Human Rights Rally at the White House and State Department
Ayyaantuu Oromia Portal
Ayyaantuu Oromia Portal
UNPO GA – Oromo Resolution on human rights situtation in Oromia-Ethiopia
UNPO GA – Oromo Resolution on human rights situtation in Oromia-Ethiopia (<<< click here to view Oromo Resolution on Human Rights Situation in Oromia – Ethiopia)
UNREPRESENTED NATIONS, AND PEOPLES ORGANIZATION
The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was established in 1973/1974 by Oromo nationalists in the heart of Oromia, Fin fin ne (Addis Ababa) to exercise the Oromo people’s inalienable right to national self-determination to terminate a century of oppression and exploitation, and to form independent republic of Oromia, or where possible, a political union with other peoples based on equality, respect for mutual interests and the principle of voluntary association. Today OLF has grown and expanded to all parts of Oromo land (Oromia). During the last 40 years, the organization has transformed itself to one of the leading political force in the region. It has brought about or influenced several positive changes in the Oromo society where it has the unparalleled support from all sectors of the population.
The Oromo constitute more than 40% of Ethiopia’s projected 98.9 Million inhabitants. Oromos maintain distinct and homogenous culture and common language, history, descent, and separate territory from Abyssinians who created the Ethiopian empire state. During their long history, the Oromos developed their own cultural, social and political system known as the Gadaa system. The Gadaa is a democratic political and social institution that governed the life of every individual in the society for life long until it was systematically suppressed by the occupiers.
The UNPO General Assembly,
Underlining the persistent violation of human rights in Oromia, Ethiopia that includes arbitrary killings, disappearance, torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces, life-threatening prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pre-trial detention, privacy rights including illegal searches; land grabbing, restrictions on academic freedom, restrictions on freedom of assembly and association, freedom of expression and movement; alleged interference in religious affairs, violence and discrimination against women and abuse of children.
Realizing similar reports showing a systematic nature of human rights violations targeting particular people, the Oromo having been the main victim over many years. The Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), a UN organ, in 1997 stated that “ … military and police forces have been systematically targeting certain ethnic groups, in particular the Anuak and the Oromo peoples, and [further asserting the prevalence of] summary executions, rape of women and girls, arbitrary detention, torture, humiliations and destruction of property and crops of members of those communities.”
Reflecting on Human rights researcher Professor Tronvoll Kjetill ‘s well-founded claim about a systematic flagrance of human rights in Ethiopia. His study asserts ethnic identity in Ethiopia as a political stigma. Based on primary data mined from major human rights organizations and country reports spanning over ten years he has to say, “from 1995 to 2005, the majority of the reported human rights violations in Ethiopia have occurred in the Oromia regional state, [adding that in all those] years but one, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary arrests have been reported, [and that no any] other regional state has such a consistency of reported human rights violation during this time period.”
Giving consideration to a recent report corroborating these systematic violations. In March 2014, Human Rights Watch‘s report under the title “They Know Everything We do: Telecom and Internet Surveillance in Ethiopia” which highlighted that the government in its pursuit of restricting the rights of the citizens to “freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly[ through the application of repressive laws] to decimate civil society organizations and independent media and target individuals with politically motivated prosecutions, [that the Oromo people] particularly affected, with the ruling party using the fear of the ongoing but limited insurgency
Remembering the adoption of very aggressive and unpopular laws such as the press proclamation, the Charity and Civic society Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism proclamation followed by persistent charges brought against members of the free press and opposition figures,
Noting the situation regarding human rights, the rule of law, democracy and governance in all countries of the Horn of Africa has been of great concern to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), African Union (AU), European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) for many years;
Whereas there are credible reports of arbitrary arrests, forced labour, torture and maltreatment of prisoners, as well as persecution of journalists and political repression in the region,
Referring to the Genocide Watch report released on 12th of March 2013 that considered Ethiopia has already reached Stage 7, genocidal massacres, against many of its peoples, including the Anuak, Ogadeni, Oromo and Omos, Amnesty International report of October 2014 that indicated a widespread and systematic repression of the Oromo people2. As the title of the report itself convenes for special concern, saying: “Sweeping repression in the Oromia region of Ethiopia” only “BECAUSE I AM AN OROMO”3, the recorded 61 deaths and 903  
wounded of Oromo mainly students during peaceful protests in April/May 2014 against the drafted Addis Ababa Master Plan and
Reaffirming the US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2014 on Ethiopia “Prison and pre-trial detention centre conditions remained harsh and in some cases life threatening” and the deep concern of the UN Committee Against Torture in its 2010 report about “the routine use of torture” by police, prison officers, and other members of the security forces–including the military–against political dissidents and opposition party members, students, alleged terrorists,…”. The recorded death of student Nuredin Hassen, Galana Nadhii and Nimona Tilahun after severe torture indicates that no any tendency of improvement in maltreating of the prisoners.
Regretting that the EPRDF demonstrated its continued dominance in nationwide elections for local and city council positions held in 2013 and National Election held in May 2015. EPRDF- affiliated parties won all but five of approximately 3.6 million seats; 33 opposition parties boycotted the elections. It also fully controlled and declared a landslide victory of the May 2015 National Election.
Understanding further that in its latest report the Committee to Protect Journalists, based on empirical evidence, put Ethiopia the fourth worst place in the world for journalists and one of “the 10 most censored countries” and “ the top 10 worst jailers of journalists worldwide.”
Considering 17 Oromo journalists that have been fired from Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO) since June 25, 2014
Proclaiming the adoption of the National Policy on Women (1993) and the National Action Plan on Gender Equality (2006-2010) and some commendable provisions of the National Constitution discrimination and sexual violence against Oromo women in Ethiopia is still widespread, notably in rural areas.
Emphasising to take all necessary measures to ensure any violence against women is prosecuted and punish adequately and that the victims have immediate means of redress and protection, by the CEDAW Committee 2004 recommendation. More generally, to ensure that all the CEDAW Committee 2004 recommendations be fully implemented
Affirming the Human and democratic rights enshrined in the constitution of Federal Republic of Ethiopia that grants the citizen to practise,
Fully believing the international community has a conventional moral duty to inquire the Ethiopian government to a bid to its constitution and international bill of rights it signed,
Appreciating the right groups such as AI, Human Rights Watch, HRLHA, Genocide Watch, OSG, OSGA and etc. that operated under significant government restrictions and managed to outreach the curtailed atrocities committed by EPRDF regime. a ruling regime that remains in power for 25 years by blocking every opportunity of transformation to genuine democracy and blatant disregard and denial for free and fair election.
Condemning boundless human atrocities such as extrajudicial killings, Disappearance, Torture, arbitrary arrests of innocent people, prolonged detention without trial, sexual violence, eviction from their land committed by Ethiopian government,
Expresses its grave concern at the continuing imprisonment Oromo students, journalist and political leaders, without having been tried by a court of law, and demands the immediate releases;
Therefore, we, the UNPO General Assembly:
 UNSETTLING PATTERNS OF GENOCIDAL MASSACRES AGAINST OROMO IN OROMIA, ETHIOPIA (Source: http://oromopress.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/patterns-genocidal-massacres-against.html)
 AI Report AFR 25/006/2014: Ethiopia: ‘Because I am Oromo': Sweeping repression in the Oromia region of Ethiopia,
Ethiopia: Ethnic Oromos arrested, tortured and killed by the state in relentless repression of dissent http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/ethiopia-ethnic-oromos-arrested-tortured-and-killed-state-relentless-repression- dissent-2014-10#.VE-3EY4gp_U.facebook
Their concern is that his trip later this month — the first by a sitting Americanpresident — will send the wrong message and bolster a regime that has intimidated opponents, manipulated elections and sent dozens of journalists to prison.
“Mr. Obama is supporting a dictatorship and giving legitimacy to tyranny,” declared Serkalem Selassie, 39, a refugee in Arlington. “Day by day, things are getting worse. There is no freedom to speak, to meet. Anyone who writes can be jailed for associating with terrorism.”
For Selassie, a former newspaper publisher who fled her homeland two years ago and now works at a parking garage, the anger is deeply personal.
Her husband, journalist Eskinder Nega, is in prison serving an 18-year sentence for treason. Selassie was also sent to jail in 2005, and her son Nafkot, 9, was born while she was in custody. She has not been permitted to communicate with her husband in two years.
Obama’s trip will underscore the delicate balancing act of U.S. relations with the Addis Ababa government, a crucial ally in a volatile region that also regularly flouts democratic norms. The ruling party has maintained power for 24 years since the violent overthrow of a Marxist dictator.
U.S. officials have long praised the government in Addis Ababa for its success in economic development and food security, its reliability as an ally in the war on terror and its generous supplying of troops for U.N. peacekeeping missions. In turn, the United States sends substantial amounts of aid.
At the same time, Washington has been critical of the country’s poor rights record. The State Department’s human rights report for 2014 included a long list of official abuses, including arrests and jailings without charge, political trials and sweeping use of a 2009 anti-terrorism edict to silence the media.
“We have many compelling reasons to visit Ethiopia and a relationship that spans many issues,” said Grant Harris, the senior director for Africa at the National Security Council. He said the trip would provide an “opportunity to deepen our collaboration” in some areas as well as “communicate where we have real concerns” on issues of governance.
The trip also is intended to send a message of U.S. engagement with all of Africa: It will include a visit to Kenya and meetings with other African leaders in Ethiopia, headquarters of the African Union. Harris called it a chance for Obama to “speak to the entire continent.”
“If he visits Ethiopia, he will betray Ethiopia,” said Shimeles Legase, 55, a taxi driver from Alexandria, wearing a tie with the colors of the Ethiopian flag. Behind him, people chanted: “Obama, keep your promise! Stand up for freedom and justice and rule of law!”
Earlier in the week, customers at Arlington’s Dama’s Cafe, owned by an Ethiopian refugee, voiced similar disillusionment. Lawyer Fitsum Alemu said he once had high hopes for the president. “We thought he understood Africa, that he cared about laws and constitutions, that he would reject the past policies of dealing with dictators. Now we are very disappointed,” he said.
Not all Ethiopians here share that view. The region’s vibrant emigre community of 35,000 — the largest concentration in the United States — is sharply divided along ideological and ethnic lines that are reflected in separate enclaves of cafes and night spots.
While many customers at Dama’s are Amharic speakers who oppose the ruling party, many who frequent similar District eateries, such as Axum, are minority ethnic Tigrayans who opposed Mengistu Haile Mariam’s regime, which was toppled in 1991. Since then, the government has been headed by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front.
Alem Seged, 61, a retired teacher and a fixture at Axum, is a staunch defender of the current regime. He ticked off a long list of its accomplishments, including new universities, highways, hospitals, factories, dams and irrigation systems that have turned a famine-plagued country fertile.
“Everything is going up, up, up,” the Northern Virginia resident said. “The people out protesting are only a tiny percent of our community. They are remnants of Mengistu and the communist junta. . . . They are not telling the truth.” Although the current system is not perfect, he said, “we are knocking on the doors of democracy.”
But critics like Obang Metho of Silver Spring noted that Obama’s visit comes just weeks after a parliamentary election in which the ruling party claimed it had won 100 percent of the seats. “The president said Africa needs strong institutions and not strongmen, but now he is wining and dining the strongmen,” said Metho. “He should stick to his word.”
Soliyana Gebremicheal, 40, a former dissident blogger who lives in the District, fled to the United States last year after several fellow bloggers were jailed and then became a cause celebre among the diaspora. She said that Obama’s trip would “send a bad message” to Ethiopia and the world. “My friends are still in prison,” she said. “He should call on them to be freed.”
Several major human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have also been critical of the regime. Adotei Akwei, a representative of Amnesty in Washington, said the organization has long had a “very sharp difference of opinion” with the Obama administration on Ethiopia.
“This executive branch has been looking for ways to burnish the relationship,” Akwei said, despite the regime’s “deepening authoritarianism” and use of anti-terror laws to stifle the press. Amnesty officials have suggested that Obama ask for Nega to be released or to visit him in prison. “We don’t see quiet diplomacy as having any impact,” he said.
Selassie said her husband’s conviction for treason came largely as the result of articles he wrote during the Arab Spring of 2011, predicting that a popular uprising could come to Ethiopia if the government did not bring democratic reforms. Although she has not been allowed to speak or write to her husband, friends recently sent her a private letter Nega had written to supporters abroad.
It was signed “Liberté, égalité, fraternité. History will absolve democracy.”
ወረኛዉ ዝም ይበል!
ቃሊቲ እስር ቤት፣ ዞን ሦስት 2006:- አንድ ካኪ ሱሪና እጀ-ጉርድ ሸሚዝ መልበስ የሚያዘወትሩ አዛዉንት እንደ አሸን ከሚተራመሰዉ እስረኛ መሃል መታየት ከጀመሩ ሰንብቷል። ተክለ-ሰዉነታቸዉ ቀጥ ያለ ሲሆን የራስ ጸጉረቸዉ ደግሞ ሙሉ በሙሉ ወደ ነጭ ተለዉጧል። በባሕሪያቸዉ ቁጥብ ይመስላሉ። በሰዉነታቸዉ ላይ መጠነኛ መጎሳቆል ቢታይም ያሉበትን ሁኔታ ለመጋፈጥ ግን አሁንም ቁርጠኛ አቋም እንዳላቸዉ ያስታዉቃል። ቀን ቀን ብቻቸዉን ነጠል ብለዉ ግቢ ዉስጥ ከሚያደርጉት የእግር እንቅስቃሴ ይልቅ ሌሊት ሌሊት በተሰጠቻቸዉ የማረፊያ ቦታ ላይ ነጭ ጋቢያቸዉን አፍንጫቸዉ ድረስ ተከናንበዉ ኩርምት ብለዉ የምያሳልፉት ምሽት ይበልጥ ስለሳቸዉ የቀደመ ማንነት እንዳሰላስል ያደርገኝ ነበር። ለዓመታት ሲታሰሩበት ከነበረዉ በተለምዶ የቀይ-ሽብር ቀጠና ከሚባለዉ ዞን በምን ምክንያት ወደዚህ እንደተዛወሩ አይታወቅም። አሁን ከምን ጊዜም በላይ እጅግ ፈታኝ ሁኔታ ዉስጥ ሳይገቡ አልቀረም። አጫዋች ጓደኛ የላቸዉም። ለማረፊያ የተሰጣቸዉ ቦታ የኣእምሮ ሕሙማንና በተለያዩ ምክንያቶች ከሌሎች ታሳሪዎች እንዲገለሉ የተደረጉ እስረኞች የሚቆለሉበት ስለሆነ አስከፊነቱ ከቃላት በላይ ነዉ። ሽታዉ አይጣል፤ ተባዩም የከፋ! ይበልጥ የሚገርመዉ ደግሞ አንዳንድ ግዴለሽ ወጣቶች ከመጸዳጃ ክፍል ሲመለሱ እግራቸዉን በእሳቸዉ ፍራሽ ላይ እየጠራረጉ እንደዋዛ ተረማምደዉበት ያልፋሉ። እኚህ በሰዉ እግር ስር የተጣሉት ሰዉ በዘመነ-ደርግ የኢትዮጵያ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስተር የነበሩ – ሻምበል ፍቅረሥላሴ ወግደረስ ናቸዉ!
ይህችን አጭር ትዝብቴን ያስቀደምኳት “የጨቋኞች መዉደቂያ በተጨቋኙ ሕዝብ እግር ስር ነዉ!” የሚለዉን ፅንሰ-ሀሳብ ለማጉላት እንጂ ለጊዜዉ ስለ ሰዉዬዉ የማነሳው ጉዳይ ኖሮኝ እንዳልሆነ ይታወቅልኝ። እርግጥ ነዉ ጨቋኝ ገዢዎች ሥልጣናቸዉን ዘልዓለማዊ አድርገዉ ያስቡታል። ጊዜም የማይቀየር፣ ዘመንም የማይሻር ይመስላቸዋል። ያ ግን ፍፁም ስህተት ነዉ። ካሰጠማቸዉ ቅዠት ሲነቁ ራሳቸዉን እንኳን ለማስተካከል ጊዜ ሳያገኙ ነገሮች ይቀየሩና በሰሩት ወኅኒ ይጣላሉ። በዘመናቸዉ ግፍና መከራን ዘርተዋልና ከምቾት ሰገነት ቁልቁል ይፈጠፈጣሉ። የጭንቅና የመከራ ጉድጓድ ማረፊያቸዉ ይሆናል። ይህንን ሀሳብ በጽሁፌ ማጠቃለያ ላይ እመለስበታለሁ። አሁን ባሩድ ባሩድ ሸቶኛልና ወደዚያዉ ልገስግስ!
የካቲት 24/2014 የኦሮሞ ነጻነት ግንባር ሠራዊት የደቡብ ዕዝ:- ሠራዊቱ የጠዋት ግዳጁን ፈጽሞ በመመለስ ላይ ነዉ። የተቀሩት ደግሞ በቡድን ሆነዉ ወግ ይዘዋል። ወጋቸዉም ሕልማቸዉም ስለሕዝባቸዉ ነጻነት ነዉ። የነጻነት ታጋዮችን ወግ መታደም እንዴት መታደል ነዉ መሰላችሁ! ለኔ ዓይነቱ ብዕር መያዝ ለሚወድ ሰዉ ደግሞ መቼም የማይገኝ ድንቅ አጋጣሚ። እናም ጆሮዬን አማቻችቼ ካንዱ ቡድን ተቀላቀልኩ።
…… ልክ እንደደረስኩ አንደኛዉ ታጋይ በጉልበቱ ላይ ያጋደማትን ዘመናዊ የጦር መሳሪያዉን መንጭቆ ቁጥጥ ከለበት እምር ብሎ ተነሳ። በቀኝ እጁ የጠመንጃዉን አፈሙዝ እንቅ አርጎ እንደጨበጠ ወዲያና ወዲህ ከተንጎራደዳ በኋላ ተመልሶ በቦታዉ ቁጢጥ አለ። ዓይኖቹን መሬት ላይ እንደተከለ በዝምታ ከቆየ በኋላ “… ሕዝባችን ነጻነቱን የተነጠቀዉ በመሳሪያ ኃይል ነዉ! … ስለዚህም የሕዝባችንን ክብር የሚናስመልሰዉ በኃይል ብቻ ነዉ! … ከዚህ የተሻለ አማራጭና አቋራጭ ጎዳና የለንም …!” ብሎ ንግግሩን ሳያገባድድ እልህና ቁጭት ተናነቀዉ። አንዴ የትግል ጓዶቹን አንዴ ደግሞ በሰፊ መዳፎቹ የጨበጣትን መሳሪያ ተራ በተራ አተኩሮ እያያ በራጅሙ ተነፈሰ። በሁኔታዉ አንድ በዉስጡ የተዳፈነ ብሶት ፈንቅሎ ሊወጣ የተቃረበ ይመስላል። ለጊዜዉ ዝምታ ሆነ። በዚያ ጸጥታ ዉስጥ ግን የነጻነት ታጋዮች ብቻ የሚያደምጡት የታላቅ ሕዝብ ድምጽ ይሰማል- የስቃይና የመከራ ድምጽ! ከየቦታዉ የሚጣራ የንጹሃን ደም …!
ኣዎ …! ያ ድምጽ ነዉ፤ ያ ደም ነዉ እነዚህ ታጋዮች ኑሮአቸዉን በበረሃ እንድያደጉ ያስገደዳቸዉ። ስለዚህም የብርታታቸዉና የጽናታቸዉ ምንጭ ያደርጉታል። ሁሌም ያደምጡታል። ስለሱ ብቻ ለመኖር ቃላቸዉን በልባቸዉ ይዘዉ ወገባቸዉን በብረት መተጠቂያ አጥብቀዉ አቀበቱን ቁልቁለቱን ይወጣሉ፤ ይወርዳሉ። በራሳቸዉ ስቃይ የሕዝባቸዉን መከራ ለመታደግ ይዋጋሉ። የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ የነጻነት ሰንደቅ በነጻይቱ ኦሮሚያ ላይ እስኪተከል ድረስ ለክብሩ ይዋደቃሉ።
እነዚህ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ የነጻነት ተዋጊዎች ናቸዉ። እነሆ ከሰሞኑ ደግሞ ክንዳቸዉ ከወትሮዉ ጠንከር ባለ መልኩ ጠላትን ሲጥል ታይተዋልና ከወገኖቼ ሠፈር እልል፤ ከጠላት ሰፈር ደግሞ ብርቱ ፍርሃትና ድንጋጤ ተስተዉለዋል። ይህን አዲስ ምዕራፍ የትጥቅ ትግል እንቅስቃሴን ተከተሎ በጠላት መንደር የተስተዋለዉን ፍርሃት-ወለድ ሽኩቻዎችንና ወቅታዊ ስሜቶችን በአጭሩ እንመልከት።
በመሠረቱ የኦሮሞ የነጻነት ትግል የኢትዮጵያ ኢምፓየር የፖለቲካ አቅጣጫን በማመላከትም ሆነ አማራጭ የትግል ስልቶችን በመጠቆምና ሕዝባዊ ዕምቢተኝነትን በማደራጀት ግንባር ቀደም ሚና ይዞ ቀጥሏል። የ1991ዓም የሽግግር መንግስት በኃይል መፍረሱ ከተረጋገጠ በኋላ ይህ መሰሉን አፋኝ ሥርዓት ማስወገድ የሚቻለዉ በሃይል ብቻ እንደሆነ የኦሮሞ ነጻነት ግንባር ገና ከጅምሩ ግልጽ አቋም ይዞ ነበር። ያኔ በሂደቱ በተቀሰቀሰዉ ጦርነት በምስራቅና በደቡብ ምስራቅ ኦሮሚያ ብቻ በተደራቢነት የገባ ሌላ ሀይል ጨምሮ በአስር ሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ የህወሃት ሠረዊት መዉደቁን በጦርነቱ ላይ የተሳተፉ እማኞች ዛሬም ድረስ ይመሰክራሉ። ይህ ክስተት ሁነኛ የሕዝቦች ነጻነት፣ ፍትህና ዴሞክራሲ በሀገርቷ ላይ እስካልተረጋገጠ ድረስ ቀጣይ ጦርነት አይቀሬ መሆኑን በግልጽ ያመላከተ ቀዳሚ አጋጣሚ ነበር።
ብዙዎች ጉዳዩን በሽፍንፍኑ ልያልፉት ይሞክሩ እንጂ ጦርነቱ ዛሬም ድረስ ቀጥሏል። በዚሁ በያዝነዉ ዓመት ብቻ በደቡብ፣ በምዕራብ፣ በምሥራቅና በማዕከላዊዉ የኦሮሚያ አካባቢዎች ላይ በርካታ ወታደራዊ ግጭቶች ተስተዉለዋል። አንዳንድ አካባቢዎች የጠላት ሃይል እንደሻዉ የማይንቀሳቀስበት ጥብቅ ቀጠና እየሆነ መጥቷል። ለጊዜዉ ተጨባጭ አሃዛዊ ማረጋገጫ መስጠት ባይቻልም በየዉጊያዎቹ የሚማረኩና የሚገደሉ የሥርዓቱ ወታደሮች፣ ፖሊሶች፣ ታጣቂዎችና የመደረጃ ሰራተኞች ቁጥር ቀላል አይደለም። ጄኔራሎች፣ ኮሎኔሎችና ሌሎች ባለማዕረግ የጦር መሪዎችና ሃላፊዎች ሳይቀሩ በርካታ የጦር አባላት ከጠላት ሠፈር እየፈለሱ ወደ የሕዝባቸዉ የነጻነት ትግል በመቀላቀል ላይ መሆኑን መረጃዎች በግልጽ ያሳያሉ።
በወጣት ተዋጊ ኃይል እየተገናባ ያለዉ የኦሮሞ ነጻነት ሠራዊት ቀጣዩን የትግል ምዕራፍ ወደላቀ የትግል እርከን እንደምያሸጋግር እሙን ነዉ። ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ የራሱን ሠራዊት በዘመናዊ የጦር መሳሪያና ሌሎች ወታደራዊ ቁሳቁሶች ለማጠናከር እያሳያ ያለዉ የጋራ አቋምና የመነቃቃት ስሜት ለዚሁ እዉነታ ዓይነተኛ ማሳያ ይሆናል። በሌላ አንጻር እስከ አሁን በተደረጉት መጠነኛ ዉጊያዎች በተፈጠረዉ ጫና የጠላት የዉጊያ ብቃትና ሞራል ደረጃ ለመፈተሽ ተችሏል። በዚሁ መሠረት በጠላት የዉጊያ መስመር ላይ የሚገኘዉ ኃይል እያደር በወገኑ ላይ የሚደርሰዉን ግፍና ጭቆና እየተገነዘበ በመምጣቱ ከምንጊዜም በላይ ልቡ ወደ የነጻነት ትግሉ እያደላ ስለመምጣቱ ከወደዚያዉ የሚወጡ መረጃዎች ያሳያሉ። በመሆኑም የኦሮሞ የነጻነት ሠራዊት የጥቃት አድማሱን በማስፋት ባልተጠበቀ ሁኔታና ፍጥነት ጥብቅ ወታደራዊ ቁጥጥርና ጥበቃ በሚደረግባቸዉን ቦታዎች ሁሉ ዘልቆ በመግባት አስደንጋጭ አደጋዎችን የመጣሉን ሂደት አጠናክሮ እንደምቀጥል ሁኔታዎች ይጠቁማሉ። እናም ቀጣዩ የትግል ምዕራፍ በተጨባጭ ድሎች የታጀበ ሆኖ እንደሚቀጥል ይገመታል።
ይህንን ክስተት በቅርበት የሚከታተሉ ፀረ-ኦሮሞ አቋም የምያራምዱ ኃይሎች በጭንቀት ምጥ ተይዘዋል። የትግሉን ገጽታ መቀየርም የሚቻል እየመሰላቸዉ እንደልማዳቸው ስጋት-ወለድ የደንባራ ሩጫቸዉን ቀጥለዉበታል። ሆኖም ግን የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ ለነጻነቱ የሚያደርገዉ የትጥቅ ትግል ለጠላት እንጂ ለየትኛዉም ሕዝብ የሥጋት ምንጭ እንዳልሆነ ከቃላት በላይ ተግባሩ ይገልጸዋል። ሠራዊቱ በሰላሙ ጊዜ በሚንቀሳቀስበት ስፍራ ለሚኖረዉ ሕዝብ ያለብሔርና ሀይማኖት ልዩነት በታላቅ ወገናዊ ስሜት ያቀርበዋል። የሚያጋጥመዉን ማንኛዉንም ማሕበራዊ ክስተት አብሮ ይካፈላል፤ በጋራ መፍትሔዎችን ያፈላልጋል። ወታደራዊ ግጭቶችና ዉጊያዎች በሚከሰቱበት ወቅት እንኳ ቢሆን የሰላማዊዉ ሕዝብ ኑሮ እንዳይናጋ በተቻለ መጠን ከፍተኛ ጥንቃቄ ያደርጋል። ሰብዓዊነትን የሚያስቀድም ወታደራዊ ሥነ-ምግባርን አጥብቆ ይከተላል። በዉጊያ ጊዜ ለሚማረኩ የጠላት ወታደሮች እንኳ ተገቢ ሰብኣዊ አያያዝና ጥበቃ ያደርግላቸዋል። ፍላጎታቸዉ ከሆነ የነጻነት ትግሉን እንዲቀላቀሉ ሁኔታዎችን ያመቻችላቸዋል። ከጠላት ጎን ሆነዉ ሕዝብን ለሚያሰቃዩ ፖሊሶች፣ ታጣቂዎችና የመረጃ ሠራተኞችም ከዕኩይ ተግባራቸዉ እንዲመለሱ የቅድሚያ ማስጠንቀቂያዎችን ይሰጣቸዋል። የማይታቀቡና የማይታረሙትን ግን ተገቢ በሆነ መልኩ ይቀጣቸዋል። ስለዚህም የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ የነጻነት ትግልን ከምንምና ከማንም ጋር ለማያያዝ የሚደረገዉ ሩጫ የተሸናፊዎች ከንቱ ጥረት መሆኑን ለማሳየት እምብዛም መድከም አያሻም።
ትግሉ እንደጎሕ አድማሱን ጥሶ እየጠራ ይሄዳል። ብዙዎችም በብርሃኑ እዉነትን ያዩዋታል። ጭቆናን የሚመኙ ከኋላቸዉ ዉድቀት ኣለና ዉለዉ ሳያድሩ በዚህ ሕዝብ እግር ስር ራሳቸዉን ያገኙታል። የሕዝቤን ነጻነት የሚጠሉና የሚያጥላሉም በተሸናፊነት መንፈስ ዱካዋን ይከተሏታል። የኦሮሞ ህዝብ የነጻነት ትግል የጦር መሪ ጄኔራሎችን ከነአጃቢዎቻቸዉ ከጠላት ሠፈር የሚያስኮበልል ጥልቅ ሕዝባዊ ፍቅር ያፈራ ትግል ነዉና – ወረኛዉ ዝም ይበል።
ድል ለኦሮሞ ሕዝብ!
ጂቱ ለሚ ነኝ
Prof. Asmerom Legesse’s Interview with Finfinnee Radio
1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands – July 18, 2015 (Venue: Mahoniehout 13, 1507 ED, Zaandam)
2. Nuremberg, Germany – July 25, 2015
3. Stavanger, Norway – July 31, 2015
4. Oslo, Norway – August 1, 2015
* Ph. Paulschke – “Ethnographie Ordost-Afrikas“, Berlin 1896.
By Drazen Jorgic and Aaron Maasho
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – A property boom in Ethiopia’s capital is putting pressure on the government to keep homes affordable for some of Africa’s poorest people who also live in one of its fastest-growing economies.
Smart flats and hotels in mirror-glass buildings rise up in areas of Addis Ababa where shacks once stood. A new metro snakes through a city where an emerging middle class is snapping up new homes, but waiting lists for cheap state-built apartments grow.
This is a challenge for the government whose huge, state-led investments in infrastructure have sucked in financing from heavily regulated banks, driving up economic growth but leaving little capital to spur on private developers who could help meet the shortfall in housing.
“This house and flat business is booming. If I had enough money, I would buy more,” said businessman Seife Tefera, who bought a flat for 1.7 million birr ($83,000), paid for in two cash instalments.
Paying that kind of sum is only possible for a tiny portion of the population of Ethiopia, a country that was ravaged by communist purges in the 1970s and famine in the 1980s.
The economy may boast double-digit growth now, but average income per capita in the nation of 96 million people is still about $470 a year, below the Sub-Saharan African average.
Across Africa, rising wealth and an expanding middle class have fuelled demand for new homes as well as stoking property prices. But there are few parallels to Ethiopia’s state interventionist approach and its control over how banks lend their money.
“The main challenge in Ethiopia is financing,” said Rateneh Fassil, who markets homes for upscale developer Noah Real Estate, blaming part of the real estate boom on people hunting for investments when bank deposits offer poor returns.”It’s not just about owning a home, in some ways it is a hedge against inflation.”
Ethiopia’s banking system is dominated by state-owned institutions. There are about 16 private banks, but they are required to invest the equivalent of 27 percent of their loan portfolio in low-yielding state development bonds.
The bonds have contributed to building a new national rail network, hydro-electric dams and roads to remote regions, lifting growth forecasts to 10 percent in the 2015/2016 fiscal year.
But there are few funds left to develop a mortgage market, so private real estate developers struggle to raise financing for new projects. The homes they can build target cash buyers, demanding sums most of those in the capital can only imagine.
“We can’t think for a minute that we can afford private housing,” said Sergut Adamu, 34, a hotel worker earning about 1,400 birr ($68) a month. “We would have to win the lottery.”
The government has promised to step in. It has embarked on one of Africa’s biggest state housing projects, building about 32,000 units per year since 2006 and creating a national savings scheme that offers subsidised mortgages to the poorest.
But that still falls far short of demand. A the end of 2013, the last year for which official figures were available, about 900,000 people were on a waiting list for a flat in Addis Ababa, whose population is set to more than double to 8.1 million by 2040.
The state’s next five-year “Growth and Transformation Plan” starting this month foresees a five-fold increase in house building, said Tadesse Gebregiorgis, acting head of housing development in the Urban Development Ministry.
“The government has recognised the fact that housing provision for the urban population would require huge financial resources,” Tadesse said, adding that 1.5 million homes would be built by 2025.
For a new home, purchasers will still need a deposit worth at least 10 percent of the value of one- to three-bedroom flats costing between 120,000 to 380,000 birr, or about $5,800 to $18,500. That is more affordable, but the wait can be years.
And the quality of the buildings can be mixed. At the vast state-built Summit Condominium complex on the edge of the capital, one building reeked from a burst sewage pipe, walls had cracks and wires protruded.
“We sometimes go two to three days without water,” said Abdi Kumsa, who lives in one of Summit’s three-year-old buildings. “But it’s still a better life than people are accustomed to.”
While praising Ethiopia for strong growth, the International Monetary Fund has urged the government to give private business more space to drive the economy, allow banks more freedom and take other steps to boost investment.
Foreigners are barred from owning property, banks, retail firms and some other industries, while telecoms is a state monopoly. Even Ethiopians can only have leasehold agreements, as all land is owned by the state.
Foreign construction firms are allowed to build residential and other mixed complexes. But few have taken up the offer so far. China’s Tsehay Real Estate Plc, however, has begun work on a $150 million upmarket complex of flats, offices, retails outlets and a hotel, next to the Chinese-built city metro line.
($1 = 20.5500 birr)
Oromians: Time to Walk the Talk of Alliance Against the Oppressive System!
Surprisingly, the TPLF we despised at the beginning of its move towards Tulluu Daalattii (Arat Kilo) ruled us with brute force for quarter of a century. Our separated and sporadic resistance against it didn’t work till now. Especially, lack of cooperation between the two opposition camps (pro self-rule liberation fronts and pro shared-rule unity forces), is the main cause for our failure. No need to write more about the already well known common political problem we do have, but let’s think about our common solution. First of all, I would like to suggest that we do agree on common citizens’ and cultural identity: being Oromian as a synthetic identity of ‘being Ethiopian vs being Oromo’, the two identities we used to antagonize till now. Accordingly, Oromia = formerly Ethiopia, as defined here: http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2014/12/fayyis-oromia-why-not-the-union-state-of-oromia-as-an-optimal-solution-for-the-majority-at-the-center/ , is a union in
which the following five points (FADOB-score) will be implemented: F = Freedom from the system of domination; A = Afan Oromo as a primary working language of the union; D = Democracy as rule of game in the union; O = Oromia instead of Ethiopia as name of the union; and B = Black-red-white as Cushitic flag of the union!
This approach of equating Ethiopia to Oromia or using the two designations interchangeably can solve our problem regarding the controversy around the name – Ethiopia:
– certain Ethio-nationalists love this name because of its appearance in the Holy Book and the ancient meaning given as the glorious Cushitic kingdom.
– some Ethno-nationalists hate it because of the association with Habesha dominattion and with exclusively Christian kingom of the past Abyssinian history.
– few from both sides are ambivalent, just trying to be rational and they want to use or avoid this naming pragmatically.
I think now, it is time to work on a common solution for the common political problem we do have. The TPLF already showed its uncompromising desire to stay on power by “winning the election 100%”. President Obama is going to “celebrate the victory”, just for the sake of using the TPLF as servant of America’s geopolitical interest in the region. We like it or not, the only way to get rid of the apartheid/domination system is through forging a necessary unity of purpose and by building a persuasive force; of course the common purpose is freedom from the system. Such unity is not necessarily structural, but it can be an alliance by default, which is practiced by targetting only and only the TPLF and by avoiding any wastage of resource in the horizontal fighting. All organizaions struggling for freedom from this system can encircle the regime in Tulluu Daalatti 360°, both figuratively and realistically. It is absurd to quarrel on the topic: “which way is
better: non-violent or per-violent?”, as the pro-unity forces are currently doing in different cyber and public forums. Actually, as Oromians in general, we can accomodate both ways of the struggle; but specifically, as individuals or organzations, we can choose one of the two, without denouncing the one we don’t prefer. Further more, we have to avoid any division based on our past history or our far future; let’s leave our pre-Woyane history for historians and the post-Woyane decision for the stake-holder peoples of the country, so that we can concentrate on the current struggle for freedom.
To be effective in our fighting, we better reduce the talks and writings we excercised till now, but increase the necessary thinkings and walks in a very pragmatic way. We surely heard and read the principle “action speaks louder than words” very often. Those of us, who really want freedom, have to be practical personalities; it is better to act for 5 minutes than talk for 5 days. What are the concrete important actions to be taken for a success of our cooperation? Here are few points of the necessary list:
– stop horizontal fight between the anti-Woyane forces.
– possibly forge an AFD like alliance by design or else don’t spoil the existing alliance by default.
– those in diaspora should move back home like the ODF already planned, be it per Bole for non-violent struggle or through Bale for armed struggle.
– the diaspora should see themselves more as a support group rather than as determining freedom fighters; their main contribution being to provide the 3M’s (money, media & military) support.
– the main activity at home should be undergound, not to expose the productive personalities, as usually was the case during the past ritual “election” processes.
– try to accomodate both self-rule and shared-rule, instead of polarizing/antagonizing them and rejecting one at the benefit of the other position.
In short, both the non-violent and per-violent struggles should focus at home being supported by the huge resource of the diaspora. The struggle needs perseverance like running marathon; it is not similar to a short, but exhaustive sprint. Remember again and again: unallied we fail, united we prevail. The TPLF leaders know this more than anyone of us; that is why Meles Zenawi once said: “the TPLF has got historical advantage to rule the country for a century, because of the Amhara-Oromo conflict.” Unfortunately he is right; the elites from the two big nations still fear, hate and sabotage each other more than they do fight the TPLF. They think with the pre-1991 mentality; the situation of both nations is already changed, but the solution in the mind of the elites is not changed. Now, it is time for these elites to decide: either we cooperate and be free together or dwell on the old conflict and live as slaves of the Woyane’s brutal system of ethnic
apartheid for a century. We should not only speak and write about this indispensable way of struggle in unison, but also we have to walk the talk.
My message in this short opinion is clear: an inclusive unity of purpose for victory is inevitable; I used to write on this issue of alliance against the system repeatedly. As Dr. Marara put in his recent interview with SBS radio, the anti-Woyane forces need to do their homework of empowering the freedom fighters through necessary cooperation of the two opposition camps on a common denominator or middle ground of self rule with shared rule, as suggested by the democratic federalists. It is good to hear that the existing Oromo liberation fronts are consolidating their unity; it is also encouraging to see pro-unity forces coming together and even suggesting a formation of an inclusive government in exile. But only unity of groups in their respective camp is not enough; there must also be an efficient and working alliance of the two blocs against the system. Such approach of structural unity was tried repeatedly in the last 24 years, but failed. Can we
learn from our mistakes and come up with working mechanism against the tyrants or are we doomed to be ruled and exploited further. The choice is ours: either walk the talk of alliance for freedom or live under the system of domination/apartheid/slavery/internal colony/tyranny for a century! May Waaqa help us choose the first!
The treatment of a Briton on death row in Ethiopia is threatening to undermine the country’s relationship with the UK, the foreign secretary has warned.
In an unusually blunt statement, Philip Hammond has called for rapid progress in the case of Andargachew Tsige, who is being held in solitary confinement in an unknown location in Ethiopia.
The foreign secretary’s comments, released a year after Tsige was abducted while transiting through Yemen, is a clear sign of official disapproval of the approach taken by the regime in Addis Abbaba. The Foreign Office is escalating the case beyond confidential diplomatic exchanges.
On Wednesday, Hammond spoke to the Ethiopian foreign minister, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, about the case on the phone. His statement said: “I am deeply concerned that, a year after he was first detained, British national Andargachew Tsige remains in solitary confinement in Ethiopia without a legal process to challenge his detention.
“I am also concerned for his welfare and disappointed that our repeated requests for regular consular access have not been granted, despite promises made.
“I spoke to foreign minister Tedros and made clear that Ethiopia’s failure to grant our repeated and basic requests is not acceptable. I informed Dr Tedros that the lack of progress risks undermining the UK’s much valued bilateral relationship with Ethiopia.
“I asked Dr Tedros once again to permit immediate regular consular access and for our concerns regarding Mr Tsige’s welfare to be addressed. I have also asked that the Ethiopian authorities facilitate a visit by Mr Tsige’s family. Foreign Office officials will continue to provide consular support both to Mr Tsige and to his family during this difficult time.”
Tsige’s partner, Yemi Hailemariam, also a British national, lives in London with their three children. She has spoken to him only once by phone since his abduction.
“He’s in prison but we have no idea where he is being held,” she told the Guardian last month. “He said he was okay, but I’m sure the call was being listened to. He had been in Dubai and was flying on to Eritrea when the plane stopped over in Yemen. He hadn’t even been through immigration. We think Yemeni security took him and handed him over to the Ethiopians.
“They say there was an extradition agreement, but it was so quick there was no time for any semblance of a legal hearing. Yemen and Ethiopia had close relations then. The [Ethiopian] government have put him on television three times in heavily edited interviews, saying he was revealing secrets.
“He has been kept under artificial light 24 hours a day and no one [other than the UK ambassador] has had access to him.”
Tsige, 60 – known as Andy – had previously been secretary general of Ginbot 7, a political opposition party that called for democracy, free elections and civil rights. He first came to the UK in 1979.
The Ethiopian government has accused him of being a terrorist. In 2009, he was tried with others in his absence and sentenced to death. The latest reports suggest that his health is deteriorating.
His lawyer, Ben Cooper, of Doughty Street Chambers, said: “We welcome the Foreign Secretary condemning the illegality of Andy Tsige’s detention, confirming the fact of his solitary confinement and demanding consular visits. But we have a simple ask: please request Andy Tsige’s return home to his family in London. Mr Tsige was kidnapped by Ethiopia at an international airport and the only remedy for kidnap is release. Why has Mr Hammond not yet asked Ethiopia to release Andy so he can return home to England?”
Juan Méndez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, has written to the Ethiopian and UK governments saying he is investigating Tsige’s treatment.
Andargachew, or Andy, Tsige fled Addis Abbaba in the 1970s following threats against his life from the military regime, the Derg, which then controlled Ethiopia.
A student activist, he had attracted the attention of the authorities. His younger brother was killed by the security forces. Tsige escaped into the mountains to join opposition groups.
In 1979, after falling out with fellow rebels, he sought asylum in the UK. He studied at the University of Greenwich and obtained full UK citizenship.
Tsige returned to Ethiopia after the Derg was overthrown but moved back to the UK in the early 1990s where he became active in opposition politics.
In 2005, he returned to Addis Abbaba again. He took part in that year’s election and was briefly imprisoned. after being freed, he founded a new political movement, Ginbot 7, from his exile in London.
The organisation was alleged by the Ethiopian government to have launched a failed coup in 2009. Tsige was condemned to death in his absence.
In June 2014, he had flown to the Gulf to give lectures. An unexpected change to his return route saw him fly back via Yemen where he changed planes. At Sana’a airport, he was arrested by guards and put on a plane to Ethiopia on the grounds that there was an extradition agreement between the two countries.
Supporters say that had he been born white and in the UK, the Foreign Office would have taken a more forceful line in campaigning for his release from death row in east Africa.
His partner, Yemisrach Hailemariam, and their three children live in London. She has campaigned actively for his freedom.
In February a delegation of MPs, led by Jeremy Corbyn, his local member, was scheduled to visit Ethiopia in an attempt to secure his release. The trip was abandoned following a meeting with the Ethiopian ambassador.
Quote from Washington Post’s Editorial Board (24 June 2015)
“AFRICA DOESN’T need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” Those were President Obama’s words when he addressed Ghana’s parliament in July 2009, during his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president. The historic speech, watched around the globe, was an optimistic clarion call to the leaders on the continent from the son of a Kenyan. “First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments,” Mr. Obama said.
The president seems to have forgotten that speech.
“AFRICA DOESN’T need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” Those were President Obama’s words when he addressed Ghana’s parliament in July 2009, during his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president. The historic speech, watched around the globe, was an optimistic clarion call to the leaders on the continent from the son of a Kenyan. “First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments,” Mr. Obama said.
The president seems to have forgotten that speech. Last week, the White House announced that, while traveling to Kenya next month, Mr. Obama also will stop in Ethiopia, the first such visit by a sitting U.S. president to the country of 94 million. It’s almost unfathomable that he would make time for an entrenched human rights abuser such as Ethiopia while cold-shouldering the nation that just witnessed a historic, peaceful, democratic change of power: Nigeria.
Administration officials justify the trip by citing the United States’ long-standing cooperation with Ethiopia on issues of regional security and the country’s accelerating economic growth. Ethiopia is a major recipient of U.S. development assistance, and the African Union has its headquarters there. But it also stands out in Africa for its increasingly harsh repression and its escalating chokehold on independent media and political dissent. Since June 2014, 34 journalists have been forced to flee the country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Ethiopia is also one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists.
The administration already undermined Ethiopia’s struggling journalists and democracy advocates in April, when Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said Ethiopia has “moved forward in strengthening its democracy. Every time there is an election, it gets better and better.” Shortly after her statement, the ruling party held an election in which it secured 100 percent of the parliamentary seats. That was indeed an improvement upon its 2010 performance, when it won 99.6 percent of seats. In the months ahead of the May 24 polls, opposition party members and leaders were harassed and arrested. The Ethiopian government refused to allow independent election observers, except from the African Union. Since the election, two opposition members and one candidate have been murdered. The government hasdenied any responsibility for the killings.
Meanwhile, Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and the one with the largest economy, overcame risks of electoral violence and Boko Haram’s terrorism to manage a peaceful transfer of power for the first time since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. With numerous African countries facing elections in the next two years, a visit to Nigeria would have signaled U.S. commitment to partnering with governments that respect freedom, the rule of law and the will of their people. Snubbing Nigeria for a trip to Ethiopia sends the opposite message, in essence validat ing Ethiopia’s sham elections and rewarding a regime that has shown no intent to reform. Six years after his idealistic speech in Ghana, Mr. Obama is sending a message to Africa that democracy isn’t all that important after all.
Naannawa Shagar aanaa Sululta Magaalaa Caancoo keessatti saamicha lafaa fi qotee bulaa humnaan qe’ee irraa buqqiduun daran hammaachuu irraan kan ka’e diddaan uummataa jabaate. Yeroo ammaa kana Wayyaanee fi dabballoonni ishee qotee bulaa lafa irraa buqqisuun saamicha gaggeessaa kan jirtu yoo ta’u uummanni magaala Caancoo diddaa jabaa dhageessisaa jira.
Diddaa uummataa kana dura dhaabbachuuf yeroo hedduu maqaa wal gahii jedhuun uummataa fi hojjattootta mootummaa yaamuun sossobuuf yaalaa kan turte yoo tahu walgahii isheen yaamte irratti hojjattoonni dhalootaan Oromoo tahanii fi uummanni magaalaa Caancoo diddaa jabaa waan dhageessisaniif diddaa kana dura dhaabbachuu hin dndeenye. Kana waan taheef ammas diddaa uummataa kana dhaamsuuf dabballootuma waliin saamicha gaggeessaa turan yeroodhaaf jettee mana hidhaa aanaa Sulultaa magaala Caancootti guuraa jirti.
Haaluma kanaan fakkeessidhaaf lafa saamtanii jirtu sababa jedhuu dabballootuma idhee itti gaafatamaa investment kan tahe nama Salamoon Debebe jedhamuu fi mahandisoota magaala Caancoo nama sadi yeroodhaaf sagalee fi didaa uummataa dhaamsuuf jettee mana hidhaatti kan darbatte.
The suspicious murder of opposition leaders and wide-spread human rights violations against opposition party members over the past few weeks raises questions about Ethiopia’s elections, said Amnesty International as the parliamentary poll results were announced yesterday.
The organization has also expressed concerns about the failure of the Africa Union Elections Observer Mission (AUEOM) and the National Elections Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to properly monitor and report on allegations of wide-spread abuses before, during and after the election.
“Amnesty International has received a number of reports concerning the deaths of political opposition figures in suspicious circumstances, as well as of a pattern of human rights violations against political opposition parties throughout the election period. These reports must be investigated and perpetrators brought to justice,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Eastern, Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes.
It is unacceptable that these violations barely warranted a mention in reports released by official observers, including the Africa Union Elections Observer Mission and the National Elections Board of Ethiopia.
“It is unacceptable that these violations barely warranted a mention in reports released by official observers, including the Africa Union Elections Observer Mission and the National Elections Board of Ethiopia.”
In the run-up to the elections, more than 500 members of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (EFDUF)/ Medrek – a coalition of opposition parties, including the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) were arrested at polling stations in Oromia region. Forty six people were beaten and injured by security officers while six people sustained gunshot injuries and two were shot and killed. Gidila Chemeda of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC/Medrek), was shot and killed by police in Western Shewa zone, Dima Kege Woreda, Gelam Gunge Kebele of the Oromia region.
On June 15 2015, the body of 27 year old Samuel Aweke, a candidate with the Samayawi (Blue) party was found in one of the main streets of Dembre-Markos at around 7pm. Blue party officials believe his murder was politically motivated. A few days before his murder, Aweke published an article in his political party’s newspaper Negere Ethiopia criticising the behaviour of local authorities, the police and other security officials. His political party claims he received threats from security officers after the article was published. Witnesses at the scene where his body was found said his body had visible stab wounds and appeared to have been beaten with a blunt object.
A member of the Arena/Medrek political opposition party reported that its leader for Western Tigrai zone, Tadesse Abraha, 48, was accosted while on his way home on 16 June 2015 by three unknown people who attempted to strangle him. Abraha managed to escape, but collapsed and died shortly after reaching his home. According to his political party, Abraha had reported being threatened by local security officials shortly before his death.
On 19 June 2015, another member of Medrek was found dead 24 hours after he was arrested at his home by two police officers. Berhanu Erabu’s battered body was found near a river in Hadiya Zone, Soro Woreda (district) of Southern Ethiopia.
Amnesty International has documented these killings and is now calling on the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice, Federal Police Commission and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to investigate these apparent targeted killings of opposition political party leaders and ensure those responsible are brought to justice
Amnesty International sent a letter with preliminary recommendations to the AUEOM on 21 May 2015.
Amnesty International expressed its concerns about the state of human rights in Ethiopia and the impact the human rights context was having on the ability of Ethiopians to participate in the electoral process. The organisation urged the AUEOM to monitor and report on human rights violations throughout the election period in its assessment of the conduct of the elections.
The ruling political party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been declared the winner of the elections.
Elections where a ruling party wins 100 percent of the seats in parliament should always ring alarm bells. Results in Ethiopia from the May 24 general election, released yesterday, are no exception. According to Ethiopia’s National Electoral Board, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition won 546 parliamentary seats (with the 547th seat still to be announced).
The results shouldn’t be seen as a stamp of approval for Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s government – rather they are the inevitable outcome of a political system in which opposition parties face extraordinary challenges and nearly all avenues for citizens to engage in political debate are closed.
The seeds for this situation were sown years ago. Since the last election in 2010, in which the EPRDF won a mere 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats, political space has been further restricted: the independent media has been decimated, civil society groups virtually eliminated, and peaceful public demonstrations quelled, sometimes by force.
The crackdown on opposition parties and their supporters was the final piece of the puzzle. In the lead-up to the elections, the authorities arrested leading members of the opposition and put them on trial on trumped-up terrorism charges. Political parties reported difficulties in registering candidates and acquiring funds to which they are legally entitled. Security force personnel arrested and harassed people organizing rallies, confiscating their equipment and unfairly denying them permits. Over the last two weeks, several opposition members and candidates have been beaten to death in suspicious circumstances.
International observers were largely absent, choosing not to monitor a vote that provided little opportunity to be independent and effective observers. The African Union was the exception, concluding that the elections were “calm, peaceful, and credible” – a standard very different from being free and fair.
The European Union and the United States, two of Ethiopia’s key allies, were largely silent on the political crackdown. Instead, they congratulated Ethiopia for a “peaceful” election, more concerned with the increasing potential for violence than with a fair electoral landscape. This is short-sighted and dangerous. Authoritarian control rarely provides long-term stability and nearly always compounds significant human rights violations.
For many Ethiopians, the elections confirmed what they already knew: the ruling coalition completely controls all aspects of their daily life and permits no alternative political views. The question is, when will Ethiopia’s allies open their eyes?
Barack Obama’s decision to visit Ethiopia has shocked human rights activists, who say the visit sends the wrong message to a repressive government widely accused of clamping down on dissent.
A White House statement said Obama will visit the east African country for meetings with government officials as part of his last African trip as president. As well as meeting the leadership of the African Union, the visit will form part of US efforts to strengthen economic growth, democratic institutions and improve security in the region.
But as activists and social media users have been making clear, Ethiopia’s track record on human rights and democracy is deeply troubling.
In its 2014 report, Human Rights Watch noted that Ethiopia increasingly clamps down on the freedoms of its citizens “using repressive laws to constrain civil society and independent media, and target individuals with politically motivated prosecutions”.
Last month, Ethiopians voted in parliamentary elections which were widely denounced as unfair. Though the African Union declared that the vote was peaceful, they fell short of using the words “free and fair”.
While the US state department has expressed concerns about restrictions on civil society, media, opposition parties, and independent voices, Ethiopia remains a significant recipient of foreign aid money and security support.
Baqattummaan booqaa hin qabu. Kan gabrummaa jibbee, Biyya abbaa isaa gadhiisee Biyya lammaffaa kamuu keessatti, hayyama jireenyaa argatees ta’uu dhokotee ka jiraatu hundumtuu, Baqataadha. Biyyoonni tokko tokko ykn Biyyoonni gurguddatan, kunuunsa namaaf godhan ykn hayyama jireenyaa namaaf kennanii, Baqataan Biyya isaanii jiru hojjatee akka jiraatu waan taasisaniif, baqattummaan Biyya lammaffaa keessa jiraachuu keenya nu dagachiisa jedhee hin yaadu. yoo akkas taate garuu, duuti keenyayyuu achuma ta’uu murteeffanne jechuudha. Biyya Abbaa ofitti galuun hin jiru. Biyya Namaa keessatti, jireenyi akka jannataa taatus, Biyya hiyyeettii ofii mararfachuun, “kan akka Biyya ofii maaltu jira?” jennee keessa ofitti gungumuun waan hin olle. jireenyi irri isaa calalaqu kun, yoo baqattummaa golgite, dukkanuma aduu golgeen tokkuma. Haa ta’uutii, kabajaan baqattummaan Biyyoota hundaa keessatti qabdu tokko jechuun gonkumaa hin danda’amu. Baqattummaan Biyyoota Awuroppaa, Ameerikaa fi kkf keessa jiruu fi Biyyoota Afriikaa fi Arabaa keessa jiru, tokko jechuun, dhugaa irraa fagaachuu ta’a.
Biyyoonni tokko tokko Biyya ofii amma namatti fakkaatutti, Lammii Biyya sanaan qixxee jiraachisuuf kan tattaafatan jiraachuu ni danda’u. waan Lammiin ofii namaaf hin goone, nuuf godhanii kan mararfannus jiraachuu malu. Garuu, Gaaffiin dagatamu hin qabnetu jira. Biyyoonni gurguddatan kun, Dhaabbilee gara garaa dhaabanii, seera qabeessa taasisanii, bajata itti ramadanii … Lammiileen addunyaa kanarraa maaliif gara isaanitti akka baqataniif haala mijeessu? Maaliif Lammiin kamuu baqatee isaan dhiphisuu irra, Biyyuma isaatti waan barbaadu akka argatu hin taasisan? kkf jedhanii of gaafachuun dansaadha. Biyyoonni kun, Lammilee Addunyaa sadaffaa kanaaf yaadanii akka godaannu nu taasisaa akka hin jirree, kan wallaalu hin jiru. odoo nuuf yaadanii furmaati salphaan, Abbootii irree Ummata Biyya abbaa isaanii irraa godaansiisan karaa irraa maqisuu qofatu ga’aa ture. kanatu baqattummaa kaleessa ofii umanii har’a balaallafatan kana dhaabu danda’a. Mootummoota Ummata ajjesan gama tokkon gargaaraa, gama biraan baqattoota irratti guyyuu seera baasuun waan wal simuus miti. akka walii galaatti wayita ilaallu, jarri Ummati isaanitti godaanuu kana irraa bu’aa ol aanaa akka argatanuudha. Galii namni godaanu gama hundaan isaaniif galchu hedduutu jira. Kanatti dabalatee Lammiilee isaanii bakka Biyyaaf tolu akka qabatan barsiifatanii, Hojii gadi aanaa Biyyatti hundaa gatii rakasaan Baqataa kanaan raawwatatu. Gama hundaan yoo ilaallee maddi baqattummaa deemee deemee isaanumatti galagaluun haqadha. hubannoofan kaase malee deemsi barru kiyyaa gama kana kan ilaallatu miti.
Barruun kiyya har’aa, Baqattummaa Biyyoota gurguddatanii hin ilaallattu. Baqattummaa Biyyoota Afriikaa keessaa fi Yaman irratti kan xiyyeeffattu taatus, miidhaa Biyyoonni kun Baqattoota irraan ga’an odoo hin taanee, baqattoonni Biyyoota kanneen keessatti argama, kan halgaan isaan miidhu irra, kan ofiin of miidhantu balaa hegaree saba isaanii miidhuuf, isaan saaxilaa jiraachuu kan ibsituudha.
Baqattummaa kan filatu gabrummaa fi miidhaa kan jibbeedha. Baqattummaa keessaa waan tolaa argachuun, carraa ofii irratti hundaa’a. baqattummaan, baqattummaadha. Baqattummaan gabrummaa jibbuu irratti miidhaa dabalataa baadhachuudha. Gabrummaa jibbuun tokkoffaa wayita ta’u, Baqattummaa filachuun ammoo, miidhama lammaffaa dabalachuu akka ta’ee beekuun barbaachisaadha. walii galatti, baqattummaatti kan nama geessu roorroo, hiraarrii, Bilisummaa dhabuu fi miidhamudha. baqattummaa keessa Bilisummaan jiraachuu hin danda’u. Oromoo Biyya Amabaa jiraatuu tokkof Lammummaa kennanii Bilisummaa argattee waan jiatuuf, kana irra maal barbaadda? yoo jedhaniin, deebiin inni kennu abbichuma ibsa. Anaaf garuu, seera Namaan buluun Bilisummaadha jedhee hin fudhu. Bilisummaa ani daangeessee kaa’uu, Seera Ummati koo baafatee ittiin buluun yoon buleen “BILISUMMAA” haqaatti kanan fudhadhu. akka fedhan ba’anii galuun, Biyya Oromaatti Bilisummaan qixxaatee dubbatamuufii danda’a. garuu Bilisummaa dhugaan, Biyya ofii keessatti akka barbaadan ba’anii galuu, dubbachuu, hojjachuu, yoo danda’an, Bilisummaa qabaachuu kiyya afaan guutee himachuun danda’a jedheen amana. Miidhaa Biyya ofii keessatti argan irraa ka’anii, Biyya keessa jiraniin wal bira qabanii kaa dubbatan ykn mishummaa isaa tarrisuunis inuma danda’ama. Kanas asi irratti haa dhaabu.bule coomaati.
Baqattummaan Afriikaa keessaa dukkanuma barii jalaati. “yaa Quruphee maaf huqqattaa? jennaan, bibir’achaan jiraadhaa mitii” isa jette sanaan tokko.Baqattummaan amala mataa isaa qaba. Ulaagaan baqattummaa, akka baqataa sanaatti odoo hin taanee, haala siyaasaa fi qabaa mirga baqataa Biyya itti baqatanii sana irratti hundaa’a. darbees carraan jiraachuu fi dhiisuu, harka Namootaa keessa jiraachuullee ni mala. kanaan alas, haala dhaabbilee mirga baqataa sanaaf dhaabbatanii irratti hundaa’a. walumaa galatti, baqattummaan gabrummaa caalaa hammaattu eessa jirti yoo jedhan, Somaaliyaa, Keniyaa, Afriikaa Kibbaa, Yugaandaa, Gibtsi, Sudaan, Liibiyaa fi Yeman keessa jirti. Biyyoonni kun baqattoota miliyoonaan lakaa’aman qaban. Biyyoonni kun baqattoota kanaaf maal gochaa jiru? dhaabbileen gargaarsaa adda addaa baqataaf falmuuf dhaababtan akkamiin hojjachaa jiru? gaffiilee kkf har’a hin kaasu. Garuu Baqataan Oromoo Biyyoota kana keessa jiru maal fakkaata? jiruu fi jireenyi isaa akkam? wal dhaggeeffata moo, hiraarrii baqattummaa irratti dabalata wal unkuraa? Namni rakkoo keessa jiru akkuma waliif birmatutti jiramoo, akka midhaan gammoojjii keessaa faca’ee biqileetti, wal iraa faffagaatee taa’ee wal ilaalaa? jiraata? kan jedhu kaasuun barbaada.
Akka anaaf naa galutti, Namni rakkoo keessa jiru wal gargaara. Waliif birmata.waan argatu hirmaatee nyaata. Dhukkubsataa fi rakkaataa jiru waan qabu irraa hiree lubbuu waliif dheeressa. Biyyoota maqaan tarris keessatti garuu, wanni taajjabnu faallaa kanaati. Dhalataan Oromoo tokko Biyya isaa Oromiyaa keessaa miidhaa wayyaanee baqatee ba’aa. Yoon lubbuu koo baraaree jedhee godaana. Yoo mijateef mormii Biyya keessatti eegalee bifa adda addaan alattis itti fufuf. Ykn qabsootti makamee lolachuuf. Lammiin Oromoo miidhaa halgaa jibbee haala akkasiin baqatee ba’ee, Biyya itti baqate keessatti, waan silaa lammii isaa irraa eegu yennaa dhabu, maaltu itti dhaga’ama? kan diina keessa jiru eessaan harka wal qabanna? jedhee dukkana keessa wal barbaadee diina hollachiisaa wayita jirutti, kan miilla achi fudhatee ifaan carraa wal barbaachuu fi wal utubuu kaa qabu, akka ilmaan masaanuu gaafa walitti duuluu arguun isaaf du’adha. Biyyoota kana keessatti, Dhaabbilee Oromoo, dhaabbileen Amantii, Kominiitii fi Afooshaaleen jiran rakkoo waggaa 15 fi 10 dura isaan miidhaa jiru waliin jiran jechuutu danda’ama. Hundumtuu qomoo ofii baraaruu fi kunuunfachuu irratti sagantaan qaban har’allee garaagari. Baqataa kan humneessanii dhimma itti ba’uuf sochiin taasiisan, haala baqataa irratti hundaa’aa odoo hin taanee, adeemsa mataa isaanii irratti hundaa’aa. Baqataa tokko irraa maal barbaanna? baqataa tokkof maaltu barbaachisa? yoo xiqqaate, baqataan meeshaa halgaa akka hin taaneef, Abdiin Lammii isaa irraa qabu akka hin dukkanoofneef qabaa akkamii isa barbaachisa? kkf jedhanii kan socha’an hin fakkaatan. Biyyoota kana keessa, Oromoonni baqattummaan jiraatan, gargaarsa alaan kan jiraatu, Kominitiin kan gurmaa’ee, Amatiin kan ijaarame, gandummaan ka jiru, daldalaan kan jiraatu, miseensummaa dhaabbilee siyaasaan kan jiran,Biyyuma alaatti ce’uuf kan baqate, hiraarrii hamaa keessa kan jiru, waa hundaa jibbee kopha galeessummaan kan jiraatu, kkf keessatti argaman. Akka dhuunfaattis jiraatan ykn gurmaa’anii jiraatan Biyya jiran keessaa dhimma isaanii taakkuu tokko tarkaanfachiisuuf murteen dhumaa, qaama isaan galmeessee hayyama jireenyaa kennuf ykn hayyamuuf harka jirti. Maarree ega akkas ta’ee maaliif nagaa waliif kennuu dadhaban? maaliif gurmuu abbootii isaanii sana dhabanii, yoo xiqqaatee walitti boqochuu dadhaban? maaliif yeroo gabaabduu achi turaniif, galaa waliif ta’uu dadhaban? kaleessa kan wal irraa fagaatee wal irratti duulaa ture, nagaa buusee walitti deemaa jiraachuu odoo arginuu fi dhageenyu har’as jibba wali gidduu jabeessuuf hojjachuu maa hin dhaaban?
Biyyoota Afriikaa Oromoonni baqattummaan keessa jiraachaa jiran keessatti, Gonkumaa rakkoo jiru salphisuu fi baqataan tokko hanga dhimma isaa fixatee gara Biyya lammaaffaa deemutti, yoo xiqqaatee Oromummaa isaa akka jabeeffatuuf carraaqiin taasifamu hedduu gadi aanaadha. Dhalli Oromoo aadaa boonsaa fi aadaa jiruu fi jireenyaa mataa isaa qabu, Biyyoota kana keessatti rakkoon baqattummaan qabdutti dabalata, rakkoo walii isaa gidduutiin yennaa jeeqamu, Loogdummaan yennaa wal fo’uu, Ofittummaan jaamee rakkoo jireenyaa keessatti wal gatee yennaa deemu, Sammuun Gabrummaa balaaleffatee Wallaalummaa bara keessaan xaxamee quba yennaa walitti qabu ilaaluun hedduu nama gaddisiisa. Eessa jirraa yaa firaa? nama jechisiisa. Oromummaan hiraarrii baqattummaa keessaan nama keessaa harattee halgaan quba namatti qabuu caalaa salphinni eessa jira? hundumtuu bakka jirutti wal hamate fi wal xureessee eessa geenya? dhimma (keezii) waliitti gufuu ta’aa jiraachuun dhuguma sabummaadhaa? dhuguma, Oromummaan yakka taatee biyyaa itti baqannee sanaaf dhaabbachuudhaa? akka gandaattis, akka Amatittis, akka Afooshaa fi kominiititti ijaaramnu, baqataa jiru qixxee ilaallee hanga hin tajaajilleetti, sochiin keenya Oromoo, Oromummaa keessaa baasaa jiraachuu keenya hubachuu nu feesisa. Baqataan biyyoota Afriikaa kana keessa dabruu, ofittummaa isa ija hin qabne dhaalee Biyya itti aanutti dabree maal ta’aa akka jiru waan guyyuu taajjabaa jirruudha. “Waaqayyoo ganama kee fi galgala kee hin balleessiin” jedhee Oromoon Ganamaa kan Mammaakee kanaafi. Nuuti har’a barannee, qaroomne, hammayyoomne kan jennu, amma Abbootii keenyaa Bilisummaa keenya kabachiisuu dhiisaatii, Mammaaksa dhalootaaf kaa’uu dadhabnee kan bititirruuf, waan wal dhaalsiisaa jirruutu xuraa’aa ta’uu isaa hubachuun gaariidha.
Har’a Angafoonni Qabsoo gama hundaan, humna Oromoo wal taasisanii qajeelchuuf yaalaa jiraachuu odoo arginuu fi dhageenyu, Oromoo dallanee taa’uu baayyisuun kun eessaanuu nu hin ga’u.baqataan Oromoo wayyaaneen hiraaree ba’ee hiraarri biraa seensisun dogoggora seenaan namaaf hin dhiifneedha. Jette jettee fi ofittummaadhaan dhaloota hamilee cabsuun, qabsoon qajeelu tokkollee hin jiru. Hojiin Oromummaa bifa kamiituu baqataa keessatti hojjatu kan yerooti. Hojiin itti laatamuus akkasuma. Baqataa diina harkaa lubbuu baafatee Oromummaa fi sabummaa isaan jajjabeessanii haala dhimma isaa raawwatee hegaree saba isaaf dhaabbatu taasisuu irra dabarree, kan hojjannu hundumtuu kasaaraa isaatu caala. rakkoo dubbatamne hin dhumne kana tarrisee hin danda’u. baqataan waanuma keessa jiru beekamaa waan ta’eef, baqataa dhibeen du’ee awwaallachuuf, reeffa isaa illee Biyyatti erguuf, kan da’uuf jettu mana waldhaansaa gaasha qabutti geessuuf, kan gargaarsa hin qabne bifa adda addaan tajaajiluuf, kan barachuu barbaadullee utubuuf, adeemsa baqattummaa Biyyoota tarrisee keessa jiru jijjiiruuf, hojjachuun barbaachisaadha. baqataan tokko, humna tikaa wayyaanee ni baqata, Polisootaa fi humna waraanaa Biyya keessa jiruu ni baqata. Jireenya mo’uuf isaan ni falma. Ni beela’a, ni dheeboota. Kana irratti dabalataan, rakkoo lammii ofii keessaan jeeqamuun hangam abdii akka nama kutachiisuu tilmaamuun nama hin dhibu.
Baqataan Biyya kamuu keessa jiru, “OROMUMMAA” isaa qofaan ijaaranii, deeggarsa hawaasummaa akka waliif godhu taasisuun ga’aadha. Sochiin kanaan ala jiru akka akkasaatti gaggeeffachuun ni danda’ama. Bakka kanatti Oromummaa dhabanii dabruun bara kamittu, kan fayyanii miti.akka waliif birmatuu fi wal gaafatu, akka wal jajjabeessuu taasisuun qofti ga’aadha jedheen amana.
Walumaa galatti, baqataan Oromoo Biyyoota kana keessa jiru, gurmuu isaa jabeeffatee socha’auun saboota kamirrayyuu duuba jira. Lammiileen kaan Namni tokko jalaa hidhamnaan hiriiranii dhaqanii hiiksifatu. Kan Oromoo garuu akkas miti. kun hedduu nama gaddisiisa. Akka walitti dhiheenyaatti waliif birmatan. kun qaaniidha. adeemsi kun gonkumaa dhaabbachuu qaba.wayyaaneen Namootahaala akkasiin abdii dhaban, Biyyatti deebisuudhaan dantaa siheef olfachaa jiraachuu hubachuu nu barbaachisa. kaayyooma wayyaanee kanaan kanneen machaa’aan, dhalli Oromoo baqattummaan jiraatu abdi akka kutatuuf, akka aaree Biyyatti deebi’uu fi kkf karaa hundaa raawwachaa akka jiran beeku nu barbaachisa. nu caalaa waa’ee ABO fi Qabsoo Oromoo faarfachaa, gurmuun Bqattootaan akka hin jabaanneef walii isaanii gidduutti jeequmsaa fi ofittummaa babal’isuun, shira kana hin jedhamne gaggeessa jiraachuu hubadhaa. akka walii galaatti, dogoggorri baqataa Biyyoota Afriikaa keessaa irratti hojjannu, boruu Awuroppaa dhaqee badii caalu akka uumuu beekun barbaachisaadha. kan har’a gabrummaa jibbee Biyyaa ba’uu, bifoota adda addaan humna buufna yoo ta’ee, bakka bu’oota qabsoo hegaree dhabamsiisaa akka jirru haa qalbifannu. Biyyoota kana keessatti hangaa fi haala isaanif mija’een, waan kana milkeessuuf kan ifaajjan hin jiran jechuu koo akka hin taanee naaf hubadhaa. garuu haala baqataan keessa jiru ilaalanii sochii jiru dhiphisuu fi bal’isuun ni danda’amaa jedhee waanan itti amanuufi yaada kana kaase. Akka sabummaattis, halgaan gama kanaan quba natti qabuu fi na tuffachuu isaa gonkumaa hin fudhadhu. Gaaf tokko Baqattummaan Afriikaa keessaa, Maddaa fi hundee Gamtaa Oromootaa akka ta’uu hin shakku. Dubbii ijoon har’a bor osoo hin jennee, dhukkuba habashootaa Ofitummaa fi of tuulummaa nutti dabarsan of keessaa baafnee, Aadaa Daboo fi jigii Abbootii keenyaa deeffachuuf hojjachuudha. Dhibeen keenya guddaan, Dhiigaan Oromoo taanee, aadaan jiruu fi jireenyaa habashootaa ittiin gaggeeffamaa jirruu fi nurraa sirbu, wal simuu dadhabuudha. Kanaaf wal dhabaa fi wal unkuraa oollee bulla. Kanaaf mana ofitti cufnee nyaachuu aadaa keenya jennee garaa walitti jabaanna. GALATOOMAA!
Ethiopia’s higher education infrastructure has mushroomed in the last 15 years. But the institutions suffer from curricula being abandonded due to funding cuts, unqualified – but party-loyal – lecturers, and shoddily built institutions. The rapid growth of Ethiopia’s higher education system has come at a cost, but it is moving forward all the same.
Twenty years ago the Ethiopian government launched a huge and ambitious development strategy that called for “the cultivation of citizens with an all-round education capable of playing a conscious and active role in the economic, social, and political life of the country”. One of the principal results of Ethiopia’sagricultural development-led industrialisation strategy (ADLI) has been a rapid expansion in the country’s higher education system. In 2000 there were just two universities, but since then the country has built 29 more, with plans for another 11 to be completed within two years.
The quality of these new universities varies widely; from thriving research schools, to substandard institutions built to bolster the regime’s power in hostile regions. One professor recalls a hurried evacuation from part of a recently completed university while he was working there: one of the buildings had collapsed.
But there have also been success stories. The University of Jimma, for example, has come first in the Ethiopian Ministry of Education’s rankings for the past five years, and is held up as evidence of ADLI’s efficacy since its establishment in 1999. The most recent development at Jimma, the department of materials science and engineering (MSE), opened for students in 2013, and has quickly expanded to become one of the top research schools in the sub-Saharan region. The department’s founder, Dr Ali Eftekhari, has since received a fellowship from the African Academy of Sciences on the back of the project’s success.
This success is much-needed. At 8%, African higher education enrolment issignificantly lower than the global average of 32%, and Ethiopia trails even further behind, with fewer than 6% of college-age adults at university. Research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) is starting from a particularly low base in Africa. The World Bank reported last year that though the sub-Saharan region has “increased both the quantity and quality of its research” in recent years, much of this improvement is due to international collaboration, and a lack of native Africans is “reducing the economic impact and relevance of research”.
Eftekhari improvised and sweet-talked in order to get the department established; in its first year, the department taught 18 PhD students – all native Ethiopians – on almost zero budget, with staff donating their time and money until funding was secured from the ministry of education. Despite the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) push for development, Ethiopia’s political landscape remains a minefield for education professionals, says Eftekhari: “People are always suspicious about the political reasons behind each new project. I decided to start with zero budget to allay those doubts. In developing countries everything has some degree of flexibility. I used this to borrow staff and resources from the rest of the university until we could secure a budget.
“Many of the staff saw the project as a career opportunity,” says Eftekhari, but altruism also played a part. The department’s research focuses primarily on solving the country’s pressing poverty and development problems. “They knew they were actually saving lives,” says Jimma’s innovation coordinator, Maria Shou.
The belief that science and engineering is key to alleviating poverty propels the work of the school. Projects range from the development of super-capacitors for the provision of cheap power, to carbon nanomaterials for Ethiopia’s expanding construction industry. “You only need a couple of weeks in Ethiopia to realise that materials science is a priority,” says Pablo Corrochano, an assistant professor at the school. “Even in the capital you’ll experience cuts in power and water; in rural areas it’s even worse. Producing quality and inexpensive bricks for building houses, designing active water filters, and supplying ‘off-the-grid’ energy systems for rural areas are all vital to the country’s development.”
However, Jimma’s success could be seen as a bit of an anomaly. Paul O’Keeffe, a researcher at La Sapienza University of Rome, who specialises in Ethiopia’s higher education system, believes that similar initiatives are needed, but that the government’s politics are an obstacle: “My research indicates that the rapid expansion of the public university system has seen a dramatic decline in the quality of education offered in recent years. Instead of putting resources into improving the existing system, or establishing a few good institutions, the EPRDF has built many new universities, largely for political reasons.
“A lot of the time the universities are merely shells. They do not function as universities as we would expect and are poorly resourced, and in some cases shoddily built. It would seem that they are built almost as a token where the EPRDF can say to hostile regions ‘look we are doing something for you, we’ve built a university’.”
Reports of spies, classroom propaganda, of curricula that have been abandoned en mass due to funding cuts, and of unqualified staff are common at these universities, which make up the bulk of Ethiopian higher education, says O’Keeffe. “The party line is peddled during class, students are required to join the party, [there are] various reports of spies in the classrooms, who monitor what is said and who says it.”
A lecturer at Addis Ababa University, who wished to remain anonymous, is concerned primarily with the lack of qualifications among staff: “What is disturbing is that those who have just graduated with BAs and MAs are the lecturers. That is the manpower that they have. If you talk with students you wouldn’t believe that these students actually graduated from these so-called universities. Their inability to articulate their thoughts is breathtaking. It is extremely frustrating and you wonder how they have spent four years at university studying a doctorate.”
In this context, the MSE school provides a beacon of hope. The school’s success demonstrates that higher education – Stem research in particular – has the potential to thrive and play a central role in helping Ethiopia to reach its goal of becoming a middle-income nation by 2025, provided political interests are put to one side. Let’s hope the EPRDF takes note.
Posted: Waxabajjii/June 22, 2015 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com |
Today (June 22, 2015), TPLF/EPRDF announced that it had won 100% of the seats in the Federal and Regional Parliaments in the General Elections of 2015. The newsworthy part of the announcement was the rallying of a record-breaking number of cameras by local and international journalists to capture this unheard-of election result in the world, except in North Korea, in Sadam’s Iraq and in Mengistu’s Ethiopia. It is not clear if the Guinness World Records had been contacted yet by the authorities in Ethiopia to officially register this record of camera clicks for capturing a “100%-victory” announcement in an election. Though a “100%-victory” is common in North Korea, and had been common in Sadam’s Iraq and Mengistu’s Ethiopia, they all had failed to rally such a record-breaking number of cameras to capture their “100%-victory” announcements.
The cameras were aimed at the man of the hour – the announcer of the “100%-Victory” – photographed below.
Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, but that hasn’t stopped the outflow of migrants, underscoring the challenges countries face in trying to stem what were record levels of migration globally in 2014.
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Among the young Ethiopian entrepreneurs idly sipping coffee near their shops in Addis Ababa, Tariku Temesgen stands out as the joker.
Wearing scarlet dungarees and aviator shades, he draws laughter by describing his routine as a merchant who has nothing to sell. “I just stand here all day staring at my empty shop,” he says, leaning against the wall of his would-be electronics repair store.
Like many of the shopkeepers in this complex, Mr. Tariku doesn’t pay rent, courtesy of a government program to create jobs for returning migrants. But the nearby construction of a $475 million railway has killed traffic, leaving rows of merchandise in shops waiting for customers who do not come. So even though Tariku has attempted unsuccessfully to migrate through Sudan five times over the past six years, he is thinking – yet again – about heading abroad to look for work.
While the growth is dramatic, many say it has largely benefited the business class, says Michael Woldemariam, a political scientist at Boston University in Massachusetts. The “losers” include a mass of jobless graduates and poor city dwellers that struggle beneath skyrocketing living costs.
With these prospects, many young Ethiopians are willing to take their chances rather than settle for an average monthly pay of $60, intensifying pressure on the government to try to increase opportunities more broadly among the population.
“As long as you are human you always want to improve your life,” Tariku says. “If things don’t start improving here, then I might try again.”
His will to leave persists despite the fact that over the past few months, sickening news of migrants’ journeys has been arriving from all directions.
Some who went north through Sudan, the same route Tariku took, drowned in the Mediterranean or were executed in April by an Islamic State offshoot in Libya. In the east, thousands have been caught in Yemen’s civil war as they try to reach the wealthy Gulf nations. Ethiopians were also targets of xenophobic attacks in South Africa two months ago.
Still, it is estimated that around 75,000 Ethiopians tried to reach the Gulf in 2014, with tens of thousands more making equally treacherous trips to try and reach Europe and South Africa.
They are fleeing rock-bottom wages and inflation that has averaged 17 percent a year over the past decade. While the economic growth has helped bring 2.5 million people out of poverty since 2005, the number still living under a poverty line of 60 cents (US) a day has remained constant at around 25 million, due to a rapidly increasing population.
When he lived in Khartoum, the capital of the economically struggling Sudan, Tariku earned $22 a day from welding and washing dishes at a pizza restaurant. In comparison, his welding skills only earn him $7 a day in Addis Ababa, although sometimes he doesn’t get paid for work, he claims. With house rent of $54 a month and a basic meal costing $1.25, he is barely surviving.
His store, though free, cost him around $430 to partition, despite doing all the work himself. Now he has no cash left to stock it, and officials threaten to evict him and hand his space to someone else in their enterprise program. While there are loan facilities for the micro-entrepreneurs, Tariku can’t find a guarantor and doesn’t possess assets for collateral.
Alem Berhane, another shopkeeper in the enterprise plan, is also struggling. She was among 168,000 Ethiopian workers deported from Saudi Arabia in late 2013. Now she is under-employed, selling coffee to a handful of construction workers to make around $1 a day.
According to Mr. Woldemariam, “the out-migration will continue” unless the government can “more concretely addresses the structural problems.”
Half of those who were deported from Saudi Arabia tried to migrate again, the Ethiopian government says. Such choices are partly due to misconceptions that is easier earning a living abroad, says Solomon Tesfaye of the prime minister’s office, who heads a task force to combat human trafficking. Donor-supported “community conversations” where people discuss the harsh realities of illegal travel, are effective at putting off potential migrants, he adds.
Stiffer sentences for human trafficking are on the way, as is legislation to better regulate employment agencies and improve pre-departure training for workers. Legal routes may re-open once the new legislation is combined with labor agreements with Gulf countries.
Alem praises the government for trying to improve Ethiopians’ lives by doing everything from teaching people about the hazards of illegal migration to creating jobs opportunities. She had flown to Saudi Arabia in 2011 legally to work as a housemaid in Jeddah, where she earned a tax-free salary of around $187 a month. The job went well until her employer wanted her for his “second wife.” She declined and wasn’t paid for three months before leaving to work other jobs illegally. Overall, she described her two-year experience as “not bad,” mostly because she wasn’t sexually assaulted like other Ethiopian maids, and her savings allowed her to provide for her relatives.
By opening a bar in the capital and building an extension to her parents’ home in the Tigray region, Alem says the money she earned in Saudi Arabia changed her family’s life.
Unfortunately, a church opened above the bar and her regulars drifted elsewhere. Now she’s not sure what to do, partly hoping the coffee brewing business improves, partly waiting for legal channels to re-open. “There is opportunity for me to improve my life there, much more than here,” she says.
President Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia, the White House announced Friday, when he heads there next month.
Obama’s trip to Africa’s second-most populous nation — the second stop on a journey that includes a visit to his father’s home country of Kenya — comes amid growing concern that Ethiopia’s government has become increasingly repressive when it comes to internal dissent. During elections last month the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front tightened its hold on power, prompting the opposition to accuse the government of running a one-party state.
In a statement Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president would travel in late July to Ethiopia for bilateral meetings with both the country’s government and the leadership of the African Union, which is headquartered there.
“This visit, which will follow the President’s travel to Kenya, will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit by strengthening ties with our African partners and highlighting America’s longstanding commitment to investing in Africa,” the statement read. “This will be the first visit of a sitting U.S. President to Ethiopia and to the African Union headquarters, underscoring our efforts to work with the countries and citizens of sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security.”
Human rights activists praised Obama for highlighting the work of the African Union, which has worked to promote both political stability and economic integration across the continent. But they said the president must use his trip to draw attention to the government’s repeated use of targeted arrests and prosecutions to suppress any oppositionfrom journalists, bloggers, protesters and political activists.
“Ethiopia is too often presented as an African success story instead of the human rights disaster that is the reality,” said Sarah Margon, Human Rights Watch’s Washington director. “If Obama wants to make the case for investing in Ethiopia, he should be clear that means investing in the human rights of its people, not the repression of its government.”
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said the stop in Addis Ababa is more about America’s relationship with sub-Saharan Africa than a single nation.
Referring to human rights violations, Schultz said, “As you know, we regularly — both in public and in private — communicate our concerns about some of the issues you’ve raised. I don’t think that’s going to stop because of this visit.”
The president is likely to focus on counterterrorism efforts within Africa while in Ethiopia: the government there has worked with the United States on countering the extremist group al-Shabab in Somalia and promoting peace efforts in South Sudan.
A senior administration official, who asked for anonymity in order to speak frankly about diplomatic matters, said the two countries have “a long-standing and strategic relationship,” and the visit came out of a meeting Obama had with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in the fall.
Ethiopia has played a key role “advancing and promoting broader regional stability,” the official said, adding that when it comes to next month’s visit, “this is an opportunity to hold frank discussions with our Ethiopian counterparts, and urge them to make progress in areas of concern.”
Logo Design Contest Announcement
June 9th, 2015
We hereby would like to invite interested professionals to design a new logo for Macha Tulama Cooperative and Development Association (MTA). There is no specific requirement for the design. It can be an art, futuristic or may have Oromo cultural attributes. The design must be an original work of the designer; MTA will not be responsible for copyright violations of designers.
Submissions will be in a .jpg format, but they can be in any form readily convertible to .jpg format. The deadline for submission of designs is July 9, 2015.
Please submit your design to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Board of Directors of MTA will have a prize for the winning designer. MTA will not be obliged to choose from the submitted designs.
Macha Tulama Association