October 26, 2013 by Oromedia
(Oromedia, 26 October 2013) Sirni awwaalchaa, Jaal Obsee Margoo, bakka maatii, firoottanii ishii akksumas miseensootii fi deeggartooti qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo heddumminaan argamanitt biyya Norwey magaala Berganitti Onkoloolessa 25, 2013 akka aadaa fi sirna amantii ishiitti raawwate.
Waa’elli keenya Dassuu Duulaa akka nuuf ibsetti, sirna awwaalachaa kana irratti Oromooti Hoolandi, Jarman, Ingilizii fi bakkoota aaddaddaa jiraatan Onkoloolessa 24, 2013 Norwey Bergan seenuun akka aadaa biyyaatti reeffatti nagaa dhaammatan.
Akkanaan sirna awwaalchaa Jaal Obsee Onkoloolessa 25, 2013 bakka Oromooti kumaa ol ta’an otuu ilaalchaa fi amantiin adda walii hin qoodiin sirna kana irratti argamuun jaalalaa fi kabajaa Hayyu Duree ABO fi maatii isaaniif qaban agarsiisanii jiru.
Oduun nu gahe akka ibsutti, sirna awwalchaa kana irratti Jaal Daawud Ibsaa fi Oromooti argaman marti gadda dhugaa ibsachuun cinattis, jabinaa fi murannoo Jaal Obseen qabaachaa turte dabaree dabareedhaan ibsaniiru.
Sirna awwaalchaa kana irratti seenaa Jaal Obsee ibsame irraa akka hubatametti, Jaal Obsee Taadassaa Margoo abbaa ishee obbo Taddasaa Margoo fi harmee ishee addee Enkuayehush Hundee irraa Sadaasa 29 bara1976-tti Oromiyaa Lixaa, magaala Mandii Ganda 01 keessatti dhalaatte.
Jaal Obseen obbolaan dhiiraa lama; Danel Taddasaa fi Tottobaa Taddasaa; Obbolaa durbaa Shan; Asgedech Taddasaa, Masarat Taddasaa, Mariyam Taddasaa, Abayinesh Taddasaa fi Tenanyee Taddasaa akka qabdus beekamee jira.
Jaal Obseen barnoota ishee sadarkaa duraa fi olaanaa (lammaffaa) magaala Mandii mana Barumsaa Mana-sibuu keessatti baratte.
Qabxiin barumsa sadarkaa olaanaa kan Yuniversitii ishee galchu galmeessuun, barnoota ishee Yuniversity Finfinnee galtee barachuu eegalte. Barnoota waggaa tokko duuba jeequmsa Yuniversitii Finfinnee keessatti ka’een barnoota ishee itti fuftee xumuruu akka hin dandeenye kan ibsame yoo ta’u, iyya keessatti miidhaa fi dhiibbaa irra gaheen gara biyya Keenyaa, Nairobiitti baqattee turtii yeroo muraasaa booda, Bitootessa bara 2000 keessa gara waajirri qabsoo bilisumma Oromoo argamutti, Asmara seenuun barnootaa fi leenjii miseensumaaf barbachisuu fudhatee sirnaan miseensummaa dhaabaa guuttate, miseensa ABO taate.
Ergaa biyyaa Eritrea seente waggaa lamaa booda, Muddee 5, bara 2002 Hayyu Duree Gumii Sabaa ABO Jaal Dawud Ibsaa waliin sirnaan gaa’ila isaanii kan rawwatan yoo ta’u, biyya Eritrea turtii waggaa 12 ol keessatti gaddaa fi gammachuu Oromoo fi qabsoon Oromoo qabu irrattii hirmaachuun fi haawaasaa fi qabsoo Oromoo tajaajiluun hojii boonsaa dalagaa akka turtes mirkanaa’eera.
Xumuraa bara 2012 irratti obboloota ishee bara dheeraaf adda baate waliin wal arguuf Asmera/Eritrea irraa waraqaa yeroof argatteen gara Awropaatti ka sochoote Jaal Obseen, haala waraqaa yeroo fi eenyummaa ishee waliin wal qabateen karaa irratti didhaan ishee mudatus dhuma irratti obboloota ishee garii waliin qaamaan wal arguu itti akka milkoofte illee himame jira.
Rakkoo Waraqaan sochii irraa qabdu furachuun fi gara abbaa warraa ishee duubbee qabsoo jirutti deebi’uuf hawwuu fi karoorfachun iyyannoo hirkattummaa siyaasaa gaafattee naannoo oboleessi ishee qubatee jiru, naannoo Bergen, wayita qubattee jirtutti, dhukkuba tasaa Onkoloolessa 8 bara 2013 qabeen wal’aansa hatattamaa mana wal’aansaa naannoo Bergenitti yaalamaa erga turtee booda, Onkoloolessa 11 bara 2013 addunyaa kana irraa boqotte.
Namooti sirna awwalachaa kana irratti argaman akka ragaa bahanitti, jalaalli Oromoo fi Oromummaa ishii kan daangaa hin qabne Jaal Obseen, nama uumaan garaa lafinaan guutamte fi nama hunda gargaaruuf fedha qabdu, haadha namummaa ti.
HD GS ABO Jaal Dawuds Ibsaas gaafa 15/10/2013 namoota isaan jajjabeessaniif xalaya galataa barreessan keessatti rifaatuu balaa tasaa mudateen tuqamanis, hirmaannaa fi birmannaa seexessaa golee Oromiyaa fi addunyaa mara irraa isaanifi darbeen akka jajjabaatan dhaamanii jiru.
Should we still suggest an All-inclusive Alliance, which can be different and make a Difference in Ethiopia/ Oromia? (Fayyis Oromia)
Should We Still Suggest an All-Inclusive Alliance, Which Can be Different and Make a Difference in Ethiopia/Oromia?
In the liberation struggle against the oppressive Abyssinian empire’s system, we had passed through different phases and we had formed till now different alliances against the tyrant rulers. The struggle has almost always been done by two ideologically opposite political camps, i.e. by the unionist liberators, who want to liberate oppressed nations in the empire and build, where possible, a union of autonomous nations, and by the unitarist patriots, who do disregard the autonomy of nations but want to liberate individual citizens from any sort of oppression. In other words, it has been the struggle by those emphasizing group (national) liberty and by those stressing individual (citizens’) freedom. Despite their similarity in socialist ideology, one of the major differences between Me’ison and Ihapa was their tendency towards being a unionist and a unitarist, respectively. Me’ison, being dominated and led by Oromo intellectuals, had been for self-determination of nations in a sense of having their own national autonomy within Ethiopian union, whereas Ihapa, being dominated and led by Tigrean intellectuals, had been for self-determination of nations in a sense of exercising their cultures within a unitary Ethiopia/Great Oromia without national autonomy.
In a further political process, both Me’ison and Ihapa, after being brutally beaten by the Derg, opted to join their kins in the OLF and the TPLF, respectively. Now, Ihapa with its unitarist view had taken power in a form of the TPLF, and the unionist Me’ison in a form of the OLF is still the main opposition/rebel group against this Ihapa-dominated regime. Simply put, the struggle between the unionist Me’ison and the unitarist Ihapa is still going on indirectly. After coming to power, the unitarist TPLF was compelled to accept and respect certain elements of the unionist OLF, so that it signed the 1991 Charter, which formally accepted the right of all nations and nationalities in the empire to have their own self-rule (autonomy) within Great Oromia. But in practice, the Woyane has chosen to implement more unitarist elements of its own, neglecting that of the unionists. That is why Great Oromia is today de jure a union, but de facto a unitary state. Leaving the pre-1974-revolution history for the academicians/historians and just looking at the alliances forged by the polity in the empire since the revolution, we can notice the rise and fall of the following ten alliances:
“- IMALEDIH: after the inability of Me’ison and Ihapa to forge an alliance against the military dictator, the first attempt of building the alliance was between the legally operating unionists at that time (Me’ison and Ici’at) with the contemporary unitarist forces (Seded, Wez-lig and Malerid). Later, the two unionists were pushed out of the alliance and persecuted by the unitarists who had power, so that the two unionists left the alliance. Soon after they left the alliance, the two unionists were considered illegal, which was followed by the persecution of their activists who lastly joined the OLF in the battlefield against the Derg.
“- IHADEG: was the asymmetrical alliance between the powerful TPLF and its subordinates (EPDM, later called ANDM and OPDO, being followed by the formation of SEPDM). Simply put, this alliance of the four unequal parties is a mask for TPLF in order to get a legitimacy to rule over Great Oromia, instead of only “liberating” Tigrai. As long as the Woyanes are in power, the other three ‘PDOs will serve them as slaves. By the way, TPLF has never been a liberation front, but an economic front which tries to overcome the economical crisis in Tigrai, and now it has achieved to control almost all sectors in the empire and to help Tigrai be free from destitute life.
“- COEDF: was an alliance formed in April 1991 at a meeting held in Washington by the unitarist Ihapa, the unionist Me’ison and other two parties, including some civic groups, human rights and community organizations and associations. This alliance couldn’t take part in fostering the charter of the transitional Ethiopian government in 1991. It then lost its importance and was then disband and dismantled.
“- CAFPDE: was an alliance set up in the aftermath of the opposition conference held in Finfinne in December 1993. The conference was headed by the president of the unionist Hadiya National Democratic Organization, and the alliance included the unitarist parties like the EDU. This alliance failed mainly for it didn’t include major unionists from the Oromo nation.
“- ULFO: was an exclusive alliance of only the Oromo unionist liberators in order to forge a strong Oromo liberation force against the fascist and hegemonist de facto unitarist Woyane regime, which still denies the true autonomy/self-rule of nations and nationalities in the empire. This alliance didn’t dare to approach the unitarists and the current merger form of the alliance still abhor any sort of alliance with unitarists. That is why Woyane cadres nowadays poise as if they support ULFO (as if they prefer Golden Oromian independence) and curse the Amhara unitarists just to hinder a possible alliance of the Oromo unionists with the Amhara unitarists against their hegemonist regime.
“- UEDF: an alliance composed of both unionists and unitarists, but excluded the main unionist liberation forces like the OLF and the ONLF, so that it was ineffective and couldn’t live long. It was also weakened for the two major unitarist parties (AEUP and EDP) left the alliance within few months after its formation.
“- CUD: an alliance of only the die-hard unitarist forces, which tried their best to reverse the move of nations and nationalities towards a genuine autonomy in a form of a true killil-federation. One of the reasons for the demise of UEDF was that the two main unitarist parties left the alliance with the contemporary unionists and formed their own alliance of pure unitarists in the form of CUD. But this move at last led to the demise of CUD itself, because of the opposition it faced from almost all unionists in the empire.
“- AFD: the first alliance, which included the seemingly diametrically opposite major unionist forces like the OLF and main unitarist forces like the CUD. It was the hitherto best alliance which made the Woyane tremble for the first time. That is why it was not surprising when we did observe that Woyane cadres made a campaign against the AFD being camouflaged as the unitarist Amhara cursing the unionist Oromo, and vice versa, so that the AFD couldn’t survive this polarizing action.
“- MEDREK: the still existing, but not yet effective alliance, which seems to be a continuation of the AFD in a legal form, also included the unionists like the OFC and the unitarists like the UDJ. Here also, the Woyane is trying to polarize the Oromo unionists against the Amhara unitarists. We will see how far this alliance can survive this divide-and-rule machination of the fascist regime. The current move of this alliance towards forming a front, instead of continuing as only a coalition, needs a meticulous scrutiny. Is it a front towards being a pure unionist or a pure unitarist? Time will tell. At least, the rhetoric we heard during the conference this alliance had with its supporters in Washington DC before the 2010 election suggests that it is moving towards being pure unitarist. I hope the OFC and the other unionists have registered that rhetoric from some of the leaders. Otherwise, the call made by this alliance for the preparation of the upcoming future “election” under the Woyane is like “ye moony zefen/leqsoo melliso melaalso”. This fixation on only election as a method of struggle is a program for the quick death of this alliance.
“- Ximiret: the once suggested all-inclusive AFD-like alliance of both the unionists like the OLF and the unitarists like Ginbot-7, which are now moving underground in the empire and which are active as rebels in the battlefield as well as in exile, ended in forging the pseudo-alliance between Ximiret and one faction of the OLF. In the last few years, after the formation of certain cooperation between the OLF faction lead by General Kemal Gelchu and the Ginbot-7, we surprisingly did read different articles and heard in different media certain opinions which are trying to polarize the Oromo unionists and the Amhara unitarists. The Woyane cadres are again busy acting like the Amhara unitarist patriots and cry for unitary Ethiopia in order to curse the Oromo unionists. On the vice versa, they are hyperactive to camouflage as the Oromo unionist liberators and sing about Golden Oromian independence without a possibility for Great Oromian union just to insult the Amhara unitarists. Their main mission is to hinder any sort of a strong AFD-like alliance against their own fascist regime.
The question yet to be answered is: can both the camp of the unionist liberators and the camp of the unitarist patriots overcome this divisive move of the Woyane and yet forge an all-inclusive alliance? I think, it would be better if both camps first consolidate their respective bloc by building a coalition of unitarists as CUD was and by forging a unity of unionists like ULFO was, but including the unionists of other oppressed nations like the ONLF. Then, secondarily the two blocs can have an effective alliance against the fascists. What is necessary here is that the democratic unitarists need to distance themselves from the colonial position of both the Amhara dictators (who want to bring back the French-style of colonization, i.e. assimilation of the subjugated nations into Amharinya speakers) and the Tigrai hegemonists (who want to keep their British-type of colonization, allowing subjugated nations to dance their cultures and use their languages at lower level, but compel them live further under the domination of Tigrean elites).
At the time the democratic unitarist patriots distance themselves from the past oriented nostalgic colonialist Amhara dictators and join the future oriented unionist liberators and start to fight against the myopic (only present oriented) fascist Tigrai regime, both camps of the opposition are not far from forging a common ground for the necessary stable alliance. With such stable alliance, it is possible to resist the attempt of the Woyane in using controversial personalities, controversial issues like the right of nations up to secession, and controversial topics like the right on the usage of Nile water in order to polarize the opposition camps of the democratic unionists and the democratic unitarists. The hitherto and the current cry of the Woyane cadres in Paltalks and websites accusing unionists as gooxenya and cursing unitarists as nefxenya will then be a futile exercise. The common ground can only be to agree on the two-phase struggle against the Weyane: the liberation phase and the democratization phase.
Liberation from fascism and tyranny is with no doubt a common ground for both the unionists and the unitarists, then establishing democratic institutions, promoting democratization process and living according to the public verdict are what the democrats in both the unionist liberators’ camp and the unitarist patriots’ camp should accept and respect. The future common political community in the region/empire will be at least a union of autonomous nations, and at best a union of independent nations in the Ethiopian/Kas/the Horn/Kush/the Great Oromian Union. This suggests that they all should try to struggle for both the national autonomy of each nationality and the regional union to keep the territorial integrity of the Horn, despite the move of the unitarists against any sort of national autonomy. Coming to such agreement by the two opposition/rebel camps means taking away the worst instrument of the Woyane, i.e. taking away its notorious divide-and-rule method.
After agreeing on the common purpose or common ground, then taking appropriate route to the goal is what the new all-inclusive alliance needs to have. I think “election” under the Woyane is a road with dead end. Preaching about only non-violent methods and moralizing/cursing any sort of cooperation with Eritrea, for example, are not expected from the genuine opposition/rebel groups, but they are part and parcel of the “good” rhetoric from the Woyane cadres camouflaged as the unitarist or the unionist opposition. I personally believe that a coordinated civil disobedience, armed struggle and public uprising is the best route. It is only if the two opposition/rebel camps have such a common purpose and a common route that the suggested all-inclusive alliance can be different and can make a difference.
For all partakers of the alliance to accept the future public verdict during the democratization phase, they must be now bold enough to take risk of losing to their opponent in a true democratic way during the public decision. Only this boldness towards such risk can help the seemingly diametrically opposite democratic unionist liberators and democratic unitarist patriots to forge an alliance against the fascists. Particularly, the democratic unitarists who tend to disregard the right of nations to self-determination should come to their sense and face the fact that without liberation or self-determination of the Oromo people from the hitherto domination, the realization of peace and prosperity they are longing for will never happen. Also they should by now have registered that any alliance of only the unitarists, excluding the major unionist forces like the OLF, will never lead them to victory over the fascist regime.
On the other hand, the unionist forces in general, and the Oromo unionist liberators in particular should be able to broaden their view and struggle for the liberation of all nations and nationalities in the region/empire from any sort of domination. Such view includes liberation of the two Habesha nations, despite the domination/colonization of other nations by their elites. Such move from the unionists will help the democratic unitarists (let’s forget the dictatorial die-hard unitarists) to move towards forging the very necessary all-inclusive alliance. This is the only mechanism to help the apparently impossible alliance between the seemingly diametrically opposite unionists and unitarists be possible.
That is why I dare to say that we should still suggest an all-inclusive alliance based on such matured understandings from both the democratic unionists and the democratic unitarists, which can be different and will make a difference. So specially, the Amhara democratic unitarist patriots and the Oromo democratic unionist liberators should try to help the impossible be possible and forge the all-inclusive alliance to get rid of the Tigrean fascists; otherwise, we should be ready to be ruled for the coming at least one century and see our Amharaland and Oromoland being sold by the Tigrean hegemonists to foreign capitalists, so that we, the two BIG nations, will live under slavery and leave this slavery further to our coming generation. I hope we do have reasonable minds to choose the first option of alliance against the fascists, which can lead us to liberation, not the second option of our subjugation for a century. To move in the direction of liberation together, let Waaqa/Igzi’abiher give us knowledge, understanding and wisdom to help this suggested all-inclusive alliance be different and make a difference!
Originally written by: Afendi Muteki
Translated by : Hambisaa Soolee
In the history of OLA (Oromo Liberation Army), Juukii Barentoo is the most revered female martyr. Her martyrdom was so different in that she gave her life to save many Oromo fighters while she was one of the leaders of the organization. This was happened in 1984 when the special force of the Dergue army ambushed the OLF central command post at Daro-Billiqa in sounthern Daro-Labu district, Hararge province (Near Hararge-Bale border). Juukii, the first female to be elected to the Central Committee of OLF, fought bravely with the Dergue forces for three consecutive days and saved the life of many leaders and fighters of the organization including Obbo Galaasaa Dilboo, the then chairperson of OLF. When she knew that the OLF leaders and others safely crossed to Bale province, because she was wounded, she took her own life, instead of surrender.
The Dergue junta thought that the martyrdom of Juukii would cause a big morale disaster on OLF fighters and many would leave the struggle and come back to home. But the matter was so different. The death of the famous Oromo heroine created a high spirit of fighting for the independence of Oromia among the youth. As a result, there was an exodus of Oromos who sought to join OLA in the mid 1980s. Especially it was a time where many young Oromo females joined OLA en mass. Asli Oromo, Caaltuu, Waarituu, Ibsitu, Kulani, Dursitu, Obsitu and many more female fighters went to the jungles of Oromia and started to show their bravery in their own rites. Among all Oromo heroines who joined OLA at that time, the one that became the foremost topic of discussion for many people was “Raggaatuu”, an OLA commander for whom a popular saying “Raggaatuu! Dheysitee jalaa hinbaatuu!” ( meaning “Raggaatuu, the one whom you can’t escape”) was created.
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Ija guyyaa dhabee halkan keessa soorasaa kan funaannataa bulu waraabessi bineensa ijatti hintolle ta’uusaa bineensonni biroon yeroo mara irratti waliigalu. Kan inni okkolaa ademu ammoo bara hundumaa warreen qaama hir’ataa ta’an keessatti isa ramachiisa. Gara jabeessa bineensota biroof garaa hinlaafne ta’uunsaammoo dhiigni qulqulluun bineensota biroo hanga har’aatti fuula Waaqaatti ol iyyataa jiru kun ragaadha.
Mootii bineensota hundumaa kan ta’e Leenci Oromiyaafi Oromiyaan ala bineensa jiraatudha. Utuu sammuufi maqaa guddaa qabuu waraabessi ilaalcha bineensota biroottillee fokkuu taate kun leencoomuuf halkaniif guyyaa sagantaa siyaasa jallinaa baafachaa ooltu kun guddaa isa yaachiseera. Gamnummaan waraabessaa kun jaarraa tokkoo oliif kan isa aarse Leenci sagantaa ittiin waggoota kumaatamaaf bineensota biroo bulchuu danda’u irratti yaaduun heeraafi seera waqixxummaa baasuunsaa bubbuleera.
Leenci gooota bineensotaa walqixxummaaf qabsaa’udha. Ofiisaaf mootii bineensaa humna jabaa qabu ta’uyyuu, bineensota humnaafii giidoo hinqabne kan falmachuufi mirga isaaniif qabsaa’uu hindandeenyeef gaaf tokko boqonnaa amasnsiisaa fiduuf qabsootti jira. Rakkoo bineensota kanarra tureef furmaata mala dha’uuf himalus lafarra duraa harkifameera.Yeroo waa’ee furmaata dhabuu rakkoo isaa kana yaadu immoo daran dhiphata. Akka nama jibbamee bineensota biroo irraa adda of baasee bosona keessa akka Jawwee hoo’a aduu qaqqamatuutti gadi of gad dhisee lafa irra achi dheeratee, miillasaa lamaan dugduubatti gadi dheereffatee, harkasaaa isa qeensa hamma haaduu guddichaa ga’u sana keessaa yaafatee, mtaasaa isa ilaalamee hinquufamneefi amfaarroonsaa akka rifeensa durbaa maashina jalaa amma ba’ee ofirra gadi dhangalaasee mataasaa miila lamaan fuulduraa jidduu seensisee ciisa.
Taa’ee yaadaan kan yeelalu leenci binensa seena qabeessa onneen isa xirqanudha. Foolii gootummaatu irraa gilindisa malee haxxummaafii tooftaa gurguddaa uumanii bineensota biroo isa boolla buusan inni raawwatee hinbeeku. Kanaaf fakkaata waa’een leencaa yeroo mammaakamu ‘adamoo leencaa, harki tokko eeboo, harki tokko irreessa baata’ kan jedhamuuf.
Gama gootummaasaatiifis yeroo mammaakamu, ‘Afaan leencaa huubni hinkajeelu’ jedhama. Goota akkasii kanarraa aangoosaa kan sarbe waraabessi hamma kana xiqqaatee utuu jiruu Leenca miliyoonotaan lakkaa’amu lafarraa dhabamsiisuu barbaade. Leenca kun gocha dararfamuu bineensota biraatu mudhiisaa akka mudhii durba reefuu kaadhimummaarra gahaa jirtuu isa qalliseera. ‘Kan ayyaana waraabssaa dhalate saamee bula’ akkuma jedhan waraabessa saamee bulu kanatu bineensota garraamota ta’an qarxamsee fixe.
Ukkaamsaa yaadaan kan muddame leenci yeroo mara bineensa qabsoo jireenyaa keessa jiraatudha. Gochi kun yeroo yaadaan badu qofa utuu hintaane, yeroo dubbatee dhageettii dhabus baay’inaan irratti mul’ata. “Maal ana qofatti baatuu maaltu bahee?” jedha Leenci, hangafni bineensotaa. Al tokko tokko immoo bosona isaatti deebi’ee bineensota akka isaa yaadaan qabamaniifi dararaman mariisisuu barbaada. Garuu kanas raawwatee hinbeeku. Bineensota akka isaa isa waliin dararaman kanneen akka Qeerransaa, Arbaa, Gafarsaafi Qamalee yaadaan maqaa dhaha. “Utumaan walga’ii guddaa tokko qopheessee isaan waamee waliin mari’annee” jedhee yaada. Garuu amala bineensota kanaatu isaaf hinmijatan! Hundumti isaaniitu leenca kana maqaasaaf itti gargaaramaanii lafa kaayyoo isaanii ga’uu barbaadu.
Nyaatee kan hinquufneefi bineensota biroof haa hafuu kan hinbeekne albaadhessi bineensaa kan waraabessa faana waliigalu bineensi tokko jira; innis Booyyeedha. Booyyeen kun boriif haabuluu hinbeeku. Keessumattuu mammaaksa ofif mammaakkate qaba Booyyeen. Mammaaksi kunis, ‘Ormi nawaraane; ani ofittan jabeesse’ jette booyyeen jedhu. Waraansa kallattii hundaanii kana dandeessee kan waa hunda utuu hinfilatiin saamtu booyyeen waraabessa faana kaayyoo saamicha bineensotaa qixuma qabu. Kanaafis waraabessillee mammaaksuma kana fakkaatu qaba. Kunis, Waraabessatti gogaa hinfedhan; waraabessi hanga qoonqoo ofiif fiigdu, lubbuu ofiif hinfiigdu’ kan jedhaniif.
Kaayyootiin Leenca faana xiqqoo kan waliigalan Qeerransis, qofaasaa taa’ee rakkina isaan irra gahaa jiruufi dhageettii dhabuu isaanii kana yaadaa oolee bula. Hundi isaanii qofa qofaatti waa’ee rakkina isaanii kana yaadu malee, tokkummaan ka’anii wal kakaasanii hinbeekan. Furmaata isaas tokkummaan barbaaduuf mala dhahanii hinbeekan. Keessattuu waa’ee dararama Booyyeefi Waraabessi isaan irraan gahaa jiran kana Leenci yeroo yaadu mataatu isa dhukkuba. Dubbatu dhageettii hinqabu. Kunimmoo caalatti isa aarsa. Dhageettii dhabuu isaanii kana yeroo yaadu immoo bosona isaatti deebi’ee ciisuu filata Qeerransi. Arbis rakkina isa, qeerransa, Gafarsa, leencaafi Qamalee irra gahaa jiru kana yeroo yaadu, “Hanga yoomittan obsee dararamaa? Maalifan hoomaakoo gurmeessee ofiifi fakkaattotakoo bilisa baasuuf kumbiikoo mirmirsee Booyyeefi Waraabessa raawwadhee hindhabamsiisuu?” jedha.
Haala kanaan hundi isaanii rakkoo isaanii furuuf yaada mataa mataa isaanii yaadu. Garuu kan yaadu malee kan hojiitti hiiku hinjiru. Qamaleen gamasheetiin, “Maalii barri akkanaa!; utuu mootiin bineensotaa, Leenci jiruu kan nyaattuufi hattuun nu darartu. Waraabessi dukkana dawoo godhatee Harree hatuu jalaa ba’ee har’a nu dararuun maal jedhamaa? Utuu har’a Leenci ka’ee isaan barbaadeessee nuun bilisa baasee, biiftuu bilisummaa nu agarsiisa jennee utuu yaannuu kunoo barri qabsoo keenyaa lfarra nujalaa dheeratteka jedha ture. ‘Harree gowwaan waraabessa geggeessiti’ jedhu mitiiree?. Waraabessi hiriyaa harree kun hamma yoomitti nugarboomfataa jiraataree? jette qamaleen kan dubbiin isheef dhufuuf yeroo hinfudhanne.
Hundi isaanii yaadaan fagoo yaadu. Arga yaadaan lalisa birraa argu; daraaraa birraa suufu; booqaa birraa simatu. Abjuun gammadanii akka jabbii harma haadhaa quuftee silga sa’aa xuuxxee itti toleetti asiif achi burraaqu. Yoom guyyaan inni arga yaadaan agarru kun gara dhugaatti jijjiiramee, inni dararu darara dhiisee, inni dararamu uf jedhee ciisee, nyaanni nyaate nafatti, bishaan dhugan dhiigatti bu’aa laata? jedhanii yaadu. Egereef abdii gaariin akka fuula isaanii dura jiru abdatu. Harka keessa galfachuun garuu gaala qa’aa lilmoo keessa dabartu taatee jirti.
Abdiin keenya kun abdiitti hafamoo ni milkaa’a laata? Gaaffii yeroon deebisuudha jedhu ofumaa wal gaafatanii ofumaa yoo walii deebisan. Abdiin isaanii kun yoomiif eenyuun akka dhugoomu hinbeekan. Garuu, gaaf tokko…jedhu. Baay’een isaanii garuu, Leencaafi Qeerransa abdatu. Leenciifi Qeerransi abdii bineensota akka Arbaa, Gafarsaafi Qamalee erga ta’anii bubbulaniiru. Isaan garuu, tokkummaan ka’anii walkakaasanii, tokkummaan gurmaa’anii waliinis ka’anii hinbeekan. Bineensota gootummaa malee abshaalummaan isaanitti hir’atudha.
Bineensonni isaan dararan kanneen akka Booyyee, Waraabessaa, Roobii, Sardiidaa (Yeeyyii/ Jeedalaa/ Wangoo) fi Hardiidaa lafa isaanii irratti horanii jiraatu. Isaanumarra taa’anii isaanuma irratti mari’atu. “ Bulchitoonni nuun waan taaneef isaan maal fiduu?” jedhanii aangoo isaanitiin isaan irratti dhaadatu. Aangoonis akka waan Waaqarra isaaniif laatamteetti baannatu. “Murtii ta’u kan kennu nu’i; haqaanis ta’ee dharaan kan barbaanne raawwannee kan jibbine dhiisuu dandeenya” jedhanii waliin dudubbatu. Umurii tursiifannaaf jechas yeroo isaanitti Qeerransaafi Roobiifaa ofitti qabanii waan yeroof taatu qofa afaan kaa’uuf akka sangaa soogidda/amooleen qabanii haaduun ga’aniitti yeroo isaan goggowwomsantu mul’ata.
Tuuta faallaa Leencaa bineensota ta’an keessaa, Booyyeefi Waraabessi isaan akka sardiidaa, Hardiidaafi Roobii keessaa isaan aangoo guddaa qabaanidha. Yeroo isaan dhufan lafti kaatee jilbeenffatti; walitti naannooftee sirbiti. Bosonni asiif achi raafamee isaan simata. Samiin fuulasaa ibsee gadi isaan daawwata. Simbirri waccee isaan bohaarsiti. Weenniin korriftee isaaniif jeekkarti. Qamaleen kolfa obsitee isaan baqatti; Leenci aadee lafa sochoosaa bosonatti galee taa’a. Qeerransi harqee fiixee mukaarra bahee gadi isaan ilaala. Gafarsi gaafa isaa ol qabee adeemaa ture dhokachuuf jecha mataan gadi jedhee bosona keessa asiif achi lulluka. Kan baqatu malee kan jala dhaabbatu hinjiru. Kan onnee qabaatee dura dhaabatu hinjiru.
Hunduu holola jechaa isaan dura oofamuun onneen isaanii gaggabdeetti. Booyyeen muummicha ministeera bineensotaa, Waraabessi itti aanaa muummichaa, Roobiin afa-yaa’ii, Sardiidni pirezadaantii walii gala bineensotaa, Hardiidni itti aanaa pirezadaantii, Bosonuun barreessaa yoo ta’an, gurmuuwwaniifi hoomaawwan isaanii gubbaa hanga jalaatti aangoon muudamaniiru. Leenci, Qeerransi, Gafarsi, Arbiifi Qamaleen aangoo kana keessaa waan tokkollee hinqooddanne. Kunis sababiinsaa garaagarummaa kaayyoo isaan hordofaniitu adda isaan taasisa. Bakkeen malee keessi walif faallaadha. Leenci garraamummaa qabaatus abbaa biyyaati;
hangafa bineensota hundaa dura turedha. Waa’eesaatiif oduun durii seeneffamellee jira. ‘Gaaf tokko leencatu waa dhibamee biyyaa ba’ee jedhan; kanaan booda waraabessi dhufeetu haadha manaasaatti galee humnumaan sindhaalaa jedheen. Isa booda haati manaa leencaa sun maal taatee, ‘ani abbaa manaa qabaam’jetteen. Inni garuu didee humnumaan mana seenee haadha manaa leencaa sana bulchuu eegale. Oolee bulee gaafa abbaan warraa inni ganamaa sun deebi’ee manatti galu waraabessicha akka abbaa qe’eetti utuu inni manasaa ciisee jiruu argate. Kana booddee Leencichi maal abbaakee hojjetta manakoo keessaa jedheetu caccabsee biyyaa baasee ofisaati qe’eesaatti deebi’ee’ jedhama.
Warreen aangoo irra jiran maqaa Dhaaba isaanii Dhaaba walqixxummaa Bineensotaa jedhanii waamu. Warri kanneen akka leencaa, Qeerransaa, Arbaa, Gafarsaafi Qamalee dhaaba jedhamu hinqaban. Haa ta’u malee yeroo rorroon itti cime walga’anii maqaa gumiitiin dhimma tokko tokko ni mari’atu. Waa’ee dararama isaanii kana ilaalchisee al baay’ee walga’ii taa’anii jiru. Haa ta’u malee rakkoo isaanii kanaaf furmaanni isaan lafa kaa’an hinjiru. Leenci yeroo baay’ee walgayicha irratti argamus rakkina isaanii kanaaf yaada furmaataa bineensota isa waliin dararamaa jiran kana irraa dhabuu isaatti baay’ee aara. Kanaaf yeroo hunda aada.
Hundinuu, “Leenci ni aada jedhu malee, maaliif aadaa?” Kan jedhee gaafatu hanga har’aatti hinargamne. Kanaaf bitaafi mirga ilaalee tajjabuu guddisa. Qeerransiis, tokko kaasee, tokko immoo teessisee, tokko buusee, tokkommoo baasee furmaata haqaa dhabnaan harqa. Kanaaf, Qeerransi ni harqa jedhu malee, haqa dhabeet haqa dubbachuuf akka harqu kan xiinxalee hubate hinjiru.
Qamaleen garuu, gara dubbiin cimetti gorti. Kana godhuusheetiniis akka qaruuxee (gamnaatti) of ilaalti. Yeroo kana gootee raawwatte kolfitee qasaati. Kanaaf, “Bineensonni hundinuu qamaleen ni kofalti jedhu malee maal gootee kofalti? Eenyutti kofalti?” Jedhanii hinbeekan. Isheen asiif achi naannooftee hunda fakkaachuu malee, ejjennoo tokko hinqabdu. Warra Dhaaba walqixxummaa bineensotaa waliinis walitti dhufeenya cimaa qabdi. Gartuuwwaanshee kanneen akka Leencaa kana hinbeekan. Kansheen kana raawwattus dhoksaan waan ta’eef.
Warri Dhaaba Walqixxummaa Bineensotaas qorannoo tokko tokko yeroo taasisan odeeffannoo kan argatan Qamalee irraatidha. Qamaleen aangoof duuti. Kan “Aangoo xinnooshee siif kennina” jedheen wanta silaa iccitiidha jedhanii Leenca fa’a waliin mari’atan hunda irraa funaana. Hawwiinshee aangoo argachuu waan ta’eef. Hiriyootashee dabarsitee kennuun aangoo argachuuf duubatti hindeebitu. Odeeffanuma Qamalee irraa argameen warri Dhaaba Walqixxummaa Bineensotaa, Qeerransa qabanii mana hidhaatti gatan. Leenci, Arbii fi Gafarsi kana yeroo dhaga’an baay’ee nahan. Bilisa nu baasa jedhanii kan isaan abdatan mana hidhaatti darbatamuu isaatti aaruu irra darbanii akka waan abdii kutachuu ta’an. Garuu, Leenci isaan keessa jiraachuu isaatti jajjabaatan. Leenca hurufaa baroodu asii lafti rom’iti jedhu mitiiree? maal kana qofaree Loon lafee Leencaa dheessiti jedhuwooti. Walii galteen harrootaa waraabessa hinmiidhu yoo ta’eyyuu leenci garuu qofumasaa waan jaallate raawwachuuf aangoo qaba. Leenci abdii bineensota warreen miidhamaniiti.
Egaa waa’een waraabessaafi leencaa maal waan akka qoosaatti dhumatu ta’eree? Waa’ee isaaniitiif oduu durii qindeeffamee jiru kan gafarsi arbarraa dhaga’ee dhufee seenessetu kan kanaa gadiiti. ”Maatii waraabessaafi maatii leencaa tokkotu ture. Ollaa tokko keessa waliin jiraatu. Yeroo dheeraaf haala gaariin waliin jiraatan. Maatiin lachuuyyuu ijoollee hedduu waan qabaniif walumaan taphataa guddatan. Yeroo ture keessa ilmi leencaafi ilmi waraabessaa warri angafti dargaggooman. Ajaja warraa dhiisanii fedhii isaanitiin bobba’uus eegalan.
Gaafa tokko ganamaan ka’anii lafa fagootti duulan. Duula kanaan ilmi leencaa sangaa booji’e. Ilmi waraabessaa ammoo sa’a rimaa booji’e. Lamaanuus waan booji’an qabatanii qe’eetti galan. Yeroo gabaabaan booda sa’i ilma waraabessaa raada dhalte. Ilmi leencaa ammoo waan kana argee inaafe. Achiin duuba raada fudhatee sangaa ofii jala kaawwate. Ilmi waraabessaas:
“Maaliif raadakoo fudhatta?” jennaan
“Sangaa kiyyatu dhale.” jedheen.
Ilmi waraabessaa akka malee aarus ilma leencaatti dubbachuu ni sodaate. Kanaaf galee abbaa ofiitti himate. Waraabessi (abbaan ) aaree dheekkamaa manaa gadi bahuun:
“Amma ilmi leencaa eessa jira?” jedheen.
“Kuunnoo gama sani.”
“Tulluu guddaa saniin garami?”
“Tulluuma santu isa.”
“Ibidda boba’u saniin hoo garami?”
“Ibidduma santu ija isaati?” jedhe ilmi.
Yoona kana abbaan waraabessaas sodaatee callise. Dubbiinis akka inni yaade hin taane. Kanaaf dubbii karaa nagaan fixuuf murteesse.
Guyyaa itti aanu abbaan waraabessaa subiin ka’ee abbaa leencaa bira deeme. Akka ijoolleen waldhabdeefi sababiin wal dhabdee ammoo saamicha ilmi leencaa ilma waraabessaarratti godhe ta’uu itti hime. Abbaan leencaa ammoo ilmisaa akka yakka hin godhinii fi raadattii kan dhale, sangaa ilmasaa ta’uu dubbate. Kanumaan dubbii jaarsummaan gahachuuf walii galan. Qamalee, waldiigessa jaldeessa, booyyee, karkarroo, qeerransa, sardiida, adurreefi yeyyii jaarsummaa
lakkaawwatan. Dilbata itti aanuttiss odaa qummuudduu jalatti jaarsummaa dubbachuuf beellamatanii addaan galan.
Guyyaa jaarsummaa abbaan waraabessaa ka’ee qilxuu qummuudduu jala dhaqe. Isatti aanee ammoo warri jaarsaa saddeet ta’anii dhufan. Takka turee abbaan leencaa dhufe. Qamaleen garuu ni barfatte. Gobaan akka isii hin waraannef kophee hodhataa ooltee galgala dhaqxe. Gaafa isheen achi geessu leenci itti dheekkame.
“Guyyaa guutuu suma eegaa oolle. Hanga ammaa maal hojjechaa turte?” jedheen.
“Lafa takkatu tarsa’ee ishee hodhuutti ture” jetteen
“lafti yoom tarsa’ee hodhamee beeka?” jedheen ija babaasaa.
“Sangaanimmoo yoom raada dhalee beeka?” jettee utaaltee damee qilxuu qabatte. Leencis utaalee fiixee eegee ishee qabate.
“Gooftaa moofaa gadhiisii haarawa qabi jettee udaan itti gadhiifte. Gaafa leenci eegee gadhiisee udaan qabuu dhaqu ishiin qilxuu fiixetti baate.
Jaarsummaan guyyaa guutuu ukkaamamee ooles wayita san xumura argate. Jaarroleen sodaadhaan rakkataa oolan carraa kanaan waraabessaaf dhugaa muran. Jaarsummaanis kanumaan addaan gale. Leenci akka malee qamaleetti aare. Kanaaf haaloo hadhaawaa itti qabatee, bahaa gala ishii hordofuutti ka’e.
Akka carraa naannoo sana burqaa bishaanii tokko qofatu ture. Kanaaf leenci bishaanicha gubbaa taa’ee qamalee eeggachuu jalqabe. Qamaleen karaa bishaan dhugdu dhabde. Kanaaf mala adda addaa baafatte. Jirbii hodhitee uffachuudhaan bifa jijjiirrattee dhuguutti kaate. Yeroo leenci,
“Ati eenyu?” jedhuun
“Warra Jijooti.” jettiin.
Haala kanaan yeroo dheeraaf erga fayyadamaa turteen booda gaaf tokko garuu tooftaan ishii irratti beekame. Osoo bishaan dhuguutti jirtuu bubbeen jirbii isheen ofitti martee jirtu sana irraa kaase. Leencis utaalee ishii qabachuun, cancalaan hidhee mukatti ishii fanniisuudhaan
halangaa ittiin ishee reebu fidachuuf gara bosanaatti imale.
Qamaleen abdii kutachuun waan gootu wallaaltee utuu bo’aa jirtuu jaldeessi deemaa dhufee,
“Maal taatee boossaa aaddee Qamuu?” jedheen.
“Gooftaan coomaafi aannan fiduu deeme. Waan guddaa fidee dhufee yoo nyaattee fixuu baatte sin reeba naan jedhe. Garaan tiyya ammoo baayyee xinnoodha. Cooma fi aannan gooftaan fidu nyaadhee dhugee fixuu hin danda’u kanatu na boosisa” jetteen. “Ati hin rakkatiin. Garaan kiyya baayyee guddaadha. Kanaaf qoodakee anaan hidhii deemi; ani hidhamuu wayyaa” jedheen. Kanumaan walii galanii qamaleen isa fanniftee biraa deemte.
Takka turee leenci halangaa hedduu guurratee dhufuun, gaafa fannoo irratti ishee fannisee deemerra ishee ilaaluu jaldeessa rarra’u argee,
“Obbo jaldu maal asii hojjettaa?” jedheen.
“Gaaffii akkanaa dhiisii waan qamuun nyaattufi dhugdu fidi!” jedheen jalduun. Leencis halangaa roobii sa matumaa cituu hindandeenye sana tottolfatee,
“Qamuun kana nyaattii, kana nyaadhu!”
“Qamuun kana dhugdii, kana dhugi!” jedhee gara halangaa saddeetii irratti fixe.
Qamaleen birbirsarra teessee waan jaldeessi ta’u daawwatti.
Jaldeessa gogaan isaa uratee erga foon isaa cicciteen booda leenci hidhaarraa hiikee gadhiise. Jaldeessis iyyaa fiige.
“Maaloo yaa qamu guggubadhee, maaloo….maaloo ….. yaa qamuu maaloo…..” gaafa inni jedhu, Qamuun ammoo;
“Caffee gurraattii keessa gangaladhu!” jetteen.
Gaafa jalduun caffee keessa gangalatu goondaa/jaamaan itti duudde. Cinqiin daran itti hammaatte.
“maaloo anuu irra caalaattuu du’ekaa maaloo du’ekaa” jedheen.
“Gara saroota warra gubbaa sanaatti fiigi! Gaafa xiqqoon dhufte dheessi! Yeroo guddaan dhufu eegi!” jetteen. Jalduunis akka qamaleen jette godhe. Sarootni gaafa isa argatanis isa kukkutatan. “In nyaannaan nama nyaatti.” jedhama mitiiree.
Waraabessi warra lubbuun jiran qofa utuu hintaane, warra du’aa boolla keessa jiran illee baasee bineensa nyaatudha. Bineensa ajaafi urgaa waa tokkoo adda baafatee hinbeeknedha. Amala harrummaa qaba; isa Harreen ‘ ani duunaan margi hinmargiin’ jedhu sanaan walfakkaata. Akka jaldeessaas waa hedduu walitti haree fiiga. Akkuma waraabessi huuruu qallattuyyuu garaanshee dooccoo ta’ee jraatu, akkasuma jaldeessis garaasaaf jiraata. Kanaaf fakkaata Waraabessi ‘kan garaa malee kan maqaa yoom nadhibe’ jedhee kan inni ofrratti mammaakuuf. Garaatti warreen goran bineensa garraamota ta’an hedduu lafarraa fixaniiru. Mammaaksa ‘utuu garaan miilla taate bollaa nama buufti’ jedhan sana duubatti gataniiru.
Leenci mootiin bineensotaa ammas ta’e bor hangafummaasaa bineensota isa gadi ta’anif dabarsee hinkennu. Dandeettii ganamaa kan uumaan isa badhaase guddicha sana cinatti tooftaaleefi tarsiimoolee haaraa kalaqachuun shira bineensonni karaa kamiinuu hammasaa hingeenye kun xaxaa ooltu maddashee cufee olaantummaasaa bineensota addunyaa maratti labsachuunsaa waan baay’ee fagaatu miti. ‘Afaan keenyi dhadhaa, garaan keenyi madaa’ jette niitiin ollaa jedhu mitiiree?…barri itti waraabessi Leencomu hafeetu, kan Leenci itti Leencomutu dhufa!
Ethiopia: Torture in the heart of Addis, even as leaders gather in gleaming AU building | Human Rights Watch
Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ethiopia’s Maekelawi Police StationOctober 17, 2013
Over the past year, I have spoken to dozens of people who were held in a detention centre called Maekelawi in central Addis. They described dire conditions and a range of abusive interrogation methods to extract information and confessions.
Since 2011, scores of high-profile individuals have been detained in Maekelawi under Ethiopia’s draconian anti-terrorism law, including journalists and opposition politicians, and held for months under the law’s lengthy pre-charge detention period as their “cases” are prepared for trial.
“Getachew,” a 22-year-old ethnic Oromo, was snatched from his university dorm, driven hundreds of kilometres to Addis Ababa, and locked up for eight months in Maekelawi. His parents were never informed of his whereabouts; he was never charged or given access to a lawyer; and never appeared before court. He was ultimately released on condition that he would work for the government.
Like Getachew, many of the people detained in Maekelawi over the past decade are political prisoners — arrested because of their ethnicity, their real or perceived political opinions and actions, or journalism work. Voicing peaceful dissent or criticism of government policy is increasingly risky.
In a new report, ‘They Want a Confession’: Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ethiopia’s Maekelawi Police Station, Human Rights Watch documents how the police who run Maekelawi have tortured and ill-treated detainees during investigations. Former detainees held in the facility since 2010 described how investigators slapped, kicked, and beat them with batons and gun butts. Some were held in painful stress positions for hours upon end.
Some are held in solitary confinement for days or months. Getachew said he was held alone and shackled for five months: “When I wanted to stand up it was hard,” he told me. “I had to use my head, legs, and the walls to stand up.”
Those held in Maekelawi’s two worst detention blocks, nicknamed by residents Chalama Bet [dark house] and Tawla Bet [wooden house], described particularly dire conditions.
To make matters worse, investigators use access to basic facilities and needs to punish or reward detainees. Even access to the toilet can depend on the whim of the police, as Getachew explained: “I was only allowed to use the toilet once a day, although after two or three months, I was allowed twice… They want to get something, and either they get some evidence or they don’t.”
Access to daylight is also restricted; one person said that he was taken outside for just a few minutes three times in 42 days in the dark cells. Several former Chalama Bet detainees complained of lasting vision problems.
Detainees have also been denied access to their families and legal counsel, particularly those detained on politically motivated charges.
Former detainees described being forced, often while being verbally abused and beaten, to sign statements and confessions for crimes they did not commit. Sometimes the confessions are presented in court as evidence or used to put pressure on those released to support the government and ruling party, as in Getachew’s case.
Most recently, the prosecution submitted statements gathered in Maekelawi from prominent members of the country’s Muslim community who were charged under the anti-terrorism law in 2012 for organising peaceful protests. There is credible information that several of the defendants were mistreated in Maekelawi, making their statements questionable.
The fate of those passing through Maekelawi’s gates is largely unknown to the outside world. Tackling the regular abuses of the rights of political prisoners’ right in the heart of the capital requires first acknowledging the violations and then making a commitment to address the culture of impunity among security forces.
Ethiopia’s leaders should publicly state that torture and other ill treatment is prohibited, and should take concrete steps to hold to account those found responsible for these abuses.
Most important, the Ethiopian government should ensure that no one is ever arrested for exercising their basic rights, including by peacefully expressing their political opinions.
That means urgently overhauling Ethiopia’s draconian civil society and counter-terrorism laws. But change is unlikely to happen unless key regional actors such as the African Union, the African Commission on Human Rights Peoples’ Rights, and Ethiopia’s foreign donors make their concerns known.
Turning a blind eye to the abuses in the centre of Addis Ababa should no longer be an option.
Laetitia Bader is an Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
You may ask people in Oromia, what is the language most widely spoken in Ethiopia’s prisons? Who are the ethnic groups singled out and subjected to extreme torture in Ethiopia’s notorious torture facilities? The answers to both questions are Afan Oromo (the Oromo language), and the Oromo people respectively. People have pointed to this time and again to the point that torture and political imprisonments are almost becoming synonymous with one ethnicity in Ethiopia, the Oromo people.
Let’s first put things in further perspective before proceeding to the discussion on the torture report released by Human Rights Watch.
According to Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (2010/2011 cited in Ayyaantuu.com, 2011), Ethiopia contributes 47.8 percent of the word’s torture survivors who flee to the U.S.,making Ethiopia the number one country in Africa and the world with the most numerous torture survivors of the 13 countries listed. Regional human rights abusers such as Eritrea and Sudan contribute 6.5 and 2.2 percent respectively. Of the 47.8 percent torture survivors from Ethiopia, the overwhelming majority who have come forward and testified are Oromo survivors. Some survivors have acted as “Truth speakers”, giving testimonies of their experiences in Ethiopia’s torture chambers.
Human Rights Watch just released a riveting account of torture in Maekelawi (comparable to Auschwitz of the Nazi era and Gitmo of the post-9/11 period). This report focuses only on one of hundreds of secret and open torture prisons in Oromia and Ethiopia. The conditions Oromo political prisoners, including school children, who have barely come of age, face in Maekelawi and Kaliti and other facilities of torture is similar to those faced by the Jewish community during the Holocaust. The comparison to Gitmo might be a little far-fetched since Oromo detainees are innocent and unarmed civilians who get thrown into torture prisons in most cases for no other valid reasons than their default belonging in a nationality group that is different, politicized and competing with the nationality group that controls the levers of power through totalitarian parties known as the Tigire Peoples Liberation Front/ The Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front.
I often get asked by Faranjii sympathizers with the Oromo conditions questions such as: did anybody try to sneak cameras into prisons and expose the tortures? Did anyone interview survivors of torture and human rights abuses and archive the information? Why is the Oromo diaspora reluctant and secretive to testify about the torture inflicted on them or on their family members in the homeland? Often, one finds oneself short of answers when faced with such pressing questions from aliens who care about Oromo.
When it comes to the Oromos doing the work by themselves, the answers to the above questions are resounding NOs, but luckily one could point to the organized work of Oromia Support Group and The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa for their specialty in putting specific ethno-national face to oft effaced torture in Oromia, Ethiopia.
You can add Human Rights Watch’s, “They Want a Confession”:Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ethiopia’s Maekelawi Police Station,” to the list of important reports. This is a response to the 76-pages report on the use of torture by the Ethiopian “government” to extract information from political detainees, the largest of whom happen to be from Oromo people.
HRW obtained interview data from over 35 former Maekelawi detainees and their family members of which the most poignant ones are acts of torture perpetrated on two Oromo students:
1) B.G., an Oromo student who was detained for eight days in cell number 8 in mid-2011, described the cell:This cell is partitioned into four others. I was in 8.2 [numbered as such], so they can identify the prisoners. There were four rooms with four people.They were very dark and narrow. The cell was made up of stones with a door and window of metal, there are no holes, and it is totally dark. These cells were only for the people they want to hurt more. There is no space for two people in these cells. I could only sit down and I could not stretch out. There is no toilet—you use the cell as a toilet (HRW, 2013: 29).
Put yourself in B.G.’s shoes and imagine how hard it might be to be targeted with such extreme torture methods in a dark room, possibly for years. Add to that a complication that no one, not even Human Rights Watch bothers to ask or understand: who are these people who are being disproportionately tortured in Ethiopia’s prison? Who are those who are not and so forth? These are commonsense questions, but answers to them can be very revealing as the ethnicity of those being tortured in Ethiopia are effaced under general and dubious labels such as the one by Human Rights Watch above, which makes it appear as if all ethno-national groups are equally targeted with torture and mass atrocity. They are not–the historic and current ruling ethno-national groups are more or less spared the extreme tribulations the Oromo have to go through based on tramped-up charges.
Also, below is another interesting text relating to the patterns of torture against Oromo students:
 L.V., an Oromo student held in Maekelawi in 2012, said his hand was broken when he was beaten on his hand while being held in this position and that over a year later his hand continues to hurt: In the interrogation room there was small piece of metal on the wall. They put me on it and locked my left hand to the wall and then my legs didn’t touch the ground. They beat me on my left hand. I think I was there one
hour, but I don’t know as I lost my memory (HRW, 2013: 34)
These texts are just the tip of the iceberg about what happens in Maekelawi and other torture prisons since many Oromos who end up in Ethiopia’s torture prisons barely survive to tell the stories, as in the case of Tesfahun Chemeda and thousands of others who died from barbaric acts of torture inflicted up on them for purposes of extracting information and for many other reasons, including for terrorizing the victims and making them spectacles of violence to discourage other actually or potentially dissenting Oromos.
It’s not new or surprising that Ethiopia is party to many treaties and conventions on torture and human rights. What is surprising is the lack of will among the so-called international community to disinvest from Ethiopia or to enforce regional and international laws to end the kind of torture that singles out members of a single ethnic group.
Many more activists like Tesfahun Chemeda will be killed in prisons, many more school children like B.G. and L.V. are going to endure torture at Maekelawi or elsewhere, while foreign aid keeps flowing into the EPRDF regime’s coffer unabated, emboldening the torture nation of Africa, Ethiopia, to even torture more without accountability.
Reports can expose injustice and making headlines can make us happy temporarily, but as long as they are not followed-up by international or regional actions, they just raise our hopes and disappoint us more, but we still need them so the stories of those people who have paid heavy prices are not lost in vain. We wait hopefully for actions to follow words while also reinvigorating our will and ability to come forward and tell these crucial stories.
Visit http://afaan.com.au/ for more details.
Dying language revived – the story of Afan Oromo in Ethiopia
October 20, 2013 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com |
(by Luke Waters | SBS.com.au) – Toltu Tufa is a young lady with abundant energy and a clear objective.
“My aim is to create Oromo educational resources for every child in every family in every home,” she says.
Frustrated at a lack of resources for Oromo language and culture classes, she created her own.
Not one to do things by halve, Toltu first visited and consulted nine Oromo communities around the world before devising the package comprising flash cards, posters and books.
She says community input ensured images and information are culturally appropriate, relevant and effective
An internet presence is critical in reaching more of the estimated 40-million Oromo people globally, but Toltu says there are practicalities to consider.
“I think with on-line technology there is a real potential for this to catapult into something viral… something massive,” Toltu says.
“I also think there’s still room for the hard copy books because there are so many countries where people don’t have access to technology and don’t have access to internet and wi-fi.
A website spruiking the program was launched last week and the hits are already in the thousands.
But for Toltu it’s all about the classroom.
“More than the verbal response…it’s the physical response that I see in children when they see the products,” she says.
“Their eyes light up and they say, ‘wow this is something I’ve never seen before’.
“And looking at the parents, some of the parents have been quite emotional saying I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”
But one response means more than most.
“I think one person that who reacted like that who touched me most deeply was my dad.”
And she says he’s played a key role.
“When it came to the Oromo language, the only person I had was my Dad,” Toltu says.
“The way he taught me was literally verbally.
“This is how we do things, this is how we speak, this is what the Oromo language is about.
“He taught me with pen and paper and growing up that’s what everybody else seemed to be doing.”
In broken English, Abdul-Wahab Tufa describes his pride for his daughter’s work, and memories of a time when the Oromo language was banned in Ethiopia.
“Yes, punishment…put in the jail make some problem some people death,” he says, describing the punishments that speaking the banned language could exact.
Toltu Tufa says it’s a privilege to have ensured the survival of a language for her father and community.
“I feel really lucky that I’ve got a tool that I can use to help grow what my Dad actually planted a very long time ago.
“I feel really, really privileged to be able to do that and to be able to do that with my community. (It’s) not just me saying, ‘Hey this is what I’ve got, how we going to make this work?’
“But everybody is giving me feedback and suggestions and (we’re) creating something together. That’s been the most special part for me.”
Now, Toltu’s seeking funding to roll the program out globally – but there are no flash cards or posters involved in this appeal.
She has taken to YouTube to send her message.
“Regardless of where you are in the world, let me know if you have what it takes and together lets pledge to preserve a language whose story needs to be told.”
- Source: SBS.com.au
To the Global Oromo Community: can you gather 100 people in
your city to revitalise Afan Oromo? If ‘yes,’ contact Afaan to register your city for selection. CLICK HERE FOR REGISTRATION
“Yoo waraabessa irraa hafte keenya” jette sareen harreedhan.
Harree fi gadadoon nama irraa hin gortu.
Kan dhiqantu nama dhiqa jatte wacitiin.
“Warra walnyaatu jidduudhaa waa nyaatu” jedhe namichi.
Bara humna qaban sagaliin lolu, bara humna hin qabne sagalee tolu.
“Dubbii mammaaksa hin qabnee mannaa ittoo sogidda hin qabne wayya” jedhe Oromoon.
Hidhamtootni siyaasaa reebaman, Poolisiin mormitoota fi gaazexessitoota dirqisiiseee jecha isaanii fuudhuuf gochaa reebichaa irratti raawwata (Gabaasa Human Rights Wach)
Itoophyaa: Hidhamtootni siyaasaa reebaman, Poolisiin mormitoota fi gaazexessitoota dirqisiiseee jecha isaanii fuudhuuf gochaa reebichaa irratti raawwata
(Naayroobii, Ankolololeessa 7, 2005) – Mootummaan Itoophiyaa hidhamtoota siyaasaa mana hidhaa Addis Ababaatti argamu keessatti kanneen hidhaman reebicha fi ergarama adda addaa akka irraaan gayaa jiru gabaasa har’aan kana baaseen Huumaan Raayit Woch ibse. Mootummaan Itoophiyaa hatattamaan tarkaanfii fudhatee gochaawwan seeraan malee Poolisoota Federaalaa Kutaa Qorannaa Yakkaatiin, bakka Maa’ikalaawii jedhamee beekamutti kan raawwataa jiru akka dhaabatu akka godhu, dhimmoota/iyyatoota akkanaa qaama gidduu galeessa ta’een akka qorachiisu, namoota dhimma kanaaf ittigaafatamummaa qabaachuun isaanii mirkanaayes akka seeratti dhiyeessu.
Gabaasni fuula 74, “Akka nuti ragaa of irratti baanu barbaadu’: Reebicha fi ergarama Buufata Poolisii Maa’ikalaawii , Itoophiyaa,” gabaasa dhiibbaa mirga dhala namaa irra ga’u, tooftaa qorannoo seeraan alaa, fi mana hidhaa qulqillina hin qabne Maa’ikalaawii kan bara 2002 irraa eegalee itti fufe. Hidhamtoota mana hidhaa Maa’ikalaawii keessatti hidhaman keessaa baay’een isaanii mormitoota siyaasaa, gaazexessitoota, qindeessitoota hiriira nagaa fi riphee lolaa deeggartan maqaa jedhuun namoota shakkamanidha. Huumaan Raayit Waach hidhamtoota Maa’ikalaawii tti hidhamanii turan fi firoottan isaanii dabalee namoota 35 ta’an dubbisuudhaan odeeffannoo akka argatetti angawootni mootummaa dirqiidhaan odeeffannoo barbaadu kennisiisuuf akka isaan reeban, waantota dhala namaaf barbaachisoo ta’an akka isaan dhorkataa turan fi mirga ogeessota seeraa fi maatii isaanii waliin wal arguu dhorktamaa akka turan himaniiru.
“Motummaan Itoophiyaa handhuura magaala guddittii Finfinnee keessati odeefannoo guurrachuuf irreetti gargaarama,” jette Leslie Lesfkow, itti aantuu Direkteera Huuman Raayit Woch . “ Rukuchaa, reebichaa, dirqisiisanii jecha gaazexessitoota fi mormitoota siyaasaa irraa fuudhuun waan tasuma ta’uu hin malle dha.”
Akka Huuman Raayit Woch jedhutti, erga bara 1997 keessa filmaatni jeeqamee asitti Itoophiyaan haala ittiin mormitoota qabdu itti hammeessaa dhufte, seera malee nama qabanii hidhuu, sababa ilaalcha siyaasaatiin nama yakkuu, seera badaa farra shororkeessitummaa jedhu jalatti hmachuu dabalatee namootni akka mormitoota siyaasaatti mootummichi shakke Maa’ikalaawii tti hidhamanii jecha isaanii akka kennan taasifama.
Angawootni mai’kelaawii, keessattu ogeessotnio poolisii qorannoo geggeessan, reebicha fi miidhaa hamaa hidhamtoota to’annoo isaanii jala jiran irraan gayu. Namootni kanaan dura mana hidhaa kanatti hidhamanii turan Huumaan Raayit Wochtti akka himanitti yaroo jecha kennan akka kabalamuun, dhaanaman fi meeshaa adda addaatiin rukutaman ulee fi sadafii qawweetiin akka dhayaman addeessu. Akkasumas, hidhamtootni kun qaamni isaanii akka lafa hin geenyetti haala rakkisaa ta’een sa’aa dheeraaf girigiddaatti akka malee qaamni isaanii fannifamee akka dhukkubu akka taasifamu fi yaroo baay’ees akka reebaman ibsu.
Barataan Oromiyaa tokko ji’oota baay’eef harki isaa hidhamee akka nama waliin wal hin argine qophaatti ka’ame dubbate: “ waan harki koo hidha ta’eef yerooon lafaa ka’u mata koo gidaaratti hirkiseen miilla kootti gargaramee ol ka’a. Yeroon nyaata nyaadhullee hidhameetuman nyaadha. Yeroon nyaata nyaadhu harka koo fuulduratti na hidhu, yeroon rawwadhu ammoo harka duubatti deebisanii na hidhu.”
Manneen Hidhaa beekamoo Maa’ikalaawii keessatti argaman afran akka jiranitti haalli isaanii badaa yoo ta’u, hanga ta’e garuu wal irra jiru. Kuta “callamaa Beet” (mana dukkanaa), tti hidhamtonni duraanii akka ibsanitti mana fincanii fi ifa guyyaa achitti argachuu akka hin dandayamne ibsu. Gariin isaanii ammoo mana qophaa keessatti hidhamaa turani. Gariin “Xaawulaa Beet” (mana mukaa) keessatti hidhamaa turan ammoo akka diida bakka ifaa arganitti hin bane taasifaman fi akka injiraniin weeraramanis himatan. Qorattoonni akka mirgaatti hidhamtootni argachuu kan malan sadarkaa itti argatan towachuudhaan waan ofii barbaadan hidhamtoota irraa argaachuuf yaalu, malli kun mana biraatti isaan jijjiiruu faa of keessatti qabata. Yeroo hiikamuun isaani dhihaatu hidhamtoonni maqaa “Sheraton” hoteela beekamaa addunyatti beekmaaa ta’een waamamutti akka geeddaraman baayi’sanii gaafaatu. Bakka kanatti hidhamtoonni akka garaa isaaniitti deddemuu danda’u.
Hidhamtoonni Callamaa Beet fi Xaawulaa Beet keeessati hidhaman yaroo jalqaba hidhaa seenan, nama seeraa fi maatii isaanii waliin wal hin argisiifamani; hireen mana fincaanii fi ifatti ba’uuf argatanis baay’ee murtaawaadha. Firoonni isaanii yeroo hedduu firoota isaanii gaafachuuf Maa’ikalaawii deemanii akka arguu dadhaban dubbatu, sunis hanqa yeroon qorannoo firoota isaanii kanaa raawatutti kan itti fufudha, garuu yaroon isaa hedduu dheeraadha. Yeroo qorannoon geggeefaamu maatiin isaan dhiyootti waan hin argamneef hidhamtoota irra miidhaan ga’uu daranuu hammeenyi isaa guddaatti akka itti dhagaamu ta’a, miidhaan isaan irra ga’us hin galmeeffamu, sunis hidhamaan boodarra deebi’ee mootummaa akka hin himanneef hiree isa dhowwata, jedha Huuman Raayit Woch.
“Hidhamtoota abbaa seeraa fi maatii isaanii irraa kutuun, akkuma miidhaa qaamaa hidhamtootaa irratti guddisutti otoo hin barbaadiin akka fedhii qorattoota poolisii guutaanis dhiibbaa irratti godha.” Jette Lefkow. “Warreen Maa’ikalaawii keessa jiran yeroo qorataman gorsa ogeessota seeraa isaan barbaachisa, yeroodhaanis mana murtii dhihaachuutu isaan irra jira.” Huumaan Raayit Woch akka hubatetti, qorattoonni reebichaa fi doorsiisuudhaan hidhamtoota akka isaan fedhii isaanii malee jecha kennan godhu, yookaan ammoo dirqisiisuudhaan akka isaan barreeffama fi waraqaa ragaa irrati ta’u irratt akka mallateessan isaan godhu. Odeefannoon humnaan fuudhame kun booda irratti doorsisanii akka namootni fedhii isaanii malee mootummaa waliin hojjetan ittiin dirquuf itti gargaaramu ykn ammoo akka ragaatti mana murtii keessati
hidhamtoota irratti dhihaata.
Martin Schibbye, gaazexeessaan Suwiidin bara 2003 keessa Maa’ikalaawiitti hidhamee kan ture hidhamtoota dirqiidhaan jecha amantaa kennisiisuuf waan raawwatamu ibseera: “Namoota baay’ee Maa’ikalaawii keessatti argaman callisaniituma gaaffii tokko malee hidhuudhaan abdi kutachiisanii hanga jecha amantaa kennutti eegu, callisaniidhuma otoo waan tokko si hin gaafatiin hanga torban sadii faatti si hidhu, yeroon kun yaroo isaan jecha amantaa akka kennituuf si eeganidha, waanti cufti ragaa of irrati ba’uu kee irratti rarra’a. Polisiin waanti cufti mana murtiitti adda baafama jedha, garuu waanti mana murtiitti adda baafamu tokkollee hin jiru.” Huumaan Raayit Woch akka jedhutti, hidhamtoonni miidhaa isaan irra ga’ee ilaalchisee iyyachuuf carraan qaban baay’ee xinnaadha. Manni Murtii Itoophiyaa bilisummaan qabu xinnaadha, keessattuu dhimma siyaasa wajjin waan wal qabate irratti. Hidhamtoonni baay’een, dhimma shororkessitummaatiin kan himataman dabalee, ergarama baay’ee akka irra gayu kan himatanillee yoo ta’e manni murtii iyyatni akkanaa akka qoratamu ykn sababa namootni iyyataniif ergaramni biraan akka irra hin geenye gochuuf tarkaanfiin fudhatu murtaawaadha. Manni murtii iyyannaa miidhaa hidhamtootaaf furmaata kennuuf dursee socho’uutu irra jiraata; haa ta’u malee waanti akkanaa kan jiraatu mootummaan manneen murtii akka bilisa ta’anii hojjetan yoo isaaniif hayyame murtii isaaniis yoo kabajedha,, Huumaan Raayit Woach akka jedhutti.
Itoophiyaan waggoota dhiyoo asitti sochii dhaabota mirga namaa tiksuuf kanneen hojjetan akka malee kan daangessite fi gabaasa akka hin dhiyeessine kan gootu yoo ta’u haala mana hidhaa mooraa Maa’ikalaawiis akka hin ilaalles dhorkitee jirti. Gartuun tiksituu mirga ilma namaa kan mootummaa Itoophyaa erga 2002 asitti mana hidhaa Maa’ikalaawii yeroo sadii daawwatanii waa’ee rakkoo achi keessa jiru fi waa’ee nama dhoksaatti hidhuu ilaalchisee yaaddoo guddaa akka qaban ifatti ibsanii jiru. Haa ta’u malee hidhamtoonni duraan achi turan akka Huumaan Raayit Wochif ibsanitti, warri Koomishina mootummaa kun waan gartuu Maa’ikalaawiii waliin ta’anii isaan dubbisaa turaniif bilisa ta’anii waan isaan irra gaye itti himachuuf carra akka hin qabne addeessu.
Haala mana hidhaa Maa’ikalaawii daawwachuu, to’achuu fi akka fooyya’u gochuuf seerota mootummaa keessa lama irra deebi’amanii ilaalamuu fi faayyeffamuu qabu, isaanis seera dhaabota miti mootummaa fi Siiviik Soosaayitii akkasumas seera shororkeessitoota ittisu jechuuf bayanidha. Akka Huumaan Raayit Wochitti, seeronni kun dhaabotni mirga namaa tiksuuf socho’an keessaa kanneen bilisa ta’an to’annaa akka hin goone akka malee kan daandgessan, akka namni mana hidhaa keessati hin ergaramne fi akka maleetti hin miidhamneef sirnootni seeraa tumamuun irra ture akka hin jiraatne taasisanii jiru jedhu.
Akka heera Itoophiyaa fi hawaasni addunyaa seera jalatti bulan marti jedhanitti angawootni mootummaa hidhamtootni mana hidhaatti argaman ergaramni akka irra hin geenye mirkaneessuun irraa eegama, mootummaan Itoophiyaas ergarama raawwatamu fi dhiibbaa mirga namaa kanniin dhaabuun irra jiraata, namoota ittigafatamaummaa kallattii kanaan qabanis seeratti dhiyeessuu qaba, jechuun Huumaan Raayit Woch ibseera. Mootummaan Itoophiyaa rakkoon qabinsa mirga namaa jiraachuu isaa amanuu fi qabannaa hidhamtootaa sirreessuuf sagantaa hojii waggaa sadii fooya’insa qabinsa mirga namaa irratti kan baase yoo ta’u, sagantaan kun garuu reebicha hidhamtootaa fi miidhaa qaama isaanii irra geessifamu fooyyeessuuf waan ta’uu malu gochuu ilaalchise waan tokko of keessaa hin qabu; sanirra ijaarsa humnaa irratti kan xiyyeeffate fi jijiijrama bu’uuraa angawootni siyaasaa ergrama fi dhiibbaa mirgaa hidhamtoota irra ga’u fooyyessuuf tarkaanfii fudhachuu malan ilaalchisee homaa of keessaa hin qabu.
Maallaqa baay’ee baasuu, ogummaa fi dandeetti ogeessota Maa’ikalaawiii keessaa fi kan manneen hidhaa biroo cimsuun qofaa isaatti rakkoo mana hidhaa Itoophiyaa keessa jiruuf furmaata hin ta’u,” jette Lefkow. “ Jijiiramni dhugaa dhufee sirna warreen nama miidhanii osoo hin adabamin jiraatan dhaabuuf, furmaanni isaa warreen gurguddoota mootummaaf hojetan biraa dhufuutu irra jira.”
“Akka nuti ragaa of irrati baanu barbaadu: reebicha fi dararama mana hidhaa buufata Poolisii Maa’ikalaawii” fuula armaan gadiitti argama:
Odeeffannoo dabalataa deemsa hojii mana murtii fi seera farra shororkessituu Itoophiyaa
irratti waan armaan gadii ilaaluu dandeessu:
Odeefannoo dabalataaf, warra armaan gadii qunnamaa:
Amsterdam, Leslie Lefkow (English): +31-621-597-356 (mobile); or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @LefkowHRW
New York tti, Daniel Bekele (English, Amharic): +1-212-216-1223; or +1-917-385-3878
(mobile); or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @DanielBekele
Nairobi tti, Laetitia Bader (English, French): +254-70-024-1854 (mobile); or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @LaetitiaBader
Ottawa tti, Felix Horne (English): +1-514-894-8629 (mobile); or email@example.com
Police Abuse Journalists, Opponents to Extract Confessions
Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ethiopia’s Maekelawi Police StationOctober 17, 2013
Human Rights Watch researcher Laetitia Bader and former political detainees at Maekelawi, the main detention center in Addis Ababa, describe how officials had denied their basic needs, tortured, and otherwise mistreated them to extract information and confessions, and refused them access to legal counsel and their relatives since 2010.
The 70-page report, “‘They Want a Confession’: Torture and Ill-Treatment in Ethiopia’s Maekelawi Police Station,” documents serious human rights abuses, unlawful interrogation tactics, and poor detention conditions in Maekelawi since 2010. Those detained in Maekelawi include scores of opposition politicians, journalists, protest organizers, and alleged supporters of ethnic insurgencies. Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 35 former Maekelawi detainees and their relatives who described how officials had denied their basic needs, tortured, and otherwise mistreated them to extract information and confessions, and refused them access to legal counsel and their relatives.
“Ethiopian authorities right in the heart of the capital regularly use abuse to gather information,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “Beatings, torture, and coerced confessions are no way to deal with journalists or the political opposition.”
Since the disputed elections of 2005, Ethiopia has intensified its clampdown on peaceful dissent. Arbitrary arrest and political prosecutions, including under the country’s restrictive anti-terrorism law, have frequently been used against perceived opponents of the government who have been detained and interrogated at Maekelawi.
Maekelawi officials, primarily police investigators, have used various methods of torture and ill-treatment against those in their custody. Former detainees described to Human Rights Watch being slapped, kicked, and beaten with various objects, including sticks and gun butts, primarily during interrogations. Detainees also described being held in painful stress positions for hours upon end, hung from the wall by their wrists, often while being beaten.
A student from Oromiya described being shackled for several months in solitary confinement: “When I wanted to stand up it was hard: I had to use my head, legs, and the walls to stand up. I was still chained when I was eating. They would chain my hands in front of me while I ate and then chain them behind me again afterward.”
Detention conditions in Maekelawi’s four primary detention blocks are poor but vary considerably. In the worst block, known as “Chalama Bet” (dark house in Amharic), former detainees said their access to daylight and to a toilet were severely restricted, and some were held in solitary confinement. Those in “Tawla Bet” (wooden house) complained of limited access to the courtyard outside their cells and flea infestations. Investigators use access to basic needs and facilities to punish or reward detainees for their compliance with their demands, including by transferring them between blocks. Short of release, many yearn to be transferred to the block known as “Sheraton,” named for the international hotel, where movement is freer.
Detainees held in Chalama Bet and Tawla Bet were routinely denied access to their lawyers and relatives, particularly in the initial phase of detention. Several family members told Human Rights Watch that they had visited Maekelawi daily but that officials denied them access to their detained relative until the lengthy investigation phase was over. The absence of a lawyer during interrogations increases the likelihood of abuse, and limits the chances for documenting abuse and obtaining redress.
“Cutting detainees off from their lawyers and relatives not only heightens the risk of abuse but creates enormous pressure to comply with the investigators’ demands,” Lefkow said. “Those in custody in Maekelawi need lawyers at their interrogations and access to their relatives, and should be promptly charged before a judge.”
Human Rights Watch found that investigators used coercive methods, including beatings and threats of violence, to compel detainees to sign statements and confessions. These statements have sometimes been used to exert pressure on people to work with the authorities after they are released, or used as evidence in court.
Martin Schibbye, a Swedish journalist held in Maekelawi in 2011, described the pressure used to extract confessions: “For most people in Maekelawi, they keep them until they give up and confess, you can spend three weeks with no interviews, it’s just waiting for a confession, it’s all built around confession. Police say it will be sorted in court, but nothing will be sorted out in court.”
Detainees have limited channels for redress for ill-treatment. Ethiopia’s courts lack independence, particularly in politically sensitive cases. Despite numerous allegations of abuse by defendants, including people held under the anti-terrorism law, the courts have taken inadequate steps to investigate these allegations or to protect defendants complaining of mistreatment from reprisals.
The courts should be more proactive in responding to complaints of mistreatment, but that can happen only if the government allows the courts to act independently and respects their decisions, Human Rights Watch said.
Ethiopia has severely restricted independent human rights investigation and reporting in recent years, hampering monitoring of detention conditions in Maekelawi. The governmental Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has visited Maekelawi three times since 2010 and publicly raised concerns about incommunicado detention. However, former detainees told Human Rights Watch that Maekelawi officials were present during those visits, preventing them from talking with commission members privately, and questioned their impact.
Improved human rights monitoring in Maekelawi and other detention facilities requires revision of two repressive laws, the Charities and Societies Proclamation and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. These laws have significantly reduced independent human rights monitoring and removed basic legal safeguards against torture and ill-treatment in detention.
Ethiopia’s constitution and international legal commitments require officials to protect all detainees from mistreatment, and the Ethiopian authorities at all levels have a responsibility both to end abusive practices and to prosecute those responsible. While the Ethiopian government has developed a three-year human rights action plan that acknowledges the need to improve the treatment of detainees, the plan does not address physical abuse and torture; it focuses on capacity building rather than on the concrete political action needed to end the routine abuse.
“More funds and capacity building alone will not end the widespread mistreatment in Maekelawi and other Ethiopian detention centers,” Lefkow said. “Real change demands action from the highest levels of government against all those responsible to root out the underlying culture of impunity.”
Can the Oromo First Movement promote dynamics in Oromo struggle, which needs an empowerment of our resilient nation? (Fayyis Oromia)
Can the Oromo First Movement Promote Dynamics in Oromo Struggle, Which Needs an Empowerment of Our Resilient Nation?
I recently heard Jawar Mohammed speaking about the main objective of the currently ongoing Oromo First Movement;. He told one of the communities, which the movement is engaging now, that its main aim is to empower the Oromo people (Oromoo humneessuu) at three levels: at personal level, community level and national level. A few years ago, as Oromo nationalists were busy calling for tokkummaa qabsaa’ota Oromo (unity of liberation forces), one foreigner, but an Oromo friend, Professor Megalomatis, pointed out that what we really needed more was a dynamic movement (dynamics), not only the empowering unity, as I discussed his point of view here: http://gadaa.com/oduu/3244/2010/04/09/oromo-tokkummaa-for-bilisummaa-is-a-virtue-not-a-vice-but-is-it-impossible. It was a very good point indeed. We need to have such dynamics of action in our liberation struggle, not only a satisfaction by our dwelling on the necessary debates, talks and discussions we used to exercise till now.
Dynamics, in general, is defined as the social, intellectual or moral force that produces activity and change in a given sphere. That means, in deduction, political dynamics in a national liberation struggle is a national force that can produce activity and change in the political life of the concerned nation. What kind of activity, what sort of change and which direction do we, the Oromo people, need to achieve the Kaayyoo (goal) of our struggle? Are we really active enough? What is our desired change? Can we achieve that change? We can just ask and think over such questions and then try to get answers. Surely, we are not satisfied with our present situation; we want to change it, for which purpose we need power. That is why talking about the possible empowerment of our nation at this moment is not bad.
National empowerment refers to an increase in the political, social or economic strength of the nation. It often involves the empowered nation to develop confidence in its own capacities. It is also the process, which enables the nation to fully achieve its collective power, authority and influence as well as help it to employ that strength when engaging with other nations, peoples, institutions or societies. National empowerment is not simply giving the concerned nation a needed power from outside, because such nations already have plenty of power in the form of their collective knowledge and motivation to do their jobs magnificently. So, national empowerment can be defined as simply letting out nation’s own power and using it. It encourages people of such nation (in our case the Oromo) to gain the skills and the knowledge that will allow us to overcome the obstacles in our political life or to deal with the challenges in our region and, ultimately, help us develop as well as achieve our national goal.
Our national empowerment can include the following capabilities: our ability to make decisions about collective circumstances; the ability to get information and resources for decision-making; the ability to consider a range of options from which to choose; the ability to exercise assertiveness in a national collective decision making; having positive-thinking about our own ability to make a change; the ability to learn and attain skills for improving national collective circumstances; the ability to inform others in the nation through exchange of information, education and engagement; the involvement in the national growth process and in the changes that never end; the possible increasing of positive national self-image as well as an increasing mechanism for nation’s collective ability in discreet thinking to sort out the right and the wrong regarding our own interest.
When we do assess Oromo nation’s way of dealing with our own circumstances, I must say, the Oromo is one of the most resilient nations in the world. Our nation resisted and survived the negative forces, which threatened our existence and identity in the last about 3000 years. Actually, resilience refers to the property of being able to endure; it means to bounce back and be stronger – not crumbling and falling apart; it is when a nation had a bad past, and has bounced back and has put its bad experience behind itself and moved on with its life. Is Oromo nation not resilient in this sense? Just as various types of metal, when subjected to external forces, may remain supple, bend or break, so the national identity of a people, when attacked or threatened continuously like what the Oromo experienced till now, may remain unchanged, adapt, or be pushed to a breaking point. Fortunately, the Oromo, as a nation, did not yet break under the hitherto oppression by the domination/colonizing forces, but remained supple and, of course, adapted in some areas. That is why, I dare to say that the Oromo nation is almost as supple as a metal.
Now, when the Oromo First Movement is engaging the Oromo comunities all over the world, we have to be able to think over the way how to empower this resilient nation, so that we can have a necessary political dynamics to achieve our Kaayyoo. Till now, we have tried to promote tokkummaa (unity) for we knew that tokkummaan humna (unity is force), but we do not have to forget the reverse truth: humni tokkummaa dha (force brings unity). In this short opinion, I would like to concentrate on this second premise. Besides our effort to foster unity, we need to find ways to empower our liberation camp in order to strengthen our unity of purpose. No question that we are observing nowadays the fact that both our foes and our fools are trying to weaken the Oromo liberation camp by sowing discords among the Oromo nationalists. It is sometimes entertaining to hear and read them in the cyberworld and community life concentrating on only the “mistakes and weaknesses” of the Oromo liberation leaders in particular, and that of the Oromo liberation forces, in general. How can someone with sound mind cry, lament and talk about the the mistakes/weaknesses of the same organization/person for about twenty years unless otherwise that person is an Oromo foe with bad intention or an Oromo fool with no good intention? Let’s just register move of such people, but no need of wasting our resources (our money, energy and time) in dealing with them unless they are really a threat to our liberation struggle.
What we need in the coming years is to concentrate on how to empower ourselves personally, our communities, our liberation army, our liberation forces and our nation. Let’s celebrate Irreessaa daily in a sense of its second meaning, i.e. in a sense of empowering our nation. What are some measures to be taken so that we can achieve this empowerment? For instance, engaging and encouraging our communities as the Oromo First Movement is doing; helping our national army, despite the present campaign, which both our foes and our fools are making to hinder us from supporting OLA (Oromo Liberation Army) by giving our money,… etc are two of the ways we can use in order to contribute what we can. Additionally, just as OLA raised its guns, let our intellectuals pick up their pens to write what ever promotes our struggle and let them compose whatever necessary to tackle the propaganda from our adversaries. Above all, let’s stay bold and strong to deal with the worst circumstances, which we, as a nation, are facing nowadays.
Just as we have done in the last many hundred years, we are struggling today, not only against the Abyssinian domination/colonial forces, but also against their international handlers. For we had and still have few friends from the international community, we need to be self-reliant. Also, the fact that our neighboring countries (Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, the Sudan and Yemen) are cooperating with our tormentors in Finfinne palace by deporting our friends, who sought refuge there, should not discourage us. It was in such lack of international support and lack of regional sanctuary that the Oromo nation remained supple and survived till now. Surely, we will do the same also in the future. Now, not only our neighboring countries and the traditional supporters of Abyssinia (all the Westerners, Israel and Russia), but also the newly emerging world power-players like China and India are moving against our interest by grabbing our land.
All these challenges can be the main reasons to motivate us, the Oromo people, to come together and empower ourselves. We have no time for luxury to be divided and to quarrel on minor and secondary issues, like the never ending dispute on the artificially created “difference of Kaayyoo: Ethiopian/Great Oromian democratization vs Golden Oromian decolonization.” I do not want to comment on this issue for I already wrote about it more than enough, but important to mention is just to observe how both our foes and our fools like to talk about it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week in attempting to disintegrate and divide Oromo nationalists. Let’s ignore their mantra and concentrate on the constructive way of doing our liberation business. Of course, there are very few genuine nationalists, who are neither a foe nor a fool, but do this same divisive job based on their resentment against the few Oromo liberation factions or liberation leaders. These are the nationalists who, as Oromo used to say: “kan gaara ol bahuu dadhabee, dalga fiiga” (the one who can not walk upward on a hill, prefers to run horizontal, but in a wrong direction away from his/her intended goal). For such individuals, any struggle against an enemy is a hard job; so they usually do have no better concept to fight against the enemy, but they tend to lament against their own friends, who do their best, the action which is not as such constructive even to lead the lamentors to their own intended goal.
If such few nationalists feel to be genuine Oromo freedom fighters, then they have to learn from almost all football (soccer) coachs/trainers, for instance from the coachs of Manchester United and the likes. When these trainers suffer any defeat because of certain mistakes committed by their own players, they usually go to the media and talk as if they are also part and parcel of the mistakes. They say “we” had so and so mistakes so that we lost the match, and then go on to plan what they need to correct and improve for the future games. We do not hear or read from them any sort of blaming, cursing and denouncing of their own players, which, actually, only their opponents can do. Parallel to this, no wonder when our foes and fools do purge their cursing against our political players, for the foes have their own bad intention and the fools have no good intention for the Oromo. But, the disgruntled genuine Oromo nationalists, who play the same role of character assassination, should learn from these soccer coachs and identify themselves with the possible “mistakes and weaknesses” of our leaders (our political players) so that we can correct them and move on.
This is a reason why I would like to encourage all Oromo nationalists, who want to see a free and liberated Oromia, to distance themselves from the destructive actions of our foes and our fools, and take steps to concentrate on the constructive way of empowering our resilient nation. Let’s do and give what we can to make Oromo nation powerful. The whole secret of politics in this globe is about power; only if we get humna (force), we can assert our plans for our political, economic and social profit. That is why our enemies do their best to hinder the Oromo from being in power. But unfortunate to them, the Oromo nation, as resilient as we are, will definitely be the future power of that cursed region, be it in only few years or after 100 years. Time will come, when Golden Oromia will be independent and our neighboring countries, which are now deporting back our friends to be “eaten by Ethiopian hyena” in Finfinne palace, as once depicted by Gadaa.com with a very nice descriptive picture on its front page, will be ashamed of their today’s actions.
Such atrocities by the Abyssinian elites, the cooperation they do get from the regimes of our neighboring countries and from the international power players, can only motivate us to fight back, but not to be the cry babies, as our foes and our fools are doing, just in an attempt to paint us as such in the cyberworld. We now definitely need an empowering political dynamics in our liberation movement. For this dynamics to happen, we have to be more action-oriented and do our best. The ongoing practical steps taken by OLA in engaging our enemy by force must be encouraged; it seems that Oromo nationalists who have tried an “election” way to achieve the Kaayyoo have now recognized that no Abyssinian ruling force on earth is ready to give up its domination through only the ballot box and to allow Oromo freedom happen, be it within the Ethiopian/Great Oromian union or without a union. The best way to get our freedom is by combining bullet/armed struggle with ballot/non-violent struggle, but not only per futile exercise of “election.” We have to be clear here: there is no other alternative to strengthening OLA, if we want to promote the Oromo liberation movement. Of course, only our foes and our fools do oppose such empowering of OLA.
Let’s learn from SPLM of South Sudan. They fought fiercely; they lost about two million of their people; and now they already achieved their freedom and independence. Let’s not forget that they used to talk about both the autonomy within a united Sudan and the independence from the north part of Sudan, which had to be decided by public verdict per referendum. The same is true for Golden Oromia; no need of the foolish quarrel now on the issue: autonomy (internal self-determination) vs. independence (external self-determination). Only our foes and our fools, who used to cry against tokkummaa qabsaa’ota Oromo and against the possible tumsa (all-inclusive alliance) are interested to continue such a quarrel now, just in order to divide and disintegrate Oromo nationalists. I do encourage the genuine Oromo nationalists to stop such endless “discussion,” to concentrate on the armed struggle as well as the non-violent sgruggle, and then to coordinate it with a possible future civil disobedience and/or with a public uprising in Oromia.
Otherwise, we do not need to worry about the possible recognition of independent Golden Oromia by the international community now. When the time comes, those Westerners and the confused Cush elites (Abyssinian rulers), who still deny their Cushitic root and who talk about “the Tsionawit Tigray = Tigray related to Israel,” will surely be compelled to accept and respect our sovereignty. They will accept not only that of Golden Oromia, but also will recognize the other future free and sovereign Cushitic nation-states in the Horn. The possible future Cushitic nation-states to be liberated from the hitherto system of Abyssinization are: Beja-land (now divided into two: being part of Sudan and Eritrea); Agew-Midir (now divided into three: being in Amhara, Tigrai and Eritrea); Afar-Saho (now divided into three: in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti); Somali-land (now divided into six: British Somaliland, Puntland, Djibouti, Ogaden, South Somalia and the part in Kenya); Biyya-Oromo (now divided into four: Rayya in Tigrai, Wallo/Shoa in Amhara, OPDOs Oromia and the part in Kenya) and Sidama-land (which includes all Cushitic nations in the Southern Ethiopia). Note that other minor Cushitic and Nilotic nationalities in the region, which are too small to have their own nation-state, can be part of one of these mentioned nation-states. Ethiopia/Great Oromia, in a sense of Cushland (not in a sense of the derogatory Greek’s version), will be possibly only the future union of these free nation-states, if the nations will opt for a union rather than for an independence. To accomplish this, we need to fight against the present Habesha colonizers (against the system of domination by the Abyssinized Cushites), who have been always used and abused by the colonial forces of the Europeans in order to oppress and suppress their fellow Africans. Of course, the current puppet/instrument/servant of these neo-colonial Westerners is the ruling Woyane regime, which has to be removed by hook or by crook.
I hope such pawns of the Western power, who served their masters in the last many centuries, by denying their own true African/Cushitic origin, will come back to their sense and their root with the help of the Oromo national liberation struggle. Liberation of Biyya-Oromo will definitely lead also to the liberation of Agew-Midir aka Abyssinia (a derogatory name given by the Portuguese to this part of Cushland). It is surprising to observe Abyssinian elites talking about being proud Abyssinian/proud Abesha (which actually means be proud about the “land of bastards”) or being proud Ethiopian (proud for belonging to the “land of burnt-face”). They better leave being proud in this sense and accept being a citizen of either Agew-Midir or Biyya-Oromo. Abyssinized Agew are Cushites, just like their neighbor, the Oromo. The Abyssinized Oromo in the northern part of Oromia (Rayya, Wallo, South Gojjam and North Shoa) will definitely be part of Biyya-Oromo and, surely, be proud of being citizens of the future possibly free and independent Golden Oromia. To liberate these two nation-states (Agew-Midir and Biyya-Oromo), from both the hitherto false identity and from the hitherto Western influence, we, the Oromo nationalists, need to empower ourselves and create the necessary dynamics in the liberation struggle.
If we do empower ourselves now, create the necessary political dynamics and help our resilient nation move forward to our political freedom and national independence, surely we will have automatically unity of purpose between the Oromo nationalists, for which we are now vehemently struggling. Not only that, even the Abyssinian leaders will start to say to us: “The ball is in your court and the decision is yours. If you say unity, welcome; if you also say secession, you are also welcome; and I would like to say: welcome to a new brotherly state.” This was what Al-Bashir of Sudan said regarding the referendum by the people of South Sudan, as reported here: http://www.waltainfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24850&Itemid=52. So, Oromo freedom fighters, let’s be empowered and let’s create the dynamics we need to move to this level, where the Abyssinian rulers, will say the same regarding the Oromo and Golden Oromia. For this to happen, we need to empower the Oromo liberation forces in general, and OLA in particular now. If we choose and decide to be the fierce fighters for our cause, like the liberators of South Sudan, definitely also Waaqa/Rabbi will be with us and help us achieve our Kaayyoo. The Oromo First Movement seems to be the best instrument in realizing this process of national empowerment and success in our liberation struggle.