Serving the Oromo Nation in Oromia and Diaspora

http://www.oromiapress.com/mootummaan-wayyaanee-walgahii-miseensota-isaaf-magaalaa-sulultaa-irratti-taasiseen-naannoo-addaa-finfinnee-fi-magaalaa-finfinnee-keessatti-afaan-hojii-fi-barumsaa-afaan-amaaraa-qofa-akka-tahuu-qabu

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ): Ethiopian Leaders to Face a Trial for Genocide

By Betre Yacob.

Ogaden2

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) reported to have begun to work to bring Ethiopian authorities to justice for having committed a genocide in the Ogaden region. The International Commission of Jurists is a known international human rights organization composed of jurists (including senior judges, attorneys, and lawyers). The commission is known for its dedication to ensuring respect for international human rights standards through the law.

The report came right after different Swedish TV channels showed a movie smuggled out from Ogaden by an Ethiopian refugee, who had been a government official in the region. The 100 hours long movie is said to have many evidences of genocide committed by the Ethiopian government in the region.

Speaking to journalists, Stellan Diaphragm, the commissioner of the Commission, said that he would do everything necessary to bring the case to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Reports indicate that although Ethiopia is not a member of the ICC, the country can possibly face trial for crimes under international law.

The Ogaden region is a territory in Eastern part of Ethiopia, and populated mainly by ethnic Somalis. Since 2007, the region has been a site of brutal struggle between the government troops and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), a rebel group seeking for more autonomy for the region.

Different human right organizations accuse the Ethiopian government of committing grave human right violation (including genocide) against the civilians in attempt to control the ONLF’s public support.

According to the Genocide Wach, the crimes committed in the region include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, rape, torture, disappearances, the destruction of livelihood, the burning of villages and the destroying of life stock.

http://gadaa.com/oduu/22853/2013/10/31/chaltu-as-helen-and-oromophobia/

http://www.euronews.com/2013/10/29/bonus-interview-behranu-wakuma-ethiopian-migrant/

http://ayyaantuu.com/afaan-oromoo/baqattoota-oromoo-baayyinni-isaanii-26-taan-waraana-mootummaa-keeniyaatiin-qabaman/

http://www.oromiapress.com/norway-bergen-streets-fight-torture

http://qeerroo.org/2013/10/28/sabboontoti-oromoo-69-taan-oromummaan-yakkamuun-mana-murtii-wayyaaneetti-dhihaatan/

http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/In-soccer-Ohio-immigrant-students-bond-over-ball-4930425.php

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.

http://oromedia.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/j-obsee-8.jpg?w=556&h=742

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.

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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.

http://oromedia.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/j-obsee-6.jpg?w=540

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.

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/role-oromo-music-artists-oromo-national-liberation-struggle/

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!

Galatooma

Originally written by: Afendi Muteki

Translated by : Hambisaa Soolee

 

Female OLA 2In 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.

Read more @ Gulelepost.com

http://www.gulelepost.com/2013/10/23/the-untold-story-of-raggaatuu-the-famous-ola-commander/

Waraabessa Leencome WARAABESSA LEENCOME!

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!

October 21, 2013
Author(s):

Laetitia Bader

Published in:

The East African

Our Report:
Many journalists and diplomats who attend events in Addis Ababa’s gleaming new African Union building are probably unaware that it rests on the site of one of Ethiopia’s most notorious prisons. While that prison was torn down in 2007, its legacy of torture and abuse continues today at the heart of the capital.

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.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/video/55111235987/Bid-to-revitalise-African-language

 

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:

[2] 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.

http://youtu.be/fovweHvKoJM

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.

(For more on Toltu’s Campaign, visit Afaan.com.au)

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

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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

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24347284/how-an-ethiopian-torturer-hid-denver-7-years

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/10/19/dying-ethiopian-language-revived

“Yoo waraabessa irraa hafte keenya” jette sareen harreedhan.

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Harree fi gadadoon nama irraa hin gortu.

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Kan dhiqantu nama dhiqa jatte wacitiin.

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“Warra walnyaatu jidduudhaa waa nyaatu” jedhe namichi.

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Bara humna qaban sagaliin lolu, bara humna hin qabne sagalee tolu.

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“Dubbii mammaaksa hin qabnee mannaa ittoo sogidda hin qabne wayya” jedhe Oromoon.

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