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

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

 

 

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


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


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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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A MOTHER OF ONE, THREE MONTHS PREGNANT WOMAN SHOT DEAD BY A MEMBER OF THE MILITARY( FASCIST TPLF /AGAZI /COMMAND POST) IN EAST HARARGHE, OROMIA April 9, 2018

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Mahlet Fasil, 

Addis Abeba, April 09/2018 – A military officer has shot dead Ayantu Mohammed Sa’idoo, a 20 year old, mother of a four year girl, last night in Qobo town, east Hararghe zone of the Oromia regional state, her neighbors told Addis Standard. She was also three months pregnant.

Ayantu’s body was discovered after it was dumped in an area called ‘Shambel house’ this morning, according to sources. She was “abducted” by a group of security forces at around 11: 30 PM local time last night and was killed after “being severely assaulted”.

Chala Ibrahim Bakaree,  a military officer suspected of killing Ayantu, has been disarmed and placed under the town’s police custody,  according to a local police officer. “He is being investigated,” the officer said.

It is not clear why the security forces have approached Ayantu, who was a ‘chat’ trader, the green narcotic leaf widely used in the area. She was walking home from a late night’s work; “she was abducted and taken away when she resisted”, a source who wants to remain anonymous told Addis Standard by phone.

Her funeral is planned to take place tomorrow at 1: 30 PM local time in an area called Ganda Tucha. However, locals are wary of increased security presence in the town and fear her funeral may trigger anger. “The federal police have been roaming to town since early in the morning today and we fear this may trigger more violence,” said our source.

A picture of Ayantu’s bloodied body has been circulating on Ethiopian social media. Our source also sent what appears to be an empty firearm bullet found near her  body and was allegedly used to kill her.

Ethiopia is under a six month state of emergency, which gave security forces a sweeping mandate to stop, search and detain civilians without court warrants. AS


Related (Oromian Economist sources):-

 

The Barbaric Command post of Ethiopia has continued with killings and imprisonments of innocent people in Oromia.

Sad news! The Command Post which is ruling Ethiopia under the State of Emergency continued its heinous action against the innocent people. This is Ayantu Mohammed, an Oromo lady from Harargee, Yesterday the Agazi soldiers tried to rape her while she was struggling to convince them that she has husband and also a pregnant. They didn’t accept that and brutally gunned her down. This is one of the heartbreaking actions being taken by the Command Post forces across Oromia despite the new Prime Minster elected from the region. It seems that there are two separate government structures in a single country, particularly in Oromia. Click here to read more…

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

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Amnesty International

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


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

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

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

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

Contact these two officials by 30 April, 2018:

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

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

2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION

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

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

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

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

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

ERITREA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

africanews.com


 

#MoyaleMassacre: Indiscriminate Mass Murder in Moyale, Southern Oromia Carried out by the fascist Ethiopia’s TPLF Regime. #Prevent #Genocide March 10, 2018

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source: Ayyaantuu.org, March 10, 2018


The Ethiopian military forces in Moyale town, Borena Zone of Oromia region committed mass murder on March 10, 2018. The dead bodies include children, school teachers and women. Electricity and other public services have been cut off by the military.

Some dead bodies where carried away by the forces to hide the number of death. At least 15 bodies arrived the hospital. A dozen others are reported to have been shot and wounded. They also detained a number of civilians in the military camp nearby the town.

More from Oromian Economist social media sources:…….
ETHIOPIA MILITARY UNIT (AGAZI) “MISTAKENLY” KILLED 13 AND WOUNDED 23 OROMOS IN MOYALE.- Bati Post

 

 

VOA Afaan Oromoo: Raayyaan Ittisa Biyyaa Uummata Nagaa Irratti Dhukaasuun Kaan Ajjeesee kaan Madeesse: Jiraataa Magaalaa Moyaalee fi Ogeessa Fayyaa

Ethiopian security forces massacre at least 9 civilians in Moyale as martial law takes toll on Oromia- OPRIDE

https://twitter.com/Jawar_Mohammed/status/972522236304396288
https://twitter.com/Abbaacabsa/status/972503252322398210
https://twitter.com/LetuBushan/status/972489252230631429
https://twitter.com/Ethiopialiveupd/status/972513598017867779
https://twitter.com/AbdisaAmin/status/972569728349888512
https://twitter.com/OromiaMedia/status/972534977467330560
https://twitter.com/bekansiif/status/972565690392678401
https://twitter.com/bekansiif/status/972526610242002944

Appeal Letter to the International Community by Oromo Civic Organization, (Advocacy for Oromia, March 05, 2018), click here to read

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

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

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

 

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

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DownloadPDF (size: 0.19 MB)Press Release

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

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

ETHIOPIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


related (Oromian  Economist Sources):

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

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ETHIOPIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Related:

Magaalaaleen Oromiyaa Maal Keessa Oolan? – VOA Afaan Oromoo

Ethiopians strike over state of emergency- Daily Mail

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

Tajaajjilli geejjibaa magaalaa Finfinnee galuufi bahu adda cite

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

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

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

ETHIOPIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Related:

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

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

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Paarlaamaan Labsii Muddamaa Kuffise – OMN 

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

According to Dr. Tsegaye Ararsa (legal expert):

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

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
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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
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Dassaaleny Dhugumaa(O/Bultum) 0912008135
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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     

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

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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

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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 on the brink? Politics and protest in the horn of Africa February 4, 2017

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Ethiopia on the brink? Politics and protest in the horn of Africa

Ethiopia is 12 months in to a political crisis which has seen at least 1,000 people killed. But unless the government introduces significant reforms, it will get worse.


By Andrea Carboni, Trans Conflict,  February 2017


An unprecedented wave of protests has shaken Ethiopia since November 2015. These protests have revealed the fragility of the social contract regulating Ethiopia’s political life since 1991, when the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition (EPRDF) overthrew the Derg and assumed power. This tacit agreement between the ruling coalition and the Ethiopian people offered state-sponsored development in exchange for limited political liberalisation. After twenty-five years of EPRDF rule, frustrated with widespread corruption, a political system increasingly perceived as unjust and the unequal gains of economic development, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have now descended into the streets, triggering a violent reaction from the state.

As we enter the twelfth month of the uprising, violence shows no sign of decreasing in Ethiopia. In its efforts to put down unrest, the government has allowed the security forces to use lethal violence against the protesters. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, more than one thousand people are estimated to have died as a result of violent state repression since last November. Thousands of people, including prominent opposition leaders and journalists, have been arrested and are currently detained in prison.

International concern

International institutions and non-governmental organisations have expressed major concerns about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country. The UN Human Rights Council called for “international, independent, thorough, impartial and transparent investigations” over the repression in Ethiopia, a request that was swiftly rejected by the government. Ethiopia’s Information Minister instead blamed “foreign elements” linked with the Egyptian and the Eritrean political establishments for instigating the rebellion and arming the opposition.

Rather than stifling dissent, state repression has contributed to escalating protests. Violent riots have increased after the events in Bishoftu on October 2, when a stampede caused by police firing on a protesting crowd killed at least 55 people. In the following days, demonstrators have vandalised factories and flower farms – including many under foreign ownership – accused of profiting from the government’s contested development agenda. An American researcher also died when her vehicle came under attack near Addis Ababa. Although protesters have largely remained peaceful and resorted to non-violent tactics, these episodes of violence raise concerns over escalating trends in the protest movement.

This map shows the number of reported fatalities in Ethiopia, November 2015 – October 2016. Image credit: Armed Conflict Location and Event Dataset.

Unrest and repression

The geography of unrest is also telling of the evolving protest cycle in Ethiopia. The protests originated last November in the Oromia region, where the local population mobilised to oppose a government-backed developmental plan which would displace many farmers. The Oromo people, who constitute Ethiopia’s single largest ethnic group, accuse the EPRDF of discriminating against their community, and its local ally, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), as being a puppet in the hands of the Tigray-dominated ruling coalition.

Until mid-July, the unrest had largely remained confined to Oromia’s towns and villages. Local tensions around the northern city of Gondar inaugurated a new round of protests in the Amhara region, where regionalist demands joined the widespread discontent with state repression. In the following weeks, protests spread further into the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’, the native region of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, as local communities began to stage anti-government protests. Episodes of communal violence and attacks against churches have been reported in Oromia as well as in other ethnically mixed areas of the country.

Despite increasing dissent, the government seems unwilling to mitigate its repressive measures. Internet access was allegedly shut down in an attempt to hamper the protest movement, which uses online media and social networks to disseminate anti-government information. On October 9, the government introduced a six-month state of emergency, the first time since the ruling EPRDF came to power in 1991. At least 1,600 people are reported to have been detained since the state of emergency was declared, while the Addis Standard, a newspaper critical of the government, was forced to stop publications due to the new restrictions on the press.

Polarised politics: government and opposition

These decisions notwithstanding, it is unclear how the EPRDF can manage to restore the government’s authority and preserve investor confidence by adopting measures that continue to feed resistance. After pressure from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hailemariam pledged to reform Ethiopia’s electoral system, which currently allows the EPRDF to control 500 of the 547 seats in Parliament. These limited political concessions are unlikely to satisfy the protesters’ demand for immediate and substantial change, since the proposed reform would only produce effects after the 2020 general elections.

According to the opposition, this is the evidence that the Tigray minority, which dominates the upper echelons of the government and the security apparatus, is unwilling to make any significant concessions in the short term. By labelling the opposition’s demands as racist and even denying their domestic nature, the government is leaving little room for negotiation and compromise and risks contributing to the escalation of the protests.

For over a decade, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. Foreign investments – most notably from China – have funded large-scale infrastructure projects, including the recently inaugurated railway to the port of Djibouti.

The on-going unrest is likely to have a negative impact on Ethiopia’s economy, reducing the country’s considerable appeal among foreign investors and tourists. The demonstrations have revealed the growing discontent of the Ethiopian people, and especially of its disenfranchised youth, over the EPRDF’s authoritarian and unequal rule. The EPRDF therefore needs to implement far-reaching reforms and embrace dialogue with the opposition to prevent the current unrest from deteriorating.

Andrea Carboni is a Research Analyst at ACLED and PhD student at Sussex University.

This article was originally published by Insight on Conflict and is available by clicking here. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of TransConflict.

Global Journalist: Ethiopia’s State of Emergency & #OromoProtests November 4, 2016

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Global Journalist: Ethiopia’s State of Emergency

Global Journalist, 4 November 2016

CREDIT AP PHOTO


Until recently, Ethiopia has been hailed as an African success story. After a decade of strong economic growth, the country has begun to shed its image as a famine-struck wasteland.

But repression by Ethiopia’s authoritarian government has sparked demonstrations that have led to the deaths of hundreds of protesters this year.

The movement gained worldwide attention at the Rio Olympics when the country’s silver medal-winning marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his wrists above his head at the finish line in a symbol of the protest movement.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we explore the dangerous ethnic tensions fueling the unrest and the government’s effort to silence its critics after declaring a state of emergency.

Joining the program:

  • Tsedale Lemma, editor of the Addis Standard magazine, an Ethiopian magazine forced to stop publication in October
  • William Davison, Ethiopia correspondent for Bloomberg News
  • Birhanu Lenjiso, an Oromo rights activist and former lecturer at Ambo University in Ethiopia
  • Felix Horne, a senior researcher on Ethiopia and Eritrea for Human Rights Watch

Assistant producers: Bryce Arthur, Eloise Speleers, Menchen Xin  Supervising producer: Vera Tan  Visuals editor: Anadil Iftekhar  Audio engineer: Pat Akers Director: Travis McMillen Host: Jason McLure


 

International Business Times: Jawar Mohammed: This is why Oromo people don’t care about cabinet reshuffle November 4, 2016

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

irreecha-oromo-2016-oromoprotests-bishoftu-horaa-harsadiGrand #OromoProtests,Tarkaanfii itti aanu By Jawar

People are demanding a new democratic government elected by the people. To really meet protesters’ demands, the government should release political prisoners, they should remove the military from villages, towns and universities and start a dialogue on a transition to a more democratic government.

 

IB Times Exclusive interview with executive director of Oromia Media Network

By , IB Times, November 3, 2016


 

The Ethiopian government recently reshuffled its cabinet in a move seen by some as a result of months of anti-government protests. The parliament approved the list of 21 ministers proposed by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who said the appointments were based on people’s skills rather than their political affiliations.

As some key posts were given to ethnic Oromo, some claimed the reshuffle was part of measures the government said it would take to reduce grievances expressed by some ethnic groups.

In October, Ethiopia declared a six-month-long state of emergency following unrest in Oromia, and occasionally in Amhara.

The response to the protests, labelled as the biggest anti-government unrest Ethiopia has witnessed in recent history, has resulted in the death of more than 500 people since November 2015, a figure the government later confirmed.

In Oromia, people demonstrated against perceived disenfranchisement and lack of inclusion in the political process as the government is dominated by the Tigray minority. They also called for an end to land grabbing, claiming Oromo farmers are forcibly evicted from their farms.

Government reshuffle ‘no meaning for Oromos’

Jawar Mohammed, executive director of Oromia Media Network (OMN), banned under the state of emergency, explained Oromo people are calling for a radical regime change, not a government reshuffle.

People are demanding a new democratic government elected by the people. To really meet protesters’ demands, the government should release political prisoners, they should remove the military from villages, towns and universities and start a dialogue on a transition to a more democratic government,” he told IBTimes UK.

Mohammed, who lives in the US, also claimed Ethiopians have not been affected by the state of emergency , with the exception of a restriction on internet access.

“Oromia has been under a state of emergency for the last 12 months, the military is there, all the civil and political rights have been suspended, people have been arrested,” he alleged.

“Yes, some media outlets have been banned, but this is nothing new. OMN has been jammed some 20 times since March 2014. Even before the state of emergency, they were already arresting people, breaking down satellite dishes and jamming our transmission, what they did now was to officially admit what they were already doing and reassure investors that they are taking measures, beefing up security.”

Ethiopia Oromo Oromia
People walk near a burnt-out truck in the compound of a textile factory in the town of SebetaTiksa Negeri/Reuters

Attacks on foreign-owned companies

During anti-government protests, Oromo people attacked foreign-owned factories in Oromia, acts of violence that could result in a reduction in investments in the country.

Ethiopia strongly condemned the attacks, which it blamed on “anti-peace forces who aim to destabilise the country.” The government also claimed the situation in the country has gone back to normal since the state of emergency was implemented.

However, Mohammed claimed protests have halted only because it is harvesting season and rallies are bound to restart. He also said people will, once again, attack foreign-owned factories as they were allegedly “built on lands that were illegally taken from farmers or lands owned by the ruling party.”

“These are not xenophobic attacks. In fact, protesters have not touched a single investor physically,” he said. “The targets are strategically chosen because people need to now that investments in Ethiopia, until a democratic system is in place, is not safe. Click here to read more….


Click here to read the whole interview: Oromia Media Network executive Jawar Mohammed believes Ethiopia wants him dead

The Daily Vox: What you need to know about the situation in Ethiopia November 1, 2016

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irreecha-malkaa-2016-bishoftu-horaa-harsadi-oromia-oromoprotests

What you need to know about the situation in Ethiopia


Since October 6th, Ethiopia has been in a nationwide state of emergency. To help understand the situation, the Daily Vox spoke to members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – vice chairperson Muhamad Ismail Omar, and chairman of the National Intelligence Bureau, Hassan Muhammad Moalin.

What’s up with this crisis in Ethiopia?

Well, the government has recently declared a state of emergency and are going full authoritarian-dictator on their citizens for the anti-government protests that started November last year. It’s pretty lit – but not in a good way. Since the start of the protests, the death toll is said to be over 500, and the military is on a national crackdown – soldiers have even been pulled out from Somalia and are deployed in high-tension areas.

Beyond that, the government has implemented strict restrictions and banned a number of activities in the country which undermine basic human rights. Among the list of activities that have been banned:

  • citizens are not allowed to post on social media,
  • there is no free assembly,
  • crossing one’s wrists in political gestures,
  • the travel of diplomats more than 40km out of the capital, and
  • watching foreign-based television stations, Ethiopia Satellite Television and Oromia Media Network – which are being referred to as “terrorist” media by the state.

But why are Ethiopians protesting in the first place?

It started when the current regime started seizing land from the ancestral home of the Oromo people for a “development” project to expand Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa – ominously referred to as “the master plan”. After over 100 people died protesting this land grabbing, things snowballed into a nationwide anti-government uprising based on a number of issues relating to ethnic tensions, social inequality, the state’s repression and lasting political grudges for historic injustices.

To understand the dynamics at play then, we need to go back a bit.

Since before its national borders were drawn, the area now known as Ethiopia was always divided regionally along ethnolinguistic lines.

Image via Wkipedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Ethiopia_regions_english.png

Image via Wikipedia

Those from the northern highland region – the Amhara people and Tigrayans – have enjoyed occupying positions of power and privilege. However, the Oromo, for example, who make up the majority population in modern-day Ethiopia, are severely underrepresented in terms of political, economic and social power. Another region worthwhile noting is the Ogaden region which was originally part of Somalia, and thus most its inhabitants are ethnically Somali – some from the Ogaden region have been militantly pushing for self-determination.

“Historically what we call Ethiopia was called Abyssinia. The Abyssinian highland and the Abyssinian people, ancestors to the Amhara and Tigrayan people, dominated other oppressed peoples. So actually I would say they have occupied this land – the land of the Oromos have been occupied by the Abyssinians,” said Omar.

Ethiopia has a long history of being ruled by minorities. Until 1991, it was the Amhara people in power under the rule of the Communist Derg government, led by Mengistu Haile Mariam. Since his overthrow, led by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, Ethiopia has been ruled by the coalition party, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). This is the ruling party which the current protests are targeting – partly because the EPRDF is made up predominantly by Tigrayan people, but mostly because the regime is considered entirely oppressive. So there’s a long history of Ethiopian ethnic tension, as well as struggle against minority rule.

“So regardless of the master plan, even in the Amhara region they are fighting. Not only the Oromos, who people are saying to mislead the international community that they are uprising because of the masterplan, the master plan is only the most recent of the oppression which is centuries-old,” said Moalin.

Then what are people demanding in the protests?

It’s not clear at this point, since there is no strict sense of unity across the various regions that are uprising.

“The Amharas, they are fighting for democracy, whereas we are fighting for self-determination of the Ogaden region. Unless these rights have been obtained, the uprising which has paralysed the economy, and which has paralysed the unity of the Ethiopian people, [will continue]. The Ethiopian people are not united, the Oromo are fighting on their own, as are other regions,” said Omar.

What’s the way forward for the Ethiopian people then? Is there a need for international intervention?

Well, hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Despite the region’s disunity across historically drawn ethnic and regional lines, the current government has provided a common enemy for the people of Ethiopia.

“Yet there is hope for we do have one common aim, an enemy to overthrow and get rid of this despotic regime and its tyranny. We have now been forced to understand each other. We are now aware of each other and have created the People’s Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PFD). This is an alliance that incorporates most of the groupings and created an umbrella organisation to reinforce each other economically politically – even media wise we have to collaborate,” said Omar.


 

Human Rights Watch: Ethiopia: State of Emergency Risks New Abuses October 31, 2016

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Ethiopia: State of Emergency Risks New Abuses

Directive Codifies Vague, Overbroad Restrictions


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

A woman cries as she attends a prayer session at Biftu Bole Lutheran Church during a prayer and candle ceremony for those who died in the town of Bishoftu during Ireecha, the thanksgiving festival for the Oromo people, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 9, 20

A woman cries as she attends a prayer session at Biftu Bole Lutheran Church during a prayer and candle ceremony for those who died in the town of Bishoftu during Ireecha, the thanksgiving festival for the Oromo people, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 9, 2016.

On October 9, 2016, the government announced a six-month state of emergencyfollowing the destruction of some government buildings and private property by demonstrators. Over the past year, security forces have killed hundreds of protesters and detained tens of thousands in two regions where there have been numerous protests over government policies.“Ethiopia’s state of emergency bans nearly all speech that the government disagrees with anywhere in the country for at least six months,” said Felix Horne, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The state of emergency hands the army new sweeping powers to crack down on demonstrators, further limiting the space for peaceful dissent.”

Under the new state of emergency, the army can be deployed country-wide for at least six months. The implementing directive prescribes draconian restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and assembly that go far beyond what is permissible under international law and signal an increased militarized response to the situation. The directive effectively codifies many of the security forces’ abusive tactics that Human Rights Watch has documented since the protests began.

The directive includes far-reaching restrictions on sharing information on social media, watching diaspora television stations, and closing businesses as a gesture of protest, as well as curtailing opposition parties’ ability to communicate with the media. It specifically bans writing or sharing material via any platform that “could create misunderstanding between people or unrest.”

It bans all protests without government permission and permits arrest without court order in “a place assigned by the command post until the end of the state of emergency.” It also permits “rehabilitation” – a euphemism for short-term detention often involving physical punishment. Many of these restrictions are country-wide and not limited to the two of Ethiopia’s nine regions where most of the unrest took place.

Under international law, during a state of emergency a government may only suspend certain rights to the extent permitted by the “exigencies of the situation.” Many of the measures, including the restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly, and association go far beyond what is permitted under international law.

The government reports that since the state of emergency began, 1,600 people have been arrested, including about 50 for closing their businesses. Human Rights Watch also has received unconfirmed reports of unlawful killings, mass arrests, and looting of houses and businesses by the security forces. There have been some armed clashes between security forces and unidentified groups. Mobile phone access to the internet has been blocked since October 5. Addis Standard, a monthly English language magazine and one of the few independent publications left in Ethiopia, announced on October 25 that it was halting publication of its print edition due to state-of-emergency restrictions.

Large-scale, and mainly peaceful anti-government protests have been sweeping through Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest region, since November 2015, and the Amhara region since July 2016. Ethiopian security forces have killed more than 500 people during protests over the last year. These protests occurred in a context of the near-total closure of political space.

Protesters have voiced a variety of concerns, including issues related to development, the lack of political space, the brutality of the security forces, and domination of economic and political affairs by people affiliated with the ruling party. The emergency measures send a strong and chilling message that rather than dealing with expressed grievances and ensuring accountability for violence by both government forces and protesters, the government will continue and probably escalate the militarized response.

On October 2, in Bishoftu, a town 40 kilometers southeast of the capital, Addis Ababa, tensions ignited at the annual Irreecha festival – an important Oromo cultural event that draws millions of people each year. Security forces confronted huge crowds with tear gas and fired shots and scores of people then died during a stampede. Since then, alleged demonstrators have damaged a number of government buildings and private businesses perceived to be close to the ruling party, setting some on fire.

The government has in part blamed human rights groups seeking to document violations of international law for the recent unrest. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called for an independent and credible investigation into the security force response to the protests and to the deaths in Bishoftu.

“Many of the abuses committed by security forces since November 2015 have now been codified under the state of emergency,” Horne said. “Trying to use the legal cover of a state of emergency as a pretext for the widespread suspension of rights not only violates the government’s international legal obligations, but will exacerbate tensions and long-term grievances, and risks plunging Ethiopia into a greater crisis.”

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Devex: Inside Development: Ethiopia’s state of emergency silences aid workers. #OromoProtests October 31, 2016

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The Ethiopian government’s recently imposed state of emergency, which followed months of clashes between political protesters and security forces, has imposed new curfews, limited the movement of civilians and diplomats and outlawed opposition media.

It has also largely silenced the extensive international aid community operating in the country from speaking about what effect the current political dynamic is having on their work.

The quiet itself is telling of the fear NGOs and agencies are operating under. More than a dozen agencies working in a variety of humanitarian and development fields — including the United Nations’ resident humanitarian coordinator — either did not respond to interview requests or declined to speak to Devex for this story, most citing concerns about the potential risk to staff operating in Ethiopia.

Meanwhile, some development projects have been slowed by the government’s reaction to the protests, according to NGO officials. Security forces have fired tear gas and bullets into crowds and temporarily shut down some channels of communication. Transportation restrictions threaten to wreak havoc with the ongoing efforts to address food shortages following monthslong droughts. If violence broadens, it could precipitate a larger humanitarian crisis.

International officials — including from U.N. agencies — appear reluctant to speak candidly on the situation for fear it could cost them access to the communities they are trying to assist or even result in their agencies being expelled from the country. That could be devastating in a country where 9.7 million people are estimated to need food relief before the end of the year.

Can USAID’s disaster team avert catastrophe in Ethiopia?

In Ethiopia, the U.S. Agency for International Development has a “crucial window of time” to use disaster response tools to prevent the very worst impacts of drought.

Yet if not aid agencies, human rights activists wonder who is going to speak up about the situation in Ethiopia. They say the state of emergency has presaged a crackdown on local journalists and civil rights groups. Most diplomats have been wary about offending a key regional partner, even as the situation looks set to worsen.

“Right now the general intolerance the government is demonstrating toward criticism is only fueling people’s frustrations,” said Clementine de Montjoye, the advocacy and research manager for the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. With the violence looking to continue, aid agencies will remain in the precarious position of calibrating how — or whether — to respond.

Roots of discontent

The current protests date to November 2015 and began in Oromia, the region that extends over much of the country’s south and east like a sideways “V”. Demonstrators initially reacted to a government plan to take land from Oromia to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, which falls inside the region. The proposal stoked long-simmering feelings of marginalization among the Oromo ethnic group — the country’s largest, accounting for more than a third of Ethiopia’s 100 million people.

Clashes recently spread to the Amhara region in the country’s north, home of the country’s second-largest ethnic group. Though the demonstrations are unrelated, they are both rooted in feelings of exclusion from the government, which is dominated by the Tigray — a community that makes up only 6 percent of the population. The government has acknowledged that more than 500 people may have died because of the security force’s response to the protests or in stampedes that have followed, as people have tried to escape.

The roots of the discontent extend beyond political marginalization, said Yared Hailemariam, the executive director of the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia. Cyclical humanitarian crises — including periodic food shortages — and the slow pace of infrastructural development have deepened frustration. Despite the country’s rapid economic growth over the past decade, progress has come unevenly and left some regions lagging behind.

Oromia and Amhara, in part because they are the largest regions, have the largest numbers of people in need of food assistance, according to a midyear review by the government and aid agencies. After a failed rainy season in 2015 and a drought so far in 2016, three times more people are in need of aid this year, according to the review.

Many areas in these regions rely on domestic and international agencies for support. If the state of emergency interferes with humanitarian relief efforts or development projects, Yare said it could push more people onto the streets. The declaration includes not just a ban on protests, but also a 6 p.m. curfew and a prohibition on foreign diplomats traveling more than 40 kilometers from Addis Ababa without approval.

“Some of the embassies have development projects, for example,” he said. “If they can’t visit those areas and can’t communicate with the staff on the ground, they won’t know what’s going on. Maybe it ignites another round of protests. It’s ridiculous.”

Impact on aid work

The few NGO officials willing to talk told Devex that they are still waiting to find out how the state of emergency will impact their work. Location seems to be the most critical determinant of whether aid projects are directly affected.

Most of Mercy Corps’ projects, for example, are far from the areas where the clashes have taken place, and their services have not been interrupted, said Christine Nyirjesy Bragale, the director of media relations. The organization works on emergency responses to the droughts as well as long-term climate change and other environmental adaptation.

Some of WaterAid’s projects, have been forced to slow down as contractors have refused to show up for work if there are nearby protests, said Lydia Zigomo, the organization’s head for the East Africa region.

Focusing on access to water and raising hygiene and sanitation standards, the organization has funded more than 50 projects in Ethiopia, including ongoing sites in Oromia and Amhara.

Officials and activists also said aid projects experience some overarching challenges in communication as the government regularly shutting down the internet and phone lines.

WaterAid’s Zigomo said the organization has been helped by the perception of the water and sanitation sector as nonpolitical. “We tend not to be in the first line of any problems that are going on.”

The danger of being viewed as political is something the international community is very attuned to, and their caution is likely warranted. The government maintains acute oversight of the international community, including through a 2009 law regulating the activities of nongovernmental organizations. That alone already makes it difficult for groups to even do their work, Yared said.

His own experience is telling of the challenges: Though he operates out of Brussels after escaping into exile in 2005, he said he still gets calls from international aid agencies asking him if he has reports from communities outside Addis Ababa he can share. Relief organizations “can’t get information,” he said. “The government restricts them from moving in these conflict areas.”

Yared said he understands international agencies are in a difficult position. Even the perception of commenting on the effect of the government’s policies could prove devastating for their programs. But he also wonders who will tell the world what is happening in Ethiopia.

 

VOA: Rights Activists in Ethiopia Report Obstacles at Every Turn. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution October 29, 2016

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A man attends a prayer session at Biftu Bole Lutheran Church during a prayer and candle ceremony for protesters who died in the town of Bishoftu two weeks ago during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 16, 2016.

A man attends a prayer session at Biftu Bole Lutheran Church during a prayer and candle ceremony for protesters who died in the town of Bishoftu two weeks ago during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 16, 2016.

As Ethiopia heads toward crisis, Congress must act. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution October 29, 2016

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As Ethiopia heads toward crisis, Congress must act

 

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Ethiopia, an important security partner and ally, is heading for crisis. The country is suffering its worst unrest in years in response to the government’s intensifying abuses and restrictions on freedoms, as documented by Freedom House.When Congress adjourned in September, it had failed to vote on resolutions on Ethiopia (S.Res. 432/H.Res. 861).

When it returns, it should pass them without delay.

On Oct. 8, for the first time in the ruling government’s 25-year history, a state of emergency was declared. Thousands of people have since been detained.

The pending resolutions condemn the killing and arrests of protestors and journalists by security forces and call on the U.S. government to review security assistance and democracy strategies for Ethiopia. They are an important first step in addressing the crisis in Ethiopia, and a needed pivot from current inaction by the U.S. government.They should be passed for these reasons.

1. Tensions are worsening.

Unrest began in November 2015, sparked by the government’s plan to expand the capital by seizing land from farmers in Oromia.

This region produces most of the nation’s wealth and is home to the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group — and one of its most marginalized.

After security forces brutally responded to peaceful demonstrations, protests expanded, encompassing abuses and restrictions on freedoms and the dominance of Tigrayan elites in the country’s political and economic structures.

The ruling political coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), is led primarily by members of the Tigray ethnic group, which comprises about 6 percent of the population. Ethiopia’s constitution commits the EPRDF to uniting Ethiopia’s more than 80 ethnic groups.

Instead, the EPRDF’s policies have fueled ethnic divisions and distributed economic wealth and political power to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and political loyalists.

Following the 2005 elections, when the opposition won a third of the seats in parliament, the EPRDF clamped down violently, jailing opposition and enacting laws effectively eliminating independent media and civil society work on human rights, governance and elections issues. The EPRDF has continued to consolidate power, “winning” all 547 seats in parliament in 2015.

Before the state of emergency, the situation was already serious. More than 500 were killed and tens of thousands injured, arrested or disappeared.

The state of emergency — the full text of which is still not public — makes tensions worse. It imposes a strict curfew, travel restrictions on foreign diplomats, limitations on social media, and prohibitions on protests and opposition-supported television channels.

Security forces are going house-to-house searching for violators.

2. U.S. policy hasn’t worked.

The severity of the situation is not disputed, but some policymakers argue private pressure would be better than public resolutions.

Unfortunately, private pressure for the last decade has yielded few results.

Instead of relaxing restrictions to allow critical voices, Ethiopia has tightened them.

The Obama administration’s shifting positions on Ethiopia have proved ineffective. The State Department’s human rights reports document intimidation of political opposition, but last year Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman praised Ethiopia as a democracy with free and fair elections.

One day later, she clarified that “there are concerns that remain about whether the election will be free and fair and credible,” before then issuing a fuller clarification stating that Ethiopia “has a long road to full democracy.”

Since then, the State Department has expressed “concern about recent clashes,” called for dialogue with the Oromo community and was “troubled” by the recent state of emergency, but has remained silent at other key moments.

The State Department’s inconsistency and frequent public silence seem to embolden the EPRDF.

In September, the government’s spokesperson bragged, “We will not hire any lobbyists to kill the draft resolution. We have many USG officials that support our government, so we do not need additional lobbyists.”

He dismissed the resolutions as “a seasonal flu that comes every now and then,” and said he would “rather US officials not put out statements about the protests [or] the loss of lives and destruction of property in connection thereof.”

3. Passage of resolutions provides clear direction for U.S. policy.

The resolutions are mild given the severity of the situation.

But they provide key elements currently missing from our Ethiopia policy: a consistent position on the violence and how to address it; clear direction for specific actions by the executive branch; and a call for the Ethiopian government to allow a “full, credible, and transparent investigation,” the results of which can be used to inform a more robust U.S. response.

The Ethiopian government’s current repression is destructive, not only for the EPRDF, but for Ethiopia’s long-term economic growth and effectiveness as a security partner. In order to thrive, it must uphold the rights enshrined in its international commitments and its own constitution.

Passage of these resolutions will send this message and will provide much-needed direction for addressing the worsening crisis after years of inaction and inconsistency from the U.S.

Boyajian is advocacy manager at Freedom House.


 

Tour operators cancel holidays as unrest tightens grip on Ethiopia. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution October 29, 2016

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 By Hugh MorrisThe Telegraph, 28 OCTOBER 2016

Saga Holidays is among a number of major UK tour operators to cancel trips to Ethiopia as a wave of unrest spreads across the African country.

The Foreign Office (FCO) is advising against all travel to some regions in the east and all but essential travel to central parts that include places such as Lalibela, popular with tourists for its rock-cut churches.

Saga, Kuoni and Cox and Kings are among those to have cancelled tours for this year, offering refunds or alternatives to customers.

The Ethiopian government this month declared a six-month state of emergency and arrested more than 1,600 people as the FCO warned of clashes between protesters and security forces. Protests have been most fervent in the Amhara and Oromia regions.

In August, some 90 people were believed to have been killed after police used live bullets on protesters chanting anti-government slogans and waving dissident flags.

Foreign Office advice Ethiopia
The Foreign Office has different advice for different parts of the country CREDIT: FOREIGN OFFICE

“Demonstrations have been taking place in the Oromia and Amhara regions in 2016 and further protests are likely,” the Foreign Office said.

“Tensions in Oromia have significantly risen since October 2 when up to 100 people died during a stampede at the Irreechaa religious festival.

“There has been widespread disruption to road travel across Ethiopia. Unauthorised and official roadblocks can appear with little or no warning.”

The country had recently been experiencing a boom in its tourism industry, thanks to its unique mix of history, wildlife and culture. Last year, the country was praised by the European Council on Tourism and Trade for its “excellent preservation of humanity landmarks”.

Beside the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, other draws include the Simien Mountains National Park, Lake Langano, and the Danakil Depression, one of the hottest places on earth.

A spokesperson for Kuoni, which offers a tour of the highlights of Northern Ethiopia, said it had stopped selling the trip and would be monitoring the situation.

A spokesperson for Saga, too, said all 2016 departures had been cancelled, adding: “The initial change to FCO advice was that some areas should be avoided. As a result tours were amended to ensure that our holidaymakers were nowhere near those areas. However… the advice changed again and advised against all but essential travel to certain regions of Ethiopia. As a result we took the decision to cancel all 2016 departures.”

Cox and Kings said it would only be able to resume its trips should the FCO advice change.

Responsible Travel, which hosts a number of tour operators on its website running trips in Ethiopia, said some of its clients are continuing to offer tours.

“Several of the holidays we market in Ethiopia are run by local tour operators, who will continue to offer and run the same trips as they always have done,” said marketing manager Sarah Faith.

“It is then up to each individual traveller to consider the FCO advice and to purchase insurance that will cover them given the FCO warnings.

“Our local operators in Ethiopia are extremely well-placed to understand the day-to-day situation on the ground in the country.”


Click here to read related article: Financial Times: Ethiopian unrest triggers collapse in tourism. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution

Financial Times: Ethiopian unrest triggers collapse in tourism. #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution October 27, 2016

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Ethiopia:“Things are effectively on hold,” said Jim Louth, owner of Undiscovered Destinations, a UK travel company. “If anyone inquires, our policy is to say people are being advised not to go.”  Financial Times

#OromoProtests: “Strikes, ‘ghost town days’ and non-violent protests are more common now because they’re so much harder to police, even under the state of emergency.”  Financial Times


Ethiopian unrest triggers collapse in tourism

Protests and state of emergency see bookings to historic sites grind to a halt


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A wave of anti-government protests has caused a collapse in tourist bookings to Ethiopia 

A wave of anti-government protests and the imposition of a state of emergency has triggered a collapse in tourism bookings in Ethiopia, underlining the effect the unrest is having on one of Africa’s best-performing economies.

As the demonstrations spread across the country, governments, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland, have advised their citizens against all non-essential travel to the country or Amhara and Oromia regions at the centre of the instability.

Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s prime minister, has said the death toll from the demonstrations, which began last November and have been exacerbated by the authoritarian regime’s brutal crackdown on protesters, could be as high as 500. Thousands of people have been arrested and the government imposed a state of emergency as it grapples with the biggest threat to the Horn of Africa nation’s stability in years. The protests originally began over land disputes, but the state’s harsh response caused them to spiral into broader protests against the government.

An American woman was killed after being caught up in a protest on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, the capital, this month.

Travel companies said bookings to the country — home to ancient Christian sites and spectacular highlands — have virtually ground to halt as the unrest and travel warnings keep visitors away.

“Things are effectively on hold,” said Jim Louth, owner of Undiscovered Destinations, a UK travel company. “If anyone inquires, our policy is to say people are being advised not to go.”

Tourism has become an important part of the economy, which has been growing at an annual average of about 10 per cent over the past decade as Ethiopia has attracted increasing levels of foreign investment.

The government estimates the sector contributes about 4.5 per cent of gross domestic product, or $2.9bn. The indirect contribution, through investment, is the same, while about 1.5m people are thought to earn their living from the industry.

More than 750,000 foreign tourists visited Ethiopia last year, with the US by far the largest country of origin, followed by China, Britain and Germany, according to government data.

oromoprotests-and-fascist-tplfs-human-rights-violations-anaginst-civilians-2016-bbc-sources

The blow to tourism comes amid rising investor uncertainty as foreign companies, particularly flower farms and textile factories, have been targeted in a string of attacks that have caused tens of millions of dollars of damage.

The International Monetary Fund warned just before the state of emergency was imposed this month that attracting foreign investment will be crucial to sustaining the high growth rates.

Some travel companies said one problem is that while some of Ethiopia’s most popular sites — such as the city of Aksum — are not located in Amhara or Oromia, people have to travel through those regions to reach them.

“People on their first visit will want to go to the main sites and not be stressed,” said the UK-based Ultimate Travel Company. “More adventurous travellers might still go to places like the Omo valley that haven’t been affected, but most people will simply wait.”

The Ethiopian Tourism Organisation, a government body, insisted that “all tourist areas of the country are safe”.

“It is as safe now for tourists and business visitors to travel in Ethiopia as it has been for the last 22 years since the new constitution has been introduced,” it said in a statement.

Kiros Mahari, the general manager of the Ethiopian Tour Operators Association, said that “while there has been some unrest for a while, the situation has been restored back to normal”.

Emma Gordon, an analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a risk consultancy, said such statements “come across as unbelievable”.

“The situation is quieter now than a few weeks ago, but the protests have not stopped,” she said. “Strikes, ‘ghost town days’ and non-violent protests are more common now because they’re so much harder to police, even under the state of emergency.”

Ms Gordon predicted that once the protesters had worked out how to cope with the state of emergency, which bans all protests, political communication on social media, and political gatherings, “there will be an upsurge in unrest”.


 

#OromoProtests, #OromoRevolution: The point of no return in Ethiopia

Ethiopia Ranked 4th Most Fragile State

 


ADDIS STANDARD: ETHIOPIAN INDEENDENT POPULAR MAGAZINE FORCED OUT OF PRINT BY STATE OF EMERGENCY October 26, 2016

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NewsweekETHIOPIAN MAGAZINE FORCED OUT OF PRINT BY STATE OF EMERGENCY


Vendors are too scared to sell the “Addis Standard,” its editor said.


One of Ethiopia’s few independent magazines has suspended its print edition after the government imposed a restrictive state of emergency in the country.

The editor-in-chief of the Addis Standard, Tsedale Lemma, told AFP that printers and vendors were afraid to be involved in producing the monthly publication in case the government interpreted it as dissent. “We have tried to convince them that the state of emergency only targets ‘inciteful material’ but they fear this can be interpreted and abused,” said Lemma.

Around half of the Standard’s 23 full-time staff are expected to lose their jobs. While the print edition is suspended indefinitely, Lemma said that the digital edition would continue and that new podcasts were in the pipeline. The English-language magazine had been in print continuously since February 2011.

Ethiopia newspapers

Ethiopian people read newspapers a day before the country’s general election, Addis Ababa, May 22, 2015. Most of Ethiopia’s press is state-controlled.TIKSA NEGERI/REUTERS


Ethiopia’s press is largely controlled by the government. The country is ranked 142 out of 180 nations in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index, compiled by international NGO Reporters Without Borders. Ethiopia arrested ten journalists in 2015, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn brought in the six-month state of emergency on October 9 following months of deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters.

The clashes had intensified after at least 50 people died in a stampede during the Irreecha festival, an annual religious gathering held by members of the Oromo ethnic group. Protesters said that security forces provoked the stampede by firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd.

Under the state of emergency, Ethiopians are barred from using social media to contact so-called “outside forces” and are not allowed to watch certain television channels that are based outside the country. The government is also cracking down on gestures of dissent, including crossed arms above the head, which has become associated with the Oromo protests and was demonstrated at the Rio 2016 Olympics by Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa.

Protests begun among the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, in November 2015 against government plans to expand the capital Addis Ababa. The government abandoned the plans in January, but demonstrations have continued and spread to the Amhara, the country’s second-largest ethnicity.

Human Rights Watch said in June that 400 people had been killed in the course of the demonstrations, and there have been several incidents since—including the Irreecha stampede and clashes in the Amhara region in August, in which almost 100 people reportedly died. The Ethiopian government has denied that the death toll is as high as rights groups say.

 

OMN: ልዩ ዝግጅት LIVE (Oct 26,2016)

#OromoProtests, #OromoRevolution: The point of no return in Ethiopia October 26, 2016

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“We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.”  In Ethiopia, the government’s actions have left many people with no other option but to fight.


 

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Screen grab of a video of Irreechaa protest, published by Jawar Mohammed via France24.


Hundreds of Ethiopians have been killed by their government this year. Hundreds. You might not have known because casualty numbers have been played down; “evil forces” and accidents are blamed rather than the soldiers that fired the bullets; we are even deprived of the ability to fully grasp the situation because journalists are not allowed to report on it and the Internet is periodically shut down by the government. (In fact, last week Ethiopia finally admitted to the deaths of more than 500 anti-government protestors. Protesters insist that more people have died.) Whatever we make of the government’s prevarication, the Irreechaa Massacre that took place at the beginning of this month was a point of no return.

Irreechaa is a sacred holiday celebrated by the Oromo people, when several thousands gather annually at the banks of Lake Hora Arasadi in the town of Bishoftu to give thanks. At this year’s Irreechaa celebration, a peaceful protest broke out after government officials tried to control who was allowed to speak at the large gathering. What happened next is unpardonable.

Video footage shows government forces shooting tear gas and live ammunition into the crowd. Panic erupts. Women, children and men who had come to celebrate flee for safety but many are trampled on, drown and fall to their deaths. The government claims only 55 were killed in the incident. Non-governmental sources, however, put that figure at over 300. Mainstream media has conveniently portrayed the cause of the tragedy as a stampede yet simple logic refutes this. “When you fire on a crowd of 3 million close to a cliff and adjacent to a lake, causing mayhem, that is not a stampede. It is a massacre,” says Dr. Awol Allo, a law lecturer at Keele University in the United Kingdom.

Frustrations and grievances in Ethiopia have been growing for years. In 2014, protests began over the Master Plan to expand the capital Addis Ababa into Oromia Region. This was just the spark. Though the Master Plan has been abandoned for now, thousands of people across Oromia and more recently Amhara regions have continued to protest against the government. Their demands are fairly basic: human rights, an end to authoritarian rule, equal treatment of all ethnic groups, and restoration of ancestral lands that have been snatched and sold oftentimes under the guise of development.

The government’s brutal response has only added fuel to the fire. Irreechaa is the most recent example of this. Within days of the massacre a wave of anti-government protests erupted across the country, mostly in the Oromia Region. People are coming out in larger and larger numbers. Fear is dissipating and giving way to determination. Many activists believe it is too late for reconciliation — that “the opportunity for dialogue was closed with Ireechaa”.

No one is to blame for this but the government itself. The EPRDF government in Ethiopia has been tragically recalcitrant and short-sighted in dealing with the legitimate concerns of its citizens. Externally it has touted its success in maintaining stability and spurring double digit economic growth rates as a source of legitimacy, while internally it shoved itself into the seat of power by eradicating any form of real opposition. But anyone who has been to Ethiopia knows precisely well that the image of “Africa’s rising star” is only a façade, which tries to cover up deep rooted social and economic inequalities, abject poverty and human suffering, ethnic patronage and corruption, and a weak economy that is overly reliant on foreign investment. In short, the political, economic and social situation in Ethiopia today is not, by any stretch of the imagination, stable, despite what the EPRDF’s self-interested allies like the United States would like to believe.

Over the years, various groups that have tried many ways to peacefully seek change in Ethiopia. In 2005, opposition groups tried to compete in elections. When they almost won, they were arrested and exiled. In 2012 Muslims across the country peacefully demonstrated for more liberties and autonomy. As their movement gained momentum, many of their leaders were labeled as terrorists and sent to prison. In 2014, Oromos began to protest against the government’s ill-conceived Master Plan and are now paying the price. Throughout this period, countless activists, journalists and students have been arrested, numerous independent media outlets have been shut down, and the space for civil society groups has shrunk almost to the point of nonexistence.

The great Frantz Fanon explained that, “we revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.”  In Ethiopia, the government’s actions have left many people with no other option but to fight. It is a country that has experienced much civil violence in the past, and is reluctant to return to it. However, the people’s patience is limited. Already, protestors are beginning to take more desperate measures. Some have torched foreign companies to send a message to the government and its foreign investors that their concerns and frustrations can no longer be brushed aside. From Eritrea, Dr. Berhanu Nega — who once ran as part of an opposition party in the 2005 elections — is preparing for a full-fledged guerilla war.

At this point the EPRDF only has two options: cut its losses, gradually cede power and make way for meaningful elections or dig its boots deeper into the ground, like a stubborn child, and hold out for as long as it can. The consequences of the second option will be more bloodshed and in the end a much greater fall for the regime. History has shown that when Ethiopians have had enough, they have overthrown even an imperial monarchy dating back centuries. The old Ethiopian proverb should be a warning: “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”

Ethiopia: Access Now urges companies not to sell technology used in suppressing human rights October 24, 2016

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Ethiopia: Access Now urges companies not to sell technology used in suppressing human rights

Business & Human Rights Resource Center, 22 October 2016


A recent joint report by the Open Observatory for Network Interference and the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law has concluded that there is sufficient evidence of recent internet shutdowns in Ethiopia, which pose restrictions on demonstrations and human rights generally. Consequently, Access Now has urged technology companies not to sell software used in supressing human rights.


Ethiopia: Access Now urges companies to “desist from selling or servicing technology” used to “infringe on human rights”

Author: Access Now (USA)

“What’s happening in Ethiopia and how can we protect human rights?”

Ethiopia has issued a six-month state of emergency in the country following months of citizen protests. The state of emergency comes in an environment of increasing repression. Government forces have killed more than 500 people since November 2015and authorities have already shut down access to social media in the Oromia region four times this year…Internet shutdowns do not restore order. They hamper journalism, obscure the truth of what is happening on the ground, and stop people from getting the information they need to keep safe.

…In the U.N. statement last week, special rapporteurs Maina Kiai and Dr. Agnes Callamard said, “We are outraged at the alarming allegations of mass killings, thousands of injuries, tens of thousands of arrests and hundreds of enforced disappearances…We are also extremely concerned by numerous reports that those arrested had faced torture and ill-treatment in military detention centres.”…

[We urge] companies selling products or services in Ethiopia] to d]esist from selling or servicing technology that is used to infringe on human rights in the country. This includes technology used to surveil citizens or technology used to disrupt access to information online. Some of the companies with a record of bad practices in Ethiopia include Hacking Team and Gamma International.

Read the full post here

Report says data “provides strong indicators” internet was shut down during protests

Author: Moses Karanja (CIPIT), Maria Xynou & Arturo Filastò, in Open Observatory of Network Interference’s blog

“Ethiopia: Internet Shutdown Amidst Recent Protests?”

Nearly 100 deaths and thousands of arrests have been reported in Ethiopia over the last days, as part of protests against the marginalization and persecution of the Oromos and Amharas, Ethiopia’s two largest ethnic groups…Last weekend, the internet was reportedlyshut down in the country.

In an attempt to understand whether the internet was in fact shut down, we looked at some public sources of data that contain information about internet traffic. Such data provides strong indicators that the internet was most likely shut down during the Ethiopian protests last weekend, though it remains unclear if this occurred in all regions and/or on all types of networks across the country…

Internet shutdowns effectively pose restrictions on demonstrations and on human rights generally. In the recent case of Ethiopia, shutting down the internet in the middle of intense protests likely not only had an effect on the mobilization and coordination of protesters, but also on the communication between families and friends of victims. This also likely had an effect on journalists reporting on the protests in real-time on the ground, if they were using networks that were blocked.

 

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ABC News: #OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally in Perth, Australia on 23rd October 2016 October 23, 2016

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Perth Ethiopians protest against government crackdown


Hundreds of members of Ethiopia’s ethnic communities have marched in Perth to raise awareness of a government crackdown leading to the detention of thousands of people.

Authorities in Ethiopia have detained more than 2,000 people in recent weeks, amid large anti-government protests.

President of the Oromo Community in Perth Nuru Said has called on the Australian Government to put pressure on its Ethiopian counterpart.

“What we say is the Australian Government [should] not support this terrorist government who is killing [its] citizens and also to put pressure to abide human rights in Ethiopia,” he said.

“Australia is one of the leading democratic countries with respect for human rights.

“And this Government is violating the basic human rights and the constitutional rights of the people.

“So I think the Australian Government can play a major role on this.”

State of emergency

Human rights groups say hundreds of people have died over the past year as a result of clashes with authorities.

A state of emergency was declared a week after more than 50 people died on October 2, when an Oromo religious festival in the town of Bishoftu turned into a protest and a stampede ensued.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister said the state of emergency was declared due to the “enormous” damage to property.

An Ethiopian Government statement last week said more than 1,600 people had been detained in the Oromia and Amhara regions, on top of 1,000 arrests near the capital.

Authorities said the arrests near Addis Ababa were made in response to attacks on warehouses and factories, which had been set on fire.

Members of the Oromo, Amhara and Ogaden communities came together for the protest march in Perth.

Chairman of the Ogaden community Omar Hasan said there had been many deaths in detention.

“The Ethiopian Government gained the power and they want to keep the power by gun,” he said.

“We’re urging the Australian Government to stop financing, and cut off all the democratic relationship.

“Investment should be stopped – foreign aid is misused.

“There’s a lot of civilian unrest and it’s not appropriate for Australian companies or corporates to try to invest in Ethiopia.”

#OromoProtests Global Solidarity Rally in Washington DC on Oct. 21, 2106: Oromoonni Ameerikaa Jiraatan Diisiitti Hiriira Geggeessan October 23, 2016

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#OromoProtests peaceful global solidarity rally was held on Friday, October 21, 2016 in Washington, DC., USA. The rally was  jointly organized by Oromo Communities Association-North America (OCA-NA) and Oromo Community Association of Washington, DC (OCO).  A large number of Oromos who came from different states of the US were gathered in front of the White House to express their opposition and anger against the Irreecha Massacre of Bishoftu, Oromia in which TPLF/Agazi military force have committed genocide on peaceful Oromo people who have been attending the nation’s only annual Thanks Giving festival on October 02, 2016.

The rally also protesting against fascist TPLF Ethiopia’s regime emergency and the going on mass arrests and killings.

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The protesters were chanting slogans that denounce the Irreechaa Massacre and the on going killing, mass incarceration and all rounded crimes against the Oromo people in all corners of Oromia by the dictatorial and minority regime led by TPLF in Ethiopia.

The rally covered a march to World Bank head office here in Washington, DC up on which president of the Oromo Communities Association-North America, Dr. Gulumma Gammada presented a letter detailing the grave human right abuses, killings, torture, forceful evictions, displacements including the recent Irrecha Massacre that the TPLF led minority regime has been committing against the Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia with the fund it get from the World Bank and other international financial institutions under the disguise of development.

The World Bank representative after receiving the appeal letter from Dr. Gulummaa, expressed that his organization is closely following the situation in Ethiopia & Oromia and also handed to Dr. Gulumma a press release issued by World Bank (WB) on October 18, 2016 regarding the situation in Ethiopia and the Banks activities in the country.

After a brief stay in front of the World Bank the Oromo protesters who were outraged by the brutality of the TPLF Agazi marched towards the US State Department chanting slogans that request the US government to stop financing and supporting the brutal TPLF led regime in Ethiopia that is on the verge of collapse and civil war that can lead to genocide at large.

In front of the State Department, the Oromo protesters were loudly asking the US government and State Department to support the Oromo just struggle and demanded US to stop financing the undemocratic & killer regime in Ethiopia that is committing all kinds of crimes against humanity by keeping the people in dark away from international media.

The Organizers of the rally submitted another appeal letter to the Ethiopian Desk Officer in State Department. The Officer then promised to examine the concerns and demands of the Oromo protesters.


Oromoonni Ameerikaa Jiraatan Diisiitti Hiriira Geggeessan. Mootummaan Itoophiyaa Labsii Atattamaa Dahoo Godhachuudhan Lammiilee Dararuun Isaa Nu Yaachiseera Jedhan


 


Huntington Post: The Blog: What Is Going On In Ethiopia? #OromoProtests #OromoRevolution October 23, 2016

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What Is Going On In Ethiopia?

By Charlotte Allan,  , Lawyer, Blogger, Hyper-Activist, Huntington Post, 20 October 2016

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(Huntington Post) — The athlete looked up at the sky when he crossed the finish line, and made an X shape above his head with his wrists. The stadium cheered, a new moment in history was made. Later when he took to the podium with ‘Ethiopia’ written across his top to collect a medal for the marathon he had run, he made the gesture again.

Two months after the 2016 Olympics, this protest salute made by runner Feyisa Lilesa before a TV audience of millions, is still the most audacious red flag on what was a largely ignored iceberg. The iceberg being the Ethiopian state’s deadly crackdown on its Oromo people. His protest was in support of the struggles of an estimated forty million Oromo in Ethiopia’s Oromia region against an authoritarian rule historically committed to keeping them in their place. In a month that has seen Ethiopia call a State of Emergency in an attempt to stop the massive Oromo protests from spreading, Lilesa’s daring stand and thewill he-or-won’t he question of whether he will return to Ethiopia continues to force the subject onto the global news agenda and encourages people to ask: who are the Oromo and why are they protesting?

The answers lie in the history of the Oromo. The Oromia region was once made up of autonomous sultanates with distinct cultural traditions. Its people lived on the land for over five hundred years before the Abyssinian Empire moved in and established its new capital of Addis Ababa in the centre of Oromia at the end of the 1800s. What followed was a mass eviction of the Oromo, and then a state waged campaign against them, continued to this day by the modern Ethiopian government, which has previously sought to extinguish Oromo traditions, ban the language of Oromiffa in schools, and prevent Oromo civil and political status.

For the last year, the Oromo have been protesting the Ethiopian government’s plans to extend the capital into Oromia further still, however in recent months the protests have turned into a broader call for a multi-ethnic government, justice and the application of the rule of law. The Amhara ethnic group, their number estimated at 20 million, have now begun their own protests in the Amhara region and voiced their concern at a repressive government made up of one ethnic group. However since the protests began, at least 500 deaths have been confirmed, reports of torture and forced disappearances are widespread and an additional one thousand people have been detained so far in October alone.

Media attention on the protests therefore couldn’t come at a more important time. Since Lilesa’s salute and following a horrific stampede at an Oromo thanksgiving festival at the start of October, killing between 52 and 300 people (concrete figures are difficult to come by in Ethiopia) after police used teargas, rubber bullets and batons on protesters, the Ethiopian government has ordered a six month state of emergency. It has also continued to blame the violence and deaths at protests on banded opposition groups and gangs funded by Ethiopia and Eritrea, the former of which has already denied the claim and the latter of which has maintained a frosty silence. Human Rights groups however implicate the security forces in the deaths.

As a result of the state of emergency, Ethiopia is on lock down. Foreign diplomats have been banned from travelling more than 40kms outside the capital, protests in schools, universities and other higher education institutions are forbidden, there are country-wide curfews, security services are barred from resigning, satellite TV, pro-opposition news and foreign news are banned and posting links on social media a criminal activity. In short, there is a total news black-out of anything that is not state sponsored.

On the African continent, condemnation of Ethiopia’s actions by African governments has been very quiet. However, the protests have been well covered by African media and civil society organizations particularly in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa, while protests supporting the Oromo have taken place in South Africa and Egypt.

Although it is disappointing that African governments have not spoken out, it is important that the Ethiopian diaspora, along with African and global civil society continue to call loudly for an independent investigation into the deaths and violence occurring and that wealthy Western governments continue to evaluate their support for the increasingly authoritarian Ethiopian state.

Indeed an independent investigation is key and not without precedent. The Burundian government vowed to cooperate with an African Union investigation into state abuses only this week. However, the Ethiopian government should also be pressed to pass inclusive multi-ethnic state reforms as quickly as possible before this crisis escalates. The Oromo and Amhara are 65% of the Ethiopian population so it is suggested the Ethiopian government tread more thoughtfully and less violently because as precedents on the continent show, mismanagement can lead to devastating losses in any numbers game.


Lawyer, Blogger, Hyper-Activist

Charlotte Allan is a lawyer and human rights activist from the UK. She has lived in Egypt, Switzerland, France and Tanzania, and is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Policy & Advocacy Officer for CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. She has previously worked as a Protection Advisor for UNHCR and as a Legal Advisor for African Middle Eastern Refugee Assistance (AMERA). Her specialisms are refugee law, women’s rights and global protest movements while her other passion is using pop culture to engage youth in politics and activism. You may tweet with Charlotte at twitter

Ethiopia’s Declaration of State of Emergency on Oromia is an equivalent of Derg’s “Red Terror.” : Here is why. October 23, 2016

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Ethiopia’s Declaration of State of Emergency on Oromia is an equivalent of Derg’s “Red Terror.” : Here is why.

 

By Leelloo Sabaa, October 20, 2016


In Ethiopian Empires’ political history, the year 1977-78 is remembered as the year when Mangistu Haile Mariam’s political power   was absolutely threatened and his rulmengistue was shaken. The opponents to his power became so strong and lethal such that Mangistu was forced to declare “Red Terror” on its real or imagined enemies to its reign in Ethiopia between 1977-78.  By this declaration of “Red Terror”(Mangistu’s state of emergency),  Mangistu asserted that all “progressives” were given freedom of action in helping to root out enemies of his rule. Peasants, workers, public officials and even students loyal to the Mangistu regime were provided with arms to: assassinate, kill, imprison and loot as they wished. Militia attached to the Kebeles, the neighborhood watch committees were given freedom to train their gun on anyone with whom they have even personal but no ideological disagreement. All people allied to Mangistu went into killing spree and even children were not spared. During these years of “Red Terror”, Amnesty International estimated that up to 500, 000 to 2,000,000 people were butchered and thousands were left on the street for their body to decompose. In May 1977, the Swedish general secretary of  Save the Children Fund estimated too that “1000 children have been killed and their bodies are left in the streets and being eaten by wild hyenas.” Parents of the deceased were asked to collect the bodies of their loved ones by paying money for the bullet wasted killing their children.

All this crimes against humanity and genocide were planned and executed under the watch of the United Nation, United State of America, Europe and African Union.  However, all this horrendous decision and action by Mangistu Haile Mariam did not safe his regime from collapse but lead to the collapse of his terrorist regime and his demise from the political scene by running for his life to Zimbabwe were he was sentenced to death in absentia in the year2008.
Having got freedom to: kill, loot, rape, arrest, imprison, and torture Oromians from the Prime Minister of Ethiopian colonial and brutal rule in Oromia, Ethiopian: military, security and administrative organs have intensified their “Red Terror” on innocent Oromians since October 11, 2016. In Oromia, bodies  of innocent Oromian killed on the :street, in the forest, in the mountain, urban, towns and country sides are decomposing and being eaten by wild hyenas and rogue dogs. On the top of big trees in Oromian forests today, you can see vultures who fed on the bodies of young Oromians butchered by wayyaanee under those trees. You can see young and innocent Oromian students riddled by Ethiopian soldiers bullet who got full lee way to do whatever they want on Oromians from: Haile Mariam Dessalegn, Abbay-Tsehaye, Saamoraa and Abbaa Duulaa Gamada. The entire Oromia is in prison today.All this crimes against humanity and genocide against Oromians have continued to be committed, still under the watch of : United Nations, European Union, the USA, African Union in Oromia and all foreign Ambassadors. As we witnessed the Ruwandan genocide of the 1994 under the watch  of the United Nation then lead by Kofi Anan, we are witnessing genocide being committed on Oromians under the watch of the United Nation lead by Bank Moon. As Menelik, killed 5,000,000 Oromians and reduced Oromian population by half, the reign of “Red Terror” declared  on Oromians today  by Haile Mariam Dessalegn and his god fathers will definitely going to be existential threat to Oromia and Oromians. This “Red Terror”by Haile Mariam and his god fathers is involving poisoning: rivers, food, drugs, alcohol and beverages. Viruses (HIV/AIDS)and bacteria, as well as using poisonous gases (chemical weapon) are being used. Than more than any time in its history of slavery under Ethiopia, Oromians are under threat  of extinction today.As the Oromians struggle for the right to self-determination for Oromia started to tie a rope around the neck of Ethiopia’s colonial and brutal rule in Oromia,  on October 11, 2016, the government of Ethiopian Empire lead by Wayyaanee declared its so called state of emergency, Derg’s equivalent of “Red Terror.”  According to this declaration of ‘Red Terror” on Oromians, Ethiopian colonial government in Oromia suspended all rights that have never been there after all. It declared that all human right laws provided for in its colonial constitution (that have never been there after all) have been suspended for six months. According to this declaration of “Red Terror” by the terrorist Ethiopian empire government in Oromia, all military, security and administrative agents loyal to the regime have the right to: kill, arrest, rape,  imprison, confiscate properties of Oromians who Wayyaanee considers real or imagined enemy. No warrant of arrest or search are required from the court to : arrest, imprison, kill, torture Oromians and confiscate the properties they got by their sweat labeling them they belong to the Oromo LiberatinFront, the vanguard, the restorer and the savior of Oromian independence and the dignity of its citizen.

The national duties under such a circumstance is to rise up in unity to defend ourselves from Ethiopia and its puppets that is bent on securing its life only by exterminating us from the face of Oromia.  If we think, we are going to be immune from this reign of horror by Ethiopian colonial rule lead by Haile Mariam, the 500,000 up to 2000000 people killed by Mangistu Haile Mariam is going to be like a Christmas gift. Before it is to late, the national call for all  of us Oromians from all walks of life is to rise up and save ourselves from extinction.   Today, we are witnessing “the harma muraa and harka muraa Annoolee”repeating itself by the order from Haile Mariam Dessalegn. Today, we are witnessing “the Calii Callanqoo and Watar Massacre” repeating itself. Today, we are witnessing the repeat of Boruu Meda”  massacre by Yonnis of Tigray. If we do not stand up for our survival today, the killing spree of 5,000,000 Oromians by Menelik is going to look like a Christmas movie.

Today, Oromia is in crisis of unparalleled magnitude ever seen since its birth.  We are under the threat of the enemy that is determined to destroy us the same way aborgines were exterminated in the USA, Australia and  Europe. If we are expecting any foreign power to save us, we are going to be like a sheep that is waiting to be slaughtered on the Christmas or Arafa .

The vehicle is already on the road and moving forward toward securing our survival and freedom from all threats in its all forms from Ethiopia and its colonial governor Haile Mariam Dessalegn. That vehicle is the Oromo Liberation Front, committed from its establishment to guarantee the survival and freedoms of Oromians by defeating Ethipian colonal rule in Oromia and declaring an Independent and Democratic Republic of Oromia, the surest way to save Oromians from extinction. The Oromoo Liberation Front is our insurance and guarantee for safety and security  tomorrow and for posterity. The Oromoo Liberation Front lead by Chairman Daawwud Ibsaa isour: Spear, shield and sword. Our todays situation does not need any bickering but   to be at the war front defending our people from extermination. At the war front, in the trenches of Oromia, defending our people and securing our future, we find our gallant sons and daughters of Oromoo Liberation Front, the Oromoo Liberation Army and its Youth wing Qeerroo Bilisummaa. From each one of us, big or small, old or young, female or male, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, from urban or countryside, from students or teachers, from employed or unemployed, the situation in which we find ourselves need unwavering and practical support for   The Oromoo Liberation Front and its armed wing, the Oromoo Liberation Army and its youth wing, Qeerroo Bilisummaa.  

hailemariam

Haile-mariam Desalegn

By all means at our disposal, lets sharpen its capability and strength over the enemy whose dream is only to eradicate us from our God given and blessed country, The Republic of Oromia. Let’s rise up and stop this enemy from achieving its dream of finishing Oromians and  bring them to the court of free Oromia. We have to redouble our effort more than ever before. We have to mobilize all our savings and wealth for our survival through The Oromo Liberation Front.We have to witness the day Haile Mariam Dessalegn and his god fathers face justice in our life time.  Lets give Ethiopian colonial rule in Oromia the last blow. Lets show to our enemy the miracle of the power of Oromians. Lets defeat this enemy and freely exercise our right to self determination for Oromia through free and internationaly observed referendum.Lets realize :free, united, peaceful, prosperous and happy life the pioneers of the struggle for Oromian independence envisaged for Oromians.

By our blood we shall defend ourselves!

The bickering is the flood gate of the enemies!

Victory to the Oromoo People!

U.S. citizens urged to defer travel to Ethiopia -State Department October 22, 2016

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The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia due to ongoing unrest that has led to hundreds of deaths, thousands of arrests, as well as injuries and extensive property damage, especially in Amhara and Oromia States. The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services in many parts of the country is limited by the current security situation.

The Government of Ethiopia declared a State of Emergency effective October 8, 2016. An October 15 decree states that individuals may be arrested without a court order for activities they may otherwise consider routine, such as communication, consumption of media, attending gatherings, engaging with certain foreign governments or organizations, and violating curfews. The decree prohibits U.S. and other foreign diplomats from traveling farther than 40 kilometers outside of Addis Ababa without prior approval from the Government of Ethiopia, which severely affects the U.S. Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens. The full text of the decree implementing the State of Emergency is available on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

Internet, cellular data, and phone services have been periodically restricted or shut down throughout the country, impeding the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with U.S. citizens in Ethiopia. You should have alternate communication plans in place, and let your family and friends know this may be an issue while you are in Ethiopia. See the information below on how to register with the U.S. Embassy to receive security messages.

Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, continuously assess your surroundings, and evaluate your personal level of safety. Remember that the government may use force and live fire in response to demonstrations, and that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can be met with a violent response or turn violent without warning. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should monitor their security situation and have contingency plans in place in case you need to depart suddenly.

U.S. government personnel are restricted from personal travel to many regions in Ethiopia, including Oromia, Amhara, Somali and Gambella states, southern Ethiopia near the Ethiopian/Kenyan border, and the area near the Ethiopia/Eritrea border. Work-related travel is being approved on a case-by-case basis. U.S. government personnel may travel to and within Addis Ababa without restrictions. For additional information related to the regional al-Shabaab threat, banditry, and other security concerns, see the Safety and Security section of the Country Specific Information for Ethiopia.

Due to the unpredictability of communication in the country, the Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens to register your mobile number with the U.S. Embassy to receive security information via text or SMS, in addition to enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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U.S. citizens urged to defer travel to Ethiopia -State Department
by Reuters 21 October 2016


WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department urged U.S. citizens on Friday to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia because of ongoing unrest that has killed hundreds of people, led to thousands of arrests and prompted restrictions on diplomatic travel.

The Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency on Oct. 8 and issued a decree on Oct. 15 that permitted the arrest of individuals without court order for some routine activities like attending gatherings and engaging with foreign organizations, the State Department said.

An American woman was killed when her car was stoned earlier this month and foreign-owned factories and equipment were damaged during a wave of protests over land and political rights.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Beech)


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 Foreign travel advice Ethiopia