authorities have remained tight-lipped about whether his release and the release of other prominent political prisoners is forthcoming. Merera Gudina, the chairperson of OFC, was released 12 days ago.

“The doctors told us Bekele needs specialized doctors to treat his retinal blood vessels which are severely damaged due to a high blood pressure he has been experiencing since his detention, which has not been treated,” his distraught daughter, Bontu, told Addis Standard on Thursday. “We don’t know what is going to happen, my father’s left eye vision is completely blurred and he is in pain.”

At the last check-up, Bekele’s blood pressure reportedly came in at 190/110, which according to Addis Standard, “is considered hypertensive crisis or an emergency.” 

A quick timeline of Bekele’s ordeal:

  • Bekele was detained in December 2015 for allegedly inciting the popular Oromo protests.
  • Bekele was charged in April 2016 along with 21 defendants that included defendants Dejene Fita Geleta, Secretary General of OFC, and Gurmesa Ayano, another senior member, with various articles of the country’s sweeping Anti-Terrorism Proclamation.
  • A federal high court in July acquitted five of the 22 defendants, and reduced the terrorism charge against Bekele to crime charges under article 257/A of the 2004 Criminal Code.
  • In August, a panel of three judges at the Federal High Court denied Bekele’s request for bail.
  • On Oct. 30, 2017, the  Supreme Court overruled the high court decision and granted Bekele bail on appeal.
  • The court ordered Bekele’s release pursuant the posting of bail bond for 30, 000 birr (about $1, 000.)
  • On Oct. 31, the Qilinto prison administration refused to release Bekele claiming that the file number was incorrect.
  • On Nov. 1, the high instance court, also known as cassaction bench, suspended the bail. Bekele was asked to file a response.


Ethiopia: Detention of Indigenous Leaders Continues January 25, 2018

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Odaa OromoooromianeconomistOakland Institute

The Release of Ethiopian Political Prisoners: Stifled Voices amidst False Promises

  • “We must always remember the people outside of Addis, from marginalized communities, who are in jail for standing up and resisting government programs that took away their land.”

  • “Those who have been forgotten, whose voices are not being heard, and who are behind bars for speaking out on behalf of their people. People in Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, the Lower Omo Valley, and other places, who still remain invisible.”

For years, the Ethiopian government has denied that there are political prisoners in the country. This is despite its consistent use of the draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation to stifle dissent and detain thousands of politicians, journalists, religious and indigenous leaders, and students.

“2015—Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at NY event on industrialization in Africa.”. On January 3, 2018 Prime Minister Desalegn announced that the government would release all Ethiopian political prisoners and close the notorious Maekelawi police station. Credit: UNIDO (CC BY-ND 2.0)
“2015—Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn at NY event on industrialization in Africa.” On January 3, 2018 Prime Minister Desalegn announced that the government would release all Ethiopian political prisoners and close the notorious Maekelawi police station. Credit: UNIDO (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Thus, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s recent announcement that some political prisoners would be released, sparked a mixture of relief and confusion: relief that the government was finally acknowledging and releasing political prisoners in the country; and confusion over who would be freed, and what the announcement really meant.

Uncertainty Continues after Prime Minister Desalegn’s Announcement

“The government says it will close Maekelawi, but this closure doesn’t stop the current government from torturing people.”

This uncertainty has continued. A week after the announcement, prominent Ethiopian political prisoner Bekele Gerba was sentenced to an additional six months in jail for singing a protest song during his court proceedings. Gerba, the Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress, was arrested in his home in December 2015, just months after spending four years in prison for meeting with Amnesty International researchers. Gerba was granted bail in October 30, 2017, but it was revoked two days later.

Then on January 15, it was announced that charges against 528 persons currently in detention would be dropped. Most of them, including prominent political prisoner Merera Gudina, appear to have been released on January 17.

Detention of Indigenous Leaders Continues

  • “The government says it will close Maekelawi, but this closure doesn’t stop the current government from torturing people. The torture that has taken place there was not only during the Derg, it’s under this regime too.”

However, this is not the time to celebrate given that thousands of others remain in jail. Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism law and other draconian legislation like its civil society proclamation are still in place and widely used to intimidate and repress.

Most importantly, the repressive system is not just about barring political freedom; to a large extent, it is about ensuring the control of a minority over the resources of the country and the benefits of the economic development. Many political prisoners in Ethiopia are not just members of opposition political parties but ordinary citizens who oppose the grabbing of their land and natural resources by the government.

Many are members of indigenous communities such as the Anuak, Bodi, Mursi, and other marginalized groups who spoke up against land grabbing and for the rights of their people to decent livelihoods and life with dignity. Thousands are still being held by the regime in facilities across the country though the actual number is unknown given the general opacity surrounding such matters.

Closure of Maekelawi Prison Doesn’t Guarantee End of Torture

  • “There has been public resistance in Ethiopia, and I think this pressure made them release this statement. They want people to calm down. But what the people of Ethiopia need is freedom and absolute change in the political arena. They need something practical – not just theory and words. They need democracy, they need to have the right to use their land, they need their voices to be heard.”

“I hope they release my father, and that my family, and all the other families affected by this government, can finally come together again. I hope this will help heal the wounds of Ethiopia.”

We must also scrutinize the Prime Minister’s announcement to close the notorious Maekelawi police station. The government said this closure is because Maekelawi was used as a place of torture under the previous Derg regime, insinuating that torture no longer takes place there. But, as numerous studies have documented, torture is rampant at Maekelawi and prisons across Ethiopia and, as stated below by those who have suffered at the hands of this government, its closure does nothing to guarantee that these abuses will halt.

In the course of the Oakland Institute’s work on land rights and development issues in Ethiopia, we have met or come to know many of the victims of this repressive system. We reached out to several current and past Ethiopian political prisoners and their families to hear their perspectives on the recent announcements made by the government. We share and amplify their voices here, and echo their calls for justice. Given the ongoing threats to themselves and their families, names have been withheld to protect their identities.


 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

State of Emergency

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

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

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

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

Freedom of Expression and Association

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

Ethiopia: 2017 in numbers

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

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

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

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

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

Torture and Arbitrary Detention

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

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

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

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

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

Somali Region Security Force Abuses

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

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

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

Key International Actors

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

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

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


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

© 2017 Reuters /Tiksa


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

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

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

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

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

Labsii yeroo muddamaa

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

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

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

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

Mirga yaada ofii bilisaan ibsachuufi mirga ijaaramuu

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

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

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

Reebichaafi dararaa mana hidhaa keessatti

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

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

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

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

Dhiittaa mirgaa Poolisiin Addaa Somaalee raawwatu

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

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

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

Qooda dhaabbilee Idil-Adunyaa murteessoo

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

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

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