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Oromia forests set on fire: The Oromia’s Natural Forest has been subjected to deliberate destruction by the TPLF government of Ethiopia March 6, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Colonizing Structure, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Ethnic Cleansing, Forest fire in Oromia, Land Grabs in Oromia.
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From all corners Oromia, Oromia forests are set on fire by  the TPLF! Bosonni Oromiyaa kan ibiddi itti hin jirre hin jiruu, iyyaa iyya dabarsaa!   Bitootessa (March)  5, 2015

Saanatee, Chilalo, Carcar. What area is next?

 

Carcar Xirroo and  Saaqata forests in Eastern Oromia on fire 5th March 2015

Saaqata forest in Oromia on fire. 5th March 2015

 

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/oromias-forests-are-burning-latest-fire-broke-out-in-hararge-carcar/

 

Galema forest in Cilalo and Saanatee Plateau forest in Bale Mountains that stretches hundreds of kilometerson in Oromia set on fire by the TPLF Ethiopian regime.

Galema forest in Oromia on fireForest  of Saanatee Plateau in Bale Mountains that stretches hundreds of kilometers in Oromia state on fire. 2nd March 2015.Forest1  of Saanatee Plateau in Bale Mountains that stretches hundreds of kilometers in Oromia state on fire. 2nd March 2015.Forest2  of Saanatee Plateau in Bale Mountains that stretches hundreds of kilometers in Oromia state on fire. 2nd March 2015.

 

Bitootessa 02 bara 2015 eggalee bineensotaa fi qabeenyi uumamaa bosona Cilaaloo godina Arsii fi Saanatee Baalee keessatti argaman wayyaanee dhan abiddaan gubamuun barbadaa’anii jiru!

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia-forests-set-on-fire/

http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2015/03/news-just-in-forest-fire-on-sanete-plateau-in-bale-mountains-photos/

On 19th February 2015, the Ethiopian regime set Sabbata town in Central Oromia in fire.

Guraandha 19 bara 2015 godina addaa naannoo finfinnee kan taate maagaa sabbataa ganda 02 bakka kenterrii (Alem Gena) jedhamutti balaa ibiddaa cimaa muudateen qabeenyi uummataa hedduun barbadaa’e. Balaan uumamees hanguma deemu deemee tattaaffii uummataatiin salphachuu danda’eera. Yoona kana ittisni balaa qaama mootummaa tokkollee achi hin turre. Ummanis mootummaan hin jiruu jedhee iyya. kuun immoo mootummaa maaltu jira waaqni qofti nuuf haa dhaqabu jechaa watwaata. Gochaa kana kan raawwate qaama mootumma akka ta’ee shakki tokko maleen jechuu dhandeenyya.
Akkuma beeknu magaalan Sabbata Master Plan fi Misooma magaalichaafi nannawa ishii sababeefachuf Oromiyyarra muruf kan karoorfatan erga hin milkaa’in boodhe toftaa haarawan nutti dufaa jiran. Ummata nannawa Finfinnee balaa ibiddan irratti raawwachuu dhan ummata nannawa kana akka lafa isaanirra buqa’uu taasisa jiran.

Central Oromia, Sabbataa Town, ganda 02, kenterrii (alem gena) on fire. 19th February 2015

 

 

Walaloo Shamarree Oromo :Uuuuu….Uuuuuu Cilaaloo Gubanii

 

 

The regime set on fire the trading center of Hawassa city of the Sidama just week a go.

 

The Sidama Owned Small Businesses on Fire in Hawassa
Statement by United Sidama Parties for Freedom and Justice

February 24, 2015

It’s with deepest sadness that the United Sidama Parities for Freedom and Justice (USPFJ) express its hear felt condolences for the Sidama small scale business owners in Hawassa city New market place ‘ Addis Gebeya’ for loss of lives and property. The source of the fire has not yet been confirmed.

The incident took place on 21 February 2015 at 7 pm local time. The Fire has been left on to burn for over 2 hours. The Sidama business community who have set up these new businesses in this particular place over a decade ago had registered their plots of lands as they have been pushed away far from the city centre to give room for investors from other parts of the country.

We also condemn the slow response from the fire brigade in the region. The response of the fire brigade was awfully inadequate. The inept Fire Brigade only arrived 105 minutes after the fire has engulfed the entire shopping areas, shops and residential homes attached to these. The Fire Brigade has been delayed for a lengthy period of time to arrive at a place less than 4 kilometres away. Moreover, peoples from the neighbouring villages and neighbourhoods have been denied access to the area by police officers who have been seen blocking the entrances from all corners until all shops and attached houses have been totally burned down to ashes.

To date, the number of dead Sidama people has exceeded a dozen by the time we’ve published this press release; and the bodies of dead Sidama have been kept in the Hawassa municipality morgue and the identification process of the bodies is also difficult as they have been burnt beyond recognition. The material cost of this accident is estimated to be over hundreds of millions of Birr. Ironically the burnt out empty place is being guarded by the federal police to confirm that the previous owners are unlikely to be allowed to their places. As a result there is a suspicion among the Sidama people that the fire might have been deliberately ignited to destroy the properties to allocate the plots to other “investors.”

The fire began burning an entire market place mainly owned by the Sidama small scale traders who have been as mentioned above pushed out of Hawassa city centre which became a hot cake for the central rulers who have all considered Hawassa, a resort town for their personal entertainment. In Hawassa, the rulers spend their honeymoon, spare times and hold a special national and international conferences; with very little or nothing trickling down to the real stake holders, the Sidama people. Instead, the Sidama people are pushed away and punished by this very regime time and again including the May 24, 2002 massacre of over 70 confirmed Sidama civilians who demanded their constitutional rights to regional self-determination; at the exact place where the Sidama market has been burnt out on the aforementioned date. The regimes federal as well as regional anti-Sidama cadres work day and night to deny the Sidama nation their rights to regional self-administration. The destruction of the livelihood of the Sidama People might have been planned behind the scene to remove them from their ancestral land of Hawassa step by step; although this will never happen as the Sidama people will never give up an inch from their land.

About a week ago the Sidama farmer known as ‘Hussein Kadir’, who is the father of numerous children has been ordered by the Hawassa investment office cadres both Dehidin and SPDO’s to vacate his land for an investor. The land he has been asked to leave was the one on which his ancestors have lived and inherited to him. His livelihood depends on these plots of land as are his numerous children and family members. As he has been ordered, to leave his land for investors, he decides to climb onto a tree near his house and told the cadres that he would rather commits suicide than allowing his land to be taken by strangers. He vowed that unless the regime stops ordering him to leave his ancestors land, he never climbs down. After spending few days on the top of the tree (see bottom picture), the regime persuaded him through customary elders negotiations by promising to give him a place to live in, in Hawassa’s city administration owned place. It came to our attention that he has been indeed managed to get something for his family members and moved to a new place. This isn’t a separate incident; but it’s a daily phenomenon the Sidama farmers around the outskirts of Hawassa and all over the region are subjected to.

It’s the saddest era for the Sidama nation as it is for the other subjugated nations in a number of ways. The Sidama people for their first time in their history become beggars in their own soil as their main livelihood security around Hawassa, their land, has been taken away from them little by little to serve the interests of those who are enslaving the nation. Nevertheless, the Sidama nation never rests until its quest for freedom, justice, equality and self-governances are fully respected.

The USPFJ send its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the Sidama families and others (if any), who lost their properties and lives in Hawassa’s Addis Gebeya Market fire. We emphatically condemn the manner in which the local and regional governments managed the fire incident. Those who have planned, ordered, masterminded and implemented such abhorring crimes against humanity can’t escape from justice sooner or later in a free Sidama land. The Sidama nation must remain extra vigilant and united at this trying times.

May the souls of unlawfully burnt Sidama martyrs rest in peace!!

United Sidama Parties for Freedom and Justice (USPFJ)

February 24, 2015

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/the-sidama-owned-small-businesses-on-fire-in-hawassa/

 

 

 

Deforestation, Land-Grabbing by Neo-Neftegna (TPLF) in UNESCO-registered Yayu Forest Reserve, Oromia

 

Yaayyuu forest

Yaayyuu forest

Yayu Oromia

(OPride, April 30, 2013) – A recent massive brush fire in the Illu Abba Boora zone of Oromia region, Ethiopia has wiped out a sizable portion of the UNESCO-registered Yayu Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve, reports said. The cause of the blaze, which has spread around the Yayu forest over the last several weeks, remains unknown.

According to eyewitness accounts, the blaze has scorched an estimated 50 to 80 acres of the thick coffee forest. “Such fire has never happened before in the history of the Yayu forest and the knowledge of the people living in the area,” one Yayu resident, who asked not to be named, told OPride. “It has been burning for several weeks without any intervention from the government except that of the local community to contain it to protect its advancement to their side.” The internationally recognized Yayu forest is home to the last remaining species of wild coffee Arabica and some of Ethiopia’s rare flora and bird species.

Several diaspora-based activists have accused the government for setting the forest ablaze to make a way for its development projects. The state-run media ignored the fire, and instead reported on a new fertilizer factory being built near the area. Citing several “journalists working for the government TV and radio stations,” New York-based political analyst Jawar Mohammed said, Ethiopian authorities have once again imposed a media blackout warning local reporters, including those working for state-run media houses, not to cover the story.

EPRDF, Ethiopia’s ruling party, now in power for 22 years, has been accused of setting forest reserves on fire in the past. For example, in 1999 and early 2000, a similar forest fire in Bale and Borana, also in the Oromia region, led to Oromia-wide student protests and the government’s slow response caused a strong public outcry. At the time, instead of putting out the fire, the government resorted to cracking down on students.

As was the case in 2000, eyewitnesses said the government is blaming the current fire on locals amid reports of some arrests. “The Ethiopian regime is known for playing the blame game on others for its own crimes,” another Yayu native told OPride last week. “The government doesn’t want the image of the coal mining and fertilizer factory projects to be associated with such environmental destructions,” the source said. Eyewitness reports indicate that the government alleges, “the fire was lit by people doing forest honey collection, a process associated with the life of the local people.” The OPride source noted, the locals lived collecting honey for generations, “but never witnessed such incidents of disaster.”

According to a new research by Plos One, a peer-reviewed online international publication, while there is some wild coffee in the Bale mountains range, the Yayu forest has “the largest and most diverse populations of indigenous (wild) Arabica” anywhere in the world.

Ethiopia’s overall forest reserves have dwindled in the last two decades due to growing population, land scarcity, and uncontrolled deforestation in the name of development. In 2010, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimated Ethiopia’s forest cover at 12.2 million hectare or 11 percent of the total landmass. The study noted a decline from 15.11 million hectare in 1990 (a year before the current regime took office). While statistics on forest fire is rare, the FAO study said, “in 2008 fire affected 16 163 hectare of land in the autonomous region of Oromiya.”

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are meant as sustainable development test cases in efforts “to reconcile conservation of biological and cultural diversity and economic and social development through partnerships between people and nature.” The Yayu forest reserve is one such effort by the international body to find sustainable ways for the forest to be preserved. But as another Yayu native, who asked not to be identified due to fear of repercussions told OPride, little has been done besides symbolic UNESCO designation as the initiative crosses the “the political border of national development interest.”

The source added, the federal “government never really supported the designation of the Yayu afromontane forest area as a UNESCO reserve.” “Rather, a team of scientists at Addis Ababa University led by Dr. Tadesse Woldemariam, which used the forest as a research base for several advanced studies supported by German based institutions affiliated to the interest in the forest coffee put a great deal of effort into this.”

Evidently, the federal government has struggled with how to proceed with its development agenda in the area. According to our source, more than ten years ago, local youth raised concerns that the development objectives didn’t offer benefits for the local people. To “address” this local discontent and lend the projects some legitimacy, the federal government turned to few elites who grew up in the area but whose parents were relocated from Tigray during the infamous 1985 famine. Speaking about the government’s efforts to assuage local grievances, the source gave an example of certain Getachew Atsbeha, a graduate of the local high school, who flew in with an Ethiopian Defense Forces helicopter last year leading a team of visiting researchers of the new project.

While the recent Yayu forest fire has been contained, in large part thanks to heavy rain and community involvement, the lingering issues over planned projects remain. “The government seems intent on selling the land,” one caller said on ESAT Radio program last week. “People have been displaced to make ways for the factories…government officials and state-owned enterprises are moving in…even the daily laborers are coming from Tigray.”

According to sources familiar with the ongoing projects, the main project under construction is a multi-purpose fertilizer factory. “The project became a cause for developing the area such as the road in Yayu town and constructing houses for the staff in the project,” the source said. “This has direct links to other national projects such as the sugar industry…the fertilizer will be used to support the sugarcane production, while other mechanized farming in Gambella and Benishangul regions [are expected to] become immediate consumers.” As fertilizer prices continue to soar worldwide, the building of a local manufacturer would reduce the import of fertilizer. In addition, the sugar factories around the country would operate on coal that would be produced in Yayu alongside the fertilizer. The alternative energy source will then reduce over reliance on hydroelectric power.

Last January, local newspaper Capital Ethiopia reported, the state-owned engineering company, Metal and Engineering Corporation, “is on the right track to produce fertilizer for the next cropping season.”

By the end of the much-publicized Growth and Transformation Plan, which ends in 2015, “Ethiopia envisions building eight fertilizer companies in the Oromia Regional state as per its governing five-year economic plan,” the report said. “The construction of Yayu fertilizer factory number one and two will reach 65 percent and 33 percent completion rate, respectively, this year. The design work for the Dap factory is already completed, while civil work and equipment production is underway.”

The Ethiopian government has commissioned several feasibility studies on the Yayu coal reserves for many years. Most recently a Chinese firm called COMPLANT did a study with a price of 12 million birr. The study found the Yayu area has over “100 million tons of coal”, which could “produce 300,000 tons of Urea [used in the manufacture of fertilizer], 250,000 tons of Dap, 20,000 tons of ethanol and 90MW of electric power annually for decades.” Following the feasibility study, “in March 2012, METEC awarded the construction of the first fertilizer factory in the country to Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction Plc at a cost of 792 million birr,” according to Capital Ethiopia.

The government turned to COMPLANT, after a 2005 study by a European consultancy firm, Fichiner, deemed the project not environmentally responsible temporarily forcing the government to reconsider the project, according to Addis Fortune.

 

 

Year 2000 on record:Forest Fires in Oromia and Open  statements of National and International Communities

Year 2000 on record Forest Fires in Oromia Open statements of National and International Communities

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Government Corruption, the Exploitation of Indigenous People and Environmental Disasters: The Case of Yayo Oromia Deforestation May 2, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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Gadaa.com

While the devastating effects of Abyssinian Ethiopian past and the present TPLF governmental corruption have certainly been  not limited to the people of Oromia,  as they making the most resourceful land and the largest society,they have been among the  most intensely affected and cruely divastated. The government corruption has been manifested  not just by the conquest, militarism and the assertion of power over the people of Oromia,   but actions that are dishonest in the context of  legal system, under its own rules or under international law.This corruption is characterized by illegal exploitation of land, natural resources, labor of the people, land grabbing, evictions and mass killings of the  Oromo people. This happens either directly by the brutal actions of  the government army, governmental officials or by these officials’ tacit acceptance of such actions  by its private agents. The case now in point is the  on going destruction  of Yayo Arabica coffee forest in the name of development. Research studies indicate that the forest ecosystem of Yayo Oromia is endowed with a variety of plant species. The most common are Hambabessa (Albizia gummifera) Waddessa (Cordia africana), Qararoo (Aningeria adolfi friedertel), Hogda (Ficus varta), Sondi (acacia lahai), and Alale (Albizia grand ibracteata). Hence, the vegetation diversity of Yayo forest is very important for the genetic conservation of Coffea arabica and rare plant species.Apart from Coffea arabica, the Yayo forest is a habitat for different species of animals among which arboreal and species of bird are the most dominant. Anubus baboon (Jaldessaa), colobus monkey (weenni), vervet monkey (qamalee), porcupine (xaddee), fox (waango), hyena (waraabessa), bush buck (bosonuu), duiker (quruphee), birazas monkey (chena’a), several cats (Iyyanii), ant-eater (awaal diigessa, leopard (qeeransa) and bat (simbiro halkanii), are also among the wild animals living in the Yayo forest. Very small numbers of big wild animals such as lion (leenca), buffalo (gafarsa), bush pig (booyyee), and warthog (karkarro) also exist in Gabba-Dogi forest. http://hss.ulb.uni-bonn.de/2010/2160/2160.pdf

“Yayo Coffee Forest Biosphere Reserve, which is found in the Iluu Abbaa Booraa region in Oromia. The Yayu forest is one of the last remaining rainforest systems in Oromia in particular, and the Horn of Africa in general. The Yayu forest is the center of the origin for the most popular coffee in the world, coffee arabica, which has been growing wildly in the Yayu and adjacent forests for centuries. Due to its ecological signification, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizationselected the Yayu forest system as one of its 610 biosphere reserves in the world inJune 2010 together with the Kafa forest system, which is located adjacent to Yayu, and from which the name “coffee” is said to have come from.Today in Yayu, instead of conservation and sustainable development activities, what have dotted the landscapes of this UNESCO-registered forest system are bulldozers to make way for a “fertilizer” factory in the middle of the ecological reserve. The regime of TPLF, which has been militarily occupying Oromia since 1991, says it is building the factory in Yayu since the area has some reserves of coal, from which the fertilizer is to be manufactured. Over the last 21 years, TPLF (the neo-Neftegna group in power) has used “development” and “investment” as reasons for grabbing land in Oromia. In this propaganda video made by TPLF, it boasts of grabbing farmland from Oromo farmers and bulldozing inside the UNESCO-registered biosphere reserve to “construct,” what it calls, a fertilizer factory, which will result in severe environmental consequences to one of the last remaining montane rainforests in Oromia and the Horn of Africa.”http://gadaa.com/oduu/19534/2013/04/24/deforestation-and-land-grabbing-by-the-neo-neftegna-tplf-in-the-unesco-registered-yayu-coffee-forest-biosphere-reserve-illuu-abbaa-booraa-western-oromia/

http://qeerroo.org/2013/05/03/development-and-investment-as-reason-for-land-grabbing/

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