Ethiopia’s election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance
By Daniel Calingaert and Kellen McClure The Guardian, Saturday 23 May 2015
‘Ethiopia’s elections are just an exercise in controlled political participation.’ Jason Mosley
On Sunday, millions of Ethiopians will line up at polling stations to participate in Africa’s largest exercise of political theatre. A decade-long campaign by Ethiopia’s government to silence dissent forcibly has left the country without a viable political opposition, without independent media, and without public challenges to the ruling party’s ideology.
For most Ethiopians, these elections are a non-event.
The one potential dividend of these sham polls, however, is the international attention they will garner for the government’s growing political repression. The blatant disregard for internationally recognised standards for free and fair elections just might convince Ethiopia’s largest donors that it is time to rethink their relationship with an increasingly authoritarian government.
As long as democratic governance and respect for human rights are pushed aside by donors in favour of economic development and security cooperation, Ethiopia’s long-term stability is at serious risk.
Since 2005, the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front’s (EPRDF) has cracked down on independent media and human rights groups.
In 2009, parliament passed the charities and societies proclamation, which placed restrictive regulations on non-government organisations, including limitations on foreign funding. Today,only a handful of these groups exist, and most are struggling to survive.
The preferred government strategy for eliminating independent media is to file criminal charges against publishers, and to impose hefty fines and prison terms. When lawsuits do not succeed, the government simply arrests journalists, as occurred last year when bloggers and journalists affiliated with the Zone 9 blogging collective were apprehended. The group remains imprisoned and charged as terrorists.
Post-election, the EPRDF, secure in its hold on power, might be willing to allow a small degree of dissent: Ethiopian officials are increasingly wary of reactions by the international community to the crackdown on critics and in 2013 published a national human rights action plan.
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The US, UK and European Union – Ethiopia’s largest donors – need to increase their support for democracy and human rights because much can be done right now.
Despite years of political repression, a new generation of human rights defenders is slowly emerging. The Zone 9 bloggers represented this new generation, using new technologies to educate fellow Ethiopians on exercising and defending their rights.
The human rights and democracy groups that remain are finding creative ways to conduct their work. This includes working with traditional development organisations, which the government generally tolerates, or focusing on seemingly apolitical issues, such as government accountability and corruption, that are important in strengthening Ethiopia’s democracy.
Donor countries fall short in their support for these groups. In the US, President Barack Obama’s latest budget request includes some $400m (£257m) in assistance to Ethiopia – but only $2m of it is for democracy and human rights programming.
The UK is equally parsimonious in democracy support. One reason is that the EPRDF makes it difficult for domestic groups to accept outside aid.
Donors could take concrete action right now. First, supporting off-shore programming allows activists to travel outside Ethiopia to get technical and strategic advice. Second, donors’ strategies for Ethiopia should include funds specifically dedicated to strengthening independent media outlets and journalists; the EU intends to take this step after the election.
Placards belonging to protestors outside the Foreign Commonwealth Office to demand the immediate release of UK citizen, Andargachew Tsege, who is being held in incommunicado detention in Ethiopia, having been kidnapped in Yemen in June 2014. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
A poster demanding the release of UK citizen Andargachew Tsege, who was kidnapped in Yemen last June and is being held in Ethiopia. Photograph: Stephen Chung/Alamy
Also, donors can find ways around foreign funding restrictions by pushing for the creation of funding pools considered local under Ethiopian law. The EU did this in 2011, when it created the Civil Society Fund, providing assistance to local human rights and democracy groups. The US should use its economic and diplomatic leverage to do likewise, a move that would provide a much-needed lifeline for these groups.
Greater funding for human rights will be vital for Ethiopian activists, whose reach has been limited by the charities and societies proclamation.
Before that came into being six years ago, the country’s leading human rights organisation, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO), operated with a budget of $400,000 and 60 employees.
Today, its budget is less than half that figure, and staffing is down 80%. The only thing keeping EHRCO alive is financial aid from the EU Civil Society Fund.
Ethiopia receives nearly $4bn in official development assistance. This is more than any other country in Africa and makes up a significant portion of the government’s annual budget. If the US, UK, EU and Canada coordinated policies, Ethiopia would have to respond to their human rights and democracy concerns.
Ethiopia’s election should be a wake-up call for the international community. With each successive election that does not allow genuine choice, both apathy and resentment grow, and Ethiopia risks falling prey to the same instability that has plagued its neighbours.
Daniel Calingaert is executive vice-president of Freedom House. Kellen McClure is an advocacy officer in its Africa programmes.
Even by Ethiopia’s own standard, the 2015 elections appear to be far less competitive than the last two polls. The country’s one-time vocal opposition is all but decimated, in part because of their own undoing but largely due to the ever-tightening political space and the lack of freedom to organize.
Ethiopia: Onslaught on human rights ahead of elections
Amnesty International, 22 May 2015
The run-up to Ethiopia’s elections on Sunday has been marred by gross, systematic and wide-spread violations of ordinary Ethiopians’ human rights, says Amnesty International.
“The lead-up up to the elections has seen an onslaught on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. This onslaught undermines the right to participation in public affairs freely and without fear as the government has clamped down on all forms of legitimate dissent,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
The Ethiopian authorities have jailed large numbers of members of legally registered opposition political parties, journalists, bloggers and protesters. They have also used a combination of harassment and repressive legislation to repress independent media and civil society.
The lead-up up to the elections has seen an onslaught on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. This onslaught undermines the right to participation in public affairs freely and without fear as the government has clamped down on all forms of legitimate dissent.
In the run-up to Sunday’s elections, opposition political party members report increased restrictions on their activities. The Semayawi (Blue) Party informed Amnesty International that more than half of their candidates had their registration cancelled by the National Electoral Board. Out of 400 candidates registered for the House of Peoples Representatives, only 139 will be able to stand in the elections.
On 19 May, Bekele Gerba and other members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC)-Medrek were campaigning in Oromia Region when police and local security officers beat, arrested and detained them for a couple of hours.
On 12 May, security officers arrested two campaigners and three supporters of the Blue Party who were putting up campaign posters in the capital Addis Ababa. They were released on bail after four days in detention.
In March, three armed security officers in Tigray Region severely beat Koshi Hiluf Kahisay, a member of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (EFDUD) Arena-Medrek. Koshi Hiluf Kahisay had previously received several verbal warnings from security officials to leave the party or face the consequences.
In January, the police violently dispersed peaceful protesters in Addis Ababa during an event organized by the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ). Police beat demonstrators with batons, sticks and iron rods on the head, face, hands and legs, seriously injuring more than 20 of them.
At least 17 journalists, including Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu and Wubishet Taye, have been arrested and charged under the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP), and sentenced to between three and 18 years in prison. Many journalists have fled to neighboring countries because they are afraid of intimidation, harassment and attracting politically motivated criminal charges.
Civil society’s ability to participate in election observation has been restricted under the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSP) to only Ethiopian mass based organizations aligned with the ruling political party.
Amnesty International calls on the Africa Union Election Observation Mission (AU EOM) currently in Ethiopia to assess and speak to the broader human rights context around the elections in both their public and private reporting. It also calls on the AU EOM to provide concrete recommendations to address the gross, systematic and widespread nature of violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly which have undermined the right to participate in public affairs freely and without fear.
“The African Union’s election observers have a responsibility to pay attention to human rights violations specific to the elections as well as more broadly,” said Wanyeki. “The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights protects the right of Ethiopians to freely participate in their government. This right has been seriously undermined by violations of other civil and political rights in the lead-up to the elections.”
Amnesty International has been monitoring, documenting and reporting on the human rights situation in Ethiopia for more than four decades.
Since the country’s last elections in 2010, the organization has documented arbitrary and politically motivated arrests and detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, as well as gross, systematic and wide-spread violations of the rights to freedom of expression and association.
OLF Statement: The Ethiopian sham election serves only the dictatorial government
The Ethiopian sham election serves only the dictatorial government The Tigray dictatorial ruling class was built on excessive military power. The regime indulged the country into extreme poverty. The corruption of the ruling class was one of the main machinery that put the country into the highest level of economic inequalities where the few members of the ruling class became the richest and the majority of the citizens are unable to even earn their daily bread. This high level of inequality resulted into absolute poverty, migration and loss of lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Today hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian people are living in hunger and insecurity in their own country. Some are cherished in Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea while they were trying to escape from unfair and abusive government. For the last 24 years, since the Tigray ruling class came to power, the corruption, displacement of people and human rights abuses have increased with the tremendous speed. This misery darken the political space and eradicated people’s hope for democracy. The Ethiopian people have been denied political freedom and rights of expression of their opinions. In this current regime, it is a crime to have different political opinion rather than supporting the Tigray ruling class’s party. The Ethiopian regime recorded highest level of Human rights abuses, killings, and intimidations not only in African continent but also in the world. The Tigray ruling class came to power with military force; it has built its dictatorial regime on military power and will continue to do so. One party dictatorship rule was the vision they had from the very beginning. They proved their vision within the last 24 years. In the future, they want to rule Ethiopia under one party dictatorship rule. The Tigray ruling class never listened to the Ethiopian people, nor willing to listen in the future. The responses to peoples’ questions were imprisonments, tortures and killings. The main priority for the Tigray ruling class is to stay on power. One of the strategy they designed to stay on power is to carry out fake election every five years. The last four elections proved that the ruling class is the most dictatorial regime on the planet. This 5th election that will take place on May 24, 2015 is not different from the previous elections. This election will not make any change to the political system and democracy in the country but it is only to renew the power of the ruling class for the next 5 years. This election is not democratic and not expected to fulfil the interest of the Ethiopian people. The election board is established by the current ruling class; the so called participating political parties are not treated fairly; the members of the opposition parties are arrested, harassed and beaten; the election process do not follow the democratic principle. Therefore, one can easily to judge the outcome of such unfair and sham election. The Ethiopian people was struggling for peace and democracy for several years. Among the people struggling for their rights the Oromo people was on the forefront. The Oromo people was struggling for many years and made huge sacrifices to regain their freedom and democracy. The Oromo people is not struggling to gain nominal seats in dictatorial government system but to become free from a century long political, economic and social domination. This objective cannot be achieved through participating in the election organised by the dictatorial ruling class. Particularly to the Oromo youngsters and students, you have made significant sacrifices to move the Oromo struggle forward. In order to make your sacrifices yield a fruit, you must continue your struggle for freedom and democracy. Participating in this fake election means that you forget the sacrifices your brothers and sisters made. Participating in this election means that you’re building the power of your perpetrators. From many years’ experience, the OLF knows the plan and behaviour the Tigray ruling class. The OLF knows that this regime is not prepared to leave its position even if they lose the election, which is unlikely within the current election process. Therefore, the OLF wants to inform the Ethiopian people in general and the Oromo people in particular, that this election stands only to serve the Tigray ruling class and to keep them in power for the next 5 years. This election does not fulfils the interest the Ethiopian people and do not lead to peace, stability and economic development of the country. The OLF wants to remind the Oromo and other people in Ethiopia that it should not mislead by this sham election. Particularly to the Oromo people, you are the first target of the Tigray ruling class. The power and strength of this regime works against you. So the OLF remind you to stay away from any activity, including the current election that build the Tigray regime and keep them in power. Victory to the Oromo people! Oromo Liberation Front May 23, 2015
Filannoon Fakkeessaa fi Kijibaa Abbootii Irree malee Ummatoota hin Fayyadu.
Filannoon Fakkeessaa fi Kijibaa Abbootii Irree malee Ummatoota hin Fayyadu. Bittaan gita bittoota Tigraay ummatootaa Itophiyaa irratti humna qawween of irroomse Itophiyaa tarree biyyoota hiyyeeyyii keessaa baasuu hin dandeenye. Kadhaa gargaarsa alagaa irraa argamuun jireessuu keessaa baasuu dadhabee har’as taanaan Impaayerittiin hiriira biyyoota gargaarsaan jiraatan keessatti akka hiriirtetti jirti. Saaminsi daangaa dhabe murna aangoo irra jiruun adeemsifamu abbootii aangoo duroomsee lammiilee sadarkaa of jiraachisuu dadhabuu fi abdii dhabuu irraa, kanneen osoo jireenya barbaadanii galaana keessatti dhuman, biyyoota gara garaa keessatti haala suukanneessaa fi gaddisiisaan ajjeefaman lakkoobsi guddaa dha. Bilisa tahanii gurmaa’uun, yaada qaban ibsatuun guutummaatti yakkatti fudhatamee hidhaa, ajjeechaa fi roorroo gosa gara garaa lammiilee irraan gahuun Itophiyaan biyyoota Afriikaa irra dabree sadarkaa addunyaatti iyyuu tarree duraa keessatti argamuun haala qabatamaa biyyattii keessaa ibsa. Saaminsi, cunqursaan, buqqa’insi fi dhiittaan mirga dhala namaa waggoota 24 dabraniif adeemsifamee fi sadarkaan har’a irra gahe egeree biyyattii kan dukkaneesse, ummatoota kan abdii dhabsiise dha. Wayyaaneen qawween dhufe. Qawweenis jiraate. Fuula duras Itophiyaa abbaa irrummaa paartii tokkoo jala tursuun murtii isaa bosonaa qabatee dhufe tahuun kan shakkamu miti. Ammas kana ifaan labsatee jira. Mootummaan Wayyaanee, ummatootni maal barbaadan? maal gaafataa jiran? Maalis hawwan? jedhee yaada ummatootaa hubatee gaaffii isaaniif deebii kennuuf kan fedhii hin qabne tahuu irraa gaaffiin ummatootaa deebii hin argatiin jiran. Kan Wayyaaneetti fardii, akkaataa itti aangoo humnaan argate tiksatuu danda’u irratti bobba’uu qofa. Waan taheef aangoo isaatti iggitii godhatuuf mala adda addaatti fayyadama. Tooftaalee aangoo irra ittiin of tursuuf itti gargaaramaa turee fi jiru keessaa filannoon kijibaa waggaa shan shanitti adeemsifamu isa tokko. Filannoon Caamsaa 24, 2015 itti baallamamee jirus Wayyaanee aangomsuun alatti faydaa biraa argamsiisu hin qabu. Sababootni isaas haalli filannoon kun ittiin adeemsifamu kan ulaagaa filannoo dimokraatwaa hin guutne tahuu qofa osoo hin taane murni Wayyaanee sagalee ummataan aangoo kan gadi hin dhiisne tahuu murteeffatuu irraa ti. Filannoon 5ffaa kun filannoota kanaan duraa irraas addummaa hin qabu. Kan filannoo kana mataa itti tahuun geggeessaa jiru boordiin filannoo kan sirnichaan sirnichaaf utubame dha. Kana waliin dorsisii fi dinniinni, hidhaa fi dhaaninsi mootummaa Wayyaaneen ummatoota irratti raawwatamaa jiru nageenya isaa kan gaaffii jala galche, bilisummaa isaa haqee sodaa itti bulche dha. ABOn akeekaa fi amala Wayyaanee bareechee waan beekuuf, akkasumas, itti bahi filannoo iftoomina hin qabnee, haqa irratti hin hundoofnee fi dimokraatawaa hin taanee maal akka tahu waan hubatuuf filannoo Caamsaa 24, 2015 hawwii fi fedhiin ummatootaa ittiin guutamaa irraa hin eegu. Kana irraa ka’uudhaanis yeroo gara garaatti ummatootni Itophiyaa addatti ammo ummatni Oromoo filannoo fakkeessii Wayyaanee akka lagatu waamichaa kan dabarsaa ture. Har’a Itophiyaa keessatti jibbinsa Wayyaanee fi sirna cunqursaa Wayyaaneen durfamu irraa ummatootni qabsoo hadhaawaa geggeessaa fi gaaffiilee adda addaa kaasaa jiran. Kanneen sirnicha irratti mormii finiinsaa jiran keessaa ummatni Oromoo durummaan hiriiree argama. Ummatni Oromoo kan ilmaan isaa wareegaa jiru, qabeenya isaa itti dhabaa fi baqaaf saaxilamee mankaraaruu irratti argamu, filannoo kijibaa keessatti hirmaatee barcuma lamaas tahe kudha lama argatuuf miti. Rakkoo siyaasaa, dinagdee fi hawaasummaa jaarraa tokkoo oliif irratti saare dhabamee walabummaan isaa dhugoomee bilisa tahee jiraachuufi. Akeeknii fi hawwiin ummata Oromoo kun ammoo filannoo sirna abbaa irrummaa jalatti geggeeffamuun tasa hin argamu. Waan taheef ummatni Oromoo haqa kana hubatuun furaan dhibdee isaa qabsoon malee kan hin argamne tahuu beekee, filannoo kijibaan akka hin dagamne ABO irra deebi’ee gadi jabeessee hubachiisuu fedha. Filannoo kana keessatti hirmaatuun mootummaa irratti qabsaawaa jiru seeressuu qofa taha. Filannoo mootummaa farra ummata Oromoo irroomsu keessatti qooda fudhatuun haada sirnichi mormatti nu kaa’ee jiru ofitti jabeessuu qofa taha. Addatti ammo dargaggoon Oromoo qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo fuula dura tarkaanfachiisuu keessatti wareegamni baasaa turtanii fi jirtan akka firii godhatu dandeessisuuf Fincila Diddaa Gabrummaa jabeessuun filmaata isa duraa akka tahetti itti fufsiisuun murteessaa dha. Morkaa fi xiqiin ykn jibbiinsa Wayyaanee qofa irraa ka’uun filannoo kijibaa jala gugatuun wareegama kanaan dura baafame irratti bishaan naquu taha. Waan taheef ummatni keenya sochii aangoo mootummaa Wayyaanee seeressuu kamuu lagatuun mirga isaa qabsoo isaan harka galfatuuf akka qabsoo isaa finiinsu ABO gadi jabeessee waamicha isaa haaromsa. Injifatnoo Ummata Oromoof! Adda Bilisummaa Oromoo Caamsaa 18, 2015
European Parliament Discusses Situation in Ethiopia ahead of 24 May Election: Is the EU Evaluating an Ambiguous Tradeoff?
UNPO, 22 May 2015
On 20 May 2015, the situation in Ethiopia ahead of the 24 May parliamentary election was discussed during the European Parliament’s monthly plenary session in Strasbourg. After an introductory statement on the EU’s policy towards Ethiopia by Commissioner Christos Stylianides, speaking on behalf of EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, MEPs from across Europe and the political spectrum were given the opportunity to express their point of view on the issue. While several MEPs expressed deep concern for the human rights situation in Ethiopia, especially in the Ogaden region, and argued that the EU should make better use of its power and funds, others underlined the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the country, considered to be a cornerstone for stability in the Horn of Africa. Overall, the debate largely reflected the EU’s dilemma of a constant tradeoff between economic/security related interests and its core values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
That Ethiopia is an important partner to the European Union, especially thanks to the stabilising role it plays in the Horn of Africa and in countering religious extremists such as Al Shaabab, is hardly any breaking news. Neither is the important progress the country has made in terms of economic development in recent years. And yet, this is what the statement of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini emphasised, while also, albeit rather softly, approaching the problems surrounding the upcoming Ethiopian election. While recognising that 24 May will not signify a victory for pluralist democracy with a free and fair plebiscite, the statement continued by stressing that the EU has raised its concerns with the Ethiopian government and that democratic transition always takes time.
Among the MEPs participating in the debate, Davor Ivo Stier (EPP), Miroslav Piotrovski (ECR), Cécile Kyenge (S&D), Lidia Senra Rodriguez (GUE), Jordi Sebastiá (EFA/Greens), Bogdan Wenta (EPP), Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD), Josef Weidenholzer (S&D), Alessia Mosca (S&D), Julie Ward (S&D) and Ana Gomes (S&D) expressed great concern with regards to the human rights situation in the country, referring to, amongst others, the appalling statistics on imprisoned and exiled journalists and the difficulties faced by opposition groups who had tried to register for the elections. Many of the aforementioned also highlighted the fact that the previous elections, in 2005 and 2010 respectively, to which the EU had sent election observation missions, had been declared ‘not fair’ – a criticism bluntly rejected by Ethiopia.
The alarming situation in the Ogaden region, where trade and humanitarian embargos, accompanied by severe repression and human rights violations, including systematic rape, are severely affecting the population, was raised by Julie Ward, Ana Gomes, Josef Weidenholzer and Jordi Sebastiá. Well informed about the dynamics in the Horn of Africa, they warned that the situation in Ethiopia is all but stable; on the contrary the Ethiopian Government’s repressive policies are providing fertile ground for extremists to operate on.
Moreover, many of the interventions echoed that the EU and its Member States should be bolder in conditioning development funds to Ethiopia on the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Also highlighted was the importance of carefully monitoring these funds and making sure that they are actually used for development projects, rather than to finance crackdown on dissidents and political opposition movements. In this context, it was recommended that the EU issue a statement ahead of the elections, or immediately after, stating clearly that it does not consider these elections a manifestation of democracy.
Another line of argument was maintained by MEPs Louis Michel (ALDE), James Carver (EFDD), Marie-Christine Arnautu (non-attached) and Steeve Briois (non-attached), who argued that although the EU should encourage Ethiopia to adhere to international human rights standards, the first priorities should be to keep a good relationship with the government and put even more emphasis of the question of regional stability.
Following the heated debate the ball was passed back to the Commission for the HR/VP’s response: whereas the EU will continue to engage in development efforts, it will also work towards strengthening human rights, and deepen its engagement to promote long-term democratisation in Ethiopia. This seemingly vague approach shows that the EU is currently facing a moral dilemma with regards to Ethiopia, whereby the economic and security interests at stake allow for a rather relaxed attitude towards Ethiopia even, if it is clear that the latter does not adhere to the Union’s core values of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, including minority rights.
Nevertheless, the announcement made during the Plenary session of HR/VP Mogherini’s intention to travel to Ethiopia in the near future could be seen as an opportunity for the EU to take a firmer stance on the human rights dimension of its relations with Ethiopia under the Cotonou Agreement, and to pressure for the embargo to be lifted and for international NGOs and journalists to be allowed access to the Ogaden region. Although it might be economically beneficial for the EU to maintain its soft approach to Ethiopia in the short term, UNPO firmly holds that the only way to achieve long-term stability and prosperity is through the unconditional fulfilment of the human rights of all Ethiopians, including the Ogaden and Oromo people.
You can access the list of speakers and the video of their statement on the European Parliament’s website(the discussion on the situation in Ethiopia started at 17:10).
Ethiopia: Elections Signal Need for U.S. Policy Change
Freedom House, Washington, May 21, 2015
In advance of Ethiopia’s elections scheduled for May 24, Freedom House issued the following statement and policy recommendations:
“The Ethiopian government’s disregard for international standards for free and fair elections as it prepared for voting should convince the United States that it must rethink and shift its relationship with that government,” said Mark P. Lagon, president of Freedom House. “For Ethiopia to represent a stable, reliable ally in the region, U.S. security and economic assistance must be accompanied by Obama administration strongly urging it take tangible steps to strengthen civil society’s voice, good governance, and democracy.”
Reallocate a portion of the economic and security assistance to programs dedicated to supporting democracy.
Push for creation of a special U.S. fund that could become a source of outside support for Ethiopian human rights and democracy groups.
Regularly request that visiting U.S. officials obtain access to detention centers where journalists, human rights defenders and other political prisoners are being held.
Pursue a strict application of all laws and regulations, including the Leahy Law, that ensure security assistance does not go to perpetrators of human rights abuses.
Include in the USAID country development strategy clear guidance on the importance of supporting independent media in Ethiopia, to promote freedom of expression, ensure accountability of government, and fight corruption.
OFC/Medrek’s Last Campaign Stops – Gujii Zone, Borana, Xuquur Incinii (Diree Badhaas) & Holataa Towns and Bale, Huge Turnouts at Each Stop
The Oromo Federalist Congress’s (OFC/Medrek) last campaign stops before the upcoming Sunday polls were Gujii, Borana and Bale Zones in southern Oromia, and Xuquur Incinii (Diree Badhaas) and Holataa in central Oromia. At each of these campaign stops, OFC/Medrek supporters/voters had come out in huge recording-breaking numbers.
Gujii Zone: Southern Oromia:-
OFC Supporters/ Voters at Nagallee Borana stadium with Baqqalaa Nagaa
Xuquur Incinii (Diree Badhaas) and Holataa: Central Oromia
Dr. Merera Gudina with his supporters in Xuquur Incinii:
Bale: Southern Oromia
Duulli Filannoo Bara kanaaf gaafa Caamsaa 21 bara 2015 kana Godina Baalee Aanaa Sinaannattii fi Gooroo keessatti Dargaggoonnii fi Maanguddoon Biyyaa Waliin gurma’anii Uummanni Aanaa Kanaa Hubannoo Argatee Koongiresii Federaalawaa Oromoo Akka Filatuuf Magaalaa keessa naanna’anii Sochii guddaa gochaa yoo jiru.
Video of the OFC/Medrek Naqamtee Campaign with Ob. Bulchaa Dammaqsaa from a Week Ago
Burundi’s turmoil points to a shifting social and political landscape
Clár Ní Chonghaile, The Guardian, Thursday 21 May 2015
Analysts see the upheaval in Burundi as symptomatic of a public craving for principled politics and an end to the era of the autocratic statesman
The upheaval in Burundi may bear many of the hallmarks of a classic African military coup but, for some analysts, the crisis is indicative of a newfound public hunger for good governance, and a reaction against administrations run by political strongmen who cloak repression in the trappings of democracy.
As global leaders work on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), a blueprint for governing development over the next 15 years, young people in Burundi are making their own demands, of their leaders as well as international donors.
Their appeals for democracy and abuse-free institutional processes mirror the call in SDG 16 to promote the rule of law, ensure equal access to justice, and develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions.
Burundi refugees say there is no turning back as fears grow of reprisals at home.
Burundi’s crisis began in late April after the ruling CNDD-FDD party nominated President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term in the country’s June elections, despite a two-term constitutional limit. Protesters took to the streets and clashed with police.
Then, on 13 May, Major General Godefroid Niyombare told reporters that he had dismissed the president. The attempted coup was short-lived, however, and Niyombare is now on the run. Nkurunziza is back in charge, and fears of reprisals are widespread.
Rights groups say at least 20 people have been killed and more than 110,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring countries, raising fears of a “severe humanitarian crisis”.
Some observers predict a drawn-out period of uncertainty and violence, with particular risks for opposition activists and the media. Protests continued on Wednesday, while the government said local and parliamentary elections would be delayed for a week but the presidential elections would go ahead as planned on 26 June.
Some elements of the crisis – the timing of the coup to coincide with the president’s absence at a regional summit, the fear of ethnic tensions exploding – seem to hark back to Burundi’s unstable past. But Jesper Bjarnesen, senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, says the dynamic is different this time.
Bjarnesen visited the Burundian capital Bujumbura recently and met with young activists who style themselves “the Arusha generation”, a nod to the peace accords that, in 2005, brought an end to a 12-year civil war between Hutu rebels and the mainly Tutsi army.
For these activists, ethnicity is no more the issue than Nkurunziza himself: rather, they feel the president has violated the constitution.
“It’s about political principles,” says Bjarnesen. “That is remarkable. It’s not that long ago that ethnicity was in many ways the … defining split. What I got from [the activists] was this sense that formal politics are just not a useful medium for those not in power.”
Yolande Bouka, a researcher in conflict prevention and risk analysis at the Institute for Security Studies, says Burundi’s government has long shown a disdain for the Arusha peace accords that has chipped away at trust between political actors.
The protestors and the opponents to Nkurunziza’s third term are trying to evoke an African spring
Jesper Bjarnesen, senior researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute
“Should the conflict drag on and erode inter-ethnic trust … it is possible to see a flare-up of ethnic tensions,” says Bouka, adding that the international community should have acted sooner on warning signs that the authorities were cracking down on dissent after the 2010 elections.
Nkurunziza is not alone in attempting to use almost absolute political power to extend his rule. Next door, Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, is said to be considering another term despite a two-term limit. Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, already one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, has already changed the constitution to allow him to run again.
There are more cautionary tales. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila was forced to withdraw a bill seen as an attempt to extend his term after protests in January. Nkurunziza may also be mindful of Burkina Faso’s former president, Blaise Compaoré, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders, who was forced from office after he tried to change the constitution and run for another term.
End of Africa’s ‘big men’?
The idea that the “big man” model of rule is running out of steam may be gaining traction among the continent’s leaders.
At a regional summit this week, west African heads of state discussed a proposal to limit presidential mandates. The proposal was rejected because of opposition from Gambia and Togo, where there are no term limits, Reuters reported. But the discussion did not go unnoted.
“The protestors and the opponents to Nkurunziza’s third term are trying to evoke an African spring, with Burkina Faso setting the precedent. They are trying to use public protests to end a regime that has used both legal and illegal ways of reinforcing its grip on power,” says Bjarnesen.
Burundi unrest leaves 50,000 refugees facing dire conditions in Tanzania.
Thierry Vircoulon, project director for central Africa at the International Crisis Group, says Burundi’sproblems are in the 2010 elections, which most opposition parties boycotted.
“The first mandate of President Nkurunziza was about the consolidation of his power within the ruling party, and his second mandate was about the consolidation of his grip over the institutions and the preparation of his third mandate. This is a pattern that we see in a lot of post-conflict regimes in the region,” says Vircoulon.
A former Belgian colony, Burundi is one of Africa’s poorest countries, ranking 180 out of 187 states in the 2014 UN human development index. It relies on foreign aid for half its national budget. Britain’s Department for International Development ended bilateral aid in 2012, and has been criticised by a parliamentary committee for doing so.
Bjarnesen says that while donors are in a catch-22 situation, suspending assistance will only hurt the poorest. This month, the EU said it would withhold €2m ($2.2m) of aid, while Belgium also announced a suspension of electoral aid.
“Cutting aid in itself just does not work,” says Bjarnesen. “The threat now of cutting funding to the elections, who is that serving?”
For Bjarnesen, elections now would be devastating for the opposition but perhaps palatable to international partners – a situation that encapsulates an ideological tug-of-war between the merits of stability versus true democracy.
“To a large extent, the international community would rather have some sort of elections and then relative stability rather than continued political instability with the threat of conflict,” he says.
“That’s the biggest weakness of the response from the international community: it’s so short-sighted and focused on visible symptoms … whereas what is actually keeping the status quo is this kind of structural violence that has been in place since Nkurunziza came to power.”
Bjarnesen is critical of “international lenience” towards African governments. “The argument would be these are young democracies, they need time to develop … I think that moment has passed. I don’t see any reason why you would measure democracy in Burundi against standards other than those you use in the UK or Sweden.”
Peoples under Threat is Minority Rights Group’s annual authoritative rankings table which highlights those countries around the world where the risk of mass killing is greatest. Peoples under Threat is created by compiling data on the known antecedents to genocide or mass political killing. While the individual indicators describe the current situation – what is happening – the index as a whole seeks to predict what may happen. As an early warning tool, Peoples under Threat has been widely used by UN officials and other human rights and conflict prevention practitioners. Almost all the significant episodes of civilian killing that occurred over the last year took place in countries which were near the top of, or major risers in, 2015’s Peoples under Threattable. The Peoples under Threat ranking highlights countries most at risk of genocide and mass killing. The ranking is created by compiling data on the known antecedents to genocide or mass political killing. Click on a country to view its Peoples under Threat information. The large orange number indicates the country’s position in the ranking. http://peoplesunderthreat.org/ Indigenous people at risk , Anuak, Afars, Oromo, Somalis, smaller minoritiesOromo rally in LondonCommunities at risk in Ethiopia:Anuak, Afars, Oromo, Somalis, smaller minorities
The report shows that Ethiopia ranked ninth in 2014’s Peoples under Threat index – the same position as in 2013’s index. It is one of the countries that ranked the risk for genocidal mass killing is the highest. The culprit is the government controlled by the TPLF regime.
Peoples under Threat value
Major armed conflict
Prior genocide / politicide
Flight of refugees and IDPs
Legacy of vengeance – group grievance
Rise of factionalized elites
Voice and Accountability
Rule of Law
OECD country risk classification
The overall measure for each country is based on a basket of 10 indicators. The number in each row is drawn from the source for that particular indicator. The sources of data and calculations used are detailed on the Notes to Table page.
Ethiopia ranked ninth in 2014’s Peoples under Threat index – the same position as in 2013’s index.
How is Peoples under Threat calculated? Since the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, our ability to identify those situations most likely to lead to genocide or mass killing has improved. A number of comparative studies of the factors preceding historic episodes of political mass killing had been undertaken since the 1970s, but it was not until the 1990s that researchers pioneered quantitative longtitudinal analysis of a wide range of such factors, enabling the testing of different causal hypotheses. This research enabled the identification of those preconditions that were most likely to lead to genocide and political mass murder (politicide). Minority Rights Group International has drawn on these research fi ndings to construct the Peoples under Th reat table, although responsibility for the fi nal table is exclusively our own. Peoples under Th reat is specifi cally designed to identify the risk of genocide, mass killing or other systematic violent repression, unlike most other early warning tools, which focus on violent confl ict as such. Its primary application is civilian protection. Indicators of confl ict are included in the table’s construction, however, as most, although not all, episodes of mass ethnic or religious killing occur during armed confl icts. War provides the state of emergency, domestic mobilization and justifi cation, international cover, and in some cases the military and logistic capacity, that enable massacres to be carried out. Some massacres, however, occur in peacetime, or may accompany armed confl ict from its inception, presenting a problem to risk models that focus exclusively on current confl icts. In addition, severe and even violent repression of minorities may occur for years before the onset of armed confl ict provides the catalyst for larger scale killing. Th e statistical indicators used all relate to the state. Th e state is the basic unit of enquiry, rather than particular ethnic or religious groups at risk, as governments or militias connected to the government are responsible for most cases of genocidal violence. Formally, the state will reserve to itself the monopoly over the legitimate means of violence, so that where non-state actors are responsible for widespread or continued killing, it usually occurs with either the complicity of the state or in a ‘failed state’ situation where the rule of law has disintegrated. Certain characteristics at the level of the state will greatly increase the likelihood of atrocity, including habituation to illegal violence among the armed forces or police, prevailing impunity for human rights violations, official tolerance or encouragement of hate speech against particular groups, and in extreme cases, prior experience of mass killing. Egregious episodes of mass killing targeted principally at one group have also seen other groups deliberately decimated or destroyed. However, some groups may experience higher levels of discrimination and be at greater risk than others in any given state. Minority Rights Group International has identifi ed those groups in each state which we believe to be under most threat. (Th is does not mean that other groups or indeed the general population may not also be at some risk.) It should be noted that although these groups are most often minorities, in some cases ethnic or religious majorities will also be at risk and in relevant cases are therefore also listed in the table. In some cases, all the groups in the country are at risk of ethnic or sectarian killing. Th e overall measure is based on a basket of ten indicators. Th ese include indicators of democracy or good governance from the World Bank; confl ict data from the Heidelberg Institute for International Confl ict Research and the Center for Systemic Peace; data on the fl ight of refugees, internally-displaced persons and other populations of concern from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; indicators of group division or elite factionalization from the Fund for Peace and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; the US State Failure Task Force data on prior genocides and politicides; and the country credit risk classifi cation published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (as a proxy for trade openness). For citations and further information, see the notes to the table. For a fuller discussion of the methodology, see State of the World’s Minorities 2006. Based on current indicators from authoritative sources, Peoples under Threat seeks to identify those groups or peoples most under threat in 2015. http://www.minorityrights.org/13054/attachments/MRG_SWM15_PUTBrief_COMB_8.pdf
Peoples Most under Threat: The Oromo, Anuak, Afars & Somali (Ogaden) and other Indigenous People are Facing Genocide in Ethiopia, the Latest Annual Report Released on 18th May 2015 by Rights Group Reveals May 21, 2015
Yakka waraana mootummaan EPRDF/TPLFn uummata Oromoo fi barattoota Oromoo irratti fudhateen jiraattotii fi hojjettooti hostala Naqamtee haalaan kan gaddan yeroo ta’u Oromoonni adduunyaa irratti bakka hunda faca’anii jiran gochaa hammeenya wayyaanee kaan akka balaaleffatanii fi hirkoo baratootaaf akka ta’an Qeerroo dhaammata.
Gama biraan Haaluma kanaan walqabatee Yuunibarsiitiin Wallaggaa fi Magaalaan Neqemtee rafama guddaa keessa jirti, Mootummaan Wayyaanee lubbuu ilmaan Oromoo fi nageenya uummata Oromoof bakka tokko illee hin qabnee fi tarkaanfii gara jabinaa Oromoo irratti fudhachuun beekamu guyyaa har’aa caamsa 20/2015 immoo Magaalaa Neqemtee keessatti dabballota, fi
kaadiroota isaa waliin hiriira duula filannoo gaggeessa jira. Uummatni Oromoo magaalaa Neqemtee fi yuunibarsiitii wallaggaa humna waraanaa guddaan eegamaa jiruu, Barattootni Yuunivarsiitii Wallaggaa guyyaa hardhaa barnoota dhaabani jiru.
Armed TPLF (Agazi) forces that have camped in and occupied University of Wallagga in Naqamtee City have been engaged in terrorizing and torturing students and civilians in the city. It has been learnt that on 19th May 2015 the Agazi forces shot at and wounded 2 university students.
5 Oromo students from Adama University have been kidnapped by TPLF (Agazi) security forces. Kidnapping, torturing and violence against Oromo students and civilians is continued all over universities and entire Oromia. See the following table for few latest lists in Afaan Oromo.
Abarraa Ayyalaa fi kanneen biroo maqaan hin qaqqabin dararama jiraachuun maddeen keenya gabaasan. http://qeerroo.org/2015/05/15/humni-tika-fi-loltuun-feederaala-wayyaanee-barattoota-oromoo-yuuniversitii-wallaggaa-hedduu-reebuu-saamaa-jira-barattoota-afur-reebichaan-gara-malee-miidhe/
More than 50 Oromo students arrested by Ethiopia’s tyrannic TPLF regime in Ambo, Oromia; 20 being tortured
The statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA):-Ethiopia: The Endless Violence against Oromo Nationals ContinuesFear of Torture | HRLHA Urgent Action For Immediate Release May 7, 2015 Harassment and intimidation through arbitrary arrests, kidnappings and disappearances have continued unabated in Ambo and the surrounding areas against Oromo youth and intellectuals since the crackdown of last year (April 2014), when more than 79 Oromos, mostly youth, were killed by members of the federal security force. According to HRLHA correspondents in Ambo, the major targets of this most recent government-sponsored violence were Ambo University and high schools Oromo students in Ambo town. In this incident, which started on April 20, 2015, more than 50 university and high school students were arrested; more than 20 were severely beaten by the security force and taken to the Ambo General Hospital for treatment. Although it has been difficult to identify everyone by their names, HRLHA correspondents have confirmed that the following were among the arrestees: Those who were badly beaten and are being hospitalized in the Ambo General Hospital: According to HRLHA reporters, the arrests were made to clear out supporters and members of the other political organizations running for the 5th General Election to be held May 24, 2015. The EPRDF, led by the late Meles Zenawi, claimed victory in the General Elections of 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. The TPLF/EPRDF government of Ethiopia has started a campaign of intimidation against its opponents. Extrajudicial arrests and imprisonments, particularly in the regional state of Oromia, the most populous region in the country, began late October 2014. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these Oromo nationals who have been arrested without any court warrant, and are being held at police stations and unknown detention centers. The Ethiopian government has a well documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens, who were suspected of supporting, sympathizing with and/or being members of the opposition political organizations. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopia’s official prisons and other secret detention centers. HRLHA calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand the immediate halt to such extrajudicial actions against one’s own citizens, and the unconditional release of the detainees. RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its officials as swiftly as possible, written in English, Ahmaric, or your own language. The following are suggested: – Indicate your concern about citizens being tortured in different detention centers, including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release; – Urge the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that detainees will be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners, and that their whereabouts be disclosed, and – Make sure the coming May 24, 2015 election is fair and free. Read full statement from the following links: The Endless Violence against Oromo Nationals Continues, HRLHA Report, 7th May 2015
Ethiopia: Kidnapped And Disappearance of Oromo Civilians
Oromia Support Group Australia Appeal for Urgent Action: To: Committee on Enforced Disappearances and Committee against Torture Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD) Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Palais Wilson – 52, rue des Pâquis CH-1201 Geneva (Switzerland) Ethiopia: Kidnapped and disappearance of Oromo civilians Magarsa Mashsha And Urgessa Damana: Oromia Support Group Australia Inc. (OSGA) expresses its deep concern regarding the kidnapping a nd disappear an ce of two Oromo civilians by the Ethiopian security forces. Mr Magarsa Mashasha Ayansa was kidnapped and diapere d on April 23rd, 7pm local tim e while Urgessa Damana was on May 4th, 2015. Mr Magarsa, community health worker, a student of Ambo University is the local area resident. He was kidnapped by Ethiopian security forces from the country’s central city Fifinna (Addis Ababa) – Bole area – while he was on a trip for his personal business. In a similar situation, Mr Urgessa Damana a former Rift Valley University Student and resident of Ambo town also captured on 4th of May 2015 by Ethiopian security forces. Since then the whereabouts of theses Oromo civilians remained unknown. OSGA believes that th e Ethiopian government conduct violated the fundamental rights. The right to freedom from torture and the UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Per sons under Any Form of Detention and Imprisonment including the UN Standard Minimum Treatment of Prisoners is entirely denied. We are concerned that this pattern will continue to worsen. We respectfully believe that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) – Human Rights Treaties Division (HRTD) has a duty to use its diplomatic relationships with the reciprocal expectation of protecting human rights and legitimate democratic governance. These accusations reveal serious violations of human rights and legal process, and without external accountability, many vulnerable people will suffer in the country. We, therefore, urge you to: 1. Request the Ethiopian Government to reveal the whereabouts of these two Oromo civilians and immediate and unconditional release of them including all political prisoners under their captivity. 2. Request to investigate, amongst other things, actions taken by the Ethiopian Government security forces in the state of Oromia and the suffering of Oromo civilians in hundreds of official and hidden torture chambers. 3. Raise this case with the international community and other relevant United Nation bodies. Stress the righ t to remedy, restitution, compensation, non-repetition, and punishment of the perpetrators, in line with the UN Guidelines on the right to treat. We denounce the attacks on peoples who are exercising their fundamental and democratic rights. Thanks for considering of OSGA appeal Oromia Support Group Australia Read More:- osga-appeal-for-urgent-action-on-the-disapperances-of-mr-magarsa-and-urgessa-may-8th-2015-photo-include
Oromo national Urgeessaa Dammanaa, student from Rift Valley University, kidnapped by fascist TPLF Ethiopian security forces on 4th May 2015 and his whereabouts is not known.
Oromoo Hidhuu fi Ajjeessuu Araada Kan Godhate Mootummaan Abbaa Irree Wayyaanee, Sabboonticha Oromoo Barataa Urgeessaa Daammanaa Caamsaa 4 Bara 2015 Edda Ukkaamsee Har’aa Ukkaamsee Eessa Buuteen Isaa Hin Beekamne.
Gabaasa Qeerroo Finfinnee,Caamsaa 4,2015Caamsaa 04,2015 Mootummaan Abbaa Irree EPRDF/TPLF yakka tokko malee ilmaan Oromoo sabboontota ta’an ukkamsaa jira haala kanaan guyyaa har’aa sabboonaan Qeerroo Oromoo kan ta’ee barataa Urgeessaa Dammanaa Kumsaa humnoota tikaa mootummaa EPRDF/TPLF magaalaa Finfinnee keessatti ukkanfame. Barataa Yuunivarsiitii Rift Valley kan ture, Sabboonaan Qeerroon Oromoo Urgeessaa Daammanaa yakka tokko illee utuu hin qabaatiin daa’imummaa isaa irraa eegaluun Oromummaan yakkamee manneen hidhaa biyyattii garaagaraa keessatti hidhamuun dararamaa kan ture,fi bara 2011 Mana hidhaa Maa’ikalaawwii, fi Qaalliittii Waggaa tokkoo oliif badii tokko malee hidhamee dararamaa kan turee fi yeroo garaagaratti mana hidhaa lixaa Shaggar magaalaa Amboottis hidhama kan ture yoo ta’uu, Guyyaa har’aa kanas badii tokkoo malee FDG Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo gaggeessa jiru qinddeessiteetta jechuun yeroo dheeraa erga hordofamaa ture, ammas humnoota tikaa mootummaa Wayyaanee EPRDF/TPLF’n guyyaa hardhaa ukkanfamee eessa buuteen isaa hin beekamne. Sabboonaan Qeerroon barataan Oromoo kun FDG Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo biyyattii keessatti qindeessee gaggeessa jiru keessa harka qabda sabaabaa jedhuun nannoo dhaloota isaa Godina Lixaa Shaggar Magaalaa Amboo kolleejjii Rifti Valley Amboo utuu barachaa jiruu yeroo sochii Warraaqsaa FDG bara darbee Ebla 2014 Qeerroon barattootni fi uummatni Oromoo sirna bittaa Wayyaanee balaaleffachuun mormii guddaa gaggeessa turanitti FDG kana qindeessuu keessa harka qabda jechuun naannoo dhaloota isaa magaalaa Amboo irraa baqachiifame ,barnoota isaas akkatti baratuu dhabuun haala baay’ee rakkisaa ta’ee keessatti gara magaalaa Dirree Dawaatti barnoota isaa itti fufuuf akkuma Koolleejjii Rift Valley Damee Dirree Dawaatti galmaa’ee barnoota eegaletti hordoffiin humnoota tikaa fi dabballoota Wayyaanee itti jabaachuun akka barnoota isaa itti fufee barachuu hin dandeenye dhorkatame akkatti baratuu dhabuun gara magaalaa Finfinneetti deebi’uun hojiilee wardiyummaa fi hojiiwwaan humnaa garaagaraa hojjechuun utuu of jiraachisuu guyyaa hardhaa humnoota tikaa mootummaa EPRDF/TPLF’n ukkanfamee eessa buuteen isaa dhabamee jira. Ilmaan Oromoo biyya abbaa isaanii keessa jiraachuu dadhabuun Mootummaan Wayyaanee diina itti ta’uun mirga namummaa fi dimookiraasii mulqamnee guyyaa irraa gara guyyaatti ilmaan Oromoo ukkaanfamaa jiraaniif dhaabbileen mirga namummaa addunyaa fi mootummootni gamtooman uummata Oromoof dirmachuu qabu, ilmaan Oromoo biyyoota garaagaraa keessa jirtan dhaabilee Idil-Addunyaa mirgoota namummaa kabachiisan hundatti akka uummata keenyaaf iyyaannu Qeerroon bilisuumma Oromoo dhaamsa dabarsa.
11 years old Oromo child from Galamsoo town, Eastern Oromia was tortured and murdered by fascist TPLF security forces. Mootumma abba irree wayyaannen muca daa’ima waggan isa 11 ta’e wajjira poolisii magaala galamsoo keessatti ati ABO dhaf basaasta haati kee eessa jirti, mal hojjetti jedhanii utuu reebanii lubbuun isa darbite.Source: Social networks, 4 May 2015.
Ogeessa Fayyaa fi Barataa Yuuniverstii Amboo Kan Ta’e Sabboonaa Magarsaa Mashashaa Ayyaanaa Humnoota Tika Wayyaaneen Ukkaamfame.
The Ethiopian Government is Responsible for the Inhuman Treatments against Ethiopian Refugees and Asylum Seekers around the World
HRLHA Press Release
25th April 2015
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa has been greatly saddened by the cold-blooded killing of 30 Christian Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers in the past week in Libya by a group called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/ ISIS. The HRLHA also highly concerned about thousands of Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers living in different parts of Yemen were victimized due to the political crises in Yemen and hundreds have suffered in South Africa because of the unprecedented actions taken by a gang opposing refugees and asylum seekers in the country. The suppressive policy of the EPRDF/TPLF government has forced millions of Ethiopians to flee their country in the past twenty-four years. The mass influx of Ethiopian citizens into neighboring countries every year has been due to the EPRDF/TPLF policy of denying its citizens their socioeconomic and political rights. They have also fled out of fear of political persecution and detention. It has been repeatedly reported by human rights organizations, humanitarian and other non – governmental organizations that Ethiopia is producing a large number of refugees, estimated at over two hundred fifty thousand every year.
The HRLHA calls upon the Ethiopian government to unconditionally release the detained citizens and allow those who have been injured during the clash with police to get medical treatment.In connection with the incident that took place in Libya, on April 22, 2015 tens of thousands of Ethiopians marched on government- organized rallies against the killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya. However, with the demonstrators’ angry expressions were directed at the authorities, the police used tear gas against them and hundreds of people were beaten on the street and arrested. On the 23rd and 24th of April 2015 others were picked up from their homes and taken to unknown destinations according to the HRLHA reporter in Addis Ababa.
The Ethiopian government must stop political suppression in the country and respect the human rights treaties it signed and ratified
The Ethiopian Government must provide the necessary lifesaving help to those Ethiopians stuck in crises in the asylum countries of Yemen, South Africa and others.
The EPRDF/TPLF government must release journalists, opposition political party members, and others held in Ethiopian prisons and respect their right to exercise their basic and fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution of Ethiopia and international standard of human rights instruments.
Ethiopia: Police must stop the use of excessive force against demonstrators
April 27, 2015
PUBLIC STATEMENT April 22, 2015 AI Index: AFR 25/1515/2015Amnesty International calls on the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that police refrain from excessive use of force in policing demonstrations, after police violently dispersed mass protests in Addis Ababa yesterday. The Ethiopian authorities must respect the rights of demonstrators to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly.Video footage and photographs posted online show police beating protestors who appear to be offering no resistance, and tear gas being used against the crowd. A journalist in Addis Ababa told Amnesty International that 48 people had been seriously injured and admitted to different hospitals, and that many others sustained minor injuries. Two photos show wounded people being treated at hospital. Hundreds of others are reported to have been arrested.The protests started on Tuesday following circulation of a video showing the killing of around 30 people believed to be Ethiopians by the armed group ISIS in Libya. Two of the named victims have been identified as coming from Cherkos, Addis Ababa. Hundreds of relatives and friends were gathered outside their family homes before spilling on to the streets towards Meskel Square. Many protestors in the photographs and video footages posted online are shown holding pictures of the two men.Protests resumed on Wednesday morning, with thousands gathering in Meskel Square where a mass rally had been organized as part of the official three days of mourning announced by the government. Around 100,000 people took part in the demonstrations, which were initially targeted against the killings by ISIS, but later turned into anger towards the government, including its inability to protect Ethiopian citizens and more general calls for political reform. According to reports the police began to disperse the gathered crowd by force after some demonstrators shouted slogans during the rally, and as the situation escalated there were clashes between protesters and police.In a statement on Wednesday evening, Communications Minister Redwan Hussein accused the opposition Semayawi (Blue) Party of trying to manipulate the demonstrations for their own political interests and of inciting the public to violence, which the party has denied. The minister said that seven police officers had been injured and hospitalized, but made no mention of injuries or arrests among the protestors. Eight members of the Semayawi Party were arrested, including three candidates in the upcoming general elections on 24 May 2015. They are Woyneshet Molla, Tena Tayewu, Ermias Siyum, Daniel Tesfaye, Tewodros Assefa, Eskinder Tilahun, Mastewal Fekadu and Yidnekachewu Addis. At least one other party member was hospitalized after beaten on the head by police.The Ethiopian authorities have an obligation to facilitate people’s exercise of their right to freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly. If there is a legitimate reason for which it is necessary to disperse an assembly, police must avoid the use of force where at all possible or, where that is not practicable, must restrict any such force to the minimum necessary. Law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty.The authorities in Ethiopia must ensure that there is an effective and impartial investigation into the use of force by police against protestors during the demonstrations and ensure that any police found to have used unnecessary or excessive force are subject to disciplinary and criminal sanctions as appropriate. Arbitrary or abusive use of force should be prosecuted as a criminal offence.Amnesty International urges the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that in policing demonstrations in the future, the police comply with international law and standards on the use of force by law enforcement officials. With general elections a month away on 24 May, the Ethiopian authorities should commit to facilitating the right of protestors to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
This is part and parcel of the TPLF Ethiopian government’s ongoing genocidal crimes against Oromo people. Kurnasoo Abdulmaalik Yuunis (in picture) is Oromo national residing in Eastern Oromia, Dire Dawa city. He was attacked and severely beaten on 28 March 2015 by TPLF (Woyane) killing forces in the area while he visited the police station to search for the whereabouts of his kidnapped brother and close friends.
Oromo: HRLHA Plea for Release of Detained Peaceful Protestors
February 8, 2015 By Stefania Butoi Varga, Human Rights Brief, Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law*
From March to April 2014, members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, engaged in peaceful protests in opposition to the Ethiopian government’s implementation of the “Integrated Regional Development Plan” (Master Plan). The Oromo believe that the Master Plan violates Articles 39 and 47 in the Ethiopian Constitution, by altering administrative boundaries around the city of Addis Ababa, the Oromia State’s and the federal government’s capital. The Oromo fear they will be excluded from the development plans and that this will lead to the expropriation of their farmlands. In response to these protests, the Ethiopian government has detained or imprisoned thousands of Oromo nationals. In a January 2005 appeal, the Human Rights League of the Hornof Africa (HRLHA) claimed that the Ethiopian government is breaching the State’s Constitution and several international treaties by depriving the Oromo prisoners of their liberty. Amnesty International reports that some protestors have also been victims of “enforced disappearance, repeated torture, and unlawful state killings as part of the government’s incessant attempts to crush dissent.” Under the Ethiopian Constitution, citizens possess the rights to liberty and due process, including the right not to be illegally detained. Article 17 forbids deprivation of liberty, arrest, or detention, except in accordance with the law. Further, Article 19 provides that a person has the right to be arraigned within forty-eight hours of his or her arrest. However, according to the HRLHA, a group of at least twenty-six Oromo prisoners were illegally detained for over ninety-nine days following the protests. The HRHLA claims that these detentions were illegal because the prisoners were arrested without warrants, and because they did not appear before a judge within forty-eight hours of their arrest. The Ethiopian authorities’ actions also disregard the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which requires that no one be subject to arbitrary arrest, and that those arrested be promptly brought before a judge. Ethiopia signed and ratified the ICCPR in 1993, and is thus bound to uphold the treaty. Additionally, the Ethiopian Constitution deems torture and unusual punishment illegal and inhumane. According to Article 18, every citizen has the right not to be exposed to cruel, inhuman, or degrading behavior. Amnesty International reports that certain non-violent Oromo protestors suffered exactly this treatment, including a teacher who was stabbed in the eye with a bayonet for refusing to teach government propaganda to his students, and a young girl who had hot coals poured onto her stomach because her torturers believed her father was a political dissident. Amnesty International further recounts other instances of prisoners being tortured through electric shock, burnings, and rape. If these reports are an accurate account of the government’s actions, the Ethiopian authorities are not only acting contrary to their constitution, but also contrary to the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). According to Article 2 of the CAT, a State Member must actively prevent torture in its territory, without exception. In addition, an order from a high public authority cannot be used as justification if torture is indeed used. Ethiopia ratified the CAT in 1994, and is thus obligated to uphold and protect its principles. The HRLHA pleads that the Ethiopian government release imprisoned Oromo protesters. This would ensure that the intrinsic human rights of the Oromo people, guaranteed by the Ethiopian Constitution and several international treaties ratified by Ethiopia would finally be upheld. Furthermore, it would restore peace to and diminish the fear among other Oromo people who have abandoned their normal routines in the wake of government pressure, and have fled Ethiopia or have gone into hiding. *The Human Rights Brief is a student-run publication at American University Washington College of Law (WCL). Founded in 1994 as a publication of the school’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the publication has approximately 4,000 subscribers in over 130 countries.
Ethiopia:- TPLF’s Leaders Arrogance and Contempt – Inviting Further Bloodshed and Loss of Lives – HRLHA Statement
The following is a statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA). ———————- February 23, 2015 Since the downfall of the military government of Ethiopia in 1991, the political and socioeconomic lives of the country have totally been controlled by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front/TPLF leaders and business institutions. As soon as the TPLF controlled Addis Ababa, the capital city, in 1991, the first step it took was to create People’s Democratic Organizations (PDOs) in the name of different nations and nationalities in the country. With the help of these PDOs, the TPLF managed to control the whole country in a short period of time from corner to corner. The next step that the TPLF took was to weaken and/or eliminate all independent opposition political organizations existing in the country, including those with whom it formed the Ethiopian Transitional Government in 1991. Just to pretend that it was democratizing the country, the TPLF signed seven international human rights documents from 1991 to 2014. These include the “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment”. Despite this, it is known that the TPLF has tortured many of its own citizens ever since it assumed power, and has continued to the present day. The TPLF Government adopted a new constitution in 1995; and, based on this Constitution, it formed new federal states. The new Ethiopian Constitution is full of spurious democratic sentiments and human rights terms meant to inspire the people of Ethiopia and the world community. The TPLF’s pretentious promise to march towards democracy enabled it to receive praises from people inside and outside, including donor countries and organizations. The TPLF government managed somehow to maintain a façade of credibility with western governments, including those of U.S.A. and the UK. In reality, the TPLF security forces were engaged in intensive killings, abductions, disappearances of a large number of Oromo, Ogaden, Sidama peoples and others whom the TPLF suspected of being members, supporters or sympathizers of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Ogadenian National Liberation Front (ONLF), and Sidama People’s Liberation Front (SPLF). TPLF – from high officials down to ordinary level cadres in the various regional states – engaged in enriching themselves and their family members by looting and embezzling public wealth and properties; raping young women in the occupied areas of the nations and nationalities in Ethiopia; and committing many other forms of corruptions. After securing enough wealth for themselves, the TPLF government officials, cadres and members declared, in 2004, an investment policy that resulted in the eviction of indigenous peoples from their lands and all types of livelihoods. Since 2006, thousands of Oromo, Gambela, and Benishangul nationals and others have been forcefully evicted from their lands without consultation or compensation. Those who attempted to oppose or resist were murdered and/or jailed by the TPLF1. The TPLF government then cheaply leased their lands, for terms as long as 50 years, to international investors and wealthy Middle East and Asian countries, including Saudi Arabia2. The TPLF government has done all this against its own Constitution, particularly article 40 (3)3, which states that “The right to ownership of rural and urban land, as well as of all natural resources, is exclusively vested in the State and in the peoples of Ethiopia. Land is a common property of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia and shall not be subject to sale or to other means of exchange”. These acts were also against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 17 (1 & 2)4, which says, “1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. 2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.” In order to facilitate further corruption and embezzlement, the money paid for the leases as long as 50 years were received in cash. For example, the Indian agro investor Karaturi explained to a Guardian newspaper’s reporter that the TPLF government officials asked him to pay in cash in order to get the land, which he called “green gold”5. These gross human rights violations by the TPLF leaders against the Oromos, Gambelas, and Benishanguls have been condemned by many civic organizations, including Amnesty International, the Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, the Oakland Institute and others. The giving away of Oromo land in the name of investment also includes Addis Ababa, the capital city situated at the center of Oromia Regional State. 30,000 Oromos were evicted by the TPLF/EPRDF Government from their lands and livelihoods in the areas around the Capital City and suburbs, and their lands were given to the TPLF officials, members and loyal cadres over the past 24 years. In order to grab more lands around Addis Abba, the TPLF government prepared a plan called “the Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan,” a plan that aimed at annexing about 36 towns and surrounding villages into Addis Ababa. This Master Plan was first challenged by the Oromo People’s Democracy Organization/OPDO in March 2014. The challenge was first supported by Oromo students in different universities, colleges and high schools in Oromia, and then spread to Oromo farmers, Oromo intellectuals in all corners of Oromia Regional State and to Oromo nationals living in different parts of the world. The Oromo nationals staged peaceful protests all over Oromia Regional State. In connection with this Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan, which had the risk of evicting more than two million farmers from around the capital city, about seventy Oromo students from among the peaceful protestors were brutalized by the special TPLF Agizi snipers and more than five thousand Oromos from all walks of life were taken to prisons in different parts of Oromia Regional State. The inhuman military actions and crackdowns by the TPLF government against peaceful protestors were condemned by different international media, such as the BBC6, human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and the HRLHA7. The government admitted that it killed nine of them8. The unrest that started in central Oromia suddenly escalated to such a high level that the TPLF leaders suspended the expansion plan for a while. However, recently, without the slightest regret and sense of remorse over the massacres committed against peaceful protestors of Oromo Nationals by his government in May and April 2014, the TPLF’s co-founder, top official and the current Prime Minister’s (Hailemariam Dessalegn’s) special advisor, Mr. Abay Tsehaye, vowed in public that anyone who attempts to oppose the implementation of the so-called Addis Ababa Master Plan would be dealt with harshly. In his speech, he confirmed that the TPLF government is determined to continue with the master plan, no matter what happened in the past or what may come in the future. In a manner that Abay Tsehaye was reiterating that the annexations of towns and cities in central Oromia into the capital Addis Ababa will go ahead as planned regardless of the absence of consultations and consent of the local people and/or the officials of the targeted towns and cities. Besides displaying his extreme arrogance and contempt for the Oromo Nation, Mr. Abay Tsehaye’s speech was in direct breach of constitutional provisions of both federal and regional states. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deep concern that this TPLFs leader’s speech not only encourages violence against the country’s own citizens, but also invites further bloodshed and losses of lives; it leaves no room at all for dialogue, consultation and consent – norms which are at the core of a genuine democracy. This is still happening despite the killing of more than seventy Oromo youth and the arrest and incarceration of thousands of others as a result of violent and deadly responses by armed forces of the TPLF and the government to peaceful demonstrators in May and April 2014. Conclusion: The HRLHA believes that the gross human rights violations committed by the TPLF government in the past 24 years against Oromo, Ogaden, Gambela, Sidama and others were pre-planned and intentional all the times that they have happened. The TPLF killed, tortured, and kidnapped and disappeared thousands of Oromo nationals, Ogaden and other nationals simply because of their resources and ethnic backgrounds. The recent research conducted by Amnesty International under the title “Because I am Oromo”: SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIA’9 confirms that peoples in Ethiopia who belong to other ethnic groups have been the victims of the TPLF. The TPLF inhuman actions against the citizens are clearly a genocide, a crime against humanity10 and an ethnic cleansing, which breach domestic and international laws, and all international treaties the government of Ethiopia signed and ratified. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa wants to hold the TPLF government accountable, as a group and as individuals, for the crimes they have committed and are committing against Oromos and others. The HRLHA calls on all human rights families, non-governmental civic organizations, HRLHA members, supporters and sympathizers to stand beside the HRLHA and provide moral, professional and financial help to bring the dictatorial TPLF government and officials to international justice. ——————- * The HRLHA is a non-political organization which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the people of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. It works to defend fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and association. It also works on raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and those of others. It encourages respect for laws and due process. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies. ——————- We Fight for Human Rights! HRLHA Head Office February 23, 2015 ——————- 1. Genocide Watch, http://www.genocidewatch.org/ethiopia.html; The Oakland Institute, Engineering Ethnic Conflict,http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/Report_EngineeringEthnicConflict.pdf 2. Saudi Company Leases Ethiopian Land for Rice Export, http://www.pri.org/stories/2011-12-27/saudi-company-leases-ethiopian-land-rice-export 3. Proclamation No. 1/1995 Proclamation of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopiahttp://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/research/Proclamation%20no.1-1995.pdf 4. UDHR, http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/ 6. Ethiopia protest: Ambo students killed in Oromia state; BBC; http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27251331 7. Ambo Under Siege; HRLHA; http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=14287; and Region-Wide, Heavy-Handed Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters; HRLHA; Http://Www.Humanrightsleague.Org/?P=14668 8. BBC TV Reported 9. Ethiopia: ‘Because I Am Oromo’: Sweeping Repression In The Oromia Region Of Ethiopia,https://www.amnesty.org/En/documents/Afr25/006/2014/En/ 10. Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Articles 6&7, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/InternationalCriminalCourt.aspx
January 6, 2015 Since the March-April 2014 crackdowns against the peaceful Oromo protesters who have protested against the Ethiopian Federal Government’s plan of annexation of 36 small Oromia towns to the capital city of Addis Ababa under the pretext of the “Addis Ababa Integrated Plan”, thousands of Oromo nationals from all walks of life from all corners of Oromia regional state including Wollo Oromo’s in Amhara regional state have been detained or imprisoned. Some have disappeared and many have been murdered by a special commando group called “the Agiazi force”. The “The Agiazi” force is still chasing down and arresting Oromo nationals who participated in the March-April, 2014 peaceful protests. Fearing the persecution of the Ethiopian government, hundreds of students did not return to the universities, colleges and high schools; most of them have left for the neighboring states of Somaliland and Puntiland of Somalia where they remain at high risk for their safety. Wollo Oromos who are living in Ahmara regional state of Oromia special Zone are also among the victims of the EPRDF government. Hundreds of Wollo Oromos have been detained because of their connection with the peaceful protests of March-April 2014. The EPRDF government has detained many Oromo nationals in Wollo Oromia special Zone under the pretext of being members or supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), as prisoners’ voices from Dessie/Wollo prison have revealed. From among the many Oromos who were picked from different districts and places from Wollo Oromia special Zone in Amhara regional state in April 2014, the HRLHA reporter in the area has received a document which shows that 26 Oromo prisoners pleaded to the South Wollo High Court that they were illegally detained first in Kamise town military camp for 36 days, Kombolcha town Police Station for 27 Days, and Dessie city higher 5 Police Station for 10 days- places where they were severely tortured and then transferred to Dessie Prison in July 2014. According to the document, they were picked up from three different districts and different places by federal police and severely beaten and tortured at different military camps and police stations and their belongings including cash and mobile telephones were taken by their torturers. In their appeal letter to the South Wollo high court they demanded Full document in1-Ethiopia-HRLHA-2015
Godina Dhiha Oromiyaa Magaalaa Gimbii Keessaitti Dhaddachi Maana Murtii Godina Wallagga Dhihaa Galmee Hidhamtoota Oromoo 32 Cufe.
Gabaasa Qeerroo Gimbii Muddee (December) 30,2014 Muddee 26 fi Muddee 27/2014 Godina Dhiha Oromiyaa magaalaa Gimbiitti Dhaddachi Mana Murtii Godina Wallagga Dhihaa galmee hidhamtoota Oromoo Oromummaan yakkamanii hidhamanii himatamaa jiran ilaaluun ilmaan Oromoo 32 bilisaan gadi lakkisee galmee hidhamtootaa cufee jira.Mootummaan abbaa irree Wayyaanee sobaan Ilmaan Oromoo yakkee balleessa malee hanga barbaade erga hidhatti ukkamsee booda, galmee sobaan qindeessee ittin ilmaan Oromoo hidhee dararaa ture turtii je’oota hedduu fi waggootan lakka’amuu booda bilisan gadi lakkisuun haamilee fi sammuu ilmaan Oromoo erga torture godhee booda gatii kan hin qabne ta’uun beekamadha. Ilmaan Oromoo jumlaan ukkanfamanii manneen hidhaa Wayyaanee garaagaraa keessatti argaman hundi Oromoo ta’anii dhalachuu fi ani Oromoodha, mirgi keenyaa sarbamuu hin qabu waan jedhanii dubbatan qofaaf yakkamaa ta’an malee balleessa kan hin qabne ta’uun beekamadha. Kanaafuu manneen murtii Oromiyaa dhugaa jiru hubachuun tarkaanfii sirrii fi seeraa warreen fudhachaa jirtan galatni keessan bilisummaa haa ta’uu jechaa ilmaan Oromoo manneen murtii Wayyaanee garaagaraa keessa jirtan waan dhugaa hojjettaniif midhaan fedhe iyyuu yoo isin irra ga’ee uummatni Oromoo cufti dugda keessan duuba jiraachuu hubachuun dhugaa Uummata keessanii fi haqa uummata Oromoo afaan qawween dabsamaa jiru akka dura dhaabbattan amma illee waamicha keenya dabarsina. Maqaa fi galmee himata ilmaan Oromoo irra bilisaan gadi lakkifaman kan isin qaqqabsifnu ta’uu ni hubachifna!!
ETHIOPIA: Outbreak of Deadly Disease in Jail, Denial of Graduation of University Students
HRLHA – URGENT ACTION December 10, 2014 The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deep concern over the outbreak of a deadly disease at Gimbi Jail in Western Wollega, as a result of which one inmate has already died and sixty (60) others infected. HRLHA strongly believes that the very poor sanitation in the jail, absence of basic necessities, and denial of treatment after catching the illness have contributed to Mr. Yaikob Nigaru’s death. HRLHA fears that those who have already caught the disease might be facing the same fate. It is well documented that particularly inmates deemed “political prisoners” are deliberately subjected to unfriendly and unhealthy environments and, after getting sick as a result, are not allowed access to treatment until they approach or reach the stage of coma, which is when recoveries are very unlikely. HRLHA considers it one way of the systematic eliminations of alleged and/or perceived political dissidents. Mr. Ya’kob Nigatu was one of the 224 Oromo Nationals (139 from Gimbi in Western Wollaga, 80 from Ambo, and 5 from Ma’ikellawi in Addis Ababa/Finfinne) who were charged by the Federal Government on the 10th of November, 2014 for allegedly committing acts of terrorism in relation to the April/May, 2014 peaceful protests by Oromo students in different parts of the regional state of Oromia. HRLHA has learnt that five of the 224 Oromo defendants, who were held at the infamous Ma’ikelawi Criminal Investigation for about six months, were subjected to harassments and intimidations through isolations and confinements, with no visitations by relatives and friends, no access to a lawyer, and no open court appearance until when they were eventually taken to court to be given the charges. Those five Oromo nationals, who were transferred to Kilinto Jail right after receiving the alleged terrorism charges, were:
Ababe Urgessa Fakkansa (a student from Haromaya University),
Magarsa Warqu Fayyisa (a student from Haromaya University),
Addunya Kesso (a student from Adama University),
Bilisumma Dammana (a student from Adama University),
Tashale Baqala Garba (a student from Jimma University), and
Lejjisa Alamayyo Soressa (a student from Jimma University).
Besides the outbreak of a deadly disease witnessed at Gimbi Jail, and the likelihood of the same situations to occur particularly at highly populated and crowded jails, Kilinto is known to be one of the very notorious substandard prisons in the country. Such facts taken into consideration, HRLHA would like to express its deep concern over the safety of those young Oromo prisoners. HRLHA has also received reports that 29 Oromo nationals, who have been attending the Addis Ababa/Finfinne University, have been denied proofs of graduations (degrees and/or diplomas) and, as a result, prevented from graduating after completing their studies for allegedly taking part in the April/May peaceful protests of Oromo students and other nationals against the newly drafted and introduced Finfinne Master Plan. The 29 Oromo students were first detained along with 23 other Oromo students of the same university, following the protests, and released on bails ranging between $1000.00 and $4000.00 Birr. Upon re-admission back to the University, they were all (52 of them) forced to appear before the disciplinary committee of the University, where they were asked to confess that their involvement in the peaceful demonstrations was wrong and that they should apologize to the Government and the public. According to reports from HRLHA’s correspondents, it was the students’ refusal to confess and apologize that has resulted in their prevention from graduating, despite their fulfillment of all the academic requirements. HRLHA describes the University’s becoming a political weapon as shameful, and the restrictions imposed on Oromo students as a pure act of racism aimed at partisan political gains. Of the 29 Oromo students who have become victims of the University’s non-academic action, HRLHA has obtained names of the following nine students:
Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo), the traditional faith system of the Oromo people, is one version of the monotheistic African Traditional Religion (ATR), where the followers of this faith system do believe in only one Supreme Being. African traditional religion is a term referring to a variety of religious practices of the only ONE African religion, which Oromo believers call Waaqeffannaa (believe in Waaqa, the supreme Being), an indigenous faith system to the continent of Africa. Even though there are different ways of practicing this religion with varieties of rituals, in truth, the different versions of the African religion have got the following commonalities: – Believe in and celebrate a Supreme Being, or a Creator, which is referred to by a myriad of names in various languages as Waaqeffataa Oromo do often say: Waaqa maqaa dhibbaa = God with hundreds of names and Waaqa Afaan dhibbaa = God with hundreds of languages; thus in Afaan Oromoo (in Oromo language) the name of God is Waaqa/Rabbii or Waaqa tokkicha (one god) or Waaqa guraachaa (black God, where black is the symbol for holiness and for the unknown) = the holy God = the black universe (the unknown), whom we should celebrate and love with all our concentration and energy. http://gadaa.com/oduu/11044/2011/09/19/waaqeffannaa-the-african-traditional-faith-system/
Oromo student Rabbirraa Kusha Bayeechaa from Ambo University, Waliso Branch, Accounting 1st year student was abducted by Fascist TPLF Agazi forces on 20th November and being tortured at jail in Waliisoo/Ejersa.
Sadaasa 21,2014 Gabaasa Qeerroo
Barattooti Oromoo Sababaa Gaaffii Mirgaa Kaastan Jedhuun Hidhamuu fi Dararamuun Irraa Hin Dhaabbanne,yeroo ammaa kanas mootummaan EPRDf Wayyaaneen dargaggoota Oromoo irratti duula banteen barataa Rabbirraa Kushaa Bayeechaa sababaa sochii warraaqsaa deemu duubaan jirta jedhuun Ambo college Waliso branch keessaa accounting wagga 1ffaa kan baratu yakka tokkoon malee Sadaasa 20,2014 mana hidhaa magaalaa Waliisoo/Ejerrsa jedhamutti darbamuun ilmaan Oromoo naannichatti Oromummaan yakkamanii hidhaman waliin dararaan guuddaa irraan gahaa jira. Barataa Rabbirraa Kushaa bakki dhaloota isaa godina Kibba Lixa Shaggar aanaa Iluu ganda Bilii jedhamutti kan dhalate yeroo ta’u.Yeroo dheeraaf sababaa Oromummaan yakkamaa akka turee fi yaada itti amanu dubbatee baafachuu dorkamaa turuun gabaasi nu gahe addeessa.
Ethiopia: The Violence Against Oromo Nationals Must Be Stopped, HRLHA
The following is a statement of the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA). ————-
Ethiopia: The Endless Violence against Oromo Nationals Must be Halted
Fear of Torture, HRLHA Press Release November 16, 2014 Harassment and intimidation through arbitrary arrests, indefinite detentions without trial, kidnappings and disappearances have continued unabated in Ambo and the surrounding areas against peaceful protestors since the crackdowns of April 2014, in which more than 36 Oromos were killed by members of the federal security force. According to HRLHA correspondents in Ambo, the major target areas of this most recent government-sponsored violence includes Ambo town and the villages of Mida Qagni district in eastern Shewa zone, approximately 25km south of Ambo town. More than 20 Oromos, students, teachers and farmers from different villages were arrested beginning November 11, 2014, until the time of the compilation of this press release. According to HRLHA reporters, the arrests were made following the protest by the people of the area against the sales of their farmland by the federal Government of Ethiopia to the investors. Although it has been difficult to identify everyone by their names, HRLHA correspondents have confirmed that the following were among the arrested: 1- Kitata Regassa – age 70 – Wenni Village, Farmer 2- Tolessa Teshome – age 15 – Balami High School, 10th grade student 3- Dirre Masho – age 15 – Balami High School, 9th grade student 4- Tarku Bulsho – age 15 – Balami High School, 10th grade student 5- Yalew Banti – Balami High School, Teacher 6- Biyansa Ibbaa – age 15 – Balami High School, 10th grade student 7- Tesfay Biyensa – age 15 – Balami High School, 10th grade student 8- Mangistu Mosisaa – Balami, Businessman On the other hand, in order to “clear and smoothen” the road to the victory of the election, which is to be held in the coming May 2015, the TPLF/EPRDF government of Ethiopia has started the campaigns of intimidation against whom it suspects are members of the other political organizations running for the election. Extrajudicial arrests and imprisonments, particularly in the regional state of Oromia, the most populous region in the country, has begun starting from the end of October 2014. In this most recent wave of arrests and imprisonments that has been going on since the 30th of October 2014, and has touched almost all corners of Oromia, hundreds of Oromos from all walks of life have been apprehended and sent to prison. According to information obtained from the HRLHA reporters, many Oromos from Wollega, Jimmaa and Illu-Ababora Zones, Western Oromia Regional State, Bale and Borana Southern Oromia Regional State were arrested for being members of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), the organization operating peacefully in Oromia Regional State. These members of the opposition political organization were accused with terrorism acts, and disseminating false and hateful information against the present government of Ethiopia. Among the detainees, three members Oromo Federalist Congress – Mr. Ahjeb Shek Mohamed, Mr. Mohamed Amin Kalfa and Mr. Naziv Jemal from Jima Zone were sentenced with two years and six months in prison and the fates of the rest detainees are yet unknown. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) expresses its deep concern over the safety and well-being of these Oromo nationals who have been arrested without any court warrant and are being held at Mida Qagni police station and other at unknown detention centers. The Ethiopian government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were suspected of supporting, sympathizing with and/or being members of the opposition political organizations. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other secret detention centers. HRLHA calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand the immediate halt of such kinds of extra-judicial actions against one’s own citizens, and release the detainees without any preconditions.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Ahmaric, or your own language
Your concern regarding the apprehension and fear of torture of the citizens who are being held in different detention centers including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office; and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
Urging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that these detainees would be treated in accordance with the regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners, and to disclose the whereabouts of the detainees; and
To stop grabbing Oromo land without negotiation with the owners and compensation
Make sure the coming 2015 election is fair and free
Send Your Concerns to:
His Excellency: Mr. Haila Mariam Dessalegn – Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission: Hearing on the Human Rights Dilemmas in Ethiopia Testimony of Felix Horne, Human Rights Watch Researcher, Africa Division
NOVEMBER 17, 2014
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for providing me the opportunity to speak today about the human rights situation in Ethiopia.The other panelists have articulated some of the critical issues that are facing Ethiopia ahead of the May 2015 elections. I would like to elaborate on human rights concerns associated with Ethiopia’s many development challenges.Ethiopia is the one of the largest recipients of development assistance in the world, including more than $800 million in 2014 from the US government. Many of Ethiopia’s 94 million people live in extreme poverty, and poverty reduction is rightly one of both the US and Ethiopian government’s core goals. Improving economic and human development is fundamental to ensuring that Ethiopians are able to enjoy their rights to health care, education, shelter, food and water, and Ethiopia’s government, civil society, international donors and private investors all have important roles contributing to the realization of these rights.But sustainable development also requires a commitment to the full range of human rights, not just higher incomes, access to education and health care, but the ability for people to express their views freely, participate in public policy decision-making, join associations of their choice, have recourse to a fair and accessible justice system, and live free of abuse and discrimination. Moreover, development that is not rooted in respect for human rights can be counter-productive, associated with abusive practices and further impoverishment of people already living in situations of extreme poverty. In Ethiopia, over the past few years Human Rights Watch has documented disturbing cases where international donors providing development assistance are turning a blind eye to government practices that fail to respect the rights of all beneficiaries. Instead of improving life in local communities, these projects are proving harmful to them. And given the repression of independent voices, media and associations, there are no realistic mechanisms for many local communities to express their views to their government. Instead, those who object or critique the government’s approach to development projects face the prospect of intimidation, harassment and even serious abuse. In 2011 in Ethiopia’s western region, Gambella, Human Rights Watch documented such abuses during the implementation of the first year of the government’s “villagization” program. Gambella is a region populated by indigenous groups who have suffered from political marginalization and lack of development for decades. In theory the villagization program aimed to address some of these concerns. This program required all indigenous households in the region to move from their widely separated homes into larger villages – ostensibly to provide improved basic services including much-needed schools, health clinics and roads. I was in Gambella for several weeks in 2011 and travelled to 16 different villages in five different districts. I met with people who had not yet moved from their homes and others who had been resettled. I interviewed dozens of people who said they did not wish to move but were forced by the government, by police, and by Ethiopia’s army if necessary. People described widespread human rights violations, including forced displacement, arbitrary arrest and detention, beatings, and rape and other sexual violence. Thousands of villagers fled into neighboring countries where they became refugees. At the same time, in the new villages, many of the promised services were not available and the food security situation was dire. The villagization program has also been implemented in other marginalized regions in Ethiopia. These regions are the same areas where government is leasing large pieces of land to foreign investors, often from India, China and the Gulf states, without meaningful consultation with local communities, without any compensation being paid to local communities, and with no benefits for local communities other than low-paying labor jobs on the plantations. In the Omo valley in southern Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch found that the combination of sugar and cotton plantations and hydroelectric development is causing the displacement of up to 200,000 indigenous people from their lands. Massive amounts of water are being used for these projects which will have devastating impacts for Lake Turkana across the border in Kenya and the 300,000 indigenous people who live in the vicinity of the lake and depend upon it. The displacement of communities in the Omo valley is well underway. As in Gambella, communities in the Omo valley told Human Rights Watch about coercion, beatings, arrests and threats from military and police to force people to move to new settlements. Human Rights Watch also found politically motivated abuse in development programs. In 2010, we documented discrimination and “political capture” in the distribution of the benefits of development programs especially prior to the 2010 elections. Opposition party supporters and others who did not support the ruling party were denied access to some of resources provided by donor-funded programs, including food aid, micro credit, seeds, fertilizers, and other critical agricultural inputs needed for food security, and even employment opportunities. Schools, funded as part of education programs by the US and other development partners, were used to indoctrinate school children in ruling party ideology and teachers were required to report youth perceived to support the opposition to the local authorities. These government practices, many of which continue today, show the intense pressure put on Ethiopian citizens to support the ruling party, and the way in which development aid is manipulated to discriminate against certain communities. All of these cases have several common features. First, the Ethiopian government routinely denies the allegations without investigation, claiming they are politically motivated, while simultaneously restricting access for independent media and investigators. Second, these programs are directly and indirectly funded by Western donors, who seem unwilling to acknowledge, much less address human rights concerns in Ethiopia. Monitoring and evaluation of these programs for human rights abuses is inadequate. Even when donors carry out assessments to look into the allegations, as has happened in Gambella, they are not conducted rigorously and do not ensure victims of abuses can speak freely and safely. In the current environment in Ethiopia, it is essential for anyone seeking to investigate human rights violations to go to locations where victims can speak openly, to understand the dynamics of the local communities, and recognize the depths of the fear they are experiencing. All of these problems are exacerbated by the ongoing government crackdown on the media and civil society. The independent press has been ravaged since the 2010 election, with the vast majority of journalists terrified to report anything that is remotely critical of the government. In October I was in a country neighboring Ethiopia where over 30 journalists have fled in the past few months alone. I spoke to many of them: their papers were closed, their families were threatened, and many had been charged under repressive laws merely because they criticized and questioned the Ethiopian government’s policies on development and other issues. I spoke with someone who was forced to seek asylum abroad because he had questioned in writing whether the development of Africa’s largest dam on the Nile River was the best use of money in a country where poverty is pervasive. As for Ethiopian civil society, it has been decimated by another law, the Charities and Societies Proclamation. It has made obtaining foreign funding nearly impossible for groups working on human rights, good governance, and advocacy. Leading members of the human rights movement have been forced to flee abroad. Some people take to the streets to peacefully protest. Throughout 2014 there were various protests throughout Ethiopia. In many of these protests, including during the student protests in the Oromia region in April and May of this year, the security forces used excessive force, including the use of live ammunition against the students. We don’t even know how many Oromo students are still detained because the government publicizes no information, there is no comprehensive human rights monitoring and reporting, and family members are terrified of reporting the cases. Members of the Muslim community who organized protests in 2012 against what they saw as government interference in religious affairs have also paid an enormous price for those demonstrations, with many beaten or arrested and most of the protest organizers now imprisoned on terrorism charges. Finally, bringing about change through the ballot box is not really an option. Given that 99.6 percent of the parliamentary seats in the 2010 election went to the ruling party and that the political space has shrunk dramatically since then, there is little in the way of a viable opposition that can raise questions about government policy, including development plans, or other sensitive topics. This situation leaves Ethiopians no real means to express concerns over the policies and development strategies imposed by the government. They either accept it, they face threats and imprisonment for speaking out, or they flee their country as thousands have done. The refugee communities in countries neighboring Ethiopia are full of individuals who have tried to raise concerns in all of these ways, and are now in exile. To conclude, we all recognize that Ethiopia needs and requires development. The problem is how development is being undertaken. Development projects need to respect the rights of the local communities and improve their quality of life, regardless of ethnicity or political perspective. The United States and Ethiopia’s other major partners can and should play a leading role in supporting sustainable, rights-respecting development. The US should not accept arguments that protecting human rights is in contradiction to development goals and implementation. In 2014, the appropriations bill required the US to scrutinize and suspend funding for development programs in Ethiopia that might contribute to forced evictions in Ethiopia, including in Gambella and Omo. This was an important signal that the abuses taking place were unacceptable, and this should be maintained in the upcoming FY15 appropriations bill, whether it is a stand-alone bill or a continuing resolution. As one of Ethiopia’s key partners and supporters of Ethiopia’s development, the US needs to do more to ensure it is rigorously monitoring and consistently responding to human rights abuses in Ethiopia, both bilaterally and multilaterally. The US should be pressing the Ethiopian government to ensure that there is genuine consultation on development initiatives with affected communities, that more robust monitoring is put in place to monitor for potential abuses within programs, and that independent civil society, both domestic and foreign, are able to monitor and report on rights abuses. Respect for human rights is first and foremost a concern of all Ethiopians, but it is also central to all US interests in Ethiopia, from security to good governance to sustainable development.
#Dargagoo Oromo Yoonas Jedhama Guyya Lama Dura Magalaa Jimma Nannoo Xaana Jedhamuti Miseensi Homa Waranaa Weyanee Fodda Cabse Seenudhan Akko Isa Xiyitii Tokkon Isammo Xiyitii 32 Itti Roobse Ajjesee. Dargagoon Kuni Eega Ji’oota Shan Dura Harmeen Isa Boqatte Booda Obbolessa Isa Kan Hangafa Fi Akko Isa Wajjiin Jiraata Ture. Miseensi Hooma Warana Wayyanee Bombi fi Mesha Waranaa Qabate Lubbu Dargagoo Oromo Kana Haala Sukkanessa Ta’een Dabrse Jira..Akkoon Mucaas Battalummati Boqatani. #BecauseIAmOromo. Sadaasa 15 bara 2014.
The genocidal TPLF (Ethiopian) Agazi troops by invading an Oromo family home in Jimma murdered Oromo youth Yoonas and his grand mum. The killers shot unarmed innocent boy 32 times and his grand mum 2 times. #BecauseIAmOromo. 15th November 2016
Intensifying Mass Arrest, Torture, and Killing will Only Inflame Struggle of for Freedom
Statement of Qeerroo Bilisummaa on Continued Arrest and Conviction of Oromo Students from Various Zones of Oromia
November 16, 2014
It is to be recalled that tens of thousands of Oromo nationals in general and Oromo students in particular have been arrested and severely tortured by the TPLF-led Ethiopian regime over the last few months in connection to a series of Oromo student protests which broke out in large scale and spread out throughout Oromia beginning the month of April, 2014. These protests, organized and led by the National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (aka Qeerroo Bilisummaa), are just one incident in a series of continued struggle of the Oromo nation for freedom, democracy, and justice over the last 23 or so years. Hundreds have been gunned down by live bullets by the so called Agazi troops of the regime in the months of April and May, 2014. In addition to those who have been shot and killed during the protests, many have lost their lives in prison cells unable to stand the brutal torture. Many others have simply disappeared. Qeerroo Bilisummaa believes that those who disappeared have been killed and their bodies hidden – a practice repeatedly perpetrated on the Oromo prisoners by this regime. On July 7, 2014 Qeerroo Bilisummaa has compiled a list of 61 Oromos killed and 903 others rounded up and thrown into jail during the April/May Oromo student protests of universities, colleges, high schools, middle schools and other educational institutions. Our evidence indicates that all those who have been arrested have undergone through intense interrogation which involved severe and brutal torture. Many have lost their lives due to the severe torture. For example, a 2nd year Computer Science Oromo student of Haromaya University, Aslan (Nuradin) Hasan, was killed as a result of extended torture in prison on June 04, 2014. On the same day a 10th grade student, Dawit Wakjira, was arrested and beaten to death in Anfillo district, Qellem Wollega zone. Again on the same day a young high school teacher, Magarsa Abdissa, was beaten and killed in Gulliso Prison, West Wollega zone. The fact that these three young Oromos are known and reported to have been beaten to death on the same day, from different parts of Oromia, is a testimony that prisons in the empire are not safe places under this regime. It has to be noted that many other killings that occurred in the prison cells remained hidden as it is extremely difficult and risky to compile reports of such brutal killings under tight security machinery of the regime. The arrests and tortures have continued non-stop. More and more are being arrested before those who are in jail are released or brought to court. Many of those who survived the torture will remain incarcerated, without any charge, until they confess the accusations brought against them. On many other prisoners, concocted charges and false witnesses have been prepared and they are brought to the kangaroo court of the regime to pass a long time sentence on them so as to legitimize their prison term. Everybody who pays close attention to how the judicial system of the regime operates knows for sure that the so called “court” of the regime is just a place where a fictitious drama is performed. Qeerroo Bilisummaa believes no justice is expected from the so called “court” of the current Ethiopian regime at any level. In this brief statement the data collection team of Qeerroo Bilisummaa has compiled a list of 183 Oromos, from 6 different zones of Oromia, mainly students, on which the regime has finalized its trumped up charges in order to pass a “guilty” verdict on these young innocent Oromo students and others and sentence them to several years of prison. The main content of the charges brought against them is “having connection with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF)” and “participating on the public protest against the government”. These Oromo students and other Oromo individuals are in addition to several hundreds of prisoners Qeerroo has reported in the last few months and our reports indicate that they are going under severe torture and they are denied food, health care, closing and basic needs to sustain their lives. Qeerroo Bilisummaa strongly demands that the Ethiopian regime drop all charges against these Oromo nationals and tens of thousands others and release them immediately and unconditionally. We would like to reiterate that we the Oromo youth Qeerroo will not sit and be silent when part of our body is bleeding. The Ethiopian regime should realize that intensifying arrest, torture and killing will only inflame the struggle of the Oromo people for their right. More oppression doesn’t lead to submission. It rather breeds more dissenting voices. We are certain that eventually the Oromo and other oppressed nations and nationalities will bring down this criminal regime and justice and freedom will prevail. Read Full Statement:- Continued Arrest and Conviction of Oromo Students from Various Zones of Oromia
According to a report obtained by HRLHA from its local reporters in eastern Oromia, the border clash that has been going on since November 1, 2014 around the Qumbi, Midhaga Lolaa, and Mayuu Muluqee districts between Oromo and Ogadenia nationals, has already resulted in the deaths of seven Oromos, and the displacement of about 15,000 others. Large numbers of cattle and other valuable possessions are also reported to have been looted from Oromos by the invaders. . The HRLHA reporter in the eastern Hararge Zone confirmed that this violence came from federal armed forces (the Federal Liyou/Special Police) from the Ogadenia side; the Oromos were simply defending themselves against this aggression- though without much success because the people were fully disarmed by the federal government force prior to the clash starting. Read the detail @ http://www.humanrightsleague.org/?p=15215
Mass killings is being conducted by Liyu Police against Oromo people in Eastern (Harargee) and Southern (Bale) Oromia. OMN News Sources, 7th November 2014.
Mass evictions of Oromo families from their ancestral homes in Buraayyuu (Central Oromia, near Finfinnee), OMN reports, 30 October 2014. Listen to the following OMN, Afaan Oromo News.
Seenaa Abdissa:- Twenty Years Later After the Adoption of the Constitution, Jailed, Abducted and Killed #BecauseIAmOromo
The following short note, but thought provoking and moving paragraph – adopted for the Oromo case from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, is from Seenaa Abdissa’s Facebook. The time to end the injustice on the Oromo people is now; this generation must not run away from this injustice and pass on the duty of fighting against this injustice to the next generation. This generation must face the enemy and defeat it by all nonviolent means necessary. Qeerroo, stand up! ——————– by Seenaa Abdissa “Twenty years ago, when Ethiopians adopted a federal constitution after deposing the cruel dictator Mengistu Hailemariam, this momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Oromo who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But twenty years later, the Oromo still is not free. Twenty years later, the life of the Oromo is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. Twenty years later, the Oromo lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. Twenty years later, the Oromo is still languished in the corners of Ethiopian prisons of Maikelawi, Kaliti, Zway and Kilinto and finds himself an exile in his own land and abroad. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. #BecauseIAmOromo!!!”
Groups at risk of arbitrary arrest in Oromia
‘BECAUSE I AM OROMO’SWEEPING REPRESSION IN THE OROMIA REGION OF ETHIOPIAEthiopia has “ruthlessly targeted” and tortured its largest national group for perceived opposition to the government, Amnesty International said in a damning report on Tuesday.Thousands of people from the Oromo have been “regularly subjected to arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without charge, enforced disappearance, repeated torture and unlawful state killings,” said the report, based on over 200 testimonies.”Dozens of actual or suspected dissenters have been killed.”At least 5 000 Oromos have been arrested since 2011 often for the “most tenuous of reasons”, for their opposition – real or simply assumed – to the government, the report added.Former detainees, who have fled the country and were interviewed by Amnesty in neighbouring Kenya, Somaliland and Uganda, described torture “including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and rape, including gang rape,” the report said.One young girl said hot coals were dropped on her stomach because her father was suspected of supporting the OLF, while a teacher described how he was stabbed in the eye with a bayonet after he refused to teach “propaganda about the ruling party” to students.‘Relentless crackdown’Those arrested included peaceful protesters, opposition party members and even Oromos “expressing their Oromo cultural heritage,” Amnesty said.Family members of suspects have also been arrested, some taken when they asked about a relative who had disappeared, and had then been detained themselves without charge for months or even years.”The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” Amnesty researcher Claire Beston said.”This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region,” she added, describing how those she interviewed bore the signs of torture, including scars and burns, as well as missing fingers, ears and teeth.Amnesty International’s report titled, “‘Because I Am Oromo’: A Sweeping Repression in Oromia …” can be accessed here.
Photo courtesy of: Gadaa.com@flickr
According to a report published by Amnesty International on Tuesday October 28, based on the testimony of over 200 people, the Ethiopian government is guilty of widespread human rights violations in the Oromia region. Anyone who is suspected of being a dissident risks arrest and torture, and even family members of those arrested have been targeted on the basis of sharing, or even having inherited their relative’s point of view.Below is an article published by Amnesty International:
Thousands of members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, are being ruthlessly targeted by the state based solely on their perceived opposition to the government, said Amnesty International in a new report released today. “Because I am Oromo” – Sweeping repression in the Oromia region of Ethiopia exposes how Oromos have been regularly subjected to arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without charge, enforced disappearance, repeated torture and unlawful state killings as part of the government’s incessant attempts to crush dissent. “The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” said Claire Beston, Amnesty International’s Ethiopia researcher. “This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region.” More than 200 testimonies gathered by Amnesty International reveal how the Ethiopian government’s general hostility to dissent has led to widespread human rights violations in Oromia, where the authorities anticipate a high level of opposition. Any signs of perceived dissent in the region are sought out and suppressed, frequently pre-emptively and often brutally. At least 5,000 ethnic Oromos have been arrested between 2011 and 2014 based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government. These include peaceful protesters, students, members of opposition political parties and people expressing their Oromo cultural heritage. In addition to these groups, people from all walks of life – farmers, teachers, medical professionals, civil servants, singers, businesspeople, and countless others – are regularly arrested in Oromia based only on the suspicion that they don’t support the government. Many are accused of ‘inciting’ others against the government. Family members of suspects have also been targeted by association – based only on the suspicion they shared or ‘inherited’ their relative’s views – or are arrested in place of their wanted relative. Many of those arrested have been detained without charge for months or even years and subjected to repeated torture. Throughout the region, hundreds of people are detained in unofficial detention in military camps. Many are denied access to lawyers and family members. Dozens of actual or suspected dissenters have been killed. The majority of those targeted are accused of supporting the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) – the armed group in the region. However, the allegation is frequently unproven as many detainees are never charged or tried. Often it is merely a pretext to silence critical voices and justify repression. “People are arrested for the most tenuous of reasons: organizing a student cultural group, because their father had previously been suspected of supporting the OLF or because they delivered the baby of the wife of a suspected OLF member. Frequently, it’s because they refused to join the ruling party,” said Claire Beston. In April and May 2014, events in Oromia received some international attention when security forces fired live ammunition during a series of protests and beat hundreds of peaceful protesters and bystanders. Dozens were killed and thousands were arrested. “These incidents were far from being unprecedented in Oromia – they were merely the latest and bloodiest in a long pattern of suppression. However, much of the time, the situation in Oromia goes unreported,” said Claire Beston. Amnesty International’s report documents regular use of torture against actual or suspected Oromo dissenters in police stations, prisons, military camps and in their own homes. A teacher told how he had been stabbed in the eye with a bayonet during torture in detention because he refused to teach propaganda about the ruling party to his students. A young girl said she had hot coals poured on her stomach while she was detained in a military camp because her father was suspected of supporting the OLF. A student was tied in contorted positions and suspended from the wall by one wrist because a business plan he prepared for a university competition was deemed to be underpinned by political motivations. Former detainees repeatedly told of methods of torture including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and rape, including gang rape. Although the majority of former detainees interviewed said they never went to court, many alleged they were tortured to extract a confession. “We interviewed former detainees with missing fingers, ears and teeth, damaged eyes and scars on every part of their body due to beating, burning and stabbing – all of which they said were the result of torture,” said Claire Beston. Detainees are subject to miserable conditions, including severe overcrowding, underground cells, being made to sleep on the ground and minimal food. Many are never permitted to leave their cells, except for interrogation and, in some cases, aside from once or twice a day to use the toilet. Some said their hands or legs were bound in chains for months at a time. As Ethiopia heads towards general elections in 2015, it is likely that the government’s efforts to suppress dissent, including through the use of arbitrary arrest and detention and other violations, will continue unabated and may even increase. “The Ethiopian government must end the shameful targeting of thousands of Oromos based only on their actual or suspected political opinion. It must cease its use of detention without charge, torture and ill-treatment, incommunicado detention, enforced disappearance and unlawful killings to muzzle actual or suspected dissent,” said Claire Beston. Interviewees repeatedly told Amnesty International that there was no point trying to complain or seek justice in cases of enforced disappearance, torture, possible killings or other violations. Some were arrested when they did ask about a relative’s fate or whereabouts. Amnesty International believes there is an urgent need for intervention by regional and international human rights bodies to conduct independent investigations into these allegations of human rights violations in Oromia.
FILE – Ethiopian migrants, all members of the Oromo community of Ethiopia living in Malta, protest against the Ethiopian regime.
Amnesty International has issued a new report claiming that the Ethiopian government is systematically repressing the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo. Amnesty International says Ethiopia’s ethnic Oromo are subject to arbitrary arrest, detentions without access to lawyers, repeated torture and even targeted killings to crush dissident. Claire Beston is the Ethiopia researcher for Amnesty International. She says the East African country is hostile to any kind of dissent but particularly fears the Oromo for a number of reasons. “Including the numerical size of the Oromo because they’re the largest ethnic group; a strong sense of national identity amongst the Oromo; and also kind of history of perceived anti-government sentiment,” said Beston. Oromia is the largest state within Ethiopia and about 35% of the population is considered to be ethnically Oromo. Oromo students protested in April and May against the capital city’s restructuring plan – which they said would dilute Oromo culture through annexing traditional Oromo land surrounding Addis Ababa. The rare protests led to violence. Several dozen people were killed and hundreds arrested. Peaceful Oromo Muslim protests in 2012 and 2013 were also crushed with force and mass arrests. Beston says Oromo students and protestors are not the only ones who are at risk in Ethiopia. “We’re talking about hundreds of people from ordinary people from all walks of life including teachers and mid-wives, and even government employees, singers and a range of other professions who’re all arrested just on the suspicion that they don’t support the government,” said Beston. Amnesty International has not been allowed into Ethiopia since 2011. Researchers based the report’s findings on several hundred interviews with Oromo refugees outside Ethiopia and telephone and email conversations with Oromo inside the country. Many of the respondents said they had been detained in prisons, police stations, military camps or unofficial detention centers where they were subjected to repeated torture. Amnesty has concluded at least 5,000 Oromo have been arrested and detained since 2011, many for weeks or months without being charged. The report says they are usually accused of supporting or being members in the outlawed armed group, the Oromo Liberation Front. The OLF has been fighting for self-determination for more than 40 years. The report claims this is just a pretext for silencing dissent. In response to Amnesty, the government – through the state-run Oromia Justice Bureau – says there is no clear evidence of violations as claimed by Amnesty and calls the allegations “untrue and far from the reality”. Beston says repression throughout the country, and particularly against the Oromo, is likely to increase as the May 2015 elections approach.
Oromo demonstrators protest in London earlier this year following the killing of student protesters in Oromia state by Ethiopian security forces. Photograph: Peter Marshall/Demotix/Corbis
Ethiopia has “ruthlessly targeted” and tortured its largest ethnic group owing to a perceived opposition to the government, Amnesty International has said. Thousands of people from the Oromo ethnic group have been “regularly subjected to arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention without charge, enforced disappearance, repeated torture and unlawful state killings,” according to a damning report based on more than 200 testimonies. “Dozens of actual or suspected dissenters have been killed.” At least 5,000 Oromos have been arrested since 2011 often for the “most tenuous of reasons”, for their opposition – real or simply assumed – to the government, the report added. Many are accused of supporting the rebel Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Former detainees who have fled the country and were interviewed by Amnesty in neighbouring Kenya, Somaliland and Uganda described torture “including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and rape, including gang-rape”, the report added. One young girl said hot coals had been dropped on her stomach because her father was suspected of supporting the OLF, while a teacher described how he was stabbed in the eye with a bayonet after he refused to teach “propaganda about the ruling party” to students. There was no immediate response from the government, which has previously dismissed such reports and denied any accusation of torture or arbitrary arrests. “The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” the Amnesty researcher Claire Beston said. “This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region,” she added, describing how those she interviewed bore the signs of torture, including scars and burns, as well as missing fingers, ears and teeth. With nearly 27 million people, Oromia is the most populated of the country’s federal states and has its own language, Oromo, which is distinct from Ethiopia’s official Amharic language. Some of those who spoke to Amnesty said people had been arrested for organising a student cultural group. Another said she was arrested because she delivered the baby of the wife of a suspected OLF member. “Frequently, it’s because they refused to join the ruling party,” Beston added, warning that many were fearful attacks would increase before general elections slated for May 2015. In April and May, security forces shot dead student protesters in Oromia. At the time, the government said eight had been killed, but groups including Human Rights Watch said the toll was believed to be far higher. Amnesty said “dozens” had been killed in the protests.
Many Oromo people flee Ethiopia to take refuge in neighbouring states
Thousands of Oromo people had been subjected to unlawful killings, torture and enforced disappearance, it said. Dozens had also been killed in a “relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent”, Amnesty added. Ethiopia’s government denied the allegations and accused Amnesty of trying to tarnish its image. It has designated the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which says it is fighting for the rights of the Oromo people, a terrorist organisation. ‘Missing fingers’At least 5,000 Oromos have been arrested since 2011 “based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government”, Amnesty said in a report entitled Because I am Oromo – Sweeping repression in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Former detainees who had fled the country described torture, “including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic and rape, including gang rape”, it added. Amnesty said other cases of torture it had recorded included:
A young girl having hot coals poured on her stomach while being held in a military camp because her father was suspected of supporting the OLF
A teacher being stabbed in the eye with a bayonet while in detention because he had refused to teach propaganda about the ruling party to his students
A student being tied in contorted positions and suspended from the wall by one wrist because a business plan he had prepared for a university competition was seen to be political
It compiled the report after testimonies from 200 people who were exiled in countries like Kenya and Uganda, Amnesty said. “We interviewed former detainees with missing fingers, ears and teeth, damaged eyes and scars on every part of their body due to beating, burning and stabbing – all of which they said were the result of torture,” said Claire Beston, Amnesty Ethiopia researcher. Ethiopian government spokesman Redwan Hussein dismissed Amnesty’s report. “It [Amnesty] has been hell-bent on tarnishing Ethiopia’s image again and again,” he told AFP news agency. Ethiopia is ruled by a coalition of ethnic groups. However, the OLF says the government is dominated by the minority Tigray group and it wants self-determination for the Oromo people.
Former detainees describe beatings, electric shocks, and gang rape, according to Amnesty International report
Al jazeera, October 28, 2014
Ethiopia has “ruthlessly targeted” and tortured thousands of people belonging to its largest ethnic group for perceived opposition to the government, rights group Amnesty International said in a report released Tuesday. The report, based on over 200 testimonies, said at least 5,000 members of the Oromo ethnic group, which has a distinct language and accounts for over 30 percent of the country’s population, had been arrested between 2011 and 2014 for their “actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government.” “The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” said Amnesty International researcher Claire Beston. The rights group said those arrested included students and civil servants. They were detained based on their expression of cultural heritage such as wearing clothes in colors considered to be symbols of Oromo resistance – red and green – or alleged chanting of political slogans. Oromo, the largest state in Ethiopia, has long had a difficult relationship with the central government in Addis Ababa. A movement has been growing there for independence. And the government has outlawed a secessionist group, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which has fought for self-determination for over 40 years. Since 1992, the OLF has waged a low-level armed struggle against the Ethiopian government, which has accused the group of carrying out a series of bombings throughout the country. Amnesty said that the majority of Oromo people targeted are accused of supporting the OLF, but that the “allegation is frequently unproven” and that it is “merely a pretext to silence critical voices and justify repression.” “The report tends to confirm the claims that diaspora-based Oromo activists have been making for some time now,” Michael Woldemariam, a professor of international relations and political science at Boston University, told Al Jazeera. “What it does do, however, is provide a wealth of detail and empirical material that lends credibility to claims we have heard before.”
Missing fingers, ears, teeth
Former detainees – who fled the country and were interviewed by Amnesty in neighboring Kenya, Somaliland and Uganda – described torture, “including beatings, electric shocks, mock execution, burning with heated metal or molten plastic, and rape, including gang rape,” Amnesty said. Although the majority of former detainees interviewed said they never went to court, many alleged they were tortured to extract a confession. “We interviewed former detainees with missing fingers, ears and teeth, damaged eyes and scars on every part of their body due to beating, burning and stabbing – all of which they said were the result of torture,” said Beston. Redwan Hussein, Ethiopia’s government spokesman, “categorically denied” the report’s findings. He accused Amnesty of having an ulterior agenda and of repeating old allegations. “It (Amnesty) has been hell-bent on tarnishing Ethiopia’s image again and again,” he told Agence France-Press. The report also documented protests that erupted in April and May over a plan to expand the capital Addis Abba into Oromia territory. It said that protests were met with “unnecessary and excessive force,” which included “firing live ammunition on peaceful protestors” and “beating hundreds of peaceful protesters and bystanders,” resulting in “dozens of deaths and scores of injuries.” Oromo singers, writers and poets have been arrested for allegedly criticizing the government or inciting people through their work. Amnesty said they, along with student groups, protesters and people promoting Oromo culture, are treated with hostility because of their “perceived potential to act as a conduit or catalyst for further dissent.” Al Jazeera and wire services. Philip J. Victor contributed to this report.
Ethiopia illegally detains 5000 Oromos in the Past four years: Amnesty, 27 October 2014
The Ethiopian Government, led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is engaged in systematic destruction of the Oromo social fabric. It is committing, at times, acts of genocide against the Oromo People for forcibly suppress their demand for self-determination (photo: Hundreds of detained and shaved Oromo students at a certain concentration camp).
Thousands of Ethiopians have been tortured by the country’s brutal security forces while Britain funnelled almost £1billion in aid to the country’s government, a damning report has revealed. Human rights group Amnesty International said more than 5,000 Ethiopians had been arrested, raped and ‘disappeared’ in a state-sanctioned campaign to crack down on political dissent over the past three years. At the same time, the Department for International Development gave Ethiopia £882.9million. The east African country is the second largest recipient of British aid after Pakistan. It pocketed £261.5million in 2012/13 and £284.4million in 2013 – and is due to get another £337million this year. David Cameron wrote to the Ethiopian prime minister earlier this month after a British man was sentenced to death without access to lawyers. The British ambassador in Addis Ababa has been allowed to meet Andargachew Tsige only once, seven weeks after he was arrested. His wife, Yemi Hailemariam, said she fears that Mr Tsige will face the same brutal treatment described in the Amnesty report. Its dossier of ‘sweeping repression in the Oromo region of Ethiopia’ was based on 240 testimonies and interviews with 176 refugees from the country’s majority Oromo ethnic group, reported the Times newspaper today. Women were gang raped by groups of prison guards, and men told how they had bottles of water ‘suspended from their genitalia’. The report says: ‘One man interviewed by Amnesty said his brother had had to have 70 per cent of his penis removed after release from detention as a result of being subjected to this treatment.’
More than 5,000 citizens were tortured, raped and burnt by Ethiopia’s security forces in a state-sanctioned campaign to suppress political dissent, a rights group claimed yesterday, while Britain gave almost £1 billion in aid. An Amnesty International report said that thousands of victims, including women and children, faced arbitrary arrest, forced disappearance, “repeated torture and unlawful state killings” in the past three years. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4250755.ece
Does British aid to Africa help the powerful more than the poor?
‘Sadly, anyone familiar with Ethiopia will not be surprised. With a long record of suppressing dissent, its government is one of the most authoritarian in Africa. Yet Ethiopia also benefits handsomely from British aid, receiving £329 million last year, making it the biggest recipient of UK development assistance in Africa – and the second biggest in the world.’
Does British aid to Africa help the powerful more than the poor? As Ethiopia’s regime is accused of atrocities, David Blair asks whether British aid might – inadvertently and indirectly – be subsidising repression? British aid to Ethiopia amounted to £329m last year. Ethiopia’s security forces have carried out terrible atrocities during a brutal campaign against rebels from the Oromo Liberation Front. So reports Amnesty International in a horrifying investigation which concludes that at least 5,000 people from the Oromo ethnic group have suffered torture, abduction or worse in the last three years alone. Sadly, anyone familiar with Ethiopia will not be surprised. With a long record of suppressing dissent, its government is one of the most authoritarian in Africa. Yet Ethiopia also benefits handsomely from British aid, receiving £329 million last year, making it the biggest recipient of UK development assistance in Africa – and the second biggest in the world. You could put these facts together and reach the headline conclusion: “British aid bankrolls terrible regime”. But the Department for International Development (DFID) would point out that things are not quite so simple. First of all, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a national income per capita of less than £300. At least 25 million Ethiopians live in absolute poverty, defined as an income of less than 60p per day. Should you refrain from helping these people just because, through no fault of their own, they happen to live under a repressive government? Second, no British aid goes to Ethiopia’s security forces. Instead, our money is spent on, for example, training nurses and midwives, sending children to primary school and ensuring that more villages have clean water. If an Ethiopian military unit carries out an atrocity in the Ogaden region, would it really help matters if Britain stopped funding a project to give safe water to a village in Tigray? This is a serious argument and there are no easy answers. But DFID’s case also has two key flaws. First, when outside donors spend large sums in a poor country, they change the way the relevant government allocates its own resources. Put simply, if rich foreigners are prepared to pick up a big share of the bill for useful things like health and education, then the government could, for example, take the opportunity to spend a lot more on its horrible security forces. The great risk attached to aid is that you give national administrations more freedom to spend their money on what they think is important. That’s fine if the government concerned has the welfare of its people at heart. I put the point delicately: this is not universally true in Africa. In Ethiopia, there must be a real possibility that the government has bought more weapons for its appalling security force than would otherwise have been possible if DFID had not been covering a share of the bill for health, education, water, sanitation and so forth. The danger is that, inadvertently and indirectly, we could be subsidising Ethiopia’s campaign of repression. The second problem concerns the political setting in which aid is spent. Ethiopia is an authoritarian state with a dominant ruling party that holds 499 of the 547 seats in parliament. In this context, any outsider who invests large sums in Ethiopia will probably end up strengthening the regime’s grip on power, whether intentionally or not. Every time a school is built or a hospital opened, the ruling party will claim the credit. And if the party in question has a long history of crushing it opponents with an iron fist – which is certainly true in Ethiopia – then the donors could find themselves underwriting this system of repression, albeit indirectly. None of this suggests that Britain should cut off aid to Ethiopia tomorrow or that all our money is necessarily wasted. My only purpose is to show that the law of unintended consequences works more perniciously in the field of international development than just about any other. There are real dilemmas – and aid can end up helping the powerful more than the poor. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Does-British-aid-to-Africa-hel…
Amnesty Says Ethiopia Detains 5,000 Oromos Illegally Since 2011
By William Davison
Bloomberg, Oct 27, 2014,
Ethiopia’s government illegally detained at least 5,000 members of the country’s most populous ethnic group, the Oromo, over the past four years as it seeks to crush political dissent, Amnesty International said. Victims include politicians, students, singers and civil servants, sometimes only for wearing Oromo traditional dress, or for holding influential positions within the community, the London-based advocacy group said in a report today. Most people were detained without charge, some for years, with many tortured and dozens killed, it said. “The Ethiopian government’s relentless crackdown on real or imagined dissent among the Oromo is sweeping in its scale and often shocking in its brutality,” Claire Beston, the group’s Ethiopia researcher, said in a statement. “This is apparently intended to warn, control or silence all signs of ‘political disobedience’ in the region.” The Oromo make up 34 percent of Ethiopia’s 96.6 million population, according to the CIA World Factbook. Most of the ethnic group lives in the central Oromia Regional State, which surroundsAddis Ababa, the capital. Thousands of Oromo have been arrested at protests, including demonstrations this year against what was seen as a plan to annex Oromo land by expanding Addis Ababa’s city limits. Muslims demonstrating about alleged government interference in religious affairs were also detained in 2012 and 2013, Amnesty said in the report, titled: ‘Because I am Oromo’ – Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-27/amnesty-says-ethiopia-detains-5-000-oromos-illegally-since-2011.html
ETHIOPIA: A Minor Gets Prison Terms for Alleged Instigation
HRLHA – URGENT ACTION October 14, 2014 The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) strongly condemns the sentencing of Abde Jemal, a fourteen-year old minor, in adults’ court to four years in prison and $700.00 Birr fine for allegedly inciting people to political violence. According to HRLHA’s correspondents, Abde Jemal was arrested by the security agents while tending his parents’ cattle out in the field. HRLHA has learnt that Abde Jemal was severely beaten up (in other words, physically tortured) following his arrest by members of the security force in order to coerce him into confessing in court to the alleged crime. To begin with, this was allowed to happen despite the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1990, to which Ethiopia is a signatory, and which clearly states under Article 37(a) that State Parties shall ensure that “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”; and additionally guarantees under article 40, sub-article 2(a) that every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law should … “Not be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt.” HRLHA has also learnt through its correspondents that Abde Jemal, after being sentenced to four years in jail on the 2nd of September, 2014, in criminal charge file #06055 in the Bilo Nopha District Court, in the western Illu Abbabor Province of the Regional State of Oromia, was soon sent to Bishar, the provincial grand prison in Mettu, where adult offenders of all kinds of common crimes including murder are held. Being born to a poor family, Abde Jemal assumed the responsibilities of supporting his parents and himself at this very young age. In the first place, it is undoubtedly abnormal and unusual to accuse a child of Abde Jemal’s age for inciting or being part of a POLITICAL violence. What is more, the Ethiopian Criminal Code, Chapter IV, sub-section I, under “Ordinary Measures”, states that, “In all cases where a crime provided by the criminal law or the Law of Petty Offences has been committed by a young person between the ages of nine and fifteen years (Art. 53), the court shall order one of the following measures …”: admitting to a curative institution (Art. 158), supervised education (Art. 159), reprimand; censure (Art. 160), school or home arrest (Art. 161), and other similar and light conditional sanctions and measures that facilitate the reforming, rehabilitation and reintegration of the young offender. The Criminal Code also provides, particularly under sub articles 162 and 168 in the same chapter, that the court shall order the admission of young offenders “… into a special institution for the correction and rehabilitation of the young criminals …” and “When the criminal was sent to a corrective institution, he shall be transferred to a detention institution if his conduct or the danger he constitutes renders such a measure necessary, or when has attained the age of eighteen years and the sentence passed on him is for a term extending beyond his majority.” Besides, the above mentioned UN Convention, under article 40, provides that “States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child’s sense of dignity and worth, and which takes into account the child’s age and the desirability of promoting the child’s reintegration and the child’s assuming a constructive role in society”. These all provisions inarguably show that minor offenders of Abde Jemal’s age deserve none of what have been imposed on him, including sending him to adults’ jail such as Bishari. Also, the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, another international document that Ethiopia has ratified, states that the child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief, and that the child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. In spite of these all, according to HRLHA’s belief, Minor Abde Jemal has been subjected to all forms of discrimination – racial and political in particular, and was not given any of the protections he is entitled to as a child or a minor. By allowing such extra-judicial impositions to happen to its own citizen, a minor in this case, the Ethiopian Government is inviting the questioning of the credibility of its own justice system, and its adherence to international documents it has signed and ratified. Therefore, HRLHA calls up on the Ethiopian Government to unconditionally reverse all that have been imposed on Abde Jemal and other minors like him, if any, in adults’ criminal court, and ensure that the Minor gets fair trial in an appropriate judicial setting, in case he has really committed a crime. We also request that the Ethiopian Government honours all international documents that it has signed and that apply to children’s rights. HRLHA also calls up on regional and international diplomatic, democratic, and human rights agencies to challenge the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF Government in this regard; and join HRLHA in its demand for a fair treatment for Minor Abde Jemal. RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Ahmaric, or your own language:
Expressing your concerns over the absence of fair and appropriate delivery of justice, and the political biases impacting on the overall justice system,
Urging the concerned government offices and authorities of Ethiopia to ensure that Minor Abde Jemal would get a fair trial in appropriate court and based on the proper provisions of the criminal code as well as the constitution of the country,
Urging the Ethiopian Government to abide by all international instruments that it has ratified
Requesting diplomatic agencies in Ethiopia that are accredited to your respective countries that they play their parts in putting pressure on the Ethiopian Government so that it treats its citizens equally and fairly, regardless of their racial, religious, and/or political backgrounds.
Kindly send your appeals to:
His Excellency Haila Mariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia,
Ethiopia: Systemic human rights concerns demand action by both Ethiopia and the Human Rights Council
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT AI Index: AFR 25/005/2014 22 September 2014 Systemic human rights concerns demand action by both Ethiopia and the Human Rights CouncilHuman Rights Council adopts Universal Periodic Review outcome on Ethiopia With elections coming up in May 2015, urgent and concrete steps are needed to reduce violations of civil and political rights in Ethiopia.� Considering the scale of violations associated with general elections in 2005 and 2010, Amnesty International is deeply concerned that Ethiopia has rejected more than 20 key recommendations on freedom of expression and association relevant to the free participation in the elections and the monitoring and reporting on these. These include in particular recommendations to amend the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which continues to be used to silence critical voices and stifle dissent, and recommendations to remove severe restrictions on NGO funding in the Charities and Societies Proclamation.� The independent journalists and bloggers arrested just days before Ethiopia’s review by the UPR Working Group in May 2014 have since been charged with terrorism offences. Four opposition party members were arrested in July on terror accusations, and, in August, the publishers of five magazines and one newspaper were reported to be facing similar charges. While Amnesty International welcomes Ethiopia’s statement of ‘zero tolerance’ for torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and its commitment to adopt preventative measures,� it is concerned by its rejection of recommendations to investigate and prosecute all alleged cases of torture and other ill-treatment and to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.� The organization continues to receive frequent reports of the use of torture and other ill-treatment against perceived dissenters, political opposition party supporters, and suspected supporters of armed insurgent groups, including in the Oromia region. Amnesty International urges Ethiopia to demonstrate its commitment to strengthening cooperation with the Special Procedures by inviting the Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit the country.� Unfettered access by independent monitors to all places of detention is essential to reduce the risk of torture. Ethiopia’s refusal to ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is also deeply concerning in light of regular reports of individuals being held incommunicado in arbitrary detention without charge or trial and without their families being informed of their detention – often amounting to enforced disappearances.� Ethiopia’s UPR has highlighted the scale of serious human rights concerns in the country. Amnesty International urges the Human Rights Council to ensure more sustained attention to the situation in Ethiopia beyond this review. Background The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Ethiopia on 19 September 2014 during its 27th session. Prior to the adoption of the review outcome, Amnesty International delivered the oral statement above. Amnesty International had earlier submitted information on the situation of human rights in Ethiopia:http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR25/004/2013/en/95f2e891-accc-408d-b1c4-75f20c83eceb/afr250042013en.pdf Public Document International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UKhttp://www.amnesty.org Document in PDFhttp://qeerroo.org/2014/09/24/ethiopia-systemic-human-rights-concerns-demand-action-by-both-ethiopia-and-the-human-rights-council/
The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the UPR of Ethiopia
Statement from HRLHA September 21, 2014 The UN Human Rights Council adopted the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Ethiopia on September 19, 2014. On that date, Ethiopia was given 252 recommendations by the UN Human Rights Council member States to improve human rights infringements in the country, based on the general human rights situation assessment made to Ethiopia on May 2014 at UPR. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa welcomes the adoption of the outcome of the UPR on Ethiopia and appreciates the majority of the UN Human Rights Council member states’ recognition that one of their members, Ethiopia, has committed gross human rights abuses in its own country contrary to its responsibility to protect and promote human rights globally. Most of the Recommendations the Ethiopian Government received on September 19, 2014 were similar to the 2009 recommendations that were given to the same country during the first round of UPR human rights situation assessment in Ethiopia. This proves that the human rights situation in Ethiopia continues to deteriorate. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa also welcomes the Ethiopian government for its courage of admitting its wrongdoings and acknowledged most of the recommendations and promise to work further for their improvements. The HRLHA looks forward the Government of Ethiopia to shows its commitment to fulfil its promises, and not to put them aside until the next UPR comes in four years (2019) However, the government of Ethiopia failed again to accept the recommendations not to use the anti-terrorism proclamation it adopted in 2009 to suppress fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and demonstrations. The country also rejected the recommendation of the member states to permit a special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to travel to Ethiopia to advise the Government. Today, thousands of people are languishing in prison because they formed their own political organizations or supported different political groups other than EPRDF. Thousands were indiscriminately brutalized in Oromia, Ogadenia, Gambela, Benshangul and other regions because they demanded their fundamental rights to peaceful assembly, demonstration and expression. These and other human rights atrocities in Ethiopia were reported by national and international human rights organizations, and international mass media, including foreign governments and NGOs. The Government of Ethiopia has repeatedly denied all these credible reports and continued with its systematic ethnic cleansing. The HRLHA appreciates the UN Human Rights Council members who have provided valuable recommendations that have exposed the atrocity of the Ethiopian Government against defenceless civilians and the HRLHA urges them to put pressure on the government of Ethiopia to accept those recommendations it has rejected and put them into practice. Finally, the HRLHA strongly supports the recommendations made by UN Human Rights Council member states and urges the Ethiopian Government to reverse its rejection of some recommendations, including:
Ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC),
Ratifying the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, OPCAT,
Permitting the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to travel to Ethiopia to advise the Government;
Improving conditions in detention facilities by training personnel to investigate and prosecute all alleged cases of torture, and ratify OPCAT,
Repealing the Charities and Societies Proclamation in order to promote the development of an independent civil society “Allowing Ethiopia’s population to operate freely”
Removing vague provisions in the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation that can be used to criminalize the exercise of the right to freedom of expression and association and ensure that criminal prosecutions do not limit the freedom of expression of civil society, opposition politicians and independent media ;and use this opportunity to improve its human rights record.
UN experts urge Ethiopia to stop using anti-terrorism legislation to curb human rights GENEVA (18 September 2014) – A group of United Nations human rights experts* today urged the Government of Ethiopia to stop misusing anti-terrorism legislation to curb freedoms of expression and association in the country, amid reports that people continue to be detained arbitrarily. The experts’ call comes on the eve of the consideration by Ethiopia of a series of recommendations made earlier this year by members of the Human Rights Council in a process known as the Universal Periodic Review which applies equally to all 193 UN Members States. These recommendations are aimed at improving the protection and promotion of human rights in the country, including in the context of counter-terrorism measures. “Two years after we first raised the alarm, we are still receiving numerous reports on how the anti-terrorism law is being used to target journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders and opposition politicians in Ethiopia,” the experts said. “Torture and inhuman treatment in detention are gross violations of fundamental human rights.” “Confronting terrorism is important, but it has to be done in adherence to international human rights to be effective,” the independent experts stressed. “Anti-terrorism provisions need to be clearly defined in Ethiopian criminal law, and they must not be abused.” The experts have repeatedly highlighted issues such as unfair trials, with defendants often having no access to a lawyer. “The right to a fair trial, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of association continue to be violated by the application of the anti-terrorism law,” they warned. “We call upon the Government of Ethiopia to free all persons detained arbitrarily under the pretext of countering terrorism,” the experts said. “Let journalists, human rights defenders, political opponents and religious leaders carry out their legitimate work without fear of intimidation and incarceration.” The human rights experts reiterated their call on the Ethiopian authorities to respect individuals’ fundamental rights and to apply anti-terrorism legislation cautiously and in accordance with Ethiopia’s international human rights obligations. “We also urge the Government of Ethiopia to respond positively to the outstanding request to visit by the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of peaceful assembly and association, on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and on the situation of human rights defenders,” they concluded. ENDS (*) The experts: Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson; Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai; Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst; Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan Méndez. Special Procedures is the largest body of independent experts in the United Nations Human Rights system. Special Procedures is the general name of the independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms of the Human Rights Council that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Currently, there are 38 thematic mandates and 14 mandates related to countries and territories, with 73 mandate holders. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. Read @ http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15056&LangID=E
The Ethiopian government has been demolishing the homes of Oromo farmers in order to implement its “Integrated Master Plan”, meant to integrate Addis Ababa with the surrounding towns of the minority’s home region. According to residents of the town of Legetafo at least two people were shot by government forces as they tried to prevent the destruction of their homes. http://unpo.org/article/17521Below is an article published by the The Nation:
Yehun and Miriam have little hope for the future. “We didn’t do anything and they destroyed our house,” Miriam told me. “We are appealing to the mayor, but there have been no answers. The government does not know where we live now, so it is not possible for them to compensate us even if they wanted.” Like the other residents of Legetafo—a small, rural town about twenty kilometers from Addis Ababa—Yehun and Miriam are subsistence farmers. Or rather, they were, before government bulldozers demolished their home and the authorities confiscated their land. The government demolished fifteen houses in Legetafo in July . The farmers in the community stood in the streets, attempting to prevent the demolitions, but the protests were met with swift and harsh government repression. Many other Oromo families on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s bustling capital are now wondering whether their communities could be next. These homes were demolished in order to implement what’s being called Ethiopia’s “Integrated Master Plan.” The IMP has been heralded by its advocates as a bold modernization plan for the “Capital of Africa.” The plan intends to integrate Addis Ababa with the surrounding towns in Oromia, one of the largest states in Ethiopia and home to the Oromo ethnic group—which, with about a third of the country’s population, is its largest single ethnic community. While the plan’s proponents consider the territorial expansion of the capital to be another example of what US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the country’s “terrific efforts” toward development, others argue that the plan favors a narrow group of ethnic elites while repressing the citizens of Oromia. “At least two people were shot and injured,” according to Miriam, a 28-year-old Legetafo farmer whose home was demolished that day. “The situation is very upsetting. We asked to get our property before the demolition, but they refused. Some people were shot. Many were beaten and arrested. My husband was beaten repeatedly with a stick by the police while in jail.” Yehun, a 20-year-old farmer from the town, said the community was given no warning about the demolitions. “I didn’t even have time to change my clothes,” he said sheepishly. Yehun and his family walked twenty kilometers barefoot to Sendafa, where his extended family could take them in. Opponents of the plan have been met with fierce repression. “The Integrated Master Plan is a threat to Oromia as a nation and as a people,” Fasil stated, leaning forward in a scuffed hotel armchair. Reading from notes scribbled on a sheet of loose-leaf notebook paper, the hardened student activist continued: “The plan would take away territory from Oromia,” depriving the region of tax revenue and political representation, “and is a cultural threat to the Oromo people living there.” A small scar above his eye, deafness in one ear and a lingering gastrointestinal disease picked up in prison testify to Fasil’s commitment to the cause. His injuries come courtesy of the police brutality he encountered during the four-year prison sentence he served after he was arrested for protesting for Oromo rights in high school and, more recently, against the IMP at Addis Ababa University. Fasil is just one of the estimated thousands of students who were detained during university protests against the IMP. Though Fasil was beaten, electrocuted and harassed while he was imprisoned last May, he considers himself lucky. “We know that sixty-two students were killed and 125 are still missing,” he confided in a low voice. The students ground their protests in Ethiopia’s federal Constitution. “We are merely asking that the government abide by the Constitution,” Fasil explained, arguing that the plan violates at least eight constitutional provisions. In particular, the students claim that the plan violates Article 49(5), which protects “the special interest of the State of Oromia in Addis Ababa” and gives the district the right to resist federal incursions into “administrative matters.” Moreover, the plan presents a tangible threat to the people living in Oromia. Fasil and other student protesters claimed that the IMP “would allow the city to expand to a size that would completely cut off West Oromia from East Oromia.” When the plan is fully implemented, an estimated 2 million farmers will be displaced. “These farmers will have no other opportunities,” Fasil told me. “We have seen this before when the city grew. When they lose their land, the farmers will become day laborers or beggars.” The controversy highlights the disruptive and often violent processes that can accompany economic growth. “What is development, after all?” Fasil asked me. Ethiopia’s growth statistics are some of the most impressive in the region. Backed by aid from the US government, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the country’s ruling coalition, is committed to modernizing agricultural production and upgrading the country’s economy. Yet there is a lack of consensus about which processes should be considered developmental. Oromo activists allege that their community has borne a disproportionate share of the costs of development. Advocates like Fasil argue that the “development” programs of the EPRDF are simply a means of marginalizing the Oromo people to consolidate political power within the ruling coalition. “Ethiopia has a federalism based on identity and language,” explained an Ethiopian political science professor who works on human rights. Nine distinct regions are divided along ethnic lines and are theoretically granted significant autonomy from the central government under the 1994 Constitution. In practice, however, the regions are highly dependent on the central government for revenue transfers and food security, development and health programs. Since the inception of Ethiopia’s ethno-regional federalism, the Oromo have been resistant to incorporation in the broader Ethiopian state and suspicious of the intentions of the Tigray ethnic group, which dominates the EPRDF. As the 2015 elections approach, the Integrated Master Plan may provide a significant source of political mobilization. “The IMP is part of a broader conflict in Ethiopia over identity, power and political freedoms,” said the professor, who requested anonymity. Standing in Gullele Botanic Park in May, Secretary of State Kerry was effusive about the partnership between the United States and Ethiopia, praising the Ethiopian government’s “terrific support in efforts not just with our development challenges and the challenges of Ethiopia itself, but also…the challenges of leadership on the continent and beyond.” Kerry’s rhetoric is matched by a significant amount of US financial support. In 2013, Washington allocated more than $619 million in foreign assistance to Ethiopia, making it one of the largest recipients of US aid on the continent. According to USAID, Ethiopia is “the linchpin to stability in the Horn of Africa and the Global War on Terrorism.” Kerry asserted that “the United States could be a vital catalyst in this continent’s continued transformation.” Yet if “transformation” entails land seizures, home demolitions and political repression, then it’s worth questioning just what kind of development American taxpayers are subsidizing. The American people must wrestle with the implications of “development assistance” programs and the thin line between modernization and marginalization in countries like Ethiopia. Though the US government has occasionally expressed concern about the oppressive tendencies of the Ethiopian regime, few demands for reform have accompanied aid. For the EPRDF, the process of expanding Addis Ababa is integral to the modernization of Ethiopia and the opportunities inherent to development. For the Oromo people, the Integrated Master Plan is a political and cultural threat. For the residents of Legetafo, the demolition of their homes demonstrates the uncertainty of life in a rapidly changing country.
Ethiopia: A Generation at Risk, Plight of Oromo Students Fulbaana/September 7, 2014 ————————– The following is an Urgent Action statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA). ————————– HRLHA Urgent Action FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 06, 2014 The human rights abuses against Oromo students in different universities have continued unabated over the past six months – more than a hundred Oromo students were extra-judicially wounded or killed, while thousands were jailed by a special squad: the “Agazi” force. This harsh crackdown against the Oromo students, which resulted in deaths, arrests, detentions and disappearances, happened following peaceful protests by the Oromo students and the Oromo people in April-May 2014 against the so-called “Integrated Master Plan of Addis Ababa.” This plan was targeted at the annexation of many small towns of Oromia to the capital Addis Ababa. It would have meant the eviction of around six million Oromos from their lands and long-time livelihoods without being consulted or giving consent. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has repeatedly expressed its deep concern about such human rights violations against the Oromo nation by the EPRDF government(1). The HRLHA reporter in Addis Ababa confirmed that, in connection with the April-May, 2014 peaceful protests, among the many students picked from different universities and other places in the regional State of Oromia and detained in Maikelawi/”the Ethiopian Guantanamo bay Detention camp,” the following nine students and another four, Abdi Kamal, TofiK Kamal and Abdusamad – businessmen from Eastern Hararge Dirre Dawa town, and Chaltu Duguma (F), an employee of Wellega University, are in critical condition due to the continuous severe torture inflicted upon them in the past five months. The current ongoing arrests and detention of Oromo students started when the students were forced to attend a “political training” said to be a government plan to indoctrinate the students with the political agenda of EPRDF for two weeks before the regular classes started in mid-September 2014. Before the training started, students demanded that the government release the students who were imprisoned during the peaceful protests of April-May 2014. Instead of giving a positive answer to the students’ legitimate questions, the federal government deployed its military forces to Ambo and Wellega University campuses to silence their voices; many students were severely beaten, and hundreds were taken to prison from August 20-29, 2014. Through the brutality of the federal government’s military “Agazi,” students from Ambo University, Hinaafu Lammaa, Kuma Fayisa, Tarreessaa Waaqummaa Mulugeta, Sukkaaraa Cimidi, Leensa Hailu Bedhane (F) and Elizabeth Legesse (lost her two teeth) were among those harshly beaten in their dormitories, and then thrown outside naked in the open air. The HRLHA reporter documented the following names among hundreds of students taken to different detention centers from both Ambo and Wellega Universities on August 28 and 29, 2014. Among many Wellaga University students, those who were severely beaten on 28/08/2014 – Markos Taye, Ganati Desta and Mosisa Fufa – were first taken to Nekemte Hospital and later transferred to Tikur Anbasa, a hospital in the capital city, more than 300km away, for further treatment. They remain there in critical condition. The most recent report (Sept. 3, 2014) received by HRLHA from Ambo town indicates that more than 250 students released from Senkele detention center have been taken back to their villages so that their parents or guardians can sign documents stating that their children are responsible for the conflict created between the students and the federal military. The parents of the students rejected the attempt of the government to make their children guilty by supporting, instead, the demands of the students “Free our friends, bring the killers of the students to court.” By killing, torturing and detaining nonviolent protesters, the government of Ethiopia is breaching: 1. The 1995 constitution of the Ethiopia, Articles 29 and 30, which grant basic democratic rights to all Ethiopian citizens(2). 2. All international and regional human rights instruments that Ethiopia signed, and the UN Human Rights council 19th(3) and 25th(4) sessions resolutions that call upon states, with regard to peaceful protests, to promote and protect all human rights and to prevent all human rights violations during peaceful protests. Therefore, the HRLHA calls upon the Ethiopian Government to refrain from systematically eliminating the young generation of Oromo nationals and respect all international human rights standards, and all civil and political rights of citizens it has signed in particular. HRLHA also calls upon governments of the West, all local, regional and international human rights agencies to join hands and demand an immediate halt to such kinds of extra-judicial actions against one’s own citizens. Detainees should be released without any preconditions and the murderers should brought to justice. RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its appropriate government ministries and/or officials as swiftly as possible, both in English and Ahmaric, or in your own language: – Expressing concerns regarding the apprehension and possible torture of citizens who are being held in different detention centers, including the infamous Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office, and calling for their immediate and unconditional release; – Request that the government refrain from detaining, harassing, discriminating against Oromo Nationals; – Urging the Ethiopian authorities to ensure that detainees are treated in accordance with the regional and international standards regarding the treatment of prisoners; – Also send your concerns to diplomatic representatives in Ethiopia who are accredited to your country. —– (1) http://humanrightsleague.com/2014/05/ethiopia-ambo-under-siege-daily-activitiesparalyzed– hrlha-urgent-action/ (2) Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 1995,http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=193667 (3) http://blog.unwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/Protection-of-Human-Rights-in-the-context-of-Peaceful– Protests1.pdf (4) http://blog.unwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/Peaceful-Protest-Resolution-2014.pdf
Oral statement, Human Rights Council, 19 June 2014
August 27, 2014 Fleeing from abuse in Ethiopia and seeking refuge in Kenya, Djibouti, Somaliland, South Africa and Egypt, 187 refugees have described in detail, during hour-long interviews how they and their close families were persecuted. Nearly all reported arbitrary detention of relatives and 126 were themselves detained. Over half of those interviewed (95 – 51%) had been tortured, which amounted to 75% of former detainees. Rarely do refugee populations report experiencing torture to this extent. Rape was reported by 25% of women/girl refugees (21 of 85). Just over half of women/girl refugees who had been detained (41) were raped in detention, almost always repeatedly and by more than one officer, and sometimes by up to eight at a time. Refugees reported 87 disappearances in detention, of whom 69 were first degree relatives – parents, children, siblings or spouses. Extra-judicial killings of those whom refugees were able to name – friends, neighbours, relatives or co-detainees – were reported of 372 individuals, 84 of whom were first degree relatives. There are more than 250,000 Oromo refugees in the world. If only one tenth of that number has experienced the intensity of abuse meted out to the interviewees in Africa, hundreds of thousands of detentions without trial, at least 50,000 political killings, over 11,000 disappearances and over 6000 cases of rape by members of the security forces can be assumed to have taken place in Ethiopia since 1992. While Ethiopia has enjoyed favoured aid status and millions of it population have remained dependent on food aid, its oppressive policies have stifled pluralism and denied more than a fraction of democratic space to opposition groups. It has one of the most sophisticated security and surveillance systems in Africa and maintains a large, well-equipped army and air-force. Despite ongoing food-dependency, more than one million hectares of arable land has been leased to foreign investors growing for foreign markets while hundreds of thousands of local farmers have been evicted from their land.  http://www.oromo.org/osg/Report_46.pdf;http://www.oromo.org/osg/pr47.pdf; http://www.oromo.org/OSG/pr_48.pdf;http://www.oromo.org/OSG/pr_49.pdf; 26 Oromo refugees were interviewed by OSG in Cairo, 20-29 May 2013. Report is in preparation.
Oromia: Enhanced Master Plan to Continue Committing the Crimes of GenocideThe actions taken were aimed at destroying Oromo farmers or at rendering them extinct. ~Ermias Legesse, Ethiopia’s exiled EPRDF MinisterAugust 30, 2014 (Oromo Press) — The announcement of the implementation of the Addis Ababa Master Plan (AAMP) was just an extension of an attempt by EPRDF government at legalizing its plans of ridding the Oromo people from in and around Finfinne by grabbing Oromo land for its party leaders and real estate developers from the Tigrean community. The act of destroying Oromo farmers by taking away their only means of survival—the land—precedes the current master plan by decades. Ermias Legesse, exiled EPRDF Deputy Minister of Communication Affairs, acknowledged his own complicity in the destruction of 150,000 Oromo farmers in the Oromia region immediately adjacent to Finfinne. He testifies that high-level TPLF/EPRDF officials are responsible for planning and coordinating massive land-grab campaigns without any consideration of the people atop the land. Ermia’s testimony is important because it contains both the actus reus and dolus specials of the mass evictions:Once while in a meeting in 1998 (2006, Gregorian),the Ethiopian Prime Minster Meles Zenawi , we (ERPDF wings) used to go to his office every week, said. Meles led the general party work in Addis Ababa. We went to his office to set the direction/goal for the year. When a question about how should we continue leading was asked, Meles said something that many people may not believe. ‘Whether we like it or not nationality agenda is dead in Addis Ababa.’ He spoke this word for word. ‘A nationality question in Addis Ababa is the a minority agenda.’ If anyone were to be held accountable for the crimes, everyone of us have a share in it according to our ranks, but mainly Abay Tsehaye is responsible. The actions taken were aimed at destroying Oromo farmers or at rendering them extinct. 29 rural counties were destroyed in this way. In each county there are more or less about 1000 families. About 5000 people live in each Kebele (ganda) and if you multiply 5000 by 30, then the whereabouts of 150,000 farmers is unknown.Zenawi’s statement “the question of nationality is a dead agenda in Addis Ababa” implies that the Prime Minister planned the genocide of the Oromo in and around Finfinne and others EPRDF officials followed suit with the plan in a more aggressive and formal fashion.Announcement of the Addis Ababa Master Plan and Massacres and Mass DetentionsAAMP was secretly in the making for at least three years before its official announcement in April 2014. The government promoted on local semi-independent and state controlled media the sinister plan that already evicted 2 million Oromo farmers and aims at evicting 8-10 million and at dividing Oromia into east and west Oromia as a benevolent development plan meant to extend social and economic services to surrounding Oromia’s towns and rural districts. Notwithstanding the logical contradiction of claiming to connect Oromia towns and rural aanaalee (districts) to “economic and social” benefits by depopulating the area itself, the plan was met with strong peaceful opposition across universities, schools and high schools in Oromia. Starting with the Ambo massacre that claimed the lives of 47 people in one day, Ethiopia’s army and police killed over 200 Oromo students, jailed over 2000 students, maimed and disappeared countless others over a five-month period from April-August 2014.
Update Naqamte Indoctrination Conference (27 August 2014): After heated debate over the Addis Ababa Master Plan yesterday, federal police raided dormitories last night taking away hundreds of students to unknown detention center. Hospital sources confirm three students have been admitted to emergency room. Similar arrest and disappearances are being reported from other universities and meeting venues as well. Update on other campuses will follow.Although the cadres have been trying to discuss the three themes prepared for for the conference, the issue surrounding the Addis Ababa Master Plan continues to dominate the discussion. The tension has worsened following claim by cadres that the controversial Master Plan has been cancelled. Students have demanded that the alleged cancellation shall be made official and public. #OromoProtests, #FreeOromoStudents, Jawar Mohamed
ETHIOPIA: Relentless government violence on Oromo students and nationals continues, says human rights organization Posted: Hagayya/August 27, 2014 · Gadaa.com ————————- The following is a press release from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA). ————————- August 27, 2014 While fresh arrests and detentions, kidnappings and disappearances of Oromo nationals have continued in different parts of the regional state of Oromia following the April-May crackdown of peaceful demonstrators, court rulings over the cases of some of the earlier detainees by courts of the regional state are being rejected by political agents of the governing TPLF/EPRDF Party. The renewed violence by government forces against Oromo nationals started particularly following what was termed as “Lenjii Siyaasaa” (literally meaning “political training”) that has targeted Oromo Students of higher educational institutions and has been going on in the past two weeks in different parts of Oromia. Although the agendum for the “Political Training” was said to be “the unity of the country,” it instead has become an opportunity of carrying out further screenings and arrests of students, as around 100 more students have so far been arrested from Ambo University campuses alone and sent to a remote, isolated military camp called Sanqalle, leaving families and friends in fear in regards to the safety and well-being of the students in particular, not to mention the disruption of their studies. The arrests were made following the students’ protest of their confinement into the campuses during this so call “Political Trianing,” and the demand that the killers of their fellow students be brought to justice prior to discussing “unity.” Also, five students of Wallaga University, from among those who were gathered for the same purpose of “Political Training,” were kidnapped on the 22nd of August 2014, and taken away in a vehicle with plate number 4866 ET; and their whereabouts are not known since then. HRLHA correspondents have also traced another fresh arrests and detentions of around 100 Oromo nationals in a small town called Elemo, Doranni District in the Illu Abba Borra Zone. It took place on the 14th of August 2014; and Waqtole Garbe, Sisay Amana, Tiiqii Supha, Ittana Daggafa, Badiru Basha, Kamal Zaalii, Rashiid Abdu, Zetuna Waaqoo, Daggafa Tolee, Adam Ligdii, Indush Mangistu, Dibbeessa Libaan, and Ofete Jifar were a few among those detainees in Elemo Prison. More worrisome and frustrating is agents of the federal government’s interference with regional and local judicial systems. More than one hundred students and other Oromo nationals, from among the thousands who were detained following the April-May nationwide protest, have been granted bails in local courts of the regional government of Oromia. These include 64 detainees in Dembi Dollo/Qellem, 10 in Ambo, 40 in Sibu-Sire and Digga District. But, all the court decisions were overruled by political officials representing the federal government. The Dembi Dollo/Qellem detainees in particular were granted bails four times, only to be turned down by political officials all the four rounds. On the other hand, there have been some cases in which prison terms ranging from six months to a year-and-half were imposed on the Oromo detainees, not in courts, but by those representatives of the federal government. Also, some independent lawyers complain that they were threatened by officials from the ruling party; and, as a result, refraining from representing the Oromo detainees. Usual as it has been in the past fifteen or so years, this case of interfering with and disobeying court rulings indicates that the case of these most recent Oromo detainees is purely political. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) calls upon the Ethiopian Government to refrain from harassing and intimidating students through such extra-judicial means as killings, arrests and detentions, and denials of justice after detention; and instead, facilitate conducive teaching-learning environments. HRLHA also calls upon the Ethiopian Government to unconditionally release the detained Oromo students and other nationals; and, as requested by their fellow students, bring to justice the killers of innocent and peaceful protestors during the April-May crackdown. BACKGROUNDS: The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has reported (May 1st and 13th, 2014, urgent actions, HumanRightsLeague.com) on the heavy-handed crackdown of the Ethiopian Federal Government’s Agazi Special Squad and the resultant extra-judicial killings of 34 (thirty-four) Oromo nationals; and the arrests and detentions of hundreds of others. Although the brutalities of the armed squad and the resultant fatalities happened to be very high in Ambo Town, the peaceful protests by Oromo students of different universities and faculties have been taking place in April and May in various towns and cities of Oromia, including Diredawa and Adama in eastern Oromia, as well as Jimma, Mettu, Naqamte, Gimbi, and Dambidollo in western Oromia. The Oromo students of universities and colleges in different parts of the regional state of Oromia took to the streets for peaceful demonstrations in protest to the decision passed by the Federal EPRDF/TPLF-led Government to expand the city of Finfinnee/Addis Ababa by uprooting and displacing hundreds of thousands of Oromos from all sorts of livelihoods, and annexing about 36 surrounding towns of Oromia, the ultimate goal of which is claimed to be redrawing the map of the Oromia Region. The federal annexation plan, which was termed as “The Integrated Development Master Plan,” is said to be covering the towns of Dukem, Gelan, Legetafo, Sendafa, Sululta, Burayu, Holeta, Sebeta, and others, stretching the boundary of Finfinne/Addis Ababa to about 1.1-million hectares – an area of 20 times its current size. – HumanRightsLeague.com: http://www.humanrightsleague.com/
3rd year Water Engineering student Alamayyoo Sooressaa of Jimma University was kidnapped 4 months ago by Agazi (TPLF) forces. He is being tortured in Ma’ikkelawi with the rests of Oromo students held there. #FreeOromoStudents, 25th August 2014.
5th year Law student Iskandar (Obsaa) Abdulkadir of Haromaya University kidnapped by Agazi (TPLF) forces. Iskandar (Obsaa) Abdulkadir was kidnapped from Somaliland and sent to Ethiopia through extraordinary rendition. Obsa reportedly took refuge in the neighboring country following the student protest in May.
24 August 2014.
ODUU BAYEE NAMA NASIISTUU FI GADDISTUU BARAATAA SEERA WAGAA 5ffaa tii. WAYAANEN QIINDEESSA FDG UNIVESITII HAROMAYAA JECHUU DHAN ISSAA KANA SEERAF DEHESSUF YALAA TURAAN.YEROO HANGAA TOKKO BOODA ISKANDAR ABDULKADIR YKN OBSA ABDULQADIR TO’ANAA MOTUMMA WAYAANEE JALAA OLUU ISSAA MIRKKANAWEE. ISKANDAR YKN OBSA ABDULKADIR JECHUUN BARATOOTA WAGAA KANA ABOOKKATUMMAN EBIIFAMUU KESSA TOKKO TUREE GARUU OROMUMMATUU ISSA DORKKEE.OBSA YKN ISKANDAR PREZINDANTII BARAATOTAA UNIVERSIITII HAROMAYAA KAN TUREE. #oromoprotests #freeoromostudents
3rd year law student Waaqumaa Dhaabaa and high school student named Dereje from Ambo (Oromo nationals) were kidnapped by TPLF (Agazi) forces on 19th August 2014 and their whereabouts is not known. Ambo residents are being terrorized b Agazi forces#OromoProtests.
For details listen the following OMN.
Sad News (12th August 2014): Oromo youth (student) named Biqila Balaay, who was wounded by Agazi in Ambo during the #OromoProtests has passed away on 11 August 2014 at Tikur Anbassa Hospital.
Oduu Gaddaa amma nu qaqqabe!!Mormii Maaster Pilaanii Finfinneetiin wal qabatee sochii adeemsifamaa tureen Naannoo Ambootti Rasaasaan kan miidhamanii yaalamaa turan keessaa tokko kan ta’e Dargaggoo Biqilaa Balaay hospitaala Xuqur Ambassaa keessatti guyyoota hedduuf osoo daddeebi’ee yaalamuu miidhamni kun “Infection” itti ta’ee kaleessa galgala du’aan Addunyaa kana irraa Wareegameera. Reeffi isaa Hospitaala Miniilik keessatti erga sakatta’amee booda Galgala kana gara bakka dhaloota isaa Horroo Guduruu Wallaggaa Magaalaa Kombolchaatti gaggeeffameera. Sirni Awwaalcha isaa guyyaa borii magaalaa Kombolchaa keessatti ni raawwata!!!Biyyeen sitti haa salphatu!!!
Oduu Gaddisiisaa fi Seenaa Gabaabaa Gooticha Barataa Biqilaa Balaay Toleeraa
Gootichi Barataa Biqilaa Balaay Abbaa isaa Obbo Balaay Troleeraa fi Haadha isaa Aadde Siccaalee Mul’ataa Abdataa irraa Godina Horroo Guduruu Wallaggaa aanaa Habaaboo Guduruu ganda Caalaa Fooqaa keessatti bara 1991 A.L.Otti dhalate. Dhalatees Hiriyyoota isaa waliin taphachuu, Seenaa baruuf tattaafachuu fi barsiisuu kan jaallatu sabboonaa qaroo ilma Oromooti. Barataa Biqilaan guddatee barnootaaf akka gahetti bara 1999 AL.Otti mana barumsaa sadarkaa 1ffaa Caalaa Fooqaa seenuudhaan kuitaa 1ffaadhaa hanga 8ffaatti barate. Barnoota isaa sadarkaa lammaffaa mana barnootaa sadrkaa lammaffaa Kombolchaa seenuudhaan kutaa 9ffaa fi 10ffaa barate. Barnoota isaa Cinaatti ilmaan Oromoo sabboonummaa barsiisaa gama kallattii garaa garaadhaan QBO keessatti qooda olaanaa fudhachaa kan ture bara 2009 AL.Otti kutaa 10ffaa akka xumureen Koollejjii Horroo Guduruu magaala Fincaa’aa seenuun bara 2011 A.L.Otti muummee Veternarydhaan eebbifame. Barataa Biqilaa Balaay dhiibbaa mootummaan wayyaanee ilmaan Oromoo irraan geessu argaa bira kan hin dabarre QBO keessatti qooda fudhachaa kan as gahe Fincila diddaa garbummaa bara 2014 dhimma naannawa lafa Finfinnee qabatee dhoheen magaala Amboo keessatti hiriira barattootnii fi Uummatni gamtaan gaafa Ebla 25, 2014 gaggeessan keessatti qooda fudhachuun rasaasa mootummaa wayyaaneedhaan sa’a 12:29 PM irratti mataa rukkutame. Rukkutamees waldhaansaaf gara Hospitaala Xiqur Ambasaa guyyaa sana kan fudhatame yoommuu tahu maallaqa hedduu dhangalaasuudhaanis waldhaansa olaanaa irra ture. Waldhaansi olaanaan taasifamus rukkuttaa bakka hamaa rukkutamee fi waldhaansa taasisfameen qorichi kennamaafii ture mataa isaa keessaa rasaasa baasuuf yaalii godhamaa ture summii itti tahuun gaafa hagayya 11 bara 2014 Addunyaa kana irraa du’aan boqoteera.Qabsaa’aan ni kufa! Qabsoon itti fufa!Qeerroo Bilisummaa Hagayya 15, 2014
Sad News (4th August 2014):Teacher named Wakjira Barsisa, who was wounded in Gimbi during the #OromoProtests has passed away at Tikur Anbassa Hospital.In related news, the following 11 students have been released from Maekalwi prison after being detained and subjected to torture for the last three months. 1. Falmataa Bayecha 2. Mo’ibul Misganuu 3. Bekele Gonfa 4. Nimonaa Gonfa 5. Ebisaa Dhabasa 6.Ratta Dajash 7. Araarsaa Leggesse 8. Ashanafi ( Jaarraa ) Marga 9. Barisso Jamal 10. Abu ( Guyyo) Galma * 11. Alii Shadoo** Abu (#10) is a 14 years old , while Alii ( #11) is 15 years old. They were both 9th grade students at the time of their arrest.
Oromo star artists, Haacaaluu Hundeesa and Jaamboo Joote were arrested today in Finfinnee, but finally left the country. They are on their way to Washington Dulles International Airport. This is typical Woyaane tactic to chase away Oromo figures. Seif Nebelbaal News, 4th August 2014.
Mass killing’s in Ambo conducted by fascist Woyane (TPLF) army, Agazi.
Testimony of a youngman whose friend was murdered by Ethiopian securitymen during protest against the government decision to annex farming areas into Addis Ababa – which is believed to evict farmers from their ancestral homeland (https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/9822596/204/
Ethiopia’s Compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child Report for the Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee on the Rights of the Child Submitted by The Advocates for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with ECOSOC and The International Oromo Youth Association, a non-governmental diaspora youth organization 69th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Geneva 22–26 September 2014http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/uploads/tahr_ioya_crc_loi_submission_july_1_2014.pdf
(The Advocates for Human Rights, Adoolessa/July 26, 2014, Finfinne Tribune, Gadaa.com ) – The Advocates for Human Rights, in collaboration with the International Oromo Youth Association, submitted a report for the Pre-Sessional Working Group of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. This report identifies numerous violations of the rights of children in Ethiopia, particularly with respect to the rights of the child to equality, life, liberty, security, privacy, freedom of expression and association, family, basic health and welfare, education, and leisure and cultural activities. Unless otherwise noted in the report, these violations occur without distinction based on the ethnic group of the child. In some cases, however, children belonging to the Oromo ethnic group—the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia—face discrimination or other rights violations unique to their ethnicity. The Advocates has worked extensively with members of the Ethiopian diaspora for purposes of documenting human rights conditions in Ethiopia. Since 2004, The Advocates has documented reports from members of the Oromo ethnic group living in diaspora in the United States of human rights abuses they and their friends and family experienced in Ethiopia.The Ethiopian Government has adopted strict constraints on civil society; Government monitoring and intimidation, as well as fear of reprisals, impede human rights monitoring and journalism in the country. In spite of this, The Advocates has documented the continued discrimination against the Oromo and other ethnic groups. In recent months, the Ethiopian Government has also violated the right to life of Oromo children and youth by using excessive force in response to peaceful protests, including violence, killing, mass detentions, and forced expulsions.Further, the Government fails to protect children from abuse in the family and from harmful traditional practices such as FGM. Perpetrators of physical and sexual violence against children enjoy impunity. The Government also fails to promote and protect rights of many children with disabilities. The Government’s “villagization” program places the health of children in rural areas at risk and impedes their right to an adequate standard of living. Children in Ethiopia continue to be denied access to primary education, especially in rural areas, and child domestic labor remains a serious concern.- Details: The Advocates for Human Rights and the International Oromo Youth Association report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child- Source: The Advocates for Human Rights
Oromo mother angry over murdered son
Yeshi, mother of man shot dead in April in Ambo By Hewete HaileselassieBBC Africa, Ethiopia
“Yeshi” is still trying to come to terms with the trauma of discovering the body of her son being carried through the streets of the Ethiopian city of Ambo.
A rickshaw driver in his 20s, he had been caught up in deadly protests between the police and students in the city in April. They were demonstrating about plans to extend the administrative control of the capital, Addis Ababa, into Oromia state.
Oromia is the country’s largest region and completely surrounds Addis Ababa – and some people feared they would be forced off their land and lose their regional and cultural identity if the plans went ahead.
Anger over ‘violent crackdown’ at protest in Ethiopia
BBC News, 28 July 2014
A plan by the Ethiopian government to expand the capital’s administrative control into neighbouring states has sparked months of student protests.
Security forces have been accused of cracking down on demonstrators in the region of Oromia. The government says 17 people died in the violence, but human rights groups say that number is much higher. The BBC’s Emmanuel Igunza has gained rare access to the town of Ambo where the protests took place.
(July 22, 2014) – According to sources, the following Oromo political prisoners, who were arrested in connection with #OromoProtests over a month ago, had been transferred to the notorious Maekelawi prison recently. Before they were brought to Maekelawi, they had been apparently kept at the headquarters of the Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) – where they were subjected to severe torture. Their ordeal was so severe that many of them were carried on stretchers into their new prison cells at Maekelawi. One prisoner, who was there at Maekalawi before them, apparently said to his visiting families: “I thought I had the worst torture until I saw the latest Oromo students.’ In particular, a female student Chaltu Dhuguma from Wallaggaa University, has contracted a breast infection from injuries she had sustained at the NISS headquarters. Although these Oromos have been in detention since early May 2014, they have not been brought before a court, or charged. They have been denied the right to attorney, and family visits are restricted. Jimmaa University 1. Falmata Barecha 2. Ebisa Daba 3. Lenjisa Alemayehu 4. Gamachu Bekele Wallaggaa University 5. Mo’ibuli Misganu 6. Bekele Gonfa 7. Ratta Dinberu 8. Chaltuu Dhuguma Adama University 9. Adugna Keesso 10. Bilisumma Damene Haromaya University 11. Nimonaa Chali 12. Abebe Urgeessa 13. Bilisumma Gonfa 14. Magarsa Bekele 15. Jara (Ashenafi) Marga 16. Ararsa Legesse Farmers from Wallaggaa 17. Aga Bekana 18. Dereje Businessmen from Jimmaa 19. Mohammed Chali 20. Ahmed Abagaro 21. Hussien Abagaro Borana 22. Galma Guyo 23. Korme Udesso 24. Roba Salaha 25. Aliyi Qellam Wallaggaa Farmers 26. Shariif Usumaan 27. Daani’el Akkumaa 28. Aliyyii Tarfaa Farmers from Jimmaa 29. Shiek Mohaammed Abbaa Garoo 30. Hassan Abdala Farmers from East Wallaggaa 31. Afrika Kebede Farmers from Western Shawaa 32. Tamire Chala From Dire Dawa 33. Abdusemed Mohammed 34. Tofik Abdalla 35. Bariso Jamal 36. Abdii Kamal
Addunya Keesso was a 4th year engineering student at Adama Science and Technology University in Adama, Oromia, Ethiopia. He was dismissed from the university after government officials accused him of playing a leadership role in the peaceful student protest against the infamous Addis Ababa City Master Plan which many believe will result in the eviction of millions of Oromos from their ancestral land. On may 29 Addunya Keesso and two other ASTU students (Bilisumma Daammana and Mekonnen Kebede) were abducted from Franko neighborhood in Adama and taken to Ma’ikelawi prison in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where political prisoners are routinely tortured. Sources say Addunya Keesso has been tortured and has not been taken to court. It is to be recalled peaceful protesters were attacked by Ethiopia’s Federal Police and Agazi army since last April and scores of high school and college students have been killed and thousands detained in towns and villages across the Oromia region of Ethiopia. #FreeAddunyaaKeesso#FreeOromoStudents, 22nd July 2014
Oromo national, Bilisummaa Daammanaa, Final year Adama University student is being tortured in Fascist TPLF Ma’ikelawi torture chamber. #FreeOromoStudent. 20th July 2014. Bilisummaa Daammanaa jedhama.Barataa Yuuniversitii Saayinsii fi Teeknoloojii Adamaatti bara kana kan eebbifamu ture garuu,yuuniversitii irras ari’amuun,Gaaffii mirga Abbaa Biyyumaan wal qabatee,badii tokko malee yeroo amma kana mana hidhaa Wayyanee ma’akkalawwitti dararamaa jira! Gabaasa Qeerroo Adoolessa 19,2014 Finfinnee Barataa sabboonticha Bilisummaa Daammanaa jedhamu mooraa Adaamaa Yuuniversitii irraa kan baratuu fi baree baranaa kan xumuruun eebbifamu yoo tahu Ebla 29/2014 guyyaa FDG mooraa Yuuniversitii Adaamatti tokkummaa barattoota Oromoo moorichaan mootummaa Wayyaanee dura dhaabbachuudhaan gaggeessaniin tikoota Wayyaaneen hiriyoottan sabboontota Oromoo nama 40 ol tahan waliin qabamanii torbanoota lamaa oliif bakka buuteen isaanii dhabamee ture irraa kaasee bakka tursan tursanii gara mana hidhaa Maa’ikelaawwii keessatti sabboonaa beekamaa fi itti gaafatamaa dargaggoota ykn Qeerroo Yuuniversitii Adaamaa kan tahe,akkasuma dursaa maadhewwan mooraa fi magaalaa Adaamaa kan tahe Addnuyaa Keessoo waliin rakkina guddaa fi gocha suukkanneessaa waraana Wayyaaneetiin mana hidhaa Maa’ikelaawwii keessatti irratti raawwachaa tureera. Ammas gara jabinaan waan dhala namaa irratti hin raawwanne barataa Bilisummaa Daammanaa jedhamu kana irratti ammas irratti raawwacha jiru du’aa fi jireenya gidduutti argamuu isaa gabaasi qeerroo addeessa. http://qeerroo.org/2014/07/20/mana-hidhaa-maaikelaawwii-keessatti-barataa-sabboonaa-bilisummaa-daammanaa-reebichaan-rakkina-hamaa-keessa-jira/
High school student #Samuel Ittaana from Gimbii, Oromia was shot by fascist Ethiopia’s federal police (Agazi) while taking part in a peaceful demonstration during #Oromoptotests. #FreeOromoStudents
The above picture is some of the thousands Oromo student youths kidnapped by fascist TPLF (Agazi) forces and sent to its torture camp in Afar state. They are forced to shave and skin heads. The TPLF falsely claimed that they are ‘Godana Tadaadar’ (homeless, street residents). #OromoProtests #FreeOromoStudents 13th July 2014
Suuraan amma olii kun kan mootumaan Ethiopia ykn TPLF, dargagoota egeree boruu ta’an baraachiidhaan, barnoota isaanii irraa arii’uudhaan, qabeenyaa ykn qe’ee isanii irraa ariitee ergaa jettee booda asi deebitee maqaa itti baasitee ‘Ye Godaana Tadadari’ jechuun, dhiiraaf durba otuu hin jennee kan kumaatamatti lakkawaman mataa irraa aaduudhaan gara nanoo Afar keesatti ergitee jirtii. Kunis kan ta’ee filannoo itti aanuu rakkina amma tokko dhufuu danda’u irra hiridhisa kan jedhuu irra kan ka’ee karoorafatanii ta’uu isa beekamee.Dargagoota sodaa irra qaban kuma afurii ta’uun isanii beekamee. #OromoProtests
MORE THAN 3000 SHAVED HEADED OROMO STUDENTS WERE SENT TO AFAR CONCENTRATION CAMP
Following massive crock-down on Oromo students throughout Oromia, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) regime moved thousands of Oromo students who participated in peaceful protests to various concentration camps. Besides putting those students in extremely dangerous detention centers, the detainees are usually exposed to various kinds of corporal punishments. According to Ethiopian Review report, among Oromo students who were arbitrarily arrested following massive arrest that took place in May this year, around 3000 of them were put to a massive head shaving ritual. The EPRDF regime practiced this kind of cruelty and act of barbarism against Oromo nationalists since it came to power 23 years ago. Prominent Oromo singer and nationalist Ilfinesh Qano is one of those who went through this ugly and inhumane practice of detainees handling. Reports show that more than 30,000 Oromos were rounded up and put in different camps following the demonstration that took place in Ambo, Addis Ababa, Robe, Nakamte and other Oromia cities and villages.
Humnootni tikaa sirna wayyaanee barataa Mootii Mootummaa ukkaamsanii fudhatan namoota shan oggaa ta’an, isaan keessaa tokko kana dura magaalaa Ambootti tika wayyaanee kan turee fi yeroo ammaa Adaamaadhaa kan hojjetu nama maqaan isaa Tasfaayee jedhamu ta’uunis barameera. Barataa Mootii Mootummaa Abdii barreessaa kitaaba “Qaroo Dhiiga Boosse” jedhamuu oggaa ta’u, sabboonummaa Oromummaa nama qabu akka ta’es kanneen isa beekan ibsaniiru. Mootummaan wayyaanee akkuma ilmaan Oromoo hedduu ukkaamsee nyaataa turee fi jiru barataa Mootii Mootummaa Abdii irrattis yakka fakkaataa raawwachuun isaa hin oolu kan jedhan hiriyootni isaa, ilmaan Oromoo biyya ambaatti argaman dararaa fi lubbuu ijoollee Oromoo hidhaa keessatti argamanii hambisuuf kanneen mirga dhala namaaf falmanitti iyyachuufii jabeessanii akka itti fufan dhaamsa dabarsaniiru.
Maqaan isaa Waaqjiraa Biraasa jedhama hojiin isaa barsiisaa yoo ta’u sababa sochii /mormii barattoota Oromootiin miidhaan irea gahee hospital Xuqur Anbassaa keessatti argama. Oromo national and teacher Waaqjiraa Biraasaa is in life and death situation after being tortured by Agazi/TPLF. At the time of this posting he is in Xiqur Ambassa (Black Lion Hospital), Finfinnee. #OromoProtests. #FreeOromoStudents. 13th July 2014. 31 Oromo students, under 16 year old teenagers are being tortured by Agazi (TPLF) in jail at Ambo. The National Youth Movement for freedom and Democracy listed (in its 10th July 2014 publication) their names which is in Afaan Oromo as follows:-Dararamni Oromoo mana hidhaa Wayyaanee keessaa umurii hin filatu Dargaggoonni maqaan isaanii armaa gadi xuqame guyyaa 23/08/2006 (A.L.E) irraa eegalee sababa tokko malee jumulaan walitti qabamanii shakkiidhaan hidhamuu irraan kan ka’e ma/mu/ol/Go/ Sh/Lixaatti akka dhihaatanii fi himannaan dhiyaate waan hin jirreef jedhee ajajaan akka gadi lakkisaman murteesse. Haa ta’u malee ajajni mana murtii kun hojii irra ooluu irra umurii daa’imummaan mana hidhaa keessatti dararamaa jirra jechuun ma/mu/waliigalaa Oromiyaatti ol iyyatanii hanga yoonaatti deebii hin arganne. Isaanis;
Shibirree Mokonnon G/Yesus Umuriin waggaa 15
Misgaanaa Oolgaa Dawoo umuriin waggaa 16
Alamituu Fayyeraa Baayisaa umuriin waggaa 16
Haaluma wal fakkaataan namoonni armaa gadii ammoo qabamanii mana qajeelcha poolisaa godinaa irraa gara mana sirreessaa Go/Sh/Lixaatti darbuun himannaa fi murtii tokko malee dararamaa jirani. Sababa kana irraa ka’uun dhimma isaanii hordofachuu akka hin dandeenye ibsachuun nama dhimma isaanii hordofuuf bakka buufachuun ma/mu/walii gala Oromiyaatti iyyatanii hanga yoonaatti deebii sirnaa akka hin arganne maddeen mirkaneessu. Isaan kunis;
A Summary of Oromos Killed, Beaten and Detained by the TPLF Armed Forces during the 2014 Oromo Protest Against The Addis Ababa (Finfinne) Master Plan Compiled by: National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy (NYMFD) aka Qeerroo Bilisummaa
July 05, 2014
It is a well-documented and established fact that the Oromo people in general and Oromo students and youth in particular have been in constant and continuous protest ever since the current TPLF led Ethiopian government came to power. The current protest which started late April 2014 on a large scale in all universities and colleges in Oromia and also spread to several high schools and middle schools begun as opposition to the so called “Integrated Developmental Master Plan” or simply “the Master Plan”. The “Master Plan” was a starter of the protest, not a major cause. The major cause of the youth revolt is opposition to the unjust rule of the Ethiopian regime in general. The main issue is that there is no justice, freedom and democracy in the country. The said Master Plan in particular, would expand the current limits of the capital, Addis Ababa, or “Finfinne” as the Oromos prefer to call it, by 20 folds stretching to tens of Oromian towns surrounding the capital. The Plan is set to legalize eviction of an estimated 2 million Oromo farmers from their ancestral land and sell it to national and transnational investors. For the Oromo, an already oppressed and marginalised nation in that country, the incorporation of those Oromian cities into the capital Addis Ababa means once more a complete eradication of their identity, culture, and language. The official language will eventually be changed to Amharic. Essentially, it is a new form of subjugation and colonization. It was the Oromo university students who saw this danger, realized its far-reaching consequences and lit the torch of protest which eventually engulfed the whole Oromia regional state.For the minority TPLF led Ethiopian regime, who has been already selling large area of land surrounding Addis Ababa even without the existence of the Master Plan, meeting the demands of the protesting Oromo students means losing 1.1 million of hectares of land which the regime planned to sell for a large sum of money. Therefore, the demand of the students and the Oromo people at large is not acceptable to the regime. It has therefore decided to squash the protest with its forces armed to the teeth. The regime ordered its troops to fire live ammunition to defenceless Oromo students at several places: Ambo, Gudar, Robe (Bale), Nekemte, Jimma, Haromaya, Adama, Najjo, Gulliso, Anfillo (Kellem Wollega), Gimbi, Bule Hora (University), to mention a few. Because the government denied access to any independent journalists it is hard to know exactly how many have been killed and how many have been detained and beaten. Simply put, it is too large of a number over a large area of land to enumerate. Children as young as 11 years old have been killed. The number of Oromos killed in Oromia during the current protest is believed to be in hundreds. Tens of thousands have been jailed and an unknown number have been abducted and disappeared. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, who has been constantly reporting the human rights abuses of the regime through informants from several parts of Oromia for over a decade, estimates the number of Oromos detained since April 2014 as high as 50, 000In this report we present a list of 61 Oromos that are killed and 903 others that are detained and beaten (or beaten and then detained) during and after the Oromo students protest which begun in April 2014 and which we managed to collect and compile. The information we obtain so far indicates those detained are still in jail and still under torture. Figure 1 below shows the number of Oromos killed from different zones of Oromia included in this report. Figure 2 shows the number of Oromos detained and reportedly facing torture. It has to be noted that this number is only a small fraction of the widespread killings and arrest of Oromos carried out by the regime in Oromia regional state since April 2014 to date. Our Data Collection Team is operating in the region under tight and risky security conditions not to consider lack of logistic, financial and man power to carry the data collection over the vast region of Oromia.
June 29, 2014 Dear Sir/Madam: We are reaching out to you as the Board of Officers of the International Oromo Youth Association (IOYA) whose nation is in turmoil back in Oromia, Ethiopia. Recently, Oromo students have been protesting against the new Addis Ababa “Integrated Master Plan” which aims at incorporating smaller towns surrounding Addis Ababa for the convenience of vacating land for investors by displacing millions of Oromo farmers. As a political move, this will essentially result in the displacement of the indigenous peoples and their families. Oromo farmers will be dispossessed of their land and their survival both economic and cultural terms will be threatened. The Oromos strongly believe that this plan will expose their natural environment to risk, threaten their economic means of livelihood (subsistence farming), and violate their constitutional rights. The Ethiopian government is executing its political agenda of progressive marginalization of the Oromo people from matters that concern them both in the Addis Ababa city and the wider Oromia region. The master plan is an unconstitutional change of the territorial expansion over which the city administration has a jurisdiction. The government justifies the move in the name of enhancing the development of the city and facilitating economic growth. The justification is merely a tactical move masked for the governments continued abuse of human rights of the Oromo people. While the Oromos understand that Addis Ababa itself is an Oromo city that serves as the capital of the federal government, they also consider this move as an encroachment on the jurisdiction and borders of the state of Oromia. The protesters peacefully demonstrated against this move. University students and residents have been in opposition to the plan, but their struggle has been met by a brutal repression in the hands of the military police (famously known as the Agazi). It has been reported that shootings, arrests, and imprisonments are becoming rampant. It is also reported that the death toll is increasing by the hour. Recently, sources indicate that over 80 people have been shot dead, others severally injured and thousands arrested. In addition, Oromo students have been protesting peacefully for over three weeks now, despite mass killings and arrests by Ethiopian security forces. University and high school students from more than ten universities have been engaging in the Oromo protests. The peaceful rally has now spread across the whole country and is expected to continue until the Ethiopian government refrains from incorporating over 36 surrounding smaller towns into Addis Ababa. It is stated to be displacing an estimate of 6.6 million people and violating constitutional rights of regional states. As an organization subscribing to broader democratic engagement of the Oromo youth, we oppose the brutal violence that the Ethiopian government is meting out on innocent, unarmed young students who are peacefully protesting. As leaders of the Oromo community, we support and stand in solidarity with Oromo protests in Ethiopia. The human rights volitions being carried out by the Ethiopian government against innocent students are unacceptable. Continuous assaults, tortures, and killings of innocent civilians must be stopped. We urge you to join us in denouncing these inhumane and cruel activities carried out by the Ethiopian government. We believe it is imperative that the international community raise its voice and take action to stop the ongoing atrocities that are wreaking havoc to families and communities in the Oromia region. We urgently request that such actions be taken in an attempt to pressure the Ethiopian government to stop terrorizing and killing peaceful protesters:
The US government and other International organizations should condemn the Ethiopian government’s brutal action taken on unarmed innocent civilians. Furthermore, we demand over 30,000 innocent protesters to be released from prisons, as they will be subjected to torture and ill treatment.
The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is currently terrorizing its own electorates/nation. Under the law of R2P in the UN constitution, the international community is obliged to protect a nation that is being terrorized by its own government and EPRDF should be taken accountable.
We demand Ethiopia to be expelled from any regional and international cooperation including and not limited to AU and UN for its previous and current human rights violations. The International community should stop providing support in the name of AID and development to Ethiopia as it is violating the fundamental and basic needs of its nation.
The Ethiopian government should be stopped on immediate effect; its forceful displacement of the indigenous peoples across Ethiopia is unjust and unconstitutional. We ask the United States, European Union, and the United Nations to stand in solidarity with peaceful student protesters who are condemning such injustice.
The onus is on the international community to act in favor of the innocent and civilian populace that is seeking its fundamental right. Punitive actions towards this government should be taken for cracking down on freedom of expression and other democratic rights being expressed by its citizens.
We believe it is in the interest of our common humanity to take responsibility, to pay attention to this problem, to witness the plight of the voiceless victims, and to raise concerns to the Ethiopian government so it can desist from its brutal acts of repression. We count on your solidarity to help the Oromo youth be spared from arbitrary arrest, incarceration, and shootings. Yours Respectfully, International Oromo Youth Associationhttp://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/oromoprotests-ioya-appeal/https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=E31gqU_fbpM Abdi Kamal Mussa is Oromo political prisoner kept in Dire Dawa. He graduated from Dire Dawa Universityin 2013 and was working at Ethiopian Commercial Bank, Jigjiga branch. He was arrested in May 2014 on bogus accusation of providing financial support to the student protesters. He is languishing in the gulag without any charge and legal representation. #OrmoProtests #FreeOromoStudents
Maqaan isaa Alamaayyoo Dassaalee Kumii ( miidiyaa hawaasaa barruu fuula duraa ykn facebook kana irratti Sabom Alekso Desale) jedhama. Dhalatee kan guddate godina Wallagga Bahaa aanaa Kiiramuutti. Barnoota sadarkaa ol’aanaa kan hordofes Naqamtee Kolleejjii ASK jedhamutti. Magaala Naqamtee yeroo turetti gama sochii jabeenya qaamaatiinis gurbaa sadarkaa guddaarra ga’edha. Si’ana oguma barsiisummaa ittiin leenji’een hawaasa leenji’eef tajaajiluuf Godina Addaa Saba Oromoo kan taate Kamisee, aanaa Dawwee Haarawaatti argama. Saabom Alamaayyoon yeroo hojii idilee isaarraa ba’utti boqonnaa malee dargaggoota magaalaa Booraatti argaman sochii jabeenya qaamaa fi gorsa naamusaa kennuufiin nama jaalalaa fi kabajaa guddaa argateerudha. Hawaasa oromoo magaala Booraa (magaala guddoo aanaa Dawwee Haarawaa) fudhatama argachuun sabboonaa kanaa kan isaan yaaddesse jala adeemtotni wayyaanee aanichaaf amanamoodha jedhaman hinaaffaa fi sodaa guddaa keessa waan isaan galcheef, haal duree tokko malee Oromummaa isaa qofaan yakkuudhaan Waxabajji 20, 2014 guyyaa keessaa naannoo sa’a 4:00 harka,ijaa fi miila isaa xaxuudhaan: ati ABO waliin hidhata qabda, haasawaa ABO’n wal qabatu yoo haasofte malee uummanni akkamiin akkas si sifeeffate, Hiriyoota kee si waliin ABO deeggaran eeri…fi gaaffilee inni sammuu keessaa hin qabneen jaanjessanii eeyyama tokko malee mana jireenya isaa erga sakatta’anii booda mana hidhaatti darbataniiru. Wanti guddaan akka namummaatti nama gaddisiisu garuu ilmi namaa yakka tokko malee, biyya namni jiru keessatti guyyaadhaan dirree irratti ija raramee yommuu dhiittaan mirga namoomaa daangaa darbe akkanaa irratti raawwatamu birmataan tokkollee dhibuu isaati. Namoonni sobaan balaaloo hammanaa irratti xaxanis kanneen akka Habtaamuu Calqaa (hojjetaa mana maree aanichaa) fi Jamaal ( itti gaafatamaa mana maree aanaa Dawwee Haarawaa) ta’uutu bira gahame. Yeroo ammaa kanatti bakkuuteen isaas akka dhabame hiriyyootni isaa soorata geessuuf barbaadan hadheessanii dubbataa kan jiran yommuu ta’u, maatiin isaas eessa buutee ilma isaanii dhabanii burjaaja’aa jiru. #OromoProtests
The following are photographs and backgrounds of 5 students abducted from Madda Walabu University. #OromoProtests
Jeylan Ahmed Mohammed West Hararghe, Abro Disttict, Haji Musa Vilage, Tourism Management majorn Class 2014
Diribe Kumarra Taasisaa, Kellem Wollega, Laloo Qilee District, Bilee Buubaa Village, Class 2014
Haile Dhaba Danboba, South west Shewa Dawoo District, Busaa 01 kebele, Economics, Class 2014,
Leenco Fixa Soboqa South West Shewa, Sadeen Soddoo District. Tolee Dalotaa Village, Water Engineering major 2nd year
Twenty Ethiopia state journalists dismissed, in hiding
“If they cannot indoctrinate you into their thinking, they fire you,” said one former staff member of the state-run Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), who was dismissed from work last month after six years of service. “Now we are in hiding since we fear they will find excuses to arrest us soon,” the journalist, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, told CPJ.
On June 25, 20 journalists from the state broadcaster in Oromia, the largest state in terms of area and population in Ethiopia, were denied entry to their station’s headquarters, according to news reports. No letters of termination or explanations were presented, local journalists told CPJ; ORTO’s management simply said the dismissals were orders given by the government. “Apparently this has become common practice when firing state employees in connection with politics,” U.S.-based Ethiopian researcher Jawar Mohammed said in an email to CPJ. “The government seems to want to leave no documented trace.” Read more @http://www.cpj.org/blog/2014/07/twenty-ethiopia-state-journalists-dismissed-in-hid.php
STATE FIRES 20 JOURNALISTS FOR “NARROW POLITICAL VIEWS”
Reporters Without Borders condemns last week’s politically-motivated dismissal of 20 journalists from Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), the main state-owned broadcaster in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest regional State.The 20 journalists were denied entry to ORTO headquarter on 25 June and were effectively dismissed without any explanations other than their alleged “narrow political views,” an assessment the management reached at the end of a workshop for journalists and regional government officials that included discussions on the controversial Master Plan of Addis that many activists believe is aimed at incorporating parts of Oromia into the federal city of Addis Ababa.The journalists had reportedly expressed their disagreement with the violence used by the police in May to disperse student protests against the plan, resulting in many deaths.It is not yet clear whether the journalists may also be subjected to other administrative or judicial proceedings.“How can you fire journalists for their political views?” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “The government must provide proper reasons for such a dismissal. Does it mean that Ethiopia has officially criminalized political opinion ?“In our view, this development must be seen as an attempt by the authorities to marginalize and supress all potential critiques ahead of the national elections scheduled for 2015 in Ethiopia. These journalists must be allowed to return to work and must not be subjected to any threats or obstruction.”Ethiopia is ranked 143rd out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.http://www.siitube.com/articles/state-broadcaster-fires-20-journalists-for-“narrow-political-views”_293.html
Up to 20 journalists reportedly fired from Ethiopian broadcaster
Ethiopian state broadcaster’s alleged dismissal of reporters prompts questions over press freedom.
Ethiopia’s state-run Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO) allegedly sacked(link is external) up to 20 journalists on June 25. Neither the station nor the government has given reasons for the reported firings, but Reporters Without Borders said(link is external) ORTO management found the reporters had “narrow political views”.
#OromoProtests- (Vancouver Canada, 26th June 2014) Amnesty International Human Right against torture awarness public forum. Discussing forum on Oromo students tortured & killed by Ethiopian government because of questioning their constitutional rights.
52 students called before the disciplinary committee of Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) University
The TPLF listed the following students from Finfinnee ( Addis Ababa) University to be Punnished for being in peaceful Oromo students rally:
18 journalists of Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO) have been fired
18 journalists of Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO) have been fired. The journalists say they received no prior notice and learned of their fate this morning when security prevented them from entering the station’s compound located in Adama. Members of the management informed the journalists that they cannot help them as decision terminate their employment and the list of names came from the federal government. This firing follows a 20 day reindoctrination seminar given to journalists and reporters of the ORTO and workers of the region’s communication bureau.Main agenda’s for the seminar were the ongoing #OromoProtests and the upcoming election. Speakers at the seminar included Bereket Simon, Waldu Yemasel ( Director of Fana broadcasting), Abreham Nuguse Woldehana and Zelalem Jemaneh.http://www.siitube.com/articles/17-journalists-of-oromia-radio-and-television-organization-orto-have-been-fired_253.html
On June 25, when 18 journalists from Ethiopia’s state-run Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO) arrived to start their scheduled shifts, they learned their employment had been terminated “with orders from the higher ups.” The quiet dismissal of some 10 percent of the station’s journalists underscores the country’s further descent into total media blackout. The firing of dissenting journalists is hardly surprising; the ruling party controls almost all television and radio stations in the country. Most diaspora-based critical blogs and websites are blocked. Dubbed one of the enemies of the press, Ethiopia currently imprisons at least 17 journalists and bloggers. On April 26, only days before US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the capital, Addis Ababa, authorities arrested six bloggers and three journalists on charges of working with foreign rights groups and plotting to incite violence using social media. Reports on the immediate cause of the latest purge itself are mixed. But several activist blogs noted that a handful of the dismissed journalists have been irate over the government’s decision not to cover the recent Oromo student protests. An Ethiopia-based journalist, who asked not to be named due to fear of repercussions, said the 18 reporters were let go after weeks of an indoctrination campaign in the name of “gimgama” (reevaluation) failed to quiet the journalists. The campaign began earlier this month when a meeting was called in Adama, where ORTO is headquartered, to “reindoctrinate” the journalists there into what is sometimes mockingly called “developmental journalism,” which tows government lines on politics and human rights. The journalists reportedly voiced grievances about decisions to ignore widespread civic upheavals while devoting much of the network’s coverage to stories about lackluster state development. Still, although unprecedented, the biggest tragedy is not the termination of these journalists’ positions. Ethiopia already jails more journalists than any other African nation except neighboring Eritrea. The real tragedy is that the Oromo, Ethiopia’s single largest constituency (nearly half of Ethiopia’s 92 million people) lack a single independent media outlet on any platform. The reports of the firings come on the heels of months of anti-government protests by students around the country’s largest state, Oromia. Starting in mid-April, students at various colleges around the country took to the streets to protest what they saw as unconstitutional encroachment by federal authorities on the sovereignty of the state of Oromia, which according to a proposed plan would annex a large chunk of its territory to the federal capital—which is also supposed to double as Oromia’s capital. Authorities fear that an increasingly assertive Oromo nationalism is threatening to spin out of state control, and see journalists as the spear of a generation coming of age since the current Ethiopian regime came to power in 1991. To the surprise of many, the first reports of opposition to the city’s plan came from ORTO’s flagship television network, the TV Oromiyaa (TVO). A week before the protests began, in a rare sign of dissent, journalist Bira Legesse, one of those fired this week, ran a short segment where party members criticized the so-called Addis Ababa master plan. Authorities saw the coverage as a tacit approval for public displeasure with the plan and, therefore, an indirect rebuke of the hastily put-together campaign to sell the merits of the master plan to an already skeptical audience. But once the protests began, culminating in the killings of more than a dozen students in clashes with the police and the detentions and maimings of hundreds of protesters, TVO went mute, aside from reading out approved police bulletins. This did not sit well with the journalists, leading to the indoctrination campaign which, according to one participant, ended without any resolution. – See more at:http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/ethiopia_cans_18_journalists.php#sthash.ewAVFyXB.dpuf Dhaabbanni Raadiyoofi Televiziyoonii Oromiyaa kaleessa jechuun Roobii 25/6/2014 gaazexeessitoota Oromoo ta’an 18 balleessaa tokko malee hojiirraa dhaabuusaa gabaafame.Dhaabbinni Woyyaaneen maqaa Oromootiin Adaamatti banatte-Dhaabbanni Raadiyoofi Televiziyoonii Oromiyaa ilmaan Oromoo 18 kaleessaa kaasee baleessaafi sababa tokko malee hojiirraa dhaabee jira. Odeeffannoo hanga ammaa qabnuun maqaan gaazexeessitootaa 18 nu gahee jira. 1. Birraa Laggasaa-dubbisaa oduu afaan Oromoo 2. Abdisaa Fufaa-qopheessaa qophii dokumentarii 3. Olaansaa Waaqumaa-qopheessaa qophii barnootaa 4. Obsee Kaasahun-oduu dubbistuuf dhiheessituu qophii bohaartii 5. Abdii Gadaa-qopheessaa qophii dargaggootaa 6. Baqqalaa Atoomaa-reppoortera afaan Oromoofi English 7. Zallaqaa Oljiraa-qopheessaafi repportera 8. Kabbaboo Ibsaa-qopheessaa oduufi sagantaa afaan Oromoo 9. Ayyaanaa Cimdeessaa-qopheessaa qophii gola Oromiyaa 10. Yusuuf Warqasaa-qopheessaa qophiilee afaan, aadaafi tuurizimii 11. Izqeel Argaw- qopheessaa qophii barnootaa 12. Margaa Angaasuu-qopheessaa qophii ispoortii 13. Zallaqaa Oljiraa-qopheessaa qophii ‘haloo doktaraa’ 14. Xilahun Magarsaa – rippoortara website dhaabbata sanii 15. Liisaanewok Moges- qopheessaa sagantaa Afaan Oromoofi Amaaraa 16. Addis Tegeny- rippoortara afaan Amaaraa 17. Hamzaa Hussien- ripportara Afaan Oromoofi English 18.Bosonaa Dheeressaa-qopheessaafi gulaala oduu afaan Oromoo
#OromoProtests: U.S. Senators Say Ethiopian Govt’s Respect of All Ethnic Groups’ Human Rights Must Be Central to the U.S.-Ethiopia Relationship
HRLHA on Ethiopia: Gross Violations of Human Rights and an Intractable Conflict
The following is a report presented by Mr. Garoma B. Wakessa, Executive Director of the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA), at the 26th Session of United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Palais des Nations, on June 19, 2014.http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/06/hrlha-on-ethiopia-gross-violations-of-human-rights-and-an-intractable-conflict/——————– Ethiopia: Gross Violations of Human Rights and an Intractable ConflictIntroduction: It is common in democratic countries around the world for people to express their grievances/ dissatisfaction and complaints against their governments by peaceful demonstrations and assemblies. When such nonviolent civil rallies take place, it should always be the state’s responsibility to respect and guard their citizens’ freedom to peacefully assemble and demonstrate. These responsibilities should apply even during times of political protests, when a state’s own power is questioned, challenged, or perhaps undermined by assemblies of citizens practicing in nonviolent resistance. If a government responds to peaceful protests improperly, a peaceful protest might lead to a violent protest- that could then become an intractable conflict. Government agents, most of all the police, must respect the local and international standards of democratic rights of the citizens during peaceful assemblies or demonstrations. – Read the Full Reporthttp://gadaa.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/HRLHA_June2014.pdf
UNPO Condemns Recent Crackdown of Oromo Student Protests by Ethiopian Government
Following last month’s violent answer of the Ethiopian armed forces against peaceful protesters in Oromia, UNPO expresses its support to the victims’ families. Urgent attention from the international community to the situation of the Oromo people in Ethiopia is required. Over the course of the month of May, students in Oromia have been facing harsh repression by Ethiopia’s authorities. The peaceful student protests against the government’s planned education reforms, were met by excessive violence, causing the death of approximately 30 students and teachers. Reportedly, the youngest victim was only 11 years old. Ever since, international outrage spread, and in many cities solidarity protests were held. The Ethiopian Government has denied any responsibility, and is exercising a strict control over the local media. By staging the protests, the students wanted to express their concern about the government’s project to expand the municipal boundaries of the capital city, Addis Ababa. This would imply that the Oromo students’ communities, currently under regional jurisdiction, would no longer be managed by the Oromia Regional State. In addition, the reform would include the displacement of Oromo farmers and residents. Considering their vulnerable status in Ethiopian society, this would make the situation for Oromo individuals even worse than it already is. The discrepancy between the nature of the protests and the Ethiopian authorities’ reaction is extremely alarming, and gives further evidence of the human rights abuses to which the Oromo community is systematically subjected in Ethiopia. The Oromo suffer from severe discrimination, not only in terms of freedom of expression, as was the case in these recent events, but also in terms of basic human rights, cultural expression, socio-economic conditions and political representation. Housing development in Ethiopia regularly happens at the expense of Oromo farmers, who are forced to give up their lands, with insufficient or no financial compensation in return. These acts of forced removal or land grabbing are mostly achieved through violent attacks and killings. Over the past few years, many reports stated that Oromo individuals had been killed by the Ethiopian Special Police Forces, including women and children. According to a recent report published in 2013 by Human Rights Watch, numerous Oromo political prisoners were tortured and executed in secret prisons in Oromia and Ethiopia. UNPO strongly condemns the crackdown on the Oromo community and urges that those responsible are held accountable. UNPO furthermore calls on the Ethiopian government to stop violating the fundamental human rights of its citizens, and to respect and abide by the international conventions it signed and ratified. http://www.unpo.org/article/17246 – See more at:http://www.unpo.org/article/17246#sthash.Op7f2o5F.dpuf Oromo youth Galanaa Nadhaa murdered by TPLF/Agazi. Waxabajjii 23/2014 Sirni Awwalcha Gooticha Sabboonaa Oromoo dargaggoo Galanaa Nadhaa guyyaa har’a ganda dhaloota isaa Godina Lixa Shawaa Aanaa Tokkee Kuttaayee ganda qonnaan bulaa Tokkee Konbolchaatti bakka uummaanni Oromoo Godinotaa fi aanaawwaaan garaagaraa irra irraatti argamanitti gaggeeffama jira. keessattuu uummaanni aanaawwaan kanneen akka Aanaa Amboo, Gudar, Xiiqur Incinnii, Tokkee kuttaayee, Calliyaa Geedoo, Midaa Qanyii ,Shanaan, Finfinnee, fi bakkota hedduu irra uummaatni Oromoo tilmaamaan 3000 olitti lakka’amu irratti argamuun gaddaa guddaa sabboonaa Oromoo kana ibsachuun Dhaadannoo, eessaan dhaqxu sabboonaa Oromoo isa bilisummaa keenyaaf falmuu, Goota Oromoo mucaa dandeetii fi sabboonummaan nama boonsuu Galaanaa Nadhaa jechuun uummaanni haal;a ulfataa ta’een gaddee, jira. Qeerroowwan sabboontotni Oromoo sirna awwaalchaa kanarratti argamuun gumaan ilmaan Oromoo hin haftu, gumaa Galaanaa Nadhaa ni baasna, qabsoo goototni ilmaan Oromoo irraatti wareegamaan galmaan ga’uuf kutannoon qabsoofnaa, Wareegama ilmaan isheetiin Oromiyaan ni bilisoomti, Mootummaan wayyaanee EPRDF/TPLF/OPDO’n seeraatti dhiyaachuu qabu jechuun yeroo amma kanatti dhaadannoo dhageesisaa jiru. ummaanni Fardeen fe’atee dhaadannoo akkam jabaa ta’ee fi dheekkamsaan guutame dhageesisaa jira, kanneen kaan garaftuudhaan of reebuun hanga of dhiigsanitti gaddaa guddaa isanitti dhaga’amee fi roorroo garbummaa uummata irraa jiru ibsacha jiru.http://qeerroo.org/2014/06/23/sirni-awwalcha-sabboonaa-dargaggoo-oromoo-galaanaa-nadhaa-haala-hoaa-taeen-gaggeeffamaa-jira/ Galaanaan Nadhaa abbaa isaa obbo Nadhaa cawwaaqaa fi haadha isaa aadde Geexee Haacaaluu irraa godina lixa shawaatti bara 1972 ALH tti dhalate.Umuriin isaa wayita barnootaaf gahu mana barumsa baabbichaa sadarkaa lammaffaatti kuyaa tokkoo hanga sadii barate.kutaa 4 hanga 8 mana barumsaa tokkeetti barachuun qabxii gaarii fidee mana barumsaa Amboo sadarkaa lammaffaatti barnoota isaa kutaa saglaffaa itti fufe.Galaanaan nama sabboonummaa orommummaa qabuu fi qalqixxummaa dhala namaatti nama amanu ture.Galaannaan rakkina saba oromoof furmaanni qabsoo gochuu qofa jedhee amana.kanaafis gummaacha isarraa eegamu bahaa ture.bara 1992 yeroo bosonni baalee gubate barattoota oromoo adda dureen mormii dhageessisan keessaa tokko ture.mormii inni dhageessiseefis diinni qabee mana hidhaatti dararaa hangana hin jedhamne irraan gahe.haa ta’uu garuu Galaanaan nama doorsisa diinaaf jilbeeffatu hin turre.Jireenyi isaa qabsoo ture.Bara 1994 yeroo FDG oromiyaa keesssa deemaa ture Galaanaan ammas qooda lammummaa bahu irraa of hin qusanne.ammas diinni qabee mana hidhaa galche..Galaanaan bara kutaa 12 qorame ture mana hidhaa taa’ee.qabxii olaanaa fiduun yunivarsiitii maqaleetti ramadame.Achitti balaa dhibee waggaa kudha tokkof isa gidirseef saaxilame. kunis gochaa ilmaan tigireeti.Galaanaan waggaa kudha tokkoof erga dhukkubsatee booda sanbata darbe addunyaa kanarraa du’aan boqote.sirni awwaalcha isaa guyyaa har’aa bakka uummanni oromoo bal’aan argametti har’aa magaala tokkee bataskaana mikaa’el jedhamutti raawwatame.qabsaa’aan kufus qabsoon itti fufa!!!! IUOf!!!!!!!!!. ‘My name is Hambaasan Gudisaa. I was born in Gincii, West Showa, Oromia, Ethiopia. I was a third year student (Afaan Oromo major) at Addis Ababa University. I am the author of ‘AMARTII IMAANAA,’ a recent book written in Afaan Oromo. I was abducted from the university library by Ethiopian security forces on Thursday, June 19, 2014. Only my abductors know where I am or even whether I am dead or alive. There are thousands of young Oromos like me. Remember us in your prayers!’ #OromoProtests
Oromo Geologist Takilu Bulcha kidnapped by TPLF/Agazi security forces and his where about is unknown
Maqaan isaa Takiluu Bulchaa jedhama. Maqaa addaa Bokkaa jedhamuun beekama. Bakki dhaloota isaa Magaalaa Najjooti. Yuunivarsiitii FINFINNEE kiiloo 4 Muummee Geology/Earth Science kan seene ALI tti bara 1992 ture. Haa ta’u malee Gidiraama Wayyaaneen irraan ga’aa turteen barumsa isaa addaan kutee Jooraa turee waggaa Muraasaafis mana hidhaa Qaallittii keessa turee erga ba’ee booda, bara 2003 ALItti Mooraatti deebi’ee. Bara 2005 ALItti Eebbifamee ba’uudhaan Ji’a 3 project Gibe III keessa erga hojjetee booda, deebi’ee Ministeera Albuudaa Kan Magaalaa Finfinnee Naannoo Magganaanyaa Shoolaatti argamu keessa dorgomee gale. Kanaan booda Achi keessa naannoo ji’a 6tiif dalageera. Osoo kanaan jiruu Fiildiitiif ergamee Naannoo uummata Kibbaa keessa Ji’a 3′f dalagaa turee Gara Finfinneetti akkuma deebi’een Guyyaa 2 erga bulee booda dhabamsiisani. Hiriyaa fi maatiin issa iraa akka baree innii galuu dhabnan itii bilbilaa isaas yaalaanii dadhabuu issani nu ibsaan. Hiriyyoota isa waliin hojjetani ijoollee Habashaa tokko gaafatanii akka inni dalagaarra hin jirre tahuu issa baraan.Gaafa June 04-2014 iraa jalqabee ykn san duraas tahuu mala kan dhabamuu issa bekkamee duubaa yaa oromoo.
2.Kiflee Jigsaa-Ogeessa fayyaati, namni kuni humna waraana wayyaanee mana jireenya isaa cabsanii mana isaa keessatti erga reebanii booda gara manahidhaatti geessan.
3.Mitikuu Ittaana-Qote Bulaa
4.Isaayyas Bulchaa-Qote Bulaa
5.Taammiruu Tarfaa-Qote Bulaa
6.Yoohannis Aseffaa-Qote Bulaa
7.Kumarraa Waaqjiraa-Qote Bulaa
8.Birhaanuu Tarfaaa-Qote Bulaa
9.Malkaanuu Geetachoo-Qote Bulaa
12.Abiyoot Ayyaanaa-Qote Bulaa
13.Asheetuu Dhinaa-Qote Bulaa
14.Dabalaa Waaqjiraa-Qote Bulaa
15.Lammaa Dureessaa-Qote Bulaa
18.Maaruu Baajisaa-Qote Bulaa
19.Nagaash Gonjjoraa-Qote Bulaa
21.Zelaale Dingataa-Qote Bulaa
22.Masfin Ofgaa-Qote Bulaa
23.Nagaasaa Yaadasaa-Qote Bulaa
24.Boshaa Baqqaabil-Qote Bulaa
26.Ayyanaa Ittafaa-Qote Bulaa
Isaan kana keessaa gariin isaanii torbeewwan lamaa ol mana hidhaa keessatti humna waraana Wayyaaneetiin dararfmaa akka jiran Qeerroon gabaasee jira, gariin isaanii Waxabajjii 19,2014 akka qabaman addeessa.
#Oromoprotests+ 20 June 2014 8 senior year Oromo students suspended for a year from Ambo University. They are accused of being leaders of #OromoProtests. Below is list of these students and a sample letter posted on campus notifying students about the decision. 1.Bikila Galmessa 2.Morka Keneni 3.Awal Mohammed 4.Usma’il Mitiku 5.Fayisa Bekele 6.Yonas Alemu Ragassa 7.Hundessaa Abara 8.Tamirat Aga
The farmers from the Oromo people around the capital Addis Ababa in Ethiopia losing livelihood and their culture when the government is now giving their land to foreign companies that want to invest in industry and other sectors, writes Badilu Abanesha.
Stop the plunder of the Oromo people
Badilu Abanesha , Oromo Association of South Rogaland
Published: Jun 13. 2014 3:19 p.m.Updated: Jun 13. 2014 3:28 p.m.
Millions of Oromo farmers in Ethiopia are being displaced without receiving compensation for the land they lose.Protests are brutally faced with violence, torture and murder.
Oromo are being deprived of their land and their ability to survive financially, and their culture is threatened. This happens at the boundaries of the capital Addis Ababa is substantially extended. Large areas are being given to foreign companies to establish manufacturing and service sectors at the farmers’ fields and orchards. The traditional inhabitants are losing their own food and are left to fend for themselves. If the government plan is completed, approx. 6.6 million people being driven from their homes without compensation.
Over 100 killed
There have been peaceful protests against these plans all over Oromia.Students at ten universities and large groups of people have protested against the plans, but their peaceful struggle has been met by brutal military police. There have been reports of shooting, detention and torture. Death toll rises with every passing day. Via various sources it has emerged that over 100 people have been shot and killed, while others are badly injured and thousands have been arrested. Oromo students have protested peacefully for over a month now, despite the killings and arrests by Ethiopian security forces. Oromo are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group with over a third of the country’s population. They have traditionally been oppressed by Amhara and tigreanere, which has been the dominant, state income and country’s leading ethnic groups in Ethiopia.
The Norwegian people, the Norwegian government and other international organizations should condemn the Ethiopian government’s brutal attack on unarmed innocent civilians. We demand that the detainees will not be subjected to torture and ill-treatment. We require all innocent protesters arrested are released from prison immediately. The Ethiopian government should immediately stop its movement by the original people from their own lands throughout Ethiopia. We also believe that financial transfers to management in Ethiopia must be stopped while of government does not respect the fundamental and basic rights of its own people. We worry about really what is happening in Ethiopia. It is difficult when we are not physically able to take part in their fight against injustice. Therefore, we have a great desire to pass on their plea for help to the outside world. Our hearts bleed, and we have awakened the people so they can see what is happening and help the injustices and massacres stopped. See @http://www.aftenbladet.no/meninger/Stopp-plyndringen-av-oromofolket-3441527.html#.U5-PjdJDvyv
#OromoProtests– Gindbarat, Kachis town invaded by Agazi/TPLF fascist forces (the above picture) Agazi/ TPLF armed forces killed three unarmed high school 912th grade) Oromo students on Thursday morning 12th June 2014 in Kachisi town ( Gindebert district, W. Shawa, Oromia) located 120 km from Ambo. The names of the three students killed: 1. Damee Balchaa Baanee 2. Caalaa Margaa 3. Baqqalaa Tarrafaa Oromo people of Gindaberete Protesting the shootings and killings of unarmed school students Waraannii Wayyaanee Aanaa Gindabarat irra qubsiifamee jiru, uummaata sivilii irratti waraana banuun barattoota Oromoo kutaa 12ffaa Sadii ajjeese. Waxabajjii 12/2014 Waraannii Mootummaa Wayyaanee Godina Lixaa Shawaa aanaa Gindabarat Magaalaa Kaachiis irra qubatee jiru eda galgala sa;aatii 1:00 irratti waraana banuun barattoota Oromoo kutaa 12ffaa Sadii (3) ajjeese jira. Mootummaan Wayyaanee duula dugugginsa sanyii genocide uummaata Oromoo irraatti banee jiru jabeessuun itti fufee, Wayyaaneen humna waraanaa of harkaa qabu uummata Oromoo irratti bobbaasuun yeroo amma kanatti uummata sivilii irratti waraana banuun dhukaasee ajjeesa jira,
Addaatti barattoota Oromoo adamsee rasaasaan reebee ajjeessuu itti fufee jira, haala kanaan barattootni Oromoo kutaa 12ffaa bara kana xummuran sadii(3) kan barattootni 1ffaa barataa Damee Balchaa Baanee, fi 2ffaa barataa Caalaa Margaa fi 3ffaa barataa Baqqalaa Tarrafaa kanneen jedhamaan Ilmaan Oromoo mana ba’anii nagaan galuu dadhabanii rasaasa loltuu wayyaaneetiin reebamanii ajjefamanidha. galgala edaa kana waraana loltuun wayyaanee ilmaan Oromoo nagaa irratti baneen yeroo amma barattootni Oromoo kun wareegamanii jiru,dhukaasnii meeshaa waraanaa Magaalaa Kaachiisi dirree waraanaa guddaa fakkeessa bulee, Tarkaanfii Gara jabinaa kanatti aaruun halkanuma edaa erga barattootni aajjeefamanii booda halkan keessa sa:aatii naannoo sa”a 6:00tti waraanaa wayyaanee fi Poolisota dhalootaan Oromoo ta’an kan aanaa Gindabarat magaalaa kaachiis keessatti argamanii fi Waraanaa wayyaanee gidduutti waldhabdeen guddaan dhalatee boombiin waajira poolisaa Magaalaa kaachiisii irratti dhoowofamuun poolisootnii fi waraannii wayyaanee madeeffamuun ibsame jira. gamaa lamaan irraa iyyuu hangi ajjeeffamee fi madeeffamee ammaf kan adda hin baafamne ta’uu maddeen keenya nuuf ibsan. Tarkaanfii Suukkaneessa galgala edaa wayyaaneen uummata sivilii irratti waraana banuun fudhateen balleessa tokko malee barattootni Oromoo nagaan qurumsa biyyooleessaa kutaa 12ffaa bara kana fudhatan 3 ajjeefamuun uummata daran kan aarsee waanta’eef, uummaanni nuti reeffaa iyyuu hin barbaadnu, wayyaaneen waliitti qabdee nu haa fixxuu malee ilmaan keenya irratti duuna jechuun yeroo ammaa kanatti uummaanni Aanaa Gindabart Magaalaa kaachisii fi Abunaa Gindabarat FDG guddaa gaggeessa jira, daandiin konkolaataa Abunaa Gindabarat irraan gara magaalaa Kaachisiitti dabarsuu uummataan cufamee jira, fincila guddaatu gaggeeffama jira. Wayee barataa Damee Baalchaa kalleessa (11/6/2014) ajjeefamee VOA Afaan Oromoo akkas jedhe: Dameen barataa kutaa 12ffati duraan walga’i ummataa magalaa kaachis kessatti akkas jedhe gaafate”Waa’e danga oromiyaatif kan falmuu barata qofaa?”jedhe ergasi barbaadama ture kana irra ka’udhan qormaata akka hin hojjanne dhorkinan barattonnis DAMEE malee hin qoramnu jedhan, kanan booda itti dhaadacha admiishin kardi kennafi guyya kalessa ‘form’ guute gale. Galgala ibsan badee jennaani shamaa bitatee osoo galuu namichi Caala (hidhata gandaa) Kilashidhaan suuqi jala dhokate ajjese. kannen biroo sadii midhan cimaan kan irra ga’edha, kunis kan ta’e poolisi oromiya waliin ta’uun namichi Shambel Gizu jedhamudhani. Barataa Caala Marga du’aafi jirenya giddu jira. Baratan maqan isaa hin beekamne rukutame hospitala seene achi poolisin fudhee achi buuten isaa dhabameera.Ummanni qarshii 8000 walitti qabuudhan reeffa damee gara hospitala tti qorannoof ergeera. Injifannoon Uummata Oromoof!!http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/06/ibsa-abo-ajjeechaa-ilmaan-oromoo-irratti-dhoksaan-hammarreessa-keessatti-barootaan-raawwatamaa-ture-ifa-bahe/
#OromoProtests- 11th & 12th June 2014 , Deeggaa, Illuu Abbaa Booraa, western Oromia, Lalisaa Sanaagaa High School and Sanaagaa Wuchaalee Primary & Middle Secondary School
on 11th June 2014, 5 school children were heavily beaten by Agazi/ TPLF forces. These students were taken to Beddallee hospital. on 12th June 2014 the rests of students from these schools were put in a lorry by Agazi forces and taken to unknown place. Waxabajjii 11 Bara 2014, Godina Iluu Abbaa Booraa Aanaa Deeggaa Mana Barumsaa sadarkaa 2ffaa Lalisaa Sanaagaa fi Sadarkaa 1ffaa fi Giddu Galeessa Sanaagaa Wucaalee irraa barattootin humna goolessituu ergamtoota wayyaanee wajjin walitti bu’iinsa uumameen barattootin 5 reebicha hamaa irra gaheen Yaalaaf gara Hosptaala Baddalleetti ergamuu gabaasuun keenya ni yaadatama. Oolaan guyyaa har’aa akkuma suuraa kana irraa argtanu konkolaataa fe’isaa mooraa Mana Barumsaa keessaa dhaabanii Ilmaan Oromoo akka meeshaati walitti guuranii fe’uun gara hin beekamnetti fuudhanii adeemaniiru jedhu maddeen keenya. Maatiin ijoollota kanaa dhaamsa nuu birmadhaa dabarfataniiru.
At Jaardagaa Jaartee, Horroo Guduruu Wallaggaa, Aliiboo town, Western Oromia, 11 Oromo nationals have been dismissed from their jobs an the allegations that they were involved in opposing the TPLF tyrannic rules.
Huseen Said, Political Science student, Haromaya University, attacked by TPLF forces. Waxabajjii 11,2014 Gabaasa Qeerroo Hidhaa fi ajjechaa mootummaa Wayyaanee jalaa dheessee gara Bosaassootti socho’aa kan ture barataan Oromoo tokko rasaasaan rukutamuun isaa gabaafame. Oduun Qeerroo dhaqqqabe akka hubachiisutti Yunversitii Haramaayaatti barataa Saayinsii Polotikaa kan ture barataa Huseen Sa’id Haajii jedhamu FDG barattoota Oromoo Yunversitichaan geggeeffamu keessaa harka qabda jedhamee hordoffii hidhaa fi ajjechaa mootummaa Wayyaanee jalaa baqatee gara Bosaassoo Puntlanditti osoo socho’aa jiruu, tikootni Wayyaanee isa hordofuun barataan kun kellaa magaalaa Qardhuu jedhamutti loltoota Puntlandiin akka rukutamu taasisanii jiran. Barataa Huseen Sa’id Haajii yeroo ammaa kana gargaarsaa fi waldhaansa ga’aa tokkoon maleetti Hospitaala Bosaassoo ciisee kan jiru oggaa ta’u, bakki dhaloota isaas Godina Baalee Ona Agaarfaa irraa ta’uun gabaafameera. See @http://qeerroo.org/2014/06/12/yunversitii-haramaayaatti-barataa-saayinsii-polotikaa-kan-tae-barataan-huseen-said-haajii-loltoota-wayyaaneen-rukutame-hosptala-gale/
Ethiopia’s Police State: The Silencing of Opponents, Journalists and Students Detained
By Paul O’Keeffe June 11, 2014 (Global Research) — Detention under spurious charges in Ethiopia is nothing new. With the second highest rate of imprisoned journalists in Africa and arbitrary detention for anyone who openly objects to the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) regime’s despotic iron fist, the Western backed government in Addis Ababa is a dab hand at silencing its critics. Eskinder Nega and Reeyot Alemu are just two of the country’s more famous examples of journalists thrown in prison for daring to call the EPRFD out on their reckless disregard for human rights. This April the regime made headlines again for jailing six bloggers and three more journalists on trumped up charges of inciting violence through their journalistic work. Repeated calls for due legal process for the detainees from human rights organisations and politicians, such as John Kerry, have fallen on deaf ears as they languish in uncertainty awaiting trial. This zero-tolerance approach to questioning of government repression is central to the EPRDF’s attempts to control its national and international image and doesn’t show much signs of letting up. Stepping up their counter-dissent efforts the regime just this week detained another journalist Elias Gebru – the editor-in-chief of the independent news magazine Enku. Gebru’s magazine is accused of inciting student protests which rocked Oromia state at the end of April. The magazine published a column which discussed the building of a monument outside Addis Ababa honouring the massacre of Oromos by Emperor Melinik in the 19th century. The regime has tried to tie the column with protests against its plans to bring parts of Oromia state under Addis Ababa’s jurisdiction. The protests, which kicked off at Ambo University and spread to other parts of the state, resulted in estimates of up to 47 people being shot dead by security forces. Ethiopia has a history of student protest movements setting the wheels of change in motion. From student opposition to imperialism in the 1960s and 1970s to the early politicisation of Meles Zenawi at the University Students’ Union of Addis Ababa. The world over things begin to change when people stand up, say enough and mobilise. Ethiopia is no different. Similar to its treatment of journalists Ethiopia also has a history of jailing students and attempting to eradicate their voices. In light of such heavy handed approaches to dissent the recent protests which started at Ambo University are a telling sign of the level discontent felt by the Oromo – the country’s largest Ethnic group. Long oppressed by the Tigrayan dominated EPRDF, the Oromo people may have just started a movement which has potential ramifications for a government bent on maintaining its grip over the ethnically diverse country of 90 million plus people. Students and universities are agents of change and the EPRDF regime knows this very well. The deadly backlash from government forces against the student protesters in Oromia in April resulted in dozens of protesters reportedly being shot dead in the streets of Ambo and other towns in Oromia state. Since the protests began scores more have been arbitrarily detained or vanished without a trace from campuses and towns around the state. One student leader, Deratu Abdeta (a student at Dire Dawa University) is currently unlawfully detained in the notorious Maekelawi prison for fear she may encourage other students to protest. She is a considered at high risk of being tortured. In addition to Ms. Abdeta many other students are suspected of being unlawfully detained around the country. On May 27th 13 students were abducted from Haramaya University by the security forces. The fate of 12 of the students is unknown but one student, Alsan Hassan, has reportedly committed suicide by cutting his own throat all the way to the bones at the back of his neck after somehow managing to inflict bruises all over his body and gouging out his own eye. His tragic death became known when a local police officer called his family to identify the body and told them to pay 10,000 Birr ($500) to transport his body from Menelik hospital in Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa town in Oromo state. Four of the other students have been named as Lencho Fita Hordofa, Ararsaa Lagasaa, Jaaraa Margaa, and Walabummaa Goshee. Detaining journalists and students without fair judicial recourse may serve the EPRDF regime’s short term goal of eradicating its critics. However, the reprehensible silencing of opponents is one sure sign of a regime fearful of losing its vice-like grip. Ironically the government itself has its own roots in student led protests in the 1970s. No doubt it is well aware that universities pose one of the greatest threats to its determination to maintain power at all costs. Countless reports of spies monitoring student and teacher activities on campus, rigid curriculum control and micro-managing just who gets to study what are symptoms of this. The vociferous clamp-down on student protesters is another symptom and just the regime’s latest attempt to keep Ethiopia in a violent headlock. The regime would do well to remember that stress positions cause cramps and headlocks can be broken. It can try to suppress the truth but it can’t try forever. Paul O’Keeffe is a Doctoral Fellow at Sapienza University of Rome. His research focuses on Ethiopia’s developing higher education system.  http://www.cpj.org/2014/05/ethiopia-holds-editor-in-chief-without-charge.php http://allafrica.com/stories/201404290650.html http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/may/22/ethiopia-crackdown-student-protest-education http://www.war-memorial.net/Aanolee-Martyrs-memorial-monument-and-cultural-center-1.367  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-27251331  http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/05/ethiopia-brutal-crackdown-protests Source: Global Research Read @ http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopias-police-state-the-silencing-of-opponents-journalists-and-students-detained/#OromoProtests- 15 Oromo students were kidnapped on 9th June 2014 by TPLF/Agazi forces from Madda Walaabuu University, Oromia. Their where about is unknown (see their details as follows:
Barattootni Oromoo Yuunivarsiitii Madda walaabuu 15 tika mootummaa wayyaaneen halkan ukkaamsamuun bakka buuteen isaanii dhabame
Mass Grave of Oromos Executed by Govt Discovered in Eastern Oromia Posted: Waxabajjii/June 10, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com According to sources, a confrontation between residents and Ethiopian government officials broke out on June 9, 2014, over a mass grave discovered at the former Hameressa military garrison near Harar city, eastern Oromia. The mass grave is believed to contain remains of political prisoners executed during both the Dergue era and the early reigns of the current TPLF regime. Among those who were executed and buried in the location was Mustafa Harowe, a famous Oromo singer who was killed around early 1980′s for his revolutionary songs. Thousands more Oromo political prisoners were kept at this location in early 1990′s – with many of them never to be seen again.
The mass grave was discovered while the Ethiopian government was clearing the camp with bulldozers to make it available to Turkish investors. Upon the discovery of the remains, the government tried to quietly remove them from the site. However, workers secretly alerted residents in nearby villages; upon the spread of the news, many turned up en mass to block the removal of the remains and demanded construction a memorial statue on the site instead. The protests is still continuing with elders camping on the site while awaiting a response from government. In addition to the remains, belongings of the dead individuals as well as ropes tied in hangman’s noose were discovered at the site. See @ http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/06/mass-grave-of-oromos-executed-by-govt-discovered-in-eastern-oromia/ ——————— Lafeen ilmaan Oromoo bara 1980moota keessa mootummaa Darguutin, baroota 1990moota keessa ammoo Wayyaaneen dhoksaan kaampii waraanaa Hammarreessaa keessatti ajjeefamanii argame. Ilmaan Oromoo mooraa san keessatti hidhamanii booda ajjeefaman keessa wallisaan beekamaan Musxafaa Harawwee isa tokko. Musxafaa Harawwee wallee qabsoo inni baasaa tureef jecha qabamee yeroo dheeraaf erga hiraarfamee booda toora bara ~1991 keessa ajjeefame. Hiraar Musxafaarra geessifamaa ture keessa tokko aara wallee isaatirraa qaban garsiisuuf muka afaanitti dhiibuun a’oo isaa cabsuun ni yaadatama. Baroota 1990moota keessas Oromoonni kumaatamaan tilmaamaman warra amma aangorra jiru kanaan achitti hidhamanii, hedduun isaanii achumaan dhabamuun yaadannoo yeroo dhihooti. Haqxi dukkana halkaniitiin ajjeesanii lafa jalatti awwaalan kunoo har’a rabbi as baase. Dhugaan Oromoo tun kan amma as bahe, mootummaa kaampii waraanaa kana diiguun warra lafa isaa warra Turkiitiif kennuuf osoo qopheessuuf yaaluti. Lafee warra dhumee akkuma arganiin dhoksaan achirra gara biraatti dabarsuuf osoo yaalanii hojjattonni ummata naannotti iccitii san himan. Ummanniis dafee wal-dammaqsuun bakka sanitti argamuun ekeraan nama keenyaa akka achii hin kaafamneefi siidaan yaadannoo akka jaaramu gaafachaa jiran. Hamma feetes turtu dhugaan Oromoo awwaalamtee hin haftu.
#OromoProtests- 8th June 2014- Confrontation between residents and government officials is reported over mass grave discovered at the former Hameressa military garrison near Harar city. The mass grave is believed to contain remains of political prisoners executed during the Dargue era and the early reigns of TPLF. Among those who were executed and buried in the location is Mustafa Harowe, a famous Oromo singer who was killed in 1982? for his revolutionary songs. Thousands of more of political prisoners were kept at this location in early 1990s, with many of them never to be seen again.The mass grave was discovered while the government was clearing the camp with bulldozers to make it available to Turkish investors. Upon discovery of the remains, the government tried to quietly remove it from the site. However, workers secretly alerted residents in nearby villages who spread the news and turned up en mass to block the removal of the remains and demanding construction of memorial statue on the site. The protests is still continuing with elders camping on site while awaiting response from government.
#OromoPprotest at Hameressa military camp where mass grave was discovered on Sunday 8th June 214. Three people were injured when federal police attempted to forcefully remove residents who have camped on the location to protect the remains and demand conversion of the location into memorial site.
#OromOProtests (10 June 2014) – TPLF’s repressive action against our Oromo in East Oromia resulting in 3 people been injured. The regime wants to give away to foreigners a hallowed ground where mass grave is just been discovered. May be the regime is worried about possible unearthing and identification of remains of its own victims from 1990s.
After deciding that we wanted to leave Ethiopia, we had return to Ambo to pack our bags and say goodbye to our friends. Packing our bags turned out to be the easy part.When we arrived back in Ambo, the destruction was still apparent, although the cleanup had already started. The burned cars were pulled to the side of the road. The debris from the damaged buildings was already being cleared. The problem, however, was that the courthouse was one of the buildings that was burned. How do they plan on having trials for those hundreds of people we saw in jail, we wondered. We wanted to tell all our friends why we were leaving, but how could we say it? Maybe we should say, “It’s not OK for the police to hunt down young people and shoot them in the back.” Or maybe we should say, “It’s not OK for us to have to cower in our home, listening to gunshots all day long.” Or maybe we should say, “It’s not OK for the government to conduct mass arrests of people who are simply voicing their opinion.” Since the communication style in Oromia is BEYOND non-direct, with people afraid to really say what they mean, we knew exactly what to tell people:”We are leaving Ambo because we don’t agree with the situation,” we repeated to every friend we encountered. Everyone knew EXACTLY what we were talking about.We told our friend, a town employee, we were leaving, and he said, “Yes, there are still 500 federal police in town, two weeks after the protests ended.”We told a neighbor we were leaving, and he said, “Now there is peace in Ambo. Peace on the surface. But who knows what is underneath?”We told a teacher at the high school we were leaving, and she was wearing all black. “Maal taate? (What happened)” we asked. One of her 10th grade students was killed during the protests.We told the local store owner we were leaving, and she said, in an abnormally direct way, “When there is a problem, your government comes in like a helicopter to get you out. Meanwhile, our government is killing its own people.”After a traditional bunna (coffee) ceremony, and several meals with some of our favorite friends, we were the proud owners of multiple new Ethiopian outfits, given as parting gifts so we would ‘never forget Ethiopia.’How could we forget?We still don’t know exactly who died during the protests and the aftermath. It’s not like there is an obituary in the newspaper or something. But questions persist in our minds every day:
Our two young, dead neighbors remain faceless in our minds…was it the tall one with the spiky hair?
Students from the high school were killed…had any of the victims been participants of our HIV/soccer program?
What about that good-looking bus boy that is always chewing khat and causing trouble…is he alive? in jail?
How many people were killed? How many arrested?
If we knew the exact number of people killed or arrested, would it actually help the situation in any way?
I was at a fundraiser today. The majority of it was in Afaan Oromo, a language I’m trying to learn, but still very far from understanding. Still, I was tempted to decline when a woman in my row moved over to sit next to me and offered to translate for me. I kind of like to try to listen and pick out what I can. If I had turned her down, I would have missed the emotion conveyed in her translation. Her tone told me what I hadn’t figured out yet (though I should have known) – the son was going to die…a double injustice since the real-life plot not only includes the loss of ancestral lands, but also the lack of freedom to protest that loss, and death or imprisonment for those who dare to do so anyway. It was more of a skit, really. A powerful skit, regardless of acting ability, because the story is so powerful. A story of a family of three. Just one son, supported in his schooling by what his family was able to produce on their farm. The land was key. His parents had not been able to get an education. With the land, now he could. Yet when an investor came asking the government official if land was available, he was told, yes, there is much land that is ‘not being used.’ When the investor was brought to see the land in question, it was as if the farmer was invisible. The deal was made right there between the investor and a local intermediary while the farmer continued to plough his field. Then their son came home from school saying he was going out to march with other students to protest what was happening to the land – to all of the farmers in the area – the mom cautioned him to be safe, the government can not be trusted, she said. My translator began to cry in earnest. … I remembered once when I had to act out a similar scene. I’m not a big fan of role-plays, so I was going along with the activity, but holding back quite a bit. A group of us were given roles to act out a lesser known bit of Canadian history when indigenous children were forcibly removed from their villages and their families and taken to residential schools to be ‘educated,’ as well as assimilated, often abused, even experimented upon. Often, they never returned. Almost always, those who did return spoke of their lost childhood and traumatic memories. I was an Anishinabe mother in the role-play. In real life at the time, I had left my only child, a two year old boy, home for two weeks with his dad so I could participate in this delegation, mostly to learn more about the Anishinabe history in general and one community’s struggle in particular. Though the experience was meaningful, that day I was starting to wonder if two weeks was too long to be away from my son. One person had come to the delegation with me, Jared, a young man in his twenties. I knew him well in the sense that we were part of the same intentional living community. We had eaten together, worshipped together, sat in consensus decision-making meetings together, sang, cooked, and worshipped together over the previous three years. He was given the role of my son. Jared and I stood in the circle area with a few other people who had roles as part of the Anishinabe village. I was just going through the motions of the role-play, not really into it. Wishing I enjoyed that kind of thing more. Then they came for Jared. In that moment when they snatched him away, I cried out and reached out for him but he was gone and I was left sobbing. Somehow it had become real. Five years later, I still hear comments about how real my heartbreak felt to everyone in the room. … As the woman next to me struggled to speak through her tears, we watched the skit draw to its inevitable close. The security forces blocked the path of the unarmed protesters. The protesters held their ground. The security forces escalated the situation by firing at the students. The only child of the farmer and his wife was gunned down. His parent actors bitterly mourned his loss. He too is gone. It’s hard to clap after that. Hard to will one’s hands to applaud the actors when you’re thinking of the families that have gone through similar situations so recently. Many Oromo students are gone. Some known to be killed, some disappeared, arrested or abducted without releasing names. Many die in detention centers and prisons. Yes many students are gone. Some may return from imprisonment with accounts of mistreatment and suffering, with harrowing stories of other students locked up years ago, still in prison with no trial, no real charges and very little hope. Others will not return. One of those is Alsan Hassan, abducted May 27 from his university after participating in a hunger strike. On June 1, his family was notified of his death. They were told he killed himself, a story commonly invented by the authorities to cover up the real cause of death: torture. His parents came to retrieve their son. His body was severely disfigured from the abuses he had suffered. Still they could not simply take him home. They were charged an exorbitant price and had to return home, borrow money just to secure the release of his body and finally make journey home to bury him. The thought of Alsan and the other sons and daughters lost to their families – that is why the woman translating for me (and I) couldn’t keep from crying, however predictable the plot of the skit. I was sitting next to my six year old son. Her 11-or-so year old son was on the other side of her. We can’t help but hear these stories not only as fellow human beings, but as mothers. We translate, we write, we do whatever we can from the other side of the world in the hopes that we will inform and inspire enough people to bring an end to the unjust imprisonment of dissenting young voices. See @ http://amyvansteenwyk.tumblr.com/post/88273995454/gone To read more about Alsan: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1398441760444684&set=a.1389352578020269.1073741828.100008366190440&type=1&theater For more on the Oromo Protests: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/06/06/community-voices-oromoprotests-perspective
(OPride) — A 21-year old Oromo student, Nuredin Hasen, who was abducted from Haromaya University late last month and held incommunicado at undisclosed location, died earlier this month from a brutal torture he endured while in police custody, family sources said.
Members of the federal and Oromia state police nubbed Hassen (who is also known by Alsan Hassen) and 12 other students on May 27 in a renewed crackdown on Oromo students. Friends were not told the reason for the arrests nor where the detainees were taken.
Born and raised in Bakko Tibbe district of West Shawa zone, Alsan, who lost both of his parents at a young age, was raised by his grandmother.
The harrowing circumstances of his death should shock everyone’s conscience. But it also underscores the inhumane and cruel treatment of Oromo activists by Ethiopian security forces.
According to family sources, on June 1, a police officer in Dire Dawa called his counterpart at West Shewa Zone Police Bureau in Ambo and informed him that Alsan “killed himself” while in prison. The officer requested the local police to tell Alsan’s family to pick up his body from Menelik Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. The West Shewa zone police relayed the message to the district police station in Bakko Tibbe and the latter delivered the message to Alsan’s family. Three family members then rushed to the capital to collect the corpse of a bright young man they had sent off, far from home, so that he can get a decent shot at college education.
Upon arrival, the hospital staff told the family to search for his body from among 30 to 40 corpse’s kept in a large room. According to our sources, what they saw next was beyond the realm of anyone’s imagination. The details are too gruesome to even describe.
They found their beloved son badly tortured, his face disfigured and barely recognizable. His throat was slit leaving only the muscles and bones at the back of his neck connecting his head to the rest of the body. There were large cuts along his eyelids, right below the eyebrows as if someone had tried to remove his eyes. There were multiple wounds all over his face and head. Both of his arms were broken between his wrists and his elbows. It appeared as if the federal forces employed all forms of inhumane torture tactics, leaving parts of his body severely damaged and disjointed. The family could not grasp the cruelty of the mutilation carried upon an innocent college student.
Their ordeal to recover Alsan’s body did not end there either. Once the body was identified, the federal police officer who brought the body from Harar told the family to pay 10,000 birr (roughly $500) to cover the cost of transportation the government incurred. They were informed that the body will not be released unless the money is paid in full.
The family did not have the money, nor were they prepared for the unexpected tragedy. After friends and relatives raised the requested sum to cover his torturers costs, Alsan’s body was transported to Bakko Tibbe, where he was laid to rest on June 2. There was little doubt that Alsan was murdered while in detention, but in police state Ethiopia, the family may never even know the full details of what happened to their son, much less seek justice. In an increasingly repressive Ethiopian state, being an Oromo itself is in essence becoming a crime. To say the gruesome circumstances surrounding Alsan’s death is heart-wrenching is a gross understatement. But Alsan’s story is not atypical. It epitomizes the sheer brutality that many Oromo activists endure in Ethiopia today. On June 6, another Oromo political prisoner, Nimona Tilahun passed away in police custody. Tilahun, a graduate of Addis Ababa University and former high school teacher, was initially arrested in 2004 along with members of the Macha Tulama Association during widespread protests opposing the relocation of Oromia’s seat to Adama. He was released after a year of incarceration and returned to complete his studies, according to reports by Canada-based Radio Afurra Biyya. Born in 1986, Tilahun was re-arrested in 2011 from his teaching job in Shano, a town in north Shewa about 80kms from Addis Ababa. He was briefly held at Maekelawi prison, known for torturing inmates and denying legal counsel to prisoners. And later transferred between Kaliti, Kilinto and Zuway where he was continuously tortured over the last three years. Tilahun was denied medical treatment despite being terminally ill. His death this week at Black Lion Hospital is the third such known case in the last two years. On August 23, 2013, a former UNHCR recognized refugee, engineer Tesfahun Chemeda also died under suspicious circumstances, after being refused medical treatment. In January, a former parliamentary candidate with the opposition Oromo People’s Congress from Calanqo, Ahmed Nejash, died of torture while in custody. These are the few names and stories that have been reported. Ethiopia holds an estimated 20 to 30 thousand Oromo political prisoners. Many have been there for more than two decades, and for some of them not even family members know if they are still alive. While Alsan, Chemeda, Nejash and Tilahun’s stories offer a glimpse of the brutality behind Ethiopia’s gulags, it is important to remember thousands more face similar heinous abuses everyday. Since Oromo students began protesting against Addis Ababa’s unconstitutional expansion in April, according to eyewitnesses, more than a 100 people have been killed, hundreds wounded and many more unlawfully detained. While a relative calm has returned to university campuses, small-scale peaceful protests continue in many parts of Oromia. Reports are emerging that mass arrests and extrajudicial killings of university students are far more widespread than previously reported. Last month, dozens of students at Jimma, Madawalabu, Adama and Wallaggauniversities were indefinitely dismissed from their education. In addition, an unknown number of students from all Oromia-based colleges are in hiding fearing for their safety if they returned to the schools. Given the Horn of Africa nation’s tight-grip on free press and restrictions on human rights monitoring, in the short run, the Ethiopian security forces will continue to commit egregious crimes with impunity. But the status quo is increasingly tenable. For every Alsan and Tilahun they murder, many more will be at the ready to fight for the cause on which they were martyred. As long repression continues unabated, the struggle for justice and freedom will only be intensified. No amount of torture and inhumane treatment can extinguish the fire that has been sparked. Written by Amane Badhasso, the president of International Oromo Youth Association, and a political science and legal studies major at Hamline University &. Badhatu Ayana, an Oromo rights activist.
“I mourn the death of our youngsters,” says the Rev. Teka Obsa Fogi of dozens of casualties witnessed since April 25 among peacefully protesting students throughout Oromia Regional State by security force shootings and beatings.* Pr. Fogi is pastor of Oromo Resurrection Evangelical Church (“OREC”) in Kensington, Maryland, a worshiping community of the Metro D.C. Synod with direct ties to the region, one of nine ethnically-based states of Ethiopia. “OREC and all Oromo churches are praying for our young students, their parents and those the government wants to dispossess of their land,” he says. “Please pray with us.” Protests, which began at universities in large towns throughout Oromia then spread to smaller communities in the region, erupted over the release in April of the proposed Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan. The “Master Plan” outlines substantial municipal expansion of Addis Ababa to include more than 15 communities in Oromia according to Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights.* “The problem is, if this ‘Master Plan’ is put into action, many Oromo farmers will be uprooted from the land they get their living from. They were tilling this land for generations. Compensation, if the government gives any, will only help them for a while,” Pr. Fogi anticipates, “and after that, they will be homeless.” An Ethiopian government statement on May 1 blamed protests by “anti-peace forces” on “baseless rumours” being spread about the “integrated development master plan” for the capital and acknowledged a limited number of protest-related deaths as reported by BBC News.** This report is one of few from traditional news sources available on the current situation. Indirectly emphasizing the challenge of telling this story, the United Nations human rights chief in a May 2 news release “condemned the crackdown on journalists in Ethiopia and the increasing restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression.”*** “The situation of family members and friends of Oromo members of our congregations and community is very fragile, and communications are very difficult and sensitive,” said the Rev. Michael D. Wilker, senior pastor of Lutheran Church of the Reformation in D.C. The congregation did respond to Pr. Fogi’s request for prayer during worship services May 11. “We trust that God hears us when we cry in pain and shout for justice. May God’s creativity, compassion and courage be with the Oromo people and all the residents of Ethiopia,” added Pr. Wilker. The Rev. Kathy Hlatshwayo, interim pastor of Oromo Evangelical Lutheran Church in D.C., was one of several local Lutheran pastors in attendance at an Oromo rally near the White House and State Department on May 9 to draw attention to the situation and protest the human rights violations. “We ask your prayers,” she said, “for the Oromo people, especially mothers and fathers whose children have been killed, the region of Oromia, Ethiopia, and those in diaspora and our congregations.” The Rev. Philip C. Hirsch, Assistant to the Bishop of the Metro D.C. Synod who also attended the rally, shares the following: God of mercy and of justice: We pray together with our Oromo sisters and brothers in Lutheran congregations in our synod for those who have suffered recent violence in Ethiopia. We pray for the students who were attacked, arrested or killed while protesting. We especially lift up to you the mothers, fathers and community members of the victims. Grant them peace. Grant them justice. In Christ’s holy name we pray, Amen.
Ambo story – shocking human right violations against Oromo people
In a recent interview with a local media, Mr Abdulaziz Mohammed – the Vice President of Oromia Region stated that “No one is arrested and we don’t have any information about the arrest.” The Vice President’s single statement says two contrasting ideas at a time – denying the arrest allegations and ignorant about the arrest. In the first place it is a shame for the Vice President to deny the reality on the ground – where more than 49 people were killed and 800 people have been arrested, tortured and imprisoned. These atrocities are in response to a series of demonstrations or protests by the Oromo people who demand the government to stop removing farmers from their ancestral homeland in the name of ‘development’. The demonstration at the initial stage was peaceful and in order before the government’s heavily armed security forces and the military started shooting and killing people. The harsh environment for the media in Ethiopia has made it absolutely difficult to get information about the depth of human right violations in Ethiopia. I was furious with the government’s intent to belittle the recent killings and human right abuses in many parts of Oromia – Ambo, Bale Robe, Adama, Bushoftu, Nekemte, Guder, Haromaya, Bulle Hora, Dire Dawa and many small towns in Western Oromia. I decided to visit the communities that have gone through these abuses and met with different people in a very cautious and careful way. I made my first visit to Ambo – where the arrests and torturing are still taking place. I talked with mothers who have lost their children, and young men who have been beaten and tortured, and people who have survived dreadful bullet hits and bodily injury. Ambo stories are dreadful and shocking!
“My name is E.B. I am 18 years of age. I dropped out of grade 5 – to help my poor parents to make some income and buy food. I live in Ambo town – where I do a labor job. I joined Ambo University Student’s protest about the government’s decision to take away farmers land around Addis Ababa. The first day was peaceful. But on the third day of the protest – the morning of 30th April 2014 the government security men started shooting demonstrators. It was unbelievable and shocking to see the soldiers shooting at unarmed people. We started dispersing to save our lives. Everyone was running except some of the young men who were trying to turn and shout at the shooters. I was running when a young man before me fell into the ground. I stopped to help him. I kneeled down beside him and lifted him up from his head – his eyes were blinking too fast. He was bleeding from his head. He was hit by a bullet in the back of his head. While I was trying to help him, I felt a sharp sting in my back. I felt watered-down my lower chest. I left the dead young man there and I tried to run a few meters. I looked my bottom chest and saw that air was getting out through the bullet wound. The bullet hit me in the back and went through my lower chest. I was staggering and fell into the ground. I didn’t recognized what happened since then – before I regained my consciousness two days later in a local hospital. The room where I was lying was full of people who were wounded by bullets.”
E.B. was hit by three bullets in his back. His friends lifted him from where he fell and took him to hospital. One of the bullets went through his lower chest and two more remained in his belly. He had to go through operation – where the two bullets were removed with his infected pancreas. His parents covered the cost of his medication from their meager income – his father as a clinic security guard and his mother as a cook.
“The doctor told me that I shouldn’t do any labor job and be careful with my injury. He told me that as my pancreas has been removed, there is less likely to recover from any future wounds even if I am not even sure whether I am going to fully recover and survive the present injury. Oooops it is painful – can’t sleep comfortably. I am worried about my future as I still continue to depend on my parents since this young age or…?” Tear gushing down from his eyes…this shouldn’t have happened to me. We were protesting peacefully… we don’t deserve bullets in return!”
http://oromo1refrendum.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/ambo-story-shocking-human-right-violations-against-oromo-people/ #OromoProtests- Fascist TPLF/Agazi’s genocidal crime against humanity. 10th grade student Dawit Waqjira shot and killed by TPLF/ Agazi on 3rd June 2014, Qellem Wallaggaa, Anifillo, Western Oromia. Ajjeefamuun Barataa Oromoo Daangaa Dhabe! Barataan Kutaa 10ffaa Daawwit Waaqjira Wallagga Anifilloo Keessatti Waraana Wayyaaneen Rukutamee Wareeganuun Gabaafame Posted: Waxabajjii/June 4, 2014 · Gadaa.com (Qeerroo.org – Waxabajjii 03, 2014 – Dambi Doolloo) – Gabaasa Qeerroo Qellem Wallaggaa Anfilloo Waxabajjii 03/2014 galgala keessaa sa’a 3:40 irratti.Mootummaan wayyaanee humna agaazii oromiyaa keessa tamsaasuudhaan gaaffii tokko malee nama oromummaa isaaf dhaabbatu rasaasaan rukuchiisaa jira.Gabaasni kun akka addeessutti kaleessa Waxabajjii 02/2014 barataa kutaa kurnaffaa qormaata biyyoolessaa fudhatee gale sabboonummaa isaatiin kan ka’e yakka tokkollee kan hin goone humna waraana agaaziitiin qabamee bosona seensisuudhaan reebicha hamma du’aatti irratti raawwatan,erga reebanii miidhanii booda sadarka du’a isaa beekuudhaan rasaasaan rukutani. Barataa Oromoo wareega qaalii kafale kana bosona keessatti reebanii erga hamma du’aatti deemsisanii booda galgala daandiitti baasaniiti rasaasaan akka rukutan kan ijaan argan ni dubbatu. Barataan kun maqaan isaa Daawwit Waaqjira jedhama.Guyya har’aa sirni awwaalcha isaa kan gaggeeffame yoo tahu humni waraana agaazii wayyaanee jedhamu kun uummata naannessee marsuudhaan hamma reeffi mucaa awaalamee xumuramutti akka waan rukuttaadhaaf qophiin jiruutti bakka qabachuudhaan gandi Ashii jedhamtu dirree waraanaa fakkaattee ooltee jirti jedhu maddi gabaasa Qeerroo Anfiilloo! Kana malees ganama Waxabajjii 03,2014 dargaggoon Addisuu Aagaa jedhamu magaalaa Laaloo Qilee keessa Motorbike qabatee osoo nagaan deemaa jiruu poolisoonni Oromiyaan reebamee Hosptala Ayiraa gullisoo galee akka jiru gabaasi naannicha irraa nu gahe addeessa. – Qeerroo.org: http://qeerroo.org/2014/06/04/ajjeefamuun-barataa-oromoo-daangaa-dhabe-barataan-kutaa-10ffaa-daawwit-waaqjira-wallagga-anifilloo-keessatti-waraana-wayyaaneen-rukutamee-wareeganuun-gabaafame/ #OromoProtests-Genocidal TPLF’s crime against humanity. Oduu Gaddaa ( Very sad News), 4th June 2014 Teacher Magarsa Abdisa tortured and died at military detention at Ayiraa detention center, Western Oromia.
Magarsaa Abdiisaa Mana Hidhaa Wayyaanee Wallagga Baha Ayiraa Keessatti Reebicha Loltoota Wayyaanee Irraan Wareegame
Mootummaan Wayyaanee ajjeechaa ilmaan Oromoo irratti geessitu jabeessuun kan itti fufte Godina Wallaggaa lixaa magaala Guulisoo keessatti barsiisaa BLLTO kan tahe barsiisaa Magarsaa Abdiisaa jedhamu kan dhalootaan Wallaggaa bahaa aanaa Jiddaa kan tahe reebichaa loltoota Wayyaanee irraan kan ka’e wareegame. Barsiisaa Magarsaa Abdiisaa sabboonummaan dhalatee kan guddate miindaa mootummaa Wayyaanee nyaatnee Uummata Oromoof hojjenna malee bitamna miti jechuun ejjennoo jabaa qabatee ilmaan Oromoo keessumattuu daraggootaa fi barattoota barsiisaa kan ture yoommuu tahu mootummaan Wayyaanee gaaffii abbaa biyyummaa gaafatamaa dhufeen wal qabatee mana hidhaatti kan ukkaamse yoommuu tahu reebicha addaa irraan gahuun Lubbuu isaa dabarsanii jiran. Uummatni Oromoo maal eegna?? Kana booda Uummatni martuu mirga isaaf ka’uun dirqama akka tahu waamicha jabaa dabarsina. Ajjeechaa mootummaan wayyaanee gaggeessaa jirus daran balaaleffanna. Qeerroon wareegama barbaachisaa baasee Uummata Oromoo bilisa baasuuf jabaatee kan hojjetu tahuus mirkansa. #OromoProtests-Genocidal TPLF’s crime against humanity. Oduu Gaddaa ( Very sad News), 2nd June 2014 Aslan Hasan, one of the 10 Oromo students kidnapped on May 29, 2014 from Haromaya University has died while in military detention center in Harar city. Apparently he collapsed during one of the torture sessions, then was taken to Tikur Anbessa Hospital in the capital, where he died on June 1, 2014. The regime told his families that the student committed suicide. Aslan was a 2nd year engineering student at the University. He was born in Bakko and attended high school in Burayu. His body has been taken to Gudar. Barataa Nuraddin(Alsan) Hasan dhalootaan magaalaa BAAKKOO’tti dhalate. Barnoota isaa sadarkaa 1ffaa achuma magaalaa Baakkootti xumure. Barnoota isaa sadarkaa lammaffaaf qophaa’naa obboleessa isaa bira taa’ee magaalaa BURAAYYUU tti xumure. Bara 2005(2013) yuuniversiitii Haramayaa saayinsii Injiinariing(Engineering science) jalattii muummee ‘Electirical Computer Engineering’ filachuun barataan sabboonaaf garraamiin kun haala hoo’aaf milkaayina qabuun barnoota isaa hordofaa utuu jiruu, humni mootummaa abba hirree wayyaaneen guyyaa gaafa 29/05/2014 mooraa guddicha YUUNIVERSIITII HARAMAYAA keessaa bakka GADA-JAHE(IOT CUMPUS) jedhamuun beekamu, Gamoo H lakk-doormii 26 (H-26) duulli mootummaa wayyaanee saroota OPDO waliin doormiitti itti seenan, hiriyoota isaa faana qayyabachaa utuu jiruu, qabame. Barataan sabboonaan Nuraddin(Alsan) Hasan guyyaa gaafa qabamee kaasee hanga guyyaa kaleessaatti (01/06/2014) barattoota kakaaste hidhata dhaaba alaa waliin qabda jechuun barataa barumsa qofaaf maatii isaa irraa adda bahee barnoota isaa hordofaa jiru, magaalaa Hararitti guyyoota sadii guutuu fannisanii reeban. Erga inni of dadhabees, sobdee akka nuti si dhiifnuuf malee hin miidhamne ittiin jechuun, utuu reebanii lubbuun isaa dabarte. Gocha hammeenyaa hagana ga’u raawwatanii, hidhamaan of ajjeeseera, gara hospitaalaa haa deemu, haa qoratamu. Jechuun reeffa isaa gara hospitaala XIQUR AMBASSAA geessan. Obboleessa isaa SULXAAN HASAN, waamuun obboleessikee mana adabaatti of-ajjeese gara finfinneetti kottuu reeffa fuudhi, jechuun maatii isaatti bilbilan. Yeroo ammaa kana reeffi barataa kanaa magaala GUDAR ga’uu isaa ergaan bilbilaa nu ga’eera. “Lubbuukeef Jannatan Hawwa” itttiin jedhaa! Maddi oduu peejii “kuusaa Dhiiga Oromoo” ti peejicha ‘like’ haa goonu press ‘like’ link on Kuusaa Dhiiga Oromoo’s page. RAKKOO AMBOO KEESSA JIRU!#OromoProtests- 2nd June 2014 Akkuuma beekamu FDG FI WAA’EEN MASTEER PLANII erga jalqabe kaase Magalatii keessatti saba Oromoo irratti kan rawwatama jiru mutumma kamiyyun kan rawwatama ture waliin hin madalamu jechudhan gabasaan magala Amboo irra nu qaqabee jira! Waan Nama gadisiisu keessa Barataa yunviristi tokko kan guyya finciilli itti jalqabee rasaasan rukutamee hanga ammatti bakka warri Ogumma fayya itti barataan(Mana reeffa)keessa keessa tursuun Jimaata darbee halkaan keessa sa’ati 10 irratti gara dhalotasa Arsii geeffame!Maqaassa fi waan jiru qulqulleesine isiin geenya! Kana irra kan ka’e Baratoon guyyaa kaleessa irra egalaani nyaata lagachuun barumsaa fi qormaata dhabuun isanii yaddoo gudda Bulchinsa yunv.Ambootti ta’e jira! Kan biraan Barataa Afaan oromoo kan ta’e fi bara kana kan eebbiifamu Kitaaba wagga sadii kaase kan barreessa turee manxase gabaa irra olchuuf jedhe waliin kan qabamee lafa buteensa kan dhabame ture yeroo amma yoo kitaaba kee kana gubuuf gabaa irra olchuu baatte murtii du’a sitti murteesiina jedhanii yoo itti himanille hanga du’atti Ani qopha’a dha malee waan isiin jettaan kana naaf hin liqimsanu jechuunsa beekame! Mani murtii yeroo amma kana waraana wayyaane wajjiin uummaata fi baraatootta miilla isaani kateenan hidhamaan konkoolata guuddatti fe’uudhan garaan keessa ciibsani mana murtiiti deedebissa jiraachun isanii beekame jira! Magaala Amboo keessa Bishaani erga bade ji’a sadii kan ta’e yommu ta’u Ibsa halkaan dhamsuun Mana nama cabsuun sakata’aa yoo ijoollee Shamaraan jiratee Abbaa fi Hadha isaan qabani eerga hidhanii dirqisiisani akka gudeedan bira ga’amee jira!yeroo amma kana seerri fi Motumaan kan keessa hin jirreef humna waraana fi tika wayyaaneen akka rakkacha jirtuu bekameera! FDG itti fuuffa malee kan hin dhabaanne ta’u isa beekisisaniru! Ijjifannoon Uummaata Oromoof!!!
May 29, 2014 (Jen and Josh in Ethiopia) — After the protests and violence in Ambo, we fled to the capital city of Addis Ababa and stayed at a little hotel called Yilma. Immediately, we started telling everyone about what happened in Ambo. We called and texted our friends, we talked to anyone at the hotel that would listen, and we posted things on Facebook. If we tell everyone about the protesters in Ambo being imprisoned and killed, surely it will stop, we reasoned.The next day, two strange men – one tall with dark skin, the other short with lighter skin – struck up a conversation with us in the hotel restaurant.“We’re from Minnesota, here to visit our family in Wollega,” they said. “Oh, we’re from St. Paul!” we replied, excited. “Oh, we’re from St. Paul, too!” they said, pulling out a fake-looking Minnesota driver’s license.The address said Worthington, not St. Paul.“How long have you lived in St. Paul?’ we asked. “Yes.” the tall man said, nervously. “I mean…how long have you lived in St. Paul?” we said, slower. “Just 2 weeks.” “And you’re already back in Ethiopia. And you just drove through Ambo, past all the protests and the police, to visit your family in Wollega?” we asked, thinking about the single paved road that heads west through Ambo. “Yes.” he replied. “You must be very brave,” we said, thinking about how the road was closed due to the violence. “Why?” he asked, baiting us with a stoic face.We froze, afraid to speak further. At that moment, after 20 months in Ethiopia, we finally understood why so many people in Oromia are afraid of spies. When we first arrived in Ambo, people thought WE were C.I.A. spies, which we found amusing…spies who couldn’t even speak the language? If we had beenspies, we certainly weren’t very good at our job. But now, the tables were turned.The two men began following us around the hotel area, sitting next to us whenever possible, walking slowly past our table, then returning slowly past our table – sometimes up to 10 times per hour. A different man followed us to a restaurant about a mile from the hotel, then sat at the closest table to ours, rudely joining a young couple’s romantic dinner.For the next three days, we stopped telling people about the protests and the imprisonments and the killings in Ambo. We were afraid that the two men would be listening. We were afraid that someone was monitoring our communications on the government-controlled cell phone service and the government-controlled internet. Were we just paranoid? Were we really being monitored? Maybe we had just integrated too much, to the point where we had become Oromo, afraid of government spies and afraid of speaking out and being put in jail. While being ferenji (foreigners) gave us some level of protection, thoughts of the Swedish journaliststhrown into an Ethiopian jail in 2011 lingered in the backs of our minds. The journalists “were only doing their jobs, and human rights group Amnesty International said the journalists had been prosecuted for doing legitimate work.” Did we seem just as suspicious to the government as those Swedish journalists? We didn’t want to find out.Peace Corps gave all the volunteers strict instructions NOT to blog or post on Facebook about the protests or killings across Oromia. It is just too dangerous to say anything about the Ethiopian government, they pointed out.That’s when we decided to leave Ethiopia. For us, staying in Ambo, not ruffling any feathers, was not an option. How could we go back and pretend that our neighbors, students, and and fellow residents didn’t die or didn’t end up in prison? http://jenandjoshinethiopia.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ambo-protests-spying-spy.htmlhttp://etefa.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/ambo-protests-spying-the-spy/
Breaking News: Amma Galgala Kana Barattooti Oromoo Yuuniversitii Haromaayaa 10 Doormii Keessaa Lolotoota Wayyaaneen Ukkaamfaman.
Walabummaa Goshee kan inni baratu Economics waggaa 2ffa bakki dhalootaa godina shawaa lixaa Ambo,
Irranaa Kabbadaa kan inni baratu agricultural wagga 2ffaa bakki dhalootaa godina Shawaa lixaa Ambo
Sanyii Yaalii kan inni baratu economics waggaa 3ffaa bakki dhalootaa godina Shawaa lixaa AMBO
Biqila Toleeraa kan inni baratu veternari Medecine waggaa 6ffaa bakki dhaloota godina kibba lixa Shawaa AMBO
Raggaasaa kan inni baratu waggaa lammaaffaa water engenering bakki dhalootaa Godina Shawa lixati 10.maqaan nu hin geenye.Ammaaf maqaan hin baramne.
In picture: student Leencoo Fiixaa
Oromo Students Abducted From Haromaya University on May 28 Ten Oromo students were abducted from Haromaya University by Ethiopian (TPLF/Agazi) security forces on Wednesday, 28th May 2014. Their where abouts is unknown. Among the abductees are: 1. Lencho Fita Hordofa, 3rd year in the Department of Agriculture. He was born in the district of Dawo, South Shewa Zone of Oromia state 2. Ararsaa Lagasaa, 4th year student in the Department of Water Engineering. He was born and raised in the Tolee distrit of South Shewa Zone 3. Jaaraa Margaa, 4th year student in the Department of Water Engineering. He was born and raised in Sabata, South Shewa Zone 4. Alsan Hasan, 2nd year student in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He was born and raised in Ambo, West Shewa Zone 5. Walabummaa Goshee, 2nd year student in the Department of Economics. He was born and raised in Ambo, West Shewa Zone.
6. Irranaa Kabbadaa, 2nd year student in the Department of Agriculture. He was born and raised in Ambo, West Shoa Zone.
7. Sanyii Yaalii, 3rd year student in the Department of Economics. He was born and raised in Ambo, West Shoa zone.
8. Biqila Toleeraa, 6th year medical student, Department of Veterinary Medicine. He was raised in Ambo, South West Shoa zone.
9. Raggaasaa, 2nd year student in the Department of Water Engineering. He was raised in Ambo, West Shoa zone.
The names of the 10th student is not identified at this time. Shown in the photograph is Lencho Fita Hordofa, one of the ten kidnapped.
Submission from the HRLHA 26th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (10 – 27 June 2014)
May 27, 2014Submission from the HRLHA 26th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council (10 – 27 June 2014)
Item 3:Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
(Country- Ethiopia) HRLHA is a non-political organization which attempts to challenge human rights abuses suffered by the peoples of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. HRLHA is aimed at defending fundamental human rights including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and organization. It is also aimed at raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and that of others. It focuses on the observances as well as the due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies. Executive Summary This report covers mainly the gross human right violations in Ethiopia that have happened in the past twenty- three years in general, and the current human rights crisis in the Regional State of Oromia in Ethiopia in particular. The EPRDF/TPLF Government has committed gross human rights violations against the people of Ethiopia since it came to power in 1991 after toppling the dictatorial Dergue regime, contrary to the constitution of Ethiopia (1995) and international human rights treaties it has signed and rectified. It has continued to suppress the freedom expression, political and civil rights and, as a result, has sent dozen of journalists, bloggers, and hundreds of leaders and members of opposition political parties to jail. In violations of the right to protest and demonstrations, peaceful demonstrators have been shot at and killed, kidnapped and disappeared; hundreds have been arrested in mass and detained. A good case in point is the most recent very violent attack against unarmed and peaceful protestors of Oromo students of universities, colleges, and high schools in the regional state of Oromia. Methodology The information in this report is mainly based on HRLHA’s reports on human rights violations in Ethiopia as well as reports from other sources such as various international human rights organizations and civil society groups, and the US State Department annual country report of 2013. Violations of Fundamental Rights The current EPRDF government claims that the basic and fundamental rights of the citizens are respected in Ethiopia, and that the country is heading towards democracy. However, on the contrary, the basic and fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution of 1995, under Chapter three (fundamental rights and freedoms, articles 13-28 and democratic rights ,articles 29-44) which guarantees civil liberty and life in peace and harmony has been extremely violated. In the above articles are included individuals and common rights, such as equality before the law, freedom of speech and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, freedom to practice religion. All are highlighted on paper only for the political consumption. In other words they are used as a cover-up for the gross violations of human rights.. Democratic Rights After the first global expression of rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which all human beings are inherently entitled, has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The international, regional and national documents were created to enforce the promotion of the rights enshrined in the declaration. Peaceful assembly (Article 20(1)) in the UDHR, while often characterized by marches, rallies and mass demonstration, which obviously involves the presence of a number of individuals in the public places, has been echoed in international law, regional standards, and national constitutions throughout the world. It becomes customary that in different parts of the world people are expressing their grievances/ dissatisfactions and complaints against their governments by peaceful demonstrations and assemblies. When such nonviolent and peaceful civil rallies are taking, place it should always be the state’s responsibility to respect and guard their citizens’ freedom of peaceful assembly and demonstration. These responsibilities also should apply even during times of political protest, when a state’s power is questioned, challenged, or perhaps undermined by assemblies of citizens practicing in nonviolent resistance. The 1995 Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, articles 29 and 30 also grant these democratic rights to the Ethiopian citizens without distinction. The Right of Thought, Opinion and Expression, The Right of Assembly, Demonstration and Petition are the rights of Ethiopian citizens through which they can express their opinions and dissatisfactions with the performances and activities of their government However, in the past two decades the current Ethiopian government proved that peaceful assemblies and demonstrations, expression of thoughts are not tolerated. Since the current government came to power in 1991, thousands of citizens who held political agenda different from the ruling party’s were systematically jailed, abducted or killed. Those who criticized the government of Ethiopia including journalists, bloggers, universities and high school students and teachers who took to streets to demand their rights peacefully were beaten, arrested and detained or killed. The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa has been reporting in different ways on the systematic human rights violations by the Ethiopian government and its security agents against peaceful demonstrators. These include the recent case of Oromo students from different universities and colleges. The Oromo students were discriminately targeted particularly in the past six years. The current political crises in Oromia regional state of Ethiopia is the continuation of the above facts. Peaceful protests against the so called the Master plan of Addis Ababa, which is likely to cause the estimated eviction of around 6 million Oromo peasants around the area and planed to be sold to the wealthy non-Oromos, should not be considered as a criminal activity. Instead it should be tolerated and be considered as one of the ways that the citizens can express their thoughts and concerns on the development plan of the government in which they were not consulted and did not give their consent. The Addis Ababa Expansion-related protests quickly spread around universities, colleges and high schools all over Oromia. And in response, contrary to the provisions in the constitution of the land and international basic and fundamental rights of the citizens, the Ethiopian government launched a brutal crackdown against peacefully demonstrating Oromo students in order to freeze the peaceful demand of the protestors. As a result of this brutal crackdown by special squads, more than 36 students were killed, hundreds wounded and thousands of others arrested and thrown into detentions. The protest against the expansion of Addis Ababa was not limited to students only, but also involved city dwellers, farmers and workers in Oromia. The most affected area was the Ambo Town and its surroundings where 16 University and high school students were killed, including the eight (8) year old boy. The Ethiopian Government’s atrocities that targeted the Oromo nation during the nationwide protest from April 24 to May 24, 2014 have been condemned by worldwide human rights organizations, public media, and other civic organizations.. The Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Oromia Suport Group, Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa, The guardian, BBC , CNN and The Create Trust are among the organizations which condemn and reported the crime against humanity taken against the Oromo nation by Ethiopian armed force. The Ethiopian Government has repeatedly implemented various excessive forces to dissolve peaceful protests in violations of international treaties it has signed and ratified. The responses to legal, constitutional and peaceful protests should not include actions that violate human rights, such as arbitrary arrests and detentions, even guns or other violence. HRLH believes many atrocities, that were not reported on due to the tight controls, restrictions, and censorships on all local and international media, are taking place. The Ethiopian Government does not have any justification for the illegality of the protests for taking such brutal action against peaceful and unarmed students and other protestors. An illegal protest may happen if the protest becomes violent or is in violation of the state’s laws of public order and civility. Even if some peaceful protests include deliberate acts of civil disobedience, in which case it is permissible for states to make individual arrests of law offenders. However, as recognized by an HRC panel discussion on the matter (A/HRC 19/40), the increasing use of criminal law against protest participants may ultimately contradict the states’ responsibility to uphold the right to peaceful assembly. In this situation the Ethiopian Government clearly violated the right to legal peaceful protest. Recommendation:
The Ethiopian Government first of all must respect and implement the rights of citizens enshrined in the constitution of the country (1995) and enforce the Ethiopian penal code of 2004
Ethiopia must avoid an excessive force in response to Oromo protests
The Ethiopian Government must abide by all international human rights instruments to which the country is a signatory
The Ethiopian Government must allow a fully independent, civilian-led investigation into the death of Oromo students and civilians including gross human rights violation in Oromia.
Ironically, as we sat at home, listening to gunshots all day long, John Kerry was visiting Ethiopia, a mere 2 hours away in Addis Ababa, to encourage democratic development. Around 3pm, while the sounds of the protests were far on the east side of town, we heard gunshots so close to our house that we both ducked reflexively. An hour later, we talked to a young man who said, numbly, “I carried their bodies from their compound to the clinic.” Our two young neighbors – university students – had been hunted down by the federal police and killed in their home while the protest was on the opposite side of town. Another friend told us about 2 students who were shot and killed by the federal police in front of a primary school…again, far away from the protest. Wednesday night, we slept fitfully, listening to the sounds of the federal police coming around our neighborhood. They were yelling over a bullhorn in Amharic, which we didn’t understand, but was later translated for us: “Stay inside your compound tonight and tomorrow.” Thursday, the bus station was closed and there weren’t any cars on the roads. That morning, a Peace Corps driver finally came to get us, looking terrified as he pulled up quickly to our house. We had to stop at the police station to get permission to leave town. While waiting at the station, we saw at least 50 people brought into the station at gunpoint, some from the backs of military trucks and many from a bus. Inside the police compound, there were hundreds of demonstrators overflowing the capacity of the prison, many of them visibly beaten and injured. After the U.S. Embassy requested our release, we headed out of town. The entire east side of town, starting from the bus station, was damaged. A bank, hotel, café, and many cars were damaged or burned. Our driver swerved to avoid the charred remains of vehicles sitting in the middle of the street. We couldn’t help but shed tears at the sight of our beloved, damaged town. – Read more @http://jenandjoshinethiopia.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ambo-protests-personal-account.html?spref=tw
Ethiopia: Worrisome Situations in Detention Centres Where #OromoProtests Protesters Imprisoned; an HRLHA Urgent Action
Posted: Caamsaa/May 24, 2014 · Gadaa.com
The following is a statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA).
———————— May 24, 2014 For Immediate Release While kidnappings and/or extra-judicial arrests and detentions have continued particularly around academic institutions in different parts of the regional state of Oromia in Ethiopia, disturbing and worrisome reports are coming out of detention centres where the Oromo students arrested in the past two weeks are being held. According to HRLHA correspondents in Nakamte, Wollega Province in western Oromia, there have been cases of tortures of varying levels as well as detainees being taken away in the middle of the night to unknown destinations for unknown reasons. Fifty (50) detainees, including thirteen females, were taken away at one time alone; and their whereabouts were not known. In relation to tortures, the reports indicate that some of the detainees are isolated from others and held in separate rooms handcuffed and legs tied together with their hands on the their backs. There were ten students subjected to this particular situation, among whom were Std. Tesfaye Tuffa (male) and Std. Bontu Hailu (female). Although not confirmed at this point, there were also eight students who were screened out in order to be transferred to a detention or investigation office at the federal level; and these include: 1. Chalaa Fekaduu Gashe (high school student), 2. Chalaa Fekaduu Raajoo (high school student), 3. Nimoonaa Kebede (Wollega University 5th year law student), 4. Moi Bon Misganuu (Wollega University, student), 5. Abdii Gaddisaa (high school student), 6. Abel Dagim (high school student), 7. Qalbessa Getachew (high school student), 8. Mulgeta Gemechu (high school student), 9. Edosa Namara Dheressa, Civil Engineering, Wallaga University In the meantime, reports indicate that kidnappings and/or extra-judicial arrests and detentions have continued in different parts of the regional state of Oromia, particularly in Hararge/Haromaya, West Showa, and West Wollega, all in relation to the protests that have been going on in the Regional State of Oromia in opposition to the newly introduced master plan to expand the Capital City of Addis Ababa/Finfinne in all directions by displacing the local Oromo residents. The following are among the hundreds of the most recent cases of kidnappings, arrests and detentions: 1) Edosa Namara Deressa – Wollega University (Civil Engineering) 2) Walabuma Dabale -Adama University, West Showa, 3) Ebisa Dale -Adama University 4) Ganamo Kurke -Adama University 5) Liban Taressa – Adama University 6) Adam Godana -Adama University 7) Bodana (last name not obtained) – Adama University Name of other detainees arrested May 15-17, 2014: The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned about the life-threatening situations in the detention centres where those young Oromos were held, and the safety and wellbeing of those who were taken to unknown destinations. Therefore, HRLHA calls upon the Ethiopian Government to abide by all international human rights instruments that it has signed, and refrain from subjecting the young detainees to such harsh situations. It also calls upon all local, regional, and international human rights organizations including UN Human Rights Council, humanitarian, and diplomatic agencies to put pressure on the Ethiopian Government so that it: 1. Unconditionally releases the Oromo students who were detained in the past two and three weeks simply because the attempted to exercise some of their fundamental rights in a peaceful and absolutely non-violent manner. 2. Stop killing, arresting and abducting Oromo nationals 3. To form an independent committee from civilians for investigation and Prosecution of the killing and torturing crimes. – HRLHAhttp://humanrightsleague.com/2014/05/ethiopia-worrisome-situations-in-detention-centres-hrlha-urgent-action/
Since 25th April, students have demonstrated throughout the Oromia Regional State, protesting against the government’s sinister sounding ‘Integrated Development Master Plan’. The Oromo people constitute Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group — around 27 million people — almost a third of the population. They have been marginalised and discriminated against since the 19th century when Empress Taytu Betul (wife of Menelikk II) chose the site of Addis Ababa for the capital. As the city grew Oromos were evicted from their land and forced onto the margins — socially, economically and politically: “time and again, Oromo farmers were removed from their land under the guise of development without adequate compensation.”[Geeska Africa]. Like tyrants everywhere, the paranoid EPRDF is hostile to all forms of dissent no matter the source; however they react with greater levels of brutality to dissenting voices in Oromia than perhaps anywhere else in the country, and “scores of Oromos are regularly arrested based on their actual or suspected opposition to the government.” [Amnesty International (AI)] The proposed ‘master plan’ would substantially expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into areas of Oromia surrounding the capital. “Protestors claim they merely wanted to raise questions about the plan — but were answered with violence and intimidation.” [BBC] They rightly feel smallholder farmers and other groups living on government land (all land in Ethiopia is government owned) would once again be threatened, leading to large scale evictions to make way for land leasing or land sales, as has happened elsewhere in the country. In addition many Oromos see the proposed expansion as a broader threat to their regional and cultural identity and say the scheme is “in violation of the Constitutionally-guaranteed protection of the ‘special interests’ of the Oromia state.” [AI] Constitutional guarantees that mean nothing to the members of the ruling party, or a politically controlled judiciary. Killing, beating, intimidating University campuses have formed the beating heart of the protest movement that has now spread throughout the region. On Tuesday 29th April around 25,000 people, “including residents of Ambo town in central Oromia, participated in a city wide demonstration, in the largest show of opposition to the government’s plans to date.” [Revolution News] Somewhat predictably, security forces, consisting of the federal police and military Special Forces known as the ‘Agazi’, have “responded by shooting at and beating peaceful protesters in Ambo, Nekemte, Jimma, and other towns with unconfirmed reports from witnesses of dozens of casualties.” [Human Rights Watch (HRW)] A witness told Amnesty International that on the third day of protest in Guder town, near Ambo, the security forces were waiting for the protesters and opened fire when they arrived. “She said five people were killed in front of her. A source in Robe town, the location of Madawalabu University, reported that 11 bodies had been seen in a hospital in the town. Another witness said they had seen five bodies in Ambo [80 miles west of Addis Ababa] hospital.” Whilst the government says that “at least nine students have died” during the protests, “a witness told the BBC that 47 were killed by the security forces” — a misleading term for government thugs, who are killing, beating and intimidating innocent civilians: Amnesty reports that children as young as 11 years of age were among the dead. In addition to killing peaceful protesters, large numbers have been beaten up during and after protests, resulting in scores of injuries, and hundreds or “several thousands”, according to the main Oromia opposition party, the Oromo Federalist Congress (AFC), have been arbitrarily arrested and are being detained incommunicado. Given the regime’s history those imprisoned face a very real risk of torture. In many cases the arrests took place after the protesters had dispersed. “Security forces have conducted house to house searches in many locations in the region, [looking] for students and others who may have been involved. New arrests continue to be reported,” [AI] and squads of government thugs are reportedly beating local residents in a crude attempt at intimidation. Amnesty reports the case of a father whose son was shot dead during a protest, being ‘severely beaten’ by security forces, who told the bereaved parent “he should have taught his son some discipline.” The Oromia community has often been the target of government aggression, and recent events are reminiscent of January 2004, when several Oromia students at Addis Ababa University were shot and killed when protesting for the right to stage an Oromo cultural event on campus. Many more were wounded and 494 [Oromo Support Group (OSG)] were arrested and detained without charge or trial. HRW reported how “police ordered both male and female students to run and crawl barefoot, bare-kneed, and bare-armed over sharp gravel for three-and-half hours; they were also forced to carry each other over the gravel.” The Police, HRW goes on to say, “have repeatedly employed similar methods of torture and yet are rarely held accountable for their excesses.” The recent level of extreme violence displayed by the State is not unusual and takes place throughout Ethiopia; what is new is the response of the people. Anger at the security forces criminality has fuelled further demonstrations in Oromo as friends and family of those murdered have added their voices to the growing protest movement. This righteous stand against government brutality and injustice is heartening for the country and should be supported with condemnation and pressure from international donors and the UN more broadly. Those arrested during protests must be immediately released and investigations into killings by security personnel instigated as a matter of utmost urgency. Tools of control The government’s heavy-handed reaction to the Oromo protests is but the latest example of the regime’s ruthless response to criticism of its policies. Political opposition parties, when tolerated at all have been totally marginalised, dissenting independent voices are quickly silenced and a general atmosphere of fear is all pervading. Despite freedom of expression being a constitutional right virtually all media outlets are either government owned or controlled; “blogs and Internet pages critical of the Ethiopian government are regularly blocked and independent radio stations, particularly those broadcasting in Amharic and Afan Oromo, are routinely jammed.” [HRW] The EPRDF has created “one of the most repressive media environments in the world.” Reinforcing this condition, “the government on April 25th and 26th arbitrarily arrested nine bloggers and journalists in Addis Ababa. They remain in detention without charge.” [Ibid] International human rights groups (whose activities have been severely restricted by the stifling Charities and Societies Proclamation of 2009) as well as foreign journalists are not welcome, and reporters “who have attempted to reach the current demonstrations have been turned away or detained,” [Ibid] making it difficult to confirm exact numbers of those killed by government security personnel. The UN Human Rights Council recently reviewed Ethiopia’s human rights record under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Since the first review in 2009 the human rights condition has greatly deteriorated. The EPRDF rules the country through fear and intimidation, they have introduced ambiguous, universally condemned legislation to control and intimidate: the Charities and Societies Proclamation (CSO law) and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation specifically. Laws of repression that together have made independent media and civil society completely ineffective. Freedom of assembly – another constitutional right – is not allowed, (or as can be seen with the Oromo protests) is dealt with in the harshest manner possible; the Internet and telecommunications are controlled and monitored by the government and phone records/recordings are easily obtained by security personnel. Arbitrary arrests and false Imprisonment of anyone criticizing the government is routine as is the use of torture on those incarcerated. In the Ogaden region the regime is committing gross human rights abuses constituting crimes against humanity and in Gambella and the Lower Omo Valley large numbers of indigenous people have been forcibly moved into government camps (Villagization Programme), as land is sold for pennies to international companies. In short, human rights are completely ignored by the Government in Ethiopia. As the people begin to come together and protest, international pressure should be applied on the regime to observe the rule of law and uphold the people’s fundamental human rights. Read more @http://www.counterpunch.org/
#OromoProtest- Barbaric Attack On peaceful and unarmed Oromo Students and civilians by TPLF/Agazi forces at Madda Waalabuu University, Bale Soutrhern Oromia, 21 May 2014.
IOYA Appeal Letter
Dear Sir, Madam, We are reaching out to you as the Board of officers of the International Oromo Youth Association (IOYA) whose nation is in turmoil back in Oromia, Ethiopia. Recently, Oromo students have been protesting against the new Addis Ababa “Integrated Master Plan” which aims at incorporating smaller towns surrounding Addis Ababa for the convenience of vacating land for investors by displacing millions of Oromo farmers. As a political move, this will essentially result in the displacement of the indigenous peoples and their families. Oromo farmers will be dispossessed of their land and their survival both economic and cultural terms will be threatened. The Oromos strongly believe that this plan will expose their natural environment to risk, threaten their economic means of livelihood (subsistence farming), and violate their constitutional rights. The Ethiopian government is executing its political agenda of progressive marginalization of the Oromo people from matters that concern them both in the Addis Ababa city and the wider Oromia region. The master plan is an unconstitutional change of the territorial expansion over which the city administration has a jurisdiction. The government justifies the move in the name of enhancing the development of the city and facilitating economic growth. The justification is merely a tactical move masked for the governments continued abuse of human rights of the Oromo people. While the Oromos understand that Addis Ababa itself is an Oromo city that serves as the capital of the federal government, they also consider this move as an encroachment on the jurisdiction and borders of the state of Oromia. The protesters peacefully demonstrated against this move. University students and residents have been in opposition to the plan, but their struggle has been met by a brutal repression in the hands of the military police (famously known as the Agazi). It has been reported that shootings, arrests, and imprisonments are becoming rampant. It is also reported that the death toll is increasing by the hour. Recently, sources indicate that over 80 people have been shot dead, others severally injured and thousands arrested. In addition, Oromo students have been protesting peacefully for over three weeks now, despite mass killings and arrests by Ethiopian security forces. University and high school students from more than ten universities have been engaging in the Oromo protests. The peaceful rally has now spread across the whole country and is expected to continue until the Ethiopian government refrains from incorporating over 36 surrounding smaller towns into Addis Ababa. It is stated to be displacing an estimate of 6.6 million people and violating constitutional rights of regional states. As an organization subscribing to broader democratic engagement of the Oromo youth, we oppose the brutal violence that the Ethiopian government is meting out on innocent, unarmed young students who are peacefully protesting. As leaders of the Oromo community, we support and stand in solidarity with Oromo protests in Ethiopia. The human rights violations being carried out by the Ethiopian government against innocent students are unacceptable. Continuous assaults, tortures, and killings of innocent civilians must be stopped. We urge you to join us in denouncing these inhumane and cruel activities carried out by the Ethiopian government. We believe it is imperative that the international community raise its voice and take action to stop the ongoing atrocities that are wreaking havoc to families and communities in the Oromia region. We urgently request that such actions be taken in an attempt to pressure the Ethiopian government to stop terrorizing and killing peaceful protesters:
The US government and other International organizations should condemn the Ethiopian government’s brutal action taken on unarmed innocent civilians. Furthermore, we demand over 30,000 innocent protesters to be released from prisons, as they will be subjected to torture and ill treatment.
The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is currently terrorizing its own electorates/nation. Under the law of R2P in the UN constitution, the international community is obliged to protect a nation that is being terrorized by its own government and EPRDF should be taken accountable.
We demand Ethiopia to be expelled from any regional and international cooperation including and not limited to AU and UN for its previous and current human rights violations. The International community should stop providing support in the name of AID and development to Ethiopia as it is violating the fundamental and basic needs of its nation.
The Ethiopian government should be stopped on immediate effect; its forceful displacement of the indigenous peoples across Ethiopia is unjust and unconstitutional. We ask the United States, European Union, and the United Nations to stand in solidarity with peaceful student protesters who are condemning such injustice.
The onus is on the international community to act in favor of the innocent and civilian populace that is seeking its fundamental right. Punitive actions towards this government should be taken for cracking down on freedom of expression and other democratic rights being expressed by its citizens.
Gambella Nilotes Army Condemns Killing Oromos for Their Land
Press Release 15th May 2014, Gambella “Ethiopian Government Must Stop Killing Oromos for their Land”
Gambella Nilotes United Movement/Army (GNUM/A) condemns the mass killing perpetuated by the TPLF-Led Ethiopian government’s security forces against the Oromo University students and other innocent civilians which occurred in many parts of Oromia Region particularly in Ambo Zone since last two weeks. The students were peacefully demonstrating their constitutional right for the Oromo farmers who were/are forcefully and illegally evicted from their ancestral land around Finfine (Addis Ababa) due to new Addis Ababa Integrated Master Plan imposed upon them. As our sources confirm the killings continue in Nekemte town and other areas of which unconfirmed number of innocent Oromos are being massacred. Many are arrested and many more disappeared from their homes as the protest demonstrations continue. It should be known that the proposed Master Plan by the TPLF – Led government of Ethiopia did not consider the interest and participation of the Oromo people to ensure that it would not cause eviction of people and land grabbing. The plan affirms the continuation of land grabbing policy designed to displaced poor rural people of Gambella, Ogaden, Benisgangul Gumuz, Afar, South Omo and other parts of the country. The Master plan will evict million of Oromo farmers from their ancestral land and make them landless, an act which denies their traditional land ownership rights around Addis Ababa. It must be condemned at all might for it is undemocratic and barbaric. It follows the mode of Menelik who built the country on slave trade economy in raiding slaves and plundering resources of the subjects, in exchange for weapons from European colonisers to build his hegemony, of which the Oromos, Gambellans, Ogadenians, Beneshagul/Gumuz people, Afar, south western nations and nationalities, and others were the victims. The wounds inflicted by the Menelik in the past are still open and bleeding, and it is immoral for the TPLF- Led government to scratch the wounds inflicted by their ancestors against Oromos without remorse. For this reason we call upon all the Oromos to unite. Whatever differences may exist, Oromos must unite as one body and seek solidarity from other oppressed people who are fighting for their freedom. The TPLF – Led Ethiopian government is racist beyond any doubt, and it is a failed state that believes in enforcing its racist policies at gun point. The unity and moral we have are more than the weapons they put their belief. We shall prevail. It must not be allowed to sell out Oromo land to foreign investors or to settle their own people in Oromos’ land while Oromos are evicted. Currently other Ethiopian are not entitled to own large land for their business unless those coming from northern part of the country. The land taken from all the oppressed people elsewhere in the country including the Oromos should be categorized as stolen property, in which day has come, actually it is very near to claim it back from all TPLF members and supporters. We encourage all Oromo people to continue with their demonstration not to allow any inch of Oromo land to Addis Ababa Master Plan. We call upon all the Oromo people throughout the world to strengthen their solidarity in support to those who are sacrificing their lives in the country for the freedom of Oromos. Gambella Nilotes United Movement/Army (GNUM/A) is also calling upon all people of Gambella and other South Western Nilotes to stand together with Oromo people who are suffering under brutal Ethiopian government. We call upon the international community, international human rights organizations and other concerned bodies to condemn the ongoing human rights abuses and atrocities perpetrated by the TPLF/EPRDF regime against the Oromo innocent civilians who are demanding their constitutional rights from the government. We are also calling upon the United Nations, EU, AU, and all other humanitarian organizations operating in Ethiopia to closely monitor the political and military action against the innocent civilian in Oromia region. At last we call upon the TPLF/EPRDF government to stop killing of the Oromos; to release our brothers kept in various prisons in the country under inhumanly conditions; to recognize the communal land rights and ownership in accord with the UN provisions; to respect Article 39 provision in the constitution and recognizes territorial integrity to stop extinction measures; to respect our independence development and foreign policies to ensure our freedom and prosperity in our territories. In conclusion the Gambella Nilotes United Movement/Army (GNUM/A) will continue its struggle for all people of Gambella and other oppressed Ethiopian to ensure freedom, justice, security and prosperity are brought to the oppressed. “Freedom and Justice for All Oppressed People of Oromo”“Unite We Must to Fight for the Rights and Justice of IndigenousSouth Western Nilotic and Omotic Peoples of Ethiopia”GAMBELLA NILOTES UNITED MOVEMENT/ARMYCENTRAL COMMITTEEOur contact:email@example.comORgambellagnuma@gmail.comhttp://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/gambella-nilotes-army-condemns-killing-oromos-for-their-land/ Barattoota Oromoo kan Yuuiversitoota garagaraat osoo karaa nagaan hiriira bahani dhimma abba biyummaa isaanii falmata jiranuu lubbuun isaanii waraana mootummaa Wayyaanen darbite keessaa seenaa gabaabaa barattuu Tigist Maammoo Simaa isiniif qooda. Tigist Abbaa ishee Obbo Maammoo Simaa fi Haadha ishee Aaddee Ayeetuu Maammoo irraa bara 1992 akka lakkoofsa Oromootti Biyya Oromiyaa Godina Kibba lixa Shawaa Aanaa sadeen Sooddoo Ganda Saaririti jedhamutti dhalattee. Mana barnoota sadarkaa 1ffaa kan barattee 1-8 mana barnoota Calalaqa kan jedhamu miilan deemsa sa’a lama deemte barattee.sadarkaa 2ffaa 9-12 mana barnoota Harbuu Cululleetti baratte.
#OromoProtetsts- Tigist Mammo, Oromo student at Madda Waalabu University, murdered by TPLF/ Agazi forces.http://maddawalaabuupress.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/seenaa-gabaabaa-gootittii-oromoo.html?spref=fb #OromoProtests- Peaceful Oromo students and civilians were attacked and wounded by Agazi in Nekemte, Western Oromia. Denied medical help. Agazi forced them out from hospital. Medical workers at Nekemte hospital were attacked by Agazi for giving medical services to wounded students and civilians. 20th May 2014
ODUU GADDISISSA!! Godina Wallagga lixaa aanaa Gimbii ganda waloo yesuusitti dhalata barataa Gammachiis Dabalaa umuriin 16 yoo ta’u barataa kutaa 9ti. Jireenyasaa keessatti cilee gubee gara magaalaa gimbii geessee ittin barataa maatii saas gargaara . Akkuma amalasaa cilee fuudhee guyyaa gaafa 02/09/2006 akka lakk habasha ganama gara magaalaa gimbii utuu deemuu loltuun wayyaanee naannoo gafaree bakkaa addaa mana indaaqqoo jedhamutti duukaa buutee ariun rasaasaan miilla isaa dhoofte. gaafuma sana hospitaala adventisti Gimbii ciise. Ta’us carraa fayyuu hin arganne guyyaa gaafa 12/09/2006tti lubbuunsaa darbite kichuutu hudhaatti cite ayiiiiiiiiiiii yaa oromoo lakkii ka’iiiiii uuuuuuuuuuuuuu —————————————SAD NEWS!! In west wallagaa in the town of Gimbi in the neighborhood of Waloo-yesuus. There was a 16 year old grade 9 student named Gammachiis Dabalaa. In his life time he used to burn firewood to make charcoal so he can support his family as well as paying for his education. Like his day to day duty, while he went to fetch woods and burn for charcoal on his way to Gimbi town in the morning on 02/09/2006(E.C) he was shot on his foot by a woyanee(TPLF) soldier. Since that day this young boy was spending his time in the Adventist Hosptal in the Gimbi town. Due to lack of quick recovery he passed away on 12/09/2006. May his soul rest in peace!!!!!!!!
#OromoProtests- Victim of TPLF/Agazi, in Western Oromia, Gimbi, Wallagga, 21st May 2014.
#OromoProtests – Victim of genocidal TPLF/Agazi. Photo of Milishu Melese who was killed by Agazi by a car yesterday in Adama. Family members say he was previously a political prisoner for 8 years ( 3 at
Maekelawi and 5 in Kaliti).He was ran over by car in broad daylight on 16th May 2014 along his
friend Bilisumma Lammi.
#OromoProtests- Photo of Oromo student Bilisumma Lammi of Rift Valley University college who was killed by by Agazi on 16th May 2014 with his friend in Adama.
OromoProtests– TPLF/Agazi’s crime against humanity. Wounded Oromo students from Wolega university in Nekemte hospital as of 17th May 2014
Dimokraasiin Biyya Ethiopia jedhamtu keessatti kunoo kana fakkaata!!! Hospitalli Naqamtee dhiiga Ilmaan Oromootiin guutameera!!! Saffisaan Oromiyaa guddisuun Qaroo Ilmaan Oromoo Abdii buroo kan ta’an itti duuluu, ajjeesuu, hidhuu, tumuu, mana barumsarraa’ari uu, doorsisuu, fi k.kn f.f taniin oromia nuuf guddifuun lallabaa jiran
Ethiopia: Ambo under Siege, Daily Activities Paralyzed
HRLHA Urgent ActionFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 13 May, 2014. The brutal attempts of crackdown against Oromo protesters by the Agazi Special Squad continuing unabated in different parts of the regional state of Oromia, reports coming from Ambo in central Oromia indicate that the town and its surrounding has come under virtual seizure by the Agazi Federal Armed Force, daily movements and activities becoming almost impossible. According to information obtained by HRLHA (this morning) form its correspondents, the Agazi Special Squad has been deployed in Ambo Town and its surrounding in much larger number than before and engaged in indiscriminately kidnapping the local people from along the streets and throwing them into detention centres in the area. There are also reports of widespread rapes being committed against female detainees. Although the protests against the plan to annex some central small towns of Oromia into the Capital Addis Ababa/Finfinne have been involving Oromos from all walks of life, age and gender, the prime targets have been the youth, university, college, and high school students in particular. Since the protest started in different parts of the regional state of Oromia two weeks ago, more than 50,000 (fifty thousand) Oromos have been arrested and detained from Ambo, Gudar, Tikur Inchini, Ginda-Barat, Gedo, and Bakko-Tibe towns in West Showa Zone of Central Oromia alone, Apart from along the streets in cities and towns, especially students are being picked up even from dormitories and classrooms on universities and college campuses. Reports add that there have been around twenty(40) extra-judicial killings so far that have resulted from brutal actions against unarmed and peaceful protesters by armed forces. Ever since the violence against Oromo protesters started two weeks ago, and following the release of its first urgent action over the incidents, the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) has been monitoring the situation through its correspondents in the region; and has been able to obtain some of the names of the Oromos (students and others) who have so far been killed, kidnapped or arrested, and detained or disappeared. There are also cases of beatings and wounds or injuries inflicted on some of the protesters by the heavy-handed federal armed force. The names are listed below:
Partial List of arrested Students from Addis Ababa University May 11, 2014
May 11, 2014 Arrestees from different universities in Oromia
Addis Ababa University
Dirre Dawa University
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Fawaz Ahmed Usman
Partial list of Oromos killed by Agazi Armed Force of the Federal Government
Place of execution
student and Krate Trainer
9 years old teenager
Alamnee Bayisa Tashoomee
Medicine 5th year
Junior Secondary school
Junior Secondary school
Diplom holder, Bajaji driver
Ambo, 01 Kebele
9th grade student
11 years old teenager
Farmer oromo elder of 80 years old
Farmer, 75 years Oromo elder
Ambo Liibaan Machaa J.S.SchoolAmboAmbo35Tashome DawitM Uni studentWallaga 36Zabana BarasaM Governance 3rdyearJimmaJimma
Partial list of injured or wounded protestors
12th grade student
High School student
5th grade student
Addis ketema, Ambo
9th grade student
Ambo High School
Partial list of indiscriminately arrested or kidnapped and detained protestors
Below is the list of some of the estimated 50,000 Oromos picked up and detained from different towns in West Showa Z0ne:
Was ONC Elected member of Oromia regional in 2005
12th grade student
Midaa Qanyii high school
Merchant of cultural dresses
High school student
High school student
With his 5-family member
Elementary J.S. School, 8th grade
High school Student
9th grade student
Liiban Maccaa Ambo
Ambo uni student
High school student
High school student
High school student
Chairperson for Waqqeffata for Ambo area
Employee of KFO
11th grade student
High School Student
High School Student
Employee of youth and Sport commission
High School Student
High School Student
Ambo university 3rd year
HRLHA calls up on the Ethiopian Government to:
Immediately stop the racial and discriminatory violence against Oromos, and bring the culprits toJustice
Unconditionally release the detained Oromo students and facilitate the resumption of normal classes;
Reverse the decision of the plan and present it for discussion and consultations to the concerned Oromo People, and obtain their consents;
Compensate all loses and damages that resulted from the brutal actions of its armed forces.
HRLHA also calls up on regional and international diplomatic, democratic, and human rights agencies to challenge the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF government on its persistent brutal, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against innocent and unarmed civilians who are attempting to exercise some of their “said-to-have-been-granted” democratic rights.
Caamsaa 14,2014 Gara Jabeenya Wayyaanee TPLFn Magaalli Naqamte Akkasitti Oolte. TPLF’s cruelty Against Oromo students and civilians at Nekemte, Wolega university, 14 May 2014. 6 innocent people murdered.
DOCUMENT – ETHIOPIA: AUTHORITIES MUST PROVIDE JUSTICE FOR SCORES OF PROTESTERS KILLED, INJURED AND ARRESTED IN OROMIA
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALPUBLIC STATEMENT13 May 2014AI Index: AFR 25/002/2014
ETHIOPIA: AUTHORITIES MUST PROVIDE JUSTICE FOR SCORES OF PROTESTERS KILLED, INJURED AND ARRESTED IN OROMIA
Amnesty International condemns the use of excessive force by security forces against peaceful protesters in a number of locations across the Oromia region during the last two weeks, which has resulted in the deaths and injuries of dozens of people including students and children. Many hundreds of protesters are reported to have been arbitrarily arrested, and are being detained incommunicado and without charge. Detainees are at risk of torture. The Ethiopian government must immediately instruct the security forces to cease using deadly force against peaceful protesters, and to release any person who has been arrested solely because of their involvement in peaceful protests. These incidents must be urgently and properly investigated, and suspected perpetrators should be prosecuted in effective trial proceedings. Since late April, protests have taken place in many universities and towns across the Oromia region over the ‘Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan’ – a plan from the central government to expand the capital, Addis Ababa, into parts of Oromia – the region which surrounds the city. The government says the master plan for expansion would bring city services to remote areas. However, the protesters, and many other Oromos, the ethnic group that makes up the significant majority of the population of Oromia regional state, fear that the move will be detrimental to the interests of Oromo farmers, and will lead to large scale evictions to make way for land leasing or sale. Many Oromos also consider the move to be in violation of the Constitutionally-guaranteed protection of the ‘special interests’ of the Oromia state. Numerous reports from witnesses, local residents and other sources indicate that the security forces have responded with excessive force against peaceful protesters. Forces comprised of the federal police and military special forces known as ‘Agazi’, have fired live ammunition at unarmed protesters in a number of locations including in Wallega and Madawalabu universities and Ambo and Guder towns, resulting in deaths in each location. One witness told Amnesty International that on the third day of protest in Guder town, near Ambo, the security forces were waiting for the protesters and opened fire when they arrived. She said five people were killed in front of her. A source in Robe town, the location of Madawalabu University, told Amnesty International that 11 bodies had been seen in a hospital in the town. Another witness said they had seen five bodies in Ambo hospital. There are major restrictions on independent journalism and human rights monitoring organizations in Ethiopia as well as on exchange of information. Because of these restrictions, in conjunction with the number of incidents that occurred in the last two weeks, it is not possible to establish the exact number of those who have been killed. The government acknowledged that three students had died at Madawalabu University, and five persons had died in Ambo town, but did not state the cause of death. Numbers of deaths reported by witnesses and residents within Oromia are significantly higher. Investigations into these incidents must include the establishment of comprehensive numbers of people killed and injured in all incidents. According to eye-witness reports received by Amnesty International, of those who were killed some people, including students and children, died instantly during protests, while some died subsequently in hospitals as a result of their injuries. Children as young as 11 years old were among the dead. Students and teachers constitute the majority of those killed and injured. Protesters were also reportedly beaten up during and after protests, resulting in scores of injuries in locations including Ambo, Jimma, Nekempte, Wallega, Dembi Dollo, Robe town, Madawalabu, and Haromaya. Hundreds of people have been arrested across many locations. The main Oromo opposition party, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) which has been collecting information from its members throughout the region, believes those arrested may total several thousand. Witnesses told Amnesty International that in many cases the arrests took place after the protesters had dispersed. Security forces have conducted house to house searches in many locations in the region, for students and others who may have been involved. New arrests continue to be reported. A small number of people have been released, but most of those arrested remain in incommunicado detention, in many cases in unknown locations. The OFC also reports that two of its members were arrested in Ambo because they had spoken to a Voice of America reporter about events in the town. Hundreds of those arrested have been taken to unofficial places of detention including Senkele police training camp. One local resident, whose nephew was shot dead during the Ambo protests, told Amnesty International that detainees in Senkele have been prevented from seeing their families or receiving food from them. Military camps in Oromia have regularly been used to detain thousands of actual or perceived government opponents. Detention in military camps is almost always arbitrary – detainees are not charged or taken to a court for the duration of their detention, which in some cases has lasted for many years. In the majority of cases, detainees in military camps have no access to lawyers or to their families for the duration of their detention. Amnesty International has received countless reports of torture being widespread in military camps. The organization fears that the recent detainees are at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment. There is a very high security force presence in towns across the region in recent days, including in university campuses. Witnesses in several locations say that classes have been suspended in the universities. Amnesty International has heard from other locations, where classes have continued or resumed, that attendance registers are being taken for every class, with serious repercussions threatened for those not present. Amnesty International has also received several reports that in a number of locations throughout the region local residents are being beaten and in some cases, arrested by the police, ostensibly to intimidate them against taking part in further protests. Police are also threatening parents to control their children. One witness told Amnesty International that one man who went to collect his son’s body, who had been shot dead during a protest, was severely beaten by security forces telling him he should have taught his son some discipline. The OFC says the response of the security forces has fuelled further protests as the colleagues, parents and community members of those killed and injured have joined in further protests against the brutality of the security forces. In some locations anger at the actions of the security forces has resulted in burning of cars and damage to property. The Ethiopian authorities regularly suppress peaceful protests, which has often included the use of excessive force against protesters. The Oromos have long felt discriminated against by successive governments. The current government is hostile to all dissent. However, this hostility often manifests most fiercely in the Oromia region, where signs of dissent are looked for and suppressed even more brutally than in other parts of the country. Scores of Oromos are regularly arrested based on their actual or suspected opposition to the government. The recent events are highly reminiscent of events in 2004 when months of protests broke out across the Oromia region and in Addis Ababa by college and school students demonstrating against a federal government decision to transfer the regional state capital from Addis Ababa to Adama (also known as Nazret), a town 100 kilometres south-east of Addis Ababa. The transfer was perceived to be against Oromo interests. Police used live ammunition in some incidents to disperse demonstrators, killing several students and wounding many others, which led to further protests. Hundreds of students were arrested and detained for periods ranging from several days to several months, without charge or trial. Many were severely beaten when police dispersed protests or in detention. Subsequently hundreds were expelled or suspended from university and many suffered long-term repercussions such as repeated arrest based on the residual suspicion of holding dissenting opinions. The events of the last two weeks in Oromia demonstrate that there has been no improvement in Ethiopia’s policing practices in the last decade, and that very serious concerns remain about the willingness of the Ethiopian security forces to use excessive force against peaceful protesters. These events also show that major restrictions remain on the ability of peaceful protesters to express grievances or make political points in Ethiopia. The environment for peaceful protest, freedom of expression and political participation has worsened over the last decade. The recent events in Oromia fall at a time when the local population and interested parties internationally, are starting to look towards the general elections in May 2015. The aftermath of the disputed 2005 elections also saw excessive use of force against peaceful protesters during widespread demonstrations against the alleged rigging of the election by the ruling EPRDF party. Security forces opened fire on protesters in Addis Ababa resulting in the deaths of more than 180 people. The recent events bode very ill for the run up to the 2015 elections, still a year away. Unless substantial reforms are urgently initiated, Amnesty International is concerned that the run up to the elections will be characterised by further serious violations of human rights. Amnesty International urges the Ethiopian authorities to immediately and publicly instruct the security forces to cease using excessive force against peaceful protesters in Oromia. While some of the recent protests in Oromia are reported to have seen incidents of violence, including destruction of property, the use of force, including lethal force, by security forces must comply with human rights standards at all times in order to protect the right to life. Amnesty International urges that any police response to further protests must comply with international requirements of necessity and proportionality in the use of force, in line with the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials. These principles state that law enforcement may use only such force as is necessary and proportionate to maintain public order, and may only intentionally use lethal force if strictly necessary to protect human life. Thorough investigations which are credible and impartial must urgently take place into allegations of excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, and the torture of protesters and other members of local communities in Oromia, and where admissible evidence of crimes is found, suspected perpetrators should be prosecuted in effective trial proceedings that meet international standards. All persons arrested solely because of their participation in peaceful protests must be immediately and unconditionally released. Amnesty International urges that no-one suffers any violation or denial of their human rights as a result of their involvement in peaceful protests including any suspension or termination of their education. Finally, Amnesty International urges the Ethiopian government to respect all Ethiopians’ right to peacefully protest, as guaranteed under the Ethiopian Constitution and in accordance with Ethiopia’s international legal obligations, including under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The government should immediately remove all restrictions on free and open political participation, including restrictions on the independent media, civil society and political opposition parties.
Press Release from the Oromia Support Group (OSG) on the Oromo demonstrators arrested, beaten and shot dead by the Ethiopian Agazi Security Forces
Posted: Caamsaa/May 9, 2014 · Gadaa.com
Press Release from the Oromia Support Group-UK 7 May 2014 60 Westminster Rd Malvern, Worcs WR14 4ES UK Tel +44 (0)1684 573722 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Demonstrators arrested, beaten and shot dead At least 16 peaceful student demonstrators were shot dead by the Agazi, Ethiopia’s riot police, between 28 April and 1 May. Protests against the planned extension of Addis Ababa city administration, which would evict thousands of farmers and split Oromia Region in two, were met with live ammunition and indiscriminate beating. Several killings were in Ambo, where 27,000 reportedly took to the streets, but demonstrations were also met with violence in Guder, Adama, Dire Dawa, Robe, Jimma, Metu, Nekemt, Gimbi and Dembi Dollo – high schools and universities in central, east and west Oromia Region. Sources claimed 25-50 were killed. At least seven were confirmed dead in Ambo alone. Many were badly injured and hundreds were taken from streets and university campuses to places of detention, where protestors and opposition party supporters are routinely tortured and raped. Names of confirmed dead, injured or detained are given overleaf. Those killed include Endale Desalegn (Temesgen), and Tasfaye Gashe, both ninth grade students in Ambo. Individuals in the UK are requested to write to their MPs, requesting them to ask the Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, and the Minister for International Development, Lynne Featherstone, what the British Government intends to do in response to this latest episode of killing and detaining peaceful demonstrators. Killed: Ababa Kumsa – Wallega Abdi Kamal – Guder Junior Secondary School Abdisa Nagasa – Wallega Endale Desalegn (or Temesgen) – Ambo High School Falmata Bayecha – Jimma 5th yr Medicine Galana Adaba – Jimma 3rd yr Governance Getachew Daraje – Jimma 3rd yr Governence Getahun Jirata – Guder Junior Secondary School Gexe Tafari – Wallega Gurmu Damxoo – Guder Junior Secondary School Hussen Umar – Jimma Israel Habtamu – Jimma Kumala Guddisa – Guder Junior Secondary School Tadesse Gashee – Ambo Liban Macha Junior Secondary School Tashome Dawit – Wallega Zabana Barasa – Jimma 3rd yr Governance (or Oromo Folklore) Injured: Balay Kusa – Mida Qanyi School – W Showa Bayisa Obsa – Mida Qanyi School – W Showa Dararsa Ayana – Mida Qanyi School – W Showa Adama University students detained and beaten: Abrahm Makonin Ararso Abenzari Hagaye Yohannis Abdala Hussen Julio Amnu’el Burka Danka Andu’alam Telahun Alemayo Ayantu Jalta Misha Bilisuma Lamii Agaa Bonsa Badhadha Bati Bultu Wadaju Bultum Chala Galan Dabiso Datamo Fayera Shif Dane Abo Bushira Dani’el Admasu Tamsgen Didaa Ahmed Ibroo Duni Hussen Walbu Ebisa Malka Nuruu Etihafa Tuffa Soraa Fantale Faru Qarsuu Fayisa Girma Biranu Gada Dinqa Bayisa Humin’esa Miliki Fanta Ibraham Musa Awal Ifabas Burisho Nuruu Iliyas Ishetu Ibsa Lami Marga Gabru Lelisa Ayansa Marga Marga Tuffa kiltu Magris Banta Sodaa Muktar Jeyilan Sa’ed Musxafa Kadir Siraj Nuho Gudata Irre Odaa Damis Bonjaa Shibiru Tariku Falke Sidise Jara Tashome Bakele Sabbatichal Tadalu Mamo Bacha Takalinyi Ketama Baharu Tayee Tafara Agaa Tullu Bonus Tura Welbuma Ragasa Qalbesa
Security Forces Fire On, Beat Students Protesting Plan to Expand Capital Boundaries
(Nairobi) – Ethiopian security forces should cease using excessive force against students peacefully protesting plans to extend the boundaries of the capital, Addis Ababa. The authorities should immediately release students and others arbitrarily arrested during the protests and investigate and hold accountable security officials who are responsible for abuses.On May 6, 2014, the government will appear before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for the country’s Universal Periodic Review of its human rights record.“Students have concerns about the fate of farmers and others on land the government wants to move inside Addis Ababa,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “Rather than having its security forces attack peaceful protesters, the government should sit down and discuss the students’ grievances.”Since April 25, students have demonstrated throughout Oromia Regional State to protest the government’s plan to substantially expand the municipal boundaries of Addis Ababa, which the students feel would threaten communities currently under regional jurisdiction. Security forces have responded by shooting at and beating peaceful protesters in Ambo, Nekemte, Jimma, and other towns with unconfirmed reports from witnesses of dozens of casualties.Protests began at universities in Ambo and other large towns throughout Oromia, and spread to smaller communities throughout the region. Witnesses said security forces fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters in Ambo on April 30. Official government statements put the number of dead in Ambo at eight, but various credible local sources put the death toll much higher. Since the events in Ambo, the security forces have allegedly used excessive force against protesters throughout the region, resulting in further casualties. Ethiopian authorities have said there has been widespread looting and destruction of property during the protests.The protests erupted over the release in April of the proposed Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan, which outlines plans for Addis Ababa’s municipal expansion. Under the proposed plan, Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary would be expanded substantially to include more than 15 communities in Oromia. This land would fall under the jurisdiction of the Addis Ababa City Administration and would no longer be managed by Oromia Regional State. Demonstrators have expressed concern about the displacement of Oromo farmers and residents on the affected land.|Ethiopia is experiencing an economic boom and the government has ambitious plans for further economic growth. This boom has resulted in a growing middle class in Addis Ababa and an increased demand for residential, commercial, and industrial properties. There has not been meaningful consultation with impacted communities during the early stages of this expansion into the surrounding countryside, raising concerns about the risk of inadequate compensation and due process protections to displaced farmers and residents. Oromia is the largest of Ethiopia’s nine regions and is inhabited largely by ethnic Oromos. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and have historically felt marginalized and discriminated against by successive Ethiopian governments. The city of Addis Ababa is surrounded on all sides by the Oromia region. Given very tight restrictions on independent media and human rights monitoring in Ethiopia, it is difficult to corroborate the government crackdown in Oromia. There is little independent media in Oromia to monitor these events, and foreign journalists who have attempted to reach demonstrations have been turned away or detained. Ethiopia has one of the most repressive media environments in the world. Numerous journalists are in prison, independent media outlets are regularly closed down, and many journalists have fled the country. Underscoring the repressive situation, the government on April 25 and 26 arbitrarily arrestednine bloggers and journalists in Addis Ababa. They remain in detention without charge. In addition, the Charities and Societies Proclamation, enacted in 2009, has severely curtailed the ability of independent human rights organizations to investigate and report on human rights abuses like the recent events in Oromia. “The government should not be able to escape accountability for abuses in Oromo because it has muzzled the media and human rights groups,” Lefkow said. Since Ethiopia’s last Universal Periodic Review in 2009 its human rights record has taken a significant downturn, with the authorities showing increasing intolerance of any criticism of the government and further restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and association. The recent crackdown in Oromia highlights the risks protesters face and the inability of the media and human rights groups to report on important events. Ethiopian authorities should abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, which provide that all security forces shall, as far as possible, apply nonviolent means before resorting to force. Whenever the lawful use of force is unavoidable, the authorities must use restraint and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offense. Law enforcement officials should not use firearms against people “except in self-defense or defense of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury.” “Ethiopia’s heavy handed reaction to the Oromo protests is the latest example of the government’s ruthless response to any criticism of its policies,” Lefkow said. “UN member countries should tell Ethiopia that responding with excessive force against protesters is unacceptable and needs to stop.”
Oromo: Ethiopia Uses Force Against Peaceful Student Protesters
The Ethiopian government has used excessive force against students peacefully protesting the Government’s plans to expand the municipal boundaries of Addis Ababa, which would threaten the communities currently under regional jurisdiction, and would no longer be managed by Oromia Regional State. Demonstrators have expressed concern about the displacement of Oromo farmers and residents on the affected land. Below is an article published by Human Rights Watch: Ethiopian security forces should cease using excessive force against students peacefully protesting plans to extend the boundaries of the capital, Addis Ababa. The authorities should immediately release students and others arbitrarily arrested during the protests and investigate and hold accountable security officials who are responsible for abuses. On May 6, 2014, the government will appear before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva for the country’s Universal Periodic Review of its human rights record. “Students have concerns about the fate of farmers and others on land the government wants to move inside Addis Ababa,” said Leslie Lefkow, deputy Africa director. “Rather than having its security forces attack peaceful protesters, the government should sit down and discuss the students’ grievances.” Since April 25 , students have demonstrated throughout Oromia Regional State to protest the government’s plan to substantially expand the municipal boundaries of Addis Ababa, which the students feel would threaten communities currently under regional jurisdiction. Security forces have responded by shooting at and beating peaceful protesters in Ambo, Nekemte, Jimma, and other towns with unconfirmed reports from witnesses of dozens of casualties. Protests began at universities in Ambo and other large towns throughout Oromia, and spread to smaller communities throughout the region. Witnesses said security forces fired live ammunition at peaceful protesters in Ambo on April 30 . Official government statements put the number of dead in Ambo at eight, but various credible local sources put the death toll much higher. Since the events in Ambo, the security forces have allegedly used excessive force against protesters throughout the region, resulting in further casualties. Ethiopian authorities have said there has been widespread looting and destruction of property during the protests. The protests erupted over the release in April of the proposed Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan, which outlines plans for Addis Ababa’s municipal expansion. Under the proposed plan, Addis Ababa’s municipal boundary would be expanded substantially to include more than 15 communities in Oromia. This land would fall under the jurisdiction of the Addis Ababa City Administration and would no longer be managed by Oromia Regional State. Demonstrators have expressed concern about the displacement of Oromo farmers and residents on the affected land. Ethiopia is experiencing an economic boom and the government has ambitious plans for further economic growth. This boom has resulted in a growing middle class in Addis Ababa and an increased demand for residential, commercial, and industrial properties. There has not been meaningful consultation with impacted communities during the early stages of this expansion into the surrounding countryside, raising concerns about the risk of inadequate compensation and due process protections to displaced farmers and residents. Oromia is the largest of Ethiopia’s nine regions and is inhabited largely by ethnic Oromos. The Oromos are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and have historically felt marginalized and discriminated against by successive Ethiopian governments. The city of Addis Ababa is surrounded on all sides by the Oromia region. Given very tight restrictions on independent media and human rights monitoring in Ethiopia, it is difficult to corroborate the government crackdown in Oromia. There is little independent media in Oromia to monitor these events, and foreign journalists who have attempted to reach demonstrations have been turned away or detained. Ethiopia has one of the most repressive media environments in the world. Numerous journalists are in prison, independent media outlets are regularly closed down, and many journalists have fled the country. Underscoring the repressive situation, the government on April 25  and 26  arbitrarily arrested nine bloggers and journalists in Addis Ababa. They remain in detention without charge. In addition, the Charities and Societies Proclamation, enacted in 2009, has severely curtailed the ability of independent human rights organizations to investigate and report on human rights abuses like the recent events in Oromia. “The government should not be able to escape accountability for abuses in Oromo because it has muzzled the media and human rights groups,” Lefkow said. Since Ethiopia’s last Universal Periodic Review in 2009 its human rights record has taken a significant downturn, with the authorities showing increasing intolerance of any criticism of the government and further restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and association. The recent crackdown in Oromia highlights the risks protesters face and the inability of the media and human rights groups to report on important events. Ethiopian authorities should abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, which provide that all security forces shall, as far as possible, apply nonviolent means before resorting to force. Whenever the lawful use of force is unavoidable, the authorities must use restraint and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offense. Law enforcement officials should not use firearms against people “except in self-defense or defense of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury.” “Ethiopia’s heavy handed reaction to the Oromo protests is the latest example of the government’s ruthless response to any criticism of its policies,” Lefkow said. “UN member countries should tell Ethiopia that responding with excessive force against protesters is unacceptable and needs to stop.” See more at: http://www.unpo.org/article/17121#sthash.fL16bpV8.dpuf
HRLHA Urgent Action
May 1, 2014
The human rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) would like to express its deepest concern over the widespread brutalities of the Ethiopian Government in handling protests in different parts of the regional state of Oromia by peaceful demonstrators. In a heavy-handed crackdown being carried out by the federal armed squad called Agazi, which is infamously known for its cruelty against innocent civilians particularly during such public protests, 16 (sixteen) Oromo students have so far been shot dead in the town of Ambo alone and scores of others have been wounded, according to HRLHA correspondents in the area. The victims of the brutal attacks were not only from Federal Police brutality in Ambo town among those who were out protesting in the streets, but also among those who stayed behind on university campuses. Hundreds of others have also been arrested, loaded on police trucks, and taken to unknown destinations.
Although the brutalities of the armed squad and the resultant fatalities happened to be very high in Ambo Town, the peaceful protests by Oromo students of different universities and faculties have been taking place in the past couple of days in various towns and cities of Oromia including Diredawa and Adama in eatern Oromia, as well as Jimma, Mettu, Naqamte, Gimbi, and Dambidollo in western Oromia.
The Oromo students in all those and other universities took to the streets for peaceful demonstrations in protest to the recently made decision by the Federal EPRDF/TPLF- led Government to expand the city of Finfinnee/Addis Ababa by uprooting and displacing hundreds of thousands of Oromos from all sorts of livelihoods, and annexing about 36 surrounding towns of Oromia, the ultimate goal of which is claimed to be re- drawing the map of the Oromia Region. The federal annexation plan, which was termed as “The Integrated Development Master Plan”, is said to be covering the towns of Dukem, Gelan, Legetafo, Sendafa, Sululta, Burayu, Holeta, Sebeta, and others, stretching the boundary of Finfinne/Addis Ababa to about 1.1million hectares – an area of 20 times its current size.
The Oromo protesters claim that the decision was in violation of both the regional and federal constitutions that guarantee the ownership, special interests and benefits of the Oromo Nation over Finfinne/Addis Ababa. Similar unlawful and unconstitutional action taken at different times in the past fifteen and twenty years have already resulted in the dispossessions of lands and displacements of hundreds of thousands of Oromos farmers and business owners from around the city of Finfinne, forcing them into unemployment and day labourer.
The HRLHA has been able to obtain the names of the following students from among those who have been shot dead, wounded, and/or arrested and taken away:
No Name Gender University & Department
1 Falmata Bayecha M Jimma, Medicine 5th year 2 Galana Ababa M Jimma, Governance 3rd year 3 Zabana Barasa M Jimma, Oromo Folklore 3rd year 4 Getacho Darajje M Jimma, Governance 3rd year 5 Isra’el Habtamu M Jimma 6 Husen Umar M Jimma 7 Ababa Kumsa M Wallagga 8 Abdisa Nagasa M Wallagga 9 Tashome Dawit M Wallagga 10 Gexe Tafari F Wallagga
By so doing, the Ethiopian Government violates the property rights of peoples, which is clearly described both in local and international agreements including the Ethiopia constitution of 1995 article 40(3). While strongly condemning the brutality of the Ethiopian Government against its own people, specifically the youth, HRLHA would like to once again express its deep concerns regarding the whereabouts as well as safety of the students who have been taken into custody in relation to this protest.
HRLHA calls up on the Ethiopian Government to immediately stop shooting at and killed unarmed peaceful protestors who are attempting to exercise some of their fundamental rights and freedom of expression; and unconditionally release the detained students. We also request that the Ethiopian Government bring to justice the security agents who have committed criminal offences against own citizens by violating domestic and international human rights norms. HRLHA also calls up on regional and international diplomatic, democratic, and human rights agencies to challenge the Ethiopian TPLF/EPRDF government on its persistent brutal, dictatorial, and suppressive actions against innocent and unarmed civilians.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to the Ethiopian Government and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, Ahmaric, or your own language expressing:
Your concerns over at the apprehension hundreds of students, and fear of torture of the citizens who are being held in Ma’ikelawi Central Investigation Office and other detention centers since February, 2011 to present at different times, and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
Urging the authorities of Ethiopia to ensure that these detainees are treated in accordance with regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners,
Urging the Ethiopian Government to disclose whereabouts of the detainees and,
Your concerns to diplomatic representatives of Ethiopia accredited to your respective countries,
Send Your Concerns to
His Excellency: Mr. Haila Mariam Dessalegn – Prime Minister of Ethiopia P.O.Box – 1031 Addis Ababa Telephone – +251 155 20 44; +251 111 32 41 Fax – +251 155 20 30 , +251 15520
Office of Oromiya National Regional State President Office Telephone – 0115510455
UNESCO AFRICA RIGIONAL OFFICE MR.JOSEPH NGU Director
UNESCO Office in Abuja Mail: j.ngu(at)unesco.org Tel: +251 11 5445284 Fax: +251 11 5514936
Office of the UNHCR Telephone: 41 22 739 8111 Fax: 41 22 739 7377 Po Box: 2500 Geneva, Switzerland
African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) 48 Kairaba Avenue, P.O.Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia. Tel: (220) 4392 962 , 4372070, 4377721 – 23 Fax: (220) 4390 764 E-mail: email@example.com
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Council of Europe F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, FRANCE + 33 (0)3 88 41 34 21 + 33 (0)3 90 21 50 53 Contact us by email
Mekonnen Hirphaa, Civil Engineering student killed at Madda Walabuu University, Robe.
Since Ethiopia’s Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front apartheid army massacred over 52 people and injured as many on April 30th in Ambo town, confirmed killings have spiraled to 85, including 5 students killed, in Dambi Dollo town in Western Oromia today. Eyewitnesses told Oromo Press, 1 female student and 4 others were gunned down in Dambi Dollo on May 6 during a peaceful protest against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, which aims to evict 10 million Oromo farmers from Finfinne and surrounding towns and villages. Students were chanting, “Oromia will not be sold,” when they were indiscriminately fired on by Ethiopia’s army. 30 students are reported injured from live ammunition and excessive tear gas application.
Kumala Gudisa Bali, who was shot in Ambo, on April 30th and transported to Finfinne (Addis Ababa) for hospitalization, also died today at Black Lion Hospital.
Kumala Gudisa Bali, 1 of 52 massacred in Ambo
Many of students who were killed were shot multiple times on the head, neck and on the chest proving the brutality of the ethnically-pure Tigirean Agazi military unit. Other brutal methods of killings include hurling grenades into a crowd of students in soccer fields–one person died this way and 70 were injured this way at Haromaya University. Some members of the federal police gauged out eyes of some Oromos under arrest uttering ethno-racial slurs and “you will never see again.”
In a related breaking news from Fiche town, in north central Oromia, schools are shut down and surrounded by TPLF Ethiopia’s army. Witnesses saw at least 50 people, including students, teachers and residents being loaded and whisked away in military convoys. The students at Fiche were not even protesting when the army falsely told them that they were there to detonate a bomb and an explosive buried in the school compounds.
Ethiopia’s TPLF government is disarming Oromia regional police and replacing them with the more loyal and ethnically-pure TPLF soldiers and federal police. Oromia Times confirmed the imprisonment of “4 Oromia police commanders for refusal to order the use of lethal forces” against civilians and students. The Oromo police commanders were Lieutenants: Tadesse Legesse Gemechu, Habtamu Ragassa, Ayana Milkessa, and Alemu Kitessa Sanyi.
As many reporters, including BBC’s Mary Harper rightly observe: “it is very, very difficult for information to come out showing just how the authorities there are very repressive.”
Even human rights organizations with better resources, including Human Rights Watch, have been unable to get the exact numbers of students and civilians killed, injured and imprisoned in Oromia over the last 13 days. The general consensus, however, is that excessive force is being used by Ethiopia’s army to respond to peaceful student protesters demanding an end to ethnic-cleansing under the guise of urban development and city expansion.
The following is a statement from the International Oromo Youth Association (IOYA).
——————— May 1, 2014 Oromo students in Ethiopia are currently facing assault, imprisonment, and death due to the mass protests in Universities against the “Integrated Development Master Plan, “also known as the, “Addis Master Plan” The proposed plan aims to expand the current territory of Ethiopia’s capital by evicting and displacing thousands, if not millions of Oromo peasants from their lands. Student protestors are opposing the eviction of peasants from their lands and illegal expansion at the expense of indigenous people. Students at multiple universities including Jimma, Wollo, Haramaya, Ambo, Wollega, Metu, Bolu Hora, Adama, Maddawalabu and Dire Dawa University campuses continue to express their concerns through ongoing peaceful protests. On April 29, 2014, an estimated 25,000 people in Ambo marched in the streets of Oromia in opposition to the government’s plan. In an attempt to intimidate and deter further protests, Ethiopian security forces responded with gunfire and killed several students, leaving many others injured. To date, the numbers of deaths are still rising and Security forces are sent into various cities to silence further protests. The current crackdown on innocent students is no surprise to the international community. The Ethiopian government has been silencing dissenting voices by violently intimidating, killing, and torturing those who dare question or oppose its policies. Local reports indicate that the protests will continue so long as the Ethiopian government ignores the basic constitutional and free speech rights of the Oromo people. The atrocities and dehumanization of Oromo students must be stopped. Ethiopia continues to devalue basic human rights of the Oromo people and we cannot affirm their policies by staying silent. Our organization as a collective will be making a campaign video to raise awareness about the issue unfolding in the Oromia Region. We are asking for other communities to follow in solidarity and demand their respective communities to condemn atrocities being committed against students in Oromia. IOYA calls upon all Oromo and all human rights organizations to write letters to the international community and publicly stand in solidarity with the protesters right to condemn land eviction, displacement and disregard for regional constitutional rights. Sincerely, International Oromo Youth Association Website: www.ioya.org
Massacre of Peaceful Demonstrators- Perpetual Habit of TPLF RegimeOLF Press Release The level of repression and exploitation exacted by the successive regimes of Ethiopia on the subject peoples under their rule in general and the Oromo people in particular has been so unbearable that the people are in constant revolt. It has also been the case that, instead of providing peaceful resolution to a demand peacefully raised, the successive regimes have opted to violently suppress by daylight massacre, detention and torture, looting, evicting and forcing them to leave the country. Hundreds of students have been dismissed from their learning institutions. This revolt, spearheaded by the Oromo youth in general and the students in particular, has currently transformed into an Oromia wide total popular uprising.The response of the regime has, however, remained the same except this time adding the fashionable camouflage pretext of terrorism and heightened intensity of the repression. This has been the case in Ambo,MaddaWalabou,DambiDoolloo,Naqamte,Geedoo,HorrooGuduruu,BaaleeandCiroo in Oromia;andMaqaleeinTigray aswellGojjam in Amhara region, by the direct order fromtheTigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders in the last 22 years.Tens of peaceful demonstrators, including children under the age of 10,have been massacred in Ambo,MaddaWalabou yesterday April 30, 2014. Hand grenades have been deliberately thrown on student demonstrators in AmboandHaramaya Universities causing several death and serious wounds.Morehave been detained. Indiscriminate severe beating, including elderly, women and children by Federal Police and militia, is widespread.TheOLF condemnsthe perpetration of these atrocities and holds, the Prime Minister of the regime, the army, federal police and security chiefs, directly responsible for these crimes selectively targeting the Oromo, who peacefully presented their legitimate demands.TheOLF renews its call on the Oromo nationals who are serving in the armed forces of this regime not only to refrain from partaking in this crime against their parents, siblings and children; but also to resist and stand in defense of their kin and kith and other civilians.We call upon the Oromo people both inside and outside the country, to realize that wehave been pushed to the limit. The only way out of this and to redeem the agony visited upon us for the past is to fight back in unison. We specially call upon you in the Diaspora to act on behalf of your brethren, who are under siege, and urge the nations who host you to discharge their responsibility as government anda community of human beings towards thelong suffering Oromo and otherpeoples under the criminalTPLF regime.We urge again and again that the international community, human rights and organizations and governments for democracy to use their influence and do all they can to stop the ongoing atrocity against the Oromo people. Failure to act immediately will be tantamount to condoning.Victory to the Oromo People!Oromo Liberation Front May 01,2014ABO:HumnaWaraanaanHiriiraNagaaUkkaamsuunIttiFufaGochaaMootummaaWayyaaneWagga 22tiIbsaABOirraakennameHacuuccaa fisaaminsisirnootaabbootiiirreesirnootadarabeenItophiyaabitanbifa addaaddaangaggeeffamuummatootaItophiyaaadddattiammooummataOromooirraanmiidhaandhaqqabsiisesadarkaa hinobsamnedhaqqabuuirraaummatniOromoogaaffiimirgaa fidimokraasiikaasuudhaanwaggootadheeraafqabsoottijira.QabsoonummatniOromoosirnabittootaairrattiadeemsisaaturee fijirukunis har’a sadarkaa olaanaattitarkaanfateeguutuuOromiyaakeessattigarafincilaummataattijijjiiramee argama.Haa tahumaleemootummootniItophiyaagaaffiiummatniOromookaraanagaadhiheeffatu dhaga’anii furmaataittigochuuirrahumnaanukkaamsuu kanfilatantahuundhugaairra deddeebi’ee mul’ate dha.QabsoohaqaaummatniOromooittijiruufdeebisabarbaachisukeennuuirra “farranagaa, farramisoomaa,shororkeessota fikkfjechuunjumulaanajjeesuu,hidhuu,tumuu fibiyyaabaqachiisuuntarkaanfiileemootummootniItophiyaafudhataaturanii fijirani dha.Yeroo ammaa kanabarattootnii fidargaggootniOromooakkasumasummtniOromiyaaguutuukeessattigaaffiimirgaakaasuunhiriira nagaaadeemsisaajirankeessattideebiinargataajiranakkumaadeeffatamegaaffiibarattootaaofittifudhatuundeebiikennuuirrahaalasuukanneessanajjeechaa,reebicha fihidhaatahaajira.TarkaanfiiajajahogganootasirnaWayyaaneenhumnawaraanaaamanamaasirnichaanilmaanii fiummataOromooirrattifudhatamaajiruunlammiiwwanOromoo kanijoolleenumrii10nigadiikeessattiargamanAmboo,MaddaWalaabuu fibakkootabiroottikudhanootaanajjeefamaniijiran.Amboo fi UniversityHaromayaakeessattiboombiileedargaggotaa fiummataharkaqullaairratidhoosuungaraajabinaanlubbuundhabamsiifamaajira.Hedduun manahidhaattigatamaniiru.Jaarsaa fijaartii,guddaa fixiqqaaosoo hinjennereebichiummataOromoobakkayyuuttiirragahaajirusukanneessaa dha.TarkaanfiifudhatamaajirukunisittifufaajjeechaabarattootaOromoogaaffiimirgaakaasuuirraa Ambo,DambiDoolloo,Naqamte,Geedoo,HorrooGuduruu,Baalee,Ciroo fiOromiyaanalattisTigrayMaqalee fiGojjamkeessattiajjeefamaa fijumulaanmanneenbarnootaakeessaa ari’amaa turanii ti.ABOn gaaffiihaqaaummatnikaasaajiruufdeebiigahaakennuuirratarkaanfiisuukanneessaamootummaaWayyaaneenfudhatamaa kanjirujabeesseebalaaleffata. Tarkaanfiigarajabinaahumnaaddaawaraanaa,poolisaFederaalaa fihidhattootaanfudhatamaajiru kanaajajuu firaawwachiisuukeessattikanneenqoodaqaban,MuummichiMinistaraasirnichaa,ajajaanhumnawaraanaa figaafatamaantikaamootummaaWayyaaneegaafatamootahuu hubachiisa.Kanatti dabalees ABOnilmaanOromoohumnawaraanaa fipoolisaakeessattiargaman kanajjeefamaa,hidhamaa fitumamaajiranabbootii,haawwanii fiobboleewwanisaaniitahuuhubatuuntarkaanfiihammeenyaa fidiinummaa fudhatamaajiru kanakeessattiakkaqooda hinfudhanneqofaosoo hintaaneakka duradhaabbatanirra deebi’eewaamicha dhiheessaaf.Ummatni Oromookeessaa fi alajiruammaanboodagidaarattidhiibameefilmaatadhorkamee kanmayiiirraagahuuhubateeharkaawalqabateemirgaisaafalmatuu figumaakanneenwaggaa 22darbanajjeefamaabahanii fiammasgaraalaafinamaleejumulaanajjeefamaajiraniiseeraanistahekaraa danda’amu hundaanakkafalamtuwaamichakeenyacimsineedabarsina.Addattikanneen alajirtansagaleeummata kanadhageessisuufakkasochootani fidirqamasabummaakeessanbaatan waamichagooana.Hawaasni addunyaa, dhaabbattootni mirga namoomaaf dhaabbatanii fi jaarmayootni mirga dimokraasiif falman hundis tarkaanfii mootummaan abbaa irree ummata fayyaaleyyii gaaffii mirgaa fi dimokraasii kaasan irratti fudhataa jiru farra dimokraasii tahuu hubatuun gochaa isaa hatattamaan akka dhaabuuf dhiibbaa barbaachisu akka godhan ABOn hubachiisa. Gochaa kana callisanii ilaaluun gochaa kana eebbisuu keessaa qooda fudhatuu tahuu ABO deddeebisee hubachisa.Injifannoo Ummata Oromoof!Adda Bilisumma Oromoo!
OLF Statement | Ibsa ABO: Massacre of Peaceful Demonstrators- Perpetual Habit of TPLF Regime
Partial lists of Oromo students of Adama University kidnapped by Agazi and the whereabouts are not know: As of 3rd May 2014 The total number of Oromo students and residents of Adama city reached over 100. Barattoota University Adaamaa Kaleessa Guyyaa 5/1/2014 Mana Hidhaatti Guuran Keessaa Kan Ammaaf Maqaa Isaanii Arganne Armaan Gaditti Laalaa… 1.ebisa maliika Nuruu 2.Musxafa kadir siraji 3.bulitu wadaju bulitum 4.bilisuma lamii agaa 5.ifabas burisho Nuruu 6.tullu bonus tura 7.tayee tafara agaa 8.fanitale faru qarisuu 9.didaa ahimad ibiroo 10.odaa damis bonjaa 11.calla galan dabiso 12.marga tuffa qiliixu 13.shibiru tariku falqaa 14.dani’eli adimasu tamsigen 15.etihafa tuffa soraa 16.bonsa badhadha bati 17.fayisa girma biramu 18.dane aboo bushira 19.nuho gudata irre 20.abidal hussen julio 21.walbum ragasa qalibesa 22.lami marga gabiru 23.lelisa aynisa marga 24.humin’esa miliki falta 25.magris banita sodaa 26.gada dinqa bayisa 27.tashom baqal sabbatical 28.abirahmi makonin ararisu 29.takalinyi katam baharu 30.abenzari hagaye yuhanis 31.amnu’el buriqa daniq 32.duni hussen walbu 33.andu’alami xilahun almayo 34.ayantu jalta mishap 35.sidise Jara 36.iliyas ishetu Ibisa 37.tadalu mamo baca 38.ibrahami musan awal 39.muktar jeyilan sa’edi 40.datamo fayer shifa#Oromoprotests the following students have been arrested Monday 12th May 2014 morning at Adama University. 1) Fawaz Ahmad Usman.Mechanical, Engineering, 3rd yr 2) Obsa Juwar, Management 2nd yr 3) Lencho (las name unidentified) Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2nd yr.
Their classmates are unable to locate where they were taken after being arrested 36 Oromo Students Arrested by TPLF Ethiopian Regime As Part of Ongoing Violent Crash of the #OromoProtests FDG Posted: Caamsaa/May 12, 2014 · www.gadaa.com Breaking News reaching our desk: an estimated 36 Oromo students have been arrested by the TPLF Ethiopian regime in Haro Limu (Eastern Wallaggaa, Oromia) over the last week. These arrests are in addition to the several hundred others being carried out across Oromia by the TPLF Ethiopian regime to crash the ongoing Oromo Students #OromoProtests FDG Movement.
The Oromo Students #OromoProtests FDG Movement opposes the implementation of the Addis Ababa Master “Genocide” Plan, and demands the institutionalization of the Special Interests of the State of Oromiyaa over Finfinnee as per the Constitution. In addition, as the TPLF Ethiopian regime has resorted to violence to resolve the demands of #OromoProtests FDG, the Movement seeks justice for the slain Oromos and release of those arrested by the TPLF regime.
Godina Iluu Abbaa Booraa, Aanaa Beddellee Magaala BEDDELLEE keessatti mootummaan wayyaanee yeroo ammaa kana barattoota Oromoo baay’ee isaanii badii tokko malee hidhuu fi reebuu itti fufee jira. Guyyaa gaafa kamisa, 01/05/2014 barattoota qabanii hanga ammaatti maatin wal argaa dhorkamani jiran keessa kannen maqaa jaraa bira geenye kan armaan gadiiti. 1. Barataa MANSUUR KAMAAL kutaa 10ffaa Mana barumsaa Ingibii sadarka 2ffaa magaala Beddele ira 2. Barataa MUJAAHID JAMAAL kutaa 12 ffaa mana barumsaa S/2ffaa fi Qophaa’ina magaalaa Beddele irraa 3. Barataa KAMAAL kan jedhamu maqa abba isaa kan nu qaqqabne yo ta’u, kutaa 10ffaa Mana barumsaa Ingibii sadarka 2ffaa magaala Beddele irraa kan baratudha. Kanneen biroo yeroo maqaa isaanii argannu sinii ibsina. QABSOON ITTI FUFA. Qerroo Magaala Beddellee irraa! Post nuf godha. #OromoProtests #OromoProtests This is horrible! Yesterday (7th May 2014) night (local time reference) two young males are reportedly found dead, Nekemte town, one around the area knows as mirtizer and the other around board. According to an eye witness regarding the later body: today early morning, on the newly constructed cobble stone road taking from board down towards celeleki, in front of Bethel KG school, a body watched by very few people and with no ID card was taken by police who said nothing but drive their car towards where they came from, pocket road towards kuteba! #OromoProtests8th May 201- The following students have been arrested and remain in jail in Galamso (W. Hararge) due to the protest that took place few days ago. They are kept at the ‘karchale’.
#OromoProtests: Over the last several days we have been hearing from observers and officers that Oromia police ( both regular and special) has been disarmed, particular in areas where protest took place. This decision seems to have come following the decision by Oromia police not disperse protesters at Madda Walabu University. Since then Federal police and Agazi forces did not only take over security response but also have been seen in many cities using vehicles marked Oromia Police (Poolisii Oromiyaa). More over, Oromia police commanders are not included in the ‘ Emergency Command Post’ created to suppress and contain the protest. The so called Command Post was first established at regional level now extend to all zones. Representatives of Oromia Police are not found in any of these command posts. The security slot in these Commands are filled with federal police commanders, intelligence officers and military personnel ( More in this soon).
Also note that almost all cases of clashes and use of lethal force happened where federal police/ Agazi special military contingent was deployed. The two pictures show Oromia Police monitoring protest without violence. The other picture show federal police riding in Oromia Police vehicle with heavy machine gun mounted. #OromoProtests– picture of Darartu Abdata, student and head Oromo Students Cultural Association at Dire Dawa University who has been isolated from the rest of the student population and kept incommunicado. Its feared she might subjected to torture and other harm. #OromoProtests Oromo student Wabii Tilahun, 2nd year Afan Oromo student at Ambo University kidnapped by Agazi, his where about is not known.Micaan Kun Wabii Xilahn Jedhama Barata Afan Oromoo Waggaa 2 ffaa Godina Wallagaa Baha Aana limmuu dhufee Umatii Magaala Kana Osoo Ijaa Keessaa Ilaaluu kitabaa isaa 700 Maxxaanfmee Osoo Hin Gurguramiin Hafe Hidha hin hiikamnee jedhuu Waliin Fudhanii Deemaan Hospital Mana Hidha Amboo Keessaa Akkaa Hin Jirreee Biraa Geenyee Jirraa. Essaa Akkaa Busaan ni Wallaallee!!!!! Iyii iyaa dabarsii yaa Ilmaan Oromoo!!! Magarsaa Worku, Oromo student of Haromaya University, kidnapped by Agazi #OromoProtests- OBALAYAAN KOO AKKA GARII HUBADHAA DUBISSAA ! INNII KUNI BARAATAA UNIVERSITY HAROO MAYA DHA TII MAQAAN ISSAA MAGARSSA WORKUU DHAA. GAFAA MORMII DIDAA GARBRUMMAA JALQAABEE SAN ISSAA KANATUU XALAAYAA GAFII HAYYAMAA HIRIRAA BAHUU KAN BARESSEE WAJIRALEE DHIMAA LALCHIFTUU HUNDAA KAN AKKA MOTUMMAA FEDERAL FI MANA CAFEE OROMIYAA FI WAJIRALEE BAHA OROMIYAA POLIS KOMISHIONERA FI WARA ILALCHIISSUU HUNDAA HARKKA ISSAN GALCHEE KAN GAFATEE TAHUU ISSA ISSIINII IBSAA.DUBAA ARAA BARATOOTAA SII FINCILSSISE JECHUU DHAN MIRGA BARATOOTAAF WAAN FALMATEE JECHUU DHAA MOTUUMAAN WAYANEE FARA NAGAYA BORESSITUU JECHUU DHAAN QABANII MANA HIDHAA SHINILE YKN KARSHALE DHIMAA WARA SIYASSA ITII MANA DUKKANA DACHII JALAA GALCHANII KOOBAA ISSA GUYAA MAY 10/2014 GANAMAA MAGALA DIRE DAWATII HIDHAMEE.MAGARSSA WORKU ARAA MANA HIDHA DACHII JALAA SHINELE DIRE DAWA ITII HIDHAA JIRAA.FREE MAGARSSA WORK .NO FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN ETHIOPIA
#OromoProtests this is Ababa Tilahun, a 2nd yr statistics student who was injured during an explosion at Haromaya University. Doctors at Hiwot Fana Hospital complain that police harassment and interference is hindering provision of proper medical aid to students.Kun Abbabaa Xilaahun, barataa waggaa istaatistiksii waggaa lammafati. Bombii magaalaa Haroomaayatti dhoo’een madaaye. Doktoroonni Hospitaala Hiwoot Faanaa doorsisni poolisootaan nurra gahaa jiru tajaajila fayyaa bifa tasgabbayeen kennuu nu hanqise jedhuun komatu.
Its killings, imprisonment, and all illegal acts of atrocities immediately,
Respect the constitution of the land (article 49/5) and terminate the so called “Integrated Development Addis Ababa Master Plan.”
Respect the rule of law and bring those who committed extrajudicial killings to court
Release all political prisoners, journalists and prisoners of conscience without any prerequisite.
All concerned NGOs are also kindly requested to come to the assistance of the people that become victims of the current siution in the country. 02 May 2014 Addis Ababa Seal: http://ethiomedia.com/16file/4559.html
Statements on the Massacre of Oromo youth by TPLF regime in Ethiopia
(OPride) — Ethiopia is gripped by widespread student demonstrations, which has so far left at least 47 people dead, several injured and hundreds arrested, according to locals. In a statement on April 30, the government put the death toll at 11. About 70 students were seriously wounded in a separate bomb blast at Haramaya University in eastern Oromia on April 29, the statement added. The protests began last month after ethnic Oromo students voiced concerns over a plan by Addis Ababa’s municipal authorities, which aims to expand the city’s borders deep into Oromia state annexing a handful of surrounding towns and villages. Ethiopia’s brutal federal special forces, known as Liyyu police, responded to nonviolent protests harshly, including with live bullets fired at close range at unarmed students. The government’s brutal crackdown swelled the ranks of demonstrators as defiant students turned out around the country expressing their outrage. Ethiopia maintains a tight grip on the free flow of information; journalists are often detained under flimsy charges. Given the difficulty of getting any information out of the country, it is very difficult to fully grasp the extent, prevalence, and background of the latest standoff. Here are ten basic questionsabout the protests:
Who are the Oromo?
The Oromo are Ethiopia’s single largest ethnic group, constituting close to 40 percent of the country’s 94 million population. Despite their numerical majority, the Oromo have historically faced economic, social and political marginalization in Ethiopia. Theoretically, this changed in 1991, when Ethiopia’s ruling party deposed Mengistu Hailemariam’s communist regime. The transitional government set up by a coalition of rebel groups endorsed ethnic federalism as a compromise solution for the country’s traumatic history. The charter, which established the new government, divided the country into nine linguistic-based states, including Oromia — the Oromo homeland. Covering an area of almost 32 percent of the country, Oromia is Ethiopia’s largest state both in terms of landmass and population. Endowed with natural resources, it is sometimes dubbed as “Ethiopia’s breadbasket .” Want to know more? Here is a handy guide: http://www.gadaa.com/thepeople.html
What are the Oromo students protesting exactly?
In a nutshell, the protesters oppose the mass eviction of poor farmers that are bound to follow the territorial expansion of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa is a busy city that’s been rapidly expanding over the last decade — dispossessing and rendering many a poor farmer into beggars and daily laborers. Last month, in an apparent effort to improve the city’s global competitiveness and accommodate its growing middle-class, city officials unveiled what they call an “Integrated Development Master Plan,” which would guide the city’s growth over the next 25 years. But Ethiopia’s constitution places Addis Ababa in a peculiar position where it is at once a federal city and a regional capital for Oromia. While the city’s horizontal growth has always been contentious, this is the first attempt to alter its territorial boundaries.The actions by the authorities raise several disturbing questions. First, how does a jurisdiction annex another constitutionally created jurisdiction without any due process? What does this say about the sanctity of Ethiopia’s federalism? What arrangements were made to mitigate the mass eviction of poor farmers that accompanied previous expansions? Oromo students say the “master plan” is meant to de-Oromonize the city and push Oromo people further into the margins. But there’s also a long history behind it.
The Oromo, original inhabitants of the land, have social, economic and historical ties to the city. Addis Ababa, which they call Finfinne, was conquered through invasion in 19th century. Since its founding, the city grew by leaps and bounds. But the expansion came at the expense of local farmers whose livelihoods and culture was uprooted in the process. At the time of its founding, the city grew “haphazardly ” around the imperial palace, residences of other government officials and churches. Later, population and economic growth invited uncontrolled development of high-income, residential areas — still almost without any formal planning. While the encroaching forces of urbanization pushed out many Oromo farmers to surrounding towns and villages, those who remained behind were forced to learn a new language and embrace a city that did not value their existence. The city’s rulers then sought to erase the historical and cultural values of its indigenous people, including through the changing of original Oromo names.
Ethnic Oromo students at various universities around the country sparked the protests. It has now spread to high school and middle schools in the Oromia region. A handful of those killed in the last few days have been identified. Media is a state monopoly in Ethiopia. There is not a single independent media organization — in any platform — covering the state of Oromia. For this and other reasons, we may never know the identity of many of these victims. But thanks to social media, gruesome photographs of some students who sustained severe wounds from beating and gunshots have been circulating around social media. Here are few names and images (view these at your own discretion):http://gadaa.com/oduu/25751/2014/05/02/in-review-photos-from-the-oromoprotests-against-the-addis-ababa-master-plan-and-for-the-rights-of-oromiyaa-over-finfinne
Are the protests related to the recent arrest of bloggers and journalists?
Yes and no. Yes, the struggle for justice and freedom in Ethiopia is intractably intertwined as our common humanity. So long as the ruling party maintains its tight grip on power, the destiny of Ethiopia’s poor — of all shades and political persuasions — is one and the same. Oromo students are being killed and harassed for voicing their concerns. Ethiopian bloggers and journalists are jailed for speaking out against an ever-deepening authoritarianism. As the Martin Luther King once said, regardless of our ethnic and political differences, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This is much closer to home. No, technically because the bloggers were not part of the protests opposing Addis Ababa’s expansion. But we would go on a limb to suggest that they would have been the first to show a moral support and chime in on social media. Their past conducts suggest as much.
But the government says the plan is still open to public consultations
The Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC/Medrek) campaign tour has continued in south and south western Oromia. On the 19th and 20th May 2015 , the campaign tour made a stop at Beddelle in Illuu Abbaa Boora, South Western Oromia (led by Baqqalaa Garbaa) and in Shaakkiso & Bule Hora in Guji/Borana, Southern Oromia (led by Baqqalaa Nagaa).Yet again, the OFC rally drew massive turnouts in thousands as potential voters, who braved the constant harassment and intimidation of Ethiopia’s tyrannic TPLF regime to express their solidarity with OFC/Medrek. https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/05/omn-oduu-caamsaa-19-2015/ Here are some of the pictures from Bule Hora viral in social media:- Deeggarsi Caamsaa 19 fi 20 bara 2015 Magaalaa Bulee Horaatti Barreessaa Olaanaa Koongirensii Federaalawaa Oromoo Obbo Baqqalaa Naggaaf Godhamaa Ture Hedduu Kan Nama Gammachiisuu fi Nama Boonsu Dha.
Do not allow TPLF’s electoral fraud.
From procedural violations of electoral law that is to distort results to the outright use of violence against opposition candidates and voters, what TPLF Ethiopia is doing is electoral Frauds. By means of electoral fraud or vote rigging TPLF is illegally interfering with the process of an election. That is to continue in its tyrannic rules.
In free and fair elections citizens each get one ballot and one vote. This is their right and it is their right to vote freely for whoever they want, without anyone doing anything to stop them. That’s how democratic elections work.
However, electoral frauds are the opposite of the free and the fair. As experts in the field demonstrate, electoral fraud is the most serious form of electoral malpractice, which is almost any wrong doing affecting election procedures and materials.
Studies show that electoral fraud is most likely to occur during elections in countries where basic freedoms and rights are not sufficiently guaranteed. As electoral fraud is most likely to occur in countries where freedoms and rights are not sufficiently guaranteed, and the election in TPLF Ethiopia today is being held under these conditions, then electoral fraud is to be expected in many ways. As TPLF is working 100 % to fraud the election, the amount and severity of TPLF’s fraud depends on (can only be minimized by) the ability of the voters (public), the international community, and other social institutions (political parties, independent media, civil rights advocates, monitoring organizations, etc.) to effectively stand to protect the freedoms and rights of voters and candidates. In this completely tyrannic system, independent media and civil right organizations are already curtailed.
It is indisputable that electoral fraud is a violation of some of the most sacred political rights, such as the right to freely vote and to stand for elections. In fact, the most frequent allegations of electoral fraud arose in countries classified by Freedom House as not free or partly free. Freedom House classifies Ethiopia as not free.
Fraudulent electoral commission: The Electoral Authority or Electoral Management Body (EMB) that administering the elections suppose to perform in a neutral manner, regardless of whether its part of the executive branch of government or form an independent electoral commission. The latter is currently the prevailing model worldwide. But in the TPLF Ethiopia’s elections the board is fraudulent appointed by TPLF to serve TPLF tyranny to stay in power contrary to the public’s will.
TPLF is intimidating voters (opposition):If someone is intimidated to vote (or not vote) then this is electoral fraud. The TPLF securities are threatening candidates and voters with terror, injury, damage or harm. TPLF’s Agazi is treating opposition candidates and civilian with violence.
Bribing voters: TPLF also buys voters and candidates.TPLF also has set up many fake parties that pretend as independent. This is electoral fraud.
Voting as someone else (TPLF’s made up cards):The person could be alive, dead or completely made up -if someone pretends to be someone other than themselves in order to vote they have committed electoral fraud. Treating: Paying for food, drink or entertainment in exchange for voting or not voting. This is identified as being used by TPLF. Multiple voting: It is illegal to vote on behalf of someone else unless some one is officially appointed as their proxy. Secrecy: Each ballot paper is secret, asking someone to reveal their ballot paper is an offence. TPLF is forcing people to sign for TPLF through its 1-5 spy structure. False registration information: It is an offence to deliberately give wrong information when applying to register. All these are in use by TPLF as it controls the elections process.
Political communication, civic education and voter information: Genuine elections allowing for the free expression of the will of the people require a level playing field. This is a precondition for political parties and candidates to be able to convey their programs and platforms to the public on a fairly equal basis in all areas of the country where they compete. A level playing field would also require that voters are given the necessary information to properly handle a ballot paper as well as to make a free choice among different options. As a tyrannic system, freedom of information, communication and expressions are continue to be curtailed in Ethiopia now.
Voting and counting operations: In free and fair elections, voting procedures should be guided by the principles of transparency and equal application for all voters. Standards include: equal access to polling stations (including transportation and accessibility for the disabled); voting booth placement for secrecy of the ballot; neutral and effective polling station staff; safeguards against double voting (voter identification and/or indelible ink); facilitating the completion of the ballot (ballot format, vote by the disabled or the illiterate); and, presence of party and candidate representatives. Except as otherwise dictated by extraordinary security circumstances, the first count of the votes will be made at the polling station level with party representatives and other observers present. More aggregated counts will also be completed and witnessed.by party representatives and other observers. Party representatives should be entitled to receive a copy of tallies. The TPLF/Woyane, in its electoral fraud system is busy all over in putting its garbage in aiming for the garbage outcome.
The mathematician said that if the glass is equally half full and half empty, then half full = half empty; therefore ½ x F = ½ x E; therefore (by multiplying both sides of the equation by 2) we show that F = E; i.e. Full equals Empty!
Ethiopia ranks at 115 out of 124 countries in the ‘Human Capital Index’ because of its poor performance on educational outcomes, says the Human Capital Report 2015 issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The index is dominated by European countries with two countries from the Asia and Pacific region and one from the North America region also making it into the top 10.
Finland topped the ranking of the Human Capital Index in 2015, scoring 86% of its human capital, followed by Norway, Switzerland, Canada and Japan.
Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Belgium also seized the places in the top 10 list. Ethiopia scored 50.25 out of 100.
The leaders of the index are high-income economies that have placed importance on high educational attainment and a correspondingly large share of high-skilled employment.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) released the Human Capital Report 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday 14 May 2015.
The WEF prepared the report in collaboration with Mercer, an American global human resource and related financial services consulting firm.
The report elaborates the status of different countries across the world on the Human Capital Index and provides key inputs for policy makers to augment capacities of human capital in 124 countries it has surveyed.
In the index, WEF highlighted Ethiopia’s scarcity of skilled employees, poor ability to nurture talent through educating, training and employing its people.
“Talent, not capital, will be the key factor linking innovation, competitiveness and growth in the 21st century,” said WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab releasing the report at a news conference in Cologny, near Geneva, Switzerland.
In sub-Saharan Africa, Mauritius (72) holds the highest position in the region. While another six countries rank between 80 and 100, another 17 countries from Africa rank below 100 in the index. South Africa is in 92nd place and Kenya at 101. The region’s most populous country, Nigeria (120) is among the bottom three in the region, while the second most populous country, Ethiopia, is in 115th place. With the exception of the top-ranked country, the region is characterized by chronically low investment in education and learning.
Except Yemen (40.7) all the 10 poorest performers are African Countries: Ethiopia (50.25), Burkina Faso (49.22), Ivory Coast ( 49.02), Mali (48.51), Guinea (48.25), Nigeria (48.43), Burundi (46.76), Mauritania (42.29) and Chad (41.1).
The countries are ranked on the basis of 46 indicators that track “how well countries are developing and deploying their human capital focusing on education, skills and employment”.
The index takes a life-course approach to human capital, evaluating the levels of education, skills and employment available to people in five distinct age groups, starting from under 15 years to over 65 years. The aim is to assess the outcome of past and present investments in human capital and offer insight into what a country’s talent base will look like in the future.
Objectives: Iodine is an essential nutrient needed for the synthesis of hormone thyroxin. Hormone thyroxin is involved in the metabolism of several nutrients, the regulation of enzymes and differentiation of cells, tissues and organs. Iodine deficiency (ID) impairs the development of the brain and nervous system. It affects cognitive capacity, educability, productivity and child mortality. ID hinders physical strength and causes reproductive failure. The objective of this paper is to explore if the health impacts of ID are more common and severe among women. Design: Using primary data (notes from a visit) and secondary data, this paper examines if the effects of ID are more common and severe among Oromo women inEthiopia. Findings: The health impacts of ID are more common and severe among women. Conclusions:ID is an easily preventable nutritional problem. In Oromia, the persistence of ID is explained by the Ethiopian government’s colonial social policies. Preventing ID should be seen as part of the efforts we make to enhance capacity building, promote health, gender equity and social justice. Implications: Iodine deficiency has a wide range of biological, social, economic and cultural impacts. Preventing ID can be instrumental in bringing about gender equity and building the capacity of people.
Dugassa, B. and Negassa, A. (2012) Understanding the ecology of iodine deficiency and its public health implications: The case of oromia region in Ethiopia. Journal of Community Nutrition & Health, 1, 4-17.
Ingenbleek, Y. and Jung, L.B. (1999) A new iodized oil for eradicating endemic goiter. In: Abdulla, M., Bost, M., Gamon, S., Arnaud, P. and Chazot, G., Eds., New Aspects of Trace Element Research, Smith-Gordon, London.
As Ethiopia votes, what’s ‘free and fair’ got to do with it?
By Terrence Lyons, The Washington Post
Ethiopia, Washington’s security partner and Africa’s second most populous country, is scheduled to hold national elections on May 24. The ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and its allied parties won 99.6 percent of the seats in the last round of elections in 2010. There is no doubt that the ruling party will win again.
The party has ruled since 1991 when it seized power following a prolonged civil war. It dominates all major political, economic, and social institutions, has virtually eliminated independent political space, and opposition parties are fractured and harassed. Ethiopia has jailed more journalists than any other country in Africa.
The EPRDF is an extremely strong and effective authoritarian party. Yet Wendy Sherman, the Under Secretary of Political Affairs in the Department of State, recently said, “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair and credible.” What roles do elections play in authoritarian states and what, if anything, do they have to do with “free, fair, and credible” standards?
Part of the answer is to recognize that elections and political parties in autocratic states play different roles than they do in democratic states. Electoral processes are used by authoritarian regimes to consolidate power and to demonstrate the ruling party’s dominance, as argued by scholars of comparative politics such as Schedler and Gandhi and Lust-Okar. Research by Geddes shows that single-party authoritarian regimes tend to be more stable and last longer than military or personalistic ones. Strong partiesmanage instability by encouraging intra-elite compromise, co-opting opposition, and institutionalizing incentives to reward loyalty. Elections and strong political parties thereby contribute to “authoritarian resilience,” as scholars note with reference to China, Iran and Syria, and Zimbabwe.
Non-competitive elections are common in authoritarian states and incumbents often win by incredible margins. In Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir won 94 percent of the vote in April 2015 elections, Uzbek President Islam Karimov over 90 percent in March 2015, and Kazak President Nursultan Nazarbayev 97 percent in April 2015. Rwandan President PaulKagame, when asked if his 93 percent landslide in 2010 represented the will of the people, reportedly answered: “So, 93 percent – I wonder why it wasn’t higher than that?” The EPRDF’s 99.6 percent victory in 2010 createdcredibility problems in North American and European capitals where diplomats often asked, “Couldn’t they have just won by 60 or 75 percent?” But the point of elections under authoritarian rule is not to obtain a working majority or to win international approval. The purpose is to dominate domestic politics completely and thereby deter any leader from thinking he or she could challenge ruling party successfully. The dramatic, overwhelming victories send an important domestic message of strength and power, even as they strain credibility abroad.
The EPRDF recognizes the dangers it faces from competitive elections and that it democratizes at its peril. In 2005 Ethiopia held competitive elections, complete with significant opposition participation, major rallies, and televised debates. According to official results, the opposition’s share of seats in parliament increased from 12 to 172, representing 31 percent of the total. The opposition parties swept all the seats in Addis Ababa and many cabinet ministers and high-ranking officials lost their positions. This shift represented the potential for an important advance in democratization and a major break in the ruling party’s domination.
Members of the opposition, however, refused to accept the results and claimed that massive fraud had denied them outright victory. Some opposition leaders boycotted the parliament. Post-election demonstrations turned violent and were brutally put down by the Ethiopian military, leaving nearly 200 dead and an estimated 30,000 arrested. The 2005 election began with a democratic opening but ended with what the Department of State characterized as the criminalization of dissent.
In the aftermath of the 2005 crisis, the EPRDF responded by demonstrating its extraordinary strength in using the levers of state power and its considerable organizational capacities to control all aspects of political life. New laws largely eliminated civil society institutions and the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation has been used against journalists and other critics. Just before a visit by Secretary of State Kerry in April 2014, the regime arrested a group of young bloggers who called themselves Zone Nine and charged them with terrorism. Washington recently urged Addis Ababa “to refrain from using its Anti-Terrorism Proclamation as a mechanism to curb the free exchange of ideas.”
As a consequence of its restrictions on politics over the past decade, the ruling party has little to worry about with regard to the opposition parties competing in the upcoming elections. The limits on formal political competition have made social mobilization outside of the electoral process more important. A series of non-violent protests in 2012 by Ethiopian Muslims provided an important model of sustained, peaceful social mobilization. The regime arrested the movement’s leadership and has tried to link the protests to external enemies and terrorism. In 2014, the security services quickly suppressed demonstrations on university campuses by Oromos, highlighting the historical sense of marginalization perceived by many in Ethiopia’s single largest ethnic group. In April 2015, a government organized rally to mourn the killing of Ethiopian migrants in Libya by the Islamic State (ISIS) ended with arrests and clashes between security forces and protestors. The Ethiopian regime has managed each of these challenges without significant difficulty but the underlying grievances remain.
Editor’s Note: This video contains graphic content. Clashes broke out in Addis Ababa at a government-organized demonstration against the killing of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State militants in Libya.
Ms. Mittal describes the situation with regard to land grabs in Ethiopia as “dire”, with evicted farmers and their families facing persecution, intimidation, and arrest if refusing to leave the land which has sustained them for generations or by protesting. While many around the world are under the impression that colonialism in Africa is long-over and a thing of the past, what the Oakland Institute has discovered is a type of “re-colonization” of the African continent has occurred in recent years through land grabs/giveaways to investors looking to extract natural resources. ….Oakland Institute Director Anuradha Mittal believes the land is being stolen and not being paid for, that the practice of land grabs shows the absence in nations of rule of law, and that wealthy corporations/investors are taking the opportunity to re-colonize Africa and get away it.
xecutive Director of the Oakland Institute Anuradha Mittal and her team have worked for years on land, food and environment issues in regions around the Earth. Oakland Institute recently joined the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in exposing World Bank actions involving land grabs/acquisitions by foreign investors in Ethiopia which have resulted in tens of thousands of small farmers becoming forcibly evicted from their land.
Ms. Mittal describes the situation with regard to land grabs in Ethiopia as “dire”, with evicted farmers and their families facing persecution, intimidation, and arrest if refusing to leave the land which has sustained them for generations or by protesting. While many around the world are under the impression that colonialism in Africa is long-over and a thing of the past, what the Oakland Institute has discovered is a type of “re-colonization” of the African continent has occurred in recent years through land grabs/giveaways to investors looking to extract natural…
Human rights organization appeals to UNHCR for lifesaving assistance to Oromo refugees in Yemen
The following is a statement from the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA), “a non-political and nonpartisan organization which attempts to challenge abuses of human rights of the peoples of various nations and nationalities in the Horn of Africa. HRLHA is aimed at defending fundamental human rights, including freedoms of thought, expression, movement and organization. It is also aimed at raising the awareness of individuals about their own basic human rights and that of others. It has intended to work on the observances as well as due processes of law. It promotes the growth and development of free and vigorous civil societies.”
May 16, 2015
HRLHA’s Appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Mr. Antonio Guterres
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR)
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Geneve 2 Depot Suisse
Emails: infoDesk@ohchr.org; GUTERRES@unhcr.org
Mr Amin Awad
Middle East and North Africa Bureau
Dear Mr. Guterres,
The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa/HRLHA is very concerned about the current humanitarian crisis in the Republic of Yemen following the internal conflicts and political instabilities that have broken down the social services in the country. Many nongovernmental and humanitarian organizations are reporting that the crisis in Yemen has highly affected refugees and asylum seekers who came from the Horn of Africa to Yemen to escape the volatile situations in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and other places. Among the most vulnerable are Oromo refugees and asylum seekers residing in Sanaa, Aden and other areas in Yemen.
According to the letter disseminated by the Oromo refugee community in Aden-Yemen under the heading “Only Oromo refugees are still caught up under the fire and critical circumstance and also expecting an imminent danger”, Oromo refugees are desperately seeking attention and lifesaving assistance of the UNHCR. The UNHCR’s Middle East and North Africa branch office confirmed its commitment to providing life–saving assistance for the needy people under its strategy’s priority: “UNHCR’s strategic priorities in 2015 are: to deliver innovative operational responses, including lifesaving assistance; to ensure protection for all people of concern with a particular focus on the most vulnerable, especially those in urban areas; to seek durable solutions, including resettlement as a protection tool; and to continue to respond to ongoing emergencies.” (UNHCR, Middle East and North Africa – http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4a02db416.html)
Dear Mr. Guterres,
HRLHA, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported and are still reporting that the Oromos are fleeing their country to escape persecutions by the current Ethiopian government led by the TPLF/EPRDF. The recent research document released by Amnesty International – “Because I am Oromo” – Sweeping Repression in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia – exposes that how Oromos have been regularly subjected to arbitrary arrests, prolonged detentions without charges, enforced disappearances, repeated tortures and unlawful state killings since 1991, when the current Ethiopian government came into power, as part of the government’s incessant attempts to crush dissidents.
Dear Mr. Guterres,
Thousands from other nations and nationalities in Ethiopia have also been killed, kidnapped and arrested by the TPLF/EPRDF government because of exercising their fundamental rights or holding political opinions different from TPLF/EPRDF’s political agenda.
Therefore, the HRLHA politely urges the UNHCR to:
1. Provide food and shelter assistance to vulnerable Oromo and other refugees in Yemen
2. Move them to safer neighboring countries in the Middle East or beyond.
Garoma B. Wakessa
– 994 Pharmacy Avenue, M1R 2G7 Toronto Ontario, Canada
– Tel:- (416) 492 2506 or (647) 280 7062
– E-Mail:- firstname.lastname@example.org
– Web site:- www.humanrightsleague.org
Dr. Merera Gudina, Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC/Medrek), and Ob. Bekele Gerba, former prisoner of conscience and OFC’s top official, jointly campaigned in Gudar, western Oromia, on Sunday, May 17, 2015, for the upcoming General Election, scheduled to be held on May 24, 2015. Thousands of supporters joined the OFC leaders in Gudar. http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2015/05/photos-dr-merera-gudina-ob-bekele-gerba-jointly-campaign-for-ofcmedrek-in-guder-oromia/
The Global African looks at land theft in Ethiopia & the connection between Belgian colonization and HIV in the Congo.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a columnist, activist, author and labor organizer. He is the executive assistant to the national vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees. Bill is an editorial board member of BlackComentator.com, as well as the chairman of the Retail Justice Alliance. He is also the co-author of “Solidarity Divided”; and the author of the newly released book, ‘They’re Bankrupting Us’ – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions . He is a co-founder of the Center for Labor Renewal, and has served as President of TransAfrica Forum and was formerly the Education Director and later Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO.
BILL FLETCHER, HOST, THE GLOBAL AFRICAN: Today on The Global African, we’ll talk about the legacy of Belgian colonization in the Congo and a recent report on land grabs in Ethiopia.That’s today on The Global African. I’m your host, Bill Fletcher. Thanks for joining us again. And don’t go anywhere.
~~~FLETCHER: According to a new report from the Oakland Institute entitled We Say the Land Is Not Yours, the government of Ethiopia has been forcibly removing many Ethiopians from their native lands through a so-called village-ization program. The program, supposedly intended to modernize the East African nation, has sold off millions of hectares of land to foreign investors. These investors, often large-scale agriculture companies, are buying very valuable land at a cheap price. Instead of cultivating land and producing food for the people, most of the yields are being used to export to other nations.After being forced off their land, natives are cut off from access to fertile land, health care, and educational opportunity, languishing in poverty.The country’s villagization program has faced allegations in the past of torture, political coercion, imprisonment, rapes, and disappearances against those attempting to form resistance.We’re joined now with our guest from the Oakland Institute in California, Anuradha Mittal, who is the executive director and founder of the institute, which aims to create opportunity for public participation and democratic debates on key issues worldwide. Under her leadership, the Institute has unveiled land investment deals in Africa and around the world.Thank you very much for joining us on the program.ANURADHA MITTAL, EXEC. DIR., OAKLAND INSTITUTE: Thanks for having me.FLETCHER: So I just read this report that you issued concerning land theft in Ethiopia. And I had not seen anything about this in the mainstream media. And I was curious. Let’s start with how did you uncover this situation and what brought it to your attention.MITTAL: Well, in the case of Ethiopia we at the Institute have been working since 2007, 2008, when we were contacted by the communities both within Ethiopia as well as people who are now in the diaspora, people who have been forced to live in exile, who have fled the country because of the political oppression. And what we started hearing about was that in the name of development, vast tracts of land are being cleared where ethnic groups, indigenous communities have been living as agropasturalists, or growing their food, or using the forest for their medicines, for their farms.And with this displacement, you’re seeing large-scale plantations of cotton, of sugarcane coming into being in the name of development, that this will lead Ethiopia to the next century and make it a renaissance state.So we were really concerned by the kind of displacement that is happening. The government plans to give away 7 million hectares of land, leading to the displacement of over 1.5 million people. And there’s no consultation, there is no free prior informed consent. The way communities are being moved is through forced displacement, and we were very concerned about it.FLETCHER: When the Ethiopian regime that currently is in power took over in the ’90s, overthrowing Mengistu, their program seems to be completely antithetical to what we’re witnessing right now, where the regime seems to be serving the interests of global agricultural capitalists.MITTAL: You’re right on, I mean, what had happened earlier, the so-called villagization, when people were forced off their lands and the so-called villages were supposed to be created where better social services would be provided. And that was challenged. But not today. It is the same pretext that is being used that better social services would be provided, better education opportunities would be provided to communities who are being moved. And so this is the whole rhetoric of development. But our research on the ground shows that the lands which have been cleared, actually then given away to foreign investors who are coming in from India, from Malaysia, from Turkey and just about everywhere, especially in areas such as Gambela or Lower Omo, and leading to forcible displacement of people.The other shocking thing, Bill, that–I think it’s important to remember is that this kind of development, which leads to eviction of people against their choice from their homes and lands, is happening thanks to donor countries. It is happening because it has the blessings of financial institutions such as the World Bank.FLETCHER: I’d like you to explain that a little bit more. Why–what are the, what’s the interest of the World Bank in all of this?MITTAL: Well first of all, there is this belief that large-scale plantations, large-scale agriculture will lead to development and the benefits of which will somehow trickle down to those at the bottom. We have seen that trickle-down does not really ever happen.Secondly, you have these loans that are being provided. When you look at Ethiopia, over 60 percent of its budget comes from outside. Some of the key donors are United States, United Kingdom, the World Bank.And also we have another relationship. In the United States, Ethiopia is our closest ally in Africa. It is our ally in the war on terrorism. So we tend to turn a blind eye to the repression that is happening on the ground.FLETCHER: Is there an ethnic side to what’s going on? That is, are there certain ethnic groups in Ethiopia that are disproportionately affected by this? Or is this pretty much across the board?MITTAL: Well, this is happening across the board, and it’s happening to the ones who are in minority. So, for instance, in Lower Omo you have the Bodis, the Suris, the Mursis, the Nyangatoms, the Hamars who are being impacted. In case of Gambela, Anuaks are predominantly targeted. So it is a country which is ruled by a minority, the Highlanders, or the Tigrayans. And their control is being maintained through political and economic repression by displacing people from their lands, which makes their livelihoods even more difficult. And secondly, it helps to control the country politically and stay in power.FLETCHER: There’s two questions here. One is: what is happening to the populations that are being displaced? In similar situations around the world, there’s a tendency for people to move into the urban centers. Is that what’s happening here? Are people leaving the country? And the second question is about resistance. What kind of resistance is building?MITTAL: Well, both are great questions. I think Ethiopia is a little bit unique, because given the kind of political oppression you have, given there is no political space to be able to speak out as you hear from the testimonies presented in the report, which we basically felt we had to do because our fieldwork, when we have put out in reports, has been challenged by the Ethiopian government, and this time we could say it is not some Western NGO challenging the Ethiopian government, these are the voices of people within Ethiopia.So it is a very, very dire situation.In terms of resistance, again, when we look around the world, given we work around the world, we see resistance on the ground, but it is pretty appalling. In Ethiopia, again, because of the lack of civil society, lack of freedom of media, and the fact that you can be arrested, the fact that Ethiopian security forces are not just arresting people within Ethiopia, but taking away people from Kenya and South Sudan who might have challenged government’s policies, we are finding very little resistance on the ground.The resistance is more of having the courage to storytell groups such as Human Rights Watch or tell groups like the Oakland Institute what the reality is on the ground. So the resistance is of people who refuse to give up and refuse to move from their lands. And in return they’re facing persecution, they’re facing arrest, intimidation, beatings. You know, the prisons of Ethiopia are full of people who have challenged government’s development strategy.FLETCHER: Is there any sense of global support for the peoples that are facing these evictions? Or are they pretty much on their own?MITTAL: Well, I think more and more of the world knows what is happening in Ethiopia. There are groups from International Rivers, Human Rights Watch, Oakland Institute, Survival International who have been supporting the communities on the ground who have been putting out information to inform and educate. For instance, the U.S. Congress just recently deferred–UK’s development agency stopped financing PBS, the program for basic services, which was linked to the villagization scheme of the Ethiopian government. So this pressure from outside is resulting in kind of taking away some of the resources from the Ethiopian government that is financing and is facilitating displacement of people.But, of course, a lot of work remains to be done. Because of our research, it was exposed by Channel 4 in Sweden that H&M was sourcing its cotton from Lower Omo, these plantations which have come into being by displacing indigenous agropasturalists from Lower Omo. And because of the pressure, H&M had to announce that they would not source cotton from Lower Omo. So I think it is very important to keep spreading the word, to keep educating, and to keep exposing that development strategy which is based on a denial of human rights–and not just denial, but abuse of human rights cannot be a development strategy for any nation.FLETCHER: Ms. Mittal, thank you very, very much.MITTAL: Thank you. Pleasure to speak with you.FLETCHER: Absolutely. I look forward to it in the future.MITTAL: Same here. Take care. Bye-bye.FLETCHER: Bye-bye, now.And thank you for joining us for this segment of The Global African. I’m your host, Bill Fletcher. And we’ll be back in a moment, so don’t go anywhere.
~~~FLETCHER: One of the greatest holocausts of the 19th century, indeed of all time, was the murder of 10 million Congolese when the Congo, then known as the Congo Free State, was the personal property of King Leopold of Belgium–more than 10 million Congolese murdered in order to enrich this monarch of Europe.The legacy of that holocaust lives with us today and is detailed in an excellent piece by Dr. Lawrence Brown. The impact of that holocaust and the colonization of what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo resulted in conditions that were fertile for the development of what came to be known as HIV and AIDS. HIV-AIDS first surfaces in what is now Kinshasa, which was at that time, in the 1920s, Leopoldville, in 1920, and spread as a result of the practices that were carried out by the Belgians as they tore the country apart.The Ghost of Leopold Still Haunts Us is the title of an essay written by our next guest, Dr. Lawrence Brown from Morgan State University, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management.Dr. Brown, thank you for joining us again.DR. LAWRENCE BROWN, ASST. PROF., DEPT. HEALTH POLICY AND MGMT, NSU: Absolutely. Pleasure to be here.FLETCHER: Great. I was really struck by this article. It’s the connection that you make between Belgian colonialism and the development of AIDS. I had not seen anything like that before. And it was so different from the conspiracy theory pieces that people read, the utter denial that we see. What inspired you to write it?BROWN: Absolutely. I really had been doing a lot of thinking and studying around colonization, how that impacted health of populations and how enslavement, how these historical traumas impact the health of populations. So when I ran across this article that basically found the authors conducting a genetic analysis of the virus itself and tracking it down, through this sort of forensic process, to Kinshasa in the 1920s, I was really fascinated, because I had been looking at the Democratic Republic of Congo and its history. And so when I ran across the article and I began to read it, I noticed the word Belgium really didn’t come up in the article at all. And I was familiar with Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost, and the story of how King Leopold and his Force Publique, this military regiment, had brought such terror and devastation to the Congolese populations, killing up to 10 million of the Congolese people, that I was really fascinated by the sheer absence of the mention of Belgian colonization.So that got my mind to thinking, and I decided I needed to write something to sort of understand, help people understand how the social determinants of health would have impacted the development and the ignition of HIV.FLETCHER: And you’re describing the Congo Holocaust.BROWN: Essentially, yes.FLETCHER: I mean, more people were killed in what was then the Congo Free State, right?BROWN: Right. It started out as the Congo Free State.FLETCHER: ‘Cause it was the personal property of King Leopold.BROWN: Absolutely. King Leopold II of Belgium.FLETCHER: That’s right.BROWN: He owned it for about 26 years.FLETCHER: That’s right. More people were killed there than the Nazis killed in their Holocaust.BROWN: Absolutely. It was terrible.FLETCHER: Now, one of the things that I was struck by then is that there are those that have tried to dismiss the issue of HIV and AIDS as being related to a virus by simply saying that it’s because of poverty.BROWN: Right.FLETCHER: President Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, was one who was very much in that direction. But you’re making a very different argument.BROWN: Absolutely. You know, the World Health Organization defines social determinants of health as the conditions in which we live, play, work, and pray. And so the social determinants of health help contribute to a disease’s spread, how it evolves, how it is able to infect and spread among human populations.And so what happened in the Belgian Congo in the 1920s is that–this article says it started in 1920s in Kinshasa. So it gives us a starting point. So we know, for instance, that the CIA starts in 1947, so the CIA didn’t create this virus. We know that certain things–we can basically say we can rule out some of the conspiracies based on this analysis.But what we do need to know and figure out is that in the ’20s it wasn’t called Kinshasa, it was called Leopoldville.FLETCHER: That’s right.BROWN: This was part of King Leopold’s domain and the Belgians’ domain by the 1920s. They had built an extensive railway system in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as we know it today, using free African labor–or forced African labor of the Congolese. They had thousands and ten thousands of men and women carrying the supplies and materials that were needed to create this railroad. They had folks who lived and died under the strain of the push to create this sort of transportation. And the railroads were used to extract ivory, and then rubber, from which King Leopold II became rich, to extract those resources from the African people.And so in the article it mentions that having this railway was critical to the spread of the virus because it allowed the transportation from places like Kinshasa, as we know it today, to /kəngɑːli/ and different cities within the nation. And so, understanding that the railways did help the spread of the virus is important, but it’s also important to understand the forced African labor that was used to build that railway and to transport the laborers, even later, after the real railroad was built, along those railways, so the transportation of people back and forth, all in the service of colonization.FLETCHER: Let me go back for a second, 1920 Leopoldville, when they say that that’s when HIV-AIDS emerged. It didn’t pop out of the air.BROWN: No.FLETCHER: So what happened?BROWN: Well, you have the animal-to-human transmission. It’s just like we’ve been talking about the Ebola virus recently, a zoonotic disease that emerges out of animal-human contact. So, in this case the theory is that chimpanzee meat in some form or fashion was consumed by an African Congolese, and thereby transmitting the simian form of that virus.Well, how might that have happened? People in that region maybe had been eating that meat on and off for several hundreds of years. They’d known how to eat that meat very properly, cooked it quite well. But under the conditions that the Belgians were putting the Congolese under, they totally disrupted the Congolese food supply to such that witnesses say that laborers were starving because they couldn’t grow their own food. So now they’re importing food from Belgium, they’re importing food so that the Congolese can eat other people’s food to survive, but they’re sending them into the forest to go and extract rubber down from the vines, they’re sending them into the forest, and folks have to climb up the trees to extract this rubber from the tree, many of them falling asleep and dying or injuring themselves in the process. And so, in this environment of extreme hunger, I could see someone saying, I don’t have anything to eat right now, maybe there is a dead chimpanzee somewhere, I’m going to take that and not cook it properly because I’m so hungry under these conditions, and then you have the transmission from animal to human in this case.FLETCHER: Fascinating. So forgive the very basic questions, but I’m not a scientist. Nineteen-twenty.BROWN: Right.FLETCHER: Okay. Then it seems to emerge publicly around 1980.BROWN: Right. So where was the virus hiding?FLETCHER: Where was a virus? Right.BROWN: Well, you know, I think that from what we understand there, really sort of this article gives three primary vectors. We’re talking about the railway that we talked about earlier. It allows for humans to travel up–the host for the virus to travel across the country, transmitting the virus. It talks about–so you have host, you have the transportation.Then you also have another vector they talk about, commercial sex workers, and so what we know as or what people commonly referred to as prostitutes. And so there are Congolese scholars that say, well, even the commercial sex work is rooted in colonization, because the Belgians would take Congolese women and exploit them in various ways. They would exploit them in terms of helping–using them to please the workers in vile ways. They would use women to–they took some of them as their second wives in the Congo Free State and later the Belgian Congo. So they perverted the very being and the spirit of the Congolese women, and as such created a sort of commercial sex work industry that allowed the virus to sort of proliferate originally.Now, in terms of spreading beyond the borders, the analysis basically says that by the ’60s or ’70s there were Haitian workers that were working in the Belgian Congo. And by the ’60s, of course, the Congo becomes Zaire under Mobutu. And so the Haitian workers working there, professionals, they go back to Haiti having contracted the virus, and then maybe a few Haitians go to New York or go to the United States, and the virus sort of emerges there in the 1980s. But it had been sort of percolating all along. I think you see in the medical literature there were people dying that they can sort of trace back and say, this was probably the disease. In the ’60s and ’70s they were starting to see something’s going on and it’s not right.FLETCHER: But what did the Belgians see between 1920 and 1960, when the Congo became independent? Is there any evidence that they even noticed that there was a problem?BROWN: I don’t think they knew that there was a specific problem with this particular disease. Now, they did have public health campaigns to help stop, like, sleeping disease and other diseases that are infectious diseases that were there at the time.Now, the important thing to know is that they were reusing syringes to sort of inoculate people against certain diseases that they knew about at the time. And so, inadvertently, I believe, you’re reusing needles, and that could have helped proliferate the spread of the virus as well at the time. So those are the kind of dynamics that even in terms of the colonial public health system, the Belgians could have played a role in terms of helping to proliferate the virus. So, whether it’s the colonial public health system, whether it’s animal-to-human transmission, whether it’s commercial sex workers or the railroads, the Belgian colonization system, first with King Leopold and then under the Belgian government, played a role in the transmission of this disease.FLETCHER: When the Belgians left the Congo in 1960, they did nothing to help in any kind of transition. They were trying to actually Balkanize the Congo, as you know, the whole fight around the Katanga province and trying to separate it off. There’s no indication that there was–I’m assuming that there was no indication of any effort to deal with any medical issues when they moved out.BROWN: Yeah, not to my knowledge. But the Belgian government did collaborate with the CIA in terms of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo. So the Belgian government plays a very powerful role, in terms of even after they leave, determining, charting the future course of the Democratic Republic of Congo, so that it’s much more likely to move in a less Pan-African direction and more so in a much more brutal dictator direction.And why is that important? Of course, if you have someone who’s in your stead managing in a neocolonial arrangement, that continues the facilitation of extracting resources from the country. And so you have critical minerals that are predominant all over the country–copper, diamonds, or coltan that’s in our smart phones and cell phones, right? And so people are fighting over those resources today. There’s been a tremendous civil war that’s been going on. Up to 5 million Congolese people have been killed in this civil war.And you see under King Leopold people’s hands being cut off because they didn’t produce enough rubber. And then in this civil war you see sort of the same thing, people’s hands being cut off as a form of punishment. And it sort of–you know, we look at how people tend to reproduce the trauma that they have experienced under these sort of extreme, harsh forms of brutalization and oppression. And that’s what I think is important to know is that so much of what’s going on in the Congo today finds its root in that period when King Leopold II–.FLETCHER: Dr. Brown, thank you very much for joining us on The Global African.BROWN: My pleasure.FLETCHER: And thank you for joining us for this episode of The Global African. I’m your host, Bill Fletcher. And we’ll see you next time.
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6 Oromo Students of Three Universities Abducted by TPLF Led Government Forces
Qeerroo Report, May 17, 2015: As the fake 2015 so called Ethiopian election approaches, the TPLF led Ethiopian government has intensified arresting, harassing, and abduction of Oromo nationals, especially Oromo students of universities and higher educational institutions. Accordingly, the following Oromo students of Adama University, Eastern Shoa zone of Oromia regional state have been abducted by the terrorist “intelligence” forces of the Ethiopian regime and their whereabouts are unknown. Read Full; Qeerroo Report, May 17 2015
5 Oromo students from Adama University have been kidnapped by TPLF (Agazi) security forces. Kidnapping, torturing and violence against Oromo students and civilians is continued all over universities and entire Oromia. See the following table for few latest lists in Afaan Oromo.